Archive for snarkage

Rick Perry's smug shot: It's all about exposure, exploitation, aka politics as usual


Rick Perry booking photo mug shot

 Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with Texas Governor Rick Perry. Take it away, Will:


Knew he shouldn’t. Couldn’t help himself. Talking about the beaming leer in Rick Perry’s mug shot. Or to be more precise, his smug shot. In the photo released by the Austin Police Department, the Texas Governor grins like a Cheshire Cat who just cleaned out the canary department of a PetSmart and is presetting his Lexus’ GPS for another store.

Because he vetoed the budget of the Travis County Attorney General who refused to resign following a drunken driving conviction, Perry is now being indicted on two federal felony counts relating to abuse of power. Which for a politician is real similar to being accused of breathing through their mouths. No big deal. The loyal opposition is programmed to consider all power abusive. A fact extensively covered in the freshman orientation pamphlet.

The three reasons he’s smirking are obvious. One: there’s a better chance of being struck by lightning while holding Charlize Theron’s purse stuffed with winning Powerball tickets, than being convicted. Two: he can wear these charges as a loud red badge of partisan courage, rekindling presidential aspirations. As for the third thing… well, he’ll have to get back to you. Ooops.

This is all proof that today- any and or all publicity is good publicity. Andy Warhol’s future has arrived and taken over the conference room. Famous for 15 minutes. That’s the goal. You don’t have to be talented or accomplished or good looking or an artist or even credible. Just get your name and face out there. Get on television. Even basic cable. By hook or by crook or by booking photo.

Arianna Huffington sold her website to AOL for $315 million based on the business model of rounding up scores of scripting serfs who will write for free. With 7 series and a spate of spin- offs, the Bravo Network has practically given up on narrative programming, morphing into the Real Housewives or Women be Fighting and Stuff Network. The Weather Channel has a new reality show called 3 Fat Guys in the Woods, which infringes on absolutely no fairness in advertising doctrines. Anybody can be a star. Build your brand. We’re all one viral post away from the big time.

The NFL has attempted to harness these ambitions by charging musical acts to perform at their Super Bowl Halftime Show. The three finalists, Katy Perry, Coldplay and Rihanna have each been asked to pony up for the privilege of performing in front of billions of people AND to kick back a slice of their post- show concert tour. Next they’ll want an NFL logo carved in the haircut of the bass player. And who’s going to argue? It’s the bass player.

The most humane solution would be for the NFL to pay viewers to watch their overproduced lip- synched parody of an extravaganza. Or maybe just go back to marching bands and Frisbee catching dogs. But where’s the money in that?

Kim Kardashian’s new iPhone app is expected to make over 100 million dollars- this year alone. The goal of the game is to do anything and everything to become famous. Just that. Fame. It’s all about the exposure. Of course, in the Midwest we were taught you can die from exposure. Then again, couldn’t happen to a nicer couple than Rick Perry and Kim Kardashian. And the 3 Fat Guys in the Woods.

Copyright © 2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to to find about more about the new documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including his one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” which will appear at the Third Avenue Playhouse in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin Aug 26- 30.


Dep't. of Gaa! Annoyingly overused phrases in TV news


cliches, phrases

The so-called "news" media (Hey, remember real news?) can get under one's skin on so many levels. Today, let's just concentrate on their delivery and vocabulary, because one can only take so much pet peevage in one sitting.  Journalists overuse several terms and phrases the way John Boehner overuses tanning beds and taverns. The way Republicans overuse Voter I.D. laws. The way Sunday talk shows overuse John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The way the GOP overuses the filibuster. The way Ferguson cops overuse tear gas. The way Sarah Palin overuses "You betcha!" "also, too," and Facebook.

Below are a few of the annoying phrases that cable news hosts, contributors, and guests insist on using over and over and over again, ad nauseam. And these are just off the top of my head.

And don't even get me started on the weirdly unnatural, singsong delivery and pauses used by most correspondents' in their "packaged" (pre-taped) segments. Or the inability of many hosts to read off their teleprompters. Or the way MSNBC guests and contributors are forced to clasp their hands in front of them like kindergarteners. Or the Oh, come on now! grammatical errors made by seasoned anchors, underscored by the You gotta be kidding me! spelling errors on the news crawl. Or the forced palsy-walsitude and effusive praise among cliquey hosts. Can you imagine Walter Cronkite doing any of that?

heavy sigh

Rant over.

Here's a partial list of news biz clichés. Some are irritating because they are meaningless. Some are unbearably stale. Some are painfully trite and/or cloying. Others simply make no sense. And all make me wonder why so many intelligent newscasters and editors rely on such hackneyed and/or poor verbiage. You are invited to pile on in Comments:

  • Take a listen
  • At the end of the day
  • The whole nine yards
  • All politics is local
  • A tempest in a teapot
  • Some say...
  • Game changer
  • Went missing
  • In the days and weeks to come (weeks and months, months and years)...
  • Thank you, my friend
  • On the ground
  • At this point in time
  • Folks
  • I just got off the phone with...
  • Journey
  • Journey
  • Did I mention journey?
  • We need to have a conversation
  • The homeland
  • That being said...
  • We'll leave it there

We'll leave it there.

For a satirical look at MSNBC hosts and their banter, link over to my Preen forward #OhButIKid post of a few months ago.

Now that I've gotten all that out of my system, can we move on to the most annoyingly overused commercials on TV?



POTUS-Hillary Moment of Hug like "Cain attending Abel’s funeral"


close encounters POTUS

awkward POTUS moment

Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with POTUS and Hillary Clinton's Close Encounter of the Weird Kind. Take it away, Will:


The meeting probably wasn’t as awkward as Cain attending Abel’s funeral. Closer to Anna Nicole walking past her husband’s family in court. Surely had a Billy Bob Thornton/ Brad Pitt- drunk at a wedding reception feel.

