Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The best medicine

Well, I certainly hope that everyone who considered voting for Ole Whitey McCain in 2008 is breathing a huge sigh of relief with accompanying exaggerated forehead-wiping gesture. Whew! What a dodged bullet that was, eh?

And if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, please to check out Grumpy’s reaction to his party being unable to stop the health care reform bill:
"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year…they have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."
It goes on in typical McCain keep-away-from-my-Gran-Torino fashion.

In response, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid released the following statement.
Reid of course makes an excellent point about the revelation of McCain's brazen hypocrisy on the ol' "Country First" front.  I guess country only comes first when it's a Republican country.  Democratic countries can go fuck themselves, apparently.
"For someone who campaigned on ‘Country First’ and claims to take great pride in bipartisanship, it’s absolutely bizarre for Senator McCain to tell the American people he is going to take his ball and go home until the next election."

But Reid also, and in typical Democratic leadership fashion, misses the bullseye on one crucial point: the Republicans can't take their ball and go home, because IT'S NOT THEIR FUCKING BALL.  So, they can go home if they want to, but no one's going to chase after them and beg them to come back, nor is the scoring going to cease in their absence.

Yeah, the ball belongs to the Dems, and if the Republicans want to play, they have to play according to the rules of the playground, the most important of which are these:

1. Stop fucking whining about the rules.
2. Cop to your own fouls, if you want a call to go your way.

If you don't follow 1 & 2, then no one will ever want to pick you again, no matter how good you are.

Ah, but just like every thickheaded jackass bully you ever met in your childhood, the Republicans just can't seem to figure out why everyone is laughing at them.  They can only rage and stomp their feet and shout words whose meanings they do not understand, and then become even more enraged when they discover that their demonstrations have only made people laugh even louder.

And I think laughter is a perfectly fine reaction to have to all this.  Yes, it's troubling to hear their bench yell "Nigger" and "Faggot," and yes, it's heartbreaking to see them treat a sick man with a disrepect you wouldn't show to an organ grinder's monkey, but in the end, their histrionics have become so telling that it's just sorta sad.

The best was when Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) said on the floor of the House, "If ObamaCare passes, that free insurance card that’s in people’s pockets is gonna be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the war between the states — the Great War of Yankee Aggression."

First of all, "free insurance card" is pretty funny.  Perhaps no one has ever hipped Broun to the fact that Congress is pretty much the only place where health insurance is still free. 

Secondly...The Great War of Yankee Agression.  You know, when the overly-agressive Yankee types tried to tell the Southern man what he could do with his own hard-earned darkies.

I told you it was sad.  Because they have no idea, no idea that we're onto them.  They think they're pretty clever, with all their talk of deficits, and future generations, and constitutionality, and interstate commerce, but really, it's all about the colored boy in their White House, giving away free health care to all his no-account jigaboo cousins.  It's all about health insurance welfare queens, my friends.  Because some people, and yes, they're mostly old white dudes, believe that every thing they have ever gotten they have earned, whereas every thing non-old white dudes have ever gotten has been handed to them, completely undeserved.  This is a necessary belief, if they are to continue to perpetuate a system that favors them, you understand.   They must believe it, in order for the planet they inhabit to remain in place, and not get knocked out of its orbit of presumption like some juiced-up Barry Bonds dinger.

So we may as well laugh at them, because there is certainly no talking to them.  How do you talk to someone who has free health care from the government, but doesn't think anyone else deserves it?  How do you talk to someone who believes that a seven hundred billion dollar mistake in the desert is a bargain, but that same amount spent on the health of our people is a scam of historic proportions?  How do you talk to someone who, when confronted with the tragedy of the thousands of people who die in this country every year due to lack of coverage, wants to quibble over how many thousand?

And in the end, we may as well laugh because this bill that they have demonized, does precious little to deserve its reputation.  It doesn't really help people who can not afford coverage at all.  It makes health care more expensive for many women.  Many of its most important reforms don't take place for years.  It's a step.  A very small step.  And very dearly paid for by those who fought for it, yes, but much more dearly paid for, of course, by those it disappoints.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why does the Lone Star State hate our fifty stars?

Well, now that they’ve discovered a blonde, white woman from Texas who’s a terrorist, I certainly hope that the right wing will subject the Lone Star State to the same kind of pejoratives that they did California in the aftermath of the hoopla over John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” AKA the “misguided Marin County hot-tubber.”

I can’t wait for all the televised hand-wringing about how the conservative Christian climate in Texas makes it a breeding ground for anti-American sentiment. I want Texas listed alongside of Syria and Iran as state sponsors of terrorism. I want to erect a fence around Texas to keep them from crossing the border into the real America. When we do allow them to travel, I want them to be searched, x-rayed, and body-scanned. I want to see their passports; I want their Lone Star beer confiscated if it exceeds 3 ounces, or is not contained in a clear ziplock bag. If someone in a cowboy hat prays to their “god” or goes to the bathroom while on a commercial flight, I want crazy hysterical fucking hell to break loose.

