Vitriol
© 1995 by Andersen Silva (08-95)

So I'm driving home from work on another hot, muggy afternoon and I see a New Jersey Transit truck (pickup or something, I forget) pull onto Route 46. Now, wait a minute, I think to myself. Aren't these the guys that run those ads urging us to take the bus or train rather than add to traffic and pollution? This wasn't even a CARPOOL situation, for cryin' out loud!!! I tell ya...

The fact that Susan Smith was given a life, rather than a death, sentence indicates that not all humans are pitiless barbarians stuck in the Dark Ages. We know Smith killed her sons, though we'll never know how her mind came to that warped conclusion; however, the jurors decided to show some compassion. Hammurabi's Code was fine for the Amorites, but it's a little outdated now. If an executioner is commissioned to kill a murderer, is the murderer's sibling expected to kill the executioner in the name of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth?" If one gets satisfaction from the taking of a life, no matter whose, how far is one from the twisted mind of a John Wayne Gacy, or a Jeffrey Dahmer, or a Charles Manson?

Speaking of the so-called 'justice' system, I'm just a wee bit tired of hearing criminals referred to as 'suspects.' In a case where someone is tentatively placed at the scene of a crime by circumstantial evidence, sure, he or she is a 'suspect.' If, however, said person is nabbed by police in the process of committing a crime, or IDed by several witnesses, this is not longer a 'suspect' but a criminal! Maybe the criminal will not be convicted; this doesn't mean he or she is necessarily innocent. I don't know...

On to other things... I'm really tired of the violence-on-TV debate. I'd like to staple a V-chip to President Clinton's forehead while screaming, "How's that for violence, huh?!?" I say it over and over again, and only one or two people seem to get it: "Violence on TV (or in the movies, or on records) is a symptom of the disease, not the disease itself." Our society is sick, and something needs to be done about it, but censorship is no solution, just a temporary halt to make the politicians look good. The fact that TV programs, movies, and songs can be more graphic and explicit now that they were 50 years ago indicates that we as a society have grown more permissive. This is not necessarily a bad thing. There's nothing wrong with being able to watch a Rambo gunning down 20 men, as long as one realizes that this is not real and that really killing 20 men is a serious business. It's more disturbing to hear young people singing along with songs glorifying rape and urban violence, but again, this is a symptom of the disease. Taking the songs away doesn't change anything. It happened before the songs, and it'll continue to happen, until the problem is solved. Parents are responsible for teaching their children the difference between right and wrong; the government is responsible for making sure that wrongdoers are punished for their crimes. Neither party is doing a good job right now, though the parents rightly claim that they don't have enough time to spend with their kids. It's sad that two-income families are a brutal necessity these days; it's a contributing factor to the disease. We cannot let the government, or the industry, or any 'watchdog' group determine what is permissible and what is not for the nation's young, as though they were a homogeneous group of automatons. Maybe ten-year old Wendy is mature enough to watch and appreciate "Natural Born Killers" while her twelve-year old brother Bob isn't. The point is, their parents should know better than anyone else. Ughhh. I'm disgusted again. If you disagree with my viewpoint and can make a convincing argument, write me. I haven't heard a single point in the V-chip's favor yet.

Well, this should make me feel better: While I haven't forgiven Fox for canceling my "VR.5" yet, I have to commend them for reviving Michael Moore's "TV Nation," which a wary NBC apparently shied away from after all. The first two episodes were unbelievable, featuring such segments as TV Nation's candidate for the '96 elections Louis Bruno, an ex-con from New York ("from the Big House to the White House"); Moore himself going door-to-door at the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses handing out pamphlets and talking about the TV show that changed his life; a feature called "Payback Night," where the head of a telemarketing firm was stirred from bed by a phone call and the head of Muzak was subjected to his heinous product pumped out of huge mobile speakers in front of his home; and an attempt to crash the beach at Greenwich, CT, which is only available to obnoxious residents. If it's true that each taxpayer only contributes 64 cents annually to the NEA, then Congress had better explain the problem. Michael Moore has created the first nationally-viewed video-'zine, and I wish him the best of luck. (If you ever need a writer or reporter, look me up!) I only hope Fox has the sense, and the cojones, to stick with him, because I'm sure the show is going to draw some heavy fire from some powerful figures and groups. If the show is going to succeed on any network, it'll be Fox. Now, if we can only keep Rupert and Newt apart... Please check it out, and show your support by writing to FOX Broadcasting Co., Director of Programming, 10201 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035, or E-mail foxnet@delphi.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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