Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Interview: A Free Speech Refresher

My planned selected movie for my annual Jewish Christmas1 has been pulled from theatres and essentially cancelled. “The Interview”, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, triggered a threat of war, a SUPER hack of Sony, and finally, the pulling of the movie from its debut everywhere. That is too bad. It looks like it would have been a good movie...while stoned beyond recognition.

A lot of people are saying that Sony is cow towing to an oppressive regime and that this is a blow for free speech in America. I get it. It is frustrating that a company would spend all that time and money to make a product, advertise it profusely, and now no one in the public will be allowed to see it, all because they got a few threats from agents of a country known for hyperbolic threats. This is the type of disappointment we felt in 1992 about Pepsi Clear, except the problem there was that they actually distributed it. The obligatory Blaming of Obama has even commenced.

Let’s be honest, though; was this movie some groundbreaking exposé about western countries who secretly do business with North Korea, violating their own trade bans, or a documentary of egregious crimes that the country commits against its own people? No. It was going to be “Pineapple Express” with more Asian people. “This Is the End” was Pineapple Express with all of their friends and well-endowed Satan. ALL of their movies are “Pineapple Express” with special guest stars and some absurdity. We all know this. Don’t get me wrong; I like their movies, but it is definitely NOT for their cerebral gravitas. Sometimes you just want to veg out to a barrage of drug and dick jokes with a smattering of borderline homoerotic situational comedy. You know what I’m talking about. Man shit.

Is this an assault on free speech? Let’s think about this: In the United States, you are free to express yourself in any way you like, so long as you do not inhibit others’ rights in the process. the thing is, you can say whatever you want, but that also means that others can say whatever they want about you. If I say, “Trevor is a schmuck. Fuck Trevor2”, I cannot infringe on Trevor’s right to respond, “No, fuck you, dude. I don’t even exist!”, and when Trevor says this, he is not oppressing me. I would like some of the people harping about free speech and censorship go to some countries where expressing yourself WILL land you in state-ordered prison or death, just so that they can see firsthand what real censorship and stifling of public voice is. Also, Free speech means that I have the right to NOT express myself if I do not wish to do so. Even if I think that Trevor is a schmuck, not saying it out loud does not necessarily mean that I’m “self-censoring”. Sony Pictures chose this option. Also, I’m all for the US’s 1st Amendment rights being preserved, but let’s not forget that Sony is a JAPANESE COMPANY, whose headquarters is in JAPAN. As much as we’ve been trying to “spread our freedom” to other countries, Japan is still an autonomous entity that does not fall under the US constitution, which leads me to my next point…

We here in the United States may not be in range of their missiles and weapons, but guess who most likely is: Japan, which is where Sony was born. So is South Korea, which is a US ally. We have no idea what intelligence law enforcement and Sony itself had about any threats. Maybe a terrorist attack was unlikely. It’s not like this is a Batman premiere, and there’s a white dude with a machine gun3 waiting for a signal from Kim Jong Un. Maybe North Korea has a nuclear warhead. So it is easy to yell and scream about how non-threatening North Korea is when we’re over 10,000 miles away from it, well out of their missile range, and unaware of the full information about the threats they sent out.

It somewhat stinks that “The Interview” was pulled, but was the decision an affront on free speech? I don’t think so. It was definitely an exercise in free speech, and we are not going to know how much Sony and intelligence knew about credible threats. Maybe they erred on the side of caution for a reason. As much as our media likes to depict North Korea as a Keystone Cops-like ineptocracy with mule-driven missiles made of bottle rockets and duct tape, there is a reason why there is a permanent US presence in South Korea and Japan. We would not do that for a state full of people we don’t find threatening4. Furthermore, where was everyone’s incredulousness when Kim Jong Un killed his own uncle, or when he executed his former fiance, or when she reappeared a year later? There will be another dick- and drug-laden movie soon, don’t worry. And For Jewish Christmas, maybe we’ll go see “The Hobbit 3: With a Vengeance”.

