Monday, December 24, 2012

Liberals: WHERE ARE YOU?!

Let's begin here with a confession: I've only voted ONCE since 1988.

Okay, vent your spleens in any way you choose. You are right; but, only to a certain point, as I have had my reasons.

Get your venom out; but, after that, take a breath. Then, read on...

Going back to grade school (yes, elementary school, believe it or not) I was a pushy little political kid. In 5th grade, I used some of my small allowance money to buy a P.O.W. bracelet that bore the name of one Captain Darryl F. Pyle; and I wore it until I saw him come back, alive, on a newscast way back then.

My older cousin, Shelly, kind of got me into it; but, so did my Mom. Mom was a Kennedy volunteer for JFK back in '60; and was also a supporter of RFK in '68-- even though Dad was a Nixon guy.

Perhaps my embryonic political view was shaped, at least in part, by the fact that my Dad used to regularly beat the shit out of me-- and so I hated him. Seeing as Mom only slapped me on occasion, I kinda tended to cotton to her way of thinking.

By 1972, Dad was out of the picture; and I, as a pushy and precocious 10 year old had branched out. Not only was I wearing my P.O.W. bracelet rather proudly on my right wrist; I was also trying to get teachers and school office personnel to sign McGovern petitions my cousin had given me, without much success...

I watched with great interest the Watergate proceedings; and was most pleased when, on August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon resigned his presidency on the 5th anniversary of the Manson killings, as my family was on vacation in San Diego.

The short Gerald Ford era carried almost no weight; though it was during that time that I immersed myself even further into studying and reading about politics and the history of the American political system. Like an acne-riddled sponge, I could not soak up enough of it; and when Jimmy Carter won the Presidential election in November, 1976, I was way more elated than any 14 year old should have been.

I was THRILLED; and could not wait until '80, when I thought I'd be among those who would vote him into a second term in office.

In November of 1979, the Iran hostage crisis came. The Carter Presidency had already taken a number of hits; but this was the biggest one. When the failed attempt to rescue the hostages happened in Spring, 1980, it dealt a final death blow to Jimmy Carter's shot at a second term.

I voted for my first time, knowing full well JC was fucked. Ronald Reagan swept in on a tide of resurgent conservatism.

And, it was there, at that point in time, when the term "liberal" became a dirty word-- tainted and caked with politically motivated shit.

Thirty two years on, it has not recovered.

In 1984, I dutifully voted for the Mondale/Ferraro ticket, knowing full well they could not win. I say I knew they wouldn't win; but, it was a blow to my psyche to see them get routed as badly as they did.

At 22, I'd become disillusioned by it all. What was the point? How could "we" liberals ever hope to compete against God, flags, balloon releases, and all the other trappings the conservatives had turned into a perfectly orchestrated, Broadway-styled show designed to illustrate how awful and fuzzy-headed America's liberals were for, well, America?

By 1988, I was re-energized, and trying to be psyched for Michael Dukakis. He's from Massachussetts, I told myself; so maybe he's got a bit of Kennedy spirit in him. So, I bought in, wholeheartedly.

I went to the rallies. I ranted on about him on my radio shows. I tried to be as into it as I could; but, something troubled me, and I couldn't quite identify it.

He seemed too buttoned up; too clipped in his ability to stem his emotions. I kept waiting for his watershed firebrand moment: That instance in time where a candidate goes from merely being a careerist politician, to where they step across that personal line and say "fuck you" to the political angle, and just go for it as a human being-- without care or concern for their future career in politics.

Not only did Dukakis NOT do that, he rode in a tank. He also asked CNN's Bernard Shaw how he (Shaw) might react if his wife were raped and murdered.

Uh oh.

Beyond that, he committed the biggest crime the 26 year old me in 1988 could have envisioned:

He avoided, stridently, any alignment with the word "liberal".


When push came to shove; Michael Dukakis shoved all his grassroots supporters aside, as a way of not sullying himself, career-wise, with the word the Reagan movement had made so syphilitic:


I voted for Dukakis in November of 1988; only because of the time I'd put in.

I did not vote again until GW/Kerry of 2004. Kerry was a similar letdown; and the only reason i voted was because my girlfriend pushed me into it.

