Saturday, July 26, 2014

PETA Is Some Bad Dudes

Sometimes you can be on the same team with a group or an individual, even share much of their philosophy, and still consider them to be Bad Dudes. I feel that way about PETA. No group does a better job of alienating millions of people who would otherwise agree with them than these overzealous, sanctimonious jerks. Most of us, hell, I'd go as far as to say the overwhelming majority of us are against cruelty or mistreatment of animals, but this group just takes it too far. One of their greatest crimes, in my opinion, is just having bad taste. Here are a couple of recent examples.

One of their recent campaigns, entitled 'Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom out of Me' features a woman who looks both physically and sexually assaulted as she is wearing a neck brace and covered in bruises. The premise is quite simple: she is suffering some of the unfortunate consequences of "sex injuries such as whiplash, pulled muscles, rug burn, and even a dislocated hip" caused by "mind-blowing intercourse" since her boyfriend has become vegan. Actually, the right-wingers might like that one. I guess women haven't earned as much respect as animals. 

This one is just sick. Using autistic children to gin up opposition to one of their own private crusades against milk is just plain wrong. This billboard, which was in New jersey, was taken down in 2008, but it didn't stop them from spewing the shoddy pseudoscience of the campaign. Autism is a devastating reality that affects millions of Americans now either directly, or indirectly, and this campaign is more than in bad taste, it's cruel. Shame on you, PETA. 

Just this week this billboard showed up in Detroit, where thousands of citizens have been threatened with losing access to water. PETA has offered to pay their water bill, provided they try veganism for one month. Might sound like a fair deal at first, but safe water is a human right, and making it contingent upon accepting one philosophy over another is inhumane. If you really believe that people have a right to safe drinking water, pay the bills. Use some of that celebrity-generated money to do the right thing, just because it's the right thing.

Welcome to the Hall of Bad Dudes, PETA.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Edward Snowden Inducted Into Hall of Bad Dudes.

I have a bone to pick with Edward Snowden that has little to do with the issues most people would have with someone who leaked classified documents to expose a government spying on its own people. My first point is the American people already knew the NSA and other intelligence agencies were spying on them. They've known this since 90% of Americans supported the Patriot Act when it was set in place in 2001. They knew it when Bush signed Presidential letters to  approve wire taps of American citizens. And they voted to approve it. Not once. Not twice. Three times. There have been three separate Presidential elections since the Patriot Act was signed into law. Twice as many Congressional elections. None of this was done in secret. In fact, it has been done with the support of the American people. Not only that, Obama added on a bunch more oppressive stuff he said he would fight against. He approved torture, kept Gitmo open, signed a NDAA that allows the declaration of Americans as enemy combatants and allows  unwarranted searches, indefinite detention, even torture of American citizens...

And Americans voted for it...

Twice.

Now there's an outcry that they're doing what you voted for them to do. What the fuck did you think was going to happen?

But that's not my beef with Edward Snowden. Here's the part of the story that angers me.

When you leak classified documents that allow the enemy to place our diplomats and intelligence specialist working all over the world, most of the time our side will have enough advanced warning to get our people out of there before the whip comes down. But the people who can't get out of there are the vast web or informants, assets, and agents on the other side we were working with to make a change. Now the enemy goes and rounds those people up and tortures them and murders them. It ways you wouldn't even like to see in the movies, although many of you seem to have developed a rather advanced bloodlust these days.

So, when someone like Assange, or Bradley Manning, or Edward Snowden leaks these documents, and tens of thousands were leaked, most of them having nothing to do with spying on Americans, they have decided that as an individual they have the right to fuck with all those other peoples' live. They've in effect decided that they have the right to make American foreign policy. See, and that's not how we do things around here.

We vote.

And we did vote.

And three times Americans approved what is happening. It wasn't happening in secret. These issues were brought up in those elections. I remember. I heard them. And the candidates bringing up those issues were mocked mercilessly. 

Hell, most of you didn't even vote. Didn't vote, can't name the candidates, don't follow the issues, but feel you have some innate right to know the inner workings of our intelligence and diplomatic communities. The irony would be sad if it wasn't so ignorant. 

You don't care if Google, your Facebook friends, everyone in your gaming community, or who reads your blog, knows what you are doing in excruciating detail, but if the NSA, who has done a damn fine job of ensuring you can wake up every day and not worry about the types of atrocities that occur almost everywhere else in the world happen while you're telling us about your bowel movements, you freak out. You should be honored. Someone cares.

You should be so interesting.


Ever wonder who the Ten Worst Popes of All Time are?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Steve Alford Inducted Into Hall of Bad Dudes

Eleven years after then Iowa head basketball coach Steve Alford used his influence to pressure a sexual assault victim to recant her accusations against one of his players, Pierre Pierce, and only days after being fired from New mexico after his team once again flamed out early in the NCAA Tournament, scumbag Steve Alford was hired by UCLA as head basketball coach. The only difference this time is when he is fired a lot of people will be going with him.

