Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Revenge of Bad Medicine!

Those of you who follow me regularly know that I spend an inordinate amount of time watching all the pharmaceutical commercials you see nowadays, investigating the products flogged therein, and then making fun of them here. It's a strange hobby, I'll admit, but it can be quite informative, and funny as hell.

If you'd like to read all the posts in this series, then click the Bad Medicine tag at the bottom of this post.

It's apparently Penis Week here at Bad Medicine, because of the six drugs/treatments I'm about to tell you about, one-third of them are prime examples of why retiring Baby Boomers should be compelled by Force of Law to be celibate. I could not believe what I found when investigating those two...ahem...treatments.

There's an awful of lot of skin care commercials lately, too. Apparently, wrinkles and zits are back in vogue, and not to be outdone, the range of anti-depressants has now moved into the Homeopathic Realm, but at least HippieCare is cheaper than ObamaCare, right? It's almost as effective, too. Anyways, have fun. I did.

1. Amoryn - this is an herbal anti-depressant. It's another of those "All Natural" homeopathic remedies that's supposed to be better for you because it's "Natural" and doesn't put money into the pockets of Big Pharma. Amoryn claims to be a remedy for anxiety and depression, and it possesses the mystical power to "boost the brain's natural capacity for happiness". Whatever the fuck that means.

The website then goes on to repudiate those claims by then counter-claiming that the terms "anxiety", "depression" and "panic" found on the site may refer to "common emotions" and should not be interpreted as referring to medically or clinically-recognized-and-defined diseases or conditions. All "Natural Remedies", incidentally, usually have a similar disclaimer on their webpage, in very small print at the bottom of the page, and always after they make claims to be the cure for all that ails you in the first paragraph of the advert. The disclaimers continued, and I especially loved this one:

"...Statements that an ingredient found in Amoryn has been proven in clinical trials to effectively treat a disease do not represent any claim regarding the effects of Amoryn, and do not signify that Amoryn itself has been proven to effective treat that disease..."

If that wasn't Clintonian enough for you, there was the claim that Amoryn has been "Scientifically Designed" to "put a spring in your step and a smile on your face." If anyone could actually recreate that in a laboratory I'd give you a testicle. The contradictory claims come fast-and-furious.

Amoryn, apparently has been scientifically-designed to pep you up and un-depress you...provided you aren't suffering from depression, anxiety and panic in the clinical sense of those terms. And this is supposed to be medicine? So why take Amoryn at all, if it doesn't actually do what it initially claims it will?

Well, because it's cheaper (although not as effective as) than Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil, and doesn't give money to Evil Big Pharma, silly! You won't need a prescription, like you do for Marijuana. It contains an "active ingredient" called "Hyperforin", which is a fancy name for "St. John's Wort" -- which I remember from a few years ago as being everything from a cure for cancer to a source of atomic energy, depending on which Hippie you talked to. It's also heavy on B6 and B12 vitamins (most "Natural" remedies are, you know). I found an awful lot of stuff on St. John's Wort in the treatment of depression. The major proponents (Hippies) basically all say that it would be a standard treatment -- if the medical profession wasn't in bed with Big Pharma. The Medical and Scientific Professions basically say that while wiping your ass with St. John's Wort won't necessarily hurt you, it would certainly be a more effective treatment for depression than shelling out $34.99 for a bottle of this shit.

Except that Amoryn doesn't work alone! It has been "scientifically designed" to be used as part of a depression-management system...which includes two other homeopathic remedies at similar prices-- Seredyn and Mellodyn (which, I assume are "Natural" Serotonin and Melatonin, two brain chemicals in which a deficiency in either or both is often linked to depression and anxiety disorders).

Get all three at over $100.00 a month -- for basically a bunch of herbs of questionable use and some B-complex vitamins. For that money, you could get a 60-day supply of Zoloft, and that actually sorta-kinda works.

2. ExtenZe- well, if you hadn't guessed by the name, this is all about "Natural Male Enhancement", which is a code phrase for "Bigger Dick without an Embarrassing Prescription". I'm almost sorry I looked into this subject, because it led me into dark corners of the internet that I would have been quite content to remain ignorant of. Except that they were funny.

The premise behind ExtenZe is the old psychological fear that some men have that the old Pork Pistol, the trusty Pelvis Bazooka, the Jolly Old Chum-chucker just might not be up to snuff in the size department. The old "Does Size Matter?" argument which is about as tedious as the one about Chickens and Eggs. ExtenZe is a patent medicine, which means you don't need a prescription for it. It's advertised on late-night TV, on one of those infomercials, and it promises to add some length and girth to your Babymaker.

