Will Durst

Bizarre Similarities Between Trump and Clinton

Our quadrennial presidential sweepstakes regularly provides textbook studies in contrast. And 2016 raises the bar in disparity. Red and blue. Left and right. Hot and cold. Up and down. Good and bad. Boy and girl. Pro and con. Loud and soft. Rain or shine. Fish and fowl. Dumb and dumber.

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25 Essential and Hilarious Items to Pack for the Republican Convention in Cleveland

The national political conventions are a lot like professional wrestling. Sure, we know what's going to happen, but every four years, it's fun to see who’s throwing around chairs and getting slammed into the turnbuckle.

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13 Weird Ways Presidential Candidates Will Celebrate Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And a large part of what makes it so goldarn fabulous is the festive array of idiosyncratic traditions each family imprints on their holiday gene map like a candy cane tattoo on the soft flesh behind your knee.

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Pope Francis: Tree-Hugger or Commie?

He gets under their skin like termites in a boathouse. Drives them crazier than Hillary Clinton and Yoko Ono dancing on a gay pride parade float. He’s the itch you can’t scratch. The thorn in the palm of their paw. The 3- inch scratch on their favorite Ted Nugent album. Talking about that hot new Catholic sensation, Pope Frankie.

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10 Pluses and Minuses of Being an Aging Baby Boomer

Population scientists describe the Baby Boom generation as anybody born between the years 1946 and 1964. Which means the youngest of the Baby Boomers turned 50 last year, and the oldest will turn 70 next year, which is just so wrong. We Boomers are the architects of the youth culture. We invented young people for crum’s sakes. We’re the Pepsi Generation... that had a minor fling with Coke.

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Can We Stomach It? Imagine Another Possible Bush vs. Clinton Showdown in 2016

Still recovering from the sonic bombshell dropped by Jeb Bush announcing he was officially upgrading his prospective candidate status from… considering the formation of an exploratory committee to investigate the feasibility of a possible run for the presidency to… actually authorizing the formation of an exploratory committee that will investigate the feasibility of a possible run for the presidency. Our little caterpillar is now one step closer to being a big bad beautiful butterfly.

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Top Ten Comedic News Stories Of 2014

Hey guys, Will Durst here with your eagerly awaited Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2014. Now, here’s the deal: please do not confuse these amusing accounts with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2014. No. No. No. They are as different as silky and spiky. Banjos and bullfrogs. Strawberry daiquiris and Chinese made assault rifles. Earrings and peas. Oh sure, we saw plenty examples of super serious humor-resistant stuff that went down over the previous twelve months, including but not limited to: Ebola infested ISIS members flying into Ferguson, Missouri on Malaysian Airlines, carrying pictures of Bill Cosby ogling Janay Rice’s butt.
But fortunately, there were also quite a few events that lent themselves to massive humorosityness and for anyone looking for a column with the vision and courage to lampoon, satirize, mock, scoff, taunt, tease, rib, ridicule, josh, jibe and kid these episodes of entertaining elucidation, you’ve come to the right place. Because here they are: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories Of 2014 as determined by the executive council of the Comics, Clowns, Jesters & Satirists Union, which, as you probably are already aware, is… me. Read em and weep.
10. A new study by German scientists suggests that beer helps prevent prostate cancer. So let’s stop calling them bars, and start referring to them as what they really are: clinics. And we are self-administering patients.
9. Winter Olympics in Sochi. The entire world is relieved when Vladimir Putin doesn’t enter the triathlon by slapping on skis to shoot Ukrainian journalists. Shirtless.
8. Series of Ice Bucket Challenges sweep the country. Minor celebrities enjoy being seen as all wet. During the hazy days of summer. When the Polar Vortex comes calling, not so much.
7. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford runs for re- election, but due to ill health has to pull out and convinces his brother to run. Torontoans refuse to give the Fords another crack at it.
6. Pope Francis says his religious theology is not in opposition to evolution. This guy really does look determined to drag the Catholic Church kicking and screaming into the latter half of the 19th Century.
5. Alaska, Oregon and DC join Washington & Colorado in the legal marijuana club. Stock of Frito- Lay, the makers of Funyuns and Cheetos, skyrockets. 
4. Donald Sterling’s racist statements result in a lifetime ban from the NBA. And many folks hope he lives to be 105. And is forced to bunk with Cliven Bundy.
3. The Midterm elections. Mitch McConnell says he wants to work with the President. Yeah, the same way a 5 year old with a magnifying glass wants to work with ants. Only a matter of time before GM is forced to recall McConnell as a faulty airbag.
2. Arizona debates SB 1062, which would legalize bigotry based on religious beliefs. The return of Jim Crow with a cactus beat. The postal abbreviation AZ apparently stands for Angry Xenophobes. And yes, xenophobe starts with an “x” but they don’t know that.
1. ObamaCare rollout. The President said it could have gone smoother. You think? An anvil studded with titanium spikes could have rolled smoother.

