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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Things That Chap My Ass About Facebook

Facebook has been in the news a lot lately.

More than usual, I mean.

There was the whole IPO thing last week, which didn’t exactly live up to everybody’s expectations.

I’m not really sure how people didn’t see that coming.

Frankly, I don’t think Facebook’s initial offering could have lived up to the hype.  Facebook’s IPO reminded me of the Star Wars prequels, there was absolutely nothing Lucas could have made that would have lived up to the frothy fanboy hype, especially for The Phantom Menace, so he just did whatever he felt like and got even more rich. The fans were all bummed, and they never got over it.

But, funny thing, they kept going back.

That’s right. Star War fans love to hate the Prequels, but they just keep watching them.

Dude, the prequels suck bantha poodoo!

Yeah! I know! That Jar Jar Binks is racist stereotype douche!

I know! I hate George Lucas!

Why are we talking like William Shatner?

Because from now on, it’s Star Trek all the way, my friend. Screw Lucas, Man, screw that bearded Jedi douche!

Yeah! We’re not giving him another dime.

So…

Yeah…

So, what do you want to do tonight?

Go see Star Wars?

Ok.

And on the way home, they bought the DVD. Then a year later they bought the Blu-Ray. Then a year after that, the director’s cut.  And now they’re waiting for the 3D Extended Cut With Extra Dark Side.  And they still hate The Prequels and George Lucas is still rich and The Phantom Menace and its two shitty companion flicks continue to make gobs of money to this very day.  With Facebook it was the same thing.  Honestly, people were acting like you were going to get a free Genuine Jesus and a new BMW with each stock share.  There was no damned way Facebook’s IPO could have lived up to all the hoopla and expectations – and the folks on Wall Street certainly should have known that (Oh wait, they did. They just didn’t bother to tell you. But I digress). 

Facebook’s IPO didn’t live up to expectations.

So?

So now people are declaring it a failure and forecasting Facebook’s imminent demise.

Bawahaha. Yeah. Sure.

As I said on Facebook itself a couple days back, currently nearly a billion people use Facebook. A billion. That’s nearly one seventh of the world’s total population.

Yeah,  but they’re a billion losers, Jim, I hear you say in that ponderous William Shatner voice you use when you’re about to explain how we should all go get a life.  Real life, that’s where it’s at.  Dump the ‘book, Man, go outside!

Sorry? I missed what you said because I was busy posting a picture of my cat to Twitter.

Look, no way in hell is business, Wall Street especially, going to ignore a platform that provides access to a billion people all over the world. No way.  Maybe the current revenue generating system isn’t working as well as it could, but real soon now some bright guy is going to figure out how to make that profitable and people who own lots of Facebook stock are going to retire to the Bahamas – maybe they’ll have to dump the prepubescent CEO first,  but sooner or later it’s going to happen.  A billion people. Point to any other platform with that kind of captive audience.  Sure Facebook stock took a dip, how could it not? So did Microsoft’s, more than once (remember when the government sued Bill Gates? Sure you do).  See anybody burning Mircosoft stock to stay warm nowadays? Yeah, me neither.

People may hate Facebook, or claim they hate Facebook, but more go back than don’t.  Two weeks ago if Facebook went bust, so what?  Zuckerberg would still have been reasonably wealthy and he could still start any number of new ventures and people would throw money at him by the bushel.  If Facebook went bust last week, nobody would have lost much of anything other than a place to post pictures of cats. 

This week?  This week a whole shitload of people, including Zuckerberg and all of Wall Street, have very, very good reasons to keep it going and turn it into a world dominating social networking business.  And they will.

People have been hating on Facebook since Zuckerberg first dreamed it up in a drunken stupor back at his Harvard dorm room. 

Google “I hate Facebook” and see what you get.

"Good morning, Twitter!"
"Hi everyone on Facebook!"
"Just had eggs for breakfast. They were good."

WHO CARES!!!!!! The second anyone posts anything like this on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ immediately gets unfriended and blocked! Don't waste my time. I have 100+ legitimate tweets and posts I need to sift through every day without having to read stupidity.

A hundred plus legitimate tweets and posts you say? Frankly, I’m surprised you have time for friends at all, what with all those messages about the cure for cancer and world peace and all.  Sorry to bother you, Mr. Trump, by the way, check out this picture of my cat licking his balls. LOL!

"YOU DIDN'T KNOW THIS WAS GOING ON? YOU DON'T CHECK MY FACEBOOK?" Yeah no, sorry, maybe you could fucking call or text instead!

You ever wonder if maybe Facebook isn’t your problem? Maybe you just have shitty friends? Or, and here’s a thought, maybe it’s not your friends who are shitty, maybe there’s a reason they don’t like talking to you face to face.

My mom isn't on the Face Borg, but her sister is, as is my sister-in-law and my dad's sisters. Recently my mom commented on the fact that before everyone was on Face Borg, she would get emails from people once in a while, or phone calls. Now, nothing. She doesn't hear about anything because nobody bothers communicating by any method other than Face Borg. Kind of pisses me off. The sad thing is, saying something to those people is unlikely to change their behavior, because people are lazy and will always take the easiest way out, regardless of the consequences.

Back in my day we didn’t have no stinking Facebook, no sir!  People actually took the time to get out the quill and inkpot and write! Then they’d put the letter in an envelope that they made themselves from the skin of small children and seal it with big blob of blistering hot wax – and they made the wax themselves, from the honeycomb of killer bees! There weren’t any self licking stamps back then, by God! You had to fight killer bees! It’s totally true! And then they’d give the letter to a guy who rode a fucking pony all the way across the continent dodging wild injuns and bears and tornados and shit like that! And the guy would have to swim rivers and climb mountains and gnaw off his own testicles just to survive winter storms! And it took months! And we were damned glad, damned glad, to get that letter! That was communication, Goddamnit! You little punks with your social networking and your smartphones, you kids are soft!

Back in 2009, Huffington Post published an anti-Facebook rant by Andy Ostroy.  The nicest thing Ostroy says about Facebook is:

[Facebook is a] cyberland of rampant narcissism and wasted time. What started out as a social networking site for college kids has somehow turned into a cesspool of self-absorbed way-too-old-to-be-fucking-around-on-Facebook adults who think that the rest of us actually give a shit about what they're drinking, eating, thinking, reading, watching, and/or are listening to every five minutes.

Ostroy then goes on to explain how much better his real awesome non-narcissistic adult friends in the not-cesspool-like real world are and how they’ll drop everything and come over at 2AM to help him (See, calling your meat friends at 2AM because you just have to move a couch right then is somehow totally not self-absorbed, but hey, again, I digress).   Ostroy then drops this bit:

Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I am a citizen of the Facebook nation. I was lured there by a dear friend with promises of mega-business-networking benefits, and I must also confess to periodically using the site for shameless self-promotion to my vast empire of 165 friends. But if I am indeed a Facebookian, it is citizenship in the vein of Che Guevara, Abbie Hoffman and Thomas Paine. I'm a radical. A dissident. A conscientious objector in the Armed Forces of Facebook. I might even call myself a revolutionary, for I'd love to stage a coup and turn Facebook the vainglorious social-networking site into Facebook the bastion of selflessness and redeeming social value.

See, everybody else on Facebook is a narcissistic douche-weasel, yes, but not Andy.  Andy’s on Facebook, yes, but it wasn’t his idea, see, it was totally somebody else who made him join up, see, and he only does it for the marketing opportunities (which for reasons unexplained somehow doesn’t make him a complete tool). Besides, he’s not really really on Facebook because he’s like a rebel, he’s a, a, a Maverick! Yeah, a maverick and he’d totally turn Facebook into a place more awesome than a stack of hot chocolattey bunny waffles smothered in melted Jesus butter and kitten syrup except for  the rest of us self-absorbed douchecakes. See? (Note, it would appear that Andy either eventually deleted his account and moved to a small cabin without power or indoor plumbing somewhere in the vicinity of Bozeman, Montana, or his contempt for the rest of us eventually grew so great that he imploded like a small bitter black hole. He’s no longer on Facebook, which sucks because it looks like he’d totally be prime Friend material. If you’re looking to make your Farmville roses grow, I mean. What? I’m just saying you shouldn’t pass up free fertilizer is all).

