Damn Your Lies, TSA

The TSA Thinks We're All Stupid

You can see the balls on the TSA from Mars, trying to pass this bullshit off as an explanation/excuse… lemme ask you this:

What is more likely?
That, all of a sudden, there has been, for no apparent reason, a MASSIVE increase in the percentage of passengers who try to bring "forbidden" items through the security lines…

OR that the TSA's recent 10% cut in screener staffing, decided upon as a tactic via which to force more people to pay for TSA Pre or Global Entry (aka, The Rich People Security Shortcut Aisles), has NOT resulted in more revenue but instead is just fucking up the regular security lines more than usual?

I know, I know… one's instinct is to assume that YES, more people are MORE STUPIDER now, but that's not actually how it works.

This is criminal. The TSA's #1 Job is to "Make Air Travel Safe". Cutting screeners and letting crowds of hundreds or thousands of people build up in unsecured lines open to the entire world does the opposite of that. Either fucking fund it to where they don't need to perform bullshit stunts like this to try and drive people (most of whom can barely afford the plane ticket to begin with) to pay extra to get through the sometimes-available Elitist Express Lanes or have to spend 4 hours in a fucking airport to make a 45-minute flight to Cleveland, OR do the smart thing, realize that this hideously expensive security theater is just that, theater, and tell the senators who own the companies that sell the nudie x-ray scanners to piss off and SHUT IT ALL DOWN.

Too Long For Facebook: Bulgarian Barber Terror

AUTHOR'S NOTE: For years, my standard response to complaints about what or how much I post on Facebook has been "Fuck you if you don't like it, you CHOSE to see my shit. Feel free to unfriend and/or block me because I literally do not give any fucks either way". And, to be very clear, I still absolutely feel that way. There's just a part of me, though, that misses the pre-social media days, the good ol' Web2.0 when people who wanted to write had their own blogs and owned and controlled their own content instead of just generating it for behemoth aggregators like FB and Twitter for free… therefore, some of the longer stuff, I'll post here instead and just link to this on FB rather than dump the whole thing there. My FB friends, I'm sure, will appreciate the option to ignore this shit when it scrolls through their feed. I'll appreciate having my own goddamned writings controlled on my own site when the Zuckerberg Tax of 2024 is enacted and Facebook is allowed to retroactively charge us all a dollar for every update we've ever posted to his fuckin' tar pit of a website. Anywho, on with the actual post…

Fuckin' hell. One of my sisters is getting married this coming weekend so we have a lot to get done to make sure we're ready for it; y'know, reserve the hotel, make sure the suit is back from the cleaners, get a haircut…

For the latter, I didn't want to have that "totally just got a haircut" look going so the plan was for me to take care of that this past weekend so I'm not stressing it this week nor looking entirely like an alcoholic hobo at my beloved sibling's special day.

This past weekend was overbooked, but I had a window of like 1.5 hours to get it taken care of on Saturday, which, given that I don't patronize some "schedule it a month in advance and bring a credit check" salon NOR an off-the-books old 'hood joint where somebody's slightly palsied auntie will take a weed-whacker to your lid for a ten spot, should've made this doable.
So, of course, there was an hour-plus wait.

