Category Archives: The Big Lebowski

Hot Air

A Good Beating

Y’know what? I hope the Democrats get their asses kicked all over this holy land today.

They deserve it. They deserve it because they’re pinning their hopes on a candidate whose big selling point is she’s not Barack Obama. That’s Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky. She’s running against next January’s new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Barack Obama, you see, is a bad guy to many Kentuckians. To many Murricans, for that matter. Even though he’s the President of the United States. And the titular head of the Democratic Party. Alison Lundergan Grimes’ party.

I hope she goes down in flames.

Grimes

Poster Girl

Remember the line from The Big Lebowski in the bowling alley parking lot where Walter Sobchak says to The Dude, “Nazis? Say what you will about National Socialism, at least it’s an ethos.”

The Republicans are not Nazis, no matter what certain drama queens on my side of the fence say. But they are a party that’s been hijacked by loons, whack-jobs, wingnuts, religious fanatics, anti-intellectuals, militarists, and Ayn Rand lovers. Hell, Mitch McConnell himself has made anti-intellectual hay by telling crowds around Kentucky that the Dems in Washington are being run by “college professors and community organizers” — as if there’s something wrong with that.

And the first thing the Democrats should have said was “You’re goddamned right, Mitch! You got a problem with college professors and community organizers?” Alison Lundergan Grimes should have said that.

It’d be an ethos.

But no. Alison Lundergan Grimes couldn’t even tell a debate moderator whether or not she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. As if to admit doing so would be an embarrassment. Yet the Democratic Party funneled tons of dough into her campaign.

Idiots.

Anyway, the Republican Party may be overrun with climate change deniers, xenophobes, gunslingers, Fox News watchers,  slut-shamers, evangelicals, and other such reprobates and cartoon characters, but at least they’ve got an ethos.

Even if that ethos includes the wish to throw up a fence between this country and Mexico, to run in terror from every Muslim they see or imagine, to burn as much fossil fuel as we can just for the hell of it, to allow billionaires to buy elections, to deny contraceptives to women but to make sure our health insurance cos. pay for boner pills for men, to fever dream that there’s some kind of war on Christianity and Christmas, and…, oh, I could go on and on. But you get it, don’t you? They believe in things.

What does Alison Lundergan Grimes believe in? Other than she’s not Barack Obama. Which we all could have figured out just by looking at either one of them.

You’ll have to forgive me: I’m typing in sentence fragments because I’m mad.

Why?

Because my party sucks.

There.

I want the Democrats to lose today. And they’re gonna.

They’re going to lose because they’ve refused to scream from the mountaintops that the Affordable Care Act is now covering millions of Americans who, prior to its enactment, did not have health insurance. They’re going to lose because they should have been hammering us with the fact that unemployment has dropped to under six percent since Barack Obama, that bad guy, took office. They should have shouted, gleefully, that the national debt has dropped from over a trillion dollars in 2008 to less than 500 billion dollars this year. Why didn’t the Dems brag that with Barack Obama as president, four times more jobs have been added in this country than were added in George W. Bush’s entire eight year term? Or that US oil imports under Barack Obama have plummeted by more than 50 percent? And wind and solar power production in America has increased by 241 percent since 2008?

Or even that, with Obama courageously giving the go-ahead, US soldiers staged a daring raid and bumped off Osama bin Laden?

What more do you want from a guy who had to “work” with an opposition that promised to sabotage him and his presidency the moment he took the oath?

Did you hear Democratic candidates saying any of this?

Alison Lundergan Grimes is simply the poster girl for the run-from-Barack strategy employed by too many — way, way, way too many — Democratic candidates this year. Mind you, they’re not even running from some wild-eyed radical of the Left; they’re running from a fellow who’d make Richard Nixon or Dwight Eisenhower proud. Lyndon Johnson, on the other hand, would have employed some awfully harsh words in describing him.

