"The blog has made Glab into a hip town crier, commenting on everything from local politics and cultural happenings to national and international events, all rendered in a colorful, intelligent, working-class vernacular that owes some of its style to Glab’s Chicago-hometown heroes Studs Terkel and Mike Royko." — David Brent Johnson in Bloom Magazine
Manns, it was learned, once was whacked along with two others with a $1.3 billion judgement in a fraud case involving gold bullion. It seems Mann and his then-wife and law partner repped a kinky character named Otis Phillips who’d conjured a scheme to get investors to put earnest money down on the gold, pending approval of their qualifications to participate in the deal. The investors, in turn, would not be approved and Phillips would keep the earnest dough.
[T]he investment scheme Dollie Manns represented hinged on the smuggling of gold and platinum that former Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek purportedly stashed in China and Indonesia when Communist forces led by Mao Zedong took control of the country 48 years ago.
Leonard went on to quote an Indiana Securities Division and Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission ruling in its investigation of Dollie Manns (Alphonso’s former wife):
She (Dollie Manns) exploited the investor by opportunistically initiating a conversation with her about the ‘investment’ knowing, by reason of her association with the investor’s lawyer (Al Manns) that the investor had just closed a lucrative real estate transaction. Her actions indicate a predilection to take advantage of unsuspecting clients of the firm and thus impart a strong negative implication to her fitness as a lawyer….
By converting the investor’s $20,000 to uses other than those agreed to by the investor and by failing to return the funds pursuant to the parties’ understanding and after the investor demanded return, the respondent violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b). her conversion of the investor’s funds violated Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(c) in that it represents conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.
Alphonso Manns (IDS photo)
Phillips spent two years in the joint for the scam (not his first time as a guest of the state) and the Manns’s were named as co-respondents in the criminal case. The judgement against them was upheld by the a Texas appeals court, although the original penalty was reduced to $400 million.
The Manns’s, being neither billionaires nor hundred-millionaires, couldn’t come up with the scratch and so filed for bankruptcy. Even though the plaintiffs in the case could have pressed to collect the 400-extra-large, they didn’t, presumably because they were embarrassed nearly to death to have been taken in such a flimsy scheme.
For his part, Manns says he’s as pure as the driven snow.
Maybe. I only know I’m not voting for him. A judge, I’d hazard to opine, needs to possess better sense than to get involved in a business deal with, as the Texas appellate court described Phillips, “a shadowy figure…, (and) an ex-convict, (who) masterminded this scheme….”
In more savory news, Indiana University verse-ologist Ross Gay‘s poem, “To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian” has been named one of the best of the year. It’s been included in the compilation The Best American Poetry 2014.
The Best… books are a neat series that gather together some of the finest writing of the year. The books come out annually and include titles such as The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Essays. [Shameless plug alert] A piece I wrote about women boxers in the Chicago Reader back in 1994 was named a notable work in The Best American Sports Writing 1995. Read the piece here.
Once you’re finished with that make sure you check out Gay’s poem. It appeared originally in the American Poetry Review.
Those Zany Zimmermans
GQ mag yesterday released a story online from its October, 2014, issue detailing the sheer lunacy of the Zimmerman family. You remember George Zimmerman don’t you? Got into a scrape with a kid he was stalking, found himself on the losing end, and so shot the kid in the heart, killing him.
Honestly, you knew from the start — as did I — that George himself was as mentally stable as a 17-year-old on his 30th crystal meth booty bump. Bet you didn’t know, though, that he comes from a clan that makes the Bluths look like the Huxtables.
Barack Obama yesterday spoke like a black man for the first time since he hit the national scene. He said, “You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is: Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
Impromptu & Unexpected
Now, I’ve just read about this impromptu speech on the Guardian UK website. My immediate reaction was: Guaranteed, tons of folks in this holy land are gonna say, “If only that was Barack Obama 35 years ago.”
So let me take a break for a few moments so I can go through my go-to Right wingnut sites and see if the oh-so dependable crypto-racists of Murrica have made a seer out of me.
While you wait for me to do this pressing research, enjoy this:
Okay, I’m back. In fact, I was finished with my search long before the above vid was over. Ya gotta love the Right; they come through every time.
