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Bigly, Bigly Shakeups in My Own Personal White House

1 Aug

by Roger White                                                                              

 

DATELINE—THE WHITE HOUSE(HOLD), AUSTIN, TEXAS

 

In another abrupt move that has apparently become the modus operandi of the White House (that being the house in which ersatz columnist/pseudo-blogger/psoriasis counselor Roger White and family reside), Second-String Dog and Assistant Canine Communications Director Boney Scarapoochy has resigned his position just days after being assigned to the post. Scarapoochy declined comment on the sudden departure; however, when asked about the situation within the White House, Scarapoochy said only, “Rough.”

 

This latest WH shakeup comes only days after White House Chief of Yardwork Staff Rieeince Amoebus and Kitchen Press Secretary Shawn Slicer resigned their positions under what some observers are calling “unsettled circumstances.” Several reports indicate that since his exit Slicer has been seen on occasion smoking cigarettes and talking to buildings on the grounds of Shoal Creek Clinic.

 

The White House comings and goings of late follow a familiar pattern that began in January, when Acting Family Attorney Allie Yates was fired when she made it clear that she would not defend the Whites’ sweeping insulation ban. White had called for a total ban on all attic insulation from particular countries and announced plans to construct an enormous wall along the home’s southern property line to keep out raccoons, possums, field mice, coyotes, and progressive liberals. On the heels of Yates’ departure came the swift exit of Domestic Security Adviser Michael Phlegm in February. Phlegm was ousted when it became clear he had misrepresented his dealings with ambassadors from the rival Circle C neighborhood.

 

The White House revolving door of staff shakeups continued in May with the firing of James Klomey, the home’s director of the FBI (Flatulence, Belching, & Incontinence) and in July with the resignation of Wally Shrub, director of the family’s Office of Neighborhood Ethics. Shrub left soon after stating that the family’s home and reputation are “close to a laughingstock” compared to other domiciles with similar personality-addled heads of household.

 

Despite the rash of firings, resignations, departures, and refusals to accept appointments to high-level positions within the WH, family adviser Smellyanne Blondeway insists that the home is being run like a well-oiled machine. “The home is being run like a well-oiled machine,” Blondeway said, unblinking and immobile while apparently reading from a script. When asked to elaborate, Blondeway added, “The home is being run like a well-oiled machine.”

 

First Lady Susan White did note that newly hired White House Handyman and Overall Fix-it Technician G. Gordon Tiddy was “doing a wonderful job maintaining the interweb connections and things.” She went on to comment that not only are the house’s computers running better than ever but that the “interwebs” connections are so finely tuned currently that all internet activity in homes within a two-block radius of the White House are available for viewing in the home, as well.

 

The White House’s Mr. White emphasized that there is absolutely no chaos within the home, as “the failing Oak Hill Gazette and other liberal rags claim in their fake news.” White went on to say, for no apparent reason, that “I know words. I have the best words.” He added that he does not attend family financial meetings because, “You know, I’m like a smart person.”

 

Roger White is without a doubt the most brilliant, most unbelievably fantastic person with the name of White in the history of everything. Bigly. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com. Or not.

 

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Just Chill: Most News You Can’t Use

29 Oct

by Roger White

You’re familiar with the old saying, “Don’t shoot me. I’m only the messenger.” To this I say pish and posh. This old adage doesn’t apply anymore. The messenger today IS the problem. The messenger—this insincerely smiling, hair-weaved, plastic-faced talking head—needs to be shot in the behind with a paintball gun, and his message needs to be torn up, stomped on, and burned to ash. Pish and posh, I say.

The messenger I’m pishing and poshing on, of course, is the media—namely, the national outlets: CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. Do you ever stop to wonder why your stomach is nervous and sour all the time now, why your heart beats out the bossa nova, why you fret and bite your lip bloody just sending the kids to the school bus stop? The media, I tell you. It’s the media. stop the pressesBecause of our nonstop over-exposure to the national news organizations’ sensationalistic babble, we have all come to believe, consciously or not, that our world has become a living hell. As each of us workaday folks tries so hard just to crawl out of bed each morning to keep food on the table, the electricity on, and our children on the straight and narrow, we have to combat that nagging, pecking sense of doom—that we’re only a mere happenstance away from grisly death, violent criminal mayhem, or worse, a government-led socialist agenda.

Two real, recent examples of headlines from CNN: “Weatherman Eats Cat Vomit” and “Teens Attack Mom; Plan to Eat Her Liver.” No lie. Did we truly need to know this? And did these teens plan this liver feast after watching the weatherman scarf cat puke? These kinds of “news items” are not merely useless—they’re harmful.

Every single cotton-picking day you have to digest (no pun intended) BREAKING NEWS of the latest multiple homicide, the most shocking tale of kidnap, abuse, and mistreatment, the most recent sordid instance of demented behavior (and sometimes this doesn’t even involve Congress) such as the headlines above. The thing of it is—and here is where you have to stop yourself and understand motives—the world really isn’t all that bad. Really, it isn’t. It’s the media’s job, however, to make you feel that way. It’s not CNN’s goal per se to give every man, moidahwoman, and child in America a massive case of peptic ulcers, but it is their job to make money. And gruesome, terrible, apocalyptic headlines mean more views, which mean more advertisers, which mean more money. With news on a 24-hours-a-day-eight-days-a-week cycle now, every second of the day we are fed the most grisly, horrific stories that these “news gatherers” can find—because that’s what they think we want to see.

