Archive for the Op Ed Category

THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR MITT ROMNEY

Posted in disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Geopolitical Insults, GOP, Hubris, Money and Power, Op Ed, presidential candidate, Small Town America, The Great State of Montana!, The Wrath of God, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, טילים on September 15, 2012 by paulboylan

I’ve made no secret of my opinion that Mitt Romney is the wrong man at the right time to run for POTUS.  The time is definitely right: Obama should be easily defeated.  He is an unpopular president serving during a severe economic crisis that really hasn’t improved enough to get him re-elected.  Only Franklin Delano Roosevelt succeeded in obtaining a second term under similar circumstances, and Obama is no Roosevelt.

So the time is right.  But Romney is the wrong man.  I don’t agree with Rick Santorum on much, but I agree with him when he stated during those ridiculous GOP debates that Romney “is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”

Santorum knew what we all now know – that Romney is a political opportunist: a rich guy who dabbles in politics as a hobby, who doesn’t really believe in anything and is willing to say anything and do anything to get elected. A recent example of how far Mitt Romney is willing to debase himself to get votes is his recent admissionhthat he admires Snooky.l

And he isn’t really all that smart.   He makes George W. Bush look like a genius.  Let me give you just one example. Here is something Romney said at a campaign rally:

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This quote is worth repeating just so there is no doubt about just how stupid it is:

“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that is the America millions of Americans believe in.”

This statement is a whole lot more perplexing than anything Bush ever said, including the Bush line about “how hard it is to put food on your family.”  That was a slip of the tongue.  Romney’s  circular and nonsensical statement about what he believes was not a slip of the tongue: it was an example of what is going on inside of Romney’s head.

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[Look at it this way:  John McCain had a choice between Romney and Sarah Palin for his running mate, and he chose Palin. Does that tell you anything?]

Santorum realized this about Romney.  I knew it.  Others did, too.  Yet Romney won the nomination.

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Why? Because he does best when he faces no competition.  His opponents dropped out of the primary races because they couldn’t compete with Romney’s ability to put out pre-vote advertising.  Romney won the nomination because he was able to outspend his impoverished competitors – which is exactly the way he made money buying and breaking up smaller companies when he ran Bain Capital.  He won from a position of overwhelming financial advantage (the story of his life).

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More importantly, Romney won the nomination because he had the support of right wing media and news outlets like Fox News that habitually overlooked and even excused his failings.

Those two conditions have changed. Romney is now facing vigorous competition. He is losing because he is no longer the richest guy in the race.  Obama’s money machine is generating as much if not more than Romney – even though Romney is getting huge donations from billionaires.  So Obama can match Romney’s political advertising.

And the support he received from right wing media is beginning to crumble.  Joe Scarborough is an extremely conservative Fox News pundit who has, in the past, been one of Romney’s chief apologists.  Not anymore.  When Mitt Romney tried to politicize the deaths of American diplomats in Libya by criticizing Obama’s response as being too soft, for “sympathizing with terrorists” by refusing to link Islam with terror, Scarborough said:

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And when Romney made matters worse by doubling down on his criticism of Obama’s handling of the murders, Scarborough said:

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This is the sign of a sea change. It is the beginning of the popular recognition that, even if Romney could win, he doesn’t deserve to win.

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And when other right wing news outlets like the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal find the courage to say the same thing, Romney’s candidacy is doomed.

Americans are fairly sure they want to replace Obama.  But we are increasingly convinced we don’t want to hire Romney as Obama’s replacement.  A large majority of Americans believe Obama hasn’t done a good job.  But we are not prepared to fire him and hire the one guy who is applying for the position.

Hating Obama is no longer enough.  “Anybody but Obama” is no longer a viable political slogan.  The character and intelligence of the man who replaces him matters, and Romney’s character and intelligence are not up to the task.

It is a mistake to back this man.  Doing so will end up destroying the GOP.  I do mean destroy.  If Republicans continue to support Romney, and he loses (which is likely) the GOP will break apart into smaller “rump” political parties.

This political season has been a disaster. We need to accept that. Like Romney, doubling down on a losing bet is just plain stupid. Republicans need to concentrate on keeping the House of Representatives and winning a majority in the Senate – and reform the internal mechanisms of the GOP to make sure that, in the next election, the GOP fields a viable candidate.

