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Posted by on Aug 31, 2012 in Blog, Movie Reviews, Politics, What's Left | 3 comments

Thank You Clint Eastwood, For Making My Day — “The Bad, The Worse, and The Ugly”

 

Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry Photo

 

“Dirty Harry” has finally run out of bullets.

He went 13 minutes instead of only five, he got unlucky, and ended up looking like a punk on national television.

If Clint Eastwood’s act last night would have instead been an audition, his movie career might have been over in an instant.

Yes, it was that bad.

Eastwood’s appearance at the critical moment of the final night of the 2012 Republican National Convention was quite possibly the most painful moment in any political theater within the past twenty years.  Reminiscent of Admiral John Stockdale’s cringe-inducing verbal drool in the 1992 Vice Presidential debate, the iconic 82-year-old actor took last night’s stage at the very twinkling of what was supposed to be national coronation.  Instead, his stammering speech ended up as such a distraction, he made a totally incoherent Stockdale seem like William F. Buckley, by comparison.

No one could have possibly seen it coming.  In fact, the buildup was right on schedule.

For the better part of two hours, the Republican Party establishment had to be creaming all over themselves.  Their presidential nominee had largely been humanized for the very first time (no small feat) to tens of millions of viewers and voters — many tuning into the political season for the first time.  This was largely achieved by roasting up the all-too-familiar emotional chestnuts manipulatively designed to somehow transform a cold-hearted venture capitalist who made hundeds of millions busting up companies and outsourcing jobs into a warm and fuzzy stuffed teddy bear – you know, an electable human being.  Sort of like a political Frankenstein.

Misson largely accomplished, next one of Hollywood’s most revered film legends — particularly to right-wing gun nuts — took the grand stage and then went completey fucking bonkers batshit crazy.   Watching the ad lib act and witnessing the carnage of a cherished actor and director who has given society so many memorable roles and memories, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

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Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in Blog, Essays | 1 comment

Why Vince Lombardi Had It Wrong

 

Vince Lombardi carried off the field at Miami’s Orange Bowl after winning Super Bowl II
Photo From: www.thegrindstone.com

 

If pro football had a face of God, it would look exactly like Vince Lombardi.

He’s the most revered sculpture on the gridiron’s Mount Rushmore — and deservedly so.

Lombardi won the NFL championship five of the ten seasons he was a head coach, including the first two Super Bowls.  Despite taking over two cellar-dwelling teams prior to his arrival — first in 1959 with the Green Bay Packers and then in 1969 with the Washington Redskins — he never suffered a losing season.

Lombardi is lionized — not only for the way he coached and his no-nonsense philosophy — but for the man he was.  Lombardi was a larger-than life character who symbolized honesty, integrity, hard work, and faith.  To those around him, he as also father-figure, a teacher, a poet, and above all else — a motivator.

He was also one of the most quotable sports figures in history.

Lombardi shared many powerful words and phrases over the course of his life that resonated with millions, including many people who had no connection whatsoever to the game of football.  Arguably, the most famous quote of all attributed to Lombardi over his storied career reads as follows:

Winning isn’t everything.  It’s the only thing. [See Footnote]

The message is clear — do whatever it takes to win.

But go back and read that quote again.  First, you’ll notice that the prose is confusing.  It’s even contradictory.  After all, if winning is “the only thing,” then winning would certainly be “everything.”  But Lombardi is alleged to have said “winning isn’t everything.”  Got it?

Well, neither do I.  But let’s move on.

The Lombardi quote tersely contradicts another equally famous sports quote, this one from old-time sportswriter Grantland Rice, who famously said:

It’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.

Vince Lombardi and Grantland Rice are clearly at odds.  The question is — can both men be right?  If not, then who has the more righteous credo, expressive of the virtue that’s most important?

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Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 11 comments

Our Leaders are Elected by Morons (a.k.a. “The Undecideds”)

 

Idiot American Voters

 

Our national leaders are elected by morons.  They are called “the undecideds.”

There, I said it.  Because it’s true.

Since the dawn of the television age, every election has been decided by idiots.

No matter what year, no matter which election, no matter who the candidates are — the voter breakdown always follows the same pattern.  About 45 percent of voters vote for the Republican candidates.  About 45 percent of voters vote for the Democratic candidates.  That leaves 10 percent of voters in the middle who call themselves — “undecided.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the most powerful voting block in America — the 10 percent of voters who don’t know and don’t care.  These are the rubes deciding the future of our nation.

Let’s meet them, shall we?

Undecideds are everywhere.

Inside bowling alleys.  Blathering on barstools.  Playing on softball fields.  Ordering hamburgers.  Driving in the far right-hand lane and not making the right turn at busy intersections.  Delaying the TSA checkpoint.  Shopping at Walmart.  They come in all shapes and sizes and colors and ages.

Undecideds are usually easy to identify.  The lack any guiding political philosophy.  They don’t read books.  They don’t read newspapers.  They don’t watch news shows.  They can’t be bothered with complex details about any issue, because “it’s boring.”

Occasionally, news does manage to penetrate their skulls, so long as it airs on Entertainment Tonight or SportsCenter or there’s some scandal attached to it.  Then, they’re certain to have an opinion.  They know more about the life of a moviestar or the starting quarterback of their favorite football team than anyone who holds elected office.  They don’t spend a second thinking about issues, but they have an opinion on just about everything.  Just ask them.

They’re the first to start chanting “U-S-A!  U-S-A!” whenever an American athlete competes against someone from another country.  They’re the first to gloat, “America is the greatest country in the world,” even though they’ve never actually traveled overseas.  They’re the first to attack anyone who dares to question the conventional view of America’s role in the world, equivocating dissent with treason.  They think of themselves as the true patriots, even though they probably can’t name their local congressman.

