Monday, May 29, 2006

#273 - Cavalier Attitudes Towards Life

Drudge yesterday had a teaser regarding this heinous attitude toward human life in, of all places, Great Britain. (Warning: will increase blood pressure. It sure increased mine.)

I know that California (or, as I like to call it, Californicate) has long held the reputation for either housing or creating every socially deviant practice and/or reprobate since the Flower Power movement. I suspect the reputation is well deserved based on the current crop of politicians that we've inflicted on the country, including Feinstein, Boxer, and Pelosi. Given their track record of being diametrically opposed to everything that I believe in, I still harbor some hope that even these die-hard feminist right-to-choicers would be shocked at the practice of engaging in late term abortions merely because some relatively minor defect had been detected in the fetus.

California no longer stands alone. Great Britain pioneers designer babies.

This callous disregard for the sanctity of human life is just the latest evidence of the evil that is abortion. I know some folks still choose to live in the gray moral area of wanting this to be strictly a choice for the woman involved, but that gray area is destructive. It enables this cold-blooded practice and turns those who engage in it into equally cold-blooded killers.


I make no apologies for this label, and refuse to back down from my belief. In this case, abortion for cosmetic reasons is nothing short of first-degree murder, and those responsible should be held accountable. They will, of course, be held accountable later, whether we choose to enforce it or not. And the results will be most unpleasant for them.

Here's the bottom line: Those who would abort otherwise perfectly healthy children because of a cosmetic defect should never reproduce. Ever. We don't need more people like them in this world.

So, to those who feel abortion is strictly a matter of choice: You can deride us for our policies and practices. You can mock us for engaging in a war against terrorism. You can accuse us of being arrogant in the extreme. You can taunt us for our refusal to grant sacred status to the environment.

And we can point the finger right back at you for aborting mostly healthy babies.

I just found a new impetus for Memorial Day. God bless the innocent who were never allowed to live.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

#272 - It Can't Be a Good Thing...

...when the LASlime and I agree on something.

I would have voted no anyway, primarily because I see no reason to set up taxpayer-funded babysitting services. The Slime points out mostly that this is badly designed legislation. They actually support the idea of pre-school, but they bemoan the usual problems: dilution of the existing teacher pool, unfair advantage for "privileged" kids, etc.

My problem with this idea is that parents are entirely too eager to get their little ones out of the house. I see absolutely no benefit to yanking a four-year old away from Mom, cutting their innocent childhood that much shorter, merely so the California Teachers Association can whine for more money and more "qualified" teachers.

Give it a rest, Reiner.

Monday, May 22, 2006

#271 - Reading the Signs

The surest sign your immigration policy is the wrong one.

This has been your Save the Republican Party From Itself® public service announcement for the day.


Exhibit B.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

#270 - Stupid Xanax

[Over at The Inner Dad (my alter blog-ego), I described my recent heart problems and joked about how taking Xanax made me feel. Here, in an exclusive for the Woundup, I describe how I really feel:]

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how anyone could get addicted to this junk. I was reading up on Rush Limbaugh, for instance, and I discovered something. He spent an hour in jail last month for obtaining prescription drugs without an actual prescription (you know how snarky these cops can get about such things), and among the "stash" were 50 Xanax pills. My exact prescription amount!

For a moment or two I began to worry that I, too, might fall like the mighty Rush. Could it be that I would become a Xanax junkie and begin trolling doctors' offices looking for unattended prescription pads? Then I'd have to admit my addiction on national radio and spend, what, two or three days in jail (only rich people like Rush get away with an hour). This is no way to live.

Then I took a Xanax, which is supposed to alleviate anxiety symptoms. The doctor prescribed this on the off chance that my heart palpitations might be due to anxiety. I'm not entirely certain just what "anxiety" really means. I'm not under any more stress than usual, really, and the idea that I get overly nervous about any one thing or combination of things just doesn't click.

Anyway, I took the stupid pill. I'd decided to wait until about 6:00 that evening because it's a six hour dose, and I figured that once I got to sleep I'd be just fine. Then I sat and waited. First thing I noticed was that the palpitations continued their merry course all night long. They come and they go at their leisure, and when they found the Xanax patrolling my veins their first thought was, "Huh. Xanax. Always wondered what that looks like." Then they ignored the medicinal sentry and continued thumping around in my chest region.

Mentally I felt nothing. Not even that "you wanna set fire to the house? Go ahead" kind of feeling that I'd always heard accompanied drugs like Xanax. I might add here that if you give me a Darvocet, I'd spill my guts to whatever terrorist happened to be in the Dentist's office with me. So Xanax had, like, zero net effect.

