condescending twatbags, politics, social media

Good riddance and GFY, “buddy”…

Today’s featured photo is a screenshot of signs seen posted in the United States. People are so delusional about Trump and his ilk. I don’t get it.

It always amazes me how quickly and easily people will sacrifice real life friendships and family relations over politics and religion. I’ve seen it happen repeatedly over the years, but ESPECIALLY since Donald Trump became our dear leader. In my 48 years on this planet, I have never seen a world leader as polarizing as he is. I have quit speaking to a lot of my family members over Trump (and they have quit speaking to me), and Bill has lost so-called “friends” because he isn’t a Trump supporter.

Trump has a lot of obnoxious cronies, too. One such man is Rush Limbaugh, who announced in February that he has lung cancer. I remember when the news came out, a lot of people were laughing and rejoicing about it. I wasn’t laughing or rejoicing, but I can’t say that I have a lot of sympathy for the man. I’ve been aware of him since the 1980s. My late father was a big fan of Rush’s radio show. I think Rush is an asshole, but that doesn’t mean I wish him ill. I just want him to go away.

Rush Limbaugh has made his name by being hateful and insulting. And yet our feckless leader has awarded him the Medal of Freedom and Trump supporters are shaming people for thinking Limbaugh kind of deserves what he’s getting… not just being sick, but being derided for being sick. As the “good book” says, “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Anyway, ol’ Rush was in the news yesterday, saying that his lung cancer is “terminal”. A recent picture of him was included with the CNN article. Rush is looking pretty gaunt. I wouldn’t have recognized him.

My husband, who is a lot less temperamental and outspoken than I am and almost never posts on Facebook, shared this comment in response to the news:

I know what I’m about to say is the result of unskilled thinking, but this appears to be an example of Karmic Justice. The organ used to spew years of hate, vitriol, and self-centeredness will be his undoing.

I see nothing in this comment that rejoices in Rush’s ill health or impending death. I see no derision or mean-spiritedness. It’s just a simple and truthful observation. It seems almost fitting that Rush would get lung cancer, since his lungs have made it possible for him to spread his negativity for decades over the airwaves. But… as to the actual cause of Rush Limbaugh’s illness, I don’t know. It probably has nothing to do with karma and more to do with bad luck and bad habits.

A few minutes after Bill posted this comment, he got this response from a man he knew thirty years ago. This guy was a non-commissioned officer in the Army and someone Bill had always liked and respected.

Bill when did you become such a bad person? I really do not want to see your filth end up on my screen so I guess it’s adios buddy.

And then he unfriended Bill.

Well… I must admit that comment flipped my bitch switch. I don’t usually feel the need to take action on Bill’s behalf, but it was getting close to bedtime and I am really fed up with hypocritical people who follow people like Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh and then have the nerve to call my husband a “bad person” for making a valid observation on HIS own space. So I sent Bill’s ex friend a private message:

“Nice that you unfriended my husband for speaking his mind on his page. I am glad you unfriended him. Go fuck yourself.”

He did respond to me, but I didn’t bother to read what he had to say. I’m sure it was the usual tripe spewed by these types of mouth breathing fuckwits… a sarcastic remark like “Wow, classy!” He probably followed it with some mansplaining comment that I’ve read and heard a hundred times before from people like him, including my own father. Instead of reading more of that shit, I blocked him, because I have enough people like him in my life. I don’t know him at all, but I do know Bill, and I KNOW he is one of the most decent, kind-hearted, loving men ever. And he’s brave, too, because for thirty years, he put on a uniform and put up with self-righteous dickheads like his ex “friend”, running their mouths about the virtues of capitalistic Republican politics while they worked in what is actually a very socialist “government run” career.

Another one of Bill’s Trump/Limbaugh supporting friends shared this… You have the nerve to lecture people about not being hateful when you publicly support two men who regularly insult and abuse anyone who doesn’t kiss their enormous Big Mac built fat asses? Get the fuck out of here with that.

Seriously… if you’ve served in the military and get free health care for yourself and your family, live in government owned quarters (which not everyone does, but enough do), buy food at the commissary (again, not everyone does), and accept educational benefits paid for by taxes, then you are not so much against socialism, are you? Because when you’re in the military, the government pretty much owns your ass… and potentially your family’s asses, too, depending on whether or not your spouse chooses to live with you as you are moved from place to place for years on end.

