WATCH was founded by a trial lawyer named Edward M. Swartz who has published books entitled Toys That Don't Care and Toys That Kill. Here's what one reviewer of these books had to say:
" When my child was run over by a popping-ball "lawnmower", and killed... I became suddenly aware of the danger of toys. I have locally formed a group to raise awarness of the liability of the toy industry for allowing such lax standards to pass. In addition to our monthly toy burning, we all agree to read on book together on the evils of the toy industry. This book is so popular, it's been selected over a dozen times for book of the month. Very compelling! "
I know what you're thinking ... JfZ is being funny again. I swear to any-God-of-your-choosing that is a real book review. I could smoke a bale of weed and never come up with my child was run over with popping-ball lawnmower and killed! You just can't make this shit up. Monthly toy burning!?
Maybe the list can help you with your upcoming holiday shopping. I mean, hell, if you don't like the neighbor's kids, buy everything on the list, give it to them, and hope for the best.
Other people on Plastic fondly went down memory lane and reminisced about their own childhood toys and some other toys they wished they had:
Chatsubo had a wind-up Evil Knievel motorcycle that flew off its ramp and knocked a cat unconscious. He also had some fun and injuries with cap guns and chemistry sets.
What were your favorite toys that had the potential for serious bodily injury or even death?
Childhood trauma helps us all and shapes our adult lives. Personally, I really hate Golf. I think golf courses are obscene wastes of real estate that not only take away millions of acres of natural habitat for indigenous species of wildlife, but also are epicenters of water pollution from lawn care chemicals in the name of a green lawn just so old, rich, fat men can get away from their disfunctional families for a few hours. I think my opinion of golf formed in my mom's car on the way to Botsford Hospital after my friend Marc created a bloody divot in my skull while trying to instruct me on the finer points of driving a golf ball over Ten Mile Road and into the childhood home of Joelle Lukasiewicz.
In addition, I'm very safe and cautious with firearms and projectile weapons in general because my friend Paul shot me in the leg with my own Crossman BB-gun. I had to dig that little happy fun ball out of my thigh. Even later in life, I wore an eye-protecting full face mask while running around the same yards shooting it up with paintball guns with the neighbor, Bryan. There's no way to avoid the sting and pain, and purple-yellow bruising of a paintball hitting you at 300 feet-per-second in the dark at close range, but there's no need to lose an eye, right?
All these childhood toys are great for one reason. Natural Selection. Our world is messed up enough without all the stupid kids being coddled and protected, surviving their youth, and running for political office.
You hear people remembering where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news that John F. Kennedy had been assasinated. Personally, I was still happily swimming around the warm liquid of my mother's womb at the time. And while I was born premature, I would not see the harsh flourescent lights of a delivery room and breathe the air of this increasingly violent planet for another 78 days.
Today marks the 40-year anniversary of the death of one of the United States most beloved presidents. A Gallup poll indicates that the popularity of JfK is equalled only to that of Abraham Lincoln, which is ironic to me, in that they both were shot in the head. Ronald Reagan is the next most popular according to Gallup and he was only shot in the armpit.
Maybe George W. Bush could regain some of his popularity and win the election in 2004 if he could orchestrate some accidental shooting one weekend at the western whitehouse in Crawford, Texas. Dubya would need only to actually shoot himself in the foot to give himself a boost in the polls. He has been metaphorically doing that to himself since he took the oath of office anyway.
The death of JfK also marked the death of the feel-good innocence that the American people felt toward their own government. According to Gallup, three-quarters of the people polled feel the JfK assasination was indeed a conspiracy with the mafia and the CIA topping the list of conspirators. I guess this basic distrust in our government is cultured at regular intervals by different events for each generation of American citizens.
While some of you alien abductees will say this death of innocence occurred back in 1947, in Roswell, NM -- I should point out that most of what we think we know about Roswell didn't come out as public knowledge until 1978 when Maj. Jesse Marcel, the 509th bomber group's intelligence officer, began spilling his guts about the whole government conspiracy and cover up.
One of the more obscure conspiracy theories concerning JfK is that he actually didn't die on the afternoon of November 21st, 1963.
According to Killing Kennedy, by Professor Revilo P. Oliver:
"Dr. Crenshaw and the other physicians knew, of course, that Kennedy was dead, but the action of the heart had not entirely ceased, and they made an effort to keep alive, not Kennedy, but his corpse. Had they succeeded, they would have performed a medical miracle and produced a living but mindless hulk of insentient tissue, something much more horrible than a zombie" ...
"This fact evidently gave rise to a theory about the assassination of which I had not heard before I saw it mentioned by Dr. Crenshaw: that Kennedy's cadaver is still kept obscenely alive in some subterranean vault under the Parkland Hospital!"
