Some Things That Go Bump in the Night

by John Delach

Item One: Chuck Schumer is a Putz


I do appreciate that I may have already annoyed those of you, dear readers, who appreciate the senior senator from the Empire State. So be it because he’s a putz and here’s why. Chuck Schumer, like him or dislike him, you have to admit he is a naked publicity hound who never met a camera or mic he didn’t like. Granted, that alone doesn’t make him a putz.


However, Chuck arranges his own fake news releases just to earn free camera moments and sound bites. He often uses props like an e-cigarette in a shoot about smoking or luggage to make a point about baggage fees and a location to make his point. Still not a putz but getting closer.


Recently, he held a self-made news conference in the shadow of the USS Intrepid to announce that the navy has agreed to name a new-building Arleigh Burke class destroyer after an Irish immigrant and hero, Patrick Gallagher who died in Viet Nam. Gallagher’s Long Island family gathered around the senator for the announcement and Chuck proudly presented a model destroyer with Gallagher’s name painted on the side to Patrick’s brother-in-law, Jack Walsh, who is confined to a wheelchair.


Memo to Chuck: If you are going to use a ship, airplane or railroad engine as a prop, get it right because experts take these things seriously and will pounce on errors.


In this instance, Newsday received a ton of angry mail decrying our senator’s insensitivity that they dedicated their Sunday’s editorial to reveal Chuck’s model was not an Arleigh Burke destroyer. Worse yet, it wasn’t even a US Navy destroyer. Nope, worst of all, it was a Russian destroyer, a Sovremenany Class ship built for the old USSR. That makes Chuck a putz!


Item Two: Can The New York Times Still Kill a Play?


Escape to Margaritaville opened on Thursday night, March 15. Jesse Green’s NY Times review noted in part: “If ever there was a time to be drunk in the theater, this was it. And that’s the good news… The bad news is you still have to see the show.”


(Shall I continue?) “Mr. Buffett’s denatured country calypso ditties and horndog swarm seem awfully lowbrow even in a Broadway environment debased for decades by singing cats and candlesticks. It is quite a comedown in the sing-to-me-of-romance department from “Shall We Dance” to “Why Don’t We Get Drunk (and Screw).”


Mr. Green’s less than subtle put-down climaxes with: “Escape to Margaritaville’ a paean to the pleasures of zipless debauchery is pitched so low it will temporarily extinguish your I.Q.”


Barbara Schuler saw it differently. Writing for Newsday, her review noted: “Frothy drink of a musical celebrating the music of Jimmy Buffett.” “The delightful, energetic…show.” “Buffett fans…are out in force, enjoying the inside jokes…dancing along to fins…and joining in on the singing when invited and when not.”


We can only hope there are enough Parrotheads willing to travel to Broadway to save this show.


Item Three: The New York Times Really, Really Hates Trump


I’ve never been a Trumper and never will. Being a New Yorker, I know only too well his schemes, manipulations and questionable behavior. What makes the Donald tick? I believe the answer is simple, he grew up with Roy Cohn as his mentor. If you know anything about the life and crimes of Roy Cohn, you will understand. If not, may I suggest the one word that describes him; despicable.


But Trump learned how to fight from Cohn. Trump is a natural counterpuncher. He has a hair-trigger temper so he retaliates instantaneously against all slights real or imagined. Combine this with Cohn’s strategy to hit one’s enemies with overpowering retaliation, Trump’s responses are nuclear. They have a lawyer, hit them with ten lawyers. They claim an amount of $140,000, sue them for twenty million. Failing that, deny, deny, deny. Most rationale people, don’t get his counterpunching style and find themselves spinning in circles trying to make sense of what makes no sense. Start with this: It’s a temper tantrum.


Instead, the media led by the Old Grey Lady, as spokesperson for the liberal community, can’t keep up with Trump’s temper. This fills them with angst and a continuous state of panic. Since they can’t keep up with him, they attack him unceasingly…he can do no right, none, nada, nyet, zip, nothing. Everything is suspect and must be torn apart. They probe, and they probe in hope of finding the smoking gun that will bring him down or the silver bullet that kills him politically. He’s in bed with Putin, he’s Putin’s puppet, he’s reckless, he treats our allies badly, he’s  un-presidential, he’s a moron, incompetent, he’s unfit for office, he’s a womanizer…


Their barrage is so continuous that it has become mostly noise. And still they throw more s*** against the wall in hope this batch will stick.


The latest missile appeared in their book review of March 18. In a review, Andrew Sullivan prophesized that the Donald is well on his way to subverting the Constitution by becoming The Authoritarian President, one step short of a totalitarian despot. I kid you not.


The thought occurred when I read this; Perhaps Sullivan had a bad dream about China and Russia and confused Xi and Putin with the Donald?


Item Four: Bitcoins and Blockchains


Bitcoins and blockchains,

they drive me insane.


Bitcoins and blockchains,

overwhelm my tiny brain,

fill my head with terrible pain.


Bitcoins and blockchains,

Instead, I’ll have a drink if it’s all the same.