Friday, April 12, 2013

If we shadows have offended . . .

Used to be a boy in my high school, in my grade, named Robert.  His dad was the coolest crossing guard ever, used to dress up as Santa each holiday season.  Solidly nice man.  And Robert seemed a nice enough kid, though there was an odd sort of edge to him, a . . . creepiness to his nice, if you know what I mean?  Ever see William Mapother play a creep?  You know, like "Ethan" from Lost or the pimp from Justified?  Like that.  Too nice, too patient, too . . . edgily weird with a smile.

Anyway, I didn't see Robert for a few years after graduation (or as close to graduation as I came).  Then, one night, my best friend and I were sitting in our usual restaurant, studying for midterms or finals (don't remember which) when suddenly Robert showed up.  My friend liked him (initially), and so his vaguely drunken cowboy self was invited to sit with us for a few.

A "few," which panned into a couple of hours.  We couldn't study, we couldn't quiz each other, we couldn't transcribe notes because Robert wouldn't let us.  In fact, Robert kept getting more and more creepy and "hey, let's party"-y until we finally made some excuse and beat a hasty retreat.

It was a few blocks away when we realized we were being followed, and pretty aggressively.  Whomever it was?  Wasn't looking to be sly.  This was big, obvious lane changes, swerving, flashing lights, etc.  As we were unaccustomed to being stalked by creeps, we actually didn't realize it was Robert until he RAN US OFF THE ROAD AND UP A CURB in his big red and white pick-up truck.  It was then we saw him behind the wheel and understood.  What did we do?

We raced for the cop-shop, which was only five blocks away.  This was, of course, in the days before cell phones, so getting to the police station was the only route we felt we had open to us.  He followed us right to the driveway, then peeled off and raced away.  In other words?

He knew exactly what he was doing.  If it had been anything less than creepy, he wouldn't have fled when he realized where we were headed.  Sadly, stupidly, we didn't report him.  We figured it was a bad move borne of booze (these days, I'd call the cops for the DUI as well as the stalking), and went on home.

The next time we saw Robert was, again, in our restaurant.  He was there specifically for us.  This time I told him to get the hell away from us.  He became belligerent and bullying, and I called the restaurant manager, who told him to leave or face the cops.  For weeks after, we had waiters and cooks walking us to our car each evening, just in case.  He followed us one more time, and then disappeared.

I was reading the paper this morning and spotted his mugshot.  He looks like a man who's done some major meth over the years--you know the look.  Those cute boy cheeks and bright eyes are gone, gone, gone.  And what's he in for?

Assault and protective order violations.

Gosh, didn't see that one coming.


Reading about online yesterday, stumbled across THIS GEM.  Is it Kansas?  I've lived in Kansas, I don't remember it being quite this bad.  Of course, I was a kid, I lived on base, so maybe I was sheltered.  Or maybe times have changed.  Maybe people are stupider, or maybe they just feel safer and more comfortable openly splashing their idiocy about.  Or maybe it's not Kansas at all, maybe it's just this variety republican?  Whichever, whatever, you've got to ask yourself about the people who vote for creatures like this.  I mean, if you vote for a racist, doesn't that make YOU a racist, too?

I think it does.


Well, since I'm on a roll, let's talk about gun control and the New York Daily News.  Their recent headline?

NY Daily News Cover

You know what?  I'm not usually a big fan of visual media histrionics, but I have to say, I agree.  It is all for nothing if we still have gun show loopholes, still allow private sales/transfers without background checks, and still allow high capacity clips and ARs.  It's ridiculous to even call that a real effort to change things.  How it is that Americans got to this state, I don't know.  It's like we're absolutely incapable of assessing risk, we fear the phantom home invader when, fact is, we're FAR more likely to be killed by an armed spouse or relative than by a stranger.  There are people who carry concealed, but don't put their kids in car seats and let them pilot ATVs at five years old.  We ban drop-sided cribs for killing 32 babies in TEN years, but ignore the fact that medically unnecessary routine infant circumcision kills 100+ baby boys a YEAR.  Do Americans just not know how to gauge risk?

And speaking of risk, I'm going to scream the next time someone says something stupid like, "Guns don't kill as many people as CARS, should we ban them, too?"  It's a dull-witted, disingenuous argument, almost as bad as "guns don't kill people, people kill people!"  A few things--one, we DO ban cars deemed unsafe (and regulate the living daylights out of the ones that are considered safe).  Two, cars, when used correctly and according to the manufacturer's directions and the attendant laws, aren't LETHAL.  Assault rifles are built to kill people.  When used as intended, they are lethal.  And three?

In an increasing number of states, guns DO kill more people than cars.  It won't be long, if we continue as we are, before guns kill more Americans every year than cars.  Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Gun Deaths Set to Outstrip Car Fatalities


Wow, look at me go!

I keep getting these wowser woo things coming across my wall on Facebook (I know, who'da thunk?).  You know, this berry cures this and this powder cures that, and if you can just cut out sugar/increase your body's alkalinity/deep breathe/leave cut onions around/whatever, you'll be cured/healed/protected.

To quote the wonderful Tim Minchin,

A small crack appears
In my diplomacy-dike.
"By definition", I begin
"Alternative Medicine", I continue
"Has either not been proved to work,
Or been proved not to work.
You know what they call alternative medicine
That’s been proved to work?

Just recently, I got some greasy pile of dung going on and on about how our blood is "highly magnetic," powerfully so, because of all the IRON in it, and how magnets, therefore, manipulate this iron and effect magical woo cures . . .  oh, I can't.  I just can't.  Here's what I CAN say, though.

Ever spend 45 minutes in an MRI?  I have.  Three times now.  You know what happens to people with measurable magnetic metals in their body when they're in an MRI?

It ain't pretty.

One last thing, in case I haven't pissed off enough people today?

No Body of Christ for the Gay-Lovers!

That's right!  If you support marriage equality, the Catholic Church doesn't want YOU partaking of the body or the blood of Jesus.  Because it's not enough to cough up tithe or continue to claim membership despite the church's deep misogyny and historic tolerance of rampant child molestation (and dogged defense of child molesters).  No, no, you must also be utterly intolerant and totally unwilling to support equality for people who aren't exactly like you.  And if you're not willing to go the hater route?

Well, it's gonna be a tough haul getting into heaven, huh?

So, in other words, if you're Catholic, you'd better not support the rights of non-Catholics to engage in behaviors your church abhors.  Any attempt to allow folks who are different the same rights and privileges you get?  BOOM, bye-bye body of Christ!

At least if the folks you're trying to help are gay.  Apparently, the handing out of said eucharist by altar-boy-groping priests is A-okay.  It must be, right?  After all, the church has spent decades--centuries, even--working to keep those priests on the job.


And if none of THAT offended you, you must be my forever-friend and possibly platonic soul-mate.

So here, have some hideous home decor.  It's on the house . . . get it?  Get it?

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