May 29, 2012

We're holding out for a hero

MSNBC commentator Chris Haynes sounded off this weekend about how he feels about using the word 'hero' for each and every fallen US soldier. He said:

"It is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the word hero. Why do I feel so uncomfortable about the word hero? I feel uncomfortable with the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. And I obviously don't want to desecrate or disrespect the memory of anyone that has fallen. Obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is tremendous heroism. You know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that's problematic, but maybe I'm wrong about that."

As expected the backlash was swift and harsh. Many from the right accused Haynes of disrespecting the armed forces and those who lost their lives in service. Some even went further and questioned his patriotism, passing him off as a typical liberal who has weekly dinners with Mexican gay abortion doctors who eat marijuana brownies while watching PBS.

And as expected the backlash was unfair as well as typical. Nothing of what Haynes said was wrong, and is something I'm sure many have given serious thought to when they've heard the word 'hero' be passed around more times than a big busted stripper in a party of Japanese businessmen. The fact of the matter is when everyones' a hero, no one is. Heroes are few in a world where courage and cowardice are fickle and often traits everyone displays at some point. Yesterday's coward is often today's hero and vice versa.

The term 'hero' is one to be used sparingly. As most people who commit acts of extreme bravery, they'll be the first to tell you their not heroes, just ordinary people who reacted to an extraordinary situation. Heroes mostly exist in fiction; comic books, films, folklore, etc. Our country has had it's share of heroes, and will continue to do so, but not everyone who lost their life in war should be called one just for taking a bullet.

We've seen how the word hero can be used for propaganda purposes. It was apparent when General Lee first took the reigns of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Kaiser made good use of it when he had that great flying ace run the skies red with blood, and the US used the idea of hero worship to garner support for wars that were, and are, less than sound decisions by our policy makers. Pat Tillman ring a bell?

Do the honored dead of war deserve our respect and thanks for their service? Most certainly. Do they all deserve the same status afforded people like Audy Murphy? No. Should we idly sit by and let our authorities use the memory of our fallen soldiers as a battle cry for young people to sign up for the armed forces? Certainly not. Do I love America less than someone that believes all slain soldiers deserve the nation's highest military honor? Of course not. I would like to think that all those laid to rest in our national cemeteries died in a fashion worthy of a Homer poem, but reality says otherwise.

"He (Chris Haynes) thinks our soldiers are suckers and fools at best, brutal sociopaths at worst. At a minimum, he feels that honoring those who died for this country might encourage people to see that actually defending our country is a good thing. He's not quite ready to make that leap; after all, most progressives are ambivalent about this whole "America" concept, if not actively opposed to it." - Kurt Schlichter

Are fallen soldiers 'heroes?' MSNBC host wondered, now apologizes

May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Americans remember and give thanks to fallen soldiers in many number of ways, if at all, on this day, and many choose a war to recall as their focus. Many think of those who lost their lives in our current struggles in Asia, or many others recall the soldiers who paid the ultimate price for their service in WWII. Some tend to recall all the wars, from the Revolution to Iraq part 2: Electric Boogaloo, but there is really no wrong way to respectfully memorialize the honored dead.

Cable stations are playing numerous films designed to honor soldiers or accurately dramatize a period in history of where men and women fought a foreign enemy. There are many good ones for sure, but my favorite film for this holiday is "Gettysburg".

This may come as no shock to you, as I'm a little bit of a Civil War buff, but outside of Ken Burn's Civil War documentary series, and maybe "Glory", there hasn't been any better film about the conflict. Wonderfully acted, especially the amazing performance by Jeff Daniels, it really gives an authentic look to the bloodiest battle on American soil. Tense and accurate in it's portrayal, it is a real treat for those who give any amount of study to the war, and it may teach as well as entertain those who haven't.

