Archive for the ‘Agitprop’ Category

There’s cold in them thar hills

September 30, 2021

Thor is taking a few tentative swings with Mjölnir this morning.

The arm and knee warmers have begun tagging along on my morning rides.

I don’t always wear ’em, but it’s nice to know I have ’em. Just in case.

If I were riding today I’d pack a rain jacket, because the NWS boyos are calling for thunderbummers. And snow? Really? In the higher elevations, to be sure, but still, damn. You’d think it was almost October or sumpin’.

Speaking of a chill in high places, I see the usual rampant dipshittery has hit a frosty new low in DeeCee. Fuck me running, but it has become wearisome to watch our national “leadership” rolling around in that big ol’ barrel of titties and telling the rest of us to go suck on our thumbs.

Can we get a conservatorship established to oversee this mess? Maybe Britney Spears could recommend someone. Then again, maybe not.

Personally, I’d like to see more than a few of these Gilded Age fuck-bubbles loaded aboard the next Jeff Bozos dick-missile to the stars, with nothing to eat but each other, but only if we’re talking a one-way ticket.

I suppose we’d wind up replacing them with more of the same. But maybe the new crowd might think about dinner and a movie, and maybe kissing us, before sticking it in.

Wot’s all this then?

September 16, 2021

Officer Friendly is here to rifle through your Google user data.

“Probable cause? We ain’t got no probable cause. We don’t need no probable cause. I don’t have to show you any steenkeeng probable cause!”

Zachary McCoy was Just Riding Along™, not unlike thee and me, when the John Laws came calling for his Google user data. According to The Guardian:

McCoy later found out the request was part of an investigation into the burglary of a nearby home the year before. The evidence that cast him as a suspect was his location during his bike ride – information the police obtained from Google through what is called a geofence warrant. For simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, McCoy was being investigated and, as a result, his Google data was at risk of being handed over to the police.

No thank you, please, and fuck right off with that noise, Officer Friendly. How’s the song go? “Let me ride through the wide open country that I love / Don’t geofence me in.”

A workin’ man can’t get nowhere today

September 6, 2021

Luck of the draw.

Happy Labor Day, comrades.

I’m barely a worker these days; my paying chores have dwindled to one “Shop Talk” cartoon per month for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Of course, now that BRAIN is a part of the Greater Outside Globe-Spanning Vertically Integrated Paywalled Conglomerate, I find myself negotiating a contract to keep my faded Levi’s up and buckled while I continue to do what I’ve been doing for nigh on to 30 years. So it goes.

Thus, in solidarity with all y’all still on The Man’s clock, here a few random tales culled from our workaday world:

• Hotel workers serve as an unsung pit crew for the firefighters battling the Caldor blaze.

• Job openings outnumber the unemployed. But a gulf between the jobs available and what workers want has led to a “Great Reassessment.”

• Speaking of assessments, are the bots trying to upend the MeatWorld JobMart or are we just stumbling around in the dark as per usual? Kevin Drum has some brief thoughts on the topic.

• Is the boss watching, even when you’re working from home? Maybe. Say hello to “tattleware.”

• Can a workin’ man get somewhere today? He surely couldn’t back in 1978, according to Merle Haggard.

Iron Man is dead*

August 15, 2021

Sometimes you do the boom, and sometimes the boom does you.

Another superhero adventure is coming to a messy ending.

The Military-Industrial Complex’s Cinematic Universe isn’t as orderly as Marvel’s, probably because the writers aren’t as good. Neither are the reviews. But hey, that’s show business for you.

It seemed like such a simple story, too. United States is attacked. United States fights back. Boffo box office!

But some nimrod thinking sequels, spinoffs, and merchandise resurrected an old character called “Mission Creep.” The story went sideways but we kept buying the tickets, taking the ride.

“Look, there’s Stan Lee!”

“No, that’s Robert McNamara.”

Remember the old joke about the driver heading up an off ramp by mistake? “What the hell, you’ve come this far. …”

Well, 20 years later, here we are, upside down in the ditch, watching Mission Creep, Captain REMF, and The Incredible Schmuck posturing for the cameras in an endgame that isn’t one. Avengers Dissemble!

