Archive for the ‘The Usual Stuff’ Category
In November 1954, Ann Elizabeth Hodges was sitting in her couch, when a meteorite crashed through the roof of her home and struck her. Unconfirmed reports are that she said “Ow!”
Apart from some bruising, she was okay. She lived another 18 years and died in 1972 for reasons having nothing to do with the sky throwing rocks at her.
That how it used to be in America. We could take on the universe.
This week, reports are that a man in India was killed as a result of a meteorite striking the ground there.
The U.S. economy is so bad we’re even outsourcing meteor strikes. Used to be, we’d take a hit, then sue over possession of the rock. Really.
We have plenty of people right here in the U.S. that need to be hit by a rock from space. I can name several. You can too, I bet. But no. We’re outsourcing to India.
Did you like my novel Superego?
Of course you did. What kind of horrible person would you be not to?
Well, over at Liberty Island is a short story prequel to Superego: Personality Test. An AI comes online and tries to calibrate itself for its new owner, but it quickly runs into a problem: It’s not supposed to break the law.
The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2
- And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David
- To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
- And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
- And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
- And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
- And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
- And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
- For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
- And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
- And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
- Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”
— Clement Clarke Moore, 1822
Yes, that’s right I’m going to ruin it all, right here and now by giving away the biggest secrets the new Star Wars movie has to offer (even though I haven’t seen it yet)!
*WARNING: Do not venture beyond the break if you don’t wish to have these secrets revealed to you!
Mr. Right has a birthday today. It’s the first one he’s had this year. Yeah. I know. He almost waited too late to have one. Nearly missed this year.
Well, it is the good Reverend’s birthday, and we should all get together and sing “Happy Birthday.” Okay?
* * *
Well, that didn’t go as well as expected. I could hardly hear some of you. So, let’s try something else.
Maybe a cake. I’m sure he’ll appreciate that one.
So now what? Oh, I know. Let’s go simple. Leave your birthday wishes for Mr. Right in the comments.
That’s right, write wishes for Mr. Right right here. Alright?
I know. I don’t blog anymore. You’re probably wondering: “Did Harvey ban him?”
Yes. Let’s go with that. Let’s blame Harvey.
But here I am posting right now, and it’s not for any ulterior motive but just because I love you readers.
Oh, BTW, my excellent novel, Superego — a heartwarming tale about a psychotic hitman — is a Kindle Daily Deal at $1.99 for today only.
…And what else was I going to talk about? Is there some sort of presidential election going on or something?
Last month, I saw a lot of Tricolor overlays all over social media. So, where are the Old Glory overlays on Facebook and such?
In case you missed it, Harvey and Anonymiss are tying the knot. Oh, and they’re getting married. Go to Harvey’s announcement and leave your wishes there.
Which means that Anonymiss might change her name.
After all, there is precedent all over the place. When a major change of some kind occurs in life, that may impact the name by which someone is known, whether it be a legal name, or simply a common name, nickname, or title.
Prince Albert of York became King George VI of the United Kingdom. The Cincinnati Red Stockings are today the Atlanta Braves. Jefferson Airplane is now Starship. I Dream Of Jeannie‘s Captain Nelson was later Major Nelson. In Doctor Who, Melody Pond is known as River Song and The Master is now The Mistress (Missy).
But, what about Anonymiss? Does she become “Anonymrs?” How do we address her? Give it your best shot. Keep in mind, Harvey has a great sense of humor, but he also carries a whopping big punch. Be clever, but be good.
Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Joe: I’ll get it! I’ll get it!
Sasha opens the door.
Joe: Barry! I said I was going to get the door! I called it, and stupid Sasha did it!
Obama: It’s ok. You can answer the door next time.
Joe: But I wanted to do it now!
Obama: And don’t say stupid. It’s hurtful.
Joe (mumbling): I’ll show you hurtful.
Melissa Click enters
Obama: Welcome, Melissa. I may call you Melissa, I assume.
