Friday, February 19, 2010

Grating expectations

According to a new study, that tracked fifty thousand cell phone users through logging their locations when calls were made, you could write an algorithm that would predict the current location of any particular person with 93% accuracy.

Yeah, right. You know what this really means? That people who are on their fucking phones all the time are unimaginative slaves to tedium. What the fuck else is new?

I object to being judged based on such a selective sample, mostly because I already live in a city that admittedly loves to hear itself talk, especially via the latest technology. In fact, I would pay cash money for someone to do a study that would consist of walking up to people who are on the phone in public and shaking them silly and yelling “Who the fuck could you possibly need to talk to for 18 hours out of every single fucking day?”

Come to think of it, fuck the study. That sounds like an awesome reality show to me. Someone get my agent on the phone.

Not that we aren’t a highly predictable species, because we are – although if you were paying attention, you might have noticed that something fairly unpredictable happened last night.

An American skater won the men’s figure skating gold medal, even though he didn’t attempt a quadruple jump – a Russian skater (barely) landed a quad, and didn’t win! Yes, it was a victory for skating over jumping, which was an unexpected direction for the stodgy and normally predictable Olympic judges. Of course, this unexpected event was immediately followed by an eminently predictable Russian response from silver medal consolation prize winner Plushenko and his coach, who ventured that any male skater who couldn’t land a quadruple jump was, essentially, a fag – a fine statement from a dude who minced and air-kissed his way through a long program so pandering and cutesy that it made Johnny Weir’s routine look like Don Imus on ice.

Unlike those conservatives who have been in a perpetually apoplectic state since November of 2008, I welcome the occasional bout of unpredictability. I voted for change not just as a catchy slogan, but as an actual means of progression toward a goal. Unfortunately, it’s been lean times for the unexpected, especially in the good ole’ US of A.

I mean, it’s all wealthy powerful male role models apologizing for shagging skanks here, and delusional religious meatheads dictating America’s education curriculum there. Yawn. Total snoozeville - although I have to say I never have figured out why conservative types home-school their kids, I mean, except, I guess, unless they’re worried about their kids forming opinions about racial minorities based on their own experience, instead of their parents’ rabid pronouncements. But no doubt conservatives own the public school curriculum. The only soup├žon of progressive a kid in America is likely to get is from the teacher her/himself, who is, after all, still a mammal, and is still capable of catching the stench of bullshit wafting off his or her teaching materials.

But make no mistake, the course we are currently on, wherein progressives become disillusioned with the man they voted into office because he has to, after all, be president of a country wherein not everyone is as progressive as they, was predictable. Progressives deserted Clinton in droves in his first year in office, vowing to NEVER VOTE AGAIN! Fucking pussy-ass so-called liberals give liberals a bad name, if you ask me. I mean, I’m grateful that they delude themselves long enough to get to the polls for a Democratic presidential candidate, but their subsequent four-year-long case of the political vapors has become quite tedious, and it also makes me want to upchuck on their Shepard Fairey collectibles. I long for them to buck the fuck up, but I know in my heart it will never happen.

And adding to the general atmosphere of been there, done that thing, is the omnipresent shit-for-brains conservative Washington Post columnist writing a smug, condescending and factually-challenged column about how smug, condescending, and untruthful liberals are. Dang! If I had a dime for every time I’ve read one of those in the last year, I could buy myself a latte and start on to swillin’ it.

Also predictable? That some right-wing-fed looney bird, no doubt feeling the flames of white man entitlement like the heat from a thousand white-hot suns, would attack hapless federal employees in their cubicles. It’s been done before, remember? And conservatives failed then, and will fail now, to convincingly distance themselves from the murderer. In other words, Joe Stack is NOT Joe 6-pack. Joe 6-pack works in a goddamn cubicle at the Austin office of the IRS, assholes.

But the all-time queen of the clockwork reactionary is, of course, former governor Sarah Palin. As appalling as it is for such a prominent political figure to openly mock the sincere and even desperate dreams of the majority of Americans, as the former governor did when she fake-asked Obama voters “how’s that hopey, changey stuff workin’ out?”, it is, at the same time, neither surprising that she did it, nor that she proclaimed herself a proud American in the next breath with a straight face.

Of course I have lots of sympathy for anyone trying to raise a mentally disabled child, because I think no other group of Americans is more consistently discriminated against.

Hopefully the former governor will forgive my liberal stance on that subject.

I also personally feel that when the soup goes bad, you need to stop serving it up. So, put a rubber on it, Todd, because Mother Nature is telling you that you’re done. You’re in your forties, you have five kids now – which seems to me to be more than sufficient - and besides, your offspring have demonstrated that they’re more than capable of picking up where you left off.

