Random Shots: PROgress and CONgress

Against the Current, No. 57, July/August 1995

R.F. Kampfer

HAVING FAILED TO pass the balanced budget and term limits as constitutional amendments, Newt Gingrich will try to have them made the Eleventh and Twelfth Commandments.

What’s the message from Congress this year? “Stop us before we spend more.

We would much rather pay higher taxes to support public radio than endure the excruciating boredom of an NPR fund drive.

Economics: The Longest Wave

REGARDING THE DEBATE among Marxist theoreticians on the “long waves” of economic crisis, Jim Devine of Loyola Marymount University has discovered the solution:

“People are forgetting the 3000-year Evined cycle, which has been well-documented even though there is as yet only one data point. The Evined theory incorporates 10 Braudel `duree” cycles, each of which incorporates six Kondratieff waves, each of which incorporates five 10-year cycles. Most scholars of the Evined cycle have concluded that we’ve just finished a 1500-year `up phase’ (a.k.a. `the rise of the Western World’) and are about to commence a 1500-year `down phase.’ One of the clearest signs of this reversal is the widespread popularity of the TV shows `Barney’ and `Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ as replacements for previous world religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. However, it should be noticed that the ubiquitous phenomenon of overdetermination again plays a role: on the political level, the rising popularity of the `Phil Donahue’ haircut among politicians seems a harbinger of the beginning of the end.”

Eat, Drink and Make Whoopee

JACK LONDON DESCRIBED one South Pacific island where men drank between drinks, and another where “between drinks” was an unknown concept. The United States is approaching this condition in regard to election campaigns.

Abstinence is to sex as anorexia is to weight control.

The Food Police suggest substituting yogurt in recipes that call for sour cream. If all they care about is what it looks like, why not use mayonnaise?

“That’s the low-fat stuff. You have to use twice as much.” –Roseanne

Kampfer’s Kulture Korner

IN RESPONSE TO the current upsurge of interest in religion, next month’s Playboy will feature Women of the New Testament.

The O.J. Simpson case is the result of a conspiracy by Siskel and Ebert to prevent the production of any more “Naked Gun” movies.

About “Maverick:” Instead of having Jodie Foster imitate Goldie Hawn for two hours, why not just cast Goldie Hawn in the first place?

“Tank Girl” may set the fashion in clothing for the kids this summer, but real tanks aren’t that much fun. They are cramped and noisy and everything tastes like diesel fuel. Of course, you could say the same thing about many of the clubs.

Closing thoughts

ONE OF THE milder forms of Trial by Ordeal during the Middle Ages called for the accused to stuff a whole bread roll into his mouth and swallow it without choking to death.

Navajo wives who aren’t getting along with their husbands can publicly disgrace them by refusing to braid the husband’s hair.

“Dollars to doughnuts” is getting to be a pretty even bet.

ATC 57, July-August 1995