Friday, May 30, 2008

Our miserable little ice chip of a mayor: "the department of buildings didn't crash, the crane crashed."

He started out his press conference defending the construction company, saying that construction fatalities happened all over the world---he came thisclose to saying construction fatalities are just the cost of doing business, and was clearly annoyed at being challenged about how many we have had.

The New York we know, aside from the big tourist attractions, is disappearing--all the nicer old buildings are being torn down for the crime of being too short, so blue glass condos, like the "Azure", the building with the crane, can be built--each one with a red plastic bank branch on the ground floor. All at breakneck speed. I can see three such cranes from my window.

Wonderful Town is dying, to be replaced by dangerous but dull CondoMallopolis. And our flinty little billionaire mayor is at the helm.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

GRAND ALLUSIONS Now come on, we all know Hillary's been waiting for SOMETHING to dislodge that upstart Obama. Not the A-word, as far as we know, but SOMETHING. Rev. Wright Redux, another BitterGate, anything, and when Obama tripped up, Hillary would be "positioned" to slide right in.
Even mentioning Kennedy assassinations, this week of tragic weeks, is insensitive. And she knows these people. But it isn't the first time she's brought up the RFK tragedy in context with staying in the race. She's gotten used to flinging historical references to great movements, epochs, and watersheds in combination with her name and ambitions: her campaign and the Suffragettes. Her campaign and Abolition. Her campaign and Zimbabwe. Her familiar usage of these great events as if they were furnishings in her own state house shows her outsized ego. Yes, the first woman to get this far as a presidential candidate is historic. But history isn't hers to play with.

Friday, May 16, 2008


After the board election (and why should you the reader be even faintly interested in the nasty internal politics of somebody else's apartment complex? Because the complex is subsidized by your money, you, the taxpayer, you. YOUR MONEY!!!!, and is trying to cash in, without giving you any of YOUR MONEY back, employing tactics that would do a Rove or a Corleone proud, most instructive to students of Machiavelli and anyone else requiring proofs of the duality of human nature. That's why),

We thought a relative peace would reign. No more fliers slipped under our doors with headlines like:
Well, we haven't had more of those, but we've had something better: a newsletter from our state senator, declaring his devotion to us. Very exciting! He's never felt the need to communicate with *Muttonchop City residents by you-the-taxpayer-funded newsletter before. But here he is, with the *Muttonchop City Report, a First Edition:
It's a little hard to read, I apologise, and also for the obsessive/compulsive nature of the little bits of paper taped all over it. This is the last item in the newsletter, which spends two thirds of itself advertising the funds Senator *Neville (I thought I'd give him a name that's in the air recently) has obtained for our fair complex. The first line is: "Acting in response to an alert given him by Muttonchop residents.....

The "alert" would be a letter-writing and calling campaign by *Muttonchop Rights, Incorporated, Copyright, the pro-priva----well, it's a dirty word, I can't say it, but it ends in "--atization" group. That's the group started by personal injury lawyer, too-rich-to-live-at-Muttonchop-City, has-a-second-home-in-the-Hamptons, *Toby Mugg:and the other lawyers, real-estate agents and brokers who make up the core of *Muttonchop Rights.

Senator Neville knows how to count votes. That's what made it worth his while to risk playing quite the fool:
So Senator Neville co-sponsored the bill because he was "led to believe" it was a 7.5% flip tax, NOT a 75% flip tax! MmmmHmmm. His name was placed on the bill by evil gremlins. But NOW he knows better.

So you the taxpayer get to pay for Senator Neville's apologia for signing on to a bill that would return some of your tax money to you--the taxpayer.

*all names, appearances and search terms changed to protect the Pollys from the wrath of their lovely neighbors.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


So how did the good guys do?

Oh, why even ask.

Here are our two candidates, *Vincent Piano, co-founder of our little anti-priv***z**** (ends in "atization")group, Muttonchop Ethical Housing, and *Nora Kerrigan, steadfast and even pugnacious ex-nun, drowning their sorrows at *the Eire Inn, the Muttonchop City pub.

Vincent is ordering his usual: apple pie with chocolate ice cream. He's also partial to Dewar's. Nora likes a good spicy Bloody Mary but I have unaccountably given her a martini.

The third person is Hannah Goldman, our main writer and incendiary device thrower. She could be drinking the martini; I left some ambiguity between drinks and hands. In fact, she likes her bloody Mary spicy but more important, large.

