Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What I've learned, 2009 edition

Some personal lessons from a very long year:

* The fear of rejection is much more debilitating than being rejected. If living in fear is slavery, then taking a chance is your liberation. I'll learn this lesson a thousand times; one of these days, I'll take my own advice.

* Following your dreams should always be painful and agonizing. That way, if you take your licks and stay on track, you know it's the right path. The reward is true happiness.

* I either don't understand love, or I don't understand women. Either way, money can't buy it.

* Soul mates exist. And no, you never really get over it.

* I realize now that I'm part social conformist and part emotional anarchist. That is, I often act within the boundaries of the group, but I never compromise my feelings. Those I own completely.

* Successful people learn how to solve problems, not seek blame for them. This can be applied to every aspect of life.

* Never talk shit. It's a fact that your target is in some way better or more talented than you, and you're probably just jealous.

* Journalism is dead. Americans killed it. Americans, and greed. I hope somebody revives it in my lifetime.

* Most people want to make a million dollars. I want to save a million lives. It's corny but true.

* The first time I glide a duel-lumen tube into somebody's esophagus, I'll know I've finally made it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

EMT perspectives

I've concluded, based on what I've learned so far about the EMT experience, that one of the greatest road blocks to good patient care is an inability to empathize with the sick and injured. Undoubtedly, this shortcoming can result from any of several circumstances, be it complete burnout from dealing with horrible situations on a daily basis, skewed motivations for being a medic in the first place, or inexperience with the feelings of terror associated with the receiving end of a true emergency.

In short, if you can't empathize as an EMT, you're either sick of your job, too full of yourself to express concern, or simply can't conceptualize what it feels like to think you're about to die.

Inherent in this line of work is a tendency to feel excited about being involved in true emergencies, which carries with it a double-edged sword: In order to take part in a true emergency, somebody needs to be truly hurt. We hear medics -- both career and those in training -- excitedly tell stories about the latest mayhem as if they're comparing gleeful war stories. Does this mean these medics inadvertently enjoy seeing people in pain? Or do they just enjoy the rush of helping people get through that pain? Obviously, this career includes a hero aspect that, combined with the chemical reactions of high-pressure situations, can affect your mind like a drug.

I'll tell you one thing: The patient in crisis would be surprised to learn that his or her traumatic experience is just another exciting story for the medics. Then again, maybe the thrill of a call is what keeps people in this career sane long enough to retire.

I'm approaching this from the view of somebody who has yet to go out on a call or be exposed to an overly traumatic emergency situation. But I find myself getting eager about the prospect of seeing these things, and I wonder whether this is the right perspective to take. When it comes time for me to decide what kind of medic I'm going to be, I think I have to find a balance between my motivation to help people in a professional, skilled and empathic manner, and my urge to experience the adrenaline associated with crazy and gruesome situations. I imagine that if you lean too much one way or the other, you ultimately become an ineffective emergency provider.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My journey begins

I was reflecting the other day to a friend that life can be equated to a series of significant events that, once experienced, can never be relived the same way ever again. I listed off some examples from the top of my head: first sleepover, first kiss, first time driving, first graduation day, first marriage day, first birth, first night living away from home.

Most optimists would say that the challenge is to make all the insignificant events that happen in between -- what you're doing here, now, at this moment -- matter for something. Unfortunately, this root beer I'm drinking will never taste quite like the first time I ever tried root beer. But it's still sweet, and it still bubbles in my mouth, and I can still remember the first time.

If I had a book of significant events in my life, I would include an entry for the first day of my first Emergency Medical Services class. It wasn't as much what I learned as what I didn't learn.

I would love to say that I had some cosmic epiphany during this first class about the deeper meaning of dedicating my life and well-being to people who will meet me in their worst possible circumstances. I would be humbled to report that I was so inspired by the instructor's words that I found the underlying reason for my desire to be slapped by the harsh palm of reality. At the very least, it would be nice if I could deliver a significant explanation for this journey on which I've embarked -- to be a paramedic.

I can do none of those things.

Maybe it's because I don't need an explanation. Maybe my drive for logical reasons for everything that happens in my life has broken down. I feel so overwhelmed by the weight of this journey that I can't breathe. I ache at the notion that I'm making the wrong decision.

