Monday, June 30, 2008

Bumper Sticker Patriotism

This morning a terrible thing happened to me. It's not the first time it's happened, but this time it was quite a bit more traumatic. Today started like any other Monday morning, I woke up, had a cigarette, read the morning news on my phone, had a glass of orange juice and an English muffin, took a shower, got dressed, and then walked down to my car to head to work whilst cursing whatever foul god is responsible for this insufferable heat They get cursed about a dozen times a day during the summer, no doubt boding ill for the fate of my soul, but I digress. I get to my car, and am stunned. I had been vandalized.....I felt so violated. For on the back of my car, was the above magnet.
Some asshat apparently decided either me, or my fine German engineered automobile, wasn't patriotic enough and so they saddled it with that. I'm sure you can imagine my horror.
I mean first off, who the hell buys these magnets and puts them on other peoples cars? And second, what the fuck does support American even mean? I pay my taxes, I vote, I bitch about the idiots in office because other idiots also vote.....what else am I supposed to do? Seriously, what does 'Support America' even mean? I wonder if this is the car magnet people with a poor grasp of the English language who may or may not come from a nation south of the US buy to put on their pickup just to fit in.
I understand the Support the Troops car magnets. I think they're stupid and a really empty gesture, it's not as though enemy soldiers are going to quit firing because you put a magnet on your car or some depressed soldier was going to off himself until he saw your car magnet and then decided that life was worth living afterall, but hey...if it makes you feel better, whatever. Just don't put them on my car.
Which is to say nothing of the "Never Forget 9/11" bumper sticker series. As if I'd totally forgotten that a plane had flown into a building 7 years ago killing 3k people and giving Bush the chance to start not just one, but two wars and erode my civil liberties in the process. That's really not one of those things you just kind of forget.
I miss the days of the Jesus fish, which was then countered by the Darwin fish, the fish with legs, or Darwin eating the fish. It never really made sense on account of the story of the fish being completely irrelevant to Charles Darwin, but it was atleast entertaining to see the Christians and the Secular folks engaged in cold war through fish magnets.
Now? Well now we get asshats shoving their pseudo-patriotism in your face with an entire line of magnets and bumper stickers which undoubtedly are made in China. And then putting them on your car. God bless America.......

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dear, History Channel

Dear History Channel, Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities
Dear History Channel,
It was during one of those magical summers of the 1990s that I first laid eyes on you. During commercials for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Home Improvement in the then Tivo-less world, I would find myself wandering towards you. Sure, you didn't have the luscious DD's of HBO or the nice legs of Mtv, or even the tight little ass of NBC (they didn't call it 'Must See TV' for nothing...), but when you put on a little makeup you were a nice package on the whole. And unlike those other stations, you were as a tack. We had some great conversations, unlike that floozy Mtv who left me with little besides Beavis & Butt-head and that strain of herpes called Singled Out. And so I began to fall for you like I've never fallen for a television station before.
We had so many great conversations, that I was able to cope with the occasional repetitive conversation about, say, World War II. Sure I got tired occasionally of the grainy footage from Normandy, but you offered me Tales of the Gun...and nothing was better during a commercial break of Walker, Texas Ranger. Or maybe I'd come home at 3am, very possibly slightly inebriated, and you'd be there, waiting to fuck me with a compelling episode of History's Mysteries.
And unlike many relationships, ours continued to grow and improve with time. Soon I would be in college, and you offered more than just the old standbys.....The Presidents, The Revolution, holiday re-runs of Band of Brothers, your programming became better. I was beginning to think that the conversation would never die and that you would never grow old and gray, but forever stay as beautiful as the day we first met.
I now know however, that for this relationship to continue, you're going to have to make some serious changes. I'm simply not happy with the direction this relationship has taken the past few years, and I think it's you that is ruining it. Sure Modern Marvels has always been a beating, but that's why I had other channels on the side, and when you gave me Wild West Tech I thought we could really make this work. But then you brought me Dogfights. Sure, re-creating Medieval battles with the Rome: Total War engine was cool, and probably cheaper than hiring SCA actors, but re-creating aerial battles? Did you really think that was a good idea? I probably should have dumped you then, but we had such a great history...I thought you deserved the benefit of the doubt.
And then, like a bomb the likes of which the earth has never seen, you decided to try and sell me Ice Road Truckers. I know you were jealous of me and Discovery's little trist, Deadliest Catch, but I told you at the time that you could never do what Discovery did, and you said it was ok. Then you had to try, and I gave you a couple episodes.....and it was terrible. And the doubt in my mind grew. And then last year you tried again, this time with Ax Men. Ax Men? Seriously? Did you really think we wanted to watch men that could be a dead ringer for Tad Doyle cutting down trees? This was worse than any of the UFO Files crap you'd tried to pawn off on me in the past.
HBO, still with that great perky rack so many years later, is offering me John Adams and you're expecting me to give you the benefit of the doubt and watch Ax Men? I'm sorry, I've just been feeling neglected by though you're after a younger and apparently much dumber man. And if you are that's ok, we can move on, it can even be amicable, but you've got to be honest with me. You can't promise me the world with new programming like Surviving History, and then when I actually watch it it turns out to be a rip-off of Mythbusters without the cute brunette. Don't think I've forgotten that you once actually fulfilled your promises.
Don't try to blame this on me, it's not me, it's you. for all these years I've been there for you, and I've been nothing but supportive. I happily overlooked your previous poor decisions and continued to support you because I thought in the end, you'd make the right's sad, but I no longer feel that way. Cities of the Underworld was disappointing, Digging For The Truth was a terrible idea (did you really think we wanted a sexually ambiguous Indiana Jones?), and while Man, Moment, Machine had became so redundant.
It wasn't just Surviving History, that was just the decision that broke the proverbial camel's back. And so it's with great sorrow, that I tell you it's over. I'm sorry, it's just over. Maybe you'll change and in the future we can try again, and I'm sure there will be a few drunken hook-ups in the future, but as a couple.....I'm's just over.
PS - You weren't just paranoid, I've been cheating on you with both Discovery and ESPN for years now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Can't Imagine The Hate Mail This Guy's Getting