The reactionary conservative world had apoplexy over the prez’ comments, natch. Among other things, they accused Obama of trying to “tear the nation apart,” they called him the “Race-baiter in Chief.” One woman wrote, “I had no idea Obama sucker-punched a watch volunteer & then bashed his head in. Who knew?” Another called him a “buffoon,” “racist,” a lyncher, and guilty of sedition. A third called him “the most irresponsible president in history.” Jim Hoft, AKA the Dumbest Man on the Internet, wrote, “Good Lord — he is stoking a race war.”
And that very sensitive deep thinker Sean Hannity wondered aloud if Obama really meant he was like Martin because he (Obama) had smoked pot and “did a little blow” when he was the age of the late Florida teenager.
Now, bingo! Here’s the magic comment by someone named OldHickory21 on the Daily Caller website: “If only Obama had run into a George Zimmerman there in Hawaii, we wouldn’t be watching our country going down the drain right now. Too bad.”
Good to know some things are reliable in this ever-changing world.
Pretty Little Terrorist
Speaking of the deranged Right (and ain’t I always?), our nation’s non compos mentalists found themselves all aflutter earlier in the week when Rolling Stone put a photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover.
For years, being on the cover of the Rolling Stone was seen as perhaps the ultimate honor a rock star or movie actor could earn. Hell, there was even a hit song about it called — what else? — “Cover of the Rolling Stone” back in 1973.
Ignoring the fact that the remaining couple of dozen people who still read Rolling Stone are those who were young and hip aways back in 1973 and now are concerned mostly with erectile dysfunction and the rising cost of cemetery plots, the hysterical Right concluded that the mag was championing young Tsarnaev and his alleged pressure cooker attack on the Boston Marathon.
For some odd reason, the unreasonable of this nation feel the rather normal-looking mug of the accused deep-fryer bomber will inspire doddering former hippies to revolt. Presumably, they’ll attack the Silent Majority with their canes and walkers.
It follows, then, that a number of drug and convenience stores had removed the publication from their shelves because…, well, because. And some guy from the Massachusetts State Police said the cover “glamorized the face of terror.”
I have no idea what they’d have preferred Jan Wenner put on the cover — perhaps a photo of a warthog or Adolf Hitler or simply a garden variety brown Arab. Now those things are ugly and/or evil. Tsarnaev the Younger can even be described as attractive. What kind of monster would attach a picture of a cute white kid to a story about a vicious terrorist act, even if the cute white kid (allegedly) did the act?
The Face Of Terror
Anyways, my concern here is with the retailers who took the mag off their shelves. It makes me think of my recent promises to refuse to sell certain books to people at (shameless plug here) Bloomington’s only remaining independent bookseller, the Book Corner.
Loyal readers know that I’ve promised not to participate in a transaction with any customer who wants to buy faux-pimp James O’Keefe’s memoir, anything by the execrable Glenn Beck, and anything by or on behalf of doughy vigilante George Zimmerman. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing I’d helped those chuckleheads earn even a penny.
My take on those who refuse to peddle the Tsarnaev Rolling Stone is that they’re narrow minded prigs who dig censorship.
So I have to ask myself, when all is said and done: Aren’t I, too?
To be frank, I don’t know the answer yet. Either that or I do know the answer and I simply don’t want to admit it.
It Is A Puzzle(ment)
Here’s a fun heads up. Theater and non-profit maven Marc Tschida is making, with his bare hands, a neat selection of Bloomington-oriented jigsaw puzzles.
Well, okay, he’s using a jigsaw, among other handy tools, but y’know.
Thus far, he’s produced a nifty Buskirk Chumley Theater puzzle as well others depicting Cardinal Stage Company productions and the face of a beloved local citizen whose identity will remain a secret until he gets all the appropriate releases signed and sealed. Look for tons more B-town landmarks and defining images to pop up in stores near you within the next few months.
Tschida’s “Charlotte’s Web” Puzzle
Tschida is donating gobs of the puzzles to area non-profits for fundraising raffles and giveaways. Pencillistas, unbuckle your money belts and throw a little cash Tschida’s way.
A panel of six Tory dames, all of whom appear to take cosmetics and physical esthetics tips from the Mattel Corporation, selected hot sausages from among all the talking heads, bloviators, gasbags, intentional misinterpretors, and dissemblers in the Right Wing phoni-verse. I should state here that there are plenty of reasonably intelligent male conservatives in the holy land, including, but not limited to, George Will, David Brooks, Tom Friedman, and Barack Obama. Just because a guy leans Right doesn’t mean he’s suffering from anencephaly.
