Thursday, December 01, 2016

My Long Lost Story

It's Always Sunny....    The Gang Goes Michael Vick



11:23 am On a Wednesday   In Philadelphia 

Dennis, Charlie, and Frank are in Paddy's Pub discussing various sports figures and their falls from grace.   Being in Philly, Michael Vick comes up as a topic and they debate whether he actually broke any laws. Dennis thinks it is Philly that is bad for sports figures and cites Pete Rose.   Charlie and Frank take offense at putting Pete Rose in the same class as Michael Vick as they don't believe dog fighting is illegal if the dog isn't your pet.   Dennis agrees but points out that, like Pete Rose, Michael Vick also bet on the dog fighting bringing Frank and Charlie into agreement.

Charlie: You can never predict who will fall these days.

Frank:  Or any day.

Dennis:  Who saw Michael Vick fall?

Charlie:  I sure didn't.

Dennis:  Nobody did, that's my point.  And Pete Rose too.  I tell you what I think; I think Philly is bad for sports figures.

Frank:  Woah there!   Are you actually putting Pete Rose in the same class as Michael Vick?

Charlie:  Yeah, cause one plays football and the other plays another entirely different sport.

Frank:  No Charlie, he is talking about dog fighting.

Charlie:  Pete Rose was into dog fighting too?

Frank:  No Charlie, Pete Rose gambled and Michael Vick fought dogs.

Charlie:  Since when is dog fighting a crime?

Dennis:  Since always.

Frank:  Yeah, but only if the dog is a pet.  

Dennis:  Well naturally, a trained dog fighter can fight.   Who would even want to see a Poodle or little Taco dog fight, but I would like to point out that Michael Vick also bet on the fights.

Frank and Charlie:  Ah!

Charlie:  You can't bet if you own the dog?

Dennis:  No, you can't gamble if you play professional sports.



During the debate, Dee enters with a dog she found outside the bar and brings it in.   It is a cute and non-descriptive mutt; medium build, harmless looking.    She intrudes into the debate and says that clearly, both men were wrong because they bet, but Michael Vick was also wrong in that he was cruel to dogs.   

Frank asks how he was cruel to dogs, pointing out that, to fight, they have to be trained, fed well, and in great shape, so they must be better cared for than random wandering dogs like the one she found. While Dee and Frank debate the merits of dog fighting, Dennis and Charlie begin to show affection to the dog as Mac enters to grab a bottle,thick with his cologne, before his date with....nobody (Carmen). Instantly the dog charges at Mac who must flip over the bar and run to the back office to avoid being eaten.   The dog, previously cute and mellow, begins growling and clawing at the door.

Dennis, looking at the action comments “maybe Philly brings out the worst in dogs too.”

Frank smiles with glee as he suddenly has a wonderful idea...

"The Gang Goes Michael Vick"

The dog and Mac switch places (the dog gets locked in the office for the moment) as Dee tries to explain to Frank and Charlie how they can't use the dog for fighting because it is illegal.   Charlie insists it  isn't because, if it were, then how could Michael Vick be playing football?   Mac says he went to jail to which Frank responds that he was charged with gambling,  they don't allow felons in the NFL.  

Eventually, it falls to Dee to trump them all by saying she found the dog and she will decide what to do with it and she wants to keep it.

Dee:  Well, I am taking this dog home with me and that makes him a pet which trumps any dog fighting plans you may or may not have had, so there!

Mac: Of course you are keeping the dog.

Dee:  What does that mean?

Mac:  What?

Dee: You said “Of course” I am keeping the dog.

Mac: Right.  Of course, you are keeping it.   You are selfish.

Dee:  I am not

Mac:  You are too!

Dee:  I am giving this dog a better life.  It was living on the streets!

Mac:  You are giving yourself a free pet.


Dee takes it to her house, where it proceeds to destroy everything in sight including some shoes she just bought, can't afford, and has not yet worn.   She manages to calm it down with 6 beers and takes a photo of the dog and calls Mac to help her find the dog's owner so she can prove to him she is not selfish, not mentioning the chaos the dog has created in her home.

Frank, Charlie, and Dennis are in Paddy's basement, preparing what they imagine a “dog fighting ring” would look like and planning how to get the dog.   The plans becomes: Dennis calls Dee's cellphone and gives her a lame excuse to get her to come to Paddy's.   To his pleasant surprise, she can't because she is making fliers to find the dog's owner with Mac, “like a good person does.”   Dennis gives Frank and Charlie  the all clear to break into her apartment only to find the passed out dog.

