Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dark Days

Well it’s official. The NBA is rigged, George W. Bush is surrounded by yellow-dog turn coats, and the Angel of Weird still smiles in Denver. I was sitting on Tuesday night, trying to drink off a nasty funk as everyone in town cursed the day that Joey Crawford was born, when I took a call from a friend in another State.
“What about that last play?” he asked, sure that I would launch into an angry diatribe.
“What about it?” I said. “Barry was off and the Spurs lost it…End of Story.”
“But it was clearly a foul!” he screamed into the phone. “Fisher smacked Barry on the head intentionally. Barry was on fire all night long, that shot was meant to go in!”
“Barry dribbled and finished the play,“ I reminded him. “It was a good no call.”
“The hell you say! If nothing else Barry deserved a floor call, it was so clearly a foul. They could have tied the game, gone into overtime.”
“What? So Ginobili, Parker and Duncan could go on missing shots for another five minutes and hand us an even worse loss? You sadistic swine, what kind of Fan are you?”
“It was Crawford’s fault,” he whined. “Joey Crawford has it in for the Spurs!”
In fact, the entire city on Wednesday seemed to echo that same sentiment, openly reviling a respected member of the NBA Referee establishment in every local newscast, and on every street corner.
“If I were [Crawford] I wouldn’t start my own car for the next few weeks” offered one critic. Others were not so nice or nearly as subtle. But let us draw the curtain on that brand of ugliness and face up to facts. David Stern and the rest of the League would much prefer to have a Lakers/Celtics Finals in order to hoist up their faltering ratings. The NBA never did entirely recover from the lock out in ’99, and viewership has been regulated to die-hard fans and sad, sick holdouts like me who would like to have seen the Spurs go back to back at least once before Tim Duncan get’s too old to strut.
Was Tuesday’s loss the fault of a crooked official with a grudge? Was it just the Will of the League? Were the Lakers really the better team? Or was it just bad playing on the part of the Spurs. One thing I have learned over these last few seasons is to never count the Silver and Black out until the very end. Though, to hear some people talk about it, Thursday’s game will be as embarrassing as a fart in church.
It wasn’t only the Spurs who woke up to the dismal sound of doom and despair on Wednesday. George W. Bush heard his own banshee wailing within the pages of Scott McClellan’s damning memoir. McClellan was White House Press Secretary from May 2003 to April 2006 (Ah, the good years) and as such his book gave a supposedly inside look at the inscrutable W. Bush White House but in doing so basically calls the President a liar and the media a bunch of enabling cowards. He even says of himself: “I fell far short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be.”
Yes Scott, you most certainly did. What happened to Loyalty? What kind of media whore did you turn out to be, after all, and what makes you any different from those you’ve condemned?
Since when has “Washington's Culture of Deception” been any different? I don’t recall being handed the whole truth by any U.S. President while I’ve been alive…Not from Nixon, Not from Ford, Not from Carter, Not from Reagan, Not from Bush and certainly Not from Clinton. Can Scott McClellan really so naïve as to believe that Politics is anything other than self promotion of some sort? Or is he just practicing his own sorry brand of it and trying to cover his own sorry ass so he can find a job when the dust settles?
What really pisses me off with his book is that it’s just going to give those idiots who blame the White House for 9/11 even more fodder for their already out of hand insanity. Show some responsibility, Scott. And let’s face it- if he’d really had that much of a problem with what was going on shouldn’t he have taken a more honorable way out? It’s not too late to fall on your own sword and regain a measure of what honor you have left, Scott.
Wait, did I just say that? No, I didn’t. And even if I did surely it didn’t suggest what it sounded like. This isn’t Feudal Japan, or Ancient Rome, or even the Nixon White House, where dissenters were in serious danger of getting threatening late night phone calls and strange packages delivered to their mother’s at grey-care.
Hell no! We live in a kinder and gentler age; a Different Time Altogether. Why, it could very well be the age of First Contact. Well, at least according to The Rocky Mountain News, who reported on Rocky Mountain Oddball Jeff Peckman. Peckman, who has been pushing an initiative to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission to prepare for the day that we make First Contact, has promised to show a video on Friday that purports to show a “Living Breathing Space Alien”.
Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t anything out there. Nor am I saying that Peckman might not have actual footage of something “far out”. But seriously, does he really believe that he is going about it the right way?
Of course, I know, I mean what exactly would be “the right way” to go about letting people know that “we are not alone”? Still, the only ones that are going to buy into it are the odd ball fringe that will buy into anything that will distract them from their mediocre lives. It’s going to take a ship landing on the Washington Mall to make believers out of most skeptics, and even then it’s going to take some convincing to assure them it’s not a promotion for a movie or for Pepsi.
Let’s face it, people don’t want to know if there’s intelligent life outside of our solar system. Most of them are too concerned with the orbits of their own lives to worry about such things as First Contact. They’ve become a nation of worriers, concerned about the environment, and gas prices, and being well liked by the people who want to blow us up.
They are, like I said, a kinder and gentler people…And we’re all the more fucked because of it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Trouble with 9/11 “Truthers”

"Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives."
-Oscar Wilde

This post by Tallyman over on Surfing the Apocalypse is another good example of the stupidity that has crippled otherwise sensible people. Have we all become so brain addled and complacent that we can suffer fools like these to spew their nonsense on any public forum?
This post shows all the hallmarks of the typical “truther”. For example, notice how he begins by stating how he “was at first inclined to believe” that the attacks on 9/11 were carried out by “Arab terrorists”. He states this as though belief has anything to do with facts, putting terrorists in the same category as Santa Clause or the tooth-fairy. But wait, he has something better than facts! For, he goes on to state, “[s]omething did not look right, feel right”. Jump Back! Wait a moment! It’s all about how he FEELS, all of a sudden, and never-you-mind empirical evidence, logic, or reason. Why, in mere days (not the months of painstaking forensic study, computer diagramming, metallurgical inquiry, architectural and structural examination, etc.) this genius was able to reject the “Official Version of Events” and then “actively sought out similar points of view”...Because, as we all know, the way to seek out the truth is to find people who agree with you.
He then goes on to invoke the name of one of the nuttiest fruitcakes on the rack, David Ray-Griffin, who was neither a “main writer” nor an “investigator”, but rather a retired theologian and philosopher, who suddenly decided that he had a moral leg up on everyone else in the field and was somehow, more qualified to discuss history, politics, and the global economy.
Mr. Tallyman’s post then degenerates into a sordid miasma of quasi-religious, self-righteous ramblings, misquoting the Bible for his own ends and, at times, making up his own theological interpretations of the teachings of Christ. Through it all he remains completely laughable, taking wild strides of fancy that have made these 9/11“truthers” some of the shadiest, most devious, and dangerous chumps to hijack the alternative media.
In what I can only assume is meant to be some kind of scathing indictment of Christian leaders’ silence on his dismal view of the “truth”, he exposes some of the major flaws in the “movement”.
Take, for example, the complete lack of any textual or empirical support for his point of view (which, I suppose, is along the lines of all the other cracked pots who blame our obviously hyper-competent government for secretly masterminding and perpetrating the events of that terrible day) and instead, focuses on the absolute wrongness of those who do not Feel the way he feels. Why should Christian leaders back up his point of view? Although at one point I’m pretty certain he comes close to likening himself to Jesus Christ, I’m not entirely certain that this is enough to convince the American clergy to take it to the streets Old School 60’s style.
No, today’s modern Jesus Freak needs more than the word of a few college drop outs and mainstream burnouts. When it comes to this brand of nonsense, they need more than faith, buddy, they need facts. What does it say when the same people that reject Evolution have also, according to his post, rejected the “truth” movement?

"A word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones who need the advice.”
-Bill Cosby

A few months back, I was talking to a Canadian friend of mine, who thought it would be a good idea to share some of her beliefs on the events of that day, mainly about how not only did the US government let it happen, but that Bin Laden and his group were the invention of the CIA, and were being used as part of a “neocon plot” to steal away our civil liberties and lead the country into war.
It was unfortunate timing on her part that I happened to be drunk, ornery, and mean when she brought all this up, and I sliced into her stupidity like a thresher into a farm boys arms. I haven’t heard much out of her since then, but then I’m not losing any sleep over it. It did make me wonder, however, because she was one of those that spent some time in the Middle East around the same time as I. Did she not encounter Islamist fundamentalist sympathizers in her time there? How could she have spent several years in the region and not once have run across some taxi driver or local yokel who tried to convert her to Islam because it was a superior way of life, and would one day spread across the world? Or meet even one glaring-eyed, gallabaya wearing idiot with a dark spot on his head (from all the praying) who condemned her with his stare for being a loose and immoral western harlot who he’d like to see stoned in the streets for corrupting his sons? Was her time in Cairo so insulated that she never once paid attention to the wild ravings on the loudspeakers from the mosques on Fridays? Could it be that she just never paid attention or was I just too over exposed to the culture?
And so it has come down to that, hasn’t it? Is it possible that my absolute certainty that a pack of knife waving, kaffeyya wrapped desert devils want nothing more than to run through the streets of American cities, shrilly chanting Quranic verses and blowing themselves up in orgiastic fits of religious expression comes from my having spent a little too much time around the natives over there?
Things were different back then, weren’t they? When they’d gather together to monotonously chant “Boosh-Boosh-Boosh” they were talking about Herbert Walker, the Liberator of Kuwait, and they meant those chants in a good way. Now when they do that they are talking about his son, our sitting president, the Liberator of Iraq, but they say it as though they are trying to spit beard hairs out of their throats, and they mean it in a most decidedly bad way. Back then the worst America-bashing I encountered came from our so called allies, the Brits, the Canadians, the Australians, all those “Commonwealth” vassals-of-the-Queen countries, who could not stand that we were, basically, their bigger, badder, and just plain cooler cousin.
Those same people are still bashing us, only now they have the company of most everyone else in the world, and a good plenty of our own people here in the Homeland, as well. This brings us back to Mr. Tallyman and his vacuous ilk, the “truthers”.
They’re the worst kind of America-Bashers. They’re not trying to seek out the truth because they’re any more righteous or moral than anyone else; they’re doing it because they want to placate the rest of the world. I think that on some deep, dark, dirty level they genuinely believe that if the Enemies of America see how well they think of themselves that they’ll just give up, put down their knives, take off their suicide belts, and want to be their friends. These people are the lowest kinds of coward, hiding behind their make-believe causes and pretending to be noble. I could excuse naiveté, even pity it, but these people are dangerously stupid if they think they’re going to make the world a better place with their delusions and fantasies, and I for one, am sick of them.

"Most people would die sooner than think; in fact, they do. "
-Bertrand Russell