Jun 25

A Radical’s Solution to the Flag Flap: Compromise

Quote of the Day:

I have heard something said about allegiance to the South. I know no South, no North, no East, no West, to which I owe any allegiance.”     –Henry Clay

TB sees where those against Confederate symbolism on Mississippi’s state flag (and other states) are coming from. It’s obvious really. The Civil War was fought by poor whites so rich whites could keep their slaves. Anyone with enslaved ancestors could never embrace such a flag as a symbol for their homeland and they must never feel truly a valued citizen of such a place. The South lost the war, in part, because of constant problems with desertion in the ranks by soldiers who knew their cause was not only lost, but was also complete bullshit. So I also see where a lot of folks like me with white ancestors who fought in the Civil War would just as soon see the relics left to museums and dime store novels.

On the other hand, I once looked at the flag like a lot of current non-racist Confederate flag supporting people. That is, I revered selectively edited Southern history and mythology, and most of all, I loved the tradition aspect–the show of defiance against an ever-expanding federal government and corporate economic stranglehold over lands once settled by rugged individualists beholden to no one. I also get that white southerners feel unfairly labeled as racist for having absolutely natural feelings of kinship to their ancestors.

Personally, I’ve evolved on the subject over the years. My position now is that a flag should be a source of pride to all who live under it–black, white, and even the surely mystified Asian, Latino and Yankee populations in the South. I also don’t want to be aligned with the Dylan Roofs of the world nor the unbelievably hateful white supremacists filling up the comment section of every news piece on the subject. My preference would be that everyone would come around to my way of thinking and we’d do away with Confederat-y flags and everything else relating to the Old South.

Sadly, and in spite of the modern political system’s insistence upon it, the idea that one point of view must prevail and the other must be ground into dust is both ignorant an impractical.

So what are we left with?

Compromise.

But how to reconcile such diametrically opposed positions? I cleared my mind and thought about this and nothing but this for quite awhile yesterday.

After about ten seconds I had my EUREKA! moment.

The answer is in plain sight to anyone with HBO.

You see I just finished binging all five seasons of Game of Thrones.

Stop right there. I know you are hoping I’m going to suggest beheadings, fiery sacrifices, sodomy and dragons. No, I’m not going there at all.

It’s a line that appears in most every episode that is inspiring me to propose this compromise. A line that in many ways makes no sense, much like the flag debate. It’s a line that assumes we the viewers know much more about the history of Westoros than we do. Much. Like. The. Flag Debate.

Here it is: “the old gods and the new.”

Get it? On Game of Thrones, everyone is always praying to the “old gods and the new”, whoever the hell they may be. It’s like the 7 Kingdoms’ way of letting bygones be bygones. You worship the meaningless symbol you want and I’ll pay homage to the vitally important invisible family of nutcase immortals that I want.

What I gotta draw you a picture?

TWO Flags. The old one and a new one. You fly whichever one makes you happy at your home, business, or in the glass above the bed of your F-150. Two flags in front of the Capitol–it’ll look nice and symmetrical. Two flags in courthouses where witnesses will be required to give an oath to tell the truth before the “Old Flag and the New.” Two flags on police cars–imagine the economic benefits to the local decal industry? Two flags at the high school football game, coming down Main Street at the Christmas Parade, waving in front of the Ten Commandments at your local car wash.

And the best thing of all? Mississippi would be FIRST in something for once. Imagine the possibilities! Other states and nations would be tripping all over themselves to follow our lead because if there is one thing the modern world has taught us it’s that MORE is BETTER.

You think I’m kidding about all this?

Well, I thought it was a funny idea when it first came to me, but the more I think it over….I’m damn serious about it and I hope you’ll consider the merits of my little proposal. Even if you don’t have HBO.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/06/a-radicals-solution-to-the-flag-flap-compromise/

Jun 23

A Piece of Cloth

Let’s play a fun game everyone. What is the first physical object you can think of when I say “white supremacy”? I bet most of you thought of the confederate battle flag. If not, I imagine it would be in your top three.

Flag apologists will accuse you of not knowing your history. These folks seem to have a firm grasp of how the flag was used in the American Civil War. Circa 1861-1865. The flag was used by a few battle regiments in Virginia. Perhaps that is true. It makes me ask though, if the flag was so insignificant, why are you getting your panties in such a wad to keep it?

When you google American civil war images, you will see a few different flags in the photos but the one displayed most prominently as representing the South side is the confederate battle flag. It is THE flag that is tied with the southern cause in that war. “Heritage not hate” is what they are fond of saying. What heritage are you so fervent about respecting? The one that thought it was okey dokey to own other human beings? The same states that were ferociously fighting 100 YEARS after the civil war to keep whites and coloreds separated?

I grew up in Mississippi. Southern pride is a living breathing thing. I can’t explain it to you if you were born outside of the deep south. People here take great pride in being from the south. Even when faced with widespread poverty, subpar education, and sky high teen pregnancy rates. God and Grits Y’all!

Another question. Answer it honestly. When you see a pick up truck with a huge rebel flag on it’s back window (strangely enough it is just the battle flag and not the flag of Mississippi), what do you assume about the owner of said vehicle? I will tell you what most people think. Poor, redneck, and probably openly racist. Before I start getting hate mail, I KNOW that having a flag doesn’t necessarily mean you are a raging racist. This is just calling a duck a duck that is, on average, a duck. I don’t see very many nice cars riding around with battle flags. Just 4 decades of observation. I have Facebook with lots of friends (believe it or not). The postings have already started with pro flag memes and the pretty dancing around the real subject of racism. On this subject, white friends-please stop posting the black folks making conservative or anti black sentiments. You aren’t fooling anyone. If I made a list of most likely friends to feel this way, they would be clicking them off almost in order daily on my facebook feed. Let’s be honest, in this age of full voluntary disclosure, you know who these people are.

Sometimes folks, it’s just time to let go. The flag has been hijacked by white supremacists and is a living symbol of the Old South. An Old South you should not be proud of or hold up to the rest of the world.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/06/a-piece-of-cloth/

Jun 20

Fathers Day

Like many of you, Fathers Day is a bittersweet day for me. I lost my dad when he was 54 years old. Do you know how ridiculously young that is? Insane. He was pretty run down with diabetes and something went down with his heart. I am still somewhat unclear about exactly what happened because our local hospital system sucks donkey cock and I never got a full picture of what exactly happened. His dad died at 52. Dad kicked it at 54. 56 is going to be a tumultuous year for me.

He was a good father. Worked multiple jobs to provide for us and was always there for me. My big regret to this day is him not being here for me to talk to. Jesus, the conversations we could have currently. He wasn’t a perfect man. None of us are. He had a definite weak spot for women and gambling. But he was wise and never, to my knowledge, steered me in the wrong direction. He was my best friend, even though I was a pretty good asshole for the last few years of his life. We never had any huge chasms in our relationship. I was lucky. So lucky.

Now for the sweet part of the bittersweet. I think I am a pretty good dad. I am too quick to anger and enjoy my libations more than some would consider appropriate. But I am home every night with my family. Like, I have no “hobbies”. I don’t harbor any sort of resentment that I am missing out on anything. This is precisely where I want to be. I do my best to steer my girls in the right direction. I believe that is all we really have in life. Passing on good things to our kids. Who will, in turn, pass them on to their kids. It’s really the only legacy most of us have. I take great pride in knowing my dad would be proud of me. The job I am doing. I hope that my girls will feel the same after I am gone.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/06/fathers-day/

Jun 11

Black vs White Cops. Let’s Get Serious.

Ok. The cop/black thing is completely out of control. Is it a serious issue? Sure. Has it been completely and utterly blown out of proportion by both sides? Absolutely.

Are there bad cops? No doubt about it mate. People are shitheels as a rule. To think that only the pristine, godliest among us would take up the enforcement mantle is just stupid. There are definitely power hungry, short man syndrome, didn’t amount to shit after high school jackasses wearing badges. There are also a lot of good people doing the best they can when facing the shit side of society that you like to pretend doesn’t exist.

Are all black people criminals? If that sentence didn’t make you blow liquid out your nose, you either weren’t drinking at the moment or have a very serious problem that you need to address. Of course they aren’t. Yes they make up a majority of our prison population. They also get unfairly sentenced for asinine drug laws. White man has pot…community service. Black man has pot…HOLY SHIT MARY CALL THE COPS WE’RE LOCKING THIS SUMBITCH UP FOR 20 YEARS. You do not want to argue me on this, I promise you. I will beat you to sleep with statistics. I don’t want to open the barrel of systemic racism so I will just leave it at that. It’s not the point of this lecture.

The national conversation on these issues has devolved into two distinct sides. You either support cops or you hate cops. It is so ignorant, it literally makes me want to scream. (I am screaming right now for you “literal” definition soldiers)

We have totally lost site of the idea of looking at situations on a case by case basis. Or, God forbid, actually looking at a situation based on the available facts. Everyone backs into their respective camps no matter what the facts of the case say. I have said for awhile that black America made a huge mistake planting their flag on the Fergusen case. I have read all of the evidence presented to the Grand Jury and to pick that particular case to make your stand was a mistake folks. I would have shot that dude. 10 times. There are plenty of more ambiguous cases. Be more selective. When you pick a bullshit case like Fergusen, it weakens ALL YOUR FUTURE ARGUMENTS. It’s important.

