Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jon Stewart is My New Hero

Hello all.  I just watched a rerun of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart that just blew me away.  Even though it was a rerun, I had never seen it, and I must say it was mind blowing.  The entire first half of the episode was a parody impersonation of Glen Beck.  It was hysterical.  Stewart completely hacked on the fear mongering hate speech that Beck espouses.  If anyone deserve mocking, it most certainly is Glen Beck.  This guy is a total maroon who spews at the top of his lungs that anyone that ISN'T a conservative is associated with the Anti-Christ. 

How Beck got on TV to begin with should be beyond me, but the fact that it isn't is the real problem.  When Network executives look for ratings anyway they can (ie reality shows), news networks are beginning to have to polarize and inflame.  Mores the pity when the objective journalism of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite has seen it's end a long time ago. 

However, we have salvation from the Bully of the bully pulpit from both the far left (ie Ed Schultz from MSNBC) and the far right (ie Glen Beck of Fox News) from the most unlikely of sources, that of the comedy industry.  The fact that most average Americans get their news from shows by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Mahr is an interesting statistic.  However anyone else interprets the statistical numbers of this phenomena, I interpret it as Americans are sick of the fear mongering hate speech and rhetoric from both sides of the argument and these shows expose the absurd levels both sides take these arguments.  These comedians take the public displays from these hypocrites and slap them down with their own hypocrisy.  AND, this is the part that will get me every time, they show it in a hysterical way that makes these morons look like the fools they are.

When Jon Stewart pokes at the ridiculous stories, like the Eric Massa fondling fiasco, and Stephen Colbert sarcastically let's Sarah Palin she has gone too far with her being offended over non-politically correct speech, and Bill Mahr puts a panel of people with various viewpoints on to humorously debate the current political issues of our country, it shows me a sad fact of life.  The only people that are willing and able to tell us all the truth about our politics are comedians, because we know damned well that the people involved are too self invested to do it themselves (including the journalists and "journalistic" political commentators like Schultz, Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Keith Olbermann, etc.).  It's a good thing we have real patriots likes these comedians, otherwise we'd all be misinformed zombie sheep bowing to the hypocritical and sometimes completely insane rhetoric from those who are in power and their puppets.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Random Thoughts

Hello all.  Today, I have no real topic of focus.  I have covered a lot of my concerns in my previous posts.  However, I'm sure if I missed anything, I'll rant about it at a later date.  Today I just have a few scattered comments. 

The big news is the Health Care Bill vote.  It's about time we see it one way or the other and move on.  Then, there's March Madness.  I've never followed college basketball, but I have at least one game I want to watch.  That's University of Vermont against University of Syracuse.  This is because of a a couple reasons.  One, UVM is the local team and it rarely plays in the tournament.  Next, One of my closest friends graduated from the University of Syracuse, in Utica, so there's loose connection there.  Then, there's the part where there are 2 brothers, who grew up in Canada, playing against each other in that game.  I just find that thought entertaining and just want to see it.

On the geek front, I just got my new computer, so now I can finally play Batman Arkham Asylum.  I've seen the graphics and reviews, but have yet to experience it.  This will be fun.  Also, Ironman 2 comes out in acouple of months.  That will be a fun watch.  Plus, who can beat a sexy redheaded Scarlett Johanson in tight, black leather.  That Ryan Reynolds is one lucky S.O.B.  Speaking of" Mr. Johanson", I can't wait for his next 2 movies.  He'll have Green Lantern come out next year, and I'm a big GL fan.  Then, he's signed to star in a Deadpool movie.  He was good as Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool) in X-Men Origins Wolverine, but I'm sure he'll thrive as the wisecracking assassin, Deadpool.  As a fan of both comedy and action films, Deadpool will probably completely tweak my brain.  It'll be great.

Well, those are my current random thoughts.  Catch you all later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Top Sports Stories

Hello all. I don't have a whole lot to talk about today, however, I would like to talk about the top two sports news stories. Those are Tiger Woods' return to the PGA and the death of former Rams defensive lineman Merlin Olsen.

First, to Tiger Woods. I'm glad everyone is talking more about his return to his profession than his personal life. I am of the mind that the only people that should care about what Tiger was doing with other women are Tiger, his wife, their family, and the women involved. Past that, WHO CARES?!! All the media attention on his personal life is stupid, and only proves how invasive and voyeuristic our society has become. However, now the story is about what it should be about, his golf performance. It's not about what's going on in his personal life, but how it affects his game. That's all anyone should need care about. Now, I know some of you are saying that you don't even care about golf. That's fine. I'm not a fan of the PGA either. However, as a sports fan, and a fan of anything in general, I think professional performance should always be the focus on anybody that has a public job (ie politicians, actors, movie stars, musicians, artists, athletes, etc.). Therefore, bravo to those that ONLY cover Tiger Woods' return to golf and how his situation will affect his PERFORMANCE. The way sports should be covered.

Now, onto something sadder. The world lost a very well liked and well respected person yesterday. I'm, of course, speaking of Merlin Olsen. As a football fanatic, I am a fan of all those who excel, and have ever excelled at the game. As a member of the Rams Fearsome Foursome defense in the late 1960's, he was one of the greats. He still, to this day holds some of the leagues most impressive records. However, it was his personality that, to me, spoke volumes. I'm too young to have ever watched him play. I first saw him on TV as an actor and pitchman. He always seemed polite, humble, caring, and warm to all he encountered. A Humanitarian first and foremost. Now this might seem odd for someone that made his name "killing guys with the ball", but I have found in my years as a football fan, that many of the most fearsome players in the game have the most generous souls (ie Reggie White). This was confirmed to me yesterday by all the statements of those who knew him. Therefore, we as a society have suffered a great loss in the world, and if we had more people like Merlin Olsen, this would be a much better place.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Time to Reintroduce Natural Selection

Hello all,

I know it's been a few days since my last post, but I've been visiting with people and hearing their stories. So now, I've got to wonder how much of the crazy, sick, and outrageous actions of some people we have to tolerate before we say enough is enough. This is why, for years I have supported the reintroduction of natural selection back into existence. For those of you that have been living under a rock, or are just stubborn closed minded religious freaks that can't accept simple logic, natural selection states "Survival of the fittest". Or as George Carlin eloquently put it,"The kid that swallows the most marbles doesn't grow up to have children of his own." I know we all have stories we've heard of people that should be sterilized so we can raise the bar of society's accomplishments. However there are a few, how should I put this?, less than stellar people that strive to make amoeba look more worthy of life than we do. Now, I know a few of you are thinking I'm a radical fanatic wanting to see a few of our "less than capable" citizens disappear, but I assure you I'm not being completely monstrous. Just to clarify my position, I'm not attacking diagnosed special needs people or the disabled. They have had difficulties through no fault of their own, and many have strived and achieved more than anyone ever thought they were capable of. I admire and have the utmost respect for these people for their strength of will, drive, and determination. The one's that I'm condemning are the ones that try to pass themselves off as average or exceptional people, but blatantly show that they never evolved beyond the neanderthal stage.

To show what I'm describing, I've got examples from the relatively harmless stupid all the way to "Are you F---ing kidding me?!!" This goes back to the people I spoke with recently, as well as things I've read in the local and national news. Some of this will be common knowledge, others will, most likely, surprise you.

The first example is of a local seemingly happy couple that are not married, but do live together. They have no real complaints. They're not well to do, but get by. They're raising her 5 year old son to the best of their ability. Life is ok. But then, stupidity rears it's ugly head. One night after work, he calls her and tells her he's going out with the guys. She's fine with that,as it gives her a night to herself as well. As he was out, he got stupid drunk, and without any thought or consideration, picked up a girl at the bar. Now some of you would probably rate this more as thoughtless than stupid, however the rest of the story will tell you how it can be both. He planned on "hooking up" with this girl and they went back to HIS place. He however, forgot or didn't care that his girlfriend was home, in bed, at the time. To put this lightly, I would call this moment completely awkward. As I said, stupid.

Another example, is of a man that I read about in our local newspaper, just this morning. He was a firefighter in one of our northern towns. However, as the town is small, the firemen don't see a lot of action. So, he decided that he would set a fire, so the department would be called to fight it, and the state of Vermont would pay him for it. He set the home of a local woman ablaze. He chose this house because the owner was selling it to someone he didn't like. Then, he forced his wife to provide him with an alibi. He, himself, however, created the fatal flaws with his plan. First, he bragged about his plan to some of his friends, and word got back to the home buyer. So the buyer was able to provide the authorities with a suspect. Then, like the caveman he is, he beats up his wife and leaves her lying on a local road. When the authorities find her and get her medical attention, she recants the alibi. So now, this (I would normally say chimp, but I don't want to insult the intelligence of chimps) useless waste of flesh is finally getting what he deserves. He is currently awaiting trial.

Now, lets take it up a notch, and go to the national level. As they are national stories, I'll just list the barest descriptions:

1) Gov. Mark Sanford's "hike". Not the part that he cheated on his wife, but the part that a state governor, their administrative leader, went AWOL for a week without telling anyone on his staff.

2) Pres. Bill Clinton and asking the definition of the word "is".

3) Sarah Palin on a couple of things. Here's the sublist:

a) Thinking she knows about foreign policy because she can see Russia from her house.

b) Giving the White House Chief of Staff grief over his use of the word "retard", when she has no problem with Rush Limbaugh using it because he uses it as satire. Yet, when Stephen Colbert uses it as satire, she's offended again. Man, I wish this hypocritical broad would make up her mind. However, I should accept her position waffling, as she is, or was, a politician.

