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That's about the size of it...

That’s about the size of it…

As Donald Trump attempts to put questions about President Barack Obama’s birthplace behind him, another controversy, this time about Trump himself, is starting to gain attention. And like so many other questions about the Republican Presidential candidate, from his sewer rat’s nest hair-do to his inexplicably orange skin to his tiny baby hands, this one has to do with his body: in this case, his penis, and specifically its girth, or more properly its lack of girth.

If the rumours about Trump’s penis that are starting to become more than the whispers that have long-circulated in New York, Miss Universe pageants, Atlantic City, and Trump family reunions are being spoken out loud more and more frequently, Mr. Trump has only himself to blame. By constantly talking about his sexual conquests, both in and out of marriage, he has surely courted this controversy: women are happy to put unsatisfying sexual experiences behind them and be discrete, especially when it comes to the physical deficiencies of sexual partners, and that’s even more true when it comes to self-aggrandizing, shit-heel billionaires. But Trump insisted on airing his dirty laundry in public, and it’s no surprise that discussion eventually turned to his tighty-whities and how they were never particularly full.

At the same time, his inability to allow the snarky comments about his small hands pass without comment led ex-partners to compare notes and reporters to connect the dots. (You know what they say about men with small hands.) Trump is notoriously thin-skinned when it comes to criticism of himself, and more and more talk is centering on his equally thin-skinned penis, which rumours indicate is of average length, but exceedingly small in circumference, or in common parlance, “girth.”

The small but growing (which cannot be said about Trump’s penis, according to one ex-girlfriend: “It’s just small”) “girther” movement is demanding assurances from the Trump campaign that his penis is of at least average American girth, while criticizing the so-called “lengthers” who are focused on its length. “We in the Republican Party, and others who want to Make America Great Again, are not concerned about penis length,” claims a spokesman, “because we know that our diversity is our strength. The important thing is that the President has a penis, whatever length it happens to be. But it would just make all of us more comfortable to know that The Donald’s packing something substantial. Americans of all colours and lengths know that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are not the answer to solving our problems. I mean, she doesn’t even have a penis!”

For his part, Trump insists that he has “tremendous girth, beautiful girth, it’s quite something… I can barely fit my hand around it, not that I need to masturbate, I have my pick of gorgeous women… believe me, there’s no issue down there!” When asked to have the distance between his ring finger and thumb measured, however, the candidate demurred, saying that he couldn’t allow that since he was under audit.

"Why did I agree to do this horrible fucking movie?!"

“Why did I agree to do this horrible fucking movie?!”

Lots of people have said it much better than I ever could, and in many different ways, but Batman vs Superman was a really, really, epically horrible movie.

I could talk at length about why this is the case, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll just offer reason #3182:

You know what the most unbelievable thing about Batman vs Superman is?

It’s not that Superman’s bulletproof or can shoot laser beams out of his eyes.

It’s not the idea that Perry White is the editor-in-chief of a major newspaper but is sending Clark Kent to cover a local football team.

Those are nitpicky criticisms of poor writing or the absurdity of fantasy. I can suspend my disbelief about the laser beams.

It’s the notion that the United States would convene a Senate hearing on the deaths of innocent civilians in a third world country in order to bring Superman to justice. American soldiers kill civilians all over the world without a second thought from the vast majority of Americans. Zack Snyder presents a righteous vision of America that would only be familiar to the most blindly patriotic Republicans, and doesn’t exist in reality. It’s a vision of an America that puts itself out into the world in order to do the right thing every time, and is always looking out for the little guy. In reality the United States does exactly what Superman does: drops into volatile situations it doesn’t understand, throws its muscle around, protects a narrow version of American interests, and leaves without any concern for the chaos, destruction, and death it’s left behind.

houston astrosLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Although it’s known as “the City of Angels,” Los Angeles has always had a seamier side, and even revelled in it. Those people who raged against the sin of the big city and its movie industry, and who mostly avoided both by living in LA’s sprawling suburbs, were disparagingly called “Angels,” and were accused of being hypocrites for benefitting from the wealth that Hollywood brought to the area, while publicly holding their noses at the scandals and deal-making that have always been a part of Tinseltown. They were LA wannabes, and none were worse than the California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels baseball team, who took screen legend Gene Autry’s money but cultivated a “real American” vibe as opposed to the glitz of the Dodgers, while moving closer and closer over the years to acknowledging their true LA heart through regular name changes. Now owned by Disney, the happy face of Hollywood, the Angels are still seen by many as holier-than-thou, although they and their parent company are just as sleazy as anyone in LA.

