A Broke Comic Challenges One of the World’s Richest Geezers.

January 16, 2012

When somebody woke super billionaire geezer Warren Buffett from his nap the other day it seems they told him Conservative around the country have been chiding him for his tax rantings. Some suggested, me among them, that if Mr. Buffett really felt he had been short changing Uncle Sam he could take a billion or two of his dough and voluntarily dump it into the IRS coffers.

Before he was fully awake someone let him give an interview to Time Magazine in which he challenges Republican members of Congress to pony up their own dough and he will match them dollar for dollar. He even went as far to say he’d match Mitch McConnell three to one. Big whoop, Warren!   

It seems the Nabob of Nebraska has missed the point altogether on several levels. First, it wasn’t Republicans in Congress who said they weren’t paying enough; it was you, Mr. Buffett. Most of us believe we are already paying too much. So why should you challenge the Congress to pay more? 

Second, it shows that Buffett knows about the gigantic scale of his fortune. He is risking very little for big publicity. With his fortune vast and he could easily match the entire net worth of all of the members of congress and not lose a serious fraction of his worth. I put a little perspective on Buffett’s challenge for you. Let’s say my net worth is $10,000 and your net worth is $2. I ask you to bet me $2 on a challenge. In order to accept you have to risk 100% of your net worth while I will be only putting up .0002% of mine. Mr. McConnell is said to be worth somewhere between 10 and 20 million. Not bad, but a small fraction of Mr. Buffett’s 50 + billion.

This “challenge” also is exactly what Mr. Buffett says is wrong with the tax system. It not about raw dollars, his percentage is too low.

So, in the interest of fairness, I have a counter offer for Mr. Buffett that fits more with his point about taxes. I will donate 1% of my net worth to Uncle Sugar if he will. I will also try to recruit 49 more conservatives to do the same. If he will match us all we have a deal. Besides, if he believes Obama and the government are so good with money why did he shelter a huge portion of his money in various charitable funds rather than donating it to the government? Why does he take only 100K a year as salary and the rest of his vast income as dividends and capital gains? Because the taxes are lower! If this phony horse’s backside really wants to pay more he should just declare all of his income as straight salary and fill out a 1040EZ He’ll get to pay plenty. Until then, Warren, STFU!


The New Desidrata for the Camping on Wall Street Crowd

October 13, 2011

Back when I had long hair I believed that smaller government was a good thing and thought that was what all the other long hairs thought. I though we were all anti-establishment! “Power to the People!”  meant the individual person not the collective. Now I have no hair and still believe smaller government is a good thing. In the interveining time I realized that most of the other “hippie” types thought government should be smaller only of they weren’t controling it or getting a hand out from said “estabishment.”

Way back in those dark ages of the late 60’s and early severties many a hippie had the poem “The Desidrata” by Max Ehrmann on thier wall. I have rewritten it for the new “me-ist” generation.

The Enviarata

Go noisily amid the work and effort,
and remember what compensation there may be in liberalism.

As far as possible, without deny yourself anything
be on good terms with all persons who agree with you
Speak your version of the truth loudly;
and never listen to others,
especially the Christians and Conservatives;
they too have their story but its crap.
Become a loud and aggressive person,
you can be a vexation to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you will realize they work and therefore have more than you

 Become vain, envious and bitter;
for always there will be greater and richer persons than yourself.

Enjoy your entitlements as well as your scams.
Keep interested in avoiding work, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery and parents who will cut you out of the will.
But do not let this make you see what virtue there is in work;
many persons strive for a high;
and everywhere life is full of substances to abuse.

Ignore the counsel of the years,
and never surrender the things of youth.
Continue to get tattoos and wear baggie clothing into your 50’s
but do not distress yourself with dark imaginings like employment.
Many fears are born of the fatigue and loneliness of achievement.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be indulgent with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
greater than the trees and the stars; you need a participation medal like you got in soccer!
you have a right to everything someone else worked to have.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
 the universe is not unfolding as it should unless you get your “fair share.”

Therefore be at peace with God, as long as He isn’t some Christian God
and whatever your labors, (Yeah right!) and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep belittling those who work.

With all its beauty, love, and dreams,
it is still a capitalist world.
Be annoying.
Strive to be unproductive.

 


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: The Reeducation of Tracy Morgan

June 11, 2011

That chill wind Hollywood liberal Tim Robbins warned about is indeed blowing and every stand-up comic and performance artist should be worried. However, it isn’t coming from some frustrated, prudish Christian right winger. It’s coming from the open minded, diversity embracing, tolerant other side of the aisle. Free speech is just a concept that was rejected at the pitch meeting. Artistic expression isn’t for the less enlightened. Tracy Morgan is now officially under reeducation by the Hollywood left.

In case you missed it, here is the back story: Tracy Morgan, stand-up comic and one of the stars of the NBC hit sit-com “30 Rock” was busted doing a stand-up routine at the Ryman Theater in Nashville. Unlike back when Saint Lenny was being busted the cops didn’t rush the stage and drag Mr. Morgan off. No, a single audience member got offended and reported Mr. Morgan to “the authorities” through Facebook.

The verboten topic was lack of empathy for homosexuality. The “authorities” are the liberal media. A gay man in the audience, Kevin Rogers took offence and wound up on CNN chatting about how horrible the show was.

I wasn’t there and I doubt there is a recording or transcript but from reports the “bit” was pretty raw. What I have read and seen on the internet is that Mr. Morgan was doing a rant where he imagined his son came home and announced he was gay. Mr. Morgan said if that happened he would stab him.

Yeah, I know, it’s not exactly knocking me of my chair either but that’s not the point.  

I have seen Mr. Morgan perform and found a lot of his act to be tasteless. I didn’t find a lot of his material to be funny. I don’t condone bullying or violence against anyone. However I also don’t condone drawing lines for performers or establishing sacred cows. Does anyone think that this was the first Mr. Morgan performed this routine? Doubt it! Now, under pressure from NBC, Tina Fey and uber -hypocrite Alec Baldwin, Mr. Morgan says his rant was “not funny in any context.”  Even though according to one person who attended the show, “No one was booing him. Everyone was laughing…”

Let’s step back and imagine for a minute that instead of the word “gay’ in his routine he had used the word “Republican” or “conservative.”  What if he had said, “… if my son came home and said he was joining the GOP I would stab him!” The audience and liberal media would still be praising his talent. Genius! Let’s further imagine the next day Reince Priebus issued a statement asking for an apology. More howls of laughter and perhaps a statement from Mr. Morgan telling the GOP leader he could plant one where the sun don’t shine. High fives all around!

So why isn’t the outspoken Mr. Morgan telling the GLAAD folks to kiss off? Simple, he’s worried about his job. He’s got plenty of reason to worry.  Isaiah Washington got canned from Grey’s Anatomy after using a gay slur and he did the entire apology tour. The movie “The Dilemma” was roundly criticized for using the dreaded “f’ word.  The “f” word, by the way, is not “fuck.” If you tried to stop comedians from using that word because you find it offensive Hollywood types would brand you a Nazi, fascist or worst some sort of Christian zealot. 

Meanwhile a congressman is sending pictures of his penis around the country and is being defended by Charlie Rangle who is saying “He wasn’t going out with little boys. He wasn’t going into men’s rooms with broad stances.”  That statement sounds offensive and more that a little homophobic to me. GLAAD, where are ya?


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy : AOL Turns Left

February 12, 2011

I have been a subscriber to AOL since I first bought a laptop computer way back in the dark ages of 1991. That’s right my friends I am the last person in the country who is still paying for AOL! That may end soon.

I even bought stock on in AOL way back before the tech boom of the late 90’s and wish I would have sold out long ago. As an early player in the ISP business I thought AOL could have been a market leader. They have floundered both in their business model and in their content. I kept waiting for them to find their way. It’s my optimistic nature.

AOL announced last week they were buying the Huffington Post. It was announced that Ms. Huffington, one of the greatest political chameleons of all time, would control the content.  This may have surprised a number of analysts but to anyone who has been reading the “news” as provided by AOL over the last two years it was no big deal. Little in their content would change.It would be hard for anyone to imagine the content of AOL could get more left wing than it has been lately. The following three stories are illustrative of the general tone of AOL’s recent content.

Item 1- Sportswriter Kevin Blackstone posted a piece on dumping the National Anthem from sporting events. His logic is that the singing of the Star Spangled Banner is too political! After starting his column with some non-sequitur about the singing of the National Anthem in Congress in 1955 he concludes,

“But if our lawmakers don’t sing it every day to begin the country’s business, spectators of a mere sporting event shouldn’t be forced to sit through it, either, especially during the time we are living through right now.”