"Gettysburg succeeds as a motion picture event, and as a re-creation of a pivotal chapter of American history." - Daniel M Kimmel

May 24, 2012

Set your DVRs to kill

Reality television is an easy target as most of it is boneheaded nonsense that feeds America's inane obsession with attention whoring. It's come a long way from the days of "The Real World" to the infamous "Jersey Shore". Still it's easy to make fun of as it steeps low into the vacuous suckage scale of stupidity. Every year though, when you think it can't out dumb itself, it happens, and today that very thing just happened.

Abstinence poster child Bristol Palin has sent a press release about her new reality series on Lifetime, which displays her trials and tribulations of growing as a person while being a single mother, as is her birthright. Oh and it's called Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp, because get it? Her son's name is Tripp, and life is like ingesting a bunch of hallucinogens and believing you're God. This of course constituted a press release, because everyone is wildly anticipating this, as is evident because this landed on the Lifetime network, the channel that no one can stop watching.

Just when you thought you've heard the last of the Palins, but like a case of herpes they spread in the most unlikely of time and places. It's time for America to say no more to Adam Sandler comedies and the Palins. We've had enough and we don't need, nor want, anymore.

"But I’m not a pundit. I’m just a mom made famous in one of the most intense and embarrassing ways possible – by having your teen pregnancy announced in the middle of a presidential campaign. Oh, and I was a finalist on Dancing with the Stars, one of the most-watched shows on TV. But all that means I’m more a part of pop culture, the culture that creates the television we watch and the music we listen to. When real pundits write blog posts, they don’t pop up in Us Weekly… but mine do." - Bristol Palin

May 21, 2012

Can't get enough

My father has had hearing loss for many years, and it's gotten to the point that he can't watch television without subtitles. It's annoying to repeat everything a waiter or someone else says repeatedly as he refuses to get a hearing aid. Still moments of comedy does ensue because of it. I pretty much get to say whatever I want and my dad will only respond with "huh?"

One day on the television the song "Land of a Thousand Dances" came on, and the lyric "do the mashed potato" came on, and dad came rushing into the room screaming "Who the hell is singing a song about masturbation?"

One day when I was a kid watching Saturday Morning Cartoons the inevitable cereal commercial came on, the first of which was a bear advertising the goodness of Super Golden Crisp. He sang his usual jingle, "I can't get enough of Super Golden Crisp, its got the crunch with punch."

Dad came running into the living room demanding what it was the bear was singing about. I repeated the lyrics, and then inquired as to what it was he thought he heard. He wouldn't say and until this day I have no earthly idea, but today I shall speculate. Here's what I thought he heard:
  • I can't get enough of those sugar tits, its got the crunch with punch.
  • I can't get enough of your big fat tits, its got the  crunch with punch.
  • I can't get enough of your perky tits, its got the crunch with punch.
  • I can't get enough of Super Golden Crisp, it's got the cock with punch.
  • I can't get enough of your fatty prick, it's got the crunch with punch.
  • Some variation of the above.
I kind of hope he never gets a hearing aid.

"It's not really that I've been an advocate for hearing aids for a long time, it's just that I've been losing my hearing for a long time! So it's actually very important for me because I'm actually hearing impaired and I simply want to hear better!" - Leslie Nielsen

May 16, 2012


As many of you probably understand, I have no love for Walmart. I just don't really enjoy the shopping experience it provides. That being said I don't really hate them, as they're a business like many others that just happen to be better at retailing than most. You can say their business practices are shady, but you can probably say that about most hyper competitive chains in any field of service. And yet, I do shop at Target, so directing my ire towards Walmart would seem unfair, and a bit hypocritical.

While I don't normally hate on ordinary people who have little to no political power, I found someone today that can kiss my country ass. Donnell Battie is a pig fucker of the highest order and I'll tell you why. He was in a Walmart two years ago when some prankster picked up a store phone and got on the intercom and stated "Attention Wal-Mart Customers: All Black People Leave the Store Now." Now this kid was arrested for this, which is weird considering I didn't know you could go to jail for simply being a jerk, but hey I'm no Judge Judy.

Back to the asshat that is Donnell.

