Sunday, February 24, 2008

TW3 - 2

“Welcome back for another round of TW3. I’m your host, Ken Ahora and along with my co-host, Al Takaka we are going to review the events of the week gone by before it is bygone.”
“Isn’t it already bygone?”
“By golly it is gone, but not forgotten. And lest we do forget ladies and gents TW3 looks at the news. (Apologies to Dan and Dick.)”
“The top story this week that trumped every other item in the world as far as the American news media was concerned was the lead story in the NY Times.”
“And it had nothing to do with Britney Spears!”
“Right, the Times reported this week that Senator John McCain may have had an illicit affair with one of his staffers during his failed 2000 campaign for the presidency.”
“Wasn’t that the campaign in which he was winning before false rumors and innuendos were spread and propagated from the mind and mouth of Karl Rove, the most evil underhanded political hack and personal advisor friend to the current President Bush?”
“Uh, don’t hold back, Al let us know how you really feel. Anyway, since the staffer was also a lobbyist Senator McCain’s stance against special interest groups was brought into question. A spokesman for the decorated war hero stated that the Senator will stick to his guns. He went on to say that, “Senator McCain has not changed his position about such groups at all and he will continue to screw lobbyists in his own way.””
“That’s right, Ken and I understand that since making that statement donations have been pouring into the McCain camp’s campaign coffers as older men and the Pfizer Company have made significant contributions. Viva McCain!”
“Viva indeed! Former President Bill Clinton was asked, “Is it true that you also sent in a small sympathy donation after reading the Times expose?” The President merely answered, “That depends on what the definition of is is.”
“Switching to local news for a moment there was a small item from Long Island this week as it was reported that the Brookhaven Town pool renovation was finally finished.”
“And that affects me how, Al?”
“Indirectly, Ken. You see the project was projected to cost $85,000 because all that was needed was the replacement of some tiles. But supposedly there were other problems and one thing led to another and $7.1 million later the pool is back open for business.”
“What? $85M became $7.1 million? Are you saying that the local politicians could only graft $7.1 million? They’ll never make it on the national scene.”
“I knew you’d understand, Ken.”
“In Iraq a female suicide bomber was spotted by the Iraqi police force and shot before she could set herself off. Unfortunately she stumbled into a local store and in fact did cause the death of 3 people while wounding 8 others.”
“I’m confused, Ken. I read the same story in U.S. papers and according to our government there were no injuries other than the woman herself.”
“It sort of makes you wonder, doesn’t it Al.”
“It really does. Maybe we should question our leaders. Nah.”
“Nationally more and more people defaulted on loans this week. This has led to an increase in business for the dreaded ‘Repo Man’. This property bounty hunter seeks out items bought on borrowed money and turns them into borrowed time items. For example if you cannot make your car payments the Repo Man comes and takes back the vehicle.”
“I understand that many younger people were also caught in the credit crunch and defaulted on their student loans.”
“Correct, Al. And the industry is looking into a new tactic to reclaim their losses. Entitled ‘The Flowers for Algernon Repo Man, or FARM they will come and remove all your unpaid for knowledge.”
“Hey, Then you could get a job in DC.”
“Or on Fox News.”
"In what some would say is the worst kept secret of our time Ralph Nader's ego has determined that now would be a good time for this once relevant man to throw his hat in the ring for the Presidency. Quickly becoming the Pat Paulson of the modern era Mr. Nader is once again hoping to screw up someone's chances of winning the highest office in the land."
"And he doesn't care who that person is, does he?"
“No he does not. And finally it was reported this week that Fidel Castro, one of the most controversial leaders of our time will finally be stepping down as supreme ruler and dictator of Cuba. There was rejoicing in the streets of Miami where there is a large Cuban population and in the home of the soon to be crowned new supreme leader and dictator, Raul Castro.”
“Raul has not yet been confirmed.”
“True but I’m just saying… And at 76 Raul is a full 5 years younger than his brother. Analysts are looking for a smooth transition from one evil doer to the next. And this just in, what a surprise, Raul has been confirmed as the new opressor of Cuba. Bravo Raul.
Anyway, that’s our show for now. That was the week that was – It’s over let it go - Oh, what a week that was - That was the week that was."
“Goodnight everybody. Stay tuned for Jack Paar.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Plagiarism & The Dictionary ™

