Donkey Punch

July 31, 2008

Terrorism Season.

I am sitting here in my office on the 9th floor of an office building in downtown Seattle, listening to the annually occurring, soothing sound of war planes roaring around.

That’s right, it’s Terrorism Season in Seattle.

Every year the Blue Angels come roaring into Seattle for Sea-Fair, an month long celebration of… summer? The Blue Angels appear every year and wow the crowds with two days of highly choreographed aerial acrobatics. To prepare for this display, they practice for about 2-3 hours on Thursday and Friday prior to the performance.

A few years ago I was working at a sales job that just happened to be two blocks from the end of Boeing Field, the airfield any military aircraft coming into Seattle proper use to land and take off. It was then when I first realized how terrifying these machines are. They are all speed, sound, and fury.

When I was young we would go to the air show at Forbes Field in Topeka, Kansas and watch the Blue Angels. The fascinated me. I just couldn’t get enough of the spectacle. It was then I decided to be a fighter pilot. What could be cooler?

I was a perfect candidate for pilot. I’m medium sized (5′ 8″), generally healthy and fairly intelligent. I even visited the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and dreamed of multiple-g maneuvers and various acrobattery. An Air Force recruiter recognized this in High School, and was pretty aggressive in trying to recruit me.

Somewhere along the way I decided that I could not be a military pilot. Maybe it was because my grandfather died in WWII and I understood, deep down, that war sucked. Maybe it was the pencil drawing in my bathroom when I grew up that had a picture of a Vietnam-era soldier sitting on his helmet, head in hands, bearing the caption, “War, when you are at it, is horrible and dull.” Or maybe it was because the tone-deaf recruiter liked to call me around 9 am on Saturday mornings (Keggers were de rigueur Friday night entertainment at Topeka High School). But somehow, I realized that no matter how fun it would be to fly those birds, at some point the leadership may ask me to rain death on people, many of which would be innocent. I was fairly sure I could not do that with a clear conscience, so I let that dream go. I still harbor a small wish to pilot a vehicle that can go close to 2000 MPH, but we all have unrealistic wishes.

Back to Sea-Fair. Yesterday there was a ‘parade’ of Navy vessels in Elliot Bay featuring some kind of small battleship shooting its deck guns at downtown Seattle. I realize they were blanks, but WTF? Couldn’t they point them at the Kitsap Peninsula or something? I could not help to think of the Soviet-era parades featuring all manner of terrible killing machines. And today we get the ultimate terror display, the impossibly nimble, loud and effective F/A-18 Hornet.

When I was working at the end of the airfield I invited a beautiful friend of mine to stand on top of a nearby building and watch them take off and do their thing. When I wasn’t distracted by her beauty (I wonder where Morgan went…), I kept thinking about how the impression of these flying machines must change when you are aware that they could unleash their fury upon you or your loved ones at any time. They come up over hills with no warning. They move so quickly you have to constantly adjust to keep up with them. And they are loud. Extremely loud. Once you see and hear one of these drop its payload, just the sound of those engines must incite abject terror. These planes are relics of a time when nations fought nations. What is their purpose now except to remind everyone how powerful and violent we are as a nation?

So now we fight a faceless enemy, The Terrorists. But how many places in the world fear the mere sound of these Terror Machines? How many parents’ blood runs cold at the first echoing howl announcing the presence of the Hornet? How do we claim any moral superiority to The Terrorists if we do what they do, only ten times bigger and ten times worse? Not to mention the fact that our government regularly terrorizes its own population, like some kind of Al-Queda proxy, with all sorts of thinly veiled threats, colored alerts, unnecessary and ineffectual security measures, and bold pronouncements of imaginary threats (Remember the run on duct tape?)

So Fuck You, Blue Angels. Take your terror show somewhere else. I’m more interested in displays of peace.

