New dance move: The Swerve
“Life is a bad neighborhood.”
–Tom B. Taker
Oh, out on a lonely stretch of road
Beware o’ that unwritten code
Make an illegal pass again
He’ll leave you a fucking road stain
‘Cause the asshole is a person in your neighborhood
In your neighborhood
He’s in your highwayhood
An asshole is an asshole in your neighborhood
A person that you street each day
Life is hard. We all get that. Some of us, though, are a bit more proactive. We take that knowledge then go out there and do what little we can to make it even harder.
There are people who walk among us who do shitty things. Unimaginable assholes. In the old days they’d get away with it. But now, because lots of us cover ourselves with video cameras when we step out of the house, every once in a while one of them gets nabbed with their dirty mitts in the cookie jar.
Meet William Crum, age 68. Angry. White. Elderly. Texan. While out driving a two-lane blacktop with a double-yellow line he was illegally passed by a motorcyclist. We know what happened next because another motorcycle rider who was following behind got the entire thing on video.
As the motorcycle attempted to pass, Crum’s vehicle sharply and “violently” swerved and sideswiped the motorcycle, sending the two people on the bike to the ground. The motorcyclist suffered cuts and road burns. His girlfriend passenger, however, was airlifted to the hospital with more serious injuries. After spending time in intensive care she was moved to a regular room and is now in stable condition.
Confronted at the scene, Crum was recorded on video making this statement: “I don’t care. Double yellow stripes. I got stung by a wasp.”
Crum refused to apologize to the motorcyclist, saying, “To her [he would] … but to him, no, because he was doing something illegal.”
I now break out my Asshole Decoder Ring and offer the following analysis:
- Crum. Probably the best-named human of all time.
- “I don’t care.” Hmm. This statement reads on the meter as sincere. We’ll take him at his word.
- “Double yellow stripes.” This goes to state of mind. What’s the most important notion stuck in his craw after wreaking violence on other human beings? Apparently he was fixated on the criminality of illegal passing. This is a solid piece of evidence that his swerve was intentional.
- “I got stung by a wasp.” Now this is an interesting non sequitur. I can find no news coverage confirming if this has been medically confirmed. My guess? It’s a little self-defense tip he picked up from the book Always Blame Road Rage on Our Friends the Bees.
- “He was doing something illegal.” There you have it. Judge. Jury. Swervecutioner.
- Irony: While swerving to take out his victims, Crum crossed the double-yellow line himself, thus literally crossing the line from brooding hero vigilante to rabid criminal scum.
What do you think? Was it intentional? The police seem to think so. Crum has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.
Sorry, Mr. Crum. I don’t dance.
Garbage Sandy Springs
Mister Thompson calls the waiter, orders steak and baked potato
(Then) he leaves the bone and gristle and he never eats the skin
The busboy comes and takes it, with a cough contaminates it
(And he) puts it in a can with coffee grounds and sardine tins
And the truck comes by on Friday and carts it all away
A thousand trucks just like it are converging on the Bay
Oh, Garbage, garbage, garbage, garbage
We’re filling up the seas with garbage
What will we do when there’s no place left
To put all the garbage
Click to hear these lyrics (and more) in action
And now, from our ongoing series Tales Of The Justice…
Who says that justice is dead? Finally, a punishment that fits the crime.
Meet garbage man Kevin McGill, 48, resident of Atlanta, Georgia, husband, and father of two children. His crime? Reporting to work too early. The punishment? Thirty (30) days in jail.
For once the justice system finally seems to be working. Really, shouldn’t reporting too early to work always result in jail time? I think so!
I humbly suggest we make this a constitutional amendment. I sustain the motion!
For those OCD nitwits out there who demand more detail I’ll reluctantly say this. His job is picking up the garbage. A city ordinance says that garbage shall not be picked up earlier than 7 a.m. McGill, obviously a true go-getter in the refuse collection industry, started his shift early. This naturally startled residents in an affluent neighborhood of Sandy Springs, a suburb located north of Atlanta.
Naturally the startled residents, hearing the terrifying sounds of a garbage truck around 5 a.m., responded to the situation by calling 9-1-1.
I hate to even think what I would have done in similar circumstances. Of course you call 9-1-1. That’s what you do. That’s what public service ads on television have been telling us for years. 9-1-1 is reserved for the important stuff. I probably would have gone further and voided my bladder and bowels. That feels like the Sandy Springs thing to do.
Residents of the wealthy neighborhood reportedly include Herman Cain and “professional athletes and executives for Delta Air Lines.” We now pause for these commercial messages while I cancel my subscription to ESPN and make new travel arrangements.
Thankfully the culprit was apprehended and the garbage in his truck was (presumably) seized into state’s evidence. Finally a task worthy of Atlanta CSI.
“One thing’s for sure,” said the star du jour while removing his super-sparkly sunglasses. “Something about this case stinks.” He then made some comment about keeping a “lid” on news coverage.
Justice was quickly served. The prosecutor (chief solicitor) wanted 30 days in jail. It was McGill’s first offense. McGill voluntarily agreed to the “plea deal” without a lawyer present and only accompanied by a representative of Waste Management, Inc., who was expecting nothing more than a routine $1,000 fine.
The prosecutor stood by the outcome saying it was right to go after McGill personally rather than his employer. “Fines don’t seem to work,” he said. “The only thing that seems to stop the activity is actually going to jail.” Yes, these are real verbatim quotes.
Fortunately, by press time and despite the fact that the story had been picked up internationally, the city and the judge had a miraculous change of heart and the charges were dropped. Yeah, just like that. That’s how they roll in Sandy Springs. Bag it and tag it. This case is done.
Suddenly the solicitor was saying whacky shit like 30 days in jail for violation of a noise ordinance was “disproportionate to a first-time offense.”