In a surprise move today the Merriam Webster Corporation has filed a class action lawsuit against the entire English speaking world claiming plagiarism.
A spokesman for the alleged injured party claimed that with sales of their revered editions dwindling down to a precious few as a result of the proliferation of internet search engines they could no longer sit idly by and watch their product be massacred by the masses without receiving correct compensation for its use.
When it was pointed out that they too had a web site and that their words were offered thereon without charge they merely countered by saying, “Words. All you say is just words.”
He went on to once again claim that even those words were indeed their property. He also thanked me for reminding him about the web site and claimed that a ‘pay for use’ system is in the works and will be implemented some time in the near future.
Also included in the suit and mentioned by name is the ‘upstart’ Wikipedia which is held in the lowest possible esteem by the venerable company.
The spokesman did say that many people may be excluded from the lawsuit and in fact become part of the claimants group should they so choose by contacting the MW legal department in a timely manner. People like Stephen Colbert who coined words such as ‘Truthiness’ and of course President G W Bush who, “is still using words with which we are unfamiliar” will be receiving invitations by registered mail.
The company claims it was forced into this action by recent allegations of plagiarism being frivolously thrown back and forth between the two current Democratic Presidential candidates.
“We do not wish to have our good name brought into this fray nor do we wish to take sides and we therefore hope to stop any inane and petty lawsuits between Senators Clinton and Obama by heading off their silly squabble with this one true fight.”
“We are also sick and tired of hearing attorneys use the phrase, “In your own words” when questioning a witness. THEY DO NOT HAVE THEIR OWN WORDS. THEIR WORDS ARE OUR WORDS!”
After the spokesman calmed down he continued, “America, consider yourself on notice. From now on you must use the familiar © symbol every time you write anything and recite a disclaimer after every sentence uttered. Failure to do so will bring about a speedy and just penalty.
You have been warned.”
The spokesman then went on to end by simply saying, “The preceding announcement was brought to you by your friends at the Merriam Webster Corporation and may not be used in any way shape or form without the express written consent of the company or its legal representatives.”

Monday, February 18, 2008

Campaigns Reformed

Are you sick of the campaign bull shit? With the possible exception of the leeches known as political pundits and the advertising firms who reap in vast amounts of money to air inane ads I am willing to bet the answer is yes.
And the longer the campaigns the more time for hate mongers to spin their inevitable lies. Who would have believed “Swift Boating” would become a verb? And more importantly, why did the people behind those false statements and offensive slanders not pay for their crime? How did those ads help our country fall into the hands of such a moron? Perhaps we all fell asleep at the switch. We are all to blame so we must all find a way out of our rut and learn from history instead of blindly repeating it?
Here is one solution, or at least a start toward one. Let me know what you think and if you like the idea please pass it along to your friends and congressmen.
Campaign season for major elections may start one year prior to the election in question and not a day earlier. This means that for a Presidential election the candidates throwing their hats in the ring may do so starting the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November one year before the election. This will also stop anyone from campaigning before the previous years elections have taken place.
Everyone who wishes to run for office may then campaign until the end of March. Monies donated to the campaigns may still be accepted but only a certain amount may be used for the campaigns. The amount may be indexed against inflation but these days both sides certainly should be able to get their respective points across for $100 million. This way the public will hear the message but not be sickened by it. Anything else the electorate needs to know about the candidates may be gleaned by watching or reading about the debates or by researching the previous public service records. Any excess money must be donated to charities. These charities must not be special interest groups or PACs. To be fair generally the parties should agree to donate to charities the other side would like to support.
The month of April is then primary month. All primaries must be held within the middle two weeks of the month and be over by April 21st. The parties may then hold their respective conventions the end of April or any time in May. Then the head to head battle of those left standing should begin.
Both or all parties then have the months of June, July, August, September, and October to debate, stump, and generally campaign to state their cases. The general election should be held as always on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. And the winner shall be determined by the sum total of the popular vote. There shall be no more electoral college.
I think we all need a break from the ever increasing campaign season which this time started just after the current President stole his second election.
And that brings me to the second NEW RULE:
We must come up with a fool proof method of voting and having the votes counted. Read my lips, no more chads. Companies with obvious ties to certain political parties or groups MUST NEVER BE ALLOWED TO RIG ELECTIONS AGAIN. Not that they ever did mind you, I’m just saying…
And since we will never be able to do this I propose that we go back to the old method of pulling the lever or using paper ballots with bonded security guards at all polling places across America. I love our elderly population, in fact I am quickly becoming a member of the group according to the SOBs at AARP but I am never happy about seeing people older than dirt in charge of securing our votes.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


