Monday, January 31, 2011

The Big Game

So everybody likes a local-kid-makes-it-big story, and Aaron Rodgers starting the Super Bowl is exactly that story for this area. Pretty much everyone around here -- excepting, of course, Steelers fans -- are rooting for the Pack this weekend, regardless of their regular affiliation. Everybody at least knows someone who knows Rodgers.

It happens that my wife is a lifelong Packers fan anyway, since her family hails from Wisconsin, but as an added bonus, as an oral-surgery assistant a decade or so ago, she removed Rodgers' wisdom teeth, as well as those of his younger brother Jordan, who is currently at Vanderbilt. So we'll be rooting extra hard.


One assumes that 85% of the free world is with Milhouse'sMilbank's call to boycott the ongoing public martyrdom of Saint Sarah. I know I'm tired of talking about her, chronicling her misapprehensions, mischaracterizations, and calumniations. There's no denying that her fatuous nonsense has sucked the oxygen out of what passes for rational debate in this country. It's dragged what was already a bottom-feeder's game down to the level of a grub-eating reality-show fametard, which is Palin's true skill -- someone who will do anything for money and notoriety, and is able to get people to root for them, since just about everything in this country has devolved to a spectator sport.

But there is one great lie that can and should be clarified once and for all. That lie is that her detractors "hate" Palin, that they wish her literal, physical harm. Because political language is these days so polarized and polemicized, it's an easy lie to buy into.

I would be seriously surprised if, among all these blogonistas -- including myself -- that have beat up on Miss Thang lo these long 27 or so months, anybody truly hated her. I don't pretend to speak for others very often, but I'll bet money that the vast majority just wish she'd take her winnings and go the hell away. At this point, she's just a cartoon character, and an annoyingly popular one at that, like, say, Justin Bieber. But the difference is, Justin Bieber is not going around the country lying to gullible rubes and house-training them to vote even further against their own rational self-interest than they already do. Nor is Bieber writing books and starring in reality shows, both of which are not-so-carefully concealed platforms for which to spout the usual incoherent word salad of misguided political pronunciamentos. But the upshot is that it's hard to genuinely hate a cartoon character, you just want to not only change the channel, but know that you will see soemthing else when you do so. This broad is more over-saturated than our other favorite show, Dancing With People Who Useta Be Sorta Famous.

Palin has certainly mined a great deal of fandom with her thin-skinned persecution complex, but it's long past time someone called bullshit. The threats and acts of violence, the Nazi epithets and such like, are exclusively confined to the "right", to the extent that the anachronistic left-right construct still has any validity. There is no talk-show host or blogger on the "left" calling anyone a Nazi, or threatening Second Amendment remedies, or using crosshairs on a map/diagram as a checkdown visual. You know who else uses crosshairs? Anti-abortion fanatics, and they don't pussyfoot around with self-serving horseshit about "surveyor symbols". Say what you want about these fanatics, they fucking well mean precisely what they say, and don't try to dodge it.

But Saint Sarah needs to have both ways, all ways. And she is a saint, among her fans anyway, who have already bypassed the usual deliberative process of beatification and canonization, and anointed her outright, primarily for her ability to extend her middle finger to any and all who dare question or disagree with her. The complete lack of anything resembling substance is gravy to these window-licking fuckwits. And, as with Catholic saints, there is a verifiable miracle attributable to Our Lady of the Meth-Addled Welfare State -- she has never been wrong.

Think about it -- since we've gotten to know her, she has yet to say anything true or accurate or in remotely good faith, and despite all that, she has steadfastly refused, with the strength only a modern day Jeanne d'Arc could muster, to acknowledge -- hell, to even budge -- on any of it. Hell, the one thing she does seem to readily recognize is that the more obstinate she becomes, the more her legend grows in the hinterlands, where the unofficial coat-of-arms is a hunchbacked warrior (see what I did there, he's always got his back up! Hi-yo0o0oo!)

So I wish Dana success in convincing his fellow media humps to stop reporting on every twitterfart and undercooked opinion she floats. Usually these sorts of abusive, one-sided relationships are found with pimps and hos, the slapdown followed by the suckup. But it is really the corporate media that have kept her afloat, the bloggerati have merely commented pro or con on either her affability or aphasia.

