The Woodssong Blog
29Oct/160

Voter suppression at its worst

What a shame.

Did anybody on Twitter see that mock-up picture at a polling line in Arizona, a picture of immigration arresting a Hispanic person that was waiting in line to vote? No, you probably didn’t, because our news corporations seem to pick and choose what they want to expose to the public. The comment on the post went even further; "I've just got word that an illegal trying to vote has been arrested."

The picture was proven to be a hoax, and turned out to be two pictures composed together to make it look like somebody was getting arrested. One picture was a photo of people standing in line to vote in Arizona, and another, unrelated photo of immigration actually arresting somebody in another part of the country. These two photos were Photo-shopped together to make it look like immigration officials were arresting illegal immigrants when they showed up to vote. The picture of course was Photo-shopped and then posted by a Trump supporter.

You can imagine how Hispanics who viewed this photo are feeling about voting now. What a disgrace. Do they really have to go this far in order to win the election?

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16Feb/120

Why aren’t you guys angry?

Here’s some statistics that should bother the hell out of all of you…

The Federal Reserve Bank is a private bank

The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year.

The largest financial crime in American history took place and resulted in no criminal charges. No Wall Street or bank executive has been charged with anything.

We could eliminate half the predicted shortfall in the national budget by simply failing to renew the Bush tax cuts.

Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan CEO) made $5700.00 every day of last year, totaling $20.8 million bucks. Plus, he and his 6 lieutenants made another $30.2 million in bonuses.

Borders executives intended to pay themselves $8 million in bonuses until a US Trustee objected. The company spokesman said, "The proposed programs were designed to retain key executives at Borders as we proceed through the Chapter 11 reorganization process." In short, retain those whose management bankrupted the corporation.

And some quotes...

Such a lifestyle of constant credit being owed is indentured servitude.

Capitalism is good. Crony Capitalism, where people with wealth get to write their own laws to help themselves and put competition out of business is what the U.S. has, though, and that's not capitalism. It's evil.

I believe in a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. Isn't that an American credo? How did it get twisted around into an obscene wage for shameless plunder?

"He who dies rich dies disgraced." Andrew Carnegie

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23Dec/110

The 77%

So 77% of you Americans out there think that there is too much power in the hands of a few hundred rich people and corporations? Then why in the hell don’t you all do something about it instead of sitting there, picking your nose while you watch Entertainment Tonight? I just don’t get it, and man, does it piss me off. Write a freakin’ letter, or call your goddamned Congressman, at the very least, VOTE for someone that is willing to do something. Don’t just complain about it, because I promise you, it will get worse! Much worse! It’s already been shown that these assholes don’t think that they’re doing anything wrong, and they are going to put even more money than the 2 freakin’ million dollars a day into the pockets of your legislators to keep the status quo. You know they will. What’s to stop them? Most of you out there certainly don’t seem interested enough to complain about it to anyone but your spouse and co-workers. Hell, half of you can't even pull yourself off the freakin' couch long enough to vote!

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20Dec/110

Commercials on Television

I counted 14 commercials in a row the other morning on GMA. I'm still having a hard time believing it. Fourteen! I had to actually go back (I have a DVR) and watch them in fast mode to count them, so ABC got me twice, those punks. Then the network was kind enough to give me another two whole minutes of content before they force-fed me some more commercials. Groan. I wanted to go back a third time with a stopwatch to see exactly how much time those 14 commercials took, but I knew I wouldn’t have been able to stand another look without running into the back yard naked howling and screaming and rubbing my sore brain.

I guess I've been slacking, because I didn’t realize just how laden these networks are getting with all these in-your-face interruptions. And I know that I'm not the only one that thinks that they’re getting way out of hand. I think that they are currently testing us, trying to see just how many commercials they can squeeze in before we start baling on them. Because that’s what I did after I counted them, it angered me so much. And I know that I'm one of the lucky ones because I do have a DVR, and I can skip past them if I want to wait for 20 freakin’ minutes before I start watching them so I have enough minutes saved up.

Actually, I'm getting quite good at skipping past these mind-numbing segments of consumer-convincing crap. I've learned to prepare for them by getting the remote control in hand when I see their approach, my finger poised over the fast-forward button (the skip button takes too many presses these days) and looking at the clock to guess how many of them I will be skipping over. We all know that they will try to show us more of them towards the end of the program because we have more of our time invested in the actual program itself, and we’re less likely to get pissed off and change the channel at that point. So I know that I will have to hit the 4x fast forward if it’s ten minutes to the end of the program.