More than forty years ago there was a great import from Great Britain known affectionately by American television viewers as TW3. Not to be confused with Ahhnold’s Terminator series this political satire used words as ammunition and usually hit the target. This hilarious show was called “That Was The Week That Was.” The first letters of each word making up its acronym.
It was originated in England by a very droll David Frost who followed its emigration to the states as host and added a cast of characters more familiar to American viewers at the time. They included such personalities as Alan Alda, Steve Allen, Woody Allen and many many more. Sadly this intellectual fore runner of inane but funny shows such as “Laugh In” ran for only two years during the sixties.
Oh how I wish it could be brought back now. Naturally we would have to have a different cast but with all the fodder coming out of Washington the show could easily run on its own and for years to come.
“Good evening and welcome to our show. I’m your host, ‘Ken Ahora’ and this is my co-host, Al Takaka.
Our lead story tonight involves all of you evil-doer viewers out there. That’s right I can see you. Actually I can see you and so can your government.
This week President W stated that we are in grave danger once again."
"Why? Has Cheney found another rifle?"
"No, Al Congress has blocked W’s plans to extend immunity to the phone companies who are spying on you.”
“Wait a second Ken; are you saying that the President wants to spy on average every day American citizens?”
“It appears so Al.
Using his favorite tactic from the Karl Rove era, fear, the President has conveniently overlooked the FISA option to legally obtain warrants. That law allows him to do so as much as three days after actually implementing electronic surveillance as long as he can show the court exigent circumstances.”
“We know that already Ken. But the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act still exists so what’s changed?”
“That’s right Al but the part of the law that W added protects the phone companies from prosecution for doing this illegal spying. This has expired and they could now be open to law suits.”
“Oh, so nothing has changed about our nation’s security, just the possible loss of money for Bush’s friends.”
“That’s right, Al. And privately those friends of the President, and trust me they are a very select few these days with most of them being Saudis, wish to add to this telecommunications immunity portion of the bill and rename it the, “Video Overseeing Your Every Utter Relation In Some Manner” bill or ‘VOYEURISM.’”
“Works for me, Ken. I usually have to pay for that stuff on the internet.”
“Uh, okay Al, that’s nice. This week there was also news on the never-ending campaign trail.
The formerly nick-named Scarecrow has thrown his support to the Tin Man. Willard Mitt Romney is now backing Grandpa McCain in his bid for the top spot in DC. Mitt’s kids may now have to find jobs or enlist.
Fresh from fending off uncalled for allegations of pimping out her daughter, Hillary Clinton stumped with her very grown up and lovely daughter Chelsea while attempting to muzzle her husband. She continued to offer solutions to the vast problems caused by seven years of W and continued to watch her chances of doing so dwindle away as she hoped against hope, literally for the nomination.
Obama continued to woo both young and old alike with talks of hope and change. He offered no way to do this but then again why bother to get bogged down in facts when you have charisma.”
“And speaking of hope, Munchkin Mayor Mike Huckabee held on to his against all odds and logic.”
“Yeah, but he’s so cute.”
“One thing that’s not cute is the economy, stupid."
"Not you Al, it's a euphemism."
"Yeah, well you for mism this!"
"Right. Well we may be heading for a recession or actually be in one already. However we will not know for a few months according to the experts.”
“How can you be an expert if you don’t know what you are talking about until after it has happened? I thought the only people who got away with that were called meteorologists.”
“That’s depressing, Ken.”
“Yes it is depressing. And speaking of depression? What has changed here since the Great Depression of the 1930’s when we were promised a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage? Well now with Obama running we can at least hope for that car. Did you say you wanted a Pontiac, Al?”
"Can't afford the gas Ken. I'll take a hybrid please."
“Well that’s our show for now. May you survive another week and come back for another TW3. This is Ken Ahora,"
"And Al Takaka,"
"Reminding you, Don’t say anything on your phone that you wouldn’t want heard -