The latter is definitely, as one might imagine, a full-time job. The fact that she has no clue wtf "Sputnik moment" might mean is just icing on the proverbial cake. Just when you think she's run out of stupid things to say, she goes and entertains you. Just like every other reality-teevee asshole.

Update: Sigh. She really does make it difficult not to loathe her, goes out of her way, in fact, to ensure it. But as usual, the jabbering throngs of dickless closet cases she speaks to are so much more loathsome. Not sure what these losers paid to listen to her shopworn bear-baiting and predictable schtick, but clearly they're not working nearly hard enough for their money. But it is a perfect place for her, evangelizing to a bunch of trophy-hunting freaks, warming up these inbred slobs for Larry the Cable Guy.

Maybe it is (as the anonymous commeter here notes below) time to give hate a real chance. A good place to start would be the Safari Club. I absolutely despise these skeevy fucks. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- hunting is fine, as long as you're filling your freezer. But people who just go out and kill things for the sheer joy of killing are fucking mental, and deserve every misery and tragedy that an entropic, uncaring void can visit upon them. I do sincerely hope that every one of them, the next time they go out to get their rocks off killing something, either the gun jams and blows up in their face, or just jams and allows the animal to step in, rip them limb from excruciating limb, eat their fill, and leave the rest for the vultures and beetles. Fuck these people right in the fucking neck.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Teachable Moment

So now that another tedious, utterly useless Prom Night has come and gone, and we have judiciously observed the meaningless rituals of political comity and kumbafuckingyah, whatever and ever, amen, let us propose a simple observation: somehow this thrashing dinosaur of a nation managed to go three solid weeks of fulminating endlessly about the motivations and ramifications of a deranged idiot slaughtering a crowd at a supermarket.

But I'll be damned if I heard anyone discuss even the possibility of devising some sort of system that might prevent said idiots from just lurching down to the nearest sporting goods shop, and purchasing a Glock and an extended 30-round clip, no questions asked, no nothin'.

Look, I like guns, I believe in the Second Amendment. I own guns, I know how to use them, and pretty much everyone else here in Alabama, California does as well. And it would certainly be unfair to punish the vast majority of responsible gun owners for the actions of a few deranged individuals. But that is quite a different matter than the insistence that everyone, regardless of temperament, should have equal access to them. I like cars, too, but I get that not everyone is capable of operating them (indeed, there seem to be more willfully reckless, stupid drivers than ever). Even an easy-to-pass test is better than no test at all.

Let's go out on a fragile limb and state categorically that a reasonable competency test is a handy, if certainly not foolproof, device to weed at least some of the yobbos out, provide at least some obstacle to mental patients. Of course this would also require a registration system, or maybe just a "moving forward" registration system, which would still leave some quarter-billion weapons out there free and clear. Not much to worry the NRA's purty little mouths about, but might actually prevent the next ward-o'-the-state from shooting up your nine-year-old at a fucking Safeway.

Before we know it, another "national tragedy" will take place, as it inevitably does. Someone will hole up in his mother's living room and take out a few cops, or they'll go public and shoot up a college campus, a shopping mall, whatever. And we'll have our public rituals, then go right back to what we were doing. It seems to be tacitly accepted as the cost of doing business or something. As long as it isn't us, or someone we care about, served up as target practice for the next lunatic asshole with an incoherent axe to grind. It should be a national embarrassment that volatile goofballs are allowed such easy access to such dangerous firepower, and predictably take out groups of innocents with such appalling regularity.

But because we and our betters in the beltway media are much more concerned with ceremonial pretenses of commonality, it is not even suggested. Nor will it be, until one of their asses gets blown apart by the next desert Pupkin.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Moron Better Democrats

Coupla points for the slow kidz out in Dummycratville:
  1. When you've shot your legislative wad on, ahem, health care reform (which, like the Holy Roman Empire, may in fact be none of those things), and you lose your supermajority through dickless dithering, and the belligerent new House majority launches a scud across your bow with "Job-Killing" in the title of the bill, your first response should be to call bullshit on that assertion, not whinge about its intemperance. Fucking grow a pair already. This is why people vote for Nader, not to mention Republicans, you cock-gobblers. Talk about bringing a spork to a gunfight.

