Sunday, February 28, 2016

Do not dither on the endorsement of Wizards...

...for this is the Klan and you should be quick to distance yourself. I suppose I've been going to the Donald Trump well a lot lately, but for real, did you see this thing about how he's refusing to disavow his recent endorsement from David Duke, noted racist shithead and former Grand Wizard of the KK fucking K?
I really wish the KKK would stop calling their leaders 'wizards.'
Wizards are awesome, lightning-bolt throwing wise men with excellent
beards and access to arcane magicks, not racist dick-holes still bitter about
having their asses handed to them in the War of Northern Aggression. 
Mr. Duke went on to call for a ban on
Americans eating ethnically incongruous
take-out food because he's ridiculous.
Yikes, right? Where to begin? Duke endorsed Donald Trump last week in the most crazy, white supremacist way possible by suggesting that white people who don't vote for Trump would be committing '... treason to [their] heritage.' Ok, sounds like something a racist would come up with, no surprises there, but the weird part is that when the Anti-Defamation League asked him come out against racism, Trump dithered. Dithered! About racism! Can you believe it?

In an interview with CNN's Jack Tapper in which he was asked to unequivocally condemn endorsements from white supremacists Trump said:

Um, he used to run the Ku Klux Klan,
and he's telling people to vote for you,
do you really need a map here?
"Well, just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke okay, I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with the white supremacy or white supremacists, so I don't know, I mean, I don't know, did he endorse me? Or, what's going on, because you know, I know nothing about David Duke, I know nothing about white supremacists and so you're asking me a question about-I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about."

-Donald Trump, apparently
just waking up from a nap

Unfair? Maybe, but check out crazy
eyes there and tell me these people
are thinking clearly about this.
Holy shit, this is the easiest issue in American politics for any presidential candidate to come down on: "Donald Trump, are you for or against the Ku Klux Klan?" The answer is "Yes Jack Tapper, of course I am against racism. I may be a Islamophobic, misogynist, lunatic but if there's one thing that all Americans, be they liberals, conservatives or the idiotic disengaged masses that make up my supporters, can agree on it's that the Klan is a bad thing." But instead he said he needed to do some research first. Yes, research.

"We just got the test results back
and yes, racism is bad Donald."

-Some Researchers
"Well I have to look at the group, I mean, I don't know what group you're talking about. You wouldn't want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about, I'd have to look. If you would send me a list of groups I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow If I thought there was something wrong. But you might have groups in there that are totally fine and it would be very unfair so give me a list of groups and I'll let you know."

-Another measured, thought-out,
response from Donald Trump

Just so we're clear, Donald 'Let's ban all Muslims' Trump needs some time to investigate hate groups to make sure he's only condemning the bad white supremacists because to do otherwise would be know, to racists.
 "Who knows? You might have some good racist groups on that list...
groups that plant trees or run soup kitchens for homeless racists. We
 should be even-handed here. Everyone knows I'm very even-handed." 
-Donald Trump, not a 
real quote, but c'mon

Thursday, February 25, 2016

What, are you pro-lion attack?

Seriously Texas? This is why the rest of us think you're the crazy state. Huh? To what specific aspect of Texas crazy am I referring? Why to the concealed weapons law that will go into effect in August and no, it's not a law that bans concealed weapons, it's a law that legalizes concealed weapons...wait for it...on college campuses.
Well I don't see how adding guns to the
scenario above could possible turn out badly...
Of course there are many reasons
to avoid the Sunshine State.
So the obvious question here is what's wrong with the State of Texas? Well, probably lots. Remember that time their governor tried to fight a drought with prayer? But all the states have their quirks. It's illegal in New Jersey to pump your own gas, and there's a bunch of states where you can straight up shoot someone if you think they might be coming at you. It's called standing your ground, and it's a great reason never to travel to Florida. But let's get back to why Texas lawmakers think it's totally cool for students to pack heat.

By LaPierre's reasoning,
shouldn't wars be like, super-safe?
It's part of the Wayne LaPierre school of how to prevent gun violence. If you're unfamiliar, it's boils down to the idea that the solution to gun violence is more fucking guns. Wait, how does that work? That's a good question, and I'm glad I pretended you asked. You know how we have a lot of shootings in America? Well we do. There was one today in Kansas as a matter of fact. Anyway, the idea is that in the event of an 'active shooter' or 'asshole on a rampage' as they are also known, an armed student or students could go all John McClane and save the day.

