Categories
Commentary

Michael Vick Furor + I H8 Change.org

So, my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers went out and signed pariah quarterback Michael Vick as what is likely to be a short term fill-in as a backup.  Predictably, a few dim, narrow corridors in the social media maze have gone ablaze with fury fired so hot that it quickly consumed all available oxygen, which resulted in secondary hypoxia for all therein.  That anti-Vick crowd, now gasping for breath, still writhes angrily on the floor, contorted in bitter and frustrated resentment.

vickAfter almost no thought at all I offered my own opinion elsewhere…

“Vick screwed up–but I think it’s safe, if not particularly correct or popular–to say that the business with dog fighting has a certain cultural element to it–and by culture I mean, yes: poverty, latitude, and race.  That isn’t an indictment of any group–different communities have their vices–poor people, and black people are inordinately represented among the poor, are more apt to be involved in dog fighting than wealthier folks–and it doesn’t hurt that the latter know better how to keep their hands appearing clean.

Dog fighting, and its associated abuses, was not taboo in Vick’s microcosm.  He grew up around it, like a lot of poor city kids, and while he probably knew in the abstract that it was wrong, it didn’t really sink in until he was hip deep in trouble. (and for the love of the gods why doesn’t the NFL hire a team of “cleaners” who would find these kids and see what they hell they’re into that won’t wash now that they’re famous, then make them stop?) Ignorance–or even the fact that in much of the word dogs = calories–doesn’t exonerate him, but it does explain what he did and why, and it’s long past time to move forward from what happened because, as those before me said, he’s paid what society demanded of him. And more. He went to prison and lost millions upon millions of dollars as well as the prime years of his athletic career. We forgive a lot worse people for a lot more terrible things.

He also worked his way back and, as far as we know, has been an exemplary citizen (and yeh, I’m knocking on wood as I say it) and an admirably professional athlete. The free agent cupboard is pretty bare, especialy at quarterback, and I can’t think of a better available free agent, between his maturity and his skills. I’m glad that the Steelers are going out and taking care of business pro-actively. If Gradkowski wasn’t hurt, I’d think differently. At this point, I don’t sign Vick over Bruce–but with no viable backup (Jones is still a project and then some)–there simply isn’t anyone else out there right now, and from a purely football standpoint this is a good signing.”

Within a few minutes of posting this, one of my “real name” friends stuck up an angry change.org petition on her facebook page, that bleated “Michael Vick is a convicted felon and no-class piece of crap. He is also a terrible QB which is why he has no team.  Let’s united as Steeler fans – as NFL fans – and stop him from playing on our team! Steelers fans united! Sign to keep Vick from ever wearing the coveted Steelers uniform!!”

Ugh.  If there is one thing that makes me want to invite Michael Vick over to the house for a nice, “Welcome To Western Pennsylvania” meal, it is a Change.org petition.

Change.org petitions are one of several reasons that I have stopped identifying myself as a liberal, which strictly speaking I never was, at least not by definition. Libertine, but not liberal.  As I’ve said before, my politics skew to the old school Bull Moose progressivism–populist, anti-corporate, strong domestic policy, etc–and the namby pamby sensitivity that accompanies “liberalism” as it is colloquially regarded, respulses me. These petitions are little more than vehicles for us to feel good about ourselves with the least possible effort–look, ma, I clicked against that guy who did that thing! I clicked hard, too!  I was really ticked off! I made a difference! Yay me!

We’ve become too weak, too fragile in our sensitivities, and it the case of Mr. Vick, we’re grossly hypocritical. He killed dogs. It’s a terrible thing. I love dogs. I love my 40 pound dog who sits on my lap and lets me hold her like she’s an infant. I prefer her company to that of all but a very few humans. Vick’s actions disgusted me, but how much do we ask of one man–at what point do we forgive? We work tirelessly to rehabilitate other criminals–we cheer them when they transcend their missteps, however vile, but because Mike Vick is famous he must be forever marked. If he was a stringy haired punk from the corner who’d done his time, cleared his parole, and got himself a new job, we’d point to him as gleaming beacon of hope for the success of justice system. But he’s a black dude who runs fast, and gets to be on TV, so he’ll never pay enough. Would we resent him if he got a job at Dairy Queen? No, because the schadenfreude would be washing over us so thick and warm we’d tremble in orgiastic delight.

Categories
Funny and/or Strange Poetry

Jimmy Stewart & His Poetry on Shprockets : Best SNL Sketch Ever

hqdefaultQuite possibly the most gut-wrenchingest, funniest SNL skit of all time.  If anyone has a copy of this video–which I’ve been unable to find–send me a link, drop me a line, let me know and I’ll be eternally grateful.

Sprockets

Announcer…..Phil Hartman
Dieter…..Mike Myers
Jimmy Stewart…..Dana Carvey

[FADE IN on the “Sprockets” opening, with the nuclear bomb and city scenes.]

Announcer: Shprockets. Shprockets. Vest German television presents, “Shprockets.” Vith your host: Dieter.

[SUPERIMPOSE “LIVE SHOW” and then FADE to Dieter.]

Dieter: Velcome to “Shprockets,” I am your host, Dieter. Tonight our guest is vone of America’s foremost poets of anarchy and rebellion. An obsessed outcast, whose dark visions drag us to the edge. His book, “Jimmy Shtewart and His Poems”… [holds up book] …is filled with biting images that assault the senses, unmasking both reader and poet alike in a macabre dance of despair. He has also appeared in films. Please velcome Jimmy Shtewart!

