Here we go with the happy puppies again. How am I supposed to illustrate this mess?
(Thanks to Susan for the nooze clip–blame her.)
Reacting to the new monkeypox scare, the government’s Center for Disease Control has issued new guidelines for “having sex” (See https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/pdf/MPX_Social_Gatherings_Safer_Sex-508.pdf for one of several examples)–and how the dickens do I write about this? I knew I was in trouble when I read a reminder to “wash your hands, fetish gear [“fetish gear”?], and sex toys” after “having sex.”
Yeah, better wash that fetish gear… Like everybody has some.
We’re also counseled to avoid “hugging, massaging, kissing”–but M______ is “always safe.” But just to make sure, preserve “social distancing” when “having sex.” Try not to do it at a distance less than six feet.
I trust this gives you some idea of how hard it is to write satire, these days.
But not to worry! There’s always mail-in voting! That’s how you wind up with SloJo in the White House. You know they’re gonna go for that again!
School board meetings never used to be this loud.
Once upon a time it would’ve been just about impossible to believe a scenario like this (https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/06/23/arizona-ag-sues-school-district-accused-blocking-public-comment-during-meetings-parents-should-never-silenced/): A school board knowingly violating the law and a board president spying on parents.
This is what’s happening in Scottsdale, AZ–where the state attorney general is suing the school district for trying to silence free speech on controversial topics (like the highly unpopular “mask mandate”) and, of course–public bodies do this a lot–violating the state’s Open Meeting Law in a variety of not-so-clever ways. This was all in 2021. (See https://leeduigon.com/2021/11/15/youre-out-scottsdale-az-school-board-president/).
In addition, the former board president is being sued for spying on parents and publishing their private information… which made them highly vulnerable to identity theft and other crimes.
Do you remember a time when local school boards were your friends and neighbors, who represented you and did the best they could? Not any more! I covered local school boards as a reporter in the 1970s. Nothing–nothing!–like this was going on… although the state and federal governments were already working to erase local autonomy in education. Looks like they’ve done a pretty good job of it.
Well, the state of Arizona is now suing these jerks; and I hope we see some pretty hefty criminal penalties dished out. This really has to stop.
And at this point public education itself has to stop.
G’day! Byron the Quokka here. I’ve been elected Big Cheese of the Violet Crepuscular Society. I want you to know I did not seek this office. Some of us have greatness thrust upon them. And some of us have stupid stuff thrust upon them.
Well, Violet’s ratings are in the tank. She’s still popular here on Rottnest Island, but the rest of the world is just not reading her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. I heard a wombat say “I could write better stories than this, and I’m illiterate!” (Yeah, yeah! Let’s see you crank out almost 500 chapters, sport!)
We’re afraid Violet might have had one too many Southern Comfort/toothpaste floats and will soon float away herself–just short of 500 chapters! Oh, to get so close!
As President of the Violet Crepuscular Society, I call upon all good souls to come to the aid of our favorite romance writer. No, don’t send any money, she’ll only fritter it away (you know what those Americans are like). Just read her book! When she sees the numbers going up again, she’ll soon be back to her old self. I’m curious to see what that would be like.
Maybe if we offered her a bicycle…
Who ever thought I’d turn out to be a liquidator? I certainly didn’t. Nevertheless, that’s the work I did for several years–as a one-man company, “Easy Liquidators.”
Lee the Liquidator
We liquidators perform a useful function in the economy: we find buyers for merchandise that its owner hasn’t been able to sell. You’d be astonished by how much unsellable stuff is out there, cluttering up America’s warehouses. Liquidators help you get rid of it. You’ll only get pennies on the dollar, but it’s better than nothing and besides, you can use the warehouse space. And we get a percentage from the buyer.
Star Wars figurines–suddenly you’ve got a whole truckload of ’em sitting in your warehouse and you can’t hardly give ’em away! Cookies with the wrong color labels, rapidly approaching their sell-by date. Another truckload of hospital johnny-coats. You name it, it’s been liquidated.
I wasn’t that good at it, but I did learn lessons about business that I won’t forget.
I can never hear this hymn without thinking of my Aunt Millie, whom the pastor of her church used to call “our little ewe lamb.” I do miss her!
Requested by Thewhiterabbit, Just As I Am, sung by the Antrim Mennonite Choir.
