The Cynics Workshop

Where I can try to influence the world, one word at a time.

Month: December, 2012

Happy Festivus

The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievences, I got a lot of problems with you people! Krueger, my son tells me your company stinks…you couldn’t smooth a silk sheet if you had a hot date with a babe…I lost my train of thought.

And now it’s time for the feats of strength…so with that I sign off.

Happy Festivus everyone!

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Newtown, CT

What can you really say about the events in Newtown, CT this past Friday? My heart goes out to all the families that were impacted by this senseless tragedy…and now I like everyone else struggle with the inevitable question of ‘why?’. As a parent you know you cannot control every aspect of your child’s life, you know that you will send them out into the world and hope for the best, but under no circumstances would you expect to send them off to elementary school and be able to envision a scenario like this.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit over the weekend, and I always come back to the thought that it is now time to seriously do something about the guns on our streets. You can’t get away from the irony that the woman whose son did this was the first victim, and that she was killed with her own gun. All her guns were purchased legally, they were registered, she would use them to go target shooting with her kids. She did everything ‘right’, and look what happened. The bottom line is that the less number of guns that are out there, the better off we all are. I’ve reached the point where I don’t care anymore about the people who would lose their jobs if we stopped producing guns, I don’t care if there is an amendment in our Constitution that gives people the right to bear arms, it’s time to get rid of the guns.

I grew up in the country, my neighbor had guns, we would use them to go target shooting in our back yard. Yes it was fun, but would my life be drastically different if I hadn’t had that experience? No. I respect hunters, I respect the fact that they really look forward to when their season starts, I don’t really understand the allure of wanting to get up at 3am to go sit in the freezing cold for 6 hours while you wait for an animal to venture your way, but I think it’s time for them to get a new hobby.

As for the people who say the U.S. Constitution guarantees their right to bear arms, I offer you this. If you could take one of those innocent kids who were just gunned down and bring them back to life for a minute, teach them to say “why did I have to die” to that person who is in favor of owning guns, I would love to hear what their answer is. The truth is that there is no answer; there is no reason why those kids had to die. There is no reason why that mom had to own those guns. There is no reason. Our Constitution was drafted a long time ago, the world we lived in was obviously much different than it is now, the time is upon us to amend that amendment.

This isn’t going to stop. These people are out there and they are unstable, and sadly they are unstoppable. How many more Columbine’s have to happen, how many more Virginia Tech’s have to happen, how many more Aurora, CO’s have to happen, how many more Newtown, CT’s have to happen? How many more of these mass shootings have to happen before people wake up and realize that guns are bad, and that they need to go? Do you believe that guns don’t kill people, that people kill people? Well I would take my chances any day of the week with a person who doesn’t have a gun compared to one who does. The more these events happen, the more they (sadly) inspire others to commit them. The desire to ‘one-up’ and to out-do the previous mass killer is a very present scenario. These lunatics dream of going out in a blaze of glory, to make a statement, and to try to leave their mark and get in the history books. Why aren’t we doing more to stop them?

Suing over a bad review?

A story came out today about a Virginia contractor who is suing a former customer due to a bad review the ex-customer posted on a review website.  I don’t know how far this case will make it in the Virginia courts, but I do know that (assuming the allegations posted were true) this is a sad day in our Country.  We tout what a great Country we are, how we guarantee so many more freedoms that other Countries, including Freedom of Speech, but yet when someone does try to exercise their freedoms, they are often cut down.  Among the allegations made by the ex-customer were that the contractor did damage to her house and that some of her jewelry was stolen.  Now if this was in fact the case, she should have every right to write a review, mention the contractor by name, and issue a public warning to others in her community in an effort to prevent future thefts.  I’ve had things stolen from my house from contractors, and I’ve also been involved with companies that failed to deliver on what they promised and in the latter I worked with the BBB to try to get restitution.

The reason this is such a sad day is that very few of us will be able to follow through on what happens with this case, but the mere fact that the contractor sued will inject a matter of cautiousness into our minds that may prevent one of us from going public next time we are the subject of an injustice…and in that regard, our society is going in the wrong direction.  To take both sides of the story, if in fact the allegations are false, then I completely support the contractor and since the woman was clearly in violation of a law, she should be punished.  At this precise moment, I am dealing with a local business that is charging me for services they did not provide and I have thought long and hard about writing a blog (where I would mention their company by name) to which I have held back for fear of retribution.  That fear is precisely what has been instilled in me from hearing stories like this one in the past.

If we really are a Country that allows for free speech, then we should be able to post whatever we want (as long as it is true) on any public review site…case closed.

2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Announcer – Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (cheers and applause).  Please welcome your Victoria’s Secret Angels (cheers and applause).  With special appearances by Rihanna (cheers and applause), Bruno Mars (cheers and applause), and Justin Bieber (record scratches and music stops).  What the hell is Justin Bieber doing at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show??  He has about as much business being at a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as I do being at a AARP event for retired senior ladies.  I will freely admit that before last night, I had never heard this kid sing a song, if you played 3 songs on the radio…I wouldn’t have been able to guess which one was his, but I did know that he was considered *clears throat* a teen idol.  After last night, we clearly need to re-visit the criteria for being a teen idol if this kid is considered one.

During the first segment of the show, Rihanna performed one of her songs while the Angels were doing their thing on the runway.  During the second segment, Bruno Mars played one of their songs while the Angels did their thing on the runway.  Then the show took an unexpected and unfortunate turn.  During the third segment we were tormented by having Justin Bieber along with some guy who needed a haircut do an a-capella version of his song.  It was just Justin singing, and his friend playing the guitar.  There were no Angels walking the runway, there was nothing, just this kid and his friend.  Now, normally that wouldn’t be so bad, but let me highlight a few of the negatives.  First of all, for those of you who haven’t seen this Bieber kid, if I had to describe his appearance last night to a police sketch artist, I would say that he has a very soft face, almost feminine like.  His hair was straight out of 1992, just look for Kid N Play…only without Play.  His jacket was white, and clearly high jacked from Michael Jackson’s closet (not that he’ll need it anymore)…it couldn’t have been more 1985 if he tried.  It was sleeveless so it showed off his beautiful Angel Hair Pasta arms.  He of course had saggy jeans on *sigh*.  I’ll leave much of this for another post, but if there is one thing you can do in life to ensure people will end up not liking you and ensuring you won’t succeed, wear saggy jeans.  His shoes were also white, complimenting his soft, white, gentile, moisturized skin.  They were also clearly stolen from RUN DMC’s closet.  In other words, there was very little that was original about this pre-pubescent princess.

After the pain of those 4 minutes ended, we were finally reunited with the Angels *ahhhh*…unfortunately that Bieber kid was back on the stage singing yet another horrible tune and showing us moves that made me think he wanted to be the 8th member of *N Sync.  He was up on stage walking around singing, trying to be cool, and worse yet he was joined by about 15 of his boyfriends back-up singers who were trying to emulate every one of his dance moves.  The only thing that made this performance slightly bearable is that this time, the Angels were at least on stage walking the runway so we had something to distract us from this mini action figure that sprung to life.  I’m not sure where this kid came from, but I wish he would go back.  How did he end up there in the first place, was Timberlake booked?

In closing, I would say that the unfortunate appearance of that cute little girl annoying wanna-be member of a soon-t0-be boy band only mildly took away from the whole show.  It was again a beautiful display of women, fashion, and women…three things that don’t normally make an appearance on my normal Tuesday night calendar.  The themes VS went with were great, the women were again striking, all-in-all a great show, let’s do it again next year…only sans Bieber.

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