Monday, June 23, 2008

In Memoriam : George Carlin

This one hurts a bit.

When I was 14, our family moved from Ft Wayne Indiana to Houston Texas. To say I was a social outcast during my first year in Houston would be understating the point. I had no friends. I had no prospect for friends. It was a tough time to be 14.

I did have a paper route, however, so I had (what I considered to be) a lot of disposal nickles, dimes and quarters. I would ride my bicycle up to the nearest record store (antiquated reference #1) and buy albums (antiquated refernce #2). I have no idea why, but I purchased Carlin's Class Clown, which contained the classic bit "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television*" (antiquated reference #3).

Carlin's humor appealed to me for several reasons: 1) He himself was an outcast due to his "imaginitive use of language"; 2) His "imaginative use of language" showed me that rules really didn't exist. Understanding the rules and the manipulation of rules to one's amusement is one of the greatest joys one could have; 3) His outside the box perspective on rules and life made me a smarter person.

To make a short story even longer, I ended up buying lots of George Carlin albums. I probably owned everything he did up to 1980. Like Rock n Roll albums, his records would have liner notes, including the 'lyrics' to each bit. I confess to peppering a lot of my day to day comedy act with Carlinisms.

In those days, I used humor as my shield and armor from the shithole of my early adolesence. Since I couldn't out-fight the bullies, I made sure that I humiliated them as I received my beatings. By the end of my high school career, I had lots of friends, great friends to this day, probably because of my sense of humor.

No, I don't owe it all to George Carlin. But as I mourn his passing today, I need to tip my hat to him, for showing me the power of words, the power of faith, and the power of intellect.

Well, played, George.

* Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits.

In Memoriam : Tim Russert

I'm a week late on this.

More than just a talking head, Tim Russert had the intellectual muscle to get the facts and the intellectual accessibility to relate the facts.

His everyday appearance and demeanor helped guys like us get down to the nuts and bolts of any story, empowering not only denizens of Flyover, but all parts of the country.

He was staunch in his faith, yet was not afraid to bring an atheistic and Episcipal bishop on his show to duke it out (respectibly, of course).

We won't see another like him for a long time.

Fifty-eight is too young to die. His wife, Maureen, and son Luke; know this all too well.

Well played, Mr. Russert.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

City of Big Shoulders

I had to make a jobsite visit today in downtown Chicago. 200 W Jackson, to be exact. Instead of fighting traffic and wasting gas, I took the L from Cumberland, and after 16 stops, emerged from the underground (because the Blue Line L becomes a subway inside the loop) to a perfect Chicago Summer day:

I love downtowns, especially big city downtowns. I haven't been to NYC or Boston yet, mind you, but I have it on good authority that Chicago's downtown is the best. Yes, I'm biased, and I'll probably like Boston and Philly as much anyway. But there is something wonderful about walking down the sidewalks in a big city, thinking you've got the world by the ass.

I don't have the world by the ass, but I thought I did for about 15 minutes today.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Despite what others may think...


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hot Political Commentary...and Religion, too!

It is a shame that Obama has felt the need to 'resign' from his church. With the media hounding the neighborhood and church-goers, I guess he had no other choice.

The latest 'scandal', when Obama was a million miles away from the church, involved activist priest Michael "I'm much better than the other priests" Pfleger, who does a terrible Hillary Clinton impersonation.

Pfleger, a white priest, is much beloved at his mostly African-American St Sabina parish, where he has championed causes like anti-racism, anti-violence, and pro-getting his mug on television.

While he seems to be a Catholic Priest, Father Pfleger enjoys having the spotlight shining brightly upon him. He has been at St Sabina for years, mainly because he has had the last two Cardinals buffaloed into not re-assigning him elsewhere.

It's time that Cardinal Francis George stood up to this blowhard and send him on an extended assignment where he may re-learn priestly humility. Activist Priests do not resonate with me. I think that a priest can be most effective when activating church members to action. Sermonizing at a Methodist Church and engaging in a racist bashing of Hillary Clinton is not a good way to lead.

And Obama doesn't need this kind of 'help' right now. He is busy trying to figure out how the Clintons are going to steal the nomination out from under him.