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Not Here, Not Now

Incredible as it may seem, yet another raging controversy has broken out over yet another of our nation’s most sacred sites.  On August 17th, a federal jury in Chicago had the unmitigated gall to convict former governor Rod Blagojevich of a whole one of 24 criminal charges for trying to sell a US Senate seat to the highest bidder. What’s next?  Will the feds try to make it illegal not to pay one’s income taxes, or prohibit public schools from serving fried goose droppings on alternate Thursdays?  And now, before we’ve had any opportunity to come to terms with the horror of 8/17, we learn that hair stylist Jerry Kerl brazenly proposes to open a Kool Kutz franchise mere blocks from the very courthouse in which this travesty was inflicted on the hair head of Governor Blagojevich.  To which we can only say, “not here, not now.”  It’s just too soon.

Mindful of the controversy, Kerl stresses that his proposed hair cuttery will be “less of a conservative, fundamentalist salon” and more of a “community center, where people can gather to shoot the breeze and get a great cut for only $9.99.”  Kerl, who’s own cut of choice is “The Edwards” (named, of course, after the great 18th century theologian) has stated that proximity to the courthouse was not a factor in his decision to open his shop.  But now that he’s been attacked in the press, picketed, and had a straightener held threateningly to his flowing locks, Kerl is fiercely determined to exercise his right as an American to build a business—as the Constitution stipulates—“wherever the hell he wants.”

The opposition is being spearheaded by an unlikely union between middle aged white men with combovers and considerably hipper youth with fauxhawks. This special interest group, We Care For Hair, believes that the salon would be a victory for the meddlesome prosecution and a further insult to a governor who had to face the indignity of being held accountable for his actions.  Many New Yorkers have allied with We Care for Hair in order to show support for their own governor, “Teflon Dave” or “Pat the Bunny,” who also was treated horribly by commissions that object to him scoring free Yankee tickets and intimidating victims of domestic abuses perpetrated by his aides.  Sarah Palin has refudiated Kerl’s claims to the site while Levi Johnston (who wears the “Deadbeat Do”) has gone on a nudity strike, refusing to put on clothes until someone figures out how to give him the attention he deserves.

But Kerl has his allies too.  “Natural” blondes and Scott Brown (cut: The ”C-SPAN Centerfold”) have fought for the right of Kool Kutz to establish their branch in Chicago, notwithstanding the tender sensitivities of those supporting Blagojevich (who sports the “Rug On The Floor Of Michael Steele’s Office”).  “The right to good style is a fundamental right guaranteed in the Constitution,” patron Mitt Romney stated, stroking his $3000 nose trim (the “Tundra”).  “It’s included right there in the eighth amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment.”  President Obama originally agreed with Mitt And Caboodle, but his remarks and conservative buzz cut (commonly known as the “Scorched Earth,” but technically called the “Moscow, 1812”) caused such a firestorm that he has since backed away from his previously definitive stance.  He issued a statement that he “was not commenting and will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to build a salon” but rather “was commenting very specifically on the right to perms and pompadours people have that dates back to our founding.”

With such heated views on both sides, the controversy is unlikely to be resolved in the public forum and most likely will end up in front of the Supreme Court.  We Care for Hair is looking to the conservative court of Justice Roberts (cut: “The Situation”) to uphold their viewpoint and protect future governors from being spared the horrid treatment their governor faced; the special interest group remains hopeful, as it believes that a body that wears the same clothes every single day will not view Kerl’s “right to style” as a Constitutional imperative.  The more liberal members of the court, however, are likely to make it a close decision.  “We believe in the right to a great do at any time,” said Supreme Court Justice and Kool Kutz client Elena Kagan (cut: the “Janet Reno”).  “After all, this is America, the land of the free and the home of the mullet.”

[Image taken from http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/gallery/rod-blagojevich-picture/%5D

Merely two weeks ago, George Steinbrenner, a tycoon of the sports world, a shaper of dreams and maker of idols, tragically fell prey to a heart attack.  We remember him today as the man who brought us Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, the owner who molded a team that will live on for their unparalleled success.  He died a legend and a hero beloved by all.  Isn’t it hard to believe that just two weeks ago he was a jerk?

