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Monday, December 15, 2003
 
A Disturbing Revelation

I was watching "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" the other day, but I wasn't enjoying it. I have seen this movie at least six times in my life and had always been delighted at Gene Wilder's portrayal of Willy Wonka, the eccentric yet kind-hearted confectioner whose demesne is a magical wonderland filled with fanciful inventions that recall the artwork of Dr. Seuss and Rube Goldberg, and staffed by strange but industrious creatures called Oompa-Loompas.

I watched Wonka, etal. go through the same silly escapades I had seen before, but with a growing sense of unease. I couldn't quite identify what was bothering me, and then suddenly it all snapped into focus:

WILLY WONKA WAS THE MICHAEL JACKSON OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION.

That sick, child-molesting bastard had me fooled for years, but finally the scales fell from my eyes and I saw a clear image of the monster beneath. Witness the similarities:

Grooming
Michael Jackson - predeliction for absurd, quasi-militaristic clothing in loud primary colors, flammable Jeri-Curl hairdo.
Willy Wonka - purple velvet tuxedo, nappy Jewish Afro comb-over.

Housing
Michael Jackson - Neverland Ranch (rides, private zoo, video production with secret video storage room).
Willy Wonka - Chocolate Factory (rides, golden geese, TV studio run by orange midgets).

Paranoia Factor
Michael Jackson - claims he was target of vicious Jewish recording industry conspiracy, says "they kiked me"; retreats behind gates of Neverland Ranch, becomes recluse.
Willy Wonka - claims he was targeted for industrial espionage by the shadowy Mr. Slugworth, rival candymaker; retreats behind walls of Chocolate Factory, becomes recluse.

Legal Defense Team
Michael Jackson - Mark Geragos.
Willy Wonka - Mr. Wilkinson (aka Slugworth).

Modus Operandi
Michael Jackson - plies 12 year-old boy with wine to lull him into compliance; pays multi-million dollar settlement to boy to avoid prosecution.
Willy Wonka - tempts 12 year-old boy with Fizzy Lifting Drink to get him "high"; pays lifetime supply of chocolate and surrenders ownership of Chocolate Factory to avoid prosecution.

The parallels are too obvious to ignore. I'm pretty sure Nostradamus wrote a quatrain or two about the rise of the Purple Tuxedo - or was it the Blue Turban... Doesn't matter! The point is, Wonka, like Jackson, had his legions of fanatical worshippers as well. And those chocolate-gobbling chowderheads allowed that sicko to escape justice. All it would have taken was one Oompa-Loompa to break the code of silence. But hey, why bite the hand that feeds you - isn't that RIGHT you little orange enabling bastards!

It's too late to do anything about Wonka, but there's still time to stop Jackson. God help us if he gets off.

In court, I mean.



Monday, December 01, 2003
 
Gallic Indifference - Like I Give a Damn

Quell temps? you say? Once again it is time to bash les Francais. They bring it upon themselves, they really do. So what have they done to piss me off lately? Nothing.

In fact, it seems to me that lately "nothing" would describe the work ethic of the average Frenchman. Only this time their diplomatic corps is in on it.

More than 90% of France's diplomatic service - including the odd ambassador - went on strike yesterday, leaving French embassies, consuls and cultural institutes around the world either closed or run by a skeleton staff.
The one-day walkout by employees of the Quai d'Orsay, as the foreign ministry is known, was in protest at budget cuts, staff shortages and cuts in overseas allowances.

Diplomats complained that while Paris may be keen to reassert its prominence on the international stage, their working conditions have become intolerable.

Intolerable? C'est vrai? Tell us more, cher!

The foreign ministry ran out of paper for three days last month because the supplier had not been paid, one official said, forcing the European affairs minister, Noelle Lenoir, to go to a stationery shop for exercise books to write in.[...]

With 154 embassies, 98 consulates and 148 cultural institutes, France's foreign service is the second largest in the world after the US. It employs 9,293 diplomatic staff, 5,300 of them based abroad, and boasts a budget (including development aid) of €4.22bn (£2.8bn) for 2004.

But unions say resources have been shrinking for a decade. Discounting development aid, next year's budget is 1.6% down on this year's, and 116 jobs are to go in 2004, when only half of all retirees will be replaced. Unions are also angry at the suspension of the "diplomatic bag" service and at plans to spend €30m (£20m) a year of ministry money on a global TV service dubbed "CNN ? la française", and furious at a promised €20m (£13m) cut in their overseas allowances.

Like all good socialists, they are upset that the money confiscated from the few hard-working citizens France has remaining in captivity is being pissed away - on a French CNN-style news channel! Why, that money could be pissed away on a continuing failed diplomatic effort to convince the world the France does indeed matter and ergo, does not suck. No slouches when it comes to slacking, the diplomats slumped into inaction:

Unions said that 94% of the diplomatic service's staff in 126 countries had obeyed the strike call, although many senior officials - including Renaud Vignal, French ambassador to Jakarta - put in an appearance at work but let it be known they would do nothing.

And how exactly is that different from an ordinary French work day? Hell, they've let it be known since May 1940, when the Wehrmacht rolled through the Ardennes like they were on the way to Grandma's for Thanksgiving and they didn't want the casserole to get cold.

I have to say, the game ball goes to France this week. Talk about being your own best advertisement - even France's diplomats agree France sucks. And the French have only themselves to blame. I spell "Gallic Indifference" as F-U-C-K-I-N-G L-A-Z-Y. Someone needs to flip France over and check for bedsores. They'd also find a bunch of perfectly good rifles left over from World War II.

Never been fired and only dropped once.






 
For La Raza, Driver's Licenses...
For La Chinese, La Raza's Jobs

How do you define irony? I define it as this sweet little gem from MSNBC. It seems that Mexico is seeing their market share of the Fake Rubber Dog Vomit and Plastic Dashboard Jesus Figurine manufacturing sector fall to the Chinese.

The damage is everywhere. China is producing statuettes of Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe. And plastic Chinese flip-flops are the preferred footwear in many parts of rural Mexico, replacing Mexican leather sandals that had been worn here for centuries.

Next thing you know, those clever yet ruthless Chinese will reverse-engineer Chiclets, and with the same coldhearted brutality that crushed the pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square, club the proud Mexican Chewing Gum industry to it's knees. The horror! Mexico has already lost over 200,000 manufacturing jobs to the Chinese already, if their bullshit figures are to be believed.

LONG KNOWN for the work of its artisans, Mexico now imports such handicrafts as painted figurines of Mexican saints and leather sandals from China. This year, China also displaced Mexico as the second-biggest exporter to the U.S. market, leaving Mexicans feeling cheated and worried the country is being left behind.[...]

The anger isn’t just over imported goods. Since 2000, Mexico has lost more than 200,000 maquiladora, or manufacture-for-export, jobs, with many factories moving to China.

The United States had better do something about this. With this many Mexicans out of work, we could be facing a constant wave of immigrants trying to cross illegally into our country, streaming north as they look for...

Aw, shit.