Archive for the These damn young ‘uns Category

…on Becoming The Credible Hulk

Posted in Brain Droppings, Politics, These damn young 'uns on February 19, 2013 by journeymantojo

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Yeah, I know I’ve used this pic before. But trust me, it fits here as well.

I’m not going to get into my opinion or political leanings. Because I just don’t feel like it right now. But what I do feel like is saying that I’m seriously tired of where our rhetoric is going and especially upset about the tireless, unfounded, ill-informed vitriol that seems to be pouring continuously from some people.

I could – just off the cuff, without actually internetting to recall – list some things that our current president is doing that upsets me. The drones memo, the “rosey-ing” of the actual budget numbers he presented during the SOTU, the extension of the NDAA….. Those three were just off the top of my head. And yeah, those are all fact checked. (That last statement is relevant as I’m about to show.)

But to continue on these total falsities that Obama is a “muslim”, “taking away our guns”, “parceling out this country piece-by-piece to foreign interest”, etc. is just…..wrong.

See, I voted Dem this last election and I’m doing a better job of giving you people hate-fodder than your “trusted” news sources. Which is where this rant is headed.

If you’re going to criticize me for my politics, please be a bit more informed. Check the facts. And for god’s sake, have some historical fucking context!

And above all else, if you sit there and in one breath explain how you “don’t read very much because I don’t like it” then in the next lecture me on my politics, well you are just not gonna like what I have to say.

This rant would be a bit longer but I had a wonderful thing happen shortly after the opts-to-be-illiterate person made her ill-informed comment.

“What?”, you ask. And even if you didn’t ask, let’s pretend you did….

I had a great discussion about economics and the budget and hypotheticals with a conservative. Yeah, a liberal and a conservative actually had a agreeable discourse. And it was good. It calmed me down because none of the talk consisted of “Reps suck dick!” or “Dems are meatjerkers!” or “Cons are closet cases!” or “Libs are tards!”.

Nope, it was a great discussion of the pros and cons of Keynesian vs. Austerity economics. He – the Con – suggested that special interest groups and lobbyist have no place in politics. I – the Lib – suggested that we needed regulations on social programs to cut down on those that actually abuse the system. Both points brought a laugh because they seemed counter to our politics. We applauded libertarian ideas and socialist ideas. We both hypothetical-ed how we would run things. And on the points where we disagreed, well we agreed to disagree. (We actually hypothetical-ed how compromises could be met on our views if we were running the show. Yeah, like they would allow that.) Just an all-around great talk. And then it became time to leave.

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I’ve always been of the mind set that I don’t really care what your views are religiously, philosophically, or politically. I just want a good talk that’s your INFORMED opinion staked against mine. And please, one last caveat.

Try to be an ADULT about it. When we disagree, it’s just that….a disagreement. I have not killed your parents and there is no reason to avenge yourself because of my views.

Thank you. Man, I can’t wait to Saturday. I’ve got my political discourse fix, Now I need to get my philosophy on.

…on Today’s Episode Of Walker, Texas Ranger

Posted in Brain Droppings, Bullies, Deep Ponderings, Humor, Texas Ranger, These damn young 'uns with tags , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by journeymantojo

First order of business….yeah, I watch Walker. This show is just epic in it’s……epicness. And of course if I don’t watch it, Chuck Norris will come over and slam my head into the keyujbvfowjviojefbvonveo[bnveriobv

“Dammit Chuck, I wasn’t making fun of you dude!”

Okay, now that he’s gone I can proceed.

Today’s riveting episode deals with bullies. And it features Deion Sanders. So the star power is just all over the place. It does also feature the one credible actor on topics like bullying and gangs, DANNY MOTHER FUCKIN’ TREJO!

It opens with a boy being bullied and the kid ends up jumping off the roof. As a side thought, all the episodes I’ve seen, Walker’s writers are all about killing some kids. Hell, one episode they had a family (with a wee baby) in a minivan that was plowed into by a semi. And they didn’t leave it with just being crushed. Nope, the writers had to emphasize the accident by having the van BLOW THE FUCK UP!

Anyway, so the boy kills himself and Walker decides to implement a program where he will teach the “bullied” how to fight back…..with FUCKIN’ KARATE! HELL YEAH! NINJAS! Which works in the show because all the “bullies” are dumb.

You see, being a former bullied kid, I know that bullies aren’t as dumb as Hollywood (And Hollywood’s made for TV sister, Vancouver.) likes to portray them. That, and they really enjoy the concept of revenge. I think they kind of wrote the book. Revenge by Some Bullies. I will cite two examples.

One year I was suspended. Because I was bullied. And to fight back I hit the kid in the face. With a book. (Algebra. And I thought it would never have a use.) The bully was vanquished. That would have been an epic ending! But the bully had friends (Hollywood got that right.) But they weren’t the snickering Robert Downey Jr.’s Ian to Robert Rusler’s Max. No, they were his fucking teammates. And they didn’t like the whole “You hit my buddy in the face with a book” thing. Nope, so when I got back from my suspension, I now had to deal with a fucking busload of bullies. Avenging their fucking sensei like it was some bad chop socky film. “You killed our master. We must Kung-Fu!” They did stop bullying me eventually. But it was more out of boredom.Yeah, it was a pretty shitty few months. And yeah, it’s safe to LOL that. I laugh at it now.