Talking about the recent encounter between President Barack Obama and the woman rummaging through his closet, trying on his Chief Executive mom jeans, and not getting a lot of encouragement in return; Queen of the formers… Watergate lawyer, First Lady, Senator, Secretary Hillary Clinton.

The two of them ran into each other at a lawn party at a golf club on Martha’s Vineyard the other evening. And what could be more proletariat that that? Lawn party. Golf club. Martha’s Vineyard. Think we’ve triangulated the 1% Trifecta here. All you need is imported truffle canapés, some commemorative swizzle sticks and pastel sweaters tied loosely around necks and voila… a royal raspberry reduction.

The source of the ungainliness was Ms. Clinton herself, who, in an interview with The Atlantic, characterized our Syrian policy as a disaster. Then said “’Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” Obviously referring to some past politician whose name is synonymous with shrub but also throwing the current President’s equivocal quote under the same wheels of that big bad bus.

She ain’t alone. Most of America thinks Obama’s foreign policy is like Malaysian Air frequent flyer miles. Sure, they both exist on paper, but nobody’s really all that interested in implementation. Anticipating the contretemps, her spokesperson said Hillary looked forward to “hugging it out” when she and POTUS met. Yeah. Bet she did. Like an emergency tracheotomy with a Bic pen.

Can’t you picture that embrace. Fade in: First Family seated. Hillbilly walking. Visual contact. Slight stutter step. Bill grins, shouts and waves. Hillary, Michelle and Barack summon courage from unfathomable depths to plaster on phony smiles. Everybody’s interior dialogue channeling Hamlet: “To hug or not to hug.”

Barack rises and in a stab at humor, throws his arms about an inch apart as if welcoming a cuddle. She laughs so coldly ice cubes crack, and bending at the waist touches her right shoulder to his right shoulder as they pat each other on the back. Once. The Presbyterian hug. As graceful as tumbling dumpsters. Fade out on the sound of more ice cracking.

As the past and the future of the Democratic Party, Barack and Hillary are eternally entwined. It’s like one of those relationships you see in Manhattan and San Francisco these days. Where neither person can afford to move out because both incomes are necessary to cover the rent. Velvet handcuffs.

The problem is, they’re the same person. Opposite spectrums: black- white- male- female. But the same ultimate political animal. Concussions are common when the smartest person in the room is forced to interact with the other smartest person in the room. Both dimly aware that throwing Bill & Michelle into the equation means one of them may actually be the 4th smartest person in the room.

She needs him to seamlessly insert her into his frictionless fundraising machine and he needs her to guarantee his legacy is not wiped out in a torrential Tea Party tsunami. The grudging mutual respect of the cobra and the mongoose. Strange Bedfellows indeed. Who needs a hug? Craaaaack.

Copyright © 2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to to find about more about the new documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” which will appear at the Raven Theater in Windsor California Aug 22- 24.


Will Durst: The Slacker Congress


US Congress ORIG

Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:


More fun than fourteen barrels of flunkies watching our elected officials exit Washington like scared rats streaming out of a sewer to escape Godzilla. And really, who can blame them. Anybody who’s ever spent a summer in DC can tell you the climate is real similar to Hell. With humidity. Then again, not sure even Hell has winged insects the size of footstools. It’s not called Foggy Bottom because that’s the first thing that springs to mind when Diane Feinstein walks away, you know.

Funny thing is, this is the same Congress that lies on the verge of breaking all previous records for complete and utter futility. The Zero Zip Zilch Crew. Who have ridden lethargy into the ground and taken loitering to bold new heights. Or is it depths? Folks who would need hydraulic mechanical assists to raise their attitudes from stuporous to torpid. From the lair of the drugged slugs. Debi Does Drowsy.

In essence, they’re taking a vacation from nothing. Which is a lot like waking up to take a nap. Topping breakfast off with a sleeping pill. Floating off to a loafing, lay- about layoff. Playing hide and seek with the mirror. And losing.

The 113th Congress is destined to go down in history as the most Do- Nothingest Congress of all time. Accomplishing less than all the other Do- Nothing Congresses combined. Which is saying something, because there were plenty.

“Proud to Put the Nothing in the Do- Nothing Congress.” Enshrined as the undisputed heavyweight champion of Indolence. The Friends of Inertia. Slouching towards SlouchVille. The Slacker Congress.

What we the public fail to understand is that nothing can be downright tiring. Yes, there’s the failure to pass a highway bill or any hint of immigration reform, but let’s focus on the positive. During the past 19 months, the Republican- controlled House has shut down the government and voted to defund or repeal Obama Care about a gazillion times and don’t forget the 2 dozen or so Benghazi hearings. They have definitely earned that approval rating lower than thumbtacks in your underwear while riding a motorcycle. Over railroad tracks.

And now these hordes of professional indolents have slipped the surly bonds of sloth and been released into their home districts to freely roam amongst we innocents as a 5 week recess begins. One question: how do you relax after suffering through the arduous routine of nothing? Slip into a coma? Binge watch The Leftovers? Will sunstroke play an integral part? And not just any vacation: a five- week paid vacation. Who told our esteemed representatives we were Europe?

The odd part is… they have to. It’s the law. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 requires Congress to take off the entire month of August. Not sure, but perhaps it was in response to members of Congress wandering aimlessly en masse in our nation’s capital during peak tourist season; frightening small children and prompting plaintive cries from local merchants.

All we can do is hope our pooped populist politicos finally get some quality downtime, in order to come back tan and rested and ready for the tough task of remaining inactive and unable to pass any sort of worthwhile legislation when they return after Labor Day. Pretty obvious, that holiday sure weren’t named after these guys.

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to to find about more about the new documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG.”