Hurricane Irene Happens, and Bachmann Claims it was God

You know, it never ceases to amaze and depress me how quickly this country’s Religious-Right is able to jump on the “God did it” bandwagon to get their obscene message across.  Today was an example of how this is horrible beyond all recognition.  How sometimes something can be said that is so awful and so pathetically bigoted that those who are responsible deserve all the lambasting and vitriol that is spewed at them.  That they deserve to be called out for being horrible people.  And I am now convinced that the person who is responsible for what I am going to explain here not only needs to apologize, but needs to be shamed for what has happened.

There was a bit in the news that showed Michele Bachmann at a rally in Florida, talking to her voting base (old white people) about how Hurricane Irene is God sending a message to the politicians.  Here is the quote straight from this horse’s (ass) mouth –

I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians.  We had an earthquake, we had a hurricane!  He said ‘are you going to start listening to me here!  Listen to the American people, because the American people are roaring right now!'”

Yup, that is what this woman right here –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
believes is perfectly acceptable to say at a rally.  Or even that she believes that it is acceptable to say at all.  Now, I am willing to put up with our endless shock jocks on radios who say shit like this all the time.  Glenn Beck has done it multiple times.  Rush Limbaugh has done it multiple times.  That weird guy who believes that being gay is a government plot (and he apparently has government documents to prove it, bullshit) has said it.  We have people on TV like Pat (the flaming asshole who deserves no happiness ever) Robertson, who talks about how things like 9/11 was because we have gay people in this country.  So I am totally used to this shit coming from people like them.  I am used to this kind of sick and twisted hatred of the human race to come from people like that, but when I hear somebody who wants to run this nation say stuff like this, it makes me realize that America is totally and completely screwed.

Michele Bachmann is, of course, not the first to have these kinds of views in government.  There have been politicians throughout history who have gone on about how Gawd has this great plan and how we need to follow it.  We have people like Rick Perry and again, Michele Bachmann, who believe that leaders should be chosen by God, and how we need to be run by a Christian doctrine.  That’s called Dominionism, folks.  It believes that we all should be what their idea of Gawd wants us to be.  It means giving up freedom, giving up individuality, giving up our rights for their beliefs.  It is not something that we need in this country, nor on this planet.

And they are everywhere.  Glenn Beck said that the disaster in Japan was God’s way of talking to us.  This is coming from a group of people who think that it is okay for a holy being to just do shit like this, that it is actually preferable.  If you listen to what Bachmann said, and the reverance with which she said it, you actually feel a little sick inside, because it shows a side of things that is too twisted to possibly imagine.

There was a post by my favorite YouTuber talking about this.  He talked about how atheists sometimes take the Bible very literally, when there is a lot of nuance, but really, why would you want to believe in this?  Even symbolically, why would you want to buy into a book that basically says, if you don’t do as a holy being says, just how he says it, he is going to fuck you up?  Really, God sounds like an abusive husband.

But back to Michele Bachmann.  Bachmann, how dare you!  How dare you imply that this was all some kind of holy plan!  How exactly does a person believe that the deaths of innocent people is a good thing?!  It happens enough in that “good book” that they are all willing to quote-mine to get whatever quote they need to justify their own bigotry, and my question is – how can you possibly justify that to yourself?  What possible reason could you have to believe that your holy being taking the lives of others was the right thing to happen?!

She actually made a statement to justify what she said.  Here it is –

What I was saying in a humorous way (oh yeah, it was funny alright!), is that there are things that are happening, that politicians need to pay attention to.  It isn’t everyday that we have an earthquake, in the United States.  And I think what we’re seeing is that in this country, we have to have margin, to fight, financially.  And that we are so out over the cliff, financially, we don’t have the margin that we need anymore.  And to solve our problems, we gonna need to make sure we have enough money.”

Did that make any fucking sense to you?  Yeah, me neither.  And I didn’t hear a thing about how she was talking about financial margins in her little rant about how Gawd was sending us all a message.  Did you?  And yeah, all those people dying is a big joke!  It was all just a big giggle about how at least 35 people have lost their lives in this storm!  This woman genuinely makes me sick.  She makes me sick, and all those like her make me sick.  Honestly, how do people rationalize this kind of evil in this heads’?  How do people who support her allow themselves to be sucked into her world of bigotry?  This woman, all those like her, a twisted bunch of sycophants who care nothing about human decency, sleep at night?

Oh right, they have no conscience.  So they sleep like babies.

Until next time, a quote,

“For me, when I’ve pointed out the fucked-up that God has done, it’s always to make the point – why would you listen to this?  Even symbolically, why would you listen to a book that says essentially that ‘if you don’t listen to me, I’m going to fucking destroy you!'”  -TJ Kincaid, Atheist Fundamentalism?

