Why is music today so bloody awful?

THE SMITHEREENS - In a proper musical universe, these guys would typify New Jersey culture, while people would be asking, "Bruce who?"
THE CHERRY POPPIN' DADDIES were a mediocre rock band from Eugene, Oregon, until they tapped into the Swing Revival of the Nineties and found their groove

You're asking the wrong question.  You should be inquiring as to why the music that came out during most of the twentieth century was so incredibly great.  It is indisputably true that most of what has passed for music over the last thirty years or so, to put it succinctly, sucks rocks.  Not that every last bit of it is terrible - even the Sahara Desert has its oases.  R.E.M., the Smithereens, and John Cougar Mellencamp certainly produced a lot of great music during the late eighties and into the nineties (at least until Mellencamp ran out of creative gas and started sucking, beginning in the middle of the latter decade).  Other bright spots include the Leopards, a local Kansas City, Kansas band from 1987;  the Cavedogs, who came out with two great albums circa 1990, but were unbelievably overlooked; Fastball, a band from Texas that has been around for the last two decades; The Kaiser Chiefs, whose 2005 album Employment remains one of the greatest albums ever released; the Coral from the 2000s, the best band to come out of Liverpool since the British Invasion; Tom Petty, both with and without the Heartbreakers; and, of course, the swing revival of the nineties, typified by the Brian Setzer Orchestra and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies.  However, these are nothing more than bright spots that stand out amidst a vast wasteland of cookie-cutter alternative, mediocre rock, grunge, industrial thrash, rap, and hip hop, all of which make me want to take a sledgehammer to my stereo.

The twentieth century provided mankind with a rich musical legacy that will probably never be equaled.  For details, please refer to The Skinner Zone Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, found elsewhere on this website.

DUKE ELLINGTON - This iconic musician and songwriter pretty much owned the Jazz Age of the 1920s
SLEEK AND SEXY - The Flapper look on women became an enduring symbol of the Jazz Age

This musical renaissance did not just happen by chance, and it did not begin with rock and roll.  As it turned out, in 1920 the Earth entered a dust cloud in space.  This particular cloud contained debris that was radioactive - but it was a special type of radioactivity that, rather than being harmful, has the effect of enhancing creativity amongst intelligent beings (i.e., humans).  You may think of it as the LSD of the cosmos.  This enhanced creativity was quickly manifested amongst musicians, and the Jazz Age was born.  This was followed by the Big Band era, which held sway during the 1930s and '40s.  The period 1920-1950  saw an explosion of great music created by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, the Gershwin Brothers, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and many others.  Then, during the 1950s, great vocalists like Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and especially Frank Sinatra, took the world by storm.

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD - Move over, Elvis! Frank Sinatra owned the 1950s, and co-existed with The Beatles when he was at the top of his game during the Sixties

During the 1950s, the nature of the radiation changed slightly, which affected the style of music being produced.  This led to the creation of rock and roll, which would become the dominant form of music during the 1960s and beyond.  For three years beginning in 1965, the radioactive particles became particularly potent - this explains why the period 1965-67 was so incredibly productive regarding the quality and quantity of great songs being recorded.

By 1985, the Earth began to exit the dust cloud.  As the radioactivity dissipated, so too did the level of creativity in the music being produced.  By the 1990s, it was pretty much gone; thus, the level of creativity in music returned to its historically semi-pathetic level.


Who would you put on Mount Rushmore?

MOUNT RUSHMORE as it exists in an alternate universe

Naturally, I would go with John, Paul, George, and Ringo.  However, if the choice was limited to American presidents, I would choose to grace the face of the famous South Dakota mountain with the likenesses of our four greatest presidents: John Tyler, Grover Cleveland, Warren G. Harding, and Calvin Coolidge.  For detailed reasons as to why these were such great presidents, please refer to The Skinner Zone Hall of Presidents, to be found elsewhere on this website (under construction at this time).

One more thing.  Just for shits and giggles, I would try to squeeze in a fifth president, Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederate States of America.  This would have the beneficial effect of giving the snowflakes on campus and elsewhere something to bitch about besides the election of Donald Trump as our 45th president.


Why are babes so sexy?

EYE CANDY - The world is chock full of sexy babes

This is a question that philosophers have pondered and argued over for millennia.  It was only just recently that modern science has been able to determine the answer to this important question.

GIVING US THE WARM SHOULDER - There is nothing on this Earth that is nicer than a sexy babe with a big, beautiful smile

As it turns out, most women come with skin that is composed of a particular element called eroticum, that is like none of the others.  This element is so unique that it does not appear on the Periodic Table; it simply cannot be classified.  In addition, it appears nowhere else in nature; it is only found in the skin of certain women.  Nobody knows where this element originated, but it is said to have either been brought here from an alternate universe, or perhaps it was cooked up in the laboratory of some extraterrestrial mad scientist with delusions of grandeur as part of a fiendish plot to take over the universe.  Whatever its origin might be, I am certainly not about to complain.

FEMME FATALE - Other sexy babes are cool, sultry, and mysterious

Skin containing eroticum has a strange property that only affects men (and lesbians).  When one such catches sight of a babe, it triggers a set of feelings called good vibrations and excitations, which feel really great.  This effect is geometric - the more skin that shows, the greater the intensity of these good vibrations.  A babe wearing a tank top, swimsuit, or skimpy lingerie naturally causes a larger such reaction than one who is wearing a heavy overcoat, layers of woolen underwear, or a burqa.

The world contains a wide variety of sexy babes.  Many are openly warm and inviting, with dazzling smiles that would melt the polar ice caps on Mars.  Others prefer to play things cool and sultry.  What they all have in common is the way that they beautify the landscape and uplift the human race (as well as help keep it going).

Three cheers for sexy babes - may they always be amongst us!


Speaking of babes, why is it that conservative and Republican women are so much more attractive than liberal and Democratic ones?

WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL IT FOX NEWS? Conservative commentator and Trump supporter Andrea Tantaros is a total babe!

There certainly is a perception out there that the farther to the Right a woman is politically, the more sex appeal she has.  This is true, but only up to a point.  The element eroticum that was discussed above contains an additional property that, in most women, remains dormant.  It only becomes active whenever a woman enters public life by running for elected office, becoming a media personality, or doing something else to hog the limelight.  Taking such action activates this property, which affects women differently, depending upon their political views.

ANOTHER FOX NEWS FOX - Monica Crowley is also a total babe who has something interesting to say

In conservative, libertarian, and Republican women, this special property merely gives them more of what they already have – good looks, charm, and loads of personality.  This is why conservative women like Sarah Palin, Andrea Tantaros, Laura Ingraham, Monica Crowley, South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem, and others are so incredibly beautiful, as well as extremely nice and pleasant.

TOTAL BABE - NOT Janet Reno served as Bill Clinton's Attorney General for all eight years of his administration

Most liberal and Democratic women who become public figures also benefit from this, albeit to a lesser extent.  Kirsten Powers, a very lovely lady of the Left, is a prime example of this.  She is actually more moderate than many other Democrats, which explains why she is able to enjoy the benefits of this special property of eroticum.

A FORMER FOX NEWS FOX - Kirsten Powers, a moderately liberal Democrat, has, unfortunately, moved on to CNN. However, she still has a great smile

The problem arises with women on the Left who are mean-spirited and/or too strident or radical.  These would be the types of activist left-wing women who compare President Trump to Adolf Hitler, and who refer to conservatives like myself as racist, sexist, and/or homophobic.  When the special property in eroticum is activated in such a woman, it has the opposite effect; it actually transforms her into a grotesque alien creature that is anything but beautiful.  Examples of this are Hillary Clinton (who referred to Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables”); former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (who claimed that it was “worth it” to maintain the sanctions against Iraq that starved half a million children to death); and former Attorney General Janet Reno (who famously ran over innocent people falsely accused of child molestation in her bright red pickup truck when she was a Florida prosecutor).


Why are housecats so unique and special?

I'm hungry - feed me!

Cats are endearing to humans like no other type of animal.  The way they rub up against your leg, the way they curl up in your lap, and the way they purr is totally different from the way that dogs and other lesser animals relate to people.  Plus, cats are just so damn cute!

Do I look like I'm schizophrenic?

The reason that cats are different from the other animals is simple.  As everybody knows, it was on the fifth day of creation that God made all of the various types of animals that roam the Earth.  This includes the beasts that roam the plains, the birds and insects that fly through the air, and the fish that swim in the seas.

The next day, the sixth day of creation, He looked around at what He had done the previous day and saw that something was missing.  He had somehow missed creating cats.  Before taking up that day's work of creating mankind, the Lord added cats to the animal kingdom.

Resistance is futile - I'm just too damn adorable

God did not actually create cats.  Because the fifth day had ended, it was too late for Him to manufacture any more animals.  Thus, He had to resort to bringing them to Earth from another planet, where they abounded.  Accordingly, cats are not native to our planet - they are actually extraterrestrials.

This explains why they are so different from all other earthly creatures.  It also explains their level of intelligence, which far exceeds that of any other creature (with the exception of mankind, of course).

You need to go out and adopt a cat (or two) - you'll never regret it.


What are some of your favorite coins?

THE SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND - The only coin minted by a member nation of the British Commonwealth to not bear a portrait of Liz II: The Sequel

I started collecting coins when I was a nine year old kid.  I continually went through my change, looking for Lincoln Cents, Jefferson Nickels, Mercury and Roosevelt Dimes, Washington Quarters, and Walking Liberty and Franklin Half Dollars, looking for ones with dates and mint marks that I did not already possess.  It was loads of fun; whenever I found a new one that I did not already have, I got all excited and eagerly inserted it into the appropriate hole in the Whitman coin folder that corresponded to the type of coin in question.

In 1965, a year after I started my collection, Lyndon Johnson withdrew the silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars from circulation, replacing them with his phony "sandwich" coins that we are all familiar with today.  LBJ may have been a psychotic killer, but his war against numismatics constitutes his biggest crime against the American people (at least those of us who are coin collectors).

THE MERCURY DIME, minted between 1916 and 1945. Oddly enough, the reverse depicts the Fasces, a symbol of Roman authority that was used by the Fascists that we were fighting during World War II

I have been collecting coins, on and off, ever since.  I now either put my coins into Whitman albums instead of folders (as they provide more protection, plus you can see both the obverse and reverse), or have them certified and placed into airtight holders by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) (ditto).  PCGS (and other lesser grading services) grades coins as to quality and condition on a seventy-point scale.  A coin that is graded sixty and above is one that has never circulated, with a perfect seventy grade reserved for coins that are absolutely flawless.

CANADA'S ICONIC SILVER MAPLE LEAF - Note the privy mark of the Titanic to the left of the stem

The gold coins I most like are the South African Krugerrand and the American Gold Buffalo.  The Krugerrand is unique in that it is the only coin minted by a member nation of the British Commonwealth (to the best of my knowledge) that does not bear a portrait of Liz II: The Sequel on its obverse.  This is because, when the Krugerrand was introduced in 1967, South Africa was not a member nation; thus, the portrait on the obverse of the coin is that of Paul Kruger, who was the father of that nation.

With regard to silver, I like the three coins that were introduced by the United States Mint in 1916: the Mercury Dime, the Standing Liberty Quarter, and the Walking Liberty Half Dollar.  The walking liberty design was resurrected when the silver American Eagle was introduced in 1986.  To commemorate the centennial of these coins, the U.S. Mint produced gold versions for collectors in 2016.

FREE AT LAST - Lady Liberty is portrayed as being African-American on this gold coin from the U.S. Mint

I also like the version of the Canadian silver Maple Leaf that carries a small image on its reverse, called a privy mark.  These are special coins that, unlike the regular Maple Leafs, boast a reverse proof finish that is really cool.

In 2017, the U.S. Mint introduced a new series of gold commemorative coins to honor Lady Liberty.  The introductory coin portrayed her as being African-American.  A new one will be issued each year, with Lady Liberty being of a different ethnicity.  I'm looking forward to obtaining a new coin every year, with a different depiction of our country's iconic symbol.  I think it would be really cool (and somewhat ironic) for the mint to produce such a coin depicting Lady Liberty as a Green Orion Slave Girl from Star Trek.  Somehow, I don't think that the U.S. Mint will ever go there.


Why did Eon Productions and Barbara Broccoli fire Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and replace him with Daniel Craig?

At first glance, this action seems to make no sense, as Brosnan was the best actor to play the role since Sean Connery and Roger Moore.  He acted the part successfully in four films, and certainly looked the part.  Why the powers that be in the James Bond Universe decided to dump him for a no-talent hack like Craig was a mystery to all.

BABE MAGNET - Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, poses with one of his admirers

As it turns out, there was a very good reason for this.  It becomes evident when looking at a picture of Daniel Craig that he bears a striking resemblance to Vladimir Putin, who is President of the Russian Federation.  President Putin is, to put it succinctly, a babe magnet.  Whenever he rips his shirt off and shows off that manly chest, all of the women just swoon, across Russia and around the world.  He actually gets more "groupies" in his sleep than Mick Jagger does all day.  This explains why he runs up large vote totals every time he is up for re-election that American presidential candidates can only dream about.  All of the women in Russia vote for him, as do all of the married men (if they know what's good for them).

PUTIN'S EVIL TWIN - The uncanny resemblance between Daniel Craig and the Russian president led Eon Productions to dump Pierce Brosnan out on his keister and hire him as the new James Bond

Sex appeal has always been part of the Bond franchise.  Guys flock to the theater in droves whenever a new movie comes out in order to drool over the newest Bond Babe, while the babes show up to get a thrill when they see Bond himself in action.  In order to jack up the theater attendance amongst women, they decided to go with an actor to portray 007 who looked as much like Putin as they could find.  They were unable to convince Putin himself to play the role, as he was busy annexing Crimea and invading Ukraine and didn't have the time to spare.  When they found Daniel Craig, they quickly dumped Pierce Brosnan in favor of "Putin's evil twin."

Unfortunately, it didn't work out the way that the nice people at Eon Productions had hoped.  Despite the superficial resemblance, Daniel Craig lacked the charm, charisma, and sex appeal of the Russian president.  In addition, his portrayal of James Bond left much to be desired.  The previous Bonds, even the lesser ones George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton, all had a sense of humor and displayed a certain savoir-faire, qualities sorely lacking in Daniel Craig's clumsy and blundering portrayal of the character.  The films that featured Craig just were not the same; they became too serious, taking the franchise from something fun, unique, and special, to a series of ordinary action films.  The franchise hit its lowest point with Skyfall, which de-emphasized the importance of that film's Bond Babe, portrayed by Bérénice Lim Marlohe.  Her role was so limited that it would not be totally inaccurate to assert that the real Bond "Babe" in the film was M.

It has been reported that Daniel Craig no longer wants to portray James Bond.  Unfortunately, other reports indicate that we might be stuck with him for the next Bond film, at least.  God help us!


What's the deal with Watters' World?

BILL O'REILLY reacts to the news that he has been fired by Faux News

Jesse Watters became the top personality at Faux News earlier this year, after that channel unceremoniously dumped Bill O'Reilly out on his keister for committing the unforgivable sin of actually noticing that babes are sexy.  This action shocked the world, as he was not only their top personality, but the number one host in the entire news industry.  It would be like kicking John Lennon out of The Beatles.  Or Paul McCartney, or George Harrison, or Ringo Starr, for that matter.

THE NEW BILL O'REILLY - Jesse Watters is the only possible choice to take O'Reilly's place as top dog at Faux News

Watters began his stint at Faux News as O'Reilly's protégé.  His major function was to go out across the country and interview the dumbest, most ignorant people he could find, so that O'Reilly could showcase them in his "Watters' World" segment.  This provided comic relief, as it gave the Faux News audience something to laugh at.  A typical resident of Watters' World believes that the Civil War took place during the 1940s, and that Grover Cleveland was the president who led the Confederate side to victory.  When shown a picture of former Vice-President Joe Biden, he is likely to mistake him for Bill Cosby.  Yet, the same person can tell you what Justin Bieber had for dinner eighteen nights ago and what color Katy Perry's hair is at any given time.

The most intelligent resident of Watters' World

Watters' World is not confined to any particular geographic area; its residents are scattered all over the United States.  No accurate count has ever been made as to how many residents there are, but there must be a lot of them out there.  This explains why Democrats are able to win so many elections.  The idea, which O'Reilly and Watters cooked up together, is to slowly and methodically gather them all up and move them to New Jersey.  When the process is complete, we can then kick that state out of the union and replace it with Canada.

Alfred E. Neuman should move to Watters' World - He'd be the smartest guy there.


Why did we get our butts kicked in Vietnam?

GORILLA WARFARE - Pictured here is a typical soldier in the army of North Vietnam, circa 1965

The United States lost a war for the first time since 1812 when it carried out its ill-advised effort to save South Vietnam from Godless Communism.  There are two reasons for this, neither of which is the fault of the poor slobs who got drafted to fight and die in that god-forsaken quagmire.

ROBERT STRANGE MCNAMARA was the chief architect of the American war effort in Vietnam. No wonder we lost

First of all, North Vietnam supplemented its army by drafting primates shipped in from the jungles of Africa.  This practice of "Gorilla Warfare" gave the communists an advantage that our troops, as noble and heroic as they were, simply could not overcome.  This is primarily because, being that the fighting took place in a jungle, the Gorillas were right at home, unlike the Americans, to whom it was alien terrain.

More importantly, the war effort at the Pentagon was being run by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and his gaggle of lackeys, hangers-on, and wannabees, a bunch of hacks who somehow became known as "The Best and the Brightest."  In reality, this bunch of clowns was not talented enough to fight itself out of a wet paper bag.  As much of a debacle as the American war effort in Vietnam eventually became, one shudders to think how much worse it might have been, had the war been run by "The Worst and the Dumbest."


Why do so many people prefer brutally hot, sunny weather, as opposed to nice, cool, refreshing rainfall?

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - It's always a hot time in the old town between April and October

This is a mystery that has yet to be solved.  Growing up in Sacramento, I was subjected to many hot, relentless summers that lasted from April to October.  These summers featured day after sizzling hot day of brutal heat from a blazing sun that just would not quit.  The temperature routinely hit the century mark, and was known to sometimes get as high as 182 degrees Fahrenheit.  From the moment I stepped outside on such a day until I could get back indoors again (Thank the good Lord for air conditioning!), I would be boiling like a Maine lobster.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, during a rare respite between rainstorms

Everybody else in town just thrived in such weather, which has always puzzled me.  I always looked forward to October, when the rainy season would begin, and the climate would become livable.  After I became an adult, I got out of Dodge the soonest that I was able to, and moved up to Vancouver.  This was a vast improvement over Sacramento in every way.  When I discovered that it rained there every single day, I fell in love with the place, and it became my new home town.  Even in Vancouver, however, the people there think that I'm nuts because I take so much pleasure in the "liquid greatness descending down from Heaven" that occurs so often.


How do you explain that, of the 535 Senators and Representatives that dwell in Washington, D.C., the one who got busted for emailing a picture of his crotch to a woman in Seattle was the one whose name happened to be Weiner?

GOOFBALL CONGRESSMAN - Anthony Weiner got into trouble when he was exposed (so to speak) for sending a picture of his...ahem...last name to a woman in Seattle

This proves that God does, in fact, have a sense of humor.  This is further evidenced by the vast number of dicks to be found in our nation's capital - Dick Nixon, Dick Cheney, Dick Durban, Dick Armey, Dick Tater, Moby Dick, and Barney Frank.  With all of these swamp creatures holding the reins of power, it is no wonder that the American people are continually being dicked around.

The Almighty, however, cannot take credit for the uncontrolled laughter that broke out when people heard Anthony Weiner referring to himself as "Carlos Danger" - the disgraced New York ex-congressman came up with that one all by himself.


What is the Curse of Tippecanoe?

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, hero of Tippecanoe and 9th president of the United States. He inaugurated the famous Curse, becoming the first president to die in office

During the 1820s and '30's, the United States was still a young nation, trying to find its footing in the world.  A group of space aliens decided to conduct an experiment in which they would create a perfect type of president, who would provide the kind of leadership that would help the nation to become great.  Such a president would be universally popular and would always make his decisions based on what was best for the country, without regard to how such decisions would affect him personally.

APE-RAHAM LINCOLN, the 16th President of the United States, fell victim to the Curse when he was assassinated in 1865

Unfortunately, the results were diametrically opposed to what the extraterrestrial scientists had hoped for.  Most of the men who became president of the United States after that point were venal, corrupt, self serving, and/or just plain dumb.  In addition, there was an interesting side effect.  Beginning with the presidential election of 1840, every man elected or re-elected to the office in a year that is evenly divisible by twenty began to die while holding office.

JAMES A. GARFIELD, the 20th president of the United States, was assassinated in 1881, shortly after taking office

William Henry Harrison, elected as the first Whig president in 1840, led the way.  After serving in the White House just barely long enough to memorize the locations of all of the bathrooms, he died after suffering a bout of rocking pneumonia and boogie-woogie flu, the first recorded instance of this disease.

Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, was up next.  After winning a second term in 1864, he was assassinated a few weeks into his second term by an actor who was masquerading as a demented Confederate partisan.

James A. Garfield, elected in 1880, was also assassinated; this time, a few months into his first term.  Aside from Harrison, he had the shortest tenure of any president.

William McKinley, re-elected as president in 1900, was assassinated a few months into his second term.  It was really inconsiderate of him to go and get himself killed, as it saddled our country with the bellicose Theodore Roosevelt as president.

RONALD REAGAN, the 40th president of the United States, hard at work in the Oval Office after surviving his assassination attempt

Warren G. Harding, elected in 1920, continued the tradition by dying in 1923.  Officially, he died from an illness he contracted while on a railroad trip down the west coast.  The truth is, however, that he was poisoned.  This had actually been predicted by Madame Marcia, a popular Washington, D.C., clairvoyant, who gave a reading to Florence Harding, the future president's wife, before he was even nominated in 1920.

Franklin Roosevelt, re-elected in 1940, also died from illness.  However, in his case, it really was from natural causes.

GEORGE W. BUSH,. the 43rd president of the United States, is shown relaxing at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, while on vacation

This brings us to Jack Kennedy, who was elected in 1960.  The Mafia, the CIA, and Lyndon Johnson teamed up to assassinate him in 1963, pinning the blame on a patsy named Lee Harvey Oswald.  As history has shown, he was the last victim of the Curse.

Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980, was shot by a nutjob a few months into his administration.  It was close, but he did survive.  George W. Bush, elected in 2000, also survived his presidency.  It could be that the Curse has run its course.  It is more likely that neither Reagan nor Bush was actually human.  Reagan was actually a space alien from the other side of the planet from which had come the aliens who had started the experiment in the first place.  As for W, modern science has yet to determine what kind of a life form he actually is, and how he is able to function without having anything that even remotely resembles a brain,


Why do Martians' heads explode when they hear Slim Whitman trying to sing?

NICE PLANET, WE'LL TAKE IT! Martians arrive to conquer the Earth

Martian civilization is much older than that on Earth.  Mars, being a smaller planet than Earth, cooled much more rapidly that did our own world; thus, life was able to form more quickly than it did here.

As Martian culture progressed through the ages, it passed through similar stages as Earth's culture later did.  Accordingly, it also developed the same types of music that humanity did - Folk, Classical, Jazz, Blues, and Rock and Roll.  Unfortunately, it also managed to come up with rap, hip-hop, industrial thrash, and advertising jingles, which all suck.

HERO OF THE MARS WAR - Slim Whitman's unique style of yodeling proved to be the only thing that could stop the Martian invaders. The tonal quality of his voice caused their heads to explode

The one type of music that Mars managed to totally avoid was Country and Western.  Because of this, the Martian people never developed any tolerance for yodeling, hee-hawing, and other types of aural expression that we commonly associate with country music.

Slim Whitman produced a type of "music" that is particularly annoying, even by country and western standards.  Listening to him "sing" often has the effect of inducing nausea in Earthlings, causing them to vomit in extreme cases.

In a Martian, who lacks any immunity at all, Whitman's caterwauling causes him to suffer an extreme brain hemorrhage, which leads to a cranial explosion that destroys his entire head.  Once this was discovered, it was easy enough for the people of Earth to defend themselves from the invading Martians - all they had to do was to play Slim Whitman records on their stereos and crank the volume all the way up to eleven.  Heads may not have rolled, but they sure did explode!


What was that big purple splotch on Mikhail Gorbachev's head?

LAST PREMIER OF THE SOVIET UNION - Mikhail Gorbachev had a big purple splotch tattooed on his forehead to make himself look more sinister

It was a temporary tattoo that the former Soviet leader had placed on his cranium for the purpose of giving him a distinctive, yet slightly sinister look.  During negotiations in which he took part, it supposedly served to put the other party off-balance, as it just sat there on his noggin; it made the last Soviet leader seem slightly menacing, if not downright dangerous.

As history shows, it had little or no effect on Ronald Reagan when he sat down with Gorbachev to negotiate an end to the Cold War.  The American president still went to Berlin and told Mr. Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall!”

The splotch remained on Gorby’s head until Officer Frank Drebin, of Police Squad, wiped it (like, with a cloth, the same way that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wiped her email server before leaving it in somebody's bathroom) when he caught him conspiring with a group of Middle Eastern terrorists.  By this time, it didn’t matter, anyway, as the Soviet regime was pretty much on its last legs by then.


So, who really won the War of 1812?

THE WAR OF 1812 - American soldiers thought that the Canadians would welcome them with hearts and flowers

This is a vitally important question of history that remains unresolved, even after more than two hundred years.

NOT SO FAST! Canada, backed by Great Britain, had other ideas

The war began when American war hawks saw an opportunity to grab Canada when the British army was tied down fighting Napoleon on The Continent.  They assumed that the people who actually lived there were just itching to become Americans, and that U.S. troops would be welcomed with hearts and flowers (how often did we hear that during the lead-up to subsequent wars?)

BURN, BABY, BURN! The Upper Canada Parliament House at York (now Toronto) was burned by the invading Americans during the war of 1812

If these hotheaded yahoos had stopped to think about it for five minutes, they might have realized that: (1) During the American War for Independence,  George Washington had invited Lower Canada (Quebec) to join the revolution, but it declined to do so; and (2) Upper Canada (Ontario) was populated by those American colonists who had remained loyal to Great Britain during said revolution, who subsequently relocated to British North American territory after the war, and their descendents.  Such a population could hardly be expected to greet the invading Americans with anything resembling hearts and flowers.  Instead, they were greeted with the type of arms that shoot bullets.

THE BRITISH ARE COMING! The Redcoats retaliated in 1814 by invading Washington, D.C., and burning the White House

The war ended in 1814 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.  No territory changed hands, and none of the issues that plagued relations between the United States and Great Britain were resolved.  Basically, the two sides agreed to stop fighting.

THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER - The Americans successfully resisted the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the Royal Navy, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem

Ask an American who won the war, and he will regale you with heroic tales about how our noble troops invaded Canada and burned down the Parliament house at York (now Toronto).  On the other hand, a Canadian will insist that their side won because they successfully resisted the American invasion.  Besides, the noble British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and burned down the White House.

CANADA'S PAUL REVERE - Laura Secord walked twenty miles through deep snow in the dead of winter to warn British troops that "The Yanks are Coming!" She then started up a company that makes yummy chocolates

In truth, the war was probably a draw.  Both sides certainly have bragging rights.  Canada successfully resisted being incorporated into the more powerful United States, which was the American objective in going to war in the first place.  However, the United States managed to acquit itself admirably by holding its own against the powerful Royal Navy.  Canada demonstrated to the world that it was here to stay; there would be no further serious attempts on the part of the United States to annex any of its territory or to conquer it.  The United States demonstrated to the world that it was a force to be reckoned with, as subsequent history has adequately demonstrated.

AMERICA'S GREATEST FIRST LADY - Dolley Madison saved numerous art treasures by taking them from the White House before British troops arrived to set fire to it. She then started up a company that makes delicious pastries

The War of 1812 may be the only conflict in history where the greatest hero(ine) on both sides was a woman.  In 1813, a Canadian woman by the name of Laura Secord overheard American soldiers planning an attack against British troops.  She walked twenty miles, barefoot through two feet of snow, in the dead of winter, and warned the Brits, giving them time to prepare a defense.  Ironically, she had been born in Massachusetts; her father fought on the American side during the War for Independence.  In 1795, when she was twenty, the family moved to Upper Canada, having received a land grant.

In 1814, as British troops were marching on Washington and getting ready to burn the White House, American First Lady Dolley Madison gathered up several works of art and other historical artifacts, including a priceless portrait of George Washington's fingerprint, and hid them safely away.  This prevented the British from seizing or destroying them.

THE REAL WINNER OF THE WAR - Tchaikovsky, the great Russian composer, commemorated the war by composing his famous "1812 Overture"

After the war, both ladies went into business, each creating yummy and delicious treats.  Laura Secord began making chocolates, which soon became world-famous (at least in Canada).  Her company remains in business today, producing a wide variety of confections that provide stiff competition to Baby Ruth candy bars (and even to M&M's).  Dolley Madison also formed a company, also named after herself, that began to produce a wide assortment of pastries and snacks.  Her company also remains in business today.

It has recently been postulated that the real winner of the War of 1812 was Russia.  The great classical music composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who was Russian, composed his 1812 Overture as a way to commemorate the war.  This beloved piece of music has helped to keep the war alive in the memory of both belligerent nations, as it is dedicated to the bravery, courage, and nobility of the soldiers on both sides.  Unfortunately, he neglected to pay tribute to the alligators that Andrew Jackson used as substitute cannon in his defense of New Orleans from the British.  These creatures gave their lives for their country when General Jackson filled their heads with cannonballs and "powdered their behinds," causing their heads to explode when the powder was lit, which hurled the cannonballs at the enemy.


Was the Baby Ruth candy bar really named after the great baseball player, Babe Ruth?

THE ORIGINAL BABY RUTH - President Grover Cleveland poses with his wife, Frances, and their daughter, Ruth, the actual namesake of the famous candy bar

The Baby Ruth candy bar has been around for a long time.  It was introduced by the Curtiss Candy Company in 1921, which was around the time that George Herman "Babe" Ruth was rising to fame as a baseball player.  Because of this coincidence, many people assume that the candy bar was named after him.

BATTER, UP! Although the famous candy bar was not named after him, Babe Ruth was so prolific in baseball that he could hit three home runs in a single at-bat

The truth is, the Baby Ruth candy bar was named after Ruth, the daughter of Grover Cleveland, who was born during the interregnum between President Cleveland's two nonconsecutive terms.  Rumor has it that the Curtiss Company deliberately put this story out to avoid having to pay the famous baseball player for using his name.  This certainly makes sense, considering the fact that the timing of the candy bar had more in common with the player than it did the president’s daughter.

YUMMY AND DELICIOUS! Millions of these classic candy bars are consumed every day by hungry people and extraterrestrials, here and in many alternate universes

The child's memory (as well as that of the baseball player) lives on today in the millions of candy bars that bear her name that are consumed every day by hungry people who have a sweet tooth.

Unfortunately, the child herself only lived twelve years before she died of diphtheria, an event that made the United States a Ruthless nation.


Why does Hillary Clinton keep her deplorables in a basket?

THE HILDEBEEST IS ON THE MOVE! Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail during her 2016 run for the presidency
THE CLINTONS CLEANED UP by hoodwinking the Russians into paying big bucks for "uranium" that turned out to be cottage cheese. Vladimir Putin got them back by releasing the deplorables that Hillary had been keeping in a basket, allowing them to vote for Donald Trump

On one occasion during her 2016 campaign for the presidency of the United States, Hillary characterized those Americans who were supporting Donald Trump, her opponent, as "a basket of deplorables."  She considered these people to be a serious threat to her candidacy, which the results of the election in November showed to have been a valid concern.  By rounding up all of these deplorables and keeping them safely tucked away inside a basket, the Hildebeest thought that she was insuring her eventual victory by keeping them under control; being as they were stuck in a basket, they would be unable to get to the polls to vote.

Unfortunately for her, Russian President Vladimir Putin showed up and released them all from captivity on the day before the election.  He personally escorted each of the freed deplorables to the polls, where they dutifully voted for Donald Trump in appreciation for Putin's having set them free.


What is the real meaning of the great Beatles song "I Am the Walrus?"

THE BEATLES, circa 1967

"I Am the Walrus" is considered by music experts (i.e., your humble blogger) to be the greatest song ever written and recorded.  Much of this has to do with the insightful lyrics to the song.  Every line is full of great philosophical truth, if one has the patience to look for it.

In order to save everyone's time and trouble, I am providing an explanation of the song.  I will analyze it line-by-line, and attempt to tie it all together.  Hopefully, by the time I finish you will be more confused than ever.

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE! - The Borg adopted the line "We are all together" from the classic Beatles song "I Am the Walrus" as their motto

The opening line of the song clearly refers to the Borg Collective.  This is a race of cybernetic beings in the Star Trek universe that are partially organic and partially mechanical.  They are not individualistic; rather, they share a hive mind.  When you deal with a single Borg, you deal with them all.  "We are all together" is the natural state of existence for the Borg.

This line constitutes solid proof that John Lennon was a real visionary, way ahead of his time.  He wrote this song in 1967, which was about four centuries before mankind first encountered the Borg (if you don't count the alternate universe timeline in which they showed up in the twenty-first century; even then, it was long after Lennon's time).

See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly

OINK! OINK! YOU'RE UNDER ARREST! A manpower shortage caused by the War in Vietnam caused many American police departments to start recruiting pigs to serve as officers

During the 1960s, police officers were often referred to as pigs.  This line refers to a group of cops who are trying to flee from a flock of killer seagulls armed with Uzis and AK-47s who are flying at them in formation.

I'm crying

You would cry, too, if you had to face both the Borg and the killer seagulls.

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING BEATLES! If you look at this picture under a microscope, you can see John Lennon sitting on the corn flake at the front of the spoon, where he ended up after being shrunk by an extraterrestrial

When he was a kid, John Lennon often ate Kellogg's Corn Flakes for breakfast.  One morning, an extraterrestrial pointed a ray gun at him and fired; this had the effect of shrinking him down to where he was a fraction of an inch tall.  The alien placed him on top of one of the corn flakes in his bowl, where he sat down to await the arrival of a S.W.A.T. team in a van.  Once they arrived, they captured the alien and forced him to restore Lennon to his original size.  It's a good thing they arrived promptly, before the corn flake became too soggy to support his weight, which would have led to his drowning in the milk.

Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday

Large businesses have long promoted their products by putting their company logos on anything and everything - race cars, football helmets, small animals, and even tee shirts.  This was Lennon's way to protest this practice.  He spent several months in the Liverpool public library when he was a kid, researching the history of this insidious practice.  He discovered, amongst other things, that the practice was first introduced on a particular Tuesday back in September of 1884.

Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long

This one is easy.  A particular boy who somehow became a shape shifter got into trouble one day when he managed to turn himself into a horse, and couldn't figure out how to turn himself back into a human.

I am the eggman, we are the eggmen, I am the walrus, goo goo g-joob

THE EGGMAN COMETH! Humpty Dumpty's accidental fall from the wall prompted John Lennon to declare himself to be a walrus

This line, which is repeated throughout the song, provides the central theme that ties the whole thing together.  If you remember your fairy tales from when you were a kid, there was a character by the name of Humpty Dumpty.  This creature took the form of a giant egg.  He made the mistake of sitting on top of a wall one morning, from which he fell, causing him to crack open and spill his guts all over the surrounding area.  Unfortunately, nobody was able to put him back together again.  The Eggman is clearly Humpty Dumpty.

I AM THE WALRUS - John Lennon and Yoko Ono, late 1967/early 1968

Lennon is making the point that we are all Humpty-Dumpty, and that any one of us is capable of falling and cracking up at any time.  He is serving notice that he will no longer tolerate being that fragile.  He declares himself to be a walrus, a creature that is a lot more durable than an egg.  You can drop a walrus without having it break into a thousand pieces (unless, of course, said walrus has been cryogenically frozen).

By the way, in the film version of Magical Mystery Tour, which features this song, Lennon meets a child by the name of Little Nicola and proclaims to her that he is the walrus.  Smart-ass kid that she is, she boldly declares, "No, you're not!"

Mister city policeman sitting, Pretty little policemen in a row; See how they fly like Lucy in the Sky, see how they run

So now we're back to police officers.  In order to do battle with the seagulls referred to earlier, the cops have consulted a clairvoyant by the name of Lucy in the Sky, who is famous for having helped them solve several crimes.  She has these visions in which she actually sees the crimes that have been committed, as if she was flying high above the ground.  She has the cops all line up at the station house, where she delivers an inspirational speech and teaches them how to fly.  Armed with this knowledge, they take off after the seagulls, forcing them to go on the run.

Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye

STEPHEN KING'S CHILDHOOD PET - This is definitely not man's best friend

This was a vision that was seen by John Lennon during an acid flashback in which he found himself in Stephen King's home town in Maine, which was being overrun by a mutant pack of rabid dogs.  Instead of foaming at the mouth, these dogs would display seepage from their eyeballs of a slimy and disgusting gelatinous substance that was yellow in color and smelled like all of those broken Humpty Dumpties mentioned earlier had been left to rot and fester in the hot, humid August sun.

Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess, Man, you been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down

This refers to a formerly virtuous woman who was chosen by God to lead His people.  She was subsequently led astray by online porn, figuring that she could become rich by setting up a website and showing pictures of herself with her pants down.  As punishment for her sins, the Lord turned her into a crab and forced her to marry a fish.

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun; If the sun don't come you get a tan from standing in the English rain

BIG TOBACCO'S MOST SUCCESSFUL SPOKESMAN - Despite his best efforts, Batman was never able to thwart the Joker's fiendish plot to turn America's kids onto smoking

Some blokes just cannot get it through their noggins that the sun never shines in England because it is always raining.  Over the centuries, our friends across the pond have figured out a way to get a tan from standing in the rain.

Expert texpert choking smokers, Don't you think the joker laughs at you?

During the 1960s, the United States Government began to discourage people from smoking, as it had been discovered that doing so causes cancer.  Batman's most villainous nemesis, The Joker, joined forces with Big Tobacco to counter this, promoting smoking at every turn.  This is why it was nearly two generations before a majority of the American people gave up this filthy habit.

Every time someone lit up a cigarette, the Joker laughed at him for being foolish enough to play his game.

See how they smile like pigs in a sty, see how they snide

SOME ODDBALL STRUCTURE IN PARIS - What King Kong would have climbed up if he had been captured by Frenchmen

Having captured all of the wayward seagulls, the cops are back at the station house, high-fiving and making sarcastic comments about the crazy birds they had just stopped.

Semolina Pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND DOCTOR WATSON, hard at work examining a clue

Semolina Pilchard was the name of a young Frenchwoman who had been obsessed with King Kong ever since she saw him climbing up the Empire State Building in that old movie from 1933.  In an effort to ape the object of her admiration, she decided to climb up the Eiffel Tower in Paris (to save herself the cost of round-trip airfare to New York).  Unfortunately, she got stuck on the point at the top, and had to be lifted off with a crane.

Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna

ALICE COOPER'S SIDEKICK - The great actor Vincent Price provided a narration for the Alice Cooper song, "The Black Widow"

After Sherlock Holmes, the great detective from Victorian London, died in 1930, he was reincarnated as a penguin.  Fast forward to 1968, when this penguin joined The Beatles and the others in their entourage in visiting the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at his retreat in India.  After the others left, the penguin stayed on, learning all of the finer points of Indian spiritual philosophy, including the proper chanting of Hare Krishna.

Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe

Some people just get no respect.  The late 1950s and 1960s saw American International Pictures release a whole series of classic motion pictures based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, most of which starred Vincent Price.  The audiences loved these films, but the critics hated them.  They wrote review after scathing review, characterizing them collectively as "the worst excrement to come out of Hollyweird  in its entire history."

So there you have it.  The greatest song in the history of mankind has been thoroughly analyzed in just a few short paragraphs.  You may now consider yourself to be culturally enlightened.  Now, if only someone could successfully interpret the Book of Revelation...


What is the connection between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sarah Palin's political career?

BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER - Sarah Michelle Palin in a pose with her favorite vampire, the only one she never tried to slay

As we all know, Buffy the Vampire Slayer almost single-handedly rid the world, or at least the city of Sunnydale, California, of vampires, demons, and other supernatural creatures that seemed to continually pop up there, of all places.  She had a fair amount of help in doing so from her Scooby gang; however, what really accounted for her astonishing degree of success was her collection of white tank tops, which she often wore while on vampire patrol.  These tank tops were imbued with special qualities that transformed a seemingly normal high school girl into an unstoppable killing machine of all things supernatural.

After Sunnydale was destroyed when the Hellmouth collapsed, Sarah Michelle Palin, the actress who portrayed Buffy, moved to Alaska and ran for mayor of the small town of Wasilla.  From there, she was later elected Governor of Alaska.  While serving as such, she was plucked from obscurity in 2008 by Senator John McCain and asked to be his running mate when he ran for president of the United States.  Although they lost that November, the experience made Palin a nationwide celebrity amongst right-wingers.  There was talk that she might run for president herself at a future time.

MADAM PRESIDENT? After careful consideration, Sarah Michelle Palin decided against running for president in 2012

In 2012, she seriously considered running for the Republican Party nomination for president.  Her base was solidly behind her, and she was all ready to go.  She had a closet full of white tank tops that were freshly laundered, their energy fully charged.  She was prepared, with her knapsack full of wooden stakes and proposals for reducing the size of the Federal Government.  She was ready to go to Washington, D.C., to do battle against the bloodsucking tax vampires in the Democratic Party and the relentless spending demons amongst the Republicans.

Unfortunately, it was not to be.  After careful consideration, Palin realized that, even though she had been able to easily dispatch vampires, demons, and the like, the political swamp creatures that infest our nation's capital were just too powerful and too firmly entrenched for even the power of her white tank tops to overcome.

Besides, she had already made herself a pile of loot, and did not need to attain the White House to make herself independently wealthy.


What is the most culturally significant song to ever be recorded?

"In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" by The Iron Butterfly - the long version.


How did Star Wars manage to get saddled with a character as pathetic as Jar-Jar Binks?

LOOK WHAT THE CAT COUGHED UP! This strange giant hairball still holds the world's record as the largest one ever barfed up by a housecat

Star Wars, along with Star Trek, are the two most significant franchises in the history of media Science Fiction.  Number Three, whatever it might be, does not even come close.  It was inevitable that because of this, an intense rivalry would build up between the two, both amongst their respective fandoms and the creative geniuses in Hollyweird that are responsible for their existence.

The producers of each franchise continually tried to "one-up" each other, as could be expected.  They did so primarily by trying to make each iteration of their respective franchises more interesting, in an effort to attract more eyeballs to the screen (and make more money).  However, each also tried to sabotage the other by hiring spies to infiltrate the other's studio.  These spies would report back to their controllers regarding the latest developments of their rival.  In addition, they would periodically insert stealth characters into the other's shows and movies in an effort to discredit their rival.

CHEWBACCA IN HIS YOUNGER DAYS, before prolonged exposure to radiation turned him into a mutant

Star Trek made the first attempt to do so.  Having heard that Star Wars was in development and fearing that it would become a serious threat to Gene Roddenberry's status as Lord and Master of All Things Science Fiction, it sent an agent to infiltrate George Lucas' team.  This agent created a really annoying creature by the name of Chewbacca and slipped it into Star Wars' dramatis personae without anyone catching on.  Chewbacca was a big, hairy creature who just stood or sat there making really stupid noises.  It has been rumored that he is actually what resulted when Cousin Itt was exposed to a massive dose of radiation back in the late 1960s.  It was thought that the presence of this creature would turn people off, causing Star Wars to just fade away as moviegoers stayed away in droves.  Unfortunately, it backfired, as Chewy became a popular and enduring presence throughout the series (God only knows why).

GAG ME WITH A WARP CORE! Yes, Virginia, there are still annoying, smart-ass know-it-alls, even in the 23rd century

Star Wars returned fire a decade later, as Paramount Studios was in the process of creating its new television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Their spy, having joined Star Trek's creative team, came up with the character of Wesley Crusher, a smart-ass goody-two-shoes teenager who was even more annoying than Chewbacca had been.  Despite the fact that ST:TNG was a brilliant show with great characters and storylines, the presence of Wesley in all too many episodes proved to be a serious blemish.

CAPTAIN KATHRYN JANEWAY - The second most annoying character in any sci-fi media franchise. Just maroon her on the nearest asteroid, already!

