Waldo Canyon concert fundraiser feted Colo. Springs self-interest & ignorance

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.- All night local speakers proclaimed: “Colorado Springs knows how to look after its own.” And doesn’t it! But I’m almost positive that it used to be, if only everywhere else, the virtue was looking out for others, not just your own.
The Waldo Canyon fundraiser for fire victims was titled “a community rising” and was explained as a coming together, without regard for religious or political differences, I would also add, minus humility and what would be common sense if the denominator wasn’t so debased. This was so embarrassing it hurt.

So we experienced a wildfire, part of the natural cycle of western forests, which burned a neighborhood probably built too far into a canyon, made worse, and ubiquitous right now across the Southwest, by an unnatural heatwave that portends climate change. Was any of that mentioned? NOPE.

Instead victims vowed to rebuild, as they fetishized firefighter vigilance over that ever threatening beast in the hills. Headliner Michael Martin Murphy, apparently the perpetual flame of wildfire vigil keeping, owing to his “Wildfire” hit but it was about a horse, sang a lament which listed the West’s many epic fires, appending mention of “Waldo Canyon” like a latest mining disaster. We’re supposed to prevent the fires apparently, like buying pink things to fight cancer. Wildfires aren’t tragedies except to logging interests. When Smokey the Bear cried, it was over timber that didn’t get logged. Of course national park visitors have to be reminded to exercise caution, because, the US Forestry Service jobs depend on the trees. We thought it was about Bambi’s mom, but those wildlives are managed too, with bullets, lest their populations threaten the trees.

Should people who who want to live in the forest be let to deny its nature like they shrug off global warming? And much as we gush over firemen, it’s a job. More clerks are shot at 7-11s than there are fallen heros listed on the multiple “national” monuments to firefighters.

The Waldo Canyon Fire destruction was the wrath of nature, whether owed to arson or deficient firefighting, the calamitous fire season throughout the state confirms that climate change created the perfect storm, but Jesus Springs is probably not prepared to consider the flaming villainy was an Act of God.

And where does anyone need reassurance that Colorado Springs doesn’t look after its own? We’re the no-holds-barred world street-fighting champions of supporting our workforce, standing up for our war criminal enabling ways. We’re a Support the Troops, Climate Denying, Drill Baby Drill, Charter-Schooling, God Hates Fags, No Thanks We’re Racists, God Damn apologists for Ayn Rand lowbrow cultural ignorance, and flag-waving PROUD OF IT. We don’t give a damn about burning other people’s houses, the people in them included. But when it happens to us, prayers and calls for prayers spam the internets.

We look after our own, if by our own, we mean our neighbors with homes. Colorado Springs stopped pretending to care about the homeless, it’s still piling on ordinances to criminalize poverty. If you’re homeless in Colorado Springs, you get as much compassion as people who lose their houses to our fires.

They killed Bambi, and now Mumble too

Bambi meets GodzillaGenerations of American children have grown up witnessing Bambi orphaned by evil mother-killing hunters. In my theater seat, I was sure that deer stalking, as it’s called in England, would evolve the way of Neanderthals. The Happy Feet generation might have held the same hope for the survival of Emperor Penguins, but our George Bush Caligula has just given them a thumbs down.

In spite of the fact that the Academy Award for best documentary went to the March of the Penguins, which told of the heart-breaking travails of the Emperor Penguins, whose natural challenge is to face the most bitter climate on Earth.

Now Climate Change is pulling the ice from under their egg-nestling feet. Environmentalist groups want the Emperor Penguins declared an endangered species, to give clout to efforts to fight the causes of global warming, but the industrialists and fossil fuel companies are having none of it.

Remember the Rockhopper Penguin in Happy Feet, slowly strangling in his plastic six-pack necklace? He too was denied protection from the peril of melting ice and over-fishing.

I can’t visit a penguin exhibit at the zoo without thinking of Mumble, the Happy Feet star, gone crazy from confinement, at last breaking into the soft shuffle which enabled him to communicate with man, to pique man’s interest into his human-like behavior, and lure civilized man’s sympathy for Mumble’s kind, and their helplessness in the face of the human’s destructive fisheries.

At the Omaha Zoo, the scene on the ice with all the aimless penguins was so identical, I was certain the transformative scene had been filmed there, until I reminded myself that Happy Feet was a computer animation.

I was uncomfortable with the Stepin Fetchit quality of Happy Feet’s master-pleasing tap dance. It may have helped humanize black people in the eyes of racists, but it didn’t change white condescension.

