Monday, December 12, 2011

An awkward moment...

Here's a short read. It details Mitt Romney sitting down at a restaurant after noticing a mans Vietnam Vet hat. It should have been a quick photo and press the flesh op. What transpires is a wonderfully refreshing moment of honesty showing how Romney, like the rest of the Republican candidates, will never consider letting gays have equal rights.

Why? Because ," I think at the time the Constitution was written it was pretty clear that marriage is between a man and a woman"

That's it.

To Mitt and other's of his ilk, anything that wasn't okay at the time of the writing of the Constitution is just WRONG. Period. I'd like to you think about that position for a moment. Can we see the flaw in that argument?

Here are some things that were just peachy at the time of the writing of the Constitution:
  • Slavery 
  • Women not having the right to vote 
  • Blacks and whites being able to marry 
  • Blacks being able to vote 
  • Women serving in the military 

And remember all that "States rights" bullshit they keep spouting? That baaaaad bad federal gub'mint? Well they were okay with states settling gay rights up until they thought they could get the brass ring of the White House. Now? Federal Law must be used to stop Teh Ghays.

The constitution isn't a perfect document. That's why we've had amendments to it. We, as a country, have grown and changed. We will never go back to that non-existant Reagan wet-dream past where Coke was a nickel and those uppity minorities could be beaten or ignored.

Take a look, you knuckle dragging neanderthals. This battle is not going to go your way. So why are you spending SO MUCH time, money and effort dragging this out and making everyone's lives miserable?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

There's a huge fucking difference...

Scott Olson the young former Marine who was shot in the head with a teargas grenade is doing better. He has a fractured skull and brain swelling. He may need surgery. He can communicate only with a notepad right now, but will likely live.

It's looking more and more like the was not an accident. The flash grenade that was thrown into the group that was trying to help him certainly wasn't. In looking at footage of the march it appears to me that the protesters were peaceable. This didn't have to happen. It was the police who ratcheted up the pressure, who escalated the situation.

In looking over various blogs I noticed that several right wing outlets are saying that Olsen created a website called They point to the OWS and liberals and shout "your 'War Hero' hated the Marines!" and by extension, he hated his country. The hate is thick over there. While the site no longer exists I could easily believe that Scott might have created this site. At first, it might appear that Scott is being turned into a political pawn by the left and OWS in the same way that Pat Tilman was used to sell the War on Terror.

But there are some huge fucking differences here. I haven't read anything from ANYONE in OWS calling him a hero, only that he served two tours in Iraq and was part a group called Veterans for Peace. People are outraged that a young man who attended a peaceful rally, exercising his constitutional rights was assaulted by the police of his own country. People are upset by the irony and injustice of this. Pat Tilman, on the other hand, was killed by friendly fire. The incident was officially covered up, and then the White House and Pentagon prostituted his memory with flag drenched ceremonies and called his death a noble sacrifice for God and country, which is amazing considering he was killed by his fellow soldiers and was an atheist.

 It's possible that Scott truly hated the Marine Corps and the War by the time he left the service. And you know what? That is his goddamn right. That doesn't make him a traitor or a bad person. His experiences with a war that didn't have to happen and the military machine used to fight it left him angry. This somehow makes his service and sacrifice unworthy in the eyes of his critics. To them, he is scum. John Kerry got the same treatment. It didn't matter that he actually went and fought in the war. He disagreed with America's foreign policy. He saw that Vietnam was a waste of young American lives and protested against it.That somehow made him a coward. To these people it is impossible to love your country but still hate the things it does.

Winter is coming, and with the cold and snow the protesters may go away, but the anger with the way things are run certainly won't. I wish that our leaders would pull their heads out of their collected asses and try to work together. But I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Not bad, just not great.

I just finished the video Game Dead Island. It wasn't bad but it certainly didn't live up to all the hype. Some of the highlights were (of course) offing zombies in a variety of ways. From axes and machetes to driving over them with an armored car (he he). The environments looked very nice. Large and open. Lots of details. You could wander around for days I suppose.

