Brickbats

In the 1970s, rocker Charlie Daniels spoke for redneck hippies everywhere when he crooned, “Some people think I’m no good and crazy as a loon, ’cause I get drunk in the morning, I get stoned in the afternoon…If you don’t like the way I’m living, you just leave this long-haired country boy alone.” But these days Charlie’s traded rock for country, and his latest single, “Simple Man,” complains about “panty-waisted” judges who let drug dealers off on technicalities. Charlie tells us the solution is “a tall tree and a long piece of rope,” but it’s not clear whether he wants to string up the drug dealers or the judges. What’s next, Sammy Hagar pontificating on the sanctity of speed limits?

These days CharIes Keating, Jr., is in the headlines as the man who bankrupted Lincoln Savings & Loan and left taxpayers with a $2-billion bailout tab. But Keating first gained fame as the only member of the 1970 presidential commission on pornography who wouldn’t sign a report saying the government shouldn’t restrict erotic materials. Later, he founded the antiporn group Citizens for Decency Through Law and went after dial-a-porn services, X-rated videos, and Playboy magazine. I guess Keating didn’t want anyone to see pictures of people doing to each other what he was doing to taxpayers.

Speaking of pornography, the Chinese government recently ended an antiporn campaign that netted 30 million books and magazines. The government asked school children to bring in at least one dirty book or magazine each. During an earlier campaign against rats, children had to bring in one dead rat apiece.) Of course, many homes didn’t have any pornography, so some kids had to go out and buy it. Prices skyrocketed, but porn dealers still couldn’t keep up with the demand. I don’t remember show- and-tell being this interesting when I was in school.

Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu didn’t want his countrymen to turn in dirty books, but he was picky about what they called him. Among the approved nicknames were: “father and friend of the young people,” “the sweet kiss of the land,” “the sacred oak of Romania’s glory,” “the mountain that protects the country,” and “a well of living water.” His close friends could refer to him as simply “the truth itself.” The challenge was fitting all that on a tombstone.

If this Panama invasion thing doesn’t put his wimp image behind him once and for all, George Bush can really show that he’s macho by punching out Don Knotts.

Dislike trucks and property rights? Into nosy neighbors and power mad politicians? Then Flossmoor, Illinois, is the home you’re looking for. City fathers there think that pickup trucks are unsightly. They can’t stand to see one parked along the curb or in someone’s driveway. So they’ve passed a law requiring trucks to be parked only in garages. Anyone caught with a truck outside his garage will be fined.

That loudmouthed rube from Atlanta is at it again. Ted Turner, who brought Slim Whitman and Boxcar Willie into every home in America, has 10 rules he wants us all to live by. This from the man who once destroyed a reporter’s tape recorder when he didn’t like the way an interview was going and who reportedly kicked traveling companion Liz Wickersham in the shins during an argument. Among the recommended pledges: “I reject the use of force, particularly military force”; and “I love and respect the planet Earth and all living things hereon, especially my fellow species, mankind.” And no more guaranteed contracts for Ken Oberkfell, either. Right Ted? 

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