Archive for the ‘Agitprop’ Category

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.

Fire on the mountain, lightning in the air

August 15, 2017

Just another gorgeous sunset in Duke City.

Last evening it seemed that the whole ’hood was out to walk their dogs and enjoy the sunset, which was on the epic side.

The monsoons continue, on and off, and when high clouds and hydrocarbons team up you can get quite a show.

This proved a nice distraction from the news, which unlike the hydrocarbons does not give me a warm feeling.

But you have to turn your gaze away from the sky sometime, and the view down here on the ground ain’t exactly picture-postcard.

We have a lazy, casually vicious, unhinged, racist ignoramus in the White House, surrounded by a cadre of fascists who are at least as mean as he is and considerably smarter. Or they think they are, anyway.

They have a base (adj., lacking the higher qualities of mind or spirit; see also ignoble) whose adherents seems to suffer little in the way of consequences — not even a prompt, stern talking-to from their president — when they turn up armed and dangerous in public. One wonders how law enforcement might respond if a troop of Black Panthers carrying AK-47s attends one of these little Klan-bakes.

Yes, we have a firmly worded right to free speech. But it seems to me that if you fetch clubs, shields, chemical irritants, helmets and firearms to the rally, you’re not really there for the speechifyin’.

And yes, the oft-litigated right to bear arms applies here, too. But if you can’t make your case in a public forum without an AR-15 slung over one shoulder, I’d suggest you don’t have much of an argument. What the right forgets is that the left can bear arms, too. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 21st-century Abraham Lincoln Brigade at the next Nuremberg picnic.

It’s all going to get much worse before it gets even a little bit better. Politicians, preachers and captains of industry are putting some daylight between them and Bozosaurus Rex, but he’s just a symptom. Treating the disease will require heroic measures.

Bananas Republic

August 12, 2017

I wear my sunglasses at night.

The folks at Visit Charlottesville must be enjoying all this free publicity.

Then again, maybe not. I don’t see “Nazi rally” on their list of “9 Reasons to Visit the Charlottesville Area This August.”

 

 

Kinda busy right now

August 9, 2017

The Acme® DIY Bomb Shelter.

Hellth care

July 25, 2017

It’s nearly impossible to live a normal life, or even one like mine, and keep an eye on all the outrages flying out of DeeCee like bats from a belfry.

The main one right now is what the GOP is cynically calling its “health care” legislation. Next to nobody knows exactly what’s in it — or perhaps “them” would be more accurate — or exactly when the Senate is likely to take up the motion to proceed.

But with John McCain saddling up to provide a key “yes” vote (yeah, I know, more Pinto than Maverick), it’s gonna be close.

The Turtle can only lose two of his bots on the motion to proceed, which is the precursor to actual debate on the legislation itself, whatever the hell that might be, and it looks like a few of them are teetering on the ragged edge.

I’d say that if you have the stomach for it, and even if you don’t, phone calls to your senators are in order. This mess needs to die in the waiting room before the GOP can get it into surgery.

Videocy (an ongoing series)

July 18, 2017

Just past the turnoff to Heartbreak Hill, the marquee bit in the Santa Fe Century.

Wrapped another video for Adventure Cyclist yesterday. I was sick of all my usual backdrops, so I went up to Heartbreak Hill off NM 14 and fiddled around a bit there.

Going up (but not very far).

And no, I didn’t ride the Co-Motion Deschutes there, thanks for asking. It would’ve been fun, but we’re talking a hilly 65-mile round trip from El Rancho Pendejo. Herself was serving jury duty, The Boo is very much not interested in being alone for several hours, and I had to edit the video and do the voiceover when I got home.

Also, and too, it rained like a mad bastard here yesterday afternoon, and had I been an actual touring cyclist, instead of merely playing one on TV, I’d probably have gotten caught in it. I hear you’re supposed to suffer for your art, but still, damn.

Speaking of suffering, I see the latest iteration of Trumpcare croaked on the table. Take a moment to cheer, by all means, but let’s remember the advice of kindly Doc Winston Wolf before we get too giddy. As Kevin Drum notes, the main reason the beast died is that it wasn’t tough enough on the poors.

Sticky fingers

June 22, 2017

A rose (grave not included).

The Senate’s Elefinks have released their double-secret “health care” bill, and it’s just about as bad as you might expect.

It boils down to: “Oi! You there! Sickies, crippies, olds and poors! Mind giving us a hand with this yuuuuuge sack of cash? We’re taking it over to the richies! Try not to sneeze or bleed on it, will you?”

The good news is, they won’t forget to put roses on your grave.

Oh, who are we kidding? Of course they’ll forget.

Welcome to the working week

June 12, 2017

I see my birth state, Maryland, is joining with the District of Columbia in suing Don Clementino for making money off a presidency he considers an impediment to his golf game.

The lawsuit, a signed copy of which [was] provided to The Washington Post on Sunday night, alleges “unprecedented constitutional violations” by Trump.

Nice to see the old home crowd standing tall while the Congress scurries about, trying to give the banana to our Republic.

Busy, busy, busy

June 8, 2017

The president was riveted by Comey’s testimony.

And not just me, either: While we were all entranced with “The Comey Show,” the House GOP was continuing the Lord’s work, which is to say hotwiring the Republic and tooling on over to the Thieves Paradise Chop Shop.

Look for that crowd to redouble its efforts before it comes out that the real Donald Trump croaked back in the Eighties while horning lines off Russian hookers three at a time and this bozo is an old KGB pro with a new face.

I’ll confess that I only watched a little of Comey’s testimony. As soon as Little Marco’s earnest, sweaty mug popped onto The New York Times video feed, I kitted up and shot out the door for a bike ride before it got too bloody hot here, too.

I wonder who was tasked with holding the elephant tranquilizers for Don Clementino while his piggy little eyes took it all in. Probably President Bannon. I bet he even pre-chewed ’em for the poor little tyke.