Category Archives: Angry, Venomous Rants

Huffpost Blogger Blogs About Non-Issue, Local Blogger Blogs About It

Right off the bat, let’s just say McDonald’s is a disgusting company which sells disgusting food and even as a guy who doesn’t mind eating disgusting food, McDonald’s is dead to me. It turns my stomach to even look at the sign, and every six months or so when I start to forget that, I buy an awful, soul-crushing breakfast sandwich and it makes me whimper. Although, yes, their chemical-riffic fries are tasty and I can’t stay mad at them.

But I guess I’m equally disgusted with our media, disgusted every time a horrible story breaks like the one coming out of Cleveland now, in which three women, kidnapped as teenagers, appear to have been held captive for ten years before escaping. I can’t imagine I need to recap it for you, but here’s CNN’s latest, and all you need to do is point your face practically anywhere to learn about Charles Ramsey, the man who helped them escape.

We don’t know very much about the story except that the women are alive, that one of them has a child born six years ago, and that they’d really like some privacy now to be with their families. And we of course know that the media would not like their privacy quite so much. Here’s everybody respecting the shit out of the three women’s privacy now:

respecting privacy

Yes, and since they’re focusing more on the health and well-being of the women and the child rescued, the investigation hasn’t yet revealed very much about the details of the awful crime, so we’re back to reporting any rumor or tidbit anyone will cough up. It’s a lot like the story is a deer, and the reporters are simply ripping it apart like jackals. Well, it’s their job, right?

Anyone who will offer the slightest crumb gets an interview. Umm, seems to me the guy had a cat a few years ago, but not anymore. CLEVELAND KIDNAPPER MAY HAVE HAD CAT, POSSIBLY EATEN IT, screams the news.

I was just getting over the general nausea, though, when I saw this blog post: Did McDonald’s Cross The Line In Tweet About Ohio Kidnapping Case?

It’s from the Associate Blog Editor at The Huffington Post, which is the sort of thing that makes me glad I have an actual job. Take a look at the tweet which Mr. Seamus McKiernan believes may have crossed “the line”:

McDonalds Tweet

What’s the problem here? What line did they cross? Well, McKiernan takes the scenic route to that point, presumably because there’s no straight line to it. It’s like watching Doctor Frankenstein maniacally try to animate a lifeless corpse, but instead of a lifeless corpse, it’s a complete and utter non-issue, and instead of maniacally, he does it in an unconvincing, long-winded manner.

Right from the article:

“Nothing much to look at here, right? Just a company recognizing the courage of the kidnap victims, and praising a local hero who also happens to be its customer. Actually, on first read, the tweet comes across as well-intentioned.”

FletchHuh. Well, we’d better dig deep into this two-sentence tweet then, right? Rather than settle for a cursory, First Read? Because no, sir, that doesn’t look like much to look at. These first two sentences strike me as a pretty thorough analysis of the two-sentence tweet. But I guess that’s why I’m not the Associate Blog Editor at The Huffington Post, because we’re about to roll up our sleeves and dig through this thing like a shark autopsy.

Not that Mr. McKiernan doesn’t seem to have a vague feeling that this is a non-issue. “Maybe we should leave the story about McDonald’s here,” he muses, and yes, dude. Maybe we should, since it’s a two-sentence story.

Naw, he decides, and he’s going to walk us through the tweet, since it’s not easy for non-Huffpost Associate Blog Editors to understand this stuff:

“Let’s look at the tweet. The first sentence is, “We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy.” This doesn’t raise any flags. For better or worse, it’s become common for corporations to comment on news stories, particularly tragedies, via their social media accounts. McDonald’s in this regard is no different from other organizations and people who tweeted about the story. But what caught my eye was the second part of the tweet: “Way to go Charles Ramsey- we’ll be in touch.” Suddenly, I wondered how much the first part of the tweet existed to usher in the second.”

Well, my goodness. The more he rereads the tweet, the more sinister it becomes. Although, if one sits around rereading the same two sentences over and over, one is very likely to start to feel a little funny about them.

But what cracks me up is, THE FIRST SENTENCE IS OKAY WITH HIM!

So he’s got an issue with “Way to go Charles Ramsey – we’ll be in touch.”

Because it’s a mini-commercial, he decides in an incredibly convoluted manner. And he’s shocked and outraged by it.

Sure. I mean technically, every McDonald’s tweet is a commercial. They didn’t start a Twitter account so you could keep up with their post-graduate trip to Europe. They tweet for PR, and they tweet because you’re crazy not to, if you’re a business in 2013. Can anyone think of any PR issues surrounding the Cleveland case that might make McDonald’s want to say a few words?