Now don’t get me wrong here, just because a billion people like something doesn’t automatically make it not suck, but it should obvious that Facebook appeals to something a lot of people want and enjoy.

And that as they say, folks, is the secret of business.

Seriously,you’ve got to admire Zuckerberg’s business plan:

Step 1: Go to College. Get drunk

Step 2: Write some code instead of studying for midterms

Step 3: Profit

Step 4: Get chicks

Seriously, the guy is 28 years old.  He’s a buzillionaire because he came up with a gimmick where people could post pictures of cats and talk about how they totally got shitfaced last night and had sex with the lawn-jockey in their parents’ front yard (forgetting that they friended their grandmother last week. Oops sorry Grammy, look, Kittens!) and vicariously spy on people who used to bully them in high school but are now blubbery losers who live alone with their mangy diseased little shitty dog and obsessively play Farmville all day (Heh heh, how’s that pro-ball career working out for you? Loooooooser! Ha! Er, sorry. I never do this. Never), and they can do it for free (post stuff, not the lawn-jockey sex thing, that’s gonna cost you).  And without any effort on his part, he managed to convince one seventh of the world’s population that they needed it.  Dude.

Sure you could probably make a case that Facebook really serves no useful purpose. It’s bloated and superficial. But nevertheless it appeals equally to titans of industry and those Mindanao tribesmen who live deep in the jungle and speak only the click-click language.   Facebook is the Kim Kardashian of modern communications! 

That’s capitalism, right there.

Truthfully, I didn’t think I’d like Twitter, but I do. I didn’t think I’d like Facebook, but I do. (I really thought I’d like Google+, but I don’t, go figure).

Yes, that’s right, I like Facebook.  I admit it.

Which doesn’t mean that it doesn’t irritate the hell out of me sometimes. 

Take the Timeline for example. People bitch about the Timeline. Hell, I bitched about the forced change to Timeline.

 

Yeah, turns out I like it and I probably wouldn’t go back to the old format even if I could, because I’m the guy in this Oatmeal Comic.

When people bitch about how much they hate Facebook, they’re not really bitching about Facebook, are they? No, they’re bitching about the people they interact with on Facebook.  These people, for example:

The Drama Queen Friend: OMG! OMG! Waffles!!! I think my husband is trying to kill me! These people live their lives in the middle of an ongoing Lifetime Channel movie, with themselves as the star. 

The Quitter Friend: I CAN’T STAND IT!!! I’M QUITTIN’ FACEBOOK! I hate it! I hate this fake online “life.” Fake fake fake. Who’s keepin’ it real with me? Who has the courage? Who?  They’re always quitting Facebook, and Twitter, and Google+, and Pinterest, and YouTube, and TV, and Texting, and Email, and they’re going back to nature. They’re going to retreat to a loft in Portland and churn organic butter and do something with chalk art on the sidewalks. And they’re going to have lots and lots of “real” friends who are made out of meat instead of electrons.  Oh yes, yes!  Except, of course, they never do.  They just go on and on and on about it, hoping you’ll say “Oh no! Please don’t leave us, dear dear electronic friend! Please stay and tell us how fake we are. Please!”  Yeah, good luck with the butter churning, Wilber.

The Ghost of Christmas Past Friend: Great picture of your kid, bro! Say, did you ever tell him about that time when we all got drunk on that crap @boobassfuckheadshitballs thought was Yeager and you got beat up by that hooker? Good times, man, god I miss those days! Thirty years.  Thirty goddamned years and the only thing this guy can talk about ever, in every single conversation, is that time you did something dumb.  He’s fifty years old now, married, kids, job, veteran, been around the world, flown airplanes, met Elvis, tamed the Yeti, cured cancer, but the only fucking thing in his entire life that he ever thinks about is that one time you barfed in the back of a taxi. It’s the one single bright spot in his entire life. Every single conversation. Every single one.

The Mom Friend: LOL! I saw you complaining about my grandbaby on Facebook.  LOL! Here’s a picture of that time you shit your diaper and then wore it as a hat! LOL! You were such a little stinker!  P.S. Ran into your old girlfriend at the Safeway, she’s such a nice girl.  We’re having lunch tomorrow.  Oh well, got to go. Kiss my grandbaby for me and say hi to your wife, @whatshername. LOL! Facebook is fun LOL! 

The WTF Friend: Flarn splith roxnark! ROTFLMFAO!  It looks like English, sort of, but the words never make any sense together.  No matter how much you squint your eyes.

The Creepy Sharer FriendHuggy Jones The Hairy Barbarian likes Anime Sex with Lawn Jockeys!  Seriously, Dude, you’ve got to stop logging into porn sites with your Facebook profile. Really.

The Cat Friend: Look at me everybody, I’m a cat! I’m a cat on Facebook! On Facebook, I’m a cat! I’m going to be honest here, I do not understand the concept of pretending to be a cat on Facebook. I do not. I understand the concept of pretending to be a fourteen year old Asian girl on Facebook. Cat? No.

The Needy Friend: Nobody likes me, everybody hates me! Click Like to give me a Facebook Hug, if I don’t get a hundred likes in the next hour, I’ll probably kill myself. What? I don’t even know you, now I’m responsible for keeping you alive? Really? You might as well go shut the garage door and start the car now.  Say, you know what you need? A cat.  I just happen to know one, on Facebook, I’ll hook you two up.

The Wet Blanket Friend: Haha! Great post, I needed the laugh. My dog died today. In a car accident. He was riding with Grandma, who had a heart attack and drove off a cliff. The car landed on an orphanage full of Nuns. Then it exploded. Grandma had senile dementia and I’m her legal guardian, but I’m an unemployed single parent dealing with a child born without toenails and so I didn’t notice that Grammy had gotten into the vanilla extract, took my car keys and Mr. Muffley and lit out for Atlantic city. I’ve got to go, the police are here, but great post, Bro. I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.

The Paranoid Friend: Facebook sells your information to Russian Mafia Pedophiles! It’s Twue! Really? Then maybe you should stop sharing pictures of your friends’ kids all the goddamned time, eh?

The Non Sequitor FriendI see that you’ve posted a picture of your cat, Mrs Wiggims. I’m not interested in your stupid cat, so I decided to comment with a link to this article on the complexity of free market capitalism and its relationship to gas prices in Zimbabwe.  All men know this guy.  He’s the tool who, no matter what the topic of conversation, no matter what the situation, no matter who the audience, interrupts with highlights from last night’s ball game.

For further examples of how to suck at Facebook with amusing and strangely drawn illustrations, as always I refer you to The Oatmeal.

But it’s not all bad. Unlike real life, online communications tend to distill people down to minimal dimensions – which, if you know people in meatspace with hygiene problems, isn’t always a bad thing.  They might be nice people, but phweeee! back off on the aftershave there, Stinky. Online? Hey they can dose themselves in as much Hai Karate as they want and you can still like them.

Which is not to say that if I was Zuckerberg for a day, I wouldn’t make some changes:

I want an Unlike button. I want it to be big and red and I want it to say UNLIKE! And instead of a poke, I want it to send a raspberry noise to the poster of the content I’m unliking. ZSsssssssrp!

I want to be able to edit my posts and comments.

I want a Block-All Games Requests Forever Button – including games that have not yet been written or conceived of.  In fact, I want a button that not only blocks all game requests, but also sends painful electric shocks  directly to the reproductive organs of people who send me game requests.  Instead of raspberry noises, I want it to send that Nyah, Nyah, Nyah sound like the Aflack Goat.

I want a Block All Further Comments Until I’ve Finished Typing My Witty Response To Your Comment button.

I want an app that automatically deletes any dorky picture of me more than ten years old posted by people who used to know me because they think that’s funny. Dude, remember this? LOL! You were such a dork! Yeah thanks.  In gratitude, how about I post this picture of you humping a lawn jockey on your mom’s home page, OK?

