Cranky Day

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Lucky, lucky you! You picked the right day to read this column. Today is CRANKY DAY and that means only one thing – you get to read venom-laced diatribes on a wide variety of aggravating subjects. So settle in, sit back, relax, and get ready to be thoroughly annoyed right along with me. Remember, on Cranky Day it’s all cranky all the time.

1. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again now, please everybody, stop using the term “iconic.” That word is overused, misused, and irritating. According to many in the media, every old celebrity is labeled an “icon” and every famous thing, if it’s been around long enough, is called “iconic.” As in, “The iconic City Hall building downtown,” or “Patty Andrews from the iconic Andrews Sisters singing group.” Stop it already. Buy a thesaurus and find another term.

2. CBS has decided not to renew their contract with producers of the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. This means that for the first time in over 20 years the July 4th show will not be televised nationally. The show’s executive producer, David Mugar, says that the ratings for the show have declined in recent years which led to CBS dropping it.

We all understand the hard, cold facts of TV ratings, but of all the years to drop the Boston Pops July 4th show, this shouldn’t have been the year. Following the horrific Boston terrorist bombing last April, this was the perfect opportunity to make a truly spectacular 4th of July celebration show which would have brought pride and goose bumps to Americans from coast to coast. We were all Bostonians on that awful April day when those two bombs changed the lives forever of so many at the marathon. It would have been great to see Boston, three months later, at its best once again, stronger than ever and proudly patriotic. Shame on CBS for pulling the plug. Talk about lousy timing.

3. Kevin Clash, the Elmo puppeteer who was forced to resign amid allegations that he sexually abused underage boys, won three Daytime Emmy Awards this past week for his work on Sesame Street. In bestowing these honors on an accused child molester, the entertainment industry has proven itself once again to be devoid of any semblance of morality, sensitivity, and decency. Yeah, I’m sure there wasn’t anyone else on television worthy of these Emmy Awards, especially since this guy has already won 23 of these trophies in the past. Way to go, television academy! What a classy organization!

4. Charlie Rose had President Obama on his PBS show recently and asked him about the NSA’s domestic surveillance program where it has been divulged that they have been collecting telephone data and e-mails on Americans. Rose said, “You famously talked about what you called the wrong choice between security and freedom. Where do you put what NSA is doing in that balance between security and freedom?” Obama replied, “What I can say unequivocally, is that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your e-mails.”

Did you get what Obama said? A U.S. PERSON? What in the hell is a U.S. person? Does that mean a U.S. citizen? Or does he mean anyone living in the U.S.? I have never heard any president (or anyone actually) use the term “a U.S. person.” Maybe he just doesn’t like to use the term U.S. citizen. Which reminds me of something I have noticed for quite awhile now. President Obama never uses the phrase, “My fellow Americans” when giving a speech from the White House like just about every other president has done. I don’t know what that means, it may mean nothing, but I don’t ever remember him saying that.

5. And last but not least, great news for the canvas tote bag industry. On Tuesday, June 18, the Los Angeles City Council banned plastic bags, becoming the largest American city to do so. The new law also calls for a ten-cent charge per paper bag. Any store that violates this law will be subject to a fine. Any private person who is seen walking out of a supermarket with a plastic bag is subject to immediate arrest without bail. (I made up that last part, but the rest of the story is true.) Government mandated grocery bags? You betcha. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Wait until Obamacare kicks in.

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