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Some People Just Don’t Get It

The memorial service at the University of Arizona was planned as a wake, a celebration of the lives of those that died, and to start the process of healing a community that has been badly shaken by a horrific event. The event was planned by the University, not by anyone else, and it was the decision of the University to push the concept of “Together We Thrive”.

Obviously this is a foreign concept to the wingnut commentariat who leapt to attack the event as political.

What sad, pathetic little lives some people lead. They are so trivial that they have to create their own enemies in their mind. I don’t think they need to be concerned that anyone will organize a memorial service when they cross the bridge, with or without politics.


1 Steve Bates { 01.13.11 at 12:39 am }

I am reminded of the Right’s response to the funeral of Paul Wellstone. In that case, the asshole governor of Minnesota at the time, offended at what he considered excessive partisan speech by admirers of Wellstone at the funeral, appointed a Republican to replace him.

I have not one good thing to say about any Republican, however frustrated with Obama I may be at times: the core of the Republican Party is a group of unfeeling, unthinking, unkind, violently inclined bastards.

2 Bryan { 01.13.11 at 3:51 pm }

They wouldn’t last long at a real wake. Someone would throw them out to massive amounts of applause. They obviously don’t really believe in life after death, or life before death when you think about it.

3 Kryten42 { 01.14.11 at 10:02 am }

I’ve been catching up on news (well, non-Aus flood related news, aka The Daily Show) 😉 And Jon did a piece in this last night. The neo-con media are showing just how stupid they are (not that anyone needed any further proof anyway). Besides, it has one of my fave Directors! 😀

The Daily Show: January 13, 2011 – Ron Howard

Jon also did a very heartfelt piece at the start of Monday night’s episode. Whilst I understand his points, I don’t actually agree entirely with some of the conclusions, or justifications. *shrug* (And… it has Denis Leary.) 😉

The Daily Show: January 10, 2011 – Denis Leary

This one was interesting because Jon did some more sketches highlighting the absurdity of the right over the Arizona terrorist attack, and has ex-Gov Tim Pawlenty who shows consummately that the Rethugs (and neo-con’s generally) will never admit they get anything wrong (or that the only wrong is in the perception, not the act), or that Democrats can ever do anything right, and that they are terrified of Obama. A–mazing! 😉 😆

The Daily Show: January 12, 2011 – Tim Pawlenty

They are all worth a watch. 🙂

OK… bed for me! Garage sale when I get up in about 6 hours. No rest for the wicked! 😉 *shrug*

4 Badtux { 01.14.11 at 10:35 am }

A couple of years ago the desert folk had a wake for a small-time grifter who had recently died. We’re talking about a wandering soul who died penniless, whose will said to cremate him and scatter him on the desert, who was pretty adamant about being an atheist, who was most famous for selling “enhanced” gold ore to tourists (it really was gold ore from the spoil pile of an actual gold mine, but extremely low grade… but it was “enhanced” with gold flake tapped into pores of its exterior to make it look, well, goldier, to the point where some geologist who came through actually rushed a chunk of it off to his lab then came back and hounded the guy for the location of his mine because he was convinced that whatever mine it came from was the mother lode!). So you got a lot of scruffy people on the back patio of a small home in the desert, lifting a few brews to a collection of photos of this grifter that were attached to a cardboard plaque leaning against the wall and sharing hilarious stories of some of the things he pulled, like the time he sold some tourists some shark teeth that he claimed he’d found on the floor of Death Valley (actually, somebody in the area had cleaned up their trailer and put out a bunch of trash by the curb and he’d hauled off their trash to sell) and told them that Death Valley had once had sharks and this was the teeth of the rare Death Valley shark. And everybody was laughing.

Clearly, we were all heretics who must be burned at the stake :twisted:.

5 Bryan { 01.14.11 at 8:11 pm }

A wake for a cop isn’t considered good unless there is a call by someone for the “riot squad”. No one drives to one, because everyone knows they won’t be able to drive home. It’s about celebrating life, not death. It is fixing the memory of the person firmly in your mind, so they aren’t forgotten, no matter how insignificant they seemed when alive.

Your guy sounds like a Dibbler prototype, Badtux – a man willing to sell anything to anyone, a natural salesman, Joe Isuzu in dusty Levis. Even if you knew him, you wanted to hear the sales pitch.

“Avoid Taking the Blame” is the guiding principle of the GOP, Kryten.

