Saturday, January 17, 2009

Notes on the new economy

A passel of bills arrived at the chuckling household yesterday. A close examination found that Verizon had, yet again, added services which we did not request. For a small fee, of course. And we noticed that Citibank was playing games with our Visa card. Although the interest rate that was listed on the bill had not increased, the actual amount of money we were paying in interest had gone up significantly with no upward change in the balance.

A couple phone calls took care of these matters. Verizon grudgingly reverted us back to the plan for which we actually agreed to pay. Citibank explained that our interest rate actually had gone up, but it wasn't on the bill and they didn't tell us about it because, well, you know, the economy... They grudgingly put us back to the old rate. So, obviously, the policy is to blatantly rip people off and reluctantly make good on it if anyone notices.

Point is, these giant corporations are unregulated criminal fucking enterprises that will rob us at every given opportunity. Our tax money is simply not enough. Sorry, you knew that. Real point is, better examine your bills carefully.

Blessed be

More than a few survivors of the recent plane crash, and a helluva lot of observers, suspect that an invisible being that purportedly created the universe and wields awesome superpowers was complicit in events surrounding the crash.

One gentlemen fervently believes that the invisible super-being put him on the plane specifically to save a baby. Another woman believes this awesome god softened the landing in order to save her life. Countless others offer the survival of all aboard as proof positive that god guided the pilot's hand.

I share these observations as additional proof that humans are, at best, stupid fucking monkeys. First, these idiots don't notice that the awesome super being either caused the crash or was powerless against an evil super being to stop it. Furthermore, they assume that they themselves are the center of the universe. In the verifiably insane worldview created by their feeble brains, invisible super beings use their awesome power to put little people like themselves in specific situations which often include a lot of death and destruction for other people. The result of this is public praise for the invisible super being who created the mess in the first place. The all-powerful creator of the universe simply lives for flattery, and probably a bucket of blood to boot.

Yea, that all makes sense. But I guess the delusion of starring in a drama in which the creator of the universe arranges all of creation to make you feel important is more more rewarding for a stupid fucking monkey than simply eating one's bananas and liking it.

New tune, same old fiddle

Shorter Peter Beinhart:

People (Liberals) who have been prove right on just about everything are dangerous and should be totally ignored until they admit that the surge worked and kiss the asses of all us serious thinkers who so intelligently shilled for Bush through every crime and travesty.
In related news, an intern here at chuckling on-line magazine did a little genealogical research and found that Beinart is related to the little known Roman thinker, Pieter Beinhartodus. As Rome burned and Nero fiddled, Beinhartodus stood on a box in the middle of Rome and screamed that all those anti-Nero fanatics would have to admit that history had proven Nero right about the fourteenth expedition of the Parthinian campaign before they could criticize him about the destruction of the empire.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Picture of today

chuckling digs a hole

I was in southern Illinois a few years ago. You probably don't know this, but that's one of the wilder parts of America. Coal country. If you're looking for a bar fight, you won't have to look far. Shawneetown is legendary in that respect, I almost lost an eye there, but any little town will do. And the strippers? You wouldn't believe. There used to be this place called Le Maroc down near Carbondale (Carbondale? Think about that name). But let's not go there. Not now.

Anyway, I stopped at a liquor store in some little town pop. 150 or so. The guy behind the counter was exactly the kind of fat slob you see in small towns all across the back country. Dressed in camouflage. Beard. Muddy four wheel drive rusting out around back. If he didn't live in a trailer, he lived in a tumble down shack. The only thing out of place was the little Asian woman scrubbing the floor. She didn't look educated. I assumed he'd gotten her from one of those foreign bride services. Probably got sold to send money back to her family. Slaving for that disgusting asshole. Made me sick. It really did. That image of him behind the counter and her on the floor. It lingers.

A thread on Pandagon brought that image back to me. Amanda's original post was about something completely different, but some of the commenters brought up the phenomena of American men importing foreign women, presumably third world women, to be subservient slave brides, free of any kind of feminist mentality. But you know, I've spent a lot of time abroad and have dated as many foreigners as I have Americans. What do I think?

Now don't jump to conclusions. None of the women I've dated were remotely subservient. The subject came up last summer at Burning Man (you'd be surprised how many men daydream about the subservient Asian bride (well, maybe you wouldn't))and my flippant response was I'd rather be with someone I can enjoy wine, cheese and interesting conversation with than some kind of peasant slave girl who would reliably clean up after me and never say no to a spot of boom boom. Seriously. I don't see how I could possibly have a romantic relationship with a woman who isn't a feminist. Not necessarily an academic feminist, but at least someone who believes in basic equality.

But in my very limited experience (considering the population of the world), I do see a difference between third world women and Americans. Basically, my observation is that foreign women realize that men are dogs and set their expectations accordingly, whereas American women expect men to be women. I don't mean that they expect men to be effeminate. I mean that in the idealized belief in what it means to be a woman, that they expect men to be wise, hard working, and selfless. The result of these unrealistic expectations is often disappointment. Bitter disappointment. Better to be realistic, I say, and count yourself lucky if you're wrong and some guy, against nearly all odds, turns out to be decent. But realistically, you'll rarely go broke betting on the perfidy of the human male.