Shitty tax bill…… and a rap song

Universities have endowments. Past graduates, alumni if you will, give monies to their alma mater because they either want their offspring to have a shot at the same education they had, or they are grateful for the opportunities provided by said education.
Some doors were opened by “X” university, and to keep these doors open for others, money is donated.
It makes perfect sense. The basic idea being that it is for the betterment of future generations.
So, why is this same mentality not taken when speaking about taxes?
No one, and I do mean zero people, not one, that has been successful in this country has done so without some benefit from either the basic infrastructure, security, education….essentially, an element, or multiple elements, provided by tax dollars.
As our current changes dictate we are going to allow these financially successful people to pay even less into the system that allowed them this success.
We are going to give tax breaks on private jets? To golf club owners? Drop corporate tax rates by almost half?
Taxes are upsetting to pay, but they are a necessity for a stable and successful society. Yes, of course there is waste in our government and we could do a whole lot more with a whole lot less, but that has nothing to do with our new disaster of a tax bill.
The people that should be watering the roots of the system allowing them to grow these businesses get to sit back and watch everyone with half full watering cans do it.
It is estimated that these tax breaks for the rich will leave a 1 trillion dollar deficit in the budget over the next ten years. This was known prior to the vote, which passed with 51 “yay” votes from our republicans in the senate. 51 out of 52.
What exactly does that deficit mean? We have no direct answer because that would require foresight from our government, but funding will be lost. Funding for future generations, yes, but also funding for current programs a lot of people rely on. Medicare, medicaid, social security, military benefits…hundreds of programs that are already thin are going to become thinner or non existent.
It is fucking insane. It’s the rich running our country instead of our elected officials representing us. It’s as corrupt and idiotic as a bill could possibly be.
So, here is a rap song about it.
I don’t rap.
I am not good at Garage Band.
It’s cathartic for me to get this shit out of my system.
Expect the worst.
It was meant to be humorous.
Enough disclaimers……

Be bored

Baby Driver: “An awe-inspiring piece of filmmaking from Edgar Wright that plays out as a musical through the lens of an action thriller. Sweet, funny and utterly original — you won’t see a film like it this year.” -Terri White, Empire
Yes, cool. Sounds great. I bit.
Here’s the thing, it was awful. It was objectively not a good movie. The plot was hole riddled, the majority of the acting was not good…..but the thing that was most unnerving was that there were multiple reviews, including the one above, that called it “original”. Baby Driver consists of one of the most basic movie plots ever constructed: Guy gets in with the wrong people, owes a debt, and does things he doesn’t want to do. Predictable as the sun coming up. “Awe-inspiring”?! No, zero awe.
Preceding the movie were trailers for “Bladerunner” and “Flatliners”, two remakes.
My rare evening at the movies left me asking, what has happened to us? All of us? As an over the top reactionary answer: Creativity is dead and our expectations have fallen to shit.
We require constant stimulation, there is no “dead time”. In line? Get on your phone. Stop light? Phone. Pooping? Phone. At a beautiful park sitting under the shade with someone that warms your heart to the core as a perfect breeze crosses your body? Two phones out.
What do we do on these devices? Watch videos of dipshit youtube “stars” like Jake Paul. If you don’t know him, don’t look him up, it will just upset you.
I am not anti-technology, and I have not sat on the toilet sans phone for years, but damn people, the acceptance of all things crap is not acceptable. I of course am not talking only about movies. I am talking about the more general fact that somehow shit is now gold.
We eat shit food, buy plastic cheap shit products, and elect cheap shit leaders. I am not specifically talking about Trump, who 1000% falls into this category, but I am talking about all of our “leaders” that worry about money/reputation and not about creative, inclusive, problem solving.
We no longer sit and think. We no longer wade in our own boredom creating something that takes us out of it. We use technology to take us out, and all of our brains are suffering.
The majority of “art” and “artists” that are consistently making noise today don’t have talent, they have marketability. This leaves an entire generation looking to market themselves instead of better themselves. We aren’t creating for the sake of creating, we are creating simply for fame and/or money.
Curated creativity.
Let loose every once in a while. Without a camera, without intent. If you are to witness this rare release by another human, enjoy it, with your phone in your pocket.
Expect more, create more. We are better than this, right?

Veronica I thank you, for beating the shit out of me

At one point in my life I could recite the entire script of the movie Billy Madison. Word for word, scene by scene, all 90 minutes of this awful (-ly amazing) film was once stored in my adolescent brain. Much of it has been purged, swapped out for equally unimportant information, but some key plot points and quotes remain burnt in the depths of my temporal lobe…..Which is why I’m so upset. I really can’t believe I didn’t see it earlier, and quite honestly, I’m embarrassed by my inability to connect the dots until now.

Donald Trump is Billy Madison.

The similarities are glaringly obvious, and the only reason I think this realization has taken me so long to come to is because Billy has some endearing qualities, he’s a lovable moron. The Donald has no redeeming or endearing qualities. Zero.

Let us start from the beginning……

Billy was the son of a wealthy hotel chain/property owner and stood to inherit it all. Billy’s family wealth got him through life and Billy was too self- unaware to realize he had zero accomplishments on his own. Similarity #1.
This is made apparent early on in the film while Billy is talking to his dad.

Brian Madison: You remember that spelling bee you won in the 1st grade?
Billy Madison: Oh no, you didn’t.
Brian Madison: Rock? “r-o-k”?
Billy Madison: Yea, so what’s your point?
Brian Madison: r-o-C-k!
Billy Madison: Ohh! The “C” is silent.

Even when wrong, Billy has an excuse for why he is right. “The ‘C’ is silent” illustrates that while the spelling may be wrong, he is still not. Alternate facts, similarity #2.

Billy is then told that he is not going to get the company, which is a big sting. The only logical rationale for his dad to make this decision is to place blame on the giant imaginary penguin he has seen at multiple points waddling around the expansive Madison property.

Billy Madison: “Is that it dad, did the penguin make you do it?”

Billy can not accept responsibility for his own actions and has to blame someone/something else, something that does not even exist. An irrational fear. Similarity #3.

Similarity #4 of course is that Billy’s favorite day is “Nudie magazine day”. No further explanation required.

Let’s fast forward into the film a bit. When asked in a public forum to discuss the Industrial Revolution and cite specific examples, Billy goes on a wild tangent about a puppy who lost it’s way, and never addresses the question that was posed.

Principal: Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Replace “Mr. Madison” with “President Trump” and these words accurately express how the majority of the American populous feels when Trump talks about…..anything, literally anything. Similarity #5.

Also, sexual assault. Billy, upon first meeting his attractive 3rd grade teacher says to himself: “Veronica Vaughn, so hot, want to touch the hiney.” Donald wants to grab other parts. Similarity #6

Donald is Billy in an parallel universe. A timeline that never intersected with Veronica Vaughn. Donald never had that “teacher” that instilled values, didn’t back down, and metaphorically and physically kicked the shit out of him.
Trump has never had anyone tell him he is wrong. He is so comically out of touch with who he is that he can’t see anything else.
If Trump had a Veronica Vaughn in his life, first off he might be a decent person, but he also never would have appointed DuVos as secretary of education. He would actually care about teachers, and the alternate future a proper education can provide…..

Fuck, I started this comparison as a joke and now realize it is 100% accurate.

Donald is a movie charter. One created with a plethora of awful traits culminating in hilarity: 0 self awareness, huge ego, self centered, unintelligent, full of hate, casts blame, clueless….and that hair….He is perfect for a movie or TV, he is the last person in the world that should be in charge of anything.

I feel that I have shown, conclusively, that the similarities are there. Donald is Billy, Billy is Donald. However, there is one difference that I must point out. One that creates a small crack in my theory. Billy expresses, in his opening line, how he feels about sun protection.

Billy Madison: Suntan lotion is good for me. You protect me; tee hee hee. Oh the sun tries to burn me but you won’t let it – will ya? Ultraviolet rays bad. Lotion good.

Ultraviolet rays are bad Billy. While Donald is more of a “self-tanner” kind of guy, I am certain that he has spent more than his fair share of time under the sun or in a tanning bed…..and we all know, he’s an oil man.

A Fond Farewell

I remember wandering the streets of San Francisco on a somewhat rare, warm November night. I had no destination, no need to be anywhere, but I wasn’t ready to walk home, not yet. I called my brother, I called friends, I trekked the city for hours with excitement and optimism. On this night in 2008 we had elected the first black president, and for so many reasons, in my eyes, the right person at the right time. Regardless of how you voted or where you stood, we had, at the very least, elected an undeniably intelligent president that had brought a new and vibrant energy into politics.
Obama said goodbye last night, and while many people will usher this president out with the same distain they maintained for him over the last 8 years, I said my goodbye with tears.
Obama’s farewell adress was what I expected. Eloquent, inclusive, smart, poignant, and optimistic. The president elect is not the person Obama wanted to follow him, not by a long shot, but even in this defeat, Obama is nothing but encouraging and supportive. Something he received very little of during his tenure as POTUS.
Following Obama’s speech, Trump held a press conference, which was also exactly what I expected. Mangled sentence fragments and incoherent thoughts.
I pictured the first State of The Union, Trump getting up and making a speech that not only doesn’t make any sense, but is full of division and blame.
I will miss Obama because I think he was an excellent president, but I will also miss him because he represented the things I like about America: Inclusion, grounded optimism, intelligence, compromise….. Trump is everything I hate about America: Greed, inability to listen-take responsibility for-admit fault, non-inclusive, fake, uninformed, entitled…..We have elected into our highest office, someone so insecure and ignorant that there is a chance I receive an actual response from him for saying so….sigh….off topic….
Obama, nothing and no one is perfect, but you did a great job. I thank you for your service. I thank you for your efforts, energy, and patience in dealing with America and the world. I am proud to say I voted for you, twice, and hope that you will stay involved. Your legacy may be altered, but not forgotten. I appreciate you.
Also, teenagers, am I right? #wherewassasha