Category Archives: Politics

NERDS! a treatise on a gaggle of geeks.

NERDS! Who doesn’t love them, hell, I was the biggest nerd ever -my wife says I still am. I got this awesome picture from and I couldn’t resist sharing it on Facebook with commentary. Then I realized Facebook didn’t offer the space required to do the in-depth analysis this picture deserves.  For me, it will go down as the single best photo of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, if not the best sporting picture of the year. If you haven’t figured it out, it’s of the Harvard Band. Their joy was captured during March 21st’s Crimson’s upset win over New Mexico. Warning! If you’re sensitive to fun being poked at rich white and Asian kids, go away.

First it’s obvious that the band is the team’s best weapon, and the reason Harvard was invited to the big dance in the first place; the fact is, the band’s mere presence distracts opposing teams so much that they can’t concentrate on their game. It would take a team loaded with narcissists,  or a team who grew up in Nerd infested environments and thus have a natural immunity, not to be distracted by this motley collection of Poindexters. Unfortunately for Harvard, most teams at this level of competition are indeed the former.   Notice I’m trying to sound intelligent, so that any Crimson student or alum who happens to stumble upon this blog would be impressed and not sneer and dub me a heathen. Enough of this ridiculous preamble, let’s get on with our in-depth analysis.901402_10152674904895072_636020931_o

The first person that deserves mention, other than Lewis, the joyous band leader, who is politely clapping in honor of his team’s momentous achievement is the member on the upper right with his hands atop his head. He doesn’t look happy, as a matter of fact, he seems distraught – as if he has bet his future stock options against the Crimson or he procrastinated in completing his dissertation on the bet they would be back at Harvard by Friday night in time to cram all weekend. Whatever the case, he seems to be in the initial stage of panic and is considering relocating to San Jose and becoming a mid-level manager for a high tech firm.

Next to Lewis, we have Poindexter who in his excitement pitched his violin and is doing the Macarena. Cymbal Girl, now she’s intriguing, I can’t tell if she is going to climb the ladder at the FBI or if she’s a serial killer. She’s not celebrating the victory as much as revealing in her opponent’s misery.   The kid to Cymbal Girl’s right is an athlete, but not good enough to make the team, even at Harvard, his reaction indicates a rich fantasy life in which he’s just sunk the winning basket.

The gal in the second row waving her fist is activism personified. And tonight her spiel is painful for New Mexico, because she’s about to say: “Not only are we smarter than you, we just kicked your ass.”  The fat trumpet player next to her seems to be the love child of John Candy and Truman Capote, I’m happy that his team’s fate isn’t depended on him sinking a free-throw with no time left. Next to Truman Candy we have a leader, only I can’t tell if she’s the winner of the next papal conclave or if she’s taking over the North Jersey Mob. Whatever the case, she’s internalizing the moment and will use it against someone, someday, somehow. The redheaded guy next to Pope Soprano, he’s the underachiever; he could be the smartest one of the lot, but he has the least confidence and will end up drinking himself to death, become a novelist, or both.  Asian guy next to Ernest Harvardway is simply happy, he will probably produce an algorithm unlocking the secret to attaining that blissful state.

Third row, second from left looks like Lurch with a brain. Big enough, but not coordinated to play round ball.  The guy next to Lurch is in a way the most intriguing: The lack of emotion indicates he is a deep thinker, and eternally inspired by what he sees, so much so that in watching the course of the basketball during game he began theorizing the effects of a black hole’s gravitational implication on spherical objects. If the game were to have gone on another two minutes he would have completed the Unified Theorem, but the game ended and the crowd’s outburst derailed his train of thought and now a great moment in science was ruined by a bunch of guys in shorts chasing a ball.

And then there’s the flute girl. Potentially the most complicated of the lot. She’s wearing black and a hat, so immediately the band even considers her an oddball. If her hair is an indication, her brain is boiling and is a time bomb ready to go off. That she plays the flute is symbolic of something. Her expression says that her team’s victory grants external validation to complex, tangled emotions that Freud wouldn’t tackle and Dickens couldn’t write about. It is my opinion she should lose the hat and allow some pressure to vent before her head explodes.

For those in the band that I didn’t mention, congratulations, because this means you will slip into the life of a multi-millionaire almost unnoticed and with little fan-fare, you are the king makers and truly hold the next generation’s power.

A word or two about those not in the band, but had their suffering sitting behind this Gaggle of Geeks digitally captured – wrong place at the wrong time people.

The African-American guy on the left, well, South Park has Token. The lady in the teal is looking at herself on the megatron and thinking: Do I look fat?    The redhead is thinking: I’m going to keep my kids watching the Kardashians, I don’t want them to grow up and be as embarrassing as these nerds, I mean, who wears jackets and ties to a basketball game?  The Cougar thought she was in Candy Land when she heard she got seats behind the band, but then she realized what band it was and had to settle for the ex-jock in red sweat-suit next to her.  The ex-jock is haunted by Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days playing over and over in his head.