THE NEW SOCCER MOMS

Posted in American Decline, And now the snorting starts, Bigotry in America, Crime and Punishment, GOP, Headline, Headlines, Hubris, Money and Power, Mordor, News, Newt Gingrich, Op Ed, photograph, Photography, Politics, presidential candidate, Religion and Politics, Small Town America, The Great State of Montana!, The Wrath of God, Uncategorized on May 12, 2012 by paulboylan


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The American political world is abuzz withhnewsnthat, when Mitt Romney was attending a private preparatory school in Michigan during the time his father was Governor, he lead a mob who chased down a gay boy and held him down while Romney personally used a pair of scissors to cut off the gay boy’s hair.

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Romney first denied the story. When it was corroborated, he said he didn’t remember it happening.  When even more witnesses came forward to support the story, Romney said that he doesn’t remember this particular incident, but that he participated in lots of pranks and engaged in youthful hijinks when he was in high school, he is sorry if he offended anyone, and if it happened he didn’t know the boy was gay.

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The Original Prankster

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Romney supporters have attempted to brush the news story off as a “hit piece” designed to distract the American electorate away from the issue of Obama’s failed presidency and substitute it with the issue of gay rights.  They may be right.  It is an amazing coincidence that, right after Obama publicly declares his support for same sex marriage, it is revealed that Romney was a gay-basher in high school.

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However, despite the very best efforts of the Romney camp to refocus on economic issues, this story just won’t go away.  It is increasingly resonating with the electorate in a way no one could have anticipated. The reason for this resonance is simple: either Romney really doesn’t remember the event or he is lying about it, and either option is troubling to the American voter.

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Let’s not sugarcoat the incident. What Romney did wasn’t a “prank” and it wasn’t “high jinks” (as Romney himself tries to describe it).  Leading a pack of boys that hunted down, subdued and then forcibly cut off the hair of another boy who was “different” with a pair of scissors was an assault, a battery and a hate crime.  This is a graphic example of bullying in its most pure, most evil and most damaging sense. The fact that Romney lead the mob and actually committed the act makes it worse. 

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Imagine it happening to you.  Imagine you running, scared, being knocked down by a gang of boys, held down so you cannot move, while one of them sits on top of your chest and cuts off your hair “in large clumps” as one of the witnesses to the incident describes.  Imagine yelling for help and crying as you look up into the face of a young Mitt Romney grinning down at you and most likely laughing.

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 I’ve imagined this and it is terrifying.  I’ve been bullied when I was younger, but nothing this bad happened to me.

Let’s contrast Romney’s attempt to laugh off the incident with something from Obama’s past that Romney supporters point to as evidence that, if Romney was a bully, that Obama was a bigger bully.  In Obama’s autobiography Dreams of my Father he describes an event from his early childhood when he pushed a girl. Here is what he writes:

 Before my arrival she had been the only black person in our grade. She was plump and dark and didn’t seem to have many friends.  I ran up to Coretta and gave her a slight shove.  She staggered back and looked up at me, but still said nothing.  ‘Leave me alone,’ I shouted again.  And suddenly Coretta was running, faster and faster until she disappeared from sight.  Appreciative laughs rose around me.  For the rest of the afternoon I was haunted by the look on Coretta’s face.

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Any moron can compare what Romney did with what Obama did and see the differences between the two events.  Obama isn’t denying what he did, excusing it or attempting to trivialize it. He is “owning it” and is ashamed.

Romney, on the other hand, attempted to hide it, when discovered tried to deny it, when proven tried to trivialize it as a simple prank not worthy of even remembering.

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This was an event worthy of remembering, so Romney is probably lying when he says he doesn’t remember, and if he is lying, well, Americans don’t like liars. 

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We joke about politicians lying, but we get upset when they get caught doing it. Scooter Libby wasn’t prosecuted for revealing the name of a covert CIA operative; he was prosecuted for lying about doing it. Bill Clinton wasn’t impeached because he had sex with a chubby intern – he was impeached because he lied about it.  If he had come clean when he was caught the odds are the American public would have forgiven him. 

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So Romney is lying about not remembering that he chased down a gay student, held him down and cut off his hair displays a character flaw that troubles the average American voter and only serves to reinforce the uneasy feeling they have about him.  The Democrats say he is willing to change his position and “flip-flop” to get elected, and Romney’s lying about what he remembers only reinforced that perception.

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The average American voter, on the other hand, does not believe the same thing about Obama. Sure, right wing lunatics shout, scream and froth at the mouth about Obama’s duplicity, but the average person doesn’t see it. They view Obama as a basically honesty guy, and his “owning up” to his own bullying incidents reinforce that favorable view – and this means that undecided voters are now more likely to choose Obama over Romney in November.

