Friday, September 28, 2012

The New "Blind Tiger" or "Speakeasy"?

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City recently pushed a ban on large-sized beverages, whether called "pop" or "soda" or "cola."  This has been met, predictably enough, by opposition from beverage companies.  Besides being an infringement on individual liberties, will this encourage flouting of the law in The City That Never Sleeps?  (Or is it The City THat Never Showers?) 

I can imagine NYC having some convenience stores serving as blind tigers for oversized beverages.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stupidity in Groups

It's very clear, based on peoples' behavior in riots and political parties that there's a multiplier effect of acting stupid that comes from being in a group.  To put it in another way, the larger the group, the greater the likelihood of Olympic-class stupid behavior.

Last weekend members of a fraternity at the University of Tennessee had a boozy party; and several of the worthies had overindulged by giving themselves alcohol enemas!  You read that right: booze in the tush.  It's called "butt chugging."  But here's the story from the Knoxville paper:

This sort of makes the sorority episode seem small by comparison:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A New Order of Nuns?

Here's a cover of an old paperback book, veritably reeking with sordidness.  I can only guess as to its content.

Someone should do an academic study of the art of the sleazy paperback.  I don't know if it would sell, but maybe it could parleyed into a master's thesis! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Americans With No Abilities Act

This satire first appeared in The Onion.

Congress is considering sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act ( AWNAA ) is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for thrmselves in society, said California Senator Barbara
Feinstein, 'We can no longer stand by and allow voters of such Inability to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant favors, raises, or promotions to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing or succeed in their work assignments. We are going to legalize protection for a lesser class of American voters.'

In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U. S. Postal Service, which has a long-, standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. Approximately 74 percent of postal employees lack any job skills, making this agency the single largest U. S. employer of Persons of Inability.

Private-sector industries with good records of non-discrimination against the Inept include retail sales (72%), the airline industry (68%), and home improvement warehouse stores (65%). At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons of Inability (63%). Private-sector industries with good records of non-discrimination against the Inept include retail sales (72
%), the airline industry (68%), and home improvement warehouse stores (65%). At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons of Inability (63%).

Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million middle man positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.

Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given so as to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability into middle-management positions, and gives a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

Finally, the AWNAA contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the Non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, Do you have any skills or experience that relate to this job?

As a Non-abled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them, said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, Michigan, due to her inability to remember rightey tightey, lefty loosey. This new law should be real good for people like me, Gertz added. With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see light at the end of the tunnel.

Said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): As a Senator with no abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her adequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing so.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Those leaving the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, a college of 2,300 students in Rapid City, SD this year got paid a median salary of $56,700, according to PayScale Inc., which tracks employee compensation data from surveys.  At Harvard, where tuition and fees are almost four times higher, they got $54,100 as an average salary. 

Veritas, anyone?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Comment on the Scale of Government

I'll have to admit that I prefer smaller scale units of government, especially the city or the county kind, as they seem more life scale, rather than the Federal government.  Obviously, this is not a bias shared by people of the liberal persuasion, who see their Government in an activist role to make things better.  I see them often as busybodies from some other place that comes in like modern-day carpetbaggers bringing light and required harmony to those errant Tennesseeans (and now Montanans, since I'm here).

Yeah, I know that somethings have to be done by the Federal government.  Like defense, and interstate highways, and National Parks, for example.

(Incidentally, what gets capitalized, state, federal, county?  Obviously, state and county get capitalized when the writer is referring to a specific entity, like the State of Tennessee, or Williamson County; but since there's only one federal government, it somehow rates a capital "F."  Oh, F!)

I know we have some clowns in the Tennessee legislature like those I mentioned, Campfield, Hurley, Armstrong; but they're usually more amusing than scary.  But the ass clown likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi making decisions regarding my life gives me the runs!

Part of it comes when we visit our courthouse: it's kind of quaint, fun, inefficient, and you feel charmed and think that these people are trying their best, they mean well and they're harmless.  Even the sheriff's deputies tend to be "Aw shucks, Ma'am" kinds of guys and let you off with a warning if you act contrite.  If you want to get out of jury duty, someone will listen to you and cut you some slack.  Assessors wield a light hand.

