Chances are, you haven't heard that the Supreme Court this year overturned an old ban on corporations spending money to influence elections. They did, you can Google it. It's out there. If you really, really want to, you can read it for yourself right from the horse's mouth, or opposite orifice depending on your stance I guess. It's 183 pages of creamy lawyerly goodness. It came out of that big building in D.C. with the pretty columns outside that's bursting with lawyers. No, that's the Congress, I meant the other one. Hell, it's on Mapquest.
Now the Supreme Court rules on lots of stuff nobody cares about. For instance, I'll bet you didn't care at all about their ruling in "Conkright v. Frommert" either. This had something to do with pension plans and how the accountants at Xerox figured them out. The court wisely decided that "people make mistakes," and that "most of the factual details [were] unnecessary" to their decision. They decided a bunch of other stuff too, but none of it was funny so I sort of spaced out and got another beer.
This is the time of year when we're all looking for something new and exciting to pile on our nearly maxed credit cards. Many of you, I'm sure, are eyeing various high-tech devices, such as iPods, TiVos, or even personal computers, especially Windows PCs. You are suckers. Particularly you; I'm talking to you specifically. You are a sucker. Computers are worthless and will only ruin your life like they've ruined everyone else's.
I'm not saying this for my own selfish gain: I am not a "Mac" guy and, in fact, I work in the industry, so this is not helping me personally at all. Even more accurately, you're reading this now thanks to many advanced technologies, which are also crap. You think they're good, but they're worthless. You've been sold a bill of goods, chumply.
You may think I'm crazy, but hear me out. See I came to this realization last night standing in line at OfficeMax, which is probably the only time OfficeMax has ever been the cause of anything inspiring in its entire dreary history. Nobody actually wants to go to OfficeMax, you have to go there. Last night, I had to go because our printer ran out of toner, and luckily for me Canon makes the only printers on the planet that nobody can refill for you cheaply. So off I go to drop $80 on a new cartridge. Ho ho ho.
You can't swing a dead vole around lately without hitting a reality series on television. Being a guy who writes things, I can't help but be resistant to this trend. I know they're cheaper to produce than scripted entertainment, but are they really more satisfying? Think back (if you can) to the last series that really made you laugh and I'll bet someone wrote it. If someone didn't, and you're still laughing, chances are you're laughing at someone and not with them. There are plenty of poor bastards on reality T.V. too to chuckle at. After all they're just slobs like us with cameras stuck in their faces trying desperately not to look like a complete dork in front of 30 million people.
This is not to say reality T.V. isn't entertaining or even educational in its own right. It can be, provided you're watching the right stuff and paying attention.
A buddy of mine recently sent me a link to a Fox News video clip. This wasn’t anything out of the ordinary: he and I routinely engage in political email debates over many public policy matters, such as the energy crisis, the wars, global warming, etc. Regardless of the topic, these emails follow a predictable format: “Hey, Scott,” he’ll write, “look what you silly liberals are doing all wrong now, you nutbags!” “Oh yeah,” I'll write back, “well look at what you wingnuts have to offer, let me just grab my brown shirt and start burning books!” And so they go. Sometimes he drags his mother into it when he’s really desperate.
This time, however, honestly because I really needed to write something for IRREVERENT, I decided to take time to revise and extend my remarks for the greater public, beyond those guys in the N.S.A. who steal my emails.
The link was to a video that showed California Democrat Maxine Waters, who represents California’s 35th Congressional district, threatening the big oil executives testifying before her. Waters, who’s been in the House since 1991, wasn’t threatening the well grazed chief executives with bodily violence. She knew better than that. Waters would be lucky to hold up these guys’ dinner plates, let alone cause any major damage to their behemoth frames. Instead she was threatening to nationalize the oil industry itself in the United States, apparently (there was no context for the clip) in response to her perceived unwillingness of the industry to offer the American public (in California’s 35th district that is) gas-price relief.