Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I write this blog for myself.  I hope my readers enjoy it as well,
but it’s my daily combination therapy and warm-up exercise.  So if
I want to write about a nice day with my wife, I don’t think twice
about doing so.  And, if I feel like writing about what I’ve read
in the newspapers and online, I do it.  Today, you get the news and
my views and, symbolic of the Republican Tea Party, big red shoes.
The Bozos among you should probably stop reading here.

The most amusing news story I’ve been following lately is also very
sad on a number of levels.  Marvel’s lawyers are dueling with the
IRS over X-Men action figures.  Apparently, action figures and toys
manufactured in other countries and imported to the United States
are taxed.  Which makes perfect sense to me.

However, if the action figures and toys are of animals or non-human
creatures, they are taxed at a lower rate.  This makes absolutely
no sense to me.

Marvel’s lawyers are claiming that action figures and toys of the
X-Men do not represent human characters and so should be taxed at
the lower rate.  Of course, such a position is 100% opposite of the
core sensibility of the X-Men comics and, indeed, most of Marvel’s
comics over the past half-century: that, no matter how different we
might be from one another, we are all human. 

That’s a noble sensibility and I think it’s worth more than Marvel
will save by abandoning it. 


A tiny little car drives up to Republican presidential debates and,
to the amusement of all, a whole bunch of clowns come popping out.
That most of these would-be candidates are considered seriously by
anyone baffles the heck out of me. 

Mitt Romney is the most likely GOP candidate, though there are many
Romney-haters in the party.  Jon Huntsman is the least offensive,
though still not anyone I would ever vote for, but has no chance of
winning the nomination.  The others? It’s hard to decide which is
the craziest or the most vile.

My low regard for the GOP field aside, I’m far from confident about
the 2012 elections.  The right wing has a knack for getting people
to vote against their own interests.  From the day President Obama
took office, their only real dedication has been to making sure he
wasn’t reelected, even though that meant doing jack-shit to improve
economic and other woes in this country.  Long ago, the GOP turned
their collective backs on all but the rich and the powerful.  The
more power they amass, the less likely the continued existence of
the middle class.  I fear for the future.


Iran and North Korea scare me.  Even so, any candidate for office
or elected official whose platform presupposes that we must launch
a war against either is either insane or playing the fear card.  As
I’ve noted before, the right wing is masterful at getting people to
be afraid of something.  Fear of Iran and North Korea is not at all
unreasonable, but making decisions based solely on fear is a stupid
way to run a country.


Warner Bros. is imposing a 56-day delay on DVD rentals.  This would
bother me if I didn’t have dozens of unwatched DVDs, many of entire
seasons of TV shows, and dozens of hours of unwatched TV programs
on my DVR.  I think I can handle the wait.


Kathy Griffin.  In another existence, one in which I wasn’t married
to the most wonderful woman in the world, I could love her.  She’s
funny and sexy.  In another existence in which I wasn’t married to
the most wonderful woman in the world and in which polygamy wasn’t
illegal, I could love her and Katy Perry.


Polygamy.  My objections to it aren’t based on my personal sense of
morality.  It’s based strictly on how really dumb women are fooled
by really slimy guys and how those sister wives collect welfare as
if they were single moms.  Of course, when it involves men preying
on young girls, then my sense of morality definitely kicks in.  If
I owned guns, that’s when they would come out.


According to an unscientific regional survey by The [Cleveland] Plain
, folks having 15 or more alcoholic drinks per week are twice
as likely to own handguns as nondrinkers.  Isn’t that a comforting


Charter school.  Don’t much like them because they take money away
from public schools.  My parents...with Dad working and Mom staying
home with us...put five kids through parochial elementary and high
school without getting a dime from the government.  If someone does
not like public schools, then they should work to make them better.
If they choose not to send their kids to public schools, then they
should be on their own.


Have I mentioned lately that every adult associated with Toddlers
and Tiaras and similar shows should be charged with child abuse?
I should mention that more often.


Mary Worth...crime-fighter?  Every now and then, this comic strip
surprises me in a good way.  After her purse was stolen, Mary and
her readers were given a cram course in what to do when your credit
cards are stolen.  More aware of crime than ever before, Mary takes
special note of a poster about an abducted child and, spotting the
girl at a diner, has the management call the police and delay the
kidnapper’s departure.  The storyline seems to be coming to an end
this week, but it’s been an exciting one.

The cops arrived in time, but I was hoping for Ms. Worth to pull a
gun from her purse and make a citizen’s arrest.  I mean, she could
have gotten a gun and a “conceal carry” license after her recent
brush with crime.  Because if there’s anyone in the comics I would
trust with a handgun, it would be Mary.

Thanks for spending part of your day with a grumpy old man.  I’ll
be back tomorrow with comics stuff.       

© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. Late Night FerengiJanuary 10, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    On the Marvel Tax on action figures. I consider it ironic they don't consider X-Men human. It's a tactic to pay lower taxes,I know, but you would think the company who said Jack Kirby was only a "work for hire" employee, would have a more clever answer for the tax evasion.

  2. Tony, do you have any objection to polygamous familes in which no one is taking advantage of anyone, including the taxpayers? The trio I know have been together more than 25 years and have raised three children of their own and taken in a few strays also.