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American Twilight Zone: What if Obama Had Won the Election?

March 20, 2011 3 comments

“It’ll be the first thing that I do. I’ll get our troops home, and bring an end to this war.” — Barack Obama, 10/27/07

THIS IS AN EDITORIAL I WROTE ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO BEFORE THE DEBT CEILING DEBATE

As President McCain Heads into His Second Year, What Might Have Been Different?

By Joe Bodolai (c) 2010, All rights reserved.

In the wee hours of election night 2008, the promise of change did indeed seem possible until Senator John McCain’s stunning last-minute surprise upset. While some were rightfully suspicious of the results, the McCain camp explained their triumph as “unpolled Americans came out in force and expressed their preference in the privacy of the poll booth rather than risk being called ‘racist’.

After President McCain’s first year, filled with angst, turmoil, and more of the same, I have decided to speculate on what America would be like today had Senator Obama won the election which so many assumed he would.

First of all, there is no way an Obama administration would have turned the economy into shambles with a massive bank bailout. ”His populist voter base would never stand for it,“ I wrote just a few short months ago. “Obama stands for change we can believe in, and this is far from it.” Senator Obama announced his alternative, which was greeted with huge enthusiasm, according to the 86% of Americans who “strongly approved” of his bold plan to pay off all consumer credit cards instead of money going directly to financial institutions.

His rousing speech at the Mall of America’s food court level with over 100,000 Minnesotans below him braving minus 23 temperatures and reminding Americans of the glory days of ”shopping. Not just for flat screen TVs or other necessities. My plan would relieve Americans of onerous debt while still providing lenders with plenty of profit and not to mention a real stimulus for consumers, with balances becoming zero balances, fresh new credit limits and rolled down interest rate caps to allow them to spend again, thus creating jobs for American workers, given my stipulation that all new credit card expenditures be spent within the United States for American cars, American products, and American vacation destinations.

Instead we have the McCain Administration’s failed “Cash for Clunkers” automobile buying incentive, which Senator Obama hilariously ridiculed on Late Night with David Letterman with his quip that “okay, I’ll admit the President did indeed give cash for clunkers, but those clunkers are the big banks and desperate failing automakers, lobbyists for special interest groups, and brokerage houses. Clunkers if I’ve ever seen one, and I should know. I drive a Pacer.” The video clip of Obama and Letterman driving around Wall Street and Harlem in the Pacer for the interview has been downloaded over 95 million times on YouTube.

Vice-President Palin, in one of her numerous gaffes since taking office, denounced Obama as “on the wrong side of the financial equation, like reparations for slavery there should be no free lunch!”

President McCain’s continuation of the Cheney-Bush foreign policy agenda is surely something that an Obama Administration would not accept. No Obama administration would consider sending more troops to Afghanistan such as President McCain has announced. While admitting “it takes some time to change the direction of a mighty cruise ship (but) I am committed to finalizing our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and repairing our image with the rest of the world”. Likewise, President McCain’s continued unconditional support of Israel would be counter to a President Obama’s promise to strive for peace and a moratorium on settlements and saber-rattling toward Iran. McCain’s celebrated taunt to Iran regarding their supposed nuclear weapons program – “bring it on!” – would never be countenanced by a moderate Obama Administration where negotiation would be favored over confrontation.

Likewise, President McCain’s confusing health care initiatives, which are considered by most Obama supporters as more profit for the private sector, would never be tabled by an Obama administration. Obama won overwhelming praise for his much simpler, more clearly defined health care plan – “Medicare for All.” He won another huge swell of popular opinion by pointing out that the bonuses and salaries paid to 50% of the CEO’s of the largest pharmaceutical and health related industries would provide insurance for every man, woman, and child in the country while keeping their corporations profitable.

Democratic Senator John Conyers (D-Michigan) inadvertently aided the cause by being caught on tape aired on The Daily Show admitting that he had not even read the 1,000-page bill saying “who has time for that?” Stewart’s dry reply “I feel you bro.“ led to thousands of t-shirts, cardboard signs, and late night talk shows on an upswell of gratitude for a new catch phrase.

