Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jim Crow Out West

As Americans, we have a pathetically short memory of history. We'd all like to think that the days of Jim Crow are long gone. We'd all like to think that we're past the point of discriminating against people based on their skin color. Today's segregationists are using a much more subtle method with the same result however.

Don't believe me? Look at what is going on in Colorado this week. Secretary of State Mike Coffman is purging voters from the rosters this close to the election. He's doing this in clear violation of the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA) which prohibits purging a voter within 90 days of a federal election. Naturally, Coffman is a Republican who is trying to purge the rolls of those folks who might not vote for the GOP. You know, minorities and the poor.

Guess what Coffman's defense to this is? It's absolutely absurd, however, Coffman's defense is that state law allows him to violate the NVRA. Now, I know that with my Juris Doctorate, I might have a leg up on some people. However, we all had civics in grade school sometime and the point of that lesson is that FEDERAL LAW TRUMPS STATE LAW!!!

What is particularly disturbing is that the Jim Crow laws in the South were often defended on this state's right claim. All Coffman and several other GOP election officials are doing is creating a new more subtle form of Jim Crow laws. There is currently a federal lawsuit over this and let's all hope that the Courts can see right through this bullshit.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let's Try This Again : Top Five Tuesday

I used to love this posting every week. I used to giggle with glee in the past when I would start thinking of topics. I would rack my brains for the week leading up to Tuesday. So why not do something I enjoy with my blog .... after all, it is my blog. So, without further delay, here we go with my relaunching of Top 5 Tuesday:

Top 5 Disappointments of 2008 (So far ..... )

5. Rush Limbaugh hasn't OD'ed on hillbilly herion, Bill O'Reilly hasn't contracted Hepatitis C, nor has Anne Coulter gotten her ass kicked by a lesbian : The good Lord hasn't seen fit to let us witness his vengance, but trust me, it will be sweet when it happens.

4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull : Seriously, almost 20 years to make this movie? It felt like Speilberg and Lucas threw a script together in a few hours. Oh yeah, any time you bring in the kid of one of the characters for more than a "by the way" character, you've jumped the shark.

3. Arizona State Football : Pre-season Top 20 team and for the 1st 2 games, it looked like they might actually live up to it. However, a loss to UNLV at home and my team dropped quicker than a drunk sorority girl's bra at a "Girls Gone Wild" bar event.

2. The current music scene : Seriously, there is no one band that has gotten me fired up. Hell, even Hinder somehow managed to drag their useless chach rock carcasses off of the county fair circuit and back onto MTV. Everything being played is so promoted by the industry, there is absolutely no chance for anything different and exciting to come along. How many more "straight from the street" hip-hop acts can come along,make it big, and then they're never heard from again? Heard anything from Young Joc or Webstar lately? Didn't think so ......

1. The Death of LeRoi Moore : This isn't really a disappointment per say in that it's not something he did or didn't do. Rather, I'm more disappointed in myself for not realizing how fleeting life can be. My friends CV, MC and I went to the Dave Matthews Band concert at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. It was an amazing show and you don't stop to think that it could be the last time you see someone. I guess whether Dave and the Band stay together or split up is whatever they think LeRoi would've wanted.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday's Piece of Meat

I can usually sympathize with most people. A single mother with 2 kids who is working and going to school I'll give big ups to. A blue collar father working 3rd shift at the factory to make that extra bit of money so that his home doesn't go into repossession and his kids have what they need gets all the respect possible from me. The student going to school and working 2 jobs to pay tuition is due all the praise possible. These are the people who represent the backbone of America.

But let's turn to another group of people who deserve neither praise nor respect: the spoiled prima-donnas of sports and entertainment.

See, this was brought on with a crybaby claim this weekend. Kellen Winslow of the Cleveland Browns has recently had a staph infection stemming from prior injuries. The team has had 6 of them this year. Shouldn't a team paying a player $40 million for 6 years take better care of him? Absolutely. Doesn't a player deserve to get his injuries treated as best as possible? Well, no more than you or I but yes, we all deserve health care.

