Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ben Stein is a Tool (of the Right Wing)

Ben Stein.

Give that a moment.

Ben Stein: Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Win Ben Stein's Money is also of The American Spectator.

And he's written a piece about Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fl). (Hey, so did I)

I caught a link and thought Oh, hey, Ben Stein. Let's see what he has to say.

From the piece: "I hope it won't come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys."

What? WHAT?? Ben Stein has won the WTF Award.

Ben claims his best friend is a homosexual. This man is probably no longer his best friend.

What smarty-pants Stein has failed to recognize is that homosexuals are attracted to members of their own gender, just like heterosexuals are attracted to members of the opposite gender. If that attraction dips below the age of consent, below that social and legal border of decency, then it is labeled - by both heterosexuals and homosexuals - as pedophilia.

You see, Ben, pedophilia is not about the gender as much as it is the age. They like 'em young (see NAMBLA). Pedophiles are the West Virginia of the "adult consensual relationship" world: Whether you're in the North or the South, you don't want any part of it.

I don't know where he got the socially ignorant view that pedophilia is a part of homosexuality, but it is wrong. So, for anyone out there who still doesn't get it: A homosexual is someone who is attracted to the same sex (consensual). A pedophile is attracted to kids (illegal).

Now that we've got that out of the way...

"Second, let's look at George Allen. Now, he's a bad guy because he has a Confederate flag."

What the Christ?!

George Allen is a bad guy because he used a North African racial slur ('macaca') in reference to a dark-skinned videographer, downplays his Jewish ancestry as though he was talking about getting the clap in high school, and used to call African Americans niggers. (Yes, I conceded to using the word he used instead of making a euphemism out of bigotry. Perhaps if the media stopped dancing around it we'd realize its gravity.)

Just these three things exemplify that George Allen thinks little of anyone who's not a white, blushing, European-bred non-Jew. That makes him a racist. That makes him a bad guy. Hell, I didn't even know he had a confederate flag. Not that I'm surprised. Cherry on top, as it were.

Why pervert homosexuality? Why defend George Allen, of all people? Apparently it's a hypocrisy contest and Ben Stein wants to prove the Democrats are hypocrites. Worse than the Republicans. Unfortunately, the brain train has lost his logic nut.

Ben says that it's hypocritical for Democrats, who have traditionally supported gay rights, to come down so hard on a gay man. We've covered this: all signs point to pedophilia, not homosexuality. No one likes a pedophile, especially homosexuals who have to deal with ignorant tools who still think gays want your kids.

Ben says that it's hypocritical for Democrats, who apparently have "in the Senate an actual former Klansman, Robert Byrd of West Virginia," to be critical of a confederate flag. Again, already been covered: I've never heard anyone speak out about Allen's flag, but his racist comments are media spooge shooting all over the internet. Why wasn't that addressed?

Finding hypocrisy in government and politics in general is like looking for water in the ocean. That's what it's made of! And holding a contest to see which party has accrued the most exposes only two things: the leaning of the writer and folly of his judgment.

Foley: So Folds the Right Wing on Crime

In my last post (good lord, so long...), I was writing about how not only predators, but the military too, were trolling for your young. Apparently Congress was so put off by the exclusion that they had to leak some info, had to be included.

While I try not to delve into partisan politics here (Think Progress, Crooks & Liars, and Kos could eat me alive), this fits into a Cause for Concern. In this case, utter outrage.

Out of the loop? Get out of the cave.

Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fl) has been a bad, bad man. He sent naughty emails to a 16 year old page. Oh yeah, and creepazoid is 52!!!

So Foley's trying to right himself. He steps down and resigns. He checked into a rehab clinic. For Alcohol. Okay, this already won WTF Award as soon as I started typing, but ...WTF? For alcohol? How about the kiddie porn? How about the pedophilia? No dice.

Oh, and now - this very minute - the predator is pulling a Jimmy Bakker on us. Please forgive me! Apparently, he was molested as a child. (I call Catholic!) That poor bastard. If I didn't hear Rove whispering in the background, it might almost sound genuine.

Wasn't the problem booze?

But he was a borderline problem that was simply kept under wraps and maybe it was the encouragement and perhaps the control offered by the other members of the house that really kept him from showing up on To Catch a Predator.


Not even close.

