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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You’ll Always Have Paris, Charlie Brown!

A new video game pits Snoopy against the Red Baron. One scene illustrated with the game review shows Snoopy sharing a root beer with his bird buddy, Woodstock, in a tavern setting. Of course, the other Peanuts characters can be seen in the background - Schroeder bent over a piano, Linus at the bar, and Charlie Brown standing nearby. This immediately suggested to me the next logical (at least logical to me) step: a remake of Casablanca starring the Peanuts Gang.*

Casablanca! The city where the world's refugees gather outside the razor sharp grip of Hitler’s Germany. They come to Rick’s Café, operated by an expatriate American with a questionable past. Why is he in Casablanca? Why can’t he return to America? Is he a wanted man? Or is it a lost romance? A blonde, a brunette, or perhaps...a little red-haired girl who destroyed him.

See Charlie Brown in the role of a lifetime as Rick: “Of all the root beer joints in all the world, she had to walk into mine! Rats!

Rick’s faithful companion, Schroeder, at the piano: “I don’t know if I can play that tune any more, Charlie — I mean, Rick.”

Rick: "Play it, Schroeder, play it! You played it for her, you can play it for me!"

Then came Ilsa, Rick’s love from happier days in Paris...pre-war Paris, as played by Lucy Van Pelt: “Oh, Charlie — I mean, Rick! I’m so confused!"

Rick: "I can’t think of any reason why you should stay here."

Ilsa: "I can think of five. (Counting off as she curls her fingers one at a time into a fist.) One, two, three, four, five! Now give me those papers of transport, you blockhead!”

Linus Van Pelt as the man wanted by the dreaded Nazis, Victor Lazlo. (Insert no incest jokes here! Let’s keep this clean! After all, this is the Peanuts gang!): “I know you and Ilsa have a past, Charlie — I mean, Rick. I don’t hold that against you."

Snoopy, playing the world famous French military officer, Captain Renault!

Rick: "My own dog closes me down, shilling for the Nazis! Good grief!"

Major Strasser, the evil German officer newly attached to Casablanca, played, an unseen muted trumpet sound.

Rick: "What’s that, Major? You think I have the papers of transport too! I can’t stand it!"

Thrill to the greatest romantic climax in Hollywood history:

Ilsa: "Victor thinks I’m going away with him!"

Rick: "Ilsa, I did a lot of thinking last night for the both of us. It all adds up to you getting on that plane with Victor."

Ilsa: "But, oh you blockhead! Fine! You could have had me, the most beautiful girl this side of St. Paul."

Rick: "St. Paul?"

Victor: "Forget it! She’s on a roll..."

Ilsa: "You do believe I’m beautiful, don’t you? You hesitated! You hesitated like you had to think about it! Oh, yech! Captain Renault just licked my face! Yech, I’ve been poisoned! Medic! Antidote! Don’t give me that @#$% vichy water! I need iodine! Iodine, now! I should have ran off with your piano player when I had the chance!"

Rick: "Good grief!"

Okay, so it used to be the greatest romantic climax in Hollywood history.

Coming Soon: Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo in Waiting for Godot.

*With sincere apologies to Charles Schulz, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Reins, Paul Henreid, Conrad Veidt, and everyone else in the world for that matter.

(Thank you for reading. Please remember, this may be the end of American drama as we know it.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sickna – Part 2

Time again for another session with Dr. E. O’Bee, counselor and therapist to bloggers everywhere.

Dr. O’Bee: Now, Mr. and Mrs. Gunther, I understand you had a trying day fighting with your health insurance carrier. Please tell me about it.

Me: We might as well tell you all about it before the trouble begins.

Anne Marie: Well, doctor, I was scheduled to have a colonoscopy this week. I had the surgeon lined up, the facility ready to go, my preliminary lab work done, and I was mentally prepared to go through with it. I don’t like surgeries...any surgeries as a rule, so it takes me some time to get psyched up for it.

Me: Yeah, and I tried to help her get prepared since I’ve already had two colonoscopies. She was worried that the procedure might be painful. I told her, “Dear, you have nothing to worry about. There is no pain whatsoever once they shove the rusty garden claw up your arse.”

Anne Marie: Yes, I was mentally prepared despite his help. The day before the procedure, the hospital calls and says it can’t schedule the surgery because I don’t have any insurance coverage. My carrier, Sickna, (editor's note - company name changed because they’re so stupid they wouldn’t know they’re being ridiculed anyway!) terminated my coverage as of June 30! Nobody told me this until this week! I haven’t had any coverage for six weeks!

