Archive for the Mostly Snarky Category

Trump’s America

Posted in Mostly Snarky on November 10, 2016 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

 

Trump’s America… Hmmm…

 

Weekly televised talks, “Address! The! Nation!” Claimed to be live, but actually carefully edited by his handlers to make some sort of sense. The cabinet runs the country in constant competition with the VP’s office. Every week or so one side leaks something damaging about the other, leading to an incredible rate of turn over. Julian Assange has grown bored with him, but a new site called LeakyLeaks springs up to release leaked details. Assange provides proof that it is owned by the Trump organization and run by Roger Ailles. No one cares.

 

At one point or another each of his adult children (except Tiffany of course) will fill the post of chief of staff. An infotainment show called “Scandal! in the White House!” premiers during the midseason break for cable shows. It is immensely popular, despite the fact that it is wholly owned by TrumpTV. The fans don’t care. It is somewhere between a NewsMag show and “The Osbournes.” This hour long show airs on Thursday nights at 8pm and combines about 7-10 minutes of commentary on who has been hired and fired interspersed with clips from Trump’s weekly Address! The! Nation! show and interviews with the crowd of women who have a semi-permanent encampment just outside of the White House.

 

Some of those women, “The Troupies!” as they have become known, become famous to the point that a spinoff show, “I Love Donald”, is devoted to documenting their rivalries. Every week the producers introduce some sort of competition, just to keep things fresh. The ratings hit their highpoint at the second season finale in which a cat fight between 50ish aging socialite Sukie and 24 year old, ex Vidalia Onion Queen, Amber causes three out of four breast implants to rupture.

 

Eight months later Sukie has written a tell all book which include some very salacious scenes involving Gary Busey, an eggplant, and seven bottles of Newman’s Own Red Wine Vinaigrette.

 

Amber is the star of her own show, “Amber Goes to College”, a reality show chronicling her time at Georgia State on a Trump Scholarship which includes fabulous accommodations, a personal car and driver, three separate tutors, a personal chef and $1,000 weekly spending money in addition to books and tuition. It is cancelled mid-season. Later Amber sues the Trump Foundation when she discovers that the “Scholarship” was actually a student loan and she now owes over $350,000 at 19.9%(variable) interest.

 

Oh. Yeah. Trade deals are made pitting India and China against one another to the point that relations are in a nuclear standoff. Indian troops have seized control of Nepal and frequent skirmishes break out with Chinese troops holding Tibet. White House Press Secretary Scott Baio (Oct. 2-19, 2018) refers to Nepal as “an African country?” during a live press conference.

 

All US troops leave Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria by March 1, 2017. On May 7, 2017 they are redeployed to hold the borders of the EU against ISIS. There is talk during July, 2017 of a deployment to northern Africa to hold the southern borders, but it is agreed behind closed doors that Africa is expendable. On July 22 leaked video of that conversation airs on LeakyLeaks. This not only debuts LeakyLeaks on the world stage, it is the first in a long series of power grabs by the Office of the Vice President. Over the four years of Trump’s presidency there will be 22 separate instances of these, but they all prove short lived. This is most likely due to the VP’s obsession with abortion, and failed attempts pushing through a nominee for what eventually total five empty seats on the Supreme Court. Polls showed most viewers thought this was “a downer”, “boring”, and “not as fun as Trump.”

 

The economy is uneven with some state’s unemployment as high as 9.3% while a few boast rates as low as 1.2%. HUD Director Ann Coulter institutes “Movin’ On Up To Happiness!” loans to help displaced workers relocate. The MOUTH and larger BIGMOUTH loans are structured like student debt and cannot be relieved. Initially the MOUTH program boasts huge successes, leading to the creation of the later BIGMOUTH program. The latter offered loans of up to $1million to help struggling families get back on their feet. Areas like California’s Silicon Valley react with panic at the influx of low skilled workers pouring into their already tight housing markets. Local laws are passed limiting how close to urban centers the Mouthers may settle and live. By the time these laws are declared unconstitutional by a rare 3-1 vote by the Supreme Court a halo of shanty towns surrounds nearly every metropolitan area with a (formerly) robust economy.

 

68% of MOUTH, and 85% of BIGMOUTH loans default leading to paired market bubbles and crashes. Defaulters are declared to be in breach of law, however there is no consensus on what will be done with them. A token number are imprisoned, but even with the huge construction projects to build new facilities, there is nowhere near room for all of them. Most states pass laws to allow defaulters to avoid prison so long as they keep up a modest repayment record. These people, mostly minorities, agree to the terms almost unanimously although doing so means that they are reclassified as “Resident Non-Alien Non-Citizens.” NANCies give up the right to vote, own property, take out loans, and in Arizona, the right to a driver’s license.

