Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2012, 05:40 AM
Number of posts: 480
Number of posts: 480
I write a blog of dark humor - Goblinbooks.com
Hell is real. You don't have to believe in anything to know it exists. That's one of its properties. There's no fire, clamor, chains, or stinking pitch. No monsters here. Hell is almost completely quiet.
It's always the blue hour, just before dark. A suburban street near a strip mall maybe, or an office park. A small cement plaza in a bedroom community. Perhaps the entrance to a subdivision with a brick gate and tasteful shrubs. It looks nearly like the place you live. Of course it could be any location. And the development stretches into the distance, so it's hard to know where you are.
You can't see the stars. You don't recognize people who walk past on the sidewalk or zip by in cars. This world is lit mostly by screens. They all seem to have one. Drivers glance at phones and bus bench commuters study their tablets. Massive televisions peek out from picture windows as they silence whole families sitting together. Constellations of them flicker in the dusk and illuminate the way for you. Each with a bit of text and a thumbnail, or a video feed. A different story happening in a different place. In the half-dark you hear everyone around you whisper about what they're seeing.
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Posted by paulbibeau | Mon Sep 8, 2014, 10:43 AM (3 replies)
Only Operatives have an excuse, and theirs is pretty poor.
Why is this important?
Because, my friends and colleagues of the left, 2014 promises to be yet another race to the bottom. The administration and the Democrats are going to continue with their festival of arrogance, incompetence, and obfuscation. They will continue treating the Fourth Amendment like a suggestion and foreign civilians like targets in a hideous videogame...
...And somehow the Republicans will prove that they're even worse!
It's mystifying. Every year it seems that Team Jackass lowers the bar as much as they can and every year the Republicans grease themselves up and somehow limbo under that mother. I really don't know how they do it.
But if you're a citizen and a writer of any sort, your job is clear. It's not to make excuses. It's to raise standards. It's to demand the basics. And it's always, always to cut through the spin and tell the truth - even when it looks bad for your side.
I remember how the Other Guys failed to do that during the last administration, and it - God, I hate this phrase - "tarnished the brand." But there are more important things than brands. If you have any integrity and self-respect, you already understand that. We can't allow the country to continue acting like a Gilded Age version of Skynet. When our guys are wrong, we have to demand better. It's a smart long-term strategy for Dems. But it's also the right thing to do.
Does this seem like a New Year's resolution? Not at all. This is the kind of thing we should always be doing, and many of us are. I try to do it. But reminders are nice.
UPDATE: I have a blog and one of the readers suggested I put a link here.
2nd UPDATE: There's a contingent on this thread that suggests my criticism of the drone war and 4th Amendment violations makes me some kind of Libertarian/Ron Paul nut. My question to readers is "Do you really have to support drone strikes and current NSA procedures to be a good Democrat?" My follow-up question is "Seriously? I mean, are you f-ing kidding me or what?"
3rd UPDATE: It's been brought to my attention that I am part of the corporate propaganda machine, and I am trying to sabotage the Democratic Party and possibly end life on earth. If this is true, somebody tell me where to pick up my check, because that crap sounds like it would really pay well.
4th Update: It's been brought to my attention that a number of you have little flecks of spit in the corners of your mouths. Go ahead and do something about it.
5th Update: It's been brought to my attention that a number of you, all issues of tone and style aside, really do think Democrats ought to just support drone strikes. My response to that is like the middle part of the "Aristocrats" joke, so I will not actually write it.
FINAL UPDATE... SEVERAL DAYS LATER:
I couldn't keep up with the madness, so at some point I had to go offline. I don't think anyone will ever read this update, but if you stumble upon it you should know that this was the most fun I've ever had on DU. Seriously. But one of best parts of this experience for me was the confirmation that DU, the progressive movement, and the Democratic Party have a sizeable number of people who really do believe that ideas drive your party affiliation, not the other way around. It was pretty inspiring. I think we honestly have more of those people than the other side, and it's a real strategic advantage. If you read DU regularly, you probably already know this.
Jeez, somebody needs to open a couple windows in here and run a vacuum or something. Ugh.
Posted by paulbibeau | Wed Jan 1, 2014, 10:12 AM (448 replies)
No one's arguing that. Not at all. The FEMA guys with the truncheons aren't coming.
You totally have a right to say stupid things about gay people and their anuses, and get poetic about the orifices you think Jesus approves of.
And the gay people? They totally have a right to get mad and call for the soulless hacks at your network to dump you.
And the soulless hacks? With their suits and their creepy smiles and their inability to cast shadows? They totally have the right to dump you and run another program for redneck ignorami.
And your friends? Fellow conservatives? They also have rights. They have the right to act like you're some kind of hillbilly Anne Frank, and that what's happening to you is Exactly What Orwell Predicted.
And I have the right to make fun of how idiotic they're being.