And lastly:

I want expanded unfriend options:

- Passive/Aggressive Unfriend: this option doesn’t really unfriend you, it sets my Facebook page to ignore you and doesn’t tell you why because you should be able to figure that out on your own. If you’re really my friend.

- Geeksquad Unfriend: unfriends you, then crashes your hard drive and makes your smartphone explode. Looks like somebody will be making a trip to Best Buy.

- Menace to Society Unfriend: unfriends you and automatically signs you up for invasive strip searches by the TSA.

- Unfriend for Liberals: unfriends you and changes your profile picture to a shot of you kicking a puppy while holding an AK-47 at Sarah Palin’s BBQ.  Sends you Groupons for a ten percent discount on baby harp seal apparel.

- Unfriend for Conservatives: Unfriends you and sends an autographed picture of you holding hands with Jane Fonda at a gay pride parade to your entire contact list. Then it invites Levi Johnson over to impregnate your daughter.

- Because, Fuck You That’s Why Unfriend: Sends a picture of you humping a lawn jockey during company time on a huge pile of stolen office supplies to your boss, accompanied by a sound clip of the Aflack Goat making the nyah nyah nyah noise.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have like a hundred legitimate tweets and posts I have to go read.

Remember to “Like” me on Facebook, folks, or the lawn jockey gets it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Election 2012: Vote For Zeus!

Gadfly.

Isn’t that what they call it?

Sure, gadfly, a biting pest. Incessant shrill buzzing.  Irritating whine. Gadfly.

In ancient Greek mythology the gadfly was a tormenter sent to earth by the goddess Hera. See, Hera was married to Zeus, who, as it turns out, was also her brother. Yes, back then it was totally ok for siblings to marry, just so long as they weren’t both dudes – think of Mount Olympus as the North Carolina of the ancient world. On the surface everything seemed okay, Zeus and Hera appeared at fundraisers and rallies around ancient Greece and all of the other gods thought they were your average political couple. Turns out, however, that Zeus was fooling around with one of the staffers, a chick named Io, who was into unicorns, Twilight, and making YouTube Videos.  Needless to say, when Hera heard about the affair there was some serious lightning and thunderbolts – Hades may hath no fury like a women scorned, and when the woman in question is a member of the ancient Greek pantheon and no less than the Goddess of Women and Marriage who is also known for her jealous rage and vengeful nature, let’s just say you might want to make sure your medical insurance covers reattachment of external plumbing. Zeus, of course, denied everything and tried to hide his infidelity from Hera. In an Olympian caliber act of douche-baggery, Zeus turned Io into a white heifer and then gave her to Hera as a gift. Let me repeat that, he turned his girlfriend into a cow and gave her to his wife as a token of his affection, hiding the crime in plain sight so to speak. Hera, not being a complete idiot, was not entirely fooled.  So she had the cow put in pen and guarded by Argus Panoptes, he of the hundred eyes and crappy disposition.  Now, you figure at this point Zeus would breathe a sigh of relief at not having his aforementioned external plumbing kicked into his abdominal cavity. You’d think he would firmly zip up his toga and behave himself. Nope. Remember this is the guy who turned his girlfriend into a cow. So, Zeus sends his little winged toadie, Hermes, to kill Argus.  Then Zeus proceeded to do the wild thing with Io again – who, if you recall, is now a cow. Literally. (Remember that wisecrack about North Carolina? Hello). Did I mention that Zeus was sort of a douche bag? It gets worse. Zeus managed to pull a Levi Johnson, because apparently if you’re going to kill the security guard and get it on with the livestock there’s just not much point in practicing safe sex anyway. Moo. Zeus knew that if Hera found out Io was knocked up, he was never going to hear the end of it.  So he bribed Io with money from his King-of-the-Gods campaign fund to say that the Cyclops was her baby’s father. But the truth was bound to come out sooner or later. And it did. There were pictures in the tabloids and one night Zeus came home smelling of hay and covered in milking-machine hickies.  Hilarity ensued. Hera was what they used to call in ancient world, pissed, so she conjured up the gadfly and sent it to harass Io by stinging her and buzzing about her ears and generally being an irritating little pest. 

Eventually the gadfly drove Io from Greece so Zeus could no longer find her.  I think kicking Zeus’ junk into his abdominal cavity would have been more effective (and don’t give me that bro’s before ho’s nonsense either, the guy impregnated a cow. Sorry, dude, but I have to post those pictures on your mom’s Facebook page. It’s the stupid-drunk law. No exceptions) but Hera didn’t ask me. 

Now, don’t worry about Io, eventually she went to Egypt where she wrote a moderately successful tell-all book and got a movie deal with the Lifetime Channel.

Zeus ended up alone, reviled by women the world over, protectively clutching his junk, and facing jail time.

It looked like it might be a happy ending all around, but things didn’t work out so good for Hera. 

And the Gadfly? He moved to Texas, became a politician and continued to buzz about, biting people on the ears and making a general pest of himself.

 

What does this tortured mash-up of myth, metaphor, and miscreants have to do with anything?  You’ll see.

 

In news totally unrelated to annoying gadflies, Ron Paul announced yesterday that he’s giving up active campaigning.

Supposedly he’s not suspending his campaign per se, and if conservatives choose him at the Republican Convention it’s not like he’ll turn down the nomination, but he’s not going to spend another dime trying to win the remaining state primaries.

Ron Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, said very clearly that any hopes of Paul winning the Republican presidential nomination are now officially over:

"We recognize that Governor Romney has what is very likely to be an insurmountable delegate lead, and we acknowledge that we're very, very unlikely to be able to block that nomination."

In an open letter to his fans, Ron Paul said:

“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future. Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.”

Over on Yahoo, his supporters took the news calmly:

Ron Paul did NOT admit that! This race is about delegates. And, he's been winning delegates, despite the frauds and dirty tricks committed by Romney supporters and GOP establishment!!

MEDIA HOAX!!!!!!

Lies, lies lies! He did NOT end his campaign and his TRUE supporters know this! Media liars are spreading lies again like wildfire!

He did not drop out!! he's still in the running, just focusing on delegate conventions and not popular votes... which is a good strategy bc delegates are what matter!!!

Talk about yellow journalism!!!! Their is a video on his website about these false claims!!! he is not going to waste money on advertising in Primary states, like Florida, which Romney spent 50 million dollars in. Anyone stupid enough to voter for Romney, he has one, no need to vote in primaries. Take the time off to smoke some more crack, or sniff Mitt's magic underwear!!!

More Lame Stream Media Lies.......Ron has alot more delegates than they lead you to believe maybe even more than Romney now..

Ron Paul has not quit the race, retards!!!

I will write in Ron Paul with my own blood if I have to!

I don’t know about you guys, but here in Alaska where I vote they give you a little pencil so you can darken in the circles on your ballot, you generally don’t have to use your own circulatory fluid – unless you’re voting for Satan. But I digress. As I said previously, if these people move en masse to a compound in the fetid jungles of Guyana and start eating each other and setting themselves on fire, I won’t be even remotely surprised.

Intervention from the ancient gods notwithstanding, Ron Paul is done. He’s been done for a long time, he sees it now even if his rabid supporters don’t. 

And what we’re left with is exactly the 2012 election I predicted a year ago, Obama vs Romney. 

Note that I do not claim any special powers of political prediction, unusual insight, penetrating perception, or any other such juju magics. And I certainly wasn’t the only one to predict that conservatives would end up with Romney right from the very start. Despite the protestations of the Paulistas, Romney’s ascendance isn’t the result of some vast media conspiracy or a deal with the Devil, rather his pending nomination was perfectly predictable for a number of reasons not the least of which were organization, political savvy, the ability to reinvent himself, lots and lots of money, and, of course, perfect hair. 

But most of all, I knew he’d be the GOP candidate because Romney is a moderate (for a conservative.  Bear with me for a minute).

The majority of conservatives are not, in fact, insane. The majority of conservatives are not actually slobbering extremists, glassy-eyed religious nuts, frothy barking bigots, or powdered wig wearing jingoistic nationalist war mongers who eat paint chips and draw pictures on the wall with their own feces. When it comes right down to it, most conservatives, whether they want to admit it or not, are more or less moderates – just like most liberals are. Oh sure, they’ll scream and holler and weep and wail and rail and rage against socialism and communists and Nazis and Change and the debt and big government and illegal aliens and the current generation and the homos and abortion and the lack of funding for the orbital Jesus Death Beam of Death, but they almost always pick the moderate – especially if he’s got the best haircut.

As I mentioned in a previous post, given this year’s line-up, who did conservatives pick? The guy most like Obama. Yep.

Back in 2008, who were the conservative candidates? John McCain, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Alan Keyes, Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, and some other bit players like Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul.  Who’d conservatives pick? John McCain.  Is McCain a moderate? Compared to Huckabee, Tancredo, and Keyes?  One of the main reasons McCain picked a blathering rightwing boob as his running mate was because the extremists in his party pegged him as too moderate.

2000, George W. Bush  up against McCain, Keyes, Orin Hatch, Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, Steve Forbes, Liz Dole, Dan Quayle, and some other riff raff like Herman Cain. Dubya a moderate? Again, compared to Alan Keyes and Pat Buchanan, yes.  And remember back in 2000 Bush was considered mostly harmless by conservatives, a not-so-bright wimpy lesser version of his wimpy father – that’s why they picked Cheney as his running mate, to man him up. Nobody thought Bush would turn out to be a war mongering evangelical nutjob (OK, mostly nobody, present company excluded) – that was how most conservatives saw McCain, war hero, veteran, and son of admirals.

1996, we had Bob Dole who beat out Buchanan, Forbes, Alexander, and Keyes. Dick Lugar, Phil Gramm, and some folks you’ve never heard of barely even appeared on the ballot.  Both Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were courted for the nomination, both couldn’t raise enough popular interest (any) or enthusiasm (ditto) and so they declined. Ross Perot acted as a spoiler, I hear Bob Dole eggs Perot’s car and leaves a bag of flaming dog poop on his porch each November 3rd in thanks (Hallmark still doesn’t make a card for costing somebody else the election, can you believe it? Given the comments from Yahoo above, there seems to be a market).

1992, George H. W. Bush was running for a second term.  Republicans decided to keep him despite offers from Pat Buchanan and David Duke to go up against Bill Clinton.  In ’88 it was Vice President Bush vs. Dole, Robertson, Jack Kemp, Alexander Haig (remember him? This guy makes Cheney look like a gay peacenik vegetarian), Rumsfeld, and so on.  Hell, even Ronald Reagan in 1980 appealed to both sides of the political spectrum and he’s widely viewed as way too liberal to get the GOP nomination today (but he probably would).

Democrats are no different.  Given the choice between leftwing extremism and a moderate, they’ll choose the moderate every time – and it doesn’t hurt if he has good hair either.

The middle majority of Americans, left and right, aren’t all that different in their political beliefs. 

Yes, yes, I know, heresy!

But the simple truth of the matter is that most people on both sides are moderates, otherwise they’d be killing each other in the streets and lighting shit on fire.

People are creatures of habit. For a lot of Americans, political affiliation has less to do with actual ideology and more to do with inertia, i.e. they’re republicans or democrats because their parents were republicans or democrats. They get all frothy about things that don’t affect them in any way whatsoever, things like abortion and gay marriage and gun ownership, because their politicians tell them too. They get all emotional and filled with righteous rage but they don’t really give their positions much actual thought.  I know plenty of conservatives who aren’t even a little bit religious, believe that a woman has the right to choose, think that gays should be allowed to marry (or at least have equal privileges and rights through civil unions), want the war to end and the military budget reduced, and think we ought to do more to curb in Wall Street excess and help the poor up to and including universal healthcare (Note that Mitt Romney once advocated for all of those things too, right up until he started running for King of the Conservatives). LIberals are no different.  Nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than when people start hurling insults at each other over how the GOP freed the slaves and how the Democrats are all secretly members of the KKK, or how all liberals are baby killers and how all conservatives are slobbery Jesus freaks. For most of us, we belong to a particular party because we’ve always belonged to a particular party. Period. Most Americans think about politics the same way they regard their favorite sports team, I live here so I root for this particular team who my dad also rooted for and who therefore must be the most awesome team ever no matter what. All other teams have sex with cows. That’s it and that’s all and I’ll punch you in the face if you say otherwise. If you don’t like my team, move to Canada, Traitor!

Romney has been widely pilloried due to what is now a classic political gaffe by one of his aides, Eric Fehrnstrom, who opined that the campaign would be like an Etch-A-Sketch if Romney won the nomination, i.e. they would have to shake it up and start over for the general election.

Fehrnstrom probably shouldn’t have said that out loud, but he was, of course, absolutely right. 

The candidate who wins a primary is not the candidate who wins the general election. 

To win a state primary, you have to look like whatever flavor of gibbering baboon-assed extremist the local yokels want.  Gays? Hate ‘em!  Muslims? Nuke ‘em!  Tar sands? Drill ‘em! Jesus? Love ‘em!  Poor people? Screw ‘em!  Moderates and undecideds and independents and the other party can’t vote in your primary in most cases anyway.  Indeed, most of the folks who actually can vote in the primaries don’t bother to show up. Who does that leave? Who shows up wearing red, white, and blue at your caucus and conventions? Right. Exactly. To win the nomination, you have to appeal to those people, the nuts. But even then, who do these people pick given the choice? Nine times out of ten, they vote for the moderate. They might not like the moderate, but they know the extremists can’t win the general election. Because to win a general election, especially in an election like this one, you had better appeal to the centrists, the people in the middle of the political spectrum – not blue, not red, but purple – i.e. the moderates.

To the right, Obama looks like an extremist.

To the left, Romney looks like an extremist.

But the truth of the matter is that they’re both moderates and not all that different.

Six months ago, my conservative friends were spitting nails over “that communist bastard, Romney. He’s just like Obama!” He’s an elitist. He’s too moderate. He’s a progressive. He’s got a funny religion. He’s socialist. He’s for big government.  We could never ever vote for Romney!  Six months ago, Mitt Romney was the anti-Christ.  Now Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich have all endorsed him.  Ron Paul hasn’t yet, but he will – unless he decides to run as an independent.  Christian leaders, former Republican presidents, prominent conservative pundits and personalities, they’ve all jumped on the Romney bandwagon. What changed? Is Romney less rich today? Is he any less the prep-school snob? Is he less Mormon? Is he less progressive. Is he less moderate?  What?

Were conservatives wrong about Romney when they said he wasn’t a real conservative?  When they said all that stuff about him six months ago?

Here’s a question, if they were wrong about Romney could they be wrong about Obama?

Heh, heh, no. Of course not. Obama belongs to the other side! He’s got a funny religion! He’s an elitist! He’s a progressive. He’s a moderate! He’s for big government! He’s a socialist! Oh no, no, no, we could never ever endorse him!

Most Americans would vote for Mutant Cannibal Hitler’s Robot Head in a pickle jar full of human baby juice, just so long as it belonged to their party.

I strongly suspect that if the only thing different about Barack Obama was his political party – and he was currently standing in Mitt Romney’s shoes – he’d be cheered just as loudly in Tampa.

Or just as diffidently.

While a lot of conservatives will eventually vote for Romney, they aren’t all that thrilled with him.  Which is, of course, something else they have in common with liberals – because while most liberals will vote for Obama’s reelection, many of them aren’t all that thrilled with him either.

The 'lesser of two evils' argument is what got us in the mess in the first place. Both parties are evil and both are controlled by the same interests. It's time for a real choice.

I will no longer vote for the "lesser" of two evils. Romney is no different than McCain, who is just as liberal as Obama..

Romney and Obama serve the same Federal Reserve, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg interests. I ain't voting. Let Obama win for all I care. This country deserves to go over the cliff. Constitution!?!?!? Say wha??? America deserves what is coming

I will do the right thing because it IS the right thing... I will vote for or write in Ron Paul. And if Corporate America brings in a new pawn or retains the Kenyan, I'll be moving to Costa Rica. Freedom isn't a gift and noone seems worthy of it here anymore

Wish more people would see that Obama and Romney are the same.