Dr. O’Bee: That’s terrible! Then what happened? Please go on!

Me: Go ahead, dear. You might as well tell him the whole story before the trouble begins.

Anne Marie: We spent the whole afternoon trying to get my eligibility fixed. It’s my husband’s policy, and his paycheck has been deducted for a family other words, BOTH OF US all along. He didn’t drop me from his policy, his company didn’t drop me, so why the hell did Sickna (editor's note – company named changed because we thought it would be worth a giggle!) terminate my coverage? He was on the phone with his human resources department, who was on the phone with the carrier, and I was constantly on the phone with the doctor’s office.

Me: In the end (get it?), the hospital couldn’t schedule the procedure without proof of insurance. I was bummed! They ruined all of my fun! I had it all planned out what I was going to tell the doctor afterward. I had it all thought out that when Anne Marie was wheeled back into the recovery room I would say to the surgeon, “Hey, doc! I think you operated on the wrong end! Weren’t you supposed to do a headectomy on my wife?”

Anne Marie (gritting teeth): Anyway...the operation was canceled because we couldn’t verify that the doctor’s office had received the necessary information to relay to the hospital! We were emotionally exhausted by the end of the day, and it was all for nothing.

Dr. O’Bee: Shocking! So how are you working through your emotions?

Anne Marie: With extreme hatred and rage for his health insurance carrier.

Dr. O’Bee: Um, I don’t know if that is necessarily healthy...

Me: Of course it is! Rage works for us! Hey dear, how many Sickna (editor's note – company name changed because we have issues!) employees can you rip apart with a rusty garden claw?

Anne Marie: I don’t know, but I’d like to find out! (Both laugh.)

Dr. O’Bee: Mr. and Mrs. Gunther, please! This is not good! Why must you always resort to such violent thoughts? Oh, I see our session is over. By the way, your insurance carrier tells me that you don’t have coverage for our counseling services. How were you planning to pay for today’s session?

Me: Awww, now the trouble begins. (Ba-doom, ching!)*

*With apologies to Ole Olsen and Chick Johnson.

(Thank you for reading! Please remember, garden claws — rusty or otherwise — are available at your local gardening center and are not recommended as a tool of persuasion for those working in the health insurance industry.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I understand.

I understand...that many people feel hurt and betrayed by plans to build an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan. Many of these people lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, and it is a pain with which they are still coping. The rest of the world has moved on from that day: a cruel but inevitable act. Those still in pain need to understand that — as hard as it is to do — they must also move on and live the lives their lost loved ones would want them to live.

I understand...that Ground Zero is hallowed ground. Two blocks from Ground Zero is not hallowed ground. At two blocks, ground should be given back to the living. The day-to-day business of life – as well as commerce itself — might as well begin here as anywhere else.

I understand...why the planners of the mosque want to build it only two blocks from Ground Zero. They believe that the best way to combat this intolerance perpetuated against America is to build their community center near Al-Qaeda’s most infamous achievement. The center, they reason, would be a dramatic gesture of religious tolerance, an in-your-face defiance of Al-Qaeda’s goals. The planners realize that the 9/11 attacks were executed by a small faction of fanatical believers, who could have very easily been Christians or Catholics attacking an abortion clinic, or Jews attacking an Arab settlement. Instead, they just happen to be Muslim.

I understand...why some politicians are preying on people’s fears about the mosque. They argue that their criticisms are not against religious freedom, but rather sensitivity for the victims of 9/11. All the same, they see the growing financial and political support for their own goals in the eyes and signs of all American people who are, like them, fearful.

I understand...why many Muslims do not want to aggravate the situation any more than it is already. They see the mosque controversy as another in a series of events which widens the rift between them and the Christian world. A few Christian leaders are even advocating the return of all Muslims to their — presumably — Arab country of origin. No never mind that many of these Muslims were born here in America. No never mind that such calls would even leave Jesus Christ himself shaking his head in bewilderment.

I understand...why President Obama would defend the right of Muslims to build a mosque near Ground Zero, then seemingly hedge against the wisdom of the project. He is trying to stand upright, holding the Constitution with one hand, and keeping the country from being torn apart by intolerance with the other. He knows it’s not the best position in which to be, but he realizes that sometimes the high road is the loneliest place in the world.

