Monday, January 15, 2018

The Loser Who Won

Contributed by B F Koch
ITITY Political Theater Critic

Do you know that guy? That guy who says they just take his hard-earned money and hand it over to “those people” who are too lazy to work for a living. That guy who says if we let “those people” move into the neighborhood they’ll just ruin everyone’s property values. That guy who says we could fix this place if we just put all “those people” on a boat and send them back to where they came from. Maybe you’re lucky, maybe you’re not related to that guy, maybe you never even met that guy, but a little over a year ago almost 63 million Americans thought it was a good idea to put a guy like that in charge of our country.

It didn’t matter that a few million more Americans voted for the other candidate. It didn’t matter that the electoral college was supposed to prevent the office being occupied by someone, in the words of one of our most popular founding fathers, “not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” President Pussy Grabber, anyone? Nice try Mr. Hamilton, but hey, you’re killing it on Broadway.

Naturally, the cable news networks played their part too, conveniently refraining from any criticism that would interfere with their ad revenues, and covering the campaign as if it were the latest reality TV spectacle. Responsible reporting? Journalistic integrity? Don’t worry, it’s all just entertainment folks, he’s not going to win this thing anyway, and hey, our ratings are through the roof.

We’ll never know of course, but it may not have turned out the way it did without the FBI bringing up his opponent’s e-mails again on the eve of the election. Was this something significant? Was this something we needed to know? No, they just thought it was important to protect themselves from appearing to have held anything back after she won. So much for fidelity, bravery, and integrity. Strange thing is, these are the same bunch we’re now trusting to tell us this shameful mistake wasn’t our fault. Hey, a little help here, Russia?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Did Trump Really Say That?

By F. Russell Grumman
ITITY Senior Political Correspondent

This article originally appeared in the West Palm Beach Shuffleboard Gazette. It is reprinted here with their generous permission.

Despite Dr. Oddball Bornstein of the Lennox Hill Home for the Incurably Conceited shamelessly stating that Donald J. Trump is the healthiest 70-year-old junk food junkie he’s ever seen, the candidate’s performance during the primaries had all the symptoms of an outraged fanatic unable to stop his short-circuiting neural pathways from interrupting his rambling improvisations with synaptic sparks of psychotic self-delusion.

Taking a page out of his Wharton School of Casino Management senior thesis, The Art of the Bait and Switch, Trump’s new ego masseuse and conspiracy nut wrangler Kellyanne Conway promised the would-be narcissist-in-chief would soon pivot to a more “general election” demeanor.  

Surreptitiously procured by the Donald J. Trump Personally Profitable Nonprofit Foundation, which also purchased an edition of Presidential Campaigning for Dummies autographed by “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, the candidate’s speeches are now cobbled together for him using the same copy of Politically Incorrect Mad Libs employed by Strom Thurmond to articulate his opinions on race relations.

The presentation may look different, but it’s still the same repulsive message delivered to the same deplorable mob, only now read from a pair of teleprompters with the halting awkwardness of a heavily sedated orangutan struggling to keep up with a leisurely played game of ping pong.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Failing Bigly

Dashed Off by BF Koch
ITITY 2016 Campaign Commentator

Refusing to abandon their doomed cause despite poll numbers sinking in a sea of criticism and unable to distinguish his commands from the sound of a malfunctioning bilge pump, his loyal but confused crew stand by helplessly as their self-destructive candidate, Captain Spraytan fires the only remaining flare pistol into his left foot, throws his gold-plated binoculars overboard, not-so-sarcastically cuts all the lifeboats loose, then takes the great ship’s wheel in his tiny little hands, orders full steam ahead, and steers the already listing S.S. Trumptanic straight into another iceberg.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Fourth Estate Sale

Typed in the Dark by E C and B F Koch
ITITY Financial Correspondents

New York, NY

Following the collapse of the fourth estate, Sotheby’s has issued a catalogue listing the items to be auctioned in next week’s much anticipated private sale.

Experts are currently speculating that profits from the sale of these items could equal those of last year’s third estate sale, valuated at $1.26B.

The estate’s collapse is believed to have begun in the early nineties with the advent of twenty-four hour news coverage, continued by substituting substantive discussion with valueless argument, and ended with the celebritization of base behavior.

Items expected to fetch the highest bids are: Lot 266 Due Diligence, Lot 369 Objectivity, and Lot 67622 Courage.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Really America? Really?

