Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 06/28/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: July 4th Annoyances
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

Well as of this rant the Fourth of July is less than a week away. It’s a pity it falls on a Tuesday, because it otherwise would make for a nice long weekend if it falls on a Monday or Friday. If it happened on Wednesday, then at least it would make for a great break right in the middle of the week. But, no, it’s Tuesday, which means people have to try to take Monday off so they can make it a REALLY long weekend… like I’m going to be doing.

But I digress…

There are a few quick rants that I need to get off my chest this week, so I figured rather than droll on and on about one subject, I’d get a few zingers in for a whole bunch of them.

First of all: Lake Lanier.

Now, I lived in the north part of the Lake Lanier area for ten years. Lake Lanier is actually a man-made lake, created from the Buford Dam back in the 1950’s. It helps regulate the flow of water from the Chatahoochee River so Atlanta and other places don’t get flooded when it rains.

So here’s the problem: the water goes down past Atlanta to Alabama and Florida before emptying out into the Gulf of Mexico. Alabama and Florida both claim OWNERSHIP of that water, even though it comes from Georgia. They basically want to CONTROL how much water comes out of Lake Lanier, which is NOT in their respective states.

It’s pretty much all about POWER.

Alabama claims that they NEED all the water they can get for their hydropower plant, but the truth of the matter is that they have THEIR OWN man-made lakes THAT ALSO feed water in that powers that same plant. They just don’t want to have to drain THEIR lakes to feed their power demands. They’d rather get the federal government TO FORCE ANOTHER STATE to drain their own water supply.

Yes, once again Alabama has demonstrated why the state is the world’s biggest blocked up colon! They ARE the ANUS OF AMERICA!

And Florida is no better! They’re claiming that all that water is needed for a bunch of fish and mobile muscles… creatures that would otherwise move ON THEIR OWN once they realize that their environment has changed. Oh but NO, WE CAN’T touch them, can we? No, they’re on the Endangered Species list, which basically means their species is endangering US.

This is basically POWER-GRAB by people who have no right to it.

We can solve the Florida problem really quick: We’ll have an extinction fish fry and clambake. If the sturgeon are too stupid to move on when the water goes down, we’ll cook them up with some tartar sauce and lemon, and if the muscles that CAN move don’t, then they’ll be served with some melted butter with a hint of garlic. Trust me, they’ll move pretty easily down our gullets. If there’s one thing that Southerners LOVE to do when they’re by the water is to throw a fish fry and clambake!

I’m sorry folks, I know that pisses off liberals to hear me say that, but the whole purpose of passing that federal law to protect endangered species was to have us work WITH nature, not use nature as a blanket excuse to exercise unconstitutional power-grabs. Working WITH nature is not a one-way deal. There has to be a BALANCE, there has to be equilibrium. And by the way, nature isn’t static. Nature changes too. If the climate is getting warmer than it has in the past 400 years or 2000 years, it’s because of NATURE, not because of something that was done by man in the past 100 years.

And it’s not like Atlanta doesn’t already have a problem with water consumption! We have local idiots that have absolutely NO IDEA WHATSOEVER how to manage growth. They are usually bought and paid for by developers who are hell-bent on converting every square millimeter of dirt into a suburban neighborhood with absolutely NO REGARD to the obscene explosion of demand for services that follows it. The developers don’t care! Why should they? They already made their money ten times over by turning an old farm into twenty overpriced subdivision communities. They’re busy looking for more areas to strip clear and build.

THAT is where the demand really exists for Georgia, and it’s THAT demand that SHOULD be addressed. But it’s not going to be addressed because of the corrupt criminal politicians in Alabama and Florida and their ILLEGAL power-grab. Two states whose politicians need to be kicked in the nuts and sent back to their corrupt little inbred redneck communities where they belong.

Okay, I think I’ve pissed off enough people on this…

Second issue… hey, I just want to know… who the hell appointed Angelina Jolie to be the living reincarnation of the Virgin Mary?

I’m serious. That’s how the air-fluffed ego-driven media appears to treat her! Oh, isn’t Angelina WONDERFUL? She goes out and adopts all of these kids from poverty-stricken places! She helps the poor! And then, right after she goes through the GLORY of childbirth, she wants to adopt another child! Isn’t that special?

Hey, I’m glad that she’s spending some off-time helping out the poor nations. Good for her! She’s got the means and she’s got the money. That’s admirable.

But I also think that the actress that decides to run her own little United Nations has got some serious issues to deal with. I put that in the same category as the women who decide to solve the stray pet problem by housing 200 cats and dogs.

I mean, let’s face it… Angelina just pumped out her first and ONLY – as far as we know – tax deduction… and now she wants to go right back to adopting more children???? I tell you what… Brad Pitt should keep Doctor Phil’s number on speed dial, because in the next few years that naturally born child of theirs is going to be a crisis therapy session just WAITING to happen!

Remember the last actress who decided to play Mini-UN? Mia Farrow was her name, and then she found out that her husband ended up in bed with her teenaged adopted daughter! Not exactly a Kodak moment, if you know what I mean.

Hey, here’s a novel idea… how about having actors and actresses actually be known for the MOVIES they make? I may not agree with everything George Clooney says or does outside of the camera but at least he’s still cranking out movies!

And by the way, the same applies to the music business. If Britney Spears wants to have the air-fluffed ego-driven media lay off her mothering skills, then she should either crank out some new albums, or else pack her Gucci bag and head back to the old farm in Louisiana and pop out that second tax deduction in obscurity. But don’t sit around in the middle of paparazzi-land and whine about how the paid stalkers are obsessing over you and your little tax deductions. You’re there in the overhyped world of entertainment BY CHOICE, so either produce some actual entertainment, or else your private life will continue to serve as the substitute. That’s the basic and gritty fact of that part of the world

Okay, one more key issue tonight… the economy.

