Here in newspaper columnist land, summer is usually a down time for reader questions and comments, as everyone but yours truly takes some needed vacation time. But not this summer. What local columnist Doug Robarchek used to call The Ol' Mailbag has been working overtime in all this hot weather. We feel sorry for her. So without further ado, let's get to another episode of Ask Boomer With Attitude.
Dear BWA: Since the news has told us what's on Obama's iPod, you should research and find out what's on John McCain's iPod, if he has one or knows what one is. -- Denise Lawter
Dear Denise: Thanks a lot; it's hard to think of a better set-up from a reader than your question. In fact, the hard-working BWA staff has been looking into that very issue and we have answers for you. According to McCain spokesperson Joe Methuselah, "The Senator is down with iPods. He thinks they're hep and cool and, uh, fresh, or something. When you see what songs he's listening to, you'll know how in touch with young people's concerns Sen. McCain really is." Methuselah then read a list of some of the songs on McCain's iPod: "Old Man" -- Neil Young; "Certified Senior Citizen" -- Mose Allison; "Cardiac Arrest" -- Madness; "I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore" -- The VW Boys; "In Our Old Age" -- Kenny Rogers; "Way Back When I Was Sixty-Four" -- The Beatles; "Older 'n Everybody" -- Lou & Peter Berryman; "Old Man Death" -- Ralph Stanley; "What I Used To Do All Night Now Takes Me All Night To Do" -- Billy C. Wirtz; "Geritol Gypsy" -- Faith Petric; "Not Dark Yet" -- Bob Dylan; "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" -- Elmore James; "Terrible Operation Blues" -- Big Bill Broonzy; "The Drugs Don't Work" -- The Verve; Gershwin's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"; "Grandpa's Hologram" -- Austin Lounge Lizards; "Gotta Get Up" -- Nilsson; "Chemo Limo" -- Regina Spektor; "Old Friends" -- Simon and Garfunkel; and "A Pirate Looks At Eighty" -- Jimmy Buffett.
Dear BWA: I read your blog item and I want to know how in hell you can be against drilling for oil off the coast? -- Liberals Are Dumbasses
Dear Liberals Are Dumbasses: Nice nickname, by the way. Three reasons for not drilling off the coast:
1. Experts agree that new drilling won't reduce the price of gasoline one bit.
2. Oil spills.
3. The tourism industry will go nuts at the prospect of oil rigs squatting a few miles from their beaches.
4. Like junkies whose only thought is "more heroin, the "Drain America First" crowd has no vision other than "more oil." Instead of hundreds of new oil platforms just off the coast, the U.S. needs to move rapidly and drastically -- think Kennedy and the "man on the moon within a decade" project -- to produce energy from sources that would end our deadly addiction.
Now, back to your nickname. You might be interested in this Los Angeles Times story, titled "Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain": www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-politics10sep10,0,5982337.story. The study in question showed that progressives and conservatives do indeed think in different ways, with the former more open to new or changing information, while the latter are more narrowly focused (what we progressives like to call "that damned right-wing tunnel vision").
Dear BWA: Isn't anyone going to do anything about the United Way's Gloria Pace King taking home more than a million dollars? -- Completely, Absolutely, Totally Disgusted
Dear Completely, etc.: No, not really, at least not anyone at the United Way itself. Apologies for the brouhaha, and explanations of the group's previous financial incompetence, have been issued, but actual concrete steps to calm the public uproar haven't been forthcoming, as of our deadline. Ms. King has been notably absent from the debate, without even a nod in the direction of the peons for whom she is ostensibly concerned enough to help out. It's all grotesque, of course, no matter what kind of spin the United Way board members put on it. The most grotesque thing about the situation, though, is how clueless and out of touch the board and Ms. King come across to the public on whose good will they are utterly dependent.