Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh Governor, My Governor!

My publisher tells me that because I have a young adult novel coming out in October, and because this blog is a mechanism to promote the book, I should veer more toward topics that appeal to tweens, teens, and their parents and away from more “adult” topics and language (i.e. my rant against KFC a couple of months ago).

I agree; however, I have gotten call after call asking me when I am going to blog on Governor Sanford and his revelation of his affair. Karen, I promise to be a better teen blogger, but really, the phone is burning in my hand. It is less personal than it is political, so here it goes:

If you’re keeping score, Mark Sanford has slept with his wife and a woman from Argentina, but that’s in addition to the 3.4 million South Carolinians he’s screwed. I don’t know if he has had an erection that has lasted more than four hours, but he really should see a doctor.

Truthfully, I couldn’t care less about his dalliance. Didn’t care about Clinton’s. Don’t care about this one. As a matter of fact, The State newspaper has patted itself on the back so much about its “investigation” and WIS-TV has covered this situation so thoroughly that I’m praying for a category 4 hurricane to form off the coast just to give them, and us, a break.

This bizarre episode began when people began questioning Sanford’s absence. He, according to them, abandoned the helm of state government for six days. Here’s a news flash people: we haven’t had a governor at the helm for six-and-a-half YEARS. This guy couldn’t give two hoots (how’s that for PG-13?) about the people of South Carolina and he’s done his level best to prove it over the two terms of his office. We’re just too stupid, too good-ol’-boy, too backward, too set in our ways to try it Mark Sanford’s way. As Conan O’Brien said, “he even outsourced his mistress.”

And while he’s been maneuvering politically, espousing his libertarian philosophies, waxing poetic on the sovereignty of the state and the executive branch of government, we’ve managed to acquire the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the nation, an Employment Security Commission too distracted by Sanford’s power grab to be effective, a 39th-in-the-nation education system further threatened by his refusal to take stimulus money, and rising tuition costs eroding our access to higher education.

I know I’m going to tick off a lot of people by saying this, but right now if Mark Sanford could make any of those situations better, he could “dally” with a barnyard full of monkeys every night for all I care. But the point is he can’t. If everybody else (with the exception of your total of 17 friends) says the sky is blue and you say it’s purple, insist it’s purple, threaten to replace people who claim that it’s anything but purple, and yet people still say it’s blue, governor, then maybe you—you, you, you!!—are the one who needs to re-examine his premises.

Sanford was politically emasculated long before Jenny Sanford’s statements to the Associated Press. So my take? If you’re not going to resign, then go sit in a corner somewhere and shut up. Go to a ribbon cutting or two, host a Christmas reception at the mansion, go violate a few more environmental regulations at your mama’s Coosaw plantation, REALLY go hiking along the Appalachian Trail, preferably after the bears are done hibernating, or follow your heart and move to Argentina, but leave us toothless, cousin-marrying, moonshine drinking, fiscally irresponsible, heftily unemployed South Carolinians alone! Have a nice day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not That I'm a Perfect Parent, But...

My son is going to baseball camp this week at the University of South Carolina. Ray Tanner coaches the team there and I doubt you would find anyone, even among his toughest opponents, who would say anything less than complimentary about him. Alexey scored a run and caught a pop fly today. Pretty good for a kid who had never held a baseball bat in his hands eight months ago.

There are so many kids in camp they have them divided into eight squads. Toward the middle of the day, the counselors will pair the squads for scrimmage games. In the one closest to me, one kid hit a ball he obviously thought went foul because he stopped running midway to first base. The counselor said it was a fair ball and by that time the first baseman had retrieved it and stepped on the bag. The hitter was called out.

The ball may not have been foul, but the kid was. He looked all of nine, but he took off his batting helmet, slammed it on the ground, and began arguing with the counselor who promptly benched him for the remainder of the scrimmage.

At the end of the camp, the kid came toward his grandfather who asked why he had acted so poorly. The kid screamed at the man telling him it was a fair ball. When his grandfather said, “Well the umpire called it the other way,” the kid, again screaming at the top of his lungs, said, “Well he’s a LIAR. He’s nothing but a LIAR!” And then, bat bag in hand, he stormed off.

I’m not praying that the kid won’t show up tomorrow. I’m praying that he can't. If there is a shred of discipline in this kid’s family, his ass will be redder than a stop sign and he’ll be pulling belt leather from between his butt cheeks for the next six weeks. Either that or his parents need to take the kid to psychologist for some anger management. Passion for the game is one thing. Disrespect is another.

I’m glad Alexey got to witness it, though. From his wide-eyed look, I could see that he knew this was unacceptable behavior. And as unfortunate as the incident was, I’m glad I saw it, too. It makes me appreciate the wonderful young man and young woman who are my children.

(Okay, that’s too cheesy an ending…I would liked to have seen grandpa beat the kid’s ass from one end of the stadium to the next. I bet Ray Tanner would've liked that, too. I’m just sayin’.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Elvis Is Dead. So is Twitter. And Karen Has Me in Her Sights!

This week I raised the ire of my publisher, Karen Syed, by posting to our group site a link to an article from that indicated 95 percent of all bloggers and Twitter account holders abandon their accounts after a short while. Karen is a big Twitter fan.

I respectfully disagree.

Used correctly, I believe Twitter could—I stress could—be a great communications tool. But when I log on, I get “fewer than 140 characters” about people sitting in traffic, stopping for doughnuts, or even going to the john. And I care about this crap (pun intended) why?

I mean Ashton Kutcher—never mind that he’s married to someone on which I used to have a crush—hypes Twitter for God’s sake. That right there should tell you this technology is evil.

But I’m willing to be proven wrong (even through the blogosphere I can hear the snarky comments about how I should be used to it). So here’s my challenge. Send it to all your Twittering friends: Get me 500 Tweets on my account between June 15, 2009 and July 15, 2009 and I will donate $200 to the American Heart Association in Karen Syed’s name.

Hold on, as pitchman Billy Mays would say, “But wait, there’s more!”…get me 1,000 Tweets in the same time frame and I will deliver the check to my local AHA representative wearing a thong, a wig, lipstick, and what my wife calls “hooker shoes.” I will have it photographed and posted on FaceBook. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth going all the way, baby.

Fewer than 500 and I challenge Karen to post Tweets to all her friends declaring, “Citadel graduate Sam Morton is a technological genius!”
Find me at: