arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Keanu



I do not go to the movies often.  I always go to be entertained, but others I will definitely expect to be uplifting for my spirit.  Still others I know will not uplift me, but they are a guilty pleasure.  We all know the type, whether its food or some other type of nourishment that we are told is bad for us, we enjoy it anyway.

And so it is with Keanu, starring the cutest kitten ever.

Our hero is living a good life at the start in an abandoned church converted to an LA meth lab.  A few rivals come for a visit and before you know it all of the bipeds are slaughtered, but our plucky, four-pawed feline escapes.  The film producers would have us believe that he makes his way across the length and breadth of Los Angeles without so much as a misplaced hair on his furry back.   He ends up meowing pitifully at the steps of Rell (Jordan Peele), a photographer who must be living in Cheech and Chong’s old crib.  We can assume this because of the two foot high yellow bong on Rell’s coffee table, which he uses to get over his girlfriend breaking up with him.

Rell decides that Keanu’s sudden appearance in his life is a good sign.  It jump starts his creativity: he poses Keanu in several states of dress for a calendar honoring the film world’s more recent iconic achievements.  Reservoir Dogs, Point Break, et al all get the cute kitty calendar treatment.  Keanu even makes The Shining look adorable!

Rell’s cousin, Clarence, (Keagen Michael Key) is too wrapped up in his career to see Rell’s love for Keanu, but hell, he can’t seem to know how to love his family.   Even Clarence’s daughter is more annoyed than the typical sullen teenager should be with her father.  Before his wife and daughter go away for the weekend with daughter’s best friend and best friend’s father, she tells him to relax a bit.  

She should be careful what she wishes for….

The cousins enjoy a night on the town and return to find Rell’s house has been burglarized, ransacked and Keanu missing.   The police come, investigate, but don’t sound encouraging when it comes to the idea of Keanu being found…ever. The cousins turn to Rell’s neighbor, who is also his dope dealer (how convenient is that?) to see if he noticed any suspicious characters hanging around Ralph’s place in recent days.  The neighbor is not sure since he’s a little spaced out on his own products (think Dick Shawn’s LSD character from The Producers 50 years later).   Despite the drug haze and the fact that he woke his mother up (yes, the drug dealer lives with his mommy!) he points the cousins in the directions of a gang known as The 17th Street Blips.  If you’re not good enough to a Blood or a Crip, then you join the Blips!

The cousins are directed to the Blips hideout fronted by a topless bar which advertises a buffet all day Tuesdays. (I’ll be there Tuesdays, dudes!)  Keanu is readily found among the gang leader’s other pet (a boa constrictor), but Blip leader Cheddar doesn’t want to give Keanu up.   Every hardened bad ass in East LA can’t help but be smitten with Keanu.

Have I mentioned how g-d cute Keanu is?

The next forty-eight hours or so are a series of drug deals, kidnappings, catnappings, and other mishaps (aka gun battles) the cousins connive their way through just so Rell can get Keanu back.  It’s basically a fish out of water story with the two middle class cousins descending into the harsh world of illegal drugs where the “n” word is tossed about as casually as Keanu side steps all the violence happening around him. 

The kitten is charmed: he even manages to avoid being eaten by Cheddar’s pet boa.

Key and Peele’s big screen debut is mildly amusing.  It’s at its funniest when Clarence turns a van full of bad mothers onto the music of George Michael (as in Faith, as in Father Figure, as in yes, that George Michael).  Clarence has turned so middle-class that he forsakes smoking a joint and the whole rap culture for Wham.  As Clarence tells his new homeboys on the break-up of Wham: “And. Andrew. Ridgely. Was. Never. Seen. Again.”

Unfortunately, the comedy succumbs to the frequent (four of five by my count) displays of gangster gun play.  The movie audience doesn’t know whether to laugh at the stereotypes being busted one minute, only to have the stereotypes murder each other in cold blood the next.  It’s still a culture clash, but one in which the white community is on the periphery.  They are seen as being the meth lab's best customers.   Or is that another stereotype which needs to be exploded?

