Gene Weingarten: Chatological Humor update

Feb 16, 2016

Gene's next monthly chat is Tuesday, Feb. 23 at noon. You may submit questions here.

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.

Catching up on questions below, but first, my two cents on the Scalia succession fight. 

This is the dumbest, most suicidal move that Republicans have made in my lifetime.   Obama must be giddy with joy. 

They should have shut up, waited for Obama to nominate someone, and then made the pretense of opposing that person on rational, not political, grounds.   Everyone would have known the truth, but they would have semi-plausible deniability. 

Now they have openly cast themselves as political obstructionists.   The Dems don't even have to charge that -- they admitted it.  Obama will nominate someone reasonable, whom they have voted for before, and the GOP will clearly be seen as subverting the Constitution.   It will affect the national election.  Things will go so badly that they may even have to call for a vote, which will look both weak and craven.  

Egad, what idiots.   They've backed themselves into a lose-lose-lose situation.  

Commenter above wrote: "I am 46. I am very politically aware. I voted for Mondale/Ferraro (my first election of legal age)." Hmmm. 2016 - 46=1970 ... which puts the person at 14 years of age in 1984 (15 if they were born in `69 and have a birthday between now and November).

Several people noted this.  We can presume this person is correct about his or her current age, ergo wrong about his or her first vote.   Twasn't Mondale/Ferraro, it was Dukakis/Bentsen.   Which people do confuse because they're similar: Doomed couples with a bland head of the ticket. 

My first vote was in 1972, for McGovern.   I was working in Albany at my first newspaper job, but was still registered in New York, which I didn't realize until it was too late.  In order to vote, I took a 3 am bus to the Bronx, arrived as the polls opened at 6, voted, got back on a bus and was back in Albany by 9:30, in time to cover the elections. 

My father was not going to vote.  (He despised Nixon but mistrusted McGovern)  and offered to vote McGovern for me if I didn't make this crazy trip.  I said thanks, but this is something I have to do.  I think he wound up voting for McGovern anyway.  My dad felt voting was important. 

Carter was absolutely, 100% falsely tried--all of the standard tricks were used to influence an all-white jury toward racism. Once that is determined, the fact that he "may" have committed the crime is irrelevant--the conviction must be overturned. And anyway, do you really believe that any reasonable person could think the evidence implies beyond a reasonable doubt that he did the crime? Every suspect *might* be guilty. That's not the question!

That's also not what I said. 

Rubin Carter was unjustly convicted, at least initially.  He got a biased trial.  But he was probably guilty.  This is the website of Cal Deal, a New Jersey reporter who knows more about this case than anyone, and who firmly believes the case against Carter was airtight.   Did you know he failed a lie detector test about his involvement in the crime?   Did you know the getaway car was almost certainly his, and in it was found ammo that matched the ammo used in the shooting? Did you know Carter beat up a woman after being released from jail?  

You can get lost in this site, which is professionally done. 

I am not saying Rubin Carter was guilty.  I am saying he was very likely guilty.

What decade are we talking, because it has been terrible for a long time? Peanuts is running old strips over and over. BC is running new strips, but its the same one over and over.

During the first few years of B.C., the strip was not a generic joke strip. It was not filled with Christian proselytizing.  It was a breathtakingly brilliant strip about cavemen discovering how the world works.   I wrote about it here, at great length and depth.   It's a little diminished by the fact that you can't see the art, which was integrated into the story. 

This is a harsh thing to say, but it is also the truth: Johnny Hart became much less funny after he found sobriety, and religion, around the same time.   

When did the “carrot and stick” approach become to the “carrot or stick” approach? People use it to suggest a reward vs. punishment approach. But I always though the “carrot and stick” approach was to tie a carrot to a stick and dangle said carrot in front a horse to get it to move forward. It was 100% incentive based. I don’t recall the stick ever being used to beat the horse. Can you englighten me please? Thanks.

Not exactly.   It is the carrot AND stick but not for your reason.  

The expression refers to making someone do what you want them to do by giving them a reward in front of them for doing it (a dangled carrot), and the threat of a punishment behind them for not doing it (a hit on the rump with a stick.).

Hey, fellow-chatter, don't pick on he Monkees! Although the Monkees were a manufactured brand, the music wasn't plastic. It was written by real songwriters, many of whom have had great careers of their own (like Carole King) and played by studio musicians who were aces of their craft. Eventually, the actor/musicians who played the Monkees managed to get some opportunity to play "their own" music, too. It's a far cry from modern auto-tuned nonsense. But I will agree that the Beatles were geniuses. Even a bad Beatles song (and there were a few) was real music.

I loved the Monkees. 


This is my favorite Monkees song. 

Back in your day, chocolate ice cream covered all "sins". At the end of the runs of any ice cream they would switch to chocolate because that would cover the taste. Who knows what base you would get. This is how rocky road etc started. Ice cream with the kitchen sink added with chocolate. After they ran a run of chocolate ice cream, then they would do a full clean and change to a new flavor. Cost effective. These were the days before allergies and food labels.


Means your stream is no longer powerful enough to dislodge the previous occupant's skid mark in the toilet.

This is disgusting.  We'll end with it. 

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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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