Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy 2017 from the Little House in the Ghetto.

Well kids. I usually do a long post about the past year and wishing everyone a Happy and Joyous New Year and all that.  But coming to the end of 2016, I'm just not feeling especially wordy this time around. We all know how this year turned out. So many icons and important people cashed out. I won't list them all.

But more importantly, what about those who left us who's impact is known only to those whom they leave behind. Relatives, friends, spouses, significant others, even beloved critters. To me, they will be more missed and must be mourned more than some celebrity, VIP, or mover and shaker.  Those whom we celebrated and loved most in our circles. The ones who made us what we are, influenced us, stuck by us that some of their greatness rubbed off on us.  Those are whom I raise my glass to.

I don't want to dwell on the election, as ubiquitous and interminable the outcome is. The Cheeto-elect won and as for me, I'm waiting with baited breath to see how much of a clustermuck he makes. Everybody has their way of dealing with the possibilities a Trump presidency will bring. Some will protest, fight, and man the battlements, others will worry themselves into a tizzy. I'm going to go to work as I've always done and try to make a living and try to keep the Little House in the Ghetto from falling around my ears. 

I'm heading to the Denise's house with a bottle of Kahlua, a six-pack of good beer and surround myself with good friends, an adorable almost 4 year old and an assortment of fat dogs and cats.  I hope that you have plans to ring in the New Year with family, friends and loved ones. If you're going out, don't be stupid. Call a cab or Über or Lyft if you're tying one on. I want to see Yinz around to experience life under King Cheeto.

In closing, I wish to extend this benediction to you all. One of my favorite Bible verses.

Numbers 6:24-26
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and (most of all) GRANT. YOU. PEACE!!

From the last resident of the Little House in the Ghetto, located in the pastoral and peaceful neighborhood of Homewood-Brushton in the city of Pittsburgh, Taxsylvania, this is your 99 and 44/100% pure Pierre Wheaton signing off. See Yinz on the other side. Go Stillers!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Whatever!

I see that the Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays memes are popping up again like mushrooms after a rainy summer night.

First of all, it's too damn early to wish anyone either of those phrases. Second, does it really matter?  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays have devolved into two of those meaningless phrases like "How are you?"  Time wasting figures of speech that are thrown around at the beginning of a conversation to induce small talk. Other than your closest friends or relatives, do you REALLY care how the cashier who's ringing up your purchase is doing?  Or the bus driver that's taking you to work?

You can wish me Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or whatever you want. I grew out of that hang up years ago. There's little in this world that offends me anymore. For something to offend me means I have to waste the time and energy to GET offended. And I'm just too damn old and tired to do that. 

I'm pretty sure God doesn't care one way or the other, either.  He's too busy laughing his butt off about who we elected as a President.

So what have we learned. It doesn't really make a difference. It's how you celebrate your holiday(s) in your heart and with your family and friends. Not getting your undies in a granny knot over some meme on Facebook.  If that gets you upset, I don't want to know what really frosts your corn flakes. #JustSayin

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The People Have Spoken

What's done is done. The people of this country have spoken. For the record, I did not vote for Trump. I can't in good conscience vote for a man who counts as his supporters, members of organizations whose historical aims were the segregation, discrimination and if they could get away with it, the elimination of people who look like me. That among numerous other things turned me off to Trump.

But at the same time, while I held my nose and voted for Hillary, I did so with great reservations because she had flaws of her own that made her unpalatable to me, also. I confess to a morbid curiosity of witnessing an Trumpian America, and it looks like I'll get my wish.

Now we'll get to see what Trump can do, especially with a Republican Congress. I have a feeling it will be dreadful for a lot of people on the Left and Center.  I also have a feeling that those who voted for Trump thinking that he'll restore America to a fictional Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It To Beaver, Happy Days time will be sorely mistaken and have one hell of a case of buyer's remorse.

Remember the story about the dog (I think it was a dog) who agreed to carry the scorpion on his back across the creek despite knowing what a scorpion does, only to have the scorpion sting him halfway across anyway? I think this is what we're looking at here.

