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, December 31, 2007

January 1st – Today Does Not Exist; Go Back To Bed!

Today is the first day of the New Year and not much will happen today. This is because most of humanity will spend the better part of the day sleeping off the effects of the night before. By the time we, I mean they, wake up and get their wits about them, the day is shot. We - all right, I will no longer pretend that I am not part of the problem - are awake long enough to have our New Year’s dinner, clean up, and return to bed.

There are many people that do make a good, full rewarding day of January 1st. Honestly, I don’t know what’s wrong with these people. Of course, these are the ones that have to work on this day - the police, the fire department, medical workers, retailing, and any other professions that do not recognize the first day of the year as the first holiday of the year. In some respects, I say God bless these people for sacrificing their time away from their families to protect the public. As for the others, go back to bed.

As for myself, you may wonder what I am doing out of bed writing this entry. After all, I should still be sleeping off the effects of the wonderful party last night at our neighbor’s house. Well, I guess I should 'fess up now.

I am writing this a few days ahead, December 30 actually, to have it ready for Tuesday. This is the way many of these entries are written here at Arteejee Industries. These entries start as a rough draft that I write whenever I find the time or the inspiration.

This draft is then submitted to my senior editor (a.k.a. Anne Marie) for suggestions. I know I’ve got a good entry when I hear her laugh as she reviews it, although sometimes she does laugh at my public school grammar. That’s okay; sometimes I get to make fun of her parochial school math!

A finished draft is then readied for publication, unless of course I want to use italics or boldfaced type, in which case it goes through our special effects department before final publication. I should point out here that this blog is 100% American made! I am proud to say that we at Arteejee Industries do not believe in outsourcing our work. We believe that this despicable practice is wrong, immoral, and detrimental to our domestic economy.*

So, please, read this blog secure in the knowledge that it was written by a well-organized, sober mind and not some monosyllabic ramblings of a soused brain whacked out on cheese, crackers, and California onion dip, not to mention several microbrews. Yes, this blog entry has been carefully prepared for a day that doesn’t exist for many of us. By the time I recover from my New Year’s Eve festivities, I trust that many of you will have already enjoyed this piece. Thank you and Happy New Year to all!

*This entry was spell checked by Ramir

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Will Smith and the “G” Word

There is so much terribly wrong with the world today. As I write this, we are reeling from the tragedy of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination earlier today in Pakistan. A great voice of democracy has been silenced, and many observers see the event as a blow to the United States' efforts to bring stability to the region. Naturally, our President will take this opportunity to use Bhutto’s death as proof that the terrorists will stop at nothing to halt the march of liberty throughout the world. It is for this reason that I will devote the rest of this blog to my original choice of subject for today: an American entertainer and a very minor, inconsequential misunderstanding in the media.

Will Smith — Philadelphia native, rap artist, film actor and entrepreneur — has recently added “Hitler commentator” to his resume. According to reports published last weekend in a Scottish newspaper, Smith is quoted as saying, “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘Let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and, using a twisted backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was g---.” I will explain why I didn’t spell out the “g” word (which will be revealed at the bottom of this entry for those of you who aren’t getting it)*, but we should first note the fall out from Smith’s remark. Celebrity gossip web sites took this comment and claimed that Smith said Hitler was a g--- person. Smith has angrily denied this interpretation of his remarks.

Smith’s only error was to use the words “Hitler” and the “g” word within close proximity to each other in the same sentence. By close proximity, I mean that these two words should not be used within a distance of ten miles of each other. Many other people have used the “g” word to describe Hitler and have been rightly crucified for it. For example, there is the case of the late, but not necessarily lamented, owner of the Cincinnati Reds, Marge Schott. She made the same mistake, but because nobody liked her, nobody gave a damn when her reputation went down in flames.

This brings us to Will Smith’s reputation. His basic life philosophy is very upbeat, very positive and happy. This is all very nice, but the media can’t tolerate people like this. Why? Because they can’t make any money off a happy, upbeat personality.

The media cannot sell advertising time or space in their shows or newspapers if all they ever put out is “g---“ news. They know that no one will buy their product if they don’t publish tragedy (e.g., the Bhutto assassination) and drama. One publisher in San Francisco tried publishing a paper full of “g---“ news years ago; the paper folded within weeks. “G---“ news often comes free, but bad news is going to cost you.

The media has been waiting for Will Smith to make a faux pas like this for years. Now they can party! Stop the presses! Order the extra editions! Break out the Moet ’72!