While the military lifestyle is not for everyone, and not everyone who’s served makes it a career, enough people are fine with the conditions. The benefits and perks, especially for retirees, and all paid for by taxes, are pretty damned sweet. And I have yet to meet anyone in the military or a military retiree who would willingly give them up, although I am sure there are people out there who would. I do remember reading, several years ago, an op-ed written by a retired officer named Tom Slear who felt his military benefits were too generous. I also remember the outraged comments left for him by his “brothers-in-arms” who basically had the same sentiment for him that I did for Bill’s former “friend”. To be clear, I don’t fault veterans for having these generous government provided benefits and enjoying them. They have certainly EARNED them. But those taxpayer sponsored benefits aren’t exactly stellar examples of the Republican ideal, are they?

Bill was very dismayed that he lost a “friend” over his comment about Limbaugh. Like I said, this was a guy Bill knew early in his military career and for whom he’d had much regard and respect. The guy who posted the comment wasn’t really a friend, though. They were connected on Facebook, sure, but it’s not like they interacted a lot. And by doing what he did, he revealed his true lowlife character. Seems to me he could have just quietly unfriended or unfollowed, rather than resorting to publicly insulting my husband. That would have been the decent thing to do. Instead, he calls my husband a “bad person” and accuses him of spreading “filth”. Well, it may be unbecoming and unladylike of me to tell him to go fuck himself, but that is precisely what I think he should do. Clearly, he’s not grown up enough to hang out with adults on social media.

This was Bill’s very gentlemanly response to his friends… he only has 77 of them at this writing. He really doesn’t post on Facebook much, and when he does, he’s a lot more respectful than I am:

So I was just unfriended for being “such a bad person” for expressing myself on my own space. Any other takers? You might as well get it over with. Honestly though, I try really hard to respect your space. Why is it so hard to respect mine?

Ironically, earlier tonight I was reflecting on Dr. Manhattan’s words in “Watchmen”. “I’m tired of this earth, these people.”

Are these the words of a “bad person”? I think not. And if you’re a military veteran who truly supports freedom, then it’s beyond hypocritical to shame people for speaking their minds. I may not wish ill on Rush Limbaugh, although he probably deserves the derision he’s getting, but I kind of hope Bill’s ex “friend” falls into an open manhole. I don’t want him to get sick or die, I just want someone or something to knock some sense into him.

And RUSH got the Medal of Freedom? I think Michael J. Fox should get it.

I don’t like hypocrites, and I’m really tired of Trump and his cronies, to include self-absorbed loudmouths like Limbaugh who egg on divisiveness and spew hatred. I don’t wish for death and illness for most people because that’s not the decent thing to do, but if someone is nasty and hateful and becomes terminally ill, they probably shouldn’t expect a lot of sympathy. Pointing that out does not make someone “bad”; it makes them astute. And if you’re too dumb to see that, and want to publicly unfriend your old friends, then good fucking riddance. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

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book reviews, nostalgia

Repost: Michael J. Fox’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future…

Here’s a book review I wrote for my original blog on January 23, 2019. I am reposting it as/is.

For the past week or so, I’ve been binge watching Family Ties.  If you were around for most of the 1980s, you no doubt know what Family Ties is.  Debuting in 1982, this was a sitcom that aired every Thursday night on NBC.  It was “must see” TV, much like The Cosby Show was.  Unlike Bill Cosby’s show, Family Ties has not been scandalized by the leading man’s sexual perversions.  In 1982, one might assume Michael Gross, who played family patriarch Steven Keaton, was the “leading man” of Family Ties.  However, after airing just an episode or two, it became clear that the star of the show was none other than Michael J. Fox, who played Alex P. Keaton for seven years.

I am about a year older than Tina Yothers, who played youngest daughter, Jennifer Keaton. I also happen to be named Jennifer (although no one calls me that) and as a kid, I looked a lot like Tina Yothers (and even blogged about it).  Even if I hadn’t been Tina’s long lost sister from another mister, I would have loved that show.  As I am discovering once again during my binge sessions, it’s very well-written and still funny, even though it was canceled thirty years ago this year.  The cast was extremely talented and had chemistry.  There was a very impressive array of guest stars, to include Tom Hanks, River Phoenix, and Geena Davis, just to name a few.  And Michael J. Fox, who would become a huge movie star in his own right, was undeniably charismatic and funny.

A couple of months ago, I downloaded Michael J. Fox’s 2010 book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned.  Amazon tells me he’s written several books.  This is the first and only one I’ve read.  I breezed through it relatively quickly, as it’s not a particularly long book.  In fact, although Fox dropped out of high school to pursue acting, it reads a bit like a commencement speech.  Indeed, new graduates are apparently the intended audience for this book.  I haven’t been a new graduate in almost seventeen years myself, and that was for my graduate programs.  However, as someone who didn’t really launch, I can still glean wisdom from Fox’s writing.

