Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Today at work Kent was making fun of me for the way I always start off a blog with something funny, then say something sentimental about my childhood. He's right. I'm a sap.

I don't have any funny story to tell tonight. The Destiny Norton case has got me down. It's so sad to think that there are people who would hurt a child like that.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I have Tourette's syndrome. It runs in my family. It isn't the classical variety of Tourette's that we are all familiar with. I don't shout obscenities at random or anything. What happens is I sometimes say incredibly stupid things under the worst possible circumstances, it's like some kind of evil verbal diarrhea.

My grandma had it too. Once she told my brother Tom, "Tommy, you got a big old nose!"
My mom once told one of Tom's dates, "Thank you for dating my homely son."

It goes way back for me.

The first instance I remember happened when I was in the first grade. There was an assembly where we watched some high school students perform scenes from Taming of the Shrew. There was a kissing scene. Afterwards I asked the male lead, "How can you kiss like that? Is she your sister?"

Another time in sixth grade I went from being on top of the world to utter misery in the course of an hour due to my Tourette's. Here's how it went down: My brother was popular. I wasn't. He "went with" girls. I was totally under the female radar. Then one day a girl named Kim Byrne (not her real name) came to my house. I didn't even like her, but the fact that she showed interest was so exciting. Before I knew it we were "going together." This actually meant nothing, but it meant everything to me. I was so excited that a girl liked me!

I decided to have a dance on my back patio to celebrate and invited the whole sixth grade. A lot of people came, but nobody danced at first. So for some reason, I shouted from a second story window, "Everybody start dancing or I'll pee on you!"

My girlfriend started dancing allright. . . with Richard. Her friend informed me that it was over between us. I wept bitterly.

After that, just to twist the knife I suppose, the girls would make up nasty cheers about me during recess every day for what seemed like the rest of the year. They came up with classics like, "Who's the dumbest kid in the class? David Retardo. . ."

It was not a good year. Moreover, it set the tone for my entire adolescence. I was a loser.

I really should have peed on her.

Last week my sister, who is sensitive about her hips and butt, was telling me about her new job editing medical journals. She said something sarcastic about how much fun it is to read about cancer all day. A co-worker of mine overheard and said in jest, "You have cancer?" Before my sister could explain I said, "Yeah, she's got butt cancer. Two huge tumors." I was trying to be funny, but there was nothing funny about that. All efforts at explaining myself made matters worse. My sister will probably never speak to me again.

Damn Tourettes.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Scooter Lounge is moving! This is not really by choice. Our building and several adjacent buildings have been purchased by some investors who are going to tear them down and put in something else. We have known about this for a couple of months, but have been waiting for some road construction in front of the new place to be completed. Now it is done and we are ready to begin the relocation process.

So I am formally announcing our new location at 600 N. State Street in Orem. The building currently looks like this:

If any of you Scooter Lounge fans out there in cyberspace would like to donate your talents to helping us make the place look really great, please let me know. We have the basic plan in place and will begin the build-out and move very soon. I do need suggestions for the signage and interior decoration.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A couple of days ago I watched a free download from the iTunes music store. It was a 30 min. NBC special in which some news guy spent some time traipsing around Africa following Bono as he visited with dignitaries and ordinary citizens.

Unless you are a huge U2 fan, this may not sound very interesting.

I think that after watching this show, I am a bigger fan of Bono the Activist than I am of Bono the Rock Star. And I would even say that I have a deeper appreciation for some of the latest U2 tracks which I admittedly hadn't fallen in love with, after putting them in the context of Bono's work in Africa.

The one thing that he said that really stuck with me (and I'm paraphrasing here) is that we have all seen the pictures of starving African children with flies in their eyes asking for our help. The problem with this is it appeals to our sense of pity. He said that this is the wrong approach, and that America is the greatest country in the world because it is a great idea. He said that instead of appealing to our pity, the campaigns that he is involved with need to appeal to our goodness.

I really liked this because sometimes after watching the news and just TV in general, I get pretty pessimistic about America. I often feel as though most people aren't good or decent.

Maybe the truth is that most people are good. Maybe most people believe in right and wrong.

Get on iTunes and download the Bono interview. It's worth it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

English 110
Mr. Williams
Immigration assignment

I hate immigrants. I shoot them every day.

It seems the new hot-button topic electioneers have pressed upon our collective American conscience is immigration. Why? Because it is divisive and generates strong feelings. The "problem" of immigration is really no different now than it was ten years ago. What has happened is that certain Karl Rove types have found a way to get Americans to vote. The reason is fear. They recognize a post 9/11 fear of immigrants, and they have chosen to capitalize on it. They would have us believe that America is in danger of being overrun by Mexicans. (Most Americans think anyone with brown skin is Mexican so I will use that term to mean all Latinos.) We are supposed to believe that Mexicans are clogging up our schools, depleting our resources, stealing our cars, raping our wives, bankrupting our hospitals, and taking our jobs. If we don't act now, we will all be forced to learn Spanish and eat beans all day, while brown-skinned people give us pocket change to wash the windows of their Humvees. Basically they want us to be afraid of Mexicans polluting our culture.

