Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The great capitalism cop out

Capitalism is great for certain things.

An open marketplace can foster competition, spark innovation and keep prices at a manageable level for most consumers.

But there is one thing that capitalism has never done well—morality.

Hey wait a second, I thought the market was supposed to be perfectly neutral, uninvolved in matters of right and wrong?

Exactly. Which is just a fancy way of saying the market is an amoral pussy.

50 million without healthcare? Hey, the market's just doing its thing, you dig?

Your family is losing its home? Calm down, that's just excess inventory working its way through the system, bro.

You cant find a job to support your wife and kids? Chill, dude, you just don't have the skills the marketplace is demanding right now.

As moral dodges go, it's about as perfected it gets.

I'm not fucking you over, that's just the market. You can't get mad at the market—it's not a person with feelings or motivations.

Oh, okay. But what about me? I'm a person with feelings and motivations. And I feel like I don't have a job or a home. And I'm motivated to tell your precious little market to go fuck itself.

Ooh, that's harsh, man.

Yeah? You wanna know what else is harsh? The fact that the ultimate capitalist creation, the corporation, gets treated like a human being when it comes to donating money to politicians, but when it comes to being held accountable for any wrongdoing? Not so much.

A corporation, we are told, has but one responsibility—to improve shareholder value.


I guess the well-being of our society isn't high on the list of things that shareholders value.

Our factory poisoned the water supply? Guess the shareholders don't value public health.

Our car is a death trap? Hmm, I suppose our shareholders are willing to take some risks with others people's lives.

Our bank destroyed the wealth of virtually every middle class person in America? That's odd, because our shareholders seem super happy with how well our high-value clientele are doing.

But again, we can't blame the corporation, it's just doing what it was created to do. It has no emotions.

So where does that leave us? You know, the people, who actually do have emotions? How do we work to create a better society when our institutions seem hell-bent on not giving a flying shit?

Perhaps it's time to create better institutions and kick the old, destructive ones to the curb. Hell, they won't mind. After all, they don't have any emotions.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Be disappointed by Muslim-bashing, but don't be surprised.

So I read an article yesterday by this guy who is shocked that people in America hate Muslims.


You can't think of any possible reason why some of us may have an issue with Islam? Nothing comes to mind? Nothing at all?


Now, I'm not advocating discrimination against Muslims or any other religion for that matter. I truly believe our distrust and fear of Muslims is misguided.

But surprising? C'mon.

As someone who lived in New York on 9/11, I still feel extreme anger at those who attacked us. And why the fuck shouldn't I? Nearly 3000 of my fellow citizens were killed 20 blocks from my home that day. You're damn right I'm angry about it.

And the one thing all of the killers had in common? You guess it, Islam.

So yeah, I spent a period of time thinking all Muslims were fucking assholes. Forgive me.

But over time, I've come to realize that my anger should be more targeted, at those who hold the extreme view that killing Americans is a requirement of their faith.

Turns out, the vast majority of Muslims don't feel this way.

But you wouldn't know it, if all you did was watch American television. How many times have we seen images of Muslim people screaming 'death to America' on the news? You'd be crazy not to distrust Muslims if this was your only exposure to them.

How many of us actually know any Muslims? Not the ones we see on TV hurling stones and burning our flag, but average, ordinary Muslims who go to work like the rest of us and have kids in the same school system. Probably not too many of us.

And this is the real problem. We fear what we don't know.

Which is a perfect argument in favor of bringing more mosques and cultural centers into our communities. The more we spend time with 'the other', the less scary they become.

But images of people getting along don't typically make the news, do they? So don't expect the media to lead the way on this one.

It's going to take a leap of faith by ordinary people. Seek out someone different than you. Read something that shows Muslims in a different light. Try to put yourself in someone else's shoes.

And for those who feign shock at Americans who distrust Muslims? Just cut the act and listen to what people are actually saying.

If you don't, you're just as guilty as they are, making judgements based on ignorance.

And we really don't need any more ignorance in this country.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our biggest health care problem? Bravado.

Ever hear someone brag about how they never get sick?

Don't you just want to punch them in the face?

Not because you're jealous or anything, but because you know they are flat out lying. Everyone gets sick. Even Oprah.

So why are they lying? Because they are too fucking proud to admit that their bodies could ever fail them in any possible way.

