Sunday, August 28, 2011


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life: 
  • I understand the infield-fly rule, but the popularity of SpongeBob Square Pants will forever be a mystery.
  • Life imitates art? Can't help but compare the futile defiance of Moammar Gadhafi with the final scene of "Scarface," wherein Al Pacino's Tony Montana character tries to fend off a couple dozen assassins who are storming his palatial compound.  I fear and suspect the result will be similar.
  • All this talk about 2012 and straw polls! What do straws have to do with politics? Are people throwing straw hats into the ring now?  When did that start?
  • I'm nostalgic for the days when the magazines I subscribed to didn't come in plastic bags.
  • When did guys start getting haircuts that look like the barber had a seizure  . . . and kept on cutting?  Or wearing that puffed-up wedge of hair (with gel?) in front?  When did it become "cool" to look like you just rolled out of bed after a two-day drunk?
  • What does it say about the intelligence of a person who will wear such a goofy hairstyle, along with the de rigueur three-day growth of beard, just because that's "what's hip"?
  • Getting old and slightly annoying:  Calling any update or revision of something "2.0." Soon to be followed, no doubt, by "3.0."  Oh so clever.
  • (Earlier manifestations of this syndrome were to call things Part Deux.  And wasn't that oh so clever, not to mention pretentious . . . .)
  • Great title on the Aug. 24 "Zippy the Pinhead" comic strip (my all-time favorite):  "Dancing with the Czars."  It's hard to beat ever-inventive Bill Griffith. 
  • "I don't hate people, but I feel a lot better when they're not around."--Mickey Rourke in the film "Barfly" (1987)
  • Stupid Warning Label on an Actual Product: On an American Airlines packet of nuts: "Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts."
  • I sometimes get the feeling that owners of hybrid autos are secretly glad when gasoline prices surge so they can justify having spent an extra $10,000 just to save a few bucks each week at the gas pump.
  • People sometimes accuse showbiz stars of getting a swelled head after they become famous.  Something tells me that fame had little if anything to do with it--that some of 'em had the swelled head all along.  (I'm just sayin'.)
  • Just once, just once, I'd like to see a sports sideline reporter rush up to a player who didn't even play in the game and say:  "How did it feel to sit there and contribute exactly nothing today? . . . Do you think you're going to be released?"  How refreshing that would be! (Cruel, but refreshing.)
  • “President Obama has been on a big bus tour the last couple days. . . . It came out today that the bus he's riding in was made in Canada. So unpatriotic! If he was a real American, that bus would've been made in China.”--Conan O'Brien
  • Headline: "Scientists alter chicken DNA/to create embryo/with 'alligator-like' snout."  (But will they still taste just like chicken?)
  • Ron Paul, your plane is boarding.
  • (Much as I like some of Ron Paul's positions and iconoclasm, I think he comes across as too Ross Perot-ish to be more than a Third Party/fringe figure.   More's the pity, perhaps.)
  • Redundancy patrol:  "Pair them together" (from a "Lean and Fit" Web site story about two recommended exercises.)
  • Redundancy patrol II:  "Reflecting back."  (Newsface E.D. Hill subbing for talkmouth Joy Behar on HLN.)
  • If you still have a vintage rotary dial telephone, is that a dumb phone?
  • Smart phones?  If they're so smart, why can't they ever find a signal in Door County?
  • Who invents all those "As seen on TV" products," the majority of which get panned regularly in Consumer Reports and on many Internet sites?
  • Imagine seeing a headstone with your name on it saying "Here lies the man who invented the  RoboStir  and the Ped Egg. "
  • This just in: George Devol, 99 died recently.  He was the inventor of the mechanical arm used as a prototype for assembly-line robots. Commendable.
  • But he also, according to Time magazine, invented a hot-dog cooker called the Speedy Weeny. Lamentable. (R.I.P., Mr. Devol.)
  • Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week: "Farmer John."  As in John A. "Farmer John" Konitzer, late of Abrams, Wis.  (Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, July 12, 2011.)  R.I.P., Farmer John.
  • Today's Latin lesson:  Miser illic est haud Latin equivalent of vox popcorn. Tamen we're opus in is. ("Unfortunately, there is no Latin equivalent of the word 'Popcorn.'  But we're working on it.")    
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