The Theatre vs. Bush
The June 27, 2004 number of London’s venerable Times
contains an article
by one Ben Dowell regarding the import of the British play Guantanamo
to the good ole’ US of A. For those readers unaware of current affairs who might think that said piece of theater (excuse us, theatre) pertains to some lost tribe of Indians, Mr. Dowell assures us that the transfer of the show from England to the New World is “an attempt by British ‘left-wing luvvies’ to prick America’s conscience in the run-up to the presidential election.”
To be sure, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are certain that these radical “luvvies” introduce thoughts of “pricks” in our minds, but this pricking hasn’t a thing to do with our consciences.
Mr. Dowell informs his readers that the financial backers for this indubitably fair-minded play about Guantanamo Bay include such well-grounded figures as Vanessa Redgrave and Patrick Stewart. The former, of course, is famous for her slightly-to-the-left-of-Stalin politics. The latter, of course, is famous for being bald.
By this point, dear reader, you are probably itching to see this theatrical interpretation of current events, secure in the notion that the play will prove balanced and nuanced.
Not so fast. Mr. Dowell’s article makes clear that the show will only play in a few venues:
“The producers…plan to tour the country targeting Washington, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Cambridge, Massachusetts, which are also key ‘swing’ areas in November’s election.”
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t intend to ruffle any feathers, but we have a bone to pick with Mr. Dowell’s discussion of “swing areas.” In fact, if we weren’t so certain about the deep-seated knowledge of American politics on the other side of the pond, we’d venture to say that Mr. Dowell’s sentence is faintly ridiculous.
First, we can’t tell whether Mr. Dowell, when he mentions “Washington,” refers to the state or Washington, DC. Given the rest of his list, however, we are inclined to guess that he means the latter.
If so, this means that Mr. Dowell, a writer for the London Times
, earnestly believes that Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Cambridge, MA are key “swing areas” in the upcoming election. As such, he posits that those behind Guantanamo
are attempting to inform undecided voters about the horrors of the Bush Administration.
Ah, yes: Cambridge, MA—also known as the People’s Republic of Cambridge—is surely a key battleground for the race for the presidency. Just because Massachusetts is John Kerry’s home state, and just because the citizens of Cambridge would blithely vote for Pol Pot, doesn’t mean that it won’t prove to be a major focus of the Bush Administration.
In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have the sneaking suspicion that Karl Rove is about as concerned about winning the Cambridge vote as he is about Washington, DC and San Francisco.
It would be unnecessary to assert, of course, that the voters of San Francisco could go either way.
In fact, Mr. Dowell’s article made us wonder whether the organizers of Guantanamo
hadn’t made a grave error by foregoing the key battleground area of Berkeley, CA. That ought to be an electoral dogfight, too.
The Official “Hatemonger’s Quaterly” Music That Sucks Series: (Installment the First) Gynorock
As our regular readers must know by now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” detest so-called “rock music.” In fact, we have already used this space to dilate on the horrors of “classic rock
” and compare “rap” music to Joseph Stalin
. (To be fair, old Iron Joe didn’t fare very well in the juxtaposition.)
Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have so much hostility toward pop music that we have decided to inaugurate an Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Music That Sucks Series. In the months to come, we shall do our best to malign sundry species of so-called music that get our dander up. So, dear reader, if you find our current posting markedly bereft of nasty jibes aimed at, say, Phil Collins, cheer up: He’ll get what’s due to him in due time.
Let us move on, then, to the subject at hand—the genre of horrendous music that we are contemning today. That, dear reader, is the aesthetic calamity we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” collectively label “gynorock.”
What, you must be asking yourself, is gynorock? Well, it seems to be a particular sub-genre of the category a long-time confidante of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” once delightfully dubbed “Yuppie Comfort Music.” You know, the kinds of tunes that lull Ian and Jennifer into a pleasant daze whilst they lounge on Pier 1 Imports
furniture. That sort of thing.
Gynorock, as we have just said, is a sub-species of Yuppie Comfort Music; its tell-tale features include: A female singer-songwriter; lazy, saccharine melodies; girlish, sentimental lyrics. Typical granddames of gynorock include such un-notables as Tori Amos
, Sarah McLaughlin
, and Natalie Merchant
It’s the kind of music for people who consider James Taylor just a bit too hard-edged for their liking.
For those of you still unaware of what brand of noxious musical detritus we are discussing, see if you can drudge up that rancid “In the Arms of the Angel” song that is so often featured at such classy haunts as CVS
. If that song doesn’t make you want to throttle the record company executives responsible for such palaver with a harp, we don’t know what will.
What, you may be asking yourselves, if we enjoy gynorock? May we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly suggest that you take the Bob Barker route? That is to say, get yourselves spayed or neutered. That way, this may be the last generation of folks who enjoy this aural horror.
The Tolerance That’s Not So Tolerant
Many conservatives, dear reader, are often blathering on about the purported intolerance of the political Left. This liberal lack of regard for those of differing opinions seems particularly odd, conservatives claim, because contemporary leftists enjoy perceiving themselves as enlightened beacons of tolerance. Unlike, say, the close-minded curmudgeons who lean rightward, the leftist winsomely considers himself incapable of—pardon the nasty word—discrimination. To many conservatives, however, this is nothing but rank hypocrisy.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have therefore taken it upon ourselves to offer our own view on the topic. We would say that our conclusions are most assuredly correct and that any disagreement with them smacks of apostasy, but this didn’t seem to fit with the general tenor of the phenomenon we are investigating. Simply put, in this humble edition of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” we endeavor to dilate on so-called liberal tolerance.
To be frank, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t quite figure out what the conservatives are griping about. Contemporary liberals are, in fact, the very embodiment of open-mindedness.
Take, for example, the panoply of views regarding which one can have manifold opinions. To be sure, it would be best—if not imperative—that one has specific views on Israel (against it), the liberation of Iraq (against it), homosexual marriage (in favor of it), tax cuts (against them), Osama bin Laden (dislike his rather pugnacious style, but sympathize with the wrath he directs toward America), &c.
