Category Archives: Idiots

Insult to Injury


The old expression “adding insult to injury” might well have been coined with parents of high school seniors specifically in mind. Bison Daughter is in her senior year, and the nightmare of college selection is already fully upon us. The process is bad enough, what with the visits, the applications, the application fees, essays, and meaningless letters of recommendation dragged out of the hands of recalcitrant teachers, but when you consider that “success” merely triggers the sure and certain expectation of the forcible anal rape of your bank account for the subsequent four years, the fun factor really drops off.

Considering that, maybe I wasn’t in the best frame of mind to receive the package of glossy brochures from the school outlining all the wonderful things I might want to buy to commemorate said daughter graduating high school. For a start, there were rings. Lots of rings. Gold and silver and who knows what else, with blue stones, pink stones, green stones, engraved names, commemorative symbols and all manner of decorations. None of them seemed to cost less than a couple of hundred dollars, but you could drop a cool eight hundred, if you so desired, on a gold “Heritage Collection” ring. No need to stop there though – you could drop several hundred more on custom made class tags. You could buy class jewelry, apparel and commemorative pictures too.

But that’s not all. Just in case your friends and family aren’t aware that your little darling is about to leave high school you can order beautiful custom announcements, with ornamentally sealed envelopes, to be sent far and wide to broadcast the news. It really wouldn’t take much to spend well over a thousand dollars on commemorative graduation crap.

Remember – this is high school we’re talking about here, not college. You know what it takes to graduate high school? Show up until you’re eighteen, don’t be as thick as pigshit, and turn in a bare minimum of work. Unless you have a medical reason that gets in the way, (and there are people with real challenges, let’s be clear), about the only way you can fail to graduate is either to be a moron or to simply not bother to do the work. And since high school graduation is a pre-requisite for almost any job that offers any kind of a future, choosing not to do the work kind of puts you in the moron category too. So, in summary, you’re either “high school graduate” or “moron”.

So when a parent spends a couple of grand sending out gold plated notes, buying class jewelry and holding a party to celebrate little Johnny graduating high school, they are basically saying “Look, look! My kid isn’t a complete moron! Isn’t it great?!”

I suppose I should have seen this coming, in a land where graduating kindergarten is celebrated with a straight face as a rite of passage. It’s just one more facet of the “You’re all winners, everyone gets a trophy” mentality. And if it was just a fun “throw your cap in the air, celebrate with your friends” event I’d be all in favor. Parents with cameras, kids in gowns, cake afterwards – it’s all good stuff. But four figure jewelry bills and personalized gold embossed stationery? Are you kidding me?

It all makes me wonder what’s in store if my offspring manages to graduate from college? How expensive does that catalog get? If high school graduation (or “my kid’s not a moron”) merits a grand or two in cash outlay, I can only imagine the options available for the college graduation celebration. Maybe there will be personalized airplane banners, to be dragged over the ceremony by a gold-embossed biplane. Custom silver braided cakes, where a live dwarf leaps out and presents your college graduate with a platinum and diamond commemorative tiara. A fleet of Bentleys to hand deliver invitations to the graduation ceremony simultaneously to fifty of your closest friends and family. A choir, resplendent in robes custom-made in your college colors, to sing congratulations to junior as he takes his first shit after graduation. And what about post-graduate degrees? If Bison Daughter gets a doctorate I’ll have to file for bankruptcy, or face the shame of having her be the only not arriving at the ceremony in a silver carriage drawn by unicorns.

In the end Mrs Bison and I decided to go for a simple cap and gown, for twenty eight dollars I believe, and to keep our bank account as plump as we can, in anticipation of the financial ass-rape that college will for sure bring. I suspect, however, that we are in the minority, given that Jostens, a large purveyor of high school graduation crap, announced this week that it is being bought for $1.5 billion. That’s an awful lot of rings, shirts and tacky announcements, but unless either the moron count of kids in our schools or the good taste of their parents increases significantly the company apparently has a solid gold future.

