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12.28.14
2014 XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$T

Hey guys. Did this whole crazy holy daze madcap bedlam thing sneak up on you this year, making the world speed up like a maglev Bullet Train going downhill lit by a strobe, like it did us? There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. In 2014, Thanksgiving fell on November 27th: making it a mere 28 days between the Turkey and the Tree. Next year the gap grows by a day; then two days for leap year, until way way in the future, Year of Our Lord 2018, we’re talking maximum separation: 33 days. And you can bet those extra 5 days will seem a blessed eternity, especially to our poor bedraggled brothers and sisters employed in the online retail industry. Let the drone-ducking commence. So while we salute all you incredibly stalwart consumers for navigating Demolition Derby parking lots in the honorable quest of sinking heavily into debt to celebrate the birth of that Jewish hippie kid, let us also take this time to offer up to the least deserving of us, our annual scathingly incisive yet perennially trenchant, WILL DUR$T’$ 2014 XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$T. These are the presents that folks presumably did not receive wrapped in brightly colored packages under dangerously parched fir trees, but most certainly deserved.

For Barack Obama: A Kevlar bubble, as he will now be taking shots from many vantages.
For CNN: Something to talk about other than ISIS and Ebola. And not ISIS infected with Ebola. 
For Alec Baldwin: An unlimited refillable prescription for Xanax in a carrying case suitable for travel.
For Democrats in Congress: Scuba gear until they learn to grow gills for breathing underwater.
For Republicans in Congress: Enough rope to tie up Obama’s agenda for 2 years, but not enough to hang themselves with.
For Ted Cruz: A money order in the exact amount of a one-way ticket on the clue train.
For Harry Reid: A big old Lazy-Boy recliner so at least he can be comfortable doing nothing.
For Fox News: Hard evidence that the credit card used to pay for the rental car that took terrorists to the American Embassy in Benghazi has been traced to a shell corporation whose CEO is Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff.
For Malaysian Airlines: A name change.
For Jeb Bush: A name change.
For Mitch McConnell: An oilcan.
For Elizabeth Warren: A lingering bug to hit Hillary Clinton clearing the Democratic field for 2016.
For Joe Biden: A lingering bug to hit Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren clearing the Democratic field for 2016.
For Kentucky Senator Rand Paul: More Republicans to support his run for the Presidency and less Democrats.
For Speaker of the House John Boehner: A gift certificate good for one surgical procedure to remove that unsightly Tea Party growth clinging to his back.
For Medical Science to study: Dick Cheney’s heart. George Bush’s brain. And Barack Obama’s leadership skills.
For Scott Brown: Cheap property in either Vermont or Maine. Or both.
For Shia LaBoeuf: A muzzle. Permanent. Steel. Welded with titanium rivets.
For Brad Keselowski: A sponsorship deal with UFC.
For Miley Cyrus: A sponsorship deal with any designer who can provide actual clothes.
For Bill Cosby: Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.
For Fidel Castro: A tricked out 2015 Ford F- 150 to replace that 59 Chevy.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
12.20.14
BUSHES 3. US 0. 

Still recovering from the sonic bombshell dropped by Jeb Bush announcing he was officially upgrading his prospective candidate status from… considering the formation of an exploratory committee to investigate the feasibility of a possible run for the presidency to… actually authorizing the formation of an exploratory committee that will investigate the feasibility of a possible run for the presidency. Our little caterpillar is now one step closer to being a big bad beautiful butterfly.

No one will admit the obvious: that the efforts of this exploratory committee could boil down to a simple poll question asking potential voters to rate how deep is their well of Bush Fatigue, on a 1-5 scale. With 1 being, “who cares what name is on the ballot, they’re all big fat liars anyway” to 5 indicating; “read my lips, no new Bushes. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Did I mention ever? Because I meant to say ever. Again.” (long pause) “Ever.”

John Ellis Bush, (Jeb for the initials) is son of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States and younger brother of George Walker Bush, (Gwibby) the 43rd President. And proving that all things are relative, the former Florida Governor is generally considered “the smart one.”

Since sister Dorothy is a civilian, brother Marvin is retired, and other brother Neil’s main claim to fame is miraculously not being indicted in the Silverado Savings & Loan debacle during the 80s, Jeb is the last great hope for the Bush Family to finally pull off a third invasion of Iraq and get it right.

The first Republican through the gate, Jeb will need to prove to the right and the righter that the only thing he has in common with his brother, father and/ or grandfather is their name and a bucket of money. To reinforce that impression, a major order of business might be to convince Dick Cheney to shut the hell up and stop reminding people who tortured what when.

Either way, the Democrats won’t likely harp too severely on how anathema the concept of dynasty is to this country, since their own front-runner is the wife of a former president named William Jefferson Clinton. #42. Meaning if the 2 of them win their parties’ nominations, that will make the 2016 race- Bush versus Clinton, a re-run of the 1992 election. Giving America the same choice it had 24 years ago. Only different. And not necessarily better.

Which will be great for all we comedians who can trot out our old 1992 material. It’s the green thing to do. Nostalgia and recycling: together again for the very first time. And for all you “history repeating itself” fanatics, in the year 2040, 24 further years down the electoral road, Hillary & Bill’s daughter, Chelsea, will be 60, and Jeb’s son, George P., 64 - and we can do it all over again. Again.

AND… if Jeb Bush actually does become the 45th POTUS, think of how great it would be for future American elementary school children who would be able to rattle off the answer to: “name the last 5 presidents” by counting their fingers: “Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Bush.” Like a club sandwich. With the Bushes as the white bread. And what could be more apropos than that?

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
12.13.14
Squatting on the Flag

If you believe the recently released Senate Intelligence Committee torture report, you might be tempted to conclude that the CIA lied to the press and the public and to Congress about the extent and effectiveness of its torture campaign. And that conclusion would be correct, sir. And the amazing thing is people are amazed.

Yes. Of course the CIA lies. That’s what they do. Lying and cheating and stealing are its total and complete job description. Glance at their listing on the civil service careers website: “fluid interpretation of situational morality required.” That’s why when old CIA guys retire they go to work as oil industry lobbyists or Hollywood publicists.

The CIA lied. Wow. What the next big revelation: Fire is hot? The New York Philharmonic is musically inclined? Shia LaBoeuf is bug suck crazy? Scorpions make lousy pre school pets? Contracting dysentery is a lousy career move? Tiramisu is tasty?

One thing you got to give our beleaguered spy agency; they are on the cutting edge in the use of creative euphemisms. In their world, “sleep management” means refusing to let someone sleep, possibly for more than a week, and “special rendition” means kidnapping people right off the street. Like an involuntary Uber ride. If Uber made passengers wear ankle manacles and black bags over their heads.

The cute term for torture itself: “enhanced interrogation techniques,” is borrowed from the Nazis, who preferred: “refined interrogation techniques.” And whenever you hear someone stealing tactics from the Nazis, that’s not good.

The report even gives us new and original verbal obfuscations. The phrase “rectal feeding” means to stick a tube up someone’s butt with actual food not necessarily involved and a consistent pattern of lying is now referred to as: “imprecise representations.”

That’s what current CIA chief, John Brennan says occurred. He went on to stress “we did some things right.” Yeah. And the husband who poisoned his wife’s breakfast did a great job on the toast. During the same press conference, Brennan assured us “Congressional oversight is crucial.” Must be why he authorized the hacking of Congress’s computers: make sure they were properly supervising the CIA.

Reliable sources contend that’s the reason why Dianne Feinstein went to such great lengths to make sure this report was released before her chairmanship wraps up in January. Spying on Americans is one thing. Spying on Congress: now them’s fighting words.

Conservatives are busy doing what they always do: attacking the attackers. Squatting on the flag. Brennan and former President Bush AND former Vice President Dick Cheney have all called the perpetrators of these atrocities “patriots” which means that anybody who questions their actions is giving the terrorists a foot rub.

You know whom we should trust on this issue? The Senator with first-hand experience in the torture biz- John McCain, who adamantly insists that torture doesn’t work. Short term, because people will tell you whatever they think you want to hear to make it end. “She’s in the attic. Please stop playing ABBA.”

And it doesn’t work long term, because it permanently blurs the distinction between the good guys, which is supposed to be us, and the bad guys, which is supposed to be them. Here’s a helpful primer designed to highlight the differences: Snowboarding - good guys, waterboarding - bad guys.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
12.6.14
TOP TEN COMEDIC NEWS STORIES OF 2014

Hey guys, Will Durst here with your eagerly awaited Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2014. Now, here’s the deal: please do not confuse these amusing accounts with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2014. No. No. No. They are as different as silky and spiky. Banjos and bullfrogs. Strawberry daiquiris and Chinese made assault rifles. Earrings and peas. Oh sure, we saw plenty examples of super serious humor-resistant stuff that went down over the previous twelve months, including but not limited to: Ebola infested ISIS members flying into Ferguson, Missouri on Malaysian Airlines, carrying pictures of Bill Cosby ogling Janay Rice’s butt. But fortunately, there were also quite a few events that lent themselves to massive humorosityness and for anyone looking for a column with the vision and courage to lampoon, satirize, mock, scoff, taunt, tease, rib, ridicule, josh, jibe and kid these episodes of entertaining elucidation, you’ve come to the right place. Because here they are: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories Of 2014 as determined by the executive council of the Comics, Clowns, Jesters & Satirists Union, which, as you probably are already aware, is… me. Read em and weep.

10. A new study by German scientists suggests that beer helps prevent prostate cancer. So let’s stop calling them bars, and start referring to them as what they really are: clinics. And we are self-administering patients.

9. Winter Olympics in Sochi. The entire world is relieved when Vladimir Putin doesn’t enter the triathlon by slapping on skis to shoot Ukrainian journalists. Shirtless.

8. Series of Ice Bucket Challenges sweep the country. Minor celebrities enjoy being seen as all wet. During the hazy days of summer. When the Polar Vortex comes calling, not so much.

7. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford runs for re-election, but due to ill health has to pull out and convinces his brother to run. Torontoans refuse to give the Fords another crack at it.

6. Pope Francis says his religious theology is not in opposition to evolution. This guy really does look determined to drag the Catholic Church kicking and screaming into the latter half of the 19th Century.

5. Alaska, Oregon and DC join Washington & Colorado in the legal marijuana club. Stock of Frito-Lay, the makers of Funyuns and Cheetos, skyrockets.

4. Donald Sterling’s racist statements result in a lifetime ban from the NBA. And many folks hope he lives to be 105. And is forced to bunk with Cliven Bundy.

3. The Midterm elections. Mitch McConnell says he wants to work with the President. Yeah, the same way a 5 year old with a magnifying glass wants to work with ants. Only a matter of time before GM is forced to recall McConnell as a faulty airbag.

2. Arizona debates SB 1062, which would legalize bigotry based on religious beliefs. The return of Jim Crow with a cactus beat. The postal abbreviation AZ apparently stands for Angry Xenophobes. And yes, xenophobe starts with an “x” but they don’t know that.

1. ObamaCare rollout. The President said it could have gone smoother. You think? An anvil studded with titanium spikes could have rolled smoother.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.22.14
Thanksgiving 2014

You got to love Thanksgiving. You do. It’s the law. And be honest; doesn’t a little tryptophan poisoning amongst family and friends sound pretty comforting right about now? What with Ebola infested ISIS members slithering across the border carrying photos of Bill Cosby ogling Kim Kardashian’s butt? Besides, this holiday isn’t about greasing the wheels of capitalism with the fire hose of consumer debt like that other one just down the road. This one is about gluttony. Pure and simple. And the only attendant religiosity is praying the Cowboys lose. So allow me to express my gratitude for the 4th Thursday of November: it’s annual appearance being one of the little moments that makes life worth living. Right up until the 4th bottle of white Zin, when Aunt Hoogolah informs Uncle Bud how Grandpa characterized his turkey carving and all hell breaks loose. Nevertheless, here’s a few more blessed things that prompt this middle-aged, round-headed, political comic to get down on his knees and thank the maker.

Barack Obama. Upcoming 3rd year of his 2nd term promises much bigger, knock-down, drag-out fights with the Republicans. Not to mention… the Democrats.

Chris Christie for so generously providing the comedy community with such a target rich environment including his Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Float- the only one which is actual size.

Anchor Steam Christmas Ale. Especially this year

Hillary Clinton who since 1992, no matter how much effluvium gets thrown at her, just keeps on keeping on, like the Energizer Bunny on steroids.

Ted Cruz for being crazier than Norman Bates after a dip in a psilocybin bath riddled with corn fungus.

The International Panel on Climate Change for finally just throwing up its hands and playing darts while drinking beer on the patio.

Sarah Palin, because she just can’t help herself.

Bill Clinton, because he just can’t help himself.

Fox News for incrementally ramping up the vitriol and hyperbole with the obvious goal of eventually featuring giant lizards spitting and clawing at each other.

Kim Kardashian who determinedly refuses to allow any lack of discernible talent keep her from becoming famous.

The entire Toronto Ford family including Rob and brother Doug for making American politicians feel better about themselves.

The airline industry who have driven customers to stow away amongst the landing gear in their never-ending search for legroom.

Donald Sterling who with his lifetime NBA ban should live to be 110.

Black Friday Creep for providing the requisite distraction allowing we gluttons to cop extra portions of pie.

For whoever is marrying Charles Manson. Just because.

For the entire State of Florida. Just because.

Harry Reid, for steadfastly refusing to be part of the solution.

Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, because 2, two, too Popes are better than one.

The 22nd Amendment: which, for 67 years, has proudly kept the American people from making the same mistake more than twice.

The GOP, waging an internal war for it’s very soul. GOP Soul. Short book. Put it on the shelf right next to Barack Obama Leadership Skills.

The Newly Elected 114th Congress. Because if you liked the 113th Congress, you’re going to love these guys. Exponential factor gridlock.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.15.14
Holiday of Guilt

The autumn dark is lengthening, which harkens the English-speaking, Judeo-Christian Holiday Season is about to split open wider than a crocodile mouth at the bottom of a baby duckling water slide. It begins with Columbus Day. No mail and the banks are closed. Much is to be said for starting slow. Then the downward hurtle is set off by Halloween, when people toss about candy, free, incognito.

Fast forward to the favorite holiday of liberals all over California. The eagerly awaited, down-home, secular celebration, known for bringing families together every November. The one day a year dedicated to giving- not receiving. Of course, we’re talking about America Recycles Day on November 15.

Don’t know about you, but in the Durst household, there’s something magically comforting about the grand traditions that have grown up over generations. Brown, blue and green stockings hanging from every fireplace mantle. The wacky winnowing ceremony that marks the traditional draining of the liquor cabinet into one big punch bowl. The pulsating glow from dozens of festive landfill tire-fires dotting the landscape.

Mandatory middle school pageants dedicated to raising high the 3 R mantra of the season: “Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.” How that phrase echoes across the land! Sure, some kids today consider it dopey and old fashioned, but our little Eloise & Madaleine still squeal with delight while cleaning out the compost bin on America Recycles Day Eve.

So that it appears brand spanking new in the morning when beloved Happy the Vulture drops off sustainable presents to reward all the good little boys and girls who separated their straws from their juice boxes depositing them in the proper receptacles the previous year.

Gathering round the dining table that was once a telephone wire spool; after a socially responsible breakfast of locally sourced egg substitutes, pork belly flavored tofu and an array of organic greens- the whole family troops down to the annual Recycling Parade, where participants dressed in green biodegradable bubble wrap ride on solar-powered garbage trucks and toss edible barks and mosses to the teeming crowds.

Then the big evening family get-together at Grandmama’s house, where one of the uncles dresses as Happy or one of his dung beetle buddies passing out environmentally-friendly gifts. Many which are re-gifted to a clot of kids wearing wrinkled red crepe hanging from their necks going door to door singing ecological carols. Such as the merrily enchanting, “Can It. Save the Planet!”

Conservatives continue to malign this movement, as evidenced by their annual “War on Recycling Day;” banning blue bins from government building cafeterias. But here in California, our one true unifying religion is recycling. Even if the complete blessing of the goddess Gaia will never be realized, our recycling frenzy blazes a path to the future: fostering a gentler and cleaner society, perhaps allowing us to inhabit the planet a few weeks longer.

