Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update: "Why Murder Should Be Legalized in the State of California"

The Creator has asked me to kindly inform our readers that the work entitled "Why Murder Should Be Legalized in the State of California" is going the way of the novel.

The preview to the former short story on this blog shall be removed until an appropriate subtitle is agreed upon. Note that the former subtitle, "Musings of a Half-Drunk and Hollow-Eyed Auditor Entrenched in the Recession of 2008 and 2009," will be scrapped and replaced with something to the effect of "_____ of a Half-Drunk and Hollow-Eyed Auditor Entrenched in a 21st Century Recession."

Whether it is musings, testimony, sworn testimony, etc. has yet to be determined.

Note that it will now be about a 21st Century Recession rather than the recession of 2008 and 2009 due to a probable recession coming to a theater near you in 2011. Further, it is the belief of UUO's economic analysis team that unpredictable "mini" recessions will become commonplace in the 21st Century due to the exponentially fast growing pace of global economies.

HOWEVER, you can all rest assured that this novel will change things.

Advance praise for "Why Murder Should Be Legalized in the State of California":

"A smashing achievement"

"A great new American novelist"

"Powerful poetic realism"

"An amazing first novel"

"This is a first novel of special worth"

"His storytelling is so effective, his style so impetuous, his grasp of characters so certain, that the reader is swept along . . . His is a large, robust talent, and he has written a large, robust book"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reflections on Mexico and the Drug War


Almost one year ago, on September 6, 2009, I, Codename Pontifex Maximus, decided to do some investigative journalism on Mexico and the Drug War.  I crossed over to Mexico at Agua Prieta, Sonora, bordering Douglas, Arizona, and spent the day driving across Mexico until I came back that night into El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.  I returned with various insights and the knowledge of one definite fact: Mexico is a country at war. 

Below is an excerpt from my journal the day after I visited one of the most dangerous places in the world (bear with me as the first few paragraphs discuss my travels to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Tombstone, Arizona during my move from Los Angeles, California):

"September 7th, 2009

I left Las Vegas a loser.  In the morning college football games I won with Navy and Kentucky with the spread and lost with Toledo, Penn State and Minnesota.

Jake had talked up Illinois against Missouri so I took the money I won and bet it all on Illinois - seven point favorites.  Illinois got killed.  The last I checked they were down 23-3.

From Las Vegas I drove toward Arizona crossing the Hoover Dam.  I drove through the night in Arizona until I reached Tombstone around midnight.

I guess I expected to see remnants of the old west in Tombstone complete with all of it's grit.  I figured it was far enough off of the interstate to be a western town where there might be something unusual and exciting.  Instead, what I found was a costume party theme park.  It was Labor Day Weekend and over half of the visitors were ex-hipster Baby Boomers in their 50's and 60's dressed like it was the 1880's.  There's a sub-culture of these people who travel around and play wild west on the weekends.  I paid money to see a reenactment of the shootout at the O.K. Corral and a documentary about Tombstone's history made in the 1960's.  

But the most interesting and remarkable thing about Tombstone is Boot Hill.  When I walked around the graveyard at Boot Hill I was astonished by how many deaths had taken place between the years 1881 and 1882.  I was also amazed by how many unknown graves there were.  I realized how violent the area had been in those days and why President Chester Arthur had threatened to deploy federal troops to stabilize southeastern Arizona.  

I left Tombstone dissatisfied.  Although I enjoyed the history, I felt it had been blown out of proportion, dramatized and cheapened by Hollywood.  I wanted to find the adventure that the tourists didn't care about - something real.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"What Is It About 20-Somethings?" by Robin Marantz Henig

The New York Times' Robin Marantz Henig recently wrote an article about the growing trend of 20-somethings taking longer to reach "adulthood" than prior generations:

"The 20s are a black box, and there is a lot of churning in there.  One third of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year.  Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once.  They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other stretch.  Two-thirds spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married.  And marriage occurs later than ever.  The median age at first marriage in the early 1970s, when the baby boomers were young, was 21 for women and 23 for men; by 2009 it had climbed to 26 for women and 28 for men, five years in a little more than a generation."

According to Henig, sociologists consider one to be an adult when they:

1. Complete school
2. Leave home
3. Become financially independent
4. Marry
5. Have a child

Most people feel pressure to have these five things accomplished by the age of 30 or what Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, psychology professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachsettes, calls "the age 30 deadline."  Henig's article discusses what Arnett has classified as a new life stage called "emerging adulthood."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

UUO is at War


One of the primary reasons I was asked to be a UUO contributor is because they needed someone to take a more forward, "boots on the ground" approach to the War Against Elitism Among the Youth. To date, we have yet to mobilize. However, we have made attempts to ignite opposition to elitism among the youth by touring hip bars across the country and doing our thing (which is rupturing the conventional order of such establishments by being a passive aggressive nuisance to those who wish to be either directly or indirectly acknowledged for their supposed status).

