It All Comes Back To The Simpsons

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"This Is Your Muckraker...Your Character Assassin...Your Mudslinger..."

He's a triple threat, baby! I'm speaking, of course, of Karl Rove...remember him? I can't blame you if you forgot about him, he's been about as hard to spot as an Ivory Billed Woodpecker lately. Is he hiding out down at the Presidential Dirt Farm? Is he holed up in the Statue of Liberty's head? Is he in the White House, busily preparing the next round of anthrax-laced letters?

Speaking of triple threats, will Christopher Walken be our next president? Sadly,no...but I can still hope...and dream...and pray. It's not like any of the other schmucks would do any better, and just imagine the debates!!! At the very least, I'd like to lock Karl in a room with Mr. Walken for about ten minutes...put down "Mudslinging for Dummies", Karl; it won't help you where you're going.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

"You Can't Treat The Working Man This Way. One Day We'll Form A Union, And Get The Fair And Equitable Treatment We Deserve!"

"Then We'll Go Too Far, And Get Corrupt And Shiftless, And The Japanese Will Eat Us Alive!" Sorry, this quote was too long to fit in as a title, so I had to finish it down here.

Ok, Ok, so it looks like it's going to be the Chinese rather than the Japanese, but otherwise this quote seems pretty much right on. I should know, seeing as how I belong to a Union. A lot of people are of the opinion that unions are becoming irrelevant, that they are lumbering dinosaurs that, while useful in the past, are unnecessary these days. The people holding this opinion are supporters (often unwittingly) of what I like to call The Man.

The origins of The Man are shady, but first reports of him date back to ancient Babylonia, when one man handed a bag to another man and instructed him to pick figs from the fig trees. After filling the bag with figs, he brought the back back to the first man, who took the bag, pulled out two figs, and gave them to the fig-gatherer. "Wait," said the fig-gatherer, "why do I only get a couple of figs while you get all the others?"

"Because," replied The Man, "I deserve these more than you. I was the visionary that created your job...heck, I even provided you with the bag."

"But don't these figs belong to our whole community?" asked the fig-gatherer.

"You ask a lot of questions for someone who is so easily replaceable," The Man called over his shoulder, as he walked off to sell the fresh picked figs for a tidy sum.

The Man was very vocal back when labor unions were forming. He warned of the economic collapse that was sure to follow if the demands of these unions were met. All of the population would soon be living in abject poverty if these labor unions got their way. How, He asked, can the Captains of Industry stay afloat if they have to take a small portion of their ungodly profits and just give it to the people who they have been so callously ass-raping for so very, very long?

History would prove these soulless, opportunistic elitists right...except for the unprecedented growth of the US economy, the unequaled high standard of living in our country, the development of the US into the most powerful and wealthy country in the history of the world, the fact that the US became the land of opportunity envied the world over, where an average family could afford to buy their own house and survive comfortably on one income, and so on...other than that, they were right...oh, and except that they still had ungodly amounts of money to horde. But, dagnabbit, those unions were still a pesky thorn in The Man's side. Luckily, The Man found out that all He had to do was buy off the union leaders and the unions could be turned from watchdogs into lapdogs. Also, when the labor unions called a strike, The Man could just bring in replacement workers, affectionately refered to as "scabs".

I live not too far from the headquarters of Northwest Airlines, whose mechanics have just called a strike. They've offered to take a 15% pay cut, like the pilots agreed to last year. Incidentally, while the pilots were losing thier pay, Northwest executives got bonuses of $37 million in stock, which they are apparently dumping like so much tea into a well known harbor. Northwest's plan is to bring in perfectly capable and qualified (if a bit "gabby") scabs.

In a related story, Mesaba Airlines, a small company that works as a regional carrier for Nothwest, took the mechanics union that their mechanics belong to (which is, incidentally, the same union as the Northwest mechanics belong to) to court to prevent them from striking along with the Northwest mechanics. They argued that "Mesaba and the traveling public would 'face irreparable harm' from a disruption" that a strike would cause (source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, 8/18/05 "Mesaba takes union to court" pg. 1C)...uhhh, yeah....that's kind of the only card unions have to play when they go on strike; that their absence will hurt the company which they feel is treating them unfairly. That's pretty much what a strike is all about, or at least it used to be. With the large number of pro-business/anti-union laws passed in the past few years, now it's more like you're free to strike as long as no economic impact whatsoever is felt. It's so sad to see the labor movement go the way of the ivory-billed woodpecker and the leprechaun.

I think that if unions want to survive, they should probably go where the jobs are going, overseas. The sweatshop conditions in China, South and Central America, Africa, and Southest Asia in general are reminiscent of the working conditions that inspired the formation of the labor unions in the US, and it's not like our government is going to let little things like slavery or indescribably draconian working conditions get in the way of the The Man squeezing every last penny and resource out of these areas, despite the human misery it might cause (China, this is just awful. How can you treat your citizens this way? This is just sickeni...we can make how much money?!? Ahem...what human rights violations?). I mean, damn, the government isn't all that concerned about US workers, why would they care about those in other countries?

See you in the Third World!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"Come On TV, Give Me Some Of That Sweet, Sweet Love!"

Yay! The Simpsons season 6 dvd set came out today, and I got it right here in my hot little hands, so you might not hear from me again in a while;( "How will I go on?" you me.

Let me leave you with this final thought: I may be stupid (see previous post), but at least I figured out a way to turn my love of watching endless hours of The Simpsons into something productive...sort of...OK, maybe it's not "productive", but please, just leave me in my ignorance! It's so much nicer here!

Monday, August 15, 2005

"I Am So Smart, I Am So Smart, S-M-R-T...I Mean S-M-A-R-T!"