Until I went to sleep.

I tossed and turned all silly night long, and had dreams of the sort that I used to think only happened to people who lived through the Sixties. I woke up at least five times that night. Consequently I wasn't feeling terribly well rested the next day for work. I decided to try the Xanax again the next day, just to give it a chance to redeem itself. I took one earlier in the afternoon, then another one just before bed. Once again I had a very restless night (if not quite as restless as the previous one), and finally decided that Xanax was a huge fraud.

I wondered again how someone like Rush Limbaugh - who arguably has a complete array of pharmaceuticals at his disposal, for a price - could possibly get hooked on this stuff. Then I read a little deeper in the article. Along with his 50 Xanax pills, he also scored 40 release-time morphine pills (release-time?? Good grief.), 90 OxyContin pills, and 1,733 hydrocodone pills. In other words, he had enough narcotics on him to stun a rhinoceros in mid-charge. No wonder he got hooked!

So now I feel better about things. Xanax may or may not be completely useless. I don't really worry about getting addicted. I'm going to save them for those episodes that seem to get really uncomfortable, rather than take them every time I feel them start, as the doctor suggested. My fifty pills may last me the better part of the year at that rate. And, of course, there's always the possibility that the cardiologist will find out just what the heck is wrong with me and fix it so I don't need the Xanax anymore.

By the way, another reason for not taking Xanax unless I really have to is that I tried to go all day and night yesterday without them. I still had a rough night. In fact, without the Xanax it was worse, really, which makes me wonder if I'm already having to go through some sort of withdrawal. Not unlike my caffeine withdrawals a couple of years ago.

So, I repeat: I don't see how anyone with half a brain-stem left could possibly get addicted to this stuff.

Stupid Xanax.

Friday, May 12, 2006

#269 - Cam Turns Two!

A happy belated 2nd blogiversary to my little brother and blog-father Cameron of Way Off Bass!

Give him a look-see and yank his poetic chain a bit. He'll thank you for it later. Really.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

#268 - You Woke Me Up for This?

Driving in to work this morning, the local radio talking heads were all aflutter over the NSA compiling a massive database with every phone call logged through three of four major telecomm companies in the United States.


Pardon me. Bit sleepy this morning.

Anyway, seems the NSA, along with wiretapping calls to or from suspected terrorists, have also now - 'scuse me...

[yaaaaaaaaaaawn! Goodness!]

Sorry! They've been compiling this data with only one major company, QWEST, refusing to play along. Something about privacy laws, or some such thing. All I can say... all I can... sorry!...


Oh, gosh, I'm tired this morning.

As I was about to say, I really don't know what the big deal is. It's always disturbed me that the phone companies themselves even track my phone calls to begin with. Opening my phone bill (back in the day when I used to get printed phone bills) was a little like watching Big Brother tell you exactly why you were being punished. After a while, though, you get... get... wait...



That feels better.

Anyway, you sorta get used to it after a few years. Where is this any worse or more invasive than your average identity theft? If anything, I feel better about the NSA having my phone calls in a database than I do about some employers regularly losing personal data on stolen laptops so crooks can access my bank accounts and help themselves to my vast fortune of - lessee now - about $200.

In any case, I don't know why this should shock anyone these days. Has nothing to do with national security, anyway. Unless I'm mistaken, the NSA could only have gotten this data from one of two sources. The phone companies...

...or telemarketers.

On balance, I think I'm grateful they're getting it from the phone companies.

Pardon me. I need to [yaaawn] take a quick nap.

#267 - Congratulations, Dan Brown!

When a major religion runs roughshod over your book (and upcoming film), it's a pretty sure bet you're about to make more money than you ever dreamed possible.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

#266 - California Republicans Not Serious

The Republican Party of California seems to have a hard time taking state politics seriously lately. In fact, this malaise has lasted for, oh, about the last 20 years or so. The surest indicators of the Party's laissez-faire attitude are the candidates we keep running against the Liberal Twins in the United States Senate.

Field Poll:
If the election were held today, would you be more likely to vote for Dianne Feinstein or Dick Mountjoy?

Dianne Feinstein, or... I'm sorry, did you say "Dick Mountjoy?"


