One of my favorite activities during the Christmas season is re-watching Home Alone. I know every line, every scene and love it all. The family running around packing for France, the pizza, the bumbling robbers, the old man shoveling rock salt, the tarantula, the house lights, the paint cans, the background score, John Candy and the Kenosha Kickers being quite popular in Sheboygan; it’s 103 minutes of Christmas spirit for me. However, one character stands out among all the familial dysfunction: Uncle Frank.
Parasites have a pretty nasty connotation. Vermin such as: fleas, lice, ticks, worms—are tiny monosyllabic terrors. They’re selfish takers. They bite. They suck. They kill. Parasites target bodies and blood. In Bong Joon Ho’s Oscar-winning movie Parasite, the broke Kim family targeted the wealthy Park family. Through a series of unfortunate events, the four poor Kim’s come under the employ of an outrageously opulent family, who are living their idyllic life, shuttling in their chauffeured Benz between high-rise offices, classy supermarkets, garden parties and their ultra-luxe home. Continue reading
Watching the chaos from the aftermath of Nurmagomedov’s win over McGregor in the Octogon of UFC 229, I felt a tangible sense of tribal fury. Russia and Ireland. Champion and contender. Victor and vanquished. Combatant and spectator. Humans are followed by the contradiction. Choose a side. Pick a team. The only two states of matter: alive or dead. Continue reading
It’s not time to talk about gun regulation when people use guns to kill for fun, politics or revenge. It’s not time to talk about human contributions to climate change when hurricanes sustain category five winds for 36 hours or dump five feet of rain in a few days. It’s not time to talk about health care when GOP politicians are rushing a vote on damaging legislation through secret meetings. It’s not time to talk about the antiquated electoral college despite two of the last five popular vote count winners losing the election. Continue reading
To paraphrase the Greek philosopher Heraclitus and the vocal artist Otis Redding: “Change is the only constant (and yet) everything still remains the same.” Continue reading
To begin, we go back in time to the end of WW2. The Japanese lost the war and were forced to relinquish control of their annexed Korean territory which they had established in 1910 and cruelly administered. The Soviets, who had only entered the Pacific theater of the war weeks before, were given temporary authority over lands north of the arbitrarily decided 38th parallel whereas U.S.A. was given the lands to the south. Continue reading
2016 has been a good year to be cynical. We’ve seen breakdowns in American politics, policing, and public opinion. Continue reading
The “news”/media is a fickle, transitory, grasping, obsessive, strange monstrosity disseminating stories of bullshit hyper-reality, politically partisan features, and the occasional war coverage. TV stars, Hollywood, and strange local happenings provide a bulk of the daily diversionary “news.” If we were ever actually presented with real journalism, provided with the information regarding Monsanto’s farming lawsuits, the dubious “War on Terror”, Wall St.’s gambling ways, all the global banks’ selfish complicity in crashes, bubbles, bursts, setting of mortgage and interest rates, or even the insatiable stream of tainted lobbyist money which has now inseminated D.C. politicians’ corrupt and decadent wombs, we would hopefully rise to the streets in protest for revolution! Continue reading
The American presidential election is this week and everyone is nervous because if their candidate doesn’t win, not only will the world end in a fiery ball of either liberal or conservative failed policies, but also, they will feel like a loser. I don’t think voting for president matters as much as we make it seem. Continue reading
Nobody feels like their vote counts because the person they’re voting for doesn’t count on them. The modern-day political system in America changed dramatically on 9/11, and now it’s constantly a fear based cycle. If you elect Johnny Nopants he’ll let illegal aliens urinate on your dog while you’re at work paying for his welfare check; he’ll let Obama kill your sickly grandmother; he’ll erect a mosque next to your church and eliminate the bacon on your burgers! Although I can’t remember an election where people didn’t slander their opponent, it’s to the point of absurdity and nearly hilariously irrelevant and incorrect. Jon Stewart’s rally was a seminal, groundbreaking idea of pure equality. His speech at the end of the D.C. rally was directed at all those who use their inner prejudices or sometimes even racism to thwart political opponent’s ideas. We are all Americans and we will always disagree on everything. We need more than two parties whose collective feet are held to the same fire by the powerful oligarchic corporate system. Tobacco, Gun, Environmental, Oil, Car, and Coal lobbies as well as others are financing 21st century political agendas. The representatives and senators, in theory, are to represent the people’s interests; but they inevitably wind up supporting their next campaign by allowing corporate interests to guide their goals. It’s possible that government has grown “too big to fail” and cannot be changed without a radical revolution that ousts anyone in the current structure and replaced with a new political organization. Invariably, those newcomers would become drunk with the proverbial power and we are back at square one. It’s not hard to find the complacent or the indifferent in America today. It’s also not hard to find radicals or the hard-liners either. We seem to be polarizing ourselves not by our own ideals, but by the very political scheming of the candidates themselves. We may be pro-choice but also pro-death penalty. We may be anti-war but also interested in national safety. We don’t all fit into a particular partisan schema. We blur lines, we cross over–but now, we must choose sides because we can’t possibly have both Republican and Democrat ideals. “Either you’re with us or against us.” Thanks W. It’s just not always that simple, but that’s what his presidency was all about–shooting from the hip, going with the gut. The feeling I got from Jon Stewart (who under appreciates (perhaps no longer, after the rally) his role in the news media and political world) is that we are all one people who want to help each other. Nobody wants to work hard and get taxed high so another can be idle and eat from another’s toil. The welfare system would seem to work if those who aren’t gifted with doctor, lawyer or physicist brains were given a little bit of monetary help by those who were. The rich can spare a little wealth to help the person who serves their food or takes away their garbage or mows their lawn. Have you ever seen someone throw a quarter in the cup of a homeless man? We can throw a few quarters together toward helping people a step away from homelessness. Get a job, any job, then you can get help from those who don’t need help. There must be a point where you don’t need more money. When one person can afford six cars or three homes, he/she can afford to spread some wealth around. Don’t break their bank, just spread the bread.