MY TWO CENTSWill Durst pix

BEST GENERIC SPEECH EVER.

Thank you ladies, gentlemen and prospective donors, remote viewing audiences, readers, tweeters, and other platform attendees for joining me standing, sitting, lying here as your candidate for elected office, civic duty, greased chute to Swellsville. It is with extreme, reserved, dubious pride that I accept your mandate, challenge, double dog dare, and I hereby promise, guarantee, secretly doubt that I will represent you to the best of my ability and everything in my heart and soul and man purse.

I’m sure you want to know what I stand for and so do I. And I will reveal my positions just as soon as you let me know what’s important to you. What springs, leaps, staggers exhaustedly to mind: god, flag, family, kittens, rainbows. I’m for all things good and opposed to everything that’s bad, ladies and gentlemen and heavy contributors. And you can count on me to stay that way as long as you return me to office, or until a better offer in the private sector rolls around, hopefully soon.

In the future, right now, previously, we simply can’t afford my opponent’s onerous tax schemes, reckless social security reform, callow inexperience, life- long record as a career politician. Let me assure you that I believe in his/ her/ their right to say bad things about this country, city, state. I just don’t happen to agree with him, her, whatever.

If circumstances, poll numbers, my extortion trial verdict, were different and he/ she/ they weren’t advocating we push old people, children, veterans, into the path of a steaming locomotive, 18 wheeler, cheese blintz, I would be the first, seventy- third, last one to defend their right to say whatever irresponsible things he/ she/ they believed in, didn’t believe in or heard from a unicorn was true, because in this great country, city, state, ladies and gentlemen and 527 administrators, everyone is entitled to their own opinion no matter how foolish or downright treasonous it may be or see or dee.

It’s a little thing called free speech. A huge, trivial, debatable tenet that makes this country, city, state, total kick- ass, better than every other place, nothing to sneeze at. Sometimes, however, albeit, ergo, free speech can lead to disorder, duplicity, lawsuits. We all know people who would be better off keeping their big mouths shut, zipped, clamped. You know it and I know it and I’m sure our Founding Fathers knew it too and three and fore. Fore Fathers. Five Fathers. Five Mothers. Hello.

And my opponent is one of those who needs his/ her/ their lips sewed closed, ladies and gentlemen and focus group participants, with their baseless accusations, frivolous charges, grand jury testimony. Because the way things are today, tomorrow and yesterday, in good conscience I just can’t stand here and there and everywhere and let this continue, persist, carry on my wayward son.

The stakes are too high. The times too important. The truth too vital and expedient and slippery and not something you can just waltz around and pretend its not there like a homeless person. As Ronald Reagan, JFK, Bossa Nova once said, “facts are stubborn things.” And you know what else is stubborn ladies, gentlemen and corporate lobbyists? You are. As am I, and I’m hoping, begging, worried you will, will not, go to the polls on November 1st, 2nd and 3rd. And do do that voodoo that you do so well, not so well, wellish. Thank you for your support, donation, disdain.

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

Catch him October 11, 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.

Oct. 9, 2010

THE PIXIE DUST BLUES.

Who is that masked superhero zoooming across the country on treacherous adventures to save the Democratic damsel? It’s President Obama, in a desperate attempt to erase the midterm election enthusiasm gap. Two words: Good luck. We’re talking about a chasm that makes the Grand Canyon seem but a crack in the sidewalk. Wider than the space between Christine O’Donnell’s ears. The difference between my understanding of international cheese derivatives and a gold receipt spindle.

The problem is, The Right is as fired up as a Homecoming bonfire, while The Left is walking around with their collective chins scraping the ground like a squad of cheerleaders who got dumped en masse by the football team Friday before the Big Dance. The situation has become so dire, the Administration decided to slap its followers upside the head with a big old dose of Tough Love, altering its signature philosophy from Hope and Change to Scold and Chide.

In Madison, Wisconsin, Prez 44 challenged a rally of 25,000 supporters to buck up and quit their bellyaching the day after Vice President Biden yelled at a group of New Hampshire Democrats to stop whining. Experts are split as to whether this strategy of berating the base is an effective incentive or the reckless last ditch long- shot of a party splintered like a picnic table factory after a direct hit from a SCUD. Or just plain dumb. That too is a possibility.

The Disciples are disappointed with their Messiah. Not every one of their pet projects got passed in the previous 20 months. So they whine and they grouse and they grumble and snipe and gripe and snivel and whimper and wail. “He didn’t pass the Rainbows in Every Pantry Act.” “He showed his true colors by failing to put an end to world hunger.” “He’s just a Republican in moderate Democratic clothing.” And compared to them, he is. Of course, compared to them, so is Fidel.

Most of these sour pouting pusses are the far left- wing, nut- jobs who remain royally pissed the President didn’t push through single payer, blissfully unaware of any resistance offered by the opposition. It doesn’t matter. Superman shouldn’t need help. Conservatives know the importance of banding together to do whatever it takes: lie, cheat, steal, obstruct. Progressives, on the other hand, need to be goosed to get off the couch when it’s on fire.

And sloshing through the ashes of arson, they still don’t do angry. They do do petulance. Not herd animals. Tend more to the cannibalistic snails without any teeth genus. Given enough time, they’ll gum each other to death. Doesn’t matter if the Tea Party threatens to take over the entire government, the true believers won’t vote because it would take precious time from centering their chi.

So President Knute Rockne Man is sentenced to perform hard labor pep talks to rally the troops and replicate the enthusiasm he produced two short years ago. Don’t hold your breath. He’s got about the same chance as a grey haired hippie has of capturing pixie dust with a butterfly net. Pixie dust being something these spoiled children understand. Altogether now, clap if you believe in the progressive movement, “I do believe. I do believe. I do believe in Obama.” Just one last piece of advice: No capes.

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

Catch him October 11, 18, 25, and November 1 at the Rrazz Room. 222 Mason St San Francisco 94102. therrazzroom.com. 415.394.1189.

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

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

Oct. 2, 2010

SHE’S IN THE ATTIC.

Say what you will about the latest female politician taking her runway turn in the right- wing spotlight, Christine O’Donnell is a lock for Best Newcomer in the Heavyweight Mocking Division. In less than a week she managed to introduce both witchcraft and masturbation into the national conversation. Sex AND religion. Or at least, variations on the themes.

As a Tea Party backed candidate, O’Donnell upset Mike Castle, the establishment Republican in the Delaware Senatorial primary crowding Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton out of the headlines onto Page 6 below the fold. Isn’t it a disgrace how the state of circus coverage has deteriorated as of late?

To say that her past may harbor some glitches is similar to intimating that David Bowie went through a few ch- ch- changes. O’Donnell doesn’t just have skeletons in her closet, she has the entire bone army from the 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Makes the Cambodian Killing Fields look like a day care pre school toy box.

On TV back in the 90s, she spoke of dabbling in witchery. Which prompted the local Wiccan community to deny ever having anything to do with her. Wow. Disavowed by a society of witches. Wonder where that goes on her next mailer? Can’t wait to see how that whole Puppy Stompers endorsement shakes out.

Now the former marketing consultant claims not to be a witch ignoring the simple, trusted, time- tested trial. Throw her in the water. If she doesn’t melt or float, no problem. Of course if she does melt and/ or doesn’t float her chances of getting elected shrink dramatically. Notwithstanding Mel Carnahan who won a Missouri Senate race operating under the handicap of being somewhat deadish. But that was way back in 2000. Voters are more discerning now.

Mama Grizzly’s protégé apparently forgot about a federal tax lien on her house and has been accused of criminally mismanaging campaign money. By Republicans. Who know a thing or two about criminal mismanagement. She also said she would never EVER lie even if Nazis asked her where Anne Frank was hiding. “God will work it out. She’s in the Attic!” When we can’t lie to Nazis, only Nazis will tell lies.

In response to her tour of Gaffe City, the GOP muzzle dropped like a mud chimney in a category 5. Same as Rand Paul and Sharron Angle. They start out making bizarre statements, blame the press for reporting what they said, then go into hiding lest the general populace discover that not only do the New Emperors not have any clothes but the voluminous boils enveloping their epidermis proves to be a bit distracting.

One can only pray that God will indeed work it out and allow Ms. O’Donnell back on the talk show circuit. She’s a walking smorgasbord of kinetic satire. As they say in the military: a target rich environment, and we’re swimming in extra clips. So, with five full weeks left before the election, the best may be yet to come. Just stay out of the attic.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political columnist who often tells jokes on stage.

His new CD, “Raging Moderate,” now available from Stand Up! Records on iTunes and Amazon. Coming next year: “Where the Rogue Things Go.

Sept. 26, 2010

MAN OH MAN, I’M MAD.

Man oh man, I’m mad. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. Take what? I don’t know. And that makes me mad too. Angry. Riled up. Cranky. Irate. Livid. Bellicose. Splenetic. Which has something to do with the spleen. Think it involves leakage. Whatever it is, it can’t be good and I got it.

I’m mad at everything and everybody, but especially at career politicians. Not to mention career pediatricians. From now on, one of my kids gets sick, I’m taking them to see some incensed old coot straight off the street carrying a misspelled sign. Experience is way overrated. Why can’t US Senator be an entry- level position?

I’m mad about paying taxes. Because I don’t like paying taxes. I’m tired of my hard earned money wasted on silly things like roads and air traffic controllers and paramedics and pipeline inspectors. And flossing. I hate that too. Who needs teeth? Members of the lamestream media elite, that’s who. So they can lie through them. Those guys I’m mad at because they keep running stories about me being mad.

I’m mad at the government’s nit picking rules. Let corporations regulate themselves. They know what they’re doing. I’m mad because I have to work two jobs just to get by and I’m mad rich people don’t get more tax cuts. I’m mad about all the jobs that went overseas and I’m mad at unions demanding a living wage. I’m mad my life isn’t better than my parents’ and I’m mad I can’t have everything now and force my children to pay for it. And knowing I’m confused just fuels my maddening.

I’m mad our Muslim President was born in Kenya. And don’t bother me with your so- called facts. I know what I know and it makes me so mad I could just spit. So I do. Often. Right into the wind. And having the front of my shirt constantly moist just gooses the scale of how mad I am.

I’m mad at both of the parties. All of the parties. Political parties and birthday parties and tailgate parties. I’m mad at Democrats because they’re the polar opposite of mad and I’m mad at Republicans because they’re mad at me. And if my maddish spews hurt them, tough. Because they’re not as mad as I am. I’m so mad I’ll bite off both my hands one finger at a time if that’s what it takes. To prove I’m mad. Which I am.

I’m mad at immigrants for doing jobs that are beneath me. I’m mad at the French. I’m mad at French’s mustard. I’m mad at people who put ketchup on hot dogs. I’m even mad at people who are mad at people who put ketchup on hot dogs. You can never hope to replicate the purity of my precious maditude.

