they get away with it

Being rich and powerful must be sweet.  You can basically do whatever you want.  You can buy expensive cars or booze or giraffes.  Or I guess sexually harass whoever you want.  Now you might have been shocked by the idea that Harvey Weinstein could do so many horrible things to so many women for decades without getting exposed, but when you really think about it this is pretty straightforward.

Why didn’t at least one of his many victims (especially in this twisted age of social media) say even one or two things to someone that made this stick before last week.  Some of the most well known and powerful celebrity women and feminist advocates on the planet have now fingered this guy.  Why didn’t one of them tweet like three years ago, “Harvey Weinstein is a deviant sexual predator, he tried to rape me. #rape #yesallwomen”

Why?  Because Weinstein was powerful.  It’s as simple as that.  Weinstein was one of the top five guys in Hollywood.  He ended people’s careers in seconds.  It’s the way of things.  One of the themes I’ve noticed these last few days as women finally spoke out is their internal dialogue about what was going through their brains when Weinstein did his evil acts.

All these women in their own way mention some kind of cost / benefit analysis.  They’re in fear and protection mode as they try and escape the clutches of this shit creep.  But at the same time their brain is in fear mode about what Weinstein will do to them if they don’t give in.  This type of analysis is older than humanity itself.  It’s been playing out with evil rich and powerful men since before fire was invented.

We’d like to think in our super modern and connected culture that people can no longer get away with this.  But they still do, because it’s still human nature.  All the tweets in the world can’t change the human brain.

Regardless of what you think of Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy I think you can make a reasonable claim that if either of those guys worked at the Sizzler for minimum wage, that both of them would have done severe jail time and been disgraced.  Instead, they are both essentially American heroes.

I’m shocked that Dennis Hastert ever got caught for the horrible things he did to boys.  But if you’ll remember, Hastert wasn’t initially caught for sexual crimes.  They wrapped up Hastert for violating the government limit of how many $10K bank account withdrawals you can make without reporting it to the tax man.  Only later did the authorities realize what the money was for.  Otherwise Hastert would have gotten away with it.

I’m not sure what all this means, other than that as always humanity is on a perpetual quest to self improvement.  It also means you have to take a rather cynical view of what people say.  Especially if the person talking is rich and powerful.

Weinstein’s been a big time bankroller for women’s rights and so forth for decades.  And that whole time … , well, that’s also why they get away with it.  It’s the smokescreen to cover up who they really are.

Notice how Weinstein is already making the usual public relations statements about screwing up, learning, personal growth, etc.  He doesn’t seem to realize he’s truly done.  He still things he’s in control.  That’s how twisted his brain is.  He still thinks he can get away with it.  That’s the biggest thing to learn about this above all.

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Rich and powerful bad dude, rarely caught.

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Niagara Falls – on a cloudy workday

You’re not supposed to visit wonders of the world ad hoc. You’re supposed to plan this stuff out, make a day of it, or whatever. As always though, when work sends you somewhere you need to remain flexible.

I was supposed to be in Buffalo with my boss for two days of stupid meetings. In his typical manner (I don’t like my job) this trip was booked on about two days notice. We get stuffed (for his loyalty points) at a hotel well to the east of Buffalo itself.

We get into Buffalo–Niagara International late Monday morning, and go straight to an office. But instead of taking the allotted four hours, it goes for like 90 minutes. Then the dude looks directly at me and he’s like, “Are we done?” Uh, yeah sure, why not. Don’t have to ask me twice.

So all of sudden it’s like 2pm and I have the rest of the day. I’m in Buffalo, so now what? Hell, Niagara Falls, that’s down the road right? Sure, why not. But he’s got the rental car. Fortunately, he’s probably more of a loser than I.  He just wants to sit in the hotel. So I get the rental car keys he kindly offers. So, apparently, now I’m unexpectedly driving to Niagara Falls. Okay.

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American Falls.

Once upon a time, before cheap discount air travel changed all of global travel, people vacationed or traveled to where a train or car could get them. If you lived in the American Northeast or Middle Atlantic, you didn’t jet set to Cancun or visit London or Iceland. Instead, you drove to places like Niagara Falls. For a good long while Niagara was the number one honeymoon destination on the planet. No more.

As I drove the back roads to Niagara from east of Buffalo I was struck by the starkness of the typical rust belt urban / suburban wasteland I’ve previously encountered. More than half the billboards were for things like opioid addiction, plastic surgery, and the like. It was like driving through other formerly paramount Northeastern tourist destinations that have been gutted by cheap air travel, such as New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

The swankiest looking building in downtown Niagara is (sigh) the freaking casino. Everything else looked burnt out, old, nostalgic from a different happier age. What’s been Cancun’s gain, is Niagara Falls’ loss. I’m not sure what to entirely make of all this, but it is what it is. That being said, Niagara Falls doesn’t disappoint.  It’s an awesome place to visit.

