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Commentary Uncategorized

I’m More Patriotic Than You…

…And I can prove by being the biggest asshole I can be to Olympic Gymnast Gabby Douglas, a young woman I never met, barely heard about, and haven’t thought of since her spectacular performances in the London Olympic Games of 2012.

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In case you’re living under a rock–and if so, I envy you–you at least know who Gabby Douglas is, but just in case, here’s the lowdown: American gymnast, kicked ass in London four years ago, made the team again this year as a bit of a long shot at age 20. Once a darling of the media, and those who are told by the media who is supposed to be our darling, she was replaced this time around with a younger, even better model of cute tiny bouncing jumping twisting tumbling cover-your-eyes-she-could-fall bundle of energy and recast as the somber old fogey grasping for a last chance at glory.

Douglas did well, but not as well as the last time around, and she was clearly disappointed in herself, which the media played up, contrasting her unhappiness with the effervescent ebullience of Simone Biles, the aforementioned new darling. Douglas was good enough to compete for the team award, however, which won a Gold Medal, which should have been the crowning moment for a stupendous week, if it weren’t for a lapse.

During the playing of the American National Anthem. Douglas stood straight-backed and stoic, hands at her side.Uh-oh.
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The internet exploded with angry recriminations as spit-spraying idiots tripped all over themselves in competition to prove how fucking awesomely patriotic they are by trying to administer the biggest symbolic beat down on some kid, by tearing into a young woman whose big crime is a breach of the “flag code.”

I could not help but wonder what mode of torment would sufficiently punish this horrible bitch for her irredeemable transgression. Would tar and feathering be good, or is that too old fashioned? What about burning at the stake?  Or hanging?–but that might remind us of some stuff great-grandpa did on his night rides that we’d rather not talk about. Gunfire seems to be in vogue–but it turned out they were content to rant on twitter like a bunch of petty little children.

It didn’t help that the internet is filled with photos like this, from a previous competition:
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The Twitter noise was intense, as morons vomited recriminations from trailer packs across the country. You can find them easily enough, but I won’t link a thing here, lest I generate hits for these bellicose asshats. But the content is easy enough to imagine: bitch, traitor, ingrate, baby, un-American, and a host of subtle and not so  subtle racial stuff, much of it aimed as impaling Ms. Douglas as a proxy for the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s been hard to read any of it without feeling ashamed by my own patriotism, wondering, is this the country that I love so much?

Seriously. This is what outrages us? What a small, ugly people we’ve become. They ought to build a wall to keep us in. Until then, I’m forced to wonder, which is more unpatriotic?
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art Photo I Like summer photos Uncategorized

2015 Summer Wonders #70: Beach Blanket Toss

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Categories
Narrative/Journal

Winter Photos: Safety First

Safety First

I figured that it was time to start posting some cool “found” winter pictures, the way I do for summer.  The thing is, it is not nearly as easy to find fun, photos of winter–it’s a more serious season, in many ways.  Google “winter” and you get a lot of landscapes and snowy foliage, as opposed to the surfing and bikini babes a ‘”summer” search turns up.  Nevertheless, I found a few.

The image above reminds me , however obliquely, of my own The elementary school days.  My school was at the top of a hill–not a precipitous slope by any means, but in winter before the age of kneejerk school cancellations, and during the heyday of large, rear-wheel drive american cars, there was no shortage of tire-spinning mechanized behemoths churning halfway up the street before surrendering to gravity and backing their way back down the hill.

My children today fixate on the possibility of delayed schedules the moment word reaches Mercthem of even a single flake, but back in the day snow meant getting ready and going to school a half hour, maybe even forty minutes early, in order to join the daily round of “smear the queer” (yes, I know how that sounds, but I guarantee that not once of us ever gave pause to consider sexual orientation and, in fact, in this game “the queer” was generally the role of the bravest, boldest, and most athletic of the lot of us) which wasn’t as bad as it sounds: in short, one kid has the ball and he runs like hell while all the other kids try to get it from him.  We played in snow over asphalt.  There was often blood.  It was wonderful–we all wanted to be the queer.

Even better, however, was when twenty or thirty of us would be busy beating the living tar out of each other and a car would start spinning tires on the slick hill, and we would run out into the street, en masse, and push it up the hill, laughing and shouting, erupting into a boisterous cheer.

Can you imagine that happening today.  I’d be terrified of the liability issues if a horde of children surrounded my car on a slippery hill.  Eventually, a driver called the school to complain and the principal herded a bunch of us into the school library and proceeded to shout and foam at the mouth along the way towards banning that tradition.  He stopped “smear the queer,” too, just because he could.

Categories
Funny and/or Strange Photo I Like

My Pancake Fetish Rears Its Ugly Head

Hi, My name is Chuck and I have a Pancake Fetish.

Hi, Chuck!

I’ve eaten pancakes all my life, for breakfast, for brunch, and for that most decadent pancake delight, the all-too-rare “breakfast for supper.”  Buttermilk pancakes, whole-wheat pancakes, corn-meal pancakes, buckwheat pancakes…fat pancakes, thin pancakes, pancakes with blueberries, 10 grains, 7 grains, strawberries on top, millet pancakes, even potato pancakes.  I’ve idealized the pancakes of my youth and spend an inordinate portion of my life trying to re-discover that soft-focused flapjack bliss.  I’m largely (proudly) responsible for this:

Caramel Pancakes with Fried Banana

Keeping that in mind, you must understand why I was utterly devastated when this picture was brought to my attention, just 5 days too late to post for Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day!).  The word “forlorn” comes to mind, followed closely by “heartbroken” and “shattered.”  Nevertheless:

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I’m not an advocate of LSD–nor a passionate critic, when it comes down to it–but this has had me chortling all day.  I assume it’s clear why I couldn’t wait another 360 days until next year’s Shrove Tuesday to post it?