Life Needs A Laughtrack

A long time ago I was in therapy.  My shrink bore an uncanny resemblance to Frank Sinatra, the singer. (Disco is dead, Frank!)  I asked him his advice about whether or not I should stick it out with my girlfriend.  I still cared deeply about her, and I knew she loved me, but our sex life was on the fritz, proving that history does indeed repeat itself.

He looked at me over his clipboard of notes and said–no, sang:

“It’s up to you, you dork, you dork!” 

_

Have you ever seen that movie Alive!, about the Peruvian soccer team whose plane crashed in the Andes and they had to resort to eating their dead comrades?  According to one of the survivors, during one day of their desperate struggle to hang on, they were approached by a leprechaun.  He danced a merry jig and led them to a burst compartment near the rear of the plane’s fuselage, pointing out a bunch of severed arms among the scattered suitcases and duffel bags.

“What the hell do you expect us to do with those?”  one of the starving men asked.

“Why don’t you eat ’em, you silly bugger?”

They set about doing so, at first recoiling from the frozen meat before them.  But after awhile they found the morsels of human flesh downright savory.

“What can we do to repay you, sir?”

“Nothing a’tall!”  The leprechaun then sang a familiar tune from an old childhood TV commercial:

“Frosted luggage arms–they’re tragically nutritious!”

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Jesus came to me in a dream.

I said, “Jesus?  Is that you?  You look just like Robert DeNiro.””

“Of course it’s me.  And if you don’t pay your monthly tithe when you get up, I’ll break your fucking legs.  Understand?”

_

When I was in college, I had a roommate who avoided cursing out of politeness.  It would have been endearing if he’d been five years old, but I decided to make the most of the situation.

“Gosh, man,” he said, “I had an exam this afternoon and had to miss lunch!”

“How dare you use the Lord’s nickname in vain!”

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You can’t believe everything you read in the papers, can you?  For example, this morning I read the first line of a news story that read:  “Yesterday in the United States a black man was not shot by the police.”

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U.S. Ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert, recovering from his knife wounds at Seoul’s Severance Hospital (actual name–no pun intended), was visited by a Korean man who wanted to aid in his healing with a gift of dog meat.  Lippert, a dog-lover who intrepidly walks his beagle up and down the anarchic streets of Seoul, was magnanimous enough to accept the offer and reciprocated with a roll of Psy toilet paper, along with a Kim Yuna voodoo doll.

American Sniper: Alternative Titles

In an effort to come up with a title for his latest jingoistic, Islamophobic action flick, Clint Eastwood got a lot of suggestions from his script writers before he finally decided to just name the bloody movie after the book it was based on.  Which one of the following rejections do you think he might want to use to launch the director’s cut?

Diddler on the Roof

The Iraqi-Whacker

I Come in Peace

How the West Was Lost

Sniper Rash

I Only Have Ice for You

Lee Harvey Oswald, Eat Your Heart Out

Keep Your Muzzle on the Muslims

From America With Hate

Weapons of Crass Destruction

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Violence Is Golden

Magnum Farce

Tunnel Vision

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Predator Drone!

My Bullets Are Your Bullets

I’m the NRA

More Fun Than a Barrel of Democracy

Legend Shmegend

Peekaboo!  I Slay You

American Psycho 2

The Sight-Seer

Lie Down And Fight Like A Man

Ready?  Aim. . . Expire!

The Accidental Terrorist

Nation-Buildin’

Kyle the Vile

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

My Life’s A Video Game

American Cipher

I’m a little concerned about the title Eastwood went with.  The word sniper has an unpleasant ring to it.  It rhymes with diaper, viper, and wiper.  Snipe is an anagram of penis, which is fitting when you consider firearms as phallic symbols (not that that’s a very nice thing to say about your penis, and I believe you owe it–him?–an apology).

But it’s good to know that after reducing the cradle of civilization to a shambles, the United States still knows how to make a refreshing glass of lemonade in the shape of a Hollywood blockbuster movie, transforming the suffering of millions of innocent people into lucrative entertainment.

(By the way, I apologize for the misanthropic tone of yesterday’s entry.  When I wrote that I crave the attention of people I respect even less than myself, I was only joking about the lack of respect part.  Or half-joking, since it’s true that I find it hard to respect people who build their whole lives around unquestioningly digested falsehoods.

Also, excuse me for getting the name of the Spanish conquistador wrong.  I meant to write Hernando Cortez, not Gregorio (a character in the title of a movie starring–if I’m not mistaken, although I probably am once again–Edward James Olmos, star of Miami Vice and the inspirational feel-good real-life heroic teacher flick Stand And Deliver).  My apologies to any descendants of Cortez who happen to read this blog.

The Triumph Of Absurdity

I don’t know how cold it is where you are, but here in Seoul it’s so cold that the mosquitoes’ teeth are chattering.  Wouldn’t it be cool if mosquitoes could get Dengue fever (please please please say yes)?  That would teach them a lesson in fluent mosquitoese.

In fact, the overall chilliness of the day has made it hard for me to raise my expanding duff from the sofa and go for a brisk walk up the hill.  I’m afraid if I attempted to, I’d be paralyzed by a network of frozen veins.

In my underemployed state over the past several months, at least I’ve managed to get a lot of reading done.  I’ve always been defensive about people who read fast–even though I’ve secretly envied them–but I’m actually becoming a faster reader.  The other day I read Tim O’Brien’s riveting novel In the Lake of the Woods in two days.  Of course, that’s about the only thing I did during that forty-eight hour period, but it was nice to be able to plow through the story uninterrupted.

If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out Matt Taibbi’s The Divide:  American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.  Taibbi’s one of the sharpest American nonfiction writers working today, and he’s also a tenacious and fearless investigative journalist.  The story involves the parallel situation in today’s world, in which parasitic Wall Street investment bankers who bilked U.S. taxpayers out of trillions of dollars, while likewise ruining the lives of countless dupes who invested in shady mortgages in the lead-up to the global financial meltdown in the fall of 2008, have managed to hold onto their omnivorous fortunes while police forces around the country harass, bully, and lock up Black people and Latinos for misdemeanors, making sure their lives remain a living hell.

Take a gander to Rolling Stone‘s website and you can get a taste of what the book has to offer in the form of Matt’s latest article, which touches on the most recent–and conspicuously unpunished– atrocities committed by white cops against Black men.  Author Mark Leyner calls for collective outrage by Whites on his Twitter feed, which would seem to be a good idea, assuming it would do any good.

My own paranoid inclinations lead me to believe that this increasingly aggressive behavior by various members of the U.S. police force is just a litmus test for later aggression to be committed against the population at large–and not just hapless, unarmed Black men.  After all, Hitler victimized gays first because he figured it was a safe bet since homosexuals were all but universally loathed and feared by the rest of the German people, then went on to scapegoat gypsies and, evidently, Jewish people as well.

Why would they do that?  you ask.  Welp, the country’s bound to run out of resources before long, not to mention jobs and places to park your old clunker.

Chris Hedges is another journalistic firebrand who regularly warns his readers in his weekly blog on Truthdig.com that the United States is probably well on its way to becoming a fascist police state.  The Republican Party has certainly evolved into a pathologically rabid bunch, and the Democrats have bent over backwards to castrate themselves on behalf of the GOP, just so none of their intolerant rivals’ feelings get hurt.

Four years ago Hedges wrote a prophetic work that’s a stinging indictment of that amorphous entity in the U.S. who mumblingly refer to themselves as liberals entitled Death of the Liberal Class.  He says that one reason that sagacious social critics such as Noam Chomsky are so demonized by mainstream liberals is that Chomsky calls them on their bullshit, denouncing the likes of David Brooks, Tom Friedman, and other watered-down New York Times op-ed columnists who vehemently extol the status quo in the name of fat paychecks and solid reputations beautifully obtuse and shameless enough in their hypocrisy to make esteemed octogenarian war criminal and seemingly hermaphroditic toad Henry Kissinger drool with envy.

Meanwhile, instead of wearing orange jumpsuits and leg irons and swinging sledgehammers on a chain gang the way they should be, more recent war managers George Bush I and II and Dick Cheney are given further airtime to hawk their idiotic wares, as is Bill Clinton (his speaking fee is 500 grand a pop), who helped fill the prisons with nonviolent criminals with his Draconian three-strikes-you’re-out incarceration policy and heartless gesture in ending “welfare as we know it.”

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the next leader of the United States was. . .

President Ebenezer Scrooge!

Bah humbuggery.