They sure do keep things classy in those ritzy neighborhoods.
Societal death spasms
Neighbor kills neighbor. Don’t worry, though. They will pay for what they’ve done. Especially if they hate the inconvenience of annoying paperwork, attending a couple of hearings and paying a fine. That’s more than sufficient punishment for killing a fellow human being, right?
What is a society? My definition is a system where people make decisions that impact the safety of others. More and more it seems like that’s the only definition that matters.
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Topsy-Turvy: Things I Notice
To me, a Topsy-Turvy is worse than a Catch-22. The latter is a logical impossibility due to contradictory rules. Topsy-Turvy, on the other hand, is pure and utter bullshit.
Here’s a couple examples I’ve noticed of late.
A new term has cropped up recently to describe the act of publishing a person’s real name, address and other personal information on the internet with the intent to cause harm.
Yes, it happens so much there’s a word for it now.
The term is “dox.”
Years ago, long before it was trendy, I was doxxed. I had banned a couple of racists from an online forum and they were none too happy about it. So they threatened to kill me. “You have 24 hours to get out of town. Or else.” Seriously? You just did that? I didn’t realize I lived in the town of Tombstone. Oh, look. There goes a tumbleweed. Somewhere a chicken clucks.
I reported the emails to the police. They contacted me and I showed them the printouts. “That happened online? That’s not real. There’s nothing we can do.” True story. Good times.
Later the racists doxxed me on Craigslist, published photoshopped pictures of me and my wife, and took credit for killing my missing cat. Craigslist wouldn’t reply to my requests for help. Remember, I was years ahead of my time. Again, I turned to the police. I had proof I had been doxxed. Their reply? “Nothing we can do about that. It’s not illegal. That’s public information.”
Fast-forward to today and the Topsy-Turvy part: Oregon currently has about 55 “juvenile sex offenders” attending class in 24 different school districts. Parents and other students are not notified of their presence. Why? Because of federal and state laws that protect the privacy of the sex offender student.
How do you know when a situation is Topsy-Turvy? When it only flows one way – against you – at every possible turn. That’s Topsy-Turvy!
You may remember the name Ethan Couch. Recently his name has been coming up in the news again. He’s the Texas teenager who used the “affluenza” defense to get out of serving jail time for killing four persons while driving drunk at over three times the legal limit. He was 16 at the time when he crashed into a stalled pickup on the side of the road.
A CBS television station in Dallas, Texas, reported yesterday that Ethan will be released “very soon” from about a year spent in rehabilitation. Once released, he will be on ten years of probation. He will not have served any jail time for his actions.
And now some Topsy-Turvy: A 90-year man was arrested and taken away, in handcuffs, by Fort Lauderdale police. His crime? Feeding the homeless.
For 23-years Arnold Abbott has operated a non-profit organization called “Love Thy Neighbor” which distributes hundreds of meals per week to the needy. The mayor of Ft. Lauderdale supports a city ordinance that essentially bans food sharing among local citizens.
The mayor was initially defiant. “Just because of media attention, we don’t stop enforcing the law,” he said. Now, in light of media attention that threatens tourism and the local economy (which consists primarily of horny millennials drinking lots and lots of booze and having gratuitous sexual relations with each other and inanimate objects like fire hydrants) he has adopted a more conciliatory tone.
A killer of four walks free among us while a 90-year old man is “dragged away in cuffs” for feeding hungry people and threatening the rights of young people to act like assholes. That’s a whoop ass can full of fucking Topsy-Turvy.
Halloween: Scary and Tragic
This is an acrimonious post. It’s not well written. It’s basically just a stream of consciousness. Pointless, really. I advise you to move along. –Ed.
Do you have happy memories of Halloween nights when you were a kid? Counting and sorting your loot? Secretly getting away with eating too much until you got sick?
If yes, then congratulations. You lived through the experience.
I know of at least four young people from Halloween 2014 that will never get the same chance.
An open letter to Anita Sarkeesian #gamergate
Note: I have chosen to include the “gamergate” hashtag with this post. Am I using it correctly? I don’t really know. I don’t have a friggin’ clue. I am not a gamegate scholar. I don’t have the time or inclination. I don’t really care if I’m using it improperly. That’s not what this post is about. IMHO a lot of people are trying to control, define and co-opt the term based on their own bias, point of view and/or agendas. I’m not taking sides in any gamergate wars. Any offense you perceive as you read the following is your own. –Ed.
Dear Ms. Sarkeesian,
May I call you Anita? I hope so. If not, that’s okay, too. Either way, no offense is intended.
I’ll be honest. I look up to you. I think you are a true modern day hero. When I say “hero” I mean that in the grandest sense of the word. You rock.
Wikipedia says that “[a] hero (masculine) or heroine (feminine) refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity.” Two different words for “hero” based on gender? Isn’t that part of the problem? Whatever. Either way, I believe a “hero” is you.
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Spanks A Lot
For a long time I’ve said that parents are the worst people to have children. That much seemed obvious. But the burning question remained. Why?
I was pondering the current state of the National Football League (NFL) when it hit me. On second thought, perhaps “hit me” isn’t the best turn of phrase in conjunction with the NFL these days.
First there was the Ray Rice video where he punched his then-fiancée in the face. That shined a stark light on the issue of domestic violence within the league. The video hasn’t changed the reality of what has always been a very serious matter but now, thanks to the virality of the video, the issue is finally being taken more seriously.
News media took the ball and ran with it. The journalists scurried to look under rocks and ask probing questions like, “Who else might be doing stuff like this?”
With the NFL under a microscope suddenly all bets were off. I’m not sure how but the next big thing in NFL umbrage was the Adrian Peterson who was arrested for child abuse after “whooping” his four-year-old son using a “switch.”
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