What's that Doug? A sniffle? Got a cold?

Nah, just ate something spicy, I'm fine. I told you, I never get sick.

Hey Sally, that's your fifth trip to the bathroom this past hour, got a little bug?

Nope, I just have really bad coke habit.

Hey Jeff, how come your balls look like 200-day-old honeydews? Might wanna get that looked at.

Eh, I just had some rough sex last night, the boys are probably a little overworked.

Interesting. So basically, you're all genetically perfect freaks who have never allowed a single virus, bacteria or fungus to slip past your magical immune system.

So who the hell needs a functional health care system? Getting sick is just a sign of weakness. And why should we pay for fucking pussies?

This false pride is the reason jackasses ride their motorcycles without helmets and everyone thinks they can shove 6,000 calorie, fat-laden meals into their faces every weekend at the Cheesecake Factory.

It's also one of the main reasons our healthcare system is nearly broke. Nobody takes care of themselves. And then one day they show up in the ER with their skull split open or their heart unable to pump blood through their twinkie-filled arteries.

If only there was some sort of system where everyone could see a professional each year who would take note of your well being and give you advice on how to improve upon it. A system that would allow people to recognize that too much pride may actually be harmful. A system whose cost was shared by everyone, because everyone shared the same goal of better health for all.

I've heard they have such a system in places like Canada and Europe.

Which isn't really surprising. Everyone knows those places are filled with pussies.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Who says America's not good at anything anymore?

Our high school graduates are functionally illiterate. Our highways and bridges are crumbling. And most of our factories have been converted to museums.

But fear not, my friends, for there's one thing you can always count on America being really good at—blowing shit up.

Our latest target, of course, is Libya. Our cruise missiles are pitting the landscape as we speak. And man, those explosions would make Michael Bay proud.

Our mission over there? Not important.

Congressional authority? Not needed.

Our strategic interests being protected? Unclear.

But don't go telling me that America is in decline when we can make multiple buildings disappear with the push of a single button, safely located hundreds of miles away the target.

Kaboom, bitches!

So today is a day to stand tall, my fellow countrymen. Because while our nation may appear to be crumbling around us, we can take solace in the fact that we are not going down alone.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Get that damn anti-business government off my back

So I decided to open a business making toys for kids. Sure-fire cash cow. I mean, fuck, who doesn't wanna buy their screaming little monkeys some cheap plastic crap to shut them up once in a while?

So I start cranking this shit out, using nice, cheap labor from somewhere over in Asia. Who the fuck knows where? As long as the little worker bees keep their mouths shut and get to the factory on time.

And it's all a rousing success. Moms everywhere are eating up this low-budget crap like a honey badger in a room filled with cobras.

Everything's perfect. Until I get a note from the Federal Government.

Apparently a few of my products (which kids freakin' love by the way) have killed a few children somewhere in the square states.

And apparently, the plastic our Far Eastern plant uses is laced with some kind of chemical that may, possibly give anyone who touches it an incurable form of genital cancer.

So, the stupid government told me I need to cease and desist until I can figure out a way to keep the baby killing to a minimum and ensure consumers that their cocks won't fall off.


Why are the feds so fucking anti-business? All I'm trying to do is earn an honest buck and here comes Uncle Sam with his fucking rules trying to keep me down.

It's bad enough I have to pay almost 3 percent of my profits to that white-bearded fucker. Now he's got to get his grubby little paws all up in my manufacturing process? Shit.

Guess I'll just have to turn my attention to the ever growing African market. I bet you don't see politicians in Somalia telling honest businessmen what they can and can't put into their products.

Those Somali fuckers don't know how good they have it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Self-hate is as American as off-shoring jobs and apple pie

So Adrian Peterson compared the NFL to slavery the other day.

Now, I'm not sure exactly what his point was, but it doesn't really matter. The comparison is foolish. Even if there is an intellectual argument to be made for some sort of parallel between earning millions to play in the NFL and being bought and sold to perform labor at no cost, you have to know that virutally everyone on the planet will think you're an idiot for even trying to make the analogy.

That being said, the prevailing reaction to Peterson's inane comment reveals something uniquely peculiar about our culture.

All over the Internet people are dissing Peterson, not for the stupidity of his words but for the perceived good fortune he has been blessed with to play in the NFL.

