Archive for June, 2013

27
Jun
13

For the Want of a ‘N’, a Kingdom Was Lost

Deen

Food Network’s southern delight, Paula Deen, got the ax and the hatchet hasn’t stopped swinging at this celebrity chef, restaurant owner, author and Emmy award winning celebrity. Endorsements are dropping by the handful after her disgraced admittance to having used the ‘N’ word (for those not familiar with the term I present it for educational purposes; the ‘n’ word refers to the word ‘nigger’). Now that disclosure alone may not have been enough to bring this sweet southern lady down. Perhaps that could be enough, but I tend to feel any PR weasel worth their salt  could have spun the story around and had her back on television in no time. I heard and read the initial stories released, like so many of us that can’t avoid the onslaught of sensationalized news ejaculated in our face daily. My initial response to the story was one of dismay and I expected more detail to the events that took place but what followed was a barrage of buzzwords. Capsulized opinions from newshounds working hard to draw you in for a moment or two to their network coverage. I needed more than that. It was time to light the pipe and dig further.

My initial take on the situation probably ran parallel to quite a few people out there. So the lady said nigger, what’s the big fucking deal? It isn’t like two hundred thousand gangsta rappers don’t use that word every day of their life. I hear it on the bus going to and from work, comedians like Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle and Kat Williams have made a golden career from uttering the word. I despise the word personally and feel it shouldn’t be used anymore than using the word ‘cunt’ when addressing a woman, but to bring down a beloved lady’s career over a slip of the tongue seemed a bit harsh. This is why I wanted to stop and peer a bit deeper at the story. Too often we are led astray to the facts of a situation that leave us opinionated from an uninformed standpoint. Case in point, the Trayvon Martin case that is just now coming to the courts. The raw initial reports on that event left a divisive anger between people that had most looking no further to hear what really happened, or misled into believing they heard the truth through unreliable sources.

The big whistle blower to the story was the National Enquirer, that infamous tabloid rag which posts fabricated bullshit on a weekly basis. Let’s not forget, however, that they will occasionally uncover a gem amidst their turds-such as the John Edwards love child scandal and the Paula Deen story exposing her having type II diabetes. I wanted to dig further. I couldn’t rely on the fishwrap that brought us encounters with Elvis from beyond the grave. Thankfully I was able to pick up the transcript online (see it here) of the deposition taken from US District Court, Southern District of Georgia that spelled out the dirty details behind the allegations brought before Ms. Deen and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers. Sweet Jesus what a mess that lady is in. Not only were her testified statements regarding the use of the ‘n’ word filled with stammers and ‘I don’t know” responses, but even more clearly defined acts of racism were revealed. She was questioned about her interest in having black men act as servants for a wedding. She replied she got the idea from a restaurant her husband and her had dined at; “The whole entire waiter staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets with a black bow tie. I mean, it was really impressive. That restaurant represented a certain era in America…after the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War…It was not only black men, it was black women…I would say they were slaves.”

More demeaning connotations were brought out which included her foot in mouth approach to jokes about black people, Jewish people, gay people and more, all ignited from a series of complaints brought against Paula Deen, Paula Deen Industries, Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House and other enterprises related to Deen and her brother. This case of racial and sexual discrimination has been brewing since brought about back in 2009. Another nugget brought out from the deposition is the elusive role played by Deen’s counsel, James P. Gerard, that tried to lead a dual role as both legal representative for the defendant and an acting HR manager for the restaurants owned and run by Deen and Hier. These kind of slimy tactics are typical when companies are trying to railroad someone out of court but Gerard’s participation is currently being questioned and deemed “erroneous”.

