A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.
- Name: todd gunther
- Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
One of my long time readers noticed that there was something amiss last week when I did not publish my usual quota of two blogs within a week. Indeed, I went a whole 10 days between my musings. Apologies to all who missed me, but the fact of the matter is I was detained for a while by Interblog, aka the Blog Police.
My interview with them went something like this.
Lt. Rhett Crit: Ah, Mr. Gunther, please have a seat. Thank you for coming in. As you may remember from our phone conversation, I am Lt. Rhett Crit of the Internal Blog Law Enforcement Agency, Cal Thomas division.
Arteejee: Did you say your name is Rhett Crit? Didn’t you used to appear in my blog?
Crit: Yes! Until you unceremoniously dumped me! Right in the middle of the recession too! Do you realize how hard it is for a fictional blog character to find a job? Oh, and don’t get me started on how difficult it is for a fictional character to apply for unemployment benefits!
Arteejee: Hey, that was my editor’s decision! I had nothing to do with it! What’s this all about anyway?
Crit: First tell me your name, your blog name, and stated intent of your blog.
Arteejee: Well, my name is Arteejee, which is what I call my blog. It’s the phonetic spelling of my initials.
Crit: Go on!
Arteejee: I write and produce satirical musings of the world at large.
Crit: Yes, we’ve examined some of your “musings” as you like to call them. They seem to show an extreme liberal slant in your writing.
Arteejee: So? I can have any slant I want. Your problem with that is….?
Crit: (Laughing) Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to judge you; we just want to clarify some things about your writings.
Arteejee: Like…what things?
Crit: Well, our Cincinnati field office has noticed some key terms used in association with other language that some might consider inflammatory.
Arteejee: For example?
Crit: Well, let’s take for example some terms you’ve used in association with the words “tea party”: to wit, “dumb”, “stupid”, “lame brained” and your all-time classic, “loud-mouthed, xenophobic, pig-headed morons.”
Arteejee: So? It’s all my opinion! I’m entitled to it and the First Amendment allows me to express my opinion.
Crit: True, it does! Well, let’s look at another one of your targets: Sarah Palin.
Crit: Your code word for her is “hot legs”?
Arteejee: Okay, so I’m a dirty old…I mean dirty middle-aged man! I’ve seen worse on other people’s blogs! Downright pornography! Besides, you remember the first time we saw her just after McCain announced her as his running mate?
Crit: What about it?
Arteejee: Oh come on now! Those pumps! That red dress! She almost made me want to become a conservative.
Crit: I find that hard to believe! Particularly with some of the things you’ve written about Ann Coulter.
Arteejee: Oh, please! I’m so over Ann Coulter!
Crit: Are you sure about that? Your code word for her is “dumb blonde”.
Arteejee: Hey, if I ever said Ann Coulter is a dumb blonde, then I take it back!
Crit: You don’t think Ann Coulter is a dumb blonde?
Arteejee: On the contrary! Some of the asinine bon mots she uttered lately are an insult to dumb blondes! She doesn’t even have the intelligence of a dumb blonde!
Crit: Mr. Gunther, your insistent, inflammatory diatribes against conservatives could cause civil unrest and a serious profound breach of the peace. You make them out to be enemies of the state! Your faux middle-of-the-road position isn’t fooling anyone! Surely you don’t think all conservatives are bad.
Arteejee: Well, there is one I sort of …you know…respect.
Crit: Go on!
Arteejee: Well, for one there’s Chris Christie! I don’t agree with everything he’s done while he’s been governor of New Jersey, and his personal bullying communication style irritates me to no end. Still, his reaching out to President Obama demonstrated to me that he understands he is a public servant that was elected to help the people of his state.
Crit: Ah-ha! You fell into my little trap!
Arteejee: Tra-? What?
Crit: I’m not with the Cal Thomas Division. I work blog enforcement with a special arrangement through The Huffington Post!
Arteejee: Godfrey Daniels! A double agent!
