The Journal


Serving the Metropolitan Area


Since 1872


May 4th




By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate


Syndicated by Acme Features


          Once I made my mind up to retire from the Congress, I decided to have me some fun.

          Now, maybe I oughtn't to have done a few things after... like giving the talk radio and ‘publicans ideas about that poll tax which Tillerman stole out from under me, or punching out Sikes on the anti-suicide commission. Oh, I wasn't wrong; he richly deserved his thrashing but maybe I ought also to just have beat the crap out of that other little twerp from the class of fourteen... as said he'd go home after two terms, then didn't... 'stead of sayin' he had a "purty mouth" and kissing it with the C-span cameras running. Hell, I’m already in the crappits with the Babtists for my divorce and the what came after, and most Americans want to see cockroaches violated or knocked tumblin' down the Capitol steps, domestic and foreign currency flying from out'n their pockets!

          And all that shuddering about “concussions” – that’s just more liberal gloom and doomin’ – I’ve fallen off’n a few horses in the day, played football too.  Kid died the other day, playing soccer?  Shake it off and get back in the game.  You can lose your mind when you get old – that’s what getting old is for.  Look at Djonald Unchained, as the Don Jones people called him, or President Joe or Bernie!

          Fact is, most see the politics as a game, or entertainment – and even before the rise of Trump like a diseased sun over Coldsore Mountain - contrary to that scolding by Carl Boggs, out in L.A. that, where it "degenerates into a remote spectacle," after which, then: "the most rational act may well be cynicism and withdrawal."  The few independents on his side finally deserted when he fired Mike “Lock her up!” Flynn and Shawn Spicer, Bannon and the Mooch.  He’d stopped being fun!  (And they all ratted him out, all except Spicer, that dancin’ machine!)

          (And then embracing Mad Vlad Putin.  Fun again!)

          Trouble is – you may wish to withdraw from politics, but politics ain’t gonna pull out of yours.  This analogy, as once related to war, was propounded by Leon Trotsky, I think, or else the Souljacker… and still holds, right as rain.

          Entertainment… now that matters if'n you're de-skilled, de-educated and de-sensitized, almost to the extreme of those poor ol’ folks in Alabama nursing homes they let the ants eat up. Americans, even before the plague, were mostly un- or underemployed, or doin' the Amazonian sixty, seventy-hour workweek between three jobs, likely without overtime or benefits or restroom breaks... some, now, with wires n’chips stuck into hands and brains, as run back to computers in Provo, Utah, then broadcasting into the mandatory earphones: "You are not working as fast as the person next to you!" every forty-two seconds or thereabouts. We're dissed, pissed and kissed-off... and it shows in the quality of what little we do produce.

          One of my most humiliating weeks came just a while before I retired, when I took this junket to some EU trade conference and had to endure being lectured by Hungarians... effing Hungarians!... all riled up because the crap they imported from Germans and the Japanese was better than ours'n. Could've made the excuse as most of what's stamped Made in America is really just “assembled” hereabouts with constituents as come from China, Mexico or points south or east, but... I suspect... that wouldn't exactly have been burnishing the reputation of the Land o'the Free, Home o'the Brave.

          Ain't just Hunkies complaining, of course. The South African Nadine Gordimer, as concluded History was agin' us explained that: "Americans cannot give back to blacks a lost identity."

          "While the nation used cheap, young black labor for centuries," points out Troy Duster of the National Council of Crime and Delinquency, "the new generation faces, for the first time, both the rejection and massive irrelevance of their labor."

          Makes some of those statewide mandatory marriage schemes a little suspect. "At the minimum wage," proclaimed Gregg Easterbrook of the Los Angeles Times, before the ACTA in four states pushed it back down to $4.30 for "trainees" (as are those  anybodies of any age as work for six months, then get laid off and have to go trainee themselves someplace else), "an unskilled man who wants to work and marry offers a prospective wife less than the government offers via the dole."

