Friday, December 14, 2012

Man without a Country? The Far Right, the Gun Culture it Embraces and the Ruination of a Republic

“Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down” - Stephen Stills

“To give victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary." – Abraham Lincoln

“But I'm not givin' in an inch to fear
 I promised myself this year.
 I feel like I owe it to someone” – David Crosby

Considering the season, the plan was that the next "... and several butcher's aprons" blog post would be a light-hearted and festive missive, filled with good-tidings, cheer and benevolent hopes for the holidays - and that will indeed be appearing in a mere matter of days. Today, however, we sadly and tragically find that this re-post from earlier in the year, and the opinions expressed within, only grow more timely and relevant with each rising of the sun upon our increasingly troubled republic. We grieve as a nation with the families and friends of those lost in Newtown, Connecticut and hope and pray that as we progress and evolve as a country and society such events, so frequently a part of our lives, will soon be but anguished and heartbreaking memories left far in our past and not recurring incidents.

From July 30, 2012 -
With the recent rash of Right-wing, reactionary responses to the heartbreaking shootings in Colorado, I must admit to now sometimes, sadly and seriously, questioning if I even belong in this country any longer.  In instance after instance it feels as if this grand and noble experiment in democracy, in a free, liberated and thoughtful people’s government, has been irrevocably and horrifically high-jacked and harmed beyond all hope by the increasingly vocal and influential yokels, bigots and un-intelligentsia that progressively dominate our social and political discourse. These rebels of regression now not only own an entire political party, in the GOP, but also a television network that serves as its persuasive propaganda arm. It astounds and angers me that Conservatives and gun proponents  are actually exploiting this tragic occurrence to contend that we need even more lenient gun regulations, and this despite knowing that all the weaponry - the semi-automatic assault rifle, the thousands of rounds of armor piercing bullets, the tear gas canisters  were  purchased legally. They further attempt to make the preposterous, nonsensical and exceedingly precarious proposition that if others in the theatre had carried concealed firearms the massacre could have been prevented or at least lessened. James Holmes came equipped with military-grade, high-powered armaments and, was garbed in protective bulletproof armor. Can anyone really think that an Old-West style shoot out in a panicky, dark, crowded, smoke-filled movie theatre would have resulted in anything but further and continued carnage while also making it extraordinarily difficult for the police on the scene to sort out and stem the situation? Is a 2012 adaptation of Dodge City with untrained assault weapon toting patrons possibly a logical rejoinder to any dilemma?  Yet this alarmingly escalating societal and governmental propensity towards a solution of amplified aggression is in many ways just the tip of the iceberg of the backward-leaning, counter-civilized and inhumane behaviors and attitudes becoming readily accepted in this great land of ours. America is getting more conservative, more intolerant, less compassionate and less educated seemingly daily.  The Grand Old Party and its presidential candidate preach that education is unnecessary and elite, certainly an obvious and easy way for the upper-class to prevent those that they believe are beneath them from advancing financially and socially in our society. Willard Romney, he of the Harvard MBA, is of the mind that higher education is not intended for the masses but for the privileged few who can afford to attend colleges and universities and has actually stated that one gets the education one can afford.  It’s an idea that lacks any forethought or forward thinking, reeks of classism and elitism and does nothing but damage the fortunes and future of our country. For Mitt, advanced degrees are meant for him and his progeny, while the proper position of the offspring of the impoverished and working class is in defense of our state so that his boys can remain free, unencumbered and secure to crew and play lacrosse.  Economically, Romney promotes the Paul Ryan plan, a policy that openly steals from the poor to give to the rich. And those who are most severely damaged by this inexplicably support it, possibly because they're too uninterested, uninformed and uninvolved to be aware that they are being taken advantage of, used and manipulated.  The Republicans repeatedly and proudly brazenly boast that they care nothing about the health and well-being of the common man, the working class or those in poverty. Mitt is actually a perfect negative representative of our time and of everything that’s wrong with our country – he lacks empathy, he’s selfish, self-absorbed, intolerant, elitist, classist, bullying, he has no core or convictions, and he lies as easily as he draws breath. The woeful actuality that he is virtually tied with Obama in polls at this point, a decent man who has been slandered and libeled and personally attacked like no one in the history of American politics, someone who has actually lived out the “America Dream,” no silver-spooner he, says more about the gloomy gist of this treatise than all my amassed verbiage could feasibly express.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed
A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is at 19.5 percent, almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest nations combined – please pause and take that in – over 20 times higher than 22 other nations combined.  Among the world's 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all children killed by guns are American children. A yearly average of 29,500 gunfire deaths has been recorded nationally by the U.S. Department of Justice:  Bureau of Statistics for the past 30 years in America. We are not defending ourselves with guns, we are slaughtering each other. American citizens do a far superior job of slaying fellow Americans than any outside terrorist organization could ever dream of or hope to do. Our passion and religious fervor for munitions, viciousness and violence make us our true own worst enemies. The good news is that this is a situation that could be easily remedied, if only any politicians, including our President, would have the courage to take on the NRA and our ingrained gun culture. This has nothing to do with our freedoms. No one needs to own semi-automatic assault rifles. If you’re aghast and see my notions as an unwarranted attack on the Constitution, then truly be a strict Constitutionalist and own a musket if, and only if, you are in the military, as the Second Amendment literally, clearly and solely allows.

Others have argued that individual gun ownership is imperative as our preeminent protection from a treacherous and threatening central government.  If you judge the contents of your gun locker to be sufficient security against federal tyranny you are genuinely and grievously in error. Should the imagined incidence of the United States government unexpectedly going rogue and commencing combat against its innocent citizens arise you would no doubt find yourself spectacularly outgunned by the might of any one of our armed forces. But fret not, for despite dire and desperate warnings from the likes of Fox News, Michele Bachmann and the deleteriously disturbed contributors to Sarah Palin’s Facebook page,  despite the attempted brainless-washing from the increasingly ignorant individuals in the Tea-publican party, (interestingly, cautions not admonished prior to an African-American occupying 1600) you are in no danger from our government - our government of the people, by the people and for the people - the most egalitarian and representative government in history. You are in precipitously more peril from your inexperienced and indignant neighbor instinctively brandishing his 9 millimeter because your dog defecated on his previously pristine lawn.  Our forefathers and founders were wise and wily fellows (unfortunately much more so than most presently occupying leadership roles) and created a unique, revolutionary and exceptional form of government whose checks and balances guarantee that no such fearful and fully fictional folly would ever foment.  Required in these United States is but the ballot and not the bullet to remove a rapscallion from office. That is the true nature of American Exceptionalism. This is an exceptional nation not because we can own assault weapons and armor piercing bullets but because if we disagree with a person in power we can peacefully remove them - no blood shed or revolution required.  It's free speech, free assembly and free expression that makes us an emancipated citizenry, that guarantees our liberties and freedoms, it’s the First Amendment and not the Second that may yet save us from the seemingly predestined fate that has befallen each earlier empire throughout  the annals of time. Should you wish to dispute the use of the characterization of “empire” as descriptive for this land of the free and home of the brave feel free to find more fitting terminology for the planet’s sole military superpower with soldiers stationed in over 150 sovereign nations.

