Sunday, July 8, 2018
I just realized I forgot to tell you about my vacation to The Bahamas.
Incidentally, you always refer to The Bahamas as THE Bahamas, kind of like The Ohio State University. Nobody tells you that in school.
According to their website, "The Bahamas is comprised of 700 islands and over 2000 rocks and cays, sprinkled over 100000 square miles of ocean. The archipelago is an ecological oasis boasting the clearest water on the planet." I would have to agree. The water in THE Bahamas puts the water in Panama City Beach to shame.
First the story.
Someone we know retired and built a house in THE Bahamas and invited us down. I would post pictures and tell you exactly where we were except our host requested that we didn't post anything on "social media". Just to be on the safe side, I'm not posting it in this blog because I want to be invited back.
However, I can tell you it wasn't in Nassau, probably the most famous city in THE Bahamas and the inspiration to the song, "Funky Nassau". This song told us: "Nassau rock and Nassau roll, Nassau's got a whole lot of soul". They don't write them like that anymore.
Getting to THE Bahamas is relatively easy from Atlanta. We decided to fly to Orlando and catch a flight to THE Bahamas from there because a direct non-stop flight to our undisclosed location would cost, oh, about 4 million dollars. We took Southwest Airlines to Orlando because it was slightly cheaper.
If you have lived in Atlanta for any time at all, you are familiar with Clark Howard, probably the tightest of all tight-wads. He has a radio show and he used to give out information on great deals Southwest had flying out of Birmingham. "Drive to Birmingham and fly to Las Vegas for 12 bucks. You will stop in Kansas City, Portland, Maine, and Eugene, Oregon before reaching Las Vegas two weeks after you depart. But it's 12 BUCKS!"
But now you don't have to drive to Birmingham. Southwest now flys out of Atlanta. No assigned seating. I will say the flight attendants appear to be MUCH younger than the other airlines, like one that rhymes with the world "Belta".
From Orlando, we caught what I would call a "puddle jumper" except I think puddle jumpers are bigger. I'm sure I saw some mechanics tightening the rubber bands for the propellers (there were 2).
Well, we made it to THE Bahamas and our host picked us up from the airport. As we were driving away I noticed that we were DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD. In THE Bahamas, the wrong side of the road is their right side of the road. Again, something they never tell you in school.
Our host's husband was very happy to see us. So happy that he made us about a couple gallons of Goombay Smash.
What is Goombay Smash? It is a rum-based beverage that contains rum, pineapple juice, rum, brandy, rum, orange juice, and rum. It seems like a relatively harmless beverage. Wrong.
Goombay Smash could be used as anesthesia for dental surgery. What makes it so dangerous is that it doesn't seem like an alcoholic beverage. It seems like something that would be served in a punch bowl at church. It doesn't have that boozy smell and it goes down real easy.
I drank a glass. I didn't want to be rude to my hosts. The next thing I knew I was typing "Hey who wants a t-shirt?" on Facebook.
Fortunately, I think I passed out before I did anything embarassing. At least I hope I did.
The Bahamians seemed like nice and friendly people. However, if you go to a restaurant, you must explain EXACTLY what you want.
If you ask for a glass of water, they will bring you a small plastic cup filled with tap water, which may/may not be warm.
I ordered a Diet Coke for one of my meals. I got a room temperature can of Coke with a small plastic cup filled with ice. I should have said, "I want a Diet Coke already poured into a glass (not a cup) that has ice in it."
This is my favorite menu item from a restaurant in THE Bahamas.
The HTHL Hot Dog is a jumbo wiener stuffed with cheddar and wrapped in bacon. They felt the great need to tell you "This is delicious!" . It looked so good Jimmy Buffett ought to write a song about it. (I didn't get it. But my son did.)
I got the Things IN-A-BAG. At least I think I did. I was still in my Goombay Smash coma.
THE Bahamas is a great, relaxing place to go on vacation. The water is the clearest on the planet.
Sorry, Panama City Beach.
Sunday, July 1, 2018
"cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values".
Last week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked the political world by being the world's first cute socialist.
Lord, I apologize. I know I'm not supposed to be noticing the looks of any young lady old enough to be my daughter. In fact, she is one year older than my 27 year old son. I want everybody to congratulate me on my restraint in NOT calling my son to point out that a person a year older than him will be sitting in Congress next year.
(To be fair, my son would point out that his scores in Call of Duty Black Ops 4 are way better than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.)
I was a little bit discombobulated by the fact that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is so cute when she holds such goofy beliefs. Socialism has never worked and never will. Of course, when you are cute, you can just about say or do anything.
So, I'm a little discomforted by a socialist being in The US Congress and yet being so doggone young and cute.