1 Chinese Food and a Movie! You should know this! Anti-Semite!
2 No Trevors were hurt in the making of this essay.
3 Too soon?
4 Well...except for in the Middle East and various Central and South American countries back in the 70s and 80s.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

To the Guy Who Told Us to Get a F***ing Job and a Life

To the man who told us to “get a fucking job and a life”,

I apologize that our protest of the lack of indictment of Darren Wilson, and recognition of other young men who were unarmed and died at the hands of police, delayed your drive by 4 ½ minutes. We delayed you, I know. If you were too busy yelling at us to read our signs, we were marching in protest of the lack of indictment of Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, and also the common practise of being unfairly treated by the police, and the desire to have a healthy relationship with the people who are supposed to protect us instead of being assumed a suspect before a crime happened. Our signs were a little bit less verbose, so perhaps you couldn’t comprehend.

Though I am always open to good life tips, I already have a job and a life, as do most of the people in that intersection. They were teachers, lawyers, military veterans, members of law enforcement, students, etc. I personally am an electrical engineer. I got (moderately) good grades in school. I was accepted to the three schools to which I applied, but I could only go to the one that would a offer me a full academic scholarship, as I was so poor, I was homeless. Still, I got that degree, I got a good job, and I can safely say I have a good life.  If you have any other suggestions, though, I’m open to them.

Perhaps you think that public protest is a pointless effort. Did you think that of the numerous Tea Party protests since 2009? There were so many, I cannot keep count of them. Maybe you were insulted by our signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “We Want Justice”. Those are MUCH more offensive than “Obama Is a Nazi” and “Put the White Back in the White House”. Unfortunately for you and your lost 4 ½ minutes, Both types of protests are protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution. That is why we were free to protest, and you are free to tell us to “get a fucking job and a life.”

Perhaps you can point out that just because someone is stopped, it is not always because of race, because your hippie uncle Ted gets stopped all the time. Maybe I actually DO fit a description of someone. The difference between your uncle Ted and me is that when Ted shaves off his dreadlocks and just wears a regular pair of jeans and a hooded sweater, he won’t fit anyone’s description. I, on the other hand, will still have a zero-state of suspect. I know this, because I once wore a hoodie on a cold day, and I was suspect. I once wore a suit, and I was suspect. I once was asked where I got my smartphone. Has your uncle Ted had to carry around the receipts of his electronics and clothes, just in case he was questioned about the ownership of it? I once wore peacoat, and I was slammed to the wall and my book bag was emptied. You know what they found? Books. The horror. Ted has the benefit of just being a guy in a shirt and jeans after he shaves. I look more suspect of [INSERT CONTRIVED VIOLATION HERE].

Perhaps you’d like to tell us that maybe I should stop bringing up race, because that makes me a racist and that  Darren Wilson was “just doing his job”. I wonder, Do you call a gynecologist a sexist when he/she brings up women’s health? Is a homicide detective a murderer because he/she keeps talking about homicide? Perhaps Darren Wilson was “just doing his job”. It is true, police work is difficult. The police that I know will attest to that. Maybe killing Michael Brown was the only option, unlike the time police snuck up on a belligerent white man holding a loaded weapon and subdued him without firing a shot, or the time a white man ignited a smoke bomb in order to coax police to a scene and then shot at them with an illegal firearm. He’s in jail for aggravated assault. I suppose if Michael Brown had shot at Wilson instead of just stolen cigars, he’d be alive...Actually, probably not, Since John Crawford was just carrying a BB gun that he was likely going to buy and was killed without warning. If only he’d had a real gun. And been white. See, maybe in these cases, they were “just doing their job”, but it seems the methods of doing those jobs vary with hue. So I’m not bringing up race all the time. The justice system is.

Perhaps you’d like to tell us that we’re hypocrites, because there is much more black-on-black crime than white on black. You’re so right about that. You know what else of which there is an overwhelming amount? White-on-white crime. The rates of black-on-black and white-on-white crime are nearly identical. So once you get on white-on-white you can talk. Or we can just call all of it what it is: “crime”.

