The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Old Crow and "Wagon Wheel" Keep on Rolling

It seems to me I'm always the last to hear about these things. I'm sad to say that one of my favorite groups is "evolving."

Old Crow Medicine Show is the group and the changes occurred in January and February of this year. Original band member Chris "Critter" Fuqua rejoined the group in January after a few years off (first to rehab from alcohol and second to pursue a college degree) while Willie Watson left the group shortly after that to pursue a solo career in LA.

That's "Critter" sitting down with the banjo.

I'm glad to see Fuqua back but I hate to see Willie leave. This is Willie (in the red flannel shirt) singing lead on one of my favorite "Crow" tunes, "The Next Go 'Round."

Another of my favorite "Crow" tunes is "Wagon Wheel," which has an interesting history. Ketch Secor, fiddler and original founder of the group along with "Critter," explains some of that history on Wiki...
"I heard a Dylan song that was unfinished back in high school and I finished it . . As a serious Bob Dylan fan, I was listening to anything he had put on tape, and this was an outtake of something he had mumbled out on one of those tapes. I sang it all around the country from about 17 to 26, before I ever even thought, 'oh I better look into this."
Secor eventually resolved the issue.
Secor and Dylan signed a co-writing agreement, and share copyright on the song; agreeing to a "50-50 split in authorship."[
Here's "Wagon Wheel," now officially a Secor/Dylan composition.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Night Moods

Here's a couple of "night" songs I've been listening to lately. First, Merle, with "Listening to the Wind."

I think I probably like the old Jim Reeves version of the next song best, but there's something haunting about Isaak's version. Take a look at the lyrics while this one is playing. It's a bit jarring to see the words there, how simple they are.

If there's a writing aesthetic I aspire to, it's this one: simple is best. (Alas, aspiration doesn't always lead to achievement.) Still, it's true--simple words can convey complexity, probably better than the complex (polysyllabic, etc.) ones.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pissed Matthews

Sometimes Chris Matthews really gets me stoked. After Monday night's debate he went off on a rant about how Romney's supporters, especially those in the South, are racists plain and simple. They're out to get the President because of the color of his skin. From Hot Air,

I think they hate Obama...And we can go into that about the white working class in the South and looking at these numbers were getting the last couple of days about racial hatred in many cases...they want to get rid of this president.
I'm from the South, I'm white, and even though I worked as a "professional," my average annual earnings would put me solidly in the category of the "working class" he derides.

There's a history in the old South about insults like this leading to duels. I oppose Obama for numerous reasons that have nothing to do with his race; therefore, I consider Matthews' remarks insulting, but I'm not going to challenge him to a duel. I am, however, going to dip him into some extra hot, Southern satire barbeque sauce.


His name is now Pissed Matthews, not Chris, to protect the guilty, and he works for MSNBS (Maximum Socialist National Broadcasting Service). These are the same names I used in my satire, Ken Tool, or Obamaism.

And the scene is this. Pissed Matthews is bummed out after his recent TV appearance where he labeled supporters of Romney racists. His confused feelings of anger and remorse are choking him. He has just parked his car in his Psychiatrist's parking lot. As he gets out he's accosted by two men who demand his wallet.

Mugger 1: Gimme you wallet.

Pissed: Hey, relax, no problem. Everything's cool. I voted for Obama. (Hands over his wallet.) You're probably from a poverty stricken background and you've both got kids to...

Mugger 1: Shut up honkie, you so white you look like you dipped in flour.

Pissed: So you wanna play hardball then? Okay, let me tell you what I've done to help people like you. All my life I've been trying...

Mugger 1 (slapping him): I done tole you to shut your mouth, Mr. Doughnut.

Mugger 2: I think I see you before. You a big TV star, huh? I see you once flippin' channels.

Mugger 1: Where's all your cash? You ain't got no cash? Driving a fine Mercedes like that? Come on Mother Trucker, where you money?

Pissed: I don't carry cash, Man. But...

Mugger 2: Gimme dem keys den, you racist dougboy.

Pissed: What? I love black people. I'm not a racist! My Nannie was a black woman. You can't call me that name. I love black people. I'm a liberal journalist and I'm immune. I'm not a racist. I love black people. I've spent my life...

Mugger 2: Shut you pie hole. You white. You racist. That what I heard said on TV. All whites racist. Blacks can't be racist. Just whites. Gimme you keys to dat Mercedes.

Pissed: No Man, I can't give you my car. It's my Mercedes. I worked hard for that car.

Mugger 1: I workin' hard too, right now. I earning this car. It mine now.

Pissed: Hey man. Put me down. Look, don't do this. I can hook you up with Rachel or Tazereen. I can...

Mugger 1 grabs Pissed's arms and holds him while Mugger 2 removes the keys from Pissed's pocket. Muggers 1 and 2 lift Pissed up high and throw him into the dumpster. When Pissed crawls out they are gone and so is his car. He brushes some debris off his jacket and walks dejectedly into the building where his psychiatrist has an office.

