Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Thanks, and Getting all sorts of Crap.

When my Father came into the room on Thanksgiving Day, there wasn't a soul in the room that didn't know we were related.

I used to look like my younger brother.
Then, I looked like my older brother.
Now, I look like my Dad.

Although my Father is a good man, a true man, and a hard working, hard thinking man....I don't want to look like him.

He's eighty.

I want to look twenty five, please and thank you.

It's always good to see Dad.....his laugh is easy to get, he beats the ever-lovin' CRAP out of me in SCRABBLE, and we pretty much agree on what to watch on television. We had an opportunity to watch the Patriots kick the crap out of the Lions, and the Buckeyes kick the crap out of the Wolverines.

And every now and then, he'll come across with a story that I have never heard before. And that's worth the price of admission right there.

I love them stories.

He is ridiculously demanding, however; he insists that we join him in Florida in March and London in June. That's a lot to accomplish. But I'll do it, because I've always wanted to see Florida.

Heh. Bull. I've seen Florida from stem to stern, and yes, it does look like the country is pissing on Cuba. I want to see London. And I know if I don't do it now, I won't do it, and I'll miss my Father's reaction to it all.

Which leads me to my Father's new story: There is a castle named Tintagel in Cornwall, the cradle of the family. And in his searching of the family tree, he has discovered a link between our family and the family of Arthnou, who had the castle built. So, he's convinced we're descended from King Arthur.

So, let's do a quick summation:
Love my Father.
He's slightly mad.

But it gives a great excuse to regularly sing, "we're Knights of the Round Table, we dance whene'er we're able, and often times are given rhymes that are quite unsing-able..."

Monday, November 22, 2010


I love these guys, and this is one of my favorite bits, written by another one of my favorite guys, Pat Paulson.

I have an autograph from Tom Smothers, who showed pity on a poor guy who was stuck in Checked Baggage when he came through the Bismarck Airport. It's a prized possession that says, "Greetings from one Smother Brother."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Go by Car.

This is, quite probably, my favorite anti-airline youtube video. I saw it for the first time just after I began working for the airline in question (and before I began my other job with the Government Institution That Shall Not Be Named.)

So, I dedicate this to the people and business that I swore to protect, even if they do throw us under the bus on a regular basis.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Less rant, more logic....same story....different day.

Really sorry to harp on this.....

Thanks to all that are worried about the status of my employment; I am not worried. The same people they are interviewing for the story about those awful security screenings are the same people who are setting up websites to get to the bottom of the voter fraud on Dancing with the Stars.

Yes, I know you won't believe me when I say that the AIT screening is safe; but the deeply tanned future Speaker of the House gets more radiation in one of this fake bakes than you would get in an AIT scans.

I know, I don't believe me.

Two years ago, the then-head of the TSA, a good man named Kip Hawley, went on 60 MINUTES and demonstrated the technology, showing more than the average person gets to see. Among the things discussed were the fact that the computer that reads the images is stand-alone, and not networked so that the images STAY in the computer and are deleted as soon as the next one comes around; that the images are examined by a gender-specific Officer who is (and I know this will be shocking) more interested in FINDING WEAPONS AND EXPLOSIVES than analyzing private parts.

Finally, if I may offer a few personal notes....

The pat-down was created to scan the areas that have been demonstrated (on a near miss on Christmas Day in the skies over Detroit) to be used to bring DANGEROUS EXPLOSIVES onto the airplane for the sole purpose of KILLING AMERICANS. We don't profile, so any anomaly in that private area must be searched. All people who seek to do harm do not look like Mohammad Atta; sometimes they look like Tim McVeigh.

I think, at last count, less than 70 airports in this country have AIT technology; the rest of America should just shut the hell up.

As I have said before (in a posting I wrote just after Christmas of '09, you do not have the inalienable right to fly in an airplane. Take the Greyhound.

By the way, I have a hard time taking seriously a 31 year old man who refers to his penis as his 'junk'. Grow up, a**hole.

There has been talk about privatizing security in the airports, and if that's what people want, let the majority rule..but let's remember a couple of things:

1. Our pat-down procedure is tame compared to that of law enforcement. You want to experience 'invasive?'

2. A great many of the TSA employees would, most likely, be hired as the private security.

3. The TSA is funded by the Federal Government. Does anybody think that the airlines, or the airport administrations, or the state governments want to pony up to pay for something there are currently getting for FREE?

4. Would anybody want to jump in the way-back machine to, say....September of earlier in this decade and see what a BANG UP job they private security did?

My friends......let's let the media find the next 15 minute story (oh, PLEASE let it be about Eva and Tony, PLEASE!) and cooler heads prevail and have a conversation that would be productive and not punishing.

And by the way, I appreciate the way my friends and acquaintances have managed to separate me from the organization I work for.......

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gather around, ye Romans, and witness the evidence of the end.....

I began my acting career when I was very young; I can recall that the first sentence I ever uttered in front of a audience included the word "capering".

This is information that is neither here nor there, really. The real point is this.....

I have always been opposed to competitions involving the arts. I don't see any logical way to judge "head-to-head", paintings, writings, acting or dancing.

I was telling a local friend the other day that I turned down an Irene Ryan nomination TWICE because I just didn't get it.....and yes, I caught all sorts of political push-back for those decisions. And, hypocritically, I DID serve as a partner to a couple of people who were competing, but justified the hypocrisy by stating that I wasn't there, nyah, nyah, nyah.

I don't watch award shows.

I especially don't watch shows where the public has the ability to vote on the winner; this is simple...the more that the audience gets involved in choosing the winner, the less it becomes about the 'art'.

Televised competitions are, of course, about the drama of the competition, and not the 'art' either, but let that pass. Combined with the need for ratings, the whole idea of fair competition becomes laughable. But that's neither here nor there, either.

I think the whole idea of doing an expose on the 'illegal voting methods' of shows like Dancing with the Wannabe's and American Idle is, in it's total, the best available example of what's really wrong with us.

The people who are complaining about how it is possible that a weak dancer like somebody named Bristol can be one dance step away from a fictional championship are the same people who showed absolutely no interest in the theft of a Presidential Election in '00.

Apparently, a fictional dancing competition is more important.

Again......Bread and Circuses.

I thrust my fists against the posts and still insists I see the ghosts.....

Monday, November 15, 2010


This one goes out to Vicki, who has always been fond of Beekers, and the like....

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Oh boy.

Two things.

Firstly.....I have found the people who mostly complain about their personal privacy at airports also have very public Facebook pages....AND are usually the ones shouting a list of the possessions in their carry-on if the X-Ray Officer spends 'too much' time looking at the image of their bag.

You can't simultaneously complain about a violation of your privacy and tell me (and everybody ELSE in the checkpoint) you have a.....uh....personal your suitcase.

Secondly.....If anybody has a way to solidify our security measures while avoiding a violation of your (and that guy who wants to smuggle dangerous stuff on board your airplane) privacy, while at the same time not spending any money because you're a tea bag sonofabitch that believes in small government and fiscal responsibility, then bring on your suggestions.

Or, perhaps, you'd like to go back to the good old days?

Look, I get it. I do. There are a LOT of bad Officers out there, who make you feel small and put you on edge, and make inappropriate comments because they have small penises and need to Lord it over somebody.

But the people who DO give a damn (and I consider myself one of those) are willing to give you your dignity, and your privacy, if we can just get you to give us a little slack.

I you don't have to.

Please. Let me worry.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I was Sinatra.

When I was in college, I was good friends with a fellow named Michael.

That was his actual first name. His last name is redacted to protect his innocence.

