Commentary: Newsflash! The Peter Files Blog of Comedy Announces its 2008 Primary Political Endorsement
As regular readers may be aware these comedy, satire, joke, commentary and video pages have long engaged in politically based humor, much of it aimed squarely at the cucumbent President of the United States of America, George Herbert Walker Bush.
Because of that, the fact that this "noble" blog might actually follow in the footsteps of Ted and Caroline Kennedy in making an official primary election endorsement, may come to no surprise to them.
Surprising instead, may be our contention that we can predict with absolute certainty that our endorsement will be just as valid after the primary elections, as before, because of our special tracking of the humor pulse of Americans during these last three years.
We can also predict with confidence that if large numbers of Americans fendorsement in the general election this fall, will have a positive impact on World opinion of the United States of America and of America in General.
If you saw the State of the Union Address made by President Bush last night you could not help but be struck with the depth of the problems facing out nation. While not facing disaster, or a World War, we nonetheless face crises that require teamwork and ideas from all sectors from our society. These serious problems also require national leadership from a President capable of intelligent leadership uniting both sides of the aisle.
Do you know enough about the candidates to say that any of them have those essential leadership qualities? So many do not. This is why we at the Peter Files Blog of Comedy have decided to step out of our role as humorists, satirists and comedians and write a bit about these elections and take the rare step of making an endorsement.
In this, we are reminded of the fact that we are all Americans and in times like these the one thing we need to do is take a hard look at all the candidates, and for many of us this might mean making a hard choice, even though may go against the grain, even though it might make you or us uncomfortable, even though it may even go against generations of practice among our/your family and friends value and practices, in the end, if you are convinced you are doing the right thing, the conscientious thing, at least for the office of President, you may find peace and satisfaction ultimately in your decision that you have not known before.
In considering following the endorsement of The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, you may well ask yourself, why should I listen to the advice of a small but lonely voice on the internet? Especially one so often full of satire, humor and jokes and rarely engaged in well documented political discourse?
Why? Because you can. You may disagree. But in this age of the Internet, where so many of us effectively have our own printing presses with the ability to print our own version of Poor Richard's Almanac, or any other political idea via our Constitutionally protected freedom of speech via the Bill of Rights we now have the ability to find like minds is unsurpassed in human history. Perhaps the ideas here, which stand or fall on their own merit as all ideas should, are ones that will resonate within you. We hope so. If not, please feel free to comment if you feel your ideas are better. Share your ideas instead. I try to check for comments every day.
The only comments we edit out here, are those with obscenity (avoid the 7+ words you can't say on television, this is a safe for family blog) or those that are robot generated spam. Feel free to include your blog's address at the end of your comment. Just have a relative comment please.
You have the freedom, and the right, to add to this discussion, intelligently, where you can, or add a relevant joke. Yes, this is still a comedy blog after all, but let us not forget, even Ben Franklin was known to crack a joke or two, but don't think we're claiming his level of genius.
The answer for why you should consider our endorsement is that, as small a voice as this blog may be, if you listen to your conscience, if you truly examine the reasoning here, then take a hard look at the candidates, and actually look at their credentials and what they really offer the country, your choice in this matter will become clear to you.
You may follow our endorsement solely because you think it is clearly the only right moral and honest, responsible, thing to do. It certainly passes the philosopher Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative test: essentially, an action is acceptable if you yourself can live with the consequences if everyone else does it too. There are certainly those who would agree that this would be true.
You may will recognize, as we do that it has already become clear that in this election year that there truly is one clear choice, one moral imperative that all responsible Americans must choose when their primary election comes up, even when they fear, as many do, that in following our endorsement, what we believe is the best and most patriotic choice for these perilous times, the choice needed to tell the world that America, regardless of whatever mistakes we have made, or have not made in the last years is at heart a stronger country than it was before with the ability to choose a leader that represents of our nation.
With this in mind, the Peter Files Comedy Blog Officially Endorses for the 2008 Primary and General Presidential Elections:
That You VOTE!
Believe it or not, we don't want to proscribe who you should vote for. Naturally, some of us have strong preferences. But please, just vote. Encourage others to do the same. IF you are one of those who can vote but have given up on the process or have never voted before and are eligible to vote please do what it takes to vote this year.
We hope that you will also take the time to listen to the candidates in the primary elections, and make an informed decision at the polls, even if it means crossing party lines (regardless of which way you cross - if you feel you should do so this election).
Note: Regular readers of this blog might assume that this blog would endorse either ***Senator Obama*** or Senator Clinton automatically and that they would be safe from our reporting of the kind of jokes, jibes and jabs that have been floating around President Bush since this blog was first published.
We would like to think that with incompetence, bad luck and slow news days, comes satire, bad jokes, and funny videos, and so, whomever becomes the next President of these United States in January, (or February, September. whatever of 2009), the clock will be ticking until the first really bad post-election jokes start to hit.
Of course, some Presidents of the United States of America have been easier to make fun of after awhile in office than others.
(Tricky Dicky Nicky, NIM+, I've fallen, oops, oops, Billy beer, killer rabbit, Bedtime for Bonzo, blue dress, cigar, killer pretzels, pronunciation, "See George, See George Read, See Buildings Fall, See George Read After Buildings Fall, Why George?, Why George, Why?, This is Iraq. This is Afghanistan. These are WMD's. This is Osama. See George look for WMD's instead of Osama. Why George, Why?)
Come to think of it, except for Bush senior, they've all been pretty easy to make fun of. Even taciturn President Calvin Coolidge and he he didn't say anything.
My favorite famous and I think true Calvin Coolidge joke was:
Lady: I have a bet with my friend that I can get you to say more than three words.
Coolidge: You lose.
+ Hoping to boost consumer confidence in a post-oil OPEC huge inflationary price increase period President Gerald Ford started a publicity campaign around millions of small red and white WIN buttons standing for Whip Inflation Now. Unfortunately, almost immediately cynics began turning the buttons upside down chanting NIM! NIM! NIM! No Immediate Miracles.
So, The Peter Files Blog of Comedy is not endorsing a person this year.
