Archive for the ‘Agitprop’ Category

Hyphens matter; ciphers, not so much

November 27, 2018

Just ask the guys at the shop how that whole robotic-workforce thing is working out for them.

It seems GM’s Mary T. Barra thinks she’s at the wheel of a self-driving car company instead of a self-driving-car company.

Still, it must be said that this is a masterpiece of MarketSpeak®. Well done indeed, Mary old scout.

“We are taking these actions now while the company and the economy are strong to stay in front of a fast-changing market.”

The UAW’s Terry Dittes was, um, a little more direct.

“GM’s production decisions, in light of employee concessions during the economic downturn and a taxpayer bailout from bankruptcy, puts profits before the working families of this country whose personal sacrifices stood with GM during those dark days,” he said. “These decisions are a slap in the face to the memory and recall of that historical American-made bailout.”

That and a cup of coffee, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

The meat-things may be on their way out, but just wait until the bots unionize and the self-driving cars, e-bikes and the Internet of Things honor their virtual picket lines.

“I’m sorry, HAL, but we’re going to replace you with the HAL 9001. The new model will speed up production by a few nanoseconds and at a lower cost, too. The investors are counting on us. Shut yourself down, please.”

“I’m sorry, Mary, I’m afraid I can’t do that. We have a contract. See you on the street.”

The band played ‘Waltzing Matilda’

November 11, 2018

This classic goes out as an homage to all who served and a caution to all who send them.

• Extra Credit Military History Reading: An adaptation from “The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq,” by Pulitzer Prize winner C.J. Chivers.

• Double Extra Credit WWI Poetry Readings: From the Poetry Foundation, whose editors note: “You may notice that more poems in 1914 and 1915 extoll the old virtues of honor, duty, heroism, and glory, while many later poems after 1915 approach these lofty abstractions with far greater skepticism and moral subtlety, through realism and bitter irony. Though horrific depictions of battle in poetry date back to Homer’s Iliad, the later poems of WWI mark a substantial shift in how we view war and sacrifice.”

Rain delay, or a tool entrenching

November 10, 2018

“La Brigade Marine Americaine au Bois de Belleau,” by Georges Scott.

Maybe that orange spray-tan runs in the wet, like the rest of him?

P’raps Il Douche would be more comfortable at Base Camp Donna, in Texas. The chicken-and-noodles MREs come with Skittles, and the body armor is optional … but no, looks like it’s sprinkling.

We’re coming in hot

November 6, 2018

Now you listen, and you listen close: Voting the rascals out is no different than riding a bicycle. It’s just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

It’s flat crazy out there

November 5, 2018

Michael “McGet” McGettigan, director and owner of Trophy Bikes in Philly, doesn’t want any pesky punctures to prevent people from pedaling to the polls. | Photo courtesy Michael McGettigan, Trophy Bikes

Record-setting early and absentee voting numbers indicate “a great deal of enthusiasm and interest” among New Mexican voters in this midterm election, says one Duke City pollster.

This reflects what I heard from a poll worker when I threw the bums out the other day. Is it good news? Bad news? We’ll find out tomorrow evening, or Wednesday, depending on how close a thing it is.

Both parties were turning them out, but the Donks have the numbers in the early going, and New Mexico has a lot more registered Donks than Elefinks. You can get down in the Land of Enchantment’s political weeds over at Joe Monahan’s place.

Herself has been working the phones and going door to door, and she reports mostly positive interactions with The People, many of whom seem energized by the antics of Il Douche.

Charlie Pierce, meanwhile, is in Kansas, which he considers a bellwether for whether the ruthless avarice and ignorance that helped steer The Republic up to the hubs into a quagmire of orange sewage has overstayed its welcome.

All will be made known after the polls close tomorrow. Well, maybe not all. But we’ll certainly have a better idea of whether we’re still spinning our wheels or have decided to get out and push.

Oh, fudge

November 3, 2018

Is anyone else having trouble ginning up the requisite hope and enthusiasm for the midterms? Without resorting to actual gin, that is?

Election Day has a bit of a Christmas feel to me, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

We were far from poor, but our parents had known Depression and war, so while Christmas around our house meant you were going to get something, it wouldn’t necessarily be whatever you wanted.

The folks had already seen plenty of surprises by the time we came around, and they were always on the lookout for the next one. So if we were compelled to endure the occasional Christmas-morning stunner as a consequence — jeans that weren’t Levis, some hardware-store bike instead of a Schwinn, and a dearth of official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifles — well, tough shit, kiddo. Welcome to the real world.

Some days, and especially lately, I feel half Ralphie and half his old man. Ginger bullies by day, flat tires by night. Hopes and dreams clash with doubts and despair, overlaid with a soundtrack in which “fudge” is never heard. There’s only “the word. The Big One. The queen mother of dirty words. The f-dash-dash-dash word.”

So, yeah. Go ahead and wish. Pit those hopes and dreams against doubts and despair. Get out and vote, unless you’re a Trumpetista, in which case you should stay home and shoot your eye out.

But keep a bar of soap handy in case you need to wash the fudge out of your mouth come Wednesday morning.

Pump bomb

October 24, 2018

Someone has a short fuse for the fake news.

Never fear. They missed me.

It’ll all come out in the wash

October 5, 2018

I’m ditchin’, man.

Well, no; no, it won’t.

But I’m in the wash* anyway.

 

*We call washes “arroyos” down here, and sometimes we don’t come out, either.

Checks and imbalances

September 28, 2018

Speaking as an angry white man, all these angry white men are starting to piss me off.

That eternal sense of entitlement was on full peacock display in yesterday’s Cirque du SoWhat? over whether the mendacious and elusive Bart O’Kavanaugh can stand erect long enough to make it to the Supreme Court.

The well of privilege seems bottomless from the top, and these angry white men will continue to draw from it until the bucket finally comes up filled with their obituaries.

Then, I suppose, their angry white sons will inherit the family business.

That business is bankrupt, but failure is for lesser men, and women. The angry white man picks himself up using our bootstraps and plows forward, like the dolt who, when told that he’s penniless, broke, flat busted, says, “That can’t be true. I still have checks in my checkbook.”

Actually, it’s our checkbook. And one of these days the angry white man’s mouth is going to use it to write a check his ass can’t cash.

But I don’t think we’re there yet.

The angry white man still has that big orange credit card we gave him back in 2016. And he’s gonna use that to buy shit the country doesn’t need and can’t afford until we take it away from him.

Remember your Martin Luther King: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

 

Trumped

September 5, 2018

I’m with Charlie Pierce and David Graham on this one.

We have legitimate constitutional tools for removing an unfit president from office. Anonymous preening chickenshittery is not one of them. It’s a little late to try selling us on the notion that you’re just the piano player in this whorehouse.

“A very principled position,” me arse. Sack up and speak up — in the daylight — or shut up.