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 : 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: 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.


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: Paul Waldman Needs a Clue!

August 25, 2010

I was surfing the internet yesterday and came across an article about the current state of political comedy by Paul Waldman. The article “The Joke is on Us” was posted on the far left website “The American Prospect.” The subtitle of the site is “liberal intelligence” which is, of course, an oxymoron. That aside, the premise of Mr. Waldman’s article is that there is a dearth of humor about Barrack Obama. It reminds me of when Nixon was elected New York Times film critic Pauline Kael being shocked because only one person she knew voted for him.

Mr. Waldman further postulates that this lack of Obama material is because he is so cool, so intelligent, and so unflappable that he is immune to being made the butt of any jokes! He actually says, “…our current political leadership isn’t all that funny.”  I assume he includes the Vice President in that statement so apparently he and I hear different Joe Biden sound bites. I strongly doubt he has ever listened to Rush or Glen who daily skewer Obama, Reid and Pelosi. Mr. Waldman, like Ms. Kael suffers from having a limited circle of exposure.

Before I get further into that, let me just say a big “thank you” to Mr. Waldman for reinforcing a concept that I have written about several times: Conservatives have a better sense of humor and are more willing to be self-deprecating than lefties. You see, my fellow right wing nut jobs, in Walden World, Bush, Rush, Palin and anyone else who isn’t hastening the “Marxization” of America is a moron who should be belittled for their obvious lack of intellect. Leftist never do anything foolish. All of thier causes are above mocking.  Let me illustrate: Q. What do you call four feminists at a protest march? A. That’s not funny you chauvinistic, racist right wing moron!

Anyway, Mr. Waldman claims two things that I find absolutely amazing. One is that the lack of “Obama” material the general public is exposed to isn’t the result of the ideology of the “mainstream” comics. He says,

“There was an assumption that since they’re a bunch of liberals, the comedians wouldn’t go after Obama. But if comedy has an Obama problem, it doesn’t have much to do with ideology. The guy is just difficult to mock.”

Can anyone name a major mainstream comic beside Dennis Miller who is conservative? How about a late night talk show host?  Letterman? Leno? Fallon? Kimmel? Mr. Waldman points to Jon Stewart for doing a credible job of taking on Obama.  When Stewart does take a jab at the President it is usually because Obama for not being “progressive” enough! In Waldman World the only thing about Obama that’s funny is that he is such a centrist!

The second is that he doesn’t see any way to mock the President.

“Politicians who make good targets for humor tend to have a personality feature or physical characteristic, like a particular accent or a distinctive set of gestures that are easily identifiable and thus can be exaggerated to make the politician look foolish, because exaggeration is what impressions and satire are built on.”

Alright, you knuckle dragging, mouth breathing right wingers; here is a quick comedy quiz. I know that none of you are as smart as Mr. Waldman, after all he works over at Soros funded Media Matters but let’s see if you can you name a physical trait of Mr. Obama’s we could mock. Anyone say “ears?” Those Dumbo sized, suicide door lookin’ Prince Charles mud flaps. Oh my! I said “mud” in a sentence referring to the President, that’s not funny! I must be a racist! Now let’s turn our attention to personality features. “Arrogance” ring a bell Mr. Waldman? How about stammering when off prompter?  How about being oblivious to the economy while your wife spends millions on a vacation in Spain? How about trying to convince the American public that the cost of two first class tickets covers the cost of that vacation? In comedy this type of humor is known as “true story,”  just the fact as they happened are funny.

Finally, Mr. Waldman asks,

“But what’s the joke about Obama?”

With the help of a few comic friends I will give Mr. Waldman some samples which I am sure he won’t find funny.  Feel free to add your own in the comments!  

