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....