But one needn’t hold these all of these opinions to bask in the luminous glow of liberal tolerance. Rather, one can simply disagree and be labeled a moral cretin. Now, don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy?
In such circumstances, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are simply perplexed by conservative grousing about liberal intolerance. One either agrees with the totality of leftist views, or admit that you are a troglodyte. What’s the problem?
In addition, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can easily prove to fusty right-wingers that the contemporary Left is the apex of tolerance.
Take academia, for example. As you may already know, dear reader, American academia is famous for being somewhat tilted toward the political Left. Kind of like the way the Titanic was tilted. Or perhaps the final Iraqi election in favor of that stalwart democrat, Saddam Hussein.
Yet, we hasten to add, there is nary an American institution as open to all points of view as colleges in the USA. Provided, of course, you hold only militantly left-wing views.
But you needn’t agree with us, dear reader. Virtually every college and university in the country is equipped with some Diversity Center, Multicultural Powwow, or Ministry of Truth. Such places would certainly be more than eager to convince you that their university is the perfect example of tolerance. Naturally, if you don’t believe them, you are a disgraceful rogue. And a racist, too.
The Modern Guide to Life, or “Do You Remember the One When George…?”
Recently, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have taken to pondering some of the deeper issues that affect humanity: Death, war, Chipper Jones. During the course of our fevered reflections, a rather salient—if rather depressing—thought occurred to us.
For the ancient Greeks, Homer’s majestic Iliad and Odyssey served as veritable guidebooks for those yearning to live a good and honorable life. In the past, the Bible and the Koran have served a similar purpose for countless Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans. For 1960s radicals, copies of “The Greening of America” and “How to Cure Yourself of Sundry Sexually-Transmitted Diseases” played a kindred role.
But today, dear reader, these important tomes appear to have lost much of their appeal among manifold Americans. Instead of employing the Bible as one’s spiritual guide, most citizens of the good ole’ USA seem to prefer using episodes of “Seinfeld
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking, dear reader: This statement is hyperbole. To which we respond: That reminds us of the episode in which Kramer was in a fight with George, blah, blah, blah.
And here, dear reader, is our point: It is virtually impossible to discuss any interesting phenomenon that has occurred in your everyday life with an acquaintance and not
hear a rejoinder that begins: “That reminds me of the ‘Seinfeld’ episode when….”
Call us a pack of popinjays, but we find this a mite depressing. After all, it is difficult to live with the fact that we can’t undertake any task that has not already been completed by Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer, et al. In addition, their version of this labor was surely seen through with more canned laughter and poofier hair.
Want to cure Cancer? Kramer already did that in season three. Aim to bring about world peace? Tough luck: Elaine beat you to it.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hope that this evaluation of modern life doesn’t lead anyone to wander through life aimlessly, certain that he can’t accomplish anything that hasn’t been trail blazed by, say, Newman.
After all, there’s probably an episode of “Seinfeld” about that too.
Abercrombie & Fitch, or the Devil’s Cargo Pants
“Would you like to buy a naked adolescent?” This query seems to be at the heart of the marketing genius behind Abercrombie & Fitch
, surely the world’s most irritating clothier. For those of you blessed enough never to have entered a branch of this store, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are more than happy to let you in on its peculiar brand of collegiate fashion and vaguely homoerotic advertising.
Although we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are, in addition to being crack, rather young, we can recall a simpler time, when Abercrombie & Fitch was an admirable shop. One could purchase any number of fancy items, from ascots to elephant guns.
No longer. Whilst Messrs. Abercrombie and Fitch turn in their graves, their once laudable store has been transformed into a hideous outlet for high school and college “fashion.”
You know what we are talking about, dear reader: Cargo shorts, oversized T-shirts, and baseball caps as far as the eye can see. Without fail, everything in the shop is plastered with the Abercrombie & Fitch logo, so that you can spend $49 on a pair of “distressed” khaki pants that advertise for their prestigious brand.
Naturally, dear reader, in this respect Abercrombie & Fitch is no different from many other clothiers. After all, one sees so many shirts splashed with the Old Navy
logo that one wonders whether the New Navy is faintly jealous.
But there is something particularly irksome about Abercrombie & Fitch. In fact, there are many things. Those Americans benighted enough to cling to what are called “morals” can revel in the company’s hawking of thongs to 11-year-olds. Those rugged individualists among you can marvel at the delightful uniformity of the Abercrombie & Fitch uniform. It’s as if its customers are trying to inform passers-by: Don’t worry, I’m just like everyone else. And I have the baseball cap to prove it.
And then there’s the “music” played at these establishments. As if the sartorial blandness of Abercrombie & Fitch wasn’t bad enough, its stores blast an irritating mix of techno, pop, dance, and kindred aesthetic diseases. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would conclude that the store was interested in stunning its customers into making unnecessary purchases, but this would presume that the customers in question had brains to begin with.
Surely, however, the most loathsome phenomenon associated with Abercrombie & Fitch is its advertising campaigns. Each of its stores comes replete with enormous posters of scantily clad or unclad adolescents. It’s as if the customers at Abercrombie & Fitch, by virtue of purchasing a pair of boxer shorts, will magically transform into strapping young WASPs.
Perhaps, dear reader, you are thinking to yourself: The ads can’t be that bad. But they are, they are. They make Calvin Klein advertisements seem like Horatio Alger novels.
Forgive us for coming across as too preachy, but we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think that the success of Abercrombie & Fitch is potentially an early sign of the apocalypse. Well, maybe that’s overwrought. But we think that you should save your money and buy stuff at the Gap
instead: At least they hold fast to an equitable labor policy.
Hygiene: The American Art
As our regular readers must know, a few members of the crack young staff are vacationing in beautiful Rome (IT). The city, for those of you who have been unlucky enough never to visit it, is much like Rome (NY), only slightly more historically significant. And, we hasten to add, a bit more cosmopolitan.
