First off, I have to apologize for a mistake in my last column. After I’d made a joke involving Ben & Jerry’s re-named Neapolitan ice cream and three Democrat presidential contenders – I know, that old cliché – I returned to explain it afterwards. Mostly I did that to get in my obligatory #wemustneverstopmockingher reference, but I made the mistake of saying that I didn’t want any CO readers to miss the joke.
And many members of the CO nation objected, saying that of course they didn’t need the explanation to get the joke. Don Douds may have put it best, asking if I thought the CO audience was the Huff Po audience, or something?
Ouch! That one stings. But he’s right. I should never have doubted this audience. So mea culpa, and I resolve never to condescend to you folks again.
Which reminds me of a joke I heard years ago. The speaker says, “People say that I’m condescending.” (pause) “That means…”
I tried to tell that joke to my youngest daughter, when she was around 9 years old, and she unintentionally made it funnier. She’s a very smart kid, if a little too sarcastic for my taste. (I know – where could she have gotten that quality from? I blame my otherwise flawless wife.)
So I told her the joke without telling her that it was the setup for a joke, and before even a beat passed at the end, when she would have figured it out, she jumped in immediately, “I know what that means!” Perfect!
It’s time for another political obituary for another Dem who has dropped out of the presidential race. This time, it’s Kirsten Gillibrand whom we won’t have to kick around anymore.
The character-less NY Senator has always stood for nothing beyond her own personal ambition. She started her political career as a faux moderate who got an A- rating from the NRA, and she sucked up to the Clintons, back when they actually had power, getting herself appointed to Hillary’s senate seat when ol’ Equine Ankles left to run for president. (Man, is that fun to recall! Remember when Hillary was going to canter into the White House, before the Multiracial Messiah jostled her out in the backstretch in ’08, and then Orange Crush poleaxed her at the finish line in ’16? Good times.)
Then, when the Clintons no longer had power, and the MeToo furies were tearing Slick Willie’s dessicated carcass to pieces in 2017, Gillibrand bravely came out and declared that he should have resigned over the Lewinsky scandal. Even though she’d taken some warm-focus pictures with Bill when she was running for Senate. Which happened many years after everyone knew that Bill had groped his way into and through the highest office in the land, not to mention that time when he definitely raped Juanita Broaddrick.
Also, if you google those pictures, you’ll see that Bill is hugging Gillibrand, and usually has his hand around her shoulder. But if you try to tell me that at no time during that photo op did he drop that hand down and squeeze her butt, I will call you a liar, sir!
And now — because when I’m not busy being a world-class husband and father, owner of the finest exemplar of canine virtue (Cassie the Wonder Dog, for new readers of the CO site), and friend to those who have pissed in Hitler’s bathtub, I like to fancy myself a Man of Letters – I’ve composed a final farewell to Gillibrand in the form of a haiku:
Kirsten, flip flopper,
Hillary 2, much too bland.
You let down! Be gone!
Have I also written an anticipatory haiku for Grandma Squanto, you ask? I have, even though right now it looks like she might be the last squaw standing from this motley crew of leftists. Still, here it is:
There in the distance,
Rides a mean old white lady.
Indian? What?! HA!
What’s that, you say? Encore?
Okay, here’s another one for her:
We must never stop
Mocking her, the phony old
Man, that’s fun! I’d encourage all of you to write and submit your own haiku to the CO site. Remember: 3 lines, with 5 syllables in the first and last, and 7 syllables in the middle. Go to it!
Finally, I thought I’d share a couple of musical recommendations to brighten your day as you head into another work week after a long holiday weekend. One of them is light-hearted, the other darker.
The first one is a video of James Taylor and Carly Simon singing a duet of “You Can Close Your Eyes” in their house in Martha’s Vineyard in 1977. Looking back now, we know that their marriage was doomed, and that they had their own problems as all of us do, and maybe them more than most.
