THOUGHTS, PRAYERS, OTHER BULLSHIT, AND A STORY – TOM CURLEY

I don’t know why I’m writing this. I don’t know why I’m wasting both my time and yours. But, what the hell. As I’m writing this the news is still in full-time coverage of the latest mass shooting at a public school.

This time in Florida, not that it matters much. It could have been anywhere in the country. Hell, it has been anywhere in the country. Tomorrow it will be somewhere else. And of course, politicians, mostly Republicans, trotted out the same old crap. “Thoughts and prayers” and “now is not the time to talk about gun control”.

You know, the usual bullshit. One of Jimmy Kimmel’s writers posted all the Republican tweets next to the amount of money the NRA has given them. The average is around 3 million dollars. Except for Trump. They gave him 21 million. You can read it here.

I did notice one new thing this time. As the students were being led to safety by the police they all had their hands in the air.

Why? Well, they hadn’t caught the shooter yet and the police couldn’t trust anyone. There might be a second or third shooter amongst them. I thought the photo of the three-year-old girl practicing standing on the toilet seat because that’s what her preschool taught her to do “when the shooters come” was as sad as things could get. I was wrong.

When it was happening, the initial report was that one person was dead and 17 injured. Ellin’s first response was “Only one dead? That’s not so bad”. A few moments later she said “I can’t believe I just said that. I’m getting immune to this”. As it turned out, it wasn’t just one dead, it was all 17. Not the record, but the shooter sure gave it the old school try.

I probably shouldn’t be making bad jokes like that. I just don’t care. This is America’s version of Groundhog Day. Just a very bad version with a shitload of guns and a lot of dead bodies. At this point I was going to repost a blog I did last year called If Now’s Not The Time To Talk About Gun Control, There Never Will Be A Time.   But why bother? You’ve heard it all before. Click on the link if you want.

Instead I’m going to completely change the subject. I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a true story. It happened to me when I was in first grade. I was 6 years old. It was 1957. I grew up in Schenectady, New York. I went to Lincoln Elementary School.

Lincoln Elementary School

It was one block away from the original Freihofer’s Bakery.

The bakery was local back then. Today you can order their products on Amazon. Every day at 3 pm, I would leave school and be enveloped in the amazing smell of freshly baked bread. It was awesome. They had  horse-drawn carriages that delivered their baked goods right to your door. The horse that came up my street every day was named Tony.

Tony!!

My Grandpa used to follow Tony up the street everyday and scoop up Tony’s “droppings”. He used them to fertilize a tiny tree he planted in our back yard. Today the tree is over 50 feet tall. It’s over 60 years old. Tony made good fertilizer.

We only had three TV channels back then. CBS, NBC and ABC. The NBC channel, WRGB, had a daily afternoon show called “Bread Time Stories”. But everybody called it “The Freddie Freihofer Show”. It starred Uncle Jim Fisk.

His sidekick was a puppet called Freddie Freihofer.

They played cartoons, had a band and the show had an audience of kids.

It was basically a rip off of The Howdy Doody show. But we didn’t know that. What made this show different was they also had “Birthday Boys and Birthday Girls”. They got to sit in the front row. They each had their own special birthday cake.  A Freihofer’s cake, or course.

At the end of the show all the kids would line up in front of a big box with a handle on it. Like on a slot machine. Each kid would pull the handle and get a prize.  Freihofer’s baked goods! (Duh) The show was  just a big  infomercial, but me and all my friends didn’t know that. You have to realize that Freihofer’s made some really good stuff. Their chocolate chip cookies were the best in the world. Their sugar donuts where amazing. At school, we had a scale of best to worst. Chocolate chip first, oatmeal raisin second, sugar donuts third and so on.

But the main part of the show, the most amazing part of the show was “The Squiggle”. You see, Uncle Jim was a genius. He would give a kid a big piece of white art paper and a magic marker.