Dee with Mac's help posts pictures of the dog all over Philly with the bar's number and address on it as Frank, Dennis, and Charlie, in Dee's apartment, try to get the dog to re-enact what it displayed before.   Instead, they get a drunk and unmotivated dog.    

Dee again brings up the debate and Mac agrees the debate was stupid, but he misunderstands which side Dee was on and actually agrees dog fighting is not illegal if you raise the dog specifically for dog fighting.   He does agree using the dog Dee found is wrong, but more because he doesn't know how much training it has had.

Dee:  Can you believe those boners?   How dumb can you be?

Mac:  Yeah, there is no way this dog could fight.

Dee:  What?

Mac: This dog could never fight.

Dee:  No dog should fight.

Mac:  Not without proper training, no, but a trained dog can have a great life.

Dee:  Oh my...what...really?

Mac:  There is a lot of money in dog fighting and, a winning dog is worth more than gold Dee.

Dee: And the losing dog?

Mac:  I am sure they have a thorough and complete retirement package for dogs.

Dee: They die, Mac!  The losing dog dies.   That is how the fight ends.

Mac:  There is no way a referee would let a fight go that far.  Sure, it may happen once in a while...

Dee: Once in a while?

Mac:  Yes, once in a while.   It is a violent sport, but people have died boxing before and I don't hear you crying out against that or saying it is illegal to box.

Dee:  It is called “Assault” outside a ring.

Mac:  And inside a ring, it is called “boxing,” just like inside a ring, this is called “dog fighting.” 

Dee:  So why did Michael Vick go to jail then?

Mac:  He bet on the dog.   Just like all professional sports, gambling within an organization is frowned on.  Look at Pete Rose.

After much trial and error, Frank realizes it is probably Mac's smell that pissed the dog off, and so they go to Dennis and Mac's apartment to let the dog loose in Mac's room to find which of Mac's many odors the dog hated the most.

After hanging up exactly 4 fliers, Dee and Mac decide it is too hot at that time to do a good job and that they should go back to the bar and see if anyone had called about the 4 they hung up, have a beer, and start when it is darker, thus cooler outside.

Back to Frank, Dennis, and Charlie: the dog has thus far torn apart and shat all over Mac's bed, ripped a few shirts leading Frank to think it is Mac's pits that does it; also utterly destroyed four pairs of boots convincing Charlie it is Mac's feet as the dog did two pairs, did a shirt, then returned to do two more "as if to get the taste out of his nose."   The dog finally knocks over the nightstand that holds Mac's ultra cheap cologne all over the pillow and the dog soon forgets everything else in the room and leaves barely a shred of the pillow as the guys celebrate finding the magic dog fighting ingredient and decide to head back to Paddy's for a drink and to finish converting the basement into a dog fighting ring.    Frank says he has to make some calls (to his Vietnamese buddies.)

It suddenly occurs to Frank that they don't know for certain the scent will work on a living thing.  The dog was already kind of going crazy when it attacked the pillow.  They need a human subject to test it on.

As Dee and Mac arrive at Paddy's, so does a beautiful girl who claims the dog belongs to her.  In fact, she says the dog was never lost at all, but rather tied to a post while she went into a store for cigarettes.   Dee asks if there is a reward for finding the dog which the owner points out was not lost until Dee took him.   Dee points out the dog ruined her shoes and the owner responds the dog would not have if Dee had left it alone.  Dee then asks how much would she be willing to give her.   When the response is “nothing,” Dee turn reward into ransom and asks again.

Mac, on the other hand, finds the girl incredibly attractive and steps in to be the hero and tells the girl he can help find the dog.   She becomes very appreciative to Mac as he says Dee was only joking about the ransom thing, the dog is at Dee's apartment and they can go get it then go get some dinner.

Frank and Charlie have gone to Cricket's tunnel home to tell him they found out the secret to getting Dee: this cologne.   The smell drives her nuts and she just has to bone whatever is wearing it.   They are telling him about this as their way to apologize for all that they did to him.   They feel terrible and would like nothing more than for him to finally be with Dee once and for all.  Meanwhile, Dennis is holding the dog outside the tunnel just out of sight.

