MY TWO CENTSWill Durst pix

More: Will Durst Website

My 2¢ • Will Durst

HOW TO WATCH THE WORLD CUP.

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

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

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

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

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

HOW TO WATCH THE 2014 WORLD CUP.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new one-man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG,” info about the upcoming documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances.

July 2014

Welcome to the Real World.

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

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

Surely you've been treated to all the clichés. "Winners never quit and quitters never win." "Get up one more time than they knock you down." "Nose and toes the same way goes." Blah. Blah. Hoo-dee-doo.”

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

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

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

• When someone says "This is not about money," it's about money.

• The 5 second rule does not apply to ballparks, bus stations or hospital waiting rooms.

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

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

• When people say, "I'm not a racist, but…" they're racists.

• You can't fix stupid.

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

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

• Maintain and move on.

• Two words: duct tape.

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

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

• Gambling is a tax on people bad at math.

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

• Life is too short for Kirkland champagne.

• Everyone is ditchable. Including you.

• Never ever trust anybody who says "At the end of the day." At the end of the day it gets dark.

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

• Backing into parking spots allows for quicker getaways.

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

• If you fall, and you will: fall forward.

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

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

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new one- man show "BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG," info about the documentary film "3 Still Standing,"

June 2014

GLASSWIPES.

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

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

…who are the real Glasswipes here? The insular entitled techie menace…or the rest of us desperate supplicants, poised to wipe their tiny windscreens clean with our miniature squeegees?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laug,.

May 2014

The Frigid Fracas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. One of three Bay Area comedians to be featured in the documentary film "3 Still Standing." To find out more about the post- production fundraiser on Thursday, March 27, 2014, at Alfred's Steakhouse, go to 3stillstanding.com. Info: willdurst.com

April 2014

GREEN RUSH MUNCHIES.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, "Elect to Laugh" and calendar of personal appearances including this week, the 19-23, at the Improv @ Harvey's Lake Tahoe.

March2014

GUILLOTINE TIME.

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

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

Cries of financial inequity have been so alarming lately that venture capitalist Thomas Perkins felt compelled to compare we poor to the Nazis. He wrote that while Germany's 1% were the Jews, America's 1% are the Well- Heeled. And did it in a letter to the Wall Street Journal. No surprise there. Where did you think he'd get it published? The San Francisco Chronicle? Progressive Magazine? Rachel Maddow's blog?”

Cries of financial inequity have been so alarming lately that venture capitalist Thomas Perkins felt compelled to compare we poor to the Nazis. He wrote that while Germany's 1% were the Jews, America's 1% are the Well- Heeled. And did it in a letter to the Wall Street Journal. No surprise there. Where did you think he'd get it published? The San Francisco Chronicle? Progressive Magazine? Rachel Maddow's blog?

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

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

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

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

4 of America's 9 richest are members of the family that owns Wal- Mart. Really? Couldn't they pay their workers a tad more and still be 4 of the top 30 richest Americans? Top 100? 2 million employees and the last year's profit was 16 billion dollars. That's 8K profit off every employee. Imagine how much more stuff Wal- Mart could sell if each employee made $2,000 extra?

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

Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, "Elect to Laugh" and calendar of personal appearances including "BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG," Wednesday the 5th @ Angelica's in Redwood City.

February 2014

THANKSGIVING 2013

Ahh. Thanksgiving. Best Holiday Ever! Love it all. The fact that a national holiday falls not on a Monday but a Thursday. How wacky is that? A regular Thursday in dead solid center fall. Where the weather could be 80 and sunny or 20 and snowing. Or, in certain parts of the Midwest, both.

Love the fact that its all about food, family, friends and football. 4 of the 5 Fs. Remain seriously amused by the winking obsessive conspiracy that binds an entire nation together concerning the specifics of the ritual burning of a large flightless bird. Free range. Brine. Air chill. To stuff or not to stuff. Seriously, is that the question?

Don't forget the silly creeping madness of Black Friday, which now begins early Thursday and threatens to encompass the entire week. People camping out for days. To save, what… six bucks? But for those tented hours, they are adventurous pioneers. Marvel Super Consumers.”

You'd have to be a third stage tertiary Grinch not to love a parade featuring 80-foot helium filled balloons. Snoopy bouncing off a light pole. Ending with the season's first appearance of the corpulent bearded one in the scarlet suit.

Don't forget the silly creeping madness of Black Friday, which now begins early Thursday and threatens to encompass the entire week. People camping out for days. To save, what… six bucks? But for those tented hours, they are adventurous pioneers. Marvel Super Consumers.

And love the way that though this pageant of greed and gluttony lasts 4 whole days, when all is said and done, even amidst the drunken family brawling, sometimes moments for reflection can still be found. And you can bet that this round- headed political comic has much to be thankful for. Among them being:

The 113th Congress, which has the unique ability to make hysterical lunacy seem so ordinary.

Barack Obama for finally making the Presidency mock-worthy again.

Sarah Palin who refuses to shut up no matter how tightly irrelevancy embraces her.

Vice President Joe Biden for gaining immeasurable respect just by shutting up.

The Cheney family who apparently feel about each other the same way the rest of us do.

Ted Cruz for not only grabbing the national right-wing nut job baton from Michele Bachmann but waving it high.

Pope Benedict for his inability to hide a scowl whenever Pope Francis does… anything.

Chris Christie for so generously providing such a large target rich environment.

The Tea Party for waving their arms in the air like they just don't care.

Alec Baldwin for truly embodying the phrase… "he who lives by the sword, dies swallowing the sword."

Mitt Romney for disappearing so completely, we're left to wonder if he really ever existed at all.

John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell for their strict adherence to the musical advice, "don't go changing."

Obama Care because who can't appreciate a website rollout that "could have gone smoother." An anvil studded with titanium spikes could have rolled smoother.

Walter White for altering the calculus of what it means to go out on your own terms.

The NRA and the NSA for just being themselves.

Anthony Weiner for his series of continuing comebacks. May he experience many more.

Rob Ford for proving that California is not the source of all political wackiness in the world.

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

Vladimir Putin for proving that Toronto is not the source of all political wackiness in the world.

Will Durst's new one- man show "BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG" in its final 3 Tuesdays at the Marsh. San Francisco. Through December 17th. themarsh.org Or willdurst.com to find his calendar.

December 2013

RINOs AND AINOs.

Now we bore deep into the bunker that houses triumphant Tea Party headquarters, where they are celebrating a tactical victory over the forces of complacency, and complaining loudly about all the chicken- hearted Republicans In Name Only who bowed to the will of our Socialist President and voted to reopen the government and avoid a global financial meltdown.

“Wussies. Those RINOs don’t represent real Americans. You know who they represent: AINOs. Americans In Name Only. Because only people who believe exactly what we believe deserve to be called real Americans. AINOs should be counted as 3/5ths of an American. We and only we are listening to the real heartbeat of this country. Nobody else has the same filter. Which is made out of tinfoil.

We have no intention of compromising because that would be abandoning our principles. They don’t have principles so it’s shouldn’t be a problem.”

“The media keeps asking, ‘how does it feel to lose?’ But we didn’t lose. We won. We won by losing. All part of the plan. Because only in losing do real winners hone their skills at winning whereas real losers just feel normal. Winners never quit. And quitters never win. And winning quitters are like quitting winners: just more banana slugs on the Great Salt Flat with a blown head gasket.

“You know who lost? The so-called leaders of this party lost. The ones who flopped faster than a French Soccer Team that had been surgically deboned. Who abandoned the good fight in the name of expediency. Who slept with the enemy and will have their heads shaved and be thrown into the street someday. Because there is no negotiating when you’re dealing with the terrorists calling themselves the Democratic Party.

“Oh, don’t get us wrong, we are all in favor of compromise. As long as it’s the other side doing it. We have no intention of compromising because that would be abandoning our principles. They don’t have principles so it’s shouldn’t be a problem.

“Have we learned our lesson? Yes, we have. We have learned we must fight harder. And never give in. Because repeatedly banging our heads against the wall makes it feel so good when we stop. So we must learn not to stop.

“We do not fight because we think we can win. We do not fight because of ideology. We fight because… we like to fight. As do our constituents. You should see our town hall meetings. They look like a trauma center emergency room on a Saturday night after a pool hall happy hour featuring $2 shots of Jagermeister.

“Now? We’re going to purge this party of poseurs and run with folks interested in representing the real America. You know, people exactly like us. You may accuse us of perfecting the circular firing squad. But the circular firing squad turns out to be very useful in eliminating marginal colleagues equipped with insufficient aim.

“And yes, ‘this is going to happen again!’ It’s going to happen every single time purity comes face to face with evil. And the evil shall be primaried. And anybody who shakes hands with John Boehner or has been photographed hugging John McCain is fair game.

“We have even perfected a test to determine whether you are conservative enough to be an actual Republican. We hold you under water for four minutes and if you don’t die, you are a RINO. Primitive and messy perhaps, but fits us to a Tea.”

Will Durst’s new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” in its final extension: through Dec 17 every Tuesday at the Marsh. San Francisco. themarsh.org

November 2013

SENATOR AHAB IS A SNEETCH.

There no longer lies any shame in obsession. Monomania reigns supreme in this country. Along with twerking. Once a month the local news features sports fans who have turned entire houses into shrines to their favorite team. We all know the conspiracy guy with his bootleg DVDs and liquid limber logic. Every neighborhood has at least one cat lady. And if you protest that your neighborhood doesn't, you may be her.

Recently we were held hostage to the focus of his idee fixe: an entire day devoted to his delirious struggle to kill the white whale; that is, repeal ObamaCare.”

The US Senate has its own cat lady and his name is Ted Cruz. For the first 9 months of his incumbency in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, the man graduated from distressed to obsessed to a little shy of possessed. Recently we were held hostage to the focus of his idee fixe: an entire day devoted to his delirious struggle to kill the white whale; that is, repeal ObamaCare.

Speaking from the floor of the Senate for 21 hours and 19 minutes, Senator Ahab singlehandedly gave the American people another reason to look forward to a government shutdown. His long and loud faux filibuster seemed mostly a way to raise his profile and money for an inevitable Presidential run. Another side effect of Obama lowering the qualification bar.

Inexplicably, in the midst of his impassioned C-SPAN salvo, the junior Senator from Texas stopped speaking of Duck Dynasty, White Castle, Christmas pig roasts and Ashton Kutcher while regaling Obama as a socialist terrorist and his own party as Nazi appeasers to read a bedtime story directed at his children back home; Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs & Ham. Following which he made suppositions raising questions as to whether he fully understood the book's complicated ramifications.

Cruz took pains to differentiate himself from the recalcitrant protagonist of the tome who wouldn't eat green eggs and ham in a house with a mouse in the dark on a boat with a goat in the rain here and there and everywhere by saying he himself had indeed tried green eggs and ham (read ObamaCare) and didn't like it. And the American people didn't like it either. The problem is, ObamaCare hasn't really kicked in yet.

Saying you tried it but didn't like it is real similar to saying you didn't enjoy Bruno Mars' halftime show at next year's Super Bowl. That you think Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman fell far short of the exacting standards previously set by George Clooney. That you found the church basement covered- dish spread following your funeral service to be underwhelming.

But the media coverage was so intense and overwhelming, it would be a surprise on the order of cast iron Frisbees if he didn't try this tact again. Perhaps next he will favor us with the importance of proper potty training. One sequel we are definitely not destined to see is Teddy Hears a Who. Although he could adapt One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to explain his food stamp elimination proposal.

Cruz has managed to prove he's confused by the space- time continuum, not to mention a book aimed at a kindergarten reading level, and he still wants to be President? Of course, knowing the Republican Party, Rafael Edward Cruz has a very good chance at securing the nomination, because after all, as Doctor Seuss himself famously said, you can't teach a Sneetch.

Will Durst's new one- man show "BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG" has been extended through the end of October. Every Tuesday at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… themarsh.org for more info. Or willdurst.com. Use code "boomer" for $10 tix.

October 2013

LET THE PANTS SUIT DANCE.

It's time to address the burning question singeing the lips of every American this summer: What will happen to Bryan Cranston's pork pie hat after Breaking Bad ends its run? Okay, maybe that's number 2. The big one is who's going to be the Democratic Presidential candidate in November of 2016? 38 months and counting.

Having gone almost a year without the least meager of Presidential Race morsels to munch on, journos are doing whatever it takes to jump- start a tasty plate of appetizers. Also, it's August, which means politically, there's less going on in Washington than a vacuum in a crater at the southern most base of Neptune's thirteenth moon.

President Barack Obama's second term has already entered its 7th month. It is more than an eighth over. The guy is history. Spent. Taking up space. Got the "How Can We Miss You If You Won't Go Away" Blues. Way beyond lame duck, he's a differently-abled turducken. A quadriplegic platypus. His goose is undergoing severe cookage.”

If you suspect this might all be a bit premature. YES. INDEED. YOU BET. Your instincts are correct sir. This sort of speculation normally doesn't kick into gear until a year and a half out; two years, tops, but the accelerated pace is today's norm. Rapid is the new sauntering. Welcome to Extreme Campaigning. 24/7.

Of course, they do have a point. President Barack Obama's second term has already entered its 7th month. It is more than an eighth over. The guy is history. Spent. Taking up space. Got the "How Can We Miss You If You Won't Go Away" Blues. Way beyond lame duck, he's a differently-abled turducken. A quadriplegic platypus. His goose is undergoing severe cookage.

Barack could nip the suspense in the bud by stepping down and giving Joe Biden a leg up. Because the job will not be Biden's for the taking. He's going to need a crowbar the size of Idaho to pry the nomination from a certain someone who's already spent 8 years in the White House. Albeit, in the East Wing. And not baking cookies thank you very much.

Even the GOP considers that former tenant their major threat since they've launched a couple preemptive strikes against the Clinton of Hillary. And isn't it refreshing to see them get past their internal squabbles to concentrate on what's really important to the Party?

They've threatened to boycott NBC and CNN if the networks run planned specials on the Former First Lady and have taken to calling her… too old. That's right. Republicans. The party of Reagan. Same guys that ran Bob Dole whose campaign slogan was "hey you punks, get off my lawn." Can't wait for them to charge her with being too white as well. And too rich.

Last time Hillary was the front-runner, it didn't turn out too well and other names being bandied about are: Andrew Cuomo, Rahm Emanuel and Cory Booker, who just locked up the Democratic slot for the New Jersey Senate special election to fill the seat vacated by the late Frank Lautenberg.

Booker may be the biggest wild card. Imagine Ms. Hill is sweating like a squad of Sumos in a sauna just thinking about a young charismatic fast-track black guy serving less than one full term in the Senate hijacking her coronation ceremony. Again.

His staff encouraged Bill Clinton to be Bill Clinton, with, "Let the Big Dawg Eat." This time, it's more of a "Let the Pants Suit Dance." And everyone better start paying attention or the handicapping of the 2020 race will begin as well. My money's on Chelsea.

Catch 5 time Emmy nominee, Will Durst's new one- man show "BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG" every Tuesday until November, at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… themarsh.org for more info. Or willdurst.com.

September 2013

YOUR EVER-VIGILANT FRIENDS AT THE NSA.

Dear US Citizen.

Please accept our most egregiously sincere apologies for the difficulties and inconveniences the secret monitoring of your phone records and email and GPS units and foreign travel and bank accounts and yes, even your snail mail, has evidently caused.

We here at the NSA strive for the perfection of our services, which depend on the chronic obliviousness of you, our valued customers. Unfortunately, due to one disgruntled deadbeat (who escaped to China to avoid government persecution-which is like joining the Army because you're tired of people telling you what to do) you now know of our continuing efforts to keep you safe. That was never our intention.

