Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Am I the only one to notice that there seems to be a profusion of almost comically ironic names and titles in the news lately? The GOP has been a hotbed of this phenomenon for awhile now, with the leading human obstacle to all things progressive being a guy named DeLay, who was preceded by another Republican of clout whose name seemed as if it had been explicitly designed as a description of the party's doctrinaire hardnose wing: Dick Armey. And now, vying to replace DeLay in the Majority Leadership role, we have a guy whose name is street slang for marijuana--Blunt--and another whose name, no matter how he chooses to pronounce it, comes across as a crude euphamism for male sexual readiness--Boehner--and, should those seem too frivolous, there is the California candidate, one Jerry Lewis. And the less said about the GOP junior Senator from Idaho, Mike Crapo, the better.

Meanwhile, on the cinematic front, we have "Brokeback Mountain," whose verbal resemblence to the phrase "Broke m'back mountin'" seems rather too precious to be purely accidental for a film about sex between two, um, cowpunchers.

In a completely different vein -- Jay Leno in his monologue last night noted that Jack Abramoff and Monica Lewinsky both went to Beverly Hills High School, an absolutely delightful coincidence, if indeed it was purely coincidental. Then again, maybe they both took the same Social Studies class. In any case, they seem to have learned the same life lesson: that the way to gain leverage or points with men in positions of power is to slip them an irresistible something extra under the table. Leno's line, or at least that of one of his writers, was that the difference between the two was that Jack only wanted the president's ear. Which is a nice punchline, but I would have added that Monica only smeared a dress, not an entire political party.


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