How did he do it?  How did he go from Mr. T to Mr. Rogers in sixty seconds? Looking for a method to resuscitate his floundering image, Good Old George set upon a way to reinvent himself that is safer than Botox, cheaper than a BMW, and even sexier than claiming that he actually never was a maverick:  he died.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that George was a bad person (I’m saying that Joe Lieberman is a bad person).  It’s simply that since the first hominid funeral, the most surefire way to win friends and influence people has always been to start pushing up daisies.  You were a mean and reviled boss?  You’ll be remembered as a tough guy who knew what he wanted and didn’t stop until he got it.  You were a hermit who lived in the company of six cats, a turtle, and an iguana named Dave?  In death, you’ll be deemed “eccentric” and people will regret not having gotten to know you better.  You were the “King of Pop,” mired in child molestation allegations, accusations of skin bleaching, family troubles, bad publicity, a liberal and not altogether flattering use of plastic surgery, and a trademark dance move that you stole from Buzz Aldrin?  In death, you’ll be the greatest artist of all time and the guy who cared enough to name his children Blanket, Prince Michael, and George Foreman.

There is plenty of historical precedent for the “Steinbrenner Effect.”  Martin Luther King Jr. was at a low point in his popularity—accused of being too conciliatory by the ever growing black militancy movement— before the horrors of 1968.  John F. Kennedy’s legacy, a combination of the Bay of Pigs debacle and the Cuban Missile Crisis victory, was hardly set in stone when his life was cut short in 1963.  Even Hitler was considered a pretty big jerk before he bought the Bavarian farm.  Larger than life status is quite often conferred only in death, when the Grim Reaper gets to apply his airbrush to the unsightly moles and blemishes of our pockmarked lives.

Nowhere has the “Steinbrenner Effect” been more in evidence than in the United States Senate.  Ted Kennedy, the liberal lion and civil rights titan, showed that six feet is more than enough to bury any scandal and prove that it’s all just water under the bridge.  Strom Thurmond, best known for his 1948 cornering of a previously untapped voting bloc (racists), still lives on for many (racists) as a champion of state’s rights.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid left such an impression on the American populace that even today, those watching C-SPAN 2 (Trudy and Sam) report seeing his ghost droning incoherently about campaign finance and his lost weekend in Reno with Dennis Kucinich.

Should South Carolina Democratic candidate Alvin Greene kick the bucket tomorrow, he would surely be memorialized for his upsetting of the established political order as opposed to his arrest for felony obscenity.   If Rand Paul were to suddenly bite the dust, he might be remembered for the one time he sat within four feet of a black person.  The deceased Joe Biden will undoubtedly live on as “clean” and “articulate.”

I think we can all agree that our moms were right when they told us not to speak ill of the dead; it’s not polite, and it’s nowhere near as much fun as speaking ill of the living.  So George, you will be sorely missed.  Thank you for making the New York Yankees the greatest team in the world, with their 27 championships and their iconic uniforms reminiscent of the New Jersey penal system’s standard issue pajamas.  And thank you for doing it all with such grace and style.  You will remain forever in our memories.

But for the life of me, I just can’t seem to remember all of that stuff I was saying about you two weeks ago.

(Image taken from http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/54/richlist07_George-Steinbrenner-III_OJ49.html.  Chris O’Meara, AP Photo)

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”

— Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

In the last days of June, the Supreme Court handed down an incredible decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago, in which it declared unconstitutional state and local handgun bans.  While many Americans are excited to exercise their newly reclaimed right to bear arms in churches, banks, and schools, they need to realize that getting rid of a ban on guns is not enough in itself to rid our country of murderers. You see, as the N.R.A. so often reminds us, guns don’t kill people; people kill people.  It follows, therefore, that in order to put an end to violent crime in America, we must lower the number of people in America.  The best way for this to happen, while still maintaining all of the current citizens of this great nation, is by controlling future population levels.  In order to do this, I propose instituting a One Child, One Gun policy.

Under One Child, One Gun, every family would be permitted to have only one child, and this child, along with a pink or blue hat and booties, would be issued an Uzi at birth (for those born before the law’s effective date who therefore might not be in possession of an Uzi, guns may be retroactively distributed at confirmations and bar mitzvahs).   I understand the difficulty in getting Congress to agree to such a plan, since the Uzi is not an American brand, but the clear benefits (outlined below) of the proposed bill will surely outweigh the minor hitch of temporary importing.

