Screamin’ memes.

I must begin today with a mea culpa — it appears the passenger who pushed Steven Slater’s button for the last time was a woman. I had assumed it was a man, but now that I think about it, there’s no reason to believe men have any kind of corner on the jerkoff market. And I don’t know why I assumed that the sort of person who would push a flight attendant that far would have to have XY chromosomes. I’ve known for years that women can be horrible people. I’ve known many of them. And to my male friends, I apologize.

Now, is anyone going to find her? I really, really want to meet her, if only to see whether I know her. And I expect to. Diva bitches tend to come in types. I expect this one will be Still Trying to Catch Daddy’s Attention, perhaps mixed with a little I Grow Old, and Thus Invisible, Therefore I Rage. The latter is the one I see most often in my orbit, and it’s sort of sad, unless, like me, you’ve always craved a cloak of invisibility, in which case aging has this fairly cool upside. But it drives some women insane, and so they grow giant metallic purses, and jangly jewelry, and start slamming overhead-compartment doors on the innocent. Me, you’ll find in my endless rotation of jeans/khakis/white-or-black T-shirts, taking notes.

So, Ted Stevens was on that plane that crashed yesterday. My first thought was cruel — that given the amount of air travel even average Alaskans do in the course of life there, and given how often these planes are small, and given the extremes of weather, etc., that aviation has to rank right up there with alcohol and suicide as the main killers of Alaskans. I wonder if the reporters in Anchorage and Fairbanks have certain phrases on user keys, to save time: “missing and feared dead,” perhaps, along with “killed when the small plane he was riding in smashed into…” and “the search continues, but authorities now describe it as a recovery operation.”

Then I noted Stevens’ age: 86. Eighty-six? No one can say he didn’t get his full measure. To live to 86 and then die in a plane crash? That might be the Official State Death of Alaska. That’s tombstone material: Caught a flight to the undiscovered country, 2010.

So, DryErase Girl was a hoax. Color me…not very surprised. She was too pretty and actressy to be real, and the gag, while clever, raised too many questions: She sent 33 photographs to everyone in her office? How did she know they’d open and read them in the right order? Why did she change her clothes and hair and take off her glasses for the last two pictures? (I’ll tell you why — the last two were shot on a callback. And she had a lazy director. Continuity, people!)

This is being referred to as a “meme.” Meme is one of those words I struggled to get my brain around when it first started popping up everywhere, and finally I threw up my hands and decided there were already perfectly good words to describe a meme — a viral idea, basically — and we didn’t really need a neologism. Although I have used it many times, if it keeps getting used to describe things like DryErase Girl, I’m going to get medieval on its ass.

Someone sent me this piece from Slate last night, about the wildfires in Russia. Scary:

The disastrous Russian heat wave has exposed a key failing of Russian society: The flow of information has stopped. There is not a single newspaper that even strives to be national in its coverage. The television is not only controlled by the Kremlin; it is made by the Kremlin for the Kremlin, and it is entirely unsuited to gathering or conveying actual information. …As a result, no one knows where the fires are burning—unless they are burning right next to you. There is no map that would tell you whether your loved ones are safe or whether there is a fire along your planned travel route. Often, there is also no way to call for help. In a telling exchange, a blogger wrote to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin complaining that his village, close to the epicenter of one of the fires, no longer had even the ship’s bell residents had once used to call for help. In a bizarre move, Putin responded by ordering that the ship’s bell be restored to the village.

Say what you will about the media in this country, at least we know what Bristol Palin’s love life is like at any given moment.

Finally, from the Department of Six Degrees of Separation, Johnny Carson’s greatest hits are going online, and as usual, the story mentions one of my husband’s best stories:

In the meantime, the site will feature between 40 and 60 video clips — from Ann-Margret’s spirited performance of “I’ve Got the Music in Me” to an appearance by Myrtle Young, the potato-chip lady — that will be updated to reflect current events. And there’s more to come, including a new “Tonight Show” DVD collection that Carson Productions plans to announce later this year.

It’s Myrtle Young, of course, as all Fort Wayners know, or should. My husband Alan made Myrtle a star, starting with the story he wrote about her in the paper, which she rode into a final chapter of her life that landed her on Letterman and Carson, and to travels all over the world as a sort of ambassador of potato chips. She was a sweet lady, as this clip, which TV Guide called the funniest moment on TV, ever, demonstrates. It was funny, sure, but I laughed harder at the line in Alan’s story about her trip to Los Angeles, which was the first time she’d ever been on an airplane. The stewardess said there was a flotation device under her seat, and she got up to check, just to make sure. Everyone honors Myrtle. I honor the messenger. (And also John Bordsen, the editor who got the letter she wrote to the paper after seeing an item about an inferior potato-chip collection in the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” comic, and passed it along to Alan.)

An easier day ahead. Expected temperature: 91. Groan.

Posted at 10:21 am in Current events |

59 responses to “Screamin’ memes.”

  1. Julie Robinson said on August 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Our eternal gratitude to Alan for giving us Myrtle. Alas, the potato chip factory closed, was torn down, and is now part of an interstate exchange. I don’t remember reading her obituary–anyone else?

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  2. MarkH said on August 11, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Nance, I agree that the dry erase girl post looked to contrived, her expressions were very actress-ish and it made me wonder. But, I don’t think the last photos in a white top and cut-offs were a continuity screw up. I got the notion she was was sending the freedom message to Spencer, along with a, “hey, you thought I was hot in the office? Have a dream on me, Farmville Boy!” Not a mistake; those guys had their storybard act together, even up to revealing the meme. (IMHO).

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  3. nancy said on August 11, 2010 at 11:16 am

    You may be right, Mark. I’d forgotten how hoary old clichés continue to live on the internet, including the old “takes off glasses, shakes out bun, turns into smokin’ hottie” gag.

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  4. Bob (Not Greene) said on August 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I called bullshit on DryErase Girl immediately. No chance that was real.

    And I’m glad Vladimir Putin has brought Russia from Soviet communism to what appears to be the mafia’s wet dream. But at least it looks like we’ll always need spies there. Nance, that Russian language class will come in handy!

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  5. Dexter said on August 11, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Steven Slater had 25,000 Twitter Followers as of last evening. Good luck trying to find his authorized Twitter page, however. A lot of people are having fun with fake accounts.
    Not once yesterday did I hear that the offending passenger was a woman. This just makes it so much better. Speculation is rampant that Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey, hell, even old Jerry Lewis are dying to get the rights to the bit , to get it in the can :)and out on the silver screen. It’s still the story of the year for me, and it got just as much air time (really, a helluva lot more) than old whatshisname out in the Alaskan wilderness.

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  6. Bob (Not Greene) said on August 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm


    I had the new details — including that the guy was previously married — here at Nance Land yesterday afternoon! Tune in regularly for all breaking news!

    By the way, I guess Levi Johnston, late of $P’s extended family, is thinking about running for mayor in Wasilla. As part of a new reality show, of course. The gift that keeps on giving.

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  7. adrianne said on August 11, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Myrtle rules! I still remember Alan’s original story and the trip to Hollywood with Myrtle quite fondly. Didn’t they eat at the Brown Derby restaurant?

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  8. basset said on August 11, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Mrs. B. was once a potato chip inspector, at Be-Mo Foods in Kalamazoo, watching the freshly fried chips go by on a conveyor and picking out the misshapen and overcooked… which she and her fellow chip-checkers then ate.

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  9. Jolene said on August 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Two of my favorite subjects: Johnny Carson and potato chips. As a kid, I used to stay up after the rest of the family had gone to bed to watch Carson and, even now, I rarely miss Letterman and Ferguson. Just seems like the right way to end the day. Have never bought any of the Carson DVDs, but I just sent a note to one of my younger sisters to tell her that she could buy the new collection to leave with me when they drop me off at the home—years from now, of course.

    My dad raised potatoes that were sold to make potato chips, and, on a trip to Minneapolis, we once visited one of the factories that bought his potatoes. Still remember how delicious those fresh, warm chips were.

