Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Having a Pair Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

Among my many faults – and they are approaching a four-figure count – none of them include going back on something I’ve said.

I don’t mean backing off literally putting my foot up one of the kids’ arseholes after I’ve told them I would if they didn’t do the dishes. I mean, if I voice an opinion, that’s my opinion.

These days, it seems everybody, and I mean even the most trigger-mouthed, don’t-give-a-crap loudmouths are apologizing for something they’ve just said.

Celebrities, near-celebrities and folks who no one would know if they were handed their picture and a complete file on their lives seem to be getting in line to retract something they just said the day before.

The prevailing stance these days seems to be, say something off the top of your head that you really mean, get some unpopular feedback and immediately proclaim yourself desperately sorry enough to wash the offended one’s car for the rest of eternity.

My feeling?

If you’re offended by something you’ve heard come out of my mouth, tough darts, pilgrim, I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t mean it. Did I rattle your delicate widdle sensibilities? I guess that’s what comes with living in a free society.

I guess that’s why we’re honoring veterans and singing the National Anthem every 25 minutes, to protect my right to speak my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t cheer at funerals or badmouth some poor schlub living in a cardboard box in the middle of the nearest metropolis, but if I had said what the rock musician Gene Simmons had said recently about not stopping potential suicides from ending it all, I wouldn’t have backed off said statement. It’s obviously how the guy feels, so why apologize?

Don’t like it? Oh well, you’ll have to hate me forever or stop buying my records or going to my concerts.

And there, ladies and germs, is the rub.

Offended folks don’t tend to buy records made by people who’ve just offended them.

So Simmons’ backtracking had more to do with the money in his back account than the honey in his disposition.

That’s also why Mel Gibson apologized for being an anti-Semitic boob and there’s a parade of Hollywood hot dogs apologizing for using the n-word, the gay-word and every other word that might raise an eyebrow on some housewife in Topeka.

It’s getting so famous folks are having to skate down Sorry Boulevard for something they’ve said that even sounds like it might be insensitive.

All for that all-mighty buck.

Unfortunately, my many readers, I’m not famous and I’m sure as hell not rich.

So you’ll have to put up with my improprieties and wait for the apology.

Hope you’re patient.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Little (Interest) League


If I have to endure one more word, sentence, news story or celebrity comment on Mo’Ne Davis and Little League baseball I may take a bucket of ice water and dump it on my head.

Folks, isn’t enough enough?

Let’s keep things in perspective here.

We’re talking about 12- and 13-year-old kids attempting – and I emphasize attempting – to play baseball. When I turn on the tube to watch an athletic event, my expectations are to see incredible athletes who have put a lifetime’s worth of work into their sport and who are doing incredible things on fields, tracks, courts and sheets of ice. I don’t tune in to see snot-nosed kids pissing away their summer vacations by striking out, throwing pitches into the dirt and picking up grounders and throwing baseballs 15 feet over the heads of their teammates.

They’re only kids, you say? Then what the hell am I doing watching tiny human beings who have yet to

grow pubic hair play baseball? I can watch that by taking a walk around the block. I’m pushing 60 and I can field, hit and throw better than every last one of them. This is entertainment?

Worse yet, these kids are being treated as though they were all miniature Derek Jeters bearing down on winning another World Series crown. Only they have the luxury of being excused for each laughable blunder because, Golly Gee Whiz, they’re only little kids.

We all should go through life with such a free pass.

Believe me; I get the selling point of this summer madness.

Here’s Little League, forever the domain of young boys, and it’s being thrown a figurative curve ball by a young girl who has shown the ability to, gasp, play on even terms with the guys.

On the heels of last winter’s kids’ movie hit, “Frozen,” where the film’s hero was actually a young girl (Hey, who punched out the bad guy at the end?), this story is both timely, has just the right amount of feminist appeal and includes the all-important built-in Baby Picture Appeal – you know, they’re little kids and don’t they all look so cute in their uniforms? – to be a hit.

It’s a can’t miss.

But in my mind, any public activity done by children is only meaningful if your child, or at the very least, a relative’s or a friend’s child is involved.

Otherwise, it’s a bunch of kids trying to do something, whether it’s the science fair, the school play or playing bad baseball in front of tens of thousands of people. And who attends science fairs when their kids don’t have an entry?

