12-18-2006 Waitin’ for the end of the world

One of these days, the Liquor Control Board is going to have to deal with the White House Tavern over yonder on Hazel Street. Let’s be honest. You’d have to be drunk to even think of coming within twenty yards of this joint after dark without first donning a bullet-proof vest. There’s a trail of spent shell casings leading in damn near every direction out of that place.

Police call incident ‘riot’; bar owner disagrees

Elick said there were about 20 people involved in a fight in the parking lot at the bar, and all except Peterson dispersed when police arrived. He said Peterson refused to leave.

Luciano and Lisa Ruzzi, the bar’s owners, disagreed with the use of the term “riot.” Lisa Ruzzi said after she spoke with employees of the bar and other people involved, she heard that “gang-related violence” first occurred at the Glass Bar in Edwardsville.

Revisionist bar owner: Oh, you silly, silly police officers. Shame on you. It wasn’t a riot, it was a spirited disagreement involving fists. It, it was some orderly conduct that temporarily went disorderly contact. Jeez. It was a friendly scrum that got a little out of hand. It was just big, big kids (packing heat) letting off a little steam. C’mon, it’s not like anybody shot their eye out.

Silly police officer:Ma’am, fifty people swinging bar stools at each other is a full-blown riot.

Revisionist bar owner: No, no, no! You’re making a mountain out of a molehill. It was just some gang violence that found it‘s way to my parking lot, but not real bad like. Well, not as bad as usual. No one got shot. There were no resulting car chases and colliding vehicles. You’re overreacting and sullying our good name. Silly, silly police officers.

It’s an idiot magnet of the worst kind and it needs to be padlocked.

Sez me.

Hey look! They went and gave us a prestigious award. Well, golly! I’m truly honored and I’ll be keeping an eye out for the UPS truck. I’m going to hang my plaque right next to my autographed glossy of my mentor: Alfred E. Newman.

Person of the Year: You

Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I'm going to mash up 50 Cent's vocals with Queen's instrumentals? I'm going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?

The answer is, you do. And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you.

Thank you. Thank you. First of all, I’d like to personally thank Michael G. Rennie of the Northeast Blogging Council, without who’s support, none of this would have been possible. He’s been a real mutha’ to me.

I’d also like to thank former mayor Tom McGroarty for resisting the urge to put out a hit on me at a time when most of his supporters were begging him to do so. Thank you, Tom. Oh, and thank your goons for chickening out after confronting me.

A big shout out has to go to Kayak Dude who provided me with the opportunity to pin myself against a strainer and drown. Oh, and the chance to frolic about in feces, brown foam and all sorts of unknown toxic substances. If I end up growing a third eye, I’ll have him to thank for it. I thoroughly enjoyed the Sun poisoning, and I look forward to even more oozing shoulders in the future. Thanks, Dude.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention ‘Little Birdie,’ who provided me with countless city hall documents that would never have been scanned up to the internet for all to see. You’d be surprised to learn just how many multi-page reports can be stuffed into a single bra. Thanks, Birdie.

Early on, a city fireman helped to keep my inner fire burning with some very sound advice. With threats of intimidation and vindictiveness swirling around my head, he prophesized as such: “Fu>k them!” And fu>k them is was from there on out. Thanks, Hose Dude. As it turned out, I didn’t get shot or run over. Go figure.

Lastly, I have to thank the countless legions of loyal readers who showered me with words of encouragement aplenty along the way that pretty much covered the entire spectrum. Whether it was fat, bald, unemployed, bitter, stupid, old, or simply mad at the entire world--the unchecked adulation was greatly appreciated. I couldn’t have done it without you, and I thank you all.

Yes, it is true that I was contacted some months ago by Tom Cruise, and we are currently negotiating the details of the upcoming screenplay for Wilkes-Barre Online: The Movie, coming soon to a theater near you.

From the e-mail inbox I like your site but I could do with a little less photos of the family. Why not stick to the issues? I visit the other local sites linked to from that NEPA site and see they do not feel the need to bore me with their families or slide shows. It’s time to refocus your efforts.

As for the pictures of the kids, they have relatives that do not live in the immediate area. So, by posting their latest pics and such, their far-flung family members and interested friends can tune on in and see the latest. And that practice will never stop.

Then there’s this comparison to the other local sites. First off, I fail to understand how anyone blogging anonymously could even dare to include much family background, let alone pictures, for fear of “outing” themselves. Secondly, as users of free blogging sites, the authors of said sites are very limited as to what they can do with their sites. Since I pay for this site and it’s massive cache of stored images, I have the freedom to do anything that coding such as HTML, Javascript and Flash allows me to do. I pay for that versatility, I enjoy that versatility and I wouldn’t blog at all if I was saddled with the limitations of the free blogging services. But, that’s just me.

Actually, the slideshows are a beautiful thing. I can upload 50 pictures right now and not have to store a single image on my paid account. I can upload as many pictures as I want and as often as I want, and it’s all free of charge. Plus, I am probably much more prolific when it comes to snapping pictures than I am at typing words, so why not share some of the hundreds of pictures I take each and every week? Where’s the harm?

Look, this site is what it is, and there it is.

Whatever it is.

If I had a dime for every time I heard someone complaining about the condition of Pennsylvania’s Highways or Wilkes-Barre’s streets, I’d buy me the Sears Tower in Chicago turn it into the world’s largest record store. Er…CD store. You knew what I meant. I know, old people suck.

Anyway, follow this link and scroll through the pictures. Some of it is hard to believe in this day and age.

The Most Dangerous Roads in the World

This one will bust your family jewels.


