Wednesday, April 1, 2015


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • How come the astrologers never say that the day is unfavorable for reading about astrology?
  • Isn't it time to retire "kumbaya" as a code reference word for warm, fuzzy and wholesome?  (Or, more often, as Wikipedia puts it, as  an allusion to satirical or cynical ways that suggest false moralizing, hypocrisy, or naively optimistic views of the world and human nature?) As in, "Let's just all have a kumbaya moment and pretend everything's alright."
  • Am I the only one getting a lot of junk e-mail these days about Toenail Fungus Laser?  (The heartbreak of toenail fungus . . . .)
  • Ready for a taste of Iraqi TV?  You didn't hear it from me, but I understand "Saddam's Wackiest Public Execution Bloopers" is coming out soon on DVD.    
  • Oxymoron of the week: Political science.
  • Speaking of politics, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is being assailed for his "lack of foreign policy credentials."  
  • Right.  Because the highly credentialed foreign-policy experts already in place are doing so well!  Just look at what they've done so far:  Brought peace to the Middle East; forced  ISIS terrorists to surrender, apologize and report to Guantanamo Bay; and persuaded Vladimir Putin to give everything back to the Ukrainians.  How could a neophyte like Walker match any of that!  
  • I feel sorry for any woman married to a man who would say, "We're pregnant."
  • Faded Word of the Week: "Sore," in the sense of being angry or mad.  (You know you're watching an old movie when someone says, "Hey, you're not sore at me, are ya?")
  • Love this report about "medical" marijuana (the biggest oxymoron going?):  Laboratory testing found that legal weed sold in Colorado is often contaminated with fungus and the chemical butane and has little or no cannabidiol, or CBD--the compound that makes medical marijuana "medical."
  • People ask me how I spend my time, and I usually tell them by reading Homer in the original Greek.  (Jethro?  I usually depend on the English translation.)
  • The number:  12 tons.  The meaning:  The amount of feces are left on Mt. Everest each year, according to a recent report by Grinnell College.   Not to mention, The Week reports, an estimated 50 tons of garbage—from broken tent frames to used oxygen canisters to food wrappers—that are strewn along the route up the mountain, along with many of the frozen, half-buried corpses of the more than 200 climbers who have perished attempting the ascent. Little wonder the mountain has earned the nickname "World’s Highest Garbage Dump."
  • Overheard:  "You don't have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you're planning to keep."
  • Get yourself some polyester, some wax, some carbon black, some fumed silica, some Yellow 18, some Red 322, some Blue 15:3 and throw in some Charge Control Agents, and what do you have?  Laser printer toner, that's what (and I'm taking Wired magazine's word for it, as the jimjustsaying Testing Lab is temporarily off line).
  • Corporate logic:  A fast-food chain I know of switched all their TVs from CNN to another channel because of complaints about a steady diet of depressing news stories. Yes, The Weather Channel is a much better choice, with all those pleasant hurricane, blizzard, wild fire and tsunami stories that are their constant fare.
  • You know you're in a small town if the bank has a TV in the lobby tuned to RFD-TV.
  • Next time you're in a restaurant, ask to be seated in the No Cellphone Converations Allowed Section.
  • jimjustsaying's Pique of the Week:  Not Really-a-Gift Gifts.  Like those tote bags and such your insurance man or financial advisor sends you on your birthday that has their firm's name emblazoned on them, as if to say:  "Here's sort of a gift, now go and advertise our company wherever you go."  
  • Have you ever met anyone who will admit to watching a shopping channel?
  • Nothing brings out the hypocrisy in people like property taxes.  They'll sit on a bar stool and brag,  "We bought our house for $59,900 in '64 . . . and now it's appraised at $184,500, yukyukyuk . . .!"  
  • But mention a possible $200 increase in their annual property tax (for frivolities such as schools or infrastructure improvement), and they start sputtering and spitting nails.  
  • "He who does not enjoy his own company is usually right."--Coco Chanel
  • Wondracide: The act  of murdering a piece of white bread with a knife and cold butter.--"Sniglets," Rich Hall &Friends
  • Newspaper Obituary Nickname of the Month:  "Turtle."  As in, Dennis R. "Turtle" Voss, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel obituary, Feb. 5, 2015.  R.I.P. Mr. Voss.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Nusquam video vidi visum hic , populus , iustus eo.  ("Nothing to see here, folks, just move along.")

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