Some folks don’t ever get mad which makes me maddest of all. The hell is wrong with these people? These uppity madless ones. Oooh, they make me so mad. But they will be mad. Soon enough. Because my madness is going to bloom and grow until everyone is as mad as me. Which, is going to be tough. Because I’m really really mad. Did I mention I was mad? Good. Because I am. Mad, that is. Man oh man, I’m mad.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political columnist who also tells jokes sometimes.

Feedback: durst@westsideobserver.com

September 19, 2010

TO DOOM OR NOT TO DOOM.

Doom. Impending doom. Deep dark impending Democratic Party doom. Losing one if not both houses of Congress- deep dark impending Democratic Party doom. Deep dark impending Democratic Party doom of Biblical proportions destined to make 1994 seem like walk in the park with a loved one down a sun kissed lane strewn with fallen magnolia petals. Then again, wait. Maybe not so much doomishness.

A week ago, the Gallup organization released a tracking poll giving the GOP a 10 point lead when voters answered which party they favor. And much wailing and crowing ensued. Whispers grew into shouts and fear and joy swept the land. Democratic candidates avoided Obama like a plate full of haggis dipped in botulism toxin. Fox News Commentators boasted that independents would prefer having a sack full of snarling weasels dropped into their pants than vote for a Democrat. And being home to Bill O’Reilly, it was assumed they knew what they were talking about.

Then Gallup released a new poll showing the parties dead even. Same question, now we’re tied. Double- digit swing in a single week. Why? Nobody knows. Might be a backlash to Glenn Beck’s trek to the Lincoln Memorial to reclaim the civil rights movement for loud angry chubby white guys. Perhaps it was a collective sigh of parental relief after returning their budget busting vacationing rug rats to school. Or maybe it had to do with Obama coming back from ten days golfing with the big time swells on Martha’s Vineyard. And no, I’m not talking about Hurricane Earl.

And what a comeback. Worthy of Secretariat. With recharged batteries pinning the brim, the President shifted into overdrive. In Milwaukee on Labor Day he floated a program to rebuild America’s infrastructure. And who hasn’t rattled their teeth in a pothole big enough to qualify for its own area code? John Boehner maybe, that’s about it.

Then in Ohio, Obama proposed cutting taxes on businesses placing the GOP on the defensive since they offered up the very same legislation during the Bush years. Of course now they’re against it. Which, in the middle of an election year is less surprising than a big belt buckle on a rodeo star. Ski wax in a Telluride closet. A fat tortoiseshell cat napping on a Bed & Breakfast lobby counter.

At this point, all we can be sure of is that people are pissed. At everyone. For everything. At restaurants for stubbornly retaining pre- recession stratosphere scraping entrée prices. At the Oakland Raiders for charging 33 bucks to park at a meaningless pre- season game. But then they’re all meaningless. At banks for turning greed into an art form. At Obama and the Dems for waiting so long to address the economy and at the Republicans for politicizing anything coming out of Congress including the Aren’t the Clouds Dreamy Proclamation.

So, to doom or not to doom. That is the question. And the answer remains Yes and No. There’s no way out and we’re stuck here until someone locates the key. Which could be tomorrow. Or the decade after next. Voters hate the Democrats. Except when they dislike Republicans more. We’re headed down the wrong path, but it’s the only one that’s lit. And that clears everything up like the view through the windshield of a VW Beetle going uphill with a blown head gasket. Also known as: politics as usual.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. Such as this.

Catch Durst Friday and Saturday, the 10th & 11th at the Town Hall in Lafayette. Thtc.org

And don’t forget Comedy Celebration Day, Sunday September 19th. Noon to five. Golden Gate Park. Comedyday.com

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

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

September 11, 2010

HAPPY LABOR DAY.

Poor Labor Day. Gets no respect. It’s the Rodney Dangerfield of celebrations. The runt of the holiday litter. Just hearing the name conjures up depressing images of a last plastic souvenir sports bottle of lemonade poured on the dying charcoal briquettes of summer. It’s the end of the bright light and the beginning of the darkness. Vacation is over and the fun has expired.

White shoes are put back in the closet and storm windows taken out. Watermelons are replaced on the floor next to produce bins by pumpkins. Swimming pools get drained and ice cream trucks convoy back into their hibernatory garages. All the red, white and blue motifs give way to orange and black. The solstice is dead. Long live the autumnal equinox.

As a kid, I was too busy running from the shadow of school’s return and the end of my freedom to pay much attention to the meaning of the holiday. And when I did, it made no sense. Honor work? Who would do that? Might as well set aside a day to venerate broccoli. I thought of work as a thing to be avoided not celebrated. Chores squared.

But then I entered the real world and desired things, like food and shelter and clothing and gasoline, which forced me into gainful employment. And it was surprisingly enjoyable. Not the getting up at 4 am part, but the fruit of accomplishment deal- yeah. Got my social security number at the age of 12. Held over 100 different jobs. Then in 1981, I was able to earn a living at my chosen craft. Making me an extremely lucky man.

Without labor, we would still be nomads, boiling river water to wash down our nightly meal of beans and mush and roots and moss. Getting way too friendly with the livestock. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. From the people who brought you the weekend, not to mention the 40 hour work week and the lunch hour and the smoke break and the potty run and the punch clock dash.

Our society’s love affair with the genetically blessed can get tiresome. The rich and the beautiful and the fast and the strong. The lucky sperm club. People who were in the right place at the right time, and most of those places were wombal. That’s why it’s important to have this one 24- hour period to honor ordinary Americans. Real folks who don’t think “work ethic” is a dirty word. Or a dirty two words. Or whatever.

No, there’s no fireworks to watch or ugly birds to cook or chocolate covered bunnies to steal marshmallows from. Just one Monday off for all those regular guys and gals trying to make ends meet; raising 2.3 kids while juggling a mortgage and trying to cover the monthly cable bill with at least one premium channel thrown in.

One day to celebrate what it is that we do for a living by taking the day off from work. Paying tribute not to some dead presidents or a religious fertility ritual or the valiant who have fallen defending democracy, but to the living. To us. The true American heroes. The ones who keep democracy alive and shaking and moving and growing. You and me. All right. All right. Fine. Mostly you. Happy Labor Day everybody.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who writes sometimes. This being an example.

Catch Durst with Johnny Steele and Deb & Mike, Sunday, Labor Day Eve, at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley and then Friday and Saturday, the 10th & 11th at the Town Hall in Lafayette.

His new CD, “Raging Moderate,” now available from Stand Up! Records on iTunes and Amazon. Coming early next year: “Where the Rogue Things Go.”

Sept. 3, 2010

CREED CRED

A few years ago anybody who spoke disparagingly of the President of the United States was immediately labeled a traitor and accused of coddling the terrorists with a back rub. Not any more. Hammering, slamming, and pounding the President these days has once again become a cottage industry. A competitive blood sport. You’re even allowed to call him a terrorist citing his refusal to answer the key question: “When did you stop being a Muslim?”

This is not just about the new poll that reveals one- fifth of the American public believes President Obama is an adherent of Islam- a larger percentage than when he was elected. It is obvious why this is thus. These people are idiots. Stone crazed loons with the jellied brains of people who enjoy sticking immersion blenders up their nose and will claim with their dying breath that professional wrestling is legitimate.

I’m also talking about so- called Christian leaders who authoritatively state that his Muslimness has been passed genetically down from his father and let’s not forget the rabid right wing talk show hosts who publicly hope for him to fail and privately encourage listeners to send him home made mayonnaise that’s been left on the roof of an Iowan county fair cattle barn for the weekend.

Other folks hedge their bets by admitting he may be a Christian but question whether it’s the right strain of Christianity. According to these self sainted experts, there are two kinds of Christians: those who believe the exact same thing that they do, and those doomed to spend all of eternity burning in the unquenchable fires of hell. Bless their little hearts.

Then there’s the Apostles of Greed, a subversive segment that uses religion as a financial cudgel; characterizing anyone- a godless communist, who speaks about Jesus’ mandate to first see to the needs of the least fortunate of us. And a godless communist is much worse than a Muslim anyday. Except around Ground Zero, where its not.

On the other hand, the good news is, these very same people convinced that he’s a Muslim do believe he’s black. Not just black, but really black. Scary black. BLACK black. Clenched right fist raised high in the sky wearing shades and a bow tie black. Makes Malcolm X look like a loveable Scottish imp.

Another misconception, since Obama has always taken pains to play down race to where it’s barely visible with a molecular microscope. Besides, we all know he’s only half- black. And that too is so America. “Yeah, yeah, we’re evolved enough to elect an African- American president, but first, I don’t know, why don’t we try out… a half black guy. You know, like a Starter Negro. A hybrid. Got to walk before you run. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Tortoise beats the hare. Steady as she goes. Baby steps. We’ll work our way up to Ving Rhames.” Of course you know who plays Barack in the movie. Tom Hanks. Just like Sara Lee; nobody doesn’t like Tom Hanks.

So, let us recap: yes, he’s black, but no, he’s not Muslim. And while you’re at it, quit it with the born in Kenya thing would you? It’s getting old. He was born in Hawaii. In a manger. We all know that. And then visited by the three Haoles. Who presented him with gold, frankincense and poi. It’s so damn frustrating when people get their facts wrong.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who writes sometimes. This being questionably an example. Contact him at durst@willdurst.com.

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

Coming early next year: “Where the Rogue Things Go.”

Aug. 28, 2010

 

MOSQUERADE PARTY.

There is only one halfway decent reason why a Mosque should be built 2 blocks away from Ground Zero in New York. It’s called the 1st Amendment. Maybe you’ve heard of it: that’s the one that lets pretty much anybody say pretty much anything they want, and yes, that includes worshipping whatever goofy deity they choose. The Prince of Peace. The King of Pop. John Coltrane. LeBron James. Baba Ganoush. Mohammed. Thor. Twiggy. Cher.

There’s also one very good reason why a Mosque shouldn’t be built 2 blocks away from Ground Zero. It’s a little thing called grace. A sense of common human decency. Not rubbing other peoples’ noses in your own solid waste. A concept one would think a religion might be able to grasp since their oft- described mission involves the encouragement and promulgation of those very callings, but then one would be wrong. As would be two.

Political parties aren’t expected to play by these rules however. And even if they were, they wouldn’t. Especially during an election year. The Republicans, as is their way, have pounced on this issue like a starving feral cat onto an exhausted mouse whose tail got stuck under a table leg. Bad blood with faint overtures of Christian degradation. Talk about straight down your social agenda wheelhouse. Just two clicks shy of abortion and three rungs below gay marriage. The war on Christmas squared.

Hoping to reverse poll numbers that have them racing Democrats to approval’s sub basement, the GOP turned a municipal zoning variance into a hot button issue and it doesn’t matter whether you’re running for conditional co- councilman of Calaveras County, you will weigh in on this controversy. Once again, Obama and his ilk are being slapped with the “out of touch with average Americans” brush through their stubborn insistence on upholding the US Constitution. Amazing how we, the people, will fight to the death for the Constitution. Until we won’t. Love the theory. Hate the details.

