Vitriol
© 2004 by Andersen Silva (4-1-04)

Why do fools fall in love?
  Why do birds sing so gay?
Lovers awake at the break of day,
  Why do they fall in love?

April Fool's! Yes, last month's installment was to have been the last Vitriol, but an appeal from my one-time (OK, two-time) collaborator and friend Steve Augulis has earned the column a very brief stay of execution. This, my dear fools, will be the final episode.

Steve is incensed over the recent wrist-slapping imposed upon self-proclaimed King of All Media Howard Stern, allegedly in response to Howard's criticism of the Dubya administration. I've been an occasional listener of Stern's radio show over the years, though I don't really turn on the radio at all these days. I wouldn't describe myself as a fan (though the fact that he raves about his own Treo 600 does endear him to me a bit); there have been times when I've enjoyed the show and been entertained by his daring to go where others won't, and there have also been times when I've found his antics to be too childish and toilet-inspired for my taste. But generally speaking, I don't have a problem with Howard Stern doing what he does. If you like it, listen. If you don't, then don't. As long as there's a market for his kind of show, he's free to do it. That's what freedom of speech is about.

I can't say whether or not there's any truth to the claim that Howard is being put through the wringer for his anti-Bush commentary, but there does seem to be a Big Brotherish atmosphere these days. Dubya spelled it out pretty clearly early on: "You're either with us, or you're against us," implying that there's no room for dissent or open conversation. Anyone who doesn't agree with what the White House is doing, and has issues with the people doing it, is therefore deluded at best, and a treasonous "evildoer" at worst.

Well, I don't know about you, pilgrim, but I'm not down with that. I've got some serious issues with the way this government has been running things (intotheground - ahem) since before September 11, 2001, and I think that I have a right to voice my opinion. And so does Condoleeza Rice, and so does Howard Stern. I realize that attempts have been made to downgrade the Bill of Rights, but as of right now, I think free speech still stands.

I made the decision last month to stop writing Vitriol because I find myself less inclined to get riled up about things these days, and in large part that is due to my now being very much in love. The dreaded Billy Joel syndrome... But that doesn't mean that I'm not angry anymore. Deep inside, the angry young man survives. It's just that the Andersen who wrote "J-ded" is now subordinate to the Andersen who wrote "That's Just What I Am." I make no apologies for either persona, and I make no promises as to what sort of art my future holds.

An interesting side-effect is that I no longer have to pound loud angry or depressing music into my ears on a regular basis. Heh-heh... I still love Nine Inch Nails and Ministry and Nick Cave and the rest, but I don't feel like listening to them very often anymore. "The dark cloud above me is gone..."

Again, don't get me wrong: I'm still perturbed about what various governments are still perpetrating in China and Iraq and Venezuela and Zimbabwe and the Palestinian territories and Chechnya and elsewhere. My first mention of the Chechens here was five years ago, in the April '99 Vitriol, and seven months later I discussed the then-new Russian invasion. Moscow has conveniently been able to categorize its efforts as 'anti-terrorist,' but the situation wasn't originally revolving around Muslim hardliners. Oh, all right, I'm getting riled up again, so I'd better stop. My point is, I still care. But now I've got someone closer to home about whom I can care, and being in love soothes me. To anyone who's disappointed by the 'new and improved' Andersen Silva, well, I should let Skinny the Foo loose to tell you what you can do with yourself... but I won't. Go read Being... and decide if it's any good. In the meanwhile, goodbye, Vitriol. I'll miss you, but good riddance.

Extreme close-up, then fade to black.
  Watching the credits, maybe you'll realize,
It wasn't my excess, it was your sore lack
  Of unrepressed feelings, like these tears in my eyes...


  - A (webmaster@andersensilva.com)


April 2004 - The real final Vitriol, Howard Stern, Dubya, etc.
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March 2004 - Dining out with my baby, Virtual PC, and the end of Vitriol... or is it?
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February 2004 - Two weeks between jobs, three new songs, grabbing Panther by the tail
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January 2004 - Ice skating with Gina, sushi at my sister's wedding, war-riding, the pink slip
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December 2003 - Moving pains, goin' places with Gina, Christmas bells
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November 2003 - The looong month of October, finding an apartment, Ozzy's gone
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October 2003 - I'm in love with her and I feel fine, Boston, the Dalai Lama, apartment for rent?
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September 2003 - Andy, happy? it could happen!, taking time off from work, Ringo Starr, "Discworld," the blackout
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August 2003 - (W)here (M)ight (D)ose WMDs be?, gay marriages and the people who fear them, '80s metal bands, Computer Man to the rescue, Philadelphia freedom
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July 2003 - Boondocks.net is back!, rudeness on public transportation and elsewhere, "Hole in the Wall"
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June 2003 - Science fiction movies, where is Boondocks.net?, still no weapons of misconstruction...
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May 2003 - How 'bout them weapons of mass distraction, huh?, Def Leppard, Michael Palin, another Silva, wireless networking, and a damned good raspberry margarita
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April 2003 - They're still French fries, dammit!, a new guitar for Andy, music-music-music
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March 2003 - The buildup for, and the protesting against, war
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February 2003 - The destruction of the Columbia, the National Day of Poetry Against the War, hard and soft atheism, Pete Townshend, and the gift shop
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January 2003 - Christmas loot, "Swingin'," more war talk
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December 2002 - The year in review, moving again?!?, moving world leaders around, too
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November 2002 - "Scarlet's Walk" and Tori's penguin, jackasses, and killing in the name of...
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October 2002 - Boston, Aimee Mann, and Palpatine/Bush
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September 2002 - George Darius Bush and George Xerxes Bush
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August 2002 - Movin' out of Paisan-town, and far away from the Regal Beagle
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July 2002 - Church and state: you gotta keep 'em separated, Dubya still doesn't want to play nice with the rest of the world, John Entwistle's gone
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June 2002 - Movin' on from town to town, Dave Barry and the Rock Bottom Remainders
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May 2002 - Science fiction movies everywhere!, jail time for virus creators, Dubya finally learns to pronounce 'occupation,' Andy gets a promotion?!?
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April 2002 - Terrorism on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people who don't interact with me or the Web site, "For Dana" to be released on a compilation CD
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March 2002 - Chip implants, the children of God and the followers of Christ commit murder in His name, ultranationalism American style
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February 2002 - Dubya says, "These pretzels are making me- ack!" Sharon continues playing Napoleon, and... the return of Foogar?
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January 2002 - Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne, and other Christmas-related items, stealin' cars, karaoke!
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December 2001 - George meets his sweet lord, terrorists EVERYwhere!, Tomb Raider II finished finally, and the Segway, finally!
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November 2001 - Anthrax (the band), WSOU rocks - but for how much longer? and a minute of silence?
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October 2001 - Osama bin Laden and anthrax and the women who love them
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September 2001 - Governments and armies and the assholes who love them, more misspellings, and a large lack of feedback
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August 2001 - Dubya's isolationism, the Macedonians and Albanians search for peace the Israeli/Palestinian way, 2004 Olympics in Beijing
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July 2001 - Not the Sexiest Geek Alive, war (what is it good for?), murdering citizens American-style
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June 2001 - A dead hitchhiker, the Taliban, and an independent Senator Jeffords
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May 2001 - Joey Ramone's dead, and "Joey Ramone's Dead"
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April 2001 - Brazil (not the Terry Gilliam film), Dubya and carbon dioxide, Yugoslavia begins coming to its senses, Israel and the Palestinians still haven't come to theirs...
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March 2001 - New look for the Web site, upcoming vacation in Brazil!, the pig-headed Taliban, "Hannibal"
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February 2001 - Tomb Raider II, Dubya plays with his new toys, nature plays with El Salvador and India, and the inevitable Chechnya and Israel/Palestinians references
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January 2001 - Snow, a new year/decade/century/millennium, screen resolutions
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December 2000 - The iBook, "The X-Files," the Grinch, the pathetic turn of events in the U.S. elections...
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November 2000 - Got the iBook! the Village Parade, trouble still brewin' in the Mideast, the upcoming U.S. elections...
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October 2000 - Andy turns 30, the Middle East, the anniversary of the invasion of Chechnya...
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September 2000 - A random act of kindness, Great Adventure, new music, new iBooks?
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August 2000 - Palestine and the Israelis, Milosevic, Speight, and breaking the speed of light!
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July 2000 - Israel & the Palestinians, the missile defense shield, and (who'da thunk it?) Chechnya
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June 2000 - Um, Chechnya again, gun-totin' Charlton Heston, misspellings, and xenophobes
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May 2000 - Communism on the last May Day of the twentieth century, and Andy's life ("Don't talk to me about life...")
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April 2000 - Hold on, it's more Chechnya rantin', and an appeal on behalf of a friend caught behind red tape
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March 2000 - Hey, hey, Pinochet, Russia and China won't go away, "The X-Files," the American presidential race, and a prelude to vacation
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February 2000 - Again with the Chechens, and Elián, Pinochet, mp3.com vs. the recording industry, and snow
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January 2000 - Made it through January 1st, Syria and Israel, public transportation, and, er, Chechnya
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December 1999 - Indonesia comes apart, Chechnya (no shit), Seattle's burning, 'n Happy Xmas
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November 1999 - Halloween, my bad knee, Russians? in Chechnya?!? Buchanan and the Reform Party, NIN
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October 1999 - Hurricane on the East Coast, earthquakes in Taiwan, Turkey, and Greece, and Apple Computers
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September 1999 - I'm not getting you down, am I? I'd hate to think I was getting you down...

- - - the Dark Ages (reprise) - - -

April 1999 - the return of Vitriol, Kosovo, a foreshadowing of the Russian invasion of Chechnya (!), and Libya

- - - the Dark Ages - - -

September-November 1995 - the Underground Press Conference, a co-worker bites the dust, Rabin really bites the dust, Remington Bond, Win95, and the Sex Pistols
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August 1995 - the death penalty, the V-chip and violence in pop culture, and "TV Nation"
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June 1995 - Oklahoma City, 'zines, "The X-Files" and "V.R.5"
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March 1995 - I'm sick!, the space program (ha), alt.zines, "Star Trek" and "Voyager"
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February 1995 - the very first Vitriol! Newt Gingrich, political correctness, media overkill, Howard Stern, the Apple goon squad?
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