Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We're Becoming a Nation of Morons

Before I start, the above image is pretty awesome, isn't it? And I really like Barack Obama.

The other day I happened upon a Roger Ebert Tweet* that linked to this article.

* Before I go any further—and I know that I'm completely late to this party—I have to say that Twitter is amazing. I initially resisted signing up because I didn't like keeping my thoughts to a 140 characters and the people that I knew that were using Twitter (Ashton Kutcher being the most famous at the time) made me think that it was a medium for idiots. While I don't tweet much, the pool of people tweeting has gotten much, much deeper and their output is prodigious. It's become a daily occurrence for me to go on and see what my favorite comedians are saying, keeping up with friends and what writers are reporting on—as it happens. The Ebert Tweets are consistently among the best. They're a mixture of politics, humor and well-reasoned thoughts. If you haven't signed up, do so now.

There is a large portion of Republicans (almost 25%) that think that our President, Barack Obama, is the Antichrist. You may remember the Antichrist from such books as the Bible. He, along with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (not the backfield from 1924 Notre Dame football team), that's going to bring about the end of the days by spreading disease and famine and destruction all over the world.

The Bible is a terrific book, but it's full of hypocrisies and stories that may not be exactly true, nor were they really intended to be taken as Gospel (see what I did there? HUMOR!) fact. This is because a lot of the stories in the Bible have been written as allegories or metaphors or stories that were just not meant to be taken literally. Add to that, that the Bible was written thousands of years ago, translated from one dead language to another and then massaged by rulers with God complexes and one can see where this might not be the most factual group of pages ever assembled.

In any event there is a pretty large contingent of people who look at Barack Obama, see that he's trying to give them health care for free and have determined that this action is going to bring about the LITERAL end of the world as described in a book written thousands of years before he was alive.

Who in their right mind actually thinks that anyone is the Antichrist, much less a person like Obama? Is he perfect? Of course not, he's a career politician and those are among the most dirty swine there are. But the Antichrist is supposed to be a person who has caused thousands and thousands of deaths and is pretty much the opposite of JC in all ways and Barack Obama fills this bill?

Remember, there is only one Antichrist in the Bible so Adolph Hitler doesn't fit the suit.* Idi Amin doesn't qualify. Neither do the scores and scores of truly insane, sadistic and detestable leaders since 33 AD. None of them are even being considered for the nomination of Antichrist, yet Barack Obama is the guy? Really? He's not even the craziest leader on the planet. With a stable of nuclear weapons and the biggest Napoleonic complex since Napoleon, Kim Jong Il should get branded as the modern-day Antichrist way before Obama.

* Thirty-eight percent of those polled said Obama is “doing the same things that Hitler did”. THE SAME THINGS THAT HITLER DID. Read that sentence again, I can't even fathom what this means.

Say what you want about our current President, but I don't remember Barack Obama putting millions of people in concentration camps and executing them simply because their day of rest was on Saturday instead of Sunday. And while I've long considered our preivous president to be the Anti-Einstein, I've never gone biblical on his ignorant ass.

Aside from the Antichrist charge, there are a few other interesting nuggets that Americans believe about Obama:

1. He was not born in America! I thought that we laid this issue to rest? The man is American as the Statue of Liberty ... uh oh!

2. He's Muslim! I'm still not sure why this is a huge deal. I mean, I get the implication that being a Muslim equals being a terrorist, but there hundreds of millions of Muslims in the world. A small percentage of one percent are terrorists. That's like saying a Catholic shouldn't be trusted because of any Irish bombings.

3. He's a socialist! Here's the thing, Barack Obama is definitely not a socialist. He just isn't, aside from offering healthcare, I don't know what else he has done to be deemed a socialist. And if by some WWE-style swerve, he does turn out to be a socialist, than the chances are pretty damn good that he's not a Muslim. Most countries that are predominantly Muslim don't really subscribe to the hammer and sickle way of living. So you have to choose one or the other. This line of thinking reminds me of “The Simpsons” episode where action hero Rainier Wolfcastle had to fight Commie-Nazis.

It seems that every day more and more people are getting dumber and more scared, which is never a good combination and it's causing a mishmash of ignorant arguments at increasingly loud volumes. These people are joining the Fox News Kids Klub, AKA the Tea Party movement and are getting louder and louder and louder.

