13 December 2013

Animal Planet Producers Hate You

I've discussed Animal Planet programming before. The following 7 examples offer proof of the sadistic nature of the programmers:

Let’s say you’re a bartender or a cab driver or drug dealer or something, working the night shift. You come home exhausted and fall into bed. Since you aren’t interested in falling asleep to the lull of Proactive infomercials, you locate the remote and flip to the Animal Planet channel, since they play regular programming 24 hours a day.

You expect to drift off to a peaceful sleep quickly, but of course you have to get up to pee, because that’s just what happens when you finally relax enough to sleep. You figure you’ve got ten minutes, tops, before exhaustion claims your consciousness and you drift into sweet, sweet… Holy Mother of God! What the fuck is that hyena doing with its head up an elephant’s ass?

1.   Eating Giants

The Animal Planet wants to know if you’ve ever wondered what happens to animals after they die in the wild. Instead of telling us some pretty lie about Elephant Heaven they figured they’d show us in stomach turning detail the aftermath of death. Hyenas and insects and maggots and crocodiles feed on the dead elephant for your viewing pleasure. Since sleep is now out of your reach for the night, or maybe for the rest of your life, you don’t change the channel when the dead hippo episode comes on next.

For the love of God. You realize a number of things quite suddenly, really. First of all, you are watching this animal being eaten from the inside. Why in the name of everything sacred did they shove a camera inside of the carcass? How did they nominate the camera shover? Is that legal? 

You also realize that hyenas are probably the most disgusting animals to ever walk the earth. For some reason, they appear to enjoy smelling like dead things, or they simply like to cuddle with their meals before they tear into them. You aren’t even sad as you remember the clip that shows some maggots somehow move from the carcass of the elephant to feed on the anus of a hyena. Karma. You vomit and almost fall asleep, thankfully before the sleep-deprivation induced psychosis can set in. 

2.   American Stuffers

Having shown you what happens to dead animals in the wild, the Animal Planet offers this sweet reality show about a taxidermist in Arkansas who specializes in pets because you will never, ever want to leave a dead animal to nature.

This little jewel includes episode titles like “Keep Your Dead Animals Out of my Kitchen”, “How to Stuff a Chihuahua” and “The Woman with the Pet Raccoon”.
And this cute little clip, titled “Freeze Dried Pets” because there is no longer a God.

Since that fucking NONO commercial is on every other channel, you just keep watching Animal Planet, because fuck it, the last few shows have already consumed what you had of a soul and you come across…

3.   Monsters Inside Me
You don’t even attempt to contemplate what could have happened to the cute puppy shows as you enter the world of parasites. Every episode features people who have been infected with one terrifying and disgusting parasite or another. You watch the shows titled, “Suicide Attackers”, “Feeding Frenzy” and “Cold Blooded Killers” to name a few, as the show explains the terrifyingly simple ways the victims acquired various parasites.

To feed your increasing paranoia, you watch cute little clips on the Animal Planet website called “Brittney Coughs up Worms” and “Attack of the Killer Pea” and the ever-popular “Brain Eating Parasite”. You decide you are never going outside again. Ever.

Now that you’ve quit your job and sealed your air vents to prevent air-born parasites from entering your home, the Animal Planet would like to introduce you to…

Well, that’s fun. Now that you are too paranoid to go outdoors and you wear a nose plug in the shower to keep the brain eating amoeba away, the Animal Planet has produced a t.v. show just to make you feel unsafe in the sanctity of your own home. No matter how many times you bleach everything, you can’t prevent an infestation of the various demons disguised as bugs and shit shown on Infested.

You watch as families across America battle all kinds of infestations, from raccoons to black widows, snakes, cockroaches, and bats. At some point during the bedbug episode, you find the strength to crawl out of the corner you’ve been rocking yourself in and fall into bed. Bedbugs are cool, you figure, if the Animal Planet is to be believed, bedbugs are probably the best thing that could ever happen to you.

Thoroughly convinced that you can hear something munching through your brain and that the sound your fridge is making is actually a horde of black widow spiders searching for a way in, sleep eludes you and you can’t help but hear as the Animal Planet decides to fuck with your fragile psyche just a bit more with…

5.   Monsters in my Head

You cower beneath the covers as real people tell stories of being terrorized by demons and bugs and other things that are… well, just not human anyway.

After watching Sleeping with the Devil and also the Monsters of the Night episodes, you decide that sleeping is probably the worst idea ever. You sweep the room for mysterious figures or bugs while shoving amphetamines down your throat in  heart stopping quantities.

Must stay awake.

6.   Freak Encounters

A team of investigators sets out to discover various terrifying creatures. Did that say Mongolian Death Worm? What the fuck is wrong with these people? Who would want to look for that on purpose?

As the amphetamines eat through the fatigue and fear in your brain you realize that this a some kind of practical joke show. One of the unsuspecting investigators is being set up for a staged run in with a mythical creature.