[Audience cheers as Dieter stands up, claps stiffly, and then sits again. Jimmy Stewart finally dodders onstage in a dark gray suit and dark-rimmed glasses. He takes a seat next to Dieter.]

Dieter: Mr. Shtewart. Critic Graus Greck, in the latest issue of “Verdkunst,” described your book as an asylum, vhere man meets his Creator and screams.

Jimmy Stewart: Well, uh, thank you, Dieter. That’s, uh… Y’know–y’know, Gloria and I are big fans of YOURS.

Dieter: In your poem, “Old Rocking Chair,” you write: “You sit in the corner/Old rocking chair/It makes me feel good/To know you are there.”

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah…

Dieter: I feel emotionally obliterated.

Jimmy Stewart: I’m glad–glad–glad to HEAR that, y’see, good poetry is about DESTRUCTION.

Dieter: Under vhat conditions does a man experience such raw truth?

Jimmy Stewart: Well, Dieter, it’s no picnic, I can tell you that right now. I was holed up in a Mexico City slum. I hadn’t eaten in weeks, and what few pesos I had, I’d spent on alcohol. Some cheap crap called chocho. I was down and out. That’s when I wrote “Good Old Rockin’ Chair.” You see, you’ve gotta go through the PAIN.

Dieter: And vhat of your poem, “Funny Little Pooch”?

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah. There’s a rather interesting story about that “Funny Little Pooch” thing… There was a period of intense creativity for me, Dii-eter.

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: Dooter.

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah. yeah. You know, I’d been hitchhiking through Paraguay when I finally settled in Bella Cristo with a 15-year-old WHORE. For a week straight, I was either having sex or hallucinating. Yeah… And then I woke up one morning and she was GONE… she’s just–just GONE. And she’d taken all my stuff, and I–I just got crazy paranoid for a minute–well–you–know–how it can be. And I just curled up on that floor like a little baby, and just bawled my eyes out. And–and then a very interesting thing happened. I realized that I was just a speck of crud in a godless VOID. And twenty minutes later, I’d written “Funny Little Pooch.”

Dieter: Jimmy Shtewart: you are a running sore. Running from yourself, yet your scab heals us all.

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah. Yeah. Well, y’know, I just do what I do.

[laughter]

Dieter: May I read a passage from “My Kitten, My Pal”?

Jimmy Stewart: Well, I’d be HONORED, Dau-Daughter.

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: Dooter.

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: Yeah.

Dieter: [reading] “My kitten, my pal/You sit on my lap–”

Jimmy Stewart: Well, well, now–now–wait a minute. Now, now, you gotta read it–you gotta SCREAM it, like it’s a matter of life and death, you, can-can I show you… how, here… [takes book from him]

Dieter: Go right ahead.

Jimmy Stewart: All right… [reading] “My kitten, my pal/You sit on my lap/You’re a friendly sort of chap.” [muttering] I’m a little… thirsty here…

[Jimmy picks up a bottle of tequila and swigs from it.]

Jimmy Stewart: Now… GOOD.

[sets bottle down between him and Dieter]

Jimmy Stewart: [reading] “A little bit of gray and a little bit of white/I’ll tell you, little kitten/You’re doing all right.” Yeah.

Dieter: That poem pulls down my pants and taunts me.

Jimmy Stewart: Well, that’s exactly what it’s supposed to do. Yeah, it’s not rare when something happens like–I wrote that one on a piece of toilet paper, after waking up in a puddle of my own SICK.

[laughter]

Jimmy Stewart: Now, it wasn’t pretty, wasn’t pretty.

Dieter: Is it true that you vonce killed a man?

Jimmy Stewart: N-now, now, wait a minute there, Daughter. No–

Dieter: Dieter.

Jimmy Stewart: That’s right, Dieter. No man ever really dies by the hand of another, you see, every man’s responsible for his own DEATH. And by the way, you haven’t asked me if I want to touch your MONKEY.

Dieter: I thought it beneath you.

Jimmy Stewart: Well, Dieter, if that monkey knew where I’d been, he wouldn’t LET me touch him.

Dieter: Then touch him. Touch him! Touch my monkey! [babbles in German] Touch him, LOVE HIM!

Jimmy Stewart: [walks over to monkey] All right, you little pal, let’s go–

[Dieter’s monkey squeals and jumps off his pedestal after Jimmy touches him.]

Jimmy Stewart: [yanks back hand] Oh! Oh, son of a bitch BIT me!

[Jimmy leaps back to the table and breaks off the top of the tequila bottle.]

Jimmy Stewart: [brandishing broken bottleneck] C’mon, monkey, let’s see what’s in that belly of yours!

Dieter: [standing up] Now is the time on “Shprockets” when we dance!

[The theme song starts up as the other dancers join Dieter and dance stiffly. After a moment, Jimmy squats down and starts doing the Charleston.]

Dieter: That’s all the time we have on “Shprockets.” Our guest has been Jimmy Shtewart. My name is Dieter. Auf wiedersehen.

[Dieter trots up close to the camera and dances in front of it.]

Jimmy Stewart: Hi, Gloria! [waves] I’ll see ya in six weeks! I’m making a pit stop in Turkey!

[FADE to black over applause.]

I did find this (the real deal)–Jimmy Stewart doing Jimmy Stewart is almost as good as Dana Carvey: