So. Like. I’m sitting on a bus last summer. I’m traveling from Salisbury, MD, to Wilmington, DE. In Wilmington a train takes me to NYC where I enjoy an afternoon and an overnight in one of my favourite places on the planet. To worst-writer there is nothing more tranquil than walking around NYC until I feel like my legs are gonna fall off. That’s pretty much all I do when I go on these trips. (Ok, sometimes I see a play or three.) What a way to get away, eh! And during this trip I make special effort to get as inebriated as possible on account I need to get family issues off my mind. The thing is to get drunk without becoming a public nuisance. That goes without saying. So. With full flask in my jacket pocket the travel can begin. Usually the flask gets me to NYC where I then proceed to refill it via hotel mini bars. I also stop in various places for other forms of sustenance–you know, food and sometimes brief but intense conversation. Cause when I’m alone all I do is think about the world, my meaningless worst-writing career and sometimes the asses of wannabe beauties that seem to line the streets of mid-town Manhattan. Getting drunk in NYC, to me, is like traveling the world just like how I wish I could do it all the time. Get on a plane and go to Madrid, Egypt, India, Mauritius, Bangkok, Manilla, San Fran, etc. Yeah. Whatever. But since I have to settle for the multi-culti of NYC, I’m good. ¶There is one thing lingering with me from last summer’s trip, though. On the bus to Wilmington I got in a conversation with a young man from South Carolina. He was bussing it to Boston and also planning an overnight in NYC. Of course, after hearing his plans I didn’t tell him my plans on account I knew that if I did he would push the poor student bullshit my way and next thing I know I’d be putting him up for a night. Instead, I got him to talk to me about his politics. That always a great way to get rid of people when you’d rather be alone. He was, of course, a right-winger and I got him to monologue about what he thinks of Barry Obama, money and the woman he someday wants to own as his wife. The problem was his monologue was emptying fast and I started to get worried. There simply isn’t much substance in what this young #americant college frat republican boy had to say which means that one can’t kill a lot of time avoiding whatever it is he has to say. When he rant out, we were still an hour from Wilmington. Before I could get another question in–I wanted to try and see if he could talk about Saint Ronal Reagan–he asked me about my politics. Which brings me to this post, dear worst-reader. When ever a stranger asks me about my politics I usually try and figure out how right-wing they are first. Once I know that then I know how to go about talking about my (political) leanings. With left-wing folk I usually get provocative and say that I don’t like Barry. With right wingers, though, who usually have the intellect of lunkheads (hence such a once great nation can come up politicians like S. Palin), I usually say I love Barry. From there it’s all about… Let the confrontation begin. ¶I won’t go into detail about arguing with right wingers why I like Barry. What’s more interesting than conversations with lunkheads, is how one converses with those who think they are on the same plain. And so. As a liberal. When ever I talk to progressives or Dems, I usually just come out with it and say it loud: I do not like Barry Obama. Once the shock & awe passes, I then start talking about how I wanted Hillary in 2008. I wanted her to get the Whitehouse so that, simply by her presence, she could make all those really, really stupid white men, especially idiots like Newt Gingrich, squeal like the pigs they are for impeaching Bill Clinton. That impeachment to me was one of the worst things that #americant has ever done. I mean, it was worse than the trial-that-never-was of Richard Nixon. And then I add that Barry is too naive a man to be president. He’s naive because, even though he’s been abroad in his life, he is clueless to what’s really going on in this world. And that’s not even the important part of why I don’t like him. I don’t like him because he’s from Chicago–and I don’t mean the city. Obama is obviously a believer in neoliberalism, i.e. Milton Friedman. That was one of my arguments back in 2007 when it looked like Barry was gonna clean (the Dem) house. I know. Bill and Hillary aren’t much better–since the predecessor to things like the TPP (see links below), NAFTA, were put through on their watch, which are also, probably, part of the Chicago school. It’s obvious that the Democratic party is suffering under an identity crisis that could be called republican-lite. Yet I still have hope that someone soon might come along and shine the light. Obviously Barry ain’t the one to do that. Hence, he’s for TPP and that scares me more than him being from Chicago. Oh well. I still voted for him twice and would do it again if the party so wishes. With that in mind. I really love the US political system. No where else in the world is there as much clarity about how Das Volk thinks. Anywho. Be afraid of TPP because Barry is gonna do his damnedest to make it happen. May your god save us all. Rant on. -Tommi
Seriously. Don’t know what everyone is so giddy about. But then again I reckon waking up is hard to do when you live both in the intoxication and the hangover. Indeed. Such is life. And so. Whether one is facing the demise of her/his dreams or the reality of seeds (obviously everyone has) sown, what is left to be done? Well, nothing is left to be done. Because. The enablers of these dire straits must first die out. That is, the baby boomers, the progeny of the so-called greatest generation, must first pass on. And that will take some time. I suppose, if one would consider the cognitive capabilities of humanity, that something political could take place to at least alleviate some of the suffering, then maybe something could be done. Enter the TPP. Enter… and that damn ship of hope has sailed. Nomatter. Enter the TPP. You really got to hand to those Boomers. They came up with a few great idears to continue on with what their parents passed on to them in the form of politically changing the goal post/rules in the middle of the game. As the few & far between contemplate their impending demise in the form of consume to survive, politics like the TPP will thrive. And so. The sowers of the seeds remain clueless. Go buy something with your credit card. You’ll feel better. Yeah, baby. Rant on. -Tommi
“Without the League (of Nations), there would be another war with Germany within thirty years because of the Carthaginian peace being imposed by the Allies.” / “Europe had a murderous tendency to sink into barbarism, the United States had not yet achieved a civilization from which to fall.” -Gore Vidal, Hollywood
Spoke to soon? Said this week that I’m getting too old for movies. Just finished my second one in a week. Wow. Oh well. At least I have yet another excuse for posterity as to why I’ll never finish any of my deservedly unfinished novels.