The problems lie not with the country itself, not with the rock-solid foundation and underpinning of our potentially great nation, it’s not the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or the Bill of Rights at fault– it’s the increasingly under-educated citizens, the increasingly corporate- controlled, corrupt, bought and paid for politicians and it’s the religious institutions who too often proselytize hatred, intolerance, fear and separatism rather than love, acceptance, tolerance and togetherness.  But because the foundation is true and strong our republic can survive and strive, ideals intact,  but the keys are education, cultural diversity, shared experiences, open-mindedness, empathy, compassion, and some human kindness, but are we even capable of that anymore? It’s time we start looking at ourselves through the prism of reality and facts and figures and not through the arrogant rose-colored glasses of jingoism, and maybe then we can avoid the aforementioned destiny that has destroyed all world empires before us.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ich bin ein Muensterer - Another Tale of A Tale of Two Cities

Art:  (noun) - the quality, production, expression, or realm of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. 

While visiting the cities of Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Spreek je Engels?) and Muenster, Germany (sprechen sie Englisch? Forgive me, new friends, but the double dot-less Anglo keyboard does not allow for the proper Germanic spelling of your delightful, picturesque and utterly charming hamlet) this primarily political blogger caught slight wind of some of the argumentative uproar afoot in my stars and stripes waving homeland where, by all appearances, much of our population is distraught and dismayed that Barack Obama has solidly secured a second term as leader of the free world.  A handful of our, perhaps less than open-minded, citizenry are distressingly unfurling our flag, field of stars downward, and are initiating and instigating a secessionist movement - every heart does not currently beat true for the red, white and blue where there's often a boast or brag. Heed exaggerated accounts from internet provocateurs and one would believe that “now we are engaged in a great Civil War.” But as we are still bountifully blissful from our vacationing bohemian behavior and not dutifully detailed on these deleterious doings, that tremulous topic will be addressed more thoroughly in a future post. Today we bypass the usual exasperated attitude and sarcastic similes and take a breather from the unseemly ugliness rampant in the political realm for a milder, gentler composition focusing on the beauty and brotherhood that can arise from a work of art.

“The heavens seem an inch away
Not cold and empty like before
A night as sweet as this, tonight
I can't recall”

As hardhearted, acerbic and surly as yours truly can so often be, there is something about the marvelous musical, "A Tale of Two Cities" that transforms me into a sunshiny day, Ellen watching, up with people, puppy pecking, kitten kissing, baby bussing, suddenly sincere, mountain of mush (while always maintaining my testoterone-y, Irish Spring-like, almost irrationally irresistable to the opposite sex manliness, of course.) It could be the soaring, stirring and emotional melodies brought lovingly to life by equally full-hearted and full-throated vocalists.  It could be the evocative, poignant and expressive performances of adept and able actors meaningfully inhabiting every syllable and silence.  It could be the timeless tale of love, redemption and ultimate sacrifice conveyed in the words and deeds of characters, sometimes caustic, sometimes comic, sometimes charismatic, and always authentic, created by Charles Dickens and artfully adapted and embellished by gifted composer, lyricist and librettist, Jill Santoriello, the Carl Yastrzemski, triple threat of modern American musical theatre.   But maybe, just maybe, it’s all of those things and something more - something slightly inexplicable, enigmatic, even enchanting in nature – something that touches upon the magic that can occasionally occur when a work of collaborative art is realized, and creative promise is fulfilled. Such was the feeling we had the great good fortune of experiencing recently when enjoying the latest production of “A Tale of Two Cities” presented by  the Freies Musical Ensemble of Muenster, Germany.  FME is an amateur company, members gainfully employed in the day parts, by necessity rehearsing late into evenings and on treasured weekends.  While perhaps geographically and economically far removed from the bright lights of the Great White Way, this was an execution that was ambitious, earnest, dramatic, joyful, heartfelt, moving and ultimately affecting.  As rewarding as the moments were reveling in the song-filled spectacular, similarly so was the time spent afterwards with the welcoming and warm frauen and manner of FME - and that, too, has time and again, proven to be another fulfilling tale of A Tale of Two Cities. 

Headline - “Musical Brings World Peace”
 “Then we can make this world
The way it ought to be!
When will we see that day?
When will it be that way?
The way it ought to be?”

A musical spreading harmony, amity, good feelings and goodwill across our troubled terra firma, hinting at hyperbole, you say - an obvious overstatement, far-fetched and fantastical?  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing productions from high schools to Broadway, around much of the lower 48, and now even beyond the great Atlantic performed in a language of which I have zero familiarity – theoretically you might as well have had a Tea-Partier attempting to explain his unintellectual, nonsensical, prejudicial and harmful political ideology to me. Yet, so strong is this combination of actor and material that even done in a tongue foreign to the viewer, the meaning, sentiment, intention and lasting effect of the story, and its telling, is still very much achievable.  People who have seemingly very little to unite them but their affection for the musical art form find that having discovered the humanity, compassion, and empathy inherent in “A Tale of Two Cities,” those communal positive and very human qualities extend far beyond the footlights and, indeed, they share much commonality. From actor to director to costume designer to musician to program printer - once you have been touched by this show you have been indelibly affected in an enduring manner and in a style that successful crosses cultural divides.  (“we are the world, we are the children,”  “come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try and love one another, right now,” “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony” – okay, now I want a Coke.)
So, can a traveling stage show calm tensions in the Middle East, mend multiple-millennia-old, fractious, faith fanaticism and enmities, and cap carbon emissions to deliver a happier polar bear and a climate change free future for humankind? Not very likely, but it’s certainly worth the price of admission to find out.

