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Monthly Archives: July 2009

“Rock ‘N Roll” – 1977



Artist: 1977
Album: Rock ‘N Roll (2008)
Info: http://www.1977theband.com
Label: Play It Again Records, LLC
Genre: KISS Tribute Rock

(Editor’s Note: As of July 26, 2009, 1977’s Rock ‘N Roll was listed on http://www.cdbaby.com at #8 in the Classic Rock category; #3 in the ‘70s Rock category, and – TA DA! – Number 1 in the Tribute Band category.)

For any self-respecting KISS fan, it pretty much has to be 100%, undiluted KISS to make your world go ‘round. An while the boys gave us many great albums, it has been awhile since they cranked out anything approaching the raw allure of Love Gun or the like. Actually, it’s been awhile since they cranked out anything.

Well, fret no more, my face-painted little friends. Because here is an album that will blow you away, and make you swear that Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter “got the band back together, man!

The culmination of a lifetime of admiration and immersion into the world of all things KISS, 1977’s Rock “N Roll is one slick release. From the dead-on designs and packaging that slyly mirrors the style of the ‘70s iconic rock legends to the delightfully innovative replication of the beloved “vinyl” album (you have to see the CD – has the oldstyle label, and is black with actual grooves!). The coup de grace is the enclosed extra goody when you open it up – this is a must-have addition to any rockologist’s collection.

There are ten killer tracks on this album, and the attention to detail is stunning. It’s one thing to put together a tribute band, learn to play the KISS catalogue, put on the makeup and costumes and play. But it takes a special, not-readily-available talent to reproduce the music-writing styles that were instantly recognizable as the KISS signature sound of those first few years. It really is a truly remarkable achievement by the genius behind the production of this CD … and a huge hit for any KISS fan, young or old.

And kids, the word is out. 1977 officially entered The MySpace Music Top 100 Artist Chart at No. 92 during the week of Sunday, March 1st 2009. Since then, they have been ranked as high as No. 68 on the chart and have currently settled in the No. 85 position. (NOTE: This ranking is based on a field of 153,111 artists in the genre of Classic Rock in the category of Independent Label Artists.)

This little gem is 100% locally produced – written, recorded, packaged and shipped from somewhere deep within the bowels of Myrtle Beach. Order a Limited Edition of 1977 Rock “N Roll CD by sending $19.77 plus $5.00 U.S. shipping ($8 outside U.S.), in check or money order to: A. Coin Management, LLC, c/o Alexander Coin, P.O. Box 2825, Myrtle Beach, SC 29578.

Oh, and by the way … although Gene (Simmons) had been on record as saying they would never be recording new material again, I find it rather interesting – if not suspiciously coincidental – that he has announced they may soon crank out another album of original music … an announcement made not very long after this album was released in July of 2008!

Reviewed by Brian M. Howle
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The previous article was originally published February 23, 2009

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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Noteworthy: CD Picks

 

Bret Michaels’ Rock Of Love Bus Tour Stops At House Of Blues August 6


Bret Michaels

By Brian M. Howle

(Note: Originally scheduled for June 10, this show was postponed after a much-publicized accident at the end of a performance during Broadway’s Tony Awards televised on June 7, in which Bret suffered a fractured nose and numerous abrasions and bruises when a sign was lowered into his path as he was exiting the stage.)

Say what you will about the legendary, hedonistic days of ‘80s Glam Metal Rock, and all of the salacious players who gained notoriety and beaucoup trim because of its insatiable popularity: Ya either had it, or ya didn’t.

See, someone like Joe Jackson – great songwriter and musician that he was – didn’t.

But if you were from, say, Pennsylvania; and you took your band and your dreams of rock ‘n roll stardom to the mean streets of L.A.; if you damn near starved to death while having the best (and worst) times of your life; and if your band was Poison and you became an MTV ‘80s icon selling over 25 million albums; oh, and if you were so glam cute the hotties left a small pool on the floor when they saw you … well, you did.

And that would mean your name was Bret Michaels, and now the Poison frontman and the host and star of VH1’s Rock of Love is bringing the Rock of Love Bus Tour with opening act Parmalee to the House Of Blues in N. Myrtle Beach, SC on Thursday, August 6, 2009.

Here’s the Bo-Skinny-Bop from Michaels’ website, and from info culled from the net:

Bret Michaels is, if nothing else, a true survivor. He has survived a lifelong battle as an insulin dependent diabetic since the age of six, a well publicized near fatal car crash in 1994 and the countless musical trends and fads of the last two decades.

“As soon as I ever start to just go through the motions I’ll quit,” confessed the 46 year old singer, songwriter, producer, director, actor and father of two daughters in a recent interview. But there’s little chance he’ll even slow down let alone quit anytime soon. In fact, after more than 20 years in the business this award winning, multi platinum superstar’s career continues to move at warp speed.

As front man for the legendary rock band Poison, Michaels has sold 25 million records and scored an amazing 15 chartbusting Top 40 singles including “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Something to Believe In,” “Nothing But a Good Time” and the timeless #1 smash ballad “Every Rose Has its Thorn.”

And in the new millennium Poison’s music has been featured in such big screen flicks as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “Grandma’s Boy” and “Deuce Bigelow-European Gigolo.” They continue to be one of the industry’s top grossing concert attractions and their 2006 20 Years of Rock CD was a bona fide Top 20 gold smash. Poison’s most recent CD is 2007’s Poison’D an album of cover songs that have influenced the band members over the years.

Michaels has also produced and written material for other artists including Stevie Nicks. He wrote and produced the song “Love’s a Hard Game to Play” which appeared on Nicks’ platinum album Timespace: The Best Of Stevie Nicks. More recently Michaels could be heard providing background vocals along with Phil Vassar on the Kenny Chesney/Uncle Kracker duet single “Last Night Again.”

In the mid-90s Michaels formed a film production company with actor Charlie Sheen. The partnership ultimately led to Michaels writing, directing and starring in several films including “A Letter From Death Row” which he executive co-produced with Sheen.

