Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Not Hank Too!

April 10th, 2014 No comments

link Hank Aaron Compares Republicans That Oppose Obama To KKK « CBS Atlanta.

Et tu Hank?  In his day, Hammerin’ Hank was a breakthrough character.  In the days before it was acceptable to have ‘coloreds’ (as blacks were then referred) as members on athletic teams, Aaron was a pioneer in the sports world and to this day exists as a hero to millions.  But unlike what many people may think, he was and still is celebrated not because he’s black, but because he was good.

Had he batted .187, no one would have heard of him.  This is the case today in all professional sports, whether it be baseball, basketball, football and even hockey. There are numerous black and Hispanic players ascending to prominence because of their natural abilities.   Talent is obvious and is recognized.  Nobody would insert someone of questionable talent into the big leagues and deflect any criticism of such a person as being racist in nature.  If they stink, they stink.

Odd then that such a circumstance exists now with the incumbent President of the United States. Despite a term and a half of demonstrably inept management capabilities, poorly thought out programs and misguided national policies,  the only fall back that tribal supporters can defend with is that all criticisms are rooted in racism.  It’s as if they kept pulling out the Charizard card in a Pokémon game as the all powerful one stop defense play.

Back in the day when Bill Clinton was president, any time that he was cornered on his policy failures, his wife Hilary famously declared that there was a ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ against her husband.  Despite the claim by many that Bill was in fact the first black president, they were reluctant to play that race card, because even for the Clintons, that was a stretch.  So the right wing card was the one played.  We can bet every last dollar in the kids’ trust funds that if and when Hilary decides to run, any opposition against her will be characterized as ‘anti-women’.  Boy, the fat transsexuals with harelips but no political or discernible talent should run for office because no one will be able to knock ‘em.

Aaron may have been a great ball player in his day and it’s likely that his early experiences in life has colored everything else in his worldview.  That’s understandable.  Turkeys will mistrust humans even if they’re vegetarians. The greatest irony in Aaron’s sentiment is that this is exactly the mindset that sought to exclude him from the game 60 odd years ago.  They sought to exclude him despite his talent because he was black.  He’s now excusing the President for his lack of abilities because he is black.  In doing so, he diminishes the achievements of those that have come before him and those that will yet come.

Sharpton, Jackson, Belafonte, all are discredited for their irrational utterances; but you too Hank?  Say it ain’t so.


Just Me And My Gang

March 27th, 2014 No comments

link Barack Obamas first visit to Brussels to cost Belgium more than €10m | World news |

With the ever escalating costs of moving political dignitaries around, maybe it would have been more efficient to move the mountain to Mohammed as the old proverb goes.  It would have been cheaper for Hollywood set builders to create a mock up city of Brussels on an LA movie set and bring the heads of Europe there than to fly half of DC to Europe.  Even with union labor, it shouldn’t cost much more than a couple of million dollars especially if only facades were built.

Instead, the Presidential entourage to Europe is composed of 900 staffers, numerous airplanes, limos, food tasters, door openers and secret service agents for a simple meet and greet.  This massive movement of people is like a summer migration of wildebeest on the Serengeti plains; probably visible from space.  Hasn’t anyone heard of Skype? Couldn’t they use Dropbox to exchange a few messages?  It’s as if a hundred years of advances in communications never happened as the politicos meet in the fashion they have established for thousands of years, with big delegations, pomp and circumstance.  The only apparent concession to modern times is the omitting of the elephants and palanquins.

The real problem is the accepted delusion that politicians and sundry dignitaries are in need of coddling, deferential treatment and expensive security at all.  Sure, someone’s going to hurl a few eggs once in a while, but for the most part, the scrum around politicos is pure theatre.  In real life, no one wants to be near those guys.  And let’s remember, since they are politicians, there’s no shortage of them; they can be replaced.  They’re as common as lawyers at an accident scene, not Faberge eggs.   If there’s any security detail needed, it’s probably back at the home turf where the constituents really hate them.

If a phone call or Skype conversation doesn’t meet the needs, the logical thing to do is to convene somewhere that’s so hard to get to, very little security is needed.  It would reduce or  eliminate the cost of the regal entourage, fleets of cars, food tasters and assorted hangers-on’ers.  A bare, isolated wasteland with no civilization and no paparazzi or protestors; Newfoundland pops to mind.




Is Pushy Hag Better?

March 20th, 2014 No comments

link Sheryl Sandberg leans in on ‘bossy’ – Style – The Boston Globe.

As western culture moves further towards proving that names do in fact hurt just as much as sticks and stones, the real crisis developing now is the elimination of descriptive words and letters from common English usage.  For the record, anyone who has ever had to endure the onslaught of sticks and stones knows that a session of name calling, no matter how intense, is just not quite the same level of hurt. Just sayin’.

As society morphs into becoming a civilization of 12 year old girls, numerous words have been banished from polite and acceptable use over the years.  We know that the ‘F’ word is verboten, as are the ’C’ word, the ‘N’ word and now, according to Sheryl Sandberg, we add the ‘B’ word.  Of course there was a ‘B’ word before, similar in intent, but that word can now be used interchangeably with this new ‘B’ word, ‘bossy’.  If this keeps up, people may have to resort to combinations of clicks, pops and hand gestures to make derisive descriptions of people.

With the exception of perhaps the ‘N’ word, most of the words that are deemed too offensive to use have references to women.  Apparently, there are differences between men and women after all.  It appears that men have thicker skin.  Men don’t seem to have any restrictions as to what words can or cannot be applied to them.  For instance, the most common epithet may be the ‘A’ word.  It’s not been my experience that men burst into tears and eat a carton of ice cream because they are labeled an ‘A’.  In fact, when you attach the ‘F’ word in front of the ‘A’ word as an added descriptor, that wouldn’t even cause an extra blink for most men.   Men seem to be able to label other men with any word they want, the ‘J’ word, the ‘P’ word, the ‘D’ word, or any combination of words preceded by the ‘F’ word used as an adjective or as an adverb.

The use of mean words to describe people has been around since the first caveman added  ’-ly’ to ugh.  In fact, most of the time, there’s probably some basis for the choice perjorative. Of course with the evolution of civilization,  sticks and stones aren’t always at the ready, so  it’s far more pragmatic to hurl a familiar slag at someone than a rock.  While admittedly, resorting to the most crude and common epithets shows an unconscionable lack of imagination, not everyone has the time to think up brilliant descriptors.  Perhaps that’s the worst crime of all; with all the rich literary resources available today, people still use cheap, dull insults.

But it’s a slippery slope when an overly sensitive culture banishes otherwise benign words into the abyss.  The list of words that are assigned verboten status only tends to make them more powerful. Ironically, what typically happens is that people will find other more oblique substitutes for the same word.  In ancient China, it was very dangerous for artists and poets to insult the Emperor directly, so instead elaborate allegories and veiled references were employed in writings that were critical of the Emperor.  In the end, the people always got the last laugh on the pompous rulers.  If you ask me, that’s still preferable to having sticks and stones hurled at you.