Yes, i'm a fucking idiot. All it got me was jury duty.

So, if you've actually read this, I assume you wanna rake me on not voting for most of the past 24 years. I guess that's your right; but, before you pass judgement, let me state my case here:

From the heavily influenced 10 year old who first came to sorta know politics in 1972, I have come a long way. My views, or ways of expressing them, may not be yours; but that doesn't invalidate my experience.

Further, I know there a great many out there who feel, rather stridently, that an uncast vote is somehow a wasted vote.

I disagree; loudly.

When my girlfriend (Alex) pushed into voting for Kerry in '04, I literally did so just so I wouldn't have to hear a long bullshit talk about what a fuck I was/am for not voting. It didn't matter that Kerry was a stick figure caricature of a democrat trying to bend over backward to try and satisfy the center and the right by oozing toward a "moderate" pose-- all the while hop-steppin' away from anything that might tie him to the word "liberal"...

As I stood in the voting booth at the old age home just outside Culver City, Calif., that day, I fucking hated myself.

To me, GW Bush was easily the worst President of my lifetime; and, if any number of political experts are to be believed, he is possibly the worst President this country has ever seen.

And, having said that, it sickened me to cast my vote for Kerry on that day; as I was not voting for someone I believed in-- I was casting my vote against someone.

The barely discernible lesser of two evils.

And this is what it all boils down to for me: Where are MY candidates? Why has the word "liberal" become such a demonized thing in the modern political climate? Why, and how, have religion, guns, and tax cures for the wealthy become so much more important than taking care of our weakest, protecting our most vulnerable, and ensuring that the middle class does not die off like the dinosaurs the Bible thumpers seem to believe never existed?


Will there ever be a candidate in our lifetimes, who has the courage to call him/herself a "liberal", and use rational and cogent thought to beat back the fear-mongering that has tainted theterm for the past three plus decades?!

Must all our potential future leaders bow to the Bible, to the gun lobby, to the rich who seek to continue their hold on the puppet string that need not exist if just one voice in the wilderness will come screaming into the light, announcing a new level playing field on a brand new day?!

"Liberal" was never a bad word until the Reagan era. "Liberal" does not mean everyone is smoking weed and letting shit slide by while listening to folk music! Liberal means having an open mind; about both sides of an argument. Liberal is NOT just David Crosby singing about sharing berries with hitchhiking hippie chicks; it's about not arriving at narrow-minded conclusions based upon fairy stories, our even now-outmoded ways of settling a new land some 236 years ago.

So, America; will there ever be liberals in our service again? Will there ever be one who breaks through the stigma who just doesn't give a fuck about career aspects, and instead seeks to lead through his or her conscience?

Will we ever see such a stateman again; or are we doomed to the Bible/gun/money-worshipping robot paradigm that seems to have turned our alleged two party system into nothing more than two arms of the same monster?

Find us a voice who speaks to the rest of us; and I'll vote and campaign the shit out of it for them until the day I die.

Jury duty would be a joy...

Chris Checkman

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fuck You, America!

Dear America,
Fuck you! Fucking fuck you!

I love the land mass, and it's place on the map. I love, for the most part, the weather.

The people? Ehh, give or take.

Beyond that stuff, I am, for the most part, glad to have been born here.

But, having said that...

You, America, can go fuck yourself until you're red/white/blue in the face, as I am nearing the point where I am done with you.


Your priorities are totally fucked up. You cannot feed/clothe/medically look after your most vulnerable; but, somehow, those rich shits who live on the hill seem to be in line for perpetual protection.

STARVE THE POOR, BUT FEED THE RICH might as well be pressed onto our coins, as it seems to be the new American Way.

And now we have, yet again, another mass shooting.

This is where I would normally launch into an all-out assault (minus those legally protected gun rights so vital to 1775 only those powered and monied idiots still cling to) on the facts, horror and overall tragedy that befell us all in Newtown, Ct. this week...

But, why? And to what effect?


Who fucking cares anymore on these shores if some gun-toting imbecile expresses his Constitutionally protected right to wail away on a school full of kids just learning to use their ABC's; because, that 2nd Amendment is there in case the government goes all crazy on us and tries to kill us in our own homes, right?

