Babbling & Begging

Get Smart Really Was Smart

Now this is scary. I happened to catch an old episode of “Get Smart” the other day. Remember that show? The mid/late ’60s farce about spies and kookie government bureaucracies? Everything was a big joke and all the relationships and scenarios were preposterous.

Only, the goddamned thing was prescient!

What with all the USA/Russia/China/N. & S. Koreas/Iran/etc. hackings and missteps, bumblings and cheap theatricals, “Get Smart” can serve today as an introductory college-level geopolitics course.

Click Image For Full Episode

To wit: A man knocks on Maxwell Smart’s door. Smart answers. The man introduces himself as Mr. Fister. Then this:

Man: … I represent the….

Smart: Uh, please, Mr. Fister, we already gave at the office.

Man: Oh, but that’s impossible — I couldn’t find your Control office.

Smart: Well, of course not, Mr. Fister. Control is one of the most highly secret government agencies in the world! [Pause.] Wait a minute — if you couldn’t find Control, how did you know where to find me?

Man: I telephoned KAOS and they gave me this address.

Smart: Oh, of course. [Does a double-take.]

Yep. that’s pretty much it now, isn’t it?

Healing Through Reading


My guest this afternoon on Big Talk will be Dr. Maria Eliza Hamilton Abegunde, also known as Osunbimpe Abegunde, the first-ever recipient of a doctorate from Indiana University’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.

She and colleague Patsy Rahn are co-directing a month-long series of panels and readings called Deep Dialogue: Readings on Race and Ethnicity, sponsored by the Writers Guild at Bloomington. Abegunde is an engungun priest in the Yoruba Orisa tradition, a black studies practitioner, a reiki master, a healer, a poet, a writer, a teacher, and a birth and postpartum doula.

Abegunde is a visiting lecturer at IU’s AAADS dept. as well as Director of the Graduate Mentoring Center. The Deep Dialogue program builds on her efforts to understand cultures and their sufferings through performance and writing.

You’ll look far and wide before you find anyone else who knows about cultural trauma and the potential for its healing as well as Abegunde. Tune in to WFHB 91.3FM at 5:00pm or come back here tomorrow morning for podcast links. And look for my profile of her in an upcoming edition of the Limestone Post.

Telegraphing The Ending

In the wake of President Gag’s threat at the United Nations Tuesday to blow N. Korea to smithereens, his speechwriters are now working on his response to the inevitable articles of impeachment or indictments handed down by the special counsel, whichever come first. Specious sources report the speechwriters are finished with a final draft they are calling the “Major, Super-Classy Doomsday Guarantee.” It reads as follows:

No landslide president in America has an interest in seeing this band of losers arm themselves with indictments and so-called articles of whatever and things, believe me. I have great strength and patience — great, really great, enormous — but if I am forced to defend myself or my underlings — who love me, it’s the truth, they love me like you wouldn’t believe — I will have no choice but to totally destroy the world. If you’re against me, you are on a suicide mission. Okay? Ask anybody.

Flash forward to the year 2020: The seven surviving members of the human race, ensconced safely within the presidential bunker located in the mountains of Virginia, have declared Li’l Duce “President for Life,” which oncologists and nuclear physicists (before they had succumbed to radiation poisoning themselves) have estimated will come to a whimpering conclusion in no more than a week or two.

Flash From Washington: Dateline, Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Until Then, A Guy’s Gotta Make A Living

The Pencil’s been on the scene since 2012. It’s a free site. Pencillistas and the curious can come and go anytime they please at no cost. And so it will remain.

OTOH: I’m a writer. It’s a vocation that makes it difficult for me to maintain my Trumpian lifestyle — yes, Chez Big Mike boasts a half dozen solid gold toilets. And my domestic staff — don’t get me started. Now they want health insurance, the greedy hogs.

So maybe you can help. If you feel so moved, click on this image…

… and toss any amount you’d like my way. You may use your PayPal account or, if you don’t have one, your credit card. All info is completely secure (well, as secure as anything can be in this day and age). I’ll thank you, The Loved One will thank you, my creditors and their attorneys will thank you, even the fellows who polish my crystal chandeliers (good help is so hard to find) will thank you.

And if you choose not to donate, hell, thanks anyway just for coming here.


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