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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday Morning Post (V.1, #23): End of the Month (June 2019) Satire Clearance

At the G-20 Summit in Japan, the President mockingly berated Vladimir Putin for interfering in American elections.  The President wagged his finger at the Russian dictator and said, “Don’t meddle in our elections.”  Putin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laughed.

Well, that should show him!  Proof once again that America means business when it comes to foreign interference in our affairs.

Yeah right.  This administration is already planning on turning on its back, putting its paws in the air, and looking excitedly for Vladimir Putin to rub its belly.  Good dog, America, good dog!

I really want to report that the opening anecdote was the satirical part of the story, but it actually happened.  I must be getting old.  I remember when we had Presidents who took seriously the American democracy, they were charged with protecting. Sad!

Given our historical attitudes towards Russia, its successor the Soviet Union, and Russia again, I find my next comment most ironic and progressive political heresy:  where is Joseph McCarthy now that we need him?  He would be a good voice to hear now warning us about the dangers of cozying up to a dictatorship.

And another White House anecdote from the past month...

White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway was determined to have violated the Hatch Act, which limits federal government employees from engaging in certain political activities.  The President announced that he would not fire Conway or request her resignation.

It is now official: the Republican Party is no longer the party of law and order.  Any other President would have demanded a resignation.  Hell, any person with a modicum of integrity would have fallen on the sword and left government service voluntarily.

Yeah, I see the flaw in the logic of my last sentence.  What am I thinking?

Time to fire up the torches and take to the streets.  I say, “Lock her up! Lock her up!  Lock her…”  Huh?  Oh yes, that’s now a cliché.  Too bad.  Too sad.

Let’s go full pirate mode: “Arrgh!  Make the wench walk the plank!”

The President’s second White House Press Secretary in two years, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, finally left her position months after she said she was leaving.   Sanders was treated to a going away party and quoted as saying that she leaves her position at the White House with her head held high.

Note to self:  will need to research the New Testament to find the passage where Jesus said to the multitudes: “Be good to each other, treat everyone as you would want to be treated, and if you sin, deny, deny, deny!”

A going away party for the person who was the chief enabler for the Pathological-Liar-In-Chief?   WTF!

Arrgh!  Make this wench walk the plank, too!  Let’s have a double header!

(Thank you for reading.   Arrgh, arrgh, arrgh! And harrumph!)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Morning Post (V.1, #22) – Rocketman

Our hero enters dressed like some sort of winged demon one would find on a Jim Steinman album cover, plops himself down into his therapy session and does not waste time ticking off his Bohemian life style list of addictions: booze, drugs, sex, shopping (!), etc.

As he recounts his journey from child piano prodigy to teenage pub piano player to back up keyboardist for touring American musicians, Elton John’s costume falls apart as he peels away the mystery of how he got to be so screwed up.  First the horns are ripped off, the wings and sequins drop off and we are left with a robe clad angry artist, throwing chairs around and wondering aloud why alcohol is not served at therapy sessions.

Anger management?  Oh, right, that was checked off too. 

We learn that anger issues are one psychological badge the young Reginald Dwight has earned.  As a child, his mother is distant, and his father is seldom at home.  When Dad finally leaves for good, his emotionally starved son rightly grieves that Dad couldn’t even give him a good bye hug.  Dad will later get his second chance with another family of two boys to display physical acts of affection.  The by now superstar Elton witnesses this from his car and feels the bitter warmth of a tear trickle down his cheek.  It’s a heartbreaking image for everyone.

No matter!  Reg is now the record-breaking superstar of record sales and concert attendance.  His albums always soar to the top of the charts.  Love and that wonderful link to all human intimacy?  Bah!  Who needs it!  Elton John can cope with booze, drugs, and occasional episodes of that previously taboo intimacy of homosexual love.

Scenes of despair, debauchery, and one suicide attempt all seem to segue from Reg’s private struggle to another great - sometimes garish, but always guaranteed to top the previous - performance by Elton John.  All of those important in John’s life get a chance to shine:  mom, dad, grandmother, mom’s boyfriend and John’s stepfather, writing partner/brother from another mother Bernie Taupin, and John’s manager/lover all get a chance to tell each other what a pain in the arse they have been to everybody else.

That was a great session, everybody.  I think we made some real progress this week!

