Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gimme Back My Biscuits

Life is so strange when it's changin', yes indeed.- Lynyrd Skynyrd
Just when you thought the New York City soft drink restrictions was an exercise of total governmental tardness, along comes the current controversy regarding Chick-fil-A.
The controversy about Chick-fil-A is this: pickle or no pickle on the sandwiches. There is a “no pickle” movement picking up steam on college campuses that thinks putting a pickle on a fried chicken sandwich is “an insult to the dead chicken” per movement leader Apple Blossom, a Community Arts Woman Studies major at The University of New Orleans (Slidell campus). The “pro pickle” side is headed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
I just made that up. Actually, the controversy about Chick-fil-A revolves around their CEO saying, now get this, I don’t want to shock you, that marriage is between a man and a woman. Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy holds the same opinion that President Wonderful Counselor held at the beginning of the year. It is also the same opinion held by Vice President Joe “Joe” Biden before he started watching Must See TV.
The mayor of Boston told Chick-fil-A that they were not welcomed in Boston because of its views on marriage. He said, “If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult -- unless they open up their policies." (He has since “scaled” back his rhetoric when he was informed it is unconstitutional to deny a permit on the basis of what somebody says). Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel said, apparently with a straight face, “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values”. I guess Mayor Emmanuel is irony impaired. Has he even looked at the latest crime statistics? How is he going to lecture anyone regarding “values” when Chicago is known for graft and corruption? (“And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.” Carl Sandburg, 1916)
Various college kids have gotten involved, trying to have Chick-fil-A kicked off of campus. I noticed my son’s college is not one of them. Hail Southern!
The cherry on top of this new story came from Roseanne Barr, of all people. The Huffington Post describes Rick Santorum as a “has been” in a story regarding this issue. If that’s the case, Roseanne Barr is a has-has-has-has-has been. I remember laughing twice at Roseanne Barr in the past twenty years.
Ms Barr tweeted (NOTICE: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS A WORD MY MOTHER WOULD USE ONLY TO DESCRIBE MY GRADES IN SCHOOL), “Anyone who eats Shit Fil-A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4Christ”. Now there’s tolerance for you. It should not surprise you to learn that there is a “comedy roast” for Ms. Barr on Comedy Central in a couple of weeks.
I live in the epicenter of Chick-fil-A. There are three Chick-fil-A restaurants within a three mile radius of my house. I have spent a lot of money at Chick-fil-A because I like eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4Christ. They taste good. Plus, the milkshakes are great. The help, for the most part, seem like they actually want to serve you instead of being the typical fast food place where the help is just killing time until the recording contract is singed.
About 16 years ago, my denomination, The Southern Baptist Convention, decided to boycott Disney World. Disney had branched out of family entertainment and decided to produce movies which showed why the lady was a tramp. The boycott failed miserably. The reason: the product was just too good. There’s no other amusement park like Disney World.
It is the same with Chick-fil-A. Their product is just too good to boycott. Nobody in the fast food world makes a chicken sandwich like they do. It is simply the best. If you want to quit Chick-fil-A for the latest Liberal cause de jour, that just means there will be more for me. Just let me eat my biscuits in peace.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jason's Tweet: Not That There's Anything Wrong With It

Uh-oh. It is time for “reasonable people” to “insist on a real discussion”. The topic this time: Gun control. Great, just great. I have an idea. Let’s not have a discussion.

The person asking for the discussion: Jason Alexander. For those of you that don’t remember, he was George Constanza on the classic comedy “Seinfeld” and is currently directing TV shows, such as the unclassic “Franklin and Bash” (who opened for Seals and Croft in the 70’s.)

The impetuous for our “discussion “ is the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting in which 12 people were killed by a person that up until recently was enrolled in a PhD program. It is unclear if shooter was influenced by: A) Sarah Palin or B) Rush Limbaugh. Since the killer is a college student, like the Virginia Tech shooter, people from all of the country have been calling for a ban on college students.

Actually, this has cranked up the American debate machine regarding gun control and our nation turned its lonely eyes to Jason Alexander, who always wanted to pretend he was a pundit. We were thinking, “I wonder what Jason Alexander thinks about this horrible criminal act?”. He told us, Jerry, boy did he tell us.

Alexander’s post on “Twitlonger”, a place where you can make long Tweets, is classic Constanza. He begins by saying, “I'd like to preface this long tweet by saying that my passion comes from my deepest sympathy and shared sorrow with yesterday's victims and with the utmost respect for the people and the police/fire/medical/political forces of Aurora and all who seek to comfort and aid these victims. Everybody was horrified by what happened, on that we all can agree. But, no, the discussion has to begin.

He continues: “That comment (he posted a tweet about assault rifles), has of course, inspired a lot of feedback. There have been many tweets of agreement and sympathy but many, many more that have been challenging at the least, hostile and vitriolic at the worst.” New flash: Gun Control is controversial.

I won’t review the rest of Alexander’s post. It contains the average Pro Control rhetoric. I will add this: I have never seen a Gun Control argument with one side saying, “You know, you are right! I’m going to change my opinion”. Alexander basically says the Pro Gun people are dangerous loons. There’s even a part where Alexander types in all capital letters (which is “screaming” in internet speech). I added the word, “Jerry” and names of other Seinfeld characters to parts of the rant just for fun.