I can't imagine the hate mail that this guy must be getting, but I sincerely thank Gregg Doyle for having. the balls to write this. I'm sure his e-mail box is overflowing with the self-righteous telling him how very wrong he is, and truth be told I'm a little shocked CBS actually published it. I'm sure his supervisor is getting plenty of hate mail as well. Here's the article, with a little commentary after the jump;

Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams sucks at zone coverage, but Jesus loves him.
No, wait. Sorry -- I made a mess of that sentence. Let me try it again:
Roy Williams sucks at zone coverage because Jesus loves him.
There. Better.
Why are you looking at me like that? Don't blame me. I'm not the latest athlete to play the God card so clumsily and self-centeredly. I'm not the "role model" who told an Oklahoma newspaper that a direct line can be drawn from his football struggles to his new-found faith in the Lord. That was all Roy Williams, who had been having a tough year before opening his mouth and inserting his Bible.
Williams went through the entire 2007 season without a sack. He struggled in Wade Phillips' 3-4 defensive scheme to the point Phillips didn't start him in two games. There was talk of a feud between Williams and coaches and even some teammates after Williams -- whose horse-collar tackles led to a rule banning them -- got himself suspended by horse-collaring the Eagles' Donovan McNabb.
Two Cowboys questioned him recently in the media. Greg Ellis said Williams has been whining and distancing himself from teammates. Terence Newman said Williams "had a bad season" in coverage thanks to his "deer in headlights type of reaction to some plays."
With that as context, here's what Williams told the Oklahoman last week:
"Ever since I've rededicated my life to Christ, I've caught way more persecution now," he said. "But it's a beautiful thing because I know it's a breakthrough coming for me. I welcome it. What makes me any better than Christ? He was persecuted and I've been persecuted. My teammates know where my heart is. They know where my mind is at."
Williams' heart may be in the right place, but his brain needs work if it sees parallels between the persecution of Jesus and the persecution of a $25 million safety. Beaten by Roman soldiers, beaten by Randy Moss -- what's the difference?
Athletes turn to God, and God loses. Have you ever met someone who was turned .. watching Jon Kitna thank God for a touchdown pass? Doubt it. Have you ever met someone who was turned off? Sure you have. There's a saying: Christianity would be great if it weren't for all those, you know, Christians.
Just so you know, I've walked both sides of this fence. Some of you might wonder, so here goes: I've not been to church in a year, but for a decade before that, I went weekly and tithed 10 percent of my salary, such as it is, to the church. There's my story.
Lots of Christians tithe. Nothing special about me. Hell, Darryl Strawberry told reporters he was tithing in 1991. In later years, he was strung out on coke and indicted for tax evasion and charged with soliciting prostitutes and assaulting a girlfriend and failing to support his kids. I'm not sure he was still a Christian, but I'm positive I wasn't the only one to remember his tithing and wonder what happened. And I'm positive that's not good.
Not that Christians are, or are supposed to be, perfect. They're not. On the day before Super Bowl XXXIII, Falcons safety Eugene Robinson was awarded the Bart Starr Award by the Christian group Athletes in Action for his "high moral character." That night he was busted for soliciting a prostitute. It happens. Christians are fallible too, you know.
But when Christian athletes are fallible or narcissistic or just stupid, there are thousands of easily influenced people taking note. So when a whining malcontent like Roy Williams starts comparing himself to Jesus, he's not helping the bigger cause. He's hurting it. And he's just the latest in a long line of athletes to do so.
Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter is one of the most devoutly Christian athletes I've ever seen, but a few weeks ago, he was openly pining for Mets manager Willie Randolph's job. That's coveting. And it isn't very Christian.
When he played for the Marlins in 1997, Darren Daulton espoused his beliefs as a born-again Christian. He espoused them to me, and I listened. Now he espouses his belief in out-of-body experiences, numerology and his mastery of time travel. He might be crazy. He definitely isn't someone I should have been listening to in 1997.
As heavyweight champion of the world, Evander Holyfield sends one message when he speaks about his deep Christian faith. He sends another with his 11 children with various women, several out of wedlock.
Before the 2005 Super Bowl, receiver Terrell Owens said God had healed his injured ankle. Doctors had inserted two screws and a metal plate into the leg on Dec. 22, 2004. Four days later, Southeast Asia was decimated by a tsunami that killed more than 200,000. Maybe T.O. really does think God was healing an ankle at the same time He was allowing such death and destruction. Fine. But don't tell us.
Just the other day, Paul Pierce said God dispatched an angel from heaven to uplift him after Pierce went from a heap to a hero in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Said Pierce: "I think God sent an angel down and said, 'Hey, you're going to be all right. You need to get back out there and show them what you've got.'"
God is a Celtics fan. Good to know.
These athletes don't get it. After Kobe Bryant is accused of sexual assault, we don't want to hear him tell us, as he did then, "we need your prayers now more than ever." After Michael Vick is sentenced to jail for the killing of dogs, we don't want to hear him say, "Through this situation, I found Jesus and asked Him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God." After Pacman Jones made it rain in Las Vegas, triggering a melee that left a man paralyzed, we don't want to see him handing out boxes of food in a staged photo-op at an Atlanta church.
There's a reason Madison Avenue doesn't want anything to do with famous athletes like the ones in this story: People don't like them. People don't want to be like them.
So if these are the kinds of men who join the Christian club and shove their faith down my throat ... maybe that club's not for me.

You see, to me, one of the biggest beatings in the world is when people play the God card. Somehow this amazing God of their is notoriously absent as they're cheating on their wife/fucking hookers/doing drugs/embezzling money/having 15 kids/fighting dogs/etc. and yet as soon as they're caught this God suddenly appears and offers them solace and guidance and they're changed men (or women, though I can't think of an example with a woman). This isn't just limited to sports, this is rampant as well in politics, and even every day life. Nevermind if they hadn't been, you know, caught then this God wouldn't have brought them peace and they'd have continued doing what they were doing....nevermind that.
It's so fucking insincere, and yet somehow there are enough idiots/saps in this world that people actually believe this crap, and forgive the person because they've "become a better Christian." You see it over and over, you can be a celebrity and do basically anything you want....and so long as you can keep a straight face and play the God card, all is forgiven.
Oh you hate Jews Mel Gibson? That's ok if you've found God.
I know this isn't breaking news, and I really don't know why this drives me so insane....but for whatever reason it does. So I just thank the author for penning a great article on it, and appreciate the crap I'm sure he's going to get for it. Cheers.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Quick Glance At The Newspaper

