Tag Archives: Stephen Hawking

Glenn Beck is NOT just like you (and other observations on the sorry state of the marketplace of ideas)

Wingnut kingpin Glenn Beck, who, despite the cover of his upcoming book (uh, does he actually write any of his books?), is worth tens of millions of dollars, wants you to believe that he’s just like you.

I like to check amazon.com’s top-100-selling books periodically to see how the marketplace of ideas is looking.

Unfortunately, it usually looks like the actual marketplace is looking.

I’m always dismayed to see the number of wingnut titles that make the top 100, and I wonder whether wingnuts really read these books or whether they just get a high from buying them.

At No. 18 on amazon.com as I type this sentence, for instance, is Dinesh Dikshit’s The Roots of Obama’s Rage. On the cover is a stern-looking Barack Obama lacking only horns and a Hitler ’stache. Obama is shaded red to show his rage:

Except that I can’t recall ever seeing Obama enraged. He always plays it as coolly as a cucumber. How would we even know that Obama is angry?

Indeed, Obama apparently has learned to avoid, at all costs, looking like an “angry” black man to the point that he shows about as much emotion as does a Vulcan. (White men, especially rich ones, are allowed to be angry, but a black man, even one living in the White House, isn’t; an angry black man is just violent, out of control, deranged, savage, animalistic, etc., you see.)

The Roots of Obama’s Rage is published by Regnery Press, which publishes only wingnutty dogshit, and on its page on amazon.com, Dikshit’s book is endorsed by Newt Gingrich, who reportedly finds it “stunning.”

I find it stunning, too — stunning that blatant crap like this actually sells.

But probably even worse that Dikshit’s shit is Glenn Beck’s upcoming load of horsecrap titled Broke.

Glenn is on the cover looking broke.

Poor guy.

He feels your pain.

Really.

Except that Wikipedia notes of Beck’s income:

In June 2009, estimators at Forbes calculated Beck’s earnings over the previous 12 months at $23 million, with 2009–2010 revenues on track to be higher. Although the majority of his revenue results from his radio show and books, his website’s 5 million unique visitors per month also provides at least $3 million annually, while his salary at Fox News is estimated at $2 million per year.

Additionally, Beck’s online magazine Fusion sells an array of Beck-themed merchandise, while his website offers a web subscription service called “Insider Extreme” where for $75 a year one gets access to behind-the-scenes footage and a fourth hour of his daily radio show. In April 2010, Forbes calculated Beck’s earnings for the previous year (March 2009 – March 2010) to be $32 million.

They say that money can’t buy happiness, but we should ask Glenn Beck how happy he feels.

Beck’s millions come from Joe-the-Plumber-like dipshits who believe that Beck is one of them. And that they, too, can become a millionaire. Except, of course, that 99.9-repeating percent of them never will. But they’ll buy Beck’s book on how to get rich — which will only make Beck richer.

And I’m sure that Beck’s book, which right now is only at #184 on amazon.com but surely will climb higher in the coming weeks, advises you to buy gold. (Wikipedia also notes of Beck’s income: “Goldline International also sponsors Beck’s radio show and was the exclusive sponsor of Beck’s 2009 comedy tour; their sponsorship has brought Beck criticism.”)

Then there’s The Coming Economic Armageddon: What Bible Prophecy Warns About the New Global Economy, now at No. 69 on amazon.com (because you’d trust a faith healer over a smarty-pants surgeon, right? So fuck those egg-headed economists!), and Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama, which is yet another Obama-hating book (right now at No. 89) with the premise that it’s downright fucking TYRANNY!!! if your stupid white male candidate loses the election but isn’t given the office anyway, as was the case with George W. Bush.

Speaking of the devil, not be outdone, George W. Bush has a book coming out next month, just in time for Christmas:

Called Decision Points, and already at No. 37 on amazon.com’s top 100 right now, I’m guessing from its title that it’s not a coloring book, as I’d have expected from Bush, but that it’s a connect-the-dots book.

But seriously, what don’t we already know about George W. “Decider in Chief” Bush and his Big Decisions?

We know that he decided to steal the 2000 presidential election with the help of his brother (then-Florida Guv Jeb), then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, the wingnuts on the U.S. Supreme Court and some others, and that he decided to launch his illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War against the wishes of the United Nations Security Council and against world opinion for the war profits of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other oily war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp.

And that he decided to ignore the August 2001 presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” and the August 2005 presidential daily briefing titled “Hurricane Katrina Determined to Strike in U.S.”