Here’s Tom Tomorrow‘s take. I hadn’t even thought of this angle:


July 30, 2008

Post-Evolutionism

Filed under: Idiocracy, Post-Evolutionism, Wall-E — t4toby @ 11:08 am

I went and saw Wall-E this last weekend with 5 girls – 12, 12, 11, 7 & 3. (What else was I going to do with all of those little ladies?) It was a great movie, full of amazing visuals. The environmental angle was interesting, as humans were off somewhere in space while robots were tasked with cleaning up the mess left behind. The humans were all giant, slovenly lumps with their own hoverchairs and a nice big monitor that they did not take their eyes off.

Coincidentally I also am currently renting Idiocracy, which if you haven’t seen it is a movie about the dumbing down of man. The basic premise is that smart people reproduce at a much lower rate than morans, leading to a sharp decline in the IQ of all of humankind. It is was written, directed and produced by Mike Judge, so it is equal parts scathing commentary and utter ridiculousness.

Seeing both of these movies got me thinking about evolution and its role in a world where we have essentially removed the environmental component that allows only the strong to survive. It seems. at least in the more developed parts of the world, that we have cause evolution to jump the tracks.  Now evolution has been moved to the geopolitical/monetary system, creating dinosaurs gorging on our life’s work instead of our lives.  As more and more money gets consolidated at the top, those at the top get more and more specialized at making money.  In the same way that the dinosaurs became so specialized that they could not survive relatively small changes in the environment, our systems are evolving to merely siphon off the hard work and livelihood of huge swaths of people. Think of a blue whale eating krill.

More on this line of thinking as I develop it in a more coherent manner…

July 24, 2008

Nas & Color of Change (Updated)

Rapper Nas delivers over 600,000 signatures to Fox News protesting its racist content.

I am hoping to see more of the wealthy rappers get invovled in this kind of grassroots protest. These are people who have huge potential to energize a relativley untapped demographic – the disaffected young people identifying themselves with Hip Hop culture. I see a positive side effect of the Obama candidacy is the legitimizing of the role of young people of color in the political process. If Jay-Z his ilk could move in a synchronized fashion, we’d have one hell of a voting bloc on our hands.

For some background on Nas, here’s a video of his song I Can:

This all reminds me of one of the most surreal moments on television, featuring Mike Myers and Kanye West, with a cameo of a seriously stunned Chris Tucker at the end:

Kanye looks like he is about to go postal throughout the whole clip, hardly the swaggering ball of energy he comes off as on stage. And the looks on Myer’s and Tucker’s faces after Kanye drops the bomb are priceless.

How many people have the courage to speak the unadulterated truth in the face of abject misery? This is the kind of courage we need to see much more of if anything is going to get better in this country.

Right on, Nas.

Update:

Fox refused to accept the signatures, so Colbert accepted the signatures for Papa Bear. The segment starts at around 8:45.

July 21, 2008

No Shame.

Well, they aren’t even trying to hide it any more.  Via Glennzilla, here is the goodie bag that all atendees of the Democratic National Convention will recieve.

See anything funny about it? I notice that the frackin’ AT&T logo is the biggest damn thing on the bag.  Even the letters for AT&T are in a larger font than anything else.

As the Hep Cats say today, WTF ?

The whole system is bought and paid for by corporations that have no interests beyond making the very rich richer.  That is the reality we live in.  We are a top-heavy imperialistic power that is listing dangerously.  I seriously wouldn’t put it past our current leaders to come up with a way to suspend our democracy and try to install Bush as President for Life.

Start growing a garden.  Hug your neighbors.  Be nicer.  I think we’re in for a hell of a ride.

July 17, 2008

The most concise critique of the Bush administration yet.

h/t List of the Day

But let’s not just focus on the negative:

h/t ISHKUR

Added bonus from Ishkur:

July 15, 2008

Testing…testing…

Filed under: Uncategorized — t4toby @ 11:53 am

I have no idea why I couldn’t get that to work before.

You know it ain’t right.

Filed under: Uncategorized — t4toby @ 9:06 am

Ron Edmonds / AP Photo

When Biggus Dickus and professional concern troll Joe ‘Nuke Iraq’ Lieberman are smiling and laughing, someone is getting screwed.

