FOR THE HELL OF IT VOL 5 NO. 1
For The Hell of It returns to open my new JohnnyHeller.com website. For the Hell of It will still be featured and linked to and inseparable from AbbreviatedAudio.com which is undergoing its own facelift.
A cartoon will still be a feature of For The Hell of It — I am learning how to scan stuff into the body of a word document (yes. that is accurate – I am a technomoron.)
NEW WEB SITE!
The question, I suppose, is – why does Johnny Heller need a website? I’ve recorded about 500 books and won everything a narrator might be likely to win – with the exception of the Simon Vance Award for Winning Awards. Everyone who might want to hire me already knows how to get hold of me and I am reasonably active on twitter and Facebook — although not nearly as active as Peter Berkrot, who I believe is actually a social media robot. So, again, why the website? Well, I didn’t like the old one and I think anyone who wants to be in the public eye needs a web presence.
When someone has a website, it makes other people think they are more important than they really are. People who have, up til now, thought very little of me must now think: “Hey. Heller has a website! I guess he’s not a complete nobody – hmmmmmm.” A website does that. It validates one’s existence. It also gives me a bully pulpit to spout off about news of the day, important social issues and to keep my fans abreast of my work and allows my present and future clients to give me more work. Could I accomplish all of these things without a website? Yep. But now I have a swell place to do it and it’s named after me.
When someone has a website, isn’t it a bit egotistic? I mean, the site is named after me. It features pictures of me and my friends and it’s all about me. (The photos were taken by the lovely Jo Anna Perrin by the way.) It’s completely Helleristic. So yeah. It is an egocentric thing. Yet if I’m not gonna run a site all about me, who will? And I think we can all agree — or at least I agree — that a site about me may be just what the world needs right now. Or a nice sandwich. I’m not sure which would help more but I’m sticking with the site. (I have no idea if the world would prefer mustard or mayo and I don’t want to mess up the order.)
So here’s the site. It was put together by my nephew-in-law, Lance Dockins from Oklahoma. You can got to VRAZER.com and see more of his work. Peruse away and meanwhile I will try to keep it updated and interesting.
On to the ranting!
ON THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
James Madison made it clear in the Federalist Papers that one of the greatest dangers to the American Democratic experiment would be partisan factionalism. In an effort to confront such an evil, the founders formed a government based on the election of wise leaders who would negotiate in the national interest — for the common good.
Sadly, we ran out of wise leaders around 1895 or so. We gave up on the common good even earlier. Our government enjoys a 5% approval rating – very close to the approval rating most fascist dictators have going for them. Saddam Hussein was at around 4% or so while he was hiding in a ditch.
The issue is simple: the far right wing of the GOP – so far right that it’s left – is holding the nation hostage because they don’t agree with a law that passed Congress and survived every challenge to it. They don’t like the Affordable Care Act and, in truth, there is much to dislike about the act. When a law is enacted and problems ensue, the legislature can and should make amendments to the law to make necessary changes. When these 40 or so Tea Party folks don’t like a law — or a President, they think it’s fine to hold an entire nation hostage. It isn’t.
Tea Party members led by ass hats Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin (which should be enough to sour anyone on their view) think they are independent thinkers who are protecting our rights. They frequently aren’t smart enough to realize that they are funded by the Koch brothers and others of that sorry ilk. Yesterday, a group led by Palin and Cruz taunted the President with racist rants, bigoted cries and Confederate flags. It seems clear that if this small group of miscreants can continue to stop the government and ensure that the US defaults on its obligations, our democratic system must be viewed as having failed.
When a small group runs a government in its interests – as opposed to the interests of the governed, we don’t have a democracy. We have a fascist plutocracy. The tea party’s anti-Obama protests of late are racist, bigoted, ill-informed and treasonous.
Our elected officials are entrusted with governing/legislating in our interests. A government shut down means an abrogation of their duties and – in a real world business sense – they should be fired. Since the government is failing to govern, it seems ludicrous to suggest that they can handle national health care — they can’t even do the simple job they were elected to do! And, one needs to question why the American people must select government health care when Congress – the folks who gave it to us – are exempted from participating. However, the Affordable Care Act is not the issue. Right wing extremism is.
It seems clear to me that if we cannot end the shut down and avert a US financial default, that we need to return to our previous government and ask the British Empire to re-colonize us. We already speak the language, we love Prince what’s his face and his wife and their new kid and many of us like tea.
SAME SEX MARRIAGE (the following rants were written ages ago -but not published.)
