The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fads and such

Fads come and go, of course; that is the nature of fads, after all—they are as temporary as Japanese cherry blossoms; and so long as the fad does no real harm to life, limb, or property I see no reason why we should not ignore the uproar until the fad disappears on its own. How many people today remember that the Pet Rock, leisure suits, and lava lights were once things no respectable household could do without or that millions of people once did the Macarena without once realizing that they were making complete asses of themselves?  Fads come and fads go almost as quickly, leaving us all more than a little embarrassed that we had gotten so caught up in something so fundamentally silly. On occasion, however, a fad comes along that is so clearly a threat to the public order that decent people must band together and put a stop to it before someone gets hurt, and I think I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that the current practice of dropping catfish on the heads of innocent passersby is such a fad.  Someone has to stop this now before a kid gets hurt. The catfish could put someone’s eye out, you know. It could happen.

I do not know why dropping catfish on unsuspecting passersby had become the thing to do these days, nor can I explain why this fad requires using a catfish instead of a cod, a flounder, or a box of frozen fish sticks. I assume that on some deeper, more profound level of existence being hit on the head with a catfish is funnier than being hit on the head with a smelt, a pike, or a humpback whale and a potted plant thinking, oh no, not again. Fads invariably have rules that are as ironclad as they are evanescent. For example, no one who wanted a Pet Rock could simply go outside, pick up a rock, and declare that said rock was a Pet Rock. Nor would taking said rock to a church and having it baptized Roscoe Le Rock, which is by no stretch of the imagination a French name. No, to own a real Pet Rock a petrophile had to go to a department store and shell out four dollars for the thing. And, in an early example of the evils of globalization, the rocks that all here in this our Great Republic fell in love with were all, and I mean every last one of them, Mexican rocks. It seems that there were no American rocks available; being a pet rock was apparently one of those jobs that Mexican rocks would do and American rocks would not. I hope that the people behind the catfish-dropping craze would have the common decency to use American catfish for these ichthyologic bomb runs, but it would not surprise me if they did not. The lure of cheap goods will trump the patriotism of many a good man, I fear.

And no, I will not bring up the silly season, which you may think I am going to because I used the word trump. Too many people have said too much about it and I see no need to add to an already vast sea of verbiage that is now threatening to swamp this our Great Republic’s amber waves of grain and get our feet wet. I think that we should all simply admit to ourselves that we have reached the final years of the American experiment and we may as well just kick back and enjoy the transition to a decadent monarchy as best we can. Waiter, I will have a Harvey Wallbanger with my bread and circuses, thank you very much.

P.S. My apologies for the prolonged hiatus; I had stuff to do and it needed to get done, so I had to take a break. Sorry.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

I know, I know, I should get snapping and cracking with a new post for here, but I've been too hot and sweaty and annoyed with the entire world to get around to it. You'd think there would be a lot to write about, but it's hard to make fun of reality when reality is doing its level best to make fun of everything else. Ah well, something will come to me eventually. I will see you then.



Thursday, July 28, 2016

A word to the Berniacs

“You’re being ridiculous.” So said Sarah Silverman to her fellow Sanders delegates the other day and while I would probably agree with anything Sarah Silverman says—I will admit to a strong attraction to good-looking Jewish girls with potty mouths and big breasts (yes, I am that shallow)—in this case she is right: you are being ridiculous. I knew this months ago, when Bernie Sanders didn’t want to talk about Hillary’s damn emails. No serious candidate for any office throws away an important issue like that unless that candidate is not, in fact, serious. I hate to point this out to all of you Berniacs, but the only person in your crusade who wasn’t feeling the Bern was Bernie. He knew it was a con all along.

So let me tell you Berniacs what the deal was here. Simply put, the fix was in. The fix was in from the start. Hillary and her machine made sure of that. There was never going to be a serious challenge to Hillary. The Clintonistas scared off any other Democrat who might have thought this was a good year to run and then imported Bernie, who wasn’t even a Democrat when the campaign started and has, now that he’s out of it, become an independent yet again.  The role of the Democratic National Conference in this election was to make sure no one threatened Hillary’s chances of getting the nomination, not to be a neutral observer of the people’s will. If you Berniacs thought the DNC was shortchanging your guy’s campaign, then you were right: they were. Hillary has had eight years to plan for this moment and she wasn’t going to let another Obama come out of left field and screw her out of what she thinks she’s entitled to for a lifetime of putting up with Bill’s bimbo eruptions.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz was put in charge of the DNC to make sure nothing got in the way of Hillary’s ambitions and she did her job. Hillary has the nomination and Bernie is going back to Vermont with whatever the Clintons promised him as a payoff. That Debbie got caught in the backlash of the DNC hack scandal is certainly not a great thing for her personally, but for Hillary, Debbie is just one more casualty on her road back to the White House. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, comrades, everyone knows that. 

