2015 in review

Here’s my Annual Report. I don’t know which more interesting–that so many people viewed this silly blog or that ONE person in Iran did. Weird.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Mitchell The House Rabbit (2008-2014)

An obituary of our rabbit, Mitchell:

RIP MITCHELL

Mitchell passed from this Earth on July 2, 2014 after a brief illness. He is survived by his friend and master, Max Williams (age 12) and Max’s family—parents John and Sherry; and brothers Adam (age 21) and Lucas (age 19). He is also survived by his longtime companion, Mollie, and his special friend, Charlie The Cat.

Mitchell was born on March 22, 2008 in Scott County, Kentucky at the home of Rick and Lisa True. At the time of his passing, he was the only known survivor of his litter. Mitchell was a pure bred New Zealand rabbit, known for albinism and propensity for weight gain.

Eating was the primary focus of Mitchell’s life. He enjoyed nothing more than his morning banana and snack of grapes right before bed. Timothy hay, rabbit food and cilantro were also among his favorites. He was no snob, though, as he was known to occasionally enjoy a piece of cardboard or perhaps newspaper. His own excrement was often his snack of choice. He also enjoyed a good book but only if he could eat the pages.

When not eating, Mitchell was often found staring blankly off into space. Being nocturnal, he enjoyed napping during the day, which he could do with his eyes open. As prey for larger animals, Mitchell was always aware of his surroundings looking about for predators. A cardboard box was his shelter or hutch of choice.

Mitchell brightened the lives of those who knew him with his entertaining “happy hops” and general mischief. While many carry scars from his bites, they are now permanent reminders of our friend.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Kentucky Rabbit Rescue at http://rabbit.rescueme.org/Kentucky.

Mitchell, back in his youth.

Mitchell, back in his youth.

My Reality TV Gold

I’m an idea man. That means I think about things and don’t accomplish a whole lot. Imagine Steve Jobs without the intelligence and work ethic. For instance, I’d like to have a universal TV remote control implanted in my brain. I’m sure it can be done, but I just can’t get started on it.

I watch a lot of TV. Many of my friends harrumph “I don’t watch TV, except CSPAN. I’m too busy re-reading the classics.” Well, good for you. You’re missing out, my pseudo-intellectual friend.

Sports are on TV. The great film Road House is often on. There are news programs, comedies, horror movies, history programs and, of course, Reality TV.

Reality TV is just TV without actors. You take non-actors and film them doing stuff. It helps if your stars are mentally impaired, already famous, or have odd physical anomalies. Generally strange lifestyles such as survivalism, obscure religions and polygamy are also pluses.

Reality TV falls into two broad categories. One is slice of life programming ranging from the curious world of Honey Boo Boo to the insufferable largesse of the Kardashian family. The other category is the competitions such as singing, dancing and survivalism.

TV producers love Reality TV because it’s cheap–no actors, no sets and very little scripting. Of course, there are scripts. After all, if we really followed someone’s life we’d watch them make beds, pay bills and nap. We have to have a little structure for entertainment purposes.

With all this in mind, I’ve been thinking, as I’m wont to do, about my own reality shows. I have several ideas, and they are all solid gold.

AMISH CSI

We take a young Amish man (probably named Yoder) and set him off during Rumspringa to be trained as a crime scene investigator. Yoder incorporates his Amish ways into modern crime-fighting, using saw dust to dust for fingerprints and drawings instead of demonic photography.

Yoder returns to Pennsylvania Dutch Country to fight crime among the Anabaptists.  Each week we follow him as solves a new mystery such as horse thievery, buggy vandalism and the use of electricity.   Violent crimes are not excepted, either.  He can investigate forced shavings and other such outrages.  I’ll figure it out as we go along.  Remember:  The Amish are entertaining regardless of what they are doing.

132 POUND SCROTUM GUY

Anyone who follows me on the various social media knows my admiration of The Learning Channel Special, The Man With the 132 Pound Scrotum.  I’m a big fan, not as big as his scrotum, but big nonetheless.  I was equally parts fascinated and horrified.  Why?  Well, the guy had a freakin’ 132 pound scrotum!!  How about that?