3) Let us not forget religious fundamentalists (Christian and Muslim alike, as they are the most blatant offenders) that think violence and terror is an acceptable way to force people to believe in what the fundamentalists believe. While Faith, in and of itself, is all about tolerance and peace, these nimrods say believe in OUR faith, or we'll kill you. That should definitely bring home the Nobel Peace Prize.

Now, I could go on and on, but ultimately all I'm saying is, that if we stopped trying to save and protect these people, and their rights, and use some common sense, maybe we all could get along and be able to solve society's issues. It's a good dream, but I know it won't happen in my lifetime. Not if we keep making these people our leaders and role-models. As such, our intelligence quotient will slip a few more points and our brutality will show no justice. This makes me sad.

Let me know what you think. Until next we meet faithful readers.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring is finally here

Well, it turns out, at least in Northeastern Vermont, that the groundhog from Pennsylvania was WRONG. Spring is here and with it the hopes of a new brighter year. The fishing, camping and hiking tourists will be here soon and with them, their dollars to stimulate our economy. And, boy, do we need it. As we haven't had consistent winters here the past few years, the skiing and snowmobile seasons have been dismal. Ah, but that is winter, and now we're into spring. The April showers and May flowers, at least as the cliche goes. However, this is going to be a particularly hard spring for a lot of people this year. I'm of course talking about the people that make up the 10.4% of Americans that are unemployed. Instead of being able to enjoy the splendors of nature, they have to struggle just to make sure that they can just get through a day. They have to do all they can to make sure that they, and their families can have a place to stay and something to eat. It is tragic to think that in the richest country in the world, there are so many that exist as though we were still a developing country. These people make those that are suffering from poverty, working for minimum wage, as well off. And the problem is our antiquated and broken economy and social welfare systems. Instead of evolving the way they should have since the Great Depression, they were forced to just do their jobs as though nothing has changed in America in the past 80 years. However, with the decline in manufacturing, the increase in technology and information, and the fluctuating majority age of our population (yes I'm blaming you baby boomers), we have not been able to support our population the way we should have. And now, we're supporting more people than our budget can handle. As I said before, we have 10.4% of unemployed people. Now add the 7.2% of Americans that are retired and drawing off Social Security. Now add the 12% of our population that is, also, drawing off social security and medicare. And finally, add the 24.3% of our population that's under 18, and thus, not able to contribute to the labor pool. This totals53.9% of the US population that is not able to contribute to our economy. 53.9%. Over half our population is not working. Over half. This leaves the other half to pick up the slack. But as 10% of our population controls the majority of our nation's wealth, there is no way for the rest of the populace to pick up the burden. Is it any wonder why we're suffering right now. They say our economy is on the upswing, but how does that help, when we're still unemployed. With the swell of more baby boomers retiring and labor of all kinds being outsourced to other nations, our plight is only going to get worse. Sadly, the swine flu epidemic was a potential, if not macabre, source of hope. With it's estimates, at the time, of possibly 50% of our population contracting the virus, and most of those people dying from it, it would have reduced our population enough to potentially balance the scales of our income and outgo of social benefits. However, this was, also, another thing that didn't do any work (or earn any wages ). Welcome to the future. If something extreme isn't done, one way or another, all Americans will feel the pain of supporting too much on their backs. Well, at least we'll have our WONDERFUL health care system to take care of us for that.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hello from Northeast Geek

Hello Friends,

As this is the first post of my first blog, I am very excited to communicate with you all about my views on just about everything. Some of you may agree, some may disagree, but if I can at least spark debate about what I think are important issues, then I've at least been able to get you all to look at our existence on this tiny planet that is our home in the great big universe. Also, as this is my first blog, you may have to bear with me as I flesh out my goals for these postings. Once I do, however, I hope you will all find it informative and entertaining.