As an actor, Michaels has made regular appearances on such hit television shows as “Yes Dear,” “Martial Law,” and “The Chris Isaak Show.” And he has also co-hosted “Access Hollywood” and been a judge on the wildly popular “Nashville Star” program. Recently, Michaels has played for charity on “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” winning $250,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Setting his musical sights beyond Poison, Michaels released his debut solo album Songs of Life in 2003 followed by the rootsy, Americana flavored sophomore record Freedom of Sound in 2005. The current release, Rock My World was released in June 2008 and features a collection of Bret Michaels’ solo songs that have been featured on the “Rock Of Love” television series.

Michaels has also toured with the USO in Kuwait in 2007 for soldiers deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom; and is portrayed in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, which features him singing “Go That Far” and Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me”.

Michaels, ever the self-promotion prototype, joins the ranks of author with a soon to be released, provoking autobiographical account of his life with Roses & Thorns, similar in nature to Motley Crue’s The Dirt.

“This is the unvarnished truth about my life – everything I dreamed it could be but nothing I thought it would be,” Michaels confesses in the book’s promo tag, “The reality of my rock and roll fantasy … Enjoy and rock on.”

The 352-page hardcover edition is published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment, and release date is June 23, 2009.

Rock of Love with Bret Michaels and Rock of Love 2 with Bret Michaels, where twenty lucky ladies got their chance for an All-Access pass to Bret Michaels’ heart and to share in all his superstar lifestyle, has been a enormous ratings winner for Vh1. The series has became the highest rated series on Vh1 and consistently won its time slot when aired, including multiple airings. Michaels just completed filming a third installment of the series aptly titled “Rock of Love Bus with Bret Michaels” as the singer is taking the show on the road this time.

“I would play music whether I made it or not,” Michaels told a journalist in 2002 and it’s that commitment to his art that continues to keep him at the forefront of the entertainment industry.

So break out your best headband, shoehorn your butt into some spandex and join Bret Michaels and The Bret Michaels band – with opening act Parmalee – at House Of Blues in N. Myrtle Beach, SC on Thursday, August 6, 2009. Doors open 7:00pm. For ticket info call 843-272-3000 or Ticketmaster 843-679-9333; or visit http://www.houseofblues.com or http://www.ticketmaster.com.
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This article also appeared in the June 4 – 18, 2009 issue (Page 25) of Alternatives and Coast NewsMagazines.

 

An American Christmas


By Brian M. Howle

There are so many occasions that we native-born Americans (with humble apologies to true Native Americans) take for granted. Familiarity does indeed breed contempt, even under the most innocent of conditions.

With the onset of the traditional Christmas rush, most Americans find themselves in the grips of capitalism at its most fervent pitch. Each year, even with the earlier-than-the-year-before pre-Christmas sales that used to begin right after Thanksgiving (but which now emerge as soon as the last stale bag of Halloween candy is put on clearance sale), Christmas always seems to sneak right up on us. And so we begin the quest for the perfect gift, for the hot toy of the year, for that sojourn into the capitalist mecca known as “the mall.”

A lot of normal, decent folks are out there, happy as clams, polite and obliging and good as gold. Then again, there are – and I swear, every year there are more and more – total wastes of human DNA out there, bowling over small children and little old ladies. Rude, insolent, arrogant, bitter and downright ugly examples of our species gone terribly wrong. I leave it to each of you to categorize yourselves as to which group you qualify.

I recently had the eye-opening honor of attending a Citizenship Naturalization ceremony in Columbia, S.C. My better half, originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, had passed all the citizenship tests and requirements and was scheduled to duly and lawfully become a U.S. citizen.

Arriving on an early Friday morning at the U.S. Courthouse in the Capitol City, two things immediately struck me:

(1) Having not visited a U.S. Courthouse for some time, the past transgressions of the lunatic fringe in our country have left a chilling reality to our most basic freedom of assembly – Metal detectors, bomb detectors, security cameras and guards galore, and;

(2) The true meaning of America’s “Melting Pot” moniker.

A quick glance around the entrance revealed that the world’s population was well represented. People from Canada, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Yugoslavia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Burma, Netherlands, Germany, France, Belize, Guatemala, South Africa, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Korea, India, England, former states of the Soviet Union, Philippines, Guam, China, Taiwan, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. It wasn’t the fact that these folks were immigrating to our country that astonished me; it was the fact they were making South Carolina their formal portal for becoming permanent members of our society. Longstanding mental images of weary immigrants entering through Ellis Island seemed more then norm in my mind’s eye until this personal day of awakening. But here they all were, anxiously anticipating the formality of becoming U.S. citizens.

The large crowd of about 350 people lightened by 122 as officials called for those who were actually participating in the ceremony, to finalize paperwork and verify identity . Meanwhile, I observed the families who were gathered-to witness their loved ones’ realization of a dream come true. There is an undeniable sense of awe when you see the seamless tiers of generations assembled for such an event. From the oldest grandparents and great-grandparents – most of whom only speak their native tongue – to the youngest toddlers and infants, most of whom display the physical characteristics of dual ethnicity homogenized to form the new world child, this window to the ever-changing fabric of our population is just a joy to behold.

As the big moment drew near, the doors to the courtroom swung open and everyone jockeyed for position to afford the best vantage point. And you know, it’s amazing how, even though there may be language barriers when such a diverse group gathers, the hand signal for “scoot in closer” is truly universal. When everyone finally squeezed into the packed courtroom, the multi-lingual murmur trailed off as the officials entered and the ceremony began.

Overseeing the proceedings was Senior U.S. District Court Judge Matthew J. Perry, a patriarchal figure of a man with an authoritative yet soft voice. Articulate and eloquent, he welcomed everyone and thanked them for their attendance. He then introduced visiting dignitaries and members of organizations who were providing various mementoes and keepsakes of the occasion. American Legion representatives gave each new citizen a booklet on Flag Etiquette; Members of the National Society of Colonial Dames presented laminated copies of the Naturalization Oath; and ladies of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution furnished copies of the Pledge of Allegiance and the American Creed, along with little American flags.