This book is written in a personal style, with Fox addressing his readers as if he’s sitting down with them.  He offers anecdotes about his climb up the ladder of success.  It’s not an exhaustive look at his career, but it offers plenty of important details about the milestones he reached, as well as some touching comments about his family members.  To some people, it may seem like Michael J. Fox (whose real middle name is Andrew) has always been a star.  But in this book, he explains that he was a starving actor when he auditioned for Family Ties.  He had really needed the part and was not expected to become such a huge star.  

Gary David Goldberg, who wrote and produced Family Ties, had originally wanted Matthew Broderick for the part.  In fact, Fox’s audition hadn’t even impressed Goldberg.  It was another staffer who had liked him and convinced Goldberg to give him a chance.  And then, once he had that second chance, Fox had to be “sold” to NBC network executives, who weren’t convinced he’d be successful in the role.  Several years ago, I read and reviewed Gary David Goldberg’s book Sit, Ubu, Sit.  I think I remember reading the same tale about how Fox was a hard sell for the role that made him so famous.  Unfortunately, I reviewed the book on Epinions.com and it never got reposted on this blog.  My review is no longer accessible.  Maybe I’ll reread the book someday and write a new review.

In any case, Goldberg turned out to be a great mentor, friend, and boss to Fox.  In 1985, when Steven Spielberg approached his friend, Goldberg, about letting Fox play Marty McFly, Goldberg had allowed it.  He did so, knowing that Fox could end up being a great success and want to leave the sitcom that had put him on the map.  But although Fox did become a movie star thanks to Back to the Future, he remained loyal to Family Ties.
Before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, Michael J. Fox was always freakishly youthful and energetic.  As I’ve been watching him on Family Ties, I’ve been reminded of the late John Ritter who played Jack Tripper on Three’s Company.  The characters are not similar, but the actors are both masters of physical comedy and delivering witty lines.  I almost wonder if Fox didn’t study Ritter a bit.  He doesn’t mention it in the book, and may not have ever had any dealings with the actor.  It was just one of my observations.  

Michael J. Fox also includes an insightful section on alcoholism.  For years, Fox drank to excess, especially after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at age 30.  He would take medications to deal with the physical symptoms of the disease, but then drink alcohol to drown the emotional pain he was feeling.  He finally gave up drinking.  I would have liked to have read a bit more about that, but then, this book is really meant for graduates… it’s like a speech.  A speech would not be the place for a long story about alcoholism.

Anyway… although I may not have been the audience Fox was aiming for with this book, I did nevertheless find it insightful, well-written, engaging, and wise.  I think it’s probably a great choice for people who don’t want to read long books.  It’s long enough to mostly cover important subject matter, but short enough not to be boring or overwhelming.  Fox has a number of life lessons to share with people who are starting out in the world, even if this book is already nine years old and Fox isn’t the mega star he was thirty years ago.

As a child of the 80s, I must endorse A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, although maybe today’s youth should watch a few episodes of Family Ties first.  They’ll probably think it’s funny, too.  Hell… my generation watched The Brady Bunch.  Maybe later generations should watch the vastly superior Family Ties for a shot of television nostalgia.  I dare say Michael J. Fox is more inspiring than Barry Williams ever was.

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon from sales made through my site.

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Uncategorized

Outraged over an “Eskimo kiss”…

Yesterday morning, I read a news story about former U.S. vice president Joe Biden, who has re-entered the national political arena. It seems that back in 2009, Mr. Biden, then Vice President Biden, “Eskimo kissed” a woman named Amy Lappos. Ms. Lappos said that Mr. Biden leaned in and rubbed noses with her and she thought he was going to kiss her. It made her uncomfortable. She’s now complaining about it in 2019, in support of another woman’s accusations against Biden.

Former New Mexico assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, wrote in an essay published last week that the former vice president had touched and kissed her inappropriately at a campaign event back in 2014. Flores writes that she hadn’t washed her hair when Biden came up behind her, put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her “dirty” hair, and kissed the back of her head. She said she thought of a Spanish expression, “tragame tierra,” which means “Earth, swallow me whole”, when this happened to her. I understand her embarrassment. That would embarrass and humiliate me, too. I can even see why she was too shocked to say or do anything at the time, although I wish she wouldn’t have waited years to speak up about it.

