Last Post Before Summer, the Fishing Calls

Well, it is that time of year again. When I hang up my teaching shoes and pick up the … summer shoes. I guess. I also take a hiatus from this blog which I admit I have been neglecting. The neglect stems from a number of reasons but the most glaring I suppose is what I can only describe as a sense of political malaise that has washed over me. I do not mean to say that I no longer care about what our elected officials do or how they lead our great nation. I just find it mind-numbing these days. The left would claim that this attitude was a product of the ineptitude and bewildering piffle released daily from the President and his staff. The right would claim that it is a product of the never-ending political witch hunt and attempted character assassinations carried out daily by a news media which solely exists as a Marxist propaganda outlet. In reality, it may very well be a mixture of both coupled with the ebbing of the lunacy tide after the general election. Whatever the main cause of the dampening of my enthusiasm to write about anything political may be, it’s immaterial. The fact is; jimmy-crack-corn and I don’t care.

So, to end another school year and another blog year, I’ve decided to talk about something I truly love yet am dreadfully unsuccessful at; fishing. 

Yes, that is correct, dear reader. Yours truly is quite the avid angler. Yet, despite his numerous attempts his yield would make St. Peter weep. There have been days, nay, weeks of time where I have gone nearly everyday and have not even come close to bringing something home to eat. However, living on Long Island Sound, that might actually not be such a bad thing. I am going to discuss four different types of fish and the correct ways to catch them. Hold on to your seats, it’s mild excitement time!

Striped Bass / Striper / Shiny A**hole Fish that Doesn’t Bite for Sh*t : (Pescado douchebago) This absolutely delicious fish can be caught from mid-Spring to early Autumn in Long Island Sound. They go south in the warmer months much like half of the geriatric population of this state. They have a firm, white flesh that makes chicken taste like gutter water. It is my favorite fish. So good. I want some now. Problem… is that they had a meeting three years ago and decided to leave me out of the loop. For too long have I toiled at landing one of these delectable beasts. I have used striper rigs, fish finder rigs, I’ve done bottom fishing, jigging, surf casting, I’ve tried going for them at the mouths of rivers in brackish water, up the rivers during the right time of year, from the beach, along sea walls, from boats, in high sun, under clouds, during the incoming tide, slack tide, using bunker chunks, mackerel chunks, clams, sand worms both synthetic and real, surface lures, bottle poppers, bucktails… Kids, I have done it all. These little awful bastards mine as well be unicorns. They are my white whale. That being said, plenty of people do catch them and my best bet is to offer to buy them once caught. However, I feel that this year I may get lucky. Why? I don’t know but without hope the fisherman is just a dope with an expensive stick swearing at the water on the beach. Best Rig: prayer

Bluefish / (pesce oily-disgusto-matic) Don’t really give a damn about catching these. When they are snappers, they are fun as all get out to catch. They put up a fight and it’s not unheard of to catch 10+ snappers in a single fishing session. Tailors and Cocktails (juvenile blues) are fun as they put up more of a fight and I am told they are delicious. Big blues put up an enormous struggle and are really fun to fight once you get a good set with your hook. Problem; is that they have teeth like Jaws and will bite the ever-living shit out of you if you don’t have a decent hook extractor. Also, they taste like what low-tide smells like. Oily, dark and fishy. Blech. The people who love the taste of bluefish make me laugh. Every one of them starts their personal bluefish recipes with the following statement: “you have to soak it in lemon juice or buttermilk overnight to extract that fishy taste”. Boyos, if you have to nuke your protein to make it edible, I’ve got news for ya; It sucks. Best Rig: bottom fishing with a fish finder and wire leader, chunks of mackerel / bunker. 

Summer Flounder / Fluke (pesce swimming-dinnerplatus) These little jerks like to hang out at the bottom of the Sound and go after whatever falls off of rich dude’s boats. They nail the bait quickly and take off so if you’ve baited your hook correctly, you won’t need to set the hook as the little moron does the job for you. Fluke tastes like nothing. It is basically a big, flat, ugly cod. But buying fish isn’t a cool thing to do for super studs like me, so basically what you’re going to need to do is get yourself a nice, shiny flounder rig. Get some minnows and go nuts. Unlike all other types of saltwater fish that I attempt to catch (only one basically, the shithead striper) I have actually had decent luck going for fluke. If you are on a boat, or even from the shore, your best bet is to string a leader off of the bottom of your rig and set up a good 1-2 ounce sinker and bounce it off the bottom gently every few seconds. If this method doesn’t work, then re-rig for something that is biting. Bluefish, blackfish, weakfish, sea robins and stop complaining. Best Rig: I already told you.