I understand...that all voices for, against, and in the middle of this controversy have a right to be heard. We are, after all, an evolving democracy that, after 234 years, is still trying to figure out the best way to get along. There never was, and probably never will be, any guarantee that all Americans will always be 100% happy with life in this country. Yet we are all determined to make this democracy work for today and forever.

I understand...that all of these factions — Muslims and Christians, conservatives and liberals, victims and victim’s kin, presidents and common men — need to learn more about the concept of understanding.

(Thank you for reading. There is nothing more to say...)

Friday, August 20, 2010

You’re No Fun Anymore, Brazil!

So these two Brazilian politicians walk into a bar and...

That’s it! I really don’t have an ending for that joke. I just thought I would throw it out there to anyone who feels compelled to finish writing a gag. Mainly, I did this in case there are any comedy writers/satirists in Brazil who are suddenly finding themselves without work, but who wish to keep practicing their comedy chops.

The reason they are facing unemployment is Brazil’s ban on political jokes until the end of the current election season, or roughly the end of October. Think of it! Three months without any smirking, tongue-in-cheek running commentary on politicians by the likes of Juan Stewartez (a fictional Brazilian counterpart to our very own Jon Stewart, who I just made up.)

Proponents of the law - which applies to radio and television, but not newspapers - believe that the ruling will keep politicians from ”being portrayed unfairly, ensure a level playing field, and encourage candor by candidates”. Brazil’s comedians are rightly crying foul, claiming that their freedom of speech is being denied.

Gee, Brazil, you really know how to take the fun out of politics! Having said that, we are compelled to examine each of the arguments in a courteous, civilized manner which will — we hope — serve as a model of peaceful, intelligent public discourse of this issue. Now, having made that pretentious statement, we should also state that, once we examine these ideas, we will then place very fat, large whoopee cushions under each of them.

The rule is meant to prevent candidates from being portrayed unfairly. Well, that sounds nice, but isn’t that the job of one’s opposing candidate(s)? I can appreciate your wanting to take the burden of this job off the shoulders of the comedians, but let’s face facts: they are professionals. They know how to get their point across in a biting, satirical fashion, but really, who gets hurt?

You believe that banning of humor from your political campaigns will ensure a level playing field for all of the candidates. Snort! Don’t make us laugh! Oh, wait, that is the whole laugh! None of our politicians in America worry about campaigning on a level playing field, which is why serious attempts at campaign contribution reform have always fizzled out. Level playing field...I’m sorry I can’t even think about this concept with a straight face. It’s probably best if we move on...

You also want to encourage candor from the candidates by eliminating those pesky humorous ribbings from the comics. Everyone wants politicians to be honest, but we don’t actually expect them to do it. Hell no! Why do you think we bust their stones every time they tell us something that is honest and forthright, but it’s not something we want to hear all the same. That’s right, because we, the electorate, can’t handle the truth!

I really hope Brazil is kidding. The image of out-of-work comedians is just too much for me to contemplate. Fortunately, I have a suggestion for a solution.

In order to keep Brazil’s comedy writers and satirists busy during the lean times ahead, I propose that Brazil borrow some of our American politicians. This way they can keep working, poking jabs at our politicians and not violate the silly, free speech-stifling rules their country is enforcing. Don’t worry that we need them. We have more than enough to go around.

Take Sarah Palin...please!* She’s traveling around the country making all sorts of comments that are ripe for ridicule. Newt Gingrich is another one you can have. He is so full of gaffe-laden anecdotes that you won’t be able to write fast enough to catch it all.

They’re not serving in any public office at the moment, but get this: they think they’re running for President of the United States. Isn’t that rich? Shh! Don’t tell them otherwise. Seriously, how can you look these gifts in the mouth?

Okay, if you want some balance, we’ll throw in Hillary Clinton. She’s our Secretary of State at the moment, but we might be able to spare her for a few days. In any case, you might squeeze a gag or two from her travails, but for my money, Palin and Gingrich are the ones to watch.

As for the humor-challenged Brazilian government, I can only feel pity for them. Obviously these elections demonstrate that Brazil is only going through the motions of a democracy, without actually being a democracy. (Believe me, many of us Americans feel your pain.) Your government will find out soon enough that politics can be a pressure cooker of mean-spiritedness. The humor generated by it is a release cherished by all civilized cultures.

