Friday, April 07, 2017


The greatest of all time, 1926-2017.

•  You could take any Don Rickles long-form appearance, like the one above, and if you really watch it you see that while its savage brio is of a piece with the aggressive attention-hogging that was the hallmark of mid-century American stand-up, it's not just "insult comedy" -- it's a wild, highly energetic and inventive series of riffs, very jazzy, with judicious shifts in timbre and dynamics -- some of them starkly surreal, like the bit that starts around 8:40 about a coxswain from Rickles' U.S. Navy days, where he demands from "the boom man -- the one with the hearing problem" that the boom mike be lowered and, when it doesn't happen fast enough, laments, "40 million boom men and we gotta get Johnny Ray's Uncle." The audience laughs, I laugh -- but what the hell does that even mean? I mean I know who Johnny Ray was, but his uncle? It's like his famous put-down, "hockey puck" -- it makes poetic rather than literal sense; and, even better, it's poetry that makes you laugh. He made me laugh since I was a boy, every time, and while his anarchic hostility had a lot to do with it, so did that mad poetry. He was literally the best.

•  Ah, again with the Syria? Well, I didn't like it in 2013 and I don't like it now. And now would be a good time to review some of my writings from when the Republicans were dead set against Obummer's Syrian adventure -- not for sound non-interventionist reasons, but for hilariously made-up ones. (Special guest star: Megan McArdle!) It's also a good time to note that in 2013 Republicans had a bill before the House to impeach Obama if he started shit with Syria. I have a funny feeling they're not putting in a similar bill now.

•  The New York Post is good (that is to say, evil) at absurd "Is Famous Guy We Regularly Pimp/Revile Running For This Big Office?" stories, like this classic Chris Christie 2012 bullshit ("It would be a dramatic change of heart for the portly, pugnacious pol..."). But this week's "Donald Trump Jr. talks about running for governor of New York" makes Fred Dicker look like H.L. Mencken:
Don Jr. spoke to members of the F6 Labs gun club in Hicksville, NY, and, when asked about his political ambitions, said he would love to follow his father, President Donald Trump, into office.
Oh, I bet the upscale gun nuts who can only dream of going to Africa and killing endangered species like the Trump Boys loved hearing that.
A guest at Tuesday’s meeting told Page Six, “Don Jr. said he is interested in running for office, such as governor of New York, but the position of mayor of New York would be less interesting to him.” 
Don Jr. added that he didn’t want to be one of 100 Senators, nor a member of Congress.
Dream big, Little Donnie! I don't think this is getting even the mamalukes in Gerritsen Beach hard. Trumplet talks a lot about himself and what he'd like out of life ("Do I want to be behind the scenes and be a mouthpiece and fight back against crazy liberal media?") but where does he stand on policy? The Post only finds him saying this much:
...Don Jr. said he would oppose anything that restricts the Second Amendment, and he supports state reciprocity laws, which allow guns to be carried from state to state with a permit.
Well, that's certain to win him all the counties out in Bumfuck where yokels buy the Post and dream of an alternative New York where white people bring the dusky hordes to heel.  But in the actual state, not so much. Besides, we all know Ed Cox and the drooling yahoos of NYGOP will run Carl Paladino again, because he really, how you say, represents their values.

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