The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Pelicans and the need for order in the antebellum world

There is, as far as I know, no such thing as an organic free-range pelican, other than the ones that haunt the shores and wetlands of this our Great Republic, nor are there any plans to start raising such a creature for fun and profit any time soon. I suspect that pelicans are outside most people’s comfort zone—after all, no American child has ever gone to McDonald’s and ordered a delicious four pack of Pelican McNuggets with a large fries and a Coke—and I suspect that this unfamiliarity with the product keeps pelicans from appearing on any restaurant’s menu. In addition, the pelican’s bill does not have any known medicinal quality, unlike an emu’s comb, which will ease your aches and pains without making you stink. Since no one wants to eat them or turn various and sundry parts of their bodies into medicine, pelicans can go about their business without fear of disturbance.

No, this is not part of a longer piece. It just popped into my mind about two minutes ago and since the egregious mold pit has closed for the day and I am waiting for the last guy to come out of the men’s room so I can close the place down and go home, I am just typing away to pass the time.  Hope all is well with you.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Why? Why? Why?

Mr. Mueller is going to Washington shortly, there to testify about the report he spent two years and several millions of dollars compiling.  I do not know why he is bothering; it will be hot and humid in Washington—it always is this time of year—and it is not as though Mueller will add anything new and significant to what the report says, but the Democrats want to hear this straight from him and Mueller will indulge them.  The Democrats want this more than Mueller does, I suspect.  Since the release of the Mueller Report, the Democrats have been acting like a little girl who wanted a pony for Christmas and is now livid that she did not get one. The little girl was so certain of her getting that pony that she simply dismissed any idea that it might not happen, despite her parents telling her over and over again that there was no room in the apartment for a pony. And then Christmas came and reality, as is its wont, came crashing in with it. Little girls, of course, can only throw tantrums and then sulk in their rooms for days over the crushing of their equine dreams; the House Democrats can throw a tantrum and then subpoena Mr. Mueller and anyone else the House Democrats deems necessary to appear in front of their committees. Someone must explain to Congressmen Schiff and Nadler why President Trump is still President of the United States.  After all, getting rid of President Trump was why Mr. Mueller and his staff got their jobs in the first place.  So why is he still occupying the White House and doing things that the House Democrats find distasteful in the extreme?  Inquiring minds in the House of Representatives want to know, dammit!

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Sunday, June 09, 2019

I should, really.

I should write more here. I haven't been writing much for a while, which is just a polite way of saying I haven't been writing anything at all for a while, except for checks to pay the bills. I wish I didn't have to do that, either, but I have as yet found it impossible to find any way to get electricity for my house without paying the local utility for it.  I don't know why I haven't been writing; there are certainly plenty of things to write about these days. There's the Mueller Report, for instance, and how its release has reduced a major American political party to the level of small children who didn't get a pony for Christmas. And there is the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, clearly one of the most important events of the 20th century. On the evening of 5 June 1944, German occupied Europe stretched from the Mediterranean to the Baltic, from the Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. On the evening of 5 June 1945, Nazi Germany had been dead for almost a month.  Obviously something worth writing about occurred between those two dates. Or I could write about the good economic news that we never hear about because no one else wants to write about it. And then there is the possibility that robot sex slaves will take over the commercial vice industry in this country. I haven't given that last one much thought as yet, but as the market develops I think I will have to look into the matter and report on it. In the meantime, though, I think I will kick back and contemplate my choices here. I'll be back shortly....maybe.

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Tuesday, April 09, 2019


Beto: Bibi's a racist!

Bibi: What's a beto?

A beto, for those of you who may not know, is a slang term for an American of Irish descent who thinks he is a Hispanic, usually for reasons that no one can fathom, or to run for office in an area with a large number of Hispanics, which a reason everyone can fathom. (Full disclosure here: I am a person of Irish descent, although I do not think I am Hispanic, nor do I think I am Russian or even a Ukrainian pretending to Russian pretending to be Hispanic. I do, however, pretend to weigh much less than I do, a pretense I maintain by not looking at mirrors very often and avoiding weight scales as much as possible.)

Hispanic, for those of you who may not know about the minutiae of American racial classification, is an all purpose term first used in the early 1970's as a replacement term for Latino. The Census Bureau wanted a new term for persons whose ancestors came from the Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South America in order to keep their phony baloney jobs, to quote the distinguished American statesman, William Le Petomane, and I am sure that much thought and millions of man-hours went into the search for such a word. Hispanic comes from the Latin word Hispania, the Roman province that encompasses most of modern Spain, and has the benefit of meaning only those people who speak or whose ancestors spoke Spanish. Latino, you see, comes from Latinium, the province that surrounds Rome and that still exists today, I'll have you know, although with the transition from Latin to Italian the area is now called Lazio. This, of course, causes a problem with the racial spoils system as it exists in here in this our Great Republic: the authorities did not want to deal with white people named Lazio, diLazio, Romano, or DiRoma claiming social welfare benefits meant for Spanish speakers just because the word Latino makes it clear that Italians are not only Latinos, they are the original Latinos. No indeed, the word Hispanic makes it clear that what we are talking about here are honest to God Spanish-speaking people, which in the US of A usually means Mexicans, unless you are in Miami, where it means Cubans, or in New York, where it means Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. Under no circumstances, however, do either of these terms apply to a Irish-American.  An Irishman, to the Romans, would be a Scotii or a Hibernian, and never a Latino, a Hispanic, or a Beto.