The kid would then make a random squiggly line on the paper. Then Uncle Jim would make his magic. He would look at the squiggle and say “Wow, you just drew a bunny rabbit. He would then draw around the random line and PRESTO! A bunny rabbit!

Forget Picasso, DaVinci, Van Gogh. They were nothing compared to Uncle Jim! I found out later in life that it was something that pretty much any first year art student can do. But who cares? It was a Squiggle!

I tell you all this because I was actually on the Freddy Freihofer show! My friend was having a birthday and his Mom got him on the show. He could bring one friend. He picked me! I was an instant celebrity at Lincoln Elementary School! I was going to be on “The Freddie Freihofer Show!” I was going to get a Squiggle! And a prize!  Cookies? Donuts? Who knew?

Kids were asking for my autograph!

So, the day finally came and reality set in. I didn’t know it then, but the universe was giving me a heads up on what my future career in TV would be like.

First, when I got there I was put up in the farthest back row of the peanut gallery. I wasn’t “a birthday boy”. I was basically an extra to fill a seat. Second, my friend’s Mom had to actually buy the Birthday cake. No freebies from Freihofer’s. Before the show started a producer came out and promised us that if Uncle Jim didn’t make us a Squiggle during the show, he would stay, and we would all get one after the show. Phew, I was worried for a while there.

So, the show started and out came Uncle Jim. Looking and acting much like my Dad and my Uncle Dick used to act on New Year’s Eve. We did the whole show, and of course, I didn’t get my Squiggle. I mean, I was up in the nose bleed section. But I wasn’t worried. The producer said we’d get one after the show. The show ended and we all lined up in front of the big prize machine to get our prize. They ran the credits over us. I was last in line. The credits ended before I got my turn. I then experienced what in the TV biz is called “a union shutdown.” That’s where 5 seconds after you go off the air,  the crew shuts everything off and leaves the building immediately. Whoosh! Gone. Everybody. Including Uncle Jim.

So, there I was, standing in the dark, suddenly realizing I was not getting a Squiggle. But, it was OK. I mean, I still had my prize! By the time I got to the prize box I was all alone. In a dark TV studio. I pulled the handle. Oh, the suspense! I might not be able to bring a Squiggle to school, but I’d have my prize! What would I be sharing with my friends? Chocolate Chip cookies? Oatmeal Raisin? Hell, even sugar donuts would be OK. It seemed to take forever, but finally, out came my prize! And what was it?

A PACKAGE OF ENGLISH MUFFINS!

WTF!!

 

English Muffins!? Are you kidding me???  I have to go back to my school mates with no Squiggle and a package of  friggin’ English Muffins. I say friggin’ because I’m sure if I said fucking English Muffins back then, my Mom would wash my mouth out with soap. It was a thing back then.

So, with my head  down, I slowly walked out of the dark studio, back into the sunlight. A package of English muffins in one hand, and no Squiggle in the other.

But I still got to leave school every day to the smell of freshly baked bread. I never had to practice standing on a toilet seat. And I never had to leave school with my hands over my head.

Those were the good old days.

THERE’S GOTTA BE A PONY IN HERE SOMEWHERE – BY TOM CURLEY

There’s an old joke about a psychiatrist who was trying to see if he could change an optimist into a pessimist and a pessimist into an optimist. He took two children, one very optimistic and one very pessimistic. He put the pessimistic child in a room filled with every toy and game imaginable.

He put the optimistic child in dimly lit room filled with horseshit.

The pessimistic child did nothing but complain. This toy didn’t work, that toy is the wrong color, these games all suck, and so on. Meanwhile the optimistic child was smiling and diving into the horseshit, digging and laughing, totally joyful. The psychiatrist couldn’t understand what was going on, so he asked the child why he was so happy. The child responded “Are you kidding? With all this horseshit, there’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere!” The joke has other variations, but you end up at the same punchline.

This joke came to mind the other day when I read a really odd article. The Remington Company, the one who makes guns are 950 million dollars in debt and are about to declare bankruptcy.

