Color Me Confused in Lannister Crimson….

Note:  This post, and all links within, may contain spoilers for the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin as well as the television adaptation, Game of Thrones.  I will use a “more” tag to protect visitors from being inadvertently spoiled by book knowledge that has yet to be covered by the show.  If it has aired in the first four seasons, I don’t consider it a spoiler.  If it is something from the book that they obviously are never going to use in the show (hot weasel soup, anyone?) I don’t consider it a spoiler.  Explaining that the series ends during Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding, as the camera pulls back, showing us first the Red Keep, then King’s Landing, then all of Westeros, until we realize that Westeros is inside of a snow globe in the hands of an autistic child would be a spoiler.  Fair enough?

Followers of the HBO television phenomenon, Game of Thrones, may have heard the rumors that Jaime Lannister finds himself traveling to Dorne during the upcoming fifth season.  Fans of the show who have not read the books are probably cautiously excited over this prospect; after all, Dorne is where that awesome Oberyn character came from, and they have some pretty progressive sounding politics down there, which should provide many interesting character development possibilities for Kingslayer on his path of redemption.  Meanwhile, us book readers saw the rumor and thought, “oh, that’s nice.  Jaime will have a good time in Dor……What the living fuck is Jaime doing in Dorne?!”

I am not one of the strictest fans of the book when it comes to the television adaptation.  I love the book series, and I of course want them to remain as faithful to the books as possible.  But the fourth season finale did not end with clumps of my hair entwined in my fingers as I screamed at the deaf TV, “that’s not what happened!”  The removal of any mention of Tysha from Tyrion’s escape meant the brothers parted on different terms than in the books, and it changed a chunk of Tyrion’s motivations.  Some book readers felt this was a bridge too far, yet I understand completely why the showrunners made this change.  Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister is, if not the most popular character on the show, one of the top three.  How dark do they want to make one of the most popular characters going into the fifth season?  Especially with the dark turn in store for Tyrion’s main competition for most favored character.  And of course, other than randomly asking people “Where do whores go?,” most of the Tysha storyline takes place inside Tyrion’s head, which doesn’t exactly lead to compelling television.  So I’m fine with having them hug and part company on good terms.

I bring that up just so you know where I stand on the adaptation and sticking to the story.  Sure, I think they screwed up royally with the three eyed crow‘s make up, but I didn’t quit watching because Littlefinger said “Only your sister” instead of “Only Cat” before chucking Lysa out the Moon Door.  Well, that and because this post so far gives a decent view of my spoiler policy, but mainly so you’d know I am not slamming my head off of random objects because Jaime sent Pod with Brienne, instead of Pod following her to try and find Tyrion.  So it is with that knowledge that I tell you my immediate response upon hearing rumors of Jaime visiting Dorne during the fifth season  was “Are they drunk, high, or both?  Does someone have compromising pictures of the double D’s that are being used to blackmail them into tanking the show?  Maybe the rumor is wrong.  Perhaps they name one of the new ships Ser Jaime’s Hand and that goes to Dorne.  Why the fuckity fuck would Jaime go to Dorne?”

I have no problems with the show electing to send a raiding party up to deal with the mutineers at Craster’s Keep, nor with Brienne and the Hound crossing swords in a duel so awesome I almost want to bow to the cliche and just call it “epic.”  (Spoiler alert, neither actually occurs in the books.)  But Jaime in Dorne I have a problem with.  Since I’ll be discussing Jaime’s path in A Feast for Crows and season 5, I’ll tuck the rest of the post behind a “more” tag.

 

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The First (and Quite Possibly Last) Celebrity Instagram Account I Have Visited On Purpose

While reading an Inventory article on documentaries that saw their story and direction change drastically during filming, over at the AV Club, I noticed a sponsored link begging to be clicked upon.  I hesitated briefly.  The link was a potential rabbit hole, I knew, and I have spent far too much of my time wandering through them as of late.  Just yesterday, two simple questions  queried to Google led to sore eyes and a sore back as I finished the hours long chase by falling asleep at the keys, muttering “just one more theory,” as I once did with strategy PC games; “just one more turn.”  Yet this link was not related in anyway to A Song of Ice and Fire.  It was a link about a celebrity, and not a celebrity that has appeared on Game of Thrones either.  Just click-bait, lying in wait, making its immodest claim and offering proof for the simple act of a left click.  I am aware of Amanda Seyfried; I liked Mean Girls, though I can’t recall what I thought of her acting individually, which I imagine means she was at least passable.  Until 30 seconds ago, I believed she played Peter Parker’s Russian neighbor, Ursula Ditkovich, in Sam Raimi’s Spider Man series.  (A role actually played by Mageina Tovah.  Oops.)  Red Riding Hood was suitably awful, but her work as Sarah Henrickson on Big Love proved that she possesses legitimate acting talent.  Strange how television is becoming the place, if you can wade past the reality show swamp and avoid the major network’s farm of clones, for well acted. “serious,” prestige projects..  (As I would surely choose Big Love over anything Ms. Seyfried has appeared in since departing the show,  a similar choice would be made if confronted with the recent works of say, Woody Harrelson or Matthew McConaughey?*)

