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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, June 24, 2016

May I Have Your Attention Please?

Dear World,

I’ve been looking around at things, oh more to the point, everything, (life, the world, but not necessarily the universe, etc.) and I have concluded that I don’t care for the direction we’re heading.  We have made great strides in the last eight years (just a coincidence that the strides coincide with the Obama’s terms in office), but now it seems that we’re about to take two steps back. To wit….

The overall mood in this country pushing a candidate with all style, zero substance, and no previous elected-to-high-or-any-other-office experience into international prominence.  His supporters believe that immigrants are the cause of all of our problems and he is more than happy to support/exploit their notions.  For them, the attack is on two fronts: from Mexico and the Islamic world. Today we wake up to find that a majority of British voters feel the same way about immigrants and have directed their leaders to leave the European Union.

In the words of W.C. Fields, “Godfrey Daniels!”

Once again, examples that, individually, we human beings have proven ourselves capable of great achievements. As a group, sometimes we can behave like morons.

We, in the largely Christian-dominated Western Culture, should pause and think how the ideals we are supposedly learning in our places of worship compare to the current thinking of turning our backs on our fellow mankind.  We learn once, but mind you only once a year, that we should extend good will to all men (and women).  Apparently, during the rest of the year, mankind is on its own.   Apologies to mankind from myself, but I wish I could feel that I am speaking for the rest of us.

Yes, Christianity, I am calling your bluff.

Many of the world’s immigrants are refugees from areas of the world which collapsed around them.  We should probably ask ourselves if we, or our leaders acting as our surrogates, did something to hasten the destruction of the immigrants’ lives.  

Oh no, not us!  I must be kidding!   What am I thinking!   We are not the problem!   It’s not our fault!  It’s the refugees fault!  How dare they be born in countries prone to instability!

Compassion, Christians, compassion!   We need to see more of this in our dealings with the rest of the world.   Do you actually think that us progressive-thinking people don’t have better things to do than pull the rest of your sorry asses away from the precipice of  disaster?   Newsflash:  we do have better things we want to do with our lives.

I will pause now to slap myself in the forehead.  Ouch!  Okay, I’ve done that annnnnnd…I see people are still acting stupid.

This overall movement away from unity and into isolationism all over the globe is alarming.  It appears that the United Kingdom leaving the European Union is just the first chapter of what promises to be a book of catastrophes.  Already the heads of the current British leadership have rolled, and markets are plunging worldwide. 

Happy Trails to 401k’s everywhere!

And we were so close to moving forward!

Again, to quote Fields, “Drat!”

With this spirit in mind, we will post a call for unity and togetherness.  Maybe it will do some good.

Or, as Warrior Queen philosophically noted this morning, “And the world keeps on turning!”
Stupid world!

(Thank you for reading.  And, oh yes, please have a nice day!)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dad’s Advice

The annual tribute to those who indirectly give us life has come and, as I am writing this, nearly gone. I don’t want to denigrate any observances.  Lord knows, men in western culture work very hard day in and day out for years all the while teaching their children the value of a strong work ethic. 

And how do those children repay his efforts?  Well, for a few years he most likely receives cardboard ties that the tykes made for an art project at the insistence of their school teachers.  Of course, kiddies, this was years before the Internet and were invented.  Why get elbow deep in an arts and crafts project when you can right click a website gift card?

Again I say I am not trying to take the wind out of this annual tribute to Dad.  It is just that, for me, the holiday is bittersweet since my father is no longer a phone call away. I can only celebrate Father’s Day with memories now.  One of those memories is Dad instilling in me the thought that, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  Most times I succeed, but many times it can be a challenge.

Obviously an endorsement of this philosophy precludes me from pursuing a career in politics, at least for this year.  Can anybody on the campaign trail say anything nice about anything or anyone?  That does not seem to be possible among any of the candidates this year.

Speaking of politics, let me throw in my two cents.  Some months ago, there was a tendency among some liberals to compare Donald Trump to Hitler.  I never thought much of this idea even as I consider myself to be a just slightly left of center liberal.   For one thing, the comparison would only embolden the neo-Nazis lurking among us in this country.  For another, any comparison of Hitler to the presumptive Republican nominee for President would not be fair to Hitler.  And seriously, who wants to be fair to Hitler?

Well, so much for not saying anything at all. Sorry, dad, but I tried! Sometimes being polite and satirical writing just don’t mix.

Then there was the bit of fatherly advice which I believe was passed down from his father, “Don’t date a girl from your hometown.”  This is one bit of advice which I had no problem following.  It’s not that I could not find any desirable date in my own town, but rather (I suspected) some sort of mass conspiracy on the part of the opposite sex.  For all I know every father on the east coast advised their daughters never date anyone named Todd.

Fortunately, Warrior Queen never got that memo or (if she did) she chose to ignore it.

So I have remembered my father today, and in fact I still think about him every day.  A Libra like me, he never gave himself enough credit for what he did accomplish in life.   He was very sensitive about not completing high school, dropping out to find work when his father had to retire due to an on-the-job injury. He would get a high school equivalent diploma years later, but I got the feeling that he still felt inferior to his peers. 
Yet he did do well, I think.  He taught a good set of values to my brother and I, worked hard all his life, and, oh yes, occasionally give us some good advice.

Thanks, Dad!

(Thank you for reading. Here’s hoping all fathers had a great Father’s Day this year!)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Trolls, Narcissists and Stupid People, Oh My!

Clerk:  May I help you, sir?

Moi: Yes, I am Todd, a searcher for a simple household item; I doth grace your business with my humble presence.