*May God bless you, Henny Youngman, wherever you are.

(Thank you for reading. Please remember to laugh whenever you get the chance.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

The “Triumphalism” of Tolerance

Okay, people, listen up and take good notes today. Yes, I’m especially talking to you people on the right side of the room. You seem to have a particularly bad time with the subject of tolerance and intolerance and telling the difference between the two.

Now we all know what President Obama said last week about religious freedom. He spoke about it in the context over a debate for plans to build a mosque and an Islamic community center near the site of the World Trade Center attack. Everyone realizes there are very raw feelings about the loss many people suffered on 9/11, but we need to take a few moments and examine our loss and gain a better perspective of our country and its ideals.

Ms. Palin, I hope you’re not tweeting your followers again. You need to pay attention to this lecture. Some of this material will be on the final. Now, where was I...

Oh, yes...we must recognize the reason many people came to these shores in the first place. It’s true that many came here to further their economic opportunities, but many emigrated to escape religious persecution. Our new land made a promise to all comers that whoever they were and however they believed, they would not be punished or ridiculed for their faith. This was understood to be true for all faiths...not just Christianity, and certainly not limited to just evangelical Christianity. Some of you seem to consistently forget that fact...

Mr. Breitbart, you don’t seem to be writing much today. I do hope you’re taking nice, complete notes. As I was saying...

The concept of religious freedom applies to all faiths: Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and so on. It was one of the basic principles on which this country was founded. Certainly we don’t all agree on what is right for everyone, but we should never allow ourselves to believe that our faith is the only right faith for everyone. We should never feel that our way is superior to all other ways of life. This ethnocentrism is wrong. It leads to prejudice and bigotry, and can be — and has — manifested itself as genocide.

Mr. Gingrich! Did I just see you passing notes to Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Beck? I would advise you to pay strict attention, Mr. Gingrich. You have just as much to learn here as everyone else.

Some of you may find this hard to believe, but we are sensitive to the people who lost loved ones in the attacks. We realize that they struggle every day of their lives to rebuild on their loss. This reminds us of the old cliché, “Time heals all wounds”. While we can only hope for the best that a healing will occur for all concerned, we should be prepared to be realistic: some people may never recover from the sorrow of this tragedy. In those cases, we can only support each other as best we can, and remind one and all that we shouldn’t see this mosque as strictly a symbol of Islamic faith. It should be seen as a symbol of the morals all faiths share. It should become another icon of the ideals on which this country was founded.

We have to remind ourselves that the attacks were carried out by a small number of overzealous believers who were intolerant of our freedoms. We shouldn’t hold an entire nation of believers accountable for the actions of a bigoted few. If we the people obstruct the construction of the mosque in Lower Manhattan, then we ourselves would be just as intolerant as those who attacked us. Then another old saying would ring true: “The terrorists have won!”

Also think about this: there is always a chance that the developers may abandon their plans. They may eventually realize that, despite their best intentions, the building of a mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero is not worth all of the ill feelings that will be generated and that are being voiced now in the court of public opinion. The country should not stand in the way of its construction, thereby giving the Islamic community the final decision to build or not. It’s a slim chance, but it still exists.

We realize it is not easy to adopt this moral high ground, but it is the right thing to do. We cannot exact revenge on the many Muslims who live among us in our communities. We can not and should not fight intolerance with intolerance.

Okay, Mr. Gingrich! That was your last warning! Come up here, right now! Come up and write the word “triumphalism” 100 times on the blackboard. How the hell should I know what it means? You tell me what it means! You’re the one that invented this word in your little right-wing, conservative, Shakespeare-made-up-words-too world!

As for the rest of you, take out a sheet of paper and write 100 times, “I will be tolerant of other people’s beliefs.”

Ms. Palin? Put the blackberry down, and start writing. Now!

(Thank you for reading. Please remember we all have a lot to learn in the classroom of global understanding.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Going Airline Attendant on Your A**

It’s been a slow news week in America. Lindsay Lohan is still out of circulation and, as I noted recently, even gossip column darling Mel Gibson has been laying lower than usual. There was also a report of 37 sheep killed when a driver ran into them at a high rate of speed in Macedonia.

Did I mention that it’s been a slow news week?