Peace out,

Maverick

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10 Most Thematically Brilliant Films (To Me)

One of the things that film critics use when they look at films is the fact that they have great themes.  There are some filmmakers that are able to work this this concept very well and create great works of art.  Then there are others who have lost the way.  When I saw James Cameron’s film Avatar, I felt like I was watching intellectually void shit.  Really, that film was total garbage that had nothing good to offer the human race at all.  It was just Dances with Wolves and Pocahantas but with blue people.  Plus, the overall themes of anti-corporatism and primitivism were just so dry that I was really bored.  So, that said, here are my pick for the ten films that I have seen with some of the best themes

10. Reservoir Dogs
There is a reason that my favorite filmmaker is Quentin Tarantino.  A lot of people lost a lot of respect for him after he was the name on the cover of the abhoredly awful film Hostel.  That film was rightly criticized because it was disgusting, worthless, and didn’t have a single interesting theme in it.  But everything else that Tarantino has ever made was a thematically brilliant work of art.  This film was no exception.  It was one of his first works, and he couldn’t have made a better movie.  A bunch of guys, in over their heads, trying to figure out how to stay alive after everything is going horribly wrong, that has to be a great movie.  And it was.  Every character was perfectly cast.  It was this film that convinced me that Steve Buschemi is one of the greatest actors who has ever lived.
The overall themes of professionalism, of loyalty, of being able to keep your sanity in a situation that is totally insane.  Not to mention the fact that each of these characters brings their personal baggage into this role in an incredible way.  You get to see Mr. White remaining loyal to a man who risked his life for him.  You see Mr. Pink desperately trying to keep everybody on the level.  Mr. Orange is trying to remain loyal to his cause, of getting these guys locked away, along with their leader, Joe.  Mr. Blonde is dealing with his insanity that remained with him when he got out of prison.  Every single person brought something into the fold that made the whole thing come together wonderfully.

9. Inception
I have wanted to put this film on a list for a while.  This film proved what a brilliant filmmaker Chris Nolan is.  He is a man who can make something so strange into something wonderful, or something familiar to have a new face and a new identity that people can come to recognize and enjoy.  This film was incredible.  Leonardo DiCaprio’s character was perfect.  His character was the center.  His greatest theme was overcoming his history.  He was constantly trying to run from it.  He was trying, again and again, to get away from the past that he also deliberately kept with him.  The true irony of his character was that in trying to run from his past, he ended up reveling in it.  Inevitably, he is forced to face down his past, unable to keep on running.
Every detail of this film was perfect.  The surreal world that we could perceive and actually understand.  The complex plot that constantly kept you going, unsure of what was going to happen next.  The characters who each had their own problems, but were coming together for the offer of a lifetime.  And then there was Cobb, who was just a man trying to get him.  A really, truly perfect film.

8. Taxi Driver
I really don’t think it is possible for Martin Scorsese to make a bad movie.  This film showed a character who was very disturbed, and getting into his mind was rather fun.  I think that part of the character Rorscach from Watchmen was designed on this guy.  The main character, Travis Bickle, is a guy who has gotten out of the military.  It is never stated, but it is implied that he was in Vietnam.  He has been profoundly disturbed, and he is looking to solve his ceaseless insomnia.
There are a number of very subtle themes.  There is Bickle who is secretly working toward a very dark objective (if you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you.  He is trying to find a way to fit in in this world, and is failing.  His own darkness and his need to connect leads him to try and rescue a young hooker from her pimp.  The idea of loss of innocence, the theme of cultural misconceptions, and the idea that it is not as simple as black and white have never been done better in a film.

7. Hannibal
This film was the perfect follow-up to Silence of the Lambs.  It got into the mind of the character that made the original film what it was.  Anthony Hopkins won and Academy Award for his role as Hannibal Lecter in the original, even though he was in the actual film for only 16 minutes.  This film got into the head of this character in a phenomonal way.  It was able to go deep into the mind of a person who is pure evil.  Hannibal has never shown himself to be anything but pure evil.  But in this film you got to go deeper into his mind.
The overwhelming themes are for people having to answer for their past, as Hannibal did, or at least would have, had things gone the way his captors had desired.  Then there is how Clarice Starling was having to answer for letting Hannibal go all those years ago, and for getting so close to him.  She had a lot of past that came back to her.  The past was kind of the overwhelming theme in this, but there was also the theme of the idea of how far evil goes, and also how far ambition goes.  All in all, it was an amazing film.

6. Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance
This film was a work of art for a series that was in desperate need of being brought back into the world of modern discussion.  Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of hte most complex and thematically deep series that was ever created in the world of anime.  Each character is interesting, and finding out their motives, their darkness, and their humanity is part of what makes this series so amazing.
In this new film, it came back in a really huge way.  It opened with a character who hadn’t been in the original series, but who was a good addition.  She is a girl for whom piloting and EVA is an obsession.  But the main focus will always be Shinji and his quest to overcome his own depression and fight to save humanity.  You also get to see into the love-hate relationship that Asuka immediately grows for Shinji.  However, unlike the series, which never went anywhere with it, the attraction between Shinji and Rei is definitely explored in a deeper way in this film, and looks to continue into the future films.  The themes that were at work here were many.  There was overcoming depression, finding a reason to exist in the world, overcoming your own nature, and being faced with hopeless odds but being willing to fight anyway.

5. The Social Network
This film was not only working with some great films, but it was perfectly written.  A lot like Taxi Driver, every single scene was perfectly done.  It is a film that really appealed to a certain type of audience, but if you are the film’s target audience, you are quickly hooked.  Truly, it had to be Aaron Sorkin who wrote this film.  It just had to be.
The themes that were examined in this movie were the price of ambition, which Mark Zuckerberg clearly felt, trying to find a place to exist in the world, which really came up at the end, when he tried to friend the ex-girlfriend who had been so angry at him, and also how the world and run over you, and how life is never really a fair deal.  This film was a work of art, and it was done in a very good year for film.

