Hy's Post

Hy's Post
Lower East Side

Thursday, January 12, 2012


With the dumbing down of America, the most desirable quality in a manuscript, whether in prose or verse, will soon be its suitability for spin-offs of games and clothes, and films and television, and for advertising of all kinds. In time to come, if the classics are ever reprinted at all, they will certainly be edited for commercial correctness.

Remembrance of Mustaches Past
by Marcel Proust

For a long time I used to go to bed early, because my droopy and wispy mustache had made me the laughingstock of all Paris and even its suburbs in all directions for a distance of about a hundred kilometers, but one fateful afternoon while, within hearing of saints and sinners alike, the bells at Notre-Dame du Bon Conseil were tolling four o'clock, the hour at which I customarily indulged in my nightcap of a madeline and a cup of tisane, both purchased at Francine’s Fabulous Fondues on the rue des Italiens, a thoroughfare with otherwise bitter associations for me, even more than the Champs-Élysées, where, in an outburst of passion that was alternately pure and prurient, as is more or less normal for French juveniles, more if they have attractive mothers who do not always appear in their bedrooms for a good-night kiss,  I once gave  both my heart and a diamond friendship ring from Cartier’s on the Rue François 1er to Gilberte Swann and the very next day she refused to let me play with her blue, splinter-proof hoop from Au Bon Marché although she did extend that felicity, as desirable as a sip of cool Perrier to a parched legionnaire on a dune in Morocco, to Emile Spangler, who had never given her anything more valuable than a band from a cigar once puffed by the Prince of Wales at Les Filles de Carmen, touted as the most discreet and sanitary brothel on the rue Auber, I suddenly recalled, after three decades of cerebral oblivion, the stiff and sturdy mustache of Pierre de Montiers, the popular boulevardier, and his faithful ministrations of Sardieu's once-a-day, shape-assured mustache wax, which was once, and still is, somehow, probably through its unique and patented ingredients, repelling the usual obliterations of time, available at better hairdressers in the Faubourg St. Germain and throughout Paris and the provinces; immediately, even though it was for me a late hour, and even though Maurice, my splendid valet from the Madame de Pompadour Training School for Domestic Servants and Courtesans, had already laid out my  velvet bed jacket, silk pajamas, and embroidered slippers, all imported from Khuzistan by Robert Bourget et fils, my one and only haberdasher, established since 1801 upon the rue du Tivoli, whose wares I esteem as highly as I do Lamontier’s organic truffles from the heart of Perigord, for which the sommeliers at Maxim’s will always have the perfect wine, depending on the year and season, I took leave of my cork-lined apartment designed at a reasonable fee by the impeccable Henriette Bizet, whose drapes and settees I am bequeathing to the Louvre if it will have them, a doubtful eventuality, (but what human wish is not?) and, risking an attack of asthma, rushed out for a social season's supply of M. Sardieu's remarkable product, capable of transforming a country bumpkin who didn’t know cow’s dung from court etiquette into a dandy fit for full membership in the Jockey Club, or even for an intimate—as much as mere commoners can be intimate with their betters, and, à forteriori, needless to say, vice versa—soiree at the chateau of the Duc de Guermantes, in whose veins run the blood—fortified , you may be sure, by daily doses of  the new and improved Ferro-Forte liver tonic with added chamomile and rose hips from his local San Souci Pharmacy—of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, all of which preceding persiflage reminds me that when I once stooped from our usual lofty conversation about the deference due to the nobility and aristocracy, whatever may be the alleged and de jure form of government, whether a monarchy or that most futile of fantasies, a democracy, and took the liberty of complimenting the Duchess on the sparkle and clarity—suggesting the lost innocence we once had, or so we like to think we had (O vanity of vanities!)—of the more than thousand windows of her chateau, she revealed, to my great interest, for I delight in learning these tidbits concerning the nonsexual preferences and practices of both royalty and the major and minor nobility, even those elevated by those upstarts, the House of Orleans, that she has ordered her servants to employ Monsieur Sanitaire, the only cleanser recommended by Martine de Stewart, whose sage advice is disseminated in books available at Barnes et Noblesse Oblige and other fine shops whose wares, whatever their other virtues, can never enable us to retrieve and live once again with greater sensitivity and discrimination, not even for a moment, the lost time of our lives.  




