Monday, June 30, 2008

Parents Suck

Over the weekend, the wife and I invited some friends over to The Iron Mike Compound for a barbecue. Usually, our barbecues are comprised of a little meat, lots of liquor, a little weed, and lots of adult fun. This time however, a new ingredient was added to the mix -- KIDS.

Upon sending out the Evite for the shindig, I forgot to mention that children are not welcome. I guess when you're 36 and most of your friends hover around the same age, not not inviting children is the same as inviting children. It's sad, but true.

So, as soon as I lit up my Weber and poured a fresh Stoli Red Bull, the first parent/child combo arrived. The parent had that uncomfortable smile that said, "I hope this is OK." The child had that devious grin that said, "I'm gonna fuck your place up."

The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by tiny terrors shitting and pissing, spreading germs, crying and screaming, talking to me, biting and fighting, and destroying what I thought was going to be a delightful night of debauchery.

What was worse than the kids was the parents. Usually, at my parties, the focus is on me and my wacky antics. This time, the focus was on the precious little ones and how precious they are. Usually, at my parties, the conversations are based around porn and dick jokes. This time, the conversations were based around day care and diapers.

I understand that, to some people, procreation is the reason we were put on this Earth. What I don't understand is how, just because they procreate, some people become assholes. They become incapable of looking beyond their world of Dora The Explorer and Thomas the Tank Engine and remembering that they were once cool. They become incapable of determining how not to infringe upon the fun of their friends.

My wife and I don't have kids. Our reasons for this vary - we're selfish, we're lazy, we don't like children, etc. Still, at a certain point, we're probably going to feel the need to spread our seed. When we do, I can promise you one thing - we won't be bringing our kids to adult barbecues. Amen!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jury Duty (not the Pauly Shore movie)

There's a reason our judicial system doesn't work. Everybody hates jury duty! It's a waste of time. It's boring. You're forced to interact with the dregs of society. You're treated like a peon. You barely get paid. And, you can get arrested for not showing up.

Imagine how stoked I was last week when I got summoned to Denver County Courthouse to serve my annual jury duty. Personally, I like my job. This would not a be an exciting little break where I get to pretend I'm in my own little episode of CSI. It would cost me thousands of dollars to be away from the office and it would make me stressed that I was falling behind. Plus, it would be a pain in the ass, especially if I got picked to be in a trial.

Of course, I got picked to be in a trial. There were 60 of us in the room for jury selection. We would be whittled down to 12. The judge informed us that this was a rape case and that if were one of the 12, we would be there for at least 2 weeks.

I had to get out of it!

All of a sudden, a vibration in my pants gave me an idea. I would Google the case on my cell phone. Find out too much to be an objective juror. Then, get dismissed with the quickness. It was brilliant. I pulled out my Blackberry, hid it behind the enormous weave in front of me, and I Googled away.

I found out that the defendant (a 300 lb. black man) was accused of raping and beating 4 women in broad daylight. Even if I believed in our judicial system, I didn't want this maniac knowing I was responsible for putting him away for 20 years.

We were all handed questionnaires to fill out. In the section that asked if we knew anything about the case, I gloriously wrote, "EVERYTHING!" and proceeded to explain my cell phone hijinks. About 15 minutes after the questionnaires were collected, I was called into the judge's chambers. I thought this was it - I was going to be dismissed and I'd be back at work in time for lunch. I was wrong.

In the judge's chambers sat the judge, two prosecutors, two defenders, AND the rapist. They all looked very mad. The judge began by telling me that I could be found in contempt of court for jury tampering and I could be in jail by the end of the day. That got my attention.

For the next hour and a half, I was cross examined by the judge, the two prosecutors, the two defenders, AND the rapist. I claimed ignorance. They claimed contempt. I claimed stupidity. They claimed contempt. Finally, the judge let me go back into the courtroom, but told me that he still hadn't made a decision whether or not to put me in jail.

Later, the judge came out of his chambers, told everyone in the courtroom not to talk to me, and proceeded with jury selection. For the next 9 hours, I sat there. The rapist kept staring at me angrily. No one in the room would talk to me. And, I couldn't use my cell phone, It was hell.

During a break, I came up with another idea. I called my buddy who's a crime reporter for our local news paper. I told him that if I went to jail, he should write an article entitled, "Web CEO Arrested for Using Web". It would be great press for my company. Shit, I'd get locked up for PR any day. Now, I was content and waited for my golden cuffs to come.