What the hell was the athletic director at UCLA thinking?

He claimed at first he didn't know about the scandal that caused Alford to be run out of the entire state, a scandal where "Alford enlisted the help of close friend Jim Goodrich, the campus representative for Christian group Athletes in Action who often traveled with the team and conducted bible-study sessions. Per specific instruction from Alford, the victim was invited to what she was told was a “prayer meeting,” at which she was urged to back off and not cause problems for a basketball program that could overpower her." -Dan Bernstein

It's often only after a piece of shit like this is fired that people will come out of the woodwork to publicly state what a dick he was when he was in power. Alford had a reputation for walking out of restaurants, cleaners, clothiers, and many other business establishments without paying. Simply stealing whatever product or service he felt he was entitled to as head coach of the basketball team. 

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero deserves to lose his job for this hiring, and he will. Soon enough. For sexual assault victims, knowing a piece of human sewage like Alford will be afforded at least one more opportunity to treat people like crap and pretend he's a feudal lord probably stings, but the only upside is everyone who hates Alford is about to see him crash and burn in a way that would make Evel Knieval proud. Welcome to the Extreme Scumbag wing of the Hall of Bad Dudes, Steve Alford. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Margaret Thatcher Was a Bad Dude

Margaret Thatcher died. And almost nobody seems to be sad about that. On the contrary, the venom has been flowing. As an American, and a teenager at the time, I remember Thatcher's opposite number here in America, Ronald Reagan, and how we were experiencing many of the same difficulties here: homelessness, de-institutionalization of the mentally ill, the vanishing of good jobs that paid wages sufficient to feed a family. 
Most of what I know about Thatcher I learned from watching The Young Ones (thank you, Tim Stotz), or listening to The Clash. I guess I sort of assumed it was just youthful rage, the same kind The Dead Kennedy's were expressing in America about Ronald Reagan cutting school lunches or turning the mentally ill out of institutions. 

But it was worse for the English.

Far worse. So, when I saw how much negative sentiment there was against Thatcher, and how her death seemed to bring out so many bitter and painful memories, I wanted to know more about exactly what she did that was so bad and caused so many people so much suffering. Today I saw a video that encapsulated the suffering rather well. 



We know The Clash and punk rockers were on about Thatcher, but comedian Russell Brand ? This is a woman who apparently earned every bit of hatred that was spewed back at her this week. All the people who were there who just burst forth this week with spontaneous displays of rage and bitterness towards this woman. Those people weren't grinding political axes. So, there's only one thing we can do here at The Hall of Bad Dudes... welcome our first female member. Welcome to the Hall of Bad Dudes, Margaret Thatcher. 



And let the dead stay dead.





Thursday, March 28, 2013

JD Salinger Was a Bad Dude


So, JD Salinger is dead.

I guess my initial response to that was, so what?

But my more considered and enduring response is something like, maybe that's not such a bad thing. He'll stay dead, and he can't die again or any more than he did, but in terms of raw humanity I think the Universe might have just become a slightly better place.

We have this tendency in America to worship people who succeed. As Raider's owner Al Davis used to say, "Just win, baby." He still says it, but when he does applesauce tends to ooze from his mouth and his Swedish nurse says, "There, there, Al, the Raiders have moved to San Diego." She knows it's not true, but it's one of those lies meant to alleviate suffering.

Unlike JD Salinger, who really didn't do very much to alleviate the suffering of those around him. In fact, like Robert Frost or Charles M. Shulz, he was the cause of much of that suffering. 

But he wrote a book about people being phony and hypocritical. 

God, what an insight.

Life, and good art, in MY opinion, is about what you do AFTER you come to that rather simplistic conclusion that all is phony and false.

I read Catcher In the Rye. It's a good book. But in terms of message or influence it's on my list right after the movie Used Cars and that Leave It To Beaver episode about telling the truth.

Salinger was a misguided person. By all accounts he made those around him suffer. He didn't care much for humanity and didn't show very much respect for those who sought him out to share his "wisdom."

So, I pretty much say the same thing I would to any old man who died after a lifetime of not contributing much to the lives' of others... take a fuckin' hike.


Having talent doesn't entitle you to be cold, cruel and dismissive of others. Empathy IS a talent. The people I respect the most aren't the ones who can throw a baseball or turn a phrase cleverly, it's the ones who have no discernable gift except caring about other people. You didn't have it, JD Salinger, and you have not earned my respect.

But the rest of you can go and lick that ass if you want.

