Tag Archives: peace is our profession

Why Do Sharks Hate Our American Way of Life?

The "War on Terror"

While America’s Homeland Insecurity focused most of its attention on strip-searching potential terrorists at airport terminals in 2010, the biggest threat of terrorism managed to swim under the radar undetected and attacked 32 unsuspecting Americans in our homewaters.

By terrorist, I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill firebrand of terrorists such as Al-Qaeda, BP Oil, or a beached Rush Limbaugh; rather, I’m talking about, Chief Martin Brody forbid, Sharks!


That’s right, sharks. US researchers reported 79 unprovoked shark attacks on humans last year, 32 of which were on Americans. The big question is why these amphibious terrorists are disproportionally preying on Americans when compared to our fleshy global counterparts. In essence: Why do they hate our way of life?


Now I’ll be the first to admit that, thanks to Steven’s Spielberg’s anti-shark propaganda attack in 1976 (i.e. “Jaws”), I hate sharks. Don’t get me wrong though; I’m not a sharkist by any means. Some of my best friends are land sharks.

But when I first saw “Jaws” on the big screen at the impressionable age of eight, sharks scared the shit out of me, thus opening a can of deep seeded, irrational fears. I refused to bathe in the bath tub for months afterward, thinking baby sharks were bred in the sewers of my landlocked habitat and would swim up through the drain and take a bite out of my budding manhood. While at summer camp at a peaceful resort, similar to the one in the “Friday the 13th” flicks (which came out later and stoked new fears of sleeping with hot, scantily-clad girls in the woods at night), I was convinced that there were fresh-water sharks circling under me, deciding whose turn it was to gnaw on my dangling legs, while I waited for the water-ski rope to return. The only things I hated more than sharks during those pre-pubescent years were Brussels sprouts and “The Lawrence Welk Show.”


I’m sure I’m not alone in my hatred for these dorsal-finned, man-hating killing bastards, so it’s no wonder sharks aren’t too fond of us either. Maybe that and the fact that humans kill an average of 30 to 70 million sharks a year. Besides the obvious motive of revenge, a University of Florida’s international shark attack report contends that the terrorist attack rate is going up in America due to a rise in population, coupled with a rising interest in aquatic recreation. But this simplistic “Us versus Them” analysis merely serves to drown out the truth, something SSF’s investigative journalists had no choice but to uncover, harpoon and expose to the public.

Du du du du du du…

Real Reasons Why Sharks Are Increasingly Terrorizing Americans & Threatening Our Drylander Way of Life

1. Americans are fat and juicy: Got Americans? Why settle for a lean piece of meat elsewhere when you can sink your teeth into a bobbing, buoyant, fatty slab of all-American meat. Can’t blame them, now can we.

2. It’s the economy, stupid!

3. Jaws IV sequel?: rumors have been surfacing down under that yet another Jaws sequel is in the works.

4. Recent spike in politicians jumping the shark: potential GOP Presidential wannabes are lining up to see who can best jump the shark as they ramp up their bid by channeling Ronald Reagan to see who among them is the Real Conservative candidate.

A young Mitt Romney makes his second bid to jump the shark.

5. Want bite out of 15 minutes of fame: as they audition for the Discovery Channels ever-popular “Shark Week” – the “American Idol” of the underwater shark world.

Despite the jump in shark attacks and the growing sharkist mentality in America, there have been some recent strides in building tolerance among Drylanders towards sharks.

-Card sharks, once viewed in a negative light in the Vegas desert, became less derogatory in the late ’80 thanks to the tamed game show “Card Sharks.” Moreover, the growing popularity of Texas Hold’Em made poker a televised “sport” and card sharks evolved into professional card players, who hide their beady little shark eyes behind Blue Bloc sunglasses, so other players can’t smell the blood leading to their tarnished souls.

-Loan sharks — despised by many-a-poor man down on his luck and loathed for charging exorbitant usury rates (an act condemned by “The Bible”) to its customers — are now called “Credit Lenders”.

-The success of UNLV Runnin’ Rebels basketball coach, Jerry Tarkanian (a.k.a. ‘Tark the Shark”) who gained notoriety for habitually chewing on gym towels (dipped in human blood, presumably) during stressful moments during the game.

-When the sharks’ house band Great White covered “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” in 1989 and the single drew blood at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Great White: “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”

Pssst…Don’t Tell Anyone I’m Hetero

Never in a million year did I imagine myself agreeing with former Vice President Dick Cheney, but I confess dear Civilian, I recently found myself taking my first step into the Dark Side by agreeing with Cheney that the military should repeal its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. However, truth be told, which is not an option for gays currently serving in the military, it was Cheney who agreed with me — since I opposed this half-baked (but not exhaled) policy the moment President Bill Clinton bent over on his campaign promises in 1993 and let the homophobic Congress have their way with him. (I know: bad pun; but in my defense, I am not writing about the unwritten “Don’t Ask, Don’t Pun” policy.)

