For when both you and I have absolutely nothing better to do

March 29, 2010

I’ve had several reasonably clever and amusing one-liners come to mind in the last few days, but because I no longer carry a notepad to jot these gems (or mental stool samples, depending on your judgmentalism) down and because me memory is even worse than I vaguely recall that it used to be, they are mostly evaporated into the mists of time, nonny nonny.  But in lieu of valuable reflections, here are three notes.

The battle lines are being drawn for the big vote this November on legalizing pot in the  (Acapulco) Golden State, and guess which side the big growers up in Humboldt County’s “green triangle” are throwing in with.  That’s right: they oppose legalization, because a pot farm in every doper’s backyard in California would so eviscerate their sales projections as to cause repo men to begin haunting their 12-car garages like hyenas.

I listen to Spanish radio more and more these days.  Several reasons.  (1)  I don’t speak but a half dozen words of the language, so am absolutely deaf to all commercials and aggravating news breaks.  And over time, that seemingly pitiful trumpet-guitar-accordion sound begins to sound almost palatable.

The largest single donor to the pro-legalization camp in the big upcoming California pot vote, by the way, is George Zimmer, the same guy who founded and ramrods and does all the radio spots for the Men’s Wearhouse chain.  Of course, all the local comics will be trying to wring out plays on his classic slogan: “You’ll like the way you look — I guarantee it.”  Oh yeah, you can try “You’ll like the way you feel” or “You’ll like the way you toke” or “You’ll like to play your hookah” but I promise you, there’s nothing there.  Sorry.

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A THEOLOGICAL QUESTION THAT, I SUSPECT, MANY WOMEN AND MORE THAN A FEW MEN CAN RELATE TO

February 26, 2010

 

The believers tell me most earnestly that, “God loves you, God loves you.”  But, looking back over my life, I wonder.  Does God truly love me?  Or does he just keep me around because he knows he can fuck me whenever he wants?

PROBABLY AN OLD JOKE, BUT TIGER HAS GIVEN IT NEW LIFE

February 19, 2010

He just completed a month at a rehab clinic for sex addicts.  The word is, he’s going to have to quit cold jerky.

Curling is the haggis of Olympic events

February 17, 2010

Or, to word it perhaps a bit more acutely, 

Curling is to sports as haggis is to dining.

Either way you phrase it, my argument boils down to two points, which are:

(1) both curling and haggis were invented by the Scots, and

(2) the rest of the world can’t imagine why they bothered.

AS TEA PARTIES GO, IT’S ONLY SLIGHTLY LESS COMICAL THAN THE MAD HATTER’S

February 10, 2010

 

I like to think of it as Rovemary’s baby.  

The whole Tea Party song and dance, I mean.  The Tea Party is, of course, very little more or less than a canny and calculated play by the GOP to establish itself, by contrast to the TPsters, as the “rational conservative” rightwing option heading into 2012.  If you truly think that Uncle Karl and his ilk are not pulling more strings than a kite flying contest here, all I can say is: please contact me ASAP about your investment and insurance needs.

The Repulsican Party’s  problem, alas, is how to mold the teabaggers into their foils by portraying them as the extremist alternative during the primaries without so alienating them that they fail to return to the fold when general elections come around.  As Baron von Frankenstein or the parent of almost any teenager will tell you, “Be careful about what you choose to give life to.”  

Regional Tea Party conventions have been or shortly will be held in Nashville (who could have guessed?) and at least a couple of other cities (I grow vague about things I have trouble convincing myself are worth thinking about) and it could hardly be more pitiful.  The TP has, without bothering to wait to become some discernible percentage of the electorate,  already begun fragmenting into several factions: the fanatic true believers, the career political hacks looking for paychecks, the compulsive manipulators ever on the lookout for manipulatees, the entrepreneurs who envision a whole new t-shirt market, nutcake obsessives rejected by every other segment of the political spectrum, etc.  

In a way, of course, this fragmentation is fairly impressive.  It took the Republican and Democratic Parties decades to fracture themselves along utterly inane and self-negating internecine lines.  The baggers have accomplished this in a matter of months.  And it couldn’t happen to a nicer movement.