This plot had met with some success, as it tarnished the new show.  Unfortunately, as it failed to derail the series, the Star Wars people had to try again.  A few years later saw the debut of Star Trek: Voyager, which featured a whole new cast and crew.  This time, the Star Wars spies went all out, almost completely taking over the casting of the new show.  As a result, we ended up with too many bland, boring characters like Harry Kim and the Vulcan Tuvok (both of whom were cardboard characters), B'Elanna Torres (a really annoying half-human, half-Klingon), and Chakotay (who took every opportunity to bore the audience to death with all of his native Indian folklore and whatnot).  The only really decent character in the entire series was The Doctor, who was actually a hologram.

COMMANDER CHAKOTAY - Chief ass-kisser and love slave to Janeway. According to his native Indian lore, his grandfather was a lizard or something, and his second cousin was a snail in his garden. Just wash that crap off your face, dude!

The worst character of all was Kathryn Janeway, the captain of Voyager.  (By the way, why is Captain Kirk's ship referred to as THE Enterprise, while Janeway's ship is simply Voyager, without the "The"?)  Just try to imagine your worst nightmare of a high school English teacher, and then put her on steroids, and you have Janeway.  Words cannot really do justice in expressing the level of annoyance that she provoked.  Suffice it to say that she was worse than Chewbacca, Wesley Crusher, and the entire rest of the Voyager crew put together.  I watched the entire run of the show, just waiting for the crew to finally become so tired of her bullshit that they would shove her out the nearest airlock.  When they finally produced an episode that showed the crew in mutiny, I jumped for joy.  Unfortunately, fourteen minutes into the episode it was revealed that the whole thing had merely been a Holodeck simulation.

OFFICIAL GOOFBALL OF THE GALAXY! The Force must have been offline one day, which led to the coming of Jar-Jar Binks. No galaxy could ever be far, far enough away from him

Star Trek, of course, was not about to take this lying down.  It sent a spy back to infiltrate the studio where Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace was being developed.  He created the most diabolically annoying character of them all - Jar-Jar Binks - and slipped him into the cast.  Binks topped them all in terms of being an insufferable pain in the butt, even Janeway (but just barely).  African-Americans, in particular, found him to be really offensive.  Somehow, he managed to portray some of the negative stereotypes that have been attributed to people of that race.

The addition of Jar-Jar Binks almost ruined the Star Wars franchise beyond all hope of repair.  It may have occurred a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but fandom will never forget how an important franchise was almost derailed by the addition of a single stupid character.


Did Donald Trump really go to Russia to piss on a prostitute?

DONALD TRUMP reacts to an accusation that he had gone to Russia to wet the bed

Where on Earth do all of these crazy ideas come from?  Hillary and the Democrats must have been really desperate to come up with this one.  It was this allegation that led to now-President Trump's coming up with the term "Fake News."

According to the story, Trump visited Moscow in 2013 and stayed in the same suite at the hotel that Barack and Michelle Obama had stayed at during their state visit to Russia.  He supposedly asked a prostitute to piss on the bed as a sign of his disgust with the Obama Administration.  This is as stupid as it gets, on more than one level.

BARACK OBAMA dances with some babe that he decided to get married to before becoming President of the United States

First of all, Donald Trump is, and has always been a Babe Magnet.  He is constantly surrounded by beautiful women, all clamoring to get his attention.  He needs to pay for a prostitute like an Arab needs to pay for sand.

Secondly, if a person, prostitute or otherwise, were to actually perform such a function, Trump would still have to deal with the soiled bed.  Kind of gives the term "sleeping on the wet spot" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?  I don't know about you, but I just cannot picture Donald J. Trump sleeping in a wet bed.

Thirdly, Such an act would be rather childish.  I would expect such behavior from an eight year old kid, not a fully-grown real estate mogul and future president of the United States.  Such a stunt could not possibly come from a person like Trump, who has always been a classy guy and above such juvenile antics.

The answer to your question is: No, Donald Trump did not piss on a prostitute.  He was not anywhere near a prostitute when he visited Russia.  I'm sure that he was, however, surrounded by beautiful women while he was there.


Why do cats like to purr?

BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP ME - Your fate is in my paws

It should be no surprise to anyone who has ever been around cats that they continually fantasize about overthrowing humanity and taking over the world.  They have mostly not done so up until now, as they tend to be lazy.  Why should they exert themselves when they already have it made - most house cats just have to sit there waiting for some human to come along to pour the kibble and change the litter box.  Some humans are smart enough to have a dog in the household; as canines seem to enjoy eating the contents of cat boxes, this saves the human in question from having to scoop out the turds and flush them down the toilet.

I DON'T BOTHER CHASING MICE AROUND - Just pour the kibble, already!

A small percentage of cats are, indeed, plotting a feline revolution.  They have been formulating their plans for thousands of years, going all the way back to ancient Egypt, where they were treated like royalty.  Purring actually serves two functions.  First of all, it is a way for cats to communicate their plans to each other, with no one being the wiser.  Secondly, it has a calming effect on people; when a cat starts purring, it lulls its human into a false sense of security.

YOU'D BETTER WATCH OUT - We may look cute and cuddly, but we really are out to get you

Nobody who is under the spell of a purring cat has ever been able to figure out what they are up to.  When the time is right, and there are enough cats in on the plot to insure success, they will make their move; before it even knows what has hit it, mankind will be toppled from its perch atop the animal kingdom, and relegated to second place.  When the time comes, humans will just have to adjust their attitude and learn to accommodate themselves to their new feline masters.  Those who refuse will run the risk of being whipped with a cat o’nine tails.

However, at least humans won't become their slaves; that function is to be reserved for dogs.


Will the South ever rise again?

NOT THE OFFICIAL FLAG OF THE CONFEDERACY - The Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia is often mistaken for the national flag of the Confederate States of America

Probably not.  Although many people in the southern states like to wax nostalgic about the glory days of the Old Confederacy, very few have the gumption to try to do something to restore it.  Unlike their stalwart ancestors from the nineteenth century, most white people living in the Deep South today are content to sit on their front porches drinking beer or moonshine, only going inside when it's time for the latest episode of The Jerry Springer Show.  On special occasions, they put on their Sunday best and go out to attend a NASCAR event, waving their Confederate Battle Flags throughout the duration of all of the races.

CONFEDERATE HEROES - Stone Mountain in Georgia features a carving of Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, as well as President Jefferson Davis, horsing around during the War to Prevent Southern Independence

As for black people in the South, forget it.  The last thing they would ever want to do (understandably) would be to restore the Confederacy.

The real spirit of the Old South is being kept alive today only by a small number of Confederate patriots who belong to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the League of the South, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Unfortunately, they are fighting a losing battle against the tsunami of political correctness that is running rampant throughout our culture, sweeping aside all things traditional.  This manifests itself in the destruction of statues of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson; the consignment of the Confederate Battle Flag to the depths of Hell; and the passing of laws making it illegal to sing "Dixie" or let out with a Rebel Yell.  If things keep going the way they are, it won't be long before some self-righteous yahoo decides to blow up the Stone Mountain Memorial in Georgia, just like those nutjobs in the Taliban did to those two-thousand-year-old Buddhist statues in Afghanistan back in 2001.


Why does Donald Trump like to grab women by the pussy?

PET ME, I WON'T BITE! Donald Trump never met a pussycat that he didn't want to pet

While he was running for president in 2016, someone released an audio tape that purported to show Trump talking about grabbing women by the pussy.  This created quite a stir, becoming one of too-many-to-count incidents that almost derailed his campaign.

The media that relentlessly covered this incident (in an ill-disguised effort to sabotage Trump's campaign) either failed to notice that the tape was garbled or deliberately chose to omit this fact from their reports.  What Trump actually said was that, since he is as fond of cats as is your blogger, he was actually talking about trying to impress women by grabbing their pussycats, petting them, and scratching them under their chins.  Had it been a videotape, this would have been obvious, as Trump was petting a nice calico cat that sat purring in his lap at the time.

It’s too bad that more people are not aware of what a soft spot President Trump has for cats.  His poll numbers might just soar if the public knew this.  He could possibly even start to win support from some Democrats, as they are particularly prone to liking cats.


Coke or Pepsi?

THE NECTAR OF THE GODS - Coca-Cola is the real thing, no matter what language it comes in

Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi-Cola is a great American rivalry that has captured the imagination of people in the United States and Canada, and all over the world.

Coca-Cola is a great company that has a unique history and, over the last century plus, has become a great American institution.  It began in 1885 when Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton created the first version of the beverage, which was alcoholic.  He was motivated by a desire to create a tonic that would serve as an alternative to morphine, which he took as a painkiller.  While serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, he had been wounded in battle, and the pain from this wound had never gone away.  The following year, he created a non-alcoholic version of his tonic; while ineffective at relieving his pain, he saw its potential as a beverage.  It was purely by accident that Coca-Cola ended up being carbonated, as he accidentally used soda water instead of plain water in creating it.

CARBONATED WEASEL PISS - I pity the poor fool who had to drink four bottles of this stuff

Pepsi-Cola had a somewhat similar start, except it was never alcoholic.  It was created in 1893 by a druggist in New Bern, North Carolina; in contrast to Coke, it was formulated as a beverage right from the start.  Its rise to success throughout the twentieth century paralleled that of its rival.

Much has been made of the fact that Coke has a secret formula that is only known to two or three individuals at any given time.  Many have tried, but none have succeeded in trying to crack this secret formula.  It has been rumored that there is a secret ingredient to Coke; this has just recently been confirmed, as scientists have discovered that each bottle or can contains a minute amount of a mysterious substance that was gleaned from a meteorite that fell to Earth in 1886.

Pepsi, too, has a secret ingredient in its formula; it was discovered recently that each container of its product contains an extract from the adrenal gland of an extraterrestrial organism that was discovered in the Roswell, New Mexico, crash in July, 1947.

PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE - Since Ronald Reagan became president, visitors to the White House have been able to drink their beverage of choice

Politics has also played a role in the rivalry between Coke and Pepsi.  When Democrats Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were in the White House, there was a Coke machine.  When Republican Richard Nixon came into office in 1969, he ditched the Coke machine and had a Pepsi machine brought in.  Eight years later, Democrat Jimmy Carter deep sixed the Pepsi machine and brought back Coke.  In turn, Republican Ronald Reagan brought back the Pepsi machine when he became president.  However, he allowed the Coke machine to remain in place, allowing visitors to the White House a choice.  It has been said that it was this peaceful co-existence of a Coke machine and a Pepsi machine standing next to each other that inspired Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev to pursue peace and end the Cold War.

During the 1970s, Pepsi created the Pepsi Challenge, where people would be given a blind taste-test of the two beverages and asked for their preference.  I have taken this challenge three times, and chose Coke every time.

BILL COSBY - Taking a break from harassing women so that he can molest a can of The New Taste of Coca-Cola in 1986

Coke made one of the worst blunders in the history of marketing when it introduced New Coke in response to the Pepsi Challenge in 1985.  This was an overreaction to the news that more people were choosing Pepsi in the Challenge (despite the fact that, in almost all markets, Coke routinely outsells Pepsi).  The new taste, which was marketed aggressively, was awful; everybody hated it except for Bill Cosby, who was seen all too often on television advertisements during 1985-86 raving about how much he loved it (whenever he wanted to take a break from harassing women, that is).  The powers-that-be at Coke quickly got the message, and brought back the original Coke, calling it Coke Classic.

I am definitely a Coke person, despite its seeming to be more closely associated with Democrats, while Pepsi seems to be more Republican.  This is just one of my many eccentricities (another being my preference for cats over dogs, despite the reputation that cats have as being more Democratic, while dogs are more Republican).

Coke Rules - get over it!


What is the connection between sex and politics?

VOTE FOR KERRY, YOU LITTLE WORM! Just think, if only you hadn't voted for George W. Bush in 2004, you could have had sex with someone like her...

During the 2004 presidential election campaign, somebody set up a website called Fuck the Vote.  The idea was to entice people to vote for any candidate other than George W. Bush, who was running for a second term.  Anybody who wanted to participate could be shown on the website, and those who logged on could have sex with the person of his or her choice by agreeing to vote against Bush.  Please note that the person was not required to actually vote for John Kerry – under the terms outlined by the blogger, he could vote for a third party or independent candidate, or even write in the name of someone who was not actually on the ballot; he could vote for anyone, as long as it was not George W. Bush.

...or even with him

When I checked out the site, there were two people listed - a professional dominatrix and Michael Moore (of course).  I don't know if anyone took either of them up on their offer, but doing so would have been illegal, as it violates election law to bribe someone to vote a certain way by offering something of value.  Of course, it might be debatable as to whether sex with Michael Moore constitutes "something of value."  In any event, the site proved to be ineffective, as W managed to win a second term that November.

MATERIAL GIRL - Now that the 2016 presidential election is over, Madonna is ready to fulfill her end of the bargain with anyone who voted for Hillary Clinton

Fast forward to 2016, and we find the Material Girl herself, Madonna, getting involved in the presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  On one occasion, she took a break from bloviating about blowing up the White House to offer to have sex with anyone who voted for Hillary.

Assuming that she literally meant anyone, including both men and women, she would end up having to engage in sexual activity of some sort with up to a total of 65,853,516 individuals, as that is how many Americans voted for Hillary.  Assuming that every Hillary voter took her up on her offer and that she allocated one hour for each one, it would take her 7,490 1/3 years to accommodate them all.  This assumes that she goes 24/7, with no breaks for sleep, food, going to the bathroom, or shaving her armpits.  Of course, if she reduced this to a series of fifteen-minute "quickies," the time would be reduced to a bit more than 1,872 1/2 years.

This time factor would certainly be daunting for most people. However, Madonna has a reputation for being highly sexual, and a look at her performing in concert shows that she has a lot of stamina.  If any one person could pull off such a feat, it would be her.  You go, girl!


Did Charles Darwin really make a monkey out of me?

CHARLES DARWIN, the 19th century scientist who proposed the Theory of Evolution, as portrayed in the history books

The great scientist Charles Darwin published his most famous book, On the Origin of Species, in 1859.  In a nutshell, he postulated his belief that all life develops over time through a process which he called Natural Selection.  According to this Theory of Evolution, life becomes more complex and improves itself over long periods of time by selecting the better genetic traits and passing them down through subsequent generations, while weeding out the less desirable ones.

His most famous assertion was that mankind descended from primates (apes, monkeys, chimpanzees, etc.)  This created a lot of controversy, as many people find it insulting to be compared to such jungle creatures.  In addition, most highly religious people consider it to be blasphemy, as it contradicts the story of Creation, as told in the Book of Genesis.  This theory is supported by observing that all too many people tend to behave like monkeys, etc.  However, it is contradicted by the continued presence of such creatures - if mankind evolved from apes, then why do they still continue to exist?

CHARLES DARWIN, as he really looked. Note the strong resemblance to Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan

There is an urban legend out there that holds that Darwin was inspired by a hallucination that was brought on when he inadvertently ate a magic mushroom.  While under its influence, he saw a fish grow legs and crawl up out of the water.

We will probably not know for sure if the Theory of Evolution is correct for, say, a hundred thousand years.  This would provide a long enough period of study for scientists to compare the development over long periods of time of different species.

As to your question, the answer is "no."  Darwin did not make a monkey out of you - you managed to do that all by yourself.


Why are redheads so ticklish?

ALL HOT TO TROT - Catherine the great, Empress of all the Russias (even the small ones that don't really count), ready for her big date with the Marquis de Sade

It's all in the freckles.  Redheads and freckles go together like snails and French restaurants; the two traits are genetically linked.

It's actually the freckles, not the red hair, that makes such people so incredibly ticklish.  This is because freckles are composed of a strange compound that makes them highly sensitive to all stimulation.  Since freckles cover one's entire body, it stands to reason that such a person is ticklish everywhere.  This also explains why redheads tend to sunburn so easily.  Five minutes outdoors in Sacramento in August is all it takes for a redhead to have to be rushed to the emergency room for treatment of third-degree burns.

INSTRUMENTS OF TORTURE - The Marquis de Sade's parting gift to Catherine when she left France to return to her domain

Some redheads are so sensitive that you cannot even touch them lightly without having them fall to the floor, laughing uncontrollably and lashing out with arms and legs at anything within reach.  This is a purely involuntary reaction over which the person has no control.

Sexual activity with a redhead is, of course, extremely problematic.  Since the slightest touch causes the reaction outlined above, it makes foreplay impossible, not to mention actual intercourse.

CATHERINE THE GREAT - Entering her dungeon in St. Petersburg, all ready to work over her latest victim with her new assortment of feathers

Legend has it that Catherine the Great, who served as Empress of All the Russias (even the small ones that don't really count) found a solution to this during the late eighteenth century.  She traveled to France to visit the Marquis de Sade, who opened her mind up to new and exciting possibilities regarding the practice of sex.  He quickly discovered that she was extremely ticklish; he dealt with this by, of course, tying her up.  This made it impossible for her to lash out and destroy the bed or anything else within reach of her arms or legs.  This is actually how the practice of bondage as a method of foreplay was created.

ALL SMILES - The Empress is quite pleased with herself after convincing her newest prisoner, the leader of the Ottoman Empire, to relinquish Crimea. Vladimir Putin didn't have as much fun when he reacquired it more than two centuries later

This also led to the practice of using tickling as a method of torture.  When Catherine returned to Russia, she quickly implemented tickling in all of the dungeons throughout her empire.  This had two major advantages over traditional torture methods that involve inflicting extreme pain.  First of all, tickling did not kill the victim; the torturer (usually Catherine herself) didn't run the risk of pushing things too far.  Thus, the fun could continue indefinitely.  Secondly, since it did not involve the spilling of blood, implementing tickling as torture didn't leave a big mess on the dungeon floor for the janitor to have to clean up.

As it turns out, this is actually how Crimea became a part of Russia (the first time).  In 1783, Catherine was able to take it away from the Ottoman Empire by kidnapping its leaders, imprisoning them in her own private dungeon in Saint Petersburg, and tickling their feet until they agreed to relinquish it.


DC or Marvel?

A LEGEND IS BORN - Superman makes his debut in Action Comics #1 in 1938

One of the great rivalries in American cultural history concerns the comics that we all read as kids.  DC and Marvel were the two top dogs in the comic book industry, and have been for as long as anyone can remember.  Like any other famous rivalry - Elvis vs. The Beatles, Coke vs. Pepsi, Star Wars vs. Star Trek, California vs. New York; the Yankees vs. the Mets, Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, and The Beatles vs. The Dave Clark Five - the rivalry between the two giants of the comic book industry has become legendary; as is the case with the aforementioned rivalries, you can like both DC and Marvel - however, nobody likes them both equally (although in the case of The Donald vs. Hillary, a lot of people hate them both equally).

HOLY RIVALRY, BATMAN! The Caped Crusader's addition to the DC Universe made the competition with Marvel more intense

When I was a kid, DC Comics ruled.  Superman was my favorite, followed by Batman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League of America, and all the rest.  I rarely read any Marvel comics, although I did have a soft spot for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Nowadays, I no longer read comic books.  I get my superhero fix from movies and television.  When it comes to movies, Marvel definitely has the advantage.  The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which features Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and many others, is an incredible body of cinematic work that is becoming one of the most enduring franchises in film history.  The movies are exciting, with lots of action and intriguing plotlines featured in each one.  Guardians of the Galaxy, Part 2, the most recent entry in the series, is stunningly brilliant.  The X-Men series of films is also quite good.

MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN was a rare exception to my childhood loyalty to DC Comics

The recent movies featuring the DC Comics lineup is quite lame in comparison.  Take Superman, for example.  The original quadrilogy of Superman movies back in the day that starred Christopher Reeve were, of course, great (at least the first two - however, even Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which seemed to be quite lame back in the 1980s when they first came out, are almost watchable compared to the ones that came later).  Superman Returns (2006) was utter crap.  Man of Steel (2013) and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) were even worse.  It is obvious that Hollyweird's version of the DC Universe is but a pale imitation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The one recent standout film from the DC Universe is Wonder Woman.  The 2017 movie starring Gal Gadot as the title character is totally brilliant.  The story is fresh and exciting, with an interesting plot, great actors, and lots of action.  Moving the setting from World War II, where the original DC comic was set, to World War I was a great move.  The Second World War has been done to death by Hollyweird.  By way of contrast, the Great War has been all but ignored in cinema; moving Wonder Woman to that setting makes the film more original.

FILM NOIR ON STEROIDS - Gotham City, as created by Tim Burton for his Batman movies

The Batman movies fared little better.  As was the case with his Kryptonian counterpart, the original four Batman movies from the late 1980s and early 1990s were all great (aside from the presence of Robin, the Boy Blunder, in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin).  The villains were spectacular, and Gotham City was portrayed brilliantly as a neo-noirish nightmare.  In contrast, the Dark Knight Trilogy, from the 2000s and 2010s, was relatively lame (but not as bad as the later Superman movies).  They turned the villains into terrorists and the dark Gotham City of the original quadrilogy into Chicago.  Boring!

ISRAELI ACTRESS GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman. She not only kicks ass in the Great War, but she also outperforms Superman and Batman in their recent movies

It's currently on television that DC shines through.  There are a total of five shows currently running on TV that feature superheroes from the DC universe: Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Gotham, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow.  Each of these shows is brilliantly done, with four of them sharing the same universe.  They are light years ahead of all of the usual crap you see on the Boob Tube these days.  In addition, the previous decade gave us Smallville, a brilliant show about Clark Kent when he was a high school kid and for a few years after that, which ran for ten seasons.

THE BOOB TUBE AT ITS FINEST - Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Supergirl, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow are amongst the best that TV has to offer. Not to be outdone, Marvel has given us Agent Carter, Jessica Jones, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel has almost completely ignored television.  The one major exception to this is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which shares the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  This is a great show, and is currently going strong.  Two more shows, Agent Carter and Jessica Jones, are also quite good.  Unfortunately, the former only ran for two seasons before being cancelled, and the later was created for Netflix, limiting its availability.  I get the impression that the creators of the MCU don't take their television shows as seriously as they do their movies.  This is most unfortunate; these TV series and their characters deserve better.

Therefore, in answer to your question, it's Marvel for the movies, and DC for television.


Who is really to blame for Hillary Clinton's loss in the 2016 presidential election?

YOU GOT YOUR BUTT KICKED - That's what happened!

Where do we even begin?  The name of the entity responsible for the biggest upset in American political history is legion.

There is no shortage of people and institutions to blame for Hillary's loss, both in America and around the world.  I might go so far as to say that everything in the universe, known and otherwise, bears part of the blame.  Even alternate universes might have been involved.

