Wednesday, February 27, 2008


When age brings maturity, like a fine wine, and wisdom born of understanding the mistakes of the past along with the ability to incorporate that knowledge into the affairs of the present; when it carries with it compassion born of an awareness of the universality of human suffering and a desire to ameliorate it, then it belongs in public service. Wisdom understands the past, accepts the realities of the present, but still has the ability to think outside of tired old paradigms.

Unfortunately, this is a rare phenomenon in public life, as aging politicians seem to be driven more by an egotistic lust for power and a grander place in history than a desire for service. People who need to leave their mark on the world in the same way an animal pisses on a new rug or, in the case of the current president, fills a bag with dogshit, puts it on the world’s porch, lights it on fire, rings the bell, then scurries off into the shrubs to chortle as the hapless owner tries to stomp it out. Age is not always about advancing years. It’s about having a dead mind. And a dead soul.

Elephants have the wisdom to know when it’s their time to die. They just wander away from the herd and have a lie down. If only certain politicians had the same instincts regarding their careers. Go off into seclusion. Grow that vacation beard. Write a memoir.  Build a house for a poor person. Stump for your favorite disease, even name a foundation and gala fundraiser after your close relative who died of the disease, which is usually the only event that can shake the shit out of a politico and force feed to them the fact that they are mortal like the rest of us.

Maybe what’s needed is some sort of test before someone can run for high office. Especially someone of advancing years. A way of measuring a candidate’s intelligence, openness, and awareness, not just of his or her own world, but of people, cultures and worlds outside their own. In short, a way of gauging whether that person is still alive, or whether they’re just too old, mean, stubborn, selfish, or even borderline senile for public office. Sort of a cranky old fart quiz.

1) U2 is:

a)     A spy plane that got shot down over the Soviet Union.

b)    A band.

c)     Text message shorthand.

d)    There’s a mess in my diaper.


2) Nirvana is:

  a)     Blasphemy to a god-fearing Christian.

b)    A band.

c)     Buddhist enlightenment.

d)    I can’t find my pants.


3)  Zeppelin is:

  a)     That German blimp that crashed. “Oh the humanity.”

b)    A legendary band.

c)     A legendary band that trashed hotel rooms and nailed groupies on tour.

d)    Where’s my house?


4) Rush is:

  a) A conservative radio talk show host.

b) A band.

c) What a bong hit gives you.

d) I wanted green jello, not red!!

5) The Stones are:

a) What the Bible says people in glass houses shouldn’t throw.

b) A great Rock ‘n’ Roll band.

c) A great Rock ‘n’ Roll band that is one broken hip away from not touring.

d) Causing excruciating pain in my kidneys.


6) Dylan is:

a) The first name of a poet.

b) A famous singer.

c) A famous singer who’s starting to look like a raisin wedged between two cowboy boots and a cowboy hat.

d) My great grandchild.

7) War is:

a) A human inevitability.

b) A band.

c) Avoidable if great minds pursue peace.

d) What makes blood rush to my penis.


8) Madonna is:

a)     The Virgin mother of our lord, Jesus Christ.

b)    A singer.

c)     A pretentious, gap-toothed Anglophile and silly born-again Kabbalist.

d)    I want my driver’s license back!!


9) Complete the phrase: Hip…

a)     ster.

b)    pie.

c)     Hop.

d)    Replacement.


10) Complete the phrase: Punk…

  a)     …is slang for a cigarette.

b)    …ass bitch.

c)     …began and ended with the Sex Pistols.

d)    O seventy-one? … BINGO !! Uh oh, there’s more doody in my diaper.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


With today’s sexier McCain scandal literally rendering the plagiarism scandal to yesterday’s news, it is refreshing to note one thing: it didn’t stick.


