26 October 2006

"We will never touch your foot with our hands"

Thoughts from the last few days:

The Wire is a great fucking show. I’ve heard nothing but that about the show for the past month, but I wasn’t able to see it until last weekend. I’ve begun to rent the first season of the show, hoping to catch up to the current season. Through five episodes, though, I can say I’m extremely impressed. Makes shows like “Law and Order” and “Justice” look dumb[er than usual].

The Departed is even better at being a great fucking movie than I am at being an unsuccessful fucking person. It may not be poetry, but then there’s something literate about it that doesn’t try to be. There are points of philosophical bigotry, moments of emotionless violence and a “few” vulgarities. Also, there’s a damn good story. It is 2-1/2 hours that pass with a pace that feels like half of that. I kept thinking, “Have three actors from the same movie ever been nominated for the same Academy Award?” I’m sure those that discern good acting from great will disagree that Nicholson, DiCaprio and Damon all deserve the attention, but I haven’t seen anything better this year. See it as soon as fucking possible.

If you think the Blue Moon 12 oz bottle that you didn’t open as you fell asleep watching a movie last night is, after 24 refrigerated hours, going to be just as good as a fresh Blue Moon 12 oz bottle, you’re sadly—and unequivocally—wrong.

Someone should invent a vacuum-packed house. It wouldn’t be vacuum-packed all the time, but it would have the capability if there were no living things inside. Then, just as a wacky-random example, if a fire were to break out in the garage of a house and started to blow smoke up the ass, every which way, of the rest of the house, the vacuum switch could be flipped. The air and smoke would be pushed out of the house as the fire strangled itself out. Once the fire area was finally cool, then, the vacuum could be released, and there would be little-to-no damage. Theoretically speaking, there would be no need, then, for me to clean every fucking thing in my room as if it were infected with SARS before I’d be able to move back into my house. Just a thought, I suppose.

On a more specific note, I hope this final thought might be useful to somebody. There’s a pretty small chance that what motivated me to think about this has nothing to do with me. But that something got me to thinking about misunderstanding and trying too hard. I’ve tried too many times to say the perfect thing at the perfect time while maintaining my untainted and (personally perfect) idealistic view on whatever it may be. I hate clichés, avoid them at all costs and try my hardest to be all the man that I can be without them (like right now, being all contradicting and ironic). But there are some things that I have no fucking clue about. When I deal with those things, I’m just guessing. And when I get into a situation that seems like I should do one thing—like stop doing all the other things I’d been doing—I follow it, even though I don’t want to. Oh, and I also over-think. All the time, I’m over-thinking and obsessing over something. What I should have done, said, not done or simply said louder. Then I try to fix it all by being completely honest and blunt—but mostly through non-confrontational mediums like email [or telepathy].
So to forget is to stop thinking. Tell me how to do that and I can go on being a happy sofa salesman. But I doubt I’d ever choose that road over the luxurious and torturous and self-doubting and contemplative one less traveled (see? Fucking clichés…). So a direct conversation, instead of avoidance and forgetfulness and missing and confusion, would make things a bit better even if it wouldn’t fix anything. Or a second chance for once, with a little more information and blunt honesty. It’s not going away; the newspaper and look-a-likes and unbelievably realistic dreams and customers’ future daughters’ names are making sure of it.

I was going for “vague as shit” with the last thought, though somebody might be able to see through that coat of Kevlar. Does it sound too Dashboard Confessional-y? If no, thanks. If yes, fuck off!

23 October 2006

Some people are just more important

Today I heard an interesting idea for future elections, though I didn't read much into it so excuse my half-informed summary of it. The basic idea was that instead of letting the baby boom generation "vote for the past" with their ideas of where the country's political power should go, we give proxy power to the parents of children under voting age. The point behind it was that those parents would get more voting power to invest in candidates focused on the future (and the well-being of the younger generation). So a single parent with eight children, two jobs and no time to research candidates beyond campaign commercials would have 800% more influence than a retired fry cook, for example.

