2022 SAMMY AWARDS – PART II

Welcome back to the 2022 Sammy Awards, a final look back at the year that was, and the people & stories that shaped our perception of it. If you missed Part 1 it’s not too late to catch up. As always The Sammys are far more fun than the austere Oscars, and much more in touch with what matters to real, normal people than the Golden Globes, Grammys, or anything produced by MTV. We’re also pandemic proof, which has come in handy the past couple of years. The CDC isn’t going to shut this fake show down!! Let’s give a warm ovation to our host Jim Gaffigan!!

After some delightful comedy from our host it’s time to give out some more awards!! Our next presenter is a lovely actress & up-n-coming director who has starred in memorable flicks like The Girl Next DoorLove the Coopers, & The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Well okay, perhaps her directing career will be more…impressive. But hey, atleast she’s pretty, right?? That’s something!! Give a rousing ovation to Olivia Wilde!!!! And the nominees are:

Tim Taylor Award for Biggest Tool

Howard Stern 

What the hell happened to Howard Stern?!?!?!?? He used to be so rebellious. He was a modern day counterculture folk hero. He was funny & cool in an oddball sort of way. Now?? Apparently he’s just another wealthy, out of touch, crazy leftist who sits in his bully pulpit talking down to all of us peons, saying things like “When are we going to stop putting up with the idiots in this country and just say it’s mandatory to get vaccinated?” Perhaps when they come up with a vaccine that doesn’t kill people you assclown 🤷. “Fuck their freedom” says Howard Stern, who can’t see the forest for the trees. “If you didn’t get vaccinated & you got COVID, you don’t get into a hospital. Go fuck yourself, you had the cure and you wouldn’t take it.” Cure?!?!?!?? Really?!?!?!?? 🤦🏻‍♂️ “We have places, like shitholes that have like 300,000 people, and they get two senators.” Allow me to translate. First, Howard Stern needs to read The Constitution. Secondly, he thinks he’s better than you because he lives in California, which to my knowledge is the real shithole. He doesn’t think people in Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, or the Dakotas should have as much say in the direction of the country. I don’t know that he’s said it, but I’m going to go out on a limb & assume he’d abolish the electoral college. Look, I am willing to have an intelligent discussion with anyone that holds opposing views. I have friends & even family that don’t share my opinions. However, I’m pretty sick & tired of rich & famous types who use their platform to insult & dismiss a huge portion of the country, who clearly think that they are superior. Kiss my ass Howard. 

The “Ladies” of The View 

To call The View unwatchable would be an understatement. Well, anyone with functioning brain cells wouldn’t be watching it anyway. I haven’t even attempted it in years, but the show is constantly going viral as the hosts apparently get crazier with each passing day. How in the world does Whoopi Goldberg still have a job?!?!?!?? Don’t misunderstand…the morons around the table are entitled to their deranged opinions. It’s (allegedly) a free country. What pisses me off is the attempt to soft sell the gaslighting of an entire audience by marketing it as an entertainment program. The same thing is happening on late night “comedy” shows. It’s appalling, not to mention deceitful. Leave the punditry & sociopolitical commentary to the folks at CNN, FOX, MSNBC, et al.

Justin Trudeau 

I don’t know how anyone is willingly residing in Canada anymore. Is free healthcare that meaningful?? Trudeau is nothing more than a smarmy dictator wannabe. He’s the kind of guy that probably got picked last for teams in gym class & grew up with simmering rage just below the surface because the cool kids didn’t let him hang out with them. Now he’s in a position of power and he relishes the opportunity to jerk people around, stripping citizens’ rights like a madman, all with an insincere smile on his face as he tries to tell everyone it’s “for the greater good”. Good luck with that Canada. Maybe one day you’ll pry your collective head out of your clueless ass. 

Stephen Colbert 

He’s basically a male, late night version of the shrews from The View. Late night television makes me sad nowadays. Johnny Carson would roll over in his grave. OG David Letterman (before his brain turned to mush) would be horrified. Back in the summer of 2022 Colbert actually sent a crew to DC who illegally breached the U.S. Capitol, but unlike another more infamous incident in that same location Colbert’s antics quickly faded from public consciousness. People were arrested, but of course the corrupt Justice Department declined to prosecute. Do you think anyone associated with Tucker Carlson or Tomi Lahren would’ve escaped so easily?? Of course not. Because our entire government is dirty to its core. 

Jen Psaki & Karine Jean-Pierre

I didn’t think any White House Press Secretary could be worse that Psaki, but Jean-Pierre is just as bad. It’s not even the lying that bothers me. Part of the job is massaging the truth. It’s the fact that they’re so ridiculously bad at it that it’s insulting, and also that they’re both woefully unprepared. Did they blackmail Biden into giving them the job?? Or does Sleepy Joe & his inner circle get their jollies trolling American citizens by purposely hiring the most inept & ill-equipped people?? 

Robert DeNiro 

DeNiro is pathetic. He’s completely lost touch with reality. Last summer he went on Colbert’s show and, with a straight face, opined that the Alzheimer’s patient in the White House is “doing a very good job” & has “got us into calm waters”. My first instinct was that it was totally delusional to say that. However, I realized a couple of things. First, DeNiro doesn’t give a damn about gas prices, food prices, inflation, etc. He’s rich & doesn’t give a damn about you & me. Secondly, it really does not matter to him & his ilk that they installed a President who doesn’t know where the hell he is half the time & most certainly isn’t really in charge of anything. They want a puppet who’ll rubber stamp a bunch of tyrannical policies that worship at the altar of climate change, open borders, identity politics, and other leftist agendas, and they want someone who’ll do it quietly. They want someone who speaks softly and tells folksy stories. They want “calm waters” so they can dive deep without anyone noticing them fundamentally destroying the nation they despise. The sad part is they are succeeding.  

Pat Benatar 

In a pitiful attempt to hang on to whatever shred of relevancy remaining from a career that peaked four decades ago the aging rocker announced last summer that she’d no longer perform arguably her best known hit song Hit Me With Your Best Shot because of mass shootings or some such nonsense. First of all, meaningless virtue signaling makes me want to vomit. Get over yourself. Secondly…TRUST ME Pat Benatar…NO ONE has EVER associated that song with gun violence. Absolutely no one. Not even stupid people. Honestly this might be the dumbest news story of 2022. 

Joy Reid 

I don’t watch television news all that much. Maybe the local news occasionally, but certainly not the national news. However, if I were forced to watch a news program I promise you this…ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox…they’d all be choices I’d consider before MSNBC, which is the television equivalent of dumpster diving. However, even though I actively avoid TV news shows somehow I can’t escape Reid because she constantly says such idiotic things that she’s viral nearly every day. Maybe that’s the scam…I don’t know. 

and the Sammy goes to…..