Crit: That’s right! As I said before, your faux middle of the road isn’t fooling anyone. I’m afraid you’re just not liberal enough for your blog! I’m afraid we’ll have to detain you a little while longer for more questioning. (Into the phone) Come in, Emma, Mr. Gunther is ready for you now! (Disconnects call) I think you’ll find Ms. Goldman quite persuasive in the ways of left leaning political ideology.
Arteejee: Emma? (Hard audible swallow) Goldman? Not…Red Emma! (Lightning! Crash of thunder! Discordant organ chords rise to a crescendo!)
Crit: (Over-the-top, campy, diabolical laughter) Yes, the one and only! She’ll make a true bleeding heart liberal out of you once and for all!
Arteejee: (Terrified) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
Okay, so maybe I might have exaggerated a teeny bit in my tale, but my account is true and complete or my name isn’t Sarah Ann Coulter-Palin-Limbaugh-Rove!
(Thank you for your reading! Give me liberalism or give me…um, something not conservative!)
Friday, May 17, 2013
A Bad Week for Liberals
Ah, another beautiful spring day in President Barack Obama’s second term, and we’re having a lovely time. The birthers have finally been silenced from a roar to a whisper, human rights for the gay community is winning in state after state, and suddenly life just seems so beautiful. Oh, just let me breathe in the wonderful air of cooperation and bipartisanship! Let me just remove my rose-colored glasses for one second to wipe away a speck of….
OH MY GOD! WHAT THE EFF HAPPENED?
Friday, credible accusations are made about the IRS targeting Tea Party aligned groups with audits. Monday, more credible accusations are leveled against the Department of Justice for subpoenaing phone records from the Associated Press. And, through it all, the President’s critics keep chanting “Bemghazi, Benghazi, Benghaz” like idol worshippers of an Eastern cult clamoring for a human sacrifice! Fortunately, this week is almost over. As Homer Simpson might say: “D’oh!”
Just when we had hopes that some of the President’s agenda might progress, life happened! The conservatives have long feared government overreach in areas of gun control and health care. The Obama administration did not have to oblige them with the revelations of the tax man intimidating conservative political groups, and the nation's head prosecutor going after the press. Yet this is exactly what happened.
So now immigration reform could be deported (no pun intended); gun control is all shot to hell (pun intended); Obamacare is being repealed again in the House; cries of impeachment are growing, cattle raped, women and children stampeded…my God, ladies and gentlemen, what will you, our valued elected public servants, do to save your phony baloney jobs?
Oh they’ll keep on dissecting how many times the administration revised their talking points about the attacks in Benghazi. It turns out that the government really did know that it was a terrorist attack, but they did not want everyone to know that the consulate was actually a CIA station. Holy Scooter Libby, Batman! That cover is blown now!
So, any ideas on improving security at our embassies, or are we just going to nitpick through the words just to embarrass the President? Stupid question! We know the answer to that one, particularly if we pose this question toward congressional Republicans!
And the IRS scandal? Much to his credit — and I’m sure the profound shock of his critics — Obama publicly denounced the IRS actions, and even accepted the resignation of the acting director. Still, this is not quelling the calls for criminal prosecution from Boehner et al in Congress. The criminal probe may be warranted, but why wasn’t all this fuss made when several liberal-leaning churches complained that the IRS was unfairly auditing them during the Bush Administration? Hmmmmmm?
The AP scandal is just a few days old; it needs time to breathe and thrive for awhile before it starts its own caterwauling. This one does not look good for Attorney General Holder. There may be another high-level resignation from the Obama administration very soon, unless he can truly prove that a leak filtered through the Associated Press was indeed a threat to national security.
This has been a bad week for liberals. We should have suspected something was up when Mitch McConnell walks around with that shit-eating grin on his face. His smile is the most nauseating thing I’ve seen on a politician in a long time. (Editor's Note: Dick Cheyney's ugly smirking mug is a close second place.)
Thank God it’s Friday!
The gloating should end soon, or else nothing will get done. Seriously, conservatives, comparing Obama to Nixon and Watergate? Isn’t it a bit early for that king of hyper-partisan hyperbole?