Avoiding that tangent, why does Amanda Seyfried have the best celebrity Instagram account?  What sets her account apart from the endless swarm of other people, gifted for some reason with fame, who use social media to “connect with the fans” and gain more fame, or to connect with the fans and gain more fame.  What moves her page above Dakota Fanning’s on the list?  Who is keeping this list?  Instead of searching out something to read on the AV Club, or playing a game on Steam, instead I found myself mentally calling “shenanigans” on a never visited web site based on the click bait sponsored link I noticed at random, only because I was out of open tabs.  Now it would be more of a rabbit hole to not click the link.  While I would almost certainly end my exploration of celebrity Instagram accounts where I began it, not clicking it would place me on a timeline where my last words, given either** at the age of 164 in a bed on the space hospital Inquiry 2, in orbit around Neptune, dying of lung cancer, the only disease not cured by science by 2050, or the age of 59, a split second before being swallowed by the wall of water from the Atlantic Ocean that decimated an area from New York state down to parts of North Carolina, leaving an eastern seaboard with Pittsburgh, PA as the largest port in the new Northeast, with docks both on the Atlantic and to the new Gulf of Eire (sometimes also called “The Gulf of Lakes.”), after a series of unfortunate events started by the collapse of the massive system of dams and walls built to keep New York City habitable after the 27 foot rise in sea level during the 2020’s ended in the largest tsunami in history***, were “What does make Amanda Seyfried so fucking special anyway?”  If there was only one possible end to the time line, perhaps I would have chosen to live in ignorance of the amazing world of Amanda Seyfried’s Instagram account.  But I couldn’t risk it with two possible options.  After all, who wants to die in orbit around Neptune?  I had to change the destiny I do not believe in as a concept.  It wasn’t a question of if I would click the link or not anymore, the link had been clicked before I even saw it.  (I know.  Trippy, right?)

Knowing the recent films Ms. Seyfried had appeared in, I clicked the link practically expecting to see screen captures from Lovelace.  “Was that really it?” I thought. Was her Instagram account the best because she released outtakes of her bare breasts there?  Was it a tricksy link, with no true affiliation with the actress herself, rather a Trojan Horse of an ad for Mr. Skin?  And then….

And then I understood.  And while it may not be the bestest celebrity social media site in the whole world fer realzzzersz!1!1!, it was worth a click and a moment of my time.  Since the model is wearing no clothing in the pictures, I will post one after the more tag….

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Silly Black People, Don’t You Know Racism is Over?

For reals for real*.

Look, we elected a biracial man to the White House twice now.  Once could have been a fluke, but we’re talking twice now!  And not only a biracial man, but a biracial man from Kenya who practices Islam and is using the office to plan the destruction of our great nation as he joins the liberal elite in their ivory towers and the man hating feminazis to turn America into a socialist utopia, which doubly proves there is no racism anymore.  Also, look at Jay-Z and Beyonce!  They are rich, and black, therefore, no more racism!

Sure, I hear other white people at work make racist comments all the time, but I’m sure they are just being ironic.  People who insist on putting Obama’s head on the body of an ape or a monkey are doing so because of his ears, not the color of his skin.  Yeah, just as many, if not more, white people use drugs than blacks in this nation, but I am sure there is a rational reason the cops arrest blacks far more than whites for drug crimes that doesn’t involve racism.  Maybe black people just suck at doing drugs?  I’m sure George Zimmerman would still be walking the streets if Trayvon Martin was white**.

Don’t bring up slavery, please.  That was forever ago.  Seriously.  Same with segregation.  Ancient history.  It’s not like my mom remembers traveling to Virginia on her honeymoon and sitting down at a diner counter, only to have my father’s sister*** pull her out of the diner by her arm to tell her that was where the black people sat.  It’s not like my dad’s sister*** told my mom that, quote, “they like it that way.”

In the rush to crucify Darren Wilson, it is wrong to point out facts that have nothing to do with the matter at hand, like that he “entered the police force in 2009, joining a nearly all-white, 45-member task force that patrolled Jennings, Missouri, a small, impoverished city of 14,000 where the residents were 89 percent African-American. ”  I’m sure there was a perfectly good reason that the task force patrolling a 90% African-American community was practically all white.  Maybe all the local black people had felonies already, disqualifying them from working for the police?  Bet you never thought of that possibility, now did you?  And how is it relevant that his former unit was shut down with all members fired?  It isn’t like the person who took over the force after the mass firing, Lt. Jeff Fuesting, summed the problems of the previous force up like this or anything:

“There was a disconnect between the community and the police department. There were just too many instances of police tactics which put the credibility of the police department in jeopardy. Complaints against officers. There was a communication breakdown between the police and the community. There were allegations involving use of force that raised questions.”