During the last decade or so, being considered intelligent is considered a bad thing. When George W. Bush “won” the presidency many people said that the reason why they voted for him is because they could see themselves having a beer with the guy. Whatever his foibles were, Bush did seem like a pretty nice, albeit completely misguided, person. I think that he would have been an awesome commissioner for Major League Baseball. That being said, he was one of the worst presidents ever. Everything from domestic policy to foreign policy to environmental issues to education has been left in ruins since his two terms in office.

The people I share beers with are good and intelligent people, I do not want any of them to run the country.

And Fox News knows what they're doing. They're masters at whipping the gullible into a lather and are pretty much behind the organization. From Wikipedia (as trust-worthy as the Bible):

“On February 11 ( 2009) talk radio host and Fox Business Network personality Dave Ramsey appeared on Fox and Friends, waving tea bags and saying "It's time for a Tea Party." He was on the show criticizing newly confirmed Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, who that morning had outlined his plan to use the $300 billion or so dollars remaining in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. He intended to use $50 billion for foreclosure mitigation and use the rest to help fund private investors to buy toxic assets from banks.”

This resonated with conservatives and Fox began playing it up at every possible opportunity. From Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh (who's not on Fox, but is a conservative) these people have jumped on the Tea Party bandwagon and are driving it at breakneck speed. The news organization that compared anti-war protestors in Bush administration to traitorous terrorists are telling their viewers to essentially destroy the fabric of America.

In the last few months Tea Partyers have disrupted sessions of Congress, have shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at elected officials, turned last summer's healthcare town meetings into shouting matches. For a group of people who consider themselves “patriots” Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove and Sarah Palin are ripping this country apart and they know it. They all have that same smug look of satisfaction when they come back from a Tea Party clip where some person is just screaming nonsense and Fox talking points.

For all of their caterwauling about the influences of the “liberal media”, the conservative media has much more influence and always has and they love it. They are the ones that further the mistruths against Obama by providing incredibly vague headlines (“Is Obama a Muslim? We aren't saying if he is or he isn't!”) and distorted facts (“Death panels! Your grandmother is going to die!”) knowing that most people want a soundbite and not read the entire story. What is most infuriating is they love to play the role of the underdog, despite the fact that these conservative icons have more money than most of the world. And yet they still get the poor to go along with their plans that will only improve their lives. It's a very ingenious plan that these swine have put over on the American public.

And that's what sucks the most. America is being torn asunder by a not-so-clandestine group of people who want to save a few sheckles on their tax returns. They have no compassion for the working man, but pretend to sound like they do. They're just using them and once their plan works so that regulations on every industry is rolled back, healthcare is something only the rich can afford and a free society is only afforded to the wealthy, then the American people will realize that they've been bamboozled.

Only then it will be too late. I love my country, but the American people are being used like a two-dollar whore by the rich. The poor have an enemy, but it's not liberals. It's the rich and the sooner they realize that, the better off this country will be.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Look!

Didn't expect to do this, but I hope that everyone enjoys the new look of 19 Thoughts.

It's been about five years, and even someone as adverse to change such as me needs to spice things up now and then.

Hope you enjoy it and the search functions, lay out and the black text on white background is easier to read.

BTW, one of the cool new features is that I can now link other Blogs. So, if you like reading me, chances are I'm going to like reading you too. Drop a line and let's be Blog Buddies.

Ugh, that didn't sound so lame when I originally thought it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Larry King Part III or Tucson! Hello!

From time to time Larry King drops by 19 Thoughts and regales the readers with his some of his thoughts, like he would do back in the day when he wrote for USA Today. Not sure why he chose an anonymous Blog like mine to itch his writin' scratch, but I'm very happy to run his odds and ends.