There are other cognitive dissonances out there.
Liberals have been baying about "the children" a lot recently. One rule of politics: when someone starts talking about "the children" they are not talking about "the children". They are talking about the power they wished they had because they are talking about "the children". Meanwhile, they have no problem with late-term abortion. Doesn't even bother them a bit.
I know what some of you are thinking. What about your goody two shoes Evangelicals and their support of President Orange?
True. That is cognitive dissonance in the nth degree. Evangelicals know in their heart of hearts that Donald Trump is a couple of Corinthians short of a New Testament. But they know that even though he is not quite deacon room ready, he will at least listen to them instead of trying to shame them.
The civility question. Everybody wants everybody else to be civil but they want to be able to yell at you. And it is no big deal that you get yelled at or asked to leave a restaurant, because, you know, your boss is like really gross.
Movies. Have they stopped coming up with ideas for movies? It seems like every movie is from a comic book. Or it is about dinosaurs. I thought we answered the question: "Should dinosaurs and human co-exist?" years ago. (Answer to the question: No). Yet, we line up and spend good money to see these awful movies which only encourages Hollywood to go back and more.
Food. We know it is not good to eat four hundred pounds of beef at one sitting. But we order it anyway and ask them to put a fried egg on top of it.
Probably the best way to deal with cognitive dissonance is to ignore it. That's what everybody else does.
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Social media has its good points.
For example, I have reconnected with people I haven't seen in thirty some odd years. Then I remembered why I disconnected from them.
Ha, ha. Just a joke.
Actually, it has been great seeing old friends and pointing out that I still have all my hair.
However, there is a downside to social media. Namely: people. In between posts of what was for supper and feet at the beach are arguments.
Not everybody on social media argues. Some people fuss, while others fight.
I can't put my finger on it, but it seems things really began going hyper hooky-bolooky on Facebook and Twitter when Donald J. Trump became President of The United States.
The President is legendary on Twitter himself. Some of his Tweets are, well, yeah, bless his heart, as the ladies say here in the South.
The problem is The Loyal Opposition is no more. No, it has morphed into the Resistance of The Panties Are Always Twisted Into A Knot. If Trump is for something, these folks are against it, because Trump equals Hitler. Can't you see that?
They have managed to do something I thought was impossible: look worse than Trump.
Everything is a full-scale Book of Revelation Apocalypse and everything is going to Hell in a handbasket if we only had a hand basket because Trump put Tariffs on Canadian made hand baskets.
Of course, the Trump people object to this.
This leads to many long Facebook posts and Tweets. I have decided to help people out and present an update to my 2012 classic "How To Argue On Social Media Like A World Champ". However, this time, I am giving advice on how to WIN.
- The Most Important Rule: Anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.
2. Use as many swear words as possible.
- Debate topics that nobody has ever debated before. For example: do animals have constitutional rights?
- Grammar and spelling are not that important in Social Media. Except when you are in a debate. Then it is proper and fitting to point out all of the grammatical and spelling errors you can find. Find a way to work in the phrase: “Irregardless is not a word”, like you are Noah Webster. You may not win friends, but you will win the argument.
- Remember: The proper term for anyone who disagrees with you is "Nazi".
- My personal favorite: use as many question marks or exclamation points as possible with capital letters. Such as: “JOHN MCCAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WHAT R U SAYING??????????????????????????????????” or “I GUESS TRUMP IS A STUPID NAZI RACIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????” I learned in my 14 years of taking English classes that one question mark or exclamation point was sufficient. I guess that is obsolete.
- Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, Never concede a point. That means that you are a loser and that the other person is right and therefore, better than you.
- Never acknowledge that the person you are disagreeing with is an actual human being with feelings. This makes you weak.
- One bonus: if you are in a Tweet war with a celebrity on Twitter, they may re-Tweet your brilliant salvo for all the Twitter world to see.
- Research is not required.
- Neither is maturity.
- The good: if you get into a heated political discussion at work, punches might be thrown. On Facebook, the worse that can happen is that you get defriended.
Sunday, June 10, 2018
"Like a lion in the winter, I can hear the summer call" ~ Hoyt Axton
Our favorite President Bill, Bill Clinton, made news last week.
In an interview with Craig Melvin on The Today Show, President Bill got all in a huff and wagged his crooked index finger because Mr. Melvin had the nerve to bring up Monica Lewinsky.
Quick history lesson: In the 90's, President Bill had an "inappropriate relationship" with Monica Lewinsky. In the 90's, "inappropriate relationship" meant President Bill had sex with Monica Lewinsky. Of course, if you know anything about President Bill, you know this devolved into a long national conversation about the meaning of the word "is" and if a particular sexual act counts as sex since if it wasn't intercourse. It was a difficult time to raise a child, even with a village.