Far be it for me to diminish the discomfort and pain of these two women, who were made to feel uncomfortable about Joe Biden’s penchant for inappropriate touching. To be honest, I never really paid a lot of attention to Joe Biden when he was the vice president, so I didn’t realize that he’s well-known for being “touchy feely”. Some people don’t mind being hugged, kissed, or “Eskimo kissed”. Other people find inappropriate and uninvited touching very uncomfortable. I don’t think it’s right for people to touch others without their consent, even though I realize that this new level of respect is coming about in the wake of movements like #metoo. It takes time for people to change, though. Many people never do.

Yesterday, I posted that since Americans voted in a president who openly brags about grabbing women by the pussy, it’s hard for me to get outraged over an “Eskimo kiss”. That’s the truth. Do I think Joe Biden should be “Eskimo kissing” anyone who isn’t a relative or a really close friend who has consented? No, of course not. But I don’t see it as nearly as egregiously awful as what Donald Trump and Bill Clinton have done to women. So, you can also count me as one of those who is not that outraged about the “Eskimo kiss”. That doesn’t mean you can’t be outraged about it or traumatized by it. Just don’t expect me to share your views, even though I do think people need to keep their hands and lips to themselves. That’s something we all learn in kindergarten, right?

Americans have already proven that they don’t really care that much about white men who sexually harass women, particularly those in politics. Bill Clinton got a blow job in the Oval Office by a woman who was not his wife. He was even impeached, though he managed to complete two terms. Plenty of people still think he’s a hell of a guy. Monica Lewinsky, by contrast, suffered from extreme bullying and slut shaming for years after the incident.

Before he was elected, Donald Trump was recorded on a hot mike, bragging about how he grabs women by the pussy. This information was disseminated just before the 2016 election. He still won, and a lot of people still think he’s awesome.

Brett Kavanaugh, the newest Supreme Court justice, was accused of attempting to rape a young woman while they were both drunken teenagers. Despite evidence that Kavanaugh didn’t have much respect for women, particularly when he was a young man, he was still confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, a job he will likely have for the rest of his life.

I’m not at all saying that I think Joe Biden’s behavior is acceptable. I do think he should be more mindful of his behavior and alter his habit of inappropriate touching. However, it’s gotten to the point at which everyone in a political race gets called out for the most minor transgressions, years after they’ve happened. I understand there is an imbalance of power when you’re dealing with the vice president or president. But some situations call for bravery, maturity, and integrity. How amazing would it be if some of the women who are complaining about this inappropriate behavior actually said something about it at the time?

I get it, though. Saying something like that to someone who is vice president or president may have a seriously deleterious effect on one’s career. We don’t want to piss off the person who has power. Confronting people is a scary thing for anyone to do– especially confronting someone powerful. And yet, acquiescing at the time of these infractions encourages more abuse and, frankly, isn’t the best representative of good leadership behavior. How are we supposed to look up to female politicians who say nothing when they are abused by men, then come out of the woodwork years later? I think female leaders, now more than ever, have a responsibility to speak up and out at the time when someone demeans them. Waiting years to make an accusation is a much weaker thing to do, even if it’s totally understandable.

What would have happened if Lucy Flores and Amy Lappos had said, “Excuse me, Mr. Vice President, but please don’t touch me.”? I’m sure it would have made the news. Some people might have scoffed at the women for being too sensitive. Others would be applauding them for being assertive and strong. And the really minor incidents, like the “Eskimo kiss”, would have been dealt with at the time. Maybe Joe Biden might have even changed his behavior and stopped inappropriately violating people’s personal spaces. Maybe more people would find Trump’s bragging about grabbing women by the pussy less acceptable for a presidential candidate.

Some have complained that Joe Biden is treating women like “little girls” when he kisses them on the head or brushes noses with them. I agree. So what is the antidote for not being patronized in that fashion? Show him you’re not a child. Say something. Stick up for yourself. Tell him to knock it off. Don’t stand for it. It’s the same way you’d train any dog.

Women who want to be thought of as “equal” should respond in a way that a man would if Joe Biden came up and kissed them on the top of the head. Nip it in the bud. Tell him to stop it. That’s the only way this kind of behavior will cease.

I don’t know why, but as I read about this situation, I was reminded of this old episode of Night Court. Harry Anderson, as Judge Harry Stone, grabs Michael J. Fox and forces him into a hug. This was portrayed as a heartwarming moment, even though today, some would say it was inappropriate (even though Fox is a guy). Interesting how things change in 35 years.
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