I go on periodic “news blackouts”. When bullshit becomes concentrated I take a break. I won’t take bullshit seriously.
Lately the news is particularly contrived. They say there’s a new wrinkle in the endless circular firing squad that is immigration policy. Apparently I’m supposed to hyperventilate. Really? You know what wasn’t on the news today? The NSA tapped my phone. It tapped yours too but I don’t care they tap your phone. Tapping mine is what matters and it’s a sound reason to hate Washington with a white hot incandescent loathing straight from the core of my being. Also the national debt is $17,605,582,943,943.23. The press tells me to freak about a twelve year old from Honduras while the government spends my money in numbers never before seen and reads my e-mails? Bullshit. The press is carefully avoiding eye contact with their pet administration as it runs out the clock.
It’s a good time for a break.
Better to focus on “real” problems. Real is when I’m neck deep in my truck’s engine trying to unscrew a fuel filter. The Arizona border isn’t irrelevant but a hot manifold matters right now.
I was dimly aware that herds of children are crossing the southern border and apparently hanging out in Federal facilities instead of being sent back. I’m trying to stay out of it.
Alas, I failed. In July I got dragged into three separate “conversations” about immigration. Each conversation went the same way; practically word for word. Folks are sticking to a script that was issued by their favorite party. Uniformity is worrisome. I hate to see people follow “talking points” like marionettes. Because I’m me, I deviated from the script and pissed people off. You can thank me later.
That was weeks ago. Today I’m going to mash all three discussions into one. The “script”, to me, is the real lesson. Note that you could delete “immigration” and replace it with anything and the script would stay about the same. Try it with “global warming” or “terrorism” or “bad bowling scores”. It’s a script without substance.
Three Debaters Merged Into One (hereafter called TDMIO): “Have you heard about the disaster down south? This is all Bush’s fault.”
Handsome Curmudgeonly Stud (hereafter called HCS): “I just looked at my watch. My watch says it’s 2014. George Bush Jr. hasn’t been our president for six years. He’s retired. He’s nobody. Cheney is gone too. You can picture him hiding in a secret lair if you wish. Neither one is around anymore to piss in your Cheerios.”
TDMIO: “Bush messed up immigration policy and now we’ve got a million billion zillion orphans swimming the Rio Grande. Bush was an asshole.”
HCS: “Bush is an asshole who left power six years ago. If he fucked up something he fucked it up six years ago.”
TDMIO: “He made a rule that you have to treat kids crossing the border illegally in certain ways; give them certain rights and stuff. That encouraged them.”
HCS: “Hmmm… was that a response to Elian Gonzalez? Was the old method that some dude dressed like a mall ninja and holding a rifle tears the kid out of a closet? Let me guess, the new method is that you give the kid a cupcake?”
TDMIO: “That’s not what I’m talking about.”
HCS: “Maybe it’s for the best. I had my reservations about that whole seize a child like Robocop thing…”
TDMIO: “It’s not about Elian Gonzalez. Bush and those asshole Republicans are…”
HCS: “…now that I think about it, the Elian Gonzalez thing happened under Clinton. So Clinton was all ‘you’re going back to be Fidel’s pet’ and then Bush said ‘hauling a kid’s ass to Cuba is not cool ’cause I’m all flowers and joy’? Now, six years later, kids are all like ‘I’m here, where’s my cupcake’? Are you sure this is a new thing?”
TDMIO: “It’s definitely a new thing. People are fleeing poverty. Their home countries are a mess!”
HCS: “So poverty is a new thing?”
TDMIO: “They’re hiring smugglers.”
HCS: “‘People smuggling’ isn’t new. I remember a joke from Cheech and Chong back in the day…”
TDMIO: “This is different!”
HCS: “…I had this Cheech and Chong tape… what was the song? Oh yeah ‘Born in East LA’. Cheech got deported because he confused Ronald Reagan with John Wayne…”
TDMIO: “This isn’t funny. It’s a new thing and it’s a big deal.”