Look, the Little League fans for two weeks a year point out, the contests got record ratings and across the country people enjoyed the games.

Yep, exactly the same people who regularly watch reality television and who get upset when they don’t agree with the name a celebrity chooses for their child.

When this nonsense finally concludes, and the Little Leaguers go back to being kids, then we can all go back to watching news footage of grown men dumping buckets of ice water on their heads.

And isn’t this a most intelligent society?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A True Redskin is a Potato


Now, ordinarily I’d take the whining saps trying to change the world of sports, direct them to the closest latrine and have them clean the floor with their tongues.

But this time the whining saps just may be on to something.

Forget the concussions issue – how do you tell folks making seven- and eight-figure salaries are afflicted? They act like they’ve been continuously kicked in the head since 1992 anyway.

Forget the gay-bashing issue – Do these guys really think Michael Sam is the first gay man in an NFL training camp?

No, the bandwagon I’ll gladly jump on while pounding the loudest drum is the Lose the Redskins as a Mascot Express.

To my mind this takes about as much thought as deciding when to breathe.

“Redskins” is a term that has never been anything else besides a racial slur, and for anyone to argue otherwise is only to showcase one’s brain-dead stupidity.

Quick, let’s take the Insult the Ethnic Group Quiz:

Niggers? Check, I understand who you’re referring to.

Crackers? Yep, know that one.

Kikes? Uh-huh.

Krauts? You see where we’re heading here?

Redskins – what group do ya think we could be referring to?

Yessir, folks, there’s no way the word “redskin” is, was or will ever be a compliment.

Yet, there is a professional team in what is arguably the most popular sport in the country and that happens to play in our nation’s capital, that features, nay, revels in, that nickname.

Now, if  we were talking about insulting white people, black people or even brown people, this nickname would have been gone anywhere from 20 to 200 years ago. But these are just Indians, man. Realistically, how much of a fuss are these guys going to kick up? There’re probably only about 10,000 of ‘em on the planet.

So what are they going to do, fire a few flaming arrows at somebody? Paint their faces and attack a few settlers’ homes?

The bottom line here is that the Native Americans have zero power, zippo political pull and really aren’t necessary to court as a block of potential voters.

They’re a major minority, that is being dumped on, spat at and kicked in the soft spot by a bunch of greedy white assholes that screwed them over and stole their land a couple of hundred years ago and now think nothing of committing more of the same types of atrocities today, while stripping away what little self-respect they’ve maintained .

That said, do you think anyone of any substance is going to stand up for their cause?

Are you kidding?

Instead, if these knuckleheads have their way, there’ll continue to be a bunch of buffoons dressing like their convoluted picture of how a native American dressed a couple of centuries ago, sitting in the first row of a football stadium and doing a retarded war dance every time the home team scores.

And that’s not supposed to be demeaning?

Not surprisingly, the folks who are fighting for the Redskins to keep their name appear to be a load of right-wing nut jobs who somehow are equating a possible team name change with the attacking of the World Trade Center.

How dare it be suggested they stop being racist pigs.

Hey, nimrods, it’s an unnecessary insult to a proud group of people who through the duration of their systematic expulsion from their true native land have done nothing but try to keep their heads held high.

In other words, they’re acting more like Americans than the Americans who are figuratively pulling down their pants and tweaking their noses. If you want to start waving the flag in the face of this issue, perhaps you might consider what that flag stands for.

Life, liberty, pride – those same wonderful traits you think nothing of trying to strip away from minorities who only wish to be treated like honest-to-goodness American citizens.

And don’t they deserve to be thought of as proud Americans rather than somebody’s mascot?

 

 

 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blow Up or Throw Up


After very little thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that Norristown needs to be nuked, done away with, put out of its misery – take your pick.

I reached this conclusion while driving through Norristown’s deplorable streets, sitting at its interminably long stop lights and dealing with its population, most of which is a walking, talking full-page advertisement for the death sentence.

Being the sweetheart of a guy I am, and in the process of recovering from my kidneys being rattled for the 853rd time while driving over potholes that have been ignored by what passes for local government, I actually attempted to come up with something positive about this borough, municipality or whatever it’s being called this week - and came up virtually empty.

And I really tried.

