Archive for October, 2008

They are shocked, shocked
October 26, 2008

THE CENTER OF WORLD CHAOS, FLORIDA — While I am grateful for and relieved by the ongoing slate of endorsements for Barack Obama on the part of conservative pundits and Republican politicians who remained sanguine during the whole of the Bush administration, I find their astonishment at the greed, hate-mongering, demagoguery, inconsistencies, and exploitation of faith to be caricaturishly disengenuous.

If America’s current situation of two wars, financial ruin and the highest imprisonment, infant mortality, dropout, and AIDS numbers in the developed world were not too obviously too grave to be joked about, I would suspect each of them of doing a take on the old joke that dates back to Casablanca, when the friendly police chief stuffed his winnings in his pocket while expressing indignation that gambling occurred on the premises.

“I am shocked, shocked,” say Chris Buckley, Colin Powell, and just for the fun of it, Scott McClellan, “to find out there is lying, self-interest, race-baiting, and ineptitude going on here.”

(At which point it would be nice if somebody entered the frame in which they are holding forth in their new-found righteousness, and handed them their earnings during the years they noticed nothing wrong.)

They must have gotten something for the years, and years, and years they stayed silent, while the rest of us steadily lost at their roulette table. Otherwise they would have noticed something was wrong.

They would have seen it:

• in the rising numbers of people with nowhere to live, while high rises shot up and developments ate empty land, built with loans that numbers and common sense said there weren’t enough people with high enough earnings to repay;

• in the bloody streets of Iraq, where Americans, Iraqis and our diminishing allies continue to die and lose daily,

• In our emergency rooms, which supply primary care to more Americans each day;

• in our AIDS rates, where the numbers of patients in the nation with the more HIV and AIDS patients than any other in the industrialized world turned out to be growing at a rate 40 percent higher than calculated by overburdened and under-resourced federal disease control workers.

By November 4, Florida voters will be expected to connect the arrow between these plights and the causes that the late-breaking set of Obama endorsers now, finally, suddenly recognize. Let’s hope the voters are not as slow on the uptake, and do the right thing before it is too late.


I don’t get it
October 15, 2008



VERY WEALTHY TOWN, FL — Because this is an anonymous blog, the town I visited recently will not be named, and neither will the people who are prominent in that town, who aired their political opinions in a public, but scantly attended forum.

“Nobama!” one of them said, after another expressed embarrassment over displaying Republican campaign materials with both candidates names.

“I wish we had a better candidate,” another one sighed.

“Yes, but he’s what we’ve got,” a third reminded.

The point made seemed to be that while they don’t embrace McCain, and are downright repelled by his g’droppin’, trash-talkin’,  blue-collar flauntin’ runnin’ mate, they feel an obligation to the party that had helped them get where they are.

Where they are is one of the 20 wealthiest towns in the United States — I can’t be more specific without giving it away — and it is on Florida’s South East coast, with all the benefits, including places to put their boats, albeit that that is amidst the partly treated sewage is pumped directly into those very waters.

In any case, their loyalty, a friend of mine pointed out is understandable.

What my friend doesn’t understand is people who support the Republican ticket who have been less handsomely rewarded, people who are suffering, act from the policies embraced by McCain.

“It must be utter stupidity, a deep love for war, or racism,” my friend guessed.

The form that enthusiasm takes at McCain and Palin campaign events supports my friend’s theory.

But, as Governor Palin’ has taken to pointin’ out at rallys lately, there may be more to this mystery.

“You get it!” she says, praisin’ her supporters. “That’s what I like about you, in small town America. You really get it.”

I don’t get it. But then, apparently, neither do my acquaintance in Very Wealthy Town, Fl, who, however, will hold their noses and vote in their own interests.

The Aristocrats
October 4, 2008

So a man named John McCain walks into a talent agent’s office and says, “boy, have I got an act for you . . .”

The agent says, “yeah, what is it?”

The guy says, “It’s a family act, okay. The husband and wife walk on the stage, with their five kids. But wait — actually it’s only four, the oldest kid joined the army and was sent to Iraq after he got into trouble with drugs and vandalism . . . anyway, the 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, and she’s got the babydad, well, actually the fiance, because she’s going to marry the kid who maybe is the babydad, and he says “I don’t want kids,” and “ya fuck wit me I kick your ass.” Then the kids, two more daughters, take turns holding the youngest kid, a special needs baby, who was born sometime in the four days between when the mom took an 8-hour plane ride and went back to work, and then there’s the dad, he doesn’t talk, but the mom does, and she can really run her mouth — leaves all the g’s off the end of her words, says “nukular” instead of “nuclear.” And then, here’s the funny part, she starts talking about how she should be next in line for the presidency of the United States, because she’s a mom.

Anyway then they all . . .


Then the really hilarious part, they tell you not to say anything about the family. Or how ignorant the mom is. Or any relationship between how screwed up they are and how ignorant and incompetent the mom is.

“Wait,” the agent says, “you mean they go out on the stage, but you have to pretend like they’re not there?”

Yeah, John McCain said.

And so the Sarah Palin family did it again last night, at the end of a big victory for the mom, and some people said it was great, because instead of being laugh-out-loud funny, like she was last week, she was only nauseating.

This is why the humor in this joke relies on just a little restraint, as Ms. Palin showed last week, when she stayed — relatively — silent. I’d rather laugh than gag.