Overheard at a diner.
Man: They can’t even talk about 9/11 in the schools anymore.
Woman: Really? What do you mean?
Man: Well, if the teacher talks about 9/11, they say it insults the Muslims.
Woman: Where’d you hear that?
Man: That’s what they say.
Alright? Let’s parse. The man cites “they” three times. That’s out of a total of 27 words. So, one of every nine of his words is “they.”
None of his “theys” has antecedent. So, let’s assume two of his “theys” refer to that authoritative, all-knowing committee of humans who dispense knowledge, as needed, to the rest of us. You know who I mean. They.
Big Mike Rule of Thumb: The nano-second people start talking about “they,” turn your ears off. Go do something else.
[BTW: The woman excoriated the man for repeating stuff he’d heard, maybe, somewhere, as if it were gospel. Give him credit: He said, “Yeah, maybe you’re right.”]
You’re In It; Like It Or Not
“[P]eople have to stop thinking that because they see some corruption in the system, they can live outside that system by not participating in it in any way, including electorally. No, every minute of every day you are in the system; the safety or menace you feel is the system. The streets you drive on are part of the system. The deductions from your paycheck are part of the system. By not voting you don’t buck the system, but succumb to it; you don’t show your strength but your weakness.”
[h/t to Lucy Fischman for this quote]
I’d always thought there’d eventually be a clown candidate for president. Watching American politics for the half century spanning 1968 through now will do that to a fellow. As for whether that clown candidate would make it all the way to the White House? I figured it to be a 75 percent likelihood. Probable, although not necessarily definite.
I always figured, though, it’d be a rock star. I thought of Michael Jackson before he doped himself to death. Go ahead and laugh, but is that any more ludicrous than the idea of Li’l Duce as president?
Or how about Madonna?
Now that a slightly different kind of unthinkable has come about, the doors to the White House are wide open. Which makes the buzz about Kid Rock alarming (his appearance last night at Detroit’s Little Caesar’s Arena was heralded by the strains of “Hail to the Chief”). Say he somehow wins a US Senate seat from Michigan. It’s a short hop to the Oval Office.
Here’s a list of potential candidates for the presidency (and how much do you want to bet at least one of them will take the prize some November Tuesday in the not-so-distant future?):
- Angelina Jolie
- Wayne LaPierre
- Al Franken (not necessarily a clown anymore, although he was a Saturday Night Live skit player and writer)
- Taylor Swift
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Sean Combs
- Howard Stern
- Oprah Winfrey
- Rush Limbaugh
- Dr. Phil McGraw
- Garth Brooks
- David Copperfield
- Judy Scheindlin (Judge Judy)
- Drew Brees
- Tom Cruise
- Jennifer Lopez
- Bill O’Reilly
- Sean Hannity
- Dr. Dre
- Katy Perry
This is not to say I think all of the above-named would be political and/or philosophical disasters. Just that they all have the potential, through celebrity alone, to ascend to the highest position of authority in the richest, most powerful empire the world has ever known.