"The blog has made Glab into a hip town crier, commenting on everything from local politics and cultural happenings to national and international events, all rendered in a colorful, intelligent, working-class vernacular that owes some of its style to Glab’s Chicago-hometown heroes Studs Terkel and Mike Royko." — David Brent Johnson in Bloom Magazine
The Loved One pitched this link my way last night:
Seems that last fall, some guy from the usually insufferable United Kingdom posted a rant on FB, calling out a British manufacturer of menstrual pads for lying. To him.
Yep. This chap, named Richard Neill, wrote that all his early life he’d assumed women who were being visited by Aunt Flo were having a bang-up time, running and jumping and grinning like maniacs. At least that’s what he gleaned from adverts (don’t these Brits have a cutesy way with words sometimes?)
By the time he became old enough to hang around with women and they started letting him know when it was time for the Clean-up in Aisle 1, he realized that the sloughing off of the uterine and vaginal linings didn’t signal several days of bliss — either for the sloughee or for any human beings within a several-mile radius of her.
In fact, as many of us who strive not to be fooled by corporate adspeak (read: lying) know, those monthly three-to-five days often — way, way, way too often — are among the the most harrowing of our lives.
So, Neill called out the Bodyform outfit via social media and — whaddya know? — his post captured better than a hundred thousand Likes. And Bodyform, rather than call for the RAF to bomb the man’s home, decided to have a little fun.
The company produced a slick vid featuring the company CEO (played by an actress) apologizing for misleading the women (and men) of the world (or at least its market share of the orb). The actress-as-CEO looks meaningfully into the camera as she recites her mea culpa. Then she says, “I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but there’s no such thing as a happy period. The reality is, some people simply can’t handle the truth.” She then tells Richard he’s blown the cover off Bodyform’s efforts to protect men from the truth about women’s beastly time, this over images of men weeping and gnashing their teeth. “You, Richard, have torn down that veil and exposed this myth.”
Aw, hell, watch the vid for yourself. This, my fellow Pencillistas, is creative advertising.
Funny, no? It makes me wish Barack Obama and the Dems had done something similar when Me Party-ists, Birthers, and other whack-a-doodles started accusing the president of everything from socialism to Manchurian Candidacy to failure to brush his teeth after every meal.
It certainly couldn’t have been less successful than the strategy they’ve used thus far.
You’ve Been A Naughty Little Girl
More evidence that too many fundamentalist Christians are really sexual fetishists in disguise: There’s a lively group of Obsessive Lovers of An Invisible Friend in the Sky who follow a path they call Christian Domestic Discipline.
The idea being, the king of the household must maintain order within his cellblock…, er, home, by spanking the little woman now and again.
Many of us — your loyal e-Pencil-weilding correspondent included — don’t dig pain. In fact, I’ve dedicated my life to the avoidance of it. But I’m an open-minded fellow so I say if you need pain to get off, then go get whipped.
The Sanctity Of Marriage
When it comes to sex, my philosophy is anything goes, as long as kids, explosives, and animals aren’t involved. (The bestial scene is so icky, you know?)
Anyways, who are these CDD folks trying to kid, beside themselves? Not I, that’s fer shur. Correction, they are trying to fool me but I ain’t falling for it.
There can be no reason on god’s green (and purple-y bruised) Earth why a man would feel the need to whip his helpmeet unless he was getting off on it. There, I’ve said it.
And any helpmeet who sticks around for said whipping also must be getting engorged in the nethers when the whip comes down. I’ve said it again.
Yet this gang of CDD-ers insists the Big Daddy-o wants us all to play master-and-slave.
“Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.” — Tennessee Williams
CAN A POLITICIAN EVER BE GOOD?
Newshound Joy Shayne Laughter stopped by the Book Corner for a visit before going into the WFHB studios to interview a nationally-known digital doyenne yesterday afternoon.
We got around to talking about Facebook and we both agreed that sometimes we have to take a time out from it because, well, it has this weird capacity to turn even the sweetest soul into a jerk. And the two of us are nothing if not sweet souls.
I’ve been tempted a hundred times to write on someone’s wall, “Jesus Christ, what kind of stupid moron are you?!” Much to my surprise, the seemingly grounded and mature Joy admitted that she, too, finds herself on the brink of lashing out in like fashion at people on FB.