Gas prices took another spike this week. You know, prices did a great job of going down and down and down these past few weeks, but now they’re back up, and once again, they really don’t have to be!

And of course the excuse this time will be easy to swallow... hey, it’s the July Fourth weekend! EVERYONE has to get out and frigging DRIVE on this weekend! Hit the road! Go on vacation! Spend, spend, SPEND like there’s no tomorrow! Never mind that gas prices are going back up to the $3/gallon category. Never mind that inflation is jacking prices up. Never mind that we are, in general, spending more money than we are bringing in. Never mind that we are STILL hearing word about future layoffs. And never mind that the Federal Reserve is talking about not just jacking the federal interest rate up, but possibly even at TWICE the level it has been doing for sixteen quarters now.

BUT don’t you worry about that, boys and girls, just go on your little picnics and spend all the money you can to keep the economy going, and ignore what you hear in the media about the economy! That’s just leftist propaganda designed to make the Republican-monopolized federal government look BAD. It’s full steam ahead for the Bush Imperium, by direct imperial order of the White House!

Let’s get brutally honest here… and I’m DEADLY serious about this one… we are about TWO YEARS away from some serious economic problems! The signs are there, but the White House is REFUSING to either see those signs or to publicly admit to them!

When I saw these signs starting to appear in 1998, I was the ONLY PERSON warning people that this was going to happen! Gas prices were going up, companies were announcing layoffs, but the layoffs weren’t going to happen right then. It was going to happen in 2000 or later. That way, when the crap hit the fan, the outgoing White House wouldn’t have to deal with it. Not their problem!

Well that is PRECISELY what I see happening now! The same signs from 1998 are repeating themselves in 2006! The Federal Reserve Commission certainly won’t act on it. They just appear to be hell-bent on getting interest rates back up so the banks can maximize the money coming in before the bottom falls out again. The tax cuts will help us, but that’s also a drop in the bucket compared to what’s really needed, which is a complete and total REORGNIZATION of the tax system. What the tax cuts are doing are simply holding the line until 2008 or later, which is about when those big layoffs will start taking effect.

And here’s the punchline… the current residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have absolutely NOTHING TO LOSE over this! They learned from 2001 that whoever inherits a bad economy also inherits the blame! So they have no reason in the world to go out of their way to make things better or to offset the bad news before it happens.

But I promise you this… in two year’s time, when it DOES happen, I will be right here, screaming at the top of my lungs "I FRIGGING TOLD YOU SO… AGAIN!"

Then again, I’m learning the hard way that it’s not socially acceptable to be right too soon.

(Computer – It’s another mix of stuff that you really should hear to appreciate)
(Fade Music In – "Flawed Legacy" by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)

I’m sure that some folks are thinking that I’d have a few more freedom-oriented rants to talk about since we are in the season of faux-patriotism. And I was sorely tempted to talk about that stuff. But to be honest with you, there’s only so many times that you can talk about the subject of freedom before it gets treated like a dead-horse issue. And besides, the three issues I did discuss tonight were important in their own right.

Don’t worry, I’ll soon be back to lambasting Congress and the White House on their other power-grabs. Sometimes you have to just break away from the nonstop complaint about certain subjects in order to keep the subject fresh. Think of it as a ranting-man’s vacation from the usual talking points.

It’s certainly cheaper than the actual vacation that most people will take this week.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Proto Brother speaks again!

If you don't know what I mean by this... check out this article from the archives.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Don’t Cry For Dan Rather

So the media is turning its glory-hogging CBS eye back on itself this week, mourning about the "loss" of Dan Rather.

No, Dan’s still alive and well for a man his age, but CBS has decided to cut him loose after decades of service.

Well it’s not like he was BUSY or anything. He wasn’t doing anything incredibly productive. He’s been pretty much on the sidelines after leaving the CBS Evening News. He was drawing a paycheck, he was doing occasional work for 60 Minutes, but we all know that it’s just not the same as telling America what HE thinks the news is.

But don’t mourn for the loss of Dan Rather’s career. And certainly don’t get upset at CBS for letting him go. Dan Rather did this to himself.

Dan Rather destroyed his own career over the whole Texas Air National Guard issue in 2004. He took a story that was questionable and he told millions of Americans that it was the truth, and he did it at a time that was politically advantageous to the Democratic Party. And then he sat in his pompous anchor chair and he told those same millions that the information that he got this from was true and anyone who said otherwise was a damned filthy liar.

Now when the story was being questioned in September of 2004, I challenged Dan Rather to put up or shut up. Obviously he refused. Turned out I was right and he was wrong. But he still managed to keep his job, even though his underlings got canned. That’s what "underlings" are supposed to do in the corporate world. They’re cannon fodder, and they got treated as such. Rather, meanwhile, was allowed to leave the anchor space gracefully, but he still managed to keep his behind-the-camera jobs.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams recently came up with a great definition for this… "minimalized". Executives don’t get "downsized", they get "minimalized". Their job gets reduced to a point where they have no control over anything anymore and all they’re doing is drawing a paycheck until they finally up and leave…or unless they convince another executive to jump off a building so he can take their position. Apparently Rather couldn’t even convince anyone to do that.

So, no, don’t blame CBS for finally doing what they should have done two years ago. It was time for Dan Rather to be put to pasture anyway. He was doing fine as long as he was reporting the news. It was when he started to dictate what that news would be - and putting himself in a corporate position to dictate what that news should be - that’s when he really jeopardized his career… and it finally caught up with him. And he’s STILL leaving on much better terms than any one of the people who lost their jobs or their livelihood from all the stories that he ever reported on.

