The Once and Future Nepotist

Mick Zano

Is our current democracy contaminated by nepotism?  While history is fraught with examples, historians consistently damn this dubious practice. When kings appoint their dimwitted sons instead of their most able men to lead them, the empire invariably quakes and crumbles like a fruit cobbler in a centrifuge.

If you don’t believe in the cyclic patterns of history, then try this on for size.  Anyone remember Marcus Aurelius, arguably one of the greatest emperors in Roman history?  He chose his moronic son, Commodus, as his successor and, well, I think they eventually named the commode after him.  (I’m guessing his first name was probably Loo or John, or maybe Crapper John A.D., but I digress…)

Never heard of Marcus Aurelius?  How about Julius Nepos?  You know… the inspiration behind the word “nepotism.” He ascended to the throne in 474 AD, and he was only crowned because he was the nephew of another emperor—and could belch the entire alphabet in Roman numerals (backwards). As one of his first fateful decisions, he chose Orestes to command the Roman Army.  Apparently a big Musharrif fan, Orestes soon ran Nepos out of town during a coup.  In 475 AD, Orestes placed his own 14-year-old son, Romulus Augustus, on the throne.  A few years later, in the immortal words of Porkelus Pigelus, “Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks!”

See any parallels today?  George Herbert Walker Bush, a self-made commander-in-chief like Orestes, wins the Gulf War and eventually banishes Julius Clinton from the White House by placing his own son, Incurious George (emotionally only 14 years old) on the throne. And once again, “Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks!”

Even more compelling is this: Both Commodus and Augustus were born-again Pagans who successfully dodged the Hunnic wars by joining the Palace Guard Reserves.  OK, I made that part up.  But regarding the Rome’s last imperial rulers, Wikipedia notes that they “had a much more tenuous connection to the land and its traditional cultures than the Republic’s peasant farmers had had. These rich men enjoyed the wealth that poured in from Rome’s conquered provinces…”

Is this ringing any bells yet? Certainly not the Liberty Bell.  Fast-forward a few centuries, and now we’d have better luck fixing Humpty Dumpty with a barbwire egg beater than salvaging the rule of law.  The Bill of Rights and the systems of checks and balances that once sustained our precious liberties have been hijacked — not by Bush Jr., but by the head of another Senate Dick…or dickhead, if you will.

Do rotating family monarchies really work in a republic?  I mean, it’s worked sooo well lately.  I’m talking to you John Quincy Adams.  Is nepotism leading us to a hereditable monarchy? Or, is it leading us to even bigger words than hereditable…perhaps hereditarianistic? Now, back to our dynasties for a moment: Was FDR power hungry, or simply unskilled at counting?  Thankfully, his Full-Term-for-Each-Initial-Plus-One-for-Good-Luck amendment was eventually overturned, much to the chagrin of George HWB.  Post-FDR, an amendment was passed to limit a person’s stay in the big house to two four-year terms.  This was done to keep our executive branch from becoming despotic and long-named.  After witnessing the Clinton and Bush dynasties, do we need to revisit the FDR amendment? Just think how many years the Clintons could remain in office if they were to pass their own multi-initial amendment!  WJC + HRC = …well, you do the math, JFK!  What if Hillary in 2012 passes the Equal-Initial amendment and her middle initial becomes fair game?

Our Electoral College system simply does not work the way our forefathers intended on ethanol.  A dysfunctional two-party system has developed, powered by political connections, family affiliations, money, and Thai hookers.  (Sorry, it’s the only way I could work them in this week.)  By handing down money, political connections, and affiliations, we forfeit free and fair elections.  Furthermore, this marital arrangement between the Clintons is obviously a way to circumvent our term limits.  I say “arrangement,” because I believe this is a political marriage of convenience.  And as for the Bush family…they may not share a bed, but they do share a Dick (and several other advisors).

I feel that this topic needs to be addressed now, not later, or else it’s Hillary again in 2012. We need to seriously look at nepotism in our government, as well as this trend toward dynastic monarchies. We need to pass new laws limiting such encroachments on our democracy.  This proposed legislation should be called the I-Live-in-Fear-of-Chelsea amendment.

Of course, I would be willing to forgo my campaign if Nancy Reagan would consider joining the Republican ticket. But alas, she’s already gone and just said, “No.”

Ask The Ghetto Shaman

Ask The Ghetto Shaman

Dear Ghetto Shaman,

My ayahuasca connection is currently a prisoner of the Rehab Gods. Since you are known for your alternative and more affordable tripping techniques, do you have any suggestions?

