Sunday, April 26, 2009

We're All Dead

The one thing I’ve learned in 47 years of blogging is you have to jump on a subject as soon as it surfaces or every other blog will have it covered better and funnier than you have. That’s why I’m jumping on Swine Flu now I figure there will be two or three days of interest in the pandemic before millions start dropping dead in their tracks and it all becomes passé.

But first these two farts in the whirlwind: The pirate guy and torture.

You may remember the pride of Poopchute Somalia, Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse Whatever, he was the blood thirsty but incompetent cut throat his fellow cut throats sent to the USS Bainbridge to negotiate ransom for the release of Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama. After some American Seals finished the preliminary negotiations with his compatriots, Mr. Whatever thought he had won an all expenses paid one way ticket to the Federal Court in New York City and showed up states side with a big old grin on his face beneath his saucer shaped eyes and jug handle ears. He apparently neglected to read the small print on the ticket stub.

Prior to his arrival my friends and boon companions had been inclined to call down the wrath of Hell on the Pirates of the Horn but the photos of Mr. Whatever won their hearts and cleansed their minds of any common sense so suddenly it was like talking to a bunch of girls that decided Richard Ramirez or some other serial killing psychotic was dreamy. He was after all accused of the second most forgivable crime of our time, abducting and threatening an American. (The first most forgivable crime is the killing of Americans; we after all drove them to commit the crime with our dysfunctional foreign policy and arrogance. Of course it’s still a heinous crime but it would be patriotically remiss not to place all the blame on the dead Americans who after all are symbolic victims as compared to the real victims, the hijackers, who suffered… I could go on forever but I’ll let some one at the Huffington Post do it instead.)

From Monster to 90 pound teenager with jug ears, saucer eyes and big ass grin all in one rendition flight, apparently he was less pleased when he heard the charges he faced and started crying like the grinning, jug eared, saucer eyed 90 pound teenager he is. I’m sure he’ll cry just as hard when he discovers how popular grinning, jug eared, saucer eyed, 90 pound teenagers are on Rikkers Island.

He’s in New York now represented by only his public defender and how many battalions of attorneys the ACLU has been able to put on the case in short notice. In other words he’ll be out in no time.

I’m sure his defense will involve cruel and unusual treatment which seems to be the only sort of treatment the United States dishes out these days. Mr. Obama and Mr. Chaney are in a pissing contest over some memos that Mr. Bush received from counsel regarding torture, specifically water boarding. The public argument seems to be whether torture of any kind should be used at any time or just when Jack Bauer deems it appropriate. There is concern whether our use of torture will infuriate our enemies and cause them to be less restrained in their use of beheading, suicide bombing and IEDs. I suspect it will be agreed that the United States will torture only when it has to and our enemies will only behead and bomb innocents when they want to.

The best thing about this exercise is the frequently stated concern by both sides about how this will affect the ability of lawyers to do their job. They may want to make this appear to be about national security but it’s really about the Lawyer's Guild protecting its work product.

Now, the Swine Flu. In1919 a great flu swept across the world and killed 40 million people, you’ve never heard about because it happened during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson but he didn’t do anything about it so it must not have been too important and besides you went to public schools.

The flu virus is very mutable that’s why you have to get a new vaccine every year. Its also very contagious and air born unlike hemorrhagic fever which is conveyed by fluid contact or Zommbieism which can be spread by the bite of a zombie or skin contact with certain unspecified chemicals the Army experimented with back in the sixties.

There is no effective treatment for the virus beyond moderating the symptoms; Medical Science has been too busy with Acid Reflux, Restless Leg Syndrome and Male Pattern Baldness to look into something as mundane as lethal flu. Because the virus is so mutable and so small when an infected person sneezes in your face you're exposed to millions of varieties of infectious particles some virulent and some not. If you get a moderate case you live otherwise you may die, its the luck of the draw, 36,000 Americans die of flu during a normal season. Dying of flu can be as pleasant as drifting away in the swirling hallucinations of flu caused pneumonia or as distressing as coughing up blood and necrotic lung tissue. Either way you’re screwed.

There are effective ways to control the spread of epidemics especially quarantine. Quarantine as you all know is derived from either the French, Italian or Latin word for forty and refers to the number of days your ship sits in port before anyone one or thing can get off if your port of origin had plague in it. It implies that the place doing the quarantining can prevent the quarantined from off loading their ship load of plague ridden goodness, this flu originated in Mexico, you do the math of the likelihood of closing that border.