Clerk: Okay, sir, what…

Moi:  Yea, I have traveled far through the back roads near Philadelphia, through mud, through muck in my quest. I have encountered the midget intellectual trolls in GOP, hacked and slayed my way through their numbers, even as they bit and nibbled at my knee caps.

Clerk:  Umm, okay.

Moi:  Aye, annoying little buggers! Then I stumbled into the land of Trumpiana, where the natives are narcissistic, constantly checking their appearances, yet seemingly unaware that they had feces spewing from their mouths.  I sneered, I laughed, and I laid their arguments to waste.

Clerk:  Umm, ew?

Moi: Then I beheld my greatest foe: the masses with an ignorance so overwhelming, so…so unbelievably YUUUUUGE, that I nearly broke down and wept.  How, I asked myself, could such stupidity for the issues be allowed to take root and grow?   I paused for a moment, in my Don Quixotic sojourn, to reflect on this utter lack of intelligence in the land.

Clerk:  Umm…Fox News!

Moi:  Aye, that would be my best guess.  So I soldiered on, passing among them with my head held high, even as my hopes for a progressive society crashed and burned in the depths of my soul.   It is now that I find myself here, in front of you requesting a pack of…vacuum cleaner bags.

Clerk: Vacuum cleaner bags?

Moi: Style A, please.

Clerk:  Let me check in the back, sir.

(One Monty Python sketch pause later.)

Clerk:  I’m sorry, sir. We’re all out. They’re getting harder to find.

Moi: Yes, so I’m finding out. I dare say they are as scarce as intelligence in the American electorate. No matter.  Please don’t take my next action as personal, but I must have satisfaction and you have not fulfilled my request.

Clerk: What, sir?

And with a quick flick of my wrist and a press of my DELETE button, the sales clerk was no more.

(Thank you for reading. Seriously does any brick and mortar entity carry Style A vacuum cleaner bags?)

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

The Other Half of Muhammed Ali

I’ve never been a big boxing fan.  I am also rather ambivalent to poetry.  Yes, I can appreciate it, but the moment has to be right.  Otherwise I couldn’t be bothered.  That said I did not believe there was very much for me to have appreciated Muhammed Ali’s accomplishments over the years.

My bad.

Now, with his death last week, we can all take stock of his life and mourn his passing for what I now know is truly a magnificent loss for humanity.

I’m not an expert at the sport he rose to prominence.  I’ll let the sportscasters and columnists praise his technical skills in the ring, while I can only nod in agreement.  I’ll take their word for it, whatever.

His use of poetry may have come off as acts of arrogance, but it was a genius move.  Ali used the rhyming couplets to boost his stature, promote an event, and elevate the sport to the realm of entertainment for the masses beyond its core audience of cigar chomping men in rolled up long sleeves.  Even if you weren’t a fan, you could not miss his occasional performances in the spotlight in and outside of the ring.

His years as a boxer took up perhaps half his lifetime.   The other half outside the ring were spent quietly promoting civil rights and justice for all.

At the height of his boxing career, the then Cassius Clay came under the influence of Malcolm X, and converted to Islam.  He joined the Nation of Islam and adopted its racist attitudes towards the white society at large.  Eventually he, like Malcolm X, became disenchanted with the Nation (the Southern Poverty Law Center still lists the NOI as a hate group) and distanced himself from his earlier stance.  He did not convert back from Islam, instead embracing its principles to promote civil rights for all.

This is important to note at a time when a man who has vowed to keep a group out of the country because of their beliefs is poised to become leader of the free world.  Did anyone notice this idea: There are no reports that Ali participated in any acts of violence outside the ring.  In this way he seemed to blend in with the other Muslims in America; quietly going about their lives to prosper for themselves and their children.  He did not seek to destroy the lives of others in the name of Islam.  Take note fellow Americans; we should NOT allow the actions of a comparatively small minority influence our actions to the 1.5 billion adherents of a major world religion.

Ali’s passing at this point is therefore all the more tragic for humanity.   We need his voice now more than ever.  Yes, he could be cocky and arrogant, actions which lead me to turn away, but I understand why he spoke the way he did.  He spoke for a race that has long been abused by the majority establishment. 

His fists would jab and punch with speed and fury,  but his voice would speak softly with eloquence.  He could, as his most quoted couplet went, “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”  He could rise above the ferocity of everyday conflict, yet make his mark on humanity with a bite that was not rooted in hatred.

Eloquent indeed!

(Thank you for reading.  Rest in Peace, Mr. Ali.)

Saturday, June 04, 2016

A Message to Fellow Trump Opponents

This will be a short PSA to anyone out there like me who is appalled at the rise in popularity of that thing that is the presumptive Republican nominee.  There have been too many instances lately where liberals are acting negatively to those who support the thing.  Too many of my fellow forward-thinking citizens have lowered themselves to the depths of public behavior in which the thing’s supporters previously engaged, i.e., random acts of aggression.

We are better than this, liberals!  Therefore, please allow me to make the following suggestions when encountering a thing supporter. 
  • Resist the temptation to punch, kick, jab, snarl at, and throw objects or any other act which could be interpreted as violence towards a thing supporter.  Acts of aggression are counter-productive and can be used as a public relations weapon against us.
  • Exception to suggestion #1: Of course, defend yourself if the thing supporter punches, kicks, jabs etc., first.  Let their side take the hit in the national media venues.
  • DO listen patiently to their twisted points of view.
  • DO smile, walk away, and repeat this mantra, “There but for the grace of God go I.”
If the worst case scenario happens, and this sniveling, whiny excuse of humanity is elected, then we should look on the bright side. We’ll have four years to take our message to the streets.

(Thank you for reading.  In short: smile and wave!)