Melissa (nodding): I just felt it was my duty to inform you that your invitation to Thanksgiving Dinner was severely lacking. It should have noted: Trigger Warning – Celebration may involve cultural appropriation of Native Americans and their cuisine. Trigger Warning – Celebration may involve the idealized representation of genocidal, white Europeans. Trigger Warning – Food may be offensive to vegetarians. Trigger Warning – The sexist term “Tom Turkey” may be uttered. Trigger Warning – prayers of thanks may be uttered to a mythical bearded man in the sky. Trigger Warning – you may be subjected to abusive patriarchal sporting events. Trigger Warning…..
Obama: No need for all that. My very presence is the ultimate safe space. There will be no social injustice or glorification of American history here.
Melissa: We shall see, my pretty. We shall see.
Joe: (rushes to the door, barely beating Sasha to it. He sticks his tongue out at her and opens the door)
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood (enters)
Obama: Well, don’t you look lovely this evening!
Cecile: Oh, you are such a liar! I look positively dreadful. I haven’t had the money to get my hair or nails done professionally for weeks. I could really use some cash. Have your daughters made any mistakes you don’t want them punished for, wink, wink?
Obama: Oh, you are incorrigible!
Cecile (brandishing a plate of large eggs): Wait til you see what I brought for an appetizer. Have you heard of Balut?
Obama: Balut? Isn’t that partially developed duck fetuses, still in the egg?
Cecile: Traditionally, yes, but mine have that Thanksgiving twist. Turkey fetuses, darling. I just love working with fetuses. So versatile. So many uses.
(Stevie Wonder and Ahmed Mohammed arrive and enter just behind Cecile)
(Stevie Wonder feels his way to a piano and starts playing Ebony and Ivory)
Obama: Welcome, my brothers. And what is that you have brought with you today, Ahmed? Is it another one of your inventions?
Ahmed: It is a thermonuclear device. My father’s cell…I mean… I made it from parts I got from Radio Shack.
Obama: Well, aren’t you the little prodigy.
Ahmed: It really works, too. My father says, when we win the lawsuit against the school, Allah will bless us with many more such devices.
Joe (speaking to Melissa): So I hear you are in Women’s Studies. I read your scholarly work on Twilight. Fascinating.
Melissa: You did? I didn’t think anyone but my students read that. And I forced them.
Joe: That’s a shame. Your work deserves much broader attention. Your representations of class in Big Redneck Wedding and 50 shades of post feminism completely changed the way I examine my own patriarchal tendencies. I think my preconceived notions of gender have been a form of self-oppression I constantly struggle to liberate myself from.
Sasha (rushes to answer)
Melissa: That is what I was aiming for. Did it make you consider self castration? The betterment of society by changing men.
Sasha (opens door): And speaking of changing men….
Bruce Caitlyn Jenner (enters): Hello everybody.
Obama: The party couldn’t start without the Woman of the Year.
Joe (moves up behind Melissa, puts his hand on her shoulder and whispers into her ear): I’ve spent my lifetime researching women studies as well. Maybe we can get together later and I can show you some of the things I learned….
Melissa: Whoa, I didn’t give you affirmative consent, buddy. Where I come from, that is rape.
Stevie Wonder: Really. Touching your shoulder is rape? Creepy and unwanted, yes, but rape?
Melissa: He just sexually assaulted me! You all saw it! The violence inherent in the patriarchal system.
Stevie Wonder (chuckling): Well, actually, I didn’t see anything.
Melissa: So this is a joke to you? I’m brutally, sexually assaulted by a repressor of the patriarchy, and you think this is funny?
Stevie Wonder: I’m not saying it wasn’t offensive, but don’t you think that comparing it to rape denigrates actual rape?
Melissa: I can’t believe you just said that! That’s not just a microaggression. That’s a macroaggression. Racist!
Joe: No, no. It’s ok. Black people can say that word!
Stevie Wonder: What are you even talking about? What word?
Joe: I can’t say it.
Stevie Wonder: You mean ‘rape?’
Joe: No. Not rape. Of course not rape. Everyone can say rape. Watch me. Rape, rape, rape.
Melissa: Yeah. White women on my campus cry rape all the time. It’s expected.
Joe: You know. THE word.
Stevie Wonder: No I don’t know.
Joe: You know. The N-word.