 

“Allegations involving use of force?”  That isn’t specific enough to make a judgement.  Perhaps they weren’t using enough force, did you ever think about that?  My God, the way people are carrying on, you’d think Hercules had a Facebook account he used for racist statements and notpologies:

“Ferguson riots have very little to do with the shooting of the young man,” Sorbo wrote, because, of course, he knows. “It is an excuse to be the losers these animals truly are. It is a tipping point to frustration built up over years of not trying, but blaming everyone else, the Man, for their failures. It’s always someone else’s fault when you give up. Hopefully this is a reminder to the African Americans (I always thought we (sic) just Americans. Oh, well) that their President the (sic) voted in has only made things worse for them, not better.”

Jesus fuck people.  It’s not like Fox News spent 8 hours trying to scare white people with talk of a radical group of “New Black Panthers.”

Six Fox News shows have discussed the phony New Black Panthers scandal during a total of 95 segments since Megyn Kelly’s June 30 interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams. In all, these Fox shows have devoted more than eight hours of airtime to discussing the New Black Panthers.

Just more proof that we are living in a post-racial society****.

 

 

* No, not “for reals for real.”

**  This one is actually probably true, if only because George Zimmerman never would have accosted Trayvon Martin if he were white.

*** I refuse to call her my “aunt.”  As far as I am aware, I have never even met the woman.  I never met my dad’s parents either, but they had an excuse.  They are dead.  My father’s sister?  Apparently she is still alive, a fact I only know because she sends my mom a card every now and then.

**** To be honest, I’d settle for a “post-Fox News society” about now.

 

Shark Week (No Jumping Required)

Assuming you own a television and a service provider, you are probably aware that this is Shark Week (Trademarked, Rights Reserved, Copyrighted, Intellectual Property Protected) on The Discovery Channel.  While I will be the first to admit that it is ridiculously over-hyped, and advertised in ways that border on the offensive, I still find my television channel locked to Discovery.  It isn’t due to any overwhelming fascination with sharks, although I do find them, like most animals, quite interesting.  No, what draws me to Shark Week is what it pushes off the station: reality shows.

Long time readers of this blog may already have a fair idea of where this post is heading, so I will try to keep it short this time, to avoid repeating myself.  While I have never been a fan of mainstream television, I fell in love with The Discovery Channel and The History Channel when my family first got cable television.  As time went on, The National Geographic Channel and Animal Planet came to south central Pennsylvania, and were added to my favorites list in turn.  Not everything on each channel appealed to me, but there was enough that I was almost always able to find something to watch if I desired, something that not only provided entertainment, but at least a taste of education as well.  I do not know when things went off the rails, and I do not know what started the train wreck, but in my mind the change started with Discovery and the building of custom motorcycles.  I forget the name of the show, and honestly don’t care enough to Google it, but I do remember that while I would change the channel the second it came on, my tastes were apparently being outvoted massively by viewers who loved watching a father and son loudly argue over the proper way to build a chopper.  With the drugs I’ve consumed over my lifetime, I would never claim that my memory is one of my strengths; other “reality” shows may have came first on these edutainment networks, but in my recollections, this is the domino that started the fall.  Channels that were once filled with seemingly endless documentaries were the new home of reality television.  History morphed from “All Hitler, All the time” into a channel about a pawn shop and countless attempts to duplicate the success of Pawn Stars.  Animal Planet replaced shows starring animals to shows starring a crazy guy who captures animals, a crazy guy who lives in the forest, and for some reason I still don’t quite understand, a crazy guy who builds rich people tree houses.  National Geographic films the clinically insane and the hell that they put their children through for a show called Doomsday Preppers, and routinely mocks the Amish for all manner of shows.  And Discovery?  Naked and Afraid.  Say no more.

If you are willing to hunt for it, you can still find worthwhile shows on these networks.  Mythbusters is still on the air, History airs documentaries on the anniversaries of historically important events, and National Geographic has nights of inspired programming.  Animal Planet, as far as I can tell, still dedicates one night a week to animal documentaries, (I believe it is Tuesday nights) and they air one of my favorite television shows of all time, which also happens to be one of their most popular shows, River Monsters.  But River Monsters’ season is much too short, and when it ends it is replaced with idiots tramping through a forest looking for a creature that almost certainly does not exist.  (Sorry.  The United States is no longer uncharted territory, and if there was an actual breeding population of Sasquatches <Sasquatchi?> one would have turned up already.  Hell, if they were widespread enough to account for all the reported sitings in the myriad number of claimed locations, it would be impossible to swing a cat without hitting a Sasquatch.  No matter where the Finding Bigfoot team goes, no matter how much bacon they throw into the forest, all they are going to find is known animal species and humans who can’t resist fucking with them.  I know if they came to my area, I’d be in the woods fucking with them.  The two shows, River Monsters and Finding Bigfoot, actually make a rather decent primer on rational thought.  On River Monsters, Jeremy Wade investigates reports of people being attacked by river monsters, then follows the evidence to attempt to rationally figure out what the creature may really be.  After coming up with a hypothesis, he tests it out by trying to catch the creature he thinks is the cause of the reports, and he normally gets his fish.  While some of the fish are much larger than science believed they grew, or living in a habitat the species was not known to reside in, the answers, surprising as they may be, still fit in with our increasing base of knowledge.  On Finding Bigfoot, a group of people try to find Bigfoot by first going to a location and calling a town hall meeting for people who have seen Bigfoot, listening to the tales of sitings and quickly deciding that it was Bigfoot, then strapping on night vision cameras and going into the forest to not find Bigfoot.  Sometimes they cook bacon and throw it in the woods to show Bigfoot they are friendly as well, although that may have only happened on the one episode I actually watched.  Anyway, Science vs. Hunting for Pixies!)