Trout (pescado this-is-a-waste-of-timo) Living where I do, I have the blessing of being within walking distance to saltwater fishing and if I am feeling particularly saucy, I can take a five-minute drive and do some freshwater fishing. Freshwater fishing is a different animal altogether and while patience is a virtue in all types of angling, you really need to have a basic mastery of zen in order to maintain sanity while freshwater fishing. Trout have their big months in the Spring but you can catch them all Summer if you follow these basic steps. 1. Get yourself a freshwater pole and setup a rig so you have a small weight holding your bait in place and set your bait about a foot off the bottom. 2. Get Powerbait trout eggs or dough bait. Stifle vomit from the smell, pinch your bait to your hook, let it sit in the water for a minute to harden around the hook, cast that sucker and prepare for boredom. I have found, that usually the best method of trout fishing is to give up after about a half hour, re-rig with a shiny bucktail and go for pickerel or bass which are fun to catch and I actually do pretty well on. The only problem is that they swallow the lure each time and trying to extract the hook usually takes surgery-like precision. I have not lost a chainsides yet, and I’ll be damned if I will this year. You see… I have a rule: If you kill it, you must eat it. Which sounds noble but in practice sucks because sometimes you end up killing some pretty unappetizing stuff. I would rather not chow down on a long, green tube of dinosaur-fish meat and that is why I am careful as hell not to hurt the fish when I land a pickerel. Best Rig: wait, for trout or for pickerel? I forget. 

So, dear reader, I bid you adieu for the summer. I hope you catch lots and lots and lots of fish. But no more than me. Because, seriously that would anger me. I am off to search for the elusive white whale yet again. And if I don’t catch one by August, then … I’ll order one from Stop and Shop.

Be well.

J.M.

Last Post Before Summer, the Fishing Calls

Writing For The Sake Of Writing

As this school year mercifully limps towards the finish line, I am beginning to feel the first bits of excitement for the long, hot Summer ahead. Having the Summers off is one of the big draws to becoming a teacher. In fact, for many it is their first draw. Then by the end of their first or second year the new teacher will either fall by the wayside and come to the conclusion that the “life” isn’t for them and pursue other interests or they will realize that connecting with kids and at the very least, attempting to make a difference for said kids is one of the most wonderful ways to make a buck in this increasingly confusing world. Then the Summer vacation clause becomes the cherry on the sundae. So here we are; a mere few weeks away from the final bell of the last day of school and everyone is getting antsy. Poor us, right?

Like last year, I plan on taking a hiatus from this blog for the Summer to explore other ways of voicing my thoughts and opinions to the ether. Which leads me to the point of this post; when you write a blog that very few people read, the best you can hope for is to make someone laugh, smile or think out there in internetland. The only weapon you need against the idea that your efforts are futile bordering on laughably narcissistic at best and a horrible time waster at worst; is the ability to understand and be OK with the fact that you’ll never know if anything you’ve written will actually make someone smile, laugh or think. It is an odd feeling. Odd insofar as that once you have that support infrastructure in place, you are able to write freely with little concern about if only one person reads what you have scribbled down or in fact anyone for that matter. Writing is an exercise. It can change the course of human history as in the case with the Magna Carta or the Declaration of Independence. Or, as in the case with this blog, be little more than an outlet for an ornary, opinionated, kinda funny, incredibly attractive in a classic archetypal-hero sense, guy to vent his frustrations and talk some smack.

