Oh, and another wingnut email

I got the wingnut email mentioned in the following article the other day and instantly smelled something very dead and very fishy.  Turns out I was right about this one too:

Who is J.D. Pendry?

So for all the wingnuts who fell for this one, please don’t feel left out.  You get the Stupid of the Day Award just like the Obama-phone bunch did.  Take a bow, wingnuts.

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Wingnuts and Free Cellphones

I just got another hysterical, misinformed right-wing e-mail from a well-meaning wingnut, blaming Obama for the “Obama-phones.”  “WHAT THE HELL ARE WE WORKING FOR???!!!!” the email exclaimed, “YOUR TAX DOLLARS ARE BEING WASTED BY OBAMA!!!!”

What’s the fuss about?  Free cell phones (with very few minutes and lots of strings attached), for the poor.

Okay, I’m going to make this brief and to the point.  Read s-l-o-w-l-y:

(1) Various organizations and municipalities have been providing free cell phones to seniors for several years now.  Municipality=government=you’ve been paying taxes for this if you live in a town where such a service is offered.

(2) The business of offering free cell phones to the poor also started WELL BEFORE OBAMA WAS ELECTED.  The earliest link I can find is October, 2008, although this link indicates the program goes back much further than that.  To when?  NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR (1984).  During the Reagan administration, that is.

So much for the “Obama-phone,” although I’m sure that by now this email has gone to thousands of wingnuts and they’re all so angry they’re almost in orbit, about to float out into the streets again to show their asses — that is, if they can find them.  Their asses, that is.  (Hint, wingnut: it’s where your brain is obviously located.)

To anyone who receives and believes this latest wingnut e-mail, I give the Stupid of the Day Award.  Take a bow, wingnut.

Williams Goes Gatlin

I grew up on Andy Williams.  He was my mother’s favorite singer in the early 1960’s.  Indeed, that time was Williams’ era: he was young, handsome, had a glorious pop tenor and a weekly TV variety show that was particularly famous for its Christmas installments.  I have to add that Williams’ Christmas shows were not devoid of religion, but some things just seemed normal in those days that don’t anymore.  In any case, it was not worthy of comment at the time.

If you’re young, you must be thinking, “wow things were really different.”  And they were.  Williams was a crooner in the last days of the crooners; a true Kennedy-era star (and — it now appears, somewhat ironically — a friend of Bobby Kennedy).  In its heyday in the early 1960’s, the Williams show was a pleasant, milquetoast affair that featured Williams, occasionally his brothers, and the Osmonds as well as various other inoffensive types in ugly sweaters (“casual”), and business suits (“crooner”).  And everyone looked forward to those Christmas specials.  I even remember one with a figure skater in it.  Or maybe it was a bunch of them.  And then we’d get to hear Williams hit that high note in “Oh Holy Night.”

But by the late ’60’s, that culture was fading.  By the early 1980’s, I’d totally lost track of Andy Williams; the last I recalled hearing of him was that he stood by his ex-wife (a ’60’s sex kitten named Claudine Longet) during her murder trial; she’d allegedly murdered her lover.  The whole affair sort of exposed the ugly underbelly of the age of innocence with which Williams had been so closely associated.  I remember seeing photos of him at the time and thinking, “what a shame he is a has-been.”  There was no place in the world in the 1980’s for an Andy Williams and he looked as if he knew it — tired and old.  (I just found out that Ronald Reagan gave Williams some sort of special honor in those years.  No comment there.  If you know my attitude toward Reagan, perhaps none is necessary.)

After that, for a long while I thought Williams must have died.

Then, several years ago, he resurfaced with a vengeance (and without the top of his vocal range) in Bible Entertainmentville, Branson Missouri.  Alarm bells went off in my head.  I knew he was possibly a Republican, but there’s a difference between being merely Republican and being off-the-wall Branson material.  “Has Andy gone right-wing?” I wondered feverishly, even as I also wondered where his high notes had gone.  Well, anyway…the guy was approaching 80.  Such things are bound to happen.  But going wingnut?  That’s not inevitable.  At the time I did not know about Williams giving the Fat Man permission to use his recording of “Born Free” with gunfire tagged on at the end; that is to say, he was long gone down this road before I knew he was on it.

