Archive for December, 2011

After the world ends in 2012…

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Today marks the last day of 2011 and the last New Year’s Eve because, by most accounts, the Mayans told us with their mysterious ancient lyrical notions that the world will end in 2012. In December. What can we do? The world ends for everybody, doesn’t it?

The world ceases to become every day. A daily miniature Armageddon for people all over this planet. All that lived and all that shone will dim and be no more. Every day the world ends. The Mayans told us what we know but what we dread. They didn’t break news to us. No one breaks our heart with news of the impending end of the world. For we know. We know.

To commemorate such a solemn day and to recognize that which will be no more, I wandered around portions of Los Angeles today as preparation for the party bustle of another symbolically dead-ended New Year’s Eve beckoned. Hoopla and bullshit. Throw in some champagne. Whoopity-do. We celebrate the end of yet another grueling and mystifying year, and the beginning of the end.

Who are they fooling. The end of the world isn’t all bad but it must not be overrated!


When the world ends, the lucky ones will be those for whom it has already ended.


Noble ghetto aspirations will no longer matter. GED’s can be cast to hell.


Considering this is the last New Year’s celebration ever, I will gladly pardon the dust and any other annoying inconvenience.


After the world ends, you will be able to dash into every door without delay. Unfortunately, there will be no parties. If no one came, was there a party?


On the bright side, bloggers will be no more.


On the really bright side, all deadly gang and turf hostilities will be wiped off the planet along with its insidious offshoot, tagging.


Even after the world ends, this cesspool will continue rotting away the decayed flesh of humanity that doesn’t exist. Theoretically impossible yet miraculously…


The unnatural congruence of shit-strewn lawns, discarded hideous furniture, and shiny new Mercedes will not matter because everything will look like old furniture after 2012.


Our smug laziness will cascade into a never-ending sorrowful pit of regrets.


You’ll wish for problems of old.


We will realize this was just as ridiculous and inconsequential as those really big churches with really big budgets and big hair.


Run-down inner city parks will be remembered for the unforgivable paradises they really were.


Nothing will have value.


Schedules and time tables will be meaningless and there will be no one to pretend they are.


No one will be around to appreciate the beautiful, surreal lighting of pre-dusk Los Angeles


There will be no one to watch over us.

2011 not a good year for Orange County, California, homeless…

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Sometimes news stories are more striking for what they don’t say. The police abhor the “SK” phrase and the media will desist using it as well unless the police cough it up first. It’s like a fencing battle with both sides dancing around the most obvious presumption. They play chicken with the suspicion lurking in everyone’s head. In this case, a third homeless man has been found dead…this one in a “puddle of blood.” The third in Orange County in just over a week. The great white Orange County has suddenly become a dangerous place to be homeless this year, remembering Kelly Thomas’ death at the hands of some rambunctious Fullerton cops back in September.

Homeless man found dead in Yorba Linda (home of the Nixon Library,not to be confused with the one in the story). Bold italics are all my own.

Serial killer? Hmm. OK, I’ll guess it.

YORBA LINDA (KTLA) — A 50-year-old man was found dead in a pool of blood at the Yorba Linda Library, officials said Friday.

Witnesses reported seeing the man at the bottom of an outside stairwell at the library at around 5 p.m. Sunday.

When Brea Police officers arrived they found the man, described as a Caucasian in his 50s, dead from his injuries.

His identity has not been released, but he is believed to be a known transient.

Police believe his death may be tied to two deaths of homeless people in Placentia on Dec. 21 and Anaheim on Wednesday.

No further information has been released.

***Edit/Supplemental***
OC Register reports…

What Finns keep ignoring about America’s school failures

Friday, December 30th, 2011

It was with the inklings of cynicism that I began reading an article published yesterday in The Atlantic entitled “What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success.” Written by Anu Partanen, a NY-based Finnish journalist, the article dwells upon and seeks to broaden the Utopian Finnish educational vision over the jagged edges of the decidedly multicultural, dystopian American rendition of education and its disharmony with a vastly stratified demographic. The article paints a very rosy picture of the Finnish school system which has proven to be one of the most “successful” in the world as measured by the PISA Survey which measures academic skills among 15-year-old students worldwide every three years. Partanen commences to list several exemplary practices the Finnish educational system boasts, but which are narrowly possible only in a country of Finland’s monotone demographic.

