Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hypocrisy: the new glitter - A story about a stairway to hell

I'm as spiritual as they come. I try to live my life in a spiritual way, even if I'm not attached to any religion whatsoever (although I was baptised as a Catholic). That said, I respect people's faith. But I can't tolerate violence, abuse, hypocrisy or stupidity. Maybe I should be a little more tolerant. But I'm not. It leaves a very long way to go before perfection...a very very long way indeed.

Keeping that in mind, Pope Benedict XVI, during his Christmas Eve Mass, asked people to "see through the superficial glitter" of the season, and concentrate instead on the joy of the Christmas message.

When he mentioned glitter, did he mean this kind of glitter? (see the video):

Or how about the glitter of that conference room? (see the picture):

Or maybe he's referring to that kind of glitter (see the following pictures):

I didn't know gold was the true channel to God. To be frank, I thought that it was the total opposite. If you compare the Vatican with the way people portray Jesus according to the Bible, let's just say that the amount of "glitter" was quite different for both of them. I'd like to ask the Pope "Why so much gold and glitter? Aren't you afraid to get caught in all of this?. What about the wealth distribution? What about all the sharing you preach all the time? Why don't you sell a gold cross and give the money to a starving African village? Isn't that what you tell us to do?"

The thing is, it's easier to criticize others and to tell them what to do with their life. So the Pope may do whatever he wants. He may preach what he doesn't practice himself. He may speak in the name of God (lots of psychiatric patients do speech!!). But sometimes he ought to shut the hell up (no pun intended)...just out of respect for all the Catholics that live in a spiritual way. If a little glitter makes them happy, so be it. People are intelligent enough to see that glitter is not a way of living (see the Vatican). They don't need a hypocrite pope to tell them what to do. Why does the Catholic Church always have to use culpability? Why does it always have to make people guilty and ashamed? The answer is obvious: to control people.

Fear and culpability...starting to sound like politics...

The more you feel guilty, the more you go to Church to make a confession. Then they try to make you believe that they have the power to forgive your sins (in the name of God, of course). And, forgiveness comes quite easier when you drop a few bucks in the basket (see the video):

I know it's raw. I know people might be offended by the George Carlin routine (message to them: grow up and/or grow a pair!!!). Most of it was created to shock. But a lot of what he says is true. Nevertheless, every time people are mad at God, I believe people are mad at Man's image of God. You know, the guy with a beard that will "strike upon thee". The Vengeful God. Well, something tells me that this Vengeful God was created by his own image. But that's just my opinion.

I think God or any Superior Being is far too complicated for a simple Man to understand. Religion was created by Man to tell other men his vision of God. Sometimes Man has a tendency to force its opinion upon control them (can you hear politics again?).

By the way, I think the Pope already has a lot on his plate. He should take care of his own mess before telling anyone how to live his or her life. How about sexual abuse by Catholic priests (including child abuse). An exception? I don't think so. There were notable cases of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church, during the last 50-60 years, reported in countries like Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Tanzania and the last, but not least, the United States of America. And, interesting fact, cases were reported in almost all of the said countries during the 2005-2011 period.

You want to talk about glitter? The Church spent hundreds of millions of dollars either defending itself in those cases and/or settling them. I bet if you transformed that sum of money into gold coins, you could see it glittering from the moon.

Pope Benedict XVI also called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in his Christmas message. Ok. And why not the end of hunger throughout the world? (just a bunch of blah! blah! blah! of no consequence). But why doesn't he ask his priests to quit the abuse and seek psychiatric help?

My message to Pope Benedict XVI, for the Holidays:  "See through your own superficial glitter, and concentrate instead on practicing what you preach." Clean your own house before telling people how to clean theirs. In other words, mind your own goddamn business.

Again, I wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year. I Wish you all Peace, Love, Health, Happiness and Prosperity


This week’s lucky number: The Clue. The date next Saturday will be January ___, 2012.

Happy and Dandy Clown of the Week: Drew Brees. The New Orleans quarterback (NFL American football) broke Dan Marino's passing yardage record for a single season with 5,087 yards passing....and still one game to play. That record was 27 years old. Sometimes nice guys finish first.

Sad Clown of the Week: People living in the Middle East. Can't believe people made comparisons with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Not in the same ball park. Not even the same sport. 2012 will be challenging for the people (not their respective governments) from countries like Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Libya, etc. You are all in my prayers. May you finally get the country you wish for (and not the country USA wishes for you).

Clever song lyrics: "Maybe it's not too late to learn how to love and forget how to hate." - Song: Crazy - Artist: Ozzy Osbourne (...yeah! I know! He had his moments too!).

Cheesy song lyrics: "I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love me." Song: As Long As You Love Me - Artist: Backstreet Boys (Ok. That sounds so nice and romantic on paper...but let's test how serious you really are about that bullshit statement...Would you sing the same lyrics if the girl from the song was a crack whore with a history of violence that offered her services for $10 and that spent most of her life in prison for fraud, extortion and human organ traffic? Just don't fall asleep on her watch, buddy...).

