Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Day CNN Almost Reported the News

This is CNN - Certainly Not the News 

"And thank you, panel.  Again this has been our dream team panel of experts on "Texas Tornado Terror!" discussing whether last week's devastating tornadoes in the state of Texas may have been anti-Semitic. We'll have you three back again soon to discuss all of this much, much further."

"Looking forward, Wolf."

"I'll be waiting right here, Wolf."

"What do you think, about 15 minutes, Wolf?"

"Now, before we return to today's other approved story, here's something different we have never reported on before.  We'll go to Indonesia where a revolutionary new agricultural development is more than doubling production of life-saving rice ...."

"Wolf, what the hell are you doing!!?”

"I'm reporting a new story, Bill."

"What are you, crazy?!!  This is CNN, where we only report two stories a day. Three maybe, if the Apocalypse should happen."

"Bill, I know you're the producer here and you're only following the CNN - Certainly Not the News news model, but I thought our viewers might want to learn something new that's a bit out of the mainstream."

"Ridiculous! Our viewers don't have the attention span to focus on more than two stories a day! What do you think this is - NPR?"

"Well, no, I just thought the anti-Semitic tornado story was kind of beat after we had the exclusive one-on-one with Alan Dershowitz and the neo-Nazi meteorologist."

"Trust me, our viewers are hungering for more of the same!  Who's reporting that silly farming story anyway?"

"Sara Sunman, a very perceptive reporter and expert on Asian culture from the New York Times. Look, there she is on the monitor."

"Wolf, are you out of your mind? That's an average looking woman! None of our male viewers is going to want to have sex with her."

"Are looks the only criteria for hiring on-air women here at CNN?"

"Of course not, Wolf.  They have to have big tits too."

"Bill, with all due respect there are many qualified women journalists who are not hot."

"Of course there are.  On the radio!   Which is where you'll be if you keep up this nonsense about actually reporting the news."

"Bill, I believe the American people want and deserve to be fully informed. Americans are clamoring to hear the news --- all of it! --- presented comprehensively, fairly, and objectively.   Plain and simple, the American people deserve better!  

"Umm, Wolf?"

"Yeah, Bill?"

"The American people are about to elect Donald Trump."

"Oh yeah, you're right.  My bad."

"So do your job."

"You got it."

"Folks, we'll get back very shortly to "Texas Tornado Terror!" - Were last week's devastating tornadoes in the state of Texas anti-Semitic? - but first, I sat down with Donald Trump earlier today in a candid one-on-one....

This is CNN - Certainly Not the News 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kropotkin's Chair (FF)

FF- Friday Fictioneers
 © J. Hardy Carroll
It seemed too good to be true.  A man named Kropotkin had invented a device for bending at the waist, lowering your rear end downward, and resting it on a flat surface!
What a boon to humankind!  No longer having to lie down whenever you became tired of standing. They called it "Kropotkin's Chair."  I have no idea what the word chair meant.

I was invited into the Hall of Chairs to try out the incredible device.  Over 20 of us sat down, as they called it.

Suddenly Kropotkin burst into the room. “Get up, everyone, we’ve discovered something terrible!”

“What’s that?” I cried. 

“Once you have a chair, there’s a horrible thing that follows called a job!”


How many of you remember the initial experiments with chairs?  Unfortunately they were not able to separate jobs from chairs, so there you are right now, closing the books on sales of toilet seats for May instead of lying down. 

Perhaps the takes of the other Friday Fictioneers on the picture prompt above will be more positive.

On the other hand, speaking of toilet seats, without Kropotkin we wouldn't have them either!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Still Stupid About Smart Phones II

Until not that very long ago, I was still stupid about smart phones. 

It's not that I'm a Luddite or otherwise particularly behind the times, it's just that I was waiting until we had cars that drive themselves before I got myself a phone that did anything more than ring up Ol’ Doc Johnson because Little Timmy was sick and Lassie was missing. 

But with the advent of cars so advanced that not only can they drive themselves they can also stop and ask directions and then get the directions screwed up, it was time for me to step up to a stepped-up phone.

It was time for iPhone for mePhone.

But I swore that in so doing I would not fall prey to the custom most foul practiced by smart phone owners around the world.  I would not spend the rest of my life with my head tilted downward, my eyes riveted upon the phone, and my psyche oblivious to the rest of the Milky Way around me.

For one thing, it's rude. These days you can meet someone on the street, talk for five minutes, and not even know who you were talking to. You may not even know whether the person was wearing pants.  And even worse, it isn't safe. With eyes locked onto the screen 24/7 you risk all kinds of mishaps from bumping into one another (especially unpleasant if neither of you are wearing pants), to walking down an open manhole, to striding into the Pacific Ocean until you trip over the International Date Line.

