Category Archives: Not funny

Well, the Onion nailed us that time

On an earlier post, Burl shared this link to The Onion:

Obama Visits South-Carolina-Ravaged South Carolina

SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 | ISSUE 47•38

COLUMBIA, SC—Calling the devastation “heartbreaking and appalling,” President Barack Obama toured South-Carolina-ravaged South Carolina Tuesday, vowing never to turn his back on the 4.6 million residents whose lives have been turned upside down by the horrors of South Carolina. “For decades, citizens from Columbia to Walterboro have suffered a kind of pain and anguish that most Americans could never fathom,” said Obama, who later led a silent prayer for the countless victims of the Southern state. “But I’m confident you will rebound. Maybe not in a month. Maybe not in a year. But South Carolina will one day emerge from the ashes of this South-Carolina-torn land.” Obama will reportedly be traveling to Charleston next, a city the president said has miraculously escaped the devastation of South Carolina.

Yeah, that’s pretty much us. I wish it weren’t. I wish it were some outsider view that unfairly stereotypes us as something we are not, but that’s us.

There was a time when we could have blamed “the Yankees” for keeping us down economically and otherwise. Laughably, some still do (see, “Tea Party,” demands that Congress quit “stepping on our rights,” move to ban U.S. currency, etc.).

But nowadays, we have ourselves to blame for the fact that we lag behind their neighbors. And inexplicably, we keep marching down the path that has brought us to where we are.

Slight delay in the end of the world

A couple of quick pop-culture references, and Kathryn will be grateful that neither is to “The Godfather” (don’t worry, fans, I’m sure I’ll get back to the Corleones soon enough). The first is that I’m feeling sort of like Billy Jack

I want you to know… that I try. When Jean and the kids at the school tell me that I’m supposed to control my tendency to be a wiseacre, and be passive and respectful of other people’s beliefs like they are, I try. I really try. Though when I see this guy… who should know to keep quiet after this weekend… and I see him speaking up again, and getting quoted, and I think of the number of months that we’re probably going to have to keep hearing about it… I just go BERSERK!

I’m referring, of course, to the news that this Harold Camping guy is saying, Oops, the Rapture’s gonna come in October now.

The second cultural reference is more obscure. It’s to The Dirty Dozen. No, not the movie, but the (much superior) E.M. Nathanson novel on which it was based. The novel is so little-remembered that I had trouble finding a full preview of it on Google Books to check my quote. But near the end of the book, when Samson Posey, a Ute Indian, tries to perform a Sun Dance to get the weather to clear over Normandy, and one of the other 11 guys starts making fun of him, suggesting he’s doing a rain dance by mistake, an Army chaplain standing nearby says “Don’t mock him, fellow! Whatever your beliefs — if you have any — do not mock him!”

Which I’ve always thought was a pretty good thought to live by. (Look, if you want a blog that quotes Shakespeare, there are plenty of them out there.) A lot of people believe a lot of unlikely things. In this case, we have some people believing something that is directly refuted by the Bible. Which is inexplicable. OK, so Camping isn’t a biblical literalist. Cool. But we’re talking about a quote attributed to Jesus Christ himself saying No one knows the day or the hour

But I try, I really try, not to make fun. You’ll note that I did not do so last week.

But this guy is really, really trying my patience, and my resolve to be tolerant and respectful…

Oh, it’s satire? For a second, I couldn’t tell

Initially, only the use of profanity in this hilarious Tweet tipped me off that it was from The Onion. For a split-second, before the four-letter word fully registered, I had thought it was yet another post from the full-time trashers of public education right here in SC:

The Onion

@TheOnionThe Onion

Department Of Education Study Finds Teaching These Little Shits No Longer Worth It

Except for that one word, this Tweet (and the Onion piece it links to) was indistinguishable from the unrelenting rain of abuse that our governor’s allies, such as SCRG, send down upon public education — against the very notion of public education — on a regular basis. Seriously, compare that to some of the actual, serious-as-a-crutch Tweets we get from SCRG:



Pickens County School District Saddling Students with Debt:
1 hour ago via TweetDeck

Is Your Kid’s Tuition Unconstitutional? (via @WSJ)
12 Nov via TweetDeck

Williamsburg Public Schools: Costly Failure Factories – #sctweets #fb
12 Nov via TweetDeck

Academic Achievement for Black Males a “National Catastrophe”:
11 Nov via TweetDeck

Election Results: Parents Excited, Bureaucrats Scared:
5 Nov via TweetDeck

More and More Grade Inflation:
5 Nov via TweetDeck

Waste Rises in Pickens County Schools:
27 Oct via TweetDeck

See? All that’s missing is the naughty words.

Area man says he’s not Alvin Greene

My apologies to The Onion for using their “Area Man” gag, but since they stole it from those of us who actually used that lame, unimaginative, oddly comical construction many times without irony in the rush of getting a paper out every day, I guess I’m entitled.

Darrin Thomas

Anyway, even though this is from Rotary before last, I still wanted to share with you the story that Darrin Thomas shared with us when he did Health & Happiness Sept. 13.

Here’s the audio in case you’d like to listen to it.

Here’s a summary: First, he skilfully misdirected us by making us think this was another case of his being mistaken for Steve Benjamin. He’s had a real problem with that, and having confused white folks (at least, I assume it’s always white folks) repeatedly for that OTHER black man in a suit, we thought that was what this was about.

But it wasn’t.