So as I look to shut this Hindenburg of a blog down in a few weeks, I feel it important to reminisce over the previous year. However, I don’t want to. That is the best part of having your own blog. You don’t have to do anything at all other than sign up for the account if you dont want to. One thing that sticks out though; every once in a while I ask myself, “if no one is reading this thing, what is the point”? Again, you must have armor at the ready, which once put on, allows you to slough off the slings and arrows of frustration when endeavoring to partake in amateur punditry. The answer to the, ‘what’s the point’ question is a satisfying albeit safe and relatively self-aggrandizing idiom: if you are writing to make other people happy, you are writing for the wrong reason. So while that is self-serving and exists to offer the individual writer a self-made pedestal of stolen artistic integrity, it doesn’t destroy the truth that writing is really only important when the author thought it important enough to write what they thought was an important story to tell and stayed true to their own honesty. In a perfect world, measurable honesty. Very Hemingway, I know.

I will post a couple more times before this school year crosses the finish line and the white checkered flag is waved. Maybe. Right now, I am enjoying my writing over at Premier Punditry. Sports writing offers me an outlet in which I can test out whether or not I have the chops to type out some words that aren’t based solely on ideology (the politics of this blog) and actually write something about results, both good and bad. It remains to be seen what happens with this blog or with whatever I churn out and whoever decides it’s worthy of note. That’s what makes it both fun and tedious, equally.

You may be asking yourself; what kind of guy writes about his pseudo-second career as an amateur blowhard in this kinda way? Who cares about this dude? The answer to that is: the kind of guy who has his own barely-read blog and still tries to post regularly. And I like me. So, poo on you.

J.M.

Writing For The Sake Of Writing

First Thoughts on Last Night’s Strikes

“A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.” – Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton’s famous quote is as true now as it was then. Last night, the USS Porter and USS Ross, both Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyers fired a total of 50 tomahawk missiles at an airbase in Syria. Intelligence reports allegedly claim to show that this base launched the chemical attacks on Tuesday that killed 70+ people. I will lay out a couple of first thoughts here as I continue to read as much as I can on last night’s strikes.

  1. A lot of Americans are unhappy with this course of action. Namely; liberals who will oppose Trump no matter what he does and the alt-right or alt-right types who see isolationism as the best course of action for the world’s preeminent super power. Lets focus on the alt-right. They view this as a betrayal for a number of reasons. First, because they love Putin and see him as a person for our president to emulate. Which is funny, because the alt-right has adopted an isolationist ideology that would make Woodrow Wilson incredibly proud and Putin just sort of invades stuff when he gets bored. Assad just got bitch slapped by the United States. God forbid we insult Russia’s pal. Second, because they are naturally dubious of any US interaction into any conflict at any time anywhere for any reason because at their core, they are a bunch of cowards. They are the Alex Jones, tin-foil hat crowd. They are the, “I mean I’m not saying shes right but my sister did seem pretty convincing when she was describing the ‘squatch she saw chasing her dog to the cops” crowd. Don’t believe me? Take a look at their twitter avi’s. How many use their actual pictures? Next to none. Its easy to be a doofus when no one can call you out on it.
