My inflatable girlfriend - Ariel O. O’Airedale (an Irish airhead really; not much of a girlfriend, but she’s the only one I’ve got) - she insisted that I post a new installment of ‘Sex, Tattoos & Violence R Us’ because it’s been quite awhile since the last one. I didn’t really want to do it but, well, Ariel wears the pants in this relationhip and if I don’t accede to her wishes she’ll just keep barking (read: “bitching”) at me and hit me in the head with my own air pump the moment I turn my back on her.
You may wonder why I ever blow her up at all under these circumstances but… well… hell, sometimes a man gets lonely.
“HOPE & CHANGE” – PART DEUX (Or, “THE 180-VIEW”)
In the last major election, it was all about the Democrats chanting the mantra “Hope and Change”. This time it’s the Republicans chanting their version of the same thing: “Tea Party Candidates” and “Anti-Incumbency”.
Same crap, different year, different party.
Y’all crack me up. When are you going to figure out that no matter how many times you change the party in power the crap remains the same? Repugnantcans no good? Elect Dumb-O-Crats! Dumb-O-Crats no good? Elect Repugnantcans! How many times do you Americans need to play this game before you figure out that… BOTH Repugnantcans AND Dumb-O-Crats no good? Sheesh, even the dumbest hamster eventually figures out that the wheel’s turning but he ain’t goin’ nowhere!
Look, people, you don’t get to elect the real power players – those folks are groomed and appointed from behind the scenes, they're not elected. You only get to elect “the fall guys”. If that makes you feel better somehow, then go ahead and mark your X.
But I hereby guarantee every one of youz that more of the same is in America’s future, and it won’t make a bit of difference which of the two major political parties you put in power.
Speaking of Thomas Sowell . . .
WE GOT AWAY WITH IT BEFORE, SOWELL DO IT AGAIN
Thomas Sowell said a very quotable thing. This comes from the latest issue of The New American magazine:
How to combat America’s problems? Stop doing what we’ve been doing. Thomas Sowell, an economist and political commentator, says everything the government did wrong in the past is being repeated and escalated. Case in point: “The recent so-called financial reform act left out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” two institutions that brought on the housing bubble and led the way into recession.
FUNNY-SOUNDING ‘VERIFICATION WORDS’
Back in April, when Arlee Bird was doing his ‘A To Z Blog Challenge’, I left a comment on some participant’s blog, and in doing so, I was required to type the ‘Verification Word’ to submit my comment. I can’t recall what that Verification Word was, but it so tickled me that I actually mentioned it in a postscript and I decided I would invent some meaning for it and begin using it. Unfortunately, I forgot what the word was and when I went back to relocate it, I was unable to find where I had posted it. I searched every single blog I could remember attaching a comment to, but I never did find it again. And I mean I spent a couple of WEEKS searching for that Lost Word.
Well, I decided that would never happen to me again, and shortly afterwards, I began collecting all of the better Verification Words I came across at Blogspot.com while in the process of submitting blog comments. Sadly, I never again was given a Verification Word that I felt matched the wonderfulness of that Lost Word. But below is my collection of favorite Verification Words that I have collected since last April. Of course, none of these words mean anything – they’re just randomly thrown together letters by the blogspot computer system – but they all seem to me like they SHOULD have meanings attached. I just like the way they sound; and the first one - “jebocker” – sounds like a word my Pa made up and often used as an expletive. Oh, how many times I heard my Pa say from behind the wheel, “Come on, move it, ya jabroney!”
jebocker - mifie - curbiti - stermo - bolergar - redshe - stampoxi - phreti - liturva - spoteli - hingsomp - jewdays - demetax - waysizin - emotle - mingsi - equalysi - antiverg - muthref - expot - wingam - ellycart - unglyz - dinathr - ditypolf - inhomiz - locurri
OK, those were the best Verification Words I came across during my last seven months of blogging. Pick a word, any word, and use it in good health! C'mon, you know "ditypolf" deserves wide usage!
And speaking of words . . .
NOW, THAT’S COLD!
I’ll never forget the time my Pa and I went to Santa Monica Beach and gradually entered the water – gradually, because it was way too cold to do the usual, dash ‘n’ dive. But the moment that cold water reached my Pa’s… uhm… you know, most sensitive area, he yelled out, “Jacques O'Reilly!”
Now, that’s cold… AND funny.
And speaking futher of words . . .
MAKING IT UP AS I GO ALONG (Or, THE MEANING OF “INCONGRUTIATING”)
In this blog’s last installment [‘Tyranny And Mvtation’], when I couldn’t come up with an appropriate word to describe something, I just invented one on the spot [“odduation”].