Eventually, I was let go. On the way out, I asked the judge why he made me wait so long knowing damn well that I couldn't be a juror. He said it was to teach me a lesson for being an asshole.

Yes, I'm an asshole, but at least I'm not an asshole who had to spend 2 weeks determining the fate of a large rapist.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Liberal Libertarian

For all intents and purposes, I should be a Democrat. I'm an East Coast Jew. I live in Denver. I believe in human rights. I'm pro-environment. And, I love abortion. Recently, after a long discussion about politics with a devout Republican, I determined two things: I can't stand discussing politics and I am a Libertarian.

Wikipedia defines Libertarianism as, "a label used by a broad spectrum of political philosophies which prioritize individual liberty and minimize, or eliminate, the role of the state." Ever since I got kicked out of summer camp for refusing to shower, I've been against authority. I spent the following 30 years doing everything I could to avoid anybody telling me what to do. Strangely though, when it came to politics, I aligned myself with the political party that hangs its hat on telling everybody what to do.

I hate authority!

I hate that we can't smoke in bars. It should be up to the bar owners to decide whether they want cancer breeders (like myself) in their establishments and it should be up to the drinkers to decide if they want to go to said bars.

I hate that drugs of all kinds are illegal. If we want to trip on acid or snort cocaine or shoot heroin, we should be able to do it. If we get fucked up, so be it. If we die, so be it. It's our decision.

I hate that there are seat belt laws and helmet laws and photo radars and speed traps. Who is the government to say how safe we should be in the cars that we power with the gas that costs so much because of the government's over-regulation?

We should be able to carry guns. We should be able to curse on television. We should be able to own pitbulls. And, we should be able to earn as much money as we can without government interference.

Philosophically, I'm a Libertarian.

Now, you may be asking - is Iron Mike pulling a Dennis Miller and suddenly going right wing in order to get a show on Fox News? Not at all. I've just realized that because of the influence of Hollywood, The Grateful Dead, and the upper middle class "intelligencia", I've been fooled into thinking I'm one thing when I'm really something else.

Who am I going to vote for on November 4th? I'm wholeheartedly voting for Obama. Libertarianism is undoubtedly a great philosophy. However, in this country of lemmings, it's completely unrealistic. Politicians who represent The Libertarian Party are wackos who have as much chance of getting into office as Ralph Nader or Ron Paul. I can't fucking stand Bush or McCain or any other Republican. If I don't want humans telling me what to do, I definitely don't want to be guided by religion.

So, what's left? Somebody other than a Republican. Somebody who cares about people. Somebody who is in no way connected to the current administration. Somebody who will be telling me what to do, but at least make me feel good about it. Somebody named Barack Obama.

What does that make me? A Liberal Libertarian. We're strong. We're proud. We're oxymoronic.

By the way,It does my heart good to see that a man who is half African American could be considered for the top office in our country. I can't wait until a whole African American or a half Jew or a quarter Mexican can be in the same situation, but that's another blog post.

The Return of Iron Mike

Back then, we called it “writing on the Web”. Now, they call it blogging.

Back then, a bunch of early adopting nerds were online. Now, everyone and, yes, their mother, is online.

Some call it Web 2.0. I call it the Web with a bigger audience.

It was 1995. I was in Denver with no friends, no girlfriend, and a computer. I purchased the domain name on a lark. With nothing to put up there, I decided to write.

My words were immature, obnoxious, and absurd. For some reason people liked it. Without the benefit of RSS feeds, I sent out each new post via e-mail. Soon, I was sending it to 15,000 people at a time.

It was an archaic phenomenon that almost became a movie, a TV show, and a cartoon. None of that happened, but I did compile the writings into a book, Battery Acid for the Soul.

Being an early Internet star was a very cool experience. It made me realize the potential that the Web could have once people actually went online.

Eventually, I decided to stop writing. I built one of the world’s top Web consulting firms. I found a woman who would put up with my bullshit and married her. We did a little travelling and we lived a somewhat anonymous existence. All was good.

For some reason, I woke up this morning and wanted to write again. Maybe it was the Chinese food I had the night before. Maybe it was the sorrow I felt from George Carlin dying. Whatever it was, I logged on to Blogger and a few minutes later, here I am.

Let’s see what the new Iron Mike has to spit out.