Tag Archives: politics
A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him:
“Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”
The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.
She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be an Obama Democrat.
“I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”
“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”
The man smiled and responded, “You must be a Republican.”
“I am,” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”
“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are — or where you are going. You’ve risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it’s my fault.”
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.
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!
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
The quest for the highest office in the land begins … again.
The blathering idiot and Lydia were sitting in a conference room with the consultant. The blathering idiot was about to go out to the podium and microphone and announce his candidacy for the highest office in the land.
“We have to do it now,” the consultant said. “June is National Accordion month. We are the Pro-Accordion Party. If we don’t announce now, what will people think?”
Lydia nodded. “He has a point.”
“Then why aren’t accordion makers sponsoring us?” the blathering idiot asked.
“Because there are no accordion makers in the U.S. They’re all made overseas and foreign companies and countries can’t buy elections.”
“But U.S. companies can?”
“That’s not what I meant,” the consultant said. He wiped the sweat from his brow. “Look, this was the best I could do. I will try for additional sponsors, but right now this is the only one, and unlike other parties and candidates, we need one. Hell, we need more than one.”
“I have to read all of it?”
Lydia touched his arm. “I will be out there with you. You read part of it. I’ll read part of it.”
“And the consultant will read part of it?”
“That’s not his job,” Lydia said.
“But it is mine?”
Lydia nodded. “Sadly, yes.”
Shaking his head, the blathering idiot walked to the next room and stepped up on podium. It looked out at the two, maybe three people who had come to hear his announcement.
“I, today, am again a candidate for the highest office in the land. I do this because … because …” From that point on, the blathering idiot rambled about making the country a better place, unifying the waring ideological factions, and giving a voice to the voiceless. He finished, turned, and started to leave. Lydia grabbed his arm and gently turned him around and handed him a piece of paper. The blathering idiot turned, cleared his throat, and read:
“And now a word from our sponsor: This campaign for the highest office in the land is brought to you by Puns in a Pak. Whether you buy one pack, two, or get the deep discount for buying by the gross, Puns in a Pak are shop-tested and well-lubricated – ready to slip into your casual conversation, work e-mail, or most intimate moment. Nothing lifts a trite phrase up out of the dust bin of inequity like Puns in a Pak. On sale today online or at your local grammarian shop. And for those politically minded, try our Puns in a PAC. Nothing says politics like Puns in a PAC. Ask us about our special Super-Pak PAC of puns, created especially for this election season. Puns in PAC, when nothing else will do.”
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 are definitions for Alien, Alliance, Ambidextrous, Ambition, and Amnesty. The Old definitions are Bierce’s. The New definitions are mine or somebody else contemporary. The new definitions can also be simply examples of The Devil’s Dictionary definitions. 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.
ALIEN, n. An American sovereign in his probationary state.
ALLIANCE, n. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other’s pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.
AMBIDEXTROUS, adj. Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.
AMBITION, n. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
AMNESTY, n. The state’s magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
(ILLEGAL) ALIEN, n. An un-American scofflaw unable to achieve a probationary state of any sort, at least as seen by some radical conservative elements. For them ALIEN is always preceded by ILLEGAL. This distinguishes him from the American scofflaw, who with enough money and AMBITION can form at least one ALLIANCE in which he can pick the pockets of friends and foes alike.
ALLIANCE, n. In National and International politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other’s pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third. However, as a grouped entity they often find a way to plunder others. The NRA plus the GOP being one fine example of how two groups manage to plunder a third, even to the point of death.
AMBITION, n. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead. (Nothing much new need be added to this.)
AMNESTY, n. The state’s magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish or who have enough money to acquire amnesty as one acquires a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card in Monopoly. In other words, it would be too “expensive” to ignore the offer.