To whom is this an issue worth getting upset about? How could it possibly impact our world? Are we not the nation that holds itself up to all others the bastion of freedom and self determination? If a man and a man or a woman and a woman want to be together in marriage, that’s fine with me. Two consenting adults have the inalienable right to pursue their dreams and wishes as long as they don’t prevent others from doing the same. If it is their wish to marry, so be it….as long as they have cake. That’s all there is to it.
Now if we were talking about an adult male and a young gekko, I would have reservations – how do we know the gekko is ready for that level of commitment? The same would hold true for me if we were talking about an adult woman and an underage wombat.
I also think that those who are upset about the possibility of same-sex couples sharing in the national pastime of getting married and divorced as many times as possible, are overlooking some salient arguments.
If a same sex couple gets married they cannot have a child…unless one of them is lying about the sex part. However, they can raise a child. So say there’s a typical family- husband, wife, a few kids…a dog…etc. Now there can be no question that babies are cute and wonderful. As children begin to age however, they become irritating teenagers – complaining about the parental behavior they once found so charming. The parents don’t change, the children do. They begin to resent authority and they begin to get all snippy and snappy and icky. So your more typical families – that have a bonus kid or two – could conceivably send their extra kid or kids to a same-sex couple that otherwise wouldn’t have a kid at all. This would give the childless couple a chance to have their very own live-in income and resource drain while allowing the original parents to concentrate their limited resources on the good kid or kids that they still care about.
And think of the kids. Say you’re an only child. Suddenly your parents, without consulting you, bring home – what?! – another kid! The only child, who up until now was the single recipient of the parental gift giving budget now sees his stuff quotient get slashed by 50%. And if the parents have twins, that only-now-oldest child could see his share of the gift budget sliced by more than 33%. In fact, according to a study I just made up, parents tend to give more and better gifts to the second and third kids then they ever gave the first kid. That is to say that while the first (only child) kid got all the gifts in the “kid gift budget” for any given fiscal year, parents tend to give the first kid all kinds of crap that really shouldn’t count as no kid would want half of it anyway. That is why many pail and bucket sets sit unused as the kid is never near any sand and can only build castles with what he finds at the bottom of the kitty litter box. One bad experience with kitty cat pellets and litter will keep even your idiot kid far away from a repeat experience. Ipso facto, the toy, regardless of what percentage of the gift budget it represents, sucks. When new kids are brought into the home, parents have a better idea of what a kid really wants and the new kids get better stuff than the first kid who soon realizes that his life, up to this moment, has been a test run for the 2nd and 3rd kids (the “better kids”). Parents screw up left and right with the first kid as they plan to make improvements with the subsequent kid. While kids seem to not be paying attention, studies – again made up just seconds ago – indicate that they sometimes notice stuff. First kids certainly notice that there is a real correlation between life suddenly sucking and new kids showing up in the house.
Therefore, it seems to me that if we would stop bitching about same sex marriages messing up our comfort zones and making us look at tough questions in a meaningful way, we can avoid introspection entirely and see same sex marriages as an opportunity to give our older ickier kids to couples who will overlook how badly we messed the kid up and will just love him for whoever and whatever he is…which is more than most of us are doing.
Marriage has existed for centuries….almost as long as homosexuality…but not quite. As we are a growing understanding and accepting people, we have learned this: marriages rarely last and although it can get pretty ugly sometimes and although divorce is even more ugly and a likely end to most marriages – putting the whole idea of marriage into question as a morally, socially or romantically wise decision, we’d rather keep the whole marriage option to heterosexuals and deny homosexuals the chance to have a really horrific divorce.
I ask you, what’s worse? – hiring a hit man to kill your spouse, enduring a long ugly horrific destructive battle over material things while trying to dump someone you once legally worshipped, or having the “sanctity of marriage ” destroyed by allowing same sex couples to enjoy it as much as the rest of us?
Who are we to tell anybody that we know what God wants? That we know what is right? We clearly haven’t a clue. Heterosexual marriages work and heterosexual marriages don’t work and when they don’t work – which is more than 50% of the time (a real study this time!) the devastation is horrific to behold.
The naked hate that remains after a marriage disintegrates is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. Who are we to tell others that we “know” what marriage is all about and that it obviously isn’t for gay couples? If there is any truth we can share, it is that we “normal” couples haven’t a clue what marriage is and maybe it’s time to let gay couples teach us what it really means to be wed. There can be no question that we absolutely suck at marriage. Statistically, heterosexual couples have shown they don’t even remotely care about wedding vows. The “I do” should be changed to: “Eh – maybe. We’ll play it by ear.”