And I know, I know, you’re right. Of course you’re right. No, it is not fair that people who believe we are nothing but infidel dogs who would be better off dead than to honor a false god, get to come here and preach intolerance and are allowed to do it next to the place where some of their followers killed 3,000 innocents. It is as wrong as Cabernet Sauvignon in a can.

But that’s the deal with Democracy. It’s not a Chinese menu. You don’t get to choose one freedom from column A and another from column B. Liberty is a buffet. With everything available to all. And the sneeze guard is free speech. Your desert? Look over there by the fruit of your own labors. Try an emancipation éclair.

Besides, if 2 blocks is too close, how far away is far enough? A mile? An ocean? 2 continents? I’m thinking four and a half blocks. Because there already is a Mosque four blocks away from Ground Zero. Guess we tend to conserve our energy for fresh outrages rather than fussing over existing ones. Must be why they call them Conservatives.

And, oh yeah, I finally figured out why we aren’t allowed to show representations of the Prophet Mohammed. Apparently, he was one strange looking dude. Sorry. Terribly terribly sorry. Shouldn’t have said that, and wouldn’t have, if I had any grace. Or simple common human decency. But alack and alas, I don’t. Then again, I’m not an organized religion. Thank god.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who writes sometimes. This being an alternately soothing yet irritating example. Contact him at durst@willdurst.com.

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

Aug. 21, 2010

Swamp Drainage Detritus.

There have been easier times to be a Democrat. Think way way back to the halcyon days of two years ago. Summer of 08. Basking like a lazy cat napping in a sun drenched window box. Now, not so much. Nancy Pelosi must be thinking someone on her team swallowed a bad news electromagnet the size of a Buick.

Obama’s poll numbers are falling faster than barometric pressure in the eye of a hurricane. The wars rage on. Scariest of all may be the haunting cries from the swelling ranks of unemployed in the streets; like beckoning zombies: “Join Us. Join Us.” And if the polls don’t turn around, many incumbents will.

What the Dems definitely don’t need is an ugly self-inflicted election-year corruption scandal twining up their legs like an anaconda in the primary stages of a goat swallow. They call it conflict of interest, a polite way of saying crookeder than a dump truck full of bicycle spokes mangled by a tugboat turbine.

In normal circumstances, nobody bribes a Democrat because they can’t get anything done. Like handing an eggplant the keys to a Ferrari. Besides, you do give them money, they don’t know what to do with it; they put it in the freezer for crum’s sake. But these aren’t normal circumstances and Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters aren’t normal Democrats. Like lions with a wounded zebra, they know what to do with it. Bones and all.

After 12 years of wandering in the wilderness, taking over Congress in 2006, the Speaker pronounced her intent to “drain the swamp.” The problem is, do that, then you got to deal with all the creepies crawling around the bottom and those big old alligators got nowhere to hide. Drained or not, they still know where the sharpest marsh grasses are and how to blind adversaries with a face full of swamp gas.

Waters is a 10 term Congressman while Rangel is completing his 20th and both seem perfectly content to take their entire party down rather than walk away from the cash cows they affectionately call public service. When they say this is not about the money, this is about their dignity, you can pretty much bet… this is about the money.

They were investigated by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, one of the great oxymorons of all time. Like rotary cell phone or George W Bush Think Tank or Martha Coakley Campaign Strategy Handbook. The two members could have escaped with a slap on the wrist but are demanding public trials. And they’ll get their day in court, in September, right before the general election, which the Democrats need the same way a musk ox needs day glo-targets painted on its sides in the shape of a rifle’s crosshairs.

Republicans, like their mascot the elephant, loxodonata africanus, are herd animals and understand protecting the tribe is their number one priority. Donkeys, however, equus asinus—where we get the word asinine, are principally known for stubbornness, a demonstration of which is now in session. You got to love them. They’re like carnivorous snails, who will eat their own, only when they get around to it. Democrats may not have invented the circular firing squad, but you got to admit, they sure have perfected it.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who writes sometimes. This being a smoking example. Feedback: Durst@westsideobserver.com

Catch him as part of Comedy Talks on August 15th at the SF Presentation Theater with Robert Morse and Shelley Berman. For tickets: comedytalks.com or 800.838.3006.

Aug. 14, 2010

FLAG RAISING ROBESTER

Just when you thought we were settling in for another typical slow August news month, along comes Chief US District Justice Vaughan Walker to overturn California’s Proposition 8. The one that banned same sex marriages. Did you get that? He overturned the ban. Loosed the bonds. Broke the chains. Raised a rainbow flag. And reopened a can of worms the size of the Louisiana Purchase.

According to this federal judge’s persuasive opinion, restricting freedoms is bad. Hence gay marriage is good. The 136 page judgment finds that discriminating because of religious convictions violates the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. And no, this will not lead to legalized bestiality any more than eating Egg McMuffins leads to cannibalism.

The message is, if you don’t believe people should marry someone of the same sex, then go right ahead and don’t marry someone of the same sex. That part hasn’t changed. No one will be dragged from their beds and forced to wear collared shirts or attend avant-garde theater productions in Tibetan restaurant stairwells or serve rumaki at backyard barbecues. However, if you don’t believe OTHER people should be able to marry someone of the same sex. Tough titty. Which is a big change. Sea change. See change. Be change.

In this country one group of people is not allowed to stand in the way of other people’s happiness simply because they don’t dig it. Or get it. Or groove on it. Personal beliefs have nothing to do with how your neighbors get to live their lives. This is not about values, it’s about rights. You don’t want the Taliban telling your wife she has to walk five paces behind you in public while dressed as a grieving beekeeper, now do you?

And though Walker’s court is in San Francisco, this was not a flaming liberal ruling. The man was nominated by Ronald Reagan and appointed by George Herbert Walker Bush for crum’s sake. So, if same sex marriages ever do become law of the land, the opposite sex marriage crowd is going to have to give a lot of the credit to Reagan and Bush. And being able to say that leaves a silky smooth taste in the mouth not unreminiscent of bacon wrapped chicken livers.

Of course this ain’t over by a long shot. The status quo is frothing like whipped cream covered rabid dogs running through a liquid soap factory whose fire sprinklers activated in their insistence that people continue to live like them, exactly like them and nobody else but them. So help them God.

The judge did stay his own decision postponing further gay marriages in California, while 5 states and DC have licensed same- sex marriages AND numerous states have banned them. So the situation is a foggier than a lighthouse near the Golden Gate Bridge at dawn in July and headed straight into the wheelhouse of the Supreme Court. Is Perry v Schwarzenegger destined to be Dred Scott or Brown v Board of Education? Robes and minds are being laundered and starched as we speak.

In America, we don’t judge a person based on their color or creed or sexual preferences: we judge them based on how little taxes they do or don’t pay. And no matter which way your head faces during sex, all of us have the same basic human right to be miserable. Besides, isn’t the whole idea to keep gays from having sex? What better way than marriage do you know? Your witness Mr. Burger.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. This being an irritating example.

Catch him as part of the Comedy Talks series on August 15th at the San Francisco Presentation Theater with Robert Morse and Shelley Berman. For tickets: comedytalks.com or 800.838.3006.

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

Aug. 7, 2010

SPA SPANGLED BOG.

To say the release of 91,000 classified documents has revealed a disconnect between our public position on Afghanistan and the actual situation on the ground is like inferring a disparity between yoga and bayonets. Dawn dishwashing liquid and green olive tapenade. A tray full of Southern Comfort old- fashioned sweets and a herringbone Segway.

Unlike the Pentagon Papers, we can’t even work up a good outrage, mainly because come on, 91,000 documents. That’s like reading all seven Harry Potter books thirty times over. I don’t care how authentically rustic your wand is, nobody’s doing that. There’s even questions as to whether it’s 91,000 documents, 92,000 documents, if all the documents have been released or more are being held in reserve for we mere Muggles.

I know. What’s a thousand documents amongst friends? Well, there’s your problem. We don’t have any friends. Corruption over there is endemic, pandemic and epidemic. Our allies aren’t necessarily allied on our side. The fighting is going badly and a halfway decent deep- dish pizza crust remains a concept the Afghanis seem unable or unwilling to embrace. Not to mention Democracy.

Unplug the drain and the ring around the tub is we’ve been there 8 years and things are so not getting better. As a matter of fact you could say the movement more resembles whatever is the opposite of getting better. Don’t even mention quagmire. Hah. Hah. We sneer at your quagmire. Our Afghanistan participation makes a quagmire look like a refreshing dip in a spring fed pool with buckets of frosty beer within reach and cold cucumbers slices on our eyelids. Spa spangled bog.

This dastardly document dump also managed to tick off Pakistani officials who dispute claims that the ISI, their intelligence agency, is collaborating with the Taliban. “These allegations are always repeated.” Hmm. Curious as to why those allegations would always be repeated, eh what? Maybe because, like the sun and those silly allegations about the rising in the East, they’re… TRUE?

And for those of you surprised by the amount of grandstanding caused by the WikiLeaks disclosures, either you forgot it was an election year or have been making too many side trips to the magic brownie counter in your medicinal marijuana store. A veritable slew of Congressmen are sharpening their budget scalpels, asking how we can toss Pakistan a couple billion a year in foreign aid while they’re helping Afghani insurgents? With friends like these, who needs enemy combatants?

As unexpected as a checkered tablecloth in a pizzeria, the Administration is playing down any revelations. “Nothing new to see here. Everything generally known. Move along.” Perhaps, just not generally known by the general public. Privately, White House officials anticipate using these leaks to pressure Pakistan to play nice. Yeah. Right. Dream on, big river. You got a better chance convincing Lindsay Lohan to give up all her nasty habits and start wearing one.

If this leak tells us anything, it’s that this is not a winnable war. Right now, America has a lot of stuff on a lot of plates and keeping them all spinning is neither cheap nor easy. Afghan plates, on the other hand, are not very full and they seem to like it like that. Especially when deep- dish pizza crumbs can get them beheaded. As they say in Animal House, “If I were us, I’d be… leaving.” Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. This being an example of questionable merit.

Catch his stand up at a benefit for the Oasis Theater Ensemble in Wausau, Wisconsin, on Friday August 6th. 2 shows.

And as part of the Comedy Talks series on August 15th at the San Francisco Presentation Theater with Robert Morse and Shelley Berman. For tickets: comedytalks.com or 800.838.3006.

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

July 31, 2010

SCREW YOU. KISS ME.

What is wrong with the GOP? Are they blind, reckless or just plain mean? They must see that reinforcing their stereotype as the Party Of The Rich is not a good idea. They have unanimously said “No. Hell no” to every budget proposal floated their way, yet are willing to make an exception to give money to the rich. Rich. Rich. Rich. Rich. Rich. Rich. Rich. Curious mantra. Now. During an election year. It’s like hitting the upstairs maid with a splintered 2 by 4 while conducting interviews for a new butler. Word gets out. People talk. You hear things.