Today, we have decided to declare a new war against a new enemy: the cynics among the youth. For instance, take the individual who commented on Pontifex Maximus' entry urging readers to groove on a little bit of lesser known Bob Marley. That individual told him to "SUCK IT." Negative vibes to say the least. An abomination to this blog to say the most.

In my mind, I picture the individual who posted that comment as being some law student driving a Range Rover and living in a nice little town house in some "cool" area of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. You know, the kind of guy who gets together with his buddies and all of their girlfriends and drink Coors Light because Michelob Ultra and so many other beers marketed toward thinner consumer groups "are gay." I'd expect the comments made in their conversations to rotate between gut-check sarcasm and half-wit punch lines. Meanwhile, their girlfriends would be in the kitchen drinking afternoon mimosas (if they're feeling a bit daring) and planning car-pool arrangements to next weekend's wedding.

Whatever it may be, UUO detests such rampant and unchecked cynical philosophies that funnel the youth down conventional, pre-approved life paths. We advocate a broader sense of appreciation for all things. And we advocate a simple, passive position for things we cannot come to appreciate.

Cynicism bores us. Elation is much more stimulating.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Groove on this: "Small Axe"

"Everybody loves Bob Marley 
Everywhere I go it's the same old story
People of all nations
They love the Rasta man vibrations."

Most fans of Bob Marley base their appreciation for his music on the compilation album, Legend (1984).  But there is so much more.  Marley first released "Small Axe" on the Wailers album, Burnin' (1973).

Take time out of your day to play this song.  Relax.  Listen.  Contemplate the lyrics.  "Small Axe"

Friday, August 13, 2010

Meet uh . . . Nicki Minaj


Discovered on her frickin' MySpace page, Nicki Minaj hit the big time about a year ago when she made a deal with Young Money Entertainment.  Now she is 2010's phattest female rapper to use "the parlance of our times."

UUO doesn't necessarily endorse her music.  Indeed, when I heard the opening lyrics to "Roger That" not only could I not believe my f-ing ears and wonder how in the hell they could play her analogous statement  on the radio - I spit out my drink!  Check it out.  The 0:34 second mark.  "Roger That"

No, we introduce Nicki Minaj because we are impressed by her surprising ability to express herself eloquently in an interview.  Now, we understand that to use the word "surprising"can be offensive for a number of reasons.  But we are exhausted by bad celebrity interviews.  And Nicki Minaj is a cool relief.

I mean, for one, she is a damn sight more engaging than whoever it is that hosts the 106th and Park Countdown.  And those are people who are paid to be appealing to large audiences.

There are very few "You know what I'm sayin's" or "I dunnos" or any similar lame attempts to sound cool for the fans.  She is able to speak her mind and be herself in an interview.  Regardless of what you think of her music or her image or her lifestyle, that is professionalism.

Again, the reason we introduce her of all people on this blog is because we are surprised.  Never would we have imagined that the personality behind those simple and repetitive sex-drenched lyrics would be Nicki Minaj's!  You certainly could call that stereotypical . . . but we view it as a complement given the countless time we've wasted listening to fruitless interviews of both talented and non-talented celebrities.

And last, her confidence and poise in her interviews is infinitely more sexy than her body or her voice.

Welcome to Uninformed and Uneducated Opinions, Nicki!

How to Issue a Letter of Complaint

I'll go ahead and let you ungrateful, spoiled brats otherwise referred to as the "readers of this blog" know ahead of time that the Must Read for September 2010 will be "The Rum Diary" by Hunter S. Thompson. I just haven't gotten around to reading the book myself, that's all.

But the point of this blog post is for us to learn from a letter of complaint that Mr. Thompson wrote in 2001 concerning the movie production of "The Rum Diary" which is to be released some time in 2011 (and which is supposedly when we are to expect the movie production of "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" as well - nothing ever gets done in Hollywood).

Mr. Thompson's letter to Holly Sorenson alone is worthy of marketing and publication. It starts off, "Okay, you lazy bitch . . ."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Must Read - August 2010

Given the responsibility to recommend a work of art, I have decided to do something uncanny. I will recommend a book that has not yet been published!

"Back to Blood" is Tom Wolfe's latest novel which will be published some time in 2012.

Jeffrey Trachtenberg of The Wall Street Journal describes Wolfe's work involving themes of "class, family, wealth, race, crime, sex, corruption, and ambition in Miami, the city where America's future has arrived first."

I have developed a particular interest in the city of Miami and it's role in the future of America. Not only do I await the release of this novel, I anticipate a UUO assignment to Miami in January of 2011 to do some investigative journalism on the subject matter listed above.

