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July 21 1998, Tuesday


  was wondering about all the fallen leaves and pine needles around Muellers' Mountain. It looks like a half-assed and vaguely supernatural premature autumn. I've seen nothing like this since the Gypsy Moths came through in 1994. My Dad explained that there was a big hailstorm not long ago. He said it only affected about half of our woods; it was a very local and rather minor natural disaster. Still, from the looks of things, it must have been a rough experience for those without roofs over their heads. I wonder what animals do when they're being stoned by two centimeter chunks of ice?


n Ann Arbor news, Kim's spunky brunette friend Lisa does know about the musings, but being sworn to secrecy by Matt Rogers (oh please!), everything's still cool. But you know, the dike between the ocean of information and the Holland of Kim's perception grows thinner all the time.

All you people providing romantic advice: thanks for your continued interest in the love life of the Gus. Our crack staff is pouring over your email and, as we speak, formulating a grand plan of action.

the dumbing-down of everything


y old 1987 Rand McNally American Road Atlas is what I usually consult when including geographic details in these musings. Of course, the years are never kind to road atlases, and mine is no exception. Deya's mother gave me a 1996 AAA Road Atlas some months ago and I was just looking at it, trying to find a little useful information: latitudes, longitudes, and elevations. It's not too much to ask from a road atlas. Elevations, for example, make a great deal of difference when it comes to driving old American cars with a propensity to overheat. But wouldn't you know, there's no mention whatsoever of latitudes, longitudes or elevations in the AAA Atlas. I could cry. I feel insulted and patronized. Am I really such a remarkably inquisitive motorist amongst the American driving public? Instead of mandating filtering software on library computers, Senator McCain needs to be investigating the increasingly shoddy wholesale disseminators of information in this nation.

Speaking of things that make me wish I was a brotherless Unabomber, there's this extremely irritating radio spot on the airwaves these days. It's put out by Anheuser-Busch and it is supposedly designed to encourage parents to talk to their kids about underage drinking. It's full of sound clips that some media focus group apparently thinks represent adolescent culture. Imagine this:

"No way!" [said in a bratty valley girl voice]

"Yo Mom, Yo Dad!" [said in a white-boy-assimilates-hip-hop-jargon voice]

"Cool!" [said in a future-fratboy-of-America-pot-smoker giggle]

Weeerawl! [a stock guitar scream]

A sober voice cuts in and suggests parents talk to their kids, the ones just represented as blathering fools.

Yes, it's all there, evidently to make mothers rest easy that Anheuser-Busch really cares. I'm thinking, though, I'm being patronized and insulted yet again. Broadcast media culture: it's geared to the lowest common denominator. That's why I prefer the web, the unfiltered web, that is. I'm sure Anheuser-Busch's website isn't regarded by McCain as indecent, but it, along with the rest of their informational output, offends me. Just stick with brewing beer and shut the fuck up, that's my advice.


Somehow the guy from Cut While Shaving (no links for you, asshole!) tracked down Kim's AOL email account. From the look of things, he hasn't exactly told her of my musings, but he's been pestering her with stalkerly information I sincerely regret ever putting online. He (whatever his name is) makes Alan of heinovision look like Ned Flanders on quaaludes.

one year ago
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