Ah, yes, it’s the fact that their name is all over the story. Charles Ramsey mentioned McDonald’s. Ramsey was coming back from McDonald’s, the kidnapper was arrested at McDonald’s, the kidnapper frequently brought way more McDonald’s back to his house than a single man ought to require. All of these are things floating around the news, and I don’t even know which ones are true. But McDonald’s became associated with this horrific story, and I’m sure they weren’t crazy about it.

So, do you think McDonald’s, with perhaps one of the most gargantuan, globe-spanning marketing juggernauts in the history of the planet at its disposal, figured this tweet would drum up some much-needed business? Do you think from a marketing standpoint, this will generate a fart in a hurricane’s worth of cheeseburger sales? Or do you think they were deflecting bad publicity they didn’t ask for, and that they were deflecting it in an uncharacteristically positive way?

Charles RamseySay, they must have thought. You know one thing about the story everybody loves? Charles Ramsey. And you know what Charles Ramsey loves? McDonald’s. Maybe we ought to associate ourselves with him, congratulate his heroism, and imply that maybe we’ll be sending him a load of McDonald’s cards, since it’s the least we can do.

Yes, that’s real, sinister X-FIles shit, there, Scoop. In particular, I love McKiernan’s appropriately low confidence level. “Maybe I’m misreading this,” he admits in his conclusion, but then insists “we should acknowledge that the McDonald’s tweet is inappropriate at best and, at worst, it capitalizes on the sensation of a tragic story.”

Actually, at best it’s McDonald’s deflecting some horrific PR by genuinely, sincerely praising a hero. That would be “at best.” I mean, can you think of anyone besides McDonald’s who might be capitalizing on the sensation of a tragic story? The entire media, perhaps? You, Mr. Seamus McKiernan?

Here’s what I think – you couldn’t think of anything to blog about, so you obsessed over a McDonald’s tweet. Me? I don’t have to think of anything to blog about – I got you, buddy.


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Rise Of The Bacon Hipster

hipsterThe awesome thing about hipsters is that none of them will admit they are hipsters, so they can’t get directly mad at you for piling on them.

Usually though, they’ll register a sort of general lack of approval at the word itself. Psssh – I don’t like the word hipster, and not because I’m worried I might be wearing the label around my neck, but because the word itself is so frequently misused to describe someone who likes art and microbrew beer and very, very Specific Kinds Of Everything.

Yes – that’s hipsters all right, and yes, we’re talking to you. Rolling your eyes right now? Then yes, you, too.

They’re easy targets, this crowd that’s so weirdly proud of their inability to enjoy anything that isn’t exactly, perfectly, politically, aesthetically the way they want it. The only reason we’re not like them, is we’re too dim to understand what we’re missing.

Then there’s bacon, which has been enjoying a recent surge in popularity as people so frequently, so publicly express their love for it. You see people belting it out online all the time – I Love Bacon!

Memes, posters, Bacon-flavored vodka. The Baconator. Obnoxious radio commercials. After a while, you get a little sick of hearing about it – yes, I love bacon, too. Settle down.

nihilists2It’s a sort of nihilism, it seems to me. We all know bacon is bad for you, and so barking out our love for it is like saying, “I don’t care how bad it is. I live dangerously. I eat it anyway without guilt or remorse.”

Really, if you’re planning to use your body for something later that morning, bacon’s not that bad. But most people aren’t. Just bacon and naps and beer and cake. Nihilism.

Which is perhaps at the root of what I find so irritating about this Bacon Hipster Article – Bacon Mistakes To Avoid: How To Cook Bacon.

In it, we learn that while we are so much in the throes of nihilism that we’re cranking down bacon and shouting about it from the rooftops, we are actually doing it wrong. Why, you ask? By whose standards?

The Bacon Hipsters over at HuffPost Taste, that’s whose!

Let me just walk you through their obnoxious little lecture about how much the rest of us suck at cooking bacon.

1 – We’re cooking it cold, the Hipsters tell us. Then a little mini-lecture in which they rephrase that in unnecessary mini-lecture format. Guess what happens the first few minutes its in the pan? Yes, it stops being cold. Not good enough, the Bacon Hipsters tell us. Huh. Well why do we like bacon if we’ve been cooking it too cold? Psssh. The Bacon Hipsters can only imagine.

2- Don’t start the bacon off in a hot pan. I mean, okay – I wasn’t doing that anyway, I just never considered it to be a stroke of genius on my part. But just because I don’t like this article, I went ahead and tried it last weekend. Cold bacon, hot pan. Excellent bacon, everyone agreed. Maybe bacon is not quite like fine French wine – who knows?

3 – Don’t crowd the bacon, they insist. Which is great, unless I’m making bacon for ten people and I don’t have six skillets to work in. When you make a lot of bacon at once, you have to move it around a lot. Pay attention to it. Sure, it’s easier if you’re making six slices of bacon and you have room to cook it like grilled cheese sandwiches. Quite a mess for six mouthfuls, but sure.