Either way, what's done is done. All we can do now is try and heal this divided and broken nation of its fear of the other, its distrust, its corruption, its anger, its bitterness, and all its other countless ills. We can pray to our respective deities that they will intervene, but it's my experience that they tend to work through human hands. I think they need us to do the heavy lifting.  But I do believe that America, for what it's worth, will pull through this next four years. Maybe a little dinged up and a few bumps and bruises, but we will pull through. Because Americans, with all our flaws, are just damn stubborn to be kept down.  Just sayin'

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cubbies or the Tribe?

Put a gun to my head and ask me to choose who I'd want to win the World Series, and I'd probably tell you to pull the trigger. 

But I would actually not mind Cleveland winning. Because if the Cubs win, their fans and media will make the victory seem as if Jesus Christ himself descended from the heavens in an Ernie Banks jersey, landed on the pitchers mound in Wrigley Field and raptured every Cub fan to heaven.  Which would probably not be a bad thing, in that the rest of us wouldn't have to deal with them.  I wish our Lord and Savior would do the same to Penguin fans. Although I'd prefer that He'd consign them to a hell where the Flyers win the Stanley Cup every year for eternity.

Cleveland will just get full of itself and act like they're the posers they are and lay claim to the "City of Champions" moniker because the Cavs and Indians won their respective league's titles.  Hopefully, if they win or lose, they'll put Chief Wahoo out of his misery.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Locker Room Banter

Kinda thinking about Trump's excuse for his extremely rude and reprehensible comments about grabbing women by the genitals and hitting on married women, and how he blames it on "locker room" banter.

Now, I don't have much experience in a locker room. But I come close in that I spent a lot of time in a close equivalent. The berthing compartments of the two ships I served in. You Army, and Marine Corps types can substitute barracks, Air Force types can substitute luxury penthouse apartments.

Like a locker room, these spaces are full of young guys in their 20's and 30's full of testosterone talking loudly and smoking like chimneys throwing four-letter words around and doing a lot of bitching and complaining about whatever was on their minds.  We lived in very close quarters. Picture two dozen smelly loud cursing sailors stacked up in three high bunks in a space about the size of a large living room.

We talked mostly about the job, which in my case was working 12-16 hours a day at sea in food service in a hot, smelly galley surrounded by equipment that could cut, burn or crush an unwary squid who wasn't watching what he was doing, and back in the early and mid '80s, it was strictly guys, women were not allowed on front line warships. Guys would bitch about the incompetence of the higher ups, how the medical dept screwed up their medical records, or the disbursing clerk screwed up their pay, crewmen who would bitch about the food while lining up for seconds, or whatever bug got up their collective asses that day. A bitching sailors was a happy sailor.

And occasionally there would be not-so complimentary talk about women. Mostly about chasing girls in the next upcoming liberty port or reuniting with wives, girlfriends, etc once we got back home.  It was a general rule that you didn't talk about a buddy's wife or girlfriend or sister or mother in an uncomplimentary manner. More than a few fights started that way.

Unless the buddy in question found got a 'Dear John' letter, then it was bombs away.

I don't remember any talk about grabbing women by the genitals or moving on married women or subjecting women to any kind of abuse in the berthing talk that I was involved in. Not saying that it didn't happen. And I certainly do NOT condone what Trump said. But then again, none of us were dumb enough to say stuff like that into a hot mike. 

The berthing was not a very PC place. It could get pretty raunchy, a lot of shit was talked and a lot of four letter words were used as nouns, verbs, adjectives,adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and gerunds.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

An Open Letter to the rest of the world

An open letter to the rest of the world.

Dear Citizens of the World.

On behalf of myself and the other 320 million people of these United States, I would like to apologize to you all for the appalling choice of candidates we've selected as nominees for President of the United States.