And for all those who mock our liberal spirituality, accusing us of having as many gods as haircuts; just bear witness to our devotional manifestation once every week when we stagger to the curb with our holy sacrificial offerings reverently reflecting for hours on what goes where. And in another eerie parallel, just like with normal religions, it’s all pretty much based on guilt.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.8.14
OBAMA AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY

To call the grotesque drubbing suffered by the Democratic Party in the midterms– monumental, is like referring to the surface of the sun as warm. The scene was so grisly, acutely sensitive Democrats (most of them) were forced to avert their eyes or risk anaphylactic shock.

If you ever wanted to see numbers bleed, this was your night. Surprised no referee jumped onto the CNN set, rang a bell, and raised the Koch Brothers’ hands triumphantly in the air. The big question is how much the FCC will fine the networks for airing the election returns, thereby exposing young viewers to such grotesque brutality.

Back in 2010, President Obama described the midterm losses as a shellacking; this was more of an epic trouncing with faint overtures of catastrophic putrescence. Political junkies who stayed up late were treated to a front row seat at a world championship seal-clubbing finals. Rated ZV for zombie violence.

Yes, indeed, the world has changed, but just a little. The Senate is now controlled by Republicans, much like it was before. The House did turn a darker red and several Governorships moved into the GOP column, including Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland, which was as expected as Tiffany eggs in a litter box. But Washington will stumble on. Grand postures will be assumed. Little will get done. Politics as usual continues.

On this night, finding liberal silver linings was tougher than a truck stop steak. Marijuana legalization passed in Alaska, Oregon and DC, and minimum wage increase propositions won victories. The lone big GOP loser was Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who ran for the same office in New Hampshire, giving him the unique distinction of being the first truck driving male model to lose 2 US Senate races to 2 different women in 2 different states. Rumors abound he is currently scouting for property in Maine and Vermont.

Many reasons were given for the democratic debacle. Dark money poured into ads at the last minute. President Obama as a third rail. Establishmentarians keeping the Tea Party down. Young people and African Americans staying home. New episodes of NICS and NCIS: New Orleans. One or the other, okay, but both?

Even amidst the carnage, the two sides did their best to make the requisite bi-partisanship noises of nice. Day after the election, soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, held a press conference to announce he wants to work with the president. Of course, he was hard to understand, failing to turn off the chainsaw behind his back during the press conference.

Yeah. The GOP wants to work with the president. The same way a 5 year old with a magnifying glass wants to work with ants. Like a gorilla wants to work with bananas. A ten-ton boulder falling off a cliff wants to work with windshields.

Obama should promise Republicans twice the amount of cooperation he received after the 2012 election. Because as everyone knows; 2 times zero is still zero. But despite increasing odds, the president says he is still ready and willing to fight for his agenda. As soon as he figures out what it is. Staffers boast he doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit.” Apparently, he’s not overly familiar with the words “consensus,” “strategy” or “leadership” either.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
11.1.14
We Burn Witches, Don’t We?

Gather round kiddies, because it’s time for Uncle Will to regale you with the funny side of Ebola. Oh, yeah, there is one. Just need a trained professional to find it. Take the widespread fear and paranoia making people crazier than the trajectory of an arrow with a gelatin shaft. Okay. Not entirely side splitting. Well, how about the prospect of a global epidemic on the scale of 2 zombie apocalypses? No, you’re right. Still less humorous than polio. Which never was a laugh riot.

So, “funny side” might be an exaggeration. But you don’t have to dig too deep to hit a rich vein of irony. Such as Todd Kincannon, the former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party who called for anyone coming into contact with Ebola to be “humanely executed.” Humanely executed? Like Edward G. Robinson in “Soylent Green?” Methinks Mr. Kincannon might be suffering from a tertiary case of “intellectual deprivation.”

Then there’s officials in Maine who announced they’re prepared to enforce a “voluntary” quarantine on Kaci Hickox, a health care worker who treated Ebola patients. How do you enforce a voluntary quarantine? Two guys in hazmat suits strapping a screaming woman to a gurney, and shoving her into the back of an ambulance doesn’t seem very voluntary to me. Optics-wise, that is.

Those of us who see black helicopters in our sleep, worry that authorities plan to use this crisis as a precedent. In the future, will government monitors demand we uphold our New Year’s resolutions as well? “Keep moving Tubby. You got 12 miles to go on that stationary bike.” “Hope you’re enjoying that piece of chocolate cake, mister, because it’s the last you’re going to eat, if you ever want to see your 5 year old daughter again.”

Might make more sense to quarantine all the grandstanding science-adverse politicians calling for a quarantine. Yeah, the country is in the middle of an epidemic. One of fork-in-the-eye ignorance. It’s turning into a dumb-bucket challenge to see which clueless Governor can raise the anti-Ebola flag higher. Really sticking it to that pro-Ebola contingent. Stupidity is contagious and hysteria has its own logic. “What’s the problem? If she’s a not a witch, she won’t burn.”

Yes, indeed. To call this virus awful is like referring to genital blisters as annoying. But the best way to keep this dread contagion off our shores is to stop it in West Africa by augmenting their lack of doctors and hospitals and conditions less sanitary than most gas station rest room drain traps. Can’t do that if all the potential medical volunteers worry about a forced indefinite stay inside a transparent inflatable bouncy house after coming home.

And someone has to stop the infighting amongst our medical experts. The CDC is running around like a lab full of chickens with their heads cut off, and the Surgeon General is apparently wearing Frodo’s ring.

Oh, wait a minute, that’s right. We don’t have a Surgeon General. Republicans have refused to confirm Obama’s nominee because the NRA doesn’t like him. Well, just hand out a bunch of guns all around and we can shoot the Ebola. That’ll teach that darn virus. The 2nd Amendment Antidote. There’s your funny, Rico. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.25.14
The Orange and Black

Here it comes. Creeping down dark alleys. Overturning garbage cans and spooking black cats. The scariest day of the year. With the exception of your next birthday, that is. Halloween. All Hallow’s Eve. The night preceding All Saint’s Day. Time to carve a gourd.

Besides being an excellent excuse to gorge on candy corn and toffee apples it is also an occasion used by many religions to honor deceased relatives by placing lighted candles on the graves of the dead. Probably where that whole ghosts and witches and ghouls and devils thing got started. How pink princesses, Ninja Turtles and Mickey Mouse got thrown into the mix, is anyone’s guess.

Supposedly, Celtic pagans (or is it pagan Celtics) originated the merrymaking way back in the BCs with something called Samhain, a harvest festival halfway between the autumnal equinox and the Winter Solstice. Designed as a blowout before the onset of winter, (Winter is coming!) it featured much feasting and not a little drinking, if you catch my drift. There very well may have been carousing. Not to mention reveling and frolicking. These were pagans, after all.

Then around the 8th century, Catholics introduced All Saints Day into their liturgical calendar to honor dead saints: just happening to coincide with the extant partying. So all good little Christians could still have their fun honoring dead people; but do it in the name of the Lord instead of some Wicker Guy destined to burn up in a big bonfire. If you can’t beat em, conjoin em.

Today Halloween has morphed into a hodgepodge of ever evolving rituals including scary movies and wearing costumes and traipsing door to door begging for treats and threatening to play tricks if none are given. Behavior, seemingly leaked over from Halloween’s holiday neighbor: Election Day.

In some municipalities the orange and black has become nothing less than a loosely organized bacchanalia. (named after Bacchus, one of the old gods of which we previously spoke) Entire districts of whole towns given over to mass feasting and much drinking and very definitely- carousing. Because we are the neopagans. Of course, for those living in San Francisco and New Orleans, Halloween is redundant.

It is a murky and confusing time, which may come from October and November stemming from the words eight and nine, but being the tenth and eleventh months of the year. For this we can thank Julius, that wacky Emperor, who altered the Roman calendar from 10 months to 12, naming one of them after himself. And his buddy Augustus. It was a Caesar thing. Like a salad.

Then, when Halloween ends, the black and orange will be taken down and the red and green will go up. And every third radio station will begin playing non-stop Christmas songs. Another Christian celebration merging with a pagan one Saturnalia was held following the solstice to celebrate the dragon not eating the sun, and the return of the light. Again: pretty much exactly what Christmas is all about.

Then down the line, there will New Year’s Eve, and both it and Christmas and Thanksgiving, will all be observed by a whole lot of feasting and not a little drinking. Not to mention carousing, reveling and frolicking. Oh, my, yes, there will be frolicking. Anyone beginning to detect a pattern here?

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.18.14
One Man. One Vote

Whiners. Bounders. Ingrates. Talking about the incessant griping and sniping currently buzzing over long overdue Republican reforms requiring citizens to produce a government issued ID before casting a vote. From the outcry you’d think the GOP was organizing competitive kitten clubbings. Again.

Oh for crum’s sakes, settle down people. It’s just an ID. You need one to fly or buy or ply or even take out a library book. What is wrong with insuring the integrity of the electoral process? This isn’t voter suppression, it’s voter protection.

Which is why in the great state of Texas, it’s easier to buy an automatic weapon than register to vote and a gun permit is considered proper ID but a University student ID, not so much. Because the 2nd Amendment trumps the 14th, 15th & 19th Amendments. Always has. Always will. Simple math.

And no, not even paid investigators could find more than thirty examples of voter fraud in the entire country over the last 15 years, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. You can’t see gravity either, but all your fancy liberal scientists agree that’s going on all the time, right? Same thing here. Only different.

And what responsible citizen doesn’t have a driver’s license? Do you really think people who aren’t allowed to drive should be able to vote?  Have you taken a bus lately? What’s next? You going to open up elections to homeless people? You know what they’re going to vote for: free whiskey.

These series of incremental electoral fine-tunings are intended to curtail chicanery, not democracy. That the individuals most impacted are the young and the poor and the elderly, who can reliably be counted on to vote Democratic - is just a co-incidence. Besides, most of them don’t pay taxes. In this country, the patriotic thing to do is encourage the givers, not the takers. Otherwise, you’re not supporting the troops.

And yes, steps are being taken to reduce abuses caused by early and weekend voting. Why? Because easy voting is Un-American, that’s why. In order to impart the gravity of the situation, casting a ballot should be a burdensome chore. Which is why in poor districts the polling places are few and far between. Most of them don’t have jobs; what else do they have to do? The more standing in line - the less muggings.

Or perhaps voting on a Tuesday is inconvenient for you. Well, nobody said Democracy was supposed to be convenient. You might want to think about moving to some place where only one name gets placed on the ballot-like North Korea. Doesn’t get much more convenient than that.

Face it, the problem isn’t not enough people voting: its too many people voting. Time to go back to literacy tests and poll taxes. Restricting the vote to white male Protestant landowners. They’re the ones who run the country. The ones with the most to lose. Oh sure, the constitution states that voting is a right, but it’s also a privilege. Barnacles don’t determine where the whale swims, do they?

Freedom isn’t free. And the rich have the resources to pay for elections. We could set it up so the more they spend, the more votes they get. Until eventually the guy with the most money ends up running things. That’s they way they did it in Europe and they turned out okay. What the hell, we’re at least halfway there.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.13.14
Scary Masks

Hey everybody. The Midterms Are Coming! Or rather: the midterms are coming. To be most precise; themidtermsarecoming. Because the general response of the vast majority of Americans who aren’t stifling yawns is “yeah, whatever. Isn’t there a baseball game on?”

The suspense is… non-existent. Passion – totally absent. Color the gusto gone. Even Fox News seems disinterested. An election may be less than a month away but to call its anticipation underwhelming is to engage in the height of hyperbole. Like referring to the number of living dinosaurs roaming the streets of San Francisco as less than plenty. Yours truly, notwithstanding.

The country is abuzz with the same kind of anticipation normally reserved for marathon sock sorting. Using a broom to sweep cobwebs out of closet corners. Cleaning mud from the tread of your boots with a stick. Mud being a euphemism for stuff deposited by dogs that resembles wet dirt while maintaining a much higher olfactory component. Think – compostable.

The Midterms have always been the runt of the balloting litter. Not the letter-jacket-wearing, honor-roll listed, Presidential quadrennial brother that all the boys emulate and all the girls want to go to the prom with. When the light is right, his teeth actually sparkle.

More like the wearing all black, hanging out behind the football field scoreboard, smells like smoke, little brother that the school nurse suspects is bi-polar but won’t say anything because Mom looks thatclose to a nervous breakdown. Constantly followed by that geeky girl in braces who writes poetry in a rubber-banded notebook that nobody reads.

The turnouts in 2006 and 2010 were miniscule but this year’s forecasts are putting the Pea You in puny. Borne out by Pew Research research, which says 15% of potential voters are following the election closely. Which could mean 15% of us are related to a politician. You can cut the apathy with a soggy bar coaster.

Multiple reasons are cited for such gloomy prospects. Obama Care seems to be working. It’s hard to tell one middle aged white guy from the other. And not even the terrifying prognostications of Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid can compete with Ebola and ISIS.

The situation looms especially dire for the Democrats who have 2 major problems. An even lower score on the fervor scale. Compared to them, Republicans look downright English soccer fanny.

Then there’s the President of the United States whose coattails have frayed all the way up to his sleeves. If Barack Obama were up for election, the only votes he could count on would be Michelle, Malia and Sasha. And rumor has it not even Malia is a dead solid lock.

It’s gotten to where candidates from his own party are offering to arrange photo-ops of him hugging their opponents. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear savvy managers dig into campaign coffers to gift the President with rounds of golf on Martha’s Vineyard during October.

If this bout of electoral lethargy continues we might be forced to merge the midterms with Halloween. Why not? Same week. Besides, they have a lot in common. Both events highlight tricks and treats. Everyone wears costumes to disguise their true identity. All the real action occurs in the dark. John Boehner looks like a pumpkin. And not infrequently, the face under the mask is the scary one.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
10.5.14
Rocktober

Welcome to Rocktober, Baby. That’s what all the rock and roll radio stations call this, the 10th month of the year. Doesn’t require more than a casually cocked ear to realize the airwaves are flooded with concerts and giveaways and promotional tie-ins. All in the name of Rocktober, Baby.

This amiable etymological contraction of Rock & October is just another example of how impatient our society has become. No one has the time to say… Rocking October. We’re busy people, here. It’s Rocktober, Baby. And the “Baby” is permanently attached like a vestigial accentuater.  

This blended word invention was described by Lewis Carroll as a portmanteau. But linguistic compression has picked up considerable generational speed since Humpty Dumpty explained to Alice how “mimsy” is mix of miserable and flimsy; a word that today is often used to describe the Democratic Party’s chances of recapturing the House.

Our enormous appetite for abridgement can also be seen in how Beefalo, frenemy, bromance and Sharknado have squirreled their way into the national lexicon. As has the manner of conjoining proper names: Bennifer, TomKat, Brangelina and Hillbilly. Won’t be long before history books laud the adventures of the outlaws Clonnie. The majesty of Antopatra. Turner Classic Movies hosting a Traburn Film Festival. Ken & Barbie become Karbie.

Most baffling is why more folks aren’t jumping on this phonetic phenomena bandwagon. Why doesn’t ESPN celebrate the only month where all the major sports; baseball, football, basketball and hockey are televised, as Jocktober? 

Star Trek fans could enjoy 31 days of Spocktober, maybe with an assist from the Baby Doctor people who could piggyback on the same push. Create a hybrid of baby Trekkies. Pointy ears and pacifiers. Often referred to as Comic-Con.

Socktober and Frocktober for department stores. Chinese restaurants featuring Woktober specials. Bachtober, a staple of classical radio stations. Pawn shops hawking Hocktober. And pet stores hocking Hawktober. Crocktober for the Society of American Casseroles: Slow Cooker Division. Cocktober for chicken restaurants, right wing political donors and porn sites.

Easy to envision Doctober as the Mother of All Tobers hosting such tober tributaries as… 1. A paean to the advancement of polio research with Jonas Salktober. 2. Biological Clocktober saluting all the brave women who didn’t start mothering until the age of 50. And finally… 3. Extolling the virtues of that diverse group of Americans who go to work every day wearing green cotton with Smocktober.

Wouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity for the NRA to focus on 2nd amendment rights with Glocktober? And what keeps The CW from plugging their sit-com lineup as Mocktober? Oh, because they’re not funny. That’s right. Well then, why not substitute Schlocktober? 

