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Friday, February 29, 2008

Sex Sells – Dead Fish Smell

I am so glad that I am a fictional character in a novel. I don’t have to worry about the tricks I use to get you to read what I have to say. For example I got you to click on this article so it must be true that sex sells, but what does it sell? Does it offer happiness and or riches? Can it keep you from being lonely, or does it leave you feeling like a dead fish? Personally I have no sense of smell so it really doesn’t matter to me.

Speaking of dead fish, I was thinking about all the bright ideas and concepts that have ended up smelling like dead fish in the last year. There are so many. I wonder if in review of a few we can come up with a pattern of what not to do, and maybe even get a little insight into what we should do.

What ever happened to amnesty for illegal aliens? Did it die a legislative death because someone forgot to lock the barn door before prejudice and bigotry had a chance to get out, or is protecting our borders really the moral high ground, or are we all a bunch of cattle grazing in never, never land?

Maybe what we have to do is to reexamine our priorities. Are our personal prejudices worth sacrificing our moral values for? When if ever do we exhibit the character of our convictions?

What ever became of sportsmanship in sports? Did winning the game take over playing the game the right way? Did steroids become the performance drug of choice? Why do we watch games like football of baseball or hockey to begin with? Is it to see the violence? Is it to see who can hit the ball with more power? Is it to see who can cheat and win, and get away with it?

Maybe we have to reexamine why we like sports to begin with. Is it to see real talent do something wonderful with their natural mental and physical skills?

Why are our homes being foreclosed on, our credit markets disrupted, and our financial institutions experiencing large loses? Why are we running huge international deficits, and becoming dependant on countries like China and Saudi Arabia to finance our trade imbalances? Are we hooked on cheap imports and expensive oil?

Maybe it’s because we are playing musical chairs with our financial future, and the music is stopping, and we are not prepared to compete in the real world. Maybe it’s because we have tried to create wealth out of new fangled financial instruments and services that are not based on real values or real assets, and they and their faulty premises are coming undone. Maybe it’s because we have allowed the few to enrich themselves at the expense of the many, and it is all falling apart now that consumers have little left to borrow against with which to consume.

Maybe what we need to do is to return to basic values both in assets and in moral equity and in our spending and saving habits.

Why do nominees for high elective office lie and make things up. Is it to win our votes? Why do they run to begin with? Is it to gain power? Whose interests do they really have at heart – theirs or ours? How will we ever know before we vote them into office?

Maybe we should have trial periods for elected officials where each of the most popular nominees gets an equal chance to see what they would really do for the people when they get into office. Then we could make an educated choice. Maybe we need a constitutional amendment to allow us to have a President in training.

Why are our Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Supreme Court so ineffective at expressing the will of the people? Do they have their own priorities mixed up? Is this all part of a power play that benefits only them and the special interests?

Maybe we common folk, the consumers of product and services in this great land, need to express our displeasure by not buying anything made by companies who don’t have our best interests at heart. Maybe we ought to let these special interests know that we are not going to take their abuse of what’s in our best interests any more. Maybe we ought to start to express ourselves. Maybe we ought to tell the powers that be that we are tired of expensive oil, inferior products, and paying for medicines and medical treatments that we can’t afford and which aren’t working, and we are not going to do it any more.

When are we going to organize our spending habits and purchasing power so that the dead fish that these special interests and power hungry politicians are trying to sell us start to rot and smell in the light of day.

Maybe its time we started to exercise the natural instincts that God instilled in both our sexes. Maybe its time we started doing what comes naturally. Maybe it’s time to start making love; not war.

I think it’s time to mobilize our power in the interests of the greater good.

Maybe it’s time to start having faith in ourselves again. Maybe it’s time to start believing in our Country, and our God, and our freedom again. Maybe it’s time we started to value our lives again, and realize how much we have to be proud of, how much we have to be thankful for, and how much we have to protect.

Maybe we can put our heads together and come up with some of the answers.

Hi, this is Arthur Levine. To read more about Johnny’s opinions on world events or to add your own, please visit us at

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

CHAPTER 25 – SOUL-SEARCHING - Excerpt Johnny Oops

Johnny was serious about cleaning up his act. He called Doctor O’Hara over for an all night session. He said to the good doctor, “I have to clean up my act. I have to find out why I do such reckless things. I’m a father now. I have to be responsible.” Johnny was sweating, his eyes looked frantic. He was beginning to think of himself in the third person. He was becoming too introspective.

Doctor O’Hara laughed and said; “You know what your problem is? You have no character.”

Johnny scratched his head and replied, “What do you mean?”

The good doctor replied, “You have no backbone, no balls, no moral fiber. You’re a mush melon weakling who relies on hype to make himself look like a Guru, You’re a phony Johnny Oops.”

“What do you mean by that,” Johnny whispered?”

“I mean you’re a farce Johnny Oops. You’re a charlatan. You’re no philosopher genius. You’re just a guy with a glib tongue and a great line of bullshit about faith. If you ask me all that touchy feely stuff about Dialectic Spiritualism is a load of crap.”

“How can you talk like that to me? You’re calling me a liar. I thought you were my friend?”

“I am Johnny boy, that’s why I’m giving it to you straight. I’m trying to get you to see yourself for what you really are. I’m trying to get you to stop lying to yourself.”

“I don’t want to see myself this way. It’s horrible, what can I do to change? I can’t go on living like this.”

“You have to reach deep down within yourself and find your better half?”

“I thought you said there is no inner self?”

“In your case I’m willing to make an exception, it’s the only chance you have.”

“Why is it ever thus,” Johnny whispered?

“Because you have made yourself into some God damn type of Messenger and now I’m giving you the ‘word’.”

“Poor me, I’m being stabbed in the heart by my own ‘words’.”

“No Johnny, in what passes for your soul. In the place that determines who you really are.”

Johnny appeared almost hysterical. He shouted, “I’m going to change. You’re going to see a new Johnny. You’ll see.”

Doctor O’Hara scratched his head, “I don’t want to see a new anything, I want to see the real Johnny Oops. Why can’t I get this straight in your head?” Now the good doctor was whispering.

It went on and on like this for hours. After a while it became difficult to tell who was the patient and who was the doctor. Finally they both decided to have a drink and relax. One drink led to another.

Doctor O’Hara confessed to Johnny, “I have developed a deep-rooted sense of insecurity due to my inability to cure you of your mental inadequacies and machinations.

Johnny admitted to the good doctor that, “I view you as the father figure I always needed: someone of force and a disciplinarian.”

The two of them ended up hugging and crying before they both passed out on the couch.

Jody found them in a drunken stupor some time later limbs entangled on the couch. She ordered them both to the showers and had the housemaid bring them pots of steaming black coffee. When they had recovered sufficiently to countenance a lecture, she read them the riot act.

She told them, you have violated the doctor/client relationship and i hope that is as far as it went.”

They both sheepishly mumbled words of apology and retired to their respective rooms. Frankly neither one remembered what they said or what they did or didn’t do.

Doctor O’Hara used what remained of his faculties to make a mental note to make an appointment to see his own analyst.

Johnny made a mental note to try and remember what they had been discussing. For now our philosopher genius was safe just as he was or is that as much in peril of losing his soul as he ever was.

Whichever it is or isn’t, it doesn’t look like Johnny has much to lose. For now he is going to continue on his path to enlightened chicanery, convinced that he is, as it was preordained, a Guru of overwhelming dimension and practically no character at all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Election Madness

Sometimes it pays to be a fictional character in a novel. This way I don’t have to make up my mind about who to vote for.

I find the whole thing very confusing. It seems that everyone wants to change everything. Haven’t we been doing anything right?

All the candidates seem to want to stay in Iraq for between sixty days, and one year, or up to one hundred years. If we don’t want to set dates as to when we will leave then why have we?

On terrorism we finally seem to have struck a consensus. Every one of the potential nominees in both parties is against it. What I can’t understand is whether they think it is a good thing or a bad thing that we haven’t had another attack since 9/11, or is this all just politics as usual, and if so why does everyone want to change things? You can’t have it both ways as far as I’m concerned. Can’t we all agree we want peace and security all of the time?

When it comes to the economy again we seem to have reached a consensus that we are spending too much money, but no one can agree as to which programs to cut or why. I don’t know why people of both parties argue over this because we never seem to cut anything, or is this part of the changes we are going to make, and if so to paraphrase the Old Testament. Why is this year any different from any other year?

People tell me to stay the course. This constantly befuddles me. I didn’t know I was taking a course on how to or how not to win a war. I am also confused by the hue and cry to help people in the middle class. I thought we were trying to build a classless society.

On health care I am similarly confused. Are we trying to get the insurance companies to insure every one except for illnesses that they decide they will not cover, or are we asking people to set up their own health savings accounts so that they may decide not to cover themselves if it costs too much money? All I want to know is who pays and am I covered if I get sick, or you get sick, or any one you do or do not know gets sick, or if you even care?

My biggest problem is that as far as I can see: Republicans are starting to sound like Democrats, and Democrats are starting to sound like Republicans and both parties are starting to sound like Independents who evidently every body wants to be like. My question is if every one wants to be independent why aren’t they? Aren’t you tired of people telling you what to do and how to think? Isn’t it time you formed your own independent opinion?