“Blah” is The New Black — Happy New Year!

Mr. wOw rings in the new year with a sneeze

“I’ve got a code in my doze,” as Barbra Streisand sang in the perfectly awful, but still entertaining 1975 movie, “Funny Lady” (a dour sequel to Barbra’s classic “Funny Girl.”)

Well, Mr. wOw still has a code in his doze. Thank goodness I got my flu shot, or I feel sure I’d be writing now from heaven. (Even though I’m not a believer, I can’t see myself in hell. Not the way I sweat.)

New Year’s Eve was quiet. Just me and B. and a couple of glasses of champagne. We rang in 2012 watching CNN’s tired camp-fest — Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin. So sad. I had high hopes for Mr. Cooper at one time.

I was up and down last week, even missing another day of work. But from my bed of feverish malaise I wasn’t unaware of what was going on. I kept track of the Iowa caucus results. I was extremely amused at Michelle Bachmann’s withdrawal speech — as lengthy and robotic as ever. But of all the Founding Fathers to call upon — in what we hope are her last remarks in 2012 — it was a measure of her ignorance that she mentioned Benjamin Franklin. Ben was no Christian. He was a deist. To wit: God created the universe and then just took off, having no time to deal with mere humans. He doesn’t control us, judge us, guide us. We’re on our own! Ben was also a terrible husband and father, a big philanderer and flirt. He was not a “family values’ guy. But I’m sure Ms. Bachmann has concocted some other version of American history to suit herself. Or (and this is more likely) — she’s simply an idiot. For sure she was (up until two days ago) the biggest liar on the current Republican choo-choo to the White House. I have to say, I kind of admired her resistance to telling the truth and steamrolling answers to all questions. It’s scary, but a genuine talent. Oh, and I enjoyed Newt Gingrich announcing at one point that God endowed us with the right to have guns. See? I always miss something in the Bible. It was probably tucked away in the Old Testament, in between that stuff about not eating shellfish and not wearing wool and linen together. (“Thou shall only wear linen, and carry an Uzi.”)

Which brings us to Mr. Richard Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania. Mr. S. surged unexpectedly in Iowa. Newly flush with confidence, and before he moved to the next Republican ring of hell, New Hampshire, he gave a little speech in Sioux City. He said, at one point: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them welfare.” Oh, dear. When I heard it, my first reaction was that Mr. S. didn’t want to make black people’s lives better, period. But that’s just me. I know racism is totally dead in the U.S. I am ashamed of such a thought.

Well, what a surprise when Richard’s remark became a hot subject. Even more surprising, we got it all wrong. He didn’t say “black people.” He said “blah people.” See, he was looking out for nerds and those who suffer depression or are not terribly charismatic. People who are always kinda … blah. Blue. Down in dumps. He doesn’t want them to get welfare. Black people? He doesn’t even think about them. It’s the Blahs who concern him. Whew! I feel all warm and cozy because I am rather blah myself, a good deal of the time. I’m glad Richard will keep me off welfare. Or any other entitlement program. Who needs help after a certain point in life? Or at the beginning of life? Except if you’re a fetus. Then you get a lot of entitlements.

I’ve watched and watched and listened to Mr. S’s remark. Trying to find the black in the blah, or vice versa. Giving it about twenty runs on my computer, I’ll admit he doesn’t seem to come down hard on his k (KK). Still, there’s pronunciation. “Blah” and “Black” just don’t sound the same. But perhaps his diction is simply a little sloppy. I’m certain that’s it.

I’d like to believe Richard is looking out for us Blahs. Who else will?

Welcome to 2012!

38 comments so far.

  1. avatar J G says:

    Happy New Year, Mr. Wow.

    You have now made it to my top 5 heroes list. (Stop blushing and just accept the accolade)

    This piece is just too funny and sadly, too true, which is why I posted it to my FB wall.

    XO

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear JG…

      Sorry, but I blush very easily.  Still, I’m thrilled to be anybody’s red-faced “hero.” 

  2. avatar Daniel Sugar says:

    I’d like to suggest a campaign slogan for Mr. Santorum: “African American is the new blah.”

  3. avatar Daniel Sugar says:

    P.S. Mr. Wow,

    May I suggest a trip to Chinatown for your cold? (Walk in to any herb shop – tell them you have a cold. Trust me, Chinese herbs work like magic – you won’t believe how quickly you’ll feel better.)

    D.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Dr. Sugar…

      And here I thought you were going to suggest a lobotomy. (For those who don’t get it, this is a long-running joke between Mr. Sugar and me.)

      If I felt better, I’d go to Chinatown.  But I can barely drag my ass to work.

      Thanks for the suggestion, however.  Maybe I’ll send B.  As if he doesn’t do enough–”Go!  Go to Chinatown and bring back the herbs!”

  4. avatar Lila says:

    Ha! Mr. Wow, there IS an alternative to Heaven or Hell. If you are in the mood for a fun story, search for “Wicked John and the Devil.” It also conveniently explains where will-o-the-wisps come from.

    As for Bachmann’s speech, I spent most of that being distracted by those false eyelashes. Sorry, just couldn’t help it.

    And Santorum – well – clearly politically tone-deaf. I think I sorta understand what he meant by the remark, but first, it was ill-advised and ill-spoken; and second, he’s treating the entire nation as a bunch of idiots with his “blah” defense. I do think we have our educational woes, but come on – most of us have some kind of common sense, and are not THAT gullible.

  5. avatar Mr. Wow says:

    Dear Lila…

    No, most of us are not that gullible.  He said what he wanted to say, without perhaps quite  saying it. His message was crystal clear. 

    For those who’d rather live in an America without, uh–Blah people, he pronounced it perfectly.

  6. avatar TheTexasMom says:

    At first I was going to quote you but then I didn’t know where to begin nor end so I posted your article to my FB page.  Thanks for starting out my year with a big chuckle.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear TexasMom…

      So, I’m finally on FaceBook.  I’ve avoided it so far.  Thanks!

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I did that once. And then realized I am not Baby Snooks on Facebook. Fortunately no one caught it. I hope.

      • avatar TheTexasMom says:

        I’m only on FaceBook by arm twisting as my eldest daughter, living outside of Chicago, posts pictures and video of my one and only grandchild there.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Well I could use some extra “snark” on my page which is why I keep hoping Mr. Wow and Count Snarkula just happen up on it by accident and go “oh, this looks interesting.”  So far no one has sued me for libel. But I do from time to time point out that it is my personal page and thereofr my personal opinion. But I do occcasionally name names. I have wowOwow on my “likes” and “liked” something once and realized if someone got cuious since I was the only who “liked” it and went to my Facebook page they would go “Hmmmmmm. Who does this remind me of?” So I like wowOwow but never on Facebook again.  As for Facebook I suppose it’s okay. Lots of ego. Including mine.  

  7. avatar lincer says:

    As usual, great, great post.  I love starting my week with a good laugh.

    Thank you – But believe me, there is NOTHING blah about you.

    lin  

  8. avatar Chris Glass` says:

    Hope that this is the last cold of the year for you and that you have a remarkably healthy year.

    Michelle Bachmann is just one candidate down for the count so far. God may have told her to run for President but the support of the people was just not there. I sincerely hope that some of the other candidates who say that had divine direction to run will get a similar awakening.

    Mr. Santorum appears to be one of those people who got his but doesn’t want to see anyone else have a chance to advance in life. I am convinced that he didn’t say blah people and that he would block opportunities for those he didn’t feel were worthy. He doesn’t stand alone a careful look at some of the other candidates reveal similar statements. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the velvet gloves to be discarded as the race for the nomination continues. I hope the voting public gets an eyeful.