PolitiChick’s Selection Panel
OTOH, PolitiChick’s fap list leans heavily troglodytic.
And, yeah, there are some handsome hunks of cartilage on the roster, but, man….
Okay, there are a couple of handsome (or at least non-terrifying) knights on steeds for conservative princesses to fantasize coming to their collective rescue. Consider David Spady of breitbart.com or Sean Hannity of Fox News, both of whom make the list. Any reasonable straight woman or gay man might deem the two bonkable (as long as they could ignore the incipient nausea caused by the duo’s babblings.)
Red Meat: Spady & Hannity
But get this: the list also contains the eerie specters of Tucker Carlson, Louie Gohmert, and Mike Huckabee. The Carlson tab is mildly puzzling, considering he was probably named Most Likely to Be Molested In A Holding Cell in his high school yearbook. But Huckabee is as attractive as a shift manager at a CVS on the outskirts of Little Rock. And Louie Gohmert? Louie Gohmert, for chrissakes!
Canned Spam: Huckabee & Gohmert
And here, all this time, I thought the fringe right was wingnutty only in their political thinking.
This is science, man. A researcher at the University of Chicago, Eric Oliver has discovered that conservatives tend to dub their unfortunate offspring with more traditional names. Not only that, they tend to prefer names with harsh consonant sounds, like Kurt.
Liberals, on the other hand, dig more vowelly monikers — cool, huh? I just made that adjective up — leading them to hang names like Ella and Sophia on their trophy children. Also, libs like names that have L sounds in them. Duh, right? Ls can be found in the words lesbian and homosexual; whaddya expect?
If you don’t know that Ayn Rand is the single most important figure in American politics today, you don’t know nuffin’.
The US House of Representatives has been commandeered by a pack of ideologues who rode the Me Party wave back in 2010. And because these ideologues refuse to compromise on anything due to the fact that doing so will turn them into commie, fag, Muslim abortionists and (worst of all) RINOs, Congress has ground to a halt. Thanks, pals.
In case you haven’t guessed by now, Ayn Rand, before whom the Paul Ryans of the world genuflect, embodies every single thing in the world I find repellant.
The only thing she did in her entire life that I even slightly approve of is smoke — and that’s because I detest people who don’t have at least one good vice.
Not that I don’t detest Ayn Rand. I do. As should everyone with even the slightest shred of human decency, compassion, agape, and good sense.
“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” — HL Mencken
Hey, GO! is back home.
Yeah, we were scheduled to start running our indispensable events listings on the new Ryder Magazine and Film Series website ages ago but, like all construction projects, it’s running late. Way, way late.
So we’ve decided to run the listings on The Pencil until the Ryder’s ready to go.
We know you’re ready to go — so go to GO! and figure out what you’re going to do today.
FREEDOM IS DEPRESSING
Indy radio station WXLW-AM switched to conservative talk from sports talk on September 10th.
Now, normally I’d run from political talk radio as swiftly as I would from the skunk that’s been hanging around my front yard in the middle of the night recently. That goes for liberal talk as well as conservative talk, although there isn’t much liberal talk radio in this holy land and it’s an especially rare commodity in these parts.
But I’ve been catching bits and pieces of Freedom 95’s new act because the station is programmed into my car radio. See, XL 95 was part of the Cincinnati Reds radio network until the programming shift.
Anybody who’s read this space knows I’m a rabid Cubs fan. “Rabid” being the operative word — I foam at the mouth and exhibit other signs of madness at the mere mention of the night of October 14th, 2003. But as much as I am a Cubs partisan, I’m equally devoted to the sport of baseball in general.
The Bartman Moment
I have absolutely zero rooting interest in the Reds. In fact, a vestigial distaste for them still lingers from the early 1970s when they were positioned as the short-haired, beardless, mustache-less, clean-cut, all-American boys — Nixon’s Team, as it were. Still, my passion for the game overcame my prejudice when I found that XL 950 offerede the only Major League Baseball broadcasts over the local airwaves. It had become a habit for me to tune the radio to AM 950 to see if there was a game on whenever I got into the car in the evening.