And so. Here’s a quesiton for ya, dear worst-reader: How does one make a bad movie great? Answer: ask Luc Besson. Finally saw “Lucy” last night. €4,99 rental on monopolists iTunes. Neat thing about this movie? Only half-hour download of “HD” version–which is 720p according to monopolists Apple. Almost 4Gb downloaded within the ubiquity of the Interwebnets in less than a half-hour. Wow. That’s pretty cool. Also. It was the first time I’d seen a movie visualisation of the monkey/human known as Lucy. The connection Besson makes with this anthropological discovery is really, really cool. But that is overshadowed by really, really bad movie making and, perhaps, end of the assembly-line quality control. The film begins with horrific dialogue between Johansson and her fling-boyfriend. The way he tries to convince her to deliver a suitcase for him to his drug dealing overlords borders on the absurd. A few moments later she delivers the suitcase and Korean is spoken and there are no subtitles–just blood and more bad acting. Seriously. Johansson’s acting is so bad that it’s funny. For the life of me I don’t know how Besson let this happen or did he realise in post-production that it was just too late to re-shoot? Of course, to get something out of any actor, even the most mediocre, the writing has to enable it. No. Wait. Even bad writing can be compensated with directing. Or? Yeah, that’s the ticket. Luc Besson didn’t give a shit if the acting was bad. That’s because he’s Luc Besson. I guess. Heck, even most of the special effects of the movie are so bad that there’s only one word to describe it: corny. Seriously corny special effects. Anyone remember the Superman movie where he reverses the rotation of the earth thereby reversing time? Remember how bad those special effects were? Well, Lucy special effects are even worse. But what can one do when we live in a world of monopolists that deliver 4Gb of movie in half an hour for a few Euros? And Luc B is a monopolists dictator–I mean director of his movies. Which he can get away with because he made so many great movies. I love Fifth Element because it’s such a in-your-face Hollywood movie–from a French guy. Wait. Nomatter. Lucy is a complete and utter cliché, and the only thing that holds it together is the terrible acting and the bad trip Lucy takes. That is, the drug induced, mind altering trip that Johansson takes that leads her back to the big bang and literally becoming one with the universe–but not before leaving humanity with all the worlds knowledge on a USB stick. And with all that pseudo-criticism in mind, I’m gonna watch this movie again tonight (before my rental self destructs). I love this movie. Luc Besson is the master of making bad great. And bless him for it. He could collect a bunch of old tin, galvanised trash cans, a camera, and make a movie. Hats off to him.
“This is the excellent foppery of the world that when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in by a divine thrusting-on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon’s tail and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. Fut! I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.” -Edmund, King Lear, Act 1, Scene 2
Quote motivated by the reaction of John McCain towards protestors. A US Senator calls another person, out loud, in front of cameras, in full glory, a “low life scum”. I suppose when the empire house-of-cards you built is crumbling from within your true character shines. So. Go grab a can of your wife’s krappy beer (yeah, he married into the Coors beer dynasty) and let the Arizona sun-god cook off your wiener.
(Y)our representatives are hard at work and the past that reared and controls us all will never die. Unfortunately.
And, btw, Kissinger is the war criminal that set the standard for where #americant is today as it continues to usurp the planet and its resources.
That said, I really miss those nice beach mornings in Florida, beach afternoons at the bars of Disney World and beach nights in those grimy motels underneath Mikey Mouse where the prudery, bigotry and hypocrisy can take a break. Yeah, baby.
Curiosity has hit this Ausländer a wee bit more than usual since Jan 1. The beginning of 2015 has offered up a lot to consider. First, the Swiss unpegged their precious Franc from the Euro. Second, East Germans, most of which were educated under the auspices of Margot Honecker, presented their intellect in the form of Pigeda. Third, the hardcore world of satire got its ass slaughtered. And so. The Euro might be under fire. Former East-Germans have come out of their third-grade closets. And the most shocking of all, a bunch of cartoonists were murdered because of pictures they drew. Wow. And now you know why I call it #eurowasteland. Indeed, dear worst-reader, much ado about everything.
Let’s move on to two other things that we can take with us for the rest of 2015. The first is the recent Greek election. The second is the reaction to that election by the uninformed. Or should I say the misguided? No. Wait. Americans aren’t any of those things. But then again, if you keep up with US news, like I do, then it should be no surprise how Americans have not reacted to the Greece election. There was so little coverage of the recent event in the American press (at least there was little coverage on the front pages) that I almost gave up on the issue. But then I came across an article (see below) on the subject from one of my favourite liberal websites. After reading it I realised that liberals do have good intentions. They also sure do know how to miss the boat in style.
I was indeed relieved that someone in my home country decided to take on the issue of the Greek election but by the third paragraph I was reaching for an exit in the form of my very expensive full automatic espresso machine (caffeine buzz), the magic scarf that I’ve learned to wear around my neck between the months of August and April (Euro weather comfort) and my passport because I thought it time to take a flight home to help my fellow #americants get informed. Then I took a deep breath, swallowed my espresso with my pinky hanging high and adjusted my scarf. Comfort in the horror of Cologne, Germany, winter amid lots of worst-writing. I gathered my-worst-self and reached for my worst-writing equipment. Lo and behold. Have no fear #americant. Worstwriter is here!
Let’s try and recap a bit, shall we? The Greek elections were on Sunday. A pseudo communist, aka modern socialist, left-wing party won the election by what can be considered a landslide. By Monday morning this new Greek government had a photo-op visiting a grave where two hundred Greeks were killed by Nazis–because that’s what Greek communists do when they win elections. Beyond all that the only other stuff being talked about was Austerity and the euro-crisis. But here’s the thing. Mark my words. This election will be forgotten soon enough. The only thing that will be remembered is the Greek obsession with Nazis and how the Anglo portion of the western world has probably failed in its bid to undermine the Euro through the vanity of the Greek oligarchs. Ok. Wait. Maybe painting a Hitler mustache on Merkel will be remembered. Personally, I think the Greeks should start posting those old east German nudist beach photos of Merkel. Yeah. She was hot back then–in an east German fräulein kinda way.
Ok. Here’s the other thing I wanted to worst-write about tonight. I have been living in #eurowasteland as an Ausländer for twenty-five years. I have worked and traveled throughout the “continent”. Even though I’ve only worked briefly in Athens (project work), I have worked extensively in Spain, Italy, Holland, Sweden, England and, of course, Germany. If you ask me what I think of Europe I will tell you toot-sweet that it is the origin of all that’s wrong in the modern world. Whether talking about government or krappy, ornery, rude people, if you want to know where modern human evil is rooted–look no further than #eurowasteland. That said, if you really believe that Germany is responsible for Greece’s problems, well, maybe it’s time to reconsider.
So let’s get a few basics straight, shall we? Greek problems are not from Austerity. Greek problems are not from the last five, six or seven years. Greek problems are not because of… Well, let me quote a part of the article that motivated this post.
“Perhaps the best way to understand what Syriza (the new Greek govt.) represents is to recognize the forces aligned in opposition, nothing less than the major European and international governing institutions of contemporary globalized finance. These are the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the German government (as the dominant player in the European Union), collectively known as the ‘Troika.'” (See link below for source.)
So. Bear with me. I’m still getting a few things straight. The guy who wrote the above text is not telling it like it is. Although for the most part his article is well written and accurate, he is telling the Greek part like someone told him how to tell it. Namely, that the Germans and the ECB are the reason the Greeks are in such trouble. It might be true that the IMF is part of the problem. But the IMF does not answer to Germany or the ECB as much as it answers to big banks. Yeah. Big banks.
Let me try to put it another worst-way before I get accused (by one of three readers) of taking something out of context. The financial problem Greece is having today is nothing new. Greece has had many, many years to deal with this but instead has found ways to weasel out. All one has to do is go back to the European Stability and Growth Pact of the late 90s. Greece has never abided by this pact. (In fact, Spain and Italy–the countries that are next on the downfall list–haven’t abided by this pact either.) Which raises the question: If Greece hasn’t abided by this pact, how have they been able to get away with it for so long? The answer to that is and isn’t easy.
