Sunday, May 25, 2014

"...The Visitor From Charleston Would Be Turned Out of Most Homes Today, As Well..."

Isla Vista, California.

Eliot Rodger.

6 dead, 13 wounded.

If you started reading this expecting it to be one more log tossed on what now seems like the eternal flame of discussion/debate/argument about the 2nd Amendment, then the tree which you have upwardly barked is the wrong one.

And if you think this piece will offer up yet more random quotes from individuals on either, or both, sides of the what now seems like the deeply etched in stone discussion/debate/argument about the 2nd Amendment, you have, free of charge with no shipping or handling to pay, another think coming.

Given this latest killing spree and the inevitable jerking of philosophical knees on both sides of the aforementioned line, there is absolutely nothing to be said that has not already been said.


And again.

And again.

And again.

With two exceptions.

Because, if, by some quirk of fate, you are not a passionate advocate, either pro or con, in regards to the 2nd Amendment but are, rather, simply an everyday kind of person, weary to the bone of not only logging on to your news site of choice and reading yet another list of the dead and dying but equally weary to the bone of the endless and, obviously, useless discussion/debate/argument about constitutional rights and arms bearing and our freedom to engage in it, then you might actually find what follows to be worth a few more minutes of your time.

Because this piece offers an opinion that, to the best of my knowledge, has yet to be offered in regards to the endless, and obviously, useless discussion/debate/argument about the 2nd Amendment.

From a voice that, again to the best of my knowledge, has yet to be heard on the matter.

Rhett Butler.

And for the more quick witted, please disregard that conclusion to which you are already poised to jump.

Yes, what follows is about, frankly, not giving a damn.

But only in a manner of speaking.

A couple of years ago, television and film writer Aaron Sorkin wrote a monologue for Will McAvoy, the fictional news anchor featured on the HBO series, "The Newsroom".

The monologue begins after a female college student, watching a panel discussion on which McAvoy is speaking alongside a liberal and a conservative pundit, asks the question “What makes America the greatest country in the world.”

 McAvoy hedges against answering the question, not wanting to take political sides, but is pressured by the moderator to answer, when he finally delivers the words that follow:

"It’s not the greatest country in the world professor, that’s my answer.
Sharon, the NEA is a loser, yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck but he gets to hit you with it any time he wants. It doesn’t cost money, it costs votes, it costs air time, it costs column inches. You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so god damn always? 
*Turns to conservative pundit*
And with a straight face you’re going to tell students that America is so star spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world that have freedom? Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom. The UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, BELGIUM has freedom. 
So, 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom. 
And you, sorority girl, just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day there’s somethings you should know. One of them is there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, Number 4 in labor force and Number 4 in exports, we lead the world in only three categories: Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending where spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies. 
Now none of this is the fault of a 20 year old college student, but you none the less are without a doubt a member of the worst period generation period ever period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Yosemite?
It sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chests.
We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men, we aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it, it didn’t make us feel inferior. 
We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed, by great men, men who were revered.......".
Whatever one's political, even personal, persuasions, it would be difficult to make a case suggesting that this is not a remarkable piece of writing.
And, as history has proven, time and again and again and again, words possess a power that can turn potential into reality.
If, though, and only if, they are heeded at the right time by enough of the right people.
There, exactly there, and not hidden somewhere amongst the wires and cables and power lines of what America once represented, wires and cables and power lines that have gotten gnarled and mangled and even frayed, there lies the absolute rock bottom core of the real problem.
Enough of the right people are not heeding.
And the reason why is both simple.
And tragic.
We're Americans.
And America is the greatest country in the world.
Two people, that we know of, though, realized the danger in that mindset.
Will McAvoy.
And Rhett Butler.
Now, gentlemen. Mr. Butler's been up North, I hear.

Don't you agree with us?

I think it's hard winning a war with words.

What do you mean, sir?

There's not a cannon factory in the whole South.

What difference does that make to a gentleman?
It'll make a great difference to a great many gentlemen, sir.

Are you hinting that the Yankees can lick us?

No, I'm not hinting. I'm saying plainly, the Yankees are better equipped than we. They've got factories, shipyards, coal mines and a fleet to bottle up our harbors and starve us. All we've got is cotton and slaves......

..... and arrogance.


noun \ˈer-ə-gən(t)s, ˈa-rə-\

 an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people.
At the time, that's all Rhett Butler had to say on the matter.
Will McAvoy, on the other hand, had one more thought to offer the assembled audience and, in particular, the moderator who had insisted on an answer to his question.
First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.
Clearly, from the news out of Isla Vista, California and the already wearying to the bone, seemingly endless, but obviously useless, discussion/debate/argument about the 2nd Amendment. the answer is, just as obviously.....
...not yet.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

"...It's A Floor Wax...AND A Dessert Topping...."

Turns out that things can be funny.

Or things can be sad.

But logic, and, seemingly common sense, would dictate that they can't be both.



(CNN) -- A 22-year-old woman was hospitalized after she fell down an elevator shaft at Fenway Park in Boston, authorities said.

The woman fell into the shaft landing on the roof of the elevator, the Boston Fire Department said.
Rescuers shut off power to the elevator to prevent movement, and used a small ladder to go to the roof through a hatch, it posted on Twitter.
The woman was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. Her name and condition are unknown.
The cause of the accident is unclear.
Assuming, at this writing, that the injuries weren't life threatening or fatal, there is a case to be made that this incident could be seen as funny.
And, of course, any time anyone is injured in any way, a reasonable alternative would be seeing it as sad.
But, unless Schrödinger was catching a ball game that day, it would be hard to see it as both.
Get a load of this randomly selected, cut and pasted, edited of junk and pics but nary a word changed chunk of insight, perspective and observation on the human condition popularly known as the "comments section"
(Note: the user names have also been included as they were posted on a public site and, therefore, considered public information)

  • in this conversation
She fell from the 4th floor to the roof of the stopped elevator on the 2nd floor. That's a total of about 12 feet. She might have bumps and bruises or possibly a broken bone at the most. Unless she landed directly on her head, in which case she'll be fine.
you never know
  • Using your math the ceiling height of each of those floors would be 5'4" - only short people would be able to attend the games. The average height of a residential ceiling is 8 feet plus the 8 or 10 inches between the floors - that's at least 17.5 feet. A commercial space might be closer to 20 feet.
      Seriously? Your math skills are great, but your reading comprehension and use of logic leaves a lot to be desired.
      She was standing on the 4th floor. She fell on top of an elevator car that was stopped on the 2nd floor. The distance from the floor where her feet were to where she suddenly stopped when she hit the elevator car is equal to the height of the 3rd floor, plus some structural framing.

        • Frigging math. You're probably wrong too. This is a stadium it's probably like 176 feet to the next floor. Maybe Walls of Jericho high. But then the elevator shafts are on the outside of the stands. They tend to be sloped at a 30 degree angle. That must be factored in too. Also this is Fenway Park. Built before current commercial code requirement. Frigging math, done me in again.
        • You're of the mind that the floors are six feet apart?
            No more math from you. Stick to gramer and spilling

            Maybe it helped. After all, she was from Boston.
            And probably sauced pretty good ( that would definitely help) 

            Maybe she met a guy and fell for him.

            The "dialogue" goes on for what may fairly be described as an interminable time.

            In fairness, there is, in this particular "excerpt", one commenter who offers a simple "I hope she's going to be okay".

            Think of it as a tiny, shiny nugget discovered while panning in a large, powerful flowing stream of shit.

            And even acknowledging that we all, in times of fear or anguish, sometimes resort to gallows humor, there are, at least for me, only two feelings that I find running concurrently after reading these "sharings".

            The depth and texture of "stupid" at work here is, to the more satirical minded among us, in a word, funny.

            The sheer number of people in this country, let alone the world, whose grasp of simple grammar, simple compassion, simple empathy, simple common courtesy, let alone any hint of an intelligence that would make Kris, Kim, Khloe or Kourtney look like a wisdom dispensing tribal council is, in a word, sad.

            And this is just one comment section of one story on one news website.

            The internet is flooded with comments like these every minute of every day.

            You gotta admit that's a little funny.

            Or maybe more than just a little sad.

            But, obviously, not both.




            Wednesday, May 7, 2014

            "...There Is A Fifth Dimension.....That Lies Between The Pit Of Man's Fears....And The Summit of Mt. McKinley....."

            Submitted for your approval.
            Tonight's story requires one of two conditions if it is to be totally understood and/or appreciated.
            1) You must be familiar a seminal 1960's anthology series, in particular, an episode of said series entitled "The Howling Man".
            2) You must find and watch, via Hulu, MeTV, et al, a seminal 1960's anthology series, in particular, an episode entitled "The Howling Man".
            We'll be right back after these words.
            (CNN) – With Hillary Clinton becoming a grandmother, Sarah Palin argued the former secretary of state will likely reconsider her position on abortion rights.
            "Just knowing that her daughter Chelsea is pregnant, with a baby–It's a real baby!–It's not some disposable something, and I know that's going to be controversial," Palin said in an interview set to air Wednesday on "Extra."

             Clinton, who's thinking about running for president again in 2016, has said she supports efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions, but she also defends a woman's right to choose.

            Chelsea Clinton, 34, announced last month she was pregnant with her first child. She's due this fall.

            A grandmother herself, Palin said parents and grandparents "realize that sanctity of life, how innocent, how precious it is."

            "And of all places, it should be in the womb that these babies are protected," the former Alaska governor said. "So maybe even on a social issue like that, she'll open her eyes."

            Palin was responding to a question about whether being a grandmother will make Clinton more electable. The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee said holding the title of grandma will also help "broaden (Clinton's) world view" on other issues.

            "I think anyone who is a grandparent really starts looking even further down the road," she continued.
             "We start thinking about things like $17 trillion debt that our nation is under, we're going to hand that to our grandkids for them to pay off? For our short-sighted thinking and spending today? That's not right. That's not fair to our grandkids. Hopefully she'll start thinking along those terms too."

            Palin also defended her recent controversial remarks in which she said "waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."

            In the "Extra" interview, which took place at her home in Wasilla, Alaska, she argued her comments were not meant to be sacrilegious.

            "Someone needs to get a Webster's Dictionary and look up what it means to 'baptize.' That means to submerge. It means to dunk," she said. "As for the sacredness of the term 'baptism,' I have such great respect for it as a born-again Christian. I was baptized in the water in a freezing cold lake, just about 10 miles up the road."

            Now, assuming that you are either already familiar with, or have sought out and watched that seminal 1960's series, in particular, the episode entitled "The Howling Man", simply do the following:

            Imagine, in place of the "howling man", the former Governor of Alaska/former Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States, Sarah Palin.

            Now imagine, in place of the weary traveler, who, in an act of kindness, disobeys the dire warning of the residents of the monastery and sets said howling man loose on an unsuspecting society, the former senator from Arizona/former Republican candidate for President of the United States, John McCain.

            Tonight's tale of good intentions gone awry, of the consequences of letting the heart overrule the head.

            And a would be prophet whose delusions of wisdom and visions of world salvation exist only in the area between her ears.....

            ...known as The Twilight Zone.