Let’s move onto McKinney. The flavor of the day. There seems to be two main points of contention. When the officer pulled his gun (which when taken frame by frame as in a popular conservative meme), he seems to have done an excellent job of assessing the situation and handling it correctly. And then you have the jackleg officer assaulting a teenage girl in a bikini on the ground. If you take up for what that second officer did, you are the problem. Seriously. Did she have a shiv hidden in her hoo-ha? I can’t believe they are protecting this guy.

Oh, what’s that? They aren’t? The officer was fired, condemned by his police Chief and publicly apologized for his actions? Well Holy Shit. I guess the continuing non stop crap parade on Facebook doesn’t know exactly what it’s marching for.

My point in all this folks is choose your battles wisely. Don’t take up for shitty cops or obvious hoodlums. We have moved so far away from reasonable debate on this issue, I am afraid there is no turning back.

I know what you are saying. Mac, you are so wise. What is the answer?

In short, I think police body cameras on every officer clear up a bunch of the problems. I know if I was a cop, I would demand one. No one wants to be watched all day at work. We all fuck off. But the nature of the job almost demands it.

I support our men in blue as a general rule. Someone has to keep the peace. Bottom line. But video weeds out the bad eggs. Is there a “thin blue line” that protects it’s own? No doubt about it. And it’s hard to argue the folks that say “If most of the police force are good people, why aren’t the bad ones getting turned in?”
But the officer that shot Water Scott just got indicted for murder. Would that have happened without the video evidence? Not in 1000 years. He would have walked all day. That is part of the problem. Hell, it’s the majority of the problem.

Video solves a couple of things. First off, you have evidence when something goes bad. Secondly, and much more importantly, people act better when they are being videotaped.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/06/black-vs-white-cops-lets-get-serious/

Jun 09

Just the Tip

I draw a LOT of inspiration from Facebook for my writing ideas for this blog. A friend posted a piece recently about tipping and it got my gears whirling.

I am a good tipper. 20% is pretty standard for me. I VERY rarely give less than 10%, even when the service sucks.
Restaurants pay their servers very low wages as a rule. Somewhere in the ballpark of 2-3 dollars an hour on average. The rest of their salary is made up by tips from the customers. This is a brilliant strategy by the restaurants when you think about it. Where else can you regularly get your customers to pay your employees directly? This process is so well ingrained in America, people will angrily denounce you if you even suggest that we should do away with tipping in America. As a small business owner, I can tell you that I would love to pay the people that cut grass for me $2 an hour. “Don’t worry Jimmy, if the customer likes how you cut their grass, they will tip you!”

Some folks will jump on me here and say that I shouldn’t tip at all when the service is bad. My problem with this is two fold. Firstly, I feel bad that the waiter is getting paid so poorly by his employer. Read that again. I feel bad. How crazy is that? That’s how stupid cultural norms make you feel. Bad and you didn’t do anything wrong! This is what I think you should do when the service is bad. It just makes me uncomfortable so I end up giving 10%. Tip poorly or not at all BUT THEN also explain to the waiter in person why they received a bad tip. But that brings up the second problem I have with bad tipping. Most bad waiters don’t care. They aren’t looking for constructive criticism. They are much more likely to chalk it up to you being a cheap basturd than the fact that they are a sucky waiter or waitress. I KNOW that tipping a bad server even moderately enforces bad behavior and I am sorry. That’s part of the problem.

If I owned a restaurant, I would ABSOLUTELY want to know if my servers were subpar. I suppose that’s where online reviews and the likes of Yelp come in handy.

I think an easier answer would be to do away with the idiotic practice in the first place. Many countries around the world already do this. Sure, the restaurants would probably marginally increase their food prices but at least then everyone would be paying an equal share of the wages.

What say you MTGU?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/06/just-the-tip/

Jun 07

Hello. My Name is Mac and I Am A Line Rage-aholic.

Line rage is a thing. At least it is for me. It really doesn’t matter what kind of line I am in.

Let’s begin with the worst line molesters out there. Bank line inhabitants. People seem to be under this assumption that “it is my turn now…I am going to take as long as I damn well please.” Yes I need to cash this check. While I am here, can I check my balance for absolutely no reason whatsoever? Awesome. Can you also explain your new loan program to me that I saw on the poster when I came in? Super duper.