Philosophical Quote of the week: "You want a prediction about the weather, you're asking the wrong Phil. I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life." Character: Phil (wonderfully played by Bill Murray) - Movie: Groundhog Day

I told you so (last week and the week before): Tim Tebow and the Broncos lost two games in a row. It proves, again, my theory: God doesn't give a rat's ass about football. It's only men playing a game (for big bucks).

Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

If you build it, they will come: looking back on 2011

"If you build it, he will come." - Shoeless Joe Jackson (played by Ray Liotta), Field of Dreams

Replace the "he" with "they". Well, I listened to the voice...and I built it.

I started to write this blog in August, 2011. I think I always wanted to write. I always had this urge to tell stories, whether they were written or verbal. However, the paths I have chosen in life led me to a day job that involves a lot of writing but very little story telling. I needed to do more.

Then, circumstances and people pointed at blogs. I was never attracted to them...but little I knew. This blog is everything I always felt like writing: making people think, making them smile and laugh (or at least, trying to), detecting political bullshit and, giving some sort of happy ending, even when it looks impossible.

At younger age, I was a radio host for a College radio. One thing that completely changed the way I approach life was "the weekly deadline", the sense of urgency to have the show ready on time. Well, I feel the same about this blog. And it's a nice source of motivation.

I built it...and they came. You came. And I thank you so much for that. But you came from where? Not much from my surroundings. You came from all around the world. To me, that is very impressive.

But you are coming from places I didn't even know existed: Isle of Man (between Ireland and England), Brunei (near Malaysia) and Guernsey (an island between England and France).

Another surprising fact: many of this blog's readers are from India and Russia. I don't know what to make of that. But I'm happy. Glod bless you all.

But enough about me. Besides the creation of this blog, what happenend in 2011? What have we learned?

Well, for starters, New York has opened, like many major cities, its first camping site. It's called Zuccotti Park. Food is available on site...but you gotta love it spicy (see pepper spray). And remember to bring your own porta potty.

Politics caught up with sports and got its own version of Tiger Woods: Anthony Weiner. However, Tiger never got out of the woods (no pun intended)...Weiner had to keep his wiener (ok...pun intended!!) in the packet.

A fruit painfully mourned its maker: Apple, Inc.

Like every year, we lose many loved ones. Some of them are famous. As for the others, their death made a little less of a splash. Let's remember the semi-splashes that had a special place in our hearts.

2011 will be remembered as the year Columbo died (see video):

2011 will also be remembered as the year Mr. Al Davis died (owner of the Oakland Raiders, NFL football). Controversial man. Leader of the Dark Side. The guy you love to hate. We'll miss you...just for not hearing you say "Just win, baby!!!" (see video):

And Macho Man Savage (see video):

And Actor (Police Academy) and American Football Star Bubba Smith (see video):

And an outrageous number of soldiers in Afghanistan and a pointless dragging war. God bless them all.

In the real estate department, God went for a bigger home...he moved from a Church to a Stadium (helping Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos accomplishing miracles).

Black Friday is officially changing its name to: No Holds Barred - Kill of be killed - Bite, scratch, kick, dismember...and pepper spray.

Republicans told us all year how bad Barack Obama was as a President (and they did everything in their power to make him look bad every way they could) and are offering, as the alternative, a bunch of rich clowns (Dumb, Dumber, Dumbette, Dumbest and Dumbo...guess who Dumbo is!!), which are a gift to us bloggers but a nightmare for a country desperately in need of strong leadership. Ron Paul is probably the only serious and intelligent candidate...but is completely ignored (and considered crazy too).

A citizen of Zanesville, Ohio, opened a Safari Amusement Park in his city. The only problem was that it was out in the open and he didn't tell a soul before the grand opening. But it was a real success: 49 exotic animals were killed on the first day.

I still have no clue who is Snookie...except that she's loud, bitter, chunky and utterly insignificant. (and why should I care?). Which brings me to...

Kim Kardashian...*sight* (sticking a finger down my throat)'s the second part of my reaction (see video):

The Kardashians are rumored to endorse fashion products manufactured in foreign sweatshops, where workers, some as young as 16 years old, are abused and virtually imprisoned. I have an idea. Maybe they should team up with Newt Gingrich in 2012 for a new Children Labour Program. Gingrich suggested that poor kids should work as janitors in schools. No kidding, the guy is suggesting it with a straight face!

Hey! Ain't nothing but a Circus. And that's why I enjoyed 2011. We are stuck with the clowns...might as well get a few laughs out of the situation.

2012 should be a hell of a ride too...with a great bang near the end of the year...and it won't be the Ball Drop in Central Park...but the end of the World on December 12.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year. I Wish you all Peace, Love, Health, Happiness and Prosperity
I will post articles on December 31 (no rest for the wicked) stay tuned!!! It should be something special to start the New Year.


This week’s lucky number: The Clue. "Fall ______ times, stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb

Happy and Dandy Clown of the Week: Santa Claus. iTunes cards and apps make his bag lighter than in the past.

Sad Clown of the Week: Mrs Claus. She is not getting "any" while Santa Claus is too busy distributing gifts to all the children of the world.