4. V for Vendetta
This was another of the kinds of movies that pointed out that a film can have some awesome action in it while still being the kind of film that the intellectually inclined can enjoy.  V is an incredible character.  He is a very intelligent and well-spoken vigilante who, while he seems to be driven by the idea of freeing a nation from a horrible dictator, he really at first seems to care less about that.  He ultimate goal is to see that all those who are responsible for what was done to him, and everything that follow because of him is brought to justice.
The themes in this film were vengeance, but also with a kind of will to do something better.  V very much wanted to change the country, but the fact is that he simply was working to make those who had hurt him pay.  Then there was the theme of abandoning your fear.  Eve was afraid every single day.  V got rid of this fear by doing something completely horrible to her.  But in doing so, he made a better person out of her.  Then there is the theme of rising above your station to do the right thing.  The police detective in the film chose to rise above his place, to question authority, even knowing what the risks were.  Then the public also chose to rise up, and reclaim their government.  Something that I wish the American people cared enough to do.  It was a fun movie, and definitely worth checking out.

3. The King’s Speech
This was a genuinely incredible film.  The fact that it was a true story about a man who not only came to the rescue and rallied his entire nation, but was able to also come to the rally the entire world just makes it that much better.  Every single person who was cast in this film was done so brilliantly.  Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush just seemed to be made to work together in the world of film.  Both are such great actors.  This was a truly marvelous film.  The story of King George VI, who led his people in times of war is one that all people should know, and never forget.
The themes of this film were few, but powerful.  The biggest, the one that the entire film is based around, quite literally, is finding one’s voice.  That drove the entire plot.  Then there was the theme of being strong in a time of crisis, as was demonstrated by Helena Bonham Carter, who played George’s wife, Elizabeth.  She was, and still is, an incredibly strong woman.  She may have gone behind her husband’s back, but she did so knowing that she would be able to help him.  Then there is the theme of becoming more than what you are, which Rush’s character showed when he was first an ordinary man, and, through sheer chance, became the best friend of one of the greatest rulers in England’s history.

2. Children of Men
This was an incredibly tragic film.  It was done to show really the entire darkside of our species.  The premise is that humanity can no longer bear children.  All over the world, the human race is coming to an end.  But then, there is a hope.  A man who had never cared about anything is put in charge of the only hope that the human race has.
The themes in this film are the loss of hope, which is easy to understand why, desperation at facing your end, which now the entire human race is feeling, a man having to go beyond anything he had ever wanted to be before, which Theo did, and eventually, hope that mankind will go on.  It was a great film, definitely worth checking out.

1. The Sky Crawlers
I have talked about this film a LOT.  I know that.  I can’t help it.  It was an amazing film.  I don’t think there is a single second of this film that I didn’t enjoy.  Something about me is that my favorite films are ones that I can watch over and over and get no diminished enjoyment from them.  It tells the story of a ceaseless war, and people who are too young to be able to understand what they are fighting for, whic ultimately is nothing at all.  It goes into the minds of some incredibly deep characters, who are all just trying to find a way to stay alive, and keep their humanity, even though they are all children.
The themes in this film are many.  The first, and biggest, is the theme of how pointless war is.  It is really learned when you examine how tragic the battles that these kids are fighting really are.  They are fighting these never-ending wars, and it gains them nothing.  Nothing ever changes.  Then there is the theme that the world needs to believe their freedom is being fought for.  These kids are fighting in the place of actual wars.  The world is completely at peace because of the fact that others are fighting, so they can believe that their freedom is worth something, even though they are not dying for it.  Finally, and most importantly, there is the theme of loss of innocence and keeping one’s humanity.  It was an incredible film from a brilliant filmmaker.

Themes matter.  It is what give a film the power to keep with you, even when you are unable to understand the depth of it.

Until next time, a quote,

“I don’t think we were set up, I know we were!  I mean, where did all those cops come from?!”  -Mr. Pink, Reservoir Dogs

Peace out,

Maverick

Noir Nights, Noir Life

It is not all that dark out yet.  The sun is still shining in the window of the living room.  Summer here in Alaska is still going on.  It is heading downhill, and will speed up pretty soon, but honestly, the sun is still the top dog.  For now.  Night in Alaska in the summer is almost kind of disappointing like that.  It gets to be a little bit much, when you think about it.  You have to deal with the endless light following you around.  I have never been much into the light.  When it shines in, it is almost not fun to see.  It is like it is not leaving you alone.

Then you get into the night.  The night is so much more pleasant than the day.  The night is a place that is universal.  You can hide in the night.  The night can cloak you from all the thing that the day brings.  The day is not a place that people want to be.  People can talk about how they want a tan, how they want to be out in the sun all the time, but I think that really, given human nature, night is just a place that people are more comfortable.

The city night is a unique kind of night.  There, the night is filled with lights.  But these lights are made to cut into the dark.  They aren’t the kind that you can’t escape from.  These lights are your companion.  They are the brief moments of clarity in a place that you are comfortable in.  The city night has lots of shadows.  The buildings that stab into the sky, the vehicles that move, the places between the lightposts that are littering the streets.  When the lights go off in a city, the people all seem to get scared.  Like they are totally terrified of the dark or something.  This isn’t a productive way to be, if you think about it.  Really, when you think about it, the night is the most natural place of all for people to be.