Thus, with such an immense vacuum in our news departments, it seems that Steve Slater’s elevation to folk hero status was inevitable. Now a retired flight attendant with JetBlue Airlines, Slater has become an overnight sensation because of how he “retired” from the airline industry. A post-landing incident with an unruly passenger – so unruly she assaulted him with a carry-on bag - led to his cursing out all of the passengers over the plane's intercom, grabbing a beer from the galley, and activating the slide chute at the exit door, before using it to abandon the aircraft.

Very sloooooow neeeewwwwsss weeeek!!!!!

First, let’s examine a flight attendant’s job. They have to be attractive in both appearance and attitude, demonstrate limitless desire to help people and have an equal amount of energy to execute their duties. All this, mind you, as they contend with unruly children, complaints from other passengers about unruly children, complaints from passengers about their seats, their overhead storage compartments, and other passengers. They must hear all the whining about how airlines are nickeling and diming everyone while eliminating such things as in-flight food service, and all of the security screenings they must endure before they even get on the plane.

The stress must be incredible. Consider also the environment in which they work: a pressurized tube hurtling through the earth’s atmosphere at amazing speeds, and — in the best case scenario — landing on all four wheels to great relief and applause from the passengers, only so they can endure further indignities at the luggage carousel. The other end is the worst case scenario: that the plane, passengers and crew end up in a million pieces either in a field or on a mountainside. I know this is a rather graphic extreme, but let’s emphasize that an airline attendant has a wide window of pent-up anxiety and stress.

Slater’s action has been met with overall approval by everyone who has ever been frustrated with their job, or in other words, every living, breathing biped on the face of the earth. A Facebook page was started for him and quickly accumulated 300,000+ “friends”. Slater has tapped into a national angst with people who have fantasized about quitting their job in a grand, dramatic gesture.

Unfortunately, his grand gesture is a federal offense. Currently, he is out on bail awaiting a hearing on a number of charges, using such words as recklessness and endangerment. The airline and FAA have no choice but to prosecute Slater for his Howard Beal moment. If the incident had happened sooner in the flight, say when the plane was at an altitude of 30,000 feet, then the results would have been much different. How different? See “worst case scenario” above. I guarantee Slater would not be a Facebook hero if his actions had crashed the plane.

Even though the passengers on his flight are now disputing Slater’s story, this morning the media will somehow exploit his story to the nth degree. Expect huge amounts of money offered to just talk to him, book deals, reality show deals, and products related to the incident. Soon we should see Steve Slater “Shove This Job Up Your Tailpipe” beer cozies, Slater’s Whack-A-Passenger arcade games, and “I’m Retired from JetBlue and I Didn’t Even Get a Lousy T-Shirt” t-shirt.

I wouldn’t hold my breath for a guest appearance on Jersey Shore. Slater is gay — another personal fact to come out in only a few days within the news vacuum — and he probably wouldn’t fit in very well with J-Woww and The Situation. Even Snookie’s bountiful breasts wouldn’t convince him to switch sides, although it might be fun watching her try.

Most importantly, the expression “going postal” is now passé. We can now refer to an employee suddenly going berserk in the workplace as “going flight attendant on y'all”. I know it’s a bit wordy, but it’s time to give the post office a break. All of the developments in the Steve Slater story have led me to two conclusions. One, the JetBlue incident has re-affirmed my faith in Amtrak. Two, and I never thought I would find myself typing these words in my blog: Come back, Lindsay! America misses you!

(Thank you for reading. Remember, just say “baa” to imitation heroes!)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

...And All The World’s a TEA!

The first annual Tea Party Shakespeare Festival is coming soon! See and hear the most watched and most listened-to voices of our time give their unique interpretations of the Bard’s greatest hits! For example, thrill to Sarah Palin in the role she was born to play: Lady Macbeth!

Lady Macbeth: I stand here today to refudiate the king and his socialist tyranny. His continent dost confuse and dismay.

Court Jester (as played by Newt Gingrich): Yay, nuncle! He is like a young prince with unlimited resources to spend on his agenda! But one moment, my ladyship! Did you mean to say countenance instead of continent?

Lady Macbeth: Silence, you washed-up back-bench bomb-hurler! Your japes bore me! I know what I say and I say what I know!

Jester: (aside) Aye, 'tis what frightens me!

Lady Macbeth: Silence again, fool! I go to the palace! Summon my ride!

Jester: Court! Court! Stand ready and bring forth my ladyship’s moose!

Or Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston as the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet!

Juliet: Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou!

