This Shit Has Got to Stop!

Folks, I’m not naive.  I know racism isn’t going to be eradicated overnight.  But, seriously, WTF?!

It’s one thing to feel threatened by, and not embrace, people that aren’t like you (not that it’s acceptable, but I understand it – from a sociological perspective). But it’s entirely incomprehensible to act is if you’ve never SEEN a person of color before, or that they aren’t allowed to mow a lawn, sleep in a dorm, knock on a door, or frigging have lunch!

There’s no question that the cretin in the White House has emboldened these people, but what is their end game? Yeah, it’s fun to harass people you don’t like, but I can’t imagine the cops are pleased with you when they have to show up and deal with this nonsense.

If I can paint in massively broad strokes, I suspect at least some of these people sport “Blue Lives Matter” stickers on their pick up trucks.  But if you really support law enforcement (instead of just claiming you do – because it’s code for “I don’t mind that cops shoot blacks”), stop wasting their time.  Stop pulling perfectly good cops away from situations where they may need to provide assistance to someone in need – including one of their own!

And if you you genuinely feel threatened by a middle schooler mowing lawns or someone minding her own business, or taking a nap, you are definitely the biggest pussy that ever lived.

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Guns don’t kill people, 4-year olds kill people

Where’s the good 4-year old with gun when you need him?

 

 

 

 

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They’re Called “Smart” Phones But Any Imbecile Can Own One

I can’t believe this even needs to be said, but for the love of everything good and decent, when you a see stranger in distress, put down the effing phone and go help!

Here’s a story guaranteed to make your blood boil.  Its’ horrible. It’s atrocious. It wouldn’t have happened in an alternate reality where anyone other than Trump is President. But even in this corrosively toxic environment that he has created, you’d think there would be a limit to how far people would go. Who beats up a frail 91 year-old?!

And yet as troubling as this account is, I’m reserving my ire for the bystander. Witness this quote: “When I tried to videotape her with my cell phone, she threw that same concrete block, tried to hit my car.”

When you tried to videotape her?!  Jesus friggin Christ.  What was your next comment, “ultimately, I’d like to direct”?

I’m sure it’s hard to throw yourself into the fray and risk your own bodily harm. And given the use of the term “videotape”, I’ll assume this was no spring chicken. But how about shouting at the assailant to stop? Or calling police?  Or trying to get other bystanders to help you?  In fairness, we don’t necessarily know that this woman didn’t do any of those things.  But if the internet is any indication, she likely didn’t.

Yes, technology is here to help us. Yes, it’s good that we can capture video evidence that helps  prosecute bad people. But folks, there’s only one Zapruder film. You’re not the next Ken Burns.

Next time get your 15 minutes of fame by doing something like this guy.

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Boo Friggin’ Hoo

Poor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  Sounds like she is persona non grata at the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia.

So, what can we learn from this –  other than that the owner of the Red Hen is my new hero?  Well, for starters, we know that Sanders is every bit the thin-skinned hypocrite that her boss is.

Witness this tweet from the POTUS’s spokeswoman …communications directormouth piece chief lying sack of shit:

Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.

Let’s break this down in two pieces.

First, anyone that has ever seen a White House press briefing knows that the second part is pure horse crap. The disdain with which Sanders and rest of the Trump cadre treat not just those with different views, but even those with the temerity to ask the administration to defend their own positions, is on display daily. The overt disingenuousness here is astounding. Like all bullies, Sanders has no problem attacking others, but yet quickly plays the victim when the slings are aimed her way.

Second, it really doesn’t say more about the owner than Sanders.  What it says about the owner is: at worst she’s petty.  At best she has balls.  Contrary to most business owners who never pick sides lest it affect their bottom line, this woman felt principled enough to take action.

Conversely, what it says about Sanders is that she’s ignorant and tone deaf to real America. She’s not nearly as politically astute as she thinks she is if she doesn’t understand that  good, decent people everywhere are outraged by things like state-sponsored separation of parents and children. Sanders is so busy placating Trump who is so busy placating his base that she seems to have lost all moral fiber, assuming she had any to begin with.