So, if a few (dozen) kids and teachers get mowed down by some fuckwit who stole Mom's legally owned assault rifle, and just happened to go all 2nd Amendment on her by shooting her in the face with it; before blowing the heads off toddlers and their teachers-- well, that's the price of freedom, ain't it?!

At what point does this all reach some sort of critical mass? At what point do we elevate from stupid penny-ante bloggers like me screaming into a vacuumed void and evolve into a bloc of people who have just fucking had it with living in a society that is both technologically advanced, yet somehow still governed by a most ruinous medieval mindset that is pushed along by the gun lobby and it's seemingly bottomless pockets?!

Can any of you gun fucks say Europe isn't onto something far more fitting for our modern world? Sure, them holding onto their foreskins is totally weird and icky; but, they've nailed the bigger issue here, so the foreskins ain't so bad in the long term.

But still, you, America; you just won't back down, will you? I understand that it's all part of the stance; the pose-- but, at what point does the clinging to the outmoded ways stall us all from moving forward? At what point do 'our' powers that be begin to recognize that the Earth, and those who populate it, are evolving well beyond our Stone Age contempt toward change?

For all his gun-totin' machismo in the movies, John Wayne died of a pedestrian case of stomach cancer. This week, 20 children and 6 teachers died from the real gunfire John Wayne NEVER faced in his movies.

Yet, he's on stamps for his portrayal of bravery-- if you consider ducking dummy bullets between lunches in air conditioned trailers to be "bravery".

Me? I consider the acts of those teachers who tried to shield their kids from REAL gunfire to be the real definitions of bravery.

America, you've let us all down today.

Chris Checkman

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Second Amendment Saves Us All Again. Except For Those Who Died...

This week, Inglewood, California and Brookfield, Wisconsin were lucky enough to receive a pat on the head from the Constitution of the United States Of America. This kind of acknowledgement is a high honor, indeed; and all it cost the people of these communities was the lives of some of their families, friends and neighbors.

High praise, and well earned!

In Inglewood, a psycho neighbor living in the back house decided to cover himself in bullet-resistant armor, set his house on fire, and then go and shoot up the family that lived in the front house. A father (who threw his body over his children to shield them from those bullets we all love, because they're a guaranteed part of the Constitution!) died, as did his 4 year old son.

His wife and two other children were severely injured, but are expected to survive.

Apparently, the Constitution provides for such protection against the children from the front house playing in the backyard.

Well done, Constitution!

Then today, in Wisconsin, another patriot defies a restraining order from his ex-wife, goes to the day spa where she works, and shoots three women dead, injuring several others.

Sadly, in both cases, these two true Americans who are upholding true American ideals, shot themselves before the NRA could give them the parades and lapel pins they so richly deserved...

Guess we can blame the hippie fag Jew-run media once again, right?

Children playing. Women at a spa going to work. People going to school. Folks at a movie theater. Etc., etc....

These are the enemies the outdated 2nd Amendment to the Constitution is protecting us against?!

By now, is there any real point in holding out hope that real thought and reason may ride into the picture at this 11th hour and somehow prevail over old ways of thinking? Right now, I am sad to sad that I think not. I mean, who gives a shit if children, students at school, people at work, or those shopping at a mall have to live under the ever-increasing shadow of possibly getting shot by some psycho fuckhead armed, not only with a gun; but a hallowed government document that gives him the "right" to possess such a weapon, provided he/she can pass a few simple background checks and tests?

And, hey, if you just happen to be at the restaurant, theater, mall, or even in your own home when he goes off-- well, that's just the price of being an American you should be happy to pay!

Because we're too stupid and cowed by the big money gun lobbies. Beyond that, our so-called leaders on the Left are too fucking concerned with tapdancing their way through the political process, so as not to alienate ANY potential voter; so they're not GONNA SAY SHIT that might in any way piss off the gun lobby, which will piss off certain portions of the hayseed/redneck/dumbshit voters they need to court in order to quell any talk of liberalism...

