MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 188 JUNE 2014

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NUMBER 188
JUNE 2014
Copyright 2014 Francis DiMenno
http://dimenno.gather.com
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

And now…MODERN WISDOM presents:

1. LIQUID PRISONER
2. TENDER CHURL
3. BEAUTEOUS NIGGARD
4. RAGGED HAND
5. TIME’S PENCIL
6. TOTTERED LOVING
7. TIME’S THIEVISH PROGRESS
8. ROTTEN SMOKE
9. VULGAR PAPER
10. LOVING OFFENDERS

11. DYSLEXICON PART ONE
Nota bene: Selected definitions were first published in Oracle numbers
1, 2, 3 and 6 and are copyright 1992 and 1993 by the author. Others
are here published for the first time and all are copyrighted 2014.

DYSLEXICON: HIDDEN MEANINGS OF NEW AND COMMONPLACE AMERICAN WORDS AND
EXPRESSIONS
PART ONE

666: The three circles of the Mickey Mouse Head.

ACADEMIA: A grave, and a shallow one.
ACIDOPHOLIS: Bacteria placed in milk to render it inedible.
ACTS OF GOD: Are closer than they appear.
ACTS OF GOD: Not half so fearsome as acts of man.
ADAM: Let his wife tell him what to eat, and that was his undoing.
ADOLESCENTS: Cohort commonly divided into three groups: The snitches and prigs; and everyone else.
ADULTHOOD: The terrifying interval between innocence and satiety.
ADVERTISING: A machine for the betrayal of language.
ADVERTISING: A perverse tribute to artificially-generated popularity.
ADVERTISING: The bonfire of the inanities.
ADVERTISING: The sale of broken toys to sick children.
ADVERTISING: The Stalinization of material and/or spiritual commodities.
AIR-CONDITIONING: Device to preserve mildew.
ALCOHOLIC: Easy to shop for at Christmastime.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Formerly popular TELEVISION show; “The
Honeymooners” for bigots.
ALOE: Plant with stinking sap thought to have magically therapeutic
qualities. See CHLOROPHYLL.
AMERICA: A country where playing dumb is the secular religion.
AMERICA: A myth perpetually in search of one even vaster myth.
AMERICA: Zoned for business, not beauty
AMERICAN PRESIDENTS: A boring succession of Protestant morons.
AMERICAN REVOLUTION: War fought so plantation owners could drink cheap tea.
AMERICANS: Want everything bigger and better except vocabulary words.
ANARCHO-SYNDICALISTS: People who are deeply offended that the liberal
state permits libertarians to spew their right-wing fascist propaganda.
ANCHOVIES: Sardines with a pedigree.
ANDREW JACKSON: Genocide-minded American President who resembled
Grandpa Munster.
ANGLICANS: Tweedy, inbred Brits with horsey teeth who think they are
smarter than Catholics, and, for that matter, God.
ANGLO-SAXONS: A bunch of bickering Low Germans who never learned to spell.
ANIMALS: Refers to people who are cultural NONCONFORMISTS.
ANIMATED CARTOON CHARACTERS: Household Gods; the surest guide to the
American Zeitgeist.
ANNIVERSARIES: Celebrations of a thoroughly beaten track.
ANTARCTICA: The one place in the world where there are no ants.
ANTI-OBAMAISM: Polity wants a cracker.
ANTI-OBAMAISM: The pornography of the Paleocons.
APRIL. Begins by reminding us of what we are on every other day of the year.
ARCADIA: A historical era which ended just prior to living memory or
shortly before ones birth.
ARCHEOLOGISTS: Squinty-eyed geezers with bad sunburn who spend most of
their spare time sifting through caveman shit.
ARENA ROCK CONCERTS: The American gulag.
ARKANSAS: Where people used to go to get lost.
ARMADILLO: A cross between a pig and a cockroach.
ARMCHAIR GENERALS: Are frequently to be found playing with their privates.
ART: A time capsule for the zeitgeist.
ART: sexual display. SEE DANCING, SINGING.
ARTSY: Dirty.
ASS: Jesus once rode on the back of an ass; now a great many asses
ride on the coattails of Jesus.
ASTRONOMER: Studies hot flaming balls of incandescent gas–not unlike
a Hollywood gossip columnist.
AUGUST. Nothing happens in August, which somehow makes it the best
