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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Return of Snort Bites (January 2015)


Well, he’s credited with inventing the television mainstay, but who can argue with his longevity? A contemporary of Ed Sullivan, his show began televising in 1950. For the next 43 years, he held court interviewing established entertainers, up and coming acts, and acts seeking to launch their comeback. The latter inspired a scene in Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose. Then, in the 22 years since his television show ended, he continued broadcasting a show on Bloomberg Radio.

Insomniacs in the New York metro area (or, in my case, the cable system in Bloomsburg PA) could always count on Franklin to entertain them at the obscenely early hour of 1:00a. Other times his show would be broadcast at 9:30a. The sound of his theme (12th StreetRag) and a fast paced image procession of past show business icons (among them Laurel and Hardy; I don’t know if they were ever interviewed by Franklin) heralded another installment of The Joe Franklin Show. Click on the SFW linky!

The episodes were always entertaining even on an occasional slow night when he would bring out the show’s photo album, and reminisce about past show guests who “are no longer with us”.  Then there was the bizarre interview with “Weird Al” Yankovic when he recreated his favorite snack. For the record, it is a slice of pepperoni pizza topped with whipped cream and a jelly bean garnish. (He had me until he got to the jelly beans!) We should probably consider this normal for an entertainer who incorporates the word weird into his name, but otherwise it was a classic Joe Franklin moment.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Franklin.


Okay, this headline is not news to the liberal media, but her rambling speech at an Iowa gathering of Republican 2016 hopefuls left her fans troubled and Democrats rejoicing. In that spirit, I want to thank my fellow American voters for their courageous insight in 2008 when they did not vote for her ticket. Thank you, America.

Meanwhile, back in Iowa, Palin lambasted big government (at least I think that was the gist of her speech) and the status quo; her colorful definition of the government riding the backs of the common man raised the specter of political activist pioneer Saul Allinsky (even I had to Google Saul Allinsky); and she pointed three fingers of j’accuse at the liberals. The most incredible part:   Palin got a standing ovation for this bizarre attempt at persuasion.

Oh, Iowa! I feel so bad for you now.

Palin’s performance was later blamed on a malfunctioning teleprompter. If that is true, then let me pause to express my gratitude for this latest failure in modern technology. Thank you, malfunctioning teleprompter!

I believe Forrest Gump said it best, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

(Thank you for reading. Seriously, Iowa, I know you feed the nation and all that, but what is your deal?)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Commercial Break

I have had many opportunities lately to watch television while spending time with Oreo. She snuggles up against me on the sofa while I pet her and tell her sweet nothings. I tell her how pretty she is, that she has pretty markings and that I adore her as much as she adores me. Then she tires of all this affections, and flicks a quick clawed paw at my hand or tries to bite that hand that does literally feed and adore her. Then she runs off to do something else, usually at my loud knee-jerk reaction suggestion. 

In any case, the time spent with Oreo has allowed me to catch up on a few commercials. One that has leaped out at me and stuck in my memory is for the video product Game of War Age of Fire. The setting I believe is some desolate acreage somewhere on the planet, say the Scottish highlands or a remote stretch of Iceland. A group of medieval warriors, perhaps a Viking or two, are gathered in a circle staring at the ground. 

A well packed warrior princess (I later found out is played by Kate Upton) walks around them, casts some seeds on the ground in front of them, and they watch as the seeds grow into a series of live action tableaux from the title video game. The tableaux show the beginning of a settlement, to a fort being built to repel a mass of marauders rushing towards the settlement, to a walled city springing up just as the marauders reach the settlement. An empire is born and sustained!

This group of men watches the action in front of them intently while the princess taunts them about empires and heroism. I am struck by the incredible reaction of these warriors:  they continue to stare at the ground in front of them and they barely acknowledge her presence. In other words, they do nothing.

They do nothing to…



…express their most basic carnal desires on a woman who has (as Janey was wont to say in the day) breasts for days.

First and obvious impression*: the men are gay or otherwise disinclined to sexually partake of this woman’s bounty. Okay, there’s nothing wrong with this, but it would explain a lot.

Second impression: they are eunuchs. Again, no problem; but would eunuchs muster up enough mojo to contemplate world conquest and empire building? Frankly, I have my doubts.

Third impression: their priorities are screwed up!

Guys, what is wrong with you? Ambition for material success is admirable, but this woman is presenting her wonderful rack and doing everything except yelling “Take me!”, and you stand there obsessed with what?

A video game?

Somewhere even Beavis and Butthead must be scratching their heads!

(Thank you for reading. Hee, hee, hee! I said heads!)

