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

My Photo
Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Short Christmas Message

I must be honest and admit that this year it’s been harder than ever for me to “get into the holiday spirit”.  Naturally, I’m going through the motions of celebrating the day.  Despite my inner Scrooge/Grinch clawing its way out of my innermost psyche, I’m trying my best to enjoy the day. 
Yet, who can blame me for my mood?  Our country has created a humanitarian crisis along its southern border against refugees escaping conditions that are clearly beyond our middle-class American imagination.  For the life of me, I cannot picture Jesus lobbing tear gas at small children.  Because of this and other crises created by the current American leadership, I don’t believe that this Christian nation celebrating their Savior’s birth is deserving of the said Savior’s blessings, not this year at least.

So, I will try to think positive things as another part of the holiday season calls for the spirit of hope to imbue within ourselves. Our local newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, helped out nicely this morning with the publication of “The Work of Christmas” by a theologian, Howard Thurman:

When the song of the angels is stilled
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the Kings and Princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins,
to find the lost
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.

Now I’m feeling better.


(Thank you for reading.)

Saturday, December 22, 2018


So many government crises, so little time.   Where does one start?

We are now hours away from the third government shut down this year because President Crybaby insists that the new government spending resolution include a provision to fund HIS wall with American taxpayer (our) money.  This after the President changed his mind what seemed like a few hundred times in the last few days from he will own the government shutdown to “we’ll let the government remain open” to “Democrats will be blamed for the shutdown” to “I want my wall.”

(EDITORIAL UPDATE:  Good morning, campers!  The shutdown is on!  Now what do we name it?  Oh, how about naming it after the radio host twits who goaded the President to take a hard-line stance on his wall.  We declare the government shutdown of 12/22/18 to be called the Coulter-Limbaugh Shutdown! (Congratulations, twits!)

Or should we dwell a few moments on the fact that the only mature individual left in the Oval Office, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, has resigned because he can’t work with the President.   Republicans in Congress have played along with the President for the last two years because they understood that someone with, let’s call them “mature tendencies”, was near the President in the Oval Office.  Mattis and a few others had a reputation of reining in the President’s impulsive behavior.

Well, no more.  The adult has left the building and the President has now been left home alone.

Mattis' resignation has been regarded with dread in capitals all over the world.  Now even senior Republican members of Congress (notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) are expressing concern about the President’s behavior.

Really, Republican members of Congress?  NOW you’re worried?

I know I’ve gone to this well before, but somehow the ending to Dr. Strangelove is once again appropriate for the occasion.  This time I will suggest that the last line be changed from “Mein Fuhrer!  I can walk!”  to “What do you mean Mattis has left the building?” Once again, please enjoy and sing along with Vera Lynn if you so desire; here's our tribute to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis: 

*Or Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Love the Bomb

(Thank you for reading, listening, and singing.  Seriously, can someone talk Mattis into staying?)

Monday, December 10, 2018

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” - A Teachable Moment

In recent years, several radio stations around the country have bowed to the pressure of the #MeToo movement to ban the Oscar winning Christmas season song Baby It’s Cold Outside from their play lists during the holiday season.  While these actions are well-intentioned, they can also be counter-productive.

First, some back story about the song composed by Frank Loesser in 1944.  Loesser and his wife Lynn Garland would sing this song at parties when entertaining, or an act was expected from all of the party guests.  It was the couple’s exclusive party bit for years until Loesser sold the rights to MGM, who included the song in their Esther Williams musical Neptune’s Daughter in 1949.  From that point on, it has been covered numerous times by a number of singing duos.

It was more innocent in the context of the time it was written: the artistic and destructive crucible of World War Two.  This was a time when many couples were separated by the global conflict: the woman were at home keeping the (stereotypical) “home fires burning” and working in the factories, while their men were off risking all in the fight against bigotry and intolerance.  The idea that these people could be on the same continent, let alone in a cozy room protected from the elements, could have been a very heart-warming antidote to the misery and loneliness of fighting a war.

Sadly, the song was not recorded in time to have this effect on the fighting heroes and heroines of the Greatest Generation. Still, we can only imagine the effect on morale it could have had if it had been recorded and rushed into mass production like The Christmas Song and I’ll Be Home for Christmas.

Until a few years ago, the song was always seen as a cute, possibly risqué, work of art about a flirting couple debating the merits of the woman going home in a freezing blizzard.  The man invites her to stay and because the narrative ends just when the woman consents to staying (let’s repeat this part boldly, consents to staying) it is left to the listening audience and their discerning minds to imagine what happens next.  We can only conclude that since many people in the audience are now thinking that it’s about date rape that we in the audience are a dirty-minded lot.

The fellow in the song could have bowed to the strict moral code of the times, gave up his bed for the night for the woman’s comfort while he slept on the couch.  I would argue that this is entirely plausible outcome which is, once again, left to the imaginations of the receiving audience.  Regardless if the outcome did turn out to be this innocent, the woman in the song does raise a valid point: the neighbors will still talk.

I reiterate that the song is a work of art subject to wide interpretation of its meaning like all other works of art. We shouldn’t have to say this but perhaps we do: Baby It’s Cold Outside did not invent the idea of using chemicals to seduce a lover.  This idea has been around I dare say for at least a millennium or two, or possibly three.  In that time, many of us of the male gender have for the most part behaved like and conducted ourselves as perfect gentlemen.  While other times, we have allowed our hormones to conquer our logic and sense of right/wrong and behaved like absolute pigs. 

Now it appears that the proponents of the #MeToo movement believe that banning this song will put to rest these animalistic tendencies forever.  Sorry, this is unlikely to happen.  Reality must seem so inconvenient for the naïve among us.

Banning the song would be much like denying our history.  Now don’t make me play the “If-you-don’t-know-your-history-then-you’re-doomed-to-repeat-it” card. This is not just a tenet of the history discipline; it’s common sense.  If one makes a mistake that hurts others, and doesn’t realize that he has hurt others, then he is most likely to do the same action over and over again, and hurting more and more people each time he repeats this same action.

Date rape is a very serious problem and has hurt a lot of people.  It deserves to be talked about so that more people are aware of the gravity of this act.  Hopefully, it would happen less and less as time goes on, and also hopefully it would happen regardless if this song and our attendant history are swept under our cultural carpet as if the problem doesn’t exist.

The song, if you choose to interpret it as recipe for committing sexual assault (and it is your choice to interpret it as such), then it can be used as a teachable moment of morality. 

Granted that this should not have to be taught, but judging from the many Weinsteins, Cosbys, and Ailes of the world, it is clearly not understood as being wrong by everyone.  In any event, banning the song is tantamount to pretending that the problem doesn’t exist.

(Thank you for reading. Nothing humorous to read here. Move along.)