Archive for the ‘Agitprop’ Category

Creative class warfare

June 21, 2014
The Turk' enjoyed some backyard time while I cleaned a bike in honor of the summer solstice.

The Turk’ enjoyed some backyard time while I cleaned a bike in honor of the summer solstice.

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Just ask the Turk’, who enjoyed a little outside time in the Mad Dog Media Botanical Gardens, a.k.a. “Weedpatch,” as I washed a bike in honor of the solstice.

Shortly thereafter it began raining off and on, with thunder for flavor, and the feline outings, bicycle riding and Old North End Garage Sale took back seats to working and earning.

Speaking of which, I can see I’ve been going about the latter activities all wrong. Clarity is so 15 minutes ago. If a guy could only learn to deploy with a straight face semantically null phrases such as “further leverage,” “cultural and creative assets,” “place of choice,” “launching new ideas” and “preserving our rich cultural heritage,” why, People of Money would write us fat checks for doing absolutely nothing beyond talking authoritatively and incomprehensibly out of our asses.

Toward that end I’m pleased to announce the formation of the Caramillo Street Collective for Creative Obfuscation, whose sole purpose it shall be to talk shit for money. I know, that sounds an awful lot like what I already do, but trust me, this is a radical departure from business as usual at Chez Dog. It’s a means of further leveraging my cultural and creative assets from my place of choice to launch new ideas that preserve my rich cultural heritage.

Somebody owes me $20K now.

• Speaking of talking shit: Here’s Timothy Noah on the ethics of dog-crap disposal.

Road to ruin

June 3, 2014
Libertarian Interstate. Q. How many libertarians does it take to patch a pothole? A. More guns!

Libertarian Interstate.
Q. How many libertarians does it take to patch a pothole?
A. More guns!

I often wonder why folks call themselves “conservatives” when they don’t seem particularly interested in conserving things, like roads that don’t look like the Ho Chi Minh Trail after a bit of roadwork by B-52s.

Bibleburg has no budget for pothole repair — that’s right, I said no budget for pothole repair — and pulled a $2 million emergency appropriation from city reserves in response to a deluge of complaints from the hordes of gummint-hating, free-market patriots who wanted to know why The Pothole Fairy hadn’t left any hot mix under their American-flag pillows.

Months later work has begun on what streets division manager Corey Farkas concedes is “a drop in the bucket of what we need here.”

Because freedom.

Free tea! (Bring your own bag, cup and water)

May 8, 2014
Tea Party

`I didn’t know it was YOUR table,’ said Alice; `it’s laid for a great many more than three.’

The smart money says that the GOTea is poised to make big gains in the midterm elections, extending its pallid, liver-spotted grip on the U.S. House and perhaps retaking control of the Senate.

“What the hell?” you may think. “They’re all the same anyway, Donks and Pachyderms. Opposite sides of the same wooden nickel. How bad could it be?”

Well, we here in Bibleburg have been test-driving this brand of Gadsden-flag, live-free-or-die governance for you for as long as I can remember (my family moved here in 1967). And here’s what you get for your low-taxation, no-representation dollar:

• An unaddressed backlog of $1.3 billion in capital needs. Whether this figure includes repairing or replacing the burnt-up, 80-year-old Martin Drake Power Plant, which provides a third of Bibleburg’s power, is not clear.

A “jobs-creation program” centered on tourist attraction that boils down to “there’ll be pie in the sky.” Not one of the visitors we’ve had at The House Back East® has expressed a desire to visit a downtown stadium, a sports medicine center, an Olympic museum, or an Air Force Academy visitors center (other than the one that already exists, on the base). They want to see the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs — in other words, the things that are already here which we have yet to fuck up. And be certain to check the numbers for jobs, salaries and operating deficits from our other stadium/entertainment venues, the World Arena and the Pikes Peak Center.

Plummeting home sales, and home-sale prices. For some reason, people seem uninterested in moving to communities that lack jobs, electricity and other must-have items.

We hate that out-of-control federal government’s spending, but gyrate like a speed-freak pole dancer for every freedom-killing dollar it stuffs in our threadbare G-string. We despise taxes, but demand services. We insist on Christmas 24/7, free of charge and taxation, but if anybody wearing a red suit climbs down our chimney we’ll blow him right back up it with our AR-15.

Take a good, long look, folks. America’s future is Bibleburg’s present.

 

Waiting to inhale

May 7, 2014
"Uh, sir, you're supposed to inhale, not chew."

“Uh, sir, you’re supposed to inhale, not chew.”