Romeo: It is I, Romeo! Back from the coast spreading my seed, allowing my loins to be viewed by the ladies of the court, and making merry so that the scribes could recount my frivolous deeds!

Juliet: Oh, Romeo! You bring dishonor to this house and sorrow to my brow! How canst I comprehend all of your words? Your boasts overtax my mind! Me thinks you are not ready to become the man I need, a husband and father, a friend and lover!

Romeo: Oh, duh!

Or the tragedy of Hamlet as portrayed by Andrew Breitbart!

(Hamlet enters stage right)

Hamlet: To be or-

(Hamlet exits stage left)

Or who could forget this classic scene by the Bard!

Three Witches (together): Bubble, bubble! Toil and trouble!

First Witch (Rush Limbaugh): What spell shall we cast on the afeared masses?

Second Witch (Glenn Beck): The hordes overrunning our borders? The king’s proclamations of hope and change?

Third Witch (Bill O’Reilly): Aye, that and throw the violence of radicals into the brew! Lest those men who like other men be allowed to make merry together!

First Witch: Sisters, our ingredients may be suspect. Can we vouch safe for this toxic stew we spoon feed to the masses?

Third Witch: What cares do we have for the sources of our frenzies! Our enemies will despise us no matter; their reviews will dash us to the boulders of the wretched sea!

Second Witch: Aye, the rating’s the thing!

Three Witches: Bubble, bubble! Toil and trouble!

And finally a fitting climatic soliloquy!

Sir Keith of Olbermann: Arteejee, I’ve read William Shakespeare, and you, sir, are no William Shakespeare!

Watch this space for time and location of ticket sales for the First Annual Tea Party Shakespeare Festival!!!!

(Thank you for reading! Please remember, Elizabethan dramaturgy can be sooooo overrated!)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Snort Notes – August 2010


One of Philadelphia’s favorite sons has had to take to the airwaves recently to denounce the horrible rumors of his death that circulated on the Internet. It is good to see him take these terrible stories seriously. Once again, it proves that the Internet can be beneficial when used properly, but has unfortunately become a powerful weapon in the wrong hands.


On the other hand, we must confess to having an unquenchable desire to satisfy our perverse sense of humor by fabricating totally bizarre tales like this one. Now that I’ve written it and read it, it occurred to me that such an operation would not make any difference in the great scheme of things. Let’s just forget that I wrote it...


Is this even legal? I can understand having a legal fund for private citizens fighting litigation, but a legal fund for an entire state government? A state government, mind you, that makes plenty of revenue from taxpayers and businesses in the state of Arizona?

Joey, Joey, Joey! If you want to help a state, how about one closer to home, or even at home, namely Pennsylvania? The Keystone State is in dire need of funding to repair its crumbling infrastructure. How about a little sugar for the dilapidated roads and bridges? This way, more people could drive down to your shop and order – in English – a cheese steak wit, Heinz on the side, hold the prejudice!


A judge on August 4 ruled that California’s much ballyhooed ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. Naturally, conservatives are upset, and when conservatives are upset, I’m a happy boy!

Appeals by the ban supporters are inevitable, so ladies and gentleman of the gay community, it may be a bit early to start those bridal registries on Rodeo Drive. In the meantime, you can rest assured that any of your nuptials — pending, real, and/or otherwise — will not threaten the marriage of...


Yes, once again, it appears that Levi and Bristol have called off their engagement...again. This news has been verified after consulting with a Ouija board, a magic 8 ball, and my Captain Fantastic Secret Decoder Ring. Oh, okay, I even looked on the Internet, because (as everyone knows) everything on the Internet is true...except for Bill Cosby dying, but other than that, the Information Superhighway is totally accurate and flawless! (Wink wink nudge nudge!)

Apparently, another woman is carrying Levi’s child. Bristol broke up with him months ago and — I’m guessing — she expected him to be faithful to her and never, ever sleep with another woman again even though they were not married, or engaged, or even — in paparazzi parlance — an item. Bristol, honey, we have a name for this phenomena down here in the lower 48. We like to call it life! Bristol, go out and get one!


This is typical for the stereotypical geek: pulling a pen to fight! So how come the victim didn’t slap the stabber senseless with a pocket protector? Honestly, some people just can’t think straight in a crisis!

No such fighting would ever occur at the silent comedy film fan convention I attend, Slapsticon. Even if it did, I’m sure we would work out our disagreements with cream pies thrown at 10 paces. (That last line is in memory of Del Lord, legendary comedy film director and the best damn pie thrower who ever lived!)

