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Location: Portland, Oregon

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Makin' it Safe, Keepin' It Better

The unsung, unmissed early '90's ABC show "Cop Rock" episode titles include:

'A Three-Corpse Meal'
'The Cocaine Mutiny'
'Oil of Ol' Lay'

Oh, man! Wouldn't you love to see a full-length movie called "The Cocaine Mutiny"? Anyway, it also famously included this sequence:

How could anything be called The Foundation For A Better Life be bad? And its domain name just sounds like a combination of wholesale bargains and unmitigated goodness.

So The Foundation For A Better Life, with that vaguest of names, what is it that they do? Well, they were responsible for billboards like this...

I have always recommended that one read this billboard with a different inflection:
"Quadri-plegic. A minus, Harvard!" As though to say, she was perfectly fine when she got here...

They do have a wonderful feature on their site that allows you to make your own billboard suggestions. Not unlike the church sign generator sites out there, you could just put whatever you want onto a blank template. So I went and uploaded my pic of Dean Martin, and -well...

(I had to take a picture of this with my camera. They won't let you export anything from their site, strangely. Just like the Scientology site won't let you copy and paste the results of your personality test.)

Other people's ideas in this category include:

"YOU CAN DO IT!", accompanied by a screenshot of what I believe is a test...It's the Unit Test Cover Sheet, which is Mandatory...Then, "ACHIEVEMENT"! Pass It On.

An entry from something named Jennaaa, who lives in Michigan, with a picture of her and her friend...I don't know, Brrrennndaaaaa? Sitting in a bathtub with big, striped socks on. The legend reads, "How Fun," and has a smily emoticon next to it. The value there being espoused was 'LAUGHTER', apparently.

One I really don't understand from a Laura Bunten of Washington, D.C. has a picture of her, looking drunk or something, with the legend, "Adds the Sway-eh, eh-eh, eh-eh's on a daily basis." The value is 'LIVE LIFE', because it could scarcely be anything else.

And one that I would normally assume was a joke, but I'm pretty sure isn't, from one Zhane Fulp (see?) from King, N.C., with a picture of a woman, and based on the past-tense wording, you would assume she's dead. But no, 'Thank You Jessica, You Made All Our Days Good' is followed up with this:

Value itself sort of gets lost here. There's one with a picture of Abraham Lincoln, and the legend is 'Was A Good President'. 'INTEGRITY'. Pass It On. Another with a picture of a spooky forest at night, and the puzzling message 'Stand up for what you believe even if you are', which exemplifies 'BELIEVE IN YOURSELF', for some reason. A picture of three girls with their arms around each other translates out to 'Be a leader not a follower', which is intrinsic to 'CARING'.

It doesn't help that the treasured half-truths that Americans live by are here utilized in what has to be some class project somewhere, which then fail to actually inspire. Two in a row about Positivity lack the veritas to pull off even the simplest of ideas:

"You will learn in life that if you don't have a Positive attitude life will be hard but if you have a Positive attitude life will be easy."

(is followed by)

"If you will have a good attitude, and not get in a bad mood you can or will have a good day and noting will maybe go wrong for you ."

Both of these are from Rockingham, North Carolina, and both of these epigrammists are, I suspect, in for a big shock one of these days.

But all of their billboards and commercials are like that. They're in favor of controversial values like 'SPORTSMANSHIP'. Another homemade one lets you know that 'There is "Value" in valuable friendships.' Are you making fun of friendship? Are you making fun of Value?
There is one in which I am -I think warned- that 'You might just start a chain reaction'. And the value is 'COMPASSION', but in small print it looks like 'COMPULSION'. Another, I'm pretty sure, is encouraging me toward 'OVERREACTION'. Pass It On.

So yes; with all this benign fatousity and generalized sententiousness, one may wonder, So what then is the mission of this great Foundation? Behind all this bland goodness and basic Hooray For Everything-ism, who wants us to spend all this time polishin' the ol' apple?
Oh my god. It's this guy, who owns a company that recently bought a company that regularly provides me with work. He's a conservative christian, too, surprise surprise. His underwriting of The Discovery Institute certainly doesn't make me view him in a positive light. Doesn't seem t' like the queers, either.

In a basic Google search, one either finds people who immediately hate the whole thing because Conservatives Are Bad, or people who want to give money to this thing (which doesn't accept donations, actually) because they find it refreshing that someone is sticking up for things like 'integrity' and 'hope'. Both of those have been under strenuous attack, you know.

So yeah, it's probably a tax dodge/money laundering thing.

Oh, but how could anything called Keep America Safe be bad? Well, let's see...

What if Liz Cheney was the first name on their board? What if they chose to publish the thoughts of one Gordon Cucullu (because his birth name, 'Chthulu', has such negative connotations?), a worse-than-crank whose background with Special Forces I'm sure warms the part of every conservative that loves a Stern Father. To say nothing of being the current home of the man who was famous for being wrong about everything-Bill Kristol!
The site is a jumping-off point for the written content of every nutbag that currently strides, knuckles down, across the greensward. Charles Krauthammer. Robert Spencer.

I dunno. I'm having a hard time actually being amused at how fucking dumb pretty much all of my countrymen are. But hey.

All of these are fun, but lack the overwhelming awesomeness of Oregon's own The Foundation of Human Understanding. I first encountered the utterly insane Roy Masters in the heyday of talk radio -which I actually date to the late '80's, early '90's, shortly before it got too polarized.
And I hear this vaguely British sounding jackass talking about what a bunch of awful people his audience are, only to have it stated not long after that he represents something with the phrase 'human understanding' in it.

The basic thesis- "if you were all good and moral and having the same vision as I do," as he too tellingly puts it- is basically that the socialists are gonna come kill us all. He's been selling that same line for a long, long time, so I suspect that it's only gotten more intense.
I see on his website now that he has a whole bunch of books and so on that promise to make you more sexy, or something. In the great tradition of all scams, when you try to go to 'preview' on the book page, it tells you that that action is 'not allowed'.

Well, it's certainly no The Association If The Enhancement of Mallard Rubles.



Blogger Paige said...

You wrote about my son Zhane Fulp and his billboard in your article. He has Autism and for him to be able to write this and have his billboard displayed makes me very proud. It has been a long road to get to where he is, just for you to have your say. I ask that you remove any mention of my son from your article.

7:42 AM  

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