Friday, September 22, 2017

Suppose it were Friday cxxxix: Who is Alexandra Petri?

        And how is it, that she
        can hold the rush of
        untarnished joy within
        a friction towel of wit?

  People will point to
  the anesthetic risk in
  humor in a season of 
  acute public crisis,
  but when we listen to
  the philosophes of the
  ancien régime in France,
  is it for the satire, or
  the music?

  Just where did Cherubino
  come from? 

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
1732 - 1799
Le mariage de Figaro
  ou La folle journée
Paris, 1784

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Merry news of freedom

   The Republicsn discovery of al-
   chemy continues apace, in the
   Senate, with the equation of
   stripping the rich of Federal
   taxes with an empowerment of 
   the States to protect the hu-
   man right of health care. All
   that was ever needed, they
   have found, to free the work-
   ing family from exploitation,
   was a substitution of finger-
   prints upon the goring blade,
   or slipping it in, submerged.

   How witty. Who knew such de-
   fense of freedom ever before? 

Franz Kline

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Signifying nothing

In the matter of Presidential ad-
dresses, I always think - don't
you? - of Sam Waterston as Lin-
coln at Gettysburg for Ken Burns,
or of Franklin Roosevelt, ring-
ing havoc of reprisal to infamy,
itself. For remarks to the United
Nations, on the other hand, pos-
sibly one betrays a certain age
to recall the clipped Princeton-
ian dismissal of Soviet lies by
Governor Stevenson in the Secur-
ity Council, on their infusion of 
missiles of vulgar blackmail, off
the virginal beaches of our land.

Today, however, we enjoyed a treat
from our Entertainer-in-Chief, ad-
vertised no more than a day before
as not so much the voice of a na-
tional policy, but the embodiment
of a national defect, in remarks
which clove the Gordian atom with
his characteristic splitting of
infinitives. As Henry Higgins is
heard to remark to Pickering, in
the Lerner and Loewe version of 
Pygmalion, "[Diplomats] don't 
care what you do, actually, so 
long as you pronounce it prop-
erly." This, too, was too much
for our carnival barker of seg-
regated housing. Let him adore 
his sound, let him taste of its  
tar in the mazes of his destiny.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I shot these birds for Pinot Noir

I have committed my life to the
worship of a divine wine grape
which has made Oregon premature-
ly famous, and will foreseeably
forsake Burgundy for Sussex, in
view of climate change. My reli-
gious absorption in Pinot Noir
knows no borders, but is not
without its share of righteous
scruples which I accept a duty
to espouse. One is, that people
who would equate it with Sy-
rah may not have game I shoot
for it. I will sell anything,
but I will not trade in my be-
liefs simply to trade in birds.

This enchanting catechism
carries us back to the days
when a Mississippi hardware
dealer could refuse to sell
a hammer to a nonwhite cus-
tomer. True, he didn't claim
to worship hammers, but he
did claim to worship whites.
ships heterosexuality, and
we are all wondering how to
tell him he may still have
a fine opinion of heterosex-
uality, without burdening
the Commerce Clause of the
Constitution with it. One
should have thought he might
not wish to, but who can be
sure of any religion, when
pressed into public nuisance.

People are threatening to 
take my faith in Pinot Noir
away from me, by demanding
one of my birds, brought low
by my own patience, skill,
wit, and investment in shot.
Need I say, I am American,
or this wouldn't come up.
I'd have the right to med-
ical help, and I'd get it.