Category Archives: irony

Synonyms for Modern Republicans

I promise not to use profanity and other assorted bad words, which will probably affect the accuracy of my synonym picking.  But it is has come to my attention that people really just don’t know how to label modern Republicans.  Fortunately, I am in a position to offer you warning labels that are at least somewhat useful if you ever have to buy one in a store (assuming, of course, that you have millions to invest and reasonable prospects of using the hard-to-label-accurately products to make even more millions).

Anti-Ironical

mc-browse-political-cartoons-for-the-week-of-january-16-20170117

Yes, the modern Republican cannot identify irony.  Irony is when the opposite of what you were led to expect would happen is what actually takes place.  For instance, when a political candidate expresses the will and the plan to “drain the swamp” in the nation’s capitol, and then, when he wins, he hires a racist crocodile as Attorney General, a slimy Wall-Street snake as the Treasury Secretary, and a brainless bayou woodpecker as Secretary of Education, and the average Republican voter applauds the choices as the most expertise and experience for the job.  Who better to control criminals and thugs than a former master criminal?  And you can’t actually accuse Republicans of having a sense of humor and get away with it.  They will punish you for it.  They want to endlessly debate every political cartoon you post on Facebook.

Notzactly Generous

d9af125a4b45c831910a17fd104eabf8

If you have to ask the fateful question, “Are Republicans generous to others?”  The answer is always a resounding Notzactly!  They are willing to give great gobs of wealth to certain select individuals.  That would, of course, be the Walmart heirs, the Koch Brothers, Mark Cuban, assorted other billionaires, and, inexplicably, Jay-Z.  But when it comes to food stamps in the SNAP program, why, those lazy individuals don’t deserve hand-outs just because they cannot feed their families on the income from two full-time jobs.  They should get another job… or two, and pull themselves up by their own  bootstraps (a metaphor which apparently breaks the law of gravity, in the total absence of anyone willing to throw a rope from above).

Undoo Obama-ist

peel repeal

Any idea that is tainted by snowflake commie Democratic Obama flavor must be overturned.  If the previous administration passed a healthcare reform law borrowed from the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney’s successful Massachusetts healthcare plan, then it is the worst disaster ever and must be repealed even if you leave the people with nothing to take its place.  If Obama changed the curtains in the Oval Office, they must be changed again for gold ones to please the orange one who took Obama’s place.  And if Obama passed a regulation to prevent pouring coal-plant waste directly into rivers, then the regulation must be de-regulated because we obviously need more coal plant waste in our rivers.  Anything done by Obama or Democrats during the last administration must now be immediately undone.

Loud-angry Voice-inators

cartoons_1

No matter how stupid or destructive an idea is in the modern Republican party, it can be pushed through easily because it is backed by the loudest, angriest voices spewing their gaseous brain products through the media and government platforms.  Take for instance a particularly loud and bug-eyed red-faced crank like Congressman Steve King of Iowa.  His message gets through to voters.  Everybody knows his name.  He has achieved this by saying cruel and racist things from his bully pulpit.  You probably remember how he claimed that Mexicans that had calves like cantaloupes were carrying hundred pound backpacks full of drugs across our borders.  And, of course, this is an important message to Iowans because of Iowa’s long border with Mexico.   But the message was loud and public enough to have a Tea Party impact on the national dialogue, where ideas are repeated often enough to be taken as fact, no matter how stupid and destructive they are.

So here are a few words that are synonyms for modern Republicans.  And to them, these will probably not be taken as insults, because they agree with the definitions if you explain them well enough.

 

 

8 Comments

Filed under angry rant, cartoons, feeling sorry for myself, humor, irony, Liberal ideas, politics, satire

Theme Songs for Living Life

You know how in movies and on TV they play a soundtrack behind the action of the show?  And how, sometimes, if the movie or TV show is any good, it enhances and underscores whatever is happening to the main theme of story and the action that expresses it on the screen?  Yeah, that.  A complex idea that lies just under the surface of consciousness, a something that somebody sometime thought up that actually works and can work quite well.  But why does it work?