The Smith and Wesson company, the country’s largest gun maker has seen their sales drop over 70% in the last year.

Why? The article says it’s because of the “Trump Slump.” Now that  all three branches of government are in the hands of Republicans who really, really love guns and anything “gunny” (is that a word? If not, I just made it up. Trademark!), all the gun nuts have stopped buying guns.

Turns out the major driver of gun sales in America are Democrats. That and any mass shooting. It’s the irrational fear “the government is coming to take all our guns!!” which causes the gun nuts to buy more guns.

As I am writing this, I’m watching literally every cable  news and network news network’s  constant coverage of the latest school shooting in Florida. So far, seventeen dead.

It will be interesting to see if gun sales spike tomorrow.  Everyone knows Trump will do nothing. 

All this got me to thinking of other actual good things our Comb-Over-In-Chief has done. Not on purpose. He’s never done anything good intentionally. He’s enraged women to the point were millions of them protested on his first day in office.

He’s been a major force behind the “Me-Too” movement and the “Time’s Up” movement.

Polls show Republican women, especially college-educated white women, are turning against Trump in droves.  He’s brought domestic abuse into the public spotlight by defending the abusers! He’s reminded the country that being a pedophile is bad by defending a pedophile!

He’s energized a Democratic progressive grass-roots movement which has resulted in dozens of local and state seats going from red to blue. He has mobilized young people to not only get out and vote, but to also run for office — all around the country.

Sadly, the vast majority of the shit this shithead has done far outweighs the positive things he’s inadvertently done. He’s still a clear and present danger to the security of the United States and the world. For all the horrible things he’s done, we all now know that he will do things that will be even horribler (is that word? If not, trademark!). The Oval Office is currently filled with horseshit and an amazing amount of bullshit.

But hey, maybe we’ll find a few more ponies out there.

NOSTRADAMUS OF NONSENSE – TOM CURLEY

A couple of weeks ago, Ellin and I watched the Golden Globes.

Normally we don’t much care who wins or loses, but for the past few years I’ve been getting “screener” copies of all the movies nominated for all the award shows. We watch as many as we care to watch and can always watch the ones that win.

So, we watched the show. Near the end of the show Oprah Winfrey was given the Cecile B. DeMille award.

It’s their version of a life-time achievement award. The winner gets to give a speech without having to worry about the dreaded “music” telling them to shut the fuck up and get off the stage before they get “the hook.”

In 2017, year the winner was Meryl Streep. She gave a speech eviscerating our “So called Commander-in-Chief.” This year Oprah didn’t specifically name the President at all. Even so, she gave a presidential speech and by most accounts, a pretty good one. In the middle of it, I paused the show and said to Ellin. “Holy crap, it sounds like she’s running for president.”

And sure enough, that was the headline the next day.

I’m writing all of this, not because I support or oppose Oprah Winfrey running for president. I’m not writing this because if he’s done nothing else, Cheesy MacCheese Head has proved the old adage we were taught as children: “Anybody can grow up to be President.”  More importantly, he’s proved that just because anybody can be president, not everybody SHOULD BE!!

No, I’m writing this because I predicted that Oprah Winfrey would be president 28 YEARS AGO!!!

Don’t believe me? I have proof. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far … well actually, it was this galaxy. I wrote a show called “A Half Hour Radio Show.”

The premise of the show was that two hosts, me and my partner Jeff, would present a half hour of witty, satirical bits, and skits. The problem was, we never ever did any of them because something would always happen. We would never get to our actual show. In the first episode, the radio station we were on was sold during the opening music and they installed an instantaneous ratings computer that computed ratings in real time. Every time we went to commercial, the format would change so we never got to our show.

After that, things got much weirder.

In one episode, Jeff and I got sent 30 years into the future to do a show with our future selves. Why? Well, we still had the show 30 years in the future and we realized one day that we had no show for that week.

We thought it would be funny to get our selves from 30 years ago to come to the future and do a show together. Then they remembered that they actually did do that, so now, they had to do that. So, they did.

If that confuses you, it should. If figuring out time travel doesn’t give you a headache, you’re not doing it right.

The point of that particular show was to look at the world 30 years from then. Our young selves asked our old selves about what life was like. We learned things like:

  • There were 5000 TV channels. Today, cable, satellite, fiber, etc.
  • Every song had its own channel. Today, it’s Pandora, Spotify, etc.
  • There was a commercial channel. It only played commercials. Today, it’s on YouTube.
  • When asked who was the President of the United States, our older selves answered: “Oprah Winfrey.”

It’s on tape. You can listen to it here.


Not only did I write it, I wrote it the in early 1990s
when 30 years in the future was 2020!


I was JOKING!! I was trying to be FUNNY!  I thought that was all CRAZY stuff! Considering what’s been going on, maybe it’s not so crazy after all.

I wanted to make the future as funny and absurd as I could. I never thought I’d become “The Nostradamus of Nonsense.”

REVENGE OF THE SANE – BY TOM CURLEY

I’m writing this to try to find an answer to the mess we are in today. The fact is,  Russian bots, trolls and right-wing “twitter twits” are waging a giant war on the truth and sanity.

It’s Obama’s fault!

I’ve had many people ask me, “Why can’t we put out phony Facebook ads? Why can’t we send out fake tweets?” And it’s a good question. The answer is, of course, we can. But the real question is what kind of fake tweets or fake Facebook ads do we create?

It’s hard for most of us because we’re, well, sane. And we have this quaint notion that facts are facts and lying is bad. Most of our parents told us this when we were growing up.

Even so, I don’t think this is a bad idea. So, again, the question is, what kind of fake news do we make up? When I don’t have the answer to a question I like to ask “What would Captain Kirk do?”

But in this case, I got nothing. But then I realized I was looking to the wrong person. The real question is “What would Mr. Spock do?”

You see, in Star Trek all problems were fixed in four basic ways. If there was a disease, Dr. McCoy found a cure for it.

If a computer needed to be shut down, Spock would either pull the plug or get it to do something that would drive it crazy, like computing the value of PI. If the warp core was about to explode, Scotty would fix it. Even though he would complain that he needed more time and he needed more power.

For all other problems, Kirk would either kiss it

or punch it in the face.

I don’t think anybody wants to kiss Trump, even though I know a whole lot of folks would love to punch him in the face.

BAM! POW! ZAP!

But here, I realized we need the Spock approach. We need to craft a story that will create a self-destructing Trump feedback loop.

We have to come up with a story that Fox News, the Russian Trolls and all the other right-wing nut-balls will grab onto and re-post like crazy.

And I think I have it.

“A recent bombshell report has come to light revealing a secretly recorded conversation between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. In it, Obama reveals that he now totally agrees with everything that President Trump has done in the last year. He is reported to have said quote “I hate to admit it, but I was wrong. If I could do it all over again, I’d do everything that Trump did in 2017. Exactly the way he did it. Everything he did was genius. And very stable.” Hillary is reported to have replied “Yeah, I agree, and he’s like a really smart person too.”

Damn, he was right.
And very stable.

Now here’s what will happen. Fox News and all the other trolls will jump on this like a cat in a catnip factory. Sean Hannity will literally have an orgasm on live TV.

Eeeuuuu!

It will be everywhere. They were right! Trump is vindicated!!

But, how will SCROTUS react? Will he be pleased? Will he be happy? Hell no. His whole presidency, his whole mission in life has been about destroying Obama. It’s been about destroying everything he did. If Obama liked it, he hates it. If Obama did it, he undoes it. So how does he react? Just like this.

TRUMP: Obama would do everything I did.

TRUMP: But everything Obama did is wrong.

TRUMP: I must undo everything Obama does.

TRUMP: I must undo everything I’ve done. Everything I’ve done is wrong.

TRUMP: But everything I do is right.

TRUMP: But if Obama likes it, it must be wrong.