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wizards Addendum

Perhaps the title should be Wizards Adden-Dumb.
I have been asked by a few people to add some names to the cast of chararcters in my original spoof of the Oz story. I had hoped that anyone wishing to see other people listed would add them themselves but alas my hopes, like my retirement funds seem to be destined for disappointment. So here are the current suggestions:
1. Toto as Bush. This is because he caused such a mess that the rest of us have to it clean up. While I can see some similarities and agree witht the mess analogy I do not agree in toto because one is loveable and the other is laughable. And Toto never did anything funny that I can recall. Besides when Toto speaks he makes sense!
2. Huckabee as the Mayor of Munchkin Land. Wow, this one sort of fits, at least physically although I am willing to bet the Munchkinite is a more worldly politician. He probably also believes in evolution and certainly knows how to lead. The jury, luckily is still out on the Earthling.
3. Karl Rove as the leader of the Flying Monkeys. He certainly does get around behind the scenes. His droppings can turn up in many places from the Capitol Building in Texas during a race for Governor to a swift boat from Hell. He is mean and ugly and does whatever it takes to help the evil Witch succeed. And even though his leader is about to be gone, DEAR GOD - FINALLY does anyone truly believe he will not continue to dirty the landscape?
4. And finally I would like to add the buffoons at Fox (sort of) News with an honorary mention to Rush Limbaugh (There's two words that are never heard together - Limbaugh and Honor) and the rest of his ilk. They could be confused for the apple throwing Trees who tried to impede our heroes on their trek toward the Emerald City and the House of White.
Now click your heels together and recite:
There's no place like the internet.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Verizon Intelligence Agency?

Fixing a problem without getting rid of the underlying cause is a blueprint for disaster. An unwillingness on the part of one company to share even the most inane of information with another company is what led in part to the disasters of 9-11. Information sharing between our nation's two covert agencies, the Fedral Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency proved fatal as each jealously held onto their own pieces of a puzzle. And just as in a jig-saw puzzle if one or more parts are missing the final picture may never be seen.
Naturally the following story is nowhere near as momentous as the events of that September day but in a small way it shows that big business has not learned from others' mistakes and probably never will. Their only line is the bottom one.
In the Newsday’s Community Watchdog section of Sunday February 10, 2008 it was reported that a problem had been fixed. A large overgrown tree in someone's back yard had to be cut down as it was embedded in the overhead phone lines. Unfortunately after the tree was removed wood remnants remained stuck on the lines. To make matters worse the wood occasionally showed signs of smooldering.
Aside from being a fire hazard the wood posed a danger to anyone unlucky enough to be under it when gravity took over. This included children playing in the back yard.
Repeated calls to Verizon produced no results and it was not until the home owner found out that the lines were actually owned by Cablevision that the wood was removed.
It seems that when Verizon originally sent their people to examine the problem they discovered that the lines belonged to Cablevision so they chose to do nothing. A simple inexpensive phone call between the two giant companies would have removed the danger immediately as was subsequently shown by Cablevision’s prompt response. I am certain that the lady who had made the original complaint would have been glad to foot the bill on that call.
Granted that the two companies are competitors but one would hope that Verizon would think of the consumer and safety first instead of behaving like the FBI or the CIA.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Words – Part Two – Discrimination

