Tag Archives: politics

Words the Media Should Stop Using

#1 and #2 – Terrifying, Horrifying or Variants

EXAMPLE: “Senator Bumble’s Support for Bill #535 is Terrifying!”

No it isn’t.  You know what’s terrifying? Leatherface coming at you with a revving chainsaw and the car you’re in is out of gas.

If you don’t support that bill, then Senator Bumble’s support for it is disappointing, ill-advised or contrary to your beliefs, but one usually only feels terror when one is in a dangerous situation, one where there is a great likelihood of danger to your physical well-being.

Things that are terrifying: Mike Myers chasing you with a machete.  A dump truck barreling down on you and your foot is stuck in a pothole.  A Bengal tiger spotting you and licking his chops.

Times I Have Been Terrified in My Life: 1) I was getting out of a car on a rainy night when I noticed another car had veered off the road and was about to crash into the car I was getting out of. I had to make a split second decision to keep getting out of the car and try to make a run for it or get back in the car.  I got back in the car and as it turns out, that was the better move as the impact pushed the car quite a bit, right over the spot I would have been in…as you know, a person not inside a car to protect me.  That was terrifying but I am now here to entertain you 3.5 readers so it worked out.

Other Time I Was Terrified:  I was walking alone in a neighborhood at night and an enormous dog started following me.  He kept sniffing at me, nipping at me, put his paws on me (on my shoulders because that’s how big it was) and it was just huge.  I’m not sure the feeling amounted to terror but there was a large concern in my mind at the time that this mutt could have ripped out my larynx if it wanted then defiled my corpse and it was such a quiet country road that it would have been days before the road cleanup crew would have scooped me up with a spatula.  Luckily, the dog didn’t want to.

At any rate, I have felt terror and close to terror but bloviating politicians have yet to strike terror into me.

Things that are not terrifying: Senator Bumble’s support for a bill.

Here’s a handy tip.  When you read about Senator Bumble, did your butthole pucker? Did you break out into a cold sweat?  Did your heart beat rapidly? No?  OK, so then let’s stop using the word terrifying to describe things that don’t cause these things to happen.

#3 – Destroyed

EXAMPLE: Talk Show Host Talky McTalksalot Just Gave a Monologue That Destroyed Trump!

No.  To destroy is to eradicate.  Make it no longer there. Maybe Talky’s monologue gave a strong argument against Trump’s policies.  Maybe you agree with Talky and are happy to see someone is vocalizing a point you agree with.  Maybe Talky has shown where Trump has made a mistake or has engaged in some action you find disagreeable, but Trump was not destroyed.  Trump is still here.  He is still getting up every day, eating his morning Big Mac, then tweeting up a storm.

There are some other words the media uses that drive me crazy but that’s all I can think of for now.

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Does Confidence Come From Within or Does It Have to Be Backed Up?

3.5 readers, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but our 45th POTUS has a rather high opinion of himself.  Love him or hate him, that self-confidence has helped him win.

Perhaps it is easy for him to be that uber confident.  He was born into great wealth and used it to make more…something most of us will never be able to do.

Then again, if he’d been born poor and only became say, a lowly insurance salesman, something tells me he’d be able to sell tons of insurance policies and make bank for himself.

So I don’t know.  People tell me I should try to be confident but I feel like I don’t have much to back it up.

Do you think, for example, if a man who, to riff on Chris Farley, lived in a van down by the river, were to walk into a bar and speak confidently and highly of himself…do you think he’d be able to convince a hot babe to join him in his van down by the river?

Or, would he need something to back his confidence up?  Perhaps if he had a mansion he could invite the hot babe to, then he’d have no problem.

Perhaps the greatest part of confidence is knowing that if the opportunity you’re chasing doesn’t work out, another will be around in 5 minutes.

Thus, if you haven’t gotten it on in years, you’re going to seem desperate to that hot babe at the bar.  But if you get it regular, then you’ll have like a “Hey baby, take it or leave it” attitude that ironically, may very well intrigue said hot babe.

Personally, I think confidence isn’t a bluff but rather is a state of being obtained by being able to back up what you say and do.  I don’t think Trump would say half the things he does if he didn’t know that he had mad cash to hire lawyers to protect him from lawsuits and if his business is adversely affected then he still has plenty of dough.  Meanwhile, if you’re the manager of a shoe store like Al Bundy, you’re probably going to keep quiet as you need the last 5 bucks in your wallet for a pizza.

That’s my two cents.  Discuss.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – “Thanks For Not Raping Us” Column in Washington Post

Ugh.

Check out this column.

You know, 3.5 readers, what passes as journalism these days is abysmal.

I don’t really want to debate the Kavanaugh situation with you 3.5 readers.  Either you realize it was a bag job or you’re too dumb to realize it was a bag job or…oops.  Yeesh.  Thank God only 3.5 readers read this blog.  Anyway, moving on…

I’ve seen so many dumb columns written by women who talk about their own rage and anger over Kavanaugh and how that somehow applies to the men in their lives and I realize I’m expected to weep for these women but I feel like becoming a male Harriet Tubman – freeing these poor men who have to undergo getting kicked in the proverbial nuts in a shoddy piece of writing so their significant others can have their 15 minutes of fame.

Anyway, here’s what Victoria Bissell Brown, an honest to God history professor wrote, along with my pithy commentary.

BROWN: I yelled at my husband last night. Not pick-up-your-socks yell. Not how-could-you-ignore-that-red-light yell. This was real yelling. This was 30 minutes of from-the-gut yelling. Triggered by a small, thoughtless, dismissive, annoyed, patronizing comment. Really small. A micro-wave that triggered a hurricane. I blew. Hard and fast. And it terrified me. I’m still terrified by what I felt and what I said. I am almost 70 years old.

BQB: Hey husband of this lady.  On the off chance that you’re one of my 3.5 readers, please, for the love of god, get up and go!  You’re 70, man.  You’ve put 50 years in with this lady only to get yelled at as some sort of stand in for a frigging judge she doesn’t like.  Sir, you have done your time. Now please, go to one of those brothels outside of Vegas and score some primo strange before you die.

