Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Inglourious Basterds" reviewed. Sort of...

Quentin Tarantino seems to be a not-so-unusual combination of 12yr.old boy, 23yr.old Master's student, and 40-something Director.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems obvious that outside the film-buff references and spaghetti western theme he used this baseball bat of a movie to show - in this case, not necessarily to the audience - that the leap from movie patron to Nazi really IS just a dose of Pepsi, popcorn, pigotry and politics away...

The movie patrons at the Athena Grand in the supposedly the enlightened educational rose of Diversity that is Athens, Ohio made Tarantino's job very easy. Some of them were flat-out cheering with every scalping and bat-blow, and most were noticeably amused.

I get what he's trying to do, I think. I hope. He's pointing out the "They did it, so if we do it back, it's ok." mob-mentality that creates Nazis out of ordinary movie-goers, while still playing to those popcorn peons by glorifying the violence he uses to make his point. I do believe that there is a time and place for violence, but what he is doing is the movie equivalent of people taking turns blowing up each others school buses.

Is it okay to out-Nazi the Nazis, as long as it's on the silver screen, to show how easily it will happen again?

Christoph Waltz was fantastic, probably an Emmy nomination performance, although his part makes you wonder just how good a German accent James Woods could have pulled off. The French farmer at the beginning of the film was great. The rest of the individual performances were weak - probably because the writing was weak, even for someone trying to imitate spaghetti western dialog.

I’m not a fan of either, but I would have replaced Brad Pitt with George Clooney. Pitt's role seemed written for Clooney.

The older I get...

"The older I get, the more I see politics as nothing more than theater intended to cover up a good old-fashioned smash-and-grab."

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Guy on the Corner with the Offensive T-Shirt....

The guy on the corner with the offensive t-shirt….

This is a very interesting debate. When does “free speech” become a public nuisance? When does personal and public safety come into play?

A person was observed, on a street corner in Athens, wearing a t-shirt that said something that I cannot bring myself to say here, or anywhere.

Someone complained, with these results:

"...Discussion with the local police revealed that in Athens people and animals like that one can say, parade on a sign, or wear any words they choose without limits...."

I'm pretty sure that is not true that there are no limits to “free speech” in Athens. I can think of several religious or non-religious slogans that would have the wearer arrested as a nuisance or threat to public safety.

It really depends on WHO you are offending....

When is "hate speech" mislabeled as "free speech", and who gets to do the labeling?

Are there any lines left to cross? Is all speech "free speech", or can some speech be considered assault?

For instance: that guy on the corner of Court Street can get away with wearing the t-shirt that says "Jesus is a ----", and probably gets quite a few - unfortunate - snickers of approval from some of our populace.

But put the same guy in a "Mohammed is a ----" t-shirt, and he probably gets physically assaulted. Say his shirt is saying "All ---- go to ----", or "Kill all the (whoever)". He would definately be confronted.

Is one part of the populace so cowed that they won't stand up for their beliefs, while another group feels empowered by the fact that minority status can be a pass to say literally anything? Is this to be considered a double-standard, or just desserts - the 21st century version of "Stickin' it to The Man"?

You can boldly wear a shirt that proclaims "Police LIE". I've seen it, and I don't disagree with the statement... BUT, if you put on a shirt that accuses a popular politician/public figure of the same offense, and do it in Athens, you are gonna get your --- kicked.

I could go on with even more obnoxious examples, but it's pretty clear that in Athens, as in many other and diverse communities, you can get away with certain publically expressed opinions - in fact, they kinda blend in... - BUT, reverse those opinions and they not only draw a crowd, it would become both a personal and public safety issue.

Proof abounds that we, as a nation and a culture(s) have lost any sense of common decency - and we have lost it to the point that we really can't find it, or even know when we have crossed any line.

When did we begin to believe that in order to make a "point" we have to shock and offend? It seems we don't enough command over our language to express ourselves without resorting to intellectual shortcuts.

These shortcuts continue to work their effect on any public discourse.

Right now we're reduced to TV spouting one-line sound bites that totally disregard truth. Indeed, our elite, educational tribe views truth as pretty much subjective in all contexts. So much so that a large portion of our "intelligencia" regard the oaf on the corner with the offensive t-shirt as enlightened, and his vile statement a wonderfully insightful observation. Not, the sick, twisted offront to civilization that it actually is....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Budget troubles will mean more Cops on the road...

The worse the budget situation gets, the more patrols there will be. For a while this will be both traffic enforcement and DUI/OMVI patrols.

As the economy moves more toward total break-down, the police will move more toward their original purpose: to protect the State's interests, which government refers to as "keeping the peace".

No matter how bad the situation gets, be it for revenue purposes or just to control the populace, there will be more patrols of all kinds in the future.

