thanks, crazy gun dude

I owe Wayne LaPierre, none of whose body parts I wish to see impaled on any inanimate object, now and forever, amen, a great debt of gratitude. For, you see, he has opened my poor eyes to the light, and where I once was blind, now I can see, my friends.

When I picked up the first Assassin’s Creed game for my vile PS3, everything seemed fine at first. When I started reliving my ancestors’ lives and going around (as them) jumping on rooftops and slashing people’s throats all the time, I thought that was odd, sure, but I wasn’t terribly concerned. But now, as I’m playing Assassin’s Creed III, which is actually the fifth title in the series because gamers don’t count so well, I guess, I must have amassed a body count in the thousands if you include all the times I relived my ancestors’ lives and fucked something up so I had to go back and start again. I’m SORRY I fell too far behind my target, whatever, assholes…anyway, I digress.

As I got more and more freaked out about what was happening, I started blaming things. Guns, I blamed guns. I blamed my apparently ridiculously violent ancestors. I blamed the retracting knife that I suddenly had in place of my left ring finger. I blamed myself. It wasn’t until I listened to Mr. LaPierre’s shit-flinging sidewalk nutjob shrieking session press conference this morning that I realized that it wasn’t the knife, or my ancestors, or me, or especially guns that were to blame, it was the video game itself! Well, like any sensible, Real American out there, I did the right thing; I immediately bought myself an AR-15 with a high capacity mag, armor piercing rounds, telescoping night sight and laser targeting system.

For freedom.

Then I shot the living shit out of my PS3 and that damned game, and maybe some of the people next door or out in the street or across the street or wherever the bullets flew once they punched through the walls of my house; whatever, that’s not important. What is important is I got your message, Mr. LaPierre.


And I’m with you all the way. Shooting shit.


Because, and I don’t mean to repeat myself but it bears (bears being another great reason to own some guns!) repeating, freedom.

you take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street, or sticking your face in a fan

Not to toot my own horn, but apparently somebody at Jeff Zucker’s The New CNN caught my award-eligible post offering 10 simple fixes for what ails the struggling network. Sounds like some much-needed changes are in the offing:

Onetime Today boss-turned-CNN president Jeff Zucker may find a new home for the NBC morning program’s shoddily shipped-off Ann Curry — as CNN’s new 8 o’clock anchor.

Good move, guys. I’m not sure Ann Curry will fix what ails you, but making any change to that prime-time disaster zone of subhumanity you’ve got now has to be a positi–wait, 8 o’clock? That can’t be right, because your 8 o’clock anchor is probably the only non-disaster you’re putting on the air. What gives? Just shifting everybody around?

Sources tell the New York Post that if Curry is placed in the primo position (as part of a larger bid to boost the cabler’s flagging ratings), current anchor Anderson Cooper would segue into a “globetrotting correspondent” role.

What the hell? Your primetime lineup currently consists of human carrion-eater Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, and galactic embarrassment to the species Piers Morgan, and you’re thinking about replacing…Cooper? The one anchor you’ve got outside of Soledad O’Brien (start updating that resume, Soledad!) who actually practices journalism on a more than accidental level? Are you joking?

Maybe it’s a ratings thing, and I’m not a ratings guy, so lets look at the ratings. Hm, no, with few exceptions, Cooper is their highest rated prime-time anchor, and combining first run and first replay, he’s nearly always ahead of Morgan and Burnett. I don’t get it.

But that’s not the only change you’re making, right? You can still get rid of Morgan at least, which is a total no-brainer, right? RIGHT?

CNN host Piers Morgan could join the late-night crowd.

Oh for fuck’s sake.

“They will keep Piers. He’ll be the kind of person Zucker will want to keep. They are not interested in doing a total cleaning of house,” said one exec familiar with the discussions.

Even before the arrival of Zucker, the network had been combing Hollywood talent agencies, touting the possibility of a late-night talk show.

I just…I can’t…I mean, WHY? At least when you guys are getting your asses kicked by Fox and MSNBC, that’s only two stations, and you can plausibly argue that neither one is doing “straight news” (neither are you, but let’s play along with the charade for now). Now you’re going to launch a late-night talk show so you can compete with, and be beaten by, NBC, CBS, ABC, TBS, Comedy Central, and who knows who else? WHY?

And Morgan? Seriously? He embarrasses your whole brand and his ratings don’t justify the embarrassment! What are you all thinking?

something to keep in mind

I’m sorry, I was going to write something about the deteriorating situation in Egypt and my ambivalence about what America should so about it, assuming America should “do” anything at all which is I confess not clear to me. What we “did” with respect to Egypt over the past three decades was to prop up a repressive nightmare of a dictatorship because it served our geopolitical ends in the region. Now what we’re supposed to “do” is to leverage the elected Egyptian government into moderating its course, which is a negative course for sure, but we have a bad habit of insisting on democratic reforms in that region and then balking when we don’t like the election results, and how does bringing out the big stick against Morsi not fit that pattern?

I was going to write about that, but the AJE live stream I was watching switched from live coverage of what’s going on in Egypt to a story about post-war Iraq (remember that place?), including coverage of the incredibly high incidence of birth defects and childhood cancers being encountered in Fallujah, almost certainly because of indiscriminate American use of white phosphorous and depleted uranium ammunition in the conflict there. Fallujah is seeing a rate of birth defects that is 11 times the worldwide average. Lead and mercury levels in children in Fallujah and Basra are dramatically higher than they should be. There is ample evidence, even beyond “WHAT THE FUCK ELSE COULD IT BE?” which seems compelling enough for me, to conclude that our invasion is to blame for brutalizing the children of Iraq.

I know this wound up not having anything directly to do with Egypt, but it’s worth keeping in mind the consequences of our actions when we insist on involving ourselves in everything that happens around the world. THIS is the ultimate result of the arrogance that leads us to believe that the world is America’s sandbox, but we’ve steadfastly refused to acknowledge it or to even revisit the evils we’ve done over the past 10 years in our haste to “move forward.” I’d feel a lot better about our potential interference in Egyptian internal politics if I thought we’d learned some lessons from the recent past.

dave brubeck (1920-2012)

RIP, Dave Brubeck, a titan in the history of American music.

His best-known work is the ubiquitous “Take Five.”

I had a jazz teacher in college who was forever in awe of Brubeck’s ability to make 5/4 time swing. I was always partial to “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” which plays with a 9/8 time signature by feeling the meter as 2+2+2+3 for three measures followed by one measure of 3+3+3, repeat, before alternating 9/8 and 4/4 and then going into a straight 4/4.

Good stuff.