HCS: “Well if fleeing poverty and smugglers and illegal border crossings aren’t new then what’s special this time?”
TDMIO: “This time it’s all kids. Unaccompanied minors!”
HCS: “I’m just spitballin’ here but what did Obama promise specifically to children?”
TDMIO: “Obama didn’t cause this. Obama is trying to reform immigration. Those asshole Republicans in Congress won’t do squat.”
HCS: “If asshole Republicans in Congress haven’t done squat then they didn’t cause squat.”
TDMIO: “If the Republicans would cooperate then…”
HCS: “Then what? Then things would change? You just said things had changed. You said this new change made things suck in a new and alarming manner. Bush is retired, you said Congress hasn’t done squat, poverty isn’t new, and smugglers aren’t new. Stop tiptoeing around the obvious and tell me who made the change.”
TDMIO: “It’s the Republicans!”
HCS: “The ones in Congress that don’t do anything or the one who’s no longer President?”
TDMIO: “You just don’t get it!”
HCS: “You may be right. I haven’t watched the news for a couple weeks and talk radio makes me break out in hives.”
TDMIO: “That asshole Rush Limbaugh…”
HCS: “Yeah, yeah, Rush is an asshole. What’s new? However, we both know what’s going on without listening to his crap.”
TDMIO: “Oh yeah? Enlighten me.”
HCS: “You said Congress hasn’t done anything and I haven’t heard of the Supreme Court doing anything. That leaves the President and nobody else. Just for the record the President isn’t George Bush, it’s Barack Obama. Say it again; the president is Barack Obama. He won. He’s the man. It was in the papers and everything. If the president does something that means Barack Obama did it. If it sucks that means Barack Obama did something that sucks. He did something and it sucks…”
TDMIO: “He had to.”
HCS: “All actions are choices. Except maybe drinking coffee… I need that shit.”
TDMIO: “He couldn’t get cooperation…”
HCS: “I presume Obama used his magic executive pen of awesomeness that he wields like Excalibur. He unilaterally promised something specifically to minors.”
TDMIO: “He told the kids not to come. To go home.”
HCS: “Don’t be silly. Words are not actions and actions are not words. Our President, who is not Congress, not named Bush, and not a Republican, put cupcakes on a table and said ‘don’t come here and get these cupcakes’. The kids show up because free cupcakes are yummy. For this, I’m supposed to be mad at the dirty, rotten, teabagging, racist, Republican, Neanderthals who have done… what is it you said they did? Oh yeah, nothing.”
TDMIO: “It was unexpected.”
HCS: “Shit happens for a reason. Imagine a kid from a nation with a GDP of six bucks. His favorite toy is a dead lizard, the corrupt cops burn his house down every few years, and he lives on a diet of dirt and sorrow. His folks send him on a scary trip; ‘Good luck kid, send us a postcard if you don’t die.’ He gets to Tuscon the Feds scoop him up and then what? He gets food, housing, maybe air conditioning? Presumably he’ll get some sort of education and probably some new clothes and shit. Maybe there will be cable TV.”
HCS: “If you start out in a mud hut in Haiti but after a harrowing trip you get to sit in air conditioning watching Spongebob Squarepants? That seems to make the trip worthwhile.”
TDMIO: “We can’t stop them.”
HCS: “That’s a matter of opinion. Drop by my house unexpectedly at midnight and we’ll test your theory that things cannot be stopped at a boundary. My dog and I seem to have it figured out.”
TDMIO: “You just don’t get it! This was caused by Republicans.”
HCS: “Republicans who do nothing and are not in power sowed the seed of their own demise?”
TDMIO: “When you put it that way…”
HCS: “Actually I can see that. They’re not called the stupid party for nothing.”
HCS: “I concede it’s possible, though I don’t know how. Republicans are good at screwing themselves.”
TDMIO: “It sucks talking politics with you.”
HCS: “I get that a lot. Want to hear me talk about my fuel filter? Check out this burn on my arm.”