Contributed by B F Koch
ITITY Political Theater Critic

We stared at our flat screens for four awful nights as an incoherent procession of two-bit buzzards stripped the last sinews of respect from the bones of the Republican Party and nominated for president the spray-tanned personification of their own paranoid insanity.

A delusional Rudy Giuliani ranted about the terrorists under our beds, Chris Christie’s maniacal lynch mob was ready to hang Hillary from the rafters, and the candidate’s poor wife had to borrow some of the words she used trying to humanize her husband.

The days following this surreal spectacle saw the slighted child who would be commander in chief throw an infantile Twitter tantrum against a grieving gold star family, then casually quip that receiving a Purple Heart as a gift was easier than earning it.

He said that he knows more about ISIS than the generals, that he could have stopped 9/11, and may have recently revealed his plan for how he alone could put an end to all our problems when he asked why we don’t just use our nuclear weapons.

His mental stability has been questioned since his birther beginnings. Pundits continuously claim he’s at last crossed that line, and that his shameless self promotion is finally imploding. But the one thing this campaign has made absolutely clear is that for most of Trump’s supporters, there is no too far.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Revenant of 5th Avenue

Dispatched by B F Koch
ITITY Unusual Events Reporter

New York, NY

As experts review the confusing, often contradictory statements of witnesses who still can’t believe what they saw, and attempt to stitch together the shadowy images of a hundred pieces of cell phone video, a strange and incredible narrative is beginning to emerge.

During the paralyzing blizzard of early February, a man is seen running from a building in midtown Manhattan. His right arm is raised, shielding his face. While some are shouting that his head is on fire, at least three blurry images show only an unruly tangle of unnaturally orange hair.

In several videos it appears as though he is being pursued by a large bird. Some bystanders are saying it’s a raven, yet others insist it’s a bald eagle. Although difficult to discern in the whiteout, in one enhanced frame it looks as if the man’s eyes have been plucked from their sockets.

Crossing 56th Street, he slips, is struck by a taxi, and then staggers south for two more blocks where he collapses on the icy sidewalk. Before anyone can assist him, a gang of hungry rats drag his broken body down the snow covered stairs into the 53rd street subway station.

His clothes now in shreds, he slowly crawls across the platform on his hands and knees then falls helplessly onto the tracks. Attempts to help him are halted when his stubby fingers deliberately reach for the third rail. A woman screams as a bright yellow arc briefly illuminates the hideous spectacle.

The smoldering corpse convulses; then falls still. A sickening hiss hangs in the dank air. After a few stomach-turning seconds, the tunnel is silent.

Astonished onlookers then suddenly gasp in horror as the gruesome figure struggles to stand. Gaining his balance, he takes a few faltering steps; then with each stride his pace becomes more confident until he finally disappears into the darkness.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Is Rare Species Worth Saving?

Reported by F. Russell Grumman
ITITY Science Correspondent

The Department of the Interior has opened a public comment period regarding its consideration of placing Dingbatus Palinensis on the endangered species list.  Discovered in 2006 by naturalists studying the habits of Alaskan grizzly bears, this variety of brown bat is characterized by its luxurious fur, large vacant eyes, and an incredibly shrill vocalization sounding like a high pitched "ubetcha, ubetcha". 

Initial observation proved difficult due to the creature’s habit of constantly flying off in the dark in no predictable direction; however researchers finally located its home in the belfry of the Wasilla town hall. After climbing the tower stairs, they found the door almost impossible to open as it had been nearly blocked by a prodigious quantity of solidified guano. This led them to hypothesize that the belfry was a roost for many more individuals than the nuclear family they found.

However, after two years of observation they concluded it was only the female they had originally observed, and to a lesser degree the other members of her brood, that produced a more guano per specimen that any other known species of bat. It is this characteristic that suggested Palinensis should be protected, as further research might identify a sufficient number of examples to have value as a source of natural fertilizer. 

Opponents argue that if there were more, they would have already been found. They further contend that this small group does not merit protection, but is merely an aberrational mutation that simply stinks up any place it appears. Moreover, they site evidence indicating that Palinensis’ droppings are responsible for a diminution of reasoning abilities in those exposed to it for any length of time

A decision is expected in late 2016 after all comments are collected and considered, according to a spokesperson for the panel considering the action. She added that if a threat to public mental health and physical safety can be demonstrated, it may eventually trump the uniqueness and entertainment value of the of the species.