Salinger was involved in some pretty savage covert ops in WWII. he had that type of moral and intellectual makeup that he was capable of it, and the Army used him. Welcome to The Hall of Bad Dudes, JD Salinger. 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hugo Chavez, Friend of Ozzie Guillen, Dead

Hugo Chavez is dead. probably. He did a lot of bad stuff to a lot of people, but he's making the Hall of Bad Dudes today for one reason, and one reason only...


Because he's friends with ex Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. But aside from this blemish on his character, Chavez managed to do a lot of bad things in his own right.

A lot of people consider Chavez a hero. A liberator of Venezuela from the Imperialism of America and others, but in recent years under the Chavez administration, Venezuela has suffered from rampant violent crime -- saddling the country with South America's highest murder rate, official corruption which serves as a constant reminder of the "sleaze" that Chavez once condemned during his rise to power, and blatant economic mismanagement producing one of the world's highest inflation rates.

Things might have been better for a few wealthy Venezuelans that benefited from Chavez nationalizing everything, but for the poor things got worse. Much worse. Some of them might love Chavez for extending the middle finger to America, but when push came to shove, most of the money Chavez "nationalized" ended up right here making a few of his cronies even wealthier while the people of Venezuela starved. Food, water, and electricity rationed to the point where his citizens starved and remained in darkness for weeks while he lived the high life. 


No, you are, Hugo Chavez. A Bad Dude, that is. Welcome to the Hall of Bad Dudes El  Capitan.

Owner of Midway Theater a Bad Dude
Ted Nugent
Bad Cartoonist



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Owner of the Midway Theater In Rockford Inducted Into Hall of Bad Dudes

Forbes magazine recently rated the city of Rockford, Illinois the third most miserable city in America. The natives took this news in the gallant and noble manner they usually do. No, not by changing anything, but by bitching and whining that Forbes is nuts. This is a city with a long history of being told it sucks. Back in the 80's when Money Magazine rated Rockford the 300th worst city in America (out of 300) instead of heeding that as a warning that the manufacturing base of America had disappeared and any city that wanted to survive into the next millenium had better get on the path to technology, the locals made a bonfire of Money Magazine. Typically caveman behavior. I can imagine them looking like the chimps in 2001 raising their sticks to the sky with one hand, and their Old Milwaukee Lights (the official beer of Rockford) in the other and grunting. And things got worse. 

Last March the roof collapsed on the historic Midway Theater right in the middle of the Downtown area everyone is trying to class up as a demonstration of how Rockford doesn't suck. 


In the background you see the historic Faust Landmark hotel, where John Kennedy stayed, now used to warehouse the elderly until other arrangements can be found. Once the Midway Theater looked like this...

Classy. Hell, it looks like Rockford even had a symphony orchestra. Not sure anyone here even knows how to play an oboe anymore. But the thing about the roof is... nobody fixed it. No one even tried. Days went by and I watched out the window expecting to see an emergency construction crew show up to make repairs. I contacted the mayor's office and was assured the owner was going to get a stern talking to and be forced to make the repairs or forfeit the property. But nothing happened. Now a year later we learn almost nothing is being done to fix the roof

There are a lot of romantic depictions of The Midway Theater and The Faust landmark by local artists and photographers. But this is what it looks like. At street level you could see the homeless turned out at dawn by the shelter down the street, the mentally ill turned out when Singer closed and other local mental health facilities were too strapped to pick up the overflow, and the elderly and disabled warehoused at the Faust and nearby. This is what you'd see looking out my window. You'd wonder if Forbes Magazine and others didn't have it exactly right, and we have it exactly wrong. Trying to sweep a century of racism, bad city planning, and corruption under (well, there just isn't anywhere left to sweep it) anymore. 

Midway Theater marquee in acrylic by artist Jenny Mathews

I don't know who owns the Midway Theater. Maybe even some property speculator who had good intentions and got in over his head, but more likely one of the scavengers we find all too common in places like this, buying up properties then allowing them to rot and collapse while waiting for public funding to come through. I'm sure the owner of this building is waiting for the city, or the state, or the federal government to step in and hand him a big check for being such a swell custodian of a beautiful and historic building. All I know is one year has passed. The roof fell in. On the busiest street in town. And a year later it's not fixed and no one is making him fix it. If you don't want to be considered a joke and an afterthought by the national media things like this just can't happen. You lose all credibility, and a great deal of your claim to humanity, too, in my opinion, when you point to one or two buildings down the street and try to convince me because some carpetbagger has taken an old building, used a couple million tax dollars, and created an amateur brewery or a site for wedding receptions, a place where the homeless, disabled, elderly, and mentally ill literally pass by and watch the local petit bourgeois sip bad beer on a deck while they have no place to stay, is a public service you deserve to be lionized for.


Far from it. That's the type of thing people in civilizations that have failed do. It's tone deaf and it's deplorable. Don't you even know what you look like when you do something like that? Apparently the rest of America does. 

Welcome to the Hall of Bad Dudes, owner of the Midway Theater.