In my show, we follow him around with a camera and record his adventures.  Okay, I know the guy got the scrotum thing fixed (Thank God!).  I would never suggest that he regrow it just for my TV show (unless he really wants to).  We can fit him a lifelike prosthetic scrotum to duplicate the real one.

We can get him a job in various Reality TV occupations such as pawn shop owner or commercial fisherman.  Hilarity and horror will ensue, because of–well, you know–the giant scrotum situation.  Perhaps we can even turn him into a Doomsday prepper just to see if anyone would be willing to share his shelter with him.

Did I mention that he had a 132 pound scrotum?  People will tune in just to see that.

DANCING WITH THE DWARVES (DWARFS?)

Everyone loves little people.  They used to be called midgets, but I understand that is now a pejorative term.  I think “dwarf” is still okay, but it sounds worse than midget.  By the way, is it “dwarves” or “dwarfs?”  I don’t know. Spellcheck says it’s “wharves.”  I’m pretty sure that’s wrong.) Anyway, if that, too, is offensive we’ll change the title, although we lose a certain alliteration.

This one is simple.  It’s just a dance competition among little people  Here’s the twist:  Their dance partners are non-little people professional dancers.  (I hesitate to say “normal” sized. After all, that infers that the little people are abnormal.  I don’t want to alienate my core audience).  Wouldn’t you  watch little people dance madly about trying to keep up with their larger partners? OR we could have professional little people dancers try to teach clumsy big people how to dance.  Either way, it’s ratings gold.

SISTER WIVES AND BROTHER HUSBANDS

The History Channel’s R. Lee Ermey marries Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’s Mama June, Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, Chloe Kardashian and Flavor Flav.  They all move into a house together.  I don’t have anything else figured out for this yet, but you’d watch it.

NAKED AND GAY

This is perhaps my most controversial idea.  Homosexuals have long been feared, yet quite entertaining.  From Broadway musicals to figure skating, they have provided endless hours of joy for heterosexuals who are otherwise are terrified of them–much like our African-American friends were viewed a generation or so ago.

I’m tired of this.  I want to create a fascinating gay reality show intended to both entertain and horrify.  Each week, we take a couple of gay men, the more flamboyant the better (think of a gayer version of skater Johnny Weir).  We then strip them naked and place them in various survival scenarios.  (Alright, they don’t have to be naked–unless they want to be, in which case I’m perfectly okay with it.)

I’d prefer gay men for show–not because I’m gay or anything, not there’s anything wrong with that.  It’s just that the world of pornography has worked many years to mainstream lesbians.  Gay men, on the other hand, remain feared and loathed, what with their awesome Gay Agenda which they pass out to people on the street.

We’ll send them to gun shows, Tea Party rallies,  NFL locker rooms, church services, Arizona–anywhere we can think of that they might be unwelcome.  They can announce things like “Hey! We’re gay people!  We’re here to turn you and your children and grandchildren all gay like we are!”  They can make out with each other.  Maybe we’ll even send a minister to marry them on the show.  As long as they gay it up good, I’m fine with it.

Controversy notwithstanding, I realize there’s not much of story line here.  I mostly just want to annoy people.  This will probably do it.

These are just five ideas.  I have many more.  We can take a bed-ridden, morbidly obese person and have him or her live in the wild with Bear Grylls for a week.  How about someone with a hideous deformity trying to become a country music star? What if Gary Busey and Bob Dole travel across the country on Route 66 on motorcycles?  Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Willie Aames and the Kid from Deliverance form a Christian Alt-Folk band?  The Bachelor, starring Abe Vigoda? Let’s set up a camera in prison and hope that we see Jerry Sandusky get violently abused.

I’m running out of ideas now.  I’ve been thinking about something like a microwave, only it freezes things really fast….

©www.thetrivialtroll.com 2014

My Kindergarten Commencement Address

I have already tackled the difficult task of preparing a high school commencement speech.  Not surprisingly, no one took me up on my offer to speak at any high school commencement. High school, though, is not the only ground upon which to impart my wisdom.

