I'm an escape artist, not a fucking lumberjack.

It's the end of the world, and everyone is invited, like it or not.

This is the final Piss and Vinegar of 2008. From Max Bemis to Jesse Jackson to Fat Mike to the world at large, so many things were covered in such a short amount of time.

This blog carried a lot of controversy with it, and I'm sure 2009 will have it's own fair share. My only resolution is to update more, and finish writing this book which is so close, I can taste it.

Be safe everyone, and if you're gonna drink...do it somewhere where you can spend the night. No one wants to start off the New Year dead. Unless you're suicidal...then I stand corrected.

In keeping with the theme of how this year has been nothing but a shit salad, all my plans have fallen through. This always seems to happen to me.

I escaped this year. I lost a lot of people along the way, I made some great friends though, as well.

I've seen what I want to do, and where I want to be by this time next year. I want to work even harder to become everything I aspire for, or at least die trying.

I escaped this year, even when at times I truly didn't want to get back up. I didn't do it alone, either. Thank you to everyone who was there for me when times weren't so great.

I don't know one person who had a great year, and I for one am quite happy to see it go. I have a lot of high hopes for the next year; I'm hoping you do to.

We could all use a win at this point, I think. And I feel like the foundations are coming into place. So make the best of it guys, and drink away the shitty year of 2008. Come tomorrow you get to start it all over again. Hoorah!

So here we go!

Armageddon-outta-here, 2009 and beyond!

-Aaron Hale.


Declining to Deploy Troops to Wally World.

Welcome to one of the greatest obstacles most of us 20 to 35 somethings have ever faced.

Around each corner, the businesses we placed our our deferential faith in are now putting up foreclosure signs.

All our lives, we've been trained to place our faith in banks. Save up. Get two credit cards, build your credit, have a savings account and checking account. Plastic above paper, paper above something tangible.

What a lot of people don't realize is that part of the reason why America, and other Western Nations are now falling on hard times, is because theres no tangible asset or backing to our capital.

At some point we stopped backing our capital with gold, for hopes and dreams in a stock market. My question is...where is the actual, factual, tangible cold hard backing?

What bothers me, or rather I should say, what terrifies me is that people have begun to say that in the history books people would look back and revere George W. Bush as a decent leader who made unpopular decisions that eventually paid off.

How could anyone actually believe that? His first year in office, he spent six months of those at his fucking ranch.

Thats like showing up to your new job, even at KFC, and you show up for the first 8 days and just kind of coast. You then take 8 days off in a row. Guess what, theres someone else who needs that money, and doesn't mind coming in for an extra shift to batter chicken or make mashed potatoes for 8.25 an hour.

Maybe we should about the Chicagoian Politician's way of doing business; if we get an iffy-leader...auction that shit off on E-bay.

But I propose a question to anyone who reads this blog:

When you see these mega-corporations now closing down shop, every single AIG, Sally Mae, Washington Mutual, GMC and Ford...when you see them shutting down shop, is this necessarily a bad thing?

America, and the Western World as a whole, was built on the broken backs of the little man. It took one guy with a little bit more of the green stuff in his pocket to buy them out to start an empire.

But if all these countries were built on the backs of the little man, where are we to feel inclined to feel sorry for any of these companies?

America is flushing money down the drain in several conflicts. Without even commenting on that, it's almost impossible no matter what side of the fence you're sitting on to deny that the actual fighting, and tactical combat...has been horribly mismanaged. Does Petrayus even know his dick from his four stars?

We live in a time when we have, at our disposal, means of 'deterring' combatants without shedding blood. Don't tell me that them there rag-heads are somehow immune to riot squad procedures. Tear-gas stops pretty much anyone in their tracks. Drop a few of those in a particularly heated area, some concussion grenades and have some green berets go in there and handcuff every person with a rock (or higher)near their hands. Round 'em up, put 'em to trial and let Iraq become whatever it's going to become on it's own.

Same with Afghanistan. Gas every crevice thats even two inches deep. Whatever crawls out goes straight to the huskow.

