Tuesdays with Moron: Chatological Humor Update

Jul 03, 2012

Every Tuesday, Gene publishes weekly updates to his chats.

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On one Tuesday each month, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. He will chat about anything. Although this chat is sometimes updated between live shows, it is not and never will be a "blog," even though many persons keep making that mistake. One reason for the confusion is the Underpants Paradox: Blogs, like underpants, contain "threads," whereas this chat contains no "threads" but, like underpants, does sometimes get funky and inexcusable.

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Weingarten is also the author of "The Hypochondriac's Guide to Life. And Death," co-author of "I'm with Stupid," with feminist scholar Gina Barreca and "Old Dogs: Are the Best Dogs," with photographer Michael S. Williamson.

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Ed's Note: If composing your questions in Microsoft Word please turn off the Smart Quotes functionality or use WordPad. I haven't the time to edit them.

Greetings, update readers.

As I wrote on Sunday I am grieving after a death in my family  and so I thought I would share with my update readers two related videos.   The first is the drinking duck in the final weeks of his life, deadly mold having encircled his head.   Note how, even after being stopped, he starts up again.  He was indomitable.

But if you think that THAT is indomitable, check out the duck on the day of his death.   This was about one hour after his water had been removed.   

In lieu of gifts, please send contributions in his name to Fisher House.

Meanwhile, the storm of a few days ago brought down this tree a block from my house, on this truck, which had been, I believe, a late model Toyota Tundra prior to being a fish taco. 

There are certain universal truths. Like electing genocidal maniacs is bad. And then excusing them for living in a different time when genocide was okay.

Well, you know.    No poll of historians has placed Jackson any lower than 14th best president, and most rank him in the top 10, some as low as 6th.    And historians lean liberal.  

Presidents prior to Jackson -- including the passive and well-thought-of James Monroe were in favor of "removing" Indians to the west of the Mississippi, allegedly voluntarily.    The Indians were told they'd be "free" there, and many signed contracts to go under the Indian Removal Act passed by Congress during Jackson's term.

During his inauguration, he said the right thing:

"This emigration should be voluntary, for it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers and seek a home in a distant land. But they should be distinctly informed that if they remain within the limits of the States they must be subject to their laws. In return for their obedience as individuals they will without doubt be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry." 

So, it started out arm's-length, but quickly involved treachery and coercion, of course and the Trail of Tears was exactly that.    Alexis de Tocqueville watched it in dismay.

Among other things, we were stealing Indian gold, which had been found on their lands.   The notion of voluntarism of course, collapsed when the Seminoles said no, so we went to war against them. 

So, bad.   And under Jackson.   

Why can it not be evidence enough to declare him a bad president?   For the same reason George Washington and Thom Jefferson weren't bad preisdents for owning and selling human beings.   Their crimes were worse, in a sense, because there was more public sentiment against slavery -- its immorality was more of an issue -- than was Indian removal. 

Jackson was a good president both symbolically -- he was an actual non-aristocrat, the first people's president, ending government by the elites, defining the lack of limits of The American Dream -- and by virtue of his accomplishments.  Jackson effectively ended the idiot dispute over whether states should have equal power to the federal government.  He institutionalized federalism. 

He was a major-league president with a stain.   He was still a major-league president.   

The thing I always notice about Margaritaville is the archaic "stepped on a pop-top".

Yep, isn't that great?   Dates it perfectly.   I think people under 40 don't even know what it means.  

This is a pop-top, youngsters.    You used to pull the tab off the top of a can of soda.   The were sharp.   When thrown on the ground, they were a hazard to bare feet. 

Remember the godawful jewelry made from pop-tops?

Good grief, NO!!! It was all about spouses verbally and psychologically abusing one another.

Yes, exactly.   It was about real life and real people interacting under real stress,  LONG before sitcoms like All In the Family and Roseanne.   And it was at times spectacularly funny.   Check out these fifteen minutes. 

Alice Kramden, played by Audrey Meadows, was the greatest female sitcom star of all time.   I don't think there's a close second.    She was a victim, but also a feminist: She gave her husband hell.  Didn't take his crap.   Made that role deep and nuanced.   

The answer is two, it took me about 2-3minutes. I was looking for patterns in the math first, but that didn't pan out with the first few attempts. Still looking for patterns of some sort, the 9's and 6's caught my eye. I tried a few times to find patterns with them, looking at curves, etc; before noticing 8's are part of the game too. Finally it struck me... count the circles in the numbers!


My favorite line in "Piano Man" has always been "...and the microphone smells like a beer." And Jimmy Carter was not just a nuclear scientist, but a nuclear officer on a US Navy submarine -- way cooler!

Yep, an excellent line, and another one where Billy is using a poetic device:  Talking about himself with out appearing to talk about himself.   And saying somthing disparaging. 

Okay, we're done.  See you next week. 

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Gene Weingarten
Gene Weingarten is the humor writer for The Washington Post. His column, Below the Beltway, has appeared weekly in the Post's Sunday magazine since July 2000 and has been distributed nationwide on The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.
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