“Howl, howl, howl, howl!”

10 March 2012: Grand Old POOP!

Thanks to the ubiquitous news and social media networks…

…we now know how, back in 1983, Mitt Romney tied his family dog Seamus (for shame!) to the roof of his car during a 12-hour car trip, and how the terrified dog defecated in fear on the roof but Romney simply hosed the dog down and kept on driving.

…we now know how a heathen dog gave Rick Santorum a different kind of baptism in 1990 by peeing on his lap, but how this did not faze the newly sanctified political candidate as he continued to campaign from door to door with the telltale stain on his groin.

…we now know about Rick Santorum’s dogmatic 2003 interview, in which he famously describes homosexuality as “man on dog.”

…we now also know, thanks to Dan Savage and Rachel Maddow, that whenever one Googles Rick Santorum, the phrase “Spreading Santorum” inevitably pops up on top of the list. And if one is brave enough to go there, one learns that “Spreading Santorum”  is a noun which means “the frothy mixture of lube and….” (You’d have to look up the rest of the definition yourself, because personal hygiene prohibits me from going any further.)

All these cathartic canine stories come together on the cover of The New Yorker this week, which shows a cartoon rendering of Mitt Romney, driving happily toward an uncertain political future with a doghouse strapped to the roof of the car…and peering anxiously out of the doghouse is none other than…RICK SANTORUM!  But, unfortunately, unlike Mitt’s family dog Seamus, Rick hasn’t pooped himself, at least not yet.

During World War II, “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” was a patriotic song sang gleefully by Americans, when we all still believed that we were a nation sanctioned by God to kill the infidels. And now, given the continuing Republican antagonism toward gays in the military, coupled with the GOP’s enthusiasm for new wars in Iran and Syria, I think we should all be singing “Praise the Lord and Pass the Lubrication.”



21 February 2012: Dribbling with Limsanity

As an Asian-American, I must be a terrible disappointment to my Caucasian friends.  In school, unlike my abacus-wielding compatriots, I was no mathematical genius, counting myself lucky if I could add and subtract competently with the help of my fingers and toes.  Later, when Bruce Lee seemed to be all the rage, my own fists were curled (not furiously but) limpidly around dusty library books.  And now comes Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, the new wonderboy of the Wonder Bread set.  I’ve been telling my friends proudly that Jeremy and I share the same surname in Chinese even though we spell it differently in English.  The written character in Chinese looks like two trees standing together, of equal height and looking exactly alike (see the graphic design on my personal website).  This is all very ironic because, in real life, I have always detested sports, and my only claim to any expertise in basketball is when I wake up in the morning with my pillow wet because I’ve been dribbling in my sleep.  Oh, gosh.  Is that Too Much Limformation?

18 February 2012: “Houston, we’ve got a problem.”

The week-long media frenzy over the unexpected demise of Whitney Houston continues today with her funeral in Newark, NJ.  While I am generally saddened by news of anyone’s untimely passing, this time, uncharacteristically, I seem to be completely unaffected.  Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson.  Perhaps I’m still in mourning for all the unfortunate celebrities who preceded Whitney Houston in death, or maybe I’ve just got a problem these days, at age 68, with all obituaries and memorial services.

18 November 2011: Talking Turkey with Sam Brownback

Ostensibly because the end-of-the-year holidays starting with Thanksgiving are traditionally stressful times for families trying their best not to be quarrelsome or dysfunctional, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has issued a proclamation declaring Nov. 17-23 “A Week of Reconciliation.”  He’s urging “all Kansans to contact and attempt to reconcile with anyone with whom they are estranged by harsh feelings or anger” because, “when past wrongs are admitted and reconciliation is sought, a stronger relationship can be forged for the future.”

This is all quite admirable, so I expect the good governor, who is one of the most unforgiving Republican anti-abortion advocates in the country, to reach out now to all his liberal freedom-loving Democrat pro-choice constituents in Kansas who would like to talk turkey with him if he can only take his mind off all those “buns in the oven.”

12 October 2011: Cats, Condoms and Domestic Abuse

In downtown Lawrence yesterday, a woman dressed as a condom was promoting the virtues of having pets spayed or neutered.  She was carrying a sign which said: “Condoms won’t work. Fix your cat!” This rendered me speechless, reducing me to near catatonia.  I had no idea that feline lovers were gratifying themselves so furtively.

In related news, last night the mayor of the capital city of Topeka also repealed the city’s domestic abuse law, a move designed to ensure the city wouldn’t be stuck with the bill for prosecuting such cases.  What’s a cat to do in Kansas?


28 September 2011: Wife Says Rick Perry Will “Get Better.”

Anita Perry, wife of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is now telling the whole world that “the other night was not his best performance,” that “a 30-second rebuttal doesn’t give you much time,” and that “he is only going to get better.”  While some people might think it is fine for a wife to endorse her husband’s performance in this manner, others might argue that privileged information like this should best be confined to the bedroom.

27 September 2011: Kansas Walk of Honor/Walk of Shame

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole is the first Kansan to be singled out for the new Kansas Walk of Honor. Ceremonies on Friday in Topeka will include the unveiling of a bronze plaque at the southeast corner of the Kansas Statehouse lawn. According to an editorial in The Lawrence Journal-World, “Plans call for the state to add up to three plaques a year to the Walk of Honor, which is intended to recognize people with significant connections to Kansas who have made notable contributions at the state and national level.”

