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..." "...it 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) akakyakakyevich@gmail.com

Friday, July 15, 2022

Recycling is good for the Earth and prevents global warming, or not, as the case may be.

In the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, which you can enter for a modest fee; I don’t remember how modest the fee was, only that she was modesty personified, a jewel of modesty and Christian virtue, whereas I can remember every detail of her very immodest sister, including the shots afterwards; you can see the cream of Palermitano society hanging on the walls. I do not know why 18th and 19th century Sicilian swells thought that being stuffed and mounted in a church basement was such a good idea, but they did, and who are we, the enthusiasts of the Hula-Hoop, the Pet Rock, and Pamela Anderson to point the finger of absurdity at anyone?

The catacombs form a natural refrigerator of sorts and the galleries feature separate areas for priests, nuns, including the mortal remains of one mother superior hanging from the ceiling doing her impression of the Flying Nun, and one archbishop in full episcopal regalia, with scintillating hints of Congregationalism around the pockets, looking as though someone put him together from cigarette ashes and Elmer’s Glue. There were several galleries of the rich and locally famous, the upper crust in their Sunday best, all of them moldering away along with their social pretensions. Here you have the society swain of 1830 hanging across the way from the rich girl he got in trouble in back in the early summer of 1829. The girl’s parents hang next to her, as if to make sure there’ll be no more of this monkey business here, thank you very much, and the swain hangs between the girl’s two brothers, whose heads are turned slightly towards their sister’s seducer and whose skeletal grins seem to say, “What? Twenty- seven stab wounds weren’t enough? You want more?” And so there they are, the rich in their full if more than slightly moldy glory, awaiting the Resurrection so they can get a change of clothes. Nowhere in the lot is there a poor person, nowhere in the lot is there someone having any connection with the advertising business. Life and death were both unfair in those days. Hanging on the wall after you died just wasn’t good enough for the poor and outcast way back then, although just hanging by the neck until you were dead was.

Nowadays, of course, we live in a much more democratic world and the poor may choose to be interred where they will, and today the same freeze dry technology gives you a great cup of coffee every morning is now available to stiffs, living and dead, of every income level. Why go through the trauma of a wake and funeral when it is possible to have Grandma freeze dried and left in her favorite chair in the corner? Why try to explain the concept of death to your children when you can keep Grandma as part of the family forever? Freeze drying lets you keep those near and dear to you exactly where they were the last time you saw them. You can even buy special attachments for your vacuum cleaner that will let you clean Grandma off before the neighbors notice she’s getting a bit dusty for her age. There’s even a line of clothes for the hip but deceased Grandma so she will never feel out of it, and no, I don’t know how they’ll get those clothes on her, but where there’s a will and you’re in it, there’s always a way. 

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Monday, June 20, 2022

Monkeypox

In my quest to expand the boundaries of human knowledge, I have polled five monkeys to see if they regarded the term monkeypox as derogatory. All five monkeys, who, I should mention in the interest of verisimilitude, were not monkeys at all but rather three relatives, a dog, and a Boston Red Sox fan—monkeys are in short supply here in our happy little burg so I had to work with what I had—declared that the term was not derogatory, although the Boston Red Sox fan said he could not be sure, which is the sort of thing you would expect a Boston Red Sox fan to say, given their general lack of intelligence. The dog was ambivalent about the whole thing as well; there is a dogpox and most adult male dogs have had it at one time or another, but the malady is not related to monkeypox in any way and the dog believed that if he didn’t have to worry about monkeypox then he wasn’t going to worry about it. All the participants in the survey, however, agreed that bacon was the greatest thing since boar in a can. 

So, the monkeys are not complaining about the word monkeypox or any other variation of the variola virus. Given the lack of interest in the disease and its terminology in the monkey community, why are people complaining about the disease's name? Apparently, humans can spread monkeypox as well and usually do so at gay raves in Europe, which leads unavoidably to the question, which of the three do we avoid now? Discriminating against gays is illegal, discriminating against raves is boring, discriminating against Europe means that we have to drink American beer all the time. Perhaps the best solution is the one proposed by a friend of mine just as a wedding party crashed into our favorite watering hole: find out who is humping the monkeys and tell them to stop doing it. An admirable solution to the problem, I thought, but this solution does not come with a billion-dollar price tag and therefore is unlikely to generate much support from the pharmaceutical industry.

 

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Friday, March 25, 2022

Man of the Year?

Twitter has banned The Babylon Bee from their website over The Bee’s contention that Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine is not a transgender woman, but a man. This is terribly unwoke of The Bee and the site should be punished for their shameless lack of inclusivity. In this day and age, to be this bigoted is not something that progressive Americans want to aspire to.

So on to other matters. For those of you who are watching Friends for the first time, I should point out that alliteration does not make the entire world kin: Ross is not Rachel, and neither is Richard. Ross is Ross, Rachel is Rachel, and Richard is Richard. So, how you doin’?

 

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Thursday, March 24, 2022

What the definition of woman is, not the definition of is.

So, this was interesting, I thought. Ketanji Brown Jackson, the President’s nominee to fill the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer’s seat on the Supreme Court, declined to give a definition of woman when Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, asked her for one. Given that in our neo-McCarthyist age saying something that does not conform in every way to the latest twist in Progressive theology is an effective way to damage your career, I can understand why Ms. Jackson felt the need to dodge the question, but I do wonder why she bothered. The Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment, after all, and the chances that the Republicans can stop her nomination are minimal, so why is she dithering, unless, of course, she cannot define woman, which makes me wonder if she cannot define black either. This hardly seems to be likely; a person of Ms. Jackson’s intellect could not possibly get a nomination to the highest court in this our Great Republic without noticing that she has the two characteristics Mr. Biden wants in such a nominee. So we are left with the only answers that make sense: the Progressive Left and their henchmen intimidate Ms. Jackson, as well they should, given the Left’s propensity for destroying anyone who gets in the way of their agenda, or she agrees with that agenda and finds it inconvenient to mention this in a Senate chamber room half-filled with her ideological enemies. Either way, I think we need to pray for the health of Justice Thomas, because allowing the Progressives to have their way on the Supreme Court would be a disaster for the country and the Constitution.

