Sun. May 26th, 2024

This week’s Inspection will be a bit different. I must admit: I have done three week’s of rewrites on two columns I’m still not happy with. So, instead, this will be a random collection of observations regarding seemingly unconnected, yet senseless, things. Please feel free to enlighten me as to how they might make sense, or suggest senseless things I may have not included in this rant. How much have I missed? A plethora, I’m sure.

Interstate Interchanges

I have noticed when the feds revamp interchanges for interstates they favor fly overs. You know, the kind where to go east you have to go west and then swing back west, or to go west you are trying to exit east? Now I have seen a few where it makes sense: had to be done, but most of them could have been designed without those hugely expensive fly overs that often find us headed the wrong damn direction because they are counter intuitive: left to go right, right to go left. They make no sense.

Bush I

OK, I understand Reagan. He cut an image. A phony image, but yes, “image.” Criticize as we must, I think even the biggest Reagan hater will admit his mediocre acting skills did create an image the more mindless might follow to the pits of Hell. And they did/still do. But Bush worship? Ah… don’t get it. Makes no damn sense.

Despite attempts to make Bush I less wimpy, he was a wimp. Nasal, bland, jerked around by both sides, when not jerked around acted like a jerk. From “voodoo economics,” to “read my lips,” he couldn’t find a happy place between the two.

What’s there to love?

Not much, but more than Bush II.

What about Bush II? Well, read a little more. I’ll get there. Be patient.

Cable TV and Satellite Radio

My little valley here in Tennessee has probably the worst above ground reception for a place where the towers are sometimes no more than ten miles as the hungry vulture flies, when the vulture hot line informs him about a fresh kill. Being an operator on that hot line during an equally hot summer would surely… rot… wouldn’t it?

So I went with Direct TV quite a few years ago.

I spend a good portion of my life on the road. Looking for tolerable radio programs where the signals lasted more than 10-30 miles was tough, so I decided to “dish up” with more than just TV, but radio too. I put Sirius in all my vehicles.

Entertainment-wise it’s like visiting a friend’s house and he has a rather limited CD/record/DVD collection. He plays the same damn things over and over: certainly not any “extras” or unknown cuts. So now my TV plays the same old movies over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and…

800 plus channels of nothing.

My radio plays the same songs over and over: creative radio programming worse than AM just before FM left it in the dust. Oh, and mostly the worst talk show hosts they can find. Instead of three hours of Tom Hartmann, “Hell, no, only one hour because we have to have some old screechy hag who talks about such substantial topics as holes in her underwear.”


They shifted their entire programming so she could have the exact hours she demanded. But don’t think me ungrateful. Without that I’m sure they would not have Hartmann and just more screech, kvetch, piss, moan and underwear stories.

She’s only matched in her curmudgeonly hatred for everyone: Left, Right, or in general, by the marginally more entertaining mid-morning host. Now some curmudgeons can be entertaining from time to time, like the mid-morning man. Her? Not so much.

Then, to top it off, late afternoon Sirius Left hired some guy whose rhetoric strongly suggests he believes his race is superior. Not one of his race could ever be considered even just a wee bit racist. And we’re not talking “institutional racism” here: that I could understand. That might at least make a modicum of sense. No, he insists no one: no individual, of his race could ever be slightly racist.

The separation between Mark Thompson: Black, and David Duke: White, is this: when Duke pumps racism he can be gracious if you disagree with him. Mark is just rude and condescending when you disagree with him about his opinion on whether any single Black person might be a tiny bit racist.

Oh, and Mark? I know that was you threatening me if I didn’t shut up on a debating site in a response to a thread I started on this topic. My lawyer’s still waiting for that lawsuit: and waiting, and waiting, and waiting…

What waste of time and effort your threats were, Mark. And what a damn waste of a day listening to most of day time Sirius Left is.

None of this makes a damn bit of sense.

Garrison Keillor

To start with a minor aside: anyone else notice Garrison Keillor looks like a troll? Anyone else start to snore almost as soon as his droning voice attempts to activate? Some of the skits are “OK,” though I could care less about most of his musical guests. Garrison gives hokum a very bad name.

