Sunday, July 05, 2020

Poetry Sunday


Sometimes, I think I could be a luddite, eschewing all the electronic wizardry that makes life easier while complicating it more than we can sometimes handle. But then I think, no, the gloss would wear off that pretty quickly. I'll just take the world as it is ...

As It Is

The man I love hates technology, hates
that he's forced to use it: telephones
and microfilm, air conditioning,
car radios and the occasional fax.
He wishes he lived in the old world,
sitting on a stump carving a clothespin
or a spoon. He wants to go back, slip
like lint into his great-great-grandfather’s
pocket, reborn as a pilgrim, a peasant,
a dirt farmer hoeing his uneven rows.
He walks when he can, through the hills
behind his house, his dogs panting beside him
like small steam engines. He's delighted
by the sun's slow and simple
descent, the complicated machinery
of his own body. I would have loved him
in any era, in any dark age, I would take him
into the twilight and unwind him, slide
my fingers through his hair and pull him
to his knees. As it is, this afternoon, late
in the twentieth century, I sit on a chair
in the kitchen with my keys in my lap, pressing
the black button on the answering machine
over and over, listening to his message,
his voice strung along the wires outside my window
where the birds balance themselves
and stare off into the trees, thinking
even in the farthest future, in the most
distant universe, I would have recognized
this voice, refracted, as it would be, like light
from some small, uncharted star.

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts coming.

Bilbo

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Cartoon Saturday


Well, the hope that July would be better than June didn't last long, did it?

Ghislaine Maxwell, the partner of disgraced financier and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested and charged with recruiting, grooming and sexually abusing underage girls as young as 14 for Epstein's alleged criminal enterprise; in a dark pre-Independence Day diatribe at Mount Rushmore, Der Furor worked to exploit the nation’s racial and social divisions and rally supporters around his uncompromising law-and-order message; three Colorado police officers have been fired after they shared photos re-enacting a chokehold used on a black man who later died; one of the last great classic comic geniuses, Carl Reiner, passed away at 98; and after complaints by animal rights group PETA, a number of supermarkets have removed some brands of coconut water and oil from their shelves after it was revealed that the products were made with fruit picked by monkeys.

This week, a shortlist of cartoons related to what used to be an occasion for fun, togetherness, picnics, and a celebration of how great it is to be an American ...

How the smartphone generation safely celebrates ...


Try again later ...


You wouldn't think he'd need it ...


She may have been celebrating ...


Budget cuts had to be made to provide funds for Der Furor's wall ...


The way it was? ...


It's the forecast for some Karens, too ...


Have a good day, a Happy Fourth of July, and a great weekend. Celebrate responsibly ... not like the examples set on high.

Bilbo

Friday, July 03, 2020

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for July, 2020


How can I possibly make a decision on this topic? There are so many ass clowns swarming out from under the rocks turned over by Der Furor that it's all but impossible to identify a single one. At this point, it's easier to identify not one ass clown, but a general class thereof ... and so it is that I have decided to designate

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for July, 2020


as

The Karens


For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term, a "Karen" in the woebegotten year of 2020 is defined as: "a woman perceived to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is considered appropriate or necessary. A common stereotype is that of a racist white woman who uses her privilege to demand her own way at the expense of others."

There are a number of behaviors illustrative of a "Karen," including (but not limited to):

1. Displays of Overt Racism: Generally acting like a moron. Examples include: immediately calling the police to report a minority person perceived as threatening, in the 'wrong' place, or otherwise objectionable; and using ethnic slurs without thought or concern for the feelings of others.

2. Belief in Extreme Entitlement: demanding service or attention beyond that provided to others, particularly those who are members of a minority. Examples include: loud use of the expressions "Do you know who I am?" and "I want to see a manager!"; and demanding priority of service over others, regardless of how long those others have been waiting.

3. Insistence That Personal Rights or Privileges Override the Rights, Safety, or Privileges of Others: refusing to behave in a safe and reasonable fashion by claiming that actions considered unsafe or threatening by others are unconstitutional abridgments of one's god-given, inalienable rights as an American citizen. Examples include: failure to wear a mask or observe social distancing in public places; refusal to vaccinate children; and ostentatious carrying of large and powerful weapons in public places. 

It should be noted that while the term "Karen" refers to women, there are plenty of male equivalents, who are known as "Kens" or "Kevins" and are equally as obnoxious.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, the Group Award for Right-Cheek Ass Clown for July, 2020, is presented to The Karens, and to their male counterparts, The Kens. At a time that cries out for good behavior and decency toward each other, they have worked hard to earn our condemnation.

Have a good day. Don't be a Karen or a Kevin, wash your hands, wear a mask, and come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday. See you then.

Bilbo

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Musical Sunday


This song was popular in 1965, but it seems even more timely in 2020.



I get this feeling when I listen to Der Furor rambling over and over and over again, my friend.

Have a good day, enjoy the rest of your weekend, and just wear the damn mask. More thoughts coming.

