Took shelter.

A wild weather evening in our part of the world yesterday. I’m sitting in the car place, waiting on an oil change and watching the news footage scroll by, and it’s a standard-issue tornado damage — houses reduced to matchsticks, the usual. But no injuries. Presumably someone will get a splinter or a nail puncture before the mess is cleaned up, but it’s times like this we should all join hands and thank civilization for our infrastructure, the things we all take for granted — weather alerts, in this case.

I remember turning my ankle on a sidewalk-repair job in Buenos Aires that didn’t have so much as a strip of yellow tape to warn the pedestrian. The Argentine capital has many charms, but for all our whining about the lawyerizing of American culture and so forth, we live in a pretty safe country, all things considered.

(If I were writing this screenplay, this is the part in the story where I am killed by a stray bullet fired by an armed citizen practicing their right to self-defense, perhaps with ammo purchased from Michi-Gun, the actual name of an actual gun store in the next strip mall. Actual motto: “We aim to please!” God bless America.)

Speaking of which! Here’s an actual movie trailer for an actual movie with that actual title — God Bless America — which seems to consist entirely of sweet Freddie Rumson from “Mad Men” on a killing spree, taking out people who chap his ass. You know, the standard antihero thing. I’m interested in what sort of arc Bobcat Goldthwait might be able to squeeze out of that story, but not enough to pay to see it. Even with Freddy Rumson.

If you feel like going on a killing spree — or even just stamping your feet a little — watch Stephen Colbert take apart Rick Santorum’s latest. I heard the NPR version today, in which Santorum claims his previously quoted remarks — that he thought Puerto Rico could become a state, but only if they were willing to make English the “main language” — were twisted. OK, whatever. I’m sure he believes it in his heart.

The hell with that — how about a stop by the South by Southwest festival. Thanks, Hank, for the tip on this lively read of the music part of the deal. Lively turns of phrase: The Mean Jeans are “a Portland trio who sound like the Ramones with a colony of fire ants dumped down their boxer-briefs.” Yeah.

And for me, that’ll have to be it. Enjoy your weekend. I’m spending mine grading papers.

Posted at 9:03 am in Current events, Popculch |

73 responses to “Took shelter.”

  1. coozledad said on March 16, 2012 at 9:50 am

    It aims to please, and so does Louise! So don’t hide arms, get side arms! at Aaaaaace guns!”
    Firesign Theater, Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers?

    You can’t make shit up when it comes to the killbillies. They’re a living self parody. Roy’s talked about how the rock musician’s milieu is a bad, dark place, but it’s nowhere near the humpbuckets out in trailerstan. We’ve given up whole sections of the country to something that looks like the Spahn Ranch with fatter psychos. It’s not going to turn out good.

    And Santorum wants to start the War on Hardcore Porn. We’ve done so well in the Wars on Drugs and Terror I guess it’s time to go full metal Barbarossa on yet another front.
    The War on the War on Christmas ought to make for more smaller government, too.

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  2. brian stouder said on March 16, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Leftover from yesterday: let me just say, basset, that that holiday I never heard of before sounds even better then Festivus, by golly!

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  3. Julie Robinson said on March 16, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Here in Indiana, a new law names the Grouseland Rifle as the state’s official rifle. We have an official rifle?

    And in other standard political corruption news, Mitch Daniels gets to appoint a Republican to replace Charlie White

    The justices said the Democrats waited too long to file a challenge to White’s ineligibility. Never mind that the allegations didn’t come to light until after the deadline. Lord have mercy upon us.

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  4. Bitter Scribe said on March 16, 2012 at 10:19 am

    The Republicans aren’t just killing their chances with the Hispanic vote. They’re stomping the corpse, incinerating it and peeing on the ashes.

    My local rag has an op-ed feature consisting of transcribed phoned-in rants from morons who aren’t capable of writing down their thoughts. It’s filling up with fulminations about how “illegal immigrants” (i.e., anyone who speaks Spanish at home) are going to swing the election for Obama.