Dee, Mac, and the girl arrive at Dee's apartment to find it trashed even more than when she left and without a dog.   Mac asks where it is and Dee explains that she has no idea: she left it passed out drunk.   This does not sit well with the owner.  Dee tries to justify it as the only way to save the rest of her things from destruction; Mac says he would never give a dog alcohol and would have placed it in a bathroom as he dog-proofed the house.

As they argue about where the dog is and the merits of getting a dog drunk, Mac finds a note from Charlie saying they took the dog to train it to fight.   They decide they need to head to Paddy's because it is the ONLY place Charlie, Dennis, and Frank could go with a slightly drunk dog.

As they leave Dee's building, they see Cricket running frantically down the street.  Before they can wonder what that was about, the girl points out that it's her dog who is now seen rounding the corner chasing Cricket.   Dee and Mac turn to ask one another what is going on as Charlie, Dennis, and Frank, gun in hand, round the corner and stop at Dee and Mac.   Frank quickly hides the gun when he notices the girl.

The girl confused and pissed off by the news of dog fighting, drunk dogs, ransom, a short man with a gun chasing her dog, and now a homeless priest being chased by her dog, demands to know what is going on.

Mac, still trying to win the girl over, take charge and says "Well, you see..."

He is cut off by Charlie saying "the dog is coming back."

Mac turns, sees the dog is charging full force at him, says "Oh Shit" and runs off.

END

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Post Election Post

It is a surreal day today.   Chemo-brain is pretty strong right now and I keep remembering a vague thought of last night and I keep needed to verify it and I keep reliving it.   Trump is the 45th President of the United States.   Despite the flaws and the mistakes, he won fair and square.

Trump's victory really should come as no surprise, but that doesn't mean it doesn't.   If one watched the polls, without going into their actual number, one had to notice Clinton's didn't move.    That means her support was her support and that was she was going to get and it turns out that the 48% WAS all she got.    Trump's numbers went up and down: should have shown us that his was a passion based campaign, and passion runs high.   Passion trumps reason, no pun intended.

Clinton was better on paper, but Clinton also, as Rush Limbaugh pointed out last week has her fingerprints all over government for the last 30 years.   If you are upset with how the parties have run the nation these last few decades, only one candidate was involved.    Hate the wars?   Only one candidate voted for them.   Hate the economy?   Only one candidate was involved in shaping it.   Obamacare?   Only one candidate helped pass it.    Trump had no place in our political history and therefore was clean of our political mess.    Better on paper became a liability in this weird year of world elections.

Why did polls fail?   Because Trump supporters were belittled to the point that none of them wanted to admit to it in public.    Sounds weird, I know, but it is pretty much spot on I feel.    Trump's behaviours made supporting him at times seem...I lack the word right now, but I think you get my drift.   Anyway, his actions made it so that people didn't want to admit to supporting him.   I think the fear of the misogyny label made some fear admitting they just opposed Clinton.    I think the news over the last week hadn't factored into the polls yet, and last week was a bad new week for Clinton.

And Clinton was a horrible candidate.   I don't think you could have found one with more baggage and with less couth when it comes to dealing with an untrusting public than her.   She fed into the mistrust rather than countering it.   The more she said "trust me," the more her issues arose to bring her trust into question which resulted in her simply attacking the accusers rather than correcting the accusation.

Did Russia hack various email accounts as a ploy to shape and influence our elections?  Probably, but that doesn't answer our concerns over the content of said emails.   The more her people attacked the questioners, the more valid the questions appeared to the public.

Here is another simple and sad truth: in 2008 the people voted for change.   Obama was an outsider and the outsider status was his appeal to many voters, but he didn't stay an outsider long and while he did change certain things, too many other problems were either expanded or ignored and the people were still waiting for that change.    Clinton offered more of the same.  Obama said his legacy is attached to Clinton's win.   The people looked at the last 8 years and said "no thanks, we'll gamble again on the outsider" and this time they went even more outside.

I hope things work out.   I fear the pendulum may have overswung to the right, but I have faith in the America people.   We are easily lead temporarily, but we have a strong compass that doesn't let us drift too far off course.    The truth is we were going to be uneasy, sick, and scared no matter who won yesterday, so let's just work on working together to keep them in check.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Almost Over

One week to go until November 9th!   One more week of worry, stress, and mostly eagerness to get it all over with.   According to a report on NPR this weekend, we are not alone in feeling these things: it is rampant across the nation.    Most people know someone who has unfriended at least one person in real life over this election according to the report... not Facebook unfriending, but real unfriending.   That is insane to me, but it is almost over.   I am 100% certain a good percent of my Facebook friends have blocked my posts this election cycle and I can only hope they remember to unblock me.