Besides, what could be more democratic than spying on everybody? "

When you are even tangentially aware of the absurd lengths the National Security Agency will go to keep you and your loved ones out of harm's way, our mission has failed. If you knew half the crap we have to slog through here, your hair would curl, but that's another story altogether.

Yes, we're pretty much keeping tabs on everything everyone says and does, all the time, which we understand upsets a few of you folks. Don't worry. Nobody's actually listening to any of this stuff. We're just used to collecting it. If it makes you feel any better, think of this whole enterprise as an exceedingly long, government-subsidized episode of "Hoarders." You can trust us.

And seriously, anybody who didn't suspect this kind of snooping was going on is not to be trusted with knives in the kitchen without a fencing mask. Privacy is soooo 20th Century. You share the regularity of your bowel movements on Facebook, but we check around to find out who's making coded phone calls to al Qaeda and suddenly everybody's nose is out of joint? You kidding me?

Unfortunately, one of our representatives testified in front of Congress, "no, we aren't collecting data on Americans," when what he meant to say is, "yes, we ARE collecting data on Americans." James Clapper simply gave the "least untruthful answer possible." Then again, Congress knows that getting a straight answer from us is harder than bending a wire coat hanger into a number representing pi to the sixth digit with your teeth. All for your protection.

See, the problem is, nobody knows who the enemy is anymore. Narrowing suspicion is much too time consuming. Lot easier to wiretap the entire nation than try to pick out the one or two most devious of you. Besides, what could be more democratic than spying on everybody?

We call the process data mining. And you, the soft quarry, are producing up to a billion records a day. Which is real similar to pulverizing Everest, then sifting through the rubble for a blue pebble. It ain't easy people. Lot of haystacks, not so many needles.

To ensure this glitch never occurs again, we are rectifying the glitcher in order to return our service to the high-level quality that you, the citizens of America, have come to expect. For the inconvenience we have caused, each household in America will receive 3 free months of HBO.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this matter, please contact your Congressperson. Thanks for your understanding, and please, don't bother looking for us. You can be sure, we'll be looking after you.

Sincerely.

Your ever-vigilant friends at the NSA.

PS. Don't forget to "like us" on Facebook.

Recipient of 7 consecutive nominations for Stand Up of the Year, Will Durst's new one-man show "BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG" is presented every Tuesday, at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… themarsh.org for info. Or willdurst.com.

July-August 2013

BENGHAZI SMOKE SCREEN.

Up until about an hour ago, most Americans thought Benghazi was the guy who palled around with John Cassavetes back in the 60s, but now it's obvious we're talking about the foreign policy arm of a multi- ramped tar pit the President has found himself swimming-up to his armpits. Yes, friends, it's pity time at the White House.

After flogging the issue nonstop since September 11, the Fox News Team's persistence finally pushed the story of the Libyan Embassy riot that resulted in the death of 4 Americans over the cliff into the public consciousness. Space available only because both Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty are on hiatus.

…even more penetrating questions such as: "Who cares? What difference does it make? Aren't we stuffed to the gills with enough partisan gobbledy goop already?"

The hue and cry from the right is demanding many questions be answered. Was the protest planned or spontaneous? Did the group that initiated the attack have any affiliation with Arab terrorists? Who altered the talking points; the CIA or the State Department? Where were the drones? Queens? Wasps? Chigger mites? How many angels can dance on the head of a bent and broken Romney/ Ryan pin? What would Cheney do?

Having taken all this in, the American people responded with what can only be characterized as even more penetrating questions such as: "Who cares? What difference does it make? Aren't we stuffed to the gills with enough partisan gobbledy goop already? Does anyone really give an albino rat's ass? Isn't there a seafood buffet around here somewhere?"

The revelations have been as startling as mint jelly on lamb. Tragic violent events occurring in the Middle East? Oh no! Not that. Perpetual infighting amongst government agencies? That couldn't happen here, could it? Republicans accusing a Democratic administration of not being patriotic enough? What are the odds?

Next you'll tell me the Justice Department investigation of the Justice Department's seizure of AP reporters' phone records will lead to the Justice Department concluding that the Justice Department did nothing wrong. The public's eyes are glazing over like a 5th grader lectured on the nutritional aspects of broccoli rabe.

Haven't we been told for the last twenty, thirty years that Libya is a godless pit of iniquity and now they want us to heap truckloads of blame onto our own guys because someone got killed over there? After they themselves voted down additional money for embassy security? Another example of that whole "dynamite the front steps then complain what a pain it is to climb into the house on a rope ladder" school of logic.

But the GOP remains convinced they have the administration on the run, and is calling for all sorts of investigative committees and dedicated inquiry boards and pretty soon it will be special prosecutors and court rooms full of hopping kangaroos and then pointy sticks and barbed wire and dungeon doors with keys specifically designed to be thrown away. Just in time for the midterms.

And if everything goes according to plan, Hillary Clinton and her nascent 2016 Presidential run will wither and rot behind the same Benghazi charges. But the Republicans must know how tricky this sort of maneuver can be. As with all smoke screens, you have to pay real close attention to which way the wind blows, or you could easily end up choking on the same stuff you're spreading.

Recipient of 7 consecutive nominations for Stand Up of the Year, Will Durst's new one- man show "BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG" is presented every Tuesday, at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… themarsh.org or willdurst.com for more info.

June 2013

 

PLAY BALL 2013.

Forget the robin. Ignore the tulips. Do not let the Easter Bunny, hummingbirds or awakening bears hoodwink you. The first baseball thrown in anger is the true harbinger of spring and calendar alarm for the lazy discard of the heavy encumbrances of winter. Ditch the parka and pull out the windbreaker. Stash the boots and burn the long underwear. Trust me. Burn the long underwear.

Civilization dodged another bullet. The dragon once again neglected to eat the sun; the light is returning and summer has embarked on its lollygaggingly capricious path. Barbecue grills are getting a good scrubbing. Complicated intra- family schedules are being examined through molecular microscopes for reunion potentialities. Carnies are accidentally shearing the heads off of retaining bolts to the Whip- A- Whirl. All activities destined to be accompanied by the mantra of summer; a play- by- play broadcast on AM radio.

Golfers require absolute quiet while approaching a teed ball with a metal club, but in baseball, the batter is assaulted by shouts and jeers and the heckling of tiered multitudes in his quest to swing a wooden bat at a white sphere approaching 100 mph thrown not too distant from the vicinity of his head. ”

Opening Day is the true American holiday of renewal, showcasing that memorably mortal moment when anything’s possible. This IS next year. Second chances ARE real. Welcome to zero when every team has the same theoretic opportunity to make a run. Win a pennant. Stuff the 30 Flags trophy in a display case. Or just beat the Dodgers like a red headed stepchild. Hope. Springs. Eternal. Not even the Cubbies have been mathematically eliminated yet. The Astros and Royals, maybe.

Baseball’s long haul season is another of its peculiar charms. 162 games. An eight month long soap opera in cleats. Plenty time enough for spectacular feats of athleticism, mythic comebacks, grandiose stumbles, the heroic shattering of records and an occasional ball bouncing off of a head over the fence. They call it the National Pastime, not the National Surgical Strike. And those who pay attention will see something every day that has never happened before. #snowflakes.

Baseball players are also easier to relate to as humans than other athletes. They are not augmented in outline by layers of armor plating. Nor are they freaks of nature towering above the populace like redwoods in a forest of pussy willows. Their job is to run and throw and swing a stick and catch a ball. “Hey. I can do that.” Just not as good.

Encounter one of the Boys of Summer on the street and you could mistake them for plumbers or lawyers or corporate event planners. Very buff plumbers and lawyers and corporate event planners, with forearms the size of telephone poles- but still.

Sure, some make fabulous money, but they seem more like blue- collar workers at heart. Golfers require absolute quiet while approaching a teed ball with a metal club, but in baseball, the batter is assaulted by shouts and jeers and the heckling of tiered multitudes in his quest to swing a wooden bat at a white sphere approaching 100 mph thrown not too distant from the vicinity of his head.

You can smell it in the air. The musty team t- shirts pulled from the backs of closets and bottoms of wardrobes. The roasting of foot-long bratwursts on an open grill behind 3rd base. The toasting of the half naked fans in the center field bleachers. That odd pungent odor emanating from the men’s room. Baseball is back and all is right with the world. “Play Ball!” And Go Giants!

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst’s new one- man show “BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG” opened at the Marsh, San Francisco on April 16th. Go to themarsh.org or willdurst.com for more info.

May 2013

 

EQUAL IS AS EQUAL DOES

The nation held its collective breath and turned not just blue but a veritable rainbow of colors as the Supreme Court spent a goodly part of two days hearing oral arguments on gay marriage. Well, at least they were in the same room as arguments about gay marriage were oralled. In a position to eavesdrop on a series of gay marriage arguments; if they were of a mind to.

You can never really pin down which of the 9 Phat Ebony Robes is hearing what. Court watchers long have presumed Justice Scalia underwent a powdered-wig strict constructionist-filter installation years back that insures nothing post-18th Century funnels through to his cognitive cells. And if Antonin can’t hear it, as far as Clarence Thomas is concerned, it doesn’t exist. The others hear what they want to hear. Proving they do indeed represent America.

And forget the malevolent clowns of the Westboro Baptist Church, who make God laugh so hard he spits milk through his nose. Casual bigotry is dying off. Literally. Old people and their parents with a life radius of 30 miles. Oh sure, there will always be prejudice, stupidity and fear but society is rapidly realizing that “gay” is just another adjective; like blonde or buff or stinky.”

The Supremes will weigh in on the Defense of Marriage Act and the legality of California’s Proposition 8 sometime in June. Until then the suspense is killing us-thrillingly. Although the fact they’re using “opposite-sex marriage” to describe heterosexuality should already be counted as a victory. And like every thing else that comes before the court, final disposition probably depends on which side of the bed Justice Kennedy wakes up.

Don’t tell the Berobed Ones, (musn’t allow deeper insecurity complexes to develop) but it doesn’t really matter how they rule, because gay marriage is on the fast track to be permanently woven into the fabric of our national diversity quilt. The handwriting is on the wall. And the penmanship is stunning.

Across the country, same-sex marriage polls have risen faster than property taxes in a tulip bubble. Pollster Nate Silver, of the NYT, the nation’s soothsayer, expects national support to increase 1½ percentage points each year. And let us lay thanks at the remote of the one-eyed HD beast, television.

Familiarity breeds tolerance. Gay celebs such as Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper have encouraged kids of today to live their lives openly. Allowing middle America enough interactive glances to realize the gay community doesn’t devote most of its waking hours attempting to engorge the Armies of Sodom brandishing pitchforks and sporting horns. Like we were told. Over and over.

When you say gay people, the emphasis is on the people and the only real difference between gay and straight is which way your head faces during sex. That’s it. And an uncanny ability to assemble amazing appetizer trays. Grilled asparagus wrapped in goat cheese and prosciutto? Yes! Fist bump. Blow it up. Now talk about it.  

And forget the malevolent clowns of the Westboro Baptist Church, who make God laugh so hard he spits milk through his nose. Casual bigotry is dying off. Literally. Old people and their parents with a life radius of 30 miles. Oh sure, there will always be prejudice, stupidity and fear but society is rapidly realizing that “gay” is just another adjective; like blonde or buff or stinky.

Whether its generational shifts, enlightened minds or disco going mainstream, the tide of tolerance is proving inexorable. Only a matter of time before gay marriage is universally accepted, and then it will seem perfectly routine until eventually it becomes mandatory. Dibs on Clooney! 

5 time Emmy-nominee Will Durst’s new one-man show “BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG” opens previews at the Marsh, San Francisco on April 16th. Go to themarsh.org or willdurst.com for more info. More Durst: willdurst.com

April 2013

 

The barnacle on the belly of the awards ship: the 15th annual

2013 POLITICAL ANIMAL AWARDS

Hey! You! Yes, you. Sorry. Just trying to get your attention to impart an important warning here. For the next couple weeks, it’s imperative all you good folks out there stay alert and keep your wits about you. Remove the earbuds, no texting while walking and you’d be well advised to brandish a stainless steel umbrella on the street because it’s awards season and golden-plated statuettes are being tossed about like manhole covers during an underground methane explosion. We’ve made it through the Golden Globes and the Screen Actor Guild Awards, with the Grammies and Oscars right behind us, so this seems the perfect time to weigh in with the barnacle on the belly of the awards ship: the 15th annual Will Durst Political Animal Awards.

it’s awards season and golden-plated statuettes are being tossed about like manhole covers during an underground methane explosion.”

THE BEST IMPRESSION OF REANIMATED HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN AWARD. And the winner is… oh, forgive me, that’s right, we’re all winners here. The award goes to Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.

BEST DIRECTION OF A COMEDY. To Mitt Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades.

THE HE SHOULD SWITCH TO DECAF AND REALLY SOON AWARD: Vice President Joe Biden.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE AWARD: Still picking shrapnel out of his widow’s peak, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING LOUD ENOUGH TO PIERCE EARDRUMS ON A COUPLE DIFFERENT CONTINENTS AWARD. 3 way tie! Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro & Bashar Al- Assad.

THE YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN AWARD. To former Governor Sarah Palin, Fox News’ gain is Alaska’s loss.

HEART OF A PLUCKED CHICKEN AWARD. To Nevada Senator Harry Reid for avoiding the alteration of Senate filibuster rules given the opportunity.

THE IT’S BETTER TO BE LUCKY THAN GOOD AWARD. For the 2nd year in a row, POTUS Barack Obama.

THE YOUR FIFTEEN MINUTES WERE UP THIRTY MINUTES AGO AWARD. It’s a tie: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Lindsay Lohan.

THE WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY RETURN MY CALLS ANYMORE AWARD: Karl Rove, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

THE YOU CAN KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN AWARD. Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.

THE TAKING SIBLING RIVALRY TO A BRAND NEW LEVEL AWARD. The Harbaugh boys.

THE H.G. WELLS DATING SERVICE AWARD. Manti Te’o.

THE HEAD IN THE SAND LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. The coveted Ostrich goes to executive vice president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre.

THE BEAT A DEAD HORSE UNTIL WE’RE ALL COVERED IN A FINE RED MIST AWARD. Another tie: Senators Lindsay Graham & John McCain who remain determined to get to the bottom of Chuck Hagel’s role in Benghazi.

THE GEORGE HAMILTON TANNING AWARD. For the 4th consecutive year, Speaker of the House John Boehner.

POP GOES THE WEASEL AWARD. Lance Armstrong.

THE SISYPHUS AWARD. Marco Rubio, who has been handed sole responsibility for dragging the entire Republican Party across the immigration reform line.

THE OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES AWARD. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for suggesting the GOP “stop being the stupid party.”

THE RIP VAN WINKLE AWARD. To Hillary Clinton for the well deserved two year nap she’s about to take.

And finally, THE CONTINENT OF ATLANTIS AWARD. For the fastest most complete disappearance in political history, Mitt Romney. They must have powered him down, folded him up and placed him back into the original packaging.

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst’s e- book “Elect to Laugh!” published by Hyperink, is now available at Redroom.com, Amazon and many other fine virtual book retailers near you. Or go to willdurst.com for more info.

March 2013

My Two Cents / Will Durst

THE PARALLAX INAUGURAL

Astronomers have a name for the phenomena of an object appearing to be in different places, depending on the perspective from which it is viewed. It’s known as the parallax view, and could be seen on display for the Second Inauguration of the Forty Fourth President of the United States. Speaking of it, folks described events occurring on different planets. Some called it a disaster, some a triumph. Crime scene in a cave versus ascension on a mountain top. White knight to the rescue- Darth Vader choking off a windpipe.