In fact, barring mental lapses or late discoveries of genocidal tendencies of Presidential Candidates in the General Election we intend to do our best to stay out of the actual endorsement process of an individual. That is not the same thing as even coverage. We are a comedy and commentary blog and write about whatever we want to. Period.
However, the discussion of this or that issue in re a specific candidate may come up from time to time if it seems illuminating, or funny, or both.
What we are doing is sincerely encouraging everyone to vote, regardless of political preference, except pseudo-Nazi's, racists, terrorists of every kind, and haters in general, sorry, hate is just antithetical to the underlying idea of a comedy blog, even we draw the line there.
This shows the importance of knowing who you are voting for. Imagine going into the polls as a Republican, seeing two names on the ballot, Arthur Jones and Michael Hawkins. Not knowing which of the two to vote for, which would you pick?
We also wish to strongly encourage you to help those who wish to vote, to vote early in areas where early or advance voting is possible, such as or like in Cook County Illinois.
Peter voted today, boy was that cool. No line. The Illinois Elections are next Tuesday, Thursday is the last day for pre-voting in Illinois.
And if you are registered to vote, and don't because you are too darn lazy? Then you gentle reader, should ask yourself: "What's wrong with me anyway?"
Note: Those with serious medical conditions, like depression, anxiety disorders, and other serious medical problems should never consider themselves lazy. But you may be able to get more help from local election officials than you realize in getting assistance in voting via an absentee ballot. Really. But see if you can't get yourself to the polls or get an absentee ballot, you'll be glad you did, even if you "cancel out" the vote of that irritating jerk across the hall.
Thank you for considering our recommendation for this election year. On behalf of the Peter Files Blog of Comedy... I remain,
Can't help it, its time for some more blonde jokes sent in by a blonde reader who wishes to remain nameless. She went to court and tried to remove her name and was angry when she found out that she would have to replace it with a new one.
Remember, many of these could apply to blonde males, and of course, feel free to use your word processor to search replace these jokes with the hair color of your choice. They are just as funny. In fact, they probably mostly stand without any reference to hair color at all, but then, we have to keep the dark and red hair color industry in business, now don't we.
Q: How do blonde braincells die? A: Alone.
Q: Why did the blonde stare at frozen orange juice can for 2 hours? A: Because it said 'concentrate' on the label.
Q: Did you hear about the blonde couple that were found frozen to death in their car at a drive-in movie theater? A: They went to see "Closed for the Winter".
Q: How do you get a one-armed blonde out of a tree? A: Wave to her.
Q: Why did the blonde tip-toe past the medicine cabinet? A: So she wouldn't wake up the sleeping pills.
Q: How do you confuse a blonde? A: Ask her to alphabetize a bag of M&Ms.
Q: Why does it work? A: "Does 3 come before E, between M and W, or at the end?"
Q: How does a blonde kill a fish? A: She drowns it.
Q: What do you do when a blonde throws a pin at you? A: Run like heck... she's got a hand grenade in her mouth.
Q: What did the blonde say when she knocked over the priceless Ming vase? A "It's OK Daddy, I'm not hurt."
Q: Why do blondes hate M&Ms? A: They're too hard to peel.
Q: How do you know when a blonde has been making chocolate chip cookies? A: You find M&M shells all over the kitchen floor.
Q: What job function do blondes have in an M&M factory? A: Proofreading.
Q: Do you know why the blonde got fired from the M&M factory? A: For throwing out the W's. Clearly more blondes are needed in Washington!
Q: Why don't blondes like making KOOL-AID? A: Because they can't fit 8 cups of water in the little packet.
Q: How can you tell if a blonde's been using the computer? A: There's white-out on the screen.
Q: How can you tell if another blonde's been using the computer? A: There's writing on the white-out.
Q: How do you know that their boss is a blonde? A: There are red pencil corrections over the screen and white-out.
O.K. this one is really mean.
Q: Why do blondes put their hair in ponytails? A: To cover up the valve stem.
This isn't much better.
Q: Why do Blondes have TGIF on their shoes? A: Toes go in first.
Q: Why don't blondes double recipes? A: The oven doesn't go to 700 degrees.
Q: Why don't blondes make good pharmacists? A: They can't get the bottle into the typewriter.
Q: What do you call a brunette with a blonde on either side? A: An interpreter.
Q: What do you call it when a blonde dies their hair brunette? A: Artificial intelligence.
Q: What does a blonde owl say? A: What, what?
Q: What happened to the blonde tap dancer? A: She slipped off and fell down the drain.
Q: What did the blonde say when she looked into a box of Cheerios? A: "Oh look! Donut seeds!"
Q: What did the blonde say to the physicist? A: "Why, I just _love_ nuclear fission! What do you use for bait?"
Q: What's brown and red and black and blue? A: A brunette who's told one too many blonde jokes.
I was blonde when I was little, but then I grew out of it.
Often, as CTA riders will tell you, riding the CTA can bring you surprises from the public, both good and bad. This is the nature of public transportation, where the public is part of the show.
I have a friend of mine who is blogging who has encouraged me to add more personal experiences to my writing here, so in the spirit of this post I will mention the time I was riding the No. 72 North Avenue bus, eastbound one day, on my way to the Red line El, though then it was called something else, when a young woman wearing only the tiniest bathing suit I had ever seen decided to sit next to me on the bus. I was 22 and it was very hot on the bus that day.
She was about 8 years older and clearly out of my league and the 2 silent miles we rode together until I sadly got off for the El were ingrained in my mind for a long, long time as a very pleasant CTA surprise indeed. There are those of you who might perhaps think I lost an opportunity that day. I refer you to Joao Gilberto's version of The Girl from Ipanema and rest my case.
For those of you who think after all of the arguing about transit funding for CTA in the region that there is nothing fun about riding or being a customer of CTA, here is some proof that at least some of CTA's customers have a sense of humor.
On Saturday, January 12, 2008 a group of about 70 people participated in "No Pants 2k8 CTA Chicago" organized by a New York group called Improv Everywhere - We Cause Scenes which has hosted similar No Pants events for a number of years in New York City. In addition to NYC, this year's event has included Chicago, Boston, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Toronto, Canada and Adelaide, Australia, at least so far.
