To a New World of Gods and Monsters

And what a scary world it is. Just when you don’t think things can get any worse – that when it seems as though we as American citizens have enough challenges to juggle – hemorrhagic fever with an alarmingly high fatality rate has come knocking on our doors and the most the CDC seems to be doing is asking it to wipe its feet before it comes in.

Ebola, which has been ravaging villages of West African countries without a shred of mercy, has become our new dinner guest passing out rolls with unwashed hands. Never before has this deadly virus graced our communities, but that all came to an end when an incredibly selfish man traveled from Liberia to the United States.  He lied on his questionnaire so he may be granted travel rights by his home government (needless to say ours would have let him in regardless and “monitored” him) and, days later, decorated his apartment building parking lot with jet streams of Ebola-infested vomit.

Let’s not give this man all of the credit, though. A special hats-off goes to Texas Presbyterian for sending the man home with antibiotics and keeping the ambulance the returned him to the hospital in transit for two days afterwards.  Crews without proper hazmat suits were sent in to handle the poisonous stream of emesis that glistened and sparkled in the glow of the street lights, striking these puddles with powerful jet sprays that sent the virus flying into the air only to settle on the many doorknobs of neighbors everywhere.

If only the CDC had been a little more honest about how the situation was being addressed. Swelling with arrogance over the successful treatments of previous Americans that had survived infection, they assured us that we have nothing to worry about.  It’s been contained.  They’re on top of it and it’s actually quite difficult to catch Ebola despite being a level 4 virus in their own labs where access is only granted to those with a multitude of vaccinations and boatloads of training.  By all means, just go about your day and know that the CDC is on top of it.

It’s a shame that they failed to mention how patient zero’s family was left to fend for themselves without food in a crowded apartment alongside linens stiff from the aftermath of an Ebola victim. Sure, it’s not the CDC’s fault that this family failed to follow the recommendations of health officials and stay in on their own accord, but where’s the empathy for this family’s basic needs as they endure quarantine until October 19th?

As more and more details surrounding the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, just how confident are we in the Centers for Disease Control? After filling our heads with ghastly images of hazmat suits wading through disinfectant, weeping families and corpse-lined streets, we’re being told not to panic.  More passion has been put towards having citizens get their flu shots than the arrival of Ebola Zaire in the United States.  The flu each year will land a whole 1% or less of its victims in the hospital where less than .02% will die.  Ebola Zaire has a fatality rate of up to 90%, averaging 50% during this current outbreak.  It’s really sweet that Walgreen’s is donating a flu shot for each customer that gets one here, but, in all honestly, just which one of these African citizens gives a shit about their donated flu shot right now?

In all truthfulness, even if more cases of Ebola spring up around the country, this will not affect our land in the same way it’s affected the poor nations of West Africa. Unless it mutates and becomes airborne, we’re not going to see another 1918 flu pandemic.  However, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to have another incident as we did just this weekend at Newark International Airport, now does it?  The ill Liberian passenger has tested negative (in a matter of hours) for Ebola, but imagine if the test had been positive?

So, on top of a medical industry that has no idea how to handle Ebola in a land with paved roads and running water, we also show no signs of taking the initial steps towards a more definitive approach to stopping an outbreak – banning all travel from Ebola-stricken countries to the United States. Sure, other countries have done it, but they’re not as nice as us.  Would we cease to achieve our goal of becoming the most polite, politically-correct state should we void a person’s travel rights during a time of plague?  After all, we have a government more alarmed by Global Warming then they are Global Terrorism, focusing whole-heartedly on a threat that is not only theorized and disputed regularly, but will take hundreds of years to kill us, if true, rather than terrorists that may kill us tomorrow.

We feared that, the moment the first Ebola patient was flown back to the United States for treatment, the God-like complexes would grow. If he lived, which he did, there would be no stopping the abundance of confidence from spreading like… well, like a highly contagious level four hemorrhagic fever.

The right questions are not being asked by our journalists such as, “Isn’t it possible to catch Ebola from the microscopic droplets that spray from every person’s mouth when they vomit?” How about, “how long would a patient remain contagious from Ebola even if he survives due to the shedding that occurs?”  Lastly, “what are the possibilities of an Ebola Mary?”

Personally, our fingers are crossed for a different outbreak of class action lawsuits against United Airways, against Texas Presbyterian and even against the CDC. After all, the only kryptonite to the personal freedoms superhero is money so it’s time to make the gods get over themselves and admit that the monster is loose and borders must be tight.


All Aboard the Savior’s Cruise Ship

Hairball is getting ready to attend a conservative summit and we couldn’t be more excited to hobnob with others that echo the message of this blog and, as always, we hope to make a difference in the thinking of others and begin to reshape this country of ours to the way it should be.