You relax a little bit, tell yourself you never believed in Mongolian Death Worms any, and even laugh a little as the butt of the joke gets bleeped out repeatedly.

And then, as if the Animal Planet producers can somehow sense your waning paranoia, they throw this one at you,

7.   Killer Outbreaks

Since they’ve already shown you how a tiny parasite can kill you, they assumed you wanted to know how they can also kill EVERYONE. And since they figure you may have some trust issues with the network by now, they bring in the CDC to explain how a pandemic is waiting to strike anytime, making it even more horrifyingly real.

The show details real life outbreaks and the implications of new virus strains and as you tuck yourself back into your cozy rocking corner and order a gasmask off your laptop, you get to hear more than you ever wanted to know about Anthrax, SARS and even Salmonella.

Because.. Obviously. The producers have no souls. And they hate you.

27 November 2013

Gun Control For Everyone: Assault Weapons and Common Sense

In this country, there is an overwhelming willingness to accept certain overly simplistic views and ideas based on media and claims of certain special interest groups. For example, some gun control propents would have you believe that the republican party won't allow gun control reform. While some other groups would have you believe that the government is coming to take away your guns.

Neither of those things are true. As the gun control debate is continually reignited, an assault weapon ban is brought up. It seems simple to various people, "Let's just ban those scary looking Army guns..." Of course it isn't that simple:

Let's Ban Assault Weapons and Hi-Cap Mags
Didn’t we try that already?
If you read through section 110101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which I can’t recommend on the possibility it actually causes cancer, you’ll find a clusterfuck of regulations banning certain guns on the basis that they looked scary, or something like that, as well as magazines that held over ten rounds. Please note the ban did not extend to weapons and magazines that were sold before the ban, because, as I've discussed before, tracing the guns already on the market would be impossible. 

A number of rifles were banned by make and model, including, Colt’s AR-15, Beretta’s AR70 and Norinco’s… everything, because obviously the government hates Norinco. Additionally, it became a crime to own, transfer(unless the gun existed before the ban of course) or manufacture a rifle that had a detachable magazine and any two of the following items, a folding stock, a pistol grip, flash suppressor, bayonet mount, or a grenade launcher.

If the authors of the bill could even pick a rifle out of a series of flashcards featuring tanks, kittens, rainbows and catapults, they certainly had no idea which parts of a gun actually make the gun go pew-pew. Allowing for the fact that grenades are notoriously difficult to come by on the civilian market, every one of those items were purely cosmetic, in that they didn’t affect the actual mechanics of a rifle. 

Presumably they paid an NRA member to write a bunch of gun part names on scraps of paper and pulled them randomly out of someone’s ass and wondered why the NRA guy was giggling uncontrollably in the corner. Writing NRA Guy off an obvious nut job, they called it good and sent the bill on for a vote, patted themselves on the back and sat back to watch the gun violence rates fall.

The Act was set to expire in ten years and in 2004 it expired. This can only be explained by the fact no one cared about the safety of the American public anymore, or possibly someone asked the NRA guy why he was still laughing. 

It’s also possible that someone actually read the thing and said, “Hey guys?
What the fuck are we trying to do here again? Do you have to have the bayonet attached to the bayonet mount…or? Why are we allowed to have grenade launchers again?”

Then some other guy piped in with, “You know, you can still buy these things, right? Right on gunbroker.com, perfectly legal, if abhorrently expensive. And… uh… for $50 you can buy a 30 round magazine for most guns. You guys knew that, right?”

Since everyone was probably already hammered, we can only assume someone said, “Fuck this shit, it’s time for the hookers and blow,” and gave up trying to renew or even understand the thing. 

And so, while it may seem perfectly logical to people that really have no knowledge of firearms, the truth is, there really is no such thing as an assault rifle, no matter how scary they look. 

Tomorrow we'll take a look at the impossibility of regulating the sale of guns to people labeled "Bat-shit Crazy."

24 November 2013

Walmart, Poverty, and the Square Root of Pie in America

Yes, Walmart is probably owned and operated by Satan. And if not evil, certainly they are morally wrong for not paying their employees a livable wage. If claims that up to 80 percent of their employees receive food stamps are true, that means that over 1.1 million of them are on government assistance. (Which, for some reason, draws a Hell of a lot more outrage than the fact that approximately 900 fucking thousand veterans and military families rely on the same assistance.) On an unrelated note, if I hear one more “I work so welfare recipients don’t have to” statement, I’m going to fucking murder someone.

Lately there have been calls to raise the federal minimum wage. One government suggestion to raise minimum wage to $10 per hour over the next three years is fucking laughable at best and demonstrates how utterly out of touch the entire government is with the reality of life in America, regardless of political parties. I’m certainly no economic expert over here, but there are just a few deeper considerations regarding poverty:

Poverty Thresholds Don’t Mean A Damn Thing
First of all, the current minimum wage of $7.25 allows a full time worker to earn several hundred dollars over the official annual poverty guidelines of $11,139. That would be sufficient if the official poverty guidelines meant a goddamn thing.

For example, Harlingen, Texas offers a cost of living 18 percent below the national average. However, a single worker would still need to earn at least $16,171 to cover basic necessities each year. That’s over $5,000 above the official poverty threshold. Just let me emphasize here that that is the cheapest cost of living in the nation, based on consumer price index reports.

Currently the official poverty thresholds are determined, presumably, using an outdated form of 1960’s witchcraft, based loosely on the idea that the average consumer spends one-third of his income on food. So the cost of food, multiplied by unicorn, added to the cost of coffee divided by the square root of pie is somehow manipulated to illustrate poverty level earnings. 

Since the original determination, the thresholds have been adjusted annually based on data from the consumer price index reports. The minimum wage is then determined by a completely unrelated formula. Meaning that someone says, “Hey, let’s raise the minimum wage to $X.”

That’s not to say the government is entirely unaware of the issue. A study released in September 2012 reveals a more accurate idea of the actual poverty threshold. For example, the official threshold of $23,283 for a family of four, when adjusted to include all costs of living, such as rent, mortgage, personal care, etc. was raised to $25,789 for homeowners with a mortgage and $25,101 for renters. 

Keep in mind that an entire one-fourth of this nation’s households have an income of $25,411 or below.

 Walmart Will Continue to Make Record Profits
Of course there is also the issue concerning the national average. Even using the supplemental, experimental poverty thresholds above, there aren’t a Hell of a lot of places a family of four can actually live based on that income.

I’ve heard the argument that minimum wage was never meant to be a livable wage. In theory it was a starting point for entry level jobs that people would advance from. Of course, that was back when this country actually manufactured and produced shit. So, I’d have to say that argument is moot.

And of course, that’s why Walmart and similar corporations are going to continue to win, because for as much as we may be outraged and protest, we certainly aren’t going to boycott. With an entire fucking quarter of the nation’s households making $25,411 or less, the sad truth is that a whole bunch of Americans can’t afford to boycott Walmart. 

Ironically, the exploitation of the working poor is part of the reason Walmart is able to offer its famous low prices that the working poor need to live and feed their families. Protests and boycotts are fine and well, but moral support for any cause tends to wane when there are hungry children involved. 

22 November 2013

Media, Education Failure, Bullying and a Sleep Deprived Krissy

Disclaimer: Grandma? There's probably going to be a whole lot of F-bombs. Also, authorities, parents and family members are encouraged to ignore most of the confessions below.

The media again. Or still. Or, perhaps I didn't get enough sleep and I tend to get irritable and maybe I become slightly furious about random shit while I lie in bed trying to turn my brain off... In any case, here are the random rants running around in Krissy's brain today:

What The Fuck Have We Done to Our Kids?
I suppose nearly everyone has an idyllic reminiscence of their own formative years, and probably each generation is equally baffled by each subsequent generation. I'm no exception, obviously, because as my 12-year-old public middle school student continues to tell me on a daily basis about kids she knows that cut themselves, do drugs and get into fights, I can’t help but think kids are more fucked up now than they were when I was that age.

Last year, tragically, an 11 year old boy from her grade level committed suicide. An eleven year old boy. Jesus. There are seemingly endless media reports about bullied kids and teen suicide. What the fuck are we doing so wrong with these kids?

There is quite obviously some collapse in society. Maybe it's us, the Y Generation and our over-indulgent, self-absorbed, inconsistent and detached parenting styles? Maybe it’s the War on Christmas, whatever the fuck that is. Maybe it has something to do gay marriage or the breakdown of the traditional family unit. It could possibly be this eruption of bullying seen in recent... Or not. 

Nothing Yet, But We're Working On It
While most of us choose to see our late childhood years through some sort of rose-colored pane of bullshit, the truth is not much has changed about kids.

Kids can all be assholes, and even the most intelligent ones have the propensity to do really, really stupid shit. I did, tons of it. We smoked pot, we skipped classes. We snuck and drank our parent's booze. I started smoking cigarettes when I was 11, which I also stole from my parents. 

For fuck's sake, we shot at stop signs on back roads from moving cars - unless of course, there is some absurdly long statute of limitations for that particular crime, in which case, we certainly did not. We stole, er, borrowed our parents cars for joyrides, snuck out of windows and even hitchhiked a few times. Just because we could.

I've literally lost count of the kids that died from accidental heroin overdoses during high school and the years after. We made fun of other kids, they made fun of us. Some kids were bullied, some were bullies. Why did we do all these incredibly stupid and illegal things? Because we were kids, and kids are fairly impulsive and idiotic. It was not because our parents didn’t pay enough attention, we were simply assholes.

Media Designed To Sell, Not Inform
I don’t mean to imply that bullying and the apparent collapse of society as we know it are non-issues, but fuck. While the media releases these alarming reports igniting panic about bullying, what the fuck are they not reporting?

