Wisdom of the Sages



Let’s say good-bye to the old year with two pensive haikus from David Bader’s Haikus for Jews:


BLT on Toast–

the rabbi takes his first bite,

then the lightening bolt.



The same kimono

the top geishas are wearing–

got it at Loehmann’s.


Magic Time, Darling


The saucy Lucy Darling does it with a cherry on top.

In her other life, Canadian performer Carisa Hendrix is a fire-eater, but it’s as her burlesque character Lucy Darling that she really heats things up.

More Lucy at Carisa Hendrix

The Future Is Now


Here at Shalblog Industries®, we generally strive to keep an upbeat tone. However, every once in a while we indulge in a darker mood. But not to worry, soon it will be a whole brand new year, and the little midget from Annie will be belting out “Tomorrow” yet again.

Leonard Cohen, with a song more prescient than even he could know, back in 1992 when he wrote “The Future.”

Thanks to YouTuber a1000kissesdeep

“Ze Little Grey Cells”




Agatha Christie, the Queen of mystery stories, not only wrote dozens of novels, but over 150 short stories as well.  Recently, four of her short stories were read at New York’s Symphony Space, as part of the estimable radio series Selected Shorts, featuring a cast of well-known actors, and including commentary by essayist Fran Leibowitz. Click on the grey triangle above to hear my review, as broadcast yesterday on WBAI radio’s Arts Express.


“Our Steps Will Always Rhyme…”


Leonard Cohen and Judy Collins singing Cohen’s “Hey That’s No Way to Say Good-Bye.” I like this version better than either of each artist’s solo take because of the beautiful harmony here by Judy Collins.

Thanks to YouTuber Beta Hi-Fi Archive

“That’s Easy For You To Say…”


When I was a youngster, I stared at the window of my local toy store, wishing that I could own a Jerry Mahoney vent dummy like the one they had on display. Jerry Mahoney, of course, along with Knucklehead Smiff, was the creation of ventriloquist Paul Winchell. (Trivia question: Paul Winchell had some much greater contributions to society than his dummies. What were they?) I remember lying down on the floor of the television room with a number of encyclopedia volumes on my stomach, breathing slowly in and out. The book I had just taken out from the local library, How to Be A Ventriloquist, told me that that was the way to build my diaphragm muscles.

I never got any good at it, but I still love a good ventriloquist. The clip above showcases not just a good ventriloquist, but a great one, maybe the best I’ve ever seen. And she’s only 12 years old. She was a finalist on America’s Got Talent this year, Darci Lynne.

P.S. She won.

Thanks to YouTuber Downlock1

Monsanto Midterm Madness



My friend Mitchel Cohen is writing a book called “The Politix of Pesticides: The Worldwide Fight Against Monsanto’s Glyphosate,” a book about pesticides, including Monsanto’s Round-Up brand of glyphosate, genetically modified food and seeds, and the general perfidy of that multinational monster, Monsanto. He asked some friends to come up with a humorous but accurate SAT-type quiz to help spice up the book. Here was my contribution. In case it is not obvious, the correct answer is always D.

1. Which is NOT a side effect of glyphosate?

A. Destroyed immune system
B. Destruction of the monarch butterfly population
C. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
D. Victory of the working people over the running dog capitalist bosses

2. Which one does not belong?

A. Charles Manson
B. John Wayne Gacy
C. Monsanto
D. Santa’s elves

3. Who sponsored a 2016 study that showed that Round-up was harmless?

A. International Agency for Research on Cancer
B. The World Health Organization
C. USA National Cancer Institute
D. Monsanto

4. Monsanto GM seeds led to massive crop failures in which of the following countries:

A: Argentina
B: Brazil
C: India
D. All of the above

5. When Bloomberg Business Week reported that Monsanto scientists were caught heavily involved in organizing, reviewing, and editing drafts submitted by the outside experts of a 2016 study of Round Up, a Monsanto spokesperson responded:

A. “Whoops. My bad.”
B. #Resistance
C. “Look closely at the shiny object. You are getting sleepy…”
D. “We were only involved in copy-editing.”

6. Which of the following were former Monsanto officers or attorneys:

A. Earle H. Harbison Jr., Central Intelligence Agency Deputy Director
B. Michael A. Friedman, MD—FDA deputy commissioner.
C. Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice who wrote the majority opinion in J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. finding that “newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States.”
D. All of the above

7. In a 2009 study by Covalence of the ethics of 581 corporations, which corporation was measured as the least ethical:

A. Big Bob’s Used Cars
B. Moe and Joe’s Hit Man Service
C. Kayaks R Us
D. Monsanto

8. Complete the Analogy.

Food is to GM food as:

A. Butter is to “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”
B. Boxing is to Wrestling
C. Pete Seeger is to Milli Vanilli
D. All of the above

9. The use of GMOs results in

A. Bisexuality
B. Trilateralism
C. Quadrophenia
D. Monoculture

10.. Which of the following is currently the lead article on Monsanto’s website:

A. “Workers of the World Unite”
B. “To Serve Man”
C. “You Can Take The People Out of Their Jeans, But You Can’t Take The Genes Out of the People”
D. “Driving Innovation in Modern Agriculture to Combat Climate Change”