It is a sad state of affairs when we, the people of this great nation, after years of campaigning, primary elections, debates, and carpet bombing of attack ads, could only come up with a cynical, jaded hen that no one trusts, with a husband who has the morals of a tomcat,  and an obnoxious, megalomanical, possibly senile ADD lunatic who has no filter whatsoever and says whatever that is rattling around in his head without restraint.

Usually our political system produces at least one presidential candidate that has the brains of a reasonably functional human being.  Unfortunately, this time around, our system had one of its funny turns and produced no such creature for 2016.  We are in the process of pursuing the culprit or culprits responsible for this regrettable turn of events, and we promise you, heads will roll.

Once again, we do sincerely apologize and promise to do better next time. That is, provided there is a next time because whichever of these two clowns gets into office is guaranteed to throw the world into a state of goatf**kery that will take decades if not the heat death of the solar system to make right.

Because as we all know, when the US sneezes, the world catches The Black Plague.

We hope that you do not hold the next four to eight years against us. Compared to the rest of the world, we still have a lot to learn about the whole democracy thing.  Meanwhile, until we can find someone crazy...er, uh intelligent enough to clean up the mess that either Hillary or Trump leaves behind, here are some more nekkid pictures of a Kardashian of your choice.

Sincerely,

A Proud, but embarrassed American.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Colin Kaepernik and the National Anthem

Considering what I've seen people doing during the playing of the National Anthem, I can't get that geeked up about what Colin Kaepernick did, or didn't do. It's his right to not stand. No one's going to put him in jail for it. It's also the right of us to dog him and get our panties in a wad over it.

Personally, I think this country has a helluva lot more important things to worry about than who does what during the playing of the National Anthem. Have you seen who's running for President? A egomaniacal con artist and a jaded cynical grandmother nobody trusts.  And don't give me the 'He's disrespecting the flag and the troops and the veterans,' etc. Been There, Done That, 6 years Navy, 25 year active blue cap member of the American Legion. And I have the DD214 to prove it.

You really want to show respect to the flag, the troops and veterans?  Stop getting bent out of shape about rinky-dink stuff like not standing for the Anthem, and over the top patriotic theater that happens at sporting events and advocate for fixing the VA. Or not going over and sticking our noses in every other country's business. Or listening to our generals and admirals and not spending billions of dollars on equipment they say they don't need, just because some politician has to suck up to a defense contractor back home.

I don't know whether Kaepernick is actually making a stand, or whether it's a play to get out of San Francisco. Only he knows the reasons for not standing.

But if he's acting on true, well thought out, convictions, then I respect that. That is something he will have to deal with. I don't have to agree with it.  But my position was stated three paragraphs up.

It's strange, the dichotomy that prominent athletes find themselves in. On the one hand, athletes, especially black athletes, are called upon to use their platform to address the ills of this country, especially as they pertain to black folk or people of color. But when they do so, they are derided and told to stick to their sport.  It takes courage to use that platform to speak out, especially in a world of tweets, retweets, likes, and the immediacy that a misplaced word or an ill-conceived tweet can circle the globe and flame emotions.

But I think it is important for athletes and prominent people to use their elevated platform to say what they feel about what's going on in the world. People are more likely to listen to what their favorite athlete or celebrity has to say than some windbag politician.  Except for the Kardashians. No one should listen to what the Kardashians have to say.

But it's also important that that athlete is saying what he/she is saying in order to effect change, not to just burnish their brand. And not just talk. How's the saying go? 'Money talks, Bulls**t walks.'
If an athlete or celebrity is truly desirous of using their popularity to change the world, they must make sure that actions follow words.

And not just throw the money around in front of the cameras. If Colin Kaepernick truly wants to make his actions stand (see what I did there), then he has to follow through more than just not standing up for the National Anthem. He has a bunch of money and can form a foundation or an organization that can help in his own small way change his corner of the country. If he's already doing it, than I stand corrected.

And don't get me started about my feelings about the Star-Spangled Banner as our National Anthem. Frankly, I think it sucks. Give me America, The Beautiful any day.