Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stevie Joe Goes Clubbing in Second Life

As you might recall, I have been exploring the virtual world of Second Life in the name of science. There are over 6.8 million residents now, and the growth has been rapid. When you first start navigating around Second Life, you will notice that there are a lot of night clubs. I know what you're thinking, "How do you drink booze at a virtual night club?" Well, if you are dead set on drinking, you can provide your own favorite beverage while sitting in front of the computer. One night, while alternating stingers and tequila shots, I would up taking off my pants and jumping on stage with a bunch of showgirls (in Second Life, of course). So, behaving like a drunken idiot is still on the table.

Anyway, the attraction at the night clubs is not the alcohol but the music. You can find clubs playing just about any kind of music you can imagine. Some will simply stream music from an existing internet radio station. Others will feature in-house DJs that will spin the tunes and take requests. Still more offer live music.

How the heck do they offer live music? Well, just like on regular radio, they set up some microphones and let the musicians have at it. Sometimes, they are a band playing at a real club somewhere in the world, and the audio gets streamed to Second Life. Other times, it's a dude with a guitar sitting in his kitchen. In either case, you actually see the performers in the virtual club. They appear as avatars, like everyone else in Second Life, and they play instruments and dance just like in the real world (I know it's hard to visualize - but it's pretty neat when you see it).

The Velvet is found inside an old, abandoned theater building. It features a stage, organ, and mechanical bull. The crowd is very literate and frighteningly Canadian. There's a live DJ pretty much every night.

One club I visited was The Velvet. This club offers indie rock and a pretty interesting collection of regulars (one of which appears only as a spider). Sometimes, it's the folks you "meet" that provide the entertainment. While listening to the music, folks engage in "chat" to talk about nearly anything. On one recent evening, The Velvet featured a haiku contest. On another, there was an impromptu iambic pentameter throw-down. You just don't find stuff like that in Junebug Holler. As an added bonus, nobody barfs on your feet.

This all reminds me that I might need to get a new class of friends.

Stray Cat's is a hard rock club with a very international clientele. It's not unusual to find a large crowd with folks from the US, Europe, and South America. Second Life offers real-time translation tools to help with language problems.

Umbra Penumbra provides another example of the design work that is evident nearly everywhere in Second Life. By the way, the furniture is all functional which is kinda weird. After a while, though, it all starts to seem normal.

See you on the other side!
Stevie Joe Parker

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Stevie Joe Gets All Up With People

Sunday morning, while listening to Pastor Luke droning on and on about something or other, I was thinking about my commitment to being more positive and how that relates to church. It seems to me that some churches are primarily negative - focusing on sin, penance, eternal damnation, and whatnot. Others seem to be concerned with the positive - helping one another, seeing the divine in our world, blah, blah, blah.

Whether a church emphasizes the negative or positive seems to depend more on the preacher than the religion. It seems that you can take most religions either way, but it's the preacher that sets the tone in a church. Maybe that's why I liked Farmer Len's Quaker meeting. They have no clergy. You make of it what you will, and, overall, they seemed like pretty upbeat folks.

Like I've said before, me and JC are pretty close. I consider Him to be an optimist. He seems to see the good in everyone, even Junior (which is pretty darned hard to do). I'll try to keep myself on the JC track and see the good in folks. Now, that's going to be a tall bill when it comes to President Numbnuts, but I'll do my best.

I'll bet he's good at tapping a keg,
Stevie Joe Parker

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Stevie Joe Celebrates Memorial Day

We had quite the Memorial Day Weekend here in Junebug Holler despite the absence of Junior. Ever since Junior stole and wrecked Jimmy's motorcycle, he's been hiding in his "undisclosed location." Good thing, too, because Jimmy is still sore about that and will likely beat Junior good when he finds him.

Anyway, there was much excitement, and most of it came when Dickie Jensen set Jimmy on fire. As you might expect, Dickie was drunk, but he was not yet nekkid. In honor of our veterans, Dickie was wearing a camouflage Speedo with a 101st Airborne patch right over his package. He thought that it might be fun to spray lighter fluid from his mouth and set it aflame with his Bic. Where could such a plan go wrong?

Well, Jimmy was the long-haired biker type, but not anymore. He made the grave mistake of getting too close to Dickie (a risk under any circumstance), and Dickie went ahead and set his hair on fire. Fortunately, the gathered crowd was armed with large quantities of beer and was able to quickly douse the flames. In the confusion, Dickie escaped and has presumably joined Junior in his undisclosed location.