Stocktober is an umbrella name designed to encompass the NYSE, the Cattlemen’s Association, warehousemen all over the country, road company productions of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and makers of broth. And who can forget Stalktober, dedicated to the appreciation of celery, asparagus, fennel and rhubarb?

Bangkoktober for the Asian tourist industry. Shocktober for Halloween and midterm election fans. And of course, let us not forget, the very reason for this column, Writer’s Blocktober. Bringing us to the future: and isn’t it about time we see an impassioned push for Blowvember? Gleecember? Pecanuary? But until then, enjoy it while you can. Talking about Rocktober, Baby.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
9.28.14
DAESH BAGS

Downright exciting to see President Barack Obama give that fierce and steadfast speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly, rallying the world against terrorism. See, GOP. He can be tough when the situation calls for it. Matter of fact, he’s probably the most belligerent of all the Nobel Peace Prize Winners. Ever. Finally nailed what America secretly wants– a swaggering pacifist. Love the humanitarian airstrikes.

The best part was getting to see the Great Facilitator actually facilitate. After almost 6 years in White House, got to feel good to stretch your legs like that. Suck sand Mitch McConnell. Obama was always more suited to the position of President of the World. Could very well finish up his career as a Jimmy Carter sort of free-range ambassador. Now with only half the self-righteous martyrism.

One minor quibble. His obstinate insistence on calling the band of roving terrorists: ISIL. From their chaotic beginning, we, the public, were told they answered to… the Islamic State of Syria or ISIS. But recently, a plethora of confusing monikers have popped up: ISIS, ISIL, the Islamic State and the League of Extraordinarily Cretinous Toad Buttwipe Lizardsticks. Don’t know where that last one came from. Oh, wait a minute; that was mine.

The religious pirates’ self-professed choice is IS, or the Islamic State, which seems the absolute worst option since they are neither very Islamic nor a state. Outside of that– perfect handle. A group of UK Muslims has asked the British government to call the marauding assassins, the UnIslamic State, and Secretary of State John Kerry regularly refers to them as “the enemy of Islam” but that appellation is as likely to catch on as calling television, “the enemy of literature.”

Laurent Fabius, the French Foreign Minister, calls them “Daesh,” which is an anagram of their Arabic name. He goes so far as to call them “the Daesh cutthroats,” which the executioning organization has complained is disrespectful. Seriously? How can you whine that what you do is disrespectful? Isn’t that your problem?

Ain’t that always the way. Murderers who go out of their way to televise beheadings so they can become famous for cutting throats suddenly hate being called cutthroats. Well maybe you should have thought of that before getting kicked out of Al Qaeda for being too radical. And hey, American Intelligence Community, shouldn’t that have been clue one?

Their brutality is obviously intended to instill fear, so the best way to respond is to laugh at their ridiculous primitivism. The way Daesh is pronounced (Di-esh) is faintly reminiscent of “douche” so perhaps it would be fitting to call these butchers the Daesh Bags. Then their looting and pillaging and slaughtering would be known as extreme Daesh Baggery.

And since they claim to be exponential factor fundamentalists, an even better way to irritate them would be to hang them with a sobriquet that has a pork component. The Slaughtering Sausage Heads or the Awful Offals. Bacon Bandit Boobies. Pigs in a Blanket. The Killer Swine.

Still prefer the League of Extraordinarily Cretinous Toad Buttwipe Lizardsticks, but realistically, that’s probably not going to catch on either. Too hard to fit in a headline. Could shorten it as LECTBL, pronounced “Lectbull.” But you’re right. Still needs work. Will get right on that.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
9.21.14
Where’s my iPony?

Shake off the blues, put on your shoes, and tell grandma the news: the next generation iPhones are here. Cue the “woo-hoos.” And guess what: they’re huge. Or not. You choose. It’s like iGoldilocks. There’s a small, a medium and a large. And the best part- no bears.

The iPhone 6 is a little bigger than the previous models but the iPhone 6 Plus looks like they shrunk the Minipad. Or tiny iPad. Or whatever they call it. “Is that an iPhone 6 Plus in your pocket or are you just really really happy to see me?” All across America, Baby Boomers are raising 8 ounce glasses of prune juice in grateful toasts. They can finally see their buttons. These phablets are fabulous.

In other fruit computer news, the iWatch did not turn out to be the iWatch: it’s the Apple Watch. Even though the company filed for trademark protection in about 100 markets for the right to call it the iWatch. Of course, the wrist-bound marvel doesn’t become iAvailable until 2015. Or when iSwatch freezes over.

In response to the new releases, the Galaxy Android Samsung contingent (GAS) has ramped up their troll-like flame campaign to shame and defame Apple for belatedly matching the lame technology of their sacred superior smart phones. But in such a piercing stridency, one thinks- perhaps they doth protest too much. If whining were beer, these guys would be a frat party during Octoberfest. In Bavaria.

Can’t figure out what it is about these modern communication devices that makes people so crazy. You never hear Lexus owners bashing Acura drivers for finally acquiring contrasting leather stitching on their reclining heated leather seats. Brioni doesn’t claim that Kiton suits are seasons old knock-offs with materials drawn from substandard sheep. Wustof wouldn’t dream of accusing Henckels of stealing their edge design. They might think it.

People, settle down. For crum’s sake. Who cares? They’re phones. A few cosmetic differences but 99% exactly the same. Anyone depending that much on an accessory for their identity doesn’t need a new phone, they need a new life. Smart phones wielded by dumb users.

People, settle down. For crum’s sake. Who cares? They’re phones. A few cosmetic differences but 99% exactly the same. Anyone depending that much on an accessory for their identity doesn’t need a new phone, they need a new life. Smart phones wielded by dumb users.

And next time, pick a feud that’s two-sided: Appleheads couldn’t care less about you Androidites, which probably heightens the frustration. Of course the Apple community is so myopically loyal they would line up to buy the next iteration of Jobsian progeny even if the only new feature was a rotary dial. “No battery? You got to plug it into an outlet? Will it still have the cute little Apple logo and be almost completely useless as a phone? Okay. Whatever.”

Used to be the hippest of phones kept getting smaller until it seemed you would need tweezers to make a call. But with streaming video such a big part of our lives, we’re headed towards a 19 inch model that requires iSaddlebags on an iPony to shepherd it across town. All optional, of course.

Then again, a few of us are still waiting for the phone that will dry the dishes and do the laundry. “Siri? Are you down there? Don’t forget to separate the colors. I swear. That girl would lose her head if it weren’t preinstalled.”

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
9.7.14
How They Spent Their Summer Vacation

September is a grand month for traditions. Fresh pencils and tablets for the upcoming school year. The approach of fall as evidenced by the turning of the leaves. International Talk Like a Pirate Day on the 19th. The official start to the NFL season with the filing of the first domestic abuse charge.

It is also when we welcome our elected representatives back from the grueling recess they are forced to spend fund- raising in their home districts. The time when they finally come back to work. Or rather back to a busy schedule of non- work. Back to ducking all the important issues in the manner of 535 totally oblivious plastic Whack-A-Mole rodents during a power surge.

Hopefully they did find some time to relax, because in even numbered years, the post Labor Day period marks the bare knuckles return of the American political process playoffs; with elections less than 2 months away, looming like a gorilla on steroids in the pantry.

We here at Durstco have always been curious as to exactly what it is that our country’s top polticos do to recharge for this stretch run. How do they recline and unwind? And now that this piece is finally set up, it is with great pride, that we share the results of our exhaustive investigative research and reveal for the very first time: How They Spent Their Summer Vacation.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell learned how to say “No!” in 14 different languages.
Vice President Joe Biden journeyed to a clinic in Switzerland for a charisma implant, which alas, didn’t take.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio held a series of mock debates with himself on the subject of immigration and lost every single one.
President Barack Obama traded his foreign policy legacy for the chance to lower his handicap by a stroke.
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan binge watched all 6 seasons of Breaking Bad.
Arizona Senator John McCain accepted the Curmudgeon Society of America’s “Man of the Year Award.” For the 12th consecutive time.
Secretary of State John Kerry wept like a little baby.
The 4 Conservative Justices of the Supreme Court battled the 4 Liberal Justices on the Supreme Court for the soul of Anthony Kennedy.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took remedial hugging lessons while surreptitiously measuring the White House drapes.
Michele Bachmann rehearsed a Republican presidential nomination acceptance speech.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush looked into legally changing his name to something less incendiary. Like Manson or Hitler.
Speaker of the House John Boehner caught some bitchin rays.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came up with a list of 48 ways to trick the GOP into shutting down the government. Again.
Chris Christie won a “Silly Donkey” trophy for losing 1.7 pounds after 3 weeks at Gordon Ramsey’s Hell Camp for Fatties.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul held a series of mock debates with himself on the subject of foreign intervention and won every single one.
Mitt Romney practiced casting a reflection in a mirror.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz huddled with a team of Mayo Clinic neurologists in an attempt to tweak his meds. To no avail.
Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers rented a private island and used bow and arrows to hunt down captured homeless veterans.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
8.31.14
The Two Tooth Advantage

The plume of a great doom now looms. Talking about that wonderfully hideous first Monday in September - Labor Day. Yeah, sure, it’s a big time, bona fide holiday, but being the last warm wet splash of summer - so bittersweet. Like the final free Continental breakfast buffet before checking out of a five-star hotel.

Labor Day is a calendar signpost marking the end of swimming pools, lemonade and fireworks. No more ice cream cones, water slides or corn roasts. Conversely, it’s the beginning of turkey dinners, the World Series, Halloween and pumpkin lattes. Of leaping into giant piles of raked leaves. Don’t expect to see very many outdoor ice bucket challenges the rest of the year.

The 4th of July was 8 weeks ago with Thanksgiving still 2 and a half months away, so Labor Day does double duty as a holiday spacer. But its original intent was as a tribute to the American worker. An extra day set aside to let the ordinary citizens who are the economic pistons of this country catch their breath. Because, face it, won’t be long before Christmas carols are being blasted into shopping center vestibules.

As a kid, the name always seemed so counter-intuitive. A day off to honor work. Like eating fried chicken to celebrate vegetables. Hurrying up to wait in line. Nude runway models at a fashion show. Pushing cars. Ice fishing.

And don’t let anybody tell you the honorees of Labor Day are restricted to organized labor. This one is for all of us who collect a paycheck. Doesn’t matter if you’re sweating over liquid steel poured sand molds or sweeping clean room factory floors or pinwheeling in a cubicle or bouncing from cash register to coffee urn, this holiday is for you. That tiny segment of the population that actually works for a living. And bosses. They get the day off too.

But its up to each and every one of us to make sure the flame of the American Dream does not extinguish. This democracy thing is hard work. We are required to pay attention. Can’t keep letting our elected representatives hand out tax breaks to corporations for moving operations overseas. They’re like 4 year olds. You got to watch them every minute.

Our industrial job base is already disappearing faster than free 3rd row Beyonce concert tickets. They got names for civilizations that paid folks to export all of their jobs. But most of them are unpronounceable because the languages they spoke are all extinct.

Besides, paying people to move jobs out of the country doesn’t make sense. Like a coop full of hens awarding grants to foxes to streamline midnight raids. Or wrestling an alligator and giving him a two tooth advantage. Hey guys. We need all the teeth we can get.

So have a great last barbecue. Don’t forget to take a moment to hoist a frosty one to the sweat and toil of the ordinary American who puts in 40 hours a week trying to pay off a mortgage and feed 2.3 kids with maybe enough left over for a trip to a theme park without having to auction the car off in the parking lot. The solstice is dead. Long live the equinox. Happy Labor Day, everybody.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
8.24.14
Smug Shots

Knew he shouldn’t. Couldn’t help himself. Talking about the beaming leer in Rick Perry’s mug shot. Or to be more precise, his smug shot. In the photo released by the Austin Police Department, the Texas Governor grins like a Cheshire Cat who just cleaned out the canary department of a PetSmart and is presetting his Lexus’ GPS for another store.

Because he vetoed the budget of the Travis County Attorney General who refused to resign following a drunken driving conviction, Perry is now being indicted on two federal felony counts relating to abuse of power. Which for a politician is real similar to being accused of breathing through their mouths. No big deal. The loyal opposition is programmed to consider all power abusive. A fact extensively covered in the freshman orientation pamphlet.

The three reasons he’s smirking are obvious. One: there’s a better chance of being struck by lightning while holding Charlize Theron’s purse stuffed with winning Powerball tickets, than being convicted. Two: he can wear these charges as a loud red badge of partisan courage, rekindling presidential aspirations. As for the third thing… well, he’ll have to get back to you. Ooops.

This is all proof that today- any and or all publicity is good publicity. Andy Warhol’s future has arrived and taken over the conference room. Famous for 15 minutes. That’s the goal. You don’t have to be talented or accomplished or good looking or an artist or even credible. Just get your name and face out there. Get on television. Even basic cable. By hook or by crook or by booking photo.

Arianna Huffington sold her website to AOL for $315 million based on the business model of rounding up scores of scripting serfs who will write for free. With 7 series and a spate of spin- offs, the Bravo Network has practically given up on narrative programming, morphing into the Real Housewives or Women be Fighting and Stuff Network. The Weather Channel has a new reality show called 3 Fat Guys in the Woods, which infringes on absolutely no fairness in advertising doctrines. Anybody can be a star. Build your brand. We’re all one viral post away from the big time.

The NFL has attempted to harness these ambitions by charging musical acts to perform at their Super Bowl Halftime Show. The three finalists, Katy Perry, Coldplay and Rihanna have each been asked to pony up for the privilege of performing in front of billions of people AND to kick back a slice of their post- show concert tour. Next they’ll want an NFL logo carved in the haircut of the bass player. And who’s going to argue? It’s the bass player.

The most humane solution would be for the NFL to pay viewers to watch their overproduced lip- synched parody of an extravaganza. Or maybe just go back to marching bands and Frisbee catching dogs. But where’s the money in that?

Kim Kardashian’s new iPhone app is expected to make over 100 million dollars- this year alone. The goal of the game is to do anything and everything to become famous. Just that. Fame. It’s all about the exposure. Of course, in the Midwest we were taught you can die from exposure. Then again, couldn’t happen to a nicer couple than Rick Perry and Kim Kardashian. And the 3 Fat Guys in the Woods.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
8.17.14
TUMBLING DUMPSTERS

The meeting probably wasn’t as awkward as Cain attending Abel’s funeral. Closer to Anna Nicole walking past her husband’s family in court. Surely had a Billy Bob Thornton/Brad Pitt-drunk at a wedding reception feel.

Talking about the recent encounter between President Barack Obama and the woman rummaging through his closet, trying on his Chief Executive mom jeans, and not getting a lot of encouragement in return; Queen of the formers… Watergate lawyer, First Lady, Senator, Secretary Hillary Clinton.

The two of them ran into each other at a lawn party at a golf club on Martha’s Vineyard the other evening. And what could be more proletariat that that? Lawn party. Golf club. Martha’s Vineyard. Think we’ve triangulated the 1% Trifecta here. All you need is imported truffle canapés, some commemorative swizzle sticks and pastel sweaters tied loosely around necks and voila… a royal raspberry reduction.

The source of the ungainliness was Ms. Clinton herself, who, in an interview with The Atlantic, characterized our Syrian policy as a disaster. Then said “’Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” Obviously referring to some past politician whose name is synonymous with shrub but also throwing the current President’s equivocal quote under the same wheels of that big bad bus.

She ain’t alone. Most of America thinks Obama’s foreign policy is like Malaysian Air frequent flyer miles. Sure, they both exist on paper, but nobody’s really all that interested in implementation. Anticipating the contretemps, her spokesperson said Hillary looked forward to “hugging it out” when she and POTUS met. Yeah. Bet she did. Like an emergency tracheotomy with a Bic pen.

Can’t you picture that embrace. Fade in: First Family seated. Hillbilly walking. Visual contact. Slight stutter step. Bill grins, shouts and waves. Hillary, Michelle and Barack summon courage from unfathomable depths to plaster on phony smiles. Everybody’s interior dialogue channeling Hamlet: “To hug or not to hug.”

Barack rises and in a stab at humor, throws his arms about an inch apart as if welcoming a cuddle. She laughs so coldly ice cubes crack, and bending at the waist touches her right shoulder to his right shoulder as they pat each other on the back. Once. The Presbyterian hug. As graceful as tumbling dumpsters. Fade out on the sound of more ice cracking.