Seriously, man.  You’re old.  You could croak any time.  Don’t let your last experience with a woman be getting yelled at because you are expected at 70 years of age to dawn a superhero cape and literally apprehend all rapists before they even commit rape.  Yes, you must also be psychic and predict when rapists are about to rape and then stop them.  It is not enough that you, yourself, have lived a good life and been a good husband and handled yourself in a moral manner.

BROWN: I am a grandmother. Yet in that roiling moment, screaming at my husband as if he represented every clueless male on the planet (and I every angry woman of 2018), I announced that I hate all men and wish all men were dead. If one of my grandchildren yelled something that ridiculous, I’d have to stifle a laugh.

BQB: Honestly, lady, I talked to my fellow men and we all admitted that women have gotten us to the point where we all wish we were dead too.  Please, by all means, keep yelling us into early graves so we don’t have to be blamed for things we didn’t do anymore.

BROWN: My husband of 50 years did not have to stifle a laugh. He took it dead seriously. He did not defend his remark, he did not defend men. He sat, hunched and hurt, and he listened. For a moment, it occurred to me to be grateful that I’m married to a man who will listen to a woman. The winds calmed ever so slightly in that moment. And then the storm surge welled up in me as I realized the pathetic impotence of nice men’s plan to rebuild the wreckage by listening to women.

BQB: How did she know nice, non-raping men had a plan to defeat rape by listening to women?

It’s true. I’ve been to the man conventions and the man outdoor camping retreats where we sit around the campfire.  There, we roast marshmallows and say things like, “Hey fellas, just so we’re all on the same page, we’re against rape, right?”  And then the men would talk and then we’d be like, “Yeah, and when our wives want to yell at us as stand ins for judges they don’t like we should totally sit there and take it because to try to explain that we are not the judge they dislike seems like it would require a lot of effort.”

BROWN: I said the meanest thing I’ve ever said to him: Don’t you dare sit there and sympathetically promise to change. Don’t say you will stop yourself before you blurt out some impatient, annoyed, controlling remark. No, I said, you can’t change. You are unable to change. You don’t have the skills and you won’t do it. You, I said, are one of the good men. You respect women, you believe in women, you like women, you don’t hit women or rape women or in any way abuse women. You have applauded and funded feminism for a half-century. You are one of the good men. And you cannot change. You can listen all you want, but that will not create one iota of change.

BQB: Dude.  Seriously, husband, if you’re reading this, get the next flight to Vegas because it sounds like the only thing that will make your missus happy will be your balls in a mason jar.

BROWN: In the centuries of feminist movements that have washed up and away, good men have not once organized their own mass movement to change themselves and their sons or to attack the mean-spirited, teasing, punching thing that passes for male culture. Not once. Bastards. Don’t listen to me. Listen to each other. Talk to each other. Earn your power for once.

BQB: That’s pretty sexist, lady.  I’ll have you know my men’s club meets every Tuesday for a brunch of scones with lavender butter while we read feminist slam poetry and talk about how we all wish we could grow our own vaginas.

BROWN: Pay attention people: If we do not raise boys to walk humbly and care deeply, if we do not demand that men do more than just listen, we will all drown in the flood. And there is no patriarchal Noah to save us.

BQB: Is it me or did she just simultaneously diss the patriarchy and then also demand that the patriarchy do something?

She ends on that note.  Honestly, I have no idea what she was trying to say other than husbands who are kind and decent and loving to their wives and cater to all their needs and whims aren’t doing enough and somehow they must stop bad men from becoming rapists and somehow when men goof on each other and slap each other in the ass with towels and engage in bro speak and drink beers and do manly things this is somehow causing men to become rapists.

Is it me or if a man were to write a column about some famous woman who was alleged to have done something wrong and he wrote that he yelled at his wife for 30 minutes as a stand in for what the famous woman had been done, he’d probably have to lock himself in a cage to protect himself from all the angry protesters, am I right?

I have no idea what this column was trying to say other than apparently it isn’t enough for men to be good men themselves and somehow they must be in charge of all men and all I know is that I do my part as I hold weekly tea parties where I invite all the men I know to eat peppermint cookies and hold hands and sing songs about how we will be nice and share all our feelings and emotions because women love it when men tell their feelings and get emotional.

 

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Daily Discussion with BQB – 9/11

It’s hard to believe this was so long ago.  Two, two term presidents have come and gone and a third has been elected already.

I’m not sure the young’uns out there really get it.  We older people look at history as pre and post 9/11.  Sometimes I watch old movies or just even think about the 1990s and think wow, what a happy go lucky time.

I was a tail end Gen X er.  I remember the big complaint of the older people at the time was that everything was too good and there were no wars to contend with so we had all gotten too soft…and the alternate rock of the day reflected that – i.e. we’re so depressed our generation doesn’t have any meaning unlike our parents who had Vietnam and our grandparents who had WWII.

And then 9/11 happened and I think looking back, it was silly that everyone thought that times being good was a bad thing.  Because now it looks like we’ll never see a peace time again, at least not in our lifetimes.

It was the beginning of a lot of this political division.  Reps and Dems came together in the aftermath, but in the years thereafter, they really disagreed on the war of terror and that led to disagreements elsewhere.

And I do think it had longterm bad effects on the economy.  Economic wise, the 1990s were pretty good.  Papa Bush showed off America’s muscle in a quick, get in get out Iraq War and then thereafter, the 1990s were mostly peaceful.

Imagine the economy today if we’d just had 30 years of peace?

Oh well.  I remember when it happened.  I was fresh out of college, sad my life didnt seem to be working out as planned and then, in retrospect, selfishly I said well, now it really won’t get better and it didn’t.

OK yes I know.  I just made 9/11 about me.  That wasn’t my intent.  Who knows what to say?  It sucked.

Thoughts?

