As the liberal bumper stickers affixed to assorted Subaru Outback station wagons and Hybrid SUVs have reminded me (“1/19/2009! Let’s pull bong hits!“), today will be George W. Bush’s last day in office. Tomorrow, Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn in as the 44 president of the United States and be the first black man to attain the highest office in the land. I am/was no fan of Bush and I tend to sway right with my vote. His rule seemed reactionary rather than proactive and he and his administration ruined just about everything they came in contact with. Granted, his presidency was not as easy as Bill Clinton’s (A sex scandal and the dot com bubble. Anything else?), but many of his problems were self-induced. Terrible circumstances either makes for great leaders or break weak ones. Will history be kind to George W. Bush? Probably not. I am guessing he will go down as one of the worst presidents in history (move over Warren G. Harding!) a ranking that he has undoubtedly earned. Obama inherits two wars, a flopping economy and a national identity on the brink of oblivion. Good luck, Mr.Obama. May you be the savior your supporters are touting you as. Especially since your success will help me move some of that Obama Jesus gear on Cafe Press.
For the first time in American history, a black man has been elected to the highest office in the land (and Colorado is a blue state now! Hooray?). Congratulations President-Elect Barack Obama; may your name and skin color piss off every Southern, backwoods redneck for the next four years. Obama has inherited a mess; the national debt, the mortgage bailout, the Iraq War, the Afghan War, education, health care, the lunatic fringe, etc. I do not like the idea of a welfare state, a national health care plan that I will never use but have to pay into regardless and punishing companies for making too much money. Mix that in with the fact that I am a pessimistic bastard harboring a healthy distrust for politicians in general and now you understand my mindset. I am hopeful the Democrats will do the right thing for the next four years. If not, I look forward to waiting in line for toilet paper and vodka with all of you.
Cafe Press and I have worked out our differences and are friends again (I am sorry I had sex with your sister, Cafe Press. Really I am). Apparently, my Obama Jesus design too closely resembled that of a copyrighted illustration and Cafe Press, rather than getting slapped with a lawsuit from an angry liberal artist that believes supply side economics are the devil, flagged it and pulled it down. Being the insufferable bastard that I am, I took another stab at the Obama Jesus illustration and think the end result is even more awesome than before.
Update: Cafe Press has their panties in a twist over my Obama Jesus illustration and has temporarily taken the store items down while we haggle over their content usage policy via email.
As of post time and last night’s presidential debate, I am still undecided on who to cast my vote for come November. My opinion of McCain has changed little over the past few months (still an old war dog) and while I like the idea of Obama (the man, not the Messiah), his rabid, cult-ish following makes me not want to vote for him. Case and point: while out knocking back a million beers a few Fridays ago with Johnny Ballgame, an intoxicated young woman approached us at the bar and asked for matches to light her cigarette(s). I handed her a pack from the bar ashtray and idle banter soon segued into “Who are you guys voting for?” which segued into her Barack Obama recruitment routine. She informed us shortly thereafter she had been canvasing the area neighborhood on a grassroots campaign to recruit Independent voters to vote Obama. Annoyed at the fact she broke cardinal drinking rule #2 (no politics) and ruined the excellent buzz I had going, I decided to push her buttons. What followed was an eloquent verbal tirade on my part extolling the virtues of one Ralph Nader and concluding with, “I think that is who Jesus would vote for if he were alive today.” The young woman blinked, took a drag of her fifth cigarette, pointed her finger at me and quipped, “Fuck Jesus! What did he ever do for this world?! Vote Obama!” and then stormed off. This cute story inspired me to create the Obama Jesus campaign. Do my unborn child a favor and buy as much Obama Jesus gear as humanely possible. Daddy needs to buy some Pampers.
I love me some Olympics. I love the history, the majesty, the competition, the pseudo-sport “athletes” doing lesbian modeling shoots, the underage Chinese gymnasts and the ridiculously shredded Dara Torres looking like she could punch through the ass of a thoroughbred race horse. I long for this Friday’s opening ceremony in Beijing where anti-rain rockets will be fired into the atmosphere and crippling pollution will destroy the lungs of the most well-conditioned athletes. I look forward to the 29th Games of Olympiad to watch the best of the world compete on a grand stage and ogle hot female Olympians. I am especially anticipating rooting for my wife’s childhood friend and one of Arvada, Colorado’s native sons Casey Malone, who will be representing the United States in discus for his second appearance in Olympic competition (and just in case he forgot, I wish to echo what I told him at his send-off picnic: “If you do not come home with a medal, Malone, do not come home” which loosely translates in Brozovich to, “You show them, Malone. You show the world.”) Let the Women’s Beach Volleyball, and the games, begin.
Wil: This communique may be brief. Damn third world countries and their third world internet.
Me: It is the rebels I am guessing. Monitoring for subversive conversation.
Wil: Could be some Sandinistas. I am in their hometown after all. Birthplace of Sandino himself.
Me: Well in that case, Viva Sandinistas! We love you!
Wil: Nice. Leon is also where that crazy poet gunned down Somoza. There are statues of him everywhere. Rigoberto Perez, I think it was. Cold John Lennon’d his ass. I could be wrong. I have had many Victorias.
Me: Well, when you are a dictator you have it coming. I mean, you have to know someone will pop a cap in your ass.
Wil: Yeah. Leon is like Boulder. Total liberal town. It would be like Pat Robertson coming to Boulder and making derogatory remarks about wheat grass. Some hippie would kill his ass.
Me: Or just try to offer him some really choice weed.
Wil: Ha! Tomorrow I head to Granada because this town sucks. Much like Boulder. I want wear a Somoza Rules t-shirt make a statement similar to your Shut Up Hippie bumper sticker. It might end up worse than someone keying my car, though.