I am very much an advocate of keeping that easy to use race card in your pocket and only pointing out acts of inequality where it really exists. Not that I don’t believe racism is good but I feel the overkill response corporations put out there for us to gnaw on tends to get a bit carried away. When anti-gay statements came out from the owners of the Chick Fil A sandwich enterprise, the public responded in numbers with an attitude that said the statements made by Chick Fil A owners is not be right, but it’s not bad enough to eradicate a pretty fucking good chicken sandwich franchise. So once the full story is out, will this be enough to end Deen’s career? Not totally, no, however she probably will never be in the limelight as big as she has been. Her glory days are probably over but hopefully she socked enough away to live comfortably the rest of her life, she still has the restaurants and can enjoy her family without the fear of being scrutinized under the media eye again. Let’s hope she learned something from this. Let’s hope we all learned something from this.

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22
Jun
13

A Two Day Gay and the NSA pt 2

nsa2

Saturday evening before the Gay Pride activities shut down for the night I was approached outside the venue gates by a wire haired speed freak trying to peddle some crank. I thanked him for the offer but declined, asked him if he any any oxys or vicodin. I suppose I just wanted to let him know I was drug friendly and not appalled by his scabby appearance. It wasn’t like I’d actually buy anything from this disheveled animal. Buying pot off the street downtown is one thing since it’s legalization here in Colorado. Hard core drugs like meth or crack are another story. Users in the park will try and slip you Ibuprofen for Oxycodone, take you for your money; There is definitely no honor among those thieves.
The speed freak smiled at me. “Oh why do you want to go down man…when you can go…up?” Damn, I thought. If going up means finishing the night looking like this crazed tweeker, I’d fucking pass. The guy was trying to be congenial, he even called a friend over to ask if he knew where I could get some opiates. The whole drug conversation was getting lengthy and boring and I just wanted out of there now. I planned on coming here tomorrow for day two of Pridefest. More dancing, more marijuana, more transvestite performances. The whole Saturday scene was spectacular, a lovefest for all where no one was being judged.

I did come back the next day and Sunday’s experience was just as fantastic as the day before. Small pow-wow gatherings of dope smokers bopping to the thumping bass and drums, ornate costumes adorned by multi-gender party people. Pridefest was a two day celebration of tolerance for one another spiced with a bit of the flare for lust. Music and love, tolerance and diversity-this is probably the closest this generation will come to the love-in era of the 60’s, and we were all doing a damn fine job of it. Yet as I pondered on those moments in the park, when I sat down and took it all in with a huge puff of weed, my mind kept going back to the conundrum of these NSA reports. I knew a majority of the sensationalized stories hitting the waves on Yahoo News and other media sources were nothing more than shock value writing, things mustered to frighten the public and keep them tuned in…yet, some of it was happening and I wasn’t sure how to feel about that. I told myself perhaps George Orwell did have it right, he just got the year wrong. Were we in the beginning throes of an Orwellian nightmare where Big Brother watched our every move? So many signs point to this as coming to fruition. Newspeak?  Look at the developing language we’ve created with texting one another using shortened words like idk and lol. Cameras are mounted on light posts for traffic control and every son of a bitch and his mother out there seems to be equipped with a phone, camera and access to the internet to spread your picture throughout the world whether you know it or like it. Hell we do it to ourselves-we post our current location with maps pinpointing exact cross streets on the internet. Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four does run some frightening parallels to what we now live in but one point we need to remember, we too are Big Brother.

The NSA, the FBI and similar clandestine groups throughout the world have always been spying on their people. Americans pretty much fucking insisted on it after 911 because we were rudely wakened to a new world where terrorism was hitting the streets of our good old USA. We want freedoms but we also want people to stop flying planes into our buildings or blowing off bombs at our marathons. The security needed to protect our country is of a magnitude most don’t stop to actually weigh so until someone comes up with a better plan, we may all have to tolerate some scrutiny. The average citizen now has access to a handheld device that is more powerful in data access and retrieval than the computers used to send men to the moon. Did we really expect to have our cake and eat it too? Did we expect to be able to post a picture of ourselves in a split second all over the world and still live in a world where our secret service uses reel to reel recorders to tape rotary dial phone conversations?