These marketing guys that decide just how many commercials we get fed are getting so damned good, have you noticed? They are very good at their job, although they probably are afraid to tell a new acquaintance exactly what they do for a living (“I spend all day trying to guess just how much crap I can feed you guys before you get so fed up that you leave me”). They probably hold focus groups and design polls to see if they can get away with shoving even more unwanted trash our way before we get too sick of it. Oh, these guys are good, and getting better by the day. I'll bet their spouses hate them, though.

They use so many tricks to get us to stop channel surfing with the intentions of hiding their crap behind what looks like legitimate content. They experiment with these new pseudo-commercials and their ilk, the kind of commercials that flash pictures or characters from the actual show that we’re watching so we think that it’s still the program instead of a commercial. They invent 5-second commercials because they know that our DVR Skip buttons only move skip in 30-second increments. They time the commercials differently for different shows, giving us a few minutes of content first on some shows and then jamming their commercials in, while on other shows they give us the opening logo first and then hammering us.

They know that they walk a fine line, these commercial-deciding hacks, because the majority of us (not the mindless sheep out there that will watch their favorite show regardless of the amount of content) do have a threshold for how much TV crapware we’re willing to watch that, if reached, will in fact flip them off and change the channel (ohmygod) or even give up on watching their show entirely (nofuckingway), which negates their intentions of getting us to watch even more of their commercials entirely. After all, if we don’t watch their show because we’re sick of all the commercials, then they can’t sell the advertising, which nullifies their job and they will have to go back to their job at McDonalds. But that threshold is a fuzzy one, and even the diehard commercial haters amongst us will give in and stay tuned unless we notice a stark change in the amount of commercial content we’re spoon-fed.

They really need to know that we’re all getting fairly disgusted with it all. But who do we bitch to? Most channels’ websites don’t have a contact email address named stupidcommercialdecidinghacks@yourfavoriteshow.com. Good thing, too. I’d overwhelm those suckers.

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3Dec/110

Still Stupid After all these Years

I am not greatly educated, just so you know that.  And I am not that street-savvy, either.

I have to start this entry with those statements, otherwise you’ll think that I'm full of myself, and I'm really not. But I am smart enough to see that many of the people that I encounter in life do some real stupid shit, ya know?  This is not just me ranting about some incident that I was subjected to recently, although I have many, but a question that has plagued me for a long time;

Why are people so stupid?

I mean, my friends aren’t stupid, and I have quite a few friends. Most of the townsfolk that surround me aren’t really stupid, and these guys make up the majority of people that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. And I see and read about a lot of smart people every day, too. So it’s always driven me crazy to see so many stupid things from so many stupid people happen all the stupid time! A fellow citizen taking up the last 2 parking spots by parking diagonally. A gal stopping in the middle of a narrow grocery store aisle and standing there blocking the way like it’s own her personal shopping day in her own personal shopping center as you try to get past. A driver puttering along for 20 miles at 40 mph on the hiway with a line of 10 cars behind them. Or some Talking Head on the tube saying something like, "the vast majority of the country is conservative," when every poll out there shows that it’s a fairly close mix of both conservatives and liberals moderates. And never mind about some of the outrageously stupid shit that you can find people doing on YouTube (don’t get me started).

You see, this stuff bugs the hell outta me! I stew over this stuff, I lather over it until I'm steaming, I am actually embarrassed by these sensless acts of my fellow Americans, and I can’t seem to ignore these lapses in reasoning like everyone else does. This is my problem, my shortcoming, I know this. But knowing this doesn’t seem to help me to get over it. Hell, it makes me feel lame that I can’t just accept it! And so I ask myself, and even other people, why this is so, why are people so stupid?

Well, after spending half the evening on a newly discovered website last night, PrettyFedUp.com, I am beginning to understand it a lot more, why so many people can be as dumb as a stick. I don’t know who the author of this site is, but she’s got a pretty good grip on why there’s so much stupidity around us, and I want to enumerate a few of her points so I can refer back to this entry and, well, frankly, get over it. After all, I spend way too much time trying to answer it. And her answers make complete sense!