There: I just summed up the Bush II presidency for you. Save yourself some money and buy something that will make you smarter, not dumber, such as the latest by Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, actual economist Robert Reich or even Jon Stewart, whose comedy at least is intelligent.

Because ultimately, dipshittery is treason.

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Global warming, nukes — and the baby boomers

It’s pretty fucking bleak.

Even as the fucktarded global-warming deniers claim that a cooler-than-usual day somewhere means that global warming is bullshit, the largest chunk of Arctic ice since 1962 — it’s four times the size of Manhattan — just broke away from northern Greenland, and the “ice island” is floating away, expected to reach the Atlantic Ocean within two years (it’s expected to have broken up and melted some by then).

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking proclaims that humankind’s only chance for survival is to colonize other planets as overpopulation on Earth worsens and as humankind’s technological ability to wipe itself out increases.

We incredibly eco-friendly (because most of us are non-breeding) non-heterosexuals sure have a sound natural plan to reverse overpopulation, but we have to fight for equal human and civil rights not only here in the United States, but elsewhere throughout the world. Our opponents are fucktards who believe that the centuries-old dictate of God (who, by the way, lives on Fantasy Lane, right down the street from the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy) to “be fruitful and multiply” is still valid, even though the world’s population has exploded exponentially since the Old Testament was fabricated by utterly ignorant people all of those centuries ago.

But I digress a little.

While Hawking’s assertions that overpopulation and our own technological stupidity (such as the threats of global nuclear war and climate change) threaten to put Homo sapiens on the endangered species list are self-evident, I can’t say that I agree with him that the Homo sapiens virus should move on to infect other worlds.

Seriously — if humankind can’t get its shit together on this planet, what right does it have to attempt to inhabit any others? If a potential new landlord knew that you trashed your last apartment, would he or she allow you to move into his or hers?

But I digress yet again.

Solutions to overpopulation aren’t rocket science: Couples are limited to the number of children they may have, with penalties that are stiff enough to make violations of the law rare. Sterilizations (voluntary ones [for now…]) are offered for free. (Fuck you. We spay our cats and dogs!) Churches that advocate irresponsible reproduction, like the Mormon cult and the Catholick church, are sanctioned, because their irresponsibility and their recklessness harm the rest of us. (We’re all fucking connected, whether we like it or not and whether we wish to acknowledge that obvious fact or not.) Euthanasia for the hopelessly terminally ill is allowed and is not at all taboo. Homosexuality, of course, is wholly de-stigmatized so that those who gravitate toward it don’t hesitate to embrace it.

Then, here at home, there is the “Logan’s Run”-like problem of the baby boomers.

The boomers are going to be a huge fucking drain on us — if we let them be.

Already the boomers are talking about fucking us Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers over even more than they already have.

Repugnican boomer House Minority Leader John Boehner again is talking about fucking us X’ers andY’ers (and those who follow them) out of our fair share of Social Security.

Boehner proclaimed on “Meet the Press” that it’s time “for the American people to have an adult conversation about the problems that we face” with the solvency of Social Security, adding that “these programs are unsustainable in their current form.”

Agreed — the boomers aren’t sustainable. Social Security, however, is.

Because of the boomers’ expected wiping out of Social Security, Boehner wants the Social Security retirement age to be raised for us Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers — while the baby boomers get theirs and get out.

Boehner’s sidekick Repugnican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence echoed Boehner on “Meet the Press”: “I am for reforming our public entitlements for Americans who are far away from retirement. We need to keep promises to seniors that have been made, make sure that people who are counting on Medicare, Social Security have the benefits that they have. But for younger Americans, absolutely yes, we ought to bring real reform for the sake of future generations of Americans to get spending under control.”

Translation: The boomers get theirs, and Gen X and Gen Y get fucked — “for the sake of future generations.” It’s vitally important “to keep promises to seniors [translation: today’s boomers and those who are older] that have been made,” but it’s not at all important to keep those promises that have been made to us X’ers and Y’ers. Fuck us. We’re on our own.

Don’t expect the boomers to be another “greatest generation” — they fully expect those generations that follow them to suffer the consequences of their own selfishness, greed and refusal to plan for the future.

It’s true that we Americans face grave problems, and it’s true that it’s long past time that we face them.

But the boomers’ approach appears to be that the only solution is that Gen X and Gen Y and the generations that follow them should take it up the ass because of the boomers’ selfishness and woeful lack of foresight.

But what if we who follow the boomer generation don’t want to take it up the ass with ground glass as lube, as Boehner, Pence and their ilk so generously suggest that we do?