As the past and the future of the Democratic Party, Barack and Hillary are eternally entwined. It’s like one of those relationships you see in Manhattan and San Francisco these days. Where neither person can afford to move out because both incomes are necessary to cover the rent. Velvet handcuffs.

The problem is, they’re the same person. Opposite spectrums: black-white-male-female. But the same ultimate political animal. Concussions are common when the smartest person in the room is forced to interact with the other smartest person in the room. Both dimly aware that throwing Bill & Michelle into the equation means one of them may actually be the 4th smartest person in the room.

She needs him to seamlessly insert her into his frictionless fundraising machine and he needs her to guarantee his legacy is not wiped out in a torrential Tea Party tsunami. The grudging mutual respect of the cobra and the mongoose. Strange Bedfellows indeed. Who needs a hug? Craaaaack.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
8.9.14
The Slacker Congress

More fun than fourteen barrels of flunkies watching our elected officials exit Washington like scared rats streaming out of a sewer to escape Godzilla. And really, who can blame them. Anybody who’s ever spent a summer in DC can tell you the climate is real similar to Hell. With humidity. Then again, not sure even Hell has winged insects the size of footstools. It’s not called Foggy Bottom because that’s the first thing that springs to mind when Diane Feinstein walks away, you know.

Funny thing is, this is the same Congress that lies on the verge of breaking all previous records for complete and utter futility. The Zero Zip Zilch Crew. Who have ridden lethargy into the ground and taken loitering to bold new heights. Or is it depths? Folks who would need hydraulic mechanical assists to raise their attitudes from stuporous to torpid. From the lair of the drugged slugs. Debi Does Drowsy.

In essence, they’re taking a vacation from nothing. Which is a lot like waking up to take a nap. Topping breakfast off with a sleeping pill. Floating off to a loafing, lay-about layoff. Playing hide and seek with the mirror. And losing.

The 113th Congress is destined to go down in history as the most Do-Nothingest Congress of all time. Accomplishing less than all the other Do-Nothing Congresses combined. Which is saying something, because there were plenty.

“Proud to Put the Nothing in the Do-Nothing Congress.” Enshrined as the undisputed heavyweight champion of Indolence. The Friends of Inertia. Slouching towards SlouchVille. The Slacker Congress.

What we the public fail to understand is that nothing can be downright tiring. Yes, there’s the failure to pass a highway bill or any hint of immigration reform, but let’s focus on the positive. During the past 19 months, the Republican-controlled House has shut down the government and voted to defund or repeal Obama Care about a gazillion times and don’t forget the 2 dozen or so Benghazi hearings. They have definitely earned that approval rating lower than thumbtacks in your underwear while riding a motorcycle. Over railroad tracks.

And now these hordes of professional indolents have slipped the surly bonds of sloth and been released into their home districts to freely roam amongst we innocents as a 5 week recess begins. One question: how do you relax after suffering through the arduous routine of nothing? Slip into a coma? Binge watch The Leftovers? Will sunstroke play an integral part? And not just any vacation: a five-week paid vacation. Who told our esteemed representatives we were Europe?

The odd part is… they have to. It’s the law. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 requires Congress to take off the entire month of August. Not sure, but perhaps it was in response to members of Congress wandering aimlessly en masse in our nation’s capital during peak tourist season; frightening small children and prompting plaintive cries from local merchants.

All we can do is hope our pooped populist politicos finally get some quality downtime, in order to come back tan and rested and ready for the tough task of remaining inactive and unable to pass any sort of worthwhile legislation when they return after Labor Day. Pretty obvious, that holiday sure weren’t named after these guys.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
8.3.14
Pandora’s Box of Worms

In a move less surprising than hot dogs at a ballgame, the House of Representatives voted Speaker John Boehner the authority to sue the President of the United States. This isn’t like a divorce, or a civil suit for money, it’s more of a restraining order. They want Obama to quit trying to resuscitate the government they’ve been working so hard to render unconscious.

On one hand, it’s a brilliant tactical move. Nobody can call them a Do-Nothing Congress anymore. “Do nothing? What are you talking about? We sued the President.” Many see the action as a stopgap measure to quiet the crazies on the right, who continue to demand nothing less than impeachment. And this is Impeachment Lite.

Problem is, they did it immediately before scurrying home on a five-week summer recess, so its not like a multitude of other accomplishments are destined to overwhelm this freakish folly in the near future. This being an important upcoming break, in which Congress will engage in the pivotal business of meeting with constituents and squeezing money out of them for their re-election. Does the term, “every last dime” have any meaning here?

The excuse given for the lawsuit is Obama illegally delayed the implementation of Obama Care. Seriously. That’s what he claims to be mad at. Not just the very same Obama Care the Speaker and his buddies tried to scuttle over half a hundred times. But the very same delayed implementation to Obama Care the Speaker and his buddies tried to pass. If irony were bananas, Boehner would be Brazil.

Obviously something had to be done. Getting way too close to the midterms to try and repeal Obama care anymore. Turns out people like it. Even the Tea Party has moved on, which is like saying the train fell over. Immigration reform is their new chew toy, which also went down in flames due to internecine warfare. National political gridlock is old hat: internal party gridlock is the coming thing.

To be honest, Democrats love this kind of talk. Their fervent hope is Boehner continues to contract heat prostration working on his tan. Nothing opens the spigot on the donation hose faster than GOP intransigence. It may be nothing more than a fund raising stunt but it works for everybody. Seems like the crazier the Speaker and his buddies get, the more money for the November elections. For both sides.

Makes a person wonder what’s next: is Boehner going to sue Sarah Palin for being reluctant to say ridiculous things? Take Mitt Romney to court for refusing to dominate the headlines the last 2 years? Charge the Supreme Court with voting along party lines too often?

There are so many things wrong with this move, you need a rubber spread sheet and an accountant on Thorazine to work them all out. By suing the Chief Executive, you’re not just opening any box of worms; you’re opening Pandora’s box of worms. Worms with Greek teeth. And venomous talons.

This could very well work as a template to screw things up in Congress for the history of eternity. Of course if the case does persist and follows the average speed of your normal federal lawsuit, it won’t see the light of day until much much later. Probably the middle of Hillary Clinton’s 2nd term.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
7.27.14
T MINUS 28 MONTHS AND COUNTING

Bust out the gin and tonics because this is shaping up to be one heck of a long hot summer. Weather-wise and politics-wise. All over the world, hostilities are flaring like out of control wildfires. While here at home, it’s the words that have grown from fiery to scalding. And the only way to describe the actions- incendiary.

Impeachment and lawsuits and child immigration are all raging hot topics. The partisan sweltering also includes the 2016 presidential sweepstakes, which is heating up like an egg frying on a chrome bumper in a Death Valley parking lot at high noon in August.

The usual and unusual suspects on the Republican side are spending enough time at the Iowa and New Hampshire Humidity Festivals to qualify as part time mosquito repellent reps and if they aren’t, they should be, because they’re going to need all the extra money they can get. This marathon is going to be as expensive as it will be ugly. And that’s saying something.

Meanwhile, the plot thins. Paul Ryan is busy figuring out how to reinstitute debtors prison. Mike Huckabee is checking the Bible for loopholes. Marco Rubio is taking deodorant baths in order to convincingly deny climate change. In Florida.

And that Rand Paul fellow is simply a feuding fool. He finally patches up a blistering squabble with Chris Christie, then goes and starts a new one with Rick Perry that quickly heats up to Def Con 4 levels with both belligerents spitting like rudely awakened cobras. And no mongoose in sight. Sounds like he just doesn’t like governors.

All this torrid internecine warfare has led party moderates to call for Jeb Bush to get into the race. And he might, but first he has to get mom’s permission. After all, it was Barbara who astutely diagnosed the national fever known as Bush Fatigue.

If the Jeb were elected, that would make the last 5 Presidents: Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Bush. Like a club sandwich. With the Bushes as the white bread. And how apropos is that? This family is whiter than Justin Beiber’s Nova Scotia Fan Club. Like cauliflower and mashed potatoes on a paper plate with a side of leeks white.

Other big money interests are running Romney up the flagpole to see if anybody salutes. But so far: not a lot of looking up. Besides, the former Governor of Massachusetts claims to have no interest. Which pretty much describes the problem with his last campaign.

On the other side, to call Hillary Clinton a prohibitive favorite for the Democrats is like implying that Shar Pei puppies are cute. She’s a virtual lock. Just like she was in 2008.

Her new book, “Hard Choices,” which sounds more like Bill’s handiwork, ends with “The time for another hard choice will come soon enough.” Hmmmm. What could she possibly be talking about there? Picking names for the new grandchild?

The biggest problem for the Democrats is a lack of Hillary alternatives. Even LeBron James has a back up. What if the former First Lady goes on the DL? Karl Rove claims her fall a couple of years ago was responsible for brain damage. And the guy who escorted Dubyah into the Oval Office should be trusted on this. He’s probably familiar with the symptoms.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
7.20.14
Stuck on Stuck

“Just following the will of the people.” That’s been the GOP rationalization for accomplishing absolutely nothing for five and a half years. Doesn’t matter what the issue is. Immigration. Jobs. Infrastructure. Climate change. Banking reform. The proliferation of substandard dental schools in Nebraska.

According to them, the people want… zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And to mask their inaction, Republicans have coordinated a feeding frenzy that would make rabid hyenas jealous.

Something about Obama drives them crazier than chocolate banana fritters with raspberry sprinkles in a bento box. Maybe because he’s the smartest guy in the room and not the least bit shy about sharing that opinion. Maybe he’s the ultimate anti-Bush. Or there’s something about him that looks different. Extremely different. Could be the ears.

What it boils down to is… “Open Season on Obama.” The memos have circulated. The strategy is conspicuous. To derail any possible presidential accomplishment by stalling progress and tossing a continuous slew of dastardly insults onto and at his person. And the mud is flying faster than fingers in a steno pool. Different circus. Same clowns.

John Boehner plans to sue the President. For what? Not even he knows, but you can be sure, the term “smarty pants” will be bandied about. He did drop some tidbit about objecting to the President changing the employer mandate to Obama Care, but that can’t be the source of his irritation, since the GOP insisted on it. It would be like slapping some other family’s child for obeying you.

Dick Cheney called him the Worst President of his lifetime. Which is quite a coincidence, since many argue Dick Cheney was the worst president of Obama’s lifetime. Obama should actually take solace from this charge, since Dick Cheney has been pretty much wrong about pretty much everything since at least 1999.

Sarah Palin called for the POTUS to be impeached. And Sarah Palin demanding punishment of someone for not properly fulfilling an office is another of those “pot with the kettle and the color black” situations the Republicans are so renown. The needle on the irony meter just crazy spun then melted.

Rick Perry accused the President of orchestrating the conspiracy responsible for a deluge of Central American kids crossing the border. And he said it while wearing his new studious looking glasses, so you know he’s serious. Also, the fact he correctly pronounced the word “conspiracy,” is a huge upgrade.

These attacks are perfectly timed to kick the President while he’s down. Right now his approval rating has sunk lower than scorpion-infested, throw-pillows filled with mold spores. Like a tray of hickory smoked baby back ribs at a PETA convention. Tacks in a bath. What Obama needs is a Rob Ford, Francois Hollande moment. A video of him naked, smoking crack with Lindsay Lohan, to go viral.

Republicans even complain Obama is a do-nothing President. With Mitch McConnell stalling every advance in the Senate and the House and Supreme Court lined up against him, it’s a miracle they’re able to get Flag Day commemorations through Congress.

Makes a person worry this political paralysis may be the new normal and we’ll never be able to affect positive change ever again. Instead of the status quo, we got the status no. America has gotten stuck… on stuck.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
7.13.14
Digital Cheese

Plenty of people had good reason to be in a foul mood back in 2012. The Detroit Tigers. Members of the Romney family. And, after making the acquaintance of a windy lass named Sandy, most of New England. Now, we can add to that list the thousands of suckers who were manipulated by our good friend at Facebook. Although the word they coined- “unfriend,” might fit better here.

Recently it was revealed the social media behemoth filtered the messages of 700,000 users by flooding them with uplifting and/ or depressing posts, then monitoring who got happy and who got sad. “Oh no. Grandma’s bicycle got run over by a garbage truck. Awww. But hey! Watch what happens when this pit bull chews on a kiddie pool.”

They say we agreed to this kind of BS when we signed on, but- come on. Its doubtful even the employees who write them, read those user agreements. Typically, they’re longer than the migratory path of the monarch butterfly, more confusing than Cantonese crosswords and displayed in flea font.

Corporate lawyers didn’t evolve from mud- sucking, bottom- feeders for nothing. They know how to hide all sorts of stuff in that fine print. Wouldn’t be surprised to discover there’s a clause stating that in time of war, they own one of my kidneys. And another that gives them the right to call at any time of night demanding help in moving a body.

Google also admits to running 20,000 experiments on its search results every year and you can bet Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest and Crabgrass.com are doing the same. Probably even Yahoo has scientists using tools calibrated back in the 90s. The 1890s.

Some bloggers claim to be outraged, but anybody not expecting to be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed and numbered is probably a big fan of the tooth fairy and still drinking juice out of a sippy cup, wearing footy pajamas. Online privacy is like Taliban science. A fictional concept.

Think of it as Newton’s Law 3.1. The price we must pay for having the world at our fingertips, is maintaining an equal and opposite availability to everyone else’s fingertips. Some of which are cold and clammy. Especially the Faceless ones with the chromium digits. But we’ve adapted. You don’t hear a lot of noise about folks going back to MySpace. Or Compuserve.

Facebook claims they’re simply trying to create the best environment possible for their petri dish of social contact. And we microbes can expect the research to not only continue, but get more sophisticated. Won’t be long before they are able to predict which of our family members will pass out before Thanksgiving Dinner. Which could come in handy with menu planning.

Our best bet is to nudge them in consumer friendly directions. Don’t they want to know how many people would delete their accounts after all cute cat videos were outlawed? How about a “Bummer” button for deaths, divorces, debacles, disasters and defeats?

The thing is, if Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk are going to use us as lab rats, the least they could do is throw us some minor rewards. When rats finish a maze, aren’t they supposed to get cheese? Hey Zuck, where’s our digital cheese? Make mine Cheddar. Swiss puts me in a bad mood. Ooops. Shouldn’t have said that.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
7.5.14
Dead Solid Summer

Here’s hoping your Independence Day was beyond terrific. You have to love the loudest and most American of all holidays. One of the moments that makes a person prouder than papaya punch to be a citizen of this fine country. The greatest country on the planet, which is why we have all those darn problems with our borders. After all, you don’t see a lot of stories about the teeming humanity streaming across the border into Kazakhstan. Or Kyrgyzstan. Which many experts claim are two entirely different countries.

The Summer Solstice may have checked in weeks ago, but the 4th of July is still dead solid summer. It means baseball and hot dogs and picnics and suntan lotion and ice cream trucks and road trips in the back of a station wagon bouncing around like fleshy pinballs, begging Dad to turn up the air conditioning and screw the gas mileage.

The Durst household is used to celebrating this noisy and sweaty occasion by intensely charring immense amounts of flesh, both ours and assorted animals, then drinking a cooler full of brewskies while shooting off firecrackers. That’s right, we drink beer and handle explosives, which explains why the 4th christens many colorful nicknames like “Lefty,” “Stumpy” and “Patch.”

No matter what side of the political spectrum your team plays on, this is a non-partisan party. Hippies and hawks both exercise their freedoms by flipping Frisbees and firing up the grill although it’s a lot easier to keep a rack of baby backs from slipping through the grates than bean sprouts.

Hard to think of a snapshot of the USA more iconic than a small town 4th of July parade with kids stringing bunting in their bicycles spokes and streamers doing their streaming thing from the handlebars. Where tricycles and Big Wheels careen between crawling convertibles containing beauty queens waving with one hand and holding tight their tiaras with the other. Where hardware stores sponsor floats and politicians are booed.

Speaking of which, 4th of July also signals the apex of the marching band season. Good marching bands and bad marching bands. A difference which is razor thin. These poor people practice all year long and get one lousy day. Seriously, how many John Phillip Sousa albums do you own?

