The Politics of Writing: The Value of Comedy

Al Franken
‘Comedy is often in our lives for reasons we don’t stop to think about. There’s comedic movies, stand up comedians,  television shows, and then there’s just those funny people we l…’

Source: The Politics of Writing: The Value of Comedy

I agree with most of what this blogger said. Who will go nameless simply, because the blogger doesn’t have a name. (My first joke) But I would put it different and I seem to be doing that a lot lately when I share other people’s pieces. The value of comedy is to make people laugh especially if they’re having a bad day or things aren’t going well for them.

I do that all the time to make people feel better. Someone tells me they lose their job and I’ll ask them, ‘where did you lose it? Maybe you should try to look for it. Don’t worry, you’ll find another one and a better one. And will do a better job of hanging on to it.’ And this is sort of extreme example, but that’s my point. Comedy should make people feel better even if it’s just for a moment before reality kicks back in.

I love comedy about life (as if there is any other comedy) but that is what funny people do. They share stories about what’s going on in their own life and what’s going on in the world and look for the comedic angle. Anyone whose spent more than five-minutes in America knows there’s always something to make fun of. Take our U.S. Congress to use as an example. The oldest comedy club in America and the National Comedy Club going back to 1776.

If you can’t find something funny about Congress, you either never drink, or are broth blind and death at the same time. Perhaps you live as a tomato with impersonating a human being and you’re simply not aware of the world that is right in front of your own face. Take the cloture rule in the Senate where 41 votes beats 59. Anyone familiar with math knows that 59 is more than 41. But not in the U.S. Senate and that is just one funny example about Congress.

I only thing about comedy when it comes to life and current affairs is that first it has to be funny and then it has to be accurate. Or at least not out of the ballpark where it doesn’t make sense. Like if you’re going to make a fat joke about someone, at least have the decency and intelligence to know that person is actually fat meaning clearly overweight. And not just a large muscular person who is very curvy.

There are plenty of three-hundred-pound football players who are just very big, because they have huge bones and are incredibly strong and can probably bench press someone’s car. (Hey, Yugo and Beatles are still cars) If you’re going to make a joke a politician, it should make sense and be in the ballpark. Make fun of Donald Trump, because any joke about him is probably true at this point.

When I finally get off the computer and done at my office and have some time to do things that have nothing to do with writing and blogging, generally the first thing I do is eat and try to relax. But after that I’m generally looking for something funny to watch. Not looking to read a book unless it’s something that I’m about to blog about.

Besides half of my job revolves around reading other people’s material anyway. I just want to relax and laugh at something that had nothing to do with my day and job. That is the value of comedy. That little escape that tells you that there’s another world out there that’s much different from your reality. And a chance to just kick back and take a deep breath. Before I have to get back to work.

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TruthDig: Jim Sleeper: The Blame The Campus Far-Leftists Campaign Aims at Yale

Yale

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: TruthDig: Jim Sleeper: The Blame The Campus Far-Leftists Campaign Aims at Yale

I swear to God (even as an Agnostic) that the technological revolution of the last 20-25 years has really made America a lot dumber. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that America’s public education system as fallen in the same time. And keep in mind America elected Dan Quayle Vice President in 1988 and Floridian Jews accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan for President in 2000. So that’s pretty stupid and then add America went to war with Iraq over bogus evidence in 2003.

But take that up more than ten years and we now have a generation of Americans who believe that minority Americans have a right to not be offended and critiqued. Even though they live in a liberal democracy that has a guaranteed constitutional right to free speech under the First Amendment. I guess they were too busy texting their classmate who was sitting next to them, or got lost at Starbucks when they should have been learning about the U.S. Constitution. What the hell are you doing at college and drowning in student loans (because you never learned how to swim) if you don’t like debate. If you can’t handle politics that go against your own.

