From time to time, somebody, somewhere is going to raise a stink about a pair of boobies and an airbrushed ass shot. They may hold a protest outside of a strip club or burn copies of Playboy or launch a boycott of Abercrombie & Fitch.
While the details are different, the outcome is nearly always the same: the anti-porn crusaders stomp off in a huff, the so-called porn purveyor sees an influx of bad-press cash, and the rest of us just wonder what the big deal is.
In my upcoming book The Many Crimes of Wyatt Duvall, Archmotherfucker, I touch on this subject with a silly little gag that runs through the last half of the novel. In one case, a family rights group is upset about a T&A mag published by our titular villain featuring models dressed as slave owners and slaves, while in another the same family rights groups is up in arms because the mag includes pictures of barely legal teen models dry humping on the family sofa. The gag reaches its end when the group protests a porn magazine filled with images of people having sex with porn magazines. I know, fucking meta yo, and fucking stupid. But the point is, there is a point.
And right now, I don't see a point to the whole Vice magazine suicide fashion spread inspired by dead authors, all of them female.
Now, I'm not one of those kneejerkers who think that suicide is a taboo punchline. I don't cotton to that shit. Anything and everything can be a joke, if it's done correctly and serves a point. That said, I personally can't stand dead-baby jokes and comedians who think they have the wherewithal to craft a rape joke — sorry, but unless you're a truly gifted comedian, you are going to fail. (I'll be the first to admit that Sarah Silverman delivers one helluva rape joke in The Aristocrats.)
To me, Vice's suicide spread appears to be nothing more than a shameless stunt, a hollow attempt at provocation. It may even be sexist.
After all, where are male authors like Ernest Hemingway, David Foster Wallace, or Hunter S. Thompson? Isn't this just Vice's way of saying that women are, you know, frail fillies who will run right off a cliff when the going gets tough?
The photospread might have worked if it had been of anonymous women, that way it could have served as a commentary on how the fashion industry inspires unrealistic body image expectations that on occasion help drive young women to anorexia and bulimia, the gag being that fashion kills and that the model lifestyle is a slow suicide.
But that's not what we have here. This photospread is an abyss of nothingness. Stare into it and you'll come away with, well, nothing but the thoughts and emotions you brought to it. Vice magazine has nothing to say, and in the world of satire, that's the biggest crime of all.
This may go down in history as the worst column I've ever written, one that will likely be filled crimes against grammar and numerous and nearly unavoidable misspelkings. See, it's started already.
See, I'm tired. Really really tired. And I'm afraid that I'm just not operating at the top of my game, which is particularly bad considering that I've been proofing copy all day. Somewhere along the line I've probably failed to notice that a writer has written "pubic" instead of "public" and that mistake will be sent to the printer and for an entire weak the issue will hang around my neck like a dad albatoss.
Last night, I slept nary a wink. I'm not sure why exactly. I just woke up at midnight — I'm an early bedder and riser — and didn't fall back to sleep until after four. The wife and the girls were up at five and the dogs at six. Needless to say, those were not quiet ours.
So believe me when I say this, when it comes to the kindly moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, who call the neighborhoods around the CofC home, I fill you pain. I know what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep.
I'm not sure what did it to me last night — maybe I had put way too much coke in my bourbon — but I can't imagine what these long-suffering souls go through each and every Red Solo Cup night, when the streets of Harlston Village, Radcliffeborough, and Mazyck Wraggborough are under siege by the Holy City horde of unholy college-aged boozers and blowheads.
I can't imagine what it must be like to live through the high-volume cocaine cackles, the boisterous beer-soaked laughs, the unmistakeable mating cry of "I'm so fucking shit-faced, bro. Hit me, dude. Come on, hit me. I won't feel it."
I can't imagine how you live, or why you would want to, especially not around these mindless, marauding miscreants. If it was me, I would've moved by know. Surely, you are made of Howard Sterner stuff than me. And for that, I applaud you and I wish you the best of luck in your quixotic quest to rid the neighborhoods around CofC of college students.
However, I must say I have some serious issues with how the City of Charleston and the Charleston Police Department plan to do it. Consider me surprised to find out that the recently passed Late Night Entertainment Establishment Ordinance factors into all of this.
