Monday, May 27, 2013

Week of 05/27/2013

We All Need Superheroes
– by David Matthews 2

For those that don’t know (and if you haven’t read any of my previous articles or seen any of my work), I grew up reading superhero comic books.  Comics were my mental break from the misery of the world. 

And I wasn’t the only one.  The creators of “Action Comics”, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, used their talents as a way to escape the prolonged misery of the Great Depression and the news of the growing Second World War.  They took their original story of a bald-headed criminal getting god-like superpowers and turned that into the ultimate immigrant story; an alien who used his super-normal abilities to do the things that mortal men could not.

A few years later, Bob Kane and Bill Finger would come up with the story of a crime victim, orphaned since he was a child, who would lurk in the shadows to bring down criminals under the guise of the “Bat-Man”.  He would go where the police could not and to do what the law would not.

Bear in mind that the enemies of the time weren’t super-villains or alien invaders.  They were mobsters, corrupt police, and apathetic politicians.  Their enemies were our real-world enemies.  They did what we always wished we could do in the real world.  Hell, in one issue Superman ended World War II just as it was starting!  (Of course the writers had to backtrack and say it was just an imaginary story.)

In the years that followed, the idea of the superhero was for something that we all wished we could do.  Marvel’s Captain America was a story about the “never-say-can’t” attitude of a frail young man, a 4-F reject, given the chance to be the kind of physical hero that he always saw himself to be.  Spider-Man was about a young nerdy man who not only showed resourcefulness and creativity, but also presented a morality story about how to use the powers he possessed.  The “Uncanny X-Men” was a story about a minority group trying to bring about peaceful co-existence, at a time when diversity was met with fire hoses and back-road death squads.  The Fantastic Four are about living with the unexpected tragedies that changed their lives, and not all of them for the better.  (Just ask Ben Grimm.)  The Hulk is ultimately a story about trying to contain the rage and anger that resides in all of us.

Granted, not every superhero story has a positive underlying message to them, but certainly the idea of the superhero is a positive one.  The superhero aspires one to do better, to do more, to live up to the ideals we all profess to support.  To never give up, even when everything around you says not to, even when the odds are completely against you.

So imagine my surprise and disgust when someone brought my attention to a letter that was being handed to parents of one pre-school in Philadelphia which featured the image of my favorite superhero group behind a “banned” symbol.  In the letter, the pre-school administrators told parents that they are banning “Wrestling, Super Hero play, and Monster games” because, and I quote, “the imaginations of our preschool children are becoming dangerously overactive causing injuries within our pre-k community”.

Or, as one parent described it… “So my son came home and told me make-believe was not allowed at school anymore.”

You have to wonder what sort of miserable people are running this pre-school to make this kind of blanket condemnation.  Wrestling, “Super Hero play” and “Monster games”?  Wrestling is an athletic competition.  “Super Hero play” is no different than “Cops-n-Robbers” or “Cowboys and Indians”.  And… “Monster games”?  I haven’t got a clue as to what that would entail.

And all because children are getting hurt?  Have they never experienced a swing or slide or a jungle gym?

Mind you, this isn’t the first time that superheroes were blamed for kid injuries.  In the 1950’s, amidst the fascistic fear-mongering that was McCarthyism, a quack of a doctor named Fredric Wertham produced a yellow-paper report that blamed superhero comics of causing homosexuality, criminal deviancy, and drug use.  According to Wertham, Superman was a communist, and Batman was a pedophile… and all because of their outfits.  (Which, by the way, were inspired by circus and theatre performers, respectively.)

Wertham’s destructive “report” led to comic bans and burnings by self-righteous self-imposed “moral leaders” and forced the comic book industry to adhere to unrealistic and blatantly anti-American self-regulation standards, lest the McCarthy-fueled thugs in Congress stepped in.  It took decades before the stench of Wertham’s destructive crusade was purged from the comics.

Well now the ghost of Wertham has reared it’s ugly head once again in the form of two inept pre-school administrators… who couldn’t even bother to use proper spelling when launching their crusade against “Wrestling, Super Hero play, and Monster games”.

And when the pre-school was named and the administrators were identified and asked about the flier, they said nothing.  They refused to comment.  They refused to defend their actions.  They wouldn’t even bother to apologize for the blatant spelling errors in their message.  Much like their oppressive predecessors of the 1950’s, they simply dictate and expect the world to simply comply.