All of Them. Anyone who’s been watching The Sammy Awards thru the years saw this coming a mile away. There are no winners in this category. They all tie for Biggest Loser, and we’re not talking about weight loss. 

We asked Olivia Wilde to stay, but she was handed some papers and had to leave, so to present our next award we are excited to introduce an alleged actor who found himself in the news an awful lot in 2022. Perhaps it was the five movies he starred in, which nobody could name if their life depended on it. Or maybe it was his Netflix comedy special y’all weren’t even aware existed. No…I don’t think it was either of those things. What was it?? Does it matter?? Anyway, please give a long, hard ovation to former Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson!!

Fred Berry Award for Excellence in Syndication or Streaming

The Office 

When I was a child television worked a certain way. The new season would premier in September. There’d be a little more than a couple dozen episodes (give or take), with the season finale in May. Throughout the summer you’d get reruns until the new season debuted. A great show would last 7-10 seasons, while less than great shows ended much quicker. That’s how it worked…back then. We’re in a whole new world now, one to which I am still adjusting. However, one thing hasn’t changed. Reruns are still a thing, it’s just that we view them more purposefully & have control over what we consume & when. I didn’t watch The Office when it aired on NBC from 2005-13. Not one single episode. I had convinced myself that I didn’t like single camera shows with no studio audience or laugh track, and I’m pretty sure something else I liked aired in the same time slot. Fast forward to 2020. There’s a pandemic. Everything is shut down. There’s much more time to binge TV shows. I’m not a binger, but I decide to check out The Office on Netflix, and am immediately hooked. I can’t believe what I was missing all those years. Having worked in office environments it seemed familiar, only with the wackiness turned up to 11. I can’t say that I’ve ever had a boss exactly like Michael Scott, but recognized bits & pieces of former bosses in him. I’m a sucker for a good romance, especially when unrequited love is actually returned (which never happens in real life), so I was really rooting for Jim & Pam. It took me awhile to warm up to oddball Dwight Schrute, but the humor eventually clicked for me. Here’s the cool thing…unlike my childhood when I had to rely on random reruns popping up on television, now I’m able to rewatch whatever episode I want whenever I choose as often as I like. That’s the true power of streaming. The Office has now moved to Peacock, and traditional reruns do air on Comedy Central & Freeform. I am sure I’m in good company when I say I’ve watched all 200 episodes multiple times. The downside to streaming is that I really don’t give new TV shows a fair chance because I am endlessly entertained by old stuff I’ve watched over & over for years, which is a nice option. I am convinced that someday The Office will be rebooted, and I’d probably give that a whirl. Unfortunately, for various reasons, I don’t think it could ever live up to its predecessor. It may have taken me a decade to catch up with what I missed, but I’m so glad I did. Thanks to the Dunder-Mifflin crew & the folks in Scranton, PA. Think of this as one final Dundie-seque pat on the back for a job well done.

After bleaching his hair Pete Davidson has nothing else better to do so we’ve asked him to present the next award. And the nominees are:

Most Overused Word

Hate 

Just because it’s an opinion or worldview that disagrees with yours doesn’t mean it’s hate. Take a chill pill. 

Privilege 

Are there people that have “privilege” due to their station in life?? Sure. But not as many as you think, and certainly not because of their skin color. I am a white male, and trust me…if you knew the things I’ve dealt with in my life & what I have overcome you’d understand why I have an issue being thought of as privileged by anybody.

Cisgender 

I think you mean normal 🤔.

Ableist 

I am disabled. I was born with spina bifida and have used a wheelchair my entire life. However, I laugh at stupid buzzwords. I have probably experienced ableism as much as anyone, but never felt the need to attach a cutesy label to it. Isn’t the term discrimination good enough?? 

Disinformation 

Define it. Go ahead…you can’t. Again, just because someone provides a different perspective or a viewpoint with which you disagree doesn’t make them automatically dishonest or wrong. How many “conspiracy theories” have been proven right in the past year?? Elon Musk is still busy exposing lies, coverups, deceit, coercion, and censorship by some of the individuals who were screaming “disinformation” the loudest. It’s becoming harder & harder to trust anything we’re told by government officials or the media, in part because they get angrier as more of their lies are uncovered with each passing day.

Cringe 

If you’re watching an old TV show or movie and using this word to describe it please just sit down & shut your yapper. Everything is a product of its time. Societal norms evolve, so what was acceptable 20 years ago or 50 years ago might not be looked at the same way now. That’s cool. Just move on. 

Patriarchy 

How do so many women who openly hate men end up in serious relationships?? Why would I date you if you are offended that I’m a man?? Look, I get it. Minorities…including women…have been treated unfairly. But ladies… it’s the 21st century. You’re free!! You can do anything you want. No one is making you stay in a loveless marriage & pop out 15 babies while your man goes out & earns a living. You don’t have to spend the best years of your life barefoot & pregnant, slaving away in a hot kitchen being subservient. Women are smart. Women are beautiful. Women can do anything they damn well please. There isn’t a secret committee of (white…probably) guys sitting around figuring out ways to ruin your life.

Inclusion 

It doesn’t mean what you think it means. It sounds awesome on the surface. Everyone wants to be included, right?? Sadly though, life isn’t fair, and overt attempts to force entities to “even the playing field” often backfire. For me it’s simple…most things should be a meritocracy. You earn what you get, and the best & brightest rise thru the ranks. Managers should hire the best person for the job. Scholarships should be given to the best students. Quotas are discriminatory. I don’t believe the “everybody gets a trophy” mentality works in the long run. It inadvertently makes people weak & lazy. I am not suggesting we shouldn’t lend a helping hand or allow someone in need to lean on a generous shoulder. I am simply suggesting that the old maxim about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions shouldn’t be ignored. The best way to include people is to teach them how to achieve success & earn everything they have.

and the Sammy goes to…..

All of Them. We’ve become a society that enjoys creating a buzzword for everything. When you add that to a society that goes out of our way to be offended it’s a bad combination. Can’t we all just get along?? We keep letting the powers-that-be divide us, and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Okay, Pete Davidson has gotten way too comfortable & won’t leave. I’m pretty sure he was acting inappropriately in a gender neutral restroom a few minutes ago. We don’t want any trouble, so we’re just going to allow Pete to hand out one more award. And the nominees are:

Favorite Viral Videos 

Definitely Not Gourmet

Bartender Skyy John has redeemed himself. His Tipsy Bartender videos eliminated the godawful music that cost him this award a year ago, and now there’s a lady with a charming British accent holding the camera & offering an occasional comment or question. That being said, I like to eat much more than I like to drink, so I have become intrigued by Skyy’s other videos, in which he cooks tasty vittles that he calls “dumb but delicious”. 