Then I remember that day last term in my biology class when I discovered the meaning of my path. I saw a girl collapse out of her chair, and I didn't think; I reacted. Here's another one for that book of significant events: First emergency. I was at her side in a blink, and I watched her open her eyes as I was bending down to check her breathing and pulse. I looked at her, and she looked at me, and we shared a moment of panic. That moment affected me deeply. She's OK, I thought to myself. Or did I say it out loud? Then, the rush of chemicals, the dizzy feeling in my head, and that internal knowledge that I was experiencing a deep, human feeling with her: the fear of the unknown.

I was still kneeling. I looked down at my arm; it was still clutching her shoulder. I'd put it there to gently shake her when she was momentarily unconscious. My mouth was dry. My vision was clear and focused. I asked if she was OK. She looked confused. Finally, she nodded.

The exhilarating panic was replaced with relief. She was breathing, and I didn't have to crack her ribs. When I looked around the room, I was shocked. I was the only one there.

I felt something that day that I'd never experienced before, and it's not something you read in a book. It's not something that an instructor can dictate to you on the first day of your first EMS class. It was facing the unexpected with confidence and accepting the fear. It was exciting. It was frightening. It was beautiful.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Who let the dipshits out?

It must be very disheartening to be a Congressman.

You kiss millions of asses and spend millions of dollars to win a tiny office in the nation's Capitol, where you spend your years vying for power with 434 other lawmakers. You rant, rave, kiss babies, sell your soul and dodge scandals, and at the end of the day when it's time to come home and relax, you're greeted with a bunch of constituents who attend your town hall meetings and spew a bunch of bullshit from the Glenn Beck show. They yell and scream about socialism and Nazis and birth certificates until the whole world seems like it's going to collapse in a wave of paranoid schizophrenia.

And then the realization hits: You've just wasted years of your life representing a bunch of idiots who actually believe the president of the United States is endorsing a diabolical plot to kill babies and grandmas. These constituents are lacking the basic reasoning skills necessary to understand that the system we have now, where insurance companies decide whether or not you are worthy of getting health care, is more akin to "death panels" than a government option, where all people would be accepted regardless of pre-existing conditions. Oh, and don't forget rationing! As if our current system doesn't ration health care to those who can pay exorbitantly high premiums -- and leave everybody else in the cold.

I never imagined Americans could be so capable of stabbing themselves in the back.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Psychic regurgitation

Lately I've been struck with the sickening, panic-stricken feeling that I have a fundamental misunderstanding of human relationships. This is usually followed by a short period of soul-wrenching hopelessness, in which I over-analyze every attempt I've made to connect with a female. Brooding comes next, often as I speed through the city at night, cursing myself for being so obsessively introspective. Anxiety pulses through me. I feel like I'm in a dark comedy, only I'm not completely in on the joke.

What I can't conceptualize during these bouts of hazy loneliness is how anybody can possibly hang on long enough to cut through this shell I've constructed for myself. Long enough to see that I'm actually a pretty happy, outgoing person under these layers of jaded boredom. Because it's becoming increasingly hard for me to give a shit when I'm feeling like this. I desperately search for some kind of meaning, but I only find emptiness and anger boiling inside me over my own failures.

And just like that, the feeling fades away. I force it to fade away. Life is way too fucking short to feel like this.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

On being self-absorbed

A short moment for personal crap:

Lately I feel stuck when I try to write, like I have nothing interesting to say, or I have too much to say and my brain can't conceptualize it. Mostly I'm just too stressed out to care about anything past my own problems. It's a selfish self-absorption, a byproduct of following nearly impossible dreams and worrying endlessly about my place in the world. Often, the consequence plays out in my relationships, and thus I'm back to where I was a couple years ago: wondering what comes next. A little bit lonely. A little bit scared. Left with the overbearing feeling that I'm running out of time to get it right. My eyes are open, but I'm stumbling around in the dark.

Maybe the dark is where I'm most comfortable. It hurts when I hit a wall, but it's challenging and morbidly exciting. Boredom is more than a feeling for me; it's a significant detour to living my life. I want to fight boredom on all fronts, and maybe the unconscious way I do that is to force uncertainty on myself. Unfortunately, my hunger for adventure is often too single-minded. It's hard for me to share the hunger with others.