A few commentators have pointed out that Republicans will need Democratic (read Obama) cooperation on some of their objectives, like immigration reform. It’s funny how people could cease to be cooperative when they’re too busy fending off subpoenas to Congressional hearings. The temptation for Republicans to overreach on these issues can ultimately backfire on them.
It’s time for me to put my Karl Rove Trademarked Delusional rose colored glasses on and…ah, that’s better! Life is good again, and Barack Obama is still president.
(Thank you for reading! God help the boys and girls in Congress! God help them if they ever try to actually accomplish something like run a country!)
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
The Typical and Stereotypical Pennsylvanian
Governor Corbett’s assertion that some employers can’t fill job vacancies in the state because many unemployed people can’t pass a drug test brought the expected torrent of criticism down on his head from the media and his political foes. Oh, why do the Democrats do this? Why do liberals engage in such destructive behavior towards our state's leader?
Because it’s fun and good for a giggle, that’s why!
The comments from politicians at the national level (President Obama) and the state level (Corbett, et al) give us a very interesting visualization of the typical Pennsylvanian. According to Obama, we clutch our Bibles in one hand, which for most of the nation’s history was considered a virtue, not a fault. It is certainly not something by which people should necessarily be offended. Are you listening, Fox and Friends?
On the other hand, we clutch our guns close to us; again a tip of the hat to Obama. While we’re on the subject of guns, let me digress for one moment. This is one facet of our American culture that perplexes me. In many rural areas of our nation, it is considered okay to give a gun to a five year-old child, which I believe is years before they are capable of understanding the finer nuances of gun safety. So it’s all right to give Junior a gun, yet bar him from engaging in behaviors that can be equally risky, like chugging down a Bud or toking a joint! Go figure!
Governor Corbett portrays many of the unemployed as grasping a bong. Then, based on a previous Corbett statement, many jobless Pennsylvanians have their hands out for unemployment checks, refusing to work until their benefits dry up.
Can you picture the typical Pennsylvanian now? For those of you playing along at home, this gives each of us living in the Keystone State…wait, let me count, one, two, three…four hands! Either Pennsylvanians have four arms to connect these four hands to our bodies, or we are extreeeeeeemely ambidextrous! It’s comforting to think that our elected officials believe that we are so well endowed with extra limbs. Yes sir, it just fills me with warm fuzzies all over!
Of course, Corbett’s political enemies immediately jumped on the comments. Economists pointed out that the percentage of job seeking Pennsylvanians failing drug tests is small; it’s a problem, but a very minor problem in the bigger picture. They believe the bigger problem is that there are simply not enough jobs being created to bring everyone back to work. Also, addiction to controlled substances is not always the sign of a slacker who can’t hold down a job. The governor’s comments ignore the millions of people who are gainfully employed and are still able to function while indulging in drugs or alcohol. I’m not necessarily saying this is right, but the stereotype of all drug addicts as slackers does not always hold up.
Corbett’s office issued a blurb clarifying that his statement was limited to the Marcellus Shale drilling industry. Oh, okay, then it’s just one industry in Corbett’s state that is not able to fill vacancies because residents are stoners. Oh, but wait, Mr. Corbett, isn’t there is more than one industry that keeps Pennsylvanians employed?
What about the healthcare industry? What have you done to promote growth there, aside from refusing to expand Medicaid, which would have been fully funded for the first few years by the federal government? This expansion of healthcare coverage could have had a ripple effect in expanding employment opportunities in the healthcare field itself, but noooooooo, we’ll have none of that in the Keystone State!
Our state’s bridges and roads are falling apart! What have you done to nurture the construction industry, which could repair our crumbling infrastructure? Oh right, you’re now proposing raising fees for wholesale gasoline, which will get passed along to the consumer as a tax at the pump! Um, what have you always said about not raising taxes?
You have tried to privatize the state’s liquor stores, but there are all sorts of rumors flying around about how many jobs this will cost. The jury is still out on this maneuver.
