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

Monday, September 01, 2014

Program Note for Monday, September 1



Happy Labor Day, everyone! We hope everyone reading this is enjoying their long weekend!

Having said that, the management of this blog wishes to make the following announcement: This week, the part of Monday will be played by Tuesday. It is suggested, nay highly recommended, that anyone tempted to curse the hours out of Monday as they are wont to do at the beginning of the work week refrain and postpone their usual weekly routine until tomorrow. Therefore, today we shall hear no moaning, groaning, griping, hissing, and spitting (the last two predominately referencing any cats reading this blog), because this week Monday is free!

Shake your fist at Tuesday at will tomorrow for having the bad luck of following Monday. For tomorrow, Tuesday, will not be the nice, safe buffer between the dreaded Monday and the middle of the week (Wednesday), but rather will be the start of the terrible work week.
 
Thus the schedule for this week should be:

Monday – holiday, not a work day. Let us not hear any discouraging words today. (This goes double for you, Warrior Queen!)

Tuesday – to be treated this week as a normal Monday in an otherwise normal five day work week.

Wednesday – cursing Wednesday is right out!

For those reading this blog and residing in countries that are not celebrating Labor Day, then please proceed as you normally would.

Happy Monday!

(Thank you for reading. Five days until Warrior Queen’s birthday!)

Friday, August 29, 2014

End of Summer



Odds and ends are happening as the tourist part of the summer season ends, but not enough odds and ends are happening to devote a minimum three sentences to a paragraph on any particular topic. Warrior Queen, who turns 60 next Saturday, has suggested that I do one of her “brain pukes” - or a blog entry comrising a random stream of consciousness thoughts which do not resemble anything remotely resembling a paragraph. Unfortunately, short and sweet (in her case sweet is like a time bomb) is not always my style.

I could claim an absence of my muses again, but I think I’ve milked that running joke enough for awhile. I could claim laziness. (Dear Reader: please finish this paragraph yourself with a grammatical creation of your own sentence or sentences. Go wild!)

So random thoughts it is…

Cat update: Oreo still stays in the basement for most of her day, but we do open the basement door for a time each day. She then gets to decide if she wants to come up the stairs and explore the rest of the house.

As of yet we have not allowed her to spend time with the other two - Nyla and Gigi - but we’ll have to make the break sooner or later. The other two are getting along better, playing “chase me” and batting at each other occasionally. Their hissing and spitting towards that other feline (i.e., each other) now sharing the house are practically non-existent now.

We will travel up north to my brother’s house this weekend and I will be surprised if I don’t come home with a full blown depression. The reason: mom is completing her first month in a nursing home and it will be a new experience to see her in this setting. My brother and I know that this is the best we can do for her, but still I had hopes that mom could be spared a long (permanent?) stay in a nursing facility.

This brings me around to my final thoughts going into this Labor Day holiday, created to honor the American worker. Not so long ago, an American worker could stand with his children, survey the fruits of his lifetime of labors, and say to them, “Someday, all this will be yours!”

Ah, times have changed and the average American worker has less and less to show for his efforts, let alone passing it along to the next generation. So I propose a challenge: what could the average worker say to his children now given the downturn in our collective fortunes? Finish this sentence with a creation of your own: “Someday, children, all this will be _________.”  

We’re looking for answers that are creative, outrageously satirical in nature, and the more realistic the better! Note: there will be no prizes awarded for completing this challenge. This is due to the fact that we at arteejee are not only muse-challenged and lazy, but we’re also cheap!

(Thank you for reading. Have a safe Labor Day weekend!)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Not So Young and Clueless



Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to nominate two individuals worthy of the title Fool of the Year.

Our first nominee: Gene “Tough Love Gun” Simmons, bassist for the 70s rock group KISS.

In the days since Robin Williams' death, the iconic musician and reality TV star spoke about his lack of tolerance for drug addicts and alcoholics. At this point, he went on to express his seeming lack of sympathy for those with suicidal ideations. Simmons was quoted in an interview as saying, “I’m the guy who says jump when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, ‘That’s it.  I’m can’t take it anymore. I’m going to jump.’”

Now we know why Simmons pursued a career in show business and not psychiatry. Which reminds me… time for another episode of Tough Love with Gene Simmons:

Man: "Doc, I’m so depressed. The pressure is too great. I’m thinking about killing myself.”

Simmons: "Here, let me help you. I’ll open my window and you can help yourself."

Man: "What? How are you helping me with my depression?"

Simmons: "Believe me, I would love to do more, but my professional ethic dictates that I can’t actually push you out. By the way, when you do jump, try not to hit the Beemer. That’s mine.”

Simmons explained that his mother survived the concentration camps in Nazi Germany. He reasons that if she can still get up every morning and face the world after that experience, then he can’t see why some 20-something in Seattle wants to end it all. Never mind that the 20-something could be screwed  up because his parents, when they were his age, pledged undying allegiance to a music quartet that played heavy loud music and only appeared  in public wearing Kabuki makeup. Naturally that has nothing to do with junior’s mental state!