I would call this a momentary feeling of discord, but I'm reminded of something I wrote a few years back during a similar period. It sounds eerily familiar:

My life is always so dull when I'm comfortable. What I really need is a little chaos, agony, repression, emotional warfare. I think it invigorates my soul. I think it reminds me that I'm human and alive and capable of doing something besides this corporate, soul-eating office life.
So here I go again, taking another step into darkness. Also: Can anybody remind me how to, like, date?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

@ Grassley: u r an asshole

One thing I've never understood about the American political system is how being elected president seems to automatically exclude you from the right to enjoy yourself ever again. Granted, some presidents have taken the idea of down time to the extreme, such as Bush's penchant for vacationing in Texas every time Cheney had a heart arrhythmia. But this obsession with Obama's extracurricular activities, and the notion that he shouldn't be able to leave the office long enough to show his wife a night on the town, is just getting ridiculous.

I mean, the man can't even have a fucking cheeseburger without Fox News concluding that his taste for mustard is anti-American. We've reached a sorry state of affairs when a major news network in America spends an entire week dissecting the president's choice of condiments.

Today, Chuck Grassley of Iowa bitched about Obama sightseeing in Paris during his trip to Europe. Grassley, who apparently doesn't speak the English language, had these things to say, via Twitter:

"Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us 'time to deliver' on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND."

"Pres Obama while u sightseeing in Paris u said 'time to delivr on healthcare' When you are a 'hammer' u think evrything is NAIL I'm no NAIL."
First of all: What the hell is he talking about? I can gather that he's angry about Obama inserting himself into the health care debate as Congress plods along on legislation, but the whole hammer/nail thing is escaping me. And whoever showed a 150-year-old Republican senator from Iowa how to use Twitter must be shot. Immediately.

Drudge also whined today about how Obama's wife and kids stayed in Paris for an extra day so they could shop, while Obama headed back to the White House. Well, holy shit. I can't believe the travesty. I can't believe the first family would want to shop in one of the world's most popular places to, uh, shop. The audacity is beyond words.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Protesters protest....uh....what?

My hope in the next sentence is that I can write a summary of today, Tax Day, without lapsing into a fatal depression.

So, here goes: Waving overtly racist signs and grasping desperately for relevance, a sea of Fox News viewers calling themselves "tea baggers" took to the streets on Tax Day, hoping to catch the spirit of the historic Boston Tea Party in which American colonists rose up against unfair taxation by the British. And somehow -- some fucking how -- that makes sense to every leading conservative commentator in America.

Well, apparently, this country is still rampaged by toothless idiots in Sarah Palin T-shirts who mistake racism for a legitimate airing of grievances. People who clearly skipped their high school history classes to smoke meth in the bathroom and hit each other in the head with hammers from the wood shop. People who wield the greatest power in the world -- freedom of speech -- to wave racially charged signs about Barack Obama's heritage at a fucking anti-tax rally. Huh?

The organizers of these protests probably thought the populist message would usher in some new conservative era, like a generational wave washing over America in some bullshit sea change of Republican politics. Instead, it made one thing clear: Nobody in the conservative movement knows what the fuck they're doing. I mean, what was the message of Tea Bag '09? You surely won't be able to tell from the signs. Was it that corporate bailouts are bad? Was it that Obama is a socialist/facist/Hitler/Kenyan/Jew? Was it that Obama wasn't born in America? Was it that income taxes are unfair? Was it that liberals want to kill your children? Was it that conservatives are just pissed off and aren't capable of collectively deciding what they're pissed off about? Please, somebody tell me; I'm dying to know.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, or enraged, by the fact that so many people are incapable of independent thought. This is the same schtick that's been running on conservative airwaves since Obama declared his candidacy. We aren't hearing anything new, and if this is the future of conservatism, I guess we can rejoice.