Clever song lyrics: "Silent Night. Holy Night." - Song: Silent Night - Artist: Mahalia Jackson (Simply the best)

Cheesy song lyrics: "Ding dong, ding dong. Ding dong, ding dong." Song: Wonderful Christmas Time - Artist: Paul McCartney (That song is so annoying, it makes me feel like stabbing my eyes with plastic forks. Paul should have used a pseudo name for that one. John must be grinning in his grave every time that song plays).

Philosophical Quote of the week: (To go with your turkey dinner) "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." Character: Dr. Hannibal Lecter(wonderfully played by Sir Anthony Hopkins) - Movie: Silence of the Lambs

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (boxer) sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty: Anything...just anything to avoid a fight with Manny Pacquiao. I spy a coward!!!

I told you so (last week): My beloved Patriots beat Tim Tebow and the Broncos. But most of all, it proves my theory: God doesn't give a rat's ass about football. It's only men playing a game (for big bucks).


Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giggling like a schoolgirl while cleaning brushes

I was waiting for a slow news week to post this. I wanted to write about humble and silent heroes that make our lives better. There are so few, and yet they are so important. I wonder why we take them so often for granted. Well, I wanted this to be a tribute to those unsung heroes that changed our lives just by reminding us to smell the flowers, even though we always find ways to forget it. That special brand of people that lives for the little things that life brings us. The little things that get us to appreciate life, the only path to true happiness. Silent heroes seem to relish in them while we just watch with one eye, find it cute, and quickly move on.

People around me, including my loved ones, don't know this...but I loved to watch The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, on PBS, late 80's and early 90's (see video for a taste of the show).

I just loved watching Bob Ross paint. I was a teenager at the time, a sort of hard-nose rocker that found trouble easily. I don't know why I enjoyed it . It's very ironic because I don't even paint. I never was attracted to painting or drawing. Even my stickmen look awful! But there was something soothing and reassuring about Bob Ross in general. You know the "everything's gonna be alright" feeling. He lived for the little things and he surely appreciated life. It I secretly watched.

But you know, sometimes public figures on television are very different in really life. Sometimes they are quite the opposite of what they represent on T.V. Take O.J. Simpson, for example. As an American football fan, I just loved to watch him every Sunday as a broadcaster. He just sounded like a very sweet guy. We surely had another thing coming...

So, at one point, after the O.J. incident, before Bob Ross passed away in 1995 (at the age of 52), I wondered if Bob Ross could be a different person in real life than the soft spoken painter on T.V. I even imagined the worst scenarios: he would stop his show right in the middle, take a canvas and smash it on his head and scream at the top of his lungs "Fuck this shit...I'm gonna drive to California and drop acid. So long, fuckos!!"

But it never happened. Instead, he would simply giggle like a schoolgirl every time he cleaned his brush (see video...the "cleaning brushes festival" starts at 0:09).

And when he said "Maybe we'll get a little crazy today"...geez, the word "crazy" had a different meaning for me. For me it was partying. For him it was trying to paint something different. But, even then, I was totally digging his message.

And how about that: a white boy wearing an afro...In some parts of American cities, he could have been beaten up just for that reason. Hey! You have to respect the dude! That guy had to be the major dude! And not only he had cool hair, the guy acted cool too. He was soft spoken. Never raised his voice. He's been often compared to Mr. Rogers from Mr. Rogers' neighbourhood. In so many ways, his T.V. show was the adult version of Mr. Rogers' neighbourhood. Every week, he would take us on a new adventure. And even for adults, the adventure was magical.

I always pictured Bob Ross as a Vermonter. Can't you picture him making his own bread, drinking herbal tea, spying birds? Well the guy was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, and was raised in Orlando.  But I was, not enough strong of a word here...I was floored when I learned that Bob Ross was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and at some point was transferred to an Air Force base in Alaska. Ok. Maybe not Vermont...but Alaska is starting to make more sense.

I don't picture him for a second being a military. He doesn't look like a tough guy. But hey! It's just to say that you don't really know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes. In his case, his military boots. He had to do what he had to do at that period of his life. But that was surely not the true nature of our soft spoken white dude hippie with an afro. I'm pretty sure the first time he held a paint brush, he just knew that he had to leave the Air Force.

Of course, when you become such a public figure, people will start to imitate you or make fun of you (see the following two videos):

I'm sure he would have the sense of humor to appreciate such attention. In any case, one of his famous quotes was "There are no mistakes in your world. We don't make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents". He would say it very often on his show, sometimes with different words. I'm pretty sure he believed in that. If not, he fooled me...and he got me to believe in that too.

So any time I paint my home walls (I can't draw or paint a picture...but, I can apply paint on a wall!!), when I clean the brushes, I always think about him. I'm sure that if he's watching me, he's giggling, and telling me what he used to say on his show "just beat the devil out of it".

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I will post articles on December 24 and 31 (no rest for the wicked) stay tuned!!!


This week’s lucky number: The Clue. A movie starring Will Smith: _______ pounds.