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Toilet Shocker – First Chapter Draft Test

Just giving it a trial run.  Let me know what you think in the comments, 3.5.

toilet shocker demo

Chapter 1

February 27, 2019 – Moonbeam Coffee, Store #11,041 – Portland, Oregon
Heather Laramie’s wokeness wasn’t a hobby – it was a passion. Her frame was thin, the result of many a hunger strike in the name of whatever the latest social cause was trending on Lifebox. She owned multiple Che Guevara shirts, allowing her to wear the image of the Communist revolutionary daily. In her defense, her grasp on history was tenuous and she was unaware of Guevara’s bloodthirsty actions. She just viewed him as a man who wanted people to get free stuff, an economic system that in Heather’s eyes, was totally doable, seeing as how her parents gave her free stuff all the time, so surely the government had a money tree lurking about somewhere that could be shook until the leaves fell off into perpetuity.
Yes, Heather talked the talk. She regaled anyone who would listen of her love of Senator Murray Leibowitz, the upstart, self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” who gave former Homeland Security Secretary Emily Wannadingle a run for her money during the 2016 Democratic primaries.
More importantly to her, she walked the walk. She drove a Yarikazi Elf, which was literally the smallest car on the market, virtually one step above being a glorified golf cart. Sure, it was cramped, she was never able to invite a friend to come along for a ride, and motorists regularly slammed into it because they typically failed to see it and assumed the parking space it was in was available, but it got great gas mileage and was good for the environment, assuming that energy coming out of a wall socket was somehow produced in a cleaner manner than gas harvested from the bowels of the earth but…hey, you know what? That’s not the point. The point is, the car made her happy.
And many things made Heather happy. There was the “Resist” tattoo she got permanently etched on her right forearm the day Vinny Stugotz was sworn in as the forty-fifth president of the United States. There was her pink pussy hat, which she, in addition to Che’s grim visage, also wore daily. She even decorated it with a pin that read, “Keep your laws off my vagina.” Heather was, in fact, such a proponent of anti-vaginal legislation that she regularly posted on her blog about her support for a controversial law that would allow women to have an abortion up until the 24th trimester, known throughout the media as the “Whack ‘Em with a Baseball Bat Until Their Sixth Birthday Bill.” Murray Leibowitz was the bill’s chief sponsor, and once Emily Wannadingle’s people determined through a series of polls that the bill was popular, she vocalized her support for it to.
Yes, Heather was proud of her lifestyle and yearned for the day when the revolution would come, bathing the streets red with the blood of capitalist pigs, seizing any and all businesses and putting them under government control, and putting all labor at the new Communist government’s disposal. Like many young comrades, Heather always pictured herself as some kind of commissar, someone who would be paid handsomely to vocally support Communism and punish those who criticized it. Most millennial pinkos typically fantasized about becoming high-ranking officials in the apparatchik. None ever envisioned themselves as ditch digging peasants who would work for 12 hours a day, then spend the other 12 hours waiting in line for government issued toilet paper and moldy blocks of cheese.
Also, somehow in this fantasy vision of utopia, Schmuck Phones, Lifebox, superhero movies, boy wizard books, video games and continued access to Mom and Dad’s backyard pool and tricked out basement still existed, though no one ever offered an explanation as to how, in a world where a workforce would be whipped into submission and aspirations of wealth would be quashed under an iron boot, all these luxuries would continue to exist.
Back to the main point. Heather was woke – exceedingly, ridiculously, absurdly woke, and out of all her expressions of wokeness, there were none that the pink haired, bespectacled college student majoring in 17th century lesbian folklore was more proud of than her position as a barista at Moonbeam Coffee.
Yes, Moonbeam Coffee, the wokest provider of caffeine fixes on the planet! Come for the triple half caf, skinny foam, mocha whipped honeysuckle cold brew with trace hints of ginger and turmeric. Leave when you ask for a large coffee with sugar and cream and the staff looks at you funny. Come for the recycled cups featuring tips on how to save the environment like “Compost daily” and “Get rid of your lamps and sit in the dark.” Come for the giftshop, where you can buy a bumper sticker that reads, “Live Locally, Frolic Globally” or “My Other Car Doesn’t Exist Because I Don’t Hate Mother Nature So Much that I’d Own Two.”
Heather had loved her job for three years, ever since her un-woke, patriarchal father insisted that if she was going to waste his money on lesbian folklore classes, that she’d better at least get a job to pay for her personal expenses. At first, she despised the cis-male scum who raised her, decrying his name for failing to see the abundant job opportunities that were available to students of lesbian folklore that hailed from the 1600s, but she soon came to enjoy making octuple caf, tall foam marzipan swirls with rosemary shots. She loved it so much that she was sure she’d just keep working there after college, opting to forego the abundant job opportunities in her field of study, of which she remained unwaveringly sure that they did, in fact, exist.
Alas, on the day in question, Heather began to have grave concerns as to whether or not her job would remain enjoyable in the future. A line of smelly, unkempt, unhygienic homeless people of all ages, races, sexes and creeds waiting to use the one toilet in the store’s small bathroom extended out of the store and down the block. This had been happening daily for months, ever since a vagrant had sued Moonbeam Coffee and won three million dollars after being refused to use the bathroom at a San Francisco store. The court ruled that the company’s policy against allowing bathroom access to paying customers only was discriminatory against the poor, and Moonbeam Coffee could no longer make arbitrary rules that unfairly affected the economically challenged.
