March 17, 2005

What's up with Vermont?

Wow, first senator Jim Jeffords ditched the Republican party to go independent and made the shocked Rs look like whiny little wankers. Then ex-governor Howard Dean so scared the shit out of the Democratic Party establishment that they made more of a priority of scuttling his presidential campaign, and then he yoinked the party chairman job right out of the DLC's hands. Now here comes Congressman Bernie Sanders (who is also an indie) at the much-hyped steroids-in-baseball hearings, basically calling the media borg out for being such pathetically simpleminded tools when they pay attention to drug scandals and not child poverty numbers.

Damn, what the hell is in the water up there? Are the green mountains suddenly becoming a new breeding ground for hopelessly white guys who contrarily take no shit from anyone? I mean, besides the dudes from Phish, of course (though I dug "Story Of The Ghost"). Why has only one of them ever run for president? Is it because he dared to make all the other conventional yoyos look like the babbling dunces they are? Why does this state keep churning out such fiendishly badass mofos?

Don't fuck with Vermont, man. Those guys will rock you.

UDPATE: Man, how could I forget Sen. Patrick Leahy? Even Bono knows that he rocks.

March 15, 2005

Desperate Notes From Diamond Bar and West L.A.

with special guest Adam Hill

above: Adam and Keir way back in Nov '97.

From: Keir DuBois
To: Adam Hill
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 1:07 AM
Subject: Fear & Loathing in Diamond Bar

Hey Adam-

I just talked to Bryn and he said that you & Marie are all set to move to Newport- so congratulations. I know that you might soon experience cultural withdrawals from the social hotbed that is Diamond Bar, but right now Enjoy Yrself. No no, of course you won’t miss it. You’ll tell yourself that, but eventually Diamond Bar will worm its way into your psyche again, slitheirng in there like Dick Cheney’s foul laughter, and once that happens it’ll be all over. You’ll be compelled to roam the 57/60 interchange at Grand Avenue like a werewolf, howling for the blood of nubile Chinese teenage girls.

Your friends and family will wonder why your voice is suddenly raspy from overuse and slightly tinged with the sort of regret that only hints at the deep, pathological sadness of despair. Your co-workers will marvel at the speed which your commute appears to take, not knowing that it’s never for the sake of Hill Bros. or even the City of Industry that you toil, but solely for the purpose of being close to her, Diamond Bar, once again. The long, lonely nights that you’ll spend in glittering Newport will soon become unbearable, and before long even Marie will start to worry for your sanity and health.

Don’t fight it- let this thing take its course and purge itself from your soul, and let your wife do whatever it takes in order to get you well again. Most importantly, never, uh... ever... Uh, where was I? Hmmm, maybe this is more about myself and Isla Vista. That cruel, superficial, heartless bitch! See if I ever waste any more stupid alimony on her or that changeling brat she claims is mine! Arrrgh! Twice a month isn’t enough, no, not for that mad harpie!

Ahem. Anyway, I haven’t had the heart to meditate upon the True Meaning of HST’s exit off this planet. Jon called me from D.C. to mention it, and it was hard going for us both- very depressing. Between him, Clemente, and Sean I’m feeling very ignorantly inexperienced here. I just thought you might like a Thompsonesque jolt in light of recent tragic events concerning same Gonzo Journalist. I just got the Rolling Stone tribute issue to him and it bummed me out all over again. Ye Gods.

So, hope all is well and that your new pad brings you both much happiness. Mahalo.


From: Adam Hill
To: Keir DuBois
Subject: RE: Fear & Loathing in Diamond Bar
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:48 AM


Yes, there is a certain depravity that exists in Diamond Bar that merits a Hunteresque description. However, it is so subtle that one would not notice it just passing through. I would not say that it is void of any moral standards, as Thompson would describe the places he has been and experiences he has... uh... Experienced. I would say, though, that immorality is hidden underneath the Astroturf patios, behind the bamboo curtains, and written in a third language on the marquis of the local strip malls. It is a predominantly East Asian community, so all is quiet, plain, and proper. Women stare down at the ground, refusing to look you in the eye, shuffling their sandals as they pass, sounding like a slithering snake. The men do all the talking, typically middle management folk. Respectable and honored. Fierce toward their ladies, but humbled in the light of those with more expensive stuff.