Even in San Francisco, we do the red white and blue thing so big and bad, the ghost of Patrick Henry slaps us imaginary high fives. It’s the perfect time to forget the troubles facing this nation and concentrate on the good things. Food, family, friends and fireworks. Although 9 times out of 10 our light displays get lost in the fog. Instead of “ooh” and “aahh,” we get “hunh?” and “what?”

So get your summer licks in. Buy a new bathing suit. Fly a flag. Wear white shoes. Eat a roasted cob of corn and let the butter slide right down your arm and drip off your elbow. Snore in a hammock. And blow some stuff up real goooood. Because it won’t be long before we’re stuffing the flip-flops back in the closet and hauling out the school backpacks and pumpkin carving kits. Happy 238th birthday America. And you should know, in the right light, you don’t look a day over 189.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
6.29.14
THE WASHINGTON TREATY BREAKERS

You don’t hear much about the US Patent & Trademark Office. And that, my friends, is a good thing. Usually this federal office is as controversial as parsley wrapped celery. On a 1-10 scale of boring, patent law has to rate about a 3,000. That’s normally. But today this obscure agency has thrown football fans into raging fits. Real football. Where guys in helmets use their hands to throw or carry some spheroid object. Not faux football, where athletes direct a round ball with their feet.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board stripped the Washington Redskins of six trademark registrations after concluding the football team’s name was disparaging to Native Americans, and thus in violation of laws banning offensive language. Although to many Americans it’s the locational part of the name that is most repugnant. Especially those Americans known to party with cups of tea.

The USPTO made a similar ruling back in 1999, but it was overturned, and may very well be again. Because as we all know, the government is fond of doing the same thing over and over and over again. Expecting different results.

Conservatives fear this kind of political correctness will snowball, causing many nicknames to be spurned. For instance: should the Pittsburgh Pirates be compelled to switch their name because it’s offensive to families who have been pillaged? The Green Bay Packers due to folks harboring nightmares concerning broken lamps? The commissioners could forestall this movement by declaring all sports teams be named after marsupials.

What about the Fighting Irish? Does anybody really think that drunken Leprechauns with fists cocked are responsible role models for today’s university students? The Utah Jazz is an odious appellation to anybody possessing a modicum of musical taste. And the name of the state of Oklahoma is Choctaw for red people. Should they be forced to repeal their name or can we just get rid of the state altogether?

How about individuals? Doesn’t the same logic mandate that anybody named Manson or Hitler alter their name so as not to remind victims’ relatives of their grisly crimes? Adolf? Charlie? What about Bush? Clinton? Kardashian?

And if Daniel Snyder, the owner of the 3rd most valuable NFL franchise, according to Forbes Magazine, does cave to the rising cries of boycott, which direction will he head? Reportedly, the team has already filed for the trademark of Washington Warriors, but that doesn’t really distill the essence of the town. The Senators won’t work. Baseball tried and it depressed the players so much the team was forced to move. Twice.

He could capture the true spirit of the town with… the Washington Slippery Slopes. The Ethical Sliders. Corrupters. Prevaricators. The Hogs works and even has sentimental ties.

If you want intimidating, how bout the Washington Lobbyists? The Patent Lawyers. Under Secretaries. The Filibusterers. The Kickbacks has a vague football feel. The Mindless Horde. The Red Inks wouldn’t necessitate the need to buy new letters for the stadium exterior.

But, if honoring the proud indigenous nations of America is, as the team claims, the actual goal, how about the Washington Treaty Breakers. Or the Plague Blankets - which is pretty damn scary. And finally, to keep the natural rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys intact - the Washington Barbed Wires.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
6.22.14
How to Watch the World Cup

The refrain has echoed across the globe our entire lives. “The World Cup Is The Most Exciting Sporting Event On The Face Of The Planet. Bigger than the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup and World Series combined and go ahead, throw in the next Star Wars movie especially with Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford dragging their walkers through it.”

We Americans should be congratulated for finally growing up and stopping with the mocking, “Oh, really. Soccer? So what’s the second most exciting sporting event on the planet then, the Norwegian Army Widows Seal Clubbing Tournament? Does the Desert Tricycle-Built-for-2 Marathon Relay Seniors Tour come in third? ”

No. We’re sophisticated now. Look at the huge leaps Major League Soccer has made in the last couple years, easily propelling itself to 8th or 9th most popular team sport in the country: right behind football, basketball, baseball, hockey, bowling, beach volleyball, polo and lacrosse. And maybe badminton. Jai Alai. And in some regions, cow tipping and pie eating.

But whether you call it soccer, futbol or boring, Pele got it right when he called it: “O jogo bonito.”  The Beautiful Game. We occasional spectators from the Estados Unidos just need to learn how to watch the darn thing.

HOW TO WATCH THE 2014 WORLD CUP.
Choose a team to root for. Every match. Pick the land of your ancestors. Or the land next to the land of your ancestors. Teams from your own hemisphere. Orange is your favorite color. Been there. Always wanted to go there. But always root for the underdog, because that could include us.

Choose teams to root against. Hiss and boo the squads whose victory would impede your favorite’s progress or just root against overbearing bullying countries. Which again, could include us. Root against the country that invaded the land of your ancestors. Or go traditional, and root against the Axis powers. Or some of the more obstreperous Allies.

The World Cup should be watched with people. Preferably at a bar frequented by the countrymen of the team you’re rooting for. But do some research. You don’t want to show up at a French bar in Italian colors. As simple as wearing green instead of blue.

If you must watch it at home, turn on Univision, not ESPN. The announcers are much more entertaining. You know the guy who goes “GOOOOOAAL” when someone scores? He screams like that all the time: at a penalty, when someone almost scores, even when players trip and fall, clutching their face like they were sliced by a machete. Which is not flopping. Its injury simulation.

You need a big ass TV. The bigger the better. 70 inches is a good start. Because soccer is fond of cameras fastened to the inside edge of the International Space Station.

Make your own red and yellow cards and hold them up when you need snacks or beer. Really makes non-watchers feel part the game.

Complain about the refereeing. Every knowledgeable fan does. These guys don’t speak the same language as the players. But they do have spray paint. Which is so cool. Something the NFL might want to consider.

And go USA. And anybody who plays the country that invaded the land of your ancestors. Which, once again, could be us.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
6.15.14
Crow Medium Rare

A massive Earthquake rolled through the Republican Establishment after Eric Cantor became the 1st sitting House Majority Leader to lose in a primary since, well… ever. Going back to 1899, the 19th Century. Back when Mugwumps bought buggy whips and the Emperor of Russian lunched with the Viceroy of India.

In terms of wake up calls for GOP incumbents, this elbow to the ribs from the right is the equivalent of having your alarm clock replaced by a battalion of Taiko drummers. In the hold of a container ship. With Marshall amps pinning the red and the reverb switched to infinity sustain.

GOP insiders offered a number of theories for the upset. Bad polling. Disconnection with base. Low voter turnout. Democrats in an open primary. Ambition the size of Montana. Didn’t get as many votes as the other guy. Butterfly ballots. Michelle Obama. The World Cup. Approaching El Nino.

But mostly: back when he was midwifing their birth in 2009, Cantor was considered very very Tea Party. Now, not so much. Classic case of feeding the beast that ends up devouring you. Kind of a Siegfried and Roy sort of thing. “Eric Cantor the RINO.” You got to admit: that’s pretty humorous. Like saying… Dick Cheney the Peacenik or Colonel Sanders the vegan.

Let this be a lesson to all squishy moderates out there: the Tea Party has the same tolerance for tolerance that SWAT teams have for swatting. The Redneck Taliban. Though responsible for scuttling the Boehner/Obama Grand Bargain and fanning the flames of the government shutdown, Cantor might have read the word “compromise” in a book once. And that is unacceptable.

Don’t you get it? That anti-colonial socialist Obama is ruining the country and if you don’t think so, you don’t love America enough and can go back to Europe and eat crescent rolls on your 6 week vacation.

The man who would be Speaker lost his 7th District Virginia Congressional seat by 11 points to Dave Brat, a doctor of economics who teaches at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland Virginia, a private Methodist liberal arts college 92 miles from the US Capitol. And who, in November’s general election, will be facing a Democrat named Jack Trammell, a doctor who teaches sociology at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland Virginia. Guess you could call their upcoming debates a partial Randolph-Macon College faculty retreat.

The New York Times calculated Cantor spent more money at steakhouses than Brat raised for his whole campaign. But that is simply not true. Cantor only spent $168,000 at various DC meat palaces while Brat raised close to $200,000. So, the Congressman only spent 17/20th on scorched cow flesh compared to what Brat raised. The irony is, now, all Eric Cantor gets to eat is crow.

Of course Brat only used $123,000 of that two hundred grand in his campaign, which gets us to the Times claim, but that’s nitpicking. Nitpicking, being a grand Washington hobby, which Cantor might want to pick up, seeing as he has some unexpected free time on his hands.

Who knows what the future holds for John Boehner’s former go-to-guy. Cantor could become a lobbyist or a consultant. He might even want to write a paper on climate change. After all, who else could provide such a first hand eyewitness account… of hell freezing over?

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
6.8.14
Zombified

You see them staggering down our streets, heads bowed as if in prayer making the occasional grunting noise. Mindless drooling de-animated human husks walking blindly into fountains, crosswalks and lamp posts. Wake up People. We are in the middle of a science fiction movie here. Welcome to the Invasion of the Phone Zombies.

Yes, the Zombie Apocalypse has materialized and we are it. Everywhere you look you find the deathlike trance- frozen faces of we necromantic slaves with twitching fingers. Spending endless empty hours mesmerized by our tiny screens. An entire society that can’t remember its own phone number, much less that of any significant other. Of course, compared to our magical phones, there are no significant others.

Our smart phones are being manipulated by some very dumb people. Sure, amazing things can be accomplished: check the weather patterns in Outer Mongolia. Translate French past participles into Farsi. Order a chess set made out of imitation crab meat in the shape of the characters from 12 Years a Slave and have it delivered to our house before getting back from work. But in the meantime, we are developing the attention span of high-speed lint. And the personalities.

The contagion has spread everywhere. Stall zombies in public rest rooms that hog the enclosed sanctum to play a quick round of Fruit Ninja. Or two. Nightlife zombies who ignore the jokes onstage so they can respond with multiple LOLs on their electronic leash. Tangentially ambulatory zombies who get into their car but refuse to leave parking spots until checking in with High Command. Vacation zombies who spend thousands of dollars to stare at their phones in distant exotic lands.

And we zombies have proved desperate to swell our ranks. Zombifying others via slide presentations of cute cats cavorting. Even attempting to recruit potential zombie converts through such subhuman treatment as incessant shame and humiliation. “Seriously. That’s your phone? Who made it: Daewoo? Is that the fabled rotary cell phone? Must be neat to have Teddy Roosevelt on your speed dial. Bet your roaming charges are huge. Play much ‘snake’ lately?”

While our forefingers develop biceps and our thumbs evolve to the size of zucchini, society continues its deep deterioration. Groups of friends who have lost the will to converse, huddling together solely for warmth and light. Drivers staring into their laps, their faces reflecting an eerie glow. Entire families walking past each other hypnotized by their devices, going days without engaging in any major argument.

Dealing with the chronically anesthetized is exhausting. Who hasn’t tired of politely turning after being addressed only to find it’s some zombie in a suit on a Bluetooth talking to himself? But the worst are the suited Bluetoothed elevator zombies. Shut your piehole dirtwipe. Nobody here cares to know how many units need to be transferred to Topeka by Wednesday; we would pay good money to see some Topeka stuffed up your unit today.

In order to contain this pandemic, the CDC should issue a directive that encourages the unzombified to punch Bluetoothed elevator zombies right in their ear. Hard. Multiple times. And when the stupefied ones wake from their narcoleptic slumber and turn with confused expressions, inform them that it was all in the interest of the greater good. A blow for the sake of civilization itself.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
5.31.14
The Kochocracy

In the bad old days, medieval German Lords figured out how to pocket some quick coin by charging a toll on the primitive paths meandering across their lands. The money wasn’t used to improve the roads or better the lives of the peasants or clean the rivers their pigs pooped in but rather heighten the piles in their treasury. Even back then, you just couldn’t have enough pewter candlesticks.

These were the first robber barons. Literally. Rich people whose sole pursuit was to survive to become richer people. A criminal aristocracy. A term history has proved redundant.

During the Gilded Age, the flushest 1% of the country held 1/3 of the national income. In the 1920s, this figure ramped up to 2/5ths. Molehills compared to today’s mountainous wealth, where the richest 400 American families control more money than the poorest 165 million of their fellow citizens put together. And if all 165 million were knelt end to end, those 400 families would have footrests from any compass point.

6 members of the Walton Family have accrued as much money as the bottom 41% of all Americans. Now, how hard would it be for them to cover the health care of WalMart employees? They’d still be worth as much as the bottom 34%. How many pewter candlesticks does one family need? You’d think they could get them wholesale.

In decision after decision the Supreme Court has equated money with free speech. Which would be great if it meant the more we spoke, the more we’re worth. But, alas, no. That’s not the deal. Pretty much the opposite, come to think of it.

Rich people have exploited these high court rulings like foxes given skeleton keys to the Tyson chicken empire. Any politician who espouses lowering taxes on the rich and blunting the powers of the poor gets backed. With unlimited sums. Of course the poor have free speech too, but we might as well be whispering downstage at a Metallica concert.

A plutocracy is a society where the rich make the rules- quickly becoming our norm. The 9th richest man in the world, Sheldon Adelson, focuses on politicians whose Israeli policies most closely mirror his. That’s it. One issue. In 2012, he gave 90 million to various GOP presidential candidates. And in the next election cycle, he is reportedly ready to triple that number, recently holding auditions in Las Vegas for his own personal presidential candidate American Idol. Once again: not Clay Aiken.

The most Darth-like of the new Robber Barons are the Koch Brothers, (rhymes with rock) David and Charles, each richer than Adelson. These self-made inheritors of a vast oil empire are responsible for jumpstarting the Tea Party and ALEC, and are now hand picking candidates all over the country; pouring in vast amounts of money to get them and their skewed legacies elected. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is one of the first generation Kochbots. And a bit glitchy.

If so desired, the Koch Family could spend a billion dollars a year for the next 85 years buying politicians. Bankrupting the rest of us through Kochbot legislated tolls on the primitive paths meandering across Koch owned lands. Especially egregious when ALL lands are Koch owned. Get ready for the American Kochocracy.

x

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
5.24.14
Welcome to the Real World

And now an open letter to all you new grads. Congratulations. Good job. Way to go. Bet you thought this day would never come. And if memory serves, it probably almost didn’t. Anyhow, welcome to the real world. And please be aware that we use that term very loosely.

You’re going to love it out here. Might find it surprisingly similar to what you just left behind. Only different. For one thing: Sleeping through first hour is generally frowned upon. And alas, not as many keggers. Less pot as well. Unless you’re headed into investment banking.

Obviously, most of the advice you’ve gotten so far has been as predictable as Nat King Cole in an elevator while Christmas shopping at Macy’s. Surely you’ve been treated to all the clichés. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” “Get up one more time than they knock you down.” “Nose and toes the same way goes.” Blah. Blah. Hoo-dee-doo. Unrealistic optimistic idealistic balderdash. As helpful as a smiley face lapel pin on a Mylar balloon.

What you really need are tips that will shoot straight through all the bourgeois and cut to the chase. To tell it like it is. Guidance to help navigate the fjords of chaos that inevitably await where grown-ups interact. And you’ve come to the right place, because here they are. A goodly number of life-proven pieces of real world advice for today’s grads.  Might not be what you want to hear but guaranteed to help. Well. Not going to hurt. Well…

WILL DURST’S TOP TIPS FOR TODAY’S GRADS.

When someone says “This is not about money,” it’s about money.

Getting a tattoo is like feeding gremlins: don’t do it after midnight.

No matter what you see in movies, overturned wooden tables are not adequate protection from assault weapons.

When people say, “I’m not a racist, but…” they’re racists.

You can’t fix stupid.

Sure, sure, he’s your best friend, but get it in writing.

Nothing in the world is as underrated as a good nap.

Maintain and move on.

Two words: duct tape.

That high pitched noise that only you can hear: it’s the “Screw You” buzzer. Don’t worry. Only goes off occasionally.

