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, May 29, 2021

 Saturday Morning Post:  To My Dearest Friend

It seemed like it took me an entire lifetime to find you.  Now you have left me after 30 years of love, of friendship, of everything that makes life here so beautiful and wonderful.

Our human eyes and mind tell me that I will not see you again in this lifetime.  As you were wont to say "F DAT."  I hasten to add that I am still seeing you in everything I am doing and everywhere I am going.

Your blogging buddies are gathering today in shock, sadness,  and the fondness of memories of having known you.  True, many never got the chance to meet you face-to-face.  Still they were able to feel and share the warmness in your heart and the fiestiness in your spirit. 

Today I hope those friends which I will list in no particular order, Spo, Fearsome Beard, Breenlantern, Bob and so many others will take comfort in this Richard Bach quote:

"Don't be dismayed at good-byes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.

And meeting again after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."

Anne Marie,  until the day we meet again..,.

Love Always,  Todd

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sunday Morning Post (V.3, #21) - Selective Censorship

My morning routine includes a 25-minute ride on my stationary bicycle.  The time goes by quickly provided I find something interesting to watch on the television. Five to six days out of the week I can switch back and forth between the morning news broadcasts and whatever Turner Classic Movies is showing at the time.  This weekend I wandered one or two channels above on my dial to look in on American Movie Classics.  Both TCM and AMC started out as a no-commercial interruption movie channel in the 90s, but AMC gave up that pretext years ago.   They are now no better than the hundred or so other cable movie channels in America.

This weekend they showed (between commercials for the latest prescriptions for whatever ails us this week) Blazing Saddles.  As we may remember, this was the Mel Brooks parody of the western genre.  We also remember that this was the Mel Brooks film which used the n-word and other racial epithets ad nauseam in a bid to belittle racism.  The language was no problem when it was first released in 1974.  The handy-dandy ratings system (G, PG, R and X) assigned one of these letters to the film which in turn would allow adults to figure out if they could allow little Johnny and little Susie go to the picture show without a chaperone. If memory serves me correctly, Blazing Saddles was given an R rating (Restricted unless accompanied by an adult.) 

Broadcast on television, the language becomes problematic.  The stations which have aired the film over the years have not, to my knowledge, ever sacrificed community standards when airing the film.  They have simply cut any dialogue, words or even parts of a word, and hope no one notices that the actor’s mouth is moving a certain way, but the sound doesn’t come out.  Awkward yes, but overall, the film remains intact.

I did not catch the entire film this weekend, coming in the middle where the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) single-handedly shoots guns out of the hands of the bad guys while perched on their horses.  I did see enough to pay attention to the dialogue.  The n-word, of course, was cut whenever it was spoken, but the exclusion and inclusion of other epithets was curious.  Okay, you cut the colloquial “twat” from Hedley Lamarr’s dismissal of Lili Von Shtupp “you Teutonic twat!”  Yet a few moments later, you allow the term “bull dyke” to be heard? Then later there is Dom Deluise’s line “Watch me, faggots!” heard in living color. Pondering this inconsistency makes one realize that the notion of censorship can be arbitrary.*

After all, beauty and its twin ugly is in the eyes of the beholder.

Make no mistake, society now knows, or society should now know, that usage of these terms in everyday life is unacceptable.  Perhaps this realization started with the release of Blazing Saddles and the widespread acceptance of modern political correctness.  We can never say for sure.

Or are these inclusions/exclusions more telling of society now than in 1974?  Are we now to believe that there are varying levels of intolerance that are still acceptable?  Bigotry towards skin color is totally unacceptable, but do we still get a pass on prejudice towards the gay community as one example?  Is the American WASP culture still that clueless?   Are we still that bad?

Wait, I already know the answer.  This past week, Pennsylvania voters actually approved an amendment to the state constitution outlawing prejudice towards minorities.  I thought William Penn would have outlawed that on day one (1682).  At the national level this past week, President Biden signed an anti-Asian hate crime bill into law.

Yes, apparently, we are still that bad.

(Thank you for reading.  Remember, “Never Give a Saga an Even Break!”)

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sunday Morning Post (V.3, #20) - Happy Trails, GOP

We gather today to give a not-so-fond farewell to the Republican Party.  Many of us have seen their demise coming for several years, but their actions last week were more than just a gentle, not-so-subtle, push towards oblivion.  Oh hell, let’s call it for it was: political suicide.