Actually, I was gratified to see this poll question in the Orange County Register today, because I had no idea we even had a Republican candidate for Senate in this election. Here I was assuming that Feinstein would win this one on a bye. Yet, no doubt about it, there is a Republican challenger ("challenger" is a rather generous term as it applies here) to Feinstein. He even has a web site. Bold as brass, this guy is. You can surf right over to "", get a randomly selected scripture, and find out all about our conservative answer to DiFi.

He even says some conservative-sounding stuff. Things like "we don't need new immigrations laws, we just need to enforce the ones we have." Okay, sounds about right. In fact, here's a trivia fact for you: Mountjoy was one of the sponsors of Proposition 187 a few years back that was so popular in about 15% of the state. Seems we slipped that one by the liberal voting bloc in that election, and they had to go to the trouble of having it shot down in Federal Court because they fell asleep during the campaign and the pesky voters (it's always something with them!) actually approved 187 which was supposed to deny benefits to illegals, but instead became something of a windfall for them as evidenced by their renewed insistence lately that, even though they're here illegally, they have, you know, rights and everything and are entitled to all the money we Americans have so they can send it back to their real home in Mexico. Or something like that. Whatever it did, we have Mountjoy to thank for it, apparently.

The problem is, until I read that poll in the newspaper (or, more accurately, on its web site), I never would have known that we even had a candidate for Senate, much less who he is. Or claims to be. I dunno... "Mountjoy" is kind of a suspicious sounding name, no? Isn't that a candy bar or something?

Anyway, once again we find ourselves facing a primary election without a serious challenge to the incumbent Demoliberal who wishes we conservatives would just quit going to church altogether so her job would become a lot easier and she could go ahead with her plans to officially change the wording of the Star Spangled Banner to read, "O, say, does that Star Spangled Banner have to wave o'er the land of the free? Or could we, you know, fly the Mexican flag instead? Don't they deserve it?"

Maybe the next time a seat becomes available, the Republicans will finally find a serious candidate for Senate.

Sure. And maybe Cindy Sheehan will remember that, like it or not, she's still an American.

Or not.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

#265 - Immigration Is a Family Issue

ZeeDad (Woody's step-dad, actually) emailed his thoughts on the recent travesties of flying the American flag upside down, underneath the Mexican flag. It happened here in Southern California (natch!) on March 28 as a student protest over the proposed immigration legislation. Since he sent his thoughts to me and my brother, I can only assume he was looking for a bloggy response. He'll get one, regardless. I've cobbled together his two emails so the narrative will flow better:
Last March 28th, a gathering of students in the region of Whittier CA apparently decided that they should demonstrate their feelings about the Federal Immigration bill by leaving their classrooms and going to the flag pole of Montebello High School. There they proceeded to haul down the US flag, place it upside down and raise it again, flying under the Mexican national flag.

We've seen this blogged elsewhere. Michelle Malkin posted the one picture a few times, but it bears another look:
My reaction to it is fairly predictable. Had I been there, I would have become more violent than anyone who knows me would ever expect that I could. I served nearly ten years in uniform, and the experience leaves one with a rather forceful devotion to one's flag and country. This action, however childish and ill conceived it was, is insulting and infuriating to people like me, times ten.

I finally have to acknowledge that the silent majority has been silent far too long. If Hispanics believe they can make themselves heard by taking a day off across the nation, maybe we who disagree with them should also take a day off (the 15th of May should do nicely) and finally demonstrate what the majority view really is.

Beware the Ides of May??
And just to leave no doubt in anyone's mind, I would be glad to join a picket line in front of the local Hispanic Advocate's Center to make the point. I'm so steamed right now that nothing I propose would carry very much weight with those who can take a rational view of the situation, but I'll take a shot anyway.....

No "rights", benefits, protections, privileges or posessions should be guaranteed to any alien or sympathizer who cannot abide by our laws and provide taxpaying support to our government at each level. If citizenship is their objective, they should accept the obligations of that role or be expelled.

And yes, it will really help their cause if they can find a way to show their appreciation for freedom of speech by not abusing it with demonstrations like this. Speaking the language of the nation they seem so determined to belong to would help their cause, too. It should be a requirement for citizenship. Could I be a compliant, useful or supportive citizen of Japan without a knowledge of that language? that's really pushing the envelope.

When is crap like this finally going to irritate decent people enough to do something decisive? Good thing I don't own an assualt rifle....even grey panthers still have some teeth. [More than I do, I daresay. - Ed.]

Aside from the fact that my saintly step-dad used the "c" word (oh, the humanity!) I find his arguments have a familiar feel to them. Very similar, in fact, to sentiments that I've already expressed here and here.