Oh, and how could I forget the best part of the day: Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Hopping on the hysterical rhetoric bandwagon, Perry toured the state with his new Texas-must-secede message. As if the possibility of Texas leaving the union is supposed to be some revolutionary act aimed at stoking populist rage and proud Texan independence. SNORE. Hell, it's perfectly OK with me. I hope the whole state breaks off from the continent and floats away into the Gulf of Mexico. The sooner Texas leaves the United States, the sooner we can kick their congressmen and senators to the curb. Not to mention that we can avoid any possibility of one of the Bush twins running for president.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Religion: The abusive drunk uncle that won't go away

I've reached the stage in the pre-paramedic program where the school tries to cram as much science into my head as possible in a 10-week period. The hope is two-fold: One, students will realize that it's way too much work and just quit, thus weeding out the slackers from the dedicated; and two, students will either learn or relearn how to think at the scientific level -- that is, make critical conclusions based on observable information.

Clearly, science-based observing and concluding is helpful with medical emergencies, such as when somebody is grabbing his throat and looking panicked. A critical thinker might draw the conclusion based on these observations that the man is choking. Conversely, a fundamentalist might draw the conclusion based on these observations that that the man has been taken over by an invisible demon living in the ground. And thus you have the difference between science and religion.

The crux of my little observation here is that the so-called "war on science" by religious people and groups is a misnomer. War implies that two sides or factions are fighting each other. This is incorrect. The core mission of science is not to disprove religion, or to disprove anything for that matter. That's the whole point: Science doesn't prove anything, it only theorizes based on observations over a period of time. We're all pretty sure that when we throw a ball in the air on Earth, it will fall. However, it's possible that one day, it'll just keep going up, and then the theories will be revisited. It will most likely never happen, but science concedes that it could. Until then, gravity is the highest truth available based on the facts.

Scientists will never ask the question of whether God created gravity, not because science is fighting religion but because the hypothesis is impossible to test. Why should science suddenly reject its method of observing simply because a massive group of people believe in God? The faithful keep treating scientific theories as a war on God, but really it's science that is being assaulted. The fundamental beauty of science is that it can evolve and change as new information becomes available. You can't say the same about faith.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rhymes with dope

So the pope -- you know, the God-chosen leader of the Catholics -- traveled to Africa -- you know, where 22 million people are dying of AIDS -- and told its people that condoms are bad. Why? Because an invisible man in the sky who created the vast universe and life itself apparently gives a shit if somebody straps on a piece of latex before having sex. That's why. Yet more evidence that the pope is a soulless, hysterical idiot:

(From The Advocate, via Google News) Pope Benedict XVI has declared that condom use not only doesn't slow down the spread of HIV/AIDS, but actually makes the pandemic worse.

"You can't resolve [AIDS] with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters on Tuesday aboard a plane headed to Africa, a continent ravaged by AIDS. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."

According to the New York Times, Benedict has never addressed condom use. Predecessor Pope John Paul II often proclaimed abstinence, not condoms, would prevent the deadly spread of AIDS.

The Roman Catholic Church rejects the use of condoms based on its teachings against artificial contraception.

Hey, Cardinal Ratfucker, here's a tip: What the people of Africa need is some fucking help, not a sanctimonious speech from a man who lives in a golden palace in Rome and tells other people how to live. If you really want to make a difference, put down your diamond-studded scepter and feed an African child dying of starvation.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cheney the irrelevant

I was beginning to enjoy my life as an American again, when suddenly I was reminded that this country twice elected a criminal mastermind. And then my day really started to suck.

This troubling nugget of history roared back into my consciousness when the madman himself managed to con his way onto Sunday's TV circuit and try to scare the pants off us, just like he did when he was our fearless leader. But for all of Dick Cheney's masterful efforts at controlling his emotions while whining hysterically about our intrusive Constitution, I couldn't help but sense an overt fear in his own rhetoric. A sort of thinly veiled desperation.

And I know why.

It's simple: The only way history will justify the actions of the Bush administration is if Obama fails to prevent another attack on America. Just picture how awful Bush/Cheney will look if Obama succeeds in ending the wars AND preventing an attack AND repealing all of the sinister, Constitution-violating "reforms" of the Bush administration. I think we'll all reach the same conclusion: All those "reforms" -- the torture, rendition, spying, violations of civil liberties -- were a bullshit power grab that didn't necessarily protect us from anything. In this sense, Cheney is secretly praying for an attack while feigning all this concern for America. What a dick.