Dr. Gallop (as Pissed enters): What's that smell?

Pissed (removing a piece of lettuce from his head): You're wasting my time and money Gallop. And I suspect you're an in the closet, Romney loving racist.

Dr. Gallop: I diagnosed your issues the first day. But you just ignore me.

Pissed: I think you watch Fox news too. Probably O'Reilly, Mannity, Greta. You're full of that conservative propaganda and it's keeping you from diagnosing my problems. I need some caffeine. You got coffee in this two bit office?

Dr. Gallop: Coffee is the last thing you need. And I don't need to be a psychiatrist to diagnose your problem. It's clear to everyone. You're projecting. You have these racist feelings and you direct them outwards to conservatives.

Pissed: Look, I don't work at no movie theater. I'm a TV News star. A freaking journalist.

Dr. Gallop (punches his intercom): Shirley, get security down here. I want Mr. Matthews removed from the office. What's that? Good. (to Pissed) She already called them; they're in the outer office.

The two muggers, now wearing security uniforms, burst into the doctor's office. They grab Pissed and escort him towards the door.

Pissed (yelling maniacally): I love black people. I'm not racist. My favorite actors are Haille Berry and Denzell Washington. I like rap music. I love all black people. Obama is a god.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Read Chapters 1-4 of "Ken Tool or Obamaism"

Take a look at the first four chapters of Ken Tool or Obamaism. Only $0.99 on Kindle or Nook.
2008: How Ken Tool Learned Obamaism

Once there was a handsome but somewhat naïve young man named Ken Tool who lived in the opulent mansion of liberal and incomprehensibly wealthy US Senator Uboros Tool. The Tools resided in the village of Beverly Hills, in the marvelously liberal state of California, which, thanks to powerful state unions, environmental fanatics, and free spending Progressive policies, was almost bankrupt.

Ken’s tutor, renowned Berkeley political scholar Marx Pan-gas, instructed him thoroughly in all of the complex, irrefutable, and frequently paradoxical theories of Progressivism, and its new champion, Barack Obama. Professor Pan-gas, 45, was an excitable man with big ears, Lennon spectacles, a happy grin, and a graying pony tail.

As a clinching argument for accepting Obama’s brand of Progressivism, Dr. Pan-gas told Ken that almost all the big movie and TV stars loved super cool Obama and believed in his redistributionist ideas. “Become a Progressive Technocrat,” said Pan-gas, “and you’ll lead a glamorous life like mine. One day you might even get to meet Sean Peen and Stupi Goldburger at a party as I once did.”

The Professor also told Ken that there was a SECRET TRUTH at the heart of Obama’s Progressivism that he would reveal to Ken in due time. On the day Ken completed his Ph. D., he asked his tutor if he could at last learn the secret truth. “Patience, young Grasshopper,” said Pan-gas. “You are not yet ready.”

For the first ten months of 2008, Ken Tool worked tirelessly in the Obama campaign. Ken did everything from heckling Hillary Clinton at her rallies in the primaries to putting up posters in useless flyover red states to making fundraising speeches to hundreds of wealthy elitist donors in important blue states. When it came to Obama devotion, his coworkers said Ken was the Main Tool.

How Ken Tried to Impress the Girl Next Door, Vaginia King

The sunset was beautiful on the Pacific ocean on election day in 2008, and the warm California breeze tousled his thick black hair. Ken Tool was happy. Very happy. He was riding beside the “girl next door,” sexy and fantastically tanned Vaginia King, who was driving her purple Bentley convertible with its custom 24K gold trimmed top tucked away neatly under the white leather tonneau.

In spite of the fact that the Tools had been well established for four generations and the Kings were new money Progressives (her father owned all the Zombieburger fast food restaurants in the USA), the gorgeously blonde Vaginia had always treated Ken scornfully and rejected his advances.

Ken Tool’s private tutor and confidant, Professor Pan-gas lounged in the back seat of the Bentley. “Ken, you’re in a very good mood,” said the Professor. “Could that be because the early returns from the East coast indicate that Obama will win?”

Senator Uborus Tool, Ken’s grandfather and guardian, had planned a huge party that night to celebrate Obama’s victory and to announce Ken’s candidacy for congress in 2010. “Obama’s victory will ensure our celebration’s success. I’m very happy for Obama and ready to begin my own campaign, but that’s only part of my joy,” said Ken.

“Perhaps your Mother called and told you she will be at the celebration?” said Pan-gas.

“No, I suppose she’s busy with the magazine.” Ken’s mother, Moonbat Tool, 48, now a lesbian, was the Senator’s daughter. Moonbat was editor of Only Women, the radical feminist magazine that advocated complete female domination in all spheres. One key philosophical position Moonbat advocated was not speaking to any male, which logically included forgoing any kind of communication with her son. Ken hadn’t heard his mother’s voice since he was twelve, eighteen years ago.

As for who his father was, no one supposedly knew; his mother never spoke to Ken about anything at all and the Senator professed ignorance and told him some things were best left alone.