TRUMP: But that can’t be. Everything I do is great. Everything I do is the greatest.

TRUMP: But everything I’ve done must be wrong. But … I can’t be wrong.

This is about the time steam comes out of his ears and the dull light in his eyes blink out and he falls off his gold toilet in a catatonic state.

Does not compute!

So, there it is. Let’s get started. Post this on Facebook! Tweet it! Re-tweet!

As Spock would say. It’s highly illogical, but it could work.

I wasn’t sure about the title of this one. It could also be THE SANE STRIKE BACK, or A NEW HOPE FOR SANITY. All of them fit.

The truth is, in an insane world, the sane have to get a little crazy.

WE NEED A REAL STABLE GENIUS IN THE WHITE HOUSE – TOM CURLEY

This is not something I thought up on my own. But I love the idea. A while back our Dunder-Head-In-Chief tweeted that he was “like, a really smart person and  a very stable genius”.

What’s an unstable genius? Lex Luthor?

Stable genius. Unstable genius.

Who knows? All I know is anybody who’s been paying attention to the last year knows at least two things.

  1. He’s not stable
  2. He’s definitely not a genius.

This particular tweet started a meme. No, not just a meme, but a movement! People realized that having a stable genius in the Oval Office is a good idea. Who is a true, honest to God stable genius?

Mr. Ed.  He has all the qualifications:

  1. He lives in a stable.
  2. He’s a genius.

Not only would he be a good President. He’d be a great candidate, which is what you really need to be to become President.

Think about it, it would be very hard to insult him.

TRUMP: You’re a horse’s ass!

MR. ED: Yeah, so? I’m a horse. What’s your excuse?

And he’d have the ultimate put down line. Anytime Trump says something stupid all he has to do is say:

“Oh, Wilbur.”

That’s even better than Ronald Reagan’s, “Well, there you go again.”

So, I am joining the legions of people behind the new and ever-growing movement. Mr. Ed in 2020!

We won’t have to worry about endless stupid tweets because Mr. Ed will never speak unless he has something to say!

Don’t believe me? It’s right there in the theme song!

“People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day
But Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say.”

Hell, parts of the theme song can be his campaign ad!

“Go right to the source and ask the horse
He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
He’s always on a steady course.
Talk to Mr. Ed”

Yet. I’m Mr. Ed, and I approve this message.

So, there it is. Hope for the future. A real stable genius for President!

I can only see one real problem with moving forward with this movement.

Mr. Ed, is dead.

Damn, I really hate ending on a down note. So here again are two dogs playing “I Got Your Nose!”

THE CRAZY IS BEING TURNED UP TO 11? – TOM CURLEY

OK, where do I start?


We live in an insane world. It got even more insane on November 9, 2016. As the year went by the crazy train just got crazier and crazier.

This week, the crazy got turned up to 11.

My crazy goes up to 11!

Devin Nunes, Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee, recused himself from the Russia investigation as the result of a Keystone Kops episode during which he was secretly snuck into the White House by low-level White House officials. He was then shown doctored material which purportedly showed that President Obama had wiretapped Trump during the campaign. The following day, Nunes went to the White House to report to Trump he had proof Obama had wiretapped him.

I know this because you told me.

The only problem was he was caught in the lie immediately and was made to look like a fool. Even though after this debacle he “recused himself” from the Russia probe, he apparently is now  back on the job.

Fast forward to now. Nunes’s staff has supposedly created a “secret memo” showing how the DOJ and the FBI have a “Secret Society” of FBI agents plotting to take down the Trump Presidency.” Nunes hasn’t read the memo and he can’t release it because it contains “sensitive classified intelligence.” But it’s explosive!

It’s so sensitive he hasn’t read it himself, but his staff has read it — because they wrote it. Does this mean his staff has a higher security clearance than he does?

(Are you following this? Let’s not always see the same hands.)

The Democrats have read it. They’ve also read all the other intelligence material behind it. They apparently also have higher security clearances than the Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee. They wrote their own memo pointing out how fucking stupid the other memo is.