No, don’t mourn a man like that. Envy him.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 06/21/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: The Self-Important Person
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

I want to start off tonight’s rant with a Sphinx Riddle.

Now a Sphinx Riddle comes from the ancient Greek and Egyptian mythologies. Believe it or not, both Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian mythos had a similar fictional creature with the body of a lion and a face of a man, and both would ask challenging riddles to spare the lives of the humans they encounter.

So here is a riddle worthy of the Sphinx…

What is worth more than all the treasure in the world to only one person, but is absolutely worthless for anyone else?

I’ll let you think about that for a bit. Believe me, the answer will blow your mind.

We’ve got a lot of annoying people in this world. We really do.

A few weeks ago I did a rant about a bunch of really annoying people who think that they have every right to interrupt a very sad ceremony for fallen US Servicemen just so they could spew their hatred for gays and lesbians. And while what they did sickens me, I had to defend their right to express themselves and point out that they’re nothing more than just opportunistic, attention-starving pricks.

My father, who doesn’t always agree with me on these issues, basically offered a rather brutal but effective solution to the problem… which was to get a bunch of people together with lead pipes and beat the crap out of those protesters.

And believe me, there are plenty of times when I WISH I could seriously smack some folks up with a two-by-four… especially the dickheads in Washington! BUT WE CAN’T! Do you know why? Because it’s against the law. And because we live in a society where that kind of simplistic solution just isn’t tolerated. It’s not "civilized".

But you know what? There are a lot of people who NEED to be smacked upside the head. They are in sorry NEED of a reality check! And when I say they’re in "sorry need" of a reality check, I mean that they will MAKE US SORRY until they get that reality check. And if WE can’t deliver that reality check ourselves, then we have to put our faith in something much larger than us to do the job. We have to put our faith in God, or Jesus, or Buddha, or karma, or some other sense of cosmic justice to carry out what we ourselves are prohibited from doing, and then HOPE that the person in question is simply too arrogant or too cocky or too careless to not wiggle out of it.

That’s why we have people ready to snap at a moment’s notice, folks. THAT’S why we have something called "road rage" in America. It’s not because of some fictional psychological disorder, but because there is growing frustration and an apparent lack of real justice in this world.

We see people who know how to manipulate the system get away with just about everything under the sun. We WANT them to get their just deserts, but they always manage to escape justice. Most recently, we have both Karl Rove and Cynthia McKinney beat the rap for their abuses of power. And we know… WE KNOW… that if it were anyone else… if it were you or I… that the justice system would have no mercy whatsoever.

So we know that the system is screwed up, and that there are people who are intentionally and systematically abusing the system for their own benefit. And that only contributes to our frustrations.

But you can take any big-name out there… any politician, any corporate executive, any professional athlete or Hollywood celebrity… and I assure you that their torments are not the real source of our aggravation!

The REAL source of our frustration rest with the people who are often complete strangers to us.

We may not know who they are, but we know they simply PISS US OFF! And sometimes it’s even done intentionally!

Most of these people I call the "self-important people". These are people who seem to live in a world all their own, and we’re not just there for the ride.

These aren’t just self-centered people, mind you. These aren’t just the folks who live in their own little quasi-autistic environment. There’s more to it than just self-centered or ego-centered behavior. These are people who expect that the world revolve around them.

If you want some celebrity examples, I’ve got a few of them.

Donald Trump quickly comes to mind. Whether you like him or not, whether you watch his TV show or not, whether you read his books or not, you have to admit that Donald Trump just can’t let something go without putting his personal touch – if not his name – on it. And I’m sure that the people who know him will probably just say that’s just his "public persona", but if that’s what the world is seeing, then that’s what they expect the man to be like at all times.

Another great example of a self-important person is Paris Hilton. Now WHY THE HELL should anyone care about Paris Hilton? What does she do other than show up at every event that has a photographer? That’s pretty much all that she does. And that puts her clearly in the category of a self-important person.

But you don’t have to be a celebrity or a millionaire… or even a fifty-thousandaire… to be a self-important person. There are self-important people EVERYWHERE!

You can see a self-important person the minute they leave a building. They can’t take two steps outside of a building without reaching for their cellphone! They can’t stand to be alone for two minutes without having SOMEONE to talk to on a cellphone!

THESE are the people for whom all of those fancy cellphones were designed for. You know, being able to text-message and voice-message and take pictures and video and surf the Internet and download music and put in those stupid ringtones. And if you’re just passing by and you hear them talking, you don’t know if they’re talking to you or if they’re talking on the cellphone. In fact, they’ll pretty much be on the cellphone EVERYWHERE. They’ll show up at restaurants and get their order WHILE on the cellphone! I saw one self-important person actually carry out a very loud and VERY profane argument with his daughter over the cellphone while ordering food at McDonald’s.

Of course they also can’t drive without having a cellphone in their hand either. They have to prove to the world that they can multi-task while operating something that really wasn’t designed for multi-tasking. It makes them look important. "Look at me! I’m conducting business while on the way to work! I’m important! I’m special!" Of course they don’t look all that important when they inevitably get in an accident BECAUSE of their multi-tasking, BUT they can’t worry about that, because it only happens to OTHER people. NEVER to them!

It’s not hard to find a truly self-important person either. Just look at the car they drive! Three letters: S-U-V. You won’t see them driving around in little itty-bitty cars! After all, they won’t have any room for their little bumper stickers. You know which ones. "I’m a proud parent of an honor student", or "My child is an honor student at Numbnuts Elementary". Either that or that STUPID "Soccer Mom" magnet. Plus they can’t get in front of other people with a little itty-bitty car, because THAT is what they feel they must do. They can’t let ANYONE get in front of them, either on the road or at a stop light. You’re turning right and they’re turning left? Well it sucks to be you because the self-important person will intentionally edge out in front of you so you can’t make that right turn until the light turns green. If they can’t leave, then YOU can’t leave!

