Archive for the ‘Agitprop’ Category

You can’t spell ‘harass’ without ‘ass’

November 19, 2017

The Mud Stud is not exactly the most enlightened of males. In fact, he’s a pretty dim bulb on most matters.

Some of the lads wandered a bit off topic in the previous post, toward the cascade of revelations about just how many of us appear to be dicks.

The sheer number of recent revelations feels overwhelming, until you consider how long women have been enduring a thumping of one kind or another.

In this country women didn’t get the right to vote until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920 (it was Tennessee, presently home to Herself the Elder and Herself’s younger sister, that tipped the scale).

Inequities remained and continued, of course. Today, women still earn less than men. Forbes says the Fortune 500 has more women CEOs than ever before, but that’s not saying much (32). Women hold just 8 percent of the top corporate spots in the U.S., according to CNBC.

In government, we find all of 21 women in the Senate and 84 in the House.

And of course, if you’re talking about simple condescension, or a good old-fashioned beatdown, men have the edge there too.

Then there’s sexual harassment.

I’m willing to bet that we all know at least one person who’s been the unwilling target of unwanted attention. In my newspaper days I knew two people — one woman, one man — who were stalked by their supervisors. To management’s credit, both perpetrators were disciplined, one by a swift sacking.

These creeps were creating toxic environments for at least two employees and had to go. But newsrooms, like cop shops, are rough-and-rowdy places, with an us-against-them atmosphere, frequent booze-addled socializing outside the workplace, and a lot of raw language. Plenty of torrid romances bloomed — editors with reporters, reporters with photographers, and ad salespersons with their clients.

And of course the publisher was boinking all of us.

So where do we draw the lines between acceptable, frisky, risky and abusive behavior, especially at the workplace? What merits a “Oh, go fuck yourself, Ed, you’re drunk” and what mandates a pink slip?

I look at Al Franken and I see a comedian who made a stupid joke. I look at King Donald the Short-fingered and I see a self-confessed serial abuser. Plenty of built-in bias in that evaluation, to be sure, but there it is.

Am I wrong? If so, what’s right? I’m particularly interested in hearing from the women in the audience on this one, because I’ve never been sexually harassed, on the job or anywhere else.

Unless you count the time the giant African-American crossdresser in the red miniskirt hooted at me as I was cycling through Denver’s Cheesman Park back in the Eighties.

“Oh, honey, let me ride it, let me ride it!” s/he squealed. I don’t think s/he was talking about my bike.

Ten-hut!

November 11, 2017

The old man in one of his earliest temporary billets, in New Guinea during World War II.

Today being Veterans Day, please allow me to tip the Mad Dog garrison cap to all of yis who served.

Most of the media rah-rah was yesterday, which was the officially designated Federal Shopping Holiday; I went looking for a new commander-in-chief but nobody had one in stock. “Come back in November 2020,” they said. And I shall.

The individual who currently holds the position finally made it to Vietnam, I see. Boy, golf must do wonders for bone spurs. I hear it’s the new cycling.

 

 

The timber lands*

November 8, 2017

One up the tailpipe for you-know-who.

It’s a wee bit early for ticker-tape parades and dancing in the streets, and the advice of Winston Wolf remains pertinent, but yesterday’s elections saw the Donks put a few points on the board.

The game ain’t over yet, and they’re a tough team to root for, but whaddare ya gonna do? At least the bench seems a little deeper this time around.

* The boots. The boots are Timberlands. “The timber lands.” OK, so it’s a stretch.

Median income

November 7, 2017

The Duke City is taking a page from the Bibleburg playbook and trying to croak panhandling.

My old hometown has spent years wrestling with the issue of how the less fortunate earn their living, losing two falls out of three.

Nevertheless, that fair Christian community persists; its latest panhandling ordinance, like the new one here, seems targeted more narrowly on the red herring of “safety,” and the ACLU is watching closely to make sure this is not just another cudgel to beat the homeless out of the public right-of-way so their betters don’t have to see them, or think about them.

The ACLU will have its eye on the Duke City, too. And it seems likely that the lawyers will earn, and the City Council will earn, and the police will earn, and the reporters will earn, and the needy will not (for a while, anyway).