First. Who wants the Euro to fail? Remember, #eurowasteland is the largest economic entity there is. It trumps the US by quite a large sum. That also means that #eurowasteland is a desired trading partner for not only the US but also the world. The only one to profit from the Euro failing would be private banks.
Second. When Greece took on the Euro it agreed to do things like manage its national debt, i.e. The Stability and Growth Pact (which is actually a treaty). Quickly after signing it, Greece decided that it didn’t want to manage its debt because that would mean living within its own means and also justifying its meritless high living standards. And get this. I can tell you first hand. I travel to some nice places two or three times a year. I never book Greece. Why? Greece is stupidly overpriced. Of course, most of #eurowasteland is overpriced because everybody lives in/for the past and most live in meritless high standards. The question then is, who can afford those standards? Seriously. You don’t get much bang for your travel buck in Greece.
The not-so-easy part of all this is that the recent election will end up being either a sad joke or further insult to Greek young people that have already been robbed of a future. What is clear so far is that the naive and angry Greeks really do believe that there is an enemy out to get them. What they don’t know or aren’t willing to see is who that enemy really is. On top of that, the world of finance isn’t willing to play with their debt lies anymore–hence blame the ECB and the Germans and don’t think twice about what Goldman Sachs did with the previous bailout money.
Greece, like a junky at a Vegas gambling table, has run out of sugar-daddies. So what do they do? Oh yeah. They have an election and then immediately visit a grave site where Nazis killed two hundred Greeks in 1944. Will that change their debt problems? Greece, like (monarchy) Spain and (über mafia) Italy, is its own worst financial enemy. Hence when Greece was first bailed out (in 2010?) they were stupid enough to let their oligarchs horde/steal the cash or Wall Street gamble with it. That is, Greece allowed Wall Street (Goldman Sachs) to continue gambling with bail out money in the form of Greek bonds, Greek derivatives and whatever other fancy-pants finance trickery they can come up with to prop-up the books. And the money did flow. And the Greeks don’t know an iota (pun intended) about where that money went. But a good worst-guess is that in such a corrupt, old-money society, where the past never dies, a few oligarchs have secured a future of luxury for one or three Greek grandchildren.
In the after math of this historic election, the only issue that need be governed is who is on what side of the Greek prop-up trades and who will pay for them? By the looks of it, the Germans are not on the wrong side of these trades because in the end the money Greece has already received (and gambled away) comes out of all of #eurowasteland coffers. For the Germans it’s a drop in the bucket. So. Nazi here or there, the reality is Greece has to pony-up sooner or later for its anti-euro behaviour and its meritless living standard. And here’s where we get into a bit of deep and serious irony. The Greeks just elected a socialist government. Why would they provoke the somewhat more socialist side of the western world’s capitalist pseudo-democracies, i.e. the Germans, by playing the irrational Nazi card? You would think that as soon as one hears that the most successful bailed out bank on Wall Street was part of hiding Greek debt (Goldman Sachs), that the Greek presses would stop. But the presses never stop where (old) men are ruled by (even older) men (and their old money) and not laws.
I wish the founders of democracy all the best. I also hope the young people with ruined futures will be able to make the best of it.
It’s hard watching movies these days, dear worst-reader. I think that’s due to 1) my age, 2) I’m movied-out. Wait. Those two things probably aren’t exclusive. Nomatter. One of my hobbies is to curate my own little personal digital movie library. Using Apple’s (the great monopoly) iTunes as my media server, I purchase most of my movies through happenstance and used DVD shopping. An example of happenstance purchasing is the movie Essence Under Skin, which is one of those rare movies that I actually rented on iTunes (but only because it was offered for .99c). Boy did that movie really do a number on me. In fact, it was so good, as soon as it was over I purchased the ebook and read it in two days. The other means of acquiring movies is when I’m assigned to carrying my better-half’s shopping bag. I usually sneak away at some point and go to the DVD racks. I buy films on sale, never paying more than five to seven euros for a disc. I then bring the disc home and rip it to my library. Which brings me to Killing Them Softly. I picked it up in one of them big metal baskets on wooden pallets at a German electronics store. The sign said: DVDs ab 3,99. I think I paid 4,99 for it. And so. Happenstance and a key bargain shopper persona lead me to this really good mediocre film. And without further ado, here my worst thoughts on it.
The movie had me sold right from the start. Why? It is a satirical parody of #americant. I love #americant parodies. (Btw, here’s more worst-writing on #americant parodies, if you’re interested.) Through out the film one constantly hears and sees via a TV set either Dubya (dipshit) Bush or Barry Obama spewing #americant dysfunctional propaganda that Das Volk can’t get enough of before and during the 2008 election. Underneath the spewing the film tries to tell the story of a bunch of two-bit hoodlums who, obviously, parody the people of a country where everybody either wants to be or knows they are a king of their own personal household and/or corporate cubicle fiefdom. The hoodlums are Americans who just happen, for the sake of movie action, to get all caught up in a death spiral of guns, profanity and, of course, the lust for cash. That, along with a less than cohesive storyline, makes this movie very mediocre. What makes this movie shine is its subtext–which is the critical study of the world’s greatest experiment in nation-statehood slowly rotting from within. The only acting that caught my eye in the movie is James Gandolfini. He is f’n brilliant as a washed-up hitman. As far as Pitt goes, well, what can one say. Without him this strange adaptation of George V. Higgins book would have probably never been made. The only problem with his character is that he doesn’t really shine until the very end when the parody transitions to reality and a brilliant piece of writing his inserted in the book… I mean the movie. (I haven’t read the book but I’m guessing this text ain’t in it and if it is, wow! What a coincidence. Then maybe I should read it.)
Driver (a corporate mafia rep played by Richard Jenkins): Look up there. (Pointing to TV above the bar where Obama is giving 2008 acceptance speech.) Those words are for you.
Jackie (Brad Pitt): Don’t make me laugh. For one people. That’s a myth created by Thomas Jefferson.
Driver: Oh, now you’re gonna have a go at Jefferson, uh?
Jackie: My friend, Jefferson is an American saint because he wrote the words ‘all men are created equal.’ Words he clearly didn’t believe since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He was a rich wine snob who was sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So yeah, he wrote some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went out and died for those words while he sat back and drank his wine and fucked is slave girl. (Pointing to TV screen where Barack Obama is giving his 2008 presidential acceptance speech.) This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community? Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America and in America you’re on your own. America is not a country, it’s just a business. Now fucking pay me!
I reckon this movie should appeal to libertarians everywhere, especially the ones blinded by their beliefs. Indeed. The #americant way. My the blind lead the blinded. Or something like that.
