These People Deserve Each Other

Not the United States.

In order to understand the latest Israel-Gaza conflict through the prism of the seemingly unending Arab-Israeli conflict, one need only turn to one of the most brilliantly concise explanations ever written: “It’s the latest version of the longest-running play in the Middle East, which, if I were to give it a title, would be called, Two Groups of Racist Assholes Endlessly Killing Each Other.” Although Matt Taibbi was referring to the atrociously amazing writing of one Thomas Friedman, this should not obscure the point. If that sounds like flippant analysis, that’s because it is. It is flippant precisely because it is a meaningless fight between two deeply racist communities based entirely upon equal parts machismo, religiosity, stubbornness, tribalism and the ownership of a very specific number of arid, dry and generally useless square kilometers. Obviously it is not meaningless to the combatants, but it is (or at least should be) to Americans. [Read more…]

Dog Whistles

This is the only time Nazis should ever make you smile.

So I just got into this Twitter scuffle (I know, I know, I was bored) with this guy who compared progressives to the “Wehrsmacht” [sic].

I replied to him, “What is wrong with you that you think this is appropriate?”

So we have this whooooole exchange, where I point out that his use of “Wehrsmacht” is nothing more than a reference, however indirect, to Nazism, and that is totally inappropriate.*  He explains that NO, he wasn’t trying to evoke the specter of Nazi Germany. He was, in fact, comparing Walker’s recall victory in Wisconsin to (this is a quote) “Arracourt as a summer prelude to Adennes [sic].”


The average American doesn’t know the capital city of more than maybe 3 states of the US. Unless they’re some crazy Time Life WWII nutter, they’ve never heard of Arracourt OR Ardennes! Furthermore, WHICH ARDENNES? The Battle of Ardennes in 1914?! Or 2007’s Operation Ardennes in Iraq?! No, he was actually referring to the Offensive of Ardennes (only really called that by the Germans, btw. Everyone else calls this The Battle Of The Bulge).

So my question remains, why use the word “Wehrmacht?”

Historical battle names aside, the word Wehrmacht only refers to ONE thing: the combined German armed forces between the years 1935 – 1945. Prior to 1935, it was called the Reichswehr. It was renamed Wehrmacht BY THE THIRD FUCKING REICH. After WWII, the Allies and Germany again renamed the army to the “Bundeswehr.” So the ONLY POINT IN HISTORY at which the army was called the Wehrmacht was during Nazism.

So we return to the central points I made to this gobshite:  [Read more…]

Never Use the C-word in Mixed Company

You know what I hate? Clients. Not the individual people or the companies. I hate the c-word. It’s just not a good word.

So I was wrapping up a nice week of freelance work at this little ad agency. Busy, complete with the expected learning curve where I try to figure out what the hell the Creative Director wants and he tries to figure out why the hell I suck at taking creative direction. And then you get past that and get stuff done. Headlines come out your ears, he inevitably picks the worst of the lot, and I get paid to wax poetic, or wax boring depending on what spins your buttons, and it’s a good week. Nice people, doable deadlines, creative-ish loft space with tables that kinda say, “I wish I’d gone to architecture school” and bottomless coffee. Two thumbs up.

Enter the C-word

It was Friday, and we’re chatting about next week- his work flow, my availability, deadlines I have with another “client,” blah blah blah. I guess this guy’s technically a client, cause I’m freelance, but normally I’d think of him as the CD or creative boss man and the client’s the brand I’m working on.  But the c-word’s a slippery, slimy little bugger. And that other client? I consider him a writing partner. A full on, equal on equal collaboration team of surprisingly well-matched spectacular.

Creative Director Client: Well, I don’t have much coming in, so you can fully focus on your other client, blah blah blah client blah client blah blah client client client. If I have any emergencies roll in can I give you a shout?

Me: Yeah, perfect.

And I suddenly wanted to grab the nearest rubbish bin and heave like I did that one time when I ate two cookie sheets worth of coconut macaroons (I was probably eight).

When we call someone that — “client,” I mean — we’re making them the automatic anonymous enemy. [Read more…]

The Scourge Among Us

Technology is so great, isn’t it? From my car (while driving), I can totally ask my phone where the nearest gas station is (a necessity last night, as my Bronco ran out of gas for the second time in a week when I was merely a block away from the brewery library), find the best pizza in town or call up a girl that I like.

And I can do this with my hands on the wheel because something-something SIRI. She’s a badass that lives in my iPhone and tells me things, like where Zooey Deschanel is at that exact moment so I may deliver her flowers and chocolates. The police call it “stalking” but it’s so totally not, you guys. [Read more…]

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