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"I'm serious, dammit!"

In my personal life, I'm a bit of a comedian. It's the persona I've constructed; the odd sense of humor, the refusal to take almost anything seriously, the lightning quip, the puns, and so on pretty much define most of my casual social interactions. While it's a great social lubricant, it sometimes causes problems when I'm trying to be serious.

So it is with great sympathy that I see two giants of the blogosphere posting something very serious, very thoughtful, very profound, and wonder if their efforts will be for nothing.

Not if I have anything to say about it.

Scott Ott, the lunatic behind Scrappleface, watched President Bush's speech last week, as so many did. And while listening, he thought about the principles and ideals Bush had so strongly espoused in the past, and sadly ticked them of as each was tossed on to the scrap heap. So Scott sat down and wrote what he (and I, for that matter) would have much preferred hearing President Bush say. He preceded it with a bit of the sort of satire that his readers have come to expect, but it's pretty obvious that it was simple garnish for the real steak.

And then there's Laurence Simon. Lair is the archetypal "angry man," but one who tempers his rage with cat stuff, oddball humor, cat stuff, work stories, cat stuff, sports commentary, cat stuff, absurd games, cat stuff, food and gardening, cat stuff, commuter horror stories, and cat stuff.

And on top of all that, he also writes about cats every now and then. Did I mention that?

Lair also has the amazing gift of saying and doing the most offensive, vile, disgusting, repulsive, tasteless things and getting away with them. He races headlong right up to the edge of the cliff, then comes to a crashing halt worthy of the Roadrunner.

Lair has a special interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It doesn't take a great deal of thought to figure out just what someone who's proud of being both a Texan and a Jew thinks of the whole thing. But if you have the slightest doubt, he'll let you know damned fast, in no uncertain terms.

Today, Lair saw his local paper discussing the history of the Gaza Strip. It was a pretty detailed analysis, from the creation of Israel right up through the recent Israeli pullout. It was filled with sadness and pathos, detailing the long history of oppression and exploitation the Gazans have suffered over the years.

But they must've hit the fast-forward on their TiVo, because in their account of the almost 60 years of unrelenting oppression and occupation of Gaza, they overlooked mentioning the 20 years when it was the Egyptians who were doing the oppressing, not the Israelis. Nor did they mention that Israel had tried to give Gaza back to them numerous times, and was always rebuffed.

That prompted Lair to set aside his normal biting wit and brutal style, and wrote a calm, reasoned, thoughtful letter to the Houston Chronicle about their grievous sin of omission. It must've been painful for him, but he gritted his teeth and did it. The letter could serve as a template for all letters of complaint to a newspaper -- there's no profanity, no invective, no overarching complaints, no charges of "bias" or "slant." Only a simple quoting of the newspaper's words, with detailed refutation of their error.

Sometimes it's hard to see a clown be serious. It took years for Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, and Tom Hanks to be seen as more than stand-up comics, and be respected as solid, dramatic actors. But these two guys have written profoundly insightful pieces, and deserve to be heard.

(Editor's note: if there's any doubt whatsoever that Lair Simon is, indeed, the King Of All Things Cat Online, let me dispel it now. I was halfway through my second sentence about his posting, typing the word "tempered," when my own cat leaped into my lap and demanded five full minutes of petting. I was annoyed at first, but then bowed to the inevitable. One simply does not snub a cat when one is discussing the King Of All Things Cat Online -- very bad karmic things can happen, and I really don't need cat barf in my shoes.)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "I'm serious, dammit!":

» Random Numbers linked with Cat Blogging Bullwinkle Style.

» This Blog Is Full Of Crap linked with Let it rain... rain... rain.

» This Blog Is Full Of Crap linked with Carnival of the Vanities

Comments (17)

concerning the begining of ... (Below threshold)

concerning the begining of your post, I have been told for years that no one can tell when I kidding and when I'm serious, it comes with the territory of being coy.

I have that problem too. I ... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

I have that problem too. I think it stems from a combination of being the youngest child and being a blond... I can be so serious about something and my friends will laugh!

Sure enough, comedy is a wa... (Below threshold)
just a thought:

Sure enough, comedy is a way of telling of reality in a way that lowers the tabboo of it. Talking about the govt, social issues and such, even of drugs.. often through jokes.. gets the point across, yet the laughter is used to dilute the pain of the issues.

"In my personal life, I'm a... (Below threshold)

"In my personal life, I'm a bit of a comedian."

Yeah, we've seen all of those photos on alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.funny...

Well, no, cirby WE have not... (Below threshold)

Well, no, cirby WE have not ALL seen "those photos..."

I'm still puzzled by cat obsessions. I like cats well enough - certainly no animosities toward them - but where and how it is that some humans become so obsessed with captive cats is beyond me. I don't hold the cats responsible, is my point.

About Bush's statements...I... (Below threshold)

About Bush's statements...I'm drawing a bead here, but my initial opinion hasn't changed and that is that the City of New Orleans should not be 'rebuilt' as habitable but relocated elsewhere and let the ports and such stay where they are beneath sea level, surrounded by water with manmade levees. The country ought not to pay one penny toward relocating human habitats to the levee-surrounded (requiring for habitation) areas and for all the billions we're now spending, we could have built a fabulous place a few hundred of miles farther inland, and given many hundreds of thousands of humans safe (and new) housing and infrastructure.

