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Cosmic Quote #74

“A fool and his money are soon elected.”–Will Rogers

www.cartoonstock.com used with permission

http://www.cartoonstock.com
used with permission

One absolutely cannot possibly improve on anything Will Rogers ever said.  Really.  Ever.

For insights on the future of humanity, however, refer to my new blog and podcast at www.seekingdelphi.com

 

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Cosmic Quote #67

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations.”–George Orwell

Non Sequitur www.cartoonstock.com used with permission

Non Sequitur
http://www.cartoonstock.com
used with permission

I can only imagine what George Orwell would have thought of The Donald.  A character for a dumbed-down 1984?  A character for a tragic 2016?  Maybe both.  It so happens my alma mater, Emerson College, was named the top journalism  school in the country by USA Today.   But hey, this is not public relations.  It isn’t even journalism. It’s both and neither. It’s ridiculous and sublime.   😛

Be sure to check out my futurist blog Seeking Delphi™

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Time Out: Second Annual Outerbridge Horsey Awards for the Funniest Names on the Planet

Note:  This post appeared yesterday under a different name on The Blog of Funny Names

“Awards do not pay the mortgage.”–Kevin Chamberlin

I’m taking a poll.  All those who don’t agree with the above quote, send me $100.  Let’s prove it wrong.

Now, let’s get down to business.  2014 may be over, but the awards season for its achievements is just beginning.  Not to be outdone, let’s be the first to throw out meaningless accolades in the new year, with the second annual Outerbridge Horsey Awards, honoring the best of the past year’s funny names previously covered in these pages.  Yes, we do consider it an honor.  By the way, due to numerous complaints from readers, we have dropped last year’s requirement that you be wearing a tuxedo or evening gown when you read this post.  But please, no tank tops or bare feet;  and if you do chose formal attire, wearing both a tuxedo and an evening gown at the same time would be awesome!

It’s going to be tough to outdo last year’s winners.  How do you top the likes of 2013 Funny-Named Athlete of the YearBarkevious Mingo  and 2013 Funny Name in the News of the YearJanice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele?  The latter  should also win a special achievement award as the longest name ever presented herein–or maybe anywhere else for that matter.   Anyway, we may not be able to top them, but let’s give it a go.

Two of these will be awarded to Englebert Humperdinck.  Sadly, this won't make a whole horse.

Two of these will be awarded for Englebert Humperdinck. Sadly, this still doesn’t make a whole horse.

We’ll start with a bit of nostalgia and bestow the 2014 Funny-named Entertainer of the Year on Engelbert Humperdinck.  Both of them!  The cheesy 1960’s and 70’s British pop singer and the not-quite-as-cheesy 19th century German opera composer.   British Englebert had a number of top 40 hits back in the day, the first and biggest of which, Release Me, peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1967.  German Englebert composed any number of forgotten hodge-podges, but had one smashing success, Hänsel und Gretel, which premiered in 1893 under the baton of one Richard Strauss.  It has held down the #1 spot on the Fairy Tale-Themed Opera hit parade for most of the 120+ years since.  Oh, he also had a cheesy pop singer copy his name.  Our correspondent Kerbey originally profiled the British Engelbert back in April of last year, and included a shout out to the late German composer.

Next up is the 2014 Funny Named Athlete of the Year award, and the field of nominees is a crowded one.  With the likes of World Series MVP and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Madison Bumgarner, Funniest Names in the NFL Draft poll runner-up Jadaveon Clowney,  Minor League Baseball Moniker Madness runner-up Joey Pankake,  and probable NFL Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year Odell Beckham, Jr. all in the running, it’s going to be hard to pick a winner.   But since we have to,  the envelope please!

And the winner is….none of the above, because there is just no way we can deny our readers’ wishes.  The winner is the 2014 Funniest Name in the NFL Draft poll champion Ha-Ha Clinton Dix.   He was not chosen as early in the NFL draft as Clowney and did not have as great a rookie year as Beckham, Jr.  But he sure led the league in bad jokes on his name.