Still, we are reluctant suddenly to mention our upcoming travels to others and it’s a shame for having the opportunity to attend such an event should warrant bragging rights. Why you ask? Are we not proud for our stance on what is wrong with this country and what we can do to make it better? We are, but we also realize that we are about to enter of den of lions aggressively trying to recruit more subjects for their ultra-conservative mating season.

It’s no secret that we at Hairball will be voting Republican in 2016. Given that Hilary Clinton, for whatever reason, may be the presidential nominee for the Democratic party, we hope to have our own hellraiser on our side to look up to – one that approaches issues both domestic and abroad with a realistic way of thinking and appeals to the masses. Wow, what a unique and thrilling concept!

Unfortunately, when we scroll through breakout choices and well as the list of exhibitors that will be present at this summit, we can’t help but want to keep our participation on the QT. Typical in that the core principle of the conservative side runs parallel with Christianity, anti-LBGT beliefs and an undaunted command over the reproductive organs of American females, the summit seems to be a little too welcoming of discrimination towards what we may not understand nor readily accept.

This is why we cannot announce on social media that we have plans to attend this summit. We cannot, as much as we may desire, speak of how voting Republican will be beneficial to the country to friends of ours that are gay when they feel that they are less than human in the eyes of the majority of this summit. Nor can we shrug our shoulders and say that the bible tells them this because, based on that rationale, the Koran apparently states that Shariah Law must be the way of the world and, therefore, it’s ok that they massacre thousands in order to adhere to their belief system.

In this day and age, we’re still dumbstruck by the amount of time that is wasted on issues such as attacking the gay and lesbian community as if they were zombies that roam the streets at night, eating the brains of heterosexual citizens and, ultimately, creating an army of undead, immoral warriors. What apparently is regarded as religious freedom by these people is often seen as discrimination by those on the Democratic side. It doesn’t happen often on this blog, but we couldn’t agree more with the Democrats on this.

Religious freedom in this country is a right to practice whatever religion you see fit. If you want to bow down to the imps of Satan, so be it. Our own rights include a raised eyebrow, an exaggerated “really” and the freedom to not also except Lucifer and his minions into our lives. However, religious freedom does not extend the right to discriminate based on what any religious guide may preach, whether it is the bible, the Koran, the Torah or the Wiccan Guide to Everyday Spells. That’s exploitation.

Putting a gag order on your own thoughts in exchange for the ancient scriptures of a developing world doesn’t seem to be the healthiest approach to a happy, peace-filled environment nor will it win elections. The world has changed dramatically since 33 AD and not everyone feels the way you do. Attending church every Sunday may not be the solution to what’s wrong with someone’s life. In fact, it reminds us of a joke we once heard:

A man is stuck on a small boat on the ocean in the middle of a horrific storm. He begins to pray to God to save him from a looming, awful fate. As he prays, a larger boat pulls alongside the man and asks if he needs to be rescued. The man shakes his head and says proudly,” I’m fine. God will save me.” 

Ten minutes later, an even larger boat pulls up to the man and also offers assistance. Even though the man’s small boat is beginning to show wear and tear from the violent ocean, he again shakes his head. “I’m fine”, he states. “God will save me.” 

Fifteen minutes later, the Coast Guard shows up and yells at the man to get on board so they can save him from the storm. By this point, the man’s boat has sprung a leak and the waves threaten to sweep him into the ocean. Still, the man shakes his head. “I’m fine”, he repeats. “God will save me.” 

It’s not too long after that the man is knocked from his dilapidated boat and drowns in the fury of the storm. He travels to heaven and God greets him. The man is very upset that God did not save his life. 

“I prayed very hard for you to save me, Lord”, the man cried. “Why didn’t you help me?” 

God looks the man straight in the eye and says, “I sent three boats for you, stupid!”

The point of sharing this joke is not to offend anyone, of course. In fact, we dare you to embrace the concept of the lesson behind it. Your beliefs in that we who do not accept a strict Christian lifestyle will continue to be what’s wrong with this country is a frightening concept. It’s the stuff that wars are born from. We prefer to open our eyes and watch for the unrecognized boats that God may be sending our way. Although we may be praying for a miracle and the Coast Guard is not the spiritual ship of guidance that we pictured as our rescue, sometimes it’s just better to see that their boat is just as good and will bring us to an equally as bright a future.

A shorter version of this ramble is to accept that we are not the same, but we can work together easily if we try. Stop praying for a good world and start accepting that people from all nations, backgrounds and beliefs can help you build one.

Confidence comes from a person that can stay with his or her beliefs and still remain courteous to those with different ideas. If you’re confident in the face of opposition, you will stay and educate rather than shun and mock. If you can’t, then you are not confident. You are ignorant and afraid. I challenge your confidence to embrace everyone around you regardless of whether or not they are gay, worship nature instead of an individual god or if they chose abortion instead of giving birth.