Check out Tom Wolfe's other works at www.tomwolfe.com.

Monday, August 9, 2010

And One Note About Your Texas Rangers


Your first place Texas Rangers went 1-2 this weekend against Oakland.  This means Oakland has now pulled within 7.5 games.  And who do the Rangers have coming up? 

New York (69-41): August 10, 11
Boston (63-49): August 13-15
Tampa Bay (67-44): August 16-18

If this team is going to blow it, it should happen right about now.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Let Me Warn You It's a Long Hard Ride


On July 4th of this year, UUO professed their love for America.  It would only follow that we provide commentary on the finer sports points with respect to America's Team.  This is coupled with the fact that the majority of our readers reside in the state of Texas. 

In roughly an hour, the Dallas Cowboys will kick off preseason play in Canton, Ohio against Terrell Owens, Mike Zimmer, Roy Williams, Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson and the Cincinnati Bengals.  We have compiled a list of 4 keys to a successful season as well as a list of 4 intriguing notes from camp.

The Questions:

What can the Cowboys not do without?  What separates this year's team from last year's team?


4 KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON:

1. Tony Romo - Simply put, the Cowboys cannot do without Tony Romo.  When Romo plays well, they win.  When Romo plays bad, they lose.  NOTE:  Much of Romo's play will be dependent upon the play at left tackle.  The battle for LT is between Doug Free and Alex Barron, both of whom look good in preseason practices but have yet to prove consistent play in a regular season.      

2. Dez Bryant - Dez is the major part that will separate this year's team from last year's team.  Right now he is out with a high ankle sprain for 4 to 6 weeks but he wants to be back to play in the last preseason game against Miami to show up Jeff Ireland.  If Dez pans out and plays up to the level he has showcased in practice, the Cowboys will arguably have the best offense in football.

3. David Buehler - A kicker is key to any offense.  If your kicker sucks, it's devastating.  Last year the Cowboy's found that out with Nick Folk and Shaun Suisham.  Buehler is unproven as a field goal kicker and with the 3rd most difficult schedule in the NFL, the Cowboys can't afford to lose games because of missed field goals.   

4. Alan Ball - Although Ball has played in the Cowboy's secondary since 2007, this is the first time he will have a shot at a starting position.  Ball will compete with Michael Hamlin for the free safety position.  The reason we note this as a key to success is because every year there are injuries in the Cowboy's secondary. And every year we ask whether or not they have enough depth.

Expect injuries.  Pay particularly close attention to the 31 year old Terence Newman who is prone to ankle injuries.  If the Cowboys get in a bind in the secondary due to injuries, they may wonder if they should have brought in a more experienced free agent to compete with Alan Ball at the safety position.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Big Star Bound

And word has surfaced that the Creator has ended his sojourn to the "undisclosed" location somewhere in the North Pacific.

He has returned to a new, highly fortified location somewhere in Texas. As word would have it.

By no means does this mean that I'm done as a contributor to this blog. The Creator is burdened with an endeavor to create his "Magnum Opus" as Pontifex Maximus and others might refer to it. And he will soon be deposed by the forces of old and evil some time this month.

In either case, we will do our best to post content on sports, the weather, the economy and philosophy.

Until then, you all let me know what you think of this girl I'm interested in:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Hawaii Aloha"


E Hawaii e ku'u one hanau e, Kuu ho-me kulaiwi nei. Oli no au i na pono lani ou, E Hawaii alo-ha e. E hauoli e na opio o Hawaii ne-i, Oli e! Oli e! Mai na aheahe makani e pa mai nei, mau ke alo-ha no Hawaii!

Monday, August 2, 2010

UUO Goes on the Extreme Fishing Trip in Hawaiian Waters

"Take dis pole, brah, reel dat muddaf*cka!"

The giant Hawaiian fisherman named Boy handed me another fishing rod which I immediately jabbed into the holster tied around my waist.  I began to reel furiously, praying that an Ahi was on the line instead of a Mahi Mahi as my arms burned from the last Mahi Mahi I reeled on board.  Mahi Mahi are harder to reel in than Ahi because they are bigger and have flat bodies which they turn sideways in order to stall. 

The sun had yet to peak over the island of Lana'i several miles to the east and we were already getting an alarming amount of bites using our live bait.  Fish blood and chaos were spewed all over the deck as the boat tossed back and forth amongst the ocean swells and fishing lines were being pulled away in a feeding frenzy. 

"Got one bite, brah!"

"Somebody take that one!"

"Keep reeling cuz, a little closer, yeah!?"

Boy hooked his gaff into the gills of an Ahi that someone had just reeled in.  He flung it over the side of the boat directly into the bag:

"Boom, das da big boy there!"