It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for Republican speechwriters.
Refusing to budge an inch, Republican delegates with bait on their breaths took cold comfort this week from the longevity of speeches exposing their soulless wits.
Faint-hearted, lily-livered cowards with no conscience at all, their action-taking whoreson knave cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war, though to give the devil his due, the green-eyed monster was already dead as a doornail.
But I, with a heart of gold upon my sleeve, more sinned against than sinning, do not want to milk the Republican speakers’ human kindness. If any. As it were.
Umm … Where were The Royal We?
O, brave new world! Isn’t our candidate’s wife a dish fit for the gods!
Hathn’t he said so, for goodness sake?
And if his tender lamb should be hoist on Michelle Obama’s petard, to be a laughing stock all the livelong day, isn’t love blind? And doesn’t love play fast and loose?
But lest I set your teeth on edge and send you on a wild goose chase, I confess: The 26 clichés I have squeezed in so far all come from William Shakespeare — except the first one. I stole that one from Chuck Dickens.
Pardon me for having a memory.
But in 1987 Joe Biden, then senator from Delaware, now vice president of the United States, was forced to drop his quest for the presidency when The New York Times showed he had cribbed a few sentences in a speech from Britain’s Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock — and — brace yourself, my fellow Americans — from President Kennedy.
Biden couldn’t stand the heat from the press, and got out of the kitchen. (Cliché count so far: 30.)
How the mighty have fallen. (2 Samuel: 1:25 (31)).
Many moons ago (32: citation uncertain) I taught English for six years on an Indian reservation.
It was an immense reservation, big as Rhode Island, and, thank God for small favors (33), miles away from cities of white men.
I tried and failed to teach my students what a cliché is. They’d never heard my clichés. Those were the days. (34: U.S. copyright to Eugene Raskin.)
By the way (35), Raskin stole the song “Those Were the Days” from Russian composer Boris Fomin, who died of tuberculosis in 1948, and the poet Konstantin Podrevsky, who died in 1930 after Stalin had him arrested as a counter-revolutionary for writing romantic songs.
Even though Raskin had stolen the song, hook line and sinker (36), he sued a gefilte fish company for using the tune in a commercial — I am not making this up — and won.
Then Paul McCartney bought rights to the tune from Raskin and — need I go on? (37)
After Mary Hopkin made the song a hit in 1968, Raskin got a royalty check for $26,000 — for one month of sales — so, what the hell (38), he bought himself a house in Majorca, a sailboat and a Porsche and lived off the royalties for the rest of his life.
Have I made myself clear? (39)
Everyone plagiarizes all the time, though most of us don’t know it. This is because most of the 7.2 billion human residents of Planet Earth stumble all their lives through other people’s words.
I do it myself. I wake up each morning clasping a metaphorical shovel to clear away the bullshit.
So what’s wrong with Republicans plagiarizing their betters for their own tawdry ends? (40)
Nothing, I guess. Except their dishonesty and vicious threats when they’re nailed for it. (41)
Who they gonna sue? Shakespeare?
What a loser he was …
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