Facebook turns everybody into a bully to some degree or another. And god forbid any elected official should sneeze the wrong way — he’ll be strung up before he can reach for his handkerchief.
Case in point: Yesterday Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey praised the federal government and President Barack Obama for their quick response in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Before the president could say, Don’t mention it, this meme image appeared on Facebook:
So, in essense, the Facebook zeitgeist now holds that no one on Earth can ever have a change of heart. There are no epiphanies. Redemption is for the birds. No matter what tragedy befalls you, you must hold fast to every embarrassing, opportunistic, politically expedient statement you’ve ever uttered, otherwise, you’ll be the object of ridicule for millions.
Who knows, maybe Chris Christie in a couple of weeks will proclaim that Barack Obama is Benedict Arnold, Sacco & Vanzetti, and Timothy McVeigh all rolled into one. It could happen.
But in this moment of horror, isn’t it possible that Chris Christie has just learned something?
Can it be that from now on, thanks to this horrifying storm, he’s become a better man?
Or in this Facebook age are we all obliged to be assholes forever?
Here’s a confession: I have no idea what the term “gangnam style” means.
In Lieu Of A Gangnam Style Pic: Marilyn Monroe And Her Pumpkins
Here’s another: I’m not going to try to find out either. Overall, I feel quite good about this decision.
G.I. DON’T LIKE JOE
Just heard a Joe Walsh ad on the radio last night. He’s running for US Congress against Tammy Duckworth in Illinois’ 8th District. He’s also the guy who declared during a candidates’ debate a week and a half ago that he’s against abortion even if the mother’s life is in danger.
That alone would lead a reasonable person to assume Walsh is a pretty sharp-edged character. As in this imaginary exchange:
Walsh: Sharp, But Not As A Tack
Doctor: “Joe, I’m sorry but your wife’s situation has taken a bad turn. She’s having what we call an ectopic pregnancy. The situation is dire. There’s a strong possibility that if we go ahead with this delivery, she won’t make it.”
Joe: “Doctor, that’s terrible. What can we do about it?”
Doctor: “Well, Joe, we live in Illinois, which allows us to terminate the pregnancy. As it stands right now, the odds are stacked mightily against your wife. What do you say, Joe?”
On second thought, I won’t presume to guess what Joe might say in such a tragic situation. But I do know what he said at the debate. He claimed there is no such thing as a pregnancy that can endanger the life of the mother, an assertion that medical science holds to be about as wrong as wrong can be.
Yes, Joe, This Can Kill A Woman
I’d like to think that just because Joe Walsh says bombastic things during political debates, it doesn’t mean he would act so bombastically in real life.
Joe Walsh likes to use words the way others use stilettos. He had to know his statement would cut many, many women to the bone.
The script for his radio ad was similarly filled with razor verbiage. That’s really nothing new. He has accused Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both legs in combat, of not being a real hero because she mentions her disability on the campaign trail. In Joe Walsh’s world a soldier who gets her legs blown off should just shut up about it.
Walsh To Duckworth: Quit Bitching
Do you get the feeling Joe Walsh doesn’t care much for women?
Anyway, Walsh’s ad hammers home the point that Duckworth served for a time in disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich‘s cabinet. Blagojevich, you’ll recall, is not only the latest governor emeritus of the Land of Lincoln to occupy a suite in the penitentiary, but is perhaps the most brazen and venal of that gang.
Toward the end of Blagojevich’s term as reprobate-in chief, he named Duckworth the state’s Director of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Duckworth jokingly remarked that Blagojevich gave her the job so she could do favors for her friends. Those friends, of course, were military veterans and, well, the director’s job by definition is to do favors for them.
Everybody had a good laugh over that one.
But now Joe Walsh uses that audio clip in his advertisements, hoping to make Duckworth sound like a cheap political hustler in the Blagojevich mold. Look what Rod Blagojevich and Tammy Duckworth did to the state of Illinois, the ad bleats. Now she wants to do the same thing to the country in Washington.
A Shady Connection?
The idea being she’ll try to sell political appointments and squeeze campaign contributions out of big shots in exchange for favorable legislation, just the way her former boss did.
Problem is, Duckworth’s reputation is sterling. She wasn’t implicated in the Blagojevich todo — in fact, few outside of the former Governor’s immediate conspiracy circle were.