Obama or Romney and we really aren't moving ahead as a country. Really quite sad that we are forced to choose like this. Free elections. Sad

It takes us older folks to get the idea. We are in for an ugly campaign and it does not matter who wins we are in the last days. Jesus is coming back for sure and we are all going to suffer. It is written!

It is written? Probably in blood, I’m guessing.

Seems to me this Yahoo commenter sums up the basic sentiment best:

What you people don't seem to understand, is that Romney will be NO better then Obama! Most of they're policies are the same! Only difference is that Romney wants to cut taxes for the wealthy and also cut social programs for the poor and elderly. Obama on the other hand wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and keep the social programs for the poor and elderly. And the republican establishment are warmongers and would keep the wars going and probably expand them. Obama is NOT the peace candidate he claimed to be, but at least we're NOT dropping bombs on Iran yet! Either one will lead to worse conditions for MOST Americans. DO NOT VOTE FOR EITHER ONE OF THESE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR CANDIDATES! Vote for a third party candidate NOT owned by the elite! […] We must NOT vote for the establishment candidates ever again!

OK.

So, if not a republican and not a democrat, and since Not-Republican Republican Ron Paul is out, then who?

I have a suggestion.

 

John Edwards.

 

No, no, think about it for a minute.

Sure, he used to be a democrat, but now neither mainstream political party will claim him.

In fact, nobody is going to endorse John Edwards, nobody, not Wall Street, not the Bilderbergs or the Secret Illuminati Masters of the New World Order, not the League of Women Voters (and they endorsed Clinton, think about that for a minute). Not Rush Limbaugh or John Stewart (Leno might, but nobody listens to him anyway).  Talk about independent – seriously, nobody will admit to knowing this guy. Edwards? Never heard of him. Nope.

We won’t need to worry about big money influencing John Edwards, because, seriously, who’s going to give this guy money? There you go.

Extramarital affairs, secret love child, misappropriation of funds, cover-ups, shifting the blame onto subordinates, crazy ex-mistress, scandal to beat all Oval Office blowjobs, lawyer, this guy has it all.  Seriously, what’s he going to do in office that would surprise you in any way? No really. While running for President of the United States under intense media scrutiny, Edwards had an affair and got his girlfriend pregnant while his own wife was dying from breast cancer and then he convinced one of his staff members to claim the baby was his by bribing the man’s wife with campaign contributions.  Seriously, how could Edward top that? Ever.  This guy could have jungle monkey sex with a cow in the middle of the Rose Garden while smoking crack with Marion Barry and Rod Blagojevich on a giant rug made of aborted fetuses and thousand dollar bills looted from Saddam Hussein’s treasury and the media would just sigh and print, President Edwards: Still A Douchebag.

Nixon’s secret tapes were a bunch of crotchety old white guys talking about money and their prostates, Reagan’s were about starting a war in some malaria infested shithole most Americans don’t care about and couldn’t find on a map, Ford mostly just hummed to himself and stared out the window, Bush’s were reruns of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Edwards’ secret tape was a porn movie! The guy is a natural, talk about setting the bar!

We make Edwards president, nobody, and I mean nobody, will have any overinflated expectations.  At all. If this guy even lives through his term, it’ll be more than anybody expects. Seriously, he couldn’t possibly let any of us down.

I’ve already explained how we can save money on the vice president, think of the savings if we make Edwards president.

See, the way to bet here is that John Edwards is going to go to prison, right?

Which means that we already have to pay for his maintenance and upkeep.  It costs, what? about $50K per year to keep a minimum security prisoner in America? Less if you don’t feed him regularly. And they can pay some of that back by making license plates, doing laundry, and giving out oral gratification in the shower. Much, much cheaper than the current presidential salary.  

People are always bitching about the President taking vacations on the public dime. No need to worry about that with a federal prisoner, he’s on the clock 24/7/365.  And even if he gets some furlough he’ll be wearing an ankle monitor, it’s not like he’ll be jetting off to Hawaii or Maine. 

Speaking of travel, no more paying for Air Force One, if he needs to go somewhere too far for the prison bus he can always ride Con Air. 

Federal prisoners come with their own security detail, no need for the Secret Service (Insert your own prostitute joke here). 

We won’t have to pay the tab at Bethesda anymore either, prisoners already get inexpensive healthcare and free prostate exams.

Edwards can opt to learn a valuable skill in prison, like small engine repair or tax return preparation, so that he can find employment upon release after his term is up. He doesn’t get retirement, he gets parole contingent on finding a job.

By definition, any interactions with lobbyists and other such influence peddlers will be monitored – it says so right on the visiting room wall in big red letters.

Finding common ground with members of Congress should be easy, since so many of them are familiar with the penal system already.

Talk about leadership answerable to the people. This guy gives us any guff, we’ll spray him with a cold fire hose and throw him into the Isolation Unit for a week or two. 

And of course, he’s got good hair.

John Edwards is looking at thirty years, folks. We do this right and we’ll have three decades of peace without having to listen to political attack ads and campaign speeches.  Ah, the light comes on, does it? And you thought I was crazy.

Seriously, most Americans already suspect politicians are lying criminal scumbags. 

With Edwards we don’t have to wonder, we’ll know.

And remember, if Edwards doesn’t work out there’ll be no need for a lengthy and expensive impeachment.

No, instead we can always have Scooter Libby shank him in the kidney for a pack of smokes.

 

This Election, remember the Stonekettle Station motto: Don’t just embrace the crazy, sidle up next to it and lick its ear.

And stay away from the cows. Really, I’m warning you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tomatoes

This is an updated reprint of an article I posted here four years ago.  Happy Mother’s Day – Jim




Have you ever been in a long-term relationship, marriage or otherwise, where you know your partner as well as you know yourself?

You know everything about them; their likes, dislikes, childhood friends, what makes them happy, what makes them sad, what pisses them off. You know how they'll react to anything. You've heard their stories a hundred times, but you still listen to them even if they bore you to tears. You know what kind of toothpaste they prefer and how much sugar to put in their coffee.

Yeah, like that.

And then, out of the blue, you learn something entirely new about them?

Like first date new. Like, Wow! Me too! new.

My wife and I are just about as good a fit as two people can be. We were a blind date, and by the end of that date we both had mutually decided that the two of us were going to get married- but, it was, oh, about a week or so before either of us mentioned it to the other. And by then we barely had to, because it was just so obvious that's where we were going. We've been married twenty years now, and I'd say we know each other pretty well indeed - if for no other reason than we've traveled literally tens of thousands of miles, thousands of hours, cooped up in in a car together. A lot of it through places like the Yukon and the Northwest Territories where there are no radio stations - as such, you'd think just about every possible subject of conversation would have come up by now.

Apparently not.

We grew up widely separated. I was born and raised in the western part of Michigan's lower peninsula, where people eat oatmeal with margarine and brown sugar for breakfast and speak proper American English. My wife was born in New York, but raised in the panhandle of Florida, where people eat grits with butter and salt for breakfast and speak in an incomprehensible dialect centered around variations of the all-purpose contraction "y’all." Where I grew up, there are two types of regular daily gravy, Brown and Chicken, and two types of holiday gravy, Turkey and Ham. Where my wife grew up, there is only one kind of gravy, White, and you eat it on everything. Where I grew up, about the only fried food was chicken, which came in a cardboard bucket when mom was too tired to cook, and the occasional pan-fried bluegill or perch. In my wife's household, everything was breaded and fried - and covered in white gravy. In the North we didn't barbeque, we "grilled out" in the backyard. In the South, BBQ is a complex art-form utilizing arcane and highly secret methodology involving smoke, pork, liquor, and several pickup trucks full of drunken rednecks. In the South they eat "greens." In the North, we know grass clippings when we see them and we feed that shit to the livestock.

So, food-wise you wouldn't think we have a lot in common.