November 17, 2014

 London -- Fourteen people, including six Americans, were shot to death at London's Heathrow Airport yesterday afternoon when four undercover agents of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Fetus Protection attempted to arrest Mrs. Edith Morgan of Ralston, Virginia, on a charge of having left the U.S. without proper certification as to her childbearing status. 
            Four of the American victims were the federal agents, and the other two were Kentucky Congressman Paul Z. Krammer and his chief personal assistant, Linda Merritt, 24, a former Miss Kentucky. They had just arrived in London for, among other activities, a fact-finding tour of urban and rural orphanages in the British Isles.  Before departing on his trip, Congressman Krammer, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Orphans and Dependent Seniors, had told Bill O'Reilly on Fox News that the orphanages and poor houses of Charles Dickens's time had been getting "a bad rap" in recent years, and that "America could learn a heck of a lot from a no-frills custodial system that permitted Britain to get on with important affairs of state and become the preeminent superpower of its time."
            In compliance with the new constitutional amendment that bans abortion under all circumstances and protects the right to life of fetuses regardless of sex, race and religion, Mrs. Morgan, 54, like all American women between the ages of 12 and 55, claims to have been subjected to a physical exam by a board certified gynecologist of  the FBFP before being allowed to depart the U.S. for a long anticipated visit to family and friends in the UK. To prevent women from seeking abortions abroad now that they are banned at home, the law mandates the exam for female citizens both upon their departure from and then their return to the country.  The Supreme Court recently ruled 5-4 in U.S. v Lady Poo Poo that the law applies also to transsexuals and transvestites of the relevant ages.  Meanwhile, President Romney, who first proposed the new amendment while running in the 2012 primaries against long-time religion-oriented opponents, has ordered that flags be lowered to half mast at all federal buildings in the country. 
            When questioned at London's Heathrow Airport yesterday, Mrs. Morgan could not convince the four undercover agents that she had submitted to the mandatory exam that very morning at Dulles International Airport in Washington.  She added in her statement to Assistant Chief Inspector Ralph Browning of the Metropolitan Police: "It is not my fault that their computer system broke down. I never have trouble with my Apple laptop, and it's five years old, the same age as my grandson Cyril here in Puckeridge-upon-Severn."
            Mrs. Morgan alleges that when the four agents attempted to hustle her from the overseas arrivals concourse and along a corridor toward an unmarked door, she bit the hand that had been placed over her mouth and then screamed as loud as she used to cheer for President Romney but will never again do so.  Her screams had the desired effect of attracting potential rescuers, and seven of them turned out to be members of the South Yorkshire Hunting Club, just returned from a safari in Kenya.
            Their leader, retired Col. Ted Rogge-Ornsby of the Queen's First Sharpshooters, told police:  "The four thugs were very definitely abducting this poor woman, and as British gentlemen and sportsmen, my friends and I were duty bound to save her." A prominent fox hunter, Col. Rogge-Ornsby is chairman of the Royal Rifle Association, the U.K.'s counterpart to the National Rifle Association in America.
            At 10 Downing St., a spokesperson for Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to either confirm or deny the flurry of reports that he has requested President Romney to halt all surveillance by U.S. undercover fetus agents at Heathrow and also on Harley Street, where some of Britain's most prominent physicians and perhaps abortion providers are located.  He did, however, admit that Sir Trevor Shapeley, the famed gynecologist, was one day followed by American agents for well over a mile until he finally entered Buckingham Palace for his regular monthly checkup of Queen Elizabeth II. Sir Trevor assures the nation and especially the tabloid press that the queen has never been in better health and spirits.
          The names of the four U.S. agents are being withheld until their families can be informed of the tragedy. House Speaker John Boehner has arranged for them to receive a hero's funeral and then burial at Arlington National Cemetery. When informed of the tragedy, he said with a flow of tears, "Just like our G.I.s who made the supreme sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy and Okinawa, they died to save American lives. And to create more jobs. Because every American fetus has the God-given right to one day become the head of a great corporation like Microsoft or General Motors."
             Often praised as a role model for its counterpart in the U.S., the Royal Rifle Association believes that the right to bear and use arms is embedded in their unwritten Constitution that goes back to Magna Carta, and its members have petitioned the House of Lords to invoke their ancient privileges and order the police to drop all charges against the gallant sportsmen who came to the rescue of a lady in distress.  


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Politics as a Sporting Event

            Though it is nowhere mentioned in my copy of The World Sports Encyclopedia, politics as practiced in America should really be included as a sport akin to baseball.  And described as a development of the gladiatorial combats to the death as practiced in ancient Rome. Rome was later acclaimed for its grandeur, usually by historians who had never been inside the Coliseum as participants, and were more familiar with plumes and pens than swords and battle axes.

            As long ago as 1938, American politics was classified as a sport by Dutch historian Johan Huizinga (1872--1945). He observed in Homo Ludens, "Long before the two-party system had reduced itself to two gigantic teams whose political differences were hardly discernible to an outsider, electioneering in America had developed into a kind of national sport." But to regard politics as a national sport should in no way be construed as a downsizing of this non-stop, year-round activity with a multi-billion budget that will be increasing astronomically, thanks to the  generous stimulus package delivered in 2010 by the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

            For a century if not longer, sports in America have received far more attention from the public and the media than, for example, religion or the fine arts. When was a sermon on The Seven Deadly Sins, even by preacher-politico-Fox News guru Mike Huckabee, ever reported on the front page of all newspapers in the land? Or a revival of Palmira, Regina di Persia, my favorite neglected opera by Antonio Salieri, a contemporary and mutual admirer of Mozart and Beethoven?