So here’s the crux of her answer in a few bullet points, ‘cause I know that we all love bullet points…

  • Stupidity is something that is inherently built into us all
  • Stupidity is a product of our genes, a trait that helps us to survive and reproduce
  • Stupidity only seems stupid to the people that have different life circumstances that we do, meaning everyone
  • People themselves aren’t stupid, but their stupid acts manifest themselves only in how we interpret their actions

Now don’t get me wrong, I know that we all do Stupid Things at times (well, you guys do, anyway), but the website explains that what we think of as Stupid People is really normal people just doing Stupid Things, or at least things that we interpret as Stupid. And oftentimes these acts aren’t stupid at all to the person committing them. This is a revelation to me, a freakin’ epiphany! Something that I should have discovered a long time ago if I wanted to save myself some grief.

These are important concepts that she points out and you should read what she has to say about it. It really helps me to keep my frustration level to a minimum. Let me try to flesh this out a little better…

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you have a person driving in front of you at 40mph in a 55mph zone, and has been for 20 minutes with no passing lanes for you and the half-dozen cars behind you to get around them. To me, this is as bad as having an entire nest of wasps crawling around in my tightest-fitting Levis. So you’re grumbling inside, verbally promoting the driver to the highest and most sought after levels of Stupidness, probably bitching to your mate about it, even considering calling 911 and reporting him/her as drunk just to get them off the road.

Well, what if it turns out that they have a very good reason to drive at 40mph? You might not know what that reason is, because, hell, you don’t have them on the cellphone or CB or anything like that, and even if you did , you might not agree with that reasoning and just hang up after informing them that they are supremely Stupid and should just pull over, get out and leave the keys in the car and walk slowly across the adjacent field and never look back. But nonetheless, in their mind, their driving at 40 mph is perfectly normal under their circumstances, and they, of course, think that anyone else under the same circumstances would drive at 40 mph. Maybe they have a dozen distracting kids in the car with them. Or maybe their girlfriend in the passenger seat is constantly screaming at them that they’re driving too fast. Or possibly they just left the scene of their own hit-and-run accident and they are thinking hard of going back and turning themselves into the authorities and/or getting the shit kicked out of them/having their license suspended/having to put out their joint. Who knows what their reasoning is, but the point is that it doesn’t matter. They just might have a legitimate reason for driving at 40 mph even when they know that everyone else wants to drive faster. We only think that it’s stupid because we aren’t in their circumstances. Think about it. This makes total sense, and, if it’s true, it takes away our reasoning that makes us know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that person is stupid all the time and in any circumstances starting from when they get out of bed in the morning.

This theory is maddening to those of us that have gotten used to thinking that we are surrounded by Stupid People, and to justify their stupidity by saying to ourselves that we’re not stupid, but that it’s everyone else that’s stupid. I mean, really hard to swallow, ya know? Hell, I was kinda enjoying walking around thinking that I wasn’t as stupid as them. I mean, we were (sorry, baby).

So much for that.

If you believe this philosophy, which I myself  think I'm gonna try out for a few months to see if it gives me any blisters, then you at least have to stop grumbling and pissing and moaning about all the stupid shit that you see around you and all the stupid-ass idiots that seem to follow you around. You have no choice but to see these asinine episodes of Stupidity as nothing more than part of the human condition, something that we’re all capable of doing. Argh.  And you also have to face the fact that you yourself do things that make you look really stupid to others. I don’t think I'm gonna like this…

Anyway, I'm going to try, at least. Try to guess what on Earth would make someone do that next irresponsible and thoughtless act of supreme Stupidity. At which point I will calm down, take a chill pill and simply laugh it off as another unpretentious and forward-thinking act of my fellow man who just happens to be stuck in a preposterously funny set of circumstances that I can only begin to fathom. Don’t expect me to keep from rolling my eyes, though.