          This narcississism fellow from the Don Jones funny farm, Lash LaChristopher... someone as that... well, he said once Americans stopped gazing at themselves in mirror (presumably because our mirrors had cracked for lack of the maintenance), what would happen would be total breakdown, the Last Crusade, ultimate war of "all against all!" Like in Iraq, where we kicked out Saddam and got this anarchy an’ corruption finally put an end to by Zazzbo... formerly the Ayatollah Ziz al' Abbozziz bin al' Barzon... as snuggles up to Iranian fruitcakes, Jazreel terrorists and opium smugglers, the allsome!  Libya, Syria and Egypt… same dance.

          As warned critic Albert Murray on that PBS jazz series, as ran a couple of years back: "You cannot embrace Entropy."

          Ain't as if we haven't known we'd have to face the music some day... be it free jazz, al Jazreel or Zazzbo, Doggy Style or else "The Syncopated Clock" as counts down these last minutes until the North Korean birdies take flight and the last American worker's replaced by a Chinaman, a robot or a rat. As columnist Dick Nolan put it, "in order to support all those paper profits, plus the enthusiastic usury of the banking system, working folk have to pay an ever-increasing portion of their wages just to keep a roof overhead." Of course that was back when there were working people, as had houses and wages... until gumment gave the green light to merge the banks with airlines, break up the phone company and scramble everythin' round with olive oil and the media peppers and onions until the whole rotten pile fell over and lies stinking, now, like dead, fat Uncle Freddie on the kitchen floor of a Thanksgiving afternoon of old (as when the friends and family gathered, before the plague) as nobody wants to drag out back and bury.

          Now it ain't my intention to deny Americans an occasional sojourn in mental Fantasyland... if we didn't dream, most state lotteries would collapse, and gumment would have even more problems bailing out the schools. So, let's shake it off, paste on a smile, admit that our troubles, while legion, are minimal when stood against those of most of Africa, Costa Rica, the Mideast or Greece and the former Yugoslavia.  (Parts of Michigan… where some brewmasters with a sense of humour are peddling Olde Hamtramck and Older Flint… and Puerto Rico excepted – thirty-six percent still without power years after Maria come and gone, leaving only trailing wisps of the perfume of death by cholera.)  Until I see lines, at consulates, of them as want to emigrate to Burkina Faso, Burma, or, even, Bermuda, I'll take my stand for America, for Catfish politics and economics... as sweep up the riverbottoms, settin' floors, not ceilings!... and the CNC. "A third party succeeds," suggested those people in London's Economist, "only when it can harness an issue that is stirring the country to some extraordinary degree, but which the big parties are ignoring."

          Or when there’s a fourth party to slice down the margin of victory a little more; or a fifth, or sixth…

          Might not win, but... like Teddy Roosevelt and Fightin' Bob's bull moozers, crazy Ross and them Wallace boys, George and Henry... I do intend to talk sense and have fun, the both!

          All them smart fellows laughed when Austin Tillerman, myself and others started trekking out door-to-door, starting with people in militia compounds and ghettos, talking those of 'em as would hear into turning their longings for decency and for community into positive actions of be-longsomeness, like cleaning up neighborhoods, painting fences and pitching in when those floods hit Ohio and Missouri last year, or after Hurricane Quincy picked up where Katrina left off and selling made-in-America firearms and cosmetics.

          We're gaining altitude and momentum... and without having the use of gumment helium or one of them secret all-secret military blimps as floats away trailing metal cables that drag along beneath and short out power systems.  Our enterprise remains the lifting of vision for all Americans so that we may break through and finally begin to see blue sky above this forest of leafy tribulations. And then... watch out, all you as ain't with the CNC program!

          It warn’t Jack Lemmon nor John Lennon but, I believe, Ron Reagan's own Navy Secretary, John Lehman, as admitted: "Power corrupts. But absolute power's kind of neat."