March 15th, 2014

Moe Cowbell

Buy This Magazine Or We Shoot This Cat

The current over/under is, in about two years, Justin Bieber is going to be starring on Celebrity Rehab.

On the one hand, I feel sorry for the kid.  His mother basically prostituted him to make him a millionaire, and his dad sure as hell isn't looking out for his son.  On the other hand, we all have the choice to do right or wrong.  And as Bieber's leaked deposition video showed, he's too frat to care.

Bieber's stupid behavior has only escalated in recent years.  A reporter for the Chicago Sun Times wrote that he had been around Bieber when he first came to Chicago.  Bieber asked for some water, and a gopher fetched one from the freezer.  He swatted the bottle away and said, "I only drink room temperature water."  Since then, it's been peeing in a mop bucket, writing that Anne Frank probably would have been a fan, throwing eggs, and other examples of pack behavior lessening his inhibitions.

Part of being a modern celebrity is the ability to cultivate a fan following, die hards who will buy anything you make and white knight you on those nasty Intertubes.  Gene Roddenberry was probably the first to do it with Star Trek, going so far as to get the fans to pressure NASA into renaming the space shuttle prototype the Enterprise.  But back then, those in charge followed the Prime Directive -- don't interfere with the culture.  Sure, fans would do some nasty shit, such as one Trekkie sending J. Michael Straczynski a virus that wiped his computer during the heyday of Babylon 5.  But that was the fans, their emperors did not condone such things, even if they secretly delighted in them.  I personally believe the change started when Rob Liefeld rode his cult following to massive success.  Others saw how his zerglings behaved and thought, "I want a personal army, too!"  Being a success isn't the goal.  Being a cult leader is.

So when the backlash hits and it can't be countered, it creates some interesting headlines.  For example, at Tenino Elementrary School in the neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.  Dave Ford is the principal there and they decided to try raising funds to help kids in Ghana.  Word of the charitable endeavor spread, and soon other schools in the area were trying to raise funds for Ghana.  All proceeds raised go to Crossover International Academy there to give the students food, clothes, schoolbooks, and so on.  A worthy goal, I'm sure you'll all agree.  At Tenino High School, Geraldine Maxfield is the leadership teacher, and encouraged the kids to do something.  Student body president Connor Stakelin took it from there.

Here's the wind-up:  Stakelin and the student council set a goal of raising $1,200 for CIA.

Here's the pitch:  the plan was to play Justin Bieber's "Baby" on a continuous loop over the school's intercom between classes and during lunch.  That is technically a violation of copyright, as it is considered a public performance.  Where's the RIAA when you ACTUALLY need them for once?!?

An empty water jug was set out with a reference to the school mascot, saying, "Beavers, stop the Bieber."  The goal was $1,200, but Stakelin said he would show mercy and stop playing the music if they reached $500.  "For some of them, it's incentive to donate because they don't want to hear it anymore."  I got $5, you take PayPal?

The endeavor started on Monday.

They hit $900 on Tuesday.

Apparently, some people don't think it's funny that people will pay money to NOT listen to Bieber's music.  Maxfield defended the thing as all in good fun.  "The whole idea is all in good fun and makes the kids think globally.  It's about helping students in another country and another culture."  Yeah, but what a price.

No word on if they are going to modify the Geneva Accords over this.
Moe Cowbell

Maybe He Can Go Weekending With The Duck Dynasty Folks

It's a musical morning here at Sine Timore Enterprises.

I've been expanding my musical horizons by learning the catalog of AOR, or Adult Oriented Rock (I listened to New Wave 80's and jazz when I was a teenager, and later got into ska, so most of rock history passed me by).  For example, I can literally count the number of times I've heard Stairway To Heaven on one hand.  It was only a couple of years ago I learned the melancholy song with the awesome sax solo was "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty.  For others, this is a part of their cultural make-up.  For me, it's a new realm to explore.

