“Can someone show me where — anywhere — the democrat party has a lock on power, and the result isn’t chaos, disaster, bedlam…hopelessness?”
“Can someone show me where — anywhere — the democrat party has a lock on power, and the result isn’t chaos, disaster, bedlam…hopelessness?”
What a strange, schizophrenic culture we have.
For 233 years the old countries have looked down their noses at the brash Americans as we careened down the super-highway of “More, Bigger, Better”. Forever quick with self satisfied put-downs regarding our default mode of optimism and nose to the grindstone work ethic, they were sure in the knowledge that their ways of jaded cynicism and world weariness are the true human nature. Observing this week the ridiculous celebrity worship of a deceased pedophile fighting for media dominance with the wreaked life of a once ordinary man who grew weary of life in the bubble and sabotaged a promising political career, I am beginning to think that maybe the old European cynics who endlessly pontificate on our lack of culture may have had it right all along.
In our endless and increasing fascination with the lowbrow, with American Idol, People Magazine, with the proliferation of “reality” shows celebrating not the higher virtues but the vices of greed, envy, ambition, and at the same time casually dismissing our responsibilities as citizens to stay reasonably informed, to vote knowledgeably, to participate rather than merely observe, I get the feeling that a majority, or close to it, have come to see the American experiment in republican self governance as some sort of punch line to an old joke told by an older comic. Funny and relevant once but now hopelessly out of fashion with the cool kids and dismissed on these grounds alone without regard that the old joke may impart a bit of wisdom if reflected upon.
We are becoming a nation of idiots with no historical appreciation of what came before us and with no seeming care that our current actions might have less than ideal consequences for future generations. All that seems to matter is the now, the hip, what are people watching, what are they listening to. Is it good? Is it beautiful? Does it impart knowledge? Increase wisdom? Who cares as long as it keeps our minds numb and our mouths moving. “Did you catch SteveO on “Dancing With The Stars” last night? My how far he’s come since shoving matchbox cars up his ass on camera while in a drug induced psychotic state”.
If the people wish for their minds to become ever more dulled via our mass media, and desire an all encompassing federal government to provide for every need that we used to take care of for ourselves then that is what we shall surely have. It is a democracy after all. Like a father when regarding a grown child who through laziness or indifference makes a life for them self far below their potential however, I always expected a bit more.
H/T to Gerard for the links.
Is this really what passes for cleverness in the advertising business these days?
Look, I like a knobber as much as the next guy but please. Focus for a moment, I know it’s difficult with such brilliant and subtle sexual innuendo at work, on just what it is they are trying to sell here because I can’t figure it out. Are they seeking to equate the satisfaction of a good dick sucking with that of the consumption of a meat sandwich? Or is it just that the brilliant minds managing BK discovered one day that their burgers looked vaguely penis like and thought that bringing this to everyone’s attention via billboards and bus placards would surely enhance their reputations as serious business executives and possibly even up the quarterly earnings to justify their year end bonuses to the share holders. If it’s the former and my wife is susceptible to the savvy ways of these ad geniuses, I’m afraid that my marriage will be the poorer for it. If the later, well…I’m not quite sure what to think other than that the graduates of our business schools that run these corporations could probably save a lot of time and money and learn much more about running a business by simply manning a drive up window for a couple of months at said Burger King.
After the 10,651st car load of hormone addled teenage boys sniggeringly asks for “the big seven incher…and hold the meat!!” then peel out without purchasing anything, perhaps they might re-think their ad strategy.
H/T to Maggies Farm for pissing me off this fine Friday morning.
I don’t know how these things work in ya’ll’s neck of the woods but in my community the Little League teams are being severely dimminished by the proliferation of “select” pay to play teams that are springing up in ever greater numbers. Just a few years ago if your boys or girls wanted to play baseball you signed them up for local Little League and it was off to the races. Parents volunteered for coaching and umpiring duties, teams were drafted, a regular season was followed by a season ending tournament, then all-star selection and regional playoffs for these teams. Lessons were learned in sportsmanship. In how to behave when things were and were not going your way. They even learned a little about playing baseball as an added bonus. April through July. Seems like plenty of opportunity for one and all no? Apparently not.