I'm not a proprietor of war, but I'm not a merchant of death either. While I feel little remorse for those who continually strap bombs to their chests, use woman and children as shields, and pervert a universally acknowledged religion of peace...I also believe in Democracy. Everyone, no matter whom, if captured, is deserving of a fair trial. Take that for what it is.

But what do these wars have to do with the current situation of our collective economies? Simple: Thats where the funds are going.

These same corporations now coming to Washington, D.C with their hands out to beg for bailouts so they don't go bankrupt...are the same companies that helped back these confrontations, instead of going through the UN.

The Government is a sticky wicket. While they felt they were above God, and the UN and surpassed it, if you're skin is brown and you have any kind of accent and you came into this same country without going through the "proper channels"...you're ass will be deported, no questions asked. Good fucking bye, Pablo.

People want to rally against immigration. "Those spics are taking our jobs." Word?

Whens the last time you saw a nationally born American, with a doctorates in medicine, complaining about an illegal taking his job behind the scalpel? You haven't.

Truth is, the jobs they are taking are the ones we spoiled motherfuckers refuse to take. Johnny Redbloodedcitizen didn't want to show up to KFC, but heres a guy who doesn't grasp English as well, but who's willing to work 12 hour shifts without a break without over time. It's nothing short of what America was built upon all these years ago.

Is it necessarily a bad thing is GMC goes bankrupt? Nope.

The one thing I feel is good about socialism is the theory that people needn't make more than 200,000 a year. At what point do you need to make more than that? You can only have so many creature comforts.

But when your net worth is 30 million dollars...you don't have to work another second in your life.

These car companies screwed themselves, and now complaining about the STD's.

A bailout won't be the penicillin.

The people to blame aren't the people losing their jobs. The people to blame are the same ones begging for a handout while flying private jets.

Private jets? Fuck off. You think you've got it tough when you're flying a private fucking jet?

Having it tough is a mother with three kids, and a dad in jail for the next 25 years on Grand Theft Auto, and she's working three jobs and sucking truck drivers dicks for bus fare and baby formula.

Theres no circulation in the country where the big auto companies are trying to rake in the money.

Unfair lending practices, check.

Outsourcing their jobs to countries where they pay the workers ten dollars a week, check.

Terminating hundreds of thousands of jobs, helping deprive the country of the circulation of money, check.

Now they've all collectively gathered their mooching sacks (only the medium sized ones) and come a'knocking.

Theres only two ways that this can go. If they are allowed this bailout, we're fucked. Every person they've fired thats now losing their homes now has to dig in their empty pockets and start paying for these assholes affronts.

Or, God really forbid this...that Uncle Sam goes to Kinko's and prints up some Jacksons.

Why is that a bad thing? Seems simple enough...

Well, I have a few records that are quite coveted. Part of the reason why they are coveted is because they are rare. In fact...that's basically the only reason why. There is a limited amount of them.

Think back to history class. You might have to cut through some pot-stained and whiskey drowned memories, but think back to countries that felt printing money would make the issues go away to pay off the debt. It dropped it down to nil. People burned their money to stay warm. Hence, "money to burn".

Thats whats going to happen. I feel its better to say fuck you to these companies that've been sucking the teat of all of us dry, and let them fucking eat shit with the rest of us.

I truly feel if that happened, the modern man will sack up and begin working again. Who doesn't love shopping at a mom and pops? The money is in the community, theres a job there...there is honesty in a very ugly place.

It sucks right now, but if people thought outside the box...

Man, fuck it. We're gonna be in debt anyways. Why not eat it a little bit more, and go to college and chase the dreams we were always told we unsafe, or silly.

Because right now, from the bottom looking up and seeing those high rises being foreclosed...all those safety nets are breaking, all those sure bets are coming up snake eyes.

If you're going to be in debt 30 thousand dollars in times like these, whats another 20? In rational thinking, if you wanted to be a nurse but became a real estate agent...well, houses bottom out: People never stop getting sick.

These corporations want to sink their claws into us. After so many years of saying oil is running out and we had to charge 4.50 a fucking gallon, all of a sudden people stopped driving Hummers and started driving Huffey's. God bless the silent revolution that took place.