Men with the Pot 

I discovered the proper terminology: ASMR, which means “autonomous sensory meridian response”. More specifically it is the tingling sensation some experience when listening to certain audio stimuli. Last year, while giving this award to these videos, I described them as being filled with sounds like “veggies being chopped, meat sizzling in an iron skillet, the gentle flow of a babbling brook, and the lovely chirping of birds”, only I didn’t know that had a name. To be honest I haven’t watched as many of the videos as I did in 2021, but they’re still out there. 

State of Mind 

General Hospital actor Maurice Bernard has been open about his bipolar disorder, and he hosts a podcast in which his friends & colleagues sit down for a conversation about their own mental health struggles. It’s informative, not too heavy, and the kind of discussion we should be more comfortable having with our loved ones. 

Tucker Carlson 

I still haven’t run across anyone that comes close to replacing my man Rush Limbaugh, although that’s probably because sociopolitical debates now leave a bad taste in my mouth. Occasionally though my itch needs scratched, and short clips of Carlson’s soliloquies do the trick. 

Louder with Crowder 

I actually need to watch Crowder’s podcast more often this year. He’s part commentator, part comedian, so he presents things in a more lighthearted, humorously sarcastic way. Much like Carlson I don’t think I have the interest level to hang for an entire show, but I could stand a bit more. 

and the Sammy goes to…..

Definitely Not Gourmet. I wonder how Tipsy Bartender would feel about defeating himself?? Although I guess technically he didn’t since the bartending videos weren’t even nominated this time. Again, let me re-emphasize, that’s the personal choice of someone who enjoys food more than booze. He makes things like bacon sushi, breakfast pizza, giant pancake burgers, and all kinds of crazy desserts. Have I ever made any of the recipes I’ve seen?? No, cause that’s how I roll. But atleast the videos are fun to watch. 

This seems like a good time to pause once again. Please stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of the 2022 Sammy Awards!!

The 2018 Sammy Awards – Part I

It’s Awards Season, and y’all know what that means!! Welcome to the 8th annual Sammy Awards, the world’s quirkiest faux awards show. The Sammys are an irreverent yet respectful look back at the people, places, & things that shaped the past year. If The Sammy Awards were to be broadcast on television I think a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon would be the way to go for a variety of reasons. As always many of the nominees aren’t in attendance and there are no acceptance speeches. Our show isn’t a neurotic, pompous, smug snoozefest like The Oscars or The Grammys, but we do take our task a bit more seriously than anything you’ll see on MTV.

 

To host this year’s program we have procured the services of British comedian Michael McIntyre, the host of Michael  McIntyre’s Big Show on the BBC. For those of you in America & elsewhere that may be unfamiliar with Mr. McIntyre’s wit & charm there are plenty of very funny videos available online that highlight just why we are so pleased to have him as this year’s host of The Sammys.

 

After an amusing opening monologue from our host it is time for the first award of the evening. To present we are thrilled to welcome to the stage an award winning actor & musician who is no stranger to awards shows. Please welcome the star of such big screen classics as Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, Father of the Bride, and Three Amigos…Steve Martin!! And the nominees are:

 

 

Favorite Movie

 

A Futile and Stupid Gesture

Not so much a biopic as a satire of biopics, Futile tells the story of Doug Kenney, the criminally overlooked comic genius behind National Lampoon magazine, as well as Animal House and Caddyshack, two of the most beloved comedy films of all time. SNL alum Will Forte gives an oddly poignant performance as Kenney, who…like so many outwardly funny people…was deeply insecure & emotionally fragile. You’ll see a bunch of well-known faces portraying even more famous people who were in Kenney’s orbit, and the whole movie has a tongue-in-cheek, self-referential vibe. Futile doesn’t take itself seriously at all, but perhaps it should’ve. It wasn’t released in theaters but is instead a Netflix movie, and the production value is notably…economical. It’s a solidly entertaining story, but one must understand…without Doug Kenney we would have never had National Lampoon or probably Saturday Night Live, some of the greatest comedy films of all time wouldn’t have existed, & several legendary careers might not have ever gotten off the ground. His life probably deserved a bigger budget.

 

Blockers

John Cena, Leslie Mann, & MadTV alum Ike Barinholtz star as helicopter parents trying desperately to stop their three daughters from following thru on a sex pact on prom night. The prom night sex thing is an overdone movie trope, but this is a fresh angle that provides a few laughs. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with the not-so-subtle message that parents are intrusive & out-of-touch losers while kids have everything under control, but I assume it’s intended to be some kind of feminist empowerment poppycock. In general Blockers is mildly entertaining but ultimately forgettable.

 

Ocean’s 8

Speaking of feminist empowerment…

The Ocean’s franchise is now out of the hands of Clooney, Pitt, Damon, & their band of Merry Men, handed off in this “sequel” to Sandra Bullock and a crew of ladies that she assembles for a jewelry heist. I love the Ocean’s movies and have no issue with spinning it off in this fashion, but the execution lacks…something. The cast is…okay, although it certainly doesn’t measure up to their predecessors. The heist goes a little too smoothly so the story lacks any kind of tension, and the motivation for it is uninspiring. I’m disappointed that the plot has Danny Ocean dead, because fans of the previous films would like to imagine he & wife Tess living the good life and enjoying the millions that he stole over the years. I kept expecting George Clooney to make a surprise experience since faking his death seems like something Danny would do, but he never showed up. Perhaps they’re saving that twist for future films.

 

Uncle Drew

NBA star Kyrie Irving, along with retired basketball players Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, & Nate Robinson, portray geriatric former street ballers who missed out on their shot at glory years ago but are now recruited by a down-on-his-luck store clerk to return to NY City’s famed Rucker Park to help win the big tournament. I had rather low expectations for the film but was pleasantly surprised. Irving might actually have a future in acting when he’s done playing hoops.

 

Show Dogs

This movie wasn’t on my radar until a neighbor of mine suggested it, but it is acceptably entertaining. The story follows a cop who goes undercover at a dog show to bust an exotic animal smuggler. It is a live action film, but all of the dogs “talk”, voiced by folks like Shaquille O’Neal , Ludacris, American Idol alum Jordin Sparks, & RuPaul. There was some controversy about a scene where a dog’s…sensitive area…is…ummm…”handled”…by a dog show judge, which I guess is what actually happens at those events. The movie was eventually edited, but I saw it before all of that occurred and didn’t think anything of it.