Why not mention our decaying public school system? The No Child Left Behind Act and the standardized testing which promises to do exactly that? The fact that the teachers we trust to shape our children’s minds are significantly underpaid and overworked in comparison to other industrialized nations? The fact that out of 31 countries, we were among the only four that cut public education funding during the 2008-2010 financial crisis? Or maybe an article or two about how we spend more money per child for education that any other country and our teachers still have to buy their own supplies for use in their classrooms? 

I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing it’s because the issues outlined above don’t promise the sensationalism and public outrage associated with bullying. Truly, I don’t mean to downplay the effects of bullying, and to be perfectly honest, I fell for the shit. 

I hate the media and I still found myself thinking more about the bullying issue than any other educational issue. Perhaps a few articles outlining the falling rank of the American education system among other developed nations could be used for filler or something.

Essentially I suppose this entire post could have been summed up fairly simply: Kids are the same as they’ve always been. We haven’t fucked them up, but we’re working on it. As the frenzy surrounding bullying  is reignited over and over while other serious issues are rarely given mention, we can be assured our children will never have the capacity to compete on a global scale. But on the upside, they’ll know how to be nice to each other. They probably won’t be, because, once again, kids can be assholes, but at least they’ll know how.

Tomorrow, we'll discuss Walmart. Unless, of course, I don't get a nap today, in which case I'll post that one later today.

04 October 2013

Government Shuts Down Stupid Shit Just to Confuse Krissy, Probably

First of all, I’d like to say, I don’t care how you feel about the ACA, or which political party you support.  I’ve heard any and every single argument for and against the Obamacare, from the valid to the ridiculous. This entry isn’t about the actual ACA. I’m no expert on the way the government works, really… So it is possible that my utter bewilderment on a few matters could be due to simple ignorance. Even so, here’s my version of an expert opinion on this government shutdown and its various ramifications.

1.   The United States is currently governed by really large eight-year olds who skipped their ADD meds, probably.
I feel comfortable offering this as an expert opinion because I have an eight-year old. I’m not certain, but I’m guessing she has ADD, because the kid can only focus on a single thing at a time. Also she has the most irritating habit of asking for shit, over and over and over again.

Even when she knows there is no way in Hell I’m going to let her drive the car, she will elevate an argument to the point where I almost consider it. Instead of dropping the argument for a later time when she could possibly win it and focusing on something she could win now, she keeps going until Mommy and Daddy start binge-drinking.

This is the same thing, essentially, as what is happening in our government right now.
Can we repeal Obamacare now?
How about now?
C’mon mom, what about now?
Okay. Well. How about now then?
We are going to continue to vote on repealing the ACA, even though we KNOW absolutely, that there is no way the vote will ever have enough support to pass the Senate and there’s no way in Hell we could get it passed a veto.
Because… We’re making a point damn it! We could probably save one of these 42 votes for a later date and move on to other issues.
But nope, because fuck you, we get paid whether we do a damn thing or not.

2.   Aforementioned eight-year olds are spiteful little bastards whose parents never beat them.
The partial shutdown of the government can be illustrated, once again, using my daughter as an example. Well, sort of anyway. Except this time, picture me as another eight-year old.
Realizing that there is no way she’s going to get to drive the car, my eight-year old hides my wallet, because if she can’t get drive the car, no one is going to drive the car.
Go ahead Mom, drive until the gas runs out. Good luck getting more. He he he. You can have it back when I get to drive, and if you won’t ever let me drive? I will burn this mother-fucker down.
Fine. Keep the wallet. I don’t care. You are not driving.
Oh. Um. Wait. I’ll give you a little bit of money. For, like food and stuff.
Sounds good. You’re still not driving.
Oh. Shit. Well, we should probably feed the baby too, right?
Oh, no you don’t. I’m so tired of this bullshit. If you’re not going to agree to drop this whole thing, then I’m not agreeing to a single thing.
**Hungry baby is heard crying in the background

Of course that's a fairly simplicated example of the whole picture… but you get my drift as applied to the government, right?

3.   All of the bratty, ADD eight-years are girls.
So now that my kid has my wallet and I won’t let her drive and the baby is hungry, we should absolutely take the time to…Let the whole neighborhood in on this shit, because girls really like attention. They also want to make sure that everyone knows that nothing about the current situation is their fault.

When my eight-year old gets mad at me, she calls my mom and tattles. She doesn’t tell her why I took away her iPod; just that I did. She doesn’t mention that I told her five million times, at least, not to go into anyone’s house without telling me first. Nope, she just tattles and then sits back and waits for the wrath of Grammie to rain down.

I’m not even entirely talking relating Grammie to the media right now. I’ve been doing a lot of freelance writing in the last few weeks. Ad copy really, but I still have to look certain things up. I get the concept of non-essential departments being shut down to preserve the monies available until this whole budget thing is resolved.

I was utterly baffled however, when I was unable to access government websites for information. I’m assuming that redirecting the closed departments of the government to the Department of the Interior saves tons of funds since they are updated continuously on an hourly basis maybe. Or maybe they are saving the webhosting fees?