Growing up in America we are taught two things while we are very young. One is discrimination is a bad thing and the other is everyone does it.
The moral dilemma that imbeds itself in our psyche creates a sort of Jekyll and Hyde partition in our brains. It sets us on our road of multiple personalities and in effect allows us to interact with the rest of society. Naturally we learn early on that the rest of society also has partitioned brains and inevitably we gravitate toward like-minded groups of people.
But there are many types of discrimination and not all are bad. We discriminate every time we go shopping for clothes or buy a book. We discriminate when we go out to a restaurant or pick a movie to see. In fact we discriminate nearly every second of our lives whether or not we realize we are doing so. We live in a Discrimi - Nation.
Everyone assumes that the word has only one meaning and that one concerns race. While I agree that the race issue is quite the ‘hot button’ topic, especially these days it is not the only one that gets the blood boiling. Naturally religion must be added into the mix. And let’s not forget social status.
Oddly the word was originally meant as a term showing a higher class of taste. Its first use, according to Merriam-Webster can be traced back to the year 1628 and all of the meanings were positive and upbeat. Terms such as ‘good judgment’ and ‘distinguish for merit’ were used in its presence. (
This meaning and use of the word is still found although it is not quite as prevalent. Wines and luxury items are often advertised with undertones of snob appeal by saying they are for those with discriminating tastes.
But it did not take long for the negative side of society to hijack the word. Discrimination was first used, according to the same source in 1648 to describe preferential treatment based on race. (
The first syllable of discrimination has morphed into today’s slang “diss,’ a term meaning to disrespect someone or something. Fittingly the term originated in African American Vernacular English. The word also means to criticize or find fault with.
I find fault with it as well because to criticize does not necessarily mean to ‘diss.’
Critics do not always put down the movies or books they review even though they seem to get more fun out of doing so.
So while discrimination has been given a bad name words can and do hurt people. Use discretion before discussing topics that could cause conflict. Make sure the inferred meaning of your words is the meaning you intended.
Personally I feel anyone who reads my blog has discriminating taste and I welcome your opinion. But please don’t diss me, bro.

Friday, February 8, 2008

On a Dangerous and Serious Note

I realize that I may have offended many of you who believe that the Bible is the word of God and you believe it implicitly. (That means without question.)
But therein lies the paradox and the problem.
If God did indeed place you and I on this Earth then he, or she, did so with our brains and the power to question all things in and even out of our universe. And since God gave us our brains it would therefore appear to be a sin not to use them. And if you further believe that God is all powerful and all knowledgeable then he placed almost each and every one of us on this Earth with our brains intact and in working order.
Scientists are constantly experimenting on ways to cure diseases such as Alzheimer's and other disorders. If one of the ways they can cure the pain and suffering of a fellow Human Being is to utilize stem cells then I say God speed. And to prevent science from pursuing this noble endeavor would be to promote the Devil's work.
If we use our brains and realize that evolution is a fact then the Bible, as good as it is, is merely a great fiction and a guideline to a peaceful contented way of life. It is a wonderous book written through the centuries by very learned men and possibly women who used their brains to put on paper or commit to memory stories and parables to help us live.
But the Bible is not the only path to a full and meaningful way of life. Helping other people, and I mean all people live their lives the way they wish to live is therefore divine. We may feel pity for those who do not live their lives the way we would like them to live or the way we live ours but we are not God. If someone has a different way of feeling for other human beings, be they of a different religion or the same sex then that is their choice. And their choice, as long as they do not attempt to make the rest of us do the same is and should be heaven blessed.
Helping the environment so that all the creatures of the Earth can live in peace and harmony is also divine.
And questioning all things in the hopes of making the world a better place in which to live must therefore most assuredly be divine. If we do not believe in these things and strive to fulfill our brains' potential then we are all committing heresy.
God gave us brains and the ability to question God. God help us if we do not.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wizard Evolving