time to take a memorable vacation.
AUSTRALIANS: Ex-cons whose beaches smell like sewage, who bugger
dingos, and who make the world’s worst beer (Archaic); people just
like Americans who talk funny.
AUSTRIA: Home of Hitler, and of Vienna sausages, though it’s hard to
say which one is worse.
AUTISM: A game that one can play.
AUTOMATION: Faster, stupider.
AUTOMOBILE: A two-ton pill to soothe your ego.
AVANT-GARDE, THE: Treats commonplace beliefs as lies.
AVERAGE: See STUPID.
BABY HUEY: A six foot tall retarded duck. See GOOFY.
BACH: Background music for pretentious undergraduates.
BACON:.Pork candy
BAD TOILET TRAINING: No one ever speaks of good toilet training.
BAD: OLD.
BALLET: Aerobics for people who like to wear tights.
BANANA: Mealy white crud best left for sprats and toothless dotards.
BANJO: A fiddle for dolts.
BARTENDERS: Apologists for stupefaction.
BEACH BOYS: POPULAR avatars of the late 20th century.
BEARDS: Metastasized moustaches.
BEATLES: POPULAR avatars of the late 20th century.
BEER: Popular panacea. See MALT.
BEING: Contaminates the void.
BELIEFS: Preconceived notions.
BENEFITS: Job-related BRIBES, supposedly perpetual but usually good
only for the term of the worker’s viability.
BILL COSBY. See BOB HOPE. Same superannuated refusal to retire; same
coasting on a long reputation; same uncanny willingness to shill for
the highest bidder; some impulse to subject his audience to cranky,
retrograde, conservative rants.
BILL OF RIGHTS: List of ten categories of guarantees promising certain
basic American liberties (Archaic).
BING: The Brand X version of Google.
BOB HOPE. See BILL COSBY. Same superannuated refusal to retire; same
coasting on a long reputation; same uncanny willingness to shill for
the highest bidder; some impulse to subject his audience to cranky,
retrograde, conservative rants.
BOHEMIAN: A hobo with a bachelor’s degree.
BOHEMIAN: Agricultural-age tenement dweller (Archaic); anyone who
professes to despise a GOOD JOB, BENEFITS, and FINANCIAL SECURITY. See
HIPPIE.
BONSAI TREES: Apparently invented so dwarves could live in treehouses.
BOOTH TARKINGTON: Mark Twain squeezed through a cheesecloth of Henry James.
BOSTON: A hamlet blown up to poster size.
BOSTON: Retropolis.
BOULEVARDIER: French for “filthy-minded old creep.”
BOULEVARDIER: Sex maniac.
BOXING: The most intellectual of all sports, in which two musclebound
oafs lathered with sweat pound the tar out of each other ‘til one
hollars ‘nuff.
BRAND X: The new Moloch.
BRIBES: See BENEFITS.
BUDGET DEFICITS: Half-asset backwards financing.
BUGLE: A Kazoo with delusions of grandeur.
BUM: See HOBO.
BUSH: A high-tar NIXON even more in thrall to DALLAS.
BUSINESS SUIT: A dress rehearsal for a fancy coffin.
BUSINESS: Sells, beneath its facade of boundless optimism, a
philosophy of boundless cynicism.
C&W: A SOAP OPERA for drunks.
CALCIUM: Mineral found only in antacid mints.
CALVIN & HOBBES: Comic strip; “Peanuts” for agnostics.
CANADIAN: An AMERICAN who is afraid to brag.
CANCER: Chief competitor of humans.
CANNIBALS: Show not only poor judgment but bad taste.
CANT: The received wisdom of the people.
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: Putting the killers to sleep.
CAPITALISM: A system devoted to constantly reincentivizing profligacy.
CAPITALIST: Anyone militant about property values. See FASCIST, COMMUNIST.
CARNATION: Flower to adorn stuffed shirts.
CARNIVAL: A step below a circus and only slightly less torturous than
a crafts fair.
CARROTS: Improve your vision at night, just when you need it
most–when you’re asleep.
CARS: In our cars, at least, we are Kings. Albeit, Kings of Nowhere. When
you’re on a road to nowhere, it doesn’t really matter how fast you’re
going. SEE AUTOMOBILES.
CARTER: A rigid hayseed embarrassed by his brother.
CASH REGISTER: Device to monitor what percentage of profits employees steal.