So when I got my iPhone, I took it in hand and walked proudly forward out of the Verizon store, my head held high, my eyes gazing straight ahead, and my life firmly rooted in reality. 

How did I manage to do this?

Simple.  I'm a loser who doesn't get any e-mails or texts.

I'm not in business anymore so there's no e-mails from bosses, co-workers, or anyone who wants me to do anything more than get out of bed occasionally. My circle of acquaintances and friends having shrunk like a linen jacket in the dryer, I get texts from Verizon about my overdue bill, friends who think they might have left gloves at my house six months ago, and elderly Uncle Ted who is experimenting with texting and didn't mean to text me, which is okay because I don't have an Uncle Ted.

And as I walk around fully perceiving and totally in touch with my environment, all around me are the cool people enmeshed into their smart phones, studying their screens as though they are little slot machines constantly coming up with three cherries.  

Me, I don't even get one pit.  

Where are all the Nigerian princes when you need them?

So it’s time to beef up my social networking life.  Subscribe to some interesting blogs like A Presbyterian’s View of Tooth DecayGardening in Greenland, and Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Gherkins. And political sites Sensible Gun Regulation Now!, Save the Earth Now!, Screw Wayne LaPierre Now!, Save the Earth While Screwing Wayne LaPierre Now!, and Wayne LaPierre and Gherkins: Screw Them Both ... Now!

That’s it.  Getting there.

And subscribe to internet journalism in the form of esteemed sites like TruthRipper, FactForker, and BuzzKill, as well as the dating site  And subscribe to The Ballsy Boomer about aging in place, that place being a strip joint near Schwenksville PA.  And start sending out texts to folks I barely know, including Uncle Ted whom I probably know better than all the rest of them.

And now with head held low and eyes straight downward, I daily risk mortal injury in the form of walking into a revolving door and going around forever in four neatly sectioned pieces.

Now I’m just like everyone else.

So, looks like I'm still stupid about smart phones.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cupid Saves the World

Cupid, the now retired Greek God of Love, was quizzical.

"Hey, Cupid, we’re trying to work on your memoir The Boy Who Shoots the Arrows, remember?" I said.  "So far we're only up to Chapter 1, Adventures in the Womb."

"I'm sorry, Perry, but I just don't understand how you 21st century Americans are running an idiot for President."

"Well, look, your gods weren't so tightly wrapped either,” I replied. “Zeus had poor Prometheus bound and sent an eagle to eat his liver every day."

"True, and Zeus was so cruel he assigned the job to an eagle who hated liver too."

"But you’re right, Cupid, Trump is way worse than Zeus.  Yet nobody's been able to stop him."

“Come on, let's give him a taste of antiquity!”

“But he’s in New Jersey at a rally. How are we getting there?”

"Hello! I’m Cupid, I got wings.” 

"You can take me?"

"Yes, but if you start singing I Believe I Can Fly, I'm going to drop you."

In a twinkling of an eye, not that mine have ever twinkled, we were at a Trump rally in New Jersey.   We entered the building and there on the podium in front of us was Donald Trump, giving one of his cogent well-thought through speeches.

"Folks," he said, "I have decided that instead of banning all Muslims from entering the United States, I will ban only the ones who do not speak Yiddish."

"Yeah, Donald!" shouted a man in the crowd. "What a genius!"   

"And we will build a ten foot high wall around Salma Hayek!"

"A true leader!" screamed a woman in the front.

"Crooked Hillary would be the worst President ever, including Grover Cincinnati!"

"And Grover Cincinnati was terrible!" yelled another adherent.

"This is even worse than I thought," moaned Cupid. "The orange comb-over is the most reasonable thing about the guy."

"What are you going to do, Cupid? Call in Zeus? Will he work for scale?" 

"No, I'm going to use one of my arrows on Trump."

"But you said now that you’re retired your arrows only work to make the person admire one's clothes, not their bod."

"Just watch," said Cupid.


The arrow found its mark and in a twinkling of the eye, not that Trump's eyes have ever twinkled or ever will, he started babbling.

"What a great sweater, young lady!  Love the color of your jacket!  You're very well-tailored, sir. Hey, I really dig that man bun!"

The shocked crowd began to leave. ”He's not lying, he's not distorting, and he’s not insulting anyone,” they complained. “He’s boring our asses off. Let’s go check out Bernie Sanders!"

"You did it, Cupid!" I exulted.  "You've saved the world!"

"Well, it may not hold, but at least we've learned one thing."

"What's that?"

"Orange is the new Quack."