Editor’s Note: I can’t think of anything to say about this article. It’s just too damned hot and humid.


Fun and Games in the New Decade

Einstein’s special theory of relativity proved time is not constant; it passes at different rates, depending on your inertial frame of reference. When you’re nine, the time between December 26 and the next Christmas takes forever. Fifty years later, it feels like two weeks after you’ve shoved the plastic Santa into the attic, you’re hauling it back down again.

It seems like just yesterday we were breathing a sigh of relief over the fizzle of Y2K. Since time flies when you’re having fun (aka Einstein’s corollary), if the silliness of the first half of 2011 continues unabated, the Mayan apocalypse predicted for 2012 will be here before we know it.

This isn’t even an election year, but the candidates are already babbling. Newt Gingrich, who impeached President Clinton for philandering, while doing exactly the same thing himself, blamed his own adultery on his patriotism. As Newt self-servingly explained to the Christian Broadcast Network, “Driven by how passionately I felt about this country, I worked far too hard, and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.” Is there a woman in America, other than Ann Coulter, who’d buy that cock and bull?

After his disastrous interview on “Meet the Press,” Newt warned the Democrats that, “Any ad that quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.” So quoting him verbatim, and in context, would be ... dishonest? He followed this nonsense with an embarrassing press release that stated, “Out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead.” And Newt’s considered the brains of the GOP field.

Donald Trump, another thrice-wed adulterer working hard to impress the values voters, kicked off his presidential cameo by demanding President Obama’s birth certificate. When Obama finally produced it, Trump took credit for what he considered a  supremely significant achievement. At least, this story had a happy ending. The president publicly mocked The Donald at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and Trump eventually dropped out of the race.

Sarah Palin took time off from rewriting American history, including Paul Revere’s ride, to extol The Donald’s efforts, because there’s something on his birth certificate “the president doesn’t want people to see.” (Perhaps the fact that he’s a Muslim?) Luckily, the former half-governor of Alaska wasn’t the only Palin in the news.

Tax documents revealed that daughter Bristol, whose celebrity derives from her unwed motherhood, received $262,000 from The Candie’s Foundation as ambassador for its anti-teen-pregnancy campaign. What sort of message do you suppose this send to teens? Get pregnant out of wedlock, then cash a quarter-million dollar check, get a star turn on “Dancing With the Stars” and then a book deal from HarperCollins?

Meanwhile, Mrs. Palin’s ex-running mate, Senator McCain, continued to burnish his curmudgeon credentials. When President Obama announced troop reductions in Afghanistan to pre-surge levels, McCain angrily called it “isolationism.” The United States is, by any objective standard, bankrupt, yet we’re simultaneously fighting optional wars in three Muslim nations. The notion we’re isolationists is, plainly speaking, surreal. At least McCain isn’t running again in 2012.

One potential 2012 campaign poster shows Obama apologizing for the delay in delivering his birth certificate, because he was “busy killing bin Laden.” Of course, the Republicans and their mouthpieces at Fox News bent over backward to avoid giving the president any credit for it. Some claimed he’d continued the good works of President Bush, who’d failed at it for seven years. Michael Reagan used the Al-Qaida leader’s assassination to praise his stepfather, Ronald Reagan, who’d helped create the Taliban (and bin Laden) during the 1980s. Surreal.

 

The Al-Qaida leader’s demise shared that weekend’s limelight with Prince William’s wedding. Despite an American Revolution to escape from the British monarchy, we’re obsessed with the obscenely lavish lifestyles of these royal parasites. The highlight of this event was a picture of one of the Windsor women attending the ceremony with a toilet seat as a hat.

Meanwhile, our collective romance with the lives of our celebrities was epitomized by the fact that, during the same week tornadoes devastated the South, leaving 270 dead, Newsweek’s cover story (May 2) was on erstwhile child stars, the Olsen Twins, who are now fashion moguls. No wonder reality TV star Donald Trump briefly led the field of GOP contenders.

From the Democratic side of the aisle, Congressman Anthony Weiner decided that the best way to impress women was by emailing them photos of his privates. He’s the cyberspace equivalent of construction workers whose notion of courtship is to shout obscenities at female pedestrians. When has that ever worked for anyone?

In a related story, responding to pressure from a group called the “Intactivists,” San Francisco legislators have voted to outlaw circumcision within the city limits. Local rabbis (especially the mohels) are outraged at this example of government intrusion into people’s privates.

 

However, the most earth-shattering non-event of 2011 thus far has been the Rapture, prophesied by the Reverend Harold Camping for May 21 (now rescheduled for October). Camping spent a small fortune on billboards proclaiming the Second Coming, but if you think being completely and repeatedly wrong will hurt his denomination’s credibility, you’ve never heard of the Seventh-Day Adventists or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Christian fundies who think every news story is an omen of the End of Days are the gift that keeps on giving.

Once the October Rapture has uneventfully passed, gullible Americans can go back to having their hopes raised by their politicians. But there’s a good chance that whomever we elect in 2012 won’t have time to disappoint us. According to interpretations of the Mayan Calendar (just watch The History Channel), Armageddon is scheduled for December 21, 2012. And it’ll be here before you know it.


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