Republican Senators are responsible for blocking 3 attempts to extend unemployment insurance and bragging about it. And determined to continue filibustering until Democrats come up with cuts in other programs to make it budget neutral. Which makes a certain amount of sense. “You want to eat this week? Then put that video game back on the shelf mister. And don’t give me that face. I’ll give you something to cry about.”

The problem is, Republicans only triple lock their wallets when a Democrat is in the White House. When George W Bush was President, they used pneumatic tubes to siphon money from the mint as quickly as possible. A trillion for the Pharmaceuticals here. A couple trillion for some pre- emptive wars there. Another trillion in tax cuts for rich people. In 2002, somewhere between his third and fourth myocardial infarctions, Dick Cheney told Treasury Secretary O’Neill, “Ronald Reagan taught us deficits don’t matter.” And apparently neither do heart attacks. Does this guy even have a pulse anymore?

Because of Congress’ inaction, 375,000 American workers are losing unemployment benefits every week. Its obvious Mitch McConnell’s intent is to deny Obama any political victory while sucking up to the Tea Partiers with his newly unearthed fiscal responsibility, but he might want to remember people without jobs can read newspapers too. In libraries. As a matter of fact, they often have an excess of free time to campaign and stuff envelopes and get out the vote.

It’s easy to understand why Republicans hate giving money to the poor. Poor people are icky. And they never know which fork to use and those shoes! But most importantly, poor people seldom top any respected list of major political campaign donors. As opposed to the rich, who understand that money gets you access and access provides influence and before you know it, you’re in the back room of the Capitol Grille on your second pitcher of Margaritas helping write regulations that allow lethal doses of magnesium in 2 % milk.

So though they talk the budget neutrality talk, they don’t walk the budget neutrality walk. At the same time they’re wishing the jobless lots of luck fighting with dogs for food, they’re also lobbying to extend Bush’s expiring tax cuts to the rich, and budget neutrality can take a flying leap off a short pier into a crashing sea of toxic sludge.

See, tax cuts are different. That’s not welfare for the rich; that’s playing the magic note on the economic flute that calls the Trickle Down Fairy to fly from capitalist heaven and carry us away to a nice warm free market bath. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a mite suspicious of the alkaline nature of this whole trickle down thing. Good time to invest in a trickle down umbrella. Available for one day only this November 2nd.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. This being an example wherein he castigates the rich: a group that stubbornly refuses to include him as a member.

Catch his stand up at The Last Day Saloon in Santa Rosa on Saturday July 17th, and The Sebastiani Theater in Sonoma on Sunday July 18th.

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

July 18, 2010

WORLD CUP FRENZYLESS.

Now let me get this straight. The World Cup is the most exciting sporting event on the face of the planet, right? Okay, then. What’s second place; the New England Spinsters Knitting Circle Seniors Tour? Which would make Supermodels Filling In Crossword Puzzles With Leaky Ink Pens a close third. Let’s not forget those scintillating Midnight Coastal Colombian Tarantula Crawl- Offs.

My God. It’s so European. Like a Bergman Film. “Firdley passes it to Rodrigue who kicks it back to Firdley who returns it to Rodrigue, who stands still for a robust twenty seconds. Genius tactical move. They’ve really put the attack back on the full boil now. Rodrigue crosses it to Firdley near the net and he takes a shot and oh no… it bounces off the crossbar, and so, late in the second extra time, the score remains, nil, nil.”

You can’t tell who anybody is, because the only camera angle has the lens conveniently mounted on the inside rim of the Hubble Telescope. As an added attraction, every single game in South Africa has been accompanied by a hundred thousand vuvuzelas, an instrument that gives cacophony a bad name.

It’s a mouthpiece leading to a long flaring plastic tube with a repertoire of a single blaring droning note. From beginning to end of every single match through extra time, half time and every time. To participants it must sound like playing inside a hornet’s nest that’s been microwaved on defrost for twenty minutes. Rumor has it the CIA is looking into possible uses for interrogations.

FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, refused to ban the vuvuzela saying it would deprive the world of the authentic South African footballing experience. Yeah. What a loss that would have been, especially considering the tradition of the vuvulzela being the unofficial football horn- like instrument of South Africa harkens all the way back to the early 21st Century in 2002.

To say the officiating has been a bit erratic is like inferring BP’s cleanup of the Gulf has been less than exhaustive. Referees have missed goals and calls like jury summonses, handing out their precious colorful cards to players whose only infraction was proximity to an opposing player who fell down for no apparent reason. Not just fell down, but dove to the ground holding their face writhing in agony like they were struck in the forehead by a heated metal coil festooned with jutting spikes. Holding their face? The hell is that? These guys would last fifteen seconds in the NFL. Tops.

Grown men egregiously flopping is just one reason the sport will never catch on in the USA, no matter how many soccer moms drive minivans. Americans can’t get it up for any sport that doesn’t involve eighth of a ton, no- neck, brain- dead, pieces of premium beef, tearing each other apart like the last sack of powdered milk at a United Nations relief tent in Kandahar. And in soccer, that’s the fans’ job.

Part of it has to do with the lack of commercials. We don’t have the attention span. The same reason why a Royal Family wouldn’t work here. Of course, next year is the Womens’ World Cup which men WILL tune in to just on the off chance that some competitor will pull a Brandi Chastain and rip off her shirt. Next time around the guys might want to try that. Or more head butting.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. This being a sporty example.

Catch his stand up at The Bolinas Community Center on Friday July 9th, The Cozmic Café in Placerville on Saturday July 10th, and the Don Quixote Hall in Felton on Sunday July 11th. Not to mention the LOL Film Festival at the Vogue Theater on Monday July 12th, and the Rio Theater later that night.

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

July 8, 2010

DEAD SOLID SUMMER.

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

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

Being a native of the Midwest, I am used to celebrating this noisy and sweaty occasion by intensely charring immense amounts of flesh, both mine and assorted animals, then drinking a cooler full of suds and shooting off firecrackers. That’s right, we drink beer and handle explosives explaining why this is the day many nicknames like “Lefty” and “Patch” are christened.

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

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

Speaking of which, 4th of July also signals the apex of the marching band year. This is their day to shine. Good marching bands and bad marching bands. Which admittedly is hard for the layman to tell the difference, but no whining. These poor people practice all year long and get one lousy day. Be honest, how many John Phillip Sousa albums do you own?

Even as a transplant to the west coast my wife and I will attempt to do the red white and blue thing so big and bad, that the ghost of Patrick Henry slaps us an imaginary high five. It’s the perfect time to forget the troubles facing this nation and concentrate on the good things. Food, family, friends and fireworks.

So get in your summer licks people. Buy a new bathing suit. Wear white shoes. Fly a flag. Eat a roasted cob of corn and let the butter slide right down your arm and drip off your elbow. Snore in a hammock. And blow some stuff up real good. Because it won’t be long before we’re stuffing the flip- flops back in the closet and hauling out the school backpacks and pumpkin carving kits. Happy 234th birthday America. And I got to tell you sweetheart, in the right light, you don’t look a day over 195. Oooh. Aaaah.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. This being a festive example.

Catch his one- man show, “The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion” at a Performing Arts Center near you.

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

willdurst.com

July 2, 2010

Vampire Nation

Taking a breather from our Gulf Coast miasma in order to focus on an even ghastlier blight of cultural crude washing up on American shores. No, this is not about Lady Gaga. Although, I do intend to address walking parasites. Demon fiends. Bloodsucking vermin. The Ushers at the Gates of Hell themselves of which we are experiencing a veritable glut and I’m here to say that my soul is so weary of vampires. Bleh.

Used to be vampires were stylish and dangerous and romantic partly due to their rarity. These days, Children of the Night sightings are as frequent as Law & Order reruns. More ubiquitous than Subway sandwich shops. And about as horrifying. Movies and television and magazines and commercials and straight to video DVDs and books and comic books and kids books and even Muppets. Only a matter of time before Fisher- Price comes out with a line of vampire mobiles to hang over cribs.

Bayou vampires and New York City vampires and Elvis Presley tribute artists and tiny vampires with thyroid imbalances wearing herringbone fezzes. Vampires fighting werewolves. Vampires befriending werewolves. Vampire cops and vampire legal department research assistants and vampire DPW dispatchers and vampire insurance adjusters. Admittedly, the latter smacks of redundancy.

Because of the proliferation of the walking undead to mainstream pervasiveness, these suburban mall vamps are consequently forced to raise the fantasy stakes to where the entire genre is tumbling into ridiculousness. Most frustrating is nobody plays by the rules anymore. Time-tested conventions are being discarded like blood ampoules at a neck biters winter solstice mortuary retreat.

Garlic is no big deal unless it is. They can run extremely fast. Except when they can’t. Super human strength is at their command- sometimes. Silver, mirrors, daylight, holy water and wooden stakes: Take em or leave them. That’s the problem with kids today. No respect for their elders. If it was good enough for Bram Stoker, it should be good enough for these libidinous meat puppets.

You don’t have to be Freud to get the repressed sexual desires theme. But wasn’t it a lot more interesting when society was repressed and not flaunted by young starlets emerging from limos sans underwear? And what is it with the brooding? You’re a thousand years old. How much time to do you need to adjust to the agony of immortality? Stop it with the teenage angst already.

And yes, yes, yesssssss. To be young is to identify with the alienation and the dressing all in black and the being pale and stuff. But the only thing less sexy than an ancient man caressing the carotid of a pubescent girl with his swollen incisors may be the prospect of she and he swapping denture cream. You think Anna Nicole Smith was creepy, multiply her husband’s age by eight or ten and try imagining that. Not enough Ambien in Patrick Kennedy’s medicine cabinet to quell those nightmares. Makes Harold and Maude seem the stuff of fairy tails. Tales. That’s Tinkerbelle in Vegas.

And this anguishing over the weight of the eternal hunger is getting a bit old. You’ve had multiple centuries to come up with an efficient way to feed. You’re not tormented, you’re incompetent. You know, if Hollywood is really interested in a new way to make big bucks frightening America, they should greenlight a series of movies about the inner workings of Congress. Now, those soulless zombies are scary.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. This being a fine example. Catch his one- man show, “The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion” at a Performing Arts Center near you. His new CD, “Raging Moderate” from Stand Up! Records, now available on both iTunes and Amazon.

June 25, 2010

POLITICS AS USUAL EXPONENTIAL FACTOR FOUR

In an age of relentless change, it’s heartening to be able to count on a few simple things. Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann ranting and raving one pulse short of an aneurism. Water flowing downhill. Congress holding hearings whose only point is to express the indignant depths of their public outrage even though our chances of learning anything is less likely than the North Korean Minister of Medicine going on Oprah to talk about Kim Jong Il’s spider phobia. Its all good.