But here’s the deal. We’re not going to hell in a handbasket; it just feels like it. Did you know, for example, that since the early 1990s, crime has actually declined in the United States and that current crime rates are no worse than they were in the 1960s? True, these stats come from the U.S. Bureau of Justice. The homicide rate in America has declined substantially since 1992 from a rate of 9.8 per 100,000 persons to 4.8 in 2010, according to latest figures. That’s still high, as far as the rest of the industrialized world goes, but, hey, in Russia it’s 13 per 100,000, and in Venezuela it’s 48 per. And nobody here commutes to Honduras, right? There, the homicide rate is 78 per. We’re practically a Buddhist monastery by comparison.

Here’s more: A research think tank known as the Millennium Project produced these eye-opening numbers in 2011:

• The average life expectancy worldwide rose from 64 years in the mid-1980s to 68 years today.
• Infant mortality worldwide has fallen from nearly 70 deaths per 100,000 people to 40 deaths today.
• Poverty, defined by the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day, fell from 43 percent of the world population in the mid-1980s to 23 percent now.
• The percentage of the world population with access to water rose from 75 percent to more than 86 percent.
• Secondary school enrollment rose from 45 percent in the mid-1980s to nearly 70 percent today.
• The number of major armed conflicts declined from 37 in the mid-1980s to 26 today.


Unfortunately, these kinds of numbers aren’t found on your average national news site now. In yukkkfact, if you ask me, the best, most useful news you can find these days is in your local, community newspaper. The little weeklies and bi-weeklies that actually cover neighborhood news, civic involvement stories, and human interest items that have nothing at all do with cats in microwave ovens are where you’ll discover “news you can use.” As far as Fox and CNN and all the rest are concerned, pish and posh, I say.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

Oh, No! It’s NAP Time Again

21 Apr

by Roger White

There’s politics, and then there’s politics.

We are all well aware of the tragicomic events being played out on state and national levels, so I need not delve into that arena here. And if did proceed to delve, I would surely lose half of my tiny but faithful readership the minute I began naming the goobers. Besides, they’re all goobers anyway—I don’t care whether your side of the fence is painted red or blue (or purple, for that matter).

As soon we wake up and realize that they are all politicians first and real people second the better off—and less divided—we’ll be. Heck, half of them would change sides in a heartbeat if they thought it would keep them in power, and many of them have done just that.

And still politicians drivel on about protecting liberty and freedom and justice. You don’t hear much about the lobbyists and the earmarks and the free junkets to the Caymans. Today’s media doesn’t help any. Don’t get me started on those guys—that’s about three columns worth of material right there.

Wow. I said I wouldn’t delve, and yet here we are, delving. My apologies. No, the politics I wanted to vent about is the much more localized brand. Painfully so. Of late, I’ve been personally exposed to heavy, harmful doses of two varieties of politics—the adolescent species, which we’ll label Middle School Girl Politics (MSGP); and the local adult species, which we’ll call Neighborhood Association Politics (NAP).

One of them involves childish tantrums, teasing, silent treatments, and cruel power plays designed to crush another’s spirit, and the other is the Middle School Girl Politics.

We’ll take MSGP first, since it’s closer to home. One of my lovely daughters is currently enduring the hellish, three-year sentence known as middle school, and the other daughter just escaped from it. So I know of whence I whine.

I think we all remember middle school—or junior high, for those of you of the “duck and cover” Cold War bomb drills era. I still carry the scars from my hard-time stretch at Pauline G. Hughes Middle School (“The Rock,” we called it). Whenever I hear someone yell, “Hey, skinny!” I immediately reach to protect my schoolbooks and take off running. I’m in my fifties. I still do this.

But at least with boys, you get beat up a few times, and that’s usually it. Girls endure—and inflict—a much more insidious brand of persecution. Friendships are fluid; cliques mix and dissolve like a bad chemistry experiment. Self-esteem gets batted around like a badminton birdie. And just so I can go three-for-three with bad similes, carpool rides among former-friends-turned-rivals become as tense as a caffeine addict playing Jenga. You see, in Jenga, you have to very carefully pull out these wood blocks… Oh, never mind.

Anyway, I have come to understand the term “frenemy” quite well.

A hopeful sign emerged when my daughter and her frenemies immersed themselves in MSGP recently. After trying to wait out the petty games and tearful episodes, the parents of all parties involved sat our little politicians down and set them straight. This isn’t the way to behave, we instructed. This isn’t how adults conduct themselves, and you young ladies are quickly becoming adults, we admonished.

Thank goodness our young ladies haven’t been paying attention to the neighborhood “adults” these days. It’s NAP time, and the local self-important ones are in full stride.

You see, several positions on the neighborhood association board came up for election not long ago, and our tranquil little suburban oasis has melted like quicksilver into Peyton Place. One faction is up in arms because it believes another faction is trying to run all the “childless couples” out of the community. One group is at war with another group because they went about attacking the oak wilt problem all wrong. A certain bloc is convinced there’s a conspiracy afoot to effectively close off the association pool to anyone not affiliated with the neighborhood swim team. One splinter group claims malfeasance on the part of association management in the collection and expenditure of neighborhood funds. When pressed for specifics, these complainants couldn’t come up with any hard evidence; my personal opinion is that they just wanted to use the word “malfeasance” in a public forum.

The public comments section of the web site our neighborhood association maintains currently reads like the transcript of a Jerry Springer show. Congress would be proud. I know that if I informed my daughter of all these shenanigans, she’d surely tell me that this isn’t how adults conduct themselves. Don’t be so sure there, young one. Classic case of “do as I say…”

The good thing is, NAP time will blow over until the next election, so we can all go back to being frenemies again.

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat daschund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.