Archive for Will Durst

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

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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:

SMUG SHOTS

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 willdurst.com 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. thirdavenueplayhouse.com

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

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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:

TUMBLING DUMPSTERS

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 willdurst.com 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. raventheater.org

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Will Durst: The Slacker Congress

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US Congress ORIG

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

THE SLACKER CONGRESS

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 willdurst.com 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.”

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"If irony were bananas, Boehner would be Brazil."

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priority fail gop fail boehner

Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with John Boehner, the idiocy of the GOP and their embarrassing effort to achieve Impeachment Lite by way of an impotent lawsuit attempt. Take it away, Will:

PANDORA’S BOX OF WORMS

In a move less surprising than hot dogs at a ballgame, the House of Representatives voted Speaker John Boehner the authority to sue the President of the United States. This isn’t like a divorce, or a civil suit for money, it’s more of a restraining order. They want Obama to quit trying to resuscitate the government they’ve been working so hard to render unconscious.

On one hand, it’s a brilliant tactical move. Nobody can call them a Do-Nothing Congress anymore. “Do nothing? What are you talking about? We sued the President.” Many see the action as a stopgap measure to quiet the crazies on the right, who continue to demand nothing less than impeachment. And this is Impeachment Lite.

Problem is, they did it immediately before scurrying home on a five- week summer recess, so its not like a multitude of other accomplishments are destined to overwhelm this freakish folly in the near future. This being an important upcoming break, in which Congress will engage in the pivotal business of meeting with constituents and squeezing money out of them for their re-election. Does the term, “every last dime” have any meaning here?

The excuse given for the lawsuit is Obama illegally delayed the implementation of Obama Care. Seriously. That’s what he claims to be mad at. Not just the very same Obama Care the Speaker and his buddies tried to scuttle over half a hundred times. But the very same delayed implementation to Obama Care the Speaker and his buddies tried to pass. If irony were bananas, Boehner would be Brazil.

Obviously something had to be done. Getting way too close to the midterms to try and repeal Obama care anymore. Turns out people like it. Even the Tea Party has moved on, which is like saying the train fell over. Immigration reform is their new chew toy, which also went down in flames due to internecine warfare. National political gridlock is old hat: internal party gridlock is the coming thing.

To be honest, Democrats love this kind of talk. Their fervent hope is Boehner continues to contract heat prostration working on his tan. Nothing opens the spigot on the donation hose faster than GOP intransigence. It may be nothing more than a fund raising stunt but it works for everybody. Seems like the crazier the Speaker and his buddies get, the more money for the November elections. For both sides.

Makes a person wonder what’s next: is Boehner going to sue Sarah Palin for being reluctant to say ridiculous things? Take Mitt Romney to court for refusing to dominate the headlines the last 2 years? Charge the Supreme Court with voting along party lines too often?

There are so many things wrong with this move, you need a rubber spread sheet and an accountant on Thorazine to work them all out. By suing the Chief Executive, you’re not just opening any box of worms; you’re opening Pandora’s box of worms. Worms with Greek teeth. And venomous talons.

This could very well work as a template to screw things up in Congress for the history of eternity. Of course if the case does persist and follows the average speed of your normal federal lawsuit, it won’t see the light of day until much much later. Probably the middle of Hillary Clinton’s 2nd term.

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com 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.”

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2016 "heating up like eggs on chrome bumper in Death Valley parking lot at high noon in August"

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2016 speculation jon stewart

Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with incendiary partisan politics, the growing GOP vs. Dem hostilities, and possible 2016 presidential candidates. Take it away, Will:

T MINUS 28 MONTHS AND COUNTING

Bust out the gin and tonics because this is shaping up to be one heck of a long hot summer. Weather- wise and politics- wise. All over the world, hostilities are flaring like out of control wildfires. While here at home, it’s the words that have grown from fiery to scalding. And the only way to describe the actions- incendiary.

Impeachment and lawsuits and child immigration are all raging hot topics. The partisan sweltering also includes the 2016 presidential sweepstakes, which is heating up like an egg frying on a chrome bumper in a Death Valley parking lot at high noon in August.