No one denies it was an auspicious ceremony, with Beyonce lip syncing and Michelle Obama resurrecting a 25 year old haircut, but Barack H. Obama’s last Oval Office induction ceremony was totally defined according to which side of the aisle you watched it from. Seen through the blue lens was one thing but through the red lens, something semi- similar only inside out, upside down and backwards. With poopy on it.

…Obama 2.0 will be less likely to roll over on his back begging Mitch McConnell to rub his belly. After getting poked with a sharp stick for four years, this dog may have grown some teeth. But that’s where the parallax view kicks in again. Some see them as incisors and some vampire canines that enable him to suck the souls right out of our skulls. ”

For Democrats, the January weekend of celebration was even more momentous than the first time around. Proving indubitably that America is the land of opportunity, where hope never dies and lots of little money for campaign coffers never hurts either. And if you ever get the chance to give a bunch of old people rides to the polls on fleets of rented buses, go for it.

For Republicans it was a three- day salt in the wound reminder of wasted opportunity. Exactly how bad a candidate Mitt Romney actually was. Think of it; in a lousy economy the guy managed to lose to a black incumbent, whose middle name is Hussein. The incumbent, not the economy. Permanent bruise; right above the knee, where the fist automatically slams down. At least twice a day.

Nobody could deny the emotional depth precipitated by the occasion of oath- taking on the Capitol’s west side in front of freezing multitudes. So much so, that even John Boehner seemed moved to tears. Which, admittedly, isn’t all that unusual. And kind of creepily, they were orange tears. Who sheds tears of Tang?

And while the event itself may have been polarizing, it paled like the cover of Sue Grafton’s “A is for Alibi” in the front window of a west- facing bookstore in Equatorial Guinea- compared to the speech. The president waxed eloquent about a pursuit of progressive ideals; mentioning marriage equality, climate change and even slamming Paul Ryan’s claim that society is being ruined by the takers. So as you can imagine, right after the President was sworn in, he was sworn at.

Oh my. The hew and the cry. He was called a socialist. A banana head. A foreign born evildoer attempting to destroy the country. Unveiling a left wing manifesto that finally reveals his true colors as a socialist usurper of all that is good and right and true and just. So… looks like, everything’s back to normal.

We the people, were given the impression that this time around the rebooted Obama 2.0 will be less likely to roll over on his back begging Mitch McConnell to rub his belly. After getting poked with a sharp stick for four years, this dog may have grown some teeth. But that’s where the parallax view kicks in again. Some see them as incisors and some vampire canines that enable him to suck the souls right out of our skulls.

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst’s e- book “Elect to Laugh!” published by Hyperink, is now available at Redroom.com, Amazon and many other fine virtual book retailers near you. Or go to willdurst.com for more info.

February 2013

Fiscal Cliff Traffic Report

“So, expect showers and gale force winds over the next couple of days and don’t forget that high surf advisory is in effect throughout the weekend. We may even see some downed power lines and scattered looting. That’s the weather here on Capitol Hill, now let’s go to Brandon with your Congressional traffic report.”

“Thanks Brandon. Well, its gotten pretty ugly out there, people. My best advice is, stay in your homes. As expected, following the holiday recess, we’re seeing a lot of bluster and bombast building up on the Beltway, and the obstructionist blather has managed to stall headway on nearly every budget deal ramp to a virtual crawl.

…reports continue to stream in that a crazy person by the name of Grover Norquist, has been single-handedly impeding traffic by standing in the ditch and flagging motorists off the road straight into various freeway abutments.”

Three or four jack knifed 18-wheelers jam packed with Election Day rancor have overturned and as you might imagine, rubber necking has resulted in hundreds of not so tender fender benders in both directions. It’s gotten so bad that major media outlet trucks are stuck on the shoulder filming each other, filming each other.

It’s not just the Beltway that’s backed up. Main Street and Wall Street and the Path to Prosperity all report major slowdowns due to a multitude of partisan pile- ups. Some drivers seem to be purposefully ramming fellow travelers right off the road while others speed across median strips to dive into oncoming traffic seemingly with no thought to life or limb. Casualties continue to mount and officials worry about running out of tarps.

Sky Nine over the Bridge to the Future reports that progress remains hopelessly clogged with all visible movement being of the backwards variety and from their vantage all the right lanes look to be blocked as far as the eye can see. Left lanes: not much better. Center lanes: you don’t want to know.

Many reasons have been offered up for Carmageddon spreading nationwide. Pure native stubbornness, leading to refusals to merge. Infrastructure deterioration. Widespread smoke screens creating low visibility. A plethora of misread signs due to intentionally misinterpreted polls. Death wishes. Insanity. Mad Cow.

Part of the problem can be attributed to the numerous turnarounds closed by committee chairmen to restrict desertion from party line movement and reports continue to stream in that a crazy person by the name of Grover Norquist, has been single-handedly impeding traffic by standing in the ditch and flagging motorists off the road straight into various freeway abutments. Although it must be said, some cars do now seem to be aiming right for him chasing the anti-cheerleader back to the safety of various rest stop bathroom stalls.

Due to the slick situation, eternal congestion and some inexplicable glitch that has turned all the surface street stop lights to red, further delays are expected to spread across the nation as the country experiences a massive impasse on all roads leading to the cutoff meant to avert the dreaded Fiscal Cliff.

Veteran observers claim this activity is expected due to the mostly poor driving skills possessed by the residents of our nation’s capital. But the upshot is, we’re back to stalls and jams and near total gridlock far into the foreseeable future. So remember to keep that dial here, where we bring you weather and traffic together on the eights, although to be perfectly honest, not much is expected to change any time soon. Back to you Brandon.”

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst’s new e- book “Elect to Laugh!” published by Hyperink, now available at Redroom.com, Amazon or any fine virtual book retailer near you.

And don’t forget the 20th annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show December 26- January 1 at a theater near you. Go to willdurst.com for more info.

December 2012

REMOJOED.

Got to relish the sidesplitting spectacle of millions of Democrats wiping their collective brows after watching the 2nd presidential debate through splayed fingers covering their eyes. MSNBC’s Chris Mathews was so euphorically relieved he nearly broke down and cried. Although, truth be told, he probably cries during Coke Commercials. Especially the cute ones with the polar bears.

He blustered and filibustered and at times seemed almost flustered. Demonstrating the same respect a busy boss might show in the presence of underlings, cautioning the president to “Hold on, I’m talking.” And pushing Jim Lehrer around is one thing, but bullying Candy Crowley, quite another. Mind the gender gap.”

It became immediately apparent, this time around, President Obama spent the time at debate camp doing more than practicing lanyard weaving. Aides report he devoted three days to prepare for the Hofstra University showdown, as opposed to the couple hours he took off last time. Of course that doesn’t include the 90 minutes of the first debate.

Nobody cares how he did it; the main thing is; Obama got his mojo back. He remojoed. The Major Mojo Mofo no longer runs in Slo-Mo. He was focused, energized and seemed determined to not let the challenger go all Joe Frasier on his butt again.

GOP candidate Mitt Romney stuck to the game plan that worked so well in Denver. Float like a butterfly, sting like a jelly fish. A style he surely perfected storming the sidewalks of Paris’ 16th Arrondissement during his missionary days. Shoot first- evade questions later. Although, in retrospect he just may have drunk too deeply from Joe Biden’s bottomless flask of Red Bull.

He blustered and filibustered and at times seemed almost flustered. Demonstrating the same respect a busy boss might show in the presence of underlings, cautioning the president to “Hold on, I’m talking.” And pushing Jim Lehrer around is one thing, but bullying Candy Crowley, quite another. Mind the gender gap.

Perhaps Romney’s people forgot to update his operating system because America’s prospective CEO also committed some unforced errors. First the binder blunder, where he awkwardly dodged a question about equal pay for women to segue into a story about “binders full of women.” Pretty sure we can trust Bill Clinton to get to the bottom of this. Then again, maybe it’s some sort of super secret magic Mormon thing.

The biggest snare was the Benghazi tiger trap, where Romney accused the President of not calling the death of our Libyan Ambassador a terrorist attack. He should have sensed something was up when the President sweetly encouraged him to “please proceed Governor,” but nonetheless walked right onto the straw covering the staked hole.

Candy Crowley, who was in the Rose Garden for the very press conference in question, confirmed Obama’s words. “No, no, he said it.” Romney got so upset, the Secret Service might be wise to move to Def- Con 4 for the final mano a mano at Lynn University in Boca Raton which could escalate from more mere malarkey to full body contact.

The Right became positively unglued calling Ms. Crowley a communist, a terrorist and an assassin. Suffice it to say that if Romney wins, she will be encouraged to accompany Big Bird job hunting. The rich and the righteous are never happy when the “help” talks out of turn.

The irony is, Romney’s self-inflicted wound stemmed from a flagrant violation of the rules agreed to by both candidates not to ask each other direct questions. But that’s something we’ve seen time and time again from the 1%. The rules don’t apply to them. The only rule they adhere to is the Golden Rule: he who has the gold makes the rules. Buy this.

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst has a new e- book: “Elect to Laugh!” published by Hyperink. Available at redroom.com or amazon.

November 2012

WORST CAMPAIGN EVER?

It’s time to start worrying about Mitt Romney. Seriously. The guy may just be running the worst campaign ever. And yes, that includes the McDLT, print ads for organic hemp underwear and France in 39. Not to mention McCain/ Palin in 08. Which currently holds the gold standard for lousy campaigns. Sure to be a Hall of Fame inductee in a couple years.

Willard has taken bad to a whole new level. Bad like a dumpster behind a fish market during a garbage strike bad. Bad like a 3 dollar Dark Knight Rises DVD bought off a Times Square cardboard table with Albanian subtitles bad. Bad like Todd Akin at a NARAL benefit bad. Bad doubled down. Beyond breaking bad to the point of broken bad.

Maybe it’s the extra large silver spoon in his mouth that keeps him from seeing the view from the middle class. Can’t understand why they don’t pull themselves up by the bootstraps like he did when his daddy loaned him his first million.”

And every time the former Governor of Massachusetts opens his mouth, it gets worse. He’s tone deaf, tongue-tied, logically-challenged and as approachable as a near-sighted porcupine in heat. The Anti Ray Romano-Nobody Loves Mitt.

So uncomfortable around real people, you can practically hear him whisper “icky, icky, icky” under his breath while shaking hands at rallies. You know there’s an aide with a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer waiting for him on the bus. Maybe even a 55-gallon drum connected to a shower head.

Got caught on a secret video calling 47% of those real people moochers and malingerers. Shirking entitled victims dependent on the government for food. Food. Mmmm. That’s us. Just can’t get enough of that Government cheese. You know what this country needs? A good 5¢ Government cracker.

The impression is that 1) he was pandering to his rich donor buddies; or 2) the poster child for the 1% really believes what he said. Either way—awkward! And that massive pounding sound you hear is a herd of stampeding elephants running away from what they fear might be contagious.

Said he wouldn’t concern himself with that47%, which depresses his most ardent supporters, because “hell, that’s more than half!” One major problem with insulting 47% of the American public is that at least 58% of them worry that you think they’re part of that 47% and you know 112% of America believes that. They do. Bet you $10,000.

The video’s release obscured the Romney campaign’s much ballyhooed new design to sharpen its message. Would have been interesting to see how many truckloads of flint they were going to use to try and put an edge on that much smoke. Honing fog.

His own staffer warned us. The Etch-a-Sketch has been turned upside down. Prepare to be shaken. Problem is, you keep rebooting something as stiff as Mitt and it starts short-circuiting all over the place. Romney 8.0. Better than Romney 7.0. Now with Desperation.

Maybe it’s the extra large silver spoon in his mouth that keeps him from seeing the view from the middle class. Can’t understand why they don’t pull themselves up by the bootstraps like he did when his daddy loaned him his first million.

With the debates still to come, there’s time to turn this race around. But this far in, it’s like turning the Titanic. After hitting the iceberg. And the helm is underwater. Face it, if Bain Capital were running Mitt’s campaign right now, they’d close it down, fire him and hire some Chinese guy to do it better and cheaper.

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst has a new e- book: “Elect to Laugh!” published by Hyperink. Available at redroom.com or amazon.

October 2012

THE BOLD CHOICE

With the election slipping away like a handful of mercury on a turbocharged Merry-Go-Round, Mitt Romney managed to change the conversation from unreleased tax returns and foreign misadventures by plucking Paul Ryan out of the Wisconsin wilds to be his running mate. “Romney-Ryan.” Short, alliterative and one syllable more conservative than “Obama-Biden.”

The situation appeared so desperate, the choice couldn’t wait until after Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics, forcing the House Budget Committee Chairman to share the weekend spotlight with enough English pop stars to clear out the hairspray aisle at 7 Boots’ drug stores. The Republican Congressman may be famous for his P90x work-out regimen, but the Spice Girls have much better legs. And they’re way older.

Ryan was universally hailed as a bold choice. Yeah, well, maybe, but bold is not always synonymous with good. Whiskey for breakfast is a bold choice. Spun glass underwear is bold. Forehead dragon tattoos. Passing an 18 wheeler on a blind curve doing 80 in the rain. Incredibly bold. Not necessarily smart.”

Ryan was universally hailed as a bold choice. Yeah, well, maybe, but bold is not always synonymous with good. Whiskey for breakfast is a bold choice. Spun glass underwear is bold. Forehead dragon tattoos. Passing an 18 wheeler on a blind curve doing 80 in the rain. Incredibly bold. Not necessarily smart.

Another white male Christian conservative. That is bold. But only when NOT compared to absolutely anything else. It’s been speculated a major reason for awarding the Wisconsin Congressman prize spot at the bottom of the bumper sticker was to energize the base. And total slam-dunk there. The question is: which base?

Republicans are shaking like a Brazilian supermodel on a Lake Superior beach shoot in January. Only, happier. Haven’t seen them this excited since John McCain hooked up with some governor of Alaska. Meanwhile, Democrats are salivating so uncontrollably, they’d be advised to invest in bibs to keep from soiling their 5 thousand dollar Man of-the-People suits.

A coordinated attack was immediately launched to trash Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget bill, which replaces Medicare with vouchers. Health care coupons. Why? Because old people love coupons. “I got a coupon. Only four more, we can book an anesthesiologist.”

The Romney campaign instantly counter- accused the President of gutting Medicare to the tune of $700 billion for ObamaCare. So we got that to look forward to: 11 more weeks of the echoing refrain of “You’re killing Medicare,” “No, you’re killing Medicare.” Rinse and repeat. And repeat again. Continue rinsing.

Ryan, a self-professed Ayn Rand acolyte, was forced to denounce his Objectivism hero when somebody on his staff who reads discovered Ms. Rand rejected all forms of religion, which some might infer meant she did not believe in Jesus. You can love one or the other, but not both. Like with Wham!

Allegations also arose that while Ryan ladled scorn onto the stimulus bill, he wrote 4 letters to the Secretary of Energy praising programs and requesting funds for his district. Could this be a fount of flip for Mitt’s famed flop?

Ryan doesn’t do much to help with Romney’s Richie Rich problem either. Wealthy son of a Janesville, Wisconsin highway contractor, he amended his financial disclosure statement in March, having forgotten to include a $5 million trust account. Then again, who among us hasn’t forgotten a multi million dollar trust account? “Now where did I put that pesky Five Mil? Must be in my other pants pockets.”

Difficult to discern whether the GOP Boy Wonder is helping or hindering Willard’s ticket. But if the campaign arc doesn’t start levitating real soon, he might be forced to release some tax returns just to change the conversation. Again.

The New York Times says 5 time Emmy- nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political comic working in the country today.” Check out the website: redroom.com to buy his book: “Will Durst’s Totally Indispensable Guide to the 2012 Election.” And willdurst.com to find out about stand- up performances. Such as: Saturday August 18th at Angelica’s Bistro in Redwood City.