We all are born in darkness.  We are brought into the light.  And when we die, people call it “going off into the eternal night.”  Night is the companion that we all walk with.  It’s like time or death in that regard.  The night is the place where you can’t hide what you are from the rest of the world.  The world itself is hiding, so your true form comes out.  In the city, this is especially important.  At night, the people who are afraid to face the rest come out.  The night is the time when others realize that they don’t have to pretend to be a group that they aren’t.  They are free to let themselves go.  And they do, what’s more.  They openly become the person that they want to be.

In the country, the night is a little more complicated.  You see, in the country, the night has a light that is your companion, much like the day.  But in the country, this light is clear.  You can’t see it in the city.  You can’t see this light in that world, because the remnants of human existence, like smog and mist block it out.  Humanity clouds this light.  That’s the reason that we build lights of our own.  But out in the country, this doesn’t exist.  The remnants of mankind that exist and block our vision are not there.  Here, the light that is your companion at night can flow freely.  But this light isn’t like other lights.  It is beautiful, and it is your friend.  You are there with it, and it isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, it is the most right kind of things.

You see, this light is a reflection of the night.  It reflects the light of the day (quite literally), and in doing so, it becomes the symbol that the harsh light that people hide from is gone.  People feel comfortable in this light.  I feel comfortable in it.  Granted, during the winter, when this light is out, it is damn cold, but in the summer, it is beautiful.  Summer darkness out in the Alaskan country is a wonderful thing to see.  So many people don’t like it, but they don’t realize what it is – freedom.  In the night, in the country, you are free to run, free to play, free to be yourself and not have to wonder if the world is watching you!  People take the freedom that that is for granted.

It has long since perplexed me why people are afraid of the night.  Really, what is there to be afraid of?  It’s like a gun or a TV set.  It is only bad when in the hands of the wrong person.  In the wrong person’s hands can it be a tool of killing that people put to work in horrible ways.  But there are others, like myself, and like my muse for today.  I have no doubt that her in the night is a beautiful sight.  What a pity that I will probably never get to see it.  We never really hang out anywhere other than that place.  It’s not her fault.  It’s just the way that things are.  We just don’t have that many options, you know?  I still want to see her in the night.  If only to be able to know what she looks like.

I think, if I could see her in the night, I would see her in the country night.  I don’t want the night of the city to send that false light down upon her.  The light in the country sky must be the light that shows her face.  The very image of it is wonderful.  It’s gorgeous.  It is beautiful beyond all reason.  The more that I ponder about it, the more that I am liking this image!  It is almost too beautiful for words!  The country night, seeing her reflected in the pale light.  The very idea makes me feel almost too cool.

In closing – Martin Scorsese is a great filmmaker!

Until next time, a quote,

“I think someone should just take this city and just… just flush it down the fuckin’ toilet.”  -Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver

Peace out,

Maverick

The Tragedy of People Leaving

There is a kind of stillness in the air tonight.  I feel remarkably sad, but honestly, I have no idea why.  The whole concept has eluded me.  Really, the reason for my melancholy didn’t hit me until just moments ago, and I figured that I will share my thoughts with all of you on here, because at least then somebody might be able to relate.

You see, I have never been good with change.  It and I just don’t seem to get along.  I have had so many things change over the years, and I lament all of them.  Whenever things have majorly changed in my life, to date, it hasn’t been for the better.  I have been dealing with the fact that nothing really ends well in my life for years.  I have always just assumed it was a forgone conclusion that things would go to shit at some point.  In recent years, things haven’t really been going to shit, they just don’t end particularly well.  I have come to accept that that is just how life is.  It’s your friend very little, and screws you as much as it can.

So, with that in mind, I think about the way things are recently going on.  A bunch of my friends are moving away.  It’s kind of a bummer situation.  One is my oldest friend.  I have known her since I was four years old.  I used to be kind of into her, and was planning on seeing where that could go, but fate stepped in there.  I had a head injury.  Her bastard father decided to forbid her to see me when I was in the hospital.  I plan on making him pay for that decision, someday.  Bastard even used my own blog at my uncle’s funeral.  How lame is that?  Anyway, she and I reunited last year.  We found one-another in the most unlikely of places – Facebook.  Well, maybe not so unlikely.

Anyway, we found one-another again.  I hadn’t seen her in eight years.  I didn’t know anything about what had happened, so I kind of feared the worst.  It had grated on me for a long time.  Finding out the truth did kind of set me free there.  Anyway, when I found her again, she was married and the guy is pretty alright.  He’s a lot like me, actually, except he’s very big on the God character.  She and I had some good days together.  Alas, twas not meant to last.  She is going to be moving down to Kodiak.  It’s a big opportunity, and I don’t shame her that, but it’s still sad.

I hadn’t seen her for eight years.  I was just getting back in touch, and now she is moving away.  It’s kind of sad-making in a big way.  She is going to be having a kid.  I’m not much for kids.  I have a cousin’s husband who looked like he was about to start something with me when I talked about my lack of interest and my lack of love for kids.  She and I have an understanding.  Of course, that isn’t going to mean much.

Another friend is moving away.  She is my cousin, and my friend.  She and I didn’t exactly grow up together.  Not the same way that I had another cousin had.  She and I did grow up a little bit together, though.  I still reminisce fondly the memories her and I shared together.  We have kind of grown apart over the last few years.  She won’t admit to that.  We’re just two very different people.  She’s a hardcore socialite, and I am an anti-social guy who just so happens to be good in a social situation.  We haven’t really spent much extended amounts of time with one-another in the last few years.  A visit here or there, but that was it.  I had always wanted it to be something more, but it never was.

She is going to be moving to be with her boyfriend.  Apparently, he is that one perfect guy, or something like that.  I don’t really believe in that, but whatever.  I guess we all have to follow our own paths.  I am not, nor will I probably ever look again for love.  I’ve been down the road, and it doesn’t end well.  I have a friend with benefits, and that is all that I want.  People will go on on either side of the debate about FWB’s, but I am happy where I am.  Well, not happy, but then-again, I am never really happy in the way that people want to believe it.  I believe happiness is a false dichotomy.  I wrote a pretty nifty blog about that, actually.  But yeah, I am naturally pretty melancholy.

I also found out that another friend of mine is moving.  He and I knew one-another since middle school.  We kind of got along because we were both really strange, and that just worked.  He is moving away because of the fact that living here in Anchorage is so damn expensive.  He is going to be moving down to Juneau, and getting a place there.  He and I had planned to do my YouTube account together, but camera problems derailed that idea pretty fast.  I am still working on that, and I’ll put a link at the bottom, but yeah, it didn’t work out that way.

So a lot of people who I have known for a long time are going to be going away.  I think about that, and about how far I have come.  I think about all I have gone through, and how much further I have left to go.  I think about my future about how I may end up being a nobody, barely scratching by.  I think about the people I have lost along the way.  I think about the choices that I made.  I do all of these things, and through it all, I am starting to realize that maybe it was all so meaningless.  I may have done all these things, and it might all just mean that tomorrow I am in a bad place.

I have never been good at dealing with change.  It just doesn’t come naturally to me.  I can adapt to new situations, but it is still hard.  It has made this week, when I should be stoked about returning to Anchorage kind of…sad, really.  The more I look at how ugly my future looks, the more I am starting to think that maybe people like me are just not meant for this world.  I wish that I could be more cold-hearted.  I wish I could be more cutthroat and unpleasant.  I’m just not that kind of guy.  People like me, people like all the greats, they were just not meant to exist in this world.  I keep going, but the more I look at my future critically, the more I am starting to think that maybe, just maybe, there isn’t a place in this world for me.

So, I keep looking at my future.  I lament the leaving of my friends.  I think the reason I lament it most, is because the likelihood that I will ever see them in the flesh again is virtually non-existant.  I will probably never see them again, and in the end, that is how it goes.  I move on, and am still here.  Maybe that is why this is so unpleasant to me, because I wanted to be somewhere else myself by now.  Maybe.  I don’t know…

Until next time, a quote,

“Are you sure he’s your best friend for fifteen years, or your best friend fifteen years ago?”  -Wilson, Home Improvement

Peace out,

Maverick

Modern America is All About Greed

Lately, I am starting to see a model that really just depresses me.  I admire the fuck out of George Carlin and how he was able to completely seperate himself from what this country has become.  He was able to laugh at the complete ruthlessness of the system and the people who live in it.  He was able to make a joke out of how horrible and how bitter this world has become.  When you look at how people are, how the world is, it is easy to see why people don’t get involved in politics.

The new prevailing theory among conservatives and, for the most part, Libertarians, is that people should be as greedy as they want to be, and screw everybody else.  I find this view morally and ethically repugnant.  Ayn Rand, while she had a few good ideas, had a whole philosophy that seems to have been based on greed.  And now we have an entire country that endorses this viewpoint.  It is tragic beyond all reason.  It really is.  Because, the way that I see it, helping other people and working together as a species to make the world a better place is the only reason that we are in this world at all.

I like the line that Keith Olbermann had

Everyday since I started to think, I realized I knew a little less than I thought I did the day before about why we are all here.”

It’s a tragic statement that is true for me as well.  I sit back and I look at this world, and I look at how much we are consumed by the endless pursuit of money, and the endless pursuit to do better than the other people.  George Carlin had this bit about the Ten Commandments, and how the Commandment to not covet your neighbor’s goods is pure bullshit.  Coveting what your neighbor has is what drives this entire nation’s economy.  We are a nation that is built on the idea that we need more money, to have more and more and more.

When you think about how far we have come, how much we have done as a species, the fact that we are all so obsessed with little gree pieces of paper is actually quite amazing.  We are all so consumed by our need.  They say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but since it buys every single thing that is needed for happiness, I would say that it does!  I would say that it does more than buy happiness.  I think it buys existence at all.  You cannot exist in this world if it wasn’t for money.