The Dems, kiddies, are embarrassed about themselves. They’re embarrassed for having once embraced labor unions. They’re embarrassed because they don’t think it’s a sin to have an abortion. They’re embarrassed because they wonder how we can work with Mexican immigrants, with Middle East Muslims, with Russians. They’re embarrassed because they don’t want to stone homosexuals. They’re embarrassed because they want to spend more money on teachers and schoolbooks and less on thermonuclear bombs. They’re embarrassed because the Republicans are peopled with beet-faced parsons, mean old ladies, and tough guy coppers who’ve devoted their lives to shaking their fingers at them.

Hagee/Schlafly/Arpaio

Scolds: John Hagee, Phyllis Schlafly & Joe Arpaio

They’re embarrassed for all the wrong reasons.

Hot Air

Satan’s Sounds

Much as I make fun of the Republicans (and, by the way, I don’t hate them — that’s kid’s stuff) it’s the Libertarians whom I consider to be the silliest gang of political animals extant.

The Libertarians, from this vantage point, are essentially overgrown teenagers. Their basic philosophy boils down to You can’t tell me what to do.

Bumper Sticker

As Walter  Sobchak said of the difference between nihilists and neo-Nazis in The Big Lebowski, “Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, at least it’s an ethos.”

Matt Kibbe, one of the folks responsible for the Tea (read: Me) Party’s existence, was interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday this morning. He’s a Libertarian of the first degree. He says his early philosophies were formed in part when he listened to (the insufferable music of) Canadian prog-metal rockers Rush as a youth.

Rush

Philosopher Rock Stars

Apparently, Rush put out a song or an album (I forget which, mainly because I don’t care) about some dystopic society far in the future. So the pimply-faced young Matt Kibbe ate the song (or album) up and next thing you know he was working with the former House Majority Leader Dick Armey to form a quasi-sociopathic political bloc that has taken over much of the Congress of this holy land. The Tea Party’s tenets are spelled out in  a book Kibbe and Armey c0-wrote entitled, Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto. Kibbe’s own FreedomWorks organization is dedicated to the proposition that a monolithic, all-powerful entity like the federal gov’t is icky.

Kibbe

Kibbe

Freedom Works and the Tea Party are financed and led, ironically, by various representatives of monolithic, all-powerful multinational corporations as well as any number of monolithic, all-powerful, individual plutocrats.

So the argument can be made that rock ‘n roll is responsible for the birth of the Tea Party. Hmm, maybe all those hyper-moralists of the 1950s who warned that rock ‘n roll was the devil’s music were right.

Rotten To The Core

Speaking of Me Party-ists and Libertarians, the Indy Star today tells the story of the downfall of Indiana’s acceptance of the federal Common Core standards for public schools.

Common Core is pretty much an innocuous attempt by bureaucrats to make sure kids graduating from high school know how to do things like read, write, and add two plus two. The vast majority of states in this holy land — 45 of the 50 — accepted Common Core standards after they were released in 2010. Indiana bought in almost immediately but it has become the first of the states to change its mind and buy out.

Guess who was in the forefront of the state’s reversal. Yep, the Tea Party and its Libertarian pals.

The Rush-inspired and robber baron-funded political movements demanded the Hoosier State adopt its own educational standards for students at each grade level. That’s what state legislators and operatives from the Indiana Department of Education are doing as we speak. In fact, they’ve already come out with a number draft standards.

Lo and behold these new standards are — get ready for it — pretty much the same as the fed standards.

Hmm. So the whole contretemps boiled down to — see above — You can’t tell me what to do.

Hot Feline Air

…By Any Other Name…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love — love! — the fact that NPR anchors and reporters have to say the words Pussy Riot.

These are people, the stereotyping section of my brain has concluded, who’ve never uttered the P-word before in their lives. Whereas it’s my fave appellation for a woman’s business — a pussy is, after all, warm, snuggly, and comfortable. Rather like a de-clawed cat, no?

Kitten

Now, the C-word. Uh uh. That’s bad sauce, babies. It’s a harsh, hateful word. Yet, even some feminist-y women occasionally drop it when referring to a dame they particularly detest. I strive never to use it because of its hard-edge and insulting connotation.

