Thursday, January 22, 2009

Not Quite Holy Joe

In July, it's going to be 5 years since I had a drink, and today marks 22 days without a cigarette. The lovely miss Claire observed that we are now officially without any real vices. I pointed out that I am still an avid scratch lottery enthusiast, so don't be callin' me holy Joe yet. I will damn well scratch myself into debt to keep up the appearance of at least some semblance of impropriety (no, I actually wouldn't do that, but I can say I would).

Glenn Beck is one hell of a funny and cool guy, and he's as straight an arrow as they come. He once called Hillary Clinton Mussolini in a pant suit - how could you not love a guy like that?

Attitude - that's it. He's got attitude. Attitude is the bane of razor sharp intellectuals like James Bowman, but at least if I have attitude, it gives the impression that I am a walking den of debauchery, the kind of guy who drinks Johnny Walker like Aquafina, smokes like a cab driver and snorts cocaine off the backs of strippers.

I even have to limit my intake of diet soft drinks and coffee. The jack-booted henchman at Simply For Life have forbidden pop or coffee of any sort for the next 3 weeks, but I am allowed a cup of tea per day. YAY! Next I'll be snacking on Melba toast after my prune juice enemas.

I'm kidding. I was once such a problem drinker that weekend benders landed me in the hospital or detox on more occasions then I care to remember. I often found myself in really dangerous places or situations - like at after hours bars that swept you with a metal detector and patted you down for weapons before you could enter. A single shot of domestic rum at one of those hell holes would set you back about 8 bucks - going rate for the privilege of a couple of extra hours of drinking surrounded by guys swapping prison gang rape stories and women who looked like they could use a good delousing.

But who am I kidding? I was never a bad ass. Just some mild mannered, good natured guy with a quick wit, a modest talent for writing, and a hard core drinking problem. I joined AA, slipped and fell a few times, and once it caught, I never looked back.

Do I miss beer? Sometimes. Would I like a cigarette right now? F#*ck yes. I would light my hair on fire for a pull of sweet, sweet smoke. So I guess I'm a man of no - or nominal - vice.

Well, I'm getting married to the lovely Miss Claire this September. We've travelled to points far and wide together over the past two years, and life has never been better. I guess being a vice lite kind of guy isn't that bad after all.

Before I go I would like to thank all my readers for the overwhelming response to our first podcast. There will be more to come! Enjoy the sounds of Cloud Cult as we head into the weekend!



Monday, January 05, 2009

Oh Israel, My Israel

The Straight Hype has acquired, through our sources in the Nigerian underworld, a brand spanking new computer. Well, it’s actually an old computer that was acquired by fierce negotiations, but as the old NBC motto goes, if you haven’s seen it, it’s new to you. The guy who sold it to me bartered it for a Celine Dion CD and a bootlegged copy of “Manimal-The Box Set” VHS edition. This will hopefully lead to more blogs posts, but I wouldn’t count on it given my track record.

I originally planned on going in another direction with this blog post, after making the ill advised decision to tune into CBC Pacific radio while taking a relaxing bath - basically the equivalent of inviting Cynthia McKinney to sit on your toilet seat and allow her to go off unplugged while trying to luxuriate in your goat's milk bubble bath. After my anger had abated - precious seconds before my Incredible Hulk heart meter began flashing red warning lights - I decided to go in a (slightly different) direction, although I must warn the pod people at CBC radio that they would definitely not like me when I'm angry.

