Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Libservative Republicrat

Man, we Americans sure love our labels. On a message board I frequent a user posted the following outdated pro-Bush email chastising “Liberals”:

Bush haters READ THIS!!
The following appeared in the Durham, NC local paper as a letter to the editor.

Liberals claim President Bush shouldn't have started this war. They complain about his prosecution of it. One liberal recently claimed Bush was the worst president in U.S. history. Let's clear up one point: We didn't start the war on terror. Try to remember, it was started by terrorists BEFORE 9/11.

Let's look at the "worst" president and mismanagement claims:
FDR led us into World War II. Germany never attacked us: Japan did. From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost, an average of 112,500 per year.

Truman finished that war and started one in Korea, North Korea never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost, an average of 18,333 per year.

John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us. I think history might show Eisenhower committed the troops and Kennedy was honoring that commitment. Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost, an average of 5,800 per year.

Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent, Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.

In the two years since terrorists attacked us, President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Lybia, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people. We lost 600 soldiers, an average of 300 a year. Bush did all this abroad while not allowing another terrorist attack at home.

Worst president in history? Come on!

The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking, but... It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51 day operation. We've been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records. It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Teddy Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.

It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!!

My response is was as follows:
What this letter to the editor blissfully ignores is that it's not about the body count... of course the body count is lower... we've got better weapons, better armor, and are fighting "insurgents", not an army. What I think most liberals take umbrage to is the fact that Bush lies repeatedly. 9/11 was a tragedy... (his administration ignored the warning signs)... but they quickly determined that it was Al Qaeda and Afghani terrorists responsible... so we invade Iraq?? WTF? Ah, but Saddam was a huge threat with his WMDs... which never materialized. And now with the release of the Downing Street Memos, we learn that the intelligence was being "fixed" so he could run with his personal agenda.

The writer of this letter completely ignores the real reasons that Bush is considered by some to be the worst president in history (if nothing else from an environmental and personal freedom standpoint!) and instead spouts Republican propaganda without ever addressing the real issues. Sheesh.

I'm also wondering how old this letter is... he mentions 600 soldiers lost... last I heard (this morning actually) was 1700. He also mentions that we "crushed the Taliban and crippled al-Quaida"... that's not what the US Secretary of Defense said this week.

Man... although I love America, sometimes I hate Americans.

Yes, I know it lacks my usual bitterness, but the original poster is actually a friend of mine, so I took it easy on him. I didn’t point out the inconsistencies of the letter’s spurious and specious arguments. For example, it states "John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us." Hate to break it to you Sparky, but Iraq never attacked us either. The entire argument is juvenile anyway; it's like a teenager being caught coming home after curfew and blurting "Sissy started smoking!" It's a feeble attempt to deflect addressing the actual issues by pointing out somone else's misdeeds. I get this tactic a lot from Bush supporters... "You hate Bush? So I suppose you think Clinton was a great president?!?" Wha huh? I don't know how you got from A to B, but methinks your train of thought made an unscheduled stop. I'd check for engine trouble. This letter to the editor is simply ridiculous, and the fact that my friend felt it was worth posting saddens me.

I mean fer chrissakes, it’s saying that FDR was bad for bringing us into WWII. So… you’re saying that the Nazi’s extermination of the Jews and goal of world domination were a good thing? Yet Bush can do no wrong for lying and destroying our personal freedoms in the name of “protecting” us from terrorists. Lemme guess… white Republican from the South? Hmmm, velly interestink.

I say that last with a wink, as it leads me (finally) into the actual point of this essay. Another poster responded to me saying he was glad that I was actually able to discuss my opinion, rather than just start an argument. He then asked, “So are you a liberal or a conservative?” I responded that I was neither.

I prefer to think for myself rather than toe the party line. Any party. Obviously I lean more toward the left, but I don’t feel the need to quantify myself with a label. I just don’t need to belong that badly. I’m happy being an island unto myself, regardless of what the poets say. I can’t help but think that the political labels we use in this country are just another way to keep us divided and stop us from ever achieving true greatness as individuals or as a society.

Republicans/Conservatives: are all bible-thumping, redneck, racist, homophobic, war-mongering psychotic crackers who screw the poor over in favor of the rich.