This Game Was Provided By GamesOnMySpace

From the e-mail inbox Hi Markie,

I think it was Potter Stewart who wrote in a Supreme Court opinion "that people have a right to be left alone."

Of course the framers of the constitution couldn't foresee today's technology but the intent was to keep the government off your back unless there is evidence that you committed a crime. When I think about it I guess there isn't a difference between a policeman witnessing a robbery or vandalism from his patrol car or via a video camera. But the camera thing still creeps me out.

Thanks for checking out the nuts and bolts of how this is to work. Any surveillance system has a potential to be abused that's why there should be a written policy and over site.

I'm still uncomfortable with the government or big business trying collect more and more information on us. My instinct is to resist and question anybody that wants to know more about me. And I don't buy into the argument that if I'm not doing anything wrong I have nothing to worry about.

Question Authority!

On another topic. Who will self-destruct first today, The Eagles or Giants?

Ah, the Giants. I had a bad feeling about this game. I mean to say, the Eagles flat-out suck, and Andy Reid’s tenure will probably come to an end after next season. But, despite having so many really talented players, the Giants keep shooting themselves in the footsies over and over and over again. They are undeniably sloppy, mistake-prone and far less than disciplined. And with that said, who’s to blame? Um, Tom Coughlin?

I doubt they’ll do it, but if I was pulling the strings, Coughlin makes his exit after this season. And Plaxico Burress--that slacker fu>k--gets traded to the Pioneers. And Mr. Savior himself--Eli Manning--needs to get real consistent like next season, or I’m looking to draft another high-profile quarterback. I wanted Philip Rivers, they drafted him and then quickly traded him away for Eli. My brother was thrilled, my son was thrilled and they couldn’t understand why I wasn’t thrilled. Whatever. Too late now.

As for the surveillance cameras, in my mind, too many of us were making like talk radio hosts. You know, you take the initial reporting and then speculate the thing to death without even being privy to most of the important details. So, I just figured it’d be wise to get whatever details were actually available out there on the table for all to see. It sure beats the hell out of turning council meetings into insult-dominated shoutfests and whatnot.

In all honesty, I think it’s a sad turn of events to even think that we need surveillance cameras. But with personal responsibility, basic civility and the obeying of the rule of law waning so frightfully, I think we need to do whatever we can to force people to clean up their sorry acts wherever and whenever we can. It shouldn’t have to be that way, but we are paying the price of decades worth of piss-poor parenting, and too much meddling with the traditional family structure by the government as well as fringe groups with unstated but ultimately debilitating agendas.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where too many among us would think nothing of killing your grandparents for the purposes of securing a tiny bag of heroin. We live in a society where the rich people support the idiot magnets--the multitudes of social service agencies--that ruin our communities, while they reside far, far away from them. We live in a society where too many of the young black males would shoot you dead for something ages-old that you personally never had anything to do with. We are surrounded by drug addicts, government supported “victims,” homeless people who probably need to be institutionalized, countless undocumented illegal aliens and Americans who go well out of their way to differentiate themselves from the at large population. Disrespecting someone who deserves no respect at all can get you killed in an instant.

Stop signs are an inconvenience. Yield signs are ignored. Proceeding through a green light is fraught with danger at any given intersection. Bicycle riders are to be screamed at until they get with the demented program. Regrettably, road rage has been added to the lexicon. We litter at every turn. We are used to seeing graffiti all over the place. We barely even notice the broken windows anymore. We need to lock everything. We need to chain everything else. We need alarms on the bigger ticket items. Our elementary schools resemble prisons. We need to track the whereabouts of the growing army of child molesters. You need to pass through layers of security just to access most large businesses, or government buildings these days. They’ll mug you for your wallet. They’ll mug you for your jewelry. They’ll mug you for your expensive sneakers. If that doesn’t work, they’ll do a home invasion. You don’t need a bank card to make a withdrawal. All you need to make a withdrawal is a switchblade and a Turkey Hill.

Good manners are a refreshing change of pace. Good grammar is becoming a thing of the past. Civility and courtesy is the stuff of a bygone era. People you pass on the streets will look away rather than say hello to you. Gunplay in our neighborhoods really doesn’t shock us anymore. Our police officers are treated to a very, very suspicious eye whenever a known criminal accuses them of anything. Small children throw F-bombs at adults like it’s nothing. You can’t walk a half-block without being hit up for a cigarette or some spare change. As the police blotters demonstrate, there is no shame in being arrested for public drunkenness. Rampant teenage pregnancy is treated as a disease, rather than the sickening warning sign of a society in serious decline that it is. Christians are treated like lepers, while perverts demand their rights. We’re told that children don’t need a father, only two or three same-sex partners. Christ! We can’t even vote without some goof causing a scene at the local polling place.

Question authority? That’s all well and good, but I don’t think we’re asking the right questions. Well, that is, the government creates our problems, and then tries to fix them by handing out scads of tax dollars. Problem is, you can’t purchase good behavior and you can’t legislate away stupidity. Sorry, but in lieu of personal responsibility or any modicum of civility or just doing the right thing, the cameras will have to do.

The thing is, we just can’t be trusted anymore.

Sorry, my intent was not to depress you. But after proofreading all of that meandering malarkey of mine, I’m thinking you should lock all three of the deadbolts, drink heavily and beat the puppy.

Stay in touch.

And I quote Elvis Costello: “Dear lord, I sincerely hope you’re comin’ ‘cause you really started somethin.’”

Ah, hell. Let’s do the chorus, shall we?

Waitin’ for the end of the world.

Them’s my scattered thoughts.