Donnell, who is such a pansy he should be required to go by the name Donnie, Donnette, or simply Douche, was left traumatized by the incident, and experienced massive amounts of pain and suffering due to the kid's actions. So logic would dictate that he speaks to the child's parents about the incident and maybe both can learn some valuable life lessons. It could be a movie of the week about pain, racism, and forgiveness.

But no, not for Douche. Donnie got some sand in his vagina and has decided to sue not the boy's family, but Walmart, because since the retail giant clearly didn't have an armed ninja staking out all their phones to ensure some bored kid wouldn't pull a prank shows a reckless disregard of the emotional trauma of the pansy community. It was like they were begging a racist kid to broadcast the constitution of the Aryan Nation to the helpless masses who can't handle the fact that assholes exist.

So Walmart will probably settle, and Dandy will get some cash, a miserable excuse for an attorney will get richer, and customers will end up paying for it. The lesson learned here kids is that lying brings you endless amounts of rewards and there's no consequence for abusing the system. You, you good children you, are entitled to a life free of jerks, and if someone offends your delicate constitution it's not right to blame the jerk, but someone with a lot of money who had little, if nothing, to do with the jerk's actions. There's no reason to forgive and forget, nor should you make amends with your attacker or victim. You gots to get paid after all.

So yeah, fuck you Donnell Battie. You stand for everything I hate, and it is you that's what's wrong with the world.

"Battie claims he has needed medical care due to the March 2010 comment. He says it caused him "severe and disabling emotional and psychological harm."" - AP

May 9, 2012

Party of small government in action

As I'm sure you're all aware, the state of North Carolina has voted to ban gay marriage, which should come as no shock to anyone. Still people for gay marriage are acting like they didn't see this coming, which is bizarre. I mean a southern state passing legislation that restricts minority rights? When has this ever happened before and why would they start now? What's really odd about this is that gay marriage was already not allowed in the state, so why voters would deem this necessary is a mystery. The real damage inflicted is that this would outlaw all civil unions, gay or straight. This means many would lose access to health care, hospital visits, tax credits, and various other benefits married people are entitled to. It's redundant at best, stupid at worst.

So really the gay marriage ban is just enforcing the status quo, and diverting attention from the 9%+ unemployment, poor education, and dwindling infrastructure, which were all caused by people having butt sex. Conservatives hail this as a victory in protecting marriage, which didn't need any protecting, especially from the big bad government the GOP tells us to loathe. It's odd that the Tea Party and their ilk hate liberty and the minority groups in NC voted to in legislation to oppress minorities.


"My home State of North Carolina ranks 12th in the United States for increased aging population and, according to a national report, 41st in overall health. According to this same report, individuals aged 50+ are the least healthy." - Howard Coble

May 8, 2012

Things I learned by watching G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe was a cartoon I once loved, and when I say loved I mean I worshipped it as if it breathed life into me. For a young boy who thought guns and war was the coolest thing ever the cartoon had it all; lasers, ninjas, hot chicks in skin tight clothing, over the top action, and bad ass weaponry. Now that the show is available to view on Netflix I can't begin to explain how terrible it is. Well I'll try anyways. The whole damn thing is ridiculous, and the writers do the stupidest things with the show, such as make a lot of the action happen off camera just to drive the plot forward. The voices are annoying, the characters are less than compelling, and as an adult viewing it without the kid blinders on, it's obvious they just made this to sell toys.

Still at its best, it's a lot of fun as it rarely takes itself seriously, which no cartoon of that era should. There are worse entertainment aimed at young boys back in those days, such as Voltron and that miserably long forming sequence that happened at least three times an episode.