A brilliant and well-thought out plan, right? Sure. I mean, obviously gun ownership in the State of Texas is contingent upon rigorous training in combat tactics and hostage situations, isn't it? Because if it's not, encouraging college kids to carry guns and act like vigilantes might have unforeseen consequences. Wait, did I say unforeseen? I mean blindingly obvious and catastrophic consequences.
Consequences like what happens when armed students
find out that the required text for Chem II is $350. Used. 
The evolutionary time-scale: Worth
dying for? No. Killing for, absolutely.
The new law also has the administration of The University of Houston concerned about professors covering certain topics in class for fear that a heated academic debate might turn shooty and are advising faculty to avoid them. What kind of topics? Well, gun control might be a big one. Oh, and this is Texas, so suggesting the Earth is more than six-thousand years old and that dinosaur bones weren't buried by the devil to trick us might get a geology professor kneecapped. Yup, in addition to stifling free and open debate, the new law also means faculty can now look forward to fearing for their lives while at work.

"Go Cougars!"
-Some escaped lion
Look, I'm not saying that responsible gun-owners are responsible for mass shootings like the one in Kansas today or the accidental beer-pong-related ones of the near future, but letting students carry guns just in case a lunatic opens fire, seems, I don't know, idiotic? It'd be like arming everyone with tranquilizer darts just in case a lion gets loose. While it's not impossible that a lion might get loose and wander over to the UH campus, it's just not likely and mostly you're going to have a bunch of college kids getting high on lion tranquilizer.

Anyway, I suspect the NRA will be issuing a statement in the next 24-48 hours explaining to us how today's shooting in Kansas wouldn't have happened if the factory workers and other assorted passersby who were injured or killed were better armed, so like, stay tuned for that one.
Pictured: NRA president Wayne LaPierre sporting the haircut you
get when you walk into Fantastic Sams and say 'give me an Adolf.'*

*to be clear, I'm not comparing Wayne LaPierre to the leader of the Third Reich, just his stupid hair cut, which, let's be honest here, is rather Hitlerian.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Today in unsurprising victories...

Remember that scene in the Matrix where
 the machines use us as batteries? That.
Nobody's actually surprised Donald Trump won the GOP caucus in Nevada last night, right? This a state whose entire economy is based on using bright lights and shiny things to lure people into loud, smoke-filled casinos, lowering their defenses with booze and lobster buffets and then tricking them into throwing their money away on games of chance which everyone knows are openly weighted in the house's favor, but play anyway. Nothing about this is ok. Video poker? Lobster in the desert? It's a recipe for sadness and salmonella.

The GOP used to be the party of Lincoln.
Now they have these guys. Enjoy!
Look, I'm not suggesting that any of the other GOP candidates are prizes or anything. They're all of them running on platforms of racism, Islamophobia, misogyny and red state religious pandering. But in many ways Donald Trump is Nevada, which, next to Florida of course, is probably our worst state. He's tacky, sun-baked and like the video poker machines, not really in it to help you out. And we won't be able to say he didn't warn us. Look what he said last night, I mean lookit:

Figuratively. Like, I don't think he wants
to actually eat the poorly educated...
"We won with the Evangelicals, We won with young, we won with old. We won with highly educated, we won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated..."

-Donald Trump 's victory speech in Nevad-
no really, those are words he said with his mouth

You know, I don't think he's saying he loves the poorly educated in a hippy, love everybody sort of way, but more like he loves the poorly educated the way the Walrus in Alice in Wonderland loved the oysters. 

Just so we're clear, it does not.
It might sound harsh and all, but remember a ways back when he suggested he could murder someone and still get elected? He repeated that yesterday and I'm seriously beginning to wonder if he's not asking us if we'd mind if he just stright-up murdered someone:

"Sixty-eight percent would not leave under any circumstance. I think that means murder, I think that means anything, ok?"