Democrats/Liberals: are all limp-wristed, over-sexed, abortion-loving, socialist/Marxist/communist crybaby faggots who hate freedom and want the terrorists to win.

Are those last two paragraphs complete and utter bullshit? Of course they are. Broad generalizations like these should immediately be seen for the partisan drivel that they are. But a lot of people really think that way. Our elected leaders think that way. Or at least act like they do in front of the cameras. I can’t help but feel this is nothing more that a kind of political racism. Instead of instantly hating someone for no other reason than the color of their skin, and perpetuating stereotypes about them, we hate them for the political label they choose to wear. And continue to perpetuate the stereotypes.

In my opinion, the current Republican party seems to have been completely co-opted by the Religious Right, who’s agenda is not based on what’s best for this country, but rather on what they interpret a 2000-year-old fairy tale to mean. The current Democrats seem to have absolutely no balls whatsoever, and are too afraid to offend anyone to actually stand up for what they say they believe in. The Republicans are generally considered the conservative party, and the Democrats the liberal. Why on earth would I want to align myself with either of these clusterfucks? I think Lewis Black said it best:

“The Republicans are the party of bad ideas, the Democrats are the party of no ideas.”

I’m also inclined to agree with Chris Rock (yes I realize how sad it is that a large portion of my political commentary comes from stand-up comedians) when he says that no issue is truly black or white:

“…on some topics I’m conservative, on others I’m liberal. When it comes to crime, I’m conservative. When it comes to prostitution, I’m liberal!”

All joking aside, his point was that each issue, each social problem, each political agenda should be examined in and of itself, and not supported or decried in a knee-jerk nod to party loyalty. Let’s quit calling each other names and actually discuss the issues, and not the person. Am I a Democrat? No. Am I Republican? Hell no. Am I a conservative? At times. Am I a liberal? Fairly often.

The long and the short of it is that I’m an AMERICAN. I am perfectly capable of making up my own mind. One of the most basic intrinsic traits of being an American is the right (if not the duty!) to question my government. Try to keep that in mind before you pigeonhole me into whatever neat little package fits your worldview. Look beyond your waving flags and grownup pep rallies long enough to see the truth for yourself. You might be surprised at what you see when you’re actually willing to open your eyes.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Kids These Days

I knew I was getting old when this phrase starting actually making sense to me. Being childless, I haven't inflicted my offspring on the world at large and maybe that's why I feel it's all right for me rant about this country's youth. I'm in my 30's so it's really only been a couple of decades since I was a child myself. And I'll tell you, when I was 10 years old I was terrified of adults. Of GETTING IN TROUBLE. I would never have spoken to any grownup the way I hear some of these little monsters talk to their parents. Or to me, for that matter. Little fuckers.

When I'm in the supermarket and I see your fat little daughter turning purple as a result of her screaming tantrum I think to myself "Sweet! Here comes an ass whuppin'!" I mean my mom would have beaten the ever-living shit out of me for acting one quarter as obnoxious. And she would have been right to do it! But instead I hear, in that voice people reserve for puppy dogs and the lightly retarded, "Now Britney, I told you couldn't have a candy bar unless you finished your cafe latte." What the fuck is that?

Or at a restaurant when snot-nosed little Brandon is running around the tables screaming like a Tasmanian devil on a coke binge, and I catch the bedraggled parent's eye and they give me that "What can you do?" look. I'll tell you what you can do... you grab the little fucker by the throat and shake some fucking sense into the mongrel. And if you're not willing to punish your children, then fer chrissakes let me do it!

Look, I'm not advocating violence against children. Child abuse is one of the few things that I really can't stomach. It's an evil, vile, tragic, disgusting practice. But there's nothing wrong with the occasional spanking. There's no harm in teaching your rugrat that there are consequences to his actions! It's not bad to teach the troglodytic fruit of your loins that they should be respectful of others' feelings, especially when in public. When did we forget that in this country?

And another thing... there is no justifiable reason for giving your pre-teen a cell phone. I'm mean jesus, is it really that important for your child to be kept up to date on the latest Justin Timberlake song? Are they expecting an urgent call from the president? For fuck's sake, let your kids actually BE kids, while they can. I mean, we give our kids cell phones and personal computers and credit cards. We let television raise them. Little girls are walking around in padded bras and mini skirts and makeup. When the fuck did I step into this pedophilic Twilight Zone?