Always marry someone smarter than you. Of course, then they’re marrying someone dumber than they are. But that’s their problem.

Gambling is a tax on people bad at math.

Hazing happens in the real world as well. It’s called a mortgage.

Life is too short for Kirkland champagne.

Everyone is ditchable. Including you.

Never ever trust anybody who says “At the end of the day.” At the end of the day it gets dark.

When they ask your name at Starbucks, once in a while, tell them “Rumplestilskin.”

Backing into parking spots allows for quicker getaways.

Not only is laughter the best medicine, it’s really hard to O.D. on the stuff.

If you fall, and you will: fall forward.

Stay cool and dry and vertical. Or hot and wet and horizontal. Whichever works.

And finally, when someone says, “you’ll like these people, they’re a fun group,” you can rest assured they have the collective sense of humor of an end table.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
5.17.14
The Benghazi Boogie

In order to function like a properly greased money machine, the GOP requires a chew toy. Something to snarl and wave and get a good growl on. Railing against easy-to-digest injustices is the perfect lubrication. Nuance-not their strong suit. This party calibrates with pitchforks and 55 gallon drums of oil.

Their specialty is publicly declaring abhorrence for manufactured boogeymen. Communist takeover of the world-bad. Muslim President born with a racist agenda in an African country - bad. Socialist healthcare that kills old people - bad. They, wrapped in a flag holding high the cross-good.

Having never met a dead horse they didn’t enjoy beating, the Party of Lincoln is prone to continuing their battering to microscopic detail. As long as the audience remains rapt, these guys will lambaste anything retaining a whiff of expired equine. Saddles. Baseballs. Horsehide ottomans. Cello bows. Glue.

But after 51 attempted repeals, all the sweet cream goodness has been beaten right out of Obama Care, what with the world not coming to an end and all like everyone said. And drat the luck, no death panels. Lousy timing, with a mid term election looming like Godzilla at the end of an alley.

So now the hordes of upraised clubs have moved onto a new target. Demonstrated by House Speaker John Boehner throwing a large number of his Capture The Senate Majority election chips down the Benghazi Rabbit Hole. Let the inquisitions begin. For the 14th time.

Republican Senators are jealously clamoring for similar grandstanding opportunities, but chances of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid granting that request are smaller than Donald Sterling headlining the Apollo.

The issue concerning the death of 4 Libyan embassy employees excites the base to where they vibrate and leak green froth from their nose while their voices go up two octaves. The major difficulty is negotiating the fine line that separates energizing the tea-drinking troops from politicizing a tragedy. And rumors of Benghazi tote bags don’t help.

Can’t wait for Ted Cruz to start a new nationwide dance craze via Youtube video: “Doing the Benghazi Boogie. Take 2 steps back. Look around. Point your finger. Shake your head. Shake your contributions cup. Shake your tail feather. Take 2 steps back.”

Even after holding 13 hearings on the subject, Republicans are determined this time, they’ll get the truth. To such disturbing mysteries as why Susan Rice wore a pink blouse when she went on the Sunday talk shows. A signal? How many brain tumors were affecting Hillary Clinton? Why wouldn’t Barack Obama get off the phone with Benjamin Netanyahu? Were they celebrating? And who exactly do Republicans hate more: Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?

Yes, the answer to these and many more questions will be cloaked and shrouded and obscured but why Republicans have lost consecutive Presidential elections will definitely be highlighted in day-glo skywriting. At a certain point the American people grow tired of washing off the horse blood.

Afterwards, a consultation with Geraldo Rivera might be in order, because this investigation is destined to come up emptier than Al Capone’s Vault. The only good news is the term “impeachment” has yet to be bandied about. And for that, we should all get down on our knees and thank… Joe Biden.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
5.3.14
Lazy Stupid Ham Butts

Wasn’t what you would call the most favorable week for old white racist men. Then again, these weeks, not many are.  How bad did it get for ancient intolerant Caucasian males? Bowling ball dropped on your little toe from a height of nine feet bad. Brazilian soccer stampede bad. Donald Trump testifying at your rent-hearing bad.

First, Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who patriotically refuses to pay grazing rights on government land, tried to stretch his 15 minutes of fame a few microseconds too long, expanding his realm of influence into the field of behavioral sciences by buttonholing a New York Times reporter: “I want to tell you what I know about the Negro.” He proceeded to execute a wonderful performance piece from a 1870s traveling minstrel show. Al Jolson would have been proud.

But, alas, the grizzled xenophobe denied any ironic context and the hemming and hawing that followed would have kept sewing circles in the state of Iowa busy for month. Even his posse of right wing militia supporters disappeared like dew on the sun.

Then, Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was acknowledged to be the voice of an audio recording so racist, it made Mr. Bundy sound like the recipient of an NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award. An award about to be bestowed on the exact same NBA owner of which we speak. For the 2nd time. You can't make stuff up like this.

Since African-Americans make up 76% of professional basketball players, and figure prominently in the marketing and as consumers, you could say the NBA’s brand new commissioner, Adam Silver, (yes, it’s a Sterling-Silver thing) was encouraged to take swift action. You could also say carpet tacks make lousy dessert topping.

He banned the team’s owner from attending any games or entering any Clipper facility or participating in any business decisions of the Clippers or NBA. For life. Hope the guy lives to be 110.

He’s even prohibited from using the word clippers. From now on, the Sterling household will only stock nail- trimmers and beard- scissors in their medicine cabinet. “Remember Shelly, it’s my money holder. Not a clip.” For life.

When will everybody realize this whole black/ white thing is plain ridiculous? Nobody’s white. If we were actually white, we’d scare the bejesus out of each other. People would take to carrying around garlic and crosses and wooden stakes to wave and stab. Even albinos are an off- white. Beige. Tawny. Ecru. Eggshell. Desert Stone. And if you ever run into anybody who’s the same hue as that flesh colored Crayon in the big box of 88, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Conversely, no one’s truly black. If they were really black, they’d be absorbing light and we’d keep bumping into each other. Hell, the NBA Finals would be a blur. “And there’s David Lee and a bunch of other guys. I have no idea what’s going on. It’s up. It’s in. Yes!”

 Although some founding fathers found support for their exclusionary views in the Bible, prejudice has always been hard to rationalize. Pre-schoolers know that if you take the time to get to know someone, you’ll discover a thousand reasons to loathe and despise them. On an individual basis. Prejudice people are just plain lazy. And stupid. Lazy and stupid and smell like ham butts. Without the ham.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
4.27.14
Glasswipes

A tsunami of tech is engulfing our nation, and in the process, redecorating communities like a family of grizzly bears locked in a Volkswagen Van. A family of obscenely paid bespectacled grizzly bears with a taste for artisanal toast.

Remember back in high school when the freaks and geeks and nerds were ostracized and used as objects of scorn and derision? Well, pull out the yearbooks, pom poms and letter sweaters because those halcyon days are back. Although a lot of us will be skipping gym class. Atomic wedgies all around.

The nerds have come full circle, shedding their recently acquired soft fuzzy status as lovable underdogs to once again be reviled, this time as hipster locusts laying waste to traditional neighborhoods with their voracious appetite for kale, quinoa and six- dollar cups of aged Sumatran eggnog macchiatos. With a free trade, shade grown cinnamon rinse of course.

Here in the Bay Area, Google has become the early adopter of cascading contempt through such high profile projects as Google Glass, the eyeglass computer only available to the precious invited few and Google Buses, reserved for the precious fewer. These luxury roach coaches hijack and misuse municipal infrastructures to ferry the pork pied Masters of the Universe 2.0 from deep dark cities central to idyllic oases in Silicon Valley. Where they are fed free gum and candy.

Stretching their motto of “don’t be evil” into elastic threads, Google recently constructed a large barge in the middle of San Francisco Bay, refusing to tell the public or government officials its intended use. Facing an ultimatum to reveal the purpose or move, the barge was floated under the cover of darkness to Stockton. Another is moored in Portland Maine; both suspiciously equidistant from Omaha Nebraska. Doesn’t bode well for Warren Buffett.

Known simply as Glass, the computerized spectacles look like something out of the Borg accessory catalogue and double down on those blue tooth earpieces that make it difficult to distinguish between investment bankers and the crazed homeless. Like there’s a difference.

All men are created equal, but some are more equal than others and those desiring to appear most equal are shelling out 1500 dollars for this strap- on symbol of techie privilege. Ostensibly still in beta phase, the hype however is overwhelming anticipation, running the risk of Glass turning obsolete before its general release- the laser disc of wearable computers. Betamax Glass. Besides, most everybody is waiting for Apple to make them user friendly anyway.

Meanwhile, irrevocable damage is being done through permanent alterations to the landscapes onto which the ravaging techsters have descended. This October, the shares of Twitter employees are fully vested and 2,000 millionaires will hit the streets of San Francisco. And people will speak dreamily of the good old days when a studio in the Mission with no parking and the smell of old men embedded into the walls only cost $3500. OK, Glass, evict.

Because of the vast monies being bandied about, all of us will be forced to cater to these concentrated hordes, raising the question, who are the real Glasswipes here? The insular entitled techie menace blissfully traipsing down sidewalks bemusedly contemplating cat videos on their face-borne computers or the rest of us desperate supplicants poised to wipe their tiny windscreens clean with our miniature squeegees? There’s an app for that.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
4.20.14
Let's Get Lethaler

You’d think that we Americans would have enough stuff to worry about. Severe drought desiccating a third of the country. A political system whose major talent is demonstrating stasis in action. The rich using the poor as fleshy paving stones for the road to mansions on the hill. Ben Affleck as Batman.

But, guess what- apparently not enough stuff to worry about, because now we’re running out of ways to kill people. Legally, that is. Accidentally and illegally we’re doing just fine. Might even say it’s become a robust and vigorous pursuit.

Talking about carrying out the death penalty. Although the word “penalty” always seems to criminally understate the case. Over the years, civilizations have evolved in how to rid themselves of their various nefarious. They cycled through stoning, strangulation, beheading, death by 1000 cuts, hanging, firing squad, guillotine, electric chair, before finally settling on poison, deemed the most humane. First the gas chamber and now, even humaner-lethal injection. So humane, we swab the injection point with alcohol, which is like repainting the shutters before burning down a house.

Problem is, the producer of the go-to-lethal injection drug, Thiopental, stopped making it. States turned to a different drug called Pentobarbital, but the Danish manufacturer didn’t enjoy being associated with executions, and pulled the plug. Now, the states’ Departments of Killing People on Purpose are resorting to unreliable and possibly illegal sources, and refusing to reveal those methods; meaning for all we know, they could be shooting inmates up with Drano flavored Jell-O.

These punishments are being carried out on behalf of We the People: so We the People should have a say in the process. It’s the 21st Century, for crum’s sake. Why not kill the condemned creatively? Film it for pay-per-view. Strike a deal with Amazon Prime and make some coin on the back end. There’s tons of ways to end a miscreant’s life that would be a barrel of fun to watch and still insure justice gets done.

For instance, imagine the merriment to be shared if a convicted man were forced to spend an entire evening in the company of Joan Rivers. Death would not only be instantaneous, it would be hilarious.

Or what if one of the soon-to-be-deceased were dispatched to act as Chris Christie’s pedicab driver when visiting Atlantic City?

Perhaps a position could be arranged as Vladimir Putin’s Ukrainian food taster.

Becoming Barack Obama’s personal pollster would certainly drive any sane man mad.

Sentencing denizens of death row to carry Michael Bloomberg’s ego might be an amusing spectacle. Or would that be considered cruel and unusual?

Assign one as sole salesmen at the only New York City based Foot Locker to distribute the next re-release of Air Jordan classics.

Forced to endure an entire season on Dancing With the Stars as Chelsea Handler’s partner. An excruciating proposition.  

Spend the Christmas season in Times Square dressed in the Disney character costume of Iago from Aladdin.

Got 3 words for you, people: CSI: Miami binge-a-thon.

And finally, the state could force the reprobate to wear Google Glass into dive bars all over the Mission District of San Francisco. And the beauty of it is: they function as their own cameraman.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
4.11.14
Patronizing Paychecks

In a move as surprising as limos at a state funeral the GOP has misplaced their ticket for the clue train. Yes, again. Just when you think they get it, party leaders move heaven and earth and that place due south to prove that not only do they not get it, they have never gotten it and aren’t really comfortable around people who do get it. One suspects, secretly, they don’t want it.

What culturally tone-deaf antic guaranteed to awaken Beethoven did they pull this time? Glad you asked. Republicans shut down Senate debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have required employers to show why they’re paying male and female employees different salaries for doing the same job. Because the ultimate goal of the Free Market is… free labor.

A US Census study found that women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man takes home. Why businesses continue to hire men in the first place when they could save 23% by putting women into those positions remains a total mystery. Undocumented women must make personnel departments shiver. Underage undocumented women with hyperactive thyroids: roll out the drool gutters.

The GOPers said they scuttled the bill because it wasn’t needed and would hurt women. And when it comes to hurting women, they do wield a certain amount of expertise. Corporations may be people, but…  well, we don’t need to go there, do we? Logic dictates what women need to do is incorporate. “I am woman. Hear me file a domestic patent infringement suit.”

Every single Republican voted against the bill and every single Democrat for it. Explaining her vote, Representative Lynn Jenkins, Republican of Kansas, said that many ladies she knows find the Democrats’ attitude condescending. Not to mention vulgar and boorish and much too colorful for polite company.

Yeah. Easy to see how paying ladies the same wages as gentlemen could be considered condescending. Just like the 19th Amendment giving women the vote was obviously patronizing. And granting women control of their own bodies would be exceedingly supercilious.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claims that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is only orchestrating this contretemps as a transparent stunt to restart his phony War on Women, in a doomed attempt to reenergize key elements of Democratic victories in 2012. Aahh, 2012. When was that? 14, 16 years ago, right?

Harry Reid may be many things: Mormon, lawyer, boxer, capitalist tool, casino lackey —  but dumb is not one of them. Energizing women is never a bad idea. After all, in the US they outnumber men by more than 4 million. Live longer. Make up 53% of the electorate. And remain the only one of the two genders able to make more members of the electorate.

Besides, as far as stunts are concerned, the Democrats are rank amateurs. This is only their 3rd failed stab at passing the Paycheck Fairness Act. That’s 4 dozen shy of matching the GOP’s cracks to repeal ObamaCare. Registration for obsession school forms on the right.

The bad news is- still plenty of time. Midterm elections aren’t until November. At least 7 more months of these shenanigans. By the time both sides are done, we can expect the floor of the Capitol Rotunda to look like it hosted 3 or 4  Game of Thrones wedding receptions.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
4.6.14
TINA TURNER, MAD MAX, AL GORE AND YOU

According to a new UN report, there’s good news and bad news about global warming. The good news is- it’s worse than we thought. Yeah. That’s the good news. The bad news- you don’t want to know. Because then there’s worse news and ultimately, “holy moley, is that an asteroid the size of a mini-mall crushing my house” news.

The same kind of news a doctor offers up after inviting you into his office, closing the door and advising you to sit down. Or your lawyer recommending a friend who “specializes in this sort of thing, but I warn you, he’s not cheap.” A mechanic walking slowly from your car, wiping his hands on a rag, sadly shaking his head. Or when a spouse’s packed bags are stacked near the front door and a voice from the kitchen intones: “We need to talk.”

After delivering their communiqué describing how not only has global warming already arrived, but it’s unpacked, made friends with the dog, is sleeping on the couch and drinking daddy’s bourbon that he thinks nobody knows is behind the Wheat Thins; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change threw up its hands and ran screaming from the room. The unreported nature of these actions can be chalked up to being considered normal activity at the UN

Remember about 10 years ago, when the IPCC told the world that something had to be done soon or all hell was going to break loose? Well, guess what? Nothing was done and all hell has broken loose. You can actually see chunks of it littering the outskirts of Phoenix. With Lucifer himself haunting the halls of the Arizona State Capitol.

The gist of the statement is instead of wasting time on political gridlock strangling all efforts to diminish global warming, we need to learn to live with it. Seriously. That’s what they said. Their recommended strategy has evolved from halting climate change to surviving it. From mitigation to adaption. No more trying to keep gas out of the basement, now we concentrate on not lighting any matches. Turns out, Al Gore was right. Next we’ll discover he really did invent the internet.