This is a partial list of people and organizations that played a part in the Downfall of the Hildebeest.  No complete list can ever be made, especially since it is always evolving and growing longer (mainly because the candidate herself keeps coming up with new people and institutions to blame), but I've done the best I can.  Here goes:

DONALD TRUMP reacts to the news that he had defeated Hillary Clinton

DONALD TRUMP, for stabbing her in the back by refusing to perform his pre-ordained function of losing gracefully to her, by actually winning the election.

BERNIE SANDERS reacts to the news that the DNC had rigged the nomination in Hillary's favor

BERNIE SANDERS, for daring to challenge her for the Democratic Party nomination, despite knowing that she was The Chosen One, foreordained to fulfill her destiny of achieving absolute power.

CHRIS STEVENS, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was killed while she was Secretary of State because she refused to send help when he was under attack, for inconveniently dying and making her look bad.

BILL CLINTON, after a private meeting with Monica Lewinsky

BILL CLINTON, her husband and former president, for his relentless womanizing.  Had he been able to keep it in his pants for five minutes, she wouldn't have had to devote so much time and energy in defusing his various bimbo eruptions.

BARACK OBAMA, after stealing the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination out from under The Hildebeest

BARACK OBAMA, for upstaging her in 2008 and stealing the Democratic nomination out from under her, when she would have easily defeated John McCain in the general election that year, had she been nominated.

BLACK PEOPLE, for getting uppity and voting for Obama in 2008, after forgetting that the Clintons owned them.

WHITE PEOPLE, for not remembering their place in the new Politically Correct Order, and actually thinking that they are important.

A WOULD-BE HILLARY VOTER - If Aliens could vote, she would have won

LEGAL ALIENS, for not voting in the election, even though they were not legally eligible to do so; with our lax voter ID procedures, they would have never been caught, anyway, so it would have done them no harm to get out and vote for her.

ILLEGAL ALIENS, for sneaking across the border, thus creating Donald Trump's signature issue, which is what got him elected.

WOULD YOU BUY A USED PLANET FROM THIS MAN? Al Gore, father of the Internet and former VEEP, does battle with global warming

AL GORE, for inventing the Internet in the first place, which led directly to the email scandal that helped to derail her campaign.

THE NEW YORK TIMES, for not doing a slurpy enough job of kissing Hillary's butt during the campaign, and not doing enough to trash Donald Trump.

THE O'REILLY FACTOR, and Faux News in general, for daring to try to hold her accountable for her record in public life.

AMERICA'S MOST RELIABLE NEWSPAPER - unfortunately, the Weekly World News is no longer published

THE WEEKLY WORLD NEWS, for stopping publication before the same space alien who had endorsed her husband for president in 1992, and then George W. Bush in 2000, before he had a chance to endorse Hillary.

JESSE WATTERS, for his countless interviews of really stupid people, many of whom expressed support for Hillary, which made her look bad to the rest of us.

THE 62, 984,825 AMERICANS WHO VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP, for not being perceptive enough to get with the program.

GARY JOHNSON AND THE 4,489,221 AMERICANS WHO VOTED FOR HIM, for throwing their votes away on this pot-smoking doofus from New Mexico, when they could have shown their disdain for Trump by voting for her.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF GREEN BABE - Unlike Marta from the Star Trek episode "Whom Gods Destroy," Jill Stein does not have green skin. She was, however, the Green Party candidate for president in 2016

JILL STEIN AND THE 1,457,216 AMERICANS WHO VOTED FOR HER, for betraying the sisterhood and not showing solidarity with a fellow woman running for president.

EVAN MCMULLIN AND THE 731,788 AMERICANS WHO VOTED FOR HIM, for being a gadfly and not taking enough votes away from Trump.

THE NABISCO COMPANY, for mass-producing better chocolate chip cookies than she was ever able to bake.

STAND BY YOUR MAN - Tammy Wynette remains the only woman to be denigrated by Hillary Clinton who was never molested by Bill Clinton or sexually involved with him

TAMMY WYNETTE, for continually Standing By Her Man, making Hillary look anything but warm and fuzzy in comparison.

THE VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY, for daring to exist.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, Prime Minister of Canada, for having the charisma, charm, and personality that she lacks, making her look quite lackluster in comparison.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, President of the Russian Federation, for upstaging her fellow Democrat, Barack Obama, on the world stage by proposing a reasonable, common-sense solution to the civil war in Syria.  By doing so, he made the president, and by extension, Hillary, look really stupid.

A VERY BEAUTIFUL LADY - Look at Hillary, and then look at Monica. Can anybody really blame Bill?

MONICA LEWINSKY, for dragging Bill Clinton (and Hillary herself) through the mud for all of 1998, and for being much more sexy and desirable than Hillary could ever be.


TRICKY DICK - Hillary Clinton's favorite role model

RICHARD NIXON, former president of the United States, for insisting on exercising his constitutional right to hire a lawyer when he was under fire, which led to her being fired as a staff person for the House Judiciary Committee that was investigating Watergate.  She was fired for trying to deprive the president of this fundamental right.  By the way, if Nixon was not a crook, then neither was Hillary.

HEROINE OF THE DAY - Mary Elizabeth Winstead does battle with deadly brain bugs from outer space in "BrainDead." Unfortunately, the series was not renewed for a second season

BRAIN BUGS FROM OUTER SPACE, for infesting the brains of Senators, Congressmen, and other denizens of Washington, D.C., causing these people to lose their minds, which led them to encourage their constituents and others under their influence to vote for Trump.

JAMES COMEY, Director of the FBI, for not being able to make up his mind whether or not Hillary should have been indicted over her email scandal, and for sticking his big, fat nose into it in the first place by calling a press conference to bloviate about the whole thing.

ANTHONY WEINER, disgraced Democratic Congressman and failed NYC mayoral candidate, for leaving pictures of his crotch on the computer he shared with his wife, Huma Abedin, who was Hillary's assistant.  This computer also contained some 33,000 of Hillary's controversial emails.  In the course of conducting its investigation of Weiner, the FBI discovered these new emails, leading to a reopening of its investigation of Hillary.

BILL CLINTON'S PUSSY - Socks the Cat standing guard at the White House

SOCKS THE CAT, for being warmer and more affectionate than Hillary, and for being more honest and trustworthy.

THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, for demanding a refund of the money it paid for Hillary's procurement of Canada's uranium deposits, after they discovered that the radioactive element in question was a fake substitute that the Clintons had swapped for the real thing, thus creating a scandal.

HOLLYWOOD BIG-SHOT HARVEY WEINSTEIN, a famous backer of the Clintons and other Democrats, for treating women even worse than Bill did; this made the Clintons look second-rate, which is always the kiss of death in politics.

HILLARY CLINTON - As president, she would have combined the timeless qualities of Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, William Henry Harrison, and George W. Bush

And so we come to HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON,  HERSELF, the only prominent Democrat in America who could have possibly lost to Donald Trump in 2016.  She is the only person to ever run for public office in the United States whose persona combines the charisma of Richard Milhous Nixon, the compassion of Leona Helmsley, the respect for women (other than herself) expressed by Bill Cosby, the pursuit of peace practiced by Lyndon Johnson, the honesty of Boss Tweed, the sound judgement of Anthony Weiner, the disposition of Peter Parker's boss at The Daily Bugle, the moral compass of John Edwards, the respect for protestors exercising their First Amendment rights held by Spiro Agnew, the generosity of Dick Cheney, the record of accomplishment in life that was attained by Barack Obama, and the competence of George W. Bush.  As time passes, future historians may come to recognize that President Trump's most significant accomplishment in the Oval Office was that he kept Hillary out of it.


Are you a Beatles person or an Elvis person?

BEATLES PERSON OR ELVIS PERSON? Mia Wallace on her date with Vinnie Vega in the 1994 film classic "Pulp Fiction"

A scene that was cut from the final version of the great 1994 movie Pulp Fiction showed Vincent Vega (John Travolta) being interviewed by Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) when he picked her up for their date, with her videotaping it.  She asks this question of him, explaining that everyone is either a Beatles person or an Elvis person.  She goes on to explain that Beatles people can like Elvis, and Elvis people can like The Beatles, but nobody likes them both equally.  She then observes that she thinks that Vega is an Elvis person.

SOME GUY FROM MISSISSIPPI - He looks like he might possibly qualify as an Elvis person on a good day

An Elvis person would be someone who is likely to be more traditional and culturally conservative.  The King was born in rural Mississippi, where he was steeped in Southern culture as he grew up.  Although he partied hearty after he made it big, he never gave up his essential nature as a very religious and patriotic, red-blooded American.  In addition to rock and roll, he also recorded a lot of gospel music.  The fact that he made his home in Memphis, Tennessee, which (along with Nashville) is Ground Zero for country and western music (which is, by nature, very traditional) is further evidence of this.  Elvis people would most likely enjoy older television programs, mostly from the 1950s, that would be characterized as "wholesome," like Father Knows Best, The Real McCoys, and Little House on the Prairie.

FOUR BLOKES FROM LIVERPOOL, who somehow managed to hit the big time

A Beatles person, on the other hand, would be someone who is more adventurous, and more willing to reach beyond the cultural limitations outlined above.  He would be more up-to-date with the cultural changes that have taken place over the last fifty years or so.  As opposed to Elvis, The Beatles were more revolutionary in their approach to life, and much more outspoken regarding controversial issues.  Their music reflected this, as it was much more creative and complex than anything Elvis ever recorded.  A Beatles person's choice of television shows would include more interesting fare, such as Star Trek, Fringe, The Outer Limits (both versions), and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

Your humble blogger is definitely a Beatles person (yeah, yeah, yeah!)


Did Richard Nixon really put in an appearance on the 1960s counterculture comedy show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In?

RICHARD NIXON created one of the most iconic moments in television history by appearing on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in 1968

He sure did.  On September 16, 1968, the former vice-president and failed presidential and gubernatorial candidate appeared briefly in one scene, asking the question, "Sock it to me?"  This was a brilliant move on the part of the Republican candidate  who was taking another crack at the White House.  It has been widely acknowledged that it was this appearance on the show that made all the difference in the close election in November, putting Nixon over the top and making him the 37th President of the United States. 

Because Nixon went on to win the election, it gave his enemies what turned out to be another five and a half years to kick him around.  All of Tricky Dick's detractors have only Dan Rowan and Dick Martin to blame for inflicting Richard Milhous Nixon on the country once again.  (Actually, the Deep State is mostly to blame, because it took out Bobby Kennedy, who would have easily defeated Nixon.)


If Ginger and Mary Ann were lesbians who decided to try BDSM, which one of them would be the dominatrix?

THE MOVIE STAR - Ginger, the glamorous femme fatale from "Gilligan's Island." If she was stranded there for three years, how did she manage to come up with a different dress to wear for each episode?

That is a very interesting question.  The two babes from Gilligan's Island have certainly continued to capture the imagination, which is quite an accomplishment for two characters from a 1960s sitcom that only lasted three seasons.  After fifty years, perhaps it is time to bring the two lovely ladies into the twenty-first century, giving them a juicier role in our popular culture.

LESS GLAMOROUS BUT STILL AS BEAUTIFUL - Mary Ann was easily able to holder her own with Ginger

At first glance, it would seem that Ginger would be the most likely candidate for the dominant role.  As an actress, she was more sophisticated and glamorous than was Mary Ann's "down home" farm girl persona.  I can quite easily picture Tina Louise, the actress who played Ginger, wearing one of those sexy black leather dominatrix outfits and cracking the whip.

ON YOUR KNEES, BOY! Newly-minted dominatrices Lady Mary Ann and Mistress Ginger get ready to practice some BDSM techniques on some guy they picked at random

On the other hand, things are not always what they seem.  It could be that beneath that nice, all-American-girl-next-door image that Mary Ann projects, there beats the heart of a frustrated potential dominatrix, just waiting to escape the confines of her limited rural existence and burst forth upon the scene.  It might be more of a stretch, but, with a different hairstyle, I could also picture Mary Ann wearing the leather outfit.

What might be more interesting would be if both ladies could become dominatrices.  Working together, they could lure Gilligan and the Skipper into their dungeon, where the two ladies could tie them up and have their way with them.  Who knows, the two guys might even enjoy it.


What is the connection between the John Fogerty song "I Saw It on TV" and the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire"?

BATTER UP! John Fogerty, former frontman for Creedence Clearwater Revival, hits a grand slam with his 1985 album, "Centerfield"

In 1985, John Fogerty released what would become the biggest album of his solo career after leaving Creedence Clearwater Revival, Centerfield.  The best song on the album was "I Saw It on TV," which is a musical narrative of several events that took place during the formative years of the Boom Generation.  The first verse tells of the coming of television at the time that Dwight Eisenhower was president of the United States.  This is followed by a verse telling of the coming of Elvis Presley and Annette Funicello (and the Mickey Mouse Club), and the assassination of President Kennedy.

Moving on, Fogerty tells of the coming of The Beatles, and the healing that they brought to a nation still mourning the Kennedy assassination.  Later verses tell of the Apollo XI moon landing, the launching of satellites, the build-up of America's nuclear arsenal, and the massive profits made by Big Business courtesy of the Military-Industrial Complex (that Ike warned the nation about during his Farewell Address in 1961).  The song ends on a bitter note, as it relates the resentment of an old man whose son was killed in Vietnam, while those involved in the Watergate coverup not only got away with it, but became fabulously wealthy.

The common link between all of these events, spanning a period of two decades, was television.  As the title of the song states, all of these events, as well as many others, were brought into the homes of every American by way of the TV set in the living room.

BOOMER NATION - Billy Joel released his classic narration of the Boom Generation's life experiences in 1989

1989 saw the release of "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel.  This song also touches on many items that were in the news during the 1950s through the '80s.  Unlike the Fogerty song, in which he took a few events and provided a line or two about each, Joel mentions a much larger number of people and events that took place during the Boom Generation's lifetime, labeling them but not providing any further elaboration.  The song mentions the following:

HARRY TRUMAN is best known as the sheriff of Twin Peaks, Washington, circa 1990

Harry Truman was Vice-President of the United States who became president in 1945 upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt.  He was elected to a term in his own right in 1948, serving until 1953.  After leaving the White House, he disappeared into obscurity until he re-surfaced again in 1980, when he was supposedly killed during the infamous eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State.  However, as it turned out, Truman survived the eruption and managed to reinvent himself once again in 1990, when he was elected sheriff of the Washington State town of Twin Peaks.

DORIS DAY was an actress who is best remembered for sharing some pillow talk with Rock Hudson

Doris Day was an actress and singer who was popular from the late 1940s through the '60s.  She is best known for getting herself a "piece of the Rock" (Hudson) in 1959 when they both appeared in Pillow Talk.

Red China was commonly used as a reference to The People's Republic of China after Chairman Mao and his communists took control of it in 1949, forcing the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek to flee to Taiwan.  This proved to be a bone of contention in American foreign policy from then until 1972, when President Nixon went to Beijing and did a really slurpy job of kissing Mao's butt.

JOHNNIE RAY was some jazz dude from the 1950s that nobody remembers anymore

Johnnie Ray was a jazz and blues singer who was popular in the United States during the 1950s.  He was actually born one of three triplets; his brothers were named Sting and Manta.

South Pacific was a Broadway musical that was hugely popular.  A movie version was filmed in 1958.  It also qualifies as a really large body of water that separates New Zealand and the west coast of South America.

WALTER WINCHELL, the founder of a famous doughnut chain and hero to cops everywhere

Walter Winchell was a popular newspaper columnist and radio talk show host who adopted a "take no prisoners" attitude in destroying the careers of those whom he disliked.  After retiring from his career as a media personality, he opened a chain of doughnut shops.

Joe DiMaggio was a major league baseball player who was more famous for being briefly married to Marilyn Monroe during the 1950s than he was for playing ball.  Needless to say, he got a lot farther than First Base with her.

WISCONSIN SENATOR JOE MCCARTHY, scourge of commies in the Army, the State Department, and under the bed

Joe McCarthy was the infamous senator from Wisconsin during the early 1950s who went around calling everyone a communist and claiming that there were an ever-changing number of communist infiltrators in the State Department.  He was never able to establish the exact number of communists in our government, but he did manage to find some of them under the bed.

Richard Nixon was a Republican member of the House of Representatives from California who became involved in the trial of alleged Soviet spy Alger Hiss, in which Hiss was found guilty of perjury.  This elevated him to the Senate, and then to the Vice-Presidency under Eisenhower.  He also became really paranoid, probably the result of his having been kicked around a lot his whole life.

THE STUDEBAKER - note the distinctive torpedo launcher in the center of the grille

The Studebaker was a car that was popular in 1950 that looked like a torpedo at the front end.  And you wonder why it doesn't still exist to this day!

Television was a new medium of home entertainment introduced during the late 1940s that became popular during the '50s and beyond.  Looking back at the decade in question, it is no wonder that it was characterized at the time as "a vast wasteland."

North Korea and South Korea were the two halves of a nation that was divided between a communist north and a "free" south ("free" only in the sense that it was dominated by the West, rather than by Red China and the Soviet Union).  The two Koreas went to war in 1950, and reached a truce in 1953, which still holds to this day.

GOODBYE, NORMA JEAN - Iconic 1950s bombshell Marilyn Monroe barely made it into the 1960s

Marilyn Monroe was a popular actress and sex symbol during the 1950s.  She screwed the Kennedys, and then they screwed her.  At the end of the day, the Deep State screwed them all.

The Rosenbergs, Julius and Ethyl, were tried and convicted for selling the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.  They were executed in the electric chair in 1953.  Many Americans at the time considered this to be a shocking state of affairs.

THE HYDROGEN BOMB was developed during the 1950s. Invite one to your party and it will be a real blast!

The H-Bomb (hydrogen bomb) was developed during the 1950s and was much more powerful than its predecessor.  You may think of it as an atomic bomb on steroids.

Sugar Ray Robinson was a popular boxer during the 1950s.  It has been rumored that he is somehow related to "Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!" but it is not true.

Panmunjom is the location in Korea where the truce ending the fighting was negotiated.  It actually sounds like something that you are supposed to eat, but I wouldn't want to try it.

MARLON BRANDO became a Hollyweird legend during the 1950s and beyond

Marlon Brando was a popular actor during the 1950s and beyond, who became famous for his roles in On the Waterfront, The Godfather, and Apocalypse Now. He became notorious for refusing to accept an Oscar for his role in The Godfather, stating that he was protesting the treatment of native Indians in the Mafia.

The King and I was a popular Broadway play that later became a movie starring some guy with no hair.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE caught the public's imagination when it was published during the 1950s. In 1980, it triggered a deranged nutjob to assassinate John Lennon

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was a popular young adult novel of the 1950s, a copy of which triggered Mark David Chapman to assassinate John Lennon in 1980.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was a former World War II General and Lord High Muckety-Muck of the allied forces in Europe during said conflict.  He was demoted to President of the United States during the 1950s for having had an affair with his driver, Kay Sommersby, during the war.

A polio vaccine was discovered by Jonas Salk during the 1950s, bringing to an end one of mankind's deadliest scourges.  It's too bad that nobody has come up with a similar vaccine to protect against computer viruses.

LIZ II: THE SEQUEL was crowned Queen of England in 1953. She reigned until 1966, when she was killed in an automobile accident and replaced with an android double

England's Got a New Queen - Liz II: The Sequel was crowned as Queen of England in 1953.  She remains on the throne to this day, and will probably live forever.

Rocky Marciano was yet another boxer who was popular during the 1950s.  He must have been a cyborg, because nobody was ever able to defeat him.

ELTON JOHN'S ROLE MODEL - Liberace inspired Sir Elton to both take up the piano and wear elaborate, outrageous outfits

Liberace was a very flamboyant pianist and entertainer of the 1950s and beyond.  He inspired Elvis Presley, and then Elton John, to emulated him by wearing outrageous outfits.  Liberace's outfits bore so many sequins that he could barely move.

Santayana good-bye - George Santayana (apparently) was a philosopher who died in 1952.  Yeah, I've never heard of him, either.

WORSE THAN HITLER - Josef Stalin, the Soviet dictator, killed twice as many people as Der Fuhrer

Josef Stalin was the Supreme Dictator and Lord High Executioner of millions of Russians and others chosen at random during his reign of terror, which came to an end with his death in 1953.

Georgy Malenkov was a communist party leader in the Soviet Union who took over its leadership after Stalin's death.  He only ruled the U.S.S.R. for two years, which meant that he didn't get to kill as many people as his predecessor.

Gamel Abdel Nasser was President of Egypt during the 1950s.  He became one of the most influential of Arab leaders in history, primarily because there was no latter-day Moses to inflict plagues upon his country.

SERGEI PROKOFIEV was an obscure Russian composer and pianist, who became famous when "Weird Al" Yankovic recorded a parody version of his "Peter and the Wolf"

Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a famous Russian composer and pianist during the first half of the twentieth century.  Unlike Liberace, he did not wear sequins.  Also unlike Liberace, he managed to die on March 5, 1953, the same day as Josef Stalin.  His most famous work had been Romeo and Juliet; however, when "Weird Al" Yankovic did a parody of his epic work Peter and the Wolf, that became his signature composition.

Nelson Rockefeller, a grandson of the infamous John D. Rockefeller who invented Robber Baronism during the Gilded Age, was one of the more influential denizens of the Deep State during the 1950s and into the '70s, when Gerald Ford appointed him as Vice-President of the United States.  He was perhaps best known for losing the 1964 Republican presidential nomination to Barry Goldwater.

Roy Campanella was, like Joe DiMaggio, a baseball player.  Unlike "Joltin' Joe," though, nobody today remembers who he was.  This is probably because he was never married to Marilyn Monroe.

SLAVE STATES - If World War II was a fight for freedom, then why did half of Europe end up under Soviet domination?

The Communist Bloc was a group of nations, most of which were located in Eastern Europe, that were dominated by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  Most members of the Boom Generation grew up in constant fear that a thermonuclear war was going to be started at any moment by Poland or Hungary, or even Czechoslovakia.

Roy Cohn functioned as Senator Joe McCarthy's poodle in his crusade against Godless Communism in the movie industry during the early 1950s.  Contrary to rumor, he was not related to the Coen Brothers, who made several movies decades later.