In a seriousness, what a great picture. Congratulations on your moment of joy. It allows a fool like me to take an hour and create stories. It was almost as much fun as being there. Band members, if you ever vacation to my little corner of Montana, look me up, I’d be honored to buy you a beer… ah, I mean a cocktail.

Dirty Bum For President

From a cardboard box to the White House!

I saved this nugget for July 4th, because for our nation’s birthday there’s nothing like dusting off an old prank.   Four years ago today I launched a fictitious presidential campaign tour which sent ‘Robert’ hitchhiking and riding the rails across the country in a seventy-seven day whirlwind.

Judging by the response it received on Myspace  (does anyone remember Myspace?) one wonders what could have happened if there was a campaign staff in place.  For a peek at that ridiculous page click here. But then again, when you’re running mate is Irving Richard Knightly and who went by the moniker I. Dick Knightly,  it’s easy to get attention, especially when you throw in the  slogan: “Vote for Robert and get Dick Knightly.”

What a fun endeavor, especially when e-mails and phone calls requesting to

I will clean America’s house!

interview Robert started coming  in. “I’ve been following him, when is he coming to our town?” numerous reporters asked.  The excuse was given that no one at campaign headquarters knew where he would be next, after all Robert refused to be ‘itinerized.’

If I would have played it smarter, oh what fun we could have had. The problem was, the real Robert, didn’t want to partake in the hi-jinx. He’s a very private person who graciously lent his image and his knowledge of days spent riding rails,  the location of hot and cold yards and more importantly, the location of great bars across the country to the campaign.

So starting on July 4th, 2008 daily updates were posted to the Myspace page and Robert’s wordpress page. (It looks like the blog page isn’t in existence anymore) Here’s  how it worked. Using online railroad maps, I plotted the route of a campaign trial.  When the railroads didn’t cooperate with a required campaign stop the solution was simple, Robert got off the train and hitchhiked. Each day our candidate would stop in numerous actual  bars  across the lower 48 and give his campaign spiel.  When a bar was selected, I would look it up online,  gather information and stories about the establishment, throw in a character or two from our little Montana town, and presto, a campaign stop was born. I learned more about dive bars and local politics across the good ole USA than I care to admit.

I support religious diversity

At the end of any given day Robert would  ‘send’ his summary of days events to HQ via Blackberry who in turn would update the webpages with The Robert Blog.  A thousand words is worth picture, so with that in mind, I’ve included Robert’s ridiculous platform and a random post from the campaign trail.

The next challenge? Converting the blog into a novel. My intention was to get it done in time for this year’s presidential campaign, God knows one of Robert’s lines would have been perfect for this year:  “You know the country is  in trouble when a presidential candidate is named after a baseball glove.”

If  you’re brave,  I’ve dug out Robert’s platform and a random post.  I enjoyed rereading the platform,  especially with four years hindsight. I especially like the idea  of repaving roads white to combat global warming. And yes, each plank is named after a Star Wars Movie.

Dirty Bum Platform

Section 1: Domestic policy: The Phantom Menace
Section 2: Election reform: The Attack of the Clones
Section 3: Economic policy: The Revenge of the Sith
Section 4: Environment and Global Warming: A New Hope
Section 5: Foreign policy: The Empire Strikes Back
Section 6: Personal Liberty and Responsibility: The Return of the Jedi

Section 1: Domestic Policy: The Phantom menace
A) Infrastructure: The Dirty Bum understands that our nation’s infrastructure is in serious need of repair. We will attack this problem by creating the twenty-first century’s version of the CCC – the civilian conservation corps. If a person is newly unemployed, they will have the choice of joining the CCC or not receive unemployment insurance.

B) Health Insurance: The Dirty Bum feels it is a national disgrace that our country is the only industrialized nation not to have health insurance for its citizens. Our first priority is that each and every American will be covered, entitled and receive the best medical care available.

C) Mass Transportation: The Dirty Bum will decriminalize freight hopping and encourage people to ride the rails as a means of travel cross our great nation.

Campaign slogan: I understand cultural diversity

D) Immigration: The Dirty Bum will annex Mexico making it the 51st state thus eliminating the influx of illegal immigration. The annexation would eliminate the impetuous for Mexicans to cross the border and thus stem the tsunami of illegals. This move would also increase the GNP and provide greater vacation locales for the residents of the first fifty states without the need of passports. It will also redefine the deep south.
Section 2: Election Reform: The attack of the clones.
A) Who isn’t sick of stuffed shirts scamping about Iowa and New Hampshire like Amway sales reps. To the Dirty Bum, they appear like prostitutes desperate to sell their charms. It is my opinion that a penny of tax-payers money spent on this dog and pony show is one too many. If elected I will force the issue of campaign reform with the following initiatives: 1) The campaign will be limited to the calendar year of the election! I would like to see a campaign season of three months but realize that most candidates would explode if not given the time to expel the voluminous gas they generate. 2) Not a penny of taxpayers money would be spent under the auspices of matching funds. This money would be better spent funding health care. 3) I would like to see a spending cap so candidates cannot buy an office! To honor this year’s attempt, I will suggest we name this “The Romney Clause.” Mit, you would have been better off donating your money to your favorite charity! Then we could call the provision “The Santa Clause!”

