Archive for the ‘Assholes’ Category

Comforted

October 29, 2022

“You’re letting all the cold air in.”

Miss Mia Sopaipilla couldn’t care less that some elongated muskrat has made off with Twatter, or Twitcher, or whatever that other thing she couldn’t care less about is called.

Miss Mia is an intelligent Animal, a Higher Order (h/t James McBride, “Mr. P & the Wind”). She don’t need no phone, tablet, or laptop to get your attention. If she wants it she will throw a meow your way or do something cute like frolic in a crinkly pile of wrapping paper, or turn your crumpled comforter into a cat cave.

And it goes without saying that she would never ever come over to your house uninvited and hammer a loved one into the hospital.

Like I said. A Higher Order.

Oculartober

October 4, 2022

HAL 9000? Eye of Sauron? Nope. The last of the morning coffee.

Some people say I suffer from ocular rectitis — a condition that causes the nerves of eyeballs and asshole to switch roles, leading to a shitty outlook on life — but I knew that the PNM project PNM says it has not been doing in the arroyo for the past couple of weeks would eventually provide some entertainment around El Rancho Pendejo beyond the monotonous “beep beep beep” of heavy equipment in reverse.

So color me unsurprised when Herself texted me at the grocery to say our Internet had gone down as she was trying to do a bit of eBay bidness before heading out on her own errands.

Not a PNM project. We were never here. Now you gonna believe me or your lyin’ eyes?

Now, our elderly ActionTec modem takes a conniption from time to time. But I knew this time would be different. Just ’cause I got the ocular rectitis doesn’t mean I’m blind, y’know.

And sure enough, when I got home, the DSL indicator on the modem was bright red. And it stayed that way through three reboots.

So I step outside, stick my head over the back wall, and ask one of the hard hats, “You guys didn’t happen to clip a cable by any chance? Our DSL is down.”

And yea, all was revealed to me. The backhoe giveth, and the backhoe taketh away.

Neither PNM nor CenturyLink* could give a rat’s ass about our little predicament, so it seems we will be MacGyvering our online presence here for at least a week. An iPhone 13 makes a swell hotspot, but Lord, does that shit ever burn through a battery.

That’s the bad news. The good news is, Eric Idle isn’t dead yet. Cue the crucifixion scene. …

* Props to Raoul at CenturyLink for getting us back up in running in less than 24 hours, not the week-plus we had expected. He was down in a hole on a rainy day, which is a good deal more like work than cycling a DSL modem/router on and off while swearing a lot.

When will it be Labor Day?

September 5, 2022

The late, great Gahan Wilson.

We never hear of Capital Day, not because Capital has no day, but because every day is Capital Day. The struggle in which we are now engaged will end only when every day is Labor Day.Eugene V. Debs, Labor Day 1903

It’s still Capital Day. For now, anyway.

At The Guardian, Douglas Rushkoff recounts his chat with a secretive group of super-wealthy dudes “preparing for a digital future that had less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether.”

In short, they’ve grown tired of our sniveling about their shitting in our shared sandbox and wonder whether they might be able to dispense with us altogether.

Writes Rushkoff, a self-described humanist and Marxist media theorist who writes about the impact of digital technology on our lives:

Their extreme wealth and privilege served only to make them obsessed with insulating themselves from the very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is about only one thing: escape from the rest of us.

One of the capitalists’ main concerns centered on how to control their security people after The Event — “their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, solar storm, unstoppable virus, or malicious computer hack that takes everything down.”

Yep, that could be risky. A SEAL might grow weary of barking for fish from the plump, well-manicured pinkies of a plutocrat. How to get away from it all when you need to take a few of “them” with you?

What happens when Labor Day finally comes around for real?

Paging the White House gardener

June 10, 2022

Adolf Twitler couldn’t even get his own veep hanged. Sad!

OK, just for the hell of it, let’s say Adolf Twitler’s putsch was successful. Kept his fat ass blistering the Oval Office furniture with angry Mickey D’s farts, on the rare occasion when he was actually in town instead of slinging divots and bullshit at one of his comic-opera palaces.