For a taste of “A Tale of Two Cities” here are highlights from the PBS special, featuring many members of the original Broadway cast. 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Day Mitt Romney Won! - A Harrowing Halloween Horror Presidential Dis-Endorsement


"People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world” –  Bob Merrill

“… there are 47 percent…  who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it … My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”- Mitt Romney

“You couldn't really have a heart
And hurt me
Like you hurt me
And be so untrue”- Hal David

As any regular readers, semi-regular readers, mind readers, palm readers, Weekly Readers, or despondent and deeply disappointed porn seekers would surely know, we here in the luxurious penthouse office suites of “… and several butcher’s aprons,” in the opulent “… and several butcher’s aprons” Towers, overlooking the pleasantly pastoral “… and several butcher’s aprons” Plaza, have previously prosed with profound frequency, and at extensive length, our boldly, biased beliefs on the strengths and weaknesses of  the two men in fractious, contentious and prickly pursuit of the office of President of these United States (links to a few can be found at the end of this post for reference, curiosity, and for the unapologetic and unabashed ego satisfaction of the writer.)  As with any self-important, yet more accurately, patently unimportant purveyor of political opinion, it is now my turn to annoyingly force (and never let it be said that this forum ever passes up an opportunity to annoy) my unwanted and, soon to be justifiably, unheeded, endorsement for the 2012 Presidential election.  But, by this point, as any American with even but a single of their five senses fully-functional is acutely aware of all the particulars, minutia and mishegoss  (hmm, Word 2010 doesn’t recognize Yiddish) of the candidates and this seemingly century-long campaign, this will not be a detailed diatribe of their distinctly divergent views, policies or records, as in standard and intelligent endorsements, but rather, a dis-endorsement in the form of a frightening forecast of a future in which Willard reigns victorious.

“He wants to savage Medicaid and repeal Obamacare, costing 34 million people healthcare coverage. He would slash spending on education, child nutrition, veteran’s programs and more. He promises to repeal the reforms made to limit Wall Street’s excesses.”– Chicago Sun-Times

Mitt’s Motivation 
 A common recurring complaint among the progressive punditry is that the Ex-Governor appears to lack any clear or spoken impetus or rational reasoning behind his coveting of Commander in Chief credentials. True, he’s been trained since toddler-hood for the task and his past presents a path pointed particularly toward this pursuit. And certainly, the Confident-One feels entitled and deserving of the honor, much like Sarah Palin and the Miss Wasilla crown.  But when candidly queried on the “why” of his quest, he’s as vague, non-committal and insincere as Eddie Murphy’s account of his shemale shenanigans, and, frankly, as Mitt’s responses are to pretty much any and all questions. But, if you, my exceptional reader, were running for the highest office in the land (no, not Ryan Seacrest’s job) would you fess up to the fact that you were doing so in order  that you, the Koch brothers,  Sheldon Adelson and others of that Plutocratic financial ruling class would have fewer tax burdens and fewer financial rules and regulations placed upon you, thereby freeing yourselves to accumulate even further obscene sums of wealth, sans any moral or legal encumbrances, largely through the labors, at the expense, and on the backs of the middle class and the poor?  Gone will be the inheritance tax, and the unwieldy and unfair 13% capital gains tax that so devastates Mitt’s $250,000,000 worth.  The most well-off among us will receive $86 billion dollars more in income tax savings above and beyond the Bush cuts already in place, while middle class levies will rise to the sour tune of an additional $2000 each a year.  Well, you wouldn’t be trailing that message on a banner behind your biplane above the beach at Coney Island, now would you?

“Mitt Romney offers dangerous ideas, when he offers any.” – The New York Times

A Mindless Man of Many Minds 
Willard Mitt Romney hasn’t had a principle since Miss Haversham  repressively ruled the roost in boarding school (I know the spelling is different, sometimes you have to cheat), or a core since Jeeves last peeled and seeded him a Granny Smith.  Perchance, are you part of “the well-to do, up and down Park Avenue, on that famous thoroughfare, with their noses in the air? High hats and Arrowed collars, white spats and lots of dollars, spending every dime, for a wonderful time?” Do you speak, Howell-esque, teeth and jaw tightly clenched?  Do family members sport the name Muffy, Toper, Bitsy, Biff and Chip? Are you a captain of industry, a corporate raider, a vulture capitalist, or an actual vulture?  Are the poverty stricken your personal source of Soylent Green? Tell Mitt Romney what to do, he’s waiting. Mitt will do anything, or say anything to anyone at any time, and then when required, deny it all, facial smirk smugly in place.  He’s been pro-choice and pro-life, “severely” conservative and progressive, he’s been to the “left of Ted Kennedy” on gay rights and supports a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, he’s believed climate change to be real and man-made but also junk science and a liberal conspiracy, he’s created universal healthcare in Massachusetts and vows to repeal Obama’s Affordable  Healthcare Act. Mitt’s had more faces than Joan Rivers, more dramatic changes than a bipolar transsexual and more positions than a double-jointed nymphomaniac. As Mitt used to sing in his days with The Spice Girls, “So tell me what you want, what you really really want.” This is a man resolutely without convictions but for those he hopes not to receive as a result of his dubious, overseas tax-dodges.

The Best of the Worst  
This election season the Republican Party gravely insulted our country, its people and its history by presenting as their presidential candidates a clown’s car full of misfits, miscreants and misogynists so aberrant that they would have put to shame any self-respecting freak show; and included among their ranks were some whose very sanity could have justifiably been doubted and questioned. Out of this distressing muck arose Willard Mitt Romney, disputably the only edible fruit out if this poisons horn of plenty – leaving us with a conciliation prize neither praiseworthy, nor statesman-like in stature. Question an intended Obama voter on the reasons for their support and they are likely to rattle off such things as Obama-care, Bin Laden, the creation of 5.2 million jobs, the slow but steady decrease in unemployment, ending the Iraq War, saving the auto industry, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Wall Street Reform, Student Loan Reform, Veteran Support (and as Yul Brynner was want to say) etc., etc.  Ask a Romney-ite about their presidential preference and oft-times you’re likely to hear a half-hearted, “he’s not Obama,” “Obama’s a Muslim,” Obama’s a Communist,’’ “Obama’s a Kenyan.” I’ll leave any further interpretation of the sum total of those frequently articulated GOP/Fox/Palin/Tea Party flagrant fabrications to you. The point being, very few express ecstatic encouragement for the Romney/Ryan ticket but more often a fear of a second Obama term, one in which he will kill your Grandmother, confiscate your firearms and institute a Marxist dictatorship grounded in Sharia Law.  