I surely don’t mean to boast but I feel that I do at times have a certain capacity for “wingin’ it”. When I desperately need one, I can often come up with a decent counterargument. For example, I recall the time I was in the midst of a debate with some typical liberal. When he wrote to me: “It seems that you can't take disagreement.”
I countered with: "I disagree."
I’ll admit it, I’m rather proud of that comeback, and it still tickles me all these years later.
Also, I recall a couple of Christmas Days ago when at my Sister’s house, I was talking with my brother Nappy and said to him, “Buck Dharma was the most underrated guitarist of the classic Hard Rock era.”
A teenaged friend of the family, standing nearby, overheard just the last part of that sentence and so he asked me, “Who did you say was the most underrated guitarist of the Hard Rock era?”
I repeated it, “Buck Dharma”.
“No he wasn’t”, the young man argued.
I immediately turned to my Brother and said, “You see what I mean?”
I also feel that I am occasionally able to come up with a decent one-liner. Some of my better ones are:
Life is too long to take crap from people.
I never drank to forget nor forgot to drink.
Why don’t you just be YOU so someone else doesn’t have to?
I would rather KNOW an unpleasant truth than BELIEVE a pleasant lie.
You can't reason with a person who forms their beliefs without reasoning.
Barack Obama promised us "Hope" and "Change" but he never said anything about "Honesty." Yes, he did mention "Transparency" but I could see right through that.
But if I have any talent at all, it might be the ability to make up words when I can’t think of the real, legitimate word I need, or when I feel there is a word void, I can fill it. More times than not, I forget my new words almost as quickly as they come to me, but a few of them have stood the test of time for me. The Stephen T. McCarthy’s 'One Man’s Dictionary’ includes these terms that I have used for some years now:
For my place of residence and my fellow citizens: Airheadzona and Airheadzonans.
For “Dead Drunk”: Liquidated.
For members of either the Republican or Democrat parties: Republocrats
For the current state of our economy: Our Eek!-conomy
For Barack Obama: USAP (It’s an acronym for “Undocumented Socialist Acting As President”).
For USAP’s fans: Obama-Rama-Lama-Ding-Dongs
However, one of my favorite words I ever came up with is “Incongrutiating”. Please allow me to give you a bit of the background story. [As I wrote to my friend Arlee Boid a little while ago…]
Years ago, when I had a blog at Amazon.com, I had an Internet friend named Aaron, whom I nicknamed A-DogG. A-DogG and I had a very unique relationship in that we seemed simpatico in many (although not all) ways. He regularly commented on my blog postings and we would get into these amazin' discussions that went on and on and on and on!
At any rate, one day I invented the word “Incongrutiating” (pronounced: In-con-GREW-she-ate–ing). Anytime you find yourself simultaneously doing two (or more) incongruous things, you are “incongrutiating”.
The day that word came to me, I used it in a written sentence during a comment section exchange with A-DogG. The next thing I knew, we were both coming up with multiple examples of “incongrutiating”. Sadly, when Amazon banned me from its website, they deleted all of my old comments, so my own examples of incongrutiating no longer exist. But I recently copied some of A-DogG’s examples for your amusement. Here’s my old buddy A-DogG on incongrutiating:
Incongrutiating: Watching ESPN while snacking in a
Then A-DogG expanded the term and gave us the 'xtreme' version of it:
And finally, he began to play with variations on that theme and came up with the antithesis of incongrutiating:
Listening to U2 while reading The Struggles of Northern Ireland.
Listening to Pete Seeger while reading Chomsky (I think my head would explode!!).
A-DogG was GREAT!
The reason I thought to post all this here is because my buddy DiscConnected reminded me of the word “incongrutiating” the other day when he gave me a compact disc containing the Bob Dylan song ‘Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues’ at the same time he gave me the John Birch Society magazine, ‘The New American’. Ha! That was a prime example of a person “incongrutiating”.
And speaking of Bob Dylan . . .
IT’S ALRIGHT, MA, I’M ONLY ANALYZING
I’ve told y’all plenty times by now that I think Bob Dylan was a musical genius; and that unbeknownst to me at the time, his album ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ had a massive impact on me as a writer; and that I believe ‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ is his greatest of many great songs (and if you can’t remember all this, too bad; don’t blame me for your lousy memory).
But right now, I want to take a few moments to analyze the structure of Dylan’s greatest song.
You’ll note that most songwriters write verses that either do not rhyme at all, or else use a pretty simple rhyming scheme, something like 1/2/3/2 or 1/1/2/2. Maybe the more adventurous and ambitious songwriters might use rhymes or near-rhymes in a verse structured like 1/2/1/2. Or maybe even a longer verse that goes like 1/1/2/3/2. Now that last example would be considered pretty darn complex by normal songwriting standards.
