Archive for the ‘Sweet Irony’ Category

The Definition of Irony

November 30, 2008

Disney Accused by Catholic Cleric of Corrupting Children’s Minds

Evidently, the church doesn’t like the competition.

Pardon the phrase but, HOLY SHIT! That’s some funny stuff. Especially coming off a week of truly staggering stupid blather coming from the religious types.

To wit:

Vatican Forgives John Lennon

Thanksgiving Must Suck for Atheists

Pretty sure there was more. Can’t spend all day shooting Jesus fish in their barrel-like habitat. But, you know, help yourself.

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Reclaiming My Past

March 7, 2008

The last battlefield domicile that the former Mrs. Sarcastro and I shared had a basement that flooded on a regular basis.  We were completely unaware of how bad it could get when we first moved in.  Being as mentioned unaware, we put boxes of stuff in the basement.  Boxes of stuff that had no business being there.  One of those boxes contained my yearbooks from middle school through college.

Shortly after the Treaty of Versailles was signed, I showed up to get some more of my possessions.  I found that box to be completely waterlogged and the books therein to be ruined beyond any hope.  Black mold had settled in as well as the water damage.  All those memories went into the trash.

It is problematic enough for me that the years 1985-1989 are  kind of a hazy blur.  You know when you wake up after a vivid dream and as the day progresses, your recollection of the dream begins to fade until you no longer remember what the dream was about in the first place?  It’s a lot like that.  I no longer remember what was a dream and what was my waking life.   Let’s just say that drinking my way through college has yet to pay off.  My crippled brain cells need the stimuli that the pictures in the yearbooks provide in order to recall the damaged files that contain those memories.

This phenomenon first showed its ugly head soon after I got out of school.  Invariably it went like this:  I would run into a former school acquaintance at an Atlanta bar who would proceed to tell me a hilarious story (that invariable involved alcohol) about some legendary feat with me as the heroic protagonist.  I would nod and smile like I knew what he was talking about while wishing I could recollect any of the story in the first person.  Sadly, the time frame he was referring to would only be three or four years in the past.

It hasn’t gotten any better in the almost twenty years since.  Faces are unrecognizable to me at this point.  I went to a charity golf tournament in October 2001 and couldn’t recognize anyone.  Until someone walked up and introduced himself and the others at the table, they were complete strangers as far as I knew.

By complete dumb luck, I recently stumbled across a copy of my senior year* college yearbook.   It was on ebay for like 15 bucks.  I bid on that sucker and was prepared to fight it out with what turned out to be no one for it.

I was like a kid at Christmas with guilty parents who buy their children’s love when it finally arrived in the mail.   It still felt like a new yearbook.  No identifying marks showing that it once belonged to someone else.   I immediately went to the Seniors section to find my portrait.

Evidently, I forgot to show up for pictures that year.   I’m sure there is a good story that explains why.

*Not to be confused with the Super-Senior year which came right after that.  Seven years of college down the drain!

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

March 2, 2008

Yet another attempt by my loving wife to put me in an early grave.

That’s far enough!

The Naked and the Dead, But Mostly the Naked

November 11, 2007

**Last time I checked, headlines like Skynet Military Launch is Delayed meant the computers were taking over the world. Or, at least it did in the Terminator movies.

**One of the official Mommy Bloggers for the Tennessean is a woman named Emily Hartley? Really? I thought Suzanne Pleshette was too old to have children.

**Norman Mailer died. I may or may not have read Harlot’s Ghost. It is entirely possible that Mailer was just a punch line thanks to my former partner in crime and SPY magazine back in the early nineties. That’s what kind of impact Norman Mailer had on me. Very little. Which is odd, as only in death he strikes me as a kindred spirit. Except for the wife-stabbing and left-wing bullshittery. There are some things that even I cannot countenance.

**My literary taste run more towards Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Because, of course, it has Batman as the main character.

**I don’t know if it was Sarcastro Jr.’s bout with a little virus he brought home from daycare, or the substandard Chile Colorado from La Terraza, but much like certain fine Australian wines, it has opened up the sluices at both ends.

**Kudos to Ken Burns for his 14 hour documentary The War.  If anything will run the pharmaceutical companies out of business, it will be this slumber inducing yawn-fest.   No one ever need to buy prescription sleep aids ever again.  If you drink a gallon of Nyquil, put on some Cowboy Junkies and start reading the Bible, that’s a pretty good approximation of how sleepy you will get after the first hour.

Time to go throw up some more…

“Neither irony or sarcasm is argument.”