Sincerely,

Smokin’ Joe

Dear Smokin’ Joe,

Try Nutmeg, Robitusin DM, and Mad Dog 20/20 (preferably banana red).  Remember to focus all of your energies on the Dharma and the Greg. Ah, and don’t forget—911 for all emergencies.

The Ghetto Shaman

Hillary Names Running Mate

Hillary named Chelsea as her Vice Presidential running mate, reinforcing the campaign theme of ‘keeping it in the family.’  Extinguishing a cigar, her husband said, “My one presidential regret—not keeping it in the family.”  The pressure mounts as what’s-his-name shows some promise at the Convention. “So it is imperative,” she claims, “to take the offensive.”

“Bringing Chelsea on board solidifies the ticket while making my assassination less plausible.”  It’s expected that Chelsea’s youth will ‘seize the change’ Carpe diem, a theme inexplicably ducked by all of the rivals. Add the youth vote and the historical significance of the first all female ticket, and you’ve got yourself a team of instant acclaim.

The Clintons, who ran a very successful, although admittedly aggressive campaign, stated, “It’s time to reenergize our base to secure the Democratic nomination.  We’ll never give up our fight to bring strong family values back to this great nation.  Although unable to secure the nomination during roll call at the convention, we are confident that our ‘willingness to concede’ will catapult us back into the race.  Enough super delegates will be persuaded before the General Election.” Talk about a November surprise.

Due to her rave reviews in Denver, Hillary believes she can capitalize on the momentum.  She stated “My charismatic speech at Borat’s convention proves that I am presidential and ready to lead.”

Senator Obama, upon hearing of the announcement, had no comment, just a bewildered look.

Senator McCain stated “I am not sure how many daughters Hillary has; I will have to check with my aids.”  But within hours he ran an ad questioning her radical voting record at Stanford regarding cafeteria food, the use of microwaves in dormitories, and her ‘liberal’ arts degree.  When asked about her readiness to lead, McCain added, “Remember, she is one heart beat away from…what were we talking about?”

Undaunted by the attacks, Hillary retorted “the old bastard is playing right into my hands.”

Study Finds Fibromyalgia Linked to Bull Shit

A recent study conducted on seventeen bitchy women and three lazy sacks of shit (LSS) found moderate to high levels of bovine fecundity sprinkled liberally into their medical disability claim forms.  This shit is likely to spread to such questionable diagnosis as Chronic Unemployment Syndrome and Irresponsible Bowel.  Researchers predict that, if left uncompensated, this might even impact sufferers of Employtile Dysfunction and Restless Keg Syndrome.

CRANK MANIFESTO On Driving and Cars

The Crank

Driving. Yes, driving.  To all you multi-tasking mongrels—there are no cup holders, cell phone holders, or ashtrays in German cars for a reason. Driving is a full time job! You fudge packers can’t walk and jerk off at the same time, and you expect us to believe you can talk on the phone, text, smoke, drink, and check your atrocious Alice Cooper makeup in the mirror at the same time? Douche bags! Try driving! You get to go places and arrive intact!

See that stick to the left…right behind the steering wheel? If you push that stick down before turning left, the rest of us road-ragers-waiting-to-happen (RRWTH) will know what the fuck it is you’re about to do! Think of it! We won’t have to rely on E.S.P., remote viewing, or Travel Ouji to know what the hell you’re up to. Blood and makeup don’t mix, unless you are Alice Cooper. Every time I see someone crossing three lanes in high speed traffic to exit without using a directional (aka, the Arizona Exit), I want to cut’em off, drop their pants, duct tape them bent over to their hood, and stick the blinker stick up their ass, in the middle of the middle lane. Ah, but to dream…

Texting? Are you kidding? Anyone caught texting while driving should be bike-ridden forever. But they should be allowed (under certain circumstances) to text friends from their jail cell.  Oh yeah, and they should be prevented from having children. The recent train wreck in Caaleefawniya was caused by a short-bus special, texting at the helm.  When my mother didn’t like how I was driving, she would stand up (yes, she was that short) and smack me in the back of the head. We should all test our drivers-to-be with similarly violent teachers in the back seat.  We could start off the course by asking them to text a friend as we pull into traffic…then SMACK.  Rinse, lather, repeat.

Alternatively, in order to catch these wanna-be multi-taskers run amuck (WBMRA), we could all pack paintball guns.  We could fire at those who fail to use that helpful stick behind the steering wheel. After firing, simply call the local P.D. and have them watch for the black Nissan with the yellow splotched rear fender.