Perhaps I should speak to a college or university. Public figures and captains of industry often do that. Alas, I am neither. That goal simply isn’t realistic.

What about elementary or middle school grads? I didn’t go to a middle school, so I don’t know anything about that. As far as those entering high school, most of them are morons and won’t listen anyway.

This leaves me with kindergarten, that Petri dish of preschoolers ready to take on real school. I graduated from kindergarten as part of the Harlan Kindergarten Class of 1968.  It was my only foray into private school, as there was no public kindergarten in those days.  I graduated with a haughty sense of entitlement.

kindergarten

Your author’s natty attire belied his naiveté as a kindergartener.

I would have benefited from wise counsel in those days.  I now stand ready to educate kindergarteners on what lies before them.  To paraphrase the late, great drummer, Buddy Rich:  These people.  They are my kind of people. So, here goes:

Hello, kids!  Thank you for allowing me to speak to you today.  Today is an important moment in your young lives.  After today, you are no longer preschoolers.  You are students and shall remain so for many years to come.

As you are no doubt aware, “kindergarten” is from the German, meaning “children’s garden.”  It was created by a German named Friederich Frobel in the village of Bad Blankenburg.  Stop giggling!  That’s the name!  You’ll be calling the world ahead of you blankin’-burg soon enough. 

Up to this point, many of you have gotten by on your appearance.  You are, as we say, cute.  That will rapidly fade in elementary school.  We will lose teeth and become awkward as you grow.  Being cute means nothing.  Every misanthrope and human monster was once your age.  Look at this darling child [I hold this up for the audience]:

Adolf_Hitler_Childhood_Photos-{1}

His name? Adolf Hitler.  Cute, isn’t he?

Many–if not most–of you are unprepared for school.  A great number of you are complete illiterates, unable to so much as correctly spell your full name.  Others are only functionally illiterate.  You cannot read even at the 1st grade level.  Your ability to understand or complete even a simple job application is nil.  Even rudimentary math is beyond your comprehension at this point.  As a result of these limitations, you are unable to function in modern society.  These handicaps, daunting as they may be, can and will be remedied in the coming years–at least to some extent.

Some of you now begin your long, slow trudge to failure–sad but true.  You will annoy your teachers.  You will gravitate to the worst of your lot and mimic their behavior.  Perhaps you will be the ring leader of a group of miscreants.  If so, make no mistake:  You can and will be written off at a young age.  The good news is that–for the only time in your life–time is on your side.  As unlikely as it may be, you can change your behavior for the better.

Many of you are angels or so your parents have led you to believe.  You are sweet and when you aren’t, you are simply misunderstood.  Your failures and shortcomings are not your own.  They are the product of misinformed individuals or society as a whole.  Your parents are failing you daily, but I do not expect you to understand.  Being egocentric as you are, you are comfortable with this arrangement.  This comfort sows the seeds of your ultimate downfall.  When you fall short of expectations at school, your parents will harangue your teachers, blaming them for your sloth and intellectual shortcomings.  Only when you are much older will you realize that your house stands upon sand.  Then, it will be too late.

Some of you are tethered to your parents like pets.  You never leave their sight.  They are determined to protect you from the evils of the world and the world itself.  They will often lunch with you at school.  Perhaps they will volunteer in your classroom.  Some may even seek gainful employment at your school.  They seek to smother you with their attention.  And they will succeed.

A few–and I hope very few–of you are little more than street urchins deposited at school by uncaring parents who neither deserve to have children nor any other human relationship.  There is good news for you.  It is possible–not likely, but possible–that you will encounter someone who can exert a positive influence upon you outside your home. School is the most likely place to find such a person.

You may be an only child.  By that, of course, I mean you are the only child in your immediate family.  YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY CHILD ON EARTH!  Just remember that.

Of course, you will encounter teachers.  In my experience, the good far outnumber the bad.  The good ones will care about you like no one outside your own family.  The bad ones will want to herd you on the next grade while they detest you almost as much as they do their dead-end jobs.  Most of your teachers do the best they can.  Your cooperation will help.

