Archive for the ‘Viewing with alarm’ Category

Sky yi yi

January 12, 2017
Steven Spielberg with his trademark boiling clouds ain't got nothin' on the real deal.

Steven Spielberg with his trademark boiling clouds ain’t got nothin’ on the real deal.

I’m glad I saw this before Darth Cheeto’s “press conference” yesterday. Otherwise I might have thought it was God coming down to dick-punch us all for putting this two-bit totalitarian in the Oval Office.

Sure puts the “dick” in “dictator,” doesn’t he?

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.”

 

Greatest Hits of 2016, Part 5: From balls to nuts

December 31, 2016

• Editor’s note: As the year winds down, I’m taking a page from the mainstream-media playbook and reprinting a handful of this year’s “Mad Dog Unleashed” columns from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Today’s final finger was published in December, the last issue of 2016.

The gang views with alarm in cinematic fashion.

The gang views with alarm in cinematic fashion.

Tour de Trump, v2.0:
Does this president
make our heads look fat?

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

“Stuck In the Middle,” by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan

By Patrick O’Grady

The day after the election a young reader emailed to say he hoped I would have a safe trip to New Zealand, adding, “With any luck we will not hear from you or the Clinton’s ever again.”

I feel confident calling him “young” because we olds know the difference between the plural and the possessive. Public school vs. home school, don’t you know.

As to whether he’s a “reader,” that’s an educated guess. I suppose his mom could have read him my column down in the basement, if he had one. A mom, I mean. Trailers don’t have basements.

But I digress.

Anyway, I’m not moving to New Zealand. Who wants a job herding hobbits? (Apologies to Hurben.) I’ll stay here, brush the fur on my own toes, and wait for the next wizard to pop round.

Mars is out, too. I’ve seen “The Martian” since that last column and I am definitely not into farming with my own poo. Better to sell it to some publisher and spend the proceeds at the Whole Paycheck, where everything is grown in unicorn milk and honey.

>> Click here to read the entire column.

It can happen here

November 5, 2016
Impressionist, que no? I shot it through the window. Hey, it's raining out there. You want I should get a camera wet for free?

Impressionistical, que no? I shot it through the window. Hey, it’s raining out there. You want I should get a camera wet for free?

We’ve finally gotten a little rain after the second warmest October on record, and maybe one of the driest, too; more than a quarter inch of precip’ below normal.

As with most things, this is both good and bad.

The good? When things are wet, they often fail to catch fire. Also, water is nice for drinking, bathing and growing things to look at and/or eat.

The bad? Sitting as it does at the bottom of a cul-de-sac at the western edge of a mountain range, El Rancho Pendejo is already a little on the dark side, as is my outlook most days. And when the sun goes away for a spell, things in these parts can get blacker than a sleeping MacBook’s display.

So with each fresh poll the equivalent of a cherry bomb in a chicken coop I’m getting a mild case of The Fear as the 2016 election staggers to a close.

Anybody who tells you s/he knows that all will be well in the end is full of shit to the sideburns. Americans are already pretty la-di-da about exercising their franchise, our least-difficult path toward effecting change, armed insurrection being slightly more onerous (or so I’m told). And the GOP has been busily scratching that oh-hell-why-bother itch by turning what should be the simple act of casting a ballot into the sort of customer-service experience we already enjoy in the private sector.

Here’s Charles P. Pierce on the voter-suppression battles being waged from coast to coast.

Here’s Ari Berman of The Nation on the reduction in polling places following the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here’s The Guardian reporting on the upshot of Insane Clown Pussy’s call for his shock troops to monitor what he’s said will be a “rigged” election.

Can't it? We'll see.

Can’t it? We’ll see.

And so on. Look around, you’ll find more examples.

The Republic has weathered a lot of storms, and this may be nothing more than an especially nasty stretch of rough weather before the sun pops out again.

But I keep thinking back to the old Red Lewis novel “It Can’t Happen Here,” which I read ages ago, and which the Berkeley Repertory Theatre turned into a play, which wraps tomorrow.

If you haven’t read the book, do so. The language is a little dated, and it can seem wildly over the top at times. But so can this election, and yet there it is, happening right before your eyes.

“It Can’t Happen Here” certainly opened the eyes belonging to writer-director Tony Taccone, who called the parallels between the fictional struggle and Election 2016 “shocking; they’re honestly shocking.”

“What it says, what it really puts out there is, if you become complacent or lazy or you think that the issues that are being discussed in Washington, the politics doesn’t have an effect on your lives, you’re wrong. You’re wrong. The decisions that are being made — by the Congress, by the Supreme Court, by the local legislature, by your city council — affect your life,” Taccone said.

“And it is in your interest to understand as best you can what those issues are, to try to find a voice and agency inside of those issues, to find a community and help them to build a dialogue,” he added. “And my God, if that isn’t the lesson of the last nine months, what is?”

So you think it can’t happen here? Read the book, take a good look around, and get back to me.

Fort Apache

October 25, 2016
Finally, a taste of actual fall weather.

Finally, a taste of actual fall weather.

I’m in Albuquerque, working on a bike review and watching it rain. Herself is bound for Mesa Verde on the next leg of her Gal Pals Getaway Tour.

And somewhere in the southern Arizona desert, the Three Percent United Patriots are making headlines, if only in Mother Jones magazine.

Anyone who has ever lived out where the hoot owls date the chickens has met at least one of these dudes. In Weirdcliffe it was the cowboy who claimed to have edibles and weaponry cached all over the Sangre de Cristos and inquired whether we would be “ready to kill” when it all went sideways and the “Mexicans” came boiling up Hardscrabble Canyon to … to … well, get the hell out of Pueblo, I suppose. And who could blame them?