But, I ask, what would this do for all the anti-family parties aiming at world free of diaper-shitting machines? How will they be given a fair shot with such prejudice put against them?

I've got an alternative solution that, when put into law, will solve the generational gap completely--arrange our representative districts by age. Put all the retired folks in one place--let's call it "Florida"--all the baby-poppers in the "Midwest," the hipsters in "California," and so on (all the furry people in "Alaska").

I'm tired. Sorry, this is the best I've got at 2:30 in the morning.

19 October 2006

It's not looking good.

It may be about time to accept the inevitable.

Also, I need to borrow $4,000. Thanks.

17 October 2006

On Partisanship--Anti-Republican, spamalicious Liberal

Two months ago I felt ambitious enough to email an anti-Democratic blogger about his position on partisanship. In return, I got an ambitious reply (the next day, actually) summarizing his position on politics: 1) a Democratic leader is more corrupt than a Republican leader, 2) he's definitely not affiliated with the GOP, and 3) the two-party system is inevitable.

I really did mean to respond--"what the fuck?"--but found enough distractions to put it off this long. And I never got to email an anti-Republican blogger with their opinion, because I mostly don't like to read cliched and unoriginal shit expressed as an opinion (not to be general, of course).

Conveniently, a few months ago somebody must have signed me up for the liberal spam network, because I occasionally get an email with an interestingly vague title--"Bush wants to kill your children," "Global warming a problem," and "Republicans--do we need em?" among the most literate. I even once tried to respond to one of these rebel-rousers, but the email was somehow undeliverable to osidflkjlsfhahaha@yahoo.com. So I'll just respond in my usual passive-aggressive and childishly sarcastic way. My comments are the ones [in italic brackets].

Will the Democrats ever matter?"
from megbannerji@gmail.com

Can the Democrats ever really matter again? [define "matter] Can they win? [again, define "win"] Can they do more than complain about the Republican agenda? [poop?] Election season is in full swing, and the Dems apparently have a chance to take back the House and the Senate. [like swing dancing? Is there a half-swing available in which all chance of defeat is replaced with a few token leadership positions?] All they have to do is. . . well, say something. [they're shy, asshole. Taunting is mean.]

Say something other than, “We are against terrorists, too, but we want to be fair about it. We want a strong military too, but there are other priorities, so PLEASE don’t pick on me. We’ll revive government programs without raising your taxes, and we know you don’t believe us.” [I don't think any Democrats have ever said thi...oh, haha. I get it. It's a sarcastic exaggeration to show weakness in the subjects' strategies. Not at all to be confused with "generalized bullshit."]

How did this Democratic double-talk become the norm? [I blame the schools] How did the Democratic party end up forever on the defensive, merely echoing a watered-down version of Republican priorities? [here's my guess: by taking the stance furthest opposite of the Republican party's offensive-"you're-either-with-us-or-against-us," watered-down version of what they consider American Patriotism.] Didn’t they once have a lock on power, and successfully labeled the Republicans as the party of the rich? [I'm guessing you did your research, as the tone of this email obviously suggests. So yes.] Yes, they did. [Knew it.] So what happened?

Let’s go back to their heyday, when a discredited Herbert Hoover ceded power to an Administration that spent lots of government money with the full approval of America. [Let's] Back when President Roosevelt proposed Bill after Bill that put government squarely in the center of American life. [Like a Democracy!] Government was not a dirty word. [Like fuck! wait...] The Administration created jobs, created public works, and only the Ultra-Rich cried foul. [pussies...] The rest of us put the “socialist” label to rest for the time being and accepted the knowledge the Government Saved Us. [Because "pinko" was as unimportant as "fear-mongering"] The federal government created programs to make sure the old and the poor didn’t die in the streets. [That's what dumpsters are for] We built highways, created federal Parks systems, built bridges and dams, schools, science academies, hospitals and enacted huge Public Works programs, fought a war that saved the world, all of which made America proud, all of which cost lots and lots of money. [who's "we," you self-crediting attention whore? And why bring down the mood with talks of money? Socialism was starting to sound better and better...]