It’s a shame that pimping out your children for praise while also insisting that they remain off limits to criticism doesn’t pay sufficiently to keep the Palins in ammo and snowmobiles, because without a doubt it is there that the former governor’s talents truly lie. Palin has recently appointed herself the arbiter of all things retard, and apparently has no compunction regarding the hypocrisy of using political affiliation as the determining factor in her pronouncements on acceptable use of the term.

And so, predictably, the Palin retard alarm went off this week when an episode of the network cartoon “Family Guy” featured a character with Down syndrome who identified herself in the script as a child of the “former governor of Alaska.” Palin described her reaction to the line as feeling like a “kick in the gut.”

Predictable results ensued. Right and left talk-show yammerers lined up and duked it out, no doubt for significant personal compensation, although no actual edification on the subject was produced.

Until yesterday, when, quite unexpectedly, the actress who played the character, and who has Down syndrome herself, weighed in:
I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska” was very funny. I think the word is "sarcasm".

In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.
I don’t know if Palin felt a kick in the gut when she read what someone who is actually “retarded” thinks of her, but if not, I certainly volunteer to fly to Alaska and deliver one.

Monday, February 01, 2010

How you like me now?

I have been mulling President Obama's recent State of the Union speech, and the controversy over Justice Alito mouthing the words "not true" after Obama criticized the recent court ruling granting corporations "free speech" rights to use unlimited sums to influence elections.

My feelings about the ruling I've already made known, but what about the feathers that this incident has ruffled in Washington?

Some say that by, in effect, talking back to the president, Justice Alito has damaged the veneer of SCOTUS political neutrality.

Others say that Obama committed a grave breach of etiquette by criticizing the ruling in a forum wherein the justices could not defend themselves.


It's just so typical of our self-important legislators, and the press that enables them, that this became such a huge story. As if their make-believe world of "esteemed colleagues" and decorative judicial gold sleeve bars matters one tiny fucking bit now, or ever did.

The SCOTUS decision was recent, it was huge, and it matters a lot to the business of the American people. And oh, look, it just so happens that Obama has a pretty important speech to give wherein he's supposed to inform the American people what the fuck is going down right now in the country and uh-oh! Too bad! He can't talk about the decision because 3 of the dudes who voted for it are in the room. Once again the rights of the people have been thwarted by the false propriety of a room full of bastards who hate each other so much that one side wouldn't piss on the other if it were on fire.*

Well, here's my message to the pitiful Roman circus that we call the fourth estate: stop fucking talking about yourselves! No one gives a shit about your insular world and its inane code of conduct! It's not your job to tsk tsk over meaningless protocol and fret about who was verbally served. That's why we have rappers.

And it's all very well and good for the press to look down their noses on entertainment fare like The Housewives of New Jersey, but let me tell you readers, before the next season starts they'd better take a long look in the mirror and decide exactly what it is that distinguishes them from a room full of preening ignoramuses obsessed with who said what about who and who does she think she is, anyway. Because the distinctions are thin on the ground, guys, and the perceived slight is no basis for a system of government.

And before SCOTUS and its defenders decide to continue crowing about this veneer of neutrality, I would like to point out what motherfucking veneer of neutrality? I mean, huh? If there is a veneer, that is one thin mamajama veneer. I mean, the last time I saw anything as thin as the Supreme Court's veneer of neutrality, it was styling Nicole Richie for the red carpet.

As far as all future communications from our government go, I would like to suggest that they take the form of Obama's recent address to the Republican Cry-baby Club. Because if we stop with all the holy holy Washington protocol and let them go at Obama over policy in a real battle of the wits, guess who dunks on them all day long?

And so yeah, I think it's great that the president is doing the town halls on job creation blah blah blah. But I would like to see him face those who don't think that the perpetrators of the crimes on 9/11 should be tried in the U.S. justice system.

I would like to see him take it to that hack Giuliani, who you just know would be SO on board for a New York trial if it had been proposed by the Bush administration.

I would like to see him smack down Lindsey Graham, and ask him why exactly he hates the U.S. justice system so much.

I would like to see him ask Joe Lieberman what it is about our policies regarding Israel that he doesn't want publicly examined.

Okay, that last one will never happen, but still, a gal can dream, can't she?

And I would like to offer the people of New York - if they really really feel like they can't stand the heat of a trial - the venue of the Los Angeles Staples Center.

Because LA knows security. We know celebrity security. We know fucking hip hop security, which is the most serious security in the world. We do the Oscars. We do the Grammys. We did Michael Jackson's funeral, for fuck's sake, we can do the trial of some self-important deluded Kuwaiti goon. Of course, they'll have to work around the Lakers schedule, but we can give the trial some of the Clippers' slots. They won't mind.

*Unless there was a primary challenger threatening to drive the party even further from center.