Not Funny

One of the distressing side-effects of Christmas holidays is an increased willingness to spend inordinate amounts of time in front of the television, watching the kind of moronic claptrap that during the rest of the year would rapidly trigger the off-switch response. Having free hours somehow lowers the bar, so that even moderately worthless crap seems like a good reason to slob on the sofa and gaze at the screen for a while.
That is not to say that all discrimination has been abandoned; reality TV is still utter drivel, Honey Boo Boo and her disgusting relatives can all still fuck off and die, and those weird Alaskan bush people can wander off into the wilderness and indulge in whatever unbiblical intercourse gave rise to their unholy brood. Actually, the list of shows worth watching is still really, really short, and consists mostly of cop dramas. If at any time you’re tempted to drift into the realm of network sitcoms they conveniently show clips from time to time, just to remind you why you shouldn’t.
Oh fuck they’re bad. I have in the last 24 hours seen reminders of just how bad, and as a means of determining when you’ve been at home too long and should really get back to work you could do worse than use the following: if at any time you’re tempted to turn on Two Broke Girls, Mike and Molly or the McCarthys you should grab your work clothes and get the fuck out of the house. If you don’t have a job to go to, just leave the house anyway. Or kill yourself. You’d be doing society a favor.
How does anyone manage to make sitcoms with such pitiful, weak, worthless humor? How do you come up with such weak premises and then overlay them with jokes of such mind-numbing banality that only a cretin could enjoy them? And then run them for years? Until the threadbare original premise has been worn to dust on the backs of the idiot actors with which our screens are infected?
I struggled with this question. I know that good sitcoms do exist – we had loads of them back in merry old England. Why are the ones over here so fucking shit? Are Americans somehow programmed to accept more mediocrity, like with their chocolate? And how do you go about writing something so unfunny in the first place?
“Here’s a really great concept – we’ll have a sitcom with fat people.”
“But surely we did that already? Roseanne was fat, and that King of Queens guy was a bloater too.”
“Yeah, but this will be different. We’ll have a whole new slate of jokes about it being OK to be a fat bastard. Not good jokes, but lots and lots of them, all delivered by a really annoying fat bitch”
It still doesn’t make sense. You’d have to specifically breed writers to be that shit – you couldn’t possibly hire them that way. You’d have to start by taking weak comic writers and breeding them selectively with the retarded. The offspring of that accursed coupling would be a litter of retarded comic writers. It wouldn’t be easy, obviously. The comics would be trying to shove it in all the wrong holes, just to be funny, and the retards would be putting it in all the wrong holes because they didn’t know any better, but eventually I figure you could get them to breed. That wouldn’t be enough though. For a real CBS level of comic banality you’d have to take the comic retards and breed them again with a whole new set of retards (or maybe the same ones – it’s not like it matters) and then take the second set of offspring and have them write the script for Two Broke Girls. One part weak comic to three parts retard.
For sure that whole process would take two generations, and would require an investment of time by the network, and a commitment to really shit writing, that is hard to imagine. But what other explanation is there for the sudden explosion of really fucking shit sitcoms on our screens? The second breeding must be reaching maturity and their writing is coming to fruition.
The most depressing aspect of this is that networks are in the business of giving people what they want, and obviously the public likes their humor with very little use of the cerebral cortex required. Which is probably necessary to satisfy the mentality of a population that appears to have been spawned in no small part by acts of love between the actual or borderline retarded. So my TV sucks because people are stupid. I’m half tempted to go back to work, but the stupid live there too, and the sofa isn’t nearly as comfortable. So I’ll smack myself in the head with a brick instead, and get working on my new sitcom about two fat bastards who talk to the dead. It’s called “XXXL Medium”. You’ll fucking love it.

Black Plague

black friday at walmart

So yesterday was Thanksgiving, and we gathered around the dinner table and consumed inordinate amounts of meat, potatoes, sausages and stuffing, and just enough vegetables to ensure that our colons didn’t completely seize up. Because that would be bad – no-one wants to spend Black Friday crouched on the porcelain, doing a Marty Feldman, attempting to pass three pounds of impacted seasonal joy. In the process of said Thanksgiving dinner we paused to reflect on that for which we were grateful in 2014, and number one on the list was unquestionably that we would not be getting out of bed to join in the festival of crass excess and consumption that is the Black Friday shop.

I have tried to put myself in the place of those sad, overweight, invariably ugly people who you see on the news fighting their way into Walmart when the doors open; I have attempted to rationalize their actions on the basis that they don’t have much money, and they need to get the best deals they can. And I have come to the distinct conclusion that this explanation is complete and utter bollocks.

OK, so here’s point one: you know what the cheapest form of consumption is? Non-consumption. Compared to fighting your way through the store to load up a cart with two giant flat-screen TVs, NOT buying two flat-screen TVs is a dollar-saving winner every time. I started out life with no money, and now I don’t have no money anymore, but the more money I have, the less inclination I have to spend it on upgrading electronic crap which I can confidently predict will be out of date in six months and obsolete in just over a year. And it’s not like there’s anything on TV that would make any sane person declare “You know, I really wish I could see that picture, only much, much bigger, all over one wall of my house, and hear that voice in skull-penetrating Dolby surround sound. I’m off to punch some fat Hispanic woman in the head and grab a TV in Walmart.” Are you fucking kidding me? There is nothing worth staying in to watch on TV, and very little worth turning the box on for, even if you’re stuck in the house with no better options.

“What about football?” I hear you ask. Yep, I like football too. And the eleven minutes of actual action, sandwiched between nearly 50 minutes of clock running down while nothing happens, and a further 90  minutes of commercials for more crap to buy on Black Friday, doesn’t even come close to making me want to fight the chubby crowds. Apart from that you have sitcoms that aren’t funny, movies that are so full of commercials you want to break the TV, and reality shows that would insult the intellect of a cockroach. To want more of that you’d have to be – well – you’d have to be exactly the kind of certifiable moron who leaps out of the house to the Pavlovian ring of the Black Friday sale bell.

Fundamentally though, if you’re that hard-up that you need to immerse yourself in Black Friday hell to afford the things you buy, maybe you should try not buying them.

But here’s the next point. It isn’t even about the stuff people buy. I don’t believe for a moment that the people who shop those sales couldn’t afford the crap they buy otherwise. Either they’d buy a bit less or they’d pay a bit more, so it can’t be about needing to save money – it must be something else.

Here’s the pivotal question: “If a man buys a flat-screen for $99 in Walmart and there’s no-one there to see it, does he still get a bargain?” Do you think people would fight the crowds at the sales if they didn’t get to brag to their buddies on Monday “Yeah, I got two tablets for under a hundred bucks, and a 50 inch LCD TV for four hundred.” Is the real motivation the acquisition or is it the feeling that you got a deal, that you paid less than someone else for whatever shit you bought. You’re a winner because you got a bargain! Yeah!

It just beggars belief that there are that many people out there with that much desire to buy that quantity of crap, every fucking Thanksgiving, in addition to all the other crap they buy for the other 364 days of the year. But it’s all about the deal – buy it now, quickly, so you can get one over on all the other poor saps who bought it last week, and those who are going to buy it next week, because you’re the chosen one. The deal-maker. The caveman, dragging superfluous electronic shit back to your semi-detached cave so your functionally retarded offspring can amuse themselves putting their opposable thumbs to work on the X-box while your spouse paints gazelle on the wall.

I shouldn’t complain. Selling crap to people who don’t need it is what makes the world go round, or at least the US economy go round, and heaven forbid people should suddenly wake up and NOT want all that unnecessary consumer tat. We’d be in recession faster than you could say “fat people shop at Walmart”. The merry-go-round of “I need to buy shit, so I need to work, so I make shit that people can buy” is the bedrock of our whole economy. If I wasn’t at home flicking through the TV in a desperate search for something not shit to watch I probably wouldn’t even notice Black Friday. But the wall-to-wall commercials are a stark reminder that, not only are there millions of dumb shits out there, but they’re all entitled to vote. And if the Black Friday shopper is any indication as to the intellectual capacity of the American voter I’d have more luck trusting to that three pounds of impacted colon.

On Yer Bike

Want to know what pisses me off? I don’t mean the whole list, you understand. Not even a subset of the list, really. No, just the most recent entry. It’s cyclists. Fucking ladyboys in lycra weaving in and out of traffic like accidents are just something that happens to other people. There I was, driving home in Chicago traffic, trying not to run over the dayglo lycra-clad wanker to the right of me. At the stop sign I pulled forward, behind the car at the line, and two more gayboy cyclists cut in front of me and shot through the junction.