Partanen’s idyllic Finnish scholastic goals are summed in two paragraphs:

Since the 1980s, the main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location. Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality.

In the Finnish view, as Sahlberg describes it, this means that schools should be healthy, safe environments for children. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.

Of course this is irrefutable. Who would argue with such a benevolent approach to educating our precious children?

Finland has instituted several “unorthodox” educational policies which snub much of what passes for standard operating procedure in the United States. Joining Partanen in the optimistic proclamation of the Finnish Way is Pasi Sahlberg, director of the Finnish Ministry of Education’s Center for International Mobility. He is also author of “Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?” which also seeks to cement the supremacy of the Finnish method of educating its youth. The undeniable subtext with both supporters of Finland’s educational system is that its template can be applied in American schools with equally delicious results.

Some interesting “trademarks” of Finnish education:

-There are no private schools. Even the few independent schools are publicly financed. All degrees and certificates are earned in public schools.

-There are no standardized tests. Instead, teachers are given the ability (and freedom) to independently and personally assess the skills of their students by self-created and self-administered tests.

-Teacher accountability is viewed as a Zen-like inherent blessing. From the article:

As for accountability of teachers and administrators, Sahlberg shrugs. “There’s no word for accountability in Finnish,” he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. “Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.”

-Academic competition is discouraged and not engaged. There are no “best” lists in Finnish education.

-Which leaves us with the residual no-brainer that school choice is not on most Finn’s radar. With such a robust public school system, who cares?

As I read through Partanen’s piece and its ecstatic rejoice of Finnish education and all it could portend for lagging Americans, a mantra kept repeating in my head. Finland = Apples; America = Oranges. Finland is homogeneous. It’s population and density are sparse. In other words, its education system is tailor made for its cultural and social environment. It is a splendid system predicated on trust and responsibility, ethics are easier to come by when everyone looks like you and shares your value system. Yet, Partanen and Sahlberg persist. They address the doubts many realists would raise when confronted with such foreign Pollyanna remedies to what ails our educational system at home. The system that Finland has in place is wonderful for Finland, but shit for us because America is a cultural behemoth rocked and fractured by an overly diverse population of immigrants and exclusive goals and ethics.

Partanen writes, “Yet Sahlberg doesn’t think that questions of size or homogeneity should give Americans reason to dismiss the Finnish example. Finland is a relatively homogeneous country — as of 2010, just 4.6 percent of Finnish residents had been born in another country, compared with 12.7 percent in the United States. But the number of foreign-born residents in Finland doubled during the decade leading up to 2010, and the country didn’t lose its edge in education. Immigrants tended to concentrate in certain areas, causing some schools to become much more mixed than others, yet there has not been much change in the remarkable lack of variation between Finnish schools in the PISA surveys across the same period.” I thoroughly disagree with this logic. Immigrants to Finland, due to the nature of its culture and the quality of immigrants (ie, predominantly Russian and Swedish), are more likely to adopt a Finnish value set. Perhaps the immigrants to Finland are less resistant to assuming a new way of life, if indeed, it is that much different. Using the “immigrant” baseline we tend to seriously underestimate the importance of ethnic background as a predictor of values in most modern American immigrant populations…an importance dictated by the continued grasp of most immigrants to the habits and ethics of their homeland made possible in this era of globalism. Consequently, many immigrants into the U.S. are slow to adopt the traits of American culture. In addition, the demographic fragmentation in America is rather extreme; there is no real “American culture.” This is a melting pot, an inharmonious blend, a potpourri of different and clashing heritages and priorities. Especially when it comes to education and child-rearing.

