How about both? Gotta do one out of reverence for Strava and their decision to host the challenge globally and gotta do the other out of patriotism, US ranking. See, this might not be a real hard decision for anyone with a 15 mile commute. I have to go 45 miles one way. Notice I didn’t say kilometers. I did it in 2:42 last year but only once, the global challenge. This year I suppose I’ll do both because I’m not sure which is official? Should we get the UCI and USA Cycling involved? It can’t get anymore convoluted.
I will finally take the time to thank the political circus for Donald Trump. We’ve been missing “real dialog” in the conversation for so long we’ve forgotten what it is: brash insults and angry rhetoric full of empty, inaccurate assertions and a healthy dose of whimsical, unrealistic governing strategies designed to draw applause from the beaten, hurting, insulted and stepped on white folk. Most of the applause is reserved for his passive-aggressive hatred of brown skin.
Yes the political arena, specifically the Tea Party, was running out of terse assholes. I feared the comic relief was over. Intellectualism was making a comeback for Christ’s sake! We’ll have NONE of it. The highly educated, southern rocket surgeons don’t like them big words. Impressively they flock to the angriest white guy despite a noticeable absence of God-n-guns. What’s he thinking? If he really wants to get this campaign going he’ll call for the immediate execution of abortion doctors and arming 2nd graders for their own safety.
There hasn’t been quite enough fear mongering Donald. I mean who’s genuinely afraid of illegal immigrants? Sure angry, white, hill licks don’t like tan skin but it’s not enough to justify “one shot, one kill”. We need a genuine Mexican terrorist threat Don. Conjure one up for us billion boy. Your sideshow is waning and we lust for new material.
America deserves a narcissistic reality TV star as the leader of the “free world” (well equipped survey teams were dispatched to search for this implied “freedom” but we fear they’ve been kidnapped by Goldman Sachs). Since the thought process of the average America now ranks lower than Honey Boo-boo reruns a pretentious windbag who knows precisely jack shit about governing while being praised for his wealth is a perfect fit. Who needs international foreign diplomacy when you have so many short minded insults ready.
Since this blog has a history of pointing out upcoming social and political disasters, such as the embarrassment nationalizing Romneycare would become, I am doing the GOP a favor. Through this post I am helping the unthinkable, ridiculous and absurd become reality. That’s right America, there is a possibility Donald Fucking Trump could become President of the United States. If you don’t think that’s a problem then please recognize you are part of it.
The greatest threat the United states faces is our growing level of willful ignorance and anti-intellectualism. When the majority of those who consider themselves educated in a culture can tell you who won entertainment awards but cannot tell you the names of our representing foreign heads of state are or details about current world affairs such a culture, society or nation will not survive.
This is why our children will not know the United States the nation we remember. To an extent this has nothing to do with politicians, monied interests or corporations. It has to do with the dumbing down of society to an ignorant culture valuing entertainment over education and complex thought. American’s, as a majority are simply lazy and saturate ourselves in misinformation to justify it.
In 1795, an immigrant complained that “civility cannot be purchased from Americans on any terms; they seem to think it is incompatible with freedom”. – John F. Kasson
Kasson nailed it over 200 years ago and his message applies today more than ever. In the rampant, ideologically “patriotic” quest for individualism America has really become a nation of “me time”, “all about me” and “what about me”? Zero courtesy for others. Worse, this individualism and lack of respect for others is embraced and promoted by certain ideological groups in the United States. I owe no one anything. That is the lame, narcissistic position now embraced by many Americans.
Everyone has an example: the lazy, slow moving women in the check out line taking YOUR time, not hers. The guy who leaves his car at the crowded pumps so he can spend 20 minutes shopping in the convenience store. Hell, everyone knows the jackass reducing the flow of traffic because of exercising their “right” to be in the wrong lane. Americans lack of respect for others might be at an all time high.
At one time in history this type of discourteous behavior created embarrassment, scorn from the community and local society. I’m embarrassed for them. I won’t even get into the misuse and tangled use of terms like “socialist” when applied to those who point out you can’t infringe upon the rights of others to exercise your own. I’m also embarrassed by how across the American landscape people have become so self-absorbed in general. You are not going to be famous. You are not as special to society as you believe. You might be reading this blog and I don’t even know your name, never will. That is how truly insignificant most of us are. Go jump from the bow of a ship into the open ocean. Drive into a class 5 tornado. Get back to us with your delusions of grandeur and let us know how much material wealth and self image did to save you. Luckily we will be spared such narrative for despite your perceived invincibility, you are human. In certain circumstances you will be humbled to death without help from others.