Put as simply as I can say an idea that is so layered and complex, it is because that is how real life works.  Yeah, there is music in the background of every life.  It plays almost unnoticed until that point where you suddenly realize how it defines your very soul.

20160424_180408

Through childhood and junior high and high school, I used to joke with my two sisters that every song that came on the radio was my favorite song, my theme song.  Every new Beatles’ song, or Paul Revere and the Raiders’ song, or Elton John musical fantasy was the song that defined my entire life.  Yes, I really was that fickle.  But I was also responding to a sense that who I was had to change into something new as often as you heard a new song on the radio or bought a new record album.  (Yes, I know some of you have no idea what that is, but I am a child of the 60’s and 70’s, and I make no excuse for that.  So deal with it.)

I hope you have listened to some of the YouTube song-thingies I have added to this post.  They are not picked at random.  They are some of the key theme songs of my goofy, pointless, and fantastical life.

The Astroboy opening theme is here to represent my early childhood.  When I had the courage of the irrepressible imagination of childhood.  I soared with Astroboy through every black-and-white episode I could get hold of in the 60’s.  At times it met getting out of bed early to catch it at 6:00 am, just after Channel 3 came on the air in the morning.  At times it meant rushing home as soon as school let out because it came on only half an hour after the last bell, and the school was on the north end of Rowan, while home was as far south as the town went.Astroboy

I really used to believe that I would grow up to lead a heroic life and make a name for myself that would inspire others to greatness too.  We are uncommonly stupidly when we are children, and we need simplistic theme songs to wake us up to life gradually.

The Eagles provided the theme songs of my high school and college young manhood.  Trying out life, at times boldly, and at most times timidly, I had to “Take It to the Limit” as often as I could manage.  It turned out that due to irrepressible social awkwardness, my greatest presses against the walls of my existence were all academic in nature.  We learn by doing… and failing… and trying again.  The songs become more complex as they weave themselves into the background of your life story.

As a young teacher, shy and soft-spoken, it was impressed on me that discipline was about controlling behavior which you had to do by being stern and unyielding, good at rule-setting and handing down punishments.  But with my goofy temperament and non-threatening clown face, I soon learned that that road only led to misery and heartache for both me and, more importantly, the students.  In the 80’s I learned that you had to follow Bobby McFerrin’s philosophy of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.  I learned that you don’t teach someone lasting lessons by pushing them from behind with paddles and switches, but by leading them forward with jokes and obvious joy in the lessons you are teaching.

snowflake12

Now that I have grown old and awful in the winter of my life, the songs that express my personal themes are classical music and complex with snowflakian symmetry and stark, cold beauty.  I would talk about a few more particulars, but I am now well past 500 words, and if you don’t have the idea yet, I’m sorry, you are probably never going to hear that music yourself.  But don’t worry… be happy.

5 Comments

Filed under artists I admire, artwork, autobiography, commentary, goofy thoughts, humor, insight, irony, music, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Seeing Things Differently

20161015_104341

Where do I begin?  There are just too many ideas in this one topic to enumerate them all here.   I just got turned down on another loan application.  I am lost for what to do about the swimming pool.  I can’t fix it myself.  I can’t afford to pay anyone to fix it or remove it.  I am suffering from how the world sees me.  Debt to income ratio makes bankers see me as a deadbeat.  The city pool inspector thinks I don’t work hard enough at keeping my property from falling apart.  I don’t know what the doctor thinks any more.  I haven’t gone in for a check up in two years.  I can’t afford to go on insulin, so I simply don’t.  This world seems to see me as a potential homeless person in a short amount of time.  No chance that any one of those folks are going to let me define myself.

But suffering builds character.  And, damn!  I have a lot of character.  Want some of the extra?

DSCN4651

Life for me has always been pretty much a long march into the darkness.  I try to bring power and light and goodness with me as I march, but I know there is a final end to the journey, and it will not go smoothly.  It will not end well.  But I don’t see things the way other men do.  I continue to fight the good fight, even though I will ultimately lose the war.  “Rage! Rage against the dying of the light!” says the poet Dylan Thomas.  The fight is everything.  And I simply can’t be troubled with thinking about what lies over the last hill in this march toward the final battle.

