Sunday, October 31, 2010

Puppy and the Red Ninja

It's Halloween again, and that means kids dressed up in search of sugary treats, of course. Both little ones were very excited about trick-or-treats this year and have had their costumes picked out for weeks now.

This is Little Miss as The Puppy. Note that the puppy-head is now too small and she cannot pull it on, so she looks like an adorable Asian preschooler in a furry white coverall. Puppy. 'K?
The Peep went as the Red Ninja, deadly assassin and second grader.
Here's the decorations on the porch; you'll note Zeebog the Reindeer of Death on the left there. That was a Peep idea. Not sure what the idea was, other than it was lighted and moved. Go figure. You may not be able to make out the details in the Halloween picture on the right, but, trust me, it's WAY cool; it has spaceships and tanks in it along with the usual ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, and bats. Way.
I had a terrific evening, BTW; home with the candy bowl, a cold Oktoberfest and a hot dish of savory pot roast to keep out the cold, and the Seattle-LA soccer game on the telly(which Seattle lost, to make the evening even better!). We had surprisingly few kiddos come to the door. My favorite were the three middle-school age guys in their street clothes, backpacks-for-treat-bags and skateboards. "We're dressed as sk8trs..." mumbled one when I asked him about costumes.

Anyway, the little troupe that included Puppy and the Red Ninja wandered off in search of loot and I got to relax on the couch and enjoy a delightful Halloween Night.Hope you had a wonderful Halloween. G'night.

You need a license to drive...

...but if you're the woman I encountered today you may freely reproduce without any sort of quality control whatsoever.

Mind you, I probably deserved the punishment for taking the younglings to Chuck E. Cheese on a Halloween Day Sunday.

The place was virtually empty, tho, and the littles had a great time running around playing games and getting tickets redeemable for cheap plastic crap and candy. And Mojo really needed the break.

As I was sitting with Little Miss at the "Chuckster's Extreme Club I.D." machine (which makes little plastic cards with kiddo pictures on them) I noticed a tall kid - probably 13 or 14 years old or so - coming up to the Peep who was playing on the submarine game nearby. I couldn't make out what was going on, exactly, but I could tell that Peep was giving the older boy one of his game tokens. This happened at least twice before I went over and stood behind him. The big kid continued to hang around in a rather scavenging fashion. Eventually I had to take Missy to the toilet, and when I returned most of the Boy's tokens were gone.

I was pretty chapped, but considering I had no hard evidence, and the scam was over, I didn't consider pursuing it any further. We cashed in our tickets, went to the cheap-plastic-crap counter, and were collecting our plastic snakes, vampire teeth, candy, and other oddlots when an Asian woman came up to the Chuck Worker to point out the same tall kid as having scammed HER son out of his tokens.

OK. So this wasn't just a one-off, and I thought that the least I could do was let the little rat know that his slick little game wasn't as slick as he thought. I went over to the table where he was standing with a couple of other, younger, kids and several adults.

"I just thought you should know that cheating little kids is pretty low."

The kid just looked startled. "I didn't..." he started, when a worn-looking blonde woman got up and moved between me and the kid.

"What do you mean?" she began in an angry voice.

The kid, though, was obviously still trying to talk his way out, a fine young con man in the making. "I was...I wasn't taking...I was giving them tickets..." he offered, until the woman - obviously his mother - told him to move away and sit down, and turned back to me.

"How old are you?" she asked me. I just looked at her. What the hell did that have to do with anything? I thought. "What do you mean, coming over and talking to my son like that? Did you think of finding his mother and talking to me first?"

She was right up in my face at this point, angry and accusative, clearly more incensed at my impudence at confronting her spawn than whatever dirty work he had been doing out of her sight.

I looked down at this angry woman, and half a dozen thoughts chased through my head. Why should I come talk to you, woman, first, last, or otherwise, since it seems that you had no interest in what your progeny was up to? What possible good would it have done, since it would seem to be your "upbringing" that produced this conman whose moral compass seemed to have been permanently pointed at "self-interest"? How does this come to be about me, and you, you idiot harridan, and not about your larcenous spawn? Who would even consider you any sort of resource or authority for parenting, since the failure-of-your-birth-control-device was out on his own stealing from children too young to see through him while you were sitting around bullshitting?But she was going on; "What do you think, that I should be with him every moment..?"

This was ridiculous. I had said what I needed to say to young Bernie Madoff, and the ridiculous indignity of standing in the middle of the tacky Chuck E. Cheese "party room" arguing with a woman too dim to be embarrassed by her own faulty by-product was bearing forcibly on me. As I turned and walked away, however, I had the mild gratification of hearing the Asian woman lay into the Mother of the Year about her larva's thieving progress through the Chuckster's playroom.

The real absurdity was when I returned to the cheap plastic crap counter to collect my own younglings the woman had pursued me. She leaned down and tried to make up to the Peep in motherly tones so sweet as to induce insulin shock in a diabetic.

"I'm sorry, little man..." she cooed, "...I promise I'll get your tokens back..."