That's what it is.  Locals cut each other slack.  As long as you're friendly, and don't cause no hassle.  There's a lot of bending of the rules.  Or they're not sure of what the rules are. 

Those people in Washington worry me.  It seems so efficient, distant, and powerful.  And they act like an occupying force.  Whereas the state and the county seem like small domestic animals, the Federal government is a superlarge-sized carnivore.  And they collect taxes, and make a lot of laws I'm not sure of.  Maybe because it's the fact of certain states seeming to have disproportionate input.

And why has the Federal government moved into areas reserved for the states?  Because it can.  Because a lot of people let them. 

In short, the little county courthouses are where many of us feel that we have accessible, not dominating, government.

I realize that other people see it differently; but big government daunts me just like big corporations do.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Holy Grail of Bikini Photos

It's an obvious fact that guys like bikini pix: just look around the internet.

But among the more discriminating, there a longing for the artistic, the really true, the beautiful, to document a famous person in a vunerable moment: not dressed in her usual way, but in a bikini.

Emily Dickinson, possibly the best American poet ever, has very few photographs of her available.  One is illustrated below.  Recently, Dickinson scholars were heartened by the recent discovery of a portrait of her, this one in a pose with a friend.  Two thirtyish ladies side by side.

However, now young American literature scholars are rummaging the attics of old homes in Amherst, Massachuetts because of a recent rumor that Dr. Keith Fullerton, noted Dickinsonian scholar, found a cryptic note in a letter, "My friend Emily D. and I visited Mister Parker, photographer the other day and he persuaded us to do several poses in the two-piece swimming dress that were of our own fabrication.  I'm glad the tintype does not show our maidenly blushing to be in such a state of undress before a man; much less one whom we are not married to."

It ended with a cryptic, Dickinson-like verse:

A tiny swim dress makes Divinest sense
To a discerning eye --
But to wear it openly--
The starkest madness

This rumor elevated the brain of Delbert Philodene, aspiring but largely unsuccessful graduate student, to new efforts.  (Simply put, he was a dumbass.)  Although he was attempting to find research material in an admittedly overstudied area of Am Lit, he still longed for an explosive new insight.  Reading about this rumored excerpt from the letter raised his motivation to a fever pitch.

After all,  if he found that photograph, and it was indeed an actual one of the Belle of Amherst, that would be the Holy Grail of the Bikini Photos!  Think of what Playboy would pay to run it first!  And consider how it could result in a national reputation as a literature scholar for the finder.  Delbert imagined the variety of books he could write on the subect of the Real Emily Dickinson Revealed, and a full professorship in literature at a major East Coast university at an early age, say 30 or so. 

Delbert made a note to himself:  Sign up for speech lessons to lose his Midwestern accent.   And read How to Increase Your Vocabulary and Sound More Erudite.  It doesn't hurt of start now.  After all, there are the interviews for morning television.

Much madness makes divinest sense,
To a discerning eye;
Much sense,
The starkest madness.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Proud of Their Bras

What can be more appealing than a group of sorority girls showing their newly-purchased finery and style for the camera?  Doesn't this make you long for that innocent days of being a college freshman and attending those sorority rush parties in the early fall?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Strange French Laws

Between the hours of 8AM and 8PM, 70% of music played a radio station must be by French artists.

It is illegal to die unless a cemetary plot has first been bought.

It is illegal to kiss on railways. 

It is illegal to shoot Englishmen as they cross the English Channel towards France - unless they are sailing in a 'boat of war'.

It is illegal for a woman to wear pants in France.

No pig may be called Napoleon.

In Paris, any man carrying onions must be given right of way in the streets.

In Paris, criminals can apply for sanctuary in Notre Dame Cathedral and must be 'fed and watered' for up to six weeks.
Does this right of sanctuary also apply to the University of Notre Dame?

An amazing/amusing quote:

"I wrote Lace in the days when most men thought the clitoris was a Greek hotel."
          ---Shirley Conran

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Baby in Excelsis

Who among us was not stirred by Baby's coming out from behind the post in that movie "Dirty Dancing"?

"I just had the time of my life, and I owe it all to you."

A truly satisfying romantic ending to a movie.