Every time I hear some Libertarian retard or some conservative dumbass talk about how the poor are such leeches, I can’t even shake my head in shame anymore.  You see the rich, and how they are sucking the money away from everybody else.  Then you see the poor and how they will fight tooth and claw to defend these people.  I am beyond depressed about the modern situation in this country.  I have a friend who I care about more than most anybody.  She is in a really pretty pickle, because her family may lose their home.  A person I know heard that the parents either couldn’t work (as one of them can’t) or can hardly find work, and instantly wrote them off as people who didn’t try enough.  Stupidity, naivety, ignorance, and of a calibur that I haven’t seen in a long time.  Her hardcore Fox News loving racist husband I’m sure agrees whole-heartedly.

This nation has an illness, so does this entire planet.  I am with Carlin in believing there is no hope, and it is getting to the point that I don’t really care how it all turns out.  The day that the major corporations and banks like BP, Goldman Sachs, and the Catholic Church took over this country, it was all over.  The basic parts of human decency, like helping out your fellow man, they went out the window and were replaced by the endless consumerism that has made us all slaves to it.

I’m with TJ on this one –

So I ask all people of faith, if there is a God, how the fuck can you stomach him?  His universe is a shithole!”

Greed, crime, corruption, and the endless work of those in power (not the government.  Our faux government is just a bunch of patsies that our real owners, the corporate interests, can use to make whatever they want happen), and really being a bad person is just rampant in society.  It is so much easier to be evil than good.  Good requires rising above your natural instincts.  Good requires that you are able to set aside the personal feelings about things.  Good requires that you make sacrifice.  And the fact is that people in this country doesn’t want to make sacrifice.

The aforementioned person, she asked me, genuinely asked me, if I would want to give money to the poor if I had a lot of money.  If I was a multi-millionaire, would I want to give up that money?  The general visceral tone with which she had make me feel genuinely ill.  Like the idea of giving money and helping people is such a bad thing.  I am now convinced that I am a better person than she is.  I am convinced of this because I knew the answer in a heartbeat – yes.  Yes a thousand times!  I would give as much as I possible could!  I don’t need all that wealth!  I wouldn’t want it either!  I want to help people.  There was the single greatest speech in film from Charlie Chaplin, in the film “The Great Dictator.”  I think he said it best.  In fact, I will put the speech in its entirety on here, so you can know how I feel about the human race, and what I want for every, single, person –

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor.  That’s not my business.  I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone.  I should like to help everyone, if possible!  Jew, gentile, black man, white.  We all want to help one-another.  Human beings are like that.  We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.  We don’t want to hate and despise one-another.  In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich!  And can provide for everyone.  The way of life can be free and beautiful.  But we have lost the way.  Greed has poisoned men’s souls.  Has barricaded the world with hate.  Has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.  We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in.  Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want!  Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind.  We think too much and we feel too little.

More than machinery, we need humanity.  More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.  Without these qualities, life will be violent, and all will be lost.  The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together.  The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men.  Cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all!  Even now, my voice is reaching millions of people across the world.  Millions of despairing men, women, and little children.  Victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.  To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair!  The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed.  The bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.  The hate of men will pass, and dictators die!  And the power they took from the people, willl be returned to the people.  And so long as men die, liberty shall never perish!

Soldiers, don’t give yourself to brutes!  Men who despise you, enslave you!  Who regiment your lives, tell you what to do and what to think and what to feel!  Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder!  Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men!  Machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts!  You are not machines!  You are not cattle!  You are men!  You have the love of humanity in your hearts.  You don’t hate!  Only the unloved hate!  The unloved and the unnatural.  Soldiers, don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St. Luke it is written ‘the Kingdom of God is within man.  Not one man nor a group of men!’  But in all men!  You, you the people have the power!  The power to create machines.  The power to create happiness!  You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful!  To make this life a wonderful adventure!  Then in the name of democracy, let us use this power!  Let us unite!  Let us fight for a new world, a decent world!  That will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future, and old age a security!  By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power!  But they lie!  The do not fulfill that promise.  They never will!  Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people!  Now let us fight to fulfill that promise!  Let us fight to free the world.  To do away with national barriers.  To do away with greed, hate and intolerance!  Let us fight for a world of reason!  A world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.  Soldiers, in the name of democracy, Let us all unite!”

That is my absolute truth.  That is what I believe.  That is my mantra, my existence, and the reason that I am a better person than the one I talked about, and all those who think like her.

Until next time, a quote,

“It seems as if we are taught as young children to share, and then, as soon as we let go of our parent’s hand, we are taught to stop sharing, or at least to stop prioritizing sharing.  To stop sharing unconditionally.”  -Keith Olbermann, Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Peace out,

Maverick

Why are the Poor Defending the Rich so Much?

This is a genuinely confusing concept that I am going to mirror on my professional blog too.

I don’t get this new paradigm of the poor, and those who are hopelessly poor, defending the rich with such steadfast devotion.  I was talking to a family member today about my views on politics.  I should have learned a long time ago not to do that.  I have an uncle who I don’t talk about religion with because of the fact that he is so hardcore about it.  With me, talking to conservatives is the exact same way.

There was a very brilliant cartoon done by Ted Rall.  It summed up what I had to deal with today almost perfectly.  It was called “The Tea Party Made Simple.”  These people will defend, almost to the death (metaphorically and ideologically speaking) that the rich need to be protected, like they are going to lose so much.  Really, the idea that the rich are so delicate and going to give up completely is so completely ridiculous.  It is built up on an idea that was completely disprove, and seen by the intellectual and philosophical community as a joke.