But in Dylan’s song ‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ not only does he come up with brilliant lyrics – some that became slogans for his generation, such as “He not busy being born is busy dying” and “Money doesn’t talk, it swears” and “even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked” – but Dylan actually formatted these lyrics in the most complex, imaginative song structure I have ever come across. If any other songwriter has ever equalled this for inventiveness, I am totally unaware of it.
You know how when a line of lyric comes to an end and the last word is a rhyme or near-rhyme, that word seems to “fit into a slot” designed for it? Kind of like a jigsaw puzzle piece that completes the picture on a puzzle? There’s a kind of “Ahhh” moment, or sense of being satisfied when that last rhyming word in a verse or chorus takes it’s place to fulfill the build-up to it, right? You know what I’m talking about - it’s as if that last rhyming word fully satisfies an itch on your back that you needed to address.
But in Dylan’s true masterpiece, he turns normal rhyming schemes upside down, and rather than concluding each verse with a word that rhymes, he has every single line in each verse end with a rhyme or a near-rhyme EXCEPT for the last word of the last line in the verse. In other words, he totally reverses the standard approach.
Below are three example verses I took from 'It's Alright, Ma’. All of the verses are comprised of five or six lines and the rhyming pattern goes like this: 1/1/1/1/1/2
Read them and see:
Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Make everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred
A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy, insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole that he’s in
Aside from the philosophically intriguing ideas being creatively conveyed in these verses, note how the last word in the last line of each verse actually works like a final rhyming word would in most other songs. Because the last word is the only one that DOES NOT RHYME (or near-rhyme) with the others, it feels - it seems - it “sounds” - as if that is the word that brings the verse to a satisfying conclusion in a rhyming way. Do I make myself clear? In the verse above, it is that last word “in” that gives your ear the "impression" of rhyming solely because it is the one word that DOESN’T actually rhyme with all the others. It creates a kind of aural illusion.
This is an amazing trick that Dylan devised; I am unaware of any other song structure that even remotely resembles this. (If anyone else is aware of a similar rhyming structure in song, please let me know.)
If you still don’t get what I’m driving at here, then please click on the YouTube link below, listen to the entire song, and see if you aren’t left with the “impression” that every verse ends with a rhyming word, even though the fact is that each verse ends with the only NON-RHYMING word. I trust you’ll hear what I’m writing.
Click here and listen: It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
BOOZE SKOOL IS IN SESSION
[No need to take notes; there will be tasting but no testing.]
As I’ve told y’all before, when my Pa passed away, he didn’t leave me a fortune in money, nor did he bequeath to me his good name (it ain’t that good!), however, I did inherit his truck and (most importantly) his book. Yeah, he only had one book but it’s a great one:
Perhaps the most valuable chapter in this 1969 book is ‘#6 – Bourbon Whiskey’. Herein we find some of the things about this important beverage that few Americans know.
Bourbon, America’s great whiskey, is the product of a craft and tradition dating back nearly 200 years. Its productiion calls for a wedding of golden corn with infusions of other rich grains, all of which have flourished in this country since its colonization.
The world’s finest whiskey is made with limestone water found in Nelson County, Kentucky!
Limestone water, usually given as an essential in the production of Bourbon, has been credited with nearly every virtue. According to various reports, it is responsible for the courage of Kentucky’s Colonels, the beauty of its women, the speed of its horses and even the eloquence of its politicians.
There is no question that the finest Bourbon whiskeys are produced in the state of Kentucky. A small cluster of distilleries located in and around Bardstown, Kentucky, produce the finest bourbon whiskeys in America.
Most sadly, it has recently come to my attention that perhaps Bourbon is no longer being produced in Nelson County, Kentucky. The following comes from the Wikipedia site:
On November 7, 1996, Heaven Hill's production plant was almost completely destroyed by fire. Several of the company's warehouses were destroyed, and over 90,000 gallons of alcohol lost. The company survived the next several years through the provision of production capacity by its fellow local bourbon labels, Brown-Forman and Jim Beam, until its purchase and adaptation of the new Heaven Hill Bernheim distillery in Louisville. While fermenting, mashing, and distilling occurs at the new distillery, aging, bottling, and shipping still occur in Bardstown.
Note that the distilling is now done in Louisville, outside of Nelson County. (Is it any wonder that my Pa chose the year 1996 to check out of this lifetime? I think he foresaw that there was no reason to go on living.)