Hastert thinks it's a conspiracy, Tom Reynolds (R-NY) surrounds himself with kids to avoid anything meaningful, and everyone else thinks "That's what gay people do."

Allow me a moment:


This is a mess of opportunity, a mess of media, and a mess of humanity. The biggest phrase in the Foley world is "sexual scandal," but the problem is not that it is a scandal based on sexuality or a scandal based on sex in general. The problem is that he broke the law and was one step from showing up at the house for To Catch a Predator.

This should be called a sexual crime.

A Crime! It's not a damn scandal, but someone who meant to meet with and had online sex with a minor.

Looking for the one you love is one thing. NAMBLA is another.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bad People and the Military: mySpace Trolling for Your Kids

I've been trying to put this post together since 'Nam. And I've come to find that maybe that's an appropriate analogy.

mySpace is the topic of conversation here.

MySpace is great for connecting to people, for letting yourself be found. Granted, there are people out there trying to exploit the open universe of communication, but they're few and far between.

Okay, so they're rampant. But that doesn't mean that it's a bad stage for our society, especially our youth.

The problem we've seen so suddenly is that mySpace is exploding all over the news. mySpace may face legislative crackdown. But why?

Well, it's not because some 16 year old decided to go to Jordan. Although that was bad.

And it's not because of other "predators" hoking down on prepubescent teens, like on NBC's To Catch a Predator.

Although those are concerns, there is one way to avoid any of these horrible things from ever happening: be a parent.

I know, it's an obvious job, since you may already be one. So let me qualify that by saying: Be a responsible parent.

Whining, bitching, "you don't know me" drunken slurrrs aside, parenting is about watching your kids. I have a daughter. I know what she does on the computer. And if parents aren't able to have the resolve to remove the computer from the kid's room (why the hell would you give them that access in the first place???), then at least make the investement to monitor their computer use. Net Nanny is one such solution.

Here's the rant: Parents, get off your asses and watch what the fuck your kids are doing. If you're too lazy to implement technologies or too stupid to do so, your kid (and probably you) should not have a computer in your house. You're a moron. Get on the fucking stick and figure out what's going on in the world. You'd be surprised. If you can't trust them, watch them. If you can't watch them, install a program. If you can't install a program, get someone who does. If you can't get someown who does, throw your computer out the window.


Because the people in Washington, a.k.a. Ted Stevens legislating this stuff are complete morons. The link you just passed is an audio clip of a man who talks about the internet as tubes. And he's the guy you're supposed to trust to make sure you feel safe at night? From anything?

Because if the molestors and the psychopaths and the perverts and the trevreps don't get them, the American Military will. That's right; In lieu of the draft and solid recruiting techniques, the Marines have already infiltrated the hippie landscape, and man, they've got lots of friends. And those friends are all about not making love, but war. I don't mean forces, I mean friends. Thousands of idiot kids have errantly clicked "Accept" on the friend request from the US Military.

Parents: you get it yet? Kids are being seduced daily. By whom? Take your pick.

But if you don't keep an eye on them, they're going to end up dead, in a ditch in Kansas or in a ditch in Iraq.

If it's not a horny 40-year-old trying to pull your daughter into a lifetime of servitude, then it's probably the US Military doing the same thing.

It's just different channels.

Watch your kids. Know what they do. Know who they are talking to.

Otherwise, the military and the molesters win.

And then what kind of world do we live in?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Plane Smoking

My feet stank like ass tonight. Let me qualify that. No, I guess I can't really qualify that: my feet stank like ass. I have unbreathable shoes and have --as of recently-- been employed by an every-single-day-business-casual company. We don't even get to wear jeans on Friday.

So I drove out this morning from Winston Salem at 6:45am, returned home by 6:00pm in order to drive my daughter to Raleigh Durham International Airport so she could fly home (solo) for the holiday.

So what does this have to do with anything, fair readers? National security.

Going through the process of your only daughter flying solo for the first time is enough to muster a great deal of emotion (always from the parent: she was fine), but first I got to deal with airport security.

I'm a smoker. I know, it's bad for me, and according to discredited studies, bad for everyone else too. But I had a lighter in my pocket this evening when I went through security.