Self-important people aren’t hard to find at work either. They’re the ones who refuse to read instructions. You spend time and effort to come up with a policy or a series of instructions of how to do things, and they’ll be the first ones to ignore it and then come to you to PERSONALLY show them how it’s done. "Customer Service" or "Technical Support" to them means just one thing: "personal servants". They’ll take up conference rooms just so they can be on their cellphones. And they have no qualms about STEALING a conference room reservation either. They’re the ones who came up with the concept of a "pre-meeting", or having a meeting BEFORE the meeting.

Find a heavily-trafficked location in a building. A hallway or a corridor, or someplace where the passageway is very narrow. Or someplace being worked on. Someplace with a parked mail cart or maintenance cart. You’ll find a self-important person standing RIGHT THERE with their friends just talking up a storm! They’ll be by the elevators or the stairs, not having to use them of course, just talking about the weather or what was on TV last night. If they’re walking, they’re filling up the ENTIRE walkway, and they EXPECT that if you’re coming up the other side that you DAMN WELL get out of their way! "Right of way" to them means THEIR right of way, not yours!

Of course it’s the hypocritical stances of these self-important people that really get under the skins of others. They believe in structure and rules… but only for THEIR structure and THEIR rules, not for anyone else. These are the people who will drive in the breakdown lane during a traffic jam at high speeds just so THEY won’t be late for work. They’ll show up at the express counter of a busy grocery store with an overflowing shopping cart and DEMAND to pay for it all with a personal check. They’ll use the bank drive-through and ATM machines for a twenty-minute banking transaction that would otherwise be made by getting out of their car and walking INTO the still-open bank office. Traffic lights and speed limits are only SUGGESTIONS for them as long as there are no cops around. "Tax the rich"? Sure! Just as long as THEIR money goes untouched.

And as for my personal pet peeve… THESE are the very people that become moralists! These are the people who go on crusades to get the whole world to baby-sit THEIR children. Parental guidance? They don’t have the TIME for that nonsense! Ratings? They don’t have the TIME to figure out what’s acceptable! They’re too busy, and, besides, they feel that THE GOVERNMENT should be doing that stuff anyway!

Hey, you want to know why call centers are either going to India or Bangledesh or else are being replaced by automated services that will guarantee that you will never EVER talk to a human? These are the people responsible for it!

But let’s get brutally honest here… WE ALL have those moments in our lives when we think that the world should rise and set by our permission. We all have those moments when we get extremely selfish and self-centered. The difference is that at some point, we either came to the realization on our own that the world doesn’t revolve around us, or we had that lesson handed to us HARD by other people.

You want to know why people like Karl Rove and Cynthia McKinney get away with their crimes? Because we allow these ordinary self-important people to go on their merry way, hoping that at some point, they too will screw up and get what’s coming to them. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t work that way. And the people who are able to get what they want in life will always befriend and promote like-minded people. That’s WHY the system we all live in is so screwed up.

It’s one thing to develop your own sense of self and individuality and do a little self-promotion… hey, I’m guilty of doing that as well… but it’s another thing to operate on the premise that the world is here for your benefit instead of the other way around. Sometimes a little bit of humility helps temper the ego.

(Computer – a few appropriate clips)
(Fade Music In – "Heretic, Hero" by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)

And before I close things out for this week, here’s the answer to that Sphinx Riddle…

What is worth more than all the treasure in the world to only one person, but is absolutely worthless for anyone else?

Well the answer to that is rather simple. It’s YOUR BELIEFS.

Think it over… you’ll see what I mean.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

The DUH Award for Journalism goes to...

MSNBC's business headline...

Anheuser-Busch may enter liquor market

You mean they haven't already? They make about half the beer in the world!

Somewhere in the deepest bowels of NBC Studios is an online news editor who is trying to find the definition of redundant and is getting back "See REDUNDANT".

Friday, June 16, 2006

News Flash: We're All Gonna Die!

Watched SciFi Channel's "Countdown to Doomsday" this week, and I probably shouldn't have... especially since Matt Laurer of Dateline NBC was hosting it.

Boy was that a mistake! I can't believe I even wasted VCR tape on it!

Okay, here is the entire two hours in a nutshell...

We're all gonna die!

Got it? It doesn't matter if it's from solar flares, super-volcanoes, global warming, nuclear terrorism, bio-terrorism, pandemics, alien invasions, robot conspiracy, sudden gamma bursts from nearby stars, or the random asteroid or comet coming near us, our number is UP! It may not happen tomorrow or the next ten years or even the next century, but that's it! We're toast!

And you can forget moving to a different place, or choosing paper instead of plastic, or buying that hybrid car you always thought about buying. It won't matter! We're gonners one way or another.

In fact, the special pretty much glossed over the truly SciFi stuff to focus on what they REALLY WANTED to deal with... namely Robobore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth". GREAT... just what we needed to see... a stupid plug for a documentary hosted by the LOSER of the 2000 Fiasco.

And here's the kicker... with the exception of the environmentalist stuff, everything else on their "countdown" is pretty much a done deal. When or if it happens, there's NOTHING that can be done to stop it! Oh, but we should try to spend a few trillion here and there to try to figure when these things are gonna happen so we can get some kind of notification, right?

