Thursday, March 15, 2012

POPCORN


BY JIM SZANTOR 
Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • Why aren't "Going out of business" sales called Grand Closings?
  • Ah, Northeast Wisconsin, where you see people wearing the clothing equivalent of the rotary dial phone.  (Or, occasionally, the "princess" phone.)  But there's never a Fashion Policeman around when you need one!
  • March madness--that's all you hear these days!  Me, I'm mad 12 months a year--and twice on Sunday.
  • What is your favorite Labor of Hercules?  For me, it's hard to beat Number Seven (of the Twelve): "Capture the Cretan Bull."
  • This savage bull, kept by King Minos of Crete, was said to be insane and breathe fire. Hercules wrestled the mad beast to the ground and brought it back to King Eurystheus. Unfortunately, the king set it free, and it roamed Greece, causing terror wherever it went.
  • (Any free-associative thoughts you may have had of Newt Gingrich or Rush Limbaugh are purely uncoincidental.)
  • I couldn't decide what to give up for Lent, so I gave up going to church!
  • The Tired Rhetorical Device That Will Not Die:  "Hear that sound?  It's the gnashing of thousands of GOP power brokers' teeth," wrote William Kristol in Weekly Standard.com.  (Did you hear anything?  Neither did I.)
  • People who say "whoops a daisy!" probably don't know how truly lame that actually sounds. 
  • Jim Wyatt, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown that it might make more sense to switch the start of Daylight Saving Time to a Friday night to give us the whole weekend to adjust.  (Makes sense to me--too much sense to ever be adopted.  Along with holding elections on Sunday, as many foreign countries do.  What's holding that back?)
  • Tattoo on right arm:  "See other arm."--Demetri Martin
  • The lead piece on the March 11 "60 Minutes" was an interview with the former head of Israeli intelligence, Meir Dagan.  The interviewer?  Lesley Stahl,  she of the wide-eyed, head-jerking, leg-crossing double-takes in reaction to interviewee statements.
  • (Not sure she would have been my first choice, sexist though it sounds, Israel being, as it is, on the brink of war with Iran.  But until they start checking with me on assignments, these things are going to happen.)
  • Speaking of "60 Minutes":  What part of retirement does Morley Safer--age 80, probably not your prototypical ratings magnet, albeit with a fairly distinguished career--not understand?  I doubt he needs the money, so he's just occupying a job that someone else really needs.    (See Hope comma Bob and Burns comma George and Rooney comma Andy and King comma Larry for other examples of guys who just couldn't give it up long after they lost their proverbial fastballs.  Sad.)
  • Fun Fact about Morley:  After reporting negatively on the Vietnam War, President Lyndon Johnson reacted angrily, calling CBS' president and accusing Safer and his colleagues of having "shat on the American flag."
  • You know you've eaten at a bad Chinese restaurant if you get a misfortune cookie at the end of the meal.
  • Speaking of eating: No offense meant to people with serious medical issues, but let's face it, folks, some people are just out-and-out gluttons.  People for whom eating is more recreation and all-consuming passion than means of survival and transient enjoyment.
  • So just as there are truck-weighing stations on the interstate and higher toll rates for the big rigs, shouldn't all-you-can-eat buffets change their pricing structures?  There are two levels basically--child and adult, whether the adult is a light eater or the kind of human Sequoias who go back for heaping plateful after heaping plateful and stay there for two hours or more
  •  Maybe it all balances out, but . . . somehow I doubt it.  For one thing, these places are just veritable enablers of the nation's obesity epidemic (even though fast-food emporiums usually get the blame).
  • "Ideology is just a pejorative word for principles in which you happen not to believe."--The columnist "Lexington" in The Economist.
  • Today's Media Word (a word you only hear or read in news reports):  "Foment/fomenting."
  • “North Korea has officially agreed to suspend its nuclear program. Apparently, they watched one episode of "Toddlers & Tiaras" and realized we’re destroying our own society.”--"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."
  • Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week: Cowboy.  As in Dwayne "Cowboy" Van Wychen of Mountain, Wis. (Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary March 5, 2012.  R.I.P. Mr. Van Wychen).
  • Thirty-fifth entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes:  Buttternut, Wis. (R.I.P., Larry R. Leonard,  Kenosha News obituary, Feb. 22, 2012.)  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie, Harshaw, Bessemer, Crooked Lake, Tigerton, Goodman, Readstown, Kunesh and Dousman.
  • Today's Latin lesson: Illic nunquam a formo muneris inter ut vos postulo unus. ("There's never a fashion policeman around when you need one.")

THE QUOTE RACK


Romney and dog food

Let me be the first to call on Mitt Romney to get out of the race. By placing third in Alabama and Mississippi, losing to Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in both states, Romney has gone from inevitable to unelectable. Somebody strap him to the roof of one of his Cadillacs and drive him off to one of his many mansions.

One of the great legends of political consulting is the Dog Food Problem: an apocryphal tale of a company that had the best packaging, the best advertising, the best marketing. But there was only one problem: the dog wouldn't eat it. Forevermore we should no longer call it a Dog Food Problem. We should call it a Mitt Romney Problem.
--Paul Begala in The Daily Beast