6 Badtux { 01.14.11 at 9:21 pm }

Oh yes quite a Dibbler type. Except brilliant, he could design radio systems, was widely read, and some of his scams were so brilliant that even people who knew him, who knew it *had* to be a scam, sometimes couldn’t figure it out until years later. But he couldn’t keep his feet still. He’d have a good gig, make some dough, then throw it all away pursuing another rainbow. How he ended up in the desert even his own brother (who made it to the wake) didn’t know, his wandering feet had led him far, far away from Brooklyn where he was born…

I am baffled about what, exactly, these people think is supposed to happen at a wake. Should we have all hung around looking morose rather than lifting a brew to one of the more interesting characters who ever made a mark on our desert?

7 Bryan { 01.14.11 at 10:27 pm }

As a number of people have noted for years – the wingers live in fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time, and they want it to stop.

Actually, he fits a very common profile among people with extremely high IQs. They can’t come down long enough to fit in, so they move from one thing to other, trying to keep occupied. When they take jobs, it is usually to get together the resources necessary for their next project, and off they go.

8 Kryten42 { 01.15.11 at 7:55 pm }

I knew a guy in the 80’s that was a ‘lovable old rogue’. 🙂 He owned a restaurant called Bogarts, which had a huge full wall mural, painted by mostly art students, that was a mix of all Bogarts movies. There was so much detail, that you could go a dozen times and see something you’d missed before, which was the idea of course. 🙂 If the mural had been done *professionally* it would have cost over $100k easy! Bill had the true *gift of the gab* and got it done for just the cost of the materials, which he also got cheap from old stock of art suppliers, or other places. He could find anything, anywhere, any time! (And this was before the Internet!) 😀 People loved him because of three things:

If you were silly enough to give him half a chance or if you tried to get cute on a deal, he would screw you for everything he could get, but if you were fair and honest, he would deal tough but scrupulously fair (and he always honored a deal, unless you didn’t, in which case you would be totally screwed)!

Second, He *always* looked after family and friends and people who did the right thing by the community or those in need two nights a week (he actually ran a *soup kitchen* (literally! And it was known as the best soup in Melbourne! We all loved it, was thick and hearty and tasted great) If you were a street person or poor, the soup (and a thick chunk of fresh made bread) was free, other people were charged $5 which went to the cost of the soup and the rest donated to local charities.

Third, He always gave credit where it was due. With the huge mural, for example, whilst the art students didn’t get paid, he made them all sign the mural (and he made that interesting and part of the mural) and he gave them 2 free lunches a week for the year (as he said to me, a free lunch really cost him a total of about $4, and it made the place look busy and got other full-paying patrons in, and the students were good advertisers! 😆

There were a lot of other things… He’d been a millionaire 4 times (that I knew of) and lost the lot on crazy schemes (which had made him millions at least 4 times). He always said the money didn’t matter, it was the wheeling and dealing, the challenge. I swear, I never saw him happier than when he lost almost everything and had to start again! And sure enough, within a few years or so, he was back up on top!)

Yeah… he was a lovable old rogue… and he taught me a lot! Was a very very sad day when he passed on… His funeral had to be held at the biggest Cathedral in Melbourne because there we so many mourners! It was a huge, and very solemn funeral at the start, and it made me very uncomfortable! It wasn’t *him! He was never like that! I mentioned it to his son and family, and the agreed! His son (who was in his 40’s) called me up 9which a cheeky grin that shocked me because it was just like Bill!) And I had to give an impromptu eulogy! And I could hear Bill laughing at me (the bugger would have too!) So I glared at the Son (who shrugged and winked), whilst people in the pews were looking at each other wondering what was going on. And I delivered what I believed to be the best oration I have ever given! 😀 I told them who Bill was, I told them he would be angry and annoyed (he had a very quick temper)… people began smiling and nodding… and I described what a rogue he was, and what a true friend to those in need, and that if the people there really cared, they would ensure his work continued! I really felt I was channeling old Bill. 🙂

I miss him more than most. He started a computer club for me! Every Tuesday evening we’d meet and have a free dinner. He knew people. People I would probably never get to meet! I got contract work with major IT companies thanks to those meeting’s and Bill. The club grew from a few people, to over 60! It collapsed after about 5 years because *people* (with huge ego’s) wanted the Bogarts Computer Club to have *agenda’s* and structure, and *chain of command* (whith them at the top, of course), and committee’s etc! They wouldn’t listen to Bill or us (the founding members), and after a few weeks of this crap, Bill got very angry and threw us all out and that was the end of the club. And he NEVER changed his mind. With Bill, no was *NO*!! 🙂 Ahh well… was great whilst it lasted. Typical, eh? *sigh*

9 Bryan { 01.15.11 at 8:50 pm }

Nothing destroys an informal organization faster than organization. Some people just can’t stand a network, they demand a top down structure.

Much of the international jewelry business works just like Bill. Everything is done with a handshake, and if anyone plays games they are cut off forever. I got involved in the periphery as part of a multiswap trade to buy something I wanted. The guy who had it wanted an outrageous premium if I paid in dollars, so a friend worked out a deal where I ended up having the gold to buy it at the stated price. There were never any questions as I wandered from one dumpy location to the next exchanging stuff that I was handed in envelops until I finally got the gold sovereigns I needed to buy what I wanted. I’m fairly certain that my friend made a decent commission on the deal. He was our source for diamond solitaire engagement rings, which is a good market in the military.

Sounds like Bill was the same sort, a “node” that was common to many different “networks”. Really honest people can pull that off, crooks can’t.

That mural would be like a gallery placement for an artist and valuable in its own right without the expense of framing and materials. It was a good deal for the art students, even if they worked cheap. As I remember college, food was often more important than money, as you knew where the food went.

Sounds like a remarkable man worth knowing.

10 Kryten42 { 01.15.11 at 10:41 pm }

He was a remarkable man. And a genuinely *good* man I believe. 🙂 I knew him about a year before I joined the military and then worked for the Gov. Bill was never happy about that, he often said I’d wasted the best years of my life! (and he might be right *shrug*) But when I got out and Moved back to Melbourne… I was lost. I had no idea what I was going to do, no plans… And I had a lot of ghosts wearing me down. I was morose mostly… that was when Bill decided to start the Computer Club. 🙂 I didn’t realise that ’till much later BTW. He didn’t just do it for me, I was just a catalyst really… I gave him a new idea! He didn’t know a thing about computers, but he knew people and how to get them to make money! 😆 I think, in honesty, he saved my life. 🙂

Yeah, he did look after the students! Many criticized him and said things like he exploited them etc. but that wasn’t true. He always took the long view! Most people don’t, or can’t. Many of those students got either very good commissions after they finished, or went on to one of the major academies. And they knew it was all thanks to Bill! (Almost all of them went to his service, and some had to come from interstate, and if memory serves, at least one had to come from overseas!) Bill was like that… a real *people magnet*!

One of his major schemes, for example, was that he’d always wanted to own a Vinyard! They are expensive, and he hated spending money, and he hated the idea of Venture Capital, and traditional *share* schemes, which he called *scams*. 😉 😆 So. He found a large Vinyard not doing very well, haggled a price down, and got investors by offering them one brick in the large brick office/sales building for $10. 😆 And he actually got the money! Unfortunately for poor Bill, and the “brick-holders” (as they were known), the next year we started a 3 or 4 year major drought! Sometimes, he just couldn’t win! However, he convinced most of them to hang on, he said the drought wouldn’t last long, and they’d be in the money and free wine! 😆 After the drought finally passed, and with a couple years hard work, it started doing well. 🙂 He sold it (as he usually did when he got bored with something), and went onto the next *big thing*! 😀 I have much to be grateful to Bill for. 🙂

The World needs a lot more *Bill’s*!

(PS. Sorry for all the errors above. I’m doing this in between many other things. I’m rushing a bit, and it’s damned hot!) 😉

11 Kryten42 { 01.15.11 at 10:45 pm }

BTW, I should say that when someone bought a *brick*, they actually did get to sign their name on a brick! And they got legal paperwork with the details of course. He told people a brick is *real*, money on paper is worthless! Luckily for Bill, many thought the same way. 😆 When the drought was over, and the vines grew, and the wine started flowing… people went in droves because… what other vineyard had shares in bricks with the names of the owners on? Was a great marketing scheme! That was Bill, a consummate marketer. 😀

12 Bryan { 01.15.11 at 11:22 pm }

Actually, if you go to the museum in Oriskany, New York and look you will see names on their bricks, including mine. They were also $10/brick, so it is not an unusual marketing action for non-profits, but fairly unique to replace stock shares with bricks. Bricks are certainly more useful than stock certificates and a lot easier to keep track of. Things could get dangerous in a divorce, or in any attempt to “trade” them.

One of the toughest things for an artist to get is exposure. If you want to sell your work, people have to see it. I know a few artists, and we have them in the family, so I’m aware of the cost of selling a work. People would be amazed at how low the “profit margin” can be on work that sells for thousands. The professional materials alone for a painting that is a meter square can easily be in the hundreds of dollars. Throw in weeks of labor to produce it, the cost of the space to work in, and it is easy to hit four figures. Then the marketing begins, and that is the real expense. Agents, gallery owners, transportation … just an unbelievable number of expenses. Getting your work exposed in a good public location is a very big deal for an artist. Being selected for a major project is also good for your portfolio, a major plus for your CV. If they want to see exploitation of artists they should hang around with a few gallery owners, some of them are real scum.

Yes, he made money, but it sounds like so did people around him. It is amazing how rarely that happens.