Things That Suck #361: Weenie Commentators, and #362: Assorted Ass Pilots

Disclaimer: I like Will Ferrell.  The character he portrays in Anchorman, Ron Burgundy, is a humorous depiction of the douchebag that lives inside just about every newscaster.

It’s inevitable.  Whenever there is some kind of highly visible public tragedy there has to be at least one highly visible public figure who says something so asinine you want to bitch-slap him or her through the monitor. Usually there are several such weenie commentators, as they start repeating each other ad nauseam once one weenie commentator rears its ugly head.  I try not to watch TV news too much as I am prone to anxiety and depression. At least I can pick and choose a bit more getting my news online.

Most of the crap in the mainstream media is exactly that- “Crap” with a capital “C”-so sickeningly politically correct and skewed to reflect one particular world view that it lacks any kind of substance.  Don Henley said it back in 1985- crap is king, and we all love dirty laundry.  I don’t think even Don Henley had any idea just how stupid “journalism” would eventually become, although he was spot on as far as humanity’s flaming desire to see the carnage broadcast live and in color.

I hate to admit it, but even though I try not to have that “stop and gawk” mentality, I do too.  It’s human nature to go past an accident scene and try to determine if anyone’s injured, if it’s anyone I know, and worse yet for me, because of my automotive background, I’m actually assessing the damage to the vehicles.  Saturday I actually came upon the scene of a car/motorcycle accident.  Those seldom turn out good.  The motorcycle was in pieces, the front end of the car was pretty much hosed, and the guy that was on the motorcycle ended up motionless on the pavement.   I figured if he wasn’t dead he was probably close to it.  I’m glad I was wrong.

There is a reason why I don’t ride these things.  Note the damage to the Explorer is comparatively minimal (though that front fascia, fog light, bumper reinforcement, core support, radiator and condensor will cost you.)

I found out today that the dude involved in Saturday’s accident actually got off with relatively minor injuries, though he was life-flighted to the trauma center.  He got sent to the trauma center because he was knocked unconscious, and God only knows what kind of brain injuries and internal injuries and broken bones can happen to someone thrown off a motorcycle.  Especially if you’re not wearing a helmet.  ER staff have a name for motorcycle riders who choose not to wear helmets: organ donors.  This guy dodged a bullet so to speak, and what he does with his motorcycle riding in the future is up to him.  I wouldn’t ride one of those things but hey, if you want to, knock yourself out.

Society is not obligated to protect people from every possible stupid thing they can do.  Shit and stupidity are the two most common elements in the universe, and even the most intellectually astute among us are not going to avoid either one entirely.

One of the beautiful things about individual freedom is that you are entitled to be stupid to a degree.  No one should have to tell you the coffee is hot, that you shouldn’t smoke crack, or that riding a motorcycle without a helmet is a bad idea.  But no one should have the “right” to sue because of pouring hot coffee on themselves or because of their own negligence.  No one else should be obligated to bail others out of the consequences of their own stupidity.

Another situation that disturbs me is when a weenie commentator excuses a person’s criminal behavior based on their past experiences.  I am appalled every time that some ass pilot gets a pass for everything from armed robbery to mass murder because “he/she had a bad childhood.” So you peed your pants and your peers called you “Pissy” when you were seven, so you decided to go on a killing spree 20 years later and take out people who never knew your sorry ass from Adam’s housecat?  I have no sympathy for dumb shit like that.  Neither should anyone else.

Do you whiz your pants when you’re executed by lethal injection?

I had a shitty childhood.  I got my ass kicked every day.  I was lucky to get three hots and a cot- and didn’t always get that.  Big freaking deal.  Does that give me the right to go fire bomb the WalMart for failing to have English speaking cashiers on duty when I need to buy a jug of Pennzoil? Give me a freaking break.  No one owes me a damned thing, and what is the point of taking out my misdirected feline aggression on others?  I’m fortunate in that my cats get along well and don’t fight- but what good would one cat beating up a completely innocent cat do?

Isabel is not impressed.

It disturbs me that the media almost immediately wants to exonerate people who get caught doing the most ghastly things.  I understand in this country (and this is probably unique to the US) that a suspect is innocent (according to the law) until proven guilty.  I don’t think criminals should be tried and convicted in the media (though they often are, and often wrongly) but when someone’s caught red-handed, on camera, committing an atrocity, let’s not just start in making excuses for the alleged criminal.

I don’t want to hear about some ass pilot who molested kids but he’s “not responsible for his actions” because his Dad beat him.  Bullshit.  Yes, life cut you a bad deal.  I’m sorry to hear that.  Welcome to the club. Now get with the program, learn from history, and figure out how to be a decent human being.

I also don’t want to hear from the ass pilots who scream and cry on either side after a shooting incident that either a.) everyone who is not a convicted felon should run out and buy a gun (I am a believer in the 2nd Amendment, but whether or not to carry a gun is an individual choice) or b.) guns should be banned, like in the UK and other parts of the world.  Screw that too.  Both of those views are too extreme and uncalled for.

