Leave It to Eddie

I admire how, over the millennia, life imitates art. Yes, I stated that correctly–even though there is truth in the inverse as well.

For example, there are literary antagonists, some of whom are quintessential bad boys. In a story, there may not be any link to a real person, but once on the stage or screen, there may be a real person involved. The stereotypical bad boy–as opposed to someone evil–was Eddie Haskell–as played by Ken Osmond–from Leave it to Beaver. Contrary to urban legend, Osmond did not become Alice Cooper or a porn star. Instead, as far as I can tell, after he became typecast and left acting, he married, raised a family, worked as a police officer, and retired.

The character he created lives on as, well, Eddie Haskell.

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On the other hand, there are people who portray the character traits of Eddie in real life and I have to wonder why. Why do people seek to be obnoxious, irritating, or just plain mean?

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Double Standard

Diogenes lived about 3 centuries before the beginning of our modern calendar. He was a philosopher—one of the founders of cynicism. Apparently he was quite off-putting; he slept in a ceramic vessel, although it may have been a sewer. He’s reported to have traveled through town, during the day, with a lighted lamp, claiming to be “Searching for an honest man,” which was one of his more civilized activities.

A new congresswoman resigned because revenge-porn nude pictures of her spread through the internet.

Compare this to the current president bragging about grabbing women by their genitalia. And his wife du jour has explicit professionally produced nude photos on the internet. In fairness to her, she was a model and many believe the pictures were taken as a way for The Donald to show he has a hot wife (and believes that you don’t).

The congresswoman resigns.

The President digs in as the Republicans draw their wagons into a circle around him.

Will somebody please explain?

Latest Poles (Sorry, I meant Polls)

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The news is abuzz with the latest polls. A word of advice from Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) is appropriate. He told us, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

At best, polls are lumped into statistics, although I believe they are somewhere between “Pipe dream” (as in, “Wow man, I can see it too! Far out!) and “Hallucination.”

Today the polls are not reporting the national standing of the candidates , but instead they are reporting on the first two states that will sorta, kinda have the first sorta, kinda primaries. Let’s put this into perspective.

Iowa has a caucus (February 3, 2020), which is different than a primary. It’s more like a block party than a political event.

New Hampshire, has the first actual primary (February 11, 2020).

The spotlight is tightly focused on these powerhouse states.

Just to put things into perspective–there are 538 votes in the electoral college.
Iowa’s power block? Six.
New Hampshire’s share? Four.

Between these two key states, together they represent not-quite two percent of the votes that actually are counted in a presidential election.

However, focusing on those two states definitely helps to sell television advertisements.

 

Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs)

My Dearest Vlad,

I’m so lucky to have you as an advisor–you are so much more smart than my generals or the so-called “intelligence” experts. I don’t need them because, after all, I’m a stable genius. Smart! Stable! Genius!

As you suggested, I got on live TV (You know I’m a reality TV star, don’t you? Big! Huge! Star!). I explained everything I could remember about the special operation that killed Bagdaddy. Dead! Coward! Covfefe!

Some of the generals here are trying to argue with me (ME!) but my staff stops them–most of my staff are temporary, or as I like to call them, “acting.” Kelly cabinet! We work!

The generals keep complaining that I disclosed TTPs. Isn’t that when people throw toilet paper over your house and trees? So what’s the big deal? It’s a mess, but I have employees to clean it up who are willing to work for next to nothing. I never check their paperwork. Lots of Spanish. Good business! Cost cutting! Smart!

In any case, Vlad, I appreciate all your support and advice.

I hate to ask this, but just in case things go badly, will you help me out? I’m sure you could provide me with a nice dacha in Crimea. If absolutely necessary I’d be willing to bunk with Ed Snowden for a couple of days until you can get everything finalized.

You don’t need to worry about my wife–she is from somewhere over there, so she’ll be fine.

Your apostle,

(Signature illegible)

 

Precedent

Based on President Trump’s demand that he does not need to answer any subpoenas until certain conditions–such as a vote of the entire House of Representatives–are met, may I present this scenario:

Judge: “Mr. Johnson, do you have an attorney?”

Johnson: (tweeting) I don’t need an attorney. I will represent myself.

Bailiff: confiscates cell phone.

Judge: “If we may continue, Mr. Johnson you are charged with . . . .”

Johnson: “This is a political fiasco and I won’t  provide any information until the entire police department votes unanimously to charge me!”

Judge: “Mr. Johnson, with all due respect to Fox News (if any is, in fact, due) the accused is not the one who gets to set terms. The rules are already in place and you are expected to comply with them.”

Johnson: “This is a witch hunt! TERRIBLE! I’m being harassed! It’s all based on fake news! SAD!”

Judge: “Bailiff, given that Mr. Johnson is not President of the United States, would you please take Mr. Johnson into custody until he either is represented by an attorney or is prepared to present an appropriate legal defense.”

Bailiff: Half guides and half carries Johnson out. Johnson is still screaming.

Johnson: “I demand my phone! It’s my constitutional right to tweet! This is a travesty! (sound of his voice fades out)

Judge: Puts head in hands, brushes her hair back, and takes a deep breath. “Bailiff, to save me from calling a recess, do you have any acetaminophen?”

Bailiff: “Yes, your honor. Every day, your honor.” Passes a bottle of generic acetaminophen to the judge, who shakes two into her hand and with her bottle of water, swallows them.

Judge: Handing the bottle back to the bailiff, “Thank you. Please remind me to buy a large economy size bottle to keep here on my bench.”

Bailiff: nods

Judge: Sighs. “Okay, let’s move on to the next case.”

Bailiff: “Your honor, the next defendant is represented by Rudy Giuliani.”

Judge: Groans

This Seems Familiar

As near as I can tell, your President is verbally feuding–or more correctly, twitterpating–with a swimsuit model. Based on my millennia (NOT Melania) of experience and observation, a swimsuit model is like a dancing girl, except that she doesn’t dance.

I wish I had a drachma for every time I’ve seen a powerful man distracted by a woman followed by his downfall. There was Adam and Eve, although that is fairly allegorical. Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra, King David and Bathsheba are all famous cases that were devastating for all involved. Then there was the young dancer who suckered King Herod into having John the Baptist beheaded. Her mother told her to do it–I can tell you with confidence that the dancer didn’t really dream about having John’s bloody head on a silver platter as an objet d’art in her bedroom.

Powerful people seem to believe that they’re too smart; that they’ll win every time; that bad things will never happen to them.

If these people are really so smart, why don’t they pick their fights with philosophers, scientists, or college professors?

Pleased to Meet You

Good day, sir or madam. My name is Diogenes and I am so pleased to meet you.

Over a few millennia, things change and even I must adjust. In my experience, it is by acting outrageous that I attract attention to my philosophy. I lived in a sewer, for crying out loud, and carried a torch in the daylight to be noticed, but now, to be outrageous, one needs to be . . . . . .. .

Courteous!

Eargggh!

Polite!

Garrgh!

Okay, I get it. Please tell me what truly interests you. I promise to listen intently.

Hmmmmm. Interesting.

Now, admit it–don’t you feel like a rebel? A libertine? A threat to society? All by sharing a thought in a polite manner?

Weird, isn’t it?