CASH: The color that goes with everything.
CATARACTS. Something to keep an eye on. Just when you’re seen everything….
CATHEDRALS: Mausoleums of faith.
CATHOLICISM: The only thing more distressing than women who profess
Catholicism are men who practice it.
CAVEAT EMPTOR: Latin expression, which, loosely translated, means
“Your head is a giant sucker and you have the IQ of a ceiling fan.”
CELEBRITIES: Designer myths.
CELEBRITIES: People who want you out of their way.
CELEBRITIES: The minor pantheon, whose doings have replaced the
tales of Hermes, Ares, Demeter, et al.
CELEBRITY GOSSIP: Eunuch intrigues.
CELEBRITY GOSSIP: Made-up stories contrived essentially to keep
ordinary people in line. SEE UNEXPLAINED PHENOMENA.
CELEBRITY:  A swineherd understood by the swine.
CELEBRITY: A show dog.
CELEBRITY: A smiley face on a drum of toxic waste.
CELL: Basic unit of life, and of life imprisonment.
CENSORSHIP: How the mediocre get their ideas across.
CEREBRAL PALSY: Mobster’s brainy friend.
CEREBRAL: Not entertaining.
CHAMPAGNE DRUNKS: Contra Eugene O’Neill, the best kind, with their
penchant for $100 tips and easily removable gold watches.
CHAOS: The norm.
CHILDREN’S BOOKS: What unsuccessful writers always vow they will turn
their hands to writing.
CHIVALRY: Feudal ethos post-industrialists mourn the passing of.
CHLOROPHYLL: Formerly an ingredient in toothpaste; now restored to its
rightful place as the basis of life on earth.
CHLOROPHYLL: Plant matter thought to have magically therapuetic
qualities (Archaic); See ALOE.
CHOLESTEROL: Sinister fat found mostly in foods only old people insist
on eating.
CHOCOLATE-FLAVORED LAXATIVES: An enema of the people.
CHRISTIANITY: Religion founded by tortured heretic whose adherents
were tortured as heretics, who, upon coming to power, tortured heretics.
CHRISTMAS BONUS: The ceremonial filling of a symbolic stocking by a
purported job-related father figure or boss during the Winter Solstice.
CHRISTMAS: Celebration of the birth of Christ (Archaic); a frantic
orgy of consumption in which humans hard-wired to hoard fats seek to
stave off the dark and cold of the Winter Solstice.
CHURCH: Theatre for cheapskates.
CIA: Central Intelligence Agency (Archaic); dissident national and
transnational group above the law assigned the task of infiltrating
dissident national and transnational groups above the law. See FBI,
NSC.
CICERO: Roman Stoic and prosodist (Archaic); Porky Pig’s nephew.
CIGARETTES: Tobacco in its cheap, smokable form. See CRACK.
CINDERELLA: Frankenstein in drag.
CITIZENS: See GOOD CITIZENS.
CLASSIC AMERICAN LITERATURE: Its novels are mostly about crafty
underdogs outwitting their foes or men who become rich at the cost of
their souls. Its poetry is mostly about gloom and death, or being smug
and fat, and other preoccupations of the author. Its drama is mostly
about lowlifes who meet an untimely death or gain unexpected eminence
through no fault or doing of their own, or about marriage, or about
overcoming adversity. The best American literature is on Bazooka Joe
gum wrappers, which is the last thing most Americans read anyway.
CLEOPATRA: Egyptian queen who every vain woman believes she’s the
reincarnation of.
CLINTON: SUGAR BEAR; the ARKANSAS Fellow-traveller; JOHN F. KENNEDY
with no money.
CLUB DRUGS: All the psychoses with none of the inconvenient violence.
COACHES. Priests with whistles and clipboards.
COCAINE: Popular semi-licit party drug (Archaic); psychosis lite. See CRACK.
COFFEE: A plot by coffee bushes to ensure their continued propagation. See TEA.
COINCIDENCE: A form of cosmic irony.
COINCIDENCE: See CONSPIRACY.
COLLEGE: Holding pens where adolescents get puking in public out of
their systems.
COLLEGES. Institutions of planned ignorance.
COLUMBUS: Famed explorer (Archaic); a lousy navigator and a genocidal fiend.
COMEDIANS: Clowns who tickle your sores.
COMEDY CLUB:.A gulag for self-styled hipsters.
COMEDY CLUBS: Dingy rooms where nervous funnymen walk back and forth
leaving cappucino farts in the vestibule, all so they can impress a
bunch of dolts hell-bent on pissing away Junior’s college money on
lukewarm Mexican bladder juice and Margueritas with sissy umbrellas.
COMMERCIAL MEDIA: A pimp machine for commodity fetishism.
COMMERCIAL MEDIA: Faster than the speed of reason.
COMMERCIALS: Late 20th-century literary form; short motion pictures
which promise a given product will give the customer the very thing
which it will take away; e.g.,  MCDONALDS, a “family” restaurant in
which the employees spit on the food; SATURN, a “caring” car company
which charges steep repair fees; FORD FOCUS, a car which advertises
exceptionally good mileage but only when driven by robots at a
constant speed of 55 mph with no braking or acceleration; SNUGGLES, a
fabric softener which promises to pamper your baby but which is made
of toxic chemicals; NEWPORT, a tobacco product allegedly “alive with
pleasure” which, when used as intended, will eventually cause you to
die in pain.
COMMERCIALS: The poetry of the Philistine.
COMMUNISM: The philosophy of the dog in the manger. CAPITALISM: The
philosophy of the boy and the nuts.
COMMUNIST: Anyone militant about property values. See CAPITALIST; FASCIST.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE: See DYSLEXIA.
COMPOST: Used by hippies to fertilize crops on the commune; served by
hippies who have opened health food restaurants.
COMPROMISE: Surrender.
COMPUTER GAMES: Training wheels for AUTISM. See VIDEO GAMES.
CONCENTRATION CAMP: A wonderful setting for ones memoirs.
CONFEDERATE VETERANS: People who all used to resemble Col. Harlan Sanders.
CONGRESS: A circus of hypocrites.
CONGRESSMAN: Politician who will do anything for $10,000.
CONSENSUS MENTALITY: Tyranny in its most modern form.
CONSERVATISM: Cult of unabashed selfishness.
CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Gossip on a larger scale.
CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Works of faction.
CONSPIRACY THEORIES. Sports for people who can’t get laid.
CONSPIRACY: See COINCIDENCE.
CONSUMER: An AMERICAN trained to be INSATIABLE.
CONSUMERISM: The religion of serfs, based on the idea that objects
have magical powers.
CONTROVERSIAL: Said of any man or woman who the speaker secretly
believes belongs in jail.
COOKING: The religion of the cosmopolitan provincial.
CORN: AMERICAN staple food as well as the default aesthetic mode.
CORN: The food and entertainment ingredient that dare not speak its name.
CORNY: Anything that happened more than 50 years ago
CORPORATIONS. Urban plantations. See MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS.
COST OF LIVING: If you have to ask how much it is, you can’t afford it.
COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS: Euphemism for ruthlessness. See LOGIC.
COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIC: A soap opera for drunks.
COUNTRY CLUB: A gulag for self-styled elites.
COURTESY: consists of pretending not to notice that most people are
dying in plain sight.
COURTROOM PROCEDURALS. Narratives in praise of show trials.
COUSINS: IDIOTS who resemble you.
COWBOYS: DYSLEXIC BUMS of the OLD WEST.
CRACK: COCAINE in its cheap, smokable form, generally used by members
of the UNDERCLASS. See CIGARETTES.
CREATIONISM. See CRETINISM.
CREATIONISTS: Geniuses with self-granted advanced degrees whose
findings refute those of dopey archeologists, biologists, and physicists.
CREDIT LINE: Mysterious PROPERTY without which one can neither buy nor sell.
CRISIS: Any major undesired change.
CRETINISM. See CREATIONISM.
CRIMINALS: CORPORATE raiders of the UNDERCLASS.
CROSSWORD PUZZLES: Reverse DYSLEXIA.
CULT, A: a place where unreasonable people can all agree.
CULTURE: A petri dish of the mind.
CULTURE: BELIEFS shaped by the holders of power.

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