Tag Archives: political satire

The Devil’s Dictionary: “Egotist”

A young Ambrose Bierce

In our continuing quest to revisit a classic, or even a curiosity from the past and see how relevant it is, we continue with The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. Originally published in newspaper installments from 1881 until 1906. You might be surprised how current many of the entries are.

For example, here is a definition for the word Egotist. The Old definitions are Bierce’s. The New definition is mine. From time to time, just as it was originally published, we will come back to The Devil’s Dictionary, for a look at it then and how it applies today. Click on Devil’s Dictionary in the tags below to bring up the other entries.

OLD DEFINITION
Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

Megaceph, chosen to serve the State
In the halls of legislative debate,
One day with all his credentials came
To the capitol’s door and announced his name.
The doorkeeper looked, with a comical twist
Of the face, at the eminent egotist,
And said: “Go away, for we settle here
All manner of questions, knotty and queer,
And we cannot have, when the speaker demands
To be told how every member stands,
A man who to all things under the sky
Assents by eternally voting ‘I’.”

 

NEW DEFINITION
Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. See, Donald J. Trump

Donald, chose to run for president
Saying only he could truly represent
The interest of those who had been ignored
Or in some other way had been deplored.
He marched into office, saying hugely
It was and always about yours truly.
What some still fail to understand
Is that “yours truly” is about the man
And not a form of salutation
Meant for the greater good of the nation.
It has always been about him:
The hymn of him, of him the hymn.

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Filed under 2017, Ambrose Bierce, Devil's Dictionary

The pot and the kettle

Letting off steam.

 

The pot and the kettle

The pot and the kettle /

made of weak metal /

are less than fundamental: /

They’re not right./

 

They put on displays /

In fundamental ways /

Undermining mainstays /

And creating only blight./

 

“My lies can’t compete /

With falsehoods you repeat./

Put down your tweet /

And tell me what to say.”/

 

But the pot said to the kettle:/

“You’ve got to keep your mettle/

Because I won’t settle/

For nothing less today./

 

“We remain on course/

In all our discourse/

There will be no divorce/

From my lies that are true.”/

 

Said the kettle to the pot:/

“You have said a lot/

Some of which has begot/

Us in a trouble or two.”/

 

“That doesn’t matter.”/

The pot said like a mad hatter./

“All the facts are but chatter/

That will go away./

 

“We must all remember/

The role of a dissembler/

Is not in any way render/

Anything that will stay./

 

“A lie we tell here/

We tell it loud and clear/

But we do not ever steer/

As if those words are right./

 

“We will lie as we must/

As on and on they discuss/

That in us they cannot trust/

And in that is our might.”/

 

“We start at the beginning/

And blame them for our sinning/

Grafting and grinning/

Together all the way./

 

“For the true believer/

Has a different receiver/

And it matters not which lever/

We jerk down today.”/

 

The pot and the kettle /

made of weak metal /

are less than fundamental: /

They’re not right./

 

They put on displays /

In fundamental ways /

Undermining mainstays /

Creating death and blight./

 

–by David E. Booker

 

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Filed under 2017, poetry by author

“My Bowling Green”

owling-100dpi_6x11_4c_0615-copyIt’s hard being Bowling Green, /
To see the things I have seen, /
Bodies piled high as friends lean /
Upon the bars in my Bowling Green. /

The reckless came to town one day, /
Said we had all gone away, /
Gone away, no more to say /
In this place now unseen, called my Bowling Green. /

Jihadist from a foreign land /
Had come and massacred us so grand, /
Wiped us all out where we stand. /
O’ the tragedy was so mean deep in my Bowling Green. /

They say none of us were spared, /
That these terrorist did not care. /
We were lost to great despair /
That day in memory serpentine in my Bowling Green. /

The media did not take note. /
Little was said and less was wrote. /
We were left with but just a sad note, /
A sad note it would seem about my Bowling Green. /

Fredrick Douglass had nothing to say. /
Nor Oliver Wendell Douglas about that day /
When Green Acres were turned red with dismay /
O’ that sad, mean, vile scene in my Bowling Green. /

We cannot remember what we do not know, /
Though alternative facts tell us so, /
That lies and lives come and go. /
There is little we can now glean from my Bowling Green. /

They erected a sign to the non-event /
And many a word has long been spent /
In song and poem and prose unbent /
To say what can’t be seen of the wrongs in my Bowling Green. /

It’s hard being Bowling Green, /
To see the things I have seen, /
Bodies piled high as friends lean /
Upon the bars in my Bowling Green.

–photo and poem by David E. Booker

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Filed under 2017, photo by David E. Booker, poetry by author, political humor

The Devil’s Dictionary: Populist and Pray

A young Ambrose Bierce

A young Ambrose Bierce

In our continuing quest to revisit a classic, or even a curiosity from the past and see how relevant it is, we continue with The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. Originally published in newspaper installments from 1881 until 1906. You might be surprised how current many of the entries are.

For example, here is a definition for the words Populist and Pray. The Old definition is Bierce’s. The New definition is, in many cases, an update. Sometimes little change is needed. Sometimes more. From time to time, just as it was originally published, we will come back to The Devil’s Dictionary, for a look at it then and how it applies today. Click on Devil’s Dictionary in the tags below to bring up the other entries.

