John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Thursday, January 19, 2006
Sundance Film Festival

The 2006 Sundance Film Festival has begun and there are a gaggle of films for you to watch online as they premiere over the next week or so.  You know I like to blog about indie films and festivals.  One short documentary I watched tonight is called "Ha Ha Ha America."

Since I know many of you read my blog for political commentary and satire, I highly recommend you spend 17 minutes watching this short.  It'll sum up a year's worth of watching CNN's Lou Dobbs and save you 15,583 minutes of your life.

"Ha Ha Ha America" is a fast moving montage film with captions and a very cool soundtrack, in my humble opinion.  If you watch this film and don't get why so many Americans are not happy with the Bush Administration on so many levels, you should look in the mirror and tell yourself, "I'm glad I took that day off of work at Walmart to vote for my hero, George W. Bush."  However, if you're not totally brainwashed, but don't usually have an interest in geopolitics and international trade, it might open your mind to some of these issues like a ballpeen hammer to your forehead.

If you check out the Sundance Film Festival website and have some comments to make about other films available for us online, please feel free to make a comment, and share your thoughts.  For your convenience and courtesy of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), here is a list of films showing at Sundance 2006 with links to IMDb pages:


Alpha Dog
Art School Confidential
The Darwin Awards
Don't Come Knocking
Friends with Money
The Illusionist
Kinky Boots
Little Miss Sunshine
A Little Trip to Heaven
Lucky Number Slevin
Neil Young: Heart of Gold
The Night Listener
The Science of Sleep
The Secret Life of Words
Thank You for Smoking
This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Independent Film Competition: Documentary

American Blackout
Crossing Arizona
God Grew Tired of Us
The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends
Iraq in Fragments
A Lion in the House
small town gay bar
So Much So Fast
'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris
The Trials of Darryl Hunt
TV Junkie
An Unreasonable Man
Wide Awake
The World According to Sesame Street


a Darkness Swallowed
Old Joy
Pine Flat
Wild Tigers I Have Known

Park City at Midnight

American Hardcore
Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!
The Descent
The Foot Fist Way
Subject Two

Sundance Collection

Mala Noche
Paris, Texas



Adams æbler (Adam's Apples)
All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise
Batalla en el cielo (Battle in Heaven)
Beyond Beats and Rhymes: A Hip-Hop Head Weighs in on Manhood in Hip-Hop Culture
Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon
Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out
Forgiving the Franklins
An Innoncent Truth
Journey from the Fall
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
Man Push Cart
Off the Black
Open Window
The Proposition
Punching at the Sun
La Tragedia de Marcario
What Remains
Who Killed the Electric Car?
Who Needs Sleep?
Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner

Independent Film Competition: Dramatic

Come Early Morning
Flannel Pajamas
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Half Nelson
The Hawk Is Dying
In Between Days
Puccini for Beginners
Right at Your Door
Steel City
Stephanie Daley
Wristcutters: A Love Story

World Cinema Competition: Documentary

5 Days
angry monk - reflections on tibet
Black Gold
By the Ways, a Journey with William Eggleston
Dear Pyongyang
DeNADIE (No One)
The Giant Buddhas
I for India
En el hoyo (In the Pit)
Die Große Stille, Die (Into Great Silence)
The Short Life of Jose Antonio Guiterrez
Unfolding Florence: The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst
Viva Zapatero!

World Cinema Competition: Dramatic

13 Tzameti
El Aura (The Aura)
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros)
Eve & the Fire Horse
Casa de areia (The House of Sand)
Yawarakai seikatsu (It's Only Talk)
Dunia (Kiss Me Not on the Eyes)
Little Red Flowers
No. 2
One Last Dance
The Peter Pan Formula
Sólo Dios sabe
Jezile (Son of Man)



[Headphones] :: Democrusader - [download] [Lo-Fi stream] by JfZ

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Swamp Gas v.008

Welcome to Swamp Gas in the Imajica.  Similar to the You Can't Make This Shit Up (YCMTSU) section, Swamp Gas will focus solely on news and items of interest in the sunshine state of Florida.

