Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Good Times at Pottersville, 8/19/15


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Monday, August 17, 2015

A Memo From the Boss

 Dear Amazonians:

     There was a hit piece that came out this weekend in the NY Times, entitled Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace." So when I came in today on my yacht and helicopter, off my private elevator and got to my office, I wished to be the first to officially respond to this unabashed hit piece in this interoffice memo.
     First off, this is not the Amazon I've been leading from Day One since 1994 and the execrable business and management practices detailed in the New York Times never once victimized me or my senior executive staff. And if I could stand to look at you and didn't exclusively know Fortune 500 Chairmen, CEOs and other corporate Chief Officers, I'm sure you'd all tell me the same thing.
     No one ever once said to me as I took off for a few months on my yacht that I couldn't play the part of the bored rich man looking to salvage deep sea treasure. The shareholders, my real bosses, never once told me I couldn't take time off from work to negotiate buying the Washington Post for a quarter of a billion dollars.
     And I can assure you, if I ever had to undergo the humiliating experience of an actual performance review, none of those necessary personal functions and responsibilities I'm sure we've all had would've been used as a criteria for or against me.
     Had they been used against me, had I actually people to answer to, I would've summoned my entire executive management staff together at a retreat in New Mexico and strategized the bullet points of a meeting with my friends in the Seattle Chamber of Commerce for some much-needed support.
     No one ever mandated I had to work 70-80 hours a week at the expense of my family. No one ever ordered me to get without a hand truck in under a minute a 55 gallon drum of anal lube on Amazon Prime Day in a stifling 100 degree warehouse fulfillment center in the armpit of the Deep South. No one ever once threatened my job by telling me to fulfill more and more unreasonable performance quotas in brutal working conditions and I'm sure every single one of my minimum wage-earning temp workers would say the same thing.
     Why, I'm sure if they actually had a voice and could get through my army of flacks, they'd say they were perfectly entitled to go off, on request, to play tennis with Bill Gates or hobnob with Warren Buffet at his mansion in Omaha if they but requested personal time 24 hours in advance.
     Secondly, there seems to be a misperception that the way in which I treat our authors, vendors such as Hachette, customers and so forth happens to be the same way I treat the submanagement staff. Nothing could be further from the truth. 
      Just because I bully big publishers into giving me the deep discounts I expect in my undeclared monopoly and make their catalogs disappear overnight if I don't get my way, just because I cheat authors by paying by the page as of July 1st while we still grab our 30% distribution fee on Kindle sales, just because we refuse to hire longterm temp workers and make them work in stifling conditions and just because we hired neo Nazis to control the workers who work in our German fulfillment centers does not mean I'm running a white collar sweatshop operation.
     And now, I'm going to prove everything I just said by taking some time off from my job to buy the New York Times and seriously scrutinizing the actual necessity of everyone on their reporting staff.

     As for the fact of women being excluded from my top management team, that's just incidental and untrue. Look here: Here's one. Now get off my back. C'mon, I'm not sexist. Just look at me! I have a fun, dorky face, sort of like Bobby Darin's retarded kid brother or a special needs Hobbit.

Jeff

PS Unless you wish to be docked for the time you spent reading this, you'd better double your quotas for today. J/K!

PPS Not really...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Top 10 Changes to HBO's Sesame Street

     After 46 seasons on PBS, the Sesame Workshop's executive management decided to move iconic children's show Sesame Street to HBO for at least the next five seasons. This will double the present programming of 18 episodes to 35 as well as increase the Sesame Workshop's budget. The move will also allow for a Sesame Street spinoff show. But these are just some of the exciting changes that will take place. What are the others?


  • 10) Tony Soprano starts a protection racket on Sesame Street; Paulie Walnuts caps a noncompliant Gordon in the pine barrens.
  • 9) Oscar is found dead in a Dumpster and everyone assumes he moved into a condo.
  • 8) The first episode will be brought to you by the numbers 1-8-7.
  • 7) Children will now be introduced to commercials every four minutes extolling the wonderful world of Cinemax After Dark.
  • 6) True Detective's 3rd season will be on Sesame Street to regain the gravitas it lost on season two.
  • 5) Miss Piggy and Kermit can finally take their burgeoning, interspecies relationship to the next level.
  • 4) The spinoff will be David Lynch's Twin Peaks reprise and will be about who murdered Elmo.
  • 3) The Count Count will now look like Ian McShane.
  • 2) Bert and Ernie take a bad detour on the way to a Pride Parade and wind up in Deadwood.
  • 1) Season 47 cliffhanger will ask who fed strychnine-laced confections to Cookie Monster.
  • Sunday, August 9, 2015

    Why There's Never Been a White Genocide


    Good Times at Pottersville: Slavery Edition


    Friday, August 7, 2015

    Good Times at Pottersville, August 7, 2015

    Saturday, August 1, 2015

    A Time to Mourn

    (By Cyril Blubberpuss, Esq)
         Let us come not to praise Cecil but to bury him. At least, the pieces that are scattered around Walter Palmer's den in Minnesota. But let us also mourn what Cecil represented to many: A $45,000,000 safari industry in Zimbabwe that is now on hiatus thanks to the untimely slaying of Cecil's brother, Jericho.