Of course, the scandal over the resignation of Vice-President Palin for her celebrated gaffes would never be made by the more experience Joe Biden. It is hard to imagine Biden saying something as stupid as Palin’s “send the homeless to Afghanistan. They need jobs. It’s a win-win.”

Finally, America today would not be so polarized. As 450,000 people marched on Washington last week, with countless taser arrests (15 of the 22 deaths attributed to controversial use of the 50,000-volt device, new weapons directed by SWAT teams to ”disperse unlawful assemblies“, aerial surveillance, and addition of thousands of innocent names to the ever-expanding terror watch list, Senator Obama said in his catalyzing speech at the Lincoln Memorial, “the First Amendment is the founding principle of the Bill of Rights and cannot be trampled by government. Behind me stands the symbol of the blood that was shed to keep this country free from all enemies, foreign or domestic.“ Clearly a President Obama would not approve the continuation of torture. The backdrop of the serene Lincoln was an ominous metaphor for the American divide, today not regional but along class and other lines.

Clearly had Senator Obama won the election, America would likely be a different, more benign place with a respect for the people and not for the oligarchy that the McCain Administration considers its constituency. And, as he promised in 2007, the wars would be over and the troops back home. And if you ask me “do I support the troops?” Yes, I do. The ones in the video below:

Video at poorrichard’s blog (http://poorrichards-blog.blogspot.com)

Are we living in an America not quite light and not yet dark? Are we in a “Twilight Zone” where one thing that looks different from the other but both are really the same?

Alas, in the words of the late Robert F. Kennedy, “there are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

SECOND BY SECOND COUNTER ON THE COST OF WAR

“Corporate Person” Monsanto to Run For Senate

March 18, 2011 2 comments

“When Corporations Control Government, Sure It’s Fascism, But Fascists Are People Too!”

By Joe Bodolai © 2010, All rights reserve

UPDATE: Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Rumored to Be Considering Monsanto as Running Mate

The recent Supreme Court ruling giving corporations status as a ”person“ and the same “freedom of speech” (sic) rights as individuals and no limits on campaign spending, genetically-modified simulated food giant Monsanto has thrown its corporate hattage

the ring and declared itself and subsidiaries a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in farm-rich Kansas.

Monsanto Senate Campaign spokesman Franklin N. Farmer finally revealed the company’s platform in this fall’s race for the U.S. Senate in Kansas. “It makes more sense, at least to those of us in the corporate world, than the (traditional fertilizer) coming out of individual politicians who are people and are costly and unreliable. Besides, we have some very attractive tax breaks. I mean, we don’t actually ‘pay’ taxes, so we can use that money where it does the most good — TV commercials done by our other friends who could use more tax breaks too.”  When asked to explain the platform, Farmerino explained “I don’t know how to make it more clear than to say what people say when they have to say: “it is what it is.”

Here is what it is:

At Monsanto, we understand how to monetize dynamically. Without vertical extensible implementation, you will lack platforms. Think 60/24/7/365. Think C2B2B. Think sexy. But don’t think all three at the same time. If all of this may seem estranging to you, that’s because it is! Do you have a plan of action to become subscriber-defined? Think out-of-the-boxcutter. Think backward-compatible. Think virally-distributed, innovative. But don’t think all three at the same time.

The subscriber communities factor can be summed up in one word: affiliate-based profitablity kickback.

Have you ever had to architect your 24/7 feature set? With one click? We will extend our aptitude to productize

Monsanto -- Turning People into Plastic

without decreasing our power to actualize. What do we engage? Anything and everything, regardless of unimportance! A company that can synthesize faithfully will (one day) be able to upgrade fiercely. We will incubate the term “scalable”. We frequently morph value-added, intuitive paradigms. That is a terrific achievement considering this fiduciary term’s market!

There’s only one choice: Vote Monsanto. But even if you don’t, we will way outspend our opponent.”