They say, "All the nuts in America roll downhill to Florida."  So let's just see how true that phrase really is.

Click on the Swamp Gas logo for the smelly menu.

Swamp Gas v. 008

 Daugherty and Hooks - 16 and 18


The beginning of 2006 during early January should be called 'troubled teen' week in Florida.  Brian Hooks, 17, Kevin Daugherty, 18 and William Ammans, 18, (not pictured) went on a savage spree of beating homeless people in the popular beach community of Fort Lauderdale.  They attacked three different homeless men with baseball bats over the course of one night.  Two of the three men survived their attacks, but Norris Gaynor did not.  He was killed by these thrill seeking teenagers.

One of the attacks was caught on a campus surveillance camera, and the shocking video of the teens beating a defenseless man with baseball bats was then played repeatedly on local and national news outlets.  The three teens now face aggravated assault and murder charges.  In Florida, they could face the death penalty for their night of thrills.  For an in-depth discussion of this story and homelessness, read "Homeless in Paradise" on Dark Skies.


 Boatman - 19


By all accounts, Leo Boatman, 19, certainly had a troubled childhood.  Nonetheless, he stole a relative's AK-47, travelled across Florida to the Ocala Nation Forest where he shot and killed two student campers, Amber Peck and John Parker.  According to authorites, he told his friend that he aspired to be a serial killer.   Who says kids these days don't have goals?


 Penley - 15 LONGWOOD

Chris Penley, 15, went to his middle school, in Longwood, Florida, with a pellet gun sprayed painted flat black to resemble a typical 9mm hand gun.  After students freaked out in Columbine fashion, Penley ended up stealing away to a restroom.  Despite some controversy raised about the incident in hindsight, the bottom line is that when he raised his gun and aimed at police, he was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy.  His organs were donated after his death.


[Headphones] :: Yellow Phrases [Download] [Lo-Fi Stream] by Ion Flux

Friday, January 13, 2006
Global War on Sex

Here's a little something you likely won't see in military recruiting brochures and advertising.  According to a recent news article on the Armed Forces Information Services (AFIS) site, the Democrusader just signed a human trafficking law that goes as far as criminalizing prostitution for all military personnel, even in jurisdictions where prostitution is legal and an accepted social norm.  The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 amends the military manual for courts-martial.  Under the new act, any servicemember convicted of patronizing a prostitute can receive a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and one year of confinement.  Apparently, if you go to the red light district now, the evil-doers win.

John Awtrey, director of law enforcement policy and support for the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, went as far as stating:

"Whether people realize it or not, most women involved in prostitution are there against their will, he said, and supporting that industry - even by going to a strip club or bar that allows prostitution - supports the worldwide human trafficking industry." ... "If you spend money there, you're giving money to the traffickers, and traffickers are criminals," he said.

Despite the common sense observation that there are thousands of strip clubs located within a taxicab's ride away from military bases all over the United States in order to cater to the pent-up desires of horny young men away from their homes and high school sweethearts, the UCMJ was modified as follows:

Patronizing a prostitute.

(a) That the accused had sexual intercourse with another person not the accused's spouse;

(b) That the accused compelled, induced, enticed, or procured such person to engage in an act of sexual intercourse in exchange for money or other compensation; and

(c) That this act was wrongful; and

(d) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces."

The Defense Department (DoD) has long been fixated on the topic of sex and the nexus of security risks with military and DoD personnel.  The Defense Security Service (DSS) even details interesting declassified cases of espionage through prostitution, or love of sex over love of country, as rare as they are.  However, searching for "prostitute" on the site will yield you nearly 1000 results, mostly concerning Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) rulings on security clearances for defense contractor employees.

I don't care about the defense contractors, honestly.  They are civilians making an obscene amount of tax-free income.  I am thinking that the many 18, 19 and 20-something-year-old enlisted personnel in the military service are the people most affected by criminalizing sex.  In point of new legal fact, if a horny soldier buys a horny local girl drinks (aka: other compensation) and they have sex outside of the Democrusader's definition of legal, godly, marriage -- that soldier can now be demoted from brave to depraved and dishonorably discharged.

