Calbuzz Classic: Mega Thanks From Your Turkeys
Tom Meyer’s mandatory Thanksgiving turkey cartoon, featuring a big bird ogre whose cranium is festooned with hatchets, not only sheds a frightening bright light on the cartooning Calbuzzer’s just-below-the-surface sociopathic tendencies (which some day will likely result in us being quoted as telling some know-it-all, whippersnapper reporter that Meyer “was always a quiet loner”) but also offers a scary glimpse at the terrifying political threat that California’s not-so-jolly giant budget deficit represents to Jerry Brown, who will have to slay the awful monster if history is to judge as a success his gubernatorial second act.
And for those keeping score at home, that’s a crisp, three-year-old 100-word lede, three times as long as the traditional MSM industry standard to which New Media over-the-hill guys thankfully no longer must adhere. But we digress.
Not since the Fifth Labor of Hercules, when another son of a famous political family was assigned to muck out the dung produced by a herd of immortal cows chewing their cuds in the Augean Stables, has a public figure faced such a daunting task as Brown. Even in a state familiar with chronic deficits — and with chronic, gimmick-laden “solutions” to them — the latest red ink estimate of $25.4 billion sent chills through denizens of the Capitol.
As a brilliant political analyst recently noted, Governor-elect Krusty will begin his term with policy options that are straitjacketed, both by a host of long-standing restrictions imposed by initiatives, and by a whole new batch of ballot measures just voted in by California’s have-it-both-ways voters – More services! Less taxes! – including Props 22, 24 and 26.
Add to that the disappearance of federal stimulus money, not to mention the pig-headed intransigence of Republicans to even rational new revenue ideas, and you’re left wondering why in the world Brown ever thought moving back to Sacramento would be a good idea at the ripe old age of 72.
During his campaign, Gandalf made few proposals to fix the budget, beyond a fuzzy promise to convene bipartisan kumbaya meetings, where sweet reason will allegedly replace the bitter ideological gridlock that grips the Capitol. Good luck with that.
“This will take all the know-how that I said I had,” Brown said the day after election, “and all the luck of the Irish as I go forward.” Indeed.
Pilgrims rout Indians – lead series 2-1: As we approach the end of our second full year of publishing, our Department of Green Eyeshade Performance Based Measureables and Obscene Year-End Executive Bonuses reports that our page view total is certain to exceed the number of votes won by Meg Whitman.
Given that our little enterprise seems in much better shape than her out-of-business campaign, and that we’ve managed this feat by spending a teeny bit less on expenses than her, we feel entitled to celebrate by indulging ourselves in that hoariest of journalism practices – reprinting our annual Thanksgiving message to readers. Herewith a slightly updated version:
As Calbuzz joins in our annual national celebration of gratitude and gluttony, we recall Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous words of blessing for this special holiday:
“I love Thanksgiving turkey. It’s the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts.”
With humble hearts and heaping helpings of snark, we want to thank the Calbuzz online community for all your support, encouragement, boorish comments and vicious critiques. We look forward to the next year, and hope you’ll stay with us for an exciting and entertaining ride with Gandalf the Wizard, Prince Gavin, Lady Difi and all the other colorful characters who populate the ever-entertaining court of California politics.
Beyond that, we sincerely hope that on this joyous day, you’ll click on our ads a whole bunch of times, and that you won’t get a wishbone lodged in your throat while stuffing your pie hole. Also: take the Saints, give the points, and bet the under.
Our Department of Living History and Living Wills tells us that it was Abe Lincoln, not Miles Standish, who jump started this whole Thanksgiving thing.
Nonetheless, Calbuzzers of a certain age remember with fondness the Thanksgiving school pageants of years gone by, when pilgrim hats made of folded black construction paper oozed gooey globs of white paste at the seams, and Pocahontas was played by the smart girl in the front row who always had her hand up, and who ended up living in Newport Beach, botoxed to the max.
We leave you with our favorite commentary on that historic period, courtesy of Calbuzzer emeritus Mark Twain:
Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for – annually, not oftener – if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months, instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians.
Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man’s side, consequently on the Lord’s side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.
Happy Turkey Day.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours along with a hearty congratulations on making it this far.