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But what if Romney really doesn’t remember such a graphic and horrible bullying event that he himself perpetrated?  If that is true, then it is even more troubling than lying about it.

Some bullying experts say that Romney may actually not remember what he did because bullies often lack empathy. They don’t feel any of the pain they are causing, so in their minds the individual acts of bullying really are trivial and not worth remembering.

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Let’s review: Romney did it; he did the horrible thing described above. He was a bully. If he doesn’t remember it is because, at the time, he lacked empathy.

And this is the problem. Lack of empathy is one of the signs of psychopathy.

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Please control your outrage. I am not accusing Romney of being a psychopath in the popular sense – i.e., an insane killer.

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I am, however, suggesting that these recent events place into sharp focus many aspects of Romney’s personality that have troubled millions of Americans, especially conservative Americans.  And the reason why is that Romney may very well be, in a clinical, non dangerous sense, a high functioning emotional/interpersonal psychopath.

Psychopaths possess a general lack of empathy, and this includes deficiencies in comprehension and appreciation of others’ experiences and motivations, and lack of tolerance of differing perspectives.   Emotional/interpersonal psychopaths (as differentiated from socially deviant psychopaths) are often glib and superficial, egocentric and grandiose, lack remorse or guilt, and have shallow emotions. h[1]8  They display a lack empathy with no anxiety along with a predisposition to tell people what they want to hear. h[2]9 

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This describes Mitt Romney. When people complain that he is “wooden” and “boring” they are complaining about his lack of emotions.  When he says the wrong thing or “puts his foot in his mouth” he is being glib and superficial. His regular “flip flopping” is a manifestation of his predisposition to telling people what they want to hear.  He is clearly egocentric and his plans for the nation are undeniably grandiose. When people complain that he is “robotic” they are observing that he never shows any signs of anxiety.  A big complaint about Romney is that he is distant and not in touch with the common person – i.e., he has deficiencies in comprehension and appreciation of others’ experiences and motivations.

The bullying event and his reaction to the public learning about it provide the final pieces for a diagnosis:  he cut off that boy’s hair because it was dyed blond and draped over one eye, causing Romney to openly and loudly complaint that it “isn’t right; he can’t do that” which means that Romney was motivated to organize and lead a lynch mob and to assault and batter that boy because of Romney’s lack of tolerance of different perspectives. Romney cannot remember the event because of his lack of empathy.

A lot of politicians, especially those on the extreme right wing of the political spectrum, are emotional/interpersonal psychopaths. Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich certainly fit the description.

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Romney does, too.  We’ve all felt it, wondered about it, asked ourselves why we cannot support Romney and are still reluctant to do so.

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We are troubled by the inescapable fact that Romney is either lying about remembering his bullying history, or he actually doesn’t remember, and we don’t know which is worse.

Finally, the story about the boy Romney chased down and molested resonates with a brand new demographic:  those who were bullied in school and kept their silence.  They hate bullies, hate their excuses, hate the privilege that keeps bullies safe from any consequences that should result from openly expressed cruelty and sadism.

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You know these victims. They are short. They are fat. They are unattractive. They are weak. They are powerless.  They are poor. They are gay. They are “different.”

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They are Legion, and they all hate Romney.

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Bulling Victims are the new Soccer Moms.  They are a demographic that cuts across social, economic, regional and political boundaries.  And they all know what happened. They all know that Romney lead a lynch mob of rich boys who chased down a gay kid and cut off his hair for expressing  his individuality and difference.  They marked him and humiliated him in a way that neither the victim nor the bullies can ever forget.

And they are going to be the swing vote that gives Obama a second term as President of the United States.

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SIMPLE MATH [UPDATED]

Posted in American Decline, And now the snorting starts, Barry Goldwater, Bigotry in America, Crazy People, End of the World Knock-Knock Jokes, GOP, Hubris, lächerlich, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Op Ed, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Religion and Politics, Small Town America, Stupid People, The Wrath of God, مقاطع‏ ‏سكس‏ ‏مصارعه, خنده دار, سياسة on April 3, 2012 by paulboylan

On January 20, 2011, when George W. Bush took office as President of the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was at 10,587.60

Bush immediately implemented his economic plans based on right wing ideology, and this had an immediate negative effect on the US economy.  For example, on March 20, 2001, the DJIA closed below the previous year’s low for the first time since 1982.

Barack Obama took office on January 20, 2009, and when he did, the DJIA was at 7,365.

As of the date this is posted, the DJIA closed at 13,149.55

Let’s crunch the numbers a bit:

During Bush II, the US economy experienced a steady decline that culminated with a virtual systemic melt down. During Bush’s term in office, the DJIA lost 3,222.6 points.