 

Night School

Hollywood may not allow Kevin Hart to host the Oscars (because of ‘homophobic” comments & tweets…what we used to call jokes…some from a decade ago), but he always seems to star in atleast one of two mildly amusing movies every year. This time around he portrays a thirtysomething high school dropout who is compelled to attend night school & get his GED. Hilarity ensues, or atleast a few sporadic chuckles.

 

A Star Is Born

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper headline the latest remake of a tried & true cinematic formula, with notable supporting performances from Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle, & Andrew Dice Clay. Cooper also directs, and he seems to have a knack for it. The concert scenes really provide a sense of the energy boost one feels from the combination of a live crowd & amped up music. I’ve said for years that Gaga doesn’t need crazy costumes & an outrageous persona…she’s a lovely woman with a beautiful & powerful voice. Not only does the film prove it, but it also kind of pokes fun at that exact contrast.

 

Tag

Based on a true story about a group of childhood buddies who’ve continued the same game of Tag well into adulthood. It’s a unique premise that makes the movie feel like one we’ve not seen before, which is cool.

 

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

I loved the first two Hotel Transylvania films, but with this third entry I kind of feel like the story has run its course. Sandler, Samberg, Selena Gomez, Buscemi, Spade, & all the rest return to lend their voices to now familiar characters, and they are joined by Kathryn Hahn as a mysterious ship’s captain with whom Dracula becomes smitten.  Not a bad movie…but not great either.

 

Christopher Robin

Winnie the Pooh’s human friend is now all grown up and living the humdrum & downtrodden adult life, complete with job pressures & a failing marriage. When Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, et al re-enter his life Christopher is at first annoyed & exasperated, but he eventually remembers his carefree & happy childhood. It’s a really cute film and I expect a sequel or two or three.

 

The Christmas Chronicles

When I first saw the trailer online I got the vibe that this movie might be rather lame, but I was pleasantly surprised. Kurt Russell stars in the Netflix original as Santa Claus like we’ve never seen Santa Claus. When two kids facing their first Christmas without their father decide to stay up to see The Jolly Old Elf in action they inadvertently threaten Christmas for the entire world and must spend the night helping St. Nick save the holiday. The story is fresh, Russell is engaging, & the kids are alright. I’m not sure it’ll become a beloved yuletide tradition or even spawn a sequel, but it’s a fun little Christmas distraction.

 

Like Father

Kelsey Grammer stars as the estranged father of a Type A workaholic daughter who is ditched at the altar. He ends up accompanying her on the vacation that was supposed to be her honeymoon and the two repair their damaged relationship. This is another Netflix film, and I have to opine that I am impressed with the original content that they are offering.

 

The Grinch

It’s better than the live action Jim Carrey atrocity from almost two decades ago, but doesn’t measure up to the original half hour special produced back in the 1960’s. In this latest incarnation of a familiar story The Grinch isn’t so much of a monster with a brain full of spiders & termites in his soul as much as he is an introverted, hypersensitive, antisocial hermit, and Cindy Lou Who is the daughter of a stressed out & overworked single mother. Whoville is a bustling little hotbed of Christmas commerce, though I must say it is depicted beautifully with superb computer animation. This is a cool movie to look at, even if the plot isn’t all that compelling.

 

Holmes & Watson

I’ve been a Sherlockian since junior high school, though admittedly I tend to stick mostly with the original stories and eschew the plethora of modern updates, remakes, reboots, & reimaginings. However, I couldn’t resist a comedic take on the world’s most famous detective from the same crew that brought us Talladega Nights & Step Brothers. Unfortunately for Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly this movie doesn’t measure up to their previous pairings. Is it as bad as its 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes?? I don’t think it is quite that appalling…just dull & uninteresting.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

A Star Is Born. Full disclosure: I have never seen any of the previous versions of this story, but I can’t imagine that the 1976 adaptation starring Barbara Streisand & Kris Kristofferson, the 1954 movie with Judy Garland, or the 1937 original could be any better. Bradley Cooper has proven himself to be a talented & versatile actor, and now he takes things to a different level by adding director, producer, & screenwriter to his resume. The music is superb, and supporting performances by Sam Elliot, Dave Chappelle, & Andrew “Dice” Clay are pitch perfect.

 

 

 

To present our next award we are pleased to welcome three beautiful ladies who have one thing in common…they have all escaped the moral quagmire & career abyss of daytime television’s angriest show, The View. Please welcome the star of 90’s sitcom Full House & its Netflix revival Fuller House, Candace Cameron Bure!! Joining her is a former contestant on Survivor and a former co-host of Fox & Friends…give a warm welcome to Elisabeth Hasselbeck. And finally, she is a former ABC News correspondent and now hosts a podcast called Journeys of Faith…give it up for Paula Faris!! And the nominees are:

 

 

App of the Year

 

Words with Friends

Basically it is Scrabble, and I’ve always loved Scrabble. I’m all about word games rather than shooting/war type games. I haven’t been into it as much this past year as I’d been in the past, but I still play a game or two a couple of times a week.

 

Amazon Music

I haven’t purchased music in years. My tastes are rather eclectic and what I want to listen to depends on my mood, so streaming is the way to go for me. At $8/month it is well worth the price.

 

Spades Plus

I’ve always liked playing card games but throughout my life have had difficulty finding others with which to engage. Of course The Internet has changed all of that, and in 2018 I revived my love of Spades. Most of the time I find the game very relaxing. It’s usually the first thing I do after I get home & settle down to chill out, and it has become a nice late night time waster that has taken the place of the comedy shows that I used to watch after the local news. Occasionally the game can be frustrating…doubly so if I’m stuck with a partner who has no clue how to play or when I’m just not getting good cards. Sometimes…because everyone is anonymous & no one knows each other…it is a bit too easy for people to hurl insults & use foul language. However, all things considered, I have enjoyed the hours I’ve spent playing the game immensely, and I’m glad I stumbled upon this particular app.

 

Facebook Messenger

I think Messenger has become more useful than Facebook itself. The direct line of communication is much more efficient than even a phone call.