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  10. Deborah said on August 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I just loved Carson, I always thought he was the epitome of sophistication. I even remember Jack Parr, he was cool too. Sorry, Letterman or Leno were never a match for those guys.

    I am a really old fart.

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  11. del said on August 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I was suspicious of the DryErase girl’s authenticity and figured that the website name was a clue – the chive. (A knockoff of The Onion?)

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  12. Jeff Borden said on August 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Bob N.G.,

    The Hollywood Reporter is saying it’s a done deal that the high school dropout sperminator and model will pursue the Wasilla mayoral job in a reality series called “Loving Levi.” Interestingly, the election isn’t until 2012.

    Is there something in the water of Wasilla? Does proximity to Mama Malaprop and her traveling carnival of con artists turn everyone into self-centered idiots who think the nation needs to hear from them? Or, more likely, is this just the latest desperate grab for fame and money from a young man with little or no future?

    Anything that causes SheWho embarrassment and potentially thwarts her plans for global domination has to be applauded, I guess, but Levi is just another grifter from Alaska, which apparently has an unlimited supply of them.

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  13. ROgirl said on August 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    From the Washington Post:

    “Passengers can all be divided into four types,” says another no-nonsense attendant who has whittled the chaos of airline travel into logical precision. The four types are:

    A: All About Me

    B: Business

    C: Casual

    D: Deer in Headlights

    “A and D are the ones you have to look out for,” the woman says. A’s are obvious — they’re the ones who are demanding bottled water and a free snack box before the wheels go up. But never underestimate a D. Your typical D passenger, the spacey novice, is the one who is going to open the overhead bin and gently spread his overcoat down the length of the whole compartment. The D will not hear the sighs of annoyance from the other passengers, because the D will have already unwrapped his smelly sandwich and plugged his headphones into your seat’s jack.

    I’m imagining some type A who’s been watching too many reality shows and thinks she’s entitled to do what she pleases because she’s so special.

    I think her identity will come out soon. Can’t wait.

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  14. moe99 said on August 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I still love Ballreich’s potato chips, to the point that I order some every few months. Delivery costs are high, but it’s worth it.

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  15. Catherine said on August 11, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    To me, the most interesting thing about Ted Stevens’ life was that he survived a 1978 plane crash that killed his then-wife & by rights, should have killed him. What would you do if you got a second chance like that? I wonder if he felt that those 32 years were a gift, or his due?

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  16. LAMary said on August 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    In anticipation of this week’s sweet corn purchases, from the Bon Appetit website:

    Tagliatelle with Fresh Corn Pesto


    • 4 bacon slices, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
    • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 8 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine
    • 3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided

    Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown, stirring often. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Add corn, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups corn kernels to small bowl and reserve. Scrape remaining corn mixture into processor. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan and pine nuts. With machine running, add olive oil through feed tube and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set pesto aside.
    Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add corn pesto, reserved corn kernels, and 1/2 cup basil leaves. Toss pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper.
    Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves and reserved bacon. Serve pasta, passing additional grated Parmesan alongside.

    I want some of this for lunch today. Unfortunately, I will be having hospital cafeteria food instead.

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  17. Bob (Not Greene) said on August 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Jeff B.,

    My guess to your multiple choice question is C. I mean, until $P put him in the national spotlight, he was just another hockey playing dropout doomed to an anonymous life in the backwoods of Nowheresville. He hasn’t gotten any smarter, he just got himself an agent. And, yes, Alaska is land of the grifters. Hell, it was the get-rich-quick crowd that flocked there during the gold rush. I imagine they stayed after finding no gold and having no way to get back. Or after finding a bunch of easy marks to grift.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on August 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    LAMary that recipe looks divine. I bought a huge bag of corn yesterday only to learn that our houseguests have been delayed a couple of days, so of corn I have plenty plenty. No basil at the moment but I can fix that tomorrow. To me the recipe seems like it wants some onions sauteed along with the other goodies.

