2/20/2010

What the Hooters Episode of "Undercover Boss" Taught Me...

I'll admit that Undercover Boss hooked me with its first episode. It was a bit ironic since Waste Management lost the contract for trash and recycling in our complex the very same day it aired. Anyway, I finally caught the second episode where Coby Brooks the CEO of Hooters of America goes undercover in his restaurants.

I really wanted to see that one because Hooters has always struck me as borderline sleazy. My first experiences there were colored by being in the company of straight men who could have been served pig slop (which the food nearly was) as long as the "Hooter Girls" in their tight T-shirts tied in knots under their breasts and their hot pants riding up the crack of their butts managed to graze them with a boob while serving the food.

My next experience with Hooters was for a happy hour for surgery. The three straight guys working in surgery were given a chance to choose the bar and they chose Hooters. So, it was a several gay guys, a bunch of women and three straight men. I don't really drink beer so ordered a Malibu Screwdriver. My friends ordered beer. The girl informed me that they didn't serve "alcohol" at Hooters. I asked her why she was bringing beer then and she replied "Beer isn't alcohol! Duh!" Later on we asked if we could pay by the drink rather than running a tab because we didn't want to have to stand and split the tab with people coming and going at our table. We were told that wasn't possible because she was assigned on a certain number of order slips! It was the most bizarre thing I'd ever seen. Finally, a manager came by our table. He was a rather nice looking blond guy. One of my companions expressed her disdain at the outfits the girls had to wear and he explained it was the "brand" and how they appealed to people. I answered that if he wanted to appeal to me he'd best slip in the back and throw on some hot pants and a tight t-shirt himself. He was not amused.

2/16/2010

How Serious Is This?

Each day it seems the "Tea Party" people edge closer and closer to violence. In the New York Times there is a story about a little old grandmother who has literally lost her mind by listening to all this. She is now entangled with radical people like Richard Mack from Arizona and other "militia" and white supremacist types.

Is it simply racism that caused all this? Honestly, is it just the fact that an African American who 50 years ago couldn't have ridden the same elevator as she (unless he was operating it) that gets her somehow? It's hard to say. She even admits that her family worries about her sanity.

I'd say with good reason. She is playing a dangerous game with dangerous people and a sane person would have the good sense to see that. Rebellion and violence are last resorts when a government has become intolerable. Our government is far from that. Indeed, if she were worried about her liberty she'd have been concerned about the arbitrary suspension of Habeus Corpus by the Bushies - instead she supported them fully and sees nothing wrong with leaving the Constitution in tatters as long as "he" is removed from office and "liberals" are punished. This is not a political rebellion but the race war we've been holding our breath about for a 100 years. Look around a teabag group... how many non-white faces do you see?

These people like to style themselves after the great political philosophers who founded our nation. Yet, they eschew education and intelligence and prefer guns, god, and slogans. Their political beliefs are shallow and illogical - contradicting themselves at ever turn. They're against government interference in people's lives but support the government telling people they can't choose to have an abortion or telling people who they can love or marry. They think our court system is flawed and corrupt but love it when someone is executed by those courts. They don't want to pay taxes but want a huge Christian army to battle the "heathens."

2/11/2010

Reagan Era Class Warfare Rears Its Ugly Head

Here in Arizona one of the usual cast of conservative nutjobs is proposing a law that would limit what people who received public assistance can spend their money on. In short if you get public assistance of most types  you will not be able to purchase alcohol of any type, cigarettes, cable service, or a cell phone. I haven't read the proposal in full because I understand it has zero chance of making it to a vote, much less being passed and probably violates numerous federal privacy laws too.

However, what has caught my notice is the requisite "populist/conservative" groups on Facebook that sprung up almost immediately in support. I had friends who are otherwise sweet and kind people join them because the language is the same used during the Reagan era that makes it sound like everyone on public assistance is living a life similar to Donald Trump. I even challenged one of those friends and she could not see my point that such controlling ideas are dangerous and point up an attitude of Social Darwinism whereby those most in need are least deserving of help because they must be morally flawed. In short, the idea behind these measures are that you can't trust people who are at their lowest point because they must have some lack of moral fiber in order to sink to that level, ergo, they will rip off "hard working" people.

Back in those days of Reagan and Bush tossing around terms like "Welfare Queens" my town was in the process of dying thanks to Reagan's hatred of tariffs on foreign goods. Within three years of him taking office the cotton mill and cloth industry in the south had been completely destroyed and moved to foreign soil. My town went from three mills employing thousands to none. Among those thrown out of work was my aging father.

My father left school and entered the cotton mill when he was 14 years old in 1934. He worked everyday until he was called for service in World War II in 1942. He went off to fight the Nazis taking part in the D-Day invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, the race across Europe and the liberation of the camps. He returned home and immediately went back to work in the mill. The same mill where his mother had worked since she was 6. He did not miss a day of work in the next nearly 40 years until the last one when "the flu" got him. Actually, it was pneumonia but he refused to go to a doctor. He worked half a day and came home and was back the next day.

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