Be prepared my fellow Lemmings and tread smartly for these next few days.   Remember you can't believe ANYTHING being reported; anything you hear; anything you see; anything!   At this point, everyone has an agenda and a reason to say what they say and, more importantly, a reason to not say what they would otherwise say.   Everything on TV and from every candidate's mouths is designed to scare you into doing something they way someone else wants you to do it.  

Be strong!   Trust in yourself.    Remember you have to look yourself in the mirror every day of your life after November 8th, so make sure you vote is one you can live with the outcome of.   Don't let fear get in the way of logic and reason.   Know what you are not only voting against but are voting for.

And please, for the love of G-d, forgive your family, friends, and acquaintances who may choose to vote differently than you do.  

Be strong America.  I have faith we will do what is best for this nation in the end and we can handle anything history may have instore for us.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Elective Thoughts


I am not worried about the election.  It is pretty obvious at this point that Hillary Clinton is going to be the next President of the United States, and, while I don't support or endorse her, I can live with it.   I don't see her as a two-term President and I believe America can withstand four years of anything.   I don't see her creating new problems so much as expanding on current ones and I think/hope we can contain and mitigate the damage we know is going to come.   No, I am not worried about November 8th at all...but November 9th is a different story entirely.

November 9th...I fear what happens when a candidate who has said since before he was the candidate that if he loses then the election is rigged, loses.   I fear what happens when the supporters of a candidate who threatens to jail their opponent find themselves with that opponent as President.   I fear what this country has become and how it is going to influence the children of today who will grow up with this behavior as the norm rather than the freak show we see it as.   I am more scared now than when I had cancer.

There has been a steady decline in political civility my entire life; I was born in Nixon's time.    I saw the tricks and games played by Reagan's team to beat Carter.   I saw the masterful use of the word "Liberal" to destroy Dukakis.  I watched Perot give the White House to Clinton and the RNC proceed to demonize him for the next 8 years culminating in an impeachment in the name of spite.   I saw Bush being treated as the Cheater in Chief and the results of the election dismissed, even by myself.   I saw the following elections being prepared under a banner of "Voter Fraud;" a pre-emptive murmur, but never a battle cry...until now.

A man who attacks voters, the press, his opponent, and his own party as if they are all his most hated enemies is dangerous; the people who blindly believe his delusions are scary.     PLEASE NOTE I DID NOT SAY ALL TRUMP FOLLOWERS ARE SCARY, JUST THE ONES BUYING INTO HIS "EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IS AGAINST ME" RHETORIC!   The people speaking of "revolution" or "2nd Amendment Solutions" scare me more than any tumor in my colon.

America is the ultimate "Fath-Based Institution."   We have to believe in the system for it to work.   Sounds almost juvenile, I admit, but it is that simple.   Having a candidate in a major party like the Republican Party say the system is hopelessly rigged against the people is communicating a very dangerous thought to the masses and having it backed up by a major party.   It is not a new thought but has always been a fringe thought.   Trump has brought it mainstream and given it strength.    People will think "if the GOP Nominee says the system is rigged, it must be."   Their children will be raised to believe the system is rigged and therefore never join a system that can't be changed from the outside.   The future generations will exponentially spread this lack of faith and then the country will be dead because only those seeking the corruption of the system will bother trying to join it.

I am not a "think of the children" guy for the record.   I tend to hate those who hide behind their children to push their point of view, but I think this is different.   This is part of a larger pattern:

War on drugs in the 80's conditions kids to allow searches of their property; they never learn about their rights.
 Columbine and other school shootings created an atmosphere where one's fellow students are a greater threat than anything else, and more rights are given up in the name of security.
 
 9/11 happens and these kids, now in their 20's and 30's are told the world is against you and you must give up even more rights in the name of more security.
 Police shootings of unarmed Black people cemented an "us vs them" belief in many and confirmed the idea of a militant and out of control government to many others.

Raising kids in an atmosphere of constant war, endless threats, police shootings, and being told repeatedly freedom is the weapon being used against us has made these kids of the 80's raise their kids according to the new rules of America.  As a result, they have no context of freedom...