What is it with cyclists that makes them think they’re so much more important than anyone else on the road. They exude that smug “I’m a more righteous road user than you” attitude, which would be bad enough by itself, but when you roll in that hideous uniform, shrink-wrapping their junk in brightly colored shorts, the urge to drive over one is almost irresistible. There was a bloke in the UK recently who chased and ran over a cyclist who’d knocked into his car, killing him. He got life. Life? Fuck me, more like justifiable homicide.

Leaving aside the stupid clothes for a moment, don’t you just hate that “Now I’m traffic, now I’m not” bullshit that cyclists pull? When they’re riding along the road you have to treat them like another road-user, swerving to avoid them as they wander all over the place, because heaven forbid that you actually hit one. Shame on you, not yielding to this uber-important and fragile fellow traveler. But as soon as there’s any kind of impediment – stop sign, traffic light, you name it – they suddenly cease to be a road-user. “Those silly rules don’t apply to me. I’m going to ride on the pavement, run the red light, cut in front of the car and fail to stop at the stop sign.” Then, once they’re past the obstruction it’s right back to blocking your way and insisting that you yield to them. They’re wankers, end of.

Now if I decide to have a little race with the car next to me, plod will have me in handcuffs before you can say “Rodney King”, but wanky cyclists race along the road or sidewalk just as they please and nothing is ever done about them. Frankly, I’d lock the fuckers up just for the crime of shaving their legs, and it would serve them right if someone tattooed a pair of tits on their back and made them their prison wife as a result.

That cunt Lance Armstrong has a lot to answer for…

Bear-Faced Cheek

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Hands up if you bought roses or chocolate-covered strawberries? All you lot with your hands up, you’re twats: Valentine’s Day is the biggest rip off, load of old bollocks known to man. When I was a kid it was still a fun day. You’d wait to see if you had a Valentine’s card from a mystery admirer, always anonymous (which was the tradition, and also what made it fun). You could also send one to that girl you fancied, the cloak of anonymity providing cover against looking like a saddo if she wasn’t interested. I don’t know what grown-ups did back then, but it seemed to me that Valentine’s Day was for people who wanted to get together, not for people who were already a couple.

Fast forward thirty years, and the Hallmark crowd has turned the whole event into one massive excuse to make you part with your money. Firstly they have created this whole imperative that couples give each other cards and gifts. Peer pressure and relentless advertising combine to make Mrs Average feel neglected if Mr Average doesn’t come home with at least a dozen red roses, and possibly something with a diamond in it, too. Poor old Mr Average daren’t show up empty-handed and incur the wrath of his spouse; and Mrs Average wouldn’t dare tell her harpy friends that she only got a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, in case they looked down at her with smug fake pity. Meanwhile the chocolate, diamond and flower merchants are raking in your money as you subserviently feed the myth of the “romantic day”. Tonight, even crap restaurants will be full of couples going through the motions of a dinner, simply because the calendar says Feb 14. Baaaa!

Of course, if you do give in and buy roses you’ll end up paying three times the normal price. The flower industry pretty much makes all its money on Valentine’s Day and Mothers Day. But buying flowers is at least understandable; what I cannot comprehend is how a whole fucking industry has grown up around people sending each other Teddy Bears. The Vermont Teddy Bear Company offers the Loverboy Bear, which sports jeans, a t-shirt and shades, and in fact more resembles Homoerotic Bear. Or there’s the Love Bandit, which comes dressed in a black shirt, with a black mask, and should possibly be renamed the Arse Bandit. And here’s the hilarious bit – each one comes in a “Fun & colorful gift box with air hole”. An air hole? Are you shitting me? What, in case the poor thing suffocates? Jesus H Christ! The world has gone completely fucking monkey bollocks arse-backwards retarded! Small wonder that we’re disappearing up our own economic arse when people like that are allowed to take out mortgages. I’m just amazed they don’t drool all over the forms.

Here, let me spell it out for you: If you send someone a romantic Teddy Bear, you are a twat. T.W.A.T. But there must be a sod of a lot of you, because Vermont Teddy Bear’s stock of dumbass romantic bears is listed as “sold out”.