It’s a word I imagine frat boys bandy about while sitting around and philosophizing. If frat boys use it, I have to eliminate it from my vocabulary. I’m also thinking of refusing to use the word the in my speech, which I suspect will be a tad more problematic.

In fact, if you want to distinguish between, say, odious porn and glorious erotica, simply use my handy C-word system. If the book or video uses the C-word in its title or the term is used liberally (eek, such an unfortunately choice of a word) in its content, the work likely will not be of art at all but rather a crushing, repulsive, quasi-violent put-down of the female sex.

O'Keeffe/Jack In The Pulpit

Anyway, I’ve been wondering how media outlets like the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, or the Rush Limbaugh radio flatulence-fest refer to the two erstwhile jailed Russian members of the punk group.

Well, let’s find out, shall we? The Grey Lady (an antiquated nickname for the NYT which, in its historical stuffiness, largely eschewed photos) seemed fairly itchy when first called upon to name the band. In the story dated August 17, 2012, telling of the band’s conviction and sentence on charges of hooliganism (which, itself, is a fave word of mine), the paper waited until the second graf to even mention PR’s name and even then acted all peevish about it. “[M]embers of a punk band called Pussy Riot…,” the copy read, as if to plead, Hey, don’t blame us.

As the fairly long story continued, the paper seemed at pains to avoid mentioning the name again, only doing so three more times, once to huff, “But while the women became minor celebrities, Pussy Riot is far more political than musical: Its members have never commercially released a song or an album, and they do not seem to have any serious aspirations to do so.”

In case anybody doesn’t get the gist of that graf, the Grey Lady is saying, Good heavens, no proper young ladies who employ such déclassé verbiage should ever be taken seriously!

Guaranteed the editors of the NYT are, at this very moment, on their knees praying Pussy Riot will disappear from the Earth forthwith so subscribers can safely return to the reading of more refined topics like sub-Saharan genocide or teenage rape in Ohio.

Despite bannering a variation on the name of one billion people’s lord and savior in its very name, the Christian Science Monitor went full Pussy Riot within the first nine words of its article on the band’s conviction and sentence in 2012. And the funny thing is, as I type this, the CSM page is still up on another window and its auto-play ad is running a faux doc on meterologists, air force commanders, and other scientists and officials tracking Santa and his reindeers’ flight over this holy land. Hehe; I love funny juxtapositions, natch.

Now then, how about the troggiest of all Oxycontin-head troglodytes, Rush Limbaugh? A casual google search shows — get this — absolutely no mentions of Pussy Riot by the King of Blowhard Kings. Imagine that. Here was his chance to either slam Vladimir Putin and the hated Russkies for being such stone-headed tyrants or to savage a band of slutty sluts who had the temerity to desecrate the Orthodox home of Jesus H. Christ himself. Yet Rush couldn’t even bring himself to address the issue. Who knows? Perhaps he digs their music and is torn. Or maybe he feels young women should be allowed to make the occasional public mistake without being ripped to shreds by porcine conservative commentators?

As they used to say in my old neighborhood, Whaddya, stupid?

I’m betting Rush and his merry band of keyboard clackers were paralyzed by Pussy Riot’s very name. You know the scene in the movie The Big Lebowski where Maude asks the Dude what his feelings are on the word vagina?

Maude: Does the female form make you uncomfortable, Mr. Lebowski?

The Dude: Um, is that what this is a picture of?

Maude: In a sense, yes. My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal, which bothers some men. The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina.

Scene from "The Big Lebowski"

“Vagina.”

The Dude: Oh yeah?

Maude: Yes. They don’t like hearing it and find it difficult to say….

I can see ol’ Rush reading about the Pussy Riot story the first time and then dashing off to the lavatory to scrub his hands and face.

My feeling is Rush et al would be far more comfortable had the Russian performance artists named themselves Cunt Riot.

Now, that’s a name they could get behind.

Merry Christmas!

Punk Prayer

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