Occasional light verse, mostly political. If you're looking for a certain cold medicine, try here. But we can put you to sleep cheaper.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

nihil nisi bon-mot

Once again, nightquill has crossed swords with the massed Losers of the Washington Post's Style Invitational.

This week's contest was a challenge to taste as well as humor: writing poems on people who died in 2005. Now you can play "second-guess the Empress": did she pick our best to see the glorious inky light of print?

Honorable Mentions, in the print edition of today's

When Admiral Stockdale came to bask
In Heaven's golden glare,
I'm sure he had no need to ask
What he was doing there.

A single year has never claimed such literary pillars!
What stock have we remaining of Saul Bellows? Arthur Millers?
And Miller married Marilyn! and Bellow, 84,
Became a father; holding out a hope forevermore
To every brainy little boy named Goldberg or Shapiro
Of turning out a sexual, not just artistic, hero.

Semi-honorable mention, published on line only:

Who'd build a house for Frank Lloyd Wright?
Cook Wolfgang Puck a mussel?
For only he would dare recite
A verse for Nipsey Russell.

Relegated to the squalid shantytown of self-publication:

Cardinal Sin
No longer means
Salvation in
The Philippines.

If ever he had cause for guilt,
He turned to better things;
And now, just like the cars he built,
DeLorean has wings.

Heaven's host assembled sits,
Convened by Carson's biggest Fan,
But Johnny tinkers with his skits
And waits for Ed McMahon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

deep (blue) background

Have you ever gone to the NSA website? It's the slowest I've ever seen -- they must be reading your entire hard drive while their screen downloads. And until the logo finally manages to arrive, these words appear in its spot on the screen:
Image: National Security Agency insignia disappearing into a dark blue background.
Text: Welcome to

The Washington Post reports today that the Inspector General of the NSA, Joel Brenner, has launched an internal probe concerning the surveillance of the communications of American citizens which has been taking place without the approval of the surveillance court. As a result, the Pentagon's Inspector General has said it doesn't need a probe of its own, and the Inspector General at Justice says it's none of his business. Of course, all these gentlemen are part of the executive branch which is the source of the problem, and Brenner himself approved the program previously.

In his honor, we're using a song which has probably served as the scaffolding of more parodies than any other:

I am the very thorough NSA Inspector General.
My interest in your privacy is flimsy and ephemeral.
My new investigation of the spying that I ratified
Will only end when all the perpetrators are beatified.
And while my probe is going on, I'll tell you from my podium
That any other prober should be treated with opprobrium.
And anyone who'd like to duck a question with agility
Can say that any comment would impede my probe's utility.
Chorus: Can say that any comment would impede his probe's utility.
Can say that any comment would impede his probe's utility.
Can say that any comment would impede his probe's utili-tili-ty.
And so, since both my counterparts at Justice and the Pentagon
Eschew responsibility, and Congress won't prevent a con,
I'm hoping your attention span is flimsy and ephemeral:
I am a very thorough NSA Inspector General!
Chorus: He's hoping your attention span is flimsy and ephemeral:
He is a very thorough NSA Inspector General!