Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Celebrate this Hallowe'en Week with favorite images of Ann Miller. Never mind the relentless profit-motive nattering and mendacious claptrap of corporate "citizens" and foreign governments demanding that you vote for their lackeys! For any chorus boy who's ever lost an eye because of an errant bobbypin dislodged during a dance bit, ANN MILLER is scary... real scary!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The educated elite ("NYTimes readers," in knuckle-dragger parlance) are all atwitter about Maureen Dowd noticing that politics is full of celebrated dimwits this season, and that these flaming avatars of the absurd appear about to ascend to authority. Well, that's what you get when you've created a political environment that rewards cloddish amateurs who, while appealing to the common folk, appease the indubitable imperators.
You struggle to name Supreme Court cases, newspapers you read and even founding fathers you admire? No problem. You endorse a candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate seat who is the nominee in West Virginia? Oh, well. At least you're not one of those "spineless" elites with an Ivy League education, like President Barack Obama, who can't feel anything.
It's news to Christine O'Donnell that the Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. It's news to Joe Miller, whose security guards handcuffed a journalist, and to Carl Paladino, who threatened The New York Post's Fred Dicker, that the First Amendment exists, even in tea party land. Michele Bachmann calls Smoot-Hawley Hoot-Smalley.
Sharron Angle sank to new lows of obliviousness when she told a classroom of Hispanic kids in Las Vegas: "Some of you look a little more Asian to me."
As Ms. Palin tweeted in July about her own special language: " 'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"
Considered a cumbersome luxury by most SouthCoasters, books were available at three outlets when I was young: The public library, a PaperBack BookSmith at the Harbor Mall, and at some used bookstaores that were filled with tuberculosis and tobacco stains.
At one of the latter establishments, I was asked by the kobold sulking behind the counter, "Whaddaya do with alla them books?"
Ignorance? It's not some new trendy thing around here, Maureen Dowd. We've been doing it for decades!
From the sideways looks that a bowtie earns to the shocking physical violence that accompanied a door held open out of courtesy, the SouthCoast has made manifest this "Ignorance Paradigm." Discourtesy is customary in a borough that rolls its eyes at expressions of gratitude. Rules that are matter of course elsewhere are seen as foreign and incongruous. Language is debased. "Industry standards?"
The salesman whose motto in business is "Ignore and avoid." The advertising executive who chirps that "any monkey can write copy." The boss who doesn't provide performance reviews or workplace guidelines but stamps and screams at staff. The winking forced surprise at a woman's accusations of harassment, violence, sexual malfeasance. The business whose doors open only whenever the help decides to shuffle in.
The politician who "don't care nothin about what no paper says."
The guise of populism enables the amateurish, eventually presenting as a demand for the shoddy, and the indignant and often unintelligible extenuation and excuses that come with it. There are board members and trustees and staff who are more skilled at denying failure than at actually succeeding.
And the blue collar folks -- who distrust the suits and ties and fancypants -- will loudly defend those boardroom bugbears. Because the rabble have been brought up to venerate the seatwarmers for their cleverness. And that "cleverness" is primarily the SouthCoast leadership's widespread ignorance of real-world business models and protocols -- starting with mere courtesy.
"No foul," they claim. "We don't need no outsiders tellin us what to do."
As many local politicians will publicly attest, the local voters "do not know how things work." So keeping the reality of juggling compromise ("politics") out of the public eye is key to a lifelong politician's long life in politics.
Unfortunately, any citizen can serve as an elected representative of his or her neighbors, no matter what intellect or skills he or she lacks.
And we've got that.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
This week, we reconvened the United States Supreme Court and got down to deciding who dances best with the stars or something. The rest of the government disregards such Constitutional niceties this time of year to indulge in the quibbling and gobbledygook that is election-year campaigning. Whether one believes in the fellow who has overseen much of the economic success and distress of the past thirty years or whether one favors the anti-choice unknown naif who excites the tiresome vulgus, it matters not one whit to the otters and buzzards at the Buttonwood Park Zoo.
Because if wildlife lose the source of their foodstuff, they can fly or swim to another domain.
I stopped by an informative meeting last week at The Zoo, and was assured by Zoo insiders that if I cough up $12 million, we can start immediately sending out RFPs in order to give The Zoo's signature resident
Pigeon Elephant Sisters, Ruth and Emily, fresher digs in an Asian-themed exhibit area featuring those Asian elephants and tigers and water features and macaques and red pandas and, I imagine, bamboo.
This above visual and many others were shown at the gathering and as promised, this one almost instantly appeared on the Buttonwood Park Zoo's "Master Plan" drop-down on the "About The Zoo" tab. On their website. Because they don't dick around like some other SouthCoasters who so enthusiastically cherish the half-assed.
The earnest goodwill of the Zoo's representatives and their consultants was palpably sincere. Especially in their exposition that any zoo that doesn't periodically change its exhibits loses visitors, members, and revenue. Most Zoos do so every three years; The Buttonwood Park Zoo hasn't changed anything since the First Gulf War. Ah the sweet smell of sane fiscal sensibility: "financial self-sufficiency," "capital improvements," and "community input." (The term "for the kids" was not over-mentioned.)
For two forthright hours, the people who take care of the animals and the facilities and the maintenance and the planning for the zoo gave a solid presentation to the dozens of us who had assembled.
But, like in so many other positive endeavors in the SouthCoast, a guy from the Buttonwood Park Pessimists' Club or other read a letter that had been penned sometime last century saying, "No" because it would mean buying three acres of real estate in Asia, at least according to the above map. This left a sour pall over the rest of the assembled curious who were worried mostly about traffic and tigers.
I found the objection -- however graciously offered and pragmatically contrived -- distasteful in its timing. Call your own meeting to pooh-pooh The Zoo's hopes and aspirations, won't you.
This knee-jerk opposition reminds me of how some folk ape the current crop of babbling nitwits on the national stage. Without indication of having assessed the situation fully or even anticipating a harmonious accord, they simply forge an animosity which entirely obviates affiliation.
Or at least that's what I got out of it as the cheery PowerPoint show concluded. And because my blood glucose level had hit single digits. (I should remember to eat dinner before these things.)
I do recall, through the delusions of hypoglycemia: