Wednesday

Dear Anonymous,

From the comments of the most recent post not including this one:

UM...have you ever considered seeing a psychiatrist?? I have been reading through your blogs and this is the most ridiculous blog ever!! WOW!!


Well, first of all, let me thank you for bestowing my blog with your (what I can only assume is honorary) title of "The Most Ridiculous Blog Ever" - it's quite an achievement for me. This is my first blog award, and I'm really happy about it even though I'm not sure it's officially recognized by the NBA (National Bloggers Association). But I don't care...they've been ignoring me for two years now.

And thanks also for the all capitals "WOW!!" at the end. That's usually the way I feel after I write most of these posts so I'm glad you felt the same way after reading some of them.


Which brings me to my only point of concern: Did you do any investigating before giving me this award or did you find my blog so wowing that you just made the title up and gave it to me on the spot?

I don't think you did do the requisite research, and that worries me because I don't want to lose this MOST AWESOME HONOR on account of a technicality. You see, Anonymous, there already is a "The Most Ridiculous Blog". There is also another blog titled "Utterly Ridiculous". And a "Ridiculous Blog"!

Do you see why I'm a bit anxious about potentially losing my first award? My fears are lessened upon careful inspection of your comment, however, when I see that you have anointed "Daily DiaTribe" "The Most Ridiculous Blog EVER".

WOW!! "Ever" ... That's almost as good as eternity. Almost. My blog is like the Highlander.

Just in case those other poser ridiculous blogs get in a tiff about me getting this award and not even having the words "most" or "ridiculous" in the title, I'm proposing that you set up and referee the most ridiculous steel cage death match ever between the wannabe ridiculous blogs and my blog. My blog is pretty tough so the others' blogs can even bring their friends if they want. Maybe the most absurd blog and the most preposterous blog will help them. Winner take all - and the losers blogs have to...wait, it's a death match so the losers will be dead.

Can one actually "kill" a website? Is that in and of itself a ridiculous notion? I digress...

Anyway, to answer your question about me seeing a psychiatrist:

Funny you should bring that up now. I was just talking about that with my cat the other day. I floated the idea of seeing a head doctor. When my cat asked why, I told him because I'm having a conversation with a cat! He asked, "How do you think that makes me feel?" And I realized that I was being selfish. I tried to apologize, but the damage had already been done. We haven't talked for two days now. I miss his poetry and his short stories.

No matter...I shouldn't trouble you with my problems.

Thanks, Anonymous...YOU ROCK!!! WOW!!

Question

I was reading this post by Ed Brayton this morning, and he has brought up a great point:

Where were all the astro-turf, tea-baggging, "get your government hands off me" conservatives when Terri Schiavo's husband wanted to take her off life support?

The people that are disrupting town hall meetings today with the premise that they are opposed to national health care because it means government intrusion into peoples' private lives are the same ones that wanted the Supreme fracking Court to intervene and keep Schiavo's husband from making a decision that he was legally obliged to make.

These kinds of contradictions would be worth pointing out to the astro-turfers, but assuming they understand what irony is would be taking a leap of faith I'm not ready to take.

I'm quite certain that even if the turfers did understand irony it wouldn't matter because Glenn Beck would blame the Schiavo thing on liberals and tea-baggers would believe him.

I'm just going to start blaming Glenn Beck for everything.

I told you I was lazy.

Thursday

Joe Conservative

(copied verbatim from here except for the few paragraphs I wrote at the end)

"A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican"

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, "We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have".


I can think of a few Joe Conservative's in my life. There isn't really anything else to say other than this is the way it is because this is the way it's presented. Joe Conservative hears "Government = bad" because the government is an easy target - the blame has to go somewhere and it's most convenient to stick it to the biggest target.

Liberals are quick (myself included) to point to the hyperbolic ravings on TV personalities like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly as the main problem. Granted, these talking heads are part of the problem, but there is a much deeper issue of intellectual laziness (OMG! I'm such a fucking elitist) that underpins the rhetoric of TV hosts such as Beck.

This intellectual laziness is a self-destructive form of instant gratification by means of logical convenience. People like Beck preach a message that is pre-designed to assign emotions and feelings with the tangible (color, size, shape). That's convenient. Brown = bad. Big = bad. Et cetera.

I blame us. Not because we're stupid or dumb. Because, in general, we are fucking lazy. I am. I am instinctively lazy. It is my visceral predisposition to look for the path of least resistance.

But I'm lucky. Today, at least, I can often (not always by any means) catch myself looking for the shortcuts. Trying to find an easier, softer way. What I know now is that the apparently easier, softer way is not a path to happiness at all. It's a path to mental suicide.