How do you think these kids will govern us in our old ages?   These kids who have grown up in a world of constant war, endless threats, limited freedoms, and now major candidates proclaiming rigged systems?

Is it rigged?  In some ways, yes, but in the important ways no.   You vote counts.   You voice matters.  Your belief in the system matters more.   There are problems, but this talk of revolution and violence is not how you solve it; it is how you make it worse.   Uprising will be a self-fulfilling prophesy where you will end up with the exact government you fear.  

The path to Hell is Paved in Good Intent.   I don't think those speaking of revolution are bad people.  I think their hearts are in the right place, but their anger misguided and being abused and perverted in the name of one person's ego and I do feel how they might respond on November 9th scares the Hell out of me.

I think I ranted a little.  Sorry if I lost my train of thought.  Hope you could follow it.



Monday, October 10, 2016

Debate Two

I've tried three times now to write about last night's debacle...debate I mean, and my head starts pounding every time.   My hands start to shake.   I am that upset THIS is what my country has devolved to, but I can't muster the focus to get much further.

Here is the best start I had yet.   Pretty much good on its own.

There is an old fable about the scorpion and the frog.  It goes like this:

Once upon a time, a scorpion found itself along the bank of a river with a desire to get across it.  Looking about, he saw a frog sitting on the shore.
"Hello Mr Frog," said the scorpion, "could you give me a ride across this river on your back?" 
"No," said the frog emphatically.    "You are a scorpion and I am a frog; you'll stick me and kill me halfway across."
"Why would I do that?" asked the scorpion; "If I do that, we'll both die."
The frog relented and allowed the scorpion upon its back who then proceeded to stick him halfway across the river.
 
"Why would you do that," asked the dying frog.   "Now we're both gonna die."
"What else did you expect" asked the scorpion as they both sank to the bottom of the river.
America, that debate was the river, we are the frog, and the candidates are the scorpion: what else did you expect?

For shame, America.  WE can do better.   I hope this nation is strong enough to withstand the next four years.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate One: That Was Bloody

Wow...I had to stop watching and take a shower; that first debate between Donald and Hillary was ugly, yet was like watching a master fighter play with a cocky rookie.   Everyone knew it was going to be a train wreck, but my G-d I don't think any of us expected this.   Donald's only hope at this point is for Gary Johnson to get enough support to get a spot in the next debate, and, after Donald's performance tonight, that is looking very likely.

Donald and Hillary started off equally and each one appearing very Presidential, but Hillary came in with a game plan and was able to pull it off.   It appears to me that Trump just assumed he had it handled, but Clinton knew exactly how to play the one-on-one game and it showed.   Watching her was like watching a master angler troll the water; it was like some scripted ballet with dialogue written by SNL writers in their prime.  She didn't have to attack him;  he was a penned bull and the tight confines of the constant camera and open mike were wearing him down.   All she had to do was lay bait and wait for him to leap to it.    She didn't have to wait long.

"WRONG!"  "NO!"  "NOPE!"  Trump couldn't contain himself.  I looked at the clock and he lasted exactly 30 minutes before we all said "she got him."  From that moment on, the Presidential contender/pretender was gone and the Orange Hulk was in full SMASH! mode.  At least prize fighters get ring breaks...

The saddest part of the Trump breakdown in my not so humble opinion was that it happened before the hard subjects even started.   They began with economy and jobs which Trump had a slight advantage on to many and it was there that he blew it.    As the harder subjects came up, like race, war and terror, Trump had already lost his composure and the debate was just a sad display.   If he was going for sympathy support, he was too pathetic a sight even for that.  To Hillary's credit, she never pounced on him; she kept feeding him more and more rope and allowed him to hang himself.

Several times during the debate, I seriously questioned how serious Trump was taking this entire affair and I do still wonder if he is a plant.   He achieved the impossible and made her appear not only good but great.   She was calm in the face of endless and factless attack and remained restrained in ways that made her seem perfect.      His love of hyperbole and pitch-perfect set-ups for her quick one liner comebacks really does make the skeptic question if I watched a fight or a WWE event.   Remember: Trump does have a history with wrestling.    I wonder if he is simply just once again playing the wrestling heel to Clinton's hero.

Remember what Hunter S Thompson said:
 “There's a terrible danger in voting for the lesser of two evils because the parties can set it up that way.”

Oh, and one more:
“How many more of these stinking, double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the at least 20 million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote FOR something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?”
― Hunter S. ThompsonFear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72