For Heather, the result was that she hadn’t been allowed to serve a brew since the Fall of 2018. She was now on bathroom clean-up detail, standing outside the perpetually stinky restroom with a plunger and a mop at the ready. As she looked up at a television monitor that was playing her favorite news channel, Heather began to question everything she had ever believed.
Lydia Estevez von Straffsbourg-Kightlinger-Tiparoo, the most popular reporter on the Woke News Network, had been recently named the host of The Lesbian Slam Poet News Hour, the only show in which militant feminists updated the public on the latest stories in rhyme.
On screen, Lydia wore her usual outfit, a black beret and matching turtleneck sweater, a look completed with a pair of thick glasses. She was surrounded by a diverse array of poets. In the background, one poet pounded a pair of bongos.
“Moonbeam Coffee,” Lydia said. “It’s been eight months since this vile, capitalist, profit motivated criminal organization perpetrated by the one percent dared to commit the unspeakable, unforgivable hate crime of telling a man that he could not use the bathroom unless he bought a locally sourced, farm to table, gluten free scone, half the proceeds of which would have gone to creating communes for transgender watercolor artists in impoverished nations. What do we think about this, ladies?”
Vocal pundit Maura Heffernan-Augustus-Peabody-Benjamin brushed a piece of lint off of her “Fuck Stugotz” t-shirt and looked directly at the camera. “I don’t care how long it’s been, Lydia. I admit that this is a tricky situation, given the fact that I do support locally sourced, farm to table, gluten free scones and the building of communes for transgendered watercolor artists in impoverished nations, but…”
Maura was interrupted by Jessica Melman-Walters-Duffy-Boombalay-Bensonhurst, a contributor with a shaved bald head and a t-shirt that depicted President Stugotz swinging from the end of a noose. “Can I just say that President Stugotz is not doing enough to help start communes for transgender watercolor artists in third world nations? This is the defining issue of our time and that pig, that pretender, that usurper of Emily Wannadingle’s birthright couldn’t be bothered to do a thing about this.”
“I agree,” Maura said. “And I can’t wait to hear the slam poem you wrote about that, sister, but first, I would like to read my poem about Moonbeam Coffee’s despicable reign of tyranny.”
“Go on, sister,” Lydia said. “Hit us with your truth.”
Maura sipped some water. She cleared her throat, then stood up and read from a piece of paper. “Beans of hate! Beans of hate! What is the fate of those who would stand by and sell the beans of hate? Unwoke baristas, chasing the mighty buck, but about those less fortunate, they could hardly give a…”
At that precise moment, poor Heather suffered a mental break. Her eyes welled with tears, and not just the ones that were inspired by the stench emanating from the bathroom. Heather had lived and breathed the teachings of the Woke News Network for as long as she could remember. She had long adored The Lesbian Slam Poet News Hour and had bought all of the books written by its contributors, from Free Stuff Works to Down with Penile Rule. She was even a fierce supporter of homeless rights, having spent many a weekend protesting against income inequality.
The door to the bathroom swung open, causing the air to become borderline unbreathable. Out from the squalid conditions emerged a hobo known around the community as “Dumpster Dave,” for his penchant for sleeping in large trash receptacles. He’d come close to being crushed in the trash compactors of three separate trucks, but he was still ticking. His tattered clothing reeked of bourbon and feces and as he looked at Heather, he wiped the snots that had formed in his mustache onto his coat sleeve.
“Damnation!” Dave said. “You got your work cut out for you today, Heather!”
Heather sighed. “Did you at least put your needle in the sharp container this time, Dave?”
Dave appeared aghast. “Un-woke bitch! Ain’t you been watchin’ the television-o-mo-bobber? I gots a to shit where I pleases and it’s a hate crime to ask me that!”
In her heart, Heather knew what she was about to say violated ever belief she’d ever held dear. Alas, her brain and heart had been in a running battle ever since Moonbeam Coffee had been forced to let any and all comers to use the bathroom, no questions asked, no purchase required. “So, you’re telling me I should have to risk contracting a deadly, incurable disease because you’re too lazy to put your needle in a safe container that my company provided to you for free!”
The hobo got flustered. “Buh..fah…gah…hate criminal! Damnation, you one of them Stugotz voters, ain’t you? Where’s your MAFFA hat, bitch?”
“Oh come on,” Heather said. “Like I would be caught dead in a ‘Make America Funky Fresh Again,’ hat.”
“Where’s your manager?” Dave asked. “I want to speak to your manager.”
Heather sighed. At the counter, Heather’s manager, Janice Schaeffer, was busily preparing a septuple caf frappucino with extra goat leche and a sprig of oak root. Heather’s stomach turned at the idea that she was about to disappoint her boss. Although Janice was twenty years old, Heather felt a special kinship to her employer. Between the faded hammer and sickle tattoo on the upper half of her left bosom and the green hair, Heather had a hunch that she was going to be a lot like Janice when she reached middle age.
The boss noticed the commotion and came over. “What seems to be the problem here?”
As the fracas ensued, a skinny woman with a protruding baby bump entered the bathroom and closed the door.
“This no-good, dirty rotten, conservative bitch just implied that I should exercise personality responsibility for myself!” Dave shouted.
Janice gasped. “Heather! How could you?”
A low moan emanated from inside the bathroom.
“All I did was suggest that if Dave is going to use our bathroom to shoot heroin…”
“I gots to shoot heroin, bitch!” Dave said. “It’s not my fault that I got an addiction due to the fact that I ain’t been able to find a job in seventeen years.”
Heather cocked her head to the side. “You haven’t found one single job in seventeen years?”
Dave threw his hands in the hair. “Bitch! I been holdin’ out for a CEO position!”
Janice shuddered. “I…I can’t even right now. First, Dave, I know the unjust capitalist system has been cruel to you, but you can’t just call women the b word…”
“Thank you,” Heather said.
The boss finished her thought. “…unless she’s using unjustifiable hate speech and then it’s ok.”
Dave stuck his tongue out at Heather. “How do ya like me now, bitch?!”
Heather’s lower lip quivered. “But…buh buh…but…Janice!”
“We all attended the sensitivity training, Heather,” Janice said. “Remember when the stockholders were livid when every Moonbeam Coffee store in the nation shut down for three weeks so employees could be flogged while being taught how to become sufficiently woke. You’re displaying a very insufficient level of wokeness right now.”
Bloodcurdling screams poured out of the bathroom. “Gah..ahhh…oh God….ohh….argh….ARGH!”
The baristas ignored it. They had grown accustomed to such noises.
“Janice,” Heather said. “You know I think the world of you. You taught me everything I know and even invited me to my first protest but I’ll have you know that I’m very woke. I’m so woke I write anti-Stugotz screed on my Lifebox daily. I’m so woke I donated to Murray Leibowitz. I’m so woke I own one and only one cloth tampon that I wash in the sink daily. I am woke.”
“You’re not acting like it,” Janice said. “Apologize to this man.”
“Yeah,” the toothless loser said. “Apologize to me right now, bitch.”
Heather looked at Janice’s disapproving face, then at Dave’s grinning, scabby face. “I will not.”
All activities in the store ceased. The plucky young baristas, the hipsters on laptops writing their screenplays, even the homeless folk in line waiting to use the crapper, all grew silent as they took in the spectacle.
Soon, the silence was cut by the screams of the woman inside the bathroom. “Ugh…get out of me you little fucker! Goddamn you, Johnny! Why did I let you do this to me?! Goddamn you to hell!”
Heather pointed at the long line of poor folk. “Janice, this is ridiculous.”
“I beg your pardon?” Janice asked.
Heather gulped and mustered up her inner strength. “Only paying customers should be allowed to use a business’ bathroom. There, I said it, and I’m glad I said.”
Everyone gasped. “Take that back!” Janice said.
Heather raised her voice. “I won’t! Look, it’s simple. Businesses need to make money in order to provide goods and services and whenever an employee is taken away from providing those goods and services, that translates into the company making less money, which means there’s less money for employees to get raises, and less tax dollars going into the system to promote much needed social welfare programs!”
The woman in the bathroom cried out in pain. “Barrrrrgh! I want this to be over so bad!”
Janice pointed to a glass box attached to the wall. It contained a medieval cat-o-nine-tails behind a glass plate. Underneath it was a brass plaque with the words, “Break in Case of Insufficient Wokeness” printed on it.
“Don’t make me break that glass, Heather,” Janice said.
“Janice,” Heather said. “I love you, but listen to reason. Things were so much better when only paying customers were allowed to use the bathroom. People who actually like our store and want to see it succeed because they enjoy our products would treat the bathroom with special care, being sure to not make too much of a mess because they knew if they did so regularly, they’d be too embarrassed to come to their favorite hangout anymore. And if they did make a mess, then at least they contributed to the store’s bottom line, so that the company could afford to hire a designated janitor and baristas like me wouldn’t have to be taken off the counter, away from all the delicious designer coffees and forced to clean up shit and piss and hypodermic needles and…”
The door to the bathroom swung open. The young woman, looking like a pale zombie, walked out. Her body was drenched in blood and she carried a baby wrapped in toilet baby. The infant cried loudly.
“Excuse me,” the woman said as she pushed her way past the baristas. “I have to go find a dumpster.”
“Don’t you put dare put that thing in my house,” Dave said.
“Hey,” Heather said as the woman walked away. “You know, there’s a police station that’s just down the street. There’s a law that you can drop off a baby, no questions asked.”
“Get your laws off my body,” the woman said as she pushed the front door of the store open, leaving a bloody palm print on the glass.
Janice pointed at Heather’s “Keep Your Laws Off My Vagina” pin. “You don’t deserve to wear that. What happened to your support of the ‘Whack ‘Em in the Head Until Their Sixth Birthday’ law?”
“I’ve been rethinking that,” Heather said.
Janice gasped. “I think you need to leave, Heather.”
Heather ignored her boss. She stepped onto an empty, chair, then stepped onto a table, breaking up a hipster writing session. “I’ve been rethinking a lot of things lately.”
“Whatever you’re thinking, young lady, your thoughts aren’t welcome here,” Janice said.
“I used to love this job,” Heather said. “Back when it was fun. Back when I could make coffee and talk about all the free stuff that people should be given for free but now…now I realize, nothing good in life is free.”
A dirt bearded, man-bun sporting drifter wearing a sleeveless shirt to show off his prolific arm tattoos entered the bathroom. “Holy shit!” he cried. “It looks like somebody had a baby in here! Oh well, fuck it, beats shitting at the shelter.”
Heather became lost in her tirade. “When I started working here, it was a happier time, a simpler time, an easier time, a better time. I could make coffee all day and sell it at an absurdly marked up price but posers didn’t care as long as they could post selfies of themselves holding a trendy cup. I was able to watch WNN on the monitor for free and at most, on any given day, I rarely had to spend more than five minutes cleaning the bathroom and I just want to return to that simpler time…”
“Hey,” came the voice of the drifter from inside the bathroom. “Someone should really scrub all the blood off the walls. It’s unsanitary.”
Heather continued. “…now all I want to do is return to that better time, that wonderful time, that…”
Janice punched the glass and, without a care for the blood dripping from her knuckles, seized the cat-o-nine-tails. “Don’t you say it.”
“…a funkier time…a fresher time…”
Janice’s nostrils flared. “If you say it, you’re….”
Heather ripped off her pink pussy hat and tossed it to the ground. She pulled off her Che Guevara shirt to reveal a star-spangled, red-white-and blue Vinny Stugotz campaign shirt, emblazoned with the forty-fifth president’s catchphrase, “Make America Funky Fresh Again!”
“MAFFA!” Heather shouted at the top of her lungs. “MAFFA, motherfuckers! MAFFA forever!”
All the hipsters, baristas, and homeless folk averted their eyes, as if Heather’s new shirt contained the retina burning light rumored to pour out of the ark of the covenant itself.