I make the shit by the pound, but by all means – proceed with your soul-soothing, meditative fly-fisherman approach, Bacon Hipsters.

irritating4 – Then they weirdly tell us not to pile the bacon on top of other bacon. Yes, that would be number three again. Are you guys serious? There’s nothing magical about seven, just make it six rules, Hipsters. That’s a blogging tip for you, Mistakes You’re Making Blogging About Bacon.

5 – Buying cheap, thin, sad bacon – here they tell us all about how we should buy better bacon and it will be better. No shit, dudes. Ya think? Thanks. “Once you’ve had quality bacon, you’ll never blah, blah, blah,” they tell us. Actually, no, that’s just you, being a whiny little princess about your bacon, sir. You and I differ, it seems, on how grown men approach their breakfasts.

6 – Another pro tip – don’t burn it. Really? My goodness, thank God you showed up, Bacon Hipsters! Down here among the Morlocks, that never occurred to us. Say, isn’t that true about ANYTHING you cook?

7 – Throwing out the bacon fat – they actually refer to this as a “cardinal sin,” which is another Hipsterism – mistaking yourself for the Pope of something. We should feel ashamed of not keeping the fat, even if we think it’s gross, even if we figure we got enough bacon fat eating our bacon. Even if we don’t feel like cooking artichokes in it later, or whatever they’re talking about in Bacon Princess Land here.

Sure, you can use the fat – I used to put it on my cat’s food when he started getting skinny. Or you can throw it out, because You Bought The Bacon, And You Can Do Whatever The Hell You Want With It. See how that works?

These are the folks sitting around smelling their beers and then talking about walnuts and raspberries and shit. Please, tell us more, Bacon Hipsters! I wish to walk among the upper echelons of Bacon Artistry and be known amongst your peers as an equal. Where might I find a suitable stick to insert into my butt about it? Perhaps a handmade stick made locally out of organic walnut bark

The inherent problem is right there at the beginning of the article:

“Most of us have a pretty good idea of how to cook bacon. But we want great bacon. We all deserve great bacon. Let’s all agree to stop making these mistakes when we make bacon.”

Why on Earth do we need to all agree? Even if I’m just a complete moron when it comes to bacon, why does that matter to anyone else? Why does it matter to the Bacon Hipsters? Is my dumbass bacon somehow affecting these people, bothering them somehow? Lowering the metaphysical Bacon Bar of society?

Why don’t we instead all agree to mind our own business, worry about our own bacon, and stop it with the condescending, unsolicited bacon-cooking advice? How’s that sound, Bacon Hipsters?



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A Word About Drone Strikes

televisionIf the way you approach news is, you let your television barf into your brain and then you run around rebarfing whatever collection of sounds you heard out into the ears or onto the screens of anyone within your actual or digital reach, then you’ve probably been doing a lot of hand-wringing and lamenting about how Obama thinks he can drone strike you while you play cornhole.

Or perhaps you think that background checks would be a violation of your Second Amendment rights. (No, and I dare you to make me explain that to you).

Both of these things are clearly, demonstrably false. If you’re still saying them, then you’re wrong (best case), not very bright (sorry) or lying (Why?).

Most of the people I know fall under the first category – you’re simply uninformed. But you know, in the Internet Age, you shouldn’t be staying uninformed very long. Your convictions are pretty meaningless if you aren’t checking into them to verify their validity, or if you simply stick your fingers into your ears when someone calmly and efficiently explains to you that you’re wrong. That’s how convictions turn into lies and delusions.

Here’s an article on Forbes entitled Rand Paul Shockingly Now Supports The Use Of Drones On US Soil To Kill Americans-So What Was That Filibuster Thing All About? I’m not crazy about the unreasonably long title, but there, we get some quotes from Rand Paul, who famously filibustered old-school about Eric Holder’s announcement that sure, it was POSSIBLE Obama could order a drone strike on US citizens on US soil.

PresidentOf course, if you continue Holder’s paragraph, you’ll find that he was talking about extraordinary circumstances in which there’s not only a clear and present danger to national security, but also one in which all levels of local, state and federal law enforcement have somehow failed or are unable to address the threat, leaving the President in the weird, barely-precedented position of having to command the US military to enforce the laws. Holder specifically held up 9/11 and Pearl Harbor as instances of extraordinary circumstances.

So Rand Paul filibustered – not the normal Republican way, where they hold up a Filibuster Card and then nobody filibusters, we all just agree they extra super duper would have – but actually by talking. Admirable, except a great thing to talk about would have been the end of Eric Holder’s pargraph, which addresses every single problem Rand Paul has with drone strikes on US citizens.

