This particular assemblage of bullshit, balderdash and falderal is called The Easter 100. If you live in Dixie you will probably assume it’s a new NASCAR race nobody told you about. It ain’t. It’s my one-hundredth addition to the ever expanding archives that are known as “The Garage”. It just so happens that it is Easter Sunday today.
While all my neighbors are down at the church houses singing songs, filling children’s heads with complete nonsense and asking each other if they had heard the “Good News“ yet… I’m home drinking a beer with my eye on a nice carrot cake my other half baked yesterday. It’s a drippy day here today and, more so than on any other day, it’s a good day for atheists to just stay home. The religious fanatics are everywhere and it’s Jesus this and Jesus that and bless this, that, and the other thing, every god damned place you look. The fat little kids are stuffing their faces with chocolate eggs and the obese adults are drooling over the ham and macaroni & cheese cooking slow… over at the home place. I bet they don’t even know where Easter eggs come from.
OK, that’s the background for todays little excursion into the land of angst. The starting point for the latest stroll down embarrassment lane. It all began this morning with me making the mistake of reading the paper. Fool that I am I used the internet to contact and connect with the nice people over at the New York TIMES and, like I didn’t know better, read some of what they had to offer. It all began with an article about “Safety” and how OSHA isn’t quite doing the kind of job protecting american workers that most people think they are. Politics, it appears, gets in the way. Corporate profits, it seems, come first. You can only imagine my surprise.
I learned that the federal budget for protecting workers is less than half of that set aside for protecting fish and wildlife. I learned that occupational illness and injuries cost the american economy over $250 BILLION dollars a year in medical expenses and lost productivity. Every four years… A Trillion Bucks!
The maximum penalty for a violation that causes a “substantial probability of death — or serious physical harm” is $7,000. The highest fine for a willful and repeated violation is $70,000.
Just so you don’t think the people running the show and making up the laws and fines are assholes and screwballs… you should know this. The Federal Communications Commission can fine a TV or radio station $325,000 for indecent content.
You got that? You can violate the law and cause someone the probability of serious harm, or death, and it will cost you $7000. BUT…. If you say fuck on the radio, or, some cheap tart exposes her breast on a TV show… the fine goes up to $325,000.
THAT is what makes sense to the bastards that run this country. THAT is the kind of country America is. I think it is important that people remember things like that when they hear on the news that between 800,000 and 900,000 military veterans are “waiting” two or three years to have their disability claims considered by the government powers that be. I think it is important that every citizen never miss an opportunity to tell a young person considering joining the military that they are fucking nuts if they do. Tell them that rather than respecting and admiring them for serving their country… you will write them off as fools.
On holidays such as Easter, when my fellow Americans openly display the nonsense and absurdities they hold to be the very foundation of our culture, I permit myself the imaginary indulgence of picturing the world as it would be… if I were in charge. First of all I would dress like this…
Then, I think, I would begin to formulate the lengthy list of malicious bastards that I would have shot immediately. Not that I would want to kill anyone mind you. Just, well, a kind of feeling that I owe it to them, if you know what I mean. Before they were shot I would be sure to have someone, a small child perhaps, ask them….
… if they had heard “The Good News”