I like Elmwood Park Zoo. Beyond that, several bombing runs are the only cure for what ails this once-proud burg.

Quick, name any store, restaurant, building, hell, anywhere you’d willingly care to venture in this garden spot turned garbage dump.

Culture? Ain’t none in these parts, Baba Looey.

A decent restaurant? I imagine there may be a few places that may not induce full-on, all-night vomiting. But I haven’t run across one.

As for its traffic lights, Norristown still features that type first installed in this country in the 1960s that work off a timer. In other words, you move when the light changes, not when you’re the lone driver in the intersection. So, while you wait for the light to change, you’re subject to whatever dangers exist in that area. And in Norristown, that can mean anything from panhandlers with attitudes to carjackers with large weaponry to drunks with attitudes and large weaponry.

The worst part of this tale of good town gone to hell is that, like many metropolises now in the final stages of degradation, Norristown used to be a very nice, very attractive spot. Downtown was a bustling, hustling cornucopia of interesting stores, friendly faces and mom-and-pop eateries that served unique, stomach-pleasing fare.

Oh, the Friday nights I spent there as a child, following my parents into places like “Woolworth’s” and “John’s Bargain Store.” And if I were really lucky I’d get to go into the “Herman’s Sporting Goods” store, where tykes could revel in all of the must-haves of male childhood, like football helmets and baseball bats.

Inevitably, the evening on the town would end at the “Norris” movie theatre, where the latest first-run double feature would have me and the folks smiling and chatting as we walked back to the car, and all the way home.

There was a time when my mom worked at the long-defunct “Chatlin’s” department store on Main Street, and who could forget that spot’s wooden floors that magically creaked wherever you walked.

Their candy machines were first class, and for Christmas there was that long yuletide display that led directly to the toy department.

Oh, the memories.

Now?

Good luck walking any place on Main Street where you’d feel safe or comfortable. As for the stores, there are virtually none, unless you have something to pawn or an iffy check you need to cash.

There’s nary a friendly face to be found, although these days the blank looks far outweigh the threatening ones.

So what’s there to do with this foul-smelling snake pit of a town?

Clear the decks, warn a handful of the populace and begin the bombing.

There’s a good chance the roads may actually be improved, or at least not made worse, by a little bomb-created bedlam.

When the smoke clears, the process of rebuilding can begin.

Although if those that remain decide to leave things as is, there’s an excellent chance no one will notice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Creation for Dummies


For being the self-proclaimed leaders of the free world, Americans sure are dumb.

And day-by-day they seem to be getting dummer and dummerer.

Ran across the results of an Associated Press-GfK poll (whatever the hell that is) in which Americans were asked to express their degree of confidence in certain statements.

Now, some of the statements were slam dunks, such as the one that proclaimed that smoking causes cancer. In those types of statements, the majority of the red, white and blue gang voted an overwhelming and resounding “Yes.”

But when it came to statements regarding what many would consider scientific fact, those descendants of George Washington and Betsy Ross suddenly turned into what too many Americans already are – bible-thumpin’, close-minded chuckleheads.

Despite virtually every scientific mind (without a political agenda) proclaiming that the world is going through a potentially cataclysmic climate change, caused by the trapping of man-made gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, one that could soon turn places like Nevada and Pennsylvania into beachfront property and Florida and New York City Harbor into modern-day replicas of the lost city of Atlantis, the astute minds of America would choose to believe that everything is just hunky dory.

 It’s just a coincidence, they insist, that an iceberg twice the size of the city of Atlanta is currently floating through the southern oceans toward the tip of South America with the potential to bollocks up the shipping lanes in that area (along with raising the water level). In fact, an average of four of 10 polled did not believe that the world is going through a climate change.

Now folks, no one ever accused yours truly of having even the slightest hint of a scientific mind. About the extent of my expertise in this area was knowing what science-genius classmate to sit next to during tests in high school chemistry. But it doesn’t take Mr. Wizard to figure out it must be a tad on the tropical side for a 270-square mile chunk of ice to break away from the frozen mass of an iceberg the size of Rhode Island.

So in this matter, I just might be inclined to vote for the guys and gals in the white coats that have enough protractors and stethoscopes to properly figure this stuff out.

