Monday, March 26, 2012

Another Mad Men Semi-Recap

A couple of years ago, I promised not to do a weekly recap of Mad Men, the show about an advertising agency in the ‘60’s. In the fall of 2009, I filled Humor Me with a weekly recap of Mad Men. I thought it was brilliant, worthy of much praise and money. Nobody ever said a thing about it. Then in 2010, I did a weekly recap of 24 and my readers seemed to enjoy it. This taught me one lesson: if you are going to do a weekly recap of a television show, make it a show people watch.

Season 5 of Mad Men premiered the other night after a 17 month hiatus. The reason for the lay off is difficult to understand, except I’m under the strong impression it had to do with money and lots of it.

But I’m happy to say that, so far, everybody in Mad Men is still smoking (indoors!) and drinking at work. Everybody has a couch in their office. I’m not sure what actually gets done at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce, Nixon, and Agnew. Everyone shows up around 9:00, takes a coffee break at 9:30, has a nervous breakdown at 10:00, goes to lunch at 10:30, comes back to take a nap on the couch at 1:30, has a meeting with a client about at 3:30, and has sex with whoever walks by at 4:30. Then it is out the door at 5:00.

The main character is Don Draper, who is sexy on a stick. He has a super power that causes women to take off their clothes. You can’t list all of the women that he had his way with - it is simpler to list the women he hadn’t (Lady Bird Johnson).

Well, during the past couple of seasons, Don’s marriage to Betty has slowly disintegrated despite the fact that he was only sleeping with various beatnik chicks, agents, school teachers, psychologists and secretaries. Oh yeah, Don Draper, isn’t Don Draper. He is really Dick Whitman and comes from a real white trash background.

Given these circumstances, it would be easy to sympathize with Betty Draper. One problem: Betty is clinically insane, in a bad way. She is also a terrible parent. Her parenting skills of Sally (you will see her at Studio 54 in 1977), Bobby and Baby Gene would rank somewhere between Adolph Hitler (on a good day) and Charles Manson (on a bad day).

This episode helped you catch up with the characters. Don married a leggy French-Canadian named Megan that happened to be one of his old secretaries (or agent/client/psychologist, there's been so many I get confused). They have moved into this swinging Manhattan apartment that looks like Artie Johnson and Ruth Buzzi are going to show up and start asking people to sock it to them.

Megan throws Don as surprise birthday party. Don hates surprises, unless it involves women’s clothes suddenly flying off. Megan sings this song to Don called “Zou Bisou Bisou” ( English translation: You are a Bisou, Bisou). Betty would have never done this for Don. She would have thrown a party and then stomp off mad because Don is in the closet making out with a neighbor that’s a Kennedy supporter.

There are other stories going on. Joan, who put the VA in the VA-VA-VOOM, had Roger Sterling’s baby. The baby has white hair and smokes cigarettes. Peggy, our plucky sweet Catholic girl that had the slimy Pete Campbell’s baby in season one, has her pumpkin feelings hurt when a client doesn’t like her idea of ballet dancing beans. Some people.

Lane Pryce, the agency’s CFO finds a wallet with a girl’s picture in it. This takes up a lot of time for no apparent reason except to prove that Lane is a perv. Speaking of pervs: Harry, the agency’s Media man, says something about Megan (who is still working at the agency) that is not politically correct,even by 1966 standards. Pete Campbell is trying his best to morph into a 60’s version of Major Frank Burns.

Meanwhile, Megan and Don have a spat about the party. She goes home. He follows. It turns out that she cleans house in her underwear. This would only happen to Don Draper. Despite her instructions of “don’t look at me” they soon make passionate basic cable love. All is well in Draper World. Don’t worry - it won’t last.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


We have lost another legend.

It was just a couple of months ago we bid adieu to Larry Munson. He was the gravel voice of The University of Georgia Bulldogs. Munson was the ultimate homer. He used the word “We” when discussing the Bulldogs, like the man with a mouse in his pocket. Munson had a way of making every play sound like it was life or death. He is one of the impressions I still do. I love saying “Sugar is falling from the sky”.