CBC radio is the Canadian equivalent of the U.S.'s NPR, which really should speak volumes to my more astute American readership. During the program on Thursday night - hosted by two sanctimonious middle aged crows - a Palestinian relief worker and someone from the PR department at the Israeli government were each given turns to speak. The Palestinian fellow - whose voice was so full of bile he sounded like he was strapping on a suicide belt - described how it was impossible to go out without wading through mounds of dead babies and puppies. He claimed that there was absolutely no power, water, food, medical supplies, diet Mr. Pibbs, Korans, Milk of Magnesia, or copies of Cracked anywhere to be found. Why? The Israelis, of course! If this fool was to be believed, they had bombed every hospital, school, and falafel maker in the entire Gaza strip. Then he said something that intelligence agencies have stated is a new and rapidly growing trick among Hamas sympathizers. He claimed he was especially terrified because his children had "special needs". You will hear this frequently from many people claiming to have been unjustly victimized by Israel. The reason they say this is not because their children have special needs. They say this because it elicits an immediate emotional response from Western listeners. Not once was this gentleman challenged, or asked to verify a single piece of information he had spewed out. He was simply given a free pass as the CBC harpies gushed over themselves to wish him a safe trip home.

Next up was the PR guy from the Israeli Government. Despite immediately being put on the defensive by the the radio hosts, he was calm and confident and reminded the ladies that just 2 days ago over 5 million dollars in humanitarian aid was safely delivered into Gaza under the auspices of the United Nations. He also confirmed that power and utilities were working in over 90% of the Strip and was happy to provide independent verification of these facts. CBC's lefty tag team would have none of it. They peppered the poor chap in rapid fire succession with statements rather than questions about how the international community was demanding the Israeli Government be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The spokesperson tried - amidst constant interruptions - to explain Israel's right to defend itself as a sovereign nation against years of unprovoked bombings, rocket attacks, and a laundry list of atrocities commited by Hamas and their ilk.

He was quickly dismissed but unrattled. It seemed he and other people in his department are well used to these kinds of media hit and runs.

Had he been given the time, he may have been able to crunch a few numbers for the fascists at CBC radio. Since the year 2000, 1,176 people have been killed by Palestinian terrorists. This number includes 18 Israelis who were targeted while abroad, and 3 American service personnel working to help the people of Gaza. The number of wounded at the hands of militant Palestinians tops the scale at an astounding 8,300 for a total of close to 10,000 wounded and killed in just 8 short years.

The international community's response? It would seem they are asking the Israeli's to sit back and take it on the chin as their buses, schools, homes, restaurants, and hospitals are bombarded by Hamas rockets on an almost weekly basis.

Let me be clear. This is not a war against the Palestinian people. This is a war against Hamas and like minded terrorist groups who do not believe Israel has a right to exist, and when they say that, they are not talking about the international validity of Israeli statehood - they fervently believe that the Jews are an inferior race, descended from rats, who must be annihilated off the face of the earth - and so do a lot of Arabs living abroad.

In anti-Israeli demonstrations from Britain to British Columbia, "ordinary Muslims" were holding signs and placards reading "Hitler didn't do enough" and "Build bigger ovens". Don't we have hate crime laws in Canada? Some poor schmuck from Alberta wrote a letter to the editor questioning the constitutional validity of gay marriage and he was harangued by the courts for years, yet people can parade in the streets advocating the gassing of Jews and extolling the virtues of Hitler without fear of reprisal.

Last year in Somalia, 16,000 civilians were killed by Jihadists fighting Ethiopian forces. I don't remember anyone in the main stream media, let alone CBC, call for war crimes charges to be brought against the Somalians who perpetrated that Genocide.

You can play with language all you want. When protesters around the world are holding up signs calling for the gassing and burning of Jews, and you continue to delude yourself into believing that Palestinians are simply "freedom fighters" waging war against an unjust Zionist occupying force, then you, my friend, are engaging in intellectual dishonesty of the worst order.

Hamas and their supporters don't want peace, land or self-determination. They want mountains of dead Jews and bigger ovens. It's happened before because of international apathy. It can happen again.

Alright. Sorry for all the doom and gloom in that article, but the Hype strives for a higher purpose than weekly doses of fart jokes and anecdotes about gastro-intestinal infections. At least sometimes.

Hope you had a great weekend. Here's a great new song by Ben Folds featuring my favorite song siren, Regina Spektor, called "You don't know me at all".