Sad Clown of the Week: Lowe's. The U.S.-based chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores pulled all its ads from TLC's "All-American Muslim" reality show because Muslims were portrayed as "normal and ordinary" people (as opposed to portraying them as terrorists!!!). When you think people are getting away from racism...some stupid-fearful-weak-ignorant-narrow-minded hillbillies keep pulling you back in it!!

Happy and Dandy Clown of the Week: Russell Simmons. The co-founder of the Def Jam record label and creator of the clothing fashion line Phat Farm has offered to buy all of the advertising time dropped by Lowe's for TLC's "All-American Muslim" reality show. Good for him! (But he couldn't do it because all the advertisement slots were already filled by other companies).

Clever song lyrics: "All you need is love. And love is all you need." - Song: All you need is love - Artist: The Beatles

Cheesy song lyrics: "I wanna know what love is. I want you to show me." Song: I wanna know what love is - Artist: Foreigner (I don't know who's the girl he was talking to...but that's a lot of pressure: "showing" love???)

Philosophical Quote of the week: "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!" Character: President Merkin Muffley (wonderfully played by Peter Sellers) - Movie: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Sign the end of the world is near: Colorado Pastor Wayne Hanson said about Tim Tebow's (Denver Broncos' quarterback) recent success with his team: "It's not luck. Luck isn't winning 6 games in a row. It's favor. God's favor". Two things I have to say about that. Firstly, God does not give a rat's ass about football. Secondly, if God was a football fan, He'd be a New England Patriots' fan...and my Pats shall beat Tim and the Broncos tomorrow afternoon!!

Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

News headlines from the year 2061

I pride myself on not trying to be the first one to emit an opinion on a subject the moment a story comes out. I think it's the main problem with today's media: it's more important to be the first one to report the news than to be accurate. You report...then you correct it...but only if you really have to (for example, because an injunction was granted against you by the Court).

It's very unfortunate because being right was traded for being quick...The "winner", as if it was a race. And because perception is reality, inaccurate news could be perceived as the truth: "Ma! Mus' be true...they said it on the Teeee Veeeee." (with your best southern accent). In other words, the news, and the media itself, could become effective tools of propaganda when controlled by the got-an-agenda crowd (see Fox News).

I always try to do the contrary with this blog, which is to take the time to get all of the facts straight and then, take a step back to figure out all of the angles. Reflect before writing instead of writing and then makes excuses or use spin.

But humans have a tendency to contradict themselves, and I'm no exception. But I will try do it with creativity. Instead of reporting news too quickly, I will simply anticipate the news. And since my crystal ball is very powerful...

I chose to simply give random real news headlines from the year 2061...

"I've seen the future, and it is much like the present, only longer."
- Dan Quisenberry, former Kansas City Royals pitcher

News headlines from the year 2061

"Occupy Wall Street: to commemorate its 50th anniversary, a judge permits the construction of a condo tower at the Zuccotti Park encampment to accommodate the members of the OWS movement."

"The new iPhone 37 allows to download songs directly into the brain."

"Man dies of a brain hemorrhage after he accidentally downloaded the song "Da da da" (by Trio) directly in his brain, with his new iPhone 37. The defective phone repeated the song 2500 times. Then the brain gave in."

"English language falls to third place among the official languages in the USA, after Spanish and Arabic."

"Cricket finally becomes a popular sport in the USA after tweaking its rules: all players must be sprayed with gasoline and the ball is put on fire."

"Keith Richards is back from the dead. Crawling out of his grave, he declared to the press: "Maybe as a human being I looked like rubbish, mate, but as a zombie, I look great! Marvelous!"
Keith Richards

"The inventor of the teletransporter (or teleporter) was convicted murder in the first degree for using his wife as a guinea pig, while testing the apparel, and sending her straight to the sun."

"Brett Favre wants to come full circle: plans a comeback at 92 years old with the Green Bay Packers. “I wanna win a second Super Bowl before I die", he declared after losing his denture."

"A new Beatles song was found on a cassette hidden in Yoko Ono’s cellar. It was written by John while singing in the shower. The song is call "Rub-a-dub my love". Sean Ono said: "We didn’t have anything to play the cassette."

"The latest Friday the 13th, Part 27, hits the theatres this Friday. In Part 27, Jason finally gets into a long awaited combat with Darth Vader." (Rated S for stupid)

"Apple, Inc. buys the patent for the teletransporter: its inventor becomes the richest life sentenced inmate in history."

"Vermont finally declares its independence from the USA."

"Walmart now sells breast implants. All their "associates" are said to be qualified to install them."

"The Chicago Cubs lose the 7th game of the World Series. The Cubs have not won a championship in more than 153 years."

"Scientists finally find the preventive cure to cancer: don't eat processed food, exercise, don't smoke, don't drink too much, don't eat too much, have a healthy love and sexual life and...laugh a little."

"Teletransporter inventor escapes from prison by recreating its invention in his cell."

"Woman kills 20 shoppers with a light sabre in a local store during Black Friday."

"NCAA Football is starting to think about replacing the BCS with playoffs."

"Walmart recalls all breast implants sold for incompatibility with the iPhone 37: the breasts implants dance uncontrollably to songs playing on the iPhone."

"Reflections on a Modern Circus, universally known blog (yeah! right!), including Jupiter and Saturn colonists, celebrates its 50th anniversary. Its founder, Michael Bigras, was at the hospital during the celebrations after fracturing his hip while typing his last blog article. "


This week’s lucky number:  The Clue. A convenience store: _______ Eleven.

Happy and Dandy Clown of the Week: The planet discovered by NASA. NASA has discovered a planet that seems to have similar conditions to the earth: a temperature of 22°C (72°F) and also has water. Good thing for the planet: our earth is 600 light years away from we can't visit it and mess it up (with good intentions of "helping", of course).

Sad Clown of the Week: Me. Herman Cain has put an end to his campaign! With Rick Perry's campaign going down the drain, I am losing two easy sources of inspiration for comedy and satire. But hey! On the bright side, they both have no chance of becoming the President of the USA in 2012.

Clever song lyrics: "Poets, priests and politicians. Have words to thank for their positions. Words that scream for your submission." - Song: De do do do, de da da da - Artist: The Police

Cheesy song lyrics: "Like gasoline you wanna pump me. And leave me when you get your fill, yeah." Song: Unskinny Bop - Artist: Poison

Philosophical Quote of the week: "You know when you hear girls say "Ah man, I was so shit-faced last night, I shouldn't have fucked that guy?" We could be that mistake!" Character: Seth (wonderfully played by Jonah Hill) - Movie: Superbad

Good slogan for Newt Gingrich’s campaign: “Occupy my ass!” (And there would be plenty of space to do so).

Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints:

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The ends don't justify being mean

What is the common denominator among the following persons or fictional characters? Darth Vader, J.R. Ewing (Dallas), Adolf Hitler, Bill O'Reilly, Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs), Ted Bundy (serial killer), HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey), Zombies (they're everywhere!!), Roddy Piper (wrestling), Attila The Hun, A-Rod (a.k.a. Alex Rodriguez, baseball player), Josef Stalin, Sideshow Bob (The Simpsons), Doctor Evil (Austin Powers), Mr. (Montgomery) Burns (The Simpsons), The Shark (Jaws), Sean Avery (hockey), terrorists, The Tasmanian Devil, The I.R.S. and last but not least, politicians.

The common denominator? You got it! They are all villains.

But why are they villains? Most of them want to dominate the world (Darth Vader, J.R. Ewing, Hitler, Stalin, Doctor Evil, Sideshow Bob, Mr. Burns, politicians, etc.).

Some of them are just very hungry (The Shark, The Tasmanian Devil, Zombies, The I.R.S., A-Rod, etc.).

Some of them are just evil (Ted Bundy, terrorists, Sean Avery, Bill O'Reilly, etc.).

But there is a new brand of evil people that just made its apparition in the USA: people shopping on Black Friday.

Last Black Friday, a woman entered a crowded Walmart, near Los Angeles, looking for some electronic apparel. She must have been inconvenienced by the overcrowded store and the waiting lines. And who would blame her? Where we differ is how we would react to the same situation. I, for one, would have chosen to leave (But that's only hypothetical...'cause I never go to those crazy events). Yes, I love to take advantage of rebates like the next guy. But I wouldn't waste a day off from work for a buck or two of discount. While I would be leaving, she, the Walmart woman, would be ready to do anything to get the item she wants. A real winner. She's not a quitter like me...noooooo! In other words, she would have found a roster spot with the Oakland Raiders of the 70's. Like the late Al Davis used to say "Just win, baby", and "If you don't cheat, you don't try".

To gain an upper hand, she used pepper spray on other customers. Just imagine the scene: you are walking in a shopping mall or a store, and suddenly a woman rushes towards you, armed with a can of pepper spray, starts to shoot some pepper spray straight at your eyes. Your eyes burn like fire even before you've figured out what's going on.

20 people suffered minor injuries. Nevertheless, Black Friday found a new meaning...MEANing...

They are still looking for the woman. I bet she's not even worried. Al Davis would be proud of her: she did what she had to do, what it takes.

You just can't create crazy stories like that one.

Good news: the store remained open (Thank God!!!) and those not affected by the pepper spray continued shopping (as they should!!!).

But pepper spray is soooooo passé. Here's my suggestion on how to grab the pole position on Black Friday next year. First you seal (with a plastic bag, perhaps) the item you want to buy on Black Friday (preferably, on the eve of D-Day). You tie the sealed item to a brick (or some sort of heavy rock). The morning of Black Friday, instead of running to get an item, you completely flood the store with water. You fill the store until the water level reaches 4 feet from the sealing. Most of the customs would need to swim to the surface to, you know, breathe (duh!). People not being able to swim would die (there are no wars without casualties!!!). Every item in the store would be ruined, except for your sealed item. Then you enter the store with your deep-sea diving suit, slowly walking towards the ultimate prize: your sealed item. No violence. No danger of being last. And finally, if you are extremely honest, you leave the money at the cash register (which would be likely to move, because of the water).

By the way, for those with no sense of humor, I was kidding. I was being sarcastic!!

I'd like to tell you that the woman pepper spraying was the only incident...(see the video).

In the next video, you would expect that people were fighting to get into a rock concert or a Lady Gaga show...(see the video).

Black midnight!!! People were waiting to get into an H&M store (clothes) to do what? Yep! You've guessed it: buy more stuff!! (Most of which will end up in boxes in your garage...that will ultimately prevent you from parking you car in it!! In other words, useless stuff will make you shovel snow...and/or park in the rain!!).

So is that the new trend? Physically injuring people to buy stuff. They don't even want to steal the goddamn item. They just want to buy the thing, with a rebate, and they have no time for buying it like a normal person would.

Animals. Maybe educated...but still, animals.

So what's next? (see the video)

Stomping, trampling and crushing people to buy stuff. After all, isn't that what Thanks Giving is all about? Isn't it part of a balanced life? Can't you hear them scream in stores everywhere "It's either you or me, buddy!".

As a pretty cool dude would say, "Do onto others as you would like done onto you". I don't want to rain on your parade, but I think we are constantly moving away from it. Is that where I should say "Love your enemies"???


This week’s lucky number:  The clue: the number of deadly sins.

Happy and Dandy Clown of the Week: Again, Barack Obama. He's witnessing, with a smirk on his face, that the front running 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate is Newt Gingrich, whose campaign went completely down the drain last summer. The only strategy is to simply wait until he derails again.

Sad Clown of the Week: Jim Boeheim, head coach of the Syracuse University Basketball team. He earns the title for lashing out at the alleged victims of sexual molestation, by former assistant coach Bernie Fine, calling them liars and saying that they were only seeking money. Since then, Fine was fired and Boeheim apologized for his rude comments.

Clever song lyrics: "Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind." - Song: Lateralus - Artist: Tool

Cheesy song lyrics: "Together we’re one. Separated, we are two." Song: Girl You Know it’s True - Artist: Milli Vanilli (Bad at songwriting...but hey, you gotta give it to them...they're good at math!)

Philosophical Quote of the week: "Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face." Character: Vincent Vega (wonderfully played by John Travolta) - Movie: Pulp Fiction

New saying involving the word "dead": “Dead as Herman Cain's campaign.”

Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Revisiting : Flash Occupations...a flash in the pan? (Second and hopefully the last part)

Part II of my blog article titled Flash Occupations...a flash in the pan? (Part I published on October 22, 2011).

Well, what's up with the Flash Occupations (Wall Street, Oakland, UC Berkley, etc.). What's new? (Watch the video).

Not much, uh! Are we surprised? Hate to say it but...I told you so. It was inevitable. We all knew the Occupants would not be tolerated indefinitely. Firstly, for good reasons: safety and public health. Secondly, for bad reasons: the image of public officials.

Although it was bound to happen, I'm very sorry to see that police brutality was the main event again. Not much was accomplished, except horror scenes. That is really sad. Watch the next video. It was filmed on November 18, 2011, at "Occupy UC Berkley", in California. I tried to pick the shortest one because it's difficult to watch (if you have a heart):

And that's only a tiny example of what happened out there. Try to guess how the Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley (also referred to as Cal), Robert Birgeneau, responded to the student community regarding "Occupy UC Berkley"?
"It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience."
So, basically, Mr Birgeneau is saying that linking arms is violent. At some point, I was afraid he was going to say "Stop hitting the policemen's fists and batons with your faces. This is violent behaviour. You could injure their fists!".

But don't worry. The Occupants have morons on their side too. They keep the same number, you know, just in case...Here's an example (see video):

But if you are going to send in the clowns, at least, send in the funny ones.

As it turns out, the only common denominator of the Occupants is that they are pissed-off. Some are mad at the System, the Government and Wall Street, which in my book, is more than legitimate. But for some others, it gets a little blurry...not to say, plain moronic. All of that is normal. 99% of the whole population is a whole lotta people!! In such large numbers, it's impossible to get unanimity.

I'm definitely part of the 99%. And as I watch all kinds of clips about the Flash Occupations, I feel I have a lot in common with a few of the Occupants. However, I feel that I don't have a thing in common with most of them...except maybe being pissed at the System.

But even then, we are not pissed for the same reasons and we certainly don't believe in the same solutions. So where does that leave us? (See the cricket sound video at the beginning).

As I said before, although I totally agree with the principal behind the Occupations, I totally disagree with the way it was done. Again, the media was underestimated. Like children, the media needs to be entertained. You need to give "some" once in a while...but not all at once.

I think this is all the result of a magical way of thinking: we don't need to organize this, it's just going to "happen" as we go along, an inner voice will lead us (it seems the only voice is the sound of the cricket), we don't need a leader, we don't need a uniform strategy, we don't need a media spokesperson.

From the get-go, I thought it was naive. Did we really expect that things would just "happen", that we would sing Kumbaya, that we would only have to join hands with flowers in our hair (well, count me out, I'm completely bald!!).