Jimmy, as you might expect, was hopping mad. It has not been a good week for him, but this is part of life here in Junebug Holler. You have to expect these occasional setbacks. Besides, what's the alternative? Boredom, that's what. Give me drunken excitement any day (easy to say for a guy with all his hair).

Pardon me, got a light?
Stevie Joe Parker

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stevie Joe Smells the Flowers

Mrs. Stevie Joe has been telling me to relax. See, she's been reading the Stevie Joe Parker's Guide to Life and feels that I am being too negative. This is primarily because I've been writing nasty things about Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Monica Goodling (as if that's a bad thing). Anyway, Mrs. Stevie Joe thinks that I can more effectively save the world by using a more positive message - talk about what I'm fer rather than what I'm agin.

In an unusual twist, I've decided to take her advice. This is despite the fact that I have discovered that Monica Goodling's testimony before Congress provides evidence that her former colleague and current US attorney Tim Griffin conspired with Karl Rove to commit vote fraud during the 2004 Presidential election. Nope, I'm not going to talk about that.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the good. So, what is so damn good around here? Well, for starters, there's me. I'm pretty good and smart to boot. Oh, I forgot to mention good-looking.

Peace my Brothers and Sisters,
Stevie Joe Parker

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stevie Joe Reports on the New Monica-Gate

No, not that Monica. This time, it's Monica Goodling, the former Director of Public Affairs for the US Department of Justice. She testified today in Congressional hearings about the dismissal of US Attorneys.

I know folks have gone on and on about that whole mess, but that's not what concerns me. The bug up my butt today is trying to figure out how the hell Miss Goodling became a top-level official in the Justice Department to begin with.

First, Monica Goodling is 33 years old. If she were a whiz kid who graduated top of her class from Harvard Law School, it still would raise some eyebrows that she made it this high up the organization chart by the age of 33. Yet, she isn't a whiz kid, and she didn't graduate top of her class from Harvard.

So, what the heck is going on here? She graduated from Law School in 1999. She got hired by the Department of Justice in 2001. What could she have been doing in 2000? Oh, that's right, she was an opposition researcher for the Republican National Committee during the presidential campaign. By the way, she worked in the RNC alongside Tim Griffin who was recently appointed by Alberto Gonzales to replace one of them fired US attorneys. What a coincidence!

Miss Goodling graduated from Regent University Law School. This is the school founded by Pat Robertson to (according to their mission statement), "Bring to bear the will of our Creator, Almighty God, upon legal education and the legal profession."

Well, maybe it's a good school anyway, right? Not exactly, US News ranks it as a "Tier 4" law school, the lowest tier. It ranked 136th out of 170 schools reviewed. Over the past four years, Regent grads have passed the Virginia bar exam only 51.5% of the time. The statewide pass rate is 73%, and Regent ranks the lowest of any law school in Virginia.

Well, ol' Monica must be some sort of anomaly, right? The Regent University website recently claimed that 150 Regent grads had served in the Bush administration. They also say that their Washington DC alumni association has 867 members (out of 9,617 total alumni). Sure seems like they have quite a focus on politics. Not sure how many preachers they graduate.

Now, I know that some of you are thinking that ol' Stevie Joe is just a cranky liberal who's just bent on bad-mouthing Republicans. You're thinking that maybe Monica didn't go to the best school, but that doesn't mean she isn't qualified to help run the Justice Department. I'm sure that her college website will reveal her hidden genius and qualifications (ignore the typos - spellcheckers didn't work all that well in 1997).
After you read all about her hobbies and family, take a look at her resume. It makes her qualifications quite clear. She was a swim instructor, worked the front desk at a Holiday Inn, was the editor of her college yearbook, and student government president! She sounds more than ready to help run the US Justice Department to me!

Onward Christian Soldiers!
Stevie Joe Parker

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Stevie Joe Gets an Update on Junior's Accident

I learned today that the events that led to Junior crashing Jimmy's motorcycle at Mayor Barney's Mudslide Estates began Saturday evening at the Maple Leaf. The Maple Leaf is a local tavern that is decorated with all sorts of hockey memorabilia and Canadian flags. Everyone in town assumed that Scooter Thompson, owner of the Maple Leaf, was either from Canada and/or a rabid hockey fan. However, I asked Scooter about that once, and he denied it. He claims that the bar was decorated that way when he bought it. However, I know for a fact that the previous owner was a mean old cajun from Lake Charles, Louisiana. So, it all remains a mystery.

