July 4

July 4th As The Holiest Of Days

stock-footage-waving-flag-with-fireworks-and-statue-of-libertyThough there may be a discrepancy as to the actual date of the birth of our nation, popular consensus has defined it as the 4th of July.    I know, I know – they voted for independence on July 2nd, but the document with all the fancy Handcocks was dated the 4th).  Regardless, the 4th is popularly regarded as the commencement of the great experiment, or, at least, it used to be.   Many of today’s youth have no idea why we celebrate it, what the significance of the date is, and/or why it’s called “independence day” in the first place.  It’s just another day off with hamburgers and fireworks for many.  When even one person doesn’t know the significance of the Declaration, or who we rebelled against, or why, then future generations will pay the price for our ignorance.   See this link, this link, or this link, for some examples of the sad state of American education.

And while I don’t believe the the government has any constitutional basis for declaring ANY holiday, I find it very curious that a municipal, state, or federal government never moves Christmas  for convenience, or simply to give it’s workers a three day weekend and a free day’s pay.  But Independence day is.  And the 4th is much more culturally significant than an imaginary birthday of an invisible savoir.  I’d much rather celebrate the birth of an idea that is almost uniquely American, but mostly taken for granted, and in some cases – forgotten on the actual day, out of respect and to highlight it’s supreme importance:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

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March 19

So, Starbucks Wants to Have a Conversation About Race?

And the internets went insane along with my local morning news programs.  And because of the all-encompassing media conspiracy, your local news shows were undoubtedly forced to report on this as well.  You can get the party line at Huff Post, or Buzz, feed, or any of the other proletariat media webrings if you choose, or you could just let this die a short and painless death on it’s own. One morning news show in my local media district had the talent reading tweets from sheets of paper (ironic, indeed) about the absurdity of this new “policy” in the Starbucks environment.  The most poignant, and the one that best represented the aired grievances went something like this:

“I have no desire to educate you on 400 years of oppression and slavery while you make my morning coffee.”  -Unknown Detroit area coffee patron

This statement, to me, is not entirely offensive until we start to analyze it in the context of the whole conversation. And this 20 word diatribe, itself, shows the folly of this endeavor at inception.   You see, everyone already agrees that having the conversation is ridiculous, but not for the reasons anyone will openly admit to.  It’s been analyzed and editorialized as improper and foolhardy by the entire country already for a few reasons:

1. it’s not a long enough time to discuss such a serious topic

2. it not the proper place to discuss said topic

3. It may cause violence

All three of these are true, but it’s not why we shouldn’t have the conversation.  It shouldn’t happen because it can’t happen.  There is no conversation.   A conversation about race can never occur, in any coffee shop, in any context, or in any forum in America because it’s essentially over before it’s begun.  And the statement about “400 years of oppression” by a Detroit listener shows the conversation ending context in full splendor.   It puts an immediate end to any discussion, places blame on “oppressors”, implies a legacy of guilt, and scribes the bible for society’s ills.   It’s analogous to discussing dinosaurs with someone who believes in the Bible as the absolute word of god.  Dinosaur fossils were put here to tempt our faith and aren’t really real – case closed,  conversation over.  Any contrary opinion to commentary that ends with “god made it so” is moot since the premise of god’s truth, or in our case “400 years”,  takes precedence over all other opinions.    See, when there’s no back and forth, or no compromising discourse, there’s no conversation -ever.  It’s simply one protest versus another with no mediating officer to screen insults or rocks between the two groups.

Therefore, I suggest you ignore all the racist messages penned by your local baristas.  They’re just trying to keep their job and are doing what they are told, so give them a break.  And give all the other white people in line behind you a break too, they’re paying a shit-ton of cash for a goddamn coffee and trying to make sure their “Not a Racist” badges are on straight.  Black people leave their badges at home and most are too smart to be paying six dollars for a coffee and a hard biscuit every day.