As you no, I'm know fan of the Late Night Ordinance, and after reading yesterday's P&C report on the post-party pestilence that haunts Harleston Village, eat all, I hate this ordinance even more. The City of Charleston may say that this ordinance won't require bars to police sidewalks and streets and parking lots, but it's clear that's what the Chief Greg Mullen and Mayor Riley want to happen. Andrew Knapp reports:
Residents of downtown neighborhoods near the College of Charleston liken the atmosphere that keeps them awake on weekends to the movie “Animal House” or New Orleans’ Bourbon Street.
The primary culprit, they say: students leaving King Street bars or house parties, and walking to their rental homes or parked cars in nearby communities.
Their complaint isn’t new, but it’s one they say has snowballed as more bars and restaurants populate the Holy City’s entertainment districts. While city and college officials insist that current programs keep the problem in check, the residents think the issue could endanger Charleston’s reputation as a mannerly, world-class city.
The residents summoned the college last month to increase policing around the campus and the city to boost patrols in neighborhoods, not just on corridors such as King Street. But they were met with hesitation from the school, they said.
A new ordinance requiring bars to bolster their own security forces should free up police officers to handle the concerns, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said. By the year’s end, Mullen also aims to get funding for another dozen officers to complement those patrols.
For the city’s police chief and Mayor Joe Riley, the new ordinance requiring bars to hire larger security staffs is a good start. Mullen said the measure will free up the eight officers assigned to King Street to disperse into the communities.
So let me get his straight: Riley and Mullen want to take cops off of King Street and move them to the neighborhoods, and they want bars owners to take care of the mess they leave behind. Seriously, that's exactly what is being said here.
After all, how else will these newly beefed up bar "security forces" be able to address the problem of bad student behavior outside of their bars without having to act as de facto police officers? It's almost as if the City wants trouble on King Street, and so they are leaving it to the bars to keep the peace.
And if they don't, well, as I've said before, you can bet your bottom's last dollar that any bars that don't will not be getting their business licences renewed.
NOTE: It's also worth pointing out that Mullen previously said that city accommodations taxes would be used to hire eight new officers to patrol the Upper King Entertainment District, which of course strikes me as odd, since the chief now wants to move eight officers from King Street into the neighborhoods.
Seriously, folks, Chris Collins has got to be the Lowcountry's version of Lord Voldermort. How else can you explain how someone so brazenly feebleminded be re-elected to the Charleston County School District board?
I mean, not even Alvin "The Action Figure" Greene would suggest that the way to stop crime is to put police officers on horseback, you know, because noodgoodniks would think twice about stealing a TV or robbing a little old lady since there is no possible way they can outrun a horse. But that's what Colllins did back in 2011 when he ran for the mayor of North Charleston.
Now, the Mountie Who Would Be Mayor is at it again.
According to the P&C, the Rev. Collins' North Charleston church is gearing up for a fight against the school board. Why? The folks at the Healing and Deliverance Church think they should continue to be able to lease an abandoned school property, while the school board doesn't think they should. In fact, they voted last year to terminate the lease. Diette Courrégé Casey reports:
The board ended the church's lease after the church appeared to violate its lease with the district by: exceeding the 16 hours per month it was allowed to use the space; failing to buy insurance; and allowing the space to be used for non-church-related activities, such as charter school meetings.
Since then, the district asked the church in February to pay $655 for using the space 16 hours more than the lease permitted during December and January. The church hasn't paid that money, and it hasn't been invoiced for any additional charges.
The Healing and Deliverance Church has since hired an attorney to make sure that Rev. Collins and his congregation don't get kicked to the curb. But here's the thing: Chris Collins voted to terminate the church's lease.
Yep, you read that right. The Rev. Chris Collins' church has hired an attorney to fight a vote that Collins' himself voted in favor of.
Now, it goes without saying that the reverend should've recused himself from the Healing and Deliverance vote — after all, he had a clear conflict of interest — but the sheer amount of boneheaded bravado on display here really takes the communion wafer.
Sadly, none of this will probably effect Collins when he comes up for re-election in 2016. He'll win again. But at least this time we'll all know why.
Hmm. I wonder if he needs an apprentice.
