The rich get richer (what a surprise)

Maybe the answer to the closing the ever-widening and positively despicable gap between rich and poor — a chasm into which more and more of the middle class are tumbling — lies in the title of a book by P.J. O’Rourke and songs by Aerosmith and Motorhead: EAT THE RICH.

Maybe the answer is for people to truly understand what Henry David Thoreau meant when he said “That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest,” which echoed the wisdom of Lao Tze: ” He who is contented is rich.”

Or maybe we should ponder the remarkable wisdom of W.C. Fields — “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money” — and listen to this stimulating but sobering speech by my favorite socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, on tax breaks for the wealthy (and other outrages):

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Another reason to R-E-S-P-E-C-T Sarah Palin

Her voice sounds like music to my ears. So why was I surprised by this latest revelation about the amazing Sarah Palin?

One of the all-time classic music videos shows a very young Aretha Franklin, circa late 1960s, as she sings “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”  Watch — and enjoy — the video. But watch Aretha’s lips as she sings:

Yes! You noticed it too! Aretha’s not singing! She’s lip-synching to a recording!

And now the truth has been revealed. Aretha was interviewed the other night on Larry King’s show on CNN and admitted that she had a sudden case of laryngitis on the morning of this performance. So a phenomenal young singer, only about 10 years old, was recruited to sing the classic Otis Redding-penned song.

And, yes, the Queen of Soul revealed that the 10-year-old anonymous songstress was none other than our very own Sarah Palin!

What can I say except…

Sarah, thank you for putting your singing career on the back burner and putting America on the front burner.  Sarah, I believe I speak  not just for myself but for all Americans when I say: You will always have our R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Little Sarah Palin

Some of you have asked if I was surprised when Sarah Palin became governor of Alaska and then ran for vice president of the United States and then became a Fox News commentator. Was I surprised? You betcha! I mean, who wouldn’t be surprised? After all, this is little Sarah Palin, the cute and spunky little girl with the big eyeglasses who sat next to me in my kindergarten class at P.S. 9 in my old hometown of Yonkers, New York.

Not only did Sarah sit next to me in her little desk  right alongside my own  little kindergarten desk. She also lay down next to me at nap time when our teacher, Miss  Crabtree, instructed us all to roll out our mats and take a 10-minute nap to rest up after our busy morning of learning the alphabet, learning to count, and learning to get along with all of the other kids.

You probably guessed, though, that Sarah didn’t nap. Sure, she rolled out her mat when Miss Crabtree told us to. But then Sarah just sprawled out on her back, eyes wide open, resting the back of her head on her arms, and just gazed up at the ceiling through those big designer eyeglasses, and smiled that big  smile we’ve all come to know and love.

It  occurs to me now that little Sarah Palin was smiling because she already knew that someday she would move to Alaska and become governor and then run for vice president and then become a Fox commentator and then maybe someday become the first woman president even though all of the so-called smart people thought the first woman president would be Hillary Clinton.

I’m thinking that I actually played a role in a somewhat historic event…It may well be that the first time Sarah ever winked that  famous wink, she winked at me! Except she was probably thinking about the great life she had ahead of her — while I thought she was flirting!

Long story short, after nap time it was finger painting time, so we all put on our painting smocks and stepped up to our easels. Miss Crabtree looked at Sarah’s finger painting creation — the entire sheet was covered with gray paint — and asked Sarah was it was called. I’ll never forget Sarah’s reply: “Gee whiz, Miss Crabtree, can’t you tell”! It’s a close-up of a gray elephant!!”

That’s when Sarah winked at me. I melted faster than a glacier in the Bering Sea.

My own big sheet of paper was slathered with red paint.  Miss Crabtree asked, “Nicky, what’s the name of your painting?” I replied, “Red.”

But what it was really called, although I was just too shy to say it, was “Valentine for Little Sarah Palin.”

Little Sarah Palin… Politically precocious. My first crush. Killer wink.

Sarah Palin’s just all over the map

I don’t know about all of you, but I haven’t been able to break away from watching the live hearings being televised on C-SPAN as Alaska legislators debate the proposal to rename their state in honor of Sarah Palin.

The debate, in case you haven’t been following this, isn’t over whether to change the state’s name. Everyone’s in agreement on that — of course!

The argument is over whether to change the name of Alaska to PALINSKA or PALASKA.

I think it’s a no-brainer. Think about it. What gets Sarah Palin really mad? When she sees all of those fat cats in Washington, D.C, our nation’s capital, spending our money like it’s their money and like you and I have magic wallets or pocketbooks that just keep making more and more greenbacks, right? Ten thousand dollar toilets? Health care for everyone? Spending zillions of dollars on alternative energy when there’s tons of oil right there under those melting glaciers up there in Alaska?

So it really comes down to money. If  “Alaska” becomes “Palinska” that will require changing “Ala” to “Palin,” which involves a total of eight letters, which would have to be changed on every single map, in every single book, on every “Greetings from Alaska” postcard, and every single “Welcome to Alaska, Where Sarah Palin’s From” sign. Eight letters to change in every single place Alaska is mentioned. Lots of money we can’t afford to spend.