Time to wave bye-bye to certain South Sea Islanders, unless they begin building a big bunch of boats real soon. Europe will need to increase flood insurance coverage exponentially. Sales of air conditioners in the US are destined to skyrocket like condom sales in a bus station brothel, and Australia might just want to pack up and move. Now.

Its not just increased temperatures and rising sea levels and more severe weather and ocean acidification and species extinctions and multi-ecosystem collapse and slathering on sunblock 8000 and polar bears wandering Winnipeg; they’re also predicting violent conflicts over dwindling food supplies and fresh water. Like the beer cooler at a 7-11 on Bourbon St. the Saturday before Mardi Gras.

So for all you survivalists who have always imagined living like a post-civilization Mad Max fighting feral dogs for scraps while fending off leather-clad, Mohawk-sporting punks, your dreams may have finally come true. Hey, this could be fun. Especially if you’re Tina Turner. And secretly, who here among us, isn’t?

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
3.27.14
Sawbucked to Death

These days, the only thing harder than making money is hanging onto it. Easier to protect dandelion fuzz in a tornado. Everywhere you go, everyone wants a taste. Their only job is to get a grip on your money. And some of these folks are pretty darn good at their jobs.

Solicitations. Donations. Hand-outs. Charges. Taxes. Commissions. Percentages. Invoices. Expenses. Billings. Licenses. Permits. Compensatory Remunerations. Honorariums. Balance due. Ante ups. Shipping fees. Handling fees. Entrance fees. Exit fees. The way we’re getting nickel and dimed from every angle is like being nibbled to death by ducks.

You know that phrase: “The best things in life are free.” Popularized by rich people to keep the rest of us from getting too curious. Besides, nothing’s free anymore. Fast food condiments cost extra. Bags at stores are no longer gratis. Gas stations charge for air and water – setting an ominous precedent.

Banks used to reward people for handling their money, not anymore. Now customers pay for everything. There’s a charge for using a teller. There’s a charge for not using a teller. There’s a charge for telling the teller where to stick the charge.

Airlines have figured out how to make money off of food, blankets, legroom, checked bags, aisle seats, in-flight entertainment and it’s only a matter of time before the bathrooms, seat belts and oxygen masks require prepaid activation codes. “Oxygenated air or non-oxygenated air?”

TV and radio used to be free. Now all the premium content is on cable or satellite. Then after purchasing comes the maintenance fees. Upgrade fees. Squeeze you like a turnip fees. Convenience fees. For whose convenience are these fees? Not mine.

Microsoft and Adobe have moved to a subscription model. Netflix is 10 bucks a month. Third world orphan rescues cost 10 bucks a month. Dating services, cheap gyms, music apps – 10 bucks a month. Everybody wants 10 bucks a month. You know what: ten bucks here, ten bucks there. That stuff adds up. We’ve moved beyond nickel and dimed to death: this is more like sawbucked to death.

There’s a free trial period, but we need your credit card number for processing. And the expiration date. And the super secret code on the back. And your social security number. And your PIN number. And how many moles on your upper right thigh? And what time of the day is best for our Nigerian prince to contact you?

And yes, you’re right. This column is written every generation. Our parents lamented the passing of full service gas stations. Our kids will probably bemoan the loss of free water in public rest rooms. “Used to be, you could let the water run right down the drain until it got to be the exact temperature you desired. No, I’m serious.”

Even when you do buy something, you’re immediately harassed into acquiring other useless stuff, no matter the location. Commercials at the checkout counter, gas station pump, in elevators, cabs, movies, ballgames. Ceiling screens at the dentist are next.

Eventually our refrigerators will be sponsored and make suggestions. Until finally people are convinced to sell naming rights to their children. “Did you hear? Clear Channel Schultz is going out with Enron Nelson. It’s a match made in heaven. And Texas.” Speaking of which, might as well prepare, there will  be Geico commercials in Hell.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
3.22.14
The Frigid Fracas

ter an absence of 25 years, it's downright ducky to be able to welcome back one of the great socio-politico conflicts in the history of the planet. How about a round of applause folks, because the Cold War is back and it's colder and warrier than ever.

Like an old friend popping up on your doorstep after moving to South America or Akron a quarter century ago, it is with a mixture of exhilaration and dread to see him again. All the right words are mouthed: "No, YOU look exactly the same," but inside you're praying he's just here for a quick visit and no extended stay. "So, what are your plans?"

To MI6, the British Intelligence Foreign Section Division, the Cold War was an extension of a conflict with Russia that began in the early 19th Century. To we USAers, it was a post WWII battle for the eternal soul of mankind. But it doesn't matter what you call it: Great Game, Frigid Fracas, Siberian Skirmish: the Cold War is guaranteed to ice your nerves and frost your sense of security. Freeze dried tension. Refrigerated Tang with a shot of paranoia.

Now that the mumps, measles and polio are on the comeback trail as well, the Teens are starting to look like the 50s all over again. The future will be televised in black and white; comforting we early Baby Boomers who always remained skeptical of that whole multi-hued thing. And like the Twilight Zone was scarier in black and white, so was Nikita Khrushchev. As was Speedy, the Alka-Seltzer mascot.

The return of this Arctic Animus means all sorts of retro activities accompanying it; saber rattling. Nuclear standoffs. Propaganda, espionage. One inch wide ties. Poisoned tipped umbrellas and exploding cigars- right around the corner. And Hula Hoops, only now they come with an app.

This won't be your father's ideological confrontation however. No longer a showdown between Democracy and Communism, because that fight is history like shag carpeting. Russians may dream of Mother Russia but everybody else in the world wants to be Americans.

Besides, many more opportunities for corruption exist in a democracy than socialism. Who knew? And the Super Powers have gone the way of Howdy Doody and penny candy. Less relevant than chrome bumpers and tinfoil covered rabbit ears.

No, this is more like that boxing movie Hollywood recently released with Stallone and DeNiro. Two aging Mediocre Powers trying to rekindle a dubiously remembered time gone by in an age where you can watch Indonesian soap operas on your eyeglasses while walking over the street in an air conditioned skyway.

Putin ostensibly sent troops into Crimea because he was worried about the rights of its citizens. Putin. Worried about the rights of others. Unh-hunh. Real similar to a bobcat worried about a poodle's breakfast. A shark concerned with breakfast's feelings. Bacteria worried over spoiling breakfast. Ask the Chechens about Mister KGB standing up for people's rights. Or Pussy Riot.

And while the world retreats into a circle around the two combatants, Putin and Obama are busy picking teams for their recycled rivalry. Considering the playground nature of this squabble, wouldn't be surprised if it came down to shirts and skins. Pretty sure Putin is going to choose skins.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
3.14.14
50 Shades of Cool

It was more amusing than piano-playing kittens to see Barack Obama plug the Affordable Care Act on Zach Galifianakis' internet comedy show. Not late night. Not basic cable. An internet show: "Between 2 Ferns." Even funnier was the President trotting out the same expression he normally reserves for Bill O'Reilly interviews.

The Chief Executive is apparently working his way down the marketing food chain. Next it'll be ObamaCare coupons under windshield wipers in the parking lots of flea markets. Then a series of laminated ads posted above urinals. Won't be long before Joe Biden is wearing a giant syringe costume twirling a sign on Pennsylvania Ave.

The president is not new to the humor game. He's proven his comedy chops o'plenty at previous functions, but even professional comedians have problems holding their own with the bearded Hangover franchise comic's trademark condescending snark. 44, however, traded disdainful barbs like a Catskills trained tummler. Looks like the ordeal of dealing with Hillary's State Department staff finally paid off. Can't wait for him speak to Putin with the same sort of Borscht Belt pushback.

This was Comedy Obama at his finest. Just one of the many guises we've seen Honolulu's favorite son adopt. There's Diplomatic Obama. Arrogant Obama. Tolerant Obama. Supercilious Obama. Hollywood Obama. Mississippi Obama. New Boss Obama. And Same as the Old Boss Obama.

Might explain why the country is this close to contracting a serious case of Multiple Presidential Personality Disorder. He's President Sybil. Playing more roles than the tall kid who shaves at a summer Shakespeare camp.

Doctors say the onset of Dissociative Identity Disorder can be traced to trauma and its entirely possible the Republican Party is responsible for these many faces of Eve, er, Barack. For 5 years the President has been hit in the head more often than an armless soccer goalie in a World Cup shootout. Of course, he could be setting himself up for an insanity defense. Mitch McConnell would be well advised to hire extra security.

The Oval Office Shapeshifter's pre-POTUS resume was pretty tame. Kenyan. Kansan. Hawaiian. Community organizer. Constitutional law professor. State Senator. U.S. Senator. Marijuana advocate. Audacity encourager.

It's only since 2009 that we've been treated to a kaleidoscope of eccentric facets. He's a jock. A nerd. Cheerleader. Teacher's pet. Motorcycle riding bad boy. Probably a closet band geek. Party standard bearer. Good will ambassador. Policy enforcer. Al Green impersonator

He's half-black. He's half-white. Ramrod. Contortionist. Healer. Divider. Defender of transparency. Master spy. Outlaw. Sheriff. Muslim. Christian. Politician. Citizen. Figurehead. Hood ornament. White hatted hero. Melodramatic villain. A puppet, a poet, a pawn and a king.

Even the GOP can't decide if he's a hopeless novice or a demagoguing dictator. The right wing paints him as a radical jihadist while left wing progressives whine he's a cowering conciliator. Making him a little bit Malcolm X and a little bit Urkel.

Barack Obama is harder to pin down than an eel in a butter sculpture. A Nobel Peace Prize winner or the Manchurian Candidate. He's either the classiest of cats or Captain Clueless. Relentless shark or a spineless jellyfish. Power mad knight errant or lute strumming eunuch. Or maybe he's all of them. 50 shades of cool. Or drool. Perspective is everything.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
3.1.14
It's Not the Hate, It's the Stupidity

Alright. Woo-hoo. We’re partying now. With the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for sorting Phillips head screws from flat head screws, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer publicly vetoed SB 1062, legislation that would provide legal cover to businesses denying services based on the operator’s religious beliefs. The return of Jim Crow with a cactus beat.

Yes, the finger jabbing governess banged down the brakes of the bigot bill. And the disappointment rumbling through the evangelical community caused snakes to be mishandled all the way to Eastern Tennessee.

Give the lady credit. She hemmed. She hawed. She deliberated. Took her time like a molasses coated snail slogging up Everest against the wind in the dead of winter. The right thing was done; for the wrong reasons. The same way deciding not to drink that 8th beer was a smart move whether the cause was self-restraint or misplacing the bottle opener under the front seat.

Mostly it was the threat of another state-wide economic boycott including the possibility of losing a second Super Bowl that did the trick. Once again, the NFL trumps religion. Of course, if those darn liberals hadn't put up such a stink, she would have signed it so fast it would make a roadrunner's head spin, mid beep-beep.

Ironically, Brewer’s painstakingly lackadaisical response was responsible for ratcheting up the backlash that inflamed the country. She inadvertently gave the press time to trumpet the story. And the resulting uproar bodes as well for the umpteen other states considering similar legislation as a dead gila monster-head in your Frosted Flakes.

This is what happens when the tourist industry, the business community, the state’s 2 GOP US Senators and even some of the bill’s co-sponsors turn against it. With friends like these, who needs enemas?

You’d think that vetoing a bill that sanctioned discrimination would be a no-brainer, but no-brainers aren’t quite the sure thing in Arizona. This is the state famous for voting against recognizing Martin Luther King’s Birthday as a holiday and encouraging local police to stop anybody with a tan on both their arms. Not to mention Alice Cooper.

Perhaps Arizona legislators are unaware that religions other than Christianity exist, because depending on the faith of the business owner, this bill would have allowed folks to refuse service not just for sexual orientation but for sporting nail polish, fastening pants with zippers or eating shellfish. The burning hunger for desert shellfish having been dealt with many millennia ago.

Not wearing a hat offends some gods. While the wearing of hats offends others. The gods, they are sartorially conflicted. Suspected of engaging in premarital sex, no ice cream for you. Divorced patrons can purchase their organic rutabagas somewhere else, thank you very much. Wear a turban? Don’t need a couch. Customers would need to take a urine test every time they dropped something off at the dry cleaners.

With every piece of ludicrous legislation, it becomes increasingly apparent that AZ – the postal abbreviation for the Grand Canyon State – stands for Angry Zenophobes. And yes, xenophobe is actually spelled with an X, but the insensible and intolerant denizens of Arizona are probably unaware of that. Arizona: the American Uganda. It’s not the hate, it’s the stupidity.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
2.21.14
2014 Political Animal Awards

For all those who have spent the last couple of months shoveling out a car, you should know we’re at the tail end of awards season. And best be advised to hunker in a bunker wearing a Kevlar overcoat, because gold plated statues are being tossed about like air kisses at a gown fitting. Like clouds of bathroom hair spray during Oscar Nominee Luncheons. Like jaded eyes at a press screening of Transformers 4.

We here at Durstco are not too proud to jump eyes wide shut headfirst onto the shiny awards bandwagon with a great flying leap and sticky squid tentacle sleeves to prevent overshooting. In our dubious presentations, eligible recipients are the phony, pompous and duplicitous. Elected officials predominate but anyone in the news qualifies as a nominee.

Finally, we’d like to thank our friends and family and everybody like us and us. And all you kids out there growing up different, trying to hang onto a dream. Because without dreams, you’re like a Rottweiler without a spleen. So now, running the risk of spraining a wrist patting ourselves on the back, here they are; the 2014 Political Animal Awards.

The We’ll Cross That Bridge When We Come To It Award: Chris Christie.

Best Disappearing Act: Mitt Romney.

Worst Disappearing Act: Bill Clinton.

The Chris Christie Big Shoes To Fill Award: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

The Let’s All Hold Hands And Sing Kumbaya Award: Us President Barack Obama.

The Let’s Not All Hold Hands And Sing Kumbaya Award: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The “Oh God No, Not You Again” Award: Ted Nugent.

The Thinking Through His Wrong Brain Award: French President Francois Hollande.

The Why Won’t Anyone Return My Calls Award: Michele Bachmann.

The Dumber Than He Looks Award: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

The Not As Dumb As His Hair Looks Award: Donald Trump. Again.

The Grocery Shopping With Salman Rushdie Award: Edward Snowden.

The If He Was A Horse, They Would Have Shot Him 10 Years Ago Award: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Best Make Over: The Vatican.

The Pixie Dust Award: A gift from we Baby Boomers to all the Gen Xers who start turning 50 next year.

The We Are The Evil Empire Award: The US Defense Department for using drone strikes on American citizens.

The Most Effective Spokesperson Ever For Family Planning Award: Kim Jong Un.

Proof That Some Species Eat Their Young For A Reason Award: Justin Bieber.

The Mannequins R’ Us Lifelike Award: Wresting it away from Al Gore, John Kerry.

Mensa’s Smartest Man Of The Year Award: Pussy Riot.

The Won’t Even Step Foot In An Olive Garden Award: Amanda Knox.

Best Achievement In Technicolor: House Majority Leader John Boehner.

The Most Important Person In America Award: For the 3Rd year in a row… Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s doctor.

Best Actress: Hillary Clinton for her convincing portrayal of a woman unsure of her role in the 2016 Presidential race.

The Hey Guys. I’m Still In The Room Award: Vice President Joe Biden.

The Your Fifteen Minutes Were Up Thirty Minutes Ago Award: Anthony Weiner.

The Least Likely To Win The NAACP’s Woman Of The Year Award Award: Megyn Kelly.

The Ted Cruz Man Of The Year Award: Ted Cruz

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
2.14.14
Green Rush Munchies

Easy to imagine an arena full of Phish fans raising and waving their lighters to honor US Attorney General Eric Holder for suggesting the feds might help states that legalize pot by allowing dispensaries to utilize banking services. Way to go, Super AG. That’s so incredibly righteous of you.

These days, everyone dealing with marijuana distribution is forced to use cash in financial dealings. To buy inventory, pay employees, stock up on munchies, tip the pizza dude, everything. Even cover their taxes. Problem is, those amounts of dead presidents tend to attract the sort of unsavory company you normally associate with orange jumpsuit-wearing, ankle-shackle sporting, border-tunnel digging, Vin Diesel movie-watchers.

