Archive for the ‘Capitalist swine’ Category

Cleanup in Private Sector B

March 4, 2017
Is this art, content or journalism? I'm so confused.

Is this art, content or journalism? I’m so confused.

Today we’re gonna take a break from governmental stupidity and focus on idiocy in the private sector, where they expect results.

• From Digiday: “RIP contributor networks as a publishing shortcut to scale.” Translation: “We’ve squeezed the last dollar out of amateurs who’ll work for the byline. Time to get back to fucking over the pros.” This is what we call putting the “con” in “content.”

• From The New York Times: Palm Springs residents who have made fortunes off their vacation paradise are shocked, shocked! that others want to do likewise. Money quote, from a design blogger with a huge Instagram following: “You want to stay places that are Instagram-worthy because you are living your life as content.” Um, no.

• From The Verge: Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” has been adapted into a video game. “Rather than love, then money, than fame, give me truth. And a really big pair of thumbs.”

Something wicked this way comes

January 19, 2017

• Editor’s note: What follows was intended to be a rambling kickoff to a Counter-Inaugural Podcast at Radio Free Dogpatch, but my sidekick Hal Walter developed a bad case of previous commitments, so I’m laying it on you old-school instead. Tomorrow it will be radio silence from yours truly here and on Twitter. But there will be an open-mic post suitable for commentary, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts on what this particular changing of the guard means for you, and for the rest of us. Finally, a tip of the carny’s boater to Ray Bradbury for the headline. It’s a pity — or is it? — that he didn’t live to see Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show come to life.

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

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

IT’S BEEN A STRUGGLE, TRYING TO FIND WORDS to describe how I feel about what’s going to be happening on Friday — and afterward — in Washington, D.C.

I’ve watched this changing of the guard since before I was eligible to vote, and it rarely goes well for progressives.

In 1969, when Richard Nixon was preparing to take an oath of office he had already violated by undermining the Paris peace talks, the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam staged a three-day counter-inaugural that proved quite the bash, both literally and figuratively.

Yippies Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman brought a revolutionary-theater sideshow to the circus, proposing to inaugurate their own president, a 145-pound hog named Pigasus, with predictable results. The Left immediately set about eating itself alive — Splitters! — rocks, bottles, horseshit and punches were thrown, cops and protesters alike took a beating, 119 people got a tour of the hoosegow, and as is traditional in such matters, both sides claimed victory.

Nixon, of course, claimed the White House. Twice. You may recall how that turned out.

I found it all fascinating, from a safe distance, and when I became eligible to vote in time for the 1972 elections, I tried to register as a member of the Youth International Party, the proper name for the improper Yippies. Never happen, said the county clerk in Bibleburg, and I had to settle for signing up as an “independent.” But Hunter S. Thompson was actually in attendance at the ’69 inaugural, and he didn’t exactly come away with a smile on his lips and a song in his heart.

Recounting the experience for The Boston Globe in February 1969, Thompson wrote: “My first idea was to load up on LSD and cover the Inauguration that way, but the possibilities were ominous: a scene that bad could only be compounded to the realm of mega-horrors by something as powerful as acid.”

As Thompson watched the deal go down during what he called “a king-hell bummer” and “that wretched weekend,” he saw “a new meanness on both sides … and no more humor.”

“Suddenly I felt cold, and vaguely defeated,” he wrote. “More than eight years ago, in San Francisco, I had stayed up all night to watch the election returns … and when Nixon went down I felt like a winner.

“Now, on this Monday night in 1969, President Nixon was being honored with no less than six Inaugural Balls. I brooded on this for a while, then decided I would go over to the Hilton, later on, and punch somebody. Almost anybody would do … but hopefully I could find a police chief from Nashville or some other mean geek. In the meantime, there was nothing to do but go back to the hotel and watch the news on TV … maybe something funny, like film clips of the bastinado.”

• • •

Neither Hunter S. Thompson nor Dick Nixon are with us this time around, but another pair of Sixties relics you may have thought were likewise long gone — LSD and psilocybin — are making something of a comeback as potential treatments for whatever bad scene may be unfolding on the backside of your forehead (or in front of it).

In December, The New York Times reported on a couple of studies that showed “clinically significant reductions” in both anxiety and depression in cancer patients who took synthetic psilocybin.

The studies, which the Times called “the largest and most meticulous among a handful of trials to explore the possible therapeutic benefit of psilocybin,” found the beneficial effects persisted for months.

One patient, who had just completed treatment for stage-3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, described what he called “an epiphany.”

“I’m not anxious about cancer anymore,” he said. “I’m not anxious about dying.”

Another, whose treatment for acute myeloid leukemia left him with graft-versus-host disease, said the experience left him with “a greater sense of peace with what might come.”

“I’m very grateful, beyond words, for this trial,” he added.

And on January 14, The Atlantic ran a Q&A with Ayelet Waldman, whose new book “A Really Good Day” describes her microdosing with LSD to self-correct what she described as “a pretty significant depression.”