I put the lovable character’s names from the TV show in the rant because I don’t quite know who Alexander is talking to here. He spent a good bit of this Tweet demonstrating how people who do not agree with him are not reasonable and are unable to ask hard questions. Here’s a hard question: How did strict gun laws prevent the Norway massacre of 69 at a youth camp last year?

Whenever someone says “they want to have a discussion” it usually means that they want to do all of the talking because they are the masters of their own domain. Usually, their opinions end up being about nothing.

By the way, I do not own a gun and have never shot one.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Real You At Last

"I'm just thankful and grateful to be seeing the real you at last" - Bob Dylan

Sometimes power accidentally speaks truth to itself without even realizing it.

This is what happened in President Obama's speech in Roanoke, Virginia, that was a part of The
Never Ending Campaign
. It it seems like the 2012 Presidential election has lasted forever, the reason is simple: it has lasted forever.

President Obama has a campaign strategy to demonize anybody that makes a lot of money with the exception of trail lawyers and Hollywood actors. Instead of coming up with budget cuts or even
pretending to look at the recommendations of The Simpson-Bowles Commission (who opened for "Blood, Sweat, & Tears" in 1970), he has decided to champion a tax increase for the "Upper One Per-Cent" which Democrats define as a household with a combined income greater than 250 thousand dollars. (Democrats never explain why a household making $249K is middle class and a household making $250K is rich because they pulled the number out of their butts.)

The President said this (and my comments are highlighted). "There are a lot of wealthy successful Americans who agree with me (Movie Stars)--because they want to give something back. (And perhaps pick up a government contract or two). They know they didn't--look if you have been successful, you did get there on your own. (It is because you were a member of "The Lucky Kid Club". We're looking at you, Willard Mitt.) You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was so smart (Like me). There are a lot of smart people out there. (For some reason, Joe Biden's name does not come up) It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something--there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Like the dancers in "Magic Mike") If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. (Like my 10th grade Botany teacher that smelled like Boone's Farm Apple Wine). Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business--you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research (and Al Gore) created the Internet so that all the companies could make money of the Internet". (Added bonus: you can also look for nekkid pictures of Agent Scully)

I can see where the President is coming from-if there is someone who "along the line" was given help, it was the President. Here is a guy that was your typical late 70's-early 80's Jeff Spicoli that despite drug use and indifferent grades, makes it into two Ivy League schools. He won The White House after writing two autobiographies that lack the main ingredient of autobiographies: truth. Clearly, he got some help along the way, mainly from Senate and Congressional Democrats who couldn't stomach the idea of another Clinton Presidency.

"If you've got a business-you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen" has to be one of the dumbest things a sitting President has said since Ford liberated Poland. Is the President suggesting that roads and bridges build businesses? I'm not sure even The President knows what he meant.

Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post said "Obama has been painting a cartoon version of opponents for years. And lo and behold, he's revealed himself to be the very caricature of the anti-business, government is all liberal Republican have claimed him to be". Hopefully, the country has been paying attention, but, there is a new Batman movie coming out, so we really won't know until November.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Line

In case you didn’t know, there is a controversy regarding Lifeway Christian bookstores and the movie, “The Blindside” which came out a few years ago. 
“The Blindside” was a movie that starred Sandra Bullock in which a wealthy white Southern Christian family takes in a poor African-American teenager that happens to be big as a barn and a good football player. The movie is unusual because it was not based on a comic book or toy. It was base of the true story that had a happy ending. The teenager earns a scholarship to Ole Miss (well, ok, maybe it wasn’t that happy) and he becomes a number one draft pick in the NFL.
It was also unusual because it portrayed wealthy white Southerners in a positive light. In most movies, white Southerners are portrayed as people that just want to shoot things and eat more possum. “The Blindside” showed white Southerners as, now get this, nice people who wanted to help somebody.
“The Blindside” had no nudity in it. Nobody’s head was shot off. Nobody was blown up. Nobody had an alien pop out of their stomach. However there were some cuss words.
Lifeway Christian Bookstores are the bookstores owned and operated by the Southern Baptist Convention, Amen. It used to be known as “The Baptist Bookstore” (the tag line for their radio commercials in 1969 created by the famous New York advertising agency Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce, Stevenson, and Kefauver: “The Baptist Bookstore...where Baptists buy their books”). Lifeway Christian Bookstores sold “The Blindside” DVD. You usually do not find DVDs with cuss words in Christian Bookstores.
Well, a Southern Baptist pastor in Florida saw “The Blindside” at his local Lifeway Christian Bookstore. I’m not sure if he bought the DVD without knowing there were cuss words in it or he saw at the theater and it just cheesed him to think that the same place where he buys offering plates is selling a movie that had cuss words in it. He decided to take it to the floor of The Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting and proposed a resolution for Lifeway to pull “The Blindside” and any other products that contain “explicit profanity”. Lifeway decided to pull “The Blindside” from its shelves and will no longer sell it.
Eric Metaxas, an incredibly smart Evangelical, criticized the decision. He said, “I’m kind of upset. A great movie was pulled from the shelves of a Christian bookstore chain. Look, I'm as concerned about cultural messages as anyone. I'm a father. But there's a right way and a wrong way to do this – and the wrong way definitely includes the permanent state of umbrage that many Christians seem to exhibit. They seem to have confused being salt and light with being curmudgeons."
He has a very good point.You have to remember “The Blindside” was not made by Evangelical Christians and sometimes, at least when it comes to movies, you have to take what you can get out of Hollywood.
Rachel Held Evans, another Christian writer said, "Christian bookstores have developed a reputation for producing a highly sanitized customer experience, purging from their shelves any language, content, or theology that doesn’t meet their uber-conservative standards. Walk into your local LifeWay and you will find plenty of Precious Moments statues, specialty Bibles, Veggie Tale movies (Metaxas has done several Veggie Tales), and Thomas Kinkade prints...but little trace of art or literature that intrigues, agitates, and inspires—as true art should!”