 But the drawbacks kept me from really enjoying the game. The inventory system was pretty rough. And selecting weapons was an exercise if frustration. In almost every other game I can use the scroll wheel to select another weapon, or use the number keys. Not so here. Of course, there are a LOT of different weapons. And they can be modified with stuff you find around the island. Except that I found waaaaay too much of some stuff and not enough of what i needed to make many mods.  Also, weapons  decay pretty fast with use and you have to constantly repair them. Even something as simple as an axe becomes useless after taking out a dozen undead. Really?

Lots of the elements in the game were also in use in FarCry 2 which I played a while back. But where FarCry 2 was awesome and very immersive, Dead Island constantly took you out of the game. To select upgrades, to look at the map, to check quests. And for a brand new game the faces weren't very expressive. Maybe half of the characters looked any good. The voice acting wasn't bad though.

The game is unique because you can drop in and out of cooperative play. With more people, you have more firepower, and more zombies. But upon completing quests there's usually a bit of story line material. Sadly, anyone in the group can push a button and skip this. That's annoying. You don't need to hear this exposition, but again, it helps the feel of the game. As with many games, there were several escourt missions where you have to get another character from point A to point B alive. This is where some of the roughest edges showed up. At one point, facing a large group of zombies I threw a Molotov cocktail to make my life easier. My escourtee then runs right into the group and sets themselves on fire. Wow. Also, while early side quests could be taken or ignored, when you get near the finale you are on a pretty narrow rail with few choices.

I think with another few months of testing and polishing this game could have been better. It has a fun concept. It's solid. Just not quite soup yet.

Friday, October 07, 2011

The turn of the tide...

Damn you facebook! I find it very difficult to post here when it's so easy to fire off a quick link of pithy note. If they allowed longer posts I might abandon blogging entirely, as so many other have done. Google plus allows long posts, but it doesn't feel quite right. Something is off and I can't put my finger on it.


I'm thinking of going to New York to join the Occupy Wall Street protests. It seems to be gaining momentum, not slowing. Of course, Winter is approaching. I can't see this lasting long after the first snowfall. And what exactly are the demands of this movement? They are many I'll grant you. Even if some kind of miracle occurred and Wall Street could somehow capitulate to this movement, what would we ask of them? And yet I still feel a need to be a part of this. I want the multinationals, the global banks and our elected leaders to know that I am right pissed. I don't want to take their money by force. I do not want them destroyed. I want the government to stop letting banks continue to create and profit from convoluted and risky financial instruments. I want banks to be responsible lenders. I want strong oversite of these weasels. I'd like the wealthiest 1% of Americans and the multinationals to pay a little more in taxes. I'd like our government to stop attacking labor unions.

That's it.
I don't want to overthrow capitalism. I don't want to eat the rich. I don't want to destroy banks.I do not want to become part of an angry mod. I'd just like to see some goddamn common sense at the higher levels of business and government. Looking at that sentence I can see that this could be a long wait. I suppose that's why I want to go. I want to help push things along. I want to stir the pot.  I want to make people think. I want to rattle some cages.

On the other hand, I do NOT want to get maced or beaten with a baton or arrested. Is this movement worth the risk of those things?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A hell of a balancing act.

Right now I am really struggling to keep my brain from assploding. This season has been a pretty good one, but things can change pretty quick. Right now, I am facing a critical lack of shit to sell. I ordered stuff. I ordered a LOT of stuff. Stuff I PAID for. Stuff that was supposed to get to me in a timely manner. But that shit isn't happening.

 So I wait. In the mean time I loose a minion who I was counting on. Another minion seems to have forgotten that she committed to working for me and seems to be wandering off like a toddler with ADD. Seriously, what the fuck? I call an old worker who says she can help. Great. I need to know what dates are a problem. A goddamn WEEK passes. We live in the fucking information age. How hard is it to look up your schedule?

My blood pressure starts to skyrocket. Then I see that friends of mine was in an accident coming back from Dragon Con. They are ok. This is good. It easily could have gone very bad. I go outside and start mowing the lawn. The air is cool, not the 90-something of the past week. I clear my head. There are more important things. I calm down. I'm still pissed. I'm still backed up with shit to do. But I will force myself to chill out a little and try to keep some perspective.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Like a barren desert.