This is how a Republican will win an election.

New York Over Run by Pink Elephants Wearing Spurs

For the past two weeks, I’ve played blackjack at Atlantic City and I’ve won $300. Pretty cool, huh? I’m feeling rather invincible myself so I decide to go back for a third time,  but I unfortunately drop over $600 and find that the only way I can get through the week is to borrow money from family.

Boy, are they mad at me.  They scream, shout and show their disappointment.  My response?

“But I won $300 the last two times.  I’m fine. I’m a winner. ”

Yep,  that’s pretty much the feeling that I have following President Obama’s rather anti – climatic speech regarding the ISIS threat. Maybe he suddenly realized his errors, but let me borrow just a moment of your time to remind you about how fantastic I am otherwise.

Bold call considering the president told us that he would only give no more than 15 minutes of his time. After all, this isn’t about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown or other hypothetical sons he may have. This is just a matter of foreign policy and national security. If the issue had been ISIS is threatening to produce a motor vehicle line that only gets eight miles per gallon while eating McDonald’s and using an e – cigarette within a city block of a non-smoker, well, that may have warranted another ten minutes or so.

For now, we’ll just continuing milking the Osama bin Laden cow until her utters are reduced to nothing more than the likes of a deflated balloon. We’ll talk about the booming job market that he has given us, yet we must push for a higher minimum wage because, despite all of these so – called jobs, there is a mass of people trying to support families as there are no other opportunities for them.

Oh, and there are these folks that go by ISIS that have beheaded a couple of our folks, but what I’m concerned about is whether you folks will refer to these folks as Islamic folks because no religion will have its folks kill innocent folks.

We’ll try to remember that should their Islamic flag ever flutter and whip in the breeze above the White House.

This is a one track mind with a purely social agenda. Ironic that foreign policy remains foreign to Obama to this day. Campaigning and slaying the beast of injustice is what he’s good at all while reducing our carbon emissions to make up for the enormous footprint he leaves in his quest for the perfect round of golf.

What would we have wanted to hear from a president that ignored a year’s worth of briefings and calls to action from his own Secretary of State? Perhaps a sense of being humbled in light of his overzealous attitude regarding the threat of terrorism towards the country.  Maybe skipping the opportunity to point a finger at Congress and not paraphrasing Bush 43’s stance on leadership?

Guess I’ll just hold my breath for now and watch out for those spur clad elephants.  I suppose the headline didn’t make a lot of sense, but neither did Obama talking about jobs during his ISIS strategy speech.

-the cats’ Mommy

Coming Soon to a Politcal Party Near You

Nowhere in this world is it okay to steal a week’s worth of groceries because you are starving. When life repeatedly smacks you around, making everything you worked so hard to get disappear, turning to dealing drugs in order to make ends meet is never an excusable option according to our judicial system.

Everyone faces ordeals in their lives, no matter what their environment may be. However, as President Obama plays with amnesty for thousands of illegal immigrant children trying to escape the ordeals of their lives in Central America – an amazing concept for children, by the way – breaking the law suddenly becomes acceptable as long as there’s room for empathy.

Let’s face some facts here. The United States was built on immigrants, seeking religious asylum or just more opportunity to build a better existence for themselves and their families. The days of Columbus sailing the seas in exploration for new territories is long gone. We’ve been at the point for some time now in that we know these other places exist so we go there to see what do they have to offer us. No one has ever come to the United States because their lives were thick and plentiful slices of heaven on their home turf. There is no logic behind having a belly fat with good fortune and the prettiest meadow to roll around in as unicorns prance about underneath rainbows and warm sunshine, but leaving it all to set sail for an uncertain shore.

So now that we’ve killed that suspense, we do have it within ourselves to display empathy for children that must endure a violent world, but as in all cases – including the forgotten children of our own American cities – illegal acts can never be accepted as the only option to free oneself of these issues. Otherwise, we can all find excuses for our misbehavior and be granted forgiveness if our current situation seems dire enough, right?

It is because of these extreme environments that thousands of children made the trek and President Obama, once again, portrays himself as Moses and the Republicans as the slave-driving, unsympathetic Egyptians. Instead of plagues of frogs and locusts, he unleashes onto us a plague of people. We don’t know it, but these people have been the backbone of our economy for a very long time which is an interesting concept to spitball considering that, at this time, they have no legal means of earning a paycheck in this country.

Now we must sit on our hands and anxiously await the fate of these illegal immigrants. Before the break, it was an urgent matter that Congress could not be allotted time to draft its decision. Now, it can wait for nearly two months until after the November elections. Nothing political at all here, folks. President Obama is a victim of a Republican Congress as always and we just fail to see the wonders of his policies and how they are so good for our country as a whole.

