Sunday, June 20, 2010

the golf

Yep, I'm playing the Arnold Palmer course on Monday for $19.00 (includes cart). This must be the sickest coupon/discount of all time. I'm looking forward to seeing this alleged internet coupon. But onto the real gulf...

In a recent discussion, Vladimir Kutcherov , Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the Russian State University of Oil and Gas, predicted that the present oil spill flooding the Gulf Coast shores of the United States “could go on for years and years… many years.”
According to Kutcherov, a leading specialist in the theory of abiogenic deep origin of petroleum, “What BP drilled into was what we call a ‘migration channel,’ a deep fault on which hydrocarbons generated in the depth of our planet migrate to the crust and are accumulated in rocks, something like Ghawar in Saudi Arabia.”[2] Ghawar, the world’s most prolific oilfield has been producing millions of barrels daily for almost 70 years with no end in sight. According to the abiotic science, Ghawar like all elephant and giant oil and gas deposits all over the world, is located on a migration channel similar to that in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico.

I'm not even remotely qualified to discuss the BP catastrophe, but I have a strange hunch this Russian dude is spot on. I've been following the BP spill from more of a crisis management perspective. It seems like it's evolving into an indefinite problem. The manner in which BP attempts to solve the problem... one try after another. And then the government chimes in... one response after another. It just has this endless nuance. It seems the mainstream media is establishing this trend as well. They seem very reluctant to discuss the long term prospects. The more intriguing question is this - Let's assume the leak continues unabated. What will knock this tragedy out of the regular news cycle? In Nigeria, they've had roughly the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez spill EVERY year for the past 4 decades or so. But this ain't Nigeria.

Remember how BP tried to reshape their image with the whole "Beyond Petroleum" marketing campaign a year ago. In retrospect, it appears that was a colossal waste of money. Eventually, they'll have to remove the Tony Hayward CEO with the smarmy British accent. Could this douchebag be getting any worse advice from his handlers? He skips back across the pond to watch a yacht race? What the fuck?

But as long as they have underwater cameras trained on that hole, this company is fucked. Once again, what would it take to push the story out of the headlines... An Obama assassination, another Bill Clinton sex scandal, an earthquake devastates San Fransisco. Well, here's something that what would work - my Superbowl 9/11 follow-up terrorist attack prediction. But taking into account the fickle American appetite for what constitutes news, I have a hard time fathoming that the BP spill will still be front page headlines 6 months from now.

I've been trying to formulate an idea that will get BP out of the news cycle. To be honest, there's really not much they can do. They need another catastrophe to steal the spotlight. That's their only hope in the near term. Or just hope the typical American grows tired and weary from the endless coverage. This could prove nearly impossible though as long as those tar balls keep popping up. Houston, TX, Cape Cod, Atlantic City > this could get a lot worse. Every week, it's a new city that gets hit. Sure puts a dent in that notion of exquisite beachfront property. All of a sudden, the "wood" towns (Benwood, Warwood, etc.) don't sound so bad. And that summer trip to Barcamp with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken... I haven't had KFC in over a year. It sounds a bit compelling but that one on Wheeling Island is really dirty. High concentrations of gnats on the inside, a dense covering of soot on the outside.

But when it comes to oil, BP's got nothing on Star Trek. I'm recalling a horrible Star Trek Next Generation episode where that tar/oil monster consumes chief security officer Tasha Yar. I'm a huge fan of Jean Luc and his crew, but those first and second seasons were SO horrifically abysmal. The writing, the acting, the directing... It amazes me that the network didn't squash the show. What's harder to fathom - how on earth did it suddenly become so much better? Remember the Binars? Those bald computerized midget dudes that would complete each others sentences? How about the stunning empathic powers of Deanna Troy - she would really strut her shit. "Captain, he appears frightened." "Commander, he's lying." And I love how back in the early episodes, Wesley Crusher (the naive youngster) would always manage to save the Enterprise. I saw him on a talk show about a decade ago. He really turned into an arrogant fuck. At least that's how he came across.

Back to the British Petroleum fiasco. Aside from the my Superbowl timed theory , you could orchestrate a man made catastrophe during the other biggest televised event, the grandaddy of them all - The World Cup final in mid July. Not sure of the form it would take though. Multiple suicide bombings in Baghdad ain't going to cut it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

crushing Palin

Here's a simple, decisive way to marginalize the indomitable Sarah Palin. Get a group of 15-20 committed individuals who despise the ex-Governor. A liberal college campus or major university would be the most likely source. Just post ads in the cafeteria or you could even use Craigslist.

The next time Sarah shows up to give a campaign endorsement or a public speech, have your group assembled and ready to roll. When she begins yapping about energy policy during the speech, send out a mass text - "NOW." All at once, everyone will start yelling "DRILL BABY DRILL" in unison. Keep the chant going for as long as humanly possible. The group will be spread out throughout the auditorium or venue, so it will be unusually difficult and time consuming to round up the perpetrators. As long as the BP oil spill is in the news, this will work. I suspect her political consultants think something like this might happen. This is why she has curtailed public appearances. Has anyone noticed the recent disappearance of Dick Cheney as well? Trust me. They're still out there lurking, biding their time.

My point - once people see this played out on MSNBC and youtube, others will inevitably follow suit at future events. It's the incredible simplicity of this stunt which reveals its sheer beauty. No arrests, no fines, no money spent - just a loud voice and a minimal investment of time will result in her being totally marginalized. Her handlers won't allow her to go on political circuit for fear of a repeat occurrence. She'll have to stick with private fundraisers and carefully scripted photo ops. This doesn't mesh well with her phony "I'm just the girl next door, Suzy homemaker" line of bullshit.

I was thinking about the only people who really love the BP fiasco. They're a relatively small cabal - the Toyota Board of Directors! Ohhh, what a feeling!

I'm very interested in the upcoming political races in California. Ebay CEO Meg Whitman has spent over 100 million already in attempt to dethrone Senator Barbara Boxer. And ex Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorini will also be spending a fortune to snag the Guv-uh-nator's position. Both of these candidates are RIPE for a political systempunkt. The simpler, the better. It could be something like a little girl asking one of them "why would you spend so much money on yourself, when my daddy is out of work." Or how about this one from a 7 year old, "Has anyone on ebay ever sold child pornography?" Ka-Boom! That's the deafening sound of silence in the war room. Or for Fiorini, another young child posing the question, "When you were running the company it didn't run so good. What makes you think you'll do a good job running California?" These are the blips that would be replayed ad nauseum on the 24 hour news cycle. Think of it. All those hundreds of millions down the drain. Just because some innocent kid (a total plant) decided to stand up and ask a question. And just be sure you have the phony, cutesy question prepared in advance for the screeners - a good one would be, "From one female politician to another, what advice can you give me for becoming class president." It's just an old fashioned bait and switch - a marketing gimmick that will always stand the test of time.

If you recall, I developed a detailed scenario to destroy McCain or Palin at one of those town hall meetings during the '08 campaign. Thank god it wasn't necessary. Still, I can dream, can't I?

Saturday, June 05, 2010

chain smoking baby

By now everyone has seen the 18 month old Indonesian baby who chain smokes.

There are tons of videos of this kid circulating all over the internet. He truly has captivated our imagination. I like how the non-judgmental father sits in the background with a relatively stoic expression. All the other villagers seem content and have the same "business as usual" look about them. In many ways, it mirrors what I see happening at bars in the Ohio Valley. Everyone sits in these smoking rooms and they huff... and they puff... and they feed their social security checks into the vidiot machines. There's just this remarkable similarity in the "casual zombified" approach to life.

What I find intriguing are the internet feedback comments. Most people seem downright horrified. Many want to prosecute the father for child abuse. Some are content to just vilify. Others suggest it's a money making publicity stunt. I'll admit one thing - it definitely put that Sumatran village on the map. The last time I remember this kind of notoriety was when the tsunami hit. Good thing he was born after the floody floody. No amount of steadfast chain smoking devotion could have stood against the multiple waves of fury.

As usual, I'm looking for an interesting sociological experiment. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm going over to Wheeling Jesuit and print out a voluminous stack of pictures of chain smoking internet baby. Incidentally, I like how the kid doesn't have a first or last name. He's simply referred to as "the internet chain smoking baby sensation." I also like the fact that he seems morbidly obese for a toddler. I think every country should have one of these poster childs. For some reason, I think ours should hail from Mississippi. But I'd be willing to settle for South Carolina. We could parade him around the Darlington Nascar race like that humanoid dude in the box - the armless, legless wonder from Metallica's "One" video.

Back to the experiment. I'm going to print out a shitload of pictures of this kid and tack them up on the walls of the smoking/gambling rooms. Rest assured, there will be sufficient outrage. I'd love to be a fly on the wall. You can bet your ass there will be some 67 year old hag who looks at the picture in disgust. Her name is Stella. As Stella voraciously consumes her cancer stick (just like the baby), she presses the vidiot buttons and cries out for the image of a cherry or some kind of fucking starfruit. I'd relish the condemnation as she unknowingly mimics the baby's behavior. Incidentally, I really like how the kid knows how to use an existing cigarette to light a future one (aka "jumpstarting"). I also enjoy his innate ability to exhale in the form of smoke rings. This kid's bad ass. He really does need a name though. How about "Newport?" Seriously, we should call the kid "Newport." I wonder if he smokes Menthols, lights or regulars. I'm curious if he can ascertain the subtle differences.

I should put out a disclaimer here. I smoked Marlboro Lights for about 10 years (basically 1990 to 2000). And I'm insanely critical of those who choose to smoke. But I've chosen to embrace the hypocrisy with unbridled enthusiasm (like the person in Elaine's manuscript when they fumigated Jerry's apt). I didn't lead a healthy existence during that decade, but I'm making strides in the last one and hopefully the next.

