The mind boggles…
I have returned the sub-heading to the logo above which I removed because I have no idea why but I am sure I had a reason. Which is to say, I Have Returned. Because I have had rather significant jumps in visitors at the Liquid Diet site with a series of “nostalgia” columns from the good old days when blogs were where the action was and because I just rediscovered a cache of columns and articles I wrote for a weekly alternative weekly called the Main Line Welcomat back in the ’90s (it was later combined with its parent publication, the Philadelphia Welcomat and renamed Philadelphia Weekly, which actually makes sense) and because I figured I could try the same revamp here and why not?
This is yet one more one last attempt to keep this site alive., something I owe the believers who kept on believing (looking at you, PGW) and we shall see how it goes. This column ran, as best I can determine, in late Spring 1995, six or eight weeks before the new Philadelphia Weekly cover featured story “Homeboy Brews” which launched my beer-writing career. More will follow. I will promote via Facebook and Twitter as before and add Google+; if you are one of the few, the faithful, tell your friends, send them here, dream the dream. Also, comments would be great. I assume there are several references in the below, and others to come, which might inspire a “Say What?” or outraged “WTF?”
And we are off…
An Alphabet for Our Times
By Jack Curtin
A is for Alfonse, as in D’Amato. The good Senator, who makes Phil Gramm seem warm and cuddly by comparison, was recently hospitalized with chest pains he thought might have been caused by a heart attack. Gee, that would be something a lot like the phantom pain amputees reportedly feel in missing limbs, right?
B is for Baseball, which claims it is Back, but why would anybody care?
C is for Contract, which used to mean an enforceable agreement between two or more parties or, depending upon your station in life, either the controlling bid in a hand of Bridge or an assignment to murder someone. Today, thanks to the machinations of Mr. Newt and his Fabulous Freshmen, it’s just another synonym for….
D, which is for Duplicitous, Deceitful and just plain Dumb.
E is for Eddie, as is Fast, as in Rendell, the Mayor who keeps coming up smelling like roses. The SEPTA strike was a mere bump on the road for a guy who might well be destined for the Big Chair in Harrisburg sooner than you think.
F is for Flyers, who have given Philadelphia sports fans the first glimmer of real hope in some time. By winning the Stanley Cup in the mid-’70s, the Broad Street Bullies changed a whole city’s attitude and initiated a decade-long period of athletic excellence. Can they do it again?
G is for G-String, which Judge Bernie Avellino finally agreed ought to be employed by local ecdysiasts. I knew that Villanova education would serve him well one of these days.
H is for Hillary, who actually thought the rest of the nation was as advanced as Arkansas and could accept a strong woman in a prominent role. Now she’s learning to love those cookie baking sessions, elephant rides and other acceptable First Lady-like activities. Which leads us very neatly to…
I, which is for Intelligence, a passing fad that this great nation has put behind it on its way to the 21st Century. Don’t need us no deep thought when we got mindless slogans and endless scapegoats, nosiree.
J is for Journalism, which used to be about reporting and interpreting the news, but now seems to be the province of pompous ideologues who don’t even bother to pretend to be objective.
K is for Kismet, which means fate, prompting the scary thought that we might be getting exactly what we deserve.
L is for Liberal Media Elite, those folks who are supposed to have control of all the media but who don’t seem able to influence anybody to do anything. Are you now or have you ever been a card-carrying member of the ACLU? ‘Fess up now and avoid the rush. Or is that Rush?
M is for Middle of the Road, which is thought to be a good place to be politically but which is also a good place to get run over by traffic from both directions.
N is for North, Ollie, whose new syndicated radio screed has been picked up by a local station which specializes in religious programming. I know a lot of people think he’s God, but this is ridiculous.
O is for the O.J. Jury. Remember when we were all wondering where they were ever gonna find enough clueless folks to try this case in front of? Forrest Gump lives.
P is for Pandering. See the Bob Dole for President Campaign, in which a 71-year old U.S. Senator turns his back on just about everything he’s stood for in a long and reasonably distinguished career in order to try to impress the loonies who have taken over his Party.
Q is for Quayle, and don’t you just miss him terribly?
R is for Reality. It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
S is for Senators, Specter and Santorum, to be specific. One is running for President on the Single Vote Theory, the other appears to be a Newt minus the charm. How did we get so lucky?
T is for Term Limits, a truly bad idea being advocated primarily by folks who have no intention of ever allowing it to apply to them. Then again, if you look up there under S, you might think it has some merit after all.
U is for UCLA, which finally won the Big One again.
V is for Villanova, which didn’t.
W is for Welcomat, which we won’t be much longer. Big changes are coming May 24. I figure I should save a good five hours a week not having to explain to out-of-towners that we are too a serious publication.
X is for Xenophobia, which is all the rage in California and which Pete Wilson hopes will propel him into the Presidency.
Y is for Yesterday, that wonderful golden era to which we are hell-bent on returning, even if it never really did exist.