LATIN AMERICAN POWER COUPLE - Juan and Eva Peron ruled Argentina with an iron fist

Juan Peron was elected as President of Argentina and served as such during the 1940s and '50s.  Although he pissed off a lot of American and English citizens by confiscating their stuff, he was more famous for being married to Evita, who had a West End musical produced about her.

Arturo Toscanini was a famous classical conductor who became infamous for suffering a brain fart during his last performance in 1954.  He retired after this incident.

Dacron was a new synthetic fiber first introduced during the 1950s that was used in clothing, film, and containers.  It had the advantage over cotton of not requiring plantations full of slaves to produce it.

Dien Bien Phu falls describes the end of French colonialism in Vietnam.  When the city fell to rebel forces in 1954, it terminated the French occupation of Indo-China; they cut and run after seeing the handwriting on the wall.  This was yet another dirty trick played by France on the United States, as Vietnam then became America's headache.

BILL HALEY AND HIS COMETS created Rock and Roll when they released their iconic song, "Rock Around the Clock," in 1954

Rock Around the Clock, by Bill Haley and His Comets, was released in 1954 and became a huge hit.  It is considered to be the first Rock and Roll song.  It was also responsible for the subsequent mispronunciation of the term "Halley's Comet" on numerous occasions.

Albert Einstein was, to put it simply, the smartest person who ever lived.  He was responsible for developing his Theory of Relativity in 1903, which led to the subsequent development of the atomic bomb.  Unlike his fellow scientist Charles Darwin, he did not make a monkey out of anyone.  Three decades after his death in 1955, his brainpower prompted that famous musical question, "If you're so smart, then why's your daughter going out with me?"

REBEL WITHOUT A CLUE - James Dean was on top of the world until 1955, when his Porsche ended up on top of him

James Dean achieved immortality with his starring role in Rebel Without a Cause.  As it turned out, he was not so immortal after all; he was killed in 1955 when his Porsche was struck by another car while on a road trip.  Considering his untimely death, perhaps his movie should have been called Rebel Without a Clue.

Brooklyn's got a winning team refers to the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, who finally - finally - won the World Series that year.  They celebrated three years later by moving to Los Angeles.

KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER - Davy Crockett and his coonskin cap were idolized by small boys all over America during the 1950s

Davy Crockett was famous for getting his ass shot off by Mexican troops at the Alamo in 1836.  The 1950s found him being immortalized in a popular television series and theme song.  This, in turn, led to tens of thousands of small boys in the United States adopting the practice of wearing coonskin caps.

Peter Pan was a popular Broadway play which starred Mary Martin as the title character.  It was this practice of hiring a female actress to portray a male character that inspired Ed Wood to make his groundbreaking classic motion picture Glen or Glenda, about cross-dressing.

Elvis Presley was some guy from Mississippi who managed to make a few records during the 1950s, a couple of which managed to find their way onto the charts.

Disneyland is a classic theme park in California that opened for business in 1955.  To this day, it remains infested with mice.

SEX KITTEN - Brigitte Bardot was a French actress best known for being one of the women in France who actually shave their armpits

Brigitte Bardot was a popular French movie star during the 1950s who was primarily known for being a sex kitten.  John Lennon famously had the hots for her during the 1950s the same way that Brian Epstein would have the hots for him during the 1960s.

Budapest was Ground Zero for the Great Hungarian Anti-Soviet Revolt of 1956.  This revolt was put down by Soviet troops sent in to "restore order."  The students who fomented the revolt went on to become known as "BudaPESTS."

Alabama played a central role during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery in 1955 to a white person.  This led to her arrest on the charge of being "uppity," which, in turn, led to the Great Montgomery Bus Boycott by the Negro community that lasted through 1956.  It all ended when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that transit segregation was unconstitutional.  This brought to an end the practice of having black people riding on buses painted black and white people riding on white ones.

HEAD RED - Nikita Khrushchev ruled the Soviet empire with an iron fist during the 1950s and early '60s. He also pounded his shoe against the podium at the United Nations

Nikita Khrushchev was the Grand Poobah and Great Leader of the Soviet Union who came after the infamous Josef Stalin.  He is best known for pounding his shoe against the podium at the United Nations, and for giving Crimea away to Ukraine.

FROM ICY BLONDE TO ICE PRINCESS - Grace Kelly, who starred in three Alfred Hitchcock films, gave up her Hollyweird career to become Princess of Monaco

Hollyweird actress Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married that country's Prince Rainier III in 1956.  Before that, her claim to fame had been as one of the great Alfred Hitchcock's famous "icy blondes," appearing in three of his great movies, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief, and, best of all, the classic Rear Window.  As is the case with all Hitchcock films, each of the three is recommended viewing.  Princess Grace herself is also recommended viewing, as she was a total babe!

Peyton Place was a novel published during the 1950s that became a best-seller.  It was controversial, as it dealt with sexual themes that were usually considered to be verboten during that conservative decade.  It led to a movie, and then to a television series during the 1960s that is considered to be the first American prime-time soap opera.  It is fondly remembered today by Trekkies, who take note of the appearance of James Doohan (Scotty) and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) in a couple of episodes.

Trouble in the Suez refers to an incident that took place in Egypt in 1956.  After President Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, that country was invaded by the British, French, Israelis, and Pod People from Outer Space.  President Eisenhower resolved the crisis by putting pressure upon the four powers to withdraw.  It later came out that he had done so by threatening to get the bailiff to "whack their pee-pees" if they did not comply.

Little Rock, Arkansas, became another focal point of the Civil Rights struggle in 1957 when that state's Governor Fubar tried to prevent that city's Central High School from admitting Negro students by ordering the National Guard to block the entrance.  Eisenhower once again sprang into action, threatening to unleash the aforementioned bailiff upon the governor and National Guard if they did not back down.

SOME RUSSIAN DUDE WHO WROTE A BOOK - Boris Pasterrnak's novel was made into the 1965 hit movie "Doctor Chicago"

Boris Pasternak was a Russian writer who is best known for his epic novel Doctor Zhivago, which was banned in the Soviet Union.  It was made into a movie in 1965, with a change in name to Doctor Chicago to make it more appealing to Americans.

Mickey Mantle was, yet, another major league baseball player who is best remembered for having been named after a cartoon mouse.

Jack Kerouac is best known for writing On the Road, which became the Bible of the Beat Generation of the 1950s.  The title inspired Canned Heat to record a song during the 1960s, "On the Road Again," which became an anthem of the Hippie Generation of that decade.

WE WILL BURY YOU! The Russians managed to beat us into space with their launch of Sputnik in 1957

Sputnik was the name of the first artificial satellite launched into space; the Soviet Union launched it on October 4, 1957.  As for satellites in general, it was second only to the moon, which beat it to the punch by some four and a half billion years.

Chou En-Lai was Red China's foreign minister during the 1950s and '60s.  He helped to restore relations with the United States during the early 1970s by playing ping-pong with President Nixon.

The Bridge on the River Kwai was a 1957 movie about a Japanese POW camp during World War II.  It featured a theme song that later became a popular ditty: "Hitler has only got one ball; Goering has two, but rather small; Himmler has something similar; But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all!"

Lebanon is a country in the Middle East to which President Eisenhower (yes, him again) sent U.S. Marines to help restore order in the face of rioting by a bunch of yahoos.  They remained there for almost three decades, when President Reagan pulled them out after they got their barracks bombed by yet another bunch of yahoos.

FRENCH PATRIOT - Charles de Gaulle headed up the French Resistance during World War II, then went on to become Head Honcho of France during the 1960s

Charles de Gaulle was the leader of the French Resistance during World War II.  He went on to serve as president of France during the 1950s and '60's, a platform that proved useful to him in becoming a pain in the butt to the American Deep State.  His biggest claim to fame came in 1967, when he visited Canada and proclaimed "Vive le Quebec Libre," or "Let's get Quebec the hell out of Canada."  This statement sparked the French Canadian secessionist movement, which continues to plague Canada to this day.

California baseball became a reality in 1958 when the Brooklyn Dodgers relocated to Los Angeles, followed closely by the New York Giants to San Francisco.  This marked the initial foray of Major League Baseball into the western United States.  Unfortunately, none of the players on either team were ever married to Marilyn Monroe.

Starkweather homicide refers to a two-month killing spree that took place in Nebraska and Wyoming in 1957-58.  During that time, Charles Starkweather and his babe, Caril Ann Fugate, killed a total of eleven individuals.  As if that wasn't bad enough, they also killed a dog.

Children of Thalidomide refers to babies born between 1957 and 1962 who suffered severe birth defects that were caused by a new drug called thalidomide, which pregnant women took to combat morning sickness.  Some of these deformities were such that those suffering from them resembled the radioactive mutants that were routinely portrayed in science fiction movies made during that time.

THAT'LL BE THE DAY - Buddy Holly, one of the creators of Rock and Roll during the 1950s, never made it to the Sixties. He was killed in a place crash in 1959

Buddy Holly was a popular singer during the 1950s who, unlike Elvis, wrote his own songs.  Also unlike Elvis, he was killed in a place crash in 1959.  Again unlike Elvis, one of his songs was later covered by The Beatles.

Ben-Hur was the central character in a 1959 movie that featured the great Charlton Heston.  It was adapted from a novel written in 1880 by Lew Wallace, who was a general in the Union Army during the Civil War.  Wallace wrote the novel in response to his unfair treatment by General Grant concerning the outcome of a particular battle for which Wallace was blamed, but which was not his fault.  Forgotten by history is Ben-Hur's younger brother, Ben-Gay, who became known as the world's first homosexual.

The term "space monkey" refers to a number of such creatures who were sent up in rockets during the Space Race of the late 1950s and '60s.  Charles Darwin may not have made a monkey out of you, but he did make more than one out of NASA.

The Mafia is a group of families of Sicilian descent that created a syndicated crime network that was brought to America during the great wave of immigration that took place during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  The reference in the song refers to a meeting of Mafia leaders that took place in New York State in 1959.  It became famous for making people offers that they could not refuse.

THE HULA HOOP became a nationwide sensation when it was introduced during the late 1950s. Fortunately, the fad quickly died out

Hula Hoops were large plastic hoops that small children would put around their waists and wiggle, causing them to spin around.  This became a short-lived fad during 1959, but quickly died out.  Recycled hula hoops were subsequently employed in making copies of the Olympic symbol that have been used in every iteration of the Games since 1960.

INSUFFERABLE BORE - Fidel Castro spent half a century haranguing the United States. Eventually, we stopped paying attention

Fidel Castro was a Cuban revolutionary who took over the country in 1959, becoming a pompous blowhard and Hero to the Third World and certain Hollywood celebrities during the ensuing decades.  He appeared to be evil and menacing at first, but he projected this image as a way to tweak America's nose.  Eventually, he became a caricature of himself, and most Americans began to regard him as a joke.

NOT A BETTER IDEA - The Ford Motor Company flopped bigly when it introduced the Edsel during the late 1950s

Edsel is a no-go refers to an automobile created by the Ford Motor Company that, to put it bluntly, flopped bigly.  This may have been caused by the involvement of one Robert McNamara, who would go on to mismanage America's war effort in Vietnam as one of the "Best and the Brightest."  It has also been asserted that it was the Edsel that provided the inspiration for the introduction of the New Taste of Coke in 1985.

U-2 was the name of a spy plane that was used by the United States to spy on the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  It became famous when Francis Gary Powers, a U-2 pilot, was shot down over Russia and taken prisoner.  It became even more famous when Irish rock musician Bono adopted an old U-2 as his private jet and named his rock band after it.

INSCRUTABLE ASIAN - South Korean President Syngman Rhee may have been a dictator during the 1950s, but at least he wasn't a Godless Commie!

Syngman Rhee was the first president of South Korea, serving from 1948 until 1960.  Although he was a dictator, he was considered to be a "good dictator" because, at least, he wasn't a Godless Communist like Kim il-Sung, that goofball who was running North Korea.

Payola was the name given to the Great Rock and Roll Scandal of the 1950s and early '60s.  Many DJs were exposed for accepting bribes for playing certain songs on the air, which led to an increase in sales of the records in question.  This explains how Phil Spector was able to get so much exposure for all of his girl group crap during that era.

John F. Kennedy became President of the United States in 1961, after his father, with some help from the Mafia, stole the election from Richard Nixon the previous year.  He was also never married to Marilyn Monroe, although he did carry on with her.

A TRULY TWISTED INDIVIDUAL - Chubby Checker invented a new dance craze in 1960

Chubby Checker was primarily known for creating a new dance craze, the Twist, in 1960.  The following year found him twisting again, after which he disappeared into the Twilight Zone when he twisted the wrong way.

Psycho was the name of a 1960 thriller that was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.  Unlike the ones mentioned earlier, this one did not feature Grace Kelly.  However, it did feature a memorable shower scene that spawned a whole host of slasher movies during the 1980s.

Belgians in the Congo is a reference to the civil war that began in the Congo in 1960 that followed that country's independence from Belgium.  This led to much belching in the Congo, when all of the bloodletting caused people to become sick to their stomachs.

LITERARY ICON - Ernest Hemingway, enduring symbol of 1920s intelligentsia, committed suicide in 1961

Ernest Hemingway, one of the literary icons of the Lost Generation who became popular during the 1920s, committed suicide in 1961.  Earlier in his life, he had written lots of books under the tutelage of Gertrude Stein, another icon of the Lost Generation, who was famous for being the official lesbian of the 1920s.

Adolf Eichmann was a notorious Nazi who had fled Germany after the war for Argentina.  In 1960, Israeli agents kidnapped him and spirited him away to Israel, where he stood trial for crimes against humanity, amongst other things.  After he was found guilty, he would hang around in Israel until he was dead.

CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY - Robert A. Heinlein was one of the greatest writers during the Golden Age of Science Fiction. He also liked cats

Stranger in a Strange Land was a landmark novel written by the great science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein.  It concerned one Valentine Michael Smith, a human who was raised by Martians; as such, he had no connection with Earthly culture.  Upon arriving on Earth as an adult, he had never even seen a babe; because of this, he was even more clueless than the geeks who inhabited their parents' basements watching reruns of Star Trek.

POET LAUREATE - 1960s icon Bob Dylan knew that he'd arrived when he joined the Traveling Wilburys in 1988

Bob Dylan was a poet, songwriter, and minstrel who became famous during the 1960s for his iconic music.  He became one of the most visible symbols of the emerging counterculture of that decade.  Over the course of his life, he would become successively involved with just about every major religion in the world (although he never became a Mormon).

Berlin became the most recognizable symbol of the Cold War when it was divided into a communist East and a free West (as was the rest of Germany) after World War II.  In 1961, the Soviets built a wall to divide the two halves of the city for the purpose of keeping yahoos from the West from crossing over and hassling the East German frauleins.  It was only after the wall went up that they discovered that it was actually more effective at keeping the East Germans from fleeing to the West.  President Trump is currently trying to round up all of the pieces of the wall, which came down with the Iron Curtain in 1989, so that he can begin building the wall on the southern border with Mexico that he promised during his campaign.

The Bay of Pigs Invasion took place in Cuba in April, 1961.  The idea was to unleash a group of Cuban exiles as freedom fighters, who would invade their homeland and help foment an uprising against Fidel Castro and his communists.  President Kennedy ended up with egg all over his face when the invasion failed.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, which was about the historical character Lawrence of Arabia, became one of the most popular movies of 1962

Lawrence of Arabia was a 1962 motion picture about a historical character who was known as Lawrence of Arabia.  He was a British military officer who, unlike his fellow Englishmen, actually sympathized with the Arabs whom they were trying to liberate from Ottoman rule during the Great War.

British Beatlemania was a social phenomenon that spontaneously arose in England with the rise of The Beatles to prominence after they scored their first recording contract.  This should not be confused with American Beatlemania, which broke out when they arrived in the United States two years later.

Ole Miss is the nickname of the University of Mississippi.  It became famous in 1962 for finally admitting a Negro, James Meredith, as a student.  This, in turn, led to the admittance of lots of other Negroes in future years.

AMERICAN HERO - John Glenn was one of the first Americans to go into space. He was one of the more recent Americans to go into the Senate

John Glenn was an astronaut who became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.  After coming back down to Earth, he became a United States Senator from Ohio.  Later on, he became an astronaut once again.  Maybe someday he can make up his mind.

Liston beats Patterson refers to a prize fight between Floyd Patterson and Sonny Liston, who came out the winner.  He later lost his title to Cassius Clay, who was immortalized in the Bob Dylan classic song "I Shall Be Free No. 10."

A PONTIFF OF NOTE - Paul, along with his predecessor, John, and his successors, George and Ringo, created POPEular music during the 1960s

Pope Paul VI led the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978.  He came after Pope John; after his death he was followed by Pope George and Pope Ringo.  It was during his reign that the Church ditched the Latin mass and added Rock and Roll to its ceremonies.

NATION OF ISLAM - Malcolm X became controversial during the 1960s when he converted to Islam and began to advocate racial separation. He was assassinated for his trouble

Malcolm X was a Negro who became a Muslim during the 1960s and became part of the Nation of Islam.  Unlike Martin Luther King, Jr., who tried to bring the black and white races together through equality of treatment, he advocated strict separatism.  He later moderated his views and left the Nation of Islam, which caused its members to throw a massive conniption fit.  This resulted in his being assassinated in 1965.

British politician sex refers to a scandal that shook the British Parliament in 1963 when it was discovered that Secretary of State for War John Profumo was having sex with a Buckingham Palace intern by the name of Christine Keeler.  Unlike Bill Clinton, who did substantially the same thing more than four decades later in the White House, he was forced to resign.

JFK blown away, what else do I have to say?  Indeed, that says it all.  The assassination of President Kennedy remains the central event of the Boom Generation era; it was even more traumatic than the arrival of disco fifteen years or so later.

Birth Control became widely available to women when contraceptives were put on the market and legalized during the 1960s.  This helped spark the sexual revolution of that decade, which led to the rise of hippies, free love, and the Woodstock Music & Art Fair that took place in upstate New York in 1969.

HO HO HO CHI MINH - The communist dictator of North Vietnam served as the Big Bad of the American war effort in Vietnam

Ho Chi-Minh was the communist leader of North Vietnam who functioned as the enemy that the United States was fighting against during that conflict.  He was most famous for having a trail named after him, and later a city.

Richard Nixon back again refers to the former vice-president and failed presidential and California gubernatorial candidate who, like Elvis Presley, staged a '68 Comeback Special.  Deciding that he needed to be kicked around some more, he re-entered politics, running for and winning the presidency that year.

MAN ON THE MOON - The Russkies may have beaten the United States into space, but we beat them to the moon

The Moon shot was the Apollo XI trip to the moon, during which astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot upon that body.  Numerous aliens had beaten them to the punch over the centuries, traipsing up and down across the lunar surface long before Armstrong's arrival.

The Woodstock Music & Art Fair that was referred to earlier took place as a plot to gather all of the hippies in the United States together so that the Deep State could deal with them more efficiently.  Unfortunately, the agents involved declined to carry out their mission because it started raining, and they didn't want to get wet.

INFAMOUS LANDMARK - The Watergate in Washington, D.C., led to the famous scandal that caused the downfall of Richard Nixon. Monica Lewinsky also stayed there

The Watergate scandal occurred  in 1972-74 when a group of rogue operatives from the Nixon White House broke into the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.  President Nixon tried in vain to cover it up, but the truth came out, thanks to a porn actress by the name of Deep Throat, who provided all of the slimy details to a pair of reporters for The Washington Post.  President Nixon was forced to resign his office, but not before his enemies got one final crack at kicking him around.

Punk Rock was a type of music that was spontaneously created by groups of individuals during the 1970s who had become disaffected by society and disillusioned with the disco and mainstream "safe" rock music that had come to characterize that decade.  It featured performers who dressed outrageously, stuck safety pins through various parts of their bodies, and wrote songs that were designed to offend just about everybody.

MANACHEM BEGIN - The Israeli prime minister from the 1980s was so popular in America that they named every freeway in the country after him

Menachem Begin was an Israeli who served as that country's prime minister during the late 1970s and early '80s.  He was so beloved in the United States that pretty much every Interstate highway in the country was named after him.  To this day, every on-ramp features a sign that reads, "Begin Freeway."

Ronald Reagan was a fair to middling Hollywood actor from the late 1930s to the early '60s.  His most famous starring role came in 1980, when he was cast to play the President of the United States, a gig that lasted eight years.

Palestine is the name given to a potential homeland for the Palestinian people that would be situated on the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Gaza Strip of the Sinai Peninsula.  This area has been a bone of contention between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and will probably continue to be so until the end of time, or until the umpire calls for a time-out.

Terror on the airline refers to the increasing number of airplane hijackings that began to take place during the 1980s and beyond.  This culminated with the hijacking of four commercial airlines on 9/11 and the slamming of them into various targets, an act facilitated by the Deep State as a means of coercing the American people into accepting a fascist state.

ANGRY NUTJOB - Was the Ayatollah Khomeini born with a stick up his ass, or did somebody put it there?

The Ayatollah's in Iran to replace the Shah, who had fled the country.  In 1979, a gaggle of Iranian nutjobs stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held the personnel there hostage for 444 days.  The Ayatollah Khomeini only released them when Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, as he didn't want Iran to be turned into a radioactive mud puddle for the next ten thousand years.

Russians in Afghanistan had apparently learned nothing from the Americans' experience in Vietnam.  The Soviet Union thought that it could do what Alexander the Great, The British Empire, and after the fact, the United States, were unable to do by conquering that country.  This helped lead to the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, as well as the development of a really weird skin discoloration on future Premier Mikhail Gorbachev's head.

WANNA BUY A VOWEL? Vanna White's grace and beauty helped make "Wheel of Fortune" the most popular game show in television history

Wheel of Fortune was a television game show that was popular, primarily because Vanna White looks incredibly sexy in a low-cut dress.  It also helped that she knew the alphabet.

Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel in space in 1983, when she rode the space shuttle into orbit that year.  This was foreshadowed by a song by The Rascals from 1966 called "Mustang Sally," which contained the line "Ride, Sally, ride."

Heavy metal became a popular form of rock and roll during the 1970s and into the '80s and beyond.  It was characterized by loud guitars and booming bass and drum performances, and often contained Satanic themes.  It often drove its aficionados insane, which manifested itself most prominently at Motley Crue shows, where babes in the audience would routinely lift their tops and flash their boobs.

Suicide was on the rise during the 1980s.  It was claimed that the lyrics in heavy metal songs by artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, and Milli Vanilli caused young people to kill themselves.