You know what? Some of the scientists got one thing right... if the human race is to survive, it's not going to happen sticking around on Earth. If we're going to spend those trillions of taxpayer dollars, it had better be on getting our sorry butts off-world and colonizing other planets. Otherwise start the wake now and just get toasted, because nobody will be around afterwards to host it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 06/14/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Dads and Dollars
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

This coming weekend is Father’s Day. It’s the time that we should remember and give thanks to our fathers, just like we did for our mothers. Or at least that’s what we’re supposed to do in theory.

Now I personally happen to think that fathers get pretty much a bad rap in society, and some of it happens to be well earned.

Traditionally, the burden of raising kids has always fallen on the mother. I mean, she’s the one bearing the little tax deductions to term, she’s the one giving birth to them, she’s the one raising and nurturing them, and she’s pretty much the parent you see more of in those first formative years. Mom’s the one that has to be out front and doing stuff for the little kids.

Dads – for the most part – are on the sidelines… if they are even brought into the game in the first place. You see, that’s the sad part about this… guys can be dicks about bringing kids into the world. Just because the woman can make ultimate choice to decide of bringing the little tyke to term, some guys think that they shouldn’t even be bothered with the whole thing. One of the little subtle messages from the women’s movement that has really done women a disservice is to tell us guys "We don’t need you! We can raise our children all by ourselves!"

Well you can, and many have, but that doesn’t mean that you should. It certainly shouldn’t be considered an ideal situation.

And then we turn on the TV set, and there’s the television family on any regular sitcom… with "Mom" looking so beautiful and so professional and so good at what she does… and "Dad" basically looking like an out-of-shape buffoon. "Mom" makes cracks about his shortcomings, the kids scheme to get around "Dad", and "Dad" basically does double-takes as he fumbles around trying to fix things without putting himself in the hospital. That’s what we see on TV, folks. Mom’s a professional… and Dad’s a dork.

Now you take a look at those two messages and you ask yourself… why would any guy want to get involved with fatherhood if all they’re being told is that they’re unnecessary and ineffective comedic material? That all we’re good for is for whatever MONEY that we generate? That’s the message that we’re getting.

Let’s get brutally honest here… there is a difference between parentage and BEING a parent! Biology can make someone a mother or father, but being a parent takes a conscious effort. It’s not just being there or providing money; it’s also about being the kind of guardian, teacher, and inspiration to that little tax deduction that anyone would be proud of. Our understanding about authority figures – even our religious beliefs – comes from what kind of parents we grew up with early on in our lives. One parent can try to do it… but it really takes two… and if you don’t have that other parent, then another family member usually tries to step in. It’s instinctive, because it’s filling up a natural gap in social upbringing.

There’s a lot about my father that I’m pretty impressed with. I mean, I would love to help bring a David 3 or even a David 4 into the world someday, but the stuff that my father did during his time is a really hard act to follow. This is a man who’s been in a military conflict that most people don’t even realize we were really involved in. Most baby boomers can tell you about what they did during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but my father was there, on the ships during the blockade. At one point my father worked FIVE jobs. Not just two or three… FIVE of them! He helped build and test nuclear submarines… he was a firefighter… he was a paramedic… he was an instructor… he was a police officer… he was an electrician… he built homes… he did whatever he could to help pay the bills, and he wasn’t always there for my sister and I because of that. But when he was there for us, he made sure that he did everything possible to BE the kind of father that someone would be proud of.

Now THAT is a pretty hard act to follow. And, you know what? It’s a little hard to find a Father’s Day card that reflects all of that. But I’d like to think that someday I could be in the same league as him.

And that brings me to the next subject… MONEY!

NBC recently kicked off a new series called "Windfall", which deals with a story that you’ve probably heard about a couple of time in the past few years. A group of people get together, pool their money, and end up winning the biggest lottery jackpot in that area’s history, which they split equally among themselves. There was one group of winners just like that a couple of weeks ago.

Now in true network television design, these newly-made rich people are all good-looking and are from ALL demographics. And, hey, we even have a couple of former teen heartthrobs in the form of Luke Perry and Jason Geddrick in the mix. We have a teenager with repressive parents, we have a single mom, we have a young medial professional, and EVERYONE is struggling. EVERYONE is trying to make ends meet! And now they’re getting this HUGE jackpot, and of course the whole series is about showing how each of these people change when given all of this MONEY.

But there’s actually something worth seeing in this series… and it’s something that you probably won’t notice right off the bat because you’re looking at the cash and the pimple-free faces and the flat-bellies and the fooling around.

It’s about people’s PERSPECTIVE about that money.

If you get to watch a couple of episodes, I want you to take a look at the supporting characters. You’ll pretty much see a familiar attitude with their friends or family members when it comes to having that money. The attitude is that these people – who didn’t take part in the lottery thing at all – are still somehow ENTITLED to having either a portion or ALL of that money by virtue of acquaintance.

I’m serious! There is a basic attitude with these people that says that any kind of wealth that is given to someone they know must IMMEDIATELY be shared! And they will come out of the WOODWORK to find you!

Someone you may remember from high school will call you up and say "hey, remember when I bought lunch for you because you lost your wallet twenty years ago? Well, you owe me with interest!" If you had any kind of one-night stands, all of a sudden you have "love children" that you would have NEVER heard about if not for the money that you just got. They may not even be yours, but they’re more than willing to waste your money in the courts and in testing to prove them wrong, especially if they can somehow worm out some payments in advance. Just about everyone has a scheme or a business plan that they want you to invest in. Just about everyone has a cause that they want you to champion and a charity that they want you to contribute to. And everyone is your best friend… that is, until you start saying two certain letters that they don’t want to hear… namely the letters N-O.