  2. Liberals have no idea how to spin this. They will focus on the constitutionality of ordering the strikes without Congressional approval. Fair enough because that is a fair enough concern. However; one can’t help but chuckle at them desperately trying to figure out how to respond to a strike which crippled an airfield from which attacks were launched that gassed children. They will all cry, “WAR, WAR!!! HE IS LEADING US INTO WORLD WAR III!!!” All the while, none of them will cop to the fact that we wouldn’t be in the current situation with Syria if it wasnt for the inaction of President Obama and the now infamous, “line in the sand”. Obviously, the problems in the Middle East boiled up way before Obama came into office but that doesn’t change the fact that the current situation with Syria has a lot to do with his administration sitting on its hands. So how do they counter that argument? “THE GOP CONGRESS WOULDN’T ALLOW HIM TO DO ANYTHING!” This is true. And considering Obama’s long, noble resume of procedural fortitude and absolute disdain for unilateral decision-making, this particular argument is clearly air-tight. (My eyeball fell out of its socket on that roll.)
  3. America has to ask itself the question; what is worth fighting for? Every American needs to examine their conscience for that answer.  Liberals who call everyone and their pets, “racists” these days have to ask themselves why they don’t care about brown kids being gassed to death across the globe. Is it because you are war-weary? Fine. Your war-weariness isn’t a global ‘time out’ to nefarious regimes and dictatorships. If you are going to be a liberal and extol the virtues of the global community, cite Christianity or a lack their of in the principles of modern American conservatives who claim to be Christian, then you’d better have the juevos to nut up or shut up when the time to put your activism to work shows itself. Or is it because you just don’t like Trump? If it is the latter: you are incapable of separating action, policy or initiative from a person. Which means you have brainwashed yourself. Which means you are a complete jidrool. Conservatives who constantly bemoaned Obama’s lack of action in the Middle East and our diminished role in the world need to either decide they have the guts to back the play or keep their mouths shut. They should also remember that at the core of any sort of military intervention there are American business interests at play. To what degree they shape the actions of this particular administration when it comes to focused foreign policy remains to be seen. That could simply be my cynicism coming to the forefront of my thinking on the matter. However; we don’t shoot unless there is some sort of payday in it for us either financially or politically. In this instance however, bloodying the nose of the world’s biggest POS outweighs whatever business concern is currently licking its choppers watching the oil it bought cheap shoot through the roof today.
  4. This is a win-win for Trump. He has shown the military community that he is willing to listen to the Joint Chiefs and act swiftly. He has shown the American people, at least partly, that his ties to Russia aren’t binding enough to move him to a position of inaction. He has gut-punched a dictator. How he maneuvers the rest of this course is a mystery as of now. Luckily, the unfunny reincarnation of W.C. Fields, the gin-blossomed buffoon, Steven Bannon isn’t sitting on Daddy’s lap anymore. That’s about the best I can say for the policy portion of this situation moving forward.