Also: every Tuesday, Elect to Laugh! @ The Marsh, San Francisco. Only TWELVE, 12, shows left. themarsh.org.

September 2012

 

PLENTY OF G-20.

And now, your report from the front lines of the G-20 summit recently concluded in Los Cabos, Mexico. And the good news is… no knife fights. Very little broken furniture; and for the very first time in recent memory, the proceedings were judged to be more boring than watching varnish harden, which is considered a huge coup for the host country. So, Viva Mexico!

The G-20 meets once a year and is made up of 15 or 16 of the top 20 countries with the largest economies in the world, excluding Norway, the Netherlands, Spain and a couple others, but including the European Union and some other countries with special ties to the organizers. You know, like in high school. If you help decorate Prom, you know who’s compiling the guest list.

Of course, Spain is allowed to crash the festivities every year even though they’re not actually members. Like the quarterback who gets suspended for the food fight in the cafeteria, everybody loves Spain and is willing to sneak them through the back door of the party. Besides, they always bring the Sangria. And come on: they’re Spain!

An important thing to remember is the huge intractable distinctions between competing governmental conventions. The G-20 has absolutely nothing to do with the G-8, which is made up of 8 of the world’s top 10 economies excluding China and Brazil. And once in a while, the European Union wanders by, but that’s about it. Don’t even think of letting in Spain. We have our own Sangria, thank you very much. And we call it gin.

Like the G-20, the G-8 also meets once a year and was originally known as the G-6 and then G-7. So it would not take that great of a leap to put a couple of Euros down on another eventual name change to G-9. G-Double Digits, right around the corner.

And, as everybody knows, the G-20 replaced the G-33 which itself superseded the G-22, leading to speculation that the G-8 and the G-20 will someday merge and produce a mutant love child to be known as the GG-28 which will meet twice a year and hopefully be as boring as Day 3 of hospital pudding.

This was the seventh meeting of the G-20 and the politics involved were breathtaking in a stupendously vapid way. Then nothing happened. And for nothing to happen on a global scale with markets around the world as precarious as a glass sculpture above a nuclear test site located on an earthquake fault in a sand storm is exactly what everyone was praying for.

An official declaration recognized that agreements may very well be forthcoming but not until a framework can be forged to accommodate international justifications to absolve interested parties of any blame and/ or responsibility. And Greece and Spain were never mentioned by name. But we all know who they are.

Internally, it was heartily agreed that decisive action will definitely be required. Someday. By someone. But not now. And definitely not by anybody here. Then Asia and Latin America quietly bailed out Europe and nobody commented on the ignominy of it all and they all retired to the big balcony overlooking the sea to dance and smoke and drink Sangria.

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

Will Durst every Tuesday. Elect to Laugh! The Marsh. San Francisco. themarsh.org. Special $10 tix. Use code “vote.”

July-Aug 2012

AND LUKEWARM WAS HIS NAME-O.

You don’t need a psychoanalyst to detect the latent theme running through the endorsements currently showering Mitt Romney like broken rain gutters pouring down on a concrete toadstool. And that premise is ennui. “Mitt? Really? Yeah. Okay. Whatever.” Makes tepid sound like a crazed bellow. With wild enthusiasm as MIA as World Series Trophies in the Wrigley Field display case. Within the last 104 years, that is.

Someone should warn NASA because we are approaching stratospheric heights of apathy here. The only thing these highly solicited testimonials have accomplished is given a face to listless. The guy needs industrial strength hip waders to slog through the thigh high lethargy.

George W Bush carved a precious three seconds out of his busy schedule to make a momentous announcement from the inside of an elevator telling an ABC news crew, “I’m for Mitt Romney” as the doors closed on him. Not that the candidate-in-waiting was particularly lusting after 43’s imprimatur which some might call the Kiss of Campaign Death. But it effectively does nail down the eminently sought-after spoiled rich kid vote.

Rick Santorum got around to his ringing endorsement 13 paragraphs into a 16 paragraph email sent out to supporters after midnight. The only subterfuge he neglected to employ was to disguise it in semaphoric code. And these are Romney’s big-time Republican buddies. You’d think they were having their teeth pulled with families held at gunpoint on a listing catwalk yawning over an erupting caldera.

It’s been like that ever since the nominee became presumptive. Politicians oozing from the woodwork with the same kind of energetic frenzy fifth grade school girls normally reserve for haggis flavored ice cream studded with garlic pickle chips.

You got to know this is just the beginning of a series of sluggishly recalcitrant pledges of approbation. Here are some other passion-challenged tributes we can expect over the coming weeks.

“Mitt Romney. Had to go with somebody, right?”

“Not the brainwashed Romney. That was his dad.”

“Only 2 of Mitt Romney’s 5 sons think he’s a soulless Cyborg.”

“May be out of touch with the mainstream but looks pretty good tanning on the embankment.”

“Mitt Romney. Hey, it could be worse.”

“Not the kind of guy who would hold you down and cut your hair, unless you really were asking for it.”

“Pretty down to earth for someone building a 57 room mansion with a car elevator.”“Will do for America what he did for Bain Capital.”

“Survived the mean streets of Bloomfield Hills.”

“Hardly ever sneaks out at night to kick homeless guys. Anymore.”

“A man who stands by his previous statements, no matter what they are.”

“Mormons are just like Christians, aren’t they?”

“Mitt Romney. Not that bad, when you consider the alternatives.”

“He’s no John McCain.”

“Going to make the world safe for rich people.”

“Mitt Romney. When good things happen to bland people.”

“He’s Oxymormonic!”

“Hasn’t strapped a dog to the roof of his car in over 28 years.”

“Mitt Romney. He’s got gas money.”

“Never ridden a bus in his entire life.”

“Looks more like Gordon Gekko than Michael Douglas ever did.”

“Mitt Romney. A man who feels strongly about both sides of many issues.”

The New York Times says Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out willdurst.com
Elect to Laugh! Every Tuesday (thru Nov.). The Marsh. San Francisco. themarsh.org. Special $10 tix. Use code “vote.”

June 2012

PRECISELY PIVOTING POLLS

Now the general election has unofficially begun, you and I and pretty much everyone dear to us, except of course, beleaguered Kansas City Royal fans who eat BBQ at least twice a week, are about to be buried under such a blizzard of polls, we’ll be lucky to evade frostbite burns.

The two campaigns are poised to pivot like a fat kid on roller skates clutching an expiring candy store coupon-based on whatever data they receive from their intensely studied focus groups of potential voters. Because of ongoing leaps in technology and research, this time around, the polling community has gravitated towards something called micro-demographics.

Small nimble groups have replaced the old lumbering matrices of yesteryear. No longer does America have to duck while designations of Soccer Moms and NASCAR Dads are thrown our way: having become hopelessly outdated and appallingly unwieldy due to their exceptionally large sampling. These are tinier tastes, which can be more easily targeted like lasers taking out flies on Wisconsin barn roofs a mile and a half away.

For instance, according to 2008 exit polls, unmarried men unable to program their own DVRs, were 3 percent of the electorate: a group Barack Obama won by 56 percent to 51 percent. But among tall red headed women who wore green on purpose, he lost by a daunting 59 percent to 40 percent. Obviously, you can see the trend, one that does not seem to have abated during this election cycle.

Much has been made, and rightfully so, of President Barack Obama’s commanding lead over Mitt Romney amongst men whose elder brothers entered the military after getting remarried in June, but what must be even more distressing to the challenger is the amount of single divorcees over 50 who Dutch-dated men named Henry and never touched a bite of their entree that prefer the President over the former Governor of Massachusetts.

Interestingly, the widest gap between those who view Obama favorably and those who don’t, lay in the seam populated by shoe salesmen driving 10+ year old Chevy Impalas with rebuilt engines, a figure almost identical to the numbers reflected by Mississippi hairdressers who have taken out restraining orders against bus drivers who are predominantly bald. That these two groups share a margin of error has to be both intimidating and disheartening for the President.

As a point of curiosity, one of the few demographic groups in which Romney’s approval rating is higher than his favorability rating is among seniors living at home who have lost significantly more of their hearing than their teeth. By comparison, 66 percent of seniors in care facilities who suffer from shingles and a history of plantar fasciitis harbor diametrically opposed opinions. Pollsters are still trying to figure out what to make of that.

A seemingly insurmountable hill the president needs to climb lies amongst crotchety old Wyoming heart-transplant recipients with daughters who could bite your head off in a minute. Similar obstacles appear in the numbers of home gardeners whose corn crop has been decimated in the last five years by rootworm beetles, and left-handed tax accountants who refuse to drive in the dark. So, as you can see, it is becoming increasingly apparent which campaign has the upper hand right now. But whether or not they can keep this momentum churning-is anybody’s guess.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out the website: Redroom.com to buy his book or find out more about upcoming stand-up performances. Or willdurst.com. Every Tuesday. Elect to Laugh! The Marsh. San Francisco. themarsh.org. Special $10 tix. Use code “vote.”

May 2012

WE’RE ALL MUPPETS HERE.

Not easy being a Muppet. Referring to Greg Smith, formerly of Goldman Sachs, who wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about getting the hell out of Dodge, due to his company’s relentlessly spiraling moral depravity. According to Smith, associates are encouraged to pursue profit above all else, and that includes ripping out the eyeballs of their own billion-dollar clients at the same time they mockingly scorn them as Muppets.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. A complete shocker-big time brokerage firm with little or no conscience. My God. What next? High school prom parties where beer is served? Charley Sheen coming to, on the floor of a Vegas hotel after noon? Drive-through food that tastes like hot damp glued-together bar coasters? Mitt Romney making his own Robo-Calls?

Romney loves to hype his history as a private equity investment banker, so it’s not difficult to imagine him as another of the sucking pods on a waving tentacle of the vampire squid. Wrapped so tightly in the “Me First,” and “Success at any Cost” culture that he squeaks money when he moves. A sound that surely acts as a predatory mating call.

We’re all Muppets to him. On a daily basis Mr. Bain Capital will say or do whatever he thinks might possibly help on the campaign trail. “Pro-choice, I got your pro-choice. Oh wait, not pro-choice, well, then neither am I.” “What happens in the sanctity of one’s own bedroom is nobody’s business. Oh, Yes It Is!” Surprised every time he’s not photographed wearing one of those whiplash neck braces from the twisting and turning necessary to cover his wide panoply of paradoxical convictions.

Recently, this shape shifter comically sucked up to the South pretending to like cheesy grits. Mitt, nothing personal, but if ever there were a non-cheesy grits eating kind of a dude, it’s you. Even while referring to your NASCAR and NFL owner buddies, you still don’t have a song in your heart. Probably consider them nothing more than slightly better constructed sock puppets. More realistic button eyes.

That’s it, isn’t it? We’re all annoying obstacles to be overcome in order to better provide for your family. Who would be well advised not to get too comfortable, if there is anything to be learned from the fate of your valiant Irish Setter, Seamus. Is that going to be your solution to everything: hose us down?

The Politicrats even have a name for our particular kind of Muppetism, They call us Low Information Voters. People not paying too close attention. The ones that pretty much believe every ounce of slop our leaders shovel at us while greedy fingers fiddle at our orbital sockets.

Consider the 50% of Republicans in Mississippi and 45% in Alabama who still believe President Obama is a Muslim. While the hard of hearing think he’s muslin, a loosely woven cotton fabric.

Maybe that’s the ultimate goal of Republican Kingmakers like the Koch Brothers. Get rid of the messy unpredictable human element and create their own Muppet mouthpiece. Fold a spool of muslin into a head shaped ball, stick a hand up it and have it say exactly what they think we Low Information Voters, LIVers, want to hear. Or did they already do that and call it… Rush Limbaugh.

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

Don’t forget “Elect to Laugh!” at the Marsh. Every Tuesday. 415.826.5750 themarsh.org. Special $10 tickets. Use code “vote.”

April 2012

 

THE AYATOLLAH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Once again, the wacky wheel of destiny takes a mighty spin and the big red pointer lands smack on the name of the next Great White Republican Hope- Rick Santorum. The seventh or eighth candidate to vault into the lead of the GOP sweepstakes primarily because he is not Mitt Romney.

A similar phenomenon has lifted President Obama in the polls for cleverly positioning himself as not a Republican. Poor Mitt Romney, the more people see of him, the less they like him. His best chance to win this thing might be to slip into a coma for a couple months and emerge this August rested and refreshed.

Santorum however, is determined to make the road to Tampa a fight for the soul of America. Unlike some of his fallen compatriots, he doesn’t claim God told him to run for President. Rather, God is running with him for President. And you should know, neither of them is happy.

You could say Santorum is Old Fashioned. But it might be more precise to say he’s Old Testament. Women don’t have rights, they’re baby tunnels for Christ. Birth control is immoral, prenatal testing is depraved and gay marriage is an abomination. And anybody who campaigns in a sweater vest obviously knows a thing or two about abominations. The Ayatollah of Pennsylvania is on a mission to drag this country kicking and screaming back into the 50s. The 1850s.

Doesn’t believe in global warming, evolution or even public education. Actually said out loud in front of people with microphones, “For the first 150 years, Presidents home schooled their kids.” Yeah? So what? For the first 150 years, indoor plumbing was science fiction. For the first 150 years, Presidents were operated on by barbers whose instrument bags consisted mostly of leeches. For the first 150 years, the sheep barn and the living room were the same place. What’s your point?

Addressing contraception on CNN, Santorum’s biggest backer, Foster Friess, said back in his day, girls used aspirin as birth control. Hunh? “Yeah, they stuck it between their knees and tried to keep it there.” A bad 50s joke. And so is Rick Santorum. Mister Rogers with rabies.

He’s so conservative, his globe is flat. To him, erosion is a radical concept endorsed by extreme environmentalists whose phony theology is not based on the Bible. He’s so old school, his idea of progress is smelting a lighter alloy for the buckle on his hat. Wants to return America to its traditional values of burning people as witches because their tomatoes grew too big.

Reciting verbatim from Chapter Four of the conservative playbook, Santorum castigated the press for picking on GOP candidates. What these guys fail to understand is that Democrats don’t waste nearly as much political capital challenging science and logic. Don’t get me wrong, Democrats still say plenty of ludiculous stuff. But not with such vehemence and regularity. Besides, they only got one Joe Biden, Republicans have at least nine.

After the last Republican primary debate, more and more people are beginning to suspect the GOP isn’t just scraping the bottom of the barrel, they’re squeezing the goo from between the staves the leaked out of the bottom of the barrel. Yeah, right. The last debate. Promises. Promises.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out: Redroom.com to buy his book or find out more about upcoming performances. Or willdurst.com.

March 2012

 

HIGH ON THE MAINSTREAM EMBANKMENT

As rare and mythical as the unicorn, it too cavorts amongst the clouds with double rainbows birthing from its unfathomable depths. But instead of worshipful 12 year-old girls, it is conservative politicians who tack drawings of this inamorata on walls above their beds. We’re talking about the legendary… Mainstream.

The message is relatively straightforward. Inside the Mainstream, you will rub elbows with everything that is good and right and true and just about America. Families have 2.4 children, none of whom sport barbed wire piercings or dragon neck tattoos or ever talk smack back. Lawns are broad and green and crabgrass free. And children are cheerfully shuttled to school in orderly processions of grey and beige Minivans. The place to be.

Outside the Mainstream, red turbo hybrids prowl discordantly with hip hop infused rock and roll blasting from after market Korean stereo systems. Uncomfortable shoe choices are flaunted by pregnant teenage girls, while Steve Jobs’ subversive acolytes encourage impressionable minds to “think differently,” actively disrupting the carefully nurtured herd mentality. The place to flee.

