Crime: It’s Just A Word

Posted on February 16, 2013. Filed under: Journalism, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1st in the series The Manipulators

Your words for the day:

  • citizen = a legal, voting resident of the United States of America
  • non-citizen = not a citizen of the US of A
  • legal = according to law
  • illegal = NOT according to law
  • crime = violation (wittingly or unwittingly) of a law
  • The Big P = The Press (a.k.a., all media involved in the annual Pulitzer contest)

Hack!  Sputter, cough!  Hack, hack…

…stay with me a moment while I clear my craw…

  • Night court.  Traffic Court.  His honor begins his address:  “You are all here because you have committed a crime.”  Hmmm!  One guy got cited for 5-miles over the speed limit, another changed lanes safely without using the turn signal, and that lady over there was flaunting an expired inspection sticker…   you get the drift.  He said other stuff, but that bit about the “criminality” of minor traffic violations has stuck in my craw for a couple of decades.
  • A US CITIZEN single mother, with limited resources and spotty assistance from relatives, attempts to work for money to support her child and herself, can’t find a baby-sitter, so the child is left alone while she works.  She is a criminal (child abandonment, endangerment, etc., whatever the DA can tag her with) and prosecuted.  (Gotta be an item on page 1, section 1.)
  • A US CITIZEN home invader goes through your property collecting whatever he can find to improve the quality of his life.  He gets caught and is treated like a common thief.  (If not a famous invader, Press coverage somewhere in section 1.)
  • She is 17 years and 6 months old.  He is a “mature” US CITIZEN of 20 years age.  They are in love.  If you are really slow on this, he is an adult, she is a minor.  He might catch a break here if the DA is not running for re-election before she turns 18.  Just pray — if you are that “mature” US citizen — that you did not provide alcohol to an under-aged female to disable her resistance.  (Should have gotten press coverage on the first page of section 1.)
  • He is a US CITIZEN accused of sexual assault of a minor, on the run for 6 years.  He is finally apprehended and is treated like a heinous criminal, complete with public humiliation by the Press (with the big pee) and does jail time.  (Not just section 1, but headline ranking.)
  • You are a US CITIZEN, a relative of a legally entitled government benefit recipient.  The recipient dies, you keep on cashing those government checks issued in the name of the no longer responsive legal benefit recipient.  When you get caught for improving the quality of your life, think lawyer and act quickly.  Your federal government will treat you — an unquestioned US CITIZEN — like a common criminal.  (Page 1, or somewhere else in section 1, depending on what is trending.)
  • You are a US CITIZEN and you make false statements on a benefit application to get benefits you are not entitled, under U.S. laws, to receive.  Check with the preceding US citizen.  That one can recommend a good criminal lawyer for you.  (Maybe you’ll make it to section 1.)

We all live in a country with laws; that is true in whatever country on the globe you happen to live.  As a U.S. citizen visiting other countries, you can expect to be treated like a criminal if you are accused of violating local laws.  So, at home or abroad, mess with Zohan*   …uh, laws…   local laws…   your U.S. citizenship is meaningless:  you get treated like a common criminal (actually, that U.S. citizenship abroad probably adds to the severity of your sentencing).

On the flip side, you DON’T live in the United States NOR are you a citizen of said states.  You live in one of several countries south of the United States (or even Europe or Asia).  But, golly, things look pretty good up north (or, over there) in the US of A:  land of plenty, land of opportunities, land of free medical care and even free money.  Sure, they got laws and standards for immigration and the lines are long where people try to comply with U.S. law for entry.  But, you know somebody who knows somebody who can find somebody to show you the way around those checkpoints and such at the border — can you spell c-o-y-o-t-e? 

In the process of realizing your dream of being what and where you are not entitled to be, you are willing to commit crimes against the people of the United States and the government of the United States and any and all of its state governments.

But, not to worry, O Brazen Criminal.  You WILL NOT be treated as a common criminal; that is reserved for the US Citizens whose country, property, houses, and treasuries YOU WILL INVADE AND PLUNDER to improve the quality of YOUR life.

Best of all, O Brazen Criminal, your advocate works pro bono…   if you discount coveting the next Pulitzer award…  pro bono…  it means “free.”  Okay!  Now that is a big smile.

And your advocate-if-it-will-get-me-a-Pulitzer is…

_____________________________

*Don’t get all bent, Adam.  It’s a free plug for your movie…   which I have not seen.