Meanwhile, back at the kids, all the fun has gone out of Valentine’s Day. At Bison Daughter’s Elementary School they had a class party yesterday. That’s a pretty tenuous excuse to interrupt education. Here’s a thought, fucking dickhead teachers: how about you spend your time educating my child, like I pay you to, and leave the “having fun” part to us, rather than wasting half the time they’re in school dicking around with bullshit “class parties” and then sending them home with a ton of fucking homework so that we never have any time together. Wankers! The really stupid thing is that they couldn’t call it a Valentine’s Party. Oh no, it had to be a “Friendship Party”. What the fuck? If you don’t like Valentine’s Day don’t have the stupid party at all. And don’t make the kids give cards to every other kid in the class, boys and girls alike. How fucking retarded is that? Typical politically correct lefty educational bullshit – reduce everything to the level that it becomes utterly meaningless, just in case we offend someone.

Hallmark and their friends have completely neutered Valentine’s Day, just so they can sell more crap. It used to be about sending a card to someone you fancied, but now they’re twisted it (at least in the States) so that parents give Valentine’s gifts to their kids. Now that’s just wrong. (Except in parts of Arkansas, but they mostly can’t write in the cards anyway.) The whole day has been hijacked to make us all buy stuff we would otherwise never buy, to assuage the guilt they’ll pile on us by proxy if we don’t comply.

Fortunately Mrs Bison can also spot bollocks a mile off, and much prefers that I buy her flowers on a day she’s not expecting it, because it means more that way. Which is perfect by me except for one small detail. I’m not that good at remembering to buy them when there isn’t a billion dollar multi-media advertising blitz to remind me…

Copyright © 2009 Edward Bison

Who’s There?

It must be tough to be a Roman Catholic these days. I mean, it’s got to be hard enough being a member of a church that has institutionalized kiddie-fiddling to a degree that has the NAMBLA complaining about turf infractions. Who can send their children off to a catholic school, summer camp or youth club without lining up a good psychiatrist and attorney, just in case? But as if that isn’t bad enough, the church appears to be chock-full of nutjobs, convinced that they see the image of the virgin Mary in countless bizarre places.

The most recent case was a woman called Pamela Latrimore who was trying to sell a brain scan which she claimed contained an image of the virgin Mary. Does this sound messed up to you? Well, bear in mind that the blessed virgin gets about a bit. She’s already been sighted on a tree stump and a fence post, as well as on a pebble. She popped up on an expressway underpass, prompting all sorts of weird bastards to show up and turn it into a shrine. She’s done windows – an office window in Massachussetts and a hospital window. Obviously glass is a good medium for the virgin because she’s apparently also appearing in a greenhouse in Canada. Her appearance in a mirror was seen as a clear sign that little Elian Gonzalez (remember him?) was blessed and should not be sent back to his father in Cuba.

Food is also a good place for her to show up. So far she’s appeared in a grilled cheese sandwich, a bowl of salsa and a pizza pan. She’s been immortalized in the grease of a Geroge Foreman grill and even taken time out to inhabit a rotten grape. Believe it or not she’s also been sighted in a toilet bowl. This is a clear indication that the catholic church is slipping in its discipline. Back in the good old days of the Inquisition I’m pretty certain that anyone who claimed that the blessed virgin could be found in their shitter would have wound up sitting on a pile of burning wood, reflecting on the error of their ways. And what kind of fuckwit turns around after dropping their fudge and checks it out for any reason? Who looks at a pan stain closely enough to see what resemblance it may bear to persons alive or deceased, let alone Biblical? Do they call family members to come and verify their claim? “Hey, Martha, come look at this! I think the virgin Mary’s appeared in the spicy bean dip that disagreed with me last night!” You’d have to be fucking insane.

To be fair, these people probably are insane, or at least borderline mental defective. Why is it that when they see an image that bears the tiniest faint resemblance to the stereotypical virgin Mary, they instantly assume that’s who it is? Doesn’t anyone else get to show up on a grape or spend a little time in a pizza pan? Maybe it’s Mother Theresa, and she’s constantly pissed to be mistaken for the mother of Christ every time she puts in an appearance.

It doesn’t even have to have a face – all it takes is a swirl. By that standard I could turn out images of the virgin in a cake mixer every ten minutes.

Of course this could be the same problem that affects the sad wankers who are convinced they’ve lived a previous life as Cleopatra or Joan of Arc. No-one ever gets reincarnated from a dirt-eating peasant, a chicken thief or a goat molester, do they? Oh no, they all spent time in the court of Marie Antoinette or Henry VIII. So by the same token that indistinct image in the road salt on the side of your truck just has to be the virgin Mary – who else could it be?