Your teachers may occasionally criticize or correct you.  That is their job.  That is how you learn.  This may be foreign to you.  Your parents may be the type who praise everything you do from feeding yourself to basic hygiene.  Your teachers shall prepare you for the real world where such tasks are not viewed as accomplishments at all.  In fact, society fairly demands you master them.

Your teachers also cannot praise your every move.  I have no doubt that all of you have drawn pictures for your parents.  Let’s say you draw what you called a “horsey.”  In reality, this horse resembles nothing so much as random scrawling with no form.  It is, in fact, completely unrecognizable as a horse or any other living creature.  When you present this picture to your parents they exclaim “Oh, what a pretty horsey! It’s beautiful!”  Such lies are meant to boost your self-esteem by lauding your crude art work.  If an adult produced such a drawing and insisted that it was horse, he or she would branded as mentally deranged.  Institutions and unemployment would be their future.

A decent parent would look at your drawing and ask “What exactly about that looks like a horse?” or “Why don’t we just call it a wildebeest or a fire hydrant?  Makes as much sense.”  I doubt that you have ever received such constructive criticism.  Those days are done.

No teacher worth his or her salt can engage in such foolishness.  If you declare that 2 + 2 equals 11, you cannot be praised.  You are not praiseworthy.

Despite what your parents think, there is almost no chance that you are a genius.  That you are able to distinguish letters of the alphabet means little.  It is axiomatic that most of you are average.  That’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions.  Some of you are far, far smarter than your peers.  That will not change, although you shall be witness to many years of people trying to bring your peers up to your level or you down to theirs.  But you are smarter than these people, too, and they will fail.

You are now headed to a world where failure is, in fact, an option.  The good news is that the educational system is designed to prevent failure.  In addition to your teachers, there are counselors, tutors, study plans and even medication at your disposal.  Perhaps you are now addicted to amphetamines in an effort to help you pay better attention in school.  That might help.  Of course, the downside to living as a speed freak is well-known but better discussed at your middle school graduation.

No doubt you reflect today that time flies.  It seems like only yesterday that you soiled yourself simply because you knew no better.  For a few of you, it literally may have been yesterday.  In any event, those days are behind you now–hopefully.  A new day dawns.

You now leave the garden and head straight into the jungle.  Knowing your penchant for distraction, I have kept my words brief.  Some of you have picked your noses throughout my talk while others have squirmed with annoyance.  Welcome to the rest of your life.

©thetrivialtroll.wordpress.com 2013

First posted back in the Spring. I’ve updated it some on the anniversary of Richard’s death.

Coal Troll's Blog

Richard Kent Williams was five years younger than me.   He was my brother, and he’s been dead for over 25 years now–more than half my life.  “Been dead” isn’t exactly right.  He is dead.  It took me a long time to say that.   Passed, passed away, gone or lost were much gentler terms.  Eventually, I could say that “he died.”  Something about the past tense took the edge off it, as though one could die and that be the end of it.  This ignores the obvious:  those who die remain dead.  They are dead.  That’s the case with my brother.  He would be middle-aged now, but he isn’t.  He was 20 when he died, and 20 he remains.

Richard died in the early morning hours of September 26, 1987, but I’ve always thought of the 25th as the right date.  That was his last day.  He was a student at the…

View original post 1,552 more words

I think I fixed all the snafus from my original posting. This should be the entire tome.

Coal Troll's Blog

I recently posted my thoughts on certain aspects of religion.  Some folks enjoyed it, while I’m sure others were greatly offended.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to stick my toe into the deep waters of politics to ensure offending the other half.

I was asked once why I don’t post a lot of political musings on Facebook and Twitter.  I don’t really have a good answer other than it’s just too serious for me.  I deal with a lot of serious issues in my job.  I prefer to get away from all that when I’m not at work.  Like most of the decisions I make in my personal life, not much thought goes into it. Also, politics just doesn’t interest me much.  As a result, I can’t think of anything good to say, as will be shown below.