Perhaps you can tell me how this cannot be racially motivated, because, dammit, we have a black President! This is a post-racial society! Electing one black dude to the highest political office does not resolve 500 years of an ingrained institution any more than putting a bandage on a cut makes the cut immediately go away. Progress was made, yes. It has been 149 years since physical slavery was abolished and 149 years since black people were upgraded from being 60% to 100% human. It has been 50 years since institutionalized segregation was abolished. That is not much time. Women have been subjugated for 6,000 years, and one amendment in 1920 didn’t resolve all their issues. Hell, the Catholic Church didn’t admit they were wrong about Copernicus until 350 AFTER his death. Thinking one act or two will resolve the underlying problem is foolish. That is like a crappy boyfriend who thinks a dozen roses will make up for years of forgetting his girlfriend’s birthday over and over. It’s one act that highlights many others.

Anyway, I do apologize for holding you up for 4 ½ minutes to honour a teenager who lay for 4 ½ hours dead in the summer sun, due to an altercation that is so blurred in contradictory accounts and rumours that we will never know the truth. Nothing is good about this case. A teenager is dead. An officer now has no job. There is no respite for either family. But don’t worry. Since Eric Garner’s case will not see indictment, a case where a camera WAS in hand and everything was placed online, I’ll see you again this Sunday.

You know what? I take it back. I’m not sorry. you can wait 4 ½ minute a lost life.

Love,
Me

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Deconstructing the Riot Acts

I have said before that the people who riot in the midst of the lack of indictment in Ferguson are idiots. That is about as derogatory as I am going to get. There are a LOT of people who will get much more despicably descriptive in their depiction for those who riot. They will definitely lump in every protester with the rioters. None of it is fair, but if we lived in a fair society, Ferguson would not have happened in the first place.

Though I don’t think the rioters are bright, I understand some of their anger. Since civilisation began, those who felt disenfranchised and/or oppressed would take to the streets and do damage. When you feel like you you have hit the tipping point of rage at a societal situation and feel like you have no power to do something about it, you lash out at the closest thing. You feel the rage, and you want to break something. Riots and insurrections are not a new thing. Though many failed, slave insurrections from Spartacus to Nat Turner to John Brown were a result of people being fed up with the conditions that they endured. An insurrection brought about the French Revolution. The American Revolution began with a riot called the Boston Massacre, and Crispus Attucks was the first casualty of it. That’s right: Crispus Attucks was the first in a long line of brothers to die first.

The peaceful unrest that is happening in Ferguson right now is understandable and reasonable. The trashing of stores and shops after dark, though, are not great, and the way some Twitterers and news outlets are reporting such acts, you’d think that the people of Ferguson turned into werewolves and destroyed everything beautiful. There is now a trending hashtag to describe everyone, both protesters and rioters, in Ferguson: #Chimpout. That is disgusting. And this can all be avoided! People nowadays riot all the time. It’s a matter of the when/where. So here are some tips for the people of Ferguson:

  • Do you have a college or professional sports team near you? Well then don the team jersey and other paraphernalia, and flip that car! People will call you a troublemaker, maybe a drunken reveler, but they won’t call you a monkey thug! Here are appropriate times to riot about you sports team:
  • Do you like water sports? If you do, grab a wet suit and a surfboard, and then throw that surfboard through a motherfucking window! You can definitely go to town and break stuff, as long as you have a surfboard in hand.
  • Are you not satisfied with the recent election? Not only can you destroy your school, you can burn the the opposing candidate in effigy! Make sure you chant stuff as well. Then you’ll be fine in the public eyes.
  • America has a long history of welcoming foreigners to her shores, and then beating the shit out of them. Some of these immigrant even came here voluntarily! If someone you don’t know lawfully moved into your neighbourhood, or if you just don’t like your neighbour, you can wreck stuff all day long with near impugnity.
  • It is decorative gourd season, motherfuckers! Let’s smash some pumpkins!...not the band. Put on a festival honouring decorative squash, and then BURN THAT SHIT DOWN. The WORST you’ll be called is a “rabblerouser”.