Phoebe has to try to get the vet to see her cat this morning, he fell sick over the weekend. Patty and I lost our little Peep recently, and we’re a long way from getting over it.
O Lord our God! Please, Lord, be kind and merciful to your servant, Phoebe, and heal her cat. You know how we love our pets, Father; and they love us. You know how it hurts us to lose them. Please, Lord: this time, save Phoebe’s cat, Iggy.
We ask for this blessing in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Is this little dog quite all there? Really: why so much passion? It’s only mail.
Can it be that the dog objects (strenuously!) to the content of the mail? We got a flyer for a “Marital Arts” school once. Maybe that’s the kind of thing he doesn’t like.
The stories we heard around the campfire at Y Camp in the 60s were better than today’s movie scripts.
The art of storytelling is as old as humanity itself. So what gives with all these current movies in which the story just totally falls apart in the last 30 minutes of the film? Like the writers have no idea how to end it?
How do you learn to tell a story? You listen to stories, you read as many as you can, and you imitate the ones you like. But if hardly anyone is reading anymore, who’s left who knows how to tell a story?
I’m tired of movies that promise much and wind up delivering nothing. We watched a film called A Cure for Wellness (2016), supposedly a psychological thriller about goings-on at a pricey, innovative wellness center somewhere in the Swiss Alps. Exquisitely filmed, well-acted… and we aborted the final 15 or 20 minutes of it because the writers had thoroughly lost the thread of the story and tried to make up for it with graphic sex scenes. And it was a long movie, too: we’ll never get those hours back.
The same thing happens with a lot of new movies: they just can’t wrap up the story. It’s like it only ends because they couldn’t buy more film. I have already deleted most of the titles from my mind. Not worth remembering!
I put it down to a shortage of reading. Nobody’s reading cogent stories anymore, so no one knows how to write one. And I suspect it’s going to get worse before it gets better–if it ever does get better. Can we only watch old movies anymore? Is there any way we can force today’s screenwriters to watch them?
We used to know how to tell a story. Now it seems we don’t. What a loss that is! And dumbing down the public is no way to keep a country running.
So there’s a new Jurassic Park movie coming out, I’ve seen the trailer–and I’m hooked! But really the hook was set in 1993 (good grief, 30 years ago!) with the first Jurassic Park–which we’re going to watch again this afternoon.
I have just blown 20 minutes trying to turn my computer back on–which is one of the lessons Michael Crichton tried to teach when he wrote Jurassic Park. All those high-tech safety and security systems aren’t worth a damn when they rely on human beings never to forget anything, never to click the wrong key, never to try something cute. God made us fallible. Did He ever make us fallible! You’d think that would breed humility. But then Jurassic Park is about hubris, not humility. Homer would’ve understood it instantly.
How wonderful would it be to see a dinosaur? I’ve been fascinated by dinosaurs since I first learned how to read. Of all God’s creations, these speak most powerfully to me. Imagine the size and strength! Try–in vain, probably–to imagine what it must have been like to be a dinosaur.
I know, I know. I’m old enough now to forget dinosaurs and just watch movies about failing relationships and sinks full of dirty dishes.
Not a chance, kimosabe! Not a chance.
Chapter CDLXXXXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, finds Constable Chumley clinging by his rapidly-weakening fingertips to the brink of a cliff with a hundred-foot drop while Lord Jeremy and the constable’s mother–you will remember she was disguised as Thir Lanthelot the lisping knight–discussing how they might save the poor chap from falling onto the jagged rocks below.
What a sentence! I dare anyone to diagram it.
The constable pleads, “Mum! M’lord! Ith woogen ye minndle!” Meanwhile the constable’s mother asks, “What tipped ya off I was a dame, big boy?”
(Oh, now, just a cotton-pickin’ minute! I refuse to sit here and edit and publish such twollop. If the characters are going to start talking like a 1930s gangster movie, I’m out of here.)
“Some of you have complained about the constable’s mother’s choice of words,” writes Ms. Crepuscular. “In fact, I have received death threats–as if those could scare me! Obviously the readers are ignorant of the art of stymphalianism, which allows fictional characters in any genre to talk like a 1930s gangster movie. Edward G. Robinson isn’t the only one allowed to talk like Edward G. Robinson! But in deference to my readers’ philistine tastes in literature, I’ll give this a twenty-three skiddoo from now on.”
How much longer can she keep poor Chumley hanging?