Then in the 60s, President Johnson implemented two expensive projects at once: The Great Society, which aimed to provide education, jobs and a safety net for everyone in this country. . . and the Vietnam War. [not to be confused with "The Great Escape," starring Clint Eastwood, which aimed to provide education, hobbies and a sense of hope for everyone locked up on Alcatraz Island, and the Vietnam Conflict, which may or may not have happened.] The result was higher taxes. And then in the late 1960s, we began hearing tales of Welfare abuse, people living permanently on the public dole. ["We," in this statement, refers to the readers of the Nagasaw County-distributed newsletter "Down with the Pinko Presidents," of which numbered in the mid-to-upper hundreds.] We also witnessed the rise of that great American stereotype, the Government Worker, slow and slothful, dumb and inefficient. In our thinking, Big Government was no longer a good thing. [Kind of like Wal-Mart greeters--once the corporation lowered their standards in favor of a cheaper workforce, things just seemed a lot more depressing as consumers walked to their soul-selling fates.]

Then the 70s gave us the Bussing issue, in which liberal judges in urban areas forced integration at public schools. [Is this the extreme liberal, spam-style email that I've come to expect, or a fucking history lesson?] Black kids were bussed to White schools, and vice versa. America was not impressed [high standards, I guess]. Then came California’s watershed vote: Proposition 13, which capped property tax increases, and California’s entire public sector cried foul [is a watershed like a chicken coop, aka shit-shed? Or is it just a coincidence the former is appearing in the latter?]. Hospitals will go unfunded, we were warned. Schools and the Criminal Justice system will go starving. California citizens responded, “So what?” and the measure won by a landslide [and that's why hospitals, schools and Judge Judy no longer exist...]. Also, the death penalty was abolished nationwide, a move that most Americans did not agree with, and liberal judges like California’s Rose Bird loudly handed down pro-criminal verdicts that sealed the opinion that the Justice system was run by a bunch of ivory-tower bleeding-hearts [this sentence, and to a larger extent this email, is making my ears bleed]. At this point, government became the enemy [of the state...Will Smith....anybody?].

Enter the Reagan Revolution of 1980. Federal agencies were slashed, the federal budget for domestic spending was gutted, and America said “It’s about time” [America speaking in a single, organized voice must have been a big thing before I was born]. But by 1984, though, President Reagan was fairly unpopular ["though the name 'Joseph' for any first-born Thiele's could be considered semi-popular, AND moderately successful"]. Unemployment was at record highs, and many voters felt Reagan had swung the country too far to the right [so much talk about voters--I want to know what the fuck the abstainers were feeling]. So the Democratic party ran an old-style liberal at the top of the ticket, Walter Mondale, who went on TV and said, “I will raise your taxes” [while Walter Matthau was saying "You can't do it with strangers"].

The Democrats lost by a landslide, and the party has never recovered from those five words [the opposite effect, oddly enough, that Matthau's six words had on the free love community]. The notion that Democrats are “tax and spend” is a permanent part of our political landscape [just like "cut and run"].

So that’s your answer. We won’t pay for things [lots of setup for such a weak punchline. Where's the joke in that?]. America will pay for Bush’s war against Muslims without blinking an eye [well now you're countering yourself--there's one thing], but we don’t want to pay for better schools, better hospitals, publicly-funded disease research, roads and bridges, global warming prevention, earth-friendly transportation [all things that could be improved with cheap labor via the homeless or our prison populations]. We don’t want to be what we once were: World Leaders in the public sector, the best in science, the best in manufacturing, the best in education [I'm betting the Chinese are now best in those things; China is communist; therefore, if you want to be good at any of those things, you're an un-American pinko hugger. And an asshole. Right, megbannerji?]. American voters don’t want that anymore. What do we spend money on? [Drugs]. Electronics, all built overseas, consumer gadgets of all types, all built overseas ["Russian components, American components...all made in Taiwan!"]. None of that is investing in America. And yet our thinking is so twisted, we believe the Republicans are the more patriotic party [you're not presenting a very positive alternative right now, just so you know]. But what could be more patriotic than building great schools, developing cures for diseases, and preserving America’s resources, all of which will help ALL of us. And yet those priorities are considered “soft,” “liberal,” not patriotic, like fighting wars [that sentence makes perfect sense if you squint at it and think of a sailboat].