The friendship that I had with him (and as far as that goes, the friendship continues to this day; although we talk more sporadically than we used to; but as you well know, my relationships never end, even with the afterlife) was one of mutual humor, a love of the comedy of SCTV as well as Laurel and Hardy, and a mutual respect for each other's work.

I always think of Michael at this time of year; as you know, the snow has been flying here in the Northern State since just before Halloween, and even though it doesn't last, it's heeeere. And winter always puts me into the nostalgic mood.

My favorite story that includes Michael involves looking for alcohol during a blizzard.

We were on the west side of town, and the only open liquor store was The Blue Link, which was, of course, on the EAST side of town. We had a car, and we weren't inebriated yet, but we did require a re-stocking if we had any hope of getting through the winter night. So, three of us (Michael, myself, and Marty, who owned the car) ran out to the mobile in the hopes of getting through the blinding snowstorm before The Link closed.

We were on a mission from Bacchus.

We donned coats and hats and gloves and ran out to the car. Michael and I piled in. We waited for Marty.

No Marty.

We looked out the windows.

No Marty.

Finally, we exited the car in the hopes of finding our wandering boy out there in the snow.

No Marty.

Finally, we were about to give up hope, when Michael noticed an anomaly on the rear bumper of the car. Two unmistakable gloves attached to the bumper, leading to underneath the car. Apparently, our reckless run to the car had caused Marty to slide UNDER the car, only grabbing onto the bumper at the last moment.

We tried to help, but the fact that we were laughing like maniacs made us...ineffective as life savers.


We made it to the liquor store, by the way.

Anyway, I found this little video, which reminded me of the time that Michael and I recreated this musical number for his Senior Performance during his last Jury. I was Sinatra, he was Crosby.

We were Legendary.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My feet stood in Giant Footprints.

In a small park on the Western side of Quincy Illinois stands a monument to one of our nation's best public conversations ever seen.

The Lincoln/Douglas debates.

These things we call debates today don't hold a candle to the brilliant oratory and legitimate, personal arguments that made up the debates of old. The ideas and subjects weren't sanitized for your comfort. They didn't have oodles of spin doctors to avoid saying things that would cost them votes. They were honest and forthright, and yes, they were Giants That Walked The Earth.

I must look a proper fool when I stand on these historical grounds. Because I can hear the voices. I can hear the crowds. I breathe in the history.

And when I get sick at heart when I see what we've become, I am steadied by the study of the past...for nobility cannot be shaken by a clever quip, and shouting down the right thing because it's not the popular thing doesn't make it any less right.

The wheel turns.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And then, I woke up.

I began this morning writing about TRUTV passing off 'cinema verite'' as actual reality.

But then I realized.....who cares?

I'm wondering now if blurring, or completely obliterating the line between fiction and reality isn't a bonus, somehow.

Surely, that would guarantee happy endings all around?

Oh wait.

That would also guarantee sparkly vampires.


I wonder what else it would guarantee?

(at this point, John drifts off into fantasies of transporting to his favorite places, and the Lions winning the Super Bowl. Yup. He's gone.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dough Ray Me

My friend Claudia, an on-air voice at New York's WFUV (broadcasting from the lovely campus of Fordham University) hosted a Woody Guthrie tribute recently, and since I am fond of both Claudia AND the works of Woody Guthrie (and his son, Arlo), I decided to post this, one of my favorite songs of the era......

I need to add at this point that things in California haven't changed. At all.

Rage. Pure. Blinding. Rage.

I was recently sent this little piece of wisdom, by a sarcastic friend of mine. It comes, apparently, from one of those magazines, and it is a quote from Jessica Alba, who is talking about acting.

To quoth Alba:

On acting: "Good actors, never use the script unless it's amazing writing. All the good actors I've worked with, they all say whatever they want to say."

And there it is, ladies and gentlemen: proof positive that nobody currently considered an actor knows that the F**K they're talking about, or doing, or thinking.

Yes, I know I'm in the middle of an under-thought, exhaustion-sparked, "oh, GOD I miss my career as an actor" rant. I can't stop it.

