Archive for September, 2009


September 22, 2009

The news was, quite frankly, gut-wrenching.  (Oddly, and purely by coincidence, Orchard Supply Hardware is having a sale on gut wrenches this week, the deluxe 16-piece set from Xi Xang Tools [Slogan: “Good enough for post-collectivist work.”] going for just $139.95.  Get a discount coupon at


What left me dank with dread and concern were the news reports that on the computers of suspected (but let’s face it, almost certainly guilty as freaking sin) terrorist Najibullah Zazi and his merry band of civilization destroyers were the layouts of major sports complexes, stadiums, arenas, and other such.  Clearly, these bloodthirsty thugs have their sights set on America’s most precious cultural target: our sports heroes.  


And let’s face it, can  you imagine how DEVASTATING it would be to AMERICAN MORALE if what we all know as AMERICA’S TEAM, that of course being the DALLAS COWBOYS, were to somehow fall victim to some unconscionable SUICIDE BOMBING that would target and UTTERLY CRIPPLE THE DALLAS TEAM?  


 Well, of course you can.  


 As patriotic Americans, we can only hope the terrorists never discover how EMOTIONALLY DEVASTATING it would be for any harm whatsoever to befall OUR BELOVED COWBOYS.  If, for example, when they flew to San Francisco for their annual game with their arch rivals the 49ers, let’s say that terrorists were somehow to learn of the Cowboys’ unvarying devotion to an exact travel schedule that would have their charter flights ARRIVING AT GATE 145E AT PRECISELY 4:45 P.M. ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH.


 One can only imagine the HORRIFIC DESTRUCTION that would be wreaked on the COWBOYS if, say, a panel truck or large van or one of those Starving Students trucks filled with C-4 PLASTIC EXPLOSIVE were to pull alongside the COWBOYS BUS, as it reliably LEAVES SFO AT 5:30 on the dot, filled with AMERICA’S FAVORITE ATHLETES, whose death or injury would  CRIPPLE AMERICAN MORALE.  


 Failing such a roadside bombing, of course, there would be ample opportunity to ANNIHILATE AMERICA’S BELOVED TEAM when the team bus made its routine stop at ANIMAL PHARM, a secluded and marginally legitimate source of team medication on the outskirts of Colma.  


Were a used school bus packed with NITRATE FERTILIZER AND DETONATING JELLY to slide into the stall next to that of the COWBOYS IN THE PHARMACY PARKING LOT and be set off, the result would be a veritable DREAM COME TRUE FOR THE TERRORISTS, as Americans everywhere were reduced to WEEPING AND MOANING WITH GRIEF.  


 The horror.  The horror.


 One can only hope that those who wish our country ill will never discover how PAINFUL the TOTAL DESTRUCTION of the DALLAS COWBOYS would be to all Americans, or how SIMPLE it would be to WREAK HAVOC on the Texas team.  And how crucial it would be for the ‘BOYS ANNIHILATION to take place BEFORE they play the Niners. 



September 2, 2009


On the heels of Cronkite.  

And Michael Jackson.  And no, there’s no irony or sarcasm there.


In the space of…what, 60 days?…we’ve said goodbye to three historic personalities worthy of multi-network broadcast retrospectives and memorial and funeral services.  Because each of them had sunk a deep and abiding footprint into the mother culture.  Politics, media/journalism, music/performance art, whatever pond they frolicked in, it became different for their involvement in it.  


Proof of the pudding, I submit, is having one’s own epitaph established years before one actually expires and has need of it.  “The King of Pop.”  “The most trusted man in America.”  “The Lion of the Senate.”  

(It is all I can do to refrain from interjecting some tasteless reference to, say, Dick Cheney and the phrase “The Scum of the Earth.”  Well, you see there, it was too enticing after all.)  


 So I got to thinking that as we all know, these events — cover story deaths —  happen in threes, and we’ve seemingly bagged our limit for the moment, but still, the question just won’t be denied:  how many living individuals are there of the stature of these three who might similarly be expected to depart the coil in the foreseeable future?


Of course, Jacko, at age 51, certainly wasn’t considered a candidate for the dirtbed any time soon, so I may be phrasing the question too narrowly.  But whatever your age demographics, I can think of only a handful of living people who’ve made a mark comparable to the Late Three.


Billy Graham.  Goes without saying.  Listened to the intimate, soulful outpourings of every president since Truman.  Brought more people to God than Moses.  This is assuming, of course, that he’s still alive.  I could look it up, but I’m pretty sure he’s still awaiting the sound of his master’s voice, calling him home for dinner.  


Jack LaLanne.  I’m probably being too charitable as to his cultural impact.  How influential could he be, given a society two-thirds of whose inhabitants are actually unhealthily overweight and sedentary?  But you have to love him for good intentions and “so there” longevity.  


Hugh Hefner.  He brought the skeleton that reigns in midAmerica’s closets out into the klieg lights, is largely responsible for the degree to which we’ve come to accept our sexuality, and, as Lenny Bruce noted, “he made it so you couldn’t be a bigot and also drive a Porsche.”  Those were the days.  


Bob Dylan.  Towering talent.  Even if he actually stole everything he was ever accused of lifting, he was the one who made it iconographic, and he tinkered endlessly with his own standards just to freshen the air, and he wrote more cultural anthems than Souza.  


Muhammed Ali.  The first truly and literally world champion.  The first global athletic hero, and certainly the first to embrace Islam.  Abandoned greatness and vast fortune on principle and in opposition to war.  The entire planet’s first choice to light the flame at any Olympic Games, any time, anywhere.


Others?  Feel free to submit your nominees, but I think that beyond this short list, we’re lowering the bar well below the Immortal height.  Then again, maybe you could actually make a case for Andy Rooney.