* Of course he’s not dead. We’ll keep trotting him out as long as there’s a buck in it.

Live together or die alone

May 1, 2021

The org chart

April 21, 2021

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers were not Black, yet they had a working familiarity with the arbitrary traffic stop. © and all praise to Gilbert Shelton

Well, that’s one killer cop down, and … let’s see if he stays down before we all start dancing in the end zone.

I won’t presume to speak for Black people in this matter or any other. Shit, I don’t even know what or if honkies are thinking and I am one.

That said, I will propose that all of us devote at least as much attention to what’s going on at home as we do the national performance art in DeeCee. Governors, legislatures, mayors, city councils, county commissions, police and sheriffs, judiciary, school boards, etc. All of these affect the quality of your lives, regardless of race, creed, color, or religion.

You want smart, caring, hard-working people running the shop, handling the hiring, oversight, discipline, and firing as warranted. Even when you’re satisfied you’ve got the right people in place, keep one eye on ’em while you go about your own business. You get an asshole at the top of the org chart, before you know it you’ve got assholes all the way down.

And some of them have badges.

Assholes with badges don’t always tase you, shoot you, or kneel on your neck. Sometimes they just roust you for not wearing a helmet when cycling. Or pull you over for hanging an air freshener from the rear view mirror, having a broken taillight, sporting an unfashionable hue for the ’hood, or demonstrating a unique personal style (see Phineas Freek, above). These are what we call “fishing expeditions.”

“Are you a dope fiend, sir? Mind if I root around in your trunk, see if you have any hogtied White children, bales of marijuana, or rocket launchers in there? Let’s see your license, registration, and MAGA hat. But keep those hands on the wheel where I can see them.” Etc.

With the right management in place, cops like this become ex-cops. Let them fish full time, for food.

• Obligatory disclaimer: Yes, I have had positive interactions with law enforcement since I quit being a hippie. It’s probably not so easy to quit being Black.

Oh, eat me

April 20, 2021

“No one wants to work anymore.” And yet somebody posted this sign at a place of business. ’Ees a puzzlement, to be sure.

Here’s an interesting story. Not “interesting” in the sense that it was solidly reported, written, and edited, which it was not. Interesting in that it calls into question the business model of the fast-food industry.

The story — headlined “We’re competing with unemployment” — focuses on the hiring problems that outfits like Fresquez Companies, Twisters, and Sonic-Inspire Brands are having locally in Year Two of The Plague®.

Back in the day, when newspapers still had copy desks, a cynical old rim rat might have wondered at some volume whether the corporate types quoted in the piece had coordinated their tales of woe.

Says one: “Why would anybody want to, I guess, start at a minimum-wage job when they can be earning more money … on unemployment?”

Adds another: “People are making a lot more money being unemployed than employed, and the world is coming back to dine-in and eat-in a little bit at a time, so the stimulus really paused people applying to jobs.”

And a third: “I think it’s pretty easy to connect … unemployment benefits to it. I think a lot of us feel like a lot of people have chosen not to go back to work yet, because they’re still receiving the benefits.”

Well, shucks. It makes a man’s eyes damp, for sure.

My first question was, “How many of these struggling companies have received SBA Paycheck Protection Program funds or some other form of governmental assistance to make ends meet in these troubled times?” The story doesn’t say.

Nor does the reporter speak with any current, former, or potential employees. The one nod to working people came in a quote from OLÉ Education Fund executive director Matthew Henderson, who said: “Essential workers have risked their lives to keep New Mexico running during the pandemic. Some have decided, however, that the risk to their family’s health is not worth the poverty wages and lack of benefits that many employers offer. Don’t fault workers for refusing to be exploited.”

When I was young and even dumber than I am now, I briefly dated a single mom who availed herself of the various forms of governmental assistance to be had at the time. She was always strapped for cash, and since I was young and dumb, I asked her why she didn’t just get a job.

She explained patiently that the kind of job she would be able to get wouldn’t begin to pay the bills, much less the cost of child care while she worked. So she chose to keep jumping through the hoops of public assistance and raising her child. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

How many potential recruits for the Paper Hat Platoon have decided to stay home, collect assistance, and help their kids navigate remote learning with the goal of giving them a future that doesn’t involve pitching greaseburgers through windows at the Duke City’s drive-thrus? I mean, you don’t need a Ph.D in Google Search to find horror stories about the life and times of the fast-food worker.

