Category Archives: Just kidding

SantaLeaks, via the New Yorker

This from The New Yorker:

An analysis of more than a hundred thousand documents recently leaked by a disgruntled elf has revealed several surprising facts about the North Pole’s most famous citizen.

· Santa and several top elves colluded to circumvent a ban on Chinese-made toys, despite pressure from the North Pole community to deliver only toys made locally….

· Senior North Pole officials were astonished when an elf in Santa’s cabinet proposed halting a long-standing program monitoring pouting and crying. “For years, we’ve been telling people that they’d better not do this,” one said in a confidential cable, “and now we’re removing all restrictions? What’s next? Decriminalizing the failure to watch out?”…

· Santa doesn’t enjoy going to certain St. Louis suburbs. “They just give me the creeps,” he told one top elf….
· Just this year, Santa accepted a payment of twelve million dollars to keep Charlie Sheen on the “nice” list….
· Contrary to popular belief, Santa cannot really tell when you’re sleeping or when you’re awake, but he will fly into a rage if his ability to do so is questioned.
You may not take this seriously, but I wonder:

What does The New Yorker mean by offering a forum like this to amplify anti-Santa propaganda? When does freedom of the press become perverted into antisocial activism?

Read that again about the disgruntled elf. Then look at pictures of the strange visage of Julian Assange. I’m seeing a connection here, and it’s creepy. How tall is he, anyway?

“Again with the negative waves, Moriarty!”

Again with the negative waves!

Once again, the media are filled with negative vibes about our economy, utterly heedless of the fact that the central tenet of the Warthen School of Economics is that “the economy” is an utterly abstract and theoretical thing built from collective emotions, and that the greatest single cause of “bad economic conditions” is negative thoughts regarding the economy.

This time, my beef is with this headline in the Columbia Regional Business Report:

Final accounting for S.C. fiscal ’10 paints grim financial picture

Thing is, the story (by my old friend Jim Hammond) is actually about what already happened with the state budget, which is fine. What gets me is that the headline implies bad economic times ahead. At least that’s the way I erroneously read it. And headlines are enough to make things bad.

To end with the words with which Oddball ends the above serious of clips, Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

And yeah, I’m kind of being facetious here. I just wanted an excuse to run the Oddball clips from “Kelly’s Heroes.” This, by the way, was what I was looking for earlier when I ran across the Kerouac clip.

Fun Post I: Abe Froman tribute

This promises to be a long and hairy day, with GOP lawmakers in the House poised to knuckle under to a discredited governor’s indefensible vetoes.

So I thought I’d start it with some fun, to give us the strength to bear it all.

I’ll start with this really awesome tribute video I found on YouTube last night. How did I find it? Well, I was posting that item about the death of Jimmy Dean, and I said something about him being the Sausage King of America, which of course was a play on Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago, and I went looking for a link to explain that for those of you who are not well schooled in Ferris Bueller, and I ran across this. (And yes, I linked to it yesterday, but y’all don’t always follow links.)


Twitlonger is decadent and depraved

Lately on Twitter, I’ve gotten into Retweeting, which is the cheap and easy way to share cool stuff you run into there. For those of you not familiar with it, basically I see a cool thing (or something that MIGHT be cool; sometimes I’m too busy to follow the link myself), click a couple of times, and bada-bing!, I’ve shared it with my 520 followers. WAY better than having to GO to the link, COPY the URL, PASTE it into the form on TinyURL, copy and paste the NEW URL into the Twitter form, and type an explanation of what it leads to.

Way better, especially on the Blackberry, which is the way I look at Twitter the most.

So Retweeting is cool, but here’s something that’s not cool, as I complained this morning:

Twitlonger is a decadent indulgence. I have only contempt for those who lack the discipline to say it within 140 characters. Harrumph.

I wrote that because several items I had retweeted this morning were already too long before I tried to send them, so my Blackberry automatically sent them using Twitlonger. But it let me know each time it did so. So I could feel the shame.

So much of the virtue of Twitter is the brevity. It’s a very satisfying medium, partly because of the challenge of expressing an idea fully in 140 characters. As I’ve noted before, it’s like writing haiku (if haiku were a lot less demanding). The discipline is good for the brain, and considerate to one’s audience.

But of course, as with anything that’s demanding and challenging and has a lot of rules (marriage, the Marine Corps, being Catholic, baseball), our lazy, permissive, anything-goes society’s going to come up with a way to cheat and get away with it. Hence Twitlonger, which allows you to break the 140-character rule. Look, if you can’t frickin’ say it in 140 characters, start a blog! Use a different medium.

Instead of sullying one that is pure and good (in the way that Hemingway would say pure and good, in the way that a trout stream is pure and good, etc.). I don’t know about you, but I don’t hold with it.

Come on, people, let’s preserve the unities. Let’s have some respect for the form…

The Onion’s (much funnier, in a sick sort of way) take on newspapers

You have to be able to laugh at yourself. And I do. After all, I’ve got more to laugh at than most people.

Over the weekend, for instance, I was listening to the opening of “Wait, Wait — Don’t Tell Me” (or something like it) on public radio, and heard a gag that went something like this: “Extra, Extra, read all abou… oops, I just got laid off!”

That one was a real knee-slapper, I’m here to tell you.

I also enjoyed this today from The Onion, which provides an alternative take on the newspaper industry from the one I gave the 5 Points Rotary last week:

NEW YORK—According to a report published this week in American Journalism Review, 93 percent of all newspaper sales can now be attributed to kidnappers seeking to prove the day’s date in filmed ransom demands.

“Although the vast majority of Americans now get their news from the Internet or television, a small but loyal criminal element still purchases newspapers at a steady rate,” study author and Columbia journalism professor Linus Ridell said. “The sober authority of the printed word continues to hold value for those attempting to extort large sums of money from wealthy people who wish to see their loved ones alive again, and not chopped into pieces and left in steamer trunks on their doorsteps.”

“These are sick, sick individuals,” Ridell added. “God bless them for saving our industry.”

OK, back to being painfully serious now…

‘Sarah Palin is now in Argentina with a woman…’

Not really.

That’s just the punch line that my old buddy Michael Feldman is using on current promo spots for his show on public radio.

I pass it on because it provides a measurement of just how much of an automatic laughingstock we have become in South Carolina, thanks to the tireless exertions of our governor. You don’t even have to say “Mark Sanford.” You can just refer to him indirectly, at a step or two remove (in this case, the only connection is that he was until recently a fellow member of the same group to which ex-Gov. Palin still belongs, which I suppose we could describe as “marginal people whom the national media have inexplicably decided to regard as serious contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination”), and still get a laugh.

So this is what we’ve come to.

The answer to the burning immigration problem

For years, some of you have tried to convince me that our porous border with Mexico is a critical, nation-threatening problem, necessitating such absurdly grandiose measures as the construction of a wall.

I was unconvinced — until now. This important video report provides the arguments that were missing before.

(Warning: There is some less-than-polite language used in this report, for comic effect.)