Wednesday, April 3, 2013


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by Burt Prelutsky

I did not attend the Conservative Political Action Conference. That was partly because, like Chris Christie, I wasn’t invited. But it was also because I can’t imagine voluntarily sitting through days of speeches. To me, it verges on enhanced interrogation, but without the water. After listening to Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and Mitch McConnell, I suspect I’d tell my tormentors just about anything they wanted to know.

What I don’t get is why anyone wants to sit and listen to these people read speeches to them for hours on end. In fact, if I had the power, I wouldn’t let any politician ever speak from a podium unless he or she then had to take and answer questions from people like me. And that definitely includes Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Michael Bloomberg. The way these people get away with uttering sheer balderdash, it’s no wonder they come to regard themselves as godlike.

For instance, not too long ago, John Boehner said that he trusted Barack Obama, and nobody got to say, “Well, you’re a pinhead, John. A little over four years ago, when George Bush had sent the national debt soaring to nine trillion dollars, Sen. Obama announced that the sky was falling. Now that he’s raised it an additional seven trillion dollars, he said we had nothing to worry about.”

If Boehner really believes that bespeaks a trustworthy man, he’s an idiot who has no more business than my big toe being the Speaker of the House.

Speaking of Obama, apparently when he condescended to break bread with the Senate Republicans, he merely broke the bread, he didn’t eat it. In fact, apparently he didn’t eat anything because his food taster wasn’t on duty. Now, for all I know, perhaps every president employs one of those people, especially when he’s dining with members of the opposition party. But if he’s that paranoid, what happens when he’s vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard and we get to see him having an ice cream cone? Does it mean that some guy named Charley was skulking in the back room and got to take that dangerous first lick?

I read that Republican Sen. Rob Portman is getting kudos for reversing his position when it comes to same-sex marriages. Apparently it happened because his son Will came out of the closet. Frankly, I would have had more respect for Portman if he had simply had an honest change of heart.

If I found out I had a gay son, I would still love him, but why would I change my core beliefs? Why shouldn’t Will change his position in order to prove how much he loves his father? To me, it makes as much sense as saying that Portman was opposed to bank robbery or jay-walking, but only until he found out that his son robbed banks or was an inveterate jay-walker.

Because there is so much about modern society to despise, sometimes things slip by without anyone’s noticing. For instance, in the wake of the gun debate, a lot of us have argued that one of the main causes of these recent massacres is that obviously crazy people aren’t being confined in mental institutions. What makes this so totally illogical, not to mention reprehensible, is that we are constantly confining old people for no other reason than their age, treating them as if they had the plague, but we allow dangerous loons to roam free.

What’s more, we allow lawyers to use the lunacy of their clients as a defense in murder and rape trials, but once ObamaCare fully kicks in, death panels -- or whatever euphemism the liberals come up with -- will have the power to determine which old people live and which ones die.

This brings us to those I refer to as slurry singers. It has often amazed me that people who will agree on virtually every issue under the sun will almost come to blows when it comes to those who don’t share their taste in movies, TV shows, actors and even singers. In my case, I have spent nearly 60 years disagreeing with people when it comes to Elvis Presley. He first burst on the scene when I was in high school, and although I rather liked “Heartbreak Hotel,” I never could stand listening to him.

Over the years, I couldn’t help noticing that I was just about the only person I knew who felt that way. Understand, I don’t really object to being in the minority. I figure there are people who like all sorts of things I don’t like, and although it annoys me when people don’t agree with me when it comes to politics, I tend to be a live-and-let-live sort of guy. I simply figure I’m right and they’re wrong.

The thing that recently occurred to me was that there was a group of singers I could never bear listening to, and they included, along with Presley, Dean Martin, Phil Harris, Johnny Mercer and Louis Prima. To me, they all sounded like they had mush in their mouths and that a song’s lyrics were lucky to get out alive.

The reason I’m making this confession is because I suspect that just as I know that some people only felt free to speak openly and honestly about cilantro after I insisted it tasted like something that had been found in the cat’s sandbox, I suspect there are some people who feel as I do about these slurry singers, but have been cowed into silence for far too long, just waiting for someone to come along and point out, as it were, that the King’s new clothes don’t leave much to the imagination.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

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