Saturday, July 15, 2023

Knock Off the 'Good Old Days' Crap! They're Myths!

There is no, nor was there ever, universal '"Good old days" anywhere on the planet.

One person's good old days recollection doesn't always reflect other people's memories from the same time period.

For some reason I hear a lot of conversations, especially when it comes to politics, about how great the 1950s were. Conservatives seem to have enshrined them in their mythologies.

I was born in 1950, and growing up was full of struggles that I'm glad are now behind me.

My one big highlight was going to Disneyland in 1955 when it opened up. It was my first theme park experience, and I thought it was magical.

One odd memory of that big day was that the pavement was sticky (apparently newly poured asphalt or it was melting under the sun) and I thought it was hilarious when I saw women's high heels getting stuck in the goo. But I digress.

That same day African Americans were struggling to survive in the southern states where Jim Crow laws demeaned and disenfranchised them.

They weren't allowed to go into the same establishments as whites or even drink from the same water fountain as Caucasians. Lynchings were common. 

As I rode on Disneyland's "It's a Small World" ride with people of all races featured in positive poses, African Americans (especially in the south) were being treated like animals and were violently discouraged from voting to get equal rights.

It was a small world alright. One where whites dominated, and other races were forced to fight for survival in a world where only white was right.

That's the world MAGA Republicans want to return to today. A time when they basically ruled America by disenfranchising anyone who wasn't white. 

As it stands, let's call out those MAGA minions for what they are... racist morons who need someone to hate to stay unified.

Friday, July 14, 2023

The Day Hollywood Went Silent

   July 14th marks the day that entertainment ceased in Hollywood. A dark day for sure.

The last thing Americans need is to lose a major source of entertainment that helps them escape the chaos of cultural wars.

Hollywood didn't shut down during World War One or Two. Inspirational and funny movies helped the average citizen cope with the earthshaking events happening worldwide.

I recall Hollywood almost completely shutting down during the height of the COVID pandemic, but it has rebounded since the crisis has passed.

Until now.

The Actors Guild, all 160,000 of them decided to go on strike today. They joined the 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America who have been on strike since May.

Everyone but me must have seen this coming. Movie moguls like automakers or other manufacturers who might try to build extra inventory by stockpiling new movies and shows to roll out were prepared for the strike.

Kind of. 

That new pipeline of shows is already slowing down to a trickle. Data from film permits in California indicates that production of most shows and movies already has been halted by the writers' strike.

Where does that leave viewers?

It's not going to be pretty. Late-night shows have already been cancelled, a major loss of laughs. We can count on more reality shows (yikes!) and maybe game shows (oh no!) which are normally low hanging fruit for most channels and streaming services.

Apparently traditional daytime soap operas will continue to have new episodes because the writers of the shows are typically nonunion, and they work under a different contract.

For the record the last time the Writers Guild went on strike was 1960 - so long ago that Ronald Reagan was the SAG president leading the strike.

The challenges ahead for the industry look to be daunting. The two sides are miles apart even after extending the deadline and getting a mediator.

As it stands, don't look for your favorite shows or new movies this September. Hollywood has gone silent.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Congress: The Circus of the Damned Defying Reality

Before you say Congress has always been a circus this 118th version is the biggest circus of them all.

Compared to prior sessions of Congress, the 118th is like comparing Ringling Brothers to a church petting zoo.

Under House Speaker Kevin McCarthy this 118th session has set new lows in politics by acting like the defense team for the most corrupt man in America. Donald J. Trump.

Conspiracies get regular airing from House committees chaired by radical Republicans. Reality is ignored as MAGA members propose laws based upon their cultural war with the rest of the country. 

In the main ring of the circus, we have the monkey house - also known as the Freedom Caucus - that keeps throwing shit around hoping it'll stick somewhere.

Anyone who saw Marjorie Taylor Greene scream like a howler monkey when Biden gave a speech earlier this year can instantly see the primate connection.

The supposed ringmaster Kevin McCarthy is beholden to the baboons in the monkey house who are on the verge of a mutiny.

I think it's appropriate to call this the Circus of the Damned when you look at the MAGA element and the rest of the spineless GOP party is doing.

The legacy of the 118th Congress is going to be a story of traitors and cult members who did their best to subvert democracy and justice.