  9. avatar Rho says:

    Sorry about your cold.  Take two aspirins and call me in the morning.  Happy New Year :)

  10. avatar Deirdre Cerasa says:

    Having Bachmann out is a good start to 2012! If only Perry had gotten the message too. As for Santorum, as others have already said, we all know exactly what he meant. It is insulting to everyone, including people who support him, to try to wiggle out with lame excuses and backpeddling!
    Hope the cold is gone for good very soon!

  11. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    No doubt Santorum wiil be issuing a statement later today clarifying that he meant “blah people.”  The way Nancy Reagan once issued a statement clarifying that she meant “lovely white snow” even though she said “lovely white people.” You do have to wonder about Pennsylvania. Their Democratic governor in 2008 said Pennsylvania would never elect a black man president. With Hillary and Bill Clinton standing next to him. Even though some preferred not to see Hillary and Bill Clinton standing next to him. Even though they were.

    If Iowa is any indication we are in for some real fun as the Repubilcans go into “slash and rash ” mode. In the end, well, we have a relatively sane vulture capitalist whose main drawback seems to be that he is a Mormon and a bunch of Looney Tooneyrs. Some of whom make Huckabee and Palin look sane. But as I pointed out to someone over the weekend, well, there is always Donald Trump. Just as long as it’s not Obama taking the oath of office in January of 2013 I will be happy. Although of course hopefully by January of 2013 I will be busy tending my bananas in Costa Rica.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Nice to know the “edit” function still doesn’t work. Although I suppose slash and rash might apply. They are all like a bad rash. Including  Romney the Robber Baron.  And don’t you love Gingrich running the negative ads after he said he wouldn’t?

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Baby…

      It’s not that Obama has disappointed me–as I’ve always said, I was not swept away.  But, I don’t see anybody I might vote for other than O.  Who?  Perhaps if I heard more about, and from, Huntsman?   Another Mormon, but I am loathe to hold that against him.  Or even Romney for that matter.  All organized religion is a cult to me.   Especially now that we know Jesus watches football.  To hell with all the murder, rape, poverty and illness in the world.  Tebow has channeled JC’s real interests.

      You in Costa Rica with bananas?  And we’re here in the USA with banana heads?  Unfair.  I insist you allow some of us to visit.   Unless I win that life-transforming lottery, and we’re all on  that crazy cross country train ride.  

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Well to be honest Obama was my political epiphany. They’re all the same. They all want to be president in order to get rich off books and  form venture capital groups under the guise of raising disater relife funds for victims of disasters and most important of all get their magic cash camel from Daddy Bush and ride off to foreign lands for “lunch speeches” during which they load up the camel.  I still say we should see if Queen Elizabeth will take us back.

        All are welcome in Costa Rica.  I will put in a big pool. But you bring your own pool boys.  

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        It is f__king aggravating to edit out the boo-boos and hit “submit” and find the boo-boos are stll there… 

  12. avatar Dan S. says:

    I think the god of the Old Testament would’ve loved the idea of his followers laying waste to his enemies with full-auto fire. I can see someone like, say, Moses standing atop a bullet-riddled pile of corpses like an action star and getting in that obligatory verbal zinger – “Yahweh or the highway!” or some other such nonsense. But that was back before Yahweh realized that such a thing could, and, in fact, would, exist. In His defense though, at that point in His divine career, He didn’t seem like He had the slightest grasp on far simpler concepts, like that the world was round, or any bigger than the chunk of desert where His chosen people were stomping around. But then if you buy His books as the perfect, unalterable word, then there is no indication that He ever came to grasp such knowledge. But had He known of guns and, indeed, of America, He would’ve most certainly felt like the two things should go hand-in-glove. But once again, I’m in danger of being unnecessarily provocative.

    This race is now a dangerous gauntlet where even hinting at the possibility that people who aren’t white, straight, and filled with the love of Jesus might be okay is a dangerous sign of weakness. At this point, it doesn’t really matter who wins the race because they’re all towing the company line: It’s just a matter of who dresses it up in the slickest package.