Stevie Wonder: What? I didn’t use the N-word. I never use the N-word. What are you even talking about?
Joe: Ok, Ok. I’ll say it. Please don’t shiv me?
Stevie Wonder: Now THAT was racist.
Joe: Denigrate. (ducks his head)
Stevie: Denigrate? That’s not the N-word. That has nothing to do with the N-word.
Melissa: Sure it does. Sounds just like it. And it has such negative connotations.
Stevie Wonder: Denigrate is not the N-word. Trust me.
Melissa: How would you know? You’re not even authentically black. We can’t trust your feelings on the subject.
Stevie Wonder: What? Of course I’m authentically black.
Melissa: No you’re not. You’re not only colorblind. You’re fully blind. You can’t see your own blackness or anybody else’s blackness or whiteness or redness or yellowness. You don’t even know what race is. That changes everything. You’ve spent your life in a warm race-free cocoon of blind privilege.
Stevie Wonder. Blind privilege? Now I know you must be an academic.
Melissa: Do you really think you would have gotten where you were if you could see? Paul McCartney totally carried you on Ebony and Ivory. Do you even know which of you was which? Ebony? Ivory? Which am I?
Stevie Wonder: Ok. You’re right. I’m blind. I have no idea what race you are, but based upon what you have been saying, I have been able to determine that you are severely mentally retarded.
Obama: Don’t be preposterous. Why would we invite a mentally retarded person to Thanksgiving at the White House?
Stevie Wonder: I assumed it was a Special Olympics award thing. Or maybe it’s so Joe wouldn’t be the numbest hake at the table. All I know is that my special blind privilege has heightened my other senses, and my retard-radar is clanging off the charts.
Melissa: You make me so angry. You are such the microagressor. If only I had brought my muscle with me. Not even a blind black man can get away with calling a woman a retard.
Stevie Wonder: Ok, you’re not retarded. You’re mentally challenged. Feel better now?
Melissa: Screw you. Unlike you, I care about creating a beautiful future where everyone is equal and valued. Where everyone contributes according to their abilities and receives according to their needs. Where no one is labeled as mentally challenged.
Stevie Wonder: Yeah, because in your future, Planned Parenthood killed off the mentally challenged and sold them for parts?
Cecile: Heavens no! That’s absurd! We would never do that! Researchers don’t want defective parts. But that’s okay. Have you seen 101 Dalmatians, darling? Coats, jewelry, lampshades so many other personal uses for them. So versatile.
Stevie Wonder: I think I’m going to be sick.
Joe (moves up behind Bruce, puts his hand on his shoulder and whispers into his ear): You’re so brave. And strong. Maybe later you can come up to my room and we can reenact some scenes from my favorite movie. The Crying Game.
Stevie Wonder: Now I know I’m going to be sick.
Joe (rubbing Bruce’s shoulders): I can really understand what you are going through, Caitlyn. Even though I was born a poor white boy, I’ve never really considered myself to be white. I’ve always felt that I was something else on the inside. I’m a Palestinian trapped in an infidel’s body.
Stevie Wonder: You see what I’m saying? Numb as a hake.
Melissa: What right have you to judge him?
(Stevie Wonder’s eyes roll behind his dark glasses)
Joe: When I look into the mirror and gaze deep into my own eyes, do you know what I see?
Stevie Wonder: An imbecile?
Joe: A strapping young Palestinian. Skin the rich color of pumpkin latte and full, luxurious manes of hair on my head and on my chest. I have Stars of David tattooed on my pecs, and I’m pretty sure my name is Jaime Goldschmidt.
Stevie Wonder: Wait a minute. Goldschmidt? Are you sure you are a Palestinian?
Joe: Jaime is a self-loathing Jew converted to the righteous cause.
Stevie Wonder: So let me get this straight. You are a Palestinian trapped inside a self-hating Jew trapped inside a senile old white idiot.
Joe (nods): I’ve never heard it put so clearly. And I think the Palestinian within me might be a lesbian.
Stevie Wonder: There are not enough derogatory terms to describe you.