It began with a trip to the supermarket, during which he noticed that an elderly woman standing near the turnip greens was staring at him with disdain — a look he hadn’t seen since he was in parochial school. He turned his attention to inspecting the produce, but when he looked up again, there she was, still staring at him “with this awful look.”

Finally, he decided to inquire. He said “Ma’am, have I done something wrong?”

She shook her head and said loudly, “You’re an embarrassment to our state!”

Flabbergasted, he said, “Pardon me?”

She repeated that he was an embarrassment to the state, and to everyone who had ever worn a military uniform.

He said, “Ma’am, I don’t understand, and I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.” By this time, several people had gathered around to witness the exchange.

Then the old woman said, “I’m no Republican, but I hope and pray that Jim DeMint destroys you…”

He took a moment to regain his composure, then said “Ma’am, I’m not Alvin Greene.”

She replied, “Yes, you are. [This next part is hard to hear because of the laughter of Rotarians, but I think she goes on to say…] I’ve seen you on TV many times. I know who you are.”

He denied it again, and said, “I can prove it to you. I’m not Alvin Greene.”

She said, “I don’t want to hear it. Get away from me!”

He was stunned, embarrassed and frustrated. He concludes: “Unfortunately, my family won’t eat this week, because I left the entire basket, and simply walked out…” He then conducted a tutorial on “How to distinguish Darrin Thomas from Alvin Greene:”

  1. “I was never in the military.” The closest he got was when he wore a Boy Scout uniform.
  2. “My idea for economic development would never include the creation of an action figure in my likeness.”
  3. “While I did many things to procure dates while I was a student at the University of South Carolina, showing a young lady pornography was not one of them.”
  4. If he were unemployed, yet had $10,000 in the bank, “Please know I would not invest in a campaign.”
  5. “Thanks to my English teacher in high school, Darrin Thomas speaks utilizing complete sentences.”

He got a big round of applause. He deserves it, for being able to laugh at this.

DeMint’s idea of ‘great video’ and mine differ

A couple of days ago, I saw this Tweet from Jim DeMint:

Great new video from @RepTomPrice at the Republican Study Committee AM Aug 17th via web

Above you can see his idea of a “great… video”…

Such is the aesthetic sense of a thorough, 100 percent, ideology-saturated partisan. Me, I prefer to share with my peeps such videos as this one and these two and this one and this one and this one and this one and this one….

But that’s me. I have broad interests.

And if Reagan is what you want, personally, I much prefer the video below. See if you agree…

Wilson, The Onion stand up for 2nd Amendment

I enjoyed this little bit of serendipity today, but then we ex-newspapermen have a twisted sense of humor. We call it a defense mechanism, but calling it that is also a defense mechanism. Anyway, on with the post…

A few minutes ago I got a release from Joe Wilson saying:

Wilson:  No More Inconsistencies with 2nd Amendment Rights

(Washington, DC) –  The Supreme Court rightfully extended the reach of the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms to all 50 states by a vote of 5-4. The case, McDonald v. City of Chicago, is the second ruling on gun rights in three years, and substantially expounds on the 2008 Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. Heller that nullified the handgun ban in our nation’s capital.

Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) applauded the decision, saying, “This ruling from the highest court in the land is a momentous change in the fight to restore gun rights in America.  For too long, our Constitutional right to bear arms has been inconsistently applied across the United States, and I am confident this ruling will change that.”

Coincidentally, this ruling comes on the same day as Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings, raising the profile for debate on the Supreme Court nominee.


A little earlier this morning, I had received this headline from The Onion: “8-Year-Old Accidentally Exercises Second Amendment Rights.” After that, you don’t really need (or want) an excerpt elaborating, but here’s one anyway:

NORFOLK, VA—Gun owners nationwide are applauding the patriotic, though accidental, exercise of Second Amendment rights by 8-year-old Timothy Cummings Tuesday.
“Timothy is a symbol of American heroism,” said NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre from Cummings’ bedside at Norfolk General Hospital, where the boy is in serious but stable condition from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “While praying for his recovery, we should all thank God that his inalienable right to keep and bear arms has not been infringed.”
The incident occurred shortly after Cummings returned from school and found that his parents were absent from the house. Displaying what Second Amendment-rights groups are calling “good old-fashioned American ingenuity,” Cummings placed a pair of phone books on a stool to retrieve his father’s loaded .38-caliber revolver from its hiding place on a closet shelf. After a preliminary backyard investigation of his constitutional rights claimed the life of Pepper, the family’s cocker spaniel, Cummings fell on the weapon, causing it to discharge into his left thigh.
“The framers of the Constitution would be so proud of what my boy did yesterday,” said Cummings’ father Randall, 44, who originally purchased the handgun for home defense. “If 8-year-old boys discharging loaded firearms into their own legs isn’t necessary to the maintenance of a well-regulated militia, I don’t know what is.”…

Yeah, I know. As humor goes, that’s pretty brutal. But so is the reality that it lampoons. Of course, all too often in reality, a human being is killed when kids play with guns. But even The Onion flinched at that.

The Greene family reunion T-shirt

Heard about these the other day, and reTweeted something about them. I even facetiously told my wife that’s what I wanted for Father’s Day.

But not really. My sense of enjoyment of the absurd doesn’t extend to enjoying the fact that SC politics is this dysfunctional. I think it’s too sad.

Republicans, however, sick of being (deservedly) the punch line for so long, are just enjoying the heck out of it. The above is from Shell Suber, via Facebook.