Last week House Representative Liz Cheney — daughter of ex-Vice President Darth Chaney — was ousted from her third-most-powerful Republican leadership position in Congress.  Her crime?  Using campaign funds for personal use?  No.  Soliciting physical favors from underaged persons?  Oh no.  Swapping quid pro quo favors with a foreign power?  Oh hell no.  Nothing so mundane as these old sins which used to guarantee a politician’s early forced retirement.

No, Cheney’s crime — as possibly the most conservative voice in Congress in recent memory — was to speak out against ex-President #45.  Imagine supporting the monster 93% of the time and finding that is not enough to guarantee a solid place in the political hierarchy.  What nerve!  That’s gratitude for you!

Make no mistake about my sympathies: in normal times I am not a big fan of Liz Cheney’s attitude towards governing.  In the old days, I would have joined the villagers with a torch to burn her at the stake.  After all, I still have my liberal bona fides to think about.  However, these are not normal times. Cheney has recognized that her past actions are for naught if the whole ship of democracy disappears under the waves of lies and confusion.

Cheney and a handful of other similarly disenchanted Republicans are vowing to fight the cult which has become the Republican Party.  I hope that the rebels can gather enough support (i.e., money) to mount some sort of meaningful opposition in the next two election cycles.  I write that, yet know that this is hope against hope.  Most likely it will be more than four years before the movement takes hold at the national level.

For now, I am optimistic that those believers in small government and fiscal conservatism will find their voice in whatever the new group decides to call themselves.  I have never been and won’t be a fan of such ideology, but these folks do deserve a place in a free and fair democracy.

In the meantime, we will look the other way and hope the best for Liz Cheney. I realize that this attitude is no better than the MAGA-hatted evangelicals who look away from #45’s past, but it would not be politics if it were not for strange bedfellows.

We close our service today with a hymn from the old West.

And don’t come back!

(Thank you for reading.  RIP GOP, 1854ish to 2021[?]).

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Sunday Morning Post (V.3, #19) – Why Own A Liberal?

These are surreal, I dare say, insane times in which we are living.  On one side of the aisle, we definitely have Progressives trying desperately to move our country forward.  On the other side of the aisle, there are those who decry that the Progressives are not reaching out to them to solve the nation’s problems.  They say this out of one side of the mouth, while from the other side emerges vows to resist everything Progressives want to accomplish.

Ordinarily it would be too easy to walk away, but these people are our fellow citizens.  We have to live with them.  We have no choice.

It appears that the other side wants pretty much the same things Progressives want, but then they vow to “own a lib”.  I don’t know why they want to do such a thing.  Correctly used, it is taking a political or public action designed to outrage Progressives and raise our blood pressures.  If we take the term literally, as in actually purchasing a liberal for purposes of sole ownership, then we need to have a talk.

For one thing it is illegal to actually own another human being in the United States.  I’m quite sure that was the intention of the 14th Amendment, even though the original impetus was to elevate once and for all previously enslaved human beings to full citizenship status.  That amendment was ratified in 1868, and this society is still trying to achieve that goal. 

What can we say?  We are slow learners when it comes to treating each other with respect and dignity. 

So, why would conservatives want to own a lib?  Considering that ownership would be a bad investment and a waste of time.  For one thing, where would you keep us?  We won’t stand for being chained up in the backyard with Fido, nor will you be able to keep us in a rabbit’s hutch.  Needless to say, we definitely will not go along with the old Nazi German procedure of shipping us out of your sight.

Oh, and whatever will you feed us?  You probably have all liberals stereotyped as “hippie vegans”.  This is patently not true.  Many of us subsist on a meat and potato diet and, surprise, surprise, many of us possess blue collar sensibilities.

I know, this revelation is shocking, but true.  So you can forget about feeding us tofu from the get go.

Regardless of where you house us and how you feed us, it is a given that you will tire of us very quickly.  For one thing, we liberals tend to whine a lot.  We can be heard saying things like, “How can we help the poor?”; “How can we save our wildlife and the environment?”; “How can we help the immigrants coming to us for sanctuary?”  Asking questions like this constantly gets us pegged as “bleeding hearts”.

Many liberals pride themselves on being bleeding hearts. So you can stop taunting us with this label.  We know what we are and we know what we want to do to improve everyone’s life.

Own a lib?  Come on, can’t you think of better things to do with your political ideology?

(Thank you for reading!  Happy Mother’s Day!)