Technology has enriched our country’s  covert organizations just as the Iphone has enriched our lifestyles but no person, no organization or government entity has the workforce to keep a tally on every single person’s activities all the time. This was never more evident to me than looking at the masses of people at Pridefest getting stoned and drunk and dancing in ass chaps. Those ass chap stoned motherfuckers were on a two day hiatus from Orwell’s doomed world so the paranoid chattering of newshounds and propagandists would have to get back to them on Monday. Pridefest didn’t care if it was being watched. Two assholes the FBI recently caught in New York that developed an x-ray bomb probably were upset at being scrutinized (and discovered) by the government. The discovery and subsequent arrest of these two individuals came about after quite a lot of surveillance, not by just randomly searching through a crowd or retrieving phone data from every swinging dick in the Big Apple. Our country’s security agencies aren’t perfect. None of us are. There will be mistakes by the NSA and FBI and people in those organizations need to be held accountable when they do wrong but remember the core of what they are working for and against. I certainly feel we should fight to keep corrupt and heinous people out of those institutions but we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

Go out and dance folks. Step back and take a look at the implied doom being created to keep you scared and coming back for more scary stories. The real horror is knowing how hard they’ll work to keep you frightened and tuned into them daily. Being scared from implied danger is a wasteful battle toward what could be, rather than what is…kind of like people being frightened of the GLBT  community by what some will imply of them rather than getting in the mix and understanding what this community of good people are really about.

18
Jun
13

A Two Day Gay and the NSA pt. 1

nsa

Those irritating reports, that stick in my craw put there from an assortment of media taunts on the National Security Agency faded away as I took a huge swig of everclear with a Vitamin Water chaser. Some twink in the moshed dance crowd I was captured in was passing around a fifth. I was going to take full advantage of any pain killing substance I could get my hands on. This was day two of a two day Gay Pride celebration in downtown Denver with clear blue skies beating ninety plus weather down on a stomping pit of dancing fools like myself. The crowds for the weekend event couldn’t have been more accommodating, entertaining performers, food and liquor, drugs and dancing. This was just what I needed to crawl away from those scarey stories of a Dystopian society we were all going to suffer soon, if not already.

The 2012 election has come and gone and the incumbent ebony messiah, Barack Hussein Obama, took the winner’s trophy for a second term. Republicans and Tea Party members everywhere kicked the dirt in disgust over that one but didn’t (and haven’t) stopped trying to do anything legally short of lynching the man in order to get him out of office. Doom and gloom continued to spew from Fox broadcasters and various radio personalities who remind me more of pissed off carneys than purveyors of  news. Every time a candidate wins you can expect the opposing party to brew up a stink however they can. I don’t blame them, it’s the nature of the beast. Politics can be like a drug deal; Everything’s fine when it goes your way but the moment things turn against you, it’s a pisser.

So Obama seized a second term in office and his opposition continues their quest to dethrone him. The birther plan didn’t work out once somebody paraded his birth certificate on the internet and regardless of whether you believe that certificate was legitimate or not, the story got swept away to make room for more scandals, like Benghazi, non-closure of Gitmo, a failed healthcare program and more. The most recent scandal now is this reported invasion of privacy from the NSA on smartphones and computers throughout the U.S.-wire tapping in the twenty-first century folks. Alleged data collection on all citizens-and not using those old fashioned reel-to-reel recorders, no, the new world NSA is up to snuff with state of the fucking art high tech gizmos and storage facilities well beyond terabyte capacity.

The reports left me blindsided, as stories of such caliber do, so the best way to purge my mind of the shocking insinuations  is to get out in the real world. Shut off the computer, turn off the news feed and go somewhere to forget. Pridefest seemed the perfect venue for me to do this so I packed up my drugs and camera and headed downtown. It’s like going for a brisk walk to clear your mind. Some things are so mind twisting that I really need a bit more than mere footsteps or a half hour of meditation. I needed some hardcore music, foot stomping dance among brightly decorated, loving people. I needed transvestites and pot, scantily clad people-anything but more stories on the NSA.