The commercial has a slutty-looking, near-Porn-star-quality chick extolling the virtues of the Blockbuster Erection in a discussion with the Pitch Man, not to mention cheap Dick Jokes a-plenty. This is supposed to put the male viewer into a tizzy wondering about the proportions of his One-eyed Wonder Worm, while simultaneously titillating him with the ideal of a sexually-frank woman who claims she'd rather have a Big One with which to occupy her time. Now for the really disturbing part; the research I had to do.

The Ultimate Penis Enlargement Guide (who knew?) absolutely raves about ExtenZe, while it's rival Ultimate Shaft (I shit you not), recommends you give this stuff a very wide berth, ranking it only #3 on it's list of Approved Peenie Products because there's a lot of "fake" ExtenZe out there, and you might not get the real thing. In the meantime, you can amuse yourself with this review in Penis Pills Reviews (I swear, there's some really sick and self-absorbed fuckers on this planet with entirely-too-much free time), which positively calls this one of the Greatest Inventions of the 21st Century (they didn't, really).

So, just what's in this Wonder Drug for the Willie, this Cornucopia of Cock, this veritable Plethora of Penis, this...ummm...Erector... of the Tower of Tallywhacker? The active ingredients seem to be a who's-who of the "Natural Medicine" rogue's gallery: Ginseng, Oatstraw, Cayenne Pepper, Ginko Biloba, Zinc and a bunch of others, which according to Hippies Everywhere , have been hyped for years as the "Wonder Cures" for everything from a purple hemorrhoid to multiple gunshot wounds to the face. Some guys might actually get a little extra lead in the pencil -- because some of these ingredients do improve blood flow -- but you won't be ringing doorbells, making pancakes, or typing the Great American Novel hands-free nor should you be expecting to frighten the children on Halloween with your special ventriloquist's act.

So, why MUST you have ExtenZe? Why, if you were an aging Baby Boomer, and medical science was making it possible for you to live a longer, healthier life with the possibility of being able to fuck like a 20-yr old way into your 70's-and-80's (thanks to Viagra and modern pharmacology), well, then you need this stuff more than you do air! Why? Because you're probably fat, ugly bald, and have enough wrinkles so that you look like a Shar-Pei after a four day lemon-juice bath. You won't get that 20-something-sexually-frank-gold-digger chick without a gimmick. At your advanced age, the only gimmicks left to you are a Fat Wad in your Wallet -- and when this fails because even some 20-yr olds have standards, you know -- you'll need Plan B: An even-Fatter Wad in your BVD's.

The theory is that the youngins will forget all about your sagging, aging, graying body if you're hung like a Thoroughbred. Not only that, but you'll be getting Porn-star quality babes, too! My favorite ExtenZe claim off the website was "Precisely control your ejaculation...". I then wondered if they meant that in terms of improved accuracy? Anyways, it's your $59.95 fantasy, so enjoy it.

3. Hydroxycut - another Patent Medicine, this one claims to be a super weight-loss aid that "boosts your metabolism", suppresses your appetite, and helps you burn more calories, all while "boosting your energy". This last claim, by the way, is a common one made by every Patent Medicine on the market, nowadays. There's an Energy Crisis that doesn't involve Fossil Fuels. You've become a Fat Slob not because you've had all the joy in life beaten out of you by everyday experience, nor because spend your days inhaling potato chips and Suzy Q's, laying on the couch or sitting on the toilet until you get Restless Leg Syndrome; no, you're a Fat Slob because you lack Energy.

"Energy" nowadays, has become a euphemism for "motivation".

So, how does Hydroxycut boost your energy...errr...I mean, motivate you to lose scads of unwanted weight? The website doesn't actually say how, except to say that it includes a Powerful Thermogenic Agent. What the fuck is a Powerful Thermogenic Agent, you may ask? I didn't know, so I had to look it up; this is something which aids, advances, enhances, promotes, expedites or stimulates metabolic activity. That means "digestion" -- because when you digest things, your body creates heat, meaning that your temperature rises, which produces sweat. So, it basically speeds up your metabolic process so that you can lose water weight, which is why a) I guess it's called "Hydroxycut", and b) why it carries this little disclaimer on the Webpage:

"It is important to maintain proper hydration."

Right, because if you don't, Hydroxycut will have you shedding so much excess water that you can expect the wages of severe dehydration, especially all that really nasty kidney dysfunction. And by the way, the "Key Ingredient" in Hydroxycut appears to be...caffeine. So, I guess we know where that "boost your Energy" nonsense comes from. You'll also find Vitamin C and Blueberry extracts in it.