I haven't been this pissed off at the obvious, fundamental lack of understanding to the art to which I gave a majority of my lifespan since somebody described the late Heath Ledger's performances as "coming from a place of truth."

Of COURSE it comes from a "place of truth" you F**K!


Let's just hope that Jessica Alba never does an adaptation of anything written prior to the last century. In fact, let's hope that Motherhood takes her away completely.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

and the bowl of Petunias said, "Oh, NOT again...."

I think you should only have to pay for mistakes you make when you are conscious.

I slept wrongly again last night...and I woke up today with the feeling that there was ground glass in my neck and an ache in my head that could only be cured by the sudden removal of my head from the rest of my pathetic body.

Not fair.

The usual cure would be to down several bottles of pain reliever (at this point, don't care about the brand) attempt to manipulate the neck region to snap, crackle and pop, and then sit in a dark room and contemplate oblivion.

Neck won't move.

NOT fair.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When does the Wind of change become a Scourge?

I can only say this:

When I was in graduate school, one of the elements of my degree program was to collect a perform a one-hander about Harry Truman. Now, there is a really good one-hander written by a fellow named Sam Gallu, called GIVE 'EM HELL, HARRY!, but when I asked nicely for the rights, he firmly declined.

In case you haven't noticed, there have been more than a few books written about Harry Truman. Many of them written by Harry himself. So, a little cut and a little paste, and there you go.

One part I can remember clearly. Harry speaks of "The Big Lie."

"Have you ever heard of the Big Lie? Well, it's a lie that so big, and so monstrous, that it shocks the listener. And then you repeat it and repeat again and again, until the lie becomes the truth.

Without The Big Lie, surely Hitler would never have come to power."

It should come as no surprise that day has turned the way it has; in the day and age of instant communication, with the wonderful Internet, and Twitter, and Facebook, and 24 hour cable channels dedicated to specific intents, it is no wonder that we don't see more "Big Lies".

Death Panels.
Kenyan Birth Certificates.

Oh, wait. We HAVE seen them.

What we need is real answers, not platitudes and an "aw shucks you betcha" delivery. And we need real answers for this century, and not a belief that we can roll back the clock to when a family could survive on one income, and schools were for education, and the moral education took place at home, and when there was a dust-up between the kids, they didn't pull firearms.

The woman who is plugging her television show isn't going to help us.
The carrot looking Mother-F***er isn't going to help us.
The ancient warrior from the West isn't going to help us.
The guitar-playing preacher from Iowa is probably not going to help us.

And, apparently, we've made the Yes, We Can guy impotent.

God Save America.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One of the best things that came out of the 80's...

This goes out to anybody who ever wanted to hold the stereo overhead.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I feel like a pretzel.

I'm wondering if we haven't lost.

We see goblins in every dark place.
We fear and hate many for the crimes of a few.
Those that plead for reason are shouted down by those that want to become what we hate; and insist that we use the same tactics that we fear.
Pretty people with disarming smiles use platitudes, and the mass of scared, unthinking but reacting majority see a savior.
"They're not like THEM! They're like US!" they cry.

We have met the enemy, and they is us.

And my country bleeds.

But I did enjoy the rally last weekend. I wish that everybody would have enough of a sense of humor to see the sun through this fog of war, and anger, and needful revenge.

Fox sure missed the point.
Smarmy bastards.

Election day tomorrow.
Many choices to make.
There are some Republicans and some Democrats that I favor.

Did you know that North Dakota is the only state that doesn't require voter registration?

Show your ID at the proper precinct, they check to see that your address matches, and off you go...doing your civic duty.


My philosophy: If you can keep my country safe, and keep the economy strong, then I don't care if you are serviced by two prostitutes on the top of a double-decker bus going down Fifth Avenue with a banana in your ear, you are the best person for the job.

That's why I voted for Bill.