In a weird way, I kinda think those smoking/gambling "parlors" are a good thing. First, you isolate all the smokers and vidiot players in single location. This way they can lounge around in a plume filled room and rapidly exhaust their finances and collectively embrace a shortened life span. It really has revolutionized the concept of second hand smoke. IGT (International Gaming Technology) makes about 80% of the vidiot machines. They'd be wise to partner up with Altria (formerly known as Phillip Morris) or one of the other tobacco companies. Its a great target market for small scale advertising and promotion.

Just an aside, if you're going to smoke yourself to death, just don't smoke Camels or Camel Lights. This particular brand smells absolutely disgusting. And the filters are really flimsy and seem to absorb the acrid nicotine stench into your fingers. Even the digital penetration of a pungent vaginal orifice is no match. The worst is when some dumbshit chains one down in under a minute. Then, feels the need to go into close-talking mode and complain about how Obama is bowing down to the leader of Taiwan or wherever. This brand of douchebaggery must never go unnoticed. I'll end with another Safism here...

If you're gonna smoke, do yourself and everyone else a favor, smoke Marlboro lights.

If you're low on cash, stick with generic equivalent - Basic Lights. I assume they still make Basic Lights. I always liked the name. You should NEVER feel the least bit embarrassed to ask the cashier, "Hey, can I get a pack of Basic Lights?" It just sounds cool and it helps to mitigate my heightened level of disgust.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I think you should go back...

... to GREENBOW, ALBAMA! These are enlightening words of Forrest Gump when he was trying to convince Jenny to leave her abusive boyfriend. Truth be told, it's one of the finest movies I've ever seen. I still tear up when they briefly reunite during the Washington Monument protest scene.
Recently, the Alabama primary race for Governor is a hotly contested one. I rarely pay much attention to the Alabama political scene, but these days you can't help but take a look. I'll summarize. There are six contenders seeking the Republican nomination (mostly because it's a cakewalk to the governor's seat if you're on the Republican ticket).

There are six contenders:

3 of them don't stand a prayer.

1 of them is Roy Moore - He's the former Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court. He gained notoriety a while back when he refused a U.S. Supreme Court order to remove a statue of the 10 Commandments outside the courthouse. Nowadays, he represents some splinter faction of the "Moral Majority." Regardless, he'll get some votes but he's generally regarded as a spoiler.

Another man running is Tim James. He's a wealthy construction mogul and he's dumping a personal fortune into the race. He recently released an ad where he sheepishly shakes his head and decries the DMV for allowing residents to take their drivers license test in any of 12 different languages. "In Alabama, we speak English. If you want a license, learn to speak the language." I suppose that kind of prejudice is fair game as it appeals to the hardcore Republican voting base. Ohhh, the burgeoning immigration problem in the urban meccas of Alabama. Montogomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, yeah right...

But it's the last guy running, Bradley Byrne - he's where the action is. He's a political insider, major ties to the University of Alabama and has ascended through the state government. A political action committee called the True Republican PAC is lashing out at Byrne. They're trying to paint him as a flip-flopping misguided fool. But it's their heavyweight ad which identifies him supporting the TEACHING OF EVOLUTION that takes it to the next level.

How revolting! I'm aghast! Byrne was caught on record saying, "he generally supports the teaching of evolution and there are inconsistencies with the bible." BAMMM! Not a good idea to publicly go on the record with that kind of intellectual rhetoric in the deep south. Crimson Tide graduates must be rolling in their graves. This guy has the unmitigated audacity, reckless temerity, bold impudence and unabashed effrontery to suggest that there are some irregularities in the bible.

BUT ALABAMINIANS, DO NOT FRET! Take solace in that he has issued the following retraction on his website.

“I believe the Bible is the Word of God and that every single word of it is true. From the earliest parts of this campaign, a paraphrased and incomplete parsing of my words have been knowingly used to insinuate that I believe something different than that. My faith is at the center of my life and my belief in Jesus Christ as my personal savior and Lord guides my every action.

As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God. As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school text books.”

PTL! (Praise The Lord). Whewwww! Alabama is safe/saved. Seriously (as if you can't reach new heights of "ludicrousity"), what the fuck is wrong with these people? Is it any wonder that Alabama consistently ranks near the bottom in public education? And I'm comin' atcha from West "By God, Stand Up And Say It Like You Mean It" Virginia! I should be charged with hypothetical blogging treason.

I'll probably check out the forthcoming debate. I'm not sure if Roy Moore plays poker, but I'd like to see him go ALL IN. "State Senator Byrne, if elected governor of the great state of Alabama, would you support legislation making it a felony, at any institution both public or private, the teaching of this here theory of evolution? brief pause...
Well, da-gummit, just don't sit there stewin' in a beef pot. This is Alabama! We want answers!"

Years ago, I once blogged that out of all the celebrities and political outsiders, I thought Tom Hanks could have a credible shot at getting elected President of the United States. Perhaps, he missed his true calling. He could have re-adopted his "Forrest Gump" character, moved back to Greenbow and tested the political water. "I might not be smart, but I know what it takes to be governor." The applause would be deafening.