         I have a heart. After all, I, too, have a brother named Cecil, although he'd make for very poor sport, considering his asthma and unhealthy addiction to fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. When we'd play hide and seek around our father Ambrose's mansion with my cousins Astor and Cedric, we'd find Cecil every time and he'd look at us with those doe-like eyes and that deer-in-the-headlights look then wet his pants, which didn't exactly endear him to the staff.
         But anyway, this is about the other Cecil and the blow to private industry he represents. And now, thanks to the badly-timed shooting of Jericho, the only thing separating his brother's cubs from the alimentary tract of another rival lion (Seriously, old man, you couldn't've waited a month or two and contented yourself with shooting squirrels with a .22?), rich, white big game hunters are now on a par with Bill Cosby and Donald's Trump's hairdresser.
         With Zimbabwe's suspension of big game hunting around its famous preserves, wealthy Caucasian males will now have to go to Africa's other 53 undisputed countries.
         And what's this world coming to when rich, white men can no longer simply go out and kill something with impunity? The bribes we pay each year alone would float your typical spear-jiggling African nation for a decade. Walter Palmer's $55,000 could've built a city on the fucking Serengeti.
         Poaching from Africa is a proud Caucasian-American tradition that goes back centuries before there was an America. When Dutch slave traders would engage in their own extreme version of hide and seek with the indigenous population in the 15th century, they couldn't have realized they were building a new world that would be based on cotton, tobacco and whatever else we could whip the slaves into growing or picking for us.
         Africa, historically, has been a one-stop shopping center for wealthy whites with erectile dysfunction issues and no prospects of making an honest living. White Man-ifest Destiny, as I like to call it, builds nations, economies and, well, destiny even if we have to coax the work being done by those who bring it out with the occasional whip.
         I recall once back in 1965, our father Ambrose took Cecil and me to Kenya, the president's birthplace, for a big game safari. Oh, what a week that was! I still recall Father, his pith helmet atop his head, cigar proudly jutting from his face, looking like a character from a Hope and Crosby Road movie. He'd paid some local poachers the then princely sum of $1000 to find us a rare black panther. The movement named after them was just gaining steam and Father wanted to make a point by mounting the beast's head on the wall of his office just above his head and behind his office chair, draping the fur before his expansive mahogany desk. It would've been for the benefit of his black employees who were getting troublesome and uppity by asking for an extra nickel an hour.
         Anyway, we were tooling around the Serengeti in our jeep and Father was just about to take a sip from an ice cold martini when our driver stopped and alerted us to a black panther about 150 yards straight ahead. Cecil, who by this time was only five, was thankfully able to hold his water, mostly because he wasn't the one being hunted.
         So Father huffed and puffed his way out of the back seat of the jeep, struggling to chamber a round in his new 30.06 while our guide Zimbeebe acted as a spotter. Then the unexpected happened.
         I still to this day do not know how a man can shoot off his penis with a 30.06 but somehow Dad managed it. He was so excited he wasn't watching what he was doing and didn't realize the safety was off. The next thing any of us knew, he was bent over and howling while the panther's attention was now fully captured. As it began stalking us, Zimbeebe helped Dad into the jeep and drove like mad to the nearest hospital in Nairobi.
         The thing we remembered seeing was the panther, a magnificent female, contentedly chewing on Father's severed member as we backed away. From that point on until his passing in the 70's, Father would turn his wooden globe over in our den, find the Dark Continent and sadly sigh, muttering, "Ah, I didn't need it anymore, anyway." The following year, he'd hired a professional big game hunter, had him kill a black rhino and had the tusk surgically implanted where the Blubberpuss penis once was.
         While Father was convalescing in the hospital, he wired his brother Osrick to cut short his sex tour in Hispaniola to come get us and take us back to Upper Manhattan. And there's a lesson to be learned in all this: Namely, that white men can and should reasonably expect to have their brothers watch over their young, a luxury we just can't give to lions like Jericho.

    Sunday, July 19, 2015

    The Kid Goes Live

         Last spring, I'd alerted many people on my mailing list about a promotional offer I was planning: Buy a paperback copy of Tatterdemalion and you'll get a free copy of the Scott Carson short story I was beginning. Disappointingly, I only got three takers on that offer.
         Then, after hitting a wall for a couple of months about how to end "The Kid", I finally knuckled down and finished it last week. Then I got another idea: Since it's a good 15,000 words-long, why not turn it into a small paperback and Kindle single (go the Kindle page and read a couple of sample pages)?
         Ergo, after the usual publishing delays, the Createspace version went live a few days ago and the Kindle version launched late last night. But that doesn't mean the promotion has to come to an end.
         Yes, for those of you who haven't bought the paperback version, I'm still willing to give away copies of "The Kid" in either format. If you want the paperback (I've ordered five new proof copies that are identical to the finished one now for sale), tell me and I'll snailmail one to you at my expense. Or, if you have a Kindle and prefer that, I can send a complimentary copy if you give me your email address.
         The paperback goes for $3.95, a higher price than I'd like, but since we're talking paper, ink and other overhead printing expenses, there's nothing I can do about that (I've priced it as low as Createspace will let me, meaning my royalties will be pennies). The same goes for the Kindle version, although I was able to price that down to the minimum .99¢.
         "The Kid" is Scott Carson's first adventure that takes place in 1873, when he's six and a half years-old. Among several other things, it details Carson's friendship with Will, a slightly older child who goes on to become one of the most famous (or infamous) Americans of all time. He's also introduced to Jacob Riis, the historical figure who became a liberal muckraker during the late 19th-early 20th century. Riis, while a minor but ultimately important character in Tatterdemalion but a very important one in Carson's life, is vividly brought back to life as are Carson's parents and Captain Thomas Byrnes, the notoriously corrupt Chief of Detectives in the NYPD.
         It's an extremely rare short story for me since I almost never write them but out of the ones I've tried in my life, this is the only one that's turned out very well. 
         So, if you're interested in both books, leave a comment or shoot me an email at Crawman2@yahoo.com.

