Screwballs & Slurry Singers

I did not attend the Conservative Political Action Conference.  That was partly because, like Chris Christie, I wasn’t invited.  But it was also because I can’t imagine voluntarily sitting through days of speeches.  To me, it verges on enhanced interrogation, but without the water.  After listening to Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and Mitch McConnell, I suspect I’d tell my tormentors just about anything they wanted to know.

What I don’t get is why anyone wants to sit and listen to these people read speeches to them for hours on end.  In fact, if I had the power, I wouldn’t let any politician ever speak from a podium unless he or she then had to take and answer questions from people like me.  And that definitely includes Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Michael Bloomberg.  The way these people get away with uttering sheer balderdash, it’s no wonder they come to regard themselves as godlike.

For instance, not too long ago, John Boehner said that he trusted Barack Obama, and nobody got to say, “Well, you’re a pinhead, John.  A little over four years ago, when George Bush had sent the national debt soaring to nine trillion dollars, Sen. Obama announced that the sky was falling.  Now that he’s raised it an additional seven trillion dollars, he said we had nothing to worry about.”

If Boehner really believes that bespeaks a trustworthy man, he’s an idiot who has no more business than my big toe being the Speaker of the House.

Speaking of Obama, apparently when he condescended to break bread with the Senate Republicans, he merely broke the bread, he didn’t eat it.  In fact, apparently he didn’t eat anything because his food taster wasn’t on duty.  Now, for all I know, perhaps every president employs one of those people, especially when he’s dining with members of the opposition party.  But if he’s that paranoid, what happens when he’s vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard and we get to see him having an ice cream cone?  Does it mean that some guy named Charley was skulking in the back room and got to take that dangerous first lick?

I read that Republican Sen. Rob Portman is getting kudos for reversing his position when it comes to same-sex marriages.  Apparently it happened because his son Will came out of the closet.  Frankly, I would have had more respect for Portman if he had simply had an honest change of heart.

If I found out I had a gay son, I would still love him, but why would I change my core beliefs?  Why shouldn’t Will change his position in order to prove how much he loves his father?  To me, it makes as much sense as saying that Portman was opposed to bank robbery or jay-walking, but only until he found out that his son robbed banks or was an inveterate jay-walker.

Because there is so much about modern society to despise, sometimes things slip by without anyone’s noticing.  For instance, in the wake of the gun debate, a lot of us have argued that one of the main causes of these recent massacres is that obviously crazy people aren’t being confined in mental institutions.  What makes this so totally illogical, not to mention reprehensible, is that we are constantly confining old people for no other reason than their age, treating them as if they had the plague, but we allow dangerous loons to roam free.

What’s more, we allow lawyers to use the lunacy of their clients as a defense in murder and rape trials, but once ObamaCare fully kicks in, death panels — or whatever euphemism the liberals come up with — will have the power to determine which old people live and which ones die.

This brings us to those I refer to as slurry singers.  It has often amazed me that people who will agree on virtually every issue under the sun will almost come to blows when it comes to those who don’t share their taste in movies, TV shows, actors and even singers.  In my case, I have spent nearly 60 years disagreeing with people when it comes to Elvis Presley.  He first burst on the scene when I was in high school, and although I rather liked “Heartbreak Hotel,” I never could stand listening to him.

Over the years, I couldn’t help noticing that I was just about the only person I knew who felt that way.  Understand, I don’t really object to being in the minority.  I figure there are people who like all sorts of things I don’t like, and although it annoys me when people don’t agree with me when it comes to politics, I tend to be a live-and-let-live sort of guy.  I simply figure I’m right and they’re wrong.

The thing that recently occurred to me was that there was a group of singers I could never bear listening to, and they included, along with Presley, Dean Martin, Phil Harris, Johnny Mercer and Louis Prima.  To me, they all sounded like they had mush in their mouths and that a song’s lyrics were lucky to get out alive.

The reason I’m making this confession is because I suspect that just as I know that some people only felt free to speak openly and honestly about cilantro after I insisted it tasted like something that had been found in the cat’s sandbox, I suspect there are some people who feel as I do about these slurry singers, but have been cowed into silence for far too long, just waiting for someone to come along and point out, as it were, that the King’s new clothes don’t leave much to the imagination.

Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • Takincareofbusiness

    I never really got Elvis either & I’m from redneck SW Ohio. I just kept my mouth shut. I like him more now that he’s gone, but still not his music. I can’t get enough of cilantro except when I was pregnant the odor gave me the heaves. Now cumin on the other hand tastes like the smell in the air at the ape house at the zoo, in other words, gorilla sweat.

  • Stimpy

    Bob Dylan was a genius songwriter, not a good singer. Elvis’ guitarist James Burton was awesome. Elvis was pretty good too. I agree with your assessment of the other old time singers, especially Dean Martin. To each his own.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Stimpy: Exactly. I just wanted other non-Presley fans to know they weren’t alone. Frankly, even I was surprised to discover in my in-box how many there were, who had been hiding in the shadows for 30 or 40 or 50 years.