Partanen continues, “Indeed, Finland’s population of 5.4 million can be compared to many an American state — after all, most American education is managed at the state level. According to the Migration Policy Institute, a research organization in Washington, there were 18 states in the U.S. in 2010 with an identical or significantly smaller percentage of foreign-born residents than Finland.” Well this presupposes that American state-based educational systems are completely autonomous and independent to do what they feel is in the best interests of their narrow population segments, but this is also misleading because the American educational system has banded to create a coercive national environment that all parents, ie states, are compelled to abide by in order to meet national standards for college entrance. Any assertion that states act in their own best interest in the matter of education misses a complex social dynamic. The broader American educational culture crosses state lines and if any of these 18 states were to implement a Finnish-style education system, it would be direct mutiny to the putative American system and thus condemn all school aged residents in said state to an academic fate that would exclude them from the “club” that upper education in America has become. Many of the magical 18 Finnish-comparable states are too small to have an effect on the rest of the culturally-torn dystopian country. If Maine, the Dakotas, West Virginia, Wyoming or Vermont decide to suddenly adopt the Finnish way, do you think the Tiger Moms from California will really care or rush to cripple their own child’s future college chances? Because of the Grand Canyon-wide range of cultural underachievement on one hand to the cultural overachievement on the other within American shores, the honorable Finnish system (which I praise in abundance) would go the way of American speed limits. Laughable levels of compliance and nearly unanimous defiance.

Just do it!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

What is up with fetishes? Racial ones, I mean. I don’t care about people who get harder or wetter when stockings or leather are present.

No, I’m talking about the racial fetishes. Our global environment is unique in that we are exposed, on a daily basis (in most large cities), to a plethora of worldwide humanity representing every shade and color in existence. As contrasted with our not-too-distant past, we actually encounter racial specimens quite unlike ourselves regularly. Throw in the static and moving images of cyberspace and the new globalism serves us up a heaping dish of unrecognizable detritus that we cannot relate to but which we can love in all earnestness. I saw a jpeg of an Australian aborigine recently and the woman was really weird looking. She was small, dark, deranged. But she was humanly recognizable enough that I thought she would be good for a romp. I would have done her! I think it’s really unfair to accuse men of being “race fetishists” because we will do anything that moves. Any man who refuses to sex up a biological woman should be castrated. Men just have sex. They don’t, or shouldn’t, examine or ruminate over the source excessively, as if they were trying to decide whether they should eat that disgusting large dessert. Men just do it. Forget Nike. Nike is mimicking the male procreation drive with their lame jingle.

Men get it on and they don’t care if your eyes are almond or blue or wide or narrow or if your hair is black, gray, blond, blue, red, silver, etc. Some of the higher ranking males might have more stringent requirements, but even that doesn’t seem logically determined. Look at what some of these star athletes or celebrities have sex with in lieu of their wives. The cool thing about being a man is that you can close your eyes and pound ad infinitum and no one gives a crap. Women are so enraptured of their own climax that they don’t care. Once a woman gets the beef injection, all upper-level cognitive functions hibernate. Men get away with a lot. Or they should be allowed to!

The tweaker, the wheelchair, and the chihuahua. And disgraceful animal worship.

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Argh!

Man rapes Chihuahua!

A Sacramento parolee convicted of sexually assaulting a chihuahua was sentenced this week to 10 years in prison and must now register as a sex offender.

A jury last month convicted Robert Edward De Shields of strangulation and sexual abuse of the 8-month-old chihuahua. He was high on meth at the time of the attack, prosecutors said.

De Shields is confined to a wheelchair and had rented space in a South Sacramento home. When the homeowners came home one day in March, they found De Shields holding the scared dog, prosecutors said. The next day, the dog was missing, but found in the garage with De Shields. The dog was in pain and shock, prosecutors alleged.

A veterinarian later found severe injuries to the dog’s rectum and internal organs.

De Shields has been in and out of prison since 1992. Because of this case’s additional requirement that he register as a lifetime sex offender — which is unusual for an animal-cruelty case — he must now serve his sentence in state prison. Under the state’s prison realignment system, he would have otherwise served the time in county jail, the Sacramento County district attorney’s office said.

OK, let me tell you the problem with this story.