    Saturday, July 18, 2015

    Now You Know Why the Gadsden Flag is Yellow

         Taken today at the KKK rally at Columbia, SC. Sometimes, a picture really is worth 1000 words.

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    WI Legislature Votes Blacks Must be Precuffed and Pretased For Law Enforcement.

    Acceptable posture: Compliant negroes take a leisurely crawl through downtown Madison.
    Madison, WI -- Coming on the tail end of a raft of Draconian legislation from the legislative body, the GOP-dominated Wisconsin Senate ratified the "2015 Black Empowerment Act". A nearly identical bill sailed through the lower chamber albeit votes being cast along party lines.
         The bill, if signed into law by Governor and presidential candidate Scott Walker, would mandate all Wisconsin African Americans, including those officially judged to be "Octaroon", be precuffed and even pretased prior to being approached by law enforcement.
         "I bet you thought we were being sarcastic again when we named this bill, huh?" said Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva). "But there you'd be wrong. The 'empowerment' part comes in with the newly-established neutered state of the negroes."
         Speaker Pro Tempore August further went on to say this is a necessary and humane solution to the recent spate of unarmed African Americans who have been shot by law enforcement or "well-meaning law enforcement sympathizers" such as George Zimmerman.
        "With the liberal press yammering on about Tamir Rice this and Trayvon Martin that, this legislative body felt it was time to take some firm, decisive and, we think, bold action that should curb the understandable fears of our courageous law enforcement professionals who piss their pants at the sight of an unencumbered negro."
         According to the language of the bill, officially known as S215,
         "Any individual of African American descent or anyone darker than, say, Nikki Haley, if outside will be required to have their hands cuffed behind their backs either with metal handcuffs or zip ties. In addition, ankles must be cuffed with no more than 12 inches of space between the inside of the feet. If approached by law enforcement, the suspects must voluntarily tase themselves with a state-approved taser emitting no less than 30,000 volts. A completely supine, face-down position is also required."
         Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch hailed the measure, sneering at "liberal gossip about how it's demeaning to blacks", adding, "How is a bill designed to keep unarmed blacks from getting shot in the back as they flee during a traffic stop, as we saw with the Walter Scott shooting, a bad or racist thing?
         "Just think if Trayvon Martin had been hopping back to his Dad's house, his iced tea and Skittles behind him, already rendered completely unable to defend himself against the much larger George Zimmerman? Mr. Zimmerman wouldn't have given him a second look or, at most, he would've called 911 and let SWAT handle the little thug."
         US Rep. and former GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, issued a press release about the new bill saying, "Tamir Rice would be looking forward to finishing middle school in Cleveland right now if the toy gun he'd been brandishing at frightened white people had been a Taser International taser. That way, if he'd shocked himself into complete submission and would have been twitching on his stomach, Officer Timothy Loehmann would've thought twice, maybe three times, about shooting the child less than two seconds after arriving to confront the threat he represented."
         It's unknown at press time if Governor Walker plans to return to the state Capitol in Madison to sign the bill but the Governor's campaign did say to Redstate.org that, "Hopefully, this bill will become just the first of many to be enacted across the nation such as Stand Your Ground, open carry laws and voter fraud measures favored by the Koch Brothers." (A later version of the press release deleted the Koch brothers' name and quietly replaced with "real Americans.")
         Law enforcement bodies across Wisconsin condemned the bill, saying it doesn't go far enough in allaying their fears of Angry Black Man Syndrome.
         "Nothing less than a full body cast will do," said the President of the Milwaukee Fraternal Order of Policemen.

    Monday, July 13, 2015

    Good Times at Pottersville, 7/13/15

    Monday, July 6, 2015

    Fear and Lathering on the Campaign Trail

    (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein)

    "#JebBush has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife." - Donald Trump in a now-deleted tweet
    “I don’t think he represents the Republican Party, and his views are way out of the mainstream of what most Republicans think.” - Jeb! Bush

         Unfortunately, Jeb! is wrong. And he knows it.
         Immediately after overrated birthday party clown Donald Trump came out swinging against Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans, calling them "rapists", his poll numbers began skyrocketing. It seems the more companies that give Trump his own medicine and fire his umber bum, the more popular he gets. That goes to show you the current state of the Republican Party and, frankly, I am amazed there are any Latinos who still identify and vote as Republicans.
         And, as Rachel Maddow pointed out last year, hypocrisy is the one crime in politics for which there is no comeuppance and Trunp is living personification of that Golden Rule. So it doesn't matter to Republican voters that after inveighing against the Chinese and the Mexicans taking our jobs that it was quickly revealed his clothing line is made in those very same countries.
         He plainly loathes anyone who isn't white or orange or rich in his orange creamsicle world and, by God, that's good enough for them.
         Therefore, since he'd placed himself in a tie for second with professional token Ben Carson in the Iowa straw poll, CNN feels it incumbent to take Hair Force One seriously and to give him 24/7 coverage on their endless cycle as he bobs and double weaves his way down the campaign trail sourly calling for boycotts of Macy's and whoever else has fired him. It also doesn't matter to the not-so-smart set who continue defending the confederate rag that Trump has in short order been shit canned by virtually every company he doesn't own.
         So why do we have to take this Bozo seriously?