Yet in most American’s minds we are special. People look towards us because we are wonderful. We’re Americans, the whole world is filled with envy, or so I’m told. Most Americans current moment and activity is all they are worried about so hell, it’s all the world should be worried about right? Because it’s your world. Um, no dipshit, it’s our world. Many could do themselves some good by traveling outside their own mental cocoon, usually built as a security blanket, and realize they live and move among others. Other people who don’t want to wait on you. Other people who’s time you are wasting. No, do not “take your time”. Hurry the fuck up. Be efficient in your public activities. Politely and courteously get out of the path of others.
Also stop pretending their is no community. Margret Thatcher lied. It’s all around you. Those people waiting behind you at the checkout line while you dick around, consuming their time – they are part of your community. Yes you have a right to travel 5MPH under the limit in the slow lane. I have a right to flip you off and call you a discourteous asshole when you earn it. Indeed I believe the right many Americans now exercise the most is the right to be a self absorbed asshole…. with a selfie stick.
This all comes down to empathy, (n) “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. A definition Americans could stand to learn. Too many now mistakenly think the word empathy is interchangeable with the word pussy. It is not. Empathy purveys strength. If you don’t understand that you have some work to do on your social skills.
American’s like to project. Too many now blame others for their own failings. Taxes too high? It’s the “illegal’s” fault. Lost your job? It’s those God forsaken minorities. My own father was a projector for a long time. Every problem in his world came down to Muslims, Jews and Blacks. He wasn’t afraid to let us know it. He’s toned down and I don’t know if this is because of social acceptance diminishing for blatant racial rants or if his position has really changed. Regardless, his past behavior is a great example of how unaccountable so many American’s have become for their own failures.
Never mind he lost a job when I was thirteen and NEVER really went back to work until recently. We lived off my moms income as a nurse. He dabbled in real estate, an endeavor that might have lost more money than it ever made. To ask him, the lack of opportunity and pay he faced came down to Muslims and his claim they “can’t be trusted”. I trust every Muslim I’ve ever met. Of course, unlike the conservative fear mongering implies, they are not members of ISIS here to perform covert terrorist operations on the US. They are here to do things like raise families and source cheap textiles from overseas, which may be the most threatening thing they do to America.
I reflect on the 80’s and 90’s. Yep we wore disturbing clothes, Pana D’or Parachute Pants happened to hold a level of awesome unmatched by any 2000 era article of clothing, but we were a nation of high physical standards, “No Fat Chicks” and embraced fitness. Flash forward 2015: American’s justify “Plus Size” as the new normal. Apparently so many men have gotten fat they can’t imagine “No Fat Chicks”. But that doesn’t mean we’ve avoided double standards. Not by a damn mile. American’s make sure it’s understood that while we actually produce less we will tout “hard work” as the reason for success. Never mind that what we are “producing” is phantom bullshit thanks to the “investment” or “ownership” economy. All those “hard workers” watching money compile on computer screens. They must be too sore to get out of bed the next morning.
Meanwhile, as usual the people actually doing work continue to lose money and spending power. We’ve given up on higher standards. We don’t want to offend. Great. Now we are just a bunch of lushes making sure laws can be passed to keep the laziest the wealthiest… “Work Smarter, not harder”? WHAT THE FUCK EVER. How about produce an actual damn result besides money in your personal bank account. We must stop measuring accomplishment by monetary gain because it’s now a piss poor indicator of what a person’s actually accomplished. Some of the dumbest, laziest people in society are the wealthiest.
I will judge a person by the contents that make up their character, not giving one turd about anyone’s concern that I do it. So if you’re a fat, lazy, non productive ass wipe just trying to make it through your day to your next beer and eventual paycheck don’t expect to be treated by me as anymore than that. In particular I think of fat hillbillies. American’s embrace these losers because they are “Good ‘ol boys” representative of “America values”. So “American Values” are now…
- Skoal dripping from a beard.
- A lack of desire or ability to shave that beard.
- A shotgun rack in a gas guzzling, “coal rolling” pickup.
