World War X-MAS

None of us will ever forget where we were and what we were doing when we heard that war had broken out against Christmas. Once the War on Christmas began, our lives were never the same.  Sorry to be a smart ass.  I can’t help it.

Are you a soldier in the War on Christmas?  If so, which army?  How’s it going?  Looks like Christmas is winning, but it depends on whom you ask.

As a matter of full disclosure, I must tell you that I like Christmas.  Check that.  I love Christmas.  I always have.  I’m tempted to lie and say that it’s because of some religious fervor that possesses me.  That’s not it.  I just love it.  The presents, music, decorations–all of it.  My house is a garish display of lights.  We buy our kids too much stuff and don’t care.


My home is a prime target for a drone strike in the War on Christmas

Once when I was about 6 years old, I got so fired up one Christmas morning that I sat down and drank like 6 glasses of milk.  Why?  I don’t know.  I just went mental.  I puked, too. I was totally unhinged with excitement. But, that was before the War.

Unlike most wars, this one creates debate about whether it even exists. The War even has its own website.  Not surprisingly, Fox News has its own web page devoted to the War.  If it’s on the Internet, it has to be real.  Even the Pope was accused of attacking Christmas by quite correctly pointing out that December 25 isn’t really Jesus’s birthday.  Others are just as adamant that there is no war. So, whether you are a far left atheist still mourning the untimely murder of Madeline Murray O’Hare or a hard right evangelical longing to feel the lash of religious persecution, there is a camp for you.

It is said that Christmas is a time for giving.  For many, it is a holy time to celebrate the savior of their religion. These folks, of course, are Christians.  Generally speaking, they’re good folks.  Like any religion, the loudest and most profane are typically front and center, giving a black eye to the larger flock.  Many Christians believe that there is a war being waged against Christmas.  I suppose it would be inappropriate to call it a Holy War, but they are convinced nonetheless that they are in the midst of a struggle to preserve Christmas.  I don’t doubt that they believe there is a war and that it must be fought tooth and nail.

Of all religious holidays, Christmas certainly has spawned its own secular division, with Santa Claus and the elves leading the way.  Evidently, we are so unlikely to freely give gifts to children that someone conceived that a fat man and a bunch of elf/slaves was more believable.  Flying reindeer, too.  For the most part, though, Santa and Jesus have peacefully coexisted.  Despite appearing to be the logical choice to lead this war, Santa seems to be sitting it out.  As a result, I’m not sure who leads this gang of misfit toys assailing Christmas.  I’ll just attribute it to the Liberal Elite.

If the War on Christmas has Commander in Chief for the defense, it may be Bill O’Reilly.  You know Bill.  He’s Fox News’s agent provocateur.  He developed the modern TV interview format where you ask a guest a question and then shout until he or she gives up trying to answer.  Bill sums up his view of the War as follows:

See, I think it’s all part of the secular progressive agenda — to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square. Because if you look at what happened in Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious- based, usually.

Wow.  Judaism?  Uh, Bill, Jews don’t think Jesus was the messiah.  Not sure what the point is on that one.  Of course, Bill’s larger point is that it’s part of a conspiracy to destroy society.  I’ll admit that Bill sees a lot of things in the world that I don’t, but he’s bound to be right sometimes.  Let’s take a closer look at the bloody front lines of the War.

Christmas greetings are controversial.  I don’t know anyone who is grossly offended by a greeting of “Merry Christmas!”  Now, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of home body and live an insular lifestyle.  Maybe there are people who curse and stomp and throw things when they hear this common holiday greeting.  If you’re one of those people, lighten up.  It’s no big deal.

What I DO hear a lot of is people offended by “Happy Holidays!”  It’s Christmas, damn you!  I know people SO offended by this they vow not to patronize businesses that dare to offend with this greeting.  Why?  I guess it’s because they’re afraid they’ll be euthanized after having a narcotics-induced abortion.  I don’t really know.

As always, children are also casualties of war.  On Facebook, this meme is making the rounds:

This is the world that many people inhabit. Anti-Christian thugs coming after our children

This hasn’t happened to my children–yet.  I realize that this cartoon is a bit a hyperbole used to illustrate some point.  My kids have always had parties at school around Christmas time.  Okay, they don’t officially call them Christmas parties, but that’s what the kids call them.  I’ll admit that they don’t re-enact the Nativity.  They also don’t participate in pagan rituals, unless eating a bunch of sweets is pagan.

When I was kid, we had Christmas parties at school.  We even had a Christmas play.  I was a shepherd.  Is this horrible?  I doubt it.  Is it a questionable use of school time?  Maybe.  It probably didn’t harm anyone, with the possible exception of my one classmate who had to sit in the hall in a chair.  She was a Jehovah’s Witness.  Actually, it may have harmed me.  No six year old kid wants to be paraded out in front of the entire school in a bathrobe.  Oh well.


1968. Your author (L) gives his mother an unforgiving stare. At least she didn’t make me wear a towel on my head like the poor lad next to me.

Much of the War is a matter of semantics.  Of course, people may be too politically correct these days.  With Christmas everywhere, it’s a little odd to say “Happy Holidays.”  A “Merry Christmas” here and there shouldn’t offend.  Generally speaking, it doesn’t seem to have that effect.  The same should be true of “Happy Holidays.”  After all, it is the holiday season.  Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Day are all holidays to some extent.  Even pagans can celebrate the Winter Solstice which must be some kind of holiday, too.

I may be part of the problem, if there is one.  I tend to say Merry Christmas to people, without giving a thought to their religious views.  I’ve never gotten a response of “THERE IS NO GOD!” or “I AM JEWISH, YOU BASTARD!”  Maybe I’ve been lucky.  I’m much more concerned about saying “Happy Holidays” to the wrong person.

Some people don’t like “Xmas.”  Put Christ back in Christmas, they say.  They take it as a secular attempt to remove Jesus from his own holiday.  This isn’t true, of course.  The “X” is the Greek letter Chi which is used as a shorthand for “Christ.”  Oh well, never let the facts get in the way of righteous outrage.

Retailers seem to be the prime combatants in this war.  Rage is directed toward them for the use of “holidays” instead of “Christmas.”  In some cases, it was the result of such silliness as Lowe’s calling its Christmas trees “Family Trees.”  I don’t know if this justifies religious outrage, as much as it does treating them like marketing dolts.  Who ever bought a Family Tree?  Not me, that’s for sure.  We already have Family Trees, otherwise we wouldn’t know any of our relatives.

Even Santa Claus isn’t spared.  Some folks don’t like the emphasis on Santa.  After all, he isn’t Jesus, now, is he?  Of course, he isn’t.  In the 1960’s, a particularly vile anti-Semitic preacher named George L.K. Smith claimed that Santa was the product of “World Jewry” (whatever the hell that is) designed to supplant Christ.  After all, “Santa” almost spells “Satan.”  That can’t be a coincidence.  See how easy it is to join in?

You want to know who the real anti-Christmas warriors were?  The Puritans.  Those tight-asses hated Christmas.  Hated it. They hated it so much that they outlawed all the traditional celebrations.  Now, that’s a war.

As with most wars, the government plays a big role.  People like Christmas trees, and the government wastes a lot of resources trying to decide what to call them. At the end of the day, few people care that they are, in fact, Christmas trees. Naturally, there is litigation over Nativity displays and the like. Even though they don’t offend me, I can understand that one might think the government shouldn’t be in the practice of endorsing any particular religion. I’m not sure I could get fired up enough about it to spend any time in court.

Of course, some folks believe that the U.S. was founded as a Christian Nation™, despite strong historical proof to the contrary.  It’s not my job to disabuse them of that notion, although I would note that our government didn’t even bother making Christmas (or anything else, for that matter) a holiday until 1870.  (Surprisingly, our founding fathers weren’t all eaten up with the Christmas spirit.  In fact, the first session of Congress was held on Christmas Day.  Talk about a bunch of Scrooges.)

Truth be told, in our country, no religious holiday is given the same deference as Christmas, with the closing of businesses and government services and a non-stop marketing onslaught which starts just after Labor Day.  Employers are not only expected to give their employees time off work but also to give them extra money–a Christmas Bonus, no less.  We don’t do that for Easter,  the holiest of times for Christians.  We don’t do anything at all for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.  Try starting a holiday for Laylat al-Qadr.  You might end up in Gitmo for your next evening of prayer.  Even our entertainment is Christmas themed.  Turn on the radio and scan the stations.  Bet you’ll hear a Christmas song or two.  What about TV and movies?  Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.

John Lennon wrote a song called Merry Christmas (War is Over).  I don’t care for it, just as I don’t particularly care for many of his post-Beatles songs.  But I do think that this war, whenever it started, is over.  Christmas won.  So, when you hear “Happy Holidays” or get a card saying that, take heart.  Merry Christmas is implied.  We know that’s what they really mean don’t we?

As lawyer, I’m quite fond of quotations.  The Kentucky Court of Appeals penned my favorite legal quote, which is particularly applicable here:

In the celebrated case of Prewitt v. Clayton, 21 Ky. (5 T.B. Mon.) 4, this court, through Chief Justice Bibb, observed:

            ‘“A bear well painted and drawn to the life is yet the picture of a bear, although the painter may omit to write over it, ‘this is the bear.’”

             By parity of reasoning, the bear does not lose its basic characteristics if the artist dubs it a horse. 

The First National Bank of Mayfield v. Gardner, Ky., 376 S.W. 2d 311, 314-315 (1964).  The same applies to Christmas.  A bear is a bear, and Christmas is Christmas.  Neither one is a horse.

Ultimately, this is a battle among the secular (Santa and the elves); the religious (Baby Jesus and the Wise Men); the anti-religious (Atheists); and the religious non-Christians (everyone else).  In other words, the Americans.  Nothing is more American than disagreeing with each other.  We’ll fight amongst ourselves about anything.  It’s the American Way.  So, choose a side and weigh in.  It’s fun.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  Now, what are you going to do?

© 2012

The All-Purpose Facebook Privacy Protection Disclaimer

Evidently, people on Facebook are concerned about their privacy and protecting their posts about their kids, dogs, meals, prayer requests, political rants and family photos.  One can hardly blame them.  I know I don’t want the world seeing this photo of me should I foolishly decide to run for political office:

I fear that my gangsta past will come back to haunt me.

One can even dig deep into my past to find embarrassing photos like this one:

Honestly, I know a lot of people who would vote for this guy.

As a result, many folks are now protecting their rights by expressly reserving their privacy with this post:

Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute)

As a lawyer, this fascinates.  Yes, it’s true.  I’m a lawyer.  I graduated from law school, passed the bar exam–all of that.  As a service to my Facebook friends, I decided to use my finely honed lawyering skills to break down this disclaimer and explain exactly what is being said here, as only a real lawyer can explain:

Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall.  I certainly agree with this statement, assuming you possess rudimentary pointing and clicking skills.

This will place them under protection of copyright laws.  Who is “them?”  That confuses me. “They” must be the cutters and pasters.  I also don’t see any copyright protection in this statement.  If you want copyright protection, say so or use this nifty symbol: ©.  You can also claim a trademark with this: ™.  The bad part is that these only protect the rights you actually have. They don’t create rights.  For example, if I quote from Moby Dick on my Facebook wall (as I might do to show how brainy I am), I don’t have any copyright protection just because I claim I do.

By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contentsWho the hell uses the word “communique?”  Did James Bond write this?  Also, what action do we fear that Facebook will take “against” us?  A drone strike?  I know of no police powers granted to Facebook.  Perhaps we fear that Facebook will show our posts to someone.  Here’s a suggestion:  Don’t post anything that you don’t want people to see. 

The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control.  I’m not sure what the prohibited actions are, but they must be the actions “against me” that Facebook may take.  I’m also curious about the students under Facebook’s direction or control.  This brings to mind a cadre of brain-washed college kids spending their days reading Facebook posts and then informing Mark Zuckerberg of all the juiciest details.  If these people exist, I fully understand the desire to limit their powers.  Oh, “aforementioned” is an excellent lawyerly word.

The content of this profile is private and confidential information.  Now, this is problematic.  You see, when you sign up for Facebook, you agree to all the Terms of Service, which are quite detailed.  You probably didn’t read them.  I know I didn’t.  It’s doubtful that our posts are considered private or confidential.  This explains the Privacy Settings on our accounts.  I suggest that you don’t post confidential information.  For example, I don’t recommend posting nude photos of yourself, unless you are a reasonably attractive woman.  In that case, post them now using this disclaimer as protection.  Also, please send me a link to your profile, so that I may see if your protection was effective.

The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute):  This is my favorite part.  The UCC is the Uniform Commercial Code, a set of uniform statutes regulating commercial transactions.  Every state has adopted the UCC at least to some extent.  Its application to Facebook is a legal mystery.  Here is what Article 1-308 says:

1-308. Performance or Acceptance Under Reservation of Rights.

(a) A party that with explicit reservation of rights performs or promises performance or assents to performance in a manner demanded or offered by the other party does not thereby prejudice the rights reserved. Such words as “without prejudice,” “under protest,” or the like are sufficient.

This statute is often cited by conspiracy theorists or other folks on the fringe as giving one the right to do anything “under protest.”  For example, some folks will sign their tax returns and cite this section, believing that they haven’t really agreed to pay their taxes or that they have somehow reserved the right to challenge the IRS’s taxing authority.  I won’t bore you with all the legal niceties, but the UCC only applies to certain commercial transactions.  I took classes in law school about the UCC and remember a good deal about it. The UCC just won’t help you here.

Article 1-103 is even less applicable:

1-103. Supplementary General Principles of Law Applicable.

Unless displaced by the particular provisions of this Act, the principles of law and equity, including the law merchant and the law relative to capacity to contract, principal and agent, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, Bankruptcy, or other validating or invalidating cause shall supplement its provisions.

I don’t even know what to say about this one. All it says is that the UCC doesn’t replace any other law unless it specifically says so.  If that gives you any comfort, so be it.

The Rome Statute:  The only Rome Statute of which I am aware involves the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court to prosecute Crimes Against Humanity, genocide and the like.  If someone of the ilk of Slobodan Milosevic hacks your account, you may have something here, but it’s doubtful.  Although Facebook taking action against you might be offensive, you may have a hard time convincing the International Criminal Court that it rises to the level of a war crime.

Sadly, my conclusion is that this disclaimer, for all its flowery language and copious statutory citations, provides no real protection against use of your photos and posts.  Read the Facebook Terms of Service or the Facebook Data Policy. Those will give you some guidance on your agreement with the evil Zuckerberg.

So, if you’re wanting to post inflammatory status updates like advocating erotic literature for children or threatening to kill someone, you may not have the protection you think you do.  It would be wise to think before posting, especially if you are, say, in the job market.  An even better idea may be to just delete your account entirely.

I’m sure some other lawyer will read this and disagree. I might even get sued.  Nevertheless, I stand by my analysis.