Of course, neither penguins or polar bears can do a thing to slow the melting of their habitat. Their fate is in our hands. That was the message of Happy Feet, a message you might not have conceived could have gone over anyone’s head, even George Bush.

Join the Clorox Club!

Join the Clorox Club and bleach America Green! I wonder if this is now seen as a ‘Green investment’ nowadays? Some Clorox company products do now get the Sierra Club endorsement, that’s for sure. Sierra Club Launches Partnership with Clorox’s new Green Works Line

I’m looking for the Sierra Club to now partner with the National Rifle Association, Smith and Wesson, and the Pentagon to come up with a Child Safe GI Joe National Park Ranger with gun (to protect the park boundaries from rowdy visitors that want to harm Bambi). What about it, Carl Pope (long time head of Sierra Club)? Got a deal in the works yet with these Green friendly folk? Bang-bang.

Seriously though, is partnering with toxic producers really the way to go about trying to save the envionment? You get your Big Mac and your salad both!???

Actually the real result is that your ‘environmental organization’ begins to partner to block government regulation that would outlaw or heavily regulate the production of toxic products. That’s the result of having a Cloroxenvironment Club out there. Just stop sending money to the Sierra Club until it gets its act together? That might be never at this point? They’ve been bought out.

Time Magazine banality of puff

Dead presidentBagNewsNotes drew my attention to the cover of a recent Time Magazine, a posterized image of Iranian President Mahmmud Ahmadinejad. The photo was manipulated reminiscent of OJ’s mug being darkened for sinister effect.
Readers commented on Ahmadinejad being made a cartoon, or a throwback to student movement political posters. I’d put it back further. I think the photo editors at Time are after a tin-type look, suggesting the Islamic Revolution is profoundly backward, belonging to the century before last perhaps.

The composition of the picture, particularly the woodgrainish, oddly insufficient backdrop behind Ahmadinejad’s head, reminds me of the post-mortem photographs of dead outlaws in the American West. Pictures of the outlaws brought to justice, laid out semi-vertically against their wood-box coffins, were circulated in the old west to publicize their successful apprehension. This provided proof for everyone to see with their own eyes that a feared outlaw was dead.

Add to Ahmadinejad’s resemblance the dark hair and beard and I think this Time cover emulates a photograph made iconic in Latin America at least, spread around by our government as a warning to others: the Dead Che Guevara.

How do you suppose the Time editors excuse themselves for their art direction whim? Do they think readers will accept it as fair that one personage be accorded an intimate portrait on the cover of Time, and yet another receives a editorialized visage?

The editors at Time can’t expect their readers to remain naive for much longer. I’m encouraged by the trend in children’s TV cartoons to mock the manipulation toolbag of media artists. The cliche of Bambi Eyes for example is mocked from Spongebob to Jimmy Neutron. They make obvious the deliberate use of caricatured expressions when they are being manipulative. Our children’s media literacy will be greatly enhanced and Time’s techniques will have to become more sophisticated.

I had a chance to peruse a copy of this issue at the dentist’s. Further inside is a profile of one of the marines, The Face of Haditha, on trial for a possible war crime in Haditha. Shooting 24 Iraqi civilians, some of them at point blank range. Sargeant Frank Wuterich speaks out, the headline reads, “for the very first time.” The layout features a large picture of Wuterich on the left and a brief bio and interview on the right. Let me cut to the meat of the article, Wuterich is not permitted by his lawyer to say anything about what happened at Haditha except that he believes with incredulity that the actions of he and his comrades were within their legal rules of engagement. Wuterich also ponders innocently why he has not been asked more by the military investigators about what happened at Haditha. Thus, Time Inc has slipped us two items: the suggestion of innocence, and the suggestion that the prosecutors are not after the truth.

Take a look at the photograph. Sargeant Frank Wuterich stands with his arms crossed in frank honesty. He’s got big brown eyes and he’s addressing us squarely, looking like our paperboy come to collect our subscription. He’s young, attractive as American Pie, with big doe eyes. He’s got a partially concealed tattoo on his forearm and in the article we read he has several. One tattoo he was reluctant to show the photographer, we’re told, is of a dagger skewering severed fingers and eyeballs, his wife “doesn’t like that one so much.”

On the issue’s back page is a whimsical article by book reviewer Lev Grossman defending himself against blogger Edward Champion who has been picking on him. Grossman’s piece is an honest rebuttal to a difference of opinion, but he ends it with the usual dismissal columnists use to trump their blogger counterparts, “at least I’m getting paid to write this.”

Paid by whom Mr. Grossman? By a media conglomerate which is distorting the news to an audience of readers less culturally savvy than a common child? Good for you.