Many more corporations are expected to announce their candidacy in coming days and, in the words of Monsanto’s Farmerino, “we have our corporate eyes on the White House in 2012. Sure we have a foothold now, but this is just the beginning of a great new era for America. It’s simple.  Everybody eats what we make. You are what you eat. You children will made by us, so just call us Uncle Monsanto.”

Jim Tressel: NCAA’s Nixon in a Sweater Vest?

March 15, 2011 16 comments

Coach’s “Teaching Opportunity” Fumbled By So-Called Teacher

By Joe Bodolai © 2011, All rights reserved

UPDATE: JIM TRESSEL FINALLY RESIGNS. A bigger question is does it change anything morally throughout the sport? And does this scandal obscure some more serious problems elsewhere? And is it time to admit that big time college football players are semi-pros and call for a real full-scale investigation of the sport and deal with contradictions in the aftermath of the NCAA and media storm?

I wrote this about three months ago but much of it is still timely. If you’re not a college football fan check out the pictures and the footnotes and click on any of the stories in the links on the right. For those of you who seem to enjoy my college football writing, read on…

The Vests nerd ne sais quoi not bulletproof

The sweater vest has a certain nerd ne sais quoi about it, to be sure, and Jim Tressel wore it with all the aplomb of the high school math teacher. Not just the vest, but his playbook had “created with the pen from my pocket protector” written all over it. And, just like that boring high school math teacher, he’d be the last guy you’d suspect of secretly coloring outside the lines. Oh, not in the To Catch a Predator way, just maybe fudging on his expense receipts for filling up the Mazda after a recruiting trip. So, like much of college football fandom, I was shocked to learn that when it comes to the story of his players selling their game jerseys and other memorabilia and receiving free tattoos, we had literally just scratched the surface.

Here’s what happened: Five Ohio State players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were found to have sold some of what in the rest of the known universe might be called “their own property.” The players were suspended for five games next season but were allowed to take part in the post season Sugar Bowl game. There was much outcry and moralizing, as usual first from supporters of rival teams[1],that the players should have been declared “ineligible” and should not have been allowed to play, harrumph! The players were suspended for the first five games of the upcoming season. Since selling jerseys and trinkets provides no discernible competitive on field advantage, the game was played, as it should have been, between the two teams at full strength.[2] To remove the five from the postseason game would have also deprived television viewers and advertisers and the tens of thousands of tourists who traveled to New Orleans of the great classic bowl experience[3] that ESPN, CBS, ABC, FOX and all the advertisers remind us “is what college football is all about,” giant bowls full of money.

Should the players receive some sort of punishment for their actions? Of course, as long as others are punished for similar infractions, they also should be and all received five game suspensions. That half a season is pretty big in the short three-step drop of a college football “career.” Tressel and the university tried to deflect the moral blame by saying they had not done “a good job of educating the players” about the rule, which seems simple enough as “yo! You can’t sell your own gear… give it to the ‘rents to unload on eBay.” Class dismissed, along with lame excuse.

Most of you know what happened later. Tressel recently was caught out in a lie and suspended for two games and fined $250,000 as proof surfaced that he knew of the merchandise sales earlier but did nothing about it.

De Anthony Thomas (r) in Curiously Plain Oregon Attire

The brouhaha over Ohio State then seemed to subside as a flurry of seemingly daily allegations surfaced faster than brawling transsexuals on Springer. First Oregon’s flashy hair extensions were ripped off as their program was hit with allegations of a payoff to a “scouting service” to recruit a player out from under USC’s upturned Kiffinesque nose.

