Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Demon Lady Revisited

I still remember the day vividly; the sound of her cloven hooves click-clacking across the production floor toward me; the smell of sulfur permeating the office place; the subtle crackle of flames and waves of intense heat as she made herself comfortable in the cubicle beside me; the She Devil had arrived.

I survived to tell the tale, of course, but I did loose my nice, quiet hidden spot at work that day and had to relocate somewhere else where the ‘Tai Kwon Ho’ couldn’t find or bother me*. Eventually I changed jobs, moved buildings and the years continued to roll on by until the memory of Demon Lady and all her hatred melted away into in the past like water passing under a unforgotten bridge…until yesterday, that is.

There she was – behind me in line at my favorite morning coffee bistro – waiting to get her next hate fix on – or so I imagined at the time. I noticed that the years had not been necessarily kind to the Devil Lady. More wrinkles had cropped up around from where the horns protruded from her forehead and her faced had twisted into a permanent state of displeasure – no doubt from her countless years of scowling and sneering. Her breathe still smelled like a sack of dead puppies and evil itself.

Not wanting to upset the She Beast and bring her wrath down on top of me like an out-of-control avalanche, I fixed my eyes forward and pretended to mind my own business. Would she remember me? Would she attempt contact? Would she ever make a voodoo doll later and proceed to mutilate it with pins and needles afterwards? I said a quiet prayer and shuffled forward in line until it was my time to order…

What happened next made my skin run cold and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and do the Macarena…she offered to pay for my coffee! To say I was taken a bit aback would be like saying the Swiss were a little off put by the Nazi invasion. But here she was reaching out not only just to communicate, but apparently, to make amends of sorts. Or was it all part of some elaborate ruse to steal and eat my soul? I remained weary, thanked her for her generous random act of kindness, snatched up my free coffee and retreated back to the office to barricade myself under my desk to wait out the approaching Armageddon.

After a few hours of non-activity – and by that, I mean tornadoes, plaques of locust, frogs falling from the sky, rivers turning to blood, that kind of thing – I began to actually believe that I was safe from her once again; I had faced the Queen Bitch head on and walked away unscathed…with a coffee no less.

Good for me!

But it wasn’t over yet – there she was again this morning – ahead of me in line this time.

“Rowh-oh, Shaggy!” What to do…what to do?

Do I pray for invisibility and pretend not to notice her in the hopes that she will disappear back into the bowels of Hell in a sudden puff of smoke again, or do I return yesterday’s favor and risk striking a deal with the devil? And if I did choose to buy her coffee, would this be the end of it or would this only initiate the regular exchange of caffeinated beverages between us in the future? Would it end there with the having to pay for each others coffees periodically or would it later evolve into my having to leave bowls of lamb entrails as a sacrifice to continue keeping her at bay?

I’m confused. What is the protocol exactly when dealing with demons? All I know is that my coffee shop doesn’t seem to be any crossroads and I have no interest in learning guitar. All I want is my coffee place back free from the walking undead.

Is that so much to ask?

So I compromised with myself and offered to purchase her a muffin instead. Hopefully that would be enough to appease the Demon Lady and not have to resort to smearing myself with goat blood and dancing naked around a bonfire by the light of a full moon.

But just in case:

“Oh father, who art in Heaven haloed be thy name…”

* Or hex me, put a spell on me, bewitch me, or any other type of evil, black magic hocus-pocus.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mobile Madness

Okay, seldom do I ever get too involved in the world of politics, but when one’s government officials does or says something so profoundly stupid, it automatically requires a swift and merciless rebuttal. More correctly, it deserves a Jurassic-sized slap upside the cranium, but as I am currently not in Ottawa, nor can afford the hefty price of gas to make the eight hour journey, this scathing blog rant will just have to suffice.

I’ve never been a purveyor for the virtues of mobile cell phones – ever. I once owned a Blackberry for work but found the distraction it created from other important things such as, oh, say, the rest of life for example, to be absolutely fucking annoying and I never regretted giving it back. I understand the importance of cell phones in today’s rapidly developing electronic and communication-enhanced society, but that doesn’t mean I also have to willingly go traipsing gayly into it; “rage, rage against the dying of the light…”

Long story short – I think cell phones are for pussies.

But be that as it may, schools in the GTA are currently engaged in a heated debate about whether or not their students should be allowed to utilize mobile phones while at school; more specifically – while in the classroom.

Currently, schools mostly operate with a strict cell phone policy that doesn’t allow their use in the school, either in the classroom or in the hallway and, too fucking right, if you ask me. If we’re going to allow them their precious cell phones, we may as well as go for broke and allow them to come to class armed as well.

What the hell?

But now, our illustrious Premier Dalton McGinty has suggested that we take a second at this cell ban and consider reinstating their use in the school system, or at least “be open to the idea of allowing students to use cell phones in class”.