So long since posting... Face book and now on Google+ (which doesn't seem to have as many functions as facebook. No events? No instant messaging in the app?  I don't think anyone I know is still blogging.

So alone...

Anyway. Back from Pennsic and other events and eager to get into the shop to do some cool stuff. I just need some time to do it. I did try today. The mower ran out of gas but the van needed to be unloaded and then reloaded. I got out to the shop for a little while, but then I remembered I had to get some paperwork done and pay sales tax to Indiana. Always fun that.

Spent 1/2 an hour trying to find some bronze bits I bought at Pennsic with no luck. Crap, I better unpack that shipment of skirts and get rid of those shipping boxes.  Hey! There's those CD's I bought from that funny guy! Oops, time for dinner. Wow, we recorded a lot of stuff while we were gone.

Productivity= 0

Of well, tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

An uncomfortable feeling.

I'm playing a new game called Far Cry 2. Unlike Massive Multiplayer games like World of Warcraft or First Person shooters this game has a HUGE open world and no rigid plot. You can go wherever you want. Despite the game being a few years old its still gorgeous. And the developers did a great job of keeping the game mechanics hidden. No heads up displays. To look at the map you physically pull out a map. Same with getting in and out of cars. All smoothly animated. It helps keep the world feeling real. There's changing weather and cycles of day and night. If you are injured you have to stop and perform first aid on yourself.

  And while all that is great I'm having a hard time continuing the game. It's set in a fictional African Nation in a brutal civil war. I've been sent in to kill "The Jackal". A shadowy arms dealer supplying both factions. But in the process of gathering intel I am forced to work with both factions doing fairly horrible things. Destroying important infrastructure, assassinating citizens and political leaders. Yes, some of them are corrupt, but others...who can tell?  Arms dealers hire me to knock off competition. An occasional phone call from a faceless voice sends me off to kill someone without any context of who they are.There seems to be an underground attempting to get people out of the way of the fighting, but helping them does nothing to slow the conflict.

 Yes, it's just a game.  I've killed thousands of mutants, aliens, zombies and faceless soldiers in other games. This is different. The militias wear no uniforms. Mercenaries roam the countryside.  They speak in thick South African accents and seem to delight in the conflict and the money they are making. (The local currency is uncut diamonds, another nod to an all too bloody reality of Africa) It all strikes a little too close to reality.  I'm not very keen to keep going on missions for these thugs that are partnered with or controlled by foreign mercenaries.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's Deja Vu all over again.

It seemed a little odd getting a call from my father. We had talked only a few days ago. He seemed up and chipper. We chatted about this and that. Then he let me know that he's had another motorcycle accident. You may recall that last year, en route to Bag End, my Dad dropped the bike and broke his clavicle. It also messed up the bike quite a bit. He's spent mush of the year tinkering with it and has been riding again over the past few weeks.

 He was riding with another Pacific Coast rider when the guy in front stopped at a yellow and Dad had to hit the brakes suddenly. He stopped fine, but  the bike tipped and when he put his leg out to stop the 700 pound bike from going over, he broke his ankle.

He'll be laid up for 6 weeks. The bike took a few nicks again. Our respective wives have engaged in some gratuitous eye rolling. There is some distinct muttering, My Dad is 73. Should he be riding at his age? Are his reflexes up tot he task? Last year I said "No problem". Everyone who rides WILL have an accident (likely several). This is a FACT.Having an accident in a car doesn't mean you stop driving does it?

 But I cannot help but be a little worried. Time robs of of our facilities by inches. At 73 you just don't bounce back from injuries. Maybe he should listen to assorted friends and relatives, play it safe and give it up.

Or maybe everyone can just shut their mouth. The man has been riding for decades. On all kinds of bikes. That's an ass load of experience. I won't be the one to tell him to stop doing something he loves. It's possible continuing to ride will kill him. I'd be especially depressed if the accident that ends his live hurts others. But having just watched my wife's father meekly shuffle off the mortal coil I would argue that anything is better than "the straw death" as the Vikings called it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Suck with a side of suck.

The cool thing about having a blog is that you can vent your spleen and save thousands on therapists or lawyers fees. It's been a while since I've posted but, y'know, I've been busy and shit. Working...and stuff. And then there's the dreaded facebook, which makes it so easy to just toss out a quick line or pithy statement or link. No depth.

Anyhoo I'm getting ready for MarCon. Rossana will be at Virginia. Both shows are going to suffer because I'm low on corset stock. I shouldn't be. But I am. Once again my supplier has dropped the fucking ball. Admittedly, I dropped a huge order on him. But I did it 6 weeks ago. And what do I have so far? Seven corsets. Seven.

Calls were make, some bad language was used. Excuses were made. Yadda yadda yadda. I'm sick of it. I want my stock. I want to be able to sell corsets. I'm pretty good at it, but I can't sell what I don't have. Luckily about half our sales come from smaller, non-corset items now. Thanks the gods. If I had to rely solely on high end corsets I'd be in a world of hurt.

So to beef up my supply of non corset stuff I spent the last two weeks in the shop with my friend Tony working hard. Any time the rain let up I'd try to get out and clean up the yard. Stuff got made, but not as much as I'd like. I also haven't had time to make any new stuff. Maybe next week. I so want to learn leather tooling.

With luck and hard work we'll make some sales this weekend. Also training up 2 new temp minions. I need people I can call on to help at shows if needed like this weekend. Both are great girls so i think it will work out well.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A victim of our own success.

It didn't take long for the mentally challenged among us to start with the "If Osama is really dead, where's the PROOF?" chorus.

Really? The president of the US of A tells you we killed him. We have pictures and do a DNA test. But despite the fact that faking or lying about something like this would be monumentally stupid the question remains.Where's the proof?

But lets hold on a second here. Maybe these idiots are on to something. They are doubting their leaders. They are doubting the mass media. They are asking questions. And while they are doing it for all the wrong reasons they are showing signs of rudimentary skepticism. A skepticism we really could have used, say, 10 years ago.

Back then, we took the government at their word. We took political leaders at their word. Not about everything, they were still politicians. But in matters of national security and the act of going to war, well, that's some serious shit. You don't fuck around with that kind of thing. You get your smartest people together and think real hard before pulling the trigger, so to speak.

But we didn't do that. Did we? We somehow associated Bin Laden with Iraq and then ignored reality and all kinds of experts by making Saddam Husein a nuclear armed super genius with his finger literally on the button. We went to war and then brought in morons to oversee reconstruction. We poured billions of dollars and thousands of lives into that pit.

We declared war on a concept.  We passed the patriot act. We created the TSA. We did these things to help us be safe. We did these things because we were told it was necessary. Then the cracks started to show. Were there WMD's in Iraq? Yes! (No) Did the phone companies pass info to the government without warrants? NO (Yes). Did the Bush admin out a CIA agent? No! (Yes)  Are the prisoners at Gitmo being tortured? NO! (Yes), Did we get good intel? Yes! (No)  Were the prisoners at Abu Garaib tortured? No! (Yes) Are there secret CIA black sites where rendition victims are taken and tortured? NO!! (Yes).

Are you seeing a pattern here? The fact is we were misled or outright lied to about some pretty huge things over the past 10 years. By our leaders and by our government. And that may have finally trickled down to the unwashed masses.  Maybe that's why some people question Obama's birth certificate. And maybe that's why there's a cry for graphic proof of Osama's death. Because we simply can't trust the people we put in charge to tell us the truth. Even on simple things like "This guy is dead".

And that is a sad state of affairs.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The print on the page...

Yesterday we visited the Guttenburg museum. We had to endure a truly awful walking tour with a Fin who didn't speak very good English to get there. The cool part was that I got to take part in a demo of a Guttenburg screw press. She was a beauty. Printed out a page from a Guttenburg bible in 3 colors on good quality Amalfi paper.