The group, founded by Charlie Todd, sets up its events, or missions, through "underground operatives" organized via web postings, email, and facebook.com pages, cell phones, pagers and other methods to organize scenes which are supposed to be surprises for the general public.
So there could be more No Pants 2k8 events, in addition to the 10 already sprung before the year is out depending on response to what already has happened this year. On the other hand, the group has also sponsored many other varied missions, so who knows what its next Chicago mission will be? One can only hope that they will do something equally exciting on CTA, perhaps in nicer weather. I can't help wondering if their participation would have been greater in nicer weather.
Now before you get too excited, I should point out that all of the participants in these videos are wearing underwear. The objective of the event is not to shock observers, but to give them a laugh and a story to tell the people they know. Something to dine out on you might say. "Hey, you'll never guess what I saw on the Red Line Saturday!"
It probably won't hurt the story that most of the participants are young and good-looking either. Though anyone can participate, and that's the way it should be. If you look at the New York Video at the end, where the mission has a longer track record, you will see that the crowd is not only much larger, but much more diverse.
The first video, is the CLTV, well, coverage of the Chicago event by the local cable news outfit. I note the pun at the end that it was pretty nippy weather out there.
The second video is footage that seems to be from someone from the group, or several some-ones in the group and seems to record the journey of the train that picked up the participants station by station as the red line train they all joined proceeded back North picking them back up. During this trip, interestingly, they were joined by a few instant volunteers who got into the spirit of the event.
The group was not a rowdy group by the way. Part of the event was they all ignored each other and their own pants-less state. If anyone asked them why they were wearing no pants, they were supposed to look down and say something on the order of "Oh, I forgot!".
For and overview, here's the Today show clip talking about the national scene followed by some coverage from Boston and New York.
Here's the very funny Fox News coverage from Boston's No Pants 2k8, catch the comments by the MBTA policeman in charge of security at the end of the clip for the best laugh in the clip.
This post would not be complete without coverage from New York City where 900 people participated. This video, compiled by participants was very professionally done and has lots of priceless reactions from New Yorkers.
I can't help noticing, how clean Chicago's CTA looks after seeing this video. I think the CTA mantra of Clean, Safe, On-Time and Friendly has really paid off over the years.
I hope you enjoyed these. Lots of fun. Nice to see someone out having fun on transit.
I urgently needed a few days off work, But, I knew the Boss would not allow me to take leave.
I thought that maybe if I acted "Crazy" When he would tell me to take a few days off.
So, I hung upside-down on the ceiling and made funny noises. My co-worker (who's blonde) asked me what I was doing. I told her that I was pretending to be a light bulb, So, that the Boss might think I was "Crazy" and give me a few days off. A few minutes later the Boss came into the office and asked, "What in the name of good GOD are you doing?" I told him I was a light bulb.
He said, "You are clearly stressed out." Go home and recuperate for a couple of days." I jumped down and walked out of the office...
When my co-worker (the blonde) followed me, the Boss asked her, "..And where do you think you're going?!" (You're gonna love this....)
She said, "I'm going home too. I can't work in the dark.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008 7:30 and Thursday, January 24, 2008 7:30 pm
(last new audition at 9:00 pm)
Callbacks Sunday, January 27, 2008 4:30 pm
Audition & Callback Location: Trinity Methodist Church 99th & Winchester in Chicago (1/2 mile east of Western Ave.)
Seeking: Actors, singers, dancers, age 18 and older from any ethnic background to fill a cast of up to 40 people with 10 principal roles (5 male/5 female) Newcomers are always welcome to audition. A photo and resume is not required though previous experience will be an advantage.
Also seeking assistance with backstage crew, set design and building, makeup, props, costumes, program ad sales, and many other background help areas.
SHOW DATES: April 3 –6, 2008 at the New Beverly Art Center, 111th & South Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60643
Please prepare a song from the show, or bring your own music for a song of your choice (musical theater style). Dress comfortably as there will be a dance audition. Those auditioning will read from the script, so prepared readings are not required.
For more information: call 312.735.6588
About the BHUCSF The Beverly Hills University Club was started in 1924 to provide “good fellowship among members” and social activities continue to be an enjoyable part of the club, but in 1932 a more important goal was established: “To provide as many college scholarships as possible for deserving high school graduates in the Ridge District”. The bulk of the money for these scholarships comes from the Broadway Musical we produce each year, a tradition since 1956.
Many area residents have given time to this cause—several have been members for over 35 years, and even a few who have belonged for over 50 years. Today BHUC is a club of more than 100 members who work together to produce one musical per year to raise money for local area college scholarships.
You do not have to be a member to audition, though over the years many of those cast in BHUC productions have become members and even have gone on to co-produce the annual show themselves!
The Peter Files Blog of Comedy is glad to support the Arts by listing Free notices of area auditions and productions. Please submit such materials as far as possible in advance to Thepeterfilesblog at gmail dot com
While Chicago area listings are preferred, free posting of audition notices from out of area productions will be considered due to the wide readership of this blog, including heavy readership on the East and West Coast, Europe and further abroad. Production photos are also welcome. As with any individual blog, the easier it is for me to package your material into a post, the more likely and more timely the information can be posted.
As long as it applies to all mortgages and not just homeowners, its a great idea. I've not seen the legislation so I am not sure which it is. See my reasons why below in the message I posted on Gary Washburn's blog Clout Street. Washburn is the Chicago Tribune's Transportation Editor as well as all or any of the other beats he carries. I hope Washburn goes ahead and approves it for his regular readers.
Eric Zorn did approve yesterday's comments that I made for his blog about the Free Senior riding plan and that brought several new people here to read more about it. To read more on my comments about CTA over the years, just put CTA in the blue search box above and make sure "Peter Files Blog" is the selected option.
If the state legislators and Governor can't figure out a way to fund CTA, a STATE agency, & transit in Illinois, perhaps we should start to vote them out. Every darn one of them, up and down the state. Democrat and Republican, until we can get a legislature that can work together.