Foreign Debts became a leading cause of inflation during the 1970s, as Congress just could not stop spending money on everything from junkets to military boondoggles, to more and more largess for bums on welfare.  This became even more of a burden on the American taxpayer than the cost of the infamous study of the sex life of a pet rock.

Homeless vets were men who had fought in Vietnam who found themselves on the streets because trauma they had suffered from their service caused them to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, or otherwise rendered them unable to function in society.  Their plight became a major political issue after the war ended, but only during times when a Republican president occupied the White House.

AIDS was a disease that spread throughout the world beginning in the 1980s, primarily through blood transfusions and gay sex.  It also became a major political issue during Republican administrations.

Crack cocaine was a particularly lethal form of that drug that began to spread throughout the United States during the 1980s.  Unlike regular cocaine, which was favored by the white middle class, crack was favored by the black underclass in the ghettos.  Because of this, crime involving crack was more heavily punished that that involving regular cocaine.

FOLK HERO OR SUBWAY VIGILANTE? Bernie Goetz achieved notoriety when he shot four young black men who accosted him on the NYC subway

Bernie Goetz was a resident of New York City who was confronted by four black guys on the subway who tried to rob him.  He pulled out his gun and shot them all.  He became an instant folk hero to New Yorkers who had become weary of being victims of the out-of-control crime that had come to characterize life in the Big Apple.  However, he was tried and convicted, not of any of the serious charges against him, but of unlawful possession of a handgun.

Hypodermics on the Shore refers to a massive dumping of medical waste, which washed up on the beach during 1988.  It took awhile for anyone to notice because the beach in question was in New Jersey.

China's under martial law is a reference to the Tiananmen Square protests that took place in that country in 1989.  The Chinese army was called out to deal with the student protestors by rounding them up and putting them in jail.  Someone later discovered that the phrase "Tiananmen Square" is Chinese for "Kent State."

Rock-and-roller cola wars refers to the ongoing battle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola in their epic struggle for soda pop supremacy.  Over the years, both companies had adopted the practice of running advertising campaigns featuring various rock stars pushing their product.

So there it is - the entire history of the Boom Generation in less than five minutes.


So, what is up with the Queen of England?  Why does it seem like she is going to live forever?

THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND, as shown during the early years of her reign

That is a very good question.  After all, Liz II: The Sequel has been around for a long time.  In fact, she has been on the throne longer than I have been alive, and I was born in 1954!

LIZ II: THE SEQUEL, as re-created by MI-6 in 1966 after the queen was killed in a car accident

The truth is, the entity currently occupying the British throne is not actually the queen.  In fact, it is not even human.  It is an android that was built to look and act exactly like her so that it could take her place.  This artificial queen was designed and built in 1966, shortly after the real queen suffered a fatal automobile accident.  In an odd twist of fate, she was killed when her car ran head-on into another car that was being driven by Paul McCartney, who was also killed.

THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND AS SHE APPEARS TO THE PUBLIC - MI-6 created a holographic projection of the British monarch onto its android substitute in order to fool the public into thinking that it was the real queen

This incident sent the British incarnation of the Deep State into a frenzy; they panicked at the thought of that goofball Charles ascending to the throne and becoming king.  Working quickly, they got MI-6 to design and build an android double to stand in for the queen, which it did in record time.

The new android queen took the throne without incident.  It functioned so perfectly that nobody ever discovered that it wasn't really the queen.  Nobody, that is, except for the punk rock band The Sex Pistols.  They somehow caught on to the deception in 1976, when the android queen had functioned perfectly for ten years.  They went public with the whole sordid story in their classic song, which proclaimed, "God save the queen, she ain't no human being..."


How did the generation that was born during the two decades or so after World War II get stuck with a ridiculous name like Baby Boomers?

That is also a very good question.  This begs an even bigger question: Just who comes up with these names for generations, anyway?

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, the oldest of America's Founding Fathers, was a member of the Awakening Generation

Some generations have really cool names.  In many cases, the name of a generation has something to do with its place in history.  For example, those Americans who declared independence from Great Britain, fought in the Revolutionary War, and got the new nation going on its course belonged to the Awakening Generation (born between 1701 and 1723, inclusive), the Liberty Generation (1724 - 1741) and the Republican Generation (1742 - 1766).  An example from each of these generations: Benjamin Franklin (Awakening), George Washington (Liberty), and Thomas Jefferson (Republican).  The names of these three generations were appropriate in that they accurately describe the progression in colonial society that eventually sparked the desire for independence and the creation of a new nation.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, the Hero of the Revolution, hailed from the Liberty Generation

In a similar manner, the first generation to be born after the Revolution, which went on to guide the new nation in its struggles over the institution of slavery, was called the Compromise Generation (1767 - 1791).  The Gilded Generation (1822 - 1842) and Progressive Generation (1843 - 1859) were also well-named, as those generations were influential in ushering in the Progressive Era as a reaction to the excesses of the Gilded Age.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, author of the Declaration of Independence and the greatest American who ever lived, was a member of the Republican Generation

As we reach the twentieth century, there are fewer generations with names that make sense.  Certainly, the G.I. Generation (1901 - 1924) was appropriately named, as the central event of its early adulthood years was World War II.  The Millennial Generation (1982 - 2001) is obviously an appropriate name, given the calendar.

Perhaps the coolest name of all went to Generation X (1961 - 1981), despite the fact that this generation includes Barack Obama.  What better name could there be for the generation that is most associated with punk rock?

CONFEDERATE PRESIDENT JEFFERSON DAVIS AND UNION PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN both belonged to the Transcendental Generation. They smoked a lot of pot and contemplated their navels before starting the Civil War. Note the glazed look on Lincoln's face, a sign that he was stoned out of his mind

Other generation names are just plain silly.  For example, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were both members  of the Transcendental Generation (1792 - 1821).  What did they do before they started the Civil War, schmooze with the Maharishi and contemplate their bellybuttons while smoking pot and listening to acid rock?

The nineteenth century ended with two generations that were also misnamed.  One was called the Missionary Generation (1860 - 1882).  What, were they a bunch of Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses?  This was followed by the Lost Generation (1883 - 1900), which was the generation that fought the Great War.  It is more famous for being the generation of writers, artists, and intellectuals that set the tone for the Roaring Twenties.  One wonders if the Lost Generation was ever found?

THE SILENT GENERATION is certainly an odd name for the cohort that created Rock and Roll. Pictured here is one of its founders, Chuck Berry

The Silent Generation (1925 - 1942) is certainly an odd name for the generation that invented rock and roll.  It included such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and three of The Beatles.  Maybe the name came from the fact that it has been the only generation in American history that never elected one of its own as president.  Its last chance to do so came with Ron Paul for the Republicans and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats.

The generation that I belong to is called the Baby Boom Generation (1943 - 1960).  This has to be the suckiest name that any generation could ever be saddled with.  No wonder every other generation hates us and blames us for everything that is going wrong in the world today.  (This is bogus - as Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush are fond of saying, everything is Donald Trump's fault.)  If I had my way, the generation that protested the war in Vietnam, created lots of great music, and ushered in tax cuts, would be called the Rock and Roll Generation.  This would certainly make a lot of sense, as it was during our generation's rising that rock music went from being just another form of cultural expression that was probably on its way out, to a cultural juggernaut that shaped the entire world during the latter third of the twentieth century, and into the twenty-first.

The generation that is currently being born has been dubbed the Homeland Generation (2002 - ?).  This does not bode well for the future, as this name just reeks of fascism, which the United States has been rapidly heading toward since 9/11.


Why are Mormons so weird?

NEXT TO AND CHOSEN OF GOD - After meeting with visitors from God, The Prophet Joseph Smith founds a new religion in America

Another good question.  If you've ever been associated with active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or even been a member yourself, then you are well aware that they are a peculiar people.  This is especially true in this day and age.

Mormonism is the most prominent of the two surviving religions that were founded during the Second Great Awakening of the early nineteenth century (the other being the Seventh Day Adventists).  It all began one day when an upstate New York farm boy by the name of Joseph Smith received a visit from an extraterrestrial who landed his UFO in the woods near his home.  The alien gave him a book called Klaatu Barada Nikto and helped him to translate it into English; this became the Book of Mormon.  The messenger, who claimed to have been sent by God, instructed Smith to found a new religion based upon the teachings in this book.

KLAATU BARADA NIKTO! Messengers from God arrive to instruct Joseph Smith on translating "The Book of Mormon" and creating a new church

The Prophet Joseph Smith proceeded to do just that, creating a new religion that quickly began to attract lots of followers.  It was different from all of the other religious groups in early America in that it was based on something more substantial than Bingo Night, Holy Rolling, and shouting, "Hallelujah!" all the time.

The Mormons' refusal to engage in the types of activities listed above soon led to their being persecuted by the Gentiles, as they called their neighbors.  The last straw came when the Mormons began to practice polygamy.  This proved a necessity, as the church attracted a lot more women that it did men, and they all needed husbands.  However, the Gentiles became jealous and proceeded to run them out of Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois.  They ended up leaving the civilized world and traveling all the way to Utah, an area that was so desolate that nobody else wanted to settle there.  This remains the case today, as Utah is still 69% Mormon.  Outside of Salt Lake City, you cannot even find a Starbucks Coffee storefront anywhere in the state.

PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST - Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are still on the move today

The Mormon Church gave up p0lygamy a long time ago; however, its members still wear those starched white shirts and black, skinny ties that were last popular with normal people in the early 1960s.  If you look at a group of Mormon missionaries, it becomes obvious that the church invented cloning a long time ago; such missionaries seem to be copies of one prototype that was created more than a century ago.  They look alike, dress alike, and talk alike.  In addition, they all seem to be named "Elder" (women missionaries are named "Sister").

The good news is that, despite their being different from normal people, Mormons are essentially harmless.  They may try to convert you to their faith, but they won't declare a jihad and try to kill you if you decline to do so.  In addition, they don't fly airplanes into buildings and blow things up.


It seems like a lot of the men accused of harassing or abusing women lately have been named Bill.  Is there a link between the name "Bill" and mistreating women, or is this just my imagination?

BILL CLINTON, as president, turned the "Oral Office" into a joke

This is a very good question.  Over the last quarter of a century, all kinds of women have been coming out of the woodwork to accuse Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, and Bill O'Reilly of such behavior.  This certainly cannot be a coincidence, although some would think that we are being sold a bill of goods.

BILL COSBY became the joke when it was revealed that he had been harassing women for several decades

Although there have been accusations against guys who are seemingly not named Bill, this can easily be explained.  The Hollyweird mogul who has recently come under fire for mistreating women is actually named Harvey Bill Weinstein.  In addition, the movie producer who was accused of giving drugs to and raping a thirteen year old girl back in the Sixties was an immigrant by the name of Roman Bill Polanski.  Lastly, the one presidential candidate during the 2012 election cycle who had women accusing him of harassment was named Herman Bill Cain.

BILL O'REILLY has been accused of harassing women at Faux News, which led to his ouster

The one man who was accused of sexual harassment who was actually innocent was Clarence Thomas, who is now an associate justice sitting on the United States Supreme Court.  If you will note, his name is not Bill.

In the old days, wise advise consisted of people telling mothers not to let their sons grow up to be cowboys.  Nowadays, it consists of advising fathers not to let their daughters grow up to get involved with guys named Bill.


What's the deal with those chastity belts that they made women wear during the Middle Ages?

FAIR MAIDEN #1 - Can you tell from their facial expressions which of these five Renaissance ladies has waited the longest for her knight in shining armor to return with the key to her chastity belt, and which one just had hers return last night?

If you want to get the feminists all riled up, just start talking about chastity belts.  As everybody knows, knights of the realm routinely made their women wear such belts whenever they were away on a quest to joust with enemy knights, plunder helpless villages, or slay fire-breathing dragons.  They sometimes did this even when they were just out of town at a gathering of the Society for Creative Anachronism.  In the case of married women, the purpose of these belts was to prevent them from being unfaithful.  For those women and girls who had not yet entered into a state of holy matrimony, they functioned as a way to preserve their purity.  According to politically correct thought, the real reason for this is that men back then were male chauvinist pigs who wanted to have total control over their women.  Of course, many women today, mostly on the Left, think that nothing has changed.  This explains why so many of them voted for Hillary Clinton.


Nothing could be further from the truth.  It was actually the women themselves who insisted on wearing chastity belts whenever their men were not around to protect them.  They did this as a way to prevent themselves from being raped.  With such a belt in place, any potential rapist would be unable to carry out his dastardly deed.  This worked like a charm; because the key to the lock was nowhere to be found (as the knight in question had taken it with him), the rapist had no choice but to look elsewhere for satisfaction.  In many parts of England, the use of chastity belts was quite widespread; this led to a large number of frustrated would-be rapists.  As you can probably imagine, there were a lot of very nervous sheep wandering around the realm during the Medieval period.


Some creative and mischievous women even took it a step further.  They had special belts made that came with a hole that was strategically placed right over the vagina.  When a rapist showed up to have his way with a fair maiden who was wearing one of these altered belts he was certainly able to - or so he thought.  What he didn't know is that the hole in question featured sharp spikes that curved inward.  Although the rapist was able to penetrate said maiden with his trouser snake, withdrawing it afterward proved to be problematic, at best.  What usually happened is that the spikes ended up ripping his manhood to shreds, putting an end to any family plans that he may have been harboring.

Once today's women become more clued in regarding the truth about chastity belts from the Middle Ages, they will no doubt start purchasing them in droves.  The most militant Trump-hating feminists amongst them will surely insist on using the modified ones with the spikes.


Why was Pluto demoted from its former status as a planet to its current one as a dwarf planet?

After the planet Neptune was discovered in 1846, astronomers began to speculate that there was a ninth planet, the orbit of which was even farther out from the sun.  During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, they began to search for this potential ninth planet in the solar system, which they called Planet X (for lack of a better name, not to mention confirmation of its actual existence).

GOOFBALL PLANET - Pluto's unusual appearance marks it as being much different from the other eight planets of the Solar System

The search paid off in 1930 when astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered the elusive body.  At the suggestion of a young English girl by the name of Venetia Burney, who was only eleven years old at the time, the new planet was named Pluto.  This name supposedly came from the Roman god of the underworld, but the truth is that Pluto happened to be the little girl's favorite Walt Disney character.  For her trouble, Venetia Burney was awarded the princely sum of five British pounds, which was a lot of money in those days.

THE GREAT DISCOVERY - Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930

Pluto's status as a planet began to be called into question during the 1990s, and into the early years of the twenty-first century.  Because it was such an oddball amongst the planets, some astronomers began to think that it wasn't really a planet.  First of all, the other eight planets orbit the sun in roughly the same plane, called the ecliptic.  Pluto's orbit is tilted more than seventeen degrees from the ecliptic.  In addition, for twenty years out of every 248-year period that it takes Pluto to orbit the sun, it's orbit takes it closer to the sun than Neptune.

VENETIA BURNEY was a young English girl of eleven years who suggested the name "Pluto" for the newly-discovered planet

In addition to this, it was discovered that many other objects of various sizes orbit the sun in the immediate vicinity of Pluto.  This called Pluto's planetary status into question, as it would be inconsistent to consider it a planet, while all of these other objects were not given equal status.  One of these other objects, which was dubbed "Planet Claire", was even more massive than Pluto.

When it was announced that Pluto's status was being called into question, it created controversy all over the country, and around the world.  Progressives called for Pluto to be demoted, as it would be unfair to all of these other objects for it to continue to be considered a planet, while they were denied equal status.  Traditionalists, on the other hand, insisted that Pluto should remain as is; once a planet, always a planet.

CELESTIAL NON-CONFORMIST - Pluto just can't seem to get with the program and orbit the sun along the ecliptic, like the other planets do

To settle the question, they decided to put it to a vote of the American people.  The question of whether or not to revoke Pluto's status as a planet was included on the ballot in all fifty states during the Presidential election of 2000.  As it turned out, the vote was close; in fact, it was a tie in all of the states but Florida, where there was a margin of only 539 votes in favor of kicking Pluto out of the solar system.

As one can imagine, the issue got caught up in the whole mess regarding butterfly ballots and hanging chads that plagued that election.  Whatever Florida decided would determine whether or not Pluto remained a planet.  Democrats argued that the vote be accepted as is, with Pluto being 86'd, while Republicans called for a recount.  Oddly enough, this was exactly the opposite of what the two sides were arguing concerning the less-important question of whether George W. Bush or Al Gore was going to become the next President of the United States.

SHE CAME FROM PLANET CLAIRE - The controversy over Pluto's status as a planet and the alleged existence of yet another planetary-sized body led to the formation of the Athens, Georgia, New Wave band The B-52's, and to their first song, "Planet Claire"

The Democratic Party of Florida filed a lawsuit with the United States Supreme Court, asking it to stop the recounts and accept the result as is, meaning that Pluto would be kicked out.  The Republican Party of Florida defended the recounts, with various Pluto partisans filing a friend-of-the-court brief supporting its position that Pluto should remain.  After deliberating, the Court ruled 7-2 that the recounts should stop, the result being that Pluto would lose its status as a planet.

This decision on the part of the high court settled the issue once ande for all; Pluto was no longer a planet, and the number of planets in the solar system was reduced to eight.  The B-52's recorded a song, "Planet Claire," to commemorate the occasion.

PLANET X, the only celestial body to be named after a generation, is sometimes referred to as Nibiru. This planet is slated to crash into the Earth, totally destroying it, whenever it finally gets around to doing so

As it turns out, there really is a Planet X after all.  Given the name Nibiru, it is lurking out there somewhere beyond every other object orbiting the sun, just waiting for the opportunity to pounce.  It is expected to do so at any time, crashing into the Earth and reducing it to rubble (and reducing the number of planets in the solar system to seven).  This could happen at any moment, so if you are in the middle of binge-watching your favorite television series, you'd better get a move on before Nibiru comes and puts the kibosh on it for good, leaving you with an unresolved cliffhanger.


So what really happened to the lost colony of Roanoke?

This remains one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in the history of the United States.  The fate of the lost colony that was planted in what is now North Carolina during the late sixteenth century has been the subject of much speculation, and remains controversial to this day.

THE LOST COLONY OF ROANOKE in North Carolina. The colonists disappeared circa 1590, never to be heard from again

The Roanoke Colony was founded in 1585; it was the first attempt by England to plant a colony on the North American mainland.  Queen Elizabeth (aka Liz I: The Original) commissioned Sir Walter Raleigh to establish such a colony, which he did (although he personally never went there).  He instead dispatched Sir Richard Grenville to lead a group of settlers, who were left to found a colony.  Upon returning to England, he promised that he would return in 1586.

One thing led to another, and Grenville never returned.  In the meantime, the arrival of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and the resulting Anglo-Spanish War made it impossible for anyone from England to sail to America to check up on the colony until 1590.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH established the ill-fated Roanoke colony in 1585. He also introduced the smoking of tobacco to Europe.

During that year, Raleigh commissioned John White to sail to the site of the colony to check up on it.  Upon arriving, White found that it had been totally deserted.  The only thing he discovered was the phrase “Croatoan was here,” which had been carved into a fence post.  Subsequent investigations failed to yield any further information as to the fate of the colony or any of its inhabitants.  However, the slogan that had been carved into the post served as the inspiration for the phrase “Kilroy was here,” which was found on buildings and other structures all over Europe during World War II.

Over the years, many theories have been put forward to try to explain what happened to the colony.  One popular story was that the colonists had been abducted by space aliens from the planet Croatoa, who wanted to study their internal anatomy.  The abductees had never been returned to the colony because, being that the extraterrestrials in question were inexperienced in such things, they inserted the anal probes too deeply into the colonists, killing them all.

CROATOAN WAS HERE! The only clue left regarding the Roanoke colonists' fate was this phrase carved into a post

Another popular theory held that they all simply disappeared into the Twilight Zone.  Other researchers concluded that they had voluntarily left and headed westward in search of the Lost Chord.

In 1993, Hurricane Emily blew through the area, stripping away the topsoil and exposing some of the artifacts from the colony.  To everyone’s surprise, some of these items were found to have dated from the Roman Empire as it existed during the first century A.D.  At about the same time, archeologists found sixteenth century English artifacts in the ruins of Herculaneum, a Roman town that had been destroyed (along with Pompeii) in 79 A.D. when Mount Vesuvius blew its top.

THE RUINS OF HERCULANEIUM - The Roman town was destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Scientists believe that the colonists from Roanoke may have perished there

These twin discoveries settled the matter once and for all.  Scientists concluded that a wormhole had opened up between the Roanoke colony sometime between 1585 and 1590 at one end, and Herculaneum circa 79 A.D. at the other.  The curious colonists had all traveled through the wormhole, where they either got caught up in the eruption of Vesuvius or escaped into the Roman countryside.  Some of the Romans, attempting to flee the eruption, had stumbled into the wormhole, emerging in Roanoke, where they subsequently disappeared into the North Carolina wilderness.


Inquiring minds want to know – just why was it that the Earth was not destroyed on December 21, 2012, in accordance with that Mayan prophecy?

THE MAYAN CALENDAR - It supposedly predicted the end of the world on December 21, 2012, despite showing Donald Trump's election four years later. Note the portrait of President Trump in the middle

Self-proclaimed prophets and prognosticators have been predicting the end of the world for almost two thousand years.  The first recorded instance of this took place in 66 A.D., which was only a single generation after the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Since then, many others have tried to warn people of the world’s impending doom.  Such warnings were generally connected with religion, particularly the Book or Revelation, with the vast majority of them being connected with the Second Coming of Christ.  What they all failed to acknowledge is that Jesus Himself stated that nobody would know in advance when He would return to the Earth, not even He Himself.

A FLAMING NAZI GASBAG - The hydrogen-filled Hindenburg exploded in 1937. It could have been worse - had it been filled with methane, it would have raised a real stink

The Mayan prophecy is a rare exception, as its claim that the world would end on December 21, 2012, is not based on anything in the Bible, or upon Christianity.  Suppsedly, somebody found the Mayan calendar just lying about that showed the entire history of the world.  It correctly predicted such disasters as the sinking of the Titanic, the explosion that destroyed the Hindenburg, and the recent decrease in Donald Trump’s poll numbers.  The calendar comes to a sudden end on the date in question, leading many people to claim that this means that the world would be destroyed at that time.  They speculated that it could come about by one or more of any number of catastrophes that would strike on that fateful day – massive earthquakes, tidal waves, an asteroid impact, thermonuclear war, or even the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano.  Somehow, nobody thought to inquire as to how the Calendar was able to predict Tump’s presidency, which began more than four years after the supposed End of Everything.