Upstairs in their treasury they had several amazing books including 2 original Guttenburg Bibles. Each was slightly different as their owners had requested extra illumination to decorate some of the pages. They said it was hard to estimate their value but it was certainly in the millions. Depite being such an important figure a lot about his life is unknown. Although it does seem he was a terrible businessman. Several lawsuits and a few unpaid loans. He did gain some status later in life but didnt live long enough to enjoy it. The museum also has a wing dedicated to the Chinese, who, contrary to what I had learned, also developed some movable type (although impractical due to Chinese being a pictographic language requiring thousands of blocks). I knew they had done block printing, but movable type was a surprise.

We dumped the latter half of our walking tour to go back and just gawk at the amazing presses and books (both hand written and printed). When we left I noticed a print shop next-door to the musuem that appeared to be associated with it, but there was no time to find out for sure.

Although there is no evidence to supporso such a thing, I sometimes get a strong feeling that I was somehow associated with printing and books in some previous life. It's uncanny.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The bonds of the sea

Last night we officially began cruising on the Main river. The ship is almost silent and very little disturbs it. We are travelling down river and this requires passing through a number of locks. After dinner I went up on deck as night fell and witnessed this process first hand. The First and Second captain (there are three) were sipping drinks which alarmed me at first.I mean this IS Germany and they do drink a lot, but apparently their shift was over and they were just relaxing before going below. The third Captain wasnt actually in the pilot house. He was posted at a set of controls port side. There is a matching set starboard. Although the ship is fairly narrow there is no room for error in entering the locks.

As the ship moved forward the captain made dozens of small adjustments using bow thrusters. Inside the pilot house a mate and a sailor watch the radar and use binoculars to keep an eye out for obstructions and other craft. Not only is the ship a tight squeeze side to side but top to bottom. Some of the locks and bridges are so low that the pilot house and a sun screen must be lowered in order to make it underneath them. This was done as we entered the lock. The pilot house lowered about three feet into the body of the ship.

About five of us male passengers stood on deck for this, despite the cold. A woman popped up top and asked what we were doing looking so intense.

" We are sharing the bond to our seagoing ancestors" I said.


"We're ready, at a moments notice, to unfurl sails, or heave to on the mainbrace. Should there be call, we will waltz the capstain and climb the mizzen."

The woman looked at us like we were mad, shivered, and went below.

The man folk kept our vigil.

"Does this ship have any of those things?" asked the man next to me, as we narrowly passed below a gangway on the lock.

"No. But but thats not the point, is it? We could."

Monday, April 18, 2011

All aboard.

We have left Prague behind. I wish we could have had at least 1 more day to explore. We boarded a bus and drove to Nurenburg, a walled city we have visited before. It being Sunday most of the shops were closed but there was a market day in the town square. Sausages and kraut!

We had an all too short walking tour of part ofnthe walls before rebounding the bus and driving past the buildings were the post war Nazi trials were held. Then we visited the massive parade grounds were the glory of Nazi Germany marched by their Messiah. These must have been awesome and terrible sights to behold. Today, the stands where Hitler stood are crumbling away and the encircling spectator stands are mostly overgrown except for one corset which is apparently a soccer field. The area around and in front of the stands is a park where people rollerblade, play with RC cars and show off their motorcycles and pimped out rides.

We left Nuremburg and finally arrived in Wurtzburg to board our ship. Our cabin is a small and efficient affair. Two single beds. A bathroom that doubles as a shower. We are right above the water line which is freaking Rossana out a little bit. Our fellow travelers are, for the most part, an older lot. But interesting. There's a couple from Cuban I'm keen to speak to.

Today we will visit the Residence palace and then take an excursion to Rothenburg, one of my favorite cities. Last time we were here, we abandoned our group and spent the day enjoying the city and the medieval market. Alas, we can't do that today as we need to get back to out boat before it leaves without us.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


We arrived if fairly good shape thanks to
Air Canada. From Frankfurt we had a short flight to Prague. Lufthansa does not fuck around when they fly. I swear we tAxied at 30 mph. As soon as we hit the main runway Bam we were off like a damn shot.

By the time we made it to the hotel I was getting shaky. I never sleep on planes so I'd been up quite a while. Crashed for a few hours before going out and

Prague is a lovely city I wish we had at least another day. The Old Toen is very picturesque. Everything is decorated for Easter. Lots of temporary food stalls serving all kinds of tasty dishes. Visited the old Jewish quarter but being Saturday everything was closed. Many of the synagogues here are now museums. After the war only 3% of the Jews returned.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Up up and awaaaaaay.

