An Anthem for Congress

Today, I bring you “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” by Cage the Elephant. It’s a pretty catchy tune, and I think it says quite a bit about the things people do to make a living sometimes. Overall good song. However, I’m convinced it’s secretly about Congress. Think about it: The song talks about a prostitute, a street thug/mugger, and a man who promises salvation and then steals from you. If that’s not collectively the definition of Congress, I don’t know what is.

Legalese: I don’t own this song, I didn’t make the video, and I don’t claim the rights to either. Just borrowed it to post here on my humble little blog. So don’t sue me, you won’t get much.

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It doesn’t sparkle with me

Apparently, Miley Cyrus hates “Twilight.”  http://movies.yahoo.com/news/usmovies.accesshollywood.com/miley-cyrus-twilight-its-cult 

This raises my opinion of her slightly, though I still kind of want to vomit every time I hear about her. If I had to make a list of 3 things that are currently suffering from overexposure, I would have to say Twilight, Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, and the Jonas Brothers, in that order. 

I’m convinced that the world of pop culture is run by a secret society of thirteen-year-old girls. They are probably very similar to the fourth grade girls of Southpark in the episode “The List.” (Thus the fascination with sparkly vampires). How they came into power and where their base of operation is, I don’t know. All I know is they are remarkably successful at pushing their agenda.

Last summer, when the Jonas Brothers reached the peak of their popularity (and when they were on tour), this elite gaggle of 7th graders roped Burger King into promoting the brotherly trio of Disney-manufactured fame. I could not even get a bloody order of chicken fries without having to see their sickeningly sweet faces staring back at me from my paper tray liner.

Now, this fall, the secret society of girls has  again talked BK into promoting a teeny-bopper fad: Twilight. They’re doing Twilight-based burger shot meals, Twilight paper crowns, Twilight-BK gift cards, and other related items. Once again, my chicken fry munching has been invaded by teeny culture. Keep it up BK, and I’ll swear off chicken fries forever.

While Miley Cyrus has not yet made it into BK kids’ meals (mostly because of the Disney-McDonald’s partnership on Happy Meals, I’m sure),  she was in Subway kids meals for a while before she became so ubiquitous. Unfortunately, our mysterious society of little girls has managed to push Miley into Wal-Mart. And I mean ALL of Wal-Mart. She is in the jewelry section, the toy section, the little girls’ clothing section, the posters, the magazine covers, and even the food section. Not only that, but she has her own clothing line in the junior’s department.

Clearly the thirteen-year-old girl culture cult is strong and powerful. They even managed to flood Facebook applications with this trifecta of evil. “Bumper Stickers” and “Flair” are chock full of Twilight, Jonas Brothers, and to a lesser extent, Hannah Montana  quotes, lyrics, and pictures. I think it’s time for older people to reclaim the world of pop culture. Enough of this sugary sweet pop music, and enough about vampires v. werewolves. Can we move on now?

Laundry Nazis

Today, as I was browsing my Yahoo! homepage, I came across this little gem of a story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091118/us_nm/us_usa_laundry. In case you don’t have time to read the whole thing, I will recap: Essentially, home owner’s associations, snooty neighbors, and annoyed local officials all across the country are turning up their noses at people who line-dry their laundry. Home owner’s associations often penalize members with fines, and neighbors and officials are requesting that the dread-pirate underpants be dried inside. Some communities are striking back against the “no-line-drying” outcry with laws protecting those who choose to let it all hang out (on the clothesline).  Advocates of line-drying point out that using the clothesline instead of the dryer saves money and energy (it’s a green way to dry your clothes, in other words).

So, I’m really not even sure where to START with this article. It made me palmface pretty hard. First, who the heck cares where you dry your laundry? If you don’t want to look at someone else’s skivvies… then DON’T LOOK. The lady interviewed in the article even said that she had been hanging her underthings inside so neighbors wouldn’t see them, but they still complained about them, even though they weren’t out on the line.

Second, this economy is pretty gosh darn crappy. If people want to save money by line-drying their clothes, then I’m all for it. As a born and bred cheap skate, I have to applaud the efforts to save a dime exhibited by these savvy washerwomen (and men).

Third, home owner’s associations are notoriously hoity-toity about EVERYTHING, and I personally think the people who live under their crushing and oppressive eyeball should tell them where they can stuff their ridiculous fines and requirements. If I buy a house, that house is MINE and I will do damn well what I please with it. If I want to paint it blue with green polka dots, put up 4 sheds and a barn in the backyard, put my Camry up on blocks in the driveway, and dry my laundry on the line, I will. I don’t tell you what to do with YOUR house, so you can back the hell up off of mine.

Fourth, people of a liberal political persuasion should be thrilled about this rejection of modern technology in favor of a more “green” alternative. If your argument is, “Well, I’m trying to save money…and the PLANET!” who can really argue with you, provided your actions do not increase taxes or harm/inconvenience other people?