Traffic. You have all been here. 10 cars back from the light. It turns green. In theory, everyone in sight of the light should be able to step on the gas immediately. You see the speed of light is, in this example, instantaneous. Everyone sees it turn green within micro millionth milliseconds of each other. But you can’t step on the gas. Because the second car hasn’t even moved yet because the guy is texting his baby momma. And the guy in the third car is JUST ABOUT to pass that level on Candy Crush. The lady in the fourth car is talking to her sister in law about her no good piece of crap brother. You should be able to go immediately but instead you have time to read War and Peace before the car in front of you moves.

Fast food drive thru lines. Is this literally the first time you have ever been to a McDonalds? The menu doesn’t change much there Sparky.

Netflix. I don’t use these kiosks often. But when I do, I get aggravated. Folks seem to be having a brain fart and think they are back in Blockbuster perusing films. As a friend of mine said, there’s an app for that. You can pick out your movies before hand and just go to the box to get them. 2 minutes tops is all it should take. Go over the time limit and the box sticks out a cattle prod and shocks the ever living crap out of your bowels.

“Convenience” stores. Cigarette buyers seem to be the worst. “No, not that one. The Marlboro slims in the blue pack with the short filters. No not that one. Left of there. Raise your hand straight up. Yes that one.” Ladies and their purses. Yes, please take your time and be sure you get that change, card, wallet, makeup etc back in that black hole in EXACTLY the right order so you can take another 10 minutes to find something the next time you are in line. If you have some more things that need doing after the transaction is finished, gather all your crap and step aside so the people behind you can go.

That gets to the heart of the problem in my opinion. Folks in this country seem to have some kind of line lobotomy. I do not understand this thought process of “it’s my turn now, I am going to take forever.” When I am in any line, I am trying to get out of the way as fast as humanly possible. This is one of those things I seriously can’t wrap my head around with humans as a species. I joke about it and it is funny, but make absolutely no mistake. It is a real rage issue for me.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/06/hello-my-name-is-mac-and-i-have-am-a-line-rage-aholic/

Jun 03

The Jenner Firestorm Is Not Fabulous

Hand to Jesus, you people are about to make me quit the internet again.

What has me all in a tizzy? Bruce Jenner. Not the fact that he stands or sits to pee. I couldn’t care less if dude/dudette has a wiener or not. You see, it DOES NOT effect me.

What has me about ready to buy a good katana on Ebay and skewer myself is y’alls reaction to it. I can’t open social media without seeing Bruce/Kaitlyn (whatever) all over the place. And now y’all have made me sully the blog with this bullshit. I was blissfully unaware that anyone was even referring to BK as a “hero”. But now I am thanks to Fox Nation getting their hate drawers all knitted up and posting memes that basically say “he’s not a hero…these are heroes” and showing soldiers dying in foreign lands.

Are soldiers heroes? Sure. Does BK still have a pecker? I’m not really sure and don’t care. Comparing the two proves absolutely zilch. It gives whoever a chance to say that they disagree with the lifestyle choice. That’s all I see.

Do I understand what makes a dude want to put on a dress or look at another man’s butt and say “YUMMY”? I can’t say that I do. I just know that everyone is not like me and I think it is idiotic to think that everyone in the world should hold my same values or thought processes.

Move on people. Please.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/06/the-jenner-firestorm-is-not-fabulous/

May 06

A Vignette

Quote of the Day:

Your first hit in the major, that’s tops. It means your on your way.”     — Rod Carew, Hall of Famer

TB hates to step on Mac’s post, but since I never post, and tonight I thought I would, well, I don’t see any way around it.

It’s my first time in Minneapolis, first time in Minnesota for that matter if you don’t count passing through airports, which I don’t, and neither should you. Airport connections do not entitle you to scratch a state-country-city off your checklist. So stop doing it.

But I digress.

It was a beautiful evening tonight, about 72 and sunny. The downtown area was alive with sound spilling onto the street from bars still glorying in their ability to open the doors without risking death by Jack Frost. Over the din of happy hour music, metal chairs scraping on patio concrete and beer-fueled conviviality from every direction was the booming voice of the announcer from Target Field where the Twins were taking on the A’s.

I’d been at The Haute Dish, a local gastropub run by friends of friend of the MTGU Folly Jon. He’d set me up with a bro date there with some of his fellow Widespread Panic cultists. I had a couple of Minnesota brews and ordered what he’d recommended–the tater-tot steak. It’s braised ribs cooked with green beans and mashed-potato filled tater tots all kind of melded together in a bowl atop a wading pool of wine sauce. Damn good call Folly J. The bro date went well too. We talked about good tunes, beer and travelin’ with a dash of sports. What else is there?

