-errari for sale? That's just -ucked up.

By Patrick Vecchio

Over the past year, people in a house I drive by each day have been selling cars from their side yard. The most recent was an ’80s-era Chevrolet Monte Carlo in a color resembling electric lime slices. “Mean Green Machine” shouted a decal in green letters along the top of the windshield.

This house is a typical out-on-the-country-roads house in this poor corner of New York state. It is sided with rolled asphalt the color of pine needles. A dusty driveway leads down to the road. Grass grows thigh-high on the steep roadside bank. Across the road is a dirt lot where the people who live in the house chop tree carcasses into piles of firewood the size of two-car garages so they can sell it. Continue reading

Nota Bene #120: Crazy Ivan

“If you can make a woman laugh, you’re seeing the most beautiful thing on God’s earth.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #117: Wake Up!

“Hollywood is so crooked that Mafia gangsters are entirely outclassed and don’t stand a chance. People in Hollywood are smarter. They have more sophisticated knowledge of money and deals and how to steal legally rather than illegally.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #107: Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #101: Your Pal, Mike S.

“The guys who are shooting films now are technically brilliant, but there’s no content in their films. I marvel at what I see and wish I could have done a shot like that. But shots are secondary for my films, and with some of these films, it’s all about the shots. What’s the point? I’m not sure people know what points to make.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #94: Bear Vs. Ninja

“Overture, curtain, lights Continue reading

Reality is making us sick, and fantasy can't cure us

You’re honey child to a swarm of bees
Gonna blow right through you like a breeze
Give me one last dance
Well slide down the surface of things

You’re the real thing
Yeah the real thing
You’re the real thing
Even better than the real thing

– U2

Fantasy stories, myths, legends, tall tales, fairy tales, horror, all these have been with us for a very long time. Science fiction, as well, has been with us since Mary Shelley found herself in a bet with Lord Byron about the possibility of writing a new kind of horror, one not grounded in the gothic.* So the presence in our popular culture of stories based in unreality of one form or another is certainly nothing new.

It seems to me that there’s been a lot more of it lately, though. Continue reading

Congressional clunker

The Cash for Clunkers program is now open for business. Theoretically, you can trade in that old pile of crap currently defacing your driveway for something shiny and new with up to $4,500 of government money. The idea is sound. It worked well in the European countries that did it in 2008. It could be a shot in the arm for car manufacturers, dealers, and all associated with the auto industry. It might even prod consumers towards more efficient vehicles that would lessen our oil dependence and help clean up the environment. Unfortunately, the plan was cobbled together by our esteemed representatives, proving that if you have a good idea that you’d like ruined it’s best to give it to Congress.

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The Motor City's Burnin'

Today, the executives of the Big Three return to Washington to pitch their case for federal assistance.  Presumably they will not be blundering into town on corporate jets.  Whether they will walk away with anything more than a political whipping remains to be seen, though given the current atmosphere they had better expect to be tied to the post.

I’m not an industry analyst, but my great-grandmother swung rear axle assemblies for Chrysler; my grandfather on the other side retired from the FoMoCo; both a brother and an uncle currently work in the industry; and i was raised in a UAW town dominated by three auto plants.  You can take the boy out of Detroit, but you cannot take Detroit out of the boy.  And i can tell you that the bullshit in this “debate” piles up so fast that you’d need wings to stay above it.

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