To reiterate the point which I believe to be the most important. America; what do you believe is worth fighting for? The answers to this question tell us a lot about ourselves, and most frighteningly, what we will become.

First Thoughts on Last Night’s Strikes

Approaching Holy Week

Each year, millions of Catholics make promises of personal sacrifice during Lent. Most of us keep to these promises but some of us break down and decide to give something up that is less important to our daily lives. This is natural, unfortunately. Our sacrifices which are intended to help keep our focus squarely on Christ and His sacrifice usually become nothing more than minor inconveniences for us during the course of Lent. There are ways to combat this. I find the most effective method of combating what can only be characterized as spiritual malaise is to steel yourself against it by going through some spiritual training. By fully engaging in Holy Week, not only will you give yourself a support infrastructure for the rest of the year but you will finish your Lent with a profound insight into Jesus’ last week before His crucifixion. So here are a few suggestions for the Catholic who feels that he or she may have fallen a little short in their Lenten sacrifices or for the Catholic who simply wants to be with Jesus during that last, sorrowful yet hopeful week before the salvation of humankind was attained on the Cross.

  1. Go to Confession: I can’t stress this one enough. Cleaning the window between you and the Holy Spirit is the only way you will be able to see through it more clearly. If you are trepidatious about going, remember that Christ was trepidatious about accepting the Cross. Holy Week is the one week during the year where we see Christ’s humanity magnified and we see our fears and anxieties reflected in His. Go to confession. Don’t trust me on it; trust Christ on it.
  2. Say the Rosary: Especially on Good Friday. The profound suffering of the Blessed Mother is sometimes overlooked during Holy Week as the suffering of Christ which is on full display is so absolutely horrific. However, Blessed Mother’s heart broke repeatedly that Friday and it broke because for one reason she knew that her Son had chosen this fate for the very same people who were nailing Him to the cross. Praying the rosary can show Our Lady how grateful we are for that sacrifice and how much we love her Son. It isn’t much, but it’s the least we can do to show her that, yes, we do care. We can tell her; “it hurts me too, Blessed Mother. Today we can cry together if you’d like.”
  3. Go to Holy Thursday Mass: Everyone has memories of a farewell. Maybe it was a dinner, a party, a small get together, whatever. All masses are uplifting. This one however, is sad and it should be. The disciples, who by this time most assuredly knew something was up, were still largely in the dark. Literally and figuratively. We see Christ installing the Sacrament of the Eucharist as a way to stay with His friends and with us after He is gone. John lays his head on Jesus’ shoulder. They go off to pray. Yeah, they knew something was up. Two thousand years later, we as modern disciples know what the following day brings. It is a small gesture in contrast to the gravity of the memory of that night but we are given the chance to stay with Jesus. We are given the chance to say; “I know what tomorrow is. I will stay with you while you pray in the garden and I have learned from the mistake of the disciples; I will not fall asleep.”
  4. Go to Good Friday service: Tradition dictates that Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday. At three o’clock, the time when Jesus gave up His life for us, at every Catholic Church we commemorate His passion and death. It is a tough service to get through. It is exceedingly sad and the Gospel reading is long. Think Palm Sunday long. The veneration of the Cross is very moving and the entire service is designed to teach the person there that not only should be sad about what happened to Jesus, but to also be sad about the times in our lives when we put Jesus out of our minds and relegated Him to secondary importance. All of this for us… and we still don’t appreciate it at all times.
  5. Tenebrae Service: A Tenebrae service is an intensely personal and focused devotion. I can’t do it justice so I am posting a link which better explains what it is at the end of this paragraph. Pro Tip: be prepared to cry a bit. Tenebrae. 
  6. GO TO MASS ON EASTER!: Don’t skip it because you’ve, “already been so much this week.” Remember, while the crucifixion saved us from sin, the resurrection assured us eternal life. Lent, the triduum and everything the church asks of us during this time are all in preparation for Easter Sunday. That is the focal point of our religion and the focal point of the purpose of humanity. Don’t. Skip. Mass. I don’t care how many people you have coming over for the egg hunt, or if you want little Mortimer to open his basket and get his chocolate in the morning, or if you have an early reservation for brunch, make time for Mass. DO IT. Sorry for yelling. Another option if your Easter Sunday is hopelessly hectic; attend the Easter Vigil. I personally go this route. This fulfills the Mass obligation and quite frankly, it is awesome. Exultet, the blessing of the fire, the lighting of the paschal candle, the vigil by the tomb anxiously awaiting the triumph of the risen Christ, the ringing of the bells and the burst of light that erupts when the church is re-illuminated, the removing of the dark cloths from the statues, the flowers, the lighting of all the candles… It is absolutely amazing.
  7. Try to Be Nice: Do something nice for someone you love, someone random and then yourself. Jesus died for us because ultimately He wants us with Him in Heaven. Not because He wants us to be miserable. While it is important to be adequately bummed during this penitential season, I believe that Jesus would stop us if we were going too far to say, “ya know… I did this so you’d be happy in your life.” The thing is; He can stop us. It is up to us to be open to Him. So yes, mourn His death, mourn your sins but counter that with MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF LOVE AND JOY! That’s the whole point.

Make Holy Week, not just Good Friday, the focal point of your Lent and I guarantee you will not be sorry.

Make Easter the focal point of your life and not just the Springtime and Jesus guarantees you won’t be sorry.

Approaching Holy Week

J. M.’s Lenten Survival Guide

Good day. In lieu of a Friday observation which I haven’t really done in a while anyway, I have decided to post a bullet-proof guide to surviving Lent. Why should you listen to someone who isn’t a member of the clergy when it comes to something so important to Christian formation? Easy. Because I have a degree in Theology and obviously having a degree in anything makes you a Jedi-level expert. Enjoy.