The Clinton campaign can throw all the plagiarism marbles under Senator Obama’s feet that it wants, it’s not going to shake the candidate nor his supporters any more than a smug David Frum could through some nitwit syllogism. Major premise: Obama’s campaign is only about words; minor premise, his words are purloined; conclusion: he’s a fake. As if this pathetic attempt at Aristotelian logic would somehow obliterate the democratic frontrunner by the sheer power of argument.


The fact that Senator Obama may have used language also used by Governor Patrick doesn’t change the fact that he actually understands and believes what he is saying. Perhaps this is the change he represents. The breath of intelligent, compassionate fresh air, after 8 years of a president who not only lied his ass off every chance he got, but, like some retarded ventriloquist dummy, never had any words of his own, nor seemed to have any attachment to or comprehension of the ones that were put in his mouth. 


Borrowed phrases or not, people are moved by the senator. This is the music of the Obama campaign. But there are also lyrics. Substance. No matter how some try to play it,  Chris Matthews on-air de-balling of some Texas state senator had nothing to do with Senator Obama’s record. It was about the interviewee being unprepared. And the interviewer being a dick. And while the question was about his senate accomplishments, the answer could have been a simple one: Barack Obama was a vocal opponent of the Iraq war at a time when the country was hungry for 9/11 payback. Taking that stance, without regard for the potential political backlash took both integrity and foresight. And no matter how the Clinton campaign has tried to spin her actions at the time -- that a vote for war was a vote against it -- it won’t fly. That’s the difference between leadership and sticking a wet finger in the air to see which way the wind’s blowing.


There’s a great line from The Barefoot Contessa, when a failing actress expresses her envy of Ava Gardner, a beautiful and talented star, asking: “what’ve you got that I haven’t.” The response (from Humphrey Bogart’s wife in the movie) “What’s she’s got, you can’t even spell. And what you have, you used to have.”


The problem for Clinton campaign is simple: On occasion, Hillary can do sincerity. Obama is sincere. And that’s what people are responding to.


Monday, February 18, 2008


 A photo recently released by The Republican National Committee on their website shows  the contender for the Democratic Presidential nod in an apparent romantic embrace with an unidentified white male. The photo, taken in North Carolina, was soon posted on various conservative websites and subsequently picked up by the mainstream media.

While grainy, the photo clearly shows Senator Obama hugging another male, while a third man, presumably one of his security team, looks around, trying to protect their privacy. An unnamed Republican spokesperson, while making no value judgments on the homosexual lifestyle, other than it being an abomination against God, implied that the photo certainly raised doubts about the Senator’s image as a loving husband, as well as his overall honesty. “Obviously, if he can lie to his wife, he can lie to the country. The American people will have to decide if this is someone they want as their president. Again.”

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Hillary Clinton, insisted that no conclusions can or should be drawn from the photo, at least before Senator Obama has a chance to explain it to his family. “It is, after all, essentially a private matter of lifestyle choice and nothing more.”

A McCain spokesman stated that it was “deplorable” that this kind of swiftboat journalism that has become accepted in national politics, adding, “I think the American public will best be served in this election by the candidates and the media focusing solely on the issues facing our country in the 21st century, and not on some photograph, however salacious and disturbing.”

Senator Obama was allegedly on the campaign trail and phone calls requesting him to comment on the matter were not returned.

Johnny Winter-Woodstock

LA Blues


Thursday, February 14, 2008



Bob Fischer, a South Dakota businessman and anti-abortion activist, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that while he could back the Arizona senator over either Democratic Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama, he made clear that he and others in the evangelical movement are not content with those choices, holding out hope that Mike Huckabee might mount an improbable comeback, or that another "good conservative, Godly, Christian pro-life" GOP candidate somehow emerge to supplant McCain. In a surprise move, Jesus made an appearance on the campaign trail and announced his intention to mount a third party run for the presidency. Despite being somewhat late in the process, with only nine months before the general election, Jesus pointed out that there was still plenty of time to throw his crown of thorns into the ring.