We should also consider the source where Will Smith’s comments were published. Scotland is a country, after all, which is barren, cold and mountainous; where the men wear short skirts; gave us a pasttime in which grown adults chase a small ball all over God’s g--- earth with clubs; and the natives can’t find a mythical sea creature in one of their lakes to save their lives. Please understand I am not saying any of this to denigrate the g--- country of Scotland. It has given us such wonderful people as Sean Connery, Sir Harry Lauder, and last, but not least, Jimmy Finlayson. I’m just saying we need to consider the source.

As for Will Smith, I hope he’s learned a valuable lesson from all this. Still, this won’t stop the media from having their way with any comments Smith may make in the future. Some unscrupulous members of the media could very easily take the words “Bhutto” “assassination” and “Will Smith” from this blog entry and string them together in a sentence to make God only knows what assertions. These damn blogs are no better than those damn celebrity gossip web sites! They can’t get anything right!

*The password is “good”.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

But Happy Holidays Will Never Hurt Me

There has been some controversy over the last few years about an alleged "war on Christmas". Christians have been rebelling against the political correctness that has overtaken the season and stripped away the meaning of the holiday, i.e., the birth of the Christ child. I was reminded of this conflict when someone forwarded a piece called “A Christmas Poem” to my e-mail.

I am interpreting the poem as borderline satirical. However, many others look at it as an accurate depiction of the holiday under siege. The poem touches on the old adversaries of materialism and greed. Yet there are other parts that seem to blame the current batch of liberals for taking prayer out of schools, even though this is a process that has been ongoing for several decades. The poem concludes with this stanza:

Choose your words carefully,
Choose what you say,

After reading this poem, I e-mailed the sender a message: ”Gee, this poem makes tolerance for other cultures sound like a bad thing.” I ended my message with the smiley face emoticon :-), just to show that I wasn’t taking the whole thing too seriously. Someone else who had received the poem and my response answered with: “On the contrary, we Christians are very tolerant. It’s the others that are intolerant; 'they' don’t want us to say Merry Christmas, 'they' want us to say Happy Holidays."

Well! Clearly, in my efforts to drill for a comment, I had struck a nerve.

I would agree that yes, Christians are taught to be tolerant in theory. Let me repeat that last part, “in theory”. In practice, however, there are many times in world history when we Christians have failed to live up to these ideals. Two events immediately spring to my mind to illustrate my point: The Crusades and The Holocaust. Many young Muslims are now convinced that a second Crusade is being inflicted upon their beliefs. Yes, this is incorrect, but it’s their perception, and frankly, given the events in Iraq during the last few years, it’s a perception that will be a challenge to dispute.

The American evangelical Christian movement has made the concept of political correctness into the work of the devil. Furthermore, the whole movement made itself appear intolerant to other beliefs with their “our-way-or-the-highway” approach during the last thirty years. This attitude is not only self-defeating, but also (dare I say it) anti-Christian.

Political correctness should not be seen as the antithesis of evangelical Christianity. It should be a springboard to spread Christ’s concepts – love, forgiveness and peace – to other cultures. The other cultures could whole-heartedly endorse Christ’s teachings or incorporate the concepts into their own beliefs. It doesn’t matter, as long as everyone can live with one another while respecting each other’s beliefs.

I do not believe for one minute that there is a vast left wing conspiracy against Christianity. Of course the Bill O’Reillys of the world would like to convince us this plot exists, but they only do this to demonize the liberal segment of our society. I don’t blame them for doing this, because this is what they do best. Besides, the liberals get their digs in too, and in the end it all comes out in the wash.

There is no war on Christmas! There are only efforts to recognize that other cultures and beliefs are valid. These efforts should not be seen in any way, shape or form as demeaning to Christianity. Yet, many Christians believe their way of life is threatened by the words “Happy Holidays” as opposed to “Merry Christmas”. I realize everyone’s religious faith is important to each one of us, and there’s nothing wrong with having faith. As long as your faith, and the spirit of Christmas is kept in your heart, then the greetings we hear during the holiday season shouldn’t matter.

There are worse things that could happen than to hear the greeting “Happy Holidays”. Given America’s love affair with firearms, the greeter could just as easily pull a gun on us. We should not feel offended at any of these greetings — “Happy Holidays”, “Merry Christmas”, or even “Have a nice day” - if we consider all the possibilities that could occur during the course of daily human interaction. In short, to borrow an old mantra drilled into our heads since childhood, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but ‘Happy Holidays’ will never hurt me.”

Despite my writing all this, I will hedge my bets and say:

“Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!”

Or, if you prefer:

“Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to All!”