It boggles the imagination that the current policies of this administration have put their constituents in a very awkward position. Come November, we have to vote. We can't vote for another President, so that's out of the question. But every single member of the House of Representatives will be fighting for his or her seat, and our own Governor must now take his case to the people. Problem is, we no longer have assurances that our representatives at any level of government are willing to take the stance required to resolve the immigration situation once and for all.

So far, we're having a hard time finding Republican politicians with the gumption to stand up to the President and insist that our concerns be addressed. Suddenly granting 12 million people some form - any form - of amnesty is ridiculous, especially as the vast (unreported by the MSM) majority of them seem to feel that to be labelled an "American" is somehow insulting. That's certainly the sentiment relayed to us by the upside down flags, or "Los Angeles, Mexico" billboards.

If the people who are determined to live and work here illegally really want to feel oppressed, let's make it illegal for them to send their money back to Mexico to support the Mexican drug cartels and fund the retirement accounts of countless coyotes. Let Vicente Fox deal with his own problems, for a change.

So, ZeeDad, more power to ya. Since I know you need your peace and quiet, I won't point you to this post by Michelle Malkin regarding reporting of Minuteman activities and whereabouts to corrupt Mexican officials. Wouldn't want you splitting a seam anywhere.

Give our love to Ma, please!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

#264 - Taking the Fun Out of Fiction

Christian groups are planning a boycott of the upcoming "Da Vinci Code" film, and all I can say is:


Which syllable of the word "fiction" do they not understand?

Of course, many who would participate in this boycott are the same ones who object to the "Harry Potter" series on religious grounds. Never mind that many of us enjoy it for the sheer story-telling aspect of it; it propounds the existence of magic and could lead people into Satanism. (Grossly oversimplified version of the argument, but I think that's the salient point.)

Likewise, some Christians find it to be blasphemous in the extreme to front an idea that Jesus allegedly married Mary Magdalene, had children, and spawned the greatest cover-up in world history; all perpetrated by the Catholic church in its attempt to control the minds and hearts of their believers.

All those who believe everything in Dan Brown's book, please stand up.

[takes count]

Ok. Now, of those standing, how many of you also pay actual money for "National Enquirer?"

[did no one sit down?]

Thought so.

The simple fact is that the only people whose opinions might be swayed in favor of the Code's theories are the same ones gullible enough to follow every conspiracy theory ever fronted by caffeine-addicted insomniacs. Most of the rest of us, whose testimonies of the Gospel remain firmly intact, are less likely to be "offended" by this film's premise.

We reserve the right, of course, to become highly offended if they don't follow the book closely enough to lend credence to the film. That, in my mind, would be a truly excommunicable offense.

The film happens to open on the weekend that Mrs. Woody and I will be celebrating our TENTH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. We already have tickets for Friday morning.

We'll let you know if we find any protestors.

P.S. Don't tell the activists: Kids today are more likely to find their faith challenged in the classroom than they are in "Harry Potter." We'll just keep that our little secret, okay?

#263 - World Out of Balance Report (Updated)

More worrisome than Britney Spears marrying Kevin Federline (or anyone, for that matter), is that they are reproducing.

More worrisome than that is the fact that anyone cares.

(H/T Dave Barry)


So it turns out the whole announcement thing was a hoax. No less a national security expert than Matt Lauer was fooled, too.

Too bad Britney herself isn't merely a hoax.

Oh, wait...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

#262 - AnoelleB Has Questions!

AnoelleB of Burrhouse has questions regarding yesterday's boycott and "the whole 'Immigrant Debate.'"

I've largely avoided getting too wordy about this issue, since I, like so many others, know innumerable Latino aliens who are good, honest people. Knowing them and interacting with them makes it easy to somehow overlook the fact that they are (to use my sister's words) flouting the laws of this country.

She asks these questions with pointed looks towards her two older brothers, both of whom just happen to be members of the 101st Fighting KeyBees. With that challenge, I herewith present my Male Answer Syndrome-induced rejoinders:
First of all, what is it about the current legal procedure for immigration that makes it so difficult? Money? Resistance from their home governments? Takes too long? Is the process somehow otherwise really really difficult? Money doesn't make sense, because it seems many stories of illegal immigration involve giving your life savings - thousands of dollars - over to some creepy person who will smuggle you into the country if they don't kill you first. Government resistance would suggest that those government should then shut up about the way we're treating any immigrants. Or ask for them back. Or something. Does anybody know the process well enough to explain it to me?

