Archive for July, 2010

…and there’s no you.

Everyone has heard the cliché  There’s no ‘i’ in team…”  although sometime later Michael Jordan pointed out “…there is an ‘i’ in WIN.”   Earlier this year I was struck by similar truism, “There’s no U in teamwork.” 

Feel free to use it…

Categories: Ramblings, Society

The Legend of Qwe Chuāking, Nèijiù Shuòshì

Have you heard the legend of the young Moanin Monk, Qwuit Chuākāng ?  Many westerners have not, but recently millions of digitized scrolls were uncovered in China that are bringing his story to light.  We endeavor here to share with you, The Legend of Qwe Chuāking, Nèijiù Shuòshì *.
Born to Jewish Missionarys  in 1898, Absolm Chaim was orphaned  in 1900 when his parents were killed at a Chinese Take Away during the Boxer Rebellion.  A Blind Moanin Monk, Master Po Thien, a noodle consultant to the original Panda Express, rescued  young Absolam and returned with him to the Moanastary in Shanghai soon after.
Master Po Thien renamed Absolam Qwe Chuāking, in honor of the Swallows that frequented the Moanastary’s outdoor Food Court and Massage Chair emporium.   Although entirely unfamiliar with the Hebrew concept of Teshuva or repentance, it wasn’t long before Master Po Thien recognized Qwe’s natural and innate ability to easily engender quilt in others.  Along with Moanin Master Kan Plain, Master Po Thien started Qwe on a path that would culminate in greatest guilt trip  known to man, The Green Movement.
Their relationship was the stuff of Moanin Legend as evidenced from a Moanastary scree written in 1910.
Master Po Thien: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Tom: I hear the sigh of the water, I hear the harping of the crows.
Po: Do you hear your own guilty conscience?
Caine: No, Master.
Po:  Dung Beetle, do you see the lamp and the matches ?
Caine: Yes Master, do you wish me to light it?
Po:  No, I will just sit in the dark.
More than 1,234,567.12 Moanin records were recently handed over to WikiLeeks.  These were extensively reviewed and indexed using Giggle Content Search technologies, well at least 3 have.   Our staff has been pouring over  these records, using mostly beer to do so,  and we’ve translated the text from the native Hakka Pu dialect indigenous to Shanghai to English.  What follows are a few of the translated Moanin proverbs.

“All can know guilt as guilt only because there is innocence.” Master Po Thien
“Be nothing, and you will have everything to gain from others.” –  Master Po Thien
Sigh rather than moan. Whine rather than Cry.  Look aside rather than glare,  for guilt is precious and cannot be replaced.”Master Kan Plain
“To utter a guilty truth is to give it force beyond endurance.”Master Kan Plain **
“Yet it is sighs which blind the man.”Master Po Thien
“When a man can’t see squat, he does no thing.”Master Po Thien

Needless to say, the translation of these ancient tombs is a labor of love.  We hope to publish more shortly, at least before we sober up.  We’ve learned that after Master Po Thien was murdered by jealous scion of the Chinese Court, Khan Tem Peht, Qwe abandoned the Moanastary on a quest to achieve remorseless enlightenment and to seek out his mishpokhe vortsl ***.   The records seem to end when in 1929  Qwe finally locates his long-lost brother Chuck  in the West Hollywood Convent of Guilty Pleasures where he had been imprisoned  by the infamous Sisters of Nunjitsu and  the Penitents of Contrition.

Remember too, it hurts when we do this, but we do it so you don’t have to.

* Nèijiù Shuòshì translates as “Guilt Master” in English or האשמה הורים in Hebrew.
** Some have suggested that early translations of these proverbs appear to have been given over to Rush Limbuagh, Chris Mattews and Anne Coulter.
*** Loosely translated from Yiddish to Family Roots…

Categories: Humor, Parody, Rants, Society, Technology

The Quest for Mediocracy; An Easy 12 Step Recovery Program

I’ve been grappling with the idea that all my ‘conservative’ friends believe me to be a “raging liberal” and thereby patently, clinically and categorically insane; while my significantly fewer-in-number ‘liberal’ friends, consider me to somewhat backward, parsimonious and genetically deficient.  Fruitlessly, I’ve proclaimed myself to be a moderate, perhaps a progressive moderate.  Regardless, if I didn’t agree with some popularized Gorish or Limbaughian commentary, I was outted.