There’s an interesting scene in the series where one of the winners is in the middle of finalizing the divorce and the soon-to-be ex-husband all of a sudden is demanding HIS half of the money. She wisely tells him flat-out "this is MY MONEY, not yours!" but then her flaky teenage daughter – who thinks she knows everything – whines that "you already make enough money… why can’t you share?"

THAT, my friends, is the attitude! Boiled down, compacted, and served up with all of the indignation that a clueless teenager would have! "You already make enough money… why can’t you share?"

And it’s not just about lottery winners! You see that pattern repeated over and over again when it comes to large sums of money.

Take a look at professional sports figures. Everybody wants to complain about how a superstar jock isn’t getting paid "enough" but somehow the team owners are worth "too much", even though most of their money is going to pay the team salaries. But that’s the general attitude. Millionaire players bitching about their pay from billionaire owners… which in and of itself should be downright embarrassing since WE are the ones that are really paying for both groups! Remember that $10 stale hot dog and that $5 bathroom cup of lukewarm soda? Guess where that money went?

Take a look at the attitude when it comes to big business. A CEO gets $400 million in salary and bonuses and that supposedly isn’t "right", even though it’s in that person’s contract. Somewhere in black-and-white is the statement of "if I bring up the company’s profits by X-percent or higher, then the company will pay me $400 million in salary and bonuses." Just about EVERY corporate executive has a contract like that, that states their role in the company, what their purpose is, and how much they will get in compensation depending on how well they perform their duties. It’s a legally binding contract.

But that doesn’t matter, right? That CEO shouldn’t be making that much money, right? Because it’s more than what you would consider to be "enough".

Now let me ask you… do you think that this hypothetical company should be FORCED to VOID that contract with their hypothetical CEO simply because it violates YOUR definition of what "enough" is? Because that’s basically what the argument is about! If you believe that the hypothetical CEO is getting "too much", then you believe that there’s a hypothetical dollar amount that you would deem to be "enough", and if anyone violates that limit, then you’re basically arguing that any money OVER that amount should be forfeited.

So let’s say that you win… and the CEO is forced to give up some or most of that money. What kind of incentive is there for that CEO to do his or her job to keep that company going? Hey, if I’m in that position and I know that the company cannot be trusted to live up to their legally-binding agreement, then I have no reason to be there, and I certainly have no reason to see that company go on for one more day.

Now folks, there is a word for that kind of mentality of "you make enough"… it’s called COVETING. That means having designs on something that’s not yours. It also goes by a different name… GREED.

And this coveting goes on because these people, quite simply, have no appreciation of money! They have no idea where it comes from. They just know that it’s out there, and that somehow they should be ENTITLED to it, even if – and especially when – they did nothing to warrant it.

Now let’s suppose that you got a promotion and a very nice raise at work. Your pay goes up from $75,000 a year to $100,000 a year. Nice, huh? You think that you’re doing GREAT! You can pay down some loans, you can get a house, you can afford to put some money away for retirement or for a college fund for your kids. You can take your spouse out to some nice restaurants and gets some good clothes.

The next day, I’m pounding on the door, and I tell you flat-out that it’s GREAT that you got a promotion and a raise… however, you’re now making "too much", and I think that you should "share the wealth" with other people... especially me. Just about everyone would tell me that I’m out of line with that kind of statement! Everyone would be on my ass about it! Who the hell am I to determine what is "too much"? What right do I have to tell someone who makes a certain amount of money to fork some of it over to other people? That’s what you would tell me if I were to make that kind of stupid, greedy, self-centered statement.

Well I’ll tell you what… if it’s wrong for that kind of argument at $100,000, then it’s JUST AS WRONG when the amount goes up to $1 million, or even $100 million! If you’re not paying it, and if you’re not cashing it in, then YOU DO NOT get to decide what is "enough" and what is "too much"! PERIOD!

And it’s sad for someone like me to have to make that kind of pronouncement, because that’s the kind of lesson that a good parent would teach his or her children. I think that it is a parent’s job to teach his or her children to appreciate the value of money, and how to accumulate it, and then how to spend it wisely. That’s certainly not something that can be encouraged too much from a GOVERNMENT school, which is paid for by the money that the government TAKES from other people. It’s basically the blind leading the blind there!

And isn’t it strange that of all of the family values that conservatives and neo-conservatives and theo-conservatives complain about not having in society, that somehow an appreciation of money is not there? Strange, huh? But then again, I guess someone has to wash their Hummers and clean their mega-churches, and they can’t do that if they push for THOSE values in society.

(Computer – some appropriate stuff that you’ll have to listen to appreciate)
(Fade Music In – "Who Am I?" by Peace Orchestra)

One of the taglines for the "Windfall" TV series is that "money changes everything". Well I have to disagree with that statement. Money doesn’t change a thing. It just exposes you to a different side of people. You get to see a part of that person’s life that you never realized existed until it hits you in the face.

The people who have no appreciation about money never had any to begin with. It’s something that has eluded them for quite some time. Oh, they’ll pass it off as bad fortune or a few unlucky breaks or that missed opportunity from their glory days, but it really doesn’t matter. They just don’t have good money sense, and it burns them to know that they don’t have it! It eats away at them.

And as long as they’re your friends or your acquaintances, and you’re in a similar financial situation, then you’ll never know that they have this problem with money. Then, if you do win the lottery, or have some rich relative drop a load of cash at your feet, you’re suddenly "the enemy" as far as that "friend" is concerned. The feelings were there all that time… the only difference is that it now involves someone they know instead of a distant athlete or unnamed corporate executive.

And by the way, the same holds true to those of you who DO win the lottery and still don’t have any appreciation of money. That’s why you have lottery winners who go from having it all to having nothing again. It’s not that they were unlucky. It’s because having money doesn’t automatically make them wise enough to appreciate it.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Monday, June 12, 2006

Quick thought...