21 Things to Be Grateful For This Thanksgiving From a Political Comic

You got to love Thanksgiving. You do. It’s the law. And be honest; doesn’t a little tryptophan poisoning amongst family and friends sound pretty comforting right about now? What with Ebola infested ISIS members slithering across the border carrying photos of Bill Cosby ogling Kim Kardashian’s butt? Besides, this holiday isn’t about greasing the wheels of capitalism with the fire hose of consumer debt like that other one just down the road. This one is about gluttony. Pure and simple. And the only attendant religiosity is praying the Cowboys lose. So allow me to express my gratitude for the 4th Thursday of November: it’s annual appearance being one of the little moments that makes life worth living. Right up until the 4th bottle of white Zin, when Aunt Hoogolah informs Uncle Bud how Grandpa characterized his turkey carving and all hell breaks loose. Nevertheless, here’s a few more blessed things that prompt this middle-aged, round-headed, political comic to get down on his knees and thank the maker.
  1. Barack Obama. Upcoming 3rd year of his 2nd term promises much bigger, knock- down, drag-out fights with the Republicans. Not to mention… the Democrats.
  2. Chris Christie for so generously providing the comedy community with such a target rich environment including his Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Float- the only one which is actual size.
  3. Anchor Steam Christmas Ale. Especially this year
  4. Hillary Clinton who since 1992, no matter how much effluvium gets thrown at her, just keeps on keeping on, like the Energizer Bunny on steroids.
  5. Ted Cruz for being crazier than Norman Bates after a dip in a psilocybin bath riddled with corn fungus.
  6. The International Panel on Climate Change for finally just throwing up its hands and playing darts while drinking beer on the patio.
  7. Sarah Palin, because she just can’t help herself.
  8. Bill Clinton, because he just can’t help himself.
  9. Fox News for incrementally ramping up the vitriol and hyperbole with the obvious goal of eventually featuring giant lizards spitting and clawing at each other.
  10. Kim Kardashian who determinedly refuses to allow any lack of discernible talent keep her from becoming famous.
  11. The entire Toronto Ford family including Rob and brother Doug for making American politicians feel better about themselves.
  12. The airline industry who have driven customers to stow away amongst the landing gear in their never- ending search for legroom.
  13. Donald Sterling who with his lifetime NBA ban should live to be 110.
  14. Black Friday Creep for providing the requisite distraction allowing we gluttons to cop extra portions of pie.
  15. For whoever is marrying Charles Manson. Just because.
  16. For the entire State of Florida. Just because.
  17. Harry Reid, for steadfastly refusing to be part of the solution.
  18. Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, because 2, two, too Popes are better than one.
  19. The 22nd Amendment: which, for 67 years, has proudly kept the American people from making the same mistake more than twice.
  20. The GOP, waging an internal war for it’s very soul. GOP Soul. Short book. Put it on the shelf right next to Barack Obama Leadership Skills.
  21. The Newly Elected 114th Congress. Because if you liked the 113th Congress, you’re going to love these guys. Exponential factor gridlock.

Why Are People Going Nuts Over the Latest Smartphones?

