Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Am a Child

The movie "Animal House" premiered in 1978 and a year or so later was on TV. The TV showing was preceded by this caution: "The following program is intended for mature audiences only" (this was before the TV ratings system, boys and girls, so we had no alphabetic clue if we were being protected from violence, or sexual content or badly-overdubbed forbidden words). Now, I had seen Animal House in the theater and, the way I remembered it, it appealed more to immature audiences: those of us who could watch a man imitate a zit by spitting mashed potatoes on a prissy sorority girl and understand the humor in that.
The network people who attached the "mature audience" warning to the movie were using definition 8 of "mature": "composed of adults, considered as being less susceptible to (less able to be affected emotionally by) explicit sexual content, violence, or obscene language, as of a film or stage performance." By that definition, mature people would not laugh at a horse being shot to death in a college dean's office. I, however, thought it was hilarious (even though I was technically a 20-something-year-old adult).
So what did they really mean? They meant the movie was intended for sophmoric, crude, puerile people over 18, because we want to hide those traits fom those under 18, in whom we might still be able to repress them by means of forced church atendance, restrictive, modest, "appropriate" clothing and personal hygiene classes in public schools. Our hope was that by keeping young people from movies like "Animal House" we could raise a generation of adults who could hear the word "penis" and not giggle. Judging by movies today, our efforts weren't worth shit (**immature crowd reacts wildly to last word**).
Over at Humor Blogs, my blog is shown with a haloed smiley face, meaning "This site generally does not contain 'mature' content". Mature is appropriately in quotation marks because they just mean there are no boobies or bloody bodies or bad words. They don't mean that mature discussions of politics and language faux pas appeal to the same mature audience as "American Pie", "Jackass" or "Porky's". I think they mean my posts are not "3. fully developed" or "5. completed, perfected." I contend that my writing is mature in that it has "6.little or no potential for further growth."

"mature content" = "a ten ton rectum"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sympathy for the Devil

Scott McClellan figured it would be fitting to talk about his new book at a press conference today.
INTRODUCER PERSON: Ladies and gentlemen, former White House press secretary, Scott McClellan will now take questions.
REPORTERS (SHOUTING): I wanna hear my voice! I wanna hear my voice!**
McCLELLAN: Yes, you.
REPORTER: Mr. McClellan, your book states that Bush is self-deceiving and runs the government on propoganda.
McCLELLAN: That is the message that we have decided on, yes. You will hear my publicist, my manager, my agent and all my hangers-on parroting the same talking point.
REPORTERS (SHOUTING): I wanna hear my voice! I wanna hear my voice!
McCLELLAN: Yes, you.
REPORTER: Mr. McClellan, according to MSNBC's report, your book says, quote, "that Bush and his team sold the Iraq war by means of a 'political propaganda campaign' in which contradictory evidence was ignored or discarded, caveats or qualifications to arguments were downplayed or dropped and 'a dubious al-Qaida connection to Iraq was played up.'" Since that war destroyed this country's reputation and standing in the world, hamstrung our military, ruined our economy and cotinues to bring about death and injury, do you even feel any regret about your part in spreading the propoganda?
McCLENNAN: That is part of an ongoing investigation and I can not comment on that.
REPORTER: A follow up: Does the fact that you are bringing this out now, so much later, only to make money off this heinous situation... does that make you the lowest, most dispicable sort of human being imaginable (other than your former bosses)?
McCLELLAN: That is part of an ongoing investigation and something which I can't comment on.
REPORTER: Um, follow up to the follow up: Scott, do you even have a soul?
McCLELLAN: Again, that's part of an ongoing investigation and something I really can't say. Though it seems unlikely.
INTRODUCER PERSON: That's all we have time for. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. No more questions.
(McClellan was merely a a tiny imp in Bush's underworld of demons like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, but if I had no respect for him when he was Bush's spokesdummy, I have even less now. Here's the really funny follow-up, though: McClellan's book tells about how Bush establishes the talking points and everyone is told the script and you hear them all repeat it like Stepford brides of Frankenstein. Now the White House is denying that what Scott says is true and expressing sadness over his "disgruntlement": they all are saying it with exactly the same line, "this is not the Scott McClellan I knew." Which is probably true because I suspect that anyone leaving the Bush White House early is killed and replaced with a pod person.)

Remember, the letters in "George W. Bush" spell "We bugger hos"

**Any comedy format ripped off from Gary Burbank is purely intentional

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Once you've Read the Book, Is That Still True?

