Ruminations, etc..

Musings, rantings, and pie.

Archive for the ‘Random Detritus’ Category

NASA’s Upcoming Presser

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One of my Facebook friends posted a link to a NASA press conference announcement.  Apparently NASA has some big announcement dealing with astrobiology that is embargoed until the press conference on the second of December.   This can only mean one thing: NASA has discovered aliens and is announcing it to the world to get Wikileaks out of the news.  That’s the only logical conclusion here.

No, not these kinds of aliens...

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Written by B. Michael Krol

November 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Random Detritus

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Happy Turkey Day

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Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving.  I won’t, however.  Today I’m dealing with a sick pug.  Anyway, enjoy and be thankful for something.

The movie that ruined "gobble gobble" for the rest of us...

Written by B. Michael Krol

November 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Type-Os…I has them…

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So a reader emailed me the other day telling me about an error in my Freedom of Speech post.  That’s more than a little embarrassing.  Anyway, I’m apologizing in advance for any type-os you find.  I am a terrible proofreader, but I am trying to get better and get better I shall!

This was one of the first images in my Google Image search for Type-O. Pretty aint he? Just like a girl...

This micro-post reminds me a lot of Domino’s Pizza’s recent “We’re shitty, we know we’re shitty, but hey! We’re trying!” ad campaign.  Which is just too bad since I hate Domino’s Pizza.

Written by B. Michael Krol

November 11, 2010 at 10:45 am

Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say

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This morning I was reading a site called ProBasketBallTalk.Com (guess what it discusses), and I came across an article about some douchebag that wore a Lebron James Heat jersey to a Cleveland Indians game a few weeks ago.  Clevelanders are still sore about James leaving and the way he left, so, when this idiot shows up to the game wearing James’s new Heat jersey, things got tense.  Like so tense he had to be escorted out of the ballpark in the Sixth inning.  That was probably a smart thing to do.  This is the town that showered their football team in plastic beer bottles when a call didn’t go their way.  Tough crowd.

Anyway, the Miami Heat got wind of this idiot and thought it was funny.  So, the Heat offered the clown an all-expenses paid trip and VIP treatment at an upcoming Heat game.  Of course, when word of this trip got out, via the moron’s Facebook page, the Heat decided the offer was “premature” and is not bringing the kid down for a game after all.

What dopes.

But that’s not what caused me to put pen to paper (or, in this case, fingers to keyboard).  Nope.  That story, while idiotic, is everything I expect from the Miami heat organization: it was classless, poorly thought out, and tacky.  No, dear Reader, what got my juices flowing was this lovely comment from some dude named GlobalCons. Here it is, addressed to the author of the piece, in its entirety.

 

Hey Kurt, maybe you need to be reminded that when you live in this country there is a little       thing called free speech, first amendment. You remember that right? Oh forgot your a a______,               journalist, who couldn’t make it at a real job. Next time you want to grandstand, try sticking up          for the fan who has a right to cheer for whatever team, wherever he wants. Unless you can        show where he broke the law, your story is garbage. Ever been to basketball game? Lots of    people cheer for the visiting team too….its called A FAN. Hats off to the Heat, who understand it,                 even if you dont.

 

GlobalCons trucks in one of the most common misconception of the First Amendment: that it applies anywhere.

I see this kind of confusion all the time, and it’s not just relegated to the Interwebs.  Nope, you hear it whenever someone is told to shut up or when someone is told he’s being a moron.  “Hey! I got Freedom of Speech man! So screw you!” Sorry pal, but you don’t.

Here’s the rub about your Freedom of Speech: it only applies to the government.  Yep, that’s it. Not to private conversations, not to private companies, not to private citizens.  In fact, your Freedom of Speech has been watered down by the courts so much that, really, the only Freedom of Speech you have is the freedom to stand on the sidewalk and shout nonsense till your heart’s content.   So long as that nonsense isn’t “fighting words,” that is.

This is Just Dumb...

As mentioned above, you also see this misunderstanding trotted out whenever someone is told he’s being an idiot. Apparently, people believe that the First Amendment guarantees them the right to have their expressions respected.    Sorry Sunshine — that’s not the case.  The First Amendment only prevents the government from shutting down your speech in certain areas.  It does not mean anyone has to respect your harebrained ideas or politely tolerant your rancid dribble.  No one idea’s or thoughts are entitled to respect in this country, and there are many ideas that do not belong in adult discourse at all (Birthers, I’m looking at you). Now, we can talk about whether this is a good thing (I’m inclined to think we, as a society, could stand being a little nicer to each other), but, legally, no one has to respect what you say.

If someone shows up at an Indians game wearing a Lebron James jersey, yeah, it’s within his right to do so, but it’s also within everyone else’s rights to tell him, loudly, that he’s being a complete moron.  If you do the same kind of garbage at a private facility, they can tell you to leave and the First Amendment can do nothing for you, man.  This also applies to the Internet.  No one has to give you a forum to spout your opinion on the Internet.  So, if your message board account at BarelyLegal.Com is shut down, or you’re banned from Chud.Com, you do not have a First Amendment claim.   The world will have to do without your opinions of whether or not the new Thundercats cartoon is grim’n’gritty enough.