Well let’s get brutally honest here… this is wrong!

Not just the pompous, self-righteous, and self-serving attitude of the perpetrators, mind you.  “Because we said so” may work with children, but not with adults; especially adults that are expected to leave their children in their care.

Then there’s the equally pompous, self-righteous, and self-serving delusion that any adult should have the right if not the power to forbid children from engaging in make-believe.  Make-believe is what encourages creativity.  How can you expect children to be imaginative while at the same time removing the incentive for creativity?

And then there’s this… as corny as it may sound, we all need superheroes in one way or another.  They are our modern-day mythological heroes, like Hercules, Thor, Perseus, Sinbad, Robin Hood, Zoro, and the Scarlet Pimpernel before them.  No, they’re not real, but they came from a very real need for us to look beyond the miseries of today and believe in a better tomorrow.  They inspire us to do better, to be better people, and to stand true to what we believe.

Ordinary men and women, even those that do heroic things, have flaws.  They make mistakes.  They can be corrupted by power and fame and their own egos.  They can fall from grace in our eyes.  They can be rendered impotent by the challenges put before us. 

That is why we all need superheroes.  Because we still need to believe even in the darkest of days that someone could do what our flesh-and-blood champions could not.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week of 05/20/2013

Now Will You Get Rid Of Holder?
– by David Matthews 2

I don’t like repeating myself.

I don’t like having to say the same message over and over again.

This is especially true when you consider that I’ve been doing online commentary for over seventeen years now.  I consciously have to go back to my previous articles just to make sure I don’t end up having to repeat myself.

But in this instance, I’m not repeating myself…

Rather I am reiterating what I’ve said before and what needs to be said again.

Attorney General Eric Holder must go!

It’s been just a scant few months since I called for Mister Holder to resign.  The reason then was simple: his continual and blatant refusal to bring criminal charges against the banks dubbed “Too Big To Fail”.  His testimony then before Congress was that any criminal charge would supposedly threaten the global economy.  This was in violation of his department’s own policy, which says that justice is more important than the perceived risk of corporate catastrophe, not to mention it puts banks… the criminals… ahead of countless millions of hard-working Americans… the victims.

I never really expected a groundswell of support for this idea that the people could demand the resignation of the Attorney General.  I received some supporting words from a few readers, some snarky comments from some partisan retards that think that I’m some closet GOPer and accusing me of wanting a GOP AG, but for the most part my words fell on blind eyes and deaf ears.

But much has happened since then, hasn’t it?  And all within a week!

First we have the IRS scandal with the so-called “Tea Party” crowd.  IRS agents asking detailed questions of those so-called “Tea Party” groups trying to get tax-exempt status so they can campaign about how evil the IRS is and how people are taxed too much. 

Think about it… political groups whose supposed sole purpose are to complain about taxes trying to get permission from that very government to not pay taxes.

So while the GOP is out playing the “poor victim” card to the hysterical hilt, the news comes out that the Department of Justice performed a secret seizure of phone records for the Associated Press.  All to find a leak about a story concerning an underwear bomber that ended up being a U.S. spy.

The operative words here are “secret seizure”.  Yes, the Obama Fail used the very tools of the GOP try to find this leak.  It sort of explains why they haven’t done anything to repeal them as their own liberal base has been calling for.

These incidents in and of themselves are black eyes on the Obama Fail, and they come as a one-two punch on their credibility.

So isn’t it time for someone high up the Fail ladder to fall on their sword over this?

Granted, the former IRS director stepped down over the so-called “Tea Party” inquiry, but he was short-term anyway.  Everyone in Washington knew he was already out the door.  He did everything except wear a tee shirt that said “Official Scapegoat”.  Essentially it’s like blaming the failure of Enron on an office temp.

Speaking of which, the Department of Justice finagled a “deal” with the architect of the Enron failure so he would get out of prison ten years earlier than his sentence.  The very corporation that screwed over millions of Americans and aided in the recall of a sitting Governor of California once again delivers another screwjob on the American people… with the help of Attorney General Eric Holder.

But let’s get back to who else should go over these scandals.

