Tag Archives: Congress

Fight The Power

I know you dudes have all heard a lot about the mutant menace, but I want to talk about the other menace, the one you don’t even notice because it’s been there for so long.

For more than 40 years, Trask Industries has been hanging around, building bombs, weapons and genetic bioweapons designed to find, suppress, and, when possible, kill mutants.

This is just wrong. I mean, I know that mutants have been a major destabilizing force for years, ever since they came out of the genetic closet after the near-miss during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but come on.First they came for the mutants. . .

These mutants aren’t scary creatures from the depths of space, operating on unknown logic. They’re people. They come from families just like you and me. They’re raised in our cities and on our farms and in our suburbs. Just because they have powers and abilities that are different from those we humans have, that’s no reason to round them up and toss them in camps, to presume they’re guilty.

Mutants are just like people. There are some good, some bad and the great majority somewhere in between.

And yet Trask Industries keeps pumping out Sentinels. These monstrous robotic killing machines — yes, I said it, killing machines — are found on every corner all over the world. This is big brother. Really big brother.

The one thing that has allowed this to take place has been the dehumanization of the mutants as a whole. We’ve followed along in the steps of demagogues who keep telling us that mutants are less than human. And then, when Bolivar Trask said he found a waylist-trask to electronically differentiate an active mutant from a baseline human. . . Well, all bets were off. If they’re different, then we need to kill them before they kill us. And who’s to say these Mutant Detection Devices even work? I mean, Trask Industries calls it proprietary and won’t let anyone take a real good look inside. 

If you want to talk scary, let’s talk Sentinels Mark I. These aren’t even human at all. There’s no human in the decision loop. Each one of these operates on a set of software code, but it operates independently. If it decides to shoot down a little dude or little dudette just because they have the x-gene, something they might not even be aware of, then we can’t stop it.

Image2_FullAnd the government just allows this to happen. Heck, Bolivar Trask got rich selling these metal monstrosities to governments all around the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if some day these things just decided the best way to protect the human race was to take over completely and sterilize anyone found with the x-gene.

Seriously. I mean, have you looked — really looked — at the propaganda posters that are going up lately? If that thought, that image, doesn’t scare you, then you haven’t been paying attention.

To make matters worse, there’s talk that Trask Industries now is developing a Sentinel Mark X, which is going to incorporate some sort of genetically engineered bioweapon on board.

People, this just isn’t right. We need to do something. Write to your congressman or congresswoman, to your senators. Heck, why not write to the great Bolivar Trask his ownself? Let them know we believe mutants are human, too.

I started going bald early, about the time when I was 16 or so. That’s considered a mutation. Not much use in sowing terror or combatting dangerous criminals, I’ll grant you, but a mutation nonetheless. Am I next? Do I need to start fearing the sound of those soulless monsters clanging down the street after me?

We need to do something. Now. Not next week. Don’t wait until 2014. By then it could be too late.

Director B. Singer with Sentinel from the movie.
Director B. Singer with Sentinel from the movie.

 

This post brought to you by X-Men: Days of Future Past, because I stumbled on the movie’s Trask Industries viral site and just got so geeked out I couldn’t help myself. Sorry if I went overboard, dudes. It’s just I’ve been wanting this for so very long.

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This Time Thing Still Is Getting To Me

by Richard

Of course, knowing me, you dudes could probably guess I did a lot of whining when Congress moved Daylight Savings Time back in the winter months.

It used to be in October, rather than on the first Sunday in November.

I loved going out for Halloween and having it be really, really dark. That was cool.

Even though it’s been a couple of years since the change, I’m still not used to it. Once the end of October rolls past, I figure Daylight Savings Time already has ended and I’m good.

Which makes what happened on Sunday still catch me by surprise. Sure we got an extra hour of sleep on that Sunday, but it’s still throwing me a bit out of whack.

I’m whining.

I seem to be doing that a lot lately.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my internal clock has been thrown off rhythm. Or something. I wouldn’t know because I’M GETTING ALL CRANKY.

. . .

You know what? I’m going to take a little break now.

I’ll be back tomorrow all better. No more cranky. Promise.

Maybe.

 

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Does Being A Celebrity Make Smokey Bear Smarter Than The Average Bear?

by Richard

The US National Forestry Service is running another series of commercials on the radio, starring the voice of Puddy on Seinfeld. These days he’s going by his real name of Patrick Warburton, he of the very, very deep voice.

The commercials run with a high-voiced civilian calling the park service, represented by a smug-sounding Warburton, already acting like he knows more than you dudes ever will. The civilian talks about an encounter with Smokey Bear (notice there’s no the there. The Forestry Service is really harping on that for some reason.), who talks about how people cause nine out of ten wildfires.

The civilian says something along the lines of, “I didn’t know that.” To reinforce that we should listen to Smokey’s advice, the Warburton character says, “That’s why Smokey’s famous, and you’re not.”

Yeah, seriously. They’re actually saying, not that we should listen to Smokey’s advice because he has long years of experience in the area of preventing wildfires, but because he is famous.

Do what the famous individual says, not because she is right, but because she is famous. As if being known by a lot of people, say, for being in a lot of movies, makes you some sort of expert on, say, insecticides on the skin of apples. I mean, no one would panic and start removing apples from school cafeterias just because some actress got out in front of a camera and said they were bad.

And Congress would never bring in celebrities to testify before a committee for no reason other than that they want the star power to gain attention.

Is our country really that shallow? Do we really equate fame with expertise, with knowledge?

Sadly, the answer is yes.

The equation runs something like this: If people know you, then you must know stuff and we should listen to you.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t run like this: You’ve studied your area of expertise for many years and are familiar with the ramifications of the situation, so we listen to you. Nope. If you’re that guy, then the people who don’t agree with your opinion start talking about how unqualified you are to talk and, besides, you’re just some pointy-headed scientist.

But that’s a whole other post about how people actually think you can believe the facts you want to believe and that makes your conclusion true, since it aligns with what you believe.

The takeaway is this: Don’t believe something just because someone famous says it. Do your own research. Listen to the experts, not the amateurs.

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