Thursday, December 22, 2011

You Gotta Fight the Powers That Be: For $40

It was the ultimate freestyle battle in The Shelter aka Washington D.C.

Papa Doc aka John Boehner came hard with his rendition of "I Got 99 Problems But $40 Ain't One." B-Rabbit aka Barack Obama, came back even harder with his "Hashtag This $40 Muthafucka."

The crowd went wild. Every day Americans chimed in with B-Rabbit causing Boehner and his Republican crew to choke. B-Rabbit walked back across 8-Mile, safe, if only for this one night.

This shit is gettin real dawg. I know. I don't normally talk to ya'll like this but some shizz is just too deep for proper grammar.

We already know: Ain't no such thing as halfway crooks and the Republicans are all in. Think I'm lying? Dig this: We just fought the Republicans for $40 dollars, man. $40! Like a pimp trying to to get that last bit of cash out his bottom ho's shoe - the $40 she was probably saving up to buy his punk ass a Christmas gift so she could spend one day without getting pimp-slapped anyhow.

Republicans are determined to wring that "average $40" out of our hands because to them $40 just isn't much money. They have no idea that for the Real Americans they're always talking about, in the economy climate THEY have destroyed, $40 can be the difference between eating, making it to work, taking your kids to the doctor or just plain having a tiny bit of extra cash on hand.

The American People - we give and we give and our government takes and takes. Hell, we aren't even asking for much. And the little bit we do want, the Republicans don't want us to have. Somewhere, somebody on Wall Street is laughing at the idea that $40 can mean so much to so many.

We are being pimped by the 1%. This shows they will fight us for every nickel and dime out of our paychecks. NO amount is to small for them to take - any amount is too much for them to give.

When they take it, it's taxes or bailouts. But when we need foodstamps or college loans or hell, even unemployment that WE EFFING PAY FOR - it's a handout.

They try to embarass us and make us feel small for just existing, being human, and expecting to get back any of what we pay out in taxes - income taxes, payroll taxes or otherwise.

A great man once said - Don't Believe The Hype. I believe he had a clock around his neck when he said it. A sharp reminder that we should all know what time it is by now. It's time we fought back for our $40 and then some.

It's time we realized what is at stake and stop believing that the Republican Party is anything but a bunch of grasping liars who have two goals. To see Barack Obama fail as President and to grab as much of our money as they can.

They will go down swinging for that last $40. Will we?

If Barack Obama is the President he promised he would be, it'll be a fight we can jump in and help him out with so he'll remember who's ass to kick.

Because the flip side of this is that Barack Obama can't pretend now that he doesn't have a way to connect with every day American People. He has proven that through social media, he can hear what we have to say - and it shouldn't just be when he needs us to have his back.

He should listen when we need him to have ours. He could have been listening the last three years when people were telling him that the Republican Party was making good on their promise to be "The Party of 'No'." He could have been listening when we asked him to weigh in Occupy Wall Street. He should be listening to the voices that look at him askance for persecuting Bradley Manning and becoming the first president to sign indefinite detention into law.

Yeah man, this shit is real dawg. And it's not going away. Even this tax relief extension is only for two more months. We will be having this battle again, real soon

Having finally pushed the Republicans into a corner and made them back down, President Obama needs to continue this push - so that people believe that it's not only Candidate Obama who will talk about fighting for them, but that President Obama will actually do it.


***

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You're Welcome George Stephanopolous


George Stephanopolous is replacing Christiane Amanpour on ABC's This Week.I swear, someone at ABC is reading DebLite.

Insane I know, but dig this:

It was only yesterday, nearly 24 hours ago to this minute, that I wrote a post that was born out of my reluctant pity for George Stephanopolous. I'm not a fan, but it was hard to watch a man who used to be a White House Press Secretary shilling tripe on ABC's Good Morning America like "Do Celebrity Men Have a Type".

It was degrading, disheartening and to me, a sign of the media times. If they can take this august personage and make them dance like a monkey on a string, then how bad are things really in this country? If the morning "news" isn't news and even the likes of George Stephanopolous are reduced to "Do Celebrity Men Have a Type" type garbage then our media is so beyond redemption that yesterday, I'd lost all hope.

Again, someone must be reading DebLite or someone else, just like I did, saw that glimmer of pain in George's eyes. Has this been coming for a while, or did someone finally decide they'd made George dance on the end of the stick long enough?