Afeared, he woke in a blaze of glory and almost lived his life just the same. Glorified, he went to sleep in a puddle of yearning that is always stirred by the ghosts he made. Where this should end, were the last words he said to his good-wife that night before the morning that would be his end. And she turned to him and looked him in the eye and then eventually placed that compulsive kiss on his lips. It’s the moment between sleep and wake, he thought. It’s the moment between man and wife–where nothing seems to matter as the lifeless body drifts ashore, and he repeats to himself, forgetting his wife: I am a soldier ashore. And as the ensuing dream becomes reality in the middle of his night, the mares of his youth scramble across bed-fields of Texarkana where he seeks a few hours worth living until the rigamarole begins again. Oh yea, before he forgets: he forgets to visit his therapist again.
Enter every troubled man’s other woman, Ms. Rorschach.
Yes Sir is all he ever answered but only when Ms. Rorschach asked a yes question. Did you sleep well, she asked. Yes Sir, he said. Did you go to the VA hospital and visit your comrades, she asked. Yes Sir, he said. How is your wife doing, she asked. There was a long pause. It wasn’t a Yes Sir question. I’m having trouble sleeping, he eventually said. Sleep is the closest we get to death in the humdrum of this life, she said. It is a way to see through it all and begin to recognise those images, do you understand Mr Kyle? Will you help me get to those images? Pause. Another wrong question. She continues. Shall we talk again about your glory? He perked up.
Mr. Kyle thought: what a cute therapist with legs up to the heavens. How could someone like she address this krapp day in and day out? Where’s my truck?
Mr. Kyle, now that your glory is behind us and you continue down the American path of financial success, we need to address the three meanings that are part of that glory. Mr. Kyle turned to look at himself in the mirror that had been assigned by government sanction and mandate to follow him everywhere. He saw the three meanings that had been engraved in that mirror since youth. They were thus:
Grievance. Sentiment.Belonging. (Aside: what you’ve been baited and sold–hook, line and sinker.)
Once Mr. Kyle tried to talk about the three meanings to Ms. Rorschach but he didn’t get very far. The three meanings would be at the top of every note Ms. Rorschach made. Once she even asked him: To what avail should we use this new religion and its three kings? Kings, he asked in a rare response. There was a pause that she had to fill. In the morning the same kiss comes again, is your answer, she said. It’s a compulsion that is a bit more refreshed, don’t you know, she continued. But isn’t that a good thing, the therapist asks, crossing her legs a third time.
This new attempt at gathering information had only occupied twenty minutes of their session. She wanted this part to last at least forty minutes. She wanted to save the part that he liked best, the black & white images, for last few minutes because she felt that she already had enough data from them.He began to reveal inner workings of his mind at the third picture she showed him. She was now up to picture number thirty-three. But between his assigned mirror that reflected his ingrained soul and the feeling that he was being forced to see her, there was little else to be done. She had to take what she could get. If one doesn’t want therapy, like most males, there was little to be done. Her consolation was the fact that at least he liked her pictures. And then she asked: Would Mr. Eastwood employ those inner workings in his film? Pause.
Why would you bring him in to this, Mr. Kyle asked.
I’m curious, was her response.
I don’t know anything about Hollywood, he said. They have their own way of doing things.
But aren’t your worried that Mr. Eastwood might take your story in the wrong direction?
Mr. Eastwood? He’s a red-blooded American, just like me and my kind. Now if you asked me if Woody Allen would take my story in the wrong direction, now there you might be on to something.
Ok. Mr. Kyle. Let’s move on. What do you see when you look at this picture?
Ms. Rorschach held up the black and white picture. She could tell that it was the only moment during their sessions that he put down his mirror. And before long he answered as to what he saw.
As my good-wife leaves for her duty, all that’s left is me and the children. And so, I sit for an hour or three and drink my energy drinks. Mountain Dew. Monster. Coke when I’m in a somber mood. But sometimes I over do it with Red Bull blends. Oh, how I miss those days (and mornings) in Texas. When I worked for the man, you know, things were easy. I had my tools and my orders. My orders were me. There was always something to do, always someone to protect, it was as though they too were my orders. That’s what I thought I’d be doing when I spoke to Eddie Ray’s mother. He was way down on that PTSD thing. And I thought I could help him. When I spoke to his mother on the phone she said that he was a good guy but gone down the wrong path. And I knew that by joining the marines there was no wrong path–even though some can steer in the wrong direction. And that’s why I’m here now. I’m gonna help him. Civilian life ain’t like it used to be. I know that too. But… You want to know what I see in that picture you’re holding up, Ms. Rorschach? Well I’ll tell you what I’m seeing. I’m seeing…
After the pause he didn’t want to talk anymore and he didn’t want to look at another picture. He only wanted to help Eddie Ray and Eddie Ray’s mother. He wanted to help our country’s returned civilians, the ones who just got home from hell and demons and sand and orders. He was gonna get a friend this time, too. Another comrade. All three would go to The Resort. Enjoy themselves. Shoot some guns. And perhaps share a thought or three about the three kings, the three meanings that make up such a huge part of America. They would join as men among the smells of burning sulphur and the shine of freshly fired shell casings. Little did Mr. Kyle know that this would be his last meeting with Ms. Rorschach. From now on he would have to see the ink blots elsewhere. Like so many others.
Oh, and before I forget, dear worst-reader. The image Mr. Kyle saw in this last ink-blot and Mr. Eastwood forgot to include in his sentimental journey towards another Oscar win, was the innards of a dog’s paw.
With that in mind, let’s look at how others perceive things like the sentimental. Not sure if it’s worth ever trying to add something about grievance and belonging. With that in mind, here’s to Hollywood, fiction and the America way.
“Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel. The wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty.” -James Baldwin
Good luck. Rant on.
Links that help curtail, subjugate and motivate this post:
Worst-thought of the day on how the world really works. A fairy appears to a worker-bee of the western world while that worker-bee is taking a break in his cubicle and dreaming of a better life. The fairy says: I will do anything for you that you want but remember whatever I do for you I will do for your neighbour twice as much. The worker-bee thinks for a minute, actually taking the time to put aside the meaningless compulsion he has been told is (his) work. He then takes a drink from his empty cup of java and wonders how long before his usurper starts charging him for it. Then he takes a deep breath and says: Ok. How ’bout this? Take one of my eyes. -Rant on.