Back last summer we lost Ernie Johnson, the old broadcaster for The Atlanta Braves. The man had the best voice ever for baseball. As comfortable as an old house shoe, he was the polar opposite of Munson. Johnson seemed to understand that, after all, it was just a game.

Has it really been almost four years since we heard Skip Caray say, “Hello again everybody”? If Ernie Johnson was everyone’s wise old uncle, Caray was everyone’s wise acre cousin. They stuck with The Braves through thick and thin, mainly the thin. I wonder how many bad baseball games they announced. When The Braves finally won the World Series, it was Skip behind the mike. He said what he always said when something important happened: “Listen to this crowd”. He realized that baseball is something for the crowd.

Furman Bisher died March 18, 2012. He was 93 years old. He was once the editor of sports page of The Atlanta Journal and later became a columnist for the Journal which somehow morphed into what it is now: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Someone mentioned Bisher wrote a book called Strange But True Baseball Stories. I am confident that every boy in East Marietta in 1969 read that book. I don’t remember all of the strange but true stories, but I’m sure there was chapter on Eddie Gaedel, the 3ft 7in player for The St.Louis Browns (Number: 1/8). There had to be a chapter on the one armed outfielder Pete Gray of...(you guess it) The St. Louis Browns. If I’m wrong, I don’t mind you telling me. It was a great introduction to baseball

Bisher was always around. He knew Ty Cobb. He interviewed “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Bisher was very instrumental in getting the Milwaukee Braves to move to Atlanta. (He tried to get Charlie Finley to move the Kansas City Athletics here. Can you imagine Charlie Finley in Atlanta? We would have loved those awful pollen yellow uniforms and a player named Catfish. I’m not sure Reggie Jackson would have been popular.)

He was the mentor to almost a ton of great sportswriters. Walburn. Kay. Minter. Hudspeth. Bradley. Schultz. Arey. Grizzard. Lewis Grizzard, his pet, once said, “I made up my mind that when I became a sportswriter, I would write like Furman Bisher.”

Back in the 70’s, the newspaper would have a weekly contest called “Beat Bisher”. The idea was to have Bisher select who he thought would win the important football games of the weekend and you picked who you thought would win. If you guessed more winners than Bisher, the newspaper would send you a bumper sticker that read “I beat Bisher”.

Looking back on it, nobody ever beat Bisher, because nobody could. Nobody every will.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rush To Judgement

I think I am the only person in the world that was not horrified, simply horrified, that Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke “a slut”.

It is not that I’m in favor of calling people names, unless, of course, they are the former governor of Alaska. Then it is okay to use all of the names possible, preferably gynecological in nature.

Sandra Fluke is a “third year” Georgetown University Law School student who gave a faux testimony to Congressional Democrats about how hard it is (that’s what she said) to go to law school and buy birth control pills. Georgetown University is a Catholic university and their “insurance” plan does not cover contraceptives. As we all know, contraceptives can run into the tens of dollars.

In case you are not aware, Rush Limbaugh is a radio talk show host that Democrats have been trying to cancel for years because he says things Democrats do not like. Limbaugh, who is not the most delicate of creatures, was reviewing Fluke’s testimony and that’s when the “S” word hit the fan.

In political discussions, one is not supposed to call someone else a “slut”. Especially if that other someone is a Democrat, who upon hearing that word, had a sudden case of the vapors. Radio advertisers became a little bit skittish, believing their products would be associated with a mean fat man. This caused Limbaugh to issue a lame apology that was not accepted by Ms. Fluke because as it turns out, Ms. Fluke is a thirty year old Democrat activist that happens to be third year law student which is a pretty good gig if you can get it despite the bummer on the birth control pills.

Birth control pills first became available to the public in 1960. Since then, the Catholic Church has opposed birth control pills. It has been in all of the papers. Since Georgetown University is a Catholic University, they are opposed to birth control pills. The Obama Administration for some odd reason wants to pick fights with the Catholic Church (But they do not pick fights with Islam. Muslims kill people. A Catholic will write a strongly worded letter)

Nobody is forcing Fluke to go a law school that is associated with the Catholic Church. There are 199 other ABA approved law schools in this country. Surely there is one that carries insurance that pays for oral contraceptives. It could be a great marketing tool. “The Kennesaw State School Of Law will not only provide you was a great legal education, we will make sure that not a dime of out of your pocket will go to prevent a legal boo-boo (Latin term: Boomus Boomum)."

Somehow in the grand and glorious history of the United States, we have found a way to become the greatest country on earth without paying for somebody else’s contraceptives. It is simply odd that at a time of great unemployment, incredible debt, and a Nuclear Iran that we are even talking about this subject.

But we are because if you have the record the Democrats have you want to change the subject as quickly as possible. You have to scare people into thinking that Rick Santorum will make a frowny face at you when you pick up your prescription at Walgreens.

Mark Steyn said “The most basic issue here is not religious morality, individual liberty or fiscal responsibility. It's that a society in which middle-age children of privilege testify before the most powerful figures in the land to demand state-enforced funding for their sex lives at a time when their government owes more money than anyone has ever owed in the history of the planet is quite simply nuts.”

Rush Limbaugh should not have called Sandra Fluke a slut. He should have called her a nut.

**Before anybody asks, my schedule does not allow me time to listen to “The Rush Limbaugh Show”. But no, he does not deserve to be removed from AM radio stations any more than Bill Maher deserves to be removed from HBO for calling Sarah Palin a word that rhymes with “bunt”.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why I Voted For Mitt

A liberal, a conservative, and a moderate walk into a bar. “Hi, Mitt” says the bartender.

The Georgia Republican Primary is March 6 and I took advantage of the early voting process one day after work. It took about five minutes. I voted for Mitt Romney. I will tell you why.

Let me deny that I voted for Romney due to some sort of self fulfilling Nostradamus prophecy that would impress all the nerds in the blogging world, although that would be kind of cool. In the June 8, 2010 Humor Me I stated that Romney would probably become the Republican nominee. For the last 52 years, with the exception of one election (1964) Republicans nominated either a Vice President or someone who came in second the last time they had a contested primary.

My reason for voting for Romney is very simple. Of the four people that are left in the Republican race, Romney has the best chance of attracting the independents needed to win The White House.

This to me is as clear as the nose on your face. Are independents interested in conservative Catholic theology? Are independents interested in the Gold standard? Are independents interested in moon colonies?

My conservative friends often seem to forget that: a) Not everybody is a conservative and b) Not everybody responds to shouts of “YOU’RE WRONG” by changing their minds. Some people respond to satire, which, if you haven’t noticed, is almost 98% directed towards the GOP and would be at 100% if Santorum, Newt, or Paul win the nomination. All three of these gentlemen are a comedy writer’s dream. You cannot get elected if you become a joke. Friends and neighbors, as much as I respect some of Newt’s supporters (Note: Newt used to the be the congressman for the district I live in), Newt is already there

True, Romney is not perfect. However, I have been puzzled by the insistence of some in the GOP to vote for almost anybody else. I think it is because when they look at Romney, they see First President Dad Bush who said that he was going to stand up and not raise taxes and yet as soon as he got in The White House, he raised taxes. There was a rebellion in the Republican Party, which led to the election of Democratic President (Bill) Clinton. Those years treated us to endless discussions of midnight basketball and where the President put a cigar.

My point is that yeah, Romney may not be your cup of Joe, but think what the re-election of President Megamind means. For one thing, it would lead to the discovery of a whole new set of rights. For example: your right to pay for someone else’s oral contraceptives.

Republicans are always trying to compare everyone to Reagan. Romney is not Reagan. Nobody is Ronald Reagan. But, as I always point out, Ronald Reagan is dead and I don’t feel so good myself. Obama is not a shoo-in by any means. Not with $5.00 gas and 9% unemployment. Romney can beat him. The others cannot. It is that simple.