Friday, December 26, 2008

The Death of Eartha Kitt and Other Musings

A few miscellaneous riffs on the news...

Eartha Kitt, actress, singer, and political activist, has passed away. Many of her obituaries refer to her role as Catwoman in the old Batman television show, or to her outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War in 1968. I'll remember her for two things: her role as Tina Mara, the impossibly sexy contortionist whose flexibility was the key to a complex plot in an episode of the old "Mission: Impossible" TV show; and her marvelous song "My Discarded Men," in which she makes the best use of her distinctive throaty singing voice in a tune that's the ultimate in slow Fox Trot rhythms. She was a beautiful, complicated, classy lady, and she'll be missed...whether you agree with her political and social views or not.

CNN reports this morning that a German warship has foiled a pirate attack off the coast of Yemen. That's the good news. The bad news is that the crew of the warship captured and disarmed the pirates, destroyed their weapons, and then let them go. Whatever happened to the way we used to deal with pirates...putting their heads on pikes, or coating their bodies with tar and hanging them at the entrances to harbors as a warning to other would-be pirates? Aarrgghh, matey...methinks we need to take a bit more direct approach to dealing with these scummy weasels of the sea. It appears, though, that the only plan the major powers can agree on is to dispatch warships to sail majestically around the Horn of Africa, turning fuel into wakes, while preparing to deliver third-degree burns to pirates by blasting them with fierce waves of hot air.

There's good news here in Northern Virginia and other nearby jurisdictions, where the plummeting value of our real estate (as much as 40% in some locations) has finally caused our local governments to take action and provide themselves with fiscal relief by jacking up our property tax rates to make up for their budget shortfalls. I wish I could find someone to tax to make up for my budget shortfalls.

And finally, from Afghanistan comes this report of the newest weapon in the arsenal against the Taleban - Viagra. Yes, the CIA is reported to be distributing the little blue pills to Afghan warlords as a way of getting them to stand up to the to speak. We've gone from the 1960's mantra "Make Love, Not War" to the 2008 version - "Make Love AND War." The downside of this, of course, is that in another nine months we'll have lots of little warlords-in-training to deal with.

I hope you all had a great Christmas. I'm lucky enough to be off until next Monday, while Agnes has to go back to work today and tomorrow. Believe me, I'm hearing about it, too. But as long as there are leaves to be raked, laundry to be done, and a house to be cleaned, I can use all the "days off" I can get.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

I was sad when I read about Eartha Kitt, she was some lady.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Sorry to hear about Eartha Kitt. I was unaware until I saw your post.

John said...

The German warship must be taking its cue from the American Judicial system.

I say sink their ship, shoot the survivors or sell them as slaves...just like in the ol' days, eh?

Mike said...

Maybe the German warship let them go by tossing them over the side.

craziequeen said...

Hi Bilbo - so sorry to hear that Eartha Kitt has passed away. One of my favourite Christmas songs is her meaty version of Santa Baby :-)

Hope you and Agnes had a lovely Christmas and am very pleased to see you got to spend some quality Christmas time with Leya. I adore that photo of you, Agnes and Leya :-)

Best Wishes all the way from the UK, dear Bilbo :-)


Wanderlust said...

Hi Bilbo - Just found your blog via The Scholastic Scribe and like what I've read so far. We're the same age (although don't tell anyone else; I never admit to it on my blog)! Looking forward to more Random Thoughts!

Bilbo said...

Andrea & Capt Picard - this is indeed sad news. They don't make 'em like Ms Kitt any more.

John & Mike - why doesn't anyone ask us how to solve this problem? I think we could clean it up in a week...and the poor people in Somalia could make lots of money beachcombing for the washed-up scrap metal that used to be pirate ships!

CQ - great to have you back again! Hope you had a wonderful holiday in spite of everything!

Wanderlust - welcome to this bizarre blogging family! I'm glad you like the blog, and hope you'll continue to comment...especially when you disagree with my ravings.