Sunday, May 15, 2016

Every day a little death

The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced on Friday that it had imposed sweeping controls on the distribution of its products to ensure that none are used in lethal injections, a step that closes off the last remaining open-market source of drugs used in executions.
Pfizer said it would restrict the sale to selected wholesalers of seven products that could be used in executions. The distributors must certify that they will not resell the drugs to corrections departments and will be closely monitored.
 
Not to worry, killer states.  Pfizer makes another product which is freely available and can be used to give the condemned an erection lasting over four hours.  Repeat as needed.
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Saturday, May 07, 2016

Hooray for New Math!

From Raw Story:

"An award-winning professor from Penn was removed from an American Airlines flight on Thursday after his seatmate reported him as a  terrorist based on watching him do some math calculations while waiting to take off...Guido Menzio was forced to explain to FBI officials that he was doing research..."

How do we know he wasn't radicalized by al-Gebra?  Children all over the country are exposed to this alien arithmetic.  I blame Common Core even though I have no idea what it is.  Barack HUSSEIN Obama!  It's not too late for impeachment, sheeple.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Spiders in Chernobyl weave deformed webs

That was the headline on my log-on page, and I know exactly how they feel.  (Are they catching mutant flies, who scream "HELP ME" in tiny voices?)  "When you awake, you will remember everything," The Band sang long ago.  That's the problem.  Am I awake?  I kept waiting for the Trump campaign to burn itself out or suppurate or something, but no.  It's as if, at the climax of A Face In the Crowd, Lonesome Rhodes went off on his audience and instead of outrage, they just smiled and said, "He's right, we are dumb shitheads.  He's so honest. Arthur Godfrey would never say that.  What a guy.  Let's give him the launch codes."

Surreality is the new reality.  Last night America was apparently informed that Rafael Cruz (the senator's father) was an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald.  (I have to say "apparently" because all I have is a Trump transcript, and it's easier to parse the Dead Sea Scrolls than his authentic Queens gibberish.)  That his source is the National Inquirer makes me long for the good old days, when Ronald Reagan got his information from the Reader's Digest, and Sarah Palin was unable to name any periodicals at all.  There were giants in the earth, we just didn't know it.  Trump is amoral, narcissistic, detached from reality and a pathological liar.  If it's true, does it matter that this acute character analysis comes from the equally disgusting Ted Cruz?  And that even John Boehner called Cruz (in an uncharacteristic burst of eloquence) "Lucifer incarnate"?  At what point does this enemy-of-my-enemy-of-my-enemy fugue turn into a wilderness of mirrors?  (Fugue?  Mirrors?  You see what I've been brought to?)  When do we awake?

I have an apocalyptic vision of my own, and it's called an Open Convention.  On the streets of Cleveland where Harvey Pekar once walked, I want a Second Amendment face-off between the Tedophiles and the Stormtrumpers.  I want the National Guard to come in at the end and kill the wounded.  I want American splendor and deformed spider webs. 

Jesus, I can't face another six months of this.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Solstice potpourri

Unless there is a war between Colombia and the Philippines, or they both get together and attack Steve Harvey, December 21, 2015, will be remembered as the day Lindsey Graham terminated his barely noticeable campaign for president.  In a field where there is no real disagreement about the so-called issues he simply could not generate enough outrageous bullshit to stand out from all the other pathological liars, fantasists and neo-Nazis jostling to lead the party of Lincoln.  I assume he and his stablemate John McCain will still pop up on the Sunday shows to demand "carpet bombing," "boots on the ground," "no-fly zones" and other well-considered solutions to the world's problems.

                                                                         *****

Have I got this right?  A punk named Couch killed four people and paralyzed a fifth while driving under the influence of who knows what, and went home after a brain-dead Texas judge (sorry if that's redundant) agreed that he was born too rich to know right from wrong.  Now he's going to jail because he was filmed at a party watching another punk play beer-pong.  The longer I live in this country, the better I understand why people in the Middle East want to come here and lop off our heads.  I wonder if they know they'll have to pull them out of our asses first.