Of course, all is not lost.  I am, after all, a lawyer.  I’ve composed my own disclaimer which you are free to cut and paste:

Under the authority of the International Court of The Hague, I hereby expressly and forever reserve my privacy rights as granted under the Declaration of Independence, Magna Carta, Hammurabi’s Code and any and all other applicable law whether foreign or domestic. By posting on Facebook, I do not waive any and all such rights which are hereby expressly reserved unto me, my heirs, successors, agents, legatees, grantees, lessees, designees, devisees, divorcees and/or assigns.  Nothing contained herein or therein shall be construed as such a waiver and any and all persons whomsoever, whether living or dead, reading this disclaimer are hereby forever estopped from so claiming.  Should any such person or entity attempt to violate any or all such rights, those persons or entities shall be subject to garnishment of their wages and seizure of their chattels.  I furthermore claim copyright, trademark, service mark and any and all other intellectual property rights in and to any and all posts on my Facebook wall, regardless of origin, authorship or preexisting claims to ownership.  Facebook is hereby strictly forbidden from challenging or taking exception to any of the statements made in this disclaimer.

Now that I think about it, you’re NOT free to cut and paste this.  See that little copyright symbol at the bottom?  I told you:  I’m a lawyer.

© 2012

The Sad Case of Charlie Brown

What can I say about Charlie Brown?  Plenty, as it turns out.  Poor Charlie Brown.  Blockhead.  Lovable loser.  Hard luck follows him.  This passes for entertainment for kids.  I’ve had enough.

Everyone of a certain age knows Charlie Brown, the prematurely bald, eight year old protagonist of the late Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip.  Charlie Brown also starred in numerous television specials.  Many of these specials center around a holiday–A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown, etc.  Others follow a similar theme of the dour circumstances of young Charlie, such as You’re in Love, Charlie Brown, You’re Not Elected Charlie Brown, What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown, ad nauseum. Each of these hour-long specials involve some sort of maudlin circumstances  where our put-upon hero is bullied, terrorized and berated until the inevitable “upbeat” ending where some kind of lesson is delivered.

He is always called “Charlie Brown,” not Charlie.  The only exceptions to this are the androgynous pair of Peppermint Patty and Marcie who call him “Chuck” and “Charles.”  He even called his grandmother once and said “Hello, this is Charlie Brown.”

Charlie Brown is tormented by insecurity and self-doubt, hardly a healthy role model.  He constantly battles the vacuous children of his school.  They, of course, reinforce his insecurities by consistently reminding him of his various inadequacies.  He’s bald, too.  Charles Schulz said that he isn’t bald, that he has close-cropped, light-colored hair.  Sure.

He’s bald. There’s not even stubble. Note, too, how the little hair he does have almost spells the word “Sex.” What’s that about?

Let’s be clear.  I’ve got no beef with Charlie Brown. In fact, I identify with him to a certain extent.  Insecurity, self-doubt and downright neurosis hover about me.   This is how I looked when I was eight years old:

I wasn’t bald, but I was certainly disturbed.

I may sympathize with Charlie Brown, but the same can’t be said for the maladjusted gang of misanthropes with whom he surrounds himself.  I loathe his so-called friends.  He’d be better off among the Children of the Corn.

As a kid, no Christmas show may have disturbed me more than A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Poor Charlie Brown tries to teach that pack of troglodytes the true meaning of Christmas while they turn it into a Bacchanal of consumerism.  Even his own dog, Snoopy, fails to understand.  Okay, in the end, everyone “gets it” and all is well–except of course for the severe psychological wounds inflicted upon Charlie Brown.

The perfect ending to A Charlie Brown Christmas

(Actually, a piece of TV tripe called The House Without a Christmas Tree is worse.  Jason Robards plays an emotionally abusive father of a 10-year-old girl.  The bitter old bastard hates Christmas and won’t allow a Christmas tree in his house.  By the time he sees the light, you’ll already have wished him dead for so long, you won’t care.)

As far as I know, my children have never seen even one Charlie Brown special.  There’s a simple reason for that.  I love my children, and I don’t encourage them to warp their minds with cartoon child abuse.  If they are to be bullies themselves, I would prefer it just develop naturally rather than be learned on TV.

But, what of Charlie Brown’s “friends?”  That alternate between contemptible and pathetic.

Lucy Van Pelt

Lucy was likely the prototype for Rhoda in The Bad Seed–a hateful, conniving little witch whose singular purpose in life is to make Charlie Brown miserable.  Her running gag is to hold a football for Charlie Brown to kick and then pull it away at the last second, thus humiliating him once again.  Perhaps one can rightfully question Charlie Brown’s intelligence or self-esteem to fall prey to this prank dozens–if not hundreds–of times.  Nevertheless, it is Lucy ultimately who bears the responsibility for this abusive behavior.


Once again, Charlie Brown falls prey to Lucy’s dangerous pranks.

Once–just once–I’d like to see Charlie Brown trot toward that ball, stop abruptly and kick Lucy square in the teeth.  Hard.  Blood spurting freely from her mangled mouth, she’d roll on her back.  Just when you think she’s dead, she coughs, spewing blood and a mouthful of broken teeth.  Charlie Brown, grinning slightly, mutters “I guess that one split the uprights, bitch.”



Pig-Pen doesn’t pick on Charlie Brown like the rest of those miniature Blutos in whatever the hell town they live in.  No, his “humor” derives from his horrific hygiene.  He is always surrounded by a cloud of dust or dirt and is perpetually filthy.  He is largely shunned by the other third graders.  Only Charlie Brown, of course, unconditionally accepts him, leading to Charlie Brown’s further ostracization.  Pig-Pen last appeared in Peanuts in 1999, shortly before Charles Schulz’s death.  Evidently, the humor to be found in a filthy child died with him.


Pig-Pen, the hilariously filthy child of Charlie Brown’s world.

Growing up in Eastern Kentucky, I knew filthy-looking kids.  They weren’t funny.  My parents always said that one sign of trashy people was a baby with a dirty face.  Pig-Pen, alas, may have been trash or just drawn that way.


Lucy’s younger brother, Linus is as close as Charlie Brown gets to a real friend.  Of course, Linus is an odd, possibly mentally ill child who fantasizes about The Great Pumpkin, a holiday myth in which he is the only child who believes.  He is also emotionally attached to his blanket, no doubt as a result of the absence of his parents, a disturbing living condition of all these children.

Linus appears to have well-above average intelligence.  Of course, this may just be damning him with faint praising by comparing him to the sadistic children who degrade Charlie Brown.  Lucy, of course, also attacks Linus trying innumerable times to hide or destroy his blanket, hoping no doubt to force a final break from reality for her younger sibling.


Peppermint Patty is a lesbian.  There, I said it.  Oh, I know others have made the same observation.  It doesn’t take a person perceptive about human relations to make this deduction.  She is.  No big deal, mind you.  The irony is that she also has a crush on Charlie Brown.  That’s how things go for Charlie Brown.  That’s right. One girl likes Charlie Brown, and she’s gay.

Patty regularly dominates Charlie Brown in sports, baseball especially.  This further adds to his degradation.  If Linus is a genius, Patty appears to be a nitwit, believing that Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy, is a kid with the “long nose.”  Her long time companion, Marcie, consistently refers to Patty as “sir.”  This gender-bending can only warp young minds.


She is Charlie Brown’s unattainable true love. One time she wrote Charlie Brown a note and said she liked him.  Did we ever see her again?  Of course, not.  That’s how Charlie Brown’s world works.

I theorize that the Little Red Haired Girl doesn’t really exist.  She’s merely a figment of Charlie Brown’s imagination created to maintain some semblance of sanity.  No doubt his fragile young mind created her as an unapproachable ideal, yet something to make his life tolerable.

What I don’t like about the Little Red Haired Girl is that Charlie Brown still can’t catch a break.  He swoons and he carries on about her.  He obsesses like a bald, eight year old stalker.  But, does he ever really get to work his game with her?  Of course, not.  Even an imaginary child disses Charlie Brown.

I read that the Little Red Haired Girl was based on Charles Schulz’s unrequited love for a woman who left him to marry another man.  I don’t know if that’s true.  If it is, it’s unfortunate.  Perhaps some psychological counseling would have been appropriate, rather than tormenting Charlie Brown.