There's no darn reason that up-state and down-state Illinois should have to put up with this petty politics year after year that continually brings things to a standstill.
Look buckos: this state needs transit, it needs roads that are in good repair, it needs well funded schools. All over the state. Not just in the six county region, not just in Cairo. Needs may differ in different areas, but our need to pull together for the mutual good is ongoing.
Watching the ongoing infighting & picking away at State vital resources is sickening.
Picking away at CTA year after year is akin to peeling away the county road structure one road at a time. Chicagoan's shouldn't have to put up with it anymore than farmers should have to put up with losing local roads and bridges to serial decay.
We have to find a way to fund them all. Because the consequences are real and affect the whole state.
What the Tribune story this morning about bus rider diversions after service cuts missed was that there is a limit to how far people will walk to take the bus, how long people will wait to take the bus, and how much crowding people will tolerate on a bus before they take an alternative to transit.
And don't kid yourself, these folks are not going to be car-pooling, and many of these new drivers are going to be without insurance in sub-standard cars, with no clear plan to park where you drivers are parking right now.
Think it won't affect you? Just one bus that might be cut can carry about 75 cars worth of people into the loop. But worse yet, the story talked about thousands of people diverted to rail. EACH rail car can carry about 800 cars worth into the loop. Wonder if your favorite parking garage is going to be full when you get there Monday morning.
I have no problems as a homeowner with the transfer tax. At least it is a stable source of income for CTA.
It better be applied to commercial properties though, right? They flip over a lot more than our homes do. Also, homeowner transfer taxes impact transient homeowners disproportionately, those who come in and out of town for only a few years because their job moves them around. If you are a long time resident, it should not hurt you much. It will also help build stability in our neighborhoods and works really well in other states.
Another benefit, unlike a straight sales tax, when the economy tanks and food and TV sales fall, and banks buy up a lot of commercial and local property as investment, sales tax revenue may fall, but the mortgage transfer tax is a lot more recession proof. In fact, if we get hit with a big oil based inflation, transit is protected.
So, if the economy tanks and you lose your job, at least you won't have to deal with rising CTA fares. Besides, you're going to roll the cost of that tax into your mortgage and wind up deducting it, right?
The way transit's been funded here is something we've had to cringe far too many times. Lets get the CTA operational funding taken care of for a good long time so that the CTA can do real long range planning instead of uncertain piecemeal stuff rocked and hostage to ongoing doomsday scenarios.
Look at all these service cuts. I wonder how many person years went into planning all those X bus routes. They built ridership too. CTA ridership for bus has been stable for the first time in its history. But if we let those jerks in Springfield cut CTA service, the fall in CTA use will not be CTA's fault, and we should throw those bums in Springfield out.
Each and every non-cooperating one of them.
Peter, Chief Editor and Spelling Wrecker The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire, Jokes, Commentary (this) and Videos Http://thepeterfiles.blogspot.com
I know that this is not my usual funny, funny, ha, ha, stuff. But sometimes, even poor tired achy disabled persons such as myself have to fight through the pain to say what they believe to be right. I am not old enough to benefit from the Free Senior riding plan. Free door-to-door paratransit riding at $16 to $18 a ride is just unfundable. So, we do what we can as a society.
But CTA is really needed.
Oh, if you can see the graphics, I'll try to add them to this post after a bed break, note that CTA's ridership fell for decades and then stabilized after some really hard internal work on serving its customers better which included much better research methods, better training, real capital investment, and a big change in CTA's corporate culture from the top down and inside out. Killing the agency after those kind of improvements sends a message to government agencies all over the state who watched it that there is no point to working hard for the citizens of the State, that it is a dummies game and that you are a fool to put in the effort. Is that the message the legislature really wants to send?
Then, I realized that Washburn's column was not the place to post this, and put a cleaned up, re-written version in the comments section of the actual story forum, where it may get lost. Here it is. We'll see if either show up.
If the State Legislators and Governor can't figure out a way to fund CTA, which is a STATE agency, maybe we start to vote them out. Every darn one of them, up and down the state, Democrat and Republican, until we can get a legislature that will work together. There's no reason that Illinois citizens should have to put up with these destabilizing petty politics year after year that continually bring things to a standstill. State government is supposed to serve the state’s vital needs, such as roads, schools, and transit. The way our State’s legislators pick away at CTA year after year is akin to peeling away the county road structure one road at a time, or forcing IDOT to consider closing lanes of its expressways. CTA’s customer base shouldn't have to put up with the threat of losing their jobs by seeing maps like those in today’s papers, farmers should have to put up with the threat of losing the roads that help them bring their goods to market. We have to find a way to fund all vital services because the consequences are all to real and ultimately and affect the whole State of Illinois. The Tribune story failed to mention that CTA service cuts usually lead to ridership losses rather than rider diversions. Yes, some riders will switch because they have no other choice, but this paper has reported that a huge share of CTA riders choose to ride CTA. I expect that if the legislature fails to act on time, we will see those who can drive on local expressways, city streets, and competing for current drivers spaces in local parking lots, because there is a limit to how far people will walk, how long people will wait, and how much crowding people will tolerate before they take an alternative to transit. Don't kid yourself, these folks are not going to be car-pooling come Monday morning, and many without insurance in sub-standard cars, and little recent experience. Let’s hope for good weather Monday. Think it won't really affect you? 320,000 riders will need a lot of cars to get around. Frankly, I can’t even get my head around the impact. Can you? Wonder if your favorite parking garage is going to be full when you get there Monday morning. If Blagojavech and Madigan blow this one it will make Bilandic’s snowstorm look like a day at the beach; and they won’t be able to blame the Mayor for this one. CTA is a state agency, not a department of the City of Chicago. All legislators have to do to make me happy is find a stable fix to the operations funding problem. As a homeowner, I have no problems with the mortgage transfer tax as long as it applies to commercial properties too. At least it is a stable source of income for CTA. The sales tax as a revenue source was always a bad idea, it’s revenue dried up whenever the economy tanked and CTA was always forced to raise fares whenever people were losing their jobs and homes. Unfair! This way, if the economy tanks and you lose your job, at least you won't have to deal with rising CTA fares. Besides, you're going to roll the cost of that tax into your mortgage and wind up deducting it, right? The way transit's been funded here is something we've had to endure far too many times. Lets get the CTA operational funding taken care of for a good long time so that the CTA can do real long range planning instead of uncertain piecemeal stuff rocked and hostage to ongoing doomsday scenarios. Let’s get this off our backs. There is an incredible amount of waste built into the process as it is now. Look at all these service cuts. I wonder how many person years went into planning all those X bus routes. They built ridership too. CTA ridership for bus has been stable for the first time in its history. But if those jerks in Springfield cut CTA service through inaction, we should throw those bums in Springfield out. Each and every non-cooperating one of them. Peter, Chief Editor and Spelling Wrecker The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire, Jokes, Commentary (this) and Videos Http://thepeterfiles.blogspot.com
What do you think? Would they let this happen where you are? If you answer, please say where you are in the comment, and if you can, list the price of gas and or the price to park in your nearest urban area.