 I don’t know where the money comes from to provide government websites and hosting and shit, but I’m assuming they don’t pay the fees on a daily basis. Even if they did, they’d still have to being paying the fees for the website to display its current notice: 

Otherwise known as, “We don’t know what the fuck this has to do with the budget shut down thingy, but we figured we’d put it up here, just in case someone hasn’t heard how mean my mommy is.” Or something to that affect.

28 September 2013

Poll Results Offer No Insight As to Why Anyone Cares If Gays Marry

This article in the Times of Northwest Indiana details the results of a recent poll. The poll was taken because something about a vote or... I can't really say because I didn't read the whole thing. Presumably it was taken because someone thought we should care what people we don't know think about issues that don't affect them.
Apparently, according to this article the majority of Hoosiers polled supported legal gay marriage or civil unions.
I'd like to propose a study in place of the next gay marriage poll. There must be an expert out there that can tell us just why the Hell Americans give a shit about gay marriage.
I'm going to discount religious nuts for obvious reasons. And because they're religious nuts.
Surely some expert can explain why some Americans are so vehemently opposed to the concept. I mean, if you think being gay is gross, don't be gay.
You don't like gay people? So what? Allowing gays to marry isn't going to force you to start adding gay people to your Facebook friends list.
Don't want to explain gay marriage to your kids? Don't bother. They'll learn somehow. Gay people,married or not are always going to be part of society.
Preserving the sacred rite of marriage? Shit. Google divorce rates, or even the history of marriage. Sacred my ass.
Furthermore, I'd be anxious to see why, if people can be so passionately opposed to an issue that doesn't directly affect them, why gay marriage? Why not child abuse, or human trafficking, or baby killing.
Where is the outrage on issues like child molestation? Shouldn't people get worked up and demand something be done to stop that before demanding gay marriage be forbidden?
I'd be interested to see an expert opinion on whether people actually care as much as they think, or if they care because the media keeps publishing these stupid polls to tell them they should.
Barring a study,  I'd like to suggest taking and publishing polls about  public approval on issues that actually hurt people.
Innocent people. Children.
Perhaps if the media shoves that sort of issue in people's faces over and over and over,  the American public will find something that actually  matters to be so violently opposed to. 

18 September 2013

In the Wake of the Naval Yard Shooting Public Demands Asinine Gun Control Measures, Krissy Plugs Ears and Sings Nursery Rhymes Really Loud In Futile Effort to Block Ignorance

None of this it true either.

In the wake of the Naval Yard shooting and subsequent revelations about the gunman, this writer once again did not interview any of the following imaginary people.

Because the failure to understand laws and regulations as well as the ignorance displayed during gun control debates never fails to surprise me, and also because I am a glutton for punishment and mental anguish, I asked imaginary people what their thoughts were on the recent Naval Yard shootings.

Non-person One: Well didn't he have PTSD? How could he buy a gun anyway?

Non-person Two: I heard he called the cops and told them he was hearing voices. They should have done something. Taken the paddy wagon straight over there, with Thorazine darts and probably beanbag rounds, just for kicks. They should have locked him up in a hospital somewhere, then this wouldn't have happened.

Non-person Three: Who got shot this time?

All three seemed incapable of grasping the fact that states have pretty specific criteria when they commit someone against their will, mostly involving being a danger to themselves or others. In many states, this criteria includes the language "imminent danger". Although Non-person Two did state that based on every serial killer movie he'd ever seen, hearing voices is always a definitive indication of imminent murder sprees.

Non-person One suggested that we restrict the sale of guns to people that were being treated for a mental disorder, most specifically, veterans with PTSD. Claiming that little to no understanding of the disorder made it okay.

After I informed Non-person One that countless veterans suffer from PTSD their entire lives without ever seeking treatment, he suggested we ban the sale of guns to all veterans.

He further claimed that restricting the civil rights of the men and women that signed up to defend them would be perfectly acceptable to a fearful and panicked nation.

Non-person Three inexplicably suggested that I look into Ireland's gun laws and murder rates. He also mentioned something about Monsanto before lighting another joint and wandering away.

Non-person Two suggested that all arrests, whether convicted or not, should disqualify a person from owning a gun. Barring that, he suggested we just confiscate all the guns in the nation, because no one could die if there weren't any guns.

When I asked the remaining subjects whether they had any less idiotic suggestions regarding gun control, they once again called me a racist and threw bottles at me.

As I left the scene, they were busy writing up some legislation about simply euthanizing any person being treated for any sort of mental illness before they could snap and kill everyone.

Naval Yard Shooting, Public Outrage and Overwhelming Misunderstanding

"How could he have passed a background check?"

"He told police he was hearing voices, why didn't they DO something?"

"He sought psychological treatment from the VA, how could they let him have a gun?"

"He was arrested before on gun-related charges, why didn't that show up on a background check?"