IF THERE IS A GOD, AND THAT GOD APPRECIATES IRONY, OR IF THERE IS NO GOD BUT THE UNIVERSE IS JUST:

February 8, 2010

Tim Tebow gets drafted by the Raiders.

TEMPEST IN A TAMPOT…UH, IPOT…NO, IPAD

February 4, 2010

 

“iPAD: Giant iPod or miniature laptop?  One thing’s for sure: it’s a bad name.  Period.”  —  Newsweek, 2/8/2010.

Get it?  Period?  iPad.  Period?  Pad!  Hah?  

If you don’t, you are probably like me, at least when it comes to genitalia, meaning that you are also male.  

In a nutshell: Apple introduces the iPad.  Within 24 hours, a great clamor is heard to arise, expressing displeasure over a name that reminds the clamorers of feminine hygiene products.  The clamor has a distinct soprano tone to it.  This has been reported in more than one serious news medium.  Women are upset that the new Apple wundertoy calls to mind a stancher of bodily fluids.  Specifically, their bodily fluids.

In one sense, this may reflect a fine and good underlying reality, which is that the media is more equitably represented by, and expressive of, a female world view.  In another sense, and not to put to fine a point on it, but what the hell is it with you broads?

Look, we (as in guys) are supposed to be the gender whose brain nestles within its underwear, not you.  And yet, good God.  I promise you that no man worthy of a jockstrap would make the pad-as-vaginal-acoutrement connection.  And with good reason.  Why should he?  Not when he is first confronted with so many more reasonable and obvious takes.  Bachelor pad being the runaway leader.  Followed by the likes of scratch pad, sketch pad, lily pad, knee pad, hip pad, launch pad, helipad, shoulder pad, note pad, heating pad, padlock and pad your expenses.

All very sensible synaptic responses to the “pad” trigger.  But what do women hone in on, like progesterone-fueled intercept missiles?  We are too discreet here at Humor Me II to enunciate it, but come on, ladies, get your heads out of your…um…never mind.

SPEED, DEXTERITY, STRENGTH AND QUICKNESS ARE ALL VERY NICE, BUT WHAT WE’RE REALLY LOOKING FOR HERE IN THE NFL IS RAPID HEALING ABILITY

February 2, 2010


Gloria, the woman to whom I am wed, is not happy.  She used to love watching the game of football, derived great joy and retreat from the grind world that its excitement and heroism offered, as do entire legions of us.  But now, the game makes her cringe as often as cheer.  It’s as if the fundamental premise now boiled down to:   Let’s take some of the finest physical/athletic specimens on the continent and see how efficiently, quickly, and brutally we can hammer them into a state of incapacity!

Football, at least the NFL version, may now be second only to jousting for serious, career-jeopardizing injuries.  Looked at it in those terms, you wonder why Budweiser is the primary, nine-figure sponsor of the games, and not Aetna or Blue Cross.  But hey.  Football of both the college and pro variety has become a dreary pageant of quarterbacks concussed into incoherence, tailbacks and receivers afflicted with lifelong knee/hip/shoulder injuries, and linemen so obese as to preordain lifespans foreshortened by stroke or cardiovascular disease.  

Worst of all, for both the players and the game, is a current vogue defensive strategy which, alas, makes perfect sense: to neutralize the most valuable player on the other team.  By hammering the poor bastard into the topsoil, or even better, the ER, if need be.   

As a consequence of this harsh logic, both the NFL and NCAA are staring down the barrel of a nasty reality, which is that those who are the best at the game are increasingly the most imperiled by it.  

The problem is fundamental: the most effective defense boils down to taking out the opposing player who is the single greatest scoring threat, but that is also the guy who sells the most tickets on game day.  We’re talking your Breeses and Mannings and Favres and flashy running backs, and they are the golden egg geese of football at both the college and pro levels, and if you have them carried off the field in a stretcher, you may have carried off a hefty source of revenue as well.  But more to the point, football is being degraded from something that America’s parents enjoyed watching their kids play to something that frankly scares the hell out of them. 

I have no solution to this problem, nor any particular reason to find one.  I just like to see an obscenely profitable, intolerably arrogant and increasingly imbecilic sporting combine have to deal with is own rapacity.

An eternal question, sort of

February 1, 2010

A sudden thought that occurred just now as I found myself washing the dishes and listening to the Grammys on the kitchen TV:  “Kill me!  Jesus God, just kill me now!”