While doing research, I discovered that Hydroxycut was recalled in May of 2009 after reports of users suffering severe liver damage. In response, Hydroxycut was "reformulated" (they replaced all the old, harmful ingredients with new ones) , and is now marketed as "Hydroxycut Advanced". According to a lot of stuff I've read, it's recommended that you avoid this shit like leprosy; there is the risk of hurting yourself with simple dehydration if you're not careful, or paying attention to what you're doing. This stuff is aimed at people trying to drop a lot of weight, quickly, and that by itself makes the whole thing suspect, even if the commercial does have a bikini beauty or two, and a hunky doctor in it.

4. Murad - when I saw it on television, it was being hyped as the Magical Cure for Bacne (Acne on your back, Ladies). I soon discovered that there is a variety of products all bearing the name "Murad", although I'm not certain if it applies to only one $35-a-tube/vat/jar face cream, or to all of them. Because there appears to be an entire line of scrubs, cosmetics, skin creams, anti-aging creams, wrinkle creams, cleansers, blackhead removers, anti-oxidant gels, pore treatments, and so forth, all part of the Murad Skin Care System.

The gist of the website is that if you use all of these products, and devote 14-hours a day to proper skin care, then you too can look like Dr. Howard Murad (pictured on the site), the creator of the entire panoply of skin care products, who himself looks like Lenin's Corpse with that glowing patina that's half-wax-half-shellac, and which might actually crack under the slightest strain. Like if you grinned, or maybe yawned. Even farted. It's reminiscent of that warm glow you get from waxed fruit when the sunlight hits it just right.

And yes, this Dr. Murad is an actual Doctor, who looks as if Ricardo Montalban and Liberace might have conspired to conceive a son. He's apparently very well preserved thanks to extensive plastic surgery, and it's almost as if he's trying to preserve all that work under a protective layer of botox, furniture polish and home-made skin-care products. Does this stuff actually work, and cure the curse of Bacne? Who the hell knows! I just found this Dr. Murad creepy enough to post about.

This is the Gay/Female version of the ExtenZe scam (see above), only instead of preying upon anxiety over the size of one's Privates, this one revolves around a fear of time and gravity undoing the work of nature and/or your plastic surgeon.

5. Pos-T-Vac - another Penile Enlargement situation. Except that Pos-T-Vac isn't a pill. Nope, it's a mechanized system, described as a "vacuum erection system", and yeah, that fuckin' freaked me out, too! The website is a laugh-a-minute.

Pos-T-Vac bills itself as the "non-surgical approach to the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction, and is a an external method for achieving a full, strong erection, suitable for sexual intercourse."

As opposed to a "full, strong erection suitable for rebuilding a carburetor", or a "full, strong erection suitable for painting a bucolic 18th-Century landscape", and my personal favorite, "a full, strong erection suitable for making a Lemon Merange Pie". I'm glad they specified.

Suffice to say that the Pos-T-Vac System includes a vacuum cylinder, a hand-or-battery-operated pump, and a collection of "tension rings". Oh, and detailed instructions. I'm beginning to imagine I might have enough details without the diagrams, thank you. What you do is slip the cylinder snugly over your semi-erect John Thomas, create a secure seal, and then use the handy pump to suck some blood into your flaccid appendage. Once you have achieved this curious state, you are then to use the tension rings to prevent the blood from flowing back out of your Industrially-aided Erection by applying uniform pressure around your now-engorged member. Just like making sausage.

Then you can have a go at Making the Beast With Two Backs, I suppose.

If THAT sounded all sorts of Medieval to you, then join the fucking club! If you actually wish to see how this works (sorry, I couldn't help it, because it was as funny as a stadium full of burning Muslims), you can go here. Be warned: this is not safe for work.

You would think they would try to find some more attractive people to advertise this thing, because the crop they picked out for this commercial makes you wish some of them weren't getting any.

And no, I did not check with Ultimate Shaft or Penis Pills Review to see what they had to say about this one. I was too busy laughing and trying to keep from vomiting. Incidentally, a Pos-T-Vac will set you back about $550.00, and that's not including the accessories, which include some nasty and disturbing-sounding items, like a "loading cone".

6. SkinZinc - SkinZinc is another of those homeopathic patent medicines. It claims to provide relief to those who suffer from eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff and all manner of puffy, flaky, dry, cracking and suppurating skin disorders.

It also takes great pride in being "Coal Tar Free". I didn't know what that meant, and so I had to look it up. It would seem to be the case that in the days before we had "Modern Medicine" people would use Cold Tar (a derivative of coal which is a main ingredient in asphalt) to treat skin diseases, especially psoriasis. It was later discovered that this treatment was dangerous -- it caused cancers -- but mostly because it is estimated that Cold Tar contains around 10,000 as-yet-unidentified chemical compounds, as well as being super-flammable.

Why, I'd almost keep the psoriasis, if given the choice.

SkinZinc also states that it does not contain steroids, a common treatment for many skin problems and the auto-immune disorders associated with them. In fact, the website is really good at telling you what isn't in SkinZinc, and I had to look elsewhere to find out what is actually in it, and what it's supposed to do.

Basically, SkinZinc is Head & Shoulders (or any other dandruff shampoo, really) in a non-shampoo, tar-and-steroid-free form. With some Zinc added to it to help it fight eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and dermatitis -- and on a very good day -- ringworm.

SkinZinc doesn;t require a prescription, and will set you back $34.99 for a 4-ounce package. For that sort of money, you could buy half-a-dozen bottles of Head & Shoulders Dandruff shampoo, I gather, and use it as a body wash. But then, you wouldn't get all that extra , super-expensive zinc, would you?

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Libtard Just Told the Truth!

This is why, if you can hold your breakfast down, you should occasionally watch (P)MSNBC. New York Times columnist Gail Collins uttered a pearl of wisdom this morning on Morning Joe. This tidbit of honesty was allowed to escape during the discussion of Obama's crisis management in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and criticism of the Federal Response, and what was -- they tell me -- Obama's first, official press conference in a year (forgive me if I wasn't as excited about it, since the douchebag in on my TV every goddamned day, whether it's "official or not"). I'll paraphrase:

"...the only reason Barack Obama is President of the United States is because the Stock Market tanked, and by comparison with a grandstanding, stunt-pulling, mighty confused John McCain, he seemed the cooler, more rational choice..."

Ah, finally: A Liberal tells the unvarnished truth about Obambi! It only took a year-and-a-half, 10% unemployment, a series of unconstitutional power grabs, a deficit growing at exponential rates, a naked Rahm Emanuel accosting psychotic gay men in the Congressional locker room, a possible pay-for-play scandal, several high-profile resignations, and an oil spill of Biblical proportions. NOW the media wants to do it's primary job and pick apart the persona and policies of Barack Obama?

Collins is jumping ship. Yesterday, I even watched Chrissy Matthews, and he was sounding the alarm bells over Obama. I might get a bottle of Pepto and attempt to watch Olbermann this evening, just to see if it's a trifecta. Why, even (P)MSNBC's House Negro, Eugene Robinson, had to admit that his man was somehow less inspiring in action than he had been on the campaign trail, and was beginning to wonder how it was that Obama was such a charismatic, transformation figure 18 months ago, and now hardly inspires anyone. You begin to believe that the media is finally to seeing what the rest of us do, and a faint hope for the future stirs once again.

You can see a NASA Satellite image of the Oil Spill here.

Update: Satellite Image would not upload, included hyperlink to UPI. Fixed some spelling errors.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Obama's Katrina"

So speaks Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal, with regards to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

I must take exception with Mr. Rove for this pronouncement, if only because being a political operative, it's his job to paint the opposition in the most negative light he can, and let's face it -- it doesn't get any more negative than evoking the nightmare visions of Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Rove, if given the opportunity and the confluence of different circumstances, might as well have made the point that this spill is "Obama's Holocaust" or "Obama's 9/11", if he could get away with it.

What Rove, and many on the political right seem to overlook is that Katrina, and the government response to it, doesn't lend itself to the same sort of political pretzel logic that this oil spill does. To begin with, this isn't a natural disaster; it's a man-made accident (or as Man-et Napolitano likes to say, "Man Caused Disaster"). Katrina was unavoidable, beyond the ability of man to predict and control. This spill probably was, or at least might have, been less-likely had major mistakes not been made. I say this with the full admission that I am not an expert on the oil industry and off-shore drilling, but from what's been reported thus far, there's a lot of "fell-asleep-at-the-switch" crap out there to give one this general impression.