“I never wanted this!” Heather shouted. “You all made me this way! This is been brewing in my gut for months and finally, I have to let it out! If you want stuff, you should buy it! If you can’t afford to buy it, you should get a job! If you can’t find a job, you should seek the skills needed for one! If your physically or mentally impaired, then you should seek out government services instead of just lying around on the street all day but at any rate, if you want a better life, then that better life comes from you, not from the government.”

Janice broke out into tears. “I’m going to need to rent all the therapy puppies to get over this. How could you, Heather?! How could you?!”
Heather looked at her mentor and felt internal anguish. She hopped off the table and attempted to hug the older woman, only to be pushed away. “Get away from me, monster! You support that criminal! That animal! That beast who wants to lock all minorities in concentration camps!”
The young lady sighed. “Janice, he’s been president for two years and he hasn’t locked up any minorities in concentration camps.”
The boss wiped a tear from her cheek. “He will. They’re coming. Any day now. Camps for gay people. Camps for women. Camps for brown people. The blog-o-sphere told me so.”
The drifter inside the bathroom broke the tension. “You’d you people would stock up on more toilet paper. Is free toilet paper too much to ask?”
Heather walked over to the counter, grabbed the remote control, then returned to Janice. She put her arm around her boss, then pointed the remote at the TV.
“No,” Janice said. “Please don’t.”
“They’re not that bad,” Heather said. “You’ll see.”
Heather turned off WNN and turned on Network News One, the only network dedicated to bring the latest in conservative news and also, titties. Big titties attached to jaw droppingly beautiful female reporters. At the moment, those lovely ladies were taking a powder so that conservative blowhard Jim Clayton, a white-haired old fogie with a buzz cut, could bark at the camera.
“Welcome back to Jim Clayton’s America. Today on the show, are feminazi activists trying to chop the pee-pees off your three-year-old sons and turn them into little girls? The answer is a most resounding yes, but first, taxes. Fuck taxes. Fuck ‘em right in the butt. I hate taxes and I don’t care who knows it. If you want my money, eat a dick. Come at me and take my money out of my cold, dead hand if you want it so bad but until then, get a job. What the fake news media won’t tell you is that thanks to the booming Stugotz economy, companies are flush with cash and they’re churning out jobs out the wazoo, so get a job hippies and stop trying to raise taxes so you can give all my hard-earned money to shiftless flat-backers, no good, degenerate lay-abouts, and dirty rotten deadbeats.”
Heather took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “Preach, my brother, preach!”
All hope fell out of Janice’s eyes. “You’re fired, Heather.”
“I know,” Heather said with a smile. “And that’s ok. I’ll find another job because I’m switching my major to venture capitalism.”
“Please go away,” Janice said.
“And I’m going to get married,” Heather said. “To a man.”
“Stop,” Janice said.
“I don’t know what he’ll be,” Heather said. “Maybe a police officer or a fracking rig operator…”
“No more,” Janice said. “Please, no more.”
“We’ll have three children,” Heather said. “And I’ll take a few years off of work to raise them because seeing their adorable little faces will be the greatest pleasure of my life.”
Janice pointed at the door. “Get out! Your words cut through the depths of my soul like a flaming hot knife through butter!”
“I’ll take care of myself,” Heather said. “And I’ll urge my friends and family to take personal responsibility. And if I ever do fall on hard times, the support system I’ve created by starting a family will be there for me, so I won’t have to depend on the incompetent, bureaucratic machinations of big government…”
The baristas stared at the TV. Jim Clayton was working himself into a foamy lather.

“Look, I’m not saying that women’s reproductive rights should be regulated by the government, I’m just saying that their vaginas should be packed full of cement, only to be chipped away when they enter the bonds of holy matrimony. That’s right. We’re going to build walls inside women’s vaginas and we’re going to make them pay for it.”
Janice dabbed her moist eyes with a handkerchief. “That’s disgusting.”
“Actually,” Heather said. “It makes sense when you think about…”
A scream came out of the bathroom. It was louder than usual.
“What the?! Argh! What’s…what’s happening to me?!”
Janice knocked on the door. “Hello! Sir, assuming that’s your preferred pronoun, and forgive me if it isn’t, are you OK in there?”
“GAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”
“Damn it,” Heather said. “Another crackhead overdosing because the liberal-political-media industrial complex convinced this guy that he should live on the dole, avoiding any and all personal responsibility, never finding any direction that would make him a better person and…”
The drifter’s cries grew deafening. “SOMEBODY HELP ME! HELP ME, PLEASE….ARRGGHHH!”
“You’ve been helped enough, sir,” Heather said. “Lazy sponges like you are the reason why Stugotz won!”
Janice grabbed the knob. “I think he actually needs help.”
“Oh,” Heather said. “Right.”
The boss opened the door. She and Heather looked inside to find that the drifter had been burnt to a crisp. His body had the texture of a charred, blackened marshmallow, gooey yet crusty. His mouth was agape, his teeth the only part left that hadn’t been fried.
Heather’s immediate response? “Why the hell is there a black guy in here?”
All the screenwriting hipsters snapped their heads toward Heather in disgust. “No, wait,” Heather said. “That came around wrong. I love black people. All my best friends are black. I marched for black rights all the time. I’m just saying, this guy was white but now he was somehow turned black and…”
“Stop digging the hole, fascist,” Janice said as she surveyed the room. The walls were already covered with the blood and feces of over a hundred non-paying bathroom users, but the smoking husk of a man was a sight that no barista had ever seen before.
“Clean this up, Heather,” Janice said.
“Uh…hello?” Heather asked. “You just fired me.”
“Oh, right,” Janice said. “Damn it.”

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Darkest Hour – Why People Need to Watch It, Why Politicians Need to Make Decisions and Accept Consequences

Hey 3.5 readers.

I reviewed it last year, but Darkest Hour has been on HBO, so I’ve been watching it constantly, leaving it on in the background whenever it is on while I do other stuff.

I don’t think people really understand the bind England was in at the height of World War II.

First, and I don’t mean to dump on the French, but France screwed the pooch.  Part of me doesn’t blame them.  It’s easy for backseat drivers almost eighty years later to say, “I would have fought those Nazis!” but for the people who actually had the Nazis coming for them, I get why they surrendered.

The problem is the Brits had sent their army to France on the idea that it would be better to back the French up and stop the Nazis in France before they reached the French coast, thus gaining access to the English Channel.