Suddenly, Obama is interested in consulting with Congress and is leaving it in their hands. Strange that he hasn’t needed them too often in the past, this do-nothing Congress that has nearly 400 bills collecting dust on Harry Reid’s desk.

Common sense, people. We do not know the ins and outs of political science. We are not lawyers or lobbyists. We are not on the borders and we are not economists. We are voters and, since we cannot base our votes on who stands to keep abortion legal alone, we listen to as much as we can and do our best to apply common sense tactics.

Our common sense says that, if the president is 100% confident in that what he does is the best thing for the American people, then there is no reason to delay action on our immigration crisis until after the elections. If it’s so fantastic, his executive decision would be a boost in the Democrats’ direction and, therefore, its birth and subsequent celebration should not be held back for another second. Teach us, Mr. President, for our dull, conservative minds struggle to absorb these horrors through thick drapes of dollar bills. We seek your unique guidance and insight to what we choose to stay blind to. Prove us wrong before the elections as it may sway our votes when it might actually matter.

Or, keep being that teenage girl trying to borrow money from her father without telling him what it’s for. This is not a surprise birthday party, Mr. President, nor is it a potential spoiler for the latest suspense film we’ve been dying to see. This is our home and we have a right to know how you plan on renovating it. How stupid do you think we are?

Obama Promises to Manage Middle East

To his non-supporters, each and every move that President Obama makes is an amazing opportunity to discover new ways of getting terrified that we never knew were possible. He promised hope and change and he has delivered. Certainly those of us that aren’t governing our lives and votes around abortion rights are down on our knees right now, hoping for a change in this country’s direction.

Most recently, Obama has again made a call for hope and change when finally putting his golf game aside and delivering his “I’m bored with this – there’s no racial injustice involved” speech on the second beheading of an American by ISIS.

Today’s Hairball task is to go outside in your workplace parking lot, take a huge swig of Wild Turkey and spin around 15 times. When you stop and have your eyes still trying to catch up to a more balanced world, you may be closer to deciphering the promises of destroying ISIS to a manageable problem.

Yeah, it doesn’t make too much sense to us, either. If anything, we can see that it’s a speech made in haste to, hopefully, overshadow Obama’s apparent lack of interest when the war is on someone other than minorities or women. Announcing that his administration didn’t have a clear plan on attacking the Islamic extremist group that he was briefed on for a year didn’t seem to sit well with even his supporters, so what’s the next move? Deliver a message that’s a complete contradiction and then, most likely, retreat to the golf course and let us figure this riddle out.

To us, a “manageable problem” would be along the lines of seasonal allergies or a leaky pipe. It’s certainly not a phrase we would use to describe an out of control gang of terrorists that even Al Qaeda has denounced for being too radical. Perhaps the community organizer/race-baiter –in-chief is still lost in the notion that situations can be rectified with a cup of coffee, gentle conversation and perhaps a caring hand placed gently on one’s knee. When this doesn’t work, there is a grab bag of insults and accusations handy and, with a loud enough voice and a one-track mind, others will do what we want purely just to get us to shut up.

This is not the way to handle a group that returns fire with the heads of our citizens.

We’re also not sure what the president would consider to be a “manageable problem”. Perhaps if they reduced their beheadings to just one a month or kept the mutilation within their own people? Should the plan be to allow ISIS to ravage a nation as long as they promise to keep their violence inside Middle Eastern borders?

ISIS, like other radical terrorist organizations, is a cancer and this particular one is aggressive and has already metastasized. When diagnosed with cancer, most people reach for the traditional forms of treatment such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, hoping that this will provide the cure. Some lucky people will not have to find out otherwise, perhaps only going through a single round of treatment and never having to get infused again with toxic chemicals. Others, however, are not so unfortunate and soon realize that the wonder drugs and treatments are doing very little than making their cancer a “manageable problem”. Chemotherapy in itself is cancer causing and, although it may wipe out this current round, there’s a good chance of secondary cancers popping up elsewhere. Militant tumors are hiding within a patient’s body and, just when he or she is ready to breathe a sigh of relief… guess what? They’re back.

We can’t find comfort in a president that wants to use chemotherapy to attack a group that has no problem decapitating its victims, no problem decapitating themselves in the name of Allah in order to reduce them to a manageable problem. We don’t want to wait for the next scan to see how these tumors are brewing, we want them cut out and incinerated.

Sadly, this isn’t about racial injustice. It isn’t about a woman earning $0.77 less an hour and it isn’t about someone having to pay for their own birth control. Needless to say, President Obama looks completely in the dark, dreaming of his next round of golf and merely just hoping for a change in this pesky international crisis.

