Winning the Marathon


The lunatics who bombed the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Bro Joe and I drove across the southern United States many years ago and, quite by accident, we visited the memorial of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. It turned out to be the highlight of our trip. Not because we saw the wisdom and light in Timothy McVeigh's whack-jog pro-militia agenda, but because we were moved and inspired by the heroics and compassion of the people who responded to the tragedy and those who would never forget the sacrifices and lessons that came from it. Such is always the case after such a disaster. When I visited Ground Zero in the wake of 9/11, the throngs of people who had made pilgrimages there weren't in attendance to curse the Devil United States or cower in fear of another attack; they were there to reaffirm their devotion to this country and offer tributes of love and remembrance to the victims and the heroes who risked everything to save them. When madmen carried out mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and Casas Adobes, Arizona, we didn't fall over ourselves pondering the motives of those who pulled the trigger; we idolized the children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary and the six people who were killed at the "Congress on Your Corner" rally as Congresswoman Gabby Giffords used the attacks to force us to reconsider language in our constitution written in the 18th century that likely didn't anticipate things like automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Such will be the case with the Boston Marathon bombings. We all want to find the monsters who was behind it and know their motive for carrying out the atrocity (Boston is on lockdown today as the police search for a suspect named Dzhokhar Tsarnaev aka "The Man in the White Hat," which makes it sound like a cousin of Curious George's sidekick planted the bomb, after lawmen gunned down his brother in a shootout) but in the end it will have the antithetical effect of what the murderers were hoping for. Timothy McVeigh didn't bring down the government in Oklahoma City, he caused citizens to rally around it. Osama bin Laden didn't demoralize the people of the Unites States, he gave us a cause that united us in a way that we hadn't known since Hitler was in power. Whatever misguided reason that the bombings in Boston were carried out turns out to be (Boston Police Chief Ed Davis said "We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people"), I guarantee that the result will be the polar opposite of what the fiends behind it were hoping for. The human race is a marathon dotted with these violent, ill-conceived pleas for attention, and when the runners encounter those obstacles they take from them the lessons that will allow them to carry on with the race; not the self-serving agenda offered up by the flotsam and jetsam standing on the sidelines who placed the hurdle in their path. Whatever reason we discover that the Boston bombings were intended for, their effect will be to bring us closer as a human family and ultimately allow us to find ways to make the road a little smoother for the runners yet to come. We aren't anywhere close to the finish line, but we are winning.

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, President Obama and Mark Barden, the father of Newtown shooting victim Daniel Bardem, speaking at a White House news conference following the senate vote. Not pictured: Daniel Barden.
The United States Senate, who voted down common sense gun legislation like a ban on high capacity magazines, a universal background check for gun sales online and at gun shows, and restrictions on buying guns legally and then reselling them to a third party. It was legislation that 90% of the country wants but which a minority of lawmakers (just not a big enough minority to pass the law under the rules of the Senate) voted against because of pressure by the NRA, gun manufacturers and a highly vocal minority of gun nuts in some of the more gun-obsessed states. I have yet to hear a compelling argument against the proposed laws but the most parroted one seems to be that gun laws "are against the founding fathers' wishes"since they forged the vaunted second amendment. Let me tell you something about the founding fathers: they were sharp cookies for their own times, but by today's standards they were idiots. Not only did many of them own fellow human beings as you would a cow or a dog, but they believed in far-out shit like being bled with leaches would cure almost every known disease (that's how our chief founding father George Washington kicked the bucket), so you might want to take their eternal wisdom with a grain of salt. I'm not sure why so many senators are vehemently opposed to revamped gun laws when the vast majority of their constituents favor them. The only thing I can figure is that the most vocal opponents to the laws are extremists who think that they need their guns to rise up against the U.S. government in case they get out of hand. It could be that senators who voted nay are sticking to their guns because they're afraid that a group of harried landowners will storm the senate chambers with muskets, cover them with tar and feathers and run them out of Washington on a rail. And there isn't Thing One that the senators could do to stop them. They would just be exercising their constitutional rights.

Mike Capes' profile photo that is guaranteed to drive your ex crazy. Personally, my first thought was “Man! That girl must be REALLY hideous if he cropped her out of the picture!”

Mike Capes. Enemies list favorite Mara Marini posted on her Facebook page a link to a vlog featuring Mr. Capes in which he gives advice about how to get even on Facebook with an ex-girlfriend who dumped you. Mr. Capes is an advocate of passive-aggressive moves like posting photos of yourself standing next to an apparently gorgeous woman who is cropped out so that just enough of her is shown to make your ex assume that whatever isn't in frame is the most breathtakingly beautiful piece of ass ever created by God. He goes on to suggest posting photos of yourself doing tedious household chores like vacuuming or cleaning the bathroom (something you would never consider descending to while in the relationship) while an inconspicuous but carefully placed prop like a Prada bag or a box of tampons lies innocently nearby, making your ex assume that the perfect woman who was cropped out of your profile picture has made you change your ways and is now draping her expensive fashion accessories and feminine hygiene products all over your apartment. Lastly, Mr. Capes suggests that you spice up an otherwise innocuous status by adding a suggestive "wink" symbol after it, making your ex assume that your announcement of "Epic night last night - my back still hurts" will make your obsessive ex-girlfriend imagine (in his words) "Oh my god; I think he hurt himself banging that really hot girl in the butt while she was wearing her Coach bag."