 

Amazon

Every once in awhile I have some disposable income and decide to go on a book buying binge. When that mood strikes the Amazon app is a lifesaver, because if I’m in the bookstore at the local mall and see something I want I can very easily verify that I can get it much cheaper online and have it delivered to my door in a couple of days. Thanks to the Amazon app I’ve saved a significant amount of money, and negatively impacted the bottom line of the mall bookstore.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

Spades Plus. To date I have played nearly 2600 games, and that’s in just a few months!! I am absolutely addicted. Sometimes I have to make myself stop playing so I can get some sleep at night or do something productive during the day, but mostly it’s just a fun activity to do while I have a few moments of downtime. I enjoy the strategy and the small element of risk. Sometimes I wish my partners were a bit more savvy and my opponents less obnoxious, but those issues haven’t deterred my enjoyment of the game thus far.

 

 

 

 

This seems like the appropriate place to take a break. Please join us soon for Part II of the 2018 Sammy Awards!!

The Sammy Claus Wish List 2016

tree02Greetings friends, and a very Merry Christmas. Welcome to our SEVENTH Wish List. I cannot believe that we’ve been carrying on this tradition for that long!! After an unavoidable hiatus a year ago due to medical issues it has filled my heart with immeasurable joy to be able not only to delight in what the holiday season has to offer in my small corner of the world, but also to once again write about related subjects here at The Manofesto. Since it’s been awhile let me remind you how this works. Being Sammy Claus is a mostly ceremonial position that I have bestowed upon myself. I wield no actual power to see that the entities mentioned here receive the suggested gifts. However, I’d like to believe that The Jolly Old Elf himself occasionally peruses this site and may take my submissions to heart. I try my best not to be petty or meanspirited, but let’s face it…there are a lot of folks out there on The Naughty List, and it seems to be overflowing this year. There is cause for optimism though, especially at Christmastime. After all, if a mean old malcontent like Ebenezer Scrooge can see the error of his ways or a mischievous creature like The Grinch can have his heart grow three sizes when he realizes the true meaning of Christmas then there is hope for anybody, right??

 

 

 

 

 

The Trump Administration

best of luck in making America great again…I am cautiously optimistictrumppence

 

 

Colin Kaepernick

a recording of The Star Spangled Banner on an endless loop

 

 

Kim Kardashian

a long vacation in Paris

 

 

The American Flag

more respect from the masses…not for the cloth itself, but what it stands forhonoring-veterans

 

 

The Chicago Cubs

another World Series title…in 2124

 

 

The United Kingdom

best wishes enjoying your newfound freedom from Europeunionjack

 

 

David S. Pumpkins

a feature filmpumpkins

 

 

The Clothes Pin Brigade

Medication. Seriously, if you have a clothes pin as your profile photo on social media you are mentally ill. And I thought The Ribbon People were obnoxious.

 

 

Joy Behar & Whoopi Goldberg

lobotomiesidiots2

 

 

Late Night TV

less politics, more class

 

 

The Supreme Court

a new justice that respects The Constitutionwethepeople

 

Martin Sheen

Expulsion from the self-righteous moral high ground. Seriously dude…you raised Charlie Sheen. If you think America is screwed up look in the damn mirror first.

 

 

The Cleveland Browns

atleast one win in 2017 & a boatload of players & picks for the #1 overall draft choice that should absolutely be tradedfactory

 

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton

shatterproof glass & a big lump of coal

 

 

Driverless Automobile Technology

success…I am intrigued

 

 

Hamilton

curtains

 

 

Samsung Phone Users

a fireproof suitsamsung

 

 

North Carolina

exponential population growthnorth-carolina-no-lines

 

 

Super Bowl LI

a better halftime show than its predecessor

 

 

Melania Trump

new speechwritersmelania

 

 

College Students

less safe spaces, coddling, & leftist indoctrination, more practical education that’ll prepare productive citizens to function in the real world

 

 

Barack & Michelle Obama

hope & changebye

 

 

Bruce Jenner

counseling

 

 

NJ Governor Chris Christie

lip balm & knee padscc3

 

 

Tiger Woods

a successful comeback…it’s time to forgive & move forward

 

 

 

 

Per established custom I shall end with the traditional quote from the Rankin-Bass animated classic Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town:

 

santajesus“Lots of unhappiness? Maybe so. But doesn’t Santa take a little bit of that unhappiness away? Doesn’t a smile on Christmas morning scratch out a tear cried on a sadder day? Not much maybe. But what would happen if we all tried to be like Santa and learned to give as only he can give…of ourselves, our talents, our love and our hearts? Maybe we could all learn Santa’s beautiful lesson and maybe there would finally be peace on Earth and good will toward men.”

The Sammy Awards 2011 – Episode III: Revenge of the Phantom Fellowship

Welcome back to the exciting conclusion of the 2011 Sammy Awards. Thanks for reading and please don’t hesitate to leave comments on who you would have nominated, your thoughts on the winners & losers, and ideas you’d like to see incorporated into next year’s show.

 

To present our next award please welcome the 99th most followed celebrity on Twitter, Academy award winning actor Tom Hanks. And the nominees are:

The Twitter Award for Best Water Cooler Topic

Tablet Computers & iPhone4GS

First we had desktops. Then laptops became ubiquitous. Now it seems we are heading toward a society where everyone surfs The Net, listens to music, and watches movies on an iPad, Kindle Fire, or any of the other similar devices that flooded the market in 2011. The other big techie toy this year was the new iPhone, which doesn’t seem like that much of an upgrade from the previous model. No worries though…they’ll come out with something else in a few months.

 

The Return of Beavis & Butt-Head

When I was in college in the early 90’s one of our favorite shows was MTV’s animated ode to slackers, created by Mike Judge before he wrote the cult classic film Office Space. This year, after a 14 year absence, the boys returned to television and it’s as if they never left, only now instead of making fun of music videos (which MTV doesn’t even show anymore), our two favorite idiots critique drivel like Jersey Shore, 16 & Pregnant, and Teen Mom. And you know what?? It’s still really funny.

 

Death of Amy Winehouse

On July 23rd this lush keeled over & croaked due to alcohol poisoning. Shocker. I couldn’t identify one of her songs if my life depended on it because I have taste & class. But apparently she did have her following and they were sad for about 5 minutes until something else grabbed their short attention spans.

 

Jerry Lewis & MDA Part Ways

Jerry Lewis hadn’t been relevant as an entertainer since The Nixon Administration, but until 2011 he still continued to be welcomed into our living rooms every Labor Day as host for the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Toward the end of 2010 MDA announced that the normally 21.5 hour show would be scaled back to just a 6 hour broadcast on Sunday night. Then in May of this year it was proclaimed by the organization that 2011 would be Jerry’s last as host but that he would remain as their national chairman and would continue to close each telethon with his signature tearjerker tune You’ll Never Walk Alone. But in August, just a few weeks before Labor Day, MDA announced that Lewis was finished as both host & chairman, effective immediately. It is still a mystery whether he was fired or quit for some reason. The local station in my hometown that had always carried the event in its entirety decided not to do so at all this year, so I didn’t even get to see the stripped down version. Oh sure I could have tuned in online, but that’s just not the same. And neither will future Labor Day Weekends be without Jerry Lewis. It’s a shame that a treasured piece of Americana had to end with such a whimper.