Maybe, just maybe, dear worst-reader, you should stop playing the same game as everybody else. Ever think about that? I mean, that’s the ticket, ain’t it? There is one game and everybody (EVERYBODY) plays it. There is no variety in the games we play. There is no difference in the games we play. And so. Eventually that game has to either get incredibly boring, tedious and dysfunctional or something has to step in to either maintain its existence or at least save the players that win at it. For the game, obviously, must exist. The game is the thread in the quilt. The game is the glue that holds everything together. The game… But I digress. §And so. This is why I sad-laugh at the players of this game. Especially the players that complain about it and/or try to take a stance just because they are not winners in the game. Seriously. There is no global conspiracy or empirical plot. Humanity is simply too stupid to pull such a thing off. There is, on the other hand, THE GAME–which a few have managed to get all of you to play. So why not just enjoy the game? You’re not starving, yet, are you? And if you are starving then we can worst-write about over-population. Right? §Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending the likes of Jamie Dimon, wall-street, or government. But I’ve tried to worst-say here and there that the problems in the world of finance and banking are obviously deeper than what the complainers want us to think. That is. Since we’re in the process of repeating history (repeating, in fact, the beginning of the 20th century), one only need to look into the not-so distant past to see how those complaining now are only reaping what they’ve sewn. Hence, lowering expectations, or, as some like to call it, having your living standards lowered for you, is the only way to continue the game you have been playing ALL your measly life. And so. Unfortunately. The bankers in Davos are right. Since the worker-bees, wanna-bees and players of this game never saw it coming–when a few of us did see it coming–then the only answer, to avoid repeating history at a 1:1 ratio, is to either get out of the game or take a back seat while the big boys manage it. To understand the reason why the likes of Jamie Dimon, the Fed, bad government, etc., run our lives, one only has to look at not only how we repeat history but how so few have been able to see and interpret that history in the first place. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -Tommi
Back in the day, dear worst-reader, when I worked for the man–you know, like you still do–I remember vividly the beginning of the end. The end of working for the man, that is. Indeed. It started about two years before I dropped out (and tuned in). It was my last stint at one of those silly management consultant firms (btw, manage and consult is oxymoronic, or is it contradictory?) and the only task to be done as a business analyst was to find out the cost of doing business. Now. Try to process that for a moment. Other than the recipe and future plans of whatever it is corporation A is making/doing, there is no greater secret to a company than its costs. Hence the corporate culture of fear and paranoia that is #americant and the advent of krapp like limited liability corporations, the lie of the profit & loss statement and other things like the idear that HR (human resources) is actually a corporate department that is supposed to manage personnel, when, in fact, it is there to only fire (and/or not hire) worker-bees. With that in mind, I find this information made transparent by a software development company (see links below) fascinating. Boy, what I would have done to get my hands on these numbers back in the mid-90s. Not only does it reveal the/a cost structure of software development but it also provides a blueprint for a wide range of research and analysis for other areas. I hope this sets an example that transparency is a good thing and more companies should use it–even though hope is dead. Oh. Before I forget. It’s still not OK that Coke wants to keep trying to hide the formula for its sugar-water. Down with corporate secrets. Or something like that. Rant on.
When I first saw Devil’s Advocate I was impressed. Not too much horror to make me bite my fingernails, enough intrigue to make me hang on to the story, and a perfect mix of brilliant writing and direction. Reeves is, like w/ most of his work, a mediocre actor that’s just hard to dislike. Theron is luscious to look at and listen to in a pre-surgery way. Pacino, on the other hand, truly carries this film and he does so as any genius serpent wallowing around the tree of knowledge would. That’s what always brings me back to this film. That is, over the passed year or so, while breezing thru my movie library when I know I’m not going to watch a whole film (on account of other worst-writing constraints), I call up films and skip through to the money-shots, i.e. moments of dialogue/writing that downright thrill me. I do this a lot w/ films like Casablanca, almost anything Woody Allen, Monty Python, etc. In this particular film all I ever re-watch is the dialogue w/ Pacino, the Devil incarnate. Below a small example. The underestimating scene.
KEVIN: I figure you came to court to make sure I didn’t fuck this up.
MILTON: Maybe I did. But don’t get too cocky. No matter how good you are. Don’t let them see you coming. That’s the gaff, my friend — make yourself small. Be the hick. The cripple. The nerd. The leper. The shit-kicking surfer. Look at me — I’ve been underestimated from day one. Do I look like a master of the universe? That’s your only weakness as far as I can tell.
KEVIN: What’s that?
MILTON: The look. The Florida stud thing. (Southern accent.) ‘Scuse me, ma’am, did I leave my boots under your bed?’
KEVIN: Never worked a jury didn’t have a woman.
MILTON: You know what you’re missing? What I have? This beautiful girl she’s just fucked me every way she knows how — we’re done — she’s walking to the bathroom — she turns back — and there I am. It’s me. And she smiles — it’s like a veil coming down across her face — and that smile, that’s a question mark, because she’s looking at me, she’s wondering, how did that happen? And see, right there, from that moment on, she’s got a secret. I’m the hand up Mona Lisa’s skirt. I’m the whisper in Nefertitti’s ear. I’m a surprise. They never see me coming. That’s what your missing.
While we’re at it, dear worst-reader, let’s throw in one more for fun. This short piece of writing genius is rivalled only by Burroughs (when it comes to writing about that whole god thing.)
MILTON: Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time. Look but don’t touch. Touch, but don’t taste. Taste, don’t swallow. Ahaha. And while you’re jumpin’ from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He’s laughin’ His sick, fuckin’ ass off! He’s a tight-ass! He’s a SADIST! He’s an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!
(Devil’s Advocate Screenplay by Jonathan Lemkin and Tony Gilroy)
Oh my. Unbelievable. Only in #americant, baby. In my post Barrel of Fun I had a few not so flattering words to share with worst-readers everywhere about Mitt Romney. And if I may toot my own horn, I rather like the post, especially the part where I wax philosophical on what Romney’s father did to create such a clueless albeit money hungry human. Now that Mitt is “considering” running for prez a third time I can’t help but worst-wonder more & more about Das Volk and their (in)ability to keep the cogs of democracy churning. I mean, are you serious Mitt? A third go at something that is obviously even beyond your purchasing power? Oh well. It never ceases to amaze me how the greatest nation-state experiment in human history has fully succumbed to collective mindlessness and intellect made of jell-o farts. Or something like that. Rant on.
“Their precepts related chiefly to ourselves, and the government of those passions which, unrestrained, would disturb our tranquility of mind. In this branch of philosophy they were really great. (Italics mine.) In developing our duties to others, they were short and defective. They embraced indeed the circles of kindred and friends, and inculcated patriotism, or the love of country in the aggregate, as a primary obligation: towards our neighbours and countrymen they taught justice, but scarcely viewed them as within the circle of benevolence. Still less have they inculcated peace, charity, and love to our fellow-men, or embraced with benevolence the whole family of mankind.” -Thomas Jefferson on Philosophers, from a letter about his religious views, April 21, 1803, The Jefferson Bible
The mist of violence has cleared and I’m still pretty angry about thugs and guns and the vulnerability of artists. I’m ashamed to admit it but for the first time since the deadly farce of the western world’s war-on-terror, I actually felt a jitter of pro-violence-lust running through my veins as I watched the Charlie Hebdo tragedy unfold on BBC News. Was I the only one to yearn for a hero to save us from the bad guy? Is there no French Dirty Harry out there that could throw a storm on the perpetrator’s souls and rip evil apart with a forty-four magnum only to ask upon completion: Well, punk, do you feel lucky! (Boom!)
