Monday, September 28, 2009

Kanye West Was Right!

Holy Crap! I just say the "single ladies" video for the first time, and Kanye West was right: Beyonce DID make the best music video of all time!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

a perfect evening

Today was our fifteenth wedding anniversary. Deb and I went downtown to have dinner. The Artprize exhibits were on display everywhere downtown, the weather was perfect, and we had a great time touring the exhibits.

The Chop House

We ended up having dinner at The Chop House. This place has such balls, they actually drew the balls on the stick figure of a bull they have for their restaurant logo. I had the best fillet minion, the best piece of beef I have ever had in my life. The service was amazing. When they bring your food, two waitresses bring the orders and with a little signal they simultaneously set the food down in front of everyone at the table at once. The wine was perfect. The lobster bisque was perfect. Deb had beef Wellington. But that fillet minion was a life changing experience. The ambiance was perfect. The lighting was perfect. The music was perfect; fifties and sixties style Vegas music. I expected the ghosts of Frank Sinatra or Martin and Lewis to walk by.

And then, they have a cigar lounge in the basement. Deb ordered some orange liquor coffee the waitress set on fire at the table. I had a cigar and coffee.

Anywhoo, that was our night, and it was friggin' awesome.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Rant on Tuesday

In America today, every important issue is not a problem to be solved, but a contest of wills between two "teams". Condoms or abstinence. Jesus or damnation. Capitalism or socialism. We are told that these are the options. These are the false choices. For every problem, we are only allowed to choose between two solutions. There might be dozens of reasonable solutions, but we only get to choose from two, crafted in such a way as to garner the most votes for politicians whose only goal is reelection.

Whatever the problem, we are told it is a struggle between good and evil, morality and corruption, misanthropy and philanthropy, greed and largess, right and wrong, ignorance and knowledge, folly and wisdom, superstition and enlightenment, freedom and tyranny.

These are imaginary struggles handed to us in slick media productions by charismatic public figures that are trusted simply because they are in front of cameras and microphones. They are photogenic. They are articulate. They are slim. They are well dressed. They must be right.

Every issue becomes a football to facilitate a "win" for the "team". The United States has been artificially divided into two teams with public figures who claim to speak for the masses. Our politicians create false dichotomies, false choices out of every problem that needs to be solved, and they tell us that every solution needs to be solved by winning, the facts be damned. Win at all costs! Death to all who oppose us!

And to our shame, we have lost our ability to think critically. We do not read books. We do not ask questions. We do not research facts. We do not like math. These matters are too complex. Let someone else handle it. We are busy.

We join a party, we follow authority, and we do not question that authority again.

We are a house divided. And while we fight amongst ourselves, we are conquered by the powerful groups who quietly work behind the scenes to make sure the poor do not rise up and strangle the rich.

The two "sides" are made into bogeymen for each other by those at the top who are screwing both sides. The rich, the connected, the corporations and the military contractors control the lawmakers, and through them they control us all.


For every televised lunatic yelling stupidities beneath a misspelled handwritten sign, there are a thousand polite people who know how to behave in public. No one puts a camera on polite, well behaved people. That lone lunatic becomes the straw man for the other side to hold up as an example. "Here's the other side," we say. "They're crazy."

Platitudes. Bullet points. Slogans. Sound-bites.

If we weren't so busy clawing at each other's throats over manufactured "epic battles of ideology", we might lift the veil from our eyes and see that church-goers, bohemians, gays, conservatives, and liberals are all being screwed by powerful groups that are never elected, never seen, and answer to no one. These powerful groups bribe our "representatives" and these "representatives" represent no one but the groups that purchase their souls.

Conservatives are told that liberals are destroying the country. Liberals are told that conservatives are destroying the country.