I read an article many years ago that talked about the invasion of television into our very psyches. It brought up one point that really struck me as sad, that has stuck with me for all these years. It said that 20 years ago (from when the article was written) if you asked a child to describe a jungle to you, you would get vastly different replies. The kid would actually have to use his imagination, and create his personal idea of a jungle and find a way to articulate it to you. But if "today" you asked a child the same age to describe a jungle, you'd get a Tarzan or Tomb Raider movie regurgitated to you. We're telling our kids that they don't really have to think for themselves anymore, because television will do it for them. And according to t.v., society wants them to be beautiful, shallow idiots with lots of bling.

So please parents, control your hellions. Teach them to respect their elders (when such respect is deserved) and to respect their community. Teach them to think for themselves, and not to be so quick to become another generic soulless consumer. Teach them that if they don't straighten up their act, they might just get a little visit from crazy old Uncle Joe, and he will be infinitely less forgiving than their brain-dead parents.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Root Directory of All Evil

How the Internet Got Me Hooked on Crack and Turned My Trick Ass Out

Not me not me, bo bot me, banana fanna fo fot me, me my mo mot me… NOT ME!

What the hell happened to the concept of personal responsibility in this country? Our children are uncontrollable hellions, and it’s all the fault of those insidious video games. Our religious leaders bugger little boys and it’s quietly brushed under the rug for years. Our intrepid political leaders tell bigger and bigger and lies, engage in illegal wars, destroy the environment, and commit crimes against humanity… and then just sort of shrug their shoulders and smirk. They’re not worried, they know they’ll never be taken to task for their misdeeds, because no one in America is ever responsible for their own actions. We are taught from a very early age to look outside ourselves to find the basis of all of our problems. It wasn’t my fault, it was the drug addiction/my dysfunctional childhood/road rage/that Twinkie I ate for dessert… the Internet! Yeah, that’s it… I blame the Internet!

There’s a group of wacko religious types (redundant much?) in Texas who claim “The Internet is a cause for addiction and sin while taking away traditional family values. Our children are being exposed to filth that causes sexual tendencies and drug addiction.” Just reading those two sentences makes my head want to explode. Twice. Thankfully these troglodytes uncovered the seldom seen “Thou shalt not surf porn” commandment that so many of us overlooked lo these many years. And “sexual tendencies”? Not deviant sexual tendencies… not abnormal sexual tendencies… they’re not afraid of perversion, they’re afraid of sex in general. The irony is that I’d wager dollars to donuts that no one in their right mind would want to fuck these people anyway. And I would simply love to hear how they make a correlation between the Internet and drug addiction. They must have found that website that sends heroin direct to your door overnight for a nominal fee. And the fuckers won’t even post the link.

But the best part is how they’re trying to get their message across. In case you haven’t figured it out already… they have started an ONLINE PETITION. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

Don’t these neo-puritanical fucktards realize that there is an on/off switch on their computers? That no one is forcing them to subscribe to an ISP? That they have to power to not own a fucking computer in the first place? That as parents they have the right and the responsibility to control their fugly repressed little offspring? Ah, but even if their own homes were made safe from the big bad drug dealing, boner-inducing Internet, they’re afraid the rest of the country might still enjoy themselves. And lord knows they can’t have that! They are the self-appointed Family Values Traffic Cops. You see, if they can’t arrogantly impose their outdated, shortsighted, closed-minded moral system upon the rest of us, then we “ain’t gwine up to hebbin!” It doesn’t matter if we share their belief system. They have decided they know what’s best for everyone, so if they don’t like it, it has gotsta go!

It’s not like there’s actually anything to worry about. As a general rule, e-Petitions are a complete
waste of time. Still, I keep hoping to wake up one morning to find that the UCAWWW (United Coalition Against the World Wide Web) is a prank being played on us by some 13-year-old hacker in Duluth. The truly scary part is that I can easily believe that some bible-thumping biddies in a Southern state really would think this way. So just in case, here’s a few new commandments for the modern age you ladies in Texas may want to consider:

I. Thou hast the ability to turn off electronic devices
II. If thine Internet offends thee, thou mayst walk away
III. Thou art probably too stupid to own a computer anyway
IV. Keep thy Lord to thy fucking self

Thursday, June 09, 2005

As Seen On TV: The Movie!