God help us if any of these Millennial’s ever become constitutional lawyers. Because they’ll look at the Constitution based on how they want it to read. Where their political correctness is the law of the land and there’s no such thing as Freedom of Speech, if it goes against their politics. Where the Right to Privacy doesn’t exist if people are engaged in behavior they disapprove of. I mean if I’m in college right now and I know I’m in student debt somewhere around fifty-thousand-dollars or more by the time I graduate, I’m busting my own ass (not my professor’s) to graduate and to learn as much about America and how the real world actually is. Not how I want it to be so I don’t think everything is swell when I enter the world. That I know everything won’t be paradise for me when I leave college.

But that is not the attitude of these Millennial goody two shoes who I guess got lost at a Karl Marx convention and gobbled up everything that Mr. Marx ever wrote and said. And now believe that is how the world should work if not currently works. God help us all if these kids ever to bother to graduate. Because they may end up dumber than when they went in, but now they won’t be a threat just to themselves. But if they were to ever get into power they’ll be a threat to anyone who believes in individual freedom both personal and economic. But especially when it comes to Freedom of Speech. But at least they’ll always have the latest smartphone, or computer, I’m sure paid for by someone else. And everything will still be awesome in their little worlds.

Plato Shrugs: The Suspension of Disbelief: Bernie Sanders as President

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Source: Plato Shrugs: The Suspension of Disbelief: Bernie Sanders as President

I disagree with the blogger who wrote this piece over at Plato Shrugs on two key points. And I think we probably agree on the rest. But Bernie Sanders, is not the ‘liberal Ron Paul’. Bernie, is the Democratic version of Rick Santorum. Rick, being the Far-Right Big Government Neoconservative Republican, who even flirted with the idea of outlawing gambling from the Federal level. To go along with outlawing pornography and same-sex marriage in 2012. Bernie, might be liberal compared with Rick, but who isn’t. That would be like saying a politician is consistent compared with Mitt Romney. Or someone is short compared Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or Yao Ming. You know, who isn’t. You might have to send out a search party to find anyone who isn’t consistent, or short compared with these people.

Rick Santorum, represents the Far-Right fringe of the Republican Party. The Christian-Right and Neoconservative wing of that party. Bernie Sanders, represents the Far-Left Socialist wing of the Democratic Party. That wants to transform this Center-Left party that I’m proud to be a member of, into the Democratic Socialist Party. Where what’s mine and what’s yours, is no longer mine and yours, but now subjected to our nightmare of an Uncle Sam. To decide for everyone what we should have and be forced to give up. And I’m talking about money here and not physical property. Because Bernie is not a Communist but a Democratic Socialist who wants a big centralized national government. To go along with a highly taxed and regulated private sector.

I also disagree with Plato about Bernie Sanders having no shot and even being a long shot to win the Democratic nomination. Bernie, has been an underdog his whole life starting with being the son of poor Jewish-European immigrants in 1940s New York. And then making it all the way through college in the 1960s and being part of the civil rights movement. To becoming Mayor of Burlington, Vermont in the 1980s as an Independent Socialist. To being elected to the U.S. House in 1990 and being reelected there seven times. To being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, again as an Independent Socialist. To being reelected there in 2012. The longest-serving Independent in Congress in his 26th year in Congress. To underestimate Bernie and root for his defeat. Is like sticking your hand in a full shark tank with your eyes close. Not worth the risk.

The Democratic Party has had a socialist wing in it and mostly democratic socialist, since the late 1960s with the emergence of the New-Left. And you could go back to the 1940s with Henry Wallace and others and people who worked for the Roosevelt Administration. The Democrats have always had a wing that believes American capitalism is immoral, that wealth and success are selfish. That the only such thing as the people’s money is money that belongs to Uncle Sam to give out to his nieces and nephews in allowances. That believes masculinity is somehow bad and that men are inferior to women. That there’s no such thing as racism towards Caucasians and perhaps even the wrong country won the Cold War. And now this movement is big enough starting with Occupy Wall Street in 2011 to have a major presidential candidate who represents them.