That unexpected rant aside, whether you like sharks or not, Shark Week transports The Discovery Channel back in time, to the days where it was filled with documentaries and education was something they claimed to care about.  And that alone is enough to earn my recommendation.  Too soon it will be over and you can all go back to watching naked strangers argue in the woods.

Today’s Prayer….

At first glance there was nothing out of the ordinary about the prayer Mississippi Tea Party Chairman Roy Nicholson used to open an event in Flowood, Mississippi.  Well, nothing out of the ordinary for our unfortunate political climate.  To be honest, it was actually rather mild compared to some of the fire and brimstone invoking, hate-filled rants masquerading as Christian prayers these days.  Sure, it asked God to give the speakers political enemies a good old fashioned smiting, but at least this desired smiting only removed the smitee’s from political power, generously allowing them to keep their health and their lives.  Salon has the text for posterity:

We’re asking, Father, for two things. We’re asking, Father, that you would expose them, set division amongst them, set them one against another, bring confusion and fear into their camp, into their thinking, for the purpose of pulling them down, for casting them down out of their high offices and reducing them, Lord, to having no power in this state. So, Lord, that you might raise up and seek the righteous in the positions of power that this state might once more be a state that honors you in all that it does.

Father, we’re asking that in all of the tribulations were asking you to bring upon them, that it would work change in their heart — that you would use it to bring true Godly sorrow, that they might truly repent for their iniquity and their wickedness, for that they would be restored to you, that you would have honor in the state of Mississippi for the great works that you’ve done in correcting and purifying the government and rescuing and saving the worst of us.

See?  Nothing out of the ordinary at all.  That is, until you notice who the targets of this prayer actually are (bolding is mine):

“Father, we even ask for you to bless our enemies, and Lord they are truly our enemies that head the Republican Party and the whole political establishment.”

Seriously.  When you are so far to the right that you consider the Republican party in Mississippi to be your enemy, the shark has done been jumped.  That is like living in Germany in the 1930’s and saying, “Yeah, I would have voted for Hitler, but he’s too soft on the Jews.”  Refusing to watch Fox News because it is controlled by the “liberal media.”  Turning Rush Limbaugh off because he went soft on the Democrats after Obama’s election.  Quitting the Westover Baptist Church because you are worried they may change their views on marriage equality.  I could go on for a few paragraphs here, but I think you get my point.

If he considers the Mississippi GOP his enemies, do I even need to ask what he considers Democrats, or, God forbid, real progressives?  I’d like to hear one of those prayers…..

 

 

Let Us Bask in the Glow of Young Male Privilege

The Altoona Mirror gets letters.  Since the area it serves is overwhelmingly conservative, most of the letters, even those not scrawled in crayon, hue to the viewpoints of the far right.  Let’s take a moment to read one such heartfelt letter:

I have noticed that people have different opinions on abortion.

And even teenagers talk about and have different opinions. I have several friends that say that it should only be legal in cases of rape. A few people say it is up to the couple to decide.

Other friends, and myself included, think that it should be illegal altogether.

The way I see it, it is the same as first-degree murder, and the same as an adult killing a toddler that I see in the news sometimes. Now don’t get me wrong by thinking I don’t feel bad for the women who are raped and get pregnant, but I think they should still give birth and give the child up for adoption.

Also, there is new technology where the embryo is able to, in the very early stages, be transferred to another woman by surgery.

I do feel bad for rape victims. I just don’t think that an innocent baby should be killed.

Brandon Imler

Altoona Area

Junior High School

As much as I want to turn the snark up to 11, and tear into this with bared fangs, I just can’t bring myself to attack the words of a junior high student that savagely.  Don’t get me wrong.  I desperately want to mock how he has “noticed that people have different opinions on abortion.”  “Even teenagers,” he says?  I don’t believe it!  Everyone knows teenagers don’t have opinions.  But other than that, which I honestly could not resist, I am going to rein in the snark.

