Whenever a movie like “Hunger Games” comes out and a bunch of people get all het up like "SUCH-AND-SUCH CHARACTER WASN’T BLACK WHAT ARE YOU DOING AARRGGHHH," I roll my eyes and start despairing for the future of our society … but when Michael Bay released his first “Transformers” movie and Optimus Prime was a long-nose Peterbilt 379 rather than a cab-over Freightliner, I wanted to stab somebody.
on made beds and roosting chickens
Republicans say President Barack Obama has been too passive in responding to the crisis in Ukraine, with some even suggesting he projects a weakness in foreign affairs that emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin to advance militarily into that country… .
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN on Sunday that Obama should “stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators.” Graham added that “Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”
What do they want Obama to do, send American troops storming into the Crimea to drive the Russian invaders out? Even if that weren’t a fantastically horrible idea, it’d be something the American people would have no stomach for after a decade-long misadventure in Iraq that cost us billions of dollars we couldn’t really afford to throw away.
Or is it just that he’s not talking tough enough? Sure, he could say it’s wrong for Russia to invade a sovereign country that posed no immediate security threat (because it is), but then the rest of the world turns right around and says “Oh, you mean like y’all did in Iraq?”
The fact is, Obama doesn’t have a lot of good options here — or maybe any good options, period — and that’s primarily because our credibility on foreign military intervention was utterly decimated by Gulf War Part Deux. A war that Lindsey Graham, along with every other Republican quoted in that article, voted for and lustily supported until the bitter end.
Maybe they were playing a long game all along, knowing that a Democratic president would get elected sooner or later and hoping to be able to use this to back him into a corner? If so, bravo, guys — that is truly some awe-inspiring trollery on a global level. Doesn’t do much good for us or the Ukraine, of course, but at least you’re putting that feckless black president in his place.
a few disconnected thoughts on the 48th state
1. A couple years ago, when pro-LGBT forces declared a boycott of Chick-fil-A in response to CEO Dan Cathy’s homophobic statements, they were called "Christophobic" (?) and "un-American." But now, when right-wing business owners in Arizona want the right to refuse service to anyone they don’t like, it’s all about “religious freedom.”
So it’s proper and American to exercise your religious/moral beliefs as a business owner, but not as a consumer. How do you like that, man — not only are corporations people, their religious/moral convictions officially supersede those of individuals. Sounds awesome. I wish I was a corporation.
2. I’m flying out to Vegas this week for a freelance gig, and not only am I flying America’s Aeroflot to get there, they’re making me change planes in Phoenix both ways. Now, even though it’s 2014, there’s still a not-insignificant segment of the evangelical right who still believe the Catholic church is the whore of Babylon. What if I’m sitting around in Sky Harbor on Thursday and the waitress at Chili’s Too doesn’t want to serve me because she thinks I worship the Virgin Mary? Can she do that?
3. I don’t plan on spending any money in Phoenix, of course, but that may well require some prior planning on my part, i.e. buying a drink or a sandwich in the Atlanta or Vegas airport and smuggling it on board to enjoy during my layover in PHX. Both Georgia and Nevada have so far resisted what I’m sure is a burning temptation to pass a law similar to Arizona’s.
And it occurred to me the other day: Why haven’t they passed, or even brought up, laws like Arizona’s homosexual Jim Crow bill? Nevada, obviously, has a tourism industry to worry about. Georgia’s got tourism and convention money to consider too, plus they have a burgeoning film industry that would surely think twice about doing any work here if gay actors, directors and production members had reason to believe they couldn’t even get a second glance at a Waffle House.
Arizona, evidently, has none of those things, or they wouldn’t feel free to crap on entire demographic groups like this. I mean, sure, they’ve got the Grand Canyon, but that’s a national park and the feds aren’t ever gonna conform to discrimination like this. So congratulations, Arizona, Kansas, Idaho and any other state that proposes anti-gay bills like these: You’re basically telling the world, “Our state sucks and nobody would ever want to come here.” Hope it was worth it.
Edited: Well, shit. So much for Georgia managing to avoid the temptation to leap on board the discrimination train. Never let it be said that there’s nothing another state can pass that’s so stupid our own lawmakers won’t try to top it. Our legislature is basically composed of good ol’ boys standing around the campfire going “NAWWW, MAN, WATCH ‘IS.”
doug has mundane details of modern life explained to him (first in a series)
(glancing through Victoria’s Secret swimwear catalogue)
Why have these scrunch-butt bathing suits become so common all of a sudden? All it does is make you look like you have a wedgie all the time.