My mother's comments: "You can tell he hasn't been happy for a while. And [GMA] used to sneak some news in now and then but it's really just become a dog and pony show. He deserves better."

I emailed yesterday's article to a couple of people, who I know, in their turn, may have forwarded it to some other people. I can't help but wonder if this minor bit of moving isn't my Pelican Brief moment minus getting hunted down by the FBI. If I'm right, this one should come with a thank you basket. Yes, I know, delusions of grandeur . . . but it is a hell of a coincidence that this should come the day after I wrote that post and emailed it to some folks that I know could pass it on.

You're welcome Mr. Stephanopolous. I'm not much for caviar, but an exotic fruit basket would do nicely.


***
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Morning News, Morning Skunkcabbage

If you haven't seen Morning Glory, I recommend it.
It's a feel-good movie and nice watch if only because it partly
explains why tv sucks, espeically morning "news" shows.




I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.
-Anne, Anne of Green Gables

Watching the morning news shows will make you stupid. I spent 20 minutes watching GMA this morning and I feel like I may have lost a couple of IQ points. All that work reading Plato's Republic for the past two years? Gone. I have to start over from scratch. God help those who watch TMZ all day.

I've never been a big fan of George Stephanopolous, but it was heart-rending to watch him have to lead in a bit entitled "Do Celebrity Men Have a Type." It was a bunch of long-winded tripe that pointed out how several celebrity males who had broken up with celebrity females went on to have rebound flings with women who looked like the celebrity female they'd just broken up with. They even interviewed a therapist named Bethany for this one. I suppose to give the story more credibility.

I kid you not, this was a real story this morning on GMA complete with a blonde, buxom therapist. It was given serious minutes of attention, , that you will never see dedicated to lightweight topics like anything to do with our President or Congress or thousands of protestors across this country, Russia or whatever's happning in the rest of the world.

Again, I'm not a George Stephanopolous fan but once upon a time, before his transfer to GMA, you could count this guy as a "serious journalist". Watching him shill crap like this I just want to ask him: Was it worth it? For the mere chance at filling Diane Sawyer's shoes once she retires or evenetually shuffles off this mortal coil? Because Sawyer, thank God, is not a Katie Couric and she will be doing that job for the long haul, regardless of how much ABC wants to have a man in that seat now that they've gotten over the thrill of trying to have women in the big seats at the big three. Only Diane Sawyer remains in a big chair after this experiment tanked at NBC and which CBS ignored, never even giving it a try. And let's face it: even though Robin Roberts deserves better than GMA it will be her glass ceiling, unless and until they find her some specialty show.

Is it worth it George? Women always seem to get the short end of the stick in this sort of thing and we all watched Diane Sawyer suck up her pride for decades, doing what she had to do, knowing she was better and deserving of that #1 spot. But you George? I just don't understand it. Honestly, I'd almost rather see you slinging the psuedo-conservative bull you had to on "This Week" than selling your soul for garbage like "Do Celebrity Men Have a Type."

George does his best to hide it, but today, like any other time I've seen him introduce nonsense like this, I saw a bit of pain behind his eyes, silently begging the question, "Do I really have to do this again? Not again, God. Not again!"

That was hard to watch man.

At least ABC seems to have a plan and they're working the plan. Even Kelly without Regis is beating whatever CBS is doing with their mornings; (I know CBS has a morning show but does anyone watch it?) and even CBS is looking like a well-run, if not fairly anonymous machine, compared to what must be the fiasco that is morning, noon or night over at NBC.

Long past the days of "Must See TV", NBC trashed their late-night line up in a brouhaha that was covered so much it came in only second to coverage of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake at the the time. What NBC has on during the day or in the evening, heaven only knows - I sure don't because I watch other channels or I'm online.

Then there's the Today Show. It would have been kinder to both Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira to just let Matt Lauer have the evening news. Really. Just let him have it. It would have saved us trying to believe that Katie Couric was a "serious journalist," and it would have saved us watching Matt blindside Meredith Vieria on air for years on end. Only when he was sure that she was leaving and that she wasn't replacing Katie Couric did Lauer tearfully admit that he did poke fun at Vieria sometimes.