    The generally-consistent forerunner (another vaguely Biblical reference for anyone who’s interested) has been a Mormon that absolutely does not support religious diversity, but instead has been making his own case that he should be allowed to cast stones instead of being one that is cast upon. He’s just trying to re-draw the map of Christian privilege to include his little annex on the basis that they all hate the same things. And I think it has been successful. Which ultimately has the same effect and paints the race with the usual color… that color being very non-blah.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      The god of Abraham. “And man created god in his image…”  And keeps creating god in his image. I still say the real god threw the big black rock at Abraham. And missed. Abraham didn’t realize that. And thought the rock was some sign from the heavens. And so he built a temple. And created a religion. And others in turn created new religions from the religion Abraham created. I suppose at some point the real god will throw another rock. And probably won’t miss the next time. The other gods, and the other eligions, aren’t much better. As millions and millions have found out along the way when they were massacred to please someone else’s god. But Christians do seem to stand out among the others. Preaching love while practicing hate. Love the sinner but hate the sin a case in point. When the sinner doesn’t stop sinning, at least sinning in their eyes, well, they hate the sinner.

      I’ve thought a lot about god the past year. Wondering if I was going to meet him. Or her. Or it.  I’ve read Desiderata every day for the past 40 years. I try to live by it. I strive to be content, however, rather than happy. Happiness is a fleeting moment. Contentment is forever. No matter how high or how low you feel, being content keeps you centered to use a “New Age” term. I don’t necessarly believe in the “New Age” religion. I don’;t like religion. But I like god. I know there’s something there. Not important to know what.  But it is important to know what god is not. And god is not some mean old man in the sky who is pleased with all the mayhem.  So I have begun to be wary of those who talk about god. And about how “god says…”  And particularly wary of the Looney Tooneys.  And of those who pander to them. Whch includes Obama. Which was the first of the indications about Obama.  Thank god for Aretha and her Mad Hatter hat.  Reminded us of all the Mad Hatters.  Including Obama.  

  13. avatar Mr. Wow says:

    Dear Dan S.

    Very funny–Yahweh or the highway!

    Please, be unnecessarily provocative.   We need it. 

    Happy New Year.

    • avatar Dan S. says:

      It seems sort of tragic that I can be just another anonymous jerk on the Internet when I’m actually quite affable and boring in person. At least this latest bit of pointed prose was only three paragraphs, which is probably some sort of record for me. I can be quite verbose.

      But as long as you’ve got things to say, I’m sure I’ll have something to blather about.

      I hope you’re having a happy new year as well, despite going 10 rounds with what’s apparently some new strain of bird flu. I hope you’ll get over that sooner rather than later as well.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Dan S.

        You can be quite verbose?  What about me?  This post was one of the briefest I’ve ever written.   I was coughing too much to even start on the Douglas Sirk film festival that aired over the New Year’s weekend.    Maybe later this week.  I’m still mulling Jane Wyman’s hair in these movies.

        And you are not the anonymous jerk on the Internet.  I am.  Or do think my mother actually named me Mr. Wow? 
        Thanks for the good wishes on this lingerincold (or fatal illness!)   I’m sure I’ll feel better soon. 

      • avatar Dan S. says:

        And here I was laboring under the impression that your name was Cornellius Muhammad Wow, but now I see that I was mistaken. In the scheme of things, I don’t think that either of us are the brand of evil that the Internet has to concern itself with. I was recently reading about a 15 year old girl who posted a picture of herself holding a book she had received for Christmas on a social site: The picture “incited” a running commentary of graphic and violent rape “humor” that would’ve made John Wayne Gacey flinch. I couldn’t believe that misogyny of such breadth could spring from something as innocent as a teenage girl posting a harmless, non-sexual picture of herself on the Internet. I would argue that those commenters are a far worse bane on the Internet and society in general.

        I would argue that it is well within your purview to be wordy since it is how you make a living. I test software. It’s an unspoken part of my job description to communicate only when it’s absolutely necessary. My wordiness is probably more of a backlog of expression looking for an outlet. And to be fair to your wordy nature, I think no one would gripe about the number of words because your assembly of them is nothing short of masterful. I feel pretty confident that I’m not alone in feeling that way.