It’s too damned amusing and darkly comical. The actual story is not what people pay attention to. The narrative takes a backseat to the supposed imagery. Hell, how can anyone be expected to give a damn about the events when we are too busy playing out, in absentia, the rape scene in our depraved heads? Robert Edward De Shields, tweaking away in his wheelchair (already a sight to consider), anally raping one of the more bothersome dog breeds to shame this Earth? Tell me this is not funny shit! I imagine there are a few sensitive souls (actually, a lot) who are aghast and offended at De Shields’ actions and are most likely crying for his blood. They probably think 10 years in prison is not enough. I doubt such bleeding heart animal rights types don’t see much humor in this. For the rest of us “normal” people, this is an irresistible travail into the guttural descent mankind occasionally falls prey to, especially when under the influence of meth, one of the nastiest, bitch-ass narcotics out there. Meth rips people up to shreds and turns them into strung out zombies whose hard tissue seems to slither right off their body after extended abuse.

I learned of this story the other day when my brother posted it on his Facebook wall. We greeted it with droll humor unaltered by shock or self-righteous conviction on our part.

Yes, my brother and I were very concerned. Our genetic black humor is a legacy we’re proud of. That is the problem with this story. We are too busy guffawing at, and envisioning, Mr. De Shields in the midst of amped ass sex with an undersized chihuahua from the comfort of his wheelchair, pounding away like a chemically-stimulated jackhammer.

This is not amusing, damnit.

The man is obviously not well in the head. Look at him. He is the Meth poster boy of the year. His brain is fried. I’m positive this is a case of animal abuse stemming from chronic brain injury, not innate sexual pathology. I feel bad for the guy. What he did is dastardly and repulsive beyond human words. He is not someone I’d want to share any proximity with.

Yet.

He was sentenced to ten years in prison and must register as a sex offender…?
Please, how can this be? He anally raped a chihuahua. A chihuahua. A dog. He had sex with a dog and now he needs to register as a sex offender? And serve time in state prison? I would venture to say that there are men who have raped children and have ultimately served less time. We live in a sick world.

We live in a sick world where men such as this exist, drug addicts who randomly rape yappy runts. We live in a sick society for we have come to value the life of animals above humans. A sick, immature world where people and legislators and lawyers are driven to create an oppressive cloud of meddlesome action when in fact, it’s a masquerade to the fact that they have nothing useful to do. I see this stuff in the workplace all the time. Management has nothing useful to do, so they create and inflate problems/issues and then proceed to implement measures to address these “inefficiencies” and thus look like heroes while conveying the impression they are precious members of the organization. Ultimately, they have a monopoly on action and their existence is one rampant bureaucratic hurricane of cosmetically noble intentions but it’s all just empty garbage when you peel the layers away.

The way society values animal life in such dizzying esteem suggests that we have thrown in the towel when it comes to addressing the shattered human condition. The fact that as a society, we focus so much energy on punishing rapers of chihuauhuas, makes it patently clear that there are many people in positions of power with too much time on their hands. They create bluster and elicit self-righteous anger and proceed to appease the sheep’s bloodlust with their stern, fabricated measures of punishment which are overkill but look powerful when viewed from afar. A man doesn’t deserve 10 years in prison for raping a dog any more than he should be treated in the same light for raping a 5-year-old girl. It’s an absurd misplacement of priorities.

Dogs are animals. Animals are not human. They do not enjoy human rights, human privileges. Well, they shouldn’t. Not in a mature culture. Deification of animals represents an escape from our responsibility to humankind. A mature society attempts to remedy what is broken with itself by addressing the fractures. An immature society seeks to hide from its ills behind the cute diversion of Disneyfied animals. Disney has led the charge for decades, creating generations of pathetic starry-eyed dopes who litter their own dreamscape/reality with talking animals to escape from the darkness, like a child burrows beneath sheets to hide from the boogeyman. Robert Edward De Shields is sick. We are sick.

We should aim our glib heartbreak on human issues firstly. Let’s worry about meth addiction. Let’s work to elevate the state of man instead of squandering foolish energies elevating animalkind to human level.

Earlier, my brother quipped humorously that he wondered if, after De Shields registers as a sex offender, he will be ordered to stay at leat 100 yards away from all animal shelters and PetSmart stores?