A Sunny Place for Shady PeoplePithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.
Friday, June 13, 2003
Monday, June 16, 2003
The Twelve Stepping Crowd at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) must have been twitchingly enraged at recent reports that moderate drinking reduces heart disease risk in men.
Poor self-abasing and self-abnegating babies!
These dependent confessors have even invaded cruise ships, coyly calling their meetings (in the ship's daily bulletin) a nesting of "Friends of Bill and Lois."
They meet daily at the cocktail hour (of course) for their smokes and caffeine. And hand-wringing confessionals.
Why can't these people discipline themselves, and take responsibility for their lives without resorting to whatever gods they worship?
Now we'll concede that AA has been effective for the weak. Or the religious.
But this kind of regimentation isn't for everyone.
Atheists need not apply, for example.
The "12 Steps" are basically exercises in dependency of another kind.
Seven of the Twelve allude to or implicate god.
That's mighty heavy religion for us.
But we believe in "live and let live."
If AA works for you, indulge.
But if you're flirting with AA, be ready to kiss your self goodbye and say hello to god.
Recommended, Unrelated: "Might and Right" [Bush and Iraq], by Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker, June 16 and 23, 2003.
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Thursday, June 12, 2003
Working Class Republicans.
One can simply dismiss gay Republicanism as a no-brainer; one can also stipulate that the working class is generally ignorant and most susceptible to emotional appeals untainted by reason.
Black Republicans -- because of history -- raise other questions.
Do here we confront political octoroons?
What possesses otherwise intelligent people like Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice (Clarence Thomas is simply a dunce) to cuddle up to a party that considers Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond worthy individuals?
As Ron Waters recently so tellingly observed: "Black Republicans have been in lock-step with their handlers [emphasis added] on issues such as vouchers, faith-based initiatives, reduction in taxes, belittling civil rights, the war against Iraq and whatever else [the Republican bosses] serve[s] up."
The only black Republican in Congress, Rep. J. C. Watts of Oklahoma, has decided to leave the House for unknown or unknowable reasons.
Political analysis reveals that as blacks have increasingly provided margins of victory to Democrats, working class whites increasingly abandon the party. (This is part racism, part stupidity, and part ideology.)
The voting blocs traditionally Democrat, at least since the 1930's, have been Catholics, Jews, blacks, females, union members, native white Southerners, and the white working class.
Now: scratch those last two blocs.
Republicans have successfully appealed to whites by portraying Republicans as "winners" economically, and losers love to associate with winners.
Are poor whites just plain uncomfortable in a political party increasingly dependent on blacks to win elections?
And why are the talented Powell and Rice seen by some as Uncle Tom and Aunt Tomasina?
They're just opportunists.
They smartly perceived they could more easily defeat their black competition for tony jobs in a Republican party starved for racial and ethnic tokens.
So: how many gay, black, working class Republicans do you know?
Unrelated, Recommended: Clyde Prestowitz, Rogue Nation, Basic Books: 328 pp., $26.
Also Unrelated: we thank Robert Nafius, courtesy of his letter to the Los Angeles Times Book Review (June 8, 2003) for an intelligently compiled list of American satirists, which includes some of our favorite people, to wit:
Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Thomas Nast, H. L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, Dorothy Parker, Ben Hecht, W. C. Fields, "Modern Times," Dawn Powell, Billy Wilder, Lenny Bruce.
Philip Roth, Donald Barthelme, David Mamet, Richard Pryor, Jay Ward, Chuck Jones, Mad magazine, National Lampoon, Dilbert, Frank Zappa, P. J. O'Rourke.
Sam Kinison, Gore Vidal, Randy Newman, Albert Brooks, Kevin Smith, Larry David, David Sedaris, Hunter S. Thompson, the Richard Nixon of Dan Aykroyd, the Joe Cocker of John Belushi, the Mr. Robinson of Eddie Murphy, Allen Ginsberg's America.