Section 3: Economic Policy: Revenge of the Sith
A) The Dirty Bum party will abolish the IRS and do away with personal and corporate income taxes. The party realizes that this will place the accounting profession in jeopardy. So be it, if accountants followed their own advice, they will have enough money saved to enjoy an early retirement.

B) In lieu of income taxes, we will implement a nation sales tax. This tax will be 3%. This serves as a consumption tax and encourages savings more than IRAs, 401ks and the numerous other vehicles that create and employ redundant levels of bureaucracy

Section 4) Environmental Policy: A New Hope:
The Dirty Bum accepts that global warming is a reality and a threat to humankind. Understanding the seriousness of this issue, the party is proposing the following solutions as first steps in combating climate change. These solutions have a direct impact on the domestic economy by means of creating an estimated 22.5 million jobs while impacting said issues and our nations infrastructure.
1) A basic rule of physics states that dark colors absorb heat and light colors reflect heat. Following this tenant, we will encourage congress to fund legislation to repave all roads in the nation white, thus reflecting energy instead of absorbing, lowering the earth’s core temperature.
2) We will also promote the production an estimated 2.5 million large scale ice machines in which the product will be spread over ecologically sound areas to: 1) Promote the reestablishment of glaciers 2) Refresh watersheds and 3) Lower the earth’s core temperature.

3) Limit the hours of congressional sessions; the purpose being the amount of hot air produced during said sessions raises the atmosphere’s temperature by an estimated .13 degree Fahrenheit.

Life under the nuclear umbrella

Section 5: Foreign policy: The Empire Strikes Back.
The Iraqi Crises: The Dirty Bum will look to our checkered national history to give solution to the Iraqi debacle and bring our soldiers home safely. We admit that the reservation system in the states is a disgrace, but despite its flaws, it may provide the answer for an exist strategy and secure the oil – we all know that’s why Bush invaded, lets admit it, take our lumps and do what we set out, plunder the oil fields – the Dirty Bum will create three reservations in Iraqi Proper: The Sunni, The Shiite and the Kurdish. With the warring parties secure we can go about the job and thus stabilize oil prices and thus our economy.
Afghanistan: The Dirty Bum agrees with being in Afghanistan, we have a job to do in eliminating Osama bin Laden. We will focus our military might on capturing him, reducing Al qida and the Taliban. Once this mission is complete we will withdraw and go about retooling our military for future challenges.

Section 6: Personal Liberty and Responsibility: The Return of the Jedi
Well over forty years ago, JFK uttered the words: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” I feel it is time that we as a people revisit his words. We must end the sense of entitlement that many of our own feel, express and demonstrate; we must again learn that a greater sense of self-fulfillment comes from contributing to a greater cause rather than leeching from such a cause. Under my administration, I will promote self-reliance, community spirit and national pride.

“For my sake, vote for Robert!”

Random Post:    (1st person, in the voice of the candidate)

August 13th

I woke up in a cheap motel room, snuck into the bathroom, took care of business and moved towards my backpack sitting on a chair when I felt an eye on my back and imagined the other upon the door. I exhaled, knowing I was busted trying to slip out onto the campaign trail.

“Where you going?” Shari asked.

“Getting a cup of coffee,” I answered.

I should hire her to create a documentary of my campaign, I thought as the toilet flushed. Sitting on the edge of the bed, I absentmindedly watched Headline News till Shari emerged from the bathroom. Awkward, at least for me, small talk filled the air between us till we hit the C-store.

“Why is your old man in the can?”

“He’s a bit hot tempered. He beat a fellow he thought was sleeping with me.

We were just friends, nothing ever happened. Don’t worry sugar plum,” she said patting my knee. “I won’t utter a word and Moses, he don’t follow politics and anyhow, he can’t read. You’re free and clear.”

“Keep an eye on the road,” I responded. The prospect of driving closer to a man – with his wife – in prison for assault was unsettling. I was a gut check, for if elected, I would be facing crises that would require intestinal fortitude.

I considered not reporting on this fandango, no one would ever be the wiser and I could continue onward without drawing attention away from the issues, but, it would be a missed opportunity. Unlike John Edwards, who made himself look silly, I am standing up and saying that I committed biological indiscretion. I screwed up and I had sex with this married woman.

I hope you enjoyed this foray into political nonsense, somehow I get the feeling if politicians were this honest we’d be better off.