In honor of today's first offbeat item, today's snarkery shall be in French ... to the extent I can remember my high school French. (Here's Alta Vista's Babel Fish Translation page, just in case my meaning isn't sufficiently obvious.)
You'd think that with all the disasters overtaking the world, Condi Rice would be far too busy to play Brahms or Shostakovich at a piano recital (and to do all the practicing essential to ensure a respectable performance.) But apparently Condi has some time on her hands:
Hey Condi, When They Asked You To Be A Hands-On Secretary of State, This Isn't What They Meant By Madeleine Begun Kane
Like Rice, I'm a well trained musician.
But if I were in Condi's position,
I wouldn't think it vital
To play a recital,
When working t'wards peace was my mission.
So sorry for my long silence! A family medical emergency (my father's hospitalization) has kept me from posting and out of the news loop. But here's some non-political humor about giving a speech, which you might enjoy. (I wrote it after my first serious foray in public speaking -- a speech on humor in the workplace, which I gave several years ago at Cornell Law School.)
How To Give A Speech By Madeleine Begun Kane
In a moment of weakness you agreed to give a speech. What are you in for? If you're lucky, it won't be any worse than this:
1. Receive invitation to speak because of your expertise in tapestry, arachnids, the World Wide Web. Succumb to flattery and say yes.
2. Spend the next week scheming to extricate yourself from your commitment. Suffer from nightmares featuring you, your microphone, and three angry apes.
3. Rehearse potential excuses. Try to talk your spouse into phoning your regrets. Wonder if your doctor would give you a note diagnosing laryngitis of indeterminate duration.
4. Decide you should really give speech because it will enhance your reputation, be educational, build character. And because it's too late to pull your name from the publicity.
5. Talk about writing speech. Read about writing speech. Obsess about writing speech. Notice an entire month has passed and you haven't started writing speech.
6. Sit down in front of computer and stare at screen. Vow to start writing this very minute and not leave room until you've finished first draft. Leave room to fetch snacks... ("How To Give A Speech" is continued here.)
The GOP onslaught against the New York Times illustrates this truism: When people feel threatened, they attack. And recent attempts to paint Kos as some sort of lefty blog MafiaDon provide yet another example. Such anti-Kos accusations are downright silly.
Last Tuesday I launched my Blogger-Verse Blogger of the Week feature and named Skippy my first Blogger of the Week. As I said back then,
every week I'll pick a deserving blogger and write him or her a personal Blogger-Verse. Well, I'm pleased to announce this week's winner -- Avedon Carol. Here's the personal limerick I've written in her honor:
Ode To Avedon By Madeleine Begun Kane
Ms. Avedon's in the UK,
But she hails from the US of A.
Sev'ral time zones ahead,
When she posts, I'm in bed,
And she always has great stuff to say.
New Yawkers Are Polite ... So There! By Madeleine Begun Kane
New Yorkers are very polite,
Says this study, and damn it, they're right!
We're kind and we're sweet,
And our help can't be beat.
Don't believe me? You're in for a fight.
Needless to say, Mayor Bloomberg's delighted by this poll and eager to use it to attract more tourists. So I thought I'd help out by writing him a new tourism slogan --
Come Visit The Big Apple:
There's nothing worth seeing, but we're really polite.
And that reminds me of the latest Bush excuse for slashing New York's DHS anti-terrorism grant: Bush was kept in the dark about the DHS grant allocations. Isn't it funny how Bush is always out of the loop, when he's looking to evade responsibility for one of his countless lame-brained decisions?
Today I'm launching my Blogger-Verse Blogger of the Week feature. Every week I'll pick a deserving blogger and write him or her a personal Blogger-Verse. And in the words of my first Blogger-Verse winner, yes, I coined that phrase!
In a series of recent posts, the TalkingPointsMemo has done a great job dissecting John Solomon's misleading AP articles on Senator Reid. Unfortunately, John Solomon isn't the only thing wrong with the AP: Check out Andrew Taylor's Democrats-are-crazed-liberals piece. Or you could spare yourself the anguish of reading it, and just sing my "Mad Kane Reads The AP, So You Don't Have To."
Mad Kane Reads The AP, So You Don't Have To (Sing to Frère Jacques)
By Madeleine Begun Kane
Dems are lib'rals.
Must be stopped.