10574301_444846405630570_1607306571712141577_n

I think, ultimately, that the important thing isn’t winning or losing.  It is about who or what we have become on the inside.  I find solace in being able to laugh at life.  A lot of depressing things have been happening lately.  It can make the laughing harder to manage.  But if life is not joy at its heart, then what is it?  And what makes it worth living?

“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
― Lao Tzu

Thus it is…  Lao Tzu is wise.  The Tzu part of his name means “teacher”.  So maybe I need to learn from him.  There has to be a way forward, at least until the path ends.

2 Comments

Filed under feeling sorry for myself, insight, inspiration, irony, Paffooney

The Big Golden Banana-Eater’s Very Sad Day

C360aaaccc

I have spent some time on this blog avoiding making fun of Donald Trump.  He has, as Fearless Leader of the Pottsylvania Republic that America has become, done innumerable things that have impacted my life already.  I am a diabetic who can no longer afford insulin.  I can’t breath the city air in the city I am living in.   And my wife still has a green card after twenty-two years of marriage.  He could’ve hurt me more than he has already if not for the fact that the monkey can’t keep secrets for very long, and the harder he tries, the more Pandora’s boxes he opens up.   But the more I leave him alone, even though he’s such an easy subject for practicing humor and satire on, the less he seems willing to leave me alone.  So forgive me for taking joy from his misery.

2ce30f9f3a214d69b04f92b486a7203a5bce3c81176b47117480b5cd70b734a8_1

Don Dumb-o Jr. managed to convict himself in the press by Tweeting emails that aggressive political journalists had been pursuing for months.  Seriously, I always knew he was something of a bird-brain, but who’d have thought that Dodo birds weren’t extinct after all?  He published the very Russian collusion transcripts that Trump had made all kinds of nasty faces and Obama-hate-Tweets in order to keep under wraps.

Daryl Cagle / politicalcartoons.com

So, while I am happy that the truth is coming out and the old windbag liar can’t stop it from coming out, I have absolutely no faith that the problem will get solved.  The government is still in the strangle-hold grip of the vile and greedy modern GOP (Greedy Old Party).  They are quite likely to continue to excuse and protect the orangutan we elected because the monkey-man will continue to let them get away with everything their greedy old party wants to do in robbing the poor to make the rich richer.  My Republican friends who support Trump are kinda quiet for the moment, but they still support Trump and believe whole-heartedly in every nasty little thing he wants to do to me… with the help of the Russians, apparently.

Oh, well…  He has at least stopped incessantly tweeting bird poop on Twitter for the moment.  So let me enjoy it while I still can.

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under angry rant, cartoons, feeling sorry for myself, foolishness, irony, Paffooney, politics

Three Days Offline

This is actually Monday’s post… the last make-up post.

I am now working on the third consecutive day of being without internet service.  I quickly see what a disaster World War Three, the Cyber-War, is going to be.

thumb_trolls_branch

I mean, there is plenty to do.  I am trying to save my home from legal pillaging by the city trolls, so I must work in the yard.  I must also desperately work on the pool.  And since I may have to blog about it for nudists… I am going to try doing it wearing only sunscreen.  (Not the yard work in the front yard… in the back yard that is fenced in and tree-filled… with the gates tightly locked, of course.)

C360_2017-07-02-11-17-41-942

This is me not actually nude… just joking around with my Cirque du Soleil clown nose and risking a sunburned back.

And I am reading a brilliantly funny book by Terry Pratchett called Raising Steam, about bringing steam trains and train travel to the fantasy medieval world he calls Discworld.  I miss Terry Pratchett.  He passed away and will never write another one.  And there are only a precious few left that I haven’t gotten to read yet.  But, he won’t be around for the third installment of the World at War Saga.  I hope I am not either… but I am probably too stubborn to just die on my own.  I am expecting now to be murdered by a Trumpcare death panel.

