Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Sure was embarrassing to have the President talk over “God Save the Queen” at the state dinner the other night. While it’s easy to say it’s an honest mistake, there are a lot of people in this country who’d consider declaring war if someone stepped on “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Sensitivity to other nations’ customs and patriotic symbols should one of the easier parts of his job. True, it wasn’t his fault the orchestra started playing when he was still talking, but he’s supposed to know—as anyone else would be expected to—that when the national anthem starts, that’s your cue to shut the fuck up. (Then again, when has any politician observed a cue to STFU?)

Embarrassing and (inadvertently) disrespectful, but at least he didn’t throw up on her, as did George H.W. Bush with the Prime Minister of Japan. Thinking of Forty-One barfing on the guy puts me in mind of what would have happened had the most recent Bush president had committed the same gaffe as Obama.

“Hey,” he’d say, “it wasn’t my fault the band started playing ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ right in the middle of my toast.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Good night at Castle Schadenfreude

I watched the Pirates lose 4-2 to the Natinals tonight, but it wasn’t a total waste of time. Washington Capitals coach Bruce “Porky Pig” Boudreau was observed in the crowd behind home plate. I wondered what he was doing there, then realized he has time on his hands, now that the Caps have been swept four games to none by Tampa, eliminating them from the Stanley Cup playoffs in the second round.

At first I could find no connection between the Porkster and the Nats, but a after a little thought it was obvious:neither team has ever won a Stanley Cup.

Porky was not observed after the seventh inning, but that was not unexpected. It’s spring, and he thinks it only natural to pack it in while teams are still playing.

(Editor’s Note: “Natinals” is not a typo. A couple of years ago the team actually took the field for a game with two players wearing uniforms with the team name spelled that way. Washington DC, the Sports Capital of the Apocalypse.)

Can Someone Explain This to Me?

Suppose a man—let’s call him a Republican so as not to defame anyone—has spent much of his life doing his level best to see to it that people who need help don’t get it. Wants to cut the WIC program and Head Start, argues tirelessly against Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance of any kind. Anyone willing to work doesn’t need unemployment benefits for more then thirteen weeks.

Now he gets laid off. He’s a hard worker, he’ll be back in harness again soon, which is good, because those COBRA payments are killers when you’re not working. Good thing the family can do without insurance for a few weeks while he finds a new job.

Then he finds out that pain in his kid’s gut is a tumor, and I look at this prick and I smile.

I wish the kid no ill will. It’s not his fault his father is a selfish, insensitive douche bag. This hypothetical tumor isn’t fatal. Hell, I don’t want it to be painful.

Just expensive.

I like the idea of Dad laying awake a few nights wondering how he’s going to pay for this. Can he pay the kid’s bills and still afford a house for him to live in? At what point will they cut him off, making what should be a scary inconvenience into a life-threatening drama?

To most people, this makes me a bastard, far worse than the fictional father described above. He’s willing to deny children a healthy diet, decent medical care to entire families, and a safety net over uncertain times to literally millions of people. All I want is for him to walk a mile in their shoes and have a few of the countless sleepless nights he’d inflict on others.

Yet I’d bet most people would say that makes me the lesser person of the two of us, and I just don’t see it.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Say Hey!

Willie Mays is eighty years old.

Holy shit.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A Win for the Good Guys

I meant to write this last week before the Osama bin Laden news overwhelmed the Internet, but I have a life, too, so it slipped. (Editor’s Note: No bin Laden comments will be forthcoming, either about his death, what comes next, or the celebrations that erupted when the news broke. These have already been overdone by people who weren’t right about 9/11/01 or any analysis or predictions since. He’s dead, it’s a victory, move on. It’s not like Sunday was VE or VJ Day; not much is going to change.)

Sometimes it seems there’s no good news. Allegedly responsible representatives are threatening a default by the federal government. (Most of these are people who would throw you out of your house for missing even a single mortgage payment. Et tu, assholes?) The economy refuses to pick up and there are rumblings that we may have to get used to a new definition of “full employment” that has twice as many people off work as the old.

In the midst of all this misery, comes a beacon of light from, of all places, Mississippi, where the Anti-Christian Spawn of Hell Westboro Baptist Church was finally foiled in an attempt to ruin a military funeral. Beating the snot out of one of their number while everyone in the vicinity saw nothing was nice; the local government’s response in blocking their vehicles into their motel parking lot was priceless. We must be careful not to encourage too much of government’s behavior, as its potential for abuse is too great. Here it was just right.

As for the unwitnessed beat down, you want to push the law and the Constitution to the breaking point, you invite others to do the same. I only hope I would have the courage to flatten some tires if offered the same opportunity. There are things that go so far beyond decency that decency in return is nothing more than enabling behavior. Maybe the next step should be harassing their church services, especially funerals. See how well that shoe fits.