He should just shut up and play ball. Lucky motherfucker. People would kill for that job.

This dismissive attitude just seems loaded with self-loathing to me.

Why do we value those who own shit so much more than workers who actually do shit, like NFL players?

Without workers, owners are pretty much worthless. They are sole proprietors, with no customers. Without workers, cars don't get made, microchips don't get improved upon, homes don't get built, food doesn't get harvested, clothing doesn't get designed, banks don't open and the porn industry is a bunch of old guys jerking off.

Oh, and NFL games don't get played.

How much fun would it be to watch a football game between Jerry Jones and Art Rooney? Or Al Davis and Paul Allen? Okay, it might be a little comical for about 2 minutes, but once all of their respective hips broke, it would lose its appeal, fast.

Owners need us every bit as much as we need them. But somehow, we've been convinced over the years that we should feel lucky to have a job. As if it were some act of charity that we didn't really deserve in the first place.

Fuck that shit. I'm not lucky to have a job. I'm good at what I do. I work hard. My job is lucky to have me. And I bet yours is too.

And yet, people are willing to put up with so much shit because they've been trained to think they are worthless cogs that can be replaced by the benevolent owners at any moment.

To make matters worse, that same ownership class single-handedly manufactured the great recession we are currently clawing our way out of today.

Why would they do this? Because they knew they would feel no pain from the recession. They knew they would be getting trillions of dollars in government bailout cash in return for the billions of dollars in campaign contributions they've shelled out over the years.

And the best part? They were rewarded with a worker class that is even more insecure and self-hating and therefore more likely to take whatever pile of feces gets thrown at them.

So, you know what? I support the NFL players as a matter of solidarity. While they may earn more in a year than I'll ever make in my lifetime, they are still workers. They are still the ones who make the product that we want to see every Sunday.

Unless they play for the Lions or the Browns. Because that shit is fucking unwatchable.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Be proud of your success. Just don't be an asshole about it.

I've often heard conservatives say that liberals hate success. Or that we are ashamed of it.


I consider myself a successful person. And I am well aware of the hard work that has gone into getting me where I am today. And yes, I'm proud of that work.

But now I'm going to turn the whole thing around on conservatives.

Pride in one's accomplishments is a great thing. But would it kill you to bring just a drop of gratitude into the equation? No one, not a single person on this planet, gets anywhere on their own. Family, friends, teachers, mentors and co-workers all play a big part along the way.

So perhaps, next time some wacky progressive suggests that it might be prudent to ask a little bit more of those who earn a little bit more, a conservative could say "why yes, what a delightful idea! I am so thankful for the blessings life has bestowed upon me, I'd be happy to put a little more in the kitty!"

But, alas, I am quite sure that this will never happen. Not because most conservatives aren't capable of gratitude. That is simply not true. No, it's because the right wing machine that feeds most Republican's brains is led by people who are wealthier than 99.99 percent of us. And they will do anything and say anthing to make sure their wealth keeps growing.

It all starts with the lie that we are solely responsible for our own success. Then, they sprinkle in some of that 'liberals hate success' pixie dust. To top it off, they add in the ridiculous but oh so reassuring notion that those who aren't wealthy are lazy pieces of shit.

To ensure that these lies become gospel to the majority of conservatives, all you need is a media organization run by one of those uber-wealthy tycoons to spread this crap day in and day out.

Hmmm, who could that be?

I'm not naming names but I will say that it rhymes with Cocks Poos.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Humanity first

We were all struck by the colossal earthquake and tsunami in Japan last Friday. The images and videos keep coming in, each more horrific and terrifying than the last.

But one thing stood out for me above all.

The shaking of the earth and the awe-inspiring force of the tidal surge treated each person they encountered the same way.

They did not hit the Japanese natives harder.

They did not take it easy on the tourists from America.

They did not bring more pain to gays.

They did not bypass the wealthy.

They did not treat the handicapped with more respect.

Throughout the region, nature wreaked havoc with a complete and uniform disregard for the human race.

And while this makes me incredibly sad, angry, frightened and confused it also left with me a bit of hope.

Hope that we can recognize that every last one of us is the same.

Hope that we can appreciate that our time here is limited and should not be spent causing others pain.

Hope that while political beliefs can vary, our concern for the welfare of other human beings should not be bound by race, creed, sex, color, sexual preference, religion or country of origin.