Barack Obama can go lick the mangy underside of a flea-bitten dog. He should gargle a mouthful of kidney stones and butt-chug a bottle of bed-sore sour mash. He is an utter disgrace to progressive politics and foul befouler of the Bill of Rights. He is a bag of gas from the bloated corpse of a roadkill possum that was run over by a bio-diesel-guzzling Hummer that runs on rendered fat from rotten pigs and beheaded factory farm chickens. From now on, he is nothing more than a boil on the backside of a bareback Skid Row brostitute that won't be lanced until Jan. 20, 2017, and until then it's going to throb and pulse and smell like Dead Head head cheese on smegma-smeared rye.. Fark you. Frack the NSA. Fudge the Patriot Act. And Nathan Fucking Fillion their goddamn PRISM surveillance program.
Surely, this is something that everyone here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave can agree on.
In fact, far too many folks seem to think it's a peach of an idea.
Like Al Franken.
And the New York Times' David Brooks.
And John Boehner.
And Lindsey Graham.
And then there's Jim Clyburn, who thinks some nefarious force drummed up this entire controversy to embarrass President Obama. What the fuck, Papa Smurf?
Well, I don't think it's OK. Not in the slightest. However, there's a small chance I might change my mind, but Obama, Boehner, Clyburn, Graham, Franken, and all the other nerfherders on Captiol Hill will have to agree to be filmed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for every week until the day they die. And all of that footage must be made available free of charge to every single member of the American public.
Think about it. This could be a bold new era in entertainment. I mean, who needs must see TV when you've got the Obama News Network and Boehnervision and ABClyburn and the Lindsey Channel and AL-MC. What red-blooded American wouldn't want to see how our elected officials behave in their most private moments? I don't know about you, but watching Michelle Obama give the POTUS a Batman Pez dispenser would be the single best thing to happen in television history. And the ratings? Why it'd be bigger than the Super Bowl.
So, who's else wants to watch John Boehner apply spray tanner? Who else wants to watch Jim Clyburn fill out the New York Times crossword puzzle? Who else wants to watch Lindsey Graham fall asleep at night reading back issues of Teen Beat?
Of course, there are going to be times when national security issues will require a temporary blackout of, let's say, the Obama News Network. But even though the channel will be dark, the cameras will still be on, filming every single moment that transpires. It'll all be stored in a secure facility of course, and responsible freedom-loving, Constitution-protecting Americans will be watching over it at all times. That way, President Obama, Lindsey Graham, and Al Franken can go to sleep at night knowing that our nation's biggest secrets are being protected.
And if for some crazy reason, they don't sleep soundly, I know that I will. I mean, Jesus Christ, man, I just watched Jim Clyburn get a colonoscopy on TV. The revulsion will be televised
And for a brief time, Connelly was the head of the SCGOP, but just weeks into his second term, the one-time Amway salesman and author jumped ship to the national GOP. According to reports, Connelly is going to help the Republican Party woo evangelicals, a group that that the GOP hasn't had to woo since at least 1980. Oh well.
Of course, there's no reason to expect much out of Connelly. As the head of the SCGOP his most notable accomplishment was, um, ahh, ooh, hmm ... not a goddamn thing.Throughout his tenure as the director of the state Republican Party, Connelly kept his head down, and rarely spoke to the press or to the public.
That was probably a good thing. Chad Connelly has a problem telling the truth. And I don't mean that he has the same problem telling the truth that all politicians have — and yes, that includes President Barack Obama (Expect a column on this whole PRISM bullshit in a day or two). Connelly says really, really stupid shit, even when he's not trying to cover his own ass.
Here's an excerpt from a 2011 column on Connelly and his mini Mein Komedy, Freedom Tide. Read and learn just what a dumbass he is:
In Freedom Tide, the SCGOP chair tells one whopper after another. Whether it's because Connelly is a compulsive liar, an incompetent researcher, or, more likely, a self-help-seminar sellevangelist trying to get you to buy into a multi-level marketing batch of bullshit remains to be seen. I'm inclined to believe it's the latter.
For starters, in an effort to prove that God himself directed the founding of the United States, Connelly tells a rather inspirational story about the Pilgrims, a story that you may not have heard:One hundred two people were on the trip to Plymouth. They had the courage and faith. They climbed aboard a ship in 1620 on the faith that the boat was going to go to a new land located somewhere to the west of them. I always thought that many Pilgrims died on the trip. Marshall [Foster, a Christian historian] taught us that only one person died during the 7-week trip — a sailor who cursed and mocked the Pilgrims' efforts died of a mysterious disease that no one else caught. Moreover, a baby was born during the voyage.
Um ... except that sailor wasn't the only person who died on the Mayflower. See, two people died on the voyage, a crew member and, um, a boy named William Butten.