- An obesity fetish.
- A fat partner so neither feels bad about being fat.
- Social acceptance of your “plus size” ass.
- All the sugar than can be crammed into a human body without causing immediate death.
- A healthy dose of alcoholism to destroy any memory or regret should the denial fade.
Hillbillies aren’t cool. Thugs aren’t cool. Fat chicks aren’t cool. The decision to embrace them because you are one isn’t cool. It’s embarrassing for a country to denounce health, the environment and intellectualism as pretentious and arrogant while embracing bad lifestyle decisions. That’s where we are. Simpler, easier, lazier and dumber… “Don’t tread on me”! Yep, it’s your right to be a fat, uneducated hick or wannabe gangsta. Expect to be treated like one. All in the name of “simple folk”. Ya, you’re fucking simple alright. Too simple to understand or even try to comprehend the problem: Fat, lazy people in denial. Now, get mad and blame Obama, minorities, gays, Benghazi, gland problems or whatever fuels your denial. But for the sake of Buddha don’t take any personal accountability for your own failures. Not your fault right? “Land of the free” and therefore home of the under paid, heavily armed, uneducated, lazy and fat people. These are the freedoms you choose to embrace over the last 20 years? And yet we argue over what went wrong. Apathy rules!
America now ranks poorly on a host of social issues be it…
- The percentage of children growing up in poverty,
- Inequality in wages,
- Percentage of the population locked up in prison,
- School test scores in math and science,
- Number of medical caused bankruptcies.
The Republican response:
- Reduce social safety nets to make sure more children are in poverty,
- Reduce wages or keep them stagnant, (AKA “right to work”)
- Lock up more people and execute more people in a wildly inequitable and corrupt justice system padding a for profit prison industry,
- Denounce science and math as unGodly,
- Status quot or worse, pushing more costs of healthcare on to consumers.
So basically their response is let’s fix problems by creating more of the same. They’ll just say Obama is bad, Muslims are evil and coming to kill you so many fearful minions will fall behind them, guns and bibles at the ready.
- “Right to Work” = Right to Fire anyone without consequence.
- “Pro Life” = Pro birth, let the unwanted baby fend for its future.
- “Abstinence” = Unwed conservative daughters who are privy to immaculate conception and young conservative males without sex drive who immaculate them.
- “Freedom of Religion” = Freedom to file a lawsuit when Evangelicals can’t force religious upon anyone they want, anywhere they want. Also the freedom to judge and discriminate against anyone who is not a proclaimed Christian.
- “Family Values” = Destroying any family that does not conform to right wing values. These include interracial families, immigrants and gay parents. Note: “family values” can only be emphasized from a main stream media soapbox when a Republican finalizes his or her third divorce.
- “Privatization” = Legalized corporate theft from unsuspecting, misguided consumers and endless, legal, tax loopholes.
- “No Child Left Behind” = Dumb it down… the GOP plan for the future. Hey, don’t scoff, it’s working …
- “Charter Schools” = Sunday School 5 days a week.
- “Smaller Government” = Profuse spending and bedroom supervision.
- “Trickle Down” = Niagara Up
- “Constituents” = Largest corporate campaign donors and favorite lobbyists.
I’m sure I’m missing a few if anyone cares to add in the comments.
On 9/11/2001 Islamic extremists set out to strike fear in the minds of Americans through their act of terror. Based on the initial response (“liberating” a country that was not responsible) and ongoing media driven sensationalism the result is becoming pretty clear. Flash forward 2015. So many of you seem very scared and full of hate, bigotry and worse… many now presume these to be admirable qualities deserving of praise, openly flaunting them and demonizing those who don’t join you as sympathizers. Sorry but…. they got you. This is the exact response the 9/11 attackers sought to invoke. Meanwhile I’ll work, eat and hang out with more than a few Muslims this month without a shred of fear of being bombed or beheaded. They practice religion about as much as I do (zero), have their finances and families in top order. At the same time my ever so flaunting Christian friends and family… plenty of therapists and financial assistance getting passed around as they fight yet more court battles. Pretty sad since you would have all those from the middle east thrown in camps if you had your twisted druthers.
Oh great. Now this. I will ride up Hwy 97, on a bike, going where no man in Lycra has dared before. With luck no shots will be fired.