Now… it's bad enough that I pay $23 for a haircut to begin with since, when you have as little hair left as I do, you're basically paying for the memory of actually needing a haircut more than you are the stylist's time. It's a lil' bit of anachronistic vanity, y'know, "whooaaaa the ol' golden locks are gettin' a litttttttle TOO flow-y right now, better have Delilah trim back Samson's magic power source here or panties are gonna be flyin' at me from every direction, amirite, ladies?".
I'm dumb and nostalgic enough for my old thick long hair to pay $23 once in a while to be reminded of that feeling.
I'm NOT dumb enough to wait a goddamned hour for it.
So color me pleasantly surprised when, a mere five hours later than I was _planning_ to take my lunch break today (thanks, workplace! You're #1!), I'm fighting rush hour traffic through the north side to the joint, which, miraculously, not only DOESN'T have a wait at the moment, but has a barber (they don't call themselves that, they're stylists, of course, but I already typed that word once a few paragraphs ago and I _STILL_ feel douche-y about it) waiting for a customer. Boom. Walk right in, don't even have to turn on the Kindle because Mr. Important gets to slide right into a chair.
BEST is this… I don't care who cuts my hair. Truly, I don't. As mentioned, I don't have much left, so it's not like giving me a high'n'tight would stress even a first-semester at University of Phoenix's Bachelors of Liberal & Beauty Arts program student's chops. So, whichever barber is available, I'll take.
EXCEPT this Bulgarian lady who works there. She's a tiny thing, extreme amounts of makeup, extremely high hair, extreme aggression. I lost the "Next Available" lottery to this fuckin' scissors-wielding nightmare once.
And only once.
There's no other way to describe it other than… she beat THE SHIT out of my head. She worked the clippers like they were divorce papers and my head was the abusive American slob who ordered her off of "slavicbrides.com" ten years ago. She said NOTHING to me beyond "what you want for hair?". And, man, I am a pleasant goddamned customer. I loathe fuckers who are dicks to service industry people. I am "Hi, how are you?", a smile on my face, charge me for the shampoo but we'll be skipping that part because EW, weird, and you can quickly cram another paying customer into your chair here because I will smilingly be on my way in about four minutes, because giving me a haircut is the dictionary picture of Easy Money.
Seriously. I have no idea what her damage was.
I swear my head was bruised and had like three nicks that itched while they healed on it after she was done.
"But why didn't you tell her to knock it off, smr?!?!?! Why put up with that?"
Yeah, you go spend your childhood growing up in a Slavic neighborhood having mean small old Polish ladies scare the shit out of you in the neighborhood all the time and then having mean, small but beautiful Polish girls attract and terrify you throughout your teenaged years and THEN tell me that that accent coming out of a stern blonde face doesn't reduce you to mute submission every time.
So yeah, I consoled myself by getting the fuck out of there afterwards and telling the hostess every time since "I'll take next available but, um… not the little one" if she's working when I walk in.
Now, imagine my joy when I walk in today and she's there but NOT the free barber. Instead, I get the nice Filipino dude who does a fast, great job every time.
And my pissy Bulgarian tormentor? She's stuck giving a long, careful haircut to Captain Actually instead. I'm telling you… you haven't enjoyed life until you've gotten to witness a tiny Bulgarian witch-barber that you HATE have to listen to a m'lady-ing Fedora Farmer mansplain to her about how cash money and checks are not even going to exist in ten more years because Bitcoin.
It was DELICIOUS. This fuckin' guy actually had the stones to tell her "they don't even USE checks in Europe anymore at all!". Yes, this dipshit Brony actually said this to a woman who's PAINFULLY AND OBVIOUSLY FROM FUCKING EUROPE. I mean, she's got an accent so thick that you can physically cut a slice of it out of the air in front of her mouth when she talks, but nope, this guy's gonna tell her how things REALLY are back in her homeland that the sum total of HIS knowledge of comes from a Reddit sub-thread on how to buy child-themed sex animes online without getting caught.
Hell, I _almost_ rooted for her a little bit when she replied, quite stonily, "Huh. I just back in Bulgaria last summer. Used checks". Which, of course, the fuckin' greasy manga fan in her chair obliviously failed to hear and/or let derail in the _slightest_ his ongoing man-ologue about The Future of Money.
I can only imagine, by the time she was done, that he was actually missing entire chunks of his scalp.

So, thanks, haircut place! Yeah, I spent too much time and money getting my bald spots shaped again, but I left there with a spring in my step and a smile on my face, and can you really put a price on that?

Never Thought I’d Pine for Nelson Rockefeller

Mark Zuckerberg Promises To Put A Bunch of Money Into a Not-Charity, At Some Vague Point In the Future

Honestly, I liked it better when our oligarchs would just, like, build a kickass library or museum with their ill-gotten moneys and then hand it over to the appropriate municipal agency or university to manage. They got to have their name inscribed on some marble pile for posterity, the local community got a tangible benefit that was open to all members of that community to use, everybody was happy.

Instead, today, we get dorks who figured out a way to monetize putting me in touch with the racist assholes I went to high school with putting all of their money into tax dodges designed to specifically keep said money out of the public good, and then using these tax dodges to fund “charities” that are really just ways to deprive government agencies of needed (and, frankly, owed) revenue and instead push whatever dickhead personal agenda the rich asshole wishes to push.

Look, nerds, yay for you, you’re finally the kings of the fuckin’ hill, you make more money than any five hedge fund assholes, nobody’s going to be green-lighting Revenge of the Nerds V anytime soon because those movies don’t even make fucking sense anymore, but get over yourselves. Oh, you stole ideas from others to build the dominant office computer operating system? And then you bought a different company that figured out how to do spreadsheets good and made a bundle? That’s great, Billy Gates, but it doesn’t fucking mean you’re now somehow qualified to decide how toilets should work or how sanitation should be provided to Third World villages. Likewise, Fuckerberg, just because you leveraged your Aspergers and your envy complex and the programming skills of your less-mercenary friends into, let us not forget, what was originally a way to judge college women on their looks anonymously over the Internet and stumbled into making a business out of it doesn’t mean you’re the guy who should get to decide how education in America should function.

Just… fuck it. All of your kids are pretty much damned to be the sort of weirdo rich bastards that’ll make Paris Hilton look like Joan of fucking Arc by the time they’ve reached adulthood, so just leave the fuckin’ money to them and their inevitable coke problems and rape scandals, give the tax man his cut of your estate, and go to your graves quietly already.