 

The End of Oprah

On May 25, 2011 Satan’s Minion ended her talk show of 25 years, leaving millions of bored housewives, gays & lesbians, and unemployed, unfulfilled losers of all shapes & sizes curled up in the fetal position wondering what they were going to do with their lives. Hey now…don’t cry…you’ve still got Dr. Phil!!

 

The “New” Facebook

A few months ago Facebook users by the millions flipped the hell out when the site implemented a number of pretty radical changes like a “ticker” and a revamped news feed. I’m a big fan of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, and Zuckerberg & his crew just seemed to be tinkering with something that didn’t need changed. However, eventually everyone got over their displeasure and continued to enjoy the site. Now Facebook is rolling out another new deal called Timeline. I took the opportunity to switch over to Timeline a couple of months ago and, unlike the previous changes, I rather like it and will be surprised if it incites much rage.

 

Hanks Williams Jr. Booted From Monday Night Football

A version of Hank Williams Jr.’s song All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight had been used as the theme song for Monday Night Football since 1991. That all changed after an October 3rd interview the singer gave on Fox News in which he likened President Obama playing golf with Speaker of the House John Boehner to Hitler playing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The liberal drive by media…including the pantywaists at ESPN…predictably got their knickers in a twist because NO ONE is allowed to criticize their boy Barack Hussein Obama. ESPN made the decision to stop utilizing the tune altogether, and Bocephus called them out on their BS in his own inimitable way.

 

Kim Kardashian Marriage/Divorce

Do I really have to go into this?? I hate wasting even one iota of effort writing about this mind numbingly idiotic twit. We already know that she is a useless waste of space whose only redeeming quality is a fine caboose & a great rack and that her entire family is just as maddeningly unnecessary to humanity as she is. After years of toying with poor Dolphins RB Reggie Bush and leading Cowboys receiver Miles Austin on for about 5 minutes she moved on in 2011 to another semi-famous, quasi-rich athlete, New Jersey Nets bench warmer Kris Humphries. Within 6 months they were engaged and by August had a multimillion dollar wedding that, if my information is correct, she & her family were paid handsomely for so it could be broadcast on television. Unfortunately wedded bliss wasn’t in the cards and 72 days later Ms. Kardashian filed for divorce. And sadly, the tabloids, the entertainment TV shows, and the empty headed masses ate it up. Here’s an idea…go read a book, play with your kids (in the family sense, not in the Penn St. way), and get right with God. Quit paying any attention to this slut.

 

PA Teacher Writes Scathing Blog

30 year old  Natalie Munroe, a Doylestown, Pennsylvania (about 30 miles north of Philly) English teacher was suspended back in February after some parents discovered her blog. The issue stemmed from Ms. Munroe’s blatantly honest comments about what she’d really like to write on her students’ report cards for their parents’ perusal…things like “I hear the trash company is hiring”, “I called out sick a couple of days just to avoid your son”, “rude, belligerent, argumentative fuck”, “Just as bad as his sibling. Don’t you know how to raise kids?”, “Shy isn’t cute in 11th grade; it’s annoying. Must learn to advocate for himself instead of having Mommy do it.”, and “Am concerned that your kid is going to come in one day and open fire on the school. (Wish I was kidding.)”. Now I’m not a teacher, and maybe her opinions aren’t necessarily socially acceptable, but I’d be willing to be she was spot on in her observations. Munroe eventually got her job back, and I assume she’s just keeping her opinions to herself nowadays, helping the system to mass produce worker drones willing to work for minimum wage to supplement their Welfare.

 

Angry Birds

Apparently it’s some sort of game. I’ve heard it’s rather addictive. I’ve never played it and most likely never will.

 

 

The Homeless Guy with the Golden Voice

Right after New Year’s a newspaper reporter recorded an interview with a homeless man wandering the mean streets of Columbus, OH. That man, 54 year old Ted Williams, just so happened to have a deep, booming voice made for radio, which was in fact his career of choice before drug & alcohol abuse and legal problems derailed his life in the late 1980’s. A video of that interview was posted on YouTube and went viral, making Williams an overnight sensation. He appeared on talk shows and received a plethora of job offers, most notably from MSNBC, Kraft Foods, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately the sudden fame caused Williams to fall off the wagon. Dr. Phil got involved and sent him to rehab, but he pulled a Lohan & left after less than 2 weeks. The job offers began to disappear. Fortunately though, Ted Williams eventually went back in to rehab and to my knowledge is now gainfully employed and off the streets. God speed to him in all his future endeavors.

 

The End of Harry Potter

After 7 books and 8 films the Harry Potter phenomenon came to a close in 2011 with the release of the final movie. The great thing about books & movies though is that we can continue to enjoy them for many years to come, and new generations have the opportunity to do the same if they so choose. All great things must come to an end, but what a ride it was.

 

Cancellation of All My Children & One Life to Live

When I was a young lad in elementary school my sister & I had a babysitter that got us hooked on soap operas…specifically Days of Our Lives & General Hospital. As I grew older I got interested in other soaps like Guiding Light, Another World, & As the World Turns. Then a few years back I added One Life to Live to the rotation. AW was cancelled in 1999. GL got the axe in 2009 and ATWT ended in 2010. In 2011 ABC announced that it was cancelling 2 out of its 3 soaps…All My Children & One Life to Live. I never really got into AMC, but I realize it was extremely popular, mainly due to star Susan Lucci. That show left the air on September 23, 2011, with OLTL scheduled to end on January 13, 2012. Millions of fans have expressed outrage, but it’s just a different world nowadays. Women, the original target audience for soaps, are in the workforce and not home during the day to watch TV. The Internet draws peoples’ attention away from television as well. And unfortunately suits & bean counters have discovered that producing talk shows is cheaper than soap operas. Ah well…atleast I still have DOOL & GH…for now.

 

And the Sammy goes to…..