Facing a backlash from people of conscience shouldn’t be a surprise to Huckleberry Sanders.  She’s sold her soul to Donald Trump. She trades in dishonesty and habitually  insults the very notion of democracy and a free press. It should come as no epiphany that her betrayal of decency evokes a strong reaction from people with still-beating hearts.

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This Is Why Nobody Likes You Hillary

For Boston sports fans, two really horrible things happened in 1986.

Most everyone recalls the baseball that rolled through Bill Buckner’s legs in October. But in June, just a couple days after the NBA draft, which itself was just a couple days after another Celtics championship, their first round pick Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose.

Somehow or another the great Celtics GM Red Auerbach always managed to bilk some team in a trade.  Despite being the best team in the league, the Cetics, already stacked with talent, had the second pick in the entire draft.  They used that pick on Bias, a 6′ 9″ forward from the University of Maryland.

Because that ’86 Championship was the last the Celtics would see for a long while, many Boston fans contended that if only they had Len Bias there would have been a few more. The refrain seemed to last forever, and is reminiscent of the far-right chant of “thanks Obama” as an explanation for everything from the price of Budweiser to the heartbreak of psoriasis.

No matter that the Bulls ended up with Jordan and Pippen, or that the bad boys from Detroit had a rebounding machine in Dennis Rodman and a hall of fame point guard in Isiah Thomas, or that Houston had Olajuwon and San Antonio had the twin towers of Duncan and Robinson.  Nope. If the Celtics only only had Len Bias surely they would have bested all of the above.  No matter that Larry Bird’s back was falling apart and Bill Walton’s career was essentially over.  Nope, all they needed was Len Bias.

The “what if they had Len Bias” lament became so prominent that it became a standard punchline even decades later – well after what would have been Bias’s inevitable retirement.

And so class, that brings us to today’s topic.  James Comey is Hillary Clinton’s Len Bias.

Hillary is the Democrat’s version of the old white guy in his red MAGA t-shirt at a Trump rally holding a sign with misspelled words and thinking that Obama is responsible for sending his job to Mexico, or China, or one of those countries where they let little girls get married.  Never mind that he lost his job ’cause his own state never spent enough money on book learnin; and that (if his state is Mississippi) his own daughter can get married at 15. Introspection doesn’t seem to be her strong suit.

Regardless how many flaws Hillary has, and regardless how many miscalculations and underestimations her campaign made, she and her apostles will go the their graves blaming only Jim Comey.

Sure, Russia tampered in the election. Sure, Bernie Sanders constantly polled better against Trump. Sure, Hillary never visited Wisconsin. Sure, she was saddled with both Obama’s and Bill’s baggage. Sure, she lacks charisma and came across as a shrill shrew. Sure, there was a lot of latent (and blatant) sexism involved. And sure, the electoral college might have outlived its useful shelf-life. But, by God, had it not been for Jim Comey she would have won.

James Comey: at 6’8″ he’s an inch shorter than Len Bias, but as an urban legend he stands just as tall.

 

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Fuck You Marco Rubio

Another school shooting. Another dozen and half innocent people dead.

The disingenuous bleat of the NRA toadies all sending thoughts and prayers. Fuck your  thoughts and prayers. Fuck your hand wringing.  Fuck you Congress – don’t ask me to shed a tear when someone shoots your kids.

And Fuck You Marco Rubio. You’re a piece of shit to suggest that no law could stop these mass murders. It’s likely the only thing that will.

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Put Down the Mobile Device, You’re Not Helping

There’s a lot of shit going on in the world today.

It seems like every generation says this. We always think that what we have to deal with is somehow more complicated and burdensome than our forbearers. Yeah, I’m worried about the orange-faced narcissist in the White House pressing the red button with his infamously small fingers.  And I’m worried that the social safety net that has been part of what has made this country great since at least FDR, is systematically being dismantled at the hands of a few alt-right ideologues.

But the Vietnam war, civil rights activists being lynched, mustard gas in WWI…. Slavery. There’s been a lot of fucked up stuff in every generation.

