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I don’t like used books. There, I said it. Get over it. It’s not like I’m some kind of snob that requires the latest and greatest, the shiniest and newest. I mean, I still have a 1st Generation iPod – which I bought used. I do not consider “used” a bad word. I’ve bought used records, used cars, and used clothes. Hell, I’ve even owned (and worn) used underwear (thank you, Jay and Lorri). But, I do not buy used books. I do not like them. They make my eyes itch and my nose run. Literally. I am allergic to used books. I do not enjoy a trip to Powell’s in Portland. I hate Naked Lunch – simply because I bought it at Powell’s and, therefore, the three distinct times I have started reading this book over the last decade, I sneeze. I don’t like used books.

Additionally, I do not like used blogs. For instance, this one sucks.

I heard a story on NPR this morning about “scraper bikes” that really got me thinking (and feeling). Scraper bikes are all the rage in Oakland amongst kids that don’t have enough money for cars. No, scraper bikes haven’t saved anyone’s soul or paid anyone’s way through Harvard. But, they do represent these kids taking control of their own lives and their own destinies through creative expressions and solutions.

The thing I love most in this (homemade, mind you) video is the shot of them all riding through their town in a giant pack, taking over the streets. I think these kids would scare the hell out of most of the people reading this blog (even me). But, that’s why I like it so much. These kids didn’t suddenly stop being African American teens in Oakland. They didn’t magically become white, middle class kids. They are what they are, and they are finding the inherent positivity in order to keep themselves out of trouble – doing it the way they want, looking the way they want, on their own initiative. In my day, we called that “being punk”. Now that I am old, I just think it is damn cool – and, it represents a hopeful future for America.

You can also check out their myspace pages.

Yes, I am talking to you, Justice League Unlimited figures. Big Barda, Deadshot, Star Sapphire, both Huntresses, Parasite, Solomon Grundy – I got allll the hard to find ones. And, when you pay $50 for a 3.5″ chunk of painted plastic, ya really want that thing to stand up so you can at least look at. Well, I’m not going to tell you how long I spent getting these things to stand up today. I made little stands out of white poster tacky goo stuff for the poorly balanced. It molds to the shape of their feet and then sticks (for a short while) to the surface. I had them all standing nice and straight, and then I went for the camera. As I turned it on, Dr. Light (the hero, not the insane villain that was just killed by the Spectre in Final Crisis) toppled over and knocked down Booster Gold, who knocked down Hawk, who spun around and tipped over Black Canary, etc, etc, etc.

Once they were all standing, I snapped a few photos so you could behold my action figure glory. Feel free to look – but, don’t touch!

And, no. I do not care if you think I am a geek.

Erika and I watched King of Kong last night and it was disturbingly good. I had first gotten the hot tip on the movie from Doug, purveyor of all things bizarrely pop culture. He is the one who turned me on to the fact that the earth is hollow and their is an ancient alien civilization living at the earth’s core and for only $18,950 you, too, could sponsor AND crew the Russian IceBreaker YAMAL on a journey to the core of this hollow earth. With credentials like that, I usually jump all over anything Doug suggests. But, for some unknown reason, this documentary about competitive classic video gamers never made it’s way into my DVD player. Then, the librarian in the family blogged about it and I knew it was time to add it to my NetFlix queue (true, I cancelled NetFlix in favor of Blockbuster Online – but, I am embarrassed about this fact and insist on referring to my Blockbuster Online account as my “NetFlix”).

The film uncovers one of the most bizarre subcultures I have ever been witness to – magically humanizing the (usually more than) slightly “unique” participants in this classic tale of a little guy with stubby legs taking on the giant ape shaped establishment.

I simply do not understand the youth of today. The other day, I saw a teenage kid wearing a black t-shirt with large white block letters that spelled “GENERATION REAGAN” with a small iconic cut out of the Gipper’s head. Seeing as how the aforementioned youth who was wearing the shirt was in high school, there is no way he was even alive when Reagan was in office.

My initial reaction was that this teen was obviously making an anti-capitalist, anti-militaristic, anti-liar-istic statement. But, then… I mean, ya never know. Could Ronald Reagan somehow be an icon of antidisestablishmentarianism? Could this t-shirt represent the hope for a brighter future via a call back to the good old days when the president wasn’t an unpopular Republican who hated the poor and killed dark skinned people in foreign lands while telling lies to the American people, but instead was a popular Republican who hated the poor and killed dark skinned people in foreign lands while telling lies to the American people?


I had to know. So, I googled.

I did find some quality clothing including the shirt sporting a pic of Reagan above the words “zip it, hippie.” There was one that labeled Reagan “Hero” in big block letters. “I heart Ronald Reagan.” I found “Viva La Reagan Revolution” quite inspiring despite the obvious irony. But, out of the 148,000 matches for “Ronald Reagan T-Shirt,” Google could not find a single anti-Reagan slogan.

Kids today.

What happened to the good ol’ days when we rebelled AGAINST those in power and made records like Wasted Youth’s Reagan’s In, We’re Gone For Good? I miss the simplicity of my childhood.