Then came the actions of an Alabama fan (and just by mentioning Alabama that Springer reference is workin’ it hard). Anxious to get back at hated rival Auburn this fan brought the wrath of the Crimson Tide as surely as it might smite a cheerleader needing a tampon on Iron Bowl Day. An obviously mentally challenged irate caller to a sports talk show rest my case was accused of poisoning some of rival Auburn’s legacy oak trees at “Toomer’s Corner”, which sounds worse than it is. As the trees began to die of hyperfanoid toxicity caused by some chemical infusion this fine citizen poured around the trees, perhaps scraps from Todd Blackledge’s game day takeout, students mourned the majestic oaks as only Auburn fans could: ritual beer fueled showering and the festooning of the stately oaks with ringlets of sacred Costco toilet paper. Auburn officially mourned with the quiet desperate downcast gaze of a martyr’s mother and received visitors in their self-righteous victimhood in the two-ply shadows and the reflected glow of the national championship football. This relic was on display being trucked around to fine Walmarts near you throughout Alabama. The Cam Newton scandal[4] in the rear view mirror, all seemed pretty much tickety-boo in the Moonshine State, or whatever they call it.[5]

Auburn Faithful Protect Legendary Oak Trees With Powerful Toilet Paper Wrap

Then, dad-gum it, four players from the national championship team go and get they asses arrested for armed robbery! And one that makes the damn newspapers and intertubes to boot! Auburn reacted immediately and kicked the players off the team in a high-minded moral stance way way before the players might actually be imprisoned at an inconvenient distance from the field. Police had no explanation why the four were unable to escape on foot, despite possessing legendary SEC speed. Fortunately for Auburn, they had a surplus of players since the conference schools routinely, and some police blotter readers jurisprudence observers say wisely, offer many more scholarships than they can legally provide, perhaps for just such a “thinning out the herd” process, called oversigning, every armed robbery no limit catfish season.

Okay, to recap: Since the Tattoo Five incident involving sold used merchandise the following clearly more serious incidents occurred at schools other than Ohio State:

1.     Possible Illegal Recruiting Payments: Allegations and evidence of a $25,000 payment made by the University of Oregon program to a “scouting service” that ostensibly provided videotapes of top high school players (video that may or may not exist) but more importantly delivered a top high school player to the Ducks after it was widely assumed he would be attending another generous program, USC. (Photos of the recruit wearing some of Oregon’s celebrated Nike-provided apparel have been seen online, which would be another clothing violation, by the way, but by the school not the player.)

Recent Events in College Football As Measured on My Bovine Excremometer

2.     Cam Newton’s Heisman Trophy. After Tressel suspended the players for next season and the matter appeared to be cleared up, Cam Newton was presented with his Heisman Trophy. This revered bronze figure is considered sacred in college football for its mystical prophetic and cleansing powers. Not only has it virtually guaranteed that the recipient would be miraculously spared the blight of a successful NFL career, its sculptor in 1935 eerily foreshadowed the game-winning real life touchdown pose of 1991 recipient Desmond Howard some half a century later as if the statue somehow knew! This mystical prophetic radiance is considered so sacred that the statue must be regularly returned to its tabernacle by those deemed retroactively unworthy so as not to besmirch the presentation ceremony. The most recent to make the pilgrimage back to the Heisman Holy Land to return the trophy was celebrated USC free home and auto enthusiast Reggie Bush. Many experts familiar with the ritualistic cult say that current Heisman bearer Cam Newton will possibly also be anointed and deemed worthy to make the much more humble and less media-worthy Pilgrimage of Remorse.

Michigan Icon Desmond Howard Strikes Heisman Pose vs. Unidentified Opponents as Statue Eerily Predicted

3.     Criminal Offenses in Alabama Trees were poisoned and players arrested at Auburn, criminal charges involved. None are NCAA offenses but pretty big scandals in real life I’d say.

4.     Abuse of Athletic Scholarships and “Oversigning”: Oversigning in college football became headlines on many top sports publications as well as in The Wall Street Journal and much was made of this, and still is, since the Ohio State paraphernalia situation. The discussion outlined how some schools, especially in the SEC, offer more scholarships than the NCAA allows them to legally give. Auburn and especially Alabama were singled out for this practice while schools in the Big Ten do not generally oversign. Aside from the more serious implications on how the abrogated scholarships affect young mens’ lives once they are dumped from the program, the stockpiling of talent by SEC schools clearly also provides a competitive advantage. For a more thorough discussion of this practice I refer you to the excellent site oversigning.com but not until you finish reading my views on these other issues.

5.     Some more vague chronic Kiffinage. In what has become so routine that it hardly raises an eyebrow outside of Tennessee, somewhere in all this are more allegations of shenanigans by former-USC-then-Tennessee-now-current-USC-coach-again Lane Kiffin. His brief but eventful time at Rocky Top was fraught with a trail of “secondary violations” that some in the state have recommended putting a ring of slug repellent salt around Tennessee to dissuade him from ever returning[6].

6.     Notre Dame Fined in Circumstances Concerning Death of a Student. Just today I see that Notre Dame was fined $77,500 (or about 30% of the Tressel fine) for events that led to the actual death of a volunteer student videotaping a practice from a tower in high winds. This incident is far more serious than anything I discuss here but is a reflection on the high stakes that big time college football can become. I have no comment on the size or circumstances of the fine but suggest that it become a more important area for concern.

Okay, I hope I’ve got this straight. Since the Ohio State players were busted for selling stuff, there were roughly half a dozen other fairly large scandals involving big time college footballs programs in six months, or about a good week of headlines during Watergate.

And speaking of Watergate… Out of the blue, actually the purple exclamation mark of Yahoo! Sports, came the news that

Forced to Vacate Win in 1972 Election

Jim Tressel did indeed know more about the players, the tattoos, and the merchandise than previously claimed. In the splatter from the excremental coolant whirlage, it seems now that Senator Tressel (HC-OSU) flat out lied in a Tricky Dicky coverup slant right on three. This is where the game off the field changes. Big Time. This is an infraction of “epic seriousity”. It’s an even clearer open and shut case than it was with Nixon’s coverup which, if you also lie and say you’re not old enough to remember like me, lacked 18 minutes of tape. In Tressel’s case, there are damaging emails. I would put links up to those but they’re all over the place and I have enough trouble with short attention spans getting you to even read this far. They’re real and they aren’t good. To put some foam on this Starbucked up cappuccino, Tressel didn’t even really apologize for his own actions, merely for “what we’ve been through!”

What troubles me is that Tressel referred to punishing the players and getting them to return for their final seasons at Ohio State instead of trying their hand at the NFL or setting up car dealerships as a “teaching moment.”

Oops.

For a man who preaches integrity to his “young people”, perhaps Mr. Tressel should take another look at the meaning of the word. Instead of claiming “he didn’t know whom to contact” about the information, he should have remembered that, as many say, integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.

Trouble is, someone was. He threw into coverage.

To be sure, had Jim Tressel’s coverup not happened and he had come forth once he was sure the notification he received was true it would have been pretty ugly for the Buckeyes, but nowhere near as ugly as this. Maybe the players would have been suspended for four games immediately and maybe not have beaten a team or two with Joe “Bow Wow” Bauserman[7] at quarterback. They still would have probably lost to emerging new rival Wisconsin but would still have beaten the Washington Generals Michigan in the annual Distribution of the Gold Pants rivalry game.

Jim Tressel has now found himself compared to Woody Hayes not merely for his coaching victories, but for his behavior. Sure he didn’t punch an opposing player as Woody did, perhaps mistaking the Clemson orange for maize and blue or else just plan furious for having to play in a second-tier bowl game. He actually did something I consider far worse —  lying to retain competitive advantage. And that is the crux of the problem for the NCAA, and where Tressel’s actions are in fact as great as illegal recruiting payments. This is the pressure of big time college football, where millions are at stake. It is also a system where student-athletes aren’t paid for helping provide this revenue but coaches are paid more than Nobel laureates.

The “teaching moment” that was lost was the opportunity to examine the behavior of the Ohio State players and others such who have sold memorabilia and the entire relationship between NCAA revenues for scholarships, which are in fact employment contracts at set standard wage. Many college football players come from underprivileged backgrounds where the dream of playing professional sports is dangled as bling on a string. Too many do not graduate or even obtain the educational skills that a college degree would warrant. These are issues that could have been in the conversation had the Ohio State situation remained about the players’ morality not about NCAA legality. Many observers began to question the difference between tossing around figures of $180,000 for a potential recruitment in an investigation that resulted in no penalties with selling a few hundred dollars worth of stuff that is routinely sold by the Athletic Department off the players’ backs! It is a huge moral difference and the opportunity for that is now lost, thanks to Jim Tressel.

OSU Athletic Director Smith, Coach Tressel, and President Gee Discuss Strategy

Should Ohio State have to “vacate” victories, it will be a simulated penalty. Michigan won’t be able to remove the stigma of not having beaten Ohio State in football for 3,018 days when they take the field on November 26th. What really would hurt is not even a rare suspension of Tressel as a coach, but reduction of scholarships. While this happened to USC for l’affaire Bush that was about lack of institutional control. I think Tressel, Athletic Director Gene Smith, and President Gordon “Not Llike the Exclamation but Like the Clarified Butter” Gee acted like the Three Stooges but this rests solely at the feet of one man. If Dick Nixon had to vacate his Presidency for lying about a small crime, then perhaps Jim Tressel should vacate his position and allow the discussion to allow an issue rarely discussed into the game – not merely NCAA rules, competitive advantages, or polls but something bigger about the entire game, about all of college athletics — morality.

In a crisis, don’t hide behind anything or anybody. They are going to find you anyway. -Bear Bryant


[1] Yes, you Michigan. As an admitted Ohio State fan I rose to defend the Buckeyes online with a warning shot across the bow at Wolverine fans to not get too comfy on Dr. Schadenfreude’s couch with my ad on craigslist for Michigan forgetabilia.

[2] I was going to write a sentence about how Ohio State won the game to cap another outstanding 12-1 season but didn’t mention the 31-26 win. At all. Pretty frickin’ objective, huh not to even mention the fantastic win even once. I certainly wouldn’t gloat about it in a video link in a serious article like this. And again, not mention the 31-26 win at all. Ever.

[3] Which includes ancillary events such as the annual Rose Bowl festival of watching Big Ten linemen from the Midwest be naively gorged on unlimited prime rib at Los Angeles steakhouses in order to slow them down and fatten them for the kill in the big game against the crafty and sharply-dressed personal trainer loving Hollywood hipsters.

[4] Allegations that Heisman Trophy winner Newton’s father asked for $180,000 in exchange for his son enrolling to play at Mississippi were conveniently ignored as the NCAA said they “believed” that the younger Newton did not know of dad’s shenanigans. For more on that brand of Newtonian calculus, I wrote this, explaining “Newton’s Law”.

[5] I don’t know what they call Alabama but if “stars fell” on it like the song says, I’m thinking craters, but it’s SEC country, so the state’s nickname could also involve roadkill. In any case they will remind you that the SEC possesses more “speed” than a trailer park full of meth dealers and will, according to Ozark Folk Tales, outrun the aptly named linemen of the Big Ten (see above. I blame Lawry’s Prime Rib.)

[6] Fans outside of Tennessee are more lenient since he has a hot wife. Look her up yourself. I’m writing a serious article. What? Layla.

[7] I made up the nickname as Mr. Bauserman is apparently lacking in sufficient color to have acquired one on his own. I am sure he is a great guy and he does have the significant accomplishment of actually being a quarterback for a great college program. And if nobody wants to buy his jersey, Mrs. Bauserman hates you.

“How to Make it in Hollywood” Books by People Who Can’t Make it in Hollywood And Other Great Advice

March 6, 2011 8 comments

They’re Dealing in a New Genre: Fart Books

By Joe Bodolai © 2011, All rights reserved

First of all, I want to thank all the people who give me advice on a daily basis. This ranges from “you need to tap into the universe’s special gift for you” to “you should try getting a retail job”. I have some acquaintances who also give me advice about “accepting what the universe gives you,” which seems pretty effective when, in their case, it  means the universe has given them the gift of now-dead rich parents, a kind of Darwinist “vaginal selection.”[1]

I go into bookstores after spending time in their even more not-for-profit cousins, libraries. Advice on how to live is more common in bookstores, but judging by their recent history, I really would take their suggestions about making a go of it in retail with a grain of salt. Libraries seem to make all their money on “the back end”, fines.  Bookstores are all money upfront kind of people. On the surface, it looks like they have a solid tried and true business plan – sell the shit out of stuff. And they do. Coffee, toys, games, and magazines are all available as well as many things that resemble books.[2]

It's Okay, From a Distance It Looks Like an iPad

In libraries, you need really no fancy equipment to read a book, although a light will greatly help. In bookstores, it seems you can purchase specialized equipment. Instead of a quiet corner available for free in a library, at Barnes & Noble you can actually purchase a nook. This is not real estate but a virtual reading space, which is bullshit for “crappy iPad wannabe”. Amazon, an entire “virtual book store” sells their version, a Kindle, which associates books with kindling which I associate with starting a fire, something Goebbels is probably cackling about in his grave. I have no idea who’s doing the branding at Amazon, but their success suggests that it seems to work. No one is troubled by the notion that the retail chain most responsible for harvesting forests to make paper for books and then associate them with burning is named after the world’s most precarious rain forest. That’s some kind of genius. It’s kind of like selling vitamins on getcancer.com.

I just realized something. Borders, who went out of business, didn’t have their own book reading thingy. Hey, Wall Street Journal, get on this!  “Lack of Fancy Reading Gadget Led to Readers, Including Doctors, Without Borders.”

I have digressed from my real point, which is what I promise you I will think of once I read what I have written before this sentence. Hold on. Oh, okay. It’s either about advice or bookstores but reading the title[3] reminds me of the painful subject, “happiness” and its retail comingling with “farts”.[4]

Happiness Never Seems to Require More than 250 Pages So Cheer Up

The happiness books are displayed prominently. Right as I enter the store there are tables full of them. Take your pick. Maybe you can buy two and get a third free and 33% more happiness. All I know is, these keepers of wisdom are not scheduled to read here and share some of their secrets as those times are reserved for the likes of Snooki, someone with the real sounding name Brooke Burke, and some guy named “Taboo”, which is probably a good name from a reverse marketing standpoint. I guess the Happiness Experts couldn’t make it since they were too busy being happy to worry about having to do things like show up and sign books for the unhappy. I think it’s a rule to hang around the people you are like or want to be like. That’s either a rule for success or just the mechanics of racism, I forget.

Okay, so it doesn’t bother me too much that I’ve never heard of these happiness gurus. It does, however, disconcert me that the table and shelves full of “how to make it as a screenwriter” or “unleash your Oscar winning shewolf” books seem to be written by people who have done neither. I may be wrong, but I think if somebody is kicking ass and taking names in Hollywood I might have heard about it.

Does Literary Petomania Disprove the Existence of God?

Which brings me to fart books. I don’t know how exactly, but if Barnes & Noble puts them next to books by Donald Rumsfeld that include the word “intelligence”, I may be missing a secret the “universe” is trying to tell me. My problem with the universe is pretty much the same as I have with God – can you just speak to me directly and not through all these other people who, quite frankly, seem to be bringing a lot of baby marshmallows to the salad? Oh. Fart books. Really, do I even need to write a sentence about it? Okay. I will: Fart books exist. God? I’ve got a call in. I’ll let you know what I hear.


[1] At this point, one cannot choose the location at which they enter life on earth, although there are some fortuitous quick do-overs possible in the proximity of Angelina Jolie if you pull a mulligan on your birth canal.

[2] There is no reason for a footnote here except that I’m trying to make my pieces less “linear”.

[3] Pro Tip: title your stuff first, it makes you remember what you’re writing about.

[4] The term “comingling with farts” is more often a euphemism for riding the bus, but it used here in a marketing context.

The Insanity of Kardashianity, Random Thoughts on a Devolving Culture

March 2, 2011 2 comments

The Following Sentences May be Read in Any Order as Homage to Larry King

By Joe Bodolai (c) 2011, All rights reserved

With Larry King’s departure from cable news and his entry into standup comedy, I will try to fill the void left by him as a columnist with randomness with some unresolved anger and whole bunch of  bewilderment.

If you’re following the “royal” wedding, help me out: what’s the income threshold where we stop calling inbreds “hillbillies” and have to say “your royal highness?”…I don’t know what I’d call her if I met her but you can’t go wrong with “Miss Gaga.” … She might just “bring a little too much gun for the hunt”… Gay guys: should I go with “Joe Fierce” or “Johnny Flawless?”… I’ve pretty much narrowed my options of avoiding homelessness to “marrying well”… Question for the ladies: After Patrick Swayze’s death, do you find yourself using your potter’s wheel a bit less?… I think I’m at that “awkward age”: I don’t feel old enough to hit on the mother, but don’t like

Women Using Potters Wheels Less Since Swayze Death

that “dirty old man” look for hitting on the daughter… Is it just me or does it seem like Pig Latin is a dead language too?… Hey, Department of Agriculture! I haven’t grown canola in years. Where’s my subsidy?… If you own the bait house on “To Catch a Predator”, does your real estate value go up or down?… Things Rihanna told me: “there’s a subtle difference being between being hit and hit on… You heard it here first: someday a focus group will win a screenwriting award… Those French doctors should be okay. They’re not Doctors without Barnes & Noble… Can’t help but wonder: what if the word “God” in the Bible is a typo?… “Oh my Gord?” Sure changes orgasms… I wish you would have told me: “Glee” is a comedy?… A. “never”. Q. When will the world have enough cat videos? … Definition of “gay”? an enigma wrapped in a Balenciaga… I think if Jeopardy wanted the humans to beat the computer, they

Most Questions About the Universe Finally Cleared Up in Gaga Video

would have used a Dell… Do zombies ever use the term “life of the party?”… If it were a sport: Madonna couldn’t carry Gaga’s jock…Try to say something bad about it: bacon…I don’t need to ask her: Snooki doesn’t have a “favorite Jane Austen novel.”… Hey eBay! Where is all the vintage Washington Generals memorabilia?… Guys, always a good excuse: “I just got outta the pool!”… They beat me to it: breast milk ice cream…. Miss Nicki Minaj: You may call it “Super Bass”, but the really smart people know you mean “Superb Ass”… You may not admit it but it’s true: some stock photo chicks are hot!… Who knew? The “A” in “A&E” used to stand for “”Arts”… Why has there never been a Pope named “Mel?”… Have to pass on “I Am Number Four”. I never saw “I Am Number Three”… You’re too old for show biz when: you think “Swifty” means Lazar not Taylor… Put this in the column marked “true”: nobody hot rides the bus…. Is it just me or is “afterparty” a little too close to “afterbirth”? … Religion can’t answer it: “who let the dogs out?”… I sometimes I wish I were rich enough to have my assets frozen – and topped with

Inflatable Semi-Sentient Polypropelene

whipped cream… I’m just keeping it real: 2011 Maybach smell like money to me lol, But ain’t shit unless equipped with Sleek by 50…. Rhetorical questions: Is the bear Catholic? Does the Pope shit in the woods?…. Was the Crucifixion just a “near death experience?” From what I read, dude was fine three days later… Maybe that’s why the Pope says the Jews didn’t “kill” Jesus. Soap operas do it all the time…I’m thinking of becoming a freestyle MC and bringin’ my mad flow to somewhere it will be appreciated… online… Brittney: “flash mob” is a group, not an item on your “to-do” list… Don’t ask me to invest in it: “Penis Reduction Clinic”… Do clowns drive those really tiny cars to compensate for their huge penises?…  And to end this on a serious analytical note about the state of semi-sentient meconium that is American mass culture today: After hearing her “song” released today, I am convinced that Kim Kardashian is either a slimy lump of infectious polypropelene and oily hair or a mentally deficient trained seal controlled by chimpanzees. Watching reality TV or even CNN means the terrorists have won.

THIS JUST IN: Rolling Stone now relaunches as cageliner housebreaking material — Snooki on the cover. Disturbance in the Force reported as Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Joplin spin in graves.

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