Having said that, there really is a lot of shit going on in the world today.  And the internet (Exhibit A for why we can’t have nice things) – enjoy the download speed while you still have it – only makes things worse.

The political dialogue in the country is the most toxic I’ve ever seen it. The internet only exacerbates it (as I was typing this, a combination of fat fingering and spell check momentarily had “sexacerbate” on my screen – so yeah, I coined that phrase).

We no longer sit down across from our neighbor at a cookout or talk to him across the fence and have respectful conversations. I know this sounds like a hokey notion from Mayberry circa 1950, I’m not suggesting we have to try to live in a bygone era. But, Good Christ!  Let’s at least take a collective breath before we go running to Facebook and trying to dress-down or one-up some stranger’s uncle from Eau Claire.

You wouldn’t know it, but the internet wasn’t created just so we could all get more angry at each other. Not every Instagram post, tweet, or public comment has to be treated as the next front in a culture war.

I’m honest enough to admit that I can get riled up with the best of them.  I’m not sitting here wanting to buy the world a Coke.  I’m simply saying that not everything has to be treated with the wrath of Curt Schilling when his daughter was cyberbullied.  By the way, I’ll allow that one.  I’m not fan of Schilling, but I’m fan of dads and daughters, even if it means a little frontier justice once in a while.

So, if you’re one of those online jihadists who, rather than acknowledge that you might agree with someone 98% of the time, chooses to treat the other 2% as a chance to use your caps lock button or affix a hashtag to something, remember: social media apps are like a nuclear weapon; or a sex toy on a first date.  Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Case in point for all of this – Matt Damon. Damon supposedly said, “There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” Now he’s taking a lot of heat for it.  But, I agree with him. I mean, there is a difference, isn’t there?

If you’re predisposed to look for a fight, you can find one here.  If you want to act as though Matt Damon is not sensitive to any kind of unwanted sexual advance, you can. But you’d have to ignore the story and read only the headline. If you read the story, you’d see that he also said the following.

Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated…

and

When you see Al Franken taking a picture putting his hands on that woman’s flak jacket and mugging for the camera, going like that, you know, that is just like a terrible joke, and it’s not funny. It’s wrong, and he shouldn’t have done that…

and

… the fear for me is that right now, we’re in this moment where at the moment — and I hope it doesn’t stay this way — the clearer signal to men and to younger people is, deny it. Because if you take responsibility for what you did, your life’s going to get ruined.

All of these seem like reasonable statements. But the last of them seems especially perceptive, even if potentially apologistic. It’s a good point and worthy of consideration in the public dialogue, especially if we want the next generation of boys to be the ones to take responsibility for eradicating this stuff.  In some cases ruining someone’s life might actually be the appropriate response. But can’t we at least talk about it first?

Unfortunately, the internet – where every infraction is a capital offense and every disagreement calls for a boycott – wasted no time in meting out its special breed of derision and scorn.

Trust me, I’m not shedding tears for men like Franken just because they didn’t bend someone over their desk and rape her like Matt Lauer did. I’m not excusing unwanted horrible behavior. I also think that women have been screwed so hard for so long that I can’t get upset if in some instances men might be punished more severely than necessary. Particularly if it’s a rich guy or a someone that abuses a position of public trust.

Women have been dealing with this shit for years.  And frankly, there’s something entertaining about seeing the next dirtball get his public comeuppance. But it’s particularly incumbent upon those on the right side of the issue to not portray all of these accusations as the same act.  As with anything else, there are differences of degrees and the distinctions may be subtle or overt.  It’s intellectually lazy to fail to understand that. But hey, I understand. You haven’t tweeted in the last few hours and you’re worried that you might not get as many follows if you don’t jump on the blood in the water.  But when you engage in this sexacerbating, you’re not doing anything to solve the problem. You’re just fomenting outrage where it probably need not be.

Sure, we could treat that creepy guy at the office who sneaks up behind a woman and rubs her shoulders the same as we treat Harvey Weinstein or a gymnast’s pedophile doctor.  We could also start cutting off hands for shoplifting and make Matt Damon wear a scarlet M for “Mansplainer” But why bother?

We’ve got the internet for that.

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