She had tried the traditional remedies served up by the medical-industrial complex — antidepressants, ADHD drugs, SSRIs, you name it — but a couple drops of diluted and highly illegal L-S-Dizzy is what did the trick for her.

Said Waldman: “I felt happier or at least not as profoundly depressed almost immediately the very first day I took it.”

Funniest thing, hey? About 10 years after the good Doctor Thompson was mulling over that Nixon inaugural, a friend and I offered an acid-soaked homage to his fear-and-loathing tour of Las Vegas. But we didn’t have his stamina, and when a jai-alai match at the old MGM Grand started to look like a “Star Wars” shootout we got the fuck out of there at a very high speed indeed, driving all the way back to Alamosa — the Brain Damage Express, via Kaibab and Page, the Four Corners and the terrifying Wolf Creek Pass, with the usual horrible weather and without the enhancements that were still a few years down the road.

But we sure as shit weren’t depressed. We were simply seeing a whole lot of things we’d rather not have and thought a case of beer, a long night’s drive and a plate of his mom’s enchiladas might mellow us out.

Forty years later I can make my own enchiladas but I’m not so sure about the acid. I still have my copy of “The Anarchist Cookbook,” but I was never much at chemistry.

• • •

All trips, both good and bad, come to an end, sooner or later. And in May, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will break down the big top in May for the final time after 146 years.

According to The New York Times, Feld Entertainment, the producer of the circus, cited rising operating costs and falling ticket sales, a condition that worsened after Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey dropped elephants from its show last year.

CEO Kenneth Feld told The Associated Press that moving the show by rail, providing a traveling school for performers’ children and other expenses from a bygone era made carrying on a losing proposition.

“It’s a different model … we can’t see how it works in today’s world to justify and maintain an affordable ticket price,” he said.

And let’s not forget that old devil competition. There’s another, bigger circus coming to town, with a permanent base of operations in Washington, D.C., the financial support of the State, and free worldwide access via social media. Plus elephants, too!

The Greatest Show On Earth is now an angry orange clown with a Twitter account. Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry. …

Wet work

January 11, 2017
Going down? Don't you wish. ...

Going down, tovarisch?

I can’t imagine why anyone thinks it impossible that Russia might have compromising information about the Pestilence-Elect.

Clearly, we could do with a deeper dive into this sordid pool of intelligence, or the lack thereof. And personally, I’d like to see the matter given at least as much attention as the Case of the Kenyan Crypto-Mooslim Socialist Usurper’s Birth Certificate.

But while we await further developments, let’s consider what we already know.

First, Darth Cheeto is a fellow who pretty much does as he pleases. Also, he thinks he’s (a) smarter than the average bear and (2) invulnerable thanks to his battle-tested squadron of pinstriped flying monkeys. (“Release the lawyers!”)

Prideful he is. What is it that pride goeth before? Yoda?

“A fall.”

Ding ding ding ding ding!

The Russians have a phrase for this sort of person: “useful idiot.” But from a certain perspective, the Pestilence-Elect — or, as some of the Twitterati have begun calling him, PEEOTUS — doesn’t even need to be an actual stooge, unless we’re talking Moe, Larry or Curly.

No, all he needs to be is a distraction.

Vladimir Putin clearly considers himself a wiseguy, and like the Pestilence-Elect is something of a developer, with blueprints of his own. If I were such a person and had kinky video of Darth Cheeto, I’d YouTube it about 10 seconds after his tiny hand comes off the Bible on Jan. 20, then sit back, pour a delicious beverage, and watch the United States spend a few years eating itself alive.

“It’s Stoli time.”

 

Illumination rounds

May 23, 2016
You may never have read "Dispatches" by Michael Herr, but chances are you've shared some of his experiences at the cinema, in "Platoon," "Apocalpyse Now" or "Full Metal Jacket."

You may never have read “Dispatches” by Michael Herr, but chances are you’ve shared some of his experiences at the cinema, in “Platoon,” “Apocalpyse Now” or “Full Metal Jacket.”

Once we fanned over a little ville that had just been airstruck and the words of a song by Wingy Manone that I’d heard when I was a few years old snapped into my head, “Stop the War, These Cats Is Killing Themselves.” Then we dropped, hovered, settled down into purple lz smoke, dozens of children broke from their hootches to run in toward the focus of our landing, the pilot laughing and saying, “Vietnam, man. Bomb ’em and feed ’em, bomb ’em and feed ’em.”

That quote from Michael Herr’s “Dispatches” just snapped into my head as I read this New York Times piece about the prez authorizing the sale of “lethal military equipment” to Vietnam.

Pretty much describes our entire foreign policy, doesn’t it?

Bomb ’em and feed ’em; bomb ’em and feed ’em.

So comrades, come rally. …

May 1, 2015

Some news of the day (to be updated as I find it):

• Some workers of the world really have united.

 

Two dogs, same bone

February 24, 2015
It's a gray morning in Duke City, and the wizards predict a chance of snow.

It’s a gray morning in Duke City, and the wizards predict a chance of snow.

Once again we are reminded that elections have consequences.

