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Raging Pencils Comic
Republicans are greedy opportunistic bastards.

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Sermon From Shakey Town.

mark morfordI just read the latest Mark Morford editorial, "Dear Tea Party: You will now get yours", and he absolutely nailed the salient differences between the Republican and Democratic parties in a way in which I can only dream. The following two paragraphs I've lifted directly from his column at for your dining and dancing pleasure. Follow the link above to read the rest.

Take it away, Mark:

Let's be perfectly clear: The modern Republican party has one masterful, godlike skill unmatched by any other org in this century: Its leaders are geniuses at deceit, at leading throngs of blind believers into rabbit holes of war and fear and factual inaccuracy, often using an aggressively dumbed-down form of Christianity as a trump card. Sexual dread, mistrust of youth, of women, of gays, foreigners, of the ever-changing cultural landscape? It's in the DNA. And the Tea Party chugged it like Coors-flavored heroin.

And the Dems? The Dems wish they could be that masterful. Progressives are just terribly weak in fearmongering. There is something about the liberal spirit that values independent thought and self-determination, that defies screaming eye-glazed megachurch groupthink dread. This makes it tough to hold power for very long. It's so much easier to rally around sameness, conformity, institution, fear of the Other. Right, Karl?


Thank you, Reverend Morford. And now on with our show.


"Mom always liked you best!"

the smothers brothersI was but a wee tad when the Smothers Brothers got themselves fired from CBS for daring to confront controversial subjects on their comedy/variety program so I really didn't understand the political and economic whys and wherefores of that then highly-rated show. All I know is that as I grew older I enjoyed their albums, and still own the whole collection.

So you can imagine my glee when NPR TV critic David Bianculli recently published an exhaustively-detailed book on the careers of Dick and Tom, focusing heavily on the CBS years. It's entitled "Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" and I happily devoured every hilarious and dramatic syllable.

One of my favorite anecdotes involves the first interracial kiss on television and, no, it wasn't Star Trek. In this case it was Rosey Grier dressed as a woman kissing the forehead of Mama Cass Elliot dressed as a man, but still....

Keep in mind this was a time when Harry Belafonte caused an uproar for simply daring to touch the arm of singer Petula Clark as they sang a duet on her network special. The kiss was Tom's way of flaunting convention right before the censor's eyes, the only way he was really allowed to. Two years after the show was cancelled Archie Bunker arrived in America's living rooms and suddenly hardly any subject was verboten. The Brothers were simply ahead of their time.

And before you dismiss the Smothers Brothers as a lightweight comedy act keep in mind that Tom Smothers is one of the few people mentioned by name in a John Lennon song. Don't believe me? Go check the lyrics for "Give Peace a Chance".



Addendum: I've been listening to lefty talk-show host Randi Rhodes for years. I absolutely love that woman but I've never heard her reference the Smothers Brothers before... until today.

Quite the coincidence, eh?

Color me "pleased".


end rant

What's not in Mike's iPod?
"My Old Man" by The Smothers Brothers

Today's amazing mystery comic is:


Raging Pencils is an unfounded conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
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Greedy, opportunistic bastards

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