Not so.

We both purely detest tomatoes. Loath is not nearly a strong enough word. We can't stand 'em, neither one of us. This hatred is the bond, the glue, that holds us together and gives us strength against a hostile and tomato loving world. It has kept us together for twenty something years and I suspect that we will be buried together at some indeterminate future date far removed from the tomato cultivating regions of the world.

Strangely, I do like ketchup, only the good kind, but my wife won't touch it. And both of us will eat tomato sauce on certain things such as pizza and lasagna, but only if there's not too much of it and it's not too tomatoey (that’s a totally real word, look it up) and under no circumstance can there be any stinking chunks of tomato in the sauce. Ugh.

I know that you will find this distaste strange and incomprehensible. My wife and I do realize that it is entirely possible that we are the only two people on the planet who hate tomatoes, and we're good with that. Hell, even my own mother simply can't believe that I find tomatoes revolting, and I'm sure that both of my parents wonder if the hospital screwed up and gave them the wrong baby.

See, my folks love tomatoes. Absolutely love the goddamned things. They eat tomatoes all of the time, stewed, canned, sliced, diced, pickled, juiced, on a chair with a bear and in a house with a mouse.

Now my mom often made things that I loved - but, at least once a week we'd have something with tomatoes in it and I could barely stand the smell, let alone choke down dinner. God forbid there would be stewed tomatoes - which my dad relishes with great gusto. Retch. The smell alone made me want to vomit. (Dad also loves lima beans. Seriously, who the hell likes lima beans? Maybe the hospital did screw up)

However, the good news is that if the tomatoes were a side dish, like the stewed variety, I was allowed to take a pass.

The bad news, of course, was that if tomatoes were part of the main course, well I was required to eat them. Usually, I could pick around them, or push them to the side, but there was one dish that I feared and hated above all else. One dish that my mother made at least once a month that I dreaded and feared and despised. One dish that I could not avoid or work around. One dish that the mere thought of, forty years later, makes me shudder. I haven't thought about it in years, you might even call it one of those 'repressed memories' shrinks are so fond of. Childhood trauma, long repressed - and, I thought, unique to me because I've never seen or heard of it in any other household. I would, of course, take as little as possible of it. And I would push it around the plate and spread it out as much possible to make it look like I was actually eating it - all the while contemplating thoughts of running away to join the circus where I would eat nothing but corn dogs and cotton candy. My mother, of course, was not fooled by these diversionary tactics. A child of The Great Depression and of frugal Dutch extraction - she'd make damned sure you cleaned your plate no matter how painfully long it took - and it often took forever. Which led, inevitably, to the stern matronly lecture of starving children in Africa and the fact that I should be grateful that I had anything to eat at all. But try as I might, I could never be grateful for that particular meal. Ever.

All of which which brings me to this: The other day I was in the kitchen cooking dinner. As usual, my wife was sitting on a stool behind the island, and we were talking about our day. And for some reason, the subject of our mutual tomato hatred came up. And my wife casually mentioned a certain dish her mother used to make, which my wife hated and despised and was traumatized by and contemplated running away to join the circus to avoid.

It was none other than my own childhood nemesis!

Have you figured it out yet?

Yes, it's that revolting 1960's, lower middle class, blue-collar staple: American Hamburger Goulash.

For those of you not familiar with this dish, it is a horrifying abomination of hamburger, onions, green peppers, elbow macaroni, and stewed tomatoes. I would cheerfully burn Betty Cocker's checkered apron in effigy for perpetuating this putrescent sin against culinary nature. If there is any 'American Comfort Food' more disturbing and less comforting than this repugnant atrocity I don't know what it is, unless it is the 1970's school lunch version commonly called 'schoolash' - a salmonella seasoned mix of grade-B leftover burger patties, macaroni, and tomato soup warmed to the temperature of an hour-dead corpse by a bank of heat lamps and dehydrated to the consistency of old toenails by the hair-netted expertise of sadistic lunch ladies. Often served with 'garlic toast' made from yesterday's hamburger buns and some kind of industrial urinal disinfectant.

I haven't thought about goulash in years and, yeah, it's a small thing. But, more than two decades my wife and I have been married, and I just now discovered that she had almost exactly the same childhood experience as I - and nearly identical comments regarding it. Something new in conversation. Something that tells me she'll always surprise me. And it's just one more thing that tells us how good of a match we are. Her hatred of American Hamburger Goulash is just one more thing that I love about her. One more thing that makes me wonder what else is left to discover about the woman I can't imagine life without.

So, yeah, after all these years I guess I finally am grateful for the damned goulash.

So thanks, Mom, for giving me just one more reason to love your daughter in law.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Love and War

As noted in the previous post, conservatives have declared the direction of forward to be fascist communism.

Or was it communist fascism?

I can never remember if the Marxists were Nazis or if the Nazis were communists. 

Either way, accordingly North Carolina, not wanting to be labeled either communist or fascist, voted yesterday not only to not move forward – or even to remain in the same place for that matter –  but to, in fact, actually take a couple of giant steps firmly backwards.  It wasn’t enough that they denied granting certain citizens equal rights, they also voted to take away existing rights from a significant portion of their population.

Yep.

See, apparently after it was all over a number of bemused North Backward Carolinians were surprised to find out that they’d not only outlawed same-sex marriage but had also made civil unions illegal (for both gay and straight relationships).

Oops.

If ever you needed an abject lesson why any individual’s civil rights should not be something decided by ballot (besides, you know, that whole black people are property thing. Or women’s suffrage. Yeah, besides that I mean), yesterday’s vote in North Carolina would be a perfect example.

As I’ve said repeatedly here on Stonekettle Station, I have yet to have anybody explain to me how two gay people getting married affects me or my traditional marriage in any way whatsoever – or anybody else’s traditional marriage either for that matter.  They haven’t because they can’t, not that that simple fact makes them stop and think – being as thinking isn’t exactly something religious extremists do very well.  I have yet to have anybody explain to me why any legally consenting adult shouldn’t be able to marry any other legally consenting adult regardless of gender and call it “marriage” if they damned well please. They haven’t because, as I mentioned previously, they cannot.   And I have yet to hear any opposition to same-sex marriage that doesn’t, sooner or later (usually sooner), invoke somebody’s God.  Because the simple truth of the matter is that when you strip away all the bullshit, what it comes down to is a bunch of selfish bastards attempting to force their religious beliefs on the rest of us.

In the United States, if you can’t frame your argument without invoking your religion, you don’t in point of fact actually have an argument, you’re just being an asshole.

Here in America, denying any legally consenting pair of adults the right to marry because it’s against the tenets of somebody’s Bronze Age belief system is no different whatsoever than snatching random citizens off the street and forcing them to join your church.  Denying gay people the right to marry because Christians don’t like it is no different whatsoever from Muslims demanding that pork be outlawed nationwide and that all American women should have to go about with their faces covered.  It’s absolutely no different from American Catholics demanding that nobody can eat meat on Fridays because some senile old pedophile in a pointy hat says it makes Jesus cry.  The only, the only, time that religion should have any bearing on anybody’s civil rights is if it affects you directly, i.e. if you don’t agree with same-sex marriage because you believe that two thousand years ago some wild-eyed hippy with delusions of grandeur and a pocket full of magic fairy dust said it was bogus, dude, fine, then you have the absolute right not to marry anybody of the same sex as yourself – but that’s as far as it goes. You don’t get to tell the rest of us what to do. Period.  And don’t start in with that Christian morality bullshit either, or I will spend the next ten posts describing numerous examples of your religion’s endless immoral hypocrisy in intimate detail – and we’ll start with the aforementioned guy in the pointy hat.

Here’s the bottom line:

If a bunch of religious nuts can vote away your fundamental civil rights, then your rights are not self-evident, inalienable, or endowed by God. Quod erat demonstrandum.

It’s really just this simple: if men can dictate your civil rights based on their religious and/or political beliefs, then God isn’t the all powerful deity he claims to be and any rights he supposedly endows are worthless trash, or the founding principles of the United states – i.e. the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all citizens – are utter and complete bullshit, or (and here’s a thought) you are wrong. 