And, for this trade off, people get to keep dying! They get to die in parks, at gas stations, on jogging trails and even (conveniently) in their own homes. All because we've become too fucking cowed by the big bucks gun lobby, and the presumptive notion that to speak against guns makes us somehow un-American-- and our American God and his American Son, Jesus, will shit his vengance in all our faces should we dare to evolve so much as to even entertain a discussion that maybe, just maybe, all the shooting deaths in our country might in some small way be connected to...


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mike Love: You Rat Bastard...

When I heard, earlier this week, that Mike Love had effectively "fired" Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks from the 50th Anniversary Beach Boys, and their tour, I tried to keep an open mind.

Maybe, thought I, the three in question were trying to reshape the band as a grindcore group, intent on some sort of bloodcircus/gore show that might alienate at least some of their core audeince.

I'm told this is not the case.

Maybe, thought I, about a thousand other scenarios that might make at least a little sense of this metaphoric machine gun in a geek's nightmare of a record store tragedy.

Believe me, people, I have run every realistic, and unrealistic, scenario I could possibly envision.

Trust me when I say that NONE of those test situations made ANY sense.

At fucking all.

(Yes, my use of all caps in certain moments is entirely-- ENTIRELY-- with merit. This is that kind of time...)

It should be noted that I think Mike Love one of the greatest voices in the history of music. I say this without a bit of qualification. To call his voice, and the words he wrote for the Beach Boys, merely "iconic" is to do Mr. Love a grave disservice.

Dismiss the contributions of Mr. Love to the Beach Boys in particular, and music in general if you must; but, do so at your own peril.

You will be wrong.

The Beach Boys would not have been what we know them to be without the voice, savvy and some key words from Mike Love. His contributions to not only the Beach Boys, but music in general, should be held well aloft-- and viewed as nothing less than monumental and legendary, as they are nothing less than that.

And possibly more.

However, in his firing of Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks (the American Pete Best...), Mike Love fucking well overstepped the bounds of everything that makes music sacred to us fucktards who have given our lives over to the sounds we first heard off Mom and Dad's vinyl way the hell back when....

Yes, it is understood that Mike Love somehow owns the Beach Boys' name/branding/etc.-- and that's all fine and well. Those of us long time fans GET IT that he's still (rightfully) pissed that Murry Wilson (father of Brian; and Carl and Dennis-- both of whom died way too young) sold their Sea Of Tunes catalogue to Irving/Almo Music in 1969 for the paltry sum of $700,000.

We get it, Mike Love! You were ripped off by Brian/Carl/Dennis' dad (your uncle)! We get what it is like to carry a grudge, and all that!

You got something of the short stick, Mike; and we've always known how much you've hated the idea that Brian was lauded as the damaged genius, while you were always deemed the commercial prick mercenary.

Guess what, Mike? Same thing has been said of Paul McCartney, in the shadow of John Lennon. While, again, not denying your contributions to the Beach Boys, Mike; Paul McCartney pretty much played every instrument he could lay his hands on, wrote/co-wrote a good half of the greatest back catalogue music will ever see, and...

He's never been nearly the vindictive cunt you're being right now!

While Paul McCartney will never be able to get out from under the hagiographic portrayal of John Lennon as some sort of guitar-wielding Christ figure; he's cool with it. Why?

Because he knows who he is, where he was, and what he did. He was there, and lets the records speak for themselves.

On the other hand, Mike, you've seemed to let your rage go slowly bitter and curdle up good over the last 45 or so years. No one has ever doubted your vocal prowess on the early hits; or the crucial passes on "Good Vibrations"-- but this was never enough for you, was it?

As Brian's mind and body went all fat and well to shit during the crucial "Pet Sounds"/"Smile" era, you seemed to focus only on your star in what you saw as it's descending period. Right?

From every tome us Beach boys fans have read, there have always been a number of us who have long tried to rally in your favor. We've tried to, somehow, put ourselves in your shoes/sandals in seeing what it must be like to have tangible talent in the studio rated against intangibles when it comes to seeing a fragile, fat man-- made seemingly of spun sugar, somehow lionized as that thing you could never be.

A genius.