Granted, Simmons does have a point: surviving the most horrifying acts of genocide in human history is a large yardstick to measure your own travails against. Still, it should not give people the feeling that they have free license to push people over the edge into the psychological abyss.

Second nomination: Ferguson, MO mayor James Knowles, for his comments on the racial tensions in his town since African-American teenager Michael Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson police officer earlier this month. Basically, he’s adopted the Alfred E. Neuman “What, me worry?” attitude, declaring on national television, “There’s not a racial divide in Ferguson.”

Okay, so I guess a shooting of an unarmed teenager in the middle of the day, with subsequent crowds of people seeking justice via peaceful protests, and after night falls the criminal element takes advantage of the tense atmosphere and escalates the protests into violent confrontations with a police force that suddenly look and act like Nazi storm troopers (there are those damn Nazis again!) are signs of a typical day in Ferguson???!!!

Really, Mr. Knowles? And what else do you do in Ferguson for shits and giggles?

Political commentators have been quick to point out Knowles' cluelessness with his town’s situation. A few blog commentators have weighed in with their own remembrances of Ferguson’s long standing tradition of racism. Yet Knowles insists there’s no racial divide.

Well, we all know what to do with clueless politicians. Knowles should be voted out of office and put someplace where clueless politicians have proven to be ineffective for the public good. Yes, we should put James Knowles in Congress, where we may never hear from him again! YAYYYYYY!!!!

Actually, I should be cautious of what I wish for…

UPDATE: Knowles' nomination for Fool of the Year has a better chance now that Simmons has apologized and walked back his alarming views on mental illness.

(Thank you for reading! Man: “Doc, you gotta help me!” Simmons: “What?  You still here?”)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

First Vegetables of the Season



It’s been a cooler than usual August, which I think is one reason why my tomatoes are taking longer to ripen. Well, that and the fact that I got a late start in planting them, but farmer laziness should not be an excuse. It works for me, but I won’t allow my tomatoes to fall down on the job.

Below are photos of the first tomatoes - cherry and big boy - harvested from my garden. Still waiting for the red and orange peppers to ripen, but I’ll give them a few more weeks. I do not give any special treatment to my fruits; water every other day from my water barrel when it doesn’t rain, and fed once a week with Miracle Gro©.

The last photo shows the remnants of a store bought tomato next to my first tomato (cut open). Notice the meaty, rich red texture of my home grown tomato next to the pale, puny specimen from the local Aldi. Not that I’m bragging…




Upon further consideration, we now believe that the store bough tomato was imported into the country in the pants pockets of a young boy from El Salvador escaping abuse and harassment from the hands of the local drug lords. Hey, kid, your journey didn’t get you very far, did it? You thought you were coming to a country that would welcome you with open arms and the opportunity for unlimited prosperity. HA! Boy, are you wrong!

Here you are finding near universal revulsion and rejection. You want the chance for a good education, which you believe will land you a good job? HA! You’ll be lucky to get a soccer ball from Glenn Beck. 

You should have kept walking until you got to Iraq. There you could have made your way to that mountaintop where the Kurds and Yazidis are trapped. There you could have gotten relief supplies dropped there by the USA! You can’t get it here in the USA, but you can get it in Iraq! Go figure!

Always remember kids: location, location, location!

Um. Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, aren’t my tomatoes lovely?

(Thank you for reading. In keeping with our current national policy to deny relief to the social refugees massing on our southern border, no tomatoes for you!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

To One Who Made Us Laugh…



In the days ahead, we will mourn Robin Williams, and we will endure the sordid details of his final days. Sure, we can get angry that he’s gone and some may even be imprudent to say he still owed us something. HA! He gave all he could and then he gave more.

And which one of his gifts will we remember him by? Wow, where shall we start?

As Mork, or earlier on a short-lived revival of Laugh-In (1977)? In one blackout gag, he played a human size lab rat peering from inside a giant cage and wondered aloud, “Wow, reality! What a concept!” That was probably his catch phrase from his stand-up days; it was later used as the title of his first comedy album.

Or the serious side in The World According to Garp; Moscow on the Hudson; Good Morning Vietnam; The Fisher King; Awakenings; Dead Poets Society” ("O Captain! My captain…", or so Whitman wrote) and his Oscar-winning performance in Good Will Hunting. 

Or the zany improvisational performances from Mrs. Doubtfire or Aladdin?

Or the understated character actor that graced The Birdcage?

Or the priceless one-of-a-kind performances for Comic Relief, the charity raising awareness for America’s homeless, even as he tweaked the nose of the Reagan administration's aloofness for the common citizen?

We may cry now, but our memories of him will bring back a smile. And we will laugh again.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Williams.

(Thank you for reading. “Nanu, nanu!”)