      Burt

  • http://www.facebook.com/dangremillion Daniel Gremillion

    everybody wants to belong to a tribe or a fraternity or sorority. takes a real independent thinker to not belong. david mamet pointed that out clearly in his book, the secret knowledge. i disagree about elvis and deano and louis primo. occupation gi blues and hound dog were great, deano had cool, and primo’s band out of new orleans, sam butero and the witnesses, were innovative and rocked. but then i lived in new orleans and am part of that tribe. but each to his own. i can do without beyonce and the boss!

  • http://www.facebook.com/phil.silverman.9 Phil Silverman

    R U joking about the “death panels” of AFCA? And you just said you can’t stand Palin-isms!!!

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Phil: I don’t recall saying anything about Palin-isms. I have said I can’t stand her voice (speaking voice, that is). What would you call the small number of bureaucrats who will determine, thanks to ObamaCare, what sort of medical attention the elderly will be entitled to receive in the future? I think death panel captures it pretty well, no matter who called it that first.

      Burt

  • http://www.facebook.com/phil.silverman.9 Phil Silverman

    I don’t like your flip’ use of “enhanced interrogation”.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Phil: Are you quickly getting the idea that I don’t really care what you do or don’t like?

      Burt

  • sheila0405

    I concur with your dislike of Elvis Presley. The only song I liked was “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”. And, you can add Bruce Springsteen to the slurry singer list. Have you ever tried to glean the lyrics of “Philadelphia”? I rest my case.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Sheila: Judging by my email, a lot more people dislike Presley than I had ever imagined. We are definitely not alone. I also dislike Springsteen and we shouldn’t overlook the nasally Bob Dylan when compiling a list of the world’s worst singers.

      Burt

      • http://www.facebook.com/phil.silverman.9 Phil Silverman

        yeah, but they LOVE all his imitators.

        • Burt Prelutsky

          Are you still hanging around? Who’s this “they” you have in mind? Certainly not I.

  • cmacrider

    Burt: You wrote that Sen. Rob Portman is “reversing his position when it comes to same-sex marriages” Obviously your sources of information on this topic seems to be more detailed than the mainstream media.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      cma: I’m not sure what your point is. He did reverse his position and the media did report it.

      Burt

      • cmacrider

        burt.: I think you missed the double entendre.

  • GlenFS

    I am married to a Puerto Rican, so encountered cilantro for the first time early on in my marriage. My first taste I recall describing as like “dishwater”. I still don’t care to taste dishwater, but very much like cilantro. Since cilantro has not changed, my taste must have. Perhaps this is what happened to Rob Portman?

    • Burt Prelutsky

      GlenFS: Perhaps cilantro has changed. I understand that marijuana has changed over the years, so perhaps the same holds true for this other disgusting plant.

      As for Portman, I don’t have a problem with those who argue for gay marriages. I merely disagree with them. But I don’t think that waking up and finding you have a gay son is a good reason to change one’s mind. It’s like being for or against capital punishment and then reversing oneself if one’s son is either murdered or murders another. That’s not the same as gathering new information or having one’s mind changed by a convincing argument.

      Burt

      • GlenFS

        Burt, I agree with your remarks on gay marriage and changing one’s mind for reasons other than principle. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the political capital to oppose it when we’re $17 Trillion down the hole. To me, that must be our political focus. The next generation does not share our social values, but they might wake up to statists flushing their future at the alter of liberalism and vote conservative or libertarian.

        • Burt Prelutsky

          GlenFS: Well, I don’t share the social values, or lack of values, of the next generation, but I don’t think that’s a good reason to surrender the field. Most people used to favor abortions, but that’s no longer the case. Sometimes people grow up, though that’s not often the case with liberals.

          Burt

          • http://www.facebook.com/dangremillion Daniel Gremillion

            napoleon nor patton nor hitler won every battle. we better begin picking and choosing or we will lose the whole enchilada.

      • sheila0405

        This is true. If my own son or daughter were murdered, I’d still not want the death penalty imposed.

        • Burt Prelutsky

          sheila: And if your son or daughter were murdered, I would be in favor of the death penalty being imposed….even if the murderer were my own son.

          As I see it, it’s obscene that a murderer gets to outlive his victim by more than a few weeks, let alone several decades.

          Burt

  • Wheels55

    I am amazed that politicians lie / change their minds like the wind / forget what they said before – especially in an age where everything they do is recorded. I am dismayed at the media for not using the one thing they have at their finger tips, these same recorded items, to create headlines. What dopes they are. Controversy sells.

    Burt, you can’t compare being gay to being a bank robber. Maybe gay can be compared to practicing proctology without a license.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Wheels: Maybe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Quinn/100002835750687 Brian Quinn

    There’s something seriously wrong with someone who doesn’t like Elvis Presley. He was the complete package and could sing in every musical genre available to him. I suspect he, like many people, have not listened to any Elvis songs beyond the 1950′s. He should listen to Elvis’ version of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ for openers – it is even better than the original by Simon and Garfunkel. No ‘mush’ in Elvis’ voice here!!

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Brian: Unfortunately, there was no way to escape listening to Presley after the 1950s. God knows I tried.

      But anyone who would suggest there is something seriously wrong with someone who didn’t like to listen to Presley sing must have something seriously wrong with him.

      Burt

    • sheila0405

      Elvis sucked. I heard his music my entire life. I was born in 1955. He got worse as he got older. He massacred “Bridge”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dangremillion Daniel Gremillion

      no way on bridge otw.