Naturally, the staffers who have headed to Rome—let’s just call them “Chip”—have thus far thoroughly enjoyed the sites and sounds of Italia. From the Pantheon to T-shirts that read “Sexy Destroy Bomb,” there isn’t much to dislike.
They have noticed, however, one major irritant that has made them reflect upon and renew their undying love for America, land of the free, home of the Atlanta Braves.
This, dear reader, is the curiously low standard of hygiene kept by many of Rome’s inhabitants. Albeit bedecked in chi-chi clothing that make Liberace
seem like a beacon of sartorial traditionalism, many modern Romans appear to have the bathing skills of the average stray cat. And, unlike the cat, we hope, the Italians don’t lick themselves.
It can’t be that bad, you say. On the contrary. A few days ago, “Chip” enjoyed a day trip to Hadrian’s villa, where s/he could wander ancient grounds with amazement, delight, and a particularly fearsome need to urinate.
Before “Chip” could navigate this Roman emperor’s haunt, s/he had to endure a bus trip that would make a garbage man (excuse us, fellow feminists, “garbage person”) wish that he had lost his sense of smell.
One man on said bus was so horrendously mephitic that the trip was well nigh torturous. Before boarding the bus, this fellow seems to have spent the previous few days wading in a urinal trough at Fenway Park. Immediately afterward, he ran a marathon in southern Florida clad in a three-piece suit. Then he got on the bus.
Unfortunately, dear reader, we, the members of the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” spending time in Rome, were compelled to sit rather close to this fine gentleman. If, by rather close, you mean “on the same bus.”
While taking in this man’s fetid stench, a powerful thought overcame us. Europe is purportedly the center of sophistication, a lodestone of culture. America, on the other hand, is supposedly a collection of NASCAR enthusiasts, whose idea of high art is “Dogs Playing Poker.”
All true, all true. But isn’t cleanliness
also a sign of sophistication? If so, it seems that many Romans have much to learn from the citizens of, say, Butner
, North Carolina.
Cellular Telephones: A "Hatemonger's Quarterly" Special Report
As you must know by now, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are in the midst of our excessively lengthy summer hiatus. As a result, the thus far non-award-winning crack young staff is spending its time in various exotic locales: Buffalo (NY), Rome (IT), Cleveland (OH), &c.
A few senior editors of our staff—let’s just call them “Chip”—are summering in the balmy, cosmopolitan Valhalla known as Akron (OH). In order to reach their beauteous destination, they took a flight from “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” main offices directly to Akron
. (If, by "directly," you mean "through three other airports.")
During the course of their hectic travel schedule, a thought collectively dawned upon them: There is hardly a more pernicious instrument than the cellular telephone—especially when brandished at the local airport.
Indeed, the airport appears to be the key place for white-collar chuckleheads to impress their fellow travelers of their great import. To wit, whilst they await the arrival of their plane, these half-wits ineluctably whip out their cellular ‘phones and call their business associates. Naturally, in order to make themselves appear suitably impressive, these fellows speak in the most stentorian voice possible—as if the people seated in the airport terminal are simply dying to hear their learned musings on the proper marketing of widgets.
In fact, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” shall supply you with the kind of self-impressed blather of these fellows, and offer our own adjoining commentary.
Let us first, however, set up the scene: You have just received the Full Wand Treatment from the kindly security staff at the airport, which is too busy frisking superannuated nuns to bother radical Islamists with a few questions about the rocket launchers they are taking with them as carry-ons. As you head to your gate, you hear the irksome ramblings of “CNN Airport,” which offers all the intellectual fulfillment of CNN
cut into more digestible bits.
In addition to this irritant, you cannot help but notice a character clutching an attaché case, clad in a blue blazer, white shirt, and red tie. As he slouches in his comfy airport terminal chair, this fellow utters sentiments such as the following, in words too loud to be ignored:
Hey, Jimbo. How are you?…No, I’m at the airport right now. Yeah, flying in to Akron for the meeting. Should be a cakewalk. Listen. I want to let you in on something. You were at the meeting yesterday with Dennis, weren’t you?….Yeah, that’s the one.
Anyways, I was pretty upset with what Dennis had to say. You see, to him, it’s a personnel matter. But he’s so wrong. It’s obviously a clash of personalities. Rita just won’t put up with that kind of business anymore, like she used to in the old days. Well, I think that we have to show Dennis how wrong he is. In fact, once I touch down in Akron, I’ll call him up. Okay, Jimbo. Say hello to the wife and kids. Catch you later. Bye.
Oh, gee: As if the learned musings of Judy Woodruff
were not great enough, now we must endure such useless white-collar pontifications. It's like we are really dying to hear this moron’s thoughts on the problems down at the home office of Gorbert & Shilton.
Clearly, there is no need for such a telephone call. This fellow is merely attempting to demonstrate to those waiting to board the plane to Akron with him that he is a Very Important Person. The widget factory simply cannot do without him. In fact, if he were not working there, the company would be forced to hire yet another illiterate.
It seems to us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” that this man is wasting a great deal of time and money in his foolish attempt to impress. In order to save us all some hassle, why doesn’t he pass around a few business cards that read:
Deputy Account Advisor
Gorbert & Shilton
If that doesn’t impress, dear reader, what will? Or, why not simply have an honest conversation on the cellular ‘phone? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear such a character tell the truth? It might go something like this:
Hey, Jimbo. I am flying into Akron, and I’m bored stiff. I figured I’d impress the few people who will be on the same flight, as I have some time to kill, and my life is a miserable failure. So, while you barely listen to me, and while I ignore the fact that my wife left me and I bought a sports car in a dubious attempt to replace her, I’ll speak in my most roguishly ostentatious tone.
