Out of their cotton picking minds

You’re out of your cotton picking mind was a catch phrase made up by the people who wrote the Bugs Bunny cartoons. Can’t remember which character would say it, but it sure sounds like the giant rooster Foghorn Leghorn would say. I say son, you must be out of your cotton picking mind! Foghorn Leghorn was based based on the extremely popular character Beauregard Claghorn on The Fred Allen Radio Show in the 1940’s, a parody of a blustery Southern senator the likes of which haven’t been seen since Senator Sam Ervin. Senator Claghorn would say all sorts of ridiculous things in a thick and flowery Southern accent, many of which became popular catchphrases of the day. When the Looney Tunes people turned Beauregard Claghorn into Foghorn Leghorn they kept the character exactly the same, and Mel Blanc did a dead on perfect impression of Kenny Delmar’s Senator Claghorn voice. Basically, Foghorn Leghorn was Beauregard Claghorn in a chicken suit. The people watching the Bugs Bunny cartoons between features at the movie house knew that. Everyone was in on the joke. And everyone imitated both.

Hence, you’re out of your cotton picking mind. Though eighty years later it’s probably all that remains of the voice of Claghorn/Leghorn, aside from beginning a sentence with “Son….” Of course, few people younger than Baby Boomers remember Foghorn Leghorn. No one remembers Beauregard Claghorn. So “You’re out of your cotton picking mind” stands alone, without context. As is the wont of our time, everything is parsed for meaning, today, the result of two decades of humorless semiotics courses. And suddenly “You’re out of your cotton picking mind is a racist epitet. A line dashed off in a cartoon studio. Cotton picking was never an adjective before a giant cartoon chicken said it to a cartoon rabbit. You can a legacy of oppression in the oddest places, apparently. Imagine Bugs Bunny’s surprise.

That’s all folks.

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The NRA at the crest of the Trump Revolution

As the NRA has been so successful at getting NRA true believers elected in red states and red districts, arming teachers has been the position of probably most Republicans in Congress for years, certainly in the House anyway.

And Lapierre’s crazed speech today at CPAC was aimed at the NRA membership, to get them fired up and terrifying Republicans into not defying Trump on this, being that Trump is essentially doing exactly what the NRA has long pushed for. They’ll even give up on bump stocks in exchange.

At the same time there will now undoubtedly be armed teacher legislation proposed in states nationwide, and much of it will pass. The most extreme gun rights legislation can always be found at the state level where the influence of the NRA is at its most effective. It might seem counter intuitive, but mass shootings invariably increase NRA membership and fundraising, not to mention cause rushes on ammo and assault weaponry. The NRA is at its peak after mass shootings. They are taking advantage of that power surge now.

So we are now at the very crest of the Trump revolution, before the 2018 deluge come November. His base is frenzied and the NRA are coldly calculating the possibilities. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.

Buying an AR-15 without a driver’s license

I gotta admit that being epileptic I would never have a gun in the house, just as a matter of course. Legally, though, I could buy a gun just like any non-epileptic. It’s not like getting a driver’s license. I was allowed to keep my license but had to go through a year long probationary period to see if I was fit to drive. I was. Most epileptics lose their license. Some temporarily, some permanently. In some states I could not get a driver’s license. In most of those states, however, I could buy an AR-15. I’d just need a ride to the gun store.

That Watergate deja vu

I had just turned seventeen in 1974 but today, for the first time, a lifetime later, a very unsettling Watergate deja vu envelops me, not as history or All The President’s Men, but of the experience of being outside that spring and summer as momentous political machinations turned inside behind closed doors. A feeling of utter helplessness. This is how history, big history, happens. If only we knew how it will all turn out. Time to turn off the news and get off the internet and disappear into a book or an old movie or more Duke Ellington. Time to escape this reality and slip into another, if only for a couple hours. Time to sign off.

Chief Wahoo

My wife is an Indian (Sioux and Oneida) and has no problem with Indian team names/mascots except for two: the Redskins because light as she is she was still called a redskin, and Chief Wahoo, because it’s so damn insulting.

Then again, like all tribal Indians, she considers that their business and not ours. There is no faster way of getting on a tribal Indian’s nerves than telling them what they are supposed to think and why. Or even worse, think we are one of them. We aren’t. We come from over there. No matter your color or creed or ethnicity, if most of your ancestry did not come across the Bering Strait land bridge, you are not one of them. And you will never be, no matter how many pow wows you’ve been to. Not that they would ever tell you that. They’ll just roll their eyes when you turn around.

Unfortunately neither Bevis nor Butthead had attained the constitutionally mandated minimum age.

I don’t understand the objections to celebrities for president. I voted for Johnny Carson for president (twice), then Cher, then Meat Loaf, and finally the entire cast of Hill Street Blues, or would have if they’d fit on the ballot.

Is Miley Cyrus thirty five yet?

Seismic shift

​Trump is giving a speech right now and it’s not being covered live by CNN or MSNBC, rather they’re both discussing if he’s mentally fit to be president. Two weeks ago both networks would’ve put their regular programming on hold and broadcast the speech live.

It feels like something cracked and gave way. Someone tweeted from a sports bar in Georgia, and when Donald strode onto the football field, everyone in the joint loudly booed the TV.