So if I am not going to tear this letter to shreds, why bring it up?  On the off chance that our young Mr. Brandon Imler decides to Google himself one day, and in turn stumbles upon this post.  If he does, perhaps he will wonder what the title means, and Google “male privilege.”  Maybe he will even realize how his letter reeks of it.  You see, young Mr. Imler feels bad for rape victims.  He really does!  Honestly, he says so twice in the letter.  See, if he didn’t feel bad for them, he definitely wouldn’t have said it twice.  How absolutely compassionate of Brandon, who’s possession of a penis (great, now the Net Nanny program his mom put on his computer will block this page from his view.) makes the chances of him becoming a rape victim vastly less likely than those of any woman he sees throughout the day.  How understanding he is, when his own lack of ovaries mean that even if he would suffer the indignity of a rape, he would never have a pregnancy result from his violation.  I mean, it isn’t that much that he requests from women who are so victimized; only the use of their womb for 9 short months, right?

Brandon, I know you may not think that is asking much.    Why would you?  Not only are you in junior high, but by birthright you will never have to worry about getting pregnant.  Like many owners of testes, the thought of being raped has probably never crossed your mind, unless you happen to be especially homophobic, and your youth more than likely shields you from the fact that rape is a worry that women must carry throughout their lives.  Perhaps you have never even considered how it would feel, if after you were raped you had to live with a reminder of the act growing inside you, changing your body, risking your life, flooding you with hormones, altering you, because after all, it’s a baby!

Hopefully, you will find this post, and read it.  Perhaps it will make you think, maybe plant a seed, and somewhere down the line even change your view.  I remember how I stank of male privilege when I was in junior high.  No matter how many of my peers still allow it to blind them, I know that it can be shed, possibly not completely, but enough to recognize and confront it.

Male privilege is asking a woman to suffer through something you will never have to experience, while claiming that you feel bad for what you are forcing them to do.

Can you taste it?  Chances are, even if you can, you will try to ignore it.  Could be you will always equate abortion with first degree murder, in which case I hope that we never meet.  To put it bluntly, people who hold views that extreme frighten the living hell out of me.  That view leads to violence, just as other facets of male privilege lead to rape.

Or perhaps you will turn out differently, embarrassed by the opinions of your younger self, determined to fight against the veil that clouded your youthful vision.

Either way, off with you now.  Back to your fantasy world where teenagers have opinions.  (Couldn’t resist that one.)

They Threw a Tea Party

Mixing their gift for political doublespeak with the nation’s love of alliteration, the Blair County Tea Party sponsored the 6th annual “Freedom Fest” yesterday, (Sunday, 7/20/14) drawing a crowd of approximately 150 who suffered the loss of significant quantities of brain cells while listening to conservative talk show host Rose Tennent.  (That sound you just heard was the sound of all 0f my readers asking “who?” in unison.)  In keeping with the alliterative “F” theme of the event, Rose was quick to bring the discussion around to the founding fathers:

“We are living in a time not unlike Thomas Paine’s time … a time that tries men’s souls,” Tennent said.

It is so fitting for Tea Party activists to latch on to the words of Thomas Paine, since it is so obvious that he would support the ultra-conservative Christian theocratic vision so many of them seem to share.  It is a fact many of us progressives desperately want to deny, but it is far past the time for honesty.  How could anyone read Thomas Paine’s words:

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

or more to the point

that the fall of man, the account of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, and of his dying to appease the wrath of God, and of salvation, by that strange means, are all fabulous inventions, dishonorable to the wisdom and power of the Almighty

and not believe that we would find him today, wrapped in the yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, at the forefront of the culture wars if he still lived?  No matter the words that one hears at a Tea Party event, the truth is that if the previously mentioned founding fathers still drew breath, the Tea Party would label them “socialist God-haters,” Ann Coulter would savage them in a best seller titled “Pinko: How America Narrowly Avoided the Yoke of Godless Communism Desired by the so-called Founding Fathers,” and Rush Limbaugh would cause an eruption of controversy by calling Betsy Ross* “the nation’s first slut” and claiming that the stars on the flag represented each founding father that she bedded rather than the number of states in the union.

But this is the Tea Party we are talking about, and no one ever claimed they gave a single solitary shit about reality.  In their minds and at their rallies, the founding fathers become The Founding Fathers (trademarked), God-fearing conservative Christian men who wanted to form a nation in the image of Jesus, ruled by the free market, where what little government was allowed to exist concerned itself solely with the defense of the nation, outlawing intoxicants, insuring citizen’s right to own AK-47s, protecting the favored status of Christians who worshiped correctly, and controlling that dastardly bit of sin that resided between the legs of sinful women.  Ever since the nation was born, the devil has been trying to undermine their sacred vision through such tactics as activist judges, civil rights laws, and pinko commie democrats.  Let’s return to the train wreck:

But the founding fathers, she said, put their energy and sacrifices into building a nation that was free and prosperous, not only for their children but for future generations. So when it comes to leaving an inheritance, she had one recommendation.

“It must be liberty,” she said, drawing applause.