Okay, here goes: I am very, very, very important. Although “Deputy Account Advisor” doesn’t sound like much, it’s a heck of a lot. Not just anyone can do this job. You need a college degree. As such, I have not wasted the best years of my life slaving behind a desk and making feckless trips to such Godless hellholes as Akron. Rather, I am extremely important. In fact, if I were just a smidge more important, I wouldn’t be flying economy class.
Oh, one more thing: I’m impotent.
Now this, dear reader, is what we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” call truth in advertising. If those smug working-stiffs on cell ‘phones all spoke with such candor, the world would be a better place. Sure, this wouldn’t save civilization: There’d still be Billy Joel. But there’d at least be one less irksome phenomenon to handle at the airport.
“It’s My Third Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To”
Ralph Nader is always nattering on about something or other. If it’s not the evil corporations that are destroying the world, it’s the disgraceful selling out of the National Baseball League. In fact, regarding entertainers with glass eyes, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” find Sammy Davis Jr. far more appealing. If it’s between grousing about the purported sins of capitalism or “The Candy Man,” we’ll take "The Candy Man" virtually every time. And not only because he sprinkles it with love.
When the esteemed Mr. Nader isn’t bleating about the inequities of “The System,” he’s whining about the patent unfairness of America’s two major political parties. For those of you who hail from Singapore and thus do not understand the intricacies of American electoral politics (or, for those American children who have just graduated from high school), let us inform you that the main camps are that of the Democrats and that of the Republicans.
According to Mr. Nader, there’s nary a difference between them. And sure, he has a point: Last we checked, the Democratic and Republican Party Platforms espoused the exact same views on abortion, Affirmative Action, hate crimes, socialized health-care, the estate tax, &c. As such, we, the American people, need a party that has really distinctive qualities.
Mr. Nader appears to believe that so-called Third Parties will prove a panacea, and will usher in a period of peace, prosperity, equity, and overall grandeur previously unknown to the citizens of what R. Buckminster Fuller archly called “our spaceship earth.”
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aren’t entirely certain that this is so. In fact, we have the sneaking suspicion that Mr. Nader, when he is declaring “Third Parties” to be the world’s savior, actually means “Ralph Nader will be the world’s savior.” Call it a hunch.
Anyway, we decided to investigate a few of America’s “Third Parties,” to see what the average Joe and Josephine—who has been gulled into voting for such similar characters as Al Sharpton and Orrin Hatch—is missing.
We’ll be kind and disregard such absurd political movements as the “Christian Falangist Party of America
,” which aims to follow the diktats of the deceased fascist Francisco Franco. (But don’t mix it up with the “American Falangist Party
,” which is an entirely different group.) And we’ll even pass over the “U.S. Pacifist Party
,” as it’s just a passel of wimps. Nor shall we stoop so low as to discuss the “Libertarian National Socialist Green Party
,” which surely must be some kind of cruel—and obnoxious—joke.
No, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim to dilate on a more serious and earnest party than the “Pansexual Peace Party
.” How about “The Light Party
”? It seems like a fairly solemn and down-to-earth political group.
The founder of The Light Party, who also fashions himself an “artist,” is a fellow called Da Vid. According to its magnificent web-site, “The Light Party is a synthesis of the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian and Green Parties, is a proactive wholistic [sic], educational, empowerment [sic] party.”
Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking, dear reader: That’s a fairly capacious description. If The Light Party truly amounts to such a synthesis, perhaps it has received the withering scorn of Mr. Nader, who wants Americans to have more political choices, not fewer.
For those of you unclear as to how The Light Party endeavors to synthesize the views of such disparate political parties, we should note that Da Vid favors socialized health-care, organic victuals, solar power, nuclear disarmament, holistic healing, and…a flat tax. Eat your heart out, Steve Forbes!
Clearly, The Light Party is a force to be reckoned with. It is a sad state of affairs when the mainstream media—which, like those benighted Democrats and Republicans, are the puppets of evil corporations—overlook Da Vid and his important political views.
Perhaps there is some solace in the fact that although Da Vid’s Light Party won’t be featured on ABC anytime soon, its accompanying New Age CD is reported to be a real scorcher. We hear it’s even better than “Ralph Nader: Unplugged.” And, when Mr. Nader is at the microphone, just about nothing is more heavenly than finding out that it’s unplugged.
The Haunting Question
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” routinely receive a barrage of e-mails from winsome fans. Oftentimes, such devotees of our humble “weblog” laud us to the skies. How, they query, can the staff produce some of the most insightful and delightful comedy since “Cannonball Run II”?
Yet a few readers, although entirely well intentioned, ask what must be the most frightening question to routine “webloggers” such as ourselves. No, not “What if Dennis Kucinich becomes President,” or even “Aren’t your pants on fire.” We’re talking really terrifying.
Normally, the query is dropped into an otherwise pleasant missive as follows:
I’m a rodeo clown and long-time fan of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” You guys are the greatest. I am naming my first-born son “Crack” in part after you. But I do have one question: Are you guys ever going to run out of ideas?
Ah, yes: The “Are you guys ever going to run out of ideas” question. It’s really brutal. Normally, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply to this interrogation with a query of our own: Has Jim Davis, the creator of “Garfield
,” ever run out of ideas?
Okay, maybe that isn’t such a good example. The short answer to this query, which stands at only 4’3”, is: Yes. Of course we are going to run out of material. In fact, the very appearance of the posting you are reading, with its meta-blogging substance, may be proof positive that we have already
run out of ideas.
Indeed, just like Ralph Ellison, perhaps we only have one good book in us. Or, in our case, around sixty posts.
In fact, all this talk of writer’s block made us wonder: What will happen when we haven’t any ideas left, but we continue to milk “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” cash cow that it is? Will it be anything like “The Godfather Part III”? No, probably not: We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” may have plenty of foibles, but we don’t overact like Al Pacino.
Still, we are left with an important question: What will
happen when our zany, madcap genius dries up and we are merely punching the comedic clock?