“What is the difference between Osama Bin Laden and Barack Hussein Obama?  One is an anti-capitalist who hates America and wants to destroy Israel, and the other is hiding in Afghanistan.” Mark Klein

“All during his campaign, Obama’s claim to fame was that he was a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. I was just on the South Side of Chicago – it ain’t too organized.”  Drew Hastings

“The new Obama economy game show: “American Idle”.   Sam Griesbaum

He is called “Vice President Biden” because the phrase “hot air balloon” was already taken. Mark Klein

“If we could harness the wind generated by Obama’s ears and mouth we would have energy independence!  Jeff Jena

“People were once comparing him (Obama) to Jesus Christ. On the economy he seems more like Moses; wandering around aimlessly, blaming everything on the Bush.” Tim Slagle

“If you cast a ballot for Barack Obama are you voting Democrat or Demigod?” Gregory Peterson

“Obama inspired class envy: The original green job.”  Sam Griesbaum

Q. Why is Barack Obama running for office as a Democrat?
A. The Communist Party didn’t have enough voters.  Author Unknown.

“In reaction to Iran launching a new missile and starting a nuclear reactor President Obama is going to ratchet up the pressure. This time he is sending them a very strongly worded letter!”  Jeff Jena

Obama puts the “dip” in Diplomacy.  Sam Griesbaum

“Obama would have had an opinion on the gulf oil spill earlier but his prompter was in the shop.” Jeff Jena

 “Pres. Obama announced $118 million in stimulus monies to increase high-speed Internet in Ohio. Presumably, so he can get all the bad news to us faster.”  Drew Hastings


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Sir Paul, Tell the Walrus to Be Quiet

June 7, 2010

“I don’t ever try to make a serious social comment.”
Paul McCartney

Too bad Paul didn’t stick to his own advice. Last Wednesday former Beatle and once great songwriter Paul McCartney was invited to play a short gig at the White House. Fair enough! Maybe we have run out of American superstars to show up for the weekly party. For some unknown reason Sir Paul decided to try his hand a little comedy while he was in town even though comedy legend Jerry Seinfeld was standing right behind him. Maybe Jerry had asked if he could sing “Yesterday” and Paul figured turnabout was fair play.

Since Mr. McCartney isn’t a professional I’ll lay off the fact that that joke he made was so hackneyed that it rates right under a “McNugget” reference. Bush jokes are also a little out of date. Maybe I should dust off some of my Clinton stuff if I get an invite to a Wednesday fiesta.

Besides that I have a few other problems with Sir Paul.

First and foremost is that for someone who has made some of the bonehead moves in their life that Paul has shouldn’t really be casting aspersions at anyone else’s intellectual level. Do the words “Heather Mills” mean anything, Sir Paul? How about carrying pot into Japan?

Second the joke wasn’t funny. I am a right wing nut job but when someone who is good like Lewis Black, Jimmy Tingle or Will Durst takes a meat cleaver to the right I can usually laugh because their take is original and funny.

Third and this is my biggest complaint, if you ain’t American butt out! I was talking to a friend who is an English singer this week. He just got a great gig in Vegas and was joking about how “tough” it would be to live here with people of low intellect like Bush and Palin. He’s isn’t the only one. Recently, singer Shakira, a Columbian, was chiming in on how “racist” we are because of the new tough laws in Arizona. Awhile back English Twit-Laureate Russell Brand let loose with some Bush bashing on some minor awards show he was hosting. How is it people who are here as guests feel free to insult our country? If you are an American I’ll listen to you have to say. You want to give Glenn Beck a verbal smack down, fine! You got a dog in the fight. If you are a guest, mind you manners. Keep your feet off the chairs and don’t talk bad about your hosts. Come here, make your money and then say “Thank you!” on your way out the door.

To my English friends- let me remind you of the downward arc your little island has been on since Lady Thatcher let public office.  I’d put GW’s smarts up against Jacqui Smith, Gordon Brown or any of the many Marxist writing for the Independent. As for Sir Paul let me quote your pal John Lennon, “The only thing you done was yesterday.”