I was there on what turned into a cloudy summer afternoon. I kept fearing it would pour rain but I figured it was worth the risk. It misted a bit here and there, but otherwise the weather cooperated.

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Long distance shot of Horseshoe Falls from Prospect Point.  Note tourist boat getting a good soaking.

Niagara Falls is actually a series of falls. Combine them all together, and depending on how you count, it’s essentially one of the top three waterfalls on Earth.

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Handy map for reference.  Not my shot.

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Looking north down river into Niagara Gorge.  Note Rainbow Bridge, aka Department of Homeland Security parking lot #428.4b.

I ended up at Prospect Point. You can park there for a small fee. Walk over and you’re at American Falls.

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Out of all the places I’ve visited in America, this was the most international I’ve ever seen a tourist crowd. I was one of the only home team members there. Almost everybody else was from elsewhere on the planet. This was on a summer weekday. So my only conclusion is that the international community is more into Niagara Falls than regular Americans. I guess USA folks take it for granted? Or maybe Americans prefer hanging out on the beaches of Cancun over seeing a big waterfall? Not sure.

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American Falls Rapids.

Prospect Point is very crowded. You get a good view of the American Falls though. In the distance you can see Horseshoe Falls. But the best way to go is to walk a bit. Head across the bridge to Luna Island and Goat Island. It’s less crowded and your view of the Falls are better.

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American Falls Rapids with American Rapids Bridge.

You could truly make a whole day at Niagara. Maybe not a whole week, unless it was actually your honeymoon and you were otherwise occupied, but a whole day yes. You could walk the Falls on both sides of the border. You could take the old fashioned boat to get soaked by the Falls. There is also a walkway near the Cave of the Winds where you can get soaked on foot at the base of the Falls. You could also hike all the trails and get a good view of all the preparatory rapids. It’s truly a full day awaiting you.

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American Falls from Luna Island, where your doom over the Falls is literally three feet away from your face.  So awesome.

I was there for a few hours. I’ll be back.

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PS I posted this groundhog a few weeks back. The answer to the riddle was Niagara Falls. This dude was just going about his day about four feet from the edge of Niagara Falls. You can see the mist in the background of the shot. The little guy (or gal) knows his (or her) stuff. I’m sure the groundhog fatality rate at the Falls annually is zero percent.

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Toke up little buddy!

oh no, it’s happening again

Three years ago we wrote on this degenerate blog how too much recent travel had rotted our brains.  We’re there again.  I’ve seen mine own home for like 17 combined hours in the last three weeks.  My dogs are pissed.  So rather than write fresh lunacy, we decided the old post was still valid, verbatim.  It’s all still true.  PS, I still write some weird shit, but three years ago I apparently wrote some real weird shit.

 

Too much travel increases your desire to enslave the human race

When you’re hardly home at all, for months on end, you’re out of control. So we’ll get that control back. By taking away everybody else’s ability to control anything.

Home keeps us in check. We understand our surroundings and follow our routines. So when we can’t do that? It’s time to do everything we can to destroy everybody else’s routines.

Do you find this methodology confusing or bizarre? Well then, please e-mail me your contact information so we can place you at the top of our list.

We’re rather quiet lately as we’ve been on travel for work(s). For the last six months the ability to place the head on the same pillow for a complete week has not existed. It’s delightful to live out of a suitcase for weeks on end. It comes with the following delicious traits:

– Ponder all day what expensive dive you’ll eat at in the evening.

– Spend four dollars to wash your clothes in machines manufactured in Albania.

– Use towels that a lizard would discard as uncomfortable.

– Find new and inventive ways to hide your valuables from hotel staff or local degenerates who will cave in your rental car window, day or night.

– Consider homicide against your supervisor(s) who mercilessly task you with duties and responsibilities you are incapable of fulfilling while on the road.

So I’m going to solve all this with the assistance of my guests by using their brutal incoherent methods. We’ll twist the control back into my favor:

– Approach the local proprietor, demand food, refuse payment, and then throw rocks through his establishment’s windows.

– Drive to the hotel owner’s house, conduct laundry operations on site, and then break his or her appliances with a bat.

– While at said hotel overlord’s hovel, steal all towels.

– Leave expensive gold coins atop the rental car dashboard. When said local degenerates approach, fire marbles at them from a paintball marker.

