Planet Proctor 2003 Volume 09 - War edition

 "When religion and politics ride in the same cart, the whirlwind follows." ~ From the Sci-Fi Channel's "Children of Dune"


        But, perhaps, not the war?  Although, as reported by L.A. Times analyst Doyle McManus, "It is time, a sharp-tongued administration official jokes in private, to "give war a chance.'" Or, as Terry Deibel, a National War College strategist notes:

         "If the only tool you've got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

        Times' "Points West" columnist Steve Lopez uses the words of H. L. Mencken to say, "For every problem there is a solution which is simple, clean and wrong." But according to President Bush, "This is not a question of authority. It is a question of will." Should we make ours out?

        We've known from the start ,that peace never had a chance. It was a coup d'etat and a fait accompli from the get-go, excuse my French; but as a citizen of the world, I can only hope (I can't say "pray" because I believe that the rule of religion has partly led us here) that it is over quickly and that the evil deeds of So Damn Insane lead to mass defections and his eventual internal overthrow.

        Ex Secretary of State under "Big" Bush, Lawrence Eagleburger (goes good with "Free-doom" Fries) says, "We have mishandled the diplomacy - if you want to call it diplomacy - monstrously."  

        I hope we do not mishandle the war.

   "If we do get [Bin Laden] it's got to be good for a pop in equities and a decent pullback in bonds..." ~ Wall Street broker quoted by Steve Lopez


        A new employee is hired at the "Tickle Me Elmo" factory and suddenly the whole line starts backing up; so the foreman takes the personnel manager down to factory floor. Sure enough, Elmo's are backed up all over the place.

        At the end of the line is the new employee. She has a roll of the material used for Elmo and a big bag of marbles. They both watch as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and starts sewing the little package between Elmo's legs.

        The personnel manager starts laughing hysterically and after several minutes, pulls himself together, walks over to the woman and says,

        "Sorry, I guess you misunderstood me yesterday. Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles."

  "Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage." ~ Woody Allen


        On the first Spring-like Sunday of 2003, kids at the Astor Place Kmart were treated to an unusual sight: the Easter Bunny getting cuffed by New York City cops as a 28-year-old mother from Astoria, Amy Hamilton-Thibert, showed in bunny getup to protest the sale of "military-themed Easter baskets" written up in The Village Voice.

        Meanwhile at a zoo in Germany, a five-month-old female Moroccoan octopus named Frida, has learned to open jars of shrimps by watching attendants perform the act underwater. She presses her body on the lid and by a succession of body twists grasping the sides with the suckers on her eight tentacles, unscrews it.

        "Depending on how tight the lid is, it takes her anything from 10 seconds to an hour to get it off," said aquarium head Frank Mueller "You won't see any other marine creatures do this. She's been at it about a month now."

 "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die." ~ Mel Brooks


        A Texan, a Californian, and Oregonian are out riding horses. The Texan pulls out an expensive bottle of whiskey, takes a long draught, then another and suddenly throws it into the air, pulls out his gun and shoots the bottle in midair.

        The Californian looks at him and says, "What are you doing? That was a perfectly good bottle of whiskey! The Texan says, "In Texas, there is plenty of whiskey and the bottles are cheap!"

        A while later, not wanting to be outdone, Californian pulls out a bottle of Chardonnay, takes a few sips, throws the bottle into the air, pulls out his gun and shoots it in midair. The Oregonian can't believe his eyes, "What the heck did you do that for? That was a perfectly good bottle of Chardonnay!"

        The Californian says, "In California, we have plenty of Chardonnay and bottles are cheap."

So, awhile later, the Oregonian pulls out a bottle of Widmer Hefeweizen. He opens it, takes a sip, and then chugs the whole bottle. He then puts the bottle in his saddlebag, pulls out his gun, and shoots the Californian.

        The Texan, shocked, says, "Why in the world did you do that?!" The Oregonian replies, "In Oregon, we have plenty of Californians and the bottles are worth a nickel.

           "I just love the French. They taste like chicken!" ~ Hannibal Lecter


        My wife, Melinda, is serving on a jury this week, but if she'd used one of these lines, she probably could have gotten out of it:

     I can tell if people are guilty just by looking at them.

     If a police officer told me I was a bug, I'd believe him

     I think laws are for sissies.

     Would I have to bathe?

     Can each of my personalities vote in the deliberation?

     My religion specifically prohibits me from sitting near other people.

     I get dizzy if I try to weigh evidence.

  "The Constitution just sets minimums; most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what [it] requires." ~ Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at John Carroll University


        This is the year an instrument named after me will take a trip up my pooper, but in June at the downtown Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, I'll be able to return the favor when a 40-foot-long Colossal Colon hits our town as part of a 20-city tour to promote cancer awareness.

        In an article by the L.A. Times' ever-amusing Roy Rivenburg, he describes the development of this crawl-through phenomenon by cancer survivor Molly McMasters who's also roller-skated from upstate New York to Colorado for her cause.

