Sunday, December 17, 2006

Culture American Style

America is good for a lot of stuff. Mass production, central heating, the car, entertainment, medical advances and a whack of other things that make living a lot easier. Some of these things are well-worth sharing with the world, they'll make it a better place.

But then there's the other side of America - the side that causes America's credibilty problems.

Dating. America has a fixation with dating. I don't know exactly when they figured that dating is an important social function, but they did and it's on TV all the time. One of the latest resurrections has an anorexic black entertainer, who wears a viking helmet and a large wall-clock around his neck, spend six or eight weeks with a bevy of 'beauties' as he tries to decide which one he'd really like to give the clock to. If this was a one-off, it might be funny. As it is, this is the third series in which I've noticed this stooge. Like what contest did he win to become a 'houshold name' in America? He certainly ain't no poster boy for higher education, but he appears to be a magnet for 'de wimmins'.

Survival is another facet of American interest. I guess it harks back to the pioneer spirit that opened the land. The kind that reappears from time to time when someone takes the wrong road in a snow storm, or finds themselves atop a mountain in a blizzard. Like the Romans who fancied themselves great warriors as they watched the Coliseum displays, America has a love affiar with 'ordinary' Americans roughing it for a million bucks. After 8, or so, different reincarnations, 'Survivor' appears to be on its way to challenge Star Trek for longevity.

And what glorious viewing! Last night's episode had the two surviving bimbae in a burning grudge match. At least they were supposed to be lighting a fire to burn a string and ring a bell. For two hours they'd tried with flint and steel. Then the host gave them matches. The loser lost because she ran out of matches. No bells got rung. After 28 days on a desert island these gals don't know how to light a fire? Give them both a million bucks they need all the help they can get.

Another 'biggie' with the Yanks is religion. For a country with a well-separated church and state, they certainly do have their reformation moments. Every politico who seeks reelection makes sure to let everybody know that he, personally, has seen the Lord. And the other part that goes along with this, is the sex, or money, or combination thereof. Some of the biggest thieves in history were Americans who believed that the Lord had chosen them, from all humanity, for the opportunity to enrich themselves for doing little or nothing - legal that is. Characters like Tom Delay, Abramoff and the guys who pulled off the savings and loan jobs, the Enron crooks - good Christian men all. Then there's the pastors - they get wealthy doing the work of the Lord. Preachin' the good news o' salvation, screwing Old Nick and asking the audience to send in their cheques. And all too often the 'screwing' gets carried on when the cameras are off. Testosterone runs high in the Lord's vineyard I guess. Testosterone runs high in America - it must be the food additives.

I'll close with getting rich. Americans evaluate success with money. The most successful - gets paid the most. The people with the most crap - houses, cars, etc are the most successful. Real estate is the great 'everyman's' way to get rich. And so the current round of home-makeover shows. No longer done as an overblown exercise in corporate charity, or the often 'funny' aspects of decorating somebody else's house, the current rash of programs are all about the money baby! Buy a fixer-upper for close to a half million , spend a budget of 75 000 to 100 000 thousand and flip it back into the soaring real estate market. Listen to the realtor tell you you'll make a quarter million! If everybody did that, there'd be no 'dumps' left. Everybody would live in plasticized splendor on a manicured lot. A lot of people buy into this - maybe that's why property debt is at record high levels and mortgage foreclosures went up 100 percent last year. Manufactured greed is another of America's not-so-nice attributes, but it's shared world-wide.

It's not reassuring to know that somewhere in the back country of Wazirstan anybody with a portable TV, a generator and a satellite download can 'see' firsthand what America is all about - crooked politicians, wolf's-clothing ministers, too much of everything, general stupidity and Miss Americas gone 'bad'. Maybe that's why so many want to go to America. And maybe why so many don't want America, or Americans, to return the favour.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Report is In

The bi-partisan committee report on the Iraq war was tabled this week, and that, apparently, is where it's going to stay, at least while GWB's in office. There's more that he finds distasteful in this report than anything he will find constructive.

No doubt he likes the bit about another 15 000 troops to assist in training the Iraqi army. But he doesn't like the 2 year timeline given to have that training done. He likes the part about privatizing Iraqi oil and helping the government get it to market. This was, really, what the whole thing is about. If Iraqi oil can be marketed dependably and securely, Iraq is a victory, the mission is accomplished. That's something that has yet to happen.