Dedication to Mainstream purity extends to within the holy liquid circle as well. Newton Leroy Gingrich castigated Ron Paul for being “totally outside the Mainstream of every decent American.” And Ron Paul is a medical doctor. Apparently the Coast Guard patrolling the Mainstream is ever vigilant.

Then Willard Mitt Romney went and said pretty much exactly the same thing about Newt, which must mean he considers poor Dr. Paul dying of thirst two counties away in some desert of his own moistureless making. And President Obama? Forget about it. He can’t even see the hint of a whisper of a shadow of dampness due to the curvature of the earth.

The obvious intention of Team Romney is to plant Mitt in the soft squishy loam as the sole candidate an ordinary person could expect to meet up with in the middle of the flood plains of normalcy. Preserving the Mainstream as a very exclusive territory. A restricted tributary complete with velvet rope and a couple of hulking bouncers protecting it from the dinghies of the hoi polloi. Sort of a watery gated community. Behind which the Governor seems plenty comfortable.

Only proper God-fearing decent Americans are allowed to soak in the aqueous chestnut that is the Mainstream. The rest of us boundary crossing reprobates are prohibited from enjoying the divine waters and directed to spend summer afternoons splashing each other in shallow muddy puddles.

Of course, even to those who can afford the initiation fee, recent responses from Republican debate audiences indicate that voyaging down the Mainstream is a very expensive way to travel. Exacting heavy-duty psychic dues.

First, crowds booed a gay soldier, then cheered the death of an unfortunate who couldn’t afford health insurance, and finally leapt to their feet to applaud one of the grandstanding creekside tide surfers who ridiculed food stamp recipients.

If loss of your moral compass is a necessary qualification for luxuriating in the surging current of the Mainstream, more than a few of us will be happy to view the entire proceedings lounging high on the embankment. Besides, we have better picnic spreads.

And for those who do decide to soak in the narrow-minded current, you might want to invest in a heated wetsuit because that menacing red tide torrent of the Mainstream looks to be mighty cold.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out the website: Redroom.com to buy his book or find out more about upcoming stand-up performances. Or willdurst.com. Or don’t.

February 2012

 

TURKEY HOLOCAUST DAY 2011.

Let me be among the first 40-foot helium-filled balloons to kick-start our national parade of giving thanks. That's right, we're just about to butt heads with Turkey Holocaust Day, and to be perfectly honest, its about time. A little tryptophan poisoning might be the perfect prescription for these trying times.

Doubly comforting because this particular holiday isn't about greasing the wheels of capitalism with the fire- hose of consumer debt like that other holiday about a month down the road, which shall remain nameless. And this one doesn't hide under any religious robes either. It's purely about the journey to Comfort City through the Gluttonous Woods. Food, family, friends and football. 4 of the 5 Fs.

So, allow me to express my gratitude for the 4th Thursday of November. One of the little things that goes a long, long way to making life worth living. And here's a couple other examples of what a middle-aged round-headed political pundit bows his head and gives thanks for.

Barack Obama. Because no matter what you think of his policies, you got to admire his ability not to get involved in them.

Dick Cheney. 6 Heart attacks and the man still manages to go on a book tour. How does a guy without a heart, have 6 heart attacks? It would be like Rick Perry contracting a brain tumor.

Rick Perry suffered a 53 second brain freeze during a national debate. 53 seconds. It only took the San Francisco Forty Niners 8 seconds longer to score 2 touchdowns last Sunday. The Niners!

Former Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner who escaped the press by entering sexual rehab. "I'm a sexual addict." Yeah. There's another name for that. We call it-Male. The man is simply suffering from a not so atypical case of Y chromosome poisoning.

Newt Gingrich for refusing to go gently into that good night. Even Brett Favre is saying "give it up, old man."

Herman Cain, whose long-form, cross-country, Fox News audition has exceeded all expectations. Roger Ailes must be so proud.

The Occupy Wall Streeters. The 1% dismiss the Occupiers due to questionable hygiene. Just because you smell odd doesn't mean your message is any less true. The fact they can't afford Chanel No. 5 may be part of the point.

Bill Clinton who refuses to go away. God bless him. Although, President Obama might harbor another opinion.

Michele Bachmann. Her Newsweek cover photo made her look spooky so supporters complained they cherry- picked a creepy looking photo on purpose. Then the magazine put the entire photo shoot up online, asking, "which one would you have picked?" And everybody shut up.

The entire Democratic Party, for failing to realize they're in the middle of a war. Republicans attack them with torches and pitchforks and the Democratic response is to introduce legislation to reform pitchfork safety standards.

The entire GOP, which is waging an internal war for it's very soul. The GOP Soul. Short book. Put it on the shelf right next to Great Democratic Leadership Battles.

Sarah Palin. Who refuses to go away. God bless her. Although, Mitt Romney might harbor another opinion. Or two. Diametrically opposed to each other.

Pat Robertson who called the Republican presidential field too extreme. Pat Robertson blasting his party for extremism. That's like having your drug intervention hosted by Lindsay Lohan. And Charley Sheen is driving the van.

You can't make stuff up like this. See, I'm telling you. Life is good. Thankfully yours.

Check out the website: willdurst.com

December 2011

 

WEARING MY DEBATE FATIGUES.

Time to sound the alarm on an ominous political epidemic sweeping the nation today. A feverish America finds itself larynx deep in the throes of a severe case of debate fatigue. As evidenced by the most recent gathering of GOP candidates in Nevada, which by any unofficial tally should count as the 367th debate in the past four months with about 519 to go before an actual nominee is grudgingly settled upon.

Nowhere are the symptoms of this malaise more apparent than amongst the participants themselves, who have slowly shifted from irritable to ornery to downright cantankerous. And it's going to take more than a short regimen of low-grade antibiotics to kick this virulent bug.

You could say the last debate got a bit testy. You could also say that girl scouts make ineffective NFL middle linebackers. In nickel coverage. Against Aaron Rodgers. Mirroring the emotions of their constituents, the candidates are starting to get on each other's nerves like somebody else's disco music pinning the red in a bathroom with stainless steel walls.

After Rick Perry accused Mitt Romney of hiring illegal aliens to work on his lawn, the former Governor of Massachusetts put a condescending hand on the Texas Governor's shoulder and received a look that would liquefy granite. Fortunately, Mitt is made of stiffer stuff. But only the presence of TV cameras kept the two from making a date to meet under the bleachers right after school.

Perry's frustration is evident. The shine on his campaign has faded to root cellar dim partly due to an inability to form a complete sentence in public. Himself admitting, "debates aren't my strong suit." No. Not your strong suit. Weak suit. Leisure suit. Bathing suit. Or birthday suit. Face it, debates aren't your Bermuda shorts. And neither is foreign policy Herman Cain's black socks with sandals.

Michele Bachmann was confused by Libya being part of Africa, and Newt Gingrich may have scuttled his entire campaign by vowing, as nominee, to engage President Obama in a series of seven three-hour long debates. Smooth move. Like telling a man with heartburn you plan on serving nothing but jalapeno burritos for dinner the next two weeks. And the sour cream has curdled. Plenty of Tabasco, though.

The seven nominees in attendance spent the evening snapping at one another like hyenas over the last piece of zebra calf muscle. When the subject of immigration arose, they climbed across their podiums playing king of the hill on who would implement the strictest enforcement. Variously promising to utilize the National Guard, electric fences, predator drones and I think somebody mentioned alligator pits. Domestic alligators, of course.

The experts claim these things are designed to build better candidates. "His new found confidence is a direct result of being hardened in the primary debates." But where does "battle tested" end and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome begin? Could John McCain's punch drunk staggering be attributed to the head blows he sustained over six months of these internecine conflicts four years ago?

Luckily for everybody, the next debate is more than three weeks hence. Plenty of time to grab some air and arrange a few photo-ops in stately poses such as handing out Halloween candy and voting. Not forgetting the most important presidential business of all, begging for more money. Power ties off. Knee pads on.

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

November 2011

 

TRICKLE UP ECONOMICS

It's all a dance, really. A Democratic president summons the gumption to call for higher taxes on the rich and Republicans cry like third graders having their ice cream taken away and given to the neighbor's dog. Invoking the hoariest of chestnuts; that oldie but goodie; as predictable as mushy green grapes in a fruit salad: The Class War Boogie.

For some reason, it's always a war with these guys. The War on Christmas. Culture Wars. War on Terror. The Crusades. Then they accuse Democrats of being emotionally unequipped for battle. Well, which is it? You can't have it both ways. Actually, you can. It just makes choosing which one to cruelly abandon to the wolves of winter that much more difficult. Or not.

When taxes are raised on the rich, that's class warfare, but when subsidies are handed out to giant corporations who siphon jobs offshore so that rich people can have more money, that's Trickle-Down Economics. What Barack should do is rename his efforts to balance the playing field, "Trickle-Up Economics." That would at least confuse them. Although after watching the last couple of debates, confusion does not seem to be in short supply.

We're not even allowed to call them rich anymore. They're "job creators" now. And yes, jobs are being created. In Mexico. And Vietnam. And China. The American Dream is alive and well, just not here. It's our own damn fault, really. American workers have ruined everything with their irrational demands for safe working conditions and a living wage. Who do we think we are? Stockholders?

Republicans have been as strident as a looped siren in a stainless steel silo in their opposition to a specific Obama proposal called the Buffett Rule, which calls for billionaires like Warren Buffett to pay the same tax rate as their secretaries. The GOP prefers the Jimmy Buffett Rule, which postulates that anybody worried about next month's rent money—start drinking Margaritas until they pass out.

You know what, they're right. It is a class war. The rich started it and their side is winning. They've bombed the middle class into submission burying jobs and pensions, playing chicken at the precipice with default to protect their precious aristocracy from paying one puny penny more in taxes. Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.

40% of all income gains in the last decade have trickled up to the wealthiest 1%. The richest 400 families in this country control more money than the bottom 150 million people put together. We're moving from Depression levels of income inequality into French Revolution territory. Isn't that Madame LaFarge over there in the corner knitting?

What is it with the rich? How much money do they need? How many cars can one person drive? How many beluga caviar cream cheese canapés can they consume at a single cocktail party? How many silk pajamas with platinum threads can you spill your Dom Perignon White Gold Mimosa on at a time? Okay, three. That's what Hilda is for. One of the things.

And these are the people complaining about a class war? You want rules, how bout the Rolex Tourbillon Rule? Mandating that any job creator wearing a watch worth more than a house who ever mentions class warfare, gets a hose shoved down his throat and goose liver pumped in until pate leaks from their ears. Less war-like. More food-fighty.

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

October 2011

 

MISTER MUZZLE & NUZZLE

The Republican strategy for 2012 seems simple enough. It's a numbers game. They plan to flood the market. Set up an all- you- can- eat candidate buffet. If you don't like the potential nominee in front of you, try the next steam table. An appetizing aspirant is bound to bubble up. Or not. But at least you're moving around and getting some exercise.

The latest and greatest Great White GOP Hope to throw his hat into the ring is Rick Perry, and its no ordinary hat either; we're talking ten gallon here, folks. It appears we got ourselves another governor from Texas looking to be president. Yep, that's just what this country needs. And species- jumping hookworms. More of those too.

To Texas Democrats, he's "Captain Haircut," and to watch the high ranked coiffure campaign is déjà vu all over again. He's George Bush Lite. And yes, the redundant heights of that phrase are indeed vertigo inducing. Similar to saying… uncomfortable bus seat. Or… disingenuous oil industry spokesperson. Perry is the candidate for those of you who couldn't cozy up to Dubyah due to his intellectual elitism.

Governor Rick himself highlighted this distinction, crowing to supporters that he went to Texas A&M while Bush went to Yale. Ain't that just like a Texan? Bragging about attending a less prestigious school. See, he'd be better for the nation because he's not so smart. And already leading the polls. The Pied Piper of lowered expectations.

Perry claims he only entered the fray because God told him to. Of course, Michele Bachmann says God called on HER to run for President. So, either someone is fibbing, God is off his meds again, or we're talking about two entirely different deities. Begging the question: which god hates America that much? Kali? Pele? The Mighty Thor? Eric Clapton?

The longest serving Governor in Texas history possesses a mouth big enough to match his hat, having accused Fed Head Ben Bernanke of treason and calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme. Not to worry: staffers are proving their mettle with some nifty major league hemming and hawing and harrumphing and walking back that statement faster than a toddler can spit milk through his nose.

Demonstrating his Lone Star kick- buttedness, Perry vetoed a bill banning the execution of mentally retarded inmates, so he doesn't just embrace the death penalty, he nuzzles it. 234 on his watch. Probably can't go to sleep until sneaking a peek at his dog-eared lethal injection technical manual stuck between the mattress and box spring. One of those humane proponents of electric bleachers.

James Richard Perry also gained a bit of notoriety last year when he shot a coyote while jogging. Hate to play tennis with this guy. If he carries a .380 Ruger with hollow points while jogging, you'd always give him the net worried his racket handle had a built- in bayonet. And what does he pack on hunting trips, a Howitzer?

Be interesting to see if Perry can sell himself nationally while still maintaining Texas has a deal with the federal government allowing the state to secede at anytime. Should investigate whether that option is mutual. In the meantime, they're sliding another dish under the sneeze guard. It's smooth and chunky and piping hot. Hey! Is that Chris Christie?

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

September 2011

 

Killer Carnivorous Snails From France

You don't need me to tell you that this country is broke. Not just broke. Flat busted. Unflush. Tapped to the max. No bread or cabbage or scratch to speak of. Moolahless. Holes in our pockets. Fresh out of chump change. Sans simoleons. Hands sparkling clean of any filthy lucre. Moths flying out of our wallets. Lot of red numbers. Flinching from the whistle of the wind over our empty piggy banks. Got us a dearth of dead presidents is what we got.

So it's high time we start acting like it. As has been pointed out by pundits and politicians o'plenty, the guvmint needs to do what normal Merican families do when they run into desperate straits: pretend nothing is going on while we watch reality TV shows and drink lots of beer. No, no, no. Tried that. Didn't work.

First off, we got to stop handing over money to rogue nations that simply use it to buy guns they then turn on us. If we insist on helping these toads out, we should eliminate the middleman and furnish the guns direct. We can buy in much bigger bulk than they, procuring them cheaper, saving bundles of cash. And we taxpayers keep the kickbacks instead of the politicians. Win-win.

Secondly, we should take advantage of this Arab Spring democracy movement. Provides the perfect cover to lay off some of our under performing dictators. Isn't it about time we co-opted a new generation of despots? Since they'd be junior journeymen oppressors, they should cost less. Like major corporations lay off expensive senior executives, we'll replace our pricey aging tyrants.

But we all know it's not enough to make a few minor cuts in the budget, we also have to work on increasing revenue. And I don't mean selling off ancient public institutions like various national monuments or Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Their resale values ain't what they used to be. Although it might help to seasonally adjust the bottom line.

We need to think outside the box. Direct Research and Development to produce and sell something that every American needs. Like an anti SARS serum. The deal is, we engineer and market the antidote now, then fashion a huge penicillin-resistant SARS scare later, and have the FDA approved shot or salve or cream or whatever available at your local pharmacy in time for cold and flu season? Tie-Ming. Not just a city in China.

Doesn't have to be SARS. Could be anything. If SARS is too scary for the squeamish, lay down a few well-placed rumors of rampaging mutant Killer Carnivorous Snails from France and change the product to Fast Acting Snail Repellent. Same formula. Different packaging. Then ratchet up the panic with a bunch of infomercials. You know: news stories. Fox. CNN. Bloomberg. Create an imaginary vacuum and fill it. Worked for the Tea Party.