The highlight of Rose Tennent’s rousing speech will not soon be forgotten:

“You and I are people our founding fathers never met,” she said.

What an incredible use of language.  Even as her political opponent, it brought a tear to my eye.  It was a tear of laughter, but still, it was a tear.  The article unfortunately did not note the reaction of the 150 person strong crowd upon finding out that they never met men who were politically active in 1776.  Was it a knowing nod?  A gasp of shock?  A jaw dropping moment of realization?  Alas, until I find another witness to the event, we can only wonder.

After Rose’s patriotic, buzzword filled, meaning devoid speech it was time for the entertainment portion of the event, with Blair County Tea Party President Andrew Katz surprising all in attendance with a blisteringly hilarious stand up set.  Simply writing about it will in no way do justice to his brilliant routine, so I won’t even try.  If you have a chance to see him perform though, I recommend it without hesitation.  To try to give you the flavor of his style of comedy, I will quote just one of his jokes, but remember that the delivery matters as much as the material:

Blair County Tea Party President Andrew Katz said the organization remains a nonpartisan group

Even typing the sentence caused coffee to shoot out my nose, covering the screen and the keyboard.  It is almost like Fox News calling itself “fair and balanced,” yet so much more absurd that the laughter comes unwilled and unwanted.

The article ends abruptly, so I can only imagine what other entertainment was provided at this year’s Freedom Fest.  Perhaps a dunking booth featuring a femi-nazi taunting contestants with man-hating bile like “women should be paid the same as men for the same work,” “no means no,” or “make your own damn sandwich”?  An original copy of the US Constitution that includes the 713 references to Jesus Christ that the Founding Fathers(Trademarked) included that the evil secularists somehow managed to erase?  A duck pond, that replaced the rubber ducks with little rubber fetuses?  A caged African-American homosexual who for 5 dollars will provide you with a picture of the two of you and a note stating he is your friend, so you aren’t lying when you say “I’m not racist/homophobic, one of my best friends is black/gay”?  A shooting gallery with targets consisting of pro-choice protesters and Muslims?  My imagination runs wild.

Perhaps next year, I will have to take a field trip.

 

*Yeah, I know the Betsy Ross story is more than likely apocryphal.  If you care to suggest a different well known historical woman from the time period that I can have serve as the nation’s first victim of slut-shaming, feel free to make the suggestion.

A New Form of Victim Blaming…

My Chow and I stop at the Smokes and Lottery shack on our walk every Friday so I can pay my mother’s weekly tax for being bad at math.  It is one of those local corner stores where everyone is a regular and everyone knows everybody’s name.  (Everyone even knows my dogs name.)  If you ever lived in a small town, you know the type of place I mean.  This morning the one regular who I will call “Ralph,” a fiery far right conservative who delights in expressing his views to everyone in possession of an ear, was sharing his opinion on the Indonesian passenger jet that was shot down over the Ukraine, an opinion that actually led to two customers walking out of the store before making their purchases.

Before I share his opinion, let me be clear.  I stopped listening to anything political that comes out of “Ralph’s” mouth years ago.  It just isn’t worth it.  To argue with him would be like arguing against Ann Coulter; not only is your opponent never going to back down or change their mind, but they probably only believe half of what they are arguing for anyway, latching on to the rest just to get a rise out of you.  I doubt “Ralph” actually holds this opinion, because no one could hold this opinion.  (Then again, my local newspaper recently published a letter claiming that since all mass shooters are registered Democrats, guns should not be sold to Democrats.  Wrap your head around that.  Not kidding, either.  “ This leads me to conclude the answer to gun violence is to not sell guns to Democrats.” Not sure if the link will work, since the Altoona Mirror recently stopped allowing free online access to the paper.  If my response letter gets printed though, I will post all the crazy.  Okay, back to “Ralph.”)  Chances are that this opinion exists only to piss people off.  Everyone knows someone like that, who will say anything just to get someone to lose their cool.  So what is this opinion that he loudly proclaims his right to hold?

Ahem.  The people who are to blame in the death of the 298 passengers on board the Malaysian airliner that was shot down over the eastern Ukraine are the 298 people on board the airliner, who had no business flying in Ukrainian airspace knowing that there is tension in the area.  It went beyond him blaming the 298 victims for their own horrific deaths, however, as he actively defended this opinion to two people who called him out on his bullshit opinion.  I wish I could finish this post by transcribing his defense, his reasons why the fault should be laid at the vaporized feet of the deceased rather than those who fired the missile, but as I am sure you imagined already, his argument consisted of gibberish mixed with right wing talk radio talking points, in a steadily increasing volume.  One must admit that his reasoning has a certain beauty to it.  I can imagine the passengers gathering together before take off, insisting that the flight plan travel over Ukrainian airspace.  One of the Dutch citizens, stoned out of his mind, must have suggested that they could all get a great picture of a surface to air missile in flight that way, leading the Australian contingent to urge the pilot to play “chicken” with any missile fired at them, after which they put another funnel web on the barby.  The Malaysian crew was more than happy to comply, since getting hit by a missile would kill multiple white people, finally allowing them the glory of the kamikaze.