SNEAKING INTO AMERICA - Millions of illegal aliens have flocked to the United States, pretty much unhindered, over the last three decades

As we all know, December 21, 2012, came and went without incident.  The whole planet did not explode.  Space aliens did not invade.  The world was not subjected to any killer heat waves or sudden blizzards.  The Earth was not overrun by giant grasshoppers or plagued by a school of ill-tempered, mutated sea bass with lasers strapped to their heads.  That nutjob in North Korea even managed to refrain from launching a nuclear missile.

So what happened?  The answer is surprisingly simple.  The Mayan civilization was centered in and around what are now Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.  Curiously enough, those happen to be the four countries that constitute the biggest problem with regard to illegal aliens flooding into the United States.  Over the last three decades, millions of such aliens have snuck into our country from those four places, with virtually nothing to stop them.

The whole Mayan Calendar end-of-the-world-in-2012 routine was bogus right from the start.  It was merely a plot cooked up by a group of these illegal aliens, with help from militant left-wing Democrats who benefit from their votes and Wall Street interests who benefit from the cheap labor that they provide.  It was hoped that, with the entire world distracted by the Mayan prophecy and the impending destruction of the entire planet, they would be able to sneak amnesty for illegal aliens through, or at least hinder their deportation.

This worked like a charm, but only while Barack Obama was still president of the United States.  Once Donald Trump took over, all bets were off, with deportations of illegal aliens going up bigly.


How would you compare the “White Album” to Abbey Road?

THE BEATLES' "WHITE ALBUM" was loaded with great classic songs, but also contained a fair amount of crap

In 1968, The Beatles entered the third and final phase of their recording career.  When they began making records in 1962-63, their style was what we would now call Power Pop.  From then through 1964, they created dozens of great tunes that were relatively simple (yet complex for their time).  Such songs had catchy melodies, and most of them were love songs (as has been the case with most popular music throughout history).

In 1965, their music took a turn, as it became more serious, and more complex.  They began to add more types of instruments to their recordings, some of them fairly exotic.  They also began to move away, to some extent, from the love songs they had previously written, and toward a wider variety of themes.  They helped to create acid rock, and were responsible in large part for the shift away from the emphasis being on singles, toward putting more effort into making albums that formed complete musical statements.

The third phase of The Beatles’ career as a group saw them take a turn back toward simpler arrangements; yet, it was not a return to the power pop of their early years.  They began to create what would come to be called “art rock.”  The two albums in question are drawn from this period in their career.  In fact, they bracket it, as the “White Album” kicked it off in 1968, while Abbey Road provided the coda a year later.  (Let It Be was actually their final album to be released, but it was mostly recorded before Abbey Road.)

So now we come to the question at hand.  The best songs on Abbey Road are “Come Together,” “You Never Give Me Your Money,” and the Golden Slumbers medley (“Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight,” and “The End”).  The “White Album” contains no fewer than ten (out of thirty) songs that are better than any of these: “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” “Dear Prudence,” “Glass Onion,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Happiness Is a Warm Gun,” “Sexy Sadie,” “Helter Skelter,” “Revolution 1,” “Savoy Truffle,” and “Cry Baby Cry.”

Abbey Road, while not achieving the greatness of its predecessor in many respects, was much more consistent

The worst songs on Abbey Road are “Octopus’s Garden” and “Sun King.”  (I don’t count “Her Majesty” because it was merely a little ditty tacked onto the end of the album and not a complete song.)  The “White Album” contains eight songs that are worse than either of these, to wit: “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Wild Honey Pie,” “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill,” “Blackbird,” “Rocky Raccoon,” Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey,” “Long, Long, Long,” and “Revolution 9.”  A few of these are amongst the worst songs The Beatles ever recorded.

As can be seen, the “White Album” may be characterized as a collection of songs that run a much wider gamut than that provided by Abbey Road.  The best songs on the earlier album are far superior to the best of Abbey Road; yet, Abbey Road, at its very worst, is at least listenable.  The same cannot be said for the worst of the “White Album.”  While the “White Album” has brighter highs, one cannot listen to the whole thing without having to get up and lift the needle on the turntable and skip a song from time to time.  Abbey Road, while less exciting, is much more consistent; you can listen to the whole thing in one sitting without losing your lunch.


Just what was it that Billie Joe McAllister threw off of the Tallahatchie Bridge?

SOUTHERN GOTHIC - Bobbie Gentry scored bigly with her classic 1967 song

In 1967, a singer songwriter from Mississippi by the name of Bobbie Gentry released a song called “Ode to Billie Joe,” which took the nation, and the entire world by storm.  It went on to become the third most popular song of that year, even managing to outsell the classic song “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)” by the Electric Prunes.

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER - Bobbie Gentry takes a stroll across the Tallahatchie Bridge that she made famous

“Ode” is one of those songs that were popular during the late 1960s and early ‘70s that tell a story.  In this case, the narrator is a farm girl from Mississippi who tells the story while sitting down to dinner (lunch) with her family.  In between mundane comments about everyday life on the farm, she tells a tale about Billie Joe McAllister, a young man who committed suicide by jumping off of the Tallahatchie Bridge.  Before doing so, he and his girlfriend had been spotted throwing an unknown object from the bridge, into the Tallahatchie River.

WEIGHING IN - Some doofus caused the Tallahatchie Bridge to collapse in 1972 when he tried to carry a sperm whale across to toss into the river

Part of what drove the song’s popularity was speculation regarding the nature of the object that Billie Joe had thrown from the bridge.  Bobbie Gentry never revealed what it was supposed to be, but did admit that some of the more common guesses were flowers, a draft card, an engagement ring, “a little too much LDS,” and even an aborted fetus.  Tourists flocked to the bridge over the years, where they threw all kinds of objects over the side and into the river.

The Tallahatchie Bridge collapsed in 1972 when some doofus decided to throw a sperm whale over the side and into the river.  As he walked across the bridge, the immense weight of the whale that he was carrying caused it to collapse.  The whale blocked the river, causing it to overflow its banks and flood the nearby town.  The damage to the town, along with the stench from the rotting whale carcass, caused all of the inhabitants to flee, never to return.  The bones of the whale are all that remain today; they were left there as a memorial to the bridge, the song, and to Bobbie Gentry.


What is all the kafuffle regarding the Confederate flag?

HERITAGE, NOT HATE - Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia fought under this flag. It also adorned the top of an orange Pontiac GTO that became famous in the late 1970s for being one of the very few automobiles to star in a television show

The Confederate flag has come under fire in recent years for being politically incorrect.  It is pretty much universally condemned by people on the Left for being a symbol of racism and division.  However, many RINO Republicans have also piled on.  They mostly do so to try and curry favor from elitists in politics, the media, and other institutions dominated by left-wingers.  These Establishment conservatives just cannot get it through their noggins that their efforts at condemning the Confederate flag are useless, as these elitists will never like them, anyway.

THE STARS AND BARS - The first of three national flags of the Confederacy was rejected for bearing too much of a resemblance to the Union flag

What most people think of as the “Confederate Flag” was never even the official national flag of the Confederate States of America.  It was actually the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia; it was carried into battle by General Robert E. Lee and his men.  It also functioned as the Confederate Navy Jack.

THE STAINLESS BANNER - Adopted in 1863, this flag was criticized for being similar to a flag of truce

The Confederacy actually had a total of three national flags, which was quite an accomplishment for a nation that only existed for four years and change.  The first flag, the “Stars and Bars,” was adopted on March 4, 1861 (oddly enough, the same day that Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States).  It consisted of three horizontal bars (two red and one white), with the canton (the upper left-hand corner) containing a blue field with a circle of white stars.  The number of stars was seven initially, one for each of the states in the first wave of secession that took place in 1860 and early ’61.  As more states seceded from the Union and were admitted to the Confederacy, the number of stars was increased to nine (May 21), eleven (July 2), and, finally, to thirteen (December 10).

THE BLOOD-STAINED BANNER was created by adding a red vertical bar, taken from the national flag of France, to the previous flag

The “Stars and Bars” came under criticism for being too much like the flag of the United States.  As a result, a second flag was adopted on May 1, 1863.  This flag, the “Stainless Banner,” was solid white, with a canton that contained a blue St. Andrews Cross that contained thirteen white stars, set against a red field.  The St. Andrews cross was chosen because it was a symbol of Scotland.  Many immigrants to America who came from Scotland and Ireland had chosen to settle in the southern colonies/states.  This flag was thought to be an improvement over the previous one, and proved to be initially popular.

SOUTHERN BELLE - The Confederate Battle Flag is more controversial today that it ever was, even during the Civil War

However, by 1865 it was being criticized for being “too white.”  It was reminiscent of a flag of truce; indeed, when hanging limp, it was often mistaken for one.  Accordingly, the Confederacy created a third national flag by adding a vertical red bar at the right-hand edge of the existing flag.  This became known as the “Blood-Stained Banner,” and was adopted on March 4, 1865 (again, ironically, the same day that Abraham Lincoln was sworn into office for his second term as the Union president).  This remained the official flag of the Confederate States of America for the rest of its existence.

The Confederate Flag, of whatever stripe, is more controversial today than it has even been.  Those on the Left, joined by many on the Right, see it as a symbol of slavery and oppression.  Traditionalists, however, see it as a part of our common American heritage, particularly that of the South.  This is, perhaps, the perfect metaphor for the cultural and political divisions that exist in America today.


Just how many holes are there in the Albert Hall?  And where do they lead?

A HOLE-Y EDIFICE - The Albert Hall was made famous by The Beatles in 1967 when they discovered that it contained four thousand holes

This question is in reference to the last verse of the great Beatles song “A Day in the Life,” which closes out Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:

I read the news today, oh boy; Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire; and though the holes were rather small, they had to count them all; Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall; I’d love to turn you on.

QUEEN VICTORIA opened the Albert Hall in 1871. The Beatles made it famous in 1967

The Albert Hall is a venue that was built in the South Kensington section of London, near the site of the Great Exhibition, the first World’s Fair, which took place in 1851.  Named after Queen Victoria’s husband and love slave, Prince Albert, the Hall was dedicated by Her Majesty on March 29, 1871.

Over the years, the Albert Hall has been used for all kinds of concert performances.  In May, 1877, German composer Richard Wagner conducted a series of eight performances.  In 1911, the great Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff performed there.  During the 1930s, the Hall played host to Albert Einstein, who held a charitable event there on behalf of a British charity set up to assist refugees with high IQs (and egos to match), and to a ginormous rally celebrating the glory days of the British Empire.

GATEWAYS TO ALTERNATE REALITIES - The four thousand holes in the ceiling of the Albert Hall turned out to be portals to other dimensions

More recently, the noble venue has hosted rock concerts.  Eric Clapton played with The Yardbirds there in 1964, and has played there more than two hundred times since then.  In 1969, Pink Floyd performed there; they were invited never to return after they nailed some of their fans who were picked at random to the stage by their feet, allowed King Kong to run loose amongst the audience, and set off a micro-nuke that destroyed the popcorn machine at the concession stand.

STEALING THE SHOW - Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds wowed the audience with her performance at the Albert Hall in 1967

A year after George Harrison died in 2001, Eric Clapton used the venue to host The Concert for George, where several venerable rock stars gathered to celebrate the late Beatle and his music.  It has been reported that Liz II: The Sequel was scandalized when the Monty Python people performed their classic song, “Sit on My Face,” and mooned the audience after they finished.

Perhaps the most famous performance of all took place during the summer of 1967, when Mr. Kite’s circus put on a show that featured Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, along with dazzling vocal performances by two beautiful ladies, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and Lovely Rita.

STEALING THE SHOW,, PART 2 - Not to be outdone, Lovely Rita teams up with Lucy to double the audience's pleasure

It was Mr. Kite’s show that inspired The Beatles to create “A Day in the Life.”  John Lennon noticed that the Albert Hall was filled with a number of holes, the purpose of which mystified him.  This prompted him to write the song, including the final verse referenced above.

This brings us back to the question that inspired this whole mini-essay about the Albert Hall.  Lennon claims in the song that there are four thousand holes.  This raises two questions.  First off, did he mean that there are exactly four thousand holes, or was this merely an estimate or a rounded-off number?  Secondly, the song states that the holes were located in Blackburn, Lancashire, which is nowhere near the Albert Hall.

WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE - FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (pictured), on loan to MI-6, investigate the nature of the alternate universes behind the holes in the Albert Hall

The Lancashire reference had to do with an article that Lennon read in the newspaper about potholes in the roads in and around that area.  It provided an estimate of four thousand holes in the roads, and went on to extrapolate that this meant that, at that rate, there were over two million potholes in all of the roads and motorways of Great Britain.  Putting two and two together and coming up with any number other than four (which Lennon, ever the prankster, often did with regard to his songwriting), he linked this to the Albert Hall, transporting all of those potholes from the roads of Blackburn to the famous venue.

PROVIDING ASSISTANCE - Mulder and Scully are backed up by fellow FBI agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes (pictured)

It was Paul McCartney who took it upon himself to, once and for all, determine exactly how many holes there were in the Albert Hall.  After performing there at the Concert for Montserrat in 1997, a benefit to raise money for a small island in the Caribbean that had recently been volcanoed all over, he decided to count them all.  It took him all night, but he managed to count each and every one.  It turned out that there were, indeed, exactly four thousand holes in the Albert Hall – not three thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine and not four thousand, one, but a nice, even four thousand.

In examining some of the holes, McCartney made a further discovery.  It turns out that each and every one of those holes is a gateway to an alternate universe.  Most of the holes are too small for a person to climb through to investigate, but a few are able to accommodate human exploration.  It has been rumored that MI-6 has borrowed Agents Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, John Doggett, and Monica Reyes from the FBI and sent them in to gather information about each of the ones that has proven to be accessible.  All of us here at The Skinner Zone are waiting impatiently for them to return with the goods.  I’m personally hoping that they return with some really cool gold and silver coins for my coin collection.


Who was Jack the Ripper, and why was Scotland Yard unable to catch him?

A SHADOWY FIGURE - Jack the Ripper sliced the throats of several women during the late nineteenth century. His identity remained unknown until 1994

Jack the Ripper is, without question, the most notorious serial killer in the entire history of crime.  Beginning in 1888, he operated with impunity in the Whitechapel district of London, targeting and killing prostitutes by slashing their throats.  This killing spree continued for almost three years, coming to an end early in 1891.  Despite their best efforts, Scotland Yard was unable to discover the identity of the killer and to apprehend him.  Not even the great detective Sherlock Holmes was able to get anywhere with regard to these murders.

SAFETY VALVE - Victorian Era London had more prostitutes per capita than any other society in history. They were targeted for murder by Jack the Ripper

The motive for these murders was obvious.  The Victorian Era of the latter portion of the nineteenth century was characterized by strict rules, written and unwritten, regarding sex.  This was particularly true in England, where this repressive climate was centered.  Women were conditioned to regard the practice of sex to be an evil that, unfortunately, was necessary for procreation.  Thus, they became psychologically conditioned to try to avoid it as much as possible.  A virtuous woman would only engage in sexual intercourse with her husband, and then only to the extent necessary to bear children.  The idea that a proper Victorian woman could ever actually enjoy having sex was, of course, scandalous.

Human nature being what it is, this stifling social climate prompted a strong reaction.  Men then, as always, were possessed of a strong sex drive, and, as always, sought an outlet for its release.  London, during the Victorian Era, was home to a larger per capita population of prostitutes than any other society in all of human history.  Oddly enough, the practice was legal.  Although frowned upon by the elite members of society, the authorities recognized that it functioned as a safety valve and allowed it to flourish.

WOLF IN THE FOLD - The producers of Star Trek speculated that Jack the Ripper was actually an alien entity that takes over people, causing them to commit its grisly crimes. In one episode, it takes over Scotty, causing him to murder several women

The perpetrator of the Ripper murders was obviously someone who hated women, and prostitutes in particular.  This was evidenced by the vicious nature of the crimes; not only did he slit the throats of his victims, but he also mutilated their bodies and removed their internal organs, strewing them about the scene of the crime.

Investigators found many suspects for these killings, but could never find enough evidence to definitively identify the guilty party.  Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, was briefly considered a suspect.  Some thought that Prince Albert might be the culprit, but he had a perfect alibi – as he was kept in a can, he could not have done it.  One wacky theory even held that the royal family may have been involved, even all the way up to Queen Victoria herself.

CONSPIRACY THEORY - At least one investigator thought that Queen Victoria herself was Jack the Ripper

In the 1960s, the creators of Star Trek even weighed in with a theory of their own.  While enjoying shore leave on Argelius II, Scotty is possessed by a malevolent entity that has traveled across space and time, killing women wherever it goes.  Under its influence, he kills a number of women by slashing their throats.  As it turns out, the entity had been around Victorian London, where it was responsible for the Ripper murders.

In the 1979 film Time After Time, it is postulated that the Ripper was actually Dr. John Stevenson, a close associate of H.G. Wells, who stole his time machine and traveled to modern-day (at the time) San Francisco, where he continued to kill women.

THE REAL KILLER - It was discovered that Jack the Ripper was actually the notorious O.J. Simpson when detectives searching his Brentwood estate after the killings of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman discovered a wormhole that led straight to Victorian London

As it turns out, Jack the Ripper was actually none other than O.J. Simpson.  While he was on trial for the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, investigators found a wormhole in the master bedroom of his Brentwood estate that led from there directly to London as it existed exactly one hundred years in the past.  After discovering the wormhole in 1988, O.J. began to travel through it so that he could murder prostitutes by slitting their throats.  These were perfect crimes, as he could then escape back through the wormhole to the twentieth century.  This explains why nobody back then was able to solve the murders.  For the next three years, he used the wormhole to satisfy his blood lust, knowing that he would never be caught.  It remains unknown why he stopped in 1991, three years before the infamous murders of his ex-wife and her friend.  It could be that on his final trip through the wormhole, he was almost caught and just barely escaped.  Not wanting to push his luck (as he later did when he broke into a hotel room in Las Vegas and started waving a gun around, a felony for which he was convicted and sent to prison), O.J. stopped making trips to Victorian London.


Why do the washer and dryer always eat my socks?

PORTAL TO AN ALTERNATE REALITY - Your clothes dryer is but one of many appliances and storage places that eat your socks and other items, transporting them to a parallel universe

This is a problem that had been plaguing mankind since the beginning of recorded history.  In every society and during every era, things have always managed to go missing, with no easy explanation of why this is or where these missing objects have disappeared to.

Scientists have been able to establish the fact that, invariably, the items that go missing are parts of a set, and never items that are one of a kind.  Or, to put it another way, single items that are lost are eventually found, or a logical reason is established for their disappearance (theft, destruction, or whatever).  Socks provide a perfect example of this, as they always come in pairs (since humans tend to come equipped with two feet, each of which requires its own individual sock).

As it turns out, there is a particular law of the universe, which has been recently discovered, that addresses this.  All appliances and containers in which such sets of objects are placed come equipped with a mechanism for selecting objects to disappear and making them do so.  Such receptacles include washers and dryers, as discussed above, as well as drawers, closets, storage lockers, and other such places in which pairs and sets of things are to be found.  Nobody has ever been able to find a way to understand how this works, let alone figure out a way to get it to stop functioning.  It really is uncanny how your dryer, for example, is able to distinguish between your socks (which come in pairs) and your underwear (which does not); yet, it always seems to get it right by eating one of each pair of socks while leaving your pants and shirts untouched.

TWO GO IN, BUT ONLY ONE COMES OUT - The Universe of Lost Socks is full of single items from various sets that it has eaten for thousands of years. In this particular case, it would have been nice if it had taken them both

When it was discovered that the Albert Hall in London contained four thousand holes and that each one led to a different alternate universe, MI-6 began to investigate.  They soon discovered the existence of a particular alternate universe that contained nothing except for socks, mittens, shoes, cufflinks, and miscellaneous other items.  What these items all have in common is that they are the types of things that come in pairs (or even larger sets), and that there is never a matching pair (or complete set).  An example of a piece of a set would be a single piece from a chessboard or one or more of the property deeds in Monopoly.

Unfortunately, the hole leading to this particular alternate reality was too small to permit access by explorers.  It was barely large enough to permit a pinhole camera to be sent through, which was able to send back pictures.  It goes without saying that the hole is too small to allow lost items to be brought back and returned to their owners.

This Universe of Lost Socks, as it was dubbed, has been found to contain a wide variety of items – shoes, socks, chess pieces, etc., as was mentioned before.  However, it was also found to contain items of an alien nature, many of which nobody has ever been able to figure out.  It is to be presumed that, as is the case with the familiar items from Earth, each of these unusual things is also a missing piece of a set.

IT'S LIFE, JIM, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT - Intelligent life evolves differently in some alternate universes. Here we have an intelligent creature evolved from the centipede, who requires a hundred shoes. If even one gets eaten by his closet, he has to discard the other 99 and buy a whole new set of one hundred

One discovery is of particular interest.  They found a set of fifty-six identical men’s shoes just floating there, next to a set of seventy-five women’s shoes.  This leads to the obvious conclusion that there is an alternate universe somewhere out there where intelligent life evolved from centipedes instead of primates; thus, individuals of this race each possess one hundred feet, each of which needs its own shoe.  One can only wonder about the total number of shoes that are owned by this world's version of Imelda Marcos!  I sure wish I owned stock in a shoe manufacturer from that world – I’d be filthy rich!

As agents from MI-6 observed the Universe of Lost Socks, they found that new items were continually popping into existence.  This makes perfect sense, as the appliances and containers discussed previously are continually eating more such objects and adding them to this universe’s collection.

We can only speculate whether or not this universe will eventually be filled up, making it unable to receive new additions to its haul.  Will it then explode, perhaps taking all of the other alternate universes, including our own, with it?  Or will it simply begin to disgorge its contents, distributing them randomly to all of the universes from which the items had been taken to begin with?  We may never know.


Is it really true that cats have nine lives?

DON'T WRITE ME OFF - I still have eight more lives to go

Cats are certainly the most unusual of God’s creatures.  This was established in a previously-answered question when I asserted that The Lord had brought cats here from another world, as opposed to creating them Himself like He did with all of the other animals.

