Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Burbank Blog

The Wee Wife and I spent the weekend rummaging through books at the giant Salvation Army station outside of Healdsburg, acquiring many books to feed our jones.

And we spent Sunday morning at the Luther Burbank Gardens in Santa Rosa. We looked at plants.

Saturday night in the motel…
We scanned the television dial, making me realize once again how much I hate television news. It’s mainly the headache-inducing visual experience. One station, MSNBC I think, had not one but two headline crawls in the bottom third of the screen, and the top third was filled by whatever talking head was talking and ever-changing images around him about what he was talking about.

So there’s that. And Fox News was interviewing the Miss USA runner up about whether she thought she was robbed of the title or not. She said no in a way designed to make viewers think she meant yes. Apparently, there is a segment of the newsmaking community that believes the choosing of a Muslim woman to be Miss USA is some kind of covert Islamo-fascist sneak attack on American values. In collusion with the Hollywood left.

The objective, it seems, is to thwart our godgiven right to objectify sexually unavailable young Christian white women.

Elsewhere (also on Fox?) there was a story about Dora the Explorer. The popular cartoon character was depicted online, satirically, as an illegal alien being beat up and arrested. Our News Source (Fox?), however, seemed to be taking the notion seriously, asking, in fact, “Is Dora the Explorer here illegally?”

Politics aside, this is so stupid it beggars belief. As the Diminutive Bride pointed out, “What are they going to do? Make her go back to a piece of paper?”

Luther, part 2
Burbank, California was not named for Luther Burbank. It was named for David Burbank, a dentist. Why, I don’t know, but somehow it makes more sense.

Burqa Ban
France is following our lead, by going entirely insane. Its proposed ban on the burqa is being offered as a victory for feminism over patriarchy. I heard one supporter on public radio saying that it is the right of every citizen to be able to view his or her fellow citizens in the face. Women are hiding behind those burqas! Come out, into the light!

But what about motorcycle helmets? Are they being banned? Ski masks? I have a friend who is very sensitive to sunlight, and never goes outside without gloves, hat, and veil. Would she be arrested? And what happens to Hallowe’en?

More weirdness from Pat Buchanan…
“If Kagan is confirmed, the Court will consist of three Jews and six Catholics (who represent not quite a fourth of the country), but not a single Protestant, though Protestants remain half the nation and our founding faith….. What kind of diversity is this — either in geography or life experience?”

The Jewish/Catholic cabal will strip us of our godgiven right to objectify sexually unavailable young Christian white women. Mark my words.

I am alone, I believe, in my dislike of the much-loved series THE WIRE. It was too… written, if you know what I mean, and wore its liberal heart on its sleeve. Series creator David Simon has a new series, TREME, about New Orleans, that not only wears its heart on its sleeve, it tries to put that heart on your sleeve as well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tears of Chuck Norris Blog

I just got an email from the LA Times, the header of which read, “Why have we stopped sending you e-mails?” After much brooding and consideration, I realize there is no way I can answer that question.

Other news….
Many many years ago, we had sex with neanderthals, DNA studies reveal. This explains a lot. Though not why, suddenly, it’s pronounced neander TALL, when it was neander THALL for many many years.

The Child Bride and I wandered into Urban Outfitters last weekend, looking for… something. Many hipsters. Wandering around, looking at useless crap. The hipsters seemed forlorn, disconsolate. As if the realization was slowly dawning on them that there is no and will never be a hip apotheosis, at least not one that will be achieved through shopping. Urban Outfitters is a mall store, with irony.

There was a table piled high with books, an astonishing number of which seemed to have been Web-inspired, like “A**holeology,” and “Texts from Last Night,” “It Looks Like a C*ck” ,(which shows photographs of things that kind of look like an erect penis, sort of), and “The Truth About Chuck Norris.” Hipsters were leafing through them half-heartedly, trying to work up a grin.

When I was in high school, I had a job as the voice of Paul Bunyan, at a small amusement park in my town. Its gift shop was full of novelty gifts, involving postcards of Granny in an outhouse, you know, and variations on the “Thought I Heard a Buck Snort!” gag. There were joke books, and little plastic dolls that pissed when you squeezed them, and The Horny Monk.

What’s the difference, humor-wise, between “It Looks Like a C*ck” and “Jokes for the John?” Yet one is hip, and the other hopelessly square.

Sean Fennessey wrote, in GQ:
“But once upon a time, the ‘You can do it, too!’ ethic of Tumblr-born books were charming. This Is Why You're Fat. Garfield Minus Garfield. Even the recent Look At This Fucking Hipster. But these Tumblrs--compact, clearly delineated, devoid of investment, so perfectly Internet--are no more worthy of a book than the grand daddy of this phenomenon, Christian Lander's Stuff White People Like, the Caucasian-crucifying guide to middle brow haute du jour. That was a good idea for a web site, a place to spend four minutes before returning to the spreadsheet you were working on. As a book, it was a helluva web site.”

But why was I reading GQ? After much brooding and consideration, I realize I have no answer.

So two movies are out, KICK ASS, and HARRY BROWN. KICK ASS is about kids who become superheroes, kind of, to fight … something or other. Most famously it features Hit Girl, an 11 year old, who has a jet pack kitted out with gatling guns. HARRY BROWN is about an old guy who fights gangs who have taken over his neighborhood. Last year’s GRAN TORINO had Clint Eastwood pretty much doing the same thing.

What happened to our heroes? The Watchmen? Disbanded, dead. Batman? He’s all broody. We haven’t seen Superman in years. Plus, Spiderman aside, all these heroes all rich! Iron Man’s a billionaire, Batman’s a billionaire, Superman can make diamonds with his eyes. What do they care about us poor folk, who have to wade through the throngs, THRONGS! of drug-dealers, crack whores, and gang warriors every day as we trudge our way to the payday loan kiosk.

We lift our eyes. From whence cometh our help? That’s right. From tween-age girls and geezers. The fate of our cities lies in the hands of Hannah Montana and Larry King.

Hannah Montana’s too old to save us.

Elena Kagan, Cipher
Conservatives say, of course, that her positions are “disturbingly out of the mainstream,” whatever the damn mainstream even is these days. It is also said that she has no experience. Though she was, I believe, dean of Harvard Law School; that counts for something, I’m thinking. In that capacity, she (briefly) barred military recruiters from the school, because of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which was instituted under the Clinton administration, whom she worked for.

Liberals say that she supports holding suspected terrorists indefinitely without a trial. Glenn Greenwald wrote in Salon that her not saying anything about various Bush/Cheney threats to the political system in itself speaks volumes. “Not a single utterance,” he wrote.

On the whole, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court is perceived as a “cipher.” We like ciphers these days.

Even folks who act like non-ciphers are distinctively cipher-ish. When the state of Arizona voted that President Obama must present his birth certificate if he wants to be on the ballot in the next election, J.D. Haworth, running against John McCain, told CNN’s Campbell Brown, "Barack Obama is the president of the United States. He is our 44th president. I have no qualms about who he is, or who he says he is." He also said to Chris Matthews, that the President "should come forward with the information, that’s all." He expanded, "Shouldn't we know exactly that anyone who wants to run for public office is a natural-born citizen of the United States and is who they say they are?"

See the cipher-ness here? He believes the President and doesn’t believe him at the same time!

The Stock Market Crash, the oil spill, yadda yadda. Our nation of ciphers has difficulty responding to situations because we’re too busy thinking two contradictory thoughts at once.

I blame it on Blackberrys. Or the iPhone. Depending, I think, on which coast you're on. (He said, cipher-ishly.)