Saturday, November 22, 2008

'Tis the Season.

It's the dreaded holiday season. The time of year when those of us who are displaced in society have to put on the happy face and wish others a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year, even though, as Lennon said in "Help" - I don't Subscribe to your religion.
Whatever that religion is. Something tells me the religion is guilt and the guilt plays itself out in the form of how large a pile of junk one can accumulate under a dead tree that somehow translates into the love mom and/or dad feels for their children. It's a sick and twisted society we live in.
I gave up on that concept in the mid-70s, once I realized that the silliness of the holiday didn't translate into actual love but artificial love. Love via Visa or MasterCard. It can be an enjoyable season, but it's for kids and couples and I find myself lacking in both, so for me, it's just another day on the calendar.
We will hear news stories of how this "holiday shopping season" is the worst ever because of what people tell us is "the economy." It's a nice excuse, but maybe what is happening is that people are realizing that the economic hardships are making them think about the largess they impose on others is unnecessary, much as they realized that driving became unnecessary once gasoline prices neared $4 a gallon.
It takes economic hardship to make people realize the spiraling nonsense they have found themselves in. Wasting gasoline is no different at $2 a gallon than it was at $4, just as a pile of junk on Christmas morning is no more or less useful now than before. But we believe that if we don't spend we don't love. That's sad.
Instead of a pile of stuff, try finding one thing that might mean more than the pile. Realize that more isn't necessarily better. Think before you buy and save wrapping paper and expensive gasoline. It's the same story every year, and now more than ever it's time to reign in the spending and take a look in the mirror at what we've become. Stop doing what they tell you to do.
Take it from an outsider - they'll still love you after Christmas, even if you don't max-out your credit limit. And most of all, you'll feel better about yourself. So, fuck 'em if they can't take it. The sooner they learn the harsh realities of life, the better.
Besides, there are 364 other days in the year.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Where have I been?

Three days. That's a record, I think. But I, like Mister Ed will only speak when I have something to say, so I hope this wait has been worth the effort.
Sometimes I think I should be jotting down these little life events because they'd make a nice screenplay - then I realize I am.
Waiting in line at the grocery last night, in my usual "15 items or less - cash only" lane for what seemed like hours but was only minutes while a price-check went on, the woman in front of me piled her 15 items or less on the conveyor. When she got to the Holy Grail of the register, the cashier informed her that it was a cash only lane, and the credit card she was planning to use was inert. Somehow, the customer had missed the "Cash Only" part of the "15 items or less" sign. I wondered what she was doing while we were standing around.
Today at work, slightly after noon, a co-worker lurked into my cubicle and started on a monologue that roughly resembled something work-related. Even though I had a nice salad (purchased at the grocery - hence the link), a beverage and a spread-out newspaper featuring the crossword puzzle in front of me, [I eat lunch at my desk to avoid the banality of my co-workers' conversations] I had to inform him (nicely) that I was on my lunch break and would answer his query when I was finished. He seemed startled that a person with such accoutrements would be engaged in a non-work activity so near to noon-time, but roughly apologized and moved along.
My mistake was going over to his cubicle after lunch and inquiring as to his inquiry. He engaged me in a lengthy diatribe over something that really should have been discussed with my supervisor, who was conveniently out of the building. I listened politely and soon realized that it was 15 minutes of my life that had been sacrificed and I was grateful that I do not have to account for my time.
Dexter might be the best show on television. If you don't have Showtime, it might be worth the cost to subscribe so you can see it. Trouble is, they're midway through the season, so you might have to find it on some pay-per-view on demand deal. So, my official count of the best shows on television now include:
The Office - Still great, but fading fast if they don't find a way to spice up the comedy and lay off the romantic drama.
Heroes - I'm ready to bail on it if it doesn't pick up the pace a little. It's a big investment and a complicated cast to keep track of. If you haven't been with it from the beginning, you're lost, which probably explains their falling ratings.
My Name Is Earl - Better now that they've gotten Earl out of jail and back on the list.
The Late Show with David Letterman - Letterman is and has always been funnier than Leno and is still the King of Late Night if you can stay up till midnight to see it.
American Chopper - The Tuetul's are still the kings of "reality" TV.
Mythbusters - Adam and Jamie are one thing, but there's nothing like Kari Byron for brains and beauty.
Dirty Jobs - Mike Rowe combines dry wit with hard work to elevate mess to an art form.
Parking Wars - Nothing beats the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Honorable Mention: The New Adventures of Old Christine and Big Bang Theory. Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins the battle of "best show after Seinfeld" and the Big Bang gang is a nice ensemble cast, even though you want to smack Sheldon. Then, of course there's Kaley Cuoco.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