 

Every year tax rebate checks are sent to every (citizen) household. These are timed to coincide with Black Friday sales. Prices for Chinese made electronics hit record lows. Battery powered wifi enabled televisions hit stores at affordable rates. Even homes without access to electricity or running water can have televisions. Hefty batteries mean these TV’s only need charging once a week, even while serving as charging stations for phones, laptops, or other accessories. Walmart offers low cost charging stations in nearly every neighborhood, and since the Trump Administration signed off on the WiFi Lifeline act, free wifi is considered a basic human right.

 

ObamaCare is repealed in February 2017 and replaced by GoodCents Health Savings plans. Individuals without employer sponsored healthcare are eligible to put away pre-tax money in an HSA, and depending on income the government will match between 2-9% annually. HSA Account money needs to be used within any calendar year or it reverts to the government with a 19% processing fee paid to the bank. Individuals are free to use this money to either purchase their own healthcare insurance on the new nationwide network of insurers, or to simply use it to pay their medical bills. People are now free to shop around, whether it be for an insurance plan or an MRI. They are now able to select their own team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses for their next bypass surgery.

 

Contrary to initial fears about civil liberties most Americans barely notice any changes as the Trump Administration goes on. We still have freedom of the Press. In fact, certain select journalists are given new, unfettered access to the various branches of government, and except for a single review for reasons of national security, are free to print or air whatever they like. Major newspapers are, of course, also required to submit to review before press, but that is considered a small price to pay for security from terrorism. This has the positive effect of creating an environment rife with opportunities for the up and coming citizen journalist. Every year Breitbart sponsors a contest to award the best new independent journalist. C-Span is taken off the air. No one notices.

 

Americans report that they feel better and more optimistic about the future free of the constant babble about the goings on in Washington. Most conservative voters feel plenty informed by the various weekly offerings from TrumpTVFoxNewsCo. Liberal voters continue to get their information from The Daily Show or Late Night with Stephen Colbert (which are still on the air, which proves Americans still have freedoms.) The sausage making of government is best left to the elected representatives, and on the increasingly rare occasion that a budget is passed or a bill is signed into law they have a press conference. “But really when you think about it,” says Debbie Clayton of Scranton, PA. “We’ve had over 200 years of laws passed. It makes sense that they would’ve covered most everything by now. We don’t need a lot of new laws. We were doing just fine the way we were. We probably shouldn’t even keep paying for that Congress anymore. We should just let the states take care of their own business and let the President run things like we elected him to.” Judging by the positive feedback in the comments section for “I Love Donald” after Ms. Clayton’s interview was aired, a majority of Americans feel the same.

 

Presidential approval ratings hit their highest point in early 2018, when during a Congressional Recess, president Trump signed an executive order legalizing marijuana for recreational use in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Prisoners serving time in federal prisons for marijuana offenses were given the offer of release with the offense cleared from their record if they are able to pay back the government for costs incurred during incarceration. Special MOUTH loans were made available to family and friends at only 5% down.

 

President Trump is quoted as saying, “We’re covering the costs of the police, the trials, all of that. Because what they did, it’s okay now. Even though they knew they were illegal when they did it, but that’s all okay now. We just ask for the costs. Just like the rent and food they would have been paying for if, you know, they never got arrested for doing the illegal. It’s only fair that they should be paying their own way. The American people shouldn’t have to pay for these people’s, their rent. And the guards. We have fabulous people as guards. The best. But the best people, you know, you have to pay them. So it just seems fair that these people who were doing the, at the time, the illegals. They should pay for that.”

 

“This is why America, it’s the greatest country on earth. In the universe. Because we can always make a deal.”

Gifted

Posted in Mostly Snarky, Um, Seriously Snarky? No. Snarkily Serious. on July 26, 2016 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

Thank you San Francisco, for giving me the gift of an experience today.

And thank you Mr. Junkie Man for unapologetically shooting up into his own leg, after casually pulling his pant leg up past his knee, all the while carrying on a conversation with someone who I can only assume was a friend or colleague. Thank you for doing it right on the sidewalk of Hyde, right between Turk and Eddy. Thank you for showing my kids a little unvarnished reality in the midst of their mostly privileged lives. I know that THEY didn’t find it a particularly pleasant experience, akin to watching a predator disembowel and eat prey. Only with more pathos. More like a one legged pigeon struggling with half of a buffalo wing. But I digress.

I myself am grateful to be able to check off another box on my life experience list.

Witness junkie shooting up: Check!

Spot trans hookers: Check!

Be mistaken for a hooker: Check! (Life Tip. Don’t stand on the corner of Capp and 18th for more than 10 minutes, even if you are waiting for a cab. Even at 2pm. Unless you want the bucket list item, in which case, different Life Tip.)

Buy drugs on the street in New York City. Just like the movies!: Check!

Having the police escort your 12 year old son home at 2:30 am: Check !  Which leads to…

Baby’s first police report: Check!  (His phone was stolen on the bus coming home from a movie. He did the right thing and went to the police.*)

Also it is nice to see that my city has not completely succumbed to gentrification, faux “dive bars”, and pre-distressed clothing. Definitely a Keeping it 100 moment. I wonder what gifts my city will bring me next?