But don’t you worry for a moment about these trivialities, the star-spangled masses say, no matter the dilemma, our biggest, bestest buddy God won’t allow anything bad to happen to us. What we’re experiencing is just a minor bump in the meteorological road, it’s merely a coincidence. Don’t you remember that summer back in 1975 when the same crazy things happened with the weather?

Which leads us to another statement in the poll that has to do with confidence in the statement that  Earth has evolved through natural selection, a process some have dubbed the Big Bang Theory.

This is one of my favorites because there are still a whole lotta reasonably intelligent folks who won’t let go of the Sunday School lesson that told us that God created the heavens and the earth and that it took six days. And on the seventh day God rested.

OK, so let’s get this straight – these zombies are willing to discount the idea that this planet and its countless number of species have become what they have become due to an intricate evolutionary process based on very specific survival needs, but instead choose to believe that a spiritual being bathed in white light flittered about with a magic wand creating grass, dirt and water all out of thin air, along with every living creature from antelope to zebra, without so much as batting an eye.

And then, although this spirit is supposedly All-Powerful, He or She or It had to rest for a full day.

Oh well, I guess that’s why it’s called faith.

In the poll, 51 percent of the participants questioned the Big Bang Theory; while I’m sure the other 49 percent was wondering why the places these lunkheads flock to for worship on the weekends aren’t paying their fair share in taxes.

In perhaps the biggest socks rocker since Sarah Palin couldn’t remember what magazines she reads, in those poll questions that dealt in taking the science explanation over the spiritual explanation, self-proclaimed Christians almost unanimously voted for the Big Guy in the Sky (if you could only see the look of shock on my face).

Try to understand this folks, your faith is admirable, even cute in a naïve kind of way. But the question that needs asked is why the scientific community would perpetuate these ideas if they had no merit?

They’re not getting brownie points for their findings. They’re not exempt from the Armageddon they’ve forecast just because they’ve discovered the possibility of it happening.

They’re in the same hellbound handbasket as the rest of us.

Plus, the vast majority of these learned people are the same God-fearin’ folk you sit next to in your house of worship.  They have no axes to grind, they’re not trying to convince the population that there is no supreme being. They’re just coming across the same types of life questions we all ask and finding answers the best way they know how.

And those answers point to what they see as a fact – if the people of the world continue figuratively pissing on the planet, we’re all headed up ol’ Fecal Creek.

If you choose to believe that the bearded guy in white pajamas is gonna save you, I wish you well.

But boy, are you dumb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Every Day is a Holiday


With St. Patrick’s Day mere hours away, I actually heard some nimrod in the office the other day refer to the weekend prior to it as St. Patrick’s Day weekend, as in, “I don’t want anything to ruin my St. Patrick’s Day weekend.”

Now, presupposing that the douche bag who would utter such tripe has a functioning brain, my reaction was to ask why, as in “Why would anyone give holiday status to such an inconsequential day as St. Patrick’s Day?”

For that matter, why do days like St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, Groundhog Day and Columbus Day even exist?

They serve no purpose. Only government workers, who deserve extra days off as much as millionaires deserve more money, benefit from some of these bogus days scratched into the calendar every year.

Is there anything wrong with their existence? Probably not. But at the same time, why should anyone actually care they exist?

Let’s take these meaningless days one at a time.

St. Patrick’s Day is, of course, associated with the Irish, although St. Patty himself was either Scotch or English, depending on what fairy tale you choose to believe. His claim to fame was being kidnapped by pirates as a young boy, dreaming of God coming to him in a dream and following God’s word and baptizing the people of Ireland, then mostly heathens, into the Christian faith. He used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (why must these words be capitalized?).

St. Patrick died, conveniently enough, on March 17.

Nice enough tale, but hardly reason for a Polish dock worker living in Teaneck, N.J. to go out on the town, drink enough green beer to drown a dolphin and throw up on his shoes.

So why is the day even celebrated? Probably for the same reason people go out on New Year’s Eve – it gives ‘em a reason to drink enough imported beer to drown a dolphin and throw up on their shoes.

Next, we’ll lump together Valentine’s and Veterans Day because they both fall into the same category – which is, taking one day a year to honor those that should be honored every day.

Valentine’s Day? Great, if you own a flower store or peddle chocolates. But somehow, taking just one day out of the year to pledge your love and devotion to your mate after treating them like the neighbor’s noisy cat all year is a bit like donating money to the local volunteer fire company because your house is on fire.