This confuses me greatly.  Needing some perspective, I recalled a time in my youth at High School.   Nixon was running for his second term as President and 18 year olds had been given our franchise to vote.    I registered as a Democrat for three key reasons;  a fondness for JFK,  a fear of Nixon, and I assumed my Mother would ground me for treason if I went GOP.   However, there was only one active group welcoming to us Baby Boomers, the Young Republicans.  Even while admitting that I was a registered Democrat, they allowed me to I join, plan and participate, it was an ideologically agnostic, altruistic and magnanimous experience.

This experience set my expectations and provided direction 30 years later as the Democratic Chairman of Coventry’s Zoning Board of Appeals, a board of seven; four Democrats and thee Republicans.  It was perhaps the most rewarding political experience of my life.   We worked together famously, without rancour or derisive behaviour and we performed extremely well;  we were all so blissfully innocent and preternaturally wise. 

My first bitter taste came in the last year of my second term, when asked privately by the then Democratic Town Council Chair,  if I could somehow ensure that someone with a pending appeal was granted their exception. She feared the Republicans and since it appeared that I had good control of the board she was certain I could see it through.  She was not terribly thrilled when I informed her that;

  • I didn’t control the board we all made an effort to work together.
  • The Republican members were as good and decent as the Democratic members. 
  • My advice, make sure they satisfied the legal requirements, if they did so they would prevail. 

Predictably, the petitioners presented no evidence or justifications and consequently the were unanimously denied their request.  Subsequently, the Town’s Democratic Party apparatchiks  found me wanting and I was asked not to run for a third term. 

That was nearly 10 years ago. 

I came believe that both parties are at their core inherently corrupt, corrupted or corruptible.  The corruption is driving further change in the political landscape. Politicians today are ever so much more derisive, so binary, so monochromatic that we’re no longer permitted to identify ourselves with a recognizable centrist identity.   The resulting rancour and polarization is a terribly damaging affliction affecting our society and our country and even our basic relationships with one another.  

Our past President put it best during his farewell address, that is President George Washington in 1796.

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”   

Old George wasn’t just the tallest rich-guy sporting Rock Maple Dentures, he was damn smart.

I believe that one possible solution is to give the “Silent Majority” a political identity.  To that end, I propose an organization of ‘affiliated centrists’, the politically laid back people who want balanced benefits, common sense morality and their just desserts.  Who prefer reasonable discussion over fevered rhetoric,  humor over anger, serenity to angst.    That organization is the Mediocratic Party, a party of moderation, where under-achievement is acceptable so long as your intentions are good, where we believe in opportunity to fail,  where blind obedience to the left or right is doomed to fail.  A party truly for the concerned independent.  

There will be no party conventions, no dues, no platforms, no PAC, no funds.  We will only wag our favorite flying digits at those shameful ner do wells and extremists that cause us to consume Tums and Prilosec.

Now since it appears that both the Democratic and Republican parties contain constituent extremists, and we should too.  Amongst the unaffiliated extremist wings have been identified;

  1. Those totally “unconcerned” with societal matters, unless it affects the cost of beer and cigarrettes or the requirement to wear a motorcyle helmet
  2.  and those who are wish to demonstrate their independence through lack of committal or feigned indifference.   

Now if you want to join in, simply follow the following steps, or just a few, or just do nothing.   All I ask is that when asked what your belive in adopt a blissfull gaze and say, Moderate, moderate in all things, including moderation…”  For repentant Democrats, Republicans, Tea or Coffee partiers and extreme centrists I suggest following the entire 12 step recovery program.

Step 1. I admit that the typical registered Democrat or Republican is really powerless and thereby unable determine their own destiny.
Step 2. I believe that there is a Mediocre Power capable of restoring us to sanity.
Step 3.  I’ve decided to trust our care to leaders who are  neither charismatic or bombastic;  blissfully so-so but really mean well.
Step 4.  I’ve made a moral inventory of  our county and it scares me.
Step 5.  I’ve admitted to posting on Facebook humorous anecdotes and one liners to mask my true feeling or unfriending  or blocking some of my more extremist acquaintances.
Step 6.  I am ready for God to remove all signs of extremism.
Step 7. I humbly ask that you not burden me with your shortcomings, or at least keep them to yourself.
Step 8.  I have a list and I’m checking it twice.
Step 9.  I belive apologising is for Democrats, proselytizing is for Republicans.
Step 10.  What you don’t know, hasn’t hurt you, just saying.
Step 11.   I gave this a  little thought.
Step 12.  I’ve got a headache, we might just be better off as practicing alcoholics.

To those few of you who have managed to process all of this and are ready to not commit, I grant you all manumission, you are now free to emancipate the country.

Categories: Political, Ramblings, Rants