Friday, October 28, 2011

Ellen Degeneres pissed me off

I had HBO on and an Ellen Degeneres stand up special came on. She led with a statement that it was hard for her to want to do a stand up special and it is emotional because of the tough journey since she made the decision to come out. Quite frankly, I had long since forgotten she is gay. I don't care that she's gay, just as I wouldn't care if she was straight. If she, and others like her, feel like they are under a microscope for being gay, QUIT BRINGING IT UP.

If I was a stand-up comedian or in the spotlight for any reason and opened with a statement that I'm straight, nobody would care. OK, people haven't always felt that way about homosexuals. And when it was particularly bad, homosexuals would stay closeted. As time marches on, less and less people care about the sexual orientation of others. I'm not gay. I don't want to be gay. I don't want to be hit on by someone who is gay because that's not my way. However I don't give a shit if you're heterosexual, homosexual, transsexual, asexual, pansexual or any other kind of sexual is out there.

All people (of different gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, national origin etc) want is to be accepted. They just wan to be exist. Bottom line is that not EVERYONE is going to accept you for you so stop highlighting the issue that separates you. In some cases, you're creating one. In some cases, you're actually alerting people to what makes you different and drawing the line in the sand yourself. Everyone knew about Ellen Degeneres. You came out. Congratulations. It was hard and a big deal... THEN. Now it's over.

When she said it, my first thought was, here we go. You're unfunny in the first place so you're going to win people over with this shit. Nobody cares. Then it got worse. She actually opened with that statement and then said this, "I knew that some people would want me to talk about it, some people would maybe not want me to talk about it and I went back and forth trying to decide - should I talk about it, should I not talk about it - and ultimately I decided - no, I don't want to talk about it." WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU JUST DID?

So now the entire audience is reminded and proud of you for coming out again. Those that agree are just smitted by your resolve to stay in show business. Those that disagree aren't offended enough because you played to them by saying you're not going to talk about it because some may not want you to.

You're a woman who likes women. Who cares? It's not like you're the first. You're certainly not the last. Just be yourself. If you're a comic, be funny. Don't draw sympathy. It's pretty pathetic. If you're not a comedian, still... just be you. The world doesn't need to know your business.

She said one more line before I bailed out. "It's been talked about enough." Apparently not because you keep bringing it up. And then I turned it off. She's not particularly funny in the first place and the "hey world look at me because I'm gay and came out." routine is an extreme turn off. Whatever your orientation is, it's YOURS. Leave us alone. I'm for gay rights, but gay pride is getting a little obnoxious now. If I held a straight parade I'd get crucified. But that's a topic for another day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Asshole%

Occupy Wall Street just pisses me off further and further every day. These people are pissed off at everyone with more money than them. Judging by the fact that they spend all day in the streets protesting, I'd say it's a safe bet that everyone will have more money than them in no time. In any event, they've taken their cause from one epicenter of money to another. The east coast based Occupy Wall Street has a left coast contingent called Occupy Hollywood. Let's bitch at all the actors that have too much money.

They are now calling celebrities the Asshole% for all the money they have. Guess what OWS/OH!! America is the cause of their money. We fund it. We buy tickets to movies and concerts. We watch the news and spew it all over social networking sites. We love a good scandal. We gobble up every possible way to scrutinize these individuals and fault them for what they have we gave them.

A blog called "But you're like really pretty" has gained attention in the past for its satire aimed at celebrities. It is a webcomic, published every Wednesday, that makes fun of every Hollywood scandal we can't seem to stop talking about. These comics have become the hood ornament for Occupy Hollywood and it has decided to weigh in on the topic.