The bulk of the modern conservative economic model is much akin to the Libertarian economic model (or at least the predominate model that they and their Messiah, Ron Paul, follow).  It is based around the economic ideas of Ayn Rand.  Ayn Rand is a very interesting character to look at when it comes to economics.  The bulk of the philsophical community wrote off what she said (and quite rightly so) as morally repugnant garbage.  There was a professor who did a rather nice paper about this that was put on the website of a really great YouTube vlogger, Liberal Viewer.  It talks about how the model of selfishness that the conservatives seem to idolize, and the Libertarians worship as gospel, is a completely flawed and totally pointless model to live by.

Now, this family member lives by what seems to be Rand’s idea – that only those who produce matter, and that those who do not produce should be cast aside and forgotten.  That altruism and decency and going out of your way to help others is a worthless cause.  This is, in fact, morally repugnant.  I give credit  to Rand for being able to make this concept sound very good, but the fact is that when you get into the meat of her arguments, you find out that what she wants is nothing more than a selfish, be as greedy as you want and don’t give a crap about anybody else, model, and really, isn’t a philosophy at all.

But back to the argument with the family member, she believes a lot of the talking points of Rand.  I don’t want to call her a Randroid, because that seems a tad bit harsh, and I doubt she has ever studied these ideas in detail, but the talking points are the same – government bad, private business good.  Alan Greenspan was much the same.  It seems that the Libertarians, Tea Party, and Republicans learned absolutely nothing from this man admitting the idea of no regulation being the right one to be wrong.

There was an episode of “FRONTLINE” which talked about what happened to our economy in detail.  Here’s a link to it – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/view/.  A woman named Brooksley Born saw what was coming.  The person I had this argument with, she believes it was a government mistake that happened.  I partially agree, but in a completely different way.  This episode showed that was happened was the government’s fault.  There was not enough regulation on Wall Street, and there needed to be.

Now, before the market collapsed, nobody would hear anything about regulation.  Things were doing awesome, absolutely awesome.  If you were told in 2005 that things were about to collapse from a shady practice by banks who were not being watched closely enough, you would have been laughed offstage.  That was the country that we lived in.  Wall Street was doing incredibly well.  Nobody could have seen the problem that was growing just under the skin.

Enter the world of Over-the-Counter Derivatives.  These were an almost unregulated area of the banking industry.  They are pretty much bets between companies and banks.  They are insurance policies on Wall Street which protect them from problems.  This is a $27 trillion market.  This was a metric ton of money, and the government knew almost nothing about them.  Even those on Wall Street were mostly in the dark.  And since it was completely in the dark, there was a huge market for fraud.  The banks that were involved in this knew that these were too complicated for the average person to understand, and that was how they took multiple companies to the cleaners.  The fact is that these OTCs, as they are called, were, and still are, nothing more than a complete scam.

So, here we are, with trillions of dollars, and nobody knows what is going on.  What happens if something goes wrong?  If something were to go wrong, the OTCs could bring down the entire market.  And that is EXACTLY what happened.  The game went wrong, and everything fell apart.  Greenspan on his dream team all were involved in keeping the truth secret, and after talking with a family member today, I am starting to think their efforts worked.

The Fox News narrative is that the government needs to step back, to stay out.  This is flawed.  This is deeply flawed.  And what’s more, they have an entire army of people who are willing to throw rationality and critical thinking out the window based on personal greed and a strange idea that the rich don’t have the money to lose.

I was asked, “If you made $5 million annually, would you want to give some of that up?  That you worked so hard to get?”  I find this question bizarre, ridiculous, and pathetically naive to the way things are.  The very number, $5 million.  To make that much money annually, it is almost too incredible to dream.  Would I give more of that up?  Would I want to be taxed?  HELL YES!  Are you kidding me?  She actually asked me that, thinking, I guess, that she had backed me into an ideological corner.  I am not a rich man.  Far from it.  I would say that I am more of the lower-middle class.  There is no more true middle class.  You are upper or lower.  If I could make that kind of money in a year, I would give so much of it in taxes, to help the poor, to help strengthen our nation’s safety net, that it isn’t a thought to me.  It’s done, and I wouldn’t look back.

This idea that the rich need to be catered to, and need their hands held is just so pathetic.  It is so worthless and really shows that the people who fight for this are nothing more than ignorant fools who just want to have an idea going on that really means nothing.  The wealth inequality in this country is absolutely insane!  How do these people justify this?  I wanted to get some understanding here, but really, her perspective makes no sense.  The cartoon I linked to above, I really think that it says everything perfectly.  These people are, I guess, being screwed out of the imaginary business that they have in their head.

So, should we raise taxes on the wealthy?  DUH!  No-brainer.  And that is because the conservatives in this country seem to have no brains.

Until next time, a quote,

“And that’s what everybody’s worried about.  You have one big institution that fails.  It can’t pay its obligations, and forces somebody else into a dangerous territory who can’t pay their obligations.  Pretty soon it’s a falling domino effect through the economy.”  -David Wessel, FRONTLINE

Peace out,

Maverick

America, We Need to Take Care of One-Another!