Now, those who've read some of my previous posts may be asking, where's the sarcasm? Where's the anger? Where's the vitrol? This hope stuff doesn't sound like Tjack at all.

Well, allow me to wrap things up with a little anti-hope.

How much fucking tragedy do we have to witness before we realize we're all on the same damn team here? We can argue about political policies and sling crap at each other all we want, but if we're not all starting from the baseline of trying to make shit better for everyone, then what's the point?

Now, if you'd rather respond to the fear that a calamity-filled life instills in all of us with a feverish self interest that will likely lead you to a lonely, loveless life with no meaning, then that's your choice. And I wish you luck in your journey towards eternal prickdom. But I doubt you'll need it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We don't need less government, we need less families

Do you have a mortgage? Students loans perhaps? Maybe even an auto loan?

Well, shame on you! You are an evil, debt-riddled monster and you need to be stopped.

How dare you try to invest in your future! How dare you try to learn shit! And how dare you acquire a vehicle that allows you to get places!

If you can't pay for that crap with cash, you shouldn't have it.

You need to balance those books or risk saddling your children with an endless cycle of debt.

So drop those plans for their college education.

Ditch the orthodontics for junior.

And do not, I repeat, do not, fix that driveway. No matter how many times little Stevie has flipped his bike riding on it.

It's all wasteful spending. And it can't go on for one more minute.

If the federal government has to start getting rid of its debt, then dammit, families need to start doing the same.

Families have been bleeding this country dry for too long now. It's time for them to shape up or ship the fuck out.

Families. What a bunch of assholes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Who represents most of us?

There is no shortage of issue-oriented talk on cable TV these days. But lost in all the blabber is the real problem with American politics.

Nobody represents actual people anymore.

Our so called leaders of both parties spend all day putting on a show, creating theater instead of useful policy.

Democrats pretend to be for the little guy, insisting on only cutting a few billion dollars from the budget instead of 60 billion.

Republicans pretend to fight for freedom, actively pushing for the elimination of anything that even smells of government activism.

What does that do for you and me? Zip.

Unemployment is still ridiculously high. The housing market is still broken beyond repair. And we are still putting American lives at risk overseas for objectives that are clear to no one.

And yet, Americans don't seem all that upset about it.

We are more concerned with who wins Idol or who's on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. And I don't blame anyone for feeling that way.


Because our media is a fucking joke. They are the puppet masters in this horrific Broadway production we like to call politics. They control the message. They feed us the garbage that keeps us docile. They keep the money machine rolling so our elected officials can keep their jobs year after year after year.

We don't get real news from anyone anymore. CNN. FOX. MSNBC. They're all the same. Sure, they may play different roles, but they are all appearing on the same stage in the same absurd, pathetic performance.

They show us other countries battling for their freedom and we think, "aren't we lucky that we have it so good?'"

Well, that's pretty much how those in power want you to feel. So, you know, mission accomplished.

It makes it easier for us to accept the fact that the top 1% of our country is sucking every last drop of wealth out of our collective asses.

It makes it easier to accept that our civil liberties are being stripped away faster than a coked up dancer yanks off her thong during the lunchtime show at Club Vajajay.

And it makes it easier to accept that our votes will continue to mean nothing as long as they are bought and paid for by the cabal of billionaires running our nation.

But enough of this depressing shit. It's Idol night tonight! Let's go Pia!

Friday, March 4, 2011

We'll make our own tacos, thank you very much

As I prepare to head to Arizona tomorrow, I can't help but dwell on the many ways that Mexicans have ruined our once great nation.

Ah, to live back in the days of our founding fathers, when the immigrants were white and the strawberry pickers were slaves. Good times.

If you were a cobbler, you didn't have to worry about Jose moseying into town and stealing your business. Well, you would if you were in Arizona, since Arizona was Mexico back then, but that's not really the point right now

The point is, we are a country of laws. And if the law says that harder working people from another country can't come here and take jobs away from people who don't want them anyway, well then, that's the law. And I'll be damned if I can't get pissed at those who break it.

Now, I know, some of you may be saying, why don't you get just as pissed at people who drive over the speed limit or smoke marijuana? They're breaking the law too.