When reached for comment, a Clinton campaign spokesperson welcomed Jesus to the campaign saying all points of view are welcome, though privately confided their hope that Jesus would entice swing voters from the Obama camp. An Obama rep said the senator would look forward to a spirited debate on the issues, though he remained privately skeptical about Jesus’ ability to raise the necessary funds to campaign in the national election, stating: “Loaves and fishes is one thing. Raising a hundred million at this stage of the campaign is quite another.”

Fearing a third party spoiler, leading Republican contender Senator John McCain added an additional note of skepticism into the Jesus candidacy wondering about his apparent Middle East ties, with McCain supporter Giuliani adding: “Really. Where was he on 9/11?” McCain then quoted an earlier speech by Jesus entitled “The Sermon on the Mount” in which Jesus was quoted saying “blessed are the peacemakers.” The senator added: “sounds like a guy who’s soft on defense, my friends, and I’m not sure this is who we need as commander in chief in these troubled times.”

Concerned that the Jesus candidacy might usurp their own candidate’s platform, the flailing Huckabee campaign quickly produced and ran a 30-second spot, featuring the governor on camera stating: “I know Jesus. I’ve walked with Jesus. And you, sir, are no Jesus.” The Jesus camp did not issue a formal response, but a spokesperson insisted that they would not go negative.

The media was quick to analyze the Jesus candidacy, the consensus being that while he could expect an initial bump in the polls from conservatives, for a third party candidate to pull off a victory in the general election at this late date would amount to a genuine Hail Mary. Meanwhile, Lou Dobbs cast doubt on Jesus virtual absence from the political scene and intimated that he might not really be the historical Jesus, but instead some guy named Hey-soos, who might have slipped over the border illegally. “Before I take his candidacy seriously,” Dobbs said, “I’d like to see his driver’s license.”

Still, controversy aside, Christian conservatives around the country celebrated Jesus’ candidacy, saying their prayers had been answered, and that they were ecstatic to have a legitimate contender for the presidency who would be an advocate for their anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-immigration, anti-gun control, anti-evolution platform, to which Jesus responded that he never advocated any of those things and that his campaign would be centered around the slogan: “Peace on earth and good will toward men.” Focus on the Family immediately cast doubt on that statement, suggesting that “good will toward men” was a vague reference to claiming a legitimacy for the homosexual lifestyle, while a spokesperson privately wondered about Jesus’ status as an unmarried man in his 30s.

Leaping to Jesus’ defense, the women of The View all eagerly proclaimed that they would sleep with him, to which Jesus responded: “Not even with Judas’ dick.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2008



Saturday, February 9, 2008


Of course, I don’t mean that literally. It’s an extreme statement for the purpose of calling attention to an opinion. You know, like calling a presidential candidate a “faggot,” or comparing another to Stalin or Hitler -- hateful, histrionic statements that sneak in the back door of a free society disguised as legitimate discourse, without even the pretense of shedding any legitimate light on a debate, much like the sick, noxious verbal flatulence that emanates from the mouths of Limbaughs of the world.

But, as vile as these statements can be, as abhorrent to basic human decency, it is wrong to advocate violence as a response. The wonderful thing about living in a democracy is that all thoughts are free to be expressed, even those so onerous and hateful that you’d really just like to grab the speaker by her Afghan-like mane and, in the name of all that is good, smash her face into a brick wall until that smug, twisted smile melted off her lips and dripped onto the sidewalk. Figuratively speaking, of course.

I am against violence. It’s a bold stance, I know, but I’m taking it here and now. Violence is the language of the ignorant. The response to conflict by the cruel, and diseased of spirit. A free and open society is predicated on the idea that people holding different points of view can come together in a Socratic search for Truth, each with the same goal of improving the quality of life on the planet, but with perhaps different opinions on how to accomplish it. In the spirit of a free exchange of ideas, it is wrong to demonize the other side, however sick, selfish, and self-aggrandizing they can be. Granted, when hearing this kind of hate speech, it isn’t always easy to quell the rising tide of righteous indignation and resist the urge throw the speaker down on the pavement and stomp the life out of her, like Donald Sutherland did to that obnoxious brat at the end of Day of the Locusts. But, no one should do that.