Well, let me tell you a little about myself. I have been born and bred in Northeastern Vermont. I love the scenery and pace of life in my "sleepy little New England town". I lived in the midwest for a few years while I attended college, which helped me appreciate my home all the more. However, I feel it taught me to look at most forms of existence that don't necessarily exist here in Vermont, or at least aren't as publicized. I am very close to my family and small circle of close friends, and enjoy spending time with them as much as possible. I have a fondness for the absurd and the outright comedic inconsistencies of people in general. As my user name points out, I am very much a geek. I enjoy Science Fiction and Fantasy entertainment (movies, books, video games, etc.). And yes, I do enjoy the occasional game of Dungeons & Dragons. However, in contrast I'm a HUGE football fan. I enjoy watching my favorite team, the Oakland Raiders (when they are not an embarrassment on the field due to the insanity of their senile owner Al Davis' incessant need to interfere with the day to day operations of the team and let the rest of the organization DO THEIR JOB!!! Well, enough on this rant. There will be plenty of time and future writings on the subject. In addition, I am a Classic Rock fan, and am very passionate about music. I don't play any instrument, and can't sing worth anything (the closest I get is playing the instruments on Rock Band and Guitar Hero), but I do enjoy music and find it a very strong emotional art form. Politically, I feel I am a middle of the road kind of a guy, loyal to no particular party. Which means, I have no problem jumping up and down on anyone from either party for doing something I feel is stupid, and giving praise to those I feel have done something positive. And to let you know, as an agnostic, I will occasionally attack organized religion. But to be clear, I have no problem with religious faith. My problem is the organization of religion that tries to weasel its way into politics and force it's views on the general populace (ie Muslim fundamentalists that kill all infadels in the name of Allah, just for exercising basic human rights; Christian fundamentalists that have an intolerance for living with anyone of different views like about homosexuality, abortion, civil rights, etc.) People should just let people be and believe in what they believe, as long as it doesn't infringe or hurt anyone else. I will RANT extensively, and at length on these subjects as well.

Well, now on to my first post. Please bear with me while I flesh it out. I have to get some generalities off my chest. Let me start with some problems I'm having with Hollywood. Now, I enjoy mindless escapism as much as the next guy, but what is this huge fixation for reality style TV. Are we, as a people, SO voyeuristic that the next generation of television programing is "scripted spying" on other people living their ordinary lives. Why do we care so much? What does it matter if Tiger Woods is having personal problems, or who Miley Cyrus is dating next. Really, who cares? I mean, yes we should appreciate people with talent, and choose whether or not to enjoy their particular artistic styles. Past that, though, shouldn't we just let the rest of it go and let these people live their lives. Come on, there's an entire TV network devoted to all things entertainment and micro report about ALL things the paparazzi report. This celebrity is shopping here, that one having dinner there, and another one getting sloppy drunk at this place. Again, who cares? Let them be and let their work speak for them. I think the only people that need to be held to a higher standard are politicians and teachers. Now, most will say "Northeast Geek, these celebrities influence our children and need to set a proper example." I say bull. I think that if a parent teaches their children well, to understand right from wrong, reality from fantasy, then celebrity influence decreases drastically. It all comes down to parents being parents and setting limits and not just giving into children's unreasonable demands just for a brief moment of peace and quiet. If you wanted peace and quiet, you never should have become a parent to begin with. Parenting is a HUGE responsibility. You're raising the next generation of people. What kind of people do you want them to be. Proper independent thinkers, or mindless drones easily influenced by the cheap and tawdry.

Speaking of cheap and tawdry, lets talk politics for a moment. Since when did we elect little children to represent us in government. In our current 2 party system, we have a group that says we want to do this and if you don't like it tough, and another that says if you don't do things our way, we'll just take the ball and go home. It doesn't matter which party, they both say this. I think if we have a system more like some of the European nations that have 6 parties (3 different conservative and 3 different liberal parties), there would be A LOT more compromise and more things would get accomplished. It's absurd to me that everyone thinks government works or should work to make ALL it's people happy. That's unrealistic. Too many people have so many different issues that are important to them. So, majority should rule. And I'm not talking about party majority, I'm talking about majority of votes. If that happens to line up to party majority, then so be it. We elect the officials we want into office. Mind you, some of us didn't want those particular representatives, but those are just the first round of minority voters that are unhappy. The majority spoke. DEAL with it. Better luck next time. Now, in government, same rules apply. Majority vote wins. Minority loses. DEAL with it. Better luck next time. This is the form of government our ancestors chose, and it worked pretty well for 200 years. Now, people talk about broken government. This is because we have a few minority losers (in both parties) that are, what we called when I was a kid, "Poor Sports". They can't handle loosing at all and are willing to destroy everything else just to win. Sometimes it's because of arrogance, and other times it's because they were paid by their lobbyist sponsors to achieve their result. Which gets me to Government personal greed.

How, as a people, have we allowed ourselves to be bought and sold like cattle to corporate greed? These folks are the ones that buy our government. And now, thanks in no small part to the United States Supreme Court, they can do it legally and publicly. This bucks against everything I stated above about majority and minority votes. They use money and greed to override this system and buy voters. When did we as a citizens decide as a majority that it was ok to sell our principles for a boat load of cash? Are we really that shallow? We must be. We are more concerned with which celebrity is shopping here, which celebrity is having dinner there, and which one is getting sloppy drunk at this place.

Thank you for your time, and I encourage you to please write and comment about my statements, whether you agree or disagree. Please let me know. As a true American, I welcome debate. Thank you.


Northeast Geek