Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We're Screwed...and other Bedtime Stories.

Face it...we're screwed. Oh, and Happy New Year to my non-Jewish friends. Shana Tova was in September...remember..?


We are so lost there is really no translation left. We have a Congress that is brain dead. They cannot hear the wails of the population. We have a financial sector that is so concerned with grabbing all of the money that they possibly can that they don't hear the people sharpening the broadswords and rolling out the Guillotines...even if Paris has cleaned up the Seine and made it, theoretically, safe for swimming...although I defy you to find a sane Parisian willing to take a dip...even during the deathly heat wave of '03...heads will bob like so many apples...or pommes if you're trying to be absolutely correct. I prefer blueberry pie, by the way...and not heated...and occasionally with vanilla ice case you were wondering, which you probably weren't...

As usual...I digress (I love saying "I digress" sounds so cultchudd and everything.)

The manufacturing folks are still making stuff we really don't need at a cost we really can't afford with precious resources that we are fast running out of. Who gives a mechanical hamster for Christmas anyway...(someone working for the TSA maybe...?)

The energy people are so busy not developing alternatives, or giving cred to the ones already developed, that it won't really matter when they do because we'll all be swimming by then. Yo, a spare floatie...?

And the TSA...oh my...GOD!! The Transportation Safety Administration. Have you flown anywhere lately? Have you seen the clowns that masquerade as professional line security forces, committed to our safety and security? I have never been in a Special Education class and I certainly mean no disrespect to those who have...but if "Welcome Back Kotter" was any indication (I love John Travolta though...he was awesome in Saturday Night Fever and he sure can dance...1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) then we should, in the immortal words of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, "hang on to (our) lug nuts's time for an OVERHAUL!"

We are screwed. A guy walks onto a plane with no luggage except a cigarette lighter (hmmmm...) and sits down, waiting for an opportune moment to...LIGHT HIMSELF ON FIRE!
("A guy walks onto a plane"...sounds like the beginning of a joke...too bad it isn't)'re not kidding me...

Now, I concede, that without searching each and every passenger in a completely naked state (what about "mules" who swallow the drugs...can you put plastic explosives in a condom and swallow them...and then, because you are a circus flame swallower...ignite your stomach and fricassee yourself and your fellow passengers...?!) we can't be totally secure...but come on...can't we do better than this? Uh...I guess not...

Uh oh...

With the combination of selfish idiocy in Congress and, forgive me, in The White House (Obama seems not to be what he seemed to be...and I was in Denver...I saw with my own eyes...I felt the love...I cried..not really but that sounds better than "I almost cried" wife cried though...really...) and the deft placement of morons on the front lines...we are...what was it that I said...oh yeah...


Did I say Happy New Year...?

Well then...Happy New Year...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's The Thought That Counts.

As if...

What would happen if that were a true sentiment...across all holidays and all giving?

Think of Christmas with a "Thought" being the gift.

A card that says "I love you more every year that we are together and couldn't imagine my life without you in it. Merry Christmas." (disregard the fact that the card cost $3.95...the one with the seascape and the two pairs of footprints in the sand disappearing into the distance with the ocean on the left as a lone gull flies away in the upper right hand corner...the image is in black and white to evoke a bygone era of romance and ettiquette...that's not the point here...unless you got one of the 45 cent ones at Walmart...which would still miss the point but not by as much...the one with the vase of flowers in primary colors...obviously cheaper than the $3.95 one...but still consistent with the "it's the thought that counts" concept...)

Now, you think for a minute, in our commercial culture, that a card would suffice?

Thank yous would be forthcoming with a kiss on the cheek for extra measure...but the truth of hurt feelings would linger just below the surface...for weeks thereafter...OY! ("OY" is a universally accepted form of expression used in both the Jewish and Christian cultures...ask any New Yorker...or, if you can't find one, someone from New Jersey or Long Island.)

