Me & Simon Legree

January16/ 2000

… I’m duty bound to report on the Mile High Mardi Gras going on in Denver this week and obligated to do so in an unpredictable fashion  …. I don’t mind agitating folks but I don’t want to be boring if I can help it. …. Somewhat related, I was invited to a fancy corporate shindig this week …. I had never met a single person there before, but actually I have met every one of’em many many times.

BE AWARE …. There are MAJOR compu-viruses currently effecting the Internet.  It is effecting the mass distribution of this website (and 1,000s of others).  The website is fine.  We simply can’t send it to you in a reliable fashion.  Until further notice check in to every day or so.  Don’t wait for an e-mail notice to do so.  You might get dupes for awhile.

I spent Monday and Tuesday on the road at a corporate gathering for “a major international computer processor company”.  It was a client appreciation fete.  Such fetes are what drives commerce.  I had never met a single participant but every single one was “a type” I encountered during my 20 year indentured servitude in corporate America.

This is how corporate America works.  It is what it is.  Corporate America and me were as synergistically incompatible as a soulless entity and smart aleck could be.  It took me five years to figure that out and another fifteen to finally do something about it.  The path to Internet Legend has had it share of detours and potholes.

The “new age” difference in this gathering from the 100s I slogged thru back in the 80s s intrusive communication technology.  There was an ongoing jousting for individual self-importance with dueling I-phones and blackberries.  I swear some of these clowns were calling themselves to emphasize their level of indispensability in the grand scheme of American bizness.   The most prized skill in bizness today is balancing a wine glass and an hors doevre plate while “texting” your administrative assistant on your “NEW 3G” I-phone to reconfirm your car rental at LAX for Thursday.  No, I did NOT have my Kindle to show off.

The ubiquitous “golf outing” was held at a local version of Bushwood CC owned by The Tobacco Tort King of The Eastern Seaboard.  This guy who busted “Big Tobacco” Phillip Morris and was the model for the John Grisham novel on “tort lawyers” was smoking “Cubans” and tooling about in his custom golf cart with country music blaring.  I was told that this guy could buy Apple Cheeks with his pocket change even before Johnny’s value fell to lower than a truckload of cassette tape players.  Instead of gophers, this Bushwood has timber rattlers as big as your leg.

The club is ultra private, members only.  Members include both a certain Jayhawk sticker-wearing Blue Messiah AND a certain visor-wearing Ball Coach.

There was a big-time Gamecock fan in attendance.  As we were discussing bad boyz he noted “I’ve heard that” several of the more aggressive Columbia cops “out to get USC players” are Clemson fans.  I actually laughed out loud and explained that was Universal Board Monkey BS 101.  Whenever a thug-alete is apprehended by a law officer, said officer is ALWAYS a fan of the arch rival “out to get our kids”.  He seemed genuinely shocked to learn that.  I was genuinely shocked that anyone so naïve could dip a chip without poking his eye out.

A highlight of the two day affair is that I was occupied both Monday and Tuesday nights totally missing watching “you know what”.

 WARNING !!!  Political Stuff 

Proceed At Your Own Risk!  

Skipping to the bottom is an option.

   Apparently every day this week coincides with the anniversary of a great event in Liberally rewritten history.  Tuesday was Women Suffrage and this Thursday OF COURSE is MLK “Dream” Day.  …. and Monday woulda been Mary Jo Kopechne’s 68th birthday?

Enduring “your opponent’s convention” is always a test of one’s vomit reflex.  At what point do you uncontrollably throw up all over your shoes?  The Fidel-esque inflammatory rhetoric I can tune out.  What gags me are the reactions of the fawning faithful.

Did any of you catch Mike “Snoopy” Dukakis being interviewed on Wednesday night?  That sad soul is only a peanut short of a Jimmy Carter brand of insanity.  Has he been playing in Kitty’s medicine cabinet?

From a purely pragmatic standpoint, if I was running the BarackObiden campaign, I would do it exactly like they will run it the next 60 days.  Make It All About Race!  As Micheal Corleone said about Tessio siding with Barzini “it’s the smart play”.   Sure, if Cocoa Puff does not win, it will result in messy race riots in every major city but what the heck.  Politics is not for sissies.

As we get closer to November ’08 American politics will sink into septic fields never before imagined.  Politics has always been a blood sport.  There are no silver or bronze medals.  Winners will claim 1% “mandates” and losers will cry “THEY CHEATED”.  It’s beyond “a blood sport”.  It’s a “knife fight”.  Cut the other guy more than he cuts you so hopefully he will bleed out first and die before you do.