Fifth, is this really what we’re complaining about these days? We can’t find more constructive ways to spend our time, so we’re harping on our neighbors’ laundry routine? I say, end the oppression. Live and let live, in the laundromat and on the clothesline.

Debunking the Threat (#2)

            When I received the November 12 issue of Rolling Stone, I skimmed through, reading the cover story on Shakira and wondering what warped view of reality would be presented in this issue’s Threat Assessment. I found the answer to my pondering on pages 40 and 41. Ladies and gentlemen, the biggest threat to America for the week prior to November 12 was… a Halloween costume. No joke. “Target peddles ‘illegal alien’ Halloween costume” is listed as the worst thing on the Threat Assessment. Not “Cable stations fall for balloon boy hoax.” Not “U.S. pays $400 a gallon for gas in Afghanistan. Not even “Chubby four-month-old denied health coverage for obesity.” No, the largest problem was a Halloween costume consisting of a space alien clad in an orange jumpsuit printed with the words “ILLEGAL ALIEN” and holding a green card. I think most (rational) people would realize that this costume is intended to be FUNNY, based on the fact that inside the jumpsuit one finds not a Mexican, but a Martian. It’s a politically incorrect play on words that leaves RS offended and leaves me believing that RS has no sense of humor.

            The runner-up, #2 threat was “Superfreakonomics pushes junk science about ‘global cooling.’” I take several issues with the addition of this item to the Threat Assessment (and no, I have not read the book). 1) There are dozens of scientists who maintain that man is not the main cause of “climate change,” regardless of the direction the thermometer mercury moves. 2) In the 1970’s, there was panic over a possible “New Ice Age.” Thirty years later, we’re panicking again, but in the opposite direction. 3) We just had one of the coolest summers on record. In fact, the average global temperature has been DROPPING over the last decade. So, maybe it’s not junk science if the globe really is cooling. (http://www.countingcats.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/uah_may_08.png) 4) One of the co-authors of Superfreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt, went on The Daily Show and stated that he had no intention of breaking from the global warming dogma, and that his book did not prove that the earth was cooling. He was merely discussing the economics of the science surrounding climate change.

            So, what was RS happy about on the Threat Assessment? “Legalizing pot more popular than creationism.” Oh man, get me a bucket so I can collect the Nihilism dripping out of this magazine. Also a popular item was “NFL blocks Rush Limbaugh’s bid to buy St. Louis rams.” Why this matters, I have no idea. The man can’t make the Rams vote conservative, and he probably doesn’t really care to. It was just a business venture. NFL, you are standing in the way of capitalism (and RS, you are ridiculous for being excited about it). The least threatening, best item? The most “with us” piece of news for Rolling Stone, November 12 issue? RS won a Cover of the Year award for their cover featuring Barack Obama. No, not the blatant Superman pose (see it here: http://www.foliomag.com/files/images/rolling_stone_obama.jpg). This is the one they got the award for: http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/media_bias_img/obama_rs_cover.jpg

            Let’s recap: Anything that could be considered “politically incorrect” is a threat. Anything that even APPEARS to challenge established liberal dogma is a threat. Anything that undermines Christianity or traditional values is awesome. Barack Obama is the Son of God. Any questions?

Verifcation: Rolling Stone, November 12, 2009, Issue 1091, p. 40-41

Debunking the Threat (#1)

            My husband and I, through a combination of gifts, cheap offers from TicketMaster, and cashing in on MyCokeRewards, have acquired a vast collection of magazine subscriptions. One of the publications that we subscribe to is Rolling Stone; a magazine I tend to disagree with politically almost 100%. In nearly every issue, RS publishes a “Threat Assessment” at the bottom of their political story for the issue. If you are unfamiliar with the Threat Assessment, these are the basics: across the bottom of 2 pages lies a political continuum. On the left, things RS considers “good” and “with us” (read: liberal), portrayed with a blue arrow. On the right lie the things RS considers “bad” or “against us,” AKA conservative, portrayed with a red arrow. Items on the “with us” side do not have to be celebrations of a liberal victory – they can also be celebrations of conservative failures. Whether or not the things portrayed on the “against us” side are ACTUALLY conservative is not the point. If it involves a Republican, something that goes against the Obamessiah, or is otherwise contrary to a progressive mindset, it is automatically “conservative” and, therefore, bad.

            As I perused my first issue of RS from October 29, 2009, I came across the Threat Assessment for the issue. After reading it, I have come to the conclusion that the priorities of those who run the iconic music magazine are SERIOUSLY out of whack. Listed on the “with us” side is this little gem of distressing information: “Only 2.8 percent of Oklahoma high school students would pass U.S. citizenship test.” Apparently RS wants our high school students to remain uninformed about the government and ignorant of their rights. At least, that is what the positioning of this fact on the continuum would suggest.