Over on the sidebar, you'll notice my newest piece of blog-flair...the Simpsons Random Qoute Generator. I saw it on Planet Maria, and I just had to get one for myself. I chose to have two quotes rather than one, mostly to see if she will now choose to get three quotes. Go ahead, Maria, I dare you!

I noticed that she got it from a website that I have had on my sidebar links since just about day-one. I've been there innumerable times, used it as a resource for my material, even submitted a quote or two, but I never noticed that a Random Quote Generator was even available.

I'm so lucky that Blogger don't have IQ screening. And I'm lucky I have Sylvana, so I don't have to depend on my brains too often. And I'm so lucky that Blogger don't have IQ screening.

Friday, August 12, 2005

You Know, The Word 'Unblowupable' Is Thrown Around A Lot These Days..."

A hearty, belated "Huzzah!" to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (or "NASA" to all you techno-geeks out there). Discovery is back on solid ground, and everyone that went up got brung back down. It seems like people have forgot how much of our vastly affluent lifestyle we owe to the space program. And despite the fact that Pres. Bush used it in a seemingly cynical and disingenuous stab at distinction and statesmanship, I actually felt what I thought at the time was respect for him, but what turned out later to be respect for NASA for not crumbling under the weight of the Albatross that is the current administration. Truly inpirational!


You know how they say, "Well, he's no rocket scientist"? when they're speaking of someone a couple modules short of an international space station? Well, my dad is no rocket scientist...but he did work for NASA as a computer scientist. He even worked on designing a piece of equipment that is still on the moon today. That's like, impressive, huh? "Wow", you say. I heard a "That's cool!" from the back of the blogosphere. Thank you, thank you.

I realize in our current climate, it's not "cool" to hold science in high regard, so I won't..."taking a stand on principle" is also frowned upon these days. But let's just take the time to look at how the founders and pioneers that started NASA (and guided it to it's glory days of moon landings and near disasters averted (Apollo XIII( really, what the hell were they thinking?!? Don't they know it's a scientific fact that the numeral XIII is unlucky? Why else would buildings not have a thirteenth floor, or planes not have a row #13 in their seating chart?))) envisioned and built their program; what is NASA's goal or guiding principle?...didja get through that ok? Take a few moments to catch up if you need to, that was a pretty twisty one...

NASA's guiding principle could not be divined from a quick google search, so I'll have totake an educated guess at it, but from what I've read in books, seen on TV and discussed with my dad, it seems to be something along the lines of "to explore space, and in doing so, to advance and develop advanced scientific techniques and ideas as an means to this end, benefitting mankind in the process". I realize this may not be as much fun as granting multi-national oil companies billions of dollars, but it's still something worth throwing a little money at...unless you're bored with things like medicine, computers, cell phones, weather reports, GPS, TV, national security, seeing if ants can be trained to sort tiny screws in zero-gravity, searching for the origin off the universe, looking out for the next huge comet that could smash us all into oblivion, and in general being associated with a country that can get shit like this think a punk-ass country like Honduras or Vatican City could pull off a space walk? I don't think so...

And since we've had so much experience figuring out the intentions of dead men with the help of our Constitution, we should have no problem guiding our space program the way the idealistic founding scientists intended (hell, some of 'em aren't even dead yet! That'll make it even easier!)...and that means we challenge ourselves; we take bold risks and accept that the danger is an acceptable part of the adventure; we do something truly meaningful. It also means scientists make the decisions, not politicians or accountants.

We need a strong space program; it's the only thing that still keeps us respectable anymore. If we can no longer put a man on the moon, how will we complain about the relative lack of sophistication and/or progress regarding something else?

Congrats once again to those "unblowupable" seven Discovery guys rule!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"He's Still Looking For That Chocolate Factory...It Consumes Him."

Sylvana and I went and saw the much maligned "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" tonight, and I, for one, am shocked and appalled. How long will the plight of the Oompah-Loompah people be ignored? First the Darfur region of the Sudan, now wherever the hell it is Oompah Loompahs come from...if there's no resources to exploit, the white man is nowhere to be found. Can you hear the cry for freedom even now? Let my Oompahs go!

Seriously, though, I think Johnny Depp did a great job. I mean, he had some Sideshow Bob-sized shoes to fill; it was brave of him to even try to, and I think he pulled it off...he seemed like less of a child molester than Gene Wilder, and arguably had wackier hair. And anyone who can steal a scene away from Deep Roy (how did he not get into porn with a name like that?) deserves an Oscar.

As with most Tim Burton films, the cinematography and the set design are incredible, and really add a whole other layer or dimension to the work.

Other things that make this movie good, or, dare I say, genius...well, genius might be a stretch, but still really good (don't read if you don't want to know):

1) Repeated references to the fact that the Oompah Loompah songs seem a litlle too polished to be improvised.

2) Chocolate bar replaces Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey

3) The Puppet Burn Ward...hi-larious!

4) Willie Wonka spouting off 70's catch phrases, such as "keep on truckin'", "let's boogie", etc.

5) The Oompah Loompah psychiatrist

6) I'm sure there are more...go see the movie yourself, for Christ sakes.

Monday, August 08, 2005

"There...That Ought To Hold The Little S.O.B.'s!"

Yeah, yeah, I know it's been a while, and we all know the whole "turn your pc off" thing was more of an excuse than a dignified cause, but right now I got nothin'! No time, no material....nothin'. I was away all weekend and I'm super busy today, but tomorrow's looking pretty'll get at least a half-assed attempt at a post tomorrow....or if not then, Thursday.

So until the next post, can anyone think of a better opening line to a song than the following by Weezer:
"What's with these homies dissin' my girl? Why do they gotta front?"....(like I said; I got nothin'!)