 

* Not a viable option for black children.

The Man Ain’t Got No Culture *

Posted in Geek Pride!, Mostly Snarky on May 29, 2015 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

*Updated for 2016. Please see Addendum below Main Story.

So WHO stood up for the validity of Geek culture and won? Me. You’re welcome.

Tasha’s school was yet again having their annual slightly tone-deaf “International Day”, in which students are supposed to write about their ethnic (read non-American) culture, and prepare a beloved cultural dish to share with the school. Sounds reasonable? Maybe it did for the first 3-4 years, but by year 7 is was getting a tad ridiculous. Particularly for our family who are just basically mutts. Even on the Chinese side you have to go back generations to find immigrants, and the Jong family cultural dish is take-out in pink boxes. On my side it is just picking random northern european countries that ancestors may or may not have come from in the distant past. Our cultural cuisine was “whatever is quick”. The only lovingly handed down recipe comes from my step-father, and latkes do not lend themselves to potlucks. Also the essay portion would have to be something like, “My mom’s stepdad was a jew from Queens, NY. We think part of the family might have come from Russia, but pretty much every family member is dead or has Alzheimer’s, so we aren’t sure. Anyway we make latkes on Christmas Day most years. We also put a star of David on the top of the tree. None of us are Jewish, but fried potatoes are delicious. Then we all watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special.”

Which brings us to Geek Culture. The school had handed out the flier announcing yet another “Let’s Pretend We Have a Heritage” day and I expressed frustration to the teacher, at which point all of the older kids started chiming in on how they loathe this practice. I said, “The only meaningful culture we have is Geek Culture. I could make Tardis shaped cookies, and Tasha could wear her Inspector Spacetime t-shirt.” And her teacher, who is cool and sympathetic, thought it was a great idea, and said she would ask the Powers That Be if the formula could be tweaked somewhat for the older kids to do things like that.
Needless to say, this went very, very wrong. Next thing I know I am getting a text on my phone from the school saying that allowing Natasha to do something like this would violate the family values of the event and send the wrong message to the other children.

I was pissed.

I was pissed, but I did NOT hit reply. Okay, maybe I did, but I did not hit send. I was good.

I did, however, have an extensive email conversation with the teacher, part of which included this paragraph:

“My own grandmother hated to cook, and did so dutifully and without anything verging on enthusiasm. We have no handed down family recipes. Our Christmas Day tradition is to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Episode. No one on either side of Natasha’s family has a living memory of any family member who was not born in the United States. She is however, a third generation Real Geek Girl. My mom read The Lord of the Rings in 1963 when the only copies available were pirated. She read them all out loud to me when I was five years old. My first crush was on Mr. Spock. When I was 7 she took me to an SF convention. I’ve had an email account since 1989. I have friends in several countries and across the US that I met in the 1990’s on a MUD platform, long before the WWW existed. In Santa Cruz in the late 80’s and 90’s we had “Geek Houses”, which were groups of housemates living together in fully wired communities. The houses had names, such as The Armory, The Institute, Animal Farm etc. Everyone knew one another through email, bulletin boards, and forums. Periodically people would call Food Runs and as many as 50 people would show up at 11pm at the local Denny’s. We would get together for group viewings of shows like Star Trek: TNG or Twin Peaks. Groups like this existed in other places than Santa Cruz. I have a friend who did her dissertation on this very subject. Natasha is a born and bred denizen of the internet. From YouTube personalities to podcasts to memes, she is a product of people who lived for things like technology, fandom, role playing games, SF/Fantasy, and just generally being smart people. When I suggested it I was not being flippant, or making a joke. I was very serious. It is our culture. We made it ourselves.”

Then we knuckled under, said Tasha is maybe 1/32 French Canadian, and made Poutine, which I do recommend. Very tasty.

I was going, with some trepidation, to pick her up this afternoon when I get ANOTHER text from the school apologizing profusely. I am then met at the door by the headmaster’s wife who proceeds to apologize so much it was a tad embarrassing. Bottom line is that if Tasha wants to be a Geek next year, and explain her unique (and previously unheard of) culture, she is free to do so.

Then when I got home I saw an email from the teacher saying this (Eric is the headmaster, Gayle is his wife):

“So Eric asked me during international day if I wanted him to explain to Natasha why they didn’t want other kids dressing up in Spider-Man costumes and I said NO!!! choking on my samosa. At that point I thought I had to mention to them briefly some of the points you said, but not the venting parts. This was to spare Natasha from a Spider-Man joke.
Also, Gayle said she hoped she didn’t offend you. I didn’t say anything, just that geek culture is actually really important to you guys, not a joke, and more complex than they think it is.”

The very thought of Tasha in a Spiderman suit made me laugh. She would have laser eye beam powers of derision.

Addendum: June 1, 2016

International Day Report or How to Make Your Stepfather’s Heart Melt

 

Geek Culture