And publications like the National Review have the right to run articles about it on their website. And a horde of mouthbreathers - I mean a real Mos Eisley-style collection of freaks, cranks and bigots here... everything that can creep or crawl its way into a voting booth and pull the lever for whoever does the best Reagan impersonation... they have the right to log on and give vent to whatever ugly, nasty, hateful thing is rattling around in their heads. And they are. Oh boy. You should read it. Mean-spiritedness and ignorance, the floridly scatological and frighteningly eschatological, are all on display in that space, completely unimpeded. Free.
Yes, rights. You social conservatives have the right to tell us exactly what you're thinking. And I - and many other people - have the right to use your words to make sure normal people understand that you jackasses aren't qualified to run a lemonade stand.
Your problem isn't that anyone is stopping you from saying what's on your mind. That's not why you're losing elections. Your problem is you can't stop yourselves.
And I, for one, am very grateful.
Posted by paulbibeau | Sun Dec 22, 2013, 09:03 PM (17 replies)
Santa, here. I was hanging out with your Lord and Savior, stringing some popcorn in heaven, and we figured we'd drop you a line. We don't want to make too big a deal about this -- we're both pretty multicultural -- but we want to get the record straight.
We're not white people.
I'm sorry if this bothers you. But it's the truth. St. Nick and Jesus are not, and never have been, from the dry part of the bird.
First of all, modern concepts of whiteness just plain don't apply to a first century Jew and a third century ethnic Greek from what is now Turkey. We're not anywhere on your little crumbled Saltine Venn diagram.
But there's something else that deeply infuriates us, and it needs to be said. Your viewers - and a large chunk of your country - hate and fear folks who look like us. Do you realize that?
Look at a reconstruction of my face by the St. Nicholas Center. Really look at me. I am a bearded, sienna-shaded gent from the Near East. Your network spends all day flashing pictures of guys who resemble me to justify drone strikes, profiling, and torture. I'm not a jolly elf to a Fox News viewer. I am the freakin' bogeyman. And, I'd like to point out, so is my Nazarene buddy over here, whose birthday is coming up. Sarah Palin pretends she's ghost-writing for the guy, but she wouldn't get in a cab he was driving.
If Jesus Christ and I got seats together on the flight next to any of your viewers, they'd piss themselves and demand that TSA goons zip-tie us both. They would. And many, many other Americans -- even folks who call themselves liberals -- feel the same way.
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Posted by paulbibeau | Thu Dec 12, 2013, 01:07 PM (39 replies)
Crab Nebula, here. I just wanted to tell you you can stop wasting time pestering me and the rest of the universe. Stop sending us messages. Stop "just putting something out there." Quit it with the "positive energy." Do not transmit, leave, or communicate anything to us ever again. Whatever it is, is just getting lost. I would say it's cluttering up the place, but we've got so much room it sort of doesn't matter.
This is the universe we're talking about, okay? We don't care if you find someone who loves you, or get a new job, or keep your current job, or whatever chump-change projects you've got going on. We're like Mr. Spock, the island of Manhattan, honey badger, and 15 of your coldest exes lumped together and multiplied by 93 billion. We do not care.
I could understand if you wanted to conceptualize some kind of anthropomorphic deity and then hassle it with your problems - I mean, you'd have to grapple with the burden of evidence, the vaguaries of revelation, and the problem of evil, but at least you'd be going somewhere. But to just sort of blurt out some whiny plea to what you admit is a massive, inanimate object full of gas and dust... Well, that is pathetic. It's philosophically incoherent. It's theologically lazy. I could go on, but my outer ring is expanding at half the speed of light, and at my core is a neutron star rotating 30 times a second and beaming huge jets of intense energy. I have stuff to do, you know?
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Posted by paulbibeau | Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:18 PM (8 replies)
God, these things are good. Perfect amount of crackle, you know? Whoever is working the fryer knows what he's doing. Anyway, they're free for customers, so I thought I'd come in and browse.
I felt guilty on the way over here. I'm spending the day checking out the sales and grazing sample food, and in a bunch of countries I know nothing about, there are American soldiers probably doing horrible things and getting shot. Am I really commemorating their sacrifice by getting my complimentary Sleep-Rite Profile?
But then this thought occurred to me: Why the hell not? Like I said, I am completely ignorant of their mission, and I certainly don't understand how it relates to my actual freedom. Maybe they just took out a terrorist who was about to level my local shopping mall. Then again, maybe they just murdered someone for no good reason. How should I know? US foreign policy is classified, redacted... a total black box. I can't support something if I don't know what it is. And how can you call this a free country when I don't have any control over what it's doing? Oh Christ, my esophagus is on fire.
I have to go lie down on that reinforced Double-King over there, so I'll make this simple: You guys can pretend you're defending my liberty with secret operations and drone strikes, but I get to pretend I'm supporting you with parades and fried food. Sure, we're both lying to each other, but we're going to keep at it until you or I get killed.
I'm not sure which it will be. I might get blown up tomorrow over some stupid thing you did and didn't tell me about. Also, right now I can't feel the left side of my face.