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  5. coozledad said on March 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Rush’s beard don’t love his money enough no mo. They won’t know for sure until he takes that Viagra-fueled jaunt to the Dominican Republic (try shoving them up the Luray cavern in a condom this time, Rush: no one’s hardcore enough to dig there).

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  6. alex said on March 16, 2012 at 10:42 am

    As one commenter so aptly put it, Rush’s wife married him for the money so what does that make her?

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  7. coozledad said on March 16, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Alex: She’s an “event planner” I wonder if that means she sets up the ice for his ball-bucket.

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  8. basset said on March 16, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Brian, I think you could draw at least one parallel between the two…

    meanwhile, the question of whether another highly-paid NFL laborer will grace Nashville with his presence is a huge deal around here… someone did a fake tweet, one of your local Detroit sports columnists fell for it:

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  9. Prospero said on March 16, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Call me an idiot, but I’m a fan of pretty much anything Bobcat Goldthwait does. He reminds me of K. Boom the extremely nervous weapons and explosives expert Don Knotts did around a hundred years ago on Steve Allen’s man on the street interviews. Frank Zappa on Steve Allen show:

    We had some hellacious thunderstorms last night. Have been through several tornado cleanups, and nail through foot is the most common injury. Done it myself. Days after night Tstorms are always perfect here. 82, no wind, no clouds. Time to start the tan.

    I think the Ramones were pretty committed to goin’ commando, and boxer briefs sound really unlikely. And Sanitarium seems more like Savonarola than Barbarossa to me. And didn’t Michael Douglas make that movie years ago, with Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey and Tuesday Weld? And what do we say about Wars on Concepts? We join Nancy Reagan in merrily shouting “Just say YO.”

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  10. LAMary said on March 16, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I don’t know which is worse: Santorum making those ridiculous statements about euthanasia in the Netherlands or people believing it. As someone from the Netherlands commented in Gawker, isn’t capital punishment involuntary euthanasia?

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  11. Julie Robinson said on March 16, 2012 at 10:52 am

    As another commenter on the Rush story says: This is good news for all the ladies out there who have been coveting Rush.

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  12. brian stouder said on March 16, 2012 at 11:11 am

    So, I followed Coozes’ entertaining Rush-link, which also had a teaser on the sidebar about a CNN reporter who just came out of the closet.

    Intrigued, I clicked it, and indeed, my favorite CNN reporter did come out, and more power to him!

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  13. MichaelG said on March 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

    You guys are killing me with the links. My work computer blocks most of them and tattles when I try to connect with one of them. Trouble is that Big Daddy is blocking new sites so fast that I can’t keep up with what’s just been blocked. Then by the time I get home I forget to go back and follow your links. Like I meant to check out that onion/egg one yesterday and forgot.

    There used to be a combination liquor and gun store in Roseville. Wonder if it’s still there. I regret never having taken a picture. “Gimme a quart of MD 20-20 and a shotgun, please.”

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  14. adrianne said on March 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Aah..Puerto Rico. GOP candidates just can’t get their heads around the fact that Puerto Rico is, indeed, part of the United States and its residents are U.S. citizens. My favorite moment in the Tea Party nut Carl Paladino’s run for New York governor came during an editorial board meeting, when I asked him to provide just one name or example of an illegal immigrant coming to New York state to have “anchor babies.” His aide got on the horn with the Buffalo area social services commissioner, who recalled a woman who flew into Buffalo and had her baby at a local hospital. “And she was…Puerto Rican!” he exclaimed in triumph. After I stared at him, dumbfounded, I said quietly: “You do realize that people from Puerto Rico are American citizens?” Um, no, he didn’t. Inexcusable for any politician, but particularly one running for the governorship of New York state.

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  15. jcburns said on March 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

    um, CNN’s Don Lemon came out in May of last year.

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  16. brian stouder said on March 16, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Well, I learn ‘new’ things from years (or decades) before, all the time – so it’s all good!

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  17. Deborah said on March 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Yesterday when I left work it was 81 and sunny in the loop, by the time I got home to my place by the lake in Streeterville it felt like it was 40 degrees colder there, foggy and windy. And they’re only 1 1/2 miles apart. I had to wear my winter coat when I ventured out for cat supplies.

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  18. brian stouder said on March 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Whoa – followed another link, and didja see that Dennis Hopper is dead?

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  19. Snarkworth said on March 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Regarding Rush’s matrimonial arrangements, I imagine each bride gets time-stamped, and receives lovely parting gifts if she stays long enough.

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  20. coozledad said on March 16, 2012 at 11:57 am

    brian: I wiki’d Hopper just to see what he was up to when he was my age:
    Hopper’s cocaine intake had reached three grams a day by this time period, complemented by an additional 30 beers, marijuana, and Cuba libres.
    Sumbitch could have lived to 130 if he’d taken it a little slower.

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  21. alex said on March 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Didn’t Dennis Hopper become a raving right-wing kook in his final days?

    In case anyone is wondering what’s the matter with Kansas, here’s a clue.

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  22. brian stouder said on March 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Alex – THAT was a funny link!

    Regarding Mr Hopper – wow. Presumably he struggled against some jumbo-sized demons

    (if nature seeks a balance, maybe he’d have died a lot sooner without all that self-medication…)

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  23. beb said on March 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    It’s 80 degrees in March for G’ds sake. Now tell me global warming is a joke!

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  24. alex said on March 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Well, I’m a bit concerned about all the buds and blossoms popping out these last few days as a friend with a pet racoon tells me that it isn’t coming out of hibernation, a sure sign that cold weather is yet to come.

    I know you’re not supposed to have racoons as pets. She found this one orphaned and nursed it with a baby bottle and it just stayed around. (The mother and other babies were all dead on the road.)

    I also hear that the Farmer’s Almanac says spring this year will be “in like a lamb and out like a lion.”

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  25. MarkH said on March 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    It’s not a joke, beb, but you’re doing the same thing the nay-sayers do with an unseasonable cold weather pattern.

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  26. Dorothy said on March 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Brian I absolutely adore you but did you realize Dennis Hopper died nearly two years ago?

    I for one do not believe all that hoo-haw about weather traditions and predictions. I just believe in waiting to see what comes next. So many people I work with walk around quoting strange little collaquialisms and it drives me nuts. The one about the forsythia budding and then we’re guaranteed to have 3 more snowfalls. I could just scream.

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  27. Prospero said on March 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Scribe: All of ’em registered fraudulently by ACORN, which, judging by internets presence, rightwingers believe is still in the Vote Fraud game.

    GOPers are whinging pussies and crybabies, and Democrats are Mackavelli:

    Alex I’ve survived a Rocky attack in a small attic space. Those masked mothers are fearsome.

    Dennis Hopper was a gifted painter and an avid art collector. His home in SoCal was basically a warehouse space he used to display his collection of paintings:–7E6j-sQLYi6mcCw&ved=0CHYQsAQ&biw=1920&bih=945

    Our Kumquat tree is dropping ripe fruit. And the Carpenter bees are buzzing. These things don’t usually happen until Easter.

    My favorite Dennis Hopper movie performance aside from Easy Rider, was the nutcase baddie in Waterworld, a movie I’m a sucker for. I also thought Flashback, with Kiefer Sutherland was hilarious.

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  28. Dexter said on March 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    ALEX: As Ralph the dishwasher told Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy’s opening scene, as Joe was telling him about how the women were dyin’ for it “up New York City” because the men “is mostly tutti-fruttis”, I’ll say what Ralph said: “I don’t know, Joe, I don’t know nothin about it…”

    I loved Dennis Hopper like I do Jack. Just Jack, you know who I mean.
    Jack may have been Hopper’s best friend .
    Hopper did reveal he voted for W43 both times, but as this article tells us, maybe he did it to rebel against the Hollywood elite Democrats, maybe he hated the Hollywood coctail parties and fund raisers; I’m just speculating.

    I remember his work going back to 1969 and Easy Rider, then to the 1980s and his role as Feck in the clip in the link, then I began reading of his last house and his fabulous art collection.

