Crappy Birthday/Great Birthday

Hi My Peeps,

Thank you for all the loving posts, texts, phone messages, e-cards, and donations to Tails of Joy wishing me a happy birthday yesterday. I have not heard/seen any of them yet but I will later today.

I had a nice, low-key birthday planned. I was going to swim my usual mile in the pool. I swim a mile every day but always make sure to do it on my birthday to prove to myself I am not getting old. Then I was going to cook some great fish for my nephew and me, and we’d watch the Mets together and drink some champagne. I quit drinking a month ago after becoming an alcoholic during the first few months of lockdown. My hubby had already given me the greatest gift; solitude. He’s off with two friends on a bucket list motorcycle odyssey across the west, giving me the space I always crave and never get enough of. He sent pictures of Old Faithful spouting; gorgeous.

I woke up in the LA heat to find my never-sick-a-day-in-his-life younger dog pretty much paralyzed. Actually, I could not wake him. He was rigid and cold and locked in sleeping position. I tried and tried with no luck, but finally, after yelling loud enough for several minutes, maybe his soul heard me and came back into his body? (I know many of you will stop reading now lol. Pet owners “know” and will continue..) The vet was fully booked but I could drop him off and they’d get to him. On the 405 Fwy by 9am, speeding crosstown to the westside, immobile dog next to me. Dropped him off, headed back. For those who don’t know the 405 Fwy, it is what hell will be if we get there. You sit for hours to go one inch an hour. The heat had already hit 100°.

Rushed home to meet a workman who was coming to fix a phone problem. By then it was mid-afternoon. I rushed to Costco to buy the fish & champagne. I splurged and bought one I didn’t know but looked great for $19.99. I felt guilty spending that. I used to buy expensive bottles, but Tails of Joy cured me of that. Not buying a $50 bottle of the good stuff is a dog or two cats saved. The heat was stifling. As I left Costco I saw two incredibly handsome, fit, young black men rolling their cart to their car. They both wore t-shirts with stark black and white thick print so you could not miss the words if you were coming at them, “UNARMED“. I burst into tears.

I got into the car and the thermometer showed 111°, an unbelievable first. Thank dog global warming is only a hoax or I’d be worried. I was supposed to stop at a stranger’s house to pick up Bill’s lost cell phone, which he lost the day before his trip and this person just found, but she did not answer so I headed home instead. Thank goodness I did; as I pulled into the driveway, the car exploded in steam. The coolant tank just split in half and coolant was spewing all over the engine. I had my own Old Faithful!!

Luckily my nephew had arrived. So we could get back on the 405 to pick up the dog. If we didn’t have to drive, I might have downed the whole bottle of bubbly right then, but oblivion would have to wait. So we finally get to the vet and okay, it was most probably a disk in Beau’s back. He came out so stoned it was like trying to talk to Robert Downey Jr. in the ’80s. But he certainly looked $567.42 better, and that’s with a rescue discount. Important Note: I never, ever, EVER use Tails of Joy money for my own dogs. That would be a SCROTUS move. We run a clean ship.

We get home and fuzzy Keith Richards is able to walk from the car, yay! My other dog and my nephew’s dog whom I love love love come out to greet him and they run into the house happy. We crack open the champagne and both take one sip and spit it out. Tasteless bad fizz like putting an Alka Seltzer tablet into your mouth. We’re too tired to cook the fish so we take out leftovers. We bring them to the outdoor tv at the pool and turn on the Mets game (mlb.tv, watch the game any time you want). And there, umpiring at first base, is my Sheepshead Bay High School buddy Steve’s son. Steve had texted me it was happening but during this day I forgot. I realize I don’t feel even a little bad about the day. Why?

Because these “problems” were the whitest, most first world problems anyone could have, and I am one of the luckiest people in the world. “Bad champagne”? LOLOL. “Outdoor tv by the pool”, not “bleeding and sweeping up shrapnel in any one of a score of countries”. And all day there was a solution available at every turn: I had the money to help my dog, a vet who knows us, a beautiful car that has run well for 20 years and deserves to let off steam, a wonderful nephew who loves the Mets like I do, and shares fish with me that my husband won’t touch. And I am not forced to wear a t-shirt that says “UNARMED”. My friend’s son is a Major League umpire because we were not shot in school. My dog will probably be okay, and I have the money to send him to drug rehab after the medicine is gone because right now he’s smoking a Marlboro and listening to the Stones. I am waiting for a tow truck, and it’s only 105° today so things are looking up. On the shallow end, I weigh exactly 38 pounds less than on my birthday last year. And hey, the Mets WON!!! Plus, my nephew brought us a flan from the most delicious little taco joint on Sunset, and my great friends Penny and Dewey Bunnell sent a birthday cake all the way from Wisconsin.

I got into bed and saw the beautiful, proud, loving people in all fifty states nominate Joe Biden for president at the Democratic National Convention. I feel sure that the people who vote for Biden will help change the soul of this country so that, one day, no one in America will have to wear a t-shirt that says “UNARMED”. I drifted off to the righteous indignation of John Kerry expressing the anger that all decent human beings feel at what has been done to our country, our people, our system of justice, our constitution. I drifted off feeling there will be better days ahead.

I am waiting for the tow truck. I will then read and enjoy the many many good wishes everyone posted, texted, phone messaged to me yesterday. I will then get back to work sending out help for pets and homeless animals all across the country, as I see Tails of Joy has received about thirty new hopeful emails, asking for the help I was lucky enough to be able to afford for my own dog yesterday. I know I have made it, I am lucky, I am here.

What a great, great birthday.

Dorothea Buschell. d. April 13, 2020

With my cousin Dorothea, August, 2018

 

Follow the ongoing saga of my cousin Dorothea. Had her own long held family burial plot in a Jewish cemetery. Victim of Covid-19 in a Brooklyn nursing home, where they did not answer the phones for three weeks, and never informed the family she died. Then they buried her without telling us. In a catholic cemetery…

July 9, 2020 Update in LostMessiah

The City

The City (follow up article)

The New York Times (What We’re Reading)

The New York Post

The Times of Israel

The Jerusalem Post

The Daily Voice

The Jewish Voice

 

 

Little Richard — Brushes With the King

Boosler and Little Richard at Florida Sunfest

Years ago, I was hired to emcee a three day music festival in Fort Lauderdale. I ran back and forth between multiple stages all day and all night. All the concert goers were seeing me constantly, over and over again, and I had to keep it fresh, so I did. Comics will tell you the crowd gets restless when waiting for the music act they came to see, so I had to be funny/honest; when an act was delayed, I told them I wished I would get off too, but we were all waiting for the music, right?

Sunday night, Little Richard was to be the closing act on one of the main stages. Anticipation was high of course. By now the audiences and I were old friends, so it was going well, but Richard just never came out, and the crowd was getting restless. So I turned it all into a bit, “I’m gonna run backstage to see what’s what”, and I’d bring them updates when I ran back out. “Ten minutes tops. Want to just talk to each other and I’ll come back to introduce him?” “No! Stay!” “Okay.” Ten minutes, twenty, thirty. Again, the crowd wanted answers. “I’m going backstage, be right back.” I did and came back out. “He’s coming! I actually saw him leave his dressing room and start to walk the hallway, he’s coming!!” Everyone clapped and whooped and I was so relieved. And then: nothing. No Little Richard. Nothing. “I’m gonna go backstage and see what’s what.” I went all the way back to his dressing room, passing a phalanx of Little Richard bodyguards in suits, all speaking into their walkie-talkies as I made my way down the line, one after another relaying the information: “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants.” “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants.” “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants….”

I went back onstage and said the only thing I could, “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants”… to the sounds of agonized groans. To this day when my husband yells to me “Come on! We’re gonna be late!” I yell back, “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants!”

 

This Little Richard story comes from John Brower

“Toronto September 13, 1969; “The Rock and Roll Revival”. Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee, Gene Vincent and Bo Diddley, with a few other acts thrown in: The Doors, John Lennon with the first iteration of The Plastic Ono Band, Alice Cooper (who brought a chicken), Chicago and a few others I’m missing.

Lennon was a late addition, The Doors were booked to close, but outside John’s dressing room Jim, and Bill Siddons, were trying to explain to John that The Doors wanted him to close. Backstory, the Saturday show was a ticket sales bomb on the Monday, it was almost cancelled and everyone but John knew it. He had been signed on at the last minute and agreed to come only if they could play, brought Eric, Klaus and Alan White on drums. Siddons and Jim were afraid everyone would leave after John, who was incredulous and kept saying, “But you’re the headliners. I’m worried everyone will leave after you if we close”. Richard was within earshot in a narrow hallway under the bleachers and came over in his most regal and commanding presence and proclaimed, “I will close the show, the way it should be closed by me The King. You know that Mr Doors, you know that Mr Promoter, you know that Mr Lennon.”

The four of us stood speechless and I saw in Jim and John’s faces a reverence and respect that they most likely would not muster up for few if any others. Rock and roll had been called, claimed and owned by Little Richard. He was due on next and graciously agreed to do so but as he  walked down the canopy towards the stage, in his lilting falsetto he almost sang. “I am The King.” The Doors did close, no one left after John played and the rest is history. Richard gave a performance that many publications acknowledged owned the  festival and some said it relaunched a career that as we know never ended.

I have seen some things in my time but this moment of Little Richard getting Jim and John to almost bow their heads in respect and stand in star-struck silence was the best. You can see his performance and the other original rock legends in the doc Sweet Toronto by Pennebaker. It’s worth it to see Little Richard who knew that both John and Jim were in the wings watching, give a performance that left fans and critics alike on their feet the whole time and in the palm of the hand of a master.”

 

National Comedy Center’s Tribute to George Carlin – May 12, 2020

Elayne is part of an All – Star tribute to George Carlin, presented by the National Comedy Center Museum. https://comedycenter.org/carlin-announcement/

Stream free at 8pmET/5pmPT on May 12 at comedycenter.org/Carlin.

It will be available on the National Comedy Center’s Facebook page via Facebook Live and at comedycenter.org/Carlin.

In this 1975 photo originally released by NBC, comedian George Carlin is shown in a promotional photo for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Carlin, 71, whose staunch defense of free speech in his most famous routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” led to a key Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, died Sunday June 22, 2008. He went into St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. Carlin served as host of the “Saturday Night Live” debut in 1975. (AP Photo/NBC) ** NO SALES ** ORG XMIT: NYET159

Twitter – Where Comedy Goes to Die

Twitter users seem to come in these flavors; outrageous or outraged, educated/helpful, smart/reasonable, idiots/trolls, funny. Being a comedian, I always tried to lead with comedy. Now after eleven years of providing comedy on twitter, I have been banned.

On March 24th, in the midst of a raging pandemic where social distancing and home quarantine were our best bets to prevent even larger scale death and illness, ImpeachedSCROTUS declared he “wants the churches opened up and raring to go by Easter”. Many of his supporters celebrated. Most reasonable people were horrified. Twitter, rightly so, exploded in rage and incredulity. I too was incensed, but so tired of feeling incensed by his daily insanity, and I didn’t want to add to the vitriol. Suddenly, my darling Andy Kaufman tapped me on the shoulder and I realized I could go completely in the opposite direction and it would be sublime. I do love satire. I tweeted:

“Listen libtards, u’ve got it all wrong. This country needs to stay strong & show the world we know what’s best! I agree with r president & encourage every #MAGA supporter to lock arms, get out there & go back 2 work together asap! @realDonaldTrump #NotDying4WallStreet #HugMitch”.

It could not have been any clearer that this was satire. “Libtards” is what the “right” calls us on twitter, so coming from a known comedian with forty plus years of democratic activism and material, it was funny. In case it wasn’t clear enough, the hashtags were there as a confirming wink. Yet liberals attacked. When you’re that incensed, you cannot see. The comments were hilarious, the threads so entertaining, I doubled down to the point of ridiculousness until people “got it”. The “right” continued to tweet “no one was going to prevent them filling their churches”, “God was bigger than Covid”, the virus was “a hoax”, etc., and I went right along with them, tweeting:

“Put on those red hats and spit in each other’s faces, just to show the world we are men and we are not afraid. Ha!”

I mean, could you get any sillier? Yet those are the two tweets, posted on March 24th, for which I was banned on April 6th. I had posted seventy subsequent tweets, so someone had to comb through those and work pretty hard to “find something” on me. But what? Those tweets were clearly comedy from a comedian and echoed exactly what the “right” was tweeting.

Twitter gives you no specifics, just cuts you dead and says you violated their rules. The only rule I could find that they, unbelievable as it is to me, might have applied, is against “encouraging self-harm or suicide”. Yet ever since, against the recommendations of every medical professional in government, The Impeached has incited his followers to “open up the country”. Hundreds if not thousands of people left their homes weeks ago and gathered closely together, most without masks or protective gear, to demand cities re-open. The coming weeks will no doubt reap the deadly results of this reckless “encouraging of self-harm or suicide”, yet SCROTUS’ and the republicans’ twitter accounts are doing just fine.

Everyone is trying to define comedy’s place in the new world. Twitter told me to delete my tweets to keep my account. I would never sell out my comedy heroes or comedy that way. Twitter deleted my tweets anyway. And yet, I remain banned, over nothing. All comedians should chafe at censorship that is ignorant at best, arbitrary at worst. We should all object to the hypocrisy of a platform that bans the comedy so needed today, but freely allows deadly misinformation, incitement of harm and encouragement of hate while claiming it doesn’t. I am thanked every day on all other social media for providing laughter during this awful time. So if this banning badge of honor means I have to find a two bedroom to share with Captain Crozier, then I am proud to do so.

 

 

The Week, November 29, 2019 – Wit & Wisdom

Wit & Wisdom

The Week included a classic quote of Elayne’s in its Wit & Wisdom column on November 29, 2019, which had been earlier quoted in Forbes Magazine.

“Polarizing people is a good way to win an election and a good way to wreck a country.”
Columnist Molly Ivins, quoted in The Virginian-Pilot

“An American will build a house in which to pass his old age and sell it before the roof is on.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, quoted in Lapham’s Quarterly

“Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.”
Roman poet Ovid, quoted in AmericaMagazine.org

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
George Orwell, quoted in TheBulwark.com

“My ancestors wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because even in biblical times, men would not stop to ask directions.”
Comedian Elayne Boosler, quoted in Forbes.com

“When politicians decide to do nothing, they decide to do a great deal in a world that is not standing still.”
Conservationist Norman Myers, quoted in The New York Times

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
Author Douglas Adams, quoted in BBC.com