At some point a parent or coach felt slighted or a victim of small town politics and decided that they would start a team of their own. Pretty soon a sufficient number of petulent adults who had never learned the lessons referred to above did the same and they had enough teams to form a league. Great right? Competition and all that. As American as, well…baseball. Since the teams were spread out over a much greater geographical area than the local Little League, much more time would have to be devoted to attending tournaments against the other teams. To compensate for this the coaches and umpires who had been providing their services gratis in Little League determined that they should be paid for said duties. Thus was born the pay for play “select” league for twelve and thirteen year olds. Your probably asking yourself, what kind of idiot could be talked into paying 1,000 bucks for something they can get for free by going down to the local ballpark and signing up for Little League? The kind of idiot of course who is susceptible to the appeal to vanity and the certain knowledge that their precious spawn is sure to be the next A-Rod if only he gets the proper instruction that only “paid” coaching can provide. It doesn’t seem to dawn on these geniuses that said “paid” coaches were providing their expertise for free just a year earlier and for whatever reasons couldn’t hack even that.
At first it didn’t have too much of an effect on the local leagues except for draining off most of the really gifted players who’s parents were especially susceptible to the “this might be just the edge he needs to get that scholarship” angle. After awhile however, every parent who had a beef with the league or thought that their delicate flower wasn’t getting enough respect (translated as playing time) transferred to the new league until this year there were only FOUR teams in our local Babe Ruth league for thirteen year olds. It seems that whenever adults get overly envolved in what is a childs endeavor, it invariably goes FUBAR in very short order.
I’m thinking of starting my own sand lot league next year using old second hand equipment with nobody over the age of thirteen allowed within 100 yards of the field. If it goes well I think I can charge admission and maybe rent binoculars to view the distant games. Yeah…that’s the ticket! With the low overhead, I think I could make some real money…
A thought has been gnawing at the back of my mind lately. The thought that a growing majority of people in this country have come to believe that the individualist philosophy at the heart of the American experiment has lived out its usefulness. That we should “evolve” into a more statist, collectivist society, abandoning the self evident truths at the core of our being and become content to graze the green grass of materialism while reliquishing to our elites the role of benevolent shepard. A role I believe our Constitution reserved for “We The People”. Can Americans live as contented herbivores under the watch of others or does human nature and the idea of America demand more from us if we are to survive as a going concern.
I have a pocket full of opinions but I don’t pretend to have any answers. All I can do is read as much as I can from sources I consider to be credible, look to history to determine what has worked and what hasn’t, and then close my eyes, throw the dart, and hope to hit the bulls-eye.
I tend to view the American experiment as such a profound and successful break from the default brutish nature of human history that I am loath to mess with its basic operating system, our Constitution, unless I am more than certain any change will be for the better. The current administration in my opinion is seeking to fundamentally change the relationship between government and the governed as is so brilliantly laid out in that document and it makes me very uneasy. Vague promises from Obama of hope and change without definition in the teeth of a tottering economy and an unpopular war held no sway with me but did with just enough to get him elected. Now he has his chance to see if those theories incubated in the academic brooder of 1960′s radicalism that he is a product of will translate into the real world.
Can Americans live and remain American as contented wards of the state 233 years into the greatest experiment in self government in human history? A slight majority at present say “Yes We Can!” I have grave doubts but with the children of the 60′s controlling nearly all levers of cultural and political power, I fear we will soon find out.
So… another high profile Republican, S.C. Governor Mark Sanford, has been caught with his dick where it doesn’t belong. What is it with these guys?! I can understand degenerates like Barney Frank getting busted with a ball gag in his pie hole while being boned by a team of miniature circus horses, hell I expect it, but when are Conservatives going to stop electing these ass-clowns who talk up family values only to invariably cheat, steal, lie, etc. on a level equal or greater than that of those evil Democrats who they are constantly decrying for their lack of moral fiber. Apparently Sanford left his wife a couple of weeks ago and then disappeared for some celebratory banging of his South American mistress with the excuse that he had “gone hiking”, thinking that nobody in the famously Republican tolerant press corps would notice. Way to go Guv.
With the situation in Iran coming to a head and a potential major scandal brewing with the Obama administration’s firing of IG’s, it looked like the mainstream press might have no other choice but to start casting a critical eye toward some of the more shady goings on regarding the gang from Chicago. Where do you think they will focus their attention now that they have another juicy “conservatives like illicit sex too but they are teh hypocrites” story. I expect the mistress will be making the morning talk show circuits and have a “tell all” book deal signed by Monday. Thanks for nothing pal.