We seem incapable of just allowing thoughts to be enough. Imagine getting a toothbrush for your birthday or a bottle of ketchup (please...someone, anyone, Bueller...explain to me the difference between Ketchup and Catsup...what...why...?) for Father's Day or today's newspaper for Mother's Day or, Godforbid...five paperclips for an anniversary gift.

"It's the thought that counts"

Sure...right. You'd never hear the end of it. At every occasion thereafter, to anyone who would listen:

"Did you know that Stanley bought me five paperclips for our fifth wedding anniversary?
What an A**HOLE!!!!!!!!!!"

No...our culture requires that we spend money we don't have on things that people don't need or want just so we can be assured that they won't think we're cheap and/or we don't care about them.

We're not (cheap) and we do (care about them...sort of)!!

We're just broke...temporarily (next year you'll get the Porsche...I promise...)

If we had the money we'd buy you diamonds and pearls and Chateau Lafitte and dinner in Paris and...

You get the point.

Now get's almost the out and get those can usually get a box of 100...divided by five...that's twenty gifts handled...!

"Alice...I have your present right here...and's the thought that counts...!"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Denis Leary...My Hero.

Merry F#!*ing Christmas...!

I would like to say, at the outset, that I am neither anti-Christmas nor pro-Christmas.

I am anti-baloney (and not the meat...I love the meat, especially with the baloney slices, or bologna if you are that pompous, curl up in the oven like little bowls and cradle the peas, oh so usual...I mother is not famous for her cooking)

I think we spend entirely too much time during this time of year saying, "Merry Christmas" when we don't really mean it.

I was honked at today by some woman in a small silver car who didn't like the fact that I, a pedestrian, was deigning to cross the a heavy traffic area mind you, where she couldn't go over 5mph, even if she had wanted to. Probably, not 5 minutes prior, she had said "Merry Christmas" to someone, no doubt a stranger...why not me...why don't I get a "Merry Christmas?" She would have no sooner run me down as look at me twice. "Season's Greetings" to you too, lady...

Merry Christmas...


We go around saying it as though it had meaning. Who's "Merry" anyway? The guy with no job who has no money to pay the rent let alone buy anything for his family?

The elected official awaiting sentencing on fraud charges who will spend the next 5 to 15 saying "Merry Christmas" to his cellmate/lover?

The fallen sports star who was scheduled to say "Merry Christmas" on behalf of the XYZ Corporation until he was found in bed saying "Mary Christmas"...and I don't mean the Virgin in the manger either...

The president of a formerly powerful and prosperous nation which is now teetering on the brink of ruin because of all of the people in the lobby saying "Merry Christmas" to one another hoisting glasses of Dom Perignon purchased with our tax dollars?

The wizards of Wall Street who will only get 500 million dollar bonuses this year instead of the customary billion? There go all of the houses in all of the Hamptons worldwide...Long Island, Massachusetts, England..."pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

No, I'm all for Christmas greetings. But I would like them to come from people who really mean them. From the Doctors without Borders people...or the U.N. peacekeepers around the world...or the soldiers in Quagmire (the suburb of Kabul named after the suburb of Baghdad which was named after the suburb of Saigon...)...the people who work for Red...and for the countless other people around the globe who actually do good things for 364 days of the year without a greeting of any kind. They don't need Christmas to say "Merry" anything.

The joy in their lives comes from knowing that they have helped someone today...or that they saved a child from starvation or abuse...or that they read to an old woman dying in hospice...

Definitely "Merry Christmas" to all of them and the thousands like them.

Aside from them, "Merry F#!*ing Christmas" to the rest of you...especially that old bag who shot me the bird when I attempted to cross the street...coal for you...which actually isn't a bad gift this year as fuel prices are so high...I retract the's your Public Option...

Go stuff a stocking...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Of Glass Houses, Stones...and Golf Balls

When I'm wrong I admit it.

I just thought I'd make that declaration.

I am not, however, wrong in the case of the media obsession with Tiger Woods.