Must be stopped.
Voting Dem will hurt you,
Surely will subvert you.
Keeps you free.
Dems are lib'rals.
Vote them down.
Vote them down.
Dems will raise your taxes.
They're the evil axis.
Dems will screech,
Dems are lib-finks,
Fond of red ink.
Dems are odd.
They hate God.
Dems can't handle power.
Things will go real sour.
Dems will sin,
If they win.
Dems are lib'rals.
Dems eat brie,
Dems love inner cities.
Keeps you free.
Ode To Kenny Boy (To be sung to the tune of "Danny Boy") "Oh Kenny Boy, the jails, the jails are calling,
From state to state, and through the world so wide.
The money's gone, and all the chips are falling,
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and you must hide..."
Guys, anybody who isn't happy, please leave this blog and don't come back. I'm serious. Get out...
Sorry John, but feminist issues are just as important as gay issues and all the other issues you raise in your otherwise fine blog. And insulting women and telling women (and the many men who agree with them) to "get out," weakens you as a spokesperson for the progressive causes you do deign to support:
Big Boys Cry Uncle When Wrong By Madeleine Begun Kane
If someone used "gay" to mean coward,
Aravosis would rightfully glower.
But he claims it's okay
To use "big girl" that way.
And gals shouldn't feel disempowered?
Update: Well that sure didn't take long: I posted my limerick in John's comments, and it vanished in well under an hour. Plus, John's entire "big girl" post seems to have dematerialized. No doubt it's some sort of blogger malfunction. Cause John surely wouldn't attempt something as ... uh ... cowardly as a cover up.
And speaking of John, some brilliant spoofer has just launched AravosisBlog. And now that John has given me more than good cause to de-link AmericaBlog, I have room for AravosisBlog on my blogroll. How deliciously serendipitous!
Perhaps I'm out of line, but I think that when you get behind the wheel of a gazillion pound motorized vehicle, turn the ignition key, get into gear, hit the gas, and begin to move, you should maybe ... I don't know ... PAY ATTENTION.
This approach has many advantages. For example, if you carefully observe your fellow drivers, you can:
a: Pick up lipstick application tips from the woman going 65;
b: Place bets on how far into your lane the guy next to you will swerve while switching CD's;
c: Ascertain whether the stuff that fellow is trying to dab off his horn, tie, and suit is ketchup or mayo and learn high-speed stain removal techniques;
d. Cancel your newspaper subscription and read the one propped up on some news hound's steering wheel; and
e: Eavesdrop on fascinating conversations. ("I'm calling from my car. Cool, huh?") Bonus Benefit: You'll know whose cell phone to borrow when its owner crashes into you.
Please somebody tell me: What are these people thinking?
I know that we all lead pressured lives. And that people are so busy, they're forced to eat, apply make-up, shave, read, return phone calls, and relieve themselves on the run. Being a compulsive multitasker myself, I'm very sympathetic ... to a point. For instance, I'm not suggesting that breathalyzers be enhanced to test for freshly applied eye shadow and just ingested Big Macs. Hmmm, not a bad idea, come to think of it.
But if you're so pressed for time that extra-car-icular activities are a must, couldn't you please, as a personal favor, do them at red lights or while stalled in traffic jams? And don't tell me you don't have red lights and traffic jams in your neighborhood. Actually do tell me and give me your address ... so I can move there.
The scary part is that things are going to get even worse as Internet-enabled cars become common. Now I have nothing against the Internet. I earn my living ... such as it is ... on the Net. I even suffer from Web withdrawal when I'm away from it for substantial periods like ... um ... 17 seconds.
So I can think of nothing better to occupy my car-bound time than surfing the Net ... assuming I'm not the one at the wheel.
But I don't want to share the road with a fellow who's hard drive just crashed or who just accidentally mass emailed a painfully personal note. I also don't want the driver in the next lane to be busy bowling elves.
Nor do I want to be near any driver who's downloading porn, cursing out a fatal Windows error, or instructing his car computer to tell his home computer to tell his thermostat, fridge, and oven what to do.
Not that I'm against all car gadgetry. In fact, I'm eagerly awaiting the invention of the DDDD -- "Distracted Driver Detection Device." What will a DDDD do? Warn me when I'm near anybody who'd use a gizmo like that, so I can get the heck out of his way.