Secondly, what Rove and the political right fail to recognize is that, unlike Katrina, there are no images of African-Americans too stupid to get out of the path of a hurricane they knew was coming, and watched on television as it crossed the Atlantic for two weeks -- before it finally made landfall. There are no heartbreaking images of children slogging through waist-deep sewage, no reports of gang warfare in the streets, no elderly folks left to die in abandoned nursing homes. There are no "victims" for Chris Matthews, Geraldo Rivera and Katie Couric to sermonize upon and to club a Republican President over the head with. The "outrage" is mostly coming from the predictable precincts: the environMENTAL fringe, James Carville, and the Gulf Tourism Industry, aided by Bobby Jindal (governor of Louisiana) and Mary Landrieu (Senator) who see it as an opportunity for even more federal funding to their state.

(As if FEMA air-dropping Krugerands in buckets into Louisiana post-Katrina -- there's a reason why New Orleans is 30' below sea-level and sinking ever-deeper, you know -- and Landrieu's $300 million Health-Care bribe wasn't enough? Look, you need to clean up that spill for obvious reasons, but dammit, when does the Federal Spigot get shut off?).

I defy any government, no matter how efficient, to deal with these sorts of issues, whether a Katrina-like storm, or a massive oil spill 5,000 feet under water. The problem for GWB post-Katrina is that the "victims" were mostly part of a supposedly-oppressed class which was reflexively trained to believe that "The Government" is supposed to "do something", and upon the discovery that "The Government" (starting with the Mayor of New Orleans and Governor of Louisiana) was unequal to the task, and when the Victim Class found itself stripped of even the simple self-preservation instinct, their resulting plight was that much easier to attribute to a lack of leadership and outright racism. Obama, personally, will not be tarred by this brush in the way that George W. Bush was; he will largely skate -- aided and abetted by the media which has an emotional and ideological investment in the man -- on the worst of the Katrina comparisons.

Where Obama will have problems with this situation is in some aspects of the federal response, such as it has been, and most of those will disappear as soon as a few heads roll. Obama is very good at deflecting criticism by throwing his friends under the bus, you'll remember. As for what that Federal Response has been, and why it's been so dismal, I postulate the following:

1) In this, as in most things, Obama is simply in over his head. Then again, when you present yourself as the Messiah, making such grand pronouncements as "This is the Moment When Global Warming Ends" and "this is the Moment When The Oceans Cease to Rise", well, you get what you deserve. I never expected Obama to part the waters -- or in this case just separate the oil from the water -- because I never had the sort of investment in the Cult of Personality that most Lefties do.

To be fair, it's difficult to expect Obama himself to have the answers to every problem, but you would think that he would at least have access to the best-and-brightest with the expertise to advise him in these situations. It's becoming clear that his best advisers are probably also infected with the same ideological stupidity as their leader; the initial response has been to find a way to make certain everyone knows BP is responsible, especially financially, and then reignite the dormant debate on the need for Green Energy programs. Some have said this has been the goal all along; that the government was going to do it's least so as to further justify the Green Boondoggle.

There's many reports of Obama and BP campaign cash, and the federal regulatory agencies involved with the oil industry being stuffed with to the rafters with porn-surfing, drug-taking, ticket-punchers who want an oil industry gig after their government "service" is ended. This is the modus operandi of every federal regulatory agency, by the way, and it's something that needs to stop. And I thought Obama was against giving Big Business the ability to sway elections and policies with huge campaign contributions? After all, he did call out the Supreme Court on just this notion. If so, how did BP's cash wind up in his wallet? Corruption -- all the way down the line, but mostly within government -- seems to be the common thread that runs through most major disasters (Oil Spills, Financial Crisis, etc.), nowadays.

2) The Greenie Meanies in the Administration may have disrupted or interfered with initial spill responses because of competing environMENTAL agendas; The initial NOAA-approved plan for a controlled burn may have been halted because the EPA was concerned about elevated air pollution levels, or the effect on fisheries. The ability to build sand berms to keep the oil from reaching shore are hung up in EPA red tape over impact statements. In no small part, certain aspects of this disaster are a direct result of The Greenie Meanies and their dumbass Global Warming Cult; they have advocated for tougher regulations for decades (which apparently aren't enforced by the masturbating junkies in government "service", or which can be side-stepped with a campaign contribution), which has pushed the oil industry to drill in ever-deeper waters, further from the coast (because we don't wish to inconvenience caribou, or a few dozen Eskimos, or ruin some summer-vacationers ocean view), so that when disaster strikes, the conditions under which present-day off-shore drilling is conducted make it impossible to swiftly respond.