*As suggested by none other than Warrior Queen

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Doldrums Season – 2015

Winter. No snow to complain about and the temperatures have been mild. So why am I feeling so blah?

Warrior Queen attributes her moodiness to seasonal affective disorder. Actually I didn’t realize bitchiness had a season. Perhaps that is what is affecting me, but how should I know. Moodiness is part of my everyday demeanor.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Warrior Queen.

We are now in the great annual sports drought, for those of us who follow baseball and only baseball. The Eagles season ended about a month ago and both the Sixers and Flyers are having losing seasons. The thought of the approaching baseball season has Warrior Queen happily counting the days, hours and minutes.

For those of you playing along at home, the Philadelphia Phillies season will start in 28 days, 23 hours and 45 minutes.

While I can appreciate Warrior Queen’s enthusiasm for the upcoming baseball season, I can’t help noticing that her counting down just seems to slow the winter doldrums season even more.

28 days, 23 hours and 40 minutes. See what I mean?

Okay, truth be told my mood is not solely home based. I cannot keep up with my case load at work no matter what I do. I could do small token actions on each case just to satisfy management’s daily goals, but many times that would mean just kicking the case down the road for another day, while not actually accomplishing anything to resolve the client’s issues. And where does that leave you? A pile of cases blocking the road!

Fortunately, the national political scene is rife with conflict and, therefore, an ideal garden for blog inspiration and fodder. The story so far…President Obama has flexed political muscle no one knew he possessed, issued a series of executive orders on immigration, raising wages, sanctions against North Korea, and so on. This is the President’s way to tell Congress: “Eff you, eff you, eff you!”

To which Congress has responded “Executive over reach, constitutional over reach and overriding veto.” Or, roughly translated, “Eff you, eff you, eff you, Mr. President!”

So nice to see these two branches of government getting along as well as ever; in other words, not well at all.

Gee, I’m feeling more cheerful already...

(Thank you for reading! That’s 28 days, 23…oh, forget it!)

Friday, January 09, 2015

Ninth Blogiversary

Arteejee was started nine years ago today. In that time, and in entries yet to happen, I hope and am hoping that I’ve contributed and continue to contribute something to the great public debate on the World Wide Web. Even if my contributions are satirical in nature, I never mean to hurt or injure. After all, I am a Libra, super sensitive and all that.

Unfortunately, this was not the best week for satire. The 114th Congress started and so far there has not been that much satire ready material to be had from them. To wit…

Congress has been back to work for nearly a week now and I’m already disappointed. On Monday they…oh, wait, Congress was not in session on Monday. On Tuesday, they…oh wait, they didn’t report to work until noon on Tuesday. Okay so they’ve worked nearly four days and…YOU PEOPLE CALL THIS A WORK WEEK?

In any case, the new conservative majorities have vowed to show the country that they can govern. And they’ve done that by re-electing the leadership (John Boehner) who has proven incapable of keeping his side in one piece, let alone reach out to the other side of the aisle.  

Ready to govern? Yeah, good luck with that.

The new Congress has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). So it’s Friday, and after one week Obamacare lives!

They vowed to vote for the Keystone XL pipeline. Well, the vote happened, so where’s the pipeline? These guys can’t do anything right!

Then, in France, several radical Islamists assassinated 12 cartoonists, editors and journalists at the French satire publication Charlie Lebdo earlier this week. As I write this, the police believe they have surrounded the killers in a small French town. I have the feeling that this already bad situation will get worse before it’s over.  (UPDATE: it did).

The Charlie Lebdo killings have galvanized champions of free speech here and abroad to decry these violent acts. Once again, the entire Muslim world is overshadowed by suspicions of intolerance. Fortunately, the attacks have been condemned by Muslim leaders throughout the world. They know that incidents like these killings are bad for business. Indeed, three French mosques were attacked within a day of the murders.

From an early age, Americans are instilled with the concept that the pen is mightier than the sword. The religious extremists - and I will include our domestic Christian terrorists who were bombing women’s clinics about a decade ago - seem to believe that the sword can be a handy tool to make their point. So now, society at large is charged with the task to prove these extremist bastards wrong.

Oh, sorry if my use of the word bastards is offensive to you extremists. After all I don’t mean to hurt or injure, but I do mean to help SQUASH INTOLERANCE.

The extremists will be proven wrong, even if we have a feckless Congress, which can’t seem to legislate anything to save their own lives.

(Thank you for reading, Je suis Charlie!)

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Let’s All Go to the Vet!