It seems that Mr. Blackstone views the celebration of our nation before a large public event as a punishment to be endured. He also feels, I gather from the quote above, that when things are tough in the USA we should ignore it rather than trying to find something all American’s can agree on – we live in an awesome country! If the National Anthem is too political for Mr. Blackstone maybe the flying of the flag should be stopped as well.

http://kevin-blackistone.fanhouse.com/2011/02/08/time-to-turn-off-national-anthem-before-sports-events/6

Item 2- Columnist David Corn pontificates on the sanity and political opinions of conservative icon Glenn Beck. The ultra liberal Mr. Corn, who has written for every far left rag other than the Daily Worker, see Mr. Beck’s opinion that the uprising in Egypt may turn out to be more that a blooming democracy as an insane conspiracy theory. He belittles Mr. Beck’s suspicions of Acorn and the Tides Foundation as more ultra right kookiness. In Mr. Corn’s opinion the uprising in Egypt is a pure democracy movement and to consider it as anything else is unconscionable crazy talk! I only hope our President, who has show his rank amateurism at foreign policy during this crisis, has his staff drawing up some sort of contingency plans if things in Egypt take a turn for the worst.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/02/08/glenn-beck-should-fox-toss-him-out-of-the-coop/ 

Item 3- Why attack just one conservative value or person when you can you can group them into bunches and deride them as a whole? Sharon Fish seem to think all Conservative women are blundering dunderheads who couldn’t hold Mr. Obama’s jacket. They lack refinement in speech and presentation. My solace is that I am old enough to remember another conservative icon that the media and elitists derided as a fool and bumbler a few years back. He was so dangerous to their ideology that even today they are trying to rewrite history to diminish is greatness. He would have been 100 this year.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/01/29/sarah-palin-michele-bachmann-and-sharron-angle-are-they-all-yo/


THe Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: A Word About “The N Word”

January 11, 2011

Thank God civility is returning to literature! Thanks to some faceless editor at New South Books and alleged Twain scholar Dr. Alan Gribben new sanitized versions of “Huckleberry Finn” and “Tom Sawyer” will be published! The “word so offensive that it can’t even be printed here” has been removed! All is safe! Dr. Gribben is afraid that the language in the book has stopped people from reading Twain. I am sure this brilliant move will encourage students everywhere to put down the video game controller and pick up a book! It will also save overworked teachers from actually having to teach the context of the use of the word. In order to do that they might have to do some research and, heaven forbid, read the books themselves! What teacher has time for that when there are condoms to be distributed and prayer circles to be broken up?

Of course elitists who have jumped up to abhor this censorship! Movie reviewer and social gadfly Roger Ebert made the mistake of using “the word that shall not be spoken or written” in a tweet opposing the new edition. He thought because of his lifetime of liberalism and marriage to an African-American woman he was on the “white guys allowed to use the word which shall not be spoken or written,” list but alas he was not and was roundly “critweeted.”  (This is a new word I have invented to describe the criticism of a tweet by tweeting.)

Now that the looming “Huck Finn” controversy is finally behind us we can get to the business of creating jobs! Think of all of the unemployed and underemployed English majors we can busy doing the task of politically “correcting” the rest of the great and not so great works of literature. We could hire half a Bryn Mawr class just to edit the works of Toni Morrison!

Just by editing “the word which may not be spoken or written” out of  “To Kill a Mockingbird,” The Heart of Darkness,” “Go Tell it On The Mountain,” “Lord of the Flies,” and a thousand other works of literature we could drop the unemployment rate a point or two. Then we could start on other ethnic insults which are more subtle. I see full employment on the horizon!

The real problem is when we get to books like Dick Gregory’s autobiography.  Its title is “The word that shall not be spoken or written: An Autobiography.” Maybe we should ask him? He has said that “the word that shall not be spoken or written,” should not be censored nor should euphemisms be used. He finds it intellectually dishonest. The same sentiment has been expressed by Professor Randall Kennedy, a Harvard Law School instructor and writer of books and essays on the use of “the word which may not be spoken or written.”  Ahhh, what do they know?  Vive la censorship! Vive la revisionism!


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: The Dilemma’s Dilemma

November 15, 2010

 

The movie “The Dilemma” isn’t going to be released until January but is already generating big press. In case you haven’t heard in an early trailer for the film one of the stars, Vince Vaughn, who plays an auto designer, says,

“Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars are gay. I mean, not ‘homosexual’ gay, but, you know, ‘my parents are chaperoning the dance’ gay.”

Even though Universal withdrew the trailer after protests director Ron Howard say he will keep the line in the film. Now more protests are threatened unless the joke is cut from the movie. This line has sent gay activists into a tizzy and has now made any reference to “gay” in a humorous way the moral equivalent of carrying Mein Kampf into a synagogue. One gay activist is quoted as saying the joke promotes “hate and homophobia.” Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper say it is a form of bullying. Mr. Cooper of CNN has said, “We’ve got to do something to make those words unacceptable ’cause those words are hurting kids!” Good for you, Andy! I am sure that you will be apologizing to all of the Tea Party activists you giggling called “tea baggers” indirectly calling them “gay” now that you have seen the light.