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February 6

Paul Krugman Is Too Chicken

kray-kray-krugman

Paul Krugman may be learning from his mistakes.  Mistakes in the form of world economic predictions have usually come back to bite him in the ass, so he’s now going out on a limb to just not make them anymore.   In his most recent article, A Game Of Chicken, his own inner chicken forces him to remain silent on what will happen at the “moment of truth” between Germany and Greece and the European Central Bank.  But, if he were a real prognosticator, he should already know what the European Central Bank will do to Greece and Germany when debts come calling.  He has no problem, though, of telling us the cause of the current crisis:

“Like all too many crises, the new Greek crisis stems, ultimately, from political pandering. It’s the kind of thing that happens when politicians tell voters what they want to hear, make promises that can’t be fulfilled, and then can’t bring themselves to face reality and make the hard choices they’ve been pretending can be avoided.

I am, of course, talking about Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and her colleagues.”

Of course, the bad guys are the ones with all the extra money.  Continuing with his practice of the backhand insult flanking maneuver, he goes even further by absolving Greece and cementing blame on those Nazi bastards:

“It’s true that Greece got itself into trouble through irresponsible borrowing (although this irresponsible borrowing wouldn’t have been possible without equally irresponsible lending).”

and racist liars in their complaining about debtors:

“…German politicians have never explained the math to their constituents. Instead, they’ve taken the lazy path: moralizing about the irresponsibility of borrowers, declaring that debts must and will be paid in full, playing into stereotypes about shiftless southern Europeans.”

So, Germany is the bad guy because they’re a donor nation, frugal, and productive.  Greece can’t help itself, so they shouldn’t have to pay back their debt.   Case closed, according to Krugman.   Germany should just have to deal with it and tell their people the truth:  that they have to take one for the team so that the whole region doesn’t collapse.    No doubt his consistent leftist philosophy dictates an identical stance on Israel and an Iranian atomic bomb, but I digress.   In Krugman’s world, Germany should have known better than to make extra money available.  Extra money is made from raping those that have none, so the undeserving are deserving of the extra money made.  See how reflexive that is?   It’s like an equation that balances itself, and Krugman is perfectly poised in the middle, ready to tell us what is happening instead of what’s going to happen.    He can’t even muster enough courage to tell us what should happen – and that used to be his forte.

I’ll be the one to crawl out on the limb here and tell you what will happen:  Germany will lose, Greece will receive a special grecian formula of quantitative easing, and politicians will continue to promise things they cannot deliver.  Blame will be shifted from the debtors to the producers and capitalism will be root of all problems.  Krugman will then post a column that says he got everything right and everyone else got it wrong.  I can’t wait.

 

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January 15

Obama Skips Unity Rally, Pardon My French

Ted Cruz and Fareed Zacharia can suck it.  This entire story about the Unity rally really grinds my gears.  If they (Cruz, and his ilk) don’t like this country, they should find a door and not let it hit them in the ass on their way out.  Is everything about Obama an opportunity to shame him for political posturing?  Is there a Republican conspiracy to defame the president even in times of worthless show of public, photo-op solidarity?   Signs point to yes.    Their criticism of Obama, the White House leadership, and American policy in general regarding Obama’s not showing up at the Unity Rally in Paris is a house of cards waiting to fall down upon them.  And I am the wind.

The fact that the White House felt the need to apologize, though, makes this non-blunder into a fiasco.  There should have been no apology, no mis-handling of the response, and no compromise.  Obama’s comments that we stand behind the French people was sufficient.  Why?  Because we don’t need to show up  for a hand-holding, we-shall-overcome singing rally down the avenue.   We march against terrorism every day.  Please pardon my French, but did you motherfuckers hear what I am saying?

WE MARCH AGAINST TERRORISM EVERY DAY.US_10th_Mountain_Division_soldiers_in_Afghanistan

So who the fuck are you to tell us we’re wrong for not sending our favorite son to play patty-cake in the middle of the rue?   Our sons are already marching while froggy, foul-feathered friends skipped to-my-lou and made googly-eyes at the cameras.   10,000  police cordoned off half of Paris to keep them safe while our marchers tried to keep the rest of the world’s terrorists at bay.   No doubt few of the French police had done two tours in Afghanistan, were shouldering 100 pounds packs, or had to worry about IED’s during that pompous pep rally.   Really, I cannot not insert enough french-laden free speech here.  This ‘incident’ enrages me to the point of pure patriotism.  And it should have done the same for Cruz.  It was a perfect moment to stand up for our president, our resolve, and our honor, no matter what one’s policies or political party affiliation might be.