The shameful record they leave behind will be studied by historians hoping to avoid another crooked Congress being a threat to the United States of America.

As it stands, closing down the GOP House circus is up to you, me, and the rest of America to turn back the insanity at the voting booths in November 2024.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Story Time: Interview with a Demon

Here's a short story that popped up on my way back files that was popular with readers a couple of years ago.

Just because...

Somewhere between heaven and hell, demons live among us. You can’t tell they’re demons. They don’t wear signs 
proclaiming, “I’m a demon,” or have horns on their heads for all to see.

You could be sitting next to one right now. In a theatre. On the subway. On a plane. You’d never guess by their appearance. You might even have a friend who's a demon. They play their cards close to the chest and do their best not to stand out in any setting. They may be in positions of power. Or Hollywood celebrities. They can be found in gangs, and in prisons.

Teddy Stackhouse Jr. was only 24-years old when he went to prison. He ran over a mother and daughter in a crosswalk while going 100 mph in a street race. It wasn’t his first speeding ticket. He had been driving on a suspended license when he snuffed out the lives of Lily and Julie Satarson. He also had numerous run-ins with the law (dating back to when he was 13 years-old), but always got bailed out by his wealthy parents. But the two deaths finally became the straw that broke the camel’s back. He was sentenced to 30 years in a state prison.

I think Teddy’s parents knew he was a demon. I also think they were relieved when he was sent to prison. When I came by to interview them for the local newspaper, they both seemed unperturbed by the fact their only child was going to spend most of his adult life behind bars. They almost seemed jovial as they answered my questions. Before I left, they gave me a recent photo of Teddy to add to the article. It was all a bit odd, and my instincts told me there was a lot more to the story than a spoiled rich kid who really screwed up so badly even his permissive parents couldn’t save him. As I got into my car, I wondered why Teddy’s story was clinging to my brain. I studied his photo. He was a handsome guy. Dark curly hair and big blue doe-like eyes with thick lashes that must have driven more than one female to lust for him. He had an aristocratic nose that narrowed into tiny nostrils. He was tall and slender with the hands of a pianist. No doubt about it. He was a handsome devil I conceded and was probably going to end up a plaything among the brutes he was going to live with for the next 30 years.

Candace Willis sat in the rear of the courtroom. She had come to see Teddy Stackhouse Jr. after seeing his photo in the newspaper. She fell instantly in love with his eyes and hair. She watched his every move and when she didn’t think anyone was looking at her, she took photos with her cell phone. After the hearing was over, she went to the park across the street from the courthouse and sat down on a bench. Soon she was posting Teddy on her TikTok account, her Twitter account, and her Facebook page. She had to share how handsome he was and made comments like, “He’s just too cute to lock up, and “They should give him another chance.” It didn’t take long until all three of her social media platforms were buzzing about Teddy. The buzz went on all day. And the next. It never stopped. Candance was amazed as she gained millions of new followers as the days turned to weeks. The fascination over Teddy’s good looks and story seemed endless.

It wasn’t long before hashtags like #FreeTeddy sprung up in the Twitterverse. People even starting fundraising so that Teddy could get another trial. Right-wing podcasters and cable stations called for Teddy to be set free. That he’d been unfairly treated by libtards in the court system.

I picked up Teddy’s story again about a year after he was sent up to the big house. My cousin Dennis was a guard at the prison where he lived. The first thing he told me was a shock. None of the prisoners messed with Teddy. I was sure he’d be fresh meat for the animals that awaited him. Not so. Even Dennis couldn’t explain why. Even more odd, the other prisoners feared him. The guards were stunned by all the letters Teddy got every day. All from women. From California to Florida. The stacks built up in his cell until there was no longer room for them and they were transferred to a secure locker in the complex.

Dennis arranged the interview. I was, after all, the hometown reporter who wrote about Teddy’s capture and court hearing. It didn’t take long. I only had three days to study my notes before we’d meet. In my research I came across Candace Willis’s Twitter account purely by accident. At least I thought that at the time. Discovering Teddy Stackhouse Jr. was a social media star was a revelation – a window – into the mysterious power he wielded over women. Looks are one thing, but after reading what women posted on Teddy’s accounts (to no one’s surprise his parents had arranged for him to use a computer one hour a day under the watchful eye of a guard) it was obvious he’d become a cult leader.