– When back home, leave the airport, stop by the boss(es)’ house(s) and burn it to the ground. Dance giggling around the flaming building like a lunatic.

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“Good evening human scum. This is Captain Esh-Ala at the controls today. In accordance with the New Realm, please empty your valuables into the seat pocket. Depart the aircraft. Nobody is traveling anywhere, anymore. Please cooperate. We desire to keep liquidation to an absolute minimum.”

why is CNN on everywhere?

You get to the airport and CNN is on at the gate. You go hide in the bar and CNN is above the drinks. You check into the hotel and they’ve got CNN on the wall.

All last week I was strapped to four work colleagues for travel. Everywhere we went there’s CNN on some screen. I suppose I normally don’t notice it when I travel. I don’t pay attention. But the four of them were all into this political craziness. I’m seated at some hotel bar with them and CNN is literally on a screen at the table. There was no escape.

I wanted to run and hide under some coats. I don’t get cable news. It’s like some kind of putrid disease. Everything is breaking news. Every station is biased. The talking heads shout at each other even though they’re so dumb they likely forget where their chauffer put their car keys.

But people drink this stuff in to their detriment. I think if you strapped a live human to a chair and forced him/her to watch four hours of CNN and four hours of Fox News a day for a month, they’d come out the back end of the process as a truly demented person.

Why does everybody choose CNN for their airport/hotel/bar? Why can’t they put sports on? Or a channel about cats? I think it’s because CNN was one of the original cable channels and the original news channel. It’s the glory days of 1993 when television was just starting to dominate our lives. One upon a time there wasn’t television at every single darn airport/hotel/bar. And CNN actually used to attempt to be serious and even somewhat classy. Remember Vader’s, “This is CNN”?   No more.

Well, we at TAP are here to help. Instead of harming people’s brains, we want to improve the quality of all our lives. So we propose that CNN be replaced on all travel screens with The Arcturus Channel.

The Arcturus Channel will have content fit for the brain of a five year old for most of the day. It’ll show nature videos of giraffes, and tigers, and whales and all kinds of Earth stuff. We’ll do a whole three hour special about how awesome volcanoes are. It’ll be like all those nature channels were before every cable channel became the same generic stuff with different channel names.

And from 9pm on, we’ll have The Arcturus Channel (After Dark), for us adults, after the kiddies have stopped traveling. So when you’re exhausting waiting for a connection at Houston Bush at 10pm you have something decent to watch. It’ll show monkey’s copulating, gazelles getting ripped apart by predators, and snow bears devouring baby seals.

Overall, The Arcturus Channel shall focus upon nature topics that are meant to calm your brain rather than disturb it. No politics, no controversy, just something to make you happy while you grind through your journey on the way to a hopeful happy destination. What a novel concept.

the consolation prize of your incineration

Your office just caught fire. Folks are screaming. Smoke is everywhere. You think so just saw the office clown basting some ribs over an open fire pit inside his cubicle. As you make your way to the designated fireproof stairway, you’re at least consoled that once you get in there it’ll be rough but safe journey down the high-rise to the street. You’re glad for this, for a whole bunch of your elder coworkers can’t get around too fast.

Oh my, it’s getting really hot, but you’re close. You get to the stairwell, and, and, the door handle’s broken off. What? How? But don’t worry, there’s a little yellow sticky over the door handle hole. In exquisite cursive it says the door will be fixed today. You take this yellow sticky, and you hug it tight. Then you and your coworkers are slowly incinerated over several agonizing minutes. Your only consolation (beyond the kind sticky note) is you’ll probably succumb to smoke inhalation long before hungry fire meets your tasty, tasty flesh.

In my kind place of employment, the door handle to the escape stairway was broken for four days before they got a handle on it. I’m sure this wasn’t a big deal, that didn’t violate seventeen different laws, but whatever. Oh, also, this building was renovated less than six months ago. So apparently a renovated new door handle last six months. You would think folks could / would fix an emergency door handle in like seven minutes. Nope.

You know my work is asked / trusted by a whole lot of people to operate and solve huge problems. I wonder if those people who trust us know we’re such a mess we can’t even fix normal basic things that a homeowner could ask the 13 year old to take a crack at.

We even had a fire in the basement on Tuesday that luckily didn’t require evacuation. Otherwise it’s like, uh, do we take the elevator? Does that thing even still work? Apparently, yes, it did. We would have used that to escape our doom.

Wow, humanity sure does suck. We can’t do anything right. Luckily, soon enough machines or aliens will be our masters and faulty emergency door handles will be the least of our problems. Or maybe one of those seven exoplanets they found yesterday is composed entirely of door repair personnel. Here’s hoping.