Now I entrust that you, dear Civilian, will not tell anyone about my dirty little secret, for public knowledge of my foray into the Dark Side will not only disrupt the unique conditions of my civilian service to humanity but will undermine the unit cohesion of my community, which includes but is not limited to my fiancé, three impressionable sons, extended progressive political family, fellow Cold War veterans, substitute mail carrier, the neighbor’s dog Pookie and my spiritual and economic adviser Therapist Bob. Most of these folks are still reeling from the psychological ripple effects from the day I jumped out of the closet and scared the crap out of them by outing myself by finally coming to terms with my repressed heterosexuality. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Since I served in the Army during the rear-end of the Cold War (yeah, yeah, sue me…the courts always side on behalf of bad puns) during the latter part of the ‘80s, before DADT kicked in and the wall in Berlin fell, I’m not sure what it’s like to serve under this policy now — especially while the current metaphorical war, “The War on Terror,” is being waged. You know, the kind of war where people actually get killed, rather than the metaphorical death by boredom while sitting around waiting, waiting for something – anything to happen.

The previous paragraph was underwritten by America's New WAR

Flash forward to today. One of the most commonly used arguments used by opponents against the repeal of DADT, including Republican Sen. John “What Happens in A Vietnamese War Prison, Stays in a Vietnamese War Prison” McCain of Arizona, is that it will disrupt unit cohesion and effectiveness. This, by the way, is one of the underlying arguments as to why the policy was originally implemented. Based on my firsthand experiences in the Army, if the military was genuinely interested in using a policy to keep unit cohesion intact, they would have expanded the DADT policy to include racists, bigots, xenophobes, homophobes, libertarians, Christians, Mormons, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, atheists, fundamentalists, bestiality aficionados, Pastafarians and your run-of-the-mill assholes who don’t think their shit stinks.

Once the military has silenced everyone whose ideologies and/or lifestyles pose a threat to anyone elses’ comfort zone, thus threatening unit cohesion, our country would be left with an army of mimes to defend our freedoms. And the last thing we need is an army of mimes plopped into a theater of war, where, using their white-gloved hands, they’re left to defend Democracy by boxing themselves inside miniature fortresses fortified with invisible walls. Besides, if the disproportion of hate targeted at mimes in America is universal, sending mimes into battle will only fuel the hate of our enemies, who no doubt will have no reservations shooting a mime.

An Army of One: "Saving Democracy One Mime at a Time"

(For the record: let it be known that I do not condone any form of violence perpetuated on the mime community.)

Moreover, the last people we need making life-and-death decisions about what does and what does not define a cohesive unit is Congress, most of whom have never served in the military. The current deluge of bipartisanship that has flooded the Hill in D.C. has carved out a gulf so wide that the entire 8th Infantry Division, Mechanized (You heard me right, dear Civilian, I said Mechanized!) could plow down the center aisle of either chamber during a pivotal debate and nobody would even notice, their childish shouts drowning out the division’s slow, methodical advance:

Democrats: We got the majority, yes we do. We got the majority, how ‘bout you!?

Republicans: We got filibusters, yes we do. We got filibusters, watcha gonna do?

Democrats: (like an army of mimes, remain painfully silent — their painted frowns looking pathetic)

Fearing the Republicans will push the bipartisanship to the brink of going nuclear, the Democrats will inevitably concede and return to the dark recesses of the chamber closet, where they look for their teddy bears or a secret door to Narnia.

Instead of deploying an army of gay soldiers or mimes to the war front, maybe we should conscript our Do-Nothing Congress and ship them off to the front lines. However, I confess dear Civilian, the thought of dropping Congress on to the front lines of “The War on Terror” stokes more terror within the fiber of my being than the manufactured Terror that lurks in the shadows behind the Military Industrial Complex’s bloated budget.

But who am I to talk, I’m just a closeted mime. Please don’t tell anyone, dear Civilian. You know I won’t.

Originally posted on my Axis-of-Evil Step-Sister Site Confessions of a Cold War Veteran

Irony Happens: Just Say Know to Bumper Stickers


For some of us, the cars we drive define who we are, but it’s what people slap on their bumpers, hang from their rearview mirrors or mount in their rearview windows that reveal the soul behind the wheel of the exterior shell.

Unlike people who literally give their cars names, as if christening them will guarantee lower gas mileage or help them meet other cars in parking ramps, I refuse to forge emotional attachments to objects that are, one day, guaranteed to break down on me. Besides, objectifying cars is wrong.

If asked whether my car has a name or not, my standard response is “Oh sure, I call it ‘Piece of Crap.’” Not only do I not give my cars a name, but I refuse to buy a used car that has been named by the previous owner – a life-lesson I picked up from Stephen King’s cautionary tale “Christine.”