Want to take a guess as to which is more likely?

So, anyway, hot on the heels of the North Backward Carolina vote, today the president said he thinks gay people should be allowed to get married.

Predictably, conservative pundits, politicians, preachers, and pinheads went absolutely apeshit. 

The folks over at Fox Nation deployed their Jesus Powered Orbital Gay-Shield and stridently sounded panicked battle stations, declaring on Twitter:

OBAMA FLIP FLOPS, DECLARES WAR ON MARRIAGE!

Oh noes!

War?

On marriage?

Obama declares war on marriage. 

War.

Ah hell, not another damned war. Seriously? 

I thought we were done with that nonsense for a while – especially since Jeb Bush decided not to run for president.

So what’s reasoning here?  Did a bunch of traditional marriage extremists fly a jetliner into one of our buildings? Did One Man and One Woman bomb Pearl Harbor or invade Poland? Are traditional marriages hotbeds of terrorism and anti-American sentiment?  Did traditional marriage attack one of our allies or endanger our oil supply?  Did traditional marriage take one of our embassies hostage? Has traditional marriage been attacking our merchant ships on the high seas and impressing our sailors into their navy? Did traditional marriage nationalize the pineapple industry or attempt to burn down the Alamo? Do we want to build a canal through the middle of traditional marriage. What the hell is it this time?

Are traditional marriages hiding weapons of mass destruction?

That’s it, isn’t it?

Next thing you know, Obama will send Hilary Clinton to testify before the United Nations.  She’ll use CIA intelligence and a big flip chart to prove how traditional marriage hasn’t been complying with UN sanctions and how marriage hasn’t been cooperating with inspectors. 

 

Traditional Marriage, Clinton will tell the UN Security Council, is trying to build a Bomb.

 

Reluctantly, the UN will vote for war (and for once, those French pussies will be cheering us on! China and Russia will protest, of course, they’ve always been in bed with traditional marriage). We’ll rename Russian Dressing to Queer Vinaigrette and dip our Freedom Fries in it!

Joe Biden will be dispatched to an undisclosed location, not some high tech bunker beneath the Naval Observatory or the old Cold War facility under Weather Mountain, no it’ll be a bath house Command Post in the Castro District. 

This time people will listen to The Dixie Chicks and The Nuge will be vilified as anti-American and a traitor.

Rachel Maddow will become the voice of war, Forward, Girls, crush traditional marriage beneath our Doc Martens!

As Commander in Chief, Obama can’t wait for Congress to act – the threat from traditional marriage is too immediate and dire.  Besides the War Powers Act gives him the right to attack without congressional approval. He’ll call out the National Guard and deploy the drones.  He’ll order the Navy to begin bombardment of traditional marriage from offshore, followed by a Marine amphibious landing (Little known fact, the Navy actually has an aircraft, the EA-6B, nicknamed The Queer. Coincidence? Or has the military industrial complex been preparing for this all along?)  B-2 Spirit bombers will launch laser guided anti-marriage missiles.  In an awesome display of military might, the B-52’s will deploy the thunderous Rolling Divorce, carpet bombing marriage into smithereens!

That’s why Obama really ended the war in Iraq and is drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, you know, so that he can redeploy our troops in the war on marriage.  It’s true!

Obama’s sparkly rainbow-camouflaged troops will march across the land and the forces of traditional marriage will throw down their weapons and flee.  Shock and awe, folks, shock and awe. Together we’ll tear down the wedding chapels, and they’ll cheer us in the streets of Raleigh!

It’ll be fabulous!

Of course, if history is any guide (heh heh, right), traditional marriage will retreat to mountain caves and hidden lairs, and we’ll face a decade of insurgency, underwear bombers, Improvised Jesus Devices, and holy water attacks on gay people. 

War on marriage. Frankly I don’t see this ending well. 

Then again, you know, maybe it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

No really, think about it, conservatives love war.  It’s their most favorite hobby.

Maybe declaring war on traditional marriage is how Obama convinces conservatives to give gay people equal rights.  Well, sure, if it’s war, we’re in.  Let me get my gun and gas up the Hummer. For Freeeedom!

Crazy? Maybe, but it’s not half as crazy as some of the nonsense I’ve heard this week.

 

Of course, if it works out, Mitt Romney will probably want to take credit for it.

Gay marriage, totally my idea.  Totally.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

OMG! Nazis! Nazis Everywhere!

 

Last week the Obama campaign released their new campaign slogan:

Forward

That’s the new slogan, Forward.

The Obama campaign likes simple one-word slogans and given today’s sound bite mentality that’s very likely a good idea.

Forward.

I probably wouldn’t have gone with Forward myself. In my mind it’s not really as inspiring as the campaign’s previous one word slogan, Hope.  Plus, the word hope only has one syllable, forward has two and the campaign risks losing the undecided vote with such a lengthy message.  If they were going to use a direction as a campaign slogan, for the majority of Americans it probably would have been better if they just grunted and pointed (of course pointing is fraught with risk too, you don’t want to get caught gesturing towards Canada, or worse Mexico. You know, on second thought, never mind).

So, anyway, Forward.

Moving toward the front, forward.

As in the direction that one is facing or traveling. Forward.

Into the future. Forward.

Seems harmless enough, right?

Forward.

For those of you who didn’t watch the video (because, Dread Cthulhu, Man, it’s like seven minutes long!), it begins by summarizing the grim situation President Obama inherited from the previous administration when he took office three years ago. The video then lists the president’s numerous accomplishments, both foreign and domestic, and goes on to mention that Obama managed to accomplish all of that in spite of the deliberate and sustained obstructionism of media pundits, truthers, birthers, flat-earthers, bug-eaters, loons, goons, poltroons, and congressional Republicans (my personal favorite is that little smirk on Mitch McConnell’s sallow pasty face. If Obama does get reelected, I’m going to enjoy watching him eat those words). 

The video concludes with the president’s ringing endorsement of the middle class and the American dream and of the United States itself.

“Hard work, determination, real results,” says the voiceover.

Hard work plus determination equals results, isn’t that what so many conservatives have been saying for the last three years?

OK, sure it comes out sounding like “Get a job, Hippies!” and “Screw you, I got mine,” but isn’t that exactly what republicans have been saying?  Work hard and you’ll be rewarded, forward to the American dream, right? There are plenty of jobs, you just need to get off your dead lazy socialist ass and go get one. Work hard and maybe someday you too can make millions liquidating companies and sending jobs overseas.

The clear and obvious message behind the above video is that while the president feels we’ve come a long way during these last three years, there is still much more – economically, domestically, and in the foreign policy arena – to be done in the coming years.  We'll need to work hard, stay the course, and eventually we’ll be back on top.

The video ends with one word: Forward.

Forward, isn’t that exactly the direction conservatives have been giving Obama for the last three years? Forward. Quit looking backward. Quit blaming Bush.  Quit complaining about the mess left by previous administrations and Wall Street and the banks and business. We need to stop talking about the past and start moving forward to the future.

Forward, it doesn’t get anymore American than that, right?

 

Yeah, American all right, American communist.

Forward, my easily amused electronic friends, is actually a totally secret hidden code word for socialism, communism, Nazis, godless baby eating atheism, Illuminati, shiny shaven vajazzled harlots running rampant in the streets, Canadians, mass abortions, Muslims, poison arrows falling from the sky, Justin Beiber, sissy electric cars, Marxists, the Anti-Christ, militant vegetarianism, death panels, FEMA labor camps, the Metric System, lite beer, the Lifetime Channel, and the sparkly nacho-cheese flavored fabulously stylish rainbow-colored gay agenda.

It’s totally true.

No, really it is. 

Forward = Commies.

 

Hello?

 

Whoa, Jim, I hear you say at last in that cautiously placating voice you use when you think I’ve been mixing drain-cleaner and recreational narcotics again and you’re frantically trying to find the number for emergency mental health services while keeping me calm long enough for the guys with the stun guns and pepper spray to arrive. What’s that you say, Jim? Forward is a communist slogan? Sure. Whatever you say, Chief, just stay right there and don’t worry about those sirens.