The media is like a hyperactive child, not staying at one place at a time, running around, expecting something new every day. But it's sneaky and slick too. The media gives the impression that it wants to be your friend, that it's there to help you. But it's not. It's a hyperactive child craving candy. In our case, candy would be new stuff. "You don't have new stuff to give us, we'll find new stuff!!" Media will concentrate on things that have nothing to do with the Occupations: drugs, drug overdoses, fights, rapes, police brutality, violence and/or provocation of some Occupants against the police, Occupants being non respectful of surrounding businesses' restrooms, the outcasts and bizarre people that just happen to be there (without really being a part of it), etc.

The message gets diluted. Then the media focuses on everything but the real message. It starts to sound like the G6, G7 or G8 (did I hear someone scream "BINGO!"??) protests. In those cases, the media concentrated more on the thugs and hooligans than those who were protesting for good reasons.

The result: your chance to make a good first impression is ruined.

The Occupy Movement in general tries to make us believe that everyone gets along. Occupants in the Zuccotti Park are beginning to be concerned about the financial transparency, feeling underrepresented and not having enough daily resources as winter nears. Some are forming their own movement. There would be an Uptown Zuccotti Park and a Downtown Zuccotti Park. Some are calling the latter "The Ghetto", the Uptown being the 15% more educated and/or fortunate...

Is there a Sub-Wall-Street or a Sub-1% amongst the 99%? Is it 15% of the 99%? Or is it 15% of the percentage representing the 99% at the Zuccotti Park? This is getting confusing... One thing is for sure: even if the 99% is protesting against the 1%, it surely doesn't make the 99% homogenous.

Now there are different messages coming from different sites. Some more "hostile" than others. There are talks about blocking roads or bridges...

I'm not an expert at this. But as a member of the 99%, if you protest against the System, the Government or the 1%, I have no problem with that as long as it's peaceful. On the other hand, if you make the 99% pay by preventing them to go to work, or to pick up their children at the daycare on time, the public opinion will suddenly shift. Not only it won't help the 1% acknowledging their faults, but on top of that, the Occupy Movement will lose a lot of public support...including mine.


This week’s lucky number: No lucky number this was unfortunately snowed in...NOT!'s only covered by 17.78 centimeters of snow. The lucky number of the week is the conversion of that number into inches.

Happy and Dandy Clown of the Week: The first snow of the season. Fluffy. Immaculate. Snow crystals swaying as they fall, slowly...dancing to faint Christmas melodies escaping from chimneys, only to lie down on top of each other to form a blanket that covers everything. A blanket that warms our hearts. 30 minutes away from the resurrection of Frosty the Snowman. But only a second away from giggling children.

Sad Clown of the Week: The first snow of the season. People haven't put on winter tires yet. Accidents. Traffic. White shit that rapidly turns to brown (shit) slush that splashes you while you stand on a street corner. Ice covering windshields of vehicles. People slipping and falling on ice...looking like human pretzels. Weathermen, with crazy names like Dusty Sunshine, constantly reminding you it's "only" the first day of snow. One minute away from the resurrection of snowballs...that little brats will aim at your car. A few hours late for work. But only a second away from a staccato melody of creative and graphic swearing. Wishing for the snow to melt into a beautiful liquid called water...that shall finish its journey into the sewers...deservingly so!

Clever song lyrics: "Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there. With open arms and open eyes." - Song: Drive - Artist: Incubus

Cheesy song lyrics: "I'm too sexy for my shirt. So sexy it hurts."  Song: I'm too sexy - Artist: Right Said Fred

Philosophical Quote of the week: "People who talk in metaphors oughta shampoo my crotch." Character: Melvin Udall (wonderfully played by Jack Nicholson) - Movie: As Good as it Gets

Good song for Ron Paul’s campaign: “The more you ignore me.” (Morrissey)

Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The story of an autumn Leaf that fell and went back to its branch

As your are reading this article, we are right in the middle of autumn here in Canada and the northern part of the United States of America. It's such a beautiful season, even if it's a little chilly. The scenery is spectacular as the season changes green leaves to beautiful shades of red and yellow. The downside is that the leaves eventually all fall and most of the trees become completely naked, which is ironic because freezing winter is coming...

Allow me to tell you the story of a Leaf that not only fell to the ground during autumn, but also fell into a hole that looked like a bottomless pit.

This is the story of a man. His name is Ryan Leaf. Although he was a professional American Football player, this is the story, in a nutshell, of a man and his mistakes. You don't need to know anything about American Football. It's a story about great expectations and greater deceptions. In other words, this could very well be the story of you or me. I never thought that one day I would tell his story, in a positive way. He was always perceived as an individual that did just about everything to be disliked by everyone. Here's another auto-destructive person with loads of talent.

He was what we call a stud. He was both a high school and college American football superstar. He probably got all the girls he wanted. He was the toast of the town. He was The Man as in "You tha man!".

To make a long story short, at the 1998 NFL Draft, the first choice over all was between him and Peyton Manning. The Indianapolis Colts had the first choice and they opted for Manning. The Chargers chose Leaf with the second over all pick. Deceiving? Maybe just a little bit...But Leaf got a four years contract worth more than 30 million dollars, one third of it as guaranteed money (a signing bonus).

Leaf was rich. He became a little cocky. Before playing one game, before even winning one game, he told the press bluntly: "I'm looking forward to a 15-year career, a couple of trips to the Super Bowl and a parade through downtown San Diego".