This also leads to some odd situations for me.  Eric Clapton, for example.  Clapton has been outspoken about support white separatist political candidates in England, and even suggested revisiting some of those proposals a few years ago.  Between that and the song Cocaine ("Lost my job, lost my car, lost my house...cocaine!"), I will acknowledge his place in rock history, but I will not listen to him.  The only single I ever bought of his was "It's In The Way That You Use It."  Thank God I never bought more than that.  Had he been younger, he'd probably be recording RAHOWA rock or some bullshit like that.

So one person I was never exposed to was Ted Nugent.  I had seen his records in the store and thought he looked like Jesus Christ.  Turns out, that's because he thinks he's God.  Without the music, he's a douche who hates gays, minorities, poor people, and anyone disenfranchised.

Nugent has become the Republican's attack dog.  He says the things they would say if it wouldn't cost them elections.  That is changing, though.  Nugent recently called President Barack Obama a "subhuman mongrel."  Rick Perry and Ted Cruz, both from Texas, said that was going to far and gently rebuked Nugent (Perry said he didn't think Nugent's comment was "racist."  Anyone who doubts the reputation of Texas schools, there's your proof).  That, in and of itself, is not newsworthy.  It's standard political bullshit, not even worth a notice.  We need something REALLY fucked up.

...oh, look what we have here.  The KKK is using his "subhuman mongrel" comment to work up good PR for them.

The KKK has been on a media blitz lately.  Longtime readers will recall, about a month ago, I covered that fliers advising citizens of Tinley Park that the Klan had set up a neighborhood watch were floating around.  Fliers to spin their image have turned up in the Chicago suburbs, and are now spreading through Chesterfield County in Virginia.  According to the flier, Frank Ancona, the current head of the KKK, is saying that is is a "falsehood" (nope, no jokes, too easy. -- G) that the Klan is enemies of "colored or mongrel races."

In an interview with the Times-Dispatch, Ancona sez, "The thing that really gets me is that [people are] saying we're teaching our children to hate people just because of their race, creed, and color, and that's a complete lie and falsehood."  Right, they also teach to hate on the basis of religion, too.

...okay, that was a cheap shot.  Why should I lower myself to their level, when their own words speak for themselves?  The fliers in the Chicago area extol, "Always remember, if it ain't white, it ain't right!"  And, as reported by the Times-Dispatch, "One of the fliers in Virginia, however, claimed that 'many people have experienced the blacks firsthand' (experienced, nothing.  Some of us have had joy, have had fun, have had hubba-hubba seasons in the sun with them.  -- G) and have seen the 'savagery and animalism in many of these people.'  The fliers went on to say that the KKK's mission is 'exalting the Caucasian race and teacher the doctrine of white supremacy (and really, what could possibly be racist about that? -- G).  That does not meant that we are enemies of the colored and mongrel race, but it does mean that we are organized to establish the solidarity and to realize the mission of the white race.'"  I always wondered -- does that mean that, if Jesus Christ, who wasn't white, ever came back, they would still worship Him?  Things to ponder....

When the KKK is using you to make themselves look better?  Time to take some Xanax there, Nuge.
Bill Nye

Lower Order Critters, And How To Deal With Them

Well, this is a switch.  The student has become the teacher.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for squirrels in general.  They may be cute, but they are pests.  I am not a hunter -- I simply don't care for guns.  You want 'em?  Fine.  I just don't have it in me.

Which is apparently why my teacher just called me.  "Peter!  Skunks!  Under my house!  Smells terrible!  Help!"

Cayenne pepper.

"What?"

Cayenne pepper.  It's an old reliable for pest control.  Works on insects, too.  The capsaicin is a massive deterrent.  Sprinkle cayenne pepper around where you don't want the skunks or across the entrance they use to get under the house, and you're golden.  Sticking a bunch of mothballs in a sock and leaving it there works, too, or oil of mustard in a pinch.  Doesn't kill them, just makes them stay away.  Same with squirrels.  Dirt cheap, no killing, no chemicals, totally granola.  Just make sure you check it every few days to make sure it's still effective.

Teach is promising to take me to Portillo's the next time we meet.

Oh, and if you've got raccoons and want something non-lethal, just put a length of chicken wire across the ground.  Raccoons walk on their front paws, and those are very sensitive.  Walking on chicken wire annoys them, and they'll move on.