And I call for the government of Mexico to enforce the border along the Rio Grande with national troops, and to stop allowing Texans to cross over to trade guns for cheap hooch, illegal drugs, and sequined sombreros.

I want an apology from the governors of Texas from 1985, when Colleen LaRose (What is that, French?)was first arrested, to when she was allowed to escape their jurisdiction in 2005. That means you, Rick Perry, and you, George W. Bush. Please explain to the American people how you allowed the radicalization of Jihad Jane to happen on your watch.

And I call for the people in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana to build new settlements along their borders with Texas, in order that Texans may be contained within their existing lands. And I call for patriotic Americans to populate these settlements in order to ensure that the country of the United States of America is not threatened by the growing menace of domestic Texan terrorism.

Lastly, I want to remind the American people that the Lone Star State did secede from our Union once, and had to be forcibly integrated back into these United States by order of a treaty of war. And it has not escaped my notice that Texans, including their terrorist-colluding Governor Perry have frequently expressed a desire to secede from us once again. And so I say unto them…now seems like a really good time to do that.

So, you know, feel free.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Oscars 2010: Let's face it, everything below the waist is kaput!

Whoever said there is no balm in Gilead wasn’t lulled into an insensible stupor last night by the 82nd Academy Awards telecast. Hey, world, got earthquakes? Tsunamis? Crazy teabaggers flying into buildings? Crazy teabaggers setting their houses on fire? Crazy teabaggers trying to storm the Pentagon? Crazy teabaggers refusing to admit that their central beef, i.e., government giveaways to the banks and corporations, can only be solved by more government and not less? Just curl up in front of the world’s most predictable media event and wash all that scary hopey changey stuff right on out of your hair.

The Oscars!® It’s good for what ails ya!®

The Oscars have long suffered by comparison to other award shoes, and have famously sought to distinguish themselves from them, so of course the show began with a musical number danced and sung by Neil Patrick Harris – which was a completely new and original idea if you do not count the last Tony Awards show. Or the last Emmy Awards. Oscar then followed that up by proceeding to reward exactly the same people it always rewards and be ridiculously overblown in all the same ways it always is.

Case in point is that a major acting award went to someone who does a lot of crap but who managed to pull off a respectable serious performance. And no, I’m not talking about Sandra Bullock. Jeff Bridges finally won the Oscar on his fifth try for what was basically Tender Mercies 2, and I’m fine with it even though he is frequently terrible because he did Starman, and I love Starman, and he was really really good in Starman. The academy, like Olympic judges, prefers performances with a high technical difficulty, which usually means that they’re unduly impressed when an actor plays a real person. Morgan Freeman must’ve thought he had it all sewed up then, since he played not just a real person, but a real black person. A real, cool, black person – everything Hollywood loves, in theory. But I think the voters realized that Bridges, the Dude, was not, you know, getting any younger, and it was time for him to have his little statue.

Similarly, Sandra Bullock won for Steel Magnolias 2 under the Ron Howard Provision of academy voting, which is, if you stick around long enough and don’t rock the boat and do reliable box office, you will be rewarded, even if your work is mediocre.

And so, blah blah blah, predictable awards, predictable witty banter, predictable self-effacing visual humiliation of Ben Stiller, predictable terrible dance number in which the dancers’ interpretation of the song tends toward the hilariously literal…

The only mild surprise was that The Hurt Locker managed to hang onto what everybody figured it would get, in spite of a last minute whispering campaign against the filmmakers (financed by, oh, I don’t know, the producers of Inglorious Basterds, maybe?) and a rather suspiciously-timed lawsuit filed by one of the soldiers that the screenwriter interviewed before he wrote the script. But the Academy was rather obviously prepared for their first female Best Director, as they had long time bridesmaid Barbra Streisand there to hand over the award for which she was at one time herself famously snubbed. Also, they had the band poised to play “I Am Woman,” because hey, that’s not dated and cheesey!

Another predictable result of the Oscars was Japan’s reaction today to the Best Documentary win. The film, The Cove, tells the story of a small Japanese town and their horrific and secretive culling of the local dolphin population for food. If you’ve never seen film of what they do, they trap, drown, and spear the dolphins in numbers sufficient to turn the water of the cove completely red with blood. It’s barbaric and ugly, to say the least, and Japan has shut their eyes to it for years, saying that, essentially, we should respect the practice because it is a very old practice. As if that makes it okay.

I’m not sure why, if they’re so miffed and defensive, they don’t simply point out the incredible hypocrisy of our position. After all, lambs are cute. Pigs are intelligent. What exactly is the basis of our objection to this? There’s nothing going on in that cove that doesn’t happen on the kill floor in slaughterhouses all over the United States in every single minute of every single day.

You know what else is predictable? That there will be two reactions to this part of my post: 1. crickets, or 2. but I love bacon! Man, that shit is tired.

So go at it. I’ll be in the bar, trying to replicate that insensible stupor.