But .... then again, shouldn't a candyass getting that much money read his contract first? In 2006 Winslow was hurt in the 2nd game of the year so he was out the rest of the season. Before the 2007 season, Winslow was hurt again only this time it was his fault. He was riding a motorcycle in a community center parking lot. Not his fault? Maybe .... but his contract stipulates that he was not to be riding a motorcycle. So for $40 million dollars, he couldn't pay for someone to summarize his contract in easy to read language? For $40 million dollars you couldn't chill out at home playing X-Box or PS3? I think for that much money you could afford a system and a few games.

Now he's claiming that he's being treated as a "piece of meat" because of his current staph infection. Now I've had some great cuts of meat, but never a $40 million piece of meat. Unfortunately, this cut is spoiled rotten and smells to holy hell.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How College Football Is Like An Abusive Relationship

My relationship with my favorite teams is abusive. It really is. Imagine if you will an episode of Cheaters with me as the spurned husband and my beloved ASU football team as the low-down cheating spouse:

Cue the intro music ... Show Joey Greco's cheesy goatee, etc......

Joey: Hi, I'm Joey Greco and meet the Devil. A fragile, older fan who suspects that his ASU football team is flirting with complete and utter failure this season. In our interview, the Devil explains his suspicisions.

Devil: I don't know what's going on. I mean, like last season. They were winning and then towards the end of the season, they started letting me down. They beat Arizona but couldn't come through when it really mattered. Maybe it was the euphoria of being undefeated for so long. But I love them and decided to give them one more season. After all, I have a degree from ASU, you know? I have my suspicions that they're being unfaithful to their promises from last season.

Joey: As the Devil's suspicions grow, our private investigators trail ASU to confirm their infidelity.

Voiceover: Game 1 and Game 2 seem uneventful. ASU does what it needs to do to against Northern Arizona and Stanford. In Game 3, a new mistress appears. Cheater's PI's have identified this mistress as LOSING appears. In Games 4, 5, 6 and 7 yet another mistresss identified as GETTING YOUR ASS HANDED TO YOU appears and never leaves.

Yeah, this is about how badly things have went this season. It's like an abusive relationship with that friend we all know. No matter how you put it, he or she won't leave their abusive partner. They always somehow rationalize it as I would. The friend might tell you "BUT you don't understand him/her. You don't get to see the nice things that go on." Or in my case ... "You didn't see last season. They were so good."

I guess I'll have to catch ASU in the bed we share on top of COMPLETELY PATHETIC before I'll consider leaving.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dear Axl ....

Dear Axl,
Like everyone else, I've been waiting for well over a decade for this "masterpiece" that you've been working on. Sure, I know you've been busy. After all, cornrows need tons of daily maintenance and you still have to wash those bicycle shorts everyday. You must spend hours still searching for Jerry Rice Oakland Raiders #80 jerseys. Hell, surfing eBay all day for those things is exhausting.

But please do us fans a couple of favors prior to "releasing" Chinese Democracy next month. 1st, get into shape. During your 2002 VMA appearance, you sounded out of breath. I sound like that when I do a 2-mile run so I know that feeling. I know, I know; it's tough when you're over 30 to just start running and exercising. Plus, personal trainers are expensive and $12 million dollars just doesn't go as far as it once did. We all have to watch our spending these days.

Another thing, please quit cancelling shows. See, what you do is you create ill will. Some of your old fans from back in the day might actually want to see you in concert. These poor guys are willing to shell out a couple of hundred hard earned dollars from their jobs as carnys, working at Taco Bell, picking up a few extra hours at Guitar Center, or at Big Ed's Quik-E Oil Change for a pair of those nose bleed seats at the Value City arena in the heartland of O-Hi-O. These guys are getting older and they might eventually lose patience for seeing you live. Heaven forbid they actually find something that might be more important or more dependable live such as an Ohio State football game, another Saw movie or a UFC fight.

Oh yeah, please quit firing every other member of the patchwork band you'll manage to assemble for this album. Just because one of the roadies from the last Meatloaf tour is way down on the list of your choices for guitarists, he might actually be able to pull it off. You can't be pissed off because he's actually relishing his 30 seconds in the spotlight during his guitar solo, so cut him slack.

