Saturday, July 2, 2016


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • I don't wish her any ill, but if Cher doesn't die fairly soon, the National Enquirer's credibility is going to be completely shot!
  • Think about it:  How is our ineffectual grid-locked government going to mend our infrastructure, manage climate change, reform gun laws and handle all the other monumental challenges facing us when they can't even phase out the penny--something many people agree should have been done at least 10 years ago?  That's a walk in the park compared to the other stuff, yet we can't even get to first base with that!   Not encouraging.
  • TV talker of the past I miss the most:  Tom Snyder 
  • Terror talk.  Why terrorists  seem to encounter little or no resistance when they attack in airports, nightclubs, etc.:  Ever seen a security guard who looks like a super-fit Navy SEALs type whose presence made you feel safe and ultra-secure?  I doubt it.  Most of them look like bored, out-of--shape clockwatchers who probably aren't well paid and don't enjoy their work.  I'mjustsayin' . . . .
  • Benghazi hearing takeaway:  There will never be a (U.S. Rep.) Trey Gowdy Lookalike Contest.
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that a computer at the University of Central Michigan discovered the largest prime number: 274,207,281 – 1.  It consists of more than 22 million digits and is only divisible by 1 and itself and that writing the number by hand would take three months and require 7,000 sheets of paper?"
  • You're an old-timer if you can remember taking film canisters to the drug or photo store to get your pictures developed.
  • Best reader comment on a Wall St. Journal story on the Texas Rangers wanting to replace the stadium they built in the early 1990s with a new one:  "Professional sports [are] games played by millionaires on teams owned by billionaires in stadiums financed by taxpayers."
  • Speaking of sports, how is it that sportswriters with two years on the job can vote for the baseball Hall of Fame but Vin Scully can't?  He's only been broadcasting Dodgers games for 67 years and is widely considered the gold standard of baseball announcers!  Time to tweak the old parchment about HOF voting qualifications?
  • You know you’ve had too much to drink when you twist the cap off that last bottle of beer . . . and discover it wasn’t a twist-off-cap bottle of beer!  
  • I'm trying to get rid of most of the superfluous, "bloatware" apps on my iPhone.   In other words, I've got app-oplexy.
  • "The GOP would love to drop Trump now because it prefers a candidate in the party’s more subtle racist traditions."--Maureen Dowd, New York Times
  • Who invented podcasts?  You know something is of marginal value when no one has ever taken credit for it.
  • Why do people always badmouth neighboring states?  Are the people in them really that different?  Don't people make exceptions for friends or relatives living there?  You'd think there were ambushes, bombings and beheadings at the state lines the way some people talk.  (Wait, that's probably not as far-fetched as I thought it was when I first wrote it.)
  • Faded phrases:  When was the last time you put on your best bib and tucker, cut a mean rug and then peeled out in your jalopy?  
  • You've probably heard about a dating service called It's Just Lunch. Well, in today's hyperactive, short-attention-span world, even lunch is too long an encounter or commitment for some people.  So herewith jimjustsaying's new dating service:  It's Just Water Cooler. Because, let's face it, you can usually tell in the first minute or two if you want to spend a third minute with that person.
  • I have no idea what a "meme" is and have an inkling that it's a faddish word 99 percent of the population can do without.  
  • "For decades, entertainers have been able to maintain custody of their image, regardless of their conduct.  Many had entire crews of dust busters who came behind them and cleaned up their messes. Those days are history.  It doesn’t really matter now what the courts or the press do or decide.  When enough evidence and pushback rears into view, a new apparatus takes over, one that is viral, relentless and not going to forgive or forget."--David Carr, New York Times ,on the Bill Cosby controversy.
  • Well said.  Anyone who has become enmeshed in a high-profile sex scandal is going to have their obituary lead with that, even if that person had brokered a lasting peace in the Middle East and invented a low-cost, foolproof cure for cancer and the common cold.
  • jimjustsaying's Click Bait Topic of the Month: "22 celebrities with a body part you don't know about."
  • The Brave New World of Cheating, Thai division:  A top medical school voided the results of an entrance exam after prospective students were caught cheating with hidden cameras and smartwatches, The Week reported. 
  • The rector of Rangsit University said three students used glasses with cameras embedded in the frames to send test questions to people outside the exam room, who then transmitted answers to the students’ smartwatches. 
  • The reaction?  On social media, some Thais expressed admiration for the cheaters’ ingenuity. “Like Hollywood or Mission Impossible,” wrote one.   
  • Is anyone surprised by that reaction, given that the cheating is pretty tame compared to the sex slavery that Thailand is synonyous with?
  • "It's not what they say about you, it's what they whisper."--Errol Flynn
  • Seventy-third Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary: Navarino. (R.I.P., Betty Marie Tischler, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, March 16, 2016).  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, Dousman, Butternut, Montpelier, Cecil, Red River, Gillet, King, Laona, Kelly Lake, Glenmore, Tonet, Stiles, Morrison, Dunbar, Askeaton, Wild Rose. Neopit, Ellisville, Pickett, Flintville,  Forest Junction, Thiry Daems, Black Creek,  Mountain, Ledgeview, Lunds, Suring, Lakewood, Beaver, Cloverleaf Lakes, Krakow,  Pella, Townsend, Vandenbroek, Coleman,  Spruce, Armstrong Creek, Lake Gogebic, North Chase and Pequot Lakes.
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month: Tubby.  As in Everett Lee "Tubby"Hall,  Kenosha (Wis.) News,, May 13, 2016. R.I.P., Mr. Hall.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Haud, muneris, illic nusquam in vehiculum vos postulo ut fatigo super. ("No, officer, there's nothing in the car you need to be concerned about.")