And now, in the twilight of your careers/lives, somehow the Beach Boys get back together. Yes, Carl and Dennis are sorely missed; but, still, it's Brian, Mike, Al, Bruce Johnston and David Marks-- which, in it's own way makes the world seem right, if only for a moment.

So, why blow it up, Mike? Why play the "I own the name!" card when the fans are finally getting a real good look at the genius they've only heard through their headphones these past several decades?

Why kill the last chance any of us remaining true believers have to experience the sound and feeling that's been inside us since our earliest memories? Just what the fuck satisfaction do you get from that, Mike Love? What purpose is served, other than your insufferable ego, your sense of spite, and the dictator-like boner you get from burning down our memories?

Fuck you Mike Love. I know this was your big middle finger to Brian; but, in reality, you flipped us all off, all in the name of your pompous and petty arrogance.

Just goes to show that 45 years of Transcendental Meditation cannot erase a lifetime of being an insufferable narcissistic asshole...

chris checkman

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Zebras Matter

Did you see that? DID YOU FUCKING SEE THAT?!

Tonight's Monday Night Football contest between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks came down to one last play: A Hail Mary from about the Green Bay 27 yard line. With little time on the clock, Seattle's quarterback, Russell Wilson (a surefire star, as long as his coaches don't change him, at all...) dropped back, then stepped back even further. Although I had the Packers in my season-long pool, I found myself shouting at the television words along the line of  "no! Just throw it, you stupid cunt!".

So, Russell Wilson threw it. A floating, arcing spiral, it eventually found it's way to a clusterfuck of defensive and offensive players in the end zone.

All converged on the precious ball, for even at this very early point in the respective campaigns, the fortunes of an entire season rode upon the outcome of this one, sigular, play.

Green Bay defensive back M.B. Jennings leapt over the pile, grabbing the ball with two hands and pulled it to his chest, as Seattle receiver Golden Tate wrapped one arm precariously around the ball-- after having obviously pushed a Green Bay defender out of the way, in what anyone with eyes would've said was an offensive pass interference penalty.

One official ran in, signalling an interception for Green Bay; just as another ran in, giving a very unconvincing signal for a Seattle touchdown.

Cue the chaos.

Monday Night Football annoucers Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden took a look at the replay, went berserk, and just lit up the replacement officials that have been administrating the games since the beginning of preseason, owing to a league dispute over finances/other contract terms with the real referees.

Anyone with eyes could plainly see that the Packers got royally fucked on the Hail Mary call; but, because, by rule, who actually possessed the ball was not a reviewable call, the Seahawks wound up getting the win.

The Seattle Seahawks are going to be a fun, gritty team to watch in the next couple years. Even later this year, this mix of players (featuring the QB, Wilson) is going to coalesce and become an ever-increasing force in the league.


Say it ain't so, Roger!

One of my favorite sports reporters is Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald. For the past year, he (and his father, Gonzalo) has also hosted an ESPN2 show called "Dan LeBatard Is Highly Questionable"-- a show some internet people seem to hate with an almost unreasonable amount of vitriol.

Personally, while I do not always agree with LeBatard, I like the show; as it is a mix of serious sports discussion, without taking ANY of it too seriously.


Last week, LeBatard said something that really took me by surprise, pissed me off to no end. In a discussion about the "real" refs who are holding out for a better deal, LeBatard kinda casually dismissed them as guys who "work 20 days a year", yet want increased salary/benefits.

(I'm paraphrasing, here)

I see the basic idea of the "20 days a year" argument; I do.

However, moreso than baseball or basketball, an NFL ref is someone who is not only a steward of the rules; but also an administrator whose application of said rules and regulations can also help safeguard players against possible catastrophic injuries...

Same, as I see it, as an NHL ref.

In baseball, balls and strikes are balls and strikes. In basketball, double dribbling or traveling are fairly self evident. This is not to minimize baseball umpires or basketball referees: I say this merely to point out that those sports depend on their on-field/on court administrators to look for rulebook violations and enforce the basic rules of the game.

In football, if the referees cannot control the game, shit can get out of hand to the point where the safety and well being of the participants can fall under great risk.

In these first 3 weeks of the NFL season (and the preseason before), we have seen a great pile of evidence that suggests that these replacement officials are, at best, greatly overwhelmed by the task they've been given.