Quarantine requires the suspension of all your rights and privileges as a citizen to be effective, fortunately Mr. Obama will have no qualms in that regard. An epidemic is the situation the word emergency was meant to describe, not some foreclosed houses in Palmdale, but it requires brutal determination to limit its destructiveness. We’ve been here before and I don’t mean in 1919, in the 1980’s AIDS was killing gay men and many cases were linked to sexual behavior in bath houses so public health officials proposed closing the bath houses. This offended activists who didn’t want their God given right to buggery infringed and twenty some years later over a million are dead, more are infected every year and the band plays on.

Hopefully this swine flu will just be a blip in the history of flu, in 1919 when it took seven days to cross the Atlantic on a steamer it managed to kill 40 million. I don't see how it can get any funnier than that.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's in our Jeans

I was alerted by an article on the Little Miss Attila blog about an article by George F. Will in the Washington Post in which he rails about the ubiquitous tide of denim on the sartorial landscape. He is clearly against America's preference for jeans and would prefer it if we all grew up, started wearing dockers and put on a tie, this from a man who wore bow ties until recently. His conversion to cravats suggests he finally learned to tie a four in hand necktie and could eschew the clip ons. That leaves Dave Garroway, Louis Farrakhan, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, and Tucker Carlson to be taught the Windsor knot.

With so many bad choices Americans can make; T-shirts that say I'm with stupid, baseball caps caps worn backwards by people that clearly are not catching the next inning, hoodies with the "designers" name as motif and the tramp stamp tattoo, why Will decided to blast jeans as an example for the decline of Western Civilization seems odd. One clue why is in the opening sentence, "On any American street, or in any airport or mall...", this rhetorical flourish shows Bill has never been on an American street, an airport or mall in living memory but still wants to be considered one of the folks. He disparages running shoes as well but not so vehemently, perhaps he wears them around the office and changes into the Ferragamos when he's getting into a cab.

He suggests we adopt Fred Astaire as our fashion exemplar, I'm sure Bill will be wearing spats, a top hat and tails the next time he catches a Southwest flight to Vegas.

The adjective that frequently jumps to mind regarding George Will is fustian and I am afraid this column falls into that category. I suspect he was trying to be funny but like Anderson Cooper joking about the homosexual act of tea bagging while displaying a more than a passing knowledge of the practice, the article reveals more about the author than the article intended. In this case Will comes across as a second rate Mencken, a curmudgeon but without the Sage of Baltimore's quaint anti-semitism and racism.

(Anderson's tea bagging references were meant to disparage the recent Tea Party demonstrations but also managed to expose our media elite's familiarity with gay sub-culture. It'll be fun to hear what they have to say about felching when that subject comes up.)

Mr. Will takes a nuanced view of things, his baseball book, "Men at Work", celebrated the work ethic of professional ball players, a class of people notorious for their slovenly and outlandish clothing, without once mentioning the fact.

Mr. Will thinks Jeans wearing Americans are unauthentic unless they toil in the soil or are panning for gold, there may be other professions that can wear denim but the only one he mentions wranglers on the old Chisholm Trail, it may be time for George to get out of the office and see what other things Americans do for a living.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Our long national nightmare is over, Fran Drescher is going to Washington. Finally our nation's issues and concerns will be addressed in an annoying nasal hiss by an irritating, pretentious shrew other than Hilary Clinton. Following the demise of that fine piece of television, "The Nanny" and the equally fine "Shacking Up", Fran contested with Caroline Kennedy for an appointment to Hilary Clinton's vacant Senate seat. As you may recall New York Gov. David Paterson confronted with such an embarrassment of political riches appointed Kirsten Gillibrand to the seat, apparently because Jamie Foxx and Madonna hadn't thrown their hats in the ring .

After the debacle Fran found herself working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens until her boyfriend kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes.What was she to do, where was she to go, she was out on her fanny. So over the bridge from Flushing to the Sheffield's door, she was there to sell make up but the father saw more, she had style, she had flair, she was there, that's how she became the Nanny. Who would have guessed that the girl we described was just exactly what the doctor prescribed? Now, the father finds her beguiling, watch out C.C., the kids are actually smiling, such joie de vivre, she's the lady in red when everybody else is wearing tan.The flashy girl from Flushing, the Nanny named Fran.