Please take some small solace in knowing you’ve done better than most small businesses in this fine state.
I give thanks to the Calbuzzards and their relentless persuit of the truth served up with a generous portion of humor! Keep on truckin’…
Perhaps I’m blessed with an overactive imagination. Or perhaps the GOP just blunders into incredible luck. But it seems more than just chance that they ran an unelectable slate for president when the prize was an economy they were leaving on the brink of collapse.
And it seems past the luck of the draw–given the poor history of super-rich candidates in California–that they happened to pick one of these typically unelectable candidates just as the state deficit about doubles.
Whether by design or luck, it lets Republicans sit back and say, “See, the Democrats couldn’t fix it. Now let us try.” They did it this year nationally, and the American voters–saps that they are–fell for the argument.
I’ll be pretty surprised if they don’t try it in California in the next election cycle. It’s a prediction I’d like to be wrong about. But I don’t think I will be. These guys are nothing if not consistent.
On this day of Thanksgiving let me express my appreciation for the sometimes entertaining CalBuzz political commentary as well as for providing your readers a commentary soapbox to expose your not-so-infrequent ideological…not intellectual…lameness.
Actually for this former politico, reading you has been fun. Thanks!
P.S. Many a true word is spoken by jesters. In this case, it is your Mark Twain written expose of the real basis for American Thanksgiving. Restated, the killing-off of or the driving off of the native Indians opposing the white man’s nation building in the Indian homelands was historically accurate and one but not the only basis for thanksgiving by the conquerors.
Thanks to the Calbuzzards for maintaining a must-visit site on my daily tour of the innertubes.
I am thankful that less-young-than-me Calbuzzers still have fun with California politics. Gives me hope that I’ll get to keep living the California Dream a while yet.
This was passed along from someone who says he thought he’d seen it as a New York Times editorial in the late ’70s. It is passed along with best wishes that you and yours, too, should feel like Giving Thanks…
There is a half-forgotten story about an early settlement on the New England shore that is worth remembering. After the first two difficult years, this colony gathered a modest harvest, caught cod a plenty, took venison, had substantial cabins for shelter. They had even made friends with the Indians. But some people were dubious about the winter ahead, particularly the leaders, and a day of prayer and fasting was decreed.
The people gathered, heard a long opening prayer of apology for human weakness and shortcoming. It was followed by a long confession by one of the elders, not only for himself but for the whole community. Others rose to detail the trials of life and own up their sins and errors. The meeting droned on and on until at last a little man stalked forward from the back of the room and said, “I must dissent. I have heard enough of sin and damnation.”
A startled gasp went through the room. The little man went on. “I have fasted ’til my belly griped, meditated my sins ’til my mind reeled, asked forgiveness ’til I was ashamed even for asking. Now, I must lift mine eyes in thanks, or lift them not at all.”
The little man went on. “We had privations. Some of us died. We froze and we starved. But now we have a harvest. We have wood for our fires, meat for our eating, clothes to cover our nakedness. Why then do we abase ourselves? What is our sin, beyond the fact that we are still alive?”
He lifted his head proudly. “Let us be done with whimpers and complaints! Let us lift our hearts and thank the good Lord for the things we have and the work we still can do!”
A murmur filled the room, a murmur of relief. The most eloquent confessors looked abashed. Neighbor turned to neighbor and for the first time that day, there were smiles. Life’s whole complexion had changed. And within an hour, the fireplace spits were provisioned and turning, the pots were simmering. Women cooked. Children got underfoot. Men brought planks and set up tables and benches. Before sundown that day of fasting and prayer had become a day of feasting and Thanksgiving.
Just as an aside, the cartoon and the Arnold stuff I got but for the rest of the top six paragraphs in what language were they written. I’m competent in English, Hungarian and somewhat in German but those were a “no go”. So, was it gibberish?
No Ernie, it’s merely that your linguistic skills are not updating and adapting to the demands of time travel. Today’s “Calbuzz Classic” is a compendium of past Thanksgiving posts, including our 2010 entry, which noted the challenges faced by then-incoming Governor Gandalf, most of which he has managed to handle successfully, probably to your distress.