“These are artists,” I thought about the dead in that Paris office. They are thinkers and talkers and maybe wankers. They are dudes gifted with a very special communication skill. What happened to them made me scream in my third-eye inner soul, a painful scream. Then I thought of Salman Rushdie. I thought of the inquisition. I thought of Titanic, the German version of Charlie Hebdo, in which, btw, I was once mentioned when I produced my play Birdgames, hence I feel a special connection to satirical smart-ass magazines. But that is most certainly neither here nor there. By Friday my head started to clear and I realised that this act of “barbarism”, as the French Prez called it, might turn out to be something bigger than what we’ve all become accustomed to as we traverse useless-eating lives with consumption and wars of choice. But what kind of ‘big’ could this be?
Protesting with Apples.
It’s time to admit when I get something wrong. This past weekend proved that even I, your humble worst-writer, dear worst-reader, can get something wrong. In my post Poor vs Poor I said that protests don’t matter. After watching the Paris tragedy unfold, I’ve since concluded that there may be times when protests do matter–more on that in a sec. I mean, come on, did anyone expect those crowds in the French capital on Sunday? I remember being in Paris in the 90s and during my trip a convoy of tractor-trailers dumped a gazillion tons of Apples right in the middle of Place de la République. It was followed by what seemed like thousands of regular farmers who were showing their eurowasteland solidarity with the apple farmers and they all marched and closed down roads and metro stations–which were at the time my only source of travel. The experience taught me 1) to navigate through Paris on foot and 2) that in the US general strikes are illegal. And get this. This past weekend, while France was showing the world what humanity is capable of–as opposed to #americant showing the world how humanity (over)reacts–my wife and mother were in the middle of it all. Seriously.
Mom sees Paris.
Although we battled on Thursday in the aftermath of Wednesday about proceeding with our plans, we didn’t cancel the trip that would show my mother Paris for the first time in her life. My wife had been planning it for months as a way to help consul my mother in her mourning. Terror attack here or there, by Friday morning they both were on a train, as scheduled. Even though I was planning to utilise the weekend alone to worst-write, I spent most of it watching the drama unfold and wondering if I sent the beloved women of my life into a war-zone. Luckily all went as planned. Mom saw the Eiffel tower. She got to take a wonderful dinner cruise on the Seine. She shopped on the Champs-Élysées. The only problem they had was, once Sunday rolled around, getting their train back to Cologne. They had no chance of taking the metro on Sunday. The French capital had been shut down by more than a bunch of apple farmers. Luckily, since my wife’s company is based in Paris, she knows her way around the city better than I do. So they had to navigate by foot the three kilometre trek to Gare du Nord. They made it about seven minutes before their train was to depart. In the mayhem my wife even adopted a British couple along the way as they were caught in the same tourist predicament. All in all, it was a great weekend. It was a dream come true for dear old mother.
Which brings me to a hypothesis: Americans don’t know how to protest. Nor do we know how to strike. Why is that? Heck, above and beyond dumping apples all over their capital, the French are even capable of dumping shit on it too. These wondrous acts of French protest, which obviously have an effect on how a country is run, are not conceivable in the United States. Why is that! Is it because the US is a place where its people want to be ruled and France is place where its people want to rule?
The Code of Federal Regulations declares “encouraging others to refuse to work, or to participate in a work stoppage” by prisoners to be a “High Severity Level Prohibited Act” and authorizes solitary confinement for periods of up to a year for each violation. The California Code of Regulations states that “[p]articipation in a strike or work stoppage”, “[r]efusal to perform work or participate in a program as ordered or assigned”, and “[r]ecurring failure to meet work or program expectations within the inmate’s abilities when lesser disciplinary methods failed to correct the misconduct” by prisoners is “serious misconduct” under §3315(a)(3)(L), leading to gang affiliation under CCR §3000. –Source
Ok. A strike for higher wages and better working conditions isn’t the same as mass protest. Or is it? At the least, being able to perform both means that Das Volk at least knows how to come together to say SOMETHING. And. According to latest news reports as many as two million people were in Paris on Sunday. Isn’t that a record of some sort? Does it equal the Arab Spring protests? What about the 2003 anti-war protests where the biggest crowd was in Italy? (Here, btw, is a list of mass gatherings if you’re interested.) With that in mind, allow me to focus on my beloved united mistakes.
How many people protested during the Occupy Wall Street thing? A few thousand? Heck, more #americants gather for ball games then they do for political games. But not all is lost. There was one mass gathering in America’s recent history that might, in some way, equal what just happened in Paris. Ironically it was organised by American Muslims, The Million Man March. At the least, it need be worst-said, Americans do not know how to communicate as a whole but France might have just offered an example of how to change that. And so, the American way, The Dream, once again is forced to ride bitch in the backseat of the world stage. Add to that the fact there were no US dignitaries or politicians in the Paris march! Wow. But I digress.
Vive la France.
Indeed, dear worst-reader, protests do matter. But they only matter if the essence of the protest is about something good. Hence the recent anti-muslim protests in Dresden, which I’ll get to in a sec. I was deeply moved by France’s response to the horror. It was a moment that reminded me when asked what place is my favourite in all of Eurowasteland I usually respond thus: after living as an expat for a quarter century the only place I’d rather be is back home near the Chesapeake Bay. But if you were to ask me what European country I admire the most my answer would be France. Why? Well, that’s another worst-post. But in short. My reasoning goes back to what little I’ve read about revolution, hereditary monarchies, world wars, etc. France seems to have dealt with all the above in a way no other country has. But I suppose that is a can of worms I should try to keep closed for now.
I no speak French.
Let’s summarise how America reacts to the ramifications and/or blowback of politics that is in such contrast to the French. First. There is never any soul searching or anything cognitive when it comes to dealing with our politics and especially our foreign policy. All we ever do is react and we do so in the name of money, oil and empire. The proof is in the pudding. Second. Anyone wondering, hypothetically, of course, what would America do if a bunch of terrorists flew planes into the twin towers of lower Manhattan? Would we protest out on the streets and demand Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité? No. Of course not. We don’t even know what those French words are. Well, maybe we know something about liberty but our version does feel a bit skewed these days. Equality? You mean equality in the sense of race and/or wealth? Yeah, right. And as far as fraternity goes, we only know it as another form of baby-sitting-institution at universities where a nation of infants can be maintained and nurtured to live life in the blissfully ignorant realm of the sophomoric.