Follow-up thought, once I got over the first one, and realized I didn’t need to scour the broiler pan after all:  “Could there be some fundamental, formative connection between one’s fear of death and one’s position on the political spectrum?”  

Of these two thoughts, the first one is clearly the most attractive in terms of dramatic impact and plot potential.  On the other hand, fuck you, my work on your world is not yet finished.   

But about that second thought.  What if the human race is divided into (1) those who can handle the factual inevitability of their annihilation by death and thus the end of their existence, and who tend to be of your let’s-aim-for-heaven-or-at-least-something-a-damn-sight-better-than-Bakersfield-on-earth progressive secular humanist do-gooder types, versus (2) those who cannot abide or psychologically survive the ultimate death sentence and eternal nonexistence of mortality and therefore embrace  such conservative principles as everlasting life through obedience (to scripture) and a conviction that our existence can be maintained indefinitely through magic and superstition (i.e. religion)?   

Whew.  Sure, it’s an annoying and damn near incomprehensible question, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t need to be asked.  Especially it you’re a graduate sociologist desperate for a hook for a grant application to buy your ass another semester in grad school, one of the last havens from the tar pit known as the job market.  There: you have been tipped.

Sorry I’ve been gone so long, but as the following indicates, it probably should have been even longer

January 3, 2010

Will Durst, the noted, S.F.-based political comedian, was on a local radio talker the other day flogging the Xmas/New Years comedy shows that he four-walls annually at a series of Bay Area venues this time each year, and he was recounting his Ten Funniest News Stories of 2009, and with all due respect, which I don’t even have to accord him, given that I’ve known the guy since he got off the bus from Milwaukee in 1979 or so, I truly didn’t fine anything genuinely funny (as opposed to ironically or snidely or darkly funny) about 2009.

Depending on where you lived, your year may have been somewhat salvaged by a mammoth government construction project or a major sports championship or an incredibly killer crop of Colombo bango, but for the most part and for the most of us, it was just one 365-day case of intestinal flu.

Nonetheless — I was jogging as I listened to Will, which meant I had absolutely nothing better to do with my thoughts than distract them from the inherent tedium of my workout by coming up with some amusing take on the newly extinguished year.  The best I could do was a play on an earlier blog, about the fact that we lost several personages to death this year who were so significant to us that we had given them culturally official titles, as it were.

And my jogging take was that as bleak and foul and wretched as 2009 was, what we are left with in and for 2010 hardly makes one want to click one’s heels.  Especially when one look at things in terms of the nicknames and labels and, ahem, culturally official titles (as it were) that we stamp our culturally significant figures with.

Okay, here’s what I’m getting at

In politics, we’ve gone from “the Lion of the Senate” to “Caribou Barbie.”  (See the GOP/Dem and lion/caribou juxtapositioning there?  Pretty deft, eh?)

In music, we’ve gone from “the King of Pop” to “Lady Gaga.”  (Although, when you think about it, “Lord Gaga” would have been a fairly apt handle to tack onto Jacko.  What the hell, they’re both unabashed and flagrant poseurs, so what difference does it make who died and who didn’t?)  (P.S., I thought briefly about using Queen Latifa in place of Gaga, but that might require giving some actual serious thought to this post, and come on, are you kidding?)

In the media, we’ve gone from “the most trusted man in America” to…  And then I just stalled.  Not that there aren’t a plethora of possibilities (and speaking of plethora, God forbid you should come down with it, my shins are fucking killing me), but none of them were satisfying.  Oh sure, “The craziest sack of shit to ever sit in front of a microphone” comes immediately to mind, but that’s more dispiriting than clever.  Because, of course, of all the vast multitudes out there in talk radio who fill the bill.

Maybe that’s the most telling symbolism involved here: Our descent from “most trusted in America” to, well, nothing.  There is no longer anything or anyone that could accurately be described by “most Americans,” or “Americans in general,” or any other majority of us, as truly and widely trusted.

There, my friends, is an ideologically itchy little thought to begin the 2010s with.  Walter Cronkite wasn’t just the most trusted man in America, he was in fact the last trusted man in America.

And now look, here comes a whole new decade!  

Whoopie!  

(Cough.)