Gun laws aren’t the issue.  By definition, a criminal is one who breaks the law.  How many criminals are going to give a rat’s ass if guns are suddenly made illegal?  They don’t give a rat’s ass about the law, otherwise they would be law-abiding citizens.  Outlawing guns would simply create a black market much like the one already in place for illegal drugs.  That “war on drugs” is going so splendidly, ‘ya know?  Why not expand it, and expand the crime that naturally follows?

Why not expand the concept of personal responsibility, and enforce the notion that individual choices and individual actions have consequences?


Schadenfreude, High School Revisited, and Counting My Blessings

schadenfreude (n): Malicious enjoyment derived from observing someone else’s misfortune.

Leave it to me to come out of the clear blue sky with a new (to some) vocabulary word.  I have to say (confession time) that I have been at times most guilty of finding glee in other people’s disasters, especially when I observe those who appear to richly deserve a bit of cosmic justice.  I definitely have to confess to engaging in a bit of schadenfreude Saturday morning when I saw Jerry passed out on the bed, bare-assed, after an evening at the hell hole, his bewetted pants on the floor, with a piece of the front garden fencing still entangled in them.  It was all I could do to keep from grabbing the camera to catch some very unfortunate pics, because I know my uncontrollable laughing would wake his sorry ass up.  I learned years ago, let sleeping drunks lie.  It’s much quieter that way.  Besides, refraining from capturing the moment in pictorial posterity was as close to sympathy as I could get.

I should go ahead and fix the fence for aesthetic reasons,  but I think  as far as the “rubbing the puppy’s nose in his bad dog doody” element goes, he should have to do it.  It’s a bloody miracle that he didn’t destroy the rose bush or get lacerated to shreds on it.  He did manage to get some minor abrasions on both forearms, presumably acquired by dragging himself across the (concrete) porch, but other than his pride, he was otherwise undamaged.  To hear him tell it though, he barely escaped death because I wouldn’t answer the phone at 1AM to pick his sorry ass up.   As if I was put on this earth to mollycoddle drunks.

Maybe I am too mean, but I’m not enabling his drunk-and-stupid adventures, especially at the hell hole.  If he insists on going over there and getting both plastered and ripped off at the same time, he can drag his happy ass the half a block over there and the half a block back.  This also makes it easier for his buddy who works with him- and conveniently lives across the road- to observe, comment and engage in a little schadenfreude himself as Jerry staggers across the road and drags himself across the porch.  I have no sympathy for the drunk-and-stupid episodes and I’m not losing any sleep over the cuts, wet pants and other embarrassment he garners for himself by his lack of self-control. The drunk-and-stupids are self inflicted punishments, not like the Fickle Finger of Fate targeting someone who did nothing to earn their misfortune. 

I wonder if leaving him to wallow in his stupidity is teaching him anything. The definition of stupidity, after all, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  He’s probably not learning a damned thing by being left to drag himself, the fence and his dampened drawers in, but again, there is that dark entertainment factor.  I wish he would learn better, but if not, I am going to find the humor in it.  At least this time he only lost $40 because I took the rest of his money, and his plastic before he left.  At least if nothing else, I’m learning.

I decided I am actually going to go to my 25th high school reunion- not to gloat over others’ misfortunes- but just out of my own curiosity.  Some people have changed so much I’d never recognize them, while others appear to be frozen in time.  That’s not necessarily a good thing, and when I go to these sorts of events, I generally remember there are often good reasons why I haven’t seen certain people for decades.  I know I have changed- hopefully for the better-and I (and they) live in different spheres.  What meant the world to me 20+ years ago might only register on the periphery, if at all, today.

I have a lot less patience in my cougardom than I did as a young punk- and a lot less tolerance for bullshit.   I am thankful that age does buy a certain amount of gravitas.   I don’t know if what I say actually does carry more authority- because I’ve been saying the same things all along- or that other people are finally catching up to my point of view.  Maybe they’re just tired of challenging me, who knows? 

I am grateful that I am not, like one of my sister’s friends, 42 years old with a four year old, a two year old- and in the middle of a nasty divorce.   I have all the sympathy in the world for her plight.  She didn’t deserve to be treated the way her POS old man treated her, and I find no joy in seeing someone suffer like that.  I got the nasty divorce over with sixteen years ago.  Steve-o is potty trained and literate and hopefully someday soon will be gainfully employed.  It’s not so bad being 42 with a 20 year old kid, but I couldn’t imagine dealing with a toddler at my age.  Dogs I can handle, but not those damned car seats, or the whining, or the worries about daycare and how to do this and afford that, etc. 

Speaking of dogs I am still waiting to hear about Sheena.  She’s having a mammary growth removed today (second go-round with mammary growths) and I am hoping this is benign.  I thought having her spayed would resolve the problem but apparently not.  She might come back with a total mastectomy (removal of both mammary chains) or with just the one growth removed, depending on what the Vet thinks.  The thing that aggravates me most is that if she had been treated properly and spayed early when she was younger she would never have gotten mammary growths.  However, I am glad that we got her away from the goofy rednecks who kept on breeding her even though it’s downright stupid to breed a dog who is already a crossbreed and who has hip dysplasia.  I wonder if they are in jail or if they just skipped town.  The tetanus farm has been deserted, so who knows?