So…with 300,000 British troops in Dunkirk, on the coast of France, the Brits had to make a decision.  Negotiate a surrender or lose the Dunkirk troops and lose the United Kingdom.

Amidst this backdrop, Sir Winston Churchill has been recently named Prime Minister.  Churchill is wise and experienced, having served in war himself, but also intelligent, having written a number of books.

Unfortunately, personality wise, he’s boorish and considered a buffoon.  He drinks non-stop, he’s chubby, overeats, smokes too much, and doesn’t have much of a filter to hold back from offending people.

Here’s why people need to watch it.  It really illustrates why politics suck.  They really do. Essentially, it’s all just a big game played by scheming scoundrels, all trying to get something done, everyone prepared to take the credit for a job well done but also trying like hell to avoid any blame.

The problem is that anything worth doing comes with good and bad consequences.  No matter what you do, there’s always room for celebration and blame.  You’ll never avoid a bad consequence unless you hide in a closet for the rest of your life.

Churchill understands this.  As a former military man, he understands war is hell and victory can’t be wrapped up in a nice little package.  He has been haunted by the failure of Gallipoli, where under his command, Brits died in World War I.  Throughout his life, his political rivals hold it over his head.

At any rate, while Churchill maintains that surrender to the Nazis is not an option, he is henpecked by politics all the way.  Parliamentarians Neville Chamberlain (the previous prime minister) and Viscount Halifax, constantly try to browbeat Churchill into negotiating “peace” with Hitler, though Churchill knows “peace” is code for surrender and a UK under Nazi rule is an unbearable idea.

Sorry to be longwinded.  Halifax and Churchill want to surrender.  They have a point.  Why risk so many British lives?  Defeat looks inevitable.  To save 300,000 army men in Dunkirk, Churchill must sacrifice 3,000 to draw the Nazis attention and buy some time for civilian ships to reach Dunkirk and pick the Army up.  Halifax argues why sacrifice 3,000 when defeat is inevitable?

So, here’s the thing.  At any time, parliament had the ability to boot Churchill and name a new prime minister.  Halifax and Chamberlain know this.  Churchill knows this.  Not in so many words, but he basically tells his detractors, “Come at me, bro.”

If Halifax and Chamberlain want to surrender to the Nazis, they can make it happen.  They can go to parliament and make the case.  Tell them that Churchill is a dick who is going to get us all killed and it would be better to be a Nazi subject than to be dead.  Halifax and Chamberlain can say they’d be willing to become the prime minister and do the surrendering.

By that they don’t want to do it.  They believe strongly in surrender but they do not want the blame for it.  They feel Churchill is a dummy that they can push and bully into surrendering, make him be the fall guy, harass him into giving in and then when all the Brits are in leiderhosen, staring at a swastika flag flying over Buckingham palace, then Halifax and Chambelian can stand around and be like, “Well, Churchill’s the one who surrendered!”

Churchill suffers a great deal of internal anguish until….SPOILER ALERT…he gets out of the office and gets around London, talking to common folk.  Do they want surrender?  No.  Would they rather die in an invasion than let Hitler win? Yes.

LESSONS:

  1. If you’re a politician and you think you are right, you MUST be willing to stand up and push your idea yourself.  It’s understandable that Halifax and Chamberlain fear Britain will lose, but if they felt that way, they should have stood up and been willing to wear the, proverbial “I support surrender” badge.
  2. If you’re a politician under pressure to do what you think is wrong, you must seek out what the people think and hopefully, they’ll support you even if what is right might lead to a bad result.
  3. The people have to be willing to support leaders in doing the right thing even if it results in a bad end.

BOTTOMLINE: Politics is the game of how decisions are made and unfortunately, making a decision is like a hot potato.  A decision, and the ensuing responsibility, is passed around and around.  No one wants the potato when it’s burning hot.  They only want it when it is warm and smothered in sour cream and bacon bits.

Politicians push each other to decide how they want, but they won’t make the decisions themselves for fear of backlash if the decision goes wrong.  If it goes right, they can say they supported it.  If it goes bad, they can say they avoided it.  Meanwhile, the people are schizophrenic.  They’ll shout to do this or that and if it works out, great and if not they complain.

Churchill made a decision.  He said we’re going to fight the Nazis.  He knew it could lead to certain doom.  He decided it would be better to risk seeing the UK bombed into the ground and conquered, its citizens dead,  if there was a chance the island could be saved and Hitler beaten back.

In a stirring scene, he shouts, “I will take full responsibility!”  No one else around him was willing to.  That’s what politicians need to do.

Deciding to fight the Nazis could have easily lead to the total destruction of Great Britain, just as deciding to not fight them could have lead to thousands of years of subjugation to Nazi rule.

All decisions have consequences.  I can tell you in my personal life, my biggest failing has been putting off decisions, avoiding that role of the dice and letting life pass me by rather than to just get in the fight and find out what happens at the end.

Bottomline is Halifax and Chamberlain weren’t willing to accept the consequences of the decision they wanted to be made.  They wanted a surrender, but they didn’t want to go down as the dorks who surrendered.  Meanwhile, Churchill wanted victory, but had that led to ruin, he most likely would have stood up and said, “Well, hey I tried.  Sorry fighting the Nazis didn’t work out.”

OK I’ll stop ranting.  I just see this a lot even today.  Politicians fight and demonize each other but when it comes to, you know, actually writing and passing a law that backs up their vitriol, they rarely do it.  “You should do what I want!” but few, if any, are actually just willing to step up and make it happen, put their name on a decision and accept the credit if it goes well and the blame if it goes bad.

 

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Daily Discussion with BQB – My Concerns About Socialism and Communism

Gather around, 3.5 readers.

Either you’re all getting too young or I’m getting too old.

I’m a tail end Gen-Xer, which means I’m old enough to have watched Rocky IV in the movie theater and see all of America’s anti-Communism fears take the form of Ivan Drago, the killing machine boxer whose Soviet government was willing to expend untold amounts of government resources on whilst Russian peasants were starving.