I am also trying ferociously to write and publish novels.  I have so many stories left to tell, and not enough time to plant the fields of imaginative rough-draft fiction, water them with re-writes and editing, and then try to harvest them by publishing.

class Miss Mcover

I no longer suffer from childish illusions that my fiction is going to change the world for the better, the way Dickens’ once did.  I know I am probably writing them only for the ash-pile, or the myopic alien squid-man that will uncover them as part of his psychotic obsession with xeno-archeology.

So there is plenty to do, but I can already see the problems that will come if everybody’s internet and electronic world breaks down at the same time.   Especially if it ends up being permanent.  I can’t pay my bills without internet banking and access to the websites I use to pay things I owe.  I can’t do any further publishing work without being able to email the publisher.  Not having internet is basically the end of the world I have been living in since I retired.  No Netflix, no Google, no email, no Twitter (Hey, it’s not all bad after all, now is it?), no access to the website that is deciding whether to send me to Bluebonnet Naturist Camp or not (is this list of problems actually getting better?), no television, and a decided lack of communication with the outside world (which means no bad news about Trump and the crazy government.  Woo Hoooooo!)

C360aaa

So, while I can cope with not being online, how long can I really hold out if the Trumpian Troglodytes pitch us back out of the information age?  Think of it… a new age of coal and Trump-branded real-estate all run by a narcissistic orangutan and his piratical racist banker boys.  Not very long, I suspect.

4 Comments

Filed under humor, insight, irony, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

So Tired of Tires

C360_2017-05-29-08-06-16-407

The wheels on my car, the wheels I rely on for the most important functions remaining in my retired, sick-all-the-time, but still-a-father-with-kids-in-school days, have recently been under assault once again.   The back right tire has had a slow leak in it for three months because of some piece of metal embedded in the treads.  And last week the front driver’s-side tire was cruelly popped by a piece of road debris, a hubcap that was left on the road to be run over repeatedly.  Number two son and I had to be rescued from the roadside by AAA (and that is Triple A, not Alcoholics Anonymous… a fairly important distinction).

It meant I had to drive around on an emergency spare for a while and spend the majority of my Memorial Day holiday at Sam’s Club’s tire repair center getting two tires fixed.

And how do you deal with tires being damaged and needing to be fixed so often?  Satire of course.  After all, it has the word “tire” in it, doesn’t it?

The piece from Vox points out that satire is the way comedians are dealing with Trump news and Trump fake news and Trumpian self-satire usually administered to claim innocence over a truly horrible and self-damaging something he said.  They are using satire to cut the crap and get to the center of the ridiculous dog-and-pony show Trump puts on and Trump supporters are constantly dazzled by.  I point this all out because I satirically believe no one who looks at my posts on this goofy-danged blog ever watches the videos.  And it probably is true, that thing you are thinking at the moment, that Mickey only adds videos to fill up space.

But if satire can be used to pop the tires on the political clown car, then why can’t it also be used to fix the tires on my little gray errand-wagon?

C360_2017-05-29-08-06-53-793

Of course, you will say, “You can’t fix a tire with satire!  You have to have tools and patches and rubber cement for that.  And you would be right.

But I have had three major tire-related disruptions to my little retired life in the last two years.  A careless driver ran into the back tire of my little pony last spring and not only wrecked the tire, but bent the back axle and totaled the entire car.  Then I hit a pothole on a carefully unrepaired Dallas street and not only destroyed the tire, but dented the entire rim.  And now the new tire disaster fills my holiday with more sit-and-wait-and-pay-lots-of-money woes at a time when I really don’t appreciate such a long run of bad tire-luck.  It drives me to satire.

So maybe satire can’t fix a tire, but it can make me laugh about it.  And isn’t that better than crying, or a long string of cuss words so foul they would’ve gotten me fired before I retired three years ago?  Besides, I already tried those.  They didn’t work either.  But satire makes me laugh about it and feel a little better.  And, after all, it has the word “tire” embedded in it.  And that has to count for something.