But now gas is 1.55 again. People are feeling better about filling up, and the initial reaction is to take advantage of the low prices.

Sooner or later, it's gonna start inching it's way back up. 2.00? Fuck, at least its not as bad as the summer of 2008.

Gotcha bitch!

Cheer for the underdog. Support the little guy, and it's gonna turn around and help you when it's time for you to ask for help.


Time Machines and Iron Lungs.

One thing I've noticed in my years of dating, and observing (not in a pants around the ankles, in a bush outside her house kinda way) girls time I've noticed...it's pretty hard to really know who it is you're dating.

Now, I don't have a very close relationship with my mother, but one of the most important pieces of advice I've ever received from anyone came from her: Never date a girl you can't see yourself spending the rest of your life with.

And that most definitely applies to girls dating guys, too, I'm sure.

But a huge problem with why relationships fail, with why so many marriages fail is obvious: theres a breakdown in communication.

Things get rushed for numerous reasons. For example, America still tries to hold tight to its Puritanical roots. Everywhere you look; TV, Movies, Books, Advertisements, the Government, Churches, Parents, Friends and family all seem to be pressuring you to get married. Get married, settle down and have some kids.

It's subtle, but when you think about it...its actually pretty staggering.

Here, how many times have you heard this when you were a child from your parents, "Just wait til you have kids of your own," or, "I hope you have a child like you," and of course, "One day when your married you'll understand..."

How many Zales/Kay commercials have you seen, especially now during the Holidays til roughly February 15th. "Every kiss begins with K", "No you've got a friend in the diamond business."

Every bit of that is subtle pressure. But when you get older, you begin to feel that slightly more aggressive pinch when all your pals start growing up and settling down.

It's a proven fact that when something is rushed, the outcome will most likely not be savory, satisfactory or it might not even survive.

You give into all these pressures to alleviate the tension, and in the end it becomes a life suck. You have years of your youth sucked away, not to mention theirs.

And so much of this stems from dating someone without thinking about whom it is your crawling into bed with. But the thing is...so often it's nearly goddamned impossible to even figure out who it is sleeping next to you. You can live with someone for three years, and not know important, vital information of them.

It's because we don't know how to ask, and we don't know how to observe. Most importantly...we've lost the ability to communicate. To verbalize the internal structures of our insides. Why? So many of us have been hurt before. Everyone inevitably becomes, in some form or another, a type of 'damaged goods'. And that sucks, but life's fucked up. That just happens.

But it can cause division, when really all that person (or you) needs an adhesive.

Now granted, thats a hard concept to grasp. But it stems from responsibility, and unfortunately...most of this new generation has no fucking clue what that means. I'd like to say it isn't our fault. I'd like to place the blame on people, I'd like to place the blame on society...but the truth is, if any blame can be exchanged, if any buck can be passed then you first have to recognize that there is a problem.

And when you recognize there is a problem, you have to realize that you are continuing it. Future generations will judge us by how we dealt with the smallest of details. It's the Devil in detail will damn your soul when the final product is set.

But it's ingrained in us now to go with our knee-jerk reactions. No one wants to take responsibility for their actions. We raise a generation of kids who come from broken homes, and refuse to punish them for their transgressions.

Some of these seems so audacious that it couldn't possibly be true. Case in point, parents are suing a school because their children are sending each other nude photos.

Thats not even something I can wrap my head around.

And I truly believe it's because we succumb to the pressure, we refuse to stand up and take the responsibility...we refuse to communicate because "talky is hard. me no do so well." Fucking nations of imbeciles running wild at this point. Absolute imbeciles who think that going green is a sanctimonious action. This isn't just centralized to America, either.

I don't think teacher should be allowed to institute capital punishment. I feel thats at the parents sole discretion, and I believe the parent should have a right to discipline a child. The thing is, there isn't a fine line between discipline and abuse: Discipline is done with love to help correct an issue; abuse is when there is malice and intent to hurt a child.

But given that, teachers are the medium for parents. Teachers roles in society are wholly important, as they are expected to not only educate but instill a modicum of discipline and morality in a student.