I admired Mr. Capes' cleverness and ingenuity with his elaborate strategy, but he fails to take into consideration that all his hard work is easily trumped by his hated ex-girlfriend hiding his statuses, unfriending him, or best of all not logging into Facebook at all because she has better things to do with her time. And when she is told three weeks later by a mutual friend that Mike has been trying to make her jealous by posting photos of himself vacuuming and cropping his sister out of his profile pictures so that she think he's standing next to Elle Macpherson, she'll just cluck her tongue sadly and whisper that breaking up was the right thing to do after all. So if you really want to annoy an ex after she dumps you, my advice is to wish her well and then carry on with your life as though nothing had happened. That will drive the bitch crazy.

Proposition B, the ballot initiative which mandated that all porn scenes filmed within Los Angeles County require the use of a condom. The Los Angeles Times has reported that only two permits have been issued for pornographic filming so far this year, far off the usual pace for an industry that typically receives about 500 permits annually. Instead, porn producers are moving their production to neighboring Ventura County, registering complaints from residents who "aren't just hearing 'moans and groans' from nearby houses, they're 'seeing naked people.'" But what's one man's trash is another man's treasure and the initiators of Prop B failed to take into account that I live in Los Angeles County primarily because I hope to catch a glimpse of naked people and I always figured that I had a better chance of it here than anywhere else (and I'm talking about people you'd want to see naked; not a horrific, accidental glimpse of my Uncle Murray coming out of the shower). Since the passage of Prop B, the only naked people I've seen are in porn films, and even that has lost some of its thrill because I used to enjoy the idea that what I was watching may have been filmed a few houses over. Now to get the same rush, I may have to consider moving to Ventura County except that now the residents there are making such a stink about all the porn going on that California lawmakers are considering a state-wide expansion of Prop B. Suddenly, a fleeting glimpse of Murray's withered penis may be the only shot I've got of seeing any real-life nudity at all. If only he didn't wear a condom in the shower.

The beloved character Las Vegasdotcom. He's so popular that I'm sure LOTS of parents will name their kids after him.

The travel website Every six months or so, Madison Avenue has some unnecessary piece of crap that they concoct a publicity campaign for that is so annoying that it pushes my blood pressure into the 300/200 rage (which, for the medically ignorant of you, is the typical pressure reading of an astronaut who has just removed his helmet while taking a moon walk). The last one to cause me to reach for my bottle of lisinopril was when the heroes at 5-hour Energy bludgeoned us over the head with the promise that they would donate 1.67% of the proceeds of their newly-introduced pink lemonade swill to a breast cancer charity (the awareness color of breast cancer also being pink, get it?). The commercials which currently goad me are for, which puts forth the hilarious premise that there lives somewhere in Middle America a 45 year old insurance salesman whose actual name is [snicker!] Las Vegasdotcom and that [snort!] everyone who meets him thinks that he's literally the website.

This side-splitting ad would have us believe that there was an expectant couple in 1967 named Mr. and Mrs. Vegasdotcom who named their little bundle of joy Las, and his life was a bowl of peaches and cream until the Las Vegas tourist board opened their cheesy website and made his existence a living hell. Here's the primary problem with this thesis that reduces it from being blandly amusing to simply stupid: Las Vegasdotcom isn't a person's name. If you look at the public records of every city, village, township, parish and nomadic conclave in human history, you won't find a solitary individual with the last name Vegasdotcom in the registry. Add to that the fact that "Las" isn't a first name unless it's a familiar shortening of something like Lashawn or Laszlo, and the hero of or commercial lacks the ethnic characteristic to make that likely. Finally, we are confronted by the fatal flaw in logic that your typical person of even average intelligence can tell at a glance the difference between a fellow human being and a website, and you see how the plausibility of the narrative begins to break down. But the good people at have such faith in their character and his hysterical adventures that they actually devoted a section of their site to explaining what it's like to be an average dude named Las Vegasdotcom. I'll be sure to send the link to my buddy WhoThehellthoughtthiswasfunny?. The little question mark at the end of his name is a regional dialect of his birthplace ThereShouldBeALawAgainstLazyAdvertising.We'll give you a minute to change your underwear before moving on to another Internet site because you surely must have wet your pants from laughing by now.