Stuck in a Shocking World Still

In the past three weeks, there has been oodles of juicy headlines and stories to comment on.  From unrest in Ferguson, MO to Russian invading Ukraine and Iraq falling hostage to Islamic extremism, this blog should have been buzzing with my opinions.  I realize it hasn’t been.  

For me, I am stuck.  I have been in shock since the death of Robin Williams.  For anyone who stops by, I hope this isn’t old news because it shouldn’t be.  Or, at least, we shouldn’t allow it to be.  

I had meant to create a follow up post, but could never find the right words and left these web pages silent for a time.  I see what’s going on in the world, but find myself often staring up at the sky, hoping to catch a glimpse of a man I never met, never even had the pleasure of seeing him perform live.  Williams lived a life separated by thousands of miles and light years of status from mine and, yet, there was a connection.  I knew who he was and he knew he had a fan.  My name was insignificant.

It’s weird still feeling so much pain over someone you never exchanged a word with.  I can only imagine the intense stupor those who did know him personally must still be lost in.  Williams only existed in my life through a random series of characters and I gave each their own personal time with me, depending on what kind of mood I was in.  I can still do that, but his place on this earth was much like my left leg being a part of my body.  For the most part, I don’t think about it, but still use it often.  Never once have I woken up and thought about how grateful I was to have that left leg.  Never spent an afternoon taking in its glory nor reminisce about the travels it has partaken in.  But, if it was gone, you bet I’d be angry over it and I would dedicate time staring down at where it once had been.  Should I really only think about how lucky I am to have a left leg when there is a risk of losing it?

Maybe this is the problem.

We are a nation divided over race, over money and over religious differences.  We spend far too much time fighting about whose way is better.  We waste time inserting a reason for even the most random of misfortunes and, although nothing should be taken with a grain of salt, as we constantly run this race for what we believe will give us the perfect situation, we don’t stop to think about how we’d be out of the competition without our left legs.  Robin Williams took his own life and, for awhile, we were in dismay, but our fickle minds have quickly moved onto Ferguson and someone else’s funeral monopolized the headlines while William’s ashes being scattered suddenly became barely worth mentioning.  

Not that I’m saying that Williams’ funeral should have received top billing due to his celebrity.  In fact, I prefer that it remained quiet and personal.  But I also bet I’m one of a few to look for the news story just so I knew he was officially off the ground and, hopefully, on his way to finding peace.

So many times I thought of logging on and commenting on the latest in the bubbling political environment, but in the end, I decided to stay with the loss of Robin Williams.  I wanted to slow down and not look for the next story.  I needed to miss him.  I do miss him.

The best I can do is remember the legacy of his life and death.  That a bad day can be cured with a funny movie or a cat brushing against my leg for attention.  That money does not equal immunity to pain.  Try some patience and don’t look for the quick fix.  Some of us roll out of bed onto fortune and some of us watch bitterly from afar.  If our lives are consumed with accusation and fights, we are missing what’s important.  

– the cats’ Mommy

A Completed Verse


This morning pretended to be like any other. As the night faded into a gloomy, albeit brighter sky, we all dragged ourselves from a peacefulness to the persistence of an alarm clock and wiped away the lingering sleep from our eyes. It’s only Tuesday and the majority of the week still hangs in mystery before us while the pending weekend waves a triumphant flag to be taken.

Our grumpiness for Tuesday was a carbon copy of all others before it and, most likely, to reflect into the many that still await us. Still, the world around us seemed different today. It felt just a bit empty and less peppy, as if an object had oddly switched position from the familiarity of our homes’ layout, and we awoke aware that something was wrong.

Considering the path that his own life had taken before its tragic end, actor-comedian Robin Williams will never become a distant, fuzzy memory to millions of fans. If we seek a dose of the beloved performer, all we need is a DVD player and his characters come to life in all of the glorious and vivid animation that only Williams could bring to us. Sadly, with the sudden news of his passing, we are becoming aware that these hours he contributed to the world of film and television will never be enough to fill the hole that his death has dug within our hearts.

How will we decide to remember this gifted and sweet-souled man that left us far too soon? Typical in that there are angered voices already filling social media and forums, will Williams’ legacy be that of a loser and a weakling that had been unable to find solace and serenity in a healthy paycheck? After all, in a county that is sharply divided between the poor and the rich, how was it that this man could not buy the solutions for his problems nor rejoice in a shower of money seeing how the rest of us are somehow convinced it is the only thing that is missing from our lives?

It’s the Jackson Pollock painting again – a tangled web of random squiggles and coloring with too close a resemblance to the kindergarten finger paintings of our past that we were not fortunate enough to sell for big bucks. Because Pollack had been able to make a career of it whereas ours never made it past our parents’ refrigerators, we lack the patience to consider what it before us and see the world with too much simplicity. We don’t see art in Pollock’s work, therefore it is garbage. We don’t consider the possibility of an immense sadness lingering inside the 100-miles-a-minute comedian worth $50 million, therefore he is a loser.

