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Alex Baer

One Planet, Two Worlds

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The problem with being a curmudgeon is that you still have things to say long after you know you really should shut up.

And so, as Curmudgeon General of The Benighted, Yoo-nited States -- one of many lifelong self-appointees, I see, based on a quick glance and a hasty listen snatched from around the media fountain -- here I am again.

My Curmudgeon General website is on hold.  I am tired, listless.  (Oh, a sizeable lottery win could still perk me up, but we'd have to be speaking about "Sharing-Size" quantities at this point.)

I mean, it's everything:  It's getting cold here again.  Durable Goods are failing after four years after replacement.  There's been another school shooting.  The car needs to keep its tires and wheels, and get everything else replaced.  Politics, Stupidity, Futility, Ignorance, and Pride in being hard-of-thinking are all in full bloom.

You know: The usual.

So, rather than fuss with a new website that won't even web or site, I thought I'd vent some pesky thoughts here, and let the bees in my head play on your screen for a while, if you don't mind.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 October 2015 22:20

Stupes on the Loose: Add-a-Nope

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Welcome to the Bonus Round on today's episode of "How to Cope with Stupes on the Loose, and the Holy Hypnosis of Nope-a-Dopes!"

Please welcome today's special Scope-a-Dope guest, Judge Vance D. Day!

JUDGE: [waving energetically]  Howdy!

ANNOUNCER: We'll be right back, after this word for Dammitol ointment, for personality schisms and hard-of-thinking disorders -- just massage into the scalp, and, presto!  You're a Tea-Bagger, and all your logic has been magically whisked away!

* * *

Yes, we have another stupe, someone looking directly at the thumbs-up, same-sex marriage ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States of America, and then turning to the camera, and saying, in effect, "Nope, ain't gonna marry them people, and you can't make me."

This would normally be followed by an extended tongue-raspberry, and a thumb touched to the tip of the nose, while waggling four fingers upwardly.  But, that salute was stylistically popular a long way back.  We now go a much more economical route, using only one thumb, or one finger.

Not shaken or stirred, but served straight up.  (Usually on the rocks, too, so to speak, come to think of it.)

Yep:  It's part of the nation's enduring fanaticism of the past couple decades,  in the culturally-mandatory reduction of thoughts, syllables, actions, and catch-phrases -- call it a sort of a lazy-man's energy conservation program.  Something best handled from a La-Z-Boy, in front of a blaring wall screen, tuned to Fox.

* * *

On the one hand.... You've already heard about the county clerk in Kentucky.  Now, we've handily swapped out our two, key, functional digits -- going from that major thumbs-up, thank-you motion to the Supreme Court, and now, converting it, and flipping an ever-bolder, screw-you, middle-finger, ante-upper to the Justices of SCOTUS -- this time. from a judge in Oregon.

Yes, this particular no-can-do is from yet another balky judge, one of those lengthily-schooled, highly-trained law professionals who are certified to have something right next door to a clue on How to Recognize the Legally Right Thing to Do When One Encounters One of Those Law Thingies.

Especially one of those Highest Court in the Land Law Thingies.  On paper, and everything.

* * *

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 September 2015 11:09

Helplessly Hopeless

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I admit it, I am helpless when it comes to commenting on Republicans when they so thoroughly bushwhack (see footnote, later) themselves.  They are hopeless buffoons, or to echo the mystic guru of the ages, Bugs Bunny, "What a bunch of maroons."

One of the latest, of course, is Baron von Hairpile, trying to insert both feet, and most of his lower torso, into his mouth -- ahhh-gain -- by tangling himself up with a Faux News spokesdroid, in a gushing geyser of unfiltered brain goo direct from Mr. Lip-Spanky's so-called thought-and-speech centers.

Dear me.  Go look up what he said.  Uck.  Definitely not very presidential, there, Bubba.

* * * * *

In Star Wars terms, we could re-christen The Donald -- please allow me the honor of personally delivering the magnum bottle of champagne over the famous, oddly-coiffed head -- and call him Bubba Feet...

Bubba Feet, a strange, scalping headhunter and backward backwoodsman with interests only in blonde pelts, be it his own or anyone else's.  The story lineage would be that Bubba Feet is purportedly human, having pulled himself up by his father's stolen bootstraps, and who has a combination of Mad Cow -and- hoof-in-mouth disease, and is only very distantly related to Boba Fett, the bounty hunter.

This works right in with the latest from the Bloom County 2015 comic strip, in which Donald followers are dubbed "StormTrumpers."

And, in yet another triumph of serendipity, Bloom County fans have chimed in, adding even more insight to the free-for-all:  One notes that "trump" is UK slang for breaking wind, while another notes that StormTrumpers are "all white, mindlessly follow a great evil, and can't hit anything."

Trump-stormers certainly can't aim their thought processes very well, so it's impossible for them to even aim at an idea, let alone hit it.

Myself, I am tempted to go with sturm-und-trump, or, maybe, sturm-und-drang troopers -- or, to simply jam everything together, ala Germanic compound-word-fashioning, as sturm-und-drang trumpers.

* * * * *

When these slapstick moments happen to Republicans -- which is most of the time --  I can't help but laugh at them, while pitying them, even as they get knocked from pillar to post, sailing headlong, far down to the hard tarmac below, far from their self-vaulted heights setting them atop Olympian pedestals, where they and followers have carefully placed them, unbalanced as all get-out.

Talk about schadenfreude.

* * * * *

Last Updated on Saturday, 08 August 2015 22:36

Life, Death, and Spark-Tending

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My new coffee mug's art on the side is a thing of retro-futuristic beauty -- part steampunk, part Bradbury, maybe.  There is an art deco scene of a mad scientist's lab, including a robot and assorted glowing objects and tools and scattered projects -- shelves filled with curious and intriguing things.

Above that widescreen-band of art, above:  "Certifiable Mad Genius."  Below the art, in a smaller font:  "I have a death ray, and I know how to use it."

  • (There is nothing to define just what "MAD" may be - it could mean angry.  It might mean mentally disturbed.  It could be the acronym for Mutual Assured Destruction.  It could mean all three.)

The mug is good as a standalone item.  The mug also makes me think of a cartoon I have pinned on a battered cork board.  It's an old, yellowing, dog-earred clipping, from a New Yorker magazine, as I remember, a cartoon by Charles Addams -- yes, that Charles Addams.  The setting is in an office building, in a patent attorney's office, in perhaps the 1890s.  Out the window, we see other buildings -- enough to realize the office is on the third floor, say.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 August 2015 17:27

Eyes, Oys, and Ayes

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Lies are marketing's best friends, just as Desire is the single best pal consumption ever had.  Combine Lies and Desire, along with a hurried, staggering set of lunges and lurches to pick up any dangling or loose minutes or seconds in the evaporating days of our lives, and you've got a toxic cocktail -- one we call American Life.

We are about to have more American Life on Thursday, during a gathering not of eagles, but of turkeys, vultures, and turkey vultures.  (It used to be a dog-eat-dog world in politics.  Now, it is about rabid dogs biting one another, and themselves, and chewing their feet, chasing their tails, then springing out into the audience in search of unguarded jugulars.)

Yes, the Toxic Ten will be on Faux News, the four-letter channel, and they will be marketed to us like soap suds and light beer and 30-day steak pads, and eternal tire straighteners, and every other useless and tasteless invention from The Department of Citizenry and Voter Maintenance, Heavy-Duty Consuming Division.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 August 2015 17:17

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