Are you fucking kidding me? Why does a child ever need a cell phone in the first place, much less at school? Apart from using their remote Internet access available on any cheap-ass cell phone to Google the answer to their Geography final, what else would they ever need to use it for? It’s not like they need to make last minute reservations for their playground using their newest iPhone app are they? And heavens forbid should they ever be asked to go an hour without updating their Facebook status.

Shit, no - that’s important every day stuff!

The debate stemmed from concerns from parents about the cell phone ban because it curbed contact with their child throughout the day. Really? Like the 17-year-old Grade 12 student who recently needed to take an “important” call from his father during class one day. The emergency, you ask? Well, his father felt it was important for little Johnny to be informed about what they having for dinner - Beefaroni. God knows where that would have left Johnny had he missed that important message for sure!

Students themselves – obviously – as in favor of lifting the ban. Take Grade 12 student Monica Scanlan, for example. She says that she’s against the ban "for sure. It wouldn't be the end of the world to not use them in class, but it would be really hard to find my friends at lunch if we couldn't use them in the halls."

Hey, that’s great Monica. I mean, who gives a shit if you ever use them to learn in class or not, consider the serious social ramifications of not being able to find your friends quickly at lunchtime. Clearly, that’s not a world worth living in.
Parent Helga Teitsson said that she opposes an "outright ban, because as a parent, (she) rely(s) on being able to have access to (her) kids to remind them of the dentist or another appointment." She continues, "I think there are rules in place in the classroom, and I'm sure students push those rules," said the mother of two teens, "but I think parents today rely on cell phones to keep communication open with their kids." Really? Because I would have thought the top priority of sending her kids to school was to – you know - LEARN shit, and not be at her beckon call every minute of the day.

Maybe it’s just me, but Helga may just have to resort to an ancient tool known as a “calendar” (kal-uhn-der)* to remind her of her children’s after school volleyball games or dentist appointments, or whatever. She may even have to bite-the-bullet and hold herself e, as well as her child, accountable for being a responsible, capable individual and not have to needlessly rely on convenience gadgets to organize their day.

Call me old fashioned.

McGinty, however, argues that "telephones and BlackBerry’s and the like are conduits for information today, and one of the things we want our students to do is to be well-informed." Umm, again and, maybe it’s just me, but since we actually want our students to be “well-informed” we actually make them learn the shit and not just how to look up the crib notes on their Crackberry’s.

How would it look if a brain surgeon had to quickly Google instructions on anatomy because he didn’t really know the info, but rather, knew where to look it up? What sense does that make? “Hey, Suzy, don’t worry about actually learning basic math because you can always use the fancy ‘Tip Calculator ‘ feature on your new Motorola instead.”
That’s ludicrous!

In my opinion, we’re just teaching our children to be incapable, helpless little pussies. If a child should ever have to go an entire day without instant access to their precious Worldwide Web on their cells - like we did in my day – they would probably shrivel up and turn to dust and their brains would liquefy.

Children go to school learn – period. So what sense does it make to then include the one device that provides about a zillion distractions all at once so besides learning their multiplication tables they’re also watching the latest YouTube video, checking the latest Justin Bieber Twitter update, taking endless profile pictures, and texting their friends about the big rumble at the four-way stop after school.
What I really don’t get is that this stand against cell phone bans is being championed by the same asshole who also made it illegal for motorists to use cells, as well as cabinet ministers while in session. He’s the “Education Minister” for fuck sakes! So teach them to smart and resourceful, you moron; not spineless retards with the attention span of a coma patient.

Personally – I favor the Spartan way of educating. Forget the cell phone and other distracting toys of convenience; snatch the child away from the parents at an early age and drive them out into the unforgiving wilderness with nothing more than a pocket knife and a toothbrush and then ditch them. If they make it back to civilization alive, they live. If not….

That’s a real learning opportunity!

Does anyone else feel that "communication" is overrated anyway? "Good children are meant to be seen and not heard" is what my grandfather always used to say. We don't also need to encourage them to Tweet, text, Myspace, or Facebook every waking thought that goes through their undeveloped pea brains at every opportunity as well, do we? Shit no! My children will be lucky to talk by the time they're 18-years-old, much less paying for unlimited texting.

* A table or register with the days of each month and week in the year. Primarily used to record or register chronologically, as of appointments, work to be done, or cases to be tried in a court of law.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Discovering the Depths of Human Stupidity

The world is less one idiot this morning.

The Discovery Channel headquarters in Montgomery, Maryland fell under siege yesterday when an anti-human environmental terrorist by the name of James Lee, a self-professed atheist and Spanish music aficionado took hostages and issued the world a crazy list of demands.

So I guess he doesn’t like ‘Ice Road Tuckers’ either, eh?