So, yeah, Cheney is kind of freaking out. Imagine an America where people can enjoy safety from terrorism while retaining their civil liberties (and that even goes for alleged terrorists, who deserve due process just like any other accused criminal). An America like that is a threat to Cheney and his fascist, big-government ideals.

After watching the Cheney spectacle and reaching these conclusions, I felt a lot better. Cheney isn't doing anything more than trying to sell his legacy to an increasingly skeptical public. After all, who wants to die knowing he or she was arguably the worst thing that ever happened to America?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The power of spelling

Not doing much for your cause there, buddy.

EDIT: As mentioned on the ensuing comment section, an increase in inter cranial pressure is generally, you know, a bad thing.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Observations for the day:

#1: I need to stop prefacing my sentences. Free tip: Overused subordinating and dependent clauses make writing weak, especially if you use them to pad the effect of a sentence. An example in a recent blog post:

I don't know if anybody else has noticed this, but our culture has officially cratered into an abyss of mindless superficiality, petty judgments and worthless bottom-feeding celebrity gossip drivel.
The subordinating clause of that sentence is useless and lazy. Who cares if anybody else has noticed it? This is opinion writing, after all. I'm making the statement; if anybody else noticed my observation, they'd either agree, disagree or move on with their lives. It's a fallacy that longer sentences make the writer sound more intelligent. Instead, use direct language for argument -- too many words clutter the effectiveness of the language. Removing the subordinate sentence makes the whole clause much stronger:
Our culture has officially cratered into an abyss of mindless superficiality, petty judgments and worthless bottom-feeding celebrity gossip drivel
#2: I talked of losing my idealism in the last post. I was working at that time in a state of deep discomfort and rage. It simply isn't true that I've lost my idealism, although I have lost my faith in media. The thing is, journalism is not a product, as much as publishers and money managers would like to make it so. Journalism is an idea that can never die, no matter the medium. The principle that people must be informed and allowed to participate in public discourse is the foundation of our democracy.

No, my idealism will never die, no matter how much bullshit gets thrown at me by corrupt bureaucratic trolls. Idealism transcends career. Idealism is the willingness to say that what you're doing is good and helpful and even heroic at some level. Without that, working is reduced to the thing you do between 9 and 5 for a paycheck.

#3: Getting up early rocks. I used to hate it, but it's really the only way to start the day.

Folks, I promise a politically related update soon, and not so much of this personal crap. After all, this is for the most part a political blog. And I haven't ranted about Rush "Oops I Destroyed The Party" Limbaugh's disturbingly jilted head-to-body ratio yet. For shame.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Come one, come all. See the acrobats and monkeys. Witness the death of journalism. This, friends, is the media circus.

Oh, the man behind the curtain? Don't mind him. He's only here to help. Keep drinking that bitter concoction. It's for your own good, son. Soon, you'll see, everything will be numb.

I have savage news, friends. Savage indeed. I'm afraid I've lost my way. My flashlight has flickered out. I've been plunged into the darkness of uncertainty. The guiding light, my principles, has been sapped. I carry with me only enough precious bread to make it through the night. Tomorrow, the unknown will peak above the horizon. Tomorrow, I face the day with heavy doubt.

It's been a bad day. I take that back. It's been one of those days where you're so jilted by an impenetrable force that you spend most of it questioning yourself. The scope of it is confusing: Am I really seeing clearly? Or am I simple jaded by cynicism and hopelessness? Is this really happening?

If this is cryptic, I apologize. Wise people have told me it's not smart to poop where you eat. But writing is catharsis. This is catharsis. Suffice it to say that, for me, this is my eulogy for idealism. I'm not even sure what the word means anymore. Maybe it's a product; maybe it's that grand idea that can't die. I hope it's the latter. I hope, for the future of journalism.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Trouble in frozen Camelot

Bristol Palin, America's favorite symbol of failed abstinence-only education, granted an interview with Fox News this week. I was so giddy about this story that I nearly crashed into Planned Parenthood as I read it on my way to work. Ah, irony:

Bristol Palin has a difference of opinion with her famous mother, saying teen abstinence is "not realistic at all."