Of course, the stories of the rise and fall of music artists are so cliched by now (VH-1 documentary series Behind the Music anyone?) that it invites parody.  However, Rocketman is not your father’s Hollywood biography or even your father’s Hollywood musical.  It’s a very happy mash-up of both genres.  John’s psychological rise, fall, and redemption are told through the songs on which he and Taupin have collaborated down through the years. 

Everyone seems to join in singing Your Song, because, damn it, the sentiments in the music and lyrics are universal and touch everyone.  Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting chronicles teenage angst and rebellion in a high-energy, fast-moving celebration of life.  It’s easy to see why Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me  is a cry for help (but we always knew that) and why Goodbye Yellow Brick Road shows John and Taupin struggling to still believe in the fairy tale ending as they rise above their hard scrabble working class roots.   

The discofied Victim of Love introduces a sequence which chronicles John’s one attempt to find love in a heterosexual marriage.   We all know how this will end.  Bride and groom emerge from separate bedrooms and sit down at opposite ends of the breakfast table with tea on one side and booze on the other.

Cinematically, we’ve been here before: think back to Orson Welles and Ruth Warrick sitting down in the morning and reading rival newspapers in Citizen Kane.  The same tensions still rear their ugly heads after all these years. 

Rocketman shows John soaring (perhaps too fast and too soon) above the rest of us mere mortals to new heights of fame, fortune, and more fortune. I’m Still Standing is the ultimate anthem of triumph over our demons and beating back the bitch in each of us.  Yet, is it enough to beat back the bitch, or can redemption be found in the simple act of hugging the inner child we left behind?

Taron Egerton gives an energetic performance as John and matches John’s voice in recreations of his musical hits.  Jamie Bell (Taupin) and Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton’s mother also offer stand out performances.  Overall, everyone, from the uncredited extras to the dancers, give powerful and exuberant performances of Elton John’s music.

In the end, we have been mesmerized by his performances, inspired to face another day of our lives with the wonderful simple truths in his songs, and learned a lot about the man he is at home.

Rocketman deserves to be seen to celebrate the life and love each of us has found in Elton’s music over the years. The film has a happy ending in the tradition of Hollywood biographies and musicals.  The epilogue explains that John has been sober for 28 years, at peace with all but one of his addictions, finally found love in a happy marriage, and has actively raised millions for AIDS charities.   If only he could shake that shopping monkey off his back… 

(Thank you for reading.  This one is dedicated to the memory of Janey, another beautiful human being who left us too soon.  Have a Heinekin with Mary on me!)

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday Morning Post (V.1, #21) - Selling America

Dear Despot Dictators of the World:

Have you ever wanted to lead a world-class democracy which has a proven track record of influencing justice and security for all nations and cultures throughout the world?  Now you have a chance to do just that!

The 2020 Campaign for US President could be realization of your long-sought dream of near total global control.   The current administration is making this incredible offer available to all world leaders with narcissistic ambitions.  You can be part of the team that puts the current administration back in power for another four years.

Did we say four years?   Why limit ourselves to archaic traditions of democracy?  With an amendment to the American Constitution, a great favored leader could rule the US for a lifetime.

But, first things first.  We must secure control of the United States before we move on to our other ambitions.

It is a very simple thing for you to help us keep this control.  Just send us any information you may have on any of the President’s political enemies and especially any information on the 200 or so people who have started their campaigns to unseat your favorite President.   

We will use this information to denigrate/despoil/trash them in front of the American electorate via social media, political debates and any and all other forums available to us for the purposes of winning the White House again.

Keep in mind this idea: dirt works.  The dirtier and sleazier information the better.  Have a photo of Bernie Sanders shaking hands with Leon Trotsky?  Send it to us.  Have documentation that Elizabeth Warren aided and abetted the Sioux nation at the Battle of Little Big Horn?  Mail it to us c/o Txxxp Tower.   Have you got information linking Joe Biden to the Molly Maguires?  E-mail it to us c/o “Junior.”  He’ll get it.

Hurry!  Don’t delay!   This is a huge opportunity which should not be passed up. *

Also remember: the less the FBI knows, the better.

Sincerely, your favorite king of the world

*This offer is not valid in Mexico, Canada, any Central American countries dumping their caravans on us, and all the other loser shithole countries.  You know who you are.

(Thank you for reading.  I shouldn’t have to emphasize that the above is a work of satire.   That’s satire, satire, satire!)