If you post a lot of political stuff, please read…

View original post 2,214 more words

My Political Ennui

I recently posted my thoughts on certain aspects of religion.  Some folks enjoyed it, while I’m sure others were greatly offended.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to stick my toe into the deep waters of politics to ensure offending the other half.

I was asked once why I don’t post a lot of political musings on Facebook and Twitter.  I don’t really have a good answer other than it’s just too serious for me.  I deal with a lot of serious issues in my job.  I prefer to get away from all that when I’m not at work.  Like most of the decisions I make in my personal life, not much thought goes into it. Also, politics just doesn’t interest me much.  As a result, I can’t think of anything good to say, as will be shown below.

If you post a lot of political stuff, please read the following:

 I AM OKAY WITH YOUR DOING THAT.  JUST BECAUSE I DON’T DO SOMETHING DOESN’T MEAN I AM AGAINST THOSE WHO DO. 

Thank you.  Also, I don’t mind reading stuff with which I disagree.  Someone much smarter than I am once said that he never learned anything from people with which he agreed.  That’s certainly true for me.

I DO have political views, of course.  I’m just not sure everyone wants to hear about them.  Plus, nothing is more ponderous than a political argument.  You think what you think.  I think what I think.  I’ve had enough political discussions to know that we’re not going to change each other’s minds.

A bartender told me one time that the worst customer was the guy who sits at the bar and tries to engage in political banter with the other patrons.  He said nothing clears the barstools quicker.

As with most things, I am cynical about politics.  I’m also the type who tends to distrust anyone in power.  This makes it hard for me to become all starry-eyed over any politician.  Mostly, I just don’t care.  With that in mind, I’ll offer some of my political observations and thoughts.

WHAT AM I?

The most important thing for anyone who reads political rants is to determine at the earliest possible moment whether the writer is a conservative or a liberal.  It’s not conservative or liberal.  It’s a conservative or a liberal.  Your tag.  What ARE you?

Well, I’m not telling.  Folks who know me well know the answer.  Folks who don’t know me well are usually confused.  Those on the far left think I’m an arch-conservative.  The hard right think I’m a wild-eyed liberal.  Maybe I am.  Or not.

THIS AIN’T NO PARTY.  THIS AIN’T NO DISCO.

Life During Wartime is one of the catchiest songs ever.  Unfortunately, I’m not talking about those Talking Heads.  I’m talking about the ones that fill the airwaves and blogosphere with their opinions about politics.  They don’t even wear that cool giant suit like David Byrne.

For someone bored by most political debates, I listen to, and read, a surprising amount of political ravings.  And I’m not picky about it, either.  Oh, and I disagree with almost everything I hear and read, whether it’s Beck, Limbaugh, Maddow, Olberman or any of the countless other disembodied heads and voices which have somehow found public forums.  In fact, Howard Stern may be the only person with whom I agree most of the time.  I don’t know what that means, but I’m sure it’s nothing good.

Conservative talkers are more entertaining than the liberal ones.  That’s just a fact.  Here’s why:  They’re basically entertainers.  Beck and Limbaugh are DJ’s.  A good DJ and a good program director can entertain doing the same things at the same time every single day.  Howard Stern does that, too.  He knows what his audience wants to hear and delivers it consistently.

Take Glenn Beck. If he believes everything he says, he’s a mad man. In his world, there is a massive worldwide conspiracy to turn the planet into a caliphate ruled by Van Jones and William Ayers. This world will be a Mad Max nightmare with cites burning and no food or fuel.  We’ll eat our dogs. Only Glenn and his Byzantine wall of chalk boards stand between us and this fate. Of course, if we pull the right lever or punch the right chad, it will all go away.

I’m sure he doesn’t really believe all that, but that’s not the point. His fans (and that’s what they are) WANT to believe that. He knows that. Like a DJ playing Li’l Wayne or Lady GaGa nonstop, he knows what his audience wants.  He delivers.

