Thursday, July 02, 2009

Worse Than The Worst Thing You've Ever Seen

"Turl-bull." -Charles Barkley

I know it’s been a long time, and I doubt that I still have enough equity with anyone who used to visit this blog to ask a favor, but I need you to do something for me. Think of the absolute worst movie you’ve ever seen in your life. Envision it. Do your best to bring that stinking, steaming pile of crap to life in your mind’s eye. Picture the terrible scene transitions, the awkward dialogue and the gratuitous explosions. Think of the pointlessness of the entire project. Can you see it? Good. Now imagine, if you can, a movie that makes that look like Citizen Kane. That movie has a name: Vegas Vampires. Vegas Vampires is so indescribably awful that everyone involved (yes, that includes you Tiny Lister as well as Danny Baldwin and that one cat from Onyx) should be visited in the middle of the night by some sort of biblical plague. There is a bottom, my friends, and Fred Williamson has found it and attempted to share it with the world.
Blaxplanation Disclaimer: Those of you who watch movies ironically, simply because they are epically bad, might have to cast "Plan 9 from Outer Space" aside and make room for a new champion. I'm not kidding.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Random Observances of Astonishing Stupidity

Let's get right to it:
  • We live in a world where rabid, undisguised ambition is consistently rewarded over intelligence and morality. We are reminded of this every time we interact with supervisors who should be employed to shovel shit in eight to ten hour shifts instead of serving as obstacles to our workplace betterment. This isn't news to any of us. But on occasion, the inanity of those in positions of power becomes so painfully apparent that it gives pause to even the most cynical. The most recent, well-publicized example of this is the freshly arrested Governor of Illinois. Those of you who've been paying attention have already been given all sorts of exhaustive descriptions of Rod Blagojevich's brazen stupidity, so I'll spare you my two cents. I will say, though, that it is entirely possible that after we've all reached the bottom of this swamp, we won't have learned anything that we don't know already. The overwhelming majority of our leaders and bosses are both exceedingly dumb and unflinchingly corrupt.
  • I, like many others, saw this coming. In spite of the abysmal failures of Richard Wagoner, Robert Nardelli and Alan Mulally, the unions are taking the rap for the failure of American auto companies. Yesterday, Republicans shot down an eleventh hour bailout attempt because Republicans are insisting that the Big Three provide a time table for the virtual dismantling of union contracts. There's always a silver lining in every cloud and the Right is viewing this entire auto collapse as a way to defang unions once and for all. It's almost amusing. I don't remember them asking for so much as a handjob when they were shoveling out billions of dollars to banks.
  • I read a great deal. I've lived in and/or visited almost every state in the Union. I've traveled a bit. I've interacted with many different people from all walks of life. I'd like to think that I've pretty much heard it all. Today, though, I heard a woman utter a sentence that I've never heard anyone else say in my life. She said, "I hate water." I should point out that she wasn't talking about Joyce's snot-green, scrotum-tightening sea. She was referring to drinking water. I was dumbfounded - not so much by the fact that a human being can gin up a hatred of a the benign, life-lengthening substance that is at the center of our existence, but by the fact that she didn't see anything strange about it.
  • Last night, I had the distinct displeasure of watching the Celtics pound the listless, inept Washington Wizards. This is probably the fifth or sixth NBA game I've watched this season. I can now say unequivocally that I agree with Charles Barkley when he says that there is some bad basketball being played out there. This is frustrating. Not only because I love basketball but also because I have to remind myself that these bastards are being paid millions of dollars to throw bricks at the hoop, commit turnovers and give up early in the second quarter. Although I believe now that Michael Jordan is an unrepentant coon, I have to give him credit for never failing to give me my money's worth.
  • Speaking of which, who's more foolish? A fool or a person who pays a fool 20 million plus dollars a year to stay home? Say what you want about Mr. Marbury but he sure as hell knows how to make out in a recession.
Blaxplanation Disclaimer: OK. Obviously the November Project ran off of the rails. There's little excuse for it save for the fact that I felt piqued at the end of November. I didn't get to imbibe on Thanksgiving, by the way (in response to a few of you who attributed my non-posting to a long-standing hangover). Sometimes failure is just failure. I, unlike Chrysler, am taking full responsibility for my collapse.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day Twenty Six: Libations

These don't look like depressants to me.

Is it a bad sign that I'm looking more forward to drinking alcohol (in particular, a slew of delicious white Russians) on Thanksgiving than I am to eating?

It's been a rough year and I fully intend to tie one on tomorrow without guilt or fear of repercussions. Here's hoping you all enjoy your "holiday" as much as I will mine.

Blaxplanation Disclaimer: Drink responsibly (as I, despite all suggestion to the contrary, intend to).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day Twenty Five: Alms For the Well-To-Do

Some people at my job just don't seem to get it.

Or maybe I just don't get them. Perhaps that's it. It's just that they regularly, casually do things that I would never consider doing. Often, they even plan to do these things.

For example, a woman who works a couple of cubicles down from me started a monetary collection for a birthday gift for one of the directors. She suggested that everyone donate $20 so that we could present this director with a gift certificate for an overpriced massage package at one of her favorite spas. Needless to say, I had ALL kinds of problems with this.

Problem #1: Twenty dollars is a whole hell of a lot to ask of each person. You don't ask a group of people to contribute that much money per person unless you're collecting for a rent party.

Problem #2: I'm broke.

Problem #3: Even if I weren't broke, I can't imagine a scenario in which I would willfully part with a hard-earned $20 bill so that a woman who makes over three times my salary (and who, in my eyes, is primarily responsible for my being broke) can go get a glorified backrub.