The reason I remember this little bizarre story is because it's one that my mother believed. A funny thing happened after I was born in Detroit, back in February 1964. Shortly thereafter, my mother moved down to the Dallas area, where she started a little business called the National Electronics Association of Texas. She thought that name was NEAT, I guess.
Anyway, I was a sickly child. I was born with pneumonia and the doctors burned all the fluid out of my eyes by giving me straight oxygen. I was blind until I was about 6 months old. I had asthma attacks and would stop breathing. My mom would take me to Parkland Hospital where JfK had gone.
Supposedly there was an entire floor at Parkland Hospital that became inaccessible in 1964. Rumors ran rampant. Sightings of secret service agents and even Jackie-O were common. Many people thought JfK lived on for a time and when he finally died, his remains were cremated, and Jackie-O spread his ashes in the ocean from the back of one of Aristotle Onassis' yachts. JfK was a navy man, afterall.
Whatever the case may be, I doubt I'll ever know the truth about JfK. When I worked with Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) back in the 1980's, I was "read (past tense) on" for specially compartmented information because I worked in data communications. SCI -- top secret information classified by different code words -- is a method by which the missile guys who may hold a top secret security clearance can not look at the spy satellite guys top secret information, and so on. It's where the term "need to know" comes from. When you're "read on" to gain access to the country's most highly guarded secrets, you sign an oath of silence regarding that information for 75 years.
It's only been 40 years since JfK was assasinated. Maybe in another 35 years, someone may learn the whole truth concerning any conspiracy to kill the man. Semper Preparate.
Spawned from the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the Red Army Faction (RAF) consisted of nearly 100 members and commited acts of terrorism in Germany for 30 years up until April 1998 when a communiqué was sent to the Reuters news agency officially disbanding the RAF.
But living in (West) Germany in the 1980's, I remember them as vividly as people know the infamous name and face of Osama bin Laden now. I had the German government's wanted posters for the RAF hanging in my apartment because I lived in Karlsruhe, the seat of their federal high court. One of the RAF members on one of my posters was Barbara Meyer. She peaked my interest because she didn't look like a terrorist at all. Her husband was in the RAF and she reminded me of a German Patty Hearst.
The other day, I put my old Win98 box back together and found the archive of an old web site I had called Gray Spaces. It is a small sample of some writing I did back in the 1980's. I was intrigued to see I had written something about Barbara Meyer:
You've got the eyes The cold blue steel Like the gun clenched How do you feel
You gain nothing Enough men died Though they all lied But the dead know
She was murdered But her last word I swear I heard I'm so sad that
So now I'll kill And I'll hunt you
Reflecting nothing My cold blue eye My compromise When you realize
Reflecting nothing, Reflecting nothing,
of a terrorist reflecting nothing in your sweaty fist being next on the list?
by lighting that bomb during Viet Nam about what went on not the pro or con.
during your first blast echoes from the past her say, "I love you. our time went so fast".
to revenge her death until my last breath.
I look in the mirror. can see you clearer. is to see your fear your death is so near.
Melicious brought my attention to Kozo this morning. Her email subject was "your cat can kiss my a$$". Mock hostility from such a sweet girl is such a turn-on.
I think it was in retaliation for that lovable little kitty called NeCoRo, or maybe the funny flash file over at code16 linked in my blog entry. I dunno. Melicious can be a spaz at times, a most lovable spaz, though.
My recent not-so-flattering comments about Verizon even spurred her into action. The next thing I know, a Verizon customer service rep called me. She had Melicious with her on conference call. At first, it felt like a collect call from a county jail. The rep began, "I have Mel on the line ..." and for a fleeting moment, I wondered what Mel had done to get arrested.
Now, I have nearly twice the monthly peak minutes which should hopefully end the possibility that I'll get another $477 monthly bill from Verizon. Now I know to call *228 to update and reprogram my cell for new towers. Now I know to call #646 to find out how many minutes I've used. I had no mobile-to-mobile plan and now I have 1000 minutes with which I'll spend talking to Melicious, and you, if you also have Verizon.
So after getting one terrible Verizon CSR, Melicious found a nice one for me. Her name is Virginia at extension 3089, out of Tampa. She's going to be having her first baby in May. She is going to call me next month to make sure I'm happy.
Now, all because Melicious loves me, I'm going to be a god father. Heh.
I'm just curious ... When you brush your teeth, do you squeeze the toothpaste tube haphazardly in the middle or anal-rententively roll up the bottom of the tube? Additionally, are you one of these people who put the toothpaste in a neat little dollop on your tooth brush or do you simply squeeze some onto your tongue?
I dunno. Maybe I'm just a freak.
Note: Verizon can kiss my ass. Their phone service sucks and their customer service swallows.