A letter to President Bush.

Dear President Bush,

I would like to congratulate you for nominating Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to the Supreme Court, where he would join such prominent justices as Antonin M. “Nino” Scalia. Hopefully his confirmation will be swift.

I would also like to take this occasion to suggest the following federal judges for any Supreme Court vacancies in the near future:

  • Anthony A. Alaimo
  • Ruggiero Aldisert
  • Thomas L. Ambro
  • Richard J. Arcara
  • Paul J. Barbadoro
  • Carl J. Barbier
  • Marianne O. Battani
  • Melvin T. Brunetti
  • Guido Calabresi
  • Richard A. Caputo
  • Richard J. Cardamone
  • William J. Castagna
  • David S. Cercone
  • Samuel Conti
  • Alfred V. Covello
  • Joseph A. Diclerico, Jr.
  • Paul V. Gadola
  • Arthur J. Gajarsa
  • Richard A. Lazzara
  • Joseph A. Longobardi
  • Kenneth A. Marra
  • William J. Martini
  • Frederick J. Martone
  • John R. Padova
  • Frank J. Polozola
  • Reena Raggi
  • William J. Rea
  • Charles J. Siragusa
  • John E. Sprizzo
  • Dominic J. Squatrito
  • Joseph L. Tauro
  • Michael A. Telesca
  • Ursula Mancusi Ungaro-Benages

I assure you, they are all judges of the highest caliber.

Sincerely,

Vincent D. Viscariello

This entry was posted on Monday, October 31st, 2005 at 12:56 PM and is filed under Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Silent “c.”

Yesterday’s indictment of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby exemplified one of my many great observations about politics, morality, and life in general: Half the trouble you get into is caused by lying about the other half.

Look at Bill Clinton. If he had simply been honest about the whole Paula Jones-Monica Lewinsky fiasco, he would not have been impeached, found in contempt of court, fined, disbarred, etc. At least, not on that occasion.

Look at Richard Nixon. If he had simply been honest about Watergate, instead of trying to cover it up, there probably would not have been as intensive an investigation. There would have been no recommendation of impeachment from the House Judiciary Committee, and he wouldn’t have had to resign. And everybody would just love Nixon nowadays.

For now, it looks like no one committed any crime regarding the actual leak of Valerie Plame’s identity. That may change, but for now, no one’s been charged with the crime of “leaking”–and yes, I know it has a fancier name than “leaking.” But, if the indictment is true, Scooter lied about when and how he learned Valerie Plame’s identity. Which messed up the special prosecutor’s investigation. Which is a felony. Scooter got in trouble not for the act, but for lying about the act. Sound familiar?

(I think the real shame of the whole thing is that it took attention away from debating the merits of Joseph Wilson’s claims about the war. Those of you who pay no attention to the news may ask, “Who’s Joe Wilson? Who’s Valerie Plame? What?” In short, Wilson took a trip to Niger to investigate claims that Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake uranium. When he got back,Wilson said Bush invented reasons for the War in Iraq. It turns out that Wilson was lying about the trip himself. Plame matters because she’s Wilson’s wife and works for the CIA. Which was supposed to be a secret.)

Oh well. Don’t lie, scumbags. You’ll save yourself half the trouble you get into.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 29th, 2005 at 6:25 PM.

4 Responses to “Silent “c.””

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 29th, 2005 at 9:03 PM

Kinda funny how some people still think Clinton was the best president the US had seen in the latter part of the 20th century, despite the fact that he was a habitual liar. Er, wait… maybe Clinton was a great president because he wasn’t sure of the definition of ‘is’.

Either way, he looked like a scumbag to me.

  1. apushisfun Says:
    October 30th, 2005 at 3:03 PM

well it seems to me that, to state the obvious, clinton is a stupid idiot for lying to the supreme court. and it seems to me that mr. v likes making links to other websites. well isn’t that marvelous.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 30th, 2005 at 4:53 PM

As much as I dislike him, I did not intend this to be Clinton-bash time… he’s not the one currently under indictment. And my links are in fact “marvelous,” put in so that maybe people can learn some more stuff about various things.

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 31st, 2005 at 5:12 PM

…but Clinton-bashing is so much fun!

A rational analysis of the Victory of the White Sox.

As a Cubs fan, I am trying to decide which is the most logical interpretation of the White Sox’s victory tonight (and if anyone knows the correct possessive form of “Sox,” let me know). The most likely possibilities:

1. The Victory of the White Sox bodes well for the Cubs. The Red Sox won last year after the third-longest wait in major league history (86 years), and the White Sox won this year after the second-longest wait in major league history (88 years). Therefore, logically, the Cubs will win next year after the longest wait in major league history (next year will be 98).

2. The Victory of the White Sox completes the ultimate karmic insult to the Cubs. Two years ago the Cubs, the longest-cursed team in the majors, were five outs away from going to the World Series when everything went… well, let’s just say “wrong.” Then the baseball gods rubbed it in by allowing the 2nd and 3rd longest-cursed teams to win the Series in the next two years. One of those teams, of course, was the Cubs’ crosstown rivals.

3. My arrival in Chicago gave the White Sox the additional karmic boost they needed to overcome their drought. Therefore, logically, a major Chicago sports team will win the championship every year I live here.

If it’s number 3, I should send Mayor Daley a bill.

This entry was originally posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2005 at 12:44 AM.

4 Responses to “A rational analysis of the Victory of the White Sox.”

Doctor Hmnahmna Says:
October 27th, 2005 at 8:03 PM
You forgot the following:

4. If the Cubbies pull it out, it will signify the end of the age.

5. The Bears will continue to suck. After the Blackhawks in ‘06, the Bulls in ‘07, the Cubbies in ‘08, and the Apocalypse in ‘09, there will be no more opportunity for the Bears. Can the power of the Ditka hold off the Second Coming long enough for one more Bears championship before Judgement Day? Probably not.

jmanpc Says:
October 29th, 2005 at 1:32 PM
Possibility 5: The White Sox are really good and the Cubs suck.

I dunno. It just seems logical to me.

Possessive form of Sox: Sox’s (Good job, you got it right. Maybe you should pursue a career in elementary education and teach small children the meaning of the phrase ’such is life’. It’d be great if more small children were sarcastic and cynical; especially if they shunned the stupid kids. You know, like the ones who think 2+2=22. Speaking of stupid people, you could teach the munchkins to enjoy politics, because there are too many politically incompetent people around, like the people who think raising minimum wage will solve all poverty problems. Little kids should know basic economic principles like inflation… but I digress.)

Vincent Viscariello Says:
October 29th, 2005 at 6:28 PM
Typical jmanpc… sucking up after you’re out of my classes. A bit “politically incompetent,” wouldn’t you say?

jmanpc Says:
October 29th, 2005 at 8:57 PM
Sucking up by saying you should be a elementary school teacher? I dont think so. I just enjoy your sarcasm and cynicism. And I hate stupid people.

The new “James Bond” may be a wuss.

I was schlepping around on the internet this afternoon when a headline on the Drudge Report caught my eye:

New Bond: I hate guns…

Surely, Ian Fleming is rolling in his grave. Bad enough that this clown, Daniel Craig, has blond hair. Bond is supposed to be a heavy-drinking, chain-smoking, mildly cruel, womanizing badass like Sean Connery, not a whining, fair-haired, panty-waisted ninny who spouts drivel about how “scary” guns and bullets are.

I know, I know: Daniel Craig isn’t really James Bond, he’s just an actor playing a fictional character. Well, hopefully he can pull off not acting like a wuss. He could also use a last name.

Even more disturbing is this quote from Roger Moore, who acted in more of the crappy Bond flicks than anyone: “Today I am completely opposed to small arms and what they can do to children. I played every role tongue-in-cheek because I don’t really believe in that sort of hero. I don’t like guns.” Let’s break this down:

  • “Today I am completely opposed to small arms and what they can do to children.”

First, which children are we talking about? Second, nobody likes “what they can do to children.” But everybody likes what guns can do to thieves, rapists, murderers, terrorists and pumpkins.

  • “I played every role tongue-in-cheek because I don’t really believe in that sort of hero.”

Is that what it was? I used to think that Roger actually played every role tongue-in-cheek because he didn’t really believe in a golden-gunned, triple-nippled supervillain with a Solex Agitator; or an underwater city housing the progenitors of a race of superhumans; or a space-based city housing the progenitors of a race of superhumans; or a seven-foot henchman with metallic teeth who can chew through steel bridge cables and survive a fall from a plane without a parachute; or twin KGB assassins who double as knife-throwers in a circus; or an octopus cult made up of hot female superspies—the leader of which of course falls for Bond, the man who made her father kill himself; or a secretary who will give away her boss’s secrets and take a bullet for Bond within sixty seconds of meeting him; or a hot Russian female spy whose code name just happens to be a pornographic movie rating; or the whole concept of a seemingly ageless superspywho can drive, fly, operate, defuse, break, fix, shoot, stab, beat up or have sex with absolutely anyone or anything he wants without consequence… but I was mistaken! I guess if they’d just written Bond’s Walther PPK out of the scripts, then Roger would have played it straight.

  • “I don’t like guns.”

We should have known; Roger’s hair was the wrong color, too.

[Dear Bond-philes: What somewhat unlikely events/people from the Moore movies did I leave out?]

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at 5:59 PM.

6 Responses to “The new “James Bond” may be a wuss.”

  1. aabrock Says:
    October 25th, 2005 at 6:45 PM

I read that article too and was also surprised that Moore intentionally played Bond as “tongue-in-cheek”…I always thought it was the direction that the producers wanted to take theseries, I mean how else can you explain the increasingly cringe-worthy puns and heroine names that have gone on since he left? I hope we are not gearing up to be disappointed in Casino Royale.

Regardless, I still like the guy because of:
1) his extreme niceness in real life
2) his relative lack of ham-iness in For Your Eyes Only
3) http://darrellreimer.com/?p=101

Speaking of the new Bond, he is kinda short and blond but he can play it serious…Layer Cake was a pretty good movie.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 25th, 2005 at 6:54 PM

Don’t get me wrong, I do like Roger Moore (and he was good in Live and Let Die, also). But what he said created a disturbance I haven’t felt since… well, it just aggravated me, that’s all. It seems to me that an actor who opposes guns shouldn’t star as a hero who relies on them to save the world.

  1. aabrock Says:
    October 25th, 2005 at 8:15 PM

Well while we are here, let me see if this will stire things up:
http://www.cinematical.com/2005/10/24/cinematical-seven-the-best-bond-movies/

Now I am not saying that I agree with everything on here (replace Goldfinger with FRWL) but at least someone else appreciated Timothy Dalton and plots that don’t place earth/silicon valley/instanbul on the edge destruction. And enough with the nuclear weapons; what did master spies ever do before the atom bomb?

  1. scrappy Says:
    October 26th, 2005 at 7:02 PM

I have always had the dream of blasting a pumpkin into bits with a shotgun.

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 26th, 2005 at 7:54 PM

ive always had the dream of blasting crappy james bonds with a shotgun.

  1. domthebomb Says:
    November 4th, 2005 at 6:47 PM

Roger Moore is my favorite Bond. And Live and Let Die is my favorite Bond movie (so far). Moore was cool, Sean Connery was just skanky.

Mr. V’s Generic Recommendation Form.

Due to the large number of student recommendations I’ve had to write since leaving Paxon, I have decided to post a generic recommendation form. Simply copy the text into a Word or Works file, change the date, replace [full] with your full name, [first] with your first name, and “her” with “his” or “him” when necessary. Also, note in the second-to-last paragraph, I say that I will only date or marry women with your name–well, if you’re male, you’ll need to add an “a” to the end of your name or use a feminine form of your name. I’ve put everything you need to edit in boldface. When you’re done, just put a couple of letter “V”s followed by some squigglies for a signature. Good luck.

. . .

[today’s date]

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to strongly and emphatically recommend [full] for admission into your university. It shocks and appalls me that she would even need my recommendation. One would think that the mere presence of her name on the application would automatically lead to admission—one, that is, who knows the real [full].

My first encounter with [first] was on August 14, 1972, nineteen months after I was taken prisoner in Viet Nam. My captors tortured me, kept me in solitary confinement, and starved me for weeks at a time. They tried to make me denounce my country, but I knew that if I could stay strong long enough, my country would come through for me. Finally, after three Special Ops units had been wiped out in failed attempts to rescue me, the Pentagon sent her in.

I will never forget that steamy day when she parachuted in and wiped out every VC within five miles. I will never forget it: the screams of my captors as she butchered them, the door to my cell being blasted open, and then [first] coming through with the head of a prison guard impaled on her bayonet. Nor will I forget her sheer elation upon learning that a shell-shocked, beaten, tortured man such as myself could, having grown heartless and bitter throughout the brutality, still shed a tear, joyous at the sight of a savior’s friendly face—[first]’s face. For beneath her cold, ruthless, bloodthirsty exterior was the warm, nurturing heart of a loving soul.