Some of the actors/actresses it has addressed are:

  • Justin Bieber - "I'm 17 and worth 85,000,000. I am the asshole%. #occupyhollywood."
    • I find no talent in Justin Bieber. I've heard very little of his stuff, but what I have heard sounds to heavily processed that they can do that to anyone's voice to make it better. I was also singing about heartbreak at 14 so he's basically an asshole, HOWEVER, $85M worth of fans dig him. His money didn't fall from the sky.
  • Andersen Cooper - "Gay teenagers are being bullied everyday. Some are committing suicide. But I won't come out publicly. I am the asshole%. #occupyhollywood."
    • He's a news reporter that may or may not be gay. He's not obligated to come out publicly. Will it help young gay people? Maybe, but I can't see how. Does he feel he'd be hurting his life if he did? It seems so. I guess the point is that you think he's an asshole for doing what's best for himself first. We have to take care of ourselves. Kinda of like all the "occupiers" out there trying to get their piece of the pie.
  • Beyonce - "I'm pregnant with my first child. I am building the baby a 2,200 square ft nursery. I am the asshole%. #occupyhollywood."
    • You wouldn't do that if you could? Have you hard Beyonce sing or seen her dance? You want a piece of what she's got. Do what she does. Oh wait, you can't? Then you don't deserve it. It might be over the top - 2,200 sq ft is a house in itself - but she earned the right.
  • Lady Gaga - "I'm wearing meat on my head right now. I made $100,000,000 this year. I am the asshole%. #occupyhollywood."
    • What you may not know is that is Gaga started off normal with a little bit of a weird streak. Her first agent, based in Parsippany, NJ told her to play up the weird. She was initially resistant. He insisted the public would love it, she turned up the volume and people are waiting for her next stunt constantly. Whether it's a meat suit, a bubble dress, or her coming out of an egg, everyone wants to see what she'll pull next. And none of this behavior was her idea. It was the fact that everyone knows crazy Americans want it.
And my favorite...

  • Snooki - "I blackout every Thursday night on national television and make millions. SHOTS. SHOTS. SHOTS. I am the asshole%. #occupyhollywood."
    • I hate Snookie, the show, her castmates and everything about it. I think it's disgusting. I think it portrays my home in a bad light that is not indicative of the entire state - yet people from around the country don't know that, so Jersey Shore become the their only frame of reference. The cast is not even from New Jersey, to make it even less realistic. They do all the things they should be embarrassed about and get paid for all of it. It is disgusting behavior and I refuse to watch it. I won't support it. I rarely talk about it publicly. In the days of social networking and social media, I try not to use those words in a way that can be searched or indexed by marketers. Snooki is the asshole%, but we put her there so other than opinions, we can't try to stop it. Boycott is all you can do.
The whole point is that we create these by our attention, money, public admission of likes/dislikes, etc. Why didn't they make shows like this in the 1950's? Because it was inappropriate and nobody would go, they studio would shut down after going broke. Actors wouldn't get hired if they acted this way. People wouldn't spend the amount of money.

WE MADE IT ALL OK!! WE did. Not the actors. Not the studio. US. Don't like it? Fix it. Lobby for family values. Gather people to boycott the movies until Hollywood can't afford to pay people these sums of money anymore. Affect change. Don't picket and complain how stars spend the money we gave them. It's like buying me a painting for my birthday and complaining where I hang it in my house. It makes no sense.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy a job position

This Occupy Wall Street thing is getting out of hand. I'm not even sure what they stand for anymore. Is there an actual cause at this pont or are they just angry at everyone with disposable income over just about anything? They want the rich to pay more taxes, they're screaming down with corporate America, they're shitting on flags, one tackled a cop. I don't know what the hell is going on with these dopes.

Let's talk about taxes first. Just to be sure I'm not speaking on emotion, I did some research and math. What I have is cold, hard facts. Up through 2000, the wealthy paid 39.6% in taxes. Consider that. That's about 40 cents of every dollar made going to the government. In 2002 it dropped to 38.6%. However on the low end a new tax bracket was created. Where it was previously 15%, it was now 10%. Keep in mind that the highest bracket starts at $379,150 and doesn't stop. So $379k/year is considered the same level of wealth as $2 million or $50 million. Occupy Wall Street feels the rich aren't paying their share. They are paying a higher percentage of a higher number.