The babies born under One Child, One Gun will grow up in a more positive environment as a result of having an Uzi instead of a brother.  Sibling rivalry will be eliminated by virtue of the elimination of siblings.  With the introduction to the playground of Mutually Assured Destruction, the threshold for retaliation in matters like kickball disputes and tag infractions will be raised to such a point that neither side will dare to instigate a confrontation, eliminating schoolyard bullying and lunch-line cutting once and for all.  As the children progress into their teenage years, the Uzi will remain consistent and true; unlike the flighty friendships of adolescence, the companionship of a gun will be ever present, as it is not prey to the addling effects of hormones.

Providing each family with one baby and one gun will do much more than transform the nature of childhood.  By limiting our population growth, we can solve many of today’s major societal problems, including the ever-dwindling supply of oil, overcrowding in the cities, and our growing carbon footprint.  On a more pragmatic level, One Child, One Gun will also save Americans more money than any potential tax cut could.  The average American child costs their parents around $20,000 or more per year, whereas the maintenance of a firearm consists only of procuring a permit ($40), regular cleaning and lubrication (negligible), and ammunition costs (around $30 per box of 20 cartridges).  Even if one were to go through 50 boxes, the family would still save $18,460 every year by receiving an Uzi instead of a second child.  With $18,460, each family could purchase an American car, save for their child’s college education, or invest in better health insurance (costs admittedly may rise a bit, as two year olds are sometimes forgetful about engaging the safety).

There are those who would argue that introducing more guns into the populace would itself quickly result in a reduction in population and thereby eliminate the need for the “One Child” component of One Child, One Gun.  What these critics must realize is that the establishment of One Child,

One Gun will actually keep us from having to resort to such a crass method of population control.  Just as taking care of a pet can teach children valuable lessons on responsibility, so too will caring for and maintaining their Uzi instill in them the core American values of decency and respect.  Imagine the benefits of an enlightened generation of Americans exercising their constitutional rights for the good of our country.  Our illegal immigration problems would be all but solved if aliens were confronted with an entire God-fearing nation armed and ready to protect our freedom.  The terrorists of 9/11 could have been stymied had the patriots aboard those planes simply have been allowed to stow weapons among their carry-on luggage.  Road rage incidents would plummet, as each law-abiding citizen would know that their prospective opponent has the same caliber firearm in the backseat.

Now that the Supreme Court has been bold enough to open the door, I call upon Congress to finish the job.  The Constitution stipulates that our government must promote the general welfare, and how better to do so than to provide every newborn American with his or her own gun?  With One Child, One Gun, the future envisioned by the Second Amendment is ours for the taking—are we as a nation ready to pull the trigger?

Today marks the final day of our second annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, a tradition started by President Obama as an alternative to the customary White Anglo-Saxon and Super Straight Uptight Protestants (WASSUP) Pride Month.  Obama marked the occasion by flouting the Defense of Marriage Act—also known as Todd Palin wielding a seal club—by granting homosexual couples parental leave and visitation rights.  Openness and honesty were in the air as singer Vanessa Carlton came out as bisexual and rapper Eminem came out as white. Massachusetts legalized marriage between a man and a Yankees fan while Alabama even allowed Alexa, age 3, and Samantha, age 3.5, to hold hands on the playground.  All in all, it was a great month to be gay.

But as we all could have guessed, Texas had the most fabulous celebration of all: the Republican Party of the Lone Star State decided to showcase its pride by publishing its 2010 party platform in the middle of June.  The Texas GOP (Gay? Oh, Please) began the flamboyant document by declaring, “The embodiment of the conservative dream in America is Texas.” This was a helpful reminder, as many of us had previously thought that the embodiment of the conservative dream in America was Ann Coulter singing “God Bless America” while wearing nothing but tea bags.  After clearing that up, the party laid out the ten principles of their conservative credo, including “preserving American freedom and Texas sovereignty,” “the sanctity of human life,” and “the right to carry bazookas to nursery school so long as the toddler bought it at a gun show.”  Texas upheld its dedication to addressing LGBT issues with an integral item on the list: “Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.”  Sorry, Joan Rivers.

The party was hardly done there.  To capture the true inclusive spirit of LGBT Month, the GOP decided not to discriminate in determining whom they would discriminate against.  Not only did they propose outlawing gay marriage, but the Texans also “support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and for any civil official to perform a marriage ceremony for such.”  Now anyone can get arrested on account of homosexuality!  Friends of homosexuals, aiders and abetters of homosexuals, pets of homosexuals, homosexual pets (which are sent right off to Aunt Millie’s farm, if you get my drift), can all be felons in the eyes of Texas law.  As Colin Powell would say, that’s just fab.

