Introducing Les Rob Peeples


Les Rob Peeples asks: Parks — who needs ’em?

So I have a new buddy who wrote me a letter at the Gazette.  (And you can read the whole thing here, although the paywall is apparently coming soon.)

Lester Robert Peeples, who goes by Les Rob to his friends, seems a little too crazy to believe. Funny, though — a lot of folks who write letters are that way.  They come off as caricatures, but we’ve got a caricature running for president and a lot of people ready to vote that way, so we can probably forgive ourselves for being confused about the line between reality and bad dreams.

Les Rob appears to be even more reactionary and libertarian than some of our more pronounced public wackos.  He clearly needs to brush up on his geography and his college football.  Still, I’ve got a feeling he may surprise some people — assuming that he is real, or at least that we hear from him again.


Misleading Facebook posts are misleading

I’m trying to follow a new personal rule about Facebook responses: if mine hit two paragraphs, consider a blog post. The potential elimination of overtime pay and a Facebooker’s promiscuous use of the term “misleading” lead me to this post.

legreeHere’s the news that prompted the Facebook post that I ultimately wanted to respond to.  To the left of this paragraph is a screenshot of the original Facebook post and the comment that prompted this response, exactly as the post and comment appeared. The screenshot is a little small and I don’t intend for it to appear misleading, so please click for a more easily read view.

Full disclosure: yes, that last bit was an outright lie.  I blanked out the name of the commenter (using the unofficial colors of Labor Day) and the name of the original poster, because I don’t want to draw undue attention to anyone’s friends, even if they are posting on a public forum. And I did do the hat.

But everything else is just as it appears in real life. Especially the mustache. I swear it on the Internet.

Continue reading

Darn right I had one. Wanna make something of it?


Stevens Point Still Life: Red bun, read paper, red state?

Cheap marketing ploys don’t do much for me.  The Angriest Whopper, however, is at least a little clever because it seems to tap into our collective psyche right now.

Quick background: I went to the polls early today expecting a Bernie Sanders win, but with my mood tempered by an equal expectation that dark money would deliver the open Wisconsin Supreme Court seat to one of the most singularly unqualified candidates in the United States right now.

A few hours at work didn’t exactly turn me into Mr. Twinkles.  We’re in the midst of faculty searches to replace our departing droves.  Other constant pains in the rear — such as our so-called governance structure at the university — make me question whether I should be bolting from here myself.

I read the piece linked above and decided I could use a bad burger for lunch while reading more about the Panama Papers, which already have resulted in the resignation of Icelandic premier Segret Monibankss Monisson, or whatever his name was.

The burger wasn’t that hot. Neither was it that hot.  And it doesn’t deserve much more review than that, although I still enjoyed it enough as both food for my belly and fodder for my blog, the point of which, at least for tonight, is this:

Yeah, Sanders won, but big deal.  I’m still expecting the Democratic machinery to hand the nomination to a candidate who’s looking more and more like she could finish a comfortably distant second in the popular vote.  Additionally, no matter what happens in the Republican convention, it won’t be any prettier than the end results of the last colored whopper, if you know what I mean.

sanders FBAnd despite early indicators of a happy ending for today’s Wisconsin Supreme Court race, later reports look more bleak.  Regardless, I’m not hopeful for anything much better in the short run.  I’m not seeing any serious discussion of the Sanders candidacy in mainstream media.  Like the Black Whopper, it’s all “but … but … but …” (see screen shot at right).

Little is being done about vote suppression.  And how ’bout that U.S. Senate and its ongoing vacation from responsibility?

My only consolation seems to be the chance to write bad puns and political exhortations directed at whoever has made it this far on this post. My anger is on auto-pilot, and I hope yours is too.

Keep speaking out and making things happening.  We have a long way to go.

Fight preposterosity. Make up a word!

Lately, when I read about hate-driven, bigoted and utterly stupid political acts by tiny-minded cretins with venom sacs for brains, I immediately feel like writing a blog post. Then I remind myself: not enough hours in the day.

Preposterosity: so many good, fake National Geo covers, so little time.

Preposterosity: So many good fake National Geographic covers, so little time. Click link to see more!

I can’t write about every hate-driven, bigoted and utterly stupid idea that drives cretinous imaginations, so I’m laying off the specific legislation that inspired this post.  While there’s something cathartic about putting my opinion out there, it doesn’t take long to realize that the old saw “pick your battles” does encourage me to leave time to grade papers, hike in the woods, brush teeth, and scan the position descriptions on both and non-academic sites.

Nevertheless, I’m a true believer that both actions and words can make a difference, and any individual can use both of those to spur change.  It’s really the intersection of those ideas that this post is about.

Want to change something?  Change the language.  Make up a word, then go out and use it.

We do it all the time.  Among the Oxford English Dictionary’s list of hundreds of new words for June 2015 is “carnapping.”  In use for some time, the word is now official — along with the like of “e-cig,” “eliminationism,” and “wuss,” to name just a few.

Continue reading

Buckle up, everybody.

Well, here we go.  The univer$ity of iowa has a new pre$ident.

This seems an apt followup to my last post, and it’s an easy one to write because there’s not much to say. That’s mainly because this is one of those wind-’em-up topics that is likely to launch hundreds of thousands of words into the blogosphere  over the next few days.

I suppose we can look at the bright side for holiday travel (yeah, right), which is that our governor won’t be advocating for a wall to be built between Iowa and Wisconsin.

And at least they’re not paying Pre$ident Harreld as much as the football and basketball coaches, because that would probably make people angry.