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 : 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.

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. 

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.

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.

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Stewart on King

October 21, 2010


Love or hate his politics Jon Stewart is a funny guy. Unlike his comedy compadre Colbert, who has grown tiring with his one joke caricature of conservatives, Stewart does occasionally give a blast to the left as well as the right. The recent “The Race Card is Maxed” sketch with Larry Wilmore is a great example. He is at his best when he is shooting from the hip, being self-deprecating and not taking him too seriously. Is he balanced and evenhanded?  I don’t expect him to be. Just as I would not expect Dennis Miller to be “balanced” when he is on O’Reilly.

It’s no wonder failing and flailing CNN would want to have him on for an hour and promote it heavily. I am sure that his ratings outperformed the recently acquired Spitzer/Parker yawnfest or any given hour of the ironically named Joy Behar Show on sister network Headline News.  For the past week CNN was pushing the appearance of the “Daily Show” host on “Larry King Live,”  as an hour of “Jon Stewart Opens Up.”

I would have loved to see Stewart open up for an hour however that isn’t what I got. The show got off to a good start when Stewart made fun of the falling rating of CNN and the fact that Larry King was leaving just before the ship went down. I especially liked the riff he did about Piers Morgan replacing King.

Then, unfortunately Mr. King tried to take control of the show and what followed, with the exception of a few moments when Stewart wrested control back, was enough to make me want to watch an hour of Christiane Amanpour do stand up or Andy Griffith shilling seniors for Obamacare on an endless loop.

The hour largely turned into a humorless hour long promotion for three of Stewart’s projects, the very worthy “Night of Too Many Stars,” his book “Earth,” and his anti Glenn Beck rally in Washington. Stewart denied any connection between his “Restoring Sanity” rally and Beck’s hugely successful “Restoring Honor” event. Several times Stewart made the point that he already had the idea before Beck did his rally. This was an obvious dodge of the truth. I get the joke Jon, Beck and his followers are nuts but you and Mr. Colbert will restore sanity. Embrace the joke, don’t run from it!

King spent several minutes talking to Stewart about the Porta Potties needed for the Washington rally to set up a painfully unfunny gift of one to Stewart. Larry, if you have a great comic on your show let him do the comedy.

The show really bogged down when Stewart forgot he was a comedian and fell into Maher/Franken territory and started doing serious analysis. Why are the Democrats about to be voted out of office en masse? People are “upset with the status quo,” said Stewart. Which is why Obama got elected but we’ll let that be for now. They are willing to elect fresh fruit according to Stewart. I wonder who he might be referring to with that comment?

 Perhaps Mr. Stewart was most clearly out of his element when he said that Obama was in trouble because he had failed to lay out, “a clear path of where he was going.”  No Jon, Mr. Obama has laid out a very clear path and most of us don’t care for it all that much.  You’ll see that on November 2nd.

Colbert at Congress

October 1, 2010


Now that Steven Colbert’s congressional “testimony” has had its fifteen minutes I think it’s time for someone to say his whole shtick has run its course. I don’t want to discuss if it was appropriate for a comedian to be at a congressional hearing. If it weren’t Al Franken could just have his check direct deposited and show up to vote once in awhile. Come to think of it that is just about what happens. Mr. Colbert is an acceptable sketch comedy actor who has taken a character he developed for John Stewart’s “Daily Show” and parlayed it into his own low-rated show. I don’t begrudge him his success, in fact I say well done!  I think it is a tribute to the greatness of our country that a guy with one joke with some help of his friends and a simpatico entertainment industry can become a multimillionaire. In the words of Max Bialystok, “Flaunt it, baby!”  

Calling his recent appearance before the House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration “comedy” may leave Mr. Colbert open to legal action for lying to Congress. There were also several points in his testimony that were of questionable, as he would say, “truthiness.” Political comedy in sketch form is tricky but as stand-up it is a balancing act that requires great skill. To my mind there are two rules: first you must, as my friend Will Durst says, be an equal opportunity smart ass. Unless you are willing to slap at both sides of the aisle or only work highly partisan events you lose at least fifty percent of the audience from the first joke. The second is that no matter who or what you are attacking it must be funny. Mr. Colbert’s stand-up or sit down in the case of his Congressional gig, fails on both counts. Mr. Colbert’s one dimensional highly partisan act has run its course. We get it, Steve; any sincere conservative is a dim witted, xenophobic, racist, Christian numbskull who just doesn’t understand the issues.

It is difficult to take a sketch character and develop it into a more than a series three minute scenes. One only has to look at the number of horrible Saturday Night Live spin off character films that have been made to prove my point. It is even harder to take a character out of the sketch and build it into a stand up routine. Mr. Colbert has now proved this to be the case…twice.

