Sunday, February 26, 2017

Donald Trump's good friend, Gazoo -- I mean "Jim"

What Trump really said at the CPAC conference on Friday.

TRUMP: "I have a friend, Gazoo — I mean Jim. He's a really, really great guy. Actually, he's an alien from the planet Zetox. But he's a great little guy.

"He loves Bedrock, I mean Paris. For years he would go to Bedrock — Paris. It was automatic with him. I hadn't seen him in a while, and I said, "Gazoo -- I mean Jim, how's Bedrock — Paris — doing? And Gazoo— Jim — says to me, 'Bedrock — I mean Paris? I don't go there anymore. Bedrock is no longer Bedrock — Paris — anymore.'

"That was four years — four, five years, hasn't gone there," Trump added. "He wouldn't miss it for anything. Now he doesn't even think in terms of going there. Sad."

And the moral of this story? No, it's not that "Paris" isn't safe anymore. It's that you shouldn't trust a guy with imaginary friends who only he can see and hear. (Though Trump having Gazoo as his "friend" would explain a lot.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Happy National Brotherhood Week!

As many of you know, I am a big fan of Tom Lehrer, the satirical songwriter and singer (and mathematician) who was active in the 1950s and 1960s. And recently I've been thinking a lot about, and humming, his song titled "National Brotherhood Week*."

And wouldn't you know?! THIS WEEK just happens to be National Brotherhood Week! Or it would be if National Brotherhood Week still existed.

National Brotherhood Week, a celebration of tolerance and respect for all peoples, was created in 1934 by what was then known as the National Council of Christian and Jews (and is now the National Conference for Community and Justice). But it stopped being celebrated in the 1980s, because we had, under Ronald Reagan, totally eradicated bigotry and racism and hate crimes. (That would be sarcasm for all of you suffering from frontotemporal dementia.)

However, as intolerance and racism and hate crimes have been making a big comeback, especially against Jews, it may be time to resurrect National Brotherhood Week.

Now if only someone would resurrect Tom Lehrer's act -- or some younger satirist would take up Lehrer's mantle.

*Here are the lyrics:

Oh, the white folks hate the black folks 
And the black folks hate the white folks 
To hate all but the right folks 
Is an old established rule 

But during National Brotherhood Week 
National Brotherhood Week 
Lena Horne and Sheriff Clark 
Are dancing cheek to cheek 

It's fun to eulogize 
The people you despise 
As long as you don't let 'em in your school 

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks 
And the rich folks hate the poor folks 
All of my folks hate all of your folks 
It's American as apple pie 

But during National Brotherhood Week 
National Brotherhood Week 
New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans 
'Cause it's very chic 

Step up and shake the hand 
Of someone you can't stand 
You can tolerate him if you try 

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics 
And the Catholics hate the Protestants 
And the Hindus hate the Moslems 
And everybody hates the Jews 

But during National Brotherhood Week 
National Brotherhood Week 
It's National Everyone-Smile-At-One-Another-hood Week 

Be nice to people who 
Are inferior to you 
It's only for a week, so have no fear 
Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Are Trump and his followers demented?

So here's a medical question I've been pondering for a while now*: Is there some gene or something about some people's brains that makes them unable to discern or recognize lies or separate fact from fiction?

And guess what? There is!

According to a recent study conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, an inability to detect lies -- and sarcasm -- may well be the result of damage to (or something affecting) the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It even has a name, frontotemporal dementia, and the condition affects adults at a younger age (typically 40 - 70) than other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's.

Another sign of frontotemporal dementia? Socially inappropriate and/or compulsive behavior.

Sound like anyone orange you know (or any of his supporters)?

Pretty sure dementia would fall under the list of reasons to enact Section 4. of the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. And an MRI, which, when I last checked, was nonpartisan, would determine if Trump (or anyone else) suffered from this form of dementia.

Sadly, there is no cure for this disease... until 2020.

UPDATED: A big THANK YOU to my mother for sending me this New Yorker article titled "Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds," which scientifically explains the Trump phenomenon -- and why our species may be doomed.

*But especially since Trump secured the Republican nomination for president.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A valentine to nature

Welcome to another episode of Mutual of J-TWO-O's Wild Kingdom.

As many of you, I love nature -- especially birds and shells (and flowers, but that's another post). So this Valentine's Day, I am sharing my love of nature with some beautiful and awe-inspiring photos of birds and shells I took the last few days*, which will hopefully distract you from all the ugliness in the world, albeit briefly.

To quote Jon Stewart, here is Your Moment of Zen...

*On Sanibel Island, Florida