Even if it does eventually come out the whole event was manufactured, the residual damage would be minimal. What's the worst that could happen? People lose faith in their elected leaders? Oh no. Not that. The government is already lying to us on a regular basis, the least we can do is figure out how to make some money off of it. Got to ask ourselves: What would Microsoft do?The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst "is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today." Check out the website: Redroom.com, to find out more about upcoming stand-up performances or to buy his book, "The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing."

More: willdurst.com

July-August 2011

RUN, NEWT, RUN!

Out of elective politics for over a decade, dithering on the sidelines like a moody Southern fried Hamlet, Newt Gingrich jumped back into the ring announcing plans to run for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination. And for every analyst and every pundit and every satirist everywhere, allow me to say: Hooray! Thank you, kind sir, may I have another?

His re- entrance onto center stage is welcome on many fronts. First off, the guy's name is Newt. Never in the annals of political mockery have we had the chance to make herpetological jokes before or after. And rest assured we will avail ourselves of the opportunity. Expect the phrase Lizard-Boy to reassume a central role in the national lexicon soon.

Then there's his penchant for routinely ratcheting the rhetoric up past eleven. Hundred. Our recent precipitous plunge into polarization can easily be traced to Gingrich's scorched earth ascension in the early 90s. There are no honorable opponents in Newt World, only despicable traitors. Each disagreement, a nuclear war. And anybody who isn't a white male Christian poses a major threat to democracy as we know it and should be vaporized only after having his knees broken as an example.

"Obama is the most radical president in American history and views the citizenry through a Post- Colonial Kenyan perspective." "The gay fascist movement wants to overthrow the government and destroy religion through violence." He's a trash-talking intellectual poseur with the subtlety of a hippo in a tutu.

The good news for Gingrich is that he ranks very high in recognition polls. The bad news for Gingrich is that he ranks very high in recognition polls. The founder and spokesman of Renewing American Leadership comes equipped with more baggage than a Carnival Cruise liner taking on the contents of two stranded sister ships. Might be three people tops in the country whose opinions of the former Speaker of the House haven't solidified like frozen chicken grease.

Love him or hate him, there's no in-between; and that includes his own party. To some Republicans, he's Moses who led them out of the desert to the promised land of taking back the House in 94, for the first time in 40 years. To others he's Voldermort. Sparking an ill-fated government shutdown then resigning under a cloud of ethics violations: some still refer to him as "He Who Must Not Be Named."

Dr. Newton Leroy Gingrich is generally considered an ideas man. Not good ideas necessarily, but big ideas. Accusing enemies of being socialist Nazis. That's new. Also odd ideas, like claiming his adulterous behavior stemmed from loving his country too darn much. So essentially, he did to two mistresses what he wanted to do to us. Thanks ladies. And yet, he attracts evangelical followers with his traditional family values platform. And having three wives just proves he's Extra Traditional.

Gingrich can't win and if he's half as smart as he thinks he is, he has to know that. So, why is he running? To what end? Increased face-time to sell more of his twenty plus books? Can't get enough of the sound of his own voice? Or is his responsibility simply to throw bombs at all the major edifices and let Mitt Romney waltz through the smoldering ruins unscathed? The only problem is, like sweaty nitroglycerine, Mr. Gingrich is highly charged and unpredictable. A human IED. Run. Newt. Run.

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

June 2011

BIRTHER BOZOS NEED A NEW NOSE.

Goaded into action by a nattering of numbskulls, Barack Obama finally released the long form of his Certificate of Live Birth from the state of Hawaii, and hopefully threw the last shovel of dirt onto this inception nonsense, but the suspicion is, no, probably not. As we speak, vanquished Birther Bozos are crawling out of the crypt searching for a new nose to wear. First the short form, now the long form, soon they’ll want to see the director’s cut. Then, on a television near you, the mini- series.

Anything to reinforce the strangeness of the first African American president. “Different than you and me.” “Not a real American.” Explains those silly cries of “We’re taking our country back.” Yeah. From the black guy. What they really want is the 1950s and the front of their buses back.

Don’t think this is over. This is not over. Not by a long shot. People believe what they want to believe. Facts be damned. 30% of the GOP still believes Saddam Hussein was responsible for 911 and weapons of mass destruction are currently cruising the streets of Fallujah disguised as ice cream trucks. Driven by men wearing tinfoil hats.

Obama’s actions spurred some on the Right to charge him with orchestrating this whole distraction to keep the country from the real issues. Wow. The perfect somersault of blaming the hit and run victim for walking alone on a sidewalk late at night. “He attacked my bumper with his chest.”

Others, like Newt Gingrich, refuse to be convinced. “There are still questions.” Yeah, and besides, Obama’s citizenship is due to a technicality, because on August 4th, 1961, Hawaii had been a state for less than two years. Maybe the flippo- units will switch tactics and demand proof he’s not a Muslim. And won’t be satisfied until they see a signed and dated parchment from Allah.

The disgrace is, the President was forced to hold a press conference, not to address the reshuffling of his national security team: but rather… where he was born. His exact quote was: “not going to be able to do our jobs if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.” In response, the main carnival barker, Donald Trump, claimed to be honored for making the president jump through hoops like a trained Pomeranian. Who also would not be eligible to be president.

The Donald is that kid in high school oblivious to the whole class making fun of him, including the teacher. Faced with the very concrete evidence he insisted on viewing, you’d think he’d find a gracious way to back off, but you’d be as wrong as blaze orange camo. Buffalo chip cookies. Cheesecloth mittens.

The Aerodynamic Coif instead upped the ante to question how a guy named Barack Hussein Obama got into Harvard Law and wants to see his college transcripts, which is a really, really sly way of throwing out the “n” word. Surprised he didn’t use “shiftless.”

We need Trump to provide samples of his DNA to prove he’s actually a carbon- based life form. Show us your hairline Captain Carnival Barker. What’s next: a mole count? Will a committee be empanelled to investigate the number of moles on the president’s body? “Where are they and why is he hiding them? And exactly how many of them are shaped like his socialist supervisor, Cuba?”

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

May 2011

No-Fly Guy

No one said being President was going to be easy. And no one was right. You get yelled at for doing things and you get yelled at for not doing things. Often both times by the same people. Which is kind of like saying, "even when you agree with us, you're wrong." That's a tough hill to climb.

Take Libya. Please. After it became apparent the native uprising against Qaddafi was not going to replicate the successes of Egypt, President Obama got lambasted by Republicans for not immediately leaping tall buildings to help them freedom loving Libyans, like some guy from Texas would have done. Then, from the other end of the same street, the Rip Van Winkle Republican Anti- Interventionists awoke from hibernation and objected to any involvement. Ever. Anywhere. If these folks had their way, they'd take away his passport.

Through a series of delicate negotiations, Barack managed to cobble together an International alliance to enforce a no- fly zone over Libya. Good timing, eh? We finally get most of our boys out of Iraq and boom, up jumps another crisis where we get to carry the democratic load. Superman should have warned us; this superhero thing can get a wee bit tiresome. I guess the deal is, you get used to running two wars, it's not easy trying to get by on just one. Going to have to face it, we're addicted to war. Oops. Don't call it war.

This endeavor, altercation, conflict, campaign, enmity, friendly fracas, (not a crusade) is shaking out differently. At least we don't have to worry about being accused of ulterior motives since there obviously isn't any oil in Libya, oh… uh, scratch that. Wait, I got it. One big difference is we have actual allies this time around instead of imaginary friends. And the coup de gras is the Arab League throwing in with us. An inspired consideration when you insist on invading Arab countries.

Of course this skirmish, dispute, clash, carnage, quarrel, grapple in the sand has nothing to do with Islam or oil, its about, um, promoting democracy and getting rid of a bad guy. So if I were Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, I'd watch my back. The man is obviously harboring weapons of mass seduction. Then again, maybe we'll wait until they find oil in Tuscany.

The oddest thing about this onslaught, strife, contention, assault, incursion, discordant havoc is discovering the biggest problem with having allies is having to work with the allies. Who knew? Not an overly large worry for cowboys with a penchant for going it alone. Should be okay though, since history has shown the French and the English are both easy - going, low - maintenance types. Wonder whatever happened to those shy, retiring Germans? After all, they know North Africa like the back of their hand.

We're calling it Operation Odyssey Dawn, after the girlfriend of some Marine who hung out too long in bars along the shores of Tripoli, I guess. But even with a name like a ship out of the Carnival Line, getting rid of Qaddafi will be no cruise. The guy is nuttier than a U- Top- It Sundae from Dairy Queen. Gave himself a military rank and chose Colonel. Uses his own people as human shields. His name begins with a Q, its not followed by a U, he plays by rules we don't even understand. If that don't spell crazy, time to get a new dictionary.

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

April 2011

THE SLEEVES OF A VEST.

This is but a snapshot. A frozen moment in time, guaranteed to transmogrify on an hourly basis. So, knowing the situation is fluid, here's your Friday budget update and if I were you, I'd find a nice comfy chair to plop down into, because this promises to be more frustrating than translating Sanskrit into Japanese using Morse Code smoke signals in the rain.President Obama released HIS budget plan, which calls for tens of billions of dollars of program cuts mixed with tax increases. The Republicans countered with THEIR plan specifying nine figures of cuts only, and Ron Paul, well, he just wants to invade China, give them a proper thrashing and take all our money back. Meaning that although we're less than two months deep into the 112th Congress, looks like business as usual.

Abstract theory time is over now and actual programs are being singled out for devastation, decimation and elimination, and as we all know: one man's pork is another man's paycheck. But this is about symbolism, not jobs. Tea Partiers were promised $100 billion in cuts and they're going to get $100 billion in cuts, even though Charlie Sheen has a better chance of being appointed St Sebastian's Girls School choir chaperone on a field trip to Vegas than the GOP proposal has of surviving a Presidential Veto.

Nevertheless, Conservatives are cementing their ideological bona fides by rounding up the usual suspects and painting budgetary crosshairs on the faces of their mortal enemies: the EPA, AmeriCorps, Public Broadcasting, and AMTRAK. The ugly little secret being—spending at the Pentagon will rise and nobody needs talk about Social Security or Medicare until experts have analyzed the polls on this present skirmish at least a gazilliondy times.

As expected, folks have taken to each other's plan like a pod of giant squid to hot air ballooning. Obama continues his tap dance down the middle. The Right whines he hasn't cut deep enough and The Left pouts he's gone too far. He compares the GOP strategy to a dieter who vows to lose 30 pounds, and does so by cutting off a leg. And the Repubs fire back he's a girly man scared to make the tough decisions, who could provide better leadership by curling into a fetal position behind the couch licking the cat's butt.

Congress has to pass a spending bill before March 4, or the entire government shuts down, which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for that whole roads and hospitals and customs and air traffic controllers thing. Everyone agrees the gulf between the two combatants is wide but a new fiscal reality is here to stay and will affect education, security and agriculture, meaning more students per class, fewer cops on the streets and larger pieces of pig hoof in your wiener.

While the adversaries bristle and posture in public like male porcupines in pre- mating heat, Barack remains confident he can find common ground with the GOP leadership in private. Good Luck. Considering the smug intransigence of the Boehner Clan, that sounds like the political equivalent of pinning your hopes to escape a burning building on tying together the sleeves of a vest.

Will Durst is a writer who often tells jokes to drunks in bars. Check him out at Zanies, Downtown Chicago, February 22- 27.

March 2011

THE BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA 2011 STATE OF THE UNION DRINKING GAME!

NEEDED TO PLAY:

• 4 taxpayers of any sex: 1 rich white banker- type wearing dark suit with loosened tie. 2 ordinary folks wearing jeans; 1 in a blue or flannel work shirt, the other in a white shirt, sleeves rolled up. 1 poor bedraggled person wearing clothes that look like they were retrieved from the bottom of a rodeo dumpster behind the animal performer stalls.

• 1 living room with a TV tuned to the State of the Union Address.

• 1 shot glass per person. Everybody brings own, scattering array on coffee table in front of TV. Banker gets first choice for use during game. White shirt picks next, then work shirt. Banker pockets last shot glass as well, and Rags either rents it from him, steals a replacement from the kitchen or drinks out of own cupped hands.

• Ante up 25 bucks. Cash. Except Banker, who tosses in an I.O.U. and Rags who everybody just avoids eye contact with.

• 3 packages of steamed Vienna Beef Chicago style hot dogs in the middle of table with butter grilled buns, tomatoes, onions, and some of that weird neon green relish on the side.

• 1 bottle of bourbon.

• A large stash of beer in cans on ice. Rags gets whatever is on sale, like Heileman's Old Style Ice Light Dry. Banker gets import of choice. Jeans get whatever they want, but have to buy all the beer, bourbon, hot dogs, condiments and carry the groceries by themselves.

RULES OF THE GAME.

Every time Barack H Obama mentions bipartisanship, everybody has to drink 2 shots of beer. If he talks about the lessons of Tucson, the last person to throw their arms in the air, fall to their knees and shout "Hallelujah!" has to drink 1 entire beer.

Everybody has to drink 2 shots of beer whenever John Boehner appears to cry. 1 shot of bourbon if he breaks down sobbing and disappears entirely from view.

Every time Barack H Obama says "Democratic leadership," the first person to stop laughing is exempt from drinking 2 shots of beer.

If either Vice President Biden or the Speaker of the House Boehner is seen nodding off on camera, last person to start singing "Wake Up, Little Susie" has to drink 3 shots of beer.

If the President says the State of the Union is good, but could be better, the last person to eat a fully accoutered hot dog has to drink 1 shot of bourbon.

Whenever the President defends ObamaCare, everybody drinks 2 shots of beer. If he mentions Congress voting to repeal it, drink a whole beer and throws hot dogs at the television. The first person to hit Nancy Pelosi in the head is exempt from having to drink 2 shots of bourbon.

If the President relates a touching heartfelt story of a supporter who was denied a decent education, Rags gets to kick everybody else once. Twice, if the subject of the anecdote is in the audience. 3 times, if he/ she is sitting next to a 2 star general.

Every time President Barack Obama talks about his resolve and adopts a frowny look with his brow all furrowed and stuff, drink 1 shot of beer.

If the Chief Executive winks at or points at Michelle, all 4 players swordfight with hot dogs. Whoever is left with an intact weenie does not have to eat an entire shot glass full of that weird green relish.

If the president mentions the Chinese President by name, the last person to ask "Hu Dat?" has to drink 2 shots of beer.

EXTRAS:

• Optional: Have all players drink with left hand. Unless left- handed. If they are caught drinking with dominant hand, they must watch the entire Republican response and no drinking allowed.

• If the Dancing Baby from Ally McBeal appears on the screen at any time, stop drinking immediately.

•Banker takes home money, shot glasses and bourbon. The I.O.U. is discarded.

•Leftover beer and hot dogs go home with Rags after he/ she finishes washing the dishes.

San Francisco based political comedian, Will Durst, writes sometimes: this is an example. Coming soon from Ulysses Press: "Where the Rogue Things Go!" Pre- order your copy at Amazon. Feedback: durst@westsideobserver.com

February 2011

THE TOP TEN COMEDIC NEWS STORIES OF THE FIRST DECADE OF THE 21st CENTURY.

Believe it or not, an entire decade has passed since the turn of the Millennium. 120 months. One tenth of a century. More than 3600 days. How did that happen? Its harder to comprehend than a faded Kazakhstani street sign tagged by Mongolian graffiti. As we are painfully aware, much ugly stuff occurred during the decade, but what with all the mayhem and turmoil, you might think nothing worth laughing about went down. You’d be wrong. I know. I know. I know. “Not another Top Ten List. ” Yes. Another Top Ten List. Hey, how many ends of the decade does one get in a lifetime? Maybe seven, eight, fourteen if you’re lucky. So, deal with it, because thar she blows: a list of the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the First Decade of the 21st Century. And not a Paris Hilton or Somali pirate sighting among them.