They shouldn't be allowed to spank a child, no, but when a child acts out theres definitely a few problems: home life could not be so great, emotionally unstable, etc. However, kids do make mistakes.

But while American parents are trying to hold schools responsible for their children's need to act out in a sexual manner because thats what their swamped with all around. Look at Miley Cyrus. The little slut has been busted on NUMEROUS occasions for pushing the bounds of decency. And her "father" just allows it, because this harlot in training is bringing him money.

Why aren't Americans suing Miley Cyrus then? If we're going to be that outlandish, why aren't the guns pointed in her whorish direction? Shit, we used to burn chicks at the stake just in case they used a broom for anything other than sweeping.

But before we can necessarily scoff at America's practice, the rest of the world fails as well. Take ol' Mother Britain, for instance. A teacher sat his students down, and came up with an ingenious form of discipline for being tardy: push ups.

Push ups. Probably the healthiest thing in the world. It's something you can take with a grain of salt and humility, as well. It's kind of funny, but theres nothing malicious about this...in theory.

But British parents said, "Oi, fuck you prick! No ones going to punish my sweet lass/lad for being late, especially in a healthy and constructive manner, you bloody sod!" And they suspended the teacher.

When you suspend or sue a teacher for menial things such as these, the ingrained manipulation in these...shitty little fucking brats (Americans, British...who fucking ever) heads. They can strip the teacher of power.

They strip the parents of power they should theoretically deserve. But every time some yuppie-spawn parent sues a teacher, it exploits how little respect they deserve from their child.

And it stems back to being pressured to marry young, procreate. Do it to, and if you don't...you fucking blew it.

But as I started out with, I have a theory. Man of Science coming through.

The way you can truly know the girl you're dating, who she really is...because face it. We all date our representatives. We may never meet the true party leader until Johnny Law shows up, and your trying to convince them you walked into that beer bottle flying through the air.

Watch her with her father.

How a girl acts with her father is how she truly is at her most uninhibited. If he neglected her, and she has daddy issues...watch how hard she tries to get his attention. Or how she tries to get the attention, be it negative or outlandish, or overtly synthetic.

If thats the case, shes most likely never going to be real with you. She will constantly do whatever it is she thinks you want, and eventually...as much as a heaven that sounds like, if you're a decent human being at all...that won't fly.

I dated a girl once who's father treated her like she was a son attempting to gain favor. Think Michael to George in Arrested Development. No matter how good the idea was, he always turned down the ideas to keep Michael hungry for acceptance.

Her father did the same to her. As a result, he tended show more favoritism towards his youngest, and it killed her.

In her life outside of home, she acted more like a chameleon, and unfortunately...I never got to know the real her. Whatever sect of friends she was with, she adopted that identity. I understand people tend to blend with their friends to be a bit more cohesive, but...she adapted and adopted each, and every one of their personalities.

Theres a flip side to this coin, though.

When a girl is truly happy, and has a healthy relationship with her father, it more often than not emanates in her true personality. You can see it in her smile, how she dedicates herself to her goals, and how she will treat you.

I've been lucky to've been blessed with an amazing step-father. My biological dad, I don't even know his name. There are no pictures of him.

But my step-father is better than most fathers, period. I hope, truly, one day I can be half as decent as he is. From this, I'm learning how to treat a woman properly.

He was never pressured to marry my mother. In fact, almost the opposite. But through it, they found true love on their own terms. It took them both a few tries, but they got it right.

For 20 years they've gotten it right.

And when you marry for the right reasons, you'll know it's true. It might not be easy, but it takes dedication to make anything worthwhile. Don't fret...love will find you.

But you have to observe. You have to watch. You have to study, and you have to communicate. Pride has no place in these situations. Love isn't a pissing match, and marriage shouldn't be a cage match for dominance.

But you have to take responsibility for your actions. Some of that requires you to cut your losses when the person your with isn't the one. A child won't save that. Passing the buck won't mask a dead relationship and shitty parenting. It only exploits a lack of a will to fight for something more.

When you rush something, when you aren't patient...you end up ruining years of your life, and another persons. You end up risking to ruin a child's life completely.

Patience really is a virtue.