Super Tuesday seems to have fallen like a house out of the sky on the scarecrow. Mitt has decided to put his considerably heavy wallet back in his pocket for a rainy day, or perhaps forty of them and jump off that yellow brick road. And so we bid farewell to the Romney family for now. But just like a bad penny I feel we have not seen the last of him.
I also realize that I have slighted a whole bunch of other people out there. I have seemingly ignored the huckster. Trust me, it was not a mistake. I know that a lot of people heart Huckabee and for that I am sorry. Not that I left him out but that a lot of people heart him!
This nebbish of a man does not believe in evolution! I really don't think I have to say anything else.
The thought that we may be descended from chimpanzees is anathema to some and heresy to others but facts are facts. Science does not have the answers to all things in the universe but at least it tries to understand and experiment and move forward. The hucksters of the world hold us back.
Bishop James Ussher (1581-1656) of Dublin was a learned man and a scholar of the Bible. He used a novel method to date the world in which we live. Using different versions of the Holy Book and a keen regard for dates and human nature he tediously cross-referenced the lives of every person mention therein to count backwards to the actual time of Creation. The bishop determined that the World began on Sunday October 23rd, 4004 BC. Similarly he figured out that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating the wrong grocery item on Monday, November 10th of the same year.
Now I am no scholar of the Bible but I too am blessed with an inquiring mind and the will to go the extra mile so I have figured out where the wonderfully lush Garden of Eden was located. And for the first time I will put my calculations into print knowing that I will anger many people and awe others with my conclusions.
Slightly after the beginning there was Adam and then there was Eve. Adam and Eve had two children, two children had they. The first born of the first couple were named Cain and Abel. But Cain did a number on his brother and Abel was no more. Adam and Eve then begat Seth. According to the Holy Scriptures Adam and Eve had many more sons and even may have had daughters. But no matter how many children they had there were no other parents producing other offspring. And from the 'original sin' duo of Adam and Eve today we have over six and a half billion people on the Earth.
Q.E.D - The Garden of Eden was in West Virginia. (If you are from West Virginia then I meant to say Kentucky.) And just to tie things together, the huckster-meister won the primary in West Virginia!
The menu would appear to be a short one: Believe the Bible and we are all incestuous or believe evolution and our ancestors were apes. Maybe that explains kids' fascination with tree houses!
But I digress.
So John McCain is now the presumptive nominee for President from the Republican Party. He says he is and always has been a conservative. He says it over and over again. I am not sure if he is trying to convince his party or himself but hopefully he will convince only half of his party and alienate the rest. The republicans have been two-faced for so long that it now appears they may be forced to actually have two faces and a fracture could occur.
Wouldn’t it be funny if in the end Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg decided to run?
But there are many Tuesdays yet to come before we can put this incredibly long and annoying Presidential campaign behind us. Who knows who will evolve enough to become our new leader?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Repeat After Me

I am unbelievably handsome and rich beyond compare.
I am unbelievably handsome and rich beyond compare.
I am unbelievably handsome and rich beyond compare.
Sorry, I just finished watching a show about the Bush administration on Fox News and decided to try their strategy in a personal way.
It seems as though all you have to do is say something over and over and it either becomes true or enough people start believing it that truth matters not.
"We are going to hunt down Bin Laden and the terrorists of 9-11."
"We are going to recover the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
"We are not going to stop until we get the bad guys and evil doers."
"There is no such thing as Global Warming, it’s just climate change." (Change this!)
"The economy is great." (Somewhere)
"We are creating more and more jobs." (Somewhere)
And my personal favorite - "Mission Accomplished!" (Nowhere)
Have I left anything off?
(The last question was for you guys in the room at AT&T where the Bush government is reading this blog right now along with all my e-mails from the last seven years and transcripts of every phone call I made. Hi guys. I’m a patriot!)
We have lived in this fantasy world ever since Karl Rove and his friends at Diebold decided to fix, I mean help the 2000 Presidential election along. And ever since then we have been constantly bombarded with half truths and down right lies.
We watched in amazement when President Bush glibly handed out the Medal of Freedom to friends of his who, let’s face it would not be able to get a job at Wal-Mart as long as our borders allow illegal aliens into the country. “You’re doing a heck of a job, whatever the Hell your name is!”
And speaking of friends can you believe he has so many?
Well just how many friends does W have?
Let’s see:
Harriet Miers - Supreme Court?
Michael Brown – Head of FEMA? (Horseshit.)
Alberto Gonzales - Attorney General?
Paul Wolfowitz - Iraq war strategist?
Paul Wolfowitz - The head of the World Bank???
Paul Wolfowitz - Career counselor. (Ask his girlfriend.)
Mike McConnell - Director of National Intelligence. (National INTELLIGENCE – Ask this idiot if he knows what Water boarding is.)
Darth Cheney - Head of the NRA? (Well that one fits.)
It appears that friends of George W Bush are people with no particular skill or talent who hung around long enough to get placed in high ranking jobs. Most of these people have some connection to the world of oil. Who is next in line for an important government job Georgie, the Saudi Prince?
Can January 20, 2009 come soon enough? Will we make it? Will we be able to rectify the damages this arguably worst President in the history of the United States has done to this country and the world? Only time will tell.
Of course none of the above really bothers me because I am unbelievably handsome and rich. I’m unbelievably handsome and rich. I’m unbelievably handsome and rich.