So remember, rioters, if you’re tearing up your own neighbourhood, I get that you’re mad, but you’re kind of an idiot. If you don’t want to be depicted as a monkey or thug while rioting, then choose any of these reasons to tear up shit, and you’ll be fine! :-D

...Also, you should probably be white.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Same S***, Different Black Kid

I am not surprised that there was no indictment for Darren Wilson, regarding the Michael Brown Shooting. There was too much conflicting evidence. There were three autopsies that yielded three different results. Half of everyone was sure this was yet another open/shut case of a black male being gunned down by a white assailant. The other half was certain that another black “animal” viciously attacked an innocent white man just doing his job, and he protected himself from being killed. It’s doubtful that either of these scenarios is true, but we’ll never know, because there is only one person left alive involved in the incident who can say what happened. These are the facts:


  • Michael Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson after the officer stopped them for jaywalking.
  • The Ferguson Police Department did not release any statements, including the Wilson’s name, for days.
  • When the police finally made a statement, they implicated Michael Brown in an unarmed corner store robbery of loose cigars.
  • Demonstrations occurred, because the community felt it was another case of the police targeting the Ferguson area, due to the hue of the residents.
  • The local police used militarised equipment to quell the demonstrations.
  • The riots got almost as out of control as the pumpkin riots of Keane. NH.


Everything else is pretty much speculation, but we can figure out what will happen next:


  • Twitter and Facebook are about to get REALLY racist for the next few weeks.
  • Darren Wilson will not be able to go on patrols again, since his credibility is ruined, and he will not be trusted by anyone on his old beat.
  • MSNBC and Media Matters will show statistics showing how disproportionate the arrest and police action is for black and brown communities compared to their white counterparts, thereby proving that blacks SHOULD be apprehensive about police interactions at all costs.
  • Fox News and the Drudge Report will show statistics showing how disproportionate the arrest and police action is for black and brown communities compared to their white counterparts, thereby proving that black people SHOULD be avoided at all costs.
  • Shit is going to get REALLY racist in ALL the news comment sections.
  • Someone is going to say that we need to have a conversation about race. Instead of having an actual conversation, people are going to call the police Gestapo pigs, white people privileged crackers, and black people thug niggers.
  • Someone on Fox News will blame either Obama or Al Sharpton of race baiting.
  • Someone on MSNBC will accuse ted Nugent or Sean hannity of race baiting...they’ll be correct.
  • I am so serious; shit is going to get REALLY racist REALLY quickly! I'm not even Christian, and I'm praying to Baby Jesus to deliver us from it all.
  • All the armchair forensics detectives and lawyers who were arguing on comments sections of news articles about the whole incident will eventually forget about this whole thing, because by then, ANOTHER unarmed black teenager will have been shot.


Maybe it is my cynicism, but I highly doubt much will change before the next black teenager is shot, be it by a police officer or a civilian. Trust will not be restored. The root of the problems that helped bring about this whole thing will not be identified and addressed. These, though, I believe to be true:


  • Two individuals with chips on their shoulders got into an altercation, and the one with the gun finished the argument.
  • Contrary to what you will hear on various news sites, Michael Brown was NOT a thug, an animal, an amoral monkey, or whatever horrible combination of veiled bigotry you will hear to describe him. He was a teenager on his way to college. Everyone knows that teenagers, no matter what ethnicity, are very impulsive balls of hormones who sometimes exercise poor judgment. The only difference is that white teenagers don’t usually die because of their raging hormones.
  • Contrary to what you will hear in blogs and FB posts, Darren Wilson is NOT a secret member of the KKK. He is a police officer who worked in an impoverished, high crime area. He likely was more aggressive and dickish to everyone on his beat, which only escalates situations that may have been able to be resolved had some respect for people as human beings instead of presumed felon subhuman imps.
  • The idiots in glass houses who rattle off names of white people who were killed by black assailants will neglect, not only the long history of black people being regularly lynched for so much as allegedly looking at white people the wrong way, but they will also ignore the fact that most white people are killed by OTHER WHITE PEOPLE, usually people they know. Talk shit about others when you acknowledge your own issues.
  • The idiots who bring out stats on the amount of black-on-black crime and claim that black people don’t seem to care about that will ignore the fact that we’ve BEEN harping about that for YEARS, with gang intervention programs, with recreational programs, with gun turn-in programs actually COOPERATING with the police, with education programs. Those just don’t make news, and usually don’t get enough funding to stay afloat.
  • Nothing is going to change until less money and energy that are put into programs that give local police departments MRAPS and other military grade weapons, and more money and energy are put into programs that help educate and employ the impoverished instead of attempting to seal them off from the rest of the world. If you have a small mold problem in your house, you don’t just paint over it, and you don’t shoot it with an M-16. you address it.
  • Anyone who demonstrates peacefully in Ferguson has a right to be there and has a right to publicly assemble.
  • Anyone who riots and destroys property and businesses in Ferguson is an asshole.

I give it about two more weeks before the cycle begins anew. We should rename the country the United States of Sisyphus.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Zib-Bop, Roofy Pops! & the Perils of StarF***ing

You what I LOVED when I was a kid? The Brown Hornet on the Fat Albert cartoon. You know what I HATE? Serial rapists who never saw justice and will not address allegations brought against him. Now imagine my conundrum: the creator of my favourite cartoon calendar is a possible multiple sex offender. Thus far, 15 people have come forward, claiming that Bill Cosby assaulted him. These are not new allegations. In 1997, Shawn Upshaw came forward as Cosby’s mistress back in the 1970s. She claimed that her daughter is his illegitimate Puddin’ Pop®. That was all settled out of court with a $100,000 worth of hush money.  In 1984, he said privately that he needed to stop his womanizing in advance of “The Cosby Show”. In 2005, Andrea Constand filed a suit against Bill Cosby, claiming that she was drugged and assaulted by America’s Dad. Another woman, Tamara Green came forward with the a similar allegation, but this happened back in the 1970s, nearly identical modus operandi. Then TWELVE MORE WOMEN CAME FORWARD as anonymous material witnesses for the Constand case. The Constand case was settled out of court 2006, and a few of the anonymous women were outed and interviewed.


Then everything died down, and everyone forgot, until in the middle of October 2014, when Hannibel Buress pointed out in a stand-up routine the hypocrisy of Bill Cosby telling black people to pull their pants up and act respectable when he raped 14 women. That is not a respectable thing to do at all. Now we are in the middle of what most meteorologists would categorise as a Class 5 shitstorm. Let’s call it Blizzurricane Cos™.


Blizzurricane Cos™ swept the nation. We’re still in the middle of it! It dumped 6 feet of drama all over parts of the internet, clogging routers and stopping traffic (Too soon, Buffalo?). Blogs were lit up for weeks! Cos aggravated the storm by going on interviews and not addressing the allegations! In a pathetic PR attempt, Blizzuricane Cos™ thought it would be a good idea to tell people to post #CosbyMemes, because apparently he didn’t learn from #AskRKelly and #AskThicke campaigns. 

Look, If you are a sexual predator or sing about sexual assault while ripping off a beloved R&B legend, then you were asking for it. You put it out there like that, you can't get upset. You are responsible for whatever those Twitterers gave to you...so fitting…


Well, Blizzurricane Cos™ has reached the most dreaded level: black people claiming he was set up and “they” are trying to cut successful black men down. I hate this level, because there was a time when successful black men WERE actually being cut down by the “they”, and this is NOT it, and people saying it now are disgracing the honour of those who were actually targeted by the J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, or by Hollywood execs, or by the closeted KKK members who were policemen and judges by day who secreted black men away and tortured and murdered them in the name of their false god.