Who else is on the list?  Treasury Secretary?  Sorry, but “boy genius” Tim Geithner is already gone.  Can’t fire someone who is already gone.  Same as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  You can’t punish her over what happened with the State Department and Benghazi if she’s not in office anymore.  Former Vice-President Dick Cheney should know this; after all, he let his Chief of Staff take the blame for the Valerie Plame incident.  But, then again, that would involve him thinking outside of the narcissism box.

You can’t fire the new people for things that happened before they showed up, right?  You can make their lives miserable for it, as I’m sure the GOP will for the next few years.  But you can’t really fire them for what they were not around to do.

Who’s left to take the fall?  Who is left high up on the Obama Fail ladder that hasn’t stepped down yet?

Only Attorney General Eric Holder.

Let’s get brutally honest here… Eric Holder remains as the albatross around President Barack Obama’s neck.  He fails to bring “Too Big To Fail” to justice and instead brokers sweetheart deals with them at the expense of the American people.  His staff finagles a sweetheart deal for the architect of the Enron disaster so he could get released ten years early for the crimes that he was already convicted for.  His staff invoked “national security” to go after the Associated Press.  And he could even take the blame for the IRS matter since, absent of an Independent Council, his office would have to handle the prosecution… or lack thereof.

Speaking of prosecution… isn’t it strange that we haven’t heard a peep about the massive hacking of computers from Bloomberg reporters?  I mean we’re talking about potential leaks into the Federal Reserve and the Department of Treasury!  Where are the calls for prosecution here?  GOP leaders got their panties all in a bunch over the IRS scandal and demanded someone go to jail over that.  Where are the calls for prosecution over Bloomberg’s back-door access to their clients’ terminals?  Or will Jersey-tanned Speaker John Boehner only get his Oompa-Loompa cockles raised when the villains are from Obama’s camp?

This is potentially yet another reason why Eric Holder needs to go. 

Bear in mind that this is just the start of President Obama’s second tenure!  Just like his predecessors going back to Ronald Reagan, his second term is just starting to be mired in scandal.  Getting rid of Holder will alleviate much of that mire, clearing the way for him to decide how he wants to end his second tenure instead of having it be defined by that mire.

Understand that I do not want Obama to fail as President, because his failure is America’s failure.  The president doesn’t bear the burden of his failures; the American people do.  His predecessor failed the American people and the American people are still paying the price of that through the economy.  We cannot afford a second failure.

For the sake of the American people, Mister President, stop looking at polls, stop listening to the partisan retards, and start looking at the American people.  Get rid of Eric Holder.  Not for your sake or the sake of your party or for some demented idea of forging a legacy, but for the sake of the very American people that you claim to serve.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Week of 05/13/2013

Capitalism Is Its Own Worst Enemy
– by David Matthews 2

As a fan (and as a fan-based creator) of comic books, I know that a hero is only as good as his or her enemies.  Indeed, quite often the hero’s greatness is defined by the enemy it confronts. 

For instance, Superman’s nobility and selflessness stands out against the greed and narcissistic arrogance of Lex Luthor.  Someone who gives constantly of themselves without reward will always be seen in a much more clearer light when compared to someone who simple takes and takes and flaunts their ability to get away with it.

Indeed, sometimes the hero ends up creating their worst enemies, whether they want to or not.

Going back to comics, all we have to do is look at the history of the Joker and how he came about to show how he became the iconic foil for Batman.  Batman created the Joker, whether by accident or negligence, and thus the Joker became the opposite of everything Batman stands for.

So riddle me this, Internet readers: how you spin a flawed and otherwise bad guy into a good light?

The answer is simple: you create an enemy that appears to be even worse.

We will excuse evil and even enable it as long as we fear something worse than it.  A battered wife will excuse her abusive husband and even defend him for fear that leaving him would be worse.  Molested kids will rationalize their victimization by saying that they would rather endure it than to know that their siblings would be next.  Whole school districts will rationalize allowing out-and-out criminal activity to go on by their athletes for fear that being branded as “losers” would be even worse.  An assistant coach can molest children repeatedly and the university will be silent for fear that the scandal would “stain” their legendary head coach.  A church can be allowed to hide and shuffle around predatory priests for fear that the scandal would “stain” the church’s reputation.

So picture, if you will, society during the Industrial Revolution. 

Greedy industrialists are openly exploiting the workers, causing a division between the haves and the have-nots that rivals those of the old system of feudalism.  They know that slavery is being discouraged, even sparking a Civil War in the United States. 

There is no more fear of “brutal heathen savages” that used to keep the people in check.  Sure they “exist”, but you have to actually go out looking for them at this time.  It’s not like they’re going to show up in the middle of New York or Boston or London.

There’s always the threat of war… but that’s one industrial country against another, rehashing old egos.  No real “threat” to capitalism there.

No, there needs to be something really scary waiting in the wings.  Something that will frighten the average overworked and underpaid grunt so they will actually defend the very institution that is plundering them.

Capitalism needs a boogeyman!

So they invented one.

They took a little piece of speculative fiction by two German theorists by the names of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels and turned it into the capitalist version of the Dark Grimoire; a book of blasphemy so profane that it should never be uttered in the presence of a capitalist for fear that their very souls would burn.

That is what “The Communist Manifesto” really is, folks.  It is speculative fiction.  It is fantasy.  No different than the speculative future of the late Gene Roddenberry in the TV series “Star Trek”, or the speculative future in H.G. Wells’ book “The Time Machine”, or the dystopian future in George Orwell’s “Nineteen-Eighty-Four” or James Cameron’s “The Terminator” movie series.  You take current events and you speculate as to how the future could turn out.

But it also became the perfect foil for Capitalism.  It combined past and current trends of the time – namely the battle over slavery and the economic disparagement of the Industrial Revolution – and threw in references to evolution, which in and of itself was seen as a profane threat to the power-hold of Christianity, and theorized a “future society” in which all the trappings of wealth and power would no longer exist.

Now for some stuffy rich industrialist sitting in the parlor of some elite social club smoking a cigar that costs more than the year’s wages for one of his child-workers, the very thought of a future without all of those things is scary indeed.  Wouldn’t you consider the perceived “loss” of all that you have amassed to be frightening?  And the more that you have amassed, the greater the fear that you could lose it all.

Of course it also helps if you have someone actually trying to make that fictional future society real.  Take a country suffering from a perpetual inferiority complex, like Russia in the early 20th Century, and convince certain people that they could somehow skip all of those countless years of social evolution and actually be in that “perfect utopian society” today.  Then you have some idealists talking about how “wonderful” it would be if we could live in that kind of world.  Now you have a physical enemy to point to.  Now you have a force that industrialists and politicians and religious leaders can all point to and lump in the perceived world’s evils and demonize in one-felled swoop.

But it’s still just an enemy in name only, even after fifty years of waging a war-in-name-only called the “Cold War”, after McCarthyism and the Sword-of-Damocles threat of Mutual Assured Destruction. 

Sure the Soviet Union fell, but in hindsight we realize that it couldn’t be the “all-encompassing enemy” that the almighty world of capitalism feared.  The Soviet Bloc fell, with the USSR not far behind it, because what they had wasn’t that “next step in social evolution” but merely oligarchs and stratocrats. 

Here’s a hint, boys and girls: if you need to put up walls to keep people in, then yours is not the “next stage in social evolution”.

No, the enemy that capitalists and their cronies in politics and the media so loudly bray against is neither a country nor a person.  It’s an idea.  An idea that suggests that there is an alternative to the misery of the status quo.

It’s an idea that must be replenished somewhere, right?  Someone or something gives reason for this idea to continue, otherwise it wouldn’t have lasted this long.

The culprits, boys and girls, are none other than those within capitalism itself!

Let’s get brutally honest here… if there is any group that is to blame for people yearning for communism or socialism, the movers and shakers and self-professed “masters of the universe” need only look into a mirror.

Just like communism and socialism, capitalism itself is merely an idea.  An idea is only as good as those that live up to it and claim to champion it.

But when you have rampant instances of greed, corruption, systematic injustice, and an economic disparagement that rivals events prior to the French Revolution, and you have the audacity to call that “capitalism”, you are not encouraging people to support it.  Indeed, you are driving people to look for an alternative… any alternative.

The Russian leadership fell almost a hundred years ago not because of Vladimir Lenin, but because people were without food.  Lenin wasn’t even in the country when the Russian Revolution happened!  The revolution happened because the system failed the masses.  Lenin had to engineer his own revolution in order to get his ideas imposed, and even that involved screwing over the masses in the same way the Czars did previously.

Likewise, do you know what caused the Soviet Union to fall?  It wasn’t because of the strength of capitalism.  It was because the people again realized that they were being screwed over by the ones in power.  The oligarchs and stratocrats that called themselves “Communists” but were living like French nobles.

The biggest selling points for socialism and communism are not the “superiority” of those ideas, but because of the failings of capitalism.  Because of the greed and the corruption and the systematic injustices and the economic disparages.  People will not support a system that is failing them.  They will not support a system that screws them over while at the same time make other people obscenely rich.  And if they are presented a way that will screw over those folks that have been screwing them, guess what?  They’ll probably take it.

The people that claim to be the champions of “capitalism” have a responsibility to themselves and to others to make sure that what is being delivered is what they are promising.  You want to truly defeat the ideas of “communism” and “socialism”?  Then don’t give the masses a reason to consider alternatives.  Stop creating your own enemies and start living up to the “heroic roles” that you pretend to serve.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Week of 05/06/2013

G-String Soap Hypocrisy
– by David Matthews 2

Leave it to my favorite soap opera, “Days of Our Lives”, to continually find ways to annoy me.

In recent storylines for the long-running daytime serial, a certain young professional was revealed to be living a double-life.  This person was forced to take a second job to pay off certain debts, and it wasn’t a job that this person wanted to have those close to them know about.  In fact this person felt embarrassed to have to do this to help make ends meet.  But soon others found out that this otherwise professional person was moonlighting as… a stripper!

This isn’t the first time that the “my secret life as a stripper” story was used.  It’s an old TV formula to show the angst and shame of a young woman as she struggles to succeed and yet keep her secret intact.  The initial titillation turns to horror as the young woman’s “secret” is revealed, and she is condemned, ostracized, and punished for supposedly “debasing herself and her profession” by being a stripper.  She’s treated as a slut.  She loses her professional job.  She loses her boyfriend/fiancé/husband.  She loses her children.  She gets arrested in the middle of some police raid.  She gets driven to despair and sometimes even to the brink of suicide.  And then she quits, or she’s thrown in jail overnight, and she turns her life around and slowly is redeemed in the self-righteous eyes of the community.

It’s tired and old and it continually reinforces the hidden messages that “stripping is wrong” and “you’re a slut if you do it” and “nobody will ever love you until you stop being a stripper”.  But it gets brought up over and over again because it allows the writers to totally engage in soap opera fan-service (“just for ratings”, of course) and then engage in blatant emotional-porn so they can give those hidden messages of self-righteous indignation.

Ah, but this time things are different for the “Days” cast!  It’s “my secret life as a stripper” with a twist! 

Two twists, actually!  Eat your heart out M. Knight Shyamalan.

The first twist is that the “secret stripper” in this case is a guy.  Yes, dashing young Doctor Cameron Davis, brother of the late Doctor Lexie Carver, paid off his huge student loans through working nights as a male stripper.  Of course he didn’t want anyone else to know about this, including his friends and the young blonde woman that he found himself falling for, but they became the first to find out about his secret anyway.

Well, okay, so far so good.  It’s a bit of a change, but, hey, it’s not too long after the movie “Magic Mike” came out so I can see where they got the inspiration.

But then there’s the second twist: what happens when that secret life is “revealed”.

Does Doctor Cameron lose his job?  Does he lose his would-be girlfriend?  Is he shamed and his name is dragged through the mud?

No, no, and hell-no!

Actually, the exact opposite happens.  When other people find out that Doctor Cameron is about to be revealed by the hospital’s Human Resource director, they all show up at the strip club for moral support.  And not just as patrons, but even the men show up to give their own bump-and-grind renditions!

I wish I was kidding about that, but first the music cues up and there was Dr. Daniel Jonas, a.k.a. “Scruffy The Horndog”, the hospital’s bed-hopping relationship-killing man-whore.  Then there’s Brady Black, the moody ex-addict who can’t get into a relationship without ruining it and yet somehow becomes a big corporate executive.  This is followed by Rafe Hernandez… or I should say Detective Rafe Hernandez off-and-on of the Salem Police Department.  All of them up on stage, bumping and grinding for dollar bills along with Doctor Cameron, aka “Apollo”.

And nobody ends up being fired or dragged through the mud.  The “new talent” all tell the hospital administrator (who was dragged down there by the evil HR person) that they did what they did for charity, but eventually the moonlighting doctor comes clean and says he did what he did for his own reasons and never let it interfere with the hospital.  And he kept his job!  (The medical one, not the bump-and-grind one.)

This is where I have to call BS.

Gone is the talk of exploitation.  Gone is the talk of how stripping “demeans” a person.  Gone is the talk about how strippers are no different than prostitutes (something “Days” knows all too well, but I’m getting ahead of myself here).  There’s no talk about crime or drugs, and no mention that this club is in a “seedy section” of the city.  In other words, none of the “negative secondary effects” that are always brought up when the subject of strip clubs are otherwise discussed.  No, it’s just a super-brightly-lit male strip club someplace in the city.

And how about how the audience acts in this male strip club?  The ladies end up doing things that would brand men as perverts!

Even more baffling, though, is the idea that other men would bump-and-grind to help out their friend.  Sure they invented this idea of it being done “for charity”, but, seriously, how many guys in the real world would go to a male strip club that they’ve never heard of before and take their clothes off in front of a bunch of crazed women just to help out another guy they may or may not know?  How many of them would put their relationships and their jobs on the line for this?  Remember, we’re talking about doctors, business executives, and even a police officer!  Nude or not-nude, just the fact that they performed for an impromptu “charity event” would get most men in hot water with Human Resources, especially when it comes to a member of the local police department.

And what if the gender roles were reversed… or in this case “normalized”?  What if it was a female character taking her clothes off in a regular strip club and her “secret life” was about to be discovered?  Would you honestly expect the other female characters of that soap to be hitting the pole to help out their friend and colleague?  And if, by some moment of studio insanity it happened, would you honestly expect those female characters to get away with it, “charity” or not?  Even for a soap opera, where aliens, super-spies, and demonic possessions are commonplace, “suspension of disbelief” can only go so far.

As much as I would not object to either gender having a strip club, let’s get brutally honest here… the cast and crew of “Days of Our Lives” essentially committed a huge sexist and hypocritical insult with how they handled this storyline.  On par, this commentator would say, as the old “rape as seduction” idea.

What “Days” did is essentially glamorize male strippers.  Maybe they are easily-manipulated addicts (Brady), maybe they are moody and stressed-out (Cameron), maybe they are family-killing man-whores (Daniel), maybe they are incompetent heroes (Rafe), maybe they each can’t keep relationships worth a damn, but isn’t it nice to know that the women think they would be best suited on a strip club stage taking their clothes off for dollar bills?  Isn’t it nice to know that the writers and the traditionally-targeted audience think that these men are only good for being used as sex objects so women can fight over every article of clothing they remove?

Bear in mind this is the same soap opera that has its share of former prostitutes and porn stars.  Kimberly Brady, former high-priced hooker, now West Coast therapist.  Eve Donovan, Kimberly’s step-daughter and former psychotic street walker.  Kate Roberts (formerly Kate DiMera, formerly Kate Kiriakis), former high-priced hooker and madam, now corporate CEO.  Chloe Lane, former singer and victim of schoolyard bullying, chased out of town after she was forced into prostitution (not to mention ruining three marriages).  Then there’s Nicole Walker, former porn star and designated pariah of the community, whose very name elicits painful groans from even ordinary citizens.

All of that self-righteous indignation, and yet they have no qualms with men being used as strippers, or for a male strip club to operate in their little “god-fearing community”.  The women in that community used to be the victims of serial stranglers and slashers.  Now they’re screaming wild-eyed customers treating men as sex objects.

As the old cigarette ad goes… "You've come a long way, baby."  You’ve gone from victims of sexism to its perpetrators and enablers.  I hope you’re happy.

I guess what I’m looking for is a little bit of quid pro quo in the soap world.  I want the writers and producers and the cast to remember this storyline and how they handled the subject of male strippers.  And the next time they come up with a more traditional strip club or turn the old “Cheating Heart” bar into a Hooters-style restaurant and show the supposed “shame” of a beautiful young woman working there, I want someone in Salem to give a “Harper Valley PTA” sermon and remind the community of when they were stuffing dollar bills down the boxer shorts of male strippers.  I want the inevitable estrogen-fueled crusade against such a business operating in their community to be thoroughly bitch-slapped on camera, with flashbacks for proof, as a reminder that they set the bar low for themselves, and now they have to suck it up and apply that same bar to others.

And maybe… just maybe… we could then see the same thing emulated in the real world.

Or is that too much disbelief to suspend?