But aside from that, the "entertainment" "industry" and politics seems to be a natural meld, people in both require baths of gratuitous applause after mundane accomplishments, unearned respect for limited attainments and the trappings of dignity overlaying what is essentially a job in the carny. Ms. Drescher is a fine actress and no less qualified than Mary Bono Mack, Al Franken or Nancy Pelosi to be in congress, its just sad we couldn't look a little harder to find someone better. The hacks already elected get their opinions from the same tainted well of agenda driven media hype that Fran does, so nothing will change except that the conventional wisdom will be brayed at us in a voice that has all the charm of the noises baby seals make when they are being clubbed to death by Canadians. Fran, like her erstwhile compatriots, has no original ideas to press, thank God, or agenda higher than how to look her best in the official portrait but I can't think of anyone I know that isn't smarter than Fran, although I assume she's smarter than Mary Bono Mack, Al Franken or Nancy Pelosi.

What are we to make of Kal Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Al Franken who decided to run based on a high opinion of their own opinions? Not much, a high opinion of their own opinion is what drives the claptrap in Washington right now, with celebriticans at least the claptrap will be delivered by better looking people. At least the world which Jay Leno described, politics being Hollywood for ugly people, will cease to exist

Whatever the celebriticans keep marching along collecting unearned public office like those gift bags they get for attending an award show. It's reward for their contribution to the passing circus that keeps we the people stupid, passive and docile.

Of course if Kinky Friedman or Jessie Ventura run for anything, I'm there.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It's called Swat Valley for a reason or the softer side of Muslim extremists

The Religion of Peace is back in the news recently and this time it's video of a young woman receiving a well deserved thrashing at the hands of the Taliban . Unfortunately our Taliban friends have gotten a lot of this fundamentally wrong. I have reviewed the video and made a few suggestions. Please bare in mind I am a graduate of the Vienna Institute for the Disciplining of Young Girls for No Apparent Reason so my opinion carries some weight with the international bodies that jury competitive wife beating. Our motto at the Institute was: "One for fun, one to stun and one just to show them you mean business."

1) The men are dressed in flowing robes with what looks like a giant cinabon on their head. That's fine for late night or being in Stanley Kubrick's immortal film "Eyes Wide Shut" with all your Scientologist friends. (Actually try that, you might enjoy it.) Next time leave the robes at home and go with a casual leather jodhpurs and jack boot ensemble, maybe shirtless with a leather hood to lend an air of menace. Nothing sends a shiver down the spine like a shirtless man in a leather hood wearing leather jodhpurs and brandishing a cat-o-nine tails.

2) There are no degenerate European aristocrats in formal evening wear in the audience! What, there wasn't a team of Italian soccer players nearby you could dress up? Nothing sends a shiver down the spine like a shirtless man in a leather hood, wearing leather jodhpurs and brandishing a cat-o-nine tails in front of an audience of degenerate European aristocrats in formal evening wear.

3) The guy with the whip was way too uninvolved. He needs a name like Gunther or Dieter and to have a maniacal look in his eye. Nothing sends a shiver down the spine like a shirtless man named Gunther or Dieter in who's eyes you detect a maniacal glint even though his face is covered in a leather hood, is wearing leather jodhpurs and brandishing a cat-o-nine tails in front of an audience of degenerate European aristocrats in formal evening wear.

4) The victim was a good choice, a naughty seventeen year old girl is just the sort you want to bring down your whole repressive regime on. Nubile is always best when you are trying to make a serious point. Unfortunately you missed a chance to score with western observers, when you let the girl wear slacks and a burka. I repeat a burka, its hard to believe anything happens under a burka let alone something naughty. For truly global impact, the girl should have been dressed as a Japanese school girl, had her skirt pulled up and panties pulled down to reveal garter belt and stockings, her hands tied behind her back then bent over a high school desk and spanked. Nothing sends a shiver down the spine like a shirtless man named Gunther or Dieter in who's eyes you detect a maniacal glint even though his face is covered in a leather hood, is wearing leather jodhpurs and brandishing a cat-o-nine tails in front of an audience of degenerate European aristocrats in formal evening wear watching a naughty Japanese school girl who has had her dress pulled up and panties pulled down to reveal a garter belt and stockings, her hands tied behind her back then bent over a high school desk and about to be spanked. Or maybe it's just me.