She doesn’t readily come to mind when one thinks of Peanuts, but she is the most despicable of them all.  It is she, I believe, who coined the term “block head” for Charlie Brown.  She both verbally and physically abuses him.  She’s also a haughty little harridan, constantly bragging about her father or other self-perceived superiority.  If these characters aged like real people, I’m confidant that Charlie Brown, after years being institutionalized, would return and decapitate her and bury her head in Snoopy’s doghouse.


Along with Linus, Schroeder may well be a real friend of Charlie Brown’s.  A piano prodigy modeled perhaps after Van Cliburn, Schroeder supports Charlie Brown in most of his endeavors.  Unfortunately, his obsession with the piano limits his availability.  He also thumbs his nose at Lucy, rejecting her at every turn.  For that alone, I like him.


What?!?! I have a problem with Snoopy?  Man’s best friend?  Yep, I do.  He’s arrogant and self-absorbed.  Unlike a faithful, loyal, real life dog, Snoopy smugly lolls about his doghouse expecting Charlie Brown to bring him food or address any other whim.  He doesn’t even know Charlie Brown’s name–referring to him as that “round-headed kid.”  This is a dog who can communicate with a bird.  The least one could expect would be that he knew his master’s name.  If Snoopy were any kind of dog, he would maul Lucy, tearing out her throat.  The day he does that, I’ll change my opinion.


The adults are never seen.  When they are heard, it is only as the mute drone of a trombone.  Having children myself, I realize that is the sound they hear when I talk.  Regardless, one would think an adult–any adult–would step in on occasion and protect Charlie Brown from the slings and arrows of his childhood.  Instead, they sit idly by while his torment continues.  To Hell with them, too, I say.

Many other characters have traveled in and out of the Peanuts world.  Franklin the black kid.  Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally.  Snoopy’s sidekick, Woodstock.  All of them have piled on Charlie Brown on occasion.  Is this entertainment?  Perhaps.  So is bear-baiting for some folks.

While everyone gathers around to watch the latest abuse heaped on Charlie Brown, remember this:  He might grow up one day.  If he does, there will be Hell to pay.

© 2012

Tell Me What You Think…or Don’t: One Man’s Lament

Maybe it’s just a natural function of age, but I’m growing tired and rather impatient about a few things. Well, actually a LOT of things.

Another part of it is my contrarian nature. My Dad called it my “mountain” attitude, meaning that I have a tendency to rail against things just to do it. In fact, I rail against that description. I am NOT contrarian, dammit!

Conversely, I’m one of those strange people who are happy most of the time, regardless of the circumstances.  That doesn’t mean I’m perfect.  Things can and do annoy me.

I’m also possessed of an odd belief that people are concerned about my opinion. Intellectually, I know that’s not true. But, I’m no intellectual, so I insist on making my views known, not to persuade, mind you, but just to go on record. Everyone wants to know what makes my tick. Well, here is a list of things sure to annoy me:


Don’t misunderstand. I like food. Love it, in fact. Good food is one of life’s pleasures. I don’t often eat really good food, but when I do it’s quite the treat. So, why do I list food? Because people try to tell me what to eat.

I love bacon, as do most people. Evidently, bacon is unhealthy. I don’t care. It’s good on everything or just by itself. Generally speaking, I don’t care for salads. But, throw some bacon on it, and I’m all over it. I assume it’s unhealthy, because it’s good. If it tasted like a baseball glove, I’m sure it would be fabulous for my health.

Fat is bad for you. No shit, Dick Tracy, as previous generations would say. Fat also is the key to anything tasting worth a damn. You want to fix the taste of something, deep fry it. Don’t like bananas? Deep fried bananas would get your attention. Fried chicken, fried pork chops, chicken fried steak, fried shrimp, fried oysters, fried potatoes–all excellent. Broil, boil, saute’ or bake them, and they may still be good, but not quite as good. If I want to fry my food it’s none of your damn business. Period. I’ve heard of people eating deep fried sticks of butter. So what?

Deep-fried butter. Why not?

Chocolate, of course, is bad. Too fatty. My Papaw once said he’d eat a turd if you covered it with chocolate sprinkles. I believed him. He lived to be 91, despite having–as my father once noted–“the eating habits of a billy-goat.” Deep-fried, chocolate-covered bacon for everyone!

I’m also sick of gluten. Sick of it, not allergic to it, as about 75% of Americans seem to be now. I’m a fairly bright fellow and reasonably well-educated, too. Until about 3 years ago, I had never heard of gluten. NEVER. What the hell is it, anyway? I ate some gluten-free cookies once. I determined that “gluten” is Latin for “taste.” They were like eating discs made of Play Dough and cinders, except less appetizing. Yes, I’ve eaten Play Dough, and I’ll eat it again if I damn well choose. Wanna know how to make gluten-free bread? Get a bag of sand, mix with water and bake until inedible.

The First Lady is concerned about what I eat and what my kids eat. Thank you very much, Mrs. Busybody. One of the best things we had for school lunches was peanut butter sandwiches. Not just any peanut butter, either. It was peanut butter mixed with corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup. Outstanding. Nowadays, you’d have a better chance of feeding kids ground glass and rat poison. I’ll eat what I want to eat, thank you. So will my kids. If they end up weighing 400 pounds, so be it. Maybe that makes me a bad parent. If so, there are few laws against that.

The Mayor of New York is so concerned about what people eat that he wants to outlaw almost everything that tastes good. He doesn’t even want homeless people to eat without checking the nutritional content of their food first! Being a billionaire doesn’t mean you’re smart (see also Trump, Donald).

Here’s how it shakes out. I’m eating bacon, eggs, fried stuff, chocolate, candy, cake, lard, butter, oils, snack cakes, fats, trans fat, super-trans fats–you name it. Leave me alone.


Everything is made of carbon, yet it is the most horrible substance on the planet. The more you produce, the more evil you are. We are dying of carbon, even while we live only because of it. God, it seems, does have a sense of humor.

We all must reduce our carbon footprint. What is a carbon footprint? In simple terms–on this topic, can there be any other?–it’s how much carbon you produce. Al Gore has flitted about the globe belching carbon from his private jets to preach this gospel to us. How does one reduce his or her carbon footprint? There are many ways, but the best way is to reduce your lifestyle to unlivable Hell.

Well, here’s another deal for you. As Samuel Goldwyn (or some other movie mogul) said, “Include me, out.” I’m producing as damn much carbon as I can.

Bigfoot will have nothing on my carbon footprint

I don’t recycle. I used to, but the rules are more complicated than the NFL Quarterback Rating System. Bottled water is the Sasquatch of carbon. I drink bottled water. Five or six bottles a day. If I didn’t drink it, I’d order a bunch of empty bottles just for the privilege of throwing them away.

I don’t care about the gas mileage of my car, except to the extent that I might want to save money. If I don’t want to save money, I’m helping the economy. Here’s what I DO care about–liking my car. If I’d like my car better with a lignite-burning oven strapped to the top, I’ll pimp my ride accordingly.

I’ll also use as much electricity as I want. Washers, dryers, dishwashers, water heaters, microwave ovens, electric arc ovens–anything. I’ll build a big damn Frankenstein lab in my basement, but instead of lightning, I’ll hook it right into the Eastern Power Grid. I even go outside and watch the meter spin on the side of my house like a bunch of freakin’ green-ass windmills.

I might also hook up a huge diesel-powered generator just for the hell of it. I’ll use it only to power the light in my garage, which I’ll burn 24 hours a day.

Oh, I also buy a bunch of cows if I want. Yeah, cows. They produce a huge amount of carbon, belching, farting and dumping all over the place. I might put a whole herd in my yard for no reason other than that. If I get tired of them, then I’ll eat them–red meat and all.