I was walking off the beers and potatoes and decided to go check out the ballgame. You can walk right up to the right field terrace, just close enough to smell the brats and hear the radio broadcast clearly but too far away by inches to see any grass. I admired the statues of Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew as the radio guy introduced some rookie from Puerto Rico getting his first Major League at bat. I decided against buying a ticket and going in because, well, I felt like I needed to keep moving a little longer. You ever feel like you’re moving at just the right pace and you don’t want to break the rhythm? An appropriately sated belly, a couple of nice porters coursing through, 72 and sunny, downtown laughter…..it was all good, you know?

So the kid hit a home run and I thought to myself, “maybe he’ll become a Hall of Famer one day and I’ll tell the story about how I was feelin’ really good that evening and almost bought a ticket just in time to see that ball clear the yard, but I didn’t, but I did hear it and the announcer was so happy for him and I loved how he described his teammates giving him the silent treatment but they could only hold out for like five seconds” and then I thought “well that’s not quite as good as the story he’ll be able to tell about how he hit a dinger in his first MLB at bat,” but then I thought back to myself, “I’ll just have to sell it better.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/05/a-vignette/

May 06

Bric a Brac Round Two Mac’s Musings

Taking a page from the Daily Wit and just going to post a few quick thoughts I have had lately. Won’t be near as interesting. Nobody reads this blog anyway. No harm. No foul.

Baltimore riots. I have said nothing about the riots on Facebook. I have learned over the years that it is wise to keep your mouth shut on certain subjects. Especially the more the story is tweaking your emotions. Sit back and let it unfold. Usually other pertinent facts make their way to the surface. I wonder if the folks saying the rioters should be shot on the street would feel the same if they, for instance, took to the streets to protest their god given right to bear arms. I mean, if god is about anything at all, surely it is your right to own automatic weapons.

What if the “bright light” everyone reports seeing as they are dying is sunlight coming through a vagina as you are being reborn? Because you didn’t check all the boxes in your supreme being’s requirements in this lifetime and have to try again. Crazy you say? Yea. Not reasonable like being swallowed by a whale or virgin births or bringing people back from the dead.

Why do all handicapped people drive slowly? Surely there is one special Mario Andretti out there.

Facebook is annoying the shit out of me. Facebook is people. And I don’t like people. I know you all way too intimately. And for the most part, I don’t like what I see. I am sure that you don’t like me either. For instance, how does a person in the United States of America finish 12 years of school without having a rudimentary grasp of the English language? I am not talking about occasional misuses of the proper spelling of “there”. I am talking about the multitudes of people that I see daily that are incapable of constructing a proper paragraph.

The 2016 Presidential elections are coming. There are a couple of people that are making a lot of sense. Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders. Very opposite ends of the spectrum ideologically. But the point is that the two party joke of a system that we have will not choose either of these two individuals to represent them. The Democrats are especially frustrating. Why, in God’s name, is Hillary Clinton your runaway choice? Is this due to media bias or the publics’ asinine willingness to accept what the machine feeds you?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/05/bric-a-brac-round-two-macs-musings/

Apr 30

Mental Bric-a-Brac

I don’t have fully formed thoughts anymore, which is why I rarely post. But, I think I’ll post my mental fragments from time to time. It’s best if you don’t try to find a pattern or logical thread to any of this.

I find it ironic that at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings the very first thing you do is stand up and give everyone your name.

 

I question the efficiency of crop dusting.

Farmer: Bugs are killing me this year. I need to get some poison put out.

Tractor driver: I can lay down a uniform application of pesticide from one foot above the plants guaranteeing about 98% coverage.

Crop duster: I’ll buzz your field doing about 200mph. I’ll be letting these chemicals out anywhere from 60 ft to 3 inches above the ground. I ain’t guaranteeing nothing.

Farmer: Well, get to it, Fly Boy!

 

I think the black rioters in Baltimore should claim they’re rioting because the Orioles won/lost (it doesn’t matter) a baseball game. Then the media would treat them like white rioters, which is to say, the coverage would appear one time and at the end of a whacky segment about the water skiing squirrel and the Virgin Mary appearing on a McMuffin in Lima, Peru.

 

Internet news headline writers should be jailed unless they agree to quit telling us:

1. The 8 Ways You’re Eating That Banana Wrong

2. 14 Things You Don’t Know About The Sitcom Frasier But Should

3. [Insert celebrity name] Doesn’t Look Like This Anymore!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.missingtheground.com/2015/04/mental-bric-a-brac/

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