At worst, it appears, more and more each week, that they are easily cowed and intimidated by the bright lights under which they're asked to perform-- and coaches and players are taking full advantage of the substitute teachers who are now all but hiding under their desks!

The result has been a through-the-looking-glass freakshow at the beginning of the 2012 NFL season-- and the litany of bizarre calls/non-calls/bad spots/inept interpretation of rules/etc/etc is so long and fucked up and weird that I believe this season should have some sort of small asterisk affixed to it so something like this can never happen again.

So, as much as I normally agree with LeBatard (which is about 75% of the time), I COMPLETELY disgree with him on this issue!

The ineptitude of the replacement refs would be one thing, in terms of the administration of what some might see as petty rules and whatnot-- and EVEN THAT FUCKING SUCKS BALLS!

But, given the increasing amount of concussions meted out during games that are now played by ever faster, stronger and heavier guys willing to go lights out on anyone they perceive standing between them and a sweet paycheck; LeBatard's dismissal of the officials as guys who "work 20 days a year" but want full time money/benefits is losing ground by the second.

Sure, tonight Green Bay was fucking jobbed by refs who were overwhelmed by the stage and bright lights. Yeah, it's mathematically possible Ed Hochuli and his guys might've missed the Hail Mary call tonight in Seattle; but, I doubt it...

chris checkman

Sunday, August 05, 2012

More Acceptable Losses?

If the Batman massacre in Aurora, Colorado two weeks ago wasn't enough to convince me; then the carnage today at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin finally did the trick.

With seven dead, including that great partriot of a shooter who was only exercising his God-given 2nd Amendment right to carry lethal weapons and use them at his discretion, I am finally convinced that guns are NOT the problem here in the United States!

Yes, folks, you heard me right!

This heroic patriot of a shooter exercised his born to the manor right to just walk into a place of worship, where he proceeded to blow 6 people off to their eternal reward, before he himself was gloriously taken out by yet another gun; and we should all stop our hand-wringing and just know that it's okay.


The NRA and other like-minded folks are way smarter than we are; and they know what's best for us! We should be grateful that they continue to patiently take time out of their busy days to kneel down to where we can better see them, speak slowly (with small words, so we can better understand their more highly-evolved brilliance) to us, pat us on the heads, and reassuringly tell us that this is what God wants.

It is His will!

I used to be somewhat cynical and skeptical about this; but, the rising body count between Aurora and Oak Creek are fast accumulating numbers even a previously Godless heathen like I can no longer ignore!


God, who it is clear totally really exists, has chosen America as his country; and, with his son, Jesus, beside him, it is OUR God who is gonna show us the way to the big lifeguard high chair at the top of the world!


God wants us to have guns! He does! God believes that there might come a time when the government decides to just invade each and every city and town in which we live, and try and take away our guns-- so we have to stock up on food and water (God suggests beanie weenies and Dasani, as he has a deal in place...), and GUNS, 'cause we love 'em!

Then, GOD wants us to just wait for the invasion. But, while we're waiting, GOD wants us to go and mete out justice in a way we think he might. You know, sort of like a hillbilly action film.....

Just go and find people living their lives, and bukkake a bit of precious 2nd Amendment hot lead all over their faces; just to show we mean business.

So fucking what if innocents were killed watching a movie or at their house of worship? It's all about the 2nd Amendment, right?

I admit that I stopped participating in the political process a long time ago. My girlfriend forced me into voting in 2004; but, before then, I'd last voted in 1988.

And I've not voted since.

The easy joke answer to the question "why?" has always been "jury duty". Cue the bad slide whistle or detuned bass drum 'boing' effect, right?

The real truth is this: I was really heavily politically minded as far back as grade school. In 5th grade, I not only wore a POW/MIA wrist band (Capt. Darryl F. Pyle, if you were wondering), I also was so obnoxious as to wear a button endorsing George McGovern for President that year. I did NOT understand everything I was hearing from the political news I craved so oddly for a 10 year old; but, the things I did understand I grabbed onto with a fierce grip, in that way that kids do with certain things.

Through high school and college, I was politically oriented to a point well beyond what reasonable folks might consider obnoxiousness-- and my brother was even more pushy and annoying about it.

And, it ended, very suddenly, in 1988. Michael Dukakis posed in a tank; tapdanced around the word "liberal" like it was some sort of disease, and I just fucking checked out....

I admit I am lazy; and, in the years since, I've wondered what those with a less blackened/less cynical heart might've done in my shoes. Ideally, I imagine they would've been less a fatalist quiiter than me, and would've made a decision to not quit while making an even greater ruckus calling attention to our cause.

Me? I simply gave up. Not saying it was cool; it's just what was.

But, I've always known that if anyone would ever come up through the ranks who wasn't ashamed to be a liberal; whose views balanced utopian vision with responsibility to constituents that I could get behind, I'd fucking be there.

Obama kinda tries; but, the whole centrist/being everything to everyone vibe just leaves me limp. If they only wanna be politicians, and not statesmen; why the fuck should I care?

I'm not saying it's the most sensible or forward-thinking stance; I'm just saying that the would-be leaders I've waiting on have never arrived, and I just finally got sick of waiting and checked out.

Yeah, it's kind of a chickenshit, lazy-assed move; but, you get your heart broken enough, you begin to retreat. It fucking sucks sometimes to see certain things, even small ones, in the political news, and just have that feeling like you chest is being caved in knowing that the kind of people this country needs are not likely to enter the political arena.

It fucking hurts. Bad.

If there were candidates that were balls-out proud of who they were, and weren't just gonna trawl for votes by pretending to be some biblically-endorsed charlatans, I'd get my ass out there tomorrow-- back in the game.

Instead, we are given lame choices on both sides, every fucking time: Candidates on the local, state and national levels who are watered down by allegiances to the monied lobbies they need to please by tapdancing through any number of loaded financial minefields. While these clowns are trying to line their pockets by making careers out of talking from both sides of their mouths, regular people are going without basic medical care, food, and shelter (to say nothing of a shit job market); and, oh yeah, getting murdered at the movies or their houses of worship.

For the 2nd Amendment. That holy-assed Amendment; which only benefits the powerful gun lobby and the billions of dollars it's participants hope to make.

It's funny how the anti-drug Republicans/Christian right wingers will tell you that every bag of grass leaves theoretical bloodstains on someone's hands; but, none of them ever acknowledges the actual bloodstains left in our schools, temples, theaters, workplaces and homes by the precious guns they'd fight to the death to protect.

I'm fairly certain I'm not nearly the only one who lost the fire and got beaten down and just gave up on the liberal cause. I'm guessing there's a bigassed number of us out here, lying dormant, waiting to get back in to it.

Give us statesmen instead of politicians; give us a stance instead of posturing; give us conviction instead of commerce....

If you're really liberal, don't just say it-- fucking scream it! Make us believe and we'll come off the bench.

We can't bring back the people in Aurora and Oak Creek; but, maybe down the line we can honor them by making sure the psycho money-grubbing gun lobby knows our future representatives and leaders cannot be bought.

And fuck you if you disagree.

chris checkman

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Baby, You're A Bitch, Man

I may or may not have gotten a Facebook page recently. If I did, it would definitely not be under my actual name; nor would any of my friends know about it.

Though it would confirm everything I've ever suspected or felt about the entire culture of Facebook.

A long time ago, in December of 2004, I decided it might be okay to jump on a trend. That kind of shit is rare for me. Not because I am such an iconoclast; but really more because I hate new shit. So, back then, I signed up for Myspace.

It was okay, for awhile, though I clearly was too old/set in my ways to see the point of it. My fascination soon cooled to the level of "oh, right, I have a Myspace page!"-kind of mindset, which seemed to happen less and less as time went on.

I tried to embrace Myspace; but, even for someone as narcissistic as I, it just seemed a bit like jerking off in an intersection while wearing a pinwheel hat.

No one needs to see that.

In time, Myspace and I grew ever more estranged; and I think it was fine by both of us. We did not miss one another.

Then I found Twitter; and, to be honest, my reaction to it has been mixed. On one hand, I fucking love the immediate access to those who are just riffing their asses off. It can seem, at times, like one big room full of writers and comedians, each and all throwing out their best shit and seeing what sticks.