Perhaps our postings will cease to possess a unifying theme, but instead will contain desultory gags—some of them quite tepid. This, naturally, will lead to an even more painful period, when we no longer supply our colossal readership with jokes at all, but proffer uninspired musings instead.
In fact, such postings might look a little like this:
A Hypothetical Posting of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Once the Crack Young Staff Has Entirely Run Out of Yuks:
Man, Michael Moore is really plump.
Although staple guns seem like a really good invention, their use can prove fraught with danger.
Of all the words in the English language, none is as fun to pronounce as “forklift.”
Michael Moore sure doesn’t
eat like he’s a Marxist.
We don’t care what you say: Black licorice is simply revolting. And, no, we’re not attempting any metaphorical social commentary.
“Speed-o” bathing suits tend to look really bad on men.
If Gary Coleman and Emmanuel Lewis got in a fight, we’d pick Gary Coleman to win. After all, he’s had to deal with far more personal hardship.
Michael Moor is so portly.
Well, dear reader, there you have it: An installment of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” as it may look when we, the crack young staff, entirely dry up. We suppose it’s not so shoddy: Truth be told, Michael Moore is pretty hefty.
Introducing the “American Burqa Party”
As we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” noted in our previous posting, the summer months are now upon us. In addition to the great pleasure of receiving sweat-soaked dollar bills from cashiers, this means one thing: The younger lasses in our midst wear less and less clothing.
Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are as progressive as the next Alan Keyes voter. But we can’t help but have a few quibbles with ladies’ summer fashions.
We know what you are thinking, dear reader: The crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is a passel of puritanical prudes. To which we respond: Not so, not so. Yet we earnestly believe that the skimpy clothing the young gals sport these days is, as the feminists say, an expression of power.
Don’t believe us? Just walk down the street and stay attuned to the glances of various septuagenarian males. Ineluctably, they are fixed upon some 18-year-old girl clad in a pair of “Hooters” shorts and a tank top that exposes her midriff. Gee, that’s really fair: These doddering old-timers have a great shot at scoring these fetching college women.
Naturally, dear reader, the reverse is never the case: Superannuated females don’t waste their time drooling over a pack of twenty-something men. The stronger sex, then, is in need of great help; if not, life in America for the average male will be nothing more than the inspection of a seemingly endless parade of lower-back tattoos.
As a result, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim to do our part to save humanity from the irksome phenomenon of scantily clad females. And we have come up with one idea that we think may just do the trick.
What, you must be asking yourselves, is this panacea? Well, it’s a new political party that we’ve called the “American Burqa Party.” Essentially, the party favors middle-of-the-road political solutions and one daring concept: According to the first platform in the Constitution of the American Burqa Party, all American women will be compelled to wear burqas.
We know what you are thinking, dear reader: The crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is a gaggle of misogynists. But bear with us; nothing could be further from the truth. Our friends on the political Left will surely love the American Burqa Party because it is profoundly multicultural: After all, it gets its nomenclature from an element of the dress code under the Taliban. What’s not to like?
In addition, dear reader, American women will also reap great benefits from the American Burqa Party: No longer will they be compelled to eye other women jealously, finding fault with their own frames at (literally) every corner. Instead, women’s bodies will no longer serve as a low self-esteem factory.
Our more thoughtful readers are probably worried about the unintended consequences of forcing females into burqas. And, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” suppose there are a few: The marketing geniuses-cum-child pornographers at Abercrombie & Fitch
will not be able to sell thongs to 11-year-olds anymore.
We know what you are thinking, dear reader: That’s a darn shame. And indeed it is. But, in this time of war, we must all make sacrifices. So, it’s out with the navel piercing, and in with the burqa. This way, both we and
the terrorists can win.
The Crack Young Staff Retreat
For those of you without a firm grasp on the year’s seasons, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to inform you that it is summertime. And, as the clement weather arrives, we are heading off to Akron (OH), Buffalo (NY), Syracuse (NY), Rochester (NY), and other exotic ports of call. A few of our staff members—let’s just call them “Chip”—are unlucky enough to be passing their time in the comparatively dowdy city of Rome (IT).
As a result, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to let you know that our postings will prove more erratic and desultory than the five-day-a-week routine you have come to love and admire. Fortunately for us (but unfortunately for you), our financial backers allowed us a criminally lengthy summer vacation of seven full weeks. (Eat your hearts out, you non-academic types.)
Accordingly, you, dear reader, will be compelled to suffer through a period of fewer rib-tickling animadversions than you have grown accustomed. To be sure, we shall—even on vacation—attempt to report to you as often as possible. But, frankly, given the difficulty of schlepping our Tandy TRS-80 laptop to the beach, we probably won’t be able to muster more than a few posts a week.
We know, we know: You are horridly upset. Not since the defection of Jim Jeffords from the Republican Party have you seen such disgraceful disloyalty. The fact that we shall be pressing ahead at full steam in seven weeks must mean very little in today’s fast-paced world.
We don’t want to point the finger of blame at anyone (as that is not a particularly gentlemanly or gentlewomanly thing to do), but we hold you
directly responsible. After all, months ago we announced our prestigious “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Summer Internship Program
, and we received nary a response from our massive readership.
Actually, we got one response; but the potential intern in question demanded $2.50 a day for her services, and we collectively took a moral stand and informed her that she ought to bleed some other fancy periodical dry.
Naturally, dear reader, our upcoming vacation does not mean that we shall entirely forsake you. In fact, we shall do our best to make certain that we present you with as many luminous postings as possible. As such, you certainly will want to keep abreast of our “weblog,” in order to be the first kid on the block to soak up the latest installment of the Official Summer Series of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.”
Still, our less frequent publication will surely mean that many of you will find yourselves with literally hours more time to kill during the day. What, you are probably wondering to yourselves, are we going to do without our full fill of the crack young staff?
