Vitriol
© 2000 by Andersen Silva (05-28-00)

I'm not ANGRY, I'm not angry anymore... Well, actually, I am angry again. But as long as the song's in my head, let me take this opportunity to point out, for the uninitiated, that Elvis Costello's early music is excellent stuff, and not just "Pump It Up" and "Alison," either...

All right, where to begin, where to begin... OK, you knew it was coming. The Russians are regressing to Soviet-era levels of stupidity and belligerence. It's been eight months since Moscow invaded Chechnya, and still the 'bandits' are making a mockery of the Russian war machine. How will you dig yourself out of this one without losing face, Ivan? Take the hint from the U.S.' ill-fated intervention in Vietnam, or your own incursion into Afghanistan twenty-one years ago. Speaking of which... What, attempting to wrest back control of Chechnya isn't enough, Moscow needs to antagonize the Taliban, too? I think Russia is having enough problems dealing with the mujahideen on its doorstep; perhaps encouraging more to join them isn't such a hot idea...

It's really starting to look like peaceful harmonious co-existence really is a pipe dream. China continues to antagonize and threaten Taiwan, Milosevic is still cracking down on his own people, Fujimori and Mugabe are entrenching themselves in their positions, there's nastiness in Fiji, and the Philippines, and Sierra Leone, and Eritrea... On the plus side, an appeals court in Chile has apparently ruled that Pinochet is not immune from prosecution. If true, and if this decision is not overturned by their supreme court, maybe the bastard will finally get at least a small taste of justice... In other good news, Northern Ireland seems to be heading in the right direction again, and Israel did the right thing and (finally) pulled out of Lebanon as promised. I hope the Lebanese eventually accept their victory gracefully.

And can't Charley Heston shut up and age gracefully? You're not a cowboy, Mr. Heston, and you and your actions are quite damaging to your reputation. Granted, I still think of the lines, "Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!" and "Aw, damn you! Damn you all to hell!" from 'Planet of the Apes,' and "Soylent Green is people!" from 'Soylent Green' when I think of ol' Chuck, and that somewhat redeems him in my eyes, but... No one wants to think of such an accomplished and talented actor as a right-wing nut. "Put the gun down, Mr. Heston. Everything's going to be OK..."

I received an E-mail yesterday morning from an established reseller of computer hardware and software (who shall remain nameless) that really irritated me. I like this company and the products it sells, I've ordered from them in the past, and that's why I'm on their mailing list now. But I'd never seen them misspell 'definitely' as 'definately' before, and it pissed me off. In my occasional jaunts on IRC, I notice this misspelling very often, and I suppose I can't expect too much better from the masses, but a BUSINESS?!? If they can't hire people who know better, can't they at least afford a word processor with a spell checker?

I write, obviously, and as a self-editing writer I pick up on typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors almost unconsciously. These things are a nuisance when consistently perpetrated by the common man, but an outrage when they get past someone who, at least in theory, wants to project a professional image. A friend and I were discussing recently the tragedy of professionally printed signs which contain misspellings. Most printers will state up front that they will not proofread or edit and will not be liable for errors, which is fine, but that means that these businesses don't care enough about their image to make sure that their signs are accurate. I for one will tend to avoid such places on principle.

What is it about me that makes women fall asleep next to me on the bus?

Having come face to face with the 'iloveyou' virus (my boss, no IT slouch himself, conveniently walked it through the front door, to my chagrin) I hope they catch the son of a bitch who wrote it. I examined the code myself, have a copy on disk, and it's a nasty piece of work. This is personal now. ;) These crackers seem to be the modern-day graffiti artists, only their vandalism is on a much greater scale. Both groups are exceedingly proud of showcasing their 'art' at the expense of someone else's property; I won't deny the talents of either group, but they should buy their own canvases.

And, finally... I was standing on line at a Wendy's in Clifton today when the elderly woman behind me started complaining, bitterly and not exactly under her breath, about the signs in Spanish directly in front of us. "What is this crap?" she denounced. "This is America, not Puerto Rico!" I think she was waiting for me, the token white boy, to agree with her sympathetically; it was all I could do to refrain from pointing out that Puerto Rico is part of the United States, however. The fact is, a business has the right to work in any language it chooses. If I were to open a restaurant in a part of town inhabited and frequented by a large percentage of Germans, it would perhaps be a smart business move to print some menus in German, and maybe hire a waiter or two who spoke the language. I firmly believe that anyone who moves to a new country is well-advised to learn the language spoken by the majority of that country's residents, and that a minimum of kowtowing by the government should be permitted, but business is another matter. If she were that upset, she could have found another fast-food joint that had English-only signs. And, with a bit of searching, I'm sure she could have found someplace with signs in Italian as well, as she muttered to no one in particular. - A


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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