Fake Milestones

« March 2010 »

Memo to Sean Hannity, Eric Massa, and the FAA: YOU ARE DUMB.

Today marks the 1,500th column on You Are Dumb Dot Net. Well, it doesn't really. It marks the 1,500th node created in Drupal. There are a dozen or so nodes that aren't columns. I've never actually bothered to count them out. It's definitely been 500 columns since I marked the fake 1,000th column, though, and that deserves a celebration. I think I'll celebrate by pulling three tiny stories from the bottom of my archives and calling it SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY. If that doesn't seem special enough for you, feel free to count the archives and let me know what number you get so that I can do something more special for the real fifteen hundred.

On February 26, in one of the few moves by the Obama administration I can support wholeheartedly, he met with a bunch of atheists from the Secular Coalition for America. It was nice enough when he name-checked atheists during the campaign, but to actually pay lip service to us by pretending to listen to us for a couple of hours? I think that's more than we've gotten from the other 43 presidents combined. And since no good deed goes unpunished, Hannity had to bitch about it. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The Obama administration earlier today rolled out the red carpet for a coalition of atheist groups. Now, among the individuals in attendance was Michael Newdow. That's the California man who sued unsuccessfully to have the words "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, religious groups, however, have not received this kind of treatment from the Obama White House. Now, last year, the President distanced himself from the National Day of Prayer, cancelling the formal service traditionally held in honor of the day and refusing to attend a Catholic prayer breakfast. So what's going on? Has the administration demonstrated a pattern of hostility towards religion, or is this merely a coincidence?"

I could take issue with so many things here, from the demonization of Newdow, the flowery language of "rolling out the red carpet", the lies about Obama's treatment of religious groups, and the general McCarthyite muckraking, but I covered all that three letters into "Hannity". So I'll just say this. Even if all that were true, you'll fuckin' live. Believe me, American religion could survive eight years of a hostile president without even blinking. But just because you can make a very accurate sentence using the words Obama, general, pattern, hostility, and religion doesn't mean your version of that sentence is even remotely accurate.

Eric Massa is fucking crazy. And if what little progress we've made in the past year gets derailed because of a Foley-style ignoring of complaints, I will be righteously pissed off. But that's not what I want to talk about. What I want to know is this. What the fuck are you people doing at your work parties?

Massa tried to explain away his pervy groping by saying it was innocent roughhousing and tickling between co-workers at his birthday party. Now, if he said this, he must believe that we'll believe that this is just the kind of thing that goes on, and it's only our modern oversensitivities that are making it sound really, really closetedly gay.

But I've been in the white-collar workplace for a very long time, and if any of my bosses ever tried to tickle me, there would be BLOODY HELL TO PAY. Even without a sexual component, that shit is so inappropriate no HR department in the world would convict me for asking what the fuck is wrong with you. Oh, and by the way? There is no situation in which two grown adult acquaintances can tickle without a sexual component. And if you think I'm wrong, tough shit, because that dude who's tickling you is totally getting off on it.

And speaking of allegedly inappropriate workplace behavior, fuck the FAA for suspending that air traffic controller who put his kid on the microphone for a few seconds. By every account, what happened was perfectly safe, done carefully and in moderation. Nobody was actually endangered, and nobody gave a shit until the tapes leaked and suddenly the FAA was concerned about public perception.

Of course, if you suspend the guy who did it, and you suspend his supervisor for letting him do it, then what you're really doing is reinforcing and perpetuating that public perception. And the public perception in this case is wrong. It often is, because, well, the public is made up of sixty to seventy percent complete fucking morons. You can take the easy way out, and fold to the morons, or you can say that this is no big deal, that air traffic controllers are highly trained professionals who take their jobs seriously and can be trusted to know when an eight year old can tell a plane it's cleared for takeoff. And then maybe the public would go away and worry about how many acres worth of survival seeds they should order before Obama wrecks the country.

But that would take effort. And it's so much easier to just kick back and let social entropy increase. FAA, you are cleared for fuckoff.