Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind 046: Life’s Little Killings

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind 046: Life’s Little Killings

According to the Washington Post, last week 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin of Peoria Arizona stopped by the Circle K convenience store on his way home from work, one of the two summer jobs he held. He had been listening to rap music in his car, according to 27-year-old Michael Adams, who is not a fan of the genre. Indeed, rap music makes him feel “unsafe.”

Adams feels this way because, according to him, he had been attacked “by people who listen to rap: specifically, blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.” Adams did what many unreasonable people might do under the circumstances: he leaped out with his pocketknife at the ready, he slashed Al-Amin’s throat and then, for good measure, stabbed him in the back.

Al-Amin staggered out of the store and died by the gas pumps in front. Adams said he was being “proactive rather than reactive” and that his victim did nothing to provoke him. That’s quite an admission from a guy who had been released from prison two days earlier – without access to medication. You’d think he’d know better. You’d think he was nuts. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind 046: Life’s Little Killings”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #045: Fireworks

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #045: Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July, our national celebration of the time a whole lot of immigrants and their offspring told the guy in charge that they’d had enough of his shit. It’s a great American tradition.

It has become quite hard to celebrate this majestic event when our coward in charge and his underlings in ICE, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, the Republican Senate caucus and their fellow travelers literally are torturing thousands of children and their parents.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, holy shit, pick up a newspaper and stop paying attention to the most-excellent professional liars at Fox. All kinds of horrible things are being done to children in your name, and it does not matter who they are or how they got here. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #045: Fireworks”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #044: How Long Can You Live Without A Spine?

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #044: How Long Can You Live Without A Spine?

Back in 1956, a young senator named John F. Kennedy published a book titled Profiles In Courage. Written by Kennedy and (mostly, according to columnist Cecil Adams) Theodore Sorensen, the tome detailed the stories of eight senators who exhibited extraordinary valor by standing up for the right thing.

Profiles in Courage won a Pulitzer the following year, and when JFK became president it became mandatory reading in public schools across the Union states, as well as some within the friendly confines of the Confederacy. It’s worth reading today, but if you’ve got a short attention span you can find out about these eight old white guys on Wiki.

Please note: I said it was worth reading today. If Ted were to come back from the grave to write a sequel, he need not transverse the River Styx. Spit out Charon’s obol, pal, your follow-up would be shorter than this very piece. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #044: How Long Can You Live Without A Spine?”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #043: The New York Times: Toonless, Clueless Cowards

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #043: The New York Times: Toonless, Clueless Cowards

About a month ago, the international edition of The New York Times launched a shitstorm when they published an editorial cartoon depicting Donald Trump as Benji Netanyahu’s blind toady. In response, the Gray Lady was loudly condemned by the rabid right for anti-Semitism.

In response to these foolish attacks, the New York Times took a courageous stand. They decided to drop their editorial cartoons across the board. All of them, in both their international edition and their regular American daily. This disappearing act, unless repealed, goes into effect July 1st. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #043: The New York Times: Toonless, Clueless Cowards”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #042: Queers vs Jews?

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #042: Queers vs Jews?

And the parting on the left / Is now the parting on the right / And the beards have all grown longer overnight – Pete Townshend, 1971

I made my position on the LGBTQ community clear in this space last week, so for a change I won’t repeat myself. However, whenever I write about the Israel troubles I feel obligated to repeat the following, last seen here on March 14: When it comes to the never-ending middle east conflict, I have no horse in the race. This is because I believe in freedom of religion. I’m not in favor of a Jewish state, and I’m not in favor of a Muslim state. I’m also not in favor of a Christian state… You get the idea.

If you’re an American and your response to this, with respect to the aforementioned “troubles,” is “but it’s not their land,” I would ask you for the name, city and tribal designation of the Native American to whom you pay rent.

Once again, some in leadership positions in sundry gay communities have conflated the star of David with Zionism. This past week’s Washington D.C. Dyke March banned Jewish women – and, presumably, all others – from marching under the banner of Jewish gay pride. This flag contains the star of David over the rainbow color background. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #042: Queers vs Jews?”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #041: The Social Justice War

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #041: The Social Justice War

Remember when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage? I’m sure you do: the wailing of the bigots was deafening. Many of this ilk said the Supreme Court ruled against their religion and that they were the real victims of discrimination.

Yes, we’re discriminating against you because we won’t keep your pathetically warped hatred as a vertebrae in our national spine. You bet we’re discriminating against monsters who discriminate. And you are so dumb you think “Social Justice Warrior” is an insult! You think we’re annoying? You damn well better believe it!

And we’re standing up to all the White Nationalists who get in our way. I don’t use the phrase “white supremacist” because it sounds like a Baskin-Robbins flavor of the month. Fun fact: I get mine served in rainbow cones. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #041: The Social Justice War”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #040: The Clock Strikes Thirteen

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #040: The Clock Strikes Thirteen

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

That is the first line of George Orwell’s 1984, and I suspect those who are likely to disagree with me already are rolling their eyes. I should warn those readers this column is not likely to get better for them.

I think about this classic novel of warning quite a bit these days. Damn near every word that comes out of the mouths of Trump, Huckabee-Sanders, Barr and their fellow travelers is a lie. If I’m not certain it’s the truth, there is no reason whatsoever for me to think it might possibly be the truth. These are people with reality testings lower than a zombie’s IQ.