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Love the reax from the incumbent, Mayor Verne Rupright (you can’t make this stuff up, and in America, you don’t have to): “But since I am nearly old enough to be Levi’s grandfather, I think it would be wise for him to get a high school diploma and keep his clothes on. The voters like that!”

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  20. ROgirl said on August 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    The mayor is nearly old enough to be Levi’s grandfather? He must be at least 35.

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  21. Deborah said on August 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I’m at home today, suspected kidney stones. I went to Starbucks this morning before work as usual and suddenly had some pretty severe abdominal pain. I walked back home, in excruciating pain. I’ve had this 3 or 4 times before but always had back pain not abdominal pain. My husband thought it was my appendix but I called my sister who has also had kidney stones many times (my dad had them too) and asked her if she ever had abdominal pain with it. When she said yes I immediately drank about 6 or 8 cups of water. The pain stopped about 4 hours after it started. I had made a Dr appointment but decided to cancel it when the pain stopped. I decided not to go into the office after the pain stopped, just to make sure it doesn’t start up again. Nothing to do but wait it out, nothing serious.

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  22. Dexter said on August 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Yeah, BobNot, I missed your post about the passenger being a woman. To clarify, though, Slater was released quickly from a Brooklyn detention center after posting a small bail bond. I don’t think he’ll get a lot of time for this prank, unless the ruling judge is afraid this will trigger copy cats. And yesterday I heard it costs $8 grand to re-pack the sliding chutes, then today I heard these are disposable chutes, and a new one costs $25 grand to purchase and install. That sounds about right.

    Oh, moe! Now I gotsta run out and buy me some Ballreich’s regular. The only bigger sensation-maker was Snyder’s of Hanover brand vinegar potato chips.
    I grew up with Seyfert’s potato chips, Eckrich hot dogs and Wayne Buns as staples of good nutrition. I was late to game for Old Crown Ale, but I drank Fort Wayne Falstaff when I could get a case of 24 for five bucks at Lebamoff’s Liquor Store. We drank “Golden Guernsey” milk and Allen Dairy milk…maybe it was the same thing…so we had some local flavor in our lives 50+ years ago.
    And Deborah, I too remember Jack Paar and Steve Allen.

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  23. Peter said on August 11, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Deborah – OWWWWWWW, does THAT bring back pleasant memories! Sign up for the shock bath now; I’m sure it’s still a long wait and you can always cancel. Good luck.

    Wait a second – kidney stones? Screamin’ memes? This site rocks!

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  24. brian stouder said on August 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Wait a second – kidney stones? Screamin’ memes? This site rocks!

    I think this wins the thread, even despite that Peter may have induced greatly painful laughs for Deborah, mentioning stones, screamin’, and rocks all within 6 words (akin to talking about rope in the house of a hanged man)

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  25. Jeff Borden said on August 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Wonkette has a link to a new Facebook page featuring photos from the fab wedding of El Rushbo to Mrs. El Rusbo IV. Two things stand out:

    1. Rush looks like a refrigerator in a tuxedo.
    2. Mrs. Rush 4.0 looks young enough to be his daughter. . .and then some.

    Top-shelf photography with a beautiful sepia tone. Mrs. Rush 4.0 is a very pretty woman. And while El Rushbo is a dedicated homophobe, there’s a sweet photo of him “sharing a laugh” with Elton “For A Million Bucks I’ll Play Anywhere” John.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I’m not sure who I think is photoshopped into that album: the bride, or the wedding singer.

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  27. Jeff Borden said on August 11, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I cannot stand Limbaugh but it looks like it was a swell event. I’ll cede to your knowledge of photoshop, Jeff TMMO, because they all look pretty good to me. The disparity in the ages between the groom and bride really stands out, photoshop or not, but if they are happy together, that’s groovy.

    Perhaps a happier and more settled domestic life could cure El Rushbo of his dyspepsia, but then again, how would he ever make a living?

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  28. Sue said on August 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Rush looks oddly smooth. Like he’ll melt if the lights get too hot.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 11, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Oh, I neither know much about p-shop nor think anything was done to the pics, it just looks so on-the-verge-of-an-SNL-skit.