Willard’s World and Welcome To It
Our decision for this November 6th couldn’t be less complicated if it were contemplations from the mind of Michele Bachmann. If you want our military to remain in Afghanistan and you desire fresh boots on the ground in Iran and Syria; if you are unconcerned with equal rights, pay and opportunity for both the LGBT community  and women,  or the specific rights of women to make their own health choices without big government interference; if you want the working class to pay higher taxes so the rich can contribute less;  if 34 million people losing health coverage is none of your never-mind; if the elimination of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid seems like sound governmental policy; if you believe a Gubernatorial  history of 47th in the nation is impressive job creation;  if, very relevantly, you dismiss climate change and want increasingly severe and deadly weather occurrences all, eventually and inevitably,  leading to an uninhabitable planet for future generations; if you want a President with a looser grip on reality than Little Edie Bouvier Beale and a stronger penchant for an easier tossed-off, brazen falsehood than an Evangelical Congressman caught in a men’s room stall by airport security,  then by all means, on that second Tuesday in November, pull that lever, punch that chad,  crayon in that empty box and cast a negative ballot for a campaign whose entire foundation has been one of lies – tall tales about Welfare, Medicare, Death Panels, increasing unemployment and a worsening economy, past positions, record and statements;  or vote with positive intentions for facts, reality, truth and a good, thoughtful, compassionate, intelligent man with an already estimable record.  But, then again, why not wait until Wednesday when the crowds will have thinned out.

Now, as always, we proudly present the previously alluded to melodies,with English songbird, Cilla Black and Brooklyn belter, Barbra Streisand. Then, if you’re still sticking around, you’ll find the aforementioned links to the related earlier Romney and Obama posts.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Confessions of a Crossing Guard - Soon to be A Major Motion Picture

I was a crossing guard in elementary school, entrusted with life and death "street-crossing" powers over my fellow students. And if some snotty 7 year old got out of line, well, it was my job to show him the error of his ways. My name is nycityman, and I wore the belt and badge. 

“We met as classmates on Staten Island
We left as inmates from an asylum
And we were sharp, as sharp as knives
And we were so gung ho to lay down our lives”

In recent weeks and months “… and several butcher’s aprons” has gratefully gained a substantial increase in readership. For the neophytes to this on-line font of tomfoolery you, no doubt, have correctly concluded that the majority of posts here are dedicated to the comedic advancement of liberal ideals while stoically satirizing the agenda of the right. But, on occasion, senseless silliness succeeds and so, for a much needed change of pace, we take a momentary respite from partisan, progressive politics, Romney-railing and Mitt-mendacity unmasking to remember those friends and compadres from treasured childhood days, where lore and legend reflects not necessarily reality, but jaded memories, exaggerated and embellished with the passage of time. This comic confection is not new, having originally been posted about a year and a half ago, but to most of the current audience it will be as fresh as a failed fall NBC programming offering, jubilantly aired and then embarrassingly pulled, unviewed, but a scant fortnight later. This particular piece is being specifically rerun and revived at this time as the fortunes of Facebook have recently reconnected nycityman to many former fellows from “good old golden rule days,” who should find some familiarity in the following frivolity.

I came from a proud crossing guard tradition. My older brother was a crossing guard, captain of his squad. My father was a crossing guard before him. And my grandfather, he was a horse and buggy guard. For generations my family has bled white. (No racial overtones implied, white was the color of the safety patrol belts.)

It was the turbulent 1960’s. Across our great land, college campuses erupted in social upheaval. Radicals seized the day. America’s young people were experimenting with illegal mind-altering drugs. The situation was no different on the seemingly tranquil grounds of Staten Island’s PS 55, home to some of the most militant toddlers in the lower 48. It was our sworn duty to keep things under control. We had many names – crossing guards, safety patrol officers, safety monitors, bulls, the man – most just called us “sir.”

Ours was a loyal legion, a band of brothers - me, P.J. Clark, Frank Schmidt and Tim Beraud (the names have not been changed to preserve the glory) and it was an honor to serve in their company - each man trustworthy and true (well, each fifth grader trustworthy and true, anyway.) We were a wall of white (once again, not a racial allusion but a reference to the color of our safety belts, however, as this was Staten Island, we were, in actuality, a wall of white as well.) As is the case with all great fighting units we had our motto, our rallying cry – “We Came. We Saw. We Ran Home to Our Mothers.” In retrospect it doesn’t seem particularly inspiring, but then again, we were just rug rats at the time. If you took on one 10 year old, you had to take on all of us; and when we stood on each other’s shoulders, over-sized overcoat, stogie and ersatz adult raspy voice in place, as in classic “Our Gang” mode, than it was as if we were two battle-hardened 20 year olds. We were trained, we were tested, and we were combat-ready. One just doesn’t get to be a safety patrol officer. It’s not something that’s handed to you by accident of birth or family affiliation (are your ears ringing, Mitt Romney?) You had to start small and prove yourself. I began as a door monitor, valiantly and oft-times physically, refusing entrée to any undesirable and potentially treacherous intruders. And only then, having demonstrated gallantry and courageousness under-fire was I even considered for the coveted post of crossing guard. Unfortunately, we were the last of a dying breed, the Greatest Generation. Eventually they had to give our jobs to adults - to Moms. They just weren’t making kids like us anymore. The newer youngsters who followed so poorly in our footsteps couldn’t stomach it, couldn’t handle it, they froze like Michele Bachmann taking the American History Regents. At one elementary school after another, all across these United States, terrified students, lives in grave peril, were dodging conveyances like George Bush dodging tossed Arabian footwear.

You may think I speak in exaggerated tones, titillate with tall-tales literally told out of school. But I humbly submit that there are few malevolent miscreants more malicious, mischievous and unmanageable than a 6 year old hopped up on Pixy Stix and Yoo-Hoo (curse you Yogi Berra and your damned chocolate energy drink.) If I had a nickel for every Mary Jane, every box of Good and Plenty, every Razzles I’ve ever confiscated, I’d have more Republicans in my pocket than the Koch Brothers. And very often the impounded plunder went far beyond the relative innocuous nature of such candied comestibles. I’ll always recall Paul, who from 4th grade on was permitted full access to his father’s Playboy collection. On occasion, much to the delight of us all, Paul would sneak an issue or two into the classroom. As any precocious and curious child would, I looked forward to those days and that rare opportunity to sample the taboo, the forbidden, and the inviolable; but as a responsible safety patrol officer answerable for the welfare of the younger children, keeping morality and their emotional and mental health utmost in mind, I had my sworn and solemn duty. Did excessive force ever come into play? Perhaps, but these were difficult times, and ultimately we were respected for what we did and how we kept the peace. Judge me if you will, but do so after you’ve skipped a mile in my PF Flyers.

Lest I lead you astray, the existence of a 5th grade crossing guard did have its benefits. Of course there was the thrill, the excitement, the daily rush of living on the edge, never knowing what the very next minute may bring. There was the ceaseless gratitude and respect of the entire school population, as well as the eternal admiration of the faculty. And need I bother mention the attention of the ladies? The ladies, yes, the ladies (well, eventually they’d be ladies.)