My future backyard. Get to work, girls!

Another reason I’m tired of carbon is that I’m even more tired of “global warming” which is now called “climate change.” I like warm weather. I also like the beach. If the beach moves closer to Kentucky, I consider that a positive development. You know what I don’t care for? Bears, polar or otherwise. I also don’t like Winter. Check that. I HATE Winter. Hate it. Oh, but you say, “You should move to a warmer climate.” YOU CAN’T MAKE ME MOVE! Besides, why move to warmer weather when I can bring the weather to me?


It’s always fashionable to say that one is sick of politics. I’m sicker now of politics than ever before. Of course, like any sane person, I get sick of politics during election season. The advent of social media has made this especially problematic. Some folks on social media are like drunks at a bar who can’t stop droning on about the state of the world while their contribution to it consists of vomiting on themselves. Election season, it seems, never ends.

If you’re like Chris Matthews, I don’t understand. By that, I don’t mean that you’re soaked in flop sweat and yell a lot. I mean you tingle or shiver when a politician speaks. If so, you and I exist on different planes.

What I’m tired of is being told what is politically good or bad or what I should think or what is important. Different people have different experiences. What’s important to you may not be important to me. Get the Hell over it. If you tell me something with which I disagree 1,000 times, all that means is that I’ve disagreed 1,000 times. Stop.

Frankly, I used to struggle with my political apathy. I decided to do a comprehensive overview of what politicians have done to make my life better. I thoroughly reviewed where I am in life and what matters most to me. After distilling this data, I made a list of the five things I could identify that any politician has done to help me:






That’s the list. Yours may be much longer. Good for you.  Keep it to yourself.


Boy, oh, boy, am I sick of Iran. I have been since I was a teenager in the 1970’s. I’m particularly sick of its President, the redoubtable Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I will give him credit for rocking the business casual look. Other than that, go away.

The unrivaled King of Business Casual

Unlike the other things I’ve listed, with this one I’m not sick of other people talking about it.  I’m sick of Iran talking about Iran.

Iran is like a guy once knew. He had a big mouth. Always threatened people, especially when under the influence of an intoxicant. He was always going to kick someone’s ass. One night, someone took him up on it. He got kicked in the stomach until he puked.  By the way, that guy was me.

One problem is that I don’t think their language (don’t ask me what it is) translates well. No one talks like these people. Let’s say the U.S. moves an aircraft carrier near Iran. Old Mahmoud is liable to say something like: “We will fill their mothers’ boots with the blood of their oxen!” We will immediately consider this to be a threat, even though no one has any idea what it means. Just once, I’d like the State Department to issue this statement:

We condemn in the strongest term’s Iran’s most recent threat to emasculate our goats with the Sword of God. We have now decided to whip their asses. They can name the time and place. It’s on its way.

I’m also sick of them picking on Israel. Israel is like our little brother. They’re annoying, always want our stuff, borrowing money and expect us to back them up. That said, you like your little brother. Your brother may not always be right, but he’s your brother.

I wish Iran would follow North Korea’s lead. Isolate. North Korea always has nutty leaders, but they concentrate on terrorizing their own citizens. Otherwise, we don’t hear much from them. Here’s another pointer for all you revolutionaries. If you overthrow a government and want to start a new one, be careful about one thing. If one of your cohorts is known as “Ayatollah,” you might want to give him a lesser role in your new government. Maybe something in your postal service. Trust me on this one. You’ll thank me later.

Don’t construe this as advocating a war. I’m more tired of war than I am of Iran. I just want them to quiet down before someone decides to kick them in the stomach.


Of course, I don’t mean you literally. You might be in that exclusive group of people who I genuinely care about it. Even if you aren’t, I have no ill will toward you or at least not a significant amount of it.

The you that torques my jaws is the one who tells me what I need to do. Or should do. Or will do, by God.

You may not be very good at running your own life. What are the chances you can run mine?  I certainly can’t run yours nor do I have any interest in trying.

So, I’m weary of you telling me how to eat or live or vote. Don’t tell me how to raise my kids. Or what to worship. Don’t tell me what car to drive. Thank you.

I’ll make you a deal. I also won’t tell you what to do. I won’t even try to set an example for you–good or bad. Oh, stay out of my yard, too.

You, of course, are free to do as you see fit. Move to Iran, go gluten-free, drive an electric car and vote for anyone you want. Or don’t do any of that.

© 2012

Are You Conservative or Liberal? Take the Test

I paid more attention to this election cycle than I usually do. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because everyone on social media spewed about the election. That’s probably a good thing. I was able to deduce to things: (1) Liberals hate Mitt Romney; and (2) Conservatives hate Barack Obama. Pretty simple.

What isn’t so simple these days is to figure out if you’re a liberal or a conservative. My archly conservative friends think I’m liberal. My liberal friends think I’m conservative. My staunchly political friends of both stripes can’t believe that any sane person wouldn’t vote a straight ticket in an election. Alas, I am an Independent. For me, a straight ticket is a list of perennial candidates, crackpots and unelectable do-gooders.

Honestly, I’ve tried to figure out where I fall on the political spectrum. Some folks tell me I’m a Libertarian. When I read about Libertarians, I tend to agree; however, when I listen to Libertarians, I vehemently disagree. I often refer to myself as a conservative, but then some real conservative says something insane, and I change my mind.

So, I decided to come up with a simple quiz to help answer this question. As a public service, I have reproduced it below:


1. Which statement best describes your views on the anger toward the West in the Middle East?

a) The West is a bunch of capitalist pigs. I am angry toward it, too.

b) They aren’t as angry as I am toward them.

c) Nuke ’em, except Israel.

2. Which group of countries do you consider the greatest threat to world peace?

a) The United States, Great Britain and Israel

b) Canada, Mexico and Greenland

c) North Korea, France and any country where the leaders wear robes.

3. Which statement best describes your views toward China?

a) We must stop all human rights violations in China, even if they don’t want our help

b) We should try not to make them mad since they make all our stuff

c) Nuke ’em

4. What do you think the US role in foreign affairs should be?

a) Become friends with everyone

b) Stay the hell away from foreigners

c) Try to build strong relationships with friendly governments. Nuke the rest of ’em.

5. The biggest risk to America’s security is:

a) American imperialism

b) The federal deficit

c) Everyone who answered “a” to this question.


1. Which statement best describes your views on a woman’s right to choose?

a) Women have the unfettered right to choose anything, up to and including the euthanasia of their children under 18 and husbands.

b) Frankly, I haven’t given it much thought. I’m a man.

c) When did this happen?

2. What best describes your reaction to the term “homo-queer?”

a) That’s just another pejorative term for our gay friends and indicative of the hate-mongering on the right.

b) That’s a word my mother once said when she was trying to say “homosexual.”

c) That’s just another example of “political correctness” run wild.

3. What best describes your position on “traditional” marriage?

a) Marriage is loving relationship which should be allowed between or among any two or more people, regardless of sex, age or species.

b) I’m divorced. Don’t get me started.

c) Marriage is a holy union between a man and woman until one gets caught cheating on the other.

4. What best describes your position on immigration?

a) Everyone who sets foot in the US should automatically become a citizen.

b) I don’t care. I’m a foreigner.

c) I’m okay with it, as long as you speak English and look like me.

5. What best describes your religious views?

a) There is no God. And if there is one, he’s a woman.

b) I am God

c) My God is the only god. And he’s a Christian.


1. Taxes should be increased on:

a) The rich, which is anyone making more money than I do.

b) Anyone except me

c) No one, except the people who don’t make enough money to pay taxes

2. The best way to reform welfare would be to:

a) Make it available to everyone except rich

b) Make it available to me and no one else

c) Eliminate it, except if it is provided to job creators

3. The best way to balance the federal budget would be to:

a) Raise the tax rate on the rich to 120%

b) Suspend Congressional pay until the budget is balanced.

c) Start two wars and then lower taxes.