To be honest, I don’t really care what kind of car someone is driving, just as long as they’re not in front of me, driving 10 miles under the suggested speed limit. However, from a pop psychology standpoint, I am intrigued by the accessories people choose to adorn to their cars, especially when the added fixture is ironic when juxtaposed to the car and/or the car’s captain.

Take for example the other morning when I was one my way to work and the car in front of me was sporting a “Rednecks for Obama” bumper sticker. Not only did I find the sticker’s slogan itself a wee bit ironic, but the fact that it was slapped on a Volvo screamed irony. This is even more ironic, when considering that I live in Iowa City — a university town known for its liberal populace and dubbed “The Peoples’ Republic of Johnson County” by politicos across the Heartland. So the prospect of seeing a bonafide redneck driving around in broad daylight is rare and usually triggers campus security to declare an emergency and put the campus in lockdown mode.

Speaking of liberals, last July I moved into a neighborhood considered one of the most liberal bastions of Iowa City. I knew we would have trouble assimilating when I soon discovered we were the only ones on our side of the street, who are not in a band. Because we didn’t go through a realtor, we managed to fly under the Bohemian radar undetected. To help compensate for my musical ineptitude I started this blog, hoping this alone would be enough to keep the neighbors distracted, so they wouldn’t get suspicious when they didn’t hear me rehearsing for my next gig.

Moreover, our move was in the middle of the presidential campaign and we were thrust into the middle of a sign war. All of our neighbors had either anti-war or pro-peace signs in their yards, and I imagined when they talked about us, their conversation started off something like this:

Neighbor One: Have you met the new neighbors?

Neighbor Two: You mean the ones without an anti-war sign in their yard?

Needless to say, in lieu of having the faulty wiring redone, we had a security system installed – just in case Obama lost the election. In the meantime, I knew we needed to put a sign in our yard, but I was on the fence as to which route to take – pro-peace or anti-war? So I compromised by making own sign, plagiarizing a slogan from “Dr. Strangelove”: “Peace is Our Profession.”

Order your very own yard sign now (armed soldier not included)

Order your very own yard sign now (armed soldier not included)

Just to give you a sampling of the types of bumper stickers you would see in my neighborhood, one neighbor has a “I’d Rather Be Playing Scrabble” sticker on his pickup truck, while the neighbors across the street from us don an “I’m Pro-Accordion & I Vote” sticker on their station wagon.

This is a stark contrast to the blue collar neighborhood I lived in Grants Pass, Oregon ten years ago. My downstairs neighbor, who we hypothesized, based on the rancid, dead carcass burning smell that piped through our heating vents periodically, was making meth in his kitchen, had a truck that was steeped in ironic accessories. He parked his fully-loaded, black Dodge Ram next to my fun-size Volkswagon Golf. On some occasions, after a night of bar hopping and off-roading in the Oregon thicket, he parked in my spot — his truck serving as a makeshift carport for my Golf.

His truck was equipped with the naked lady mudflaps (speaking of which, I’m in the process of unleashing naked men mudflaps, trademark pending, to tap into the female and gay trucker target market), a chain adornment around his license plate, and not one but two “No Fear” stickers. The implicit irony of the “No Fear” campaign has never been lost on me, given those who truly possess no fear would not have to advertise this to the external world. This type of insecurity can be seen in doubting Christians, who sport crosses around their necks or tattoo their temples with crosses to let the world know they’re believers while simultaneously giving God a symbolic shout out – just in case the Almighty may have missed a beat on His watch.

So what are you afraid of, really?

So what are you afraid of, really?

What pushed my neighbor’s truck over the ironic edge is that he had a once-sacred Indian Dream Catcher hanging from his rearview mirror, thus warding off any evil spirits that might invade his dreams while sleeping. Why people are sleeping while driving is beyond me, unless the intent is to protect daydreams from evil spirits. But aren’t you supposed to be in control of your daydreams? Maybe the Dream Catchers serve as nocturnal car alarms that keep the cab safe while its master slumbers in the house.

Now don’t get me wrong, Iowa City, despite its insulated liberalism, is far from being immune to the fringe element of society that makes people watching a more interesting hobby and legitimate pastime. One of the most bizarre bumper stickers I’ve seen in town was one that read “Necrophilia: Never Too Late to Pop a Cold One.” I’ll admit that I did burst out laughing when I first saw this sticker, namely that somebody would actually buy it, let alone put it on their car, which in this case was a mini-van. I sped up to pass the vehicle, just so I could get a look at the twisted man commandeering the van.

Much to my shock and subsequent horror, a stereotypical soccer mom was driving and there were empty kids seats strapped in the back, as if she had just dropped the kids off at day care on the way to sleep with dead corpses. As a parent of three, I was dumfounded and hoped that she was borrowing the van from a relative who was serving a stretch in prison for public indecency and fornicating with the deceased.

Either way, it was this particular moment that I felt I truly did “Know Fear.”