That doesn’t matter to Joe Walsh.
By the way, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce just endorsed Walsh. Oh, and Duckworth worked for a couple of years in Barack Obama’s federal Department of Veteran’s Affairs. So Joe works for obsessive profiteers and Tammy worked for a former community organizer.
Makes me think of a line I read recently: “I’ll take the character of a community organizer over that of a venture capitalist any day.”
The only events listings you need in Bloomington.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
VOTE ◗ The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St.; 8am-6pm
LECTURE ◗ IU Maurer School of Law — “Narratives of Infanticide: Mothers, Murder, and the State in Nineteenth-Century America,” Presented by Felicity Turner; 4pm
CLASS ◗ Lake Monroe, Paynetown SRA Activity Center — New Rules for Deer Season: Are You Ready for Opening Day?; 6:30pm
HISTORY ◗ Monroe County History Center — Letters from the Front, Written by James F. Lee to members of His family in Monroe County: Bringing the Civil War Up Close and Personal, Presented by Steve Rolfe of Monroe County Civil War Round Table; 7pm
SPORTS ◗ IU Assembly Hall — Hoosier men’s basketball vs. Indiana Wesleyan; 7pm
SPORTS ◗ IU Gymnasium — Hoosier wrestling vs. Manchester; 7pm
Before I even begin this particular howl, I’ll remind readers that both the Republicans and Democrats have long, storied histories of stealing votes and even whole elections.
The Ballot Box That Put LBJ Over The Top
That caveat out of the way, I can barely control my indignation over the latest GOP dirty trick.
It’s getting personal now.
A little background: Saturday morning, the Boys of Soma were sitting around reminding each other through unverifiable anecdotes how clever, strong, and sexually potent we are. By and by, it sank in that if we continued to lie to each other loudly, some outside observers might begin to consider us liars. And that wouldn’t do.
So we settled into a brief quiet. And then Saunders piped up.
“I’m very disappointed in Nicole (not her real name),” he said, dolefully.
The rest of us glanced at each other. Nicole is an honorary Boy of Soma. Some consider her, in fact, the leader of the B of S because, well, she could probably kick the hell out of most of us. Okay, any of us.
Nicole is cherished for a variety of reasons. She’s smart, athletic, outspoken, direct, and one or two of the Boys has been known to become dreamy-eyed while watching her exit the coffeehouse. There is a general agreement within our ranks that her husband, Rod (again, not his real name) is a man to be envied.
No one has ever uttered a discouraging word about Nicole. That is, before Saunders piped up Saturday.
“What is it?” Tough Guy Mac demanded. “What’s the matter with Nicole?” I may be wrong but I think he may have balled his fists.
“Didja see who she’s going for in the election?” Saunders countered.
“No, who?” Mac and Irish Pat said as one.
Saunders dropped the bombshell. “Romney,” he said.
No, No, Say It Ain’t So!
We uttered a collective gasp. Even Barista Jericho’s iPod, heard over the room speakers at the time, stopped playing.
“Naw!” Tough Guy Mac said, waving Saunders off.
“Can’t be,” Irish Pat said.
“Whaddya talking about?” I said.
Saunders shrugged. “Look at her Facebook page,” he said.
So I pulled out the old machine and logged in. Sure enough, there it was, in a pretty display of electrons: “Nicole Magnuson Likes Mitt Romney.”
Can It Be?
Again, we fell silent. Gloom settled over our corner of the place.
“Well,” I said, “I’m gonna have to have some words with that young lady.”
“Somebody’s gonna have to,” Irish Pat said.
“I wish she was here right now so we could find out what the hell’s goin’ on,” Tough Guy Mac said.
“In fact, I’m gonna send her a message right now,” I said. Nicole at the time was out of town, in Cincinnati visiting her dear old mother. I clacked out a message telling her I was heartbroken that she’d disappointed us so.
Bang, a return message came back within seconds. “What? What’d I do?” she’d typed.
After a brief discussion during which the three of us at Soma marveled that even so backward a hamlet as Cincinnati now has the Internet, we agreed on the wording of our indictment.
Cincinnati Has Entered The 20th Century — Who Knew?
“We’re sitting here with our faces in our hands, weeping unashamedly,” I wrote. “None of us can believe it. You…, you…, you like Romney! There. I’ve said it!”