I'm waiting for the conservatives to scream bloody murder about the fact that the first storm to terrorize the US is named after the U.S. Attorney General.

(Hey, with that kind of zinger, you don't need further elaboration!)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

al-Zarqawi: DEAD

Americans woke up to the best news coming from Iraq since Saddam Hussein was captured: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the so-called "al Qaeda Prince in Iraq", is DEAD!

NOT "al-Zarqawi is a dead man for what he’s done" or "We want him dead or alive" or "dead terrorist hiding" or "fancy talk for a dead man" or even "we HOPE we got him". No, he’s DEAD. He’s really DEAD. He’s worm food. He was killed along with seven of his aides while trying to stir up sectarian riots in an area just north of Baghdad.

And here’s the thing: some of his own countrymen helped! Not only did we get help from Jordanian operatives to locate al-Zarqawi, but they even identified him after we took him out in the airstrike. (Note to Junior: cut that check for $25 million like you promised!)

That’s right, the "great warrior" who personally and brutally killed at least two Americans with a knife but who couldn’t shoot a gun without looking like Gomer Pyle didn’t even have a chance to exercise his "great combat skills" when he was killed. He was killed from a distance, when he least expected it. GOOD! He died just like many of his victims died!

This is great news! One terrorist DEAD, many more to go! And hopefully Osama will be the next one on the "good morning news" category.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 06/07/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: The REAL Threat To Marriage
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

Do you know what’s the difference between a politician and a prostitute?

Well obviously there’s a gender difference. There are more male politicians than there are female politicians, and there are more female prostitutes than there are male prostitutes.

And of course there’s the fact that prostitution is illegal everywhere in America EXCEPT for certain places in Nevada… while politics is, unfortunately, legal EVERYWHERE.

But there is one distinct and fundamental difference between a politician and a prostitute, and that difference rests with one word… "over".

A prostitute will screw people for money... and they don’t even have to be good at it. They could even HATE it, but they’ll still do it for the money. And if they are good at it, you can’t help but to remember it because it will be one of the best screws in your life!

But a politician will screw people OVER for money. And not only will they get paid to do it, but they will even LOVE doing it! And if they’re REALLY GOOD at doing it, the people getting screwed OVER will never realize that they were!

Well folks, America is getting SCREWED OVER and getting SCREWED OVER GOOD by the doofus in the White House!

You see, the White House has decided this week to come to the rescue of marriage… an institution that George W. Bush CLAIMS to be under attack from what he calls "activist judges". And the ONLY remedy to supposedly "SAVE" marriage is to change the US Constitution to prohibit marriage from being anything other than a man and a woman.

You see… the doofus-in-chief believes that "activists" shouldn’t be in the judicial branch of government. They should instead be on church pulpits, on Fox News, and working for Karl Rove to come up with more cute campaign slogans like "I’m a uniter not a divider", and "I’m the decider." The president feels that the only people that should be judges are ass-kissers who will simply rubber-stamp any rule or law he imposes. Don’t question, just obey. In fact, that should be the official motto for the White House under George W. Bush: DON’T QUESTION, JUST OBEY.

But I digress here…

Anyway, I have a REALLY SERIOUS problem with the Bush Imperium’s entire declaration about marriage AND the threat it faces AND why the Imperium feels they have to spend even one breath of corrupted air on the matter.

First, we have some SERIOUS problems in this country to deal with! We have a serious problem with immigration. We have a REALLY SERIOUS problem with the Congress spending money like there’s no tomorrow, and the President has YET to exercise even ONE SINGLE VETO in his entire time in office to try to keep spending in check. We have a HOSTILE energy policy in this country, with gas prices going up and down depending on which oil robber-baron sneezes. We have an economy that is just two years away from another recession, but nobody in the federal government – including the Federal Reserve Board – wants to recognize it. We have Homeland Security being run by Grand Moff Tarkin and the Marx Brothers. And… oh… yeah… Osama bin PigBastard and his band of international terrorists are still out there threatening us!

And you want to tell me that ALL of these things somehow take a back burner to the issue of supposedly "SAVING" marriage??? Anyone who believes that line of bull should just go ahead and line up right now so they can be given their required reality-jarring smack upside the head. In fact that kind of delusion might even require two or three smacks upside the head.

And of all of the things in the world that could supposedly threaten the "institution of marriage", it’s a sure bet that having two guys or two girls getting married are pretty much on the bottom of the list.

You want to know what REALLY hurts marriage?

Let’s start with the Alternative Minimum Tax. Nice little tax abuse concocted to supposedly "punish" rich people, but really hurts working married couples that decide to file jointly. There’s no clear determination of who gets this tax torture, but it’s up to the IRS to make the final call on it. How would you like to have that kind of threat looming over your happy marriage?

You want to know what hurts marriage? How about the changing of the rules about banks and bankruptcy? We get this continual push to put everything on credit cards. Take a loan out, take two, take three or four if need be, consolidate your loans, refinance your loans, and then change the rules so that if you can’t keep up, you’re screwed!

You want to know what hurts marriage? Trophy wives! You get into a relationship for better or for worse, and then when some corporate executive’s career takes off, he leaves his wife – the woman who stuck with him during his salad days – and marries some flat-belly eye-candy half his age.

How about the marriage of celebrities? Everyone is obsessing over movie stars that get into relationships, get married, pop out some tax deduction, and then get divorced so they can start the cycle up all over again. That hasn’t exactly been helping out this so-called "all-important institution" too much!

I’m not saying that DIVORCE hurts marriage, but marriage as simply being a matter of personal or financial convenience is sure as hell a threat to the institution! Divorce is just a symptom of that problem. The so-called "starter marriage" idea, which has really become a way of life in places like here in the South, is a SERIOUS threat to the institution.