The public’s view of politicians always reveals that we despise, distrust and loath them ….. except, of course, for our particular representative, senator, councilman, et al.  All “the rest” are low down dirty birds except mine.

How many of you recognize the name Simon Legree?    If you attended public school in the past twenty years you likely have no clue who Simon was.  If you attended public school in the past ten years you have not a clue about a lot of stuff.

Simon was a primary character in a famous novel that came to symbolize a traumatic period in American history – Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  Simon Legree was the mean, horrid, despicable slave overseer who committed innumerable atrocities on Tom and Topsy.  The Lloyd Bridges character in Roots as I recall.  For folks like me who sprinkle their conversation with literary references and enjoy conversing with similarly inclined folks, using Simon Legree to define the worst form of eeeevil racist is a natural.

Who knew that in 1852, Simon Legree listened to AM radio and Fox News?  Over the next 60 days the BarackObiden folks and their drive-by media cohorts will be Simon Legree-ing the bejeebers out of me and my fellow ultra right-wing extremists (aka URWE).  Simon & Me and David Duke makes Three …. just you wait and see!

25% of registered voters (cough, cough) are required by ethnicity to vote for CP.  He says he’s gonna take away all the “rich folks’ money” and give it to the fawning faithful.  Some incentive, huh?   Another 15% are hard-core Bush / BobLee-hatin’ uber Libs.  That’s 40%; so find 10.1% with guilty consciences and/or afraid of those cataclysmic race riots coming in mid-November and VOILA ….

I don’t own a bullwhip or a klan robe and the only “N” word I use frequently is “Nifong”.  We URWEs will be painted as a composite of Ol’ Simon, James Earl Ray, Byron delaBeckwith and Bull Connor.  All because I believe in individual accountability, less-intrusive government, the power of a free-market economy and that trite phrase “In God We Trust”.  I’m comfortable with who I am and what I believe in.  No bumpersticker or demagogue will change that.

I’m a simple man who asks not that my country DO anything “for me”except leave me alone to succeed/fail on my own merits.  McCain is more prone to grant me that opportunity.

All those front page headline, buzzword issues that affect our daily lives to varying degrees …. “the war” …. “the economy” …. “energy dependence” …. “the environment” …. “taxes” …. “the national infrastructure” …. “immigration” …. blah blah blah.   Despite what you might hear this week (and next week) those “issues” all have something in common.  They are all Gordian Knots (yet another literary code word….. for “a task impossible to resolve”).   These issues will all “get better” “get worse” and some days “stay the same”.  Not unlike kids growing up and parents getting old.  “Stuff happens” regardless.

Both CP and McCain will claim power over the moon and the tides and the ability to teach a cat to fetch.  After all is said and done a whole lot more will be said than done regardless of who cries “THEY CHEATED” in the second week of November.

If I were CP …. tonight he should COMMAND Hurricane Gustav to spare New Orleans.  Think about it …. if Gustav veers away CP gets the full credit ….. and if not, what the heck, he tried.

The ideological divide in America will further widen.  It will not narrow one iota in my lifetime.  “Hate” not “hope” fuels American politics.  Too many people are heavily invested in widening that “hate’em gap” to ever give common sense a seat at the solution table.


 “Tessio” was “Fish” on what TV sit-com?


    YES …. BobLee and The Shadow Of The Bell Tower Guys will be holding tailgate court in our familiar primo location behind the Undergrad Library this season.  Drop by and say “hi”.  It has been confirmed that my suggestion for a new wrinkle to The Old Well Walk IS indeed being implemented.  It’s quite a good thing. 

   Our “Tell-A-Friend” function is currently disabled but being un-disabled.  If you need to send to a friend just send them the URL or copy and paste.  ALL these techno-glitches will be fixed soon (Cocoa Puff has promised me !!)

   Other than major events such the conventions (and Bonzo Joe’s first major gaff) we intend to “try” and limit our regular political rants to Platinum Pals.   The recent one on the Veep selection of Bonzo Joe got wide circulation.  If you’d like to get on the Platinum Pals e-mail list just let us know.  It’s free too. ….. OK, Mary Jo Kopechne’s birthdate was actually July 26, 1940 but I made my point.

   August was a tough month on beautiful Franklin Street ….. (1) First, there was that Apple Cheeks unpleasantness …. and THEN …. (2) Coach K takes The Gold !

   Did you see where the LPGA is enacting a “must speak English” rule for its players next year.  The NCAA is considering the same rule for college football.  The SEC is strongly opposed to it.

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