Lee, 43 years of age, believed that the channel wasn’t doing enough to save the planet and hence, made the decision to take matters into his own hands. He strapped explosives to his person and stormed the Discovery headquarters where he immediately took three hostages and asked that no one else leave the building.

Now, first of all, here is a clear indication of Lee’s overall sanity in my opinion. Who, when loaded down with enough explosives to make a crater the size of Rhode Island, simply “asks” people to stick around? “Excuse me, folks, would you mind sticking around so I can blow you up if they don’t meet my demands? Thank you ever so much.” No, you don’t ask do you; you demand! Stick around or your ass is grass – simple.

Regardless, the hostage battle continued for four hours after which the Maryland police officers shot him dead. None of the people held captive by Lee were hurt and all the 2000 people working in the building, including the 100 children in a daycare center at the building were evacuated safely before police started firing on him. The fact that Lee is completely Loony Tunes is probably not open to much debate, but what was he trying to accomplish exactly?

Apparently, Lee was under the belief that the Discovery Channel was not doing enough to save the planet. He said the network and its affiliates should stop "encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants." Instead, he said, it should air "programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility."

"NO MORE BABIES! Population growth is a real crisis," he wrote.

"I want Discovery Communications to broadcast on their channels to the world their new program lineup and I want proof they are doing so," he wrote. "I want the new shows started by asking the public for inventive solution ideas to save the planet and the remaining wildlife on it."

Sure, no problem bud. Get the world to stop screwing. Easy!

Discovery Health and TLC, both owned by Discovery Communications, spearheaded America's fascination with prodigious families.

TLC is perhaps the most recognizable in the large-family genre of reality television with its one-time flagship series "Jon & Kate Plus 8," which at its peak garnered 10 million viewers. Its spin-off, "Kate Plus 8," premiered with 3.4 million viewers in June.

TLC's other bountiful brood includes The Duggar family in "19 Kids and Counting." The network has also aired "Table for 12," and "Kids by the Dozen," which featured a number of families with 13 to 16 children each.

Now I hate Reality television as much as the next guy – but really? Let’s look at some of the other bat-shit demands made by Lee in his issued manifesto.

"The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's "My Ishmael" pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other's inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game show format contest would be in order."

Clearly, James hasn’t been laid in a while. Maybe, in part, due to his apparent fascination with game shows. Forget David Suzuki, the world will be saved by Bob Barker and a ‘Showcase Showdown’ to end all ‘Showcase Showdown’s’. Whoever knew that game shows could be utilized as such an effective tool for learning and continued environmental education? Just imagine the possibilities: ‘Wheel of Pollution’, ‘Who Wants to be a Recycler?’, and ‘Are You Smarter than a Militant Environmentalist?’

Oh, but there’s more…

"All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs' places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it."

Okay, you know, I can kind of get behind this just a wee bit. If I have to watch Kate and her brood of yard apes traipse through Disneyworld on another all-expense paid trip one more time I may consider strapping some C-4 to my body and going all 9/11 myself. These types of shows sponsor individuals who ultimately leave an enormous environmental footprint and, seemingly, don’t give a shit as long as the royalty checks keep rolling in. Stop having kids, you morons! Your vagina is not a clown car. However, who’s going to tune into a program about abstinence? Not exactly prime time viewing, is it?

"Saving the environment and the remaining species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, froggies, turtles, apes, raccoons, beetles, ants, sharks, bears, and, of course, the squirrels."

Oh, of course! For the love of God – don’t forget the squirrels! Won’t somebody please think of the squirrels; some jokes just write themselves. Its obvious here that the guy is nuttier than squirrel shit.

But here is my absolute favorite:

"Also, war must be halted. Not because it's morally wrong, but because of the catastrophic environmental damage modern weapons cause to other creatures. FIND SOLUTIONS JUST LIKE THE BOOK SAYS! Humans are supposed to be inventive. INVENT, DAMN YOU!!"

You mean ‘inventive’, as in storming a television channel’s main office and taking hostages demanding we do something to help the squirrels and create more television game shows - that kind of ‘inventive’? You can really sense Lee’s desperation here: “INVENT, DAMN YOU!!” It’s a total ‘Planet of the Apes’ moment here, as you can just see him cursing the rest of us “damn dirty apes”. Poor bastard.

All in all - squirrels and game shows aside - Lee makes some pretty valid points in his argument. It’s just too bad that he continually refers to us (and therefore me by association) as “stupid, filthy parasitic humans”. I love you too, dumbass.

Sure we’re brainless, materialistic fuck bunnies, but at least we’re sane brainless, materialistic fuck bunnies. I think Lee’s greatest contribution to his own anti-human platform was in having his own ass gunned down and therefore erased from this mortal coil creating a healthier, more intelligent gene pool for the rest of us.

Rest in peace, dipshit.