I had planned it perfectly: I wore a jacket so all the crap I kept in my pants pockets was moved into my jacket, and when I hit security, I simply mounted my jacket into the tray and didn't have to worry about all the ancillary BS that goes with refilling my pockets. But I did have a lighter.

After having to take my shoes off because the tiny buckle on them beeped (but the large one on my belt didn't --notice to potential evil-doers: put the bomb in your belt buckle), I walked my stank-ass, shoeless feet through the detector to have the woman at the other end, who had apparently rifled through my jacket pockets, holding my lighter in front of me.

"You can't have this," she said.

"Uh...okay, I guess," was my reply.

I had heard about the lighters and matches being banned on planes, but thought that I'd heard something else about lighters being allowed on planes again. I guess I'd heard wrong. For those who've been living in a cave for the last decade, Richard Reid was the "Shoe Bomber" of fame who failed to light a bomb in his shoe with a match.

So the government banned lighters and matches from flights. That makes sense in a retarded sort of way (just in case we don't get the bomb in the scan of your shoes--which we make you take off--at least we have your lighter). But then they renigged and again allowed matches. But still no lighters. Apparently none of the people making laws that would save our country have ever smoked: always carry matches in case the lighter gives out.

So the lovely woman at the gate looked at my dumfounded expression and immediately offered me a pack of matches to take with me. What? Okay. I'm an attractive guy. Perhaps I inadvertently wooed her. I took the matches, as I would invariably be smoking on the way home.

But WTF?

After smoking by using these matches, I found that the "Carolina Hotel" matches pack quite a punch. A crappy match fold will yield matches that burn hot for a good half second before settling down. These were monsters. Almost two seconds of match-head burn. And on the first strike. Way better than my crappy lighter ever would've been.

So the WTF award on this post goes not only to Raleigh Durham International Airport, but the (probably smoking) idiot who changed the law.

Should lighters and matches be allowed on flights?

As long as they put my shoes through the scanner and feel okay about smelling my stank-ass feet, there's no need.

But watch out for the belts.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Superbowl After the Fact

It's been over a month, but there's a couple things I need to say about the basis of the Superbowl.

I guess I should be honest in saying that I didn't watch the game. I caught parts of it. But I did focus in on the entry.

The entry was an homage to "The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss. But there were problems.

First off, Harrison Ford was a problem. As an actor of 19 years, I've never seen a person so not sure of what to do with those gangly, five-digit lumps of flesh at the ends of his arms. He looked like a recent amputee/reatachment client with no control of his hands. It was awkward.

Using Dr. Suess to intro the Superbowl? Weak.

But finally, the background music used was a mess. It was the same music used in "True Romance" and - most recently - to promote Miller High Life. So the whole intro had ben opted for violence, beer, Dr. Seuss, and football, linked by one of the greatest memory kickers in life: music.

A mess.

And Harrison, please figure out what to do with your hands.

Harrison Ford wins a WTF award for his piss-poor performance.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Million Little Pieces II: WTF Award

We have crossed the boundary. We have moved from social discussion to persecution to "WTF?" This is a distinction that may not always make it upon my blogs. But in this case, it stands tall.

For those uninitiated into the slang of the young, WTF stands for "What the Fuck?" It is a question of indignation, somewhat summed up by "What the hell were you thinking?"

And at the current situation, I am incredulous.

I am incredulous because of the sanctimonious bullshit spoken of in my previous blog. Because it didn't end where I left it.

Seems that the rescue of James Frey was a qualified account. Some folks must've been indignant and made Oprah look like a boob. Public outcry can be a bitch. That does not mean that the public is right.

After we left our creative author, supported by Oprah, we quickly found out the value of a late-night phone call. She recanted. She pulled the man back in and not only showed up on The Larry King Live Show to make peace with her heartbroken audience, but did her own show to make him feel like a goon.

I have heard everything from "chewed him out" to "dressed him down" to "ripped him a new one," as though he deserved it.

Did he deserve it? No. Did he embellish? Yes. Why did he do it? Amplify his experiences? Sell more books? For the sake of lying?

The latter seems to be the least likely but the most implied. People talk about James Frey like he's a bad person, and if you think people who drink alcohol and do drugs are condemned to die a painful death without redemption, then you've already decided and probably not read the book. But James Frey just fiddled a bit more with his story than others have done under the "memoir" moniker.