And I’m not putting Bernie down, because I actually personally like the man and respect him for his honesty and actually believing in what he says and his politics. And fighting all of those losing battles in Congress for over twenty-years as a result. There’s something to respect about a person whose willing to fight the lost causes, because he believes they’re right and everyone else is stupid. Sort of like the Chicago Cubs fan who refuses to root another club, because they can’t move on from the Cubs even after 50-100 years of praying for another World Series championship. Or watching games at some place other than Wrigley Field. But not only that, Bernie is a moderate compared with most of his supporters. He’s the liberal in the movement who believes in free speech and even Freedom of Choice when it comes to social issues. And not down with fascist political correctness movement on the New-Left.

So when you think of Bernie Sanders for president think of Uncle Sam, but change the name to Bernie. Our new Uncle Bernie who our parents sent us to, because they were tired of dealing with us and all of our demands that they simply couldn’t afford and we didn’t deserve anyway. So they send us to our father’s brother lets say to take care of us and we think that is going to be horrible until we get there. But then we’re there and Uncle Bernie has all of these goodies for us that he says are free. Until we find out that we’re doing all sorts of chores around the house (meaning taxes) to pay for all of these supposed goodies. That is Bernie Sanders for president. A Democratic Socialist who’ll promise you everything that you’ll pay for. As well as more stuff that you don’t want or need. And leave you with a tax bill for that as well.

Gata Bella: Ava Gardner’s Private Moments

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Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I think what I love and respect most about Ava Gardner is not her beauty, (not many prettier) not her adorableness, (not many women cuter) not her sex appeal even though she was this gorgeous baby-faced brunette with a sweet body and great personality and sense of humor. What I love about her the most was her realness. The women you saw on stage and in her movies is the women you saw off camera. The people who worked for her and gave her roles knew her so well and set her up so beautifully.

It was like she was never acting in her movies, because she was so natural in the roles that she played. She always said that the only thing that she wanted was to be happy. Those are the characters that she played. She had the reputation of a somewhat immature wild child who went too far and had too much fun and then would pout when she wasn’t happy. You see her first seen in the movie Earthquake that she did with Charlton Heston and they have an argument and she’s in early fifties at this point and still very beautiful and adorable and she runs to the bathroom almost like a little girl and takes a lot of pills. Heston, her husband in the movie finds her and saves her.

She was always playing a bit of a wild child who loved to have a great time and took it too far. Because as she would tell you life to her was about being alive and living and not just being around. And enjoying life and being happy as much as you can. She died at 68, but she lived her life her way (to paraphrase Frank Sinatra) and was Ava Gardner her entire life. This gorgeous baby-faced adorable brunette with the personality and sense of humor to match. And I believe this is all part of why she’s so likable then and still so popular now. Because she was this goddess who was so sweet, charming and funny, but so real and you always knew who she was and what she wanted. Not a lot of mystery with Ava Gardner.

Marmar: Jane Fonda Interview With Barbara Walters in 2006

Jane Fonda
Source: Marmar- Jane Fonda

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

At risk of sounding exactly as I wrote with what I put on my Google+, Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook accounts, (do I have enough social network accounts?) I love the realness of Jane Fonda. There’s nothing phony about her, at least in real-life. Keep in mind she’s an actress and a damn good one and as I said in my last piece about her, the best actress of the Silent Generation not including Liz Taylor. So she can play real as well as it can be done, at least onstage. And since I’m not the purely cynical asshole that I tend to get seen as, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt here. And say she’s truly a real person in real-life. What you see for good and I believe at least the majority is good and for bad and I have my own political and judgment issues with her, what you see is what you get.

Despite Jane’s Far-Left collectivist politics there’s a real individualistic side to Jane Fonda. That says people should be who they are and then own that. Instead of feeling the need to fit in and be other people. Which is exactly how I look at life as a Liberal. Personal freedom can never be real if individuals are not only free to be themselves, but then accept that and take advantage of that. But to paraphrase Jane, then you have to own who you are. ‘This is who I am as a person for good and bad. This is where I do well and perhaps could do better. This is where I come up short and need to work on to be a complete person.’ Not that you try to be perfect, but that you’re as good of a person that you can be. Because you know who you are and where you’re strong. While you’re improving at your flaws.