Evan Williams is a good example of what I’m yakking about. This Bourbon was once made in Bardstown, Nelson County, but a close examination of the label now shows that it is bottled in Bardstown, but you won’t find it saying it was distilled in Bardstown. Is this somewhat deceptive advertising? I thinks so.
Evidently some of the so-called “bourbon experts” don’t think the distilling location change matters. Check out these tasting notes for the 1997 - '98 Evan Williams Vintage Bourbon:
Hokey-Smoke! Who does this guy F. Paul Pacult think he is, Frasier Crane?! I mean, hey, I like my Bourbon as well as does the next guy, but when I sip it, all I taste is "whiskey", and then I get drunk.
Well, anyway, the three greatest things this country ever produced were Bourbon, The Blues, and Louis Armstrong. And sadly, it now seems that two out of three are gone (and The Blues is in sad shape, if you axe me). If anyone has happy news to the contrary about this Nelson County Bourbon problem, please be sure to notify me.
And speaking of my Pa’s truck . . .
PIMPED MY RIDE
Sure, I’ve pimped my ride (that is, my Pa's old truck), but I’ve had to do it ultra-low budget-like. But if you’re ever driving the mean streets of Phoenix, Airheadzona, and see a truck with these things in the cab . . .
. . . Then be sure to run me off the road and introduce yerself.
JUMPING THE SHARK WITH FONZIE
Just last week, a good ol’ friend of mine Emailed me some photographs he had gotten from someone else. I was in a couple of the photos – I don’t know who took them and I had never seen them before – but these suckers are OLD!
That first one (below) was taken on the set of ‘Happy Days’ probably in 1978, the year after Fonzie “jumped the shark”. That’s me out-of-focus in the background taking notes. I don’t recall the story now, but Fonzie was probably giving us pointers on how to pick up girls, or something equally silly.
Here’s a second one of me, possibly backstage on the ‘Happy Days’ set, although I’m far from certain of that:
So, I told brother Nappy that long before I had ever heard the phrase “jump the shark” I had come to the conclusion that for most TV shows, the episode when they "jump the shark" (or, in other words, display the fact that they’ve run out of good storylines) is when the protagonists go to Hollywood, or when some celebrity plays himself or herself on an episode. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this, but after awhile I began to notice the Hollywood/Celebrity pattern that indicated a TV series was exhausted.
Nappy laughed and pointed out to me that the very episode in which Fonzie jumped the shark also was an episode in which the Cunningham family, along with their friends and Fonzie, had gone to Hollywood. Doh! That’s right! That’s why Fonzie was even in a position to jump the shark – they were at the Pacific Ocean! That hadn’t even occurred to me, but it just goes to prove my point. ‘Happy Days’ didn’t “jump the shark” when Fonzie jumped the shark; ‘Happy Days’ “jumped the shark” when it was first announced that the show’s characters were going out West to Hollywood! (Although, personally, I think ‘Happy Days’ was a shark-jumper from episode one, but…)
My all-time favorite TV series is ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ (TAGS). After five seasons, Don Knotts (“Barney Fife”) left the show, and in season six, TAGS switched from black and white to color. It also began its obvious decline in quality at that point. Is it any coincidence that it was also early in season six that Andy Taylor and his family went to Hollywood? No Barney Fife? Quick! What do we do? “I know,” says the desperate writer, “Let’s have the Taylor’s make a trip to Hollywood.”
For a TV show, it’s the kiss of death, I tell ya!
Now, I’ll admit, there are exceptions to my rule of thumb (there’s an exception to every rule, isn’t there?), but by and large, I think my observation holds up. True, Dr. Joyce Brothers and Dr. Phil each played themself on the show ‘Frasier’ and yet the ‘Frasier’ series never jumped the shark. Yes, Sammy Davis Junior played himself in the second season of ‘All In The Family’ and it would be a few years yet before that show jumped the shark. And what do we do about a show like ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ which actually starts out with the main characters already in Hollywood? (Well, close enough – it’s a five minute drive from Beverly Hills to Hollywood.) But start paying attention and see if my theory doesn’t hold up pretty well.
Since I’ve been reminiscing here, check out this also recently discovered picture of my brother, Nappy, with Michael J. Fox on the set of ‘Back To The Future’.
Speaking of Brother Nappy . . .
1) Cigarette smoke irritates my sinuses.
2) Aspirin irritates my stomach.
3) I’m addicted to chocolate – I’m a “chocoholic”.
Ahh, yeah, you people are just SOOOooooo unique!
Turning briefly to The Sports Section . . .