These people are certifiable head cases, but with a faith that is capable of imagining faces in the window it’s no wonder they managed to convince themselves to start burning witches. It’s just the kind of deep, unshakable faith that’s necessary in order to send your kid off with the priest for a sleepover. Which is convenient…

Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison

Remember The Alamo Lot

I’ve been on vacation in Oregon for the last week, in a small beach house with no phone or internet, which explains the lack of any new literary output, the delay in publishing comments and my general recent absence from the human race. It was great, especially the “getting away from the human race” part. There’s nothing quite like geting herded back through airport security at the end of your vacation, surrounded by the slack-jawed, flat-footed, swollen-bellied, thick detritus of society to remind you how much you enjoy not being around them. And let’s face it, these are the ones who can afford to fly and who presumably can command some sort of income.

Of course not all the stupid people in the world are traveling through airports; many of them work there too. I was reminded of this fact when I arrived in Portland and went to pick up my Alamo rental car. I’ve used Alamo before and never had a problem, but last time I was in Portland I used Avis because they were slightly cheaper. I was reminded of this when we finally got out of the airport building and approached the car rental garage where every major rental car company except Alamo seemed to be located. Alamo, by contrast, was at a remote lot, a bus ride away. No matter, I was saving over $100 on my eight day rental by using Alamo this time so it was worth the ride, right? Well, sort of.

We soon pulled up at a dismal remote lot which seemed to be clean and very uncluttered, especially by cars. I waited at the Alamo desk while the dipshit behind the counter sorted out a moron customer, only to be directed by aforesaid dipshit to the adjoining National desk, so he could go off and do something else, possibly involving self-abuse. (And why have two names if you’re really only one company?) A woman with a borderline mental incapacity disorder, but wearing a National uniform, approched me to ask if there was anything she could do to help, except that she couldn’t do much, but she’d have a look if I liked. I didn’t quite know how to answer this but fortunately the bloke at the counter became available. He sorted out my online reservation and said I could select my midsize car from spaces C4, C5 or C6. I walked outside to find C4 empty and the Chevy Malibu in C6 being driven away. This left a very sorry looking Nissan Sentra in C5. It had 33,000 miles on it, was peppered with dents and scratches, needed fuel and had enough legroom in the back for two passengers, provided that you were planning to entertain Boxing Helena and her mate. I went back inside, noticing as I did that there were a couple of pissed-off looking customers outside already.

I told happy boy at the desk that the car was shit and not “Midsize” but he said they didn’t have any others. I pointed out that I had a reservation and he started whining that they didn’t know what time people would bring cars back, blah, blah, blah. Tempting as it was to give this head-graspingly unintelligent and useless specimen a lesson on the basics of demand management, forecasting and inventory control I quickly realized that it would be about as much use as talking loudly up a pig’s arse. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a harried-looking man in a nice white shirt with a name tag walking out of the back of the building. I followed him:

“You’ve got a nicer shirt than the others so I’m guessing you’re the manager, right? I need a car.” Diplomacy was ever my strong suit.

Turns out he was the best shot I had at making something happen. There was a Pontiac Vibe coming out of the car wash and he said I could have it. It didn’t seem very midsize either but it looked clean; plus I had a three hour drive still to go, and I didn’t like the look of the sweltering rental car lot, already partly filled with more disaffected customers than there were decent cars. It seemed to me that vultures were circling overhead, although that may have been my imagination. Another rental car employee was about to give it away to a young couple but smart-shirt man pulled rank and we drove off in the Vibe. Midsize or not (technically it seems to be a compact sport wagon, whatever the fuck that means) it was brand new, with less than 1500 miles on it, and quite fun to drive. It had no trouble cruising at 70-80mph whenever the twats that infest the roads in Oregon could be persuaded to move out of the left lane into one of the huge spaces to their right.

The only thing I didn’t understand was why there were no Subarus at the rental lot. It appears to be some sort of State car in Oregon. I believe the State animal is the beaver, but on the strength of my experience at the Alamo I’m prepared to suggest that it should in fact be the gibbon, since that’s clearly the intellectual level required to work with the public over there. Nice mountains though…

Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison

Picture Books

Last night I flew to Brussels, and the person in the seat next to me was an attractive young woman. I didn’t exchange any actual words with her, however, on account of the fact that she was a dumbass and I would have got better conversation from my pillow. My first clue was when she took her seat and promptly unloaded four thick women’s magazines into the seatback pocket, along with two trashy novels. Now I’m not talking about flimsy magazines here – these were about 3/8-1/2″ thick, the sort of thing you could use to club a baby seal to death, if the urge took you.

