24 June, 2010

A Day of Double Definitions

I respect Dan Diaconescu for one thing only; the man is living his dream and that is rare. Having decided he has important things to say to the world, he bought himself a TV station and is now doing just that. In person, all day, every day. And there my respect ends with a resounding thud. DD is a self-aggrandizing publicity whore who makes Jerry Springer look classy. He is the proletariat's Barnum's retarded younger brother, and he'd have it no other way. Whatever's on the opposide side of the spectrum from "intellectual," 10 steps beyond that lies our man Dan. But he knows where the audience is and how to capture them. The lower the viewers' I.Q., the more they love him, so you can guess he pretty much owns the country in that regard. I'm not going to editorialize much more because I begrudge him the free publicity, except to wonder if anyone's really fooled by that ridiculous fake grey hair. No, I'm not going to run his photo here; you can look him up if you really want to know. Because if you really want to know, I really don't want to know.

Anyway, he was just arrested, ostensibly for blackmailing the mayor of someplace too small to be even called a village.  If the latter paid a sum, the former wouldn't run a scandalous report on his show. And therein we have our first double definition: "beguile." It means "to charm or divert," which we already knew is DD 2 a T. But it also means "to influence by trickery," which, we now also know, applies to Danny Boy. And initially, the arrest had me saying "good on ya, Karma!" He had it coming to him, he's bad news in general - a personality cult as undeserved as it is misused. The police station where he landed was besieged by a mob of sobbing, screaming (and probably largely unemployed) fans who probably hadn't a single soul among them who could tell you the square root of one. In their defense, though, if given enough typewriters and time, they would probably produce a Shakespeare play. DD instinctively found the news cameras and proclaimed the conspiracy against his innocent self. And I had to admit he wasn't 100% wrong.

Not about his innocence, of course, that's clearly non-existent. But the conspiracy part bears some examination. With all of the absolute corruption and insanity running rampant throughout Romania's core structure, DD blackmailing the mayor of some flyspeck commune is law enforcement's top priority?  Thanks to criminals, premeditated and negligent, reaching to the country's top seats, Romania, already one of the poorest countries in the EU, is now additionally on the verge of financial and accompanying social collapse. This is mainly due to "austerity measures" which take income away only from those who didn't cause the crisis and who can't afford to pay for it.  Meanwhile there's a known embezzler running free who reportedly owes the state 600 million Euro, a prostitute running free who owes 22,000 Euro, Mafia and black marketeers whose crimes and debts are known and documented, and rampant nepotism in state-run venues which pay millions of the public's Euro to politicians' useless relatives in criminally-overpaid positions, often custom-invented. At the same time, said politicians fill the news by accusing their opponents of stealing, in that time-honored Communist tradition: accuse others of crimes loudly enough that nobody notices you've hypocritically commited those same crimes first.  Oh, and lest we forget; the State's approval, without public knowledge or input, to start treating Romania's crops with a BASF fungicide, of which the effects on humans are unknown except to cause cancer. By any comparison, Dan the TV Weasel is harmless. But he's the one in jail, isn't he?

So, we come to the other Double Definition of the Day: "arrest." It means "to take into custody," which is of course what happened to Danny.  It also means "to slow down or stop," as in the progress of something.  Ironically, the agency that performs the first definition, also completely fits the latter. Beyond a certain threshold, that is.  If you want to be a criminal in Romania, your danger of being caught doesn't lay with how much you steal or how you steal it, but rather with the power of your influence. The worst criminal officials or businessmen really need to know only one guy to keep them out of jail, don't they?  Dan, on the other hand, knows millions of people, and they all know him.  But they're mainly blue-collar (if that) vidiots who couldn't possibly help him out of a bind, so into the joint he goes.  If you're Romanian law enforcement looking to justify your job and keep your worthless butt out of the press for another year, who are you going after; the silent criminal who can have your family killed with one phone call; or the loud high-profile punk who couldn't arrange a prank phone call?

Imagine the progess in all areas if the powers of prosecution spent less time arresting (slowing down the process) and more time arresting (taking criminals into custody)? Given the unlikelihood of this, the question becomes, who arrests the arrestors?

That's enough wordplay for today, I need a rest.

07 June, 2010

Damp and Fishy-Smelling Heads Prevail...

Did you read about the scientists who researched what it would take to freeze Lake Erie solid?  The reason for this is that Lake Erie was calculated to be the amount of ice needed to cool down what has been one of the more unfortunate and embarrassing battles known to the planet. Well, make that to the country. Would you believe around town?  Okay, okay... at least to my devoted readers. Both of you know what I'm talking about... me and the ex.

After what has now become years of saber-rattling, accusations, and other paths to Mutually Assured Destruction, the latter-day Gorbachev and Reagan have finally taken steps to bury the 57-megaton missile hatchet for the sake of a peaceful family, if not world. (Cold War metaphors end here, I promise.)

No small part of arriving at this conclusion is that today is my birthday (slipped that in pretty smoothly, eh?) and such a day compels you to contemplate where your life is going. To this end I hereby endeavor to clean up my act, starting with this blog. There is so much stupidity and surrealism out there for me to write about without bringing my own family issues into it.  I offer my sincerest apologies for subjecting you to my dirty laundry, and with luck (or a U.N. peacekeeping task force, whichever comes first (wow, promise broken in less than one paragraph, a new record)), it shall not appear again. 

As we all know, it takes two to refuse to tango. But a first step is still crucial, whether you're dancing or not.