"Everyone should be abstinent, whatever, but it's not realistic at all," the 18-year-old mom said in an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, who pressed her on why.

"I don't want to get into detail about it," Palin said, before explaining that sex is "more and more accepted now... among kids my age."

She hopes other teens will learn from her story.

"You should just wait 10 years," she said. "It would just be so much easier."

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a strong advocate of abstinence-only education, a position that drew attention and sometimes scorn when the family announced, soon after John McCain named Palin as his running mate, that Bristol was pregnant at 17.

One of the things teens can avoid by waiting to have sex is a very awkward talk with their parents. Palin said she enlisted the baby's father, Levi Johnston, and her best friend to tell Todd and Sarah Palin she was pregnant. But getting the words out, she said, was "harder than labor." Eventually her friend "blurted it out."

The 18-year-old said her son brings her so much joy that she doesn’t regret having him at all. She’s engaged to Johnston, the baby’s father, and said her fiance sees their son every day.

She also said she didn't regret the birth of 8-week-old Tripp, and that the decision was hers, not her mother's.

"I wish it would happen in like 10 years so I could have a job and an education and be like prepared and have my own house and stuff. But ... he brings so much joy. I don't regret it at all."

She added: "I hope that people learn from my story and just like — I don't know, prevent teen pregnancy, I guess." -- From The Seattle PI

Well, so much for Sarah Palin's storied keep-my-family-out-of-it whine fest. Kinda hard to argue that the media are maliciously targeting your brood when your daughter volunteers for it.

Hilariously, Bristol Palin's intent was, like, to totally, like, inform America's troubled youth about the bummer of, like, teen pregnancy. In the process, I'm guessing she was hoping to help the abstinence cause. Then she dropped the bombshell: Abstinence doesn't work! Uh-oh. She must have a fundamental misunderstanding about which part of the interview the media would find more delicious: Her honorable efforts at informing America's youth, or her rejection of abstinence-only education, which as we know is a major part of the failed Sarah Palin platform.

And by the way, when your chief quality as a dad is that you bother to show up on a daily basis to see the baby, it might be time to reconsider the whole fatherhood thing. Any idiot can do that; it takes real skill to assure that the baby doesn't grow up to be a raving hick with a five-word vocabulary.

So pinch me now if I'm dreaming, friends, because this is almost too good to be true. I never thought these two words would ever appear in the same sentence: Bristol Palin, you're my new hero. Not only have you directly contradicted your own batshit crazy governor mom on a hot-button political issue, but you've slapped every last abstinence-only advocate right in the face with some truth. Nice work (no joke!).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Celebrity journalists should all get ass cancer. That's right, I said it.

Our culture has officially cratered into an abyss of mindless superficiality, petty judgments and worthless bottom-feeding celebrity gossip drivel.

I'm talking specifically about the latest on Jessica Simpson, a story that has gained surprising steam among what I once considered to be legitimate realms of journalism. This whole Jessica-Simpson-is-fat thing is a sorry chapter in our grocery-store-line mentality. It's a hilarious depiction of classic American laziness and self-satisfaction, where bored, truly obese housewives with 27 children can feel better about themselves because the gossip mongers have declared that a member of the Celebrity Elite is insufficiently anorexic. It gives a flicker of blissful hope to that mind-numbingly stupid section of society that actually believes this shit matters.

OK, I'll bite. Briefly.

First of all, Jessica Simpson is a talentless hack who has clawed her way to notoriety through a variety of failed enterprises that grow increasingly annoying as time passes, painfully and slowly. I haven't actually enjoyed a single piece of entertainment sap that she's ever created, and if it were up to me, she'd be working at the local Muchas Gracias and serving up beef tacos to drunk frat boys at 4 a.m.