The Obama years saw, at first, a worsening economic climate, with the DJIA dropping even further.  Non partisan economists believe this was due in large measure to the downward momentum from the collapsing economic system Obama inherited from Bush II.  However, as of now, during Obama’s term the DJIA has added 5,784.55 points.

The GOP is offering us Mitt Romney to replace Obama.  Here is the problem:  Mitt Romney is a somewhat stupid rich guy who is out of touch with the real world and who relies on weird economic nonsense born more of ideology than reason.

Romney wants to give the rich a tax break and pay for it by taxing the poor. No fooling.

 But we already tried that with Bush II. It didn’t work.  Obama, for all his many, many faults, has made it better.

The American people are being asked to try again what didn’t work the first time and to replace a devil we know with a devil we don’t.

The American people will pick the devil they know – warts and all. They won’t believe the shrill screams from the lunatic Right that Obama is responsible for the economic mess he inherited.  They won’t believe that he can’t take credit for the recovery we’ve experienced.

That’s all there is to it.  Romney cannot win without moderate republican votes like mine, and I won’t vote for a return to the policies of Bush II.

I am going to do what most Americans will do – I will look at the DJIA for a sign of economic health and I will look to see if my SEP retirement fund has recouped the losses it suffered during Bush II.

It has. My retirement fund is in the black again for the first time in years.  And I’m feeling a bit more secure and eating out more.  Buying that bottle of wine. Taking that short vacation.  Not caring quite as much if the lights are left on or not.

I hated living otherwise. I hated being afraid. I remember being afraid that the banking system would crash and the rest would follow.  I started wondering if I should hoard black pepper because it might be hard to get when the international trade system collapsed.

I will never forget what that felt like.  I won’t jeopardize the positive change that has come – albeit slowly.

The GOP could have given us Jim Christie.  The GOP could have embraced Ron Paul.  But it didn’t.  They found someone as much like George W. Bush as they could.

It isn’t my fault if Romney isn’t a viable candidate.

 It isn’t my fault that the GOP did everything it could to keep the economy from improving – and failed.

It infuriates me that keeping the economy bad was their big strategy to being with.  It isn’t my fault that the Republican elite is praying – and scheming – for an economic downturn right before the next election.  It isn’t my fault that the GOP strategists decided it was a good idea to spread rumors that Obama was born in Kenya and pander to bigotry by spreading the rumor that Obama is Muslim (or “muslin” as they say in the deep red states).

All they had to do was run on Obama’s record – which is really, really bad, – and give us a viable alternative.  It isn’t my fault they decided to focus on something else.

I feel bad I cannot vote for Romney. All I am doing is pursing my personal best interests. That is all any American voter should be expected to do. And that is why Romney will lose.

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UPDATE:  The latest employment figures were disappointing: unemployment dropped, but the number of jobs created was lower thane expected.  

Romney wins in November!!!

HEADLINE – FDA claims no need to test Pacific fish for radioactivity

Posted in American Decline, Brave New World, Fiction, Food, Globalization, Headline, Headlines, IN MEMORIAM, Isnt nature wonderful?, News, Op Ed, Our animal friends, pandemic, Paying Attention, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science Fiction, The Matrix, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, USA! USA! USA!, What are you sick or something? on April 17, 2011 by paulboylan

FDA spokesperson Vinny Slimp

WASHINGTON D.C. – North Pacific fish are so unlikely to be contaminated by radioactive material from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan that there’s no reason to test them, state and federal officials said this week.

“I personally smelled a fish that came out of the Pacific that looked like it could have been Japanese and could detect no radiation whatsoever,” said FDA spokesperson Vinny Slimp. The Food and Drug Administration has oversight of the nation’s food supplies.

“Based on the work they’re doing, no sampling or monitoring of our fish is necessary,” Slimp said. “We also consulted with a really good psychic that works for the North Pacific Fish Foundation who told us to tell everyone to eat all the Pacific fish they want and that no testing is necessary.”  The North Pacific Fish Foundation is an advocacy and lobbying group that represents the sea food industry and works closely with the FDA to provide guidance on sea food safety regulations. 

“Fish is good for you even if it is radioactive,” said Rocko Vincenchi, Associate Director of the Food Safety Advisory Board. “Like the chemicals in drinking water from plastic bottles and dyes in foods, there is nothing bad, per se, about radiation.  We got radiation everywhere. You walk outside and you get hit with radiation from the sun. That’s right, from the sun. Solar energy and radiation are the same thing.  Besides, fish got all that healthy fish oil in them, so the more radiated fish you eat the more you will be protected from radiation in the fish!” Vincenchi said, then quickly added “but I’m not saying there is any radiation in any fish. The FDA says there is no need for testing so that means there ain’t no radiation,  right?”