When you start a new school, you always think it’s a chance to reinvent yourself. My family moved a lot. So at a new school, in a new town, I thought I’m safe here. Well, Mark Zuckerberg must have designed the Facebook around the Bully Network. Seriously, these guys know. Like a Spidey sense. (That sentence should give a small clue as to why I was bullied. The love of Kung-Fu movies, and any further nerd references will fill out the rest of the “Why were you bullied Tony?” mystery.) “Wait, Bully sense tingling! NERD! Must punch in face!” <To be read in your best Ogre impression>

So armed with Thrash Metal (The theme music of bullied peoples revenge fantasies.) and some new threads, I entered the new school. And the bullies knew. Let the derision begin! So I was bullied further. At home I would crank the metal and do push-ups and sit-ups and ran (Man, maybe I need to be bullied again. Really kept me motivated to keep in shape.) and just try to build myself into a fight-back machine. Would watch my Kung-Fu movies, mimicking the moves. Tailored myself into a fighting machine. Even tried my hand at wrestling and learned some submission moves and some shoot fighting techniques. Well, at the first fight….victory was mine! The bullies backed down because I fought one and won. But that was one of the ‘greenbelts’ apparently. Because the next bully knew KARATE! Yeah, painted the hallways with a bucket of my blood using beat ass as his brush. Sucked. His Kung-Fu was definitely stronger than mine. On the upside, I had no sensei so I didn’t really disgrace my master or his style. Small victories like that helped me carry on. And yeah, it’s safe to LOL this one too. Because it was a funny story.

So in the real world, bullies are little trickier to fight. We do have weapons against them. Remember, you can talk to your parents. Before they were “adults-who-don’t-understand” they were teens dealing with the same shit. And your friends. I mean, even if your friends can’t fight, they are great at helping tote some of that ass whoopin’ and it helps that the more of you there are, the quicker the bullies will tire out. So there’s that. Also talk to your teachers. It’s all about survival. So your enemies won’t think your cool but you will LIVE and living is pretty damn kick ass compared to the whole having a rat reputation. Trust me. I got over selling those bullies out. Which is easier than it would have been getting over them messing up this beautiful face any further. You also have your wit. Sometimes that bully is hitting you because of dad issues or because God only gave him three inches instead of the average five to six. And you should know your history (Come on, your nerds! Be proud of your book learnin’!) so pull some Byzantine shit on them. Divide and conquer. Worked a few times for me. Matt was a really great friend, but an even bigger asset. Quarterbacks have mind control on bullies man.

So what did I learn from today’s Walker? Chuck Norris is the shit, Danny Trejo will stop a herd of rampaging Latinos with just his rep, and above all else, don’t jump off that roof. Stay strong, and try to have fun! It’s only high school. Which is only four years. Someone will have sex with you, someone will look up to you, and everyone will need you to stop that meteor from crushing life as we know it. And we can’t do it without physicist. You know, that guy who is getting picked on because he wears different clothes and understands math more than he understands football…..the kid in the mirror.

…on The New Curriculum

Posted in Brain Droppings, Literature, These damn young 'uns with tags , , , , , , on January 6, 2012 by journeymantojo

My sister made an interesting comment today in her status update.

“My son is reading John Saul “The Devil’s Labyrinth”for his American Lit class. What happened to reading Mark Twain and Nathaniel Hawthorne?”

To which I had to respond, “I’ll tell you what happened to Twain and Hawthorne. They’re fuckin’ boring.”

The talk went back and forth for a few points. In summation “They’re classics and inspired writers” “I didn’t say they aren’t great writers. Just boring”

You see, Victor Hugo is supposed to be this epic writer of epic epicness. But has anybody tried to read The Miserable or The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Coma type writing they are.This coming from a guy who reads Dante and Homer for fun.

But I didn’t stumble onto those guys until after school. When I was out.

So I applaud the school for finally getting into letting students pick their own lit choices. And for finally catching on to new styles of old genres. Now, I will admit….if it wasn’t for the school making me read Of Mice and Men, I would have never discovered how AWESOME Steinbeck was as a writer. I also probably wouldn’t have figured out just how scary living during the Depression was either. But that’s not the point. My point is I love Steinbeck and I can thank my ninth grade English class for that.

But whenever we did poetry I was bored out of my skull. We read E.E. Cummings (And now I’m required to spell her name in lower case because “she’s an ARTISTE!” Bullshit!) and Robert Frost and Longfellow and…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Wha-? Sorry. I mean, these guys have to be boring if they make me pass out just from listing their names. These were the most painful reading experiences of my life. Poems about trees and rivers and wallpaper and yadda-yadda-yadda. Yeah! Dozefest! It wasn’t until I was out of school that I discovered the Beat Poets (Ginsberg, Case, Cassaday, Solomon, etc.) and epic poetry by the likes of Milton, Dante, Byron. These guys made poetry accessible and good. Epic imagery from the classics and shit I was going through in the Beats. I suddenly wanted to start writing poetry.

And nowhere were the guys like Lovecraft, Dick, Gibson….hell, we never even had any Tolkien. Come on! The guy wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy! He invented fantasy! It’s TOLKIEN people!

I guess my point is….hell, I’m just glad he’s reading. It seems to be such a rare thing for young ‘uns to want to read. I get super excited when I find anyone under the age of 25 who even reads the damn instruction manual for a video game. It’s tragic. I think schools need to start letting people pick their own required reading. Now we know that nobody will want to pick up any of the Deerstalker books. But maybe they’ll get into a book, find the author was inspired by one of the older (and deader) guys and read his stuff. Or at least acknowledge the older (and deader) guys. I mean, I still can’t read Cummings without dropping into an irreversible coma. But she inspired a few of the guys that inspired me. So I admit her okayness (She will never qualify as cool to me.)

But hell, at least he’s reading.