Now let's run the numbers. Round numbers like $100 being the high side and $25 being the low. The high pays that 40% and the low pays that 10%. 40% of $100 is $40. 10% of $25 is $2.50. So the rich guy is paying $40 in taxes and the not so rich guy pays $2.50. Who isn't doing their part? Now let's use some real numbers from the bracket structure. $379,150 and we'll take the 35% that it dropped to in 2003. That is a whopping $132,702.50. That's what that person pays in TAXES. Imagine that. They pay in taxes what many people make in a year. That is a shitload of money. $8500 is the high side of the low bracket at 10%. That's $850 paid. Now you tell me which person is going to help improve roads or buy books for schools. Honestly, how can you say that the rich aren't paying enough? What do you want? Half? More?

The other thing people have been saying is down with corporate America. They've been doing it from their iPhones and other smartphones. Some have been camping in Eddie Bauer tents and taking pictures with Canon cameras. All of these people are complaining about the greed of corporate America while using products and services from all the companies they claim to hate. In some case they were complaining specifically about a company while use its products. How does that make ANY sense at all?

One guy actually dropped his pants and shit on an American flag in the middle of the street. That's disgusting, it's unsanitary, it's disrespectful and disgraceful, it's nonsensical, and it should be treasonous. Ok the last one is just an opinion. But tell me how in the hell that was going to help his cause? And the people that are there saw that as a good idea. They are standing around in the picture laughing. If you hate America and all of its systems so badly, just leave. Canada gives away healthcare and charges tons of taxes. Does your shit make the rich pay more taxes?

One of these non-violent tackled a cop on Saturday. Granted, the've mostly been peaceful and this situation in particular is 100% unique, but do you know WHY? It happened. The protestors were about to get arrested en masse so he tackled a cop. Why were they about to get arrested? They weren't complying with an eviction request. Before you blame the government, consider the source of the eviction request. It was the owner of Zucotti Park. It's PRIVATE PROPERTY. As a result, the NYPD (who were heroes of the world for so many years) started to corral the protestors when some of them began pushing against the police officer's scooters. In what world is it smart to get physical with a cop? The whole thing escalate and, naturally, the Internet is saying the cops were brutal. Honestly, the whole thing was over the top on both sides. Keep in mind it started because protestors were evicted from private property, didn't want to go and shoved cops.

All of these individual situations aside, what the fuck is wrong with these people? This is not how you affect change? Do you think those that make all the money on Wall Street were handed those jobs? C'mon now. All the time you spend on the streets, you could have been working and adding to society. Try getting an education. Try showing some work ethic. Be functioning members of society. You may think you're making a difference, you're just making fools of yourselves.

I'm just glad I don't work down there anymore. I couldn't handle watching this shit on a daily basis.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The decision has been made and that's it

The 1 thing I simply cannot stand about the military is the inability of people to accept your decisions regarding the military and the need to project their own values and ideas. Some people do 1 enlistment. Some people stick around for a while and leave to find happiness elsewhere. Some stay 20 years and some even 30. To each their own.

Don't tell me about the pension. 50% of my pay at 20 years will be about $24k/year BEFORE taxes. I can make up DOUBLE that money (on top of my pay) starting in a couple of years. To make my current base bay and my retirement pension I need a whopping $60k/year. That's my military base pay and 50% of what my base pay at 20 years (all averaged, estimated and rounded, of course). Add in the fact that my retirement pay would kick in 12 years from now. My civilian pay would kick in 2 years from now. That $24k over 10 years is a quarter-million dollars ahead than just starting at retirement. And none of that accounts for making a raise in the interim or actually starting above $60k in the first place. It's not fiscally responsible to stay in the Air Force, for me - as if money was the only reason.

You may want to travel the world and move from place to place. I do not. I've lived in 2 house my entire life. I like being still and settled. I love being close to my family and friends. I love my city and the general area. I love the type of work. I'm left a little disenchanted after 8 years in the Air Force over certain things (none of which I'll divulge for 2 reasons. 1) My personal feelings and experiences are my own and 2) It's not my place to paint the Air Force negatively to outsiders).