Bilbo

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Cartoon Saturday


As Der Furor and his enablers double down on their attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act - in the middle of a raging, deadly pandemic, no less - it's terrifying to realize that that isn't even the worst of the news ...

In a masterpiece of understatement for the ages, infectious disease chief Dr Anthony Fauci says the nation has a "serious problem" as 16 states reel from a spike in Covid-19 cases; an abandoned oil tanker, moored off the coast of Yemen loaded with more than 1 million barrels of crude oil, is at risk of rupture or exploding, causing massive environmental damage to Red Sea marine life, desalination factories and international shipping routes; in Henry County, Tennessee, three people have been charged after a child was found a kennel in a trailer with several mice and snakes, including a ten-foot boa constrictor; on Friday, Vice President Mike Pence tried to put a positive spin on the surging coronavirus cases, stating that “we did slow the spread. We did flatten the curve. We’re in a much better place;”and in New York City, A bipolar man holding a sword died after being tased by police officers on Sunday.

Laughter is said to be the best medicine, and once Der Furor and the Republicans are done, it's the only medicine you'll be able to afford, so let's get to it with this week's collection of cartoons about aliens ... not the ones Der Furor blames for all our ills, but the ones that shut their windows and lock their doors when they fly past the Earth ...

Be careful who you abduct ...


Well, it's not jet lag, is it? ...


The truth ...


I don't blame them ...


Don't worry, the pandemic will kill them off soon enough ...


Hah! ...


An understandable mistake ...


Space opera ...


They were expecting to be taken to an actual leader ...


A common alien ailment ...


Have a good day and a great weekend. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. See you tomorrow for a very appropriate song on Musical Sunday.

Bilbo

Friday, June 26, 2020

Great Moments in Editing and Signage


It's been quite a month, hasn't it? Let's celebrate with a final collection of Great Moments in Editing and Signage ...

Aha!! ...


I'm sure a good lawyer can get him off ...


Such a deal for cash-strapped hospitals looking to outfit the employees' gym ...


The visual is just too much ...


Well, there goes my plan for a summer vacation ...


A natural mistake ...


When you want to have the spittin' image of a great garden ...


I can't imagine this could be true this year ...


Special prices for those who think wearing masks is a ghastly example of government tyranny ...


I think I know several women like this ...


And there you go ... the last edition of Great Moments in Editing and Signage for the horrendous month of June, 2020. I hope it helped put a smile on your face for at least a few seconds.

Have a good day, and come back tomorrow for the final Cartoon Saturday of the month. You know you need it.

More thoughts coming.

Bilbo

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Fathers' Day, 2020


If you were looking for Poetry Sunday, don’t despair – I have my traditional (and slightly updated) tribute to fathers today, you'll have to wait a while for your next poetry fix.

Today is Fathers’ Day, the day we honor the man who contributed half of our chromosomes and many of the life lessons that shaped us into who we are.

Fathers don’t get the same degree of respect that mothers do. They work in design, rather than production, after all, and don’t earn the credit that mothers do for going through nine months of pregnancy followed by months of sleepless nights and years of worry. And truth be told, many fathers don’t earn that respect. For all too many men, fatherhood is an unfortunate side effect of good sex, and a child is an impediment to the enjoyment of life. For many men, fathering a lot of children by a lot of women is the imagined sign of a manly stud ... not of lives betrayed by a thoughtless ass who thinks with his man parts* instead of his brain and heart.

Luckily, though, there are many good men out there trying their best to be good fathers. It’s not an easy job, and not everyone is good at it ... but fortunately, enough do.

I have often reflected back on the course of my life, and I've come to the conclusion I’ve been a better grandfather than I was a father. This is probably normal. You’ve seen more of life, and had more experiences – good and bad – to share. If you’re the grandfather, you get to be the gentle, wise, let-‘em-do-what-they-want fellow the grandchildren love to see, rather than the grouchy, tired father who has to put bread on the table, crack the whip, and enforce the discipline. You get all the joy of holding and loving the children with none of the negatives ... when the baby needs changing, for instance, there's none of that messy fuss - you just give her back to her mother. What's not to like?

I think that, from the father's perspective, we have our children too early in life. We're still learning how to be adults, and all of a sudden we're fathers, responsible for teaching our children all the lessons of life that we haven't even learned yet. Our children grow up as much in spite of our mistakes as because of our excellence in parenting.

When you get to be a father, you look at your own father differently. It was Mark Twain who supposedly once said, "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

It's true.

A good father, as I came in time to understand, is a gift beyond all price. The gold standard for fatherhood is, of course, my own father. He fought the Nazis** in the skies over World War II Europe, ran his own business, raised four children and buried one, and cared for mom through the long years of misery as Alzheimer's gradually destroyed the mind of the dynamic and witty woman he loved. Dad left us five years ago, and I no longer get to hear his jokes and stories and learn the lessons he still had to teach, yet he remains the man to whom I owe whatever shreds of honor, decency, and ... well ... manhood that I can claim.

This was the man who took the war in the air to the Nazis in 1944 ...