    The Only Man Who Can Give Bill O'Reilly Gravitas
         In his interview with Bill O'Reilly last month, Trump came off sounding like the drunk in a bar at last call challenging anyone to a fight. To give you a taste of the Pirandelloesque Theater of the Absurd feel of the interview, here's a choice snippet from Trump about ISIS:
    “I say that you can defeat ISIS by taking their wealth. Take back the oil. Once you go over and take back that oil they have nothing. You bomb the hell out of them and then you encircle it, and then you go in. And you let Mobil go in, and you let our great oil companies go in. Once you take that oil they have nothing left.”
         One has to give O'Reilly props for not bursting out loud in laughter during the interview and asking the Donald whose birthday party he'd be doing next.
         The reason why the Republican establishment is alternately supporting Trump and giving him one free pass after another is because they know to go after him is to dismantle one of their load-bearing planks: Immigration. They know he represents their positions and, like politicians the world over, get the dry heaves at the thought of running afoul of a sizable voting block like the NASCAR BBQ Ford truck set.
         So, yes, people. We have to take this clown seriously, just as Chicago police had to finally take Pogo seriously. And we have to take him seriously because others take him seriously. CNN takes him seriously. Every network and virtually every newspaper has to take him seriously because he represents one of the Republican Party's hood ornament issues: Immigration.
         And the only reason why a precious few Republicans are publicly criticizing him is because Trump's not doubling weaving his positions like he does his hair. He's not cloaking his racism with blather about "state's rights."
         He's bringing the rest of the Dylann Roof wing of the GOP kicking and screaming into the disinfecting sunlight and forcing the rest of the country to confront what they truly stand for.
         And against.

    Saturday, July 4, 2015

    Happy 4th of July

    Fox's inaugural broadcast, 7/4/96.

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    Friday, June 26, 2015

    Meanwhile, on Fox "News..."

    (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein)
    "If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today's decision... But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."  - Chief Justice John Roberts, forgetting the 14th Amendment, 6/26/15

          Peeps, we've hit the liberal Trifecta. The grandaddy of all liberal lotteries. And it'll be a while before we enjoy another week this great. But for now, we should celebrate, dance in the streets, sing every show tune we know, gloat in the face of your least favorite ultraconservative neighbor or relative. I've even ordered a rainbow flag to fly outside our house. Suck the schadenfreude right down to the marrow until the bone whistles and drink this delicious dram to the lees. We have finally been delivered to the Promised Land and above it, smartly flapping, is a rainbow freak flag.
         The much-reviled Confederate flag's being taken down and pulled off real and online shelves.
         Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act. Again.
         And, just hours ago, that same High Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges against state gay marriage bans, meaning gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states. It took us a while to catch up to our Canadian neighbors but better to be fashionably late than never arriving at all.
         Typically, the court split along party lines that shouldn't ever exist on any impartial judicial panel, especially with our activist conservative justices and Chief Justice. Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan and the surprising swing vote coming from the usually conservative-leaning Justice Anthony Kennedy finally put the kibosh on the remaining marriage bans.
         In the minority dissent, Clarence Thomas wordlessly farted. Scalia gargled on his own bile and began screaming about apple sauce. It's not even worth recording for posterity what Chief Justice Roberts said. But what The Other Usual Suspect Sam Alito said has to be read to be believed.
         "Why not marry four men at once instead of just two?"
         In channeling Rick Santorum, he came thisclose to going all Man on Dog.
         Remind me who the activist judges are, now?

    And Sometimes, Good Things Come in Threes
         While it may have taken a national tragedy in the Charleston church shooting, it led to a rapid chain of events that saw the confederate flag withstanding renewed hostility fueled by the engine of social media. This led to SC Governor Nikki "I shamelessly use tokens" Haley and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Closet) to stand on the steps of the SC state capitol to ask the legislature to remove the confederate flag that still flew at full mast days after the shooting. This in turn led to protests demanding the stars and bars be taken down for good in other southern states.
         And then, in the unkindest cuts of all, major corporations such as Walmart, Sears, eBay, Amazon and Apple have stopped selling the treasonous flag as well as many products featuring them. Of course, these decisions made in our nation's biggest board rooms have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with making the right and moral decisions, even in the interests of political correctness, as it is in preemptively forestalling boycotts to protect their bottom lines. But whatever it takes, it takes.
         Then yesterday, the High Court supported, again, the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act by saying federal subsidies are legal in states while in the background Clarence Thomas farted in dissent some more and Scalia argle-bargled about apple sauce.
         And then, today came on an invisible rainbow, a transsexual Venus with a penis lowered on a psychodelic clam shell courtesy of Warhol paying homage to Botticelli.
        