My friend Bill has written another book: "Everything You Know About English is Wrong".. The best thing about this one is that I am included among the smelly characters to whom it is dedicated. The rest of the book is fantastic. Buy it! Read it! (In that order). But save the dedication for last because....well, what I said before. Oh, and visit his blah blathering blabber.

The Power of Ten

The periodic cicadas are back. Not everyone gets to enjoy cicadas, they hang out mostly in the Eastern US. Cicadas are like Britney Spears, they emerge from time to time to breed and attract the media and nobody knows what their purpose is on Earth. Cicadas seem to be like God's trial run at producing locusts, as if he just wanted to test a harmless version until he really needed a plague on the scale somewhere between flies and killing the first-born.
The current emergence of cicadas in Cincinnati is not as big a deal as the one 4 years ago. 2004 was the year for Brood X. Their appearance every 17 years spawns bad poetry, nasty recipes and film at 11. Brood X is so popular, they named a Cincinnati university after them. The current brood, Brood XIV, for some reason doesn't get anywhere near the same coverage. I think the problem is the clumsy Roman numerals. Brood XIV is just not as cool and doesn't inspire the samerespect as Brood X. It's the exact problem that Malcolm XIV had. You probably don't even remember him.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Laugh, Laugh

Over in the links you will see Be sure to visit them to see some really funny blogs. If you see any you like, click on the thumbs up symbol to mark it as a favorite. Thanks!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Could She Be a June Bridesmaid?

Yesterday Hillary Clinton was defending her refusal to confront reality and drop out of the Democratic primary. She wondered why sane people were urging her to do so before June, “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?” she told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know, I just, I don't understand it.”
Many people were upset by this comment because she clearly declared that her husband’s nomination was a tragedy on the scale of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated. Some reporters seem to think people were upset because they understood her to say, “if I’m lucky, Barack Obama will be shot” or perhaps they heard the actual coded message in her words which was “if you want me to win, someone, please, shoot Barack Obama.”
Perhaps she just meant to say, “You never know what might happen; fairy tales can come true”.
There may be less of a problem with what some people inferred from her comments than with what she implied with the examples she gave. Bill Clinton was not dodging sniper fire as he ran to safety in California in June: he had “effectively won the Democratic Party's nomination after winning the New York Primary in early April.” Or maybe as early as March.
Whether Kennedy’s nomination in 1968 was certain until stopped by an assassin’s bullet is less clear, but many people believe that “(Hubert) Humphrey was the likely nominee, and RFK's own campaign manager … wrote in his memoirs that Kennedy's chances of winning the nomination had been slim, even after his win in California.”
If Clinton dropped out and Obama subsequently died (no need to assume he is shot), Clinton would get the nomination anyway, so it is not an excuse for staying in the race. Does she, however need an excuse for what she said? She did, of course, express regret… that people were offended.
Perhaps when Hillary said, “You know, I just, I don't understand it.” she meant to say, “I just don’t get it.”
Perhaps she meant to say, “It’s not over until the fat lady** sings”:

“Does anybody here recall my husband’s primary?
Can you tell me what took so long?
He didn’t win until he won California
I think in June, but I could be wrong

Does anybody here recall Humphrey’s victory?
Can you tell me what took so long?
He won after Kennedy was shot in California
That day in June, but I could be wrong

Does anybody here recall my inevitability?
Can you tell me where it’s gone?
You think you saw it disappear with my comments.
I’ll turn it around, but I could be wrong.”

**If anyone took my reference to the “fat lady” to mean Hillary Clinton and if they see that in a negative way and if they are offended, I regret that.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pea Brain From West VA

Barack Obama was trounced in West Virginia because some white voters hate Muslims, some white voters fear black people and some white voters distust anyone named Hussein.
(Funny thing: Hillary Clinton has not been called upon to denounce or repudiate the views of her supporters.)
Back when Nixon was President Merle Haggard recorded a song about the righteousness of not being a peace-living, pot-smoking, liberal-ass hippie, called "Okie From Muskogee." Later Kinky Friedman did a parody of it called "Asshole From El Paso." I will borrow the lyrics to render my thoughts on the under-educated, hard working, white voters of West Virginia.