  2. Sarah Palin, more likely than not by pure accident, did use "blood libel" more or less correctly, if you squint hard enough. The smart move in this case is not to spin your wheels parsing over the latent anti-Semitism of the phrase, but to send forth the appropriate media minions to muse aloud at the ability knack habit Palin has for turning even legitimate criticism into this twenty-four-seven persecution complex of hers. Just one (1) person needs to step up and say, "Look, honey, get off your fucking cross already -- the rest of us could use the wood."

Ah well. Maybe next election, or the one after, or the one after. The political system itself is Lucy with the football.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Trash Talk

Now, the Jets have gotten a bit full of themselves, but since my general rule thumb in the playoffs is Anybody But Brady/Manning/Rapelessburger, and Baltimore gave the game back yesterday, the Jets it is. But Brady getting called an "asshole" by a certifiable turd like Antonio Cromartie, who has apparently made it his goal in life to fuck/impregnate everything that moves, I dunno. On the one hand, I got your tuck rule right here, Tommy Boy; on the other, it doesn't seem right to get clowned by a guy with 9 kids by 8 women in 6 states.

So we'll see, but chances are the Jets bandwagon will stall right where it did last year. Pittsburgh's D does not give up rushing yards, so either Dirty Sanchez gets that noodle arm of his dialed in, or Rex "You Gonna Finish That?" Ryan and the boys are done for the year.

But at least they've kept it interesting. Meantime, I'll root for local hero Aaron Rodgers and his Packers to get past an overachieving Bears squad next week.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Angry Lo(ugh)ners

After all the usual hoo-ha over crosshair maps and Second Amendment remedies, and after all the Tucson victims have become useful totems for all sides concerned, perhaps the big takeaway from this weekend's events is how mundane it is anymore. Think about it -- the only thing that gives this story legs is its political context; without that it would be just another asshole shooting up another mall or whatever, and it would already have been forgotten.

The random-shooting-by-deranged-asshole seems to be a uniquely American phenomenon, not that most other countries don't have their incidents of lone nuts gaining notoriety the hard way. But we seem to generate them with alarming frequency, even for a large nation, but especially for a comparatively prosperous one. Violence in Third World countries and American metropolises predominates because people in those areas are frequently constrained in options.

But these suburban and rural commandos frequently have more options, yet choose to steep themselves in the toxicity of whatever's easiest, usually bad drugs and worse ideas. Arizona has always had a deep streak of yahooism, especially in its state politics but also in pretty much every square inch of real estate beyond the Phoenix city limits. It makes sense that something like this, should it turn out to be irrefutably political in nature after all, would happen in that state.

The desert landscape is beautiful, truly, but let's face it -- the people living out there have chosen to spend their lives in a wasteland of dust and scorpions and sweltering heat, while the urban areas live as if their water supply won't be gone in another 20 years, as the Colorado River continues to get siphoned off upstream. It takes a different breed of cat to live in Arizona, and there are some strange motherfuckers out in the boonies.

This useless prick that shot up the grocery store be-in, brave slaughterer of little girls and old women, is presumed to be mentally ill, though he damn sure well invoked the Fifth the second they started interrogating him about a possible Terry Nichols to his wannabe Tim McVeigh (which turned out to be the cab driver who dropped him off -- this fucking clown had a gun but no car.)

And of course on some level he must be, no rational person does this, yet the error is in presuming that his psychosis precludes any and all possibility of lucidity. After being told for several years by self-selected media clowns how Obama is about to institute a command economy and shuttle non-believers off to secret FEMA camps for RFID chip installation, somebody was bound to eventually do something about this imminent threat. Look, let's cut to the chase -- anyone who is sitting through Glenn Beck's teevee show, or buying Sarah Palin's "books", and attempting to glean some sort of coherent political analysis, is by definition mentally unbalanced. Law of averages, people, you get a couple million of these jokers, one of 'em's bound to snap.

In the end, it really doesn't matter what political ideology this jerkoff hewed to, because even reasonable speculation has revealed a great deal about some other folks. Here's the thing -- for the past two years we have watched a procession of increasingly crazy shit, the heightening of already volatile rhetoric, ever more disconnected from facts.

Declaring Obama a radical Moooslim Kenyan socialist, even after he faithfully catered to Wall Street thieves and continued almost all of Bush's most egregious policies. A former vice-presidential candidate schlepping around the country with a bunch of shopworn "don't retreat, reload!" slogans for the rubes, repeated ad nauseam, and endorsing House candidates via a map targeting opponents in crosshairs. A US Senatorial candidate threatening violent insurrection if the losers don't get their way.

Two dismal years of fist-shaking codgers disrupting town-hall meetings by incoherently screaming at their elected representatives. People strapping themselves with AR-15s to attend an event where the president is speaking, a previously (afaik) unheard-of notion. Faux News actively promoting the teabagger cause in a veil of fake populism, and hiring some of the loudest screamers. And so much more. Compared to what, the occasional antiwar protest, with the attendant burning of an effigy or two, and a guy with a Free Mumia tee-shirt.

So you gotta be kidding me that this all happened in a vacuum, that some disjointed and ineffective calls for self-admitted (and proud of it) war criminals Bush and Cheney to be indicted as such offset all this toxic guff these bozos have been leaking from every orifice. There has been an abundantly clear pattern of abusive, vituperative chunder and eliminationist rhetoric, not just at the usual soapbox levels but all the way up one side of this rotted edifice. These dopes try on their little tough-guy poses, getting all Travis Bickle on the full-length mirror before trying it out on unsuspecting passersby. They can't help themselves.

Something will come along, next week, two weeks, to fill this collective emptiness this society has carved between its ears, and out of its heart. And this will all be but a dim memory, another piece of meat for rabid dogs to fight over for our amusement and the Bickles to posture and preen, and pretend that this was a Second and/or First Amendment issue.

The main thing worth remembering is that the real victim here was Sarah Palin. Just ask her.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hamsters on a Wheel

Let's cut the proverbial shiznit, a'ight? The "downturn" does not affect everyone, only almost everyone. But not anyone who matters. Have you checked the Dow lately?

The rentiers and grifters and credit default swap scumbags who lawn-darted the economy in the first place are making just as much money as they ever were. And fuckin' A if they don't practically seethe with pure contempt at the peons who dare question their deeds, their judgment, the consequences of their noble actions.

They get all bent about how hard they slave for what they earn, as if 70-hour weeks in an air-conditioned skyscraper with a supply of The Macallan and Ketel One and on-demand blowjobs from the secretary is such a tough ride compared to some unlucky schmuck who has to work three menial, stultifying jobs just to make rent. It does not seem to even occur to them how fucking galling that is to people who are not quite lucky or clever enough to have mastered the black art of corporate bookmaking, and therefore must actually work for a living.

The, ahem, "philanthrocapitalism" is all well and good, but perhaps doing things that actually have impact on this nation's most persistent economic affliction -- its banana republic level of income disparity -- might alleviate the resentment that troubles them so. Failing that, they could always make good on their threats to go Galt on us. Really, I just don't know how the rest of us would manage without being forced to bankroll their collateralized debt obligations.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Second Amendment Remedies

Nobody could have predicted....

Of course Mesdames Angle and Palin will rush to absolve themselves from any responsibility in this, and clearly this is a deranged individual (who of course must be allowed full access to firepower). No doubt one of their staunch defenders from the 82nd Chairborne will waddle forth with some sort of tendentious horseshit about how Ozzy Osbourne isn't responsible for every dipshit who kills himself with Suicide Solution playing.

But that is not this. This is precisely what Angle made a point of "rhetorically" warning about; this is the exact metaphor Palin chose to use for the entire campaign season. Well, someone locked and reloaded, honey; someone opted for that "Second Amendment [remedy]". How do you like it?

I do hope they're happy, Angle and Palin, if either of them even possess enough self-awareness to admit (if only to themselves) their role in this. More importantly, one or the both of them may slowly start to realize that they've got a tiger by the tail here, that the nasty guff they and their cohort have been peddling non-stop for two years has consequences when it reaches crazier ears.

But they won't, malignant narcissists never do. They just worry about how the blasting of Rep. Giffords -- and a judge, and a child, and others -- will affect them and their prospects.