Having enjoyed the tender mercies of military medicine as a child and the early days of HMOs as a young professional, I should be long past being surprised by the behavior of anyone working in what we jokingly refer to as health “care” in this country.

Still, even I can be taken aback from time to time. This morning, for example.

Our neighborhood doctor’s office was absorbed by a corporate entity a while back, and since has undergone the usual transformation, acquiring a “Brazil”-style voice-mail system, a shitload of attitude and a mania for following orders, as long as they don’t come from a patient.

For the purposes of our tale you should know that I’m a lifelong asthmatic, diagnosed around age 8 in Texas. And I like to hit the old albuterol inhaler a time or two before exercise, the way you might squirt a bit of ether into an old carburetor before firing up your ’54 Chevy. Last year, while getting a bum knee examined, I mentioned that I’d had trouble getting an albuterol prescription refilled and the doc grumbled, “We have to test for that, and I don’t have time today.”

Test for that? I’m only been asthmatic since 1962. The Air Force sawbones who diagnosed me is presently pushing up the daisies that are making me wheeze. “No, time, no time,” he said, scurrying off like a roach on a griddle.

Next time I saw him, concerning a tenacious case of Snotlocker Surprise, he had the time. “Wow, you really do have asthma,” he remarked, and wrote the ’script. No shit, Doctor Fuckin’ Welby. I examine the package upon pickup: One inhaler, “no refills, dr. auth. required.” Fuck me. Well, what the hell, I only use it before all the bike riding I’m not doing anyway.

Last week I noticed I was about two weeks away from running out of the stuff in one of the worst allergy seasons in recent memory and rang up the doc’s office to get a refill. Ha, ha, etc. The robot says doc doesn’t do that any more — patients are to phone the pharmacy’s robot, which will in turn ring up the doc’s robot, which will tip off the doc, who will OK the refill, whereupon the doc’s robot will give a thumb’s up to the pharmacy’s robot, which will call you when your prescription is ready for pickup.

None of this ever happens, of course, and my follow-up phone calls to both doc and pharmacy prove unproductive, like a bad cough.

So I pop round to the doc’s office, and that’s when it all goes pear-shaped.

The receptionist wears the expression of a intake officer at the county lockup. “Name! First name! Date of birth! When were you last here! Who did you see!” So right off we’re already enjoying each other’s company. I’m expecting the back room and the bullet-nosed flashlight at any moment.

And it got worse. The doc I saw was apparently not the one who wrote the ’script. That person works in another office. The robot spoke to her. She did not reply. Nevertheless, you were telephoned and informed that you must be seen before any drugs will be issued to you. You must see, you vill see Ze Doktor!

Um, no, Brunhilde. I couldn’t pick this ’script-writing phantom of whom you speak out of a lineup at gunpoint. I saw the dude, not her. Nobody ever called me or my wife — not him, her, or anyone else, including your robot. And no, I don’t need to be “seen,” what I need is some albuterol.

About this time someone in scrubs inserts her long and snoopy proboscis, like Brunhilde blessedly bereft of any glimmer of knowledge about the situation, and confirms that ja, ja, I must, I vill see Ze Doktor! Ve are only following orders! At no point, mind you, has either of these “health-care providers” apologized for inconveniencing a customer. I say “customer” rather than “patient,” because neither had either inquired about my actual health.

“Can you breathe? Sir, are you having an asthma attack? Your face seems to be swelling ominously and turning a fiery red. …”

And at that point I may have inquired whether my getting a simple prescription refill without physician intervention might free up Scrubby’s time for treating an actual sick person in dire need of her mad skillz, and she may have suggested that I seek my medical care elsewhere henceforth, and I may have praised her for providing the first sound medical advice I’d ever received from her organization, and proclaimed that I intended to take it straight away, while adding that under new ownership what once was a friendly neighborhood doctor’s office had become as penetrable as North Korea with the sort of customer service one expects from a pimply teenage malcontent stocking shelves at a K mart scheduled for closure and demolition.

Take a deep breath, you say? I got 17 more of ’em left in this inhaler.

I call this one ‘War Criminal With Bicycle’

May 2, 2014

aebushHeeeeeee’s baaaaaaaaaaack. …

Jesus H. Christ. Couldn’t this asshole stick to painting pictures of himself in the bathtub?

And the less said about CNN, the better. Those dildos started toeing the company line before the echoes of the second plane hitting the South Tower faded and it’s been nothing but train wrecks ever since.

Comrades, come rally

May 1, 2014

 Happy International Workers Day!

Shiny objects, si; child care, health care, no.

Guns, si; butter, no.