Z is for Zenith, which is what this column has reached. Isn’t it nice when things work out?
2. More Evidence of Stupid Stupidity.
You think they cannot get more stupid. You are wrong.
3. He Just Noticed?
Wow! Even Fineman gets it. I am stunned.
White House officials are right to be contemptuous of much of the commentariat. Too often, too many of us (including me) toss out cheap insights or lame one-liners without first doing the reporting to justify them. Nor is web traffic generated by listicles and cat videos what the Founders had in mind when they envisioned a free press as a guarantor of good government. And the White House is correct that it does put tons of useful information out there — much of which is ignored or left unstudied by the national media…
4. New Pope Likely the Same as Old Pope.
And if he’s elected he will be de facto infallible on such matters.
Turkson thinks that the issue isn’t Church-wide cover ups of the sex scandal or a systematic problem within the Church itself. Instead, Turkson believes that all the sexual abuse happened because there were too many gay priests in North America and Europe…
5. Thought Provoking Is Good.
I love posts that make me think about an issue I haven’t always given a lot of thought to and this is one such. Interesting argument, a multi-comment thread in which others disagree with that premise, (mostly) in polite terms. Give it a read.
(Insiders Reference: The comment thread marks, I think, the first time I have seen the name “Albert Brooks” aside from the almost-always recent activity note I get when logging on to Facebook that “Albert Brooks posted in Why The PLCB Should Be Abolished.” or, the almost nearly as often, “Albert Brooks and Lew Bryson posted in…etc.”)
I have pointed out, given every opportunity, that Sean Hannity is surely The Dumbest Man Ever Allowed on TV. Given so many opportunities to make this point, I have assumed that I could not be challenged. However, I overlooked the “multiple effect.” When you combine Hannity and Charles Krauthammer, you achieve a level of Stupid so grand and awesome that it makes Sarah Palin’s increasingly rare appearances on GOP Uber Alles TV seem almost coherent. This exchange is so clueless, desperate, ridiculous and highly amusing that you actually have to admire it.
Pope Benedict spreading peace love and joy to (almost) all mankind:
The pope pressed his opposition to gay marriage Friday, denouncing what he described as people eschewing their God-given gender identities to suit their sexual choices – and destroying the very “essence of the human creature” in the process.
Benedict XVI made the comments in his annual Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy, one of his most important speeches of the year.
Okay, that headline, even though it does reflect the content below, basically was designed to induce a “WTF?” and draw you in. I have something I really needs must share with you few, you brave, you guys who wandered in here thinking it was a nutrition site.
This is the response of an old college pal of mine when I suggested in an email IO entitled “Harbingers” that smart pols like Bloomberg and Christie would not be endorsing and/or effusively praising Barack Obama if they did not think he was going to be re-elected on Tuesday:
Guys like Christie and Bloomberg are smart. They know that the Prez is a petty, vindictive narcissist. They had damn well better be on his good side. Or else. So they are. End of story. To me, it looks like a Romney landslide. (I am the only one predicting this, of course, so I may be way off, but that is how I see it shaping up.)
Okay, the basic response is amusing enough, that of someone clearly trying to counter the obvious as best he could, and the “landslide” thing is just insane. But the real kicker here is that this is the guy I have mentioned in the past who once emailed me that his “political heroes are Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush.”
Think about it. A guy who was all hot and bothered and awed the wonders that wee Newt and Dubya accusing someone of being “petty,” “vindictive” and a “narcissist.”
Those two guys are the poster children for those descriptions.
To be fair, my friend is not alone in his support of The Mittster…
Well, not exactly The True & Real Crazy, I am not that totally mean, but at least a link to where you can find a link to find it. Here’s brief summation of what you will find when you get there:
A man advocating executing journalists for treason in honor of Free Speech Week for being too supportive of the American president just described other people as “Orwellian.” Good job, Rush. Super totes double-plus-good.
I do not make this shit up.
I mean, nothing meant to be taken seriously could be this screwed up day after day, country after country, offending the populace almost by rote.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has been forced to scrap a $50,000 per plate fundraiser scheduled to take place during his visit to Jerusalem because the date coincided with a solemn Jewish day of mourning.
The fundraiser, which was supposed to be a “a small meeting, but a big fund-raiser,” according to a source quoted in the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, was set to take place on July 29, amid the Romney campaign’s first foreign policy tour.
But July 29 is also Tisha B’Av, a Jewish day of fasting in some traditions of the religion, in which catastrophic events like the destruction of the First and Second Temples and the Holocaust are mourned.
[ … ]
Jonny Daniels, a leading Republican political strategist in Israel, told The Huffington Post that the campaign had been aware of the date of the holiday when it scheduled the fundraiser. The campaign thought it could hold the event in a way that would not offend, he said, but was taken by surprise at the ferocity of the public outcry over the timing.
I love that bold-face line (my emphasis) which perfectly captures the social ineptness and tone-deaf arrogance of the Mittster and his crew.
Update: Plus also this.