Let’s also say that a group of angry socialists, Blacks, women, gays, gun-controllers and pro-choicers unhappy with this outcome marched upon the U.S. Capitol and started a “dustup,” as a DeeCee feetsball knuckle-dragger recently described the Jan. 6 insurrection.

And while we’re at it, let’s envision the GOP response to a House committee investigating the second “dustup.” Would its work be dismissed by Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and other pustules on the American body politic as “illegitimate” and “a sham?”

Hee, and also haw. There would be no such committee. The Proud Boys hired to replace the Capitol Police would have machine-gunned every one of those terrorists while Mike Pence’s dead eyes gazed blindly down upon them from his gibbet. Congress would be too busy wondering who’s next to look into anything more substantial than airfare to Costa Rica.

Only white fascists get to water the Tree of Liberty in this country.

‘Anyone can get an auto loan’

March 16, 2022

For when the M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle just isn’t big enough.

OK, so, with the Russian war in Ukraine, random gun violence here at home, and inflation everywhere, we all have plenty to worry about.

But wait! There’s more!

Cyclists, pedestrians, and anyone else hoping for safe streets in a livable environment will hop the first dick-missile to Mars after scanning this New York Times story on what the quarter-point hike in the Fed’s key interest rate means for any of us chickens who’d like to cross the road without winding up fried and breaded in one of the Colonel’s buckets.

A couple key pull-quotes:

“There is far more variation in auto lending than in, say, the mortgage market because there are more credit types. Anyone can get an auto loan.” — Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Cox Automotive, an industry consulting firm.

“Car-loan rates will move up as the Fed hikes interest rates, but it will be a nonissue for car buyers because it has such a limited impact on monthly payments. Nobody will need to downsize from the S.U.V. to the compact because of rising rates.” — Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

Damn straight. Fuck a bunch of Prius. Whadda I look like, some hippie? I got an image to maintain. What are the Russian oligarchs driving this season?

Snow? No

March 11, 2022

It ain’t easy getting green.

We was robbed.

Just as well. The ladies have plans, and though they are Marylanders and used to snow, only Herself has enjoyed winter motoring in The Duck! City, whose drivers can’t keep the shiny side up on a sunny day.

Yesterday it was a Tesla and a pick-’em-up truck that ate shit at Comanche and Tramway, where the debris from old crashes piles up like the fast-food wrappers, liquor bottles, and dirty diapers drivers toss from their vehicles between texts as they breeze through the red five seconds late and 20 over the limit.

You want to keep your head on a swivel when your light turns green. Left, right, left again — count one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, etc. — then proceed as though you believe in an afterlife.

Never mind the asshole leaning on his horn behind you. Hell ain’t half full, as s/he will learn after finally honking at the wrong person, who then climbs out of the vehicle with something more authoritative than a middle digit extending from one white-knuckled fist.

The honkers are usually tailgaters too. Some of these yahoos will crowd you so closely you can smell the beer on their breath.

Doc Sarvis, the brains and bucks behind “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” had a solution to that sort of harassment. The Ukrainians are giving these ancient anticavalry weapons a go, and why not? I bet they work against horses and horses’ asses.

‘Like a hell-broth boil and bubble’

March 4, 2022

Hellbroth? Nah. Just an interesting sunrise.

Well, it seems Europe’s largest nuclear power plant didn’t become Satan’s Hot Tub overnight. So we got that going for us, which is nice.

According to The New York Times:

International monitors said early Friday that there was no immediate sign that radiation had leaked from the Zaporizhzhia plant. The Ukrainian emergency services agency said the fire had been contained to a training facility on the perimeter of the complex.

Oh, good. But wait, there’s more:

The company that oversees the complex, Energoatom, warned that any statements being made by workers from the time of the [Russian] takeover could be being made under duress. The company also warned against trusting statements from local officials.

Clearly we are in for many more interesting early mornings pre-coffee as Voldemort Putin continues doing the bidding of the Union of Soviet Socialist Voices in his head.

Our collective ignorance about this fellow, his notions, motivations, and base of support, is maddening. Noting the attack on the Zaporizhzhia complex last night I kept my big yap shut, crossing my fingers and hoping that Europe would not find itself suffering the sort of steep decline in tourism that comes with your basic nuclear disaster.