[first] saved my life. [first] taught me calculus and archery. [first] is ambidextrous and telepathic. [first] knows the etymology of every word in the OED and always uses the correct verb tense. [first] knows the last ten digits of pi (π) and can divide by zero. [first] can carve ice sculptures with chainsaws and can etch secret codes on grains of sand with her heat vision. [first]dug the Grand Canyon with her mighty pickaxe and destroyed Atlantis when its people displeased her[first] saved Earth from [first name spelled backwards]her evil twin from an alternate universe—and her army of giant robotic bumblebees.

Knowing [first] has truly changed my life. On my back I have tattooed “[first]” in 58 languages, including Egyptian hieroglyphics, Elvish and Klingon. I will only date women named [first], and my wife will be named [first]. I am going to name all of my children after her. I shall name my daughters [five feminine variations of your first/middle names], and they shall be beautiful and graceful. I shall name my sons [five masculine variations of your first/middle names], and they shall be handsome and strong.

Understand that your failure to admit [full] will bring the full fury of my wrath down to bear upon every employee and trustee of your puny university, as well as their loved ones. You don’t want any of this. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Vincent D. Viscariello

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2005 at 3:58 PM.

9 Responses to “Mr. V’s Generic Recommendation Form”

  1. aabrock Says:
    October 21st, 2005 at 10:32 AM

Wow Dom, I had no idea you taught Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry! Also, try your hand a writing a few madlibs…I think you have what it takes.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 21st, 2005 at 1:12 PM

Aabrock, it is totally unrealistic to suggest that I am old enough to have taught John Kerry.

(Next time I talk to you, if I call you “ab-rock” instead of your real name, I apologize.)

  1. Vivienne Says:
    October 21st, 2005 at 8:47 PM

My name is male. Same as my middle name (mom and her grandfather were “tight”- as those young people say- and needless to say, my middle name is his name, just spelled different).
The masculinity of my names pose a problem for that almost-last paragraph.

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 22nd, 2005 at 5:59 PM

i might actually use that and see what happens

  1. donnimikk Says:
    October 23rd, 2005 at 11:09 AM

Do you think Harvard will let me in with that?

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 23rd, 2005 at 11:51 AM

Into what?

  1. Cetentae Says:
    October 31st, 2005 at 11:12 PM

I’m glad I never asked you for a recommendation!

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    November 1st, 2005 at 3:59 PM

You should’ve; you’d be in Harvard, gratis.

  1. PaxonGator Says:
    November 24th, 2005 at 9:54 PM

Off and sent to JU, knew there was a reason for them waiving my application fee.

Nightmare.

Normally, I am aware of the context of my dreams; I am aware of certain assumptions or premises that lead into the story. Not so in the one I had a few nights ago…

The dream begins with me in a tuxedo at a wedding. I am confused, because I have no idea how I got here. I’m looking around, trying to figure out whose wedding it is, what I’m doing here, what my character’s motivation is, et cetera.

It is my wedding. My friends Evans, Patton, and Chip are standing as groomsmen, I see the bridesmaids, and the minister is my friend Tim. I see the guests, my family on the right side of the church and the bride’s family on the left. But I still don’t know who the bride is.

I think it might be a certain girl from college, whom we shall call “Martha Quinn”—in which case I’d be utterly fascinated to know how the hell I pulled that off. Or perhaps it’s a certain girl from after college, whom we shall call “Ingrid Bergman”—in which case I’d be utterly fascinated to know why the hell I pulled that off.

The minister gives the go-ahead, and, shivering with anticipation, I turn to my bride and pull back the veil.

And then I just plain shiver.

She is not attractive. At all. She is the antithesis of attractive. If I had commissioned artists to draw “pug fugly,” they could not have come up with this. Actually, that may not be true; she looks like Moe Szyslak, except blonde and uglier. And she is smiling at me.

With fortitude heretofore unknown to Mankind, I refrain from showing my revulsion. The PG-rated version of my first coherent thought is: “There is no way I will consummate this marriage.” How can I? I desperately want to vomit and she’s still got her clothes on.

I look to the minister, hoping to see some hint on his face that this is all a big prank. No such luck. I look at the groomsmen. They’re smiling, happy for me. So are the bridesmaids. So are the families. Everybody in the building is radiating pure joy. This is not good.

A little context here would be useful, but there is none. As God is my witness, I have no idea how this happened. How did I meet this woman-thing in the first place? How could I have asked her to marry me? Had the courtship, engagement, and ceremony all been arranged five minutes ago while I was in the bathroom? Hadn’t I ever been sober enough to call it off, or had I been drunk, high and in a coma since we first met?

My mind races, trying to figure out how to get out of this, fast. Should I just object when the minister asks? Do they even ask for objections at weddings anymore? Should I say, “I don’t” when the minister asks, “Do you?”

I look at the woman-thing’s family. They’re beaming; happier than pigs in slop. They look like the type of nurturing, supportive family that would tear me limb from bloody limb, right there on holy ground, if I didn’t marry their girl. So I can’t just make a break for it. I’ve got to go through with it, for now.

Maybe I can have the marriage annulled. Or I can get a divorce–hopefully, tomorrow. I mean, I don’t even know what her name is, where she grew up, what her favorite song is, what her cat’s name is, what she wants out of life… that’s a good excuse, isn’t it? How bad would it look that my first marriage lasted a day? Would I have to go into hiding from her family? How do I explain to her that there will be absolutely no honeymoon-suite festivities, tonight or ever? After all, I’m a sensitive guy and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Still smiling, I am in total panic. This is the worst nightmare I’ve ever had. This is worse than the one when I fell out of the airplane. This is worse than the one when I was shot by an axe murderer. This is worse than the one when I saw my sister gunned down on national television. This is worse than the one when I saw “Martha Quinn” and a four-year old boy who looked an awful lot like me (it turned out okay; I escaped). This is even worse than the very first nightmare I can remember, when Kermit the Frog turned into a vampire.

Finally, the moment of total, perfect, absolute doom comes, and the minister begins to ask the question: “Do you…”

Mercifully, my alarm woke me.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 16th, 2005 at 8:26 PM.

14 Responses to “Nightmare.”

  1. Area2 Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 12:16 PM

In case you have another nightmare like this, go ahead and get married and kiss the bride. The worst that could happen is that she turns into Kermit the Frog. You could do worse.

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 3:31 PM

how do you know she wasn’t thinking the same thing?