On the other hand, change the name of Alaska to “Palaska” and there’s only the one letter “P” to add. Way cheaper.

So, come on, Alaska legislators! Stop arguing. Just look at these two maps. Here’s what the map looks like now:

And here’s what it should look like after you all stop arguing:

Case closed! Welcome to Palaska!

Sarah Palin’s visit is one for the books

Note: Traffic on this site soars whenever I mention Sarah Palin. So I’ve decided to write something about her at least once a week. Here’s this week’s Sarah Palin report:

Faithful readers of “World of Wonders” know that I posted several entries in recent weeks about the Feb. 20 grand opening of friend Steven Hart’s bookstore, Nighthawk Books, in Highland Park, N.J.  Well, the event went as well as I hoped it would — and then some!

Hundreds of people visited Steve’s store during the course of the day-long celebration.

AND….Sarah Palin made a surprise appearance!

What else can I say? Two weeks ago I reported seeing Sarah out on the New Jersey Turnpike, probably on her way to some high-paying speaking engagement, but instead saying “Well, the heck with that! I’m going to forget about that high-paying speaking engagement and help people dig their cars out of the snow!” One week ago I reported on Sarah’s amazing ice-skating performance at the Olympics up there in Canada (which is the country next to Alaska).

And now here was Sarah Palin — a highly educated woman who I believe actually attended something like six colleges but probably isn’t much of a reader because she’s so busy trying to become president – stopping at my friend’s bookstore.  In her impromptu speech, Sarah said she wanted to her “support of Mom-and-Pop type businesses and also this amazing bookstore run by Steve Hart that is filled with so many books that it makes you realize that there’s lots and lots of books you probably will never find the time to read, gosh darn it, but it’s good to know they’re there in case you feel like reading a book…”

Thanks, Sarah, for supporting my friend’s new independent bookstore — and for so graciously signing my second-hand copy of “Call of the Wild” by Jack London.

P.S. Yes, I’ll tell you what Sarah wrote: “To Nicholas DiGiovanni — Stop by and visit us next time if you’re ever up there in Alaska. Signed, Sarah Palin” And no, in case any of you were thinking about it, the book is not for sale!

Sarah rises to the occasion

Note: Traffic on this site soars whenever I mention Sarah Palin. So I’ve decided to write something about her at least once a week. Here’s this week’s Sarah Palin report:

She’s been a mayor. She’s been a governor. She’s been a candidate for vice president. She may try to become the actual president. And she’s already a TV commentator on the “fair and balanced” news channel, even though she’s never been an actual journalist. So I’m already impressed, right?

But then I’m at the gym this morning, and I’m watching TV while pedaling on the stationary bicycle, and the “Today” show people are broadcasting from the Winter Olympics in Calgary and  showing highlights of the previous night’s competition, and wouldn’t you know it…

There’s Sarah Palin competing in the figure-skating competition and completing the first-ever triple quadruple quintuple camel axel topped off by a 30-foot-high Salchow jump ( I though she was going to hit her head on the roof of the ice rink!) and concluding with a 5-minute death spin done in perfect sync with a speeded-up recording of Ravel’s “Bolero.”

How did Sarah Palin not win the gold medal? My guess is that the Russians paid off the judges. But in my heart and in my soul, I know Sarah was the real winner —  because Sarah Palin already has a heart of gold, which is way more important than any Winter Olympics gold medal, gosh darn it.

Sarah Palin to the rescue!

One of the highest-traffic days ever for “Nicholas DiGiovanni’s World of Wonders” was a day during the presidential campaign when I wrote a satirical piece suggesting that Sarah Palin’s presence on the GOP ticket as the vice-presidential candidate was actually the fulfillment of the Book of Revelation’s apocalyptic vision as described in the secret message revealed by the opening of the Seventh Seal.

There were hundreds upon hundreds of page views and visitors (many of whom, I’m certain, thought the piece was factual, not satirical).

What did I learn?

One, that I guess I misread the Book of Revelation’s signs — Sarah didn’t get elected.

Two, I can draw many readers to my Web site (and its thought-provoking and eclectic mix of literary essays, humor pieces, cultural commentaries and original fiction) by once a week posting stuff I make up about Sarah Palin, who’s still out there running for something or other.

So here’s this week’s Sarah Palin report:

I rode out yesterday’s near-blizzard in New Jersey at a hotel located within a few hundred feet of the New Jersey Turnpike. At the height of the storm, I looked out at traffic crawling along that highway, saw a number of vehicles stranded in the breakdown lane — and there was SARAH PALIN, I’m assuming on the way to some Tea Party speaking engagement, and she was helping people dig out their cars and pushing them out of roadside snowbanks. She probably does stuff like this all the time when she’s up there in Alaska, but nevertheless it was really nice of her to take time off from her busy schedule to help people who were stranded by the snowstorm in New Jersey. She may actually have saved a few lives! I’m sure Sarah will be really low-key about her heroine-ism, but I think she deserves recognition.