    He was different all right. Once he spotted a friend, and panic-stricken , he asked the friend what could be wrong with his clothes dryer? Well, nobody ever told Dennis about the lint trap. Problem cured.

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  29. Jakash said on March 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    It had nothing to do with the mile and a half (unless you’re using that as an indication of the time elapsed, not distance). Wherever you were along the lake and elsewhere in Chicago yesterday, the temperature dropped about 30 degrees in practically no time. High 82, low 48. Saint Tom Skilling of WGN and the Tribune called it a “pneumonia front”.

    I know it’s absurd to be picky like this, but I gotta say I prefer 58 or 62 to 82. I don’t recall it often happening before that I’ve stepped outside in March and thought “it’s too hot”. And I don’t know if it presages more snow or not, Dorothy, but seeing the forsythia coming out and daffodils in full bloom before St. Patrick’s Day seems pretty unusual. By all indications, I guess the Mayans may have been right about 2012, after all…

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  30. Dorothy said on March 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I agree it’s unusual, Jakash – I just hate hearing people summon all these old-timey sayings and quoting them as if they are guaranteed true. And I agree – I would prefer the temperatures warm up gradually instead of this sudden change. It will make it all the harder when they stop and we return to what is the norm for this time of year. I recall plenty of Easters when it was too cool to wear the new outfit I got for myself or my kids. Or we wore them and put a winter coat over top of them. Yech.

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  31. Lex said on March 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Speaking of shelter from the storm, more on SxSW: Bruce Springsteen’s keynote speech, in which he discusses his musical influences, including but not limited to Mr. Zimmerman. Spent my lunch hour on it, and it was well worth it.

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  32. alex said on March 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Dex, what I recall of Dennis Hopper’s politics was a morning show appearance in the run-up to the 2008 election where he was talking about the coming apocalypse should Obama be elected. It was patently offensive, the sort of shit you’d expect from someone like Joe Arpaio.

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  33. Bitter Scribe said on March 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    In “River’s Edge,” Hopper was…not quite “good,” but his emoting was a welcome contrast to the blank-faced mumbling by Keanu Reeves and the rest of those kids (except for Crispin Glover, of course).

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  34. coozledad said on March 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Scott Walker continues his winning streak.

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  35. Prospero said on March 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Netflix streaming for free for Paddy’s Day:

    The Eclipse (pretty damn scary)
    The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Frack the Brits and the Black and Tans)
    Hunger (about Bobby Sands)
    The Secret of Kells (gorgeous animation)
    The Snapper (good movie version of a very funny Roddy Doyle novel)
    Into the West (wonderful Gabriel Byrne performance, reminiscent of the magic of Helprin’s Winter’s Tale)

    I believe River’s Edge is the most horrifying movie I’ve ever seen. And Dennis Hopper was terrific as Shooter in Hoosiers.

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  36. Jolene said on March 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Great links, folks. The story re Dennis Hopper (see dexter@28) is very sad, but illuminating. If you’re of a certain age and have any affinity for popular music, the Springsteen speech (see Lex @31) will bring to mind many fine moments from the past, but, more important, will draw together many threads of American music.

    What I like most about Springsteen’s music is its intensity, and his speech has that same quality.

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  37. Suzanne said on March 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I didn’t even know until a few weeks ago that Rush L was married AGAIN. Amazing to me how “family values” people listen to him when he obviously knows nothing about family or values. And I did listen to him back in the day, until he became increasingly pompous and started veering towards crazy. Now, he’s just creepy. And of course, there was that whole illegal prescription drug business…
    And really, wife #4, there is so little difference between a gold digger and a prostitute, except for the pimp, I guess.

    Yes, Indiana now will let our man Mitch pick the Sec of State and we have a state gun. I really, really want to move.

    Out to work in the yard because it’s too nice not to do so.

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  38. MichaelG said on March 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Here in Sacto it’s mid fifties, foggy and raining.

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  39. Prospero said on March 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Shelter, by Maria McKee and Lone Justice.