 

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Friday, January 14, 2022

The Economist says that Joe Biden was set up to fail...

John Lindsay, who was one of New York's worst mayors, used to say that the reason he was not a success as Mayor of New York City was that New York City was ungovernable. Ed Koch, who was one of New York's best mayors, said that the problem was not that New York City was ungovernable, but that John Lindsay could not govern it. Donald Trump had no trouble governing. Joe Biden does. Sleepy Joe was set up to fail by the very same people who rigged an election to get him into the job he's failing at. The Democrats should have listened to St. Teresa de Avila, who warned several centuries ago that there are more tears shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones. The Dems wanted Trump gone by any means necessary and now he is, so now they own the disaster they replaced Trump with. Strange how life turns out, ain't it?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The January 6th Commission meets...

 ....or you could watch a Harlem Globetrotters game. They both amount to the same thing and the Globetrotters are a lot more fun to watch.

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Monday, June 14, 2021

Wuhan and Billy Ockham's Razor: a tale of two burgs, or why you shouldn't smoke with Kit Kat bars

  

Now, for the past year and a half it has been the contention of a lot of very smart people that the Covid pandemic absolutely, positively could not have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  This contention could not be true, these very smart people said, and anyone who said it was true was a fool, a dolt, and a poltroon all at the same time, something that it is usually extremely hard to do on any day that isn’t New Year’s Eve, Mardi Gras, or St. Patrick’s Day.  What’s more, some of these very smart people can and will keep you from saying such things on the Internet because they don’t want you confusing people and it is important in these serious times to keep from confusing people.  Confused people may do stupid things like criticize men for wearing brown shoes with blue pants, eat hot dogs with ketchup, or start selling life insurance for fun and profit, and the very smart people understand that they must prevent that sort of thing for the good of the country.  There is no telling what can happen when the confused people start asking questions that are not good for them and so it is better for everyone involved that no one ask anything.

 

And now for a slight diversion.  Industry here in our happy little burg has always been near the creek that flows through town.  That’s understandable, of course; our happy little burg is basically a 19th century factory town and 19th century factory towns are almost always located near creeks or rivers; in a time without electricity the water’s flow powered the machinery in the factories.  So, the creek was where the money was back in the day; machinery doesn’t do you any good if it just sits on the factory floor doing nothing because you have no way to make the stuff work.  There were three major exceptions to this rule: the brickyards, which were next to the railroad tracks next to the river, the lumberyard, which is still next to the railroad tracks next to the river, and the fireworks factory, which was not next to the railroad tracks next to the river, but rather two miles away next to the public cemetery near the foot of the mountain (yes, we have a mountain, thank you for asking). 

Fifty years ago, and yes, I find it intensely annoying that I can remember things from fifty years ago, there was an explosion here in our happy little burg.  It was a huge explosion, the kind that breaks windows several miles away and comes with its own mushroom cloud and makes deaf old women wonder what that sound was, and spry old men to think that the Russians were attacking the Air Force base across the river and maybe they should get the doughboy uniform out of mothballs just in case they once again had to defend this our Great Republic from its enemies.  Yes siree, son, the boys of the AEF will show them Commies what was what, just like we showed the Heinies in the Argonne back in ’18.  But the old uniform stayed in mothballs; it didn’t take too long for everyone to figure out what had happened; someone at the fireworks plant was not as careful as they should have been and now the fireworks plant was not there anymore.  Three people died in the blast, including the plant owner, whose head, or most of it, anyway, the firemen found about a half mile away from the site.  His family chose not to rebuild; the insurance paid off the claims of the people whose houses the explosion damaged; and eventually the family sold the site to a real estate developer who built split level houses for people who wanted to live in the country but needed to be a commutable distance to their jobs in the city.

For years afterwards folks in this neck of the woods speculated about what caused the explosion.  There were lots of theories, of course; someone was smoking where they should not have been, there might have been an electrical short circuit somewhere, theories abounded about the how and why of it.  But the one thing no one ever said was that it could not have happened at the fireworks plant. There was a lot of gunpowder at that plant and all it would take for a disaster to happen is someone being careless with a match for just a moment, which is my theory of what happened.  Just thought I’d let you know.

Which is why the virus could not have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology theory seems a bit odd to me.  The Wuhan Institute of Virology experimented on bats and bat viruses and had a known history of being casual with safety precautions.  The first people to catch the virus were people who worked at the institute and the Chinese government sealed off the city of Wuhan to keep the disease from spreading to the rest of China.  And now it turns out that the United States government was paying the Wuhan Institute of Virology to figure out ways to make Chinese bat diseases more deadly and more transmissible to people, which the very smart people who tell me that the virus could not have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology think is an incredibly good thing, for reasons I am not sure I fathom, but then again, I am not a virologist.

But I am a fan of William of Ockham and his very sharp razor, and a good swipe of that trusty instrument tells me that the people who say that the virus could not have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology have a future in selling fertilizer, which is nice, because when the cow flop hits the fan, as it appears to be doing now, they’ll need a way to make a living. I do not think anyone in their right mind will let them play with germs anymore, but then again, Joe Biden is the President of the United States, or so he claims, so anything is possible.

 

 

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