And now you have Hillary. You must learn to love Hillary, or if you cannot love her, then you must support her in order to keep Trump out of the White House.  You must keep Mick Jagger’s words in your mind, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you can get what you need, or at least, you can get what you need as Hillary defines it.  You must put away your doubts and love Hillary. I know it feels like a betrayal, largely because it is, and I must admit that I feel sorry for you guys, I really do. You are the poor misguided virgin who trusts her boyfriend to slip on a condom just before the cherryectomy, only to discover afterwards that the boyfriend lied about having one. So there you are without your pants on, with a cootch full of his baby batter and wondering, oh my God, what have I done?  Now, you may or may not get pregnant from this great misadventure; chances are you probably won’t, but it does happen, which is why you should have made sure he was wearing the rubber before he got close to you; but what is also true is that from no matter what angle you choose to look at it, you’ve been screwed in more ways than one.  Welcome to the real world, Berniacs.

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Since we spoke last...

The trouble is that I don’t really feel like writing anything at the moment. Now, I’ll grant you that this moment has lasted for well over a month at this point, but what is a month in the larger scheme of things? In the long history of the universe from the Big Bang to the present moment, a month counts for less than a nanosecond, and why should we privilege a terrestrial month over a Jovian month, or a month, assuming they have months, of some hitherto unknown xenocivilization who were just wandering by minding their own business before we ambushed them and inflicted our Babylonian system of measuring time on them. We shouldn’t do this: this is both racist and xenophobic and whatever other –ist and –phobia we can throw at it—we can work out what the correct Greek prefix for aliens not from Mexico is at a later date. So let’s stop doing this right now before we give our planet a reputation for being the galaxy’s equivalent of Jim Crow Mississippi or apartheid South Africa. It’s just wrong.

I did go to Virginia for my vacation last month and I did have a great time, thank you very much for asking. I hung out with my cool photographer friends—it was a photography festival, obviously—and I watched them engage in behavior that I would never indulge in myself. I did, however, get a ride home with them when they were all both legally drunk and illegally stoned at the same time, and yes, I know better than to do that, but there were four people in the car, two music photographers (including one of Marilyn Manson’s tour photographers), a museum curator, and me, a harmless bureaucratic drudge unused to hanging out till four o’clock in the morning; and I really wanted to get some sleep. The car we went back to my hotel in was a BMW convertible, which is why I agreed to get in the car with them in the first place. I figured that if I had to shuffle off this mortal coil in a faux James Dean death and glory ride, I might as well shuffle off in style, and I liked the idea of everyone here in our happy little burg wondering at my funeral, we’ve known him all his life; he was a conservative Republican who never did anything interesting in all the time we knew him, so how did he know those other people in the car with him?  One of life’s great mysteries, I think. Thankfully, fate spared me from having to provide an answer to the question.

In other news, in October I will receive a Public Service Award from the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The announcement came as something of a surprise to me, as I am not aware that I have done anything special to advance the cause of colored people here in our happy little burg (isn’t people of color the current euphemism for the descendants of African slaves in this country? Or is colored people kosher so long as it’s the NAACP saying colored people? I am not sure and I really do not want to cause offense by asking).  I strongly suspect that what is at work here is that everyone in town knows that I have working here at the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread for twenty-nine years now and the NAACP is simply recognizing my extraordinary persistence in hanging onto my paycheck.  The noted American social philosopher and well-known putz Allan Konigsberg (N.B.: dude, you got to keep your hands off your wife’s adopted kids—I mean, do you really need to have someone explain that to you? Like, duh, as my niece feels the need to say whenever she is in the presence of the self-evident) once said that eighty percent of success is just showing up. Apparently, if you show up often enough, you get a prize. I have shown up often enough and therefore I am getting the prize. I didn’t expect, however, that I was going to get the prize from the NAACP. I’m not going to turn the award down; it was nice of them to think of me, and having the award and the small amount of recognition that comes with it will be nice to remember on June 9th of next year, when the full horror of having spent thirty years working in this place finally dawns on me and renders me completely suicidal, if not vaguely annoyed at myself.  Still, if I don’t count the dead guy in the bathroom or the dumbass who likes to defecate in his Dunkin Donuts cup and then leave the cup near where kids will find it, I suppose it hasn’t been all that bad, if you know what I mean. 

PS: For those of you going to Charlottesville, I can recommend the meat loaf sandwich at The Nook, and the hamburger and the chicken jambalaya at Miller's. Eat outside under the shade of the trees and if you're at Miller's, sit somewhere near that water fountain thing so Brianna will be your waitress. She is great and she is also way cooler that you will ever be. Just saying, people.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Back from Dixie!!!

Yes, I am back from Old Virginny--I was on vacation--and I am even now thinking of things to put here. I have not, as yet, come up with anything profound, but I am still trying to get back into the groove after a very nice week away from the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread, our happy little burg, and almost everything else bearing any resemblance to my normal bland and unexciting life. So, back to the grind, and I will see you all again shortly.

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

Post # 1,000 (it's less than that if you exclude the apologies for not writing more)

First off, I want to point out that today is a sort of dual anniversary for me. This is my 1,000th post to The Passing Parade and today marks the 29th year I’ve been working here in the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread. I’ve been trying to process the idea that babies born on the day this dump hired me are now adults with children of their own. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but the time seems to have gone by without my noticing. Lots of things do that, but time is a biggie and something you’d think I wouldn’t miss at all. But I did. I should have realized that when I noticed my beard turning gray and white without my having to dye it, but like I just said, I fail to realize lots of things, especially when they’re right in front of me.
As to the 1,000th post, I’d like to thank Tat, Dick, Snoop, and everyone else that comes here looking for a new post, and usually not finding one.  It’s nice to know people will keep coming back even during my dry spells or during one of my many violent attacks of sloth. I do appreciate it.

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Friday, June 03, 2016

Post 999 of 12

“I want a roast beef sandwich, but without the roast beef. I’m a vegetarian.”  I’ve heard my share of very odd requests at The Horny Toad, the bar where I spend many of my off the clock hours, but this one seemed odder than usual. There is, to my knowledge, no substitute for roast beef in a roast beef sandwich, the roast beef and the salt, pepper, and other sundry condiments being the whole point of the roast beef sandwich. There is a word for a roast beef sandwich without the roast beef, yes there is, and that word is bread.  I suppose that somewhere there may be an acceptable substitute for the roast beef in a roast beef sandwich, but I do not believe that any of these substitutes would be acceptable to a vegetarian.  Roast pork, roast goat, roast lamb, roast choose any four-legged protein source you want, no vegetarian will surrender the smug attitude of moral superiority that comes with saying, I don’t eat meat, just so that they can have a roast beef sandwich without the roast beef.  Our bovine craving veggie eater could use a nice bit of fried eggplant on her sandwich, but for your average vegetarian frying anything other than a Republican is a most evil and wicked practice, comparable to bashing cute little kitty cats over the head with a baseball bat and then drinking their blood, and therefore is not a practice that any decent person who believes in the sanctity of both the human body and cute little kitty cats would choose to engage in.  

And then there is tuna fish, although it is difficult, if not impossible, to see how anyone could mistake a tuna fish sandwich for a roast beef sandwich; doing so would truly be a victory of mind over matter. In addition, it is also difficult for me to see the moral difference between eating a cow and eating a fish, unless the genetic accident of having fins instead of feet permits the peckish plant enthusiast to indulge a perverse proclivity for protein while simultaneously salving a guilty conscience. I can see no moral reason why vegetarians should consider the footless and fancy free tuna to be a legitimate source of dinner, whereas they would protect the cow from the dinner plate with the religious intensity of Hindus. This hardly seems fair to the fish and privileges a terrestrial creature over a maritime one, which is the sort of rank specieist discrimination I think we can all agree has no place in modern American life. So the next time you feel like a roast beef sandwich without the roast beef, eat the bread instead. But make sure that it’s wheat bread and filled with gluten. You can hate gluten these days and I’m sure it has done something to deserve its fate.

PS This is my 999th post here. I kept trying to think of something outstanding for the post but nothing came, so you are stuck with this. Sorry.

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