The Republican Party has a death wish and until conservatives start running fella’s who can keep their peckers dry if that is what they choose to tell others is the moral thing to do and vote into office those who “walk the walk” of classically liberal values, we will deserve whatever big government buggery we get from the current administration.
A tender touch out of sight of others. Forms silhouetted against gossamer. A knowing glance.
Via Autumn People, this fascinating glimpse into what was once considered out of bounds in polite society. Such scenes no longer shock but their beauty, misinterpreted in an earlier age as salacious, remains.
Update: Vanderleun’s ace reporting from deep behind the lines of the western front of the culture wars serves as an excellent example of the pendulum of free artistic expression perhaps swinging a bit to far in compensation for the censorship of a previous era. In our “how low can you go?” post modern Limbo culture the answer is invariably “drop the bar another notch”.
Maybe I’m just getting cynical in my middle age but like a successful doctor who’s practice is closed to new patients, I find myself increasingly indifferent to the idea of cultivating new friendships of the human persuasion. It’s not that I don’t like people. In social situations I am invariably outgoing and charming, or so I am told, and I can hold my own in conversations covering a variety of subject matter. It’s just that after the banter and small talk involved in initially meeting someone, I seem to have developed a stutter regarding the next step of “hey, let’s get together at my place, or yours, and do whatever it is people do to become friends”.
I suppose some of that has to do with the fact that my somewhat libertine attitude of being pretty much A-OK with whatever blows your skirt leads people in my neck of the woods to assume that I am just another garden variety Seattle Prog, and I grow somewhat weary of their reaction when they discover that, horror of horror’s, I am a card carrying member of the vast right wing conspiracy. I have lately actually come to rather enjoy their reaction when after agreeing whole hearted on issues from my indifference to gay marriage to the legalization of drugs they will take me for one of their own and start gushing over the Obamamesiah only to have me refer to him as a proto-fascist. A hooked bullhead tossed on a hot sidewalk never looked so speechless. It is endlessly amusing but not particularly conducive to deep, long lasting friendships.
With rare exceptions these days, the old friends that I have made over the years seem to suffice for now. We all have evolved politically over the years, some growing more conservative, some more liberal, but we have seen and heard enough of each other to know that we are all full of shit and that makes the difference.
The picture is of my best friend for the last 15 years and a few newer ones. She is all I need…they are all I want.
Don’t tell her that I said she is full of shit.
The above pie chart sums up how I feel this morning about the employees of our local public school system. I use the term “employees” deliberately rather than educators or teachers as this is seemingly what people who in the past sacrificed jobs with a higher income potential for the calling of teaching our children have become. Clock punching union clerks with our kids serving the role of stock on the shelves.
Yesterday morning I received an email from my 6th grade sons math teacher stating that he was in danger of a failing grade in his honors math class. I received this email with two days remaining in the school year. Lest you think I am one of those parents who pay little regard to to their child’s progress during the year, I have been in regular contact with the teacher during the year and follow my sons progress via the Family Access website in which the teachers post their students marks on individual projects and assignments on a weekly basis. Up until two days ago I had been reassured by his teacher that while he was struggling a bit to catch up with the other students since his transfer from the basic math course to the honors program in the middle of the last semester, he was a smart boy and would do fine. I was a little concerned with this teachers failure to regularly post his marks to said Family Access site so I could keep close track but accepted her tepid reassurances at face value. After receiving the above mentioned email I did a bit of investigating and discovered that this teacher had been absent from class for about half the quarter for various conferences and workshops (relating to self esteem and diversity no doubt) with a substitute teacher unfamiliar with the circumstances of my son joining the program mid-stream, or in the use of the Family Access site, taking her place. Not only has my sons confidence in his mathematical ability taken a hit but I’m feeling like a bit of a dupe this morning. When asked for advice on how we should proceed, she suggested to me that perhaps he should be placed back into the regular math program next year. WTF!! Keep in mind that this is not an average student I am speaking of but one who has excelled in his studies in the past and was described by this very teacher upon her recommendation of him to the honors program as her “star math pupil”. I have sent an email to this teacher, cc’d to the principal, asking for a detailed explanation as to why this should not be considered a rather spectacular failure on the part of a math program who’s purpose is ostensibly to impart the knowledge of mathematics rather than to cover the ass of members of the teachers union upon failure in that task .
I can hardly wait for their response.