Guess it’s not true in that money doesn’t make misery a lot easier to deal with. Robin Williams, despite his talent and love of the world around him, was in need of something that didn’t have a price tag on it. From our positions as fans only, who are we to ever question, doubt or sneer at how priceless he believed whatever this was to be? In truth, we are heartbroken that he had not been able to find it in his 63 years with us.

We are angry, but mostly over how unforgiving life can be regardless of who we are to the outside. What stirs inside the privacy of our thoughts remains largely misunderstood and unappreciated. As we may feel selfishness on Williams’ part in that he did not stick around to continue entertaining us, we forget that he did not owe us his life. He did his job and made us laugh, but his debt to us did not extend beyond that. Perhaps it did to his family and these are emotions that they will need to sort out on their own without our opinions. Whereas we can always revisit him in the ways that we were spoiled to know, his family and friends cannot.

As we near the mark of the first 24 hours of a world without Robin Williams, we can hear his voice in our minds and experience flashes of his pale, blue eyes that, unfortunately, will never shine our way again. We are grateful for the ability to turn him on and have him join us for an hour or so in our living rooms. We can still laugh at his jokes and embrace his brilliance in dramatic roles as many times as we want. However, having access to all of the DVDs in the world will never be the answer to our new found loneliness.

We just wish he was still here with us. That, dear friends, is what can never be bought.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” – John Keating (portrayed by Robin Williams), Dead Poets Society

Getting More Bang for Your Buck

Fans of the television show “The Big Bang Theory” can rest easier knowing that the show is back in production following a monumental pay raise for stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco. The trio has made the jump from $325,000 to $1 million per episode and, seeing how the popular CBS sitcom has also been renewed for another three seasons, that’s a pretty little penny for their ever-bulging piggy banks.

This puts the main cast members in an exclusive club, once occupied by the stars of Seinfeld and Friends, and takes a bigger bite of the show’s profits than previously. Perhaps this is just another moment of sticking it to the man as we are a society that lacks gratitude for the gifts we are given throughout our lives. Regardless of the fact that it was the brainstorm of show creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady or that a forever-recycled team of writers work tirelessly to give these actors a place to practice and develop their crafts, Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco operate more along the lines of “there wouldn’t be a show without us.”

So which came first – the actors or the show?

Make no mistake – Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco do bring an abundance of talent onto the set with them and we may think that no one else could possibly offer the audience sharper interpretations of who these characters are, but the truth is we’ll never know. There are thousands of budding stars in Hollywood that may be just as original and talented, but currently stuck in side jobs while taking in as much background work as possible to keep their names fresh with booking agencies. Working on a set is very demanding and often quite a long and dull way to spend one’s day. Hours put in can easily exceed 12 and, if involved in an ongoing project like a television series, prepare to have no life during filming and to show up with 103 degree fevers so as not to disappoint the fans.

Are Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco then deserving of this giant increase of security in their lives considering the demands of television work? It’s hard to say. Surely, they may be thinking to the future in that, once the Big Bang Theory airs its final episode, there’s a very good possibility that they may disappear into the abyss of type cast actors unable to shake the remnants of their quirky characters. This may be true especially considering Parson’s portrayal of brilliant, but odd, Sheldon on the show. Still, we have to wonder why $325,000 per episode – which equals $7.15 million a year based on 22 episodes a season – isn’t enough to invest and secure the actors for life even if the ones they have in Hollywood fizzle out following the season finale.

The biggest red flag waving in front of our eyes, of course, is the support that these three have for President Obama. You remember him – Mr. Spread-the-Wealth who spews forth aggressive criticisms of corporate executives driving cars of solid gold, threatening to exceed his own number of golf games per year as the employees beneath them suffer for minimal pay and under the constant threat that some rich CEO will stamp out a woman’s birth control rights. Forget the fact that business owners are the ones that stretched themselves and their own finances thin to provide their workers the opportunity to do just that because it’s now the staff that keeps the company afloat.

It’s a shame that people in this country seem to have forgotten that the purpose of all businesses, whether a store, a mutual fund company or a popular sitcom is to turn a profit. And since none of us will ever put in the efforts of building a product from scratch only to make the bare minimum of a profit or break even, it surprises us why this upsets others. Surely, if any of these people that complain about the profits and luxury cars of a business owner were to suddenly succeed in their own personal ventures, they would also soon develop an iron-like grip on their money, invest it overseas and likely begin voting Republican.