The inflight movies were shit – 27 Dresses and Evan Almighty. Fuck me – a plodding, predictable happy-ever-after chick flick and a mind-buggeringly dull and predictable so-called comedy. So I started to surreptitiously look over at the magazines as Miss Dumbfuck paged through them. They were 100% A-Grade glossy crap, the kind of trash that makes any reasonable person begin to despair of our species. The woman had an engagement ring on and is presumably planning to breed at some point – I wanted to scoop out her ovaries with my plastic spoon as a service to mankind.

You see this particular type of crap everywhere and it’s getting more and more prevalent: pictures and stories and interviews focused on an endless parade of “famous” people. Guess what? There were Brad and Angelina, two people I’d be happy never to hear about for the rest of my fucking life, gazing up soft-focusedly as the article gushed over their new $70 million chateau. There was Kim Cattrall giving her “personal” opinions about her favorite shoes, eyeliner and other crap (not that she was getting paid to promote it, of course). There were glittering photos of celebs with their families, seemingly indicating that the mere fact that they are still breathing is reason enough to pose them in silks and tiaras in front of a grand piano, so that slow-witted dumbfucks like the blonde tart next to me could turn page after page, just looking at them.

What’s the point? That’s what I’d like to know. There’s precious little actual text, other than the descriptions of the merchandise they are wearing; most of the content is just photos. The only possible reason I could see to purchase a publication which was made up of glossy photos would be if the people in it were women, were naked, and you intended to indulge in an act of self-pleasure over it. Are these things the female equivalent of porn? Was she getting all juiced up reading about Angelina’s new dress, Beyonce’s new jewelry or Katie’s new hairstyle? Or is this more like those books we buy for little kids, mostly made up of pictures because they haven’t yet developed the skills of reading or comprehension, and the messages need to be simple?

I think I can see the messages here clear enough: Buy This. Want This. Worship This. Prostrate yourself at the altar of fame and hang on the words of the glossy idols we have created. Yeah right. Like I’m going to give a flying fuck what J-Lo says about anything.

It’s not just the Hollywood types though. We get those “society” pages in our local rag sometimes, with pictures of people in tuxedos and evening dresses, holding cocktail glasses at some gala event. Each picture has a caption with the people’s names, you know the sort of thing. Why? Is it really so important to us that Mr and Mrs Humphrey Cuntbubble were standing next to Lieutenant-Governor Arsegrape and his second wife, Gladys on Thursday night?

I increasingly believe that the segment of society which buys and “reads” glossy celeb magazines has self-selected into the category of the populace which should not be allowed to vote, let alone reproduce. All higher-level brain function must surely have ceased in order for such things to have become important, right? In fact about the only things worse are Bride and Wedding magazines, a female maturbatory fantasy of self-indulgent excess and massive consumption, layered with meaningless details and staggering cost, where all must be sacrificed to the monstrous fraud of the “one special day”.

Our society may well be going to hell in a handbasket, but at least we’ll be able to look at lots of pictures of weddings on the way…

Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison

It’s An Emergency

I just have to ask – is it just Americans who are complete pussies, or has the same thing happened to the British since I left? I remember when a visit to the Emergency Room meant that you had an arm hanging off, or an axe sticking out of your head. Or possibly that you’d inserted something inappropriate in your rectum and got it stuck. It was a place you only went if you really had to, and as if to encourage you in that way of thinking hospitals arranged for giant queues which you could only bypass if you were at the point of exsanguination or cardiac arrest. Nowadays people seem to trot down to the Emergency Room for what appear to me to be trivial reasons. For instance, every year that vomiting bug seems to go around – you know, the one where you puke and shit yourself empty for about 24 hours. It’s been a couple of years since Bison Daughter brought that little treat home to us but whenever it goes around you hear people talking about how they had to take their kid to the Emergency Room to get an IV.