Today was supposed to be a day of no plans and otherwise a day to accomplish nothing. Well, there was perhaps a trip to Aldi tentatively planned, and perhaps a cleaning of the bathtub, a letter to write to a friend, and oh yes, maybe a blog entry if the muses so divined, but none of this was set in stone.
Alas, our oldest cat Nyla had other ideas.

Overnight, she jumped up on my bed, meowed, and curled up next to me. This is not altogether unusual, except for the timing. This is her routine: to wake me up at 5a every morning to let me know that she is hungry, and damn it, it’s breakfast time. Last night, she came in much earlier than usual. When she meowed, I believed she was just telling me Hello when actually she was saying Daddy, my tummy hurts and I just threw up in the dining room.

Isn’t it amazing how much information is conveyed in a simple Meow?

Naturally, I rolled over and resumed my sleep, having translated the meaning of the meow so horribly wrong. A few hours later and my usual alarm clock was nowhere to be found. As is my normal routine, I made my way down the dark staircase to the kitchen where I expected to find Nyla stretched out in the middle of the room. This morning was different: no Nyla.

I gave Gigi her portion of the can of chicken, opened the basement door just wide enough to slip Oreo her portion of the can, then set out to find Nyla. I had asked Gigi where her sister was, but Gigi did not meow a peep.
I searched in the usual Nyla hiding spots - the kitchen chair tucked under the table; an orange IAMS pup tent in the living room; the chair situated at the computer desk - but no Nyla. A trip back upstairs to see if she was still sleeping in Warrior Queen’s bedroom, but I did not have to go that far. I finally found her, curled up in a bed in the middle of the hall. I had walked right by her when I went downstairs and didn’t realize it. Remember this happened at 6a on a winter’s morning.

Okay, she was resting, but this was unusual for her. She is always chomping down on her breakfast at this time of the morning. I tried to coax her downstairs where her breakfast awaited her, but she would not move. By this time, Warrior Queen was up and now she was concerned.

We tried a few things to get Nyla out of her lethargy during the next hour. Nyla likes to sit with me on our La-z-Boy© recliner. I sat down, got the chair in position so Nyla could jump up to lay down on the foot rest. This morning she walked over to the chair, but would not jump up. I opened a can of tuna and offered her the tuna water (her favorite treat) from the can. Nyla watched me put the custard cup of water on the floor, but ignored it.

At this point, websites were consulted, a phone number found for an emergency veterinary clinic, and Warrior Queen made the call. Within an hour, Nyla was inside a cat carrier and being transported to the far side of town. Nyla protested the entire time; apparently she dislikes car rides, and made sure we knew it.

Nyla: Meow! Meow! Meow! Meoooowwwww!

Translation: I don’t like this! Let me out! Let me out! Are we there yet?

Naturally we responded with tones reserved for soothing our ill and by now neurotic kitty.

The remainder of our Sunday morning was spent at the clinic, where Nyla racked up a few medical expenses: doctor visit ($130), blood work ($250), and x-rays (another $250). Warrior Queen reported to the doctor that Nyla had a few stinky poops in her box the night before, accompanied by a loud attack of flatulence. We slipped out for a quick breakfast while Nyla endured the indignity of a needle to draw her blood and then posed for a few pictures without allowing her to primp and preen her fur for the camera. 

We returned and after a short wait we were called back to the exam room to review the test results. All the blood work was negative: no infections or inflammations. The x-rays also looked normal, save for a dark blob in the middle. The doctor pointed out Nyla’s stomach (empty because she had yet to eat this day); her liver (normal); and the dark blob was gas filling up her colon. Good news, but a long way to come to find out that Nyla only had an upset stomach. The doctor recommended some anti-nausea medicine which we could take home and administer squirted into the mouth.

Relieved, we brought our girl home in another uneventful (for us) and stressful (for her) ride home.

Nyla: Meow! Meow! Meow! Meowwwwwww!

Translation: Are we home yet? Are we home yet? Are we home yet?

Once home and out of the carrier, Nyla made a bee line for her food dish and quickly made up for lost time. Since then she has rested, curled up with me in the recliner, and drank all her tuna water. 

Stomach ache indeed!

Personal note to a certain local animal shelter who insisted last year that Warrior Queen and I do not take proper care of our cats when they get sick: YO KITTY COTTAGE!  WE TOOK OUR CAT TO THE VET TODAY DESPITE WHAT YOU THINK. DOCTOR’S RECEIPT AND MEDICAL NOTES ARE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR INSPECTION UPON REQUEST. BTW – NYAH! NYAH! NYAH!

(Thank you for reading. Nyla says, “Meow!”)