Hey – next time some cretin starts mouthing off about those “damn foreigners taking over our country”, ask them to recite the American Creed. Game, set, match.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Dr. Ali Akbar M. Haghighi, a Professor of Mathematics at Benedict College. A great moment of levity was provided by Judge Perry’s attempt in pronouncing Dr. Haghighi’s name, due to the fact that after inquiring as to the correct pronunciation, Dr. Haghighi turned away from the P.A. microphone to address the Judge. Unable to hear the response, Judge Perry asked a second and third time, each of which Dr. Haghighi would again turn away from the microphone to answer. Still not sure of his success in getting it right, Judge Perry finally implored Dr. Haghighi to forgive him if he had bungled the pronunciation, and in the event he had, to “come see me if you ever need a parking ticket fixed.” Apparently, ticket-fixing is also a universal champion of the language barrier, judging from the room’s response. (Oh, by the way – it’s Hah-gee-gee).

(Ed. Note: A new federal courthouse in Columbia was named after Judge Perry in 2004. Sadly, Perry was found dead, aged 89, at his home on Sunday July 31, 2011 by a family member. He was reported to have died on Friday after attending court that day.)

All kidding aside, the Iranian-born professor gave an inspiring assessment of what he considered to be the two greatest privileges of American citizenship. First, freedom of speech – a concept that has been taken for granted by too many Americans for far too long. While many of us get all bent out of shape because of offense at content of speech – such as the use of profanity, or the diatribes of Klansmen or Neo-Nazis – we tend to forget that in many countries physical abuse, torture and death can result from the simple act of expressing one’s opinion.

Secondly, Dr. Haghighi passionately reveled about America’s long-standing reputation as “the land of opportunity”. In this country, one truly has the ability to accomplish anything you set your mind to. You are free to pursue your dreams, to go as far as your capabilities will take you. And yes, prejudices do exist and minorities can face formidable odds. But as long as you obey the laws and stay focused on your goals, anything is possible. Too many Americans have become slovenly apathetic towards applying any semblance of a work ethic, somehow coming to the conclusion that government entitlements and handouts have become the ‘90s equivalent to inalienable rights.

Dr. Haghighi made me realize if you took a jaded, self-absorbed American and plopped him down in the middle of any one of dozens of other countries on this earth, where cast systems are unchangeable and unforgiving, where racial or religious or political constraints are unavoidable and unbending, where there is no recognition of even the most simplistic of basic human rights – well, they would beat a path straight through the gates of hell to return to the principles of our Constitution. Geez, just took around – Bill Gates, Darla Moore, Oprah Winfrey, Dave Thomas, Tom Brokaw, Kathy Lee Gifford, Jerry Springer, Colin Powell, Pauley Shore – it’s enough to make your head explode. The land of opportunity.

Dr. Haghighi’s speech concluded with a rousing ovation, and the moment all had waited for was upon us. Judge Perry asked the candidates to stand and state their name and country of origin, due to the sheer number involved, and when all had spoken the entire group would take the Naturalization Oath of Citizenship. One by one, row by row, men and women of all sizes, race, religion, color and creed proudly did just that.

Then, towards the very end of this group of our newest citizens, there came an elderly couple from Colombia. The wife was very soft-spoken and her English was a little hard to understand. But the husband broke from the name/country format and in a loud, firm voice – thick with accent but proud and strong and very clearly English, tears streaming down his face – proceeded to tell the Judge how proud and happy he and his wife were to be in America, becoming American citizens. The courtroom was awash in smiles and applause and more than a few other tears.

Then the group stood, raised their right hands and took the Naturalization Oath of Citizenship. One by one they stepped forward to receive their certificates and handshakes, turning to face flashbulbs, cheers and hugs from family and friends.

Aglow in her new status, I playfully chided my Pêsseginho (little peach) that she was now “street legal”. We headed to a downtown restaurant for a celebratory lunch as she tucked her certificate over the visor of our van. Afterwards, on the way back home, conversation was lively and constant. But as I drove, from the corner of my eye, I saw the visor pulled down and the paper plucked out time after time. Not even her graduation from college this past spring compared to the pride that radiated from her constantly smiling face. Only my pride in her could come close.

So as I wish you all Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year; as we all hope for peace on earth and goodwill towards man, as you wade into the sea of humanity searching for that perfect gift – I can’t tell you who that rude, insolent, arrogant, bitter or downright ugly person is. But in this land of opportunity, I can tell you who it isn’t.

Feliz Natal, meu pequeno pêssego.
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The previous article originally appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, December 17, 1998.

 

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Along The Watchtower

 

Nip It, Nip It In The Bud


By Brian M. Howle

Deputy Barney Fife and Sheriff Andy Taylor in  'The Andy Griffith Show'.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Deputy Barney Fife and Sheriff Andy Taylor, the core of  ‘The Andy Griffith Show’. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

It’s downright amazing that we, as a species, managed to plod along at a chronological Snail’s pace without mass media, and still managed to instill the simplest virtues of character, decency, self-esteem and common sense into each successive generation. How on earth, do you think, did our ancestors survive without the enlightenment of a network’s or reporter’s opinion? Did their children ever desire a sense of empowerment that comes from unlimited access to all the confusing, disturbing, and explicitly forbidden world of images and information? And exactly when did the Constitution become a pass key into a citizen’s private life?

Now, maybe these things don’t bother you, maybe it’s just me. But it seems to me that in the aftermath of Bubba’s Inquisition – and the ensuing gauntlet of fallen fingers when self-promotion motivated media types turned the spotlight back on the accusers, resulting in the loss of two (count ‘em, TWO) Speakers of the House of Representatives – and in all the post-Monica backwash, well, someone’s just not paying attention in the media.

Take this George Bush, Jr. flap about prior drug use. The original question of “Have you ever done drugs?” is an excellent example of both sides making mistakes in responding. The question in and of itself is a reasonable one. Most companies now require prospective employees to submit to standardized drug tests as a matter of common practice. Expecting any prospective public servant to answer a question concerning prior or current drug use is not unreasonable. And yes, on this single point, we do have the right to know.

