Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Have a Crumb Bean Sandwich

Wow. The list of things you can make money on just got a bit bigger. Apparently you can now be paid for not wearing clothes. I don't mean like being a stripper. I mean like not wearing specific clothes. This not-to-be-named dude from a not-to-be-named "reality" program has been offered money to not wear clothes from a not-to-be-named retailer. It seems their brand is being tarnished a bit, in their not-so-humble opinion.

So I reckon I need to get what amounts to a proposal together. Here's what I have so far. Tell me what you think.

Dear Slabbercrombie & Flinch,

First off, let me say how much I admire your catalogs. I enjoy "shopping" with them in my bathroom. You certainly seem to have developed quite the brand for yourself there. And the peeps out there sure are digging it too.

Although I have never purchased any of your products nor worn them in public, and I am not a public figure nor can reasonably hope to be one in the immediate future, I would like to let you know that I am hereby requesting compensation for preventing such a situation from ever occurring. I prefer to nip things in the bud. You can't unring a bell, as they say.

I would not want to be responsible for the further degradation of the brand that you have so skillfully cultivated. I'm considerably older than your target demographic. I'm balding on top and I'm just a bit paunchy. I also eat quite a bit of garlic, which affects both my breath and my perspiration, which tends to be voluminous when compared to that of the average person. And I have a tendency to declaim quite loudly and repeatedly to whomever is within earshot just where I purchased my daily outfit, which (I must say) does not get changed or washed with any frequency. Let me add here that I live in New York City and ride public transportation, so my audience tends to be large and diverse.

I'm certain that the last thing you want is for millions of New Yorkers to be referring to "that loud, smelly Slabbercrombie & Flinch guy" and have them showing me on the "Today" show. Can you imagine? I could be like the
Naked Cowboy. Tourists would have their picture taken with me. Well, maybe not with me. There is the smell. And the head lice. But near me. With me in the background. Like they do with Mount Rushmore. And your company stock, not to mention your cultural cachet, would take a beating the likes of which hasn't been seen in this country since "The Outlaw Josey Wales".

I'm not a greedy man. I'm only thinking $10-20,000 per week would be sufficient to keep me out of Slabbercrombie & Flinch couture. Just think of the upside. It's a tax write-off, if nothing else.

Please let me know at your earliest convenience when my first check will arrive. And thanks. Slabbercrombie & Flinch!

Your humble servant,

Monday, August 15, 2011

4,823 Iowans Can't Be Wrong, Can They?

So, The Stepford Wife wins the Ames Straw Poll. And now we're supposed to take her seriously. Let's put aside the fact that nobody in this pathetic race to the bottom deserves to be taken seriously. What does this "triumph" really mean?

Well, first let's think about what The Ames Straw Poll is and what it isn't. What is it? Well, according to Wikipedia (I already linked above; sorry, not doing it again):

"The poll takes place among attendees of a fundraising dinner benefiting the Iowa Republican Party. Before the vote, each candidate is given a chance to make a short speech to the attendees.

The poll has been described as a cross between a political convention and a county fair, where Iowa voters have a chance to mingle, eat barbecue and have a little fun. The party divides the venue into sections and auctions each to the candidates, who can then set up booths to present their case to the voters. The larger areas and those closest to the entrance often fetch the highest price. In 2011 bidding started at $15,000 and ranged to as high as $31,000 (bid by Ron Paul).

Non-Republicans are allowed to vote in the Ames Straw Poll. However, all voters must be at least 16 1/2 years of age, be legal residents of the state of Iowa or a student attending an Iowa university/college, and purchase a ticket priced at $30, however some campaigns pay the fee for their supporters."

And what isn't it? A primary or a caucus. That doesn't happen until next year when the vultures will descend anew on Iowa.