I’d rant some more regarding Keillor, if he was even mildly interesting, but I forgot where I was. I fell asleep mid rant. Last I knew it was Saturday and Prairie was on. Now it’s Saturday again. Where did last week go? Do we have to listen again? So sad. I wish my woe-be-gone.

I’d sure love to hear what you find that makes sense about Keillor. Just don’t mind if I nod off mid zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Beautiful People are Naturally Smarter

Have you heard the news blurb about the study? It declares, due to genetics, beautiful people are smarter.

1. Who decides “beautiful?” Is this the magazine cover model concept of beautiful? The movie star concept? The plastic surgeon’s? Some think Rachel Ray beautiful. I might: if I could see beneath the layers of makeup.
2. How did they choose their samples for beautiful and less than?
3. Who decides “less than beautiful?”
4. Who decides what qualifies as “smart” and “less smart?”
5. Isn’t this all a bit subjective? A bit like how they separated the Jews even?

Even claiming to have an accurate survey on such makes no damn sense.

Note: two reports I heard on this didn’t specify. But through Google magic I discovered the study is from England. Since I have crooked teeth, does that qualify me as “brilliant,” or “beautiful” since the study was done in England?

Here’s a quote from the study…

“Given that both intelligence and physical attractiveness are highly heritable, there should be a positive correlation between intelligence and physical attractiveness in the children’s generation.”

So is hair color. Eye color. And various other attributes. Doesn’t mean they’re necessarily connected. But the one verifiable claim is high IQ. Of course IQ can figure into progeny, though I admit I have found there’s no absolute connection between high IQ and smarts. There are some pretty stupid smart people out there, including a math prof I had in college with an IQ over 140. I remember it being mentioned in the school literature. Of course like most “brilliant” profs I’ve had he couldn’t teach. Seems to be a common problem when it comes to “brilliant” profs I’ve had in college.

But that’s not why I use him as an example to question the study. He died the summer after I took his course. That summer he went out on wet grass. He knew it was wet. He had a sheet of metal and a drill with a cord that was frayed. He knew there were exposed wires.

Like the study: are we really measuring beauty, or smarts and how they have to be connected? Maybe not. And certainly… “makes no damn sense.”

I certainly didn’t think of Einstein as an exceptionally handsome man. Damn, he must have been stupid. Shall we gather our words of wisdom from Britney Spears now?

The Bush Family

Back to senseless Bush worship…

His sons? Frickin nightmares. Bush II’s attempts to live down Daddy’s wimp reputation simply exposed his ignorant, spoiled rotten, dictator-like, 12 year old bully-brat nature. “Exposed” is the perfect term. He might as well have been a flasher. In fact a flasher, in the tradition of what most people think of when they read “flasher,” could be less offensive. At least you’ll “barely” see something that might make you laugh, at the owner’s expense. And, when it does come to George’s actual plumbing, my guess is his would be a real laugh. Talk about a guy who has a problem with over compensation.

When I think of Jeb, and I avoid it like black plague, all I can think of is a marginally smarter jackass. Then we have how Barb the Elder’s tart, acidic, lowest commoner, tongue simply proved how low class scum aren’t all poor. And, how can we forget? …Nazi Grandaddy Prescott. Kids screwed up: as expected.

What a family.

What’s not to love?


What’s so damn fascinating?


Bush worship makes no damn sense.

Conan O’Brien

What am I missing here?

I can’t say much about his guests because I can’t get past 5 minutes of Conan, but I have yet to hear a damn thing he has ever said that encouraged a single snicker. His little dance is almost as inane as Ellen’s. I’d have to watch them side by side to decide and, to be honest, I have no interest in feeling that ill. Do I have something here to my big, “Huh?” Or is this just my grumpy old man-ness?

Obama, Same Sex Marriage and Idiots Who Know Nothing

I’m sure you’ve heard that the Obama administration has decided not to pursue cases regarding same sex marriage because they think laws against such are unconstitutional. Immediately the idiot factor in the country called him a dictator because, “He can’t declare what’s unconstitutional!”

Of course he can’t, but that’s beside the point. Every president and their administration has decided what they will pursue legally with vigor, with less vigor than other things, or not at all.