    Of All the Gay Bars in All the World...
           Today should be made into an unofficial holiday and we should call it ME Day. Marriage Equality Day. And someone should curate the hashtag #MEDAY. Because I don't think today's decision has sunk in all the way among my people (And, no, Andrew Sullivan making a clotted comeback doesn't count).
         To quote Vice President Joe Biden (more on him later), This is so fucking cool, not to mention historic. The schadenfreude factor needs to be acknowledged, sure. What gives the liberal soul more savage glee than imagining gay weddings taking place on the steps of the Texas state capital in Austin or in Kansas under Sam Brownback's clenched nose?
         But on a more fundamental level, it's a boon for LGBT Civil Rights and equal marriage rights for all Americans and 46 years almost to the day after the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village put gay rights on the map along with civil rights and women's liberation.
         I'm proudest to be a resident of Massachusetts because the slow climb to gay marriage nationalization began, as with the Revolutionary War, right here in the Bay State. With the Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health State Supreme Court ruling in 2003, marriage equality finally became a reality in a nation in which we were told that every man was created equal and invested with certain inalienable rights.
         By 2010, only five states had gay marriage.
         Five years later? 50.
         Yesterday: Ireland. Today: The United States of America. Tomorrow: The rest of the planet earth.
         And, thanks to Jill Biden's tweet this morning, we were treated to the image of VP Joe Biden running through the halls of the White House with a rainbow flag tied around his neck like a cape, no doubt with that look that Hunter S. Thompson once described as "a rabid weasel on speed."
         And I will end this post celebrating a momentous day for gay rights by reminding my readers, many of whom thanking President Obama for today's ruling, that Joe Biden needs to be thanked first. (It is true, this ruling underscores the need for liberals to vote. No Obama, no Sotomayor, No Kagan. No ACA. No gay marriage from coast to coast. I give credit where it's due.)
         But liberals also have selective memories and only a mnemonic savant such as me would remember that in 2008 and for a few years thereafter, Obama was quietly but staunchly against gay marriage. It was only after Joe Biden publicly came out in favor of marriage equality did the Obamas finally hop on the good bandwagon and begin publicly supporting gay rights. Essentially, it was perhaps the only time in US history when the President moved to support his Vice President.
         So thank you, Mr. Vice President. I also give credit due where it's due first.
         And I have to leave with this rhetorical question:
         Abolition.
         Suffragism.
         Civil Rights.
         Minimum Wage.
         Unionization.
         Social Security.
         Integration.
         Medicare and Medicaid.
         Gay Marriage.
         When will right wing nut jobs finally tire of being on the wrong side of history every single, blessed time?
         And why is our government still filled to the brim with these losers?

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    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    Down and Out

         Since last Monday, I haven't had internet access at my house. Anything I've done online in the last three days has been at the local cafe. If you want a good idea of what I've been through with my ISP, Netzero, just read this list of complaints at Consumeraffairs.com. I could've written half of them.
         I have received no conflict resolution, nothing remotely resembling customer service or satisfaction and to top things off, early today the cocksuckers accelerated the billing date by a day and stole another $28 from my checking account for service I'm no longer receiving. I've already contacted the branch manager at my bank and instructed her to issue me a new debit card, since all debits to Netzero are based on the plastic. Since they're now taking money out of my bank account for service I'm no longer receiving, Netzero is now officially guilty of fraud and the next step is to file an affidavit of fraud.
         Do not do business with Netzero, if you can at all help it. I've been a customer for three and a half years and this is the way they're treating me. So if my presence here is spotty and intermittent, please be patient as I'm working much harder than I should have to to resolve this issue.

    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    The New Confederacy of Dunces

         In a post entitled "Where Will the Next Fort Sumter Be?" nearly six years ago, my alter ego Mikey Flannigan called it when he began,
         "Maybe we ought to start a pool taking guesses where the first official shot will be fired when the second Civil War is begun. My guess is it will once again be the hilariously dysfunctional state of South Carolina."
         I think Mike's point was that South Carolina would start the second Civil War as they had the first back in April 1861. And in a way, he nailed it the moment Dylann Roof opened fire on a bible study group at the Charleston AME that killed nine parishioners, including the pastor/state senator.
         So, yes, in a way a South Carolinian began this latest "war of aggression" as sons of the soil prefer to think of the War Between the States. But in a way, this is also a war begun by us. Because Dylann Roof's avowed intent, to strike a blow for the white south from a place of black worship, couldn't have backfired more perfectly than as if he'd planned it.
         After initially resisting a massive social media campaign (such as Twitter's #Takedowntheflag hashtag), SC Governor Nikki "See, I Have Black People Around Me" Haley and South Carolina Senator and GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham stood on the steps of the state capital in Columbia and demanded the legislature vote to permanently take down the odious confederate flag.
         The backlash against this symbol of antebellum racism wasn't just at the grassroots level. Much of the momentum started with President Obama himself when he said the Confederate flag belonged in a museum. Now elevated to the presidential level, it was only inevitable it would gain traction and begin to effect change.
         But a flag is only a symbol and, while symbols can be powerful, racism doesn't need symbols to sustain itself. Taking down the confederate flag that Appomattox made irrelevant over a century and a half ago will only ease old atavistic wounds within those primarily victimized by it: The African American people. Taking down the flag through an act of state congresses, burning them in the streets of America and maintaining a vicious backlash against anything even remotely smelling antebellum is merely a good start. It is not racism's silver bullet .
         To prove this, right after President Obama delivered a podcast in which he actually used the N word, the white backlash was inevitable, predictable and swift. Elizabeth Hasselbeck and other Fox wingnuts were shocked, shocked that our black president would use such an ugly word and openly worried he'd drop the N Bomb on Congress. It was the ultimate delineation of white privilege: They were essentially saying our president couldn't and shouldn't use the word because only white people should.
         But the president was absolutely correct in dragging this word kicking and screaming into the disinfecting sunlight. The angry, old white people making up Fox's shrinking demographic are absolutely appalled that a president who's been the target of a resurgent racism since 2008 would actually call them on it.
         Just like when fascist-leaning Republicans erupt in faux outrage at being correctly identified as fascist-leaning Republicans.
         Taking down a mere symbol of racist values, a symbol of slavery, torture, rape and lynching won't do it. It's merely a start. It's been over 150 years. We need to start dismantling this largely imaginary neoconfederacy, to hound every racist out of existence, to out them whenever possible until people finally realize racism's time and the confederacy that had supported it has come and gone. If they don't like it, they can live with Peter Thiel on his unregulated right wing paradise on an oil platform.
         There's a sea change taking place across the planet. Before, it was only a whisper and you had to put your ear to the breast of Mother Earth to hear it. But now it's no longer a whisper, no longer a grumble and is turning into a deafening roar. It is the growing chorus of the human race that no longer tolerates racism any more than it does homophobia or misogyny or corporate greed. We are demanding equal rights for all humans. We are demanding a fair living wage.
         And we are demanding the confederate flag be taken down.
         The once sleeping giant is now yawning and stretching, ready to begin a new day...

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

    Fox News at its Finest

         Ah, those wonderfully, wacky, strenuously post-racial madcap boys and girls at Fox!
         Sure, it was an attack on faith, guys. It was strictly coincidental the shooter was white and killed nine black parishioners after announcing, "You're raping our women and taking over our country and you have to go."
         Asslowns...

    Labels:

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    The T Rump Has Landed on America's Face!

    (By Cyril Blubberpuss, Esq.)
         I was telling my chauffeur yesterday right after I instructed him to run over the feet of some McDonald's $15 an hour protesters, "It's high time we had a billionaire for President instead of one who just wants to buy a president."
         Then, like a big, orange Venus by some latter-day Botticelli, Donald Trump, Double Weave himself, comes descending down an escalator at Trump Plaza like a bored mall husband looking for the food court. And seriously, how nakedly a douchebag does one have to be to announce a presidential candidacy in a giant, penis-shaped tower named after you?
         Words can't express how much this excites my nether regions, especially considering I haven't been able to see them even with the aid of a full-length mirror since Carter was president. Like Sippy Cupp on CNN said, the Donald came out shooting from the hip and keeping the 37 other Republican candidates honest with his straight talk. I mean, wow, talk about your classic cock block. The day after Jeb! announced his heirloom candidacy and two days after liberal Hillary Clinton stood on a big red arrow tonelessly reciting The Beatles.
         DW, as I fondly call him while gorging on chocolate brioche or lobster ice cream at Sardi's or Elaine's, is what I call a "water cooler candidate." He's the guy you talk about at work the next day like Sean Bean finally getting killed the night before on Game of Thrones or finally getting permission to give the high hard one to the missus. Today, all of America is talking about Trump, many of them not laughing or giggling like lunatics during a full moon.
         And Trump is right: He will be the greatest job president that God ever created and proved it by hiring those shills to give some oomph to his Ooompa Loompa campaign (Of course, by last night, that liberal rag, The Onion, also laid off 50 satirists after Trump's announcement but oh well).
         And unlike Mr. and Mrs. Legacy, Jeb and Hillary, DW's a man who's willing to get his hands dirty and not be content to do things by proxy like Adelson or my old buddies in Wichita, the Kochs. And unlike your rich, Commie limousine liberals like Angelina Jolie and George Clooney, he's not embarrassed by his well-deserved wealth as when he waved around a financial statement proving he was worth $8,000,000,000 and sold yet another chunk of America, his apartment, to a Chink for $15 million. That and the fact his high-end clothing line is made by Chinese sweatshop laborers making .20¢ and a small bowl of maggot-infested rice a day shows he beats the shit out of the bottom 99% of the Chinese.
         So what do the liberals and Democrats have to say about The Donald throwing his weave into the ring?
         Sure, Senator Comrade Marx, keep laughing. You won't be chuckling when Trump buys Vermont, uproots all the maple trees and sells them to China, too.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2015

    Good Times at Pottersville, 6/16/15


    #NoMoreBushes

         There was a planned Twitter bomb that started at 3 yesterday called #NoMoreBushes, timed to coincide with Jebbie's hardly surprising announcement that he was throwing his jester cap in the ring. Usually, I avoid Twitter bombs but how could yours truly ignore this one?