But despite the the fact that I hate everything she does and says -- including her bullshit religious rhetoric that she obviously uses to win fans -- and her douchebag of a dad who whores her out to the masses like low-quality crack, I'm compelled to concede two things:

First, Jessica Simpson is not fucking fat. Are you kidding me? Look at that picture. In a culture that crams Big Macs like hot cakes and salutes the corporate KFC flag like it was raised at Iwo Jima, you're telling me that THIS counts as fat? A bad choice of pants, perhaps, and a healthy amount of meat on the bones, but not fat. No, idiots, let me show you overweight, not that it even matters:

Good. I'm glad we could clear that up. Moving on to concession #2:

Hey celebrity "journalists": Asserting in every dirt Web site, crappy gossip rag and mindless Hollywood TV show that Jessica Simpson is obese is a sure sign that your life has officially been equated to a steaming pile of dog shit. The "journalists" who continue to perpetuate this false reality that 35 pounds and 0% body fat is the average American image of beauty can all die of ass cancer. Do you hear me? Ass. Cancer.

Jessica Simpson, I still hate your music, movies, TV shows, clothing lines and fragrances. But you don't deserve to have your moderately enlarged butt pedaled around these idiot magazines like a two-dollar hooker, and it especially isn't fair for a bunch of second-rate gossip mongers to capitalize on the falsification of beauty and the bastardization of female body image. Now look at me, I sound like a militant feminist. God I hate you celebrity "journalist" jackasses. Go back to your scummy holes and meaningless Bill O'Reilly internships, you insignificant flecks of journalistic afterbirth.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Palin Watch '09: Nobody Cares Anymore Edition

Is it just me, or is Sarah Palin the only person who continues to bring up the whole who's-the-real-mother-of-Trig fiasco? For fuck's sake, somebody in Alaska needs to tap her on the shoulder and inform her that nobody cares anymore. Nobody really believed it in the first place -- although it was hilarious -- and now it's just getting ridiculous.

In a recent interview with Esquire, in which the late VP pick continued to mischaracterize her own candidacy, Palin would have us believe that a legitimate newspaper in Alaska is still calling her office to ask about it. Riiiiight.

Palin: "I'll tell you, yesterday the Anchorage Daily News, they called again to ask — double-, triple-, quadruple-check — who is Trig's real mom," Palin told Esquire. "And I thought, 'Okay, more indication of continued problems in the world of journalism.'"
In the interview, Palin also decried how she was handled by the McCain campaign, saying she should have let them know she'd be "callin' some of the shots." Palin indicated that a lack of understanding led to her limited role. Personally, I think it's because she's a worthless, pandering symbol of batshit crazy fundamentalism who the campaign could strut out on stage like a show horse and then lock in a hotel room so she wouldn't speak. Yet in true Palin form, the good governor continued to take her own quotes out of context to make herself look like the real brains of the operation. Here's what she had to say about her famous Alaska-Russia link (Emphasis included):
Palin: You have to let it go. Even hard news sources, credible news sources — the comment about, you can see Russia from Alaska. You can! You can see Russia from Alaska. Something like that — a factual statement that was taken out of context and mocked — what you have to do is let that go.
I think Palin's fatal flaw is that she hasn't discovered the wonders of fact checking, which is sad considering this woman has a journalism degree. We didn't laugh at her for stating that one can gaze upon Russia from the shores of Alaska; we laughed at her for saying that the proximity qualified as foreign policy experience. Is she so stupid that she doesn't even realize why her quote was so ridiculous? For somebody who seems to care so much about the media using context, she certainly doesn't grasp the concept very well. Here's her quote, in context:
"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border." --Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008
You just can't make this shit up, people. It's a wonder I made it through this interview with my sanity intact. She wrapped it all up with a telling quote:
Palin: Everything I've ever needed to know I learned through sports.
Oh really?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Conservative pundits: Still lying after all these years

The soulless ghouls who lurk within the halls of conservative media have always been easily ignored, but it's hard to shrug and move on when their insane alarmist whining turns to outright lies.

Consider the three stooges of fear-based conservative ranting -- Rush "Jesus I'm Huge" Limbaugh, Sean "Please Lord Shave My Eyebrows" Hannity, and Michelle "It's Not Racist Cause I Sort Of Look Asian" Malkin -- who recently hit the airwaves raving about Obama's economic adviser Robert Reich. Reich, it seems, told Congress that stimulus money should create jobs that benefit a wide range of people, such as women and minorities, and not JUST white construction workers who dominate infrastructure jobs. The "just" is a key word here, as Reich was adding people to the list, not disqualifying. Here's what he said:

Now let me say something about infrastructure. It seems to me that infrastructure spending is a very important and good way of stimulating the economy. The challenge will be to do it quickly, to find projects that can be done that have ahigh social return that also can be done with the greatest speed possible.