I don’t want to sound too much like an old git but “back in my youth” my parents would no sooner have taken me to the ER if I puked for a bit than tried to teach me to fly. Puking is just something kids do (especially if, like me, they drink stream water) and I don’t recall anyone I went to school with needing to get intravenous fluids for a case of the squits.

Mrs Bison recently had a cold, a fact that she shared with another mother at the school last week. This woman had had the same cold but had gone to the Emergency Room the previous evening. For what? If someone showed up at the ER with cold symptoms I’d be inclined to send them for a psych evaluation. What goes through your mind when you’re sitting there thinking “my nose is a bit blocked up” while someone gets rushed by you on a gurney with six gunshot wounds and a bag of plasma in one arm. Or are the ERs so full of people with the shits and the flu that there’s no room for the seriously ill?

I’m aware that there’s a male bias against going to the doctor – we’d all rather risk death than show up in the waiting room with unworthy symptoms. I think it goes back to the pussy thing – you don’t want to be sitting there looking a bit shivery while the bloke next to you has an eye missing and the one over the other side of the room has his bloody stump of an arm in a sling. You feel like the doctor is judging your maleness by your ability to withstand suffering before coming in. When he says “Now what seems to be the problem Mr Smith” he’s really asking “Now Mr Smith, do you have a valid reason for being here or are you just a pansy weasel homo?” If you’re not careful you’ll respond to the subliminal question without realizing it – “I’m not a homo, Doctor, I really do have a very sore throat.”

It’s not just blokes though. Mrs Bison insisted that I get this hideous looking mole checked out because it might be cancer. I was more inclined to wait and see if it grew to the size of, say, a beer bottle top, and then worry about it. I knew if I showed up I’d feel like a pussy and they’d cut it off no matter how safe it looked, just to avoid any liability. So I ended up with a hole in me for no good reason. However, if I suggest that she go to the quack then suddenly it’ll wait for a day, or seven. Which means that she wouldn’t be seen dead in the ER for anything short of, well, death.

So if you’re one of those ER frequent fliers then maybe it’s time to take a couple of aspirin and stay in bed for a day or two before calling out the Medevac helicopter to deal with your rampant piles. Either that or stop shoving inappropriate things up your anus…

Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison

March Madness

Today I expect to go into work and be confronted by legions of twats wearing green. Yes, it’s St.Patrick’s Day again, and suddenly everyone in the US is “Irish for a day”. The flight attendants on my plane from Chicago last night were already wearing green sweaters, so clearly it’s more like a St.Patrick’s Weekend. What is the fucking fascination with the fucking Irish? Don’t tell me it’s just because it’s a big party – Oktoberfest is a big party too and you don’t see everyone coming to work in lederhosen and claiming to be German for a day, do you?

This fawning over all things Irish isn’t just stupid. Years ago, when the IRA was busy killing people in the UK, Noraid would collect money for the terrorists and their families in the US, especially in cities like Boston and Chicago. Stupid fat Americans, obsessed with the idea that because their great grandfather might have once drunk Guinness they were now themselves Irish, would stuff money in the hands of people who would then turn around and use it to kill men, women and children in England. They were “Irish freedom fighters” driving the evil English out of the Emerald Isle.

Fast forward to 9/11 and suddenly terrorism is bad. We need to have a war on terror. Let’s trace the flow of money and stop it getting into the hands of the evil Islamists. We need our English allies to stand with the US in confronting those who would use explosives and violence to try and achieve their political ends. How many people made the connection to the IRA? When the bombing of a shopping center in Warrington killed two boys, aged 3 and 12, how much of America wanted to declare a war on terror then? What about when the IRA was bombing crowded pubs, or hotels? What about the nailbombs in London? Remember them? I didn’t think so. It’s a bit different when it’s your own back yard, and your own people dying in the streets isn’t it?

It’s unbelievable how naive people are about Sinn Fein, the IRA, and the muderers, drug dealers, extortionists and thieves that wear their Irish heritage with such pride. And the whole charade was able to go on partly because it was all wrapped up in a US-friendly cuddly leprechaun shamrock green cultural fiction.

So forgive me if I’m cynical about this “let’s all be Irish” bollocks. When I see those parades of men in green it takes me back to the pictures of children dying on English streets, the killing paid for in part by stupid people over here, with their mock-Irish sentiments. Still, have a nice St.Patrick’s Day, drink some green beer and top of the fucking mornin’ to you.

Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison