And Hell Week continues. It’s the book, Interior Desecrators. Last minute additions. Frantic searches through the basement storage room for pictures. New copy. Etc. It’s making me twitchier than usual. I get home from the office, I make dinner - no, scratch that. I assembled it. Had one of those Campbell’s Idiot Meal Kits that make you think you’re cooking - you pour the stuffing in the pan, add water, mash it around, heap it in the center, group pig slabs around the mound, cover it with gelatinous Cooking Goop, add the Crumbles, bake, eat, regret. While it was baking I ran upstairs and worked until the timer dinged.

Family meal. Gnat’s unimpressed, but does her part. “May I be scused?” You may, my little manners-infused automaton. She goes off with Mommy to the gym. I put on the headphones, tune in the AM station to which I am partial, and walk into the rain with Jasper so he can excrete the morning meal in whatever pile of redolent leaves he chooses tonight. As he assumes the position, Hugh remarks that “Lileks is grumpier than usual lately,” and tells his vast audience, his Maine-to-Hawaii audience, that they should send me kitschy ceramic figurines and tiny decorative houses. He announces my address. He says there’s a picture of me on his webpage, surrounded by my beloved Hummels. Right then, right there, I vowed to get that small little camera phone I’ve had my eye on. I would have flipped it open, taken a picture of Jasper in medias res, and beamed it right to his flippin’ mailbox: here’s what I think of your Hummel slander, pal!

Back to the house. Get to work. Call up browser. Learn that Howard Dean temporarily called himself a “metrosexual.” Shudder. Do they have that on tape? Lee Atwater would have the commercial in production already: Split screen. On the right, Bush in flight suit, walking on the deck, waving, giving the thumbs up. On the left, Dean in a loop: “I’m a metrosexual. I’m a metrosexual. I’m a metrosexual.” Nothing more. Tagline: Bush. He doesn’t moisturize. He doesn’t tweeze. And he never had a pedicure.

Loved this quote:

"That dude's right," said junior "Spud" Williamson, wearing camouflage pants and purple spiked hair, about Dean's assertion that the extra $87 billion Bush is seeking to rebuild Iraq could have bought health insurance for every American.

Every American. Every American? Well, Howard, I don’t want the government to buy my health insurance. I pay for it. I’m glad to pay for it. I’m proud I can provide it. And I’m also proud that the money you might want to spend on me & mine will instead go to rebuild Iraq. As for “Spud,” well, you pay student fees, so you can use the Health Center. Would you prefer that your fees were cut so you got free health insurance at the expense of an immunization program in Baghdad elementary schools? If that's what you think, fine; just drop the whole "bourgoise-America-is-so-selfish, man" bit, because it's old and busted. Bourgoise America is going to work. You're the one with your hand out. Both hands out.

This is an issue distinct from the notion of government insurance for those who can't afford it - we can argue about that elsewhere. When Dean suggests that the reconstruction money could go for paying my health insurance, he's talking about government largess to the fat & comfy. I have it. I pay it. Insurance for those who can already afford it, and screw the needs of our conquered nations! Nice slogan.

No, that's not what he's saying,, but that's the end result. You know how Howard Dean could get my respect? By calling for a one-time surcharge on the income tax of the top quintile, earrmarked specificially for Afghan and Iraqi charities, and administered by non-UN groups. "Hey! We're a rich nation," he could say. "God knows I'm a rich man. I spend more on shoes than most third-worlders spend on shelter. We spend more on dog food than Afghan
s spend on education. Would it kill us to part with a double sawbuck and kick-start the good stuff? We can't make a difference everywhere but we have an obligation now to make a difference here. C'mon. Dig deep."

I'll be over here with my wallet, waiting. Incidentally: we've added a new charity to the Bleat Contribution Fund. Last year we bought water buffalo through the Heifer Project; this year we will do the same, because donations WAY exceeded bandwidth costs. But there's another charity I discovered that does remarkable work, and once you learn what they do you think: ah, of course! Details tomorrow.

Daler Mehndi. Daler Mehndi! There was an entry on Fark about Daler’s legal problems, and it brought back memories of the pre-war, pre-crash Internet, those golden halcyon days when we all passed around unintelligible videos of Punjabi pop singers. The days when a simple Turk’s home page could run around the world, inspiring that uniquely Internettish blend of familairity, derision, affection, parody, and disinterest. The mere mention of Daler made me want to hear his song again, and see the strange dance moves we all did around the office for a few days.


I suppose there was an easier way to do it than google & pray, but since the spasm of Daler Fever happened three years ago we’re talking a 404 boneyard. And outdated codecs, it would seem. And mirrors that mirror no more. I found the song on his home page, but it wasn’t the same; I needed that big grinning guy himself, making that famous “I sew my nipple!” gesture that endeared him to the world. Found it, eventually. Click, listen, then dance, the sort of thing that will mortify Gnat in a few years but is highly amusing now. I taught her the sewing-nipple gesture by showing her the video.

Why he do that?

We never knew, honey. And you know, at the end of the day we preferred it that way.

Then I realized this will not finish the book. Enough. Back to work.

Bear with me, okay? A thousand pardons; a thousand thanks.

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