Texas Rangers – Sure, the Texas Rangers are renowned law men, the southern equivalent of the Mounties who always get their man. But what you might not know is that the baseball team were not named for the dispensers of frontier justice, but actually after the character of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings. The baseball team intended for the association to be with the Aragorn who was crowned king, but until the Rangers win a World Series, they are more likely to bring to mind the mysterious and untrustworthy Strider.

Oakland Athletics – An archaic term for nudists, “athletics” was bestowed upon the team in their original home of Philadelphia, when they were accused of practising in the buff. Although naked athletes were common in ancient Greece, it has never been commonly accepted in the United States, which helps explain why the team has changed cities more than once.

Houston Astros – the Astros were named in honour of the NASA astronauts, since the headquarters for the American space program is located in the city. Not everyone, however, was inspired by President Kennedy’s call to land a man on the moon; the USA has a higher preponderance of creationists, flat earthers, and other followers of discredited belief systems than any developed country in the world, and many Americans resented NASA for questioning their faith that there was nothing beyond the Earth. “Planet Earth not good enough for ya, Astro-Nut?” they’d say, and many still do.

Seattle Mariners – Few groups are as loathed as sailors and Mormons, and in Washington State, they’ve managed to combine their mistrust of both into a single slur: “mariner.” It combines the lawlessness and promiscuity of sailors with the lawfulness and bigamy of Mormons into one catch-all. Why anyone in the state would think of naming a baseball team “Mariners” is beyond me. What was wrong with “Pilots”?

SupermanSuperman’s weakness is not so much Kryptonite as it is his moral code: he won’t kill or be otherwise immoral (although he has been known to be deceitful, especially when dealing with with foes such as Mr Mxyzptlk). He is the paragon of virtue, the defender and best example of The American Way. But his virtue can hold him back: he refuses to kill, but how often has this refusal led to greater suffering later on? How many times has one of his foes escaped, only to wreak further havoc, surely including death? Granted, death and pain are not so much a part of the Superman universe compared to Batman, but certainly amid the destruction wrought by battling titans in the middle of Metropolis, sometime somewhere someone has been killed. What responsibility does Superman feel? Not as much, it seems, as characters like Spider-Man or Batman, characters whose entire motivations for being superheroes are based on feelings of guilt over the loss of loved ones or the desire to avenge their deaths. Superman, however, despite the loss of both parents (biological and adoptive) is a pretty together guy. He represents the happy, well-adjusted face of American culture, with a never-say-die, can-do attitude. He is the principled volunteer who went to war to make the world safe for liberty, whereas Batman is the hardened veteran whose motivations are good but just might burn down your village to save it. Therefore, Batman is the stronger character, even though he has no super-powers, because he’s willing to do nearly anything to win the fight. Superman is held back by his morals, which are ultimately more important to him than winning, and because of that, Superman is much more likely to lose. (It needs to be said that in the comic books, Superman of course never loses–he’s too powerful. What we’re talking about here is the real world, if characters like Superman and Batman existed in it.)

Blue states are where the action is!

Sports are integral to the American experience. Baseball is famously “America’s pastime” and the Super Bowl is the biggest game in the world. Basketball, though invented by a Canadian, is a quintessentially American game that is rapidly expanding across the globe. And as much as Canadians will tell you that hockey defines our national identity, there are far more NHL teams in the United States than in Canada, and they’ve had much more success than Canadian teams over the last twenty years.

Many pundits divide America into Red and Blue states, but if there’s one thing Americans can agree on, it’s their love of sports. It crosses all boundaries: class, race, geography. Or does it? It’s interesting to take a look at the distribution of major league sports teams in the United States, and what it may mean for the country.