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  30. Deborah said on August 11, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Gross, I just can’t imagine cuddling up to that pile of goo. She must be soooo in love with the $$$$.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on August 11, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I’d say that whoever walked her down the aisle also looked young enough to be Rush’s kid. And it’s wonderful that Elton John took $1 million from him to play at the wedding. Elton must have been laughing all the way to the bank.

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  32. Dexter said on August 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    J-Bo? Looking here for your comments on this:

    And now the producer of the unforgettable “Roots” TV miniseries has passed.

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  33. jcburns said on August 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Rupright? Ruh-roah.

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  34. Clark said on August 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Have you seen “Inception” yet, Nancy? I’ll assume you have. The ideas that were implanted — those are the sort of thing I think of when I hear the word “meme” — powerful ideas that change every other thought they touch, altering an entire cognitive schematic and eventually spreading from person to person. lolcats & double rainbow guys don’t really do this.

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  35. Jakash said on August 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    For any Buckeyes, ex-Buckeyes, Bewitched or Hollywood Squares fans out there, this was in the Chicago Tribune today, apropos of nothing, as far as I can tell:,0,3319361.column

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  36. Jeff Borden said on August 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm


    I live in what was Rosty’s old district and where Rahm Emmanuel was my representative until he got his White House gig. The current guy is a very square Democrat named Mike Quigley, who has done fine as far as we are concerned.

    Rosty was a dirty pol, but he did brings tons of bacon home to the district and to Chicago in general. He took his punishment like a stand-up guy, did his time in prison and turned out to be a pretty fair political analyst on TV during election cycles. In my eyes, he’s 1000% better than Blagojevich.

    I’m not nostalgic for him, but given the choice between an old-school pol who helps his friends (and himself) while conducting the nation’s business or the new-school bomb-throwing shits who boast of their desire to smash the Washington establishment rather than look after the needs of their constituents, I’ll take the former.

    Speaking of Blago, the jury has notified the judge it is deadlocking on some of the charges. The prosecutors had to move on him more quickly than they wanted because he was peddling that Senate seat, so they did not have the strongest case. God, if he is acquitted, we’ll be listening to him crow about his innocence for decades. And Blago is only slightly –slightly– less irritating than SheWho.

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  37. Jeff Borden said on August 11, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Add to Dexter. . .

    I know Dan Rostenkowski, no matter how corrupt or compromised, would have voted for the jobs bill that will help save hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs. Compare that with squeaky clean –except for all the lying about his military experiences– Republican Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois, who earlier this week said he was likely to vote for the bill but then changed his mind. Our fine, upstanding GOPer had to vote no, you see, because included in the package was the closing of a loophole that will take away tax credits for companies that send jobs overseas. So, it is far more important to help out companies shipping jobs to foreign lands than it is to ensure a few thousand Illinois teachers can continue working.

    Rosty also is 1,000% better than Mark Kirk, who likely will be the next senator from Illinois and another grain of sand grinding down the wheels of government with his bullshit conservative ideology.

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  38. mark said on August 11, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Yes, Jeff B, there can be no good faith disagreement on policy issues. There are the good guys that think like you do and all the awful, bullshit, etc, people who dont. Like these guys.

    Name-calling and impugning motives is so much easier than discussing policy.

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  39. LAMary said on August 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Jeff Borden…thanks for the Rush photos. I can’t get enough Rush love life news. Wandering around on Wonkette I saw this:

    Mighty fine reading.

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  40. Jeff Borden said on August 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Fair enough, Mark. Please do enlighten me as to what the Republican Party seeks to do about our economy beside continuing tax cuts that even the leading lights of the GOP –paging Eric Cantor, paging Eric Cantor– say are not paid for.

    And please also note the last time the Republican Party acted in good faith on anything. It’s been so long it has slipped my mind. I do know every effort by Barack Obama to achieve some level of bipartisanship has been slapped away, but if you have examples of our fine conservative lawmakers stepping up and making great policy, please share.

