Posted by: Mark Nielsen | March 3, 2008

For Gits & Shiggles: Obama, Smart White Rappers, & More Randy Newman

Re-publishing some faves from other sources today. Click through to read more great stuff at these sites, or to buy things, if that’s your usual M.O.

1) From Larknews, a centrist Christian humor site that my pastor told me about a few years ago:

Obama heals hundreds

    AUSTIN — Ginny McCallum, 43, who has been confined to a wheelchair for much of her adult life, came to hear presidential candidate Barack Obama speak at the University of Texas. Afterward she found herself in a wheelchair access breezeway as Obama and his entourage exited the arena. The candidate spotted her, came over, grabbed her hand and pulled her up. She found herself standing for the first time in eleven years.
    “He smiled at me and said, ‘Yes, you can,’” she says. “I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do.”
    McCallum is among hundreds of people who say they have been healed by the Democratic candidate, in one of the most surprising and little-acknowledged aspects of his campaign. Reporters have shied away from the story, chalking it up to “Obama-mania” and people’s feelings of elation.
    “We don’t talk about it a lot, but yeah, it does happen,” says one staffer who says he has seen multiple people healed on a rope line. “We don’t know exactly how or why it’s happening, and the Senator won’t talk about it. He usually insists that people keep it quiet and just report it to their pastor or priest.”
    Greeting supporters after a rousing speech in Houston, Obama stepped into the dense crowd and spontaneously began touching people: a legally blind woman, a man deaf in one ear, a cancer sufferer and a lame man.
    “Yes, you can,” Obama said as he laid hands on afflicted bodies.
    The people’s reactions were so joyous as to be almost frightening. They jumped and shouted and wept. Before they could thank or embrace the candidate he was well down the rope line healing others. Their excitement was lost in the general din of the crowd.
    Aides acknowledge that the phenomenon is occurring with greater frequency.
    “His power goes beyond simple inspiration,” says one aide. “There is something developing here that I’m not sure any of us fully understands.”
    They say Obama has told them privately that his time has not yet come, so it would be inappropriate to talk about the healings right now. He says he will wait until the convention to speak publicly about the “special calling” he believes he has to lead the country. They do expect him to start alluding to “the providential nature of what is happening on the campaign trail” in an upcoming address, mostly because word is getting around.
    People have begun bringing relatives by the score to campaign events in hopes of a healing touch.
    “It’s not the speeches that are drawing people anymore, as good as they are,” says a senior staff member. “It’s people wanting to get better, and wanting their friends and relatives to get better. It’s the belief that there’s something more here.” •

2) From The Onion: excerpt from a goofy advice column by Sean “Slug” daley in the A/V section that appeared around Valentine’s Day.  Daley is MC of the hip-hop duo Atmosphere. I never heard of them till this article, but I might have to go looking now:

The woman at the root of my grief shouldn’t be as tricky as this. It’s almost transparent that she no longer has feelings for me, but this doesn’t impede her ability to call me (sober, no less) and say that she loves me. Her words never seem to match her actions, and I’m constantly fighting between my urge to stay away and my urge to try and get her back. How do you get past it all?

Slug: Drama is a helluva drug. We get addicted to it. When we are in a dysfunctional relationship that lasts long enough, we will still crave the dysfunction after the relationship has ended. We will still carry out some of those dysfunctional actions with that ex. It’s our way of still feeling important to that person. A string to hold onto. The Vali-Dating Game.

My advice to you (and her, for that matter) is to stop taking the calls. Self-intervention does work. Do not go to the bars she frequents. Do not hang out at mutual friends’ homes if you know she may come around. Ignore her away. The more progressive the dramatic advances become, the bigger step back you take, until you are both far enough away from each other that you can stop acting like the people that you know you are not. You are both bigger and deffer than what you’ve become for each other. Growth time. And then go get the word “codependent” tattooed somewhere on your upper torso in a place that only can be viewed by the next person who sees you naked.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest difference between men and women?

Slug: The “wo.” Sorry. Had to. I’m an idiot, mostly.

3) I was listening to some more Randy Newman in the car today. I just adore the old chestnut “Political Science”, from the Sail Away album (1972). Lyrics still as funny and relevant today as they were 35 years ago (hold on, I’m not that old, am I?… no, I was only seven when this came out and didn’t discover it till college… okay, just checking…). Anyway, here’s the lyrics. And click through if you’re going to be in Milwaukee during March, as Randy’s doing three shows with full orchestra  there. I’m thinkin’ of goin’.

Political Science

No one likes us-I don’t know why
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
But all around, even our old friends put us down
Let’s drop the big one and see what happens

We give them money-but are they grateful?
No, they’re spiteful and they’re hateful
They don’t respect us-so let’s surprise them
We’ll drop the big one and pulverize them

Asia’s crowded and Europe’s too old
Africa is far too hot
And Canada’s too cold
And South America stole our name
Let’s drop the big one
There’ll be no one left to blame us

We’ll save Australia
Don’t wanna hurt no kangaroo
We’ll build an All American amusement park there
They got surfin’, too

Boom goes London and boom Paree
More room for you and more room for me
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town
Oh, how peaceful it will be
We’ll set everybody free
You’ll wear a Japanese kimono
And there’ll be Italian shoes for me

They all hate us anyhow
So let’s drop the big one now
Let’s drop the big one now

Have a miraculous, drama-filled, explosive kind of a day!

p.s. The quote of the day, another of those weird ones you gotta think about. He was playing with his plastic planets and got upset that he couldn’t find Uranus. So I said: “I can’t help you there, buddy. You’re the one that was playing with them, and you lost Uranus.” Sure beats losing your ass in a poker game, though…. 



  1. You’re the man, homie.

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