I've spoken about this before. Increasingly, as the days grow shorter and my separation grows nearer, people get preachy. They get on their soapbox and try to recruit me. Some people know my situation intimately and others don't. I'm equally annoyed. If you know me through and through, then you know what makes me, me. You know why I'm doing what I'm doing. You know my priorities. Respect them and leave me the hell alone about staying in. You want to stay in? Go for it. It's YOUR life. Mine is MINE. If you're in the group that knows me well, then you're a friend and why would a friend want to keep me here if it's not the right long term move for me. Selfish much?

If you're in the other group that doesn't know me well, then you are in NO place whatsoever to wax intellectual about what my future should entail, plain and simple. You cannot make an informed decision without the details, most of which you don't have and most of which you will not get. You simply are not capable of selling me on anything from where you stand.

This goes on constantly. It happened at my last base before I reenlisted (of which I had no intention of doing). I ended up doing it because my situation changed. My relationship status, economic status, educational status all changed nearly at once. However, I'm single, the economy is better, I started my own company and my degree will be done this time around.

I will have done 10 years in service when I leave. Less than 1% of people ever put the uniform on for a day. I took from this country as a young man doing well. Then I spent 10 years giving back. I did my part. I did it well. I did it with pride. It's simply time to move on. It's also time for EVERYONE to understand, accept and respect that. If you convert oxygen to carbon dioxide trying to re-recruit me, you'll be doing wasting time and, chances are, I'll react poorly. I'm done listening, justifying and selling YOU on MY plans.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I'm ready for some football

I'm actually ready to hear Hank Williams, Jr. ask me if I'm ready for some football. He was conspicuously missing though, wasn't he? Want to know why? Because he made an analogy that was taken out of context and now he's been pulled from Monday Night Football. Here's what happened. He was interviewed on Fox and Friends recently where they asked him about his political views. If you know anything about Hank Williams, Jr other than his music (which I don't really know), it should be that he is strong in his views and speaks his mind freely. That being said, he was taken out of context.

They asked him who his favorite GOP candidate is and he said nobody. He then referenced a golf game between Boehner and Obama and said that was the tipping point for him. They, naturally, asked him why. He said that would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. At that point, it all broke down and nobody paid attention to what he said after. They were all convinced he just compared Obama to Hitler. Gretchen who is hotter than she is smart even verbalized that.

As far as I know, Obama has not committed genocide which makes him very different from Hitler. He hasn't tried to enforce those crazy socialist views through force or violence. Also makes him different from Hitler. No sane person would be able to make it stick that they are alike, but Fox and Friends think that's what he meant. Let's keep in mind that it was Fox that interviewed Williams. Not like he barged into the studio.

He also said, "it's like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu." Notice he didn't say "Hitler playing golf with Boehner." He didn't make a direct comparison. He goes on to talk about the polarization of the parties and how we are at the most polarized point in our history. Can you imagine Hitler hanging out drinking a tasty german Hefeweizen and clinking with Netanyahu's Manischewitz? No way! Why? Aside from the obvious time period differences, there's the fact that they are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Polarized, if you will.

That's what he meant. He didn't mean that Obama was Hitler. He meant that two dudes who will be opponents and at the furthest ends of the spectrum have no business being social. If you like Boehner (or even Obama for that matter), then you probably don't want to see either one of them slide away from what makes them, them.

ESPN said, "While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast."

Did anyone think he worked for ESPN? Would this hurt ESPN's brand? This was really not necessary. That open is iconic and has gone hand in hand with MNF for over 20 years. The guy makes one comment that has been taken out of context and now that's all over. So reactionary and stupid, but that's what I've come to expect from 90% of people.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Big and easy... to dislike

I've been living in southern Mississippi for two years now and I can count on one hand the amount of times I've been in New Orleans. People down here rave about it. I have friends that go from Biloxi all the time. Some from Florida. It's an aggregation point for people all looking for... something. I will admit that structurally and architecturally the city is absolutely gorgeous. I love the old European ornate facades on the building and all the wrought iron work throughout. Walking around during the day to take pictures, for example, it's a nice place, but as far as I'm concerned, that's as far as it goes.

