Archive for the ‘fortitude’ Category

Only In America


Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Ah Thanksgiving. It’s a purely American holiday. It’s friendly. Everyone at one point in time has invited an acquaintance home just because that person had nowhere else to go. And it’s a sin to be alone on this particular day. So even though we don’t really mean it, we must invite strangers to our house for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving brings new meaning to the word gluttony. Since more than half of our population is obese, I blame Thanksgiving. We eat until we can’t move and then wait a few hours and eat some more. Trust me we’ve all had the Turkey hangover.That’s where you have to fast for three days after Thanksgiving because the sight of anything edible makes you want to vomit.

Thanksgiving is where we give thanks for all of the things we have. Our cell phones, our PS3s, our shiny cars. That’s right, we’re a nation of haves and we are grateful for it. Every year my son insists that he is grateful for his gameboy. To be honest, there are times when I am grateful for his gameboy. Especially on long car trips.

And lastly we give thanks to the Native Americans for helping our ancestors through that second winter (The first winter was a bit of a bust.) And ensuring that our break with England would eventually come to fruition.

So then why do I see an increasing amount of news articles about the British celebrating Thanksgiving? That’s a little ironic. But given that state of the world these days, I imagine that they are grateful for not being at all responsible for us. And show it by eating too much and watching football(that’s soccer for those who are globally challenged).

Well, whatever country you are in today, Good luck. May your turkey (or goose) be juicy and your relatives be just a little less snippy than last year. Amen.


Anybody Got An Asprin, I Think I Have A Cold


Last week some poor scientisty person kicked it due to Plague. That sucks for him. And anyone he may have coughed on.

This week I have been noticing some pretty ominous ads on Televsion. One is an ad sponsored by the CDC (I think) stating that this years flu season could be deadly so get your flu shots. The others are some grim ads by Lysol about germ transfer. It implies that if there are germs in your house, you and your whole family will die. I scoffed, as who wouldn’t, until I read this mornings news and then I thought, oh well, thanks for the info and does anyone know where I can get a Hazmat suit?

There’s a new sheriff in town and he looks a lot like an old sheriff in new clothes. The cold virus has new attitude. It has been killing people for the last year and a half. Quoi? And of course they are just telling us now. Surprise it’s not the Bird Flu, it’s a cold virus.

The CDC can’t seem to get their opinions together. In one article: it’s ok, nothing to be alarmed about, just though you might like to know. And in the next the CDC is practically screaming that we’re all gonna die.

I suspect the truth is somewhere in between. It’s a mutation they have never seen before on a virus everyone has had at least once. Scary, the unknown. Yet, only ten people have actually died though hundreds have been infected.

I like to think back fondly on the Flu Epidemic of 1918. When people thought God was passing judgment and millions of soldiers died in trenches, hacking and coughing themselves to death. Where one in every three people died. Yes, that was the hey day of viruses.

Of course we invented ways to stop that sort of thing. Now the viruses are reinventing themselves like some over blown eighties pop star who wants to re-issue an album that was good when it was first put out, but now really is kind of dated and frankly, hasn’t everybody heard all of these tracks, do we really need at twentieth anniversary edition?

Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah. Getting a flu shot won’t help. It’s a cold virus, not a flu virus. Lysoling everything within a twelve mile radius will not help either. Unless you are taking a Lysol bath. Sneeze and infect. Cough and infect. Talk and infect. It’s called droplet transmission . It’s also the reason I don’t like to eat out. The cooks talk over your food while they re cooking and, and well… ick.

So good luck everyone. Try to stay warm and cold free because the cure for the common cold is the same as it was for the Flu back in 1918. And you remember how effective that was.


Or So I Thought


So I thought Substitute Teaching was the way to go as I am in school. I could utilize my aforementioned talents as a teacher while attending class. Seemed like a good plan.

Until they asked me to teach Kindergarten.

Students: 1. Teacher:0

I went home with glue in my hair and a new appreciation for Kindergarten teachers.

Kindergartners are savages with art supplies and questions. And they will maim you with these weapons given the chance. I’d rather teach lions to dance than ever go back to a Kindergarten class.

If you teach little ones I applaud you.


Show Me The Money


A point was driven home to me as I listened to an interview on NPR this past week. It was a discussion on the increase of the wealthy. Essentially it talked about the need of the wealthy for services.

I thought about this. It seemed to say that the rise of what is in essence a servant class is a good thing. That because the wealthy can pay for servants, the poor should be the ones to provide them. That this would increase overall prosperity. So it would. But should it?

Over the last few years the middle class which has served as a buffer between exaggerated wealth and extreme poverty has declined. The debate over immigration has brought this point home as well. There were ads on both the T.V. and radio that I found highly objectionable. The gist was that employers needed cheap labor so the immigration bill should pass. The argument is that Americans are too lazy to do the menial jobs that illegals will do, cheaply. No, Americans want to maintain a standard of living that the media and corporations have told us we should aspire to but those same corporations don’t want to pay us what we think we are worth. If migrant work paid enough to maintain a bare minimum of living here in the US , people would do it.

As the money paradigm shifts toward two separate classes a caste system in slowly evolving. This system makes the minimum wage earners into an untouchable servant class. In order to meet the basic living often those earning minimum wage must have two jobs. Even with the tiny rise in the minimum wage a living wage is still out of reach. So, is the solution for the poor to become servants to the wealthy?

