mailbox baseball, and the assholes who play it.

Last week, I put up a new mailbox to replace the one our town plow mangled last winter. Yesterday, some little punk-ass douche did a drive-by and dented the living crap out of the brand new mailbox. I just finished hammering out the dents and reattaching the metal bracket that holds the box on the post. That’s an hour of my time spent on fixing the end result of someone else’s malice.

People suck, I swear. Where’s the fun in smashing someone else’s stuff?

And no, I can’t put up a bash-proof mailbox. We can’t do the brick enclosures or sheet-steel-box-on-truck-axle kind of constructions, because the plows can get damaged if they run into those. (Funny how the damage consideration goes only one way, but I digress.)

It is enough to drive one to misanthropy, it is.

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sick sad world, part LXIV.

Of all the dumb and pointless shit that people can do to each other, beating someone into a coma for wearing the shirt of the wrong sports team has got to be one of the dumbest.

I’m beginning to suspect that a majority of the violent strife in the world is committed by males in the 16-40 age group who get a little too drunk on tribalism. Sports team allegiance is just one of many adapters for the widespread urge to go to war with The Others.

a glimpse into hef’s private bordello.

This article on life in the Playboy mansion makes me want to scrub myself down with lye.

There’s absolutely nothing about Hefner’s little fantasy fulfillment lifestyle that isn’t icky to the extreme–and I say that while having no Puritan hang-ups about sex whatsoever.  What Hugh Hefner practices is not a “sexy” lifestyle.  A guy who pays a harem of twenty-something women to sleep with him and give the world (and himself) the illusion that he’s some sort of bon-vivant stud is not sexy.  It’s just an old, sad, pajamas-wearing, Viagra-popping dude who likes to have sex with pneumatic blondes, and who built a business around the fulfillment of that desire.   At the end of the day, the fact remains that he has to pay for sex.

On a side tangent, this shows how silly, arbitrary, and misogynistic our prostitution laws are.  What happens at the Playboy mansion isn’t legally speaking prostitution, even though it involves a guy paying women to live and have sex with him for $1,000 in pocket money a week and a chance to become a centerfold.  If those women walked out of the Playboy Mansion, went to the next shopping mall, and offered some random stranger sexual favors for $1k a week, they’d be arrested for prostitution.  Where exactly is the difference here–other than the fact that it’s the male initiating and controlling the transaction here, and not the woman?

Like I said–lye scrubdown.  Living in a place with soiled mattresses and dog shit on the carpet, to be on sexual standby for an octogenarian man-child who probably never got a woman interested in him without the prospect of money or career advancement?  Ick, ick, a thousand times ick.  I think any streetwalker is far more respectable than any member of Hef’s harem…at least straight-up hookers don’t practice self-deception about what they do for a living.

blockwart of the decade.

In the post about the snow cops in Boston, I used the term “Blockwart”, which is a German term of insult for someone who takes enjoyment in the enforcement of minor rules and laws.  (In WWII Germany, the Blockwart or Blockleiter was the Nazi party member politically responsible for the neighborhood.)

Here’s a prime example of the Blockwart mentality, culled from the German newspapers:

Meet Horst.  He went into early retirement five years ago at the age of 50.  He has decided to use the time on his hands by enforcing the parking rules in his home town of Osterode in Lower Saxony.  He leaves the house every day with a notepad and a camera, and collects license plate numbers of parking violators.  When he gets back to his house in the afternoon, he diligently writes up an Anzeige (citizen’s report of an infraction to authorities) for each infraction, and then faxes the stack to the local county office so they can issue traffic tickets.

In the last four years, he has sent in ten to fifteen Anzeigen per day, for a grand total of 15,000.  He even wrote up a life flight helicopter that had landed on a public street to pick up a patient.