Do their actual opinions have full weight of the law, wipe out any future decisions by another branch of gov,, say the Supremes? Of course not. But they’re not claiming that.

Are you actually that stupid, that idiotic, or do you just play an idiot when you rant and rave about such things?

Repulsive ads that appear again and again: even in the same commercial break

What the hell? Are they trying to make sure we don’t buy their product?

For the network makes sense: it’s called “make goods.” Over sell what ratings any program will get and you have to play the ad more.

For the advertiser? The way they’re doing it: makes no damn sense for at all. Just pisses off consumers.

Glen Beck

I just don’t get this guy. His popularity makes no damn sense. Entertaining? Well, if you think someone with severe mental issues is “entertaining,” I suppose. And I would simply put that down to WWE style “entertainment.” But to me followers of the Beckster simply show far too many Americans have severe mental issues. You really need help, folks.

What Would You Rather Be Called?

Recently I finished reading Memories of a Munchkin, by Meinhardt Raabe who was the Coroner in the Wizard of Oz. I recommend it as light reading from an insider. But, being short… a dwarf or a midget? I don’t remember… he mentioned that they really don’t like “dwarf” or “midget.” They prefer “little people.” OK, the confusion between the two words may be enough reason to try and find one mutual term, but “little people?” That strikes me as patronizing and insulting: plus supporting the leprechaun myth which may have been based on “little people,” I suppose. It simply doesn’t make sense.

What about just “people?” “Humans?” “The shorter, but vastly superior, folks?” OK, that goes to far.
To me, “little people” makes no damn sense. “Dwarf” or midget” at least provides the avenue of educating others in a mature manner who will get it wrong, therefore emphasizing that they are adults. “Little people” to me also reemphasizes they really are just kids dressing like adults. As an entertainer who performs mostly for adults I can’t count the number of Academy for Little People type names I have seen.

These are not “little people.” They are adults. They deserve respect: certainly not to be talked down to.

Makes no damn sense.


Just about the time the Wisconsin story broke my right ear started plugging up and getting infected. As it progressed I heard mostly the Right side through my uninfected left ear, thanks to the mainstream media. The unions were uncooperative, out to ruin the state financially… blah, blah, blah.

As the story developed I went to the Doc, they flushed out the ear, gave me antibiotics, and I was immediately rewarded with one side of my head feeling like it was going to explode, shooting pains, damn near deaf on one side of my head.

Right talking points can be painfully one sided. I understand that now more than before.

Slowly, but surely, the truth seeped out, as the antibiotics worked on me, I felt better. Protesters and bloggers revealed how the union had made every concession except one: extinction. A union that can’t bargain is no more than a group of slave-employees.

My ear improved.

Then Scott Walker was pranked by Buffalo Beast. I sit here listening to Walker, who obviously didn’t have a clue, describe how he’s planning on destroying unions and has little problem with sending fake protesters with baseball bats.

My ear is far better. I can actual chew without screaming, get off the hydrocodone.

So on to the question…

Was my right ear infect by Right Wing BS?

I know. Makes no damn sense. Or does it?


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2011
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

By Ken Carman

Retired entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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Ana Grarian
13 years ago

Sorry Ken – I LOVE Garrison Keillor – I often laugh out loud at his program and – what difference does it make if he looks like a troll?

RS Janes
13 years ago

Ana, I have to agree, I don’t listen to PHC often, but the ‘joke’ show is funny and, even if a few of the bits fall flat, it’s generally entertaining. Also some great talents like guitarist Leo Kottke have appeared on the show, and he’s always worth hearing. I actually like Keillor’s books better than his radio persona. For example, “WLT”, about a Minnesota radio station from the ’20s through the ’50s, was a great and funny book.

Ken, one thing that gives me a headache is listening to some neocon like Glenn Beck go down the menu of all they’re against — progressives, liberals, union members, communists, gays, ‘uppity’ women, foreigners — and then insist they aren’t fascists. When you hate all the same groups as the Nazis, maybe it’s time to stop making that absurd claim. I believe you can be ‘infected’ by rightie BS — I know I can’t stomach Fox News or El Rushbo anymore, except in small doses.

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