"We're in a different kind of war," Dubya says.  I agree.  Three years from now, we can all begin the decade-long struggle that it will require to pull the United States out of his ass.

On a note related to BushWorld, military, and sex -- Chris Wilson was finally released from the Polk County, Florida jail to await trial.  If you've forgotten who Chris Wilson is, read "BushWorld and the Bible Belt Bust."  You can also visit the FreeChris website run by his friends and supporters.  I made a small donation via PayPal today.


[Headphones] :: Democrusader - [download] [Lo-Fi stream] by JfZ



Tuesday, January 10, 2006
New Year Beard

I started the New Year with a beard.  It's similar to the one I'm sporting above in this older image taken of me, hanging out in the French Quarter.  I'm debating with myself in the mirror everyday whether or not to just shave it off because this current beard is bushier.

Rather than the trimmed beard of some frustrated and artistic intellectual, this current beard on my face looks to me more like one worn by Osama bin Laden or the Unabomber.  I'm not alone on this.  A child called me "Grizzly Adams" (aka Dan Haggerty) over the Christmas holiday!

Similar to Blog the Haircut, I need your help, again.  Rather than wasting valuable page real estate with an actual BlogDrive Poll on my left panel, just give me your preference in a comment below, okay?

What amount of facial hair do you like on a guy?

  1. ZZTop biker beard ?
  2. Trimmed beard ?
  3. Full artistic stubble ?
  4. Full goatee and moustache?
  5. Bushy fireman's moustache ?
  6. Elvis side burns ?
  7. Trimmed moustache (excluding the Hitler)
  8. Nothing. Clean shaven, please.
  9. I have a new idea looks like ?
  10. You'd be better off wearing a paper bag.


[Headphones] :: We Can Do Better - [download] [Lo-Fi stream] by JfZ

Saturday, January 07, 2006
Poolside ramblings

Saturday update: It was so fracking cold outside this morning, my normally large male endowment quickly turtle-headed, as the morning snot instantly froze in my nostrils.  Not being sure which physical reaction to the abnormally chilly weather alarmed me the most, I instinctively grabbed my package and the word brisk popped up within a cartoon bubble inside my freezing phallic brain.  I murbled aloud, "WTF?"

I quickly retreated back inside, and after my penis was restored to its original glory and wonderment, I could then think lucidly enough to schedule some inside activities for my day.  Sitting in front of the monitor now, I notice that it's so bright and sunny outside, but I have to remind myself that it is just an alluring lie.  Lie, lie, lie!

The last time I really thought about the weather was during my little holiday visit with Melicious' family in Cape Coral.  It was about 10 degrees warmer by her pool than the poolside around here.  I scribbled some random thoughts down one night around Christmas while listening to the tranquil sounds of the water falling from the hot tub into the pool.

While I don't normally like to share too much of myself on Thunderstorms for various reasons -- including possible health department code violations -- I already published this on Wall Writings, a blog by our friend, Akira3099.  Here's my contibution to the Drunken Poet's Society:

A Thousand Miles So Near

In this time between day and night,
I can see you in my mind's sight.
Tropical birds will sing their song.
It'll be daytime before long.
In my quiet predawn repose,
I travel to you where it snows.

I read and yet I do not know
Where you are now or where you'll go.
Somehow, I only think I'm well
Thinking of you, my long lost Kel.

How are you and how was your day?
I must wish I knew what to say.
For me, it's like when things are great,
I just wish you could participate.
But you are there and I am here.
Between us, a thousand miles so near.

So, there you have it -- hopefully the last time in 2006 that I post sappy, alcohol-induced poetry here.  However, if you like reading poetry, there are hundreds of Blogdrivers posting their poetry.  Here are a few of them:


[Headphones] :: Jessica: Sanibel Island - [Lo-Fi Stream] by JfZ

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