Fact is, whether we want to talk about Soylent Green or “death panels” and/or some other nifty solutions* to the baby-boomer problem or not, we’re not fucking going to have the resources to take care of all of these bloated, helpless, obnoxious, gluttonous boomers who look like the humans in the Pixar movie “WALL-E” (already we’re seeing these blubbery boomers in their motorized scooters at Wal-Marts throughout the land; surely these scooters are the precursors of the hovering lounge chairs in “WALL-E”) and who feel fucking entitled to be treated like royalty even though they never contributed shit, but were selfish their entire fucking lives, not even taking care of their own parents or their own children.

My boomer parents put me and my brother into daycare and with baby sitters — not because they had to do so because of economic necessity but because they didn’t want to be parents to their children. Parenting requires a degree of selflessness that the boomers, as a generation, don’t possess; they never did, they don’t, and they never will. (My fellow Gen X’er leftist Ted Rall explores this subject well in his book Revenge of the Latchkey Kids.)

And neither of my boomer parents took care of any of my grandparents, one of whom was put into a nursing home. So I really, really hope that neither of my parents expects me to just drop everything and cater to him or to her when my parents never stopped being selfish long enough to be there, really be there, for their own children or their own parents.

I remember, more than a dozen years ago, when baby-boomer author Marianne Williamson gave a talk in Phoenix, and when it came to question-and-answer time, I was the only one who stumped her. We were to bring up any community concerns of ours, if memory serves. I stated that as a nurse at that time, I couldn’t see how the system was going to be able to take care of the legions of dependent senior citizens (the baby boomers) we would see in the coming decades. She had no response to that problem, other than acknowledging that yes, indeed, it was (is) a looming problem.

Instead of searching for any solutions, apparently, Williamson would go on to write a syrupy, comforting book that calls baby boomers “middle-aged”** when, in fact, at age 42 I’m middle-aged, so how can the boomers, who are in their 50s and 60s, be middle-aged? (Uh, we don’t have many people living to be 100 and beyond, and age 50 is the midpoint to age 100…)

Williamson probably couldn’t answer my question all of those years ago because she apparently is a typical boomer herself — she doesn’t want to grow up, but indeed, tells her fellow Peter-Pan-like boomers that they are “middle-aged” when, in fact, they are senior citizens.

It’s true that the longer we put the conversation off, the harsher any actual solutions to the grave problems that confront us are going to become.

I don’t see that there is any serious national conversation about the looming baby-boomer problem today any more than there was when I brought the topic up to Marianne Williamson more than a dozen years ago.

And suggesting that the boomers fuck over my generation and those that follow mine even more than we already have been fucked over for our entire lives by the boomers*** is not a valid solution.

It’s true that the boomers have been abusing their power their entire adult lives, but as they get older and feebler, they’ll be less able to continue to fuck over those of us whom they were supposed to help and care about, not treat as competitors.

What are the boomers going to do when all we have to do is knock them out of their hovering lounge chairs and, like in “WALL-E,” they can’t even get up?

What if the latchkey children indeed get their revenge?

Well, at least the boomers have a little bit of time to prevent such unpleasant-for-them eventualities if, at long last, they fucking care to do so.

And while we’re dealing with the baby-boomer problem, we X’ers and Y’ers are going to have to deal with the problems that the boomers helped caused and have refused to deal with, such as climate change and nuclear proliferation.

And the boomers are going to have to be a part of the solution, whether they fucking want to be or not. While they have contributed to our problems their entire fucking lives, there can be no grandfathering of them now, the way that assbites Boehner and Pence and their baby-boomer boomer ilk want it to be.

We simply can’t fucking afford it, and we can’t afford the baby boomers, not the way that they are now.

*I am reminded of the Christopher Buckley novel Boomsday, in which baby boomers are invited by a wildly popular Gen-Y blogger to kill themselves for the greater good. I have that book and I really should read it…

**I bought her book The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife thinking that she was talking about those of us who actually are in midlife; instead, it’s a saccharine pep rally for baby boomers to tell them that they’re actually in midlife when, in fact, they’re senior citizens.

**We Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers and those who follow us have a record federal budget deficit as well as global warming to contend with once the last baby-boomer asshole (redundant) finally has keeled over, and our military adventurism for the profits of the corporatocrats has made us hated throughout the world (especially in the Middle East), creating resentments from abroad that will continue to simmer and sometimes boil over for generations. And by necessity we X’ers and Y’ers are going to have to dismantle the bloated-beyond-belief war machine, something that the baby boomers, with all of their posing about being all about peace in the Sixties, never did, but only enlargened.

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