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 3:46 PM

Impossible, for two reasons:
1. I’m not blond.
2. I’m “The Bomb,” remember?

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 7:02 PM

1) okay…almost the same thing. minus the “blond” part.
2)Oh, you thought “the bomb” had positive connotations?

just take comfort in knowing that somewhere in eastern germany a woman named ADOLWOLFA was waking up in the same cold sweat.

[Moderator: East German woman’s name altered to protect her privacy.]

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 12:48 AM

I must admit that I did think “the bomb” had positive connotations when used as slang. Maybe I was wrong, but I’m going to need some empirical evidence.

So for the next week, if something upsets me, I will say, “That was the bomb!” If the Bears lose to the Ravens next week, I will say, “Man, those Bears are the bomb.” When my roommate’s cats (one of which is named “Vinnie,” incidentally) sneak into my room just to aggravate me, I will say, “Quit being the bomb, you little bombs!” When I get cut off in traffic, I will call the offending driver a “motherbomber.”

And we’ll see how that goes. Then, the week after that, I will revert to using it as connoting positivity. When I finish reading Former Mormon Student’s book, I will say, “I am the bomb, for I have finished the book.” When I call up my five year old cousin, I will ask my aunt, “Hey, can I talk to The Bomb?” When I get my Italian roast beef sandwich at Portillo’s, I will finish it and scream, “That sammich was the bomb, holla” at the top of my lungs.

I will then make a rational, scientific judgement about whether it is better to be “the bomb” or not. None of which changes the fact that the monster in my nightmare was ugly.

  1. aabrock Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 12:53 PM

Interesting dream…wish I could sympathize but I can only empathize as I hardly ever remember my dreams. There is only one dream in my life I can specificly recall: being chased by a giant in-makeup Gene Simmons, inspired by a freaky KISS pinball machine. But even though I do not remember dreams I know it when I AM dreaming. On multiple occasions I am 100% certain that it is a dream and not only that I have the power to wake up whenever I want. Seems like you needed that power in your dream…

And am I the only one that laughed at Dom being SHOT by an axe murderer? Had he misplaced his poison?

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 2:06 PM

Actually, in some of my dreams I do have that “power.” Example: in one I was dressed up for Halloween as a rock-n-rollin’ demon and chasing this miniature version of… oh, never mind.

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 5:05 PM

don’t talk about your wife like that!
oh and your roomie’s cat’s name is ironic…because the greatest nickname for you ever would be “Vinnie the Pooh”-spelling optional. (it works much better spoken.) And feel free to gather empirical evidence as to the connotations of “pooh” as well.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 9:15 PM

Now, domthebomb… when you leave comments like that, it makes me think you don’t love me. (I can’t find the smiley that actually sheds tears.)

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 19th, 2005 at 3:47 PM

😥

  1. jaxaca Says:
    October 19th, 2005 at 7:26 PM

i enjoyed the shooting axe murderer as well ‘aabrock.’ I guess there are better ways to go.

  1. Doctor Hmnahmna Says:
    October 24th, 2005 at 9:31 PM

Just remember, it could have been, say “Myanmar.” Then I would have at least had a twinkle in my eye.

Is ordination inherited?

Hm.

  1. Lassie-v 5.0 Says:
    October 27th, 2005 at 6:30 PM

Thanks alot Mr. V. now I’m gonna have a freakin’ nightmare too. oh well what can ya do?
-You favorite ex-student whose brother you also taught

  1. Simplexity17 Says:
    November 5th, 2005 at 1:31 AM

“Hadn’t I ever been sober enough to call it off, or had I been drunk, high and in a coma since we first met?”

I laughed at this for a very long time. At least it was just a dream…

It seems your personal anguish tickles me, but only because it was all only in your head. Which brings me to the point of commenting, do you have a problem with blondes? I should hope not…Oh yes and by the way, I am pleased to no end that your sense of humor is still in tact. “…destroyed Atlantis when its people displeased her…On my back I have tattooed ‘[first]’ in 58 languages, including Egyptian hieroglyphics…”

A useful button.

I would like to be able to activate my car’s center brake light without hitting the brakes. Hopefully this would cause the tailgaters to back off. I want to be able to look in my rearview mirror, see that the impatient moron behind me is so close that… well, so close that I’m worried I’ll get hit, smirk my little smirk, and, with the James Bond theme playing in my head, press… The Button.

The driver behind me would see the center brake light and panic, believing that I’ve actually slammed on my brakes in the high speed lane of a major interstate with no other cars in sight. And as he reflexively hit his own brakes, hopefully spilling his coffee in his lap, I would calmly pull away, still going the same 5-miles-under-the-limit-speed that caused him to ride my bumper like that in the first place.

I’ve already got the perfect place on my dashboard for The Button: the passenger belt warning light that looks like a perfectly pressable button. Whenever someone’s sitting there without her belt buckled, the light starts flashing. I immediately lean over to press it, hoping that this will be the time it’ll activate the ejector seat, or electrocute the passenger. No such luck. So as long as it’s sitting there, doing nothing, I may as well turn it into The Button.

Since I’m on the subject, I think the hazard light button on my dashboard should also have enhanced functions. If I were an alien sitting in my Corolla for the first time, and I saw a black button with a red triangle within a red triangle, I would assume that that button activated a heads-up targeting system for miniguns or guided missiles (the hazard symbol has always reminded me of the targeting lights from Predator). The perfect place for the firing mechanism would be the overdrive toggle on my gear shift. I never use that thing anyways; it’s always on.

Never mind what prompted these thoughts, because I know you’ve had them too.

All this, of course, assumes that I have any working knowledge of automotive electronics, which I don’t. So I must turn to my dear engineering friends from Clemson. This is your hour.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2005 at 3:22 PM.

7 Responses to “A useful button.”

  1. twink Says:
    October 14th, 2005 at 9:15 AM

You could always get a bumper sticker that says “Get off my ass or I’ll shoot”.

  1. clarkkent Says:
    October 16th, 2005 at 1:20 PM

mr. v

i just want to disregard your post and call you inspirational and fawn over you because youre hot and stuff. but if i was commenting on this particular post, id say that youd have to have t.w.d. install a flux capacitor to your car, because time travel is far more useful than a fake brake like….if you are appealing to clemson engineers that is.

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 16th, 2005 at 4:16 PM

So drivers in Chicago are just as inconsiderate as they are in Jacksonville? This must be stopped.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 16th, 2005 at 8:36 PM

Clark–

I would laugh at the first part of your comment if I didn’t know you were being sincere. But instead I’m going to eat a grilled cheese sammich.