“Could your exuberance,” said Pan-gas smiling, “be because getting your Ph. D. from Berkeley in political science is finally sinking in?”

Ken laughed. “No, I think I understood the importance of that in August when I received the degree. And thanks to your help, I also won all of those prestigious Berkeley awards.” Ken glanced hopefully at the stunning Vaginia.

“Ken won the ‘Jimmy Carter Anti-terrorism Ribbon,’” said Pan-gas to Vaginia, picking up on Ken’s hint, “the ‘Gore Vidal Composition Crest,’ the ‘Michael Dukakis Tank License Certificate,’ the ‘Ted Kennedy Water Rescue Medal,’ the ‘Reverend Jeremiah Wright Goddamn America Cup,’ the ‘Bill Ayers Weatherman Bomb Making Plaque,’ and the coveted ‘Saul Alinsky Community Disintegration Trophy.’ We’re all very proud of him.”

Vaginia yawned and rolled her blue eyes.

“Hmmm,” said Pan-gas, deciding to try another strategy. “My dear young lady, you should be aware that Ken is a high ranking member of WALNUT, the World Alliance of National Union Transformers, a Progressive political group that is slowly changing the country. Besides Ken, myself, many other academics, and various minorities, President Obama and everyone in his administration are WALNUT members.”

“Whatever,” said Vaginia.

“Ken,” whispered the Professor, “tell her about the WALNUT agenda.

“Our organization is all about organized stealth,” said Ken, trying to make the group sound as dramatic and dangerous as possible. “We WALNUTS in the educated elite are like political Ninjas; we provide logistical support to local Progressives on issues like Political Correctness, Multi-culturalism, Affordable Health Care, Racial and Sexual Identity, and Protecting the Environment.”

“These ideas are helping to move us to a humongous socialist state,” said the Professor, “which will be controlled by educated elite technocrats such as ourselves.” 

Vaginia ignored their comments and focused on the road ahead.

The Professor decided to return to his original speculation, this time stroking Vaginia’s ego in the process. “Ahhh, Ken, does your bliss derive from the fact that you’re riding in the only purple Bentley in L. A. beside the most beautiful blonde in Beverly Hills who just happens to be the ‘girl next door?’”

Ken blushed.

Vaginia looked at them sharply. “I tole bof of you honkies I was already 2Killer’s ho,” she said. “Keep messin’ wid me and 2Killer put a cap up yore asses.”

Hearing Vaginia talk in that hip African American Rapperspeak always pained Ken, but he understood how her strong feelings for society’s victims could turn to love or sexual attraction for one of them. Vaginia had met the wannabe rapper 2Killer Jones at Tupac Shakur Memorial Community College in Long Beach. They were in their sixth year at the school now, majoring in Political Rap Eubonics, and hoped to graduate next year.

“Vaginia is spectacular and I idolize her,” Ken said to Pan-gas, “but, as you can see, she’s always scorned me. So, I need something to make her sit up and take notice of me. Something that will prove to her that I am somebody. Am I right Vaginia?” She smirked at him. “Well,” he continued, “tonight my grandfather will announce my candidacy for congress and I will reveal something else, something personal that will make me a star in everybody’s eyes, including Vaginia.”

“Yeah, like any shit a white boy like you be peddlin’ gonna hep you get me,” said Vaginia venomously. “Ima only drivin’ you to this party ‘cause Daddy make me.”

“Vaginia,” said Ken, “have you forgotten that you’re white like me?” She rolled her eyes at him and shook her head like he just didn’t get it. He didn’t.

The professor suddenly leaned forward in his seat. “Ken, does your unparalleled joy have anything to do with that well dressed but dangerous looking black man I’ve seen you talking to in your office lately,” he asked, “that investigator fellow named Martin Bobo?”

“I’ll plead the 5th amendment on that one,” said Ken, feeling his mood lift again.

“What’s he doing for you, what’s he found out?” said the Professor.

“You’ll see,” said Ken confidently. “I’m announcing it at the victory celebration.

Why Ken Revealed the Name of His Father, Ted Nugget

Since Senator Tool, Ken’s grandfather, was a true Progressive and hated any overt displays of patriotism, he eschewed silly provincial displays of the flag or other American symbols.

Senator Tool felt the United States was far too powerful and that its wealth--except for all those funds controlled by Progressives--should be redistributed to the rest of the world; to that end he had sponsored several bills designed to relinquish the sovereignty of the United States to the United Nations and to hugely expand foreign aid to poorer nations, especially those who were Islamist or in other ways indicated their animosity to the US. And, old allies be damned, he also sponsored bills meant to force Israel to cede all its territory to the Palestinians.

It was fitting then that the one hundred huge columns that surrounded the grand ballroom of the hotel were draped with alternating banners and posters of Obama, Senator Tool himself, and pro Palestinian Hamas/Fatah leaders and their anti-Semitic slogans. The floor of the ballroom was littered with pale blue balloons with United Nations logos on them and blue and white confetti, all dropped earlier from the gilded ceiling when Obama made his televised victory speech.

The crowd, well over a thousand elitist politicos and Progressive movie stars, was still excited after Obama’s speech which was shown on the giant screen behind the podium. Senator Tool, a polished and distinguished looking man in his late sixties, concluded his own rousing follow-up speech by introducing his grandson.

“And now, after this great Obama victory, I have an important announcement to make. As most of you know, my beloved daughter’s son, Ken, just finished his Ph. D. in political science at Berkeley.” The crowd applauded and cheered. “I’m happy to announce that Ken will continue the Tool tradition of public service; he is forming an exploratory committee to consider a run for congress in Arkansas.”

The crowd stood and cheered again. “Now I know how most of us laid back California Progressives feel about the hog state, Arkansas. But as champions of diversity and tolerance, we can rise above that natural sense of distaste for hillbillies and rednecks as we did with the remarkable Bill Clinton.” The crowd’s cheer this time was somewhat muted, probably because of Hillary’s dogged fight against Obama.

“Ken has spent many summers there in Buttface, Arkansas, at our lake cottage,” the senator continued, “and he has many friends in the district. I’m sure that when the mid term elections roll around in 2010, Ken will join President Obama in Washington, and we can proceed to redefine and remake America more along the lines of those European nations we so admire!” The crowd roared. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ken Tool.”

As more blue and white confetti fell, Ken stood at the podium looking out at the cheering crowd. He saw the much admired documentarian, Michael S’Mores standing beside action star Mutt Damon. And over there to Damon’s left, by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was Jeanne Garofoolo, the rather plain looking but politically astute actress who’d helped Ken lose his virginity when he was only fourteen. But that was before Vaginia King had moved in next door. Since then he’d vowed to remain chaste until he could marry Vaginia.

Both Garofoolo and Pelosi were talking to comedienne Sarah Silvermensch who wore a Vera Bong designer bridle and bit in her mouth to emphasize her often self-referenced horselike facial features.

Because a real celebrity was involved, and a rock ‘n roller at that, Ken was sure that what he was about to reveal would certainly impress Vaginia. And, since his grandfather was a tolerant Progressive and always open to the truth, it would impress him too. It would impress all his friends and help lay a foundation for his Arkansas campaign. Ken also hoped that it could help him reestablish communication with his radical lesbian mother Moonbat Tool.

“Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Democrats, Socialist comrades, our partners in the Media, and friends,” said Ken, who took great pride in his ability to utilize the well known “crescendo” oratorical device effectively. “Thank you for your enthusiasm and support. I’m so very happy to be here on this night to celebrate with you the victory of our great and magnificent new champion, the embodiment of all our collective dreams and desires, the final glorious result of the Progressive fight for tolerance and racial equality, the apex of American diversity and multiculturalism, the hope of America, the first really cool president, the One who will lead us into the new Progressive era…Barack Obama!”

Ken was pleased as the crowd went wild and the applause and cheering continued for almost five minutes. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his grandfather, Senator Tool, smiling proudly. As he scanned the audience, he saw Michael S’Mores embrace and kiss Mutt Damon, bending him backward like the famous Times Square sailor kiss after World War II ended. Garofoolo, Silvermensch, and Pelosi were so excited they dropped to the floor and attempted the rare and blatantly lesbian, triple scissoring move.

“I also want to share something important with you tonight,” said Ken when the applause and cheering finally stopped. “Just as our new champion Barack Obama wants us to discover the true identity of America as a socialist, statist, government controlled paradise, we often must find our own personal identity before we’re able to make our mark on the world. Tonight, my friends, for the first time in my life, I know who I am. Of course, I’m a generous liberal, a tolerant Progressive, a life long Democrat, a committed socialist, an academic Marxist, and of course, most important of all, I’m a Tool.” Ken paused and took a deep breath. “But part of my identity has been incomplete since I never knew who my father was.”

The crowd grew hushed, silent. Professor Pan-gas was staring at him. Vaginia was actually paying attention. But Senator Tool’s mouth was open and he was shaking his head slowly in disbelief.

Ken pushed on. “After a long and painful search, and with the assistance of my friend, special investigator Martin Bobo, I’ve finally discovered who my biological father is.”The crowd gasped. Senator Tool collapsed to his knees but was pulled back upright by his aides. “My father is a celebrity,” Ken continued, “like many of you. He’s a rock star, quite well known as I understand it.”

Ken chuckled. “My life has been spent mainly in academia so I don’t know much about him, but I finally know his name. Before I say his name, I want to say this to my mother, Moonbat Tool. Wherever you are tonight, I love you Mom. I know you’re a lesbian now, and I respect that. But I’m glad that when you were young you were hetero for awhile. And I’m glad that you went to that concert. And that you really did, as that song by the Goldfinger group says, F-T-N!” The crowd gasped in unison. “Yes, my father is a rock musician. His name is TED NUGGET!”

A groan of revulsion arose from the audience and turned into a raucous chorus of boos.

Ken didn’t understand. Why were they not happy for him? Why were they shouting angrily at him—“F*** you Tool. And f*** Nugget too!”

Damon and S’Mores simultaneously gave him the finger and the Bronx cheer. As he watched, Garofoolo threw up on Pelosi’s white gown and Silvermensch neighed loudly, pulled her pants down, bared her butt and gave him a full moon.

Senator Tool finally recovered sufficiently to make his way to the podium. He pushed Ken Tool aside and spoke into the microphone

“I apologize to all of you for this disgusting display of ignorance and naiveté.” He turned to Ken. “To make this vile statement tonight of all nights, to sully the purity of Obama’s ascension is sickening to me and to all those present.”

“But grandfather,” protested Ken, “what about Progressive tolerance and openness to diversity and differences of opinion?”

“Shut up you sniveling ingrate. To show you and everyone here the depth of my anger at your revelation, let me publicly say this. You are no longer my grandson, Ken Tool. You are banished forever from the family.” The crowd gasped and then began to applaud.

“Your mother will never speak to you again,” said the senator sternly. “nor will I or anyone I’m associated with.”

“But Mother Moonbat hasn’t spoken to me since I was twelve,” said Ken.

“Shut up, I’m just getting started here. Your membership in the WALNUT organization is hereby cancelled. And forget about the congressional run in Arkansas. I won’t support you. I’m also closing all your bank accounts and taking your Lamborghini too.”

The senator paused and looked daggers at Professor Pan-gas. “I’m not sure, but I suspect your tutor, that bumbling idiot academic Marx Pan-gas standing there had something to do with your abominable and unforgivable behavior. Professor, you’re fired.”

Senator Tool then turned his heated gaze on Vaginia. “Or maybe it was the influence of our crude trailer trash neighbors the Kings and their whorey daughter, Vaginia. Vaginia, you and your family of fast food Zombieburger nouveau riche yokels are banished from Tool society. You won’t be welcome anymore at any Tool events. Now, all of you get off this stage, and get out of my sight. Take them away!” Senator Tool gestured to his security team who sprang into action.

As one of the burly security guards dragged Ken and Vaginia offstage, she hissed through her teeth at Ken and snarled, “Ken Tool, you stupid asshole. You’ve ruined everything for me and my family. 2Killer may even drop me. I hope you rot in Hell.”
Ken didn’t like what she said, but at least she didn’t say it in Rapperspeak.

How Ken Was Kidnapped by the California Green Militia

Senator Tool’s security guards threw Ken, the Professor and Vaginia out on the sidewalk at the side entrance of the Hotel. Ken brushed some of the confetti off his sleeve. “What just happened?” he said. “Why did the senator kick me out of the family? I thought Progressives were tolerant and appreciated diversity. I thought he would want to know the truth about my father.”

“I think I was falsely accused of corrupting you,” said the Professor. “But that investigator Martin Bobo is the guilty party. I warned you about trusting conservatives like him.”

“I’m sorry, Dr. Pan-gas. But I just don’t understand my grandfather. What he’s done to me contradicts everything Progressives believe in.”

“No, no. You have to understand that contradiction is a basic part of our liberal mindset,” said Pan-gas. “We often hold contradictory views at the same time. For example, we say we’re for economic progress and more jobs but we necessarily have to kill that impulse with environmental regulations on oil exploration and a complete shutdown of energy derived from coal.”

“But I….” 

“And Ken, you have to realize, this news about your father will not benefit your grandfather, Senator Tool. Remember, he has another election in two years. Being in any way connected to the gun and hunting fanatic Ted Nugget would be bad for him. This is California, after all.”

“I gotta say, I always been thinkin’ Ted was kinda hot,” said Vaginia. “But I still mad.”

“It’s good that you think my father is sexy, Vaginia,” said Ken. “I think I look like his pictures and maybe…Wait a minute, Professor, you mean besides being a rock star, my biological father is an animal killer?” said Ken.

“I’m afraid so,” said the Professor. “And he’s a rabid conservative!”

“Oh, no,” said Ken, “how depressing. I’m beginning to understand the Senator’s anger. 
But still, he’s my grandfather; I should be able to count on his support. This kind of thing can be very destructive to an individual’s self esteem.”

“Remember, to a true Progressive, politics always trumps family loyalty. Don’t despair. As for your destructive complaint, remember, ‘no pain, no gain.'”

“You’re right. I will not give in to despair. I am still a Tool no matter what my grandfather says. And I will continue to work for President Obama and try to further the cause of Progressivism.” He pushed himself up off of the hard concrete and brushed the confetti off his slacks and sport coat. “Professor, don’t you think that after all this I’m ready for the SECRET at the heart of Obama’s Progressivism?”

“Be patient, Ken,” said Pan-gas. “I will tell you when the time is right.”

Just then, Ken felt a tremendous pounding on his chest as a customized, low slung, metallic blue, pimp ride Gigantic Motors Cascade SUV pulled up to the curb.

“Oh it’s 2Killer,” said Vaginia standing up, “I know dem loud speakers anywhere. I’s so happy he be here. He’s gonna punch yo face, white boy.”

2Killer emerged from the car slowly. As he walked toward them, Ken noticed that the large fat black man was weighted down by gold bling. 2Killer had on a shiny silver jumpsuit and wore thick gold bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, every kind of jewelry imaginable.

“Hey Vaginia, my main ho, whazzup? These honkies botherin’ you?”

“I want you to whip Ken Tool’s ass,” said Vaginia, “and his friend, Professor Pan-gas too.”

“Wait a minute,” said the Professor as he eyed the enormous black man, “I had nothing to do with this. It was all Ken’s fault.”

“Professor,” said Ken, “I can’t believe you said that.”

But before 2Killer could act on Vaginia’s command, twenty masked figures emerged from the shadows beside the hotel. As they came into view, Ken saw that they were both male and female and wore skin tight green leotards, and green and purple billowy silk blouses with the letters CGM in glowing chartreuse. They also wore glittering red masks dotted with rhinestones and similarly ornamented red combat boots. Eleven of the figures were very muscular, well built men, the rest were shapely women.

“What’s going on? Who are you,” asked Ken.

“Never mind who we are,” said one of the men stepping forward. “You’re guilty of rape.”

“What?” said Ken.

“You just raped Gaia, Mother Earth. You soiled Her beauty with those polluting fragments of confetti. And all of your accomplices are guilty too for not stopping you.”

“I just brushed myself off,” said Ken. “I’m not a rapist. Your accusations are quite extreme.”

“Hold on just a minute Mr. Fancy Pants,” said 2Killer to the man. “I ain’t guilty of nothin’ either, ‘cept pickin’ up my bitch here. Mess wid me I put a cap in you ass.”

“What is your organization,” said the Professor, “what do you stand for?”

“We’re the California Green Militia, a unit of the California Environmental Protection Agency, union employees of the great Golden State. And I’m Admiral Begley Watson. By the way, we designed and made our own uniforms. Aren’t they just fantastic?”

“They’re very attractive,” said Ken.

“Beautiful colors and fabrics,” said Pan-gas.

“I gotta get me some dem red boots,” said 2Killer.

“Excuse us momentarily while I confer with my staff officers,” said Admiral Watson.

“Let’s take ‘em all to one of our state funded community college re-education centers,” said one of the women, grabbing 2Killer’s sleeve.

“Take you hands offen me,” said 2Killer pulling a big .45 out of his pants. “I ain’t shot a bitch since this morning, so I’m feelin’ a little gun horny.”

“Patience brother,” said the Admiral. “You’re not in danger. Our Progressive diversity rules point out that blacks and Muslims are protected victims, and cannot be culpable for any actions they take, and may not be compelled to do anything. Besides, that’s a chrome plated .45 you’re holding.”

“Damn straight,” said 2Killer.

“Okay,” said the woman. “We’ll let him go. But the others must be educated.”

“He clearly indicated that the woman was his ho,” said another woman, “what about her rights as a woman? Shouldn’t we intervene?”

“Black always trumps feminism on the victim scale,” said one of the men. “That’s why we supported Obama over Hillary even though he trashed and abused her. Besides, that’s a very BIG gun he’s holding. Ergo, she’s his woman.”

“Okay, we’ll just take Ken Tool and the Professor,” said Admiral Watson. “You’re free to go, my black brother. And you too,” he said to Vaginia.

“We be lookin’ for you fool,” said Vaginia to Ken. “I can’t believe you announced to everybody that you Daddy is Ted Nugget, even if he is hot. You ruined everything for my Daddy and Mama.”

“We find you ass later,” said 2Killer. He picked up Vagina and threw her over his shoulder like a sack of feed. He moved off slowly towards his ride.

“Where are you taking us?” said Ken to Admiral Watson.

“We know who you are, Ken Tool. We were watching from the back of the crowd as your grandfather exiled you. But you will be very useful to us. We know you are a brilliant Berkeley graduate who won the coveted Bill Ayers Bomb Making Certificate and you’re going on a mission with us.”

“A mission?”

“First you must sign this document.”

“Be careful about what you sign,” said Pan-gas. “You could be committing to Big Oil or some evil corporation.

“Big Oil! Sir, how dare you! This document is simply a loyalty oath to Gaia, Mother Earth. It also states that you will support any all actions taken by the California Green Militia as we resist the enemies of Gaia. Since you live in California, aren’t you both good contemporary Democrats who understand the Progressive cause?”

“Of course,” said Ken and the Professor.

“Do you support our great newly elected chief Progressive and Main Environmentalist Dude, the President of Cool, Barack Obama?”

“Yes, yes!” they said.

“Then sign the document now!”

Ken and the Professor eagerly signed the document. They were immediately handcuffed and separated. The Professor was given an injection in his buttocks and then taken away into the darkness. Ken was thrown headfirst into a large green van.

Read the rest of Ken Tool or Obamaism--click a link below.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

13 Year Old Grades Presidential Candidates

Sometimes, kids can surprise you with their mastery of facts, insights and skills. Watch Jenny as she clearly explains her grades for the two presidential candidates. Amazing!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

On First Looking into Sinatra's "Home on the Range"

It's the weekend and we're a little tired of politics here at the Post. I haven't posted a youtube music vid in a while either and I've got a couple that blew me away when I first heard them.

I've always enjoyed the simple old western/cowboy songs like "Home on the Range," but I never have heard "Home" sung the way this guy did it way back in 1946 when I was a first grader. I'm pretty sure I didn't hear it then or I'd have remembered it.

 (1947 photo, William Gottlieb)

Hearing this now, in the present, I felt a little like the speaker in John Keats' lyric poem, "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," where he describes his amazement at reading the Chapman translation of the great Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
    When a new planet swims into his ken...

It may be a little over the top and some will be dismayed that I compare my reaction to a Frank Sinatra song to Keats' response to a famous translation of Homer. But listen carefully to Sinatra's rendition of this song and I think you'll agree that it's pretty amazing. Young "Blue Eyes" was at the top of his form.

And here's another nice one, The Sons of the Pioneers with "Montana." The lyric speaks of the bond that can grow between a man and his home state. People these days are much more mobile and cynical about such things, but there are still some of us around who feel those "ties that bind."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Candy Crudley and the Presidential Rasslin' Debate

The crowd is noisy and rambunctious, pushing and shoving as they try to get closer to the announcer and his guest, but the tight security ring of ex rasslers is more than up to the task of holding them back. The two big TV scoop lights suddenly light up and the jostling crowd cheers, knowing they're about to hear their favorite World Rasslin' Federation announcer do his thing.

Nelson: Hey out there in TV land, this is your favorite World Rasslin' Federation announcer, Twisted Half Nelson, reporting live from inside the Hufstra University arena where history was made tonight. Although Hufstra is another academic hive of progressivism and is located in one of the most Democratic states in the union, the arrangement committee did an excellent job in providing a neutral venue and objectively screening the audience.

This was the second match between the two contenders for the title and in the first one, Romney the Bain Bone Breaker came to fight and mopped the floor with the champ who looked tired, flat, and according to some observers a little hung over. But that fight is history now and so is tonight's second match which will go down in the books as one of the greatest.

As everyone who's anyone knows, tonight's battle royale featured the two main dudes of the fast growing Political Rasslin' category. First, the challenger who stood tall in the right corner...the Mr. Clean of the GOP...the Bain Bone Breaker...the take no prisoners Mormon Monster...Mitt "the man with the plan" Romney.

And in the left hero, the staunch defender of the 47 percent, the man who stopped the oceans in their tracks, the Solyndra Kid, the holder of the only 5th degree apology belt ever awarded, the chosen One, the magnificent O, the current US champeen, Barack "Mr. Food Stamp" Oooobaaaammmmaaa!

I'm here at ringside with Candy "Big Mama Prog" Crudley, former rassler extraordinaire herself in the heavyweight ladies circuit, and the referee in tonight's match. Candy, let me first congratulate you on a job well done. The questions you chose from the fans were very nicely masked setups for the champ.

Crudley: Thanks, Nelson, that means a lot coming from you.

Nelson: But, Candy, I gotta ask. What made you rip of your stripes and join in the fray? I mean one minute you were hiding your bias and playing that objective referee role to a "T" and the next minute you had torn off your striped referee shirt to reveal that very familiar Big Mama Prog golden bra and then you rushed into the ring yourself to flatten Romney with a full body dive. I mean what happened there?

Crudley: Well Nelson, I just couldn't stand by and watch O go down again. I mean the current champ's lost a lotta weight, he's lookin' a little scrawny even, and he just looked so pitiful in that first debate, and what with the pressures of bein' the champ weighin' on him and all, and then seein' him take that Benghazi shot to the jaw, seein' him stumble back, I just knew he was gonna go down. He's weak on defending that, we all know, I mean O and his team spent the two weeks after the attack blaming it on the movie and trying to discredit the idea it was a terror attack. And I dunno, Nelson, I think my long buried maternal instincts just kicked in. It was illegal I know and I was wrong but I had to step in and help the poor little thing.

The crowd cheers and begins to chant "Four more years..." over and over. Finally the security rasslers restore order.

Nelson: Candy, I guess you can tell the crowd is happy with your decision to intervene.

Crudley (smiling broadly): Oh yeah, I knew I'd have them with me.

Nelson: Do you think it helped turn the match in Obama's favor?

Crudley: Well, the media judges were gonna give it to Obama no matter what tonight but I think my action turned it into a sure thing. You know, when I hit Romney, I could tell how hard and muscled up this guy is. I usually can just run an opponent over with no resistance. But when I hit him, I stopped cold. Sure he went back a couple of steps, but he didn't go down. So, I'm very happy I did what I did. Hey, whatta ya say, the champ's back. I think he's gonna win this thing now.

Nelson:  There you have it rasslin' fans. A history making match...Obama wins in a squeaker... thanks to a big chunk of Candy Crudley, the ref who made a difference.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Marriage/Varriage Proposal

The institution of marriage (the religious or socially sanctioned union between a woman and a man)  apparently existed before the beginning of recorded history. It's also safe to say that many religious ceremonies have used the term in this sense for ages.
The concept of gay marriage, however, goes against that long tradition, and therefore many people oppose it. In my opinion, it's not necessarily the union of two like gender people that upsets many people, or the fact that gay couples somehow don't deserve the rights and privileges associated with traditional marriage. Well, maybe some people might object to it on those grounds, or religious grounds, but not me.

I think the problem is the word "marriage" itself. "Marriage" is of course associated with that long lived traditional definition. That definition is fixed tightly to the old word and it interferes with the acceptance of the idea of a gay union being a "marriage" as most people understand it. I've heard several traditionally married couples say, "Our union is not the same as a gay union, it's different, and should not be classified in the same way."

I propose then, that we don't change how we use the word "marriage," that we keep using it the same way.

But I also propose that we simply create a new word for gays and for other variant unions that carries exactly the same civil rights and privileges afforded a male/female union. If you're gay and reading this, don't be upset with the word "variant." Here's what the Free Online Dictionary says about this word:

1. Having or exhibiting variation; differing.
2. Tending or liable to vary; variable.
3. Deviating from a standard, usually by only a slight difference.

A gay union is unquestionably different from a traditional marriage, it varies from that concept in that the sex of the partners is the same. But I want gay couple and other non traditional unions to enjoy the same rights and privileges as a married man and woman.

So, using the word "variant" as a neutral guide, I propose then, that for all other kinds of unions (e.g. male and male, female and female, three people of varying or the same sex, etc.) we use the new word "varriage."

In summary, when a man and a woman have a socially and religiously accepted union, we still call it a marriage. And, in all other cases, when like gender couples or other variant combinations have a socially and religiously accepted union, we use the new term "varriage."

(Some will object to my use of the word "religiously" in the previous sentence because many religions and some Christian denominations denounce gay unions; but a few Christian denominations already accept gay marriage; therefore my use of the word is not completely inaccurate here.) 

As I said earlier, both unions--a varriage or a marriage--would enjoy the same rights and privileges. The only change I'm proposing is that the word "marriage" itself be slightly altered, varied if you will, so as to linguistically note the distinction and make the terms involved more precise. We will call traditional male/female couples married...other unions will be varried.

And should we take this to the next level? Should the term "vedding" be used to describe a varriage ceremony?

I realize I'm probably stepping into something here, but what's your view?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Walk in the Park and a Visit to the Cemetery

1. Back in September, Joyce and I started going down to the local park for a brisk walk. We'd been promising ourselves for sometime that we would do this and we finally made good on the promise. Our community park is a really nice one, with lots of trees, picnic tables, little league baseball and kids football fields, and a huge array of paved walking trails. There's even a replica of the log fort the earliest settlers to our area built. And the restored Bowen Campbell House (1787) still stands at the center of the park.

The main walking trail runs along beside Mansker Creek for awhile and you can see and hear the moving water as you walk or run. The trails are all nicely paved now, but back in the day, they were cinders which was nice from an impact perspective, but dirty on shoes and car carpets. I think the park opened some time in the mid '70s; I know we've been going down there since 1978.

From '78 to about '83 we both exercised regularly and I ran in some 10ks and a couple of marathons. I'm a plodder but it was fun and good for me... I think. (My back problems today could possibly have something to do with all that running in my late '30s and early '40s. But I don't regret it.)

At first I didn't keep any records, but we were walking down to the 1/2 mile marker and returning (one mile total, if my out of date math skills still work). Joyce's recent bout with diverticulitus has stopped her for awhile, but she's urged me to keep going.

I'm now keeping records (I found that back when I ran, if I logged my daily efforts, it helped keep me honest and on track) and I'm up to two miles (approx. 35 minutes) four days a week for a total of eight miles. I plan to get that up to about 12-15 miles and then maintain it. I've been going at it now for a month, at least 4 times a week.

As it did when I ran, most of the time I feel much better after a walk than before. It looses up the muscles and joints and gets the blood pumping. Joyce will be rejoining me as soon as she finishes her recuperation.

2. On Thursday, Joyce and I took a short trip down I-24 and visited her Mom's, Dad's, and younger brother's graves. We hadn't been since her own illness two years ago and she wanted to do a little cleaning and put out some new fall color faux flowers.

It was a gloomy day, not what we'd hoped for, considering the nature of the trip. I wonder if this (regular visits to family graves in the cemetery) is a fading practice. I hope not, because, it is, I think, a valuable ritual. By confronting the resting places of your family loved ones, your memories of them are revisited, plus you're forced to face your own mortality for at least a little while.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. ― John DonneNo Man Is An Island