So, now that we have this wonderful Kansas Walk of Honor, how about establishing a parallel Kansas Walk of Shame?  Alongside those bronze plaques at the southeast corner of the Kansas Statehouse lawn, how about putting up some cheap miniature plastic fire hydrants for dogs to pay homage to those Kansans who have brought us nothing but ridicule and shame?  My first nominee for a hellfire-red hydrant is, of course, our very own Pastor of Hate, the Rev. Fred Phelps of Topeka’s Westboro Church.

Who’s your nominee?

19 September 2011: GLEE Avoids the Word “Gay” in Song

I just watched GLEE’s entire second season. I continue to like the way the writers of the show tackle all the important issues of our day by showing us what goes on in the lives of its high-school characters as they sing and dance their way through their day-to-day problems, including how many of them are dealing with their sexuality—how Kurt and Blaine are both out-of-the-closet and are now a happy couple; how Santana and Brittany are still going through a lot of angst while struggling with their secret lesbian relationship; and how Karofsky, the hateful homophobic football-playing bully, is himself actually gay, having forced himself on Kurt sometime ago by kissing him in the locker room, and who now lives in fear of Kurt not keeping his lips sealed.

Given GLEE’s seeming advocacy of topical gay and lesbian issues, I am greatly puzzled by the song which Rachel sings in the episode about whether or not she should improve her looks by submitting to plastic surgery after her nose is accidentally punched and broken by her boyfriend Finn.  For those who don’t watch GLEE and don’t know, Rachel is Jewish.  She admires Barbra Streisand for not getting her nose fixed. She herself has never thought about getting the procedure done, until now, when the plastic surgeon tells her that he can make her look more like Quinn, the school’s reigning cheerleading Aryan blond beauty queen.

In the end, Rachel does the right thing and decides to keep her schnoz.  She starts to sing “I Feel Pretty,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein song which the Asian-American Nancy Kwan sang so fetchingly in the movie adaptation of FLOWER DRUM SONG.  The lyrics to the song are fairly well-known:  “I feel pretty/Oh so pretty/I feel pretty and witty and gay…” But when Rachel sings the song, she changes the lyrics to:  “I feel pretty/Oh so pretty/I feel pretty and witty and bright…”

So what’s going on here?  Is the heterosexual Rachel afraid to use the word “gay” for fear that her peers might not know that the word also means merry and happy?  And since when did gay become synonymous with bright anyway? Or is this Rachel’s way of admitting how dumb she is for not singing the song the way it was written?  In any case, did the writers and producers of GLEE clear this word revision with the Rogers and Hammerstein estate?

Last night, at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, GLEE won none of the awards, and MODERN FAMILY won five, including the Best Comedy Award, which it also won last year.  I used to like both GLEE and MODERN FAMILY equally; but now, if I have to decide which of the two shows is braver in its depiction of gay and interracial issues in America today, like the Emmy judges, I too would have to go with MODERN FAMILY.

For me, GLEE lost some of its luster when it substituted the word “bright” for “gay.”  And, for all her gay agenda last night as host of the Emmy Awards, I thought the GLEE-ful Jane Lynch should have just worn her usual Sue Sylvester polyester gym sweats for the show, instead of all those ugly gowns which made her look like Ichabod Crane in drag. Not a bright choice for someone’s who’s gay. That’s how Sue would have called it.

18 September 2011: Mrs. Sam Brownback Has a Mission!

Kansas First Lady Mary Brownback says it’s important to promote literacy.  “If you can’t read, it’s awfully hard to get a job, and you can’t develop to your full potential,” she opined wisely in an interview which appears in today’s Lawrence Journal-World.

And so the governor’s wife is launching the Kansas Book Festival, an annual event which will open next Saturday at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka. In attendance will be more than 30 writers from Kansas or who have strong Kansas connections.

It isn’t clear who’s going to pay for all this.  According to the Journal-World, Mrs. Brownback established the festival as a nonprofit organization, with the goal of it becoming a self-sufficient organization within a few years. She believes it will also enable the organization to give out grants to school and public libraries around the state.

And what does her husband think of all this?  That isn’t clear either, but here’s a quick look at how Kansas Governor Sam Brownback voted in Congress on various matters with regard to education.

Gov. Brownback voted NO on spending $338B of tax cut on education & debt reduction (4 April 2001).

Gov. Brownback voted NO on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors (15 May 2001).

Gov. Brownback voted NO on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education (17 March 2005).

Gov. Brownback voted NO on $5B for grants to local educational agencies (26 October 2005).

Gov. Brownback voted NO on $52M for “21st century community learning centers (27 October 2005).

Gov. Brownback voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects (23 October 2006).

Gov. Brownback voted NO on the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (27 September 2007).

And, of course, Gov. Brownback does not believe in evolution, nor in global warming.

I think Mary Brownback has her job cut out for her.  If she wants the Kansas Book Festival to be properly funded, she’ll need Sam’s support.  She needs to get him to read her lips.  To that end, she should herself begin by reading Lysistrata, the ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes, which shows women how best to get their husbands to give them what they want, by getting off their backs.

Good luck, and good night.