OK.  I know Drago wasn’t real but the analogy, i.e. that the Soviets would gladly let scores of their own toil away and live on scraps just to fund the Soviet ambition for world conquest was some scary shit.

I mean, I was a kid so I didn’t worry that much about it but looking back, yeah, the adults were a little scared by it.

I’m also young enough that I never saw the 1950s, where US kids underwent drills in schools where they’d hide under their desks, as if that was somehow going to protect from a nuclear blast.

I’m also young enough I didn’t live through the fear in the 1960s when Castro’s Cuba allowed Russia to place nuclear missiles in Cuba that could have reached US shore easily.

And I’m old enough that I was a teenager in the 1990s, a time when the U.S. and Russia enjoyed a post-Cold War peace that made it seem like the world was on the right path.

In other words, I’m not old enough to remember the worst of Communism, but just old enough to have known adults who lived through those hard times.

Read some history books.  Stories of how Soviet Russia killed millions of its own people.  China did so as well.  I recall one book about how it was common in 1950s China for the Army to go into villages, find that the villagers hadn’t met their farm production quotas, and kill villagers as a warning.  Either that, or sometimes they’d lie to their superiors, tell them the villages have enough food (they didn’t want to admit to their bosses they had failed) and villagers would starve when it would have been easy to have had food sent to them.  So many people died, just over fears of communicating failure to a hostile government that didn’t take failure well.

Want to know how old I am?  When I was a kid, if you didn’t eat your dinner, an old ass elderly person would inevitably say, like clockwork, “What a shame to waste that food, there are starving children in China who would love to have that.”

Then I’d inevitably say well take my dinner and put it in a box and mail it to the starving Chinese kids, you wrinkly old fuck.  OK I wouldn’t say that but still.  See how clueless all you young people are?  You never met an old person who told you that your failure to eat your whole dinner was causing a Chinese kid’s death by starvation.

It scares me when I see so many young people who are all into socialism, which I don’t like on its own and also I don’t like because it’s just a stone’s throw away from communism.  Whenever I see a young person in a Che Guevara shirt watching a superhero movie on his stupid iphone, it’s hard for me to not tell this kid how dumb he is.

Think about it.  Smart phones.  Movies.  TV.  Internet.  All born out of America.  Freedom of speech makes us an entertainment capitol, while capitalism makes all of these inventions possible.

You like all those Marvel superhero movies?  Cool.  Do you think Chris Evans is going to stand around for 14 hours a day in a blue spandex suit that rides up his ass, pretending to yell at CGI monsters if a hefty fee isn’t going into his bank account?  Do you think he’ll do it for the same box of rationed government cheese that everyone else would get in a Commie world?

Does Steve Jobs spend his whole life, ignoring and being shitty to his family, in the hopes of being memorialized for all time as a computer genius if all he gets is a few rolls of toilet paper?  I think not.

Apple computers didn’t start in Russia.  Marvel Comics didn’t start in Russia.  You might point out that a lot of the products you love are manufactured overseas but OK, they didn’t get to you without an underlying profit motive.

This is the way humans are.   Since our prehistoric days, humans have been naturally selfish and self-centered.  Cavemen would build piles of rocks and only give you a rock if you traded them a twig.  There weren’t any cavemen giving out rocks for free.  And if you wanted the primo cavewoman pussy, you had to have yourself a fat ass pile of the best rocks.

There weren’t any cavemen tribes who were sharing the rocks.  You think that a caveman is going to push himself to get 50 rocks when the guy who brings back 1 rock gets the same rock portion?  Screw that.

Communism failed and led to so many deaths because the government had to force people to go against their own instincts – work hard for Jack and don’t complain or its the gulag for you.

Is Capitalism perfect?  No.  I get it.  We all don’t start with the same advantages.  A bad turn of luck can weigh you down forever, keep you from getting a great job and so on.  But I don’t think a better economic system has been invented yet and socialism and communism aren’t it.

So, end of speech.  Sorry I got political.  It concerns me that, “Please don’t become a socialist or a communist” is considered political now.  When I was a kid, not being a communist was just like, not wanted the sky to turn purple.  Just an obvious thing no one wanted, but alas, the old get older and the young never hear about any of the bad shit and are duped into thinking good shit so…this little fart in the wind of a post is my part in keeping communism at bay and asking you youngsters to read some damn history books.

Thank you.  Wow.  This could have been an Uncle Hardass column.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Should There Be a Space Force?

As a nerd, I give a resounding yes.  The name is awesome and sounds like it comes from a sci-fi movie.  However, I think I can read Trump’s mind.  I think his idea is that thousands of years from now, contact will be made between humans and aliens.  If a U.S. Space Force is started, that will likely be the organization that contacts the aliens. Ergo, Trump wants to reserve a spot in the history books as the creator of the Space Force that eventually made contact with aliens.

My two cents on what he is up to anyway.  Either that, or he’ll push for a Mars expedition with the hope of building a structure that might get the name “Trump” slapped on it, which you might laugh at, but JFK’s support for the space program led to the creation of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

I don’t know.  Love or hate Trump, but I like this idea.  Sign me up for the Space Force.

Come to think of it, our POTUS does like pussy.  (What’s not to like?)  Maybe he is hoping the Space Force might be able to find and bring back some green space bitches with multiple pussies to grab.  Ugh, nice in theory but in reality, way too much work to please all that pussy.

I wouldn’t mind finding some space bitches with three titties though.  That’s just three times the fun.

In all seriousness, life surely exists in the vast reaches of space.  It would be amazing to make contact, though whether or not that contact would yield good or bad results for humanity remains to be seen.  Due to our curious natures, we’ll always keep trying to make that contact, even though the safe bet is to stick to our own corner of the galaxy, so we might as well keep on trying and see what happens.  Hopefully, whatever happens is a good thing.

DISCUSS.

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