Kerry- Edwards- 04. Worst campaign ever. And that includes France in 39. Who would have thought Democrats would fondly reminisce about the charismatic Gore- Lieberman ticket?

The Clintons. He got 12 million for his memoirs. She got 8 for hers. Not bad for two people, who testified under oath for eight years- they couldn’t remember a single thing.

Economic Bubbles Bursting. Dot com. Energy. Housing. Summed up best by Enron Ethics manual on eBay whose seller described it as being in “mint condition- never used.” That could have been the problem. Sold- $250.

John McCain. Old warhorse finally gets his shot. Then couldn’t remember how many houses he owned. Turns out he had 8. Every time I get 4 houses I trade them in for a hotel.

Political sex scandals. Vitter. Foley. Edwards. Ensign. Sanford. And Spitzer, the NY Governor who flew a hooker from New York to DC, because God knows there aren’t enough hookers in DC. 535 that I can think of, offhand. Put her up at the Mayflower and gave her 4 grand. That’s a liberal. A conservative will try to get it for free in an airport men’s room stall. Demonstrating fiscal responsibility.

Barack Obama. Half- black President demonstrates America ready to be Afro- curious. People still freaking out. “Born in Kenya.” No, he wasn’t. He was born in Honolulu. In a manger.

Weapons of Mass Destruction. President Bush was misled into thinking Iraq had WMDs because he was provided with faulty intelligence. Yeah, DNA is a bummer. Turns out it wasn’t Iraq with the WMD, it wasn’t Iraq with ties to Al Qaeda: it was Iran. We were so close. Probably just a clerical error.

Dick Cheney. Accidentally shot a guy in the face with a gun and got the victim to apologize. Then again, who among us hasn’t mistaken a 78 year- old lawyer wearing an orange vest for an immense quail?

Sarah Palin. For those of us going cold turkey on George Bush, the former governor of Alaska is like a double dose of methadone.

George W Bush. If Reagan and Quayle had a kid. A Wheel of Fortune President in a Jeopardy world. For 8 wonderful years, he was the Full Employment Act for political comedy. And we welcome him back.

San Francisco based political comic, Will Durst, who writes sometimes, (this being a creditable example) fully expects the next decade to be as fertile, material- wise.

Catch Durst in stand- up mode at The Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show XVIII. Dec. 26- Jan. 1. 6 comics. 7 cities. 8 shows. 2,437 laughs. willdurst.com or 415.820.9628. Facebook. Twitter. Blah- blah.

December 18, 2010

THE TOP TEN COMEDIC NEWS STORIES OF 2010

Please be advised: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2010 are not to be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2010. They are as different as Lasagna and asphalt. Ear wax and linoleum. A lunch wagon sink trap and nuclear lab clean rooms. Toe shoes and track cleats. Christian Science Ministers and health insurance seminars. Sure, sure, there were more serious stories involving death and destruction and devastation o’plenty but we tend to concentrate more on those narratives that offer a break from the tension. That allow us to view the desolation from the lighter side of the vast dark chasm. Like when Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Elena Kagan and the Chilean miners were disrupted by the Icelandic Volcano from attending the World Cup. A worthy account yes, but alas, not esteemed enough for our list. So here they are, the stories from 2010 that most lent themselves to joshing and kidding and ribbing.

10. Dick Cheney’s 6th heart attack. How does a guy without a heart have 6 heart attacks? It would be like Rod Blagojevich contracting a brain tumor. Cheney is so evil, Hell keeps spitting him back.

9. Barack Obama. True to his word, the 44th President managed to unite the country. Against him. Although, the two sides do view him through different prisms. The right sees him as Malcolm X. The left- Urkel.

8. Christine O’Donnell. Delaware Senatorial candidate claimed she’s not a witch. Then the local Wiccan community denied having anything to do with her. Which probably didn’t lead above the fold on her election eve mailer.

7. California Gubernatorial Candidate Meg Whitman. A Jerry Brown staffer called her a “ho” and she went ballistic. “Its an insult to all women.” Nooooo, we’re pretty sure it was specific to you. Spends more than a seventh of a billion dollars on her campaign and still cuts her hair with a salad shooter. Go figure.

6. Glenn Beck. Attempts to reclaim the civil rights movement by holding a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Because isn’t it about time angry middle aged pudgy white guys got a fair shake from society?

5. Health Care. 2700 pages long. Or 2900. They’re still not sure. Lot of stuff can happen in 200 pages. I’ve read Harry Potter.

4. The TSA’s new search policy. Just direct me to the agent who didn’t volunteer for the gig.

3. Sarah Palin. At Tea Party Convention she criticized Obama for over dependency on a Teleprompter while she had notes written on her hand. Which is a 5th grade teleprompter for people who can’t read fast. Every two weeks there’s something with her. Every two weeks, she erupts. She’s like Republican herpes. And I mean that in a good way.

2. George W Bush’s Autobiography. Decisions Decided by the Deciding Decider. Wherein he talks about how glad he is to be out of Washington. That makes about 310 million of us. Online campaign urges customers to transfer book from Non Fiction to True Crime.

1. BP Oil Spill. Largest pile of toxic sludge to hit American shores since Ann Coulter’s latest book. Brightside: Able to refuel jet ski midtrip.

San Francisco based political comic, Will Durst, writes sometimes, this being a laudable example, and expects 2011 to provide him with even richer grist.

Catch Durst in stand- up mode at the 18th Annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show. Dec. 26- Jan. 1. 6 comics. 7 cities. 8 shows. 2,347 laughs. willdurst.com or 415.820.9628.

December 12, 2010

TOP TEN CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR WALL STREET FAT CATS.

It’s the most… wonderful time… of the year. And the most frantic and anxious and mind numbing and expensive. The rewarding part is my on- going seasonal side job as a lumpy elfin holiday gift consultant, where it is an honor and a privilege to be able to pass along some hot tips for this year’s Christmas shopping lists. None of which involve surplus uranium tailings from sales to the Iranians.

There’s still more than a few of us struggling to climb out of financial holes so deep we’re being tickled by the tendrils of redwood roots, but we’re not that difficult to shop for. Dollar coins. Discount clothing. Used food. Lint covered gum and pennies. Roadkill wrapped in the Sunday Funnies. We are the re- giftable.

It’s the other end of the spectrum that concerns me. The least needy of us. Wall Street is shoveling out record bonuses. Again. What to get the person who can buy anything? Perhaps the gifts you’ve lined up for your investment banker friends won’t be considered up to snuff. Well, I’m here to convince you to let those worries go. After all, it’s the thought that counts. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

No, seriously. To ease your stress, we here at Durstco have come up with a catalog of prospective Christmas Gifts that any Wall Street Tycoon would be honored to find under their holiday shrubbery. And who knows, maybe in appreciation, he or she will slide you insider status on the newest IPOs. Probably not, but what the hell, here we go with the TOP TEN CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR YOUR WALL STREET BROKER BUDDIES.

10. A peacock. Provides the double benefit of being both the ultimate symbol of excessive extravagance and extremely difficult to care for.

9. A copy of George W Bush’s autobiography because, during the holidays, everyone can use a good laugh.

8. A kidney in an ice chest. Purchased from a poor person. Always good to have one lying around just in case.

7. A Lexus. According to TV, that’s what rich people give each other for the holidays. Don’t forget the big red bow.

6. A get out of jail free card. No, a real Get Out of Jail Free Card. You must know somebody who knows somebody.

5. A Faberge Egg. Only 42 are known to have survived. Go for it. Check out eBay. Or call Meg Whitman direct.

4. A pair of Bernie Madoff’s underwear. Or just frame any old pair of size 36s and say they’re his. Its what he would have done.

3. A signed first edition of Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of the Vanities” because nothing else says, “Master of the Universe” quite like it.

2. A US Senator. Oh sure, they probably already have one socked away, but who’s ever thrown out a Senator because they went bad? Not Congress.

1. A soul. Odds are, they’ve sold, misplaced or ruined theirs. Just realize in advance they’ll probably sell, misplace or ruin this one as well.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based humor columnist who frequently tells jokes. Out loud. On purpose. In front of people. Who laugh. Ideally.

Catch an example at the Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show XVIII, December 26- January 1.

December 4, 2010

DON’T TAZE MY JUNK, BRO.

One thing you can say about this whole TSA enhanced pat down mess: nobody will ever board Virgin Airlines again without ruefully grimacing. Folks are flipping out like wolverines bouncing off of submarine trampolines over new regulations requiring a prospective flier to submit to having his or her naughty bits exposed for all the world to see, or else agree to a groinal groping that would have our ancestors’ fathers brandishing shotguns outside of rural chapels or contemporary school children showing Federal Marshalls on the doll where the nasty agent put his hands. “Bad touch. BAD TOUCH!”

Most troublesome is not the compelling of passengers to slide into second base with complete strangers but rather the suspicion these decisions are being made on the fly with little forethought. Flight crews are subjected to the same sub rosa muggings. Face it, you and I, we don’t know nothing, but even we can figure out pilots don’t need explosives up their butt to bring down an aircraft when a second double bourbon at the airport bar will suffice.

Equal representation under the glove would also be nice. VIPs are exempt from screening, but nobody will divulge who qualifies as a VIP. That’s classified. Isn’t everything? We’re in the thick of classified creep. How long before it’s illegal for civilians to videotape pat downs due to “national security;” the federal equivalent of “Because I said so, that’s why.” Not to mention arresting so- called comedians for talking trash. “Don’t taze my junk, bro.”

The recent bleating from the front lines of the security wars is an indication the natives are restless. Business travelers have tired of securing our safety through their captive inconvenience. Then again, 50% of the people experiencing the procedure are in favor of it. Must be part of that large segment of society that enjoys having their inner thighs pawed and genitals, butts and breasts felt up. Me, not so much. I’ve had less intimate fifth dates.

The flying experience is in the throes of a death spiral, from the evaporation of our nuts and pillows and checked baggage to shedding shoes and surrendering fluids and providing peeks under our underwear to being frisked like common criminals. Where does it stop? What happens when some flippo- unit tries to blow something up with zipper shaped plastique? Will only the Amish fly? A single button bomb could result in us all wearing robes and then the terrorists do win.

How soon before we add body cavity searches to the casual molestations in our pre flight check- lists? Precipitating few outcries even when the airlines try to make some extra coin by piggy backing prostate exams. In the meantime, we fly the overly friendly skies and do whatever they want of us cattle and sheep: bend and cough and walk a little funny and act like nothing happened. More static and drool.

In the meantime, just direct me to whichever TSA screener didn’t volunteer for the job. And no ex- priests if you please. I might even wriggle and giggle and blush and bloom and slip the man attached to the blue rubber glove a card. Hey, they’re intent on creeping us out, why not return the favor? One last question: are we supposed to tip, or only if there’s a happy ending? Least they could do is provide a well- ventilated room for a post encounter cigarette.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based humor columnist who frequently tells jokes. Out loud. On stage. In front of people. Ideally.

Catch an example at DC’s Funniest Celebrity at the DC Improv, December 2, and Rancho Nicasio on Sunday, the 5.

His new CD, “Raging Moderate,” now available from Stand Up! Records on iTunes and Amazon.

Early next year: “Where the Rogue Things Go!” From Ulysses Press.

will durst

November 27, 2010

THANKSGIVINGS OF YORE.

The 4th Thursday of November is definitely the bestest holiday. Food, Family, Friends and Football. 4 of the 5 Fs. I most fondly remember the Thanksgivings of yesteryear. The big old family reunions, which I looked forward to, until about five seconds after I hit the driveway, then it all comes back… why I left home. And they always made me sit at that stupid fold- up cardboard kids table. Never got to graduate to the wooden table because none of them would die. Darn medical advances.

Thanksgiving was my mother’s designated holiday and she thought she was cooking for the Eighth Tank Battalion. Every year she’d seek out a mutant poultry farm and buy a turkey the size of a La-Z-Boy recliner, so it was turkey for weeks. Turkey till YOU trot. Turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, turkey ala king, turkey shakes, until finally, turkey carcass in hot water. Soup? No, Ma, it’s skeleton juice. Gobble till you wobble.

These were potluck occasions, with every family responsible for schlepping their version of a vision of a side dish. Lime Jell-O with olive shreds in it. Because green food is nutritious food. Oyster raisin dressing. Lamb pudding. Creamed rutabaga. Beet pear slaw. Hollowed out pickles filled with ranch dressing and cheese curds. Herring balls.

Thirteen bean salad. No, I wish I were making this up. I had no idea there were 13 different types of edible beans. I had no desire to eat them all at one sitting. I certainly would not have chosen to be in a houseful of 23 other people who had eaten 13 types of edible beans. “Crack a window, Billy. Well, break it then.” Candle flames turning blue all over the house. “Methane is our friend.”

Dinner is delayed because my mother’s sister is late and four assembled families who last ate at breakfast are taunted by the fowl perfume of a roasting turkey for six hours and as frenzied as coyotes suspended over a yard full of wounded bunnies. All of the nuts and chips and some of the throw pillows and smaller children have long since disappeared.

My aunt finally arrives accompanied by her bizarre mystery food. Seems innocent enough; a glass Pyrex dish with tinfoil on top. International symbol for normal food, I believe. But no, it’s a food ruse. A culinary ambush. Lift the foil and this stench shoots straight up. Ceiling tiles curling at the edges. Three rooms away watching football, grown men go “the hell was that?” Children crying uncontrollably, “Daddy, I’m scared.”

A greasy grey mass that appeared to be boiling, but is nowhere near any apparent heat source. Round misshapen objects floating to the surface. Nobody would go near it. Somebody made a feeble attempt and the spoon broke. Mom elbows me in the side: “Billy, try some of Aunt Hoogolah’s Dupamouche.” “Okay, Ma, let me get a separate plate.” The old separate plate trick. We lost more animals that way.

The evening ends with two matriarchs locked in a mortal death clinch, bumping bellies on the back porch with 100 mm. menthols dangling from their mouths while their spouses trade wild drunken blows on the driveway and the kids pelt them with greasy poultry bones from behind raked piles of leaves. Aah, memories. And that was way back in 2009. Some traditions never die. This year, I’m bringing the Dupamouche.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based humor columnist who frequently tells jokes. Out loud. On stage. In front of people. Ideally.

Catch an example Thanksgiving Week all over the Milwaukee area.

The Safe House on November 23, 24 & 28, 414.271.2007, Paolo’s on the 26, 414.727.9332, and the Railroad Station in Saukville, 262.284.3990, on the 27.

Then DC’s Funniest Celebrity at the DC Improv, December 2, and Rancho Nicasio on Sunday, the 5.

His new CD, “Raging Moderate,” now available from Stand Up! Records on iTunes and Amazon.

Early next year: “Where the Rogue Things Go!” From Ulysses Press.

November 21, 2010

DECISIONS DECIDED BY THE DECIDING DECIDER.

You have to marvel at George W Bush’s audacious return to the national stage not to mention his curious timing. After all, there wasn’t what you would call an overwhelming popular demand clamoring for his reappearance. Apparently even putative war criminals got to make a living. But it’s going to take more than one media blitzing book tour to scrub his image. For that he’ll either need another two or three decades of restorative exile or a wire- mesh scouring pad the size of Albania.

Here comes the New Bush, just like the Old Bush. The first volume of 43’s memoirs (oh, there will be more) has been released and though you know in your heart he wanted to call it “The Great Decider” or “Decisions Decided by the Deciding Decider,” cooler heads prevailed at Crown Publishing Group simply titling it, “Decision Points” as told to George Bush by Dick Cheney. No. I just made that last part up. And neither is Amazon bundling the autobiography with “My Pet Goat” but it’s a fiendishly good idea.