President Bill and writer James Patterson were on The Today Show promoting their new book called The President is Missing. It is a novel. (For what it is worth, President Bill and James Patterson will be at The Cobb Energy Center on June 13th to discuss their book.)
Yeah, the book sounds like a bad idea, but I wish I was at the pitch meeting.
"You see, the President is a good old boy from some podunk Southern state that somehow gets an Ivy League education. He has a way with the ladies, despite his wife being some humorless Midwestern hag. Anyway, he has awesome sex with just about every woman in the world. Think combo Don Draper/Jethro Bodine. I haven't come up with a superpower yet, except for the ability to talk endlessly for twenty hours.
President Bill was expecting the typical interview of President Bill. "You're so great, President Bill! Are you disappointed that you couldn't get your midnight basketball bill through Congress?" Instead, he got a question about Monica Lewinsky.
In case you haven't heard, there's this thing going around called The #MeToo Movement which has caused a lot of powerful men to become suddenly unemployed. President Bill seems to have read about it only in passing.
Melvin asked President Bill if #MeToo has caused President Bill to think how differently he should have handled The Lewinsky Affair and if he feels any responsibility for the pain caused to Lewinsky, who has written she suffers from the type of PTSD that comes from a sexual relationship with The President of The United States.
President Bill: "No, I felt terrible then, and I came to grips with it". Way to go, Mr. President.
Melvin then asked if President Bill had apologized to Lewinsky. The response was classic President Bill.
"Yes, and nobody believes I got out of that for free. I left the White House $16 million in debt, but you typically have ignored gaping facts in describing this, and I bet you don’t even know them. This was litigated 20 years ago. Two-thirds of the American people sided with me. They were not insensitive to that. I had a sexual harassment policy when I was governor in the eighties. I had two women chiefs of staff when I was governor. Women were overrepresented in the attorney general’s office in the seventies, for their percentage in the bar. I have had nothing but women leaders in my office since I left. You are giving one side and omitting facts."
Only Bill Clinton could answer a question about apologizing to someone and add in the overrepresentation of women in the Arkansas Attorney General's Office in the seventies. The Washington Post could not find the exact percentage of women with law licenses in the seventies, but two decades after he was Attorney General it was twenty-two percent and it was probably way lower in 1974.
The Washington Post notes that Clinton didn't leave the White House $16 million in debt. The Post estimates that President Bill was probably "$4 or 5 million" in debt, however, The Clintons' joint 2001 tax return shows $16 million as their earned income.
When pressed about if he actually apologized to Lewinsky, President Bill said " (I've) apologized to everyone in the world.". Then Melvin asked President Bill if he owed Lewinsky a private apology, President Bill said he did not because he had already apologized to everyone in the world 20 years ago, dude.
Even though it was twenty years too late, it was good to see someone in the mainstream press willing to take on President Bill and his wagging crooked finger. The press sees him now as a lion in the winter. Once proud and powerful, now he's just vain and weak.
Well, this didn't go over to well and in rides our country's leading satirist, Stephen Colbert, to ask President Bill if he wanted a "do-over". Of course, everybody has been giving President Bill a mulligan ever since he gave that awful nomination speech for Michael Dukakis 30 years ago. That's his problem. He always got the second, third, fourth, or twentieth chance.
He told Colbert, "that was a very painful thing that happened 20 years ago, and I apologized to my family, to Monica Lewinsky and her family, and to the American people.” Yes, it was just a thing that happened. One day, he is the President of the United States and the next thing you know him and Monica are doing the West Memphis Mambo in the Oval Office.
President Bill obviously doesn't understand The Me Too Movement is about standing up to men's exploitive and abusive behavior, no matter how powerful they are or how many women they employed in the Arkansas Attorney General's office in 1975.
That is what the President is missing.
Sunday, June 3, 2018
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. - James 3:3-6
I really don't want to but I guess I'm going to have to comment about Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee.
I'm hesitant because frankly, both stories are distasteful to the nth degree.
As you know by now, Barr composed an ugly tweet about Valerie Jarrett, one of former President's Obama's closest advisors. It was racist.
There was immediate blowback and Barr's rebooted "Roseanne" was canceled without any form of appeal.
Some people on my side of the river argued that Disney (owners of ABC) violated Barr's freedom of speech rights. Well, no.
Barr has the right to say what she wants and Disney has the right to decide if they want to be associated with it or not. They decided Barr's tweet would damage their brand. Her musings on Valerie Jarrett just wasn't worth it.
Conservatives were so happy with this version of "Roseanne". It showed Trump voters as actual carbon-based life forms and not merely deplorables laying around in a basket.
But, as Admiral Ackbar famously said in "Star Wars": "It's a trap". The Right was relying on a celebrity famous for her out and out weirdness to carry the banner that conservatives are people, too, doggone it, and you'll like us once you get to know us.
We were so desperate in need of validation from the entertainment elite, we forgot about Barr being a 9/11 truther, running for president in 2012 with Cindy Sheehan, and her tweets like this one about people who eat Chick-Fil-A: “Anyone who eats Shit Fil-A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4Christ”. Yup, that's a person I want presenting my case to the general public.
Of course, you had those who said Barr accurately portrays Trump voters. These are the same people who argue you can't judge a group by its fringe members. But when you have a Republican President, hey, all of that is thrown out the window.
After that, Samantha Bee, a talentless and humorless comedian who has a show on TBS titled Full Frontal called Ivanka Trump, a really bad name. She was allowed to keep her job after she apologized. (Barr apologized too and then blamed Ambien).
The Right is furious because they see this as a double standard. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said TBS should fire Bee.
Jen Chaney of Vulture said, "The White House’s demand that TBS cancel Full Frontal is an effort to create false equivalencies that foster mistrust of a media they characterize as left-leaning lie mongers. It’s divisive, it’s dangerous, and it’s absolutely par for the Trump-administration course."
Yes, the Trump Administration is creating false equivalencies to foster mistrust of the media's late night comedians.
Chaney points out, "Her use of the C-word to describe Ivanka Trump stemmed from her criticism of the First Daughter–slash–senior presidential advisor tweeting a photograph of herself and one of her children in the midst of a news cycle focused on immigrant children being separated from their parents." Sigh.
Somebody tweeted a picture of little illegal kids inside of cells that looked like dog kennels. Oh, the horrors of Trump's Dystopian America. People must be cussed at! Now! When it was learned the picture which taken in 2014, during the administration of Saint Barack The First, Twitter went all Emily Litella: never mind.
My favorite defense of Bee by Chaney was "Last year, she used the same word to describe Woodrow Wilson during her 'Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner' and nobody cared." Next time I get in trouble for calling somebody a name, I am going to say: "Hey, I used the same word to describe Woodrow Wilson and nobody cared".
Bee is way too strident in her comedy for me even to halfway pay attention to her. James Lileks discusses this type of comedy:
"It goes back to George Carlin. You can find antecedents galore, of course, but Carlin had that famous routine that summed up the new thinking: the seven words you couldn’t say. But they’re just words! Isn’t that ridiculous? (See also Bruce, Lenny.) Just aspirations shaped by a muscle in your mouth, and they have such power they can’t be used?
Isn’t that ridiculous? Carlin wasn’t the first to try to say the naughty words, but he gave humor to his generation’s belief that authenticity counts in speech, and can be defined by its lack of shackles and adherence to old courtesies. What mattered was truth, man, and the truth didn’t set you free, it made you angry, and the angrier you were the more people were obliged to listen and nod along. Anger gave you authenticity, and swearing was a signifier of anger."
Lileks goes on to say, "1. Everyone slips up at some time. 2. The slip-ups are often revelatory of the person’s true character". Barr's slip up revealed her true character: she's a total loon.
Bee didn't have a slip-up. This was from a scripted show that finds its authenticity in anger that Donald Trump is President and therefore, swearing is all right, even noble because you are swearing at the right people.
I would have fired her. Then again, I wouldn't have hired her. The same goes for Roseanne.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Oleaginous: adjective, ole·ag·i·nous, ō-lē-ˈa-jə-nəs
A few weeks ago, George Will sent Washington to the internet in search of meaning. Specifically, the meaning of a word.
I've been reading George Will for years and he is a great writer. He's been known to throw out a "big word" or two in his career as a syndicated columnist.
Dr. Will wrote a column about how awful Vice President Mike Pence is and said this:
"Donald Trump, with his feral cunning, knew. The oleaginous Mike Pence, with his talent for toadyism and appetite for obsequiousness, could, Trump knew, become America’s most repulsive public figure."
"Oleaginous" became the most searched for word that week on Dictionary.com
When I read the column, I must admit I did not know the meaning of the word. I assumed it was not a compliment.
And it wasn't unless you think "oily or greasy" is a compliment.
Now, I would not describe Vice President Mike as oily or greasy. He may be a little bland, particularly when compared to some of the other oleaginous members of the administration like Steve Bannon and Anthony Scaramucci. Talk about oleaginous.
It also has another meaning: "exaggeratedly and distastefully complimentary".
Ok, I can see that, although I don't see it as a big deal as George does. Since at least Vice President John Nance Garner, who famously said the Vice Presidency wasn't worth room temperature urine, Vice Presidents have been some of the greatest apple polishers and fanny smoochers in the history of apple polishing and fanny smooching.
Vice President Mike can lay it on kind of thick and if there's a President who enjoys that type of stuff it is President Orange. This gets under George Will's skin and he wrote about it. Will once called Dad Bush a "lap dog", so he has a history of dogging out Republican Vice Presidents. (Sorry, I couldn't resist it.)
In any event, I think we owe George thanks for bringing this word back in our vernacular. The Clearasil commercials practically write themselves.
"When you have oleaginous skin and you have a big date coming up, don't forget to drop by Walgreens and pick up some Clearasil".
I can use it in future humor memoirs.
"I wasn't popular in school. I was short and wore glasses. My hair was oleaginous."
On Facebook, I asked one of my high school English teachers, Roger Hines, if he knew what oleaginous meant.
Mr. Hines is one of the smartest people I've ever met, so I figure he would know it. He introduced me to the phrase "trousered apes" (which is from C.S. Lewis) and I think about it when I see Florida Georgia Line on television.
Mr. Hines said he hadn't heard of it, but another smart fellow, Jim McCartney, commented I should have known it because I took Latin in high school. That's the problem with Facebook, too many people know I took Latin in high school.
Jim (or as I know him: Jimmy) said I should have been able to figure out the meaning of the word from its Latin roots and it would make Mrs. Jenks proud.
Mrs. Jenks was my second year Latin teacher and I was probably her least intelligent student that year if not her career. I know I made her proud when I turned in my second year Latin Book, When Romulus Met Remus, in pristine condition. It was like I had never opened it.
But just think how my life would be different if I had opened that book. I would have known exactly what George Will meant. I could also sprinkle Latin words and terms in my blog posts and people would know that I am: A) Smart or B) Someone who stayed awake in Latin class.
Either way, I couldn't be oleaginous. I have a prescription for that
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Guess what gang? We've having a gubernatorial primary in Georgia! Can't you feel the excitement! Wake up!
The commecials for the various candidates have already started to hit the airways. Here is a transcript of me channeling surfing:
"I'm Conservative Casey Cagle and I worked hard to bring Conservative Casey Cagle Values to Georgia which include hard work at a job that provides vision benefits that lets you get glasses so you kind of look smart."
"Hunter Hill doesn't need glasses. His vision is perfect. Hunter Hill does four thousand crunches at 6:00 in the morning after his twelve mile run. Casey Cagle can't even do one pull up."
"Mah name es Stacy Evans and ah laved in 240 different houses, most offem trailers in trailer perks. Effin it wurnt fer y'all buyun scratch-offs, Ah nefer woodef goneofa to skool."
"Gee, Mr. Kemp, all I did was hold her hand" <BANG! BANG!> (Voice Over) "Brian Kemp. Loves his daughters. Loves The Second Admendment. Hates boys."
"Don't you think it is time for a Woman of Color to be the governor of Georgia? Well, what do you know? I'm Stacey Abrams and I happen to be a Woman of Color and I happen to be running for Governor.
"My name is Clay Tippins. I used to be a Navy Seal. I don't have to brag about my workout regime like Hunter Hill. I bet a gynocologist is his primary care physician. Did I tell you I was a Navy Seal?"
(Voice Over) "Conservative Casey Cagle. Well, you know. I mean, yeah, why not?"
"No, Mr. Kemp, I didn't touch your daughter. NOT THE BAZOOKA!" <BOOM! BOOM!> (Voice Over) "Brian Kemp. Really loves his daughters. Loves bazookas. Capche?"
"Mah momma useda tak them lil paks of catups frum Mackey Dees to make usins some mater soup".
"Former Navy Seal Clay Tippins here. Did you know Conservative Casey Cagle gave strip joints a tax break? Is that the type of jobs he wants to bring to Georgia? Stripper jobs? What a perv.
"You got to admit it would look good for Georgia to elect someone of color and a woman to boot as governor. It is a win-win for both of us".
"Conservative Casey Cagle: He's put in his time."
"Okay, enough with the hillbilly crap. The other Stacey has actually worked with Republicans! How can she? Resist! Resist!"
<voice over> "Hunter Hill. Sure he's bald, so what?! Grass don't grow on a busy street, fella.
"Mr. Kemp! Not the TANK!" (BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!) <voice over> "Brian Kemp. Pro-keeping boys filthy paws off his daughters' silky drawers. Pro-tank. Anti-boy."