July 13, 2006

That Rufus Choate thinks he is Mr. Smart.  Well, he just met Mr. Smarter.  Here is today’s Irony Report:

The Homeless Guy’s favorite album is Supertramp, Breakfast in America

The actor who plays Dr. House got a raise.  He’s now making $300k per episode.  The doctor who must be the real-life Dr. House is hated by the state Board of Medicine, and yet loved by the bin Laden family.

The city of Chicago has banned the sale of foi gras in restaurants.  Saying it is cruel to damage the liver of duck and geese by force feeding it protein.  Upton Sinclair and Harry Caray’s Liver could not be reached for comment. 

Chuck Klosterman thinks that Snakes on a Plane is "irony in reverse". In a stunning move of reverse-reverse irony,  Gawker then takes him to task for being a hideous Garrigan-esque tool. 

What bothers Chuck is not the fact that the movie is being made, but how the movie is being made: based on the input of (wait for it) bloggers.
Bloggers, you see, don’t know what they want. They are sheep, the great unwashed who, while they may be able to express their opinions on websites that twenty people (including, apparently, studio executives, but never mind that) read, are still, in Chuck’s world, unfocused consumers. They don’t have a column in, say, Esquire, that validates them as cultural tastemakers.

A convenience store clerk in Florida punched and stabbed a fourteen year old boy for not buying a yo-yo.  The name of the store was, of course,  Friendly’s Meat and Grocery Store.  That doesn’t sound very friendly to me.

 

Six Degrees of Adolph Hitler

June 21, 2006

Do you ever go Wikepedia surfing?  I do.  You start with one topic and the hyperlinks lead to another and another and another.  Soon, you are reading something completely different than what you initially intended.

For some reason today, I came upon the strange story of  Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl.

Ernst, nicknamed "Putzi",  came from a wealthy and renowned German-American family.   He attended Harvard and graduated in 1909.  He then took over the New York branch of his family’s business.  Hanging out at the Harvard Club, he met young Franklin Roosevelt.  Through Franklin, he met Theodore Roosevelt, William Randolph Hearst and Charlie Chaplin.

Returning to Germany in 1922, Putzi was living back in his native Bavaria when he first heard Hitler speak in a Munich beer hall. A fellow member of the Harvard Hasty Pudding club who had become a U.S. Embassy official asked Hanfstaengl to assist a military attache sent to observe the political scene in Munich. Just before returning to Berlin the attache, Capt. Truman Smith, suggested that Hanfstaengl go to a Nazi rally for him and report on his impressions of Hitler. Hanfstaengl was so impressed with Hitler that he soon became one of his most intimate followers, although he did not formally join the Nazi party until 1931. "What Hitler was able to do to a crowd in 2½ hours will never be repeated in 10,000 years," Hanfstaengl said. "Because of his miraculous throat construction, he was able to create a rhapsody of hysteria In time, he became the living unknown soldier of Germany."

Soon, Putzi became one of Hitler’s best pals.  He hid Hitler in his attic, just like Anne Frank, following the failed 1923 Beer Hall putsch.  According to legend, Putzi’s wife Helene prevented Hitler from killing himself by knocking the gun out of his hands when the cops arrived.  We have Helene to thank for sixty years of speculative ficition and/or counterfactual history.

Hitler enjoyed Putzi’s piano playing and became godfather to his son, Egon.   By 1933, he had one too many run-ins with Josef Goebbels and was kicked off of Hitler’s staff.  He wound up fleeing the country in 1937.  After stops in Switzerland, England and Canada, Putzi wound up in the U.S. as a guest of Uncle Sam and his buddy FDR in 1942.

Putzi spent the war providing Allied intelligence with detailed info about the upper echeleons of the Third Reich.  We call it Strategic Debriefing these days.  Just ask Tariq Aziz

Hitler’s Piano Player died in Germany in 1975.  

He was a related to the actress Kyra Sedgwick, who is of course, married to Kevin Bacon

 

Character Building

January 11, 2006

When I was a young and foolish, I enrolled and subsequently graduated from a four-year military college.  It was supposed to be character building and provide me with enough structure to keep from being a layabout drunkard.  There was a strict code of conduct that was enforced through a punishment system known commonly as demerits.  If you accumulated too many demerits for violating the rules, you were required to walk "tours".  Tours consisted of marching in front of the gymnasium/military department on the weekends from the beginning of the duty day until Retreat.  Those who suffered this fate  had to wear a steel pot Vietnam-era helmet and carry a rubber M-16 at right shoulder arms.  It wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs. *

Once I realized that college was the perfect environment for spending all my time chasing girls and being a layabout drunkard, the demerits started to pile up.  Soon, I was walking tours every damn weekend.  This caused a problem as far as pursuing women and beer priorities were concerned. 