The “Big Four” sports are generally agreed upon to be Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Hockey (even though college football or basketball are arguably bigger draws than hockey). These are the biggest professional leagues in America. There are 113 major league teams in the United States divided between these four sports, an average of more than two teams per state. But would it surprise you to know that all of these 113 teams are located in just 25 states, plus the District of Columbia? It’s true, which means fully half the states have no major sports team whatsoever. The concentration of teams in larger markets is well-known, but the fact that there aren’t more outliers dotted around the country in smaller population centres means that many Americans don’t have a local team to root for, in any sport. As a proud Montanan baseball fan, which team do you support? The closest teams are in Seattle, Colorado, or Minnesota, not even in neighbouring states. Here are the 25 states that have no major league sports teams:

  1. New Mexico
  2. Maine
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Vermont
  5. Alaska
  6. Hawaii
  7. Connecticut
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Delaware
  10. Virginia
  11. West Virginia
  12. South Carolina
  13. Kentucky
  14. Alabama
  15. Mississippi
  16. Nebraska
  17. Iowa
  18. Arkansas
  19. Kansas
  20. North Dakota
  21. South Dakota
  22. Wyoming
  23. Montana
  24. Idaho
  25. Nevada

You might say that the divide between have and have-not states looks fair, being split 50/50, but look even further. Of the 113 major league teams, fully 48 of them are based in just five states: New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, and Texas. But here’s where it gets interesting from a political perspective: only 36 teams reside in states that vote predominantly Republican. And of the 25 states that have no teams whatsoever, 15 of them–or 60%–are Republican strongholds. Just 15 states hold 77 of the nation’s major teams… and those states vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

So what do Republicans have against sports in America? Why have they left it to the Democrats and their Blue states to dominate sports?Are they too busy shooting guns, stopping a woman’s right to choose, and having tea parties to enjoy well-executed double-plays, fast breaks, Hail Mary passes, and goals in the five-hole? Why have the Republicans fallen down in providing a local sports experience for their hard-working, family-values constituents?

WHY DO THE REPUBLICANS HATE SPORTS?

United States

“Those Marines who urinated on the dead Taliban shouldn’t face criminal charges–they’re just 18 or 19-year old kids, after all. It’s not like they’re mentally handicapped, who I believe are fully responsible, and should be punished to the full extent of the law, including the death penalty.” -Rick Perry, Governor of Texas

Syria

“Hello? Is anyone out there? Would you help protect us if we told you we had oil?” -Syrian citizens everywhere

Canada

“Big Environment is out to destroy this country, and destroy jobs, and Ethical Oil and the Conservative Party are the only ones standing in the way. Won’t you please call your MP and let them know that you’re sick of buying oil from the Middle East, that it’s time we support Canadian jobs by raping our own environment? Oh, and boycott bananas!” -EthicalOil.org

In a recent speech, U.S. Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney spoke about American exceptionalism, and his belief that God has big plans for the United States. In fact, Romney believes that God (not just some Mormon God, because Romney also wants you to know that he believes in the same God as you do, as long as you’re a Christian, because he’s a Christian too, even thought most Americans believe Mormonism is a cult and not Christian at all–much like many evangelicals believe Catholics aren’t really Christians either) created the United States for a higher purpose, which hasn’t been fulfilled, despite fears that American hegemony is over and that China will soon rule the world. Not so! says Romney. America is just getting started! The twenty-first century will be a century of American dominance! The United States remains a beacon to all freedom-loving peoples everywhere, with the possible exception of the French! America is not done with you yet, planet Earth!

In light of Romney’s confidence in the ongoing supremacy of the United States, it’s interesting to look at the rest of his speech, in order to see what he believes God’s plan is for some other countries. After all, this could be the next President of the United States of America, and the rest of us ought to know where we stand in Mitt’s vision of the coming world order.

Russia – supplier of mail order brides and strippers

Canada – buffer between America and Sarah Palin’s Alaska

Afghanistan – cudgel to criticize your predecessor’s foreign policy

Iran – beards and poignant but little-seen cinema

Great Britain – royalty we pretend to hate but secretly envy

Tunisia – setting for George Lucas Jr.’s Star Wars sequels

Colombia – cocaine to fuel America’s need to condemn drug use

Mexico – drug wars to scare America and keep border fences high and wages low

Japan – to prove to everyone that the U.S. will drop the bomb if they don’t behave

North Korea – a reminder that Communism is evil and America kicked its ass

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