Without Jane Fonda’s activism against the Vietnam War and how big she was with the anti-war movement and the broader New-Left, I don’t there’s a whole lot to criticize her about. I don’t think there would be much that is controversial about her. The Christian-Right would still get on her about sexual movies in the 1960s like Barbarella, but that was in the 1960s at the heart of the Counter Culture and Cultural Revolution. And today if anything she’s still very popular, because she did movies like that and others like The Chapman Report. That looks at sex between married couples as well as adultery. Which was still very controversial in 1962. Jane Fonda, is someone who you really have to look at the whole picture before you make up her mind about her. Because she’s truly a complete and real person who can’t be looked at as good, or bad, or in black and white. Because like life in general she’s complicated.
Murmur: Barbara Walters Interviewing Jane Fonda in 2006

Marmar: Jane Fonda interview With Barbara Walters in 1978

 

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Source: Marmar-Jane Fonda

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Jane Fonda, I believe giving Barbara Walters an interesting interview in 1978. Whatever you think about her politics she’s very honest and open about them and her life as well. Like losing her mother at the age of 12, her somewhat distant relationship with her father Henry Fonda. Her political activism in and outside of the Democratic Party and I could go on. I believe that is what people like her whether they like her or not they at least respect her realness. And that there really isn’t anything fake about her. And as a result the characters that she plays in her movies come off as so real as well. California Suite, where she plays a somewhat cold and distant mother, is a perfect example of that.

Whatever you think of Jane’s politics I think even her strongest opponents will give her that she’s a great actress. Perhaps would prefer her to stick with acting and leave political activism to people who know more about the issues that she campaigns on. But she’s a great actress and I at least believe if there wasn’t an actress named Elizabeth Taylor, I believe we’re talking about the greatest actress at least of the Silent Generation. And that includes women like Sophia Loren, Angie Dickinson, Kim Novak, Karen Black, to use as examples. When it coms to acting she’s in the same class as Liz Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Susan Hayward and many other great actress’s. And that should never be misunderstood and forgotten about Jane Fonda. Regardless of what you think about her politics.
Murmar: Barbara Walters Special- Jane Fonda in 1978

Elizabeth Taylor Quotes: How to Live Life

DET

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I think one of the reasons why Elizabeth Taylor was such a great survivor, was because she had a great sense of humor. I would have paid anything to hear her private conversations with Richard Burton. Who could be a Little Dick (ha, ha) when talking to Liz. I think listening to them talk to each other would be like being at a great two-person comedy show. Like watching the Rat Pack, Abbott and Costello, only funnier. If you’re familiar with the movie Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (That is not a question, but a movie) It is one of the most dramatic movies you’ll ever see. But Liz and Richard turn it into a comedy, because a lot as far as how the couple communicates with each other in that movie, is how Burton and Liz, communicated in real-life.

Without her sense of humor, I don’t think Liz makes it to 79. I mean think about all the bullshit she went through in real-life and that is not talking about her movies, but her own life. I mean boredom alone could have killed her when she was married to Senator John Warner when they were married in the late 1970s and early 80s. She loses husband Michael Todd, to a plane crash. She survives what seven divorces, but manages to hang on to all her wealth that she earned after each divorce. She survives cancer and again makes a better life for herself afterwords. She is sort of the Bill Clinton Hollywood. She shoots one of her toes off, but grows a bigger healthier toe after losing the original toe. You don’t live the life that she did without being able to make fun of people effectively. Especially yourself and all of your screw ups.