"Great!", thought I; but, the results have been lackluster to say the least. I'd like to say that it's because the world doesn't get me; but, even with the obvious clannish anti-outsider nature Twit comics exhibit, maybe my idea of what is funny just does nothing for those on the rungs above me.

Which brings us back to Facebook.

Though I really enjoyed "The Social Network", I have pretty much hated Facebook from the very first time friends told me about it. I dunno, maybe I am too old and stodgy a crank to get it; but, from the get go, everything I ever heard or saw about Facebook hit me like a cheese grater across the face:

Farmville. Pokes. Likes. Pictures of children doing lame staged bullshit things set up by their drunken, attention-seeking parents. Etc.

The "Wall".

Kill me...

Having had some time to formulate what some might misinterpret as an ill-informed opinion on Facebook, I think the things I hate most are the lame pictures of children doing "hip" things Mom and stepdad stage up; and the whole culture of the "like".

The first part of that is easy enough to explain from my end: Not everyone (insert Jerry Sandusky joke here) is in love with children, period. Count me firmly in that group. If I had had kids, I know I'd have been a good parent; and would've loved my kids to the point where they might not have run off to be underage prostitues, hopefully.

But, I didn't have kids for a VERY specific reason: Kids grow up to be...


And, since every other person on the planet saw fit to extend their sometimes dodgy bloodlines and bark 'em out as fast as the stitches would heal, why would I participate in such apocalyptic shenanigans, when pulling out only costs a couple of paper towels or a rewashing of a previously clean t-shirt?

Am I right, ladies?

Yet, Facebook is essentially a dumping ground for all manner of baby/kid bullshit from overproud parents who think they've done something fucking special by barking out a wall-eyed fuckhead whose major talent is falling asleep, on video, after sucking a dozen or so of mommy and daddy's spent wine corks.


While there are, of course, obvious privacy/security breach issues anyone with a brain SHOULD have with Facebook; the main gripe I have is with the culture of the "like".

When someone posts on Facebook a picture of a potted plant, there is now an accepted form of currency they are hoping to receive in return for them favoring you with an image of their chrysanthemums or upside down hanging tomato patch they drunkenly purchased from TV one night at 4:30AM.

The "like".

They want you to like them. Fuck, they'd love you to like them! It pads their stats; which makes them the envy of their friends-- both real, and Facebook friends.

(If you haven't figured it out as yet, Facebook friends are NOT your real friends. Now go hang yourselves if this is in any way news to you...)

But, where the like thing gets me the most is the idea of how it has been used. Originally, the like was used to say more about the person whose image, post or whatever received the like. Now, it's gone all funhouse mirror, and the like is really all about the person who SENDS it to another Facebook user!

EXAMPLE: If you post a picture of your kid in a tiny Plasmatics shirt throwing up gang signs in front of your '74 Vega wagon, what are you asking of us?

You're asking for some sort of weird validation or approval-- ie: "Hey, jerkoff; way to assure your kid hates fags and reading as much as you do!"; but, since the "like" is more generic, you'll settle for the stats, of course...

Meanwhile, on the other side of the equation, there are some truly socially inept desperate idiots, just looking to suck up to anyone who might give them a bit of attention; so, they're naturally gonna "like" the pic of junior going all V13 or Crip in front of your shitmobile.

Which makes you both stupid fucking fucks.

The person seeking the like for stats purposes gets hooked up with a stalker; and the thanks that said stalker perceives only pushes him/her to further explore this realm. They "liked" you; and now they're a part of your life, no matter what the restraining order says.

It is a fucking sick and twisted system.

I may or may not be there; but, if I am, I'm gonna pull the rip cord soon.

Again, people, maybe I am too old to understand just how cool Facebook is. But, having read on it for years, and having observed it from afar during that time, it will take a massive argument to make me think anything other than this:

Facebook serves nothing, other than itself and it's own interests. If your experience has been different, great; you're easily smarter and less paranoid than me.

From what I've seen/read/experienced, Facebook is serving no one other than that little weasel shit guy in the hoodie....