If you’re the type who thinks - children, they’re so innocent, so truthful, so open-minded, so honest and trusting – well then, you’ve completely blocked out your own childhood. We were petty, manipulative, selfish, egotistical, evil, miniature monsters disguised in cute little packages, like Gremlins or Chucky Dolls, always on the ready to annihilate any tot considered even slightly different from what our little un-experienced, under-developed minds perceived as the norm. Every school yard is Darwinism played out in real time right before our eyes, with the strong devouring the weak. And we, my friends, were charged with keeping all that aberrant behavior somehow in check.

“And we would all go down together
We said we'd all go down together
Yes we would all go down together” – Billy Joel

Although I speak of events that occurred some four decades ago, a crossing guard is always sworn in, on call, on duty, always alert. Wherever there’s an elderly lady struggling to traverse a thoroughfare, wherever there’s a child not looking both ways, wherever there’s a 20 year old, scantily clad coed, un-attentive to the traffic patterns as she gossips on her bedazzled smart phone – we’ll be there. When our country calls, we serve and we go where we’re needed.

The Few. The Proud. The Safety Patrol.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mitt Romney - Class Pictures

Worth a Thousand Words 6: Beyond the Valley of a Thousand Words

“If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell” – Gordon Lightfoot

On rare occasion, the Gods of Comedy descend to Earth from Mount Olympus, or Mount Catskills or Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos (for those keeping count of lazy writing, this makes two successive blogs with two Mount Airy Lodge references, something one is very unlikely to see outside of the romantic resort’s very own webpage) or from whatever brick wall, custard pie, seltzer bottle laden paradise in which they dwell, to bestow upon a chosen mortal a scarce, priceless and invaluable gift rife with comedic potential. In the humble opinion of this observer, those deities of the double-take are very likely named Groucho, Harpo, Chico and even Zeppo, reigning alongside the members of the Python troupe, even the American one with the very strange hybrid accent. For this particular posting we have been presented with a peculiar picture of wannabe leader of the free world and insomniac’s best friend, Willard Mitt Romney. The origin of this unusual image is unknown. The actual actions of the universally unpopular in Massachusetts, job destroying, tax evading, corporate conquistador, man of a thousand contradictory opinions and no convictions ex-Governor are a puzzlement. The reason for the reaction of the girl is a guess. But when you have the Great Equivocator, the Prince of Prevarication, the Viceroy of Vacillation in your comedy line of fire, the tee-hee trigger must be pulled with the hopes of making a belly-laugh bull’s-eye. Let’s hope that among this multiplicity of captions applied to but one solitary pictorial moment, we have achieved greater success than that of the average unfortunate former employee of any of Bain Capital’s take-over companies.

Note: Of course, all submissions can be enlarged with but a mouse click for easier reading.

We close with Gordon Lightfoot and a live performance of, “If You Could Read My Mind.” For any younger readers, I’m sure someday, someway “… and several butcher’s aprons” will conclude with a song and an artist that you may at least be vaguely familiar with, maybe. But until that far away day, I highly recommend giving this man and his composition a listen.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Taking the Debate Bait – We Won’t Get Fooled Again

The debate left many confused
Virtually every time Mr. Romney spoke, he misrepresented the platform on which he and Paul Ryan are actually running.” – The New York Times

“I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
No, no!” -  Pete Townsend

I’ve been fooled. Many have been fooled. Many educated, attacked as elitist, progressive political thinkers have been fooled. Mitt Romney, his advisors, handlers and hair-colorists proved far shrewder than almost anyone had given them credit for. Once removed of the faux-Latino, spray tan epidermis, heretofore camouflaged cunning was, clearly and without qualification, despondently on display during the premiere presidential debate. The unpredictably, wily resident of  five home states and six palatial manors, pater to five identically cloned progeny, the pro-Vietnam War protestor who avoided service by successfully seeking sanctuary and refuge in the rough and rugged environs of Paris, France completely dominated the electoral event. He bullied, berated and lied, lied, lied and lied as our President, in regrettable non-response stood there head down, or nodding in supplication and agreement, as  ostensibly defenseless to the unrelenting onslaught of prevarication and browbeating, as Mark Sanchez is to any team’s defense whenever alighting upon the grid iron. It mattered not that Obama had truth, facts and an estimable record on his side, nor did it matter that every oration of the challenger brought forth an untruth or a policy, stance or belief entirely foreign to those expressed before, because for some strange and undetermined reason, perhaps known only to the President and his god, Obama did not challenge Romney on a solitary, far-fetched, feckless falsehood. It was a sorrowful and inexplicable performance and certainly an inappropriate way to commemorate two decades of wedded bliss to the inimitable and marvelous Michelle. We have underestimated the enemy, and perhaps even as Pogo said so wisely, many a year ago, “we have met the enemy… and he is us.”

What exactly transpired on that dark, dreary depressing night of Wednesday, October 3rd?  Has Willard Mitt Romney been playing possum, playing the fool, playing the jerk-card all this time only to be purposely lulling those of us who deem ourselves of superior working thought processes, we of lefty loyalties? Was Romney setting us up, as well as shrewdly and skillfully perpetrating the same swindle upon the entire Obama re-election team throughout the protracted length of this campaign all for the purpose of the unexpected, quite convincing, and embarrassing trouncing he placed upon the current sitting President - the intelligent, thoughtful, concerned, quick-thinking incumbent, the admirable individual who is in many ways the living embodiment of the oft-times fictional and fantastical American dream? Is Willard in reality an evil genius? Is he the Lex Luthor of the LDS? Each fresh sunrise seemed to bring with it the latest news story of yet another gaffe, another mistake, another ill-spoken statement, another released tape never intended for release, another hound atop a Honda, another effeminate student beaten and bullied, another putdown of the common man, another hidden cache of tax-free riches, “another hundred people just got off of the train and came up through the ground. While another hundred people just got off of the bus, and are looking around…” only to find themselves brusquely removed from their livelihoods and retirement savings while their companies collapsed or their enviable employment was dispatched far across boundless oceans. Every rotation of the globe revealed another example of a Mitt misunderstanding of his fellow homo-sapiens, an outwardly endless litany demonstrating, day in and day out that same old voodoo following him about, his utter and disconcerting and discomfiting lack of sympathy, empathy, compassion, humanity and even intelligence or forethought. Is it even a vague possibility that some or all of that was purposeful?

As surprising as the debate feat was for the ex-Governor of the Bay State, maybe Mitt’s managed even more chicanery. As prognosticated by pundit and politician from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the formerly moderate Mitt pirouetted to the Far Right for the Republican Primaries, presenting a furtive figure just somewhat more “severely” conservative than Jefferson Davis. Also, as anticipated, now in the heat of the general election he has less than smoothly segued toward the middle. But despite this blatant and obvious tactic to win the hearts, mind-less and trust of the red, white and blue populace, the deliberate deception of this cynical strategy may actually be one that results in a win for Romney and a loss for our country, its people, the global community and the brotherhood of man (we are the world, we are the children.) The initial assessments of the world’s watchmen and wise elders was that the road to victory could not possibly be paved with such a foundation of relentless, persistent and ever-changing mendacities. Conventional thinking was that people would see through Romney like Sue Storm startled in a bubble bath. Additionally, and as we well know, there is the existence of hours and hours of video tape, easily available and accessible here on the World Wide Web, documenting each and every flip flop and flagrant falsehood - and therein lies the possible virtuosity of the Romney campaign, they may have realized from the get go that none of that matters. Mitt’s four year lease to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is held in the uninformed mitts of the undecided voter. So again, Romney primarily plays to the Tea Party, John Birch, Ku Klux Klan, Junior Sample wing of the GOP to secure the Republican nomination, and then meanders a modicum closer to moderation. Those on the extreme may be miffed with Mitt, but no matter the behavior, actions or policies of Barack Obama - he could make Sarah Palin the Secretary of the Department of Lurnin’, he could replace all their tattered confederate flags with brand-spanking new ones or even make it legal for siblings to betroth - nothing would cause those on the fanatical fringe to cast a misspelled ballot for the black man in the White House. Romney therefore retains the Right, and can attempt to capture the unapprised, undecided constituents in the middle; for at this point, if voters have yet to discern distinct differences between Obama and Romney, they evidently don’t really care enough to try and have not been paying needed attention, leaving Willard free to continue his merry ways of fudging, fabrications and falsehoods. Those un-attentive undecideds now see naught but the new debate-born fictional characters that Romney has created of both himself and Obama as genuine as they have yet to be exposed to the previous prevarications and propensity of positions. Romney lies like a 9 year old caught sneaking a peek at his Dad’s Playboys and Barack placidly and passively allows it while he prepares to hand over the keys to the kingdom.  

Perhaps our President went into the evening neglecting proper preparation. Perhaps in the light of recent polling and the long string of Mitt Romney’s Bloopers, Blunders and Practical Jokes, Obama was a tad overconfident. Perhaps he believed his frequent catnaps wouldn’t be caught on camera. Perhaps he and Michelle indulged in a premature flute of celebratory anniversary Dom Perignon. Or perhaps, relatedly, his mind was otherwise involved with visions of anticipated activities in the heart-shaped tub at the Mount Airy Lodge, as Al Green melodies wafted through his cerebellum. Whatever the rhymes or reasons for this unfortunate evening, I have no desire to spend another such night, stomach churning, shouting out unheeded instructions to my wide screen LCD. Whatever damage might have been done, almost nothing in politics is unforgiveable or irreversible (I think I spied  Anthony Weiner sizing up some new campaign attire at Men’s Wearhouse just the other day) so President O, carry on, be steadfast and strong, and don’t get fooled again

Monday, October 1, 2012

One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor: Reflections on a Life Lived in a Box

An Over-Dramatization of Apartment Living in the Big City

An Essay with a Couple Too Many Subtitles

“Oh the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise. There’s one thing I hate, all the noise, noise, noise, noise!” - The Grinch

“It's just apartment house sense
It's like apartment rents
Remember: one man's ceiling is another man's floor!
One man's ceiling is another man's floor!” - Paul Simon

Note - With the great, good fortune of a vast increase in audience blessing this blog in recent weeks, and the current celebratory mindset upon surpassing the 50,000 view milestone, I thought it might be fun to re-post a few earlier essays in thanks and appreciation, and with the hopes that newer readers who had not been previously exposed to them might enjoy a peek at a presentation of "best ofs."  Thanks.
(Originally posted October 21, 2010) 

Saturday, October 9th, 6:30am - I am awakened by loud rhythmic clapping and the repeated top-of-the-lungs shouting of the single word, “Yankees!” First pitch of the game is scheduled for 8:37pm, some 14 hours later. Welcome to life in a densely populated New York City apartment building. 


There will probably be nothing particularly unique here for many of you. Unless you grew up in Wasilla and have no real worldly experiences of your own, or any realistic perception of how the majority of your fellow citizens exist (got that out of the way quickly) there’s a good chance that you’ve lived in an apartment building at one time or another. But, like Oscar and Felix before me, I’m a more mature fellow still persevering in the world of monthly rent checks (alas, I have yet to locate my Pigeon Sisters) and find myself mostly surrounded by callow, rosy-cheeked, fresh-faced neighbors still in the embryonic stages of life’s long journey, and what they primarily appear to bring with them to this, their post-matriculation phase, are those things that they learned within the confines of the frat house. But soon enough, if they wish to survive and prosper, they will hopefully ascertain that there is more to life than the drunken exuberant screaming of the f-word, the 3am sounds of wall and floor shaking thumping bass and the smoking of the demon weed on my fire escape. Along with other more sober neighbors I have spoken with these children across the hall, have slipped notes under their door, discussed them with the Super and on one particularly extreme party night, even alerted the gendarmes, who failed to arrive. On any type of special occasion - a birthday, a 3-day weekend, a holiday (they really kicked it on Arbor Day), a major sporting event, an awards ceremony, Emo Phillips’ birthday, a day with the letter “y” in it - it’s simply best to just seek shelter elsewhere, even the Port of Authority would be preferable. These rowdy boys, keepers of the half-Delta House, half-Limelight lifestyles, are close cohorts of the landlord and accordingly feel impervious to any possible consequences of their actions. With no obvious kryptonite to play, one considers the crossbow, the catapult or the commando team but, legally and economically, those options are very likely unrealistic.

Currently, I am listening to the mellifluous sounds of a Section 8 woman who at times resides in Bellevue and at other times lives in the hovel directly across the airshaft from me. She spends much of her waking hours engaged in strident and boisterous squabbles with herself. On occasion, her dog does join in on the deafening disagreements but, much to my disappointment, rarely adds anything of value to the debate. When she is about, one must be wary of the glimpse through the levolors as a likely result would be to spy her naked in her kitchen window cooking at her stove top - in my eyes a somewhat dangerous activity to be engaged in when unclothed. Now normally, the chance voyeuristic peek would be a positive happenstance but not when, at first glance, the subject of the naughty nude-view appears for all the world to be Oscar winner and beloved Hollywood icon, Ernest Borgnine. And while maybe he momentarily did it for Ethel Merman he doesn’t really quite boil my cabbage. Interestingly and very strangely, when encountered on the street she’s the embodiment of sunshine and roses and, here’s the kicker, acts as though we are enjoying a relationship and, of course, a romantic one at that. “There you are!” she sing-songs cheerily in my direction, a large Joker-like smile terrifyingly lighting up her face. I wonder how much danger I’m in from this situation. I see a bickering couple accidentally happening upon my lifeless body in a Law and Order opening as my future.

Have I mentioned sex yet? Obviously, I mean not my own sex, as I prefer that the discussion remain in the realm of the realistic rather than delve into the world of the fanciful. No, I speak of the sexual stamina of the dynamic downstairs duo whose ceiling shared a plane with my floor. The promiscuous pair whose bedroom lay directly beneath my very own. They have since moved on but their amorous actions, while here, will dwell forever in my memory. Their frequent and vociferous expressions of shared affections appeared to occur in a very deliberate and scheduled manner - twice a day, everyday. It eventually became part of my daily calendar to be aware of exactly at what point the carnal carnival would commence, and even more disturbing, at what latter time, based on the speed, rhythm and pacing, said passionate performance would reach its conclusion. At that juncture I was free to attempt slumber once more. When I would run into them in the hallway handshakes were never in order as I knew precisely where they had just been.

Then there is the banging (pardon the inadvertently lowbrow segue, I refer to noise) in populous, old New York apartment buildings you are assured of hearing banging. Constant banging. Incessant banging. Never-ending banging. Ever-present banging. Non-stop banging. Morning, noon and night, 24/7, forever and always, sunrise-sunset, night and day, day in and day out, summer, winter, spring and fall of my life, come rain or come shine (sorry, I’ve wandered into Frank Sinatra’s discography now) banging! If you’re not getting my gist, if you‘re puzzled about what exactly I‘m trying to communicate to you, I’d say it’s that there’s a lot of banging. Be it someone hanging a picture, someone repairing something, someone constructing their Ikea hutch, the heat coursing through the ancient pipes or the enraged neighbor venting his or her ire through recurrent and constant contact of fist on wall – there’s almost always some form of banging sound. If you’ve ever daydreamed of living in a fantasy musical theatre world, congratulations, you’ve made it into Stomp. I would imagine if one has to exist within the parameters of a show, Oh Calcutta might be a more enjoyable choice.

There’s also the rehearsals of all the, not quite Brian Stokes Mitchells or Bryn Terfels, Broadway and Opera wannabes who surround me here in the theatre district of Manhattan. And the never-employed lady above me who somehow can afford to live in the same apartment building subsisting only on her daily collections of cans and bottles which she drags up the stairs in metal carts numerous times everyday. It’s Marley’s ghost and the chains he forged in life, but I get it nightly, Scrooge only had to deal with it on Christmas Eve. As Ebenezer discovered, it can be quite a frightening and alarming sound when jarred awake by it in the wee small hours, whether you’re wearing a nightcap or not. There’s the choir group that regularly works on new harmonies at 1:30am, and the roach problem which has morphed into a bedbug problem, and the something that’s always leaking whether it's your toilet tank, the kitchen sink or the pipe in the wall that eventually causes a ceiling collapse in the apartment below - luckily the aforementioned frisky couple were not involved in anything of an intimate nature at the time. Is it at all a natural existence to live in a cluster of rooms piled on top of each other, sharing our musical tastes, our cooking aromas, even our vermin - our roaches, rats and bedbugs? As a rightfully rejected Devo song might have asked, are we honey bees or are we men? As I posed the questions, I too will answer them. Yes, and I’ll go with honeybees. I love Manhattan, I love my building. And I love my, desperately in need of a paint job, apartment in which I’ve resided for over 15 years. I’m a little more ambivalent about the Google Earth shots of me exiting it, but that’s a matter for another day. When all is said and done, please give me a little box surrounded on all sides by other little boxes in the heart of amazing Manhattan, and not some  little box on the hillside made of ticky tacky anywhere else.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You

Over 50,000 Served - Marking a Mild Milestone

Reflections on the feline friend follows

“… I don't want to fight
I'm a little bit wrong
And you're a little bit right…
You know that it's true
It's a little bit me
And it's a little bit you... too” – Neil Diamond

“I want to thank you for letting me be myself again
I want to thank you for letting me be myself again"- Sly Stone

“It all started at a 5000-watt radio station in Fresno, California…” – Ted Baxter

How does one pat himself on the back while simultaneously pecking away at a keyboard? It takes an effort requiring more than just your ordinary level of ego, self-congratulation, self-importance and self-regard! So, with that as an extremely unattractive and un-ingratiating introduction, nycityman invites and welcomes you as we commemorate 50,000 views of  “… and several butcher’s aprons.”  While, by its nature, being far too self-referential and perhaps even reverential (something that was never an original intent of this venture) the primary endeavor, as is ever the situation, will be to humorously entertain. Should we fail in that noble attempt please feel free to avail yourself of the comment section below to chide us on mistakes made and errors incurred.

"Congratulación y buena suerte" - Don Francisco

Is 50,000 a substantial sum for a blog that is not the Huffington Post? For some perspective - in Willard Romney’s environs 50,000 is the minimum number of dollars set aflame to properly light his smuggled Cuban Cohibas. In Marcus Bachmann’s journeys, 50,000 would be the concise correct count of rhinestones bedazzled on his Mardi Gras ensemble. And for Sarah Palin, 50,000 may be the weekly SarahPac cash crop she filches from her gullible and trusting disciples despite the uncomfortable and inconvenient truth that she occupies no office nor is she actively in hot pursuit of one.  In “… aprons” terms, it took slightly over a year  to accumulate our initial 10,000 readers, but since, in merely another 24 months or so, an additional 40,000 fine folks, discriminating and discerning, intrepid, internet investigators, one and all, muscular, intelligent and attractive, have peeked, perused and even opined on this page – a voluminous pickup in viewer velocity. So, whether, in World Wide Web reality, it actually is an admirable blog figure or not I chose to celebrate it, but most importantly I need to express my sincere, deep and heartfelt thanks and astonished appreciation. Astonished as in, I haven’t a clue why anyone reads these random ramblings nor have I an idea, for the most part, how our remarkable readers and audience members even happen upon it.

 “… and several butcher’s aprons” first expedition through Al Gore’s internet tubes occurred on July 23rd, 2010 with a captive and enraptured audience of Mom, brothers and psychoanalyst. Yet, truth be told, nycitymom has never, and will never, have any interest in accessing the wired wonder of the world that lives beyond the modem; nycitybrothers are not similarly of luddite-leanings regarding technology, but are conservative concerning collecting squandered hours on the newer medium platforms. As far as the psychoanalyst goes, Dr. Alan Smithee is as made up as a Kardashian’s face on NBA Draft Day, just one of many fictions fabricated to forward an authoring agenda and expose and encourage an existence that extends far beyond the everyday, mostly mundane reality of the creator. Foremost among the imagined inventions is that of nycityman himself. That nom de blog is but an invented identity that frees up the living and breathing, flesh and blood scribe to express opinions, thoughts and experiences that can only find full comfort in doing so while employing a cloak of anonymity.  It allows allusions to actions and activities in an arena of legal and moral ambiguities and, sadly yet significantly, shields one from being embarrassing yelled at by his 82 year old mother should someone share the site with her. But despite such secretiveness, distortion and misrepresentation, on occasion actuality invades as in the essays on my employment, apartment, cat companion and even the spine-tingling, edge of your seat saga of a recent double hernia surgery. From that first moment standing in the surgeon’s office – shirt on, pants off – it was crystal clear that there was comedy gold to be mined there.  In a related personal note, all writings are originally birthed as voice recorder annotations - public situations often find me scrambling and searching for dictation-friendly spaces of solitude as not wanting to appear like some retro recreation of the Rowan and Martin Spy Sketch (“I’ve got the yoyo.” “I’ve got the string.”) –  and recorder playback often reveals the presence of cat meows on a significant number of aural memorandum earning  Spanky the cat, meowing muse of my mirthful meanderings, a rightful mention in both text and picture.

Blogging is surprisingly satisfying and fulfilling and considerable hours, days and nights are devoted to each submission (this one, perhaps, will reveal itself as the obvious exception) but as Neil Diamond penned and the Monkees performed lo those innocent decades ago, “it’s a little bit me, it’s a little bit you,” (and maybe even “Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death, Rode the 50,000”) for a voice in a vacuum is as pointless as a Tea Party members only spelling bee. Scribbling countless “appreciations” and “thank yous” ad-infinitum for the balance of this posting would still not be suitable articulation. The fact that so many have peered at this oft-times pretentiously prosed, vexing verbiage and have not regularly conveyed their condemnation is a testament to human decency, and thrills and excites like being strapped into a Six Flags X-Flight Roller Coaster Ride in the midst of a rolling brown out, accompanying Sarah Palin as she received the results of her Verbal SAT scores, or conducting a co-joined polygraph test on Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

As for the future, can circulation continue expansion? These thoughts - there are 47 percent of the people who will not read this no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. (Sounds imbecilic no matter the context, doesn’t it, Mitt?) “Half a league onward” to more complaining, castigating, haranguing, harassing, alliterating and indignantly igniting the farcical flames of political and social commentary.

“It's not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me, oh no
It's just the nearness of you”

The Monkees with, "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit Me."

The legendary Sly Stone and Sly and the Family Stone with their classic, "ThankYou Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin." -

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Unconventional Wisdom 2: A Pictorial Parody of the Democratic National Convention

 Worth a Thousand Words 5: Battle for the Planet of a Thousand Words


"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." – Mitt Romney

“It’s Only Words
And Words Are All I Have
To Take Your Heart Away” - Gibb

As promised, although no one asked, or very likely particularly cares, we are marginally proud to present our follow-up to the “Worth a Thousand Words” installment on the Republican National Convention, with another comically captioned caper, this time lampooning our friends who lean more logically to the left – the Democrats. If, perchance, you’ve ever found this blog previously beckon you (thank you, please tell your family, friends, neighbors, PTA, congregation, Knight of Columbus chapter - whichever grouping you deem appropriate) you’ll be aware that any attempt to position ourselves as non-partisan, fair-minded or unbiased is in reality a shallow, insincere and superficial exercise, but hopefully one that amuses and entertains. And, in perfect proof of that point, before frolicking forward to the photo follies, and although ostensibly about the Democratic Convention, we dedicate today’s post to Willard Romney for as the “Worth a Thousand Words” series is, after all, much about words, we regrettably learn more concretely week to week, day to day, hour to hour and as ignorantly illuminated by Mitt’s quote above,  just one in his recent historic and unprecedented string of bloopers, blunders and unintended self- flagellating  practical jokes, words are not his friends. Perhaps from this point forward the Republican standard bearer best not express himself verbally at all, but rather put forth solely his manly and masculine, game-show host, good looks and hope that his slight resemblance to Wink Martindale can carry the day.  Now that we’ve concluded this portion of our show with a quite generous compliment to the ex-Governor and former Robert Hall menswear mannequin, we move onward and upward to further frivolities.

 And now the Brothers Gibb sadly lament those cursed, unfair enemies of Mitt Romneys - "Words."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Unconventional Wisdom: A Pictorial Parody of the Republican National Convention

Worth a Thousand Words 4: Conquest of the Planet of a Thousand Words

So yes, perhaps this installment of  “… and several butcher’s aprons” is, desperately and weakly, weeks behind the actual political news cycle; but sometimes an idea has to gel over time, has to mature, ruminate and age like a fine vintage Bordeaux; and then other times, the cheap, easy, obvious, salacious, low-brow and frequently sexual suggestive humor does not occur to you until the unmarked tablet your buddy gave you for your headache, swearing “it’s just an aspirin, man” turns out not to be so. The creative process is eternally an unpredictable and fickle mistress.  But rest assured in this fact, my loved, desired, needed, appreciated, respected, remarkably intelligent and devastatingly attractive, regular readers; and you disappointed new-comers who happened upon this page from an errant Google search while seeking the website of the male escorts showcased on Showtime’s “Gigolos;” forever and always, this shall be so - Wherever there’s a mean-spirited, New Jersey Governor appearing even the list bit peckish, I’ll be there.  Wherever hand motions are wide enough, and positioned in such a way to permit one to make “size” jokes, I’ll be there. Wherever a candidate is snacking on a phallic shaped food item, I’ll be there.  And although I receive no compensation for these refined and noble efforts, I consider it my duty, nay my privilege, as an American.

Before forwarding to the folderol, a note, lest you think that the admittedly exceedingly partisan nature of this blog means that the comedic captioning will be applied solely to our rivals on the Right, stay tuned for the DNC’s turn, soon to follow.

And now, because you just saw a number of photographs, we very uncreatively present Ringo Starr performing “Photograph.”