The spectacle of politics as usual is as reassuring as a warm Vaseline lined bathrobe. Its comforting to be reminded every now and then that no matter how urgent the crisis facing the American people, our politicians can and will find ample time to grandstand even if their self righteous preening cancels out the eensiest possibility of actual progress. Can’t wait for them to replace the gavel at these things with a hand held mirror.

Take the recent 7- hour theatrical farce featuring Tony Hayward. Please. Strictly following the proscribed testimony demanded of these august tribunals, British Petroleum’s CEO stuck to the script and adopted the role of a character afflicted with a severe case of selective amnesia. The man didn’t know anything. Including which industry he was in or how to wipe that priggy smirk off his face.

Hayward’s disingenuousness was so complete he actually might have put himself in jeopardy of being charged with impersonating a Congressman. The deceit, the whole deceit and nothing but deceit. His ability to be so utterly elusive, evasive and impossible to pin down could lead to a career filling in for the Roadrunner in future Looney Tunes cartoons.

Not to mention that grilling him on technical questions was predestined to be as fruitless as Antarctica in July. As CEO of a huge corporation, he’s got lackeys and minions and stooges and toadies for the heavy lifting of knowing stuff. Mr. Hayward’s job is to massage shareholders and pose for the cover of yearly financial reports and in times of trouble act as designated fire hydrant to packs of media hungry dogs. Or cartoon coyotes posing as concerned Congressmen.

This televised dramaturgy wasn’t ever about answers. This was pure stagecraft. Congressional hearings are to hypocrisy what green felt is to pool tables. Especially the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Which is code for the Big Oil Boys. The same politicians who receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions every year from the very people they’re supposedly regulating. Foxes, hen houses and flying feathers spring to mind.

The only person briefly maintaining a semblance of integrity was Rep. Joe Barton (R- Exxon- Mobil) who opened the proceedings by apologizing to BP for what he called a White House “shakedown.” At least this guy knows who his friends are. The very definition of an honest politician: one who stays bought.

But buyees remorse prevailed. Mere hours later, after a quiet tete a tete with the biggest dogs in the Republican Party, Barton emerged to call another press conference where he retracted his apology. That’s right. He apologized for his apology. For which we should apologize. Reportedly, the wolves threatened his Committee seniority. And so he caved. And covered his comfortable butt. Reverted to form. Back to the normal scheme of things. Politics as usual, exponential factor four. Ain’t it grand?

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. This being a curious example.

Catch his one- man show, “The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion” at a Performing Arts Center near you.

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

Coming this fall. “Where the Rogue Things Go.”

will durst

June 20, 2010

COWBOY DOWN.

The same way that crème brule is unlike pork rinds, and a Lincoln Town Car is not a pickup truck, so is Barack Obama not George Bush. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons Barack Obama is currently President is because he’s SO not George Bush. He might just be the most UnBushish politician currently in possession of a Y chromosome with the possible exception of Jerry Brown who doesn’t count because he’s an alien.

But the relentlessly dispiriting Gulf Coast Leakage has beaten America with Jimmy Carter’s feeble stick and we’re feeling as impotent as a eunuch watching Cinemax at 3am on a Saturday morning; trembling for Daddy to come to our rescue and punch the bad spill in the face. Hence, the media skies have been clouded with entreaties for the President to get his spurs on and Cowboy Up in front of we wee ones.

Calls have come from the left and the right in whispers and in shouts to do something bold and avoid becoming Mister Mission Unaccomplished. Never content to let a national crisis stand in the way of politics, the right has questioned the President’s manhood suggesting the cold spring Gulf waters may have caused massive shriveling amongst the spillage. Even Spike Lee exhorted him to “one time, go off.” And what Spike Lee says, goes. Just ask the New York Knicks.

For good or for ill, Obama responded. First by intimating he was furious. And you could tell he really was upset because his face got all frowny- like. Less emphasis on hope and more on concerned contemplation. Then Press Secretary Robert Gibbs spoke of a clenched jaw. Which to be honest, could mean anything. Might have gotten a piece of tofu caught in his bridgework. Or perhaps he was trying to squeeze out the last bit of flavor in his Juicy Fruit. We don’t know.

Finally, Obama was heard to say “we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose butt to kick.” Only he didn’t say butt. He said the A word that rhymes with big mouth bass. Whoa. Dude. Settle. Mister President. Sir. You are many things. But Butt Kicking Chief Executive is not why we hired you. Right now we need that calm and collected smartypants whose idea of wild and crazy is working till his deodorant nearly expires. Cooler than the other side of the pillow. Penguin tail time.

Dubyah reminded us of an entitled cackling jock giving geeks and nerds two- handed wedgies in the high school bathroom. You, however, are here to teach those dorks how to retire to a stall and rearrange themselves before reentering the hallway, studying hard and getting that job paying enough to turn the wedgie giver’s dad’s GM dealership into a solar panel production facility.

You don’t need to answer Spike Lee’s outbursts. What, you going to base our foreign policy on an offhand remark by Delroy Lindo? America doesn’t need Harrison Ford or The Incredible Hulk flying out of the cargo door of Air Force One. Not even the Credible Hulk. Look at Congress. We got plenty of Hulks. Besides, you don’t wear the right kind of Butt Kicking Shoes. For that, you need cowboy boots. With those beautiful Italian loafers, a person runs the risk of spraining a foot. Or a midterm election.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. This being an egregious example.

Catch his one man show, “The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion” at a performing arts center near you.

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

Coming this fall. “Where the Rogue Things Go.”

will durst

June 12, 2010

THE BRIGHTSIDE OF THE BP OIL SPILL.

To say the news coming out of the Gulf is not what you call encouraging is like saying it’s been a rough week for Dennis Hopper. And its making people crazy. No. Really. Crazy. Louisiana native and Democratic strategist, James Carville, went off on the President like a string of overstuffed firecrackers in a pot- bellied stove. And for Carville to savage the leader of his own party either means he’s mad as hell and can’t take it anymore or his wife, Mary Matalin’s naggingly oppressive monotonic brain- washing has achieved full saturation. I would hazard a bit of both.

You got Republicans calling for domestic government intervention. While on the other side of Loopyville, some Dems are screaming for the military to take over. The hell do they expect the Army to be able to do that BP can’t, shoot it? Surround the mile deep spill, capture and occupy it? Proceed to win its hearts and minds? Hey, Alice, which way out of this rabbit hole?

Outside of that stone plug that Jack used in “Lost,” BP appears to have tried everything: Top Hat. Top Kill. Top Cat. Top Chef. Topkapi. Topographical maps. Topol. Topamax. Topo Gigio. But thus far, the only thing they’ve managed to accomplish is to make the spill very very angry. Not as angry as folks near the affected areas who just want to get back to their lives. Especially in the wake of the recent “We’re BP and we’re so sorry” ad campaign that’s costing millions to air in lieu of expediting financial claims. Destined to rank right up there with marrying a Kardashian, for worst PR move, EVER.

Now word comes down the plumey pike that the wound we opened in the lower epidermis of the Earth might not be closed until a relief well is finished sometime in August, so perhaps we should accept the fact that the Gulf is short- term doomed and start to seek out the Brightsides of the BP Oil Spill.

America has always been the Imperial Wizard of the International Optimists League. And now is a perfect time for us to jump back into the silver lining business. Because when this country is handed lemons, we make lemonade. All we need is a couple of dump trucks full of sugar, and ironically, some clean water.

TOP 15 BRIGHTSIDES OF THE BP OIL SPILL.

Your shrimp dish comes pre- marinated.

Newly affordable water front properties.

Frolicsome beachside tar ball fights.

Gulf Coast salad dressing: just add vinegar.

Jet Skis able to refuel mid- trip.

Lubricated Jelly Fish.

Mortared with oil and tar, sand castles now tide- proof.

Fewer silly election year cries of “Drill, Baby, Drill.”

No more squeaky oysters.

Need an oil change? Wander down to water’s edge and squeegee a duck.

Hot enough day, and voila: the world’s largest fish fry.

Don’t bother drilling for oil, the oil is coming to us.

Romantic beach bonfires 24/7.

Wriggling out of your tight swimsuit is a breeze.

Every Gulf dock and pier instantly doubles as a Slip and Slide.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comedian who often writes. This being an evident example.

Catch his one man show, “The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion” at a performing arts center near you.

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

will durst

 

June 6, 2010

THE THIRD GULF WAR

The President may have wrestled Afghanistan and Iraq to shaky standoffs but the newest skirmish in the heads- up display of Air Force One shows him losing the third Gulf war and losing bad. Taking shots from both sides- from both sides. Republicans are yelling at Obama for holding BP responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster AND for not doing enough to clean it up. That man sure is a geographic oddity. On two wrong sides of the same issue. Which ain’t easy.

The main burst of charges that Obama is scapegoating British Petroleum are oozing from the newest Republican Senate candidate from Kentucky, Rand Paul. A man naturally disposed to disturbing people with both his views and his coif. Please, someone, have the simple common human decency to tell him that 1985 is calling and it wants its hair back. Not even Lyle Lovett wears it like that anymore. Anthony Geary maybe.

But I digress. Calls are streaming across the aisle for the President to ignore BP’s jurisdictional claims and have the military take over. Because people suspect BP cannot be trusted. About anything. If they smile and say “hello,” check your back for shards of a malfunctioning Blowout Protector. “We’re trying our best.” We are familiar with your best. Your best sucks.

Top Kill was supposed to take 12 hours, then 24, 48 and now 96. You don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to spot a mathematical progression here. 12,288 is a mere 7 press conferences spewed down the line. They didn’t want the video feed to go public because even you and me and your five year old helper- monkey would see the ferocious gushing and realize, “whoa, that’s more than 5,000 gallons a day. That’s 5,000 gallons a frame. Where’s my banana?”

BP’s sole object is protecting profit. Covering corporate butt. In the last six weeks, not a single word that has leaked out of their mouths has been true. Eventually they will divest themselves of all US assets, change their name and seep offshore to escape financial culpability in the courts but until then, the main object is to deflect blame keeping responsibility to a minimum. And when I say responsibility, I mean- money. The ultimate lubricant.

BP is not concerned with plugging or cleaning or stopping or fixing or reimbursing, except for how it affects the quarterly dividend. To that end they will lie and deny and incomply and do whatever it takes. They will lie about what happened, what is happening and what will happen. They will lie because that is the culture in which corporations live. They will lie because it is their nature. They will lie because they’re good at it. They will lie to stay in practice. They will lie about lying. Offer up proof. They will lie. They will claim it was their evil twin. Remember when this all started on Earth Day and they said there was no leak. Why? Because they hoping to get it under control and nobody would be the wiser.

Some people are calling for a boycott of BP. Not enough. Don’t just boycott British Petroleum; ride a bicycle to one of their stations, seize their toilet paper assets and send them to the Gulf. To help clean up. If Obama and the Oil Flushers can’t do the right thing, we’ll do it for them. Then stay on that bicycle for as long as you can.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who often writes. This being an indignant example.

