TV OR NOT TV
you know is wrong." So said the Firesign Theatre back in 1974, but it never
seemed more true than Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, when the 2000 election turned
televised political coverage on its head. And left it there."
So begins Bill Goodykoontz's "Arizona Republic" column forwarded by
Dr. John. Bill then quotes anchorman Tom Brokaw as saying, "What the networks giveth,
the networks taketh away." But that's nuttin' compared to Dan Rather's live remarks
during election night, which I've pasted together here:
"This race is as tight as the rusted lug nuts on a 57 Ford - Tight like
a too small bathing suit on a too long ride home from the beach, it's spandex tight! You
talk about a ding-dong,
knock-down, get-up race - This election swings like one of those pendulum thing. Tipper is
probably telling her husband to hook a U, go back to the house to get a recount.
Although Bush swept through the South like a tornado through a trailer park, it's too
early to say he has the whip hand. They both have champagne on ice, but after the night is
over, they might need a pickaxe to open them - We're going to go to some of those
longnecks from a long time ago. When it comes to a race like this, I'm a long distance
runner and an all day hunter.
burrito out there is California, but Al Gore has his back to the wall, shirt tails on
fire with this race in Florida. Florida is the whole deal, the real deal, a big deal.
Smelling salts for all Democrats, please. If he doesn't carry Florida, Slim will have left
town. Only votes talk, everything else walks. What we know is that there will be no
decision until some of those races are decided.
It's the American way: If you don't vote, you don't get to whine. None of
this television mumbo jumbo, let's get in
there and count the votes. When the going gets weird, anchor men punt. Maybe you can bring
some perspective on this, we're plum out . . . To err is human, but to really foul up
requires a computer.
If a frog had side pockets, he'd carry a hand gun."
"A tie is like kissing your sister. It's frustrating." - Larry
THE PLANET SPEAKS!
First, Bob Claster responded to the announcement of Steve Allen's death:
"Steve Allen's heart was more than apparent. Or as I said when I heard the news:
'This could be the end of something big.' "
Then, on our electile dysfunction, Garry Goodrow leads off with:
"Amazing how many of my countrymen have mastered yoga. It takes a lot of discipline to get your
head up your own ass." On radio station WEVD in Manhattan this morning, callers were
blaming the mess on Nader. They pointed out that Nader is Lebanese, and therefore is part
of an anti-semitic plot against Joe Lieberman.
Lieberman, meanwhile, by hedging his bets, is handing the Republicans a Senate seat. In
Missouri, the voters showed a fine grasp of nuance. They elected a fully dead Democrat and
defeated a Republican incumbent who was merely brain dead. Let's laugh it up, shall we? IN
RISU VERITAS. "
Milan-Pareos comments that "Mexicans are rolling in the streets with
laughter over the fact that the state that will decide the election, the state with voting
irregularities and a recount, the state that they are convinced will eventually go to
candidate Bush, has as its governor the brother of that same candidate." Of course,
they're having recount "problemas" of their own!
Writer Hank Rosenfeld wrote that an acquaintance noticed a Florida banner on
CNN saying: "A Vote For Gore Is A Vote For Buchanan", George in Cleveland
Heights eyed a bumper sticker saying: "If you can read this...you're not from West
Palm Beach", and Garry Margolis spotted an interesting sign in front of the Grand
Casino bakery in Culver City: "Florida ballots -- 4/$1".
But my personal fave is this bottom screen runner on CNN: "Bush Campaign
Says Hand Counts Subject To Manipulation."
Finally, an e-note from our dear friend and CEO of Audio Theatre's LodesTone,
Richard Fish, who's presently recovering from a nasty traffic mishap in Bloomington,
Indiana, which totaled his car.
"Interestingly, I had just finished charging our biggest injury lawyer
(back-of-the-phone-book Ken Nunn, call 333-HURT) for a new answering-machine announcement.
Maybe I can still sell him on the slogan he turned down: 'The Best Lawyer You Can Have Is
"Lawyers and computers have both
been proliferating since 1970. Sadly, lawyers, unlike computers, have not gotten twice as
smart and half as expensive every 18 months."
- from Magic Mike
RING A DINGALING
HRM, the Queen, has banned Royal servants from carrying mobile phones at
Buckingham Palace as their ringing is rattling her off the hook! The axe fell after
several Family meals were interrupted by trilling mobiles - some playing melodies like the
theme to Hawaii Five-O and the Colonel Bogey March, known in the UK as "Bollocks". "It is fair to say the
Queen was not amused when the phones started ringing incessantly," a Palace source
More than half of the 300 "below stairs" workers now carry mobiles
in special pockets in their jacket tails -- originally designed to hold orders for the
day. Some servants have protested asking, "What are we going to do if there is a
family emergency?" But the Royal Family takes precedence.
A senior courtier said the staff is at liberty to use the phones during
breaks and added: "There are a number of pay phones dotted about the Palace..."
"[I]f Democrats had wanted Gore to
be president, they should have voted for impeachment." - Comedian Argus Hamilton
I'M HAVING A SPELL
"Information? I need the number of the Caseway Insurance
"Would you spell that, please?"
"Certainly. C as in sea. A as in aye. S as in sea. E as in eye. W as in
why. A as in are. Y as in you."
"Just a minute, sir. I'll connect you with my supervisor." (M.
"Election officials become concerned old folks
were punching too many holes in the ballots when they heard people shout, 'Bingo!' " - Craig Kilborn
According to writer Tom Rainey, a group of irate citizens from Century
Village, West Palm Beach, part of a Florida county that apparently cast 3,407 votes for
Buchanan and had 16,000 voided as double-punched votes, held a press conference recently
when a judge issued an injunction prohibiting a recount.