Well, may we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly suggest that you peruse our archives for some of the greatest wit and whimsy the “web” has ever seen? Such “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” classics as our takes on Gillette
, B. Dalton Bookstore
, Busch-League blurbs
, public intellectuals
, so-called big media
, so-called scholar-athletes
, and Edward Said
are only a few mouse-clicks away. In addition, you can revel in the results of our “First Annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition
,” or delight in our academic superstars calendar
, our excoriation of “Newsweek” magazine
, and the heralding of our new Official Advice Column
. And who would want to miss out on our disquisition on the eyesore we labeled posterior penmanship
? Or our famous patriotism quiz
For those of you who want to check out what the crack young staff was up to in the ancient days of our “weblog” (early April, 2004), you can find out why we call our publication “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly
.” Indeed, our archives serve as a veritable cornucopia of comic genius—if we must say so ourselves.
Still, dear reader, many of you will have some time left over in your days. Don’t fret: We have the perfect way to spend your copious free time. On the right-hand side of your screen, our Official Technology Department has established links to numerous high-quality “weblogs.” If you aren’t reading each and every one of them daily, let us be the first to inform you that you are missing out on some great material.
It goes without saying, then, that anyone who isn’t paying attention to the esteemed “weblogs” to which we have linked is making a grave error. May we especially recommend a few sites of particular impressiveness? For those relentless aesthetes among you, we exhort you to peruse The Charlock’s Shade
. For those of you who enjoy the musings of a man of great discrimination, we urge you to check out Stephen Baldwin’s charming site
. Anyone not routinely taking in The New Criterion
’s marvelous “weblog
” is surely off his rocker. And for those of you who enjoy political musings and some great gags, we humbly suggest those delicately named Llama Butchers
As for us, we shall post as often as we can in the next seven weeks. Although it will prove tough to drag ourselves away from the luscious beaches of Akron (OH), we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” shall do our best to post as often as possible. Vacation or not, we feel a great kinship with our colossal readership, and will do the best to please it. What can we say? We’re people persons.
Road Runner, Meet “Slowpoke” Rodriguez
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have recently received a number of e-mails from correspondents wondering why our humble “weblog” looks so, well, humble. And, indeed, unlike the fancier “web-pages” one encounters these days, our journal seems about as up-to-date as “Members Only” jackets. Which, last we checked, have been purchasable by non-members.
Before we, like the beacons of journalist integrity at The New York Times
, begin a festival of self-flagellation, however, let us attempt to explain why our “weblog,” which surely reads like the work of a young Marcel Proust (or at least Marcel Dionne
), is displayed on a “web-site” that has all the eye-catching appeal of a Damien Hirst original.
First, a little background history. The generous financial backers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” who flipped the bill for our cushy offices, lavish 401K plans, and other exigencies, have proved a bit parsimonious in the technology department. In fact, after they paid our outrageous salaries, they had precisely enough money left over to purchase a site with a prestigious “blogspot.com” address. And, as has long been pointed out to us, “blogspot.com” is the Internet equivalent of downtown Detroit.
In addition to their “website” stinginess, our goodly financial backers did not lavish us with top-of-the-line computer facilities. In fact, this very posting is being written on a single Tandy TRS-80
. And we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are on such a shoestring budget that we are compelled to share our “space bar” with a few other Internet outfits.
So, though our site is surely the envy of budding literati, we possess the computer equivalent of a 1983 Chevrolet Caprice Classic. Without air-conditioning. And no 8-Track.
But none of this is as irksome to us as our molasses-like Internet service. Whereas most devotees of the so-called World-Wide Web have fancy Internet access via providers with the catchy names of famous cartoon characters, our service is not so tony.
Oh, sure, you say, it can’t be that bad. But it is, dear reader; it is. The company that serves as our window to the Internet—let’s just call it “Slowpoke” Rodriguez
—is uncommonly horrific. In fact, getting on-line often seems to be a “web” version of a Samuel Beckett play—without all those existentialist yuks.
For those readers skeptical of our claims, let us discuss our typical Internet routine. First, our rotary modem dials one of the squillion numbers that links to our web-provider. Most often, we do not get through to our service until about the umpteenth try. By this time, everything we have written is hopelessly out-of-date; to wit, we have scrapped sundry articles on the Eisenhower Administration that, once we finally got on the “web,” no longer seemed so timely.
Yet, once our connection to the Internet is assured, all our hours of waiting are not behind us. If we receive a call during the course of our “web-browsing,” our computers miraculously and ingeniously disconnect from the Internet, so that we can take that urgent ‘phone message from a telemarketer. It’s as if we were on-line simply to pass the time between calls about aluminum siding.
Even if our service is uninterrupted, there are numerous other e-hassles. Oftentimes, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” fecklessly attempt to read about the news of the day through CNN or Al-Jazeera. Inevitably, however, the “web-pages” in question get loaded more slowly than a roadie. As a result, we are left twiddling our collective thumbs whilst biding our time for the news.
So, dear reader, before you lambaste us for our “weblog”’s “Tron
”-like good looks, think about how much time goes into this labor of love we call “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” Indeed, we, the crack staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are the few creatures left on God’s green earth who, when we say we’ll “CC” someone, are actually referring to the old-fashioned carbon copying. So quit carping and pass us the Wite-Out.
SWATO: Sumerian Women Against the Occupation
Here’s a quick quiz question for you: How likely is it that “The National Women’s Studies Association
” (NWSA) supported the liberation of Iraq? If you answered “About as likely as Dennis Kucinich ordering a plate of veal,” you’re spot on.
A correspondent from our Bloomington (IN) office recently sent us a copy of the Summer 2003 number of “NWSA Journal
,” which bills itself as “A Publication of The National Women’s Studies Association,” and, in what is clearly one of the most astonishing moments in the history of American academia, the progenitors of so-called “women’s studies” were staunchly opposed to the war. Wow: Next you’re going to tell us that those in African-American studies departments harbored similar views!
In a curiously disregarded “Open Statement,” the NWSA opined:
As educators, NWSA members call for open democratic dialogue that will 1) identify the root causes and potential consequences of current U.S. policy in Iraq and 2) devise and implement non-violent methods of ending human oppression.