    Monday, June 15, 2015

    Let Us Speak of Charters and Kings

    (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
         The Magna Carta is simply the most misunderstood and improperly revered document in human history. So it only follows that the misunderstanding and misplaced pomp and circumstance is reaching a fever pitch on its 800th anniversary today.
         Now granted, I'm not a historical scholar by trade but I am more than barely conversant on various histories of various countries. History being cyclical, you never know when a valuable point can be made when history, as George Santayana predicted, comes around to bite us in the ass when we do not heed its lessons.
         And the Magna Carta, which is the bedrock of the English (hence American) judicial system, is on this very day getting an unhealthy dose of ignorant worship or impenetrable denial and delusion.
         The year was 1215. Mud was England's biggest export, John McCain and Phyllis Schlafly were just beginning school and King John had drained the British coffers drier than a martini because of his endless wars, primarily with King Philip of France. Desperate for war bucks, he cast his baleful, avaricious eye toward the vast fortunes held by the land barons and decided to ramp up his taxation on them. Rebelling, the barons appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury to intercede and the cleric drafted out what would be the final version of the Magna Carta.
         As well as protecting their wealth, the early 13th century's version of the 1% also threw in a few provisions that were then considered radical, provisos that would become the foundation of the judicial system throughout the English-speaking world: A man shall not be falsely arrested, will be innocent until proven guilty and will be tried by a jury of his peers. These are legal protections that we in the modern age take for granted, even though these elements have been bypassed, broken or ignored more times than can be counted on a Cray computer.
         Intellectually and emotionally retching the entire time, King John met with a group of 25 barons and signed the document on June 15th, 1215 at Runnymeade and promptly broke it. The King's other great enemy, Pope Innocent III, was for once united with the King and advised he should ignore the Charter that he'd signed only for PR purposes to relieve the pressure on him. The barons, for their part, also walked away from their own document. The Magna Carta was a joke and a fraud literally before King John's signature was even dry.
         In fact, Pope Innocent III nullified the Charter the year after on King John's death and wasn't put back in force until 1297, with all of the "radical" elements deleted from it. Both the Pope and the King saw the charter as a threat to their previously unchecked power over the most powerful and wealthiest citizens in the British realm. It would deny the Crown the power to round up dissidents wholesale, to unfairly charge them with crimes they didn't commit and to unilaterally condemn and punish them without the consent of his subjects. It would also prevent him from excessively taxing the 1% the next time he felt the urge to invade a rival kingdom.
         In other words, John treated the Magna Carta like George W. Bush the Constitution, the document to which he'd allegedly referred as "just a Goddamn piece of paper" (but probably didn't).
         It's true that the original Magna Carta contained some admirable, high-minded ideals that would find fuller and more refined expression in our beautifully-written Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence that we will celebrate next month. But let's not forget the primary impetus for the barons' desire to have the Archbishop draw up this doomed document: to protect their money and chattle from the rapacious grasp of a war-mad monarch. The rest was gravy.
         Yes, while the Magna Carta is piously revered by historical and legal scholars, it was a fraud then, is a fraud now and always will be a fraud. It was the first time, perhaps, in human history that a prominent high-minded declaration of human rights was trumped by a central authority citing the constant exigencies of state.
         And in the 800 years since the Charter's public relations charade at Runnymeade, Mankind and its governments have never been able to balance the rights of Man with the so-called necessities of the State. When the interests of both collide... Well, you don't need me to tell you which side always wins.
         Even during FDR's presidency, one of the finest sustained feats of leadership in human history, the one thing that marred his legacy was interning Japanese-Americans (while pointedly not doing the same to German and Italian immigrants).
         Mankind will never change, if our progress over these past 800 years is a fair enough sample. Governments will always be corrupt, disingenuous and will go to war for little or no reason no matter how badly they bankrupt their own Treasuries. our own current government should serve as an illustration of this.
         So today we should remember the failed example of the Magna Carta, the Great Charter, and the high-minded ideals that were predicated on mutual greed and got trampled in favor of matters of state.

    Sunday, June 14, 2015

    Tweets From the Edge: Flag Day edition

         These are some of my more notorious tweets over the past week.

    Sunday, June 7, 2015

    Should Guilt be Inherited?

         What you see above is part of an exchange I've recently had with my psychiatric advisor for Tatterdemalion, nicknamed Propane Jane. "Jane's" a psychiatrist in the Houston area and she tweets regularly (and vehemently) about police brutality and racism aimed at her fellow African Americans. (The subject was the McKinney, Texas pool party that got broken up in typical white cop fashion, resulting in the offending officer getting immediately suspended). So this got me in a philosophical mood and got me to wondering: Should guilt be inherited?
          I'm specifically referring to white guilt over slavery but I suppose the same question holds for any kind of guilt that subsequent generations willingly place on their shoulders like so many little Atlases. Well, before we try to answer that thorny question, we have to satisfactorily answer the age-old question, Is there any such thing as inherited sin and should we continue paying penance for crimes allegedly committed by forebears we never knew?
         Inherited sin, in my atheist mind, was nothing more or less than a wonderful scam successfully operated by the Roman Catholic Church and used against those who had committed no sin, much less legitimately participated in back in Adam and Eve's day. It's like inherited debt (something that, sadly, exists)- You're in supernatural indentured servitude because a long-dead woman allegedly ate an apple and decided to cover up her genitals.
         This continued harassment, that went all the way up to the Pope on down to the meanest parish priest, got people coming to church every Sunday (the one day that God rests, no less) and in the confession booth. It also, coincidentally, still keeps the collection plates and boxes full during shriving.
         To be fair to those poor, needlessly suffering bastards, the church's power was absolute, moreso than we can imagine in our less uptight day and age.
         But inherited white guilt and the paranoia of Angry Black Person Syndrome is not enforced but willingly assumed. There is no church or any central authority telling us we will go to Hell or at least to a lengthy perdition if we do not continue to repent for our forebears owning and abusing slaves. This onus is entirely self-inflicted and most of us aren't even aware we're afflicted with it.
         In Die Hard III, Bruce Willis asks Samuel L. Jackson why he's so antagonist toward him. "You got some fuckin' problem with me 'cause I'm white, Zeus? Is that it? Huh? Have I oppressed you? Have I oppressed your people somehow?", he asks. It's a legitimate rhetorical question, not to mention a powerful one because John McClane does not feel guilty one bit for previous generations of long-dead white people who brutalized and oppressed African Americans for over four centuries.
         Neither do I. Am I ashamed at what my people did to black people for all those centuries? Absolutely. But shame is not a synonym for guilt, nor should it be.
         My family came from Sicily, Reggio Calabria and Ireland back in the early 20th century if not the late 19th century. And when my ancestors settled in America, they did so in the northeast where slavery wasn't legal. So it's not as if I should even feel inherited guilt for something my grandparents or great grandparents did.
         And that may be a facile and convenient answer for those who feel as if I should assume my share of the burden for our part in slavery and lynching.
         But if, by my rubric, inherited guilt should not exist any more than inherited sin, then do African Americans have a right to feel inherited anger over what happened to their ancestors? Well, yes. Put yourself in their shoes, if you can.
         While I've never been a practicing Catholic, it's deplorable, shameful and anger-inducing when I think of how brutally Roman Catholics were oppressed in England and here in America. There was a time in English history when "Papists" weren't allowed within London's city limits, couldn't own businesses and marrying outside their religion was punishable by death.
         The same could be said for the prejudice waged against the Irish until practically in my lifetime. I get angry when I see Irish stereotypes perpetuated on tee shirts sold at places like Walmart and feel a flush of indignation when I think of the bigotry that victimized my people. Yet my people weren't enslaved or lynched with impunity in the streets of America.
         So, yes, African Americans have a perfect right to feel anger once they learn how their ancestors were treated. The question is, "To whom should they direct their anger since all the slave owners and overseers are long dead?"
         Well, their rage is needlessly inflamed by the stubborn presence of the KKK, white supremacy and racist neo Nazi groups that have multiplied more fruitfully since the election and reelection of a certain African American President of the United States. It's inflamed even more by passive and active white racism that's exposed in social experiments and delineated by voter suppression and vote caging by right wing politicians, police brutality and police killings of unarmed African Americans. The enduring fury over racism is kept alive in more ways than most white people can count but that black activists, I'm sure, can easily enumerate.
         And it's literally a vicious circle that keeps feeding itself: Almost unanimously white cops kill black people without just cause, black people protest, white people denigrate not the killers but black people for unrelated or nonexistent looting, for protesting their lot while contorting their thinking to the point where Tamir Rice had it coming to him for being shot dead for playing with a toy gun at a playground.
         And so it goes, around and around, with seemingly no end in sight.
         So how do we calm this black rage over millions of crimes that had been committed starting in the 15th century? It begins with acknowledging their feelings. Most white people don't know what it feels like to be enslaved or lynched and neither do most modern day African Americans. But at some point empathy to some degree should be possible because, while slavery and lynching may be things of the past, the prejudice and double standards handed down by one irresponsible parent after another remains and is felt.
         Strong feelings (as opposed to mere kneejerk reactions and racist hatred) are often justified and need to be respected. And respect begins with acknowledgement. Instead of killing our black brothers and sisters for petty or no crimes and letting those murderers get off scot-free and then threaten to kill more when they assemble as per their constitutional right when they express their displeasure, we need to listen to their grievances. We need to listen because one human constant that unites us is a desire to be heard.
         And as long as mostly white constabularies and mostly white lawmakers continue demonizing these people for speaking up about injustice, then what incentive do they have for peaceful assembly?
         Let's keep in mind Dr. King's ominous words: "A riot is the language of the unheard."