TV, radio and print are engaged in a feeding frenzy about the young genius.

But come on...what a load of crap.

We are a society of hypocrites. Who among us hasn't driven over the speed limit or taken a questionable tax deduction or said "No...!" when asked, "Do I look fat in this dress?"

We hold our celebrities up to impossible standards. And then we are scandalized when they don't measure up.

We honor our elected officials and then find out, after the fact, that they are liars and cheats.

What a schock! From Bill Clinton to Mark Sanford to O. J. Simpson and now to Tiger Woods we elevate these people to hero status and then we are stunned when they transgress...

My issue what!?

Just because Bill Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky doesn't make him a bad President.
He did some good work. O.J. was a great football player and was, incidentally, acquitted in a court of law.

Tiger Woods is, arguably, one of the greatest golfers to ever swing an iron...and lo and behold...he cheated on his wife (albeit a whole lot of times, but that misses the point...)

Martha Stewart was convicted of insider trading and imprisoned. Now she has a talk show...again.

Oliver North was convicted (and then acquitted on appeal...) for his role in the Iran-Contra affair. Now he's a darling of the conservative right...with a talk show.

Latrell Sprewell was nearly expelled from the NBA for assaulting his coach. Now he's a revered basketball star who's jersey is worn by thousands of adoring fans.

And we dare pillory Tiger Woods for fooling around? Once again, SO WHAT!

Did we love him because he was cute? Did we love him because he was rich? Did we love him for his catchy name?

No... we loved him because he was great. He was better than we'll ever be at the game he embraced and perfected in much the same way as Michael Jackson approached his craft...another celebrity who we axed because of his alleged personal quirks (also acquitted, I hasten to add)...may he rest in peace.

A little humility on our part would go a long way. What we should do is stipulate, before we bestow celebrity status on anyone, that they are human and will reveal some hidden foible.

I can't wait for Capt. Sullenberger and Oprah and President Obama to make their revelations.

What a field day that will be.

Popcorn anyone...?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Say It Ain't So, Joe...

I am officially sick to death of Joltin' Joe Lieberman.

And I apologize for the baseball references. And my apologies, also, to Joe DiMaggio, Joe Jackson and Paul Simon...and anyone else I've offended over the years (is this a 12 step moment...?)

Joe Lieberman is, as you may know, the "Independent" Senator from Connecticut. Joseph I. (for "Independent", not "Isadore" as some have said...) Lieberman. Former Vice-Presidential candidate. Former Democrat. Former all around goodnick.

Let's return to the issue of independence for a minute, shall we...?

Independent of what? Joe Lieberman is no more independent than a newborn baby...and a heck of alot less innocent.

Independent my derriere (French for "ass")!

What is one of the largest "industries" in Connecticut you might ask?


What is Joe Lieberman's position on the health care issue you might also ask?

He's against the so-called Public Option.

And why do you think that is Dear Reader?

Could it be that the so-called (I love saying "so-called" sounds so, like, intellectual and like, everything...can you tell I am the father of a 'tween...?) Public Option would conflict with the profits of the INSURANCE companies?

I think it MIGHT!!

Ok...I understand that the insurance companies employ people in Joe Lieberman's Connecticut and that we're suffering through a re-depression...but don't you think that the U.S. Senate could come up with a plan that incorporates all of the positions of all of the sides of the issue?

But that would require some independent thinking on the part of the silver-haired contingent...a concept alien to and all...because they are so G-damned preoccupied with money and power and re-election that they can't seem to understand that they represent us in Washington...and that we can ax them at anytime.

But that would require us, the vaunted electorate, to have some independent thought of our own...which we, so far, seem incapable of having.

The day that any of these clowns actually vote either their conscience or on behalf of the people will truly be Independent's Day.

This should make you sick...but be careful...if you don't have the right health insurance you'll die waiting for the politicians to do the right thing.

Al...what were you thinking?