N. FOWLERI

Some people pronounce it “fowlerEEE” and some say “fowlerEYE,” so the following is of course inevitable. Together with “Mad Cow Meatball” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider (Summer Blockbuster Version)” this song is part of the suite “Three Microbiotic Songs.”

Tune: “The Happy Wanderer”

I love to go a-snorkeling
In water warm and blue
But the waves conceal a deadly threat
That I must tell to you

N. fowlerEEE – N. fowlerEYYYYE
N. fowlerEEEEEEE – N. fowlerAHHAHAHAHAHA
N. fowlerEEE – N. fowlerEYYYYE
That I must tell to you

That microbe called N. fowleri
It packs a mighty punch
‘Cause if it goes up in your nose
It will have your brains for lunch

N. fowlerEEE – N. fowlerEYYYYE
N. fowlerEEEEEEE – N. fowlerAHHAHAHAHAHA
N. fowlerEEE – N. fowlerEYYYYE
It will have your brains for lunch

So if you must a-swimming go
In water that is warm
Be sure to wear a scuba mask
To keep your brains from harm

N. fowlerEEE – N. fowlerEYYYYE
N. fowlerEEEEEEE – N. fowlerAHHAHAHAHAHA
N. fowlerEEE – N. fowlerEYYYYE
To keep your brains from harm…!

I WANNA BE ON GLENN BECK’S BLACKBOARD

(Outdated now, perhaps, but still…)

Mr. Glenn Beck – He likes to scare the heck
Out of his audience on a regular basis
His shield and his sword – Chalk and a blackboard
On which he can connect the dots and show you all the traces

But the plots are all the same – The guy needs some new names
Against which he can raise some outrage and suspicion
So tell Mr. Beck I’m here – I’d like to volunteer
And here for his consideration is my audition

I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
I wanna be a threat to his preferred order
I oughta be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
‘Cause I really do believe we should have more open borders
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
Not because I wanna be a star
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
‘Cause that’s where all the cool people are!

Mr. George Soros –  He makes Glenn Beck so morose
And he knows that Saul Alinsky was by the devil driven
Mr. Van Jones terrifies him to the bones –
And don’t even get him started on Frances Fox Piven
But this stuff is so last year – we need some brand new fears
If he is to keep hawking gold and food insurance
So Glenn, please look around – there are lots of us to be found
In fact we are so many it might test your endurance

I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
‘Cause I think gays should marry if they wanna
I really should be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
‘Cause I don’t understand why we outlaw marijuana
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
Please understand, it’s not about me
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
’Cause that is the cool place to be!

I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
‘Cause Ralph Nader* and Bill Moyers* are among my heroes
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
‘Cause I think Milton Friedman* was a great big zero
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
‘Cause Atlas Shrugged* is not my cup of tea
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
‘Cause simply put, sir, we do not agree!

*[or insert other names as desired]

[soft shoe verse]
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
Cause I don’t think that all Muslims are our enemies
I oughta be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
‘Cause I don’t believe in American Hegemony
[big finish]
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard
Sure seems like the right thing to do
I wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard –
I mean, really now, don’t you?
Yes, I really wanna be on Glenn Beck’s Blackboard … How about you?

(2011)

A GREAT DAY TO BE A BILLIONAIRE

A GREAT DAY TO BE A BILLIONAIRE
by T. Bigglesworth Bellows

It’s a great day to be a billionaire
A wonderful time to be a wealthy heir

When the chickens and the sheep have all voted for the foxes
And the economic zombies have been let out of their boxes
And the liberals and progressives have been knocked out of their sockses….!

It’s a great day to be a billionaire
Never a better time to go pollute some air

When our corporations’ profits are all heading for new maxes
And the way that things are going, we will never more pay taxes
‘Cause you can’t find a citizen who knows just what the facts is…!

It’s a great day to be a billionaire
The best of all worlds for those of us who just don’t care

It’s the triumph of the pirates, yes it’s “Avast me hearties!”
We’ve destroyed the schemes of all those liberals and smarties
Bamboozled all the workers into joining our Tea Parties…!

What a fantastic day to be a billionaire
A time to grab and grab and grab and never have to share

When the politicians are all bending to our wishes
They know that they must serve us or go back to digging ditches
‘Cause when it comes down to it, we’re just a bunch of sons of riches….!

Yes, it’s a great day to be a billionaire
A great great day to be a billionaire
It’s a GREAT – DAY – TO BE – A BILLLLIONAIRRRRE!

(2010)

THERE THEY GO AGAIN (2004)

Whenever Republicans face a campaign,
They trot out the same old tired refrain
And then they repeat it again and again
Until it gets stuck in the back of your brain

Just four little words, it’s their favorite spell
And over the years it has served them quite well
And reason or logic can never dispel
The feeling of dread it’s supposed to compel

“Tax-and-spend liberal”! Oh my, what a curse!
Is anything lower?  Is anything worse?
They’d claim that a rapist who murders a nurse
Is better than someone who’s after your purse!

So every time ‘Pubbies are backs-to-the-wall
Then you can rely that they’ll put out the call
“Oh horrors! Oh terrors!  Oh worstest of all!
Here come another tax-and-spend LIBERAL!!”