Next, we move on to Funny-Named Politician of the Year. I was very tempted to delve into the realm of nostalgia again, and award posthumous trophies to two classics I profiled back in July:  Harry Baals and Wankard Pooser.  But those names are in such an elite class of their own, it seems almost unfair to award them Horseys.   So instead, we’ll actually name this award after them, and give the 2014 Wankard–Baals Award for the funniest name in politics to one Zephyr Rains Teachout.   Profiled by Arto back in September, Ms. Teachout had the audacity to challenge the unfunny-named, but very powerful Andrew Cuomo, for the New York Democratic gubernatorial nomination.  She lost; but she won our hearts.  Being that she is a professor of constitutional law–a teacher!–at the Vermont School of Law, we need to create another new honor for actually being her name.   Let’s call it the Major Major Major Major Aptly-Named Award.   Too bad she doesn’t look like Henry Fonda;  the image below could have been her campaign poster.

He's not Major Major Major Major, but he sure looks like him.

He’s not Major Major Major Major, but he sure looks like him.

Moving on to the 2014 Funniest Name in the News Award, we have a dilemma.  Nothing could possibly top the aforementioned 2013 winner, Janice K.  We have limited storage space on WordPress, so we can only spell out her name so many times, even though the abbreviation makes her appear to be the sister of  Joseph K., from Kafka’s The Trial.   And again, space limitations prevent us from naming the award after her.  So let’s be brief.  The winner this year is pop singer Iggy Azalea, for repeated news mentions mainly due to legal problems and for having a name that sounds more like a coniferous evergreen than an actual person.  She was first covered here in a Funny Names in the News post in August.  Hopefully this will be her last mention.

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for–well, I’ve been waiting for it because my hands are cramping up from all this typing–the ultimate award, The 2014 Funny-Named Person of the Year.

May we have a drum roll please.  Ratattattat

And now a trumpet fanfare.  Tarantara

And finally, one stupendous, ear-splitting volley of flatulence!  Pffffffffffttttttttttttt!

And if that introduction did not clue you in to the identity of the winner, you clearly have not been reading this blog very closely.   Because, yes, our winner is the man who famously described his own name as sounding like “a fart in a bathtub,”  the irrepressible British actor Benedict Cumberbatch.  He’s been nominated for both an Emmy as best actor for his portrayal of the title character in the BBC  TV series Sherlock, and for a Golden Globe as best actor for his portrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.  He’ll almost certainly get an Oscar nomination for the latter role, as well.  But he doesn’t have to wait to actually win an award.  He’s got one now.  So let’s give him a big round of applause and drown out all that flatulence.  Or at least the sound of it.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Funny-Named Person of the Year.  Only his name is flatulent.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Funny-Named Person of the Year. Only his name is flatulent.

Check out the insanity on my own blog here,  and have a happy and prosperous 2015

Cheers,

 

 

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Time Out: Harry Baals and Wankard Pooser

This post appears today, under a different title, as my monthly guest post on The Blog of Funny Names.

“I saw a snake having sex with a vulture and, I thought, it’s just business as usual in Washington, DC.”–Jarod Kintz

There may be plenty of snakes and vultures in Washington, DC,  but when it comes to flat out, upfront political lewdness, give me the good old American heartland.  Because the best political names–funny and lewd–are out there in the hinterland.  Consider these two, if you will.

Harry William Baals–(b. Nov. 16., 1886, d. May 9, 1954), was the Republican mayor of Ft. Wayne, Indiana from 1934-1947 and from 1951 until his death in 1954.

Harry Baals.  Somebody in Ft. Wayne has a sense of humor.

Harry Baals. Somebody in Ft. Wayne has a sense of humor.

The obvious double entendre on  Baals name has been a source of much consternation in his home town.   In the more innocent Ozzie and Harriet climate of the 1950’s, Harry Baals Drive was named after him.  It has since been renamed H.W. Baals drive.   That’s a shame, but it’s still funnier than George H.W. Bush drive.  (There has to be a Bush and Baals joke in there someplace, but you figure it out.)