We don’t open minds up in West V A
We don’t think out thoughts, we just believe
We don’t find antebellum ideas passe
We like bein’ white, and real na├»ve

I’m proud to be a pea brain from West V A
A place where evolution takes a fall
We all keep our gene pools in the fam’ly
And white people’s still the bestest race of all

We know that Obama is a Muslim
His middle name’s Hussein, it must be true
He takes his oath of office on the Ko-ran
And hates us like all them kind of people do

I’m proud to be a pea brain from West V A
A place where evolution takes a fall
We all keep our gene pools in the fam’ly
And white people’s still the bestest race of all

Flag pins on one’s label prove you’re Amurican
A turban on your head would be obscene
We prefer white hoods as fashion statements
Deliverance is the best flick ever screened

We still paint the stars and bars on the outhouse
In good old West Virginia, U S A

I realize that not everyone in West VA is sitting in a backwoods shack droolin' to the sound of dueling banjos. The song is directed at ignorant racists everywhere: the ones I knew in California, and the ones I know in Ohio and - soon to take the national racist spotlight from West VA - Kentucky.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'll Get You My Pretty

sweetie.gifWXYZ-TV's Peggy Agar shouted a question to the Democratic presidential candidate during his appearance at a Chrysler LLC plant in this auto-making suburb of Detroit.
Agar asked Obama what is he "going to do to help American autoworkers."
"Hold on one second, sweetie," Obama replied. "We'll do a press (availability), thanks." He did not reply to Agar's question.
This upset some people. “Sure”, you say, “Obama evaded the question and did not present any substantive plan.”
No, honey, we are upset that Obama called this woman “Sweetie”. This is the story: “Obama says he's sorry for ‘sweetie’ comment”, remarking that she was not actually sweet, but , in fact, rather acerbic.
At this link over here, darlin’, you can vote on whether you find it offensive.
I am sure that during the Kentucky primary coverage MSNBC cutie, Kelly O’Donnell, will show the breakdown of voters who didn’t care about the remark and those who were offended and what % voted for Hillary or Barack.
The biased media who fail to give McCain grief for his fanatic religious pals, also never criticize him for starting every comment with “My friends”, which implies a level of intimacy I am not comfortable with.
I suppose that Barack’s referring to women other than his wife or daughters as “sweetie’ is inappropriate. It may hurt him in the election. After all, look at how little support Ron Paul has because he refers to the Constitution as “precious”.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Well, a "White" Guy Was co-author of "Elements of Style"

"Without a doubt, the rule system that white people love the most is grammar." That's pretty much the only rule system this maverick white boy likes. As you read the article, it seems that the author has taken a mocking tone, as if obsession with grammar rules was somehow strange. Does not everyone experience a knife-in-the-gut feeling when someone says "He gave it to Timmy and I." That gives I major indigestion! And, yes, "if (I) were to catch a mistake in The New Yorker, it would be a sufficient reason for a large party."
But grammar hawking can save your life.

Don't Bother Me

UPDATE: related song link
barbaraoprah.jpgOn MSNBC’s home page, there is a link to s story titled, “Oprah’s most annoying friends.” (I read only the headline, not the story, so no hyperlink here). Clearly Oprah has so many annoying friends that we cannot list them all, we can fit in only the 5-star irritants in her circle of pals. There is undoubtedly an institute somewhere compiling a book about Oprah’s aggravating hangers-on (like the American Film Institute compiles the “100 top movies of all time”) based on rating by experts on celebrity annoyance. For entertainment news to drag out Oprah as a featured topic, there must be a shortage of young starlets vomiting while getting into a limo or flashing their hootchies while getting out. Oprah is old news. In fact, the negative aspect of this article indicates an Oprah backlash (which has probably been going on for sometime but has escaped my notice). Of course, one can’t attack Oprah directly and just say she is annoying. One implies it by linking her to annoying people. It is the same as the way one indirectly labels Barack Obama as an angry, scary, black person by pointing out his ties to the reverend Wright, the way one labels Hillary Clinton as a sleazy womanizer by pointing out her association with Bill Clinton or one can identify John McCain as a deceased white dude by his association with Ronald Reagan.

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's The Economists, Stupid!

NOTE: This was timely when I wrote it at my old blog site, which was temporarily unusable.