So I know this is one primary race for one party in one arid wasteland based on military test ranges and mob-money, but what the fuck if he wins the nomination? Or the election? I know it sounds paranoid, but I saw a trailer last night for a third The Purge movie. Yeah, a third one. Like, who keeps going to these? The point is, I think my lack of faith in the ability of people to make good choices is not entirely unjustified.
Hey, and it's topical!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Who Yelps the Yelpers?

In a move sure to have absolutely no blowback for Yelp, the company that publishes crowd-sourced reviews of business, has fired an employee for saying that she's underpaid.
Fun fact: Yelp has two and a half stars on Yelp, which
I guess shows us seriously they take Yelp reviews.
-The English Language
Talia Jane, the employee who works-sorry worked-in the call center for Yelp and its conjoined twin Eat24 which delivers food from restaurants to lazy people with better jobs than Talia, was technically fired for violating the terms of conduct, but nobody's going to care about that. She's buried in credit debt, can barely afford her rent or her long commute and spelled 'goals' with a hashtag in the first sentence despite graduating with an English major. She's underpaid, her life's a shitshow and she let her boss know in an open letter.

Ok, but how is this Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman's fault? I mean, Jane took the job, nobody forced her. In the letter she mentions another employee who moved east to find a job with a living wage, why doesn't she do that?
Oh, right.
Millennial are the tweeting,
bearded bauxite of labor.
Maybe it's not Stoppleman's fault that Talia Jane can't afford both rent and food, but he is in a position to do something about it. Yes, people like Jane do move to the city and take these shit jobs for shit pay knowing full well that companies like Stoppleman's use the Janes of the world like a cheap, abundant resource, but a job's a job, and somebody's got to answer the phones or whatever it is she does. Not everyone can be CEO's or CFO's or whatever.

Well, robots obviously. So we
are pretty screwed long term.
And speaking of, if CEO's get where they are through superior intellect and natural abilities or whatever sets them apart from the rest of us, couldn't they use their highly compensated talents to figure out a way to pay their staff a living wage? I mean, it's in everyone's best interest. At some point the cost of living in the Bay Area is going to make it impossible for even the most masochistic 20-somethings to suck up and deal. And then who will take calls for Yelp or wait tables?

Let's face it, you can only fit so many Talia Janes in a one-bedroom before they give up and leave the abandon to super-intelligent apes, right?
Let's face it, they wanted it more.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Justin Keller: Startup synergy wizard!

They've been call a lot of things: worthless, wastes of space. Nobody seems to want them around and some have even accused them of ruining San Francisco. They're everywhere. You try to ignore them, not to make eye contact with them as you pass them on the street, but the fact of the matter is they're still a part of living in a city like traffic or naked protesters.
...or is that just a San Francisco thing?
Ok, second worst, right after
this guy. It's a crowded field.
Anyway, now one of them is taking a stand. A stand against homeless people. Tech company founder Justin-wait, hang on, did you think I was talking about homeless people? Because I meant those asshole startup company entrepreneurs who produce nothing, live like kings and drive up the rents making the city unlivable for anyone who works for a living. Specifically this guy, Justin Keller the founder of, and quite possibly the absolute worst person in America.

Stay strong Justin, stay strong...
What'd he do? He wrote an incredibly insensitive open letter to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee asking him why he doesn't do something about all these poor people? Here, check it out, it's a treat. Just don't eat first, you might rage vomit.

"I've been living in SF for over three years and without a doubt it is the worst it's ever been. Every day, on my way to, and on my way from work I see people sprawled across the sidewalk, tent cities, human feces and the faces of addiction."  

-Justin Keller, tragic victim
of having to look at poor people

Another day in the old salt
mine, am I right guys? 
Keller goes on to describe a harrowing tale in which he and some out of town guests were just trying to enjoy some fine dining in the financial district when they came face to face with homeless people whose plight totally bummed them out. He then explained why San Francisco basically belongs to him and all the other hard working employees of the city's many tech companies and startups and that everyone else should either stop being so poor or just get out because, you know, the free market or something.

"Whoa, holy shit, have a heart..."
-Ayn Rand, not wanting a
 piece of Keller's philosophy
"I know people are frustrated about gentrification happening in the city, but the reality is, we live in a free market society. The wealthy working people have earned their right to live in the city. They went out, got an education, work hard, and earned it...I shouldn't have to see the pain, struggle and despair of homeless people to and from my way to work every day."