After the war, he turned successful businessman, running his own photographic studio and drawing the attention of the ladies ...


At the Mount Vernon Wine Festival in 2002, he was surrounded by admiring ladies (from left to right: our friends Susan and Nadja, his granddaughter Yasmin, and Agnes) ...


With my brother Mark and I, on the occasion of Mark's retirement from the Navy (our brother Paul served in the Army, but wasn't able to be there) ...


And here he is in December of 2013 at his 90th birthday party in Pittsburgh, surrounded by the friends, fishing partners, and family members who came out to honor him in spite of some really ghastly winter weather ...


I'd like to think I made him satisfied, if not proud.

If you’d like to know more about the life of this wonderful man, you can read my remembrance here.

It's politically correct (bordering on mandatory) nowadays to say that a child can grow up just fine in a household with same-sex parents, but you'll never be able to convince me that it's the same as being raised by a father and a mother who love each other, treat each other with dignity and respect, set a good example, teach their gender-specific life lessons, and subordinate their own dreams and desires to the momentous task of raising a brand new human being.

Have a good day. Honor your father. And if you're a father, be a good one ... preferably a better one than I was. Your children ... and indeed, the future ... are depending on you.
More thoughts coming.

Bilbo

* As the late Missandei would have said. If you're into "Game of Thrones," you'll get it.

** The real ones, the ones that murdered millions of innocent people and destroyed most of Europe, not the imaginary ones to which ignorant people in this country compare their political opponents.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Cartoon Saturday


Sometimes you have to wonder whether a week will ever end.

The Supreme Court rejected Der Furor's attempt to dismantle DACA, the program protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, ruling that the administration had not followed procedures required by law; the Justice Department asked a judge to order John Bolton, Der Furor’s former national security adviser, to halt publication of his bombshell memoir, claiming it contained classified information*; continuing the nationwide trend of removing statues and monuments to Civil War era Confederate figures, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the portraits of three former Speakers who served in the Confederate government to be removed from the Capitol; at least 20 Indian and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in a bloody clash along the disputed border in the Galwan Valley; and in Russia, an ultraconservative priest who denies that the coronavirus exists has taken over a women's monastery by force and said that church authorities "will have to storm the monastery" if they want him to leave.

From the Department of You May As Well Laugh Because You Can't Cry, this week we offer another collection of timely cartoons about surviving 2020 ...

The latest contest show featuring your favorite socially-distancing celebrities ...


When even the goldfish are socially distancing, you know things are serious ...


Only six more weeks? We can only hope ...


Will we be looking at another baby boom as home remains the only place we can't social-distance? ...


Rat has it exactly right ...


Ain't it the truth? ...


You can't be too careful as you keep your business going ...


The Four Horsemen need to look out for their emergency supplies, too ...


I'd probably wish for the same things ...


It does seem to change with dismaying frequency, doesn't it? ...


And that's it for this week's edition of Cartoon Saturday ... I hope it helped you cope with the unrelenting bad news. Like I said, you may as well laugh, because crying doesn't help.

Have a good day and a great weekend. See you back here tomorrow for Poetry Sunday - more thoughts then.

Bilbo

* According to Der Furor, any conversation with him is "highly classified." News flash: it's not.

Friday, June 19, 2020

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for June, 2020


That we're awash in ass clowns is not surprising. What surprises me is that it is still possible - on occasion - quickly to identify the most "worthy" ass clown for a given period. So it is today.

With the usual flatulent blare of trumpets, we announce that the designation of

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for June, 2020


is bestowed upon

John Bolton


Hard-line conservative national security hawk, former US Representative to the United Nations, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton is currently at the center of a legal knife fight with the Trump administration over the publication of his book, The Room Where It Happened, in which he relates unflattering (okay, damning), but not unexpected information about his time as part of Der Furor's administration.

The fact that a former government official would publish a book about his (or her) time in the limelight, or that that book would contain vignettes not flattering to the administration, is not unusual, and is in fact a part of life in the DC anthill. Bolton, however, deserves condemnation for his willingness to document the misdeeds of Der Furor's administration in a book from which he can personally profit after refusing to testify during the House impeachment probe of Der Furor unless subpoenaed, and then only if a court agreed that the House had a right to subpoena a presidential advisor. He did offer to testify in the Senate impeachment trial, but this was an empty gesture because he knew Senate Republicans would never agree to call witnesses who might be hostile to Der Furor.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, the Left Cheek Ass Clown for June, 2020, is John Bolton - a prime example of the shameless greed, ideological rigidity, and boundlessly self-serving attitude of those who serve in Der Furor's misbegotten government.

Have a good day. Expect more from your government, but don't be surprised when you don't get it from this administration.

More thoughts tomorrow, when Cartoon Saturday returns. Wash your hands, be sure you are registered to vote in November, and vote.

Bilbo

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Musical Sunday


Der Furor is all about his base. Postmodern Jukebox is all about that bass. I know which one I prefer.



Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts coming,

Bilbo