Yes ladies and gentlemen, Hollywood is officially out of ideas. The last decade or so has seen the rise of nearly countless (and almost universally reviled) big screen versions of televisions shows, which in most cases weren’t all that great to begin with. The Little Rascals, McHale’s Navy, My Favorite Martian, The Avengers, Lost in Space, and Wild Wild West, are just a few examples of this incomprehensible phenomenon. Note that according to the Internet Movie Database these “films” scored an average of 4.25 stars out of a possible 10, with “Little Rascals” the most polished of these turds with 5.2 stars. The Brady Bunch movie actually scored higher, but I omitted it from this list as thinking about that movie makes me stabby. More recently it was the two “Charlie’s Angels” snooze-fests and the so-so Starsky & Hutch. (I must admit this last one is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine; I have seen it twice on cable, and neither time did I attempt suicide.)

This summer we’re going to be subjected to two more:
Bewitched and the Dukes of Hazzard. Lucky us! Where’s a Futurama suicide booth when I really need it? Although I still wouldn’t pay to see it, at least Bewitched has a modicum of a chance at being decent. Will Farrell is just so damn likeable, and Nicole Kidman doesn’t bug me either. But dear lord, the Dukes of Hazzard? Although I am amused that Cooter's all hepped up about them sexin' up his ol' family show, but why do studios insist on pumping out movies that are practically guaranteed to lower the intelligence level of any audience that watches them? What coked-up, Evian swilling, prostitute boffing sleazoid greenlit this smoking pile? I can see it now…

INTERIOR, studio executive’s office. Wide shot of EXECUTIVE splayed on leather couch, Armani pants pooled around his ankles. The bleached-blonde head of male PRODUCER bobs enthusiastically in EXECUTIVE’S lap as we PAN IN.

EXECUTIVE: Have you seen the latest demographics? We’re losing Middle America. We can’t get the sheep to shell out 15 bucks to see “Crash”. It’s just too deep for the American public. Ditto “Cinderella Man”. The critics love ‘em, but those fuckers don’t have to buy their tickets.

PRODUCER (offscreen): Mmmph. ::slurp:: Grrbbll prrmph grmpbst.

EXECUTIVE: We need something that’ll appeal to the mainstream Red Staters. Is there any way to get a sequel out of Passion of the Christ? No, Gibson would want to direct again, scratch that. But besides religion, what else appeals to hillbillies? Wait! I’ve got it! Beverly Hillbillies, the Movie!

PRODUCER: Prbtth krmff grmmps fnnrk!

EXECUTIVE: Oh, that’s right, we did that already. And it flopped. What was the gross on that?


EXECUTIVE: Yeah, that’s dismal. Plus, there was really no crossover marketing. What were we going to sell? Granny’s bonnets? Ellie Mae’s daisy dukes?

CLOSEUP of EXECUTIVE’S face as his eyes widen and a large grin splits his face.

EXECUTIVE: Yes! That’s it!!

CUT TO PRODUCER as EXECUTIVE’S knob slips from his mouth.

PRODUCER: You have an idea?

EXECUTIVE: No, I’m about to come! Don’t stop you fat pig!

TIGHT SHOT on EXECUTIVE, whose eyes roll back in his head in orgasmic bliss.

EXECUTIVE: Aaaaaahhhh! That’s better. So where were we? Hillbillies… daisy dukes… fat pig…

EXECUTIVE & PRODUCER (simultaneously): DUKES OF HAZZARD! They give each other a high five.

PRODUCER: That’s fucking brilliant boss!

EXECUTIVE: Of course it is. That’s why I’m in charge. I’ve noticed you’ve started swallowing by the way.

PRODUCER: Yeah, I’m on Atkins now. Protein’s where it’s at. Should I get started on the casting?

EXECUTIVE: Yes, first thing in the morning. Right now I need you to toss my salad.

PRODUCER: ::slurp::

Oh, and one last thing. Jessica Simpson is NOT hot. She has a nice body. She might have even been pretty cute, freakishly masculine lantern jaw not withstanding. But as soon as she opened her mouth and revealed the intelligence of asscrack lint, she got
real ugly real quick.