I suspect this story may have had its roots in the photo above, posted on Twitter by a local TV reporter. Snapped at a local Sonic, it shows a sign reading: “We are short staffed. Please be patient with the staff that did show up. No one wants to work anymore.”

Wrong, pendejo. They just don’t want to work for you.

Point of ordure

February 13, 2021

Senators at work. For a change.

One thing you do not want to do on a brisk February morning is consider the rampant jackoffery taking place in the U.S. Senate while your spouse tells you how Uncle Sammy plans to hoist you by your ankles for a vigorous shakedown come April 15.

Jesus H., etc. Every one of these posturing poltroons who came into this process focused on rubbing one out while waiting to acquit Impeachy the Clown has betrayed his or her oath to the Constitution and should be run out of town via rail (not the Amtrak variety, but rather the splintery numbers without sleepers or a dining car).

Once delivered to Flyover Country the chickenshits should be issued orange jumpsuits, either too large or too small, equipped with masks crafted from the unlaundered undergarments of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson, and compelled to pick up roadside refuse, distribute vaccine, and build houses for the homeless.

You got time to doodle, read the paper, and put your feet up while doing the people’s business, you got time to pick up discarded diapers, broken bottles, and used rubbers.

How’s that for justice? The trash picking up the garbage.

An Unhappy Meal for Impeachy the Clown

February 10, 2021

We’re all bozos on this bus. Some of us more than others.

Well, I see the SS boys couldn’t keep Impeachy the Clown away from the TV all day yesterday, not even with hourly delivery of Happy Meals soaked in Thorazine.

No, he got word that his Name was being taken in vain, and he clenched his tiny fists and screeched like a gassy toddler, ordering aides to paint iguanas with the names “Raskin,” “Neguse,” and “Castor,” then biting off their heads. The iguanas, not the aides.

The House managers made Impeachy’s second-string legal team look like a couple of drunks pulled randomly from stools at Mar-a-Lago’s 19th hole. Their arguments for not going to trial were basically:

He didn’t do it.

Free speech! He was just sayin’, y’know?

Missed him, missed him, now you gotta kiss him!

Partisan Democrats!

Etc.

The Democrats said: “Let’s go to the tape!” Of which there was plenty.

Jesus H., etc. The writers at “SNL” can take this week off. They can just run with the transcript on this one. Maybe get Horny the Organic Shaman to do the cold open.

I know, I know; Impeachy’s tools could go full-on Clarence Darrow or just sit there and mumble “Fuck you” to everything the House managers say. The outcome is preordained.

But if they ever want to get honest work Castor and Schoen are going to need some more time at the practice tee. And they’ll get it, too. Impeachy is going to stiff them for this shit, and they’re gonna have to sue his fat ass for nonpayment, like everybody else.

Shelter from the Sturm und Drang

February 8, 2021

Sen. DeMille (R-Rome) makes a point of order.

Herself was giddy with anticipation this morning, chirping merrily about impeachment.

“It’s trial, not impeachment,” I mumbled as I lurched creakily out of bed. “He’s already been impeached. Twice.”

“Don’t give me any of your semantics,” she retorted, then sang, “Impeachment, impeachment, impeachment,” as she flounced out of the bedroom and back to her office, where she had already begun flogging herself with NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

Frankly, I have been enjoying hearing and reading next to nothing about you-know-who, which of course is exactly what they want. Who are “they,” you ask? You know. Them. Those guys.

I know, I know. He’s got it coming. And I’d like to see him get it, too. I mean, you don’t not prosecute the guy who robs the bank just because he had already fled the scene with the dinero. And chapeau to the House for taking another swing at this fat orange piñata.

But it all feels like one of those cast-of-thousands movies where all the wrong Romans wind up on the pointy end of the sword or quietly bleeding out in a bath somewhere. There are too many senators who think they can be the next Orange Julius Caesar, if only they can ensure that the rabble doesn’t get its togas in a twist.