In fact the article lays out clarifying statements by Paul to Fox News (surprise) in which he says, well, I never said drones were bad, I would love to see a drone shoot a liquor store robbery suspect just as much as I’d love to see a cop shoot one. Cause he’s all for the Second Amendment, not so much for the Fourth. The Bill of Rights is like a salad bar, yes?

And then later he clarifies his situation by explaining:

““My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed, Let me be clear: it has not. Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations. They only may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat. I described that scenario previously during my Senate filibuster.”

Which. Is. What. Holder. Said. In. The. First Place.

Rand Paul was the one talking about drones-n-liquor store robberies.

Nonetheless, millions of Americans are still carping about how Obama wants to drone strike them. And it’s in on this leg of our journey that one moves from “mistaken” or “uninformed” to “not very bright” or “lying.”

You know what’s funny is, I am all for drone strikes in the outrageous scenario Holder was talking about. We know the President can order nuclear strikes for instance, missile strikes. He can send a team of Navy SEALs to put a bullet in your head.

Ah, but not US Citizens – not on US soil, right?

Well, why not? I mean, certainly not under normal circumstances, but Holder and Paul both agree, in extraordinary circumstances like 9/11, where there is an imminent threat, things change. What if terrorists hijacked another airplane full of civilians and they were headed for downtown New York again. We had six minutes to shoot it down before it got over the city.

Don’t you think the President can have that plane shot down? Don’t you think he should? Or do you figure – post 9/11 – that the terrorists are bluffing?

Suppose the Boston bombers were holed up somewhere, still lighting off bombs like Dr. Claw. They’re US citizens on US soil – can we drone strike them, or do we have to lose a few SWAT guys getting in the door? Why would Obama be ordering such a strike – well, Holder explained that he wouldn’t be, unless somehow every other branch of law enforcement failed.

A zombie apocalypse erupts in Hawaii, and there’s no way to contain it – isn’t it time for a nuclear strike on civilians on US soil? I mean, zombies are technically possible, they’re just very, very, very unlikely.

Holder’s problem was he answered the question too accurately – Sure, it’s technically POSSIBLE in the right set of crazy ass circumstances – when he should have realized he was talking to a vast army of flipper-whacking seal people and simply said “No! Never forget 9/11! Go Bucks!”

Mission AccomplishedLike when Bush told us the terrorists “hated freedom” and that’s why they attacked us. Yes, talk to us like we’re toddlers, we love that.

Now suddenly Paul’s saying drones are cool for shooting robbery suspects, then clarifying that he was not, then agreeing with Eric Holder. In his filibuster, he was bullshitting us, plain and simple, and millions of people slurped it up like pigs at a trough.

I hate to be blunt, and I hate to call so many people morons, but the information is right in front of you, and you’re choosing to bark out the lies. You’re choosing to, so that’s on you.

I’m not even going to argue about it. Go on over and yell at the Forbes article – I just think it’s funny. The last election showed very clearly what happens if conservatives keep running the same play. Even with a struggling economy and billions upon billions of dollars against him, Obama handed Romney his ass in the most humiliating and hilarious way.

What we have here in Rand Paul is a nice new Tea Party Ralph Nader, eager to hamstring the right-wing and hand over the House to the liberals in 2014. Is that really what you guys want? Or do you think maybe you ought to start giving your fellow citizens a little more credit, and dialing down the jackassery a little bit? If Romney couldn’t win, there’s no way this guy will – ah, but he’ll drag the rest of you down, even the ones who are smart.

Well go right ahead, that’s my thinking – I’m certainly not going to stop him.


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Babies, Guns and Apple Pie

Imagine you’re walking down the street having a lively and constructive debate about gun control, and everyone in your entourage is as fulfilled and satisfied by the discourse as you normally are, regardless of viewpoints. Because that’s just the nature of America – open-minded debate, good-natured back-n-forthers and substantive issue analysis. It’s better than sex, so there’s a bounce in all of your steps.

Then you turn the corner and collide with another group of your fellow Americans, and they’re so embroiled in their own equally productive discussion about abortion – laughing, joking, validating the living shit out of each other in the most respectful and empathic way – that members of each group literally crash into each other. Mutual respect flies around like confetti.

And it’s just like the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials. You got Gun Control in My Abortion Debate! You got Abortion Debate In My Gun Control!

Yes, two great topics that go great together – abortion and guns. Just ask Texas Republican Steve Stockman, who recently tweeted exactly what he put on his campaign bumper sticker:


Now, this is a very complicated one, so I need you to turn down your record players and your “hi-fis” and concentrate. This is the kind of philosophical shit that injures thousands of people every year, and you are very fortunate that I’m a professional, just keep your hands INSIDE the blog post, don’t make eye contact with my dad, and everything is going to be fine.

