First of all, I’d like to thank all of you who come by on a regular or semi-regular basis. I know that the majority of times there’s nothing here you haven’t already seen and I’d like to thank you for putting up with my prolonged dry spells, which are usually accompanied by equally prolonged bouts of laziness, and coming back when it would be so much easier just to move on to someone funnier and more consistent in their posting. So I’d like to thank, amongst many others, John, Snoop, Miriam, Rachel, Deogolwulf, Bob, Randy, Norm Geras, That Broad, Paul Drabek, Jazzki, Lorenz, Kim duToit, Dick Stanley, Neil Kramer and the always lovely Sophia, Tatyana, Rusty, Joe Herzlinger, Mark Alger, and Fran Porretto, who unwisely has me writing for him now, even though I don’t produce copy for him any faster than I produce it for myself, and if I’ve forgotten your name, please excuse the lapse and let me know and I will definitely include you here as well.
Second, I’d like to thank Robert Benchley for the use of his style, as well as Dave Barry, P.G. Wodehouse, Veronica Geng, Tina Fey, all four of the Marx Brothers—never let it be said that I didn’t give Zeppo his due—S.J. Perelman, and Nikolai Gogol, who so kindly provided me with my nom de blog. All of them make me laugh, no small accomplishment since I spend most of my waking hours depressed about one thing or another.
Third, I’d like to thank Playboy’s Playmate of the Month for October 1984, Ms. Roberta Vasquez, whom I mentioned once in passing in a post and then found that people from all over the world were coming to this site to see if there were new nude photos of her here. I then wrote an entire post about this odd phenomenon, which only seemed to convince hundreds of others that there must be pictures of her here somewhere, if only I would shut up talking about Ms. Vasquez and tell them where I had the pictures hidden. For those of you who came here looking for pictures, I fear that I do not have any new pictures of Ms. Vasquez; I don’t even have any old pictures of her, either. But from the day I first mentioned her, my site meter tells me, Roberta Vasquez has always been among the top five reasons why people come to The Passing Parade, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her help in getting this blog to its 30,000th visitor.
Finally, having reached this part of the celebration, I feel compelled to point out that this still leaves us with the phenomenon of sexist puppets, one of said wretches appearing in the space below. No one is sure why puppets, once a fairly polite group that treated women with the respect they deserve, should so suddenly and completely have become public cads, but the change has without question occurred. One may safely assume that all the usual cultural influences are at work here: the hip-hop lifestyle, including gangsta rap, easy money, drugs, and violent images on television. It is difficult, at best, for whole generations of Americans to imagine Bert and Ernie beating up an old woman for her Social Security money or Gumby smoking crack or Howdy Doody bitch-slapping one of his hoes in public because she dissed him, and yet one cannot escape the conclusion that if Howdy were still on the air today that is exactly the sort of thing he would have to do in order to keep his ratings up. We have, I fear, become a nation that today uses public power to mandate private behavior that an earlier generation took for granted. This is a terrible shame, I think, and one that is not discussed often enough these days. I am not sure why not, although a general lack of interest in the social problems of puppets on the part of the American public certainly comes to mind as an explanation.