Flipping burgers is the new black.

Your papers!

No, really, your papers!

• Losing the spirit of May Day.

Turks defy ban on May Day rallies.

An uncomradely copyright on Marx and Engels.

Tim Carpenter’s politics of radical inclusion.

May Day, then and now.

More rabble-rousing as I find it.

I don’t know much about art, but. …

April 4, 2014
Spring has sprung, the grass has riz; I wonder where the flowers is.

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz; I wonder where the flowers is.

Well, look what the snow drug in.

That nice little dumper did wonders for what passes for a lawn here at Chez Dog (it’s kind of green, and it’s on the ground, so we call it a lawn). And there’s more precip’ in the forecast, so ’ray for April so far.

Elsewhere, something less appealing is crawling out from under its covering. It seems Alfred E. “Worry” Bush has turned his limited skill set to painting since leaving office, and an exhibition of his portraits has opened in Dallas.

You may be familiar with his previous works, “Afghanistan” and “Iraq,” bits of performance art that required gallons upon gallons of blood and bullshit. We can’t afford them, and don’t want or need them — they don’t even match the sofa, f’fucksake! — but we’re paying for them anyway.

Based on what we’ve seen of those, I’m surprised ol’ Alfred’s portraits could find an exhibition space loftier than a refrigerator door in a prison cafeteria. They certainly make a compelling argument for hanging more artists and fewer paintings.

 

 

Indoor sports

April 3, 2014
Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30x30.

Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30×30.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

“Man plans, God laughs,” goes the Yiddish proverb.

So, naturally, as I was contemplating the intricacies,  logistics and amusements of a bicycle tour, Management reminded me that spring is only a word, an arbitrary date on a manmade calendar.

Yesterday I was motoring around Fremont and Custer counties with the windows down, scoping out various back roads between Florence and Weirdcliffe with a Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer in the passenger seat while tugging frequently from a water bottle. Today I awakened to a few inches of heavy, wet snow on the deck, with more on the way.

No complaints here, mind you. Water from on high is water I don’t have to buy from Colorado Springs Utilities. And it sure beats being on fire.

So it looks to be a fine day for hanging around indoors, viewing with alarm. For instance, I notice that the Supremes are trying to make it less onerous for the 1 percent to run the country the way they see fit. And a Colorado judge is intent on making it harder for the 99 percent to catch them at it.

I’m starting to think Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito are deserving of life terms after all. Not on the high court, mind you, but in Leavenworth, making little rocks out of big ones for their crimes against the people.

Rowdy dow dow

March 17, 2014

This is one of my favorite bits for a St. Patrick’s Day playlist. But the first time I heard the song, it was on a Planxty album. A different sort of a tune altogether, don’t you know.

At the time Planxty included Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Dónal Lunny and Liam O’Flynn; Paul Brady didn’t join up until later. I saw Irvine and Brady play at a small venue in Corvallis in the early Eighties, and it was quite the show. Here’s their take on the same song.

I have all these on vinyl. One of these days I have to get off me arse and digitize ‘em so.

• Editor’s note: And yes, I did make it home without incident. Never even had to check a bag and risk my proud-ofs getting lost in the ozone. The final flight was the topper — Nazi torture seats the size of a child’s car seat and all the elbow room of your “final destination,” a passenger nearby who apparently decided to marinate in cheap cologne in lieu of showering,  another who clearly had given up washing his feet for Lent (1976), and a baby re-enacting episode one of “The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots.” Good times. The next show is in Louisville, Kentucky, and if I go, I am so driving.

Cars don’t play

March 10, 2014
Oh, good. More people playing when they should be driving.

Oh, good. More people playing when they should be driving.

I took my gradually fading cold out for a walk yesterday afternoon, and boy, was it ever a beautiful day. Didn’t need to see that pudgy jogger airing out his man-boobs, but occasionally a fella must take the bitter with the sweet.

We’re looking at another blast of springtime today — 72! — before the rain, snow and wind play a return engagement on Tuesday. So I plan to get out again while the getting out remains good.

Friend of the the DogS(h)ite Weaksides will not be so fortunate, alas. In comments, he advises that he’s enduring in-patient therapy after getting blitzed from behind by a car, and his condition may keep him out of his own damn’ home for a while. So shoot him some good wishes in comments if you have a moment.

Meanwhile, feel free to wax wroth about Apple’s latest brainstorm, CarPlay, a setup intended to make it easier for motorists to jabber on the phone, check their email and not incidentally run us over. Released today as part of iOS 7.1 and soon to be a column coming to a bicycle-industry magazine near you.


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