Ms. Evans seems to forget that Christian bookstores are a business, not an art gallery. Its customers want an “uber-conservative standard” because they are “uber-conservatives”, whatever Ms Evans means by that. Nothing is stopping Ms Evans from opening her own Christian bookstore that sells art and literature that intrigues, agitates and inspires.
Let’s think of it like this: twenty years ago there was a secular Hollywood movie called “The Rapture” that starred Mrs. First Tom Cruise (Mimi Rogers). In it, Ms Rogers played a person who becomes a Born Again Christian and in the end of the movie, witnesses the Second Coming of Christ. This movie portrays Christians in a very sympathetic light.
However, the movie was a hard R with explicit Mimi Rogers sex (before the character’s conversion, she was very popular with the boys, if you catch my drift). I don’t think Lifeway or any other Christian bookstore would carry that film. However, you can buy it at Amazon as you can “The Blindside”.
Lifeway made a business decision: it listened to its market. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hot Enough

In case you didn’t know, it is summer time. Summer time is known for many things. The kids are out of school for a couple of weeks. New movies based on movies based on comic books are released. People go on vacation, sometimes in the most unusual places. One summer, before our son was born, Lori and I went to Memphis Tennessee to help me find a party that tried to get in touch with me.

We went to Graceland to pay our respects to King Elvis The First. One problem: it was the eleventh anniversary of his death and there were tons of people. Second problem: in 1988 it cost $8.00 a ticket (Lord Almighty) to tour the Mansion. My wife balked at the price and we went to a place called Mud Island instead. I don’t remember too much about Mud Island except it was cheaper than Graceland. We did get to see a brutal domestic argument between a husband and wife with the man yelling, “YOU ARE THE BIGGEST (female dog in heat) I HAVE EVER SEEN”. It was truly a hunk of burnt love.

One thing that has been discovered by the news media in The Summer of 2012 is that it gets a bit warm. That might be an understatement. It has been hot this summer. It is like the thermostat for the Earth has been set on HELL.

The local Atlanta news media has been broadcasting stories with alarm they usually reserve only for snow. I was listening to the radio the other day and there was a “heat alert”. It was a triple digit temperature day. I had experienced several triple digit temperature days in Las Vegas one summer. Vacation tip: never go to Las Vegas in the summer. It was a dry heat, but dry heat is still hot. It was so hot one day that not one single Hispanic tried to give me a Naked Woman with Stars on Their Parts baseball card.

Since the media takes its responsibility seriously regarding summer weather, they have been giving tips about “how to beat the heat”. I take this responsibility seriously too. Here are the 2012 HUMOR ME TIPS ON HOW TO BEAT THE HEAT.

1) Find some place cooler than were you are now. For example, if you are standing in the sun, find some shade. If you are outside, go inside if there is air conditioning. If there is no air conditioning, buy a fan and plug it in. It you can’t buy a fan, the U.S. Constitution says one will be provided for you except it may not be as good as the other fans the rich people buy.

2) Now is not a good time to light a fire in the fire place.

3) Avoid hot drinks like Hot Chocolate or Coffee when you are outside in the sun.

4) Try to drink a lot of water. If you can’t find a lot of water, try to drink a 32 oz soda unless you are in Manhattan. Then drink 16.5 ounces just so you can stick it to the man.

5) I know you are unhappy about Trayvon, but wearing a hoodie is not a good idea.

6) Wear short pants and a tank top, even to church. It turns out God doesn’t care what you wear to His House. He’s pretty cool now.

7) Roll down the windows of the car and crank up the volume as loud as you want it because you want to share the music you like with everyone on earth. Even songs that say, “If you ain’t a 10, you’re a 9.9.” This has nothing to do with weather per se, but it seems to work for a lot of people.

8) Go to a water park and enjoy the mass semi-nudity with people that are generally very gross. One time, we went to a water park in Florida where we saw one family in line ahead of us: Grandma who obviously had, um, enhancements and Cousin Jerry who was a walking fur ball but still found time to have nipple rings. I guess he wanted the world to know that under all of that hair, there were man nipples (that sounds like the name of a band: “Here they are…The Man Nipples”).