Hannah and Vincent initially loathed each other; she is a feminist, atheist, activist, red-diaper anthropologist, and he is a nineteenth century, courtly, Roman Catholic . He is Cyrano without the nose.

Now they are closeasthis. They collaborate: Vincent writes elaborate, impenetrable disquisitions; Hannah brutally edits them into Hannah-style bulleted lists, with footnotes, and always the admonition:


*all names, appearances and search terms changed to protect the Pollys from the wrath of their lovely neighbors.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

One Lump Or Two?

Happy Mother's Day, Snarkomom!

There is no tasteful way to render a jar of testicles. So I just forged ahead. Bill's are in there somewhere, along with Charlie Schumer's and the entire New York delegation. Because would you want to face the disappointed Senator after voting against her? Didn't think so.

I can't tell you how weird it is to be drawing cartoons about Hillary that a year ago would only have appeared on right wing end-time sites:
I still want to be a Hillary's Hellcat!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Nuclear Hillary

It's a good look for her. She is become destruction.

another all-too-true tale from the vertical trailer park Mrs. Polly calls home

confronting the phalanx of goofs

While North Carolina and Indiana were going to the primary polls, *Muttonchop was in the throes of its annual Board election. Why should anybody be interested in squabbling shareholders at an apartment complex in New York? Because we're squabbling over stealing away with YOUR TAX DOLLARS (Mrs. Polly, your author, is anti-theft).

Also, because the pro-theft, pro-privat--- well, it's a dirty word, but it ends in "atization" group, Muttonchop Rights, could give Grover Norquist and Karl Rove lessons in mendacity and dirty tricks.

Above, you see the gantlet Muttonchop voters must run (or roll) to get to the Community Room and vote. Note the three types waiting to pounce on the hapless voter at left with more of the fliers that traditionally blanket Muttonchop City during board elections.


as indicated by the sentiments on the three fliers, left to right:

  1. "Vote Me"--- Mrs. Mamma runs every year, independently, as an anti-other ethnicities candidate. She never wins, but her children, Dominique and Dom-boy, are very proud of her.

  2. "You'll Be Rich"---Muttonchop Rights has a simple message everybody wants to hear. Three sweet syllables. It's false, of course, or only true for a minority of people (the lawyers and brokers in Muttonchop Rights)

  3. "Ask for More Information,and You'll See That You Won't Be Rich Because You Need to Live Somewhere So You'll Have to Buy a Place Unless You Already Have One And Besides They Count the Same Money Three Different Times And Besides It's Wrong to Take Something You Benefited From and Leave Nothing For Anybody Coming After You And Within Five Years Maintenance Will More Than Double But Not Right Away And They'll All Be Gone And We'll Be In The Hole"

You see our problem: our message is not sound-biteable, it's indigestible. True, but indigestible.

Our group is led by Mr. Polly and *Vincent Piano, a courtly gentleman who speaks and writes in baroque, elliyptical flourishes that seem to have no foundation nouns or verbs. We spend hours snipping the verbal furbelows off his speeches.

Vincent fancies himself the soul of civility and bonhomie, squeezing shoulders and slapping the backs of the pro-priva**za***n board members, willfully unaware that they hate him:

titular head of Muttonchop Rights Toby Mugg, Vincent Piano, and Board President Will Waskoal

Vincent should be called "Pianissimo," for his reputed years of deft, unctuous behind-the-scenes manipulations on the Board. He's from the Old Neighborhood, where old pols pulled all the strings of everyday life, and he has the aura of those old-time pols. Nobody will ever be able to suss out his ultimate motivations, probably including Vincent.

But he has come out solidly, even heroically, against *Priv***za***n. As a member of the anti-theft minority on the board, he rises to object to virtually every motion through a chorus of groans. It's a useless formality, since every "open" board meeting is preceded by the real meeting, which takes place at Wil Wascoal's apartment, and excludes Vincent. There the real business is decided, to be subsequently presented to the minority as a fait accompli.

Despite his present powerlessness, Vincent is regarded with the sort of fear usually accorded those whose images don't show up in mirrors and other classic cartoon villains:

from our Lovely Neighbors at Muttonchop Rights, Inc

a treatise in civility

Now here is an official, complex-wide acknowledgement of our Sheeplike status, and a death threat, or at least morbidly wishful thinking. This kind of jumps out at you:When I decided to call our housing complex "Muttonchop City," it was to emphasize that we sheep are about to be more than shorn, we're going to be dinner. I wanted to not get more death threats, hide from the search engines of my lovely neighbors,and from the sue-happy lawyers of Muttonchop Rights:

Mr. Toby Mugg, Esq., the titular Head of Muttonchop Rights, and counsel for:
Mr. Lonnie Angler, Esq.,the lawyer who sued a 92-year-old lady for slander. For 2 million dollars.