As for Veterans Day, when you have kids a half a world away putting their lives on the line every waking hour, perhaps one day’s remembrance isn’t quite sufficient. And it’s certainly no reason to go without mail.

Flag Day I never could understand. It falls on June 14, the day back in 1778 the country’s flag was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. But the flag and what it represents, I believe, are covered in other bigger and better holidays, like the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. Once again, it only serves to inconvenience the general public by closing township buildings, suspending all local public services and denying mail delivery.

Next up is Groundhog Day, a great movie, but little else. Granted, this day is way down on the bogus holiday list, possibly even dropping below the old favorite, Arbor Day, in overall importance. But to its credit, Groundhog Day does not come with a perfunctory ban on mail delivery.

Also, Punxsutawney Phil is a better forecaster of the weather than most of those brain-dead, but fully breasted, weather people now bouncing across the local TV dials. But be that as it may, it’s about time to retire the rodent and hand February 2nd over to a more deserving celebration.

As for Columbus Day, it’s blatantly bogus to honor some schmuck whose only purpose in coming to this land was to find gold and who was responsible for the torture and mutilation of the many natives he and his fellow discoverers came across after anchoring on what are now American shores.

Although come to think of it, old Chris would probably fit in perfectly with the current American mindset – get rich and hack up anyone that gets in the way.

As for me, I’ll continue to honor those days for which I get paid days off from work, and try to ignore those that mean less than nothing.

And I’ll try my damndest not to ruin anyone’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The New Model Trucks


There was a time when pick-up trucks were tied to the old, rural American work ethic.

You’d see the battered and dilapidated Ford with a couple of taillights busted, the side view mirror long gone and the rear end of the truck about a foot off the ground, and you just knew some old, calloused crap-kicker was going to emerge from the front seat, Camel sticking out of the side of his mouth and wearing enough dirt, paint and general crud on his overalls to scrape off and use to erect a new office building.

It didn’t take Jeremiah Johnson to figure out this guy was all about busting his balls, getting the job done - no matter how many hours it took - and downing a hard-earned shot and a beer at work day’s end.

But, naturally, in today’s world, where hard work is what some other poor schlub has to do and long hours means punishing the keys on that iPhone while doing pilates at the gym, that same critter no longer inhabits pick-up trucks.

Today’s pick-up owner is, generally, a white guy between the ages of 18 and 30 whose only contact with the bed of his truck is tossing a case of beer or 12 on it so he can get wasted this weekend.

Using his truck to work or even haul something across town is an idea that rarely, if ever, enters his head.

He will, however, fly through the streets like a bat out of hell, take up two parking places whenever possible and generally behave like an unwiped ass when behind the wheel.

It’s the old bigger is better mentality. My mode of transport is larger than yours, I have the right of way. You have my exhaust fumes to inhale.

Call him the Suburban Cowboy, and his mount has four tires and an NRA bumper sticker.

Now, since there are no absolutes, I’m not about to throw a blanket over the entire pick-up truck-drivin’ community and call them all a bunch of non-perspiring dickheads.

There are still many of those dilapidated models of truck out on the roads, and there are plenty of hard-workin’ cusses in ‘em. Their numbers, unfortunately, pale in comparison to the new, slick, Armani-wearin’ nitwits who work no harder than the average millionaire’s child and haul nothing bigger than their own massive ego.

The only thing I can figure is that these lunkheads need to look, feel and seem important to the world at large. And tooling through town in the latest model pick-up is one more way to announce how big, cool and important they actually deem themselves to be.

All that’s left for these testosterone-fueled, Marlboro-man wanna-bes is to start wearing Stetsons.

That would just be too much to stomach – the soft-handed, no-hauling, Mr. Look-At-Me doing a JR Ewing imitation, complete with a bottle of beer in his hand and a softball-player tan, seeking out the latest thing in big breasts.

It’s a far cry from the shot-and-a-beer lineage that used to be part and parcel of the truck-drivin’ crowd.

But then pick-up trucks didn’t get treated like Jaguar XKEs back then either.

Back then, they were a working vehicle and a place for a working man’s tools.

Now the only tools in them are the ones behind the wheel.