Ruching is good for skinny girls because it hugs the body in certain places and creates the impression of shape — like, it gives them curves in places where they wouldn’t otherwise have them.
But if you’ve got a flat ass, why would you want to call attention to it?
That’s the point — it makes your ass look curvier than it is.
I mean, if you want to call attention to your ass that badly, just wear a thong.
Yeah, that’s what everybody should do.
Fireworks during the dedication ceremony for the Downtown Connector, 1951.
No wonder we’re so reluctant to embrace mass transit; we’re a generation removed from motherfuckers lining to be the first to sit in traffic on a new stretch of highway.
I guess this was what people waited in ridiculously long lines for before iPhones came out.
secret truths of modern life, pt. 1: marijuana
Josh Harvey-Clemons, all you other young’uns out there, sit your asses down for a minute. Uncle Doug’s gonna let you in on a little something, a bit of inside information that apparently is only known to old folks (and not even necessarily to all of them). This is the only place you’re gonna get it, so here goes.
You ready? You ready for this? OK, here it is: Marijuana’s not actually THAT great.
I know, I know, based on what you see in music videos and movies and whatnot, it kind of looks like pot is this magical thing, something that not only makes you blissfully happy but also establishes you as a carefree establishment-defier and/or a supreme badass. But I’ve smoked a lot of pot — like, a lot — in my hrrmmfrrzzsomething years on this planet, and I think I have enough experience to declare it “just OK.”
"Well, if it’s not that great, why have you smoked so much of it?" Well, for one thing, most of that was in college or my first few years out. These days I only come across it maybe once every few months, if that. And I’ll admit, in social situations it can be fun to be part of someone’s duchie-passing circle, everyone getting buzzed together. But let me make a couple observations about that: First, I have never been ragged on for turning down a bong rip or a puff on a jay. Probably because I’ve only ever smoked up around good friends, which is really the only time it’s fun to do anyway. I think the "Just Say No" forces in the ’80s did themselves a real disservice by portraying the refusal of drugs as something that requires a superhuman level of courage; making that big a deal out of it only makes people more likely to go along and not make waves. Nine times out of 10, nobody’s gonna give a shit whether you accepted or refused (and if they’re doing pot, they’re probably not gonna remember, either).
My second observation is this: There’s nothing so transcendent about the marijuana experience, even in a social setting, that it wouldn’t be just as enjoyable and endorphine-releasin’ to have a cocktail, eat a piece of pie or play Mario Kart. Enough with the hippie bullshit about how weed expands your mind and gives you all sorts of fantastic ideas; what it actually does is make you not want to do anything, and even if you do stumble ass-backward into an earth-shattering revelation while you’re tripping, you’ll forget it by the time you sober up.
Now, there is something to be said for that relaxation element, but there’s plenty of other ways you can get that — ways that won’t involve you getting kicked off a damn football team and potentially putting your future NFL career on a razor’s edge. (A positive drug test dropped Justin Houston from the first round of the 2011 draft to the third and probably cost him millions — and he was a first-team All-American who had 10 sacks the previous season. You think you’re gonna get treated any kinder as a sophomore who hasn’t actually accomplished anything yet?)
I think our nation’s drug laws — particularly as they pertain to marijuana — are as dumb as it gets, and I absolutely think there’s no reason for pot possession or usage to be a criminal offense. But I also think I should drive a Tesla and have a TV show where I play Christina Hendricks’ husband, so. The fact of the matter is that there are still a lot of places in this country — most of them, in fact — where having pot in your system will give people an excuse to cause you lots of problems. And if you’re going to put yourself at risk for those problems, I’d hope it’d be over something a lot more important (and satisfying) than a joint. I mean, if a joint actually could double your IQ and open your mind to that higher plane of consciousness where the secrets of our existence and the meaning of life become clear, I’d say light that motherfucker up and to hell with your parents, your coaches or the law. But oh, lordy, are you gonna be disappointed if you think it’s actually gonna do any of those things. Best-case scenario is that whatever lame-ass movie you’re watching on the USA Network at three in the afternoon is gonna seem a lot funnier to you. That’s it.
So there’s your bit of secret knowledge for the day. You can hold your heads up high knowing that you are now just a little bit wiser than everyone else out there. Go with God, and get off my lawn.
Ever since the economic meltdown in ‘08-‘09, there’s been a lot of complaining about the unemployment rate not going down fast enough. Why doesn’t the blame ever fall on the “job creators,” though? I mean, it’s not like we’re taxing them anymore than they were under, say, Reagan — if they want to be hailed and revered as job creators, when are they gonna start creatin’?