Frontier Former Editor

March 13, 2009

Where have you gone, Louis Rukeyser? Our nation holds its lonely eyes to you . .

If anyone ever questions or trivializes the role of satire and humor in society, they should remember this 10-minute segment.

Especially in a time where Citibank is hosting conference calls – on our tax dime – to encourage union-busting and who-knows-what-else.

What Stewart did is in the best tradition of Petroleum V. Nasby, Herblock, Samuel Clemens, Mort Sahl, George Carlin, Tom Lehrer and hosts of other humorists – ridicule, embarass, shame, humiliate and destroy anything that would prey upon society.

This society needs a huge sweep to remind ‘big business,’ ‘Wall Street,’ and every other over-dominant segment of the American business and political scene that acting like Charles Keating did in the  years leading up the the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s may not be child molestation but is just about as legally and morally defensible as being a child molester.

And while we’re at it on a bleak Friday afternoon, please allow Rush Limbaugh to continue broadcasting and expressing his opinion. Part of a free society is having the right to express one’s opinions and having the responsibility to defend the logic and rationality of those opinions.

And please allow Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele the right to express his political views for the same reason – even if he lacks the intellectual weight to generate rational policy and philosophical positions.

By the way – even Louis Rukeyser got caught violating federal trading rules, so be thankful, Jim Cramer. Be very, very thankful.

January 15, 2009

Even better than a ‘Simpsons’ rerun!

Our soon-to-be-ex-president makes a live speech to family and friends at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Guess he needed a sympathetic laugh track .

Just the other day, MSNBC ran parts of his press conference in defense of his presidency. The national lack-of-command-of-his-faculties authority defended the federal response to hurricane Katrina, noting that 30,000 New Orleans residents were rescued from their rooftops.

Let’s see. Thirty thousand people recovered from rooftops, as opposed to evacuating them – and thousands of others stranded in the city – before the hurricane. That doesn’t sanctify the federal response. It does, however, speak volumes of the courage of hundreds of military helicopter aircrew who risked their lives to rescue the victims of criminally stupid municipal, state and federal government officials.

Enjoy your speech, Dubya. If there was any justice on January 20, you’d get nothing more than a car ride to the train station so you could buy your own train ticket home.

January 11, 2009

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

A presidential welcome for USS George H.W. Bush

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090110/D95KGCRG0.html

“What do you give a guy who has been blessed and has just about everything he has ever needed?” asked President George W. Bush from aboard the Navy’s newest ship. “Well, an aircraft carrier.”

It’s always disturbed me how the naming of American aircraft carriers got away from the old system of naming after American Revolutionary War and Civil War era battles and warships and drifted into naming after congressmen and presidents, even when some of those presidents deserved remembrance.

This one just smacks too much of dumbass son trying to give daddy a birthday gift.  Not to impugn father Bush’s own wartime bravery but, if they were going to name it after a wartime naval pilot, how about Edward O’Hare or Jimmy Thach or Richard Best or Wade McCluskey or legions of others who made decisive and fundamental contributions to wartime survival?

If to name it after an American politician, how about George Marshall?

Or even better – go back to the old system. The names were supposed to remind us of our history and values and sacrifice – not to be birthday or Christmas presents.

October 1, 2008

A depression is like a . . . . .

I’ve just about had it with analogies today.

For the last 24 hours, it seems that damn near every congressman and senator who can walk and chew gum at the same time, every pundit, and half the people I spend time with at work have uttered most possible variations of the phrase, “The financial crisis is like a . . . .” Just before I started typing this, I heard former Tennessee Governor and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander enlighten me by saying “The financial crisis is like a car wreck.”

Lamar, pal. The financial crisis is not like a car wreck. A car wreck involves state police, ambulances, tow trucks, body bags . . . wait, if you’re on sidewalk level in the New York financial district, maybe it is like a car wreck, but not in the way Lamar meant.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post (thanks, Sledpress!) still has my eternal admiration for dressing up like Elmer Fudd when he appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Countdown’ after the Cheney lawyer-shootin’ scandal broke. And, like me, Milbank also seems bemused if not addled at the range of analogy and metaphor emanating from Congressional mouths (or sphincters – it’s really hard to tell even on HD TV).

“The verbal misfires ricocheted across the chamber: Asleep at the switch!. . . The worm turns! . . . Russian roulette . . A financial gun to the head. . . Pull the trigger!. . .Take the bullets! . . Jumping off this precipice. . . Get our house in order.”

Not to mention the fecal sandwich analogies I’ve heard ad nauseum.

Someone at work said, “This is just like the Great Depression!”