As you may be aware, while not playing Old Maid in the Cloakroom, the Illinois State Legislature has been going through many machinations this month to solve the Chicago Transit Authority's funding crisis.
Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich stunned all of the politicos in Illinois and Chicago especially when he finally announced, through an amendatory veto, the part of the CTA rescue plan that he'd been keeping under his thinking cap, probably so that he'd get sole credit for it, that all senior citizens would ride free under his new plan, leading to the headline above, albeit, I hope a fictional one.
Illinois Governor's New Transit Plan Solves Senior Homeless Problem at One, er, Stroke
Not that Senior Citizens ever have strokes, or would ride CTA perpetually in cold weather under the new plan.
Or would shoot CTA Service Planning all to heck and back by giving unlimited riding to any market segment.
Of course, there are some benefits to the plan, a lot of Senior riding is in the off-peak, that is from 9 am to 3 pm on weekdays and on the weekends, when CTA has more capacity. One problem though is that Seniors tend to be early risers and may be tempted to ride early, between 5:30 and 7:30 when CTA does not have extra capacity.
A simple solution would be to charge everyone the same thing during these times, Senior Citizen or no, or, to charge the current half fare during peak hours. Otherwise, CTA may be forced to purchase even more equipment than it has now, and given its current capital needs crisis that would not be a good thing.
Yes, I thought of other headlines that could be in our future:
New Senior Fare Plan Leads To Need For Bathrooms on Buses and Trains
What the El is Leaking From That Train?
CTA Now Has More Depends-Able Public Transportation
New Bus Routes To Go Past Funeral Home Viewing Windows In Off-Peak On Request, Seniors Dying to Use New Service Option
I'm Tired Of Your Complaining Mom, Go Jump On A Bus!
CTA Ridership Up, Seats Down, Seniors Eye Chicago As New Vacation Mecca
Of course, this is all in fun. What ever they can do to give CTA a stable source of income without stealing from the hard working employees and retirees of CTA is a good thing, in my book.
Did you know that coming into downtown from O'Hare or Midway you can save $30 to $40 taking CTA's safe Blue and Orange lines and as much as 30 and 40 minutes as well? That time and money combination is hard to beat!
I think that everyone commenting on the issue is missing the central point that since Reagan cut funding of Transit Operations (not Capital Funding) to transit properties in the 90's, in Chicago that was a loss of 80+ million a year, Illinois, unlike many other states, never figured out a way to pick up the difference. (Cf: NYCTA, Boston, Septa, etc). Instead its been blame CTA for problems caused elsewhere and lack of the political will to do what was needed. And in a region that needs CTA as much as this one does, not to mention Pace and Metra, that's no joke.
I can't help wondering why, when after the last 3 census counts when Chicago lost population, legislators were eager to cut CTA, why after the last census when the City of Chicago's population grew, legislators were not more willing to sustain or even expand CTA?
Especially since the new population, Hispanics, are very likely to use CTA for many of their trips.
Makes you wonder, doesn't it.
Seniors Refuse Free Rides On CTA, Want Free Cars From Oprah Instead
After feedback from my most frequent readers (family members, bar patrons and hobos with T1 connections) I have made several changes to the way the automatic stream of YouTube.com videos stream to The Peter Files Blog of Comedy.
Before changing the content stream formula, I started by editing my blog template to move the video window to after title and the text in each post to make it easier for subscribers and regular readers to skip the videos and get right into the original content of the blog.
I then went to YouTube.com and changed the key words that triggered the videos streamed here from a list of random comedy key words to a list of comedy celebrities that I knew had content on YouTube.
Oddly this has resulted in an almost unanimous stream of Obama Girl - Amber Lee Ettinger videos, despite her presence near the end of the list. (see below) Perhaps it is the huge interest in the election, or her own huge popularity, but I find it odd that call for Obama girl videos is eclipsing the likes of Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and the others on the list. While I certainly don't mind all the cute videos, all the political videos was not what I had in mind for this spot, and I wanted to mention that and thought I would let you know that I am trying to fix this.
If you right-click on the red and yellow site visitor meter that sometimes comes up on the bottom, rather than the right, along with the rest of my sidebar, depending on your machine, browser and monitor - I've tried to fix this, but am not smart enough, yet, you'll get to the sitemeter.com statistics page for this blog.
I've set the settings so that anyone can see what I can see, since I don't pay for this service, but get the free version, which generally gives me overall totals for the year, month and day by some categories, and some details on the last 100 visitors.
I check this from time to time to see where people are coming from, which is a lot from the U.S. but always someone from every continent except Antartica and less often from South America. I have a Hemmingway scholar friend in Chile who checks in every once in awhile and he helps the South American total, but generally Indonesia does better than they do.
I think its my lack of Spanish writing in these posts? Por que?
I found out that I had a reader from Louth, Ireland by checking the "By World Map" feature after clicking on the 100 under the map which directs it show the last 100 rather than the last 5 visitors, then hovering over the dots in the Ireland area of the Map.