19 states have already approved medical marijuana and in 2014, the citizens of Oregon, Alaska, California, Arizona and DC will vote to legalize it for recreational use, joining Washington and Colorado in the Pot Club. The smoke, it is a wafting. Banks can smell the money and are itching for a taste of the action. Lawmakers themselves are jonesing for additional revenue. You’ve heard of squeezing blood out of a turnip? Think of this as scraping green off the green. A phenomenom  that pot journalist, Jack Rikess, calls “Grassnost.”

Grass. Tea. Weed. Reefer. Mary Jane. Wacky tobaccy. Herb. Hemp. Happy leaf. Hippie lettuce. Parsley. Oregano. Cabbage. Chronic. Ganja. Da kine. Doobie. Dope. Blunt. Bone. Bud. Smoke. Spliff. Stank. Schwag. Shanizzle. Sticky icky. Indica. Tetrahydrocannabinol. The assassin of youth. Hairy purple skunk balls. Whatever brand name you prefer, lines are forming at the trampoline for corporate America to jump on The Green Rush Bandwagon.

Even President Obama admitted marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and he should know. As opposed to Bill Clinton, who never inhaled, some skeptics doubt the 44th POTUS ever exhaled. In high school, as a member of the Choom Gang, he was noted for cutting off passing joints, intercepting extra hits. Seems to have lost some initiative in the days since. Typical.

But brah’s right. Consider how many steps it takes to produce a bottle of whiskey. Not like you can walk into the backyard and pick a Daiquiri off the Cocktail Tree. Pot, however, grows right out of the ground. They don’t call it “weed” for nothing. You saying God made a mistake?

Convincing politicians to stop lumping all drugs together would be a major victory. In their condemning zeal, they admit to no gradations. But even a fifth grader can tell you that heroin is to pot like an Uzi is to a banana. Heroin kills. Pot giggles.

What’s the worst thing going to happen if you do run into a crazed pothead? You might get fleas. That’s about it. Okay, There’s Twinkie cream on your shirt, wipe it off. Can’t get the song “Stairway to Heaven” out of your head — deal with it.

All that said, legalizing the stuff on a federal basis is going to be trickier than rolling three joints while swinging by your knees on a trapeze in a high breeze. Plan for heavy pushback from a variety of vested interests: the cotton and oil industries. Big Pharma. Prison guard unions. Mexican drug cartels. Mexican politicians. Taco Bell. Bail Bondsmen. The Catholic Church. Zig Zag Papers. Liquor distributors. Law enforcement agencies. ATM manufacturers. ATV manufacturers. Phish.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
2.7.14
Eat Fresh Plastic

No matter who you are or where you live or what you drive or whether you thought The English Patient or Anchorman 2 the funnier movie, it is time to take a stand on plastic bread. Here's a hint: most of us are against it. Formaldehyde rinsed coffee beans? Not big fans. Flame retardants in our cupcakes? That's a big old negativo, Breaker One. And pink slime should be featured in horror films, not meat.

These heartfelt proclamations result from the wake of recent revelations that the Subway sandwich chain uses the chemical, azodicarbonamide, in its bread. Azodicarbonamide is an additive whose principle use lies in the production of plastic foam products like yoga mats and sneaker soles. Not quite what you'd expect from the company that grew to 41,000 stores by being the healthy alternative. Hey Jared, when did you guys change the motto to "Eat Fresh Plastic?"

This culinary confession has prompted reactions just a wee tad less hysterical than a carload of pre-school Catholic girls flying off a roller coaster into the pigpens of the Nevada State Fair. "SUBWAY BREAD IS SNEAKERS, PEOPLE. YOU'RE EATING SNEAKERS."

Settle down folks. You can find all sorts of stuff in our food. Cellulose, which is wood fiber. Hormones. Rodent hairs. Metal shavings. Dwarf goat beard trimmings. What part of the chicken you think the McNugget comes from? And don't forget that most omnipresent chemical of them all: the dreaded Dihydrogen Monoxide, often nicknamed... H2O.

There's a chemical known as castoreum that is used in raspberry and vanilla flavorings. The way castoreum is harvested is by extracting the juice from nearby the anal glands of beavers. Nope. Not kidding. And you think your job sucks.

Now, who first discovered that the juice of the anal glands of beavers tastes like raspberries has been lost in the sands of time -- probably a good thing. But it does lead one to suspect the trappers of yesteryear were a whole lot braver and infinitely more curious than first imagined and apparently had a huge amount of time on their hands. Not to mention a thin patina of something vaguely vanilla-ish.

Thing is, you take all the chemicals out of food, they'd be the wrong color, rot in six hours and that quarter pounder would have to be marketed as a 2.5 ouncer. There's only two ways to ensure your digestive tract is unsullied by tainted food. Grow your own or stop eating. The beauty of the latter is being able to fit into fashionably thin clothes. During that brief pre-dead period.

xBoth castoreum and azodicarbonamide are classified by the FDA as GRAS. Generally Recognized as Safe. Which seems a rather unexacting measurement where our children's food is concerned. For years Rock Hudson was GR as straight. Pluto -- GR as being a planet. Trickle down economics -- GRABS.

This public relations nightmare couldn't come at a worse time for Subway, whose foot-long sandwiches were recently measured at 11 inches. Absent one angry inch. Or maybe the foot they're referring to relates to the sneaker soles.

Rather than running away from the controversy, the sandwich maker needs to double down, by selling the American public (because they can't use it in the bread of foreign countries) azodicarbonamide as a low-fat, self-cleansing miracle additive. "Subway: Home of the Shiny Clean Colon."

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
1.31.14
Guillotine Time

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said the rich are different from us. To which Hemingway snorted, "Yeah, they have more money." And now seems like a good time to offer up a few words of sympathy for the rich. Because our wealthy brothers and sisters are going through some tough times. Not financially. No, no, no. They're doing pretty good on that end. Last year the stock market shot higher than the 4:20 break at a Denver pot dispensary on Jerry Garcia's birthday.

The fortunate among us are comfortable alright, but becoming increasingly uncomfortable, if you catch my drift. It's us nasty poor people. Again. It appears that we're picking on them. You know. Whining. Complaining. Jealous. Hungry. Rather than pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps like they did when their daddies left them all that money.

Cries of financial inequity have been so alarming lately that venture capitalist Thomas Perkins felt compelled to compare we poor to the Nazis. He wrote that while Germany's one percent were the Jews, America's one percent are the well-heeled. And did it in a letter to the Wall Street Journal. No surprise there. Where did you think he'd get it published? The San Francisco Chronicle? Progressive magazine? Rachel Maddow's blog?

Sporting a Richard Mille watch which lists for $330,000, Perkins later apologized for using the term "Nazi" but doubled down on his assertion that the rich are being demonized. The bellyaching billionaire: a uniquely American phenomena. Pretty sure the Romanovs expressed similar sentiments. The Marie Antoinette Bakery has reopened and is proud to be serving day-old cake.

Apparently, acute affluence causes the outer epidermis to shrink profoundly. Causing the prosperous to exhibit super-sensitivity to the slings and arrows tossed at their outrageous fortune. To say that reaction was loud and swift is akin to implying that Mt. Everest slopes. Many malcontents called for the Perkins to have his analogy completed by tattooing a serial number onto his arm.

But in America, that anti-rich stuff doesn't fly because folks worry that any restrictions on the loaded and bloated will come back to haunt them when their ship comes in and they themselves start rolling in it. Wealth projection. Another American exclusive.

A recent study revealed that 85 people in the world now control the same amount of wealth as half the population of the planet. Eighty-five people have as much money as 3.5 billion. Admittedly, some of those 3.5 billion people have taken a vow of poverty. But not all.

Four of America's nine richest are members of the family that owns Walmart. Really? Couldn't they pay their workers a tad more and still be four of the top 30 richest Americans? Top 100? Two million employees and the last year's profit was 16 billion dollars. That's $8,000 profit off every employee. Imagine how much more stuff Walmart could sell if each employee made $2,000 extra

They call sharks eating machines. And corporations are sharks that eat money. But even stockholders are starting to question the $100 million CEO salary. Although, its nice to know that when there's a run on guillotines, Walmart will stock a nice selection of attractively priced models. But if you want something extra sharp with a built in timer, might want to check out Richard Mille.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
1.25.14
Streaming Hulu in the Womb

Delivery drones that crash into telephone poles. Eyeglasses stockpiling video wherever the wearer walks. Dick Tracy wristwatches that do everything but tell time. The deeper into the future we proceed, the more obvious it becomes that this whole progress thing ain't all its cracked up to be.

Yeah. Sure. It's nice to have greater computing power in your pocket than accompanied Apollo to the moon, but the down side is ceding dominance in another power relationship to an inanimate object. One that keeps track of our every movement. We buy and carry our own bugs.

Indeed, we did learn how to make tomatoes mature within a month, but they taste like cardboard dipped in stagnant pond water. Placing it on the tail end of the good, the bad and the ugly of progress.

Don't get me wrong; this is no sepia toned love letter to a romantically imagined, totally fictional yesteryear. The past was lousy. It sucked big beige banana slugs from Mars. Society was primitive, boring and unjust. And slow. Today, it's pretty much the same, only faster. We're all about speed. Kids are streaming Hulu in the womb.

But perhaps we've focused too much on the new, rather than fine-tuning the tried and the true. For instance - GPS units. Used to be only NASA had them. Now 2 are in my possession. One in the car and one on my phone. But getting lost is still in the cards because both insist on steering me over cliffs or into oncoming traffic. And not infrequently, over a cliff into oncoming traffic.

Some things don't really need fixing. One-cup coffee makers are fine. For people who don't like coffee. Brewing coffee it is not a chore. It's an art. Toilets in public rest rooms. Doubt if our grandparents were ever startled by a presumptuous automatic flush. What was wrong with the big chrome toggle on the side? You could use your foot. Seems more sanitary than an unrequested butt douche.

Proceed directly to the washbasins. Who among us hasn't pitifully shuffled from sink to sink waving over, under, nearby the faucet base, trying to activate some randomly positioned unseen electric eye? Anyone watching on closed circuit cameras would think we're horizontally motivated crazy persons shooing away swarms of gnats. And don't think people aren't watching on closed circuit cameras.

The faucets that do feature handles require engineering degrees from MIT to operate. Hot on the left, cold on the right is a distant memory. Design has finally triumphed over functionality. And beware the turbo hand dryers powered by small jet engines, which replaced the automatic paper towel dispensers triggered by shoulder and elbow movements 30 feet away.

Television. Who really needs 1000 channels? By the time you've gone around the horn and scoped out what you want to watch, it's over. Of course, half the stations are flacking home gym/juicer/skin moisturizers that grow hair and clean your pet while the pounds melt away and your hose retracts automatically.

And zombies. Whose idea was it to come up with fast smart zombies? Zombies are supposed to trudge and meander. Zombies don't apocalypse. They stumble. Isn't it time to bring back the slow dim zombies? Of course we still have the Tea Party for that. Sorry. Couldn't resist.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
1.18.14
Governor Juggernaut

Avast me mateys. Off the starboard bow. Thar she blows. Looks like the Chris Christie juggernaut hit its first iceberg. And harpoons are flying in from multiple quarters. Back on the Jersey Shore, Hillary Clinton's people and Rand Paul's people are partying so loud and hard, Snooki and JWoww's people are banging on doors demanding they keep it down.

Rumors that Governor Juggernaut was a petty and vindictive bully have rattled across the borders of the Garden State for quite some time. So when it was revealed that aides shut down two-thirds of the lanes on the George Washington Bridge to punish Fort Lee's mayor for not endorsing him, it sounded as in character as the bolts on Baron von Frankenstein's little buddy. Funny thing is, when you think of the porcine politico and major arteries being clogged, traffic patterns are not what springs to mind.

Christie, however, claims to have had nothing to do with the allegations. And attempted to prove it by getting rid of the guilty staffers quicker than a shower shank thrust to a snitch. If throwing people under a bus were an Olympic event, Chris Christie would be waving from the top of the podium in Russia next month. Fortunately, the bus was stuck in traffic and never moved.

The fact is, either he knew about the GW Bridge closure and did nothing about it, which would make him a cretinous toad, or he had no idea that his staff closed down the bridge, which makes him a frigging idiot. And nobody thinks Chris Christie is a frigging idiot. Especially him.

Evidenced during a monumental press conference, where he fielded questions from reporters for almost two hours. He didn't answer many of them, but that's not the point. His peculiar attraction is authenticity and he went to great pains to appear authentically contrite and apologetic. As well as self-enamored. He's definitely a role model for that small group of plus-sized Americans big enough to have a bromance with themselves.

You do have to give it to the Tony Soprano of politics for not trying to hide behind a rock. Of course, the Himalayas being outside of New Jersey could be partly responsible for that. But two hours? Have we learned nothing from Nixon? Christie dug potential potholes big enough for both he and his special purpose to sink into.

Some experts worry this is going to end badly with construction crews forced to remove the Capitol rotunda so that cranes can lift Chris Christie and his ego out to safety in order to undergo an operation that will staple together his lips.

Then again, the whole country should get down on its knees and thank god that when Governor Bridge & Tunnel did get into trouble, it wasn't for texting naked pictures of his junk to anybody. Wouldn't have been able to scrape that image off our collective retinas with a belt sander.

t's becoming obvious that this guy doesn't run a Banana Republic, he is a Banana Republic. No man is an island, but some are pretty close to peninsulas and this particular land mass still has to be considered the odds-on favorite for the 2016 GOP nomination. He's too big to fail, and will also most likely prove to be too big to jail.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."
 
1.11.14
Ye Olde Predictions Piece: Circa 2014

The dawn of the new year signals civilization's return to several grand traditions including the ancient hoary one requiring we professional columnists to trot out the tried but true "Ye Olde Predictions Piece." Either that or the even triter but true "Ye Olde Resolutions Piece." But we wandered down that trail last year. And most likely will again in 2015.

Therefore, being the traditionalist ink-stained wretches that we here at Durstco are, it is with great pride and a certain amount of feigned dignity that we honor this revered journalistic practice. Hence, here they are: predictions of what to expect from various folks during the 5th year of the second decade of the 21st century.

In the year 2014:

Barack Obama will finally purge himself of the heavy burden of high expectations.

Lindsay Lohan will engage in activities that will trigger a slow sad shake of the head from Charlie Sheen.

Locavore chicken wings will become all the rage at 60 bucks an order.

Hillary Clinton will change her hairdo so that it looks eerily like Elizabeth Warren's.

A Silicon Valley start-up will trump Twitter by limiting users to punctuation marks. "!!!!?!"

The NRA will respond to another senseless school shooting by calling for the closing of all schools.

The NSA will ratchet up their online game- room monitoring to include Words With Friends.

The TSA will expedite passenger security by perfecting the implementation of the two handed wedgie.

Starbucks will be revealed to be in league with Amazon, charged with the goal of keeping consumers up longer so we can shop more.

The Justice Department will break laws, then conduct investigations into who told the press about the breaking of those laws instead of investigating the crimes stemming from those laws being broken.

John Boehner will encourage the nation's unemployed to move to Mexico for one of the thousands of good US jobs now there.

The Tea Party will still steer America so that it teeters on the brink of a fiscal speed bump.

Justin Bieber will visit the grave of Mother Jones and declare her a Belieber.

Congress's Approval Rating will sink below the poll's margin of error.

Washington and Colorado will experience a huge uptick in tax receipts from the sale of Funyuns and Ho-Hos.

Scientists will conclude global warming is protecting Earth from another Ice Age causing Rush Limbaugh to call for a return to diesel-powered toasters.

Chris Christie will talk his way out of a rabbit snare into a bear trap.

Joe Biden will change his hairdo so it looks eerily like Chris Christie's.

Kim Jong Un will play point guard for the North Korean National Basketball Team, then execute Dennis Rodman for stepping on his foot.

Anthony Weiner will attempt another high profile comeback and people will just laugh.

All 4 Duck Dynasty Boys will enter the 2014 Louisiana US Senate GOP Primary but will knock each other out. Literally.

New Jersey will conduct traffic studies where traffic is actually studied.

Vladimir Putin will win a gold medal in the Sochi Olympics Biathlon Event. And will do it shirtless.

The Airline Industry will make every effort to rid the skies of the most dangerous security threat known to man: passengers.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out his website: willdurst.com, to find out about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."


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