Public pressure has even made him lose his agent. This is what I referred to when I talked about this sanctimonious bullshit before.

Because of this, Oprah Winfrey, you win the WTF Award. Larry King, you win the WTF Award. You are the first, but will not be the last.

"Where is the victim?" I asked in my last posting. The answer is that the victim lives in every one of us. Most of us are sensible enough to shirk it off, to say "He said some stuff that wasn't true to bolster his story." Those that feel personal pain because of this have apparently never told a story. Embellishment is the root of stories, from oral tradition thousands of years ago to the ubiquitous and fabled "fish story."

Just because it's not published under the "memoir" section of the local bookstore doesn't mean that the story is any less culpable than a "memoir."

So we move today from "Where's the victim?" to "Where's the blame?"

And that's where's it's going. I'm not going to even entertain that issue. The blame is on us. All of us. Every guy or girl who used hyperbole to discuss their latest relationship in a bar discussion to every author who fudged a quote that can't be backed up by audio tapes is guilty.

We are a society of hyperbole, of entertainment, of throwing out that hook that catches the attention of the reader or listener.

Did James Frey need to lie? Probably not. But the fact that he did does not discredit his entire story.

Unless it ultimately does.

And then Waldenbooks will have to double the size of their Fiction section.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Million Little Pieces: Media Travesty

James Frey has written a wonderful memoir entitled A Million Little Pieces. It's a candid look into the sad - and sometimes grotesque - world of an addict and his road to recovery. But that's not why I'm writing about it.

James Frey has become the patsy, or tackle dummy, of the media as of late based on allegations and truths that Mr. Frey fabricated a couple events in the retelling of his story of a crawl back to grace. Even though Oprah (and her book club) supported Frey on "Larry King Live," the vultures are still out to roost.

As a writer myself, I cannot sympathize with what I can only refer to as sanctimonious bullshit being spouted by the mainstream media. Allow me to qualify that: the sanctimonious bullshit being spouted by the mainstream media is both poorly informed and poorly researched, attempting to apply a black and white standard to a form that has existed in grey for as long as the form has existed. I listened to cries of oh-so-holy newscasters and writers aching and pining for purity, exclaiming "What has he done?" "Why would someone do this?" and "He has tainted the genre!"

If there's an alcoholic out there moving towards recovery that sees a news item and says "Well, Frey lied about this part of the story, so I'm going back to the bottle," then that person needs to reevaluate their life.

Where's the victim?

The fact that this is a 95% true tale of redemption and salvation (without the intervention of God, which has got to piss off the AA folks) garners very little attention from the critics. That's right: after the whining and pouting is done, the main crux of the argument is that the book should be contained in the "fiction" section.

If you will, dear reader, take a quick sideline to another memoir. This one is entitled Lying by Lauren Slater. While the heading on the book does say "A Metaphysical Memoir," it does not imply that it is not a memoir. It is a work of the craft of writing, using several different conventions to finally leave us, at the end of the story, with the distinct impression that this entire journey may be an exercise in - what else? - lying. To garner attention? To fool us? To draw a grey line from black to white? I'm sure that there are more anal analysts to conquer those questions.

This wonderful, telling book is in contrast to the current media wisdom, but pushes the real question to the publishing industry:

Where do you draw the line?

Are a couple of quotes pulled from memory enough to make it fiction? Is it intention to fabricate? How can we tell?

And the point is: we cannot tell. We cannot pull the sap from the tree of knowledge, taste it, and judge it bitter or sour any more than we can read true fiction and not want to believe that those events are actually happening. The stories are inspiring, are telling, and in James Frey's case, may just pull lives from the potential of the gutter. It's gotten so bad that Oprah's new book choice, Night by Elie Wiesel has now been sought for certification of reality (because Holocaust survivors are so apt to exaggerate their experiences to make the starvation and death more poignant - was this brought on by President Ahmadinejad?).

Every day people pull meaningful information from seemingly meaningless happenings in omens, superstitions, and synchronicity. Sometimes, the public ventures into the world of reading stories for inspiration. If those books are in one section of Barnes and Noble or another, I don't care. I have to wander around half of the store either way to find the right section. The meaning is found in the words, whether those words are remembered, completely made up, or they find some grey space somewhere in between.