In addition to how people drive (or how they attempt to drive while texting missives about their lives to their friends), I have a few words on what people drive. If you own a four-door four-wheel-drive pickup with, say, a twelve inch lift, and do not need it to get to an inaccessible workplace, well, you are a dork. Your truck stopped being a truck the moment your modifications prevented anything from ever being placed into its bed—because it’s SIX fucking FEET off the ground! And, if you did manage, you’d have to drive only in straight lines for fear of top-heavy overturn (THO). Ah, but you have impressed your like-minded idiot friends, haven’t you?  A real man you are now!  It makes it all worth the buckboard ride, the catastrophic handling, and wonderful gas mileage. Yes, and those 36” wheels providing increased unsprung weight won’t help.  At $4.00 plus a gallon, you must feel just like the dipstick that you’ve become.

Maybe you’ve contemplated giving your wife the old Silverado for daily use (not a sexual metaphor) and driving her rolling garbage-receptacle Hyundai to work for the fuel efficiency. One word…DON’T!  Case in point: “Oh honey, there is some red light thingy on the dash. Been on for about a week. Something about oil or something. Will you fix it?” Remember where we bought the car?  Well, next time a little light flashes or noise sounds…TAKE IT THERE! It’s just like when you tell me that the “Laundry faerie” doesn’t clean our clothes; well, the fucking “Car Faerie” doesn’t keep us trucking either. Oh yeah, and there is a reason your husbands want to do the driving. Your driving scares the living shit out of us. I have many shorts that couldn’t stand the strain. And that, coming from men who regularly suspend all common sense on the road, is saying a lot.

If you are female and want to drink coffee in your car, you are hereby forbidden to use anything except sippy cups. You all are way too fucking slovenly for an adult cup. Just check your seats, cup holder and front carpets. See?  Listen, for about 10 bucks, you can have the fucking car cleaned in and out. Once a month, like your period. Next time you wake up and look at that methane factory sleeping next to you and think of only sharp knives, say to yourself “It must be time to go to the car wash.”

At the opposite end of the silly car spectrum are those little toy cars. To all those asshole drivers of little mini-me rice burners everywhere: Graduate to a “real vehicle”. Those toys with fartcan exhaust are cute for about a minute. If you try bringing me and my Ram (short bed, regular cab, two wheel drive, unlifted, no carpet, no fucking Hemi, real usable truck) to a screeching halt, I will roll over you like a speed bump. (Ram fartcan joke omitted by the FCC).  At the very least, your decapitated gourd will anoint my hood like the Flying Lady on a Rolls-Royce radiator.

Why spend mucho dollars squeezing 300 horsepower out of a 4 cylinder when (now hit yourself in the forehead) you coulda had a V8!  Jerks. When you start pushing 250 + hp out of a 2 liter, your gas mileage plummets to Hummerville. You may like the old Honda now, but try sliding your fat 40+ year old ass into that Civic.

The silly car gamut doesn’t run just from the giant tires to the matchbox toy cars. You know what I love; it’s those rolling mid-life crises with little hair flipping around those topless sports cars…with their Donald Trump lacquered comb-over standing straight up as a rooster-hawk. Dorks.

One day in ’96, my wife and I spotted a two year old Caddy Sedan DeVille at a local stealership. We took it for test drive.  When we returned, I asked her, “Well, what do you think?” Her answer was “It’s the fattest-ass, most ostentatious automobile I’ve ever encountered,” and I said “Ok, but can I have it?” I drove that big bastard 12 years and 184 thousand miles. Had N.Y. plates that read “CRUZSHIP”. Passed trucks stuck in the snow, beat almost everything at the light. Near 300 horse, massive torque, and front wheel drive. Once, when picking out a Christmas tree, I noticed everyone else’s jumbo SUVs. Some were trying to stuff the trees inside without tearing the leather.  Others planned tying it to the roof…without scratching the paint. Lots of heated discussions ensued between cursing husbands, bitching wives, and crying children.  I laughed aloud and as they all turned I pushed the remote button for the trunk. As I gazed into the standard issue “six-body trunk” (the Meadowland special), I tossed the seven-foot Frazier Fir inside diagonally and closed the lid.  I grinned ear to ear.  All this, a ride like a magic carpet, and 25 mpg! Mid 90’s Caddies—the best kept secret in motoring.  Uh oh, what the fff… I sure hope that was a speed bump.