Problem #4: The same chick who happily went around on the gimme for her boss routinely gives her other coworkers jack shit for their birthdays.

Problem #5: Not to be petty but I recall that my own glorious birthday, The Ides of July, came and went without my receiving so much as a Hallmark.

Problem #6: I'm not especially fond of this director. I guess I don't hate her. But if she were to somehow combust and I was holding a big ol' glass of water, I don't know that I wouldn't quench my thirst before I decided to douse the flames with whatever was left over.

Problem #7: As you may have already figured out, I'm fundamentally opposed to giving money to those who already have more than I. This is the opposite of charity, which I imagine might correctly be identified as stupidity.

Surprisingly, of the small group of employees who were solicited (about twelve of us) nine people ponied up the cash. I was not among them. At any rate, the Asskissing Nine, as I've come to call them, presented the director with a $180.00 gift certificate to the spa of her choice. I'm told that the director was appreciative, and has promised to feel genuinely sorry for them when she has to lay them off in about two months.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Day Twenty Four: So It's Come To This

The Object of My Disaffection: Pictured Here, No Doubt Wondering What That Noise is Between Her Ears

This shit has officially gone too far.

Would someone care to explain this to me? Why, when I do a Wikipedia search for "African-Americans," does a page appear with Harriet Tubman and Beyonce placed side by side? I'm beginning to believe the Birthday Girl now when she says that Beyonce is one of the harbingers of the Apocalypse.

And since this can't be my fault, I blame all of you people who have inexplicably propped this dummy and her divisive, airheaded songs up for the last few years. Shame on you for not realizing that your mindless fandom has its consequences.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day Twenty Three: Turkey Pardoning

Somehow I have a feeling that this man will be unjustly left off of the list

Sarah Palin's latest embarrassing episode - obliviously answering questions during a turkey pardoning while turkeys are violently meeting their maker - reminds me that we're close to the Pardoning Sweepstakes. At the end of every presidency, the exiting incumbent releases a slew of well-connected rakes from their well-earned sentences. This, the ability of the President of the United States to pardon convicted criminals with impunity, is, perhaps, one the most overlooked Presidential powers. Before he left office, Bill Clinton went a little apeshit, pardoning 140 people including his ne'er do well half-brother.

The following noteworthy felons have received Executive clemency for their misdeeds:
  • Richard Nixon - This crook was pardoned by Gerald Ford, apparently to help a nation heal. At least that's the official reason that was given. My belief is that this pardon was granted so that men in power would not bring their entire self-perpetuating system of political inequality into question. But I guess I'm just cynical like that.
  • Caspar Weinberger - Pardoned by Bush the First. I was with my uncle when this happened. When the news broke, I remember him almost choking on his Baby Ruth and asking no one in particular, "Ain't that a bitch?"
  • Elliot Abrams -Another Bushman. He and Weinberger were the most visible members of the Iran-Contra scandal.
  • Marc Rich - A Bill Clinton Special. Rich (by no means a misnomer) was a brazen tax evader and oil runner. He was no fool, however, and he also contributed mightily to the Clintons and the Democratic party.
  • Mark Felt and Edward Miller - Pardoned by Nixon. Deep throats, deep pockets and strong ties to right wing power.
  • George Steinbrenner - Pardoned by Reagan. Loved by Nixon. The owner of my beloved Yankees was indicted on 14 criminal counts in 1974. I'm sure his countless donations to the Nixon campaign had little to do with his clemency.
  • Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory - Pardoned by Clinton. These pardons were literally bought and paid for in the form of $107,000 worth of unpaid loans to the one and only Hillary Rodham Clinton. But I'm sure Magic Johnson knew nothing of that when he campaigned for her.
  • Jimmy Hoffa - Pardoned by Nixon. If he had any idea what was in store for him, he would probably have preferred to stay in the pen.
Next up? Among others, one Lewis Libby. Just as sure as I'm typing this sentence, Scooter will scoot by way of a Bush the Second pardon. And the wheel just keeps on spinnin.' Here's a thought: If both of them are still alive in 2016, maybe we can convince Obama to pardon Mumia.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day Twenty Two: Self-Esteem Blvd.

Folks Need More Than Just Dead Heroes

Local Hispanic community activists in Arlington, TX are attempting to get four streets renamed after several Latino icons. Not very long ago, a similar attempt was shot down in Dallas due to lack of support and resistance from the usual suspects.

I'm not sure what to say about this. I guess I can see why some folks feel that this is important. Since this country's inception, white Americans have patted themselves on the backs by naming everything - from streets to cities to mountains - after their forebears. I also can see how this has implanted a tremendous sense of accomplishment, and entitlement, in those white folks who've been paying attention. This should work for minorities as well, right?

The short answer is, "Not Really." Successful moves to rename streets after Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X all over the country haven't exactly led to the widespread ethnic self-awareness and black empowerment that backers had envisioned. On the contrary, it's become a long-running joke that those streets that are named after our black civil rights leaders are often the most dangerous and violent in the city. The same is true of the Cesar Chavez Drives that are somewhat common to Western and Southwestern American cities.

To some degree, I hope that the Arlington agitators are effective, and convince Arlington's white officials to rename a few of the city's streets. But I don't think I'm being terribly cynical by suggesting that it won't make a great deal of difference to all the Hispanic cats who need jobs, better education and fuller opportunities. It's almost as if minorities are so caught up in trying to be accepted by the dominant culture that we aren't focusing on the real issues. People should know by now that symbolism doesn't trump substance.


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