Looking for a Sign I Would Carry

It’s tough being a moderate these days. Everyone is so polarized, it’s lonely in the middle. That’s why I’m happy to hear about Jon Stewart’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity.’ I like the theme: “Take it down a notch, America.”

“We live in troubled times, with real people facing real problems, problems that have real if imperfect solutions that I believe 70 to 80 percent of our population could agree to try and could ultimately live with. Unfortunately, the conversation and process is controlled by the other 15 to 20 percent.”

Moderation is just, well, it’s boring. The subtleties of nuanced dialogue don’t fit into soundbites or tweets. Shades of gray don’t particlarly flatter anybody. “Listening” and “Civility” are just about as enticing as eating your vegetables and flossing regularly. Sensible is just not sensational.

The only way I can see to be a moderate and command some positive attention is to do what Stewart does — make fun of both extremes while making self-deprecating fun at your own expense too. Maybe humor can succeed where Beer Summits have failed?

I probably won’t march because, as Stewart points out, most moderates “have other S%^& to do.” But it’s still fun imagining what things my sign at the march could say:

REASON IS NOT TREASON
RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE
I SEE YOUR POINT
USE YOUR INSIDE VOICE
CALMER THAN YOU ARE
LOSE HATE NOW. ASK ME HOW.
BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER
DEATH TO HATEFUL EXTREMISTS!
HOORAY FOR OUR SIDE
DOWN WITH THIS SORT OF THING
ANYONE HAVE A SHARPIE? MINE SEEMS TO BE RUNN
I AM JUST LOOKING FOR A USED CAR . . . WHAT IS ALL THIS?
I WAS TOLD THERE’D BE TEA

I mean, I’d certainly have fun with it. Because I am already sick to death of polarized prattling and I avoid campaign ads and opinion channels like the plague. I need a good comic relief valve.

I hope Stewart and Colbert claim that a million people attended regardless of what the aerial photo analysis says. That would be classic.

Comedienne Wannabe Ammo

Last night at dinner, Olivia was trying to tell jokes and was not having much success. She had the form down, but that’s pretty much it.

Olivia: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Us: I dunno. Why?
Olivia: Because the dog was there.
Us: uh… (quizzical look)

Olivia was getting upset because we weren’t laughing at her jokes. So we tried to give her some examples of good jokes and why they are funny. That’s a hard thing to explain to a seven year old.

But I figure I’d round up some jokes to share at the next comedian’s round table. Appropriate for seven year olds of course. Here they are, Olivia. You’ll kill with these, I guarantee it!

What did the snail say when riding on the back of a turtle?
Wheeeeeeeee!

Q. Where do you find a leg-less turtle?
A. Wherever you left it!

What’s E.T. short for?
Well, he has pretty short legs.

A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender says “What is this, some kind of a joke?”

Did you hear about the scarecrow who just won an award for being out standing in his field?

Skeleton walks into a bar. “I’ll have a beer and a mop.”

Two peanuts were walking down the street. One was a-salted.

What did one snowman say to the other snowman?
“Do you smell carrots?”

Two antennas met on a rooftop, fell in love and got married. The reception was excellent.

What did Sushi A say to Sushi B?
“Wasabi”

Did you hear about the cannibal who came home late for dinner.
His wife gave him the cold shoulder.

1: Knock Knock
2: Who’s there?
1: Control Freak. Now you say, “Control freak who?”

What kind of fish has no eyes?
a fsssssssh

Where do generals keep their armies?
In their sleevies!

What’s red and bad for your teeth?
A brick!

Where do you park your dog at night?
In a barking lot!

What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t work?
A stick.

What’s green and has four wheels and flies?
A garbage truck!

Why was six afraid of seven?
Because seven ate nine!

Why was everyone afraid of the baker?
Because he beat eggs and whipped cream!

What did one eye say to the other?
Between you and me something smells.

What do you call a cow with only two legs?
Lean beef!
What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef!

Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road? No guts, no brains.

What’s brown and sticky?
A stick.
What’s a soft and slippery?
A slipper!

Why did the octopus cross the road?
Because it was nailed to the chicken.

How do you catch a unique rabbit?
Easy, unique up on it.
How do you catch a tame rabbit?
Tame way, unique up on it.

What’s the difference between a termite and a refrigerator?
One eats the houses and the other houses the eats.

Why did the cowboy buy a dacshund?
He wanted to get a long, litle doggy.

What has eight legs and loves ants?
Four uncles

What do you call a female doctor?
Doctor, you sexist!

What do you call the cheese you stole?
NACHO CHEESE!!!

Why don’t seagulls fly over the bay?
Because then they’d be baygulls! (Bagels, get it?)

Why does Snoop Dogg carry an umbrella?
Fo’ drizzle!

Two parrots sitting on a perch.
One says ‘Can you smell fish?’

A duck walks into a drug store and says to the sales clerk, “I need some Chapstick – just put it on my bill.”

What’s the hardest thing about fighting twenty six year olds?
There are twenty of them.

What did the farmer say when he opened his barn and his plow was missing?
“Where’s my plow?”

A termite walks into a bar and says, “Is the bar tender here?”

What’s loud and sounds like apples?
APPLES!!!!!!! (yelled as loud as you can)

Why don’t lobsters share?
They’re shellfish.

What’s red and sits in a corner?
A naughty strawberry.

What did the mommy volcano say to the baby volcano?
I lava you.

What did one wall say to the other?
“I’ll meet you in the corner.”

Praying for Nothing

What if we were unable to be offended? What if we all refused to be righteously outraged?

What if the trolls of the world, desperate for our attention, any attention, received none? What if they jumped up and down, shouted vile words, burned piles of sacred cows, and potty-danced upon our hallowed monuments… and we did nothing?

Maybe just smile and go about our business. Yawn. What if we refused to feed the fire that many want, nay greedily need, to spread?

This weekend, especially this Saturday, I pray for the Power Of Nothing Happens.

Jesus spoke of this kind of thing. That “turn the other cheek” stuff was not about wimpy assignation, but of a NEW POWER and a NEW WORLD he wants us to see and complete with him. A NEW WORLD, a kingdom, you might say, that is created by the NEW POWER Jesus gives us to not get sucked in. To rise above our own self-righteousness and love in the face of hate.

Yeah, I know Jesus himself is popular, but his Gospel (accurately preached) rarely is. But I am praying that we supposed Christians will summon this New Power. The Power of Nothing Happens. If you see it, see through it and don’t feed it. Better yet don’t watch it. Don’t comment on its blog or click on its YouTube channel.

Deny all hate the oxygen that it needs to breathe. I think I wish to take a media fast this Saturday. That’s my response.

Aside from relaying this great poem:

The Power of Nothing Happens
What scares them most is
That NOTHING HAPPENS!
They are ready
For DISTURBANCES.
They have machine guns
And soldiers,
But this SMILING SILENCE
Is uncanny.
The business men
Don’t understand
That sort of weapon . . .
It is your SMILE
That is UPSETTING
Their reliance
On Artillery, brother!
It is the garbage wagons
That go along the street
Marked “EXEMPT
by STRIKE COMMITTEE.”
It is the milk stations
That are getting better daily,
and the three hundred
WAR Veterans of Labor
Handling the crowds
WITHOUT GUNS,
For these things speak
Of a NEW POWER
and a NEW WORLD
That they do not feel
At HOME in.

— Anise