Oranges are the most disappointing fruit ... The sun shines in Florida, but Vero Beach is completely empty ... I ran into Marty Scorsese the other day and he let me in on a secret: his next picture is going to be about the underworld ... Lots of self-help books on the shelves these days. What did we do before them? ... When I was a lad I was glad to be poor. I thought that you could catch polio by playing polo ... If all sewer workers were as nice as Art Carney, I'd be in hip-high boots right now ... The Saints are Super Bowl Champions, I remember when New Orleans was completely flooded. What a world! ... The other day I spotted a man with a belt and suspenders, he's the person you want when driving cross country ... They called him Henny Youngman because he liked to dress in woman's clothes. Otherwise he'd be Rooster Youngman ... Avatar this and Avatar that ... The internet is a fascinating place, every where you go there's an argument. It reminds me of my third wife ... The President smokes and wants free health care? Methinks that the presidency has a terrible HMO ... Go to the dictionary and look up the definition of up-and-comer, you'll find a picture of Drew Barrymore ... Why send a pool boy to do the work of a pool man? ... You can cram it, Jerry Seinfeld ... In my day the home calculator was the size of a bus. Now you can carry them in your pocket ... Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but his gall bladder is at Cedar Sinai ... Just kidding Tony, you know I love ya ... New-born babies are great paper weights ... Raquel Welch could really fill out a loin cloth ... I'm still trying to figure out how to hook up my son's Atari video game ... A piece of driving advice: keep moving forward no matter what ... Bob Hope once owned a piece of the Cleveland Indians. What team would he buy now? ... Mirrors are reverse windows on the soul ... I'm glad that trees don't cry because I love my morning newspaper ... Know what I like best about waffles? The squares ... I wouldn't mind being a cow, you get to stand ankle-deep in your dinner every day ... The color blue is suspicious ... There really isn't anything on Earth like a hamburger made the way you like it ... Scotch tape seems sort of racist to me ... I hope that ghosts are real ... Keep a compass with you at all times. One day you'll thank me ... I know which part is the string, but I can't tell which part is the first yo and which part is the second yo ... Radio, telephones, television, movies, the Internet. I've conquered them all. Up next are holograms ... We really could do without eyebrows or so says Michael Dukakis ... Have you ever heard “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” performed live in your own living room? Tremendous, I highly recommend giving Cher a call ... Baseball is right around the corner, watch out for those pesky Florida Marlins ... Asparagus. What's the point? ... No glass containers for me, I get my pickles from a wooden barrel ... A day without a watercress sandwich is like Fidel Castro without a beard ... Five minutes of Dr. Phil and I've had my fill ... The love of candy is the great equalizer ... Talk to you soon, folks!

Thanks again, Larry.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Death From Above or the Ultimate Spoiler Warning

Warning: this is an extremely long entry.

Today I happened upon an interesting article that put to rest the debate on how dinosaurs were wiped out. Some scientists have theorized about a gigantic volcano in India that released a mega-explosion that essentially turned the world into one gigantic lava pit. Biblical scholars theorize that the dinosaurs missed Noah's last call and were all drowned. Gary Larson thinks that smoking was the cause of the downfall.

Turns out all of these ideas were wrong. According to a 20-year study, a nine-mile wide asteroid slammed into Chicxulub Mexico traveling at a speed of 20 times that of a speeding bullet and hitting the Earth with force that is akin to one billion (with a B) atomic bombs.

The dinosaurs that weren't impacted by the impact were soon dead because of the drastic climate change. Basically the entire planet went Hoth in a matter of days because of the debris that kicked up pretty much blotted out the sun. And since dinosaurs were mostly warm-blooded, they died pretty quickly*.

* The week before my brother left for college he took all of the money that he made working during the summer and told my mother that he was buying a bunch of stuff for college—all of which she vetoed. One of the things on the list was a snake, for some reason he wanted to be “that guy” on your freshman year floor who had a snake. My brother went crazy saying that it was HIS money and he was going to do what HE wanted with it and there was nothing that she could do to stop him.

ANYWAY, he went out and spent a couple hundred bucks on the snake and the heat rock and the tank and brought home the snake. My parents put both of their feet down and told him that he can bring the snake with him to college, but there was no way in hell that it was living under their roof. And since my brother made such a big deal about it being HIS money, he couldn't argue with their logic about THEIR roof and he kept it at his friend's house.

His friend was a moron and felt that since it was August in Massachusetts the snake would be perfectly fine if the tank was near an open window. The snake was dead by morning and my brother was left with a heated rock and an empty tank.

What does this dinosaur story have to do with anything? I'm glad you asked. What if an asteroid was bearing down on us at this very minute and we didn't have a handful of brave Texas oil riggers to blow it up? Would you really want to know that you and everyone that you knew and cared about was about to be wiped off the face of the Earth in a very, very painful way?

And I'm not talking about snarky radio station programming directors playing Def Leppard's “Armageddon It” on a continuous loop.