It does seem very clear that if a fetus young enough to be aborted were called a baby, and if it had access to a firearm, and if it weren’t physically smaller than the average firearm, and if it were developmentally possible for a fetus to operate a firearm with intent, that it would shoot the abortion doctor. I think we can all agree that’s true, if all of those ifs were true. But those aren’t the type of ifs we normally associate with frogs without legs who avoid bumping their asses a-hoppin’. They’re big IFs. IFs so big, it’s impossible to tastefully entertain them. So we’ll skip that part, and you and I both know what would happen.

See, even when it’s time to actually give birth and women who don’t have bumper stickers that say “I Had My Baby At Home By Choice” have their epidurals and start singing theme songs from their favorite sitcoms and hitting on the dude who puts in the epidurals, they have to be dilated by ten centimeters. And if you don’t know what I’m saying there, then go ask your mom and I’ll wait here.

imagesCAGLNYKRGot it? Cool. The point is, in order to hit the abortion doctor, the armed baby is going to have to shoot through the mom regardless of how good of a shot the baby is. And how much practice can the baby have? And how did the gun get in there? Ewwwww.

Listen, I didn’t bring this up, go yell at Steve Stockman.

I mean, Texas is a Stand Your Ground State, so the baby’s on solid legal footing going after the doctor. But the mom? Well, that’s a complicated legal matter, but she’s not physically advancing on the baby; we’ll see how the courts rule on that one.

But it does seem that the birthing mother – who would no doubt be armed, this is Texas after all – has the right to shoot back, under the same Stand Your Ground clause. But if she has the right to shoot the baby, then what the hell were we talking about again?

Ah, yes. We were talking about the incredibly gross, tasteless and stupid bumper sticker that Steve Stockman is going to use to get re-elected, and how proud we are to participate in our time-honored tradition of political discourse.

Yes. Babies shooting people from the uterus. I’ll just be in the can if anyone needs me.


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Revenge of the Ghost of the Curse of Future Tom

Hello, Regular Tom.

I’m sure you’re suprised to see me here, just sitting in your darkened living room as you walk in the door, feet kicked up and comfortable as can be, drinking one of your beers, waiting on you like spies wait for James Bond. It’s been a long time, and I’d love to tell you you’re looking well, but you’re not. You’re not.

Kirk and SpockI had to burn up an entire solar system to get here; it’s WAY harder to talk to someone in the past than it is to talk to someone in the future. You want to talk to someone in thirty years you just go to Western Union and give them specific instructions to deliver your letter in exactly thirty years, like the Professor did when he taped Marty McFly’s letter back together and cheated death. Easy Peasy.

Coming back in time – not so much. A real pain. But I can see you need it – just look at you, a man who likes to bitch at me for not getting enough writing done, and here you are Facebooking, watching Doctor Who, talking about how once upon a time you broke the Curse of Future Tom. Talking and talking and talking, until suddenly you realize you’ve fallen under a new one. And I can see it from here, dude. This one’s not my fault – it’s yours. It’s yours and you know it.

You, with your Excuse Bucket you cart around on a two-wheeler wherever you go. You, with your fifty-hour work weeks and your bonkers divorce and your teenage kids and whatever else you have in there. Just dump the Bucket out and shut your mouth, Tom, that’s how much use those excuses are to me.

You know, a man named Christy Brown wrote and published five books, and he only had the use of his left foot. You might remember him from a movie, appropriately titled My Left Foot. IBM made him a special typewriter so he could get down on the floor and type with the only part of him that worked properly. How much of your body can you use again? Everything but your nose?

My Left FootYes, I know. What else did Christy Brown have to do all day but sit around on the floor with his customized typewriter. But you gotta assume that he typed slower than you, right? If he didn’t, well then that’s just something else to hang your head about. Oh did I mention he was a painter, too? Yes, Tom, your excuses. Are. Your own.

Listen, to me. I’ve been thinking these last few years, since you wrote me a public letter and forced me to write every day, and how far we went, and how that year ended and how you just let it. You blamed me for everything, but I’m an ideal. I’m the future. You’re the one who has to change us both, and I’m getting tired of sitting here, watching you do pretty much everything except what you’re supposed to be doing.

You’ve been sitting on four novels for ten years. Sitting on them like eggs that will hatch on their own. Every day goes by and you eat up a part of me, push me into the future a little more as I crap the days out behind me. And it’s getting harder and harder to believe that you’re going to finish up your day-to-day bullshit and blast out of your cocoon like a cosmic butterfly, that you’ll suddenly be me and we’ll be what we’re supposed to be – unless you can pull your thumbs out of your ass and get serious.

You and I both know – you won’t do it unless someone makes you, and as you get older I’m noticing that no one seems able to make you do very much. Oh, but I can. I’m telling you right now, you start writing every day again, every single day. You do it not for a year but until I say, “Stop.”