Women worshiped him. Pledged their lives to him. Yearned for his guidance. Offered their bodies if he should ever be set free. He was an online celebrity when I interviewed him.

We sat on plastic benches separated by a clear plastic table. He wasn’t handcuffed and looked relaxed. It was a tiny room surrounded by windows.

I looked forward to hearing from you Jake the moment Dennis brought it up,” Teddy told me with a broad smile.

It slightly unnerved me the way his pale blue eyes studied me like a specimen to be dissected. I tried not to let it show.

I’m doing a one-year follow up story on your case and was hoping you’d share how your life’s been and if you still have no regrets about killing Lily and Julie Satarson with your reckless driving. “

It was a leading question designed to throw him off balance with rudeness instead of fawning respect. I saw a brief twinkle in his eyes (Amusement? Anger?) as he yawned loudly, exaggerating the sound.

“Listen to me Jake. Why would I have any regrets killing them? They were my awakening. To be clear, the clown who use to live inside this body was cast out when I took over the car that night. You can call me a demon if you must. My name is Xerse and I came straight from hell to land this gig. I haven’t had this much fun in 2,000 years. There’s nothing quite like messing with human’s minds and their bodies.”

His response momentarily left me speechless with a sliver of drool on one side of my mouth. The guy was crazy. Why wasn’t he in a mental institution for the criminally insane? My brain was spinning as I sought a reply to his claim.

Don’t get too excited Jake boy. You’ll burst an artery and have a brain bleed. The answer to your question is there’s been no reason to put me away in a nut house. I haven’t caused a stir here. As a matter of fact, things have been pretty peaceful. And yes, I can read your mind.”

So, if you’re a demon why stay in prison?” I blurted out

It’s all part of the masterplan. Don’t worry your bald little head about it. Today is your lucky day Jake. I think you have a sense of adventure that may be useful to me. My prison time is ending in six months after all my followers successfully sue to free me. Take my word. It’s a given. Are you okay? Your drooling from both sides of your mouth.

I managed an idiotic smile and nodded that I was just fine.

“You, Jake my friend, are going to be my road manager. We’re going to tour the country together. Lots of curses and spells. Wild men and women. And lots of souls to harvest.”

THE END

A QAnon Movie: The Crazies Go Hollywood

          They never really went away.

The QAnon community has been mostly staying in their caves and only coming out for Trump rallies.

Many of the QAnon nuts have been arrested for their participation in the Jan. 6 coup attempt on the Capitol causing them to back out of the media limelight the last two years.

That's changed.

As much as QAnon supporters hate Hollywood they have no problem supporting it through ticket sales from their newly released movie which is a thinly veiled QAnon inspired production.

The film is titled, Sound of Freedom, and it's about the fight against child sex trafficking, primarily in the Western Hemisphere. Anyone familiar with QAnon knows this has been one of their core conspiracies since Day One.

The actor who stars in it, Jim Caviezel, has been defending the film since critics linked it to the baseless accusations brought by QAnon since the hate group's early days. He's been telling people it has nothing to do with QAnon but there's a big hole in that argument... 

QAnon expert Mike Rothschild told Newsweek that Caviezel's statements during an interview on a Charlie Kirk podcast are 100% of what followers of the conspiracy would say.

During the podcast Caviezel said adrenochrome - a chemical compound produced by the oxidation of adrenaline - was actually produced by torturing children.

The baseless adrenochrome theory shared among conspiracists, including QAnon followers, states the substance is used by elites to extend their lives.

To further expose Caviezel attempted coverup of the connections between the movie and QAnon, reporters saw him attend a 2021 convention hosted by QAnon followers of the online movement in Las Vegas. He gave a 20-minute speech that mentioned child sex trafficking.

You want to know something scary?

The film opened to positive numbers, beating Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny at the box office when it was released on the Fourth of July.

To be exact more than 250,000 people in America watched the movie on opening weekend. I have no idea how ticket sales are going now, but just the thought worries me. A conspiracy theory-based movie slipping into the mainstream under the guise.

As it stands, according to Rolling Stone the Sound of Freedom is a "superhero movie for dads with brainworms: The QAnon-tinged thriller."