I'm talking about the intense and insane amount of fear that your life was about to end. And this wouldn't be a plane-crash realization that you were among a small-group of people that were going to die, this is a world-wide cataclysm. I can't think of anything that would effect 100% of the world's population and observing what would happen would be extremely—is interesting the right word choice here? because that's the word I'm going to use—interesting.

The first thing that I would assume that would happen is that there would be no looting, because what's the point? An asteroid is six hours away from blowing the planet to smithereens and you're busy trying to hook up a 60inch flat screen that you swiped from Best Buy? There's going to be nothing on TV and you want your last flickering memory to be a Judge Judy rerun? I don't think so.

Secondly, you'd have to assume that all churches, synagogues and mosques would be jam-packed. Even the atheist and agnostic sets would be heading for the houses of worship—though I bet that there would be one or two who would spend their last moments arguing, “If there was a God, why is He hurling a gigantic boulder at us? Doesn't He love us? How could something who supposedly love us want to wipe us all out.” At that point, you'd be begging for the asteroid to speed up.

While in your house of God, the priest or rabbi or cleric or shaman would probably start trying to calm everyone down, but wouldn't be able to resist getting a few barbs in—especially if the guy is Catholic or Jewish. “Oh, I see that some of you finally remembered where the church is located. Seems pretty convenient that you remembered this once a big rock was hurtling towards the Earth. I'm sure that these last few moments will save your eternal soul.” He'd also probably wish that he had the foresight to bust out the collection plate. At this point, you'd also be begging for the asteroid to speed up.

There would also be a segment of the general population that just won't give a fuck, no matter what happens. These are the people who will be laying in their pools or sitting on a beach chair on their front lawn or roof with a beer in one hand, goading the asteroid into hitting them. “Come on, you stupid space rock, hit me! I dare you to do it, you chicken shit lunar pebble. You're nothing!” After a few hours of screaming at the sky, these are the folks that will be crying the most.

So if you aren't screaming at the sky or going to some sort of church, what would you do? I'd wager that there would be all sorts of arguments amongst the married: “Why do we have to spend the rest of our lives with YOUR family?”

“What do you mean? What's wrong with MY family and why do you think that we'd spend our last hours with YOUR family? Maybe your mother can get one last dig at me.”

Seems like a lot of fun.

Of course as the asteroid is getting closer and closer and people are fearing their impending dooms, a world-wide soul cleansing like no one has ever seen will take place. Remember the scene in “Almost Famous” when the band Stillwater thought that their airplane was going to crash and they just shouted out the worst things that they ever did or thought? It'd be just like that, except on a much, much, much larger scale.

“I' had sex with your brother!”
“Those jeans DO make you look fat!”
“I've always wished that you had a bigger penis!”
“I never understood the plot to 'Synecdoche, New York', I didn't want you to think that I was stupid!”

So not only are you about to die, but you're going to die knowing what everyone really thought about you. Again, at this point you're on your knees begging for that asteroid to speed up.*

* What if the asteroid misses Earth and everyone is saved? Like Stillwater, wouldn't your life be one long, awkward moment after these revelations? There would probably be a ton of newly single people after this near-disaster. “I have a small penis? Well me and my small dick are leaving your gigantic ass!”

All of these reactions are happening on the micro-scale, what about the macro-scale? What if you were stuck at work when the asteroid was falling, you'd have to assume that you'd leave your cubicle and find your family, right? But you know that there would be one jerk boss who would tell you to go back to your desk and finish your project or insist that you punch out.

Every once in awhile you run into someone with a story about their boss that would not admit that 9/11/01 was a different day. People are huddled around computers, radios and TVs while he's screaming at you to get back to work. Its really a very sad defense mechanism and I'm sure that the same type of people would be screaming at their employees to return to their jobs.

Would people who need to be at their jobs stay there? Women would still be in the middle of giving birth or someone might be in the midst of a heart transplant or cancer surgery, would the doctors and nurses stick around or just leave without question. Would cops and firefighters stay at their posts in the case that they're needed?

Twitter, Facebook and any social interactive site would be a complete mess, with people spilling their guts about everything they've ever done and telling everyone how much they love them. Although there would probably be a few of your Facebook friends who would try to get the very last Facebook post before everyone went away.