What followed was a long, outraged recount from Nicole of the dirty trick that’d been played on her. It seems someone’s busy these days hacking into people’s Facebook accounts and making them “Like” Mitt Romney.
Apparently, Mitt Romney is trying to get 8 million Likes. I suppose it’s some kind of weird political penis envy, considering that Barack Obama’s page has some 30 million Likes.
“Some believers accuse skeptics of having nothing left but a dull, cold, scientific world. I am left with art, music, literature, theater, the magnificence of nature, mathematics, the human spirit, sex, the cosmos, friendship, history, science, imagination, dreams, oceans, mountains, love, and the wonder of birth. That’ll do for me.” — Lynne Kelly
It’s the perfect illustration of how weird and busted our health care system and overall economy are. Richest nation in the history of the world — millions of people uninsured, poverty-stricken, uneducated, and sick.
Oh, that invisible hand.
THE NATION’S HAND-HOLDER
Barack Obama showed up in Aurora, Colorado yesterday to console the families of the victims of that legal gun owner, James Holmes.
Obama In Aurora
You, know, Ronald Reagan perfected this aspect of the presidential portfolio. Say what you will about Saint Ronald — and I’ve said plenty about the most terrifying president of my lifetime — he was brilliant as our chief cheerleader, mourner, and tucker of the nation into bed at night.
Mike Royko once wrote that Reagan was a miserable prez for domestic issues and a riverboat gambler when it came to foreign affairs, but he was so good at the above-mentioned tasks that he ought to have been named king for life. He could handle all those warm and fuzzy duties while staying as far away as possible from the more pressing work of the White House.
And that was George W. Bush’s undoing. His abominable showing after Hurricane Katrina led to his downfall, the fracturing of his party, and the election of Obama himself. Reagan would have spent many an hour letting the folks of New Orleans he was with them.
Bush, for his part, seemed blase about the whole deal, his most memorable utterance being that famous frat-boy backslapping, “Brownie, yer doin’ a heckuva of a job.”
It’s Yucky Down There
Obama’s got this part of the job down pat.
HILLER THE WOODSMITH; HILLER THE WORDSMITH
Our own Nancy Hiller has a big piece coming out in the October edition of Fine Woodworking (#228).
A little shameless promotion here: we’ll be carrying the mag at the Book Corner. Oh, we’ve got the book, too. See you there.
CRAZY — TERRIFYINGLY CRAZY
This weekend I noticed a number of references on Facebook to the deranged theory that the Aurora, Colorado shooting was a false flag op carried out by one-worlders eager to strip the the planet’s citizenry of their sacred armaments
The theory goes like this:
The United Nations is pushing its Arms Trade Treaty. See, some of the nations of Earth are making tons of dough selling pistols, rifles, automatic weapons, rocket launchers, mortars, and every other conceivable firearm short of nuclear bombs to the poorer countries so those little guys can shoot themselves up good.
The UN is saying, Hey, let’s slow this biz down a little, huh.
Business As Usual
Natch, the gun people in this holy land think this is the absolute worst infringement on our rights imaginable. They feel the UN treaty is only the first slide down the slippery slope to the seizure of all guns from all god-fearing Americans.
Don’t ask me why they think that. I can’t begin to explain the psycho-sexual love people have for guns around these parts.
Suffice it to say, though, that the Great United States, Inc. is the world’s largest exporter of firearms. Every war in every corner of the Earth is being fought with Americans guns.
It couldn’t be that those simple folk fretting about our sacred rights are being set up by American gun manufacturers and dealers, could it?
Anyway, this weird, weird conspiracy theory holds that James Holmes is sort of a Manchurian Candidate who was hypnotized or drugged to do his dirty deed Friday night, thereby whipping up the namby-pamby nannies of the nation to shriek for gun control.
Yeah, I know, it can’t get any more psychotic.
In fact, I put a post up on Facebook myself the other day saying the next person who espoused this lunacy would be de-friended by me immediately and gleefully.
My old trivia competition pal Andy Wallingford of Louisville took note of my post. He sent me a message and a photo. “Remember,” he wrote, “when conspiracy theories were fun?”