I was disgusted. So this was her "discipline"? The "apology" came not from the little bastard but from mom, Diane Downs herself?

"We're done here. C'mon, kids." I shepherded my two out the door.

I drove away disgusted with the woman, her offspring, and myself, for not telling her more forcibly what a waste of good oxygen she and her kid are.

But, honestly, to what point? My brief collision makes it fairly clear that this woman has neither pride nor shame, and her kid is clearly an immature sleazeball who will not learn anything better from his parent, whose concern is only for her own self-love.

What the hell can you do with people like that?I have no idea.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ladybug Girl

I retract or reconsider absolutely nothing of the preceding post.


For all that I would no more want her near the levers of power than I would want to arm a wild monkey with a speargun, I have to say three things about the sordid tale of wankistic frat-boy canoodling that is being used to humiliate Christine O'Donnell.1. Instead of making me sneer at her or laugh at her, this story actually makes like the woman more as a person. Mind you, when I hear or read the things she says on the campaign trail I'm reminded all over again that she is a smug, entitled, ignorant jackass and can go back to hoping she gets her electoral butt whipped. But to get high-schooled, and make out with some egotistical dick, but still manage to stick to your chaste principles? You get some props for that, girl.

2. Something that jumped out of the guy's story is this little gem:
"But there were signs that she wasn't very experienced sexually. When her underwear came off, I immediately noticed that the waxing trend had completely passed her by. Obviously, that was a big turnoff, and I quickly lost interest."
Important safety tip, Romeo; real women have body hair, and body hair means pubic hair. It's feminine, it's attractive, you might even say it's one of the defining aspects of "woman" as opposed to "girl". If you find a woman who looks sexually like a woman and not a prepubescent girl "a big turnoff" I have to say that I'm surprised you aren't spending your weekends at the State Correctional Facility for Men for statutory rape. You might find that unlike your fastidious frat-boy ass your jail husband there might not have trouble with your furry man bits.

Just sayin'...

3. Why is it that a woman looks completely silly and adorable in a ladybug costume?It has to be a XX thing. A man in a similar getup would look utterly idiotic. Chris O'Donnel was Ladybug Girl before there was a Ladybug Girl. Who knew. She looks winsomely dorky in her bug suit.

I still wouldn't vote for her

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Teed Off

So here's what's so frustrating.

You all know we're coming up to the midterm elections.

And you also probably know that the overarching theme for this year is the Great GOP Resurgence.And that the newest standard bearers for the elephants are the "Tea Party" candidates, from Sharron Angle in Nevada to Chris O'Donnell in Delaware (and that's just the women) the news outlets are relentlessly flogging the notion that in a week we will be introduced to the "new generation" of Republicans; just as intransigent on fighting brown furriners (whether of the Scary Islamic Variety or the Operating The Leaf Blower For Your Landscaper Illegal Beaner Variety) and handing out tax breaks to the two-yacht family, this crew is even more enthusiastic for stuff even the former conservative nutjobs considered whacko; deregulating everything in sight, eliminating entire federal agencies - the ones they don't like, of course, mostly the ones that help brown furriners and immigrants an' stuff like agreeing with Global Warming (never Good, Nice agencies like Defense and the NSA, of course).Now, mind you, I have to say that most of this stuff sounds like the same crap we were being spoonfed back in the Gingrich Days (back when the ol' serial philanderer and moral savant was still considered a Power Broker) and were told then, as now, that it was a rich, chocolaty nutrient that would make us grow up bigger and stronger.

It didn't happen then, unless you were in the land of the stratospherically wealthy, and you'll excuse me if I don't believe it's going to happen now, either.

But let's give the devils their due, OK?

Let's assume that November 6th the nation wakes up with a new conservative majority in the Congress. Let's further assume that the rest of the government, and the nation as a whole, is so intimidated by the Tea Crackery Goodness of their new conservative masters that the incoming camorra manages to enact their entire agenda. Every bit of it. Every scrap, smidget, iota, jot, and tittle.Then what?

Gone are the Departments of Interior, Education, Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, National Public Radio, and the freaking Job Corps for all I know. The wealthy are unbound - the estate tax is gone, the entire nation pays a flat tax of, say, 10%. The poor and the old...well, they're on their own. You can choose to house your aged grannie in your basement or let the old harridan forage for food in the bins behind the Safeway with the rest of the old feebs.Your library? Privatized. Your heat, power, water; you pay their "market" price for them or you get cold and dirty. Your internet? Hey, haven’t you heard – the Internet is for porn, Jack. So you sign up for Saucy Suzie’s Dirty DSL most quick smart or it's no more "Ranger Against War" for you. Get sick? Better be employed, Giocomo. You lost you job because you got sick?

Too fucking bad. Shouldn't have gotten sick, should you?

Oh, and the deficit?

Oh, yeah, that.

Well, you see, the problem is that there's one bit of government that's doin' just dandy. And that's the outfit across the Potomac over at the Five-Sided Funny Farm. Yep, there's terrarists about, bucko, lurking perhaps under your very bed, and we needs to hunt them. So there's guns for the Army, ships for the Navy, it's a regular American Patrol. Great big satellites for the spy agencies, teeny little torture cells for the interrogators...all those things cost money, you see.And since we've cut our revenue intake with all those tax cuts, see...well, you can just imagine.

So here we are; in the Dream Time of the Tea Baggers. No federal control of stuff like education, so we can go back to the good old days...ummm...well, when...okay, let's move along. How about that interstate commerce, eh? With no Department of Commerce and no DOT, it's cool, the freeways - what's let of them now that most of the bridges have collapsed - are cool, like that scene from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome where Ike Turner's ol' lady chases Mel Gibson around the desert and shit blows up an' stuff? And everything is like the Home Shopping Channel, where you can sell your Pillow Pets and buy gold and everything absolutely without any worry about annoying things like child safety or fraud investigations...

I mean, do these daft fuckers ever really THINK this stuff through? Do they ever think about, for all the irritating aspects of the Nanny State like the "Caution; Do Not Eat!" warning labels on the little white packet inside the beef jerky bag and the tipping toddler on the 5-gallon buckets, how much of modern life is actually simplified, assisted, and detoxified by the sorts of things that the government does that they don't want to pay for?

Or the simple reality that the three biggest lumps of the spending they profess to hate are Defense, Social Security, and Medicare, and that they won't give up the first and the other two are, in a lot of cases, what has helped keep the U.S. from becoming a social basket case like fucking Zaire - they help keep your mom and dad out from under bridges and from living out of shopping carts, and if they are suddenly, drastically cut the flood of poor old people into the streets and fields will make the Depression look like a rural frolic in an old Swedish movie?

Do they think about this stuff? Do they really have a plan, other than a trip back to the U.S. of 1890? Or are they just saying the stuff they say because they know it appeals and have never had to govern and really make the hard choices?

This is frustrating, too, because the "grown-up" version of these nutballs spent eight years handing the U.S. to their crony capitalist buddies, raping and fucking over every piece of it not owned by somebody named Koch or Abramoff, and getting the nation involved in land wars in fucking Asia, forchrissakes. And those were the SMART ones, not the ones whose vita lists their greatest accomplishments as "not being a witch" and getting paid for handing out Rand Paul fliers.I understand people's frustration. We handed the keys to a bunch of drunken frat boys and they pretty much slammed the national car all over the road for two terms. So we handed them back to the "reasonable" ones, the ones who said they were going to "Change" all that crap. And, mostly, it didn't change. And so now we're pissed off.

But so now our answer is to find the goofiest, most looney versions of the fucking gomers who kept bashing our national head into the concrete like a eight-year-long episode of "Jackass" and give the wheel to THEM?

What. The. Fuck?Are we really that stupid?

Driftglass - whose sandals I am not fit to unloosen - says yes we are, and, what's more, said it all six fucking years ago.

THAT's the real frustration. It's not like this is a black swan. IT's not like we don't know that these people are "...people (who) never vote for good government; they don't even believe in government. They're spoiled little toddlers who freak out when they're expected to share. They don't think they have to pay for anything that they take. And they're right--they don't."

I'm not one of those who think that this is some sort of unforseen, unprecedented horror. The American electorate has been full of ambition, distraction, uglification, and derision many times before this, and surely will be again.But most of us have been comfortable, fat, and careless for so long. The extraction operation that the New Deal and the social liberalism ran on the robber barons and the oligarchs that revelled in the Dickensian poverty of the nation for generations until they ran the ol' S.S. StarsnStripes on the financial rocks in 1929 has lulled us into thinking that we can never go back to the Gilded Age of Victorian slums and plutocratic rule again.But I will argue that the New Deal was a one-off, an unusual concatenation of massive elitist failure, autocratic liberalism (my pal Andy would tell you that FDR was a sort of kinder, gentler despot; I'd argue kinder, hell - the man was a fucking political piranha who used the idiocy and greed of his enemies [who were his social peers] to gut them and stuff them into a political hole for a generation) and transformative policy that was so effective in grinding the old American paradigm down to stone-hard bedrock that we have now forgotten what it was like for most Americans in 1928. That most of us lived at or near poverty and always had, that a short, filthy, brutal, hard working life was the lot of most people, and that nearly a quarter of all Americans were poor; really poor, dirt poor, hardscrabble poor all of their lives. People ate bad food, lived in hovels or slums that would embarass Sierra Leone today, worked in intolerably dangerous and backbreaking ways and died, usually early, of disease, malnutrition, or injury.And the big difference between 1928 and today is that a lot of those poor Americans back in the day were rural poor. They had farms and knew how to farm. Even when times were bad they had some hope of growing or raising something to eat.

Today we farm our crops at the SuperFresh or the Piggly Wiggly. When we lose our jobs, or get sick, or hurt, and there is nothing there to help but the meager donations of some church ladies and a scattering of soup kitchens and county shelters? We're gonna starve, and quick.

But none of this seems to matter to the Tea Baggers. They want their Gilded Age back, and nothing, not even their own lives and the lives of their fellows, will get in their way.