For some reason, I think that I would be fascinated with what famous people would Tweet. I think that you would finally get to see what celebrities are like when all of the crap is taken away. I'm not sure why that matters to me or what that says about me, but it would be a silver lining in the dark cloud of destruction.

The point of this Blog entry isn't to detail what I think would happen during the end of days, it's centered more around the question: would you rather have the brain capacity that you have right now or would you rather have the walnut-sized brain of a dinosaur and not know that the universe was hitting the reset button?*

* This is probably going to be a long aside, so you can skip over it if you want, but I was thinking about it today and I felt like I had to write it down. Again, if you don't read this self-indulgent part—no offense will be taken, we're still good buddies. When I was in junior high school there were two things that I loved: arcades and baseball. Since I lived near Salisbury (MA) and Hampton (NH) beach there were about a half-dozen arcades within five miles of my house, each had scores of video games. One vacation, my family and I went to visit my cousin in Mt. Vernon, New York and we went to an arcade where I came face-to-face with RBI Baseball.

This game was my 12-year-old fantasy: you could play any of the 26 Major League Baseball teams and instead of random names, they had the actual all-time stars on each team. For example, the Red Sox had Ted Williams in left, Jim Rice DH-ing, Wade Boggs at third, Carlton Fisk catching and Jimmie Foxx manning first base. It was awesome. The only problem was this was literally the only place that I could find this arcade game. They didn't have it any of my home arcades (and I looked high and low).

Aside from liking the stand-up arcade games, I also had the eight-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the one that came with Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt and R.O.B. (the Robotic Operated Buddy – and really what the hell good was that thing anyway?). I found out that RBI Baseball was being released as a cartridge and I begged my parents to drive me to Toys R Us and let me spend my Christmas money on it. They did and I remember staring at the box for the entire half-hour it took us to drive home from the Fox Run Mall.

I got home and it was pretty awesome, it wasn't the arcade version (there were 10 teams, eight of which were the 1986 and 1987 division winners and two All-Star teams) but it was awesome none-the-less. For over a year, I played that game every single day and became quite good at it. I got so good that when I would screw up, I'd hit the reset button and start the game over again. I'm not sure why I did that, I probably did so because I was such a geek that I was writing down the stats or something in a notebook, but that's not the point of the story.

One day, I was in a zone. I can't remember the exact day, but I do remember that it was late autumn because I was sitting to the side of my bedroom window and can recall how the light came in. The light shined in my room a certain way in the fall. Anyway, I was the Red Sox and I was cruising past the American League All-Star team. Not only that, but I noticed that I was throwing a perfect game which was at the top of my accomplishments (so sad).

Twenty-six up and twenty-six down, all I had to do was face the AL pitcher Brett Saberhagen (an easy out if there ever was one) and I'd be the master of RBI Baseball (in my own mind). Roger Clemens was mowing people down and I hummed a fastball to former Royals pitcher Brett Saberhagen which he promptly deposited in the right field seats. In all of my games of RBI Baseball, I have never seen a pitcher leave the infield, much less go yard, but there it was: good bye perfect game, good bye no-hitter, good by shut out.

I got the next batter out rather easily, but the game was never the same. An 8-bit video game handed me my first true, punch-in-the-gut, are-you-freaking-kidding-me, monumental disappointment. As pathetic as that sounds, I was really obsessed about this game like nothing before or since.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, would you rather know about your impending doom or would you rather just have it smack you upside the face without any warning? Because I can pretty much guarantee that the dinosaurs weren't completely freaking out when that nine-mile wide asteroid hit. They weren't in some prehistoric church or trying to tweet on their iPhones (stupid lack of thumbs). Most dinosaurs woke up that fateful day, chomped on some leaves or ripped a smaller dinosaur apart, walked around and only paused to look up when the rock was about to hit their rock.

Then it was over.

That's probably the way that I'd like it too. Like I've blogged before, for me, the waiting is the hardest part. I would probably go insane wondering when our time was up and the anticipation would be horrible. I'd probably die a thousand deaths, each more excruciating than the final one--which would probably happen so quickly that we wouldn't even feel it.

I suppose that sometimes ignorance IS bliss.

