Monday, January 02, 2012

Please, Stop That

I've always heard that if you get pooped on by a bird, it's supposed to be good luck, but the day before New Years, it looked like a scene from a Hitchcock movie at my house. Thousands of robins roosting in the trees bombed everything in sight, including the deck, the car, the dog, even the bird feeder. My father used to say, "It's a dirty bird that fouls its own nest," but if this is a portent of things to come, I should be having a shit-load of good luck this year.  I sure hope so, because after 2011, this crappy year couldn't end soon enough for me. In this political climate of wasted opportunity and obdurate myopia, it wasn't the heat, it was the stupidity, and there was plenty of dumb to spread around. Between the reactionary Republicans and the docile Democrats, these annoyances plagued my existence, which is why, in this new year, I'd like to implore the perpetrators to, "Please, stop that." Beginning with:

Hand-held Devices- I don't "tweet" and I don't text for several reasons, the first being that texting has destroyed the public's ability to spell and has given birth to a hundred cutesy abbreviations and a moronic shorthand. If I want to type, I'll do it on a keyboard and not with my thumbs, and I will continue to try and express myself like a person instead of a robot. As for "tweeting," I don't care what you had for lunch. Since CNN has begun adding viewer "tweets" to their broadcasts, the full idiocy is on display for the world to see. I tuned in to see the news, not some hash-tag, half-wit's opinion of the news. For those permanently lost in their hand-held gadget worlds, walking the streets like zombies and altering what it means to be in a "community," please, stop.

Local News- If all you watched was local news, you'd never leave the house. I don't blame the "talent," since most are either established professionals or ambitious telejournalists on their way up. But, my God, if they can't find a gruesome enough murder or rape in Memphis, they will search the tri-state area for an event that's suitably heinous. I've heard the old saying, "If it bleeds, it leads," but local news broadcasts would have you believe that the streets of Memphis are running with blood. I blame the General Managers and News Directors that insist on following the "formula," that's the same in every major city in every state. It's not about news, it's about ratings, and crime does seem to pay after all. Only, don't say that you're "on our side" when your bread and butter is scaring people. No wonder Memphis has lost population in the past decade. Please, stop doing that.

The Tea Party- I suppose the game's about over for the radical right until they form their third party and guarantee Barack Obama's re-election. Then they'll be relegated to the ranks of other loser, fringe parties that peddled hate instead of hope. What a strategy! Oppose every initiative the president proposes, then blame the Democrats for a lack of accomplishment. I hope that when the people go to the polls to literally clean House, they only bounce the right people, the far-right people. Unfortunately, the Tea Party still rules supreme in most state legislatures, including Tennessee, where they demonstrate their dedication to limited government by proposing to drug-test welfare recipients. I say, "You first, Senator." And prescription meds count. After the revolting Curry Todd episode, perhaps we should drug test for gun ownership. A drunken legislator driving around with a loaded weapon in his car is a sufficient reason to say, "Please, stop  that." Which brings me to;

Gun Carry Permits- We have hotheads in jail who shoot someone over parking disputes, yet the NRA has funded enough local politicians for them to continue their efforts to allow gun fanatics to carry their weapons anywhere at anytime. This includes public parks, bars and restaurants, even church. Say what you will about the "Occupy" protesters, at least they're not armed, unlike that other "grassroots" movement. And the carry-permit crowd are always "law abiding citizens," right up until the minute they blow someones brains out. I don't know who I fear more, street thugs, or the person driving in the lane next to me. Take Johnny Cash's advice and "don't take your guns to town." As for the NRA enriched "public servants" whose souls have been purchased, please, stop that.

Basketball Announcers- OK, I'm into the Grizzlies, but every time the arena announcer opens his mouth, my silver fillings begin to rattle. Enthusiasm is one thing, but this guttural hysteria and forced glee is so annoying, it detracts from the game. In the old days of AM rock radio, they called over-the-top, "personality" disc jockeys like this "pukers." You're not Michael Buffer, pal, and we already have cheerleaders, so could you  take it down a notch? I guess I was spoiled by 40 years of the late Fred Cook in the Coliseum, but the Tiger's announcer is similarly afflicted. Also, I know Memphis is stuck in a mediocre conference, but is it too much to ask the CSS network to buy a decent camera? It's like watching Russian television. And if I have to hear "We Will Rock You" one more time, I'm going to stick railroad spikes in my ears. The Griz have the unique opportunity of playing music exclusive to Memphis at home games. If an opponent is called for travelling, Rufus Thomas could sing, "Walking the Dog." I'd offer to help, but I'm not much of a company man. Meanwhile, your recorded musical selections suck, so please, stop that. And while we're on the subject; 

