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Tag: Charles Bukowski

Happy Valentine’s Day

Image: PV Bella

“While men were watching professional football or drinking beer or bowling, they, the women, were thinking about us, concentrating, studying, deciding – whether to accept us, discard us, exchange us, kill us or whether simply to leave us. In the end it hardly mattered; no matter what they did, we ended up lonely and insane.” —Charles Bukowski

As you can tell from the above, I am one of those hopeless romantics, Mr. Lance Romance, with Cupid’s arrow sticking out of my arse cheek. Today is Valentine’s Day. A day of hearts, flowers, candy, gifts, and whatever. All romance, kissy face, teeth aching treacle sweetness.

In Chicago, we celebrate Valentine’s Day by killing men. We send the gift of lead.

On February 14, 1929, Chicago showed the world how to properly celebrate Valentine’s Day. The celebration was and still is, romanticized in film, history, and fiction. It was the day Chicago put the red in Valentine’s Day, making it the official color. Alphonse Capone is credited with creating the celebration. It made people see those lovey-dovey hearts in a whole new manner.

Image: Chicago Tribune

Rat-a-tat-tat kaboom became the official music of L-U-V on that cold, snowy February day. The whole world saw how Chicago celebrated Valentine’s Day in a whole new way. Somewhere in the world, the ritual is emulated daily.

Yesterday was Superbowl Sunday, also known as the Day of the Wusses. People watched the game from home or in bars, eating crappy food, drinking to excess, and cheering a bunch of overpaid no talented Ken Dolls trying to win a genteel game for gentle men. It makes the few real men left want to stick their fingers down their throats and puke shards of glass.

People bet on this phony game, winning, or losing, not realizing the whole thing is a major scam. They waste good money buying expensive paraphernalia- logos, jerseys, hats, what have you. All cheaply made crap for the dim wits who desperately believe football is legit. Con men, liars, scam artists, thieves, and politicians are more legit than “professional” football. Hell, even pro wrestling is more legit than the NFL.

The NFL is nothing but a well-oiled, smooth-running money-sucking machine. They suck bucks from all the rubes, bark chewers, and backwoods pecker heads, too many who are supposedly educated. They should change the name of the NFL to the NDFL, the National Dyson Foolsball League. I am so glad this game only happens once a year. The nation would be better off if football was banned and the league of con men disbanded.

So, today, people are hungover and sick from all the beer, booze, and crappy food they shoved down their maws watching Ken Dolls pretend to be tough guys. Too many rode the porcelain bus overnight. Now, this morning, they expect some romance and kissy-face with their chili, taco, brat, pizza, booze, vomit breath. Go figure.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Oh the beautiful lies they tell

Image: PV Bella

“So that’s what they wanted: lies. Beautiful lies. That’s what they needed. People were fools. It was going to be easy for me.” (Charles Bukowski)

Chicagoans are not willing to deal with reality. Most citizens can’t handle the truth. The politicians, their spokes weasels, and the news media know this. They create soft language to protect us from the harsh reality of the ugly truth staring us in the face. These are called euphemisms.

Smug, overpaid spokes weasels, and wordsmiths create euphemisms to conceal our overlords’ sins of omission. When the spokes weasels and wordsmiths get stymied, they turn to academia. They seek experts with no expertise to create new language to hide the epic failures of our elected officials and their appointees.

Large urban areas were plagued with gangs. The gangs became racketeers. Their crimes became the rackets. Then, they changed the wording to crime syndicates, then organized crime. Organized crime morphed into organized criminal enterprises. Now, we have cartels.

Equality and inequality were bantered around for decades. The politicians finally woke up and realized humans are not all created equal and never will be. They now discuss equity. Equity is good. Inequity is bad. They no longer seek equality. They strive for equity. If they bring equity to the city, it will solve our problems.

Crime is no longer the result of human activity. It is part and parcel of systemic and intractable somethings or others. Crime should be understood in that context with a dose of nuance thrown in for good measure.

We no longer blame people for crimes. We blame their environment. Crime, like climate change, is now an environmental issue. I am sure that brings cold comfort to the victims, who the environment is victimizing.

Criminals, like the former physically and mentally handicapped, are referred to as challenged people. They have obstacles to overcome. Society must remove the obstacles that challenge them. I thought society elected people to do that.

Out-of-control violent crime in Chicago, especially gun violence, is not just an environmental issue. It is also a public health issue. It starts as a breakout, becomes an epidemic. Now, it is a pandemic, deadlier than COVID. All the city’s holistic treatments and measures failed. Chicago politicians hope the CDC and FDA can develop solutions, vaccines, and cures before we perish.

The Chicago Police Department is supposed to police the city. Yet, our masters tell us we cannot police our way out of the Olympic Games of Violence plaguing every neighborhood in Chicago. Go figure. 

“We” must solve the decades-long systemic issues plaguing underserved communities. Once that major feat is accomplished, “we” can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Who is this “we” “they” keep talking about?

There is another name for euphemisms, beautiful lies. Politicians and the news media tell us beautiful lies. We, the fools, believe them. It makes their job easier. They are terrified if we realize the ugly truth one day, and a pandemic of fear breaks out in Chicago. Fear leads to outrage. Outrage leads to unemployed politicians. 

 Politicians never admit they have no clue how to resolve issues. By the way, issues used to be called problems. Problems- a mathematical term- must be solved. They cannot solve problems. They changed the word to issues. Issues must be resolved. Resolved buys them time, even decades, to figure out solutions to the problems they will never solve.

There used to be numbers. Numbers turned into statistics. Statistics transmuted into data. In the age of technology, data is a sexier term. When politicians or appointees roll out data, the news media and citizens tingle and slobber like hormonally charged teenagers. When the sexiness of data wears off, the spokes weasels are ready. The next pornographic word is analytics. Data and analytics do not lie. Politicians use data and analytics to tell beautiful lies.

Politicians keep talking about accountability and transparency, sometimes in the same breath. Those two words replaced responsibility and truth. Elected officials are neither accountable nor transparent. We do not hold them responsible for their lies as we keep reelecting them or electing the same ilk. Politicians talk about change. The only thing they change is words. They are inept to change things. So, they change the vocabulary. Voila, problems solved issues resolved.