Ok not the actual newspaper, which if you've been keeping up, has seen a rapid and marked decline in subscriptions due to some fancy new thing called teh intertubes. Hell, they raised the price of a daily paper to $0.75 which I could rant about, but ehhhh........
Instead, the newspaper in common vernacular has become synonymous with news websites, and it is from there that I bring you a couple stories that have caught my eye in the last few days.
First, from Hartford, CT. we have the story of a hit and run in which a 78 year old man is struck by a car, and then lies in the street bleeding for several minutes as cars drive around him and pedestrians gawk and do nothing. In fact, it was by sheer accident that a cop responding to another call stumbled upon it and actually, you know, got out of his car. You can see video of it here. It's really a pretty shitty story. People are going to claim that they're too busy to stop, or they're afraid of getting sued, or whatever (nevermind that no one even called police).....but in reality, this is just yet another piece of evidence to support my hypothesis that people are shitty. Which isn't to say that good people don't exist, just that the vast majority are self-obsessed assholes.
Part of why this caught my attention though, is my own having done something similarly shitty. A couple weekends ago I was driving down I-35 near Mockingbird when she SUV in front of me started to swerve, then ran off the road and hit a sign, then swerved back onto the road before flipping over and sliding to a was a pretty grizzly and violent wreck. I immediately pick up the phone and call police to notify them, but after I hang up I catch myself....why didn't I stop? It somehow didn't even dawn on me to stop and offer aid until I was a mile or so down the freeway. I mean, what kind of an asshole am I that I don't even *think* about stopping? So I turn around and go back to the scene and by then there are a half dozen people there, at which point I figure I would just make it too many cooks in a crowded kitchen. But I felt a little guilty that I didn't just instinctively pull over and render aid.
The second story has to do with two lesbians (one apparently hot) making out at a baseball game in Seattle. The ladies claim they were just pecking each other occasionally and actually eating garlic fries, the complaining bystanders claimed they were mugging down and groping each other. I tend to side with the former on account of the general displeasure the type of person that would complain about lesbians kissing most likely has towards them in the first place.
In short though, these two lesbians are eating garlic fries and kissing in some manner when a few other people in the stands (not surprisingly women, hehe) complain to the usher that it's inappropriate. Usher has to confront the women (presumably very uncomfortably) and ask that they desist, at which point they decide their 15m of fame has arrived and call the press to claim they were discriminated against. They weren't actually removed from the game, which in many ways makes this a non-story, but the gay community (in much the way the every minority "community" does) has decided to run with the story and use it as an example of the blatant hate they fight everyday of their lives....or whatever the party line is right now. **(I should clarify, I'm not playing down or belittling the persecution gay people have to endure at various times and places, I just don't think this story is a good example of it, in much the same way I don't think the crap John Wiley Price does is a good example of the racism the black man has to endure. Understand?)**
The person I feel most victimized in this story, is that poor usher...I mean wtf is that guy supposed to do? I don't begrudge these women (and it would be the same if it were men) their right to kiss in public, especially with the prevalance of "kiss cams" at baseball games these days. That said, these women know that their actions (and lifestyle) do offend some can call them backwards, idiotic, redneck, can call them whatever, but these people don't have their gay lifestyle pennants out. And much like these women have every right in the world to kiss, the other people have every right in the world to bitch about it.
Likewise, the usher and the Baseball Club in general have some sort of obligation to respond to complaints. It's not as though the usher came down because he wanted to, he came down because he was responding to a complaint. He handled it as diplomatically as possible, and in the end, I really don't see the story here...other than it's a platform for the gay rights folks to advance their agenda (which is good i guess).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

OMG! A Plastic Castle!

Alright, so I've used this phrase a few times in the last weeks or so, and recieved confused stares as people didn't understand what it meant. I figure now is high time to rectify I thought it was a fairly common phrase.
The first time I remember hearing (or reading, i guess) it was on the VN Boards several years back. Since then I've adopted it as a perfect description of ADD people (you know, most everyone I know). You know, like people who continually get so distracted it takes them 8 hours to return a text message or maybe like people who somehow cover 8 topics in one sentence or even those damn people that are continuously distracted by sports on TV during conversations. You know the type.
So you're asking yourself, what does this have to do with plastic castles? I don't know why you're asking yourself that, I'm obviously going to answer. What you have to do, is imagine that these people are goldfish. No, not the delicious crackers (I prefer parmesan), but the little fish. And that they're swimming around in a little fish bowl....and that inside this fishbowl there is sand, a plastic castle, and two fish.
As the fish swim around, one is continually trying to have a conversation with the other. It will say something like, "wow, this fish food sucks, don't you think?" and the other fish will reply, sometimes....but everytime they lap around the bowl the latter fish will see the plastic castle and blurt, "Oh My God! A Plastic Castle!"
And the conversation will get derailed.