And as long as Americans maintain that twisted idea of patriotism, Democrats will teeter on the edge of extinction [because that's a likely possibility in our red vs blue world]. Until we decide we love our country enough to make it work, to produce students that can read, cars that don’t pollute, cures that benefit all, until we get our heads out of our Ipods and computers and decide that we are willing to spend what it takes to make America a proud place again, then yes, Democrats will continue to dance around what they are afraid to say: “Quality costs money, people. Tax money. Not as much as destroying Iraq, but a proud nation costs money.” [what a calm and non-pointed way to head into your concluding statement.]

Are we ready to hear that fact this election season? We’ll find out soon enough.

[how dramatic...]

[If you're still here, consider yourself a bit less informed than before]:

It's emails like this one that I hate the idea of aligning yourself with one side or the other. Everyone who considers themselves a Democrat, right now, is automatically an asshole through association with this liberal douche. I understand there are varying degrees of party loyalty, liberalism and expressed distaste, but if you're standing on the blue-colored side of the line, then you're in the same boat as this mass emailer. That boat is sinking, apparently. Congratulations.

I agree with the thought that probably inspired this email: that Democrats aren't doing enough to present a viable opposition to the Republican party. It really seems like they're content with pushing poor candidates onto the voting public and hoping people vote for something other than what they have now. "Couldn't get any worse, could it?" seems to be a popular political strategy. In fact, just today I saw a commercial that wasn't advertising any specific candidate, but instead it simply concluded with the words, "Vote for Change." It reinforced in my mind the fate being pushed on us by such a brash two-party system:

"We are fucked."

Want to get people thinking you're going to change something? Get the fucking Democrats that are already in positions of power to start doing something themselves! I don't like that George Bush is President of the United States, but convincing others that the party he belongs to isn't right for right now boils down to a bit more than, "we need something different, I suppose."

16 October 2006

Almost as good as not posting in two weeks

I haven't had internet access that could be considered "reliable" or "not stolen" in around two weeks. For some reason, people are still coming to this site. To that thousanth visitor from last week, who was surely expecting a grand celebration and prize (similar to the billionth iTunes song sold): sorry--the fine print shows that all celebratory glad-handing is void in cases of absenteeism and poverty.

Also, I'm fine--thanks for asking.

I recently visited that big Sofa Mart in the sky ("Denver") for training. I can now sell anything to anyone at any time no matter their budget, unless you're just looking, then nevermind--I'm here if you have questions.

Also, I've been getting a lot of politically-themed email lately. Expect my rebuttal to one (if not all) of those grammatically-diarhea-ed editorials.

Secondly, I've got a few thoughts on the upcoming elections, North Korea and the world (in general). They're not as fucked in the ear as half the opinions ("give teachers guns, for Christsake!" -Fox News) I've been hearing.

Finally, a few weekends back I was able to visit BVU once again for Homecoming weekend (and, I suppose, a "One Year Reunion," even though it's only been five months). I saw a lot of friends, drank a lot of beer, was challeneged at the thing I might be best at, and ate some spastic fucking burritos. To resolve one of those four, I'll be throwing out some reminders to the youngens who've gotten a bit comfortable without Joe Thiele around. Instead of "everything Joe Thiele knows is wrong," I'll offer some interesting points on the surprisingly brash and defensive columnist that lives where the [Assumed] Truth once did. It'll be fun, if only for me.