Not sure who edited this puppy, but odds are they burned through about 4 spell checks. Ironically, he’s got a long way to go to live up to the standards set in previous Bush Family tell- alls especially the one penned by his mother’s dog. Booksellers will surely decide which section to stock the volume geographically. In Dallas, it will go under Biography. DC, Current Events. San Francisco, Horror. And New Orleans, True Crime.

To be honest, it’s kind of creepy to see Laura’s husband plastered all over the tube again after a two year sabbatical. Like Hollywood rebooting a particularly gruesome series of “Nightmare on K Street” movies. Can’t be easy for him either, flacking 512 pages of redacted reminiscences with an approval rating hovering around the level of “go to snake belly and dig,” but that’s show biz.

This collection of recollections or more precisely, lack thereof, is about as revealing as an aerial view of an underground bunker. Like a negligee on your grandma. You’re afraid of what you might see but can’t help looking. No problem. To say this print revival effort is not big on revelations is like implying moles don’t need sunblock. Then again, maybe it’s a continuation his own personal, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Then Lie, policy. George Bush and introspection: Not a match. The board goes back.

He does nail a colloquial tone in this tome leading off with a self- deprecating tour of his storied misspent youth. Then takes too much time whining about the churlish noise of politics, oblivious to the fact that his good buddy, Karl Rove is responsible for adding numerous decimal points to the decibel damage. Goes on to speak about how happy he is to be out of Washington, and with all due respect, may I say sir, that makes 310 million of us.

Throughout the book, Bush clings to the notion that waterboarding is legal and not torture (cuz a guy said so) which should hold a measure of solace to the segment of the book reading public who would rather be waterboarded than read this unapologetic self- serving hogwash. Although admittedly, compared to other presidential self chroniclings- not half bad. Definitely two steps above the expected “I Can Haz Prezidenzy?” Crayons sold separately.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based humor columnist who frequently tells jokes. Out loud. On stage. In front of people. Ideally.

Catch an example at The Bell Theater at Angelico’s Restaurant in Redwood City on November 13th.

November 19th at Live Wire Radio, livewireradio.org, and Saturday November 20th at the Bagdad Cafe, 503.467.7521, both in Portland, Oregon.

& Thanksgiving week all over the Milwaukee area. Safe House, Paolo’s & the Railroad Station.

His new CD, “Raging Moderate,” now available from Stand Up! Records on iTunes and Amazon.

Early next year: “Where the Rogue Things Go!” From Ulysses Press.

will durst

November 14, 2010

NOT A POST APOCALYPTIC WRAP UP.

First things first. This is a post election wrap-up. Not a post- apocalyptic wrap-up. Yeah, the GOP did well. After a change in Administrations, the minority party won a bunch of House seats in the following midterm election. Ho hum. Whoop ti-do. BFD. In itself, this is about as unusual as a piquant odor emanating from the dumpster behind a fish market.

Happened to Reagan: 27 seats in 82. To George HW Bush: 31 seats in 1990. Clinton: 54 seats in 1994. Would have happened to George W Bush if Nine Eleven hadn’t gone down the year before. It’s a natural contraction. Democracy’s labor pains. Only the gestation period is a bit longer, the soreness more lingering and felt thousands of miles wider.

Like Newt Gingrich before him, John Boehner will discover that conducting the train is different than throwing bottles at the train. Fortunately for him, it’s a train, not a bicycle and he can run right over the broken glass. Because there’s about 2 billion dollars worth of it from untraceable sources lying on the tracks.

The GOP’s biggest problem might have been inviting the Tea Party into their house. Its one thing to chuckle at the antics of the red headed stepchildren acting up at the backyard barbecue, and another entirely after they move in and you attempt to carry on a conversation with other adults while they persist on waving pitchforks and torches, poking and scorching the ceiling. “Could you keep it down to a dull roar, please? We’re trying to watch ‘Lobbyist Idol’ here.”

Admittedly the number of seats changing hands this time around was a bit high. North of 60. About fifteen percent of the total lower body. Erasing Democratic gains of 06 and 08 combined. But look at the bright side. Ummm. Unh, no. Not that. Wait. Ummm. Okay. Got some. The Democrats can book a smaller banquet room for their Freshman Class Induction Party. No more need to stock up on those 50 pound bags of Blue Dog Chow. Franking costs go way down with shorter Christmas card lists.

You could make a good argument the Tea Party is responsible for throwing one House of Congress into the GOP’s column and another out of it. The wrestler’s wife lost. Christine O’Donnell may not be a witch but neither is she a US Senator. Same with Sharron Angle, except for the witch part. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was preordained to lose and to lose bad to any halfway decent opponent. But as luck would have it, he didn’t face one.

The red tide seemed to congeal after hitting the Rockies. California, Oregon and Washington avoided the brunt of the anti- incumbent wave. Most likely due to the fact that the weather is nicer, giving Hope and Change a longer shelf life.

Don’t be distracted by the parties incessantly trading bipartisan air kisses. Like the handshake before the first round of a prize- fight, it’s simply a ritual and nobody expects any true civility. When the Administration says they want to work with Boehner and McConnell, they do. The way a five year old with a magnifying glass wants to work with ants. Same goes for Republicans. Sure, they’re offering up an olive branch now, but be real careful; might just be a painted paralyzed asp with the anesthetic timed to wear off on January 8th.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political humor columnist who frequently tells jokes. Out loud. On stage.

Catch an example at Rooster T Feather’s in Sunnyvale Nov 4- 7. roostertfeathers.com/ 408.732.7781.

The Lark Theater in Larkspur on November 12th. 415.924.5111

The Bell Theater at Angelico’s Restaurant in Redwood City on November 13th.

Coming up: Portland & Milwaukee.

His new CD, “Raging Moderate,” now available from Stand Up! Records on iTunes and Amazon.

Early next year: “Where the Rogue Things Go!” From Ulysses Press.

will durst

November 7, 2010

DON’T VOTE.

Don’t Vote. You don’t have to. No one’s going to make you. This isn’t the Soviet Union. You won’t be forced from your beds and dragged to the polls against your wills. Relax. Take a chill pill. Let it go. It’ll all be fine without you.

Things are pretty good the way they are, aren’t they? Well, okay, some stuff could be better. Then again, could be worse. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if it is broke, leave it alone; who knows, maybe it’ll fix itself. Or let someone who knows what they’re doing fix it. What if you make things worse? How would you feel then? Not good, I bet.

It’s a pointless exercise. You’re only one person. What possible difference could a single vote make? Forget Florida. That was a long long time ago. Ancient history. You’re not going to change anything. They ignore you. You ignore them. And everyone knows those absentee ballots are impossible to fill out and they don’t fit in the envelope and then you got to find a post office and a lot of them aren’t even open anymore.

Besides, you’ve seen the ads. Who could vote for any of these people? According to the television, they’re all crooks. Corrupt agents working for special interests connected to the Chinese government or representatives of a dark criminal conspiracy whose ulterior motive is to enslave our children and extort money for tropical junkets so they can cavort with naked room service waiters.

They’re all alike. There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between them. It’s like choosing between slamming your fingers in a car door or slicing a three inch deep gash in your thigh with a rusty screwdriver. Anybody who can be elected, shouldn’t be. The inmates are running the asylum. It’s just a puppet show. Don’t you realize you’re being played? Politics is fixed, man. The Tri Lateral Commission runs everything. If voting were actually effective, they would have been made it illegal by now.

It’s all so confusing. Not just the lesser of two evils. More like the evil of two lessers. You’re supposed to know whether some barren deserted beach does or doesn’t get blanketed by a thick film of 30- Weight because of offshore drilling? Find another beach. What’s the big deal? What do you care if your 401k is now a 100.25k. You’re not planning on retiring soon, are you? Good. Best not.

Don’t you have better things to do than stand in line in some smelly garage? Jog on over to your neighborhood library during the hour its operating and read up on other people who never voted, although admittedly they didn’t write a lot of histories. You could work on that extra room for Grandma for when she moves in after the nursing home loses its subsidized funding. Or wave bye- bye to the paramedic unit and rec center while taking a farewell trip on your local mass transit system. That would be fun.

No one’s going to blame you. Who’s to know? If voting is a right, so should not voting be a right. For some people Tuesdays are just biorhythmically bad. Don’t vote. Stay home. Who cares? But remember, if you don’t vote, you can’t bitch. And you do do plenty of that, don’t you?

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political humor columnist who frequently tells jokes. Out loud. On stage.

Catch an example November 1 at the Rrazz Room. 222 Mason St San Francisco 94102. therrazzroom.com. 415.394.1189.

Rooster T Feather’s in Sunnyvale Nov 4- 7. roostertfeathers.com/ 408.732.7781.

The Lark Theater in Larkspur on November 12th. 415.924.5111

The Bell Theater at Angelico’s Restaurant in Redwood City on November 13th.

His new CD, “Raging Moderate,” now available from Stand Up! Records on iTunes and Amazon.

Coming next year: “Where the Rogue Things Go!”

October 30, 2010

HELEN KELLER’S MUSHROOMS

The precise word to explain this season’s big new trend in campaign financing is obliviousness. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that everybody is allowed to give as much money as they desire to anybody they choose and absolutely nobody needs to know about it. The upshot of which has all of America knee deep in the oxymoronic spectacle of a very expensive free- for- all.

In a flash, We, the People, have become Helen Keller. Blind. Deaf. And Dumb. With an emphasis on the latter. Because nobody cares. La di dah. Makes no difference where these surreptitious tsunamis of decoy dollars are originating from: religious nut jobs, public service unions, defense contractors or foreign benefactors trailing behind them leaky puddles of nuclear radiated waste. Off shore. Under shore. Paulie Shore. Sho nuff is fine.

This de- reform has rendered us totally incognizant of which profligate special interest group is spending how much money for what candidate or why or when or where it’s given. And our collective response is to care less than a whale about rain. Orwell was right: Unenlightenment is strength. And with it comes the understanding of what it’s like to be a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed compost. We revel in the delicious bewilderment of knowing influence peddlers are scurrying around shadowy crevasses like cloaked cash cockroaches and the light switch is broke.

What happened was, way back in the bad old days, Nixon committed the cardinal political sin of getting caught abusing campaign funds, so post- Watergate, Congress was shamed into replacing hard money with soft money which slowly turned into liquid money but now the floodgates have opened and that marvelous misty money is morphing into magic money, soon to transform into virtual money until Steve Jobs figures out a way to beam commercials straight into our heads. And if that prospect doesn’t drive you right into downtown Crazy Ville, then you were hitchhiking in its suburbs to begin with.

There are plenty of reasons why patrons would want to remain covert. They’re shy. Afflicted with an unsightly rash. Currently enrolled in the Witness Protection Program. Breaking in a new toupee. Still haven’t recovered from that ghastly spill in Gstaad. Still haven’t recovered from that ghastly spill in the Gulf. But few of those excuses contribute to the public interest.

We are painfully aware that our politicians are, how do I put this delicately, beholden to certain large contributors. A polite way of saying “hookers with the appetites of hippopotamuses in heat.” But now the ante has been raised higher than a giraffe’s ear. More ghost money means larger favors rewarded with a wider roped off space at the public trough forcing the rest of us to crowd around the short rutted end. Knee- pads are destined to become standard issue behind every Congressional desk. If they aren’t already.

The scariest part is, we’re only seeing the tip of the secret donor iceberg and the Ship of State’s wheel has been splintered. If this flood of clouded currency proves successful, there aren’t enough lifeboats in the Pacific Fleet to rescue us from of these perilous waters. So you might want to whip out your shark resistant water wings. Only one thing puzzles me: if ignorance truly is bliss, why ain’t I happier?

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political humor columnist who frequently tells jokes. On stage. Catch an example October 25, and November 1 at the Rrazz Room. 222 Mason St San Francisco 94102. therrazzroom.com. 415.394.1189. At the 142 Throckmorton on Oct 24.And Rancho Nicasio on Oct 31.Rooster T Feather’s in Sunnyvale Nov 4- 7.The Lark Theater in Larkspur on November 12th.

October 23, 2010

DON’T GOT MILK.

Hey guys, Will Durst, your candidate for Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion, here to warn you about a dangerous conspiracy being foisted on an unsuspecting American public. A malignancy so embedded, it is guaranteed to be lurking in your refrigerator right now. Poised to poison your person. Yes, I’m talking about the terrible torment that is… Milk. Heifer Hooch. Guernsey Juice. Raw, skim, 2%, whole, condensed, evaporated or goat. Its all the same thing: depravity in a glass.

Because he’s bankrolled by fat cat, out of state dairy bosses, my opponent doesn’t want you to know that Milk is responsible for more damage to this country than any other liquid. And contrary to the wishes of Ordinary Americans, he continues to support corrupt and unconscionable Milk subsidies. Think of it: our military forced to kill the enemies of freedom using outdated technologies just so entrenched special interest groups like public school kids can drink Milk.

Simply by ridding our nation of this terrorist fluid, we could generate jobs, decrease the deficit, stop wasteful spending, keep Sharia law from being implemented in suburban municipalities, and improve the education system to insure our children a brighter future with the triumph of the free market over socialism. Outlawing Milk would also improve our air and water quality and nourish families by inhibiting male pattern baldness and erectile dysfunction. Rather than wasting the malevolent opalescence, I suggest we exhaust current inventories by bathing in it like 30s starlets.

This isn’t just about Milk, but its seditious sisters as well, butter and cheese, not to mention, sour cream. Milk causes phlegm, chalky tongue, bloating and the humiliation of adults photographed wearing Milk mustaches. Most experts agree that Milk is the ultimate gateway drug. 99% of all heroin addicts began their descent into substance abuse hell by initially succumbing to the temptations of Milk. Excepting the lactose intolerant. Or as I like to call them: the Lucky.

Ask yourself, where does Milk come from? Mostly cows. Passive and ubiquitous, scattered over the countryside, watching and waiting like bovine sleeper cells. Till the cows come home? Yeah, with state secrets. Mad cow disease? That’s Milk in a nutshell. Cry over spilt Milk? No, rejoice. What about female human breasts? Do I have to remind you how obscene and opposed to everything pure and holy they are? Didn’t think so.

My opposition sneeringly refers to Milk as “The Perfect Food,” but try drinking as little as 3 gallons in a day. You’ll die. Doesn’t sound so perfect to me. Sure. Sure. At first glance Milk seems innocuous enough with that soft white milky appearance, but think how quickly this substance can turn dark and foreboding with the simple addition of a few tablespoons of chocolate. Something else they won’t tell you: Milk was the name of a known San Francisco Supervisor and practicing homosexual. Ever hear the phrase, “Milked him dry.” Not a pretty thought, is it?

Don’t be fooled by this plague of protein’s propaganda. Nothing less than the future of this country is at stake. Pasteurized is just another way of saying fluoridated. From now on, whenever you see one of those Got Milk ads, just remember, it might as well read, Got Infantilizing Pinko Perversion? And if you vote for my opponent, you’ll have it in spades. I’m Will Durst and I approve this ad. Paid for by The Committee for Goodness and Decency.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political columnist who frequently tells jokes. On stage.

Catch an example of which, October 18, 25, and November 1 at the Rrazz Room. 222 Mason St San Francisco 94102. therrazzroom.com. 415.394.1189.

In Oconomowoc, Wisconsin at the Arts Center on Oct 23.

142 Throckmorton on Oct 24.

And Rancho Nicasio on Oct 31.

His new CD, “Raging Moderate,” now available from Stand Up! Records on iTunes and Amazon.

Coming next year: “Where the Rogue Things Go!”

October, 17 2010

Older Durst Columns

Will Durst Website