But here I'll list a few things I learned by watching G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero:

1. Ninjas really aren't that bad ass.
2. To be a member of an elite fighting force, or the most ruthless terrorist organization known to man, you have to be physically fit, possess great intellect, be well versed in hand to hand combat, and have the shooting ability of your average storm trooper.
3. In war no one ever dies.
4. You can bail out of any plane or helicopter just a few feet from the ground and your parachute will open and guide you to earth safely.
5. Indians can talk to animals.
6. All indigenous folks' loyalty can be bought with bright shiny objects.
7. There's no reason to use the element of surprise when entering into combat. One must loudly yell a catch phrase that resembles their organization's name before they shoot up the place.
8. If you want to run a well-funded terrorist group, you must be such a pussy you make Richard Simmons look like Ted Nugent.
9. Large intricate bases of war can be built within a week, and the countries of South America will welcome those with world domination plans with open arms.
10. If someone's shooting at you, simply do a somersault and you'll avoid any bullets.
11. Missiles travel very slowly and will allow you enough time to step out of your vehicle to avoid being blown up.
12. A crossbow reloads itself.
13. When in a battle, if faced with a perilous situation, as does happen in the arena of combat, you must first open your mouth and hold that facial expression for at least two seconds before you decide what your next action will be. Time is not of the essence.
14. When dancing, it's best to keep you feet firmly planted and wave your arms about in manners that make you look like you're in distress. Of perhaps like you don't care....
15. Everyone with a foreign accent is evil.

Yes, this is what one can take away by watching this show, beside memorizing the line "G.I. Joe is the codename for America's daring, highly trained special mission force. Its purpose, to defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world."

"There is no reason for this film to exist." - KGB's review of G.I. Joe, the animated movie.

May 2, 2012

Wiwille shops, stops runaway weave

I usually don't write about my gripes with the service industry. Come to think of it, I usually don't complain if I have a problem with a particular place. If I'm not happy with the product or service, I ask for a refund and don't go back. It's really that simple.

Still I'm perplexed with my experience with Target, and am not sure if I should go back or not. A few days ago my wife was searching for new car seats for our daughter, and found the ones she liked online through Target. The item was listed for "49.99 store price", but wasn't available to purchase online. In fact, the site said "Not sold online". So we looked up a store that had it available and I made the trek to find the item. I found two in stock, but they were listed for 54.99 each. I asked an associate what the deal was and she admitted that the website listing sounded strange, but they can't price match their online price. I explained to her that this product stated it was sold in stores only and gave a store price, but that confused her.

She directed me to Guest Services and after my wife sent me screen shots of what the site said to my phone I talked to an associate. She said they couldn't price match online prices, but I should go and try to order it online, even when I told her that the website made that impossible. I showed her the screen grab, and explained that it said "store price". She wouldn't budge, but did offer to call a manager.

Well a manager showed and I explained the situation again. He asked me to wait a moment and called his supervisor, the store manager. The store manager arrived and I showed him the screen shots and the situation. He reiterated the same speech I've heard twice already, but I argued with him a bit and explained how ridiculous it was that their website advertised a "store price", but the store wouldn't honor it. We went back and forth, till eventually it went circular until he told me that I could still buy it if I wish, but under no circumstances would they match the "store price" as advertised.

Well poop. I bought the items anyways, as the price was still lower than anywhere else we researched, but I hated myself for it. As I walked out of the store I come up to my car to hear a nasty scream in my direction.

"HEY WHITE MAN," this lady yelled. "STOP MAH WEAVE!"

She was running towards me with arms flailing and fat rolls swinging in the soft breeze. I look down to see the weave dance across the pavement in my direction. It came to me and I stomped on it to make sure it stayed put, but decided against picking it up. She finally came to me and grabbed her weave and thanked me. I said she was welcome and left it at that.

My wife was unhappy about the shopping incident, so she decided to write Target about my experience, with the screen grabs as well. Below are some excerpts:

"Online it states that the “In Store” price is on sale for $49.49 regular price: $54.99, with a total of $5.50 savings on each car seat. Again, I could not purchase this item online, it was sold in stores only. We looked online and it said that the Vista Ridge location had these particular car seats in stock. My husband went to the store and the price was $54.99 each in the store. He spoke with 4 people to ask why this was when online it stated that the in store price was $49.49. He spoke with the Store Manager as well, and he informed him that Target cannot price match. I understand not price matching with competitors, but this was his own store, TARGET. He told my husband he can or cannot buy the item, but he would not give it to him for the sale price as advertised...Basically, there is no way to purchase this item at $49.49.  Not online or in the store.  My question is why is this advertised as this?....If you see below, there is no way to purchase this car seat online : “not sold online”, so it is not an “online” price.  $49.49 is the store price and Vista Ridge Location had it in stock.  That means that they should honor this price.