Catch his one man show, “The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion” at the Vallejo Naval Museum, June 3, & @ 142 Throckmorton June 5.

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

will durst

wing commander

durstco

“you want the best, so do we”

2107 van ness ave

suite 402

san francisco 94109

877 SATIRIST service

415 441 3669 office

415 298 1874 cell

durst@willdurst.com

willdurst.com

May 29, 2010

SECRET WEAPON

The best news the Democrats have gotten all year long has little to do with early primary results, or regenerating their spine with health care reform. The best news the Democrats have gotten all year is the chair of the Republican National Committee is going to keep his job. He’s been a disaster on the order of Michael Cimino directing Howard the Duck Meets Pluto Nash on Planet Ishtar. Democrats have a secret weapon this November and his name is Michael Steele.

Steele is not just the center post in the GOP big tent movement, he’s the post, the flaps, the stakes, the ties and the canvas; and party leaders would rather stick a fist full of paper cuts in a vat of Tabasco Sauce than write off their first African- American chairman during an election year. These days, the GOP Black Caucus could hold its convention in a phone booth, and they don’t make phone booths anymore, and the analogy still holds.

Most of the places he visits, he’s not simply the only black guy in the room, he’s the only black guy admitted to the grounds without a police escort. His hiring was a blatant attempt to play catch up in the “Coolest African- American in Politics Sweepstakes.” The difference being; the Executive Branch landed an intelligent hard working political animal and the Republicans picked a prospect who too perfectly exemplifies their “Me First” philosophy.

Straight out of Annapolis, the RNC chairman ruffled so many feathers the fluttering excess was sufficient to fill every hotel pillow case in Vegas. On CNN last February, he dismissed Rush Limbaugh as “an entertainer” and “incendiary.” The outrage from Rush’s fans, the vocal, visible, thick and dense end of the Republican base, forced Steele to backtrack faster than freshly waxed skis on newly fallen powder.

First he was directed to beg the poster boy for OxyContin Today’s forgiveness. To say Rush was less than gracious is like implying frozen goose fat makes for substandard bicycle spokes. Steele genuflected on Rush’s show and kissed his ring while Rush didn’t bother taking it out of his back pocket.

Since then Steele manages to rankle party regulars on a daily basis. He told The Washington Times the GOP needed to “uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets” pissing off pretty much… everybody. Especially the highly influential one- armed Lollipop Guild. When GOP cognoscenti learned about Mr. Steele’s desire to buy a private jet with party money, he was dismissed as an interloper encroaching on donor turf.

And there’s more. Earlier this year, big wigs demanded to know why an employee was reimbursed $2,000 for an evening at a Hollywood fetish club, and they weren’t taking “excellent appetizers” as an answer. But sex scandals bounce off Republicans like hail off an Aspen roof. The most damaging detail came via an internal investigation finding the party losing money on its major donors program, spending a dollar ten for every dollar raised. Two grand for leather studded lap dances is one thing, failing to bring in the cash: thems fighting words.

Some party luminaries are so dismayed with Steele’s performance, they’ve engineered an end- around, creating a slew of new 527s as a means to funnel GOP donations. The high priest of the Church of Right Wing Big Bucks himself, Karl Rove, being a chief architect. And in the Republican Party, when you start to butt heads with Karl Rove, you better get used to grocery shopping with Salman Rushdie. On your own private jet or under the wheels of a bus back to Maryland.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who often writes. This being an incendiary example.

Catch him at the Punch Line, May 27- 29, www.punchlinecomedyclub.com

444 Battery Street. San Francisco, CA 94111. 415.397.7573.

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

will durst

wing commander

durstco

“you want the best, so do we”

2107 van ness ave

suite 402

san francisco 94109

877 SATIRIST service

415 441 3669 office

415 298 1874 cell

durst@willdurst.com

willdurst.com

May 20, 2010

MANHATTAN FLANNEL

There they go again. The Democrats, that is. All Mitch McConnell had to do was threaten to wave his arms and intone his mantra of “Activist Judges!” and they flinched like a red headed stepchild in goal at the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. On the other hand, when Republicans pick a Supreme Court nominee in the throes of a majority swagger, they shoot the moon choosing an ideologue to the right of Stalin. But the donkeys are as skitterish as a bunny in a tent full of cleat- wearing elephants and inevitably try to slide through leaving no visible ripples in the pond of midterm bipartisanship.

Glorying in his chance to replace John Paul Stevens’ doctor as the most important liberal in America, President Obama nominated moderate Elena Kagan to walk in the 90 year old’s comfortable shoes. If confirmed, she’ll become the 3rd woman and 4th Supreme Court Justice from New York City: Scalia from Queens, Sototmayor from the Bronx, Ginsburg from Brooklyn and now Kagan from Manhattan. Don’t you love the new diversity? Be surprised if someone isn’t compiling a short list of qualified nominees from Staten Island. Who went to Harvard.

Kagan attended Princeton, Oxford and Harvard, a potential sixth sitting justice to wear the Crimson. Delivering another crippling blow to we state schoolies. And the fact that I’m using “schoolies” might be part of the problem. Recent trends report the less we know of a candidate, the better their chance of slaloming through the chain link fence of character assassination known as the Senate Confirmation Hearings, thus we know more about Martian quantum physics than we do Ms. Kagan. Besides being former dean of Harvard Law and the current Solicitor General of the United States, which must mean she’s proved herself to be a pretty good solicitor. And a general. So she’s got that going for her.

She wrote her senior thesis on “socialism in the early 20th century,” raising a red flag to conservatives who consider socialism contagious; even though she only studied it, she is open to accusations of being a carrier. Typhoid Elena. Her major sticking point is a lack of judicial experience and to say her paper trail is scant is like intimating that BP is unlikely to be named winner of the Shrimp Fishers of America Good Citizen of the Year Award.

Prepared to put on the last robe she’ll ever wear, Kagan has taken blank slate to a whole new schoolhouse. And because of her track record vacuum, her sexuality or lack thereof has begun sidling center stage. The question: Is she gay? And if so, is she out? And if not, who cares? Elliott Spitzer, a Harvard classmate, says she went out on dates with men but not with him. Because when it comes to sex, Spitzer apparently is our go- to guy.

Granted, she is 50 and unmarried, and was photographed playing softball and wearing flannel- setting most of Middle America’s gaydar a tingling. What’s the old joke: we don’t know if Elena Kagan is a lesbian, but her hair is. However, unless photos of her in bed with the Indigo Girls surface in the Enquirer, gay, straight or Gary, the first Monday in October, the Supreme Court will consist of 6 Catholics and 3 Jews. Sounds like the dance card at a KKK lawn- burning jamboree. We certainly have come a long way. Baby. Then again, who better to decide questions of innocence than members of the planet’s two most guilt consumed faiths?

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who writes. This being a worthy example.

Catch him at the Punch Line, May 27- 29, www.punchlinecomedyclub.com

444 Battery Street. San Francisco, CA 94111. 415.397.7573.

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

will durst

wing commander

durstco

“you want the best, so do we”

2107 van ness ave

suite 402

san francisco 94109

877 SATIRIST service

415 441 3669 office

415 298 1874 cell

durst@willdurst.com

willdurst.com

May 14, 2010

BRAINLESS PINHEADS

They’ve tried fire and robots and domes and booms and drones and boxes and rosary beads and even panty hose stuffed with human hair but so far nothing has slowed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from creeping towards our Southern Coast like a drunken lobbyist staggering towards a free seafood buffet. And almost as ugly. This maritime miasma promises to be the most monumental attack of sludge to hit American shores since Ann Coulter’s most recent book.

Hard to say what frightens Gulf Coast residents more; the toxic slick bearing down on their shore or the Administration’s guarantee that our government is poised and ready to swoop in with federal assistance. It worked so well after Katrina. The kind of news that prompts residents to wake screaming- bathed in sweat- from nightmares of FEMA loading trucks full of mutant hair sausages never to be delivered. And ice. But never let it be said that Congress doesn’t know how to exploit a crisis. They’ve leaped into action and appointed a panel.

The one positive to come out of this amphibious affliction (besides never hearing another New Orleans restaurant say they are out of blackened redfish) is we can expect to hear a lot fewer of those strident rallying cries of “Drill Baby Drill” this election year. They’ve already given way to the more muted “Cap, Baby, Cap,” and threaten to digress into “Tax, Baby, Tax.” Right now though, those responsible seem to be sticking like shrimp to otter fur with “Prevaricate, Baby, Prevaricate.”

BP, which apparently stands for Brainless Pinheads, first announced the seepage from the MC252 well (isn’t that cute) was barely a couple of drips. Nothing to worry about. More oil pooled on your average garage floor. Then it bounced up to 1,000 barrels a day, then 2,000 and now that we’re obviously in gushing territory, estimates are not really useful anymore. Numbers can be so misleading.

Chemicals were sprayed on the leak to disperse it, but that was curtailed because the dispersant might be doing more harm than good. They don’t know. Oh good. Turns out, these guys don’t know a lot. They won’t even say what’s in the dispersant because it’s proprietory. All they can reveal is its not harmful. However, if you do happen to get a smidgeon on your skin, you immediately want to flush it with a bleach bath. That they know.

You’d think a company that makes its living poking holes in the bottom of seas would have a plan to close them back up, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. Actually, you’d be half wrong. They do have means. Using technology they’re required to install when drilling in other countries. Not here though. We encourage voluntary participation. And let the industry write the regs. And then pray to the oil fairies.

Maybe this will signal an end to our bowing down to the fossil fuel gods. Maybe Obama will seize this reprehensible moment to carve out an anti carbon strategy and the whole country will rise as one and demand a national policy based on clean energies and shared sacrifice. Yeah. And maybe ring- tailed squirrel monkeys will replace hockey referees during playoff games. Its times like these that make you wish hari- kari had become a corporate CEO global tradition.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who often writes. This being a dazzling example.

Catch him at the Crest Theatre on Saturday May 8th. www.thecrest.com 1013 K Street- Sacramento 95814- 916.442.5189

And his one man show “The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion” on Friday May 14 at the Holly Springs Cultural Arts Center. 300 West Ballentine St/ Holly Springs NC. 27540. 919.577.1660.

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

will durst

wing commander

durstco

“you want the best, so do we”

2107 van ness ave

suite 402

san francisco 94109

877 SATIRIST service

415 441 3669 office

415 298 1874 cell

durst@willdurst.com

willdurst.com

May 7, 2010

EARTH ATTACKS!

Got to admit, didn’t find the Icelandic volcano spewing its guts over the last couple of weeks very upsetting. Of course, if you were one of the thousands forced to get up close and personal with airport terminal linoleum for days on end, I heartily apologize, but encourage you to consider it a small price to pay for our species’ conceit. The belching of Eyjafjallajokull was a cautionary notice to not take humankind too seriously. We may think we run things around here, but we don’t really run things around here.