The usual and unusual suspects on the Republican side are spending enough time at the Iowa and New Hampshire Humidity Festivals to qualify as part time mosquito repellent reps and if they aren’t, they should be, because they’re going to need all the extra money they can get. This marathon is going to be as expensive as it will be ugly. And that’s saying something.

Meanwhile, the plot thins. Paul Ryan is busy figuring out how to reinstitute debtors prison. Mike Huckabee is checking the Bible for loopholes. Marco Rubio is taking deodorant baths in order to convincingly deny climate change. In Florida.

And that Rand Paul fellow is simply a feuding fool. He finally patches up a blistering squabble with Chris Christie, then goes and starts a new one with Rick Perry that quickly heats up to Def Con 4 levels with both belligerents spitting like rudely awakened cobras. And no mongoose in sight. Sounds like he just doesn’t like governors.

All this torrid internecine warfare has led party moderates to call for Jeb Bush to get into the race. And he might, but first he has to get mom’s permission. After all, it was Barbara who astutely diagnosed the national fever known as Bush Fatigue.

If the Jeb were elected, that would make the last 5 Presidents: Bush- Clinton- Bush- Obama- Bush. Like a club sandwich. With the Bushes as the white bread. And how apropos is that? This family is whiter than Justin Beiber’s Nova Scotia Fan Club. Like cauliflower and mashed potatoes on a paper plate with a side of leeks white.

Other big money interests are running Romney up the flagpole to see if anybody salutes. But so far: not a lot of looking up. Besides, the former Governor of Massachusetts claims to have no interest. Which pretty much describes the problem with his last campaign.

On the other side, to call Hillary Clinton a prohibitive favorite for the Democrats is like implying that Shar Pei puppies are cute. She’s a virtual lock. Just like she was in 2008.

Her new book, “Hard Choices,” which sounds more like Bill’s handiwork, ends with “The time for another hard choice will come soon enough.” Hmmmm. What could she possibly be talking about there? Picking names for the new grandchild?

The biggest problem for the Democrats is a lack of Hillary alternatives. Even LeBron James has a back up. What if the former First Lady goes on the DL? Karl Rove claims her fall a couple of years ago was responsible for brain damage. And the guy who escorted Dubyah into the Oval Office should be trusted on this. He’s probably familiar with the symptoms.

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com 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.”
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"What Obama needs is a Rob Ford, Francois Hollande moment."

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La Cucaracha blame ObamaVia Lalo Alcaraz

Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with the GOP's Obama Derangement Syndrome. Take it away, Will:

STUCK ON STUCK

“Just following the will of the people.” That’s been the GOP rationalization for accomplishing absolutely nothing for five and a half years. Doesn’t matter what the issue is. Immigration. Jobs. Infrastructure. Climate change. Banking reform. The proliferation of substandard dental schools in Nebraska.

According to them, the people want… zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And to mask their inaction, Republicans have coordinated a feeding frenzy that would make rabid hyenas jealous.

Something about Obama drives them crazier than chocolate banana fritters with raspberry sprinkles in a bento box. Maybe because he’s the smartest guy in the room and not the least bit shy about sharing that opinion. Maybe he’s the ultimate anti- Bush. Or there’s something about him that looks different. Extremely different. Could be the ears.

What it boils down to is… “Open Season on Obama.” The memos have circulated. The strategy is conspicuous. To derail any possible presidential accomplishment by stalling progress and tossing a continuous slew of dastardly insults onto and at his person. And the mud is flying faster than fingers in a steno pool. Different circus. Same clowns.

John Boehner plans to sue the President. For what? Not even he knows, but you can be sure, the term “smarty pants” will be bandied about. He did drop some tidbit about objecting to the President changing the employer mandate to Obama Care, but that can’t be the source of his irritation, since the GOP insisted on it. It would be like slapping some other family’s child for obeying you.

Dick Cheney called him the Worst President of his lifetime. Which is quite a coincidence, since many argue Dick Cheney was the worst president of Obama’s lifetime. Obama should actually take solace from this charge, since Dick Cheney has been pretty much wrong about pretty much everything since at least 1999.