Ted Williams. I must admit that this choice is slanted in favor of my own personal interests. I refuse to honor that horrible piece of garbage Kim Kardashian, and neither will I bestow an award on Hell’s favorite talk show hostess. Williams’ story both touched me and brought out my usual cynicism. Oh sure he must shoulder the blame for his own failures like drug & alcohol abuse and his various arrests. However, I’m all for second chances. I think we all knew that the overnight notoriety & media attention was likely to cause a backslide, which it did. But it seems as if, once the spotlight dimmed a bit, Mr. Williams started making the right decisions to get his life back on the right path. Hopefully the turnaround will continue and 2012 will hold good things for him & his family.

 

 

 

Unlike Charles Barkley, the titular “honoree” for which this award is named will not be presenting it, because there is no way on God’s green Earth your humble Potentate of Profundity would let that disgusting cow sully these proceedings. Instead, we go in the opposite direction by welcoming three of the world’s most beautiful women: Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria, & Mandy Moore. And the nominees are:

The Rosie O’Donnell Memorial Just Go Away Award

The Entire Kardashian Family

These people disgust me. I truly believe it has gotten to the point that they are an actively negative force in American culture. My heart weeps for the millions of teenage girls who watch this hogwash and are in any way influenced by these evil, repulsive harlots. Even poor Bruce Jenner…a former Olympic hero for God’s sake…has been sucked into the void and just mindlessly does whatever his control freak of a wife commands. It’s sickening and needs to be stopped.

Lindsay Lohan

Okay, so she finally got naked for Playboy. But she even managed to screw that up by not showing us anything we hadn’t already seen. I just cannot stand even the mere mention of her name at this point. Only in Hollywood would a crack whore still receive endless opportunities to make millions of dollars and remain famous. It’s sort of disheartening for the masses in flyover country who rarely get a second chance if they make even one tiny mistake.

 

Michael Moore

What a revolting slob!! And he’s a liberal wackjob to boot. I don’t think he actually did anything noteworthy this year except make an appearance at the stupid Occupy Wall Street protest, which is ironic since he is a multimillionaire himself. At any rate, occasionally he’ll ruin a perfectly good late night show by showing up, spewing his uninformed hate, and making me want to vomit.

 

Lady Gaga

Here’s the sad thing about this chic…she’s actually quite lovely and can really sing. But I guess one has to have a gimmick these days, do wacky stuff to grab attention, and sing songs filled with lewd & suggestive lyrics. Whatever happened to class??

 

Skip Bayless

I really dig my ESPN sports talk shows, but this pompous know-it-all has absolutely ruined First Take for me to the point where it’s not even watchable anymore. For some reason the powers-that-be retooled the show so that it pretty much revolves around Bayless arguing the stories du jour with a revolving cast of “opponents”. The folks in Bristol have totally beaten the formula to death, but atleast other shows like Mike & Mike, Around the Horn, & Pardon the Interruption pull it off in such a way that I am not immediately tempted to hurl an object at my TV screen. Not only is Bayless arrogant & self-absorbed, but he’s usually so wrong about his opinions that it’s laughable. And he is the absolute #1 offender in regard to shoving Tim Tebow down America’s throat. I would love to see the statistics, but I would bet anything that Bayless and his posse have talked about Tebow on every single show for the past 6 months. Give it a rest already!!

 

The “Ladies” of The View

Without a doubt one of the more torturous exercises in futility is watching these twits sit around a table and attempt to intelligently discuss the “hot topics” of the day. Whoopi, Joy, Barbara, & the short fat chic who is so superfluous that I don‘t even remember her name are clueless, spiteful, and arrogant. Honestly watching Full House reruns seems like Shakespeare in comparison. And as much as I dig token conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck she is just so overmatched against the 4 other big mouthed morons that the poor gal hasn’t got a chance. I beg of ABC…PLEASE cancel this drivel, or atleast sell it to Oprah’s “network”…same difference.

 

Justin Beiber

I couldn’t name one of his songs if I had two guns pointed at my head, but every soccer mom and 12 year old girl in America seems to love him. I’m sick & tired of hearing his name and seeing him on my TV. Plus he needs a haircut.

 

Reality TV

The ironic thing about reality television is that there is hardly anything real about it. Anyone who watches The Bachelor/Bachelorette and thinks it is an accurate representation of dating & falling in love needs to just hurl themselves off the nearest tall building immediately. The same criticism can be made of craptastic stupidity like The Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, Wife Swap, Teen Mom, and just about every reality show on TV. I know these shows are cheaper to produce, which is why they have grown exponentially in the past decade, but I miss the days when some talented writers would get together with some talented actors and make a fictional show that allowed people to e-s-c-a-p-e reality and be entertained for 30-60 minutes.

 

And the Sammy goes to…..

You saw this coming didn’t you?? Yes, I’m sure you did. For the 2nd straight year we have a tie!! This year it is an 8 way tie. ALL of these wastes-of-space need to stop taking up valuable oxygen & other resources immediately. I can think of no better way to immediately improve this great nation.

 

 

 

To present our final award of the evening, please welcome the melodious & soothing voice of TV new personality Harry Smith. And the nominees are:

Biggest U.S. News Story

Shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

On January 8 an assassination attempt on 3 term Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords captured the attention of the entire nation. Giffords was speaking to constituents outside a Safeway grocery store when some nutjob opened fire, injuring more than a dozen people and killing 6, including a nine year old little girl. Predictably liberals in Washington DC seized the opportunity to begin furthering their gun control agenda, but that poppycock fell on deaf ears and the tragedy became bigger than politics. Giffords continues to recover, but still has some communication issues and has lost some of her eyesight.

 

Race for the Republican Nomination

Incumbent President Obama is, unsurprisingly, going to be unopposed for his own party’s nomination in 2012. However, the fight for the right to face Obama in the general election got in to full swing in 2011, with nearly a dozen Republicans battling it out as we head into primary season early next year. No single candidate has really taken control of the contest, with several of the contestants having their turn in the spotlight, and a few have already fallen by the wayside. Unfortunately I don’t think the conservative base will be all that enamored with whoever ends up with the nomination because none of them seem to really be what we were hoping for.

 

Unemployment

Nearly ¾ of the way thru President Obama’s first (and hopefully only) term the unemployment rate still hovers around 9%. In comparison unemployment under George W. Bush was below 8%, Reagan, Clinton, & Bush ‘41 just above 7%, and even Jimmy Carter…usually considered one of the 20th Centuries worst Presidents…only 7.5%. Obama can no longer realistically blame W. for the poor economy, and the American people know it.