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  40. Deborah said on March 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Dennis Hopper used to spend time in Taos, NM and we used to go to his favorite restaurant hoping we’d run into him, but never did. The restaurant used to be excellent but our last trip there it has gone way downhill.

    We’re all waiting for the bagpipers to arrive. Every year for St. Pats at the office they have some large group of pipers come through, it’s a hoot. Obama is or was next door at the Palmer House so maybe they’ve been delayed by all the street closing around here.

    I’m heading out of town tomorrow for a long weekend in Southern CA, and it turns out it’s going to be warmer in Chicago than there. At least it will be lush and green there, and I don’t mean green as in Irish craziness like it will be in Chicago.

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  41. Deborah said on March 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Dexter that was a great link about Hopper’s last days. I didn’t know he was buried near Taos, we’ll have to find his grave on our next trip in May. We’ve done a Captain America and Billy search for places that were used as background for Easy Rider. We’ve found a lot of them. In fact we’re pretty sure there’s one brief spot in the movie where they are driving their motorcycles right past our land in Abiquiu, you can tell by the mountain that our land backs up to.

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  42. Dexter said on March 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Deborah, that is so cool! Great idea, tracking the route of Captain America. I saw the movie in San Antonio. I had to ride a bus about 40 minutes to the movie in a very shaky area.

    I always look for Dennis as well as Harry Dean Stanton when I see “Cool Hand Luke”, the Newman vehicle. Wasn’t Strother Martin great?
    ” What we got here is… failure to communicate.
    You run one time, you got yourself a set of chains. You run twice you got yourself two sets. You ain’t gonna need no third set, ’cause you gonna get your mind right.”

    This script is chock full of doozies, like the one about “rabbit in his blood…”

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  43. Deborah said on March 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I just read on CNN that the young man from Rutgers on trial for spying with a webcam on his gay room-mate, was found guilty. The gay room-mate who had been having a sexual encounter while being web-cammed (not a word, but what do you call it?) killed himself by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge. The young man who did the spying could get 10 years for multiple counts and he’ll be deported to India because he was here on a visa which will be null and void since he is now a felon.

    edit: I’m surprised I thought he was going to get off Scot free.

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  44. Prospero said on March 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    The guy that spied on his roomie is a vile excuse for a human being.

    Calvin Trillin on home schooling a la Santorum.

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  45. LAMary said on March 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Hey Deborah, it’a supposed to rain all weekend and not get above 55. You picked a bad weekend. It was gorgeous last weekend and the one before.

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  46. JayZ(the original) said on March 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Deborah, unfortunately it is not lush and green here. We have not had any rain all winter, so the surrounding hills are brown. LAMary is right that we’ve had gorgeous sunny weather for weeks, but forecast is cold and rainy this coming weekend. Don’t let that spoil your week-end retreat though. Enjoy.

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  47. basset said on March 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I saw “Easy Rider” some months after it first came out, at a drive-in outside Bloomfield, Indiana, in the hills southwest of Bloomington. Went to the concession stand late in the movie and had my back turned to the screen when I heard massive applause, hooting, whistling, general carrying on. That was, as you would expect, reaction to Billy and Captain America getting shot off their bikes.

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  48. brian stouder said on March 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    A non-sequitur. This happened two days ago, and after pondering it, and having slept on it for two nights, I still just don’t know.

    Wednesday at lunch I grabbed a chicken club at McDonalds (which is good stuff) (plus 3 outmeal cookies – shoulda’ skipped those) and they had Fox News on their big tv, as always. President Obama and the British PM were holding a joint news conference in the Rose Garden, so I sat there and watched intently as they took questions.

    After maybe 10 minutes, my chicken club was mostly gone, and I was working on cookie number one, when an older white man and his fairly attractive wife came in. They took a seat about 8 feet from me, and began watching the press conference, too. I had just taken another bite of oatmeal cookie (those things are surprisingly good; just the right balance of chewey:crunchy), when the old white man fairly bellowed the declaration “SOMEBODY SHOOT THAT SON OF A BITCH”.