Indeed. Dear worst-reader. When America responds to horror we do it with more horror. We immediately reach into our chest of mass murdering gadgets and start a fucking war. We also suspend Habeas Corpus, one of the pillars of our founding as a nation and thereby open an illegal prison camp to house unjustly held “combatants” in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We then continue degrading what is already a degraded justice system (because it is owned by neo-liberal politics) and turn over the running of the world’s largest economy to the military with the enactment of The Patriot Act–which, simply by its name, means that the dumb-downed of Nation won’t question it. Then we proceed to begin the single largest government expansion in our history by creating new agencies aptly titled “HOMELAND” and “TSA” which in turn eases the process of militarising the police and making people take off their shoes in order to board airplanes. Oh, and let’s not forget the hoarding of the treasury by war-mongers so that a few can profit from killing hundreds of thousands (millions?) of Arabs thereby exerted full spectrum control over the natural resources of this earth and even squashing the dreams of fledgling countries trying to build their way out of the rubble of the cold war. And then…
Stop. Breath. Pause.
Ok. I’ve spread delectable butter over France and vilified my beloved home enough. As glorious as the French people were on Sunday, the recent horror followed by a magnificent display of human solidarity was hijacked by the scum of the earth. See pic at top of this post. Yes, the ruling elites of Eurowasteland really thought that no one would see what they are up to. The pic above makes it all quite obvious. They are hugging NOT because of the horror created by terrorists but over the power that this will give them. They are hugging in relief that maybe now, finally, they can start to take blind action like the US has done–and thereby start profiting, like the US, from war, death and destruction. Merkel is whispering sweet nothings into the continents luscious melting Brie ears where the white man can finally relax about being white and smell is own garlic armpits as the rest of the world, mostly in the form of immigrants that have come to continental shores because of Europe’s horrific colonising past, can face its wrath. For it must be said, dear worst-reader, Xenophobia is a catch-phrase now that certain peoples of Europe are waking up to certain realities. Whether it’s protests in Dresden, which are for hating people, or strikes in Greece, which are against the casting out of young people from society because old people won’t pay their dues. These people, these politicians, will do nothing but cause more havoc. Thanks to horror. (I guess.)
That’s not saying that I don’t like Angela Merkel or this rather obscure and odd French president. But I do worst-wonder if they are setting up their own Euro Patriot Act right now? The chants of freedom of speech, cloaked as Je Suis Charlie have been already drowned in Europe’s history of hate-mongering. I’ve been living in Eurowasteland far too long and I know what these people are, what they are capable of. Living over here has also shown me exactly where America and other geo-politics have their origins. Whether we’re talking about colonies, slave trade, greed and exploitation, I know where it all stems from. Europe is truly the centre of modern world history. It is also the cesspool where humanities darkest nightmares have brewed and GERMANated (pun intended). Only in the destruction of the idear that is Europe has anything decent ever evolved from it. America is a good example of this–even though it’s currently heading down the same history as its parent. And what about India? Or the various countries in Asia? All former colonies that have found a way to free themselves of pure Euro evil. Which brings me to Das Volk.
As Eurowasteland rulers fill backrooms of government centres to extend power over the horror, they will do so by avoiding the obvious, as Europe has always done. They will not face things like the xenophobia that is part of the horror, that is what made the newest three French martyrs. The reason I call it Eurowasteland is because I am one of the millions and millions of immigrants who happen to make it to these shores. I can say without haste, without remorse, without pause: if you ain’t born here to the white Euro soul, you ain’t gettin’ in. Of course, Europeans would argue that it is possible (to get in). But they only say that because of how aware they are of taxation and income redistribution that pays for it. Yes, dear worst-reader. Even though I am a privileged American immigrant in Europe I am not Euro-blind to reality. And now it’s time to keep an eye on what Merkel & Co. will do.
The Horror. The Horror. The Horror. -Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), Apocalypse Now
“Pilgrims had sailed to ‘The Americas’ to establish doctrinal purity, and pirates had made the same voyage in search of treasure and slaves. In Paine’s time, however, the New World of ‘the United States of America’ (a name he may have coined) was an actual and concrete achievement; not an imaginary Utopia but a home for liberty and the conscious first stage of a world revolution.” -Christopher Hitchens on Thomas Paine
Never forget the moment right after #americant started bombing Afghanistan in 2001 when the Taliban leadership went on the telly and called my grand united mistakes a bully. There was also a time (in the not so distant past) when a simpleton named Rodney King got caught up in the severity of being a simpleton and thereby thought he could mix wits with the simpletons of the LAPD but instead got his ass bullied by a bunch of angry white men who are sanctioned by the state to hit people and/or shoot them. And what about that weekend-warrior-like dude, another simpleton, albeit one named John Pike, who had a belly that only matches mine, yet he gets to dress up in government funded riot gear (on those weekend-like outings) and thereby spray peaceful protesting students in the face with pepper spray because they want to say something about the world that rules their useless eating lives? And then there’s the recent government sanctioned endeavour by another one of our “finest”, a policeman in the form of a pointy eared druid-like living corpse who is allowed to shoot a man because that man would not obey his silly attempt at usurping a ghetto neighbourhood as though he were one of the local king’s henchmen. And although the list could go on and on, this brings me to our final bully for this post, dear worst-reader. Its name? Carmen Ortiz. This bully, along with all the others mentioned here, is an example of the dysfunctional #americant machine’s obsession with authority, control and running-amok for the sake of the few & far between–and all in the name of something righteous. If these people don’t provide you the message you need that #americant is out of control, then what will? I mean, the debt problem doesn’t phase anyone. Military spending doesn’t phase anyone. The nation’s basic infrastructure must be in great shape, too. And what about the cost of… Full Stop. Pause. Breath. With all that in mind. Let me move on. § Like most nation-states today, #americant is a centralised bureaucratic monstrosity that is kept in place and (dys)functioning by minions and automatons who all think/believe they are power-monger-rulers of (their own) little itty-bitty worlds. These minions and automatons do more than just work for the apparatus, dear worst-reader. They are, obviously, the mechanisms of a dysfunctional machine. And as I have most assuredly failed to say here, they all cannot differentiate between rational and reactionary thought. Which is pretty scary. And so. I’m very disappointed in the current head-honcho of all corporate and government automatons–Barry Obama. Why? Well. See links below and then… § Even though Aaron Schwartz was a victim of government over-reach and his case was nothing more than a “political” move on the part of a corpo-government monster, there is nothing to be done about it. Barry has said so. Indeed. We must live with the generations that are the mechanisms in the machine that is our monster. And there is one thing that connects all those listed here and all the other automatons out there: their behavior. Which then poses the question(s): How should one deal with that? How should one make their wrongs into rights? These people bomb when they feel like it. They beat people when they want to. They pepper spray because they know nothing better than the command that tells them to do so. And they also dress real nice for meetings and walk the same sidewalk you do. Way to go #americant. Where would we be without our bullies? Rant on. -Tommi
Have this behind me: the frustration felt during the wars-of-choice that have sent #americant into its current spiral of empire delusion? There are a few things that will always remain from those years. The first is the fact that the people who didn’t vote joined the ones who did vote and all elected Dubya (twice!) The price for this apathy will go unpaid for a long time. The next fact is that my beloved former home country is ruled by what is thought of as persons who went through the/a gauntlet of a compulsory collegiate education and hence are supposed to be, in some way, …cognitive? They are of a system where the ONLY gateway to material success and any sort of living standard is through the halls and doorways of for-profit-education. Indeed. Even though the college educated have been there before, it seems that today college educated persons are running the #americant empire to the ground. From the presidents cabinet to all the corporate minions and even the people’s official government gun-toters, the leaders are all of some collegiate institution accompanied by a variety of academic titles. And so. #americant college educated minions are proving their worth to empire–en masse. And. One of the best examples of the western world’s über-education-to-nowhere is the former army general that ran the most recent wars of choice that will probably never be paid for. This guy has a PhD and yet he should be known for nothing more than his sophomoric infantilism which has gotten him caught up in a scandal that should be underneath the uneducated poor man’s trailer park. But that won’t happen. For, how do you prosecute these minions without going after the human corruption of them all? Don’t let the dominoes fall. Rant on.