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Stupid Christmas Song Lyrics

It’s time once again to take issue with some songs of the season. We hear these songs year after year and never question their sincerity. I am only questioning their logic, their obvious abundance of ridiculousness.

For example, there is this song.


A nice melodic saga of those who could have been present at the birth of the Christ child: a lamb, a shepherd, and a king. My problem is with the couplet: "A child shivers in the cold/let us bring him silver and gold.” Okay, it rhymes, but precious metals won’t help keep the child warm. It's not like you can start a fire with these metals and keep them burning long enough to generate the warmth the baby needs.

Firewood would be a more practical gift. You can start a fire with the wood and keep it burning for hours. I realize that the silver and gold can be used to purchase the firewood, but this brings up another issue. Who is going to chop and deliver wood on Christmas? Come on, people, it’s a holiday!

I know, I know, the Christmas holiday wasn’t declared immediately as soon as Jesus was born. I mean, it’s not like Joseph said to Mary, “Hey Mary, you have given birth to an exceptional boy here. Let’s take the day off and celebrate. In fact, let’s give all mankind off today to mark this wonderful occasion.” I’m sure that a very exhausted Mary readily agreed to this arrangement, but most of us will realize that Christianity took a while longer to develop. Most of us that is, except for a certain host on ABC's “The View” who maintains that the Christian religion predated the birth of Jesus himself.


The quintessential holiday favorite that makes severe, bone-numbing, Arctic cold weather conditions seem all cozy and romantic. Oh, yeah, I’m always happily chirping this song as I repeatedly bend over while shoveling out my hundred-foot driveway in sub-freezing temperatures. I can’t begin to describe how this song soothes my angina condition.

My problem is with these lyrics: “In the meadow we can build a snowman/then pretend that he is Parson Brown/He’ll say ‘Are you married?’, we’ll say “No, man!”/but you can do the job when you’re in town.” Okay, I realize that organized religion has gone through turmoil in recent years, but has it sunk so low that they are now ordaining three balls of tightly packed frozen precipitation to perform wedding ceremonies? The Religious Right is always screaming about the sanctity of marriage whenever the subject of gay marriage is raised, but I haven’t heard any complaints that the sanctity can be blessed by a non-entity that will cease to exist once the temperature goes above freezing. In any respect, if I were a snowman with a brain and the capacity to think, then I would put all of my energy into raising awareness about global warming, and not marrying couples with delusions of happiness.


This song raises questions about infringing on personal rights. The line “Deck the halls with boughs of holly” is objectionable. What if Holly doesn’t want her boughs draped all over the place? Some women are very picky about their personal property.

Oh, wait. What if we’ve been misinterpreting the word boughs all these years? What if they really meant to sing, “Deck the halls with bowels of Holly”? Oh yeah, Holly would definitely not like that at all. Now we’re talking about disembowelment as part of a Christmas celebration? I don’t think so.


This song paints a very happy, joyous picture for the holiday season. Then it mentions “scary ghost stories”! Wow, talk about mood swings! Ghost stories don’t belong with Christmas. In the entire English language, there is approximately one Christmas-related ghost story. (Thanks, Charles Dickens!) Besides, we already have a holiday for ghosts; it’s called Halloween!

That is my small list of questionable seasonal lyrics for this year. Feel free to debate these points over a glass or two of eggnog or warm punch. Just don’t invite Parson Brown into the conversation. He tends to get all worked up when it comes to the subject of religion. One thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, he’s nothing more than a puddle on the floor.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Meredith’s Day

I recently found a small piece of scratch paper with a list scrawled on it. I read it as best I could and realized that my oldest cat, Meredith, had written up a daily to-do list. You can imagine my surprise, since I didn’t think she put this much thought into her activities, let alone take the time to write them down. My shock was compounded when I noticed that her penmanship is perfect! It is even more legible than my Philadelphia public school scratchings.

In any event, here is the list of activities that makes up an average day for my girl Meredith.

1. Meow my head off until Daddy gives me my morning treats.

2. Use cat box.

3. Meow my head off until Mommy gives me my morning treats.

4. Chase my cat roommate, Steven, around the house until he hisses at me.

5. Cat nap. Repeat every twenty minutes.

6. Paw at the rubber plant in the living room until Mommy yells at me.

7. Watch the birds/squirrels/deer at the feeder in Mommy and Daddy’s backyard.

8. Paw at the bell hanging from the Christmas tree until Mommy yells at me.

9. Evening: repeat endless meowing until every human being in the house gives me my evening treats.

God bless Meredith. She manages to accomplish more in one day than her human staff can do in a whole week.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lively Quotes (Maybe)

Recently, I overheard someone say that the staff meetings with their supervisors were boring. I offered my two cents by suggesting that a dull meeting could be enlivened with a controversial quote by someone like, oh, say, Hitler. I don’t know why I chose him, but his was the first name to pop into my head.