  1. clarkkent Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 9:36 PM

touche, mon frer….

  1. Doctor Hmnahmna Says:
    October 24th, 2005 at 6:25 PM

I’m too busy to put in the flux capacitor. You’ll just have to make do with the nuclear reactor I’m assembling.

  1. Simplexity17 Says:
    November 5th, 2005 at 1:45 AM

Genius, pure genius. But due to my lack of this fine device I am forced to actually “brake check” the…um…[insert word here]. In fact, today, as I was pacing myself at a steady 70MPH along Toll Road 417 on my way home from UCF for the weekend I was being tailgated and, because of my lack of “The Button” I was forced to actually remove my foot from the accelerator and tap on the brake. She proceeded to drive up beside me, roll down her window, yell at me that she was in a hurry, shoot me “the bird” and get back behind me where she immediately continued to tailgate. Yes, The Button would make millions. Start working…

Hockey.

I wish I could have grown up playing hockey, even though I would have been horrible at it. What a great sport! You’re wielding a stick with a curved blade, blasting away at a hard rubber puck which at the right speed can maim an inadequately protected person, slamming your opponent into a fiberglass wall with bone-crunching malice for the amusement of bloodthirsty rinkside spectators– and ice-skating, which is always romantic.

My favorite player in hockey, or in any sport right now, is Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I first learned about him in 1993, my last year in high school. What impressed me most that season was not that he was the best player on the two-time defending champions, nor that he was regarded as the next Gretzky. It wasn’t even that he won the Pearson Award (players’ MVP), the Hart Trophy (writers’ MVP), and the Art Ross Trophy (top scorer with 160 points; second place had 148). What impressed me most about Lemieux was that he won the Pearson, the Hart, and the Ross despite missing 24 out of 84 games due to radiation therapy for Hodgkins’ lymphoma.

If you think about it, that’s even more impressive than my winning 25 consecutive paper football games in seventh grade.

Anyhow, to the point: Thank God the NHL is back from that ridiculous lockout. I’ll never understand why professional hockeyballers. whose minimum salary was $180,000 and average salary was $1.8 million, would go on strike or force a lockout by the owners. I would give my left foot to play professional soccer; you’d think these babies could tolerate a salary cap.

I do wish that the Stanley Cup had been stamped with the names of the champions of Canadian amateur hockey for 2004-05. That would have been a nice touch, especially since the trophy originally went to amateur teams. It also would have been a nice jab at the professionals, who apparently thought they made so little money that they chose to make no money at all in the 2004-05 season. How principled.

But there were two silver linings to the lockout. First and most important was that the NHL, hoping to draw fans back after the lockout, made some changes that should increase goal scoring and improve game flow. The games have been more exciting and higher scoring so far, but we’re only a few days into the season. Here’s hoping the good times last. (And here’s hoping FIFA considers making some changes, too.)

The second silver lining was that the lockout gave Lemieux, who is 40 years old now, more time to recover from injury and get “re-charged” for this season. The Penguins are as yet winless, but they’ve been exciting to watch. Their new wunderkind, Sidney Crosby, has five points in three games… nice to see a rookie on at least one of my favorite teams can perform.

Happily, now that hockey’s back, the summer of 2006 will be as wonderful as I expect every even-numbered-but-not-evenly-divisible-by-four summer to be. Why? The NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Finals, and the World Cup in Germany. Also, I don’t have to worry about a barrage of political ads leading up to the Presidential election. And, of course, it won’t be as hot or humid up here as back in Florida.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 9th, 2005 at 10:48 PM.

5 Responses to “Hockey.”

  1. MyCreativeAlias Says:
    October 10th, 2005 at 2:38 PM

GO FLYERS!!!!

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 10th, 2005 at 4:17 PM

i like watching people beat each other up.

  1. jaxaca Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 4:18 PM

I agree that hockey’s return is nice. Maybe I can finally wear that Avalanche jersey that I’ve had for some time now. It has my name and everything. However, with that said, I must emphasize the “betterness” of Western conference hockey over the East…man do I miss Colorado.

  1. ktea Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 5:29 PM

I admired you called them hockeyballers, that really made my day. However, I do believe there are 2 people more excited then you about hockey being back, and that’s my brother and father. I blame them for all of my violent tendencies, all those hockey games I was forced to watch. I love it now though, if you come back to Jax you should see the Barracuda’s they are not half bad. We went to see them during the absence of the NHL.

  1. Simplexity17 Says:
    November 5th, 2005 at 1:54 AM

I love the insertion of romanticism in your somewhat violent opener…]]>

Tired.

I have finally returned to the Land of Lincoln and Portillo’s after my second 2200-mile trip to Florida for a death in the family in the last two months. I am exhausted. Either I need a psychiatrist to get me over the old fear of flying or an anesthesiologist to put me under for the duration of the flight.

I received several history and economics textbooks from my grandparents’ estate. Some people want money, or land, or jewelry… not me. Give me history texts that predate the Roaring 20s and economics texts that predate Keynes. There’s also a calculus book thrown in, so I figure I’ll reteach myself calculus. Without a $100 calculator.

It was good to visit Paxon–especially since I knew I could leave whenever I felt like it! Ahhhh.

Thankfully they hired someone to replace me, so it was safe to go in and see The Boss (no, not Dr. Williams, he’s just “The Man.” Coburn is “The Boss” because she was most likely to murder me if I screwed up). I saw most of the folks I wanted to see, though I ran out of time to visit some. Those who were glad to see me said so, which felt good, and those who weren’t kept their mouths shut! All around, an uplifting end to an otherwise solemn trip to Florida.

Apologies for grammatical and spelling errors; I’ll fix them tomorrow. Good night.

4 Responses to “Tired.”

Hara0050 Says:
October 6th, 2005 at 4:25 AM
mr.v: you are hot. and i registered a whole darn page just to post this, ha!

apushisfun Says:
October 7th, 2005 at 3:41 PM
[Moderator: the italicized changes are due to some questionable verbification and a Rule #1 violation]
well i hope you felt the love from me even though i didn’t come up to you and bother you like FRO-BOY. (in psych.) bothering aside, it was good to see an intellegent teacher walk the halls of paxon. maybe some of your greatness will come back to the school or something. lol

PaxonIB Says:
October 7th, 2005 at 4:59 PM
glad u stopped by! We appreciated the visit! … nice…!! history texts.. sounds lot like me! what’s better than loads of history??? lol.

jmanpc Says:
October 8th, 2005 at 6:06 PM
am i a nerd or what? i quoted you for my senior quote.

