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April 1, 2010

Amusing Times
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 06:43 PM * 20 comments

Come all ye good people
Who seek for a laugh
You’ll notice the papers
Don’t do things by half
Like a riddle that’s asked
By the new golden calf
That’s topical but confusin’
‘Bout an elephant, icebox, and now a giraffe,
For the times they are amusin’.

Come you fluorospherians
Who like to write rhymes
‘Bout the stories you read
In today’s New York Times
A villanelle, here,
Or a sestet betimes
You’d better to spend your hours boozin’
The reality now is tequila and limes
For the times they are amusin’.

Come present-day politics
Wake to the fact
That a nation of cellphones
Will have an impact
The pundits on Fox all
Are standing gobsmacked
By Republicans caught while out cruisin’
And the right wing is named for a sexual act
For the times they are amusin’.

Come people who think that
The world should make sense
Don’t take a look now
At current events
These are Chinese Curse days
That defy all pretense
That winning is somehow not losin’
The year of the jackpot’s about to commence
For the times they are amusin’.

Inspired by Erik Nelson here.
Comments on Amusing Times:
#1 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 06:52 PM:

Thank you! I was hoping someone would pick that up and run with it

#2 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 07:09 PM:

On First Hearing That Low Census Return Rates Might Threaten The Existence Of The 6th Congressional District Of Minnesota

Liberal Schmiberal
Bachmann the MN Rep.'s
Take on the Census:
A Commie Deceit!

If all the forms from the
Land of 10,000 Lakes
Don't come back quickly, she's
Losing her seat!

#3 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 08:00 PM:

Oh! Well done, sir!

"Chinese Curse days" indeed, mama.

#4 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 08:21 PM:

great stuff, jim! or as ta- nehisi would say: awesome- sauce!

and don't think we don't know what you're doing.
in the last post, abi suggested that the comments are better than the posts, and this is your way of reasserting the superiority of the posters. it's a brush-back, or at least a defiance: top this!

well, i'm not the one to do it, but i'm sure going to enjoy watching others try.

#5 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 08:26 PM:

How soon until someone in this talented group produces the music video version?

#6 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 08:37 PM:


i don't know, but if jim goes electric, he's going to alienate a lot of his old fans.

#7 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 08:42 PM:

That was good. Not the work of a dylan taunt.

#8 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 08:45 PM:

Our party needs a man of Steele,
a man of sense and noble brains,
who knows just what the people feel
and goes to look for whips and chains.

By yelling loudly "no, we can't!"
he's of pride the fullest owner;
but no one joins in the chant,
it seems to us he made a boner.

Our mistress is in leather clad
and cautions us from thinking,
but we are altogether glad
that she has now stopped winking.

She tells us we must not be weak
urges us to harass the bolter
but turns out to lack what we seek:
for plough is missing share and coulter.

#9 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 09:10 PM:

@7 - AAGH! That took time to penetrate!

#10 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 09:17 PM:

Fragano, you've been reading Tom Toles?

#11 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 09:31 PM:

Marilee #10: No, but that's not a bad cartoon.

#12 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 09:37 PM:

Wow! I made the front page!

#13 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 10:07 PM:

Michael, #9: Yeah. The slower it goes in, the more it hurts!

#15 ::: Mike Leung ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2010, 10:35 PM:

Marriage must be denied you if you're gay
Scapegoats for those of us who stray
Credit card bills you not-so-discreetly pay
For bondage staged between a she and a she

She said hey babe, cash tips keep what's wild hid
She said hey honey, cash tips keep what's wild hid

Craig (R) came out from the Idaho
To the public mens room of a Minneapolis airport
But he never lost his balance
Seated as he was when he took a wide stance

He pleads hey judge, cash tips keep what's wild hid
He pleads hey attorney, cash tips keep what's wild hid
And John McCain's wives go, doo...

#16 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2010, 12:09 AM:

Teabag Sestina

I would not have you think I’m sour or mean,
I do not want to sound elitist, yet
I wish to place on record what I’ve seen
Of folks at teabag rallies. In that set
There’s been some doozies – really far out, where
The bleachers line the right field - ‘way out there.

Obama, well, he’s Hitler. Better yet,
He’s Stalin. Maybe Pol Pot. And I’ve seen
The trio, plus Amin, shown as a set,
A tetrich, so to speak. And this is where
It itches at the brain: the people there
Are saying that’s exactly what they mean.

You must be kidding, right? You’re not? You’ve seen,
Like, Buchenwald? The killing fields? Dead set
(As we say in my country)? You’ve seen where
The concentration camps are building? There?
Oh, government is really what you mean -
‘Cause that’s an office block. Treblinka, yet!

They say they don't want welfare, and they set
Great store on keeping bureaucrats to where
They know their place. (As others should.) It’s there
The hinges leave the doors. ‘Cause what they mean
Is “I won’t pay no taxes.” Sure, and yet
They’re patriots, the best you never seen.

They want their country back, they say. That’s where
They stand. And if you tell them it’s right there –
They’re standing in it – that’s not what they mean.
They mean their dominance, perhaps. And yet
It never was. They're days they’ve never seen,
When they were more than dogs their masters set

On others. Dogwhistle, and they snarl, and there,
Ay, there’s the rub. It isn’t that they’re mean,
(Although they are), but that they’re mastered, yet
They aren’t aware of it. The ones I’ve seen
Think they’re freethinkers, as they chant a set
Of parrot-lines by rote, got God knows where.

They don’t know what they mean, God knows, and yet
They mean it. They have seen the rainbow, set
Out on a journey there. But ending… where?

#17 ::: Mike Leung ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2010, 12:01 PM:

They will choose kings
By ads
Paid by corporate means
Cause nothing
Can drive us away
Kings can be paid for
After today

I wish Sonia would leave
Like the trees
I wish she would leave
Though nothing
Will keep us together
Corporate speech rights
Forever and ever
Kings can be paid for
After today

#18 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2010, 10:41 PM:

Maybe everyone here knows this, but in case not, point of interest: the supposed Chinese curse referenced in the poem -- "may you live in interesting times" -- isn't one, it's an American saying. For a while the earliest known use was in a pseudonnymous Eric Frank Russell story in the April 1950 Astounding, but if Wikipedia is to be believed it seems to have been traced a bit farther back than that. Definitely of English-language not Chinese vintage, though, and fairly recent (i.e. a century or so, not many centuries). It seems to have been popularized by Robert Kennedy in a 1966 speech.

But I for one think it's a pity it wasn't Russell who invented it; it would have been funnier that way.

#19 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2010, 03:58 PM:

I want a button that says "The reality now is tequila and limes".

#20 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2011, 06:15 PM:

And with the current crop of Republican hopefuls, the times are still amusing.

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