She was 19. What the f**k does she know about the Great Depression? I’m 46, a history major and have read about the Great Depression in historical and economic contexts and I don’t know what the f**k it was like during the Great Depression. I’ve got a fair idea what it might have been like, based on stories from my grandparents, but I know some ways in which it wasn’t like the Great Depression.

  • A. Herbert Hoover was smart and had experience in humanitarian disaster and food relief after World War One.
  • B. You can’t hardly buy stocks on margin anymore, unlike 1929.
  • C. A dumbass of the astrophysical magnitude of George W. Bush hadn’t been created yet, although a megalomaniacal putz exceeding Dick Cheney’s mathematical quantification was on work release in Munich.
  • D. Al Jolson a fraction less repulsive in blackface than was Ted Danson.

Being a fundamentally mean person at heart, I joined the “It’s like a . . .” bandwagon when prompted, merrily spouting, “No, it’s like the South Sea Bubble or the Dutch tulip depression!”

There’s nothing I enjoy more than an uncomprehending look from someone half my age.

Anyway, if you have to listen to every Tom, Dick and hairless tell you what the current financial crisis is like, at least relieve yourself by this bit of creative analogy:

April 29, 2008

If Roger Ailes had any sense of decency about him . . .

he’d have the cast of “Fox and Friends” summarily executed for terminal stupidity.

Apparently, according to Dan Abrams over at MSNBC, the Fox morning crew apparently babbled on about the Lincoln-Douglas debate in the wake of Hillary and Barack contemplating their own L-D style event. The backdrop to the Fox analysis? Side-by-side photos of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Let me make it easy and in terms culturally relevant to the numbnuts masquerading as morning show hosts at Fox. The Lincoln-Douglas debate involved two white men – one tall and one short, like this . . . .

February 5, 2008

The banality of evil

This is pretty much how I’ve imagined conversations in the Oval Office, the Justice department and the Naval Observatory the last seven and a half years

December 6, 2007

We live in a truly enlightened age . . . . my ass

Things have been a little off in my world lately, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that Barbara Walters has done a great service to the world – she’s shown just how low the state of education in this country has fallen.

Case in point, Sherry Shepherd . . . .

sherrishepherdontheview.jpg

Ms. Shepherd’s recent observations that Christianity predates even Greek and early Roman civilization and quite possibly man and dinosaurs is a great relief to me.  I was wondering just how stupid that American society has become, and Shepherd has graciously provided a quantifiable benchmark to measure that stupidity.

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October 28, 2007

I suppose it is easy to get pissed . . .

when the kids are behaving exactly like the parents. Not that it really surprises me, but it does have its own chuckle factor:

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8SI15C80&show_article=1

WASHINGTON (AP) – The homeland security chief on Saturday tore into his own employees for staging a phony news conference at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “I think it was one of the dumbest and most inappropriate things I’ve seen since I’ve been in government,” Michael Chertoff said.“I have made unambiguously clear, in Anglo-Saxon prose, that it is not to ever happen again and there will be appropriate disciplinary action taken against those people who exhibited what I regard as extraordinarily poor judgment,” he added.”

Anglo-Saxon prose, eh? Fuck you Chertoff, you shitbag fuckwit goddamn Bush administration mouthpiece and douchebag. How’s that for unambiguously clear, Anglo-Saxon prose?

It doesn’t strike me as the dumbest and most inappropriate thing I’ve ever seen in government. After all, there’s:

  • – the actual FEMA and Homeland Security response to Hurricane Katrina
  • – the invasion of Iraq (and yes, it was an invasion)
  • – George W. Bush in general
  • – damn near anything Dick Cheney does on a daily basis, whether or not it’s classified.
  • – all those canned news spots issued by a private PR firm under a contract by the federal government on the Medicare drug benefit plan – the one with the fake reporter.

It just goes to show the real point Orwell made in 1984: totalianism in the future is the result of basically stupid, ignorant, know-nothing people that we allow to ooze into positions of responsibility.

September 20, 2007

Two-armed bandit (or privateer if you’re English . . . .)

The stuff you miss out on unless you’re standing in a super Wal-mart at 9 p.m. on a weeknight . . . .

 This juicy bit of historical revisionism comes from about 360 miles due east of my chair, in the burg of Newport News, Va., named in part after Captain Christopher Newport, the skipper of the seagoing part of the first Virginia Company expedition to what became Jamestown.

 Confused? Bored? Hold on because it starts to get funny shortly.

Christopher Newport University (named after guess who? No, not Burton Cummings . . .) recently dedicated a 24-foot statue of Captain Newport at the university’s main entrance.

Now for the funny part . . . .

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