What he doesn't like is anything to do with negotiating. Particularly negotiating a peace settlement, and especially a settlement that would include Iran or Syria, or both. That's simply 'out'. Maybe he would have preferred a recommendation to split Iraq. Last week there were balloons floating about finding some friendly Sunni support to fight the burgeoning Shia. Diplomatic meetings with the Saudis and with a dissident Shia leader were held.

The President of Iraq and his Kurdish brothers were decrying the lack of consultation with them about Iraq's future - although they have the future Kurdistan's future more in mind. The report is also being faulted, as so many American 'war studies' are, for being written virtually entirely within the 'green' zone - in splendid isolation from the day-to-day Iraq. The military are griping that no one ranking below Lieutenant-Colonel was consulted. Others are saying powerpoint presentations by interested parties might have a 'blinkering' effect.

It doesn't really matter, the report is simply another circle jerk to show that somebody, somewhere is concerned. They know that Iraq can go to hell in a handcart and take the rest of the 'ragheads' with them. That should make governing the middle east easier for the 'right'.

Iraq will keep on keeping on for the foreseeable future. George W. Bush will not be the first president in US history to lose a war he started, but he ought to be.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Useless Tits

The news grows more and more inane all the time. Case in point the head honcho of the Mounties - Canadas own renaissance man, Zacardelli - inserts one of his custom-made $1400 per pair RCMP riding boots in his mouth and winds up taking a well-deserved pensioning-off. On the west coast of the US of A the mujaheddin poster-target girl Brittany - 'there's more to me than my backside' - Spears exercises her newfound freedom and goes out barhopping wearing a shirt and no underwear. Well needless to say the paparazzi who show up for barhopping celebs must have had 'box' cameras because she gave them some good coverage of it.

It's the dishonesty that's so inane. In the first case you have a cop - not just any cop but the stereotypical good guy cop - the head of the RCMP - who lied. Just like the members of the force who framed Mohammed Arar lied. That makes at least two - the boss, and at least one of his underlings. There were others no doubt, if by abetting alone, who share the dishonesty. He resigned for the' good of the force' - so its reputation wouldn't be tarnished by his bullshit. But the bullshit is already all over that red serge. The whole force is probably one large circle jerk of red-clad doofi and prevaricators. It needs to be shaken-up, or turned into the tourist symbol it actually is, a replacement to the corps of commissionaires. These guys couldn't 'police' themselves out of a wet paper sack.

Now the brushie moustaches are all a-twitch in consideration of who'll get to be the next head poncho. With a force of 15 000 surely to God they can find one good man. But then, the 'Mounted' has been in-breeding for the past half-century. They see it as "our" organization, rather than our organization. In short, they think they're supposed to be running the country. Somebody needs to disabuse them of that. The modern day DiMedici , obviously, didn't.

Some apologist was one the radio - a former deputy commissioner and now head of a private 'security service'. His perspective was interesting. "It's a sad day for Canada", he began, but not because our national police come across as a bunch of lying bastards, - no, it's because a 'good' man had his career cut short because of some minor 'mistakes'. And who caused the mistakes - well that's complicated, the government shares responsibility for not giving the RCMP the "tools to tackle terrorism". The Americans need looked at too, they sent the poor bastard to Syria and who had any contol over them? And last there's Arar himself, he must have done something somewhere, sometime or he wouldn't have been in the books. Nowhere did he mention the RCMP as maybe, even remotely, being at fault. They're a bunch of 'good' men doing their very 'best' under the worst of conditions. This guy should have bullshit artist on his right arm and idiot tattooed on his left to impress his customers. I know bar bouncers with more mentality, and honesty than this clown. But he is 'faithful', but then so were the SS. It's sad to think that the short list for Zaccardelli's replacement will be made up of clots such as this. They ought to send the whole gang to help out in Haiti - maybe that would give them a reality check.

Brittany Spears - media darkling. Why do we waste ink on this bimbo? Brittany and Federline, dropping the baby, boozing it up, shopping, a mental midget with inflated boobs and some dubious well-staged talent. Maybe this stupidity is one reason why 'islamofascists' are down on America - who wants this 'culture'? George Bush would probably say that they just envy us Brittany's dugs and other bits. They certainly wouldn't be able to understand anything she 'sings'. Who needs to envy that, though - she puts herself on public display everywhere. There's nothing to be 'envious' about - she's a very well-paid hooker. The only hope we have is that she means it when she says we'll see the 'new' her in the new year, wearing some of the $1400 worth of see-through underwear she bought to cover-up. A burqa, and a gag, would be nicer.

The world would be a lot simpler, and probably a lot more interesting, if we didn't have to be exposed to the dishonesty of 'powerful' people and the media 'hype' that goes with it.