Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism
The new TV season starts this week, the first entry being the one with Mickey Mouse blaming all the terrorism on Bill Clinton. It’s a comedy. And about 75 percent fiction as far as I could tell. Poor return on a big investment in my opinion. Hey, give me $40 million and a free hand to make poop up and I could’ve turned Bill Clinton into an even worse bungler and bigger clown than we have in there n… . Well, no, probably not. Never mind that.
As I understand it, this is to be a series. Each week another cartoon character will blame one of the world’s great problems on another politician who’s long retired, forgotten, dead, or named Clinton.
Next episode is Spongebob on how there wasn’t such a thing as global warming until Al Gore stirred up the stink about it. Homer and Bart Simpson have signed on, and Phoghorn Leghorn, and Christopher Hitchens.
The new season’s hot “reality” show features ordinary people panicking when Vice President Cheney (only a lookalike imposter, of course) invites them along on his next bird hunt. Participants have to agree not to do any cowardly cringing or blaming, at least on camera. They can’t sue or file for workmen’s comp or any such liberal crap. If the veep misses or inflicts only a disappointing flesh wound, Scalia gets to take a crack from ambush.
In a walk-on, the president gives the proposition that goofy little nervous laugh and says, “Heck no, I’m not doing that.”
Following “Law and Order,” “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” etc., this season presents “Law and Order: Guantanamo.”
The “cops” here are CIA and the big departure is that they get to torture the detainees. They get to torture them all they want, just like “The Pit and the Pendulum” or Tucker Prison here in Arkansas back in the good old days, and there’s nothing any bleeding heart judges, liberal news media types, whiners like the ACLU, or jailhouse lawyers can do about it. That’s because there are no reporters, lawyers, courts, or any of that Miranda or habeas corpus or Geneva Convention b.s. around to help the guilty get off.
Unlike the Inquisition, the torturers don’t even have to prefer charges against the tortured. They can just hold them, torture them, and then take some time off sightseeing around the Caribbean. They can sightsee two or three years if they feel like it. They report only to a shadowy figure whose code name is Brains. Sometimes they’ll insert a couple of words before the Brains, one of them being “for.”
Most of the scenes are set at Guantanamo or at a mockup of the Cuban gulag, but on occasion we get to visit one of those notorious “dark prisons,” in Romania or God-knows-where, with hilarious if murky scenes of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and the slinging about of pig fat. Abu Ghraib is scheduled for a guest appearance.
Word is a couple of the doodooing-on-the-Koran scenes had to be cut because of government regs against putting indecent things on TV even for a split second like Janet Jackson’s breast.
You wouldn’t think there’d be enough material for an entire series of “World’s Funniest Presidential Press Conference Videos” but they say there is. And without even going back to previous presidents. Or back beyond the current calendar year.
I would’ve taken it back to Truman defending his daughter’s piano-playing. And then Ike trying to think of a good reason why he kept Nixon on the ticket. And two or three years’ worth of the Gerald Fords.
But I can understand, with the Decider delivering fresh material in abundance every time out, about now looking the gift horse in the mouth.
“Nova” reads the writing on the wall and goes over to intelligent design. It has what it says are electron-microscope pictures of a human soul astride the tail of sperm cell successfully burrowing into an ovum, thereby mooting Roe-Wade and making a winner of the Falwell Hypothesis. Under enormous magnification, the soul bears a remarkable if blurred resemblance to the 1940s cartoon character Bosco. It stays microscopic to facilitate its escape into the hereafter when the host buys the farm.
During his most recent bypass Larry King had a zipper put in, and this season he’ll let the camera inside for a live tour of the chest cavity. He used to smoke bad, so the lungs will still look like charred busted footballs plucked from the smoldering ruins of a house fire, and he used to drink bad, so the liver might be identical to this red rock that I picked up in Utah and placed as a color enhancer among the drabber rip-rap that lines my driveway. There are said to be bats hanging upside down in there, and if such a thing could happen to Larry, it could happen to any of us. Think about that.
They might find Ross Perot in there too.
More later on the new TV season. I’ll try to make it more dignified, but again, I can’t do miracles.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.
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Exactly how I feel only written much better than I could.