    I am not overstating the case to say that I choked on my cookie a little, and coughed and sputtered. The guy looked at me, and I dropped my chin and more or less stared at him – but I was still coughing and sputtering.

    Well, hell. What was the proper response? I arose, and went and refilled my soda pop (you have to get your refill) and headed straight for the door.

    This immediately struck me as exceedingly lame – but I honestly cannot think of another response that would have been better. I think he embarrassed his wife (if not himself); and he damned near choked me.

    Still – I have the feeling that garbage like this will be flying like crazy (and I do mean “crazy”) and I think I should be better prepared, going forward.

    (or maybe, McD’s should just change the damned station to something less likely to prompt their customers to bellow and choke)

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  49. MaryRC said on March 16, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    The truly horrifying thing about River’s Edge is that it was based on a true story: the 1981 Milpitas, Ca. murder of a 14-year-old girl by a 16-year-old boy, who showed her body to 13 people before someone reported it. One of his friends went to juvie for helping him hide the body under leaves.

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  50. MaryRC said on March 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Does Elton John get to keep the million dollars he got for singing at Rush’s wedding?

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  51. Suzanne said on March 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Brian, I would write a letter to McD’s and explain what happened and explain that while you know they do not have control of who comes into their restaurants, you will no longer be eating there and that you think having Fox News on contributes to this type of thinking. I don’t often eat a McD’s anyway, but I surely won’t now.

    Perhaps you should have called 911 and stated that someone had just threatened the president’s life?

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  52. Deborah said on March 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Brian, one of the good things about living in Chicago is I don’t have to deal with situations like the one you described in the McDonalds incident. I can’t imagine that happening here. But I can imagine it happening in other places I’ve lived over the years namely Dallas. Thankfully long ago and far away. I had to steel myself for those kind of encounters coming from people that I went to church with. It was nauseating (Prospero, sorry if I’m misusing that term, I can’t remember the proper usage). It’s hard to know what to do when it happens so unexpectantly (or should that be unexpectedly?).

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  53. brian stouder said on March 16, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    You know – a letter to McD’s might just be the thing, indeed; thanks Suzanne!

    (I’m not big on social confrontation, and then again – McD’s cannot have have thought through having that stuff as their singular distraction for non-techie folks [like me] who don’t utilize their wi-fi)

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  54. Kirk said on March 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Yes, a call to the cops that someone was in Mickey D’s threatening the president might have gotten the message across to the grease pit’s management, especially if some coppers showed up.

    You could also let McD.’s know that you don’t appreciate restaurants where people bellow terms like “son of a bitch.”

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  55. Crazycatlady said on March 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Meth Chef and High School Chemistry teacher Walter White from ‘Breaking Bad’ has killed all the people who chapped his ass in the 4th season. This coming last season #5 is going to be a real blast. I think this show has more kills than ‘Dexter’.

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  56. DellaDash said on March 16, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Brian – any of the delayed-response advice above is fine…but do NOT confront…do NOT engage with that kind of fast-food (plus who-knows-what-else) rage. Nothing constructive can come from it. Walking out the door was the best thing you could do in the moment.

    Prospero – how could you fail to mention that the main pawn-villian in ‘John Carter’, Sab Than, is played by Dominic West of ‘The Wire’?

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  57. Dave said on March 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Brian, confronting strangers who may or may not be reasonable, is never a good idea. Clamp down on your tongue, if you must. I’ve done it many times, you never know who you might be dealing with, regardless of how normal they may look. The last few years I worked, when it was made clear by my employer that many things could be possibly, maybe, sort of unacceptable, were hard.

    With all the foul language heard in public these days, will McDonald’s do more than write a polite response? Personally, I hate all the televisions found everywhere these days but it can’t be avoided and Fox News seems to be one of the stations of choice locally.

    I’ve not been paying attention but I see that Ohio University knocked off Michigan in the NCAA today, so “Go, Bobcats!”

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  58. Dexter said on March 17, 2012 at 12:32 am

    My older brother is always confronting management in eating establishments about one thing or another.
    Two years ago he was visiting my younger brother and they went for a meal at the Auburn, Indiana McDonald’s.
    Fox was blaring away, and my brother approached the crew members and told them Fox was offensive to him and he wanted the station turned to anything else.
    The spokesperson told him they could not control the TV…it was tuned into Fox at national HQ ! How bizarre…if true.

    On the day Reagan was shot my friend Mike and I were in Philadelphia for the college basketball Final Four. We had lunch that day at a Russian restaurant. We sat in the bar and ordered drinks. Then the TV came alive and the bartender blared out the sound…Reagan shot…and Mike stood up from the table and yelled “the son of a bitch is an extremist and he SHOULD have been shot!” Nobody even looked at him.

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  59. MarkH said on March 17, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Brian, I can relate, though not to such an extreme reaction as that. We have a TV in the lobby of my place of business and can put on whatever we want. A previous manager, for a time, was adamant that Fox News be on the screen. I have nothing against Fox, but held the view that such a thing was a risk in a public business venue and told him so. Sure enough, a middle age couple came in one day and, seeing what was on and highly offended, took it up with said manager, who argued with them and refused to take it off. They threatened to pull their business, manager wouldn’t budge, so they left. Manager asks me what I think, I tell him he was wrong. Not about liking Fox so much, but for allowing it to create un-needed friction and controversy. I would say the same thing if msnbc was on. At least CNN is more neutral, less polarizing. We settled on cnbc for a time. Now that he has been replaced, we enjoy the food channel.

    My point is, I am surprised that McDonald’s would let a franchisee have a TV, and go further to allow the showing of something politically incendary. I know two McDonald’s franchisees and hear about how strict McDonald’s is with EVERYTHING in the store.

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  60. Dexter said on March 17, 2012 at 12:39 am

    OK, nance…I’m not an M alum, but I have followed the school through the Freep and News and M!Live and I am indeed a big sports fanatic.

    So congratz to the Bobcats from Athens…your alma mater knocked the Wolverines out last night.

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  61. JWfromNJ said on March 17, 2012 at 2:06 am

    My daughter worked at a dunkin donuts and it was one of the regular meeting spots for the angry old men club that seems to have chapters in every city.

    FOXnews was the owner’s station of choice and customers would complain to her all the time. One time a confrontation developed between a few younger women and the old guys over something on FOX and the women made a stink, demanded to see the manager, called corporate, and finally the manager asked the staff if this was a one time issue.

    The result, which worked fine was the TV being tuned to the Weather Channel, which assuaged the old men because everyone loves to talk about the weather.

    Funny that you had that problem Brian – In Bluffton which is about as right wing and religious as N.E. Indiana gets one TV is set to Disney and the other is also on the weather channel. It’s not controlled by corporate. Haven’t been in the one in Vero Beach enough to notice but I’m meeting someone there for coffee next week and I’ll look.

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  62. David C. said on March 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

    One Christmas, after tiring of all my complaining about TV’s everywhere, my sister gave me a little key fob remote control thing that would turn off any TV. It worked great – for about a month until it broke. It was a great idea, but poorly executed. The only place I’m assaulted by Fox news is my annual check-up with my vascular surgeon. I feel like the aneurysm they are watching would be half the size it is without the blood pressure rise I get from Fox.

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  63. Connie said on March 17, 2012 at 7:55 am

    David C, I was just about to post the same thing. TV in the doc’s waiting room raises my blood pressure. Although recently I am noticing a content change to playing medical channels. My Dad is coming to visit next week and the TV will be on all day every day. I’ll be at work though, so poor hubby.

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  64. David C. said on March 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

    My condolences to your husband, Connie. I bet the volume is always cranked too. My wife and I have the same problem when we go home to visit my parents. As you said, it’s on all day every day. Even when they’re not in the room it’s on. After three or four days of judge shows and stupid sit-coms they’ve seen a hundred times before we are so ready to go home for some peace and quiet.

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  65. Julie Robinson said on March 17, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Confronting someone who has just been advocating gun violence just might make you a victim of gun violence. I’d agree that a letter and avoidance would be the best bet.

    I am so grateful that my doctor’s office has a fish tank. I don’t care for TV except in small amounts when there is something I choose to watch. Just turning it on and watching whatever is on is anathema to me. I have already figured out that when my hubby retires there will have to be a room where I can go, with a comfortable chair and listen to music, because he will have the TV on all the time and my jangled nerves might lead me to violence.

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  66. alex said on March 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Brian, I don’t know if you recall it but a couple of years ago local Bob Evans restaurants came under attack over Fox News. The restaurants had avoided putting Fox on so as not to offend. What happened instead was that a bunch of Fox watchers pitched a fit and threatened a boycott and Bob Evans then capitulated.

    You know, there’s nothing to be gained by scolding a crass loudmouth in public. However, I’m going to put on my Obama bumper sticker and display it proudly and if I get any verbal abuse because of it I’ll give back as good as I get.

    The Fox watchers and Limbaugh listeners who become emboldened by and inured to the vileness of hate speech do indeed know they’re out of line when they open their damn fool yaps and I think it’s an entirely different matter when someone like that is assailing you directly as opposed to just showing off in public.

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  67. Prospero said on March 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

    People that talk about shooting public personages in public places parbly have concealed darry permits and big Glocks. Wnd as for the insistence that none of the hateful anti-Obama hysteria is racial in character, try some of this shit:

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  68. Bitter Scribe said on March 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    There’s a mom-and-pop barbershop I go to for the same reason anyone goes to any barbershop: They cut my hair the way I like for not much money. They’re both really right-wing–the woman even looks like Sarah Palin. (That’s not just me. She told me that in 2008, after Palin joined the ticket, she regularly got double-takes.) The TV is always on Fox News.

    The husband is more into that stuff than the wife. When he cuts my hair, I regularly have to listen to his political diatribes. I try to let it roll off, sometimes slipping in a comment that he doesn’t get–“Yeah, black people have really got it made in this country,” that kind of thing. But it’s getting annoying. Maybe I’ll change barbers.

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  69. brian stouder said on March 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    The funny thing about McD’s choice of tv station is that this is the McDonalds at Goshen and US-30 (by Fortmeyers Truckstop). If I go a mile and a half down Goshen, there’s another McD’s on Goshen, that has 6 TVS, all tuned to different stations, and all muted, with subtitles going; not a bad solution, really.

    Thinking about it, the cranky old man with the embarrassed wife would probably still have bellowed at the image of his president, subtitles or no.

    It just seemed like I mis-handled (or failed to appropriately react) to the situation, and the idea of writing to McD’s strikes me as exactly the right response.

    I’ll work on composing a paragraph or two (at most), and send the thing off; and if anything comes of it, I’ll report back

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  70. MarkH said on March 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Brian, I would think that the problem is the person in question and his reaction rather than McD allowing Fox on the tube. What if they had CNN or msnbc or CBS or some other channel on and Obama appeared? It’s fair to day that he would have had the same reaction, and thus your same dilemma. What would be left to say in your letter then other than “Can’t you keep these blowhards out of your restaurant?” My solution of I were in charge: as I said earlier, Food Channel or sports.

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  71. MarkH said on March 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Brian, on second thought, let me dial that back a bit. It’s just possible that, upon seeing Obama on the screen, and also seeing that it was on Fox, your commenter may have felt he was in friendly enough environs to spout that vileness. Perhaps a knee-jerk reaction from him, but the assumption being, not only McD’s management, but most of the people there by default shared his views, so why not mouth off. I still say Food Channel. Especially when Giaga’s on.

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  72. brian stouder said on March 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I always liked Rachel Ray, myself…

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  73. JWfromNJ said on March 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Sticking with the Weather channel as the perfect restaurant tv choice, almost a Solomon like decision. I once read in a marketing textbook that the older McDonalds were engineered to be comfortable for 11 minutes. I imagine the new ones are designed to keep you there longer, but the weather should keep people happy for about 20 minutes.

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