I kind of like it when the planet kicks back. Jogs our memory. Reestablishes who’s the real boss. Our seemingly somnambulant landlord may appear to have nodded off in the midst of our noisy shenanigans but we should never forget it’s a light sleeper, ubiquitously omnipresent and equipped with weapons that make atomic bombs look like dimestore novelties.

What’s most surprising is the lack of terrestrial retaliation. We’re perpetually plundering the home of our host. Poking and prodding and stripping away the upper crust and excavating precious jewels and minerals hidden within. I would have called the entire human population a cab and kicked us out a couple of eons ago. No, really. Eons. A Sherman- Williams lava flood during the Mesozoic Era would have done the trick nicely. We could easily have been the first victims of Colony Collapse Disorder.

All we do is pillage. And loot. And ransack. And turn up the thermostat without permission. So a wake- up call like this is kind of bracing. A reminder that we’re all just fleas on a rock. Very busy fleas running around a highly volatile rock perhaps, but still tiny mites clinging to a roundish boulder hurtling through space at fantastic speeds trying to hold on and not poop our pants.

It’s a relief when the evidence that our planet is a sentient being and capable of throwing poison into our air and turning villages into pools of fire and hurling stones the size of houses a mile across the sky is only an inconvenience. You can be a tertiary curmudgeon, and still not a huge fan of people dying in large numbers like with a hurricane or an earthquake, or a tsunami or another Billy Crystal movie. All of which seem to be happening a bit more often than what should be normal as of late, or is our ability to instantly view those disasters in high def on YouTube just freaking me out?

And wasn’t it a bit of the old ironic that with all the airports the ash cloud shut down around the world, Reykjavik’s Keflavik International Airport situated just west of Eyjafjallajokull, stayed wide open: safe from the east spreading engine- clogging cloud. Or was this simply Iceland playing out its financial death rattle and scattering the ashes of its economy over Europe?

Or maybe the planet has finally grown weary of our poaching thievery and is demanding a series of human sacrifices. And speaking of unspeakable larceny, I’d like to nominate the CEO of Goldman Sachs to be jettisoned into the caldera by golden parachute. Lloyd Blankfein- who deserves the grateful thanks of a nation for finally giving a face to smug. And then to be safe, we humanely capture Bjork, tag an ear and ship her back up north to soothe our savage landlord. Lady Gaga?

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who often writes. This being a striking example.

Catch him hosting The Green Collar Comedy Show on Showtime all this month.

And at the Crest Theatre on Saturday May 8th. www.thecrest.com 1013 K Street- Sacramento 95814- 916.442.5189

New CD, “Raging Moderate” from Stand- Up Records now available on both iTunes and Amazon.

 

2107 van ness ave, suite 402, san francisco 94109

877 SATIRIST service

415 441 3669 office

415 298 1874 cell

durst@willdurst.com

willdurst.com

will durst

wing commander

durstco

“you want the best, so do we”

May 1, 2010

SLOPPY POOL OF TIZZY IN THE GOBI DESERT

Hard to feel much sympathy for the Republicans and the sloppy pool of tizzy they high- dived into. Perplexed as how to combat financial regulatory legislation, they are bouncing back and forth between a filibuster and a compromise like a ping- pong ball in a stainless steel shower stall. Their banker buddies have pushed hard to oppose any and all restrictions, placing the GOP in the unenviable position of having to defend Wall Street during an election year. Might want to practice by going to Sea World and rooting for the sharks to eat the dolphins in front of your kids.

At first, the party- line strategy was to affirm a unified opposition to the bill because it helped Wall Street. By regulating it. Yeah. Okay. Well, nobody said it was going to be an easy sell. All 41 GOP Senators signed a letter proclaiming steadfast opposition to any overhaul and if they had to shut down the process, they were prepared to do so. It was going to be Health Care II, pertaining to something that distressed their constituents even more than their health. This was about money.

The banking industry then engaged in a full frontal assault: “It’ll hurt the economy.” You know what, if self- delusion were sand, these guys would be the Gobi Desert. What planet have they been living on for the last two years? Boys, do yourselves a favor; put down the Financial Times, pick up a local newspaper, and read about communities forced to cut such non- essential services as fire and police while you’re racking up bonuses larger than those communities’ shortfalls. Science has yet to develop instruments capable of measuring this kind of arrogance. We need a new scale.

Mitch McConnell and his ilk continued to give it the old college try; the Senator from Kentucky was locked in a “bailout” loop, muttering, shouting, whispering it into Mrs. Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s ear. One unofficial estimate has him repeating the word “bailout” 3,847 times on April 19, 2010. A blatant attempt to tie into the GOP’s revisionist history of Wall Street’s bailout being just another example of Obama’s socialist agenda: conveniently forgetting that a Republican Administration proposed the bailout and Mr. McConnell and all his friends voted for it. Great, something new to worry about- a collective senior moment.

The game changer award goes to the SEC, jumping into the ring like a wrestling cohort in street clothes, charging Goldman Sachs with bilking investors out of a billion dollars via a CDO designed to fail. This scattered the arm- locked ranks like a keg of tequila with a leaky spigot rolled into an AA meeting. We, the vast unwashed public wondered, if they’re willing to screw their own customers, what untold horrors were held in store for us? The Commission’s commissioners claim the timing was purely co- incidental. Unh- hunh. And chlorine soaked wood splinters make for excellent eye swabs.

The original idea for the New Obstructionists was to keep repeating the mantra that “guvmint is bad” and hope the voters never notice they have become their own best argument. Yeah, sure, Washington is broken. You bang on a monument with sledgehammers long enough, eventually everyone becomes blind from marble dust. But now the GOP has to stumble back into those ruins and somehow look supportive doing it. Hope they brought their swim goggles.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who often writes. This being a conspicuous example.

Catch him hosting The Green Collar Comedy Show on Showtime all this month.

Rooster T. Feathers April 20- 23, 2010. 157 West El Camino Real- Sunnyvale, Cal. 408.736.0921. roostertfeathers.com.

Funnyfest. Calgary, Alberta. April 29- May 2. Funnyfest.com. 403.228.7888

New CD, “Raging Moderate” from Stand- Up Records now available on both iTunes and Amazon.

2107 van ness ave, suite 402, san francisco 94109

877 SATIRIST service

415 441 3669 office

415 298 1874 cell

durst@willdurst.com

willdurst.com

will durst

wing commander

durstco

“you want the best, so do we”

May 2010

LOOSE NUKES.

President Obama turned from the domestic third rail issue of health care to the international radioactive subject of dirty bomb terrorism by hosting a nuclear summit in DC, convincing the leaders of 47 countries to attend- Presidents and Prime Ministers and Kings and Queens and a couple of expendable pawns. No bishops, they have their own problems these days. Pretty much all the cogs in the atomic machine showed up except North Korea and Iran, which admittedly is like holding a steroids conference without Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire, but hey, it’s a START.

The focus was on security, an encouraging sign, since the global stockpile of bomb- making materials is now large enough for 120,000 suitcase nukes. Which most experts agree is about 120,000 too many. It wasn’t a total Potemkin summit. Everyone agreed that terrorism is bad and nuclear terrorism is real bad, and working with one another is good and they should all meet again in South Korea in 2012 if the Mayans aren’t right.

Took 60 years to assemble this pile of mutually assured destruction. Going to take at least a couple of meetings to get rid of it. Only 9 members in the nuclear club right now. But a lot of wannabees. And since you can’t tell your nuclear players without a Nuclear Players Scorecard, here they are, with official Threat Level grading.

WILL DURST NUCLEAR PLAYERS SCORECARD

United States. Have weapons. Duh. But we’re not the problem because we’re the good guys. TL: Dove of peace flying under the rainbow of international co- operation.

Russia. Have weapons and big problem. Leakier than a tinfoil sieve after 3 days of target practice on a 50mm range and the world’s largest source of loose nukes. TL: Giant Bear with flame thrower, roaming woods while being chewed on by Balkan squirrels.

China. Have weapons. Concerned only with economic strength. Need to convince them an irradiated consumer is not a repeat consumer. TL: Drunken Panda staggering through a shopping mall with a fistful of short fused flares.

United Kingdom. Have weapons. Not quite positive where they are. In the garden shed of their lake country home perhaps. TL: Your Aunt Gertrude with a bagful of knitting needles on the subway.

Pakistan. Have weapons and worried we pay too much attention to India. As stable as a two- legged stool. TL: Swarm of angry wasps inside a papier mache tent on fire.

India. Have weapons and worried we pay too much attention to Pakistan. Don’t you hate lovers’ spats? TL: Sacred bull in a china shop full of crystal decanters stoppered to the rim with nitro.

Germany. No nuclear weapons. But if they really need some all they have to do is knock on France’s door and ask to borrow a couple. TL: A domesticated wolf on an ankle bracelet, but a wolf nonetheless.

France. Have weapons, but more interested in discovering ways to use them to braise lamb. TL: Carnivorous escargot in a mine field.

Israel. Everybody knows they have weapons, but they won’t admit it and haven’t tested any. Making a scary situation scarier. TL: Tasmanian Devil tethered to a water soluble stake in the rain.

North Korea. Have weapons. But delivery system is a team of musk oxes. TL: Electric Cuckoo Clock made out of C-4 with faulty wiring.

Iran. No weapons, but definitely in the market for a fixer- upper. TL: Cigar smoking pit bull headed straight for the fireworks factory.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who often writes. This being a glaring example.

Catch him hosting Showtime’s The Green Collar Comedy Show starting Thursday April 22nd at 9pm.

And don’t forget his new CD, “Raging Moderate” from Stand- Up Records now available on both iTunes and Amazon.

 

April 18, 2010

NICE MIRACLE: MAY WE HAVE ANOTHER?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Glenn Beck quoting, gun- toting, TeaParty voting Evangelical, or a solar heating, tofu eating, New York Times crossword puzzle cheating Environmentalist, you still got to admire the way the President breathed life into the health care reform bill. It was a gosh darn miracle. Coming right at the advent of the Holy Season. Co- incidence? Well, yeah, okay, probably. But… still.

Think of the wondrous accomplishments he’s already racked up like casting out the unclean spirit that controlled John McCain and changing the inevitability of Hillary Clinton into a whine, and you’ve made a pretty good case for the second coming of that Jewish hippie kid who pissed off the Romans so much a couple centuries ago. Although fully 25% of Republicans believe the President is the Anti- Christ, so it seems most of us agree he has supernatural powers; we just can’t agree as to whether they come from above or below.

Don’t forget Obama won the Nobel Prince of Peace Prize after being in office only 12 days before nominations were closed. Then consider a black man walking on the waters of racial dissension to the promised land of the White House. If those aren’t bolts shot through the clouds straight out of heaven, what are? Obama is even credited by surviving members of The Grateful Dead for getting the band back together last year. So not only did he raise health care from the dead, he also raised the Dead from the dead. Red, blue or purple, you got to admit, that’s good.

