Call Me Stimulus

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

Obama Never Wanted To Be President. He Just Wanted To Be Loved.

 

The Stimulus Bill weighs in at 1,588 pages – not exactly a page turner. The same lawmakers who wrote this heavyweight boondoggle, and voted for it, never read it, and that’s why there’s all this amazement about those bonuses for AIG. Nobody knows what’s in this package, except for $850 BILLION of our money that’s going, going, gone.

 

According to my calculations, that’s one thousand dollars per word, or maybe a million dollars per page. That’s a writer’s dream.

 

Mark Twain got a nickel a word and Ernest Hemingway maybe a dime or a quarter.

 

“Moby Dick” runs 464 pages. On those rates (if he were writing for Congress) Herman Melville would have died wealthy instead of poor, or started the novel with, “Call me Rich,” instead of Ishmael. “War and Peace” ends at page 1,296. Using the same math, Leo Tolstoy died poor for no reason except for the fact that he wrote novels instead of legislation.

 

(How do I get in on this?)

 

I actually heard three senators say that they never read the bill, that, indeed, nobody in Congress read the small print or even the BIG PRINT. Nada.

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Fiction Friction, News Blues

By Jack Engelhard

 

When I heard that an obscure French-born novelist had won the Nobel Prize, I thought it must be me and I began eyeing that red Cadillac. After all, I fit all three categories. I am obscure. I am French-born. I am a novelist. Who else could it be? A man named Jean-Marie Gustav Le Clezio, that’s who. Oh well, as we say in baseball (and the economy) – wait till next year.

 

I hope Le Clezio wins us over. This is not promising. There have been no long lines for preceding Nobel champs, big names like Orhan Pamuk and Elfriede Jelinek.

 

Hemingway got the jitters when he won it and in fact he wanted no part of it due to the jinx.

 

But I’m stalling. I’ve really come here to talk about THE DEATH OF THE NOVEL. The latest to have his crack at this is columnist Kyle Smith writing in today’s New York Post (Sunday, Oct. 12). He sums it all up, in my favorite newspaper, by saying (if not in those words) that, in this fast-paced age of technology, fiction does not speak for our times.

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“In God We Trust” and That’s No Lie

By Jack Engelhard

 

Who knew it would come to this? The psalmist knew.

 

Psalm 146 says this: “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”

 

Princes, then as now, are people who run our lives, like politicians and titans of commerce – most of whom we trusted until some weeks ago.

 

Today we know that many of these men are beyond greed but deep into incompetence and crookedness. They’ve taken our money and run off. One crowd at one of those firms that got bailed out with our billions, well, as you know, they made themselves a party at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars. Whoopee!

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Your Money is Safer at the Racetrack

By Jack Engelhard

 

Don’t know much about the economy. Then again, neither do the people who run these things.

 

With all these banking outfits going down the drain, virtually overnight, we skipped right past Recession and went directly to Depression. Thanks, guys! Now it’s all in the hands of our Congress to save us from insolvency, which is like inviting Michael Jackson into your bedroom to babysit.

 

Don’t know much about politics, either, which puts me in the same boat with politicians.

 

On Nancy Pelosi and the bickering in the House of Representatives, we quote the sage Casey Stengal: “Doesn’t anybody know how to play this game?”

 

[Wait a minute! This Congress is controlled by the Democrats. If this is a sample of the “change” we’ve got coming, we’re in big trouble, kemosabe.]

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