I am sure the people at GLAAD would have come down on Mr. Cooper and Bill Maher had they realized what they were saying. They were probably just really busy for a year or so and missed that “joke” all over TV and the internet. Thankfully the folks from GLAAD have finally spoken up and are trying to end “gay” jokes! I say “bravo,” it’s about time to end all of this “attack” humor!  

We have to take a stand and stop letting comedy and comedians offend people. Let’s get a whole list of banned words and topics together. Let’s see, we have the granddaddy of all banned word, a word so bad we can’t even print it we can only refer to it as, “the ‘N’ word.” Then we have the “f” word and I have to be honest I don’t know if that is “fag” or “fuck”.  We also have another contender for the “f” word, “fat.” As someone who has struggled with a weight problem all of my life I find any reference to “fat” in jokes offensive! In fact I find those “phat” references offensive too! Would “fag” be any less offensive to gay people if it were spelled “phag?” So let’s knock off the fat jokes. I am sure thin people find jokes about being skinny hurtful as well so they are o-u-t! Short, tall, unattractive, blond and any other reference to any appearance feature must be banned as well.

Then we have the “r” word. We wouldn’t want and actor calling an electric car “retarded” now would we? Jokes about people with or any reference to any type of limited abilities are now forbidden! We also need to be sensitive to how smart people are portrayed so jokes about geeks, nerds and dweebs are banned! As a Southerner and hillbilly let’s put an end to all of those hurtful references to how stupid people are in the south. No more NASCAR or incest jokes. Then too, we will have to agree to stop making jokes about New Yorkers and folks from Jersey. No jokes about California or its “dude” culture. In fact let’s just stop jokes about where people or from or how they behave!

I think it goes without saying that any ethnic reference is gone! Outlawed too is making fun of people’s religion, politics or educational background. No reference in any joke will be made to a person’s economic status. This can be hurtful no matter how much or how little a person has. Did I miss anything? Age? No “Geezer” jokes. Relationships? Off limits! No jokes about anything!   

A long time ago I was doing as TV show and had a joke about Daylight Savings Time and how in Indiana they didn’t observe it. “The days are boring enough without being any longer,” was the punch line. The producer asked me to cut the joke because it might offend someone in Indiana!  I told him that every joke offends somebody and if he could tell me a joke that didn’t I would cut the line without complaint. I got to do the joke.

As a comedian I know two things for sure; there is no such thing as a victimless joke and everything offends somebody. That is the whole point of comedy. Comedy is supposed to make fun of something. Great comedy makes us uneasy and makes us question are assumptions. Paraphrasing Twain, we are supposed to make hamburgers out of someone’s sacred cow. Once we start saying, “You can make fun of everything except…. (Insert your favorite set aside here) or “You can use any language you like except… (Insert any word that could possibly offend anyone here) it isn’t only the end of comedy it’s the end of free speech.


The Vast Right Wing Conspiacy: Patton!

November 10, 2010

November 11th is Veterans Day and I will be doing three things. I am calling my Great Uncle Art today to say thanks for his service. I will also call my older brother to say the same thing. Then I will sit down with my son to watch my favorite war movie, Patton. The film has been called by many who served with one of America’s greatest military men an accurate depiction of the general and of the war.

The opening of the movie, if you have never seen it is one of the finest in cinematic history. George C. Scott stands in front of a huge American flag and delivers a sanitized and edited version of Patton’s speech to the Third Army. Inspiring and angry the original speech was filled with profanities which the film’s producers felt were too harsh for the 70’s American film audiences. By today’s standards it would seem quite mild. The scene shows the power of Scott’s acting talent. Alone on a stage he captivates the audience with the power of his acting and voice.  Other lines from the original speech are used through the movie like when asked where he was going Scott, as Patton, says he is on his way to Berlin to personally, “Shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch.”

Another thing the film shows is that political correctness is not a modern invention. Patton, who never played it safe or minced words, was removed from command for slapping a soldier whom he thought to be a coward. It can be argued that this may have cost American lives. Patton wasn’t one to learn a lesson or be intimidated. Later politically intemperate remarks about continuing his campaign to Moscow landed him in further trouble.

Scott may have been the perfect actor to play the General as he was also mercurial and often unpredictable. He refused the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of General Patton. This was not part of some seventies anti-war or anti-establishment protest. He had earlier refused his nomination for his role in the movie “The Hustler.”  Scoot thought the Academy Awards to be a competition and thought his craft above that.

The movie also was one of the first to show the behind the scenes rivalry between Patton and English General Montgomery and the political divides inside the Allied Forces in World War II.