 

End of the Space Shuttle Program

The three decades old space shuttle program came to a close with the final mission of Atlantis in July. Now if an American wants to go to space they have to catch a ride with the Russians. Somewhere JFK is rolling over in his grave (if he is really dead that is). I guess NASA has some new ideas in the hopper, which is fine. Until those plans materialize though the lack of an active space exploration program further diminishes the concept of American exceptionalism, which I’m sure puts a smile on the faces of the current occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

Fast & Furious

A 2001 film starring Vin Diesel & Paul Walker. No…wait…that’s not it. Apparently this was some sort of gun running operation by the U.S. ATF. I don’t know. The movie never interested me so when this story was dubbed with that name I pretty much decided not to pay attention right from the very beginning.

 

NY Legalizes Gay Marriage

On July 24 New York passed legislation allowing same sex marriage. My Bible tells me that this behavior is vile, against nature, and an abomination. Your mileage may vary, and we will just have to agree to disagree.

 

Death of Steve Jobs

Nerds nationwide mourned the untimely passing of the founder of Apple Computers on October 5th (my birthday) due to pancreatic cancer. I am not all that technologically savvy, but I know enough to realize that Jobs belongs on the Mount Rushmore of the modern computer age.

 

Hurricane Irene

Near the end of August Irene made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Its path of destruction, mostly from flooding, extended clear up into the New York/New Jersey area, causing 56 deaths and $7 billion in damage.

 

10th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

America marked the decade anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks with modest ceremonies in New York, DC, and Shanksville, PA, as well as the requisite reflective coverage on television. So much has been said & written about that horrible day 10 years ago that I cannot add anything new. Just know that, for the victims & their families, we will n-e-v-e-r forget.

 

Deadly Tornado Hits Joplin, MO

On May 22 the small town of Joplin, about 70 miles west of Springfield, was hit with an F5 tornado that killed 160 people, injured nearly 1000, and did nearly $3 billion in damage. It was the costliest tornado in the history of the United States.

 

Occupy Wall St. Movement

Class warfare has been an effective tool for liberals in this country for centuries. Some people hate anyone who has more than them. That hatred reached a new peak in the fall of 2011 when a group of protesters decided to stage a massive sit-in at a park near New York City’s Wall Street, the financial epicenter of the nation. To my knowledge the protests…which have spawned numerous similar demonstrations nationwide…continue to this day. This kind of crap is the direct result of media & pop culture romanticization of the 1960’s. Instead of trying to learn from the wealthy and duplicate their success there is a whole new generation of dirty hippies that just want to sit around whining, bitching, and moaning about “big business” while they ignore the real problem, which is “big government”.

 

End of the War in Iraq

The nearly decade long Iraq conflict that began on the heels of 9/11 and the War on Terrorism came to an official close on December 5, 2011. I happen to believe that at one time there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that Saddam Hussein had some connection to Al Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks. However, I also would have preferred a much shorter American involvement. The objectives seemed unclear at times and the lack of an effective exit strategy was troubling. The Middle East will always be a hot spot for strife, and I do not believe any amount of military involvement or attempts to spread democracy will ever bring total peace.

 

Casey Anthony Trial

Caylee Anthony, the 2 year old daughter of Casey, went missing in the summer of 2008 and was found dead a few months later. This past summer the mother went on trial for killing her child. Casey appears to be a mentally unstable woman who got knocked up before she was ready and, as the theory goes, murdered her daughter so she’d have the freedom to go back to being a drunken party girl ho. Unfortunately for the millions who became emotionally invested in the trial like it was OJ Part 2, the prosecutors were inept and Anthony’s defense team used annoying little techniques like lack of evidence, burden of proof, and reasonable doubt to get her acquitted. Soccer Moms everywhere were so outraged that they…they…they put their porch lights on!! As if that was going to help anything.

 

 

And the Sammy goes to…..

 

The Republicans. I choose this story because, unlike other stories that have come & gone, this one has been a constant for most of the year and has been woven into the fabric of our daily lives. It is also significant because all the ups & downs, missteps, debates, and speechifying that has occurred over all these months will…eventually…lead to someone being nominated to run for President in 2012. That election may be one of the most important turning points in our nation’s history. 2011 has seen folks like Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Mitt Romey, Ron Paul, & Rick Perry become household names, even if each has had their weaknesses & foibles exposed for the entire world to pass judgment on. That’s American politics. It’s not perfect, but it’s still the best system in the world.

 

 

 

 

actresses Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Russell, Betty Garrett (Laverne & Shirley), Anne Francis (Forbidden Planet), Peggy Rea (The Dukes of Hazzard, Grace Under Fire)…former Secretary of State Warren Christopher…Apple Computers founder Steve Jobs…director Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network)…George Ballas (inventor of the Weed Eater)…“Dr. Death” Jack Kevorkian…Frank Buckles (the last surviving WW1 veteran)…fitness guru Jack Lalanne…Indy 500 Champion Dan Wheldon…golf legend Seve Ballesteros…saxophonist Clarence Clemons…boxer Joe Frazier…former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Chuck Tanner…former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro…blues musician Pinetop Perkins…alleged singer Amy Winehouse…producers Sherwood Schwartz (The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island) & Gil Cates (Academy Awards Show)…former First Lady Betty Ford…retired MLB pitcher Mike Flanagan…Jimmy Kimmel’s Uncle Frank Potenza…baseball broadcaster Ernie Johnson…former NY Governor Hugh Carey…Dolores Hope (widow of Bob Hope)…Big East Conference founder Dave Gavitt…singer Dobie Gray (Drift Away)…Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis…pollster George Gallup…cartoonist Bil Keane (The Family Circus)…journalists Andy Rooney & Christopher Hitchins…retired football players Orlando Brown, Bubba Smith, Mike Heimerdinger, Kent Hull, and Chester McGlockton…actors Michael Gough (Batman), Jeff Conaway (Taxi), Edward Hardwicke (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes), Jackie Cooper (Our Gang, Superman), Peter Falk (Columbo), James Arness (Gunsmoke), GD Spradlin (The Godfather Part II, One on One, North Dallas Forty, Apocalypse Now), Roberts Blossom (Home Alone, Doc Hollywood), Cliff Robertson (PT109, Spider-Man), Charles Napier (The Blues Brothers), and Harry Morgan (M*A*S*H, The Glenn Miller Story)…wrestling legends Sir Oliver Humperdink & “Macho Man” Randy Savage…baseball Hall of Famers Duke Snider, Ron Santo, and Harmon Killebrew…retired NBA players Robert “Tractor” Traylor, Lorenzo Charles, and Walt Hazzard…NFL Hall of Famers Andy Robustelli, John Henry Johnson, John Mackey, and Lee Roy Selmon