15 September 2013

Zimmerman Jailed Again, Entire Nation Calls for Stand Your Ground Repeal, Krissy has Forehead Bruise From Repeated Facepalm

None of this really happened.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity because he's an imaginary person, Florida Police Officer Jim confirmed reports that George Zimmerman has once again been arrested.

While he declined to comment on what landed Zimmerman in jail again, he did offer the following, "Well."

Officer Jim shrugged. "He, you know. He's been pulled over twice now. And then that thing with his wife. Plus, you know he shot that kid... and." The officer appeared to be gathering his thoughts. "Well then, you know, he saved those people in that accident, or something like that. And then. Well, pretty much everyone just thinks he's an asshole."

He expects Zimmerman to be released within the hour. No charges have been filed.

Spokesman for CNN denied to give an explanation as to why the fuck Zimmerman's run-ins with traffic cops were considered national news, probably because I didn't really ask them.

When I questioned no one on the street they had this to say:

Non-person number one: We have to get rid of that Stand Your Ground law, that's how that guy got away with murder.

Non-person number two: Well, he broke that iPod because he didn't want his estranged wife to have evidence of him threatening her.

Non-person number three: Who the fuck is George Zimmerman?

When questioned as to how, exactly, Stand Your Ground let Zimmerman get away with murder they claimed that it has raised the justifiable homicide rate in Florida since it was enacted. They offered nothing when I asked them if maybe that was the entire point.

They refused to consider any case but Zimmerman's, offering only that if a woman shot her ex-husband in the street outside her work because he was maybe trying to kill her and violating a restraining order, well, fuck her anyway.

As for the iPod, no one seemed to care about the fact that Zimmerman broke the iPod after having been hit with it. Non-person One claimed that violence was never an option, so I'm assuming that he was never in a long term relationship that ended badly, not to mention publicly.

When I offered that yes, Zimmerman was an asshole, and yes, he should have listened to officers and that no, he shouldn't have followed some kid he didn't know, and yeah, he probably deserved to have his ass kicked, and agreed that it is a tragedy that a young man died, they all nodded emphatically.

When I suggested that none of that really mattered in the self-defense case, they began steaming from the ears.

Except for Non-person Three as he was busy trying to down an entire fifth of Jack in one swallow.

When I reminded them that Stand Your Ground never came up in Zimmerman's defense, their eyes all glazed over, even Non-person Three.

When I further reminded them that Zimmerman had been acquitted of murder by a jury of his peers, because the way our justice system works is that you are innocent until proven guilty. Or it's supposed to anyway... And that obviously the jurors found that Zimmerman was in fear for his life, or couldn't, beyond a reasonable doubt, say that he wasn't in fear for his life, they threw bottles at me and called me a racist.

Non-person One and Two were working on legislation aimed at making being an arrogant prick a capital offense when I left the scene.

14 July 2013

The Corruption of Kensey

Kensey used to be a normal, upstanding citizen... He went to work, paid his taxes, drank a few beers and spent time on his newest hobby, photography. He has quickly become one of my very favorite people, the poor bastard. (You can view and like his Facebook page here if you're so inclined.. Juke Joint Photos.) 

Since meeting Kensey, I'm afraid I've corrupted him irreversibly. Not that I have worked alone in this, The Asshole Club, which is exactly what it sounds like, has certainly had a hand in it as well. I should mention that the man is well over the age when he should have been corrupted.

First, I got the man kicked out of a bar for the very first time. Not because he was doing anything wrong... simply because he was there with me. I have that effect on some people.

I've taken him to dive bars and informed him that he must never, ever wash his hands while in a certain bar's bathroom. To be honest, the cleanest thing a person can touch in that place in one's own genitals. 

At some point he decided to grow a ponytail and spent weeks trying to convince me to go to a different dive bar with him. A particularly dive-y dive bar that I wouldn't even go to. He may or may not have mentioned his desire to be involved in a bar fight as well. 

We drink a lot of beer together. We've day drank, closed the bars and watched the sun come up while drinking in his kitchen. 

I have to mention that his grown daughter deserves a medal or something, because there is now way the group of us can possibly be quiet when we all gather in his kitchen for booze and a breakfast consisting of popcorn.  Finding anywhere from one to three people passed out in various places doesn't seem to faze her in the least. She has yet to emerge from her room with a shotgun loaded with rock salt, so she must be some sort of saint.

In any case, Kensey has finally removed the ponytail. Thank God, because I truly was afraid he was going to organize an Asshole Club day trip to that one dive-y dive bar and get us all killed.

You'd think that would solve the Bad Boy image...but it has not. Somehow, he talked me into going golfing. As part of that agreement, he agreed to go on a motorcycle run with me. He rode with a friend of mine, since my bike is all tiny and shit. It went fairly well until they laid the bike down in the highway.

I'm making light of it, but it was a pretty horrible wreck. The driver was seriously injured, but is recovering quite well now. Kensey ended up wrapped like a mummy for weeks. Of course we made fun of him every chance we got. We're assholes.

Since he's been off work for some time now... he's had more time to perfect his inner bad boy. He was positively giddy when he informed me that the person he'd been hanging out with had an active warrant for their arrest. 