Find in store: ( it was in stock yesterday, until we went and bought the last two car seats)"

So Target gave her a reply:

Thanks for writing with your comments. It sounds like you have some concerns about price matching
We've established our policy so guests may expect a great value on all our merchandise. Target doesn't price-match or price-adjust with other competitor stores or other Target store locations (store-to-store). Additionally, Target prices can vary between stores and I'm sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

When you checked online for store availability, the window that popped up with store locations also said, "Prices, promotions, styles and availability may vary by store and online."

If we advertise a lower price either the same week or the week following your Target purchase, we'll make a price adjustment. You can take your original receipt to your local Target store and visit the Guest Service Desk to receive this service. A team member will be happy to make this adjustment for you. As a reminder, we're unable to make any adjustment on clearance merchandise.

We're always evaluating the wide variety of services and merchandise we offer you, and I've shared your concerns with our Store Operations team. We always welcome your feedback.

We're always looking for ways to make Target even better and appreciate your help.

Target Guest Relations

So no one at Target has any idea what the fuck "store price" means. Granted, if I had stomped my feet and acted like a child, I probably would've gotten my way, but at the risk of my dignity, or it could've gone sideways with them calling the cops. Still I don't understand why they towed such a hard line on this, especially given the evidence. If I wanted to take this to court, which I don't, it would seem to be an open and shut case in my favor. Granted, it's not a big deal as it's only $11 dollars, or the average daily income of a welfare family of three, but there's a principle here. I mean why list a store price at all?

Thing is Target carries a lot of products we like at a reasonable price. Sure we could just choose to go somewhere else, but when you add up the expenses of travel and spending more for the items it adds up.

"I shop at Target weekly for all my household and grocery needs.  I would hate to stop shopping here for this issue." - Wife

May 1, 2012

Wiwille's movie reviews part 89

Most horror films have never been my thing, but horror comedies, like "Dead Alive" and "Adventureland", are a real treat, mostly because they don't take their nonsense seriously, and therefore; create a better suspension of disbelief. Plus the scripts get to laugh at themselves, which allows the audience to look aside the stupid formulas and cliches all scary movies use.

"Black Sheep" has all the elements of a good horror comedy, but takes it a step further with one of the most ridiculous concepts ever conceived. Set in New Zealand, a seemingly gentle boy (Henry) is riding a bike through a sheep ranch, when he comes across a cruel prank by his older brother (Angus), who slaughtered a sheep and wore it as a cape in order to frighten the young lad, which apparently worked. Fast forward fifteen years later. After being gone from the family ranch for years Henry develops a phobia of sheep, but returns to sell his share of the ranch to Angus, who is now running it like an evil corporation.

Angus is genetically modifying the sheep with his own DNA, for reasons that are entirely clear, turning them into carnivores. Not only do they feast on flesh, but if they bit someone, they in turn to into some human/sheep hybrid of sorts. Henry comes across two environnmental activists who steal a lab subject, which escapes and infects all the sheep at the ranch, turning the whole place into some zombie sheep ranch. It's up to Henry and his new activist friend to save the day!

Sure the whole damn thing is silly, but that's the point. Zombies themselves are stupid, so having them as sheep isn't really much of a stretch. The characters are a bit thin, and the villain Angus is wholly without motivation beyond doing evil for the sake of it, and it's somehow supposed to be profitable, never mind how. The photography is beautiful at times and the actors do their best given the material. It's gory, memorable, and really just a laughable good time. There will be moments when you're laughing at the movie than with it, but it's still enjoyable.

Thanks to Justin for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on One Bad Apple. Rules are posted here.

"Lush photography of the beautiful New Zealand hills combines with skin ripping mayhem and over-the-top humor to make one of the funniest of the new wave zombie satires yet." - Ron Wilkinson