Both communities have more pressing safety issues, or so it seems to me. Duke City and Bibleburg-El Paso County both are on track to break homicide records, for example.

And as regards traffic hazards, I’d say the distracted, drugged and/or drunk Duke City driver poses more of a threat to life and limb than does the limper with the homemade billboard working the median at the corner of Fifth and Vermouth.

Part of the problem may be that Limpy has found his way north and east, where the money is. I’ve seen (and donated to) representatives of the Placard People all the way out here in Dog Country, at Tramway and Montgomery. By golly, it’s one thing if they’re shambling around down by Ed Siegelman’s Ground Zero Equal Opportunity Apartments, but up here? What about our real-estate values?

What about our values, indeed.

It might be educational for some of our elected representatives to stumble a few miles in Limpy’s brogans. I’ve done a little panhandling my own bad self, back in my Jackoff Kerouac days, and I can’t recommend it as a career choice.

I was slumming, of course, as are a few of the people you see working the off-ramps. I could go back to my real, privileged life anytime I chose, and I did. But not everybody is so fortunate. If we really want to get the needy off the streets, and keep them off, we need to think a little harder, a little smarter, and with a whole lot more compassion.

On the other hand, maybe this new ordinance will stop the cashier at Whole Amazon from asking me if I want to donate my bag credits to some “worthy cause.” Bloody do-gooder.

Thoughts, prayers and tacos

November 5, 2017

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Force), proposes that all serious cats bring more than thoughts and prayers to a gunfight, or even a taco truck.

Our “leaders” are sending thoughts and prayers around and about once more, this time to a small Baptist church outside San Antone.

I often think about tacos. (“Man, a taco sure sounds good right about now.”) I have even been known to pray for tacos. (“Jesus, let there be a taco stand around here somewhere!”)

None of this has ever gotten me a single fucking taco.

Turkocalypse Now

October 22, 2017

I’m here a week now, waiting for a mission … getting softer.

Every minute I stay in this box, I get weaker, and every minute Donnie squats over a putt … well, I’m guessing he farts.

From our No Shit Dept.: Hotels aren’t secure

October 4, 2017

No bag limit.

Sometimes I get the impression the fake news thinks we rubes never leave our flyover-country shacks.

Of course hotels aren’t secure. Nothing is.

Look at the pile of luggage I dragged into the Luxor for Interbike last month. I could’ve had a crazed midget with a sawed-off shotgun inside that rolling suitcase, a MAC-10 and a couple dozen extra magazines in the messenger bag, a few bricks of C4 in the backpack, a couple of Glocks with spare mags’ in the camera bag, and the boiled head of Sean Spicer in the cooler.

Nobody batted an eyelash when I hustled all this crap from the self-park up to my room. Not even The New York Times.

The American nightmare

October 2, 2017

Mandalay Bay, pictured from the walkway into the neighboring Luxor.

If Charlie Manson checked into the Safari tomorrow morning, nobody would hassle him as long as he tipped big.Hunter S. Thompson, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream”

If we learned anything at all from the good doctor, it’s that anyone can bring anything at any time into a Vegas hotel room.

I’ve been doing it for years. Big black rolling suitcase with a big black messenger bag strapped to its handle, a camera bag, a 25-liter backpack, even a cooler. I always thought if anything drew a floorwalker’s eye, it would be the cooler.

“Sir, you’ll need to return that to your vehicle. We have beverages for sale in the resort.”

But nope. Not a peep. Not at the Luxor, anyway. And I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and speculate that Mandalay Bay doesn’t hassle Charlie either.

Regulars here know I own firearms, but nevertheless believe the Second Amendment was in dire need of a copy editor. And I’ll leave it to another Charlie, the invaluable Mr. Pierce, to bring the heat regarding our national acceptance of blood sacrifice on the constitutional altar.

But I will note that while eyes pop at massacres like the one in Vegas, their lids droop at the day-to-day body count in places like Albuquerque, where we are on pace to exceed last year’s 61 homicides, up from 56 the previous year and the highest number in two decades.

So I’ll encourage you to pester your legislators to consider both the cascade of blood and the steady drip, drip, drip. Urge them to do more than send thoughts and prayers, which have proven remarkably ineffective against the gun lobby. Remember that elections matter (we have one here tomorrow).