Actually, I do know why I’m picking on Hitler. I can’t pass up the chance to demean his stupid, hypocritical, racist political philosophy. History has no choice but to consider him as one the most influential and notorious leaders of the 20th century. Still, he was a jerk.

I wouldn’t suggest any of his published quotes from Mein Kampf. Such material has proven to liven up meetings a bit too much, besides being too distracting for the meeting’s goal. Instead, I will offer the following short list of quotes Hitler could have said, but because we’re delving once more into historical theory, we have no way to prove that he actually said these things.

1. Careful Eva! Don’t be so rough with the family jewel.
2. Psst! Goebbels has a clubfoot. Pass it on!
3. Hey Leni! Photograph this!
4. Psst! Himmler is a jerk. Pass it on!
5. I thought about calling it the First Reich, then I tried the Second Reich. I don’t know. Third Reich has a certain ring to it. It just rolls off the tongue.
6. Psst! Mussolini’s feet stink! Pass it on!
7. My doctor wants to put me on a kosher diet. I don’t know...what do you think?
8. Psst! Hirohito talks funny! Pass it on!
9. Honest, Eva! There is nothing going on between Leni and me!

I realize that not everyone will know to what these quotes refer, but I’ll bet that any historian who reads this is laughing his/her butt off right now. Please feel free to use any of these quotes at your next staff meeting or cocktail party. Better yet, just ignore this list and we’ll all pretend that this blog entry never happened!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Tentative Schedule for the Summer 2008 Republican National Convention

An e-mail making the rounds of the Internet in recent months posted a supposed tentative schedule for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. It was satiric in nature and all but confirmed that Hillary Clinton would be “coronated” (their term) as President. Well, not to be outdone, we will now give equal time to the Republican National Convention.

9:00a – Opening Ceremony
Scheduled to appear: Ann Coulter dressed as Miss Liberty will use her torch to set Al Franken’s hair on fire

9:15a – Ceremonial Burning of the First Amendment

9:30a - Workshop: Hunting Down Liberal Lawyers for Fun and Profit, But Mostly for Fun by Vice President Dick Cheney

9:45a – Consecration in Stone of the Second Amendment

10:00a - Dividing a Nation: a video tribute to Karl Rove

10:30a - Ceremonial Burning of Amendments 3-10

11:30a – Workshop: Hunting Down Illegal Immigrants by conservative commentator Lou Dobbs

12:15p–1:30p Meal Break
Entertainment provided by Rudy Guiliani and his one-man show, “Il Duce: The Lighter Side of Benito Mussolini”

1:30p - Ceremonial Burning of the Constitution and all the other Amendments

1:45p–7:00p - Now showing on the convention Jumbotron, a marathon of “Law and Order” episodes featuring nominee Fred Thompson

7:00p–8:30p - Final tally of all delegations

8:30p - Acceptance of the nomination for President by Senator John McCain (live via satellite from the Barry M. Goldwater Home for Very Old Conservatives in Tucson, Arizona)

10:00p — Sacrificial burning of a typical liberal Democrat (hosted once again by the lovely, yet spiteful, Ann Coulter)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Uncle No and the Gift of Disappointment

Soon I will have to decide what to get my nephews for Christmas. They are past the age of most toys and have moved on to playstations and DVDs. I would love to get them books each year and encourage them to read. Unfortunately, one of them doesn’t care for books too much, and God forbid if you don’t give both boys something from the same gift category.

The oldest one has blonde hair like his father had at one time, and he is maturing nicely. The youngest one takes after his mother’s side of the family as far as looks go, and he is a very fussy eater. I am convinced that, if it weren’t for his parents prodding him to eat, that he would be the first American child to starve to death at a Thanksgiving dinner. Together they act like typical brothers, which means that it will be a miracle if they don’t kill each other before they reach adolescence.

Over the last few years, I have resorted to gift cards for their Christmas gifts. This way they are not disappointed with something that I have carefully selected, paid for, and wrapped. Okay, I can see them being upset at my wrapping job; it is one skill I have never fully mastered. As for the rest of the gift, they should be happy with what I give them.

Or perhaps I should go full circle in the other direction and give the gift of disappointment. After all, this is something they’ll encounter more often in their lifetime than happiness. They will need to learn to deal with it sooner of later. It would — as the old cliché that every grown-up has ever said — build character. We’re all familiar with character development. It’s that quality that allows us to accept the outcome of any situation whenever life takes a dump on us.

This would also fit in with my persona or how they perceive me. Their parents have seen to all of their needs – a house, food, clothing and toys. I, on the other hand, do not hesitate to use the word “no” whenever they ask me a favor. I wouldn’t be surprised if they call me “Uncle No” under their breath.

NEPHEWS: Uncle Todd, can we sit on your tractor?

ME: No!

NEPHEWS: Uncle Todd, can we jump off the stair landing in your living room?

ME: No!

NEPHEWS: Uncle Todd, can we go play in traffic?

ME:, yeah. Go ahead! (What the hell! You can’t say “no” all the time!)

Yes, I could wrap up a small box, present it to them, and watch their jaws drop when they find nothing inside the box but air. This won’t cost me a cent, except for the box and wrapping paper. I’m sure this would be a memorable Christmas moment that they will cherish all their lives, or at least when they recount it during endless hours of psychotherapy.

I can imagine them sitting on the therapist's couch now, telling how Uncle Todd gave them nothing but an empty box for Christmas. Then they would explain how they each kicked me in the shins and watch me collapse in pain, before they took turns rolling me around on their living room floor. This would be easy to do since I’m a bit on the roly-poly side. Yes, this would indeed be a big moment in the development of their characters. Best of all we’d get a chance to do some real bonding!

Perhaps I should give the gift card idea some more thought.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Shock Treatment

(Recently, Vice President Dick Cheney underwent a surgical procedure to correct a problem with his heart rhythm. The latest and most up-to-date methods were used to treat the Vice President. Or perhaps they used a method as detailed below in this account based on historical theory. The scene: a private recovery room in the surgical suite of a Washington DC hospital.)

NURSE: Wake up, Mr. Cheney. You should be coming out of the anesthesia now.

DOCTOR: Mr. Cheney? Let me listen to your heart. We’ll see if our treatment was a success. (After a pause.) Hmm...we may have to run more tests. I’ll go schedule those, but don’t worry. Just relax. Watch the television or read the newspaper while you wait for us. I’ll be back soon.

CHENEY: Thank you, doctor. Nurse, could you turn on the television to Fox News? They are the only ones I trust.

NURSE: Certainly!

CHENEY: Oh my God! I just wake up from surgery and the first thing I see on the TV is that bitch, Hillary! I can’t get away from...

NURSE: Is there something wrong, Mr. Cheney?

CHENEY: Yeah, something’s wrong. The crawl on the screen is identifying her as President Clinton! That can’t be right. Someone must’ve made a mistake at the network.

NURSE: Um, well, actually...

CHENEY: Turn that off! I’ll read the newspaper. Let me see...stock market up...oil prices down to $23 a barrel! That’s incredible! I should have George take credit for that!’s an article about...President Clinton! Again? Why are they calling her President? The Washington Times can’t be wrong about that...Nurse! How long was I under anesthesia?

NURSE: Just two hours, but didn’t they tell you?

CHENEY: Who? Tell me what? What are you talking about?

NURSE: Well, while you were under, the Democrats in Congress tricked President Bush into signing a bill making Hillary Clinton President for life.


NURSE: They told him he was signing a get well card for you.

CHENEY: That idiot! I told that nincompoop not to sign anything until I’ve read it first! Where are my clothes? I need to get out of here.

DOCTOR: Mr. Cheney, oh good! You’re fully awake. Let me listen to your chest again. (A pause.) Good, your heartbeat is as good as new. The procedure was a success!

CHENEY: Fine! Thanks, but I’ve got to get out of here! My country needs me! Hillary’s in charge.

DOCTOR: No, she isn’t.

CHENEY: She isn’t? But the newspaper...Fox News...

DOCTOR: All part of our shock treatment to get your heart beating properly again. We only put you to sleep long enough to feed that fake video into your TV and lay this fake newspaper on your nightstand.

CHENEY: So Hillary isn’t President? What about George?

DOCTOR: He’s safe. I believe that Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas are babysitting him in Annapolis.

CHENEY: So you convinced me that Hillary Clinton was president just to get my heart beating properly again? Wasn’t that a bit extreme?

DOCTOR: Perhaps. I’ll grant you it wasn’t as extreme as convincing an entire country that another country has weapons of mass destruction only to justify an invasion, but hey, it worked! The end justified the means! You can relate to that, can’t you?

CHENEY: Yes, I guess so. Thanks, doc! How soon can I leave?

DOCTOR: Oh, you can leave anytime you want. Just close your eyes, click your heels together three times, and say repeatedly, “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place...”