And because of Cruz’s idiotic diatribe, I’m now forced to defend Obama.  That makes me even more incensed.  A man, who’s policies I do not agree with most of the time, got it right in this instance.    And what if he had attended – what would Cruz have said then?  Probably that he wasted another million taxpayer dollars to attend a pointless rally in France.  Nice going, Cruz, way to play politics like a bitch.

Dear Mr. Cruz and all others who think Obama should have shown up for this rally,

THIS is how we march against terrorism, bitch.

Afghanistan_1318746c

No songs, no hand-holding, just marching.  We march while the rest of the world has the freedom to question where, how, and why we’re marching.  We don’t stop, we don’t lie down, we don’t need to answer to a bunch of whiny, singing twits.  We are not perfect, but we are the mountaintop.  We march everyday to protect the bell of freedom.  The rest of the world gets to ring it at our expense.

So, Fuck you, Ted Cruz, you’ve shown why you are not worthy of the Presidency.  Take your cards and go home.

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January 4

Rush May Be Racist, But James Bond Is Still A White Guy

Olivier as Bond

“My name’s Bond, James Bond.”

It’s not always that old, fat, white guy you hate that’s the most racist in the neighborhood.  You know, the one that’s more racist than you are and you can point to him and call him the bad guy while you slink away, unscathed.   I’m talking about the guilt-ridden white people who need a champion, behind whom they can hide their own racist opinions and make themselves feel better for their own brand of racism.  Case in point is the recent article  in Film Magazine (link) by which highlights the recent backlash against Limbaugh for being racist (again).   Wait, does that make ME a racist for assuming Sam is a white guy?   Probably, but then, we’re all a little bit racist.   That’s why I’m always wary of those who claim to be champions of racial justice.  They’re usually pointing out someone else to avoid their own blame.   Believe me, I take all the credit for my racist tendencies.  I know I’m a sinner, and I have the balls to admit it – unlike Sam-Wise Elf-Ling who wrote a racist article about James Bond, calls Rush Limbaugh a racist, and spews out his own brand of racism in the process.

Limbaugh recently stated that James Bond is a “white, Scottish guy, period,” in reference to some who are calling for a new, black James Bond.  In his article, Eifling writes that Idris Elba would make a great James Bond and that he is black.  Eifling claims Rush’s discounting of Elba for the role because of his skin color is a racist act, then demands someone of color be put into the role – as if that act is not racist in nature.   Then, he muddles his argument by citing proportions of ticket sales versus racial representation in the general population, further suggesting a colorful leading man might help slumping sales in the movie industry.    I would argue that better quality stories and scripts would be a bigger help, but I digress.   The popular media mantra is that Multi-culturalism makes everything better,  regardless of the actual numbers or the income.  Funny, but I’ve never seen a Brad Pitt turn down a 20 million dollar deal because they didn’t give it to a black guy, have you?    The ticket sales argument is that 64% of the population are white yet bring in only 54% of movie revenue.  I’m, not sure where Eifling went to business school, but 54% of marketshare far outweighs any other demographic.  Although the proportion isn’t equal, it’s still the main focus of a trillion dollar industry.  It has to be because that’s the demographic that makes the most money and still has the broadest appeal.   But then,  leftism is never about business, it’s about social justice.  Social justice makes everything better – no matter how many people, or profits, have to suffer.

Eifling also adds that white people have portrayed people of color in the past, cites egregious examples of overtly racist characters, and uses this as an argument to let a black guy play a white guy in a movie.   Unfortunately, no one sees the hypocrisy here, or remembers recent outcry against whites playing roles of color in the past.  His premise is that whites have played colored roles, so blacks should get to play white roles.  But not that a black actor should dress up in whiteface and be the new James Bond, rather that audiences must be forced to accept the new James Bond as black.   So, is the argument against racism or is the argument for some type of social revenge?  It seems, to me, to be an overt attempt to use a racist act to counter past racist acts – but I don’t think I can give Eifling the benefit of being smart enough to understand this underlying psychological motivation, nor the nullification of the logic in his own argument.  In fact, the only thing  Eifling’s got right in his article/rant is that James Bond is not Scottish.  However, Fleming believed the character to be decidedly un-Scotlike and disapproved Connery for the role, but changed his mind after the success of the movies(link).  So Fleming changed his mind, eventually, which makes Eifling wrong again.