'Fraid not. I don't really understand it all that well myself. I do know that the "process" (whatever that may be) is lengthy, tiresome, expensive, and requires some level of cooperation between governments. For that reason alone many choose to cross the borders without all the legal hassles.

Part Two of your question requires a little stroking of semantics. Don't confuse "government" with the politicians that administer them. In the case of Mexico, the "official" government position is to be tough on immigration. On a personal, political level, however, Vicente Fox is just fine with the idea that 12 million of his people are here illegally. There's a very practical reason for this: Mexico is the direct beneficiary of billions of US dollars annually. Many of those dollars come not from NAFTA or other commerce opportunities; they come from a significant portion of 12 million latinos who work here and send large portions of their income "home." I'm not saying that these people are in any way dishonorable. I'm just saying we ("we," he says) are sending Mexico a LOT of dollars. And the US dollar has always had way more clout than the peso, especially in Mexico.
Next question: Please tell me that there aren't really truly 1.1 million people who think they're entitled to free Status Change after having flouted the law (even if only just one) for however long they've been here. Is that really what they're rallying for? A total free ride? Or am I missing something? I really hope (and trust) I'm missing something.

Um... I believe the number is closer to the 12 million I mentioned above. And, yes, if they're in this country now - legally or otherwise - they believe they are "entitled" to citizenship. Read on:
How does making them all felons solve anything? Do we even have the resources to track down every illegal immigrant, round 'em up, imprison them and deport them? And is that really what this legislation is proposing? It seems nonsensical. Wouldn't it be cheaper - even just a little - to provide a second chance at going through the proper channels for citizenship? Again, I feel I'm missing something. Something huge. Stronger borders? How will that even work?

Was I really supposed to feel crushed by not having access to Mexican food for one day?

Heh. I know I didn't miss anything yesterday. If anything, I was enjoying "holiday light" conditions on the 22 freeway. On the other hand:

The "criminalizing" of these aliens (a redundancy, no?) will not solve anything. Let's assume, for example, that by some miracle this legislation gets pushed through. Suddenly we've officially labelled 12 million people as felons, subject to immediate deportation (or worse). There's just one catch. How on earth do you suddenly deport 12 million people? You don't. In fact, trusting that it will be business as usual, all of the agencies (including our own dear Deputy Dan) who deal with such things will continue to be overworked, and will only deport people that they catch in the commission of an actual crime (I mean, besides the crime of not being an American in America). In other words, changing their status from "illegal" to "felon" will effectively change nothing.

The only proviso that I would make in clearing a path for citizenship for these folks is that, now that they're here and want "citizenship," they must abide by ALL conditions of citizenship. This means becoming and defending the right to be "Americans." If they don't want to become Americans, they really shouldn't be sponging off of us.

As for stronger borders, I count myself as a strong proponent of them. The only problem is, we've only ever had lip service from our Washington bleaters who want to sound tough without torquing off their Latino voter base. It's a sad dance, and one that probably means that once we grant citizenship to this current batch of 12 million, another 24 million will push for their own chances to come north and make this country el Estado de Mexico Norte.

And the Lefties will be right there, egging them on; because, you know, we deserve it and all.
And then I guess the last of my questions (that I can think of right now, anyway) is this: How is it that it's the LEFT who are such major supporters of all these demonstrations? Aren't these the same people who think America's not worth fighting for? That we're such a crappy nation that we deserve to be attacked? Now they're telling all the world "we're so great you should come here and grab your measure of The American Dream. Free for the taking!" Or is it that they're hoping to grant voting privileges to the very grateful millions? Yeah, that makes sense, come to think of it.

Correct on both counts. It's actually not so much that they feel America is a crappy nation (don't you dare question their patriotism!) as that they propound the complete oppression of everyone but the rich by the Republican-empowered government. It's a complete load of hogwash, of course, (how many poor Democrat politicians do you know?) but they need a meme or their very existence is suspect. Does oppression of people occur in this country? Certainly. Is it the Republicans' fault? Just try to prove it. In fact, the more liberal factions of our country are nearly completely to blame for our societal self-destructive tendencies by preaching an irresponsible narcissism to increasingly gullible generations of young Americans. So, their tactic is to tear down the more character-building aspects of our society, preach oppression to impressionable voters and potential voters, then seal the deal by eliminating our constitutional form of government in favor of a "one world order." If they can accomplish that, then democracy and, more significantly, our republican (not "Republican") form of government is dead.

My bottom line: we should never allow anyone but legitimate voting citizens of this country to tell us how to govern our affairs.


