Picking on the Pope; pithy phrases; creative economy stimulation

Stolen jokes of the week
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  February 27, 2013
While Phillipe and Jorge are bona fide yucks-a-minute geniuses, we must occasionally draw on other sources for the boffo humor our readers deserve.

So we offer up two recent bits from the English magazine, Private Eye, the best alternative news source in the UK. Both concern Pope Benny Andajets. The first: a picture of Herr Pop Ratzinger with the caption, "Like all good Catholics, I pulled out early." The second was in the magazine's "Poetry Corner," which normally focuses on the recently deceased and mentions his or her signature catchphrase.

In Memoriam Pope Benedict XVI So. Farewell Then, Pope Benedict XVI. You have decided to take early Retirement. "In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti." That was your catchphrase. "Seig Heil." That was another One from An earlier time. But we don't much Mention that Now.

Word games

We've seen plenty of bullshit linguistics out of Congress — aided and abetted by the media. Think "Operation Desert Storm," "Operation Enduring Freedom" and "shock and awe." But we've reached a new low with "sequestration," bland code for kick-in-the-nuts spending cuts that will go into effect if no deficit reduction deal is struck by March 1.

"Sequestration" may even be worse than the "prosecution" of the war in Afghanistan. Sounds so Law and Order, doesn't it? This is no slick NBC production. What we're actually doing is fighting a war in a godforsaken hellhole run by opium dealers and crooks half a world away. Another favorite is "extraordinary rendition," the euphemism for the US taking unindicted, lawyer-less terrorists to torture chambers in foreign countries where battery cables tied to the groin and regular beatings are S.O.P. Or what about the use of "quantitative easing" to boost the economy? That, boys and girls, is essentially printing more money, devaluing the five bucks you have in your pocket for a Big Mac and Coke. Next time you hear anyone use these phrases, give him a sharp slap upside the head. And make it two if they babble on about a "paradigm shift."

Helping hands

As many of you know, Hurricane Sandy had a particularly devastating effect on the Rockaways in New York. Stephanie Penzell, a native of the Rockaways who lives in Rhode Island, wrote this in a Facebook appeal for help:

"In the streets, homes and businesses [of] the Rockaways, there was...6'-11" of ocean water, sewage, sand, oil from dislodged tanks, wet asbestos, fiberglass insulation, boardwalk and all sorts of things floating around. The day after, a local all volunteer group [the Graybeards] . . . went into action. They pumped out, mucked out, cleaned out homes and have not stopped to this day. They gave out gift cards for food, Home Depot, and helped more people than one would be able to list." Stephanie has put together a fundraiser to support the Graybeards. It takes place March 3 from 1 to 10 pm at Fête in Olneyville. There will be children's activities, a raffle, and performances by (among others) Tish Adams (with Willie Myette, Joe Potenza, Alex Chapman, and Art Manchester), John Fuzek, Mark Cutler, Dennis McCarthy, the Bob Kendall Band, Psychedelic Clown Car, Tai Funmilayo Awolaju from Boo City, and Big Nazo. A very worthwhile and fun event to aid our friends in the Rockaways.

Local color

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