POST #370: Random Observations
The following are a serious of miscellaneous thoughts and observations that I have recently posted on other sites or drunkenly scribbled into my notebook. Similarities to any persons, living or dead, is purely intentional:
1. No Ordinary Time Indeed
Back during the period between Election Day 2008 and Inauguration Day 2009, Barack Obama's handlers made much noise of the fact that the Prez-to-be was in the process of reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's recently released biography of the Lincoln administration, "Team of Rivals". As I remarked at the time, he was reading the right author but the wrong book. The book he should have been reading was "No Ordinary Time", her study of the years that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt lived in the White House.
A phrase FDR liked to use on the campaign trail in 1932 and during the First Hundred Days of his administration was "Action - NOW". And it was always bold, decisive action. Nothing timid would do for my man Frankie. I surely hope that President Obama has read that book by now.
2, Political "Comedy"
A couple of days ago, at a rally for Sarah Palin in Indianola, Iowa, a "comedian" named Eric Golub went out on stage for the failed, ex-governor in order to warm up the tea-partiers who had come out en masse. He wasn't very funny. As a matter of fact he wasn't funny at all. His "act" - if that's what you want to call it - was beyond pathetic.
Did you ever notice that all successful political satirists and comedians always - ALWAYS - speak from a left-leaning point of view? There are very few conservative "humorists" out there. Other than Eric Golub the only other person I can think of is the nitwit that does the Mallard Fillmore comic strip (I can't even think of his name - not that that's very important). Neither of them are funny. Why is that? The answer is quite simple:
In order for political satire to work, it must be based on some essential truth. If the basis of one's humor is trying to convince people that old is new - that black is white and day is night - it's not going to play very well. That is why Jon Stewart and Stephan Colbert are so successful. That is also why you will never again hear the name "Eric Golub".
The late humorist Lewis Grizzard was a conservative - and very funny. But he wrote about the cultural aspect of being a "redneck". For the most part he wisely shied away from the subject of politics.
I'm not implying that conservatives aren't at times screamingly funny. They are. Very much so! The problem is that the humor is always unintentional.
3. Scheduling Conflicts
What the heck is wrong with this president? Sometimes I get the feeling that the poor guy is tone deaf politically. Why he would want to schedule an address the to congress at the same moment the GOP presidential hopefuls are having their debate is anyone's guess. Michele Bachmann said that Speaker Boehner did Obama a favor by forcing him to reschedule. They were the only true words that have come out of her mouth since the primary season began.
Barack Obama should not want to deflect attention from the Republican debates. In fact he should hope and pray that EVERY American watches it! This country needs to take a gander at the collection of kooks, criminals and half-wits that now comprise "the party of Abraham Lincoln". Thank goodness for quotation marks.
I can't wait for that debate. That oughtta be a scream!
4. Married Priests
At St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Goshen, NY, the first major pedophile scandal materialized in the early nineties. The priest in question, “Father Ed”, had been molesting boys in their early teens for a couple of years. To say that the parishioners were traumatized by this would be an understatement. They were devastated. Then something wondrous happened….
Father Ed was defrocked and eventually sent to prison. He was replaced by Father Trevor Nichols. Father Trevor had been an Anglican priest in merrie olde England when he converted to Catholicism. On becoming a Catholic he was transferred to Saint John’s - WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO DAUGHTERS! A married priest! WITH TWO KIDS!
You wanna hear the punch line? The little parish did not implode. The sun did not fall from the sky. Huge cracks did not appear in the earth’s surface. In fact, it was nice having them. I became good friends with this extraordinary family. They were – and are to this day – deeply beloved by the people of St. John’s.
Allowing priests to marry would transform the Catholic Church. Having Father Trevor, his wife Marian and their two lovely daughters Catherine and Hannah in their midst certainly transformed the people of St. John’s.
The Vatican really needs to rethink their stand on this matter.
5. FASHION ADVISORY
Note to all the young guys who like to wear their belts well below their wastes: Have you ever seen a photograph of you father wearing one of those silly, powder-blue, polyester leisure suits that were all-the-rage in the early-mid seventies? In hindsight they look kinda stupid, don't they? A little word of advice: Don't pose for any photos that your kids might discover forty years from now. You'll thank me.
6. Rick Perry? Can it be???
With each passing year it's getting easier and easier to question the intelligence of the American people. Look at the latest polling from the GOP primary voters: Rick Perry is leading the pack by a wide margin. Another corrupt, reactionary, half-witted cowboy from the Texas governor's mansion living in the White House? Could it possibly be that we're about to venture down this road again? I wouldn't doubt it for a minute.
Of course as a guy who makes his name these days commenting on the corruption and stupidity of American politics and politicians, I can only say that such a turn of events would be a very sweet deal for yours truly. You say you plan on voting for Mr. Rick next year? Go for it, dude!
7. Still more proof of Sarah Palin's shallowness
When telling the story of how she was confronted at one point with news reports that she and her husband Todd were going to divorce, one would think (indeed one would hope) that she would offer for the reader's contemplation a heartfelt description of her abiding love for her husband; how their union could not be tossed aside like some disposable camera - that she and Todd took their wedding vows seriously. No, there was none of that....
"Dang, I thought. Divorce Todd? HAVE YOU SEEN TODD???"
TRANSLATION: If Todd gains twenty pounds, he's history.
Thirteen years into their marriage, Eleanor Roosevelt was confronted with her husband's affair with her social secretary (and distant relative of mine - I come from a long line of home wreckers) Lucy Paige Mercer. After contemplating divorce, it was decided that they would continue their union. Years later, she confided to her friend Joesph Lash, the reasons for saving their marriage. They were many and complicated. This, I can assure you, was not one of those reasons:
"Dang, I thought. Divorce Franklin? HAVE YOU SEEN FRANKLIN???"
In an article that was posted online this morning on the website Religion Dispathces, a very good writer named Anthea Butler lamented the fact that it is obvious Sarah Palin won't be going away anytime soon. If you will be kind enough to allow me, I would like to propose a toast:
Here's to Sarah Palin; may she never - EVER - go away.
I am going to go out on a limb here: No woman since Eleanor Roosevelt has done more to further the cause of progressive politics in the United States of America than our gal Sarah.
Isn't life strange?
The photograph at the top of this piece is of the author of this disgusting commie swill and his beloved niece Marieke Pennings, taken at the Bob Dylan concert, Bethesda Woods (original site of the Woodstock Concert) Friday, August 12, 2011. Thank you, John Galdi, for that photo!
No Ordinary Time
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
In my humble opinion, this is the finest and most instructive (HINT, HINT, BARACK!) book ever written on the Roosevelt White House. If your neighborhood (like almost every other neighborhood in the United States) has no independently-owned bookstore, here is a link to order it from the nice folks over at Amazon.com:
No Ordinary Time
I receive no royalty payments from any product purchased off of amazon.com that is linked from this site - not that I don't wish I did, mind you.
Two other good reads:
Shoot Low, Boys! They're Ridin' Shetland Ponies!
Elvis is Dead and I Don't Feel Too Good Myself
by Lewis Grizzard
You don't have to be a conservative Republican to love the writings of Lewis Grizzard. The guy was as good as they get! God rest his merry soul.