The US Air Force Tunnel Borer
The conspiracy theorists have put forth a variety of reasons the United Sates Air Force would own the machine picture above. The top among them include the idea that the federal government is creating a vast series of underground mountain tunnels in the western United States, wherein our leaders can retreat and live in splendor while the rest of us die horrible deaths from disease, war, poison gas, asteroid collisions or some other such calamity.
Beautiful words: “God, how he loved the Cubs, and the Cubs’ fans.”
Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.
I wonder if hypnotists still dangle pocket watches before the eyes of subjects they’re trying to put in trances.
More to the point, I wonder why there are still hypnotists. Then again, I shouldn’t wonder at all, considering we live in a credulous near-theocracy whose citizens largely believe in angels, a 6000-year-old Earth, and alien visitations.
The fundraiser will benefit the school’s baseball team. Loogootee is a speck on the map in the southwest corner of the state, total population as of the 2010 Census: 2751.
Lots of schools around this holy land hire hypnotists to entertain at fundraisers. It’s all in fun and every once in a while some kid or parent can be seen lurching around the stage, clucking like a chicken. I’m sure such a sight reaps scads of money.
Geneva Yoder, on the other hand, takes her medieval belief systems seriously. Yoder used to have kids at LHS and still cares enough about it to go there, kneel down and implore her BFF in The Sky to smile kindly upon the place.
Yoder told radio station WBIW that it’s “not morally or ethically right to hypnotize children” just to raise dough for the baseball team.
Not that Indiana has a sterling reputation as a land of forward thinkers but this mini contretemps, coming on the heels of Ft. Wayne Rep. Bob Morris claiming the Girls Scouts are a radical organization, makes us look worse than usual.
The sane among us can only hope our fellow state residents will someday bring their thinking in line with more modern 16th Century ideals.
THE RAW AND THE KOOKED
All my life I’ve been a contrarian, so much so that at times it’s been to my own detriment.
My operative philosophy is, don’t get swept up in group think. The bigger the group, the dumber everybody in it becomes.
For many years, I wondered if perhaps I was — oh, I don’t know — anti-social. Imagine how thrilled I was, then, to read George Carlin’s critique of teams. Here it is:
Teams suck! I don’t like ass-kissers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn kids: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you ‘There is no I in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an I in independence, individuality and integrity.’ Avoid teams at all costs. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, ‘We’re the so-and-sos,’ take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it’ll be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, just congratulate them on being so observant.”
Yay! I wasn’t alone. The great George Carlin agrees with me.
Despite mainly being an independent writer since 1983, now and again I’ve worked for a private company. I worked in the Education Department at Whole Foods Market for three years not terribly long ago. This was at the time when companies were spending gobs of cash on foolishness like team-building getaways.
I’d ask, Why do we have to do this junk?
Everybody would say, Oh, so we can all get to know each other and spend quality time with each other. It’ll really make us unified.
Oy, I had so many objections I didn’t know where to start. Here’s a couple. First, if I wanted to get to know my co-workers better, I’d go out with them. Since I haven’t asked certain ones out, that means I don’t want to know them any better.
I mean, the company pays me to spend eight hours a day with people who, by and large, I would never want to be around unless there was remuneration involved. Once that eight hours is up, I wanna go home or to the places I hang out and see people I really like.
Second, why do we have to be reminded we are a team? “Well, it’ll put us all on the same page,” they’d say. For pity’s sake, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Of course we’re a team! Of course we’re on the same page!
They sort of told me when I was hired, This is whatwe do here. Now you’re going to be doing it with us. I had no illusions that I’d be able to, say, work on my great American novel while I was at work — well, at least not where I could be caught at it. By definition, all our presence in this building makes us a team. We’re trying to sell groceries here, for fk’s sake!
None of these arguments went over very well. And when I couldn’t come up with any credible excuses not to go on team-building functions, I’d go and I’d spend all my time with people I liked and avoid those I didn’t. Just like the regular work day.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about all this because of raw milk.
Huh? Raw milk.
Yeah. WFIU ran a report on the morning news the other day about people who strive to circumvent Indiana’s raw milk ban. See. the state outlaws the selling of raw milk for health safety reasons. Pasteurization destroys most of the microbes that can cause food-borne illnesses.
Raw milk advocates, on the other hand, think pasteurization adversely affects the flavor of moo juice (sorry, I got tired of typing milk.)