Me: They tend to cut off your head for freedom of expression down there, Willie.
Wil: Man, if prison had air conditioning I would do anything to get thrown in. It is hot down here, Holmes.
Me: Like flames of hell hot?
Wil: Like sweat indoors but do not realize it until your shirt is soaked through hot.
Me: Like your balls sticking to your legs and smelling of old cheese hot.
Wil: Exactly. I stink really bad right now and there is a water shortage so I cannot do any laundry.
Me: You are in the jungle, dude. Fuck it. When we were in St. Lucia showers meant nothing to me. Mostly because after taking a shower I would not be able dry off for three days.
Wil: Good point. But my jeans are especially bad. Alright, I have to get the hell out of this steamy internet cafe because it is making me sweat more and smell worse.
Me: Remember to rubber up.
Wil: Will do. Adios!
Today a lone gunman killed 32 people (including his best shot, himself) and injured 28 at Virginia Tech, making it the second worse school-related mass murder in US history. Number one on the list is still the 1927 Bath School Disaster, followed by the 1999 Columbine Massacre and finally the 1966 Whitman Tower Shootings at the University of Texas. Being a veteran of the Columbine Massacre media frenzy (the shooting was less than 20 miles from my house) here is a list of things you can expect to happen in the next year:
- Local news media will interview individuals that had no involvement in the event save that they were enrolled at the school at the time said event occurred. Most normal family and friends close to the victims will grieve in private rather than talk to guys like Geraldo.
- Comparisons will run rampant between similar school shooting tragedies. Most news agencies will lead in tonight’s broadcast with, “Only four days away from the eighth anniversary of the Columbine Massacre…”
- An analytical breakdown of the killer’s lifestyle habits including what video games he played, what music he listened to, what books he read, what movies he watched and how disturbing his writing was on his Blog/MySpace page. Armchair psychologists will then diagnose the killer with a host of disorders that would have indicated he was going to commit mass murder sometime in the near future.
- The authorities will be blamed for not responding fast enough or for covering something up.
- Proposed knee-jerk gun control legislation will be drafted/enacted to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.
- A fabricated religious subplot will unfold and parents will exploit their dead children by writing books about them (like this and this).
- Virginia residents will be able to commemorate the tragedy by registering their State’s own “Respect Life” license plates (like this). Fellow drivers will then be able to relive the horrific event everyday during rush hour traffic.
- Paparazzi shots of Britney’s cash and prizes (very un-work safe). Five years ago this link might have melted my face, but now her nether regions are about as interesting to me as an introductory to statistics college course. Bonus: C-Section scars!
- Wikipedia for Encierro.
- Snow reports for local ski areas. With an intense Arctic storm moving in, ski areas could be getting upwards of two feet of snow and I could be spending the next couple of days on the slopes reveling in soft, champagne powder while you jerks are stuck in a cubicle at work.
- Selections from the notebooks of Max Roosevelt, 15-year-old socialist.
- Big local news (so big in fact, they interrupted an episode of Judge Joe Brown for the press conference yesterday): Jake Plummer gets benched and Jay Cutler will start as the Broncos quarterback on Sunday. I am officially nicknaming Cutler “The Paperboy” because he bears striking resemblance to a chubby neighborhood kid that slings the daily news and not because he looks like the one-hit rap wonder of the early 90s.
- Wikipedia for GG Allin. Specifically, the “Death” heading.
- The sex trade is booming in post-Katrina New Orleans.
- Patricia Arquette spilling out of assorted items of dress.
- Wikipedia for the Battle of the Trebia, the first major battle of the Second Punic War.
- A teacher who worked in the public school system for two decades after she was caught kissing and groping a 13 year-old student at an middle school dance, became pregnant by a sophomore in high school who she married upon his graduation in 1985 and invited her teenage son’s 15 year-old friend to move in with her and then seduced him.
- Map of US Fatalities in Iraq (by home of record).
Five years ago I was merging onto the Boulder turnpike on my way into work when a news report came over the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. The previous day, I was a pallbearer at my grandfather’s funeral. By the time I walked into the office, both towers were toppled, the Pentagon was hit and “heroes” had taken over a flight bound for the White House and crashed it into rural Pennsylvania (another likely scenario is the plane was shot down by F-16s with cruise missiles and the hero story was disseminated to various media outlets to cover the Air Force’s collective asses). My employer sent us all home shortly thereafter, as the tragedy became too overwhelming for anyone to focus on work. My parents called to check on my mental well-being and maybe just to hear a familiar voice. I spent the rest of the day as I imagine most other Americans did; dumbfounded, sad, angry, confused, emotionally drained and awash in bourbon. The months that followed the tragedy were a sickening whirlwind of paranoia, conspiracy and jingoism. The dust settled from the towers and the Bush Administration subverted democracy (or the illusion of democracy) for American’s “safety.” Left wing patriotic zealots clashed with right wing patriotic zealots and the brief moment of “togetherness” Americans felt was dashed away. Hatred and intolerance for Muslims boiled over. A military campaign to capture Osama Bin Laden was sent into Afghanistan and as of yet has not been successful. A war in Iraq was started under false pretenses. Those opposed to government policy were labeled “un-patriotic.” Americans remain dependent on oil and the hard-line theocratic regimes that export oil. American soldiers are dying for an administration that does not seem care about them. What have Americans learned from the September 11 attacks? Difficult times reveal a leader’s character or expose their character flaws? A selfish culture focused on money, possession and triviality is understandably not accepted and even hated by some? The September 11 attacks were a horrific tragedy, and no matter how many memorials we construct, how many we kill in the name of retribution and how many laws are passed “ensuring” our safety, it seems evident to me that we have not learned a goddamn thing.