You tried to privatize lottery sales by outsourcing those jobs to the United Kingdom! No, no, bad! Bad governor! You should be bringing jobs IN to Pennsylvania, not sending them overseas! Silly Republican!
Then there’s education, manufacturing, and just about anything else but natural gas drilling which could bring more jobs to the state, but I guess we’re too stoned to get those jobs!
(Thank you for reading! Hey governor, I’ve got two extra hands to spare! How about another job?)
Saturday, May 04, 2013
I am taking a full weekend off (no Saturday morning overtime this week) and my weekend nearly ended early. If I had not been more aware of my surroundings, I may very well have been run over by the Bacon Brothers on Friday afternoon. (Actually, nothing of the kind came close to happening, but the Fox News style sentence in my paragraph got your attention, didn’t it?)
The back story: Anne Marie and I made plans months ago to see the Bacon Brothers in concert at the Keswick Theater in Glenside. We both arranged to quit work early on a beautiful, breezy Friday afternoon, and found a vacant parking spot, which is very hard to come by whenever the Keswick has a show. We made our way to Keswick Avenue via a very narrow alley between the theater and a beauty salon. Anne Marie gravitated towards the beauty salon side, while I walked towards the theater just to make sure the show was still on for the night. No signs in the door saying show cancelled, so I started walking back in Anne Marie’s direction.
At that moment, a small van was making its turn into the alley; Anne Marie warned me to watch out, but I had already stopped to watch the van. Actually the driver was taking longer than I thought it necessary to negotiate a tricky, but not that tricky of a turn. I thought it was more unusual when I saw that the van had New York plates. This behavior did not fit in with my stereotypical view of New York drivers. After all, aren’t they supposed to drive around like gang-busters, public safety be damned?
So much for my stereotypical worldview!
Anne Marie and I soon realized that the van occupants were not typical New Yorkers, but native Philadelphians! The van turned into the alley and I immediately recognized Kevin Bacon sitting in the passenger seat; Anne Marie later confirmed to me that his older brother Michael was driving. My wife waved them into the alley and the brothers drove around to the back of the theater. To her credit, Anne Marie refrained from screaming like a fangirl when she saw Kevin, and fortunately she also refrained from throwing her lingerie at him. This is a moot point since AM last year admitted to an entire Baltimore restaurant that she hasn’t worn a bra since 1977. I can only imagine that some of those patrons are still traumatized to this day over her announcement, but I digress…
We proceeded to KT’s across the street where we had a wonderful, budget busting meal of appetizers and soups. The house opened shortly after 7p, and we found our seats near the front. Fortunately, our seats were at the end of the row. I took the aisle seat because, after all, I am a man with a middle-aged bladder. Nuff said!
The show was as wonderful as the previous Bacon Brothers performances we have seen. The group has toured professionally since 1995, even though they have been playing music together off and on since they were youngsters growing up in Center City. They have released a half-dozen or so albums of music which they call forosoco, or a blend of (fo)lk, (ro)ck, (so)ul, and (co)untry. Their own genre is catchy, contagiousn and wonderfully entertaining.
They rocked out on Paris, tasted some country on Get a Little and Only a Good Woman, and indulged in some funk-style rap with an audience interactive song, Tape It Up.
Older brother Michael played guitar for most of the evening, with a few songs spent on the cello. Kevin jumped from guitar to bongos (!), to various other percussion tools to tambourine. And, oh yes, he danced and gyrated to the delight of the females in the audience. Yes, I am envious of the energy he possesses and exhibits, more galling knowing that he is only a year older than moi. Go figure!
And oh yes, I should say this about Michael: he’s a very careful driver.
I hope the brothers return to their hometown soon for another wonderful evening!
(Thank you for reading. Remember Kent State on today, the 43rd anniversary, but don’t put too much into the government conspiracy thinking, lest you grab your gun, fit yourself with Glenn Beck tin-foil hats, and run to the hills. Those hills are getting more crowded by the day!)