Keanu is part Colors, part Scarface (the Brian dePalma version), part Matrix, part okay, what the hell, Uptown Saturday Night, and 100% cute!  Have I mentioned how g-d, mother-effin’ cute Keanu is?

In the end, not everyone is what they seem.  Gangsters dig the whitest of music and one of these gangstas is an undercover cop.  The hardest hearts can be melted by pitiful meowing, but they still have to serve time for the consequences of their actions during a wild weekend.  All the humans, black and white, get to throw off their macho shells of middle-class success (legal and illegal) and get in touch with those they love or should love.

Awww, Keanu!  Good kitty!

(Thank you for reading.  And that’s my guilty pleasure. That’s guilty! Guilty! Guilty!)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Dirty Donald



This weekend, The New York Times published an article detailing Donald Trump’s treatment of women in private over the years.  It is an exhaustively researched piece, laced with first-hand accounts of the women who have had the pleasure/dismay of dealing with The Donald during the last 25 years.  The article can be accessed on The Huffington Post.

The article is timely, since Trump will have to make himself more appealing to the female voter for the November election. This article won’t help. In recent weeks, he has been criticizing his presumed opponent Hillary Clinton (a woman) by going after her husband, Bill, who just happened to have served two terms as Commander in Chief. Trump has ranted on the campaign trail how Clinton (Bill) treated women.  I have no idea what this has to do with Hillary’s leadership skills, but this is, after all, Trump talking.

Spoiler alert: The New York Timess article about Trump's treatment of women makes Bill Clinton look like a Franciscan Monk who actually followed his vows of forsaking all corporeal pleasures.

We here at arteejee believe that we have outdone The New York Times.  We have acquired exclusive video evidence of Donald Trump at work. I cannot take all the credit for this scoop.  I need to give credit to my muses who doggedly pursued this story angle until they found this damaging piece of evidence.



Okay, obviously I’ve been duped by my own muses.   Damn bitches!

(Thank you for reading, and watching. Tee hee! He said “tits”.)

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Faster Than the Speed of Satire



I posted something on my Facebook timeline which seemed to encapsulate recent events on our American political stage nicely.  It is a photo of George W. Bush giving a shy wave of his hand and a shit-eating grin. The photo's caption summarizes the accomplishments of the Bush regime: two disastrous wars, millions losing their jobs, crashing the housing market, and creating a trillion dollar deficit from a surplus left to him by his predecessor. The caption also notes the results of all these failed policies: “And instead of blaming me, Republicans lost their minds and blamed Obama and nominated Donald Trump.” Then the kicker, knock 'em dead punch line: “You can’t make this stuff up.”

OUCH!

No, we can’t make this stuff up.  Some of us wish we had, and thereby claim it’s a work of fiction, based on some fantasy. Sadly, tragically, whatever, we can’t declare this as a safe haven from the insanity swallowing the American political system.  Reality is stranger than ever, and it is moving at a speed faster than mortal comprehension.  It’s moving so fast that a blogger can’t even joke about events before the joke comes true, and therefore loses its momentum.

For example, this last week saw Trump ascending to be the presumptive nominee and his two opponents Cruz and Kasich bowing out within a day of each other.  These two had earlier vowed to oppose Trump to the end, turning the Republican National Convention into a contested meeting.  It now seems it won’t be much of a convention anyway: many of the more traditional conservative leaders of the party (among then all three Bushes, H.W., George W., and Jeb) are finding excuses not to attend.

For his part, Cruz essentially committed public political suicide when he named another failed nominee, Carly Fiorina, to be his running mate before he even got the nomination. This was a little like putting the cart before the horse, or given Carly’s equine facial features*, putting a horse in front of another (dead) horse. This was a political match made in Liberal Heaven and Conservative Hell.