But on that day in 1977, they were at the height of their powers. They were both tanned and young. Taylor was good-looking enough that he could pull off that 70s porn mustache, and Carly was radiant, with that over-sized mouth of hers that shouldn’t work, but boy did it! (A teenaged me was quite enthralled, since I hadn’t yet met my wife, and thus other women were not yet invisible to me.)
And of course their voices are beautiful, separately and together. Watching that video, I can’t help but appreciate the fact that music is one of the best consolations of life.
Because I’m a Christian, I tend to see such things as occasions for gratitude to a Creator. God created cheetahs to run, and watching them in slow motion makes me grateful to Him for that. Also, He made Mozart to compose music, and Frank Lloyd Wright to build houses, and Walter Payton to run with a football.
And He made James Taylor and Carly Simon to sing duets.
On a related but distinct topic, when it comes to the question of whether He made Bob Dylan to sing, I think the jury is still out!
I really like Dylan, and often find his nasally raspiness endearing, even though I wouldn’t call it technically beautiful. But he’s obviously written some amazing songs, and lately I’ve been watching a video of one of his songs being performed by two young guys I’d never heard of before. The song is called, “Not Dark Yet,” and the two guitar-playing singers are Bobby Long and John Fullbright. It looks like it was recorded in somebody’s house, but they do a great job with that song: strong acoustic guitar playing, and a nice blend of voices that alternate on the verses and sing harmony on the refrain. One of them wears a cool hat and plays a solid harmonica, and the other guy makes a hilarious Popeye expression when he sings, and I could listen to them all day.
This song has been stuck in my mind lately, mostly because the refrain — “It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there” — syncs up with a recurring mood I’ve gotten into when I watch too much of the news.
So many trends in our society seem to be worsening. Most young people are badly educated about American history, and depressingly few of them can name any of the bill of rights, or locate the Revolutionary War, the Civil War or World War II in the right century. Throughout the West, no countries have replacement-level birth rates, which seems like a fundamental indicator of a lack of civilizational confidence, and of faith in the future.
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.
More and more American children are born into fatherless households, which may be the most significant single predictor of future poverty and criminality. Almost half of US adults pay no federal income tax at all, and when a larger majority of the population become consumers of taxes rather than payers of them, how can that not accelerate a slide into social division and dysfunction? More and more people don’t feel patriotic about our country, and they don’t value even bedrock ideals such as free speech or free markets.
Respect for the rule of law – even considering the necessary caveats about needing to hold the cops accountable when they break the laws they are supposed to enforce – is decaying before our eyes. Antifa thugs rampage and assault people, and go almost completely unpunished. The most depressing videos I’ve seen lately are the scumbags in New York dousing cops with water and chasing them from the streets, while the cops cower and retreat.
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.
Thus, the video of those young guys knocking that Dylan song out of the park speaks to me.
But then I catch myself. Since the beginning of time, old guys like me have been bemoaning the way the youngsters are going to hell in a handbasket. And even given the depressing facts listed above, we still live in a great nation, in a time of great successes. Dickens was right: it is always the best of times, and the worst of times.
Sure, terrible leftist candidates have a real chance to win in 2020, and Fredo Cuomo and AOC still have jobs, and there are websites like Huff Po, populated by mopey leftists who aren’t having kids because global warming or white nationalist boogey men will just kill them all before you know it.
But there are also podcasts from Dennis Miller and Ben Shapiro and Andrew Klavan and Steven Crowder, and there is the Cautious Optimism site, filled with smart and charming people who are way too sophisticated to need a hilarious joke about the new Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor explained to them. The public might not love Trump (and not without reason), but they hold the Dems in contempt, which is right and just. My daughters are gorgeous and brilliant, my wife has easily advanced to the World Series of Wives competition, and my dog is as loyal as the Royal Lancers.
Also, a new football season has started, and Christmas is coming.
So watch those two videos, and a nature documentary about cheetahs, and get pregnant if you’re able, and write some snarky haiku about the next Democrat candidates to leave the race. And maybe watch an old classic I’ve mentioned before: Ray Charles and the Jubilation Singers doing “Oh Happy Day.”
Because, as I think about it, it’s not dark yet.