His recent attempt to use humor to “…draw attention to this important, complicated issue…” was not the first time he has bombed in the capital. In 2006 at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Mr. Colbert tried his character driven stand up and died a horrible death when he bypassed funny and went to being personally insulting to Mr. Bush and others in attendance. In a rare bipartisan show of support his act was panned by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Mr. Colbert started his testimony with a nice piece of self-deprecation saying his appearance might get the hearing moved up to C-SPAN 1. Unfortunately it was downhill from there until the last line of the set. He followed this with a big stretch set up about obese American’s to get to a weak colonoscopy reference. The next joke was a reference comparing illegal immigration to the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt and a bad pun about “food pyramids.”  The problem with this “joke” is that the comparison isn’t accurate. I’m not saying political jokes can’t stretch the facts but there is a breaking point where the audience doesn’t buy the premise.

This was followed by a series of weak attempts to humorously say that farm work is hard, hot physical labor. I don’t think that anyone doubts that. His point is that these are jobs American’s won’t do. Again, the humor is rooted in a falsehood so great that we all know it to be invalid. As a teen I used to cut corn out of soybeans and bale hay. The pay was crap and the hours long. I didn’t do it because I liked it I did it because there was no other way to get money. My father didn’t believe in the welfare system known as an allowance. Illegal immigration suppresses wages and makes the welfare system the smart choice for unskilled labor. Perhaps Mr. Colbert and his progressive friends are too dim to get that.  Just as “progressives” don’t get that raising the minimum doesn’t lift people out of poverty it only raises the number we consider being poor. If raising the minimum wage was the answer to anything we could just make the minimum wage $300,000 a year and we would all be rich.

Mr. Colbert did do one thing right; he saved his best joke for the closer.  At the end of his “expert” opinion he said, “I trust that following my testimony – both sides will work together on this issue in the best interest of the American people – as you always do.” Since Mr. Colbert seems to be fond of bad puns I’ll finish with one; Mr. Colbert’s act has jumped the snark.

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Israel Does The Worm

September 27, 2010

I was beginning to wonder when Israel was going to take action against Iran.

The Iranian Fearless Leader hit the UN this week and rubbed a large handful of do-do under Obama’s nose and again made him the laughing stock of the world. In New York this week Mr. Ahmadinejad joined former Obama favorite Van Jones in saying that 9/11 was an inside job, threatened Israel and took some softball questions from the semi-senile Larry King. About the only thing he didn’t do was throw his support behind the Ground Zero Mosque.

Obama again threatened to send Ahmadinejad another strongly worded letter and put a mark on his permenent record if he didn’t put his nuclear toys away! Wow! That is the kind of leadership that makes tyrants tremble!

The Israelies, however, were busy. They unleased a brilliant new cyber “worm” at the Iranian nuclear program. Brilliant! That my friends is change I can believe in!

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy:Lady Gaga goes say, “Go Meat!”

September 17, 2010


Is there no end to the many facets of the talents of Lady Gaga already recognized as the greatest Madonna impersonator of this century? Of course we all know her as a singer, musician, fashionista and female impersonator but recently she has revealed herself as maven in two new areas: military expert and political advisor!

It started at the MTV Video Music Awards. That is ironic in itself since I think that MTV stopped being a music channel sometime in the 1990’s. Ms.Gaga, (I don’t know if “Lady” is a title or simply the first part of her pseudonym) appeared in a costume made of meat. When asked the meaning of her get up by Ellen DeGeneres she explained it wasn’t a slam on vegans.  

 “As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth,” Gaga replied.  Wow! Did the irony of that statement knock anyone else down into their La-Z-Boy? That might be the truest thing she has ever said. It wasn’t too long ago that having some judgment skills was considered a plus.

Be that as it may, the whole idea was to call attention to the plight of gay folks in the military. If you don’t see the linkage between “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” narcissistic self- indulgence and wearing a Porterhouse, come on over and sit on the terminally unhip bench with me while I try to figure it out.

Ms. Gaga went on to explain that her being accompanied by some disgruntled former employees of the military was a political protest. “For me this evening, if we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights pretty soon, we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat.” I am not really sure what that means either. I am a fairly hefty guy and I have a lot of meat on my bones. So are my rights safe? Perhaps Ms. Gaga is trying to tell us that DADT is somehow linked to anorexia in the fashion industry. Ahhh now it’s all starting to come together.

She went on to say, “It is a devastation to me that I know my fans who are gay . . . feel like they have government oppression on them.” Not that there is government oppression but that they “feel” there is oppression.

Later she “tweeted” to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Senator was smitten with Lady Gaga. They tweeted back and forth for days! That is, if you think they do their own “tweeting.” I believe that both have people who do this job for them and the job title is “Twit.”  There is probably a Head Twit and several assistant twits. I imagine Lady Gaga and Harry Reid are surrounded by Twits! Perhaps he is just looking for his next gig when he finds himself unemployed in November.