#jesuischarlie. So is it saying “I am Charlie” or is it saying “Jesus is Charlie”–albeit mispelled?
Ok. So much for worst-writer’s attempt at satire–and spelling. Or even worst-writing a decent article about what recently happened in Paris. Nomatter. Today, dear worst-reader, we have a worst-first. This is, I think, the first time I’ve posted a link to the same video twice (here the first). And get this: I am still angry at Ben Affleck at his reactionary response to Sam Harris that I am (still) beyond myself. But, in the aftermath of Paris, thank goodness Bill Maher is owning this debate. And so. I eventually came down from that high-horse that I spend so much time on. One of the first things I thought of after waking this morn and the coward Paris killers were finally identified was this video. Why? Well, I’m not one to bash religion outright. But I have read Harris, Dawkins, and lots of Christopher Hitchens. When asked, I am an anti-theist but I still go to church every once-a-once, especially with my mother, because I like the colours that shine through the glass. I also read the Bible, the Holy Quran and, when I’m really drunk and in a bad mood, the moronic book of Mormon written by the grand master of taking-advantage-of-suckers John Smith. Obviously I need to spend some more time reading up on Hindu and Buddhism. That said, I’m not sure where exactly I want to be regarding the content and context of this video and the act of criminal terror that took place last night which is less than a four hour train ride from me where I used to go all the time because I love live jazz. Anywho. The cowardly acts of three men last night in France prove that Harris is right. That doesn’t mean, though, that I in anyway condemn a whole religion. What I do condemn are the reactionaries who are incapable of coming down off their high horses. Religion is indeed an opiate yet we in the West are unable to ween ourselves from it as much as fanatics are unable to stop doing crazy shit in its name. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -Tommi
The subtitle of this post is: When Protests Don’t Matter. Yes, dear worst-reader, I’m a very negative person. Thank you for asking. Yet. With that said, allow me, behind your back, to (re)define negative. The reality is, negative these days has little to do with the opposite of positive. Besides, it is the same idear when it comes to love. Defining, that is. Love is most certainly (these days) not the opposite of hate. (It is, in fact, the opposite of respect–but that’s another worst-post.) In biological terms, being negative is 1) basically defined as the opposite and or the same-difference as the results of a Playboy centerfold questionnaire; 2) the only way to get across those few & far between worst-thoughts I have on a daily basis when I read the news about this or that. Which brings me to the bullshit of today’s newest news. It also gives moi the opportunity to redress both my born heritage and my expat heritage. For today, dear worst-reader, I must say something extra negative about what’s going in my grand united mistakes of #americant AND my not-so grand #eurowasteland borough of Germania. It is the issue of poor vs. poor. Never before has there been a better time to see this on such a grand scale as it takes place in all walks of life and in all corners of hemispheres–almost as though every western nation-state has a Roman colosseum filled to capacity to witness the spectacle. This is, of course, not the first time we have the opportunity to view the poor vs. poor battle. You know. It happened at the end of the cold-war. It happened again at the outbreak of human hysteria on 9/11. And now, due to wars-of-choice, debt ridden economies and frightened rich people, we are in the/our colosseum again. And so. Whether in the form of meaningless protests in Dresden or inane protests in NYC, nothing has ever mattered so little in this poor vs. poor battle than the idear that humanity can be tolerant and/or just. Indeed. Dear worst-reader. Here we are. And just like before, just as always, as it passes and we leave the colosseum to pee, will we face up to what we are given to see? E.g. Young pin-stripe Germans saying they don’t want their country Islamised. Or NYC police saying they matter more than the young, mostly black men they murder? Yes. The answer is in our history. Which means, the answer is NO! Just as before, why would/should we face up to the reality of what we all WANT? We want to live in neo-feudalism. We want to be ruled by men and not by law (or democracy). And we most certainly don’t want to look in to the soul of humanity that makes us (failed democracy) and our policemen (pawns of the men who rule us) look at what the real problem is. Isn’t it human nature to hate, to be intolerant, to pee between colosseum shows, etc.? Seriously. I’ve lived in Germany now for a quarter century. Other than the racial hate of my home country, I have never experienced so much intolerance than in Germany. Let me repeat that. Even though they’ve found ways to hide it, be subtle with it, Germans are as intolerant a people as they come. And. As far as #americant police protesting because two of their kind were gun downed–you’ve got to be kidding me! One of the reason I had NO quarrel with expatriating so long ago was the reality that the police were/are nothing but harbingers of oppression and misguided authority. When I was young, trying to deal with the advent of consume-to-survive in #americant, I never once felt protected or served by the police. In fact, when they stopped me at gun point because I fit some “profile” or pulled me over while they reeked of alcohol, it was very clear to me that the only way to deal with the police is to avoid them with every breath. And you know what the Stone’s sing: every cop is a criminal (and all the sinners saints). And so. Here we are, dear worst-reader. How’s your seat in the colosseum? Enjoying the (freak) show? You like watching Germans protesting who and what they are? Getting some kicks while NYC police are protesting their bread & butter? None of this makes sense and yet it is being taking so seriously. Just listen to the crowd of minions roaring. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -Tommi
Winter is a time for gloves, among other warming garments. Yet there is something worst-unique about gloves above and beyond garments. (Perhaps the same goes for (thick) socks? That’s another worst-post.) My gloves are always together on a small table next to the front door. When I go out I grab them and put them in my right coat pocket. It is not until I’m outside and I feel the cold that I put the gloves on. Yet when I take the gloves out of my pocket a most peculiar thing (always) happens. That is, I never–well, rarely–pick the the right glove to go on the correct hand first. I always have to fumble the pair to find the one that goes on the correct hand. Now. Here’s the thing about gloves that I’ve noticed. There should be a fifty-fifty chance of picking the correct glove to go on the correct hand, right? Well. Not in this case. And I don’t know why? Again. I rarely–best estimate, ninety-five percent of the time–pick the correct glove for the correct hand. Just thought I’d add that thought. Rant on. -tgs-