Yep.

Because what the flying idiotic fuck?  I’d try to follow his logic down the slippery slope rabbit hole, but the thought of using the word “logic” in the same paragraph with his victim blaming bullshit brings on a migraine.  I’m just going to hit this pipe a few times, fill up my travel coffee mug, put my ear buds in set to a random podcast, maybe The Scathing Atheist, and take Princess Hyuna Anastasia for a multiple hour walk.

And I know what you are thinking.  I wish I made this up, I really do.  Because hearing an actual person say those actual words today nuked whatever faith I still held for our species.

Healthy Puppy

I took Princess Hyuna Anastasia, Chow Chow heir to the Canine Kingdom, Protector of her Human Family, Friend to Guinea Pigs from Every Land, also known as The Squirrel Barker, The Rabbit Chaser, and The Cat Worrier, to the vet for her annual visit Tuesday.  I kept her close to my side in the waiting room, because people with small dogs only see the reputation of Chow’s when they look at Princess.  This led to a solid 15 minutes of Princess whining, seeing how she is curious, friendly, and playful.  The last thing she wanted to do was to sit quietly by my side.  There were other dogs in the room!  She doesn’t understand that people are worried she will make a quick snack out of their lap dog, she just wants to play.  Since she can’t play; whine.

So after 15 minutes of listening to royalty whine pitifully, we were moved to an examination room.  Princess hopped up onto the scale for the vet assistant, and then we proceeded to wait for another 15 minutes until the vet could see us.  So we are now in a room, alone, with the smells of countless other animals, which led to….15 more minutes of pitiful whining!  Soon enough the vet entered the room, probably after skipping 4 other patients just so she could get the whining dog out of the office.  Princess hopped back onto the scale, (which is also an elevating examination table.  Nifty!) turned her nose up at the treat the Doctor offered her, (typical diva behavior) and almost behaved for the examination.  She was fine for the stethoscope, she allowed the vet to check out her teeth and to poke and prod her all over, but she wanted nothing to do with the vet looking in her ears.  Then it was needle time, and she took both shots like a little trooper, without a whine or a flinch.  If they made puppy dog lollipops, Princess would have left the vet’s office holding one proudly.

So why, you are no doubt asking yourself, am I boring you with this story?  Well, ever since we left the vet’s office, things have been kinda strange.  Princess was never much for talking; she is, after all, a dog.  But since Tuesday not one word has escaped her mouth, nothing but barks, woofs, and whines.  The amount of eye contact she makes with us has suffered as well.  I was giving her part of a hot dog earlier, and instead of making eye contact, she was following the piece of food with her eyes instead.  It was disturbing.  Then this morning, when I took her on her daily morning walk to visit her subjects, she chased a squirrel up a tree, but instead of standing at the foot of the tree, barking up at the squirrel, letting it know that it was Princess Hyuna Anastasia, The Squirrel Barker who forced it into the tree, she simply continued on our walk like there never was a squirrel.

I was frightened, so I started to do some research.  I went to a few websites, AoA, Generation Rescue, and the like.  I looked into the “research” of one Andrew Wakefield, and then I went to Pirate’s Bay and torrented up some Oprah and a whole mess of The View.  I swear, Jenny was speaking right to me, now that I had this experience.

You see, the vet gave my dog 2 shots.  Vaccines.  For rabies and distemper, so she claimed.  But I know what they really were.

Yes.  The vet, or should I say the evil pawn of Big Pharma, shot my poor innocent Princess full of the autism.  I know it.  It is just like Jenny McCarthy said about measles.  It isn’t so bad.  I’d take the measles over the autism any day.  And so it is with rabies.  I mean, how bad could it be?  They claim that it is fatal and drives animals mad just so we naively “protect” our furry friends with their evil vacci-autism-nations.  I heard that cases of rabies are actually just reactions to the vaccines.

My poor dog, my lovable companion.  Will she ever be the same, now that the Big Pharma villains have got their autism into her?  We can only pray.  I got the number of an underground vet who specializes in canine chelation.  I will keep everyone posted.

Until then, I urge all pet owners to be vigilant when it comes to your pets health.  Make sure to ask the vet if there is Thimerosal in the poison shot they try to give to your Fluffy.  Make them prove to you that the threat of “rabies” is worse than the toxic autism juice they want to inject into your animal.  Tell the vet that you will only let them inject their “vaccines” into your lovable pet if they first mainline a dose themselves, right in front of you.  I guarantee that they will refuse, which proves my point, does it not?  If the state tries to step in and cite some “law” that says all pets must be vaccinated, tell them that your religion forbids you from vaccinating your pets.  It works for kids, after all.  (Which, in my opinion, is the biggest piece of evidence that vaccines are scams.  If vaccines really were such a boon to public health, the government would never let an individuals religious beliefs trump such a legitimate compelling state interest.)  If they balk, tell them that your pet’s religion forbids vaccination.  It doesn’t matter if they believe you or not.  I’m sure one of those Christian legal funds with names that make them sound like the ACLU will be happy to defend you in court, and by the time the case is ruled on, the lifespan of your pet will be over.