So, it's a fundraising event sponsored by a local branch of a national party that charges thirty bucks for the privilege of getting in and eating hot dogs and listening to Mike Huckabee play the bass at a tent bought by one of the candidates that allows people of non-voting age to participate. In a very small state. With a total of just over 16,000 people voting. Which is slightly more than the population of my hometown, which I can guarantee you was never asked its opinion on anything, let alone had said opinion be national news and the cause of a major candidate dropping out of a presidential race.

So out of the 16,000 Iowans (and students who just happen to be there) who paid thirty bucks to go into a tent, about one quarter of them chose The Stepford Wife. That's 4,823 Iowans, some of whom are, again, not of legal voting age. You may have heard that Ron Paul came in a close second. But you probably didn't. It was all Stepford Wife, all the time. And we are supposed to consider this a legitimizing event.

There's a reason that the two candidates who actually have a chance of winning the Republican nomination didn't bother to show up. It's a farce. And they would only cheapen themselves by participating in it. Which is undoubtedly the last positive thing I will say about either of them. Except maybe that they aren't quite as batshit crazy as The Stepford Wife.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Five Other Things to Watch For

The NYT has a little preview of tonight's "debate" in Iowa. They title it "Five Things to Watch for in Iowa Debate". I'm so fed up with these people and their downward spiral into turning the Republican Party into the largest fringe group in the United States. (Yes, this is a contradiction in terms. But this is what it feels like to watch the world around you go insane.)

Here are Five Other Things to Watch For in tonight's debate. And you won't have to look that hard, I promise you.*

1. Crazy

2. Really Crazy

3. Crazy Cleverly Disguised as Sane

4. Crazy Very Thinly Disguised as Sane

5. Absolutely Batshit Fucking Crazy

Oh, and also mean. Really really mean. That's six things, I know. Seven if you count stupid. Enjoy your evening.

* I apologize for the complete lack of insight in this post. Sometimes you just throw your hands up in the air because it does just as much good as arguing sensibly. Although, in my defense, Thing to Watch For #5 in the Times article is basically the same as mine.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dumb Letters: Who's Really in Charge Here

This is hilarious. It's from today's Boston Globe. I don't know if I can even respond to it, it's so wrongheaded in every respect.

I'll quote it in full.

"CALLING THE Tea Party movement “terrorists’’ is grossly misplaced. Indeed, the real domestic terrorism going on in our country is our socialist government’s confiscatory taxation, public education indoctrination, and economy-crushing regulations, and the extreme environmental movement raising the cost of living.

The spontaneous Tea Party movement is a reaction to the way many American voters feel about big, intrusive, out-of-control government. Demonizing the movement will only make it grow to be heard loud and clear in the 2012 elections and beyond, until the people and the states take America back.

A push from two-thirds of the states for a constitutional convention to propose amendments is long overdue. A balanced budget amendment with teeth should be first on the agenda."

Oh my god. Does this person actually believe that our government is socialist? We have the least socialistic government in the free world. By far.

And is there really an "extreme environmental movement"? And what would be their goals? Really really clean air? Incredibly pure water? Oh no! How nefarious! And we all know how powerful they are. (Check out the pictures in those links and ask yourself how much "economy-crushing" regulations we think we need. I'm thinking more than we have.)

And does he really believe that the Tea Party "movement" was spontaneous, and not created by Dick Armey in order to capitalize on racism and grievance? Everyone all just had the same idea at the same time? Okay, if you say so. Everybody likes to think that they're "grass roots".

And what exactly are we taking America back from? The corporations that dominate it? The Tea Party is doing nothing if not ensuring further and greater domination by an economic elite, all in the name of populism. The irony would be rip-snortingly funny if it weren't doing such incredible damage to our nation. These people have no idea how much they're helping to perpetuate the status quo.

The sad truth is that the country has not changed much since Barack Obama took office. At least not in how it's governed and in who really controls things. The only difference is in perception, which has been mercilessly fueled by the right-wing media.

I'd love to take America back too. From ignorance.