Someone actually said, “Leave that old man (Cos) alone!” Would you have said that same line to Emmitt Till’s surviving family after they found the men who lynched him, or a Holocaust survivor whose previous jailor lives up the street from him, or a victim of the Khmer Rouge while Pol Pot was still alive? If not, then shut the hell up.


The best is the conspiracy theory: The government is trying to cut down every single successful black man.


-_-


Yes. “They” are trying to cut down everyone successful and brown. Women are getting themselves assaulted by these powerful men who have a better opportunity to abuse said power than the women do to escape them. This was the plan all along. First Special Agent Rihanna jumped in front of Chris Brown's fist, and then Agent Janay Rice went unconscious in an elevator just as Ray Rice was very swiftly putting a brooch on her lapel. Agent Under Age GAVE R. Kelly a gallon of water and then dodged in front of him when he was innocently trying to release it. Then Agent [ANONYMOUS] had the nerve to get herself roofied in front of Cee-Lo and wake up naked next to him. Now they are going after the Cos. The FBI must hate all of a sudden hate Pudding Pops and Fat Albert. THAT must be it.


The only “They” who is trying to cut down these “men” are themselves and their own actions. Cee-Lo Green pled no contest to drugging a woman, and then went on a Twitter based mansplain campaign to give his definition of what consent and rape are, both of which show that he definitely drugged and raped someone. Ray Rice was CAUGHT ON CAMERA knocking out his wife, just as R. Kelly was on camera urinating on a minor. And Chris Brown...Well, fuck Chris Brown, so many ways until Sunday. In Blizzuricane Cos™, Hannibel Buress brought it up in his stand up routine, but these allegations were out the open for years. The public just glossed over them or wilfully ignored them for 8 years. The real conspiracy in this case is that the general public ignored this for so long in order to maintain Cosby's idol image, and that it took a man, not the victims, for this to finally be treated seriously.


People think these women came forward because they want money. Bullshit. The women who came forward, I surmise, because of there is strength in numbers. Women, just like brown kids and intersex individuals, are routinely blamed for the crimes committed against them. They are automatically accused of trying to "ruin" a man, or that they're only after money, or that they should not have worn something different. This would make it very difficult to muster courage to speak up, not to mention all the dirt people will bring up from their pasts. If a woman so much as kissed a boy on the cheek in kindergarten, she's labeled a whore. Who the hell would willingly put themselves through this type of verbal and social abuse alone? When more women come forward, it must be the affect of knowing that they are not alone. Again, just my theory.


Here’s a valid conspiracy theory: the American public is a giant herd of starfuckers. We see someone famous, and we turn them into messiahs and prophets. I’m surprised there isn’t a Church Of Cos already. We do it ALL THE TIME, whether black or white. Everyone famous is a deity in someone’s eyes, and as soon as we learn that they are nothing but humans with drug problems and gambling habits and porn stashes and aggressive power issues, we treat the people who bring us this information like the way the Church treated Copernicus or Joan of Arc. They’ll either be berated to the point that they recant the truth, or they’ll be socially silenced. Lance Armstrong actually got people FIRED for telling the truth about his indiscretions. Try saying in public Beyonce is just “okay”. You will be convicted of heresy and burned at the stake. The second a sex charge comes out against an athlete, no one can believe that their knight in shining Under Armour would EVER touch a woman that is not his wife. Name a celebrity, and there is a star being fucked by the public.


So, anyway, I still REALLY like The Brown Hornet. I just can’t stand the man who brought him about. I’m done starfucking my favourite celebrities. You should stop starfucking yours. They don’t give a damn about that goat you’re about to slaughter for them.


...Except Angela Bassett. You can sacrifice for Angela Bassett.


In Bassett’s name, we pray…

PS- If you’re on Cosby’s side for this, then you’re on Glenn Beck’s side as well. Do you really want that? Glenn. Beck.

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