    BTW, I’m not name-calling anyone but Mark Kirk, a sleazy little bag of shit who has told more lies about his military service than we can count and whose fecklessness led him to seek the endorsement of the demagogue from Wasilla early on. He’s a creepy ideologue who will do nothing but carry Mitch McConnell’s water.

    I am good and tired of listening to bags of gas who spent every fucking dime of our surplus and plunged us into a cavern of debt while catering to their wealthy constituencies, extending Medicaid entitlements and launching two wars without ever worrying about how to pay for it. Now they’re deficit hawks? Please.

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  41. deb said on August 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    ooh, LAMary, that wonkette link was horrifically delicious. “the uttermost part of the earth”? eeewwww. bonus points for rhyming “scintilla” and “wasilla.”

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  42. deb said on August 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    p.s. i think the poetry-writing sector of her base is seriously language-challenged. i mean, “metamorphocised”? wow.

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  43. joodyb said on August 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    fyi, at this hour, no one has picked up The Littlest Mayor – produx cos. appear to be steering clear.

    LAMary, thanks for that delicious tip. I haven’t cracked that edition yet. Now I will.

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  44. Dave said on August 11, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Paul Lynde, the best center square ever during the heyday of Hollywood Squares. I always assumed that they had a list of the questions before the show but very well remember him being very witty, indeed.

    And Johnny Carson, there’s no one today who could touch him.

    As for Ballreich’s potato chips, I wish there were somewhere in Fort Wayne that one could buy them. I was always under the impression that they weren’t available west of the Ohio line but recently found them in a convenience store in Markle. Perhaps its best that they can’t be found in Fort Wayne.

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  45. coozledad said on August 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    LA Mary: Just can’t help my damned self.
    The Arctic wastes have nurtured strange tastes
    that developed in isolation
    Strange things done in the midnight sun
    that would stop you, mid-masturbation.
    The Northern lights have seen queer sights
    but no queers in Wasilla, you betcha.
    Cause the plucky chinchilla, the mayor of Wasilla
    will fine you if she ever catch ya.

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  46. nancy said on August 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm


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  47. Dexter said on August 11, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    cooz, nice! And Robert Service won’t mind cuz he died in 1958.

    Thanks for the opinion and info about the pols, J-Bo. The tone of your post echos the conversation about Rosty that I had with my brother today, who has lived in Chicagoland for the past 44 years.

    And I had to do it. I bought a bag of Ballreich’s Marcelled chips and a pack of Eckrich hot dogs. I concocted a chili sauce in a pan and had a lovely junk food dinner. I stopped at a gas station and I figured, what the hell, and bought a Baby Ruth for dessert.
    Tomorrow: watercress sandwich and plain water. Actually, I don’t even know what watercress is or what it looks like. I just remember that is what fashion models used to live on, as reported in 1960’s media.

    Kirk: 🙁 The Cincinnati Reds, those pretenders, they played horrible defense, they stopped hitting, the pitching blew up badly, and they optioned Travis Wood to Louisville. So it looks like this was it, the ship sailed away from the fight, and St. Louis, a team that is not even a very good team but has two stoppers at 1-2 in the rotation, becomes the team to beat in the Central. You shoulda seen the Cubs last night! Pathetic! One of the worst teams in the last 50 years up on the north side.

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 11, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Paul Lynde, born and buried just a few miles north of me (even closer to Dorothy) in Mount Vernon, OH, next to his parents. It’s a novel waiting to be written. We’ve got all kinds of ironic turnabouts hereabouts.

    We just got back from demolition derby night at the Hartford Fair, and it was truly poetry in motion, punctuated by crunching impacts and erupting radiators, butterflies flittering all around the overflowing petunia planters hanging from the grandstand and gazebo. Had a blooming onion, and all three of us had freshmade ice cream just outside of the stock barn, thunderstorms looming in the west. That’s eating.