If you feel like protesting in front of your local vet’s office, may I suggest the following signs?

Rabies Not Autism!

or

Distemper? Worry About MY Temper, Big Pharma Shills!

or

Chelation Not Vaccination!

or

DHPP?  MMR? Canine or Human, It’s All Poison!

or

Squeaky Toys, Not Bordetella Vaccines

or

BordetellaRabies? DHPP? Leptospirosis?  TOO MANY! TOO SOON!

 

or finally:

Boycott the Vet!  Choose Homeopathic Vaccinations from your Local Naturopathic or Chiropractic Animal Healer!

Sure, they have years and years of education, with framed papers on the wall telling us that they know what is best for our animal friends.  But we have Google!  Jenny McCarthy would never steer us wrong.  After all, she is famous!  Famous trumps educated, we all know that.  And remember:  Sure, your dog may go insane, foam at the mouth, kill a roomful of school children and then die in extreme pain, but at least your dog isn’t autistic!

 

Arizona Citizens Maintain Delusion That Caucasian Christians Were the True Native Americans.

Salon brings us our latest location for the possible outbreak of right wing violence, this time over immigration and in Arizona:

Waving yellow Gadsden flags and looking like refugees from Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch, dozens of immigration opponents have amassed on a local road in Oracle, Arizona, to block the expected transfer of 40 undocumented children from Central America to a nearby juvenile detention facility. So far the group, which includes members of the “patriot”/wingnut Arizona State Militia, has only blocked a bus carrying kids from a local YMCA. Like their friends in Murrieta, California, the Oracle heroes think the proper way to protest U.S. immigration policy is to threaten young children.

Their leader, Robert Skiba, previewed his plans to Breitbart News on Sunday. “We’ve got to wake people in America up,” the 85-year-old veteran declared. “This is our country. We’re just average people. [But] we’re not going to let them shove this down our throats … I’m used to controversy of all kinds, and people need leadership, and I’m going to provide them with leadership.”

Before typing another word, I would like to reveal a hypothesis I have been working on; If you ever find yourself previewing your plans to Breitbart News, something is tragically wrong with your plans.  While I will have to delve deep into the archives of Breitbart, I am fairly confident any plans I find previewed there will be awful, allowing me to move closer to the theory stage.  I will keep you posted.  Now back to scaring the shit out of children and providing racists good leadering.

Leadership is also coming from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who is trying to rival Maricosa County’s Joe Arpaio when it comes to macho intimidation of undocumented immigrants. Babeu, you may recall, had to abort a 2012 GOP congressional campaign when a gay ex-lover, who was Mexican, said Babeu threatened him with deportation if they broke up. (Babeu denied the charge.) Rather surreally, he’s become a national leader in the anti-immigration movement, and now he’s crusading against relocating 40 immigrant children to his county.

“We already have our hands full fighting the drug cartels and human smugglers. We don’t need unaccompanied juveniles from Central America being flown into Arizona, compliments of President Obama,” Babeu said in a statement to the Arizona Republic. “Local residents have every right to be upset and to protest.” Babeu insists, with no evidence, that the young men coming to Oracle may have ties to the Salvadoran gang MS-13, a common theme among right-wing vigilantes fighting the influx of undocumented kids.

Yeah, cause the last thing Arizona needs is a busload of pistol-packing, weed-smoking, taco-eating, MS-13 tattooing, shifty-eyed, greasy-haired, lettuce-picking, siesta-taking, heroin-smuggling, job-stealing, welfare-thieving, non English-speaking,  brown-skinned, Speedy Gonzales wannabees running around looking the same color as the terrorists.  What?  Racist?  I can’t be racists.  Some of my best servants employees friends are Mexican!

Skiba says he found out about the relocation plans from Babeu. “I choked,” the Air Force veteran told Breitbart News. He told Babeu, “We will take care of this.” Phoenix New Times reports that Skiba learned of the plans from Babeu at an NRA women’s luncheon in Tucson last week.

“We’re going to engage in peaceful assembly,” Skiba told New Times. “And if these buses with these people from Central America come in, we’re going to stop it. We’re going to turn them around and send them back, just like they did in Murrieta, California.”

Well at least it is going to be peaceful.  Wait.  How are they going to get the bus to turn around?  Asking nicely?  Forming a human chain in front of it?  Did that say “NRA women’s luncheon?!?”

The crowd Skiba and Babeu have amassed includes some armed folks dressed in camouflage, including Arizona State Militia members guarding former Sen. Russell Pearse, the architect of the state’s SB 1070 “show us your papers” law.

Cause after you take you gun to Chili’s and Starbucks, using them to stop buses full of children just seems natural.

 

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