NWSA believes that all women’s studies practitioners, programs, and centers are obliged to create spaces for and lend their voices to such dialogue and analysis.
A rather odd view, is it not? After all, the unsavory lot known as women’s studies professors is supposedly enraptured by so-called “diversity.” Apparently, a diversity of perspectives is not what they're after. Rather, they yearn for a “democratic dialogue” in which everyone agrees with their suppositions. Fancy that! No wonder they like Saddam so much: They share his take on “democracy.”
Somehow, in what must be the gravest political blunder in modern American history, President Bush overlooked the NWSA’s statement, and went about liberating Iraq anyway. The über-feminists in women’s studies departments nation-wide must surely have been upset that Saddam Hussein could no longer continue his enlightened reign, and persist in his financial assistance to such female-friendly groups as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In the self-same issue of “NWSA Journal,” the editor of the periodical, a woman who teaches “interdisciplinary studies” at the cosmopolitan Appalachian State University called “Margret (Maggie) McFadden,” contributed an introduction entitled “Women and War, Women and Peace.” If this piece doesn’t establish the foreign policy bona fides of women’s studies professors, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t know what will. Maggie begins:
The present worldwide protest against the U.S.-led war with Iraq, protests in which women are playing a leading and essential part, are not new.
Okay, the protests against the liberation of Iraq have a long and distinguished pedigree. This is somewhat curious, as the decision to end the glorious regime of Saddam Hussein was fairly recent. In fact, this led us to ask: How long and distinguished is this pedigree? Thankfully, Maggie, in the very next sentence, comes to the rescue:
We can look back into the past and remember what women have done in ancient Sumer, Egypt, and Greece….
Wait a minute, Maggie. Are you implying that the protests against regime change in Iraq go back as far as the times of the women of Sumer? ("The Women of Sumer"—kind of sounds like a special on “E! Entertainment Television,” doesn’t it?) Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aren’t the experts on Sumerian, Egyptian, and Greek history that Maggie obviously is, but we have the sneaking suspicion that she’s a few millennia off on her chronology. In fact, we’re pretty sure that the world’s first civilizations far predate the Baath Party in Iraq. It’s just a hunch.
If the proto-feminists in Sumer really did assemble the first protests against President Bush and his war, they proved mighty prescient. Although we may disagree with their political views, we must applaud SWATO—Sumerian Women Against the Occupation—for their supreme foresight. And we wonder what was their take on the Vietnam War.
Yet, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” still have a quibble with Maggie’s historical exempla
. We have the distinct impression that Maggie’s mention of Greek women protesting stems from a few of the works of the Athenian comic playwright Aristophanes. Last we checked, Maggie, these plays were fictional
. This, alas, led us to doubt the veracity of Maggie’s mentions of ancient Sumer and Egypt.
Maggie could always offer the classic Hayden White Defense: History cannot relate the truth, but is merely an ideological fiction, as fanciful as any novel. Touché! If Maggie wishes to employ this clever debating strategy, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wonder why she didn’t mention the Sabine women’s successful attempt to stop the Romans and the Sabines from warring. Sure, modern historians consider this tale shrouded in myth and fancy, but why should this stop Maggie from introducing it?
Could it be that Maggie’s knowledge of Roman history is not as deep-seated as her understanding of the intricacies of ancient Sumer, Egypt, or Greece? And, we hasten to add, her uncanny familiarity with modern American politics?
Chairman Mao Meets “Patch Adams,” or “The Great Leap Backward”
As you must know, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been overwhelmed with responses to our new Official Advice Column
. Manifold men and women world-wide have sent us e-mails requesting our sage counsel. Soon, then, we shall return to our e-mail-bag and have a go at further queries. But we received notice about something so curious that we felt compelled to devote today’s post to a discussion of it instead.
Recently, a correspondent from our London (UK) office sent us information regarding a fascinating political movement that seems to be sweeping the international community. This, dear reader, is the Maoist Internationalist Movement
, or MIM for short. Apparently based in Los Angeles (CA), MIM describes itself on its website as:
the collection of existing or emerging Maoist Internationalist parties in the English-speaking imperialist countries and their English-speaking internal semi-colonies, as well as the existing or emerging Maoist Internationalist parties in Belgium, France and Quebec and the existing or emerging Spanish-speaking Maoist Internationalist parties of Aztlan, Puerto Rico and other territories of the U.$. [sic] Empire.
We know what you are thinking, dear reader: You’ve already lost us—somewhere around “English-speaking.” So let us spell out MIM’s mission a bit more lucidly.
The reasonable comrades who make up MIM are the type of folk who believe that the USSR went tragically off-course after
the death of Stalin and that the People’s Republic of China went downhill after
Mao Zedong expired. At these points, posits MIM, the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic became—horror of horrors!—capitalist states, thereby eschewing the noble goals of Communism. Khrushchev, that humanitarian bastard!
Further, MIM “encourages people with communist intentions to study and apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, which we believe has proved the most effective path towards communism.” Gee: In this context, “effective” is surely a loaded word. The rational characters who make up MIM thus long for the halcyon days of Stalin and Mao. They prefer the glory years of hardcore killing and starvation to the namby-pamby sellout known as perestroika.
Ah, yes: The salad days of Communism—when everything and almost every person seemed blood red. What a happy period! In order to direct the world toward a Maoist utopia, our friends at MIM aim “to seize power through armed struggle.”
Fair enough, you are probably saying to yourself. But why hasn’t MIM stormed the gates of the evil capitalist oppressors, and installed its charming brand of Maoist totalitarianism?
Well, it appears as if MIM is working rather slowly toward its revolutionary aims. Currently, the good people at MIM are busy organizing meetings and spreading propaganda through their delightful newspaper. What they lack in the firepower department, however, they certainly make up for with their compelling political commentary.
