Thursday, May 25, 2017

Celebrating Star Wars 40th Anniversary by Unboxing Popular Culture

Nerds can be willing to spend enormous amounts on kitschy tchotchke which seems to relive their fantasy obsessions from childhood. Think of the gaggle of geeks from the television sit-com “Big Bang Theory” where Shelton wanted to get his vintage Apple II signed by the great Woz. Or the prized mint-in-box Wesley Crusher Star Trek action figure from Will Wheaton. Or Shelton being tempted to play with the mint-in-box Star Trek Transformer Device by a hallucinated voice of Leonard Nimoy.  The value to collectors revolves around signatures and being pristine. Ironically, the obsession to be mint-in-box usually negates the pleasure of enjoying the item.

This phenomenon is not just a Hollywood exaggeration. Fan boys are fulminating over the auction of a rare Star Wars promotional poster.  The 1978 poster seems kind of silly, with the ‘Droids bedecked with philharmonic instruments to promote the Star Wars Symphonic Suite.  Even though the item is considered somewhat uncool because of the symphonic campiness, it is a rare piece of memorabilia AND it is signed by Star Wars creator George Lucas.  Therefore this geek grotesquerie will probably sell at auction for between $5,000 and $8,000.

Rather than ridicule the Star Wars Symphonic Suite as an unopened package for being cute yet conventional marketing, I suggest enjoying the symphonic suite composed by John Williams.  It is a contemporary classical piece that resonates in the popular culture.

It is certainly has more class than "Nick Winters, the Lounge Lizard" (a.k.a. Billy Murray) and his Lounge Medley from Saturday Night Live.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Autumn De Forest to Pope Francis

Child Prodigy Artist Autumn De Forest to Pope Francis

Artistic child prodigy Autumn De Forest presented  a painting of the Resurrection to Pope Francis.  The 14 year old had a realistic expectation of her oeuvre. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Senator Richard Blumenthal on Weiner Leaks

Senator Richard Blumenthal calls for Special Prosecutor to investigate Clinton Email classified intelligence leaks by Huma Abedin to her husband Anthony Weiner

On Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Rep. Joe Barca on Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

On Weiner Leaks

Senator Lindsey Graham on Intelligence Leaks to Anthony Weiner

During FBI Director James Comey's latest appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Lindsey Graham needled him about prosecuting Clinton Email leaks by stemming from First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's aide de camp Huma Abedin to her estranged and publicly shamed  husband Anthony Weiner (a.k.a. Carlos Danger) .

Benito Juarez on Governing

Benito Juarez

 Benito Juarez was the President of Mexico who resisted the French Occupation of Mexico, overthrew the Second Mexican Empire and restored the Constitutional Republic.

 The reason people celebrate Cinco de Mayo is the unlikely victory of Mexican troops over French forces in the battle of Puebla.  Many people north of the border confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence Day, which is actually commemorated on September 16th.

 For many Americans Cinco de Mayo is an excuse to party.  Nationally, it is now the third biggest bar night of the year. But considering the way we celebrate and the general ignorance about El Día de la Batalla de Puebla, maybe it's better to consider it the Revenge of the Fifth.

Star Wars Revenge of the Fifth parody

Reveling in the Revenge of the Fifth

The success of the Star Wars Day has been phenomenal since its inception in 2011. In fact several minor league baseball teams wear special Star Wars inspired uniforms to mark the ersatz holiday. One never knows where people can see Storm Troopers strutting about.

 Some people want to extend it from "May the Fourth Be With You" to "Revenge of the Fifth". Of course, this conflicts with Cinco de Mayo.  And this year Star Wars Day was the day before the "Run for the Roses" at Churchill Downs, which usually is associated with many mint juleps.

Thus it might be prudent to revel in Revenge of the Fifth by succumbing to the Dark Side.

Guinness Extra Stout is only 3.4% ABV and 210 calories a pint.  But if you quaff it in a 12 oz. portion, Guinness has fewer calories than orange juice. And it's quite popular all around the Empire (as well as the former British Empire). 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Reflecting Upon Jim De Mint's Confusing Heritage Departure

It should be noted the  Heritage President Ex Senator Jim De Mint (R-SC was ousted by the Heritage Foundation's 22 member Board of Trustees after leading the conservative think tank for nearly four and a half years. 

De Mint was skeptical about Heritage Action, a 501(c)(4) influencing branch of Heritage run by Mike Needham. It was said that De Mint did not want to throw control of the think tank. to 30 something political operatives with no policy experience.  Ironically, the official spin from Heritage on parting ways with De Mint is that he was making the think tank too political.

"The public statement released earlier is puzzling given that the Board of Trustees have praised our work for four years and approved performance bonuses for our entire management team each year for a job well done." 

 Some have speculated that De Mint had been too outspoken in favor of Donald Trump, which alienated GOP Establishment elements in the organization.  Heritage Foundation Board member  Mickey Edwards (and former Congressman from R-OK 5th) noted

“When DeMint went in, Heritage became very political. It changed from a highly respected think tank to just a partisan tool and more ideological — more of a tea party organization than a think tank.”

Heritage Foundation founder Ed Feulner has agreed to again take the reins of the think tank as interim President while a leadership search is conducted.

Heritage Foundation founder Ed Feulner 

There is talk that De Mint may soon find a spot within the Trump Administration. That seems much more credible than the rumor (or joke from Fox New's Chris Wallace) that Steve Bannon will become Heritage Foundation President. 

Ex House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX 26)
This series of backroom recriminations seems reminiscent of the attempted coup of the Freedom Caucus by ex GOP House Majority Leader Dick Army (R-TX 26th) in late 2012. At least no one felt the need to pack heat at Heritage.

Nevertheless, Capitol Hill conservatives need not be afraid of adversity in the District of Calamity, but they must find ways to solve problems lest a short stint at being the majority be their real Heritage. 

Irving Kristol on the Equality of Opportunity

Irving Kristol on the Equality of Opportunity

E.F. Schumacher on Economics

E.F. Schumacher on Economics

Monday, May 1, 2017

Bruce Springsteen on Honest Work

Bruce Springsteen on Honest Work

All those years of building an image of being a working class hero seems to have been all a conceit. 

With such a dodgey work history, one wonders who's really "The Boss" at the Springsteen household.

Well, at least let's hope that Bruce doesn't try to compensate by buying Nordstrom's $425 fake work jeans with the simulated mud coating. 

Josef Stalin on America

Josef Stalin on America

On Paving the American Road to Communism


Recent polling has shown that just over half (55%) of American Millennials believe that communism was or is still a problem. In addition, only 37% of them have a very unfavorable view of communism compared to 57% of the rest of Americans.  Furthermore, 64% of these Millennials say that they agree with the Marxist mantra: "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs".

It should be noted that the same millennial class show a remarkable lack of knowledge about  infamous and ruthless communists like Mao Zedung, Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin, Karl Marx and Cuban revolutionary Che Gueverra (the latter must just be a stylish T-shirt icon)  No wonder many deride the ideologically indoctrinated university students students as young skulls full of mush.

Such astounding ignorance and inclination to "lean forward" must make progressive professors at UC Berkeley and the ilk to party like it's October 1917. 

Benito Mussilini on Socialism

Benito Mussilini on Socialism

Do not mistake Il Duce's pearl of wisdom as a being a rejection of state control of industry.  Mussilini was a committed socialist, but he wanted to be the one to decide the allocation of labor and capital and make the trains run on time