My friends Brian and Diane Leo wrote a song about the Town Gort, called "Gort" oddly enough on one of their albums as Molly and the Tinker, and I thought that since I had seen a listing from Louth several times now, that it was probably the same person.
Since no one leaves comments saying, Hey, I'm Tom or Rachel from Arkansaw or Micronesia or whatever, and I love/hate your blog, or at least admire your persistence, and hits from big cities could be from thousands, I thought I could at least reward one probable regular reader by composing this Limerick -
"He's from Limerick, Ireland, ya naow, where the little Limericks come from." Peter, The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire, Jokes and Comedy
Sorry, got distracted. Happens to me all the time. So here it is my first effort at the Louth Limerick.
I once had a reader from Louth And I hope you don't 'tink me uncouth To suggest that he's/she's merry And intelligent - very For having this blog under roof! Copyright 2008 by PJF & Peter, The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire, Jokes and Comedy
Now ya see dears how easily I dealt wit de unknown gender problem dere. And thats the end of the dialect attempt from meeself. Maybe.
One problem now occurs to me, what if Louth rhymes with South and not uncouth?
Well, I suppose I could do this.
A very wise person from Louth Looked East, West, North and to South, To find bloggy quotations And funny notations But came here(!) for words blithely to mouth. Copyright 2008 by PJF & Peter, The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire, Jokes and Comedy
I hope the good people of Louth like their Limericks and are not in a long time feud with Limerick. I also hope that Louth is an actual town and not just a company hosting the server, now, gee wouldn't that be embarrassing.
Worse things have happened to me.
Anyway, thanks for any regular readers I have. Please let me know that you are out there. I know that I get many from referrals for something else due to having more than 500 posts up here now. My comments are only moderated for language and spam, so please do comment, even if it is just a hello. I love those!
I am betting on the first pronunciation by the way.
I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from. -Eddie Izzard*
I grew up in the United States, where democracy and human rights comes from. -This Post, Peter, The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire, Jokes and Commentary
I'm Charley's Aunt from Brazil - where the nuts come from. - Charley's Aunt, Brandon Thomas, 1856-1914
Oh, when the world was once a simpler time. If you've never seen the stage play or movie Charley's Aunt, do so as soon as you can.
The best place to see it of course is in a theater, where the play was meant to be seen. In a really good production, the laughs just build and build and build until the health of some members of the audience is physically endangered and others are seen weeping with laughter on the floor or in the aisles. Seeing the show is also a good place to find out where some of the oldest bits in comedy came from, except the ones that Thomas stole from others, er., were in in the tradition of the stage already.
That kind of laughter, which builds and builds on the most effervescent and ephemeral of heights until you are laughing so hard that you can hardly stand it is almost impossible to achieve in a film or to maintain, because of course the actors can't hear the audience and change their timing in the oh so slight ways needed to help the laughs roll and billow and build with each individual audience. For of course the greatest comedy requires listening to the audience and responding to it, even it you never seem to acknowledge it.
I played Charley once in an amazing production of Charley's Aunt, our Fancourt Baberly, the guy dragged into impersonating Charley' Aunt was possibly the funniest guy since Jack Benny to play the role. Truly gut wrenchingly funny. Ah, if I only had a tape. The pitfalls of doing community theater and not TV or Film. At any rate, he and our Jack, Charley's roommate and the others in the cast soon formed a small but deranged group of actors that would do anything to get a laugh and somehow seemed to fall into the methods of the time in which reactions are so important, Benny's forte, the slow turn and stare, "Well!", was made for this play and you will hardly see him in anything, anything better. The material is just that good.
Speaking of Jack Benny's version of Charley's Aunt, it just was re-released in DVD after having its image and sound fixed up by Fox to picture perfect or thereabouts quality, I hear. If anyone was born to the part, other than my friend Marty, it has to have been Jack Benny and I can't wait to get my hands on this version which also stars Kay Francis, James Ellison, Anne Baxter, and Edmund Gwenn.
Just right-click on the ad below to see a review and details of the show if you are at all curious about this wonderful love story.
For all of those suspicious of any commentary with an ad in it, I don't blame you. I just saw the Eddy Izzard quote, was inspired to do my own, and realized that Eddy was really borrowing off of Brandon Thomas, author of Charley's Aunt, whether he realized it or not. He almost had to know what he was doing though, as had most of his audience.
Even today, it must be hard to get through school in England without seeing Charley's Aunt at least once. It's them like not seeing The Importance of Being Earnest or U.S. kids of the 70's and 80's not seeing the film versions of The Lottery or An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (the latter of which I saw endlessly though grammar school, high school and even in college!)
At any rate, I've added the ad because I can! I hope you will get the film here or somewhere else. Or rent it as soon as it becomes available.
Here's to those who once admired, "the roses, the primroses, the cabbages and things," wherever you are!
These were submitted by my friend Andy S. and are hilarious and bear the marks of being traveled around the internet before coming to him. However, if they have been published by a copyright owner who cares, please let me know and I'll take it right down.
You can be like Andy and send me a joke and I'll give you the attribution you want, just send me a funny joke by submitting it in a comment with how you'd like it to appear. Since I approve all comments BEFORE they appear, any contact information you put in will not automatically go out onto the internet. Send me something funny and I'll make it a new post, just for you.
The oldest Doctor joke I know:
Patient: "Doctor, it hurts every time I turn my wrist this way!" Doctor: "So, don't turn your wrist that way!"
Variants: Arm, Head, Hit myself with a Blank, etc.
Now to Andy's Jokes:
1. A man comes into the ER and yells, "My wife's going to have her baby in the cab!" I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress, and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly, I noticed that there were several cabs -- and I was in the wrong one.
Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald, San Antonio , TX .
2. At the beginning of my shift, I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient's anterior chest wall. "Big breaths," I instructed. "Yes, they used to be," replied the patient.
Submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes, Seattle , WA
3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a "massive internal fart."
Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg
4. During a patient's two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications. "Which one?" I asked. "The patch, the nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours, and now I'm running out of places to put it!" I had him quickly undress, and discovered what I hoped I wouldn't see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now, the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.