Anyway, Junior was drinking at the Maple Leaf on Saturday night, and he already had a few beers in him. He spotted Juanita over by the jukebox and went over to talk to her. In the version of the story that I heard, Junior said to Juanita, "Do you have a keg in your pants because I'd like to tap that ass." Junior claims no recollection of such a remark.

Well, whatever he said, it ticked off Jimmy who just happened to be standing behind Junior when he said it. As you might recall, Juanita is the love of Jimmy's life. Jimmy is a simple man. He doesn't say much, and he doesn't ask for much. Most things are just fine with Jimmy, but don't go messing with Juanita.

As you can imagine, this created a little situation which Jimmy decided to address by punching Junior in the ear. Now, Junior is no fighter. So, he figured that his best line of defense would be to scream like a little girl and fake a traumatic injury. Jimmy, disgusted at Junior's complete lack of pride, momentarily hesitated. It was long enough for Junior to make a break for the door. Once outside, he kept running and screaming all the way across town.

You would think that would be the end of it, but Junior had other plans. As usual, these plans would wind up biting him in the ass. Junior was so mad at Jimmy for punching him in the ear that he decided to make off with the other love of Jimmy's life, his motorcycle. Of course, Junior doesn't know how to ride a motorcycle, but why would that stop him? You know the rest.

Don't mess around with Jim,
Stevie Joe Parker

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Stevie Joe and Junior Junior

Junior has a dog. His name is Junior Junior because he's just like Junior - he lies around all day, mooches food from everyone, and has peed on nearly every lawn in town. I wouldn't say that Junior "owns" the dog since he just showed up one day. I'm not even sure that Junior takes care of the dog. For all I know, the dog takes care of Junior.

Anyway, I awoke this morning to the sound of Junior Junior scratching at my door. I figured he was hungry and looking for some chow, but when I opened the door, he began to run down the walk. When he reached the street, he stopped and turned to look back at me. The damn dog wanted me to follow him. He probably learned such bossy behavior while teaching Junior how to fetch him food.

Anyway, I decided to put on my boots and go along. At least I would get a little walk out of it. As we approached the main drag, I saw Dickie Jensen carrying an American flag and marching right down the middle of the street. I asked him, "What the hell are you doing, Dickie?"

He replied, "Somebody has got to stand up for this country, goddammit!" Good old Dickie, the nutjob.

Junior Junior passed right through the downtown and led me out to Mayor Barney's Mudslide Estates. It was there that I saw Jimmy's motorcycle on its side in the mud. About ten feet away was Junior, also on his side in the mud. I ran up to him and shook his shoulders to see if the damn fool was still alive. He opened his eyes, looked at me, and furrowed his brow. With a strange look on his face, he said, "You don't look to good, Juanita." With that, his eyes closed, and his head plopped back into the mud. The idiot was drunk.

Now, Junior doesn't know how to ride a motorcycle (as evidenced by the results of this latest attempt), and Jimmy doesn't let anyone borrow his bike. Something must have happened last night to get Junior worked up enough to do this. While I pondered that, I walked on back to the house to pick up the Big Blue Wagon so I could haul Junior's sorry ass home. Junior Junior walked alongside looking quite content. Smart dog. Maybe smarter than Junior.

Stevie Joe Parker

Friday, May 18, 2007

Stevie Joe and Reverend Pat

I was just pondering my recent post about Jerry Falwell and wondered why we have to wait until someone dies to review their legacy. With that in mind, here are some of Pat Robertson's finest quotes:

"Homo." - Robertson describing a caller he didn't like.

"Big fat nancy nancy-boy faggot." - Robertson describing a caller he didn't like.

"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

"If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer." - a reference to the US State Department

"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period."

"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."

"Presbyterians are the spirit of the Antichrist."

"The Islamic people, the Arabs, were the ones who captured Africans, put them in slavery, and sent them to America as slaves. Why would the people in America want to embrace the religion of slavers."

You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if [President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela] thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don’t think any oil shipments will stop. [...] We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist."

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why he hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because He might not be there." - after Dover residents voted out of office seven school board officials who favored teaching intelligent design

He almost makes Jerry Falwell sound rational.