So why a beto and not a duck, you might ask. Beats me, guys, I'm a stranger here myself, although being a Beto is better than being a Bobby when one is running for office. Beto, when combined with an Irish last name, sounds vaguely exotic, like Bernardo O'Higgins or Santiago O'Leary, whereas combining Bobby with an Irish last name sounds like the name of a bartender in south Boston. When one is aiming at the former, the latter is something of a let-down. And that, Bibi, is what a beto is and why it's not a bobby.

PS. There's really so much one can say here about Betos, but I am trying to get myself back into the habit of writing here, so I will just ease on in with this little bit and try to go longer at some other time. I trust everyone is doing well and that all is well with the family. See you later.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Devil Walls

Well, here I am safely ensconced in the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread and it is snowing outside. The snow started slowly at first, as snow is wont to do, and now the stuff is falling at a good clip and I am wondering when the powers that be in this place will make the decision to send us all home. Some of my co-workers have already slipped out the back, Jack, as the Paul Simon song says, but I fear that there will be no slipping for me, see. I am stuck. I am stuck because not only is it snowing outside, inside there is no access to the information superhighway, so that the public we serve with all our hearts can no longer use our computers to search for job sites, computer games, and free porn, and to ensure their access to all of the above, I must stay here in order to let in a computer / online services technician who is coming today to solve all of our digital access problems, providing, of course, he can get through the snow. So all is not well in my world, given that I would really like to get out of here before I have to cross-country ski my way home, but duty calls and I must remain. Frankly, that bites the big one.

Therefore, I must find ways to keep my mind occupied as the snow falls and the technician wanders blindly around the countryside following the instructions of an inferior GPS application and wondering why he didn’t listen to his mother and become a dope smuggler. Granted there are problems with the government-sponsored retirement system—not everyone can look stylish in orange, after all—but the work is incredibly remunerative and you can get rid of irate customers simply by blowing holes in them with automatic weapons and then leaving their bullet-ridden carcasses in the middle of the street, thereby informing any other disgruntled customers that they had better readjust their collective attitude and undisengruntle themselves quickly or else.  Gruntlement is a wonderful thing, you understand, especially if you know what’s good for you. He will, no doubt, still be thinking these charitable thoughts about his company’s customers when his inferior GPS application tells him he has arrived at his destination and the road signs tell him that he has arrived in New Canaan, Connecticut, which is not even vaguely close to where he is supposed to be.

In any case, everyone in this our Great Republic is talking about walls these days. I am not kidding; walls are all the rage now, the way Pet Rocks and gluten-free peanut butter waffles used to be. You can hardly turn on the television anymore without hearing some hoary old pol screeching that walls are ineffective, unpopular, and worst of all, immoral. This last is somewhat odd, or at least I think so; I went to parochial school for eight years and no one, not one priest, not one Christian Brother, not one nun ever said anything about walls being immoral. How could they? Monsignor O’Malley could hardly denounce a wall as being the equivalent of Communism or masturbation as threats to a good Catholic boy’s soul when the nuns charged with teaching us how to be good Catholics lived in a convent with a fifteen-foot wall topped with broken glass around it.[i]  The only walls that were even vaguely immoral, so far as I can remember, were the Berlin Wall (built by godless Red Communists, as if there were any other kind) and the walls around the city of Jericho, which fell because the people inside were ungodly (but not godless) heathens who did disgusting things with their neighbors and their neighbors’ cocker spaniels, things the nuns could not discuss in religion class, but that were definitely evil in the sight of the Lord, things so evil that the Canaanites deserved to have Robert Moses knock down their walls and push a six-lane freeway right through the heart of Jericho’s business district in order to connect Jericho to the Staten Island Expressway. In short, they had it coming. And all of God’s children said, Amen.

Since it appears that no amount of biblical exegesis will support the contention that walls are by definition malum in se, the amateur theologian must needs look to the motives of the people saying such a thing. Here we come across an interesting point: the most visible person making this contention is the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. The Speaker is, by her own admission, a devout Roman Catholic. However, the Speaker is also a well-known advocate of abortion rights, which puts her in conflict with the teaching of the very church whose doctrine she professes to believe. Since there seems to be no way to reconcile these two belief systems logically, the amateur theologian must therefore come to the conclusion that logic is not involved, that the only way the Speaker can reconcile the inherent contradiction between one set of beliefs and the other is to conclude that she is one of those politicians who would gut her own mother with a dull fish knife to get re-elected and whose political position and power is more important to her than any church dogma or political belief. In that context, then, we can understand her statement that walls are immoral. That which diminishes or threatens to diminish her political position is immoral, that which enhances her political power is moral; it’s not exactly Kant’s categorical imperative, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it works for her and what more can you ask of a philosophical system?