Submitted by Dr. Rebecca St. Clair, Norfolk , VA
5. While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, "How long have you been bedridden?" After a look of complete confusion, she answered..."Why, not for about twenty years -- when my husband was alive."
Submitted by Dr. Steven Swanson, Corvallis , OR
6. I was caring for a woman and asked, "So, how's your breakfast this morning?" "It's very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste," the patient replied. I then asked to see the jelly, and the woman produced a foil packet labeled "KY Jelly."
Submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit , MI
7. A nurse was on duty in the emergency room when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green, and above it there was a tattoo that read, "Keep off the grass." Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient's dressing, which said, "Sorry, had to mow the lawn."
Submitted by RN, no name
8. As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB , I was quite embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams. To cover my embarrassment, I had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly. The middle-aged lady upon whom I was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassing me. I looked up from my work and sheepishly said, "I'm sorry. Was I tickling you?" She replied, "No doctor, but the song you were whistling was, "I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener."
Doctor wouldn't submit his name (Can't blame him!)
I have to note that I have worked with this excellent director on a number of occaisions and can highly recommend to experience. Rarely have I come arcross someone so good at interpretive work with the text of scripts. If he says that he is going to bring the script closer to the gospels, this will really be a show worth seeing and participating in. His sense of drama, tension and truth in drama on stage is spellbinding.
How to Prepare for an Audition – Imperfect Notes for the Beginner Scribbled Quickly From My Own Experience
It is generally agreed by professionals like myself that Panic is the first step to a great audition. True, this is counter-intuitive. You do not want your high level of panic to show at the audition, but a high level of panic right up to the point that you get into the car on the way to the audition itself can be a most helpful motivator.
Note the importance of losing your panic before getting into a car on the way to the audition itself, in fact before driving any auto vehicle at any time prior to the audition. In fact, where available, taking public transportation to an audition can help relieve pre-audition stress. Call 836-7000 for directions in the Chicago Region for CTA, Pace and Metre. Beverly Art Center, for example is served by all three!
I have noted that severe auto accidents often undermine the confidence of those auditioning and directors alike with worries of self-termination prior to the actual performance date and quite talented people are sometimes over looked at auditions for this reason.
“Kumquats! I’d cast him, but in the Scottish play he almost got his arm cut off and he didn’t even have a sword, in Sweeny Todd he managed to slide down the Barber Chair Head first and we’re doing Pirates of Penzance here, no, I can’t risk it. And he’s a great Tenor. If I could just suspend him in a box above the stage. Hmmn, Maybe…. From such maybes have come some of he stages greatest on stage fiascos. Note: Gender and Facts changed above in the interests of fairness and to protect my life.
Getting the script is the next big step. Once you have it, often available from the producer for community theater productions for a deposit, you can figure out, within reason, if there are any parts in the show for you at all.
I am not going to try to define “within reason” here. So often directors are stuck in “Auditions" with the "this is all I get to work with?" situation such that you may get to play 40 years older or younger than your actual ace, especially in a musical, if you have the notes. More likely, the director will look for a ringer, but the bigger the cast, the better your chances, especially when multiple shows are casting at the same time. I still don’t know why production companies do this, but often in an area production companies will create chaos by holding auditions within days of each other. This always works to the actor’s advantage and never to the producer’s as this allows actors to pick and choose between offered parts and this messes up the "pretty pictures" producers made on the stage when casting.
Having a realistic idea of what you are really likely to be cast for will help you a lot. The best way to get this sense of reality is to work with a really good friend, an acting teacher of vocal coach who will be honest with you. Brital honest is critically important. Not the kind you see in the American Idol pre-shows.
All my friends say I'm really a great singer so I thought I would screech my way through The Facts of Life Theme Sng on National Television.
That kind of honesty you don't need unless its backed up by an agent.
Acting is a skill, practice and exposure to people who are really good at it will really help you, IF, you pay attention to them without being a pest. I have learned far more from the people I have worked with over the years than from any book.
If you are preparing for a musical, you need to prepare a song in your vocal range and be ready to sing it in time to the music. The music director may change the time of the music to see if you handle it well or poorly and can work with an orchestra that may get away from him.
But first things first, if you are a low alto, don’t audition for a high soprano part just because you have always wanted to play that part. The music director will strongly resist having the song done an octave lower except in very exceptional chances.
How do you find out your vocal range? The musical director at a community theater audition will help you a little. But for lead roles you usually need to have been working with a vocal coach.
Vocal coaches do not have to be hugely expensive. But $20-$30 a half hour, every week is not out of line on the south side. Ask the good singers who they use. They probably have the best coaches. Try to get an appointment. If you know nothing about sight reading music they may reject you, then ask for a reference for a real beginner who will tolerate this, or ask for “emergency help” for one audition and they may, may take pity on you.
Above all else a vocal coach should start by:
Teaching you how to protect your voice;
Teaching you how to breath correctly;
Teaching you about your range and what songs are in it;
If your vocal coach does not start with the first two immediatly, especially in winter, ask why not and be prepared to fire them right away if it is not a very good answer. Finding your range might come first, but protecting your voice is paramount, you can ruin it through improper vocal training and if your vocal coach does not know how to protect against this you need to move on, immediately.
Analyze the scrip to try to figure out what scenes the director might choose for auditions and learn these first, but try to become really familiar with as much of the script as possible. Look for scenes where a lot of the characters are on stage at once. The cast parades: the director needs to see how the whole cast looks together. If you are a shorter person in one of these, wear a hat and heels as you go up. If tall, flats and no hat. Little things help. Dpn't do dumb showy things to get attention, trust me, I've tried, they don't work.