Rocko Vincenchi

The Food Safety Advisory Board is an advocacy/lobbying organization supported financially by the food industry and is dedicated to repealing food safety regulations.

Source:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/04/16/1629400/fda-claims-no-need-to-test-pacific.html#ixzz1JnSXmTVC

HEADLINE – Gov’t focus on nuke crisis angers tsunami victims

Posted in Barry Goldwater, Brave New World, dada, Fair Use, Get a job, Getting it Right, Globalization, Headline, Headlines, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Rage Against the Machine, Smiley Face, The Matrix, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel, Uncategorized, USA! USA! USA!, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags , , , , , , on April 2, 2011 by paulboylan

RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan – As Japan’s prime minister held another in an endless stream of press conferences to describe in great detail the Japanese government’s efforts to fix damaged nuclear reactors, frustrated tsunami victims complained that the government has been too focused on the nuclear crisis that followed the massive wave.

“Hey! Over here! 165,000 people living in cardboard boxes and packing crates! HELLO?? Is anyone home??” 35-year-old Megumi Shimanuki shouted at the Prime Minister from the crowd gathered at the press conference. “Yeah, yeah, highly radioactive water is leaking into the sea. Blah, blah, blah. I need a house,” Shimanuki yelled.

“Go find the corporate executives and their stooge government regulators who willfully and knowingly decided to operate unsafe nuclear reactors right near the ocean, line them up against a wall, and shoot them,” suggested Ken Hashimoto, a fellow tsunami evacuee.

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“Kill them all, then confiscate their multiple homes, expensive automobiles and jewelry they bought with the profits they made cutting safety corners.  Sell that property and use the money to get me some food,” Hashimoto added.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com

HEADLINE – Japan vows to review nuclear safety standards

Posted in Brave New World, dada, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Headline, Headlines, Humor, Isnt nature wonderful?, Life, Mad Men, News, Op Ed, Parody, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, satire, The Matrix, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2011 by paulboylan

In response to charges of criminal regulatory negligence that resulted in the clearly apparent failure to build and maintain safe nuclear reactors, the Japanese government vowed to review Japan’s nuclear safety standards.

“We will review them, if we can find them,” promised Ken Fujikuma, Head of the Japanese Nuclear Industry Regulatory Commission and Late Night Drinking Games.

Fujikuma also pledged to “look into” the wisdom of running while holding scissors and playing Russian Roulette with fully loaded hand guns.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110329/ap_on_bi_ge/as_japan_earthquake;_ylt=AqGOpu9PvKLz0Dh77MPCoIys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFoOGJ1Ymw0BHBvcwMyNwRzZWMDYWNjb3JkaW9uX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNqYXBhbnZvd3N0b3I-

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Nietzsche Family Circus

Posted in American Decline, Artists Rights, Barry Goldwater, Berne Convention, dada, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Hapax Legomenon, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Mad Men, Moral Rights, Op Ed, Our animal friends, Parody, Paying Attention, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Pycho-Social Trauma, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, satire, Small Town America, Stoats, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, The Wilhelm Scream, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on November 20, 2010 by paulboylan

I don’t know if this is taking place in any other part of the world, but here in the U.S. of A. virtually every newspaper has featured a daily cartoon entitled “the Family Circus.”  Here is an example:


I hate this cartoon strip.  Please note that I am using the word “hate” in reference to the Family Circus cartoon series.  First, it isn’t funny.  At most, it is merely cute, and cuteness doesn’t sustain any meaningful interest. Second, and more importantly,  the  Family Circus cartoon series represents – and works to reinforce and therefore perpetuate – just about every evil that slowly works to subvert American greatness.  The cartoon strip champions mediocrity.  It laughs at – and accepts – idiocy in thought, attitude and behavior.


The Nietzsche Family Circus pairs randomized Family Circus cartoons with randomized Friedrich Nietzsche quotes, and by doing so, not only is wonderful parody but brilliant and piercing satire, e.g. -

Man is something to be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?

And, from my very limited and idiosyncratic viewpoint, the random parings are also very dada, which, for me, provides added value and elevates the Nietzche Family Circus to art.



Please enjoy:


http://www.losanjealous.com/nfc/


And, as a bonus for my mate, Flinthart, here is a Family Circus cartoon quoting H.P. Lovecraft:



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