#261 - Most Significant Contribution of Yesterday's Boycott

Traffic in Orange County was a breeze.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Your Cranky Reviewer's Been Busy! Today, An Excoriation of Il Divo!

[This is cross-posted at my own blog.]

Take a close look:

You only think you're seeing four dapper gentlemen. In reality, what you're looking at are Il Divo, the four latest flag holders of the Celebration of the Death of Western Music.

A few months ago I wrote a lengthy review - well, more of an assassination, really - of Il Divo's Christmas album. I called it, "easily the most obnoxious, arrogant, infuriating Christmas album that has yet been produced," and, at least until "Il Divo's Further Violations of The Christ Child: The Christmas Album 2!" appears, I remain convinced of the correctness of my opinion.

Why do I dislike them so? I've spent, unfortunately, a lot of time thinking about this since every time an album has appeared (they're up to three. THREE!), said album gets played all day, every day, for a full freakin' month at the place of my employment. This gives me ample time and reason to muse on the subjects of taste, music, and personal artistic preference.

Let me say at the outset that I realize that mine is a minority opinion. Many people who are far more generous in their opinions than I am simply adore the music, and I can't hold my friends' opinions against them since I also know I like things like this . . .

. . . and this . . .

. . . and this (albeit not for musical reasons). . .

. . . that make my friends think that I'm either a mean-spirited bastage (for not liking Il Divo), or a complete fruitcake (for liking what I actually do like). And I'm cool with that. Having spent so much time mocking the personal musical preferences of others, I'm more than game to be mocked myself. I can listen to "Dancing Queen" several times in a row, fer pete's sake (it's that bass line!), so I'm aware that my taste ain't The Bomb.

But I will argue to my dying day that Il Divo sucks.

The question has come up, in these silent, angry conversations I have with myself (Lord, I hope they're silent) when I'm trying to stock the shelves of Barnes & Noble with literary crap while the music department insists on playing musical crap, "Now, just why is it I think they suck?"

It's hard to explain, but only because mine is a disorganized mind. Still, I'll do my best. Bear with me.

Imagine taking three famous poems. Let's say The Wasteland by T. S. Eliot:
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Shakespeare's Fair Is My Love:
Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle;
Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty;
Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle;
Softer than wax, and yet, as iron, rusty:
A lily pale, with damask dye to grace her;
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.

and Sylvia Plath's Edge:
. . . She has folded

Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.

and then thinking that you could make a few bucks by just kind of repackaging them.

"Nobody's into this stuff anymore," you say. "Some bells and whistles, and maybe some fiddling with the arrangements, and I'll make millions!"

So you take all three poems and you work them up to sell to modern tastes. First you take Eliot and you change things a bit so that The Wasteland now reads:
[quietly] Roses are red. :(
[loudly] Violets are blue! :0
[quietly] Bah bah bah BAH bah ;)
[extra loudly] BAH BAH BAH BOO! >:0

And then you take Shakespeare's Fair Is My Love and come up with:
[quietly] Roses are red. :(
[loudly] Violets are blue! :0
[quietly] Bah bah bah BAH bah ;)
[extra loudly] BAH BAH BAH BOO! >:0

And, finally, you rework Plath's Edge so it becomes an easier to swallow:
[quietly] Roses are red. :(
[loudly] Violets are blue! :0
[quietly] Bah bah bah BAH bah ;)
[extra loudly] BAH BAH BAH BOO! >:0

And then, after having taken several disparate styles of poetry and making them all sound completely alike you add a mother[censored] drum machine, have the [bad word deleted] things recited by four good lookin' guys, making sure each guy gets to recite one line before having them all repeat the last line together in a ridiculous orgy of spleen- and bladder-exploding SOUND(!), and, finally, just to make sure it gets bought by every dumbass yahoo on the planet, you have these four guys do their [censored] [censored!] schtick on [REALLY CENSORED!] Oprah, who frankly has no critical faculty to speak of and who apparently loves everything she sees and hears.

That's kind of what everyone associated with Il Divo (and, by collusion, network television's very own Cthulhu: Oprah) does to classical music. And this horrific and unnecessary plastic surgery; this crass, criminal mutilation of otherwise beautiful music (um, in most cases - some of the songs are frankly helpless to begin with), is being helped along by people who should by freakin' golly know better.

Worse, it gets sold in amazingly large quantities.

Aw, hell, I tell myself. Andy Warhol is still called an "artist" in spite of all evidence to the contrary, so what do I know?

Apparently, I either I know too much or not enough.

But I'll say this again: Il Divo sucks.