If you think an oil spill is already hard enough to contain and clean up on dry land or enclosed waters, try containing one 5,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. BP may be in deep shit, as it were, but it was the Tree Huggers, in part, who forced them into deeper water, into taking greater risks, and into pushing the boundaries of modern engineering to this extent. The Green Assholes will never admit their complicity in this disaster, but to them responsibility is always something for other people to exercise and accept, isn't it? This spill is (almost) a direct result of paying Tree-Hugging Retards far too much attention, and exempting government from the same levels of accountability that hold sway in the Private Sector.

Some have gone as far as to say that the Federal Government has conspired NOT to act, so that the Oil Industry can be demonized in much the same way as Wall Street was.

As I write this, President Odickhead is back on television -- and the first words out his mouth are "The Government has been in charge since Day One" and "BP is responsible for this mess". He's already saying that off-shore exploration is being halted, and is setting the case for further government intervention in the industry. The last 37 days belie the "Day One-assertion" made by the Obama Administration, and the rest of this speech is simply the setting-up of the legal framework which will explode into the rationales behind a further restriction of freedoms and commerce. New regulations, Blue-Ribbon Panels and government organizations are on the way -- because this is the solution to every problem on Earth, you know -- which will raise energy prices and hurt an already-anemic economy. These but make Lefties feel better about themselves but will do nothing about reducing American dependence on foreign oil, or meet the energy needs of the country. We're about to further destroy economic progress for the sake of a few thousand windmills that won't work (and which the Greenie Meanies will cry to shut off because they kill birds in the thousands).

You know, none of this would have happened if they were just drilling in ANWAR, already.

Our country is being micromanaged by complete and utter retards who haven't got a clue. On anything. Worse, they are being directed by even bigger retards with agendas. If this disaster hasn't driven that home to you, I don't know what will --short of another 9/11.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Thought It Was Supposed to Be The History Channel?

Just a minor complaint about what passes for the History Channel these days. For the last two weeks -- apart from one actual historical documentary, but more on that later -- all that's been on is nothing but Aliens and Prophecy, 24/7. Aliens brought civilization to planet Earth. Aliens are still watching over us. Aliens taught Mankind to roll over and bark. The Anti-Christ is Here, and Nostradamus was God. UFO's abound on the History Channel, and by my calculations, about a quarter of the broadcast day is now devoted to Alien-based programming, prophecy, The End of the World, and the extinction of Man.

It would seem to me that the extinction of Man would, necessarily, mean an end to History (as we know it), and so I can't understand why the History Channel puts this sort of stuff on, except that it pulls in the viewers who might have graduated beyond Jersey Shore, and who can actually read without moving their lips. Then, there's all the Nostradamus shows which try to show that Nostradamus might have been right, or which advocate for the existence of a Bible Code which predicts all the great disasters and Historical Events of Our Time...and always the "proof" is only available after the fact. No one ever comes forward with a prophecy or Bible code that gives any forewarning of anything -- which might actually be useful. It's funny how the "hidden messages" in Scripture and Nostradamus only make sense in retrospect. Then again, if I wrote today that in the future there will be gay, flamenco-dancing hedgehogs who speak Flemish, and circumstance and coincidence, and the passage of 4,000 years, might actually conspire to make it sorta-kinda-true-depending-on-how-future-generations-interpret-it. In the meantime, I'll either be derided as a lunatic for having made such a prediction -- or a misunderstood genius. Either of which is good enough to get me 2 hours a week of programming on the History Channel, after I'm dead and penniless, of course. All prophets somehow manage to die penniless and forgotten, you know.

Then again, with all the brainless clods running around thinking the Mayan Prophecy of a 2012 Apocalypse is probably true, what should we expect? I mean, the History Channel is only doing what any other business in America does, and pandering to the lowest common denominator. Here's what I have to say to all of those who believe in this crap: if the Mayans were so freakin' smart, how come they're not here anymore? You would have thought they would have been able to predict their own demise via Smallpox, Syphilis and Spanish steel, no?

And when it isn't raining Little Green Men, Conspiracy Theory, and the Apocalypse over at the History Channel, it's nothing but "reality" television which is certainly lacking in much, if any, historical angle. In this, I'm referring to shows like Life After People, Ax Men, Tougher in Alaska, Ice Road Truckers and the newest load of garbage, Pawn Stars, in which the owners of a Pawn Shop are followed about by cameras as they try to discern the authenticity of all sorts of things which might have no historical significance whatsoever. The historical connection of anything on the show seems to be an afterthought. It's like Antiques Roadshow -- only "edgier" and with tattoos. A PBS-lite teledrama for those with beer bellies and a taste for tuna salad. The same goes for American Pickers (about two guys who rummage through people's trash and attics, salvaging little bits of Americana), which is utter crap, in my opinion.