Positively giddy.

He has also informed me, just the other day, that if the police were looking for me, I was welcome to hide out at his house, or in his tree. If, however, I had found myself on "lam", he offered me the use of his car. I'm only half sure he was kidding. Fortunately, I am not on the lam.

In short... Since I've met Kensey, he's gotten thrown out of bars, hung out with fugitives, not washed his hands after peeing, and been in a motorcycle wreck. He's had a dozen people in his kitchen, drinking until the sun came up. He's had several random women pass out in his living room. He doesn't appear to mind our influence though. 

He seems to be having a blast, and to be honest? 

I think I want to be Kensey when I grow up.

05 April 2013

Ladies, really. It's Not That Fucking Hard

And back to the shallow end today...

I keep seeing these Facebook posts about relationships...And while I certainly realize that I am probably the last person on Earth to give any advice or even an opinion on relationships, I am going to anyway.

It's not that fucking difficult. Let's take a look at the shit you're putting out there:

For starters:

What the fuck is that supposed to mean? I mean really, if you are single and a man says to you that he wants you to prove that you are not a whore like every other girl he's ever dated, you would run the fuck away, right?
If not, you're just an idiot.
If you start a relationship with the idea that someone is just like the last one, he's going to be automatically defensive and probably won't take too long to get fed up with your shit and walk away.
You dated an asshole. 
Who hasn't?
We've all been hurt and fucked over. You know what you do? You suck it the fuck up, realize you are better off and move on.
If you find yourself incapable of moving on? Get a therapist and work through it before you decide to date anyone again.
It's only fair.

And then there's this one:
Again with the I may not be a normal girl, but Jesus Christ, if this is true? Knock it the fuck off.
Is there some girl code that guys are supposed to decipher before they should be permitted to date someone?
How about, I love you meaning I love you? How about, if you're not okay, you fucking tell someone instead of waiting for him to read your damn mind?
If you say you are okay, he has every right to assume you are telling him the truth.
Once again, relationships don't have to be as fucking difficult as girls seem to make them.

And finally for today:

You had better be a perfect person, lady. I mean, really, who the fuck do you think you are?
You have no issues? No faults? Haven't made mistakes? Does that mean you don't deserve him either?
That's a healthy way to look at a relationship, mostly. You're human, and therefore  imperfect, and you don't deserve anyone to love you.
What kind of asshole thinks that way?
And these tend to be the same girls posting shit on Facebook about how they just want a "nice" guy and talking about how lonely they are.

04 April 2013

I Collect Broken People

I attract broken people, I think. 

This is why I keep them:

We have a huge heroin problem where I live. 
An epidemic, really.
I've lost more friends and classmates than I can remember from the shit. We buried my cousin not too long ago because of an overdose.
Every single time I see or hear or read about another heroin or any other drug related overdose, it simply breaks my heart.
When John* died though, it kind of broke my soul.

I have this memory of him in high school. It was one of those trust-building field trips, with all the ropes and games and shit.
And a climbing wall.
One of my most vivid memories from high school is watching John as he flew up that wall. He made it look effortless, like maybe he was somehow floating up the thing, immune to the laws of gravity.
He flew up the wall, perched on the top of the thing and grinned down at the rest of us with his amazing, brilliant smile.
The sight of John smiling down at us so dominates my memory of that day that I don't remember if anyone else even made it up the wall, myself included.

It wasn't John's dying that affected me so much. I was saddened that he'd passed, just eighteen years old. More so, though, I was horrified by the way he died.

A passerby found him passed out in the passenger seat of a truck, just a block or two from the local hospital. He would never regain consciousness and would be removed from life support 10 days later.

Someone reported that the vehicle had been left in the parking lot by another man, who then got into a car that was driven by a female and one other man. When they printed men and women, I'm assuming they meant people around the same age as John... 17, 18, maybe 19 years old. Maybe not. I don't really know.

I can imagine they were just scared little kids, afraid to get into trouble. I would assume there are some sort of criminal charges they would have faced if they'd taken the kid into the ER instead of leaving him alone to die in a parking lot just feet from an antidote. Maybe they couldn't fathom having to explain to their parents why they were hanging out with a dude that was overdosing on heroin. To them, I suppose avoiding the questions, the scenes, must have been worth letting John die.

It could have happened anytime, I guess. He could have overdosed and died alone in his room, or anywhere else where no one was around. But he didn't. He overdosed with a group of friends that left him alone to die. I have never been able to wrap my head around that.

I would like to say that I don't know anyone that does any illegal or dangerous drugs. 
I wish I could say I've never seen anyone do too much of a potentially deadly substance.
 I'd like to say that I've never been around a person that was suicidal and crying out for help, in whatever fucked up way it usually comes out.
 I wish I could say I'd never seen someone hurt themselves or someone else.
I do.
I have.
I've been terrified to let someone fall asleep.I've watched pupils dilate to almost nothing, and also grow so large the iris seemed to disappear. I've poked and slapped. I've taken away weapons and said all of the wrong things. I've cried and yelled and sometimes I've hit people. I've made it perfectly clear that I am not afraid to call 911 for someone, even if it costs them their jobs or kids or anything else they might lose. I don't know if there are some sort of charges they can press if you are bringing someone in for an overdose, but I am not afraid of that either.