A couple of trips to the Super Bowl? A parade? Was I the only one that had a strong feeling that it was about to get ugly for our little champion? Although he already had issues with his team about his attitude, he played well during pre-season. Heck, he even won his first two regular season games.

That's when the wheels came off...

He started to throw more interceptions than touchdowns (for those who don't know much about American football, an interception is basically throwing the ball to a member of the opposing team...which is not good at all!). Funny thing, he also started to slip on imaginary banana peels. He would trip and fall on his butt without being push or tackled by an opposing player. Basically, he was inventing new ways to screw up. He was finding new ways to lose games.

Teammates were beginning to lose confidence. Sports reporters were murmuring words like bust. Pundits were saying Payton Manning was the real deal. Was Leaf spending too many nights partying in Vegas?

The pressure on the young man seamed, at the time, to be unbearable. The bubble was about to burst. That's where we got to know the dark side of Ryan, as you can get a taste it in this video:

Ryan was carrying such a load. Any stupid question from the media was interpreted as an insult. He was young, immature and throwing tantrums at will.

His worst fault? Being rich at such a young age (and being so immature). It gave him the illusion that he was entitled to something. Fans didn't see it that way. It was more the other way around: Ryan Leaf owed them something...for all the money he got.

But his problems didn't end with that. They were only beginning. He got a serious shoulder injury. Then he got into an argument with the Chargers General Manager, his boss. He was suspended and fined. Back from injury, his performances were terrible and he was released by the Chargers. For all the money he was paid, Ryan gave them only four wins in three years. It was a disaster.

After his release, he leaped from team to team. The downward spiral only continued until he hit rock bottom and decided to call it quits.

He then found a "job", as a volunteer, as a quarterbacks coach with West Texas A&M University, a small Division II college. He found a way to mess that up too. Addicted to pain killers, he tried to get some of those pills from the university football players. He was forced to resign (as a volunteer!!).

As if it wasn't enough, he got deeper in his mess (see the video):

Spearing you the legal details, after pleading guilty, he got 10 years of probation and a fine. All of the sudden, he became a joke, a running gag (see video for an example):

Happy ending? You betcha!!! He got into drug rehab which seems to have worked out for him. He understood that Ryan Leaf didn't mean much in Canada, so he moved to Vancouver. Great place for a new start. He got a normal job, and occasionally works for sports radio. And despite being on the right track, last June, he had surgery to remove a benign tumor from his brain stem (It simply never ends for Ryan...).

Now, he enjoys not to be the superstar stud anymore. He also got a book deal for a three books to be written about his football career and personal life, the first of which was released at the beginning of November 2011. He's now in the business of helping others about that for a transformation?

"How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man?"
- Song: Blowing in the wind - Artist: Bob Dylan

In Leaf's case, I can't tell you if Leaf became a man. But one thing is for sure, figuratively speaking, he must have travelled 3/4 of the roads on Google Maps. And for him to show, humbly, signs of change, is remarkable and almost miraculous. Let's just say that almost everyone threw away the towel with regards to Leaf. This story reminds us that we are alone in this life and that it all starts by loving what and who you are.

But you know what? When you really think about it, this story is not about Ryan Leaf. In truth, this story is a tribute to second chance, even if sometimes it seems unlikely. At one point or another in our lives, we all need a second chance.


This week’s lucky number: The clue...You go on a trip to Canada, more precisely in the province of Quebec. You stop at a convenience store. You buy two soft drinks ($2.50 x 2) and six packs of jawbreakers ($0.19 x 6). The answer is the total amount it will cost you. (Bonus clue...don't forget to add the two sales taxes that sum up to 14%).

Clever song lyrics: "We can't afford to be neutral on a moving train." - Song: Deer Dance - Artist: System of a Down

Cheesy song lyrics: "My only addiction has to do with the female species. I eat 'em raw like sushi" - Song: Rico Suave - Artist: Gerardo (Question: you eat them with chopsticks, soya sauce and wasabi?? Dude!!!???)

Sad (and shameful) Clown of the Week:  Joe Paterno. He was a "God" at Penn State. He was a "God" in Happy Valley, PA. There is NO WAY he didn't know about Jerry Sandusky "horseplaying" in the showers. Shame on you. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, Joe.

Happy and Dandy Clown of the Week: Barack Obama. Giggling, as he watches the The Republican Party Presidential Primaries.

Great idea for a movie sequel: In the first movie, a teenage girl, who moved to Washington State, found her life radically changed when she fell in love with what she thought was a vampire. In the sequel, she finds out that the boyfriend is not a vampire but only a pale skin dude, with a bad case of psoriasis and genital herpes, that could not pull off fake fangs from a previous Halloween costume.

Something a Martian might say if he came to visit earth: Hey! Dude! The Republican Party Presidential Primaries is a spin-off of Saturday Night Live, right? It makes fun of politicians on how stupid they can be, right? That Rick “oops” Perry character is hilarious.

Good song for Rick Perry’s campaign: “Oops! I did it again.”

Love letters, comments, opinions and complaints: