Random Shots: Oh, Those Good Old Days

Against the Current, No. 49, March/April 1994

R.F. Kampfer

SEEMS LIKE ONLY yesterday, after the Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, that people were bragging (on the right), or worrying (on the left) that the United States would exercise “unrestricted world hegemony.” Needless to say, that was before Somalia, Yugoslavia and Haiti.

Personal problems have no meaning these days: Next to Sarajevo, everything else must become trivial.

There is an unreasonable display of anxiety about the prospect of North Korea building a couple of nuclear bombs. One might ask what good the Soviet Union ever got from its extensive and expensive nuclear arsenal. The only people who might get away with using nukes would be those who don’t have any territory of their own to lose.

Speaking of which: The Sicilian Mafia is reported to be shopping around the former Soviet Union for tactical nukes. That should be enough to keep the most recalcitrant dry-cleaner in line.

Meanwhile the National Rifle Association says that honest citizens need handguns for protection from criminals. Hunters know that even experienced target shooters tend to fire wild and often the first time a deer pops out of the bushes. Expect an even greater level of “buck fever” when confronting an armed assailant Talk about your collateral damage.

Kampfer’s Kulfure Komer

THEATER OWNERS HAVE concerns about audience response to the “Gettysburg” epic. Said one: “I started out with groups of people arguing strategy and tactics during intermission. Next they started coming in uniform. First thing you know, they’re organizing into units and reenacting the battle during the movie. Heth’s division got ambushed in the lobby by Buford’s cavalry last week Then the 20th Maine starts digging in to keep Hood out of the left balcony, and Stuart’s cavalry annoys everyone by wandering in when the movie is two-thirds over. Now Longstreet is massing troops to throw Hancock out of the mezzanine. The ushers can barely sweep up the Minie balls between shows. It’s getting worse than the ‘Rocky Horror Show.”

A new retrospective of the “Leave It To Beaver” show will feature Ward’s long-lost illegitimate son, Eldridge.

When Jane Fonda went to the Soviet Union in 1975 to act in The Blue Bird, she surprised the Russian crew by wanting to talk about Lenin. Now she’s gone back to Russia to lecture on diet and exercise.

Really Random Reports

THE CHIAPAS UPRISING should give a lot of NAFTA supporters second thoughts about investing in Mexico.

Remember when “flesh-colored” band-aids were all pink? In these more enlightened times they are available in “peach” and “coffee.”

Spring Training Note: In hopes of improving their lackluster performance, the Detroit Tigers spend the winter at “Pitchers’ Camp” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. No means were provided; the players ate whatever birds or animals they could knock over with baseballs.

A lot of companies are installing exercise equipment at the workplace lately. This is just a sneaky way of finding out who isn’t working hard enough.

As part of the Clinton administration’s on-going program of toadying to the Republican Party, the post office is planning to release a Richard Nixon stamp. The main problem with preliminary designs is that people keep spitting on the wrong side.

Regardless of how Tonya Harding does in the Olympics, she’s had offers from several hockey teams.

March/April 1994, ATC 49