But magic wears off when too frequently used
And after a while, people get less confused
And they start to wonder, “Hey, have we been abused?”
When they figure it out, they will NOT be amused.

For taxing-and-spending’s what governments do
To provide for the services that both I and you
Have said that we want — and you know that it’s true
That money does not come just from out of the blue.

But deficit spending can make things seem OK —
“We’ll pay for it later!  Let’s spend it today!!
“More tax cuts! More weapons that don’t work today
But might in the future!  Hey, come on, let’s play!”

But if you are borrowing too far past your means,
You had best be investing – and we’re not – and that means
That our infrastructure will pop at the seams
With breakdowns, disruptions, bankruptcies, and liens.

And someday those bills will all have to be paid
And our kids will account for the things we mislaid
Because, in the end, we were just too afraid
To make the decisions that had to be made

The question should be, “Are our taxes assessed
In a way that is fair, and that spreads the load best?
So that no one is overly fiscally stressed
And no one rides high on the backs of the rest —

“And when we are spending, are we spending with care,
With prudence, with caution?  Do we know just where
The money is going? And when it gets there,
Is it really improving this world we must share?”

So next time that “LIBERAL!” rings in your ears,
Those obsolete “tax-and-spend” GOP jeers,
Remember that their way catastrophe nears,
And go vote your hopes — and please, don’t vote your fears.

Politics, Punctuated (2004)

The conservative! The exclamation point — there!
At the end of the accusation!
At the end of the war cry! Of the triumphant shout!
At the end of the final, fatal, dismissing expletive!

The liberal?  Well, that’s, you know, the question mark?
The sign of curiosity, of uncertainty?
Of the need to know more, to reexamine certitudes?
You know, the admission both of human limitation
and of human possibility?
Wouldn’t you say so?  What do you think?

The conservative.
The full stop.
Period.
That’s it.
End of story.

The liberal, on the other hand, is,
or perhaps could be,
the comma,
which,
usually,
suggests that,
perhaps,
there may be more to come,
that the end is not yet in sight,
that something else could be,
or should be,
or must be included
before completeness is finally achieved.

The conservative is the slash
harsh and definitive
dividing alternatives:
good/evil
black/white
us/them
red/blue.

The liberal – the hyphen –
connecting things together –
immigrant-American, self-other, low-fat.

The conservative is the colon
at the end of the phrase
“Here are your orders:”

The liberal is the semicolon;
it delineates a list of options;
it joins independent ideas.

(Or perhaps it’s the parentheses
enclosing all the other things you wanted to say
…or perhaps the ellipsis
after the words “Let me think about that…”)

 

The point being
some people only want
one form of speaking or the other
but how can we hold an intelligent conversation
form a coherent thought
make a valid statement
or even write a poem

if half our available grammar

has been

discarded

 

?!

A philosophical manta ray (limerick)

A philosophical manta ray
Addressing a conference in Santa Fe
Said “I think we all know
That everything flows,
Or as Heraclitus states, ‘πάντα ῥεῖ .’

Unexpected “Election 2016” Plot Twist Predictions

Unexpected “Election 2016” Plot Twist Predictions
(WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!)

During the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, something totally unexpected happens.

In front of 100 million or so viewers, they fall in love.

The transcript doesn’t show it, of course – the dialog is brisk, the invective is heavy, and the accusations fly back and forth. But it’s clear as a bell to anyone watching. The body language is unmistakable. Those in the audience later report an amazing electricity in the air between the two combatants, a primal energy that cannot, will not be denied.

It soon becomes clear that their arguments about fiscal policy, immigration, and environmental protections are nothing but foreplay.

Like Sam and Diane on CHEERS, or Maddie and David on MOONLIGHTING, Hillary and Donald are about to move into the pantheon of all-time great love affairs. Not since Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor will two people so willingly throw themselves into what everyone is sure will be a train wreck of stupendous proportions.

During the second debate, conversations veer wildly off-topic, as the participants are obviously engaged in a mutual mental undressing. “We were waiting for the moment when Hillary would just lose it and tackle Donald right then and there,” Dr. Phil, one of the debate moderators, would say later. “That cougar was ready to pounce, no doubt about it.”

The third debate gets cancelled, and is replaced with a candid tête-à-tête between the two lovebirds and Barbara Walters.

Within weeks, both candidates have divorced their spouses, who then take comfort in each other. “It’s a win-win, if you ask me,” says Bill, at a press conference on the beach with Melania at their honeymoon resort in the Azores. “We may not be in the White House, but then again we don’t have to be in the White House, you know what I mean? Now shoo, I have some, uh, suntan oil to apply here.”

After complex negotiations, a historic bipartisan arrangement is made. The election will proceed as planned – but whichever person wins the Electoral College (the “First President”) will get their choice of foreign or domestic policy as their primary responsibility, and the other (the “Second President”) will take the other – with the option of their roles reversing after two years. It is also agreed that they will alternate doing the dishes, and have pizza night every Wednesday.

“We’re gonna make an awesome team,” says Donald. “Amazing. Huge. Nothing like it ever.”

Hillary, for her part, smiles quietly to herself.

And waits.