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Failure, relaxation, hookah-smoking caterpillars, Julia Child, the future ain't what it used to be
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Published Tuesday, August 15, 2017 @ 2:25 AM EDT
Aug 15 2017

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Today is Tuesday, August 15, the 227th day of 2017 in the Gregorian calendar, with 138 days remaining. This is the 208th day of Donald Trump's presidency. There are 1,254 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign or is otherwise removed from office.

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What happened on August 15 from On This Day.

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A fake image of Trump golfing.
But it was the best example image of
National Failures Day and National Relaxation Day.

Among other things, today is also National Failures Day. It's also National Relaxation Day, so don't worry about it.

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Florida man arrested after telling police a hookah-smoking caterpillar told him to damage a construction site.

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Quote of the day:

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate- you know someone's fingers have been all over it."
-Julia Child (August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004)
(More Julia Child quotes)

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Charlottesville, Virginia: see our Facebook page.

Nasty 60s flashback

I have to best honest... this year has sucked on so many levels. It's like I'm having a flashback to 1968, another spectacularly unpleasant year.

While Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In premiered in January, it was all downhill from there. Since I read the morning newspaper every day with my grandfather, I was aware of what was happening in the world. The Tet Offensive; civil rights disturbances in Wisconsin and in the south; McCarthy nearly beating LBJ in New Hampshire; Bobby Kennedy entering the race; Johnson saying he won't run; Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated two weeks before the Civil Rights Act is passed; students shutting down Columbia University for a week; a million riot in Paris; Andy Warhol shot- and that was just through May.

In June, on the first day of band camp- and, technically, me becoming a high school sophomore- my grandmother awakened me in tears, yelling that Bobby Kennedy had been shot. I walked the ten blocks to school; the band director, sitting on the steps to the gym, waved to us to go home.

During the summer, as we worked on rudimentary marching routines, the Pope banned birth control, Czechoslovakia was invaded, France developed its own hydrogen bomb, and the Democrats held a memorable convention in Chicago.

I turned 14 on September 11, my voice finally started to change, and I was acclimating to high school life. Then Nixon was elected, I contracted acute nephritis then caught the Hong Kong flu while hospitalized. I did make it home in time for Christmas and to see Apollo 8 broadcast from the moon.

So far this year I haven't been able to secure a job with any health care benefits, and finances are dismal. Several friends and relatives have developed serious illnesses or had their conditions worsen. I either need new glasses, or I'll have to drag the 36" LED down from the den to use as a monitor. Two of our Shelties are over 13, one is blind and losing his hearing, and our 20 year old cat developed diabetes which we haven't been able to control so far with insulin injections.

The personal stuff I can handle. It's the sense of existential doom that seems to be expanding every day. Someone once said, "The future ain't what it used to be," an understatement if there every was one. I vividly remember my grandmother telling me while watching the riots on television, "I won't live to see it, but your grandchildren won't have to deal with this. Every generation gets better."

I fervently believed that until about ten years ago. It was then I noticed things had started going sideways.

It was really driven home to me today. I attended a rally to condemn white supremacy and, frankly, it looked like an AARP meeting. The majority of those in attendance were retirees, with a few 20-40 year olds and a couple teenagers. Then I returned home and watched the tapes of the weekend's rally in Charlottesville. Most of the Nazis and supremacists appeared to be young, most under 30.

What the hell happened? My children and their contemporaries were warned of the evils of racism and religious intolerance. Most of them have maintained that moral bearing. Where did these kids go wrong?

I doubt my audience contains many Xers or millennials, but if you are close to any, awaken them to the dangers that threaten the very fabric of our republic. Find a rally and take them along. Teach them.

Back in the 60s I had no illusion I would be living in a Star Trek utopia during my retirement years. I certainly expected we'd be further along than this. Tell your kids and grandkids to get involved- now! -before we lose even more ground.

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As usual, the sharpest analysis and commentary come not from journalists but late night comedians:

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And of course, there's North Korea, a potential nuclear conflict somehow buried by all the other horrendous news. Fortunately, "Weird Al" Yankovic speaks for us all in the video from HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I've included the lyrics so you can sing along. It ranks right up there with the Kingston Trio's Merry Minuet and Tom Lehrer's So Long, Mom and We Will All Go Together When Go.

Would ya annihilate us if you had the chance?
That's such an anti-social thing to do
You've got us crapping our collective pants
May I suggest you take it down a notch or two?

We're not exactly sure why you're upset
Did that Seth Rogan movie make you super mad?
You'd like us if you got to know us, I bet
We're mostly harmless decent people
Hey, we're really not so bad
My point is-

Please don't nuke us, North Korea
Right now we're all a little tense
Believe me,
We don't hate you, frankly,
We don't even think that much about you,
No offense.

Now you might call us bloodthirsty dogs
But that metaphor's not very apt
We're just a bunch of simple fidget-spinning goofy dorks
Who probably couldn't find your country on a map

So, we're not savages or cannibals
Well maybe just a really, really, really small percent
So I think it would be best
If you'd knock off those missle tests

Don't turn us into cinder while we're swipin' right on Tinder
Don't jump-start Armageddon or our beds we'll soon be wettin',
Won't you think this through for a moment, please?
Now why would you bomb our nice celebrities?
Oh, why in the world would you kill Tom Hanks?
'Cause nobody doesn't like Tom Hanks!

So, please don't nuke us, North Korea
That would seriously ruin our day
Remember, we're not evil, psychotic monsters
No matter what the news may say
We're just the goof balls from the U... S....
   Please don't nuke us!
   Please don't nuke us!
   Please don't nuke us!
..A!
Hey!

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« Creamsicle Day, nugget pelting, Steve Martin, Charlottesville, drunk goldfish, Mt. Lebo rally
Home Page
Executive blanch, National Rum Day, armed strip club selfies, FDA follies »