Lastly, quit talking shit about other bands. Sure, the Eagles of Death Metal maybe aren't the most impressive band. Maybe they're not on par with Nirvana or the Misfits. But let's get one thing straight here: you're old, bro. Seriously, some guy built like Glenn Danzig and a tempter like Zak Wylde might just drop your skinny, old ass. Seriously, the "no-shirt hillbilly getting arrested on cops for oxycontin possession" look isn't good.

SO all in all I can say this: release the damn album and let me have my Dr. Pepper. Let us decide if Chinese Democracy is a masterpiece 15 years in the making or if it's just a self-indulgent piece of crap.

The Devil

Friday, October 24, 2008

True Stories of Casual Friday

Being a government worker had its perks to be certain. It was hard to get fired despite any degree of incompetence, especially in Atlanta. Don't believe me? Read this article sometime about the work ethic of many of Atlanta's government employees. That's right; 911 operators sleeping on the job, getting tons of warnings, making life threatening errors and still keeping a job. All you get is a warning and you're back at work that same. Suspensions? Oh no, not in Atlanta. See, nearly everyone with any sense will appeal a suspension and they will be back on the job immediately with backpay for the missing days.

But even yours truly has had his run in with the high standards of Atlanta government workers. Yes, I was a government worker in the Atlanta area but thank all that is holy I am no longer working there.

One afternoon, my friend KG and I decided to hit Quizno's for lunch. Being payday, all the malcontents were out and about with your truly being no exception. Sure I was a malcontent, but let's get back to the story lest I digress. Anyhow, in the middle of my Quizno's classic, I notice what appears to be a ghetto-ass broke down version of Lil' Kim. Ghettofabulous in all of her glory. Extensions, tatoo on the neck, gold tooth, corn chip finger nails and airbrushed toe nails. It gets worse though. She was wearing a half-shirt top that made her look as if she was trying to smuggle an inner-tube back into the office. To top it off, she was wearing a mini-skirt that was so short I determine her religion. The kicker, though, was a tatoo across her thigh in olde English font with someone's name.

Plus, she was bemoaning the fact that one of her supervisors at work had told her the skirt was too short!! I mean, imagine the gall of a manager to tell his employee that she wasn't dressed appropriately for an office environment. Super short mini-skirts are the new Brooks Brothers look after all.

However as disturbing as this was, KG summarily informed that this girl was the receptionist at the IT department in a nearby government building. So this woman was the face of her department. In other words, when you walk into the particular IT department's reception area, she is the one to greet you!!

Guess what day this happened on? Yep, Friday. This girl definitely ruined casual Friday for her office.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Simple Plea For Americans

One of the many blogs I still peruse from time to time posted this video below. I had a hard time figuring out how to put into words the feelings that swell up inside of me when I see it. Right now, we're so divided into blue and red, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, black and white, us and them. I know I give in to those emotions too easily for that very reason: it's easy.

But even the Devil has a heart and some sensitivity. See, in this time of increasing bitterness as the political season comes to an end, it's a shame that we don't focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us. This video drives home that point more than just about anything I've seen lately. Joy is universal. Laughter is human. Silliness is something we all enjoy.

SO my simple plea for Americans is this. Go out and travel the world. The world is so much bigger than Ohio or Texas or New York. Meet people from different places in the world and listen to them. I think what you'll find is that they love their children as much as we do. They want social justice and to help the poor as much as we do. They can laugh at a dick and fart joke every bit as hard as we do.

Have a beer with a farmer from Mexico and ask him what he wants for his family. Ask that family from Syria or Palestine what they want for their children over a cup of coffee. Break bread with some young people from India or Kenya or Russia or Iran and ask what kind of world they want to see when they have children. Guess what? Fundamentally they'll want the same things. No, they may not necessarily be eyeballing that 47" HD TV, but they want clean water and food. Schools and education for their children would be near the top of their wish list. A safe place to call home. The ability for their children to walk home without worrying about mortars. We want the same damn things.