Sounds normal enough, but I feel the air is thick with secrets, and reeks of dog meat. By night the people come home from their work, and file obediently into their manufactured homes. There is nothing to do at night, unless the white people aren’t invited... I think that is when the party gets started. If you crack open a garage door, on any suburban street, on any given Saturday night in this fine community, you will probably be overwhelmed by the potent fumes of opium. As the fog clears, you see an orgy by the likes you have never seen on the hardest of hard core pornography. The men are on their knees, dressed in bibs, being forced to endure the most sinister of acts. All the basic elements - earth, wind, fire, and water - are used to torture these poor souls. The women make the men their bitches in no necessary order. Occasionally a teenage boy will walk in draped with linen, offering the guests assorted appetizers...

Day by day this cycle continues. I don’t think that Dante even described this circle of hell. The place where people hide their secrets, even from each other and themselves. Their minds so riddled with guilt and horror of themselves that they have no choice but to sink into the crowd. “Don’t draw attention, or they’ll cover you with gasoline and throw you into lava.” Being that this town is on almost the exact border of San Bernardino, Orange, and LA counties, I like to call it the Vortex of Hell. The black hole where the tri-counties fall into each other and disappear into Highway 60. The next thing you know, you’re in Las Vegas... And that’s another story all together. Once you’re in, you can’t escape. Luckily, we found a way, before we became assimilated. We were on the verge of offering our dog as a sacrifice, and then it would have been all over.

So we chose to move to Newport! A place where all of this still happens, but if you’re caught, you can just blame it on the liberals for indecent TV and Janet Jackson’s boob. If that doesn’t work, just slap a sticker on the back of your Hummer that says “God Bless America” or “Support Our Troops”, and the people will forgive you. After all, if they don’t, they’re Un-American. Saddam Hussadin, or whoever the hell we’re after this week. At last...Sanity!

So I’ve gone on to make absolutely no sense whatsoever in this email. But at least I have succeeded in eating up about a half hour of work time. I figure if Keir could go off on a Hunter Thompson tangent, then so could I. Even if I’m not as good, it’s still just as fun.

Now, what have we learned today?

1. Marie and Adam are moving to Newport Beach this weekend.
2. Don’t go to Diamond Bar
3. Don’t drive through Diamond Bar (see number 2.)
4. Don’t open garage doors in Diamond Bar.
5. God Bless America!

From: Keir DuBois
To: Adam Hill
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2005 11:42 PM
Subject: Fear & Loathing in Diamond Bar

Hot damn, dude! The sybaritic shindigs at Rodman’s Newport mansion pale in comparison to the yakuza crack dens of Diamond Bar. Jesus creeping shit indeed. Dare I ask if you speak of these things from personal experience? Or have you only innocently “heard tell” of such awful things from more, shall we say, “well-traveled” individuals? I’ll admit that much of what I know of illegal controlled substances stems from the experiences of others, as for the past five years at least the mere whiff of even the most flaccid joint sends me into a jabbering tailspin of paranoia in the thirty seconds it takes for me to stagger to a horizontal position and lose consciousness. Many would laugh, but I know better, for I am Doobie, the Original. Steve Imbilli had no clue as to the eventual ramifications of his harmless epithet for me.

Well.... maybe so. That still doesn’t explain your marvelous attention to lucid detail concerning same garages of Sado-Opiate-Sin, but I’ll prefer to leave you some semblance of Anonymity when it comes to these things, for I too have Been There, many years ago, blearily listening to a cackling female Japanese voice as I shuffled off to my own private Wonkavision. I’d almost forgotten the sound by now, but suddenly it came roaring back last weekend on the eve of the Los Angeles Marathon.