For instance, the wise exegetes of MIM aver that “it’s not fair to compare Maoism with Jesus Christ in the abstract. Maybe Mao did not obey the 10 Commandments. But his followers have a better practice than the Christians when it comes to ending oppression.” Maybe
Chairman Mao didn’t live up to the Ten Commandments?!? We have a sneaking suspicion that he failed to comply with that thorny “Thou Shalt Not Kill” commandment.
Other than that trifling criticism, we’re quite sure that this line of reasoning pans out. After all, Christian teaching was greatly responsible for the abolition of slavery, whereas the epigones of Mao have been busy butchering their countrymen—and, MIM would hasten to add, writing a Maoist newspaper. Advantage Maoists!
As the website of MIM makes clear, dear reader, the group is not a rag-tag assortment of authoritarian highbrows who spend their time sorting out the doctrinal disputes between “Kim Il Sungists,” “Crypto-Trotskyists,” and “Hoxhaites.” Au contraire: The cheery adherents to the Maoist Internationalist Movement are spreading the word about the impending proletarian revolution through such reasonable avenues as movie reviews
As MIM’s website shows, its members are forestalling the rise of a Communist dictatorship by penning clever film reviews that assess how much the movies in question conform to orthodox Maoism. It’s kind of like Deng Xiaoping meets “Ishtar.” So step aside, Ebert and Roper: The comrades at MIM are hunting through such cinematic masterpieces as “Lara Croft Tomb Raider” to find their political utility.
Orthodox Maoist film criticism: It does sound like fun, doesn’t it? Sadly, however, our comrades at MIM compose reviews with enough irritating thematic and stylistic tics to make their entire filmic enterprise faintly ridiculous.
Take, for example, the Maoist Internationalist Movement’s disquisition on “South Pacific
.” The review begins thus:
This film musical won the 1958 Academy Award for Best Sound. While all Rogers & Hammerstein productions involve class, nation and gender, they were never revolutionary and seem quite dated now.
Ah, yes: “South Pacific” is hopelessly passé, but Maoism is strikingly au courant
. MIM continues:
On the other hand, given how much of the world has not changed since 1958, the message is still mildly progressive. Although the context is World War II between the united [sic] $tates [sic] and Japan in the South Pacific, the main content of the film is the romantic relations of Amerikkkan [sic] soldiers from Arkansas and Kansas with the local people of different race [sic] and culture than [sic] their own.
Here we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” detect one of the aesthetic irritants we mentioned above. To be sure, changing the “S” in United States to a “$” is a stroke of genius—and well worth repeating ad nauseam
on MIM’s site. But, if our charming Maoists refer to “Amerikkka,” why don’t they go all out and allude to “Arkkkansas” and “Kkkansas”? In short, why the selective stuttering?
The erudite review concludes with a rousing finale: “The trade-off [with ‘South Pacific’] is that audiences may criticize the dictatorship of the proletariat if all films are socialist realist films. Of course, it’s also better if the audience does learn to maneuver through political subtleties and not always rely on stark contrasts directed by the vanguard party.”
So…you liked it? Two starved and emaciated thumbs up?
MIM’s movie reviews also have a tendency to stray from the topic at hand. Such is clearly the case in regard to its discussion of “Terminator III: The Rise of the Machines
.” In the course of their disquisition, the Leonard Maltins of MIM dilate on the absurdity of maintaining that “the humyn [sic] is not ‘perfectible’”:
”Not perfectible”—tell that to the Terminator who can calculate in an instant the probability of a humyn’s [sic] actually carrying out a suicide threat, 17% he says in one moment with a man who has a gun to his head.
Okay, Terminator: Humans—or is that “humyns”?—are not perfectible. That was easy.
The reviewers continue: “Such notions about the future do not come from no where [sic].” Indeed: They hail from the land of bad Maoist grammar. “Obviously, someone with a few machine guns or missiles if s/he could travel back in time would seem like the Terminator in the year 0 [sic], 1000 or even 1850. The conservatives and various escapists are in denial about the broad trend of history.”
Touché, touché: Good point, well argued. May we suggest, however, that you put down Mao’s “Little Red Book” for a minute and pick up an historical time-line? For, before we entirely disabuse ourselves of Burke, could you at least disabuse yourselves of the idea that there was a “year 0”?
Alas, MIM’s reviews of “Charlie’s Angles: Full Throttle
” and “Patch Adams” prove equally replete with digressions. It’s much like Rex Reed halting his discussion of “Regarding Henry” to focus his attention on his bowel movements.
For instance, our Maoist friends discuss the sequel to the “Charlie’s Angels” film with such sentences as “The Angels have to save the FBI’s list of people in protective custody, not exactly a calamity for humanity if it gets out and not an organization MIM would be helping regardless.” Thanks for the heads-up, guys. So we suppose the next installment in what would be the “Charlie’s Angels” trilogy will not be starring Cameron Diaz and
MIM? For shame.
For unadulterated purblindness, however, nothing tops MIM’s discussion of the filmic marvel known (or should we say “kkknown”?) as “Patch Adams
.” It appears as if the jocular gang at MIM found some politically valuable elements in this clunker, and thus, unbeknownst to many, Joel Siegel was actually not
the only person in the U.$. who enjoyed this aesthetic calamity.
About the film the MIMsters write: “Some of Patch’s criticisms of how medicine is structured agree with the proletarian perspective of medicine.” In addition, we hasten to add, the movie sucks.
But the last paragraph of said review must be composed of the two most ridiculous sentences in the history of the English language. Including Joan Collins’ novels. It reads:
In order to make the unfocused ideas of Patch Adams a reality, what is needed is a revolution to change the systems of inequality in Amerika [sic] and around the world. While Patch Adams’ free clinic is a progressive start, we need a revolution to transform the entire system.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” entirely agree: This dilapidated Robin Williams vehicle won’t lead us to the impending Communist mutiny. May we humbly suggest that “Howard the Duck” just might?