OK, you’re skeptical.

Fine. Be that way. Go on then, don’t take my word for it.

Instead listen to Glenn Beck ferret out Obama’s secret totally hidden plan to use his Magic Negro-Ray and the secret armies of Communist Cannibal Death Nazis of Death to achieve absolute world domination (WARNING: you may actually feel yourself devolving into a more primitive life-form during the following video.  Those who are already running a brain cell deficit are strongly cautioned to skip the video, otherwise you may end up as a bowl of pudding):

Did you make it through the video? (If you’re suffering brain spasms, watch this. The nausea and vomiting will pass eventually)

Sure, to the untrained eye, Beck sounds like gibberish, the kind of booger-eating Palinesque random word salad stream of consciousness generated by an unhinged under-medicated paranoid, of course it does.  But remember, Glenn Beck is also the guy who discovered Nazis in Grandpa’s Medicare, Marxism in ancient Babylon, and secret communists at FEMA. Say what you like, Beck knows his way around a conspiracy theory (it’s also likely that he knows his way around a drain cleaner and narcotic highball, but I digress).

Besides, it’s not just Glenn Beck, folks.  Fox Nation, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, why all sorts of totally reliable sources agree.

Want more proof?

Over on ZIMBIO, there’s a compelling piece titled:  Obama Campaign Slogan "Forward" or "Vorwärts". Think Karl Marx.  The author, a intellectual giant and obvious expert on all matters historical, explains how Obama’s slogan “Forward” is the same as “Vorwärts” which a is German for “Forward.” 

Ah ha!

What? 

What do you mean you don’t see it? Dude, look: Forward = Vorwärts.

No? Try harder.

Forward = Vorwärts = Forward = Vorwärts = Forward, shake, lather (emphasis on lather), repeat. 

Still nothing, eh? Here, drink some of this drain cleaner.

Look, English has a word for Forward. German has a word for Forward. Coincidence? Not likely.  English = German and German = Nazis and if English equals German and German equals Nazis then America equals Nazis, Q.E.D. That’s math, folks. Math don’t lie, that’s in the Bible and you can look it up.

Get it now?

The only good logic is the circular kind, folks. Take another slug of that drain cleaner and pass the bottle around, tastes like tea doesn’t it? Mmmm, good.

Vorwärts.

Now if those filthy socialist umlauts weren’t condemnation enough, Vorwärts is also the name of a song sung by the Hitler Youth back in old communist Nazi Germany

That’s right, Hitler Youth.

Oh, now the light comes on, does it? Hitler’s Nazi fascists and Karl Marx’s communists were Best Friends ForEVAH.  That’s right. Everybody knows that, everybody whose history textbooks were printed in Texas anyway.

It’s pretty hard to argue with that kind of logic, isn’t it?

You bet it is.

You drink enough drain cleaner and you start to see things in a whole new light.

Forward? Why it’s like Obama is just rubbing your face in it, isn’t it? Who did he praise in that video? Teachers? Firemen? Police? Autoworkers? College students, women, construction workers? The middle class. Communists one and all!  Who did he condemn? That’s right, banks, Wall Street, Oil Companies! Real Americans. Obama hates capitalism!

Ended the war?

Killed Osama?

You know who else ended a war in Afghanistan and tried to kill Osama bin Ladin? I’ll tell you, the Soviets

Except those Russian commies failed, Obama actually did it.  Sweet Nacho-Flavored Jesus, Obama is a better communist than the Soviet Union!

Wait, hold on, what’s this?

Seal of Wisconsin.svg

Holy Hell! Forward is the motto of Wisconsin! Wisconsin is communist!  We’ve been eating Marxist cheese! Is that a Russian Bear under the Nazi Forward banner? I think it is (What? It’s a badger not a bear you say? Yeah and what animal did the USSR name their atomic bombers after?)  God’s hairy belly button, look at that damned picture, hammer, arm, plow, two gay guys, it’s like you can feel yourself being indoctrinated into the Nazi Communist Party of Socialist Fascism!

I know what you’re thinking: Boy oh boy, I wish I’d taken the blue pill.

Me too.

Forward. Dread Cthulhu, I had no idea how far the rabbit hole went.

No idea at all.

Who’s this guy?

Lebron James? Famous American basketball player, one of the best in the world. What position does he play? Oh, yes, that’s right, Forward.  Good Grief, look at that guy, no wonder Conservatives are scared. Put a bag of Skittles in his hand and Lebron would be the spitting image of Lenin!

Hey, how about this socialist?

AP412 - Let Us Go Forward Together, Winston Churchill 1940 War Poster (30x40cm Art Print)

Winston Churchill a dirty Marxist? Say it ain’t so!

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  – Walt Disney

Walt Disney, folks. Secret communist.

“The choice before the American people this year is of overwhelming importance: whether to hand the government back to the liberals or move forward with the conservative agenda.” — Ronald Reagan, 1986.

Et tu, Ronnie? Et tu?

Forewarned is forearmed.

Oh but it’s so much worse than that. So much worse. Want to know the name of the preeminent Jewish daily news site? Forward.  Yes, that’s right, the Jews own Forward.com. Can you believe it? The Jews are Nazis!

Wait, wouldn’t that make supporting Israel the same as supporting communism?

For the answer to that question and many more you didn’t know you wanted to ask, tune into Glenn Beck.

Remember to keep looking backward, folks.

For America.

 

 

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Afterword:

Couple of things:

- First, Afterword, I hope you see what I did there.

- You know, if anybody else other than the usual conservative pundits went on national media and in complete candor said this kind of bizarre stupid silly conspiracy nut nonsense, they would get locked up in the boobyhatch and pumped full of happy juice.   Glenn Beck’s mental illness is almost funny – in a sad, kicking the spaz sort of way – until you suddenly realize that it’s contagious.  Especially for people with compromised immune systems.  Education seems to be an antibody, but too many of these twits are the educational equivalent of anti-vaxxers.  Glenn Beck is the Typhoid Mary of politics.

- The part I don’t get is how Beck, Limbaugh, Fox News, and the rest of these drooling booger-eating yoyos figure that Obama is so nefarious, so clever, so tenacious, so single minded and dedicated to his cause, that he plotted from before he was born to take over the world, kill Jesus, and turn America into tasty nacho-flavored Communism, and he did it so well that he actually managed to get himself elected. But then he what? Couldn’t resist putting a Nazi slogan on his bumper stickers, because, why again?

- For a political party and an ideology composed in significant fraction by people who like to refer to themselves as “The Greatest Generation” (and really, no arrogance there. No no, you’re awesome. We totally suck. Not your fault though) and who like to go on ad nauseum about how they single handedly won World War II and the Cold War, how they personally cornholed Hitler and kicked the Soviet Union’s ass and made the world free for democracy – they sure don’t seem to understand that the terms “Nazi” and “Communist” are not interchangeable (Of course, that would require that the Greatest Generation admit that they allied with the communists to fight the fascists, funny how they leave that out of the history books nowadays, but I digress).  Honestly, I simply cannot fathom how anybody, let alone this particular group, can’t seem to get it through their pointy heads that fascism is one end of the political spectrum and communism is the other.  They may both suck, but they suck in totally different ways.  To me, nothing says your argument is invalid quicker than using “Marxist,” “Fascist,” “Communist,” and “Nazi” interchangeably.  It ought to be legal to slap the Ben Franklin Powdered Wig right off their silly heads.

- Don’t get me wrong, and don’t get too smug. Liberals have their fair share of gibbering loons too.  The extremists on both sides keep talking about taking their country back or words to that affect, I think it’s about time for Americans, reasonable intelligent moderate Americans on both sides of the aisle to step up, speak up, and start marginalizing these goofs.  The people who nominated Romney have a lot more in common with the people who nominated Obama than they do with the vocal nutjobs in their own party, extremists like Glenn Beck and his horde of drain-cleaner swilling followers.  The reverse is also true.