Scott Walker, by some accounts the foremost of the 2,375,296 Republicans running for that party’s 2016 presidential nomination, is going after working folks again with “right to work” legislation. He professed no interest in reviving this anti-union measure while campaigning to keep his present job, but that was so 15 minutes ago. A tricornered hat full of Tea Bagger gold is all he cares about now.

Elsewhere, Bill O’Reilly is flailing around like a big dumb mutt in the dogcatcher’s truck, trying to convince the suckers that he was a double Ernie Pyle with a side of Ed Murrow back in the day, doing it hand-to-hand with the bad guys in the Falklands when he was actually boffing a sheep in his suite at the Hilton Buenos Aires.

He’ll be successful, of course, for the same reason that Walker will get his latest union-busting tool. Larry’s wife can tell you why.

Bloody hell

October 17, 2014
Sure, it's a little blurry. So was I.

Sure, it’s a little blurry. So was I.

This is either my impression of Ebola sweeping the nation or a quick iPhone shot through the windshield while zooming past Santa Fe on the latest 12-hour U-turn from Duke City to Bibleburg and back.

The maple in the front yard has commenced the annual leaf dump.

The maple in the front yard has commenced the annual leaf dump.

The Old Home Place® still stands, and I had a chance to chat with several of our former neighbors while trying to see how much stuff I could cram into a Subaru Forester without actually causing its rims to bottom out on the driveway.

This took my mind off what blithering eejits we’ve become over this Ebola business. Seems you don’t actually have to have the disease to shit yourself over it.

Tell you what, though. I get sick in Texas, I’d rather see a barber than a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital sawbones.

Free tea! (Bring your own bag, cup and water)

May 8, 2014
Tea Party

`I didn’t know it was YOUR table,’ said Alice; `it’s laid for a great many more than three.’

The smart money says that the GOTea is poised to make big gains in the midterm elections, extending its pallid, liver-spotted grip on the U.S. House and perhaps retaking control of the Senate.

“What the hell?” you may think. “They’re all the same anyway, Donks and Pachyderms. Opposite sides of the same wooden nickel. How bad could it be?”

Well, we here in Bibleburg have been test-driving this brand of Gadsden-flag, live-free-or-die governance for you for as long as I can remember (my family moved here in 1967). And here’s what you get for your low-taxation, no-representation dollar:

• An unaddressed backlog of $1.3 billion in capital needs. Whether this figure includes repairing or replacing the burnt-up, 80-year-old Martin Drake Power Plant, which provides a third of Bibleburg’s power, is not clear.

A “jobs-creation program” centered on tourist attraction that boils down to “there’ll be pie in the sky.” Not one of the visitors we’ve had at The House Back East® has expressed a desire to visit a downtown stadium, a sports medicine center, an Olympic museum, or an Air Force Academy visitors center (other than the one that already exists, on the base). They want to see the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs — in other words, the things that are already here which we have yet to fuck up. And be certain to check the numbers for jobs, salaries and operating deficits from our other stadium/entertainment venues, the World Arena and the Pikes Peak Center.

Plummeting home sales, and home-sale prices. For some reason, people seem uninterested in moving to communities that lack jobs, electricity and other must-have items.

We hate that out-of-control federal government’s spending, but gyrate like a speed-freak pole dancer for every freedom-killing dollar it stuffs in our threadbare G-string. We despise taxes, but demand services. We insist on Christmas 24/7, free of charge and taxation, but if anybody wearing a red suit climbs down our chimney we’ll blow him right back up it with our AR-15.

Take a good, long look, folks. America’s future is Bibleburg’s present.

 

Comrades, come rally

May 1, 2014

 Happy International Workers Day!

Shiny objects, si; child care, health care, no.

Guns, si; butter, no.

Flipping burgers is the new black.

Your papers!

No, really, your papers!

• Losing the spirit of May Day.

Turks defy ban on May Day rallies.

An uncomradely copyright on Marx and Engels.

Tim Carpenter’s politics of radical inclusion.

May Day, then and now.

More rabble-rousing as I find it.

Indoor sports

April 3, 2014
Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30x30.

Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30×30.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

“Man plans, God laughs,” goes the Yiddish proverb.

So, naturally, as I was contemplating the intricacies,  logistics and amusements of a bicycle tour, Management reminded me that spring is only a word, an arbitrary date on a manmade calendar.

Yesterday I was motoring around Fremont and Custer counties with the windows down, scoping out various back roads between Florence and Weirdcliffe with a Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer in the passenger seat while tugging frequently from a water bottle. Today I awakened to a few inches of heavy, wet snow on the deck, with more on the way.

No complaints here, mind you. Water from on high is water I don’t have to buy from Colorado Springs Utilities. And it sure beats being on fire.

So it looks to be a fine day for hanging around indoors, viewing with alarm. For instance, I notice that the Supremes are trying to make it less onerous for the 1 percent to run the country the way they see fit. And a Colorado judge is intent on making it harder for the 99 percent to catch them at it.

I’m starting to think Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito are deserving of life terms after all. Not on the high court, mind you, but in Leavenworth, making little rocks out of big ones for their crimes against the people.