12
Jun
13

Just Like Brett Favre

favre

Brett Lorenzo Favre built a nineteen year career with the National Football League but I wonder if anyone knows the true number of times the man retired. From the Falcons to the Packers to the Jets and finally, with the Minnesota Vikings, the quarterback became synonymous with the game. Whether he was on your team or against them, anyone who knew shit about football knew the name Brett Favre because he just would not let go of the pigskin. He quit, then he came back, got hooked on vicodin, had his dick shown online after texting it to someone, more quitting-what a career. Just like Favre, I recently found myself unable to give up the game; the game known to me as the Church of the Ass Bleeding Morons.

My initial reason for starting the Ass Bleeding blog to create self therapy, to help me over a hard period in my life. The abrupt loss of a job came one day years ago when my boss pulled the staff together during the Christmas holiday to announce that he was closing shop. He said profits weren’t that good and mumbled something about ‘legal bullshit’ that he couldn’t deal with: The legal bullshit was that he skipped out on a building lease with no warning to the company that owned the strip of shops where we were set up. They threw a half million dollar lawsuit at him and he tapped out. No severance pay, no two week warning, the shop closed the next fucking day.What followed then was a roller coaster ride of job interviews for me that went nowhere. Unemployment gave me some financial crutches but they didn’t go far and what with every other person out there screaming about how the unemployed were taking advantage of the situation, it weighed pretty heavy on my psyche. I continued to try freelance work, which pitched a penny here and there, but there was no stable paycheck. This was the prelude to my second divorce and soon I found myself wondering how I was going to deal with all this pressure, the walls of doom were closing in on me.

My adventurous side took me down the gritty side of town and my creative half wrote about it. Soon I was involved with all number of events, drugs and music, politics and human drama. My blog posts began to recount the nastiness out there in the streets which I found to be more humane than imagined. People read my posts and raised my spirits with a word or two of encouragement. My writing carried a continuing journal of the Occupy Denver Movement (make sure to see my upcoming book on this saga, soon to be released) as well as my offbeat coverage of the Presidential campaigns of 2012. My self created therapy seemed to be working-for a while. Eventually I gave up on it when stress crept into the mix. Friends and acquaintances began bickering more and more as election day neared. If you weren’t for’em, you were against’em and I wasn’t standing on either side of the fence-I felt both parties were a sack of dung suckers who couldn’t care less about the general public. The strategy to combat what was happening to our country didn’t lie within the Republican or Democratic party. To fix the holes in the proverbial dike, we as a nation needed more than what the career politicians had to offer, but no one seemed eager to participate any further than pressing a button on their phone or computer screen. They would rather listen to talk radio shows for advice on how to create online banter, hate and hypocrisy. Anyone who doesn’t see the problem with engineering a twenty four hour news channel will never understand how it is we created this vortex of inadequacy, this slow growing weed of distrust and misinformation. So at that time I bid farewell to the Ass Bleeding Morons blog and went to find my own solace. I couldn’t shout loud enough-metaphorically- to deafen the echo of idiocy and bipartisanship. I left hoping to find my own happiness.

Despite my blog having sat for some time, I continue receiving encouraging words from those that enjoyed my recounts of jaunting downtown or me dancing naked in the park, hopped up on cocaine…yet I stayed away from the Ass blog. A lull began to bathe my senses. People continued to fall victim for pathetic forms of so-called ‘entertainment’; reality television keeps them happy like a shiny bauble in front of an infant and I watched them with disbelief. Facebook memes, of food someone just ate, vote for your favored singer on some hack television show-this is what became the daily dose of pablum we’re fed. I couldn’t stay quiet any longer. I had to stand up once again-like Brett Favre-and denounce my retirement. I don’t know what difference I can make by writing my observations on a crumbling society, but to remain silent means acceptance-or assimilation, and I can no longer hold my tongue to that. More monsters are being thrust at us each day and if only one voice stands up in defiance to our nation’s demise, let that one fucking voice be mine.




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