Archive for April 2010
How it all began
Back in the summer of 1991, I began writing news articles for Phyllis Schlafly’s Education Reporter. As I learned more and more about the preposterous programs and policies to which public school students all across America were being subjected, I realized that the journalistic exposé was insufficient to capture their absurdity and that satire was what was called for. I’d written limericks for years, just for the fun of it, and decided to adapt this light-verse form to my purpose.
In my first “blackboard jingle,” I poked fun at the disingenuity of sex-ed instructors who pretend to offer “balance” by combining prophylactic and abstinence perspectives:
When a boy and a girl have a date
And it looks like he’ll get to homeplate,
They must have protection
To ward off infection,
Though it’s better, of course, if they wait.
I devoted a second limerick to drug-education instructors who offer similarly ambiguous advice:
JUST SAY NO?
Today we discovered the thrills
Of powders, potations, and pills.
Our teacher gave plugs
For all sorts of drugs –
To test our assertiveness skills.
As it happened, 1991 was also the year when George Bush, Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and miscellaneous unmemorable others were gearing up for the next presidential election. There was quite a lot of confusion as to why Perot was even in the race, so I took it upon myself to offer an explanation:
PEROTS & CONS
“Perhaps some of you are at a loss
Why I want to be President Ross.
It’s simple, you see:
It’s better for me
If I am the one who is boss!”
Another limerick was inspired by a longstanding pet peeve of mine, the boneheaded practice of television anchormen “explaining” to their viewers what they and the viewers have both just seen together:
Jennings, Rather, Brokaw
Seem determined to jabber and jaw.
They think we’re too dumb
To discern the outcome
Of the campaign debate we just saw.
The problem with limericks is that they tend to become addictive. Once you start writing them, it’s hard to stop. Over the last 20 years I’ve churned out quite a few of these political limericks (politickles) and have distributed them on a weekly basis to email subscribers (subscribe at politickles dot com).
Politickles are the verbal equivalent of editorial cartoons. They make a point quickly, forcefully, humorously. Like editorial cartoons, they’re ideal for energizing allies or demoralizing opponents. So, please, take advantage of them. Feel free to publish, post, or pass on “Your Weekly Politickle,” and encourage your likeminded friends and relatives to subscribe.
“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend — and, honey, these Politickles aren’t glass. They are real gems!” — Jane Russell, actress
“Politickles are a never-ending delight. They are guaranteed to make you chuckle.” — Phyllis Schlafly, pres., Eagle Forum
“Combine H.L. Mencken with Ogden Nash and you’ve got F.R. Duplantier. If you like sharp satire and loony limericks, you’ll love Politickles.” — Alan Gottlieb, Chairman, Talk America Radio Network
“I wouldn’t think of publishing an issue of ‘eco-logic online’ without the latest Politickle.” — Henry Lamb, chairman, Sovereignty International
For several years now, Inside the Beltway has published thought-provoking political limericks penned by “F.R. Duplantier.” Readers, at the same time, often inquired of the limerist’s background — some long suspecting this columnist was behind the verse beneath the nom de plume “Duplantier.”
Oh, to be so talented.
“Both my parents were journalists in New Orleans,” Mr. Duplantier reveals. “My dad wrote for the States-Item; my mother was a photographer and feature writer for Dixie Roto, the old color supplement to the Times-Picayune. They were both Marines, too, my father serving with the occupation troops in Japan and my mother stationed in Honolulu during World War II.
“My wife, Evann, is a free-lance graphic artist and homeschooling mother of six. She’s also the product of two press people. Her mother, who studied journalism under my father, was for many years director of university relations at Loyola New Orleans; her dad was a documentary film photographer for WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans. Our kids also have excellent art and writing skills, so it looks like we’re establishing a communications dynasty.”
As for the limerist himself, from 1995 to 2001 the modest Mr. Duplantier penned and produced Behind The Headlines, a nationally-syndicated radio and newspaper commentary. Prior to that, he edited a news magazine, and way back in 1984 published his first collection of cartoons, titled Only in New Orleans. Then, in 2000, the presses pumped out Politickles: Limericks Lampooning the Lunatic Left, many of which, we’re proud to say, originally appeared in this column. — John McCaslin, Inside The Beltway, Thursday, August 1, 2002
It’s time again for the annual May Day Appeal!
“Your Weekly Politickle” has been provided free of charge to email subscribers since 1997, but donations are accepted and appreciated.
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If you’ve never donated before, this is your big chance. If you have donated previously, just do it again without thinking about it. Thanks! And God bless you!
– F.R. Duplantier
Feel free to publish, post, or pass on Your Weekly Politickle by F.R. Duplantier:
If it looks like a duck, it’s a duck!
If it swims like a duck, it’s a duck!
Is the question instead,
Is Obama a Red?
If it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck!
From the archive:
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
The media rarely deride
A President on the same side:
For the faithful defender
Of their social agenda,
They’re willing to let some things slide.
Last week’s verse:
How he’ll flatter, fawn, and fuss,
Make himself obsequious!
To tyrants alone
The man is prone:
Never will he bow to us.
How can James Schall suggest that a university is “not really equipped” to provide the education that we seem not to have gotten? What does he mean by describing contemporary education as “a system that is designed, consciously or unconsciously [emphasis added], to prevent us from confronting in our own lives the ultimate questions of existence and essence”? – F.R. Duplantier
According to the Holy Father, among the major challenges to the Church of the 21st century, and one which presents “a particularly insidious obstacle in the task of educating,” is the massive presence of relativism in society and in the halls of the Academy. The central problem of our system of higher education is not its failure to provide strong intellectual and marketable skills, which it can do well enough, but its premise that reality does not exist independently of the human mind and cannot be known with any certainty. In this way, even if not intentionally [emphasis added], far too many colleges and universities stifle the students’ natural desire to know, and to know the truth. This entices them to avoid the humanities and liberal arts and take refuge in the professional and practical arts alone, with their expected financial rewards. – Archbishop Michael Miller
Fr. Schall and Archbishop Miller are too kind. The subversion of the university was clearly conscious and intentional. The saboteurs cannot be persuaded to restore it. Nothing is to be gained from a debate with the devil.
At Student Network Resources Inc., we are searching for freelance writers who can create term paper and essay examples for high school and college students. The students will use these templates as a guideline/reference for writing their own term paper or essay. We do not exist to help students cheat and we forbid our customers to turn in these example papers for academic credit. – CollegeHelpers.com
Oh sure, high ethical standards! Very impressive! Of course, if they really had any, they wouldn’t be offering this service. And their clients, unless similarly challenged, wouldn’t be taking advantage of it. And what of the universities? Why do they perpetuate this charade? Surely the administrators know that no one goes to college for an education anymore. That went out with the Sixties. All anyone wants is a degree, which, amazingly enough, is still considered a passport to a career. If students aren’t willing to do their own work and are afraid of being caught plagiarizing or don’t even have the initiative to steal, why force them to job the chores out to others — people who already have degrees, presumably? If all they want is a degree, why not just sell them the worthless pieces of paper upfront for $100-200,000? Then the universities could fire all the worthless professors and really make a profit.
In recent weeks while addressing Tea Party rallies here on the left coast, I ask the assembled patriots what appears to be an odd question: “Would all those from the former Soviet Union please raise your hands?”
A notable number of hands are always raised — the San Francisco Bay Area is home to a diverse population.
I then ask another curious question: “What does April 22 signify to you?”
Without exception, someone will shout with great displeasure, “Lenin’s birth date!” – Brian Sussman