Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gifts From The Snow Gods On Mt. Hood This February

The big storms of the past few weeks have brought an abundance of powdery gifts from the Snow Gods in the form of 5-6 feet of new snow in February up on Mt. Hood.  And being that I'm finally starting to get my powder legs and mogul skiing abilities back after essentially taking two decades off from skiing, I couldn't resist heading up to Mt. Hood Meadows last Friday for the first sunny day we've had in two weeks.

Here's some photos that were taken of me from Four Bowl on Friday morning by Grant Mydral Photography:

I'll admit that when I'm skiing solo, I tend to stick with runs that I'm familiar with rather than venturing off into something entirely new.  Four Bowl tends to be the redheaded stepchild of Bowls 1-5 off the Blue & Express chairlifts as there always seems to be a section of untracked powder on the far left side as I'm heading down the run.  But I'm not complaining.  I'm completely happy with other people overlooking this little patch of heaven that I keep dropping into on big powder days.

Hopefully the Snow Gods continue bestowing gifts upon the believers with a late winter snowfall well into Spring this year.  I want to get the most of my Season Pass and have a lot more deep powder days to play in and get a chance to experience Heather Canyon in the Spring.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Free Speech Is Great Except When You Repeatedly Say Stupid Shit On TV For Fun And Profit

I am pretty skeptical of religion and the silly stuff that comes out of the mouth of Christianity's more extreme public figures.

You know, stuff like the multiple predictions in 2011 of The Rapture(s), the End Times always being just about here where only true believers will ascend to heaven, gay marriage causing global warming, every hurricane over the past three decades of my life being the result of God punishing humans for abortions and gay rights, the 1994 Northridge earthquake was God punishing the pornographers in the San Fernando Valley, or God only talks to men who pass the message down to their subordinate wife and children, and all the other entertaining things (at least to me) that people say.  And it's men who mostly say these things.

So at what point is it time to reign in some of this stuff when it's continually being broadcast on cable TV when it's just so ridiculous?

I caught this story online yesterday and it caused me to smile because it's just another totally ridiculous claim aimed at widows living on meager survivor's pension who were raised on this fire and brimstone style of gospel.  

I'm guessing that most of his viewers know that he's prone to bouts of sensationalism for effect, chalking it up to just being part of show business, like PT Barnum or snake oil salesman of the 19th century.  Or, they actually believe it hook, line and sinker and faintly say, "Amen" through their breathing tubes.  

Free speech is the greatest law we have, in my opinion.  It allows me to write this blog and say stupid things if I feel like it.  Nobody can take away each citizen's right to show their ignorance, stupidity, intelligence, or brilliance.    

In this case, even though I don't agree with this outlandish comment that was probably said for effect, all part of a bigger strategic campaign, I have to live with it.  We're all entitled to saying stupid shit from time to time.  But this guy.  Holy shit!  He takes it to an entirely new level and maybe it's time someone shows sits him down to have the, "Pat, I think it's time for you to retire" conversation.

Until then, hes going to keep saying more and more ridiculous shit on his ridiculous TV show from a bygone era. 

Lowering The Bar: People Can't Really Believe This Stuff Can They?

I've made only one New Year's Resolution this year to pay only passing notice to the silly-to-ridiculous stuff spewed by TV personalities who are employed by the partisan outrage profit machines on the right and left.  But I had to make an exception today as I received a funny email from a friend who caught wind of the "Wussification of men" or "War on men" interview on Fox and Friends.

WARNING:  Just know that if you watch this clip in this link from Salon, you won't ever get these precious moments of your life back.

The Fox and Friends interview is nearly four minutes of stupidity with this Australian author dude who wrote some book about angry and overly masculine feminists taking all the macho bravado chutzpah out of male masculinity in "Merica.  And of course, this alleged feminine transformation of our society is a potential threat to our national security, like everything on a network that acts as part-time PR firm to the defense industry.  

