“Howl, howl, howl, howl!”

4 October 2009: Singing the Blues with Barack!

When Barack Obama took Michelle out to dinner on May 30th in Manhattan, it was at the Blue Hill Restaurant. Last night, to celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary, he took her to the Blue Duck Tavern in Georgetown. Is there a pattern here? Is this his way of sending a signal to the 52 fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who are against the public option in health care reform? If these Blue Dog Democrats decide to vote with the neighing nay-ing Republicans, then all the uninsured in America better not get sick, because we will all be SINGING THE BLUES!

2 October 2009: Late Night with Letter A

In his TV show last night, David Letterman joked about having sex with women on his staff. No one expects him to wear the LETTER A around his neck.  What if Whoopi Goldberg or Barbara Walters had done the same thing?  Oh, wait.  Didn’t Baba Wawa confess to having an affair with US Senator Edward Brooke?  And didn’t Whoopi admit to having more than just cocktails with Ted Danson?  Okay, their paramours weren’t lowly male staffers, which goes to show that female fornicators and/or adulterers have higher standards than men.  Even Hester Prynne went for no one less than the preacher himself.  The LETTER A around her neck was not for some Acolyte.

l October 2009: Is Sarah Palin a Mutant?

I’m sure Sarah Palin gave the title of her upcoming memoir a great deal of thought before deciding to call it GOING ROGUE: AN AMERICAN LIFE.  She will surely benefit from all the allusions to ROGUE, a fictional female character from Marvel Comics, a mutant who, according to Wikipedia, “absorbs the memories, physical strength and…the abilities of anyone she touches.”   
So, if you buy Sarah’s book and you get her to autograph it when she’s out on the road promoting it, be sure you don’t allow her to touch you, or she will suck all the life out of you, drain you of all your humanity, look into your eyes and see not Russia but how much money you have left in your wallet after you bought her book.

30 September 2009: What Would Jesus Drink?

There’s a new fraternity for Christian men at the University of Kansas.  Although the president of the new Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity does not elaborate on the religious beliefs of the organization, he says there are rules about alcohol use—abstention for members younger than 21 and officers during their terms, and that other fraternity members of legal drinking age may consume alcohol as long as it is not in excess and as long as they aren’t wearing the letters of the fraternity.  Well, for publicity purposes, I hope they don’t use the Christian fish symbol in their logo, because they don’t want people to think that they drink like fish.  But, when they’re trying to recruit members for the fraternity, they may want to emphasize the sobering Christian story of how Jesus saved the day by turning water into wine when the hosts ran out of booze during the wedding feast at Cana. The big question is:  What Would Jesus Drink?

28 September 2009: Phuck the Farisees!

The f-word has been used in the theatre, in the movies and on premium cable television, almost as long as the 18-year-old freshmen we are teaching at our universities this fall.  Just listen to the way many of our students talk to each other on the streets, in bars and coffee shops, and sometimes even in the classroom before classes begin.  So, really, what’s with this brouhaha over Saturday Night Live newcomer Jenny Slate accidentally uttering the f-word during the season premiere of SNL last Saturday?  Are we all hypocrites at heart? What does the Bible teach us about “pharisaical scandal,” about those pharisees who publicly profess to be outraged by that which they privately practice?  Phuck the Farisees!

25 September 2009: Elvis Presley, Hip Philosopher

I was awakened this morning, randomly, by one of the “Golden Oldies” on my iphone.  There he was, Elvis Presley, in all his hip-swaggering glory, imparting great philosophical wisdom with just nine words—“I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.”  I mean, Kierkegaard couldn’t have said it better.  First you must want…from that want comes need…then out of the need comes love.  Conversely, you cannot love that which you don’t need, and you certainly don’t need that which you don’t want.  So what will I learn tomorrow, when I am awakened by Lil Wayne or Lady Gaga?

24 September 2009: Femme Fatale Splits Athletes!

Okay, the morning paper reports another skirmish yesterday between the KU basketball and football teams.  Turns out it’s “a dispute over a woman who used to date an athlete from one team and now dates one from another.”  So who is this noirish femme fatale?  Can we get her to write her tell-all memoirs?  Give revealing interviews on FOX News?  Pose for photos for SPORTS Illustrated?  Run for student body president? Inquiring minds want to know.

23 September 2009: No Boners in This Church!

The roof of the 800-year-old church in Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare is buried is caving in. Whatever else happens during the renovation of the church, I hope no one makes the mistake of disturbing the Bard’s remains.  Be forewarned!  The epitaph on his grave reads:
“Good friend, for Jesus sake forebear
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blest be the man that spares these stones
And curst be he that moves my bones.”