Response to Comment on "On the passing…"

(I wrote enough of a response to a comment that I figured I’d make it a post:)

Dear “Domthebomb,”

First, allow me to congratulate you on your nickname. Now, to some of your points:

  • “…how you could actually pass judgment on a man who isn’t even alive to defend himself…”

Shall I kill myself so that you can’t criticize me anymore? And do you really think that anyone aside from Hitler could effectively “defend himself” by convincing me that killing himself was a good idea? Especially considering that I already think I’m right about absolutely everything?

Again, maybe if there’s intense, terminal physical pain, there might be an excuse. But there’s good reason to assume that this was not the case here.

(By the way, don’t give me this “pass judgment” garbage; it’s ultimately just a fancy way of saying “have a negative opinion.”)

  • “I can’t believe you would profess to know why he did something so uncomprehendible…”

I didn’t say I knew why he did something so incomprehensible, I said I could guess, which by definition means it is comprehensible. Please re-read the post, distinguishing “what I know” from “what I think” and from “what I could guess.” I readily admit that I don’t know why, even though I could make some pretty good guesses based on (A) published reports, (B) personal reports from friends, (C) memories of the person in question, (D) friends and family who have committed or attempted suicide, and (E) previous life experience.

  • “unless you have personally experienced the pain he must have gone through.”

What if I had and I’d sought help? What if I hadn’t? It’s irrelevant. Should people refrain from discussing suicide simply because they haven’t experienced suicidal ideations or attempted it themselves? Should I really take back “Remember kids, killing yourselves is bad” due to lack of qualifications? (Okay, maybe due to lack of taste.)

  • “Although it seems you don’t think he suffered anything more than excessive pride and selfishness.”

You misread the post. He obviously suffered from far more than that, but again, I think that his “twisted,” “insidious” pride probably kept him from getting enough help for his core problems… such as “some extreme physical or psychological drama,” as you put it.

  • “Not everyone realizes this existentialist vomit about living because others will miss you…especially when they’re enduring intense pain.”

I agree entirely (except I wouldn’t call it “existentialist” vomit. Read L’Etranger; Mersault didn’t care). But how should we apply that thought? Giving them a free pass? Or, perhaps, by explaining to them that they will hurt us by killing themselves? No, it won’t prevent every suicide. But mightn’t spewing that particular “vomit” stop a few suicides here and there?

  • “In the first you admit what an ‘arrogant jerk’ you’re being, but in some great savior-like technique you accept this burden, sacrificing your image for the greater good of humanity, and possibly even some mixed up kids [Moderator adds: and mixed up adults].”

You know me; it’s no burden. It doesn’t matter that I’m arrogant and a jerk, therefore it in no way encumbers me and adds nothing to my (admittedly impressive) nobility.

  • “Still, you shake your finger at him, you can’t seem to forgive him…”

Don’t get me started on “forgiveness,” sweetheart. I believe very firmly in forgiveness and I have forgiven much and have been forgiven much (apologies for sounding like Bush there… forgive me). I happen to know that Richard’s friends and family have forgiven him. As in “verifiably.” I forgive him as much as I can, which is to whatever extent I was hurt–again, I wasn’t a close friend of his.

But there is an important lesson to be learned here, brought into sharp focus by the untimely, accidental death of my cousin a week ago… I can forgive her for everything she’s done, but I can also criticize her actions–the same ones I’ve forgiven–because we can (and had better) learn from them. I’m making a new paragraph here and italicizing and boldfacing, so pay attention:

There is a difference between forgiveness and permissiveness.

I can forgive an action while at the same criticizing it. I can forgive an action while at the same time doing whatever I can, be it little or much, be it tasteless or not, to prevent it from happening again.

  • “Pat yourself on the back, I’m sure you have.”

Well, I’m a good-deed-doer. That’s my thing. It was good to see you today.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 3rd, 2005 at 9:37 PM.

8 Responses to “Response to Comment on “On the passing…””

  1. PaxonIB Says:
    October 4th, 2005 at 8:22 PM

hey Mr. V. It was nice seeing you yesterday. Funny that you mention “The Stranger” by Camus… we are reading that in Olin’s class!
See you at our graduation..!

  1. Lassie-v 5.0 Says:
    October 4th, 2005 at 9:29 PM

Nice long post. I’m not sure who I agree with but it’ll probably end up being the poster not the repsonder, though domthebomb did make some good points, Mr. V. made better responses. [Moderator comments: YEAH! Take that, Domthebomb! FFFFACE!] I was also informed that you were at school yesterday and walked into my computer class right afteri left. Danr i missed ya but youre gonna be at graduaation right?

  1. jassymane06 Says:
    October 5th, 2005 at 2:35 PM

Ok all the philosophy is killin me, and honestly, not to dicredit either dispute, but both are opinions. One beleives in not criticizing the dead, while Mr. V beleives criticism is allowed even if someone’s dead. I however have a problem with how the dispute was carried out. If someone is expressing their OPINION it is necessary to try to understand where said person is coming from (as is necessary in most disputes). NOTE that I didn’t say you must agree. God no, Where would the fun in the world be if we all got along! But beforeanalyzation, you have to understand what is being said. And it takes a wise man to hear and understand an argument and still dispute it.
Just my lil rant for today.

  1. donnimikk Says:
    October 5th, 2005 at 5:05 PM

Firts of all, if you can’t figure out this alias, you’re not as clever as I thought, coach. ANyways, I certainly agree with you on this subject. Often, people pass up subjects that need to be talked about so that no one is offended. All too often, I’ve noticed that people only think from their pespective, and if we all just stepped out of ourselves and sat on the outside looking in, we all might be able to lighten up, and your classmate might have been able to deal with his issues.

  1. jaxaca Says:
    October 5th, 2005 at 9:43 PM

A bit off topic, but I was reading your haiku entry and it inspired me…for at least twenty minutes. As a result, my friend and I came up with many fake haikus…having nothing to do with nature at all. They were funny nonetheless and therefore made them worthwhile. See Mr. V? You are inspirational, but I’m pretty sure you knew that. As you may know, in the good old ib program, we are reading the Stranger, so we know exactly what you are talking about. Anyway, I enjoyed your short visit on monday and hope you come back soon. Now, since you know that I go to that school that you taught at, and that I was maybe just possibly one of your former students you can put your deductive skills to work.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 5th, 2005 at 11:23 PM

Dear Jaxaca,

I will do no such thing. It’s almost midnight and I’m tired.