Now, I could comment on a lot of things.  Sure, there is always a lot of fun stuff in the news about religion.  Religious bigotry is a gift that keeps on giving.  I could comment on the fact that Rick Perry is nothing more than a bleeding hypocrite (I will get back to him over the course of the next few years).  I could talk about the latest topic that my favorite YouTube vlogger, TJ Kincaid, aka The Amazing Atheist, posted about how Megan Fox got rid of Marilyn Monroe’s face from her forearm.  And really, we can say that what I am going to say here is about politics, but honestly, I think it goes deeper than that.  I think this goes to all Americans.  America, we need to start taking care of one-another!

When you look at modern politics, it is easy to see how the fact that people in this country don’t take care of one-another.  When you hear Republicans screaming about how the poor need to pay more in taxes, because in their view, they don’t pay any taxes at all.  I love how Sam Seder pointed out what a bullshit concept this is

Understand that they say this as if these Americans pay NO taxes!  But we do that they pay payroll taxes in the form of Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, FICA taxes.  We also know that they pay things like the Federal Gas taxes.  They pay Sales taxes.  They pay all sorts of other taxes.”

So yeah, Seder also pointed out the fact that GOP Republicans also want to not only raise taxes on the poor, they also want to cut food stamps.  So, I am beginning to think that the GOP is perfectly okay with killing PEOPLE!  They want people to die because they want to be greedy and feed the greed machine that runs their campaigns.  The Democrats aren’t much better, but at least every once and a while a Democrat does something good.

Keith Olbermann, my favorite political commentator, had one of his Special Comments when the debt ceiling debate came up.  I am going to give a small bit of it on here, so you can understand how I feel, and I will talk about the fact that the great truth that needs to be understood by people in this country is that we need to start looking out for each other, because we are all we have!

Here is Keith Olbermann’s words on the subject –

 Face it, we do not take care of one-another!  Not we as in Progressives.  Not we as in Americans.  Not we as in the West.  We as a species.  Individual people we know, we take care of them.  It is human nature dating back to the caves to form small protective units.  Familes, clans, groups, guilds.  But take care of everybody?!  Everybody in your neighborhood?  The people you love and the people you don’t know?  Everybody in America?  And the people who are like you, and the people who only have in common with you humanity?  Do you take care of them?  Do we take care of them?”

I can already hear some GOP or some Libertarian asshole who is going to talk about how we shouldn’t have to.  How people should be able to take care of themselves.  I hate that we have people in this country who actually believe that this is how it is.  The idea that merit is what gets you ahead in this country, which is what the Libertarians seem to pay homage to  every single day.  The failed ideology of one of the greatest jokes in the world of, Ayn Rand.

America, the fact is that this country is becoming a joke to the rest of the world because we don’t even make a show of looking out for the people who live in it.  We have the conservatives and this growing cult of Libertarians who are completely motivated by selfish and childish desires to not have to share with the other kids who are saying that we don’t need to help people.  We have people like Michele Bachmann who says we need to get rid of the Department of Education.  We have people like Rick Perry who believes that we should tax the poor more heavily, because for some reason they have the money to pay it.

This nation is becoming a joke to me.  Our education system is a joke.  We don’t have an good national transit system.  We don’t have universal healthcare, and there is no good reason for this.  We don’t have a national wireless network.  South Korea has proved what a huge success this is.  In fact, all of the nations that have national wireless networks do better with internet speed than the US.  The United States is quickly becoming a nation that is so dedicated to trying to recapture the past, that we don’t acknowledge the future.

People, we only have this one life to live.  There is no God.  There is no Goddess.  There are no holy beings, and there are not places that are better that we are going to after this is done.  While you are here, on this world, you can make a differences.  While you are here, doing what you do to make the world a better place, you mean something.

And it actually pisses me the fuck off that we have this situation in this country!  It pisses me the fuck off when I hear some bitch at a party talk about how somebody else is wearing the same outfit as her, while, just down the road a ways, an elderly couple is forced to live on dog food because they can’t afford the basic comforts the rest of us have!  It pisses me off when I hear some Libertarian talk about how we shouldn’t have things like Social Security because the poor are all leeches, while my best friend Emily is probably going to lose her home, even when she works her ass off, still is able to do college full-time, and is trying to help her family as much as she can!  Honestly, Libertarians, fuck you!  Just shut the fuck up, or go to your new island nations and leave the rest of us decent people alone!  Ron Paul is a dumbass!

So we have this one shot at helping each other and making this world the best one that it could be.  Call me disrespectful, I don’t care.  In the end, I want to help everybody.  Oh man, I know that’s the enemy of the greed-driven culture that has consumed this country, but I don’t care.  We could make this the best life that we could live.  We could make it so that poverty is a thing of the past (If anybody comes on here and says that there will always be poverty, shut up!).  We come make it so that somebody doesn’t have to wonder if they are going to spend their next paycheck on keeping their house warm, or if they will spend it going to the doctor.

I think I’ll lead Keith Olbermann end this little rant of mine –

Everyday since I started to think, I realized that I knew a little less than I thought I did the day before about why we are all here.  But over time, I have come to agree with the baseball player Jackie Robinson.  ‘A life is not important except in the impact that it has on other lives.'”

Until next time, a quote,

“What you do here is what matters.  If you believe in eternity, then life has no meaning.” -Gregory House, House md

Peace out,

Maverick