After one particular instance of AFDBTAR (Absent from dormitory between Taps and Reveille; 20 demerits one week restriction to limits), the Assistant Commandant decided that walking tours on the weekend just wasn’t getting me right with Jesus or Patton or whoever.  Evidently, my admission that "Well, sir, there was this girl over in the trailer park…" failed to sway the stern hand of justice.  Also, I had more demerits than hours left to walk them in the semester.  So instead of walking tours, I was sentenced to working tours.  Which I thought would be great.  Nothing compares to the boredom of walking around the building for eight hours.

The gym was undergoing renovation.  They were installing a handicapped elevator or a torture chamber in the basement.  I forget which one.  There was a hole in the side of the building which dropped down below grade about six feet.  From there, there was an elevator shaft and a step up of about five feet.  Outside the gym were several pallets of cinder blocks.  My punishment was to take a cinder block, jump down into the hole and come up to the floor level in the gym and re-stack the cinder block inside  for the lazy-ass masonry workers.  There was no way or no how to bridge the pit or come up with a lever and pulley system to transport the blocks inside.  Believe me, I had time to try to come up with as many ways to get out of this as I could think of. 

At the time, I  had this Cool Hand Luke mentality that no chicken shit Army major and his chicken shit detail was going to break me.   Well, after eight hours of back breaking hauling of cinder blocks, I was ready to admit to kidnapping the Lindbergh Baby if it meant I didnt’t have to dick around with this little obstacle course of self-inflicted misery anymore.  Right there and then I swore with God as my witness, I’ll never get caught again!

This little story came back to me the other day at the jobsite.  We had demolished the elevator shaft in this particular building and were hauling cinder blocks out of the elevator pit one by one and throwing them in the dumpster.  As my back and shoulders were aching, the miserable realization that what was once a crappy punishment detail is now how I earn a living.   Put that with the drinking and women chasing and it becomes pretty clear that my life hasn’t really changed that much since.

*Although, there are some pretty funny stories from the pranks played while walking tours.  Every now and then, someone from those days will come up to me and ask if I remember the time I stuffed the Retreat Cannon full of wet toilet paper, so that when Retreat was sounded the cannon blasted confetti all over the parking lot; or the time we stole the Officer of the Day’s keys; or broke into the disciplinary file cabinet; or replaced the Taps cassette tape with Led Zeppelin.   They always remember these things better than I do.  Probably because I was half in the bag at the time.

Of Course They Were At Banana Joe’s…

November 7, 2005

I heard about these Carolina Panther Cheerleaders on the radio today.  The boys over at Six Meat Buffet have all the hi-larious details.

The only thing I can add is where is the video tech guy who rigged the Nashville Kat’s Cheerleader’s locker room when you need him? 

Instant Sympathy

November 7, 2005

Welcome to the celebrated culture of Victimhood, kids.  Watch your step and keep your head and arms inside the vehicle at all times.   For those of you without victim status, here is your chance for a trauma to claim as your own.  Spice up your blog, your marriage and your existence with these fine folks.

 Those of you who saw the big chip on Shelby Lynne’s shoulder on that Outlaws deal on CMT and thought, "Hey, I need a horrible tragedy in my life so I can be that angry all the time!"  Well, here’s your chance.

In A Related Story, Water is Still Wet…

July 26, 2005

Anyone who has had to suffer through the Country Radio Seminar
week here in Nashville, knows first hand that most disc jockeys are
greedy little slit-eyed pigs looking for a free trip to the titty bar
and all the swag they can stuff into their jumbo sized pockets. 
So it should come as no surprise that the record labels have been shoveling
cash at them to play crappy records and make stars out of marginally
talented nitwits. Details are here.  The best part of the article is all the Claude Rains-like shock that there is corruption in the record business.

Another story that makes for high comedy is the revelation from chick-flick author Terry McMillan has found out the hunky Jamaican guy that inspired her book How Stella Got Her Groove Back and who she subsequently married turned out to be tootallly gaaaay
He played her like a set of steel drums in order to get citizenship and
stick his snout in all that fat cash one gets for making chick
flicks.  They should make a sequel where Angela Bassett kicks
Whoopi Goldberg down a flight of stairs for talking her into the
relationship as only a sassy, wise-cracking best friend can.