But go out and travel the world; meet some people and share a beer. THEN develop your opinion. If it's the same as before, then great but at least you'll have some perspective. I'll guarantee you though ... you won't be the same and you will learn something.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bungle Town

It's hilarious. No, really it is. The Cincinnati Bengals are 0-7. Read that again please. ZERO wins and SEVEN losses. It's great how the Cincinnati media is always fed up with this happening again and again and again. In fact, the Bengals have had the most most 0 - 6 starts in NFL history; 8 to be exact. That's twice as many as the Arizona Cardinals ... the fucking Cardinals!! They haven't been to a Superbowl but they have exactly 1/2 the 0 - 6 starts as the Bengals.

While heads must roll in this situation, the calls are for wrong head to roll. Just like GOP supporters are condemning Obama for an association with Ayers whose crime was committed when Barack's age was in single digits, Bungles fans are calling for the head of coach Marvin Lewis. This is akin to the whole "liberal" media argument that pinheads always scream about. While the majority of newscasters themselves might be liberal, the majority of editors who decide the actual content are overwhelmingly conservative.

Don't get me wrong; I've seen this team play. There is plenty of blame to go around. But blaming it all solely on Lewis is like blaming that damn Katie Couric for making Palin look unintelligent. You can only work with what you're given (in Palin's case ... that isn't much). Blaming Lewis for this team is like blaming Obama for passing the bailout bill. He's just one small cog in the whole wheel in a series of gears.

No folks; the real blame here actually lies at the top. It's the team owner, Mike Brown. See, he's never hired a real General Manager and refuses to pay for one. He thinks because his father was the late, great Paul Brown that he's somehow genetically inclined to be some sort of football guru. Nothing could be further from the truth. Under his watch, this team has fallen apart even though it wasn't much of a team to begin with. No Bengals fans, the sad truth is one thing. Until Mike Brown either sells the team or relinquishes control, 0-7 starts will be the rule rather than the exception.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Holy Shit It's Christmas ... In October????

Every year, the Christmas season gets earlier and earlier. I was at an unnamed drugstore the other day and they've already got the Christmas shit up. What the fuck? It's not even Halloween. So along with candy corn, go ahead and pick up a can of that toxic fake-snow shit that pollutes windows in the deep South where there is no snow.

Whose fault is this? Whose grand idea is it to start making poor parents feel like shit for not being able to provide ungrateful demon spawn with that new sportscar just like that cunt from some bullshit staged "reality" show on MTV? Whose fault is it anytime we're glutted with cheap shit from China or repeated violations of worker's rights? Yep, it's the fucking evil empire .... Wal-Mart.

Apparently what I saw is in response to the hordes of cheaply made shit the evil empire is flooding the American market with. After all, what encompasses the spirit of Christmas more than spending money you don't have at a retailer whose labor violations record is longer than the list of excuses the GOP has been giving why Palin is qualified to be VP.

Truly Christmas is in the heart of that "labor" force in China working 14 hour days, 6 days a week. God bless us all, each and every one of us ... except those of you who don't subscribe to the right religion or political bent .... you un-American heathen!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just Die With Some Fucking Dignity

There's something to be said about acting your age. We all know some relative or close acquaintance that is convinced he or she is still in their 20's. To paraphrase George Lopez, at one time they may have been hot. That was then, this is now.

So why in God's name are we trying to convince the baby boomers that they can still act cool? Seriously, so you're going to have Social Security and get to live on golf courses while my generation will be saddled with so much debt we'll be giving prison blowjobs for some ramen. So you'll have Medicare and Medicaid for your Viagra while I'll be forced to take trips south of the border hoping that Spanish fly is still for sale. Please quit trying to convince this generation that they're still cool and vibrant.

OK, I get it that you were hippies. Sure, I understand that your saw the Stones back in '69. Yeah, I get it that you once owned a Harley and drank Canadian Club whiskey.

But you also brought the leisure suit. You also gave us Brut cologne. And of course, you gave us the porn stache. But advertisers in the quest to always hock something have created a niche catering to this generation.