Do you see the irony here? We are supposed to prevent these people from coming here because they will adopt our lifestyle, which by some very flawed logic will make our lifestyle inferior. I ask you, how will their getting ahead put us behind? That's just Playground Politics based on the idea that there is only room for a few at the top and that our place on top must be preserved by stomping on the heads and hands of any who dare approach. The secret they don't want us to know is that the top can and will get higher if we help others to prosper. Can we grow up just a little and recognize this fact?

These electioneers have now successfully divided public opinion into two basic camps: The first camp is the one that espouses the doctrine of shoot first and ask questions later. These are the people that give Americans a bad name the world over. If you have ever traveled abroad and felt that others were looking down their noses at you because you are an obese, T-shirt wearing, gun-toting redneck, blame these people. These people would vote Republican if Satan himself were the candidate, because better Satan than some draft-dodging pansy.

The other, much larger camp is the one whose vote politicians are really after. These are the people who voted Republican before, or had pre-existing Republican tendencies, but after the Bush II debacle might be persuaded to choose a different option. Last time we were swayed by fear of a disintegrating family, but that's a bit overdone, so this time it's fear of Mexicans they count on to get us to the polls. They know we will vote for the guy who says, "I support immigration, just so long as it's done legally." (Seems reasonable enough, as long as we don't find out that each night he goes home to his immaculate estate where Guillermo tends the garden and Consuela cleans the floors.) This strategy is sure to get us a puppet like Bush again instead of a more knowledgeable, rational person. Rational people don't get votes when the electorate is panicked about irrational fears. Electioneers know this.

Why are we afraid? Is it because of the few real problems brought on by illegal immigration, or is it because we buy the hype?

You know what is much scarier than illegal aliens? An America without illegal immigrants, that's what. Legal or not, we need these people here. Our economy is entirely based on cheap labor, it always has been. Almost everything we buy now is made in some other country where labor is abundant. What little we find in stores that wasn't made in Mexico or China, was made by cheap domestic laborers, most of them illegal. Yes it's unfair to them, but if the cost of labor goes up, the cost of EVERYTHING goes up. And last time I checked, American citizens don't work cheap, we are far to educated and entitled for such degradation.

Some municipalities are passing laws imposing stiff fines on any employer or landlord of illegal aliens. Good job you big-mac-munching bags of cellulite! The result will be two-fold: 1. Nobody with brown skin will be able to find a job or an apartment in your fair cities, including those with real documents. 2. All the people with brown skin will move out of your cities and very soon your businesses will start dropping like flies. Your McDonalds' and your Wal-Marts will be the first to go, and they're your favorite stores! Smooth. Real Smooth. We rednecks call this "shooting yourself in the foot." (Though truth be told, more rednecks shoot themselves in the crotch.)

Face the facts: Unless you want your hotel bed made by a fifteen year old runaway crackhead who turns tricks in it while you're at the pool, you want Mexican immigrants. Unless you want to pay $25 dollars for a watermelon, you want Mexican immigrants. Unless you want to spend an extra 50 grand on your new home because it was built by White-Power Bill instead of Speedy Gonzales, you want Mexican immigrants. Unless you want your restaraunt food cooked by a pimple-faced, crotch-itching, nailbiting nosepicker from Magna, you want Mexican immigrants. (Have you noticed that the cooks at nearly every restaraunt are brown? Unless you eat at Taco Bell, in which case they are probably the Magna-ites with jock-itch anyway.)

Are illegal aliens really dangerous? Do you know how many of the September 11 highjackers got in illegally? Look here or here or here

Maybe we should stop legal immigration too.

Clearly the argument that people just need to come legally is fatally flawed. It presupposes that these people actually can come legally. Under current immigration law it's next to impossible for most Latin-Americans to immigrate to the United States. The closer to the border you live, the harder.

Think about it. The reason the border with Canada is so easy to cross is that up north people aren't starving to death hoping one day to afford a ten by ten cinderblock building to "live" in.

Now people want to spend all sorts of money on a wall spanning the entire US/Mexico border. In case you are thinking this is a good idea, let me explain it to you in words you'll understand: This is not a good idea. If we judiciously invested that money in the Mexican economy instead, it would result in a much greater reduction of illegal immigration and the effects would last longer and actually pay dividends. Just ask Bono. Thats exactly what he's doing in Africa. He may be a rock star, but he knows what he's talking about. If you doubt me, download the free NBC interview with him on iTunes.

On the other hand, if we build the wall, it may end up serving to keep Americans from sneaking into Mexico to get jobs when our economy nosedives as a result of it.

The bottom line is: people don't risk their lives to come here illegally on a whim. Would you? Unless you are a student who has passed the TOEFL and has vastly more capital than the average Latino, or are an educated specialist in a technical field, or are wealthy enough in your own country to really have no need to seek a better life here, forget coming legally. Americans don't want you here and the law is not in your favor. Not only that, if you try to sneak into our country our self-appointed paramilitary border patrol which has appropriated for itself the once noble title of "minutemen" will shoot and kill you. No one will even know you were here when you are buried two feet deep on a Texas ranch.

And that is why I hate illegal aliens and I shoot them every day. Satan for President. San Dimas High School Football Rules!