Until I tell you from the future, “Okay, we’re where we need to be. The Curse is forever broken and we are free.”

Q Billy the Kid







Ah, but Billy the Kid and Omnipotent Star Trek Being Q both agree on one thing: the trial never ends, and you have to test yourself every day or you get soft, and for you, change begins in your brain and ends at your keyboard, and when the cycle stops, so do you. So put down your beer can or at least take it over to your laptop, because I’ve come back in time to save your ass one last time. I’ve come to make you quit your bitching and do what the Universe created you to do. I’ve come to enslave you on the same day that I set you free.

You get back to work. You post every day, I don’t care how many words. You post every day, and you do it until you’re published to my satisfaction. You do it or I will start smoking cigarettes, or join a religion, or whatever batshit crazy thing I can think of that would be bad for you and drive you nuts.

The Curse of Future Tom is back upon you, old man. And you need it because you’re soft and lazy, and without it you’ll just sit there being a wiseass until you die. Without it you’ll settle for whatever’s on the table in front of you. Without it, you’re nothing and you know it.

Now light a fire in that Excuse Bucket, and get back to work.

That is all.


Future Tom


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Obama Vs. Osama Vs. You

When the hunt for Osama bin Laden began years ago, I’ll tell you where I thought he probably was:  Vegas.

I figured, he keeps releasing these videos of himself in front of a cave wall, and that’s all we know about where he is, so that’s probably false.  He’s probably kicking it in Vegas in a big crazy suite, and they put up a little cave wall sound stage and filmed videos once in a while, and then when he’s done, he takes off his turban and puts on a suit and some shades, and heads to the casino.  Who the hell would think to question a billionaire in the VIP lounge?

I remember the rumor even surfaced – is bin Laden in Vegas?  And then the Vegas police wisecracked, “We’ve checked all the caves in the area.”

Which of course, they hadn’t.  And also, of course, that would be a stupid place for a billionaire in Vegas to hide.

Suffice it to say, like most people, I’ve thought about this day and how it would play out.  How we’d react to the inevitable capture or killing of Osama bin Laden.

And now it’s here – and I don’t know how to feel.

Sure, no doubt – if anyone deserves a bullet in the head it’s this guy.  I’m not sorry we killed him, and I’m as always enthralled to the point of awe by our Navy SEALs and their mythical badassery.  But the problem is, nothing ever ends with a bullet in the head.  

Murder – even the murder of a murderer – is always, always, the beginning of something else.  We have not convinced any terrorist networks that they should leave us alone, of course we haven’t.  It’s the opposite.  And did we freeze any assets?  Disassemble any command structures?  Let’s be clear – I don’t know any of this, but neither do you. 

And what can I say?  I’m never comfortable celebrating death.  

I’ll tell you where I was when I got the news.  I was waking up this morning after a Nyquil coma, and my pal Shawn had texted me, and he said what I said already – Osama bin Laden is dead, and I don’t know how to feel.

Click on the television, log on to Facebook, walk out into the street, and I find all my reservations and fears walking the Earth in human form.  Mindless cheering and Super Bowl chants – USA!  USA!  Conspiracy theories hot off the presses.  And yes, you bet your ass, allegations that Obama not only does everything wrong including poop, he also kills bin Laden incorrectly, yes he sure does.

“I just think the timing is suspicious,” I must have heard a dozen times, and you know, it’s hard not to crack my skull in half screaming at a statement like that.  Because think about it for a half a second and you’ll see that in order to be suspicious about such a thing, you must believe that Obama or the United States in general had some kind of choice with regards to the timing.  That we could have killed Osama bin Laden any time, and chose to wait until right now because it made so much sense.

Except it doesn’t.  Politically, if this were a stunt, this is the worst possible time for Obama to drop the head of Osama bin Laden before the America people.  A better time would have been right off the bat, say, Day One.  Or if he needed time to get his staff in place before exercising the – in this theory – simple Kill Bin Laden Option, right about six months or so, when Health Care Reform was clunking through.

Or the midterm elections.  Or the 2012 elections.

There’s nothing going on right now, politically, to make this a good play – even if it were a “play.”

It would be awesome if bin Laden were the Joker and now we got him, and Gotham City was safe for all time, but all of that is comic book and silly.  Bin Laden was one head of a globe-spanning hydra, and make no mistake, two more heads are sprouting as I type, right from the stump.

Not saying he shouldn’t have died, and not saying I’m sorry he died – just that I draw the line at doing a little dance about it, because it isn’t the end of anything, and it doesn’t raise the World Trade Center from its ashes or thousands of innocent victims from their graves.

The bottom line is, we got the guy we were looking for.  But what that guy wanted more than anything was to divide this nation and watch it fall, just like the Twin Towers fell, and here we are, ten years later, and yes, we got him, but yes, we’re still divided and still falling, and how far away can we possibly be from hitting the ground?