WASHINGTON – Detroit's Big Three automakers pleaded with a reluctant Congress Tuesday for a $25 billion lifeline to save the once-proud titans of U.S. industry, pointedly warning of a national economic catastrophe should they collapse. Millions of layoffs would follow their demise, they said, as damaging effects rippled across an already-faltering economy. "Our industry ... needs a bridge to span the financial chasm that has opened up before us," General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner told the Senate Banking Committee. He blamed the industry's predicament not on management failures but on the deepening global financial crisis.
Boo-hoo. We need money! Help us, help us! Auntie Em, Uncle Henry! It's a twister, it's a twister!
I am here to extend a hail and hearty "Fuck you" to the automakers and their management failures and their childish begging for money lest they take their toys and go home. I say, "Go home, failed dinosaurs." Apparently, we can get along fine without you and your giant vehicles clogging the road and using expensive gasoline.
Now that their great fantasy world has come crashing down around them, they come begging for forgiveness and warn of economic destruction that will occur in their wake. Let it come, because the will of the people and the economic process of something called supply and demand will rule the day.
I feel badly for those displaced workers who have suckled at the teat of their unions and their bloated salaries for so long, but people need cars and you'll likely wind up with a job working for an American plant making Hondas, Toyotas or Volkswagens, so suck it up and stop your blubbering Tin Man. Face it. You've hitched your wagon to a falling star. The world doesn't need hula hoops, rotary telephones or antennas anymore either.
Senator Mike Enzi, (R-Wyoming), complained that the larger financial crisis "is not the only reason why the domestic auto industry is in trouble." He cited "inefficient production" and "costly labor agreements" that put the U.S. automakers at a disadvantage to foreign companies.
Right you are, Mike. He's a Republican, but when you're right, you're right. Technology is the bitch mother of the automotive industry and the U.S. automakers have been mastered by her. Now, they want us to further foot the bill - as though driving these wasteful vehicles and waiting for them to figure out how to run a car on something besides gasoline has been a pleasure for us. They can suck my cock on Rittenhouse Square if they think I'm giving them another dime to make more of the same crap.
Now, go away and come back tomorrow!
Bring me the dipstick of the Toyota Prius!
The great and powerful Oz has spoken!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rules are rules.

I think, if you gave athletes a quiz about the rules of their sport, most of them would fail. Yesterday's Eagles/Bengals game ended in a tie, screwing with office pools everywhere. Several Eagles players were quoted as not knowing that the game would end in a tie if neither team scored during the overtime period, in spite of it being called "sudden death overtime."

Eagles quarterback Dumbass McNabb didn't know games could end in ties. "I've never been a part of a tie. I never even knew that was in the rule book. It's part of the rules and we have to go with it. I was looking forward to the next opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game."
Then, he used that acquired knowledge to further embarrass himself:
"I'd hate to see what happens in the Super Bowl or I'd hate to see what happens in the playoffs, to settle with a tie," he said.

A kid making minimum wage at a retail store knows more about the company's policies than athletes making millions.

Is McNabb actually confused over what would happen if a playoff game was tied? It reminds me of something Abraham Lincoln said: Better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. Stop talking, Donovan.