Even though the headline of this piece was exaggerated, a modest proposal, simply to make a point, I hope people realize it was not meant literally. I sincerely hope nobody shoots Ann Coulter. Because as much as hate speech can inspire violence, in this country we don’t silence people for their opinions, even when those opinions have no basic value and intent beyond calling attention to the speaker in some petty, childish cry for attention, perhaps the attention that was missing a child. Of course, we muzzle vicious, rabid dogs. We remove public servants from office for making vile statements. We take the criminally insane off the street and try to heal them. But we don’t shoot them. Because that would be wrong.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


After 8 years of the world being led over a cliff by a barely literate, intellectually blind, and quasi- retarded, morally bankrupt, tone deaf Pied Piper, our long national nightmare could soon be over. Not since Nixon has this fog of despair hung over the nation. And not since his goodbye wave has it felt like the fetid air might finally be clearing. Just listening to Barack Obama for five minutes reminds one that politics, intelligence, and compassion are not mutually exclusive categories and that, for the first time in years, the best and the brightest might actually get to Washington.

But then, along comes John McCain. Republican frontrunner. Pale, craggy, and sporting a smile that features the best in English dentistry, McCain is ready to take this country in a new direction – backwards. He wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years. He wants to bomb Iran. He says we need to prepare ourselves for more wars, suggesting a foreign policy that involves bombing the entire Middle East, getting rid of the mosques and the people, and leaving the oil. The former straight-talker is now comporting himself like a meaner, nastier W. But it’s not the age, it’s the anger. The crankiness. The bad temper. Ok, and the age. Shit, when Grandpa gets in a foul mood, you don’t want him behind the wheel. Let alone in arm’s reach of the launch codes.

Senator, maybe it’s time to rethink this. You’re 72. You’ve worked hard enough. Wouldn’t it feel nice to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors before this whole campaign thing gets out of hand? The presidency ages a person. Look what it’s done to Bill Clinton. From lusty boomer to narcoleptic heart patient in a few short years. Maybe you should take a minute. Slip on a robe, sit back in the rocker, and think about whether this is something you really want to do? It’s not like you have to retire. There are still many ways seniors can stay active. You could be:

John, Greeter at WalMart. "Hi, I'm John. Welcome to WalMart." Then flash that winning smile as you point people toward the Polident aisle.

John C. McCain, Actor. Just like bi-coastal Fred T. You could play the old homespun country doc on an updated TNT western, or the cranky grandpa on a new, multi-generational sitcom. Maybe grab an endorsement deal for Oatmeal, or some new E.D. drug.

Straight-Talkin’ Judge John, a no-nonsense judge who “tells it like it is” in your own afternoon reality show.

Johnny McCain, Bingo Caller at the senior center. When someone yells Bingo, you could make the sound of a giant explosion, which might make the folks laugh, instead of dropping actual bombs, which tend to make people dead.

The Honorable John McCain, Ambassador to Vietnam. Visit old friends. Make new friends.

Former Senator John McCain, lecturer, author, CNN political analyst. They let just about anyone do that now.

Professor McCain, Lecturer in Revisionist History, University of Phoenix.

Farmer John-- gentleman farmer. Grow whatever the hell it is farmers grow. Maybe a vegetable of some kind. Attend farmer’s markets on the weekend and county fares. Win blue ribbons and dance with your best gal.

Or maybe just plain ol’ Grandpa John. Sit back on the porch with a pipe. Bounce those grandkids on your knee. C’mon, you know you get a rush when you see that flannel shirt hanging in the closet. Take off the suit and tie. Just try it on, see how good it feels.

Of course those are just suggestions. Give it some thought. Bow out now and leave the field open to those other guys. Romney and Huckabee…. Oh, shit. You know what, never mind. On second thought, you better stay in the race. Those two are fucking nuts.