Well, Junior decided that he didn’t have to answer that question, and the impression he made was exactly that – of someone who lets their temper and emotion control their mind and speech, and then becomes a sound byte that amplifies their attitude, whether it be confidence, cockiness or arrogance. He gave the media dogs a great big chew bone by refusing to answer. Attempts at spin control only served to worsen his already damaged image. And to top it all off, allies and enemies alike pointed out the ironically eerie similarity to Bubba’s history of dancing around an issue. If he had simply answered this the very first time it came up, whatever ripples it may have produced at the moment would have long since disappeared.

The lonely old department store owner makes Christmas happen for a downtrodden family, much to the chagrin of the Andy and his posse.

The lonely old department store owner and landlord, Ben  Weaver, makes Christmas happen for a downtrodden family, much to the chagrin of the Andy, Ellie, Opie, Aunt Bee, and Santa Barney.

As for the media, well, is anyone ever surprised by the constant feeding frenzy that now comprises the media? Junior lofted up a great big, fat, slow, hanging changeup out over the plate, and the media crushed it. Like some rabid boomerang, it just keeps coming back again and again, chipping away at the relevance of it all until it just seems like more of the same ol’ same ol’. Desensitizing the public’s sense of what’s really important serves no one.

My own sense of what’s really important was crystallized during my junior year of college. Deep into the core courses of journalism, a mixture of history-making national and world events – and the ethical pushing of the envelope advocated by some of my professors – combined to form my views. The nation was being ripped apart by the combined one-two punch of Vietnam and Watergate, and it became all to clear to me how powerful the media had become. Advertising classes advocated creating ad campaigns that would lead the consumer to believe they needed the products – whether they actually did or not.

Now, being stubborn by nature probably didn’t help, but these things just sorta stuck in my craw. I could not begin to fathom the concept of preying on the stupidity or humiliation of others to sell a product. And I could just see the day that my publisher or editor would call me into the office and give me an assignment that smelled of “Let’s nail this guy to a cross.” Realizing I had placed myself into a profession fraught with compromise and tongue biting, I pursued the field of graphic arts and design. I have chosen not to accept an account from time to time based solely on my inability to believe in the product or the person. And yes, I have had some conflicts with my employers when faced with such a situation – but I have had the good fortune to work for men and women who respected my position. Respectful folks, with boatloads of patience, have made me a better person.

Well, being one who really hates the use of catch phrases, there’s one that I must cotton up to without remorse: “The Dumbing Down Of America”. Print media has historically led the parade on this one, what with “Yellow journalism” and all that. And publications like The National Enquirer and The Star have been the research material fodder for comedy writers for years.

And of course, constantly changing trends, likes and dislikes of each generation’s concept of fashion and art contribute to clashes between personalities – and that’s to be expected; it’s normal. Well, if “absolute power corrupts,” then “unlimited television rots.”

The decline of any resemblance to socially acceptable behavior on television has reached an all-time low. The onslaught of the Jerry Springers and Sally Jessie Raphaels gave the civilly-challenged dregs of our society a platform, and it went from “watching the freaks go ballistic” to daily entertainment fare for almost all of our youngsters. Oh, alright, and all of the catatonic housewives and househusbands who long ago sold their souls for daily fixes of the soaps – which for decades have espoused pursuit of all of the Seven Deadly Sins. A different poison, perhaps, but the resulting brain rot is essentially the same.

"The New Housekeeper," where viewers - and little Opie - first meet Aunt Be a, who comes to add a woman's touch to the Taylor household.

“The New Housekeeper,” where viewers – and little Opie – first meet Aunt Bee, who comes to Mayberry to add a woman’s touch to the Taylor household.

Cursing, screaming, threatening, throwing, punching, kicking all just absolutely lovely traits to be absorbed by impressionable little – and not so little – minds. Don’t worry about establishing your position with facts, little ones, just point out someone else’s questionable morality or ethics. Don’t waste your time with circumstances or explanations or reasoning, just punch ‘em in the nose while the crowd – arms raised and bent at the elbow, fist clenched – vocalizes a guttural “woo woo woo” a la Arsenio.

And now, for your viewing pleasure and personal edification, comes a new series slated for airing this fall – Cheaters. The show’s premise? Lovers who suspect their partners are being unfaithful hire private investigators to stalk the alleged infidel until the truth is known. Once revealed, the jilted party then confronts the cheating no-gooder. And you just knooooooow what kinda video you’re gonna get with this one – be sure to gather the kids around the tube, so they’ll know what to expect in divorce court.

In the mid ‘80s, a young woman who worked in my office as an intern writer approached the rest of the staff with questions about The Andy Griffith Show. She was dumbfounded by the responses of those of us who were native to the South. Every person she asked essentially praised the show and its cast. No one, not one single, solitary soul badmouthed the good citizens of Mayberry.

“I don’t understand you people,” she gushed in exasperation. “How can you find such mindless, corn pone, yokel dribble bearable to watch, much less actually enjoy?”

“What don’t you understand about the show,” I asked innocently, while my mind began to assemble defenses against this attack on southern heritage.

“I don’t get any of it. I don’t get the hillbilly humor, the one-horse town, the stupid people …” she exhaled with frustration, hands swirling with her words as she spoke.

“Such as?” I baited.

“Well … like, all the women are portrayed as naive, mindless puppets, whose only purpose in life is to serve men – or infuriate them”, she said, confident her point had been made.

New pharmacist, Miss Ellie, balks at giving a hypochondriac her "special pills" before Andy can show her the light.

New pharmacist, Ellie Walker, balks at giving a hypochondriac her “special pills” before Andy can show her the light.