Katie Couric (impossible to say her first name with the last, isn't it?) learned to take Matt in stride, and somehow he never seemed to really penetrate her bubble after awhile. Katie Couric also had a way of getting Matt back sometimes. But Meredith is a class act, and it was a nasty business to watch Matt Lauer bully her publicly, from day one, morning after morning. Honestly, it got bad enough to make me watch GMA. Not putting Meredith in the big chair was an opportunity missed for NBC. It would have been brilliant; it would have provided a kick right to Matt's deserving balls and it would have proved that a woman could handle the evening gig at NBC, it just takes the right woman.

Well, now that Lauer has been allowed to run off both Couric and Vieria, Lauer is also leaving the Today Show. Say what?! You mean the last person on the island and this year's survivor is Ann Curry? I tell you, it's the person you never expect who's always the last person on the island. She needs to quit speaking so softly, develop some badass attitude and start getting her angle in for the big chair now.

I think it's a testament to how little NBC must care about the Today Show anymore that the man rumored for Matt Lauer's replacement is....*drumroll*....

Ryan Seacrest.

Yep, Mr. I am Famous Because I am The Most Blandly Gorgeous Man Alive and Will Host Anything For Food.

Ryan Seacrest.

Mind you I like Ryan Seacrest. I really do. Don't you? Who doesn't? Disliking Ryan Seacrest is like disliking a pack of puppies for chewing your slippers. In the end, the cuteness is all that matters. It's like Drew Carey being made the host of The Price Is Right. We all came to realize that despite all his years in standup comedy and having a couple of successful tv shows (come to think of it, one of which was as game-show like as possible without actually having to have a budget) and despite whatever else he has done with his life, Drew Carey was born to replace Bob Barker. No one else would do.

Except now I'm thinking they made a mistake. Ryan Seacrest should be the host of The Price Is Right and Drew Carey should be the host of the Today Show.

If I ran the world, this would happen. Immediately. In reality it should happen but it won't because no one wants to give Drew Carey another heart attack and then he and Wayne Brady wouldn't have a matching set of vintage game shows to host. For every yin, there's a yang. Maybe it's all for the best after all. Or maybe we can take this guy's suggestions. I really think he's on the right track.

Ok. I have digressed into the absurd. Honestly, it's no more absurd than the morning "news" shows and I use that term "news" lightly. More like morning drivel. It's pathetic that they can spend all of three hours every morning telling us nothing except who's the latest missing pretty white woman and who shot Michael Jackson and the latest updates on whatever show Ryan Seacrest is hosting.

Just because they call it a news show, doesn't make what they're peddling news. They call it news, but I call it call it skunk cabbage. It all smells the same.

Hey, just an idea. Maybe they should grab Nick Cannon for the Today Show. After all, he does a great job on America's Got Talent. Makes as much sense as Seacrest anway.

Deblite...out.


***
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Chris Bortz's Parting Shot

Man, oh man, oh man.

So, I'm no longer an intern at Landor Associates, which is the coolest place I've ever worked, despite the usual idiocy and self-esteem wreckage that comes with being one of a very few black people in a workplace so white that, when they give a rare talk about diversity, you can only shake your head and laugh bitterly. It's like "The Office" only not as funny because you're living it.

I'm now a part-time employee for a music store but, in keeping with DebLite policy, I never name who I'm currently employed with, only previous employers and then usually when they piss me off enough to name names *cough*PowerNetGlobal*cough*.

So, since I'm working part time and don't have to be at work until the delicious hour of 12 Noon - I was flipping channels late into the morning news shows when I flipped past Chris Bortz on the local FOX broadcast.

I was particularly amused because they introduced him as "Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Bortz" which he would only be for another 24 hours. The little round mustached interviewer announced his guest in a tone that was a combination of respect and regret that made me giggle. If he's going to miss Chris Bortz, more power to him, but I sure won't.

So in a fit of, "Hell, I've got to hear this," I parked it in my mom's recliner and sat back to hear what Shortzy Bortzy had to say on his way out the door.

Little did I expect to be whooping in agreeance, raising my fist in the air "Whoop that Trick" style. Even so, what Chris Bortz had to say at this 11th hour and 59 minutes was too much, too little, too pathetically late.

Little mustached interviewer guy started talking about Chiquita leaving which they were only too glad to do as soon as they could be assure that Carl Lindner was dead buried and cold in the ground.

History Lesson: Chiquita benefitted from Linder's protection through one of the worst "we committed mass murder but rich guy's so waaaay gonna cover for us" scandals to hit America in a long time and it all happened right here in little old Cincinnati, Ohio.

The fallout from that scandal ruined the Cincinnati Enquirer and turned it from a decent, if not blatantly conservative, newspaper into the mostly advertisement-disguised-as-news rag that it is today because of some agreement that the Enquirer was never to disparage Linder or his "business associates" again. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad, but with a guy like Linder, the only people who weren't his "business associates" were people who weren't in business at all. And what's a newspaper if it can't report the bad things people do?

Keeping that bit of history in mind it's no wonder that, with Linder gone, Chiquita wants to high-tail it out of town. The Enquirer, having swung so far to one side of the pendulum and dropped back to the bottom so fast it hurt, it's just the law of physics that they can only be on the upswing lately even if they have Gannet's thumb impeding their progress. There has to be an old score to settle there, but now that I think about it, they'll probably let sleeping dogs lie because the Enquirer really only has a chance of ever being a better paper with both Linder and Chiquita gone.

Which brings me back to Chris Bortz.

Americans have become bitterly used to the fact that large corporations hop from city to city, state to state and now contintent to continent based on whichever governement dazzles them them with the best "package" or "incentives" to move some business to their locale. Trying to make a living in America is like perpetually replaying that one scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" where George Bialey talks his friend into moving his up and coming plastics factory to their old hometown. Another company had pulled up stakes and that left a lot of people in Bedford Falls out of work. Thanks to the luck of George's chance conversation with his old school chum, those people will have a chance at decent jobs again. Of course this doesn't hurt George any either, because over half of those same people have mortgages with his bank.

So with Chiquita leaving, Cincinnati is gonna be left scrambling to find a business big enough to fill those shoes. Little mustached guy mentioned that Sears may be considering a move here which is great for us, but damn, what about Chicago and the workers there? Have we reached a point where we're canibalizing jobs in America? That in order for one area to have a chance at a few hundred jobs we have to put another areas workers out of work? I guess this just underscores what we already know with millions out of work: there are simply not enough jobs to go around.

But Chris Bortz stated that Chiquita had been offered the best "package" we could come up with to keep them here. Unfortunately the truth of the matter was that not only could they get a better deal elsewhere but it was a fact that Chiquita had advised Cincinnati years ago that Cincinnati is not a welcoming enviornment for Spanish speaking people.

Needless to say I was floored.

Chris Bortz of all people pointing out the obvious. Mr. "I Never Met an Occupy Protestor I Didn't Hate". He's walking out the door, putting on his coat and he stops and tosses back over his shoulder: By the way, Cincinnati is a pretty racist place.

And then he keeps on stepping.

Classic. And it would be funny if it weren't so true, espeically considering the source. So I'm not only going to co-sign Chris, I'm going to state something else: This is a problem that cannot be laid squarely at the feet of white people.

Don't get me wrong. Cincinnati is a great city to be white in. But I have heard other black people talk about Latinos in disparaging terms and even spout the old racist bs that "they need to learn to speak English."

We need to do some serious racial education in Cincinnati and not just the classic black versus white talks either. As The Joker once said: This town needs an enema.

It's long past time we cleaned out the festering, rancid bullshit that is the racist core of this town. Black folks and white folks need to quit pretending that Latinos don't exist unless we can't understand them in a checkout line. It's time white folks realized that white privilege is a crumbling pedestal and black folks realized that we're not the only oppressed people in the room.

Maybe, just maybe, if we're lucky, Chris Bortz's parting shot will hit home. It remains to be seen that with a new Cincinnati City Council that is majority black, if they will be able to make room in their hearts and minds for everyone to have a seat at the table- and the wisdom to let everyone have their voices heard.

Cincinnati is at a crossroads. The future of the city and the decisions about who we are as a part of human society are going to made in the next decade.

If we're lucky, this city will learn to welcome ideas and people that we haven't before. Otherwise we'll be left behind as a city that could have been something great if we hadn't held onto racist sentiments in a modern age.


Update: Here's the article from the local FOX Channel on the same interview I'm talkign about with VIDEO! Man....if only he'd said it sooner. I might have gotten some folks to vote for him.