There were a few typical undertones I picked up on in the interview:
  • 2016 presidential election implications:
    Hillary Clinton is the presumptive leader for the Democrats and she's a strong woman who will make our men feminine.
  • Threat to our national security:
    Benghazi happened when Hilary was Secretary of State.  She's a woman.  She'll feminize these men. Make our military leaders weak.  Americans wont' be safe with an angry feminist Commander In Chief cutting the balls off the men of this country.  See - you can't be safe with this woman as president.
    ***We won't mention "America's Secret Wars in 134 Countries" that may pose a threat to future national security, aka: "blowback".  No, it's the neutering of men by strong women.
  • Ike's prophecy of the military industrial complex has come true:
    Defense contractors own the politicians, especially those in the GOP.  But the national defense stuff was just another subliminal message to the viewers that it's patriotic and essential to pour money into military, confiscating sovereign oil fields under the guise of terrorism or democracy or some other misdirection.  (Sorry - slight tangent there).
  • This book is just another version of the many "War On Christmas" kind of books:
    Trying to scare gullible people who've ceased using their Bullshit-O-Meter and introducing them to this book that they will receive in the mail upon making a $50 contribution to their favorite patriotically named Super PAC that writes laws for Congressmen who'll cut the safety net that more and more of these same people will rely on and in turn redirects that money into the coffers of the most powerful US-based multinational corporations, including pharmaceutical, oil, energy, financial services, and defense companies.
  • "The left and politically correct are attacking men."
    Appealing to the Deer Hunting With Jesus target audience who have been losing the class war thanks to a many decades long bipartisan effort to offshore millions of American manufacturing jobs overseas, supporting the needs of the multi-nation corporatacracy over the citizenry.  Blaming liberals and democrats puts a recognizable face on the problem rather than telling the God-fearing crowd that they elected into office a guy (not a woman, of course) who followed through on a large campaign contribution that led to a factory in town shuttered and production shifted overseas to a near slave-labor sweatshop in Southeast Asia.  
Thankfully Katie McDonough of Salon had a humorous synopsis of this silly clip:
"Real men, according to Adams, shoot guns, for example. So when he argues that authentic masculinity is under attack, he must be referring to all of those laws that prevent men from obtaining and shooting guns in the United States. Oh wait, America actually has dangerously few laws in place to regulate gun possession, so that can’t be what he means! Well, real men also watch football, he notes. So he must be upset by the outright ban on professional sports in this country. Oh wait, that’s not a real thing! Real men know how to lead, of course, so Adams must be very troubled by the overrepresentation of women — particularly feminist women with progressive policy agendas — in politics. Oh wait, that’s not real, either!"
When I occasionally break my New Year's Resolution and watch silly stuff like this, I just can't help thinking of the Honey Boo Boo episode of South Park, "Raising The Bar".  Here's Token, letting Stan in on the reality of what happens when the bar is lowered:

As Stan said, "When the bar gets lowered Token, we pay the price."   

We are all paying the price for the misinformation being spewed by the outrage machines of both parties via their for-profit PR firms that call themselves news networks.  So when we hear a silly story that men are being "wussified" by angry feminists, we're really being pre-conditioned to the idea that a strong woman like Hilary Clinton as president will cause men to become subservient to women and the world will go to hell in a hand basket.  You know, kinda like how the world was supposed to end with Obama as president, except that he's been more George W. Bush than George W. Bush, presiding over 330 drone strikes to Bush's 51.

If the African American anti-war candidate of "hope" and "change" has only ratcheted up NEOCON dream scenarios of military activities in 134 countries and spreading corporate imperialism, er democracy, why in the hell would anyone fear that a woman like Hilary Clinton would do anything different or make a course correction?

I'm actually looking forward to paying passing attention to this nonsense as it comes and goes and the gullible viewers who play into hands (and profits) of the outrage machines (including myself who watched the ridiculous clip and spent 25 minutes writing a blog post about how stupid it is).  The outrage machine will once again get the last laugh as more and more people stay glued to their TV, lazily accepting silly statements made by attractive and educated TV personalities delivering the well-crafted message that the once rough and tumble American man has become wimpy all because angry feminists neutered him and if a woman becomes president, America may never be the same again.