To sum up, unless the government is coming down on you, the First Amendment probably doesn’t apply to your life whatsoever.  No private entity has to give you a forum for you to voice your opinions, and if the entity is kind enough to do so, it does not have to respect your ideas. Which goes double for private citizens.  You have no Freedom of Speech with me, nor I with you.  If you’re saying dumb crap, I will tell you you’re saying dumb crap.  I’d expect the same from you, but my opinions are always well-thought out and perfectly reasonable to the point of being dull.

No, really. It’s true.  Just ask me.

Written by B. Michael Krol

November 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Where I’ve Been…

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So it’s been a while, my lovelies. The last time I posted on this blog was way back in August, and it was a sports comment.  A comment that has been disproven by cold, hard reality. That massive bitch reality — why must she always kill my dreams?

Before my full-throated defense of Early Doucet, I had another comment that was promising not to neglect the blog any longer.  Well, now you know what to make of my promises.

Anyway, there are good reasons that I neglected the blog.  First, around the time that I went off the radar, I was putting all my efforts and focus into finishing the first draft of a novel I was working on.  I finished that on the 25th of September — five days before my self-imposed deadline of October 1st.  During that process, I was writing a lot of words a day (at least for me; I’m sure a guy Mr. KIng matches my daily productivity record sometime before lunch), so I was in no mood to write for the blog.  Lame excuse?  Sure.  But it’s the only one I have so I’m sticking with it.  Anyway, most of the time the truth happens to be lame, as is the case here.

Second, after I finished that beast of a book, I was going on “vacation” to Arizona and California.  That lasted from the 2nd of October till the 23rd.  That’s a long time to be away and while I was traveling I didn’t have the time or inclination to write for the blog.   I had visions of doing a travelogue to catalog my adventures, unfortunately I didn’t have a whole lot of time to do that.  Which is a shame because now my vacation is just a series of memories and bad iPhone photos.  Neither of which is very permanent.  But then, blog posts aren’t exactly permanent either.

My vacation was a lot of fun though.  At least, it was once I got out of Arizona.  That state that just puts me on edge now.  There’s a hostility in the air there that I don’t remember existing when I lived there.  Or maybe I was just used to it.  Either way, I’d rather not go back anytime soon. Which is a shame since I have family and friends there.

You have no idea how happy I was to see this...

The California portion of my vacation was much, much better.  I haven’t been to Southern California since 2005 and Northern since 2002.  I saw old friends, met a whole bunch of new ones, drank many, many beers at Toronado on Haight, ran up a huge bar bill at this Mexican restaurant in a sleazier part of the mission district, ate good food, drank good wine, and otherwise had a fantastic time.  Hopefully I’ll be back there again soon.

That’s all for now.  I am back in the saddle and I’ve missed writing for this space and some of the comments I’ve gotten.  Writing is not the best way to get immediate feedback (unlike say, acting or stand-up comedy) but there is some level of interaction with this thing here, and I want to get back into it.    So, stay tuned…I’ll be around.

Written by B. Michael Krol

November 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Random Detritus

Hits and Myths

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Inspired by this story, I started thinking about myths and the myths we’re told as children about the founding of our country.  As Americans, we love myths.  I think it has a lot to do with a cultural affection for bigger than life personalities.  Being an American that accomplishes great things just isn’t enough.  You have to do it in the most obnoxious manner possible, like that whole John Wayne, High School Football coach thing you see in war movies. “Hold em by the nose while we kick em in the ass!” and all that other stultifying crap.

How creepy is this image...

One of the more idiotic myths is the one about George Washington and the Cherry Tree.   Every kid in America has heard this one, but I’ll recap it anyway. When George Washington was a boy, apparently in a fit of anti-arboreal rage, he cuts down a cherry tree.   When the little miscreant is confronted about it by his father, he replies, “I cannot tell a lie. I cut down the cherry tree.”  His overjoyed father tells George his honesty makes up for the act of man-on-tree violence.  George’s father then, presumably, inducts his son into the Freemasons, who end up calling all the shots in the new country.

Schoolchildren are supposed to be inspired by Georgie’s honesty.  They also learn a life’s lesson, which is to be honest at all times.  A lesson that I’m sure is reinforced whenever a child is punished for being honest about a naughty act, but I digress…

Here’s what struck me the other day: Yes, in the myth, George is an honest guy, but honesty is only one part of the equation.  What about remorse?  Doesn’t he feel bad about cutting down the tree? A tree that did nothing to him?

Sure, I’m glad he didn’t lie, but, in some cases, lying implies remorse.  I know I’ve lied in the past because I felt bad about something I’ve done (or  because I’m talking to a woman in a bar).  Here, George says, “Yeah, I cut down the tree.  Whatcho gonna do about it?”  George cut it down, essentially bragged about it, and then went on his merry way. You know who else commits acts of violence and destruction and feels no remorse about it?  Sociopaths, that’s who.  Maybe George Sr. should be a little more concerned about Georgie’s problem with empathy and less about his honesty.

Written by B. Michael Krol

August 3, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Random Detritus

I Hope He was Thinking of Buffy While He Did it…

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I just found this on thesuperficial.net.  Apparently David Boreanaz is just a classy guy…

Don’t believe me? Check it out here…

Thesuperficial.net is one of my favorite websites, incidentally.  Consistently funny writing, instead of the hit-and-miss, scatter shot approach we here.

Written by B. Michael Krol

July 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Posted in Random Detritus