Billionaires in Space

Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos

I find it amusing that two billionaire CEOs have decided to put their lives on the line and fly their own ships into space. First, it was Jeff Bezos of Amazon; then, Richard Branson of the Virgin Group.

Another “billionaire” comes to mind as a good candidate for space travel—even though his orange hair and facial coloring suggests he might himself be a space alien. Just to be sure, we can put him on a ship to Jupiter. You could click here to find out what would happen to Donald J. Trump on the largest planet in our solar system.

Perhaps sending CEOs into outer space would be a good way of thinning the herd. I’m all for that!

Marketing Metastasis

It All Started with Coca Cola

In 1985, the Coca Cola Company came out with New Coke, which never really took off. To recover from their gaffe, they decided to keep the old formula as Coca Cola Classic. In the process, they discovered that taking over more shelf space with other products bearing the Coke logo was a win-win for the Corporation. So now today you can buy Coke with exclusive new chicken liver flavor, with crushed pretzels, with overtones of sulfuric acid, and with extra corn syrup.

At the same time, all the other old brands have similarly metastasized. Ritz Crackers. Doritos. Ocean Spray. Reese’s. Cheez-It. Cheetos. Triscuit. The list goes on and on. Note, however, that the brands involved in multiplying themselves are products with a long shelf life. You can’t achieve the same success with celery, parsley, Gravenstein apples, or dragon fruit.

When I had to buy some Ocean Spray cranberry juice a couple of weeks ago (it’s good if you have a urinary tract infection), I had a hard time find just plain original cranberry juice. Needless to say, I was not swayed by the new Clam*Berry flavor or the one with sauerkraut flavoring added.

I suppose the idea is to make smaller brands scared by the multiplicity of variations—though what happens when you run out of all the popular variants?

Even Trader Joe’s has gotten into the act, with a kind of dill pickle flavored popcorn. It really wasn’t very good.

At some point, a lot of these *NEW* flavors will be duds. Then maybe we won’t be presented with so many weird options.

Tarnmoor’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno as Visualized by Gustave Doré

Of course, Dante Alighieri was the first poet to give us the Grand Tour of Hell, but I am also influenced by a comic strip from my earlier years called “Hatlo’s Inferno,” by Jimmy Hatlo (1897-1963). In the same vein as Mr. Hatlo, I would like to mention a number of my pet peeves that deserve eternal punishment in the flames of Heck:

  • The guy who takes up a valuable parking space for what seems hours while he is finger f—ing his smart phone.
  • The freeway driver who has been warned by huge signs for miles to change lanes, and who does it at the last possible second with millimeters to spare.
  • The supermarket shopper who treats her shopping cart as an aisle blocker while she memorizes all the varieties of Campbell Soups.
  • The airport public address system which announces gate changes in demotic Urdu while passengers vainly attempt to unscramble what is being said.
  • The cyclists and e-scooter riders who insist on sharing the sidewalk with pedestrians.
  • The weather forecaster who’s always talking about a chance of rain, even if the probability is 0.0001%.
  • The guy who mumbles something about “freedom” while objecting to your wearing a face mask (naturally, they’ve never received their Covid-19 vaccinations).
  • The neighborhood kids who gleefully and maliciously play in your yard.

Hatlo’s Inferno: Hell for Funsies

Just let me catch my breath, and I’ll find a few dozen more things to complain about. At my age, I’m entitled.

A Poem About Donkeys

“With Monstrous Head and Sickening Cry”

Having just finished re-reading G. K. Chesterton’s Autobiography, my mind is still reeling with his view of life. Here is one of his funniest poems, entitled, simply, “The Donkey”:

 When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

The last quatrain refers to Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on the original Palm Sunday, mounted on a donkey.