We head out soon and the first issue I'm going to have to deal with are the new scanners at the airport. This is our first trip since their installation and since the entire project has been a fiasco that has proven to be unreliable (and potentially less safe than claimed) I have decided that if possible, I will opt out.

I've been patted down in several countries. But only in America do people tell of having TSA agents shove their hand down your pants. I'm not cool with that. But rather than complain without any experience I'm going to see how things are run in Cleveland. It's not a good statistical sample but hey.

The interesting question is whether I'll actually do it. There's something called Implied Authority Syndrome. It states that most people will do something if they think someone in authority is telling them to do it. So when a person in a semi-police looking uniform tells me to step into the scanner will I say no, or chicken out?

Sunday, April 03, 2011


I posted this earlier but its worth watching actual video of this amazing tool chest.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


I just started to read this thread over at  I couldn't get all the way through it. Couldn't see the screen through the tears.

It was nice to see people giving well wishes from all over the world to a person who could no longer travel the road. I'm gonna go tell my wife I love her now.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Shawna Ford was found guilty of murder. Good.  She is a crazy and evil person. She shot several people she thought were illegals so that she and her crazy Minute Man friends could take jewelry and hopefully drugs to finance MORE killing.

So what separates her from the other mouth breathing brown-people hating Neanderthals out there screaming about the evil Gub'mint, socialist Muslins, takin away tar gunz and the rest of the lexicon of crazy?

Not much really.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wikipedia, is there anything it can't do?

Today I was reading an interesting discussion about the few facts relating to Jesus existence.  In it I learned about Apollonius of Tyna, who shared many features with Jesus (including miracles) but who said God didn't give a shit about prayers, only reason.

Fascinating stuff.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Not a good move...

Egypt turned off the Internet today. That's some serious shit to be doing in the 21st century. I understand the thinking. The government wants to stop the protesters from using Twitter and Facebook to organize. But at this point, the cat is out of the bag guys. And while Cairo is a huge city, people generally know where the protests are being held now.

What isn't being reported, is that when Monday comes, they better be back online because banks, the stock market and many businesses will be unable to operate without net access. The stock market has already taken a 15% hit and dropping tourism is going to hurt even more in a country that gets 12% of its GDP from it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's the story...

There's an old saying in the newspaper business, its the story people remember, never the retraction, or correction. Last week some nutjob went on the radio and said "I've spoken to the Governor of Hawaii, and he said there is no birth certificate for Obama".

Except he didn't. 

He's sorry he misspoke. But that's not the important thing here. This is the kind of shit we are seeing more and more of from the Right. They will say outright lies with conviction. They will ignore facts, twist statistics make insane connections and suppositions. And when someone calls them on their bullshit they might MIGHT mumble something about "maybe you misunderstood what we were saying".  It's tiresome.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back at it.

I've done relatively little web development over the past year or so. There are a number of reasons. One is the stress. For every new client I take on I take on a lot of responsibility and a lot of potential headaches. When something goes wrong (and something always goes wrong) I'm on the hook for it. A few years ago my little webhost was bought by a company that managed to fuck up half of my clients websites. This happened while I was in Oklahoma during a windstorm. It was so bad I was screaming at a low level technician in India from inside a porta-john. It was the only place out of the weather that I could hear anything. I got physically ill from that experience.

Another annoyance is the failure of some of my clients to pay their hosting bills. I don't change much, but getting it is like pulling teeth. From a Woolly Mammoth. Buried in the Siberian tundra.

But the software I've been using is getting out of date. Hackers are finding weaknesses and clients want new features. So I'm downloading the latest version and will have to familiar with it's new features. I'm going to have to be the Guinea pig and test it out with my own store. I also need to look for a new webhost since the last one let a site sit broken for 5 days, which in internet time is like a million years.

I don't want to do this, I have several big projects I'm elbow deep in. We wanted to get out to the West coast and do some shows, get our product seen but that isn't going to happen. I wish I could fob this off on someone else but we're mostly a two person operation here.  Oh well.

Back at it.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The results are terrifying...

Less than 6 hours ago Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was assassinated at a small gathering outside of a supermarket by a young man named Jared Lee Loughner.  She is alive but in critical condition. A Federal judge and a child are dead. 11 or so are badly wounded.

 The man was arrested on the scene and now the All Seeing Eye of the Internet has begun its search. But despite the absence of any kind of facts or credible information the mouth of the internet has opened wide and started screaming. The mouth of the Internet is a shrill unthinking scream. Blog posts and twitter comments fly fast and hard, fingers are pointed and blame quickly placed. Gifford's district was one that Sarah Palin "targeted" with words and cross hair images during the last election. People have somehow taken this term to mean that Palin was inciting people to violence with irresponsible rhetoric. This, in my opinion is pretty goddamn stupid. I hate Palin but I cannot pin this act on her.

The Left called him a Rightwing Nutjob and The Right calls him a Leftwing communist/athiest. He posted an obtuse youtube video which makes no sense. Why? Because this man is crazy.

Let me clarify this. He isn't in the Democratic Party, or the Republican Part or the Tea Party. He is a card carrying member of the CRAZY PARTY.  A SANE person doesn't walk up and shoot someone in the head at almost point blank range then fire off 15 more rounds randomly. When tackled and restrained he did not scream out his political ideology. He wasn't wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt.  I'm sure he had some political leanings. They don't really matter. Because he is crazy. 

Of course, politics does play a part in this tragedy. Apparently a few months ago Arizona passed a law that said you didn't need a background check or have to take a class to carry a concealed weapon. I respect my gun owning friends and their constitutional rights but I cannot see how something like a background check for mental illness or a criminal record and a safety class is in some way seriously impinging on your rights. I know that criminals can get guns easy enough, those precautions aren't for them. 

This is a tragedy all the way around. I'm gonna go look at some pictures of bunnies and hope it helps. 

Sunday, January 02, 2011

I hope this doesn't sound racist

I just watched 16 Blocks with Bruce Willis and Mos Def. It was a surprisingly good movie. It wasn't the action or story. It was the fact that the director actually had the actors playing real characters and not cardboard cut outs. Bruce Willis plays a NYC cop. He is also a depressed alcoholic. This is not the one liner spewing guy from Die hard. He look old, he looks tired. He walks with a limp.

What made the movie for me was something a lot of people must have thought was annoying. Mos Def's character of Eddie Bunker. This is not a street wise thug, funny sidekick or an innocent bystander. he is a kid who had done bad things. He looks out for himself. Mos plays him with a nasal whine and he is constantly talking. Constantly.

And while it was annoying it was also a breath of fresh air. Because I have met that person.  When I lived in Ohio City near W. 25th I had three black neighbors and what amazed me was that they were constantly talking like this. The woman upstairs used to get into fights with her husband and would physically toss him down the stairs and throw things at him. One time I managed to find a parking space right in front of the building and wouldn't you know it. She starts yelling and throwing things down the stairs onto the street.

 We used to keep goalie stick in the apartment for defense so I casually stepped outside and leaned against my car with the stick to defend my property. Everyone was tired of this woman and her fights and I wasn't going to let her throw crap that might hit my car and I sure as hell wasn't going to move.  I was going to tell her that in a calm, cool badass way.

Never happened. When she came down to throw more things at her husband she noticed me and started screaming all manner of obscenities. She asked me what the fuck I was doing and I would have told her but she just kept on yelling and threatening. If I wanted her to hear me I would have had to start yelling at her. I really wanted to. I mean, I had a badass line and everything. But she just kept up a constant stream of blather.

That is real life. That is what some black people sound like. That may not be a particularly PC thing to say but listening to Mos speak brought me back to that time and place.

There is no lack of annoying characters in movies but they never seem to convey that actual annoying blabbering. The annoying character starts out annoying and the cop starts out all hard nosed but by the third act the annoying character has stopped being annoying and the cop had revealed he actually has a heart of gold. Not so in this movie. It was refreshing to see the actors portraying people in a realistic way.  And it gave it a very real feel. I recommend you Netflix it.