The folks on the left have never figured out the entertainment angle. Al Franken used to have a radio show. It was awful. Al was serious and angry most of the time. Al Franken is one of the funniest people on Earth. If you can read his book Why Not Me? without laughing out loud, you are a soulless, humorless person.  Al seemed to think he  was educating people.  Wrong.  Howard Stern says his listeners love lesbians. Thus, he has lesbians on his show. He doesn’t try to convince the world to love lesbians.  Beck’s listeners want to believe in wordwide caliphates.  The left thinks they can convince the world they are right. Just find your audience and tell them what they want hear–everyday over and over.

Anger can sell, too.  Sean Hannity is an angry dude. I suspect his devoted audience is pretty angry.  He’s good at fueling that.  He’s outraged daily over everything.  Bad news outrages him but not as much as good news.  If a Republican candidate murdered his entire family, Sean would rail against the Mainstream Media for failing to report that Charles Manson was a Democrat.  It’s his schtick.

Sean’s not the only angry fellow.  Take Keith Olberman, for example.  He’s so mad at the right that he’s hateful about it.  Plus, he’s unpleasant, which may explain why he gets fired from his jobs.  His counterpart on the right, Michael Savage, is also too angry.  I think that’s why I usually hear him at night.  Really angry people probably sit by the radio at night brooding.

The real news media is no better.  Let’s say that unemployment drops.  Here’s the MSNBC headline (in typeface normally reserved for declarations of war):

UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS TO TWO YEAR LOW!

Here is the Fox News headline:

WHAT’S THE REAL STORY BEHIND SO-CALLED LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT?

If this is how you stay informed, good luck to you.  I’d rather watch reruns of Hillbilly Handfishin’.  If you ever get a chance watch the 1950’s film, A Face in the Crowd, directed by Elia Kazan.  Elia knew what was coming. 

What’s this have to do with me?  Not much, other than I will listen to this stuff, and it wears me out.  I’d hate to think that I’m like any of these folks or, worse, the people who call their shows or believe everything they read.  I’m find them entertaining, but none of this shapes my views, whatever they might be.

I’M NOT ALWAYS RIGHT, BUT I’M NEVER WRONG, AND NEITHER ARE YOU.

One of the fundamental tenets of politics is that I must:  (1) Agree with everything my politician supports; and (2) Disagree with everything my opponent supports.  A caveat to that is that if I do, in fact, agree with my opponent, I must somehow give credit to someone I like, regardless of the analytical gymnastics required to do so.

I just can’t do this.  Sometimes, both sides are so adamant about not giving any credit to the other that they won’t acknowledge that something good actually works. Here’s an example:  The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was devised by Hank Paulson under George W. Bush.  It had one purpose:  To prevent the collapse of the American banking system from the top down.  I scoffed at it, mostly because Hank Paulson looks evil.  I was wrong.  Bad wrong.  It had bi-partisan support, and it worked, albeit a little differently than originally planned.  No one wants to claim TARP now, because both sides have called it a bank bail out for so long.  BOTH SIDES SUPPORTED IT!  The right calls it big government gone wild, and the left calls it corporate welfare.   The result is that neither side will endorse it out of fear that the other side will make them look bad.  That’s insanity. 

Here’s another one.  Osama Bin Laden is dead.  Both President Bush and President Obama deserved credit for this.  Job well done, men.  Republicans will grudgingly say that Obama deserves credit for following Bush’s lead.  Democrats say that Obama has succeeded where Bush wholly failed.  It took 10 freaking years to find this guy!  Let’s face it.  It was a team effort. 

I’m not always right.  In fact, I’m frequently wrong.  I’m also brighter than most of the clods we elect to office.  They can’t be right or wrong all the time, either.  

LCD ISN’T JUST A COOL TV

Politicians cater to the Least Common Denominator (LCD).   Come on, you know it’s true.  That’s why they spend so much time trying to scare the bejesus out of us.  It’s not enough to point out the serious flaws in government health care.  We must talk about death panels and forced euthanasia, too.  If you support a tax increase on the wealthy, you must do so by claiming that the wealthy are a group of elitists destroying the country and exploiting the rest of usThe LCD likes all that talk.