4. The biggest area of waste in the federal budget is:

a) Subsidies to the rich

b) Congressional pay

c) The food stamps used by those answering “a” to this question


1. What is your reaction to this photo?

a) Tingling in various body parts

b) Who is that?

c) AAARRRGGHHH! The Devil!

2. What is your reaction to this photo?

a) AAARRRGGHHH! The Devil!

b) I never could figure out how his hair stayed so dark.

c) Drop to your knees, followed by uncontrollable crying

3. What is your reaction to this photo:

a) Vomit in mouth. Rinse. Repeat.

b) When did Gregg Allman shave?

c) Ooooh. Hootchie Mama!

4. What is your reaction to this photo?

a) More tingling

b) Matt LeBlanc has really let himself go.

c) Vomit in mouth. Swallow. Repeat.

5. What is your reaction to this photo?

a) Another pathetic example of the exploitation of women.

b) Damnation. Sweet.

c) Is that Ann Coulter?


The following are true/false questions

1. President Obama is Kenyan. T or F?

2. President Obama is a Muslim. T or F?

3. President Obama is a terrorist. T or F?

4. Karl Rove is a genius. T or F?

5. Sarah Palin is smokin’ hot. T or F?

For every question you answered “true,” add 10 points. If each you answered false, subtract 5 points.


1. Something is unconstitutional if:

a) I don’t like it

b) I don’t like it

c) I don’t like it

2. Which statement best describes your view of gun control:

a) Guns are evil and should be outlawed regardless of the Constitution

b) I can’t control my guns. That’s why I prefer sleeveless shirts.

c) I firmly believe that all citizens have the right to bear arms and shoot other citizens when necessary or convenient.

3. Which statement best describes your view of states rights:

a) The states have no rights

b) My state is run by idiots. Why would they do any better?

c) States have the right to screw up anything that the federal government hasn’t reserved to its own incompetence.

4. Who wrote the United States Constitution?

a) White bigots

b) Abraham Lincoln

c) God

5. Which statement best describes your view of freedom of religion?

a) Religion should be illegal, unless it’s worshiping something like a tree or the President.

b) Leave me alone

c) You are free to worship as you see fit as long as it is an acceptable form of Christianity


In 1000 words or less, describe the effects of global warming on our climate and the changes you believe must be implemented to save the planet from imminent destruction. Attach your answer on separate sheets.

(If you knew enough to write anything, subtract 25 points. If you laughed out loud after reading this, add 25 points. Any other reaction gives you no points).


For each multiple choice question you answered “a,” add 5 points. For each you answered “b,” add 10 points. For each you answered “c,” add 15 points. Then take your score from True/False and Essay questions and add to the total. If any question outraged you to the point that you couldn’t go on, adjust your medication and try again.

Once you’ve added up your total, here is how to interpret the result:

100-150 points: Flaming commie, pinko, socialist Leftist. Kim Jong il is your ideal president.

150-200 points: Dangerous, left-leaning weirdo. Gus Hall is your ideal president.

200-300 points: Disenfranchised everyman. Franklin Pierce is your ideal president.

300-375 points: Dangerous, bloodless, right-wing radical. Joseph McCarthy is your ideal president.

375+ points: Ultra right-wing reactionary. George Lincoln Rockwell is your ideal president.

If you somehow managed to score less than 100 or more than 425, please leave the country immediately.

Now you know what you are. Don’t you feel better? I know I do. Even better, you’ll know how to vote next time around. If you don’t, someone will tell you.

© 2012

I’m Seriously Not Joking: Call Me Barnhart!

The vast emptiness of Commonwealth Stadium, November 3, 2012. I’d fill this bad boy.

I was inspired to originally write this post after my good friend, Roger, and I sat through the entire, sorry University of Kentucky/Western Kentucky University football game earlier this season. Today, November 4, 2012, UK announced that it will have a new football coach next season. So, I again announce my candidacy for what is now a vacancy. UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart can now consider this an open letter to him.

The Western game was just another of many inexplicable UK losses we’ve watched over the years. UK football games are like watching Old Yeller. You know how it ends. You know you’ll be sad, but you watch it anyway.

Roll forward several weeks and our beloved Cats stand–or kneel–at 1 and 9. The latest loss was ignominious 40-0 pounding by Vanderbilt. The last time Vandy stomped us like that, Teddy Roosevelt was President and football was literally played with a pigskin.

We’ve also been eviscerated by Arkansas and Missouri for their first conference wins. We did play well for a half against South Carolina and most of the game against Georgia. We took a beating from Florida when we tried an ill-conceived game plan of playing without a quarteback. Mississippi State bludgeoned us, too.

Inspiration is the bastard child of bitter defeat. No one ever said that. I just made it up, but feel free to quote me. After the game, we were bemoaning the loss–on a trick-play, two point conversion that a high school team could have stopped. Of course, we need a new coach. Except for a few random seasons, that’s pretty much the constant state of affairs for our beloved Wildcats.

My optimism for this season was short-lived. The inevitable coaching change is now upon us. Names like David Cutcliffe of Duke and Sonny Dykes of Louisiana Tech have been floated. What about an old warhorse like Phillip Fulmer?

My thought earlier this year was to go contrarian and hire the worst coach we can find. Maybe Bobby Hauck at UNLV (4-21 in his first two seasons). How about Indiana’s coach, Kevin Wilson? He went 1-11 in his first season. Gene Chizek is on his way out at Auburn. He’s looking at two wins at AUBURN! He has to be bad.

Just hire the worst we can find and accept our fate. My friend, Roger, had an inspired thought: Why not hire someone who’s NEVER coached football on any level?

He suggested hiring himself, which is just foolish. He lives in another state. It would be very inconvenient. I, on the other hand, live right here in Lexington. Again, I officially declare myself a candidate. Not only a candidate. The only candidate.


Except for some limited experience in my backyard, I’ve never played football. I never even seriously considered it. I was too small, and I don’t like getting hit. I also don’t like getting dirty. This is an advantage. Many great athletes make poor coaches because they don’t understand why their players can’t perform at a high level. This won’t be a problem for me. Almost anyone would be a better athlete than I ever was. I’ll be impressed by pretty much everything.

I’m 50 years old. That’s the prime of the my professional life. After 25 years practicing law, I’m ready for a new challenge. Bring it on.

I’ve watched a lot of football. I mean A LOT. College, NFL, Arena League–even Canadian Football. I even watched the XFL. According to the radio call-in shows, watching football makes one an excellent football coach. I’ve also played a lot of Madden Football. Hundreds, if not thousands, of games. I’m a good strategist.

I’m also a UK alum–two times, in fact. Add to that my 40 year allegiance to the football program, and I bring an every man quality to the job that other candidates lack. I remember all the bitter defeats. I’ll cry and carry on after every loss just like a fan, because that’s what I am. In fact, I’ll call for my own firing if we lose. Fans will love me.


My contract will be simple. Here are my terms:

  • $500,000 base salary–easily the lowest in the Southeastern Conference.
  • $100,000 bonus for each win. I’ll guarantee you that I’ll do anything to win if I get 100 large.
  • Discretion to hire my friends as assistant coaches.
  • Two days a week off. I’m used to working 5 days a week. I can’t really change that at my age.
  • A provision that excuses me for NCAA violations. As a low-paid coach, I can’t be expected to learn all that legal mumbo jumbo.
  • No long-term deal or buyout needed. If you want to fire me, do it. I don’t care.

We’ll have this deal wrapped up in about 15 minutes.