More recently,  in 2011,  the city of Fort Wayne held an online vote to name its new government center, and the public overwhelmingly voted for The Harry Baals Government Center–in fact, more then ten times as many votes as any other name.   The horrified city fathers reneged on the contest and simply named the building Citizen’s Square.  But perhaps the worst slight to the memory of this great man–or at least to his great name–is that his ancestors have taken to pronouncing Baals as Bales.  That’s downright un-American.  They will all be blacklisted immediately on The Blog of Funny Names.

At any rate,  Baals died from a kidney infection during his final term in office.  You can only surmise if it might have been brought on by scratching–well, you know.

Wankard Pooser–(b. Sept. 27, 1893, d. Feb. 22, 1978), was a firebrand in the Florida state legislature in the 1940’s.  Pooser was elected to the first of his two terms in 1945, apparently on the merits of his sole campaign promise, which was to vote against every single bill put before the legislature while in office.   He lived up to that promise in his first term, though that did not stop him from introducing a bill, which was a proposal for an amendment to the state constitution to abolish the legislature.   He suggested that by transferring all of the legislature’s powers to the governor, much time and money would be saved.  You’ve got to love a politician who proposed to outlaw politicians!  Unfortunately for Pooser, the amendment went nowhere, as did his subsequent political path.  In his second term he broke his “all no votes” promise–just one single time–and promptly lost his seat when he ran for a third term.  Undeterred, he attempted a comeback in 1952.  He lost.  One can only conclude that his given name appropriately described his career.  (If you don’t get it,  look up the definition of the British slang term “wank.”)

It seems that the national Republican party of that era missed out on one of the greatest photo ops of all time.  If these two had been at the top of their 1948 presidential ticket, that famous newspaper headline might have read Wankard and Baals defeat Truman!

dewey truman

 

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Cosmic Quote(s) #35: President’s Day

“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”–Ronald Reagan

“May God save the country, for it is evident the people will not.”–Millard Fillmore

Note: in order to get the quote number 42 in time for Towel Day, there may be a slight increase in the frequency of these quote posts.

It’s hard to believe Ronald Reagan actually said something I agree with.

It’s hard to believe Millard Fillmore actually said anything.

At any rate, if you want to know the true spirit of President’s Day, visit your local Target or Best Buy.   And if you happen to be a banker, postal worker, teacher or government employee, enjoy your day off.    Also, check out one of my favorite blogs,  BLAHS winner Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub.

The spirit of President's Day:  last chance to clear out the Christmas overstock

The spirit of President’s Day

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The Sackler Laws #4: The Law of Political Activism

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, things are not going to get better.  They’re not.”–Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

“If god had not intended us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.”–Ralph Nader

Note:  In general, I have avoided the controversies of religion and politics in this blog, though there have been hints at my views on both.  This post tiptoes dangerously towards the precipice of both, though it clearly points no finger at any specific political or religious viewpoint.  I’m bound to get flamed, anyway.

For the fourth and final** installment of the Sackler Laws, I bring you Law #4: The Law of Political Activism.  This is not to be mistaken for Law #1, The Law of Bumper Sticker Activism.  On the other hand, maybe it should be.  Both have to do with taking a good thing too far.  It is simply stated:

First class activists remain forever activists.  Second class activists run for office.

The greatest first class activists of all time, if you look at it carefully, rarely if ever ran for office.  Think Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Susan B. Anthony.  Yes, it’s true that great activists for freedom such as Nelson Mandela and Lech Walesa ultimately became president of the entities their activism wrought; but they were effectively drafted by popular acclaim that arose from the ultimate success of their leadership, they did not attempt to become politicians.

As a primary example of the type of second class activist I present to validate this law, I give you two words.

Ralph Nader.

Here is a guy who pissed off half the country–mostly the corporate world and the Republican right–with decades of pain-in-their-asses activism and left-wing proselytizing.  Then he ran for president on a 3rd party line and pissed off most of the other half of the country.  His siphoning of votes from the left in 2000 almost certainly enabled the election of the candidate most diametrically opposed to his beliefs.  Not satisfied with having made the world, as he saw it, worse, he ran again in 2004 just to thumb his nose at those that might have otherwise been his ally.

That’s about all there is to that.  The only one thankful to him, other than a few diehard loyalists, is me, if only because he gave me the best real world validation I’ve ever had for this aphorism.

But the question then arises.  If we know what a second class activist looks like, what does a third class activist look like. That one’s even easier.

Robertson

Robertson

Sharpton

Sharpton

And you were wondering how I would manage to piss off the religious nuts as well?  If you want inspiration for political activism, the Dr. Seuss quote above is a good place to start.  If you want religious inspiration–you’ve come to the wrong place.

200px-The_Lorax

**Nothing is final except death and…well, except death.  This will only be the final installment of the Sackler laws if I die before thinking up another one.

Signature       @MarkSackler

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Cosmic Quote #15

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”–Emma Goldman

If this election changed anything it would probably be ignored, which wouldn’t change anything.  Anyway, we are nearing the mid-point in the hotly contested vote to bestow a BLAHS in the category of outstanding lady blogger with an attitude.  It appears that Essa Alroc has pulled out to the early lead, thanks to her followers taking to heart my encouragement to stuff the ballot box.  Richard J. Daley would be proud.  Voting ends this Sunday afternoon EST, or sometime around then, assuming I remember to close the ballot box and name a winner.  You can vote here, or on the original post.  Or you can hack poll daddy and give new meaning to the term voter fraud.

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Vacation Rerun: The Sackler Laws (Part One)

While I vacation with my family in an opulent mystery location,  here is a rerun quite appropriate for the current political season; or, for that manner, any season.   Fans, you will have to endure at least one more rerun before I return, if I return, if I’m still breathing.   If the ratings drop because of repeat content, I’ll run a test pattern the next time I’m on vacation.

Now for something completely ridiculous

Okay. You were promised ridiculous as well as sublime, so here goes. But be forewarned: sublime posts are speculative; ridiculous ones are not.

The Millennium Conjectures are speculations, guesses, wild assumptions. The Sackler Laws are not. They are not conjectures. They are not theories, nor hypothesis, nor speculation, nor guesses.

They are absolutely immutable laws of the universe. So you have been warned, and with that I present Sackler Law #1:

The Law of Bumper Sticker Activism

A person with one political bumper sticker on their car is a person with a cause.

.

A person with two political bumper stickers on their car is an activist.

.

A person with three or more bumper stickers of any kind on their car is a complete nut case!

As previously stated, this law is absolute, immutable, and not open to debate. It matters not the persuasion: liberal, conservative, moderate, authoritarian, libertarian, religious, atheist, vegan, cannibalistic, tea party, green party, toga party. It’s all the same. I have spoken. End of discussion. Next question please! (For a complementary, but not competing view on the subject of bumper stickers, click here.) Text in this post ©2012 Mark Sackler

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Now for something completely ridiculous

Okay. You were promised ridiculous as well as sublime, so here goes. But be forewarned: sublime posts are speculative; ridiculous ones are not.

The Millennium Conjectures are speculations, guesses, wild assumptions. The Sackler Laws are not. They are not conjectures. They are not theories, nor hypothesis, nor speculation, nor guesses.

They are absolutely immutable laws of the universe. So you have been warned, and with that I present Sackler Law #1:

The Law of Bumper Sticker Activism

A person with one political bumper sticker on their car is a person with a cause.

.

A person with two political bumper stickers on their car is an activist.

.

A person with three or more bumper stickers of any kind on their car is a complete nut case!

As previously stated, this law is absolute, immutable, and not open to debate. It matters not the persuasion: liberal, conservative, moderate, authoritarian, libertarian, religious, atheist, vegan, cannibalistic, tea party, green party, toga party. It’s all the same. I have spoken. End of discussion. Next question please! (For a complementary, but not competing view on the subject of bumper stickers, click here.) Text in this post ©2012 Mark Sackler

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