Anyway, I honor your service. God bless whatever.
READ "Get The Government Off Your Back!" By A Hideous Multinational Corporation
Posted by paulbibeau | Mon Nov 11, 2013, 12:50 PM (0 replies)
I hope this sounds coherent. I've been awake and violently ill for 72 hours with this stomach bug all the guys in the unit have. No one wants to take antibiotics, because they weren't around - we're really into authenticity, you know? The good part is it's helping me make my goal of losing a third of my body weight in time for the campaign. Anyway, I've had a lot of time to think.
Here's what I realized at 3 am while I was soaking my buttons in urine:
"What's okay in one time period is absolutely crazy in another."
I mean, right now I'm shaking, my body is producing a strange smell like bad cheese, and the fever's giving me hallucinations of Shelby Foote dancing in a Rockettes outfit. If I were suffering like this while serving in the Army of the Potomac more than a hundred years ago, folks would say it couldn't be helped. I was just doing my duty. But I'm a real estate broker with a solid health plan, and I am less than five miles away from my Volvo. There's even a Rite-Aid close to the parking lot.
There is no excuse for what I'm doing. None. My wife said that when she took the kids to her sister's. I am surrounded by the 21st century, and I just don't want to live in it. That's nuts. Completely insane. Which brings me to you guys.
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Posted by paulbibeau | Fri Oct 18, 2013, 02:14 PM (19 replies)
Things don't look good, bro. I have seen this stage before.
You guys are thinning out, and folks over at the National Review are getting nervous. They used to see people like you everywhere, and now it's just one or two cranky old guys at the bus stop or US Senate. Sad, really. Or it would be sad, if you hadn't tried to sabotage the government.
And this is the trouble with you: You've reached the part where you want to act cute and nice, so someone will put a pair of you in a zoo. Keep the species alive. You'd have a realistic habitat for Tom Coburn - it would probably look like a hunting lodge sometime in the 1950s - and people would try to get Ann Coulter in there and leave them both alone for awhile, only she'd keep scratching his eyes out. But no one wants to do this. They know the result of any pairing would be hideous.
You see? You guys have the worst of both worlds. Your numbers say "endangered," but your actions say "invasive species."
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Posted by paulbibeau | Fri Oct 18, 2013, 07:35 AM (3 replies)
There has been too much violence, too much pain. It is time for us to end it. You can not fight me and the other Democrats; We are too powerful. You will not get away. Look around you! Where can you go? How can you possibly escape?
But I come to you from the office of Harry Reid. I come with an honorable compromise. Bring us the one you call Ted Cruz. He has harmed my people, and I want his skull to bejewel and fill with the wine of victory.
Ted Cruz has betrayed you and led you into this terrible predicament! God has delivered him into my hand for his many transgressions. Ted Cruz has raised a force of extremists among your ranks, and they have broken your support in the polls with their wild ramblings. He and his kind have snatched the White House from you and many other prizes. Send him unto me that I may have his head, and then he will no longer trouble you.
You are crushed and beaten. You cower in your think tanks and your cloakrooms, but you can not hold out there forever. Fear is my ally. The fear of electing people who don't believe in evolution and take their social policy from the bad parts of the Bible. This fear will allow my dogs of war to sweep into every seat and every statehouse eventually. It is only a matter of time.
Give me the one you call Cruz! Give him to me, and I will give you safe passage through the wastelands. You can still flourish in gerrymandered parts of Georgia and Mississippi. You can still find a home in northern Florida. You will not perish there.
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Posted by paulbibeau | Thu Oct 17, 2013, 10:00 AM (7 replies)
We've seen how this ends. We know what happens to Ted Cruz, because it's happened before. Many, many times. I'm certain, and so are you, and so is everyone else - probably everybody but Cruz himself. Reporters and pundits, paid to have memories like goldfish, won't say it. But I don't make any money at this, so I don't mind. Here it is:
Ted Cruz runs for president. Jackasses in Iowa talk about his honesty and his directness. They portray him as an outsider, a renegade, a fresh new face. What they mean is something else, something darker. Anyway, soon after that - because of dropping polls, stories of infighting, and some hideous thing he says into a hot mike or on hidden camera - his campaign turns into a space shuttle made of balsa.
Does it stop there? Christ, no. Because then Ted Cruz finds what he was meant to do all along. He's going to get a TV show, a radio gig, or an income stream from giving speeches to the kind of folks who think the UN is a totalitarian plot and gay people are poisoning our water supply. Maybe Fox picks him up at first. Eventually, though, he gets a niche market, a place in our culture where he can really cash in on those qualities he showed among the mouth-breathers in the Hawkeye State. Because those qualities are narcissism, paranoia, and shamelessness.
There's a kind of conservative who has these traits. The kind of person who wants nothing more than to peddle conspiracy theories, throw sand in the machinery, and call everyone around him or her a Nazi...
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Posted by paulbibeau | Fri Sep 27, 2013, 10:40 AM (16 replies)