            The “against us” side of the continuum is far more distressing, and a much stronger indicator of whacked-out priorities. What could be worse than a 9.8% unemployment rate? What could be more unsettling than Mein Kampf manga raking in the money in Japan? What’s more outrageous than a Facebook poll asking “Should Obama be killed?” CLEARLY, Sarah Palin and the loss of the Chicago Olympics trump all of these issues as immediate pressing threats, at least according to RS.

            I see several major problems with this: 1) People publicly questioning whether Obama should be killed seems like a pretty big threat to me. I don’t like the man, and I don’t agree with his policies, but Lord knows no rational American wants the President of the United States to be killed. Good grief. 2) Our unemployment rate is now over 10%. Detroit is literally drying up and blowing away. States with tourism-based economies like Nevada and Florida are suffering because people can’t afford to take vacations. I would say that, if this trend continues (and it WILL get worse before it gets better), this is a pretty huge threat. 3) Sarah Palin no longer holds a public office. She is not a governor, a vice president, or a judge. She has not been appointed to any official positions. How can the publication of her book, an autobiography about her life before politics and during the McCain campaign, be a larger threat than massive unemployment and questions about assassinating the president? 4) Out of all of these things, why is “Conservatives cheer[ing] Chicago’s Olympics loss” the most threatening? Records have shown that the Olympics traditionally cost cities more in preparation and construction than they make in revenue from the Games. It really wasn’t a huge loss for Chicago, just an embarrassment for Obama, which explains why RS feels so threatened by it.

            Rolling Stone cannot handle an opinion different from their own, despite their claims about loving diversity. This is why they feel threatened by Palin. They also cannot stand the thought of their precious savior being embarrassed or contradicted, which is why they feel threatened by the Olympics loss and, more broadly, anything that proves immune to Obama’s golden touch.

For verification of what I’ve stated here, see Rolling Stone, issue 1090, October 29, 1009, p. 42-43.

            This is the first in what will surely be an ongoing series of blogs about the ridiculosity (yeah, I just used a made-up word) of the “Threat Assessment.”

The Best Led Zeppelin Song

Sometimes I think that I was born in the wrong decade. Being a child of the ’80s (I was born in 1987), I feel as though I missed out on seeing the best live rock ‘n roll bands in history. Sure, I’ve gone to see some ’80s bands in concert (Def Leppard, Journey, Heart, etc) and I even recently saw ZZ Top and Aerosmith together (and yes, they still rock, despite being 70 years old), but the BIG bands that really defined the 1960s and 1970s broke up long before I was conceived. By 1971, The Beatles had gone their separate ways, due in no small part to John Lennon’s death andYoko Ono (AKA Satan to my Beatles-loving husband and best friend). In 1968, Pink Floyd’s genius, Syd Barrett, LSD-ed himself into oblivion, and we were left with Roger Waters mewling about his daddy issues. In 1980, Led Zeppelin’s ambitious dummer undertook a massive vodka-shot-taking epidemic, which landed him 6 feet under. Obviously, the band couldn’t continue without a drummer, and they did not want to replace John Bonham, so they broke up shortly thereafter. Then The Who broke up in 1983. Most of the other major bands of the ’60s and ’70s had also broken up by the late ’80s, leaving me with only classic rock radio stations with which to enjoy their music. Anyway, this has been a long introduction to the point I wanted to make: I think, out of all the classic rock songs, this one makes me wish I had lived in time to see some of these bands in concert. I give you the greatest Led Zep song, ever: No Quarter. Close your eyes while you’re listening.

Introductory Mishmash

Welcome to Miscellaneous Sheepery. I am Sheep, I will be your guide, blindly leading you through this amalgamation of random thoughts. In this, my very first blog, I will explain my purposes for writing a blog no one reads and give a list of things I will probably rant/blog about. Here we go:

Why I decided to write a blog no one reads:

1) I spent 4 years of my life in college, writing papers. I wrote papers for every class; I wrote during the week, and on weekends. I skipped parties to write papers, I turned down outings with friends to write papers. I wrote so many papers that I developed a paper-writing compulsion, but now I work at a retail job that requires no paper writing (or any other skills I learned in college). So, in order  to sate my desire to write stuff, I decided to make a blog.

2) I’m an undiscovered political and cultural commentary genius, and the whole world should hear what I have to say about everything, and take it as gospel truth. Kidding. I’m kidding.

What to expect from Miscellaneous Sheepery:

As the name implies, this is going to be a hodgepodge of random stuff that I find interesting, funny, outrageous, anger-inducing, palmface-worthy, or otherwise captures my attention.

1) Youtube videos – Mostly music, but some others too.

2) Political commentary- I am a conservative-leaning libertarian. I do not proclaim to have the ultimate answers to everything. If  I did, that would make me a liberal.

3) Cultural commentary- Kids these days…

4) Stories/suggestions/complaints about being a military wife – Never go to the PX on the 1st or the 15th. Actually, stay out of Wal Mart on those days too.

5) Delicious recipes that I think you should try

6) Whatever else I feel like talking about

Hopefully you will enjoy the randomness. Once again, welcome to Miscellaneous Sheepery.