And anybody who has done the math knows that there is a whole culture of jobs and dependent economy built on both Traffic and OMVI tickets. Just look at the cost of your speeding fine on your ticket and compare that to the add-on of court costs that you pay even when admitting guilt and mailing in your payment. Look at the fines, court costs, schooling/rehab and long-term insurance costs associated with just a first-time OMVI offense.

Ohio is ranked the forth worst state for speed traps in the US. To reiterate, it will get worse as the times do...

I drove to WVa the other day, spent 35 miles on 33 in Ohio and saw 10 troopers and 2 sheriffs. That's one every 2.9 miles. In 145 miles through WVa on Rt.77, I saw one trooper and one sheriff.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mikey (I'm a man!) Coleman, Users vs. Suppliers, and the C-bus Tax Increase....

Mayor Mikey (I’m a man!) Coleman threatened his city with chaos if his 25% income tax increase was not approved in the sneak election yesterday-- a sneak election where the minority gets to decide for the majority, again.

Yep, we the minority in numbers, are actually the majority of tax dollars for the wunnerfull city of C-bus.

Whose police and fire “protection” are we paying for? Yessiree, it’s the guy or gal who tries to panhandle us downtown or in the Short North, or the thousands of non-citizens and welfare junkies living in the too-numerous tax supported projects.

And why are we the ones paying? A city estimate of 55% of C-bus income tax is paid by non-residents. And since that is the number supplied by the city Auditor’s office, I am betting that the reality is much higher; probably 65% or more.

Those people who work in the restaurants and shops we frequent and where we frequently get hasseled by said panhandlers? Why, they don't live in C-bus either! More and more of the people who work in C-bus are commuters; the result being that those on the teat and with the resident vote decide things, not the reluctant suppliers.

With fewer people working and paying the problem is fast reaching the critical mass of users overbalancing producers.

More people on the teat. Suckling piggies. On The Dole.

While the welfare junkie that is C-bus is trying to hold the dealer up, that works only once, and then the supply is gone. The junkie doesn’t have the wherewithal to do his own supplying. If more and more jobs and taxpayers move out of the city limits, bye-bye city. And maybe that’s a good thing...? Then mebbe Mayor Mikey I’m-a-man! will get a look at real chaos – not the pretend stuff he threatens us with.

Mikey told you that the gangs and panhandling problems will spin out of control if he didn't get his money. Rrriiiiiiight. Like they've been in control, while he adds more "Freeway Police" and tries to convince us that writing speeding tickets and helping set up DUI checkpoints is really fighting crime.

As for we Worker-Bees, we are paying city income tax and a separate school tax where we live, and now another tax increase on top of the C-bus tax we now pay, and the chunk of state and federal taxes with which we supply more public services and one form or another of government assistance for said non-citizens and welfare junkies.

Mayor Mikey I'm-a-man! scheduled the vote for August. Not November. August. Even though it costs more than twice as much to hold a special election than to put the rape…errrrr issue on the general ballot. That’s so he can get his bunch of “users” out while any city-dwelling “producers” are at work. It wouldn't surprise me if the “get out da vote” effort was just Free Cigs and 40s fer everbuddy.

As it stands right now, I might be bending over, but it is so Mikey (I’m a man!) Coleman and his scum-sucking scam artist pan handling welfare grubbing constituency can kiss my ***.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It is a day for whining....

I hate my 178 mile commute. And, I very much dislike Columbus. It has no soul - at least to this country boy. I doubt I could live here. And I hate being away from my beautiful home and my much-much better half.

I dislike my job, not necessarily the mechanics of it, but I hate having to interact with shallow and insincere people to whom office politics, gossip and rumor is the only spice of the day. I wonder if their souls look and act like rats in a sinking ship?

It is my own fault, as a chronic underachiever, that I am only qualified for the job I do. I am very good at it, but the company where I work is the only place within 150 miles of where I want to be that has a job for me...

Yep, it is a day for whining.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Beer Summit: Oh, the Beers that should have been....

The final word on the beers that should have been served at the historic but meaningless "Beer Summit".

Sergeant Crowley could have been drinking a number of beers, from Carling “Black Label” to Saranac “Black Forest”, to Boston’s own Sam Adams “Black Lager”.

Only one Cerveza fits Professor Gates: Mexico’s own "Carta Blanca". That way he can be drinking the “White Card” in lieu of playing the Race Card.

There are many beers suggested for our President, from “Arrogant Bastard”, which is only half true, to “Blithering Idiot”, which really should have been Joe (Plugs) Biden's beer of choice in lieu of Buckler.

Only one American made beer REALLY FITS, though:


The Beer for people who have Lost Their Nation, NOT Their Taste.

LOST NATION PALE ALE from Willoughby Brewing Company, 4057 Erie Street Willoughby Ohio.