The worst is this Touch of Gray commercial with the old geezers surfing and "rocking out" on stage like they're in a bizarro world version of an A&F commercial. They show an old guy and his equally old wife on stage at a "club". His wife kisses him and he's one moment away from his dentures falling out. One geezer takes it to the rim against some younger guys with the coordination of a sorority girl at a fraternity kegger.

But to quote Grandpa Simpson, I'm tired of seeing commercials with these active seniors. Let's see a real commercial. Show me the old woman at Kroger who can't figure out how a self-scanning checkout works. Show me the old man who still can't figure out how to make a call on a cell phone. Show me the old couple who are watching 4 channels on their TV because they can't fathom the idea of using their cable box. Show me the old man walking during the summer with black dress socks in sandals.

Look, we're all going to get older. Hell, I'm old as dirt now. But that doesn't mean that I have to wear socks and sandals. I won't be tucking in t-shirts into my shorts. I'm not going to wear those suspenders that hold up socks. I'll just act dignified and quit trying to act like I'm in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. In fact, I'll be like the old man in this clip!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's All Joe Six Pack's Fault!!!

I know, I haven't blogged in years. It's true ... I've become everything I hated. The guy who can't finish a whole pizza leaving 1 slice. The guy who starts yawning at 1:00 AM when he's out with the guys. The guy who actually enjoys watching Antique Roadshow (shudder). The Devil is even in a great relationship with an amazing woman who is way too hot for him. But as all good things must come to an end, some good things can always start again. Thus I will TRY to blog again and keep it going. Sure, I may not be bitching about the opposite sex as much, but I still have plenty of venom left!

Today's bitch is about this election. What in the name of all that is holy is going on?? Didn't we learn a lesson from the last 8 years?? Why in God's name would be put another bonehead in the Oval Office?? Not necessarily McCain but that sorry excuse of a politician named Palin!!! Jesus fucking Christ .... what in the ... how in the ... whose brilliant idea .... I just can't even begin to put this into words!

Let me say this up front. I'm a blue collar sort of guy. Seriously, I am. I grew up with parents who worked blue collar jobs for a living. Neither of them went to college but they understood the value of hard work. They had to stretch every red cent to get the most of it. They enjoy a cold beer on the back patio as much as anyone. So if anyone understands blue collar, it is none other than the Devil, my friends.

With that being said, please spare me this Joe Six Pack bullshit of "I want a president who can sit down and have a beer with me". Really?? So let me get this straight ... you (being the proverbial Joe Six Pack - Palin bonehead supporter) want the leader of the free world to stop in at the double-wide and drink a Miller Hi-Life with you?? So because Jasper knows how to skin a buck in the field means he's able to cope with the complexities of the world's economic markets? That is your criteria for a president???

I'll be the asshole once again and say it: I want a president whose intelligence makes me look like W. I want someone who might be more concerned about the situation in Myanmar rather than whether the mountains turned blue on a can of Coors Light. Give me a president who understands the subleties of international diplomacy rather than the intricacies of flip cup. Regional corn-hole champ does not a good president make!!

Frankly, this is why America is in the mess it's in. We keep up this bullshit that we want someone just like us. We have this complex when someone is more intelligent. We can't stand it when someone grasps a better command of the English language beyond what Cooter speaks down at the "guh-rage".

So when that family down the street saves their money wisely and buys a larger home or even a new LCD TV, we sign onto a shady loan so that we can have something a little bit bigger:

Joe Six Pack: "What? Frank from down the street just bought a 42" HD LCD??"

Joe Six Pack's Old Lady: "Yeah, they saved them a bunch of money for like a year and bought it with cash money!! They even saved enough to buy one of them there Blue Rays too!"

Joe Six Pack: "Well honey, we need to pull some money out of the house so we can buy a 87" LCD the size of a wall with surrond sound because we "deserve" it. After all, we make a combined $40,000 a year. We deserve nice things."

America has become an entitlement society ... you're entitled just because your American. Not because you sacrificed to go to college; not because you put money away; not because you're brighter or smarter; not because you worked harder than the other guy. Nope; you're entitled because you're American and you work 40 hours a week.

No politician wants to say it ... but you know me. I'm an asshole. I'll say it. Joe Six Pack ... it's all your fault.