The so-called "Elderly Jews of Palm Beach County for Pat Buchanan"
said: "We are offended by Media reports that old people are too stupid to vote
correctly. We're here to say that we, as Elderly Jews,
are tired of being racially profiled as anti-fascist, and anti-master race."
[Go to next
column to continue reading]
"A little rebellion now and then is a good thing." - Thomas
MIDDLE EASTERN DIPLOMACY?
An Arab was walking through the Sahara desert, desperate for water, when
he saw something far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he walked towards the
image only to find a little old Jewish man sitting at a card table with a bunch of neckties laid out on it. The Arab
asked, "Please, I'm dying of thirst, can I have some water?"
The man replied "I don't have any water, but why don't you buy a tie?
Here's one that goes nicely with your robes."
The Arab shouted, "I don't want a tie, you idiot. I need water!"
"OK, don't buy a tie, but to show you what a nice guy I am, I'll tell
you that over that hill there, about four miles, is a nice restaurant. Walk that way,
they'll give you all the water you want"
The Arab thanked him, walked away towards the hill and eventually
disappeared. Three hours later, the Arab came crawling back to where the man was sitting
behind his card table, who said, "I told you it was about four miles over that hill.
Couldn't you find it?"
The Arab replied, "I found it alright. They wouldn't let me in without a
(From Herb & Barbara Blitzstein)
"If you make something idiot-proof, they'll come up
with a better idiot!"
- Author John Seibel
MONKEYING WITH CREATION
Heaven - Reminiscing Monday, God
wondered aloud what happened to "That one planet I made, like, four and a half
billion years ago, the one with all the monkeys. Man, I haven't thought about that planet
God said. "I have no idea why it suddenly popped into My head. I
remember it was really crude, one of My weaker early efforts, back when I was
experimenting with the oxygen atmospheres and those ridiculous carbon-based life forms. And I was on that whole
upper-primate kick. Huh."
God said He couldn't remember the planet's name but was pretty sure it was
"Something like Ursh or Orth or maybe Ert."
"Religion is wonderful stuff for keeping a
common people quiet." - Napoleon
The London Times notes that Leo Tolstoy is interred in Russia, Oscar Wilde
in Paris and Joseph Conrad in Canterbury, but their creations - "Anna Karenina",
"Dorian Gray" and Mr. "Heart of Darkness" Kurtz have been given
tombstones in a shady woodland cemetery in northern Italy.
Indeed, the Italian Roman Catholic newspaper "Avvenire" writes that for many real people,
ficticious characters like these from literature, theatre and films are "as real as
their friends, neighbors and relations - in some cases, perhaps more so.
" So at this new 'cemetery of imaginary characters' created by
50-year-old Franco Ferrero, visitors can leave flowers, candles and pray at headstones in
the fungi-filled chestnut woods near the Piedmont village of Poca Paglia, for the late
Anna Karenina, Dorian Gray, and Marion Crane - Janet Leigh's 'Psycho' persona, stabbed to
death in Hitchcock's famous shower scene.
"When we close a book, when the curtain comes down in the theatre or
when the lights go up in the cinema, we are often sorry to lose the people we have got to
know," says Franco, who adds that anyone can approach the cemetery committee.
"Fans of particular characters have to make a good case, and supply tombstones."
"In Florida, our dead voters
generally go Republican, [but] I wouldn't be surprised if Elian Gonzales cast a
- Florida author Carl Hiaasen, on "The Today Show"
TRUTH OR DARE
While in the UK, I came across an article (http://www.express.co.uk) that made me order another
pint immediately. Written by a Jack Gee from Paris, it claims that two French Jewish
scholars, Messod and Roger Sabbah, have compared Old Testament accounts of the Exodus with
3300 year-old Egyptian hieroglyphic writings and conclude that "the so-called
Hebrews" were actually Egyptians who ran into difficulties when they claimed that
there was only one God and were expelled along with their followers from Akhet-Aton
"as punishment for disavowal of the state religion."
And Moses? I hope Charlton Heston isn't reading this, because the biblical
Moses is described as "just a myth" created to depict the divine powers of
pharaoh Rameses I! His symbols of authority? The snake and the rod.
Comparisons of Hebrew spellings with the hieroglyphs also reveal that Abraham, Isaac and
others were actually just Egyptian princes, and Sarah and Rebecca - princesses.
Barman, draw me another. Wait! Make it a Mogen David!
"Under democracy one party
always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule
- and both commonly succeed, and are right."
- Writer, editor, and critic, H.L. Mencken
WHAT REALLY COOUNTS
Finally, here's what's happening in our district. I'm reprising my
voice-over role as the drunk French monkey in "Dr. Doolittle 2" which is still
filming at 20th Century Fox, and my character, "Howard", opens tomorrow
nation-wide in the "Rugrats in
Paris" movie. Ooh la la!
On Thanksgiving Day, here in L.A., you can hear me barking as Toto in the
Otherworld Media star-studded adaptation of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" from
9am-1pm on KCRW. And Melinda and I are presently in
rehearsal for the Antaeus presentation of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Trial by Jury",
which has been selectively updated to represent legal life in L.A. and will be presented
at a fund-raiser at the site of our future theater, New Place on Vineland in NoHo,
December 18th. And a parting thought...
"No party holds the privilege of dictating to me how I shall vote. If
loyalty to party is a form of patriotism, I am no patriot. If there is any valuable
difference between a monarchist and an American, it lies in the theory that the American
can decide for himself what is patriotic and what isn't. I claim that difference. I am the
only person in the sixty millions that is privileged to dictate my patriotism."
- Mark Twain