Let’s take Paris Hilton as an example of where this leads. Why did she behave the way she did? Because her whole life revolves around money and the privilege that is vested in that type of lifestyle. It makes people believe that they are above the law. The law is only there to keep the lower classes in check. It doesn’t apply to those with a great deal of disposable income. And too often this is true. Offenses that would send a poor person away for a long time earn the wealthy a slap on the wrist. (Unless you are a rapper, then, because it helps your record sales, you get the stiffest sentence available) And it’s not just that the wealthy can afford better lawyers. It is a mindset that says the wealthy are somehow better human beings, therefore, given a chance they wouldn’t repeat the offence. But that poor people are irredeemable animals who should be locked up forthwith. So, Wealthy equals good and poor equals bad. And we have all bought into this faulty logic. It’s part of-the reason that shows like Jerry Springer are so popular. Watching poor uneducated people beat the crap out of one another is amusing and proves that they really are nothing more than animals. Reinforcing the central idea that a poor person has nothing to offer society. Ergo recruiting them as servants is the only way to utilize their obviously limited talents.

It makes me mad. Really mad. It pushes the angry giantess into a seething giantess. Being poor is not some medical condition for-which only the wealthy have the cure. More often than not poverty is a byproduct of the actions of the wealthy. Shady business practices and an opportunist mentality keep large sections of societies at or just above poverty levels. Then to assume that because you have amassed a large bank account some how gives you the right to step on or order those who haven’t done so about is such shit I just can’t think.

Here’s something for people to think about. Not everyone who is poor is there by circumstance. Occasionally, you will find those who have steadfastly avoided paths that would have enriched them simply because they wanted to avoid the moral taint that comes with largess. Because they see the world and their life as something more than a place where success is measured in dollars and cents.

Success is something entirely different to those who are willing to see beyond the bottom line.


School Daze


I wanted to issue a blanket apology to all seven of you who come here on a regular basis looking for the mocking and satire.  My posts have been spotty because,well, it’s that time of year.

That’s right, they’re back! I am frantically getting ready for another round of angst and inattention. All of my time is spent looking for a good quality red marker. My motto is: If it doesn’t read, it must bleed.

So, as the days wear on, I hope to pick up the thread and pillory public figures for fun and amusement on a daily basis. Bear with me as we make this important change over from carefree summer days to slogging through papers that were obviously written ten minutes before class started.

Oh the Humanity!


Getting A Leg Up


I wish I had concentration like this.

Honestly, how do you not notice a missing body part?


The Devil’s Own


In looking over my stats and graphs and charts it would seem that many of you were unhappy with my comments on Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner or whatever she called herself. I thought I would explain myself with a little historical perspective. History being what it is and all too often ignored, the crimes that Jim and Tammy Faye committed are currently being repeated on a larger scale.

In the 80’s a new behemoth of religious claptrap grew itself a movement called Televangelism. “Christian” broadcasting grew to enormous proportions headed primarily by Pat Robertson, Jim and Tammy and Jerry Falwell. Their individual and collective messages centered around the idea that everyone who didn’t share their beliefs were going to hell and those who did should give them money to prove it. They set up nonprofit organizations that built hotels and theme parks. Or at least that was the idea. Very little of the money went to the actual building of anything and a great deal of it went into the pockets of the leaders of those organizations. It was a giant scam that took advantage of ordinary people and their belief systems. Each of those who headed one of these Televangelist shows grew wealthy off the idea that you could in fact buy your way into heaven. People paid for healing via the television. Those who could afford it gave thousands of dollars to expand these so called ministries only later to realize that they had been mercilessly taken by a bunch of snake oil salesmen. Not one of those so called ‘ministries’ had managed to retain their non profit status. Once the whole thing blew up everyone of them, Falwell, Robertson and the Bakkers found themselves on the receiving end of an IRS enema.

Now my problem with Tammy Faye, outside of the fact that her group held people hostage through their belief in God, is that while she had some IRS difficulties, she never actually did any time for the crimes both she and her husband committed against so many people, many of them sick or old. No, Jim is the one who took the heat and she swanned off into the sunset. She got a divorce and claimed she knew nothing about it. Bull. Those two were inseperable and it is well nigh impossible that she was unaware of what was going on within the business that she helped build. As for the rape allegations and alleged payoff, my guess is she was fully aware of that too. While I find all of those who engaged in the Televangelist movement revolting, I save my deepest ire for Tammy Faye because she should have admitted her complicity. She should have served time and didn’t. Instead she married someone else and tried to regain the life she once had with Jim.

And now in this century we have a repeat of that history. In the building of the so called nondenominational mega churches. These churches promise all kind of goodies in the after life for a nominal fee in the current life. They are getting fat and happy off the same promises of healing and redemption that the Televangelist movement made. Only instead of Bakker we now have Haggard. A man who roundly and soundly condemned all homosexuals as evil and was himself found with a male prostitute.

I know that money and religion all through history have gone hand in hand. A quick look at the Crusades and the amount of money they generated gives historical perspective to current activities. However, I think that the modern version is much worse as we have more than one religious system now.

We can now make choices about our beliefs and how we engage them. People who hijack those choices to play on the fears of the naive, the hopeful, the devout and the old in order to gain themselves wealth and power are the lowest form of life. And those who refuse to acknowledge their crimes once they are caught don’t deserve any sympathy or understanding, pre or post mortem.