LOCAL YOKELS 1 – WORLD SERIES 0
I noticed in the Wednesday, October 27th edition of ‘The Airheadzona Repugnant’, under the category “Today On Radio” it said: “MLB: World Series (Game 1) – Rangers at Giants, joined in progress, 6 p.m., 620 AM”
620 AM is KTAR, a local Sports Talk radio station and ESPN affiliate. Weekdays from 2 to 6 is the sports talk program of Dumbo And Ass… er, I mean, Gambo And Ash. Phoenix is just a wide spot in the desert pretending to be cosmopolitan, and here, our Airheadzona radio programmers evidently think it’s more important to carry Gambo And Ash yakking about sports in general until six o’clock, and pick up the Game 1 World Series broadcast in progress after their regularly scheduled sports yak program concludes... when the game is already in the third inning and the score is Rangers 2, Giants 0. Only in Airheadzona, I tell ya! The only station to carry the World Series in the Phoenix area, and they give precedence to two local yokels.
If you’re thinking about moving to Airheadzona, do yourself a favor: DON’T!
FAIRLY CLEVER, BUT . . .
Praise Breesus! New Orleans savior Brees has seen his passer rating slide from 109.6 last season, to 91.4 on your quarterback dial. That’s like down with the jazz stations.
Now, I’ll admit, that’s a pretty clever line. The only problem with it is that here in “cosmopolitan” Phoenix we don’t have Jazz stations, unless you’re counting KYOT, our Jazz-lite Kenny G-string station (and I’m NOT counting it). Well, there is the NPR station that plays Jazz after the sun goes down, but unlike a Big League city, like say a Los Angeles or a New York, Phoenix doesn’t have a 24/7 Jazz/Blues station. But then why should we? We’re really just a wide spot in the desert pretending to be wearing big boys britches.
One final sports observation . . .
MO’ BRAWN DEN BRAINS
Earlier this week, Darnell Dockett, defensive lineman for the Airheadzona Cardinals, was quoted in the sports section as having said:
I don’t think we’ve arrived or anything.
You don’t think? Well, considering that y’all have a record of 3 and 3, and are getting your azzes royally kicked on a pretty regular basis, yeah, I guess you're right, you haven’t “arrived or anything”.
We’re just going to stay humble and try to get better every day.
Gonna stay humble, eh, Darnell? What on Earth would you Cardinals have to be conceited about? Don't worry, Darnell, I'm pretty sure that if your egos start to rebel without a cause, any number of NFL teams will quickly re-humble you guys.
OK, speaking of John F. Kennedy . . .
NOW THERE’S SOMETHING YOU DON’T HEAR EVERY DAY, CHAUNCEY
In a recent Email I sent to my new friend with the pseudonym “Charts And Grafs” I wrote this:
I have read a couple of books and some articles on the Kennedy assassination, and it was so strange: that was the only subject I have ever studied in which the more I learned the more confused and uncertain I became. I have also seen a few documentaries on the subject. I finally reached the conclusion that I would never really feel I knew what had happened with JFK. And last year, after I had given up all hope of greater understanding, I finally viewed a documentary that “felt right”. It may have been the most clarifying look at the Kennedy assassination I have yet discovered . . . if it’s true. Ha!
In case anyone’s interested, that two-hour documentary is called SPOOKS, HOODS, AND THE HIDDEN ELITE. It can be purchased at G. Edward Griffin’s ‘Reality Zone’ site, but it seems the entire thing may also be available for free viewing online. (Try “Googling” it.)
This is the confession, made eight days before his death, of a man who worked in the joint service of organized crime and the CIA. Chauncey Holt tells why the Mob and the CIA wanted JFK dead and how they carried out his assassination. One of Holt’s assignments was to create false ID papers for Lee Harvey Oswald who he knew as a CIA undercover agent posing as a Castro supporter. Holt reveals that there were several shooters, but Oswald wasn’t one of them. He was set up to take the blame and draw attention away from the real assassination team.
And speaking of the Mob . . .
A bit of advice: Don’t kill the family dog by shooting its fleas.
And speaking of families . . .
A FAMILY-ORIENTED BLOG
Have any of you noticed that by capping the number of profane words I’m willing to use in any one blog installment at “lots and lots”, I have managed to create a more family-friendly blog? Please spread the word. (No! Not that word! Sheesh!)
This has been another fine Ariel O. O’Airedale & Stephen T. McCarthy production, brought to you by our sponsor . . .
BOYD’S ‘N’ BARRY’S
EVERCLEAR BAR ‘N’ GRILL
“Come hungry and sober -- Leave hungry and puking”
~ Stephen T. McCarthy (and Ariel O. O’Airedale)
YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.