“Well, actually, although there was a strong theme of women in traditional roles as mothers, teachers or waitresses, the show was one of the first to support some feminist causes – unheard of in the early ‘60s fare of prime time.” I matter-of-factly continued, “Like when Miss Ellie, the new young lady pharmacist, decided ta run for local public office. Oh, you might think that Helen Crump was Andy’s only squeeze during the series, but before Helen there was Miss Ellie, whose refusal to fill a hypochondriatic old lady’s demand for her special ‘pills’ brought her and Andy together when he patiently waited for Ellie to finish her diatribe on medical ethics, so he could tell her that the old pharmacist (Ellie’s now-retired uncle) would give the poor, worried old soul sugar pills – placebos – to psychosomatically relieve her anxiety attacks. Anyway, Miss Ellie must have signed on with some movie project, because next thing you knew. Helen Crump was sitting by Andy on the porch swing, sipping mint juleps while he serenaded her with his guitar…”

“I … um … well, that’s not what …” she attempted to stammer out a reply as I took a deep breath and continued.

“Then there’s Aunt Bea. Now, sure, she was a very traditional southern matriarch, and prone to bouts of flustered hysteria over the simplest of problems.  But, she was also very open to change and welcomed the opportunity for personal growth, like when she learned to drive (at the expense of Andy’s fence), or when she decided the sky was the limit and learned to fly solo at the Mt. Pilot airport”.

I was on a roll.

“Look, forget the thing about the women. What about the men’? I mean, was there anything real about them?” she implored, bouyed by the knowledge she had me on this one.

“Well, let’s see …. There’s Andy, of course, a widower with a young son, also a sheriff who never regularly carried a gun … he dealt with people and their problems by talking to them, instead of threatening them, but was a no-nonsense kind of guy when it came down to upholding the law or generally defending God, family and country. Yep, I’ve known men like that. And Barney, the lovable but bumbling deputy, forever scheming to project a macho image, of himself while desperately hiding his insecurities, seemingly over-reacting with high-pitched screams of ‘Nip it, nip it in the bud!’ … yeah, I’ve known folks like him, too,” I continued.

Barney hooks Andy and himself up with some "fun girls" from Mt. Pilot.

Smooth operator Barney hooks Andy – and himself – up with the “fun girls” – Daphne and Skippy – from that nearby den of iniquity, Mt. Pilot.

“Yeah … I mean, NO, that’s not what I meant,” she began to huff, “I mean, the show never dealt with anything topical or controversial; it was just sugarcoated mush”.

“How can you say that?” I asked, incredulously, “Now, take ol’ Ernest T. Bass, the town’s ADHD adult. He took out his misguided interpretations of legal and social decorum by throwing bricks through windows, but Andy realized his condition and helped him work through his problems. Heck, he even set o’ Ernest T. up with a gal just his speed!”

“No, no, no, you don’t see ……” she wimpered.

“And another thing; Andy’s show addressed the homosexual issue and advanced the cause of tolerance – in the deep south, mind you – years before it became acceptable.” I explained with the air of a professor. “Howard Sprig? Gay. I n his forties and still living with his mother? … the bow tie? … the anal retentive personality? Please. And Floyd, the barber? Talk about gay … “

“But that’s not what …” she squeaked, tears beginning to brim up in her eyes as a little twitch tugged at her left cheek.

“And then there’s Gomer, of course ….”

“No … stop … I don’t want to know!” she exclaimed as she wheeled around, looking for the door.

“Oh, hey, how about The Beverly Hillbillies? Talk about another great show …” I excitedly chirped as she made a break for the door.

“Nooooooooooo … leave me me alone …” she blurted through her tears as she ran for her car. She fumbled for the keys, then looked up at me as I was closing the office door. Our eyes met; I smiled and waved, and then yelled at her:

“Y’all come back now, ya heah?”

We never saw her again.
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The previous article originally appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, February 23, 2000.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Along The Watchtower

 

Al Qaeda Ain’t The Greatest Threat, Slick


By Brian M. Howle

Every dang one of you out there knows this to be true, so don’t go getting all bent out of shape. Yes, yes, those rabid religious zealots that make up the leadership, rank & file of Al Qaeda are all very, very bad people. And yes, yes, they are all completely dedicated to destroying America and Israel, in no apparent order of importance.

But, let’s get real. Now, just like each of you, I was all riled up and totally supportive of our President back on 9/11, when the towers’ long plumes of smoke trailed off into that fateful September morning sky, and the ensuing dust cloud that made Manhattan disappear filled my heart with sorrow and rage, and obscured my ability to rationally understand what I was witnessing.

So, here we are, four-plus years later, 2,000-plus American military lives later, and billions of dollars (that we didn’t have to spend) later. For all our righteous and decidedly overwhelming military might, that lanky bastard with the ratty beard and the AK-47 is still scampering around some cave, and only God knows where.

And just what do we have to show for it?

A collection of the absolute worst members of the legislative and administrative branches of American government to ever serve, the incompetent likes of which we have never seen before.

The Democratic party, once the proud clarion of social justice and champion of civil rights, has disintegrated into a disheveled-looking bunch of whining traitors, interested only in recapturing their 40-year dynasty of government waste. And to make matters worse, they’re just being major dumbasses when it comes to actual national security issues.
I say, next Senator who makes pretentious charges against the character of the next qualified federal judge, gets castrated on the spot. (And yeah, this includes you, Hillary).

The Republican party, once the only true alternative to a nation gone astray, has homogenized and morphed itself into something that isn’t all that discernable from the other guys; at least when it comes to throwing money at a problem when that’s not the way to fix it. They have, however, completely shattered the Constitutional foundation of the rights of citizens in their pathetic pursuit of justifying the means to the ends. Someone should remind them that a citizenry under total government control was pretty much the outline for Orwell’s 1984. Didn’t work in the book, either.

I say, give me a President who mangles the language, oversteps authority and believes Democracy means one man can decide for all and ignore the Constitution … oh wait, already got one.

So now, when you’re ready to take a flight within or out of the country, you can’t take a decent nailclipper with you – but you can bring pounds and pounds of stolen Uranium across the porous borders of Canada and Mexico without much problem.

You can’t get a public education worth a damn – but you can bet your ass that you can get more and more money allotted for education without having any means of accounting for whether or not anyone is getting the job done.

You can’t get economics taught in the school system where our children have an understanding of world markets and currency after 12 years of education – but you can get a dozen credit cards in five minutes.

The time is drawing near when our time at the top of the world order will expire, and you don’t have to look too far to see the woeful signs that the end is, indeed, very near.

My cousin in Texas sent me this list of observations that someone made, and it’s probably been around the world via the Internet a dozen times. But this one bears repeating until every American reads and fully comprehends what the hell is going on in our once-great nation:

Top 10 Signs Your Country Has Become Dumber Than A Bag Of Hammers

1. Recently, when I went to McDonald’s I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked for a half dozen nuggets. “We don’t have half dozen nuggets,” said the teenager at the counter. “You don’t?” I replied. “We only have six, nine, or twelve,” was the reply. “So I can’t order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?” “That’s right.” So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets.

2. I was checking out at the local Wal-Mart with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those “dividers” that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn’t get mixed. After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the “divider”, looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan it. Not finding the bar code she said to me, “Do you know how much this is?” I said to her “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t think I’ll buy that today.” She said “OK,” and I paid her for the things and left. She had no clue to what had just happened.

3. A lady at an office I was visiting was putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly. When I inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM “thingy.”

4. I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car. “Do you need some help?” I asked. She replied, “I knew I should have replaced the battery to this remote door unlocker. Now I can’t get into my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenience store) would have a battery to fit this?” “Hmmm, I dunno. Do you have an alarm, too?” I asked. “No, just this remote thingy,” she answered, handing it and the car keys to me. As I took the key and manually unlocked the door with the remote, I replied, “Why don’t you drive over there and check about the batteries. It’s a long walk.”

5. Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, “I’m almost out of typing paper. What do I do?” “Just use copier machine paper,” the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five “blank” copies.

6. I was in a car dealership a while ago, when a large motor home was towed into the garage. The front of the vehicle was in dire need of repair and the whole thing generally looked like an extra in Twister. I asked the manager what had happened. He told me that the driver had set the “cruise control” and then went in the back to make a sandwich.

7. My neighbor works in the operations department in the central office of a large bank. Employees in the field call him when they have problems with their computers.. One night he got a call from a woman in one of the branch banks who had this question: “I’ve got smoke coming from the back of my terminal. Do you guys have a fire downtown?”

8. Police in Radnor, Pa., interrogated a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy machine. The message “He’s lying” was placed in the copier, and police pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn’t telling the truth. Believing the “lie detector” was working, the suspect confessed.

9. Want to have some fun the next time you visit a fast-food restaurant? If your order comes to, say, $7.63 – give the kid at the window a $10 bill and 13 cents. Have your hand ready to shield your face, because chances are, their head will explode as they try to figure out why you gave them 13 cents.

10. A mother calls 911, very worried, asking the dispatcher if she needs to take her kid to the emergency room; the kid was eating ants. The dispatcher tells her, “Give the kid some Benadryl and he should be just fine. The mother replies, “I just gave him some ant killer…..” Dispatcher: “Oh God! Rush him in to emergency!”

Life is tough. And it’s a lot tougher if you’re stupid.

But I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.

Ooops.
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The previous article orginally appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, February 9, 2006.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Along The Watchtower

 

Coultergeist


By Brian M. Howle

You know, some times you hear or read things that simply defy all reasoning, all common sense and everything that your parents, teachers and those with your best interests at heart ever tried to impart on you. And then you listen or read it again, just to make sure you got it right.

But even after rechecking the facts, you’re still stunned when you realize that another human being out there could be so incredibly stupid, or crass, or hateful, or something that one descriptive word just doesn’t seem to fully explain to your satisfaction.

So here I am, a self-avowed wordsmith, and words just don’t seem to cut it when it comes to defining the incredulous shrillness, moronic asininity and wretchedness of GOP pundit and author, Ann Coulter.

Never one to shy away from controversy, the condescending gravitas of Ms. Coulter has long grated on the minds and ears of mere normal mortals in our country; usually, those of the Democrat persuasion.

But now she’s just flat out gone way out of bounds in the realm of socially acceptable behavior, common decency and the uniquely American right of free speech. And this time, even her former Republican supporters are putting distance between themselves and Ms. Coulter.

Congress recently considered legislation that would make it a felony for anyone to picket or demonstrate anywhere near the funeral of an American serviceman or woman. This came about due to the over-the-top stupidity and deeply retarded hate-based philosophy of religious zealots (the particular targeted group are the wacko church members from Kansas) who have recently made a practice of spewing anti-gay rhetoric towards the families of ANY American military personnel who have died in service to their country.

The warped reasoning for these complete wastes of human cells? Because God wants these brave servicemen and women to die, because America condones gay rights.

I think it’s fairly obvious that it isn’t just religious fervor at play here. These people are beyond the pale when it comes to any semblance of what could possibly pass for intelligence or Christian compassion. Their lack of education, understanding, compassion and realization of true Christianity literally make me – and everyone else out there – sick to one’s stomach. It’s a true wonder they can actually find their way to church on Sundays, where they gather and incite each other with their spitting vile and venom in the name of God. I’m sure He is so proud to have them on His team.

Yep, I bet it just absolutely makes His day when they taunt the grieving family and friends with screams of “God is happy your child is dead!” and “The only good faggot is a dead faggot!”

With the exception of these (and a few other) inbred pricks and prickettes, all other normal people in our country just roll their eyes and shake their heads when they hear about this. And, thankfully, that’s the way it should be.

So, it truly stumps me when someone like Ms. Coulter – who apparently has had the benefit of not only basic education, but higher education, as well – dives head-first into the sewer of hate-drenched drivel that is in no way that far removed from the rantings of this particular group of idiots.

And once again – before I go any further, let me reassure the majority of you fine Republicans out there – I’m not blaming you for Annie’s diatribes against humanity as we know it.

I don’t even think that most dyed-in-the-wool, true-believer Conservatives buy into this latest pukefest by this patently biased excuse for a human being.

That being said, you should take note of those who have come to her defense – and remember them on down the road. Because they are not that far removed from the Kansas heretics.

For anyone who missed the abomination Ms. Coulter unleashed last week, allow me to bring you up to speed.

Annie is not just a Republican, or more clearly, a Conservative. She is a vehemently acrid spokesperson for her party who has come under fire before, more or less for making the usual dumbass, partisan remarks and observations that dominate the more “creative” types on that side of the political aisle.

She has authored a couple of books, including “How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must),” and her latest offering, “Godless (The Church of Liberalism)” – which, in a cunning marketing move, was released on 6-6-06.

For the record, it should be noted that David Lee Roth was also clever enough to release his latest album, “Strummin’ with the Devil” on the same day, utilizing the same pathetic reasoning.

Coulter has made the charge in her latest book, and then expounded on it in a recent Today Show interview with the glib Matt Lauer (as recently defined by that mental giant, Tom Cruise) by claiming that the “9/11 Widows” were happy their husbands died in the attack on the World Trade Center towers.

Of course, the “9/11 Widows,” also known as “The Jersey Girls” by some talk-radio retards, are the widows of men who died when the towers collapsed and their offices plummeted to the ground, vaporizing nearly 3,000 souls instantly.

Annie believes these women have no right to speak out against their government and president in the post-9/11 world. She thinks that their participation in the 9/11 Commission’s hearings, as well as their much-publicized criticism of the Bush administration, are simply political rhetoric unfit for American auditory consumption.

Well, of course you do, Annie! The entire Incompetence Support Group – otherwise known as conservative-leaning talk radio – just revels in demeaning and degrading these women and their kind, because they dare to engage in freedom of speech in a manner that is not steeped in glorious praise of President Bush and all things Republican.

In a TV interview, she called them “witches who acted as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them” and “professional victims.” Perky Ann continued, “these women got paid, they ought to take their money and shut up about it.” (Like whores & prostitutes, Annie?) In her new book she also writes, “…And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren’t planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they’d better hurry up and appear in Playboy…”

Wow. What a class act. Conservatives must be prouder than hell to have Ms. Coulter “Stuck on Stupid.”

When the maelstrom of criticism against Ann erupted, she countered by saying that if these women we going to use the deaths of their husbands to criticize the Bush administration, then it was justifiable to go after them in the manner in which she has chosen.

I guess she means that if you speak out against her beliefs, she has the right to make unwarranted and non-factual statements against the character of her opponents to level the playing field. After all, this is a democracy, you know.

Ummm … according to the talk show boys, it’s not a democracy, it’s a republic, where that pesky will of the people is trumped by the will of the elected representatives. I guess the rules get bent to fit the prism of your particular political view.

And in the event some of you have forgotten, you should recall that Ann severed her relations with National Review Online (not exactly the “Drive-By Media,” eh, Rush?) on October 3, 2001 after spewing similar crap concerning Muslims and an Invade-and-Convert Christian rant.

In a column entitled “L’Affaire Coulter: Goodbye To All That,” Editor Jonah Goldberg wrote:

“Coulter had submitted ‘a long, rambling rant of a response to her critics that was barely coherent.’… Running this ‘piece’ would have been an embarrassment to Ann, and to NRO. Rich Lowry pointed this out to her in an e-mail. She wrote back an angry response, defending herself from the charge that she hates Muslims and wants to convert them at gunpoint.

But this was not the point. It was NEVER the point. The problem with Ann’s first column was its sloppiness of expression and thought. Ann didn’t fail as a person — as all her critics on the Left say — she failed as WRITER, which for us is almost as bad.

Rich wrote her another e-mail, engaging her on this point, and asking her — in more diplomatic terms — to approach the whole controversy not as a PR-hungry, free-swinging pundit on Geraldo, but as a careful writer.

No response.

Instead, she apparently proceeded to run around town bad-mouthing NR and its employees. Then she showed up on TV and, in an attempt to ingratiate herself with fellow martyr Bill Maher, said we were ‘censoring’ her.

By this point, it was clear she wasn’t interested in continuing the relationship.

What publication on earth would continue a relationship with a writer who would refuse to discuss her work with her editors? What publication would continue to publish a writer who attacked it on TV? What publication would continue to publish a writer who lied about it — on TV and to a Washington Post reporter?

And, finally, what CONSERVATIVE publication would continue to publish a writer who doesn’t even know the meaning of the word ‘censorship’?

So let me be clear: We did not ‘fire’ Ann for what she wrote, even though it was poorly written and sloppy. We ended the relationship because she behaved with a total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty.

What’s Ann’s take on all this? Well, she told the Washington Post that she loves it, because she’s gotten lots of great publicity. That pretty much sums Ann up.”

Keep in mind – this is from those who were her friends.

And of course, there were a couple of the talk radio guys who thought Annie’s comments were just brilliant. And, not to disappoint the faithful in their fully flawed flock, one of their defensive rationalizations – in response to the immediate wave of female commentary attacking Coulter’s lack of taste and decency – was that those women on the left who did so “were just jealous of Ann Coulter’s good looks.”

Excuse me? “Ann Coulter’s good looks?”

Hmmm … well, if you think a skeleton with an Adam’s Apple and some skin pulled over it looks good, then so be it. From my perspective, she looks more like a broom with breasts than an attractive woman.

But I gotta tell ya, speaking as a fully heterosexual man, I would unequivocally rather have sex with a broom than with Ann Coulter.

For starters, I know – for a fact – that a broom originated on this earth as an organic, living thing, and therefore actually had a soul at some point in time.

Secondly, a broom is naturally blonde.

Thirdly, a broom has a much softer surface, and far more natural lubrication.

And perhaps most importantly, a broom has a superior purpose on this earth – for sweeping away trash like Ann Coulter and her ilk.

Plus, a broom can’t talk.

You see, Ann, the basic flaw in your idiotic claims against these women – as well as anyone else who dares to disagree with this administration or any other that may follow – is that they actually do have the right to speak out, in any manner they choose. Just like you have the right speak out with your version of whatever twisted interpretation of the truth is in your anorexic-clad world.

Perhaps the boys in the ‘70s band, Grand Funk Railroad, had Annie in mind when they wrote their great ode to overly emaciated women – a catchy little ditty entitled “T.N.U.C.”

Figure that one out in “The Arena of Ideas,” kids.

And I’m not a liberal, so save your crayons.

Yep, Ann is a great role model for your kid, if you want your kid to look like a survivor of Aushwitz without the beaming glow; if you want your kid to smoke like the ashes of 9/11 and cut down their life expectancy, and if you want them to engage in partisan hate-mongering instead of compassionate conservatism or progressive liberalism.

And especially if you want them to be a total bitch.
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The previous article originally appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, June 15, 2006.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2009 in Along The Watchtower

 

Supremely Courting Communism


By Brian M. Howle

Well, anyone who reads my column knows that I’ve been thinking about this week’s ghastly turn of events emanating from the United States Supreme Court.

I fear that the mythical call to arms – once proudly listened to in this country – will evade the nation yet again, as the outrage that should make the earth tremble just fails to materialize.

We have truly become a nation of sheeple, oblivious to the outright unconstitutional edicts of our highest court. Where are the rallies? Where are those call to arms that we so gallantly regale during the coming weekend, as we celebrate our once glorious national sojourn against the warm, comforting bosom of freedom and self-government?

In an act of complete and total arrogance towards any semblance of the law of the land as defined in the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court handed down a truly shameful and asinine ruling by asserting that a government entity has the right to take PRIVATE PROPERTY from a PRIVATE OWNER and redistribute it to a wealthier PRIVATE OWNER, who in turn develops said PRIVATE PROPERTY into a revenue-earning tax cash cow for that government entity.

For those who need to be brought up to speed, there is an amendment that prohibits the government from seizing private property, with the exception being EMINENT DOMAIN, where the property is used for PUBLIC needs, such as highways and right-of-ways for utilities and such.

Even then, the government has to pay fair-value for the property.

Well, screw all that now. If they want it, they can just take it. And the hell with paying fair market.

This decision came down last week. And as of now – nearly a week later – there are still no massive demonstrations in the streets; no cries of “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” reverberating across the fruited plains.

I guess it’s just overshadowed by things of real interest to the average American these days. Things like analyzing the results of the Michael Jackson freak show acquittal, or the open buffet for sharks along Florida’s Gulf coast, or maybe even the latest attempts by FOX in whoring out all the emotions they can, while gutting the memory of little Natalee in Aruba.

Oh please, God, if you’re out there, send one of your bull sharks to get Geraldo or Greta, please? The incessant nawing of the corpse – before there is any corpse – is simply too nauseating to endure anymore. Thank you, Jesus.

In the meantime, as this once great nation spirals into the abyss of glorified stupidity and minutia, I offer you some truly enlightening entertainment while underscoring my bleak assessment of our society in general.

Yes, it’s that magical time of the year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least Evolved among us. Here then, are the glorious winners. 

2005 Darwin Award Winners:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a holdup in Long Beach, California, would be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked….. And now, the honorable mentions: 

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company, suspecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and lost a finger The chef’s claim was approved. 

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his Vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her. 

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for three days. 

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit. 

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer..$15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?) 

7. A thief burst into a Florida bank one day wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun. Aiming his gun at the guard, the thief yelled, “FREEZE, MOTHER-STICKERS, THIS IS A F***-UP!’ For a moment, everyone was silent. Then the sniggers started. The security guard completely lost it and doubled over laughing. It probably saved his life, because he’d been about to draw his gun. He couldn’t have drawn and fired before the thief got him. The thief ran away and is still at large. In memory of the event, the banker later put a plaque on the wall engraved with the words, “Freeze, mother-stickers, this is a f***-up!”  

8. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he’d just throw a cinderblock through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinderblock and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinderblock bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape. 

9. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes, officer, that’s her. That’s the lady I stole the purse from.” 

10. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away. 

A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER!
11. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had.

Well, there they are, folks. I look forward to the Darwin Awards each year, if only to reassure myself that it could, indeed, be worse.

So what it comes down to – the most people’s final analysis – is that comedian Blake Clark’s observation is more true today than ever.

It’s time to thin the herd.

As we’ve clearly seen in the previous examples, the concept is not without its followers. All that remains now is for the overwhelming majority of others who are similarly inclined to wade out to the fringe of the pack and let nature take its course.

It’s tounge-in-cheek, of course, but it would be nice to have a nation of thinking individuals who aren’t brain-dead from years of cathode-ray overexposure or simple-mindedly towing the line for one of the two insane political parties, which, coincidentally, run the entire country.

When the government takes your money via taxes out of you paycheck FIRST – before any liens, savings, deposits, Christmas Clubs, etc., and spends it without regard to its best use for the whole of our society; when the government prevents majority rule from practicing their brand of religion in a country founded on religious freedom; when the government blatantly, flat-out lies and deceives that poor, middle-class fool who inevitably foots the bill for the latest lobbyist’s bribes (and that’s what they are, outright bribes); when our education system is so broken and out of touch with reality and yet, no one seems to care that we’re speeding towards a collapse back to 3rd World status at the speed of light; when we know our nation’s heroin-like addiction to petroleum products teeters on total chaos and looming shortages, and yet we continue designing, building and selling inefficient and wasteful vehicles; and when the nation’s highest court decides to circumvent the constitution in such a blatantly in-your-face, screw you and there’s nothing you can do about it manner – well, it’s time to start thinking about some changes.

It pains me to no end to say it, but right now, I find myself in agreement with conservative talk-show host, Rush Limbaugh. He suggested that it’s time to rally the family on the ol’ homestead, sending Grandma up on top of the house with sandbags and a shotgun, and have the kids do the same, as well.

Dig in. Defend what you have legally, lawfully, morally and rightly earned through your hard work and sacrifice.

The next generation of bumpers stickers will no doubt read: “You can have the deed to my property when you pry it from my cold, dead hand.”
In the meantime, I hope our government feels free to siphon all the gas they want from our motor homes.
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The previous article originally appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, June 30, 2005.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2009 in Along The Watchtower

 
 
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