In reality, they’re phonies and frauds.  And, they’re dangerous.

I have a message for all those undecideds who lack political conviction and who are void of anything that could possibly be construed as a personal philosophy.  Listen carefully.  My message is this:

DON’T VOTE!

I swear.  I will have more respect for you for sitting out another election than pretending that you really care for 5 minutes.  If you can’t spend as much time thinking about the future of your country as deciding what you’re going to order off Olive Garden lunch menu, we don’t need you cluttering up the lines on election day and diluting the end results with your indifference.

I hate voter registration drives.  No wait, that’s not strong enough.  I despise them.  I want them STOPPED.

This time of year, registration drives are everywhere to try and motivate people to get out and vote.  My question is — WHY?

Why should we encourage people with absolutely no knowledge of issues and an utter lack of interest in civic affairs to suddenly enter a voting booth and starting checking boxes of candidates they know nothing about?  It’s like begging a 5-year old to show up on November 9th and be an air traffic controller for a day.

Please, someone, explain this to me.

Why are volunteers out there parading around in parking lots with clipboards begging disinterested people to register and vote when these people obviously lack any desire to exercise their civic responsibilities?  These people haven’t bothered to vote in recent years (otherwise, their registration would automatically be renewed).  Moreover, all prospective new voters (such as those who turn 18, or move in-state for the first time) are given the option to register to vote when they obtain a driver’s license.

It all comes down to this:  The vast majority of unregistered voters haven’t been motivated enough to get involved politically in the past.  So, why do we now want them to barge into the current election cycle and cast ballots based on no knowledge whatsoever about the issues or the candidates?

Do we really want these blathering undecideds stepping into the voting booth and canceling out the INFORMED votes of people who are already registered and take elections seriously?  What kinds of decisions are these kinds of people going to make?  I’ll tell you.  They would likely make some very bad decisions and for all the wrong reasons.  They’re more likely to vote for or against a candidate based on they way they look, the ethnicity of their heritage, or who had the best TV commercial.

This isn’t about partisanship.  Even those I disagree with politically are, at least, engaged in the process and can articulate why they support their candidate.  I respect that.  But do you honestly think some buffoon who’s been coaxed into registering in a grocery store parking lot and who don’t follow current affairs, is going to make an informed decision?

Hell no.

He’s likely to vote based on which television commercial he enjoyed most, which candidate amused him, or something his buddy said in a bar after gulping down his seventh beer.

He’s going to make a presidential pick based on the candidate he’d “most like to have a beer with.”Idiot American Voter

The powers that be know how the game is played.  They know the secret to winning elections.  They know that, in order to win, they must reduce themselves, the political process, and the entire nation to the lowest common denominator.

What does this mean — the lowest common denominator?

Let’s say there’s a stadium full of people.  Someone gets on the loudspeaker and announces that everyone has just won a free dinner.  The only stipulation is — everyone in the stadium must agree on what’s to be served.

A vote is taken.  Thousands vote for steak.  Thousands vote for salmon.  Thousands vote for lobster.  The bottom line is, no one can agree on anything.  So, the meal comes down to a vote where finally, there are no objections, and the lowest common denominator prevails.  The verdict?  Everyone ends up eating beans and hot dogs.

That’s what political campaigns have come down to — beans and hot dogs in a voting booth — trying to appeal to and appease that last sliver of the indifferent, who might actually be motivated enough to get off their lazy asses and go out and pull the lever for their candidate.

These are the people who will decide our future.  The undecideds.

If after all the shit we’ve been through the last two years, you’re still “undecided”…..then please:

DON’T VOTE.  STAY HOME.

__________

 

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Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 1 comment

A Leaked Copy of the Obama and Romney National Convention Acceptance Speeches

 

You’re not going to believe this.

I got ahold of something no one else has seen yet.  And I’m about to share it with you.

Don’t waste your time tuning in to either of the national political conventions to be held over the next few weeks.

I mean it.  Don’t even bother.

I’ve managed to obtain my own secret copy of the acceptance speech that BOTH candidates will deliver to millions viewers, which officially launches the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign.

That’s right.  The speech that BOTH major candidates — Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney — will give at their respective conventions is right here next to me.  It’s in my possession.

Here’s the most amazing thing — the two speeches are one and the same.

You read that right — they are identical.  Oh, a few names here and there may be different.  But the same tired old flag-waving jingoistic orgy will be on display at both national political conventions, while tens of millions remain out of work and fear for their future.

But to all the pimps, whores, and spinmeisters who have reduced elections and governance to a marketing enterprise, all that really matters is perception rather than reality.  Style rather than substance.  Simplicity and illusion rather than practicalities and pragmatism.

And the toxic poison that keeps millions fooled, stupid, deceived, and in the dark is a 35-minute script that’s about to be read twice in prime time — once in front of Republicans in Tampa this week, and a second time in front of Democrats in Charlotte durng the first week of September.

What follows is a secret memo intended for both major candidates.  The instructions are perfectly clear and they are to be followed to the letter.  Take a look now and tune in later.  Watch how both nominees — President Barack Obama and candidate Mitt Romney deliver their acceptance speeches.

Here’s the actual script to be posted on both teleprompters:

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Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Blog, Personal | 3 comments

A Word of Thanks — Actually a Thousand Words of Thanks

nolan-dalla-photo

 

Today is my one-month anniversay.

That’s right.  This website has been live for exactly thirty days.

The time has come to give thanks where it’s due.  I want to thank several people who have been instrumental in creating my personal website.

As you glance at this list of names, by no means complete, the prevailing message that should come to you is how important people are to other people, and especially how certain people are so vital to me and my own happiness.  I would not be who I am without these extraordinary friends and colleagues.

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