Emily and I were in West L.A. at a birthday dinner for her Fontainbleu-days-roommate Maya, whose choice of victuals that evening was a bizarre genetic cross of Italo-Japanese cuisine where the waiters were all Orthodox Jews. I was happily devouring my avocados and salmon like a good little boy, talking to the only other male present (a Russian named Lev) about the spectacular failure of both Honey White’s and The Mojo Wire’s attempts to conquer the Wider World of Rock, when what should cut through the background female kvetching but the telltale staccatto peals of Asian girly-laughter.

“No!”, I thought, as my stomach lurched, “not here, of all places! Don’t let me be suckered by the sound of such false innocence ever again, by God!” Ah, but it was too late. No no, the ex-girlfriend of yore hadn’t descended on the scene (though she does reportedly reside in the City of Angels somewhere), but it wasn’t far from that. A cadre of tittering, coquettish seventeenish-looking (which means probably twenty-fiveish) women of indeterminate Asian parentage descended upon our hosting establishment like locusts in Oklahoma, instantly altering the surrounding decibel levels to a near-unbearable degree.

Or so I thought. Everyone else merely continued with their conversation, and Lev began looking at me as if he feared for my health. Eventually Emily noticed as well, quietly threatening me: “Not here, you bastard- calm the fuck down before you make a scene and we have to run for it!” I tried- oh how I tried, but it became too much to accomplish under such circumstances. I wanted to belt out an epically primal scream of Lust and Hate, one for the mythical virgin flesh that surely lay beneath those girls’ slippery garments, and the other at the knowledge that this was in fact wholly Untrue- that all giggly girls of certain persuasions have almost certainly been exposed to the vile, atavistic urges of some other hopeless yoyo many, many moons before they’d even crossed into my area code, and are merely overcompensating for their own horrors though a demented reversion to an idyllic youth that never really existed.

I came back to myself slumped in a heap in the passenger side of Emily’s car at a gas station somewhere off the northbound 405. I felt the warm sting of pure caffeine splash on my face as Em jolted me awake with a cheap Starbucks bought from the station’s food mart. “Wake up, you fool!” she admonished me. “You need to drive now- I’ve had enough of dealing with these idiotic LA freeways!” Perhaps feeling excessive, she switched to a more tolerant manner. “Look,” she continued, “I know you well enough to realize why you went all to shit back there and I tried to explain things to a certain degree but we had to make a break for it. Those girls you screamed at were scared to death and everyone else was horrified at the pollution of their Sabbath, so what else could I do? I had to smack you stupid for your own good. Now drive, sweetie.”

Oho, so that’s why my left temple is a muffled starburst of throbbing pain, I thought. “Fine”, I managed to say in some form of English, “I’ll drive you home, but you better fall asleep quick, babe- I’m going to require maniacal speed to purge these wretched impulses from my psyche, and it would be best if you were effectively somewhere else while it happened.”

“Whatever,” she shot back. “Just don’t crash my car.” Within five minutes she was snoring, and I was desperately trying to remember all the words to the Secret Machines album on the stereo as I careened north on the Ventura freeway.

Fuck me, that’s a long way from the stuffy backrooms of your particular tri-county wasteland, but thankfully it’s also a good distance from the dark, cold, half-Japanese winter of 1996/97, when the adventure you, Bryn, Kevin, and I started called The Clap was limping along to its own shaky beat, months and months before the beautiful, decadent, multicolored freakouts of the coming summer. It took a lot of tequila to wash away the memory of those days, and every time I reflect upon it I thank Elvis that I had you and Bryn to help me. Even when I was face down in the grass at Rebecca Sharkansky’s party, felled by that dastardly Chilean Pink Stuff. Things need to be epic again. And oh, They Shall.

Yr. buddy,

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