It would be nice to get some actual History back on the History Channel. Which brings us to the only morsel of real history shown on the History Channel all month.

America: The Story of Us. If you can manage to hold your dinner down during the (required) squishy, Progressive, multi-culti-pieties portions (thankfully, they're short and scattered about), there's something approaching an honest-to-goodness accurate rendering of American history. If the History Channel did more of this sort of programming, it might not have to resort to Conspiracy Theory, Aliens and Chumlee the Lovable Retard down at the Pawn Shop.

If you haven't seen America yet, then I implore you to do so before it gets replaced with more "reality" shows involving chainsaws, and DaVinci Code knockoffs.

Anyways, it's just me, but I think anything which bills itself as The History Channel should actually show something, you know, historical.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Lunatic Contemplates a Career Change...Seeks advice...

Okay, so you pretty much know how difficult it is to find work in the Programming field when those jobs are rapidly disappearing, and who the hell wants to do minimum-wage or work-on-commission bullshit when you've got bills to pay, and now some expensive medical care to pay for?

I thought about changing careers before, but I've only recently been looking into it seriously. See, I used to be a System's Programmer, and before that a Computer Operator, and those where some high-skilled jobs. Once upon a time. But nowadays, automation has reduced the need for actual people, and outsourcing has ruined the job market for the higher-end skills.

And adding insult to injury, I don't have a degree. I never studied computer programming, computer science. In my day, the only people who did that were suckers who wanted to be saddled with the debt of a college loan to pay back. "Back in the Day" you learned by doing; millions of people started out in Operations, where they learned the principles behind large-scale data processing. Along the way, they were often given specialized training by their employers (on all aspects of data processing), and then they moved into different areas (programming, communications, data storage, etc) as they gained the experience. There were no schools to really teach people the skills they needed to enter the field at that time.

Nowadays, you can't get in the front door without an expensive piece of paper that basically says "I'm an idiot, but I was able to parrot whatever my professors -- who know even less than I do -- said faithfully...and oh yeah, I'm desperate, so underpay me, please?" And, like I said, the field has imploded because of the "progress" made in the field of automation (I used to be an Automation Programmer, so there you go!).

So, I've come to the conclusion that while I might have marketable skills (albeit, in a diminishing market), I don't really have a trade. It's not really so much a career, as it used to be, but more like having a job...if you can even land one. There really isn't much difference between the modern IT worker and the Assembly Line Worker anymore, except for pay-scale (the Unionized just-barely-finished-high-school knuckledragger -- who's still slightly smarter than the college graduate -- is still overpaid, considering his job is even more heavily autmoated than mine is).

So, I thought about it. Change is good, right? So, what to do? Real Estate? Are you kidding? This market isn't coming back for at least a decade, maybe more. Manual trade, like electrician or construction? No way; I'm old, have a bad back and giving me tools is like letting retards run free in a nuclear plant. I am NOT handy. Whenever I fix something, I have parts left over and then wind up hiring professional help anyway.

I thought about learning to cut hair, if you must know. Becoming a barber --excuse me -- Stylist, seemed like a good idea. People will always spend money on personal grooming, and some people are dumb enough to be quite vain, and so spend more. But then I thought about having to rub elbows with that many homosexuals, and that idea was shot down. I spent 20 years surrounded by homosexuals on Wall Street, and I don't think I could take that much drama in my old age. It made me vomit 20 years ago because of the over-the-top campiness some gays exhibit, and I'd probably end up beating someone bloody now. Not because I hate homosexuals, but because I can't stand people who whine incessantly about a lifestyle that involves both a violation of a Cardinal Rule of Nature -- Your Rectum was Purposely-Designed to be Exit-Only -- but which also requires people to know entirely too much about shoes, make-up, proper skin care and Oprah, without your actually having to be a chick.

I just couldn't make up my mind. Enter my four-year-old nephew, who planted the seed during playtime. We were playing with his Play-Doh Bakery. He would ask me what sort of cake, cookies or pies I wanted, and he would whip them up out of Play-Doh. Where it got interesting was the creative aspect of it.

Because after you run the gamut of "the Standards" (Apple, Peach, Lemon, Blueberry, Cherry, Mince, Pumpkin and so forth), in order to keep a 4-year-old entertained and engaged, you must start making up new sorts of pies on the spot...and boy, was my imagination fertile that day!