Because what is there to say? Beyond “We don’t know what the fuck he’s up to” and “There isn’t much we can do about it,” that is?

Over at The Atlantic Tom Nichols makes the case for staying calm.

The day may come, and sooner than we expect, when we have to fight in Europe, with all the risks that entails. If we are to plunge into a global war between the Russians and the West, however, it needs to be based on a better calculus than pure rage.

Sanctions and military assistance short of actual war with Russia will not save Kyiv, he concedes. But neither will letting this smirking Cossack goad the West into giving him anything that will cause the Russian people to back him up instead of knocking him over.

Russians seem to have an endless capacity for enduring suffering. But every pot bubbles over sooner or later if the fire gets too hot for too long.

Will some hero let off a little steam by busting a cap between this devil’s horns? Stay tuned.

Luna. See?

February 24, 2022

Banana moon shining in the sky (h/t Tom Waits).

I arose in the dark of the morning to see a dusting of snow on the yard and the blinking lights of an aircraft as it traversed a slice of moon.

“Hell’s goin’ on around here?” I inquired of Herself, as is my practice.

“Fuckin’ Russians,” she grumbled.

“What are they doing?”

“Dominating the news cycle.”

And so they are.

I loathe the smell of fascism in the morning, whether it’s ours or theirs, and especially when it arrives before coffee. The overactive imagination screens a clip of some brass hat in the Pentagon going full George C. Scott (Buck Turgidson or George Patton, take your pick).

But as options go, our menu seems as limited as the bill of fare at a soup kitchen.

Sure, do what you can to choke off Russia’s income — Stoli sales will slump, theatrically, if only because we’ll need the money for gasoline. Africa is going to find itself short of grain. Lots of little people living in various valleys await the shit monsoon from above.

But I don’t expect the oligarchs are sweating much, unless they’re in the sauna.

Oh, they might not be able to strut their stuff on the Riviera for a while, but there’s always the Crimea. Plenty Krugerrands in the lockbox. Shop online from the dacha. Na zdorovye!

Chicken Kyiv

February 22, 2022

A Red Dawn behind the Tree of Liberty?
Nah. Just sunrise behind a cottonwood.

Early on, as a retired pinko turned journo, I was something of an amateur Kremlinologist. Read a lot of George Kennan and Adam Ulam; subscribed to Foreign Policy magazine. Never did get what you might call a handle on the folks who caused me to spend a portion of my childhood crouched under various schoolroom desks.

The Soviet leadership invariably seemed avaricious, belligerent, paranoid, and treacherous (do unto others before they do unto you). Their people, meanwhile, seemed to possess a limitless capacity for suffering.

It’s more or less a straight line from Stalin’s “Socialism in One Country” of 1925, which made Moscow the Vatican City of Communism, a palace of never-ending intrigues, to Khrushchev’s “We will bury you!” of 1956.

But the ol’ shoe-banger couldn’t even bury Stalinism.

Khrushchev — who made his Red bones early on as a Stalinist henchman and later as the Soviet Union’s top man in (wait for it) Ukraine — eventually came to realize that if the Marxist-Leninist family were to prosper, Mother Russia would have to acknowledge a few red-headed stepchildren.

But once he started talking about International Communism being a sort of stern Baskin-Robbins with a flavor for everyone, that was his ass. Uncle Joe cast a real long shadow.

Khrushchev’s successors, among them Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, tried to rattle-can a new coat of paint on the old red Zil, kept it chugging along for a while. But it finally wound up in the ditch, and gangs of roving oligarchs stripped it for parts.

Now we’ve got this former KGB spook behind the wheel. Clearly a man with a fondness for the classics, Putin wants to put the band back together. Those Ukraine girls must really knock him out.

Gimme shelter.

Not exactly a mission from God. More like a mission from Stalin.

Jesus H. Christ. Can’t somebody get a permanent hammer-and-sickle-lock on this guy? I’m getting too old to keep crawling under my desk. And anyway, the cat beat me to it.

Wrong ring

January 20, 2022

Kurt Vonnegut would’ve recognized this asshole.

Poor Joe. Thought he finally grabbed the brass ring. Turns out it was The Turtle’s asshole.