Yes, they are. But they're probably speeding to get away from the gangs of Mexicans taking over their town. And who wouldn't need a little Mary Jane after some foreigner steals your job? Jeez, cut whitey some slack, man. He's not the enemy here.

It's these damned immigrants cleaning our toilets, mowing our lawns, caring for our kids, washing our dishes, plucking our poultry and folding our laundry that are the problem.

We hire these people out of the kindness of our hearts, trying to give the less fortunate an opportunity at the American Dream. And all we get is heartbreak in return. Imagine the shock a young mother in Connecticut must feel when she finds out Consuela came to this country in the wheel well of a '72 Chevy Bronco and not through the hallowed halls of Ellis Island.

It's time to build that damned border wall already. Build it so high its shadow stretches to the Dakotas. And send all the little Latin lawbreakers that are here now back to where they came from.

Except for Carlos, who works at that little deli down the street from me. He puts a lot of love into those turkey sandwiches he makes. And I'm not about to give those up.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm convinced all experts are stupid

Remember those assholes who said the dot com bubble would never burst?


And those dicks who said we needed to fight a war in Iraq to protect us from weapons of mass destruction?


And how about those douchebags who claimed the run on real estate would go on forever?


You would think after years and years of completely failing the American people, experts would finally have learned to shut the fuck up.

But no.

Every day you read more 'insight' from people who claim to have knowledge us ordinary folks don't possess.

The job market is on the way back.

Things are really turning around in Afghanastan.

The deficit needs to be cut or we will all die under mountains of Chinese debt.


Exactly what part of "I don't fucking believe a word you say anymore" don't you understand? Credibility needs to be earned. I'd just as soon believe the homeless guy who tells me to watch out for goblins every morning. At least he's consistent.

Over the years, experts have told us smoking is good for you, wait, no, smoking is bad for you. A suntan is healthy. Scratch that, a sun tan will kill you. Milk is awesome. No, actually, milk is poison. Wine will destroy you. Woops! Turns out wine will make you live forever! My bad.

Now, it's entirely possible that the 'experts' could be right on some of their latest prognostications.

But until I see a goblin sitting next to me on the E train, I won't be holding my breath.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stupid is as stupid does

Imagine you are a contestant on Let's Make a Deal. You have to choose between door number 1 and door number 2.

Behind door number 1 is a prize that will make you wealthier, healthier, safer and wiser. 

Behind door number 2 is a kick in the balls.

Which one would you pick?

Take your time, I know this is a toughie. I mean, it must be because so many people seem to prefer what's behind door number 2, despite constant protestations that they do not, in fact, enjoy getting kicked in the balls.

Who are these crazy, nut-kick loving kooks?

They are the poor and middle class Americans who continue to vote for Republican candidates despite the Chris Christie sized pile of evidence that shows Democrats would better serve their interests.

Election after election, they continue to say no to increased job security, more opportunities for advancement, solid health coverage, on-the-job training, money for their kids' education, women's health programs and roads and bridges that allow them to get to work safely.

Why would any sane person do this?

Perhaps they just hate gays and Mexicans and are willing to sacrifice their own well-being to ensure their hatred will always have a home.

Perhaps they are uber-religious and believe that suffering on this planet will pay off for them in the afterlife.

Perhaps they are just idiots.

Or, perhaps, they have been fed a steady diet of Republican misinformation over the last 30 years, designed to confuse the shit out of people.

Here's how that usually works. Step one—lie about everything, often. Say something enough, no matter how stupid, and people will believe you. It's like ugly kid who gets told he's beautiful his whole life so he ends up thinking he's a fucking stud when he reaches adulthood. He may face rejection at every bar for the next 20 years, but he will consistently assume it's because the girl is crazy, not because he looks like Quasimodo after a two-week meth binge.

Step two—tell people that government is the source of all evil. This is where the true genius lies, because it tugs at Americans' colonial heartstrings and paints the Democrats—who will always support government action more than Republicans—as the perpetual enemy.

Democrats will never win over the racists, the homophobes or the super religious. But they have a shot at everyone else. They just need to figure out a story that can combat the "government is evil, lying is awesome" strategy of the Republicans.

Perhaps they could start by giving people the facts. Over and over and over again. It may not be as fun as lying your ass off, but it's such a wacky idea it just might work.

Just be patient. Politicians aren't really used to telling the truth so let's give them some time to get the hang of it.