Friday, September 26, 2008

The Mills of God

I'm still rational, of course; I understand perfectly well that Washington Mutual has folded as the result of general economic conditions caused by wellmeaningbutmisguided social engineering on the part of our beloved Congress, which is now scrambling to fix what it broke.

And yet I can't help feeling that the death of Washington Mutual is a just punishment for its cultural sins: an ad campaign with the smarm of an Obama stump speech; and a nickname, WaMu, and a slogan, Wahoo, as racist as Chief Noc-A-Homa.

No bank, incidentally, was more uncooperative and bureaucratic about releasing the funds of its dead depositors: all decedents' accounts would up in a black hole in the benighted burg of Northridge, California, whence it was almost impossible to extricate them.

Good riddance to WashMutt, say I!

Now, if someone could only teach HSBC Bank USA how to add and subtract, we might actually build a banking system worthy of the 21st Century.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life in the Old Dog Yet?

Remember Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson, or was it Alfred Drake and Patricia Morison, as they gazed down on the Jungfrau? Well, then, you'll know what I'm talking about, when I say that a lead-in to Wonderbra has come to me, as if in a nightmare:

Gazing down past your neckline,
One can tell you're no Katie Price.
If there's not much to see
Where the headlights 'd be,
May I offer one word of advice—?

Wonderbra, Wonderbra! etc.

Lyric © 2008 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

The problem with this verse—yep, there's always a problem—is that Katie Price is not as well-known Stateside as her spectacular, and endearingly artificial, assets would justify. Since the allusion may be lost on a lot of y'all, I've added the link.

(So does this mean the honeymoon is over? Not so, but far otherwise!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Common Sense Temporarily Prevails

The Ninth Circuit has got it right in upholding a "stop hiring illegals" law, if this blat is to be believed; not that any blat is to be believed, of course.

No one but a lawyer would say that such laws, designed solely to protect public health, safety and morals--the traditional province of the States' police power--, amount to "meddling" in Federal immigration policy (if any). These laws regulate employers, not illegals; forbid acts by employers, not illegals; punish employers, not illegals.

No, if anyone's been overreaching, it's Washington, which since 1986 has forbidden Americans to work, unless they can prove their right to do so. A remarkable instance of post-9/11 mentality before 9/11: discouraging crime by assuming everyone to be a crook who can't prove his innocence.

Do I sound curmudgeonly? I certainly don't mean to!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, Of Course

The inspiration for Robert Shaw's character in Jaws has died, apparently with his boots off.

"It was the funniest and the stupidest movie I’ve ever seen, because too many stupid things happened in it," Mundus's website says. How true, how true, of course; certainly, if I'd directed the flick, I wouldn't have fed a Luscious Babe to the shark at the very outset. And the whole sequence was so poorly lit, too!

But what gives me an all-overish feeling reading this obit is finding out that Mundus had set up a website that discussed Jaws, as if, for the past thirty years, he's gone mad pursuing Benchley's tale, like Ahab hunting the Great White Whale.

Sometimes, Life imitates Art. Sometimes, Art irritates Life.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's a Small World, Dammit

As my blogger profile will tell you, I'm a boondoggler by profession. Well, it turns out I'm not alone.

One siva is also a boondoggler--apparently the only other boondoggler in all the blogosphere. According to him, he's also a Japanese Faulknerian, and if that's what I think it is, I want no part of him. Who wants to read Absarom, Absarom! or As I Ray Dying or even Randing in Ruck?

Besides, what kind of a title is reticence for a blog, f'gosh sakes? Is that some sort of irony thing, or what?

Cost-Benefit Analysis

I don't know about other metropolises—er, metropoli—metropolides?—oh, hell, cities; but in Nyok, commuters have for some time now been confronted daily with a choice of two free newspapers: Metro and AM New York.

I never read 'em. Frankly, I can't afford 'em; they're just too darned expensive.

Being the upstanding citizen that I am, you see, I wouldn't dream of leaving a newspaper behind on the train or littering the platform with it; and the PATH system has done away with all trashcans, out of an understandable fear that saboteur airliners might take to lurking in them; so that means I have to find some place to throw the newspaper away when I'm done with it. The cost to me of one of these blats, as I figure it, is:

Cost of Newspaper $0.00
Reading Value of Newspaper $0.00
Cost of Annoyance in Disposing of Newspaper -$0.50
Total Cost -$0.50

So, overall, I don't even break even on the deal; I'm out a whopping fifty cents.

I figure when Metro and AM New York start paying folks fifty cents to take the rags off their hands, I'll step up to the plate. But not until then.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Here's a Switch

How many of you, faithful reader, have come across people who use flaunt for flout? If you need reminding, google he flaunted the law, and you'll see what I mean.

Well, in today's Nyok Times, Janet Maslin does the reverse:

“The Army of the Republic” is a high-strung, hyperbolic novel about American rebels fighting their own government, tackling a political hierarchy that flouts its contempt for democracy.

Janet's editor must have told her, "Kid, I don't never wanna see you write flaunt! Dammit, the word is flout! Ya read me?" It would certainly be fun to befriend a woman as complaisant as Janet seems to be.


As of moment of going to press, have yet to hear any jokes about Sarah, Palin and Tall. The media are certainly treating her with kid gloves!

Of course, I haven't googled it. That would be cheating.

News to Me

So have you heard about David Spade and Jillian Grace? (Again.)

All together now:

But I thought David was spayed!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah the Untouchable

Who knew the G.O.P. had a sense of humor?

How else can one account for the Divine Sarah's nomination as Vice President, but as a satire on the Democrats' Weltanschauung? Here's a woman with a full-time career who still manages to have a family; the wife of an Eskimo with a substance abuse problem; the mother of five kids with names so bizarre, they could have been coined by Brangelina itself, including one unwed mom and one mentally retarded child. Alec Baldwin must now be feeling like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis, as Tom Lehrer used to say.

Each party criticizes the other for nominating a candidate who lacks experience, as if the purely ceremonial position of President required any experience whatever. Well, what price Theodore Roosevelt, whose ascent would have been meteoric, if it weren't that meteors descend? A short stint as Assistant Secretary of the Navy; one term as Governor of New York; and one charge up San Juan Hill, according to his memoir, Alone in Cuba. Not much of a resume; but the guy made a name for himself.

Mark my words: there's a market waiting for the enterprising soul who manufactures the first Sarah Moose.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

In A World Where Nobody Lives Forever . . .

Miss Sallie Parker, who does a creditable impression of Walter Cronkite, among others, might be saddened to hear that one of leading lights of her vocation has signed off at the green young age of 68: Don LaFontaine, the Bert Parks of movie trailers, or "Trailer Parks," as we used to call him.

Then again, she might not. Miss Sallie Parker can be hard to read, at times.
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