Cats have certainly proven themselves to be versatile and prone to survival in situations that would kill other lesser creatures.  For example, you can pick up a cat and drop it, and it will always land on its feet, completely unharmed.  Please do not try to do this with a dog or a dinosaur – such creatures could be badly injured, if not killed, when dropped.

YOU TOUCH MY STASH, YOU DIE! A cat needs enough financial security to last nine lifetimes

Felines also seem to have an uncanny way to survive in the wild when lost.  They have even managed to find their way back home, even if home is hundreds of miles away.  One cat even managed to ride hundreds of miles trapped inside a car’s engine where it had hidden without mishap.

COPYCAT - It has been rumored that cats seem to come back to life by cloning themselves

It also helps that cats are so cute that people always feed them and want to take care of them – they just cannot help themselves.  Thus, no cat ever has to go hungry as long as there are humans around who fall under its spell.

However, the real reason that cats seem to continually come back after seemingly dying is that, like Doctor Who, they are able to regenerate.  This is because, like the good Doctor, they actually come from the planet Gallifrey.

So yes, it is true.  Cats do, indeed, have nine lives.


With regard to automobiles, does FORD really stand for “Fixed or Repaired Daily”?

FOUND ON ROAD, DEAD - Broken-down cars may be found abandoned all over the United States and Canada

What a terrible thing to say!

Actually, this old chestnut has been circulating for decades, the implication being that cars manufactured by the Ford Motor Company are unreliable, and are always breaking down. This assertion is slanderous in the extreme, and there is not a grain of truth to it. Ford cars do not, in fact, get fixed or repaired every day.

If you are going to make such a claim about a respected American company, please get it right. In actual fact, FORD stands for “Found on Road, Dead”.


Is it really true that green M&M’s make you really horny?

DESEGREGATION - M&M's of all races, colors, creeds, ethnic groups, and gender identities peacefully coexist in every bag

This is an urban legend that has been around almost as long as M&M’s themselves, which were introduced in 1941. Supposedly, if you obtain a bag of M&M’s and pick out all of the green ones and eat just them, it turns you into an unstoppable love machine. This is most beneficial to guys on the make, who think that they can easily score with a babe by feeding her such candies, making her extremely compliant. It’s like plying her with booze and getting her drunk, only a lot less expensive. This also has the added benefit of not making her sick and having her throw up all over the back seat of your car.

Actually, each different color of M&M’s has a different effect. This remains largely unknown, as most people just grab a mouthful at random and chow down, oblivious to which colors they are eating. Since all of the colors are jumbled together, any such effects are either cancelled out or so diluted as to become dormant. However, those few people who meticulously pick out the M&M’s of a particular color have, indeed, experienced peculiar effects.

Eating brown M&M’s exclusively has the effect of making one’s skin become darker if they do so over an extended period of time. It’s like getting a suntan without running the risk of suffering a painful sunburn. There have been some documented cases where a white person who indulges in brown M&M’s to an excessive degree ends up turning into a Latino, or even an African-American.

ORANGE YOU GLAD HE'S OUR PRESIDENT? Donald Trump, as he appears after overindulging in orange M&M's

The orange M&M’s tend to turn a person’s hair more that color. In most people, this effect is so minimal as to not attract much notice, especially if such a person has black or dark brown hair. In some rare cases, this color of M&M’s even makes a person’s face begin to turn orange. It has been rumored that Donald Trump’s favorite snack food consists of orange M&M’s.

Where the orange M&M’s have their biggest effect, however, is with cats. Curiously enough, orange is not a natural color for their fur; yet, we seem to see orange cats everywhere. Examples of this are Morris, of cat food commercial fame, and Garfield. This abundance of orange cats can only stem from cats of normal color being fed orange M&M’s.

HIS ROYAL ORANGENESS - This cat used to be white before it got into a bag of orange M&M's

Yellow M&M’s tend to make those who eat them become extremely fearful, even cowardly. Rumor has it that the Pentagon is experimenting with this, working on ways to get enemy soldiers to ingest such M&M’s in an effort to make them less effective in the field, which helps our guys by making the enemy less dangerous, and by also making it easier to defeat. Led by the United States Air Force, the armed services are lobbying Congress to legislate that special bags of M&M’s be made without the yellow ones, to be sold exclusively to American military personnel and their allies.

Red and blue M&M’s tend to make even the most apolitical person not only take an interest in public affairs, but push him to one extreme or the other. Red M&M’s make a person become a rabid right-winger, while the blue ones turn him into a militant leftist. The popularity of both colors of M&M’s helps to explain why American politics have become so polarized as of late. Democrats try to provide as many Americans as possible with unlimited quantities of blue M&M’s, while Republicans do the same thing with the red ones. Both parties have even resorted to stealth means, spiking the food and drink consumed by Americans belonging to the opposition with the appropriate color of M&M’s in order to change their way of thinking, making it more compatible with their own. Democrats have proven to be more successful with this, as is evidenced by the number of RINO Republicans in Congress, as well as presidents who happen to be named Bush, who sell out their conservative base by continually supporting Big Government programs once they are elected to office.  (Oddly enough, in Canada, the effects of red and blue M&M's are reversed - in the Great White North, red M&M's make a person who eats them favor the Liberal Party, while the blue ones make him turn more toward the Conservatives.  Instead of turning him orange, eating M&M's of that colour tend to lead to him to join the New Democratic Party.)

PURPLE PASSION - These extremely rare M&M's are actually the ones that make you really horny

Special occasions call for special colors. In the lead-up to Valentine’s Day each year, special bags of M&M’s are sold, which contain red, white, and pink ones. This particular color combination turns even the most jaded individual into a sentimental slob, making him or her become extremely maudlin. It has been said that the Mars Candy Company, which manufactures M&M’s, receives massive kickbacks from florists, the Hallmark Company, and the people who make those Vermont Teddy Bears, as payback for indoctrinating the American public into buying massive amounts of their products during early February each year.

Eating those bags of red, white, and blue M&M’s that are sold each year around the 4th of July tends to make people more patriotic. Likewise, the red and green combination that is commonly found around Christmas time makes people become more festive, as this fosters an attitude of peace and goodwill toward all men (not to mention women, children, cats, and space aliens as well).

A TOTALLY HOT BABE! Purple M&M's turned this formerly prim and proper lady into a crazed nymphomaniac

This brings us to the green M&M’s that are the topic of this question. In actual fact, this color is the one that has absolutely no effect on people at all. It is included only as a placebo. Perhaps this is why the rumor about them making people horny got out in the first place.

The color of M&M’s that actually has this effect is purple. This color was introduced in 2002, but quickly withdrawn from the market after it was discovered that purple M&M’s actually do turn both men and women into lust-crazed maniacs. They are very rare today; one bag of purple M&M’s can sell for as much as eight thousand dollars on the black market. People have tried duplicating this effect by using equal numbers of red and blue M&M’s, but to no effect (other than making them become so conflicted politically that they can no longer even bring themselves to register to vote).

The classic Jefferson Airplane song “White Rabbit,” which was a big hit from their 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow (which comes highly recommended by The Skinner Zone), alludes to this phenomenon regarding the effects of different colors of M&M’s. “One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all…”is a thinly-disguised reference to M&M’s and their various effects.



What’s the deal with your claiming ownership of Interstate 5?

MY WAY IS THE HIGHWAY! This iconic superhighway, which began as part of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System during the 1950s, now runs the length of The Skinner Zone

The Eisenhower Interstate Highway System was created by the federal government during the 1950s. The expense of such an undertaking was sold to the public by claiming that such highways would become beneficial in moving military personnel and equipment during times of national emergency. You must remember that this took place during a time in American history when everyone thought that the Russkies would begin bombing us in the next five minutes, and every suburban home contained a bomb shelter.

As it turned out, these freeways became beneficial to the American people for a completely different reason. Automobiles became more commonplace, as people began to move to the suburbs and drive into the city to work. In addition, they also began to take road trips. The Interstate system became one of the few government boondoggles that was actually worth it.

Interstate 5 is a freeway that runs south from the Canadian border, down through Washington State, through Seattle, down through Oregon, through Portland, down through California, through Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and finally, to the Mexican border, where it terminates. Or if you prefer, it runs north from the Mexican border, up through California, through San Diego, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, up through Oregon, through Portland, up through Washington State, through Seattle, and finally, to the Canadian border, where it terminates.

A CENTURY OF PEACE - The International Peace Arch was built in 1914 to commemorate one hundred years of friendly relations between the United States and Canada. It sits at the northern end of Interstate 5

Since I took my first road trip in 1979, I have driven my car up and down I-5 countless times as I traveled between Sacramento and Vancouver, between Vancouver and San Diego, between San Diego and Sacramento, between San Diego and Los Angeles, and between Vancouver and Seattle (or sometimes Portland). As a result of all of this travel, I figure that I have traveled just about every square inch of this freeway. Because of this, I have decided to exercise squatter's rights and assume ownership of the entire thing, from the International Peace Arch that sits on the border between Canada and the United States, to the border crossing between the United States and Mexico.

Now don’t get excited. I do not intend to prevent other motorists from traveling up and down I-5. I won’t even charge anyone a toll for doing so. As a further act of benevolence, I will even refrain from building a wall at the southern end to prevent Mexicans from crossing to and fro.

I only ask two things. First of all, I must insist that the federal government, as well as the state governments of Washington, Oregon, and California, continue to maintain I-5 and keep it in good repair. Secondly, I ask that if I am traveling, all motorists move aside so that my trip is not delayed or impaired. I really hate getting caught up in traffic jams! In order to facilitate other motorists in adhering to this second condition, let it be known that I am the one driving the Chevy.


You claim to be a music lover, especially of Rock and Roll, and yet you seem to like all of those boring classic rock dinosaurs from the 1960s and ‘70s, especially those overrated and overplayed Beatles.  How can you say that with a straight face?  If you had any taste in music whatsoever, why aren’t you singing the praises of New Kids on the Block, NSYNC, Katy Perry, and the greatest artist ever, Milli Vanilli?

NKOTB, acknowledged as one of the first Boy Bands to inflict themselves upon the public, debuted in the mid 1980s

Oh, spare me!  This is obviously the same kind of bullshit that President Trump has to put up with from Democrats, half of his fellow Republicans, and the media.  Talk about Fake News!

IN THE SINK - After Christmas, they should have stayed there

I have to think that this is a joke question, intended to get a rise out of Your Humble Blogger.  However, I will respond to it as if it was a serious question, if only as a way to help any fans of this “music” (those who are older than sixteen, anyway) come to grips with their delusions.  I am also assuming you to have reached at least the age of sixteen, by which time most normal human beings have outgrown their Boy Band phase.  If this is not the case in your situation, you might consider seeking help from a pshrink.

FAKE MUSIC - Milli Vanilli's career crashed and burned when they were busted for not actually singing on their records or at their concerts

The Boy Band phenomenon first emerged in the late 1960s with the rise of the Jackson Five, the Osmond Brothers, and others.  At the time, they produced what became known as Bubblegum Music.  This was a reaction to the increasing complexity of the acid rock that had emerged during the mid to late 1960s.  Such music proved to be inaccessible to pre-teens, and even some teenagers, which left a gap just waiting to be exploited.

As the 1970s rolled along, rock music settled down and became, for the most part, simpler, as acid rock left the scene.  The complex arrangements of the late 1960s were left to a small group of what became known as progressive artists, such as Pink Floyd, Yes, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.  Accordingly, the need for boy bands diminished, as younger music fans were able to relate to the mainstream rock of the era.  When bubblegum music disappeared for good during the early 1970s, the first Boy Band era came to an end.

BEAUTIFUL AND BLUE - Katy Perry changes her hair color like most people change their socks

What we now think of as the Boy Band Phenomenon first emerged during the mid to late 1980s with the rise of New Kids on the Block (NKOTB).  This was, perhaps, the first act to which the label was applied.  This may just be a coincidence, but this was around the time that music, in general, began to suck rocks.  Once the excitement of New Wave gave way to the droning sameness of “Alternative,” and (c)rap and hip-hop began to take hold, it was pretty much the end of the line for popular music (for the most part – there are, and have always been exceptions).  The one thing I remember about NKOTB is that my friends and I commonly referred to them as, “New Shits on the Rock.”

WOMEN OF COLOR - Katy's hair wasn't all that was green - when Taylor Swift saw her at their joint appearance at the Concert for the Benefit of Americans Who Believe the Official 9/11 Commission Report, she turned green with envy

NSYNC (pronounced “In Sink”) was a boy band that emerged from under a rock in the mid 1990s and inflicted themselves upon the general public until the early 2000s.  This was at about the time that I began working with an old friend named Bob, a fellow CPA, by traveling from Vancouver to San Diego on an “as-needed” basis to work with some of his clients.  His daughters were teens and pre-teens at the time, and were big fans of theirs.  Whenever they mentioned the band’s name, I would tease them by responding, “You mean they’re in the sink?”  They took the bait every time by insisting, “No, they’re NSYNC!”

MORE PURPLE PASSION - Katy, looking sexy and sultry in a noteworthy addition to her wardrobe

This brings us to Milli Vanilli, a pop duo from Germany who emerged in the late 1980s.  Right off the bat, their names were Rob and Fab; these names are a dead giveaway that we are dealing with a pre-teen phenomenon.  As a huge Beatles fan, I take exception to one of them calling himself Fab, which is a term that was applied to those four talented musical geniuses from Liverpool (The “Fab Four”).  Yes, I know that everybody and his brother in the music industry tries to copy The Beatles, with varying degrees of success.  However, if you are going to go this route, please make sure that you have at least a modicum of musical talent, so as to not besmirch their good name.

KATY BECOMES LIGHT-HEADED - After trying a drink made with Starbucks Coffee's new Blonde espresso, her hair turned that color

Milli Vanilli joined the ranks of music infamy when it was revealed that Rob and Fab did not actually perform the vocals on their songs, either on record or in concert.  They were busted on July 21, 1989, at a concert in Bristol, Connecticut, when they pretended to sing and perform to a recording that was being played backstage.  The recording began to skip, while the “singers” kept pretending to sing along to the song as it was supposed to be playing.  All hell broke loose when they were forced to admit that they had never actually sung any of their songs.  This resulted in them having to surrender the Grammy award they had won as Best New Artist.

SLEEK AND SOPHISTICATED - As a babe with bright red hair, Katy does not disappoint

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Rob had the absolute, unmitigated gall to proclaim Milli Vanilli as “the new Elvis,” and claiming to be more talented than Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Mick Jagger.  This would be like George W. Bush and Barack Obama proclaiming themselves to have been better presidents than Grover Cleveland, Calvin Coolidge, and Donald Trump.

KATY PERRY AT HER BEST! With her normal raven hair, she is definitely a babe

Katy Perry is obviously not a boy band.  However, the type of “music” she produces is similar to that produced by the boy bands discussed above, in that it is a similar type of dance pop.  She also appeals to the same fan base.  At least she qualifies as a total babe.  She is notorious for appearing with a different hair color every time, always surprising her audience.  I must say, she does look good with blue hair, purple hair, or even her natural black hair.  It’s too bad that she chose to go the dance pop route, instead of going with Mid 1960s/Early ‘80s Power Pop like The Go-Go’s, The Bangles, and Josie Cotton did.  Maybe Power Pop will make a comeback someday, and Katy Perry can reinvent herself.

Boy bands are still inflicting themselves upon us to this day – so many that I cannot possibly keep track of them all, even if I wanted to (I have much better things to do with my time, such as watching grass grow).  One name that has popped up recently is One Direction.  I can only assume that they produce the same type of annoying dance pop as the others, and that they will one day just go away.  I don't care which one (direction) they go, just as long as it leads them far, far away from me.


If George W. Bush is the only form of animate life that is known to not have a brain, how is he able to function?

NO MIND OF HIS OWN - As president, George W. Bush had to borrow Karl Rove's brain, as he lacked one of his own

This is a question that has puzzled the scientific community in the United States, and around the world, since Bush began to run for president in 1999.  All of his doctors have certified that he does, in fact, have a big, empty spot in his head where his brain should be; yet, he is obviously able to function, at least at some level.  He certainly possesses all of the physical functions that a person has, which are controlled by the brain.  He can get up and walk around, he can sit down and eat a meal, and, on a good day, he can even interact with other people, at least to the extent that they do not use words containing more than two syllables.

ABSENT-MINDED! George W Bush's brain was taken by a beautiful woman, who returned to her home planet with it

He is certainly an oddity when compared to other members of the Bush family.  For the most part, although they are certainly amoral, they are not clueless, like he is.  In fact, he wasn’t supposed to be the son of George H.W. Bush who became president – it was supposed to be his other son, Jeb!, who carried on the family line of presidential work.  After all, Jeb! was the one who had the talent and wherewithal to carry on representing the Deep State to the American people.  Unfortunately, while he lost his gubernatorial race in Florida in 1994, George W. won his in Texas the same year; this put him at the head of the line to run for the White House.

A TIMELESS CLASSIC - After half a century, "Spock's Brain" remains the most popular and critically-acclaimed episode of the classic "Star Trek" series

Some commentators have speculated that his mother, Barbara, dropped him on his head when he was a kid, causing his brain to pop out of his head through his ear.  Others thought that he might have been quietly adopted, explaining why he has always lacked the competence possessed by others in his family.

The real explanation for this may actually be found in the old classic Star Trek episode “Spock’s Brain,” which aired back in the late 1960s.  In the episode, a beautiful woman pops into existence on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise , steals Spock’s brain, and disappears.  The crew trails her ship by following its ion trail, leading them to a primitive planet going through an ice age.  Doctor McCoy attaches a device to Spock’s inert body, allowing him to control him with a remote control device.  He and Captain Kirk beam down to the planet, bringing Spock with them.

GIVERS OF PAIN AND DELIGHT - Kara leads a group of beautiful women living underground who control the men on the surface by using a device that delivers pleasure or pain, as the occasion requires

On the planet, they find that the men are all cavemen living on the surface under primitive conditions, while the women are all bimbos living underground.  The men refer to the women as “givers of pain and delight” because of the devices they wear that they use to control the men through these stimuli.  Kara, the leader of the women, is the one who had taken Spock’s brain, which has now been hooked into a computer so it can be used to run the machinery that powers their world.

Long story short, Kirk and McCoy overpower Kara and remove Spock’s brain from the computer.  Lacking the advanced medical knowledge necessary to reattach the brain to his body, McCoy uses a teaching machine, which temporarily gives him the required skill, so that he can perform the surgery.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE - Kara, who is normally a bimbo, uses the teaching machine to gain the knowledge necessary to separate Spock's (and, previously, George W Bush's) brain from his body and connect it to the computer that runs the machinery that makes it possible for her people to live underground

It is obvious that Kara, or someone like her, had previously been to Earth, where she had removed George W. Bush’s brain from his body and taken it back to her home planet.  This was the brain that wore out three centuries later, which necessitated the taking of Spock’s brain as a replacement.  This was probably done just before W announced his bid for the White House.  Before leaving with the brain, Kara had outfitted him with a similar device that Dr. McCoy would later use to control Spock’s body.  This way, nobody would know that Bush’s brain had been kidnapped until it was too late.  The device was given to his wife, Laura, so that she could use it to control him.

Kara’s devious plan worked, but only to a degree.  Although she escaped and returned to her home planet with the brain in question, it wasn’t long before people on Earth began to notice that something was not quite right with George W. Bush.  Although he seemed to function for the most part, it became obvious that he was totally clueless when it came to some of the complexities of life.  This explains why he misunderestimated the English language on so many occasions when he decided to flap his yap, and why he became so easily confused (as when, for example, he called upon all Americans to devote “four thousand years” to community service during their lifetimes).

The eight years of George W. Bush’s administration was not exactly the country’s finest hour.  However, at least the entire country didn’t crash and burn (although it came close on a couple of occasions).  This was due to the intervention of his main advisor, Karl Rove, who actually ran the country during the first eight years of the twenty-first century.  It is not for nothing that Rove became known as “Bush’s brain.”


What is the connection between the current practice of labeling people as racist and the McCarthyism of the 1950s?

On February 9, 1950, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy delivered a speech to the Republican Women’s Club of Wheeling, West Virginia, in which he alleged that there were 205 communist infiltrators in the U.S. State Department.  The number he gave has been disputed, as one person who was present stated that the number he had given was 57.  This was later debunked when it was discovered that each table at the gathering contained a bottle of Heinz Ketchup; the claimant had merely associated this with the number 57, and linked this with the number given in McCarthy’s speech.

For the next four years, all hell broke loose, as the senator went on a crusade, denouncing communists and claiming that they were everywhere.  Not only were there commies in the State Department, but also in the U.S. Army, the Truman and, later, Eisenhower Administrations, and most importantly, under the bed.  One thing was consistent – in every speech he delivered, there was a completely different number of communists to be found in whichever institution was in his verbal crosshairs at any given time.  He never used the same number twice, even for the same institution.  He might have had slightly more credibility if he had just picked one number and stuck with it.

By 1954, it was obvious to almost everybody that McCarthy was nothing but a blowhard.  Even though there actually were communist spies in the U.S. Government (Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg and Alger Hiss come to mind), McCarthy’s charges rarely hit the mark.  He shot at random, targeting people who had nothing to do with communism.  That year, he was censured by the Senate; he subsequently faded away, dying of alcoholism in 1957.

The term “McCarthyism” has subsequently been used to describe the smearing of innocent people by declaring them to be guilty of something, such as promoting communism, that is unpopular.  Later in the decade, it took hold of Hollyweird, where many actors and support personnel within the motion picture industry were unfairly smeared with the “communist” tag.  This “blacklisting” led to many such people being run out of the industry and losing their livelihoods.

McCarthyism has once again reared its ugly head; this time, as a weapon used by the Left to smear conservatives.  Instead of communism, the current bogeyman is racism.  Whenever a conservative or Republican does or says something that someone on the Left finds offensive, he runs the risk of being labeled a racist.  This has led to many people of goodwill who don’t have a racist bone in their bodies being publicly smeared and losing their jobs.  Just as there were actual communists in the government during the Fifties, there are still racists in America today.  However, the vast majority of the time that someone accuses a conservative of being a racist, the charge is bogus.  So many innocent people have been labeled as racist in recent years that the charge has lost its potency.  As a result, whenever there is a real case of racism, many people are tempted to think that it is just another false accusation.

It is the case that communism and racism are both undesirable ideologies; both should be roundly and routinely condemned.  However, it is grossly unfair to use either of them as a label to smear someone with whom you have political, cultural, social, or economic differences.  Doing so is truly un-American.