  1. When Do We Abstain From Meat, When Do We Fast?: This is a biggie. According to Canon 1250-3, Catholics are to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays throughout Lent. Catholics are also required to fast on both Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting is the practice of having one large meal plus two small meals not equaling one large meal throughout the course of a day with no snacks in between mealtimes. This seems arduous to many Catholics. They look at these dietary rules and shy away like a cat from a vacuum cleaner. The commonality shared by these particular Catholics is an almost alarming desire for meat at all times and a cabinet full of organic, holistic gout medications. There are also some Catholics who don’t seem to understand the purpose of this fasting and abstinence and decide that since they can’t have meat on Fridays, a four pound lobster and quart of melted butter is a decent substitute. QUESTION: Will Catholics who do not observe these rules go to Hell? ANSWER: Yes.
  2. What Should I Give Up for Lent?: Tough decision. We need to examine our lives and pick out the one thing that hardly ever crosses our mind, the one action we only undertake once every two months, the one joy that we forget that we like when we don’t have it directly in front of us, the one food or drink that we sorta like but don’t really care about and give that up. WRONG. Hell-bound, soulless bastards and she-bastards! Let benevolent Uncle J. M. edumacate you. We are supposed to give something up which we actually like. The point of this, is to be reminded more than once a day that it is Lent and when our desire for whatever we have given up shows itself in our minds, to replace that desire with thoughts about Jesus and His sacrifice for us. Also; giving up cheating on your spouse, serial killing, heavy meth use, peeping and armed robbery are not acceptable things to give up for Lent. You should just give those up anyway, ya know?
  3. How Long Does Lent Last?: Eternity. It lasts for eternity.
  4. Kids and Lent / Easter: I can hear you asking, “J.M., my kids are small and although I want them to understand the true meaning for the penitential season and the feast of Easter, I don’t want to get too heavy and ruin all the fun for them. What do I do”? Have no more worries, my silly, stupid, ignorant friend. Uncle J has the answer. First, tell your child about Jesus. Talk to them at an early age about the importance of God in our lives and the importance of the Church as a guide directly to Jesus Himself. You don’t have to rip the Easter bunny away from your child when they are little. However, if your child is approaching 13 and still believes in the bunsman, it might be time to put an end to it with the following story: Last night the Easter bunny was caught in a high-profile drug bust and was coked out of his mind. He charged the cops and they opened fire. He’s dead. Now go to sleep. Problem, meet solved!
  5. Do I Need to Go to Confession During Lent?: Who sees you when you’re sleeping AND knows when you’re awake? Who knows if you’ve been bad or good? If you said, “Santa” then you should reexamine your sick, twisted, Godless mind for goodness sake. The answer is God. The Church teaches us that we must go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year during the Easter season if I read Canon 920 correctly. However, someone like you should try to go at least once a day. God’s love and mercy is infinite, mercifully for you. I’m not going to lie here; I try to go at least once a month. Which clearly makes me a better person than you. Sin of pride, you say? Not if it’s true.
  6. Lent Seems Kinda Sad: It’s supposed to be. You’re catching on.
  7. What Should I Make For Easter Dinner?: This is getting pathetic now. Just get some Spam and a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread. Instant classic.

So there it is, folks. You are most welcome.

Disclaimer: This was obviously a joke. Use Lent to bring yourself closer to Our Lord. Reflect on His sacrifice, His love for you and how lucky you are to take a breath each day. Use Easter to take all of that reflection and turn it into an expression of Christ’s love. Give to charity, help others, love your family, love your friends, love yourself, be nice, be happy, be confident and above all, say thank you. Many people have written about why we should say thank you to Jesus. I believe that one of the most important reasons why we should eludes many people. We should say thank you because He never asked us to say thank you. Humility, kids. Live it.

J. M.’s Lenten Survival Guide

They Just Don’t Get It

Sunday night saw yet another Oscars come and go. The now infamous gaff of announcing the wrong winner for the best picture award will be all that anyone ever remembers of the gala spectacle, mercifully. There was one moment that stands out in my mind as absolutely horrific on many levels. For months now, both conservative and liberal pundits have been trying to explain Trump’s election. Ladies and gentlemen, it is now completely clear to me and to anyone else who watched the Oscars. The Hollywood elite, composed of the most vocally liberal group of Americans outside of the DNC, who the DNC has annointed to speak for the party, treats regular folks like circus freaks.

If you didn’t watch the telecast you missed when they dragged a bunch of tourists off a bus to parade them in front of the glitterati. It was like watching a scene from Salo. Let that sink in. They brought these people in to give them a thrill. To give them a glimpse into the world of the super-celebrity. Now, I am not going to make the idiotic claim that celebrities don’t create excitement in their fans. So I’m sure the folks that were traipsing around the Dolby Theatre were adequately excited but that doesn’t change the fact that these people were used by the producers of the event as a spectacle.

