Comets, Computers and Comey
May we now put the sensationalized testimony of former FBI director James Comey before Congress into the mausoleum already containing such equally overhyped events as the extravagantly promoted (non) appearance of Comet Kohoutek in late 1973 and the Y2K “Millenium Bug” that was going to crash every computer in the world and throw the planet into darkness and disarray.
Okay, okay. Yes, he called Trump a liar. Anyone drop in from Mars recently that we need to get up to speed on that daily-proven charge? Yes, he made a fairly good case for eventual obstruction of justice charges, but do you think that is going to get him impeached by his bought-and-paid-for fellas in the US House of Representatives (read: Trogolodytes)? No chance, thank you very much. And was there ever a question that Comey was cashiered because he was looking into the Russia/Trump administration collusion with Russia? If you think otherwise, let Phillipe and Jorge show you our photos of some prime waterfront properties we can get you for a song right now on the barrier islands of North Carolina, which are guaranteed to be sea level rise resistant.
Given the above, P&J went searching for the finer moments attending Comey’s diva performance at the Capitol on June 8 that pre-empted programming on every TV station/network with even a pretense of having a passing relationship with real news. How Andy Cohen stayed on topic with housewives that day is a mystery to us.
Perhaps the best sideshow was “the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree” performance by one of the Orange Orangutan’s sons on Twitter. (We don’t know if Donald, Jr. is Beavis or Butthead, not that it matters between those two pomaded, arrogant douchebags. Let’s just say Beavis, since he’s the oldest.)
Beavis evidently tweeted, a la Daddy, more than 80 times before 6:30pm that day, generally defending and explaining his father (don’t try this at home, kids). Now P&J know it is not easy to type out mini-screeds that many times using only your cloven trotters, and recognize the effort that must have gone into this twitstorm. While it may have possibly lacked any intelligence — and we’re talking the 2+2 variety, not that of international espionage — we give full points to Beavis for maintaining his focus for that long and not being distracted by shiny objects, pieces of brightly colored paper or reruns of ”Duck Dynasty” being aired at the same time.
It is indeed a sad time in America when a brainless, limited-to-140-characters (not even 140 words!) method of communication rules our personal discourse. Has our inability to speak for longer than that, never mind hope that someone may be able to actually digest messages that exceed that amount, is now deemed acceptable? (At this point, someone should kick the soapbox out from underneath us and shut off the valve to imperious and embarrassing moral grandstanding upon which we are evidently feeding.)
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree. Where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless…” Oops, sorry Mr. Coleridge, you’ve got to hold it right there. Thanks for coming in for the communications audition, and we’ll get back to you.
Yes, It Was Good Enough
In a memorable scene in the semi-sports 1957 movie Fear Strikes Out, a wild-eyed Anthony Perkins, portraying former Boston Red Sox star Jimmy Piersall, climbs the mesh screen behind home plate in a moment of madness following a home run, screaming at his domineering father in the stands, played by Karl Malden, “Is that good enough? Is that good enough?” It has been a Phillipe and Jorge twisted catchphrase even since.
We mention this because Piersall, beloved by Boston fans, and those of the teams he subsequently moved on to in a 17-year career, passed away just recently. And Fear Strikes Out not only focused on Piersall the player, but his mental illness, as he was formally diagnosed later in life as being bi-polar. In those days he was just, in baseball parlance, a “flake.” And the film was cited by many in the medical/psychiatric field as an important spotlight on how mental illness could manifest itself and be treated.
Piersall was a star athlete at nearby Waterbury High in Connecticut, actually more renowned for his basketball skills than his baseball skills. After the Red Sox signed him and brought him up to the majors in the early 1950s, the Piersall circus had started. And while he became a two-time All Star for the BoSox, he had some truly sad moments such as taunting legendary pitcher Satchel Paige to the point of being reprimanded for it and spanking a teammate’s child in the clubhouse. And he got into a fistfight with the Yankees’ Billy Martin, but that could be viewed as commendable in many quarters.
But Jimmy did deliver some moments that could bring a smile to the faces of those who saw the playfulness within the disease.
In Yankee Stadium, he disappeared during a game in New York from his position mid-inning to hide behind the famed monuments in center field. Afterward, he said he was having a conversation with Babe Ruth. And when he hit his 100th career home run while he was with the NY Mets, he ran around the bases in the proper direction for a home run trot, but did it facing backward. And one time he went to bat wearing a Beatles wig, playing air guitar with his Louisville Slugger.
Piersall was able to control his illness in later years, becoming a well-liked announcer for the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox, the latter of which he was fired from for criticizing the team’s management on the air. Hey, whatcha gonna do? They doubtless deserved it, and he had the balls to say so.
Hail and farewell, Jimmy Piersall. You left some joyous memories. And planned or not, brought some important and humanizing moments to the perception and treatment of mental illness.