We did have a few tense moments this year though; one of the co-founders, Richard Roberts, nearly gave the audience a time out because we had laughed at a Ben Blue short. I’m guessing that, if Roberts had his way, it would be a crime in every state to be amused by Ben Blue. We silent film fans will need to keep this in mind for the future.


Now, this is news! It appears that Gibson has completed recording his verbal vomiting for the time being. I wonder if he’ll release a Best of... compilation. If that happens, then a tour is inevitable. He could call it Rantapalooza or I Hate That #%@& Bitch Tour. Glenn Beck opening for him would make it the event of the year!

Yes, this is one tour I’ll sit out...

(Thank you for reading. Please remember, consider everything you find on the Internet with a grain of salt...and maybe a slice of lime...and oh, of course, a shot of tequila while you have the salt and lime out!)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Meanwhile, Back at the Universal Eucharist Boys Club (aka the Vatican)

Recently, the Vatican felt compelled to revise its internal laws making it easier to punish pedophile priests. This is a good thing, since the sexual abuse of children is a very serious offense against humanity. It is an evil which has cast a great shadow over the Roman Catholic Church.

However, the Pope went a bit farther and equated the ordination of women priests an offense as serious as pedophilia. This second denunciation was announced unsolicited as far as I know. At least I don’t think there was a reporter at the back of the room who raised his hand and shouted out, “Yo, Eminence! But what about female priests?”

WTF? These women's crimes against humanity are what exactly? I don’t get the connection.

In my area, the announcement was met with criticisms and support. The criticism came from a female priest — now excommunicated from the Church — who chalked it up to old-fashioned misogyny. Support was voiced in the media by the communications director (coincidentally a woman) of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, who claimed that this particular policy dates back to Jesus’ teaching that priesthood is reserved for men. The ordained female noted in her criticism that there is no evidence of this in the Scripture.

Of course, when in doubt, blame Jesus! I feel sorry for Christ right now! Not only did he die for our sins, and his name is invoked regularly as an oath, but now we’re using him to justify our own prejudices! The Archdiocese spokeswoman may truly believe what she said, but her argument could be stronger if she had cited Bible chapter and verse for those of us who are not as Holy Scripture-literate as we should be.

Perhaps it’s time progressive thinking people went to Rome and demanded an audience with His Holiness. I can see it now: a vast throng of people from many nations circling the Vatican, and a woman wearing the Roman collar shouting into a bullhorn, “Pope Benedict, we have you surrounded! Come out of the 9th Century with your staff over your head...”

Once inside, we could tell him that he is passing up a golden opportunity to give women a bigger role in the Roman Catholic faith: “Listen, your Eminence, we have released women from the shackles of domesticity. We allow them to work outside the home, in offices, in factories, in...well, lots of places! We’ve found that they are not that bad in the workforce. Also, and we hope you’re sitting down when you hear this, we’ve also given them the right to vote. Shocking, but true! We’re only telling you all this because we get the impression that when it comes to women’s issues that you’ve led a rather sheltered life..." and so on.

I realize that the Church does utilize the services of women in a lesser capacity, but some women are more ambitious than that. They want to do more than teach the children of the faithful and occasionally whack the children of the faithful on the knuckles with steel rulers. They want to serve God as fully ordained representatives of the Church. What is wrong with that?

What are you really afraid of? Do you fear that letting in some girls will spoil the atmosphere of the oldest boys club in the world? Fathers, there is nothing to fear. Just straighten up the place a bit, you know, dust the tables, vacuum the floors, pick up any soiled vestments you left lying on the floor, discard any leftover NAMBLA literature, and you won’t be embarrassed when they move in. Of course, you can lay down some ground rules, like no one touches your comic book collection. This is sacred, regardless if you’re an adolescent boy or a 31 year old adolescent living in your parent’s basement or a grown up priest.

It may seem like I am preaching tolerance even as I appear to be intolerant of Roman Catholicism. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I am not condemning one of the world’s largest religions as a whole, but I am pointing out that one of its policies undermines their good work and is in sore need of updating.

Upon reading this entry, people in high places who believe they have the most special relationship with God - more special than everyone else on Earth - will damn me to eternal hell. So be it! At least I’ll be in good company with the female priests.

(Thank you for reading. Please remember do not take no for an answer when the question is about tolerance.)