They just don’t get it. Case in point; the incredibly talented but equally full of herself Viola Davis, who perfectly illustrated the absolutely baffling lunacy that permeates Hollywood when she said, “we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life” in her acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actress award. This woman obviously either has no sense of irony or just doesn’t know what words mean. On behalf of all teachers, nurses, counselors, farmers, fishermen, mail carriers, pilots, armed service personnel, bus drivers, janitors, foremen, construction workers, lawyers (yeah even them…) cops, firefighters, bartenders, chefs, photographers, tech-people, secretaries, software engineers, salesmen, designers, writers, painters, sculptors, veterinarians, clergy of all religions, store clerks, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, vintners, taxi drivers, deli workers, grocery baggers, and every other profession under the sun;

Dear Viola,

Go fuck yourself.

Yours,

Us

Playing a doctor doesn’t mean you’re curing cancer. Playing a character from the 1960’s doesn’t mean you marched from Selma to Montgomery. You are actors. Literally the lowest of the low. You are paid to play make-believe and entertain us. You exist because we are stupid enough to pay you to exist. Having no other skill than being able to pretend to be someone you’re not doesn’t make you superior to the people who pay the ticket price for your movies. Dragging a group of tourists through your shiny circle-jerk does nothing but make you look like the elitist bunch of douchebags that you are.

“We have deigned that you should gaze upon us, o rabble. Enjoy your short time among your betters and return to your villages with tales of how we are benevolent and merciful to all. Even to servile peasants such as yourselves. What a blessing you have received!”

It was awful to watch and almost other-worldly in its idiocy. Much like most of the garbage Hollywood churns out these days.

 

They Just Don’t Get It

Milo Shouldn’t Surprise Us

What did you expect? In a piece I wrote for this humble largely unread blog back in 2015 called, “Social Media, Murder and the Decline of Decorum” I proposed that the end of civil discourse was nigh. Kids, it’s here. Milo has been dropped by CPAC, has lost his book deal and was coaxed (I’m sure) to fall on his own sword over at Trumpbart. How did this happen? What could possibly bring down someone as brash and unfeeling as Milo? Answer: his own words. So how is this a signal that the end of conversation is here? Because we’re talking about Milo in the first place.

I am not going to lay out the entire story of what went down or what he talked about which led to his recent downfall. You can do that here. I am going to touch on the point that I had made during the election. Trumpism, at its core, was and is a visceral response to the smugness of liberalism which Americans were forced to endure for the past eight years. Anger seethed and the floodgates opened. Any, ‘movement’ based on anger is doomed to eat itself alive. Milo started off his public life by debating feminism and gamergate on talk shows and taped forums. In the beginning, he was hysterical, erudite, intelligent and didn’t care about who or what he was offending. He was great. Then, enter Trump. Of course Milo would latch his wagon to Trump’s rising star. Trump was being dragged through the mud by the mainstream media nightly and Milo saw a perfect chance to up his profile. People either love him or hate him which translates into readers, listeners and viewers. We love to watch people we agree with. We equally love to watch people we can’t stand. Confused? See; Kardashian. The sky was the limit for Milo after the election proved his prognostications to be correct. Hell, he was even invited to and appeared on Bill Maher’s weekly circle-jerk last Friday! Yeah, Milo was on his way to a level of stardom which he had always wanted.

Then someone found a video of him talking about relationships between older men and young boys. Allen Ginsberg rejoices in his boring, pedantic, prosaic grave.

So whats the point I’m trying to make? Easy. This is what happens when you let discourse become the pet projects of the extreme ends of any political party. The whiny losers in the ski masks who break windows during “demonstrations”, the eye-rollingly delusional women who obliquely defend violence towards people they disagree with, the guys who decide that open carry makes their worlds impenetrable from evil, are all speaking for us now. Don’t believe me? Then why is Milo news? Aside from what happened at Berkeley, why is he news? Maybe because we cover people like him too much. Maybe because we listen to people we agree with in order to justify our own opinions rather than challenge them. Or maybe it is because we are just pretty damn dim on the whole and we want others to articulate our points for us even if we’re not sure we fully agree with them. When that happens, you get Milo and Baked Alaska and Maher and Shaun King and all the rest of the worthless assholes who regularly assault our senses.

We let it happen. We deserve it. Can we fix it? Of course, but it might take a while. So screw it, let’s just see what else is on.

Milo Shouldn’t Surprise Us