Melissa: You, you intolerant …uh..uh.. some kind of –ist. I’m sure what kind, but you are definitely some kind of vile –ist.
Stevie Wonder: How about we stop the arguing and just relax and listen to some football.
Melissa: I give up. You are so patriarchal.
Obama: You gave us the trigger warning. Football is on the table. Let’s see who is playing. We have the Redskins versus the Vikings.
Melissa: Ah. No. White Europeans against oppressed natives. No way. No way.
Obama: Well, let’s try the NBA then. Let’s see. There’s the Celtics versus the Warriors.
Melissa (screams, bangs her palms against the sides of her head and curls up into a fetal position)
Stevie Wonder: And we’ve entrusted the education of our children to her? (to Melissa) Ponder this. Margaret Sanger, Karl Marx, the Frankfurt Group, Saul Alinsky. All white European stock.
Bruce Jenner: Now that was just cruel.
Stevie Wonder: You know. Even blind, I can still tell you’re a man. Let’s grab a beer and catch the game.
Bruce Jenner: Now you’re talking, brother. I give up. My show’s ratings were crap anyway.
Ahmed: Excuse me, but do you know if that universal remote came from the Radio Shack? I think you may have just prematurely activated my thermonuclear device. I wasn’t supposed to set it off until halftime, but it is ticking now. Father will be so cross with me.
From Basic Instructions:
I knew a comedian who had a spreadsheet on which he had every line from his act intended to get any sort of reaction from an audience listed in the left hand column. He’d tape record every show, then spend part of the next day listening to the entire act, pausing the recording after every reaction and scoring that reaction on the spreadsheet on a scale from one to ten. If a line fell below a certain percentage, it was cut from the act.
Ric and I both agreed that it was an insane plan, which would rob our friend’s act of its soul. I should point out that our friend is still a comedian. Ric and I are not.
AP – Antarctica – The nude, frozen corpses of hundreds of environmental activists were found earlier this morning by the crew of an ice breaking ship near Antarctica. Hundreds of other severely frostbitten survivors huddled together for warmth, and a scant few were being noshed upon by the cuddly polar bears they had tried to befriend.
“We don’t understand what went wrong,” explained one of the survivors, once his lips had sufficiently thawed. “When we planned our nude climate change protest, we expected that the ice caps would have receded by now. The GCM models told us that the globe would be dangerously warm long ago. Of course, the thermometers all said it was colder than Ted Cruz’s heart out there, but we assumed the thermometers were all broken. I mean, science, right? There were graphs and stuff? Al Gore had to stand on a ladder. It was supposed to be a nude romp in the newly tropic Antarctic, right? What went wrong? Yeah, it looked all icy and stuff, but we assumed that it was all just fine, white sand. I mean, didn’t the ice all melt already? What else could it be? When the drugs all wore off and we realized how cold it felt, we began flatulating and exhaling like crazy, but the greenhouse gases didn’t warm us. They didn’t warm us! Gaia, why hast though forsaken us?”
When asked to comment on the tragedy, President Obama had this to say. “This just vindicates what I have been saying all along. Climate change is a more dire threat to the world than terrorism. Here we have just one example when climate change models killed more democratic voters in a single attack than ISIS .”
0bama comes from “Hawaii”… which explains why his usual greeting is “Aloha Akbar!”
In response to a story about a Minneapolis Public School official declaring the district’s schools a “violence-free zone”, walruskkkch [High Praise!], made this comment that dares raise the first question that should’ve been asked:
Ummm, so schools are the only violence free zones in the city? How is that fair to all the other parts? Shouldn’t he just declare Minneapolis a “violence free” city and then dismantle the Police force since they will no longer be necessary? Imagine how much money they can save to spend upon more Diversity Hiring consultants and what not.
On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress approved the resolution to establish two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. This date marks the official formation of the Continental Marines.”
Major Samuel Nicholas, 1st Commandant (1775-1783)
In the 240 years since the formation of the Marines, those Americans who wore the uniform and served our country have made us proud.
We are proud of the opportunity to offer our thanks and best wishes on this anniversary date. Civilians, soldiers, airmen, sailors, and indeed all Americans are proud of our Marines.