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 10th, 2005 at 4:57 PM

yeah i don’t talk english real good. ok ok… i could respond to each and every one of these responses to my response, but I am too lazy so i will agree to disagree…until the next time you write something really lame [Moderator comments: But everything I write is really lame! I’m a loser and I wish I could be as smart as Dombthebomb! boohoo ] No hard feelings. Later.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 10th, 2005 at 5:53 PM

Holy crap, I didn’t know I could do smiley faces on this thing! Testing:

The real moderator for this website claims not to remember making those comments, and interprets “I will agree to disagree” as “Lo, I am wounded, and must withdraw.”

Anyways, just send me $500 for correctly guessing your true identity.

On the passing of a former classmate.

Warning: This may seem harsh.

I got a phone call a few days ago from Mr. Shreve, a former co-worker at Paxon, who had also taught at Stanton while I was there. He asked, “What year did you graduate from Stanton?” Now, when he asks this, it’s because one of my schoolmates did something notable, whether good or bad. Sometimes it’s something impressive; sometimes it’s something sad; sometimes it’s simply to show what a small world it can be. So I told him the year, and then he gave me the name of this classmate.

Every so often, you’ll know how a story turns out after reading just the first line or hearing just the first words. This, sadly, was one of those moments. I knew as soon as I heard this name that this classmate, Richard, was dead and it wasn’t an accident.

On the twelfth, Richard hanged himself in his office. He was an editor of a university newspaper, and had been pretty good at it. Apparently he spent his last hours writing instructions to his staff so that they could continue to publish the same quality of newspaper he’d helped produce. Good luck to them without their captain.

The latest online edition of his newspaper is full of tributes to Richard. I read story after story about a man who was sharp, thoughtful, helpful, and totally committed to his work and his friends. He was admired and loved by the people writing these articles.

And evidently that wasn’t good enough for him.

I wasn’t a close friend of his back in high school, and I hadn’t seen him since graduation. I could guess at his reasons for committing suicide, but they’d just be a guess. I don’t know what he was thinking or feeling; I’m not psychic and I’ll never read the suicide note. But I can safely say this:

After reading about your friends’ wonderful memories of you, Richard, it is painfully apparent that you hurt them. You have deprived them of someone they loved, someone they relied on. As much as you loved them, you insulted them—either by not seeking their help and support, or by not heeding their help and support. And now, you can’t simply walk into your office one day and say you’re sorry. An apology on a suicide note won’t cut it. Leaving instructions for how to go on without you won’t cut it. You have hurt them in a way that you can never fix. What you did was sadly selfish, and I hope they forgive you. I expect they will.

I know, most people “aren’t thinking straight” when they kill themselves. And some people have painful terminal illnesses, which might mitigate their actions (though the remnants of Catholicism in me might disagree). But when such an intelligent, capable, young person as Richard commits suicide I think it’s as much due to a twisted form of pride as it is anything else. Did he really think his problems were so big that if he couldn’t solve them alone, then no one could? Or that even if he’d gone to others for help, they wouldn’t be competent enough to help? Or that his friends’ troubles were so slight that they could afford to deal with the lifeless body of a loved one in a place they thought of as “home”?

There are people who will do anything for a friend, but refuse to let a friend do anything for them. This is pride in its most insidious form—the pride of believing that no one is able enough to help you. And I suspect that this, ultimately, is what felled Richard.

I can imagine people admonishing me: “you weren’t in his position,” “you didn’t even know him,” “you weren’t even his friend,” “what you wrote was in poor taste,” “you’re an arrogant jerk.” All true. But I think of this kid back in high school—and how much he reminds me of a few people I met in college, and a few people I met in various jobs, and a few students at the high school I taught at—and think it’s more important to discuss the topic than to simply gloss it over by avoiding the possibility of offense or impropriety.

So, in short, Richard: whatever your troubles were, you were not the first person to have them and you will not be the last person to have had them. People loved you and would have helped if only you’d asked, and then let them help. May God rest you in peace

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2005 at 4:43 PM.

8 Responses to “On the passing of a former classmate.”

1. jassymane06 Says:
September 24th, 2005 at 8:31 AM

    Wow Mr. V., that was amazingly inspirational.

    2. Lassie-v 5.0 Says:
    September 25th, 2005 at 7:56 PM

      Yes, I agree that was very inspirational. I admire you for saying what most would not. I believe you were the best teacher at paxon. and on a lighter note you should vist my brother sometime, as he is up there in the navy. If you would, for some reason like to contact him [brother’s name moderated by moderator to “Fluffy”] his number is 777-FILM [number moderated also], he might not answer so just leave a message, and you should probably leave him a way to contact you also.
      -5.0

      3. Vincent Viscariello Says:
      September 25th, 2005 at 9:13 PM

        Well, inspiration is what I do. Remember kids, killing yourselves is bad.

        4. Vivienne Says:
        September 28th, 2005 at 6:59 PM

          The whole “pride” thing is off the mark. It has nothing to do with pride. It’s part fear that if he shares his problems with someone then maybe they’ll end up feeling like he does.
          But mostly, it’s being selfish, like you said. Self-centerdness in only thinking of himself and not how him all of a sudden not being there will affect those around them. The sudden absence of someone who was just laughing with you the day before is sorely felt, for quite a while (my friend didn’t succeed, however, and did come back). It’s selfish in even thinking that no one wil care if they slit their wrists or whatever method and even more so if they know they will be missed. It’s all aspects of the word selfish rolled into one and looking like a tourniquet.
          Just my opinion.

          P.S.- sorry I didn’t come up with a mind-boggling alias, it was all I had.

          5. domthebomb Says:
          October 3rd, 2005 at 8:13 PM

            well if it is a blog-here’s my use of the first amendment.

            wow
            …how you could actually pass judgment on a man who isn’t even alive to defend himself…I wouldn’t comment, but I probably know him nearly as well as you do.
            I can’t believe you would profess to know why he did something so uncomprehendible…unless you have personally experienced the pain he must have gone through. Although it seems you don’t think he suffered anything more than excessive pride and selfishness. Honestly, I doubt he was just having a bad day. It’s not a natural instinct to destroy oneself, so there must be something wrong, some extreme physical or psychological drama. Not everyone realizes this existentialist vomit about living because others will miss you…especially when they’re enduring intense pain.
            Personally, the last two paragraphs are my favorite. In the first you admit what an “arrogant jerk” you’re being, but in some great savior-like technique you accept this burden, sacrificing your image for the greater good of humanity, and possibly even some mixed up kids. Bravo. And the last paragraph…nice touch actually talking to the defenseless man you just beat up for the last two pages. Real classy. Still, you shake your finger at him, you can’t seem to forgive him…but you’re not a jerk, this is just a public service announcement “Remember kids, killing yourselves is bad”. Classier still. Well, you really talked me off a ledge. Pat yourself on the back, I’m sure you have.
            Oh, and I don’t disagree so much with what you were trying to do, just how you did it.

