A House Divided

A House Divided

By Larry Teren

I generally try to avoid any discussion of politics in this blog site. There are two things, however, that I noticed in the last couple of days that I cannot leave alone. One is a news analyst on election night using the expression “a house divided” and the other is an idiotic article written by a smug generation x-er on a left coast print media website. Continue reading “A House Divided”

Jon Stewart is Not Funny

By Larry Teren


Jon Stewart is not funny. Dick Gregory and Mort Sahl, funny.

jon_stewartRecently Jon Stewart went on a news talk show on the Fox Cable Network to compare his and Fox’s hidden agenda in their broadcasts. He railed to Chris Wallace, the amiable host, on how disingenuous the cable network was in presenting the news. He kept on emphasizing the point that he was an entertainer first and not a person out to present his opinion on the news. Jon Stewart claimed that he picks on anyone and everyone who deserves it and that if it seems as if the Fox network bears the majority of his criticism, then so be it.
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Stanley’s Goodfellow

I bumped into my buddy Stanley – you know, the one who sells bicycle parts now and got arrested by the police a generation ago? We got to talking about movies. He says Robert Deniro is his favorite actor but gets uncomfortable whenever he sees him in certain gangster movies. Naturally, I asked him why.

“Why?!”, said Stanley, “because I experienced my own private little ‘Goodfellas’.” Naturally, I asked him to elaborate.

“Well, remember when I told you how I worked for the Clerk of the Circuit Court in Chicago back in the early1980’s? I was there full time in the summer and part time during the school year ’cause I had another part time job closer to home besides doing the Maxwell Street thing on Sundays. Hey, a growing kid has got to have pocket money, right?” I nodded.

“So, in the Clerk’s Office there was this fellow we all called Uncle Lou. He always dressed real nice, better some of the department heads. He had a certain quiet confidence about him. You had to work yourself into his trust slowly but surely. For some reason, he liked me- didn’t consider me competition, I guess. Now and then, he’d toss tips on the races at Arlington Park and usually they were right on. Made some nice extra dough, you know.

“It came holiday time in December and our office was gonna have a big party. Uncle Lou somehow became in charge of procuring the food. He asked the supervisor if I could help him and the guy said it was okay.

“Uncle Lou takes me to his car, tosses me the keys and says, ‘you drive, Stosh.’ No one ever called me Stosh except Lou. Here I was a 22 year old young punk, naive but not stupid. He tells me to drive his big, black Caddy to an address on Taylor Street on the Near West Side but that along the way we would make a few stops. At each stop the person he was talking to would always use the word ‘boss’ in addressing him. It suddenly dawned on me that maybe Lou was not so kosher- possibly connected to an organization that I wanted no part of.
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The Last Kennedy

Recently I read where Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island retired from public office making him the last Kennedy in a line of sixty five years in a national level office. Some people, probably of the liberal persuasion, consider this a tragedy. Of course, that is a misuse of the expression itself. Others are grateful hoping that the future does not provide opportunity for a new streak.

Which side of the fence you are on has a lot to do with how old you are. Many of us remember when Ted Kennedy in 1969 left the scene of an accident that involved the death of a campaign staffer for his late brother Robert. Somehow the car Ted drove ended up at the bottom of a Chappaquiddick water channel with a young lady in it. A medical report asserted that Mary Jo Kopechne did not die right away but possibly up to two hours later while trapped in the submerged vehicle. No one ever got a straight answer from Ted as to why he did not report the incident immediately to authorities but rather, as he claimed, tried to help her with the assistance of two others who had been to the party he had just left. The tragic event killed his chances for running for President in 1972 because public opinion around the country- maybe not so much in Massachusetts- was that he could not be counted on in a crisis.
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