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  49. brian stouder said on August 11, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Further to pithy quotes with attributions (suitable for bumper sticker duty), there’s this collection:

    I have no idea how credible this is, but scrolling down, there are several funny ones, many clever ones, lots of familiar old saws and several I’d not heard before

    A few samples:

    “Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.”
    – Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

    “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
    – Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

    “Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.”
    – Voltaire (1694-1778) on his deathbed in response to a priest asking that he renounce Satan.

    “I have an existential map; it has ‘you are here’ written all over it.”
    – Steven Wright

    “Heav’n hath no rage like love to hatred turn’d, Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.”
    – William Congreve (1670-1729)

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
    – Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

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  50. Carolyn said on August 11, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Nancy, I never tire of the Myrtle Young story. Not only does it feature fine writing and editing, but it is so Fort Wayne.

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  51. jcburns said on August 12, 2010 at 12:35 am

    You gotta get two beers and jump, by Jimmy Fallon. Anthemic.

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  52. prospero said on August 12, 2010 at 1:58 am

    The only thing necessary for the triumpn of evil is for Progressives to decide it doesn’t matter and vote for solipsist losers like Ralph Nader. There’s a clear difference. If you don’t think so it’s that belly-button gazing.

    The president doesn’t have a magic wand. It’s not Disney. You know, there’s the Senate, where completely anonymous blocks can be put on judicial and agency appointments forever. Republicans will say that’s standard procedure, but that’s horseshit. And current behavior is unprecedented, and the supermajority reigns on every single vote. Is that the way the government is supposed to work?

    And 60=40- means democracy? It doesn’t and the asshole progressives that blame the president are a bunch of idiots. Whip the Senate into shape, you dumb bastards. The President can’t pass legislation, but what he’s accompished is astounging. McConnell can gum the works for Massey at the drop of a hat.

    Are people this goddamn stupid? Then why are they allowed to vote? No joke, change the Senate rules. You can’t? Neither can the President, and he can’t wave a magic wand and make everything Progressives want just come true immediately. Politics happens incrementally and expecting everything to change all at once in an atrocious economy with racist opposition looking for nothing but making everything fail makes things more difficult.

    How in the world is it that people don’t catch on to the fact that the entire GOP effort is to fuck over everything as much as possible? I mean, a normally intelligent person could see that’s what they’re doing. I’m sure it’s only partly because the President’s black, but really, these assholes ran the invasions off the books and ran the surplus into the ground. What the fuck are they talking about?
    and if Americans are stupid enough to buy this bollocks, that’s about that, and Cabo anywhere looks good. This is not a matter for debate. The deficit results from Mission Accomplished and letting people that make obscene amounts of money managing hedge funds destroy the American economy and never pay taxes. This is
    bush and
    republican doing and trying to pretend otherwise is flat stupid.

    They’re all the same? In another universe. This is instant gratification expectation that the President gets a magic wand. Tantrums when that doesn’t work out?

    Rostenkowski went to federal prison. Ted Stevens didn’t. Which one was a bigger crook and which one a bigger betrayer of the public trust? No-brainer. Major league bribes from defense contractors or cheating on stamps and franking privileges? And Charley Rangel did something Mitch McConnell doesn’t do in his sleep and W didn’t spend hi whole phony Pretzeldency doing.

    And about that Jenna and what’s-her-name and what’s her other name, the First Lady, going on safari and you know, they didn’t pay for any of that. Well, they didn’t pay for any of that. They just went on safari while the idiot fucked around in Crawford or Kennebunkport or Camp David, back in 2007 when the Smartest Guys in the Room were in the process of crashing the American economy on purpose for profit.

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  53. Dexter said on August 12, 2010 at 2:38 am

    jc: EXcellent!

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  54. brian stouder said on August 12, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Well, since we’re talking about screamin’ memes in this thread, I think the one that applies to Prospero’s angst (and press secretary Gibbs’, too, for that matter) is the old “5 stages of grief” – as applied to “when your candidate wins the presidency, and the glittery idealism of the campaign gives way to the gritty reality of governing”

    Denial that I ever really believed that the election of my candidate would mean gumdrops falling from the sky and a steady drumbeat of success on all social and governmental initiatives

    Anger that anyone else might actually have believed that.