What do the Republicans do? They vote to release the Republican memo, even though they supposedly haven’t read it, but refuse to allow the Democrats memo to be released. Because it was only written to “obscure the truth.”  They are doing this with a straight face.

MEMO WARS! Two memos go in, but only one gets released.

So, Republicans are trying to discredit:

  1. FBI Director, James Comey. A Republican
  2. Assistant Director of the DOJ, Rob Rosenstein. A Republican who was given the job by George W. Bush. Another Republican.
  3. The Special Counsel, Robert Mueller. A Republican.
  4. Robert McCabe, the assistant FBI Director. A Republican.
  5. THE FBI! A hotbed of liberal communists if there ever was one. Not sure, but I think that more than a few Republicans are working there.
  6. The Department of Justice. No Republicans to see here, move along.

Is there a “Secret Society” in the FBI?  This came from an email from an FBI agent and his girlfriend. It was a joke that referenced a Vladimir Putin beefcake calendar that he was going to send to co-workers as a joke. If you read the email, you can see it’s a joke. It’s called “sarcasm.” Something that seems to elude Republicans in Congress these days.

You get a calendar! You get a calendar! Everybody in the secret society gets a calendar!

But here’s the thing. They’re doing it! They think they will get away with it. They have gone beyond even Alex Jones’s levels of crazy. Fox News is eating it up. Real secret societies must be going nuts right about now. I can just imagine the latest meeting of the Illuminati, the Templars and the Tri-Lateral Commission.

ILLUMINATI: Have you guys been watching the news lately?

TEMPLARS: Yeah, WTF?

TRI-LATERAL COMMISSION: These guys are seriously fucked up.

Back in the 1950’s a Senator named Joe McCarthy held hearings during which he held up a folder declaring he had proof of hundreds of American citizens being Communists. He ruined hundreds, if not thousands of lives. The names were just made up. They were randomly picked from the phone book.

He was finally brought down by two things:

1 – A hearing where the lawyer for the Secretary of the Army, Joseph N. Welch, faced him down and said. “Senator, you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, Sir at long last? Have you no sense of decency?”

We need to ask that question again.

And again.

And again.

2 – An episode of Edward R. Murrow’s show “See It Now.” In it he completely took down McCarthy. .murrow mcCarthy

The show ended with this.


“No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Good night, and good luck.”


Any of this sound familiar?

Good night all, and damn … we really could use some good luck.

Well,  they just released the memo. Here’s a review.

“The Nunes memo is a book report prepared by someone who didn’t read the book.”

Chris Hayes, an American political
commentator, journalist, and author.

THANK YOU to The New Yorker!

And The New Yorker released the memo.


 

IT’S EXPONENTIAL, DR. WATSON – BY TOM CURLEY

This subject keeps coming up. Will our children have anything to wonder about? Is all the exciting stuff done? Are our regressive president and backward politicians — here and in other countries — going to stop science from moving forward?

I think that NOTHING will stop science from moving forward because nothing has ever stopped it before. Not war or the Black Plague or the Crusaders or Genghis Khan. Our politicians can slow it — for a while — but nothing will stop us because we are ready to move on up.

So. I’m running this again. Because it is worth thinking about.

SERENDIPITY

I’m not the first person to see this, but have any of you noticed that 2018 seems like 2017 on steroids? January is barely half over, and it seems like over a half-year has gone by. In 2017, we experienced “Trump Time.”

A crazy story that would have normally lasted a week or two, or maybe even a month, lasted for two days, tops. We were reeling from the insane shit the Shithead-in-Chief did on a Monday, only to completely forget about it because he did something even crazier on Tuesday. And that’s how it went all year.

But something happened, or seemed to happen on January 1, 2018. The crazy went into overdrive. I say ‘seemed’ to happen because his turning the crazy up to eleven was inevitable.

Why? Well, it’s because of the word exponential. Most of us know what it means, but I think most of us…

View original post 1,128 more words