I’ve said this before and I’ll keep on saying it, our obsessive compulsive push just to GET married is a SERIOUS threat to marriage itself! We have women who have been brainwashed into believing that their end-all, be-all purpose in this world is to get married! The big celebration, the big ceremony, the dress, the cake, the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, the reception, and it all has to be PERFECT! It all has to fit this unrealistic Barbie Dream Bride fantasy of theirs, and this one event could very well be about as expensive and as stressful as having your kids and putting them all through college at the same time. No wonder why we have so-called "Bridezillas" and "Runaway brides".

And it’s not just women either. Men also are getting very subtle, very subliminal messages from family, friends, and society in general that we’re not good enough to be in society without first finding someone and marrying them. It’s a very subtle and very ANTI-INDIVIDUAL message that I believe has caused much of the problems in marriage as well. Things like the "seven-year itch" and the midlife crisis and the urge to stray from a relationship are ALL caused by this pressure to get married soon, get married quickly, and to pop out tax exemptions.

And that brings us to the BIGGEST group behind this great social dysfunction when it comes to marriage… RELIGON. And here we find the real instigators and agitators when it comes to this non-issue.

Let’s get brutally honest here… this whole "gay marriage ban" issue is nothing more than an obscenely demagogued RED HERRING! It’s a HOAX! It’s a CON-JOB! It’s got absolutely NOTHING at all to do with marriage and EVERYTHING to do with the death-grip religious groups have in society.

Marriage is a religious concoction. It was created for the purpose of giving religious groups power over the masses. Since THEY were the ones who determined who would get married, and under what circumstances, religious groups were able to maintain monopoly power over that community. But that only applied as long as there was only ONE religious belief, ONE religious organization in that community, and as long as church and state were equally wed and merged into one.

But as soon as we started talking about separating church and state, and as soon as we started talking about religious freedom for OTHER religious beliefs, then we started to take away that monopoly power. And nobody really figured it out until recently, but once marriage became a matter of the STATE instead of the CHURCH, that took away any and all claims religious groups had to determine what constitutes a marriage in society.

So this is their last grasp of that monopoly power. It is without a doubt one of their huge cornerstones in society, and they certainly don’t want to give it up because it only goes downhill from there. It’s like KFC giving up their secret recipe.

So they’ve got three choices. The first is to accept the inevitable and know that while they obviously oppose the idea, that gay and lesbian marriages WILL become a reality. That choice is unacceptable for them. The second option is to find some way to get the state OUT of the marriage business and return it to purely RELIGIOUS control. That is actually a REALISTIC option, but then they’d have to wrest that power away from the government, which doesn’t give up power any more than would organized religion. Plus it further cements the whole separation of church and state thing, which they still refuse to exist even when it smacks them upside the head.

And then there is the third choice, which is to fabricate a phony social crisis and then put Machiavellian pressure on politicians to act on it… which is what they HAVE been doing, right up to today’s Senate vote on the proposed constitutional amendment, which failed by less than a majority, never mind the two-thirds support needed.

And bear in mind that I personally have NOTHING to gain in this issue, except for the fact that I support FREEDOM and that’s what this issue is as far as I’m concerned. It’s a FREEDOM issue. This is a matter of FREEDOM from a habitually repressive organization, and if helps to show them spit bullets and expose their true nature to the world, then it’s even all the better.

So let’s get it right out in the open… this effort to ban gay and lesbian marriages has got NOTHING to do with the "sanctity of marriage" and EVERYTHING to do with keeping that last grip of power in the hands of organized religion! Marriage as an institution has survived King Henry VIII’s multiple wives, it has survived Marilyn Monroe’s multiple husbands, it has survived Anna Nicole Smith’s sugar daddy marriage, it has survived the quickie marriages and annulments of both Britney Spears and Carmen Elektra, it has survived the multiple marriages of conservative icons like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, AND it has survived the TWO YEARS that gay and lesbian marriages existed in the state of Massachusetts. It’s a pretty safe bet that marriage as an institution will go on LONG after every single one of these conservative moralists and theocrats fail in their efforts and they themselves shuffle off this moral coil. And it won’t survive BECAUSE of these social mullahs… it will survive IN SPITE OF THEM!

In the meantime, though, I have nothing but a scathing condemnation for Republicans and for the Bush Imperium in particular to pulling this dead horse issue out for the moralists to beat on. You have shown America your true agenda, and it is as corrupt and as divisive as you can get it.

And a word of advice… the next time you want to impose your moralist agenda, you might want to lay off the whole "I’m a uniter not a divider" rhetoric. That kind of false advertising will only come back to kick you in the nut-sack.

(Computer – a few appropriate clips that you’ll have to hear to know what they are.)
(Fade Music In – "Impend" by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)

In going over the political stories for the week, there was one little story that probably went unnoticed by most people… and it was this: the immigration reform package that the White House was pushing just a few weeks ago all of a sudden started to make headway in the Congress. But this didn’t happen until AFTER the Bush Imperium pandered to the moralists on this whole "gay marriage ban" issue.

So you have to wonder… if this was such an important hot-button issue for the Congress to deal with, WHY didn’t it have any political traction until AFTER Bush Junior pandered to the moralists? Was there some backroom Machiavellian mischief going on? A little quid-pro-quo? In the political world of deal-making, that kind of an arrangement was possible. The signs of that appeasement were certainly there… if you knew where to look.

Remember what I said about that difference between politicians and prostitutes… prostitutes will screw people for money, while politicians will screw people OVER for money. And this issue is certainly a true-to-form political screw-job if there ever was one.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Monday, June 05, 2006