Galecki, Parsons and Kuoco will not be forced to spread their wealth. That is a demand only for those that have built a business rather than an entertainment CV. Instead, we will be whisked away into a land of these and other actors’ generosity as they contribute large sums to charities – their version of “spreading the wealth” with a stamp of approval from the president himself. This should be enough to help us forget about their multiple homes and their inability to grasp the reality of the fans around them. Sorry that $7.15 million isn’t nearly enough to build a nest egg on. Most of us would be jumping for joy over $7000. $700 even.

Not that we are belittling Hollywood’s charitable donations. After all, they are probably one of the backbones that keep many of these organizations and their beneficiaries afloat for another day and we thank those entertainers for their generosity. But, when you sing the praises of a president that wants to force corporations and small business owners to start mindlessly forking over their dollars because the rest of us apparently deserve a piece of the pie even though we did not contribute to the baking of it all the while demanding a $22 million annual salary, it really becomes a slap in the face to the rest of us. After all, the struggling middle class will not see a dime of their charity. They make “too much” for any type of assistance.

If Galecki, Parsons and Cuoco really wanted to impress us and show that they are true believers of the Obama dream, they would have shown their gratitude for the ridiculous salaries they already were receiving and not allowed their greed to manage their contract decisions. Contribute to all of the charities their little hearts desire if they feel that is their own way of spreading their wealth, but remember this. You can’t support Obama’s verbal attack on the rich getting richer (we say verbal as we know the actual might remove his $32K a plate fundraisers and then where would he be) and then demand that you get richer yourself. You look kind of stupid then.

Opening a Can of Whoopi-Ass

When Whoopi Goldberg has an opinion, it is often delivered in a passionate, loud octave accented with stiffened fingers angrily jabbing the air about her as if the person disagreeing with her is there to be poked at until he or she changes his tune to a melody the host of The View enjoys whistling to.  Her defense of ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith’s defense of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s defense against his violent then-fiancé Janay Rice is not exactly being defended by shocked viewers.

Perhaps they were expecting Goldberg to express horrors over Mrs. Rice’s videotaped battery, but you’ve got to hand it to Goldberg here.  Although her views on The View may rank highly unpopular with most, as Smith’s opinion did earlier, she spoke her mind and accepts the consequences.  Goldberg, no doubt, has a very disgruntled Twitter feed to deal with right now.

There is a nugget of truth to what Goldberg said.  Far too often, the subject of domestic violence against the male in the couple is ignored and belittled by those who can’t accept a man that takes repeated blows from a short-tempered woman, wondering why he didn’t just knock her unconscious with a single punch. Domestic violence towards the husband or boyfriend is a very real thing, but hovers in the shadows of violence delivered from the husband towards the wife.  This may be due to embarrassment or it may be due to the fact that the numbers of cases don’t even come close in comparison.

The video shows Mrs. Rice falling to the floor like a sack of potatoes as Ray Rice moves about her frame in the hallway outside of the elevator in an uncertain manner.  Maybe he was nervously awaiting help to arrive and, without access to the beginning of the video that would show this spat from its ugly beginning, we won’t know exactly what sparked this fight, just how high-strung Mrs. Rice may have been and if Ray Rice’s actions were merely a situation of one forgetting his own strength in the heat of the moment.

As one person told us, she finds value in the lesson that she teaches her daughter in that, if hit, her daughter should hit back, but if her daughter hits, be prepared to get hit.  There is validity in this statement as violence on either side is never excusable nor should a man be expected to take his punches without retaliation when being delivered by a woman because, by nature, she tends to be the weaker sex.

But isn’t another valuable lesson in life to be the bigger person?  To judge the situation at hand before jumping to action?  When is it okay to shoot someone because they were throwing rocks at you?  Self-defense is an argument with many layers and, although we should never cower in the corner while being attacked, coming at someone full force in a fight that is clearly mismatched between a featherweight and a heavyweight cannot and should not be brushed aside with the simple claim of, “she hit me first, your honor”.  This type of defense can be overused and, even scarier, eventually will have no bounds.

Of course, is there any possible reason to even discuss the situation between Rice and his former fiancé any further?  After all, despite her seeing stars and Rice’s claims of domestic battery, the pair still tied the knot.  Case closed.  See you at the divorce proceedings in a few years.  Our question is, will separation be due to domestic violence that can only be softened with a multi-million dollar settlement that only a wife can get?

This situation between Rice and his wife has lost our interest at this point.  It’s actually insulting considering the frequency and true horrors of domestic violence cases that are, not only ignored by the media as they don’t involve celebrity athletes, but don’t end in a storybook wedding with a healthy prenuptial agreement.  In reality, many victims of domestic violence have to plea law enforcement for years in order to get the offender thrown in jail.  Mostly, the victims just wind up with a piece of paper asking that the offenders their distance.  These men and women stay in their troubled relationships out of fear of what may happen to their children, inability to go too far without being tracked down and, of course, no funds to disappear with and start a new life.  Not in Janay Rice’s case.  At $25,000 a punch, she’s clearly made a vow to stick around for the big payout in the end.

