Monday, July 27, 2009

"YO, JOE!"

I've got a patriotic streak in these politically correct days, I'm not ashamed or afraid to let readers know that. A quick question: why in the holy HELL is it now incorrect to be patriotic? Give me a legitimate answer that isn't full of rhetoric, and I'll discuss the subject civilly with you. If you give me any crap like, "The U.S. has a history of perpetrating one evil after another against people, ESPECIALLY American Indians, and we've got nothing to be proud of!", I'll say this to you:

In the world of comics, Clark Kent aka Superman asked simply, "What's so funny about 'Truth, Justice, and the American Way?' when his own old-fashioned worldview (thanks to his old-fashioned, adopted mom and dad) was not only questioned but attacked by some would-be 'new-fashioned' heroes who didn't give a rip about anything or anyone but themselves. (Interestingly enough, he had a similar dispute with an up-and-coming African-American superhero, but it was more about the black guy having a problem with Superman's whiteness...I guess the fact Superman is the last son of Krypton, which also makes him a so-called 'minority', didn't make much difference.) I have to ask the same, what's funny -- or wrong, according to some assholes -- with a little old-fashioned Red, White and Blue? I guess I'm not SENSITIVE enough. I guess I have to be part of some historically-marginalized so-called 'MINORITY' to understand and therefore be more correct accordingly. Bullshit. By the way, I hate when someone else is described as being part of a 'minority'...that, boys and girls, is marginalizing.

I don't have a damn thing to apologize for, and I never will...I'm not responsible for this historic wrong or that perpetrated by SOME LEADERS of my country in the past, or in more contemporary times. (Yes, even our current President Obama might do something wrong while he's in office, or at least make a mistake that would affect many, many others.) Besides, isn't blaming my country and everyone who's a part of it for the wrongs some in power committed through history the same as blaming all African-Americans for gangs on the streets? Discuss THAT point if you have the guts, you PC-bandits.

I'm also a geek...that means besides growing up with George Reeves and then Christopher Reeve as Superman, I got hooked to watching "G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero" on TV. How the hell couldn't I? A growing American boy gravitates naturally to sci-fi, good-vs-evil action in toons, and what set this toon apart from similar adventure shows from "The Transformers" to "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" was its clear and present flag-waving. You could almost smell fireworks from the Fourth of July when every episode started with an announcement of "G.I. Joe's" basic premise...

G.I. Joe is the code name for America's daring, highly-trained special mission force! Its purpose: to defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world!

One also has to take into account this was the 1980's I'm speaking of...the decade the most correct of us supposedly hate so much because of President Ronald Reagan, and it's painfully obvious how politically motivated correctness is. It was also the decade when we Americans were honestly encouraged to take pride in our joined identity and our home. After that, the correct started to get their hooks in us and told us we should make apologies and obsess over how others see us instead of be proud. Again, I make no apologies.

Seriously, what's wrong with being patriotic? I love my country and my fellow Americans...that means I love ALL of my neighbors, no matter where they're from or what color their skin might be. So-called 'minorites' are bitter over historic wrongs which they're taught for some damn reason is a part of their ethnic identities, and so I'm supposed to be bitter, too? Or sorry for wrongs I never committed? There's no sense in that...furthermore, one more time, bullshit!

There's no harm in being patriotic...and "G.I. Joe" was harmless, flag-waving fun. In a conceit toward its young audience, no one ever got killed -- except for a dark two-parter in which an alternate reality was portrayed where most every Joe was K.I.A. and Cobra took over the world(!). There was the threat of harm, sure...plenty of tanks, jet fighters and shit got turned to scrap metal every episode, but like "The A-Team", its violence was bloodless and entertaining. For crying out loud, each episode had a public service announcement geared to the kids at the end of each episode! How harmful is that?

The villains of the show were even portrayed to comedic effect more often than not...Cobra Commander was a whining bitch of an incompetent, Destro was as much bluster as he was smart, and the Baroness was so serious even a member of the Taliban would say, "You take this terrorist shit too seriously!" The bad guy twin brothers, Tomax and Xamot, I couldn't take seriously even if you threatened me with a gun. The good guys were colorful in their own right...Duke, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Lady Jaye, Roadblock (Mr. T wannabe!), and more have a welcome place in my pop culture consciousness. :)

I loved "G.I. Joe", from the toons to the comic books, back in the day...MANY from my generation did, and there's nothing wrong with that.