And then ten days ago, rather than hear the Texas drawl of “The Cowboy,” Reds announcer Jeff Brantley, talking balls and strikes, I was assaulted by the drone of reactionaries trying to drum up rage at the Muslim mole who now occupies the White House.
Last night I packed Steve the Dog into the car for one of our regular walks at Lake Monroe. As usual, I flicked on the radio and pressed the button for 950, hoping to catch the Reds playing, coincidentally enough, at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs’ David DeJesus Misplays A Ball In Last Night’s Loss
And again, I was reminded that my little diversion has been snatched away. The grating, agitating voice of Michael Savage spewed out of the speakers. Before I had a chance to reflexively flip the station, I became drawn in by his tales.
Savage was speculating on the make-up of the Mitt Romney cabinet. Romney, Savage is certain, will triumph (along with goodness, wholesomeness, whiteness, and unfettered capitalism) over Barack Obama in the November election. Savage threw out dozens of names for the various cabinet departments, including that of John Bolton for Secretary of State.
Bolton, you may recall, was George W. Bush’s ambassador to to United Nations. He is to diplomacy what a bacon double-cheeseburger is to good nutrition.
Bang — You’re Dead!
Anyway, once Savage cleaned up at State, he turned to the putative next president’s financial consigliere. Why haven’t we all been hearing, Savage wondered aloud, the name Donald Trump?
Trump, Savage explained, was the only Republican who could have whomped Obama. Truth. I heard him say this with my own fouled ears.
Romney will edge the best the Kanyan takeover conspiracy has to offer, sure, Savage allowed. But Trump would have mauled Obama with a good 20 percent plurality.
You Had Your Chance, America
Now, the sane among us recall Trump being unable to garner even ten percent support among likely Republican voters when he dropped out of the race in the spring. I’d imagine a poll of all Americans would indicate fewer than ten percent wonder what the point of existence is when it allows for the presence in it of Trump himself.
But Savage is certain Trump would wrest the nation from the clutches of the imams, with whom Barack Obama is inextricably tied.
And here’s why. Obama has tanked the American economy, Savage asserts, conveniently forgetting a few little things like the real estate crash, the stock market crash, and the Wall Street/big biz scandals that all occurred pre-Obama bin Laden.
Because Obama has destroyed America’s wealth, there are now scads of poor people. The poor, Savage pronounced, would welcome a Trump White House with open arms.
Again, truth. I heard these things with my own ears.
The media, Savage bleated, would have you believe the poor hate the rich. Au contraire, Savage would say if he could tolerate the existence of languages other than Ma & Pa Kettle’s sacred English.
Savage explained: The poor trust the rich to run this blessed land. The poor, he continued, know that the rich have their best interests at heart.
Everything I Do, I Do For The Poor!
Can the Republican Party really be this disconnected from reality?
Talk about rabid.
BABY, YOU’RE A RICH MAN
You’ve heard of these guys, no?
Yep, we’re back here for the time being.
The spanking new Ryder website is…, well, it’s somewhere. While Peter LoPilato and his army of computer geeks perfect the new site, we’ll be running Bloomington’s best events listings here, again. Enjoy.
Audie Blaylock & Redline, The Grascals, Grasstowne, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Larry Efaw & Mountaineers, Karl Shiflett & The Big Country Show, Tim Graves, Daryl Mosley & Farm Country
LECTURE ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Bridgewaters Lounge — “After Global Hollywood: The Prospects and Perils of Chinese Media Capital,” presented by Michael Curtin; 4:30pm
“Republicans would like to pretend like Congressman Akin’s substitution of superstition for science is a lone problem but it’s not: they’re all magical thinkers, on nearly every issue. They don’t get their answers on climate change from climatologists, they get them from the Book of Genesis. Hence Sharia Law in America is a dire threat, and global warming a hoax.” — Bill Maher
After the Aurora, Colorado, shootings at least one Republican (duh!) pol spewed the lunatic opinion that had the patrons of the theater been permitted to carry artillery into the place, they could have shot the shooter up like a swiss cheese and thereby become heroes forever. Oh, and they could have saved a life or two.
Gohmert: “…Was There Nobody That Was Carrying…?”
Because, you know, 19-year-olds attending a midnight showing of a superhero movie in a darkened (natch), packed theater are nothing if not crack shots.
