The Answer Man

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Q: What does the word "ludicrous" mean?

A: It means an obvious absurdity. Meriting laughter, or scorn.

There are a number of things going on today that are entirely "ludicrous."

Let's take the word "gentleman" for instance. A long time ago it meant a male member of the landed aristocracy -- one who didn't hit a lick at a snake when it came to work. For today's purposes it means a man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety, or behavior.

So here's what happens in modern times:

Two miscreants rob a convenience store, and in the process kill the manager and one his clerks. They are captured within two hours. That night the Chief of Police gets on TV and says, "We apprehended these two "gentlemen" at ten o'clock last night." "Gentlemen???" How about "killers, or cut-throats?" Check it out if you think this is an exaggeration.

A person who would root for the New York Yankees would probably pull for Bill Gates to win the church Easter egg hunt.

But the other night one of these creatures got on the air and said, "The Yankees NEED this World Series. This is "ludicrous."

What he was referring to of course was to justify the $millions spent for their dandy new ballpark, and the $zillions they have paid out for ballplayers, dwarfing any other Major League payroll.

For over seventy years now the Yankees have been trying to BUY baseball.

In the process they have won forty pennants - almost triple their nearest competitor. They are just three short of tripling the Cardinals for World Series titles. The Cardinals are their nearest contender at ten victories.

They may BUY baseball yet. Hal & Hank Steinbreener are chips off the old Georgie money tree. Cardinal fans should not rest too comfortably. If daddy and the boys decide to put enough moola on our boy, Albert, he could be off to New York in a golden chariot.

Anyway, it's comforting to know the NEEDY are being served. Talk about "ludicrous."

The actress, Grace Kelly, was a classic beauty - one of immaculate taste in clothes that makes most of today's stars look shoddy. Not only that, she was a wonderful actress playing a variety of roles, including an Academy Award for her performance in "The Country Girl."

It's when she became "Princess Grace" that things became "ludicrous." Don't blame Grace. She just married the man she loved. It was the media that turned her into "Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Monaco."

Monaco: 1 square mile, 2 square km . Some golf courses are larger than that. Population: 32,757. In their entirety they would leave empty seats in Busch Stadium. With the exception of their elegant gambling casinos, they probably don't have the Gross National Product of Beech Corner, Missouri.

Hollywood is bad about turning highly proficient actors and actresses into Icons. This is "ludicrous."

Most Hollywood stars are as flawed as the rest of us. And as good as Turner Classic Movies normally is they are one of the worst in turning ACT-TORS into sainted figures.

There is one that has been running lately narrated by Michael Douglas about his father, Kirk. Michael talks about the "courage" it took for Kirk to play his many roles. Kirk Douglas has played everything from a gun slinger, to a drunken gambler, to crazy painter, to an obsequious husband dominated by his wife. How much "courage" does this take? About as much "courage" as a downhill putt.

You give them the role, they takes it. It's called professionalism.

The ultimate (or the nadir) in "ludicrous" is the White Houses's effort to stop "Fox News." No doubt about it. Fox News has its loud mouths in Hannity, Glen Beck, and the support of Rush Limbough. But has anyone checked out, Keith Olberman, James Carville, Al Franken, or the race-hustlers, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? So what if the White House does succeed in eliminating Fox News? What's next...... burning the books???

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