-Justin Keller, free market winner

They rode that bubble like Muad'Dib
on the Shai Halud. Sorry, it's not the
best analogy, I just really like Dune
So maybe he had a bad day and was venting his frustration in the dickiest way possible. Maybe he's actually a decent human being, and this screed was just the result of a night too many $18 cocktails. Whatever the cause, the internet is going to eat him alive today and I just hope he takes a breath and thinks about what he said. When he refers to gentrification, he's talking about how he and others with similarly ridiculous salaries rode the tech bubble into town, raised the cost of living exponentially and caused a lot of the evictions and misery he sees from his scooter on the way to work every morning. 

So, I don't want to tell Justin how to grow his brand or whatever, but maybe he could start a new company that turns some of that innovation and outside-the-box-ness that made his pretend industry so successful and help fix the problem he helped create instead of asking the people whose lives he ruined to get out of his sight. 
In an innovative move, Justin Keller of is the cause of the social
problem he's complaining about. It's what is known in the business world as synergy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

And yet there's still no Willow 2...

Wait, what? Did you know that there's a Kindergarten Cop 2? No, of course you didn't, me neither. Somehow news of this instant classic slipped right past us.

Finally, the story of what happened after Kindergarten Cop 1, can be told.
Pictured: Hijinks. 
The original Kindergarten Cop, as I'm sure you remember-oh, wait, maybe you don't, I mean, why would you? It was a relatively obscure Ivan Reitman comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a cop who goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher to prevent a drug dealer from kidnapping his estranged son and- did I mention this is a comedy? The humor comes from the fact that the new kindergarten teacher is a man. A male teacher? Whaaaaat? Hilarity ensues!

Kindergarten Cop was one of Schwarzenegger's attempts to broaden his appeal by doing comedy and family films like Twins, Junior and Jingle All the Way, although this one does-spoiler alert-end with a shoot out in the school's locker-room and the drug dealer slumped in the corner in a pool of his own blood. Also, I think the school's ferret eats part of his face. And no, I'm not making that last part up. 
I didn't see it, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Jingle All The Way ends
with him garroting a mall santa while saying something like "Lights out Kringle...
I got it! A pregnant Jean Claude van Damme
starring in Junior 2. Holy shit, movies are easy!
Anyway, back to the matter at hand: Kindergarten Cop 2: The Legend Continues. According to the trailer, this sequel, starring Dolph Lundgren, takes the original's premise-that of an undercover cop pretending to be a school teacher and cleverly turns it on its head by casting a slightly different 1980's action-movie northern European man-slab in the role. Other than that, it's kind of the same movie. Oh, but this time Dolph-wait, did I already mention Dolph Lundgren? 

Oh, I did? Well, then I guess it's exactly the same movie, but like I said, with Dolph Ludgren. Because the craft of acting is alive and well in American cinema.   
"I've seen things you wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder
off Orion. I've watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All these moments will be lost in time, like Time to die."

-Kindergarden Cop 3, starring Rutger Hauer

Monday, February 15, 2016

I didn't mean it literally...

I'm sorry to see that Antonin Scalia died, I really am. And I mean that in an 'expressing condolences' way, not in an 'I had something to do with it' sort of way. Sure, I thought he was kind of a jerk, but I didn't wish him dead. I did once suggest that we feed him to bears, but I meant that figuratively. Sort of.
What? There are less adorable ways to go.
Great for straight white homophobic
evangelicals...didn't I say that part?
Anyway, he's dead now and it came at a really inconvenient time for Republicans so they're requesting that the President not fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Did I say request? I meant demand. They're demanding he defer the nomination until next year. How come? You see that way the next President, which they hope will be a Republican, can pick the next Justice who can then maybe reverse Roe V. Wade, dismantle Obamacare and un-marry gay people and make America great again.

Yup, after having spent the last eight years threatening shutdowns, sending racist email about him to each other and then fighting him on pretty much everything. It's been a lot of fun for everyone involved. Couple this with the fact that their candidates for President are, I think it's fair to say, ridiculous, and you can see how this is a pretty big ask.
I wouldn't trust these guys to predict
 spring, and we let groundhogs do that.
Pffttt...the President, who does he
think he is? Wielding constitutional
authority like that...
Just to be on the safe side though, Mitch McConnell has announced that his party will block anyone the President nominates:

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President."