And cling to hope while remembering another quote from Thompson, a man with his own firearms fetish:

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

Labor daze

September 4, 2017

A little learning is a dangerous thing.

Reg’lars here at the Chuckle Hut know I once was a fan of all the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, Gummo and Karl).

Well, not so much Zeppo and Gummo.

Groucho, Harpo and Chico I stumbled across early on. Karl and I became acquainted in my second stab at college, where I enjoyed a brief flirtation with non-comedic Marxism — the Young Socialist Alliance/Socialist Workers Party, a Trotskyite crew, and the October League, a Maoist group that later became the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist).

I’m not sure why a middle-class white boy wandered so far afield from the Republicrat-Demublican game of musical thrones.

There was the war in Vietnam, of course, but I was a year too young for the lottery and wouldn’t have volunteered until the Viet Cong were actually in Colorado and executing dope dealers.

The Yippies’ street theatricality appealed to me — I even tried to register as a Yippie for Nixon-McGovern ’72 — but the SWP and CP(ML) were decidedly unfunny, like a Marx Brothers movie starring Zeppo and Gummo.

Maybe it was working as a janitor as a college dropout. (Check out this NYT story about janitors then vs. janitors now.)

I didn’t push the idiot stick for big outfits like Kodak or Apple, but for smaller shops that were already outsourcing their cleanup to even smaller shops, like the one that employed me. My work took me to a couple downtown banks, a northside UPS location, a Salvation Army youth center and a southside sales office. No car, so I pedaled from place to place on a Schwinn Continental, a bicycle commuter before it was cool.

There were no opportunities for advancement at that job, or any of the others I worked before finally landing a copyboy gig at the Colorado Springs Sun. I found I liked newspaper work, and wanted to stay, but the managing editor said I’d be going nowhere fast without that ol’ sheepskin, so back I went to college, where Karl, Leon and Mao were loitering around, waiting for me to turn up.

Then the war finally ended, the Revolution fizzled, and I moved on, eventually finding myself with a B.A. in journalism and a job at the other newspaper in Bibleburg, the Gazette Telegraph.

The GT was a libertarian rag, owned by Freedom Newspapers out of Orange County, Calif., and it leaned so far right it was almost left. As a consequence the wages were low and the hours illegal, but it wasn’t long before I was offered a chance for advancement: heading up the education desk, which consisted of two other reporters plus Your Humble Narrator, who was so wet behind the ears you could have raised goldfish in my hair.

It was at that moment that I knew management was incompetent, and perhaps insane. And my sympathies returned to labor, where they have remained ever since.

Happy Labor Day.

Bear with me

August 16, 2017

It’s all downhill from here. That itty bitty green stripe in the distance is the bosque.

More distraction: Sick of being a spectator at our latest national disaster, I hightailed it to the hills yesterday.

It was a short ride, just 25 miles, but a hilly one, meandering up and down the foothills streets before tackling the star of the show, the short, steep climb to La Cueva picnic grounds.

There’s bears in them thar hills.

The road surface is what we like to call “heavy,” which is to say the chip-seal is mostly thick tar and old boulders. But the views are pretty damn’ fine and well worth the effort to get there.

School having started, there was mostly no one at La Cueva but me. One young gent, who was backpacking his kid up and down the trails, said he was maintaining a wildlife camera up there. He’s getting plenty of bear pix, but no cougars. Might check the bars down by the university, I thought.

The lack of cougars aside, it was nice to take a break from that ruptured sewer line disguised as the news that leads to my MacBook, and thence to the overworked leach field in my head.

And speaking of news, let’s: I can write all day long about the walking, talking Superfund site farting Mickey D’s into the ordinarily rarified atmosphere of the Oval Office like some malignant tuba, but you folks can get better, smarter stuff elsewhere, and plenty of it, too. I’m starting to feel as though we already enjoy an overabundance of words on this topic and rather than picking the scab over and over again we might be better served by taking action to resolve the problem.

So what do you come here for? Politics? Bike stuff? General yuks? Filthy language? Pet pix? Let me know your preferences in comments. But do keep in mind that it’s my shop, and I’m likely to stock many of my favorite products no matter what the customers crave.