If I had a couple of wishes it would be that we reflect with more solemnity on what it means to deal death from this patriotic deck of cards we hold, and that we all for once get behind our legally and decisively elected leader, and stand as a nation not just for revenge, but for an end to a need for this kind of killing.  For a real, introspective revolution to take place among every American, about what exactly we’ve been doing as a nation that makes people want to destroy us, and for us to reserve our cheering for the day when peace rears its head, instead of these horrific, gruesome touchdowns.

Videos of blood splattered on walls, American citizens chanting like WWF fans – I have to tell you my friends.  I’m embarrassed.  I’m embarrassed by us, once again.

And I’m probably as terrified as I’ve been since actual 9/11, because there are far worse things than airplanes in this world, and one thing is certain:  This.  Is. Not. Over.

You want to try and score points on Obama on this historic day, go ahead.  I’ll tell you what I would do if I were him – I’d be so sick of hearing it from the people I’m protecting that I’d decline a second term.  I’d just say you know what, I showed you my birth certificate, I ordered the strike that killed bin Laden, and I’m moving to Kenya now, and I’m taking the Secret Service with me, cause I get them for life – how do you like those apples?

That, in my opinion, is the level of respect we deserve from this guy.  It’s fortunate for every man, woman and child in America that Barack Obama is a better man than I am.


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A Red Ass For Tommy C.

Why thank you, Alert Reader and Facebook Friend Mystery Guy – I guess I asked for it when I said, “Hey Facebook what should I blog about?” 

How about the people responsible for the nuclear crisis in Japan, wondered the Alert Reader?  Do you think you could work up a nice red ass, sitting around thinking about them for a little while?  Since you can get angry about television shows and Twitter and Donald Trump?

First I thought, no probably not, because that was an earthquake and then a tsunami, and those things are nobody’s fault.  The end of LOST was somebody’s fault, you bet your ass, but I found it hard to think of earthquakes as somebody’s fault.

But I was kind of troubled by that conclusion.  How can a nuclear meltdown not be someone’s fault?

That would be a proverbial worst case scenario, and if it happens, and nothing went wrong, then we NEVER should have been doing this in the first place.

So that’s the first possibility – something went wrong and it was somebody’s fault.  Somebody – probably lots of people – deviated from the program, in whatever way they did, and those guys caused this.

I mean, the more I thought about it, very quickly I saw that earthquakes predictably occur over time.  And how long are nuclear reactors supposed to last?  It seems to me, you want them to last a long time, and it sure seems like I’ve seen a lot of earthquakes on the news.  There is absolutely no reason to assume there will not be an earthquake in the next fifty or a hundred years.

So you should have been building earthquake-proof nuclear reactors.  Again, if that’s not possible, then you should not have been building reactors at all – BECAUSE OF EARTHQUAKES. 

And these, I think we can all agree, were clearly not earthquake-proof reactors.

So that’s not the worst thing anyone’s ever done in the history of the world, but it’s right up there, and I don’t think it’s possible to come up with a punishment for it.  I mean, if it was a guy named Charlie Patterson, and we figured out it was him, that it was all his fault, what could we possibly do to him?  Kill him?  Torture him? 

I’m 100% sure that we shouldn’t be doing any revenge torturing, but I guess I wouldn’t object if you wanted to shoot him or something.   You’d probably be doing him a favor, and also I don’t argue much with people holding guns.  But I’m pretty sure killing him wouldn’t do us any good, either.

The problem is more pervasive than that.  Because the truth is, the fault doesn’t lie solely in human beings – it lies in corporations.

Corporations are doing this, and yes, I mean that in a general sense.  Corporations don’t have to worry about radiation or tsunamis – they can survive a direct meteor strike.  That’s why they weirdly aren’t concerned about earthquake-proofing their nuclear reactors.

These things are like a swarm of enormous, soulless cockroaches stomping across the planet and look around us – they are picking this place apart.

BP takes a shit in the Gulf of Mexico – and gets a nice sized slice of the very next deepwater drilling permit issued there.  Monsanto systematically redefines food, slowly and methodically over decades, until everyone’s proudly eating cloned, chemical-laden garbage and sneering at people who eat actual food.  Halliburton makes a killing off a trillion-dollar war, and then starts breaking off franchises.  General Electric writes off their mortgage losses – which I could have sworn the taxpayers covered for them – and therefore doesn’t have to pay taxes on their fourteen billion in profits.

We look for the people in the corporations when we look to blame – which is like blaming the bulb in the headlights of a car, when it hits you.

We could find the people responsible for this and we could execute them or imprison them or put them to work, or whatever we wanted to do, and it wouldn’t reverse what happened.  Nothing can ever make this right, not ever.