-Mitch McConnell, apparently 
unclear on a few points

Hey, funny story, we actually do have a voice in the selection since we elected the President, like twice, so a lot of people are a bit fuzzy on what McConnell's beef is.
"Hey, remember how we've behaved like a bunch of obstructionist assholes the 
entire time you've been in office? Well now we need you to do a favor for us."
-The GOP

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Thanks Canada, thanks for nothing.

That's just unreasonable cold and if you ever needed proof that God hates Valentine's Day as much as single people, you need look no further.
"I just think it's gotten too commercial, you know?"
"On behalf of all Canada, I'd like to say
I'm really so sore-y aboot the weather."
-Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
On the east coast it's supposed to get down into the single digits this weekend thanks to super-cold air blowing south from Canada which I think we need to ask them to apologize for. I mean, they'll do it. There's a reason the tired stereotype exists.* Anyway, ice and snow will no doubt murder people both with unsafe road conditions and by freezing them in their homes and the wind chill is expected to make it feel like it's forty below in some places. What role how cold it feels plays in a world that has mercury thermometers is beyond me, but whatever, the point is it's going to be goddamn cold.

Not here mind you, I fled the inhospitable east years ago for the sunny and earthquake prone west coast. Sure, we may all end up buried under the rubble of our many indoor rock climbing facilities and pot dispensaries, but at least we don't need to bring a jacket.
It's all the physical exertion of rock climbing
without the fresh air or sense of accomplishment!
Sure it's on fire, but the view!
That's not to say California isn't without potential threats from a planet that hates us. People here do like to build homes on hillsides of loosely packed soil surrounded by dry wood and brush, and L.A.'s had a massive natural gas leak going since October that stopped today. Today! So I guess my question is why do we even put up with this? Nature, I mean. Unless science fiction has somehow incorrectly predicted the future, shouldn't we all live in domes or something?

We are seriously behind on this. Nature isn't something to co-exist with, it's something to be escaped. We're not going to win. Let's face it, the Earth doesn't feel pity, or remorse and it absolutely will not stop until we are dead. Of course I might be thinking of Terminator, but I think the sentiment applies.
The city of Boston has already drawn up plans to flee the Earth and its many perils.
(source: late 70's album covers)

*It's ok, I'm allowed to say it. They're my people.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Barrel Full of Dark Portents

Hey everybody, according to the Chinese lunar calendar we are not only living in the year of the monkey, but the fire monkey, which, sure, why not? Look, I'm not judging (ok, judging a little) and I totally love saying Year of the Fire Monkey, but a calendar that uses a repeating cycle of animals-and for some reason a dragon-has some explaining to do.
How is this easier than say, numbers?
Goddamnit monkeys...
According to people who are into this sort of thing, that is to say, claptrap, predictions about the coming year can be made based on the animal and element and this year we're in for some crazy because monkeys are mischievous and will fuck our shit right up with disasters, tragedies and political turmoil. Previous years of the monkey saw global pandemics, assassinations and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. So we're in for a treat.

Pictured: the weak-willed, goat-like
one twelfth of the planet's population.
On the other hand, it's also supposed to be a great time to have kids because they, like monkeys, will turn out smart, ambitious and adventurous. Not like those timid losers born under the sign of the goat like me. Yup, people born under a particular sign also share traits in common with the animal and I, as a goat, am timid and resistant to change. So like, thanks Chinese zodiac, thanks for writing off entire generations of people born under lame-ass signs and then giving other people totally awesome signs like Dragon and Fire Monkey.

What? It's just as valid a predictor of
future events. I mean, cows do say moo.

Luckily for me and the other goat-babies, astrology, be it Chinese or western, is probably bullshit. I say probably because traits described by these totally bunk pseudo-sciences have a tendency to be kind of accurate. You know, except when they're not. I don't know, maybe it's the dejected goat-man in me, but I have a real hard time buying that you can just lump people born under a particular sign together and make predictions about their personalities and futures based on astral bodies or whatever crazy animal wheel ancient Chinese philosophers used to tell time.