We call each other names: We are fascists, Nazis, socialists, communists, capitalist pigs, hippies, hypocrites and liars. We are greedy, naive, and cynical. We don't understand the issues. We take things out of context. We misrepresent the facts. We cherry pick the details. We manipulate the media. We are weak on terrorism. We are war mongers. We are radicals. We are apathetic. We are extremists. We want the status-quo. We are anarchists. We are promoting the homosexual agenda. We are bigots. We are racists. We are haters. We are self-righteous bible thumpers. We are mouth-breathing red-necks. We are wine-swilling liberals. We are short-sighted. We are trying to destroy the country. We are trying to take over the country. We hate immigrants. We are giving the country away. We support death panels. We hate the poor. We are selfish. We are going to bankrupt the country.

We are none of these things and all of these things. We are Americans, but we have been set against each other by something nameless.

Who are the real enemies of the people? The churches that pedal guilt, nostalgia, superiority and American exceptionalism. The government that is run by corporations. The corporations that push drugs and hypochondria. The media that distracts us with celebrity gossip and vapid programs. The corporations that tell us we smell bad, we're fat, we're old, our breath is bad, our clothes are outdated, our teeth are yellow, and that we must consume, consume, consume to make it all better. The news organizations that don't investigate and don't report because they have been co-opted by their corporate sponsors. The bankers who count imaginary coins. The insurance companies that abandon the sick. The loan sharks that offer personalized credit cards and crushing debt so that we might consume, consume, for the love of God, consume! The Military Industrial Complex that wages wars to sell weapons while it kills our children; they tell us it is patriotism.

When will we wake up and recognize the real enemy?

Aw screw it; those new iPods look really sweet. Kanye West did that one thing. Who will make it to the playoffs? Who will win Dancing With the Stars? I can't believe Paula Abdul isn't on American Idol anymore. There are new CSI episodes this fall. I need to update my Facebook status. There's a cat playing the piano on the Internet.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Captain Crunch is high on crack.

What the hell is wrong with Captain Crunch? His eyes are bugging out of his head, a look of desperate expectancy, as if he is pleading with you to respond to his manic insanity. He grips his spoon as if he's gripping a butcher knife, and he looks so hopped up on dope he would beat you to death with the spoon before he realized what was happening. His mouth is open as if he's screaming. Why is his mouth open like that? Even his tongue is jumping around, as if he's ululating before blowing up himself and all the insane kids on the box with some explosives he's thrown together on his ship.

The box has a green circle in the bottom corner that reads "Smart Choices Made Easy". "Smart Choices"? This crap is pure poison. There's a (disclaimer?) explanation on the side that says "Cap'n Crunch" is a smart choice because it is low in saturated fat. Please. What kind of bullshit is this? If the FDA is allowing this kind of bullshit, why don't they just shut them down already? Are they trying to claim that Captain Crunch is good for you? That's legal? Is no one monitoring this bullshit? Captain Crunch is sugar. It is "Corn flour, sugar, oat flour, brown sugar, coconut oil, salt, niacinamide, yellow 5, (what the fuck is 'yellow 5'?) reduced iron, zinc oxide, yellow 6, thiamin mononitrate, BHT(a preservative), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, and folic acid."

Yes, that is a smart choice made easy. The kids on the back of the box are all zonked out of their minds. Their eyes are all bugged out. They're mouths are open in silent screams. There's a website where they can collect information about you listed on the box.

But you know, for all that, it's delicious.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I am not a cop.

So I'm sitting in my white car, windows down, in the middle school parking lot, waiting for my daughter to get out of basketball practice. A mom in an SUV pulls up in the next space, windows down, and starts chatting on her cell phone.

Her son, maybe five or six years old, peeks up front and sees me and says, "What's up?"

I say, "What's up?"

He says, "You a cop?"

I say "No, I just fix computers."

The mom busts out laughing, I bust out laughing.

Monday, September 07, 2009

generic blog post

I have been walking a lot in the mornings. You notice a lot of things going on regular walks. I enjoy walking more than running, because I can do it anytime, I don't need a shower afterward, I can do it every day, and I can stop for coffee (or a beer) or do some banking on the way.

I am old.

About Me

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I am the author of 8 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, Brain Giblets, The Cubicles of Madness, Booze and News, Get Your Zen On, Zen Happens, and most recently, Robot Stories. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com

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