Last week I happened across a video of Williams singing “Moon River.”  The video was from his ancient television show.  Underneath it were comments from viewers.  One attempted snideness by equating being a “progressive” with noting that Williams was getting old, which was what another commenter had just done.  I remember thinking this was typical right-wing pretzel logic.  “You think Andy Williams can’t sing anymore, therefore you are one of those mean progressives who thinks they are so smart, nyah, nyah, nyah.”  Never mind that there is no clear connection between criticizing an aging crooner and being a progressive; in fact, don’t even bother trying to make the connection.  Just serve it up like a tossed salad.  That’s enough when you’re right-wing.  I learned that a long while back when I was being attacked as a “liberal” (and they said it like it was a bad thing) for criticizing that kind lady Ann Coulter.

I still didn’t know that Williams had gone all the way wingnut and was dismayed that he was now apparently attracting scores of the word-salad crowd.  I blamed it on Branson.

Then this week I went to one of my favorite non-blogs, You Are Dumb, only to find an article that confirmed my worst fears about Andy Williams:

“Don’t like him at all. I think he wants to create a socialist country. The people he associates with are very Left-wing. One is registered as a Communist. Obama is following Marxist theory. He’s taken over the banks and the car industry. He wants the country to fail.” – Ancient and irrelevent songmeister Andy Williams, proving to everyone that he’s still alive, senile as fuck, and thinks the shit he hears on WorldNetDaily’s radio show makes sense.
Andy Williams wouldn’t know a Marxist theory if he popped a half-dozen Viagra, checked out the mint-condition copy of Das Kapital from the Branson, MO public library, had wild, old-man intercourse with the gap in the binding, and woke the next morning to find it had fallen open to one of the pages explaining Marxist theory. And then, if by some feat of magic, the book came to life, cooked him breakfast, and sang him Marxist theory to the tune of “Moon River”, he STILL wouldn’t know a damn thing about it.
“He’s taken over the banks” is one of the most mind-bogglingly stupid talking points the wingnuts have going these days, which is an impressive feat in and of itself. Nobody’s taken over the banks. They’ve been given hundreds of billions of dollars, in exchange for which they’ve handed out bonuses, pretended they’re profitable, and come up with dozens of new ways to siphon money from their customers. That’s not a government takeover. And if it WAS a government takeover, it still wouldn’t have been Obama that did it, because, and all you wingnuts look at the giant, phonetic cue cards and do your best to read along with me here, BUSH STARTED THE BANK BAILOUT. Not Obama. Bush. Dubya. Chimpfucker. Your bestest buddy after Ronaldus Magnus. Get it? Got it? Of course you don’t.
You Are Dumb.net

Ouch.  So it’s real.  Andy Williams has become Larry Gatlin.  Both lost their voices and then their logic.  It must be an epidemic among formerly extremely famous male pop singers.  I guess when you’re tumbling downward, the only thing to do is to learn to bottom-feed.  But it’s just too bad that some really good entertainers are getting swallowed up by this crap.

After all, things haven’t been the way they were for several decades.  Yes, we’re talking several decades.  Things started changing radically when Barack Obama was a toddler, and I daresay it wasn’t his doing, Andy Williams. 

In fact, some of it may have been yours.

Anti-TRUST is a good term for it

Some history of antitrust laws as they relate to the healthcare industry.  (From the Department of Justice.)

Today’s health insurance  commentary.

I say it’s about time to twist the health insurers’ arms until they break, and then leave them without coverage and with no money to take a trip off to fantasy-land where their practices make sense in human and ethical terms.  They deserve nothing better.

Note to the White House: Don’t Feed the Trolls

Not going to say much about this, but if I spoke to someone in the White House, I’d tell them that the banter between the White House and Fox News

(1) makes Fox News look as if they deserve an answer

(2) is a waste of time for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the widespread martyr syndrome among the wingnuts who watch Fox News.  The more you “pick on” Fox, the more convinced the wingnuts will be that you are “picking on” Fox.  They won’t hear anything else you say, no matter how true it is, and

(3) it’s beneath your dignity, just like commenting on the singer snatching a mike and a music sales reward away from another singer was beneath your dignity, etc.

Leave this crap to the bloggers, folks.  We’re good at it, and even better, Fox doesn’t get any jollies out of it at all.  It might not hurt, however, if the FCC finally took notice of Fox’s anti-government activities.  Just a giant hint, you know.

No reason is as good as a good one

Gee, I bet they’d never say anything like this about birth-control pills:

NPR

And I thought it was just me…

I admit I’m not as far along as the blogger who wrote this.  I still get way too wound up about certain news items, and when I do, it results in a spate of entries on this blog.  Likely this blog wouldn’t even exist if I didn’t.