Come to think of it, there are quite a few similarities between POTUS and that Nazareth carpenter’s son. Both born in semi tropical climes. In mangers. To virgins. One was visited by three wise men, another spends time with Rahm Emmanuel. The two undoubtedly were equally hated by classmates for ruining the curve in 5th grade social studies. They both disappeared for about a dozen years to work as community activists. One had an acolyte named Lincoln, the other a disciple named Kennedy.

Jesus forgave his crucifiers. Obama forgave the Salahis. Mary’s son healed the lame while Ann’s son calmed the turbulent Democrats. Artists throughout time have depicted the Savior with overly large ears similar to the Defying Hawaiian. And spiritual followers alter time itself in reference to their particular philosopher king’s existence. AD & AO (After Obama.) 2008 marking the beginning of the New New Testament.

Light of the World or not, the only question Americans are interested in is “what have you done for us lately?” If he wants to extend his realm here on earth (or DC,) he’s going to have to pick up the pace and replicate further feats outside the bounds of natural law. Such as driving out the money lenders. Or at least quieting the stormy seas of Wall Street. True believers are holding out for a campaign of casting a few or five demons from the Supreme Court.

Of course, feeding the multitudes is always nice: you know, like about 310,000,000 US citizens, 9.7% of which are still out of work. I imagine healing the leper that is the US economy right now might be too much to ask. Then again, what was it that Deadheads used to say outside of venues: “I Need A Miracle?” We’re all Deadheads these days. Just stay away from the brown antacid.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who writes sometimes. This being an apparent example.

Catch his new CD, “Raging Moderate” from Stand- Up Records available both on iTunes & Amazon.

And don’t forget he’s hosting Showtime’s The Green Collar Comedy Show on Thursday April 22nd at 9pm.

 

WATCHING SAUSAGES.

Otto Van Bismarck said, “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” Sausages? We would have loved to have seen some sausages. We would have killed for sausages. As any Wisconsin boy can tell you, sausages cooked indirectly over mesquite coals until crispy blistered then slathered with Stadium Sauce nestled in butter- grilled buns under a layer of fried onions can taste pretty darn yummy.

What we got was cut- rate, irate hot dogs. The ugly spectacle of Congressional wieners pummeling each other over health care was as appetizing as mixing snail guts and lizard tripe and cephalopod eyeballs with sour cream and yellow food dye then serving it on a fungus covered bark chip. And no, I’m not talking about the spinach dip at The Olive Garden.

This isn’t a “pox on both their houses” deal either. Like psychic vultures sensing imminent putrefaction, Republicans amplified their pontificating protestations to a high- pitched squeal; piercing enough to annoy canines all across this great Northern Hemisphere of ours. In the throes of a pseudo religious ecstasy, one Texas Republican chummed the waters by calling a Michigan Democrat, “Baby Killer,” on the floor of the House, frenzying his posse of nitwit accomplices into hurling the N- word, the F- word, half a dozen bricks, a handful of death threats, several mouths full of red hot spittle, gum wrappers, a jewel encrusted black ceramic bird (the stuff that dreams are made of,) two faxed nooses and possibly a bullet.

The conservative party line claimed their Neanderthals were simply playing catch up to the health care proponents’ lead mitten handling of the issue, and they suggested Democrats kill the bill to quell the rising tempers. That’s right. Fan the flames of stupidity then blame the other side for the scorching climate (different from global warming.) If Republican gall were congealable, we could dam the Caribbean.

And it’s STILL not over. To say the GOP is not taking this defeat lying down is like saying freeze dried mustard clumps make for substandard Q- Tips. Within 10 minutes of the President signing the bill, a deluge of 14 state legislatures began to challenge the bill’s constitutionality. And you wonder why getting anything done in this country is like trying to shovel sand with a pitchfork.

Republicans vowed to go down swinging and they’re probably not talking about hiking the Appalachian Trail with each other’s wives. Let’s be frank: not a single member of the minority voted for the health care bill. Not one. That’s not a political party, that’s the Borg. “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.” The reanimated Halloween pumpkin that is Senator Mitch McConnell remains determined to continue the construction of his cement wall of obstructionism turning “The Party of No,” into “The Party of Hell No,” veering dangerously close to “The Party of Screw You!”

People may mock Obama for his Messianic glaze, but you got to relish this resurrection of health care which makes Lazarus risen look like a third grade magician’s trick. Focus a telescope and you can make out the scuff marks on the bill’s knees from where it climbed out of the morgue drawer. Maybe now we should try handing the President seven loaves and seven fishes and see what he does with that. Or better yet, seven loaves and seven sausages.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who writes sometimes. This being an apparent example.

Catch his new CD, “Raging Moderate” from Stand- Up Records available both on iTunes & Amazon.

And don’t forget he’s hosting Showtime’s The Green Collar Comedy Show on Thursday April 22nd at 9pm.

April 3, 2010

KOOKY KABUKI TERRAIN

This health care thing has driven people crazier than Johnny Depp in a Max Fleischer cartoon on acid. Pro or con, your rhetoric better be cranked up to eleven and soaring past the outer orbit of Neptune, or you’re going to be as invisible as a tax collector with a soggy paper plate full of Swedish meatballs sitting next to the deceased at a wake.

Talk show host Rush Limbaugh jumped into this peculiar March Madness feet first, threatening to leave the US should health care reform pass. He must realize for a lot of people, that’s a big win- win. And if the prospect of his permanently playing ex- pat doesn’t motivate progressives, nothing will. He even mentioned Costa Rica as a possible destination. Where they have universal heath care. Just like every industrialized country in the world. Although your access to Oxycontin may vary.

Eric Massa, the New York Democrat who admitted grabbing a staffer’s staff, embarked on a media based whining tour charging he was hounded out of office by the White House and smeared because of his opposition to health care reform. But even though he was willing to speak ill of the Administration, Glenn Beck washed his hands of Tickle- Me- Eric, after the former Congressman trotted out some intra- personal top bunk Naval snorkeling documentation. When a pissed off Democrat is too far gone for Glenn Beck, things truly have escalated into kooky Kabuki terrain.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, Senator Orrin Hatch railed that if Democrats try to jam a health care bill through Congress it will destroy bipartisanship. Oh no. Not that! They’re killing the dodo. Apparently this guy is more worried about a dead fantasy than sick Americans. Then Senator Mitch McConnell ratcheted up the exponential wackiness by warning Democrats they face Electoral Armageddon in the fall, which isn’t fair; like regaling 6 year old girls with tales of the hairy spiders that live under their bed before saying “sleep tight.”

Obama, his own self, can be found careening around the country like an over- caffeinated Chihuahua engaged in a last ditch effort to sell the bill to what you might call his hesitant posse. Yeah. Recalcitrant Democrats. What are the odds? Like calling a flash flood- irksome. Hell, at this point Obama would be happy to pass anything. Health care. The jobs bill. A hook pattern. Kidney stone. Toyota Prius.

The overwhelming discombobulating apprehension is the President isn’t just piloting his own kamikaze fighter into the carrier of health care, he’s sending vulnerable troops on the same suicide mission. One that will make Gallipoli look like a weekend pass at an Istanbul brothel. After all, its not his butt on the re- election line this fall, and the GOP strategy to stall proceedings has frothed Democratic incumbents into such a lather, the sweat dripping off their faces is shorting out microphones all across this great land of ours. 

Now we’re hearing the target passage date might be a bit more elastic than the waistband of a RINO’s tutu. The good news is sooner or later, this bill will either become law or not become law and everybody can settle back down to their normal routine of accusation, obfuscation, and procrastination until election day. But until then, keep taking your vitamins, this health care debate seems to be making a lot of people sick.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who writes sometimes. This is an example.

Ask for his new one- man show, “The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion” to appear at a performing arts center near you.

Or catch him in stand up mode at the Acme Comedy Club in Minneapolis March 23- 27.

New CD, “Raging Moderate” available from Stand- Up Records March 23.

April 2010

Some Advice for the President

I’m only guessing, but a major problem with being President has to be people around you being more likely to stick their face in a cast iron oscillating fan than tell you the truth. Let’s say you slip and fall and rip a hole in your pants down to your ankle while spilling hot coffee on a little blind girl in a wheelchair in front of a nationally televised audience. The worst you could expect to hear from a staffer is “well, that could have gone better.”

Therefore, I consider it my patriotic duty to offer up a little unsolicited advice intended for the President’s Eyes Only. Yo. Barack. Dude. You should totally chill. And listen up. Why? Cuz I can tell you the stuff that Mister Chaff of Staff Rahm Emanuel can’t. And I won’t go all ballistic on your butt or singe your receptionist’s eardrums either.

First thing. Don’t worry so much about the Republicans. They’re going to do what they’re going to do. You don’t even enter into the equation. Expect to be accused of everything. All the way from “done nothing at all” to “moved too quickly” and all permutations in between. At least you always know where these guys are coming from. From behind and in front and 16 different sides—throwing knives of negativity.

It’s your so-called friends you need to watch out for. The ones who smile and nod and laugh at your jokes to cover the slip of a shiv between your third and fourth ribs on the left side. Trust me, with friends like these, you don’t need Richard Shelby. Unfortunately, most of your buddies are Democrats. Which is a lot like saying most of a general’s fighting force is terra cotta. The difference being terra cotta soldiers don’t cut and run so fast they leave little puffs of cartoon smoke.

The second thing is, you need to develop an “or else.” Work with you, or what? Or Joe Biden sits next to you in the Congressional dining room and cuts your meat every day for a week? Lyndon Johnson plucked at the horsehair holding up the sword of Damocles for his “or else.” Walk the line or find yourself whisked back to your home district as a clerk in Park and Rec’s lost and found. His idea of compromise was letting you use his pen to sign your vow of allegiance.

Finally, your people have lost all sense of urgency. You got to fire somebody. You know—ax. Can. Dump. Sack. Pink slip. Terminate with extreme prejudice. Discharge. Unassign. 86. Downsize. Furlough. Ease out. Make redundant. Give the boot. Perform a bum’s rush. Hand someone their marching orders. Assist in an accelerated career development shift. Impose a synergy related headcount restructuring. Heave a ho.

It doesn’t matter who. Are you telling me in more than a year, nobody in the administration has made a mistake bad enough to be let go? Because if they haven’t, you have. If you can’t come up with an obvious target, pick someone out at random. You really want to put the fear of god into Team Obama, get rid of Michelle. Or one of the kids. That’s the best way of saying, “don’t anybody want to get too complacent.” Anyhow, that’s my advice. No thanks necessary, I’m here to help. First one’s free.

Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who writes sometimes. Of which this would be a glaring example. He is currently headlining a new show: “The Lieutenant Governor from the State of Confusion”. We .

Feedback: durst@westsideobserver.com

March 2010