Sunday, February 18, 2007

Revisiting Spocko

As you may have heard, the NBA banned Tim Hardaway from further participation in its all-star weekend festivities in Las Vegas after his tirade against gay people in response to John Amaeche's book. The NBA, quite sensibly, didn't want to be associated with such expressions of hate. Although Hardaway subsequently apologized for his comments, it seems pretty clear from how vehemently he expressed himself ("First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room...You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States.") that he was misinterpreted. (To his credit, Hardaway didn't claim in his apology that he was misquoted or misunderstood.)

I bring this up because this brings us back to the battle between Spocko and KSFO/Disney. Tim Hardaway is quite obviously entitled to express his views. The NBA, which finds those views antithetical to the idea of international and cultural inclusiveness which it tries to project, is under to obligation to provide a forum for Hardaway to express those views or to provide him economic support as he expresses those views and is entitled to distance itself from him and his views. The NBA is in the same position as the sponsors Spocko contacted about advertising on KSFO/Disney. It seemed to him that they may not have been aware of the content of the programs they were advertising on, of the expressions of bigotry and hate expressed by Lee Rogers, Melanie Morgan, "Captain Vic," and Brian Sussman, so he let them know what they were paying to put on the air, who and what it is that their products would be associated with in the Bay Area.

As it turns out, a number of companies, including Allstate Insurance, In-n-Out Burgers, and Borders Books*, agreed with Spocko; they didn't want to pay for dissemination of hate and didn't want to be associated with those hatemongers.

No rational person would cast Hardaway in the role of victim for what happened last week. I don't get the impression that even he would do so. Sadly the folks at KSFO/Disney are made of lesser stuff and refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions, believing themselves to be the victims of a great liberal conspiracy to silence them. Wankers.

*And CSAAA, Aetna Insurance, Bank of America, Mastercard, and others.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

BARBARian Drought to End

The dearth of drink(ers) has affected the local economy. To resolve this dire dilemma it is hereby the honor (nay, the duty) for local Bay Area Regional Bloggers And Readers to congregate, raid and quaff sufficient quantities of elixors at the Zeitgeist, this upcoming Saturday, February 24, around 3 o'clock.

Look for the Horned Helmet, otherwise we will be low key...

This is also a propitious time to meet new friends, renew blogging credentials and find enlightenment*.

*Enlightenment is soley in the realm of each attendee and not guaranteed by BARBARian Inc. or Zeitgeist, LLC.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Liquor Industry in Crisis!

Declining Sales Blamed on BARBarians
Distributor: "Those people just aren't drinking enough!"

So...what should we do to fix this problem we appear to have caused? Are we all willing to do our part (on some date amenable to more or less everybody)?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Call Out the National Guard!

Having seen the (over)reaction of Boston city and Massachussetts state officials to a marketing scheme, I shudder to think what they'd do if something like this were to happen upon their city.

As the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" incident has been, though, it would probably be funny as hell to watch.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Virtual March Against Escalation

Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins died yesterday. Her last column urged us to stand up against President Bush's proposal to send additional troops, a surge of troops, to Iraq.
CREATORS) -- The purpose of this old-fashioned newspaper crusade to stop the war is not to make George W. Bush look like the dumbest president ever. People have done dumber things. What were they thinking when they bought into the Bay of Pigs fiasco? How dumb was the Egypt-Suez war? How massively stupid was the entire war in Vietnam? Even at that, the challenge with this misbegotten adventure is that WE simply cannot let it continue.

It is not a matter of whether we will lose or we are losing. We have lost. Gen. John P. Abizaid, until recently the senior commander in the Middle East, insists that the answer to our problems there is not military. "You have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geo-strategically," he said.

His assessment is supported by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the senior American commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who only recommend releasing forces with a clear definition of the goals for the additional troops.

Bush's call for a "surge" or "escalation" also goes against the Iraq Study Group. Talk is that the White House has planned to do anything but what the group suggested after months of investigation and proposals based on much broader strategic implications.

About the only politician out there besides Bush actively calling for a surge is Sen. John McCain. In a recent opinion piece, he wrote: "The presence of additional coalition forces would allow the Iraqi government to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own -- impose its rule throughout the country. ... By surging troops and bringing security to Baghdad and other areas, we will give the Iraqis the best possible chance to succeed." But with all due respect to the senator from Arizona, that ship has long since sailed.

A surge is not acceptable to the people in this country -- we have voted overwhelmingly against this war in polls (about 80 percent of the public is against escalation, and a recent Military Times poll shows only 38 percent of active military want more troops sent) and at the polls. We know this is wrong. The people understand, the people have the right to make this decision, and the people have the obligation to make sure our will is implemented.

Congress must work for the people in the resolution of this fiasco. Ted Kennedy's proposal to control the money and tighten oversight is a welcome first step. And if Republicans want to continue to rubber-stamp this administration's idiotic "plans" and go against the will of the people, they should be thrown out as soon as possible, to join their recent colleagues.

Anyone who wants to talk knowledgably about our Iraq misadventure should pick up Rajiv Chandrasekaran's "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone." It's like reading a horror novel. You just want to put your face down and moan: How could we have let this happen? How could we have been so stupid?

As The Washington Post's review notes, Chandrasekaran's book "methodically documents the baffling ineptitude that dominated U.S. attempts to influence Iraq's fiendish politics, rebuild the electrical grid, privatize the economy, run the oil industry, recruit expert staff or instill a modicum of normalcy to the lives of Iraqis."

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on January 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!"
In memory of Molly Ivins, has organized a Virtual March Against Escalation, urging those opposed to Bush's escalation of the war to call their Senators today to voice that opposition. Click on the link, sign up, and make the call. Don't find yourelf some time in the future wishing you'd done more now.