SOTW Roundup: 7/28/2013 – 8/3/2013

racewarsOn the next Soundtrack of the Week (Episode 152), we will be discussing race and education with one of the hosts of The Reasonable Negro. Not only are we all stupid, but apparently, 100% of us are racist. For many years, people were under the impression that race relations have improved dramatically over the past several decades. One incident squashed all of that progress: the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin thing. Literally overnight, we went from social progress to social regress all because of six dumbass jurors from the biggest piece of shit state in the country. One verdict sent Americans spiraling out of control with their interpretation of race relations. Black people started speaking out about how racist people truly are on a day-to-day basis. White people started apologizing for anything and everything. One day, the United States had made a giant leap from pre-1964 America. The next day, we made but only a tiny step. This drastic change in tone is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to a shocking incident that no one can really make sense of. That right there is the problem: trying to make sense of something senseless. Zimmerman—racially motivated or not—did something terrible and flat-out idiotic. The jury—racially motivated or not—did something equally idiotic. Instead of wondering where are legal system went wrong, we spent all of our focus and energy making this incident indicative of the racial tone of the entire country. Does racism? Yes. Will it ever go away? No. Humans are shitty, imperfect animals. When things are different than what we are used to, we treat them different. How differently we treat them and to what extent is the difference between a civilized society and a racist society. The United States is 1000% more tolerant than just about any other country. In fact, the first article below will highlight that fact, which is a perfect segue for THIS WEEK’S ROUNDUP!

 

While we are busy pointing out how racist everybody is in this country, let’s step back and see what’s going on with are more progressive counterparts over in Europe. Italy seems like a pretty tolerant country…assuming you’re Catholic. Oh, look! They even have a black cabinet member who is also a woman, Cécile Kyenge. Good job, Italy! Wait a tic…what is this? Cécile Kyenge has been repeatedly marred by racist insults and protestors THROWING BANANAS AT HER. #SMH Goddammit, Italy. To all you socially progressive hipsters out there: your beloved sport is the MOST racist. Hearing monkey sounds coming out of white, European fans when playing an African team is pretty common. Yes, those morons live here as well, but we do not tolerate them nearly as much as Europe seems to do. We may not be perfect, but try being black anywhere else in the world.

One thing that Italy got right is art. Some of the most talented artists in history hail from Italy. Where do artists of lesser talent hail from? Detroit, apparently, and one Detroit artist has confused a local news station. The following caption was included in the Facebook picture below:

Local artist Jerry Vile has created something he calls “Vessel of Hope”. He hopes it may in some way ease the pain of having the Detroit bankruptcy shoved into our faces. Can anyone explain what this means???

If by “faces” they mean “assholes,” I think the sculpture speaks for itself. Quick note to old people out there: if you don’t know what something means, ask a young person. A quick question to an intern would have solved this riddle. Either way, some old reporters just learned something that they cannot unlearn.

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On several Roundups, I have encouraged everyone to shame fat people like we do smokers. If we shame smokers for unhealthy choices that drive up healthcare costs, why don’t we do the same for fat people? Looks like New Zealand received my message. South African Chef ‘Too Fat’ to Live in New Zealand. A 286-lb chef was denied renewal of his work visa for being obese. New Zealand has one of the highest obesity rates. An immigration spokesperson said, “It is important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimize costs and demands on New Zealand’s health services.” There you have it! Pretty simple math. I suggest that this guy find a different career. Then again, I would trust the tastes of a fat chef as opposed to a rail-thin one. When the chef moved to New Zealand six years ago, he weighed 352lbs. Claiming you’re losing weight at 11lbs per year is like a smoker claiming he’s quitting smoking by going from a pack a day to one cigarette less a year. Try harder.

It’s been awhile since we last checked on the gay community with the Supreme Court ruling win. Let’s see how things are going now. The Pope Gives Zero Fucks About the Gays. When asked about the sexual orientation of priests, the pope said:

We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society. If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

The only people left who hate homosexuals are morons and the deeply religious (usually one in the same). Although there is little we can do about being a fucking idiot, the Pope telling his followers to chill the fuck out should hopefully get homophobes to chill the fuck out. So far, Pope Francis is my favorite pope. The Catholic church has gone from complete ass-fuckery to not caring about ass fucking. Essentially, Pope Francis’ approach to religion is “don’t be a dick.” That’s a religion I can’t get behind…but I won’t, because there is no god. Meanwhile, in Russia: Russia Will Arrest Gay Athletes and Tourists at the Olympic Games. Dammit, Russia! Get your shit together! The fucking POPE just gave a neutral stance on gays, and the Catholic Church has a history of hating gays…despite, you know, all the boy fucking. That’s totally not gay.

Since we’re knocking down stereotypes (kind of), let’s knock down some more. Since we were talking about the gays, let’s do them next…you know…in a fiercely no homo way. Of the following list, choose which male in these professions has recently transitioned into a female: hairdresser, costume designer, Navy SEAL, Broadway musical performer. If you chose Navy SEAL, 1) you might have a weird fantasy, but 2) you are correct! Meet Chris—err, I mean—Kristin Beck. Kristin (seen below) used to be Chris, who was a badass Navy SEAL. There’s not a whole lot more to say. What makes Kristin’s story so great is the fact that it tears down every stereotyped attributed to transgender people, and I mean EVERY stereotype. When we think of gay males, we think of feminine, Cher-loving, well-dressed, hairless guys. When we think of anti-gay males, we think of Navy SEALs. I’m going to tell you what we (unfortunately) had to tell white racists in the 1950s: gay people are no more or no less human than everyone else. The ONLY thing that makes them different is their sexual orientation. The. Only. Thing. Some white people like rap. Some black people like death metal. And some transgender people were former Navy SEALs. Deal with it.

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Let’s wrap up this Roundup with a look at the economy. To start, Thousands of Fast Food Employees Went on Strike Nationwide, Asking for $15/hr. I reported on the Manhattan and Chicago protests earlier this year of the exact same nature. This week, the push for $15/hr by fast food employees went nationwide. As stated before, I have a college degree and have a job with one of the biggest financial institutions in the world in a position that requires a college degree…and they pay me $15/hr. If the McDonald’s cashier thinks he or she can earn as much as a college graduate working for Bank of America or JPMorgan Chase, think again. Do I think fast food employees should earn $15/hr? Yes, I certainly do. I also believe that I should get paid more than $15/hr. This is not a question about the wages within the fast food industry. This is more of a question about wages across the board. The problem with paying these employees what they are demanding is what we will do with their superiors who currently earn that amount. Essentially, everybody’s wages would have to increase proportionately in order to justify it, and not just within the fast food industry. If I find out my college degree is worth the equivalent of flipping burgers, you bet damn well I’ll demand higher wages. Middle-class wages and lower have remained stagnant for quite a while (perhaps even decreased when set for inflation), whereas CEO salaries have increased exponentially. The solution is obvious: the rich needs to take a fucking pay cut and pass it down. HAHAHA! Good luck with that!

Perhaps there is another solution: Pay $0.68 More For Your Big Mac. An undergraduate student at the University of Kansas found that if minimum wage earners and the CEO both doubled their salary, the burden of cost would only equal $0.68 per Big Mac and the dollar menu would be the $1.17 menu. In other words, we all would chip in a little more for shitty food we don’t really need. Here’s the problem: we all want higher wages, but nobody wants to pay more. If everyone were to get paid more, stuff would cost more. When you think about it, higher cost of living would just negate the higher wages. It’s not that we are not willing to pay a little more. Rather, it’s that “little more” adds up quickly, and the next thing we know inflation has fucked everything up. Although the slight price increase for a Big Mac is enticing for higher wages, the end result—assuming everyone else will also want increased wages—will be everyone ending right back at Point A. With that said, it’s pretty obvious who needs to hold the burden of increased wages across the board: the One Percent. Unfortunately, they earned their disproportionate amount of the world’s wealth, so none of us are entitled to their hard work. Sorry. L

I understand that this Economy Wrap-up is pretty depressing, but fret not! You are not alone. 80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment. According to an Associate Press survey data, “Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.” You can read the article for more details, but essentially, everyone is financially fucked. While we are complaining about the NSA spying on potential terrorist phone calls and emails, Wall Street and the government have their hands in our wallets and bank accounts. White, mother-headed households in poverty have reached the same level as blacks, so this is no longer about race. Everyone across the board is getting the Crisco-covered iron fist of the rich shoved up their ass. They were gracious enough to lube it up only because it prevents us from seeing it happen. Just because you are not poor does not mean you’re not getting the shaft. Every goddamn week I highlight a new survey or study that reveals how badly each and every one of us is getting dry-anally raped economically. However, you wouldn’t know it by the lack of overt anger and action from the American people. Go ahead and cry about the CIA spying on your boring, insignificant phone calls and emails. Bitch and complain about a racial divide that has been blown way out of proportion. Meanwhile, the government is wiping their brow and congratulation each other for the REAL PROBLEMS BEING DIVERTED. Have a great week!

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For more news and commentary to listen to while waiting in the unemployment line, listen to Soundtrack of the Week on www.soundtrackoftheweek.com, iTunes, and on your smartphone via Stitcher Radio (Twitter page at @SOTWpodcast). Also follow Ty on Twitter at @TySOTW. If you don’t, I’ll assume it’s because you had to sell your mp3 player, smart phone, and computer to pay for this month’s rent.

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