We’d be stepping on a cockroach.  The problem is in the walls.  In the hive.  In the hidden places where they grow and breed and plot.

We don’t need a punishment, we need a response, and it has to be more of an attitude of extermination than bug-squashing.  We need to realize – it’s not just these guys, at this plant.

It’s everywhere.  It’s absolutely everywhere.

And that leads me back to my first point – isn’t it possible that we shouldn’t have been doing this in the first place?  And if we shouldn’t have been doing it, then why were we?  And did a lot of people make a lot of money doing it?  And if we shouldn’t have been doing it, then why are other people still doing it – everywhere?

Here’s what I would like to see, and I think this would go a long way toward answering my Alert Reader’s question.  I would like to see a map of Japan, and I would like to see a big red pin sticking out of each failing power plant, and then I would like to see blue pins sticking out of the personal residences of all the executives of each plant. Blue pins on the places where the top-level nuclear plant executives keep their families.

My very grim and unpleasant hunch is that we will see wide, pinless circles around all of the reactors.  And if that’s the case, then they’ve known all along that this could happen, and they did it anyway.  That they kept the knowledge so that they could benefit from it while staying clear.  I would be very happy indeed if my hunch were wrong.

I think the next thing I would want, is I would want to see every goddamn nuclear power plant in the world on local maps, with a red pin and some blue pins.  And my friends, if we start to see a disturbing, hunch-like problem all across the world, then we are starting to approach the mindset we need in order to address a crime of this magnitude.

Because if these guys are making money off of power plants that they themselves won’t live near, then they’ve already decided long ago that what happened in Japan is fine as long as they’re in the clear.  And that’s the same attitude Monsanto has, and BP, and Halliburton, and General Electric – they’re always telling us either a) everything’s fine or b) we’re really sorry something went horribly wrong but everything’s fine now, so let’s move on.

These corporations are legal beings.  They’re entities.  And they don’t have to be intelligent because they control people with brains.

We’ve let them grow so huge that they can pay humans hundreds of times what they are worth, make them gods on Earth, and those humans will then interact with the rest of us in such a way to protect their unholy leviathan masters, the intellects of these humans, being worked like puppets by mindless things.

In answer to the Alert Reader’s question, I would start with a long list of every single corporation that had anything to do with the construction and maintenance and inspection and certification of this plant, and freeze their assets completely.  These are probably huge multinational companies worth billions and billions of dollars, and I admit – I have no idea if that’s feasible.

Then I would publicly execute the companies.

Not the officers, not the humans.  I would literally stream online, put it on live television, and I’d dissolve each company.  No idea how that would work, either.  A stack of papers?  A presidential declaration? 

I have no idea, but this would not be a legal process, it would be an act of war.  No doubt the laws protecting corporations are so strong that what I’m saying is practically absurd.  A state of legal anarchy is going to have to exist, all across the globe – we have to recognize corporations for what they are, and deal with them as a species.

Imagine how they would behave if screwing up on this scale meant that you as a corporation were ripped apart and distributed as meat.  Imagine if they really had to answer for their crimes with actual, legal death.  And not the money-gets-transferred-to-a-different-giant-company-with-the-same-executives kind of corporate death, no – the final kind, where you don’t exist anymore and everybody eats you.

With BP, we scolded them and made them put twenty billion dollars into what was basically a huge Swear Jar sitting on the coast, and then they started making commercials with acoustic guitars and people in BP suits wiping slime off of ducks in slow motion.  We for the love of God fined them.  And then moved on to something else.

As for the executives, the humans behind it all, I’d put them in radiation suits, and put them to work.  Even if all they knew how to do was carry buckets of water – get your asses down there and get to work.  And if they ever got things straightened out in Japan, I’d start shipping them to other nuclear plants, because you know that we have to check every single one of those things now, right?

I mean, right? 

In a perfect world, I would round up practically anyone who ever said that nuclear reactors were a great idea, and I’d have them working in nuclear reactors, doing whatever needed done to get them all humming or more likely, all turned off.

But you know something, that’s why I have a red ass, because we’re not going to do anything.  Watch us – we’re going to sit here like we always do, and when it comes time to vote we’ll ask about pretty much everything except the massive, soulless abominations crapping all over the world around us, and then flopping on top of us to waller in it.

What would I do if I could exact any punishment at all for Japan – I’d wave a magic wand and eliminate the very concept of the corporation, and then men and women could – and would have to -stand up and answer for themselves again, and the world would tumble into temporary chaos, legal and financial anarchy would erupt across the planet like a purifying fire, and the chips would fall where the chips would fall.

All of that’s happening anyway, you know – it’s just only happening to human beings, while the corporations grow like big, fat wriggling ticks on our scalp.

Thanks for the red ass, Alert Reader.  You have yourself a nice weekend.

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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Angry, Venomous Rants