_____________________________

Next up:  Meet the #@&#! press…   again.  (I’ll clean that up a little for prime time)

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Responsibility

Posted on April 29, 2012. Filed under: Constitution, Journalism, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

As in accountability and blame for.

That good ol’ First Amendment gives to all of us the right to broadcast our views and news, either wirelessly or via that old-fashioned Gutenberg press (Version 1442.2012)  Print it, text it, blather it.  Used to be, only those with expensive and difficult-to-use printing devices or broadcasting equipment could get the goods out there, but, now anyone with a computer and web access has the same avenue as the big boys.  Just write, text, or talk whatever comes to mind, punch a button, and, WOW! everyone in the world can instantly share.

This constitutional freedom of (ex)press(ion) does not specify that the grantees (that be us) exercise due care to not hurt the feelings of other persons.  In fact, libeling other persons, inciting public unrest or sedition, and endangering national security are just about the only restraints on the expression of opinions while telling stories about all them other people and events.  So, emphasizing the sensational, salacious, and sleazy ain’t aginst th’ law…   maybe in poor taste, even malicious…   but, not illegal.  So, if not Big Brother, then, who does arbitrate the good, the bad and the ugly of our social literary mores?

Drum roll, please…

Cue the trumpets…

READY?  …We the People! (with a big “P” just like “The Press”)  Ain’t freedom grand?  Every time we pay attention to some item (broadcast, i-net site) or lay our money down for a book or other publication, we “vote”, as a society, on what we want to know and how we are told about it.

Information is packaged just like hard goods.  How to books, biographies, fashion trends (okay, my list is about 200 pages long, so I’ll just say…) …you get the picture.  The packaging itself is a marketing tool.  Hard goods (say that cordless hair-dryer you’ve always wanted) with attractive pictures and clean wording describing the product;  books and magazines with glossy, imaginative cover designs; celebrity and current trending periodicals with surprising pictures and tantalizing headlines;  tabloids and news outlets winging it every issue.  Getting the attention of the audience is paramount, and, the marketing that The People pay attention to is the marketing that proliferates.  Tired of seeing all those lurid tabloids at the check-out station?  Sorry, but, The People have spoken — at least enough of them to make the genre profitable.

Now that we have that settled, I’ve been wanting to talk to the rest of you about your choices of what is “good.”  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to tell you how to think, but, c’mon…   really?  The Simpsons and that  whole genre for all these years?

I… apologize… for that.  Entertainment choices are a whole different field.  Escapism can take many forms, and, we might lose ourselves in anything (action, satire, comedy, romance, nature…) while seeking relief from the daily reality.  Anything to restore balance to our manias.

But, really…   The Simpsons?   …lest you think I am intolerant, I did tune it in once and saw that  w-h-o-l-e  episode.  I’ve been doing avoidance therapy ever since.

Dense populations (numbers, not a surfeit of bone heads) means big markets for everything.  (Oh!  Just received a quick-note from the Marketing Management Association.  Says, “Don’t be so quick to rule out bone heads as viable and lucrative market targets.“)  O-kay…   moving right along, we got your internet, lots of restaurants, clubs, smart phones, computer games, land-a-date-if-youre-lucky, identity thieves, the evening and local news, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, e-Bay, tons of bail bondsmen, and bunches more of marketers.  All after our money.  None wanting to wait in line.  Each eager to touch us first.  That advertising scene is one frantic jungle.

Next up:  “The public has a right to know”

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How A Little P Became A Big P

Posted on March 24, 2012. Filed under: History, Humor, language, Mythology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

No!  Definitely NOT a physiology class.  More of a chemistry thing.  Previously, we left Yohan (as his buds called him) nursing a world-class hang over, possibly resulting from a bad guilt trip over his soon-to-be-realized ripple effect on global societies.  Or, maybe, from a cheap wine called Thor’s Thunder Juice – 100% Natural.  Can’t corroborate that because history, like expensive PC software today, does suffer considerable “corruption” of its records.  Unlike software (a planned obsolescence product) you cannot buy an upgrade of historical data because — like the software license disclaimer states no one is taking responsibility for lost data.

