Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

I'm just trying to develop an online body of work (even if the work is throwaway nonsense) to advance my writing career.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Is it possible people make writing errors so that certain things will stick in our minds? Today I read that a certain species of carp "can weigh up to ten pounds and is three feet long." You see the problem there. The fish's weight is variable but, if one interprets the passage precisely, the length is not, so this carp is three feet long whether it weighs one or ten pounds. That's hardly likely, so it must be a careless phrasing oversight on the part of the author. Or is it? Guess which factoid I remembered? It wasn't about the rock bass or the blue gill. I doubt this error was deliberate, but the fact remains that clumsy writing sometimes leaves a deeper impression than smooth, effortless prose.

What on Earth are they saying during the interlude of "Der Kommissar"? I refer to the version by After the Fire, not Falco's original rendition, which, sadly, is not as good as ATF's cover. Could it be "chuck"? "Chop"? Some German word? Listen to it some time. Right after the second chorus, the vocalist hisses insinuatingly, "Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?" (German for "all clear, Mr. Kommissar", but it is not, repeat not, all clear) and then an acoustic guitar kicks in and the band shouts something on every drumbeat. It sounds like a word starting with "ch", but who can tell?

Perhaps it is unfair to generalize the situation quite so starkly, but it almost appears that many Democrats are saying "no tax breaks for anybody unless the wealthy get their tax rates restored to earlier levels" and that a number of Republicans are saying "no tax breaks for anybody unless the wealthy keep theirs." Does that sound like sensible governance? For my money--and only a little of it is my money--the argument for retaining tax cuts for earners of more than $250,000 is more or less the same for letting them expire: in terms of revenue generation/deficit reduction, it isn't really all that much money.

So why does the battle seem so fierce? You know how it goes once the lines get drawn. Although some economists present the reasonable point that nobody's taxes should increase during difficult times, the exceptionally wealthy and their allies seem to have personalized the issue, claiming that, in fact, they aren't really so rich after all. That's news to the rest of us. It doesn't behoove the rich much to become whiners but it doesn't benefit the rest of us much to relentlessly castigate the rich. But which begets which? (Accidental, though not good, poetry)

For a long time, I didn't really know what the Tea Party wanted or stood for. To an even greater degree than most political groups, they seemed to offer a mish-mash of varying interests and objectives without many central ideas to unify and clarify their intentions. So you know what I figured? Maybe, I thought, they should produce a document or paper or manifesto in order to present their beliefs more clearly. Then I read the Pledge to America.

Now I think, never mind, Tea Party. Just forget it. I realize that, to some degree, Tea Party ideology, whatever that amounts to, has been integrated into the Pledge. The GOP needs at least some people from the GTP (Granulated Tea Party) to make itself viable. But basically, the Pledge was developed by Republicans intended to appeal, at least in part, to the GTP, not a GTP credo per se. Take a tip from that tripe, GTP, and forget it! You, too, Democrats. Do NOT give us anymore platitudes and grandiose statements! By the way, I could have made the "G" stand for a lot of things, but settled on "granulated". I have no good reason, just like the way it sounds.

I'm probably not the first nor will I be the last to foresee this, but it has to be written:

"Vote Rahm Emanual for Chicago Mayor"
RE: I'm Rahm Emanual and I approve this f#$%ing message.


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