When it comes to food fetishists, though, Bloomington often seems the center of the world. Almost immediately, Facebook lit up with people claiming raw milk is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
One person posted that since his family has switched to raw milk, his kids have suddenly been relieved of all their allergies.
Another said that he, his wife, and none of his kids have had so much as a cold since his family turned to raw milk.
I suppose they can believe what they want. What harm does it do for someone to believe raw milk is a miracle substance?
Now, I consider myself an advocate of fresh, healthy, wholesome foods. I try (although I occasionally fail) to minimize my intake of hydrogenated oils, red meat, excessive salt, and other iffy comestibles. I eat spinach every day. I gobble my fruits. I do my best to buy foods that aren’t laden with chemical preservatives or artificial flavors. I restrict my visits to White Castle to once a year.
That puts me on the health food team, I imagine. But remember, I hate being on teams. And the reactions of those Facebook posters is a prime example why. They’ve elevated a personal preference to an almost philosophical imperative.
So, I posted something myself. I wrote, “Look,if you dig the taste of raw milk that’s cool. But it ain’t no magic elixir, folks.”
Aw, that’s one of the 10,000 reasons why I hate Facebook. It too often turns me into a pain in the ass.
Hey, Cindy Wilson is 55 years old today. The B52s were the pride of Athens, Georgia and middle America’s intro to punk/new wave pop.
Wilson and her brother Ricky were two of the four original members of the band, formed in 1976. The B52s were sailing along in terms of popularity when Ricky suddenly died of AIDS-related complications in October, 1985. He hadn’t told anybody about his illness and his death was a shock to the other band members. Cindy, naturally, was hardest hit by his death. The band went on hiatus for three years.
When they came back and hit the charts in 1989 with “Love Shack” they achieved their greatest success.
Funny as in me pasting about a hundred and sixty seven Facebook posts in yesterday’s Pencil, congratulating FB-ers on their brilliant thoughts and then scrolling through the social medium today and seeing that everybody’s back to being boring again.
Funny as in the dearth of imagination in Hollywood, illustrated by the fact that at least 50 film sequels or remakes are being planned at this moment — they include:
A “Wizard of Oz” prequel
A third “Iron Man”
A sixth “The Fast and the Furious”
“Dirty Dancing” redux
The hundredth “Austin Powers”
The thousandth “Pirates of the Caribbean”
The millionth “Godzilla”
The billionth “Scarface”
The trillionth “Terminator”
They give out awards for this stuff?
LOVE IS ALL AROUND
Valentine’s Day. Being a professional contrarian, I’m morally obligated to sneer at the whole deal.
The Loved One reminded me yesterday that the first VD we spent together (we’d been seeing each other for some five and a half months at the time), I made no mention of the February 14th shebang but instead had flowers sent to her office on the 15th.
She found the off-day gesture charming. Sort of. I think.
Anyway, we’re being flooded with VD images today so I thought I’d get into the mood, just to be a sport.
I mean, honestly, which American fictional figure represents Valentine’s Day more than Mary Richards?
You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you were dating her and ignored Valentine’s Day, you would soon be, well, not dating her.
The opening of the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” is a piece of cultural iconography. From her big, floppy bellbottoms to her accidentally crushing Ted Baxter‘s hat, Mary Richards represents those first, tentative, sometimes stumbling steps of women into the workplace in the early 1970s.
And when Mary tosses her tam into the air on a crowded downtown Minneapolis street corner as an old-fashioned babushka’d lady looks on in probable disapproval, you know you’re seeing America change right before your eyes.
“I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot, nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded, who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.” — William Tecumseh Sherman, US Army general.
It is my duty as a writer, journalist, and essayist to inform the living people in the photos above that what they’ve experienced was not war.
I suspect they’d say it was hell.
OBAMA AND CHENEY FIND COMMON GROUND, WILL WORK TOGETHER
Scrolling through Facebook yesterday I learned that both President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney are Nazis.
Apparently, the party of Hitler has become very broadminded.
Working Together: Blacks And Whites, Democrats And Republicans
It also must espouse something all right-thinking Americans want — a good productive bipartisan sense of cooperation among our nationally elected officials.
Just goes to show that redemption is possible no matter how heinous a person or group has been in the past. Who knows? Maybe, say, Donald Trump will experience an epiphany and begin to work tirelessly on behalf of the poor and the sick.
“I Want To Help All My Less Fortunate Brothers And Sisters!”
