Saturday, October 14, 2017

FUN WITH DONALD & MIKE

Dear Donald and Mike:

Pardon me if I don't address you with your titles, but when you earn them, perhaps I'll consider it.  So far, you haven't.  In my mind, you're both insults to the high offices you hold (Remember? The ones We The People gave you?).

Now, pay attention, boys: "Taking a knee" during the playing of the national anthem at football games is NOT unpatriotic.  It is dissent, and dissent is the heart of patriotism in this republic.  And though it's an action that I personally would not do, I respect and support the right of these players to do it. You might say I respect and support the U.S. Constitution.

It's why I put on the uniform years ago: to protect the right to dissent in this country.  You and Don must answer for why neither of you served in the military, but meanwhile, don't use me and your "support the troops" rhetoric to power-up and politicize your self-serving positions. You want to support and respect and thank me for my service?  Get off your jingoistic soapboxes, quit your chickenhawk saber-rattling, and acknowledge that Our right to protest is protected by the 1st Amendment.

Shame on both of you morons.  Strictly speaking, you two are the subversives. 

Oh, and btw, Mike: it seems that your attending an NFL game only to leave it prematurely was a well-choreographed stunt -- a stunt that cost us (We The Taxpaying People) around $100K -- all so you and your boss could feign an act of ... wait ... could it be ... DISSENT?  How quaint, you hypocritical sonsofbitches.   


"There are men - now in power in this country - who do not respect dissent, who cannot cope with turmoil, and who believe that the people of America are ready to support repression as long as it is done with a quiet voice and a business suit."
--- John Lindsay

Friday, October 13, 2017

THE EYE HAS IT


My thanks to Dr. Morhun & the staff at the VA hospital for my eye surgery today. 

I can now see things I didn't know were there, or things I thought were something else.

(So ... THAT'S where I lost that sock!)

Thanks again to all the eye people at the White River Junction VA Medical Center.  You're the cat(aract's) pajamas!

El

Sunday, October 8, 2017

THE GREAT PUMPKIN FACEBOOK HIATUS

I LEFT FACEBOOK TODAY after several years of likes, dislikes, and waves of friends (and friends of friends) coming and going, some unceremoniously, some with big bangs.

   I did it to spend more time on a few writing projects, and because of some mad depressions, chronic Trumpitis, too many doses of TMI given and received, and a surplus of unrequited hurricanes (you’ll have to figure that out for yourselves).

   I’m also taking a hiatus from the News, real & fake, and will limit that intake to once weekly.  The Huffington Post has become a mush of Tabloidian titillations, anyway.  This actually might be fun, as everyone else will continue to be demoralized daily by #45, I can store up my heightened anticipation of outrageous-er and outrageous-er Tweets from the runamok manchild in The White House, have a good laugh, let go of it, move on and store up the seriocomic angst until the following week (rather like how Confession works).

   Sooo … after today, if anyone would like to palaver, buy my books, or commiserate on our collective national nightmare, just comment below or use the links here, where you'll find connections to booksellers and my snail- and e-mail addresses. 

   Meanwhile, a pumpkin-bodied grandson will tide us all over nicely. There's a secret of life in there somewhere.

Friday, May 26, 2017

THE DIOECIANS --- His and Her Love

THE DIOECIANS --- His and Her Love


WHO ARE THE DIOECIANS?
They are one man and one woman of the traditional opposite sexes, married later in life after surviving other marriages, divorces, lovers, deaths, abortions, children, careers and travelogues, planned and abrupt, overplayed and unrequited, and how they now lose and find each other’s mind, body and soul in the labyrinths of love --- his and hers.


Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Friday, April 21, 2017

BUT, SERIOUSLY, HOW DO YOU WRITE A HUMOR COLUMN?

What makes a humor columnist?
First, there’s the suffering:

It’s no accident that someone invented the word “seriocomic.” Nothing is funny without springing first from a grave consideration. Nothing. William Somerset Maugham’s “something irresistibly comic in our most heartfelt woes” must draw you hither. If it doesn’t, you haven’t suffered enough hither, and I’d suggest you go find some real misery if you’re planning a career in textual comedy.

Comedian Steve Martin once attributed his studying of Socrates as the foundation and springboard for his theater m├ętier, and you don’t get much funnier than Socrates when it comes to abject despair.

If I have to explain why that’s good humor column fodder, best you drink the vocational hemlock now and move on to a career in sump pump repair. (I’m not knocking sump pump repairmen; without them, I’d be writing this underwater.) But there are a few minimum requirements you must meet if the seduction of writing a humor column for a living (as my grandmother used to say) “flips your skirt.”

Accept the fact that everything ever imagined has already been written, with the exception of a rant on how to construct a truly red squirrel-proof birdfeeder (you may have this topic, with my blessing).  All that remains is style and rewrites and an ability to stylize and pen again in a way that seduces your readership like first love at a drive-in movie.

Be ready with the basic tools. If you can’t spell, and you think syntax is the price you pay for a moral offense, sweeten up your spellchecker and pick up Strunk and White on your way to the drive-in. You can keep Strunk in the trunk and send White out for Milk Duds, but they should come along for the ride. This is not to say that you can’t break the rules, but you must first know them and their abstracts. Picasso got away with having elbows emerging from ears, but only because he knew where knees belonged.

Know your markets. If Ratchet Wrench Monthly is looking for a two-hundred-word filler anecdote on the latest torque converter, don’t send the editor a thousand-word ramble on funny beehive politics.

Skip the hardcore profanity, or be willing to see your column only in profane publications. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve adorned a few silken ears with sow’s curses; I’ve just elected not to do it with my musings. Rank expletives are lazy language, anyway, and as a humor columnist, you’ll be fending off enough built-in sloth without dragging your words into it.

Lastly, be willing at the outset to sell your muk-yuks for less than zero. Sure, keep the rights to your works, but if your rewritten historical stylisms are destined for seriocomic greatness, they’ll get there, along with the livelihood.

Publish or perish, and be willing to work out a payment plan, for now, with your plumber.

* * * * *
Senior Wire News Service Syndicated Humor Columnist B. Elwin Sherman writes from Bethlehem, NH. He is an author, humorist, poet and agony uncle columnist. His latest book is "Dear Witbones" -- Ask A Humorist!, now on Kindle and in paperback, from Curry Burn Press. You may contact him via his website at Witbones.com. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.