I got the hell out of Pueblo. I also got the hell out of Weirdcliffe. And I’ve spent a little time in the Threepers’ AO, though I never saw one. (“If you saw them, sir, they weren’t Threepers.”)

Just once I would love to read about the lefty variation on these dudes. There has to be one, amirite? The Sedona Extremely Irregulars? The 69th Berkeley Berserkers? The 420th Humboldt County Doobie Brethren?

Or maybe that particular ship has sailed, or sunk.

Back in the Seventies, when I thought I was Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, the October League’s Denver chapter had just wrapped up another successful evening of smashing the State via withering rhetoric when a couple comrades mentioned that they used to be professional wrestlers.

“Bullshit,” someone said. And then they showed us, right there in the dark Denver alley. They were slamming each other into cars and up against walls, pounding each other with forearm smashes and trash-can lids, the works. It was entertaining as hell and absolutely nobody got hurt.

Then a window slammed open and someone advised us to shut the fuck up and we did. Shortly thereafter the revolution failed to materialize.

 

Trump card

August 10, 2016

The 2016 pestilential election is turning into one of the less-than-hilarious Monty Python sketches.

“You’ve got a nice representative democracy here, citizen.”

“Yes.”

“We wouldn’t want anything to happen to it. …”

“What?”

Even the dumbest casino guy knows a Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

Even the dumbest casino guy knows a Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

What indeed. Ronald McDonald McTrump has clearly let the fat in his fast-food diet go straight to his head, where a .25-caliber brain struggles to govern a .50-caliber mouth.

I wonder what his Secret Service detail thinks about his quip about a Second Amendment solution to a president’s constitutionally derived authority (Article 2, Section 2) to nominate judges, given that their colleagues protect the other candidate for the job.

The candidate whose back Der Trumpenführer just decorated with a red-white-and-blue bullseye.

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.

 

The blessings of liberty

December 24, 2013

Herself and I were running down a list of worthy causes the other day, trying to decide which of them would get our limited financial support.

It was no easy task, in part because we are far from wealthy, thanks to our failure to capitalize on my globe-spanning fame. We have work, a roof over our heads and food in the cupboards, but still, damn; so many in need, so few dollars to go around. It was like spreading a pat of butter on a slice of toast the size of Kansas.

While we were crunching our pitiful numbers, the least productive Congress in the history of Congresses was busily fucking off, slinking out of town after having done less to “support and defend the Constitution” than any previous conclave of alleged lawmakers.

In their absence, which is preferable to their presence, 1.3 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits in an economy hamstrung by catastrophic long-term unemployment. That at least three people are seeking work for every job available is a moral failure on the part of the job seeker, says Congress, albeit obliquely. If hungry schoolchildren wish to eat, well, let them become amateur custodians. Plus they’ll be learning a trade! Bonus!

As Charles P. Pierce notes:

“Millions in subsidies, from the same program that until this year was tied to the food-stamp program for sound political reasons, which is the way we take care of each other in a political commonwealth. But poor children, if they do not work, shall not eat. Not all the big clanging brass ones hang in bell towers this season.”

The Constitution to which these swine swear their oaths begins thusly:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The Union has always been less than perfect, but lately it seems even more so. Where is the Justice, the domestic Tranquility? Who promotes the general Welfare, that the Blessings of Liberty may be secured?

“Fuck you, I’ve got mine, get yours,” doesn’t appear in the Constitution. Trust me. I checked.

So we write our little checks, and we send them off. And we hope. We hope for more than “four more years of things not gettin’ worse.”

The path of most resistance

October 26, 2013
The streets are safer, even with a light coating of leaves.

The streets are safer, even with a light coating of leaves.

If you ever wonder why so many Americans have so much trouble making their government function, just watch them making a shambles of another shared space — the infinitely simpler bike path.

I nearly got crashed twice yesterday — first by a pair of knucklehead roadies in team kit who cut across my bow in Goose Gossage Park, exiting the bike path for the street without bothering to check for oncoming traffic, and a few minutes later by some helmetless dipshit on a beater road bike careening down the wrong side of a sketchy slope coated with sand and pea gravel.

Mind you, these incidents constituted the cherries atop a turd-cake that included the usual ingredients — oblivious strollers three abreast, untrained dogs sans leash, and fleawits wandering across the path without checking to see whether they might be about to violate the laws of physics by trying to occupy the same space at the same time as a 180-pound Irish-American on a 30-pound touring bike traveling at 15 mph.

The offenders invariably wear the blank, bovine gaze of a feedlot cow doomed to wear a soggy bun, a slice of pickle and some processed cheese “food” in the afterlife. And yet some of us we marvel at the popularity of Rupert Murdoch’s various entertainment outlets, which shove a similarly toxic product at the feeble-minded through the flat-panel windows in their living rooms.

How hard can it be to walk, run and ride to the right, pass left, and keep your fucking eyes open?

Fire and flood

August 10, 2013

Manitou Springs got the mortal shit pounded out of it last night. The Colorado Springs Independent has pix and a short report; The Gazette has the same plus video.

It’s just the latest in a series of beatings the town has had to take over the past couple of years, beginning with the Waldo Canyon fire, which scoured the surrounding area of vegetation, turned Williams Canyon and Highway 24 into a freeway for water and ash-laden mud, and made an open sewer of Manitou, particularly Canon Avenue.

The storm was bad enough here, with 25-mph winds lashing heavy rain at us sidearm style. The good news is, I caught a trout in the front yard. Didn’t even need to unlimber the old rod and reel. I threw him a Bible, and when he turned to Genesis to see when Noah was due, I shot him with the Mini-Thirty.