Pro Sports- Lockouts in football and basketball, juicing in baseball, billionaires fighting millionaires over that last slice of the pie- and there's something unseemly about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones building a billion dollar gilded football palace in the middle of a depression. This is like ancient Rome, when gladiatorial contests distracted the populace from the decline of the empire. It's fitting that their quarterback's name is Romo. Despite my affection for my Texas kinfolk, the Cowboys now truly represent "America's Team,"- opulence and excess in the midst of a losing season. As for Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban, have a seat Sonny, you ain't on the team. You own Dirk Nowitzkli's contract, not Dirk. And in this era of the "foreclosure society," why are the California Angels paying a 32 year old man $260 million to play ten years of baseball? I believe it was Curt Flood who once said, "A well-paid slave is still a slave." For both arrogant owners and showboat athletes, please, stop that.

Fox News- Fox News is like poison. It won't kill you all at once, just a little at a time. The unapologetic propaganda arm of the Republican Party is the electronic equivalent of the Hearst newspapers of the late 1880s, for which the term "yellow journalism" was invented. At least in the 19th century, you had to be able to read to be affected by a newspaper. Fox viewers soak it up like Brawny absorbent tissue and repeat it as gospel. You hear it in their conversations and read it in online comments and letters to the editor. Unfortunately, it's the gospel according to Rupert Murdoch, the scandal-ridden, right-wing foreigner who fueled and funded the ridiculous "birther" nonsense about the president. Fox's disinformation campaign didn't keep them from firing Glen Beck, the false Messiah searching for a cult. A recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University found that, "Fox viewers know less than people who don't watch any news." Murdoch, like Hearst, is a provocateur that will print anything that sells. Hearst came to regret his journalistic sins. As for Murdoch and Fox News, please, stop that. Better yet, go away, and take that sumbitch Limbaugh whicha'. Then we can all have a happy new year.


Anonymous said...

Amen to all that brother Sputnik! Only "stop that" that I would add;
The commercial Appeal, likely one of the least read, and least newsworthy rags on the heap, has decided to charge real money for their digital distribution. I can only assume that this pitiful excuse for a newspaper is being run by the same guys that gave us "New Coke"! I'd sure love to be an advertiser on their front page, ha ha ha.... "don't read em and weep" bye, bye, CA!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi roomie. ole rodeo cowboy here I carry a gun I carry the gun because the cop is too heavy in the city and in most you have to carry one to protect yourself because of the thugs that are running around taking something from you that they don't havet they don't have a life so they want yours. This is kind of like Democrats who need to give your money that you work for to someone that doesn't have money and will not work for it think about it roomie. I'm really tired of funding who the baby daddy an and all the other I'm entitled to this an that. they need to go to work somewhere do something be productive quit living pff all of the people that pay taxes and work how is the Hopie changiie stuff working for you

performs said...

Hi, Randy. I have a “stop that” to add if I may. It goes out to the talking heads who are paid to call the horseraces/beauty contests that we the sheople think of as “elections.” STOP proclaiming who the “VIABLE” candidates are and explaining in nauseating detail why they are and the other candidates are not. By doing this worthless analysis you foster two things: one, is the total avoidance of what the candidates real values are, who and what they represent, and a close look at their personal courage, honesty and integrity, past and present. Two, the pathetic notion that one must vote for the lesser of two evils or have their vote be wasted. (Note: rank choice voting would cripple and scare the shit out of the PTB.)

“The country is broken because the system is fixed.”

Thank God, our Creator is merciful and benevolent, cause this Show of His can sure put us right on the edge of our seats.

dahrius said...

This just about pretty much rocked. Your points about sports (I grew up LOVING sports) in terms of my former loved Cowboys and Jerry Joke and ESPECIALLY the NBA corporate everybody do the same thing at the games in terms of music and false enthusiasm. The corporate gods who we subsidize are the ones that fox news would go after if they had ANY integrity which as you pointed out they don't. So sad the second anonymous guy "rodeo cowboy" doesn't seem to get it (fox news gospel) unless he are not good at showing sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

How about the football announcers who constantly interject "football" in their blithering? As in, "He's a great football player, who carries the football down the football field in every football game..." Stop that! We KNOW we're watching football! Just refer to "the players(s)," "the ball," "the game," etc. As Emerson said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Those idiots are nauseatingly consistent. Stop that! (signed) Annoyed in Annapolis.

Anonymous said...

En route from New Orleans via the Memphis airport to destination Amsterdam, I picked up the Memphis Flyer. Read your latest Rant article. You've properly and poignantly restored my faith in America. Please keep doing that. Thanks! Monique