                                                                        *****

Sometimes life imitates art, but it doesn't know where to draw the line.  If you were to create a fictional sleazebag who secures the rights to a lifesaving drug and raises the price by a thousand percent, boasts about it in long, rambling online posts, and revels in being the most despised man in the Western world, would you gild the lily by calling him Martin Shkreli?  But there it is, proof that our reality is being written by hyperintelligent beings in another dimension.  Yes, they've written him a (we hope) properly grim ending, but they just couldn't resist giving him a lawyer named Evan Greebel.  Is it possible that his grandma is Phyllis Schlafly?

                                                                       *****

Drumpf.  That was the family name that Donzo's grandfather brought here from Germany, not Sweden.  Who lies about something so insignificant?  Better ask why so many people love to be lied to.  Tell them Obama is a Muslim, ketchup is a vegetable, climate change is a myth, Sandy Hook never happened, the Chinese army is in Syria, FEMA is readying detention camps, there's a war on Christmas, aliens blew up the World Trade Center...they scarf it down and come back for seconds.  Maybe religion has conditioned them to believe unproved, unprovable crap.  Maybe they were just born dumb.  Maybe Plato was right about democracy. 

                                                                    *****

Barring something irresistible, I'm done with this year.  I need to sit in the dark for a week and listen to Bach.  Happy hundredth birthday to Orson Welles, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.  Goodbye to Terry Pratchett, Aldo Ciccolini, Jon Vickers, Ernie Banks, Clark Terry, Andrew Porter, Ornette Coleman, E.L. Doctorow, Roger Rees, Julian Bond, Phil Austin, Yogi Berra, Oliver Sacks, Ron Moody, Anne Meara, Ruth Rendell, B.B. King, Percy Sledge, Allen Toussaint and Brian Friel.  Thank you. 

Let me close with the words of Amiri Baraka, from his liner notes to John Coltrane Live at Birdland (1963):

  "One of the most baffling things about America is that despite its essentially vile profile,
   so much beauty continues to exist here."   

  

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

You do what you can

If Donald Trump is serious about keeping Muslims out of God's Country, he is in a unique position to implement this without waiting to take power:  He can refuse to rent them hotel rooms.  (I assume you have to state your religion at check-in, at the same time you promise to say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy holidays.")  It's only a handful of hotels, but a leader leads by example. 

Also, I'm wondering how many condos at Trump Tower belong to wealthy Middle Easterners, perhaps even members of the bin Laden family.  Surely they are being bought out right now, and their possessions will soon be dumped at the curb.

In other words, I am offering Donzo a chance to put his money where his mouth is.  I do not expect him to take it.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Guns and money

"Money talks, bullshit walks," says the old proverb.  So before there is any more bullshit on the topic of gun control, let's try money.  There will never be common-sense gun control until other countries tell their citizens to stop traveling to the United States because it's too violent and dangerous, because unlike France or Mali, we have a mass shooting every week.  When the tourists stop bringing their Euros and yuan and Australian dollars, a great shout will go up from the hospitality industry (the airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, restaurants, tour bus operators, souvenir manufacturers, and every attraction from Vegas to Broadway) that will drown out even the gun makers and their toadies.  It will be audible even to the politicians, who will sniff the air and "lead" in the direction of the money.  And then the killers will find it a little more difficult to kill.   

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Je suis Planned Parenthood

 They were out in full battle array, the police of America, with assault weapons and helmets, patrolling the streets as the great festival of shopping began -- a sight to chill the blood even if you are not a young black man.  They were meant to make us feel safe from the kind of attack that has occurred in foreign cities.  And as they scrutinized the crowds for people who "look Islamic," whatever that means, they failed to notice Robert Dear approaching the clinic in Colorado Springs, weapons and propane tanks in tow but unquestionably a white man.  A disaffected loner radicalized by the video lies of the "Center for Medical Progress" and the hateful rhetoric of the Republican Party, but obviously not a terrorist, for there is no such thing as a white American terrorist.  After killing three people and wounding others, he ranted about Obama and "no more baby parts," but his motive is still unclear, so they say.  He is "troubled," so they say.  Nobody else is responsible for his actions, certainly not those who radicalized him.  Guilty of nothing but free speech.

Why would Daesh bother sending jihadis to America?  We're pretty damn good at terrorizing ourselves.  And none dare call it terror.  Mental illness, maybe.  The question we should be asking is, why is Republican doctrine indistinguishable from mental illness?