Sarah Palin called for the POTUS to be impeached. And Sarah Palin demanding punishment of someone for not properly fulfilling an office is another of those “pot with the kettle and the color black” situations the Republicans are so renown. The needle on the irony meter just crazy spun then melted.

Rick Perry accused the President of orchestrating the conspiracy responsible for a deluge of Central American kids crossing the border. And he said it while wearing his new studious looking glasses, so you know he’s serious. Also, the fact he correctly pronounced the word “conspiracy,” is a huge upgrade.

These attacks are perfectly timed to kick the President while he’s down. Right now his approval rating has sunk lower than scorpion- infested, throw- pillows filled with mold spores. Like a tray of hickory smoked baby back ribs at a PETA convention. Tacks in a bath. What Obama needs is a Rob Ford, Francois Hollande moment. A video of him naked, smoking crack with Lindsay Lohan, to go viral.

Republicans even complain Obama is a do- nothing President. With Mitch McConnell stalling every advance in the Senate and the House and Supreme Court lined up against him, it’s a miracle they’re able to get Flag Day commemorations through Congress.

Makes a person worry this political paralysis may be the new normal and we’ll never be able to affect positive change ever again. Instead of the status quo, we got the status no. America has gotten stuck… on stuck.

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com 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.”

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"Online privacy is like Taliban science. A fictional concept."

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Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with online privacy in general, and Facebook in particular. Take it away, Will:

DIGITAL CHEESE

Plenty of people had good reason to be in a foul mood back in 2012. The Detroit Tigers. Members of the Romney family. And, after making the acquaintance of a windy lass named Sandy, most of New England. Now, we can add to that list the thousands of suckers who were manipulated by our good friend at Facebook. Although the word they coined- “unfriend,” might fit better here.

Recently it was revealed the social media behemoth filtered the messages of 700,000 users by flooding them with uplifting and/ or depressing posts, then monitoring who got happy and who got sad. “Oh no. Grandma’s bicycle got run over by a garbage truck. Awww. But hey! Watch what happens when this pit bull chews on a kiddie pool.”

They say we agreed to this kind of BS when we signed on, but- come on. Its doubtful even the employees who write them, read those user agreements. Typically, they’re longer than the migratory path of the monarch butterfly, more confusing than Cantonese crosswords and displayed in flea font.

Corporate lawyers didn’t evolve from mud- sucking, bottom- feeders for nothing. They know how to hide all sorts of stuff in that fine print. Wouldn’t be surprised to discover there’s a clause stating that in time of war, they own one of my kidneys. And another that gives them the right to call at any time of night demanding help in moving a body.

Google also admits to running 20,000 experiments on its search results every year and you can bet Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest and Crabgrass.com are doing the same. Probably even Yahoo has scientists using tools calibrated back in the 90s. The 1890s.

Some bloggers claim to be outraged, but anybody not expecting to be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed and numbered is probably a big fan of the tooth fairy and still drinking juice out of a sippy cup, wearing footy pajamas. Online privacy is like Taliban science. A fictional concept.

Think of it as Newton’s Law 3.1. The price we must pay for having the world at our fingertips, is maintaining an equal and opposite availability to everyone else’s fingertips. Some of which are cold and clammy. Especially the Faceless ones with the chromium digits. But we’ve adapted. You don’t hear a lot of noise about folks going back to MySpace. Or Compuserve.

Facebook claims they’re simply trying to create the best environment possible for their petri dish of social contact. And we microbes can expect the research to not only continue, but get more sophisticated. Won’t be long before they are able to predict which of our family members will pass out before Thanksgiving Dinner. Which could come in handy with menu planning.

Our best bet is to nudge them in consumer friendly directions. Don’t they want to know how many people would delete their accounts after all cute cat videos were outlawed? How about a “Bummer” button for deaths, divorces, debacles, disasters and defeats?

The thing is, if Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk are going to use us as lab rats, the least they could do is throw us some minor rewards. When rats finish a maze, aren’t they supposed to get cheese? Hey Zuck, where’s our digital cheese? Make mine Cheddar. Swiss puts me in a bad mood. Ooops. Shouldn’t have said that.

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com 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,” at the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival July 10- 19. Scfringe.com.

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