Saturday, March 31, 2007

Jeffrey's Manifesto

Of the previous manifestos, I align myself thusly – give or take a few percentage points:

Wagstaff: Agree – 85%; Disagree – 7%; Indifferent or Don’t Know – 8%
Dude: Agree – 45%; Disagree – 37%; Don’t Know – 18%
Blot: Agree – 70%; Disagree – 17%; Don’t Know – 13%
Odie: Agree – 33%; Disagree – 34%; Don’t Know – 33%
Ed Copeland: Agree – 20%; Disagree – 50%; Don’t Know – 30%
Ross: Agree – 55%; Disagree – 26%; Don’t Know – 19%
Charlie Parsley - Disagree - 100%

Superficial niceties, even when insincere, play a vital role in civilized society and are preferable than people shrewdly and honestly expressing themselves all the time.

It is generally okay that people talk behind the backs of other people as most people I know cannot handle such talk in front of them.

Backstabbing is different.

Gossip mongers are important to the dissemination of information.

Never provoke an argument if you are a guest in someone’s house.

Gracefully accept gifts and do not return them unless the gift giver has explicitly wished you to do so or the size is wrong, in which case you should replace it with the same thing in the correct size.

Our President is the best friend muslims have. He is saving them from annihilation.

Hell, he is the best friend Freedom has.

President Bush is also the easiest and safest person in the world to criticize. It takes no courage to do so. And you can count on him to be a man about it.

Our two-party system is the best possible system there is. It has proven to withstand having to get by with only one rational side.

Campaign mudslinging and intense partisanship do not mean that the country is going to hell.

Rush Limbaugh is a credit to the conservative movement. He is also one of the wittiest and least racist pundits today.

Grant was a better general than Lee.

The Spanish-American War was just; we needed the coaling stations.

Distrust any declaration that begins with “there should be a law…” or “people should be forced to…”

Generalizing is an important tool for communication. It keeps us all from sounding like French professors.

Nothing is more stubborn than a Japanese girl.

A funny stand-up comedian is the exception to the rule.

Comedians should be referred to as fools, so that they know their rightful place.

The term “comedian” indicates a level of respectability that most stand-ups do not deserve nor should aspire to.

I prefer satire over snark.

“Keeping it real” is a meaningless expression.

A pair of sneakers worn with a tux looks silly and, yet, is not funny in any way.

Clown shoes are funny.

Never appear on television or radio unless you are a trained entertainer.

The two greatest countries for cinema (besides the U.S.) are Italy and Japan. They are also the greatest countries for cuisine.

Ernst Lubitsch is the greatest filmmaker of all time.

Comedies should not exceed 90 minutes. Other movies should not exceed 2 hours. Any exception to the latter should have an intermission and a prelude score that clearly identifies it as an epic. (To paraphrase Billy Wilder on the 90 minute rule: anything over 90 minutes runs double.)

In the animation world: American over anime. Disney over Warner Bros. (though just barely).

B&W Mickey will turn anything, living or dead, into a musical instrument.

Groucho is the funniest man, ever. Harpo is the second.

When you start smelling yourself, that means people have been smelling you for three days.

Never wear a t-shirt that advertises something you respect, unless it was given to you.

In the future, everyone's grandmother will have a tattoo.

The Bible is as relevant today as it was way back when. You can get a better understanding about the world today from it than you can from all the available media and science.

Heaven is preferable to Hell, regardless of where Odie is. My faith advises me that the Grace of God is beyond any notion of coolness or pleasure.

Jesus died for Odie’s sins, as well as the sins of televangelists and all the people Odie despises.

Floaters, not sinkers.


Edward Copeland said...

Never appear on television or radio unless you are a trained entertainer.

That would spare us from having to listen to almost all politicians.

Ross Ruediger said...

Damn ah a haaahhd man.

I like the first six statements - that essentially added up to you being Mr. Manners - quite a bit.

That's stuff I'm going to chew on for some time, being as I continally wander around in various states of worry about how horribly I offend people in my social sphere.

When you get to politics & religion, I disagree with most everything. Yet I don't know ~anybody~ who totally shares my beliefs in those areas, so I've learned to accept and appreciate that we live in a country where people can have such diverse belief systems.

Never appear on television or radio unless you are a trained entertainer.

That's a good one, and Copeland's response reminded me of Doc Brown's comment from BACK TO THE FUTURE:

"No wonder your president has to be an actor - he's gotta look good on TV."

Groucho is the funniest man, ever.

That's very difficult to argue.

Harpo is the second.

Not quite so sure about that one, but I'll let it slide on the grounds that humor is subjective.

In the future, everyone's grandmother will have a tattoo.

Priceless - dare I say the crown jewel of Jeffrey's Manifesto.

jeffrey said...

I doubt any politician would be asking my advice about appearing on television - if they did, they'd be foolish. Still, that would leave the door open for Fred Thompson. I was actually thinking of the spot interviews of eye-witnesses on the local news and stuff like that. I will never be that guy that is describing my neighbor's house fire.

As for Harpo, Ross - well, that's admittedly a creative flourish on my part. Not sure who else I'd elevate to #2 - plenty of good candidates out there. It's just that Harpo is a nice counterpart to Groucho.

Ross Ruediger said...

Well, Harpo ~is~ a scream, and a total original. Frankly, you gotta give props to the entire Marx Bros dynamic, which is one of, if not the most unique combo in comedy history. Chico never really got his due, but Zeppo's exit was well-timed, if not a tad late.

This may be borderline heresy, but have you ever seen BRAIN DONORS?

EscutcheonBlot said...

At last you let down your sphynx-like veil.

I am flattered to be so highly agreed with...I guess.

But you must give India at least an honorable mention for cuisine and film. I know Bollywood is kitchy, but it is also beautiful in both its certainties and its surprises. And I loooove the wailing choruses in the background which cue one in to the poignancies, like a dopplerized sledgehammer.

France is waaaaay overrated in both film and cuisine. And rudeness, incidentally.


Edward Copeland said...

Technically, Thompson isn't a trained entertainer, he just sort of stumbled into acting after playing himself in the movie Marie.

jeffrey said...

Ross, I haven's seen Brain Donors. I'll check it out sometime.

Bollywood: I haven't seen enough great Indian films to include it with Italy and Japan - though I enjoy looking at Bollywood gossip sites. For a country that makes as many films as India does, they are under-represented in video stores (And when it comes to chain rental stores: you could say that about most countries).

Ross Ruediger said...

RE: Brain Donors

You may absolutely hate it, so don't take it as a full on recommendation, but John Turturro makes for a fine Groucho substitute to which Nancy Marchand plays an excellent Margaret Dumont.

jeffrey said...

Disclaimer duly noted.