Judging from the long-term nausea engendered by printing on demand, I have to conclude that Yohan took time out from his copy of Victoria’s Secret (the cookbook) for a late-night assignation with a mysterious vixen called Dora, only to find out later when he clumsily knocked her “jewelry” box off the bed stand that her full name was Pandora, of Greek descent.  Thunder Juice or no, Yohan got down on the floor with her and they both groped around trying to get those little squirmers back into the box.  Yohan did notice that one of the escaped critters seem to blow him a kiss as it disappeared from view.  He described it later as having button-like studs all over it and a little window displaying the letters “xoxo” (there is but one brief account of this in a moldy, later edition of Victoria’s Secret (the cookbook) under “Letters to the Chef).  Yeah.  That’s my story, and…

Now, about the pP thing.  Back then, it was guys that made the world go around.  And, always with guys, size is important.  In the printing business, I’m sure those inkers were very keen on owning the biggest press available, and, over at the local watering hole that catered to printers, et alia, the boast “my press is bigger than your press” got a lot of laughs.  Rapid printing meant that you could get away from printing slow-changing text books and those old and tired authoritarian government edicts and actually blab about something in almost real-time.  These new blabbers called themselves reporters, an obvious ploy to redecorate the term gossip-monger.  Vying to get the best gossip,,,   story...    to the public first, caused an epidemic of swollen egos floating their pride in lots of suds at the local pub.  But, the competition did not end with the longest belch; out back, at the walled trench that passed for a public rest room, the contestants lined up to see whose puddle had the biggest head of foam on it.  The prize:  the winner could now truthfully boast, “My pee is bigger than your pee!”

Back in the press club, this spore group that would propagate like fungus to become reporters, paparazzi, columnists, anchor persons, journalists, bleah, bleah, bleah, came to a common conclusion:  they were BIG in every way.  Big printers, big egos, big pee, big mouths.  It was inevitable that one of them would see the word press and subconsciously realize that “since my pee is bigger than Ed’s pee, the p in my press ought to be bigger than the p in his press.”  So, whenever you see the phrase “The Press,” you are not seeing a claim to elite status, but a brash boast that the touter has come out on top in an ancient, drunken male ritual called a pissing contest.

Next up:  An update on my cynicism

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Who Needs a Stinking Resume?

Posted on February 15, 2012. Filed under: Constitution | Tags: , , , , , |

At the onset of this little venture, I imagined I should have a post or two outlining my experience in this sort of thing, and, why you should take the time to consider my offerings.  However, my cynical nature took over, and, I thought, “This will just be about my opinions and views on things.  I got plenty of experience in expressing all that.  Any readers coming this way will have to hear what I got to say before they can decide for themselves whether they resonate with it or are repulsed.”  I don’t need a resume to sound off, and, you sure don’t one to decide like or dislike.  What’s nice is having the freedom to express, and, the  freedom to consider, viewpoints.

Yet, another diversion.  I did want to go on about me a little more, but, that last line brings us earlier than expected to the primary goal of these writings:  WORDS.  More specifically, the misuse and misapplication of words, according to me.  The current subject, freedom of speech, brings up one such expression,

…The Fourth Estate.  Wikipedia has a detailed and informative entry on the origins and applications of the term, but, as I get the gist, it refers to power and influence brokers operating outside the parameters of an established government.  While many of these organizations are labeled “fourth estate” by third parties, some like the allusion to power and privilege and take on the mantle like a cber’s handle.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Press.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution reads, in part:  “Congress shall make no law…   abridging the freedom of speech; or of the press;”  The Constitution — the supreme law of the land — goes to great lengths to delineate the parameters of power for the enumerated principals, to wit, Executive, Legislature, Judicial, and, even though an afterthought, The People of the United States, for whom the original 10 amendments were penned.

Excuse me!  For whom?  The People!  Not a piece of machinery called “the press” nor a select group of people who call themselves “The Press,” but, every person of the United States, with or without a press pass.  So, we (you and I) are the Fourth Estate of power, sharing and acting on popular ideas and initiatives.  We do not need Brian what’s-his-name (a national t.v. anchor person) feeling like he has to “examine the issues and explain them” to us; like Bryan, we stumbled our way to the bathroom this morning and took care of business just as efficiently as he did.  We can decide what the issues mean for ourselves.

Fourth Estate, my onager.  Journalists, reporters, and anchor persons all have niches in my cache of cynicism and resentment.  Michele Malkin sums up their on-screen pomposity nicely:  nothing but teleprompter readers.

Next up:  Getting back to me.

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