Shake off the blues, put on your shoes, and tell grandma the news: the next generation iPhones are here. Cue the “woo- hoos.” And guess what: they’re huge. Or not. You choose. It’s like iGoldilocks. There’s a small, a medium and a large. And the best part- no bears.
The iPhone 6 is a little bigger than the previous models but the iPhone 6 Plus looks like they shrunk the Minipad. Or tiny iPad. Or whatever they call it. “Is that an iPhone 6 Plus in your pocket or are you just really really happy to see me?” All across America, Baby Boomers are raising 8 ounce glasses of prune juice in grateful toasts. They can finally see their buttons. These phablets are fabulous.
In other fruit computer news, the iWatch did not turn out to be the iWatch: it’s the Apple Watch. Even though the company filed for trademark protection in about 100 markets for the right to call it the iWatch. Of course, the wrist- bound marvel doesn’t become iAvailable until 2015. Or when iSwatch freezes over.
In response to the new releases, the Galaxy Android Samsung contingent (GAS) has ramped up their troll- like flame campaign to shame and defame Apple for belatedly matching the lame technology of their sacred superior smart phones. But in such a piercing stridency, one thinks- perhaps they doth protest too much. If whining were beer, these guys would be a frat party during Octoberfest. In Bavaria.
Can’t figure out what it is about these modern communication devices that makes people so crazy. You never hear Lexus owners bashing Acura drivers for finally acquiring contrasting leather stitching on their reclining heated leather seats. Brioni doesn’t claim that Kiton suits are seasons old knock- offs with materials drawn from substandard sheep. Wustof wouldn’t dream of accusing Henckels of stealing their edge design. They might think it.
People, settle down. For crum’s sake. Who cares? They’re phones. A few cosmetic differences but 99% exactly the same. Anyone depending that much on an accessory for their identity doesn’t need a new phone, they need a new life. Smart phones wielded by dumb users.
And next time, pick a feud that’s two- sided: Appleheads couldn’t care less about you Androidites, which probably heightens the frustration. Of course the Apple community is so myopically loyal they would line up to buy the next iteration of Jobsian progeny even if the only new feature was a rotary dial. “No battery? You got to plug it into an outlet? Will it still have the cute little Apple logo and be almost completely useless as a phone? Okay. Whatever.”
Used to be the hippest of phones kept getting smaller until it seemed you would need tweezers to make a call. But with streaming video such a big part of our lives, we’re headed towards a 19 inch model that requires iSaddlebags on an iPony to shepherd it across town. All optional, of course.
Then again, a few of us are still waiting for the phone that will dry the dishes and do the laundry. “Siri? Are you down there? Don’t forget to separate the colors. I swear. That girl would lose her head if it weren’t preinstalled.”

The Republicans in Congress Are the Biggest Bunch of Slackers Around

More fun than fourteen barrels of flunkies watching our elected officials exit Washington like scared rats streaming out of a sewer to escape Godzilla. And really, who can blame them. Anybody who’s ever spent a summer in DC can tell you the climate is real similar to Hell. With humidity. Then again, not sure even Hell has winged insects the size of footstools. It’s not called Foggy Bottom because that’s the first thing that springs to mind when Diane Feinstein walks away, you know.
Funny thing is, this is the same Congress that lies on the verge of breaking all previous records for complete and utter futility. The Zero Zip Zilch Crew. Who have ridden lethargy into the ground and taken loitering to bold new heights. Or is it depths? Folks who would need hydraulic mechanical assists to raise their attitudes from stuporous to torpid. From the lair of the drugged slugs. Debi Does Drowsy.
In essence, they’re taking a vacation from nothing. Which is a lot like waking up to take a nap. Topping breakfast off with a sleeping pill. Floating off to a loafing, lay- about layoff. Playing hide and seek with the mirror. And losing.
The 113th Congress is destined to go down in history as the most Do- Nothingest Congress of all time. Accomplishing less than all the other Do- Nothing Congresses combined. Which is saying something, because there were plenty.
“Proud to Put the Nothing in the Do- Nothing Congress.” Enshrined as the undisputed heavyweight champion of Indolence. The Friends of Inertia. Slouching towards SlouchVille. The Slacker Congress.
What we the public fail to understand is that nothing can be downright tiring. Yes, there’s the failure to pass a highway bill or any hint of immigration reform, but let’s focus on the positive. During the past 19 months, the Republican- controlled House has shut down the government and voted to defund or repeal Obama Care about a gazillion times and don’t forget the 2 dozen or so Benghazi hearings. They have definitely earned that approval rating lower than thumbtacks in your underwear while riding a motorcycle. Over railroad tracks.
And now these hordes of professional indolents have slipped the surly bonds of sloth and been released into their home districts to freely roam amongst we innocents as a 5 week recess begins. One question: how do you relax after suffering through the arduous routine of nothing? Slip into a coma? Binge watch The Leftovers? Will sunstroke play an integral part? And not just any vacation: a five- week paid vacation. Who told our esteemed representatives we were Europe?
The odd part is… they have to. It’s the law. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 requires Congress to take off the entire month of August. Not sure, but perhaps it was in response to members of Congress wandering aimlessly en masse in our nation’s capital during peak tourist season; frightening small children and prompting plaintive cries from local merchants.
All we can do is hope our pooped populist politicos finally get some quality downtime, in order to come back tan and rested and ready for the tough task of remaining inactive and unable to pass any sort of worthwhile legislation when they return after Labor Day. Pretty obvious, that holiday sure weren’t named after these guys.
 
Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about the new documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including Aug 12- 17 at Zanies Downtown Chicago and his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG.”
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