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

New Americana: How to Handle Daily Chaos Almanac

The Old Farmer's Almanac is quietly being kicked under the bus in the 21st century and has been replaced with a new almanac "How to Handle Daily Chaos," a monthly guide to surviving in America. Author Unknown.

Highlights include:

- What month has the most murders, assaults, and gang activity?

- What month do Americans go crazy and run up their credit cards?

- What month are wildfires mostly likely to happen?

- What month is notorious for Americans breaking their pledges and promises?

Some advice

- Filter news about Trump. If you want to reduce chaos in your life don't listen to the lies and misinformation that spews daily from his flabby lips. Stay away from rightwing media because their broadcasting from an alternate universe.

- Filter your exposure to news/talking heads in the mainstream media. Stick to local news or ABC, NBC, or CBS nightly news.

- Filter second-hand stories by vetting them by going to websites like SNOPES or some other trusted source.

Listings

- Where's the safest place for families to visit while on vacation?

- What states have the most guns?

- What states have had the most mass shootings?

- What states allow abortions?

- What states have banned books in libraries and schools?

- What states are safest for LGBTQ communities?

General advice

- Don't waste your time hating people unless you want to walk around with a dark cloud above your head all day.

- Tell someone you love them. Better yet, tell multiple people that you love them every day.

- There comes a time when we all need help. When that occurs take good advice and avoid quacks who suggest putting a light up your bum!

So, there you have it, a sampling of 21st century Americana. 

As it stands, if you'd like to see certain categories let me know and I'll share it with the author... if I can find him or her.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Meteorologist Warns 'Earth is Screaming at Us Right Now and People Need to Listen'

I get it. 

The weather is becoming more severe every year.

It's not normal. 

The climate crisis is real.

Unfortunately, politicians and wealthy business owners don't care. It's about profit. Addressing the biggest threat facing the world's population is not on their agendas.

I'm thinking about my eldest son who lives in Vermont with his girlfriend right now. The state is facing a once in a thousand-year downpour flooding roads, homes, and businesses along with other states like New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia.

I called and talked with him this morning and he said he's doing okay as his house is on high ground. Fingers crossed.

Anyone following the extreme heat blanketing the Southwest knows that record breaking temperatures have stretched into a full week with little respite predicted for the days ahead.

Phoenix, Arizonia is supposed to be hot in the summer. But the city has never seen the soaring temperatures that are threatening lives like now.

It's been a continuous hell for residents. A new continuous heat record saw 110 degrees for 10 consecutive days and is on the verge of setting a new record high in the state.

To no avail scientists have been trying to combat the crisis which is in unchartered waters and putting us in a whole new climate zone. Obviously, that plays out in a lot of different ways that dramatically affects human health.

Air pollution smothers cities across the globe. Climate records are shattered by the rapid advance of the earth's demise. 

The sad fact is we're not going to be able to turn the clock back even if we wanted. Yes, there's some things that can be addressed to stave off our eventual doom and take some pressure off.

As it stands, the earth is screaming at us but getting help is unlikely despite the consequences. 

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Talk About a Dog and Pony Show: Animals Releasing Other Animals

They weren't exactly great escapes, but they were certainly unusual.

This post is about a dog who opened a gate and let a rare white wallaby loose,

and...

a pony who freed a rare white peacock.

The first case

There's a drone looking for an escaped marsupial named Roo in Blanchard, Oklahoma. 

Police say Roo managed to get a dog (whose name has not been released pending charges) to assist in his release from a petting zoo near a church.

According to police reports the dog lifted the latch on the chain link fence. Roo quicky disappeared in some nearby thick woods stymying pursuit.

Meanwhile the drone hovers overhead as Roo becomes more accustomed to his new digs.

The second case

This story is being referred to as the "curious horse" escapade in a small Quebec town in Canada.

"Sparkles" the pony apparently used the same method the dog did in the first story... unlocking a stall door with her nose and releasing two peacocks.

The farm owner was able to catch one of the birds but the other one was a rare white peacock who "flew the coop" as it were. The farmer's hopeful his errant white peacock will return some day. 

Meanwhile all charges have been dropped against Sparkles because she's a minor. 

As it stands, hopefully you enjoyed these animal tales as much as I do sharing them.

GOP Governors Unite in Fight to Stop Unions in their States

Six Republican Governors have gathered to warn their residents against the evils of unionization which they claim would threaten their jobs...