Monday, July 26, 2010

You Can Find a Lot of Bargains at Rummage Sales

Teddy Bear and Friends Magazine, a mustWhen I found this issue of Teddy Bear and Friends at a rummage sale in Maryland last year, my heart leapt for joy. I am a huge Teddy Bear collector. I have in the neighborhood of 6,000 Teddy Bears, many of which are worth at least five or six dollars apiece. Apiece!

I like rummage sales. Nothing says "oh my God, we have to sell our crap and run NOW" like a good rummage sale. I think this is a bit sad, however:

Nicaraguan mother Lorena Aguilar hawks a television set and a few clothes on the baking sidewalk outside her west Phoenix apartment block.

A few paces up the street, her undocumented Mexican neighbor Wendi Villasenor touts a kitchen table, some chairs and a few dishes as her family scrambles to get out of Arizona ahead of a looming crackdown on illegal immigrants.

"Everyone is selling up the little they have and leaving," said Villasenor, 31, who is headed for Pennsylvania. "We have no alternative. They have us cornered."

The two women are among scores of illegal immigrant families across Phoenix hauling the contents of their homes into the yard this weekend as they rush to sell up and get out before the state law takes effect on Thursday.

The law, the toughest imposed by any U.S. state to curb illegal immigration, seeks to drive more than 400,000 undocumented day laborers, landscapers, house cleaners, chambermaids and other workers out of Arizona, which borders Mexico.

I'm convinced that people who want to work hard without whining will do fine. This is a forehead-smacking moment. You don't expel law-abiding citizens who work hard, pay their taxes (yes, they do pay taxes and that's a fact), and raise nuclear families without so much as a complaint. You kick out underproductive college boys who can't hold down a job for more than three weeks because they can't give up their addiction to beer, hotties, and chicken wings.

How about passing a law that says that any man, aged 22 and older, who lives with his parents, is to be forced to join the military? I'd vote for the clown who could pass that law. Wouldn't you?

Arizona is quickly going to rue the day that this law was passed. When everyone who does the so-called "menial" tasks leaves the state, a lot of fat white boys with backwards baseball caps and fatboy shorts are going to get food poisoning eating off dirty plates in restaurants with terrible service. One minute, that hale and hearty fellow who is 80 pounds overweight will be spooning up some sauce from his plate and the next thing you know his unshaven mug will be heaving six oversized meals into a toilet that hasn't been cleaned since the Bush Administration.

I've been to Arizona. If you want to know what is going to happen, think of an Outback Steakhouse running at 20% capacity, barely able to find someone to dunk the veggies in tepid rainwater. Think of hundreds and hundreds of businesses forced to operate without enough hired help. Think of Manhattan, in other words, only without the ambience and the subways and the ability to function without a car.

My friends, let me speak to you as if I were a saner, healthier version of John McCain. Arizona, you're going to be hurting in about three months. Broken-down cars will soon litter your freeways for want of basic maintenance. Sales of Pepto Bismol are going to be through the roof. Oh, yes. McCain warned everyone about this nonsense. But then, he sold his soul to the devil and now the devil is taking him for a ride on the one bus that doesn't have windows that open. It's over for him. McCain is rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi from his state, and he's being forced to actually campaign and shake hands, which for him is like eating a shit sandwich, served on a bun no one was qualified to toast.

Which reminds me--I have to dump a little investment money into whoever makes that pink bismuth stuff. Their sales are going to surge once people in Arizona start consuming thousands of pounds of rancid fast food. Shamble off to the pay toilets, you rotting carcasses. You did it to yourselves. 

Mitch Albom Has Always Been a Hack

Some sports writers get by on talent; some by dogged determination. Mitch Albom gets by on air and bullshit:

On June 25, the Associated Press Sports Editors did a “curious thing,” in the eyes ofDave Kindred, a former sports columnist.

That night, the group gave Mitch Albom, the longtime columnist for The Detroit Free Press (and author of books like “Tuesdays With Morrie”) its Red Smith Award, the organization’s highest honor.

Mr. Kindred wondered whether that was wise. Back in 2005, Mr. Albom filed a columnthat described two former Michigan State basketball players at a Final Four game that hadn’t yet happened. The athletes didn’t make it to the game, but Mr. Albom’s column ran as written.

In a column published July 16 on the National Sports Journalism Center’s Web site, Mr. Kindred, himself a former Red Smith winner, wrote of Mr. Albom’s transgression: “Note to journalism students: This is known as fiction. It can get you expelled.”

I have never seen a more self-serving sports writer, save that other regular pair of jackballs that I cannot stand: Mike Celezic and Mike Lupica. Celezic is hardly considered a sportswriter anymore since they make him write fluff pieces and human interest blurbs. Lupica is, quite possibly, the most unsavory sports writer still living, and that's saying something.

No one wants to remember Albom's transgressions. It makes giving him the awards his editors have lobbied for him to receive even that more difficult to stomach. People don't get awards for being good anymore; people get awards because their money-making status in the industry demands that their second-rate hackery be recognized and given accolades that would normally go to powerless drones, struggling to make ends meet. There's a lot of money driving the Albom franchise and much of it comes from the sale of treacly nonsense read by old ladies. What self-respecting sports writer would sell his soul for the Readers Digest crowd?

Hey, anything for a buck. Anything for a buck. Newspapers are dying. The Internet doesn't pay very well. And ESPN is the only game in town. They know they can get people for peanuts. I suppose if my dignity and my soul were all that was necessary to give up, I'd take that sappy train to big money town, too.