As far as Liz’s advice on life, that is the roadmap she lived by to get through her 79 years. What choice do you have when you’re consistently knocked down. Especially from walking into doors, because you’re not paying attention. You either first realize how stupid you were, or how badly someone screwed you and either learn from your mistakes and get back up, or you lay down and claim life is not fair and wait to die. It is not a question of whether someone gets knocked down in life, or not. And getting knocked down in life by itself is not a bad thing. Getting knocked down in life is a reminder that you’re not perfect and you’re only human which is all you should want to be anyway. It’s the aftermath that is key. Do you learn from experience and adjust appropriately and get back up as a better person. Or do you just stay on the ground and rot away.

Liz Taylor’s message on life, was one foot forward after another. Figure out where you’re going and then ultimately get there. You’re going to take wrong turns at some point as we all do, but the key is to recognize them and then correct your course as a better person. Not lie on the floor and bitch about how unfair life is, or yell at your GPS for giving you wrong directions. But instead figure out what is not working especially your own mistakes and fix the issues and move forward. Get to wherever which is the best place for you. Knowing you’re going to screw up again, but the more you learn about yourself and where you come up short, the better you’ll be able correct your own shortcomings. And make fewer mistakes in the future.
Quote Tank: Elizabeth Taylor Quotes

Izzy Santino: Hunter S. Thompson’s Famous 9/11 Interview

HST

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Izzy Santino: Hunter S. Thompson’s Famous 9/11 Interview

I don’t quite see George W. Bush as the devil that a lot on the lets say further Left, if not New-Left, or even Far-Left do. I see President Bush 43, more as an average guy who was way over his head and had he stayed in Texas, probably would have been fairly successful there. But I don’t disagree with much if anything that Hunter Thompson said in this video. The Bush Administration, at least the National Security Council, wanted Iraq and 9/11 and the so-called weapons of mass destruction, became the original reason. For invading a country that was simply not capable of even defending itself. I mean how long was the 2003 invasion, a week, maybe a month. It looked like a state high school football championship team taking on a winless freshman team in a football game.

By the anniversary of 9/11 in and even before that in the summer of 2002, the Bush National Security Council, had already decided it was going to invade Iraq and knock out the Saddam Hussein Regime. It was just a matter of finding enough evidence to get a divided Congress with a Republican House and Democratic Senate and the American people to back them. Hunter, the smart guy he was, knew this and that is what he’s talking about here. ‘What comes after Afghanistan?’ In the so-called War on Terror. And they decided that since the terrorists hit us from Afghanistan, we should attack a country and a dictator who had nothing to do with that. Which is what you call Neoconservative thinking. Which is an insult to real thinking everywhere in the world.

POLITICO Magazine: Jesse Rifkin- Paul Ryan and The Long History of Political Beards

Paul Ryan

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: POLITICO Magazine: Jesse Rifkin- Paul Ryan and The Long History of Political Beards

When I first saw new Speaker of The House Paul Ryan and his new beard I guess a week ago, I thought, ‘great, here’s another political faker wannabe. Someone who wants to fit in with the Millennial hipsters, or whoever else. And will follow whatever the current cool fad is.’ To be honest with you, I doubt he’s still wearing that beard a month from now. Sure! It will keep his face warm when he goes back to freezing Wisconsin and perhaps help him get through another disappointing Green Bay Packers playoff loss.

But he’s got to deal with both Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and to a certain extent House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when she needs to him to bail him out on things like getting votes on things that the House Tea Party doesn’t believe in. Like paying for government, to use as an example. And paying our debts, which is really what the debt ceiling is about. Officially acknowledging that you have a government debt. He’s got to deal with people who are never afraid to crack a joke. Especially when they know that person can’t hurt them or fire them.

All of these leader’s all have quick-wits and sense of humors and he’s friendly with all of them. which could kill him with the Tea Party. The next handshake with President Obama, could cost Speaker Ryan his speakership. Senator Robert Bennet, who at the time at least was one of the most conservative members of Congress, lost his Senate seat in a Republican primary in 2010. Because he was caught shaking hands with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. They’re all going to take shots at his beard, at least in private. And with Mitch McConnell, those shots might actually come from a gun. He’s from Guntucky after all.

