POST #528: Random Observations
|That Old Gang of Mine|
1. The Demented Duck
I don't know the name of the nitwit who writes the Mallard Fillmore strip, but I've been reading it with no small amount of amusement for many years. Last week's series was indeed eye-opening. This fool was taking note of the fiftieth anniversary of President Johnson's War on Poverty. He was gloating over the fact that it has failed - and it cannot be denied that it has indeed failed. What he conveniently failed to mention was that - for many years - we were on the road to winning that war. Then, in 1980, something incredible happened: The American people foolishly came to the mass conclusion that sending a feeble-minded, failed "B" movie actor to the White House would be a really neat idea. The result was tax cuts for a class of people who already had more money than they could possibly spend in three lifetimes. We are now experiencing an income gap not seen since the Gilded Age. Go back to sleep, Mallard.
2. Electoral Freebasing
As they never tire of reminding us, two years is a lifetime in politics. That may be the case, but it's hard not to imagine Rand Paul as the GOP nominee in 2016. Something that weird would be the final nail in the coffin of a party hellbent on suicide. There are no more moderates. They've all been driven away by the mindless extremism of a relatively small group of people who have lost their marbles. Between now and then we can expect an exodus of voters disassociating themselves from the Republicans. This is too good to be true.
3. Sid Caesar 1922-2014
I remember my father telling me that, back in the Fabulous Fifties, your Saturday night did not begin until his program, Your Show of Shows, was over. Dear old Dad was just wild about Sid. So was I. And when one considers the writers he had on that program: Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart - to name merely a handful - is extraordinary in itself. More-than-one of these guys have said that the words they wrote for him never looked so funny in the printed script. It was only when Sid performed the material that the magic would happen.
He was the last of the great comedians of the twentieth century. They're all gone now - all of them. And the tragedy is that too many people born after his heyday have no idea who he was. Even my generation, now in our mid-fifties, remember him primarily as the coach in the film, Grease. Pity. If you're unaware of the phenomenon that was Sid Caesar, I suggest you look him up on YouTube. The guy was a brilliant.
And to think that he would leave this world on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Dad's passing. Life may be funny, but the Great Beyond is even funnier tonight.
4. MEMO TO THE CHRISTIE 2016 CAMPAIGN:
It's over. Strike the tents; pack up the bus; pay the piper, and lock the doors. The fat lady has sung. The cows have come home. Any chance the Man from Jersey had to be the 2016 standard-bearer (and it was never a good one) has been obliterated by the reckless stupidity of his staff - and possibly even the governor himself. Like the old song says: "The party's over. It's all over, my friends."
5. Desperately Missing Teddy
The Lion of the Senate sleeps tonight. He's gone and he's not coming back. It's almost five years now since Ted Kennedy shuffled off this mortal coil. That the United States Senate is a drearier place without him is beyond argument. Thank God for people like Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren. But for those two I would have tossed to the wind all hope for the Democratic party years ago. Harry Reid is a very nice man, but he is no leader; in fact, he's an embarrassment. Don't hold your breath waiting for the Dems to wake up and remember that theirs is (or was) "the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt". Teddy Kennedy stood for something. I miss him terribly.
Here is Sid Caesar on the mountaintop - doing what Sid Caesar did better than anyone:
I envy anyone who was fortunate enough to have lived in that time.
A. The photograph at the top of this piece is was taken a couple of years ago with with three cherished friends from Goshen High School's Class of 1977. They are (left-to-right): Debbie Dewitt, Lori Baldwin Kuroski, Yours Truly, and Patricia Mueller Seaman.
B. I apologize for the two week lag between the last posting and this one. I recently required a hospital stay following a little brush with death. They're always oodles of fun. I can't even remember the last time I was hospitalized. Eisenhower was president. I'm fine now, I promise.