OLD DEFINITION
POPULIST, n. A fossil patriot of the early agricultural period, found in the old red soapstone underlying Kansas; characterized by an uncommon spread of ear, which some naturalists contend gave him the power of flight, though Professors Morse and
Whitney, pursuing independent lines of thought, have ingeniously pointed out that had he possessed it he would have gone elsewhere. In the picturesque speech of his period, some fragments of which have come down to us, he was known as “The Matter with Kansas.”

PRAY, n. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

NEW DEFINITION
POPULIST, n. A fossil patriot of the post-industrial period, found in the faulty towers, broken university, and failed airline (to name a few endeavors) of ignorance plus arrogance added to money; characterized by an uncommon spread of hair, which some naturalists contend could be a species in its own right, if only they had time to closely exam it. In the picturesque speech of his period, some fragments of which have come down to us, he was known as “The Huuge Mouth from Manhattan.”

PRAY, n. 1) What the other candidates claimed they did after God told them to run for the highest office in the land, which they all failed at famously. 2) To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a certain party petitioning, though confessedly unworthy, that their Populist decides to either drop dead or drop out. 3) What you do when here the populist of this party speak. 4) What politicians do in lieu of doing any real work to solve a problem, such as after a mass shooting when politicians say, “Our prayers and our hearts go out to the victims of this tragedy,” begging the question: is it the tragedy of the event or the tragedy of your inaction for which you are praying?

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Filed under 2016, Devil's Dictionary

The Devil’s Dictionary: Presidency and President

A young Ambrose Bierce

A young Ambrose Bierce

In our continuing quest to revisit a classic, or even a curiosity from the past and see how relevant it is, we continue with The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. Originally published in newspaper installments from 1881 until 1906. You might be surprised how current many of the entries are.

For example, here is a definition for the words Presidency and President. The Old definition is Bierce’s. The New definition is, in many cases, an update. Sometimes little change is needed. Sometimes more. From time to time, just as it was originally published, we will come back to The Devil’s Dictionary, for a look at it then and how it applies today. Click on Devil’s Dictionary in the tags below to bring up the other entries.

OLD DEFINITION
PRESIDENCY, n. The greased pig in the field game of American politics.

PRESIDENT, n. The leading figure in a small group of men of whom — and of whom only — it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for President.

If that’s an honor surely ’tis a greater
To have been a simple and undamned spectator.
Behold in me a man of mark and note
Whom no elector e’er denied a vote! —
An undiscredited, unhooted gent
Who might, for all we know, be President
By acclimation. Cheer, ye varlets, cheer —
I’m passing with a wide and open ear!

—Jonathan Fomry

NEW DEFINITION
PRESIDENCY, n. The greased pig in the field game of American politics, captured all too often at the expense of money equal to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product, emphasis on Gross) of a small to medium-sized country.

PRESIDENT, n. The leading figure in a small group of men or women of whom — and of whom only — it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for President.

As you now know, I will not go —
To leave would be insane.
I’ve run the race; this is my place
From Alaska down over to Maine.
For those who wish for less of this
I hear your sad, sad refrain.
But let me be clear, or perfectly clear:
I won, you lost, lame brain.
You’re stuck with me, from sea to sea
For four years or more sustained.
So get over it; crawl out of your pit,
Let your hopes seep down the drain.

—President Orpheus C. Kerr

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Filed under 2016, Devil's Dictionary

Photo finish Friday: “Pink Elephant Highball”

If you wake up on New Year's Day and see this in your yard, you may have had one too many.

If you wake up on New Year’s Day and see this in your yard, you may have had one too many.


Or maybe the GOP is trying out what they hope will be a more user-friendly mascot: a pink elephant that would like to have a highball with you. If so, maybe that’s only meant for the high-dollar donors who have given them most of their campaign war chest.

Either way, be wary, very wary if you wake up and see a pink elephant with a highball in front of your home.

Happy New Year.

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Filed under 2016, Photo by Beth Booker, Photo Finish Friday

Photo finish Friday: “Speak no…”

From left, Tennessee Senate Majority leader Ron Ramsey, Governor Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell.

From left, Tennessee Senate Majority leader Ron Ramsey, Governor Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Nashville, TN — As part of the streamlining and outsourcing of state government, Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Haslam met with the press to reveal his latest innovation to save time and money.

“From now on,” Governor Haslam said, “there will be only one mouthpiece. As we are all GOP with super-majorities in both the state senate and house, and in an effort to effectively speak with one voice, there will now only be one official mouthpiece. As governor, I will control it 60 percent of the time. State Senate Majority leader Ron Ramsey will control it 20 percent of the time and Tennessee House of Representative Speaker Beth Harwell will control it 20 percent of the time. The other 10 percent of the time it will be resting.”

When questioned about the addition adding up to 110 percent and not 100 percent, the Governor differed answering to his brother, whose company is in line to take over the numerical issues for the state, including getting more for less and pocketing the difference.

When asked about this new plan, both Senator Ramsey and Speaker Harwell were mum on the subject, as it wasn’t either of their turns to have access to the official mouthpiece.

From left, Tennessee Senate Majority leader Ron Ramsey, Governor Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell under the proposed new system.

From left, Tennessee Senate Majority leader Ron Ramsey, Governor Bill Haslam, House Speaker Beth Harwell under the proposed new system.

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Filed under 2015, Photo Finish Friday, political humor