Friday, November 4, 2016


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Why is everyone (seemingly) using the term "a hot mess" all of a sudden.  How do these things get started?
  • Judging from the media these days--print, electronic, digital or whatever--the suffixes "ageddon" and "pocalypse" have replaced "gate" as the new, "hip" rhetorical crutches to describe any crisis, scandal or weather woe that tries our communal souls.   (I know "media" isn't the root of the word "mediocrity," but at times it seems that way.)
  • I keep hearing about all these "surrogates" campaigning for their favored candidate.  Yet another example of politics going off the rails. Did FDR, Ike or JFK have to rely on stand-ins to get their message across?
  • I also wish the TV stations would tighten up their definition of BREAKING NEWS and restrict it to explosions, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, earthquakes and other cataclysmic acts of God, assassinations of key political figures, etc.  "Donald Trump is about to take the stage at the VFW in Numbnutz, Nebraska" does not, in my estimation, qualify in any sense of the term.
  • Someone asked me the other day if something I had done was on my "bucket list."  I was somewhat taken aback, because I don't really have one.  What I do have, however, is a list that rhymes with "bucket" but is, in fact, another word.  
  • Should I try to climb Mt. Everest just to say I accomplished that?  Well, it might be nice but . . . "ah, ---- --."  Should I take a ride in a hot-air balloon?  "Nah, ---- --."  Should I try to read all the Great Books of the Western World?  Well, I could try, but . . . You get the picture. It's a different kind of a list; sort of a reverse bucket list, if you will.  (And a lot easier to "accomplish.")
  • You're an old-timer if you not only can remember when doctors made house calls but were actually treated by one at home.
  • Election prediction:  Hillary Clinton, if elected, will open her acceptance speech with these words:  "Adios, Donaldo.  Hasta la vista (with "Mexican Hat Dance" playing in the background).
  • A friend of mine recently became disenchanted with his law firm (Dewey Cheatham & Howe), so I recommended the lawyers that represent  Begh, Wheedle & CaJole.    
  • Don't you loved it when police say a fugitive or suspect "is armed and should be considered dangerous." As opposed to what?  Those armed but essentially harmless fugitives who are ambivalent about evading capture?  The ones who help little old ladies across the street and volunteer at the food pantry?  The ones who've helped build 35 Habitat for Humanity houses?
  • Yet another in a series of new varieties of apple I seem to encounter almost monthly:  Smitten.
  • Life isn't t easy these days.  Not when the movers and shakers keep moving the goal posts instead of leveling the playing field, while the rest of us have to have a multitasking  mind-set while fighting a never-ending learning curve.  So all we can do is hit the ground running,  play hardball when we have to step up to the plate, and at the end of the day, pick all the low-hanging fruit.  
  • Let's face it, the fat cats have us on an emotional roller-coaster, no matter how much they try to downsize the elephant in the room.  So we have to cut to the chase, and before the whole ball of wax reaches critical mass,  we'll take stock of the benchmarks and the Big Picture and come to the realization that we must go back to the drawing board.  It is what it is.
  • Latest fortune cookie:  "Don't stop dreaming, otherwise sleep will get awfully boring."
  • Have men's whiskers evolved so much over the years that razor companies have to keep pitching "new, breakthrough technologies" to give us the proverbial "perfect shave"?  Talk about re-inventing the wheel.  One recent commercial begins by telling us that men's facial hair is "stronger than copper wire."    Was this a recent discovery, or has Gillette been sitting on this epidermis epiphany for eons?
  •  "When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that makes it good or bad."--Miles Davis
  • Isn't it about time for a "Beavis & Butt-Head" revival?  
  • This just in:  According to jimjustsaying sources,  it actually was revived in 2011 and new episodes began airing on MTV from Oct.  27 to Dec. 29, 2011. Creator/designer Mike Judge has stated that he wants to try to get Beavis and Butt-Head back on MTV or another network.
  • Speaking of which, I know people who consider "The Simpsons" and "South Park" great television but otherwise appear sane.
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here],  did you know that he vast scale of the universe just became even more unfathomable?  Until now, astronomers believed there were up to 200 billion galaxies that could theoretically be detected from Earth.  But a new study suggests the actual figure could be 10 times that--at least 2 trillion, and possibly many more. 
  • "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."--Mark Twain
  • Seventy-seventh Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary: Mill Center, Wis.. (R.I.P. Edwin W. Belschner, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, May 20, 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, Navarino, Pequot Lakes, Buchanan,  Rio Creek and Humboldt.
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month: Big Bird.   As in John E. "Big Bird" Leisen, Kenosha (Wis.) News,, July 13, 2016.  R.I.P., Mr. Leisen.
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Doesn't Exist But Should of the Month:   Smook:  The flimsy paper stretched across the examining table in the doctor's office."--"More Unexplained Sniglets of the Universe," Rich Hall & Friends
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Quid habet populus (videtur) appellat "donec calidum" subito.   (Why is everyone (seemingly) using the term "a hot mess" all of a sudden?)