Archive for August, 2014

Philip Larkin and Push-Up Bras

Aug 23 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

I like the poem “Aubade” by Philip Larkin. It’s one of the last poems he wrote, and it’s probably his darkest:

The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

He dismisses the false solace of religion in six words (“That vast moth-eaten musical brocade”) and the efficacy of a stiff upper lip (“Death is no different whined at than withstood”). It’s clear-eyed, devastating, and comforting, too, in a way, to acknowledge the reality that usually remains, as he puts it, “just on the edge of vision/A small unfocused blur, a standing chill.”

The second Google result for “aubade” is Larkin’s poem. The first result is the website for a brand of lingerie that goes by that name. Aubade sells an open-up triangle bra that features what is described, intriguingly, as a “magic button.” Another bra is somewhat mysteriously named “Woodstock Memories,” a reference to an event not normally associated with the wearing of undergarments in general, and certainly not with the frilly wonders offered up by Aubade.

The so-called moulded basque is a fascinating bit of business involving multiple straps and tiny clamps. Also for sale is an array of diaphanous kimonos that would be inappropriate to wear while, say, greeting the UPS guy at the door, unless you were interested in something more than timely receipt of your Amazon purchases.

I could go on. The point, though, is that on the way to what Larkin calls “unresting death” there are occasional distractions, some of which, like the discovery of a lingerie brand that shares a title with one of your favorite poems, are not entirely unpleasant.

What, Exactly, Is Being Shot At Protesters in Ferguson?

Aug 15 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

The black cylinder on top is a .60 cal Stinger made by Defense Technology. Here’s a description from the company:

This StingerĀ® 37 mm 60-Caliber Round has a 8 in. casing and contains approximately 42 60-Caliber rubber balls. It utilizes black powder as the propellant which will usually disperse the rubber balls in wider patterns than its 40 mm counterpart. The StingerĀ® 37 mm 60-Caliber Round is most widely used as a crowd management tool by Law Enforcement and Corrections. This 37 mm round has a velocity of 250 fps/76 mph and has a maximum effective range of 50 feet. It is most suitable at close to medium ranges of fire.

The metal canister pictured is also made by Defense Technology. I’m not 100-percent sure, but I think it’s a Triple Chaser Grenade. Here’s the summary on those bad boys:

The Triple-ChaserĀ® CS consists of three separate canisters pressed together with separating charges between each. When deployed, the canisters separate and land approximately 20 feet apart allowing increased area coverage in a short period of time. This grenade can be hand thrown or launched from a fired delivery system. The grenade is 6.5 in. by 2.7 in. and holds an approximately 3.2 oz. of active agent payload. It has an approximate burn time of 20-30 seconds.

Defense Technology is owned by Safariland. (Here’s some more background on Safariland.) In 2012, Safariland was sold to Warren B. Kanders who, according to the Rich Register, has a net worth in excess of $180-million. Defense Technology also makes an array of chemical projectiles and aerosols.

Defense Technology’s slogan is “We Are Your Force Option.” Not sure what that means, but it sounds tough.

Safariland’s slogan is “Together, We Save Lives.” Way more friendly.

Behold the 12-gauge Super Sock Beanbag Projectile made by the Pennsylvania-based and generically named company Combined Systems. Here’s the spec sheet. The company warns that “Shots to the head, neck, thorax, heart, or spine can result in fatal or serious injury.”

Here’s what The New York Times had to say about Combined Systems in 2012:

The company, which counts the Carlyle Group as an investor, describes itself as a “tactical weapons company” and has been accused by journalists and human rights groups of selling tear gas canisters and grenades to Arab governments.

Last year, Amnesty International said Combined Systems had shipped a total of 46 tons of ammunition, including “chemical irritants and riot control agents such as tear gas” to Egyptian security forces.

Good to know.

These are probably .40 mm wooden baton rounds. Defense Technology is one company that makes these, and here’s the spec sheet. They’re intended to be “skip fired,” which means that you shoot them at the ground in front of a person rather than directly at them. Though the company says they may “be direct fired at the discretion of the operator.” So fire them at the ground first unless you don’t want to.

When they’re fired at less than 30 feet away, getting hit with the projectile “may result in minor injuries.” I wonder how close they were when one of the wooden baton rounds struck this guy:

Behold The Obambulance

Aug 04 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

obambulance

 

I think all of us who voted for Barack Obama now acknowledge that it was a horrible mistake. The country we once loved, the country that gave us so much, has been transformed under his authoritarian rule into a socialist dystopia. Disease-ridden immigrant children roam the suburbs. Every dime we earn is either redistributed to the feckless or used to fund Obama’s kingly lifestyle. I know this mostly from emails I’ve been forwarded but I see no reason to doubt it. The U.S.A. is O.V.E.R., folks. Roll up the flag. Close down Mount Rushmore. The dreams of our beloved founders lie in smoldering ruins.

I came across more evidence of this sad state of affairs when I was out driving recently. There, in front of me, was what passes for an ambulance under Obamacare. Yes, that’s right: they’re using rusty pickup trucks now to transport the sick and injured. While it might be hard to make out in the photo above, instead of gurneys now they’re using — get this — wheelbarrows. Notice that the IV drip is nothing more than an empty Heineken bottle and some dirty tubing. Also, if you squint, you’ll see a rat on top of the truck. Vermin! Unbelievable.

Plus, personally, I think making the general Obamacare phone number “1-800-Drop-Dead” was another poor choice on the White House’s part.

Please forward this post to all your friends, relatives, colleagues, and credulous acquaintances. Thank you and God bless “America.”