Other than that, I don't understand what's to love about it. The people there are awful. For starters they are rude to out of towners, which is amazing for a town that thrives on tourism. The shop owners are ok, but the people on the street are just generally bastards. They go where they want to go and if you're there - too bad. That's the reputation that New Yorkers have because we move fast. We will swerve around you, not bowl you over.

Speaking of the world bowl... that's how the city is shaped, AND it's below sea level, AND the Gulf of Mexico is on one side AND Lake Ponchartrain is on the other. Fill a sink with water and submerge a bowl and see what happens. I'll wait. Back? So that was Hurricane Katrina. When you did it, were you surprised at what happened? They were. I understand that Katrina was the worst hurricane we've ever seen but that bitch COVERED the Gulf of Mexico. People were told to bug out while they had a change. They didn't and then they complained. Are you kidding me?

I'm not sure I would have known the difference before or after Katrina came through. If you've ever been on Bourbon Street after dark it's a disaster anyway. It is covered in shit (literal horse shit) and smells like urine. You'll more than likely step in vomit if you go down a smaller side street. Drunk people clutter the streets to the point you can't move. You wear things you don't particularly care about in case they get ruined. And then there's the nudity. Believe me, I love a topless lady as much as the next guy, but drunk, sloppy yanking your shirt off for plastic beads while being groped or licked by strangers (as is a common scene there) is just pure filth.

The language is the other thing that bugs me. It's a combination of southern and French, infused with just a bit of uneducated and it's called Cajun. Cultural pride is awesome. Believe me, I love my ethnicity and heritage and the culture and traditions that come with it. I have an Italian flag tattooed on my forearm. But culture cannot trump the ability to interact with the public at large. Your language and speech patterns may be part of your culture but you thrive on tourism so be able to speak to tourists and have them understand your words.

While we're on the topic of language, let's talk about your football team. For starters, the Saints are not the best team ever. They were the worst team ever (all 43 years of their existence) that had A good year. So, back to language and football. "Who Dat?" is not awesome. You wanna know who dat is? Dat is the guy that sound like he can't pass 2nd grade English. Dat is the guy that I wouldn't hire to sweep the floors. After they won the super bowl, "Who Dat?" became "Two Dat!" which obviously didn't go very far. It just sounds uneducated and ignorant.

Every place on Earth has its share of people who act that way. The difference is that New Orleans (pronounced, and sometimes spelled, as Nawlins by the locals) is PROUD of it. They are resistant to bettering themselves and appearing more productive. I have no love for that city and don't understand those that do. I'm not faulting or condemning. I just don't get it. I've asked bunches of that frequent the city, "Why is it cool?" and they say a) because it's awesome (not an explanation), b) because there's no place like it (there's no place like prison and that's a good thing. Still doesn't tell me why New Orleans is cool), c) they talk about the nightlife (which you can get anywhere and you said there's n place like it). I have not yet gotten one person to really explain the infatuation. Cuisine would be a partially acceptable answer. The French inspired, Cajun cuisine is fairly unique, but nobody has ever claimed it in conversation with me.

I guess living here on the Gulf Coast I hear about New Orleans constantly. I Get told I should go more often. People get irritated with me when I say "I'm not interested" and I get responses like, "What's wrong with you? It's awesome. You need to go." If you know me then you know that forcefulness gets you nowhere with me. I do not NEED to go. There's nothing wrong with me. I have an opinion and it differs from yours. Move along.

Save critical comments. It's a personal feeling. I don't like the place. I stated why. If you like it, go there and hang out. I've been. I've checked it out. My decision has been made on first hand information, not blind hate for something I've never seen. It is what it is.