We hope that she at least donates a large portion of this hypothetical settlement to a battered women’s shelter.

Oh, Those Flood Gates…

Kids with the latest Super Soaker on their Christmas lists can breathe easy for awhile. Burlington, Iowa’s city council has voted 4-1 not in favor of a ban on toy guns, citing the potential bill as “too vague”.

We, at Hairball, would have been more blunt. How about “too stupid”?

If the ban had passed, parents would have been subject to a $500 fine and up to one month in prison should their children been caught in public areas with these highly dangerous weapons that may cause laughter, an increase of fresh air, physical playtime involving more than just the thumbs, soaking wet t-shirts and a slight stinging from a propelled jet of water or rocket-launched Nerf pellet.

Not immune from such heinous crimes would have been the children. A serious reprimand would have likely been imposed on any child attempting to conceal such dangerous weaponry underneath their shirts. Should a car be stopped by police and the child in the backseat been seen as packing serious heat loaded with tap water and adorned in neon colors of his posse, known as the Bibs and the Cribs, that would have also resulted in penalty.

This was the brainstorm of Burlington Police Chief Doug Beaird in attempts to eliminate common identification mistakes between the real thing and its plastic relatives from the local Toys R’ Us. He does cite BB guns as a possible hazard and, if you’ve ever watched “A Christmas Story”, even Santa said Ralphie would shoot his eye out so there might be some truth to that claim. If the police chief is worried about BB guns, then why doesn’t he limit his fight to BB guns? If his staff is unable to tell the difference between an actual automatic weapon and this…

Water Gun

… it might be time for a new staff.

We imagine that such a proposed bill stems from that ever-looming gateway that we all get to hear so much about. Gone are the days of innocent sessions of cops and robbers with cap guns. After all, if a child fails to see the potential danger in a water pistol, he may not be able to differentiate myth from reality when considering emptying a Thompson Sub-Machine gun into his family later in life.

The gateway is an ominous black hole, robbing us of logic and common sense. We are a nation that can put a man on the moon and turn a phone into a computer, but we are all vulnerable to print ads it seems. Our minds go blank and we stare blankly at Joe Camel, drooling uncontrollably and suddenly craving a pack of unfiltered Camels because his head is strangely phallic in shape.

So, if our kids play with toy guns, they will likely play with real guns later in life. Just like if a young adult sees someone using an e-cigarette, it will encourage him or her to try it which will lead to real cigarettes which will lead to marijuana use which will lead to a heroin habit which will lead to a reality TV series as the one-time innocent child struggles with his or her gateway-spawned addictions. Can we then alternate your “My Child is an Honor Student” bumper sticker to “My Child is an Honor Student with an Inability to Make Decisions on Her Own When in the Grasps of Marketing Campaigns”?

Oddly, the gateway theory did not apply when Pennsylvania recently decided to up certain highway speed limits to 70 miles per hour. Let’s face it – if the sign says 55 miles per hour, the average speed actually being driven lingers at 65. Being trapped in this gateway, we are all now going to see 70 miles per hour and immediately start driving 80. Don’t expect us to be responsible when behind the wheels of our vehicles. Not when in the vice-grip clutches of the gateway.

Likewise, places such as Atlantic City and Las Vegas have made massive efforts in becoming family friendly vacation spots. Surely, children won’t be affected by the ringing of Jackpot winners and the sights of Mom and Dad blowing away college savings in frustration that they, too, should be jackpot winners.  The smiling, chirping dolphins down the strip are the antidote for this looming gateway and, despite the cascade of cash flowing from ATMs everywhere to be thrown towards a dream (and longshot) of getting rich quick… yeah, there’s no real danger here, folks.

Sadly, as the liberal progressive agenda continues to hover over our heads and penetrate our personal lives, protecting us from the dangers of soda, cigarettes, coffee, cow flatulence and now squirt guns, they fail to point out the gateways that would actually have a positive impact on someone’s life. For example, consider the minimum wage job. This is never recognized as the gateway to bigger and better things, is it? This is where the gateway is portrayed as not only locked from the inside, but triple-bolted and under 24-hour guard by rich, white corporate executives. A person may desire to make the tremendous leap from an e-cigarette to heavy crystal meth use, but is apparently not capable of ever thinking “what’s next” while flipping burgers.

Parents, the next time you decide to arm your children with a double-barrelled Nerf gun and several magazines of spongy, suction-cupped ammo, we hope that you’ll stop and think twice. Your child is entering a strange world of gateways whenever they walk out your front door. These gateways do not hide a fabulous vacation or a dream kitchen. Instead they harbor a slew of hidden dangers and addictions for your child. Unfortunately, no job aspirations, though.