I have duly noted Muttonchop Rights' irresistable desire to tell the whole fable, right up to the Wolf's demise.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Laughing at McCarthy Rally Bad for Health

Here is a photograph of my parents taken by Life photographer Lisa Larsen. This is a sign that we may not know what times we're living through until we're smacked in the head: they all went to this Joe, not Eugene but Joe McCarthy rally "on a lark," my mother said. They just wanted to "see what it was like." See the people holding cameras and laughing? My parents and their friends. They haven't yet noticed that nobody else is laughing.

The McCarthyites noticed them, though, and their lack of pro-Joe fervor, and the mood began to turn ugly. Finally my parents' little group decided it would be in their best interest to go.

They rose, and moved slowly and steadily toward the exit, as you would if you didn't want to incite a pack of animals to attack.

As they went, a woman swung her purse at my father's head. She missed. So my parents (who were not yet married) escaped without inciting a riot, and lived to tell the tale to me. Had the handbag connected, who knows where I'd be?

Lisa Larsen, by the way, took the iconic photograph of Jack and Jackie Kennedy at their wedding reception, the one where radiant Jackie, all elegant tanned shoulders against white lace, is leaning forward to share something deliciously fey and witty with her companions. You've seen it.

Lisa Larsen was herself a fey and witty presence who died too young. She was, my mother said, a delightful person. She was able to fit into almost any milieu, including Jackie Kennedy's.

But not all of them.

note: if you want to know what a McCarthy rally is like, go to a *Muttonchop Rights meeting.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Pulp Non-Fiction 2: Did Somebody say Death Threat?

Our apartment complex, *Muttonchop City, is in the throes of *Priv---oops, can't say it, but it ends in "atization." Thanks to a legal loophole,we're voting on whether we can sell our YOU THE TAXPAYER subsidized apartments for twenty times what we paid. One little group is trying to oppose this legalized theft, not very successfully so far.

Mr. and Mrs. Polly belong to this group, along with a lot of little old ladies who were brought up with loftier ideals than those of Baby Boomers like Toby Mugg, Esq., Titular Head of MuttonChop Rights, the pro-Priv----- well, you know. Ends in "atization"---group. Some of the pro-- people aren't shy about making their feelings known:

Yes, this is true. Yes, this is happening here. 95-year-old Clara writes spirited anti-Priv. letters to the local paper, so she's hated. When she was 92, she was sued for slander by the Titular Head of *Muttonchop Rights, acting as counsel for the even nastier Jerry Lewis sound-a-like lawyer, *Lonnie Angler.

We've a good idea who's the culprit:

Mr. Blatz has threatened my own Mr.Polly: "After we priv***ze, I'm gonna get you." Mr. Blatz has threatened so many old ladies he'll have to work a 40 hour week butchering them.

Mr. Blatz doesn't seem to realize that every time he rings Esther's doorbell, he's recorded by security cameras.

We're working on a surprise for Mr. Blatz.

all names, appearances and search terms have been altered to protect the Pollys from the wrath of their lovely neighbors.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Goddam Weasel

So now he's doing schtick?

He does have a degree in sacred music, but does that qualify him to do stand-up? Bits of Chris Rock, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby all mashed up with liberation theology and some really bad impersonation (that British accent, yeesh).

I only caught one act of the Reverend's traveling Bitter Medicine Show. It isn't a crime to defend oneself, especially against the bland repetitive stupidity of the 24 hour looping cable heads, but the Reverend certainly seemed to be enjoying himself overmuch.

And then he plugged his book.

And then he plugged Farrakhan.

And then ----

There is a famous Goya painting of Chronos eating his children that I could have parodied, but three and a half people would have been amused, and the other half person (comprising in total 95% of my devoted readers) would have been befuddled.

Chronos was one of the Titans, the precursors to the Greek Gods. He thought he'd be cute and ingest the competition---his children---because of a prophesy that the Titans would be slain by them. But Zeuss lived to do just that. I'll have to go back to my Edith Hamilton and firm up the story.

Also, in the Goya painting, Chronos was about to snack on a little naked figure, and I wasn't about to do Obama nude.

So here is Obama as Saint Sebastian instead. Enjoy, three and a half readers.