That's why the kid in me is ready to see the new "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" live-action movie coming soon, which is looking to make its own the "Transformers" film from a couple of years ago, I'm not expecting a perfect echo of days gone by. I've even braced myself for the likelihood that the correct powers that be will tone down the patriotism always at G.I. Joe's heart considerably. I just want it to be good and at least half-true to its source material. With the steady creative downturn in Hollywood in recent years, though, I seriously have to wonder.

I want it to AT LEAST be as good as the recent web series "G.I. Joe: Resolute". Unlike the coming film, this toon doesn't reboot things to Square One and how the conflict between the Joes and Cobra started. In fact, written by Warren Ellis, "Resolute" is a much more mature nod to those of us who grew up with and know the Joes so well. In short, Cobra Commander acknowledges his cartoon-comic roots by wanting to send the message that those kid glove days are over, and he's not afraid to kill Joes or an entire damn CITY to conquer the world. And even in the first chapter, he does just that! The Joes keep it real in retaliation, and they're ready to shoot to kill if need be. And it's all good! :)

Hopefully for those of us who grew up with the Joes, the new movie can even measure up to "Resolute". Yo, Joe!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Business (and politics) as usual...

I'm going to let this next story from the news and opinion site "Politics Daily" speak for itself...then I'll try to insert some simple common sense into the mix with some questions to show how damned STUPID all of this is. LEGAL BULLSHIT DISCLAIMER: I don't work for, and I'm not doing this to promote them or steal from them. This is just my passing along information, all right? The story comes from Mary C. Curtis, and I won't take credit for it. I'm not profiting from this either, that's for certain.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney Apologizes Over N-word Slip
by Mary C. Curtis

It's a simple rule for politicians: Never start your campaign with an apology. And another good one: Refrain from using racial epithets, even when you're quoting someone else. It's never going to come out quite the way you intended.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, is apologizing for using the n-word while retelling a story intended to damage her opponent. All she's managed to do is damage her own chances.

"I apologize for having repeated a word I find disgusting," Maloney said in a statement. "It's no excuse, but I was so caught up in relaying the story exactly as it was told to me that, in doing so, I repeated a word that should never be repeated."

Maloney's aides say she will proceed with plans to formally announce her candidacy next week for the U.S. Senate seat held by (fellow Democrat) Kirsten Gillibrand. City Hall, a biweekly publication and political Web site, quoted Maloney criticizing Gillibrand in a story dated July 17:

"I got a call from someone from Puerto Rico, said [Gillibrand] went to Puerto Rico and came out for English-only [education]. And he said, 'It was like saying n-r to a Puerto Rican,' " she said, using the full racial slur. "I don't know -- I don't know if that's true or not. I just called. I'm just throwing that out. All of her -- well, what does she stand for?"

Gillibrand's aides say she opposes English-only education, a controversial issue, particularly among Hispanics.

Though there is no good time for this sort of gaffe, Maloney's came not long before her Monday night New York fundraiser, attended by former President Bill Clinton. At that event, when asked about the incident, Maloney told the New York Daily News, "I issued a statement and the statement speaks for itself."

She also noted, "We are a multi-racial country and we are all working together, moving forward."

No one is accusing Maloney of being a racist, not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, who nevertheless said in a release: "No public official, even in quoting someone else, should loosely use such an offensive term and should certainly challenge someone using the term to him or her." Then again, Sharpton has formally endorsed Gillibrand's Senate bid.

It is fair to question Maloney's judgment, especially since she said in the interview that she didn't know if the story told to her was true or not. And the Senate race hasn't really started yet.


First off, that's a word I'll never use...whether when talking to people, or writing stories.

But this situation makes me ask some measured, thoughtful questions about the state of politics today. Keep in mind that I hate politics. The questions are as follows...