Praise The Lord!
Stevie Joe Parker

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Stevie Joe, Dickie Jensen, and Immigration Reform

This afternoon at the Junebug Cafe and Internet Lounge, Dickie Jensen came running in yelling, "Goddamn amnesty! Goddamn amnesty! Son of a bitch!" Dickie often reminds me of the famous John Stuart Mill quote:
Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people . . . it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
Apparently, Dickie had just heard about the proposed compromise on immigration reform. I had as well, and I can tell you that it ain't going anywhere. Under the proposed bill, undocumented workers can apply for permanent resident status if they pay a $5,000 fine, pay several thousand more in application fees, and then return to their home countries to await permission to re-enter.

What kind of idiot thinks that anyone is actually going to do that? I guess it's the kind of idiot that gets elected to Congress. It sure seems like these folks have absolutely no idea what the life of an undocumented worker is like.

Of course, Dickie has no idea either, but that doesn't stop him from jumping up and down screaming like a lunatic. We really need to get him on some tranquilizers.

Who Would JC Deport?
Stevie Joe Parker

Stevie Joe Learns About Internal Decapitation

Ever since Prudy bought a computer and began to offer internet access at the Junebug Cafe, Jimmy has become a regular. Now, Jimmy used to stop by now and then, but he is now there every day. Several hours a day. Juanita is not happy. Still, it's entertaining for me since Jimmy finds really weird stuff on the web and forwards it to me.

For example, yesterday Jimmy found this tidbit about a woman who almost got her head cut off. Good stuff.

Don't go losing your head,
Stevie Joe Parker

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stevie Joe Reviews Jerry Falwell's Greatest Hits

The passing of Jerry Falwell has been met with much sorrow amongst some of the less gifted members of the Junebug Holler community. I, on the other hand, never cared for the weasel. So, in tribute, here are some of Rev. Jackass' finest quotes:

"If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God's word and had desired to do the Lord's will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made…. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line." - speaking about Brown v. Board of Education in 1958

"The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way—all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'." - speaking about September 11, 2001

"I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them."

"You've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops and I am for the President—chase them all over the world, if it takes ten years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord."

"Jimmy Carter's message of peace and reconciliation under almost all circumstances is simply incompatible with Christian teachings as I interpret them. This 'turn the other cheek' business is all well and good but it's not what Jesus fought and died for. What we need to do is take the battle to the Muslim heathens and do unto them before they do unto us." - never mind the fact that Jesus is the dude who said to turn the other cheek

"I do question the sincerity and non-violent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left-wing associations."

"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."

"The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews."

"Textbooks are Soviet propaganda."

"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."

Rest in Peace, Brother Falwell,
Stevie Joe Parker

Monday, May 14, 2007

Stevie Joe Tries to Explain Second Life to the Junebug Gang

This morning down at the Junebug Cafe and Internet Lounge, Juanita asked me about Second Life. Apparently, someone has been reading the blog. Juanita wanted to me to explain it to her because, according to her, my explanation here on the Stevie Joe Parker's Guide to Life didn't make any sense.

Before I could begin, Dickie Jensen interrupted and wanted to know if there were any illegal immigrants in Second Life and, if so, could we kick them out. I wasn't sure how to answer that one, and I don't know there is any way to explain anything about Second Life to Dickie without him getting more confused.

However, in the interest in expanding our knowledge of the world in general and that of Second Life in particular, I found these interesting statistics about the residents there:
  • 29.49% of residents live in the US of A
  • 10.37% are German
  • 7.76% are French
  • 6.25% are from the UK
  • 5.86% are from Brazil
  • 4.97% are from Italy
  • Skipping down the list a bit, 1.31% are Chinese
  • The average age is 30
  • 12.06% are over the age of 45
  • 56.97% are men
  • One year ago, 51.17% were women
  • There are 6.24 million current residents
Full of useful information,
Stevie Joe Parker

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stevie Joe Has the Scoop on US Terror Plot

You've heard about the recent arrests of six people accused of gathering a large cache of weapons and plotting a major terror strike, right? No, not the six jihadists planning to attack Fort Dix.

The six suspects in this case are American. They are members of the Alabama Free Militia, and they have been accused of planning to kill Mexican immigrants. They reportedly had several truckloads of weapons including 2500 rounds of ammunition, 200 grenades, a rocket launcher, numerous guns, and the components to build bombs. According to the Birmingham News, the militia "had enough armament to outfit a small army." More information can be found here. No word yet on what religion they practice, but I bet they are not Muslim.

Good night and good luck,
Stevie Joe Parker

More Stevie Joe Punditry

National Public Radio has jumped on the Stevie Joe bandwagon. Today, Diane Rehm devoted an entire hour to honey bees and colony collapse disorder.

Just doing my part to save the world,
Stevie Joe Parker

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Another Report from Stevie Joe in Second Life

While I am still sick, I'm feeling slightly better today. I can now use the caps key. Maybe Junior's Tennessee "remedy" is starting to have an effect.

I have just enough strength to explore Second Life so I can give you all another report. Of course, doing so has ticked off Mrs. Stevie Joe (but then, what doesn't?). She believes that if I'm well enough to "play around on that damn computer," then I'm well enough to mow the lawn. Obviously, this just isn't true, but just try explaining that to Mrs. Stevie Joe.

One thing that struck me right away was the diversity of the folks in Second Life. I've read that those of us in the US of A are in the minority, and I believe it. I've met people from all around the world, and English is not the primary language in many regions. Folks are also quite diverse socially. Second Life appears to be a haven for those who might feel out of place in the "real world" because they are somehow different. With 6.2 million residents in Second Life to date, it's easy to find others who share your interests.

As a result (even though the fine people of Junebug Holler might be aghast), Second Life has become popular with gays, lesbians, wiccans, and Democrats. You'll also find Greens, environmentalists, artists, Quakers, writers, musicians, and Roman Catholics.

It's sort of a United Nations for the disaffected, and I'm loving it so far.

p.s. If you missed the first installment in these reports, check it out here.

My what a nice avatar you have,
Stevie Joe Parker

Stevie Joe Reports on Tammy Faye

I thought that I felt bad, but this cold ain't nothing. Read this latest report from Tammy Faye Messner. Say what you will about her but gosh darn - it don't sound good.

Not yet down to 65 pounds,
Stevie Joe Parker

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

stevie joe is down for the count

i feel awful. i am typing this with one hand as i rest my head on the desk. it's a cold or flu or flesh-eating bacteria or something godawful. i feel like i got stuck between elvis and a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. frankly, i feel like i have a hangover, but even in junebug holler, hangovers don't last this long.

i know that i haven't posted in a while. i know that i am letting down my fans and letting down the nation. heck, i'll bet i'm even disappointing bill maher who must be struggling for material for friday's show. i'm trying to rally and stage a comeback. we'll see.

junior is on the way over with some jack dan. . . er, cold medicine to help me feel better. what a pal. maybe we'll sit up and watch some pay-per-view.

meanwhile, enjoy this story about a scary pet octupus.

woe is me,
stevie joe parker

stevie joe is down for the count

i feel awful. i am typing this with one hand as i rest my head on the desk. it's a cold or flu or flesh-eating bacteria or something godawful. i feel like i got stuck between elvis and a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. frankly, i feel like i have a hangover, but even in junebug holler, hangovers don't last this long.

i know that i haven't posted in a while. i know that i am letting down my fans and letting down the nation. heck, i'll bet i'm even disappointing bill maher who must be struggling for material for friday's show. i'm trying to rally and stage a comeback. we'll see.

junior is on the way over with some jack dan. . . er, cold medicine to help me feel better. what a pal. maybe we'll sit up and watch some pay-per-view.

meanwhile, enjoy this story about a scary pet octupus.

woe is me,
stevie joe parker

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Stevie Joe is Pundit to the Stars

One of the advantages of having the digital multimedia system here at the Parker Estate is that I have TiVo. Being a busy internet celebrity means that I sometimes have important engagements, drinking or otherwise, when my favorite TV shows are on. However, TiVo records them all for later viewing.

It just so happens that I finally got to watch the April 20 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. In this episode, Bill talks about how honey bees are disappearing in his "New Rules" segment. Not so coincidentally, Stevie Joe wrote about the same subject on April 16.

Bill mentions many of the same things that I did: a reference to colony collapse disorder, Albert Einstein's quote about what would happen if bees disappeared, the theory that cell phones might interfere with bee navigation, and the prospect that our future might depend on our ability to break our addition to cell phones.

Just more proof that the world's major thinkers come to Stevie Joe for inspiration.

You're welcome, Bill,
Stevie Joe Parker