[i] The walls, in case you were wondering, were that high because an order of contemplative nuns originally owned the convent. The nuns—I think were French but I could be wrong about that—wished to live apart from the world and dedicate their lives to prayer and work, which was easier to do when the Bronx was part of Westchester County than it is nowadays. A century later, the Bronx having voted for inclusion in Greater New York in 1898, and the city having grown considerably since the founding of the convent, the nuns moved to a new convent somewhere near the Finger Lakes, it being easier to contemplate the mysteries of Christ’s suffering and dying for the sins of humanity when you don’t have to listen to the police sirens blaring at all hours of the morning, noon, and night.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018


I don't have an excuse, folks. It's just lethargy. Pure sloth. I have two things on the griddle and I may get back to them eventually. Or not, as the case may be.

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Friday, October 12, 2018


Yesterday in New York City, Antifa vandals vandalized, which I think goes without saying, the one following the other like bread and butter, time and tide, and my brother asking me for money and my saying no--yes, the object of this sentence is coming, I promise--the headquarters of the Manhattan Republican Party, a building that also houses the regional headquarters of the New York State Republican Party. The vandals announced that this was the beginning of a series of actions against the GOP for their crimes against humanity and for disagreeing with the Antifa movement, which is unconstitutional and doubleplus ungood and more than vaguely un-American, it seems.  I find this event interesting in that I didn’t think that there were any Republicans in Manhattan to speak of, much less their being a group of them large enough to conduct actions against; my mind actually boggled at the concept when I read the vandals’ declaration in the paper. 

What caused my bogglement, assuming that bogglement is the word I am looking for here, was that I was certain that the last native-born New York Republican was a man named Hezekiah Smith, who died when I was a boy of six or seven[i], despite the best efforts of doctors and naturalists to save such a rara avisMr. Smith was a hardy old soul of about 107, I think, and he could remember Abraham Lincoln’s funeral cortege moving up Broadway in 1865 and how a very portly stockbroker from Cincinnati, Ohio almost killed him when he (the stockbroker) landed on the sidewalk in front of him (our rara avis) after leaping from a fifteenth story window on the day the market crashed in 1929.  Mr. Smith escaped death by stopping for a moment at a street cart to buy a pretzel with too much salt on it, a flaw that bedevils street cart pretzels in New York to this very day. Mr. Smith took a bite out of the pretzel and stopped walking down Wall Street long enough to spit a large chunk of salt from between his teeth onto the sidewalk.  A moment later the stockbroker arrived at Mr. Smith's feet, causing him (Mr. Smith--I don't believe that the stockbroker was contemplating the saltiness of New York street pretzels at that instant, no matter how portly he was) to lose his appetite almost immediately. In any case, being the last of his species, the American Museum of Natural History insisted on having Mr. Smith stuffed and mounted so future generations of New Yorkers could see what a native-born Republican actually looked like. And so it came to pass. Mr. Smith is still on display at the museum, in that long gallery where the curators have the wildlife of North America dioramas, and so children on school trips from all over the city can come and gaze with astonished eyes upon his kindly countenance and wonder how such an extraordinary creature ever found a home in New York City.

As for the New York State Republican Party, I was unaware that such an organized entity actually existed; I was always under the impression that New York State Republicans were more or less like a herd of caribou wandering aimlessly over the length and breadth of the Vampire State, especially in the vast areas of political tundra  above Interstate 84, and doing nothing of any great importance, albeit doing that nothing with a much better wardrobe than your average caribou has—those horns really have to go; they are just so last year, you know—and that every so often one of them got lucky and found themselves elected to high state office or under indictment, conditions that often go together in these parts.  So this declaration of antifascist jihad against the local GOP seems a little far-fetched to me, unless the point of vandalizing innocuous buildings in New York is to drive the tenants out so the vandals can rip the copper piping out of the walls to sell for drug money or to avoid the complications that are apt to follow should the violent left attempt to wage its drum-beating, slogan-shrieking, baton-wielding war in places like Texas, Alabama, or Mississippi, where the Republicans are a fairly well-organized bunch and whose membership includes large numbers of people who possess their own firearms. I am only guessing here, but I suppose that a good many of these antifascists are not keen on doing anything in any state where they have to worry about sucking chest wounds or a ventilated liver as a side effect of their freeing the world of fascism. So this might be why New York is stuck with an inordinate number of these little punks, although I must say that the bagels are better in New York than in Houston or Montgomery, Alabama, and that could be a reason a wary protestor might want to stay in the neighborhood and annoy the unarmed passersby here as they try to get to work through the moron-induced traffic jams. Lucky us.

[i] This would be 1964 or 1965. You can work out how old I am by yourself; there’s no law requiring me to help anyone with mathematics.

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