    Bargaining with fate and the winds – that if only this (or that) ONE particular thing gets accomplished, then I really WILL feel like I got what I voted for; and then move the goal posts.

    Depression when the new president really, truly does something that you just cannot abide, and which you would attack if “the opposition” did, but which you feel forced to at least remain silent about.

    Acceptance when you look up and it’s election time again, and realize that the president you elected not only hasn’t made a complete hash of things, but indeed has actually accomplished several pretty good things.

    Plus – you realize that all those other folks, who voted for the LOSING candidate, have never made it past the first stage of THEIR process of coping with their candidate’s LOSS!! (That hurried re-marriage to the trailer park woman from way up north is a mistake that they’re still in the middle of)

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  55. prospero said on August 12, 2010 at 10:29 am


    What I think is that people seemed to think the Presidency is more than it is, and he’s taking a load of grief for things he’s got no control over. There’s a Senate with idiotic rules that allow a bunch of obstructionist idiots to fuck up the country, including the economy. Everything wrong could be nudged in the right direction if it were’t for the Newtish crap.

    This business about lame duck Congress. That’s how these assholes passed the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2002, and how the Greasy Old Poletti launched the Clinton impeachment idiocy. So how is that Democratic Party subterfuge? One way or another, these jerks don’t give a shit about anything but money coming in, and if they have a redeeming characteristic or a spark of intelligence that didn’t originate in the hindbrain, let me know.

    These are a bunch of assholes beholden to corrupt business interests. Democrats aren’t. You can say one’s bad as the other. No Virginia, not even close. And the one that isn’t a total shill is tring to do things right. Seems to me, that’s a major-league difference.

    Change doesn’t happen all of a sudden. President’s got no magic powers. Obama’s approval ratings in polls are idiotic and so historicacally skewed it’s bizarre. Both sides. Not good enough for you? That’s idiot self-indulgent shit like voting for Darth Vader.

    It wouldn’t be unreasonable to posit that Nader voters elected W, out of a pure and clean bellief they knew more than anybody else did. Thanks, you self-absorbed morons.

    The idea at this moment that there’s no difference between the two dominant political parties is just idiotic, probably self-serving, but there is one concrete comparison. People v. money. In a general election, that’s your choice.

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  56. brian stouder said on August 12, 2010 at 10:41 am

    It wouldn’t be unrea­son­able to posit that Nader vot­ers elected W, out of a pure and clean bel­lief they knew more than any­body else did.

    Well, while I don’t think you can quite make that leap, I WOULD go so far as to state that I believe that there IS a class of people who prefer to always vote for the noble loser, rather than the practical potential winner. Think of the benefits – they can then always stay in the “gumdrops from the sky” glittery clean stage of the political process; they can happily retire to the land of “if only”, and as a further benefit, they can always bitch and moan about whoever is in power, because it will never be their candidate.

    I’ve argued with a few folks like that – the sort who inhabit Corrente wire (I may have mis-spelled that).

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  57. prospero said on August 12, 2010 at 11:05 am


    Voting for the noble loser is invariably voting for the biggest asshole or at least giving some jerk like Scalia an excuse to appoint W. In the case of Nader, he’s only tied for biggest asshole. I’ve got a long personal history with this navel-gazer. He’s an asshole, he has no agenda but self-aggrandizement, and this guy’s a whacko that thinks the world revolves around his “insights”.

    Let me ask. Did Kerry really lose Cuyahoga County? Assholes cheat, and continue to behave like assholes. The results were horsecrap.

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  58. LAMary said on August 12, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Watercress is a nice peppery tasting green. I like it stir fried but it’s usually eaten raw in a salad. I used to work in Soho in NYC, just a few blocks from Chinatown. One restaurant had a lunch special of a whole steamed fish and stir fried watercress. I haven’t had that sort of simple and wonderful Chinese food in LA yet, but I keep looking.

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  59. joodyb said on August 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    ohh. the Hartford Fair. nostalgia. tearing up a little.

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