But when it comes to contemporary pop music, fashion, movies, television shows, etc., I’ve been a dropout since the late 1980’s.  In fact, three or four years ago I finally gave up cable/satellite when I realized I was paying $500 a year for over 120 channels that I was not particularly interested in.  The switch to digital television has at least temporarily confirmed my retreat into the world of no-pay TV, since there are now even more free channels that I don’t watch (so why pay for a bunch more that I don’t watch?). 

I have no doubt, though, that sooner or later someone will make us pay for the extra channels.  At that point, I probably won’t have a TV anymore.  As it is, my TV  is only on about 3 times a week, and then only for an hour or two at a time.

This was not the result of lessons from childhood, when an elderly relative kept our TV on from the moment he got out of bed to the moment he got back in, less the hours he was at work.  He still does, only now it’s worse: he plays the TV and the radio at the same time.  He won’t pay for cable (guess I inherited that from him), so can’t get Fox News.  Instead, the right-wing radio screamers feed steaming crap into his ears while he watches pro wrestling, do-it-youself shows, “reality” shows, and whatever else on TV.  And he’s retired, so his viewing/listening has expanded to about 14 hours a day.  He also loves country music.  Country music gives me a migraine.  I’m not kidding.  All I need to do if I want a migrane is listen to a country music station for about 15 minutes, and then I’m in bed in agony for the rest of the day.

Yes, I know there are other forms of music around.  (Rap, for instance, which is almost as bad.)  In fact I have loved the Beatles from childhood, as well as other musicians.  But music awards shows?  Bah.  Just like the Academy Awards, they are nothing more than events that people wear expensive (and often quite ugly) clothes to.  I never see the movies that are being awarded whatever trophy and I never hear the music that’s being rewarded for sales.  I don’t know Brad and Angie from Jennifer or whoever is the latest burned-out teenage girl singer/actress/drug addict/whatever the hell.  It’s all meaningless to me.

Perhaps my current near medialessness (except for the Internet) is an adverse reaction to my early years, I don’t know.  But for the past few decades, my television viewership/radio listenership has dwindled to only a tiny fraction of that of most people.

This became a problem for me in an office I worked in that was full of Dancing with the Stars and American Idol freaks.  They also watched Oprah whenever they were on vacation.  Suffice it to say that I seldom had anything to add to the conversation there.  I was too busy trying to stay awake and/or keep from snoring.

Worse, during those years there was this morning show on one rock station that I listened to on the way in to work, and all “Shawn and Tiffany” talked about was what happened on various reality shows the night before.  One time I actually fell asleep and nearly drove through a red light.  After that, I permanently deleted that station off my pre-set button.

I did once happen in on this relative of mine when he was watching a reality show.  It was something about “models and geeks.” I glanced at it, and the “models” were mere pretty girls with big plastic boobs and lots of makeup (that is to say, not actually model-like at all unless you’re talking about the cheesecake variety), and the “geeks” similary looked like cliches: tape around the horn-rim glasses, snots hanging from noses, pant legs too short, mismatched patterns, etc.  And of course the “models” were all stupid and the “geeks” were all super-intelligent…where have we seen that  before?  At the beginning of the show, the announcer introduced it as a “social experiment.”  I couldn’t stop laughing for two weeks.  No, dears — a social experiment is a male model falling for a(n ugly) girl.  That you won’t see on any reality show because the “social scientists” in the programming departments don’t want to look at pretty boys with ugly girls, not even in the fantasy land of reality TV shows.

But honestly, I worry about people who watch shit like that.  I wonder if it corrodes their brains.  I also wonder if it is now impossible to make a list of merely 10 worst television programs of all time.

There was a study that concluded that only far right-wingers and left-wingers tend to be media drop-outs.  I don’t agree with that, since the far right in particular tends to use media as a sort of painkiller to block out the truth (if this weren’t true, Fox News would not exist).  I have observed this myself.  I think that what’s going on with me may be widespread across the spectrum.

But in the end, I don’t care.  My years working in the health field taught me that most studies are garbage, anyway.  The only media study I give a lot of credence to is the one that concluded that people who watch TV excessively tend to be fearful.  Well yeah.  I could have told you that myself without the time and expense of a study.  I’ve seen it first-hand.

These days, I only know what I see or hear.  And I don’t see or hear much in the way of movies, music, TV or radio.  I’ve honestly never seen Oprah, American Idol, or Dancing with the Stars.  I don’t watch awards shows.  I can’t name 3/4’s of the musicians I hear on the radio.  I seldom see a movie. 

And I don’t think I’m missing anything.