C360_2017-05-29-07-37-15-452

Leave a comment

Filed under angry rant, autobiography, humor, irony, photo paffoonies, satire

Novel Ways to Make a Portrait

As both an artist and a writer I portray people I have known. I can also say that I have portrayed people I love, but that is rather redundantly repetitive because I basically love all people, even the really nasty ones who hate me in return.  It’s a teacher thing.  But portraits as a writer/artist/cartoonist/fool is not a straightforward thing.  Let me start by unpacking my portraits of the Cobble Sisters.  Sherry and Shelly Cobble are twin sisters.  They are in several of my YA novels about the little town in rural Iowa where I grew up.

Sherry Cobble22

They are nudists.  That means their family believes there are health benefits to not wearing any clothes when they are at home or spending private time with the rest of their family and friends.  I can claim that they are based on real people, because they are, but that takes considerable explaining.

16750_102844486407850_100000468961606_71386_6774729_n

                                                                                                                                                                             Sherry Cobble

I have a pair of identical twin cousins who I grew up with and learned about the unique things twin share from them.  But the Cobble Sisters are not a direct portrait of them.  They are not nudists.  And they would probably beat me to a pulp if I dared to insist that they were.

The nudist/naturists I once knew and lived near were in Iowa City where I went to grad school (and where I found the original model for the picture), and in Austin, Texas where my girlfriend’s sister was living in a clothing-optional apartment complex.  My parents lived in an Austin suburb and when my girlfriend and I visited the area in the 80’s, I stayed at my parents’ home and she stayed at the crazy communal resort for naked people where her sister lived.  This situation provided the background for the embarrassment humor in my novel Superchicken.   That’s the story that includes an episode where the main character is tricked into going to a nudist camp as a guest with the Cobble family.  Poor Superchicken didn’t realize until he got there that it was a place where you have to take off all your clothes to blend in.

Supe n Sherry_n

Which leads quite naturally into the second portrait I want to talk about.  Edward-Andrew Campbell is called “the Superchicken” by his friends in Norwall, Iowa.  That nickname is actually my nickname from high school.  It comes from part of the George of the Jungle Saturday morning cartoon show by Jay Ward (Rocky and Bullwinkle’s creator).

The nickname was hung on me by a girl I had a huge crush on from grade school through junior high.  Superchicken in the cartoon show was this mild-mannered chicken who could gain super powers by drinking super sauce and then fight crime.  She obviously thought I was full of hidden talents just like him.

So Superchicken is a me character.

But the picture is not me drawing myself as a boy.  It is modeled on my young second cousin who was my little buddy for the last two years of high school and during my first couple of years in college.  The portrait in the novel, however, is part me and part a student from my early years as a teacher.  The Anita Jones portrait is drawn from a Sears catalog model, while the real girl was the most popular girl in my grade at school,  I wasn’t the only boy hopelessly in love with her.

Finally, since I am well over the word-count target already, I want to talk about the portrait of the main character in my novel about to be published, Miss Francis Morgan.

On the left you see who Francis really was.  Mother Mendocino was born to be a teacher, and it is her natural-born love of teaching and rapport with kids that I am portraying in the novel.  In the novel, though, everything that happens in that classroom was really something that happened in my classroom, not hers.  Especially the invasion of the classroom by three-inch tall fairies.  But it should also be obvious that Miss Morgan is not a portrait of me.  I am not female.  I could never respond to and touch kids the way she does because our society frowns on that from male teachers.  And further, she is not Hispanic because the novel is set in 1990’s Iowa rather than the deep South Texas town where these things happened.  So I based the drawing on another teacher I knew from Iowa, one that had always been the next door neighbor girl when I was a kid.  She babysat me and was older than me.

So, my portrait art that I am mangling the discussion of in this post is made up mostly of amalgamated portraits.  A little of this person added to a lot of that one, with a sprinkle of me mixed in for goof-factor effect.  The novel Magical Miss Morgan is being edited by Page Publishing as I write this and will be available soon.  I am hoping that a few of you may be foolish enough to buy one and read it.   I truly believe in my goofy old heart that you will like it.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, characters, goofy thoughts, humor, irony, novel plans, Paffooney