        "When can we do a breast cancer tour," asks a spokesman for the company that crafted it in polyurethane, and Roy writes that frat boys plotted to steal a section to make  it a "semi-colon," some folks plan to dress as gerbils for the journey, and others suggest it should be cleaned by sending in "a giant broccoli."

  "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." ~ Oliver Cromwell


        This guy's havin' a pint in the pub one day when he spots a mate at the bar is wearing an earring. The man knows him to be somewhat conservative for a Mick, so he walks up to him and says,        "Sean, I didn't know you were into earrings."

        "Now don't be makin' such a fuss about it," he replies sheepishly. "It's only a bloody earring,"

        "I'm just  curious," presses his pal. "How long you been wearing it?"

        "If you must know," replies Sean under his breath, "ever since me wife found it in our bed."

  "Sometimes you have to make your own luck, create your own way." ~ Late actress Lynn Thiggpen


        At the Counter Spy Shop in Beverly Hills, Steve Lopez (he's a busy guy, these days) noticed a window dummy nattily attired in "a tight leather skirt, slinky pink top, and nuclear/bio/chemical gas mask."  Or, an "NBC" for short, where you can watch the war unfold daily wearing one for only $499.  And WAR...that means "we are right."

        Steve also notes that "only in L.A." are folks sending servants in to purchase customized masks for their pets as well, for $1,200 - $1,5000. "The Future is Now!" trumpets a banner outside. "The store of the 21st Century is the Counter Spy Shop."

        I wonder if you can buy anything 'under-the-counter" insurance to cover damage caused by nukes or fallout, since State Farm announced they won't provide it.  Or a "Superstealth hemp Hat with Secret Pocket", banned by the Feds for sale over the internet!

     "2003 may be the year of all risks." ~ Airbus CEO Noel Forgeard


        "What they could do with round here is a good know what the trouble with peace is?  No organization!  And when do you get organization?  In a war.  Peace is one big waste of equipment...

        "I've been in places where they haven't had a war in seventy years, and you know what?  The people haven't even been given names!  They don't know who they are!  It takes a war to fix that.  In a war, everyone registers, everyone's name's on a list.  Their shoes are stacked, their corn's in the bag, you count it all up - cattle, men, ET cetera - and you take it away! That's the story: no organization, no war!

        "Of course, a war's like any good deal: hard to get going.  But when it does get moving, it's a winner; and they're all scared of peace -like a dice-player -- cause when peace comes, they have to pay up! Of course, UNTIL it gets going, they're just as scared of war, it's such a novelty."

        Or so wrote Bertold Brecht in 1939 for "Mother Courage and her Children" which the Antaeus Company is readying under the able direction of Andrew Robinson for an upcoming workshop presentation. I'm playing the cook, and lemme tell ya, it's going to be a tasty show - and based as it is on the religious Thirty Years War that ravaged Europe in the 17th Century, eerily pertinent.

     "Time is the school in which we learn." ~ Delmore Schwartz


         Descartes replied to a question, "I think, not", and then disappeared.

        "Have you any idea, Plato?"

        "But are you really certain, Professor Heisenberg?"

        "Do you feel you are on top of this, Professor Moebius?

        "Lighten up, Moses! Do you think these rules are set in stone?"

"He is a self-made man & worships his creator." ~ John Bright


        The New York Liberal party folded up its flag last week after almost 60 years of active lobbying, after failing to garner the votes necessary to continue as a recognized party in the upcoming Governor's race.  It was the oldest-existing third party in our history. And in a book titled "What Liberal Media?" by Eric Alterman, the author drives a nail in it's coffin by asking, "What, are you stupid? Just pick up a newspaper or turn on your TV."  Or your talk radio?

        The past week also marked the demise of Hollywood's Metromedia Square studios, site of early Firesign Theatre promotional appearances and yours truly playing Archie's nephew on an episode of "All In The Family" which was taped there. It's being demolished to make way for a new high school.

"When you work in television, you know that everything is temporary," says TV director Doug Dougherty, watching the walls fall; but writer/producer Norman Lear adds, "Anything that's torn down for education is good."

        And finally, my first film director, Peter Tewksbury in 1962's "Sunday in New York" starring Cliff Robertson and Jane Fonda, has passed on.  He created "My Three Sons" and guided "Father Knows Best" but in his later years  announced that "Peter Tewksbury the director, is dead," reverted to his real first name, Henry, and dedicated himself to "The Cheeses of Vermont" - the name of his book on the subject. He was 79.

   "I started out as a head of a studio.Now I'm a cartoon." ~ Robert Evans, to be" re-animated" on Comedy Central


   "I'll gladly donate my [Bush] tax cut to a worthy charity...maybe even to the Clinton library." ~ Bob Dole to Clinton on "60 Minutes"


2003 by Phil Proctor
Published MARCH 20, 2003