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26Nov/110

The Dog Days of…Fall

Went out to rake the last of the leaves yesterday, knowing that I had my work cut out for me. I'd been putting this job off longer than I should have, and now I was gonna pay dearly for my slothful ways. I'd considered teaming up with Sheryl and the dogs, maybe tying a rope to each of them (just the canines, mind you) with a leaf rake attached to the other end and then coaxing them back and forth through the yard with those special canine keywords ("wanna go for a walk?"), but Jax would probably have thought that he was being punished, and Molly, I know, would just plop down in place and fall asleep.
As I trudged out in the cold and desolate yard/wasteland with rake & spade in hand, I realized that I had better shovel up the dog and cat poop first if I didn't want to be patty-caking their leavings with my hands as I pushed the leaf piles into the trash can. Damn. Like raking leaves wasn't bad enough. Can't I hire someone to do this for me? I'm thinking that Brad Pitt never has to deal with this.
So I swapped out my leaf tools for my poop tools and began the aromatic search. Didn't take long to discover more piles than I could have found at the local dog shelter, and the more I scooped, the more piles I found. Freakin' animals.
By the time I'd finished an hour later, I had filled half a 5-gallon bucket with soft, ripe and pungent feces of all sizes & consistancies. Hell, I had just done this a couple of weeks ago! I thought to myself, don't their bodies absorb even part 'a that 40 lbs. of food we give them every month? Shit fire, can't they at least do their duty in the back forty instead of right here in the yard that they play in? Oh, hell no, that'd be too easy. I'm guessing that the dogs figured that the more they pooped IN the yard, the more likely that we'd take them OUT of the yard.
I swear, carrying around a bucket of poop made me feel like a prisoner in a Japanese prison camp, and it was all I could go to keep from gagging as I held the bucket at arm's length. What do you do with that much dog poop? I didn't want to burn it in the burn barrel for fear of pissing the neighbors off, and I didn't want to toss it in the back ally because I and the dogs walk out there occasionally. And of course, both my flanking neighbors were home so I couldn't slip it over the fence and let them deal with it. Oh, the homeowner's dilemma...
I ended up emptying it in a tin garbage can reserved for this purpose, a can that I keep at the very back border of the backyard. At least until one of the neighbors leaves for a few minutes. This can is filling up!
You might be asking yourself (or someone close to you), what am I gonna do with the garbage can once I top it off (probably in another week at this rate!)? Well, some day, someone will piss me off enough to use it. Too bad my Congreeman doesn't have a local office.
And yes, I finally did get the leaves raked up, a huge and towering mound of shit-free leaves that I will now have to burn tomorrow. Maybe the smokescreen will mask the fences enough that I can dump the dogshit can over the neighbor's fence.
But I did have one epiphany out of the whole deal...I've decided to start feeding the animals nothing but soup from here on out. So it was (almost) worth it.

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24Nov/110

A Game of GRR Martin

I can't believe that I just wasted the last couple months of my valuable reading time on George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series (I call it "A Game of Thrones" series). After finishing "A Feast for Crows" last night, after waiting for the chapters regarding some of the most important characters that I'd grown so fond of, I come across his explanation of why we don't get to read about them until the NEXT book (because he didn't think ahead and pace himself).

What a bunch of crap.

Sure, the next book is out, which covers what he didn't tell us in AFFC, but this means that I will have to read through another entire book and get to the next one before I can find out what the newest characters that I just read about in AFFC are up to. Since it takes me several weeks to read a book these days, that would mean that I have to wait again. He gives us three books with the same characters, characters that I have grown very fond of, or at least very interested in, then leaves them out of book number 4 entirely, and introduces hundreds of new characters.

Oh, and did I mention that he hasn't even written the last 2 books yet? And, by looking at his publication timeline for the first 5 books, I'll probably have to wait years before I hear about the characters that he introduced in AFFC. Sorry, George, but I consider this a big blunder, a HUGE blunder. Enough of one that I will wait for you to finish the entire series before I continue reading. And I certainly won't recommend the series to my friends until it's done.

Shame on you, GRRM. Do you know of any other authors that make us wait weeks and years before we can get the answers that we're dying to hear?

Oh yeah, Happy Thanksgiving! Except to you, George. Stop eating and get yer ass in your office and finish writing!

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24Nov/110

My first blog post

Man, am I opinionated...I have so much to say, and most of it either goes unsaid or I dump it on my lady. This has to stop!

Look...these posts are simply the results of my wanting to vent, to cuss and dis and badmouth some of these idiotic things that I read about. It probably has no meaning to anyone but me, and I'm all but certain that most others don't agree with me.
But that's alright. This is MY website, and I can say what I want, right? So you can read my blog posts, disagree with them and even comment on them, I don't care. If my comments bug you, then don't read them. If they offend you, then tell me why. And if they really, really piss you off, then dog gone it, leave!

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