You probably think I can’t recruit. Oh, how wrong you are on that one. First, I’ll completely ignore the NCAA rules and be open about it. We know that all coaches operate in the gray areas of the rules, anyway. I’ll head straight to the black area. You want a car? You got it. Cash? Sure. A house? You’ll have to be pretty damn good for that, but it’s doable. Now, if I give you this stuff and you suck, I want it back. That’ll be some good incentive.

The best part is that my lack of coaching skill will be a selling point. The first thing I’ll do is ask some recruiting nerd to identify the best quarterback in the country. Then, I’ll go to his house. Here’s my recruiting pitch:

Okay, son, here’s the deal. If you want to be the best quarterback in the country, UK is your school. Why? Because you’ll call every play we run. All of them. Why? Because I don’t know a damn thing about football. You can throw it every down if you want. Trick plays, everyone out for a pass. I won’t give a shit. And don’t worry about that headset I wear. It’s hooked to my iPod. If you want a nanny to wipe your nose or someone to treat you like an idiot, go to one of these “power” schools. I’ll admit that UK isn’t for everyone, but you’ve got what it takes. Want a car?

We’ll have so many quarterbacks, I wouldn’t know what do with them even if I actually did know what I was doing. If I need an offense lineman, here’s the pitch:

ME: How much you weigh?

PLAYER: About 260, sir.

ME: If you can put on 100 pounds, we want you.

PLAYER: Sir, I’m willing to work hard in the weight room.

ME: Weeeellll, that’s one way, I guess. Really, if you can just eat like a pig that will work, too. We want the biggest players we can get. I don’t care if they’re fat. I want the offensive line to average 350–or even bigger. We don’t really waste a lot of time on things like “technique” and weird blocking schemes. We’re going for bulk. Want a car?

What kid could resist that? A full scholarship and permission to eat like a horse. Plus, a car. They’ll line up.

There has been a lot of talk about UK needing a recruiting. Once I saw, I understood:

The UK Football Recruiting Room, where top high school talent can enjoy a fine meal and then run the calories off on the track.

While I agree this is pathetic, I won’t demand huge money for a new one. Here is my basement:

My basement. Plenty of sitting area, 60 inch plasma TV. What recruit wouldn’t be impressed?

Recruits can laze around on the couch watching TV with my teenage son. It will be just like being in someone’s home.


I don’t have the patience to deal with a bunch of know-it-all so-called football “coaches.” Besides, we’ve had entire staffs full of these guys and still suck. I’ll hire whomever I want.

I won’t have offensive or defensive coordinators. That’s too complicated. The quarterback will call all the plays. On defense, they can just line up however they want. As far as I know, there aren’t any illegal defensive formations. 10 linemen? Let’s give it a shot. Blitz on every play? Why not? I’ll have only one defensive play: TACKLE THE GUY WITH THE DAMN BALL! How you do that is up to you. I need self-starters–not a bunch of mama’s boys who expect me to figure out everything for them.

There is one play I will run–the strongside toss/stiff arm. Years ago, Roger and I were both quite good at EA Sports NCAA Football. At the time, Anthony White was UK’s tailback. In my games, the toss to White to the strongside always resulted in large gains because of his crippling stiff-arm. If I recall correctly, Roger once rushed for 700 yards in a game using that play. It’s all in the timing. I may even bring Anthony in to teach it or I can just show it on a video game.

One thing won’t do is punt, except on first down sometimes. Then, it will be a quick kick by the quarterback designed to stun the defense and to put up ridiculously long punting yardage averages.

I also won’t waste a lot of time on practice. Our teams have practiced and practiced over the years and have almost nothing to show for it. Here’s what we’ll do. All the big guys will hit each other. All the fast guys will have balls thrown or handed to them. All the white guys will practice kicking. After a couple of hours of that, we’ll talk about our next opponent to see if anyone has seen them play and has suggestions. That’s it. Oh, and all the practices are open to the media and fans, even to opposing coaches. I’ve got nothing to hide, plus someone might have some ideas.

I won’t be a disciplinarian. I have three children whom I dearly love. I’ve not been much of disciplinarian with them. I can hardly be expected to be one with someone else’s kids. In fact, I won’t really care what they do. They can smoke and drink if they want. During games. We’ve played many games over the years where our players (and coaches) appeared to be drunk. Why not give it a real shot and see what happens? Imagine the shock if a huge Alabama defensive tackle lines up and sees our lineman dragging on a Marlboro. We’ll win the psychological war before the ball is even snapped.

I do expect some effort in class. Just enough to stay eligible will be fine. I don’t want a bunch of eggheads who think they’re better than I am.


This may be my one weak point. I am overly sensitive to criticism, especially when it is valid. One might also say that I’m volatile and dangerously so on occasion. I am subject to unprovoked fits of pique. I tend to hold grudges over both real and imagined slights. I will need tamp down these and other psychological problems. To build strong media and fan relationships, I will do the following:

  • In an effort to stay in a good mood, I will never watch game film. If we’ve won, I’ve obviously done a good job and don’t need to do anything else. If we’ve lost, I’ll just get depressed if I see what our next opponent looks like. Obviously, as a fan, I’d never watch any of our own defeats. Why subject myself to that?
  • Personally recruit the greatest flautist in the country to prance about the field playing the entire Jethro Tull catalogue at each game. Aqualung will become our fight song.
  • Take my medication.
  • Engage the fans by asking for play calls via Twitter during the games.
  • Insist on being introduced as the head coach of the “Greatest Program in the History of College Football.”
  • Have Nike make an array of garish uniforms. Each player can wear whatever he wants each game.
  • Punch Steve Spurrier in the throat.
  • End our decades long losing streak to Florida by constant prayer that their entire team be stricken with a non-serious disease that will debilitate them for only 3-4 hours.
  • IF we lose a game, I will start my post-game press conference by saying: “We meant to lose.”
  • Buy O.J. Simpson’s Heisman Trophy and then claim that I won it.

These are but a few of the things which come to mind. Mostly, I’ll try to be like the fan I am. If we lose, I will call-in to radio shows and demand my own firing. I’ll tailgate before and even during games. I’ll treat the media with disdain by calling them “ink-stained wretches” or I’ll kiss up to them depending on my many moods. I’ll call our fans the greatest in all the world until I get booed. Then, I will consistently refer to them as a bunch of miserable jackasses spoiled by success. I promise that it won’t be boring.


I predict great things. I’m certain I can win two games or so a season, which will make me quite successful by UK standards. Even if the heat is on, I’ll get 4 or 5 years to implement my system. By then, I’ll have knocked down a boatload of money anyway.

If things get really bad, I’ll wreck a motorcycle or start betting on games or coach a game naked or something that will make it easy to get rid of me. Then, I’ll get a gig at ESPN as a football expert–the last bastion of washed out coaches.

Our one win was against Kent State. I’m pretty sure this is now the low point in the history of their university, surpassing the whole National Guard thing.

I still hold out hope that we can beat Samford–assuming they are really bad. Regardless, we all have something to look forward to now. Go Cats!

© 2012

Eat The Rich

It’s time to be honest. We don’t like rich people, do we? Come on, you know don’t. Think about it. Don’t feel bad. It’s common. Why would Aerosmith, Krokus AND Motörhead all have songs called Eat The Rich, even though they’re all rich (okay, Krokus probably isn’t)? In fact, it’s the American Way.

Some people paint buildings with anti-rich graffitti

Who is rich? It depends. My Dad once asked–rhetorically–“Does a million dollars sound like a lot of money?” His brother responded: “It depends on what crowd you’re hanging out in.” True enough.

Some people might say I’m rich. I make a good living, pay all my bills on time and even save money. That’s rich to some folks, but not to me. To me, rich is not having to work. If you don’t have to work, you’re rich.

This angry fellow doesn’t care for the rich. Imagine the popularity of an “Eat the Poor” sign.

My definition doesn’t work all that well, though. Disabled people don’t have to work. They’d like to work, I guess, but they can’t. I suppose some poor people actually don’t have to work, either. They get by somehow. Retired people don’t have to work, but most of them don’t seem rich to me. I guess what I mean is that if I could live like I do now AND not work, I’d be rich.

Here’s my test to see if someone is rich.  Go to the putative rich person’s house and use the bathroom.  Rich people have rich bathrooms.  Naturally, there is no stink. They have bidets.  They have lotions and fancy soap.  You’ll be afraid to touch the soap.  The towels will be fabulous. You can just touch them, and they will absorb all the moisture from your hide.  I know I’m not rich, because our towels come from Walmart.  It’s like drying yourself with a raincoat.  Don’t even get me started on the toilet paper of the rich.  It’s like using a cashmere.

Typical rich man bathroom.

Most any American is rich compared to an impoverished person in a Third World country. Some people, however, are so stinking rich that no context is required. Bill Gates, for example. He’s worth tens of billions of dollars. Billions. That’s rich anywhere, anytime.

We don’t like that kind of rich. That’s just too damn rich. It doesn’t matter if he gives millions to charity. He damn well should. Rich bastard.

What bothers us–or at least me–is this question: Why couldn’t I think of something like a PC? You don’t even need something that complicated. Mike Nesmith of the band The Monkees is rich. Why? His mother invented Liquid Paper. I could have done that. Someone invented Velcro. Post-it Notes. Staples. Clothes pins. All these simple things, and I’m too freakin’ stupid to think of any of them. Dammit.

I’ll post this on Facebook. Mega-billionaire Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook. Why didn’t I do that? Now, that punk has more money than he can ever spend.

Sometimes, we admire the rich. They are the American Dream, coming from humble beginnings. Usually, though, we’re just jealous. At least, I am.

You know what really chafes us? People who inherit piles of money. They didn’t do anything but win some kind of genetic PowerBall. That just sucks. It condemns all our prior generations as a pack of losers.

I have an ancestor who helped found Rutgers University and was the driving force behind the founding of Princeton University. The Divinity School at Harvard is named after him. It seems like a guy like that should have been rich. Apparently, he wasn’t. Loser.

My ancestors had jobs like coal miner, plumber, school teacher, carnival barker, store keeper, gas station attendant. No money in any of that. You’d think at least one of them would have invented something worthwhile.

I’ve always wanted a trust fund. I know people who have trust funds. Some of them don’t work. Some do, but not because they have to work. Some clever person in an earlier generation saw to that. Trust funds are the calling card of the rich. Man, I hate that.

You can inherit large amounts of money without having anything going for you. You just get it. No brilliant inventions or hard work. You just make it to the reading of the will. It’s no wonder we hate that.

Of course, the worst is if one of your distant relatives or, God forbid, friends becomes rich. Now, you not only face the fact that your ancestors let you down, but you have an example right in your face of your own failings. You’re left with little choice but to try your best to sponge off them whenever possible.

Some people are rich because they marry rich people. That’s especially galling. We should marry for love, but why can’t we love a rich person? Hating all of them makes that tough. Fortunately, most of us can look past that hate to at least marry someone if he or she is rich enough.

It may have been Scott Fitzgerald who said the rich are different. They are. Rich people go to rich people schools with names like The Goiter School or some other pretentious name. If your school starts with “The,” you’re probably rich, too. They go to Harvard or Yale or Princeton until they go to grad school where they end up at a state university with the rest of us. We like them until we find out they’re rich. Sometimes, we still do like them, but we’re still jealous and secretly hope they’ll give us some money or lose all theirs. Either one would be satisfying.

They have different names, too. Lots of III’s and IV’s and what have you. Names like Conroy Hollingsworth Van Dusenberger IV. You can hardly blame them, given the success of their ancestors.  I’d be glad to be named after my great-uncle Stud if he’d made a fortune. You can also get nicknames like Chip and Trip and Trey. We hate names like that.

The rich belong to clubs, too. Country clubs, lunch clubs, dinner clubs, book clubs. They play croquet and badminton. Their kids play lacrosse, whatever that is. They have nannies and au pairs. They’re different. Not bad different. Just different. We hate that.

We make ourselves feel better by saying things like “money can’t buy happiness” or noting that the Bible talks about shoving camels through eyes of needles and whatnot. Of course, we fail to note that many poor and middle class people are unhappy, too. I’m sure plenty of them go to Hell, too. Unhappy, Hell-bound and not rich. Now, that’s something we’d definitely hate.

We’re a few days from the Presidential Election and being rich is an issue. Mitt Romney is rich, and people don’t like that. He’s “out of touch” or “aloof.” We should just admit the real problem: He’s rich. Oddly enough, Obama is also rich, but it’s a different kind of rich. He became rich as a politician, which should certainly be more suspicious than inheriting money. Somehow, that’s different but not really. We have two Harvard-educated multi-millionaires running for President. That’s pretty much par for the course. Don’t you hate that?

Hating the rich crosses party lines. When George W. Bush ran against John Kerry, we had the same thing–two Ivy League multi-millionaires. They both went to Yale. Both were rich. Really rich. But Kerry seemed super-duper rich. That’s because he married a rich woman, the widow of John Heinz. Heinz was rich. Why? Heinz Ketchup. That’s right–inventors of the greatest ketchup known to man. That’s just too damn much money in one house. Kerry was aloof and out of touch. Bush was down to Earth. Both are richer than most of us can ever think about being without hitting a lick, but one seemed richer than the other and, thus, more hateable.

Most of our Presidents in the past century were rich. JFK was rich. His family made a fortune in bootlegging, but money is money. FDR was so rich that he could marry his own cousin and no one cared. Try that today. Nixon was rich, although he made all his money as a politician. Good old Tricky Dick. I don’t know if Reagan was rich, but he was some kind of movie star–they’re all rich. Now, Truman wasn’t rich. In fact, he was so not rich that the federal government became concerned about him and gave him a pension. No one wanted to see a former president penniless. You don’t have to be rich to be President, but it sure doesn’t hurt. We hate that about the President.

I’m told I should dislike Romney because he’s rich. Apparently, if you’re really rich, you’re evil. I’ve never seen that correlation, but it would make me feel better if it were true. You know, something like rich people eating poor people. Supposedly, Romney doesn’t care about anyone but the rich. I guess that’s possible, but he’s given a lot of his money to charity which can’t be all bad unless it’s a charity for rich people. Folks should just cut to the chase and say: “Vote for Obama. He’s rich but not as rich as Romney.” Naturally, we’d hate anyone who said that.

Even though we hate the rich, we all want to be rich, don’t we? We play the PowerBall to get rich, even though the odds are better that you will one day live next door to someone who walked on the moon than actually winning. It’s worth a shot. When someone wins the PowerBall, don’t you hate them just a little bit?

If there’s a downside to being rich (other than all the hate), it’s that you might not always be rich. It happens. That would suck. Then you’d have to hate people who are like you used to be and are what you want to be, too. Seems like that would be tough. We’d hate that.

One good thing about the rich is that it’s okay to hate them. Other than politicians and athletes, hate isn’t socially acceptable. You can hate the rich without being a bigot or some kind of phobe. Try saying “Eat The Poor.” You’ll have no friends.

If you’re rich, take no offense. I don’t really hate you. I’m just a wee bit jealous. I’d like to be your friend. More importantly, I’d like a trust fund. Of course, if you are rich, I doubt you’d read my foolish blog, but one of your servants might read it to you. (Sorry, more rich people envy. Don’t hate me).

Oh well. Make friends with some rich people. Then, eat them.

© 2012