1) Why is wanting English-centered education racist when we're talking about those from Puerto Rico? Or any non-white ethnicity, for that matter?

2) Something Miss Curtis didn't focus on, but should have, was Maloney's statement -- which in her words speaks for itself -- and Maloney also saying that SHE DIDN'T KNOW IF IT WAS TRUE! So not only was Maloney saying something deliberately inflammatory, the odds are good she was wrong, or worse lying?

3) If Maloney is part of the supposedly progressive, liberal Democrats, why not open a straight, thoughtful debate with fellow Democrat Gillibrand? I guess because Gillibrand has some conservative, supposedly intolerant views, Maloney thought she had an opening?

4) Why do people supposedly progressive and liberal insist on saying we're a 'multi-racial' country? We're a multi-ETHNIC country...there is no such thing as racial dividing lines in a single human race. If liberals insist otherwise, why the hell are they still considered progressive?

5) If Maloney says we're all working together -- or should be -- why did she do exactly the opposite with as much class as a rabid pit bull?

And last but not least:

6) Why aren't we seeing as much of an uproar from the media about a Democrat saying that word as we would if a supposedly less enlightened, conservative Republican had said it, even as a quote? You don't think it has to do with the fact that those in the news media, most of them 'progressive' Democrats, would only focus on the kind of news that would make Republicans look bad? Again?

I already know the answers to those questions, of course. I'm posing them here for anyone who'd care to read them, and hopefully have the common sense to know the answers like I do. Then you can figure out once and for all why I hate politics.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Random Thoughts

Before I get to 'em, I hope everyone had a truly happy Fourth of July weekend. (Especially you, Yen, I hope you're doing great!)

I've been introspective lately, partly because of the holiday and partly because of a LOT of things. My thoughts, at random, in no particular order...

1) I virtually grew up watching Farrah Fawcett (yes, including the time she was Farrah Fawcett-Majors, which shows I'm friggin' old) and listening to Michael Jackson. No matter how flawed they both were in private -- which was their business and never any number of tabloids' business -- they hit us like a bomb in the time they were here, and it's still settling in me that they're no longer with us. Without a doubt, they'll be missed.

2) On a related subject, Farrah should have been given the chance to act more by the powers that be in "The Burning Bed" and "Extremities" to see why I say that.

3) On another related subject, whoever still thinks that Michael Jackson's steady transformation of his face from (NATURAL!) brown to a WTF shade of white wasn't weird is suffering from mental retardation. Again, his private business is just that, but what the hell kind of self-image issues could he have had and why? It's a question that has to be asked, but may never be answered now.

4) Why did it have to rain on the Fourth? :/

5) I wonder if Michael, the King of Pop, is starting a concert tour with Elvis, the King of Rock, somewhere we can only imagine in the afterlife... :)

6) One really does get hungry again not long after eating Chinese food.

7) Can a rudder function as part of the keel of a ship? (It's one of a hundred questions I'm asking myself as I do research...bear with me.)

8) Mondays suck. It's a fact. Look it up.

9) I have no problem with an online lottery, of all things, to decide which die-hard Michael Jackson fans get to go to the memorial service at the Staples Center tomorrow...but I swear to God, if they start selling memorabilia like fuckin' T-shirts there, it'll be official: the only thing anyone in Hollywood gives a shit about is money. The powers that be there can kiss my ass if they try to say different in the future. Remember how much money got pocketed by Hollywood's elite after their 9-11 benefit special?

10) I hope President Obama listens to Colin Powell...don't try to do too much with tax dollars you can't afford to spend! Besides, a basic truth is that when government tries to be big and fix a thing, they only end up making matters worse.

11) No, John Cho, in spite of what you think there can be such a thing as an Asian-American cowboy in a movie...just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't. That's kind of strange, isn't it? Someone typecasting himself and his entire ethnicity! But then, most liberals and multiculturalists would call that 'correct'. :/

12) I want to be an optomist, but my thoughts veer to the pessimistic. Maybe because I know too many of my fellow Humans are, in general, dumb. Or maybe it's just because I miss Farrah and in peace, please, the both of you.