This picture is from the new FISA amendment signing ceremony.  I have refrained from saying anything about it because I decided that wishing for a meteor to land directly on the White House and taking the rest of D.C. with it was a more fruitful endeavor.

Have another look:

Assholes.

July 14, 2008

Wazzup?

Filed under: Uncategorized — t4toby @ 4:54 pm

I am getting less and less time to use the old work computer to post.  I really need a computer for my home.

That is my excuse for leaving y’all out in the wilderness all alone, and I’m sticking with it.

July 11, 2008

TIMMMMBERRRRRRR!!!

Filed under: Financial Collapse — t4toby @ 2:23 pm

That’s the sound of the financial system crashing.

I’m making some popcorn.  This is going to be rich.

July 10, 2008

Despite All My Rage I’m Still Just a Rat…

From the G-8 Summit-

Fresh from blocking any real efforts to tackle climate change, our illustrious President acted more fratty than ever. Take it away, Telegraph

As President Bush was preparing to leave the final private meeting between the world leaders at the G-8 Summit, he dropped this gem:

“Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.”

He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

George W. Bush is an asshole.

From the ‘Homer Simpson is Smarter than George W. Bush’ file-

George F. Will takes a break from being a smarmy libtard to extol the virtues of beer:

..the roughly simultaneous emergence of urban living and the manufacturing of alcohol set the stage for a survival-of-the-fittest sorting-out among the people who abandoned the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and, literally and figuratively speaking, went to town.

To avoid dangerous water, people had to drink large quantities of, say, beer. But to digest that beer, individuals needed a genetic advantage that not everyone had…This ability is controlled by …genes not evenly distributed to everyone. Those who lacked this trait could not, as the saying is, “hold their liquor.” So, many died early and childless, either of alcohol’s toxicity or from waterborne diseases.

The gene pools of human settlements became progressively dominated by the survivors — by those genetically disposed to, well, drink beer. “Most of the world’s population today,” Johnson writes, “is made up of descendants of those early beer drinkers, and we have largely inherited their genetic tolerance for alcohol.”

Well, break’s over. Time to veer off into Brave Libertarian/History Whitewasher territoy:

Johnson suggests, not unreasonably, that this explains why certain of the world’s population groups, such as Native Americans and Australian Aborigines, have had disproportionately high levels of alcoholism: These groups never endured the cruel culling of the genetically unfortunate that town dwellers endured. If so, the high alcoholism rates among Native Americans are not, or at least not entirely, ascribable to the humiliations and deprivations of the reservation system. Rather, the explanation is that not enough of their ancestors lived in towns.

Not unreasonably. See, we didn’t commit horrendous genocide by virtually exterminating the Injuns, it was their fault. They should have lived in towns and drank beer, like us good God-fearing Protestants…

Oh, well, at least there’s this line:

“Dying of cirrhosis of the liver in your forties was better than dying of dysentery in your twenties.”

Heh, indeed.

And finally, there is hope for married couples in their 40’s-

A wife gives her husband a unique 40th Birthday present: Sex every day for a year.

“One girlfriend said I must never, ever tell her husband what I was doing in case he got any ideas.”

Real nice.

She had been expecting whoops of delight and much punching of the ceiling when she told him of his gift…”to my horror, he declined the whole thing, saying that he didn’t want me to feel that I had to have sex with him – like it was some sort of duty…I was quite deflated.”

Whoops of delight and much punching of the ceiling? Is she married to this guy?

But I digress.

the couple don’t claim a 100 per cent success rate but say they had sex roughly 28 days a month for 12 months

Not bad. Not bad at all.

“When I started looking at this, though, I realized there was ample time for sex; we were just putting everything else first.”

Hmmm…

“I gained just as much from this as Brad and, if I’m honest, it was as much for me in the first place. I needed the boost in confidence it gave me.”

Sing it, sister!

“One of the saddest moments when I was thinking about my marriage was when I realized that sex with Brad was the only thing we shared that was unique to us.

It was what made us more than roommates, and yet I was denying our marriage that aspect.”

Amen.

Photo Cred – AP

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