After being kind enough to dedicate a full 10% of their creed to gay marriage, the Texans built on their commitment to LGBT Month by dedicating a paragraph to homosexuality in general: “Homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases.”  Whereas the rest of the document highlighted the research and effort that had gone into drafting the platform, this section unfortunately suffers from some unintentional ignorance.  Don’t they know that no self-respecting homosexual would tear at society’s fabric?  He would use some nice shears, thank you very much.  And he’d stitch it back together to make a quilt or even a cute mumu.  Michael Kors is probably rolling in his tanning bed.

This small hiccup notwithstanding, Texas clearly has gone above and beyond the call of duty, marking LGBT Pride Month with more fervor than most of the gay states (Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Utah, etc.).  For not only have these patriotic Texans gone all out in their efforts to acknowledge their LGBT friend, Dave, but they have done so at great cost to themselves.  How brave of them to soldier on despite the fact that their state is home to the openly gay mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, and the openly terrifying Karl Rove.  And not for a moment did they hesitate to stand up for basic decency, even at the expense of the nation’s fastest growing group of homosexuals, Republican Congressmen.  We appreciate the effort, Texas Republicans, but you ought to do more to protect your own.  By banning homosexuality, sodomy, gay marriage, performing gay marriage ceremonies, watching Spiderman (really? You didn’t notice all that spandex?), “sexually oriented businesses,” and “all pornography,” you’re going to risk becoming like that town in Footloose, except with worse interior decorating.  You really don’t have to give so much of yourself to prove your commitment to LGBT issues.  You’ve done enough already.

Seriously, you’ve done enough.

__________

Image Sources: Texas Flag (http://www.bourquin.org/photoalbum/northamerica/texas/texas-flag.jpg), Gay Pride Flag (http://www.getreligion.org/wp-content/photos/2010/03/GayRightsFlag-500×332.jpg)

MAY 20, 2011. PHOENIX, ARIZONA.  At 11:00 PM on May 19th, police took Snoopy Brown into custody in Phoenix, Arizona.  The arrest of Brown is the latest of hundreds prompted by the new immigration law SB 1070.  Better known as “Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover,” SB 1070 makes it a Class 1 Misdemeanor not to carry immigration papers and allows police to question individuals “if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien.”  This clause led to the mistaken arrest of Heidi Montag and emphasized the need for clarification of the term “alien.”  Brown allegedly got down on all fours and begged for a reprieve, but the police refused to throw him a bone.  Since his arrest, several members of a group that call themselves “The Peanuts Gang” have attempted to contact him, but Brown is currently being kept on a tight leash.

As always, senator John McCain bravely stood up against his state government and defended the side of sanity: “It’s the drivers of cars with illegals in them that are intentionally causing accidents on the freeways.”  He was then reminded that he was no longer a maverick, so he recanted his earlier rebellious comments, stating instead that the law, much like himself, was a “good tool.”  Sarah Palin attempted to call a press conference but was immediately arrested under SB 1070 for her suspicious “alien grammatical constructions.”

The law has provoked much fire from liberals, drawing spontaneous protests throughout the un-Real-American parts of the country and prompting a televised benefit concert sponsored by George Clooney.  The event took a turn for the worse when Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas were arrested because “well, duh.”  Dakota Fanning was also taken into custody because authorities “always thought that kid was creepy.”  Tom Cruise is currently on the run.

With Snoopy Brown in custody, the police are working to infiltrate his gang.  Brown’s known associate, Woodstock, appears to have flown the coop. All of the Peanuts have been placed on the government’s terrorist watch list and citizens are urged to contact the terrorist hotline or website (www.longlivetheamericandream.com) if they have any information.  The Arizona government has also opened investigations of the legality of such individuals as the glaringly yellow Bart Simpson, the insanely thin Flat Stanley and Bill O’Reilly, who has raised suspicions for looking like a potato who woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Governor Jan Brewer stated in a press release, “The arrest of Snoopy Brown is just the first step in ridding our country of the dangers posed by illegal immigration. We can’t trust any of them.  You might think someone is your best friend, but if you let him, he’ll bite the hand that feeds him and crap on your carpet.”