    Thursday, June 4, 2015

    Sugar Ray Dodge: Stalker and Troll

         If Webster or any other reputable lexicon ever put a picture next to the words "troll" and/or "stalker", they could do worse than use the hideous image above. Usually, a writer has to make it before they earn their first stalker. But Sugar Ray Dodge has decided to put the cart before the ox, as it were.
         Ray is a failed humorist/artist who, since last year and for no apparent rational reason, has decided to abandon his already neglected blog and make me his second career. But I'll get to his online abuse in a moment.
         This miscreant, to me, represents everything that is wrong with the internet, a quasi-real environment that gives the stupid, hateful and banal a wider audience on which to inflict their stupidity, hatefulness and banality. And his character flaws aren't even predicated on originality but derivative in every way, shape and form. He fancies himself a humorist while slavishly ripping off the concept of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He fancies himself an artist, even though his mouthless creations seem to be ripped off from Lego (If only he was as mouthless as his subjects).
         And, since this man, for want of a better word, with all of 310 followers on Twitter has failed in every conceivable endeavor, he has decided to focus his dubious energies on yours truly.
         Ray began following me on Twitter last year for reasons known only to him and the many voices in his addled head. I chose not to follow back because, frankly, I didn't think he was either funny, informative or interesting enough. He eventually unfollowed me and right on the heels of that, I found a one star "review" of American Zen that was just a hit piece. Eventually, in a rare show of good judgment, Amazon had seen fit to remove it (However, since they banned me for no good reason four years ago, I cannot post anything on their site, including responses to any reviews).
         That was when I decided to block this troll and that's when his stalking really kicked into high gear. Next thing I knew, he'd sent me a single penny for a donation through my Paypal account, which I immediately rejected and returned to him with a message to leave me alone. Not content with that, he continued auditing my every move through this blog then wrote another one star hit piece on my new novel, Tatterdemalion.
         This time, he'd actually bought the Kindle version so he could "legitimately" post a "review" of my work with the expectation that, unlike the last hit piece, this one would stay up. But I've already reported this creep's so-called review and I want anyone who reads this to do the same. This is the only reason I've linked to it. You need to read it to believe it so you can get a sense of what a twisted little troll this guy is. Note you'll never see any specific objections to my novel but there are plenty of ad hominems with references to this blog. This is because, while he may be a verified purchaser, Sugar Ray Dodge obviously did not read Tatterdemalion.
         It's just as obvious that he's bound and determined to try to destroy my publishing career for no other reason than pure spite. Maybe it was because I refused to follow him on Twitter. Maybe his Mommy didn't breast feed him. I don't know and, frankly, I don't give a shit. So, once you read his "review", I hope you'll do the right thing and report this frustrated asshole for abuse and, hopefully, we'll get it, and his Amazon presence, removed once and for all.

    All Time Classics

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