Or North Korean strongman Kim Jong-il may call for world peace.
Anything can happen if both Obama and Cheney have been welcomed into the ranks of the Nazis.
Either that or the respective Facebook posters are full of horseshit.
THE MORE TRUTHS, THE MERRIER
Adolf Hitler lives on as a cherished symbol — not of brutality, racism, genocide, and tyranny, but as the poster boy for whoever you happen to disagree with.
You see, breathless exaggeration is the semi-official national language of the 21st Century.
Here’s an example. Millworkers, stonecutters, and machinists have been on strike against Indiana Limestone Company in Oolitic for a month tomorrow. Early in the morning on December 2, a non-striking employee driving a pickup truck drove into the picket line at the entrance to the facility.
Upon first hearing sketchy details of the incident, a reasonable soul might wonder, Had a hired thug been ordered to mow down strikers with his pickup truck? Was he trying only to intimidate them? Or had it even been an honest accident?
And how about this? The pavement outside Indiana Limestone was either littered with crushed bodies of victims or one or two guys got bruised up a bit.
Let’s go to two different information sources to learn the truth.
The incident was reported shortly after noon Friday on the WISH-TV website. “A picketer was struck by a vehicle…,” the report began. It went on to say, “The incident happened around 6:30 am Friday and sent the picketer via ambulance to IU Health Bedford Hospital. He was treated and released.”
Phew! That was a close one. Thank heavens it was no tragedy.
No so fast.
Here’s the scoop from a press release issued by Millworkers Local 8093 Tuesday: “… Union members… were peacefully picketing… when company thugs savagely attacked them, swerving a truck into their picket lines at a high rate of speed, hitting several of the strikers and sending one… to the hospital…. [The picketer] is still undergoing medical treatment and it is not known if he will fully recover from the injuries he sustained in the attack.”
Somebody’s lying here. Not spinning. Not obfuscating. Flat out lying. It could just as easily be a corporate media outlet as it is an overexcited press release writer.
If the gap between labor and management is half as great as that between the two accounts of the incident, the strike may go on for years.
Too bad the two sides can’t learn to work together the way two prominent new members of the Nazi party do now.
Chad has whipped the station into a shape it’s never been in before. WFHB beat its fundraising goals in both the spring and fall pledge drives. He’s one of the hardest working human beings I’ve ever met.
January was extraordinarily hard-working as well. Maybe too much so. The key line in her letter reads: “… I’ve realized that the staffing models in the organization make the News Director job a difficult position for me to maintain.”
Without talking to either Chad or January at this time (they’ve not responded to my email messages yet) I can interpret the line two ways:
1) There’s too much work for me to do here without more paid staffers; or
2) There are things I’d like to to have done but couldn’t because I didn’t have the autonomy I need.
I’ll do my best to get more dope on this one.
WE DO FACEBOOK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO
Here’s a new feature. Since most sentient humans are being driven to psychotic reaction by the flood of spamily, brattle, and breathless revelations of what people had to eat last night on Facebook, we’ve decided to wade through the mess and bring you the most illuminating ideas, events, and developments found there.
Miller on his blog refers to Occupy people as “louts, thieves, and rapists” as well as “pond scum.”
◗ Bibliophile extraordinaire R.E. Paris links to a moving video featuring a kid who was a victim of schoolyard bullying. She tells her own story of catching hell from schoolmates (speaking of louts!) R.E. credits former Star Trek actor George Takei with originating the link.
So, I’m on the alert for lightning bolts directed at me right now because I hereby present one Penn Gillette, one of my fave people on Earth, rating the presidential candidates on their friendliness toward — cringe! — atheists.
I’m not really trying to cause trouble here (oh, alright, yes I am) but a little balance is in order, no?
The Fox News rightists had apoplexy a week and a half ago when President Obama neglected to mention the all-powerful sugar daddy during his annual Thanksgiving message to the nation. Those campaigning to become president and those fortunate — or unfortunate — enough to become one rarely miss an opportunity to thank their sky-dwelling BFF.
Anybody who hopes to become president has to believe in god, still, today, some 300 years after the Age of Enlightenment and nearly 130 years after Neitzsche pronounced, “Gott ist tot” (god is dead.)
Me? I’m looking for the first prez aspirant who, well, doesn’t believe.