Words – Part One

Ever notice how words have changed with time? Well the words are the same but their meanings have changed and not necessarily for the better.
Just before the turn of the century, from the 19th to the 20th that is, this country was celebrating a time to be known for many, many years as the Gay Nineties. One hundred years later we were still celebrating, sort of, the Gay Nineties but with one incredibly different meaning.
In the bible, and recreated on the silver screen in Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” Charlton, I mean Moses is so pleased with the land he finds after being expelled from Egypt that he decides to stay put and marry Tzipporah. He proclaims his love of the location by saying, “I shall dwell here.”
Doth anyone sayeth dwell anymore?
Imagine telling a real estate agent after a long day of showing off her available properties that in the last place you saw you will dwell. “Oookay, we’ll talk later.”
And how about some words we see every day that are extremely absurd and yet so common we don’t even seem to notice? A sign on a front lawn proclaims proudly, ‘House for sale – By Owner.’ WELL WHO THE HELL ELSE IS GOING TO SELL THE DAMN THING BUT THE OWNER? What do you expect, ‘House for sale by the neighbor two doors down on the left – I hate the guy?’
And when someone asks if they can ask you a question haven’t they already done so?
Or better yet they “axe you something.”
Please don’t axe me!
And while we’re on the subject how many mothers does it take to give birth to a child? If you think this is a dumb question let me axe you how many times have you heard someone say, “My moms told me…?”
In our current world the intensity of words has also changed. When a doctor tells you, “You may feel a little pressure” be prepared to die.
And in business, especially retail, words are used to trick you. Everyone flocks to a sale to pick up items they had no intention of buying in the first place just because they are 40% off.
Yeah well 40% off is still 60% on!
We live in a world of sound bites. Attention spans are so short that most of you stopped reading this diatribe a few paragraphs back. Naturally this upsets me but reality is reality.
And speaking of reality, how can you call a group of people placed in a remote area of the world forced to compete with strangers for the rights to come back to civilization with a million dollar prize merely because they were able to trick the others into voting against everyone else reality TV?
That is not reality. Everyone knows it’s really Politics!
Uh oh, I seem to have come back to politics so I better stop for now. I wouldn’t want to dwell on that subject too long.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Two Terms Fit the Super Moment

Did you ever hear of the Yiddish phrase, "Kin Ahora?" How about the universal one, "Be careful what you wish for?" No they do not mean the same thing but they both fit what just transpired in the National Football League playoffs.
The New England Patriots fell victim to the first phrase, 'Kin Ahora.' The words mean, "May you be spared from the evil eye."
You are tempting fate when you guarantee that which is out of your control such as a perfect 19 & 0 season when there is still one game left to play.
Every Jewish mother has said those words after hearing praise for their children. It is usually followed by, "Pooh, pooh, pooh."
"Oy Mrs. Schwartz your son is so smart. He'll be tops in his class."
"Kin Ahora, pooh pooh pooh. What are you talking about? The other children are so much better."
Mrs. Schwartz secretly agrees but is afraid that the fates will hear the spoken praise and jealously turn on her son.
The arrogance of a front runner, even if it is not overt always causes them problems. Anytime someone thinks something is a foregone conclusion the odds are the conclusion will be gone for good.
In the post season run for the Super Bowl ring this year every team that played the New York Giants made it known in some way shape or form that they were happy to do so. Ronde barber of the Tampa Bay Bucaneers felt confident that his team would get past the Giants because they played and won ugly and their quarterback, Eli Manning was erratic. Eli was closer to erotic as far as Giant fans were concerned and he swatted away the Bucs and headed for Dallas. Hey Ronde, be careful what you wish for!
In Dallas the former America's team and especially their unbelievably annoying and arrogant owner, Jerry Jones not only guaranteed a victory but went so far as to purchase and hand out tickets to the National Football Conference Championship game against the Green Bay Packers to be played in Dallas. Yeah Jerry listen, about that? You sort of have to win first. And quarterback Tony Romo was so confident that his cowboys would win their third game against the underdog Giants that he spent a week in Cancun with his main squeeze Jessica Simpson rather than practice up for the game. That's Kin Ahora 2 - Romo and Jones nothing.
The frozen tundra that is Green Bay was a terrible place to face the rejuvenated and loved Brett Farve. The football world was actually looking forward to a meeting between Favre and Brady in the Super Bowl. A monumental game with the old master looking for just one more championship against the new guard marching toward a dynasty. Green Bay was at least a little worried about the Giants. They found out that Eli Manning enjoyed watching 'Seinfeld' reruns while relaxing in his hotel room before road games so they pre-empted all of them. There would be no rest for the weary Eli. The announcers were certain the Giants would falter in this latest version of the ice bowl. The original fittingly pitted Dallas against the Pack and was won by the home team.
But this time it was the old guard that faltered and the field goal kicker for New York, Lawrence Tynes, after missing two earlier field goal attempts did what no other kicker had done all season. He kicked a field goal from 47 yards out to win the game in overtime and send the team into Super Bowl XLII.
Everyone in New England rejoiced at the matchup. They got what they wished for. They were playing a team they had beaten a month earlier in New York. And while outwardly the Patriots and former beloved defensive coach of the Giants Bill Bellichik spoke highly of the team their confidence could only be expressed as through the roof.
Their Kin Ahora moment came when their owner, Robert Kraft attempted to trademark the term 19 & 0!
Hey Robert, Patent This!
So the Super Bowl is over and the celebrations begin. The Giants are the second Wild Card team to win the Bowl but the first to do it as the road team (Pittsburgh as a wild card team was the 'home team' for SB XL.) The Giants won eleven games in a row on the road, an NFL record. Their young QB already has double digit fourth quarter comeback victories under his belt. They are on top of the world. And since they are the third youngest team in the league everyone is looking forward to several years of championships.
Kin Ahora, pooh pooh pooh!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Wizards of Ours