But they’re doing their job. The approximately one-third of the voting population – you know, morons – lap these lies up and they adjust their thinking and their language accordingly. They have no idea that many of the views they espouse are in complete contradiction to the language they use to describe them. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #040: The Clock Strikes Thirteen”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #038: Crawling Through The Wreckage

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #038: Crawling Through The Wreckage

“Mr. Watson, come here, I want you,” Alexander Graham Bell shouted to his assistant. Watson didn’t hear him directly — but he did hear Bell over that newfangled telephone invention of his. “Screw you,” Watson replied. “You’re using social media to harass me!”

I’d rather avoid contradicting Marshall McLuhan. He said his piece to Woody Allen on-screen, but, damn, the medium is not the message. It only seems that way because we have a tradition of shooting the messenger. Social media has been made out to be a great evil, spreading fear and danger across the globe.

I have no overwhelming affinity for social media. You’re unlikely to find me gazing at my iPhone while blocking pedestrians at Grand Central Terminal. Social media can be a shit magnet, but it is one made of mirrors. Facebook did not invent White Supremacy, no more than D.W. Griffith did. Twitter didn’t invent body shaming; we’ve had teenage angst since the creation of acne vugaris. They provide the platform for anybody and everybody. We’re blaming these companies for delivering on their promises. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #038: Crawling Through The Wreckage”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #038: F-Bombs Away!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #038: F-Bombs Away!

Frack. Frick. Fug. Frigging. Fenorking. Freaking. Funked-up. Boffing. Boinking. Deuced. The F-Word. The F-Bomb!

Generally speaking, these euphemisms are substitutes for the unholiest of all words,“fuck.” When you hear any of these terms — depending upon the context, of course — your brain understands them as “fuck.” Simply reading the word will send you straight to Heck, so I guess if you made it this far I owe you an apology.

Euphemisms are needless conduits to reality. They don’t work unless the real word already is in your head. Cut the cheese and say what you mean.

This past Sunday, Bill Nye The Science Guy dropped the F-Bomb (seriously; that term is far more banal than the source term) on Last Week With John Oliver something like five times in five minutes. It was hilarious, but the fact that it was just proves the word still has some power. This astonishes me, as it achieved commonplacehood a couple generations ago. Nonetheless, it persists.

We shouldn’t need these words to shock. Pick up a newspaper. Turn on the news. Take a look at your retirement fund. Think about all those people who voted for Trump. That’s the stuff that should shock you. The fact that most of the near-infinite circumlocutions truly are sophomoric shows how impotent the word fuck really is.

Yet these words continue to offend those who make the conscious decision to be offended, to show that they are superior to the riff-raff because they are better, because they think euphemisms show off that superiority. These are people who keep their noses so high in the sky they would drown in a light drizzle. They are elitists who want to delineate their moral dominance. They have no functional belief system other than their own elitism; they haunt the rosters of both the left and the right.

A week ago today, the National Review — one of the comparatively sane conservative publications — published a well-written essay by Heather Wilhelm, who probably is a very nice person with an obvious sense of humor, but who probably wouldn’t like me very much.

The piece was called “The Banality of the F-Bomb,” and she starts with several instances of the use of the word — starting with Maurice Chevalier, for which she deserves serious props. But Ms. Wilhelm establishes her moral superiority by asking “What is wrong with everyone? Have we lost our national “edit” button? (I’ll answer my own question, because the answer is obvious: Yes.)”

No. No, we haven’t. We’ve simply gone honest on your ass. We’ve accepted the fact that times change and some words that previously were unacceptable are now acceptable and other words that previously were acceptable are now unacceptable. Fuck is in common usage, but we now have the N-word to replace a previously common phrase.

Is that progress? Not really. It’s fashion. By 2076 other words will be verboten and some others will get a reprieve. Calm down; I’m not taking a position on which words should be good and which words should be bad. I’m simply pointing out the vicissitudes of history.

If a single word causes you to foam at the mouth and writhe around in an epileptic fit, that’s on you. If that word causes the overwhelming majority of people to foam at the mouth and writhe around in an epileptic fit, that’s on society.

Besides, despite common liberal philosophy words in and of themselves really are harmless. If I say the word fuck to you, you will still be the same person you were the moment before and it will be your reaction that might be childish. It’s concepts that are dangerous. I’m much more concerned about White Nationalists than I am about whether they use the N-Word itself or simply say “N-Word” as illegitimate proof that they are not racist. If they want to call me a kike, that’s fine. Forewarned is forearmed.

I agree with Ms. Wilhelm’s final observation that “Americans will get bored with using it.” Well, not bored so much as running out the fashion clock. Of course, what goes around comes around.

Euphamisers are shitheads. Is that the S-Word, or the S-Bomb? I dunno. Fuck ‘em.

• • • • •

Mr. Gold will be joining much of the Pop Culture Squad tomorrow (Friday) through Sunday at the East Coast Comicon at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Expo Center. He doesn’t make as many shows as he used to, so if you’re in the area drop by and tell him to bugger off.

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #037: Weed Prefer Reason

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #037: Weed Prefer Reason

My local newspaper (those things we used to wrap fish) says “Many Democrats view (marijuana) legalization as an opportunity to reverse some of the effects of the War on Drugs, increase state revenue and invest in urban communities. But Republicans and some Democrats believe the social costs of legalization – particularly concerns about driving under the influence, teen use and addiction – outweigh the benefits.”

Well, if that’s true — and it’s right there in black-and-white, so it must be true — then Republicans and some Democrats are a bunch of idiots who have been living under a rock… and that comment embraces truthiness. It’s like these people were hiding in church until the flood receded. America’s become a different place, whether these busybodies like it or not. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #037: Weed Prefer Reason”