            If politics is indeed a sport, and will in future presidential campaigns be so regarded, there here, as a service to journalism and the nation, is my lead of  a recent primary debate in Iowa:

            "During the final round of questions in last night's Republican Party primary debate of the seven remaining contenders in Des Moines, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer threw Newt Gingrich a curve ball regarding school budgets that he promptly slammed out of sight for a home run toward the 2012 presidential convention in Tampa, Florida. It was a wallop for the record books, and immediately established Newt as the front runner in the no-holds-barred race to win the GOP nomination and go on to wrest back the White House from Barack Obama, the Windy City southpaw who in 2008 had come from behind to slaughter Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin. Arising from the ashes of defeat, Sarah later hit the jackpot of celebrity with a historic triple play, becoming a Fox News commentator, Tea Party icon, and proud mom of perky Bristol Palin, top competitor in the TV smash Dancing with the Stars and author of the bestselling memoir, Not Afraid of Life."

            Johan Huizinga is best known for another book, The Waning of the Middle Ages. Were he alive in 2011, would he be continuing his studies of our present politics and culture, and be planning a sequel to be called The Waning of the United States of America?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Classics and Commercials

With the dumbing down of America,the most desirable quality in a manuscript, whether in prose or verse, will soon be its suitability for spin-offs of games and clothes, and films and television, and for advertising of all kinds. In time to come, if the classics are ever reprinted at all, they will certainly be edited for commercial

To An Athlete Dying Young But in Fashion

by A. E. Housman

Bright lad, you wore your Nikes
On the day you ran your race;
You croaked far from the finish,
But you led the pack in grace.

Now the lassies, as they mourn you,
Forget your eye and its hues,
But they avow that never in Shropshire,
Did a corpse wear such fabulous shoes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tomorrow's News Today Feb.23, 2014

Tomorrow's News Today

February 23, 2014

Explosion Injures 66 Pupils and Destroys New School Building

Des Moines -- A boiler explosion at the George W. Bush Elementary School in the hitherto sleepy town of Amestown, Iowa, yesterday morning injured 66 pupils and totally destroyed the recently constructed building that had cost a record-breaking 14 million dollars.

While running for office in November, 2011, in a speech at Harvard University, President Newt Gingrich suggested a plan to modernize child labor laws. Included in the plan was a strong recommendation that janitorial work at the nation's schools could and should be performed by children as young as nine. They would perform their both money-saving and character-building assignments under the supervision of an adult custodian.

Yesterday morning, on his way to work on the coldest day of the year, with the temperature not expected to rise above 8 degrees, Custodian Chuck Welles, 54, suffered a stroke and then an auto accident on Hoover Avenue and was taken to Lincoln Hospital where he remains unconscious and in critical condition.

Under the circumstances, Bobby Vinter, 10, volunteered to start up the furnace, which had been shut down for the weekend in accordance with the order of popular Mayor Al Horlogger, who was fulfilling his solemn pledge to balance the municipal budget when he ran for office as a candidate of the Tea Party. Though Bobby had received an A for character and cooperation on his last four report cards, he was apparently less than proficient with the school's digitalized and state-of-the-art boiler, which proved far more complicated than the rudimentary model in his parents' single-family home at 144 Spruce Lane.

Fortunately, due to the bad weather and poor road conditions, only 66 pupils and eight teachers were as yet in the school at the time of the explosion, which was heard for miles and mistaken at first as a terrorist attack on Amestown, recently voted number 7 in USA Today's list of heartland towns and cities. The 39 children whose parents could afford to enroll in GingrichCare, the new national network of private-sector medical centers, are expected to recover eventually. President Gingrich and First Lady Callista Gingrich expressed sympathy for all the victims, regardless of the immigration status of their parents, and they also promised to pray for their swift and complete recovery. Said Vice President Michele Bachmann: "God tells me that He's watching out for the folks in Amestown, just as He did for General Benedict Arnold and his brave fighting men at Valley Forge during the war for freedom from the Russians in 1790."

Meanwhile, Mayor Horlogger has vowed to use his clout with the Tea Party and its leaders, all the way up to President Gingrich, to overrule penny-pinching Democrats and obtain a special grant of at least fifteen million dollars for the replacement of the devastated school.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I have always been unhappy about the word "conservative" and its various definitions in the dictionaries to which I have access. After reading in the New York Times of the intention of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives to undue the new legislation that provides better health care for more Americans, I would like to offer yet another definition of conservative.

Conservative: one who benefits from current laws, beliefs and institutions, and who considers it his patriotic and religious duty to oppose any change that would decrease his own benefits and/or increase the benefits of those who do not currently possess them.