Look for little intense scenes between the characters you think you want to play and the main characters they compete against, who is often but not always the same gender. To borrow from Michael Shurtlief’s excellent book “The Audition” (buy in paperback, its cheap) always ask in any scene, ask “What is your character fighting for?” Then fight for it. Hard. Even if you've gotten the what the character should be fighting for wrong, if nothing else it makes for a fiesty scene and proves you won’t be boring on stage if you get the part. Directors often like surprising and feisty interpretations of work that are seriously done. It means the actor has done some serious thinking about the work and might be fun to work with, a serious plus in most directors worth working with. Yes, Virgina, there are a very few directors not worth working with. If you are lucky and are in the scene with someone very good, your fighting for method will give them something to play off of. Listen to what they are sending you and build off it, incorporate it, the emotions, etc, and bring the level of tension and stakes of the scent up, not down.
Working really well with someone, anyone in a scene can help you get the part. Your goal is always to get some part, not a specific part. Besides, you never know who the director has really picked for the lead, it is often not obvious. I've been in shoes where the director picked a young woman as the lead but only read her in minor parts, but with every other potential member of the cast. He knew how good she was already, not everyone else. He learned a lot by how people worked with her compared to the "obvious" lead candidates and the resulting cast complely surprised everyonel. The director cast those who worked well with everyone, especially his lead. Of course, most directors are not this devious.
So don't agonise too much how you are doing in any one audition, or lie and die on any one audition. Its just not healthy. As time goes on, the right parts will come to you with experience. Especially as you build a reputation for reliability and stability from show to show which are very important.
That’s all I have time for now. OH. Ues.
Remember not to panic IN the audition. The producers want you to succeed and you to show yourself off at your most calm and professional best. They want to see what you can really do and are hoping that YOU will be the surprise star that they are looking for. And you just might be. And don’t forget to have a little fun, your audition audience may be larger than some of the real audiences you get, sorry to say. And, more receptive, because they are sweating as much as you are. That is, if the producers let the others see you. That's an issue in and of itself.
2008 New Year’s Resolutions For The Peter Files Blog of Comedy
It may be January 2nd, but it's still not too late to make New Year’s resolutions for the blog, after all, with 365 days left to go, ‘tis a leap year don’t you know, the year is still a babe in arms. I always give myself till February or March for my own personal resolutions anyway, so I reserve the right to consider these resolutions in draft like everyone else I know. (See end of post for my most important personal resolution that I aim to keep).
1. We resolve to depend less on postings about celebrities, if you can call them that, such as Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Britney and her rapidly expanding sister Jamie, or is it Jamie-Marie Spears, Donald Trump, George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama, the entire Republican presidential slate, Ann Coulter, Bill Maher, the Iowa Caucus, Super Duper I'm not going to stay up on Tuesday, the Hollywood writer’s strike, Rambo, Indiana Jones, Disney, Sweeny Todd and Michael Jackson – in no particular order. Nope, I’m not going to do it this year just to get extra hits, its unsavory, even if people like to see their favorite celebrity names in print with words like altercation, cell phone, drunk driving, ran over some one, child endangerment, community service, mispronunciation, alcohol abuse, War on Intelligence, I’m Going Back to Louisiana, Louisiana Here I come, Most Katrina Victims Still Not Paid, Gas Prices up again, Inflation Rate Soars with Fold Prices and Home Mortgage Rates, Another Panty Raid in Hollywood, Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan Cast in Creature of the Black Lagoon and no one shows up at press conference but Joan Rivers and Richard Simmons and Tonight Show Intern, and Party of the Rich and Greedy Exposed - Exhaustive University Study Reveals it to Be Republicans Not Democrats as Republican Study Funders had hoped. No. tempting as it is to generate traffic by appealing to such low brow tactics to generate traffic, I’m not going to do that in 2008. What’s that? Oops, I did it again. I guess that resolution will have to wait till next year. 2. Well how about this? I will avoid taking bad email jokes that people send me and re-writing them so that they are spelled and punctuated correctly, make sense and are actually funny. No, I get too much material that way. Sorry. But if you have something funny, send it in to me by just dropping it in a comment to any post and if its funny, or can be made to be funny with reasonable editing effort I’ll make it its own post and give you as much credit as you desire from anonymous, to initials to your full name. Do this enough times and you could become a Peter Files BloC of Comedy blog Assistant Editor with lots of cool privileges. 3. Finding a Blog Assistant Editor is a major Resolution. 4. Depending less on YouTube videos unless you think they are very funny and an essential part of the blog. Tell me. 5. Getting to the point where there is a LOT less ad space. 6. Making a decision on age content level, are we too “safe for work and home”, perhaps an age poll is needed. I have used certain relatives as the content test bar. I could switch which relatives I use (Younger and less mature ones) but then, would I lose you at work> 7. Figuring out whether you want more of my completely original postings which would appear less frequently, less of, more content wherever it comes from, or whether you don’t care because so many of you find this blog accidentally and either move on, or bookmark it and return or not depending on what happens to be that day. 8. If the latter is the case should I just put changing photos of a kitten, a puppy, a dinosaur, and a baby (Changing daily, in each corner of the blog?) 9. I have not been pointing to cool internet sites lately, I am thinking of resolving to bring that feature back.
Well that’s the draft list of resolutions and questions. The photos of puppies, cats, babies and dinosaurs is in no real danger of coming off – or is it? Best comment if you hate the idea. Maybe I will do some polls in the next few weeks. They will be somewhat important in directing the future of this blog.
I must be doing something right. Hits December 2006 – December 2007 doubled. With growth pretty steady across the world. So please keep spreading the word to friends and neighbors by using the envelope at the bottom of the page. Feel free to send a post to yourself and then send it to everyone in your address book THAT YOU REALLY KNOW AND HAVE A REALATIONSHIP WITH recommending this blog. Or find a really funny safe post including the site web site at the top or bottom and post it on the office bulleting board.
Then tell me what you did. Maybe I can find a special way to honor someone who generates a lot of hits from the same server of servers. And of course, while you visit any blog, it never hurts to right click an ad.
10. Oh, And the Peter Files Blog Editor is going to lose another 30 pounds this year. He did it last year. Really. The one goal he really expects to make for sure this year.
May your year be happy and more full of peace than last year. If you lacked peace work for justice. If you see injustice, work for peace.
Smile at someone today, the person you smile at has feelings - just as you do and will welcome the reassureance that the world can be a friendlier place!