You know LCD.  He’s the guy who can believe any of the following:

  • I am poor but will benefit by other people becoming rich.
  • I am poor but the government will help me become affluent.
  • Although I am too old, infirm or just plain too sorry to be in the military, I support all wars.
  • I resent Mexicans for taking the jobs I don’t want anyway.
  • A tax increase would be a good idea, as long as it’s not my taxes.
  • There is a massive conspiracy about something.
  • Although I’ve never read the Constitution, I know that anything I don’t like is unconstitutional.

Those are just a few examples.  The LCD and I don’t geehaw, as they say.  You aim at him, and you miss me.  Back to Hillybilly Handfishin’.

POLITICIANS

Another big reason I lose interest in politics is that I don’t really care much for politicians.  They’re overpaid and underworked.  Congress has a 10% approval rating.  The only thing surprising about this is that apparently 10% of those polled didn’t understand the question. 

U-S-A! U-S-A!

I live in the United States of America, the greatest country on Earth.  Why do I say that?  Two reasons:  (1) I do, in fact, live in the USA; (2) I’ve never lived anywhere else, and my life is pretty damn sweet.  Why wouldn’t I believe that?

According to Wikipedia (the source of all my knowledge), there are over 200 countries on Earth.  I couldn’t possibly figure out if the US is better than all of them.  Now, I’ll dare to assume that we’re better than a lot of them:  India, Mexico, most of the Middle East, Commies, any country ending in “stan,” all the really cold places, Bangladesh and Canada.  I’ll also throw in any country with a goofy-ass royal family.  That still leaves a bunch of countries that may be just fine.  What’s the point of this?

Here’s the point:  We’re Americans, by God.  As Bill Murray famously said in Stripes, we’re the mutts of the world.  We’ve been thrown out of every decent country on the planet.  Even people with whom I disagree are Americans.  We always end up okay, even in the midst of our fights, because we’re Americans.  I don’t hate others because of their politics.  I have good friends who are polar opposites of me politically.  So what?  They are my fellow mutts.

Here’s the other point.  Even those in power are my fellow mutts.  I don’t want them to fail and destroy the country just so my candidates get elected.  I don’t think these folks are engaged in conspiracies to bring down the republic.  Maybe they’re misguided or just plain stupid.  Just because I disagree doesn’t make them evil Communists, Socialists, Nazis or closeted Caliphs. It may make them idiots or it may make me one.  Time will tell.

SO, WHAT I AM?

Figured it out, yet?  Neither have I.  Here’s a small list of my likes, dislikes and general grumblings to assist us both:

  • I don’t think you should wildly spend money you don’t have.
  • Congress is full of idiots.
  • Occupy Wall Street was pointless. 
  • We’ve had two good presidents in my lifetime.
  • I am an abashed, unapologetic supporter of the coal industry. 
  • I don’t care whom you marry as long as it isn’t a child.
  • You can read or watch anything you want, as long as no one is harmed
  • I’m not “green.”  I drive a foreign car with an internal combustion engine, and I like it. 
  • You have the right to hate people.
  • I don’t like wars, but I greatly respect the military.  There should be a law that the person who starts the war should be the first to die for his country.   
  • I don’t like religion mixed with government.  
  • You have the right to carry a gun
  • I supported the war in Afghanistan but not the one in Iraq.
  • I don’t care about my neighbor’s religion or lack thereof.
  • I don’t care if you’re gay.  I’ve spent most of my time around straight people, and they’ve been no treat.
  • I don’t hate Muslims.
  • I don’t mind paying taxes, but I want to pay the least required.
  • Not all poor people deserve to be poor.
  • Almost anything the government touches gets worse, not better.
  • I don’t believe in any conspiracies, except ones where people have been caught
  • It doesn’t bother me that Hispanics speak Spanish.  My ancestors in Pennsylvania spoke German, and Ben Franklin wanted them thrown out of the country.
  • I have no interest in what you do in your bedroom.
  • You can protest whatever you want.

There you have it.  What am I?  A mess, evidently.  But, I’m an American, by God!

©thetrivialtroll.wordpress.com 2012