Friday, March 05, 2010

26. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show

The adultification (I made that word up, BTW) of cartoons did not being in 1989 with “The Simpsons”. It began in 30 years earlier with a show called “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” that revolved around the misadventures of a flying squirrel (Rocky) and his slow-witted, yet very zen, moose friend named Bullwinkle. Created by Jay Ward, this show was not just years ahead of its time—it was generations ahead. Without this show, not only is there no Simpsons but one could argue that there is no show that have any sort of subtle comedy hidden behind overly zany plots.*

* Two things: 1. do not get this show confused with the live-action Robert DeNiro flick based on these characters. This show is brilliant, that movie couldn't have sucked more. 2. During this Blog, the chances are very high that I am going to refer to Jay Ward as Jay North. As you may recall, Jay North is the kid who played “Dennis the Menace” in the old black-and-white, live-action TV show that was on Nickelodeon reruns ad nauseum during the 1980s. I apologize in advance to Mr. Ward and Mr. North if either are still alive and read Blogs.

The interesting thing is that the way the show was originally broadcast is pretty different from how future generations saw it. From the bastion of truth, Wikipedia:

“When first shown on NBC, the cartoons were introduced by a Bullwinkle puppet, voiced by Bill Scott, who would often lampoon celebrities, current events, and especially Walt Disney, whose program Disneyland was the next show on the schedule. On one occasion, "Bullwinkle" encouraged children to pull the tuning knobs off the TV set. "In that way," explained Bullwinkle, "we'll be sure to be with you next week!" After the network received complaints from parents of an estimated 20,000 child viewers who apparently followed Bullwinkle's suggestion, Bullwinkle told the children the following week to put the knobs back on with glue "and make it stick!" The puppet sequence was dropped altogether”

None of this stuff was ever shown in the hacked-up syndication version—it was just the cartoons. And that was ok. While the puppet sounds really funny (especially the riffs on Disney) not seeing it didn't take anything away from the show. I suppose that “Rocky and Bullwinkle” was anti-authoritarian enough without the puppet and his anti-Disney rhetoric.

While the overt displeasure of Disney was missing, the subvert anti-Disney stabs was certainly present in the animation. Unlike the Mickey Mouse style of fluid, elegant lines with expressive face, Rocky and Bullwinkle were drawn with more of a rough-around-the-edges style. It was as if the show wasn't interested in making high art like Disney. The style certainly had a sort of simplistic beautiful quality, but I think that Ward was more interested in telling a better story and crafting a better joke. Essentially the cartoon medium was a conduit for Ward's words that was not possible with live-action actors.

And it worked.

No matter if it was the Rocky and Bullwinkle shorts that were the centerpiece of the show or myriad other shows that surrounded it, Ward was spot on with his voice and humor. Among the other vignettes that hit the mark were “Peabody's Improbable History” which centered on a time traveling dog, Mr. Peabody and his boy, Sherman. Each week they'd travel back to a historical event and find out that things didn't happen quite like the history books said they did.

“Fractured Fairy Tales” took centuries old stories that we've all head one hundred times and set them on its ears. These cartoons were exquisitely narrated by the Seussian named Edward Everett Horton and his voice added a lot of gravitas to the shorts. “Aesop and Son” was a lot like “Fractured Fairy Tales” but these episodes revolved around the cartoon version of the ancient Greek story teller and his wise-ass son. “Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties” was another cartoon short that ran with Bullwinkle and it was about a dim-witted Mountie who foils his nemesis Snidely Whiplash. This wasn't something that I was a big fan of but the premise was to satire the old serials where the handsome hero sometimes needed help.

Aside from the titular characters, the shorts were rotated so that while the format was known, nothing ever really got stale.

Like a lot of shows on this list, the thing that I admired most about “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” is that Jay Ward never treated his audience like a collection of idiots. He was the first person to use the televised cartoon as satire, as the two characters cleverly joked about politics, sports and pop culture. While the Red Menace was at it's height, R&B's main bad guys were the bumbling Bolsheviks Boris and Natasha.

Even now, the direct (and indirect) influence of Jay Ward can be felt in a lot of television, both animated and live-action. Simpsons creator Matt Groening has gone on record saying that the initial J in the names Homer J. Simpson and Bartholomew J. Simpson are a tribute to Ward. And since “The Simpsons” have spawned off a legion of satirical, sarcastic shows during its 20 year run, the grandfather of them all is Mr. Jay Ward and his moose and squirrel.