            6. Vincent Viscariello Says:
            October 3rd, 2005 at 9:19 PM

              You know what, I had so much to say about “domthebomb”’s comment here that I made it my next post. Congratulations, comment… you’re now a post.

              7. domthebomb Says:
              October 3rd, 2005 at 9:25 PM

                uh-oh.

                8. SUGARBUMPS Says:
                October 7th, 2005 at 3:10 AM

                  [Moderator changed name per rule #1]
                  Well, interior dialouge aside… I think that is true that we don’t want to admit those things about suicide, we just try not to concern ourselves with the dead and how we honor them in their death and ignore their previous choices, no matter how vile the person was. (Not talking about the young man who commited suicide, for he did not seem vile. )

                  The Pledge.

                  A US District Court in California recently ruled in favor of Michael Newdow, an atheist, and stated that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public school is unconstitutional. For now, this only affects a handful of school districts in California, but it could eventually have greater effect—the 9th Circuit (AK, HI, WA, OR, CA, MT, ID, NV, AZ), or the entire country. Some thoughts:

                  • Does including the words “under God” in the Pledge—which no level of government should be able to force anyone to say—truly constitute an “establishment of religion”? It’s not as though President Bush said, “We are all going to be Eposcipal– Episco– Epis– we’re all going to be Baptists now.”
                  • One of Newdow’s arguments was that his rights were violated because he was made to feel like a “political outsider” and that his ability to “fit in” was inhibited. Great news! According to this jackass, we have a constitutional right to “fit in”! That must be in the Twenty-Eighth Amendment that was passed while everyone was distracted by Katrina. Well, it’s about time, because I’m sick of being a lefty in a right-handed society. I’m sick of having thirteen toes in a ten-toed world. I’m sick of women telling me I have beautiful blue eyes, not ugly brown ones. Where’s my lawyer?
                  • Newdow, the plaintiff, strikes me as a busybody. There is a saying, “Don’t make a federal case out of it,” which would apply here. For Christ’s Sake, just tell your kid: “I’m an atheist, and I am going to raise you to be an atheist.” The same as I’ll have to tell my children one day: “I know what your teacher taught you, but as long as you’re living in this house, you will use Roman numerals.”
                  • Was the status quo really so intolerable that Newdow felt compelled to take this “bold stand” against a Pledge that nobody is forced to say, that a minority of people actually take seriously, and that a majority of people don’t even remember the words to? Does he think that because his daughter (a Christian, by the way) might hear the words “under God,” or even say them if she chose to, that he is as oppressed as, say, Rosa Parks? Or the Japanese-Americans in the internment camps during WWII? Or the Cherokees marching along the Trail of Tears? Or anybody else who actually had a real-live valid gripe about the government?
                  • How can teacher-led recitation of the Pledge be considered a violation of the Establishment Clause, without some higher court eventually finding the Pledge itself to be unconstitutional on the same grounds?

                  Ultimately, the issue is the constitutionality of the “under God” version of the Pledge. Or of our motto, “In God We Trust.” Or of the use of Egyptian and Masonic religious symbols on our money. Or of the Constitution’s own mention of “the Year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.” So here are some potential solutions to this “crisis”:

                  1. Remove “under God” from the Pledge. Upside: Restores the Pledge to its pre-1954 text, which was undoubtedly constitutional. Downside: God unleashes earthquakes, floods, and locusts upon us.

                  2. Replace “under God” with “under the supernatural or natural force, or lack thereof, of my own choosing.” Upside: Covers all the bases. Downside: Too wordy. Doesn’t flow.

                  3. Replace “under God” with a phrase from the Declaration of Independence. For example:

                  • “under Nature’s God,” who entitles us to have separate and equal station with other nations.
                  • “under our Creator,” who endows us with certain unalienable rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
                  • “under divine Providence,” which gives teachers the opportunity to teach two more terms which could show up on the SAT Verbal.

                  Upside: Recognizes the historical influence of religion on the founding of our country in a way that will probably irritate Newdow even more—just for the sake of irritating him. Downside: Runs the risk of having the Declaration of Independence declared unconstitutional, which would immediately return the United States to British colonial status.

                  Seriously, though, I like #3.

                  PS. Two Mormon gentlemen just knocked on my door to share a message and I turned them away. I’m in a lot of trouble.

                  This entry was posted on Friday, September 16th, 2005 at 4:18 PM.

                  6 Responses to “The Pledge.”

                  1. Anyone USA Says:
                  September 18th, 2005 at 10:51 PM

                    You must be lonely. But not lonely enough. Try a roast beef sandwich. And then visit Cicero for other worthwhile discoveries.

                    2. MyCreativeAlias Says:
                    September 19th, 2005 at 11:02 AM

                      Guess who, bi-otch….

                      Well, all I’ve got from this posting is that this Newdow fellow is clearly a toolbox. Since I’ve practically been given divine powers… (long story, but it ivolves me somehow ending up holding the holy water at a recent funeral and having since been surrounded with a heavenly, Belushi-esque glow… like I said, long story)… I’ve decided to condemn this attention-starved [noun redacted by moderator for utter lack of taste] to a life of watching that crazy, pink-haired lady on TCN do impromptu interpretive dancing to “Our God Is An Awesome God”.

                      3. Vincent Viscariello Says:
                      September 19th, 2005 at 1:19 PM

                        That’s a little harsh, isn’t it? And don’t you blaspheme in here, don’t you BLAS-pheme in heeya!

                        4. Lassie-v 5.0 Says:
                        September 26th, 2005 at 4:56 PM

                          I too like #3, although MyCreativeAlias’ idea is pretty good.

                          5. domthebomb Says:
                          October 3rd, 2005 at 7:24 PM

                            why do we need a pledge at all? most of the little kids don’t even know what they’re saying…

                            6. Vincent Viscariello Says:
                            October 5th, 2005 at 11:31 PM

                              We need a Pledge because in 1892, the United States was conquered and its citizens enslaved by a race of multicolored cloth monsters from Mars. They have been merciful thus far and I for one don’t want to antagonize them.