Fun in a Raging Hellscape

Weird Al Yankovic

Yes, it is possible to have fun in times of adversity. Today, I saw a YouTube video with Weird Al Yankovic (with the help of the Gregory Brothers) called, pleasantly enough, “We’re All Doomed!” I haven’t laughed so hard for weeks. Without further ado, here is a link to it:

“We’re All Doomed – Trump vs Biden”

On this Thanksgiving, I would have to say that one of the things for which I am most thankful is humor. For a while, I thought my country’s political situation was so dire that even the comedians were losing heart. But now, it seems there’s a ghost of a chance we might recover.

I would have to thank not only Weird Al, but also Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Bill Maher, and Stephen Colbert for helping to see me through these evil times—which are far from over.

So have a Happy Thanksgiving and don’t each too much turkey.

Libtard Proclamation Uno

VP Joe Biden and Son Hunter

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I now consider myself a Libtard, unaffiliated with any existing political organizations. Earlier still, I dissociated myself from that circular firing squad that is the Democratic Party and—what is more—I no longer consider myself to be a member of the Caucasian Race. (A Hungarian-American, I see myself as being Finno-Ugric.)

Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow, so I am hoping that the Libtard Party will become a factor on the American political scene. So although the National Libtard Alliance (NLA) currently has a membership of one, I see nothing but growth ahead.

Consider this to be the first White Paper of the NLA.

Let’s start with Hunter Biden, the Democratic nominee’s son. Right at the outset, I see several problems. Ukraine—that can’t be good. And again with the e-mails? Is this going to be a persistent problem for the Democrats? Trump doesn’t do e-mails. When he goes into covfefe mode, it’s usually when he Tweets. I don’t know: perhaps it would be better to put e-mail behind him. I mean, I do a lot of e-mails: Doesn’t that pretty much automatically disqualify me for higher office? (In Twitter, no one cares if you’re illiterate.)

E-Mails: Isn’t That What Sunk Hillary Clinton?

I’ve also heard that Joe Biden’s cousin Cunnegunda Milsop has run afoul of the law by dancing topless at a Wilmington titty bar. We cannot in good conscience support a man for president if is family does not radiate perfection all along the family tree.

Of course, that certainly disqualifies Trump, whose family verges on the non-human (particularly Don Jr).

Perhaps I should offer myself as a write-in candidate for November 3 as the nominee of the NLA. Drat, I’ve already voted; and I am afraid that whatever I urge, there is the embarrassing possibility that I would receive no votes.

Well, there’s always Kanye West. It would be interesting to have Kim Kardashian as first lady.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: Destined for Greatness?

My Tragic First Love

Traduced by My First Love

My first love—really, a schoolboy crush—was with Laura Sowinski in the Third Grade at Saint Henry School in Cleveland. She was a pretty little girl with some artistic talent. For some reason, I thought she was Swiss, because Sowinski sort of sounded like “Swiss.” Hey, I was only eight years old. What did I know? Now I would think she was Polish, which was more likely for the neighborhood in which I had lived.

Of course, I had hoped that my feelings for her were reciprocated, though I don’t know how she knew what I felt for her, because I never communicated it.

The rupture—and yes, there was a rupture—came when I was sick at home for a few days. In the Catholic school system of Cleveland in those days, there were often days off with little advance notice. When I got better from my cold or whatever it was, I dutifully walked to school the next day. (In those days, we walked to and from school.) To my surprise, the school building was all locked up. I turned around and returned home.

My unexpected free day came to an end the next day, so I trudged to school the next day. Being the age I was, I told everyone I showed up to school on a free day. In a week or two, when the next dittoed edition of the St. Henry Golden Knights news sheet came out, the whole last page was a drawing by none other than Laura Sowinski of me walking up to the school when it was closed. The caption read “James Paris Going to School on a Free Day.”

I thereupon turned several shades of vermilion and thought of my great love as wrecked on the rocks. I don’t think I ever spoke to Laura again. Not that I had ever spoken to her before.

Takeaways from the Conventions

Wonderland of U.S. Flags

As your reporter for this month’s party conventions, I have been very remiss. To be exact, I have not even watched a minute of either convention. Why would I want to? What does it matter what they say, especially when there is such a disconnect between what they say and what they do. I did collect a number of impressions, however, mostly from the Internet.

First of all, politicians sure love the Stars and Stripes. Many of them sport flag lapel pins to boot. I don’t even own an American flag, which I guess proves that I am not a very patriotic individual. But then, as Dr. Samuel Johnson said in 1775, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” And I’m no scoundrel, at least not THAT type of scoundrel.

I am surprised that Trump found so many people to say nice things about him. He must have something on them.

Does the Republican party even exist any more? Right now it’s an agglomeration of people who:

  • Hate the fact that there is a government over and above a transfer of moneys to the wealthy
  • Are drawn to absolute power
  • Follow a political platform that can be expressed simply as, “I Got Mine!”
  • Are frightened of having the President say to the, “You’re fired!”
  • Hate libtards and hoity-toity coastal elites

As a matter of fact, even the Democratic party doesn’t seem to exist except as an Anti-Trump party. They used to solve problems; now they just say that they can and will solve problems. I don’t know. It seems that no one cares for poor people any more.

The ultimate winner is the coronavirus, which seems to have perplexed everybody except the Republicans, who just ignore it. Didn’t it go away in April?

 

 

It’s Coming for YOU, Bubba!

Look for It the Day Before Election Day!

Ever since that grim day in November 1916 as I twisted and turned in a hotel room in Quito, Ecuador, I have come to the conclusion that something is not right with the universe. I am reminded of Casca’s words in Act I Scene iii of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar:

A common slave—you know him well by sight—
Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
Like twenty torches join’d, and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remain’d unscorch’d.
Besides—I ha’ not since put up my sword–
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glared upon me, and went surly by,
Without annoying me: and there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
Transformed with their fear; who swore they saw
Men all in fire walk up and down the streets.
And yesterday the bird of night did sit
Even at noon-day upon the market-place,
Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say
’These are their reasons; they are natural;’
For, I believe, they are portentous things
Unto the climate that they point upon.

What I am referring to is the news that an asteroid might strike the earth the day before the November 3 “fraudulent” election that will confirm Donald J. Trump in his role as dictator for life.

According to CNN, the asteroid is just a shade over 6 feet—the size of our presidential pretender. I cannot help but think that it will land in such a way as to set fire to our great leader’s impressive bouffant hair-do, and possibly burn him to a cinder in his size 12 shoes. If that happened, it would surely show that there is some justice in the universe.

 

Strange Days

There Is a Late Roman Empire Feeling in the Air

VIGGO: What happened, John? We were professionals.
JOHN WICK: Do I look civilized to you?

John Wick Chapter 1

I get a very bad feeling about what is happening to our country right now. We have a president who is actively dismantling our country, even to the extent of deliberately destroying the mail system that was set up by our first Postmaster-General, Benjamin Franklin, just because he thinks it would stop mail-in balloting. (It would also destroy billions, possibly trillions of dollars worth of commerce.)

It is as if we are living in the days of the late Roman Empire as depicted by such historians as Ammianus Marcellinus and Gregory of Tours. Our “Emperor” is little better than Elagabalus AD 204-222). According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia:

It did not take long for his family, as well as others throughout the empire, to realize that Elagabalus was completely unsuited for the imperial title, spending more time dancing around the altar of the temple and purchasing gold chamber pots and exotic foods than attending to the matters of the empire. Uprisings within the army occurred throughout the provinces, and there was even a failed attempt to replace him on the throne.

The whole world is weakened by the coronavirus outbreak, else our weak leadership would invite attempts by other countries or stateless terrorist groups to wreak havoc. The only reason a coup d’état has not been attempted is that the Democrats are afraid of the gun-toting rednecks. No worries there, those cowardly mofos are actually more likely to shoot their dicks off than organize any real resistance. In any case, if Trump loses the election—if there is an election—we just have to be prepared to escort him and his family someplace where they can’t do any harm. Perhaps Somalia.