Even when I am terrified, or angry, or fed up with people doing stupid shit over and over? 
John's memory haunts me.
I picture him, alone in that truck.
He may have lived for 10 more days on life support, but essentially, that poor kid died all alone.
I wonder if he was scared.
If he was lonely.
If he even knew what was happening to him.
I wonder if he knew how close he was to that hospital.
I wonder how those kids lived with themselves after he died.
And I don't leave people alone.

*Names have been changed.

25 January 2013

Goddamn I Miss You

I didn’t want to go. I couldn’t not go. I had no desire to see my dear friend Terry laid in his coffin, but I felt that I owed him at least one more visit. One last chance to say goodbye and to apologize for dropping the ball. I hadn’t seen him in six months or so, hadn’t even called him. That is the thought that dominates my drive to the funeral home. I’m so sorry Terry. I guess I dropped the fucking ball on this one.
The only comfort I can find from my own guilt is that Terry, of all people, would have understood my neglect. Of all of the people in my life, that old man knew me the best.
His daughter saw me come in and came to stand in front of the coffin with me. She rubbed my back, comforting me, when I should have been comforting her.
“You know, he loved you so much.” She told me, and all I could do was nod. As hard as I tried to hold them back, tears fell anyway. I looked at him in the coffin; so yellow, so much thinner than the last time I had seen him.
I don’t blame anyone but Terry for his death. The man drank Jack Daniel’s like it was water. He was the definition of an alcoholic, and we all knew it. I contributed to his alcoholism, going so far as to bring him pints of Jack when he was out of money. Terry was in a stage of alcoholism that necessitated drinking. Plain and simple? If he had stopped, cold turkey, he would have died.

I stared at the pictures of him in his youth and wondered, behind those smiles, was he as tortured as he was when I knew him? They had put a picture of him and I on the board, from my wedding. I remembered how he had agonized over what gift to buy us.  
I looked at the Purple Heart medal and the flag draping the coffin and I wondered if his family knew of his demons. I am wondering, right now, if I should send the letters that he wrote to me from jail to his family. Would he have wanted them to know about the things that he did, that he saw? In this day and age, his family surely knows that he suffered from PTSD. But do they know why?
People were all full of concern and advice when Art was in Iraq. Many of them kept assuring me that he was going to be okay, that he would be home soon. All that did was remind me that he was gone; that there was a fairly decent chance that he wasn’t going to be okay.
All Terry had to say was, “You hear from that Marine, Krissy?” I would answer, and that would be the end of the conversation. Terry knew that I had a hard time processing anything deeper. It helped me more than any amount of reassurance I received from anyone else.
When Art came home, Terry was in jail. We wrote to each other. I tried to remain upbeat, but there was a mountain of shit at home that I couldn’t deal with alone. I wrote to Terry about all of the problems; all of the doubts and anger between Art and I.
I couldn’t relate to Art, couldn’t understand where he was in his mind. And even though Art and Terry rarely spoke, Terry could.
Terry wrote of his own demons, the times that he withdrew. He warned me that this sort of depression may be seasonal and to pay attention to the time of year that Art withdrew from the world. He said that his own depression was at it’s worst during April and May. He told me that Art may need to seek professional help, or he may be okay on his own. He urged me to stay patient – to a point.
In one letter Terry explained to me:
 “I once killed a kid with an E-tool.(A kind of small shovel.) I see that kid’s face all of the time.”  He went on to explain that he pretended that it didn’t bother him for a long time, because he didn’t want to seem weak. In Vietnam, he explained, it happened all of the time. He never spoke of it, because while it was big deal, he felt that it shouldn’t have been.
There are more horrific scenes that filled his mind when all was quiet. He drank to still them. He drank to sleep. He drank to function. He made no attempt to deny the fact that he was an alcoholic.
Terry made it home from Vietnam, when so many of the Marines that he served with did not. His mind and his soul, however, never came all of the way home. More often than not, I suspect, his mind was still there. Replaying moments that he regretted, and also ones that he didn’t regret, but couldn’t forget.
Am I sorry that he is gone now? Not entirely. I will miss him and I love him. I find comfort in the fact that finally, all of him has made it home. In death, this man can find the peace that eluded him so often in life.
Silently, I take a moment to thank Terry for saving my marriage, for being my friend, and for knowing instinctively exactly what I needed to hear from him, all the time. I also apologize for not calling when I should have and for not making the time to come and see him. Before I leave, I wish him peace, and tell him I love him.
In the car, I find myself wishing that I had told him, while he was alive, just how much he meant to me, and how much he did for us. For that regret, there is no comfort.