Naturally, he has achieved a certain notoriety in his town.  When people get irate with him or insult him in public, he files Anzeigen for defamation, and collects money for pain and suffering. Apparently, some businesses in his home town will no longer serve him, because his presence keeps other customers away.  From everything I can read about Horst, it’s pretty clear that he has a personality disorder.  Maybe the relentless riding of minor rules and the writing up of his fellow citizens for small infractions makes him feel powerful or important.  It’s definitely not a mentally normal or healthy thing to spend all your time hounding your neighbors and fellow townsfolk for violating traffic laws.

Of course, over here he would probably be in heaven if you gave him a badge, gun, and ticket book, and let him loose on the wintery streets of Boston to hand tickets out directly on the spot.  The question remains–do people like Horst feel drawn to positions where you can legally lord it over your fellow citizens?   And how many like him have slipped past the psych exams and are working in code enforcement?

On a side note, it’s obvious that Horst doesn’t really care about the laws, just their suitability as a legal way to be an obnoxious asshole.  He got a speeding ticket for going 60km/h in a 50 zone, and socked with a ten euros fine.  He appealed the ticket instantly, and dragged the county to court over those ten euros, fully aware of all the legal ways to make yourself  a nuisance.

After fighting a 10-Euro ticket all the way to trial, his county officials have finally had enough.  In the future, they’ll just file his Anzeigen without issuing tickets for infractions based on them.  (No word on whether they’ll issue refunds to the 15,000 recipients of traffic tickets based on Horst’s earlier Anzeigen.)

So yeah: Blockwart.  There’s your prime, textbook example and definition.

take blood pressure meds before reading.

From Connecticut comes the latest news item fit for the “What The Fuck Is Wrong With You” post category:

Habitual drunk driver goes 83 in a 45 zone, hits a 14-year-old boy on a bike, and kills him.

Drunk driver gets sent to prison for ten years, and sues the parents of the dead boy for negligence, claiming that if they hadn’t allowed their kid to ride his bike without a helmet on that street that day, the accident wouldn’t have happened.

Side note: at the time of the accident, the driver had five DUI arrests, and four convictions.  There’s something seriously wrong with a justice system that locks people up for ten years because they owned a plant the government doesn’t like…but some douchenozzle with four DUI convictions on his record can still hold a valid license.

(rare) local crime news.

Last year, a bunch of young local New Hampshire kids broke into the house of a family, hacked a woman to death with a machete, and stabbed (and severely injured) her 11-year-old daughter as she tried to defend her mother.

The first of them has just been convicted to life without parole.

That’s a conundrum for the folks that argue against weapons ownership with the argument that “no property is worth a life”, and who advise the rest of us to “just give them what they want”.  Well, what if all they want is to see what it feels like to kill someone?

i’ll start respecting them when they start burning piles of money instead.

In my humble opinion, there are only a few reasons why anyone would stage a public burning of some other peoples’ holy book:

  1. They want to show in public how pious they are.
  2. They want to score some brownie points with God.
  3. They want to blow raspberries at Team Not Us.
  4. They want to generate publicity to expand their congregation, go on the Tee Vee, and do something to improve the fill ratio of their collection baskets.

Which one of those reasons listed above would Jesus approve?

Every time I hear of a book burning somewhere, I think of this quote:

“Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings, too.”  –Heinrich Heine, Almansor (1821)

Do they have the right to do it?  Sure.  Is it a good idea, especially when the U.S. commander on the ground in Team Not Us Land says that it would endanger our troops?  Probably not.

(And the people in the Comments section who say that they’re Christians and they wouldn’t care if someone burned the Bible are very much missing the point.  To Muslims, the Koran is the literal, physical word of God in a way the Bible isn’t to Christians.  To them, it’s a sacrilege to defile one.  It’s like…oh, there’s no real analogy in Christianity I can think of.  Maybe taking a leak on the Shroud of Turin just for kicks, or picking your teeth with a splinter from the One True Cross, perhaps.)

Book burnings–not just burnings of someone’s holy texts, but the burning of any book–are an affront to humanity, culture, and civilization.  There’s no good or right reason to burn any book, anywhere, at any time.  People who do it anyway are illiterate, unenlightened savages, whatever their motivation.