I am concerned, as I'm sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high skilled people who are already professions or to white male construction workers. I have nothing against white male construction workers. I'm just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well. And therefore, in my remarks I have suggested to you, and I'm certainly happy to talk about it more, ways in which the money can be -- criteria can be set so that they money does go to others: the long term unemployed, minorities, women, people who are not necessarily construction workers or high-skilled professionals.
Enter the panic police, those serial killers of journalism. When Reich said MORE people should be eligible for stimulus-based jobs, apparently Malkin/Hannity/Limbaugh heard that FEWER (white) people should be eligible. Which makes sense, I guess, if you're a fucking idiot. Here's what Malkin said:
And just today -- I think this is very related, Megyn -- another video came out of Robert Reich, the economic adviser formerly from the Clinton administration and now from [President] Obama, talking about how the stimulus funds should not go to white male contractors. It's the same kind of mentality of bean counting, and, you know, it's the same old, same old. It's the same old Democrat mentality of treating people based on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character or the content of their resumes. You know, not exactly the kind of legacy we thought Martin Luther King was supposed to leave.
Hey Malkin, I'm just throwing this out there, but do you think it's wise to blatantly misquote a public figure when his statement is easily accessible and in pretty clear English? I'm just saying it might make you look like a real asshole in front of all those savvy Fox News viewers (hold for laughter). Now, watch how Limbaugh puts down his cheeseburger for eight seconds to add some healthy racism to Reich's statement:
LIMBAUGH: Talking about the money we're going to spend on the infrastructure plan. Roads, bridges, all that stuff. But he doesn't want it to go to white construction workers; he wants it to go to inexperienced minorities and single women. He's got nothing against white construction workers but, but, but, but the money needs to go to others. These people are crazy. They're just -- if I heard myself talk like this I would be so embarrassed.
What was that about the liberal media again?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our long fundamentalist nightmare is over

"We know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers." -- Barack Obama

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pitter patter of little feet (in Palin's mouth)

I was viewing this absurd video the other day featuring a (still) breathlessly amateur and semi-literate Sarah Palin and some hackish "interviewer" who made me want to tear out my retinas. The gist of the illuminating conversation -- a result of laughably obvious, pandering and leading questions -- was the following:

* Sarah Palin's inability to answer tough questions -- such as "what newspapers and magazines do you read?" -- was actually a media conspiracy by Katie Couric to make Palin look bad.

* The reason why Palin couldn't name any specific reading material is that Katie Couric's question was unclear and misleading. This is a blatant lie, of course, given that Couric was crystal clear when she asked: "When it comes to establishing your worldview...what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped?" And when Palin responded by saying "any of them," Couric followed up with: "Which ones specifically?" Sadly, Palin couldn't name a single fucking newspaper, even after Couric elaborated. Now, Palin wants to write it off as though she didn't understand the question, hoping nobody will actually go back and review the Couric interview. Some day, politicians are going to realize that YouTube has been invented.

* Just for giggles, after essentially saying that the English language is a foreign concept, Palin rails off a few publications she peruses: USA Today and The New York Times. Hey Palin, just a suggestion here, but if you're trying to convince people of your creativity in the newspaper department, you might want to pick something other than the highest circulated paper in the country.

* Palin feels it isn't newsworthy for a Republican candidate who publicly supports failed abstinence-only policies to have an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter. Further, when comedians poke fun at the hilarious irony, she turns into a "mama grizzly" (although she's most likely the last, given Alaska's fetish for killing off wildlife). Instead of attacking her family, Palin says, the media should focus on her. Unless the media are questioning her qualifications or reading habits, then that's off limits, too.

* Palin's stupidity provides job security for people in the "elite" media, and she's happy to oblige. Or something. I stopped paying attention so I could go throw myself off a building.

Here's a link to the video.