        I hope by now that your cold has left this mortal coil, as I have had one come and go since the last time I responded. Your cold reminds me of one I had in my younger days: I was dating a nurse at the time and when she first saw me, she was like “Hold crap! Are you okay?!” When I told her that I suspected that I had walking pneumonia, she suggested that I clearly shouldn’t be walking around. If your cold is still doggedly hanging on, I’m still hoping for your full recovery. Hang in there. We’re always ready for your next wordy work of art.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Dan…

        Actually, my next gig here is covering the Golden Globes, live.  No time to be wordy doing that.  I just worry that in typing so fast I am even more gramatically incorrect than usual.  And the spelling!  I cannot spell. 

        My advice—stay in school, kids.   If I had it to do over again…no, probably not.  But I regret not developing a certain kind of discipline and motivation that (I assume) comes from finishing high school, at least. 

  14. avatar Reggie says:

    Mr. Wow,

    I outright laughed at k (KK)!  I really admire and look forward to your delicious use of language and wit.  You are awesome!

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Reggie…

      I almost didn’t write that.  I thought “oooohhh!  too mean!’   And then I thought–”No, not at all.”  

       

  15. avatar Jean Smith says:

    Mr. Wow, this is off subject but I just glanced at Yahoo news and a little photo headline said Lohan might play Elizabeth Taylor? After I shook off the willies, my first thought was of Mr. Wow spinning in his grave, were he dead. Please say it ain’t so.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Jean…

      Despite the continued severity of this cold, nothing has me “spinning in my grave.”  Yet.

      As for LL as ET—eh, I happen to like the poor girl, and I hardly think her interpetation will alter La Liz’s legend. 

      It’s like all these unfortunates who do Marilyn–and I include the vastly over-praised Michelle Williams in “My Week With Marilyn.”  In the end, we all turn back to the originals.

      “Brick…the heat has made you cross.  I know what would cool you off, a nice alcohol rub…cologne.”

      “Then we’d smell alike, two cats in heat.”

      I don’t worry about Miss Lohan.

  16. avatar Daniel Sugar says:

    Brick: Don’t make a fool of yourself, Maggie
    Maggie: I don’t mind making a fool of myself over you.
    Brick: Well, I mind. I feel embarrassed for you.
    Maggie: Feel embarrassed? Well, I can’t live on this way.
    Brick: You agreed to accept that condition.
    Maggie: I know I did. But I can’t! I can’t!

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Dr. Sugar…

      Emphasis and accent:   “Feel embarassed!”   “But I cain’t, I cain’t!”   (Those southern tones came and went like a hot breeze over a plantation.)

      “Brick!  I got news.  Good news!  Big Daddy’s gonna live!”

      “Huh!  Gooper thought he made a giant step up in the social world when he married Mae Flynn of the no-neck Texas Flynns.  No why?  ’cause she was queen of the cotton carnival.  I can just see her now, bowin’ and wavin’ an blowin’ kisses to all the trash on the street.”

  17. avatar Daniel Sugar says:

    How are you feeling? (Better, I hope.)

    Brick : Why’d you let Mama buy all this stuff?
    Big Daddy: The human animal is a beast that must die. If he’s got money, he buys and buys and buys everything he can, in the crazy hope one of those things will be life-everlasting, which it can never be. I’ve suddenly noticed you don’t call me Big Daddy anymore. If you needed a big daddy, why didn’t you come to me? If you needed someone to lean on, why Skipper? Why not me? I’m your father! Why didn’t you come to your kinfolk, the people that love you?
    Brick: You don’t know what love means! To you, it’s just another four-letter word.
    Big Daddy: You’ve got a mighty short memory! What was there you ever wanted that I didn’t buy?
    Brick: You can’t buy love!
    Big Daddy: Who do you think I bought it for? It’s yours! The place, the money, everything’s yours!
    Brick: I don’t want things!