And then it dawned on me: Baker and Pastry Chef. Not only a Trade, but pretty honorable Profession, at that. So, I've done some research, and I can get some Federal retraining money,and there's a load of good Culinary Arts programs around here, and the best part, you can be certified in about 18-24 months, so why not? Better than leaping from job-to-job, ain't it?

Except that I don't know any bakers/pastry chefs, so I'm unable to find out if it's worth the effort. I mean, is it satisfying work (I would think it is)? What exactly is involved in getting your certification? Anything I should know about culinary arts programs before I get in over my head?

So, if there's anyone reading this who is engaged in the Culinary Arts, or knows someone who is, please give me some advice before I go ahead and sign up. I still have some time to commit, both for the re-training grant, and before applications are being taken for the culinary program at a local college.

You can drop your suggestions/advice at Please address your note with the subject "Baker/Pastry Chef". Thank you!

The Archdiocese of New York Did What???

Because they've invaded my neighborhood. The Great Unwashed Muslim Horde is now attempting to build a new base of operations -- less than 1.5 miles from Lunatic Central. In what used to be a Catholic convent, no less.

We already have to suffer the indignity of a mosque going up in the shadow of Ground Zero (the scheduled opening for that monstrosity -- I shit you not-- is supposed to be set for September 11th. The fucking nerve of these people!). And the one that's now about to pollute my neighborhood is being built on a section of street that was re-named in honor of a FDNY Captain... killed on September 11th.

You know, I keep hearing Muslims complaining loudly that their sensibilities are constantly under assault by bigoted Christians and Jews (hey, I make no bones about it; I hate every fucking Sand Nigger on the Planet), and how their feelings continuously crushed by insensitive Westerners. But then again, they bring it upon themselves because they believe themselves to be entitled to insult us with impunity. You would think that a (fake) religion that likes to try to portray itself as promoting peace, understanding and universal brotherhood would try to take the high road sometimes, instead of opening mosques in places where the memory of the greatest mass murder ever on American soil took place, or in places associated with that disgusting tragedy.

They continue to incite us, because, well, they probably think it's funny. They consider it "getting some of their own back", I suppose, and even more of them consider it a religious duty to be assholes, I reckon. Then again, if there really were "moderate" Muslims, the one's everyone keeps looking for, but won't find, perhaps there would be a little sensitivity to the wounds of September 11th. Perhaps they'd realize that we don't find it a date worthy of commemoration in any but the saddest of contexts.

But of course, they won't ever see it our way. Because if there's anything you count upon in this life -- besides Barack Obama being a pansy-ass Commie cocksucker with a desk full of pre-signed apology forms addressed "To Whom It May Concern" -- it's that Muslims have no conception of either good taste or fairness. It's a genetic defect. These two mosques are designed to incite hard feelings, rather than eliminate them. They are intended to insult, and to re-open the wounds. They are monuments to the greatest Muslim accomplishment of the last 1,200 years.

And what, exactly, was that accomplishment?

It was the murder of 3,000 innocent people, all taken unawares, and unable to defend themselves. This counts as courage in the Muslim world, and is an event deemed a major victory for the Religion Of Peace. Sick motherfuckers, every last one of them. It's why their culture is ultimately doomed... that and the DNA-destroying practice of Cousin Marriage.

But I think they're about to find they've gone a bit too far, this time. Say what you want about Staten Island (everyone makes us the butt of their jokes, but they don't really know who we are and what we're about), but Staten Islanders fight. Well. This "community center" will never see the light of day. We'll do something here that the President of the United States won't do, and actually defeat terrorists with open opposition.

In the meantime, I have to seriously question the actions, motivations and agenda of the Archdiocese of New York in (allegedly) letting a parish priest handle the sale of this property, and then do so in a way that has alienated the community at large. It's being reported that the property is being sold for less than actual market value, and that local builders did, in fact, offer fair market value and were rebuffed. I'm shocked and appalled that the Catholic Church would turn over a convent to agents of the Muslim faith, in what appears to be such a cavalier manner; it just defies belief. I'm hoping our local reporters do some more digging and get to the truth of this matter, but if I had to guess, based on my extensive experience with Roman Catholicism and the Archdiocese of New York, the Muzzies could probably line up the financing ASAP. It's almost as if you should expect to see the "INRI" over the crucified Christ replaced by '$$$$'.

I wouldn't be surprised to find Saudi money involved somewhere in the project, as well.

So, I'm getting ready for the Big Show here, people. This neighborhood will soon be swarming with would-be suicide bombers if this deal goes through, and I don't intend to just let them wander around. I'm keeping both eyes and ears open, and I'll be watching every pile of walking dirty laundry extra-carefully.