Apparently, that conceit took a hit yesterday when New York cops (who are trained to shoot pistols) opened fire on that guy in the suit who’d killed his former boss at the Empire State Building. So far as we know, the cops did most of the damage to the innocent bystanders, nine of whom caught lead.
One Down, Nine To Go
So, yeah, they killed the guy with the gun but in the process did far more damage than the shooter ever intended to do.
Now, what was that about 19-year-olds with artillery in a darkened theater after midnight?
THE NEWS IS A JOKE
Remember a few years ago how the punditocracy was wringing its hands over the fact that a majority of young people were getting their news from comedy programs like “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report“?
Me? I figured standup comedians and improvisational comics couldn’t do much worse interpreting the day’s events than cerebrally flabby blow-hards like Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews.
A Mighty Wind
Anyway, what passes for today’s current affairs debate has devolved to the point where Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are elderly statesmen. In fact, if one really wants to get to the meat of a pressing issue these days, one has to click on Cracked.com.
(And, honestly, could you imagine any broadcast or cable news outlet even touching that topic? With the recent verbal assaults on Sandra Fluke and rape victims, it’s clear — isn’t it? — that too many men hate the hell out of women around this holy land. Someone’s got to be teaching them how to do it!)
Fluke Took A Beating
Post author David Wong (oy, I hope that’s his real name) liberally sprinkles the piece with perceptive gems. He begins by recalling Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Fluke. Limbaugh, Wong rationalizes, “is paid to say outrageous things.” It’s the chimps who follow Limbaugh that scare the bejesus out of Wong: “If you really want to feel all dead inside, you need to listen to what the regular folk were saying.”
He quotes commenters on Right Wing sites who described Sandra Fluke in terms that made it look as though Limbaugh were trying to coo into her ear.
“My Darling Slut”
“Now go to the front page of any mostly male discussion site like Reddit.com and see how many inches you can browse before finding several thousand men bemoaning how all women are gold-digging whores (7,500 upvotes) and how crazy and irrational women are (9,659 upvotes) and how horrible and gross and fat women are (4,000 upvotes). Or browse the ‘Men’s Rights’ section and see weird fantasies about alpha males defeating all the hot women who try to control them with their vaginas.”
No, neither Sean Hannity nor Chris Matthews has touched that one yet.
Wong says movies teach us that it’s a man’s right to be awarded a hot chick after he accomplishes some feat. “When the Karate Kid wins the tournament, his prize is a trophy and Elisabeth Shue. Neo saves the world and is awarded Trinity…, the hero in ‘Avatar’ gets the hottest Na’vi, Shrek gets Fiona, Bill Murray gets Sigourney Weaver in ‘Ghostbusters,’ Frodo gets Sam, WALL-E gets EVE… and so on.
“Hell, at the end of ‘An Officer and a Gentleman,’ Richard Gere walks into the lady’s workplace and just carries her out like he’s picking up a suit at the drycleaner.”
Cleaned And Pressed
Wong concludes, “From birth we’re taught that we’re owed a beautiful girl…. It’s why every Mr. Nice Guy is shocked to find that buying gifts for a girl and doing her favors won’t win him sex. It’s why we go to ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ as our default insults — we’re not mad that women enjoy sex. We’re mad that women are distributing to other people the sex that they owed us.”
I doubt if one in twenty Gender Studies classes comes close to hitting that nail on the head.
Want more? Wong’s got it. He quotes from a Right Wing site where men were discussing the merits of then-US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. One man said the Kagan is, “So fugly, I’d say ‘Don’t even look’!!!” Another man agreed: “This person is disgusting and I would never trust ‘it’s’ [sic] opinion on ANYTHING!”
Oh, Why Couldn’t Obama Have Nominated A Babe!
Wong writes that a woman’s “role in society or level of accomplishment doesn’t matter. Even if she’s a damned candidate for the Supreme Court, the female always has a dual role: to function as a person, and to act as decor.
“And we get pissed if she doesn’t do her job…. She owes it to us to be pretty.”
Wong has plenty more to say about American misogyny. Go there and read the piece for yourself. After doing so, you’ll understand a lot more about men than if you’d studied a hundred “serious” articles in the New York Times Magazine.
Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.
Zinn and Ellsberg became friends in 1969 during the anti-war movement. Ellsberg earlier had worked for the RAND Corporation, which was assigned by the US Department of Defense in 1967 to write up a history of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg actually did much of the grunt work researching this nation’s involvement there.
He learned that President Harry Truman authorized the funding of France’s colonial war against Vietnam independence fighters as far back as the 1940s. President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s threw US support behind Vietnam strongmen who opposed free elections in that country.
Throw in a pile of other falsehoods, exaggerations, forgeries, and intentional inaccuracies on the parts of generals and politicians executing the slaughter in Southeast Asia, and Ellsberg understood that our stated aims there were a colossal sham.
Thanks to the study, Ellsberg saw that President Lyndon Johnson’s assertion that the North Vietnamese had started a war just for kicks in the summer of 1964 was an out and out lie.
Johnson, see, had said some North Vietnamese in a little motorboat had attacked a couple of American cruisers just sitting in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and minding their own business. Johnson parlayed this whopper into getting Congress to sign him a blank check and the next thing you knew, a half million American soldiers were fighting for who knows what in Southeast Asia.
Johnson, Finally Grasping What Vietnam Had Become
Ellsberg and some other RAND researchers privately agreed that they had to say something to the American public about our country’s shenanigans in Vietnam.
They figured Middle American folks would trust them, sub-contractors to the Pentagon with 7000 pages of damning documents in their hands, rather than wild-eyed hippies carrying peace placards.
So they sent a letter to major newspapers around the country calling for an end to the war. The New York Times and the Washington Post both published the letter, but nobody really gave a damn about it.
Meanwhile, the United States military went on happily killing and bombing in Vietnam. Then there was a Green Beret murder scandal and the My Lai Massacre. Ellsberg already was wracked with guilt for his country over what he knew and these atrocities only pushed him over the edge.
Destroying The Town In Order To Save It
He contacted another former RAND colleague and together they photocopied the 7000 pages with the goal of releasing the classified documents. The two agreed it was worth going to jail for exposing government secrets if it might shorten the war somehow.
Their hope was the release of the papers would turn even the most die-hard patriots against the war. They contacted the offices of a few congressmen and found no one willing to touch their hot docs.
Finally, they went to the New York Times with their bundle of papers. After a few months, the Times went ahead and published what would become known as the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg was charged with theft and violations of the Espionage Act. He faced 115 years in prison. He turned himself in to the FBI in Boston on June 28, 1971, after having run off many more copies of the Papers and distributing them to other newspapers.
Setting The Type For The New York Times Pentagon Papers Edition
While Ellsberg was on trial, it was learned that the Nixon White House had ordered mugs to burglarize his psychiatrist’s office in hopes of finding incriminating notes against him there, and other mugs to harass him at public appearances. The federal judge declared a mistrial in Ellberg’s case due to these government interferences.
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” — Carl Sagan
THE INAUGURAL ELECTRON COOL TEST
Welcome to the first ever Electron Pencil online blog game show puzzle contest…, thing. I haven’t even come up with a name for it yet.
Hmm, how about the Big Brain Stakes?
Or Pencil Jeopardy?
Nah, that won’t do. What if this blogsite becomes the biggest thing on the interwebs and then the late Merv Griffin’s legal goons come after me with subpoenas and cease-and-desists for stealing their game show name?
I’ve got it — The Electron Cool Test! (h/t to Tom Wolfe).
The Electron Cool Test will become a regular feature of this column. Its rules, prizes, eligibility, and honesty will be whatever I want them to be on the particular day that I run it. Today, for instance, we at the Electron Pencil are calling for all Pencillistas to guess what outrageousness the Republican Party will be capable of in the year 2016.
Who knows? If this thing takes off, I might even devise a neat high-tech way for you all to participate. As it stands right now, we’ll go with the old reliable Comments section.
Read on for today’s First Ever Super-Supercilious, Bombastic, No Trans-fat, Electron Cool Test!
IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD PARTY
So, here’s the background for our first Electron Cool Test.
Who among the great mass of broad-minded, attractive, and intelligent readers of The Electron Pencil could ever have foreseen what the Republican Party has become in this year of our lord, 2012?
Honestly, the POG is warning the trusting ovines of this holy land that a second term for President Obama will enable him and his blackshirts to seize all our guns, hand the US Capitol over to radical imams, stifle the voices of the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and redistribute all our hard earned money to black men, slutty women, and homosexual abortionists.
“Huh? What? Homosexual Abortionists? Save Us, Party Of God!”
Stewart, of course, was making jokes. Haha. The really funny thing is, the candidates for the presidential nomination of The Party Blessed By The Creator Of The Universe are actually saying these things.
Well, three of the four of them. Ron Paul, bless his weird heart, isn’t engaging in such verbal hijinks — but, then again, he’s not really a Republican. No, Paul is a Libertarian, which frightens even Republicans, believe it or not. That’s like Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodin shuddering in their Manolo Blahniks at the site of some bizarre new beast from the planet Zpltfik.
Godzilla: “Didja See That!?”
Rodan: “Oh, My Heavens!”
Anyway, the three real Republicans scream about the monster black man under the bed until their voices are raw, then other, minor POG-ers take over, as Stewart so capably points out.
The Republicans at this point in time are certifiably insane.
And, honestly, when Rep. Bob Morris (R-Indiana) started calling the goddamned Girl Scouts a “radicalized” organization, did you need any more evidence that the party of Lincoln and Taft had now become the cast from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”?
Rick Santorum’s Cabinet
Okay, now that we’ve got that settled, let’s have a little fun with it. Let’s try to imagine what Republicans will be saying in 2016 when they are choosing their standard bearer to battle Chelsea Clinton for the presidency.
And who will be the wily old veterans still hoping the claw their way into the White House? Definitely Newt Gingrich. And Mitt Romney. And, hell, Rick Santorum as well. Come on, it’s a lock all three will still want to win the big one.
Now, the secret to playing this first Electron Cool Test is to let your imagination run wild. If I were to suggest to you four years ago that a major party candidate for president would accuse the incumbent of plotting to wage war on the Catholic Church, you’d have said, Aw, you’re delirious.
See? Let yourself be delirious. How can you go wrong?
I’ll start. Um, uh, let’s see…, oh! I’ve got it! Back in high school, Chelsea appeared in a production of “The Nutcracker.”
That’s it! Chuck Norris will say that proves she was sympathetic to the Russian commies from her earliest days. “If this country elects Chelsea Clinton president in November,” he’ll warn, “the next day, a new, resurrected Soviet Union will rise in Washington!”
Later, he’ll call for the banning of all Christmastime productions of “The Nutcracker” because, after all, it was written by that stinkin’ red, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
“The Nutcracker” — Subversive
Norris will mispronounce all three names, endearing him to millions of voters.
Wait, wait, here’s another.
Marco Rubio will react to news that researchers have developed a new, super-strong anti-viral drug that virtually cures genital herpes. Rubio will call for the drug to be outlawed saying, “Anyone who has genital herpes obviously has engaged in sex at some time in their lives. They should be made to suffer for it. It is clear that these drug researchers are dangerous radicals.”
Do you get the game now? It’s easy!
The Scarlet Canker
One more. The New York Times will unearth the news that Ivanka Trump keeps a stable of young children on a remote work farm in South Central New Jersey. Other media outlets will report that she harvests the tykes’ hormones and has it injected into her in an effort to maintain her youthful looks.
The revelations will cause an uproar among Democrats and those few Republicans who retain vestigial traces of human emotion. They call for her to withdraw from the race. She refuses.
“I am a job-creator,” Ivanka protests. “This is trickle-down economics at its finest. If it weren’t for my special farm for these precious children, they’d be homeless. They might even starve. My opponents would like them to receive welfare, which would be the real tragedy.”
Ivanka will go on to market the childrens’ hormones. By the time of the Republican National Convention in August, women across the country will be purchasing Trump’s Essence of Tot at $24.99 for six milliliters, available at all CVS and Rite-Aid stores.
“Hooray For Our Owner, Dear Ivanka!”
The eventual Republican candidate, Chuck Norris, will pledge to name Ivanka his Secretary of Commerce and Child Labor.
Okay? Now it’s your turn.
HOW TO PLAY
Let yourself go, players. Submit your ideas about what the Republicans will be saying in four years.
The winning entry will be selected by me as soon as I get around to it. I’ll treat the winner to a specialty drink at Soma Coffee on a Saturday morning of my choosing.
Simply go up to the top left hand corner of this page, click the Leave a Comment link…
… and then type in your entry. It can be a simple slogan, a paranoid accusation, or a drawn-out dystopian scenario. In any case, don’t let logic, reason, or restraint hamper you — after all, the Republicans never do!