I was thinking the other day that this election of ours is beginning to remind me of an old movie classic. And there are so many fun analogies from “Frankenstein” to “Gone with the Wind.” Sorry “Star Wars” fans but this election is not about Cheney, or at least I hope not.
I believe my ‘aha’ moment came when former President Bill Clinton made a reference about fairy tales and the critics went wild. That simple statement stirred up such emotion that within minutes of being uttered they were utterly being spun around in such a whirlwind that they appeared to be Earth shaking news.
Whirlwind, spinning around, earth-shaking…
This election is like The Wizard of Oz!
Okay stop. Get back here. I am not crazy, well maybe a little but it’s not my fault. Let me explain.
Check out the real life cast of characters, and I do mean characters.
We have the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion, and of course Dorothy. I know I will get in trouble on this one but allow me some latitude and I think you will agree and even add a few ideas of your own.
The Scarecrow is tall and lanky. He can move with ease and seems perfectly capable of keeping his balance even when it appears he must fall. He is handsome and loaded in a sort of stuffed shirt kind of way even though he tries to be very down to earth. He spends money like it was straw and he most definitely lacks a brain. In case you have spaced out I am speaking of Willard Romney. That’s right, Willard. Now you know why he uses Mitt. (Sorry Mr. Scott.)
The Tin Man is kind of rigid. He is likeable but was left standing out in the field too long and is rusty. It is quite apropos that oil can help him get better. (Get it? Oil can?) This being is in search of a heart, kind of what you would say to a man who wants to keep young men and women in harms way for up to one hundred years. You guessed it, I am speaking of none other than Bush smooching Senator McCain.
The Cowardly Lion is so very likeable and cuddly. He says mean things sometimes but in the end he is nice. He is afraid to get into a real fight and is seeking courage. This king of the African jungle wouldn’t hurt a fly and his friends are all trying to help him get the courage to stand up to all those in his way. With their help he will shortly be able to say, “Put ‘em up, put ‘em up!” Senator Obama, the Wizard will see you now.
And is this next one really that much of a stretch?
After nearly losing her best friend to that evil woman (actually her friend bit the woman, not the other way around) and being forced to leave her lovely white farm house she spends the entire story trying to get back. She has many obstacles along her way and some supporters who stick by her throughout her journey. Naturally those on the trek to the Promised Land with Dorothy are expecting something in return. But to the end her mantra is simply, “There’s no place like home.” Just as Senator Clinton wants you to send her home, to the White House.
One more similarity of note is the man behind the curtain pulling levers and deciding the fate of all.
Anybody care to vote on who that might be?
We still have the Wicked Witches to dole out and a bunch of behind the scenes little people on our yellow brick road journey but I'll leave those to your imagination.
And by the way lest you think this analogy is picking a winner L. Frank Baum's classic did end with all four main characters back home.
But I do have one wish for our Oz and that is a happy ending, because Lord knows we have been in a horror movie far too long.