Now, I have no problem with Elba being the new James Bond.  He’s a great actor, and a suave personality that would make a great James Bond-like character.   The problem is that James Bond IS white.  The man who created James Bond, Ian Fleming, created bond in his own image.  I happen to be a Bond fan, a literary one, not the movie character. Having read the entire series of Fleming books multiple times, I may be a better authority than someone like Eifling, who has probably never cracked a Fleming title save for Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang when he was a kid.   Bond is a British secret service agent in the midst of the cold war era in the 40’s and 50’s.  A black man trying to act as a covert agent in Europe, Russia, and traverse the social circles of aristocracy and espionage throughout the world in this time period is going to stick out like a sore thumb.   So, changing the “real”, bibical, or literary Bond into a black guy just doesn’t work.   The Bond character is too well defined as a British white guy, so there’s really no room for social justice to repay the debt of world racism in this instance.    No one can argue that Injun Joe should be changed to a white guy, or Tonto should be turned into an aboriginal Australian for shits and grins to make the world a better, racist free place.  Should Tom Sawyer be Chinese?  Should Captain Kirk be a green alien?  If you need to repay a racist guilt debt, I guess yes.  Otherwise, characters were probably created in the visage that was intended.   When we become far enough removed from them and the stories become timeless, such as a Shakespearean tale, then let’s talk seriously about redefining race roles in theatre.

But when it all comes down to brass tacks,  I don’t own James Bond.  The Broccoli family does, and they can do whatever they want with the character.  I may not like it, but that’s none of my business.  It’s a free country and if they want to cow tow to popular culture jackasses like Eifling and make James Bond into a Latino, so be it.   If they do it well, I’ll pay money to see it.   And let’s just say that the bar for the character in cinematic history isn’t that high, so I’d expect a modicum of intelligent writing could do wonders to refresh the franchise.    One wonders why Saltzman and Broccoli didn’t do the following a few decades ago when Connery wanted more money and they fired him:

Make Bond a code-name.  The original character has been morphed from a 50’s era, mild mannered spy into a modern-day super-action hero character.  He really has nothing to do with the original story line that defined him in the cold war era.  Flemming was dead when Connery demanded more money, so they should have morphed the character then to avoid the greedy, old, white actor trap.    The characters of M and Q have changed a few times because M is just a code name for the head of the secret service, Q for the Quartermaster.  Let Bond be the code name for the 007 position.  That way we can have a continuity of the name and role while the face can change at will.   Bond can now be resurrected from bibical canon and you can write any backstory you choose.   He can then span the timelines without having to be 89 years old when he fights Osama sixty years after dismantling SMERSH.  So go ahead, turn Bond black – just don’t apocryphally re-invent him and his back story as a black man.  Use some of the talented, overpaid imagineers to come up with a reason as to why he’s now black, or chicano, or of nordic descent.  But remember,  if you try to shove it down my throat while calling me a racist, I may throw it up in your face.

And one more “fact” Elfman got wrong:   His list of Bond actors omits the best Bond of all – George Lazenby.   This glaring omission proves he knows nothing about the Bond character or it’s history.  He’s a movie reviewer and should know better, or at least know more, but his glee to enact social justice outweighs his prudence as a journalist.   A shyster and non-actor, Lazenby, bamboozled his way into being hired as a Bond replacement.  He starred in one film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which is the only movie to stay closest to the novel it was based on.  Lazenby played a perfect Bond, and Savalas a perfect Blofeld.  Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about and should have all their opinions of Bond invalidated out of hand.  In the books, which most of you have never read, he’s a real person with foibles, misgivings, real aches and psychological pains that are glossed over by the superhero movie persona.  I’d love to see a retelling more true to the original character.   And in those tales, he just happens to be a white guy.

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