Her spot as vice president running mate lasted little more than a week. Now she can go home and update her resume, which must look very interesting.  To wit: 

  • CEO and Chairperson of Hewlett Packard
  • Oversaw the laying off of 30,000 employees and subsequently ran the company into the ground
  • Among my other failed gigs was a run for the Senate, a run for President (nine months) and a run for Vice-President (one week).

Perhaps she’ll make all this look better for herself as a positive learning experience.  These failures have demonstrated her vulnerability to gravity.  Her most noteworthy achievement as Cruz’s running mate?  Falling off the stage at a Cruz rally!  Talk about vulnerability to gravity!

Guys, we were depending on you to take the lead in opposing Trump at the convention.  Now you’re wussing out on us!   Thanks a lot!

This time last year, political leaders and pundits did not believe Trump had a shot at gaining the nomination. All of them, including yours truly, vastly underestimated the vast - and I can think of no other delicate way to put this - stupidity of the American electorate.  Now these same conservatives are taking steps to stop Trump in his tracks by either with holding support, finding someone to run as a third party candidate (another wet dream for liberals), or just holding their breaths until they turn blue.

Yes, sir! You can’t make this stuff up!

* I apologize for making the cheap shot of basing a woman’s political success on her physical looks, but it makes the horse punch line work.

(Thank you for reading. Can we help you up, Carly?  No, I don’t really want to.  I’m just asking to be nice and civil.) 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Donald Trump Woman Card*



The Donald, in all his wisdom, has now proclaimed that his virtual opponent for the White House, Hillary Clinton, has only one weapon to defeat him.  According to him, she does not have to rely on her years of government service, as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State to get elected President. No sir, she only has to use the woman card to get her way with the electorate.

Now this idea, if it were only true, is too good an entrepreneurial business idea to pass up!

Ladies, have you ever been in this situation: you’re late to pick up the kids from soccer practice, and you’re speeding down the road to make up time when suddenly you see the flashing lights of the law in your rear view mirror.  Oh, no!  Whatever will you do?

How will you talk yourself out of this one?  In the past you would have to resort to your “charms”, loosen the top button, or two, of your blousy top and allow the lawman to gaze upon those wonderful gifts nature bestowed upon you.  You would finish off this luscious course with a wide, white toothed smile and bat your eyelashes a few times.  

But no more! No longer will you have to lower and debase yourself just to get out of a moving violation! Now you can use the…wait for it…

We proudly announce the exclusive…DONALD TRUMP WOMAN CARD!!!!!!!!!!!

This will be YUGE!  It will be FABULOUS!  It will grant any member of the female gender a wide variety of privileges, prizes, and perks.  Such as…

 - Exclusive admission to any adult venue within the continental United States advertising a “ladies night” for nightly amusement.

 - Discounts for fines and/or fees associated with illegal activities. A virtual GET OUT OF JAIL FOR FREE CARD which can be used without having to hire one of those pesky lawyers!

 - Allow the bearer to become the envy of office gossip without having to dress “provocatively.”

 - Enable you to kill with a smile, wound with your eyes, ruin the faith of others with your casual lies, and only reveal what you want others to see!

 - And so much more and more and more…

So, ladies, grab your bras back out of the bonfires, throw away those old, scratched up vinyl copies of Marlo Thomas and Friends Free to Be You and Me, and say good bye to those outdated, obsolete 70s attitudes of equality!

Order your DONALD TRUMP WOMAN CARD today!

We repeat: this is YUGE! This is FABULOUS, too FABULOUS for words, but we’ll say it again: DONALD TRUMP WOMAN CARD!!!!

Order now!  Operators (all female) are standing by to accept your order.  All major credit cards accepted!

LEGAL FINE PRINT:  The DONALD TRUMP WOMAN CARD is not available to members of the male gender. Void where prohibited by law, common sense, progressive thinking, and wherever people live comfortably with their God-given or even surgically enhanced sexual identity in a post-feminist society.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We here at arteejee will be revoking the author’s Gloria Steinem Feminist Card, in addition to his NOW membership card.