Now, you may argue that Connelly made a simple error, that he wrote down the wrong number in his notes. Perhaps.
But I've read Freedom Tide, and I know that Connelly was just getting started.
In a later passage, the SCGOP chair discusses the Pilgrims' first winter at Plymouth:The Pilgrims arrived in the New World only to endure a horrific winter. Of the 20 women who made the journey, 15 perished that first winter, mostly as they covered their children from the cold and gave up their food so their children could survive. Food was so sparse that the daily allotment per person was five kernels of corn a day ... Those mothers sacrificed their lives for the future: despite the loss of 15 women, not a single child died during the first winter. Another amazing miracle.
Once again, Connelly has it wrong. Nine children died during the winter of 1620-21. The only thing miraculous here is the chairman's ability to let an inspirational story get in the way of the facts.
And he's not above letting the facts get in the way of making a point about the U.S. Constitution, as evident in a later chapter on the First Amendment. Connelly writes:Probably the most prominent example of the freedom debate is the controversy over the First Amendment. Some believe that it guarantees the separation of church and state. This seems to be one of the most divisive issues in America today, and many people have succumbed to the media's interpretation without ever checking out the truth for themselves. Here are some truths for us to ponder: the words "wall," "separation," "church," and "state" are not found in any of America's founding documents.
Here, Connelly gets it right, but only up to a point.
While it's true that "wall", "separation," and "church" are found nowhere in, let's say, the U.S. Constitution, the word "state" appears more than two dozen times in the document. Once again, you've got to ask why Connelly made such a over-the-top claim? What was he hoping to illustrate?
Hmm. Perhaps it's the same thing he wants to say when he mentions that Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Father who first mentioned that the Constitution creates a separation of church and state, had nothing to do with the creation of the U.S. Constitution:It should be noted that Thomas Jefferson did not sign the Constitution and was not in attendance at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Not only that, but he was not even present when the First Amendment and religious freedom were discussed in the 1789 Constitutional session since he was in France as the United States minister.
Connelly is correct here: Jefferson didn't sign the Constitution, he didn't attend the convention, and he was the U.S. minister to France. But the point that the SCGOP chair is making is that Jefferson was not in a position to discuss Constitutional matters, which is far from the case
Jefferson, the leading political mind of his day, was regularly in touch with the primary author of the Constitution James Madison. In fact, good ole Tom was intimately involved in the creation of the Constitution. According to the Library of Congress:Thomas Jefferson's December 20, 1787, letter to James Madison contains objections to key parts of the new Federal Constitution. Primarily, Jefferson noted the absence of a bill of rights and the failure to provide for rotation in office or term limits, particularly for the chief executive. During the writing and ratification of the constitution, in an effort to influence the formation of the new governmental structure, Jefferson wrote many similar letters to friends and political acquaintances in America.
But as bad as those omissions and errors are, nothing quite shows off Connelly's inability to check his facts than what happens on p. 63 of Freedom Tide. He writes:The alternative to free enterprise is summarized in a plan discovered in May 1919 by allied occupation forces in Dusseldorf, Germany. It was first printed in the United States in the Bartlesville (Oklahoma) Examiner-Enterprise that same year. See if any of this rings true in America today.
The plan in question? The Communist Plan for Revolution. And Connelly reprints it in his book. It reads:First of all, corrupt the young, get them away from religion, get them interested in sex, make them superficial, and destroy their ruggedness. Get control of all means of publicity. Get people's minds off of the government by focusing their attention on athletics, sexy books, plays, and other trivialities. Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance. Destroy the people's faith in their natural leaders by holding their leaders up to ridicule and contempt. Always preach democracy but seize power as fast as ruthlessly possible. By encouraging government extravagance, destroy its credit. Produce years of inflation with rising prices and general discontent. Incite unnecessary strikes in vital industries, encourage civil disorders and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of government toward such disorders. Cause the breakdown of old moral values: honesty, sobriety, self-restraint, faith in the pledge word, and ruggedness. And last, cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext with the view of confiscating them and leaving the people helpless.
The only problem: The so-called plan is a hoax. According to Snopes, this particular hoax has been around since the 1946 and was thoroughly discredited by the New York Times in the 1970s.
I don't know what is more distressing: The fact that the head of the SCGOP is a chronic liar or that he was duped by a too-good-to-be-true piece of horse shit.