I believe one of the things that Paul Ryan has going for him is that he comes off as real and as someone who Joe and Mary Average can relate to. He comes from an Midwestern Irish-Catholic background, who needed student loans to get through college. Whose had a government job most of his working life. This is not someone who comes off as being better than everyone else who feels he has something to prove. He’s someone who has worked very hard to get where he is, because he’s had to.

Unlike, gee I don’t know, just throwing out a name here, but try George W. Bush. Just to use as an example. And the Speaker’s beard to me as it does for a lot of guys who aren’t lumberjacks, or rednecks, or bikers, or cowboys, headbangers, football players, it just looks phony to me. And someone who looks like they want to be someone else. Paul Ryan, should be Paul Ryan. A very bright Irish-Catholic guy from Wisconsin whose gotten to the highest point in Congress by being Paul Ryan. Not by trying to convince people he’s someone other than Paul Ryan.

The Daily Beast: Cheat Sheet- Ann Coulter: Donald Trump’s Muslim Plan Is ‘Best Birthday Gift’

Ann Coulter

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The Daily Beast: Cheat Sheet- Ann Coulter: Donald Trump’s Muslim Plan Is ‘Best Birthday Gift’

I don’t know who is a bigger birthday gift for bloggers and comedians, Donald Trump, or Ann Coulter. I guess The Donald would be at least physically, but that might only be because Ann Coulter has the body that only a stick-figure could want and is tall as a giraffe at the same time. Maybe they could run on a ticket for birthday gift of the year and run as a duo. Perhaps arm-wrestle to see who should run for president and who should run for vice president. I gotta admit even with her scrawny frame, with all of that masculinity that Ann carries inside, that might be enough for her to beat the 220 pound or more Donald Trump in an arm-wrestling contest.

Or better yet, The Donald and Flat Ann, could run for President and Vice President of the United States together for the Fascist Party and bring that back. As they’re working to develop their national time machine to take America back to 1955 and celebrate like its 1955 on New Years Eve and Day. They could appoint Rick Santorum as their foreign policy adviser and Mike Huckabee as their social policy adviser. Donald Rumsfeld, (an even less impressive Donald) could be their national security adviser.

A couple major things that The Donald and Flat Ann have in common is that neither one of them are politicians, because neither one of them are electable outside of the Bible Belt. And in The Donald’s case, he’s not electable anywhere outside of a Hollywood movie, or one of his own so-called reality TV shows, because he doesn’t know what he believes. Which gets to my second point about The Donald and Flat Ann, that since neither one of them are politicians they both can say whatever nonsense comes into their head at anytime.

Because they both know they’re not going to get elected to anything anyway. The Donald. wants to sell himself for his current venture which is, ‘Who Wants Donald Trump For President?’ Which will be available at your nearest TV set, or movie theater by the spring of 2017. And Flat Ann wants to sell her latest book and columns which will be available at your nearest garbage cans sometime in 2016. With pieces of three-weeks old baloney stuck in each page. With even homeless people turning down as food and reading material at the same time.

The only time I’m surprised by anything that either Donald Trump or Ann Coulter says, is when they say something intelligent. And I gotta tell you I have a hell of a memory and I can’t remember the last time either one of them ever said anything that got me thinking, ‘hum, we agree on something. They have a point there and I wish I had thought of that.’ They are both sharp businesspeople even accidentally in the sense that they know how to sell themselves. Sell their business ventures and in Flat Ann’s case her writings. Trash to be accurate that she sells that gets thrown out, or made fun, or a combination of both.

No, Ann Coulter, is not a prostitute, because lifelong prison inmates who have a better chance of seeing snow in San Diego than getting out of prison, have turned her down and have chosen men instead. What I mean by that is they sell themselves as far as what they’re personally selling. With The Donald, its his personality and reality TV career. With Flat Ann, its her books and columns. That keeps garbagemen in business forever with all the trash she writes. I personally for the life of me can’t believe why any intelligent person could even take either of them seriously, let alone believe what they say could actually be true.