MagElitist.jpgFor some time Republicans have been calling out Democrats as “liberals” like Salem religious zealots branding people as witches. Republicans have successfully imbued the word “liberal” with the meaning of: evil, wretched Democrat who stoops to repairing the world and tolerating diversity. So what label can a Democrat apply to another Democrat to mark that person with the sign of the beast so ye shall know him? That word is “elitist”. Elitists are those demons who suffer from education and are often afflicted with advanced degrees and, worse, money: they know “stuff” and they profit from that.
Good Democrats should eschew elitism. For example, closet ivy-league-graduate and rich person (until she blew it all on campaigning) Hillary Clinton was recently “Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and …whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me." As a person who has the misfortune to be quadruple whammied, being white and male and educated and having a well-paying job (which I mistakenly believed I was working hard at), I say these liberals need to be more tolerant of elitists. I am growing bitter and starting to cling to my spirituality, my fine wine and my mistrust of people stupider than I.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Take This Job

MagElitist.jpgFor a long time Republicans have tagged Democrats with the liberal label like Salem religous zealots calling out witches. Being laneled as a liberal means one is so evil, so vile as to actual care about people and be tolerant of diversity. But what can one Democrat label another in order to tag him as "not like us"? "Elitist". An elistist is someone horrifyingly knowledgeable or educated in a wealthier-than-thou manner. Closet educated and wealthy person, Hillary Clinton favors a gas tax "holiday". Her husband's former toady, Geoirge Snuffleupagus challenged her, asking, "can you name an economist who thinks this makes sense?", she replied, "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists" because they went to Ivy league schools, made a lot of money and they know stuff. They are elitists like Obama who rightly thinks people are bitter but makes the mistake of saying it out loud.
In other news, men are suffering more from the supposed recession than women. Barack Obama is so elitist that he owns his own elitist economist, Austan Goolsbee, who said: "Because the unemployed are disproportionately men, they may especially benefit from Obama's program to get us out of recession." I don't know exactly what he means by that except that a guy named Barack Obama ought to surround him self with people named something more ordinary than Austan Goolsby.
What offends me about the elist label is that it is an attempt to carve out and villanize a class of people simply because they had the misfortune to graduate from college or perhaps be afflicted with even more advanced degrees. They are not real people like the "working men and women" of this great country. True, their work is simple: what does a CEO or CFO of a company really need ever do? And people in academic ivory towers, researching diseases or researching econmic solutions to hunger and poverty, come on, that's not real work.
So get yourself a real job, and comfort yourself with your church, your guns and your fear of different people, especially elitists. If your not sure, the easy way to identify the worthless elitist is that they go by three letter designations, PhD, CFO, CEO, esq. SOB and like that.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

They Shoot Horses, Don't They

Headline: "Big Brown wins. Filly finishes second and is euthanized."
Wow, the Democrats are really getting serious.
Oh. That was about the Kentucky Derby.
It would really liven up the primaries, though, wouldn't it?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Made You Look

free gift.jpgToday I saw this sentence in a headline link to a crime story: "One day, she was unresponsive to her boyfriend’s text messages, which was then followed by a grueling discovery." She was found in the middle of her apartment living room, so the discovery was more gruesome than grueling. I shouldn't be so critical of language errors made by people trained and paid to use words correctly. After all, people who are trained and paid to use meat slicers often have fewer than ten fingers. People trained and paid to run a war occassionally declare victory prematurely and even get into wars based on lies erroneous intelligence.
See, not all "errors" are unintentional, including language errors. Most of us have seen or heard criticism of the redundant "free gift" offer made in various promotions. My friends, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Noble emailed me today to offer me a free gift if I get one of their credit cards. (We're very close friends; they email me every week about what they are up to at work. I email them back about what I'm doing that week also.) There is a high level of "freeness" associated with the word "gift" (see def. #2). The alert level of freeness in gift is, in fact, at red. Everyone knows that, including Messers. Barnes and Noble. They also know that if they offer me a "gift", I will subconciously know it's a euphemism for "not a gift". So companies tack on the word "free' because it still has the Pavlovian power to make us salivate, or at least read their offers ("Made you look, made you look, made you buy an on-sale book!"). I believe, though, that that word "free" is losing its effect. Soon they will have to offer a complimentary free gift, then a gratuitous complimentary free gift.
Words and sentence structure impart messages to us. "Free gift! We'll give you a travel mug when you sign up for B&N credit card!" says "Look! Pretty! Shiny! Travel mug! Can hold COFFEE. Don't look at the nasty, evil credit card; look at the shiny object! You want it." Why don't they change the ad to say, "We'll give you a pretty, smooth, plastic card if you take one of these old travel mugs off our hands." Make it seem like a status symbol, the way American Express does. People PAY to have an AMEX card. No free gifts for them. People with AMEX cards can buy their own gifts.
(By the way, I know "freeness" is not a word. I sometimes intentionally misuse language. You should assume that any language, grammar or spelling errors you see in this blog are intentional.)