So how about we stop pretending that being small minded, provincial and inclusive is a good thing and open our minds and our hearts to love and relationships that may test our mores but open our understanding? I realize that it’s a big step to take for many people and that’s why I’ll hold off on my views on letting gays into the Boy Scouts for the time being.
In short, same sex marriage shouldn’t even be in issue that separates or unites us. It should just be.
This misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution that right wing militaristic numb nuts are using as an excuse to bear automatic and large cartridge weapons must cease. As recently as 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v Heller (no relation – but kinda cool) that the amendment protects the right of Americans to keep and bear arms not necessarily connected to militia service but that this right is not unlimited. One may not keep any weapon for any purpose. For example, if you or your son or brother or mother or father happen to be a massive moron who shouldn’t be around small pebbles – let alone guns, you do not necessarily have the right to own an assault weapon.
That the weak minded and morally corrupt US Congress could not and would not respond to Newton with a bill to stop ownership of weapons of mass destruction (like assault rifles where masses are killed even by those with bad aim) is not surprising. Those elected to Congress routinely ignore their constituents in favor of the free dinners offered by the gun lobby.
Remember our elected representatives are still – technically – working for us. I urge you all to write your Congressmen and tell them that you think they are sniveling cowards and for not standing up for what it right. Tell them you will vote them out of office. Better yet, run against them. We need leaders in our local, state and federal government who will make the tough choice to stand for principal and toss out lobbyists of all types. I think professional lobbyists are a national scourge and need to be rooted out like rats.
I should say here that while I do not own a gun, I do support the 2nd Amendment and agree that the government has no business interfering with gun ownership — however requiring a background check so people like — I dunno — Michele Bachman can’t own an assault weapon is not a violation of the 2nd Amendment. A background check is a surety to protect our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness….so we can go to movies or to our classes without the fear of being shot by a whackjob with weapons they shouldn’t have in the first place.
IN OTHER NEWS…..
A recent flight from Denver to Baltimore was diverted and landed in Chicago and a family was removed from the plane. The reason? The family complained about that the in-flight film was too graphic and violent for their children. The parents in question never raised their voices or threatened anyone in anyway but the pilot decided to divert and have them removed from the plane when flight attendants relayed the family’s concerns to the cockpit.
At issue isn’t just an abuse of power by airline employees but a deeper, darker and for more insidious threat to airline passengers everywhere. It seems that some airlines are actually classifying films like Alex Cross (the movie that started this ruckus) as “entertainment”! Shocking but true. Apparently there are no standards in play when it comes to airplane movie choices making it possible, if not likely, that a passenger with no place to escape may have to sit through an Adam Sandler film or – God forbid – something truly awful like The Hobbit.
Airline officials responded: “Our job is to get you from one airport to the other with as much red tape and bureaucratic snafus as possible. Besides, we only showed a Tyler Perry film – it’s not like we played an Owen Wilson flick or some Tom Cruise movie where the little dude pretends he’s Jack Reacher — we’re not that sick.”
WOMEN LIKE IT BIG…
Researchers conducted tests at the University of Australia to determine if the size of a male organ increased his attractiveness to females. Scientists created 49 computer generated male “subjects” varying the height, slenderness and penis side. The “subjects” were shown to 105 Australian women who rated them on a 1-7 scale for attractiveness. The study showed what has long been assumed: women like big penises. Researchers – none of whom resembled the computer generations in any way – posted the results of their study and then went out for the most depressing celebration of their careers.
ELEPHANT IN DRIVE BY
Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus star – Carol the Elephant – was shot in the neck during a drive-by shooting. Authorities are searching for the suspects and a $21,000 reward has been offered.
Carol the Elephant, expected to make a full recovery and recuperating in Springfield MO had this to say:
“It was like 2AM and I was sitting around chatting with some of the other elephants when a shot ring out and BLAM! I suddenly feel a sharp pain in the neck. I’m like – ‘WTF?! Some trailer trash shitbird shot me!’ Danny – he’s the head elephant – he looks at me and he goes – ‘damn girl! who wants you dead? you into gamblin? crack ? why’d they shoot you? damn….coulda hit one of us! We’re all big as elephants you know.’
And I’m like – ‘No Danny! No! I am not into anything. I don’t know who’d shoot me. Probably some 2nd Amendment gun nuts that are being protected by Congressional Republicans. And you know what? Republicans use a picture of me as their damn mascot! Those fools shoulda shot a donkey! Well I tell you what – I do not forget and I will not forget — if this damn circus ever goes to Washington, I am gonna stomp on some GOP heads. And I will too.