Monday, August 11, 2014

Week of 08/11/2014

Some Selected Thoughts
Every so often I don’t have a solid “theme” to build a whole article on, but rather some random thoughts.  I sometimes think of it as “punting” since I have stuff that needs to be said, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time on them.
So here we go…
Naked Nothing – There have been a rash of TV shows on the cable channels that feature some form of nudity to them.
First there was “Naked and Afraid” on the Discovery Channel.  Basically it’s “Survivor” with just a man, a woman, and no clothes.  No Jeff Probst, no corny challenges, no orchestrated drama, just pure survival.  Then they did “Naked and Afraid: Uncensored”, which is basically the same material with a few curse words un-bleeped.
Then there’s a show on VH1 called “Dating Naked”, which has people dating completely naked.  And there’s “Buying Naked” on The Learning Channel, where a Tampa realtor shows off homes in a nudist colony and tries to get naked and non-naked people together for social events.
And do you know what I’ve found with these new “naked” shows?
They’re all boring and completely unattractive.
Not to mention they aren’t really “naked” to begin with.  The parts that would qualify as being “naked” are all blurred out with mosaic bubbles, except for the butts.
It’s even worse with “Naked and Afraid: Uncensored” because, despite the inference in the title, it’s still “censored”.  All they’re doing is un-bleeping a few curse words.  That’s called false advertising, guys.  I’m surprised that nobody besides yours truly has said anything about that!
Oh, and TV producers?  If you’re going to do shows that feature nudity in them, at least feature some people that we wouldn’t mind seeing naked!  Is that really too much to ask?  At least with Playboy’s “Girls Next Door” series, you had women that people wanted to see, even if the good parts were blurred out.  Or, at least until the series would come out on DVD minus the mosaic bubbles.
Nixon – So it was forty years ago this past week that President Nixon went on TV and announced he was resigning.
I actually remember watching this on TV as it happened.  I didn’t know why he was doing it.  I didn’t know what “Watergate” or “Deep Throat” were all about (hey, I was seven at the time).  I just knew that someone important was resigning and it sucked.
Years later I would find out the real reason for Nixon’s resignation, and realized that Nixon got off way too easily for the level of political abuse that was going on in his name.  Worse yet, all of the safeguards that were put in place because of the abuses of Watergate have systematically been removed by both dominant political parties.  The only thing the career politicians have learned since those days is how to game the system even further and then hypocritically cry “foul” when it’s the “other party” that is doing it.
Hot Car Kids – There’s been a push recently to “save” children from being left in cars during the hot summer months.  This all focuses around the death of a child here in the Atlanta area who was left in the car while his father went to work.  The case itself has been nit-picked to death and I’m not going to get into it myself.
Sufficient to say, I am sick of hearing about it.  This is not a “new” trend.  This is not some “epidemic”.  This is something that has been going on for as long as there have been kids, cars, summer days, and undeserving parents.
And, you know, it really doesn’t help that those parents are putting their kids in car seats in the back of the cars, with their backs facing forward.  Did it ever occur to those “experts” that maybe if the parents actually saw the kids in their rear view mirrors, or saw the little tykes right next to them in the front seat, that they would remember to not leave them in an overpriced gas-chugging solar oven in the middle of the day?  A kid facing forward is a hell of a lot better “reminder” than a stuffed animal or a smart phone “app”.
Quick Thought On Healthy Eating – So I’m doing some bill-paying work and I noticed that the vending machine had new drinks to them.  My usual sugary drinks were there, but the vendor also put in some more “healthy” juice drinks as well.  Well I thought that was pretty good of them for doing that… until I noticed that the “healthy” choices were smaller and more expensive than the super-sugary “unhealthy” ones.
You know, this is just my observation here, but if a twelve-ounce can of soda costs seventy-five cents, and a fifteen-ounce bottle of juice costs more than twice that, then I really don’t think I’m getting my money’s worth.
You want us to eat healthily?  Then it is really up to you to make it worth our while.
Our government is supplementing sugar and corn, and then they put that stuff into everything we eat and drink.  And then we have the medical community scolding us for not eating and drinking healthily and demand that we forgo the cheaper products simply because they “said so”.  You guys are failing us all and you don’t even know it.
And that brings us to the third subject…
Scripted Ignorance – Leave it to the conservatives and neo-conservatives to come up with some really dumb reasons to advance bad agendas.
You know, at least when liberals go off on tangents, they get all mushy and intellectual.  They talk about some flower garden they used to remember when they were children, or some advice from their grandparents before their long lives would come to an end.  They would go on and on about the corny things their children would say, and how it would somehow relate to their own lives.
Cons and neo-cons, on the other hand, use their own ignorance as reasons to forward talking point agendas.  Like when they condemn climate change when the summers get hotter or wetter, and then turn around and pompously say “Oh, so much for global warming” when it snows.
The latest feat of ignorance involves a local columnist who has made it clear in the past that he doesn’t like the current White House resident and refuses to acknowledge that said person is in fact a native-born American as required under the Constitution.  Par for the course, I suppose.  Anyway, in his most recent column, he pledged his undying support for Israel in their continued effort to defend themselves against the group known as Hamas.  As a way to justify this blind and unwavering support for Israel, the author declared that the Israelis deserved their country, while the Palestinians support terrorist groups that refuse to recognize Israel and pledge its extermination.
As a way to drive home his statement, he said that he can never remember seeing Palestine on map when he was in school.
I’ve actually heard that part of the script before… the claim that there was never a country called “Palestine” before, therefore the Palestinians supposedly have no “right” to one.  That’s how I know that it’s part of the Orwellian conservative/neo-conservative script.
Now I could bring up the British accords of the 1920’s that led to a formalized creation of the nation of Palestine, as well as find references in documents that pointed to an area that was called “Palestine”.  I could use facts to dismantle the script.
But in this instance, I would rather use their own irrational logic.  Because cons and neo-cons really don’t respond well to facts when facts prove them wrong.
Let’s focus on the asinine idea of “I don’t remember it, therefore it did not happen.”  Since when did existence depend on whether or not an elitist group of self-serving people “remember” something?  For the longest time, England did not recognize the United States.  Did that mean the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution did not exist?  Did that mean that the string of American Presidents were not “legitimate” simply because the pompous British Empire – the dominant “empire” of the time – did not choose to recognize the sovereignty of the United States?
You know, I don’t ever remember seeing a map showing where all of the various Native American “nations” were when I was in school.  Does that mean that they never existed?  Does that mean all of those reservations that the various Native American “nations” were dumped into simply came into being out of nothing?
I never saw a formal map showing where the Prussian Empire was when I was in school either.  Does that mean it never existed?  I didn’t see where the Bosnians and the Serbs had their boundaries.  Does that mean that their bloody conflict was all made-up?
Let’s get brutally honest here… America has no moral authority whatsoever when it comes to deciding who “should” have a country.  We ceded any pompous claim of that back in the 19th century when we decided to vacate the various tribes that were already living on the land so we could make way for our towns and mines and railroads.  And we did so under the most asinine of reasons… because God supposedly “mandated” it through Manifest Destiny.
In that regard, we have a lot with Israel and how they came about.
But to have pompous, self-serving, self-righteous conservatives and neo-conservatives sit here in their cushy positions of media “importance” and decide who “should” and “should not” have their own country in another part of the world really takes hubris to a whole new and disgusting depth.  Never mind base that decision on whether or not they “remember” seeing it on a map in their own personal childhood.
I have no problem with supporting Israel in their right to exist as a nation.  I also have no problem finding a way for Palestinians to have their own nation, as long as that does not come at the cost of anti-Semitic genocide.
The cons and neo-cons that think that America should pledge extreme support of the former over any idea of the latter not only forget our own hypocritical history, but they continue to drag America into an endless cycle of hate and war which only serves to benefit themselves and their own overinflated narcissistic egos.

1 comment:

BrentSTL said...

Kind of like the Quick Rants on the radio version. Very short, snappy reads.