*Not to be confused with the Hillary Clinton Bitch Card (yes, sorry, I had to go there) and certainly not to be confused with the Sarah Palin Stupid Card.

(Thank you for reading.  SATIRE…satire…SATIRE…satire…)

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Late Night Mardy Session



Once again, Spo Reflections has issued a list of words which are little known, little used, and should be revived for public consumption. One of those words leapt out at me like a pet cat lunging for a silverfish: mardy. It occurred to me that I have encountered several episodes of mardy within the last few days.

A few days ago, Warrior Queen retired early, as is her wont. She was tired physically and tired of listening to the baseball game on the radio. WTF, she figured, insomnia would interrupt her sleep patterns later. Also, the Phillies were losing anyway. The possibilities of being amused by the playing prowess of the home team dwindled quickly.

At about the same time, I descended into the basement to visit with our cat Oreo. She prefers living most of her hours away from Nyla and Gigi, and we oblige her by keeping the basement door closed. For all intents and purposes, the basement is off limits to the other two cats.

I always grab my key ring with the house and car keys whenever I go into the basement. The jangling noise keeps Oreo away from the door when I am going down, and to chase away the other cats when I come up at the end of the evening. This night, I did my usual routine with Oreo, sat and petted her, and told her what a good and pretty girl she is while we watch television.  

Usually, at the end of these nightly sessions, I turn out most of the lights in the basement (one is kept on 24/7 so she can see her way to the litter box during the night), and climb up the stairs. Also usually, with the key ring in hand, I am able to open and close the basement door without incident, i.e., before any of the other cats can sneak past me and cause havoc in Oreo’s domain.

This night was unusual.  My hands were full of other objects I was bringing up with me, preventing me from negotiating the door as quickly as I normally do. The kitchen is also dark at this time of night, so I did not see Nyla in the vicinity. She did give me the courtesy of uttering a meow as she darted past me and down the stairs.

Suddenly I became mardy. I called after her loudly to get her to turn around and come back up. My yelling was counter-productive. 

At times like these, when I want to get our cat’s attention, I forget logic and allow emotion to overcome my actions. Logic would tell me that cats have sensitive hearing and do not like loud noises such as kitchen pots banging, or middle-aged men screaming at them. In these situations, cats tend to run away from the source of the noise.

Nyla kept walking briskly away from me, nearly came nose to nose with Oreo, who expressed her mardy displeasure at Nyla’s intrusion. Nyla tried to find a place to hide, but she soon circled back to the basement steps and up towards the soothing tones of Warrior Queen calling to her from the top of the stairs. All the while Oreo kept up a steady stream of low, guttural groans.

Apparently my yelling had another negative effect: it woke up Warrior Queen. Nyla, suddenly overcome with a mood of cooperation, walked up the stairs and past Warrior Queen. Now, with Nyla and Oreo secure, we closed the basement for the final time that night and I faced WQ.

Wow, talk about mardy!

*********

This morning (4/22), I should be in a mardy mood for several reasons. News reports are now saying that The Donald is softening his rhetoric on the campaign trail and the GOP party establishment is warming up to the idea that he could be their nominee.  Snarl!

Now we find out that Prince has passed on prematurely at the age of 57.  His music overtook the Top 40 radio charts in the early 80s much like the Bee Gees had done a few years earlier. In both cases, I grew tired of the constant onslaught of their music.   And in both cases, I have come to respect and like the music, but only over a period of time.

In Prince’s case, I could see that he got sounds out of a guitar that Jimi Hendrix was only beginning to get at the time of his death. Then there was the unabashed energy and youthful sexuality in his work. Dear Lord, even at 57 he looked like he could pass for 30.  

Prince is gone. Double snarl!  The forecast today is mostly mardy with a chance of mourning.

The best we can do this weekend is drive around with all of our windows open and CRANK UP THE PRINCE.

(Thank you for reading.  Rest in Peace, Purple One.)