Bush doesn't have my enthusiasm on this point of rebuilding New Orleans where it has been. Rebuilding, assist, rescue, yes, but do it on safer, higher ground. The whole premise of infrastructure and housing beneath sea level, surrounded by water with manmade levees between the two is preposterously stupid.

I'm wondering what New Orle... (Below threshold)

I'm wondering what New Orleans will do when the next Category Five hurricane hits Louisiana. More will evacuate (I hope so, surely they've learned a big lesson here), but will we then have to again go to these extremes to patch levees (they're going to breach again, just wait...it's a matter of numbers, age and the forces of nature), do this all over again?

I'd suggest some requirement involved here whereby there's only one opportunity for an American urban center to be rescued at these proportions of billions and lives lost and degenerated, but that's not realistic. The only realistic thing to my view is to spend all our bilions on rebuilding a "city" in safer territory -- it only seems fitting, all things considered. I don't get the value or worth of all this effort to 'rescue' mud flats that are actually the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

I love cats. They taste del... (Below threshold)

I love cats. They taste delicious. Especially country fried.

(straps on last piece of body armor.)

The trick to it is <a href=... (Below threshold)

The trick to it is serving them right.

Hee, and I thought you mean... (Below threshold)

Hee, and I thought you meant one has to serve them lobster and caviar dishes. This levity is contagious... how are we ever going to get serious enough to click on the two serious pieces :)

bullwinkle: image link's a... (Below threshold)

bullwinkle: image link's a no go on your linked site.

I've been ridiculed as supposedly being the enemy of cats and why, I have no idea, since I've had more than a few who I was quite fond of and cared for well.

I am allergic to their saliva and aesthetically repulsed by the 'captive indoors cat' practices, such that I nearly choke around cat litter boxes and the thick and awful air within some people's homes who keep cats indoors.

The best cats are barn cats. They keep the barn free of rodents, they are fastidiously careful about their scent footprints and other bodily issues (if they want to live) and left to their own devices, make for great critters who are loyal and kind to humans.

I happen to love birds and the leading reason I am cautious about cats nearby is that they kill birds wantonly unless fed regularly by humans and it is difficult to contain cats without keeping them indoors and thus, too many cats, too many smells, too much damage to wildlife, too many problems by cats for my standards.

I prefer balance and a cat here and there is fine as long as it's not in my house or killing wildlife or wantonly reproducing, which all felines do, unfortunately. Left to nature, their populations are reasonable but the problem when humans introduce themselves into feline populations, anywhere, is that there's this resulting phenomenon of humans projecting human qualities onto felines and who encourage artificial behaviors by felines, and that then damages other species. In my case, it damages me when I'm too close to them (allergies, aesthetics). How anyone can tolerate boxes of cat poo in thier homes is beyond me.

Cats in Hawaii, for example... (Below threshold)

Cats in Hawaii, for example, have nearly descimated bird populations there, or already have where some species are concerned.

Owls and hawks predate upon felines, however, which is a bit of a full circle issue in Hawaii, although the predatory birds numbers are not nearly enough to keep the burgeoning ferile cat populations in Hawaii in check.

There are bags and boxes of discarded and now ferile cats in Hawaii at nearly every field adjacent to stores and restaurants in Hawaii. It's a big and very serious problem there as to ferile cat populations.

And, inevitably and predictably, there are many (mostly female) humans there who leave bags of food, refute attempts to cage/capture the ferile cats, and otherwise assist in the problem.

You have to allow a balance in species and we humans are too adept at manipulating resources such that we make it far too easy for harmful population numbers of some species to exist. Ferile cat populations are one of those problems and it's human behavior that has made it possible and keeps doing so.

Then call open season on th... (Below threshold)

Then call open season on the feral cats. Or encourage predatory bird reproduction. Either way, cats die.

Which leads me to wonder: why is it OK for an owl or hawk to hunt a cat but not a human? The cat dies either way. I swear, some people act like humans are the only creatures who kill animals.

Hmmmm.I think the ... (Below threshold)


I think the subject shifted to cats, so this is very off-topic. :)

I had an idea for a reality tv show awhile ago. I was going to call it "Rant!" and it would be a show where 5 people each week would get 8 minutes each to just completely go off. They'd get to rant about anything, or anyone, for 8 minutes straight. And the more foaming-at-the-mouth, the better.

I figure the one thing that just about everyone likes to do is bitch about stuff. The next best thing is watching people go completely nuts on a subject.

Oh and I like cats, when they're someone else's. I grew up with cats, 5 of them at one point, and I can easily agree about the whole "smell" issue. But if you think they're bad, check out ferrets.

A discussion that involves ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

A discussion that involves Lair Simon becomes a discussion about cats.

Gee, who coulda foreseen THAT happening?


Lair would be proud.... (Below threshold)

Lair would be proud.

I try not to be proud.... (Below threshold)

I try not to be proud.

I find that proud bloggers are, for lack of a better term, assholes. And they're a bore to read.






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