The Other Place

Each day, I thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for the UK’s Guardian.  Where else can an American go to find out what the rest of the world thinks of us?  Certainly not Kaplan’s loss leader, the WaPoo, and undoubtedly not Judy Miller’s old place, the New York Times.  That unusually worthwhile newspaper reported today that, finding they’d been ridiculed by none other than that 50-year old bogeyman, Fidel Castro, the Republican candidates had this to say:

Asked what he would do as president if he found out Castro had died, Romney said he would first “thank heavens” that the revolutionary had “returned to his maker”, to which Gingrich replied: “I don’t think Fidel’s going to meet his maker. I think he’s going to go to the other place.”

Well, that settles it.  As a former, rather than converted, Catholic, I know this particular construction quite well.  We Catholics are taught to believe that if we aren’t quite Heaven’s CEO, we’re at least pretty high up in its HR department, and can accurately guess who’s going to be promoted, as it were, and who’s getting the boot.  Shortly after the (not soon enough) death of my crazy grandmother, Etta, our family found ourselves sharing stories of her many exploits.  Suddenly nervous, my younger brother Turd asked whether Etta could “hear us from Heaven.”  My mother, Joan, replied simply, “Or the other place.”  Stunned silence was immediately followed by gales of laughter, and permission was thereby granted, if not by anybody ordained, the Monsignor of our household, to make fun of Etta all we wanted.  God was on our side.

In that regard, Newt has a point; like Etta, Fidel is a narcissistic boob who has caused much misery with his megalomania and unchecked authoritarianism.  It’s highly unlikely St. Peter will be lighting his cigar any time soon.  Unlike Etta, though, Fidel has a rather firm grasp on reality; he has ruled a country for a half century, and survived a whole Cold War’s worth of devious machinations from the superpowers.  Etta, on the other hand, had a much smaller sphere of influence.  She was the Beast of Brazee Street, admittedly, but was continually stymied when she wanted to bring the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation for one reason or the other.  That sort of thing was way above her pay grade.  She could rail against the Commies and the Unions until she turned blue (which was often),  but her stamp on geopolitics remained frustratingly faint; God was much more likely to notice, and perhaps think about smiting, Fidel before he ever bothered about Etta.  He did decide to get rid of her in 1980, and Fidel lives on, which is surely evidence of a divine hand on the rudder.  But then God, being omniscient and all, might also have heard this:

“The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is – and I mean this seriously – the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been,” he (Fidel) wrote.

At this point, if I were God, I’d maybe start thinking that this guy maybe doesn’t need to join Etta across the River Styx.  After all, He did go to a lot of effort, albeit only occasionally successfully, to give us brains, and ol’ Fidel seems to be still using his, while Etta tossed hers out in a way she would never have with, say,  a 30-year old pair of shoes.

Despite whatever Newt says, I’m relatively confident that he hasn’t the least idea whether others are going to Heaven or “the other place.”   Indeed, maybe God will take one look at Callista’s hair and send them both to the Lake of Fire.  As for Etta, I’d suggest that she put on her lipstick; Newt’s about to show up.  I hope it’s soon.


  1. avelna says:

    I was looking at Callista the other day on TV and figured out that she looks like a middle-aged Barbie Doll. If (when) she goes to the other place, I think she’ll melt in fairly short order.

  2. dirigo says:

    “I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”

    – Mitt Romney, somewhere on the stump
    – quoted by Mark Steyn, NRO Online, 1/22/12
    – via Gene Lyons, Salon, 1/25/12

    And from the same source, referring to Mitt’s “presentation” problems:

    “The trouble with a bad show is that you can make it better but you can never make it good.”

    – Arthur Laurents, author of West Side Story


    Callista’s hair is just fine the way it is, though her red-gash smile needs some softening. As for Newt, though I concede the facts of his love life, as reported, I actually find it hard to believe he’s really a retired womanizer. I mean, he doesn’t remind you of Casanova, does he? Maybe a really loquacious truck stop manager with a leer and a bit too much touchy-feely, but really … !

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’m beginning to think Mitt isn’t very smart; you can’t fake being that dumb. Say what you will about Newt; he’s interesting, something Mitt couldn’t be if he tried. (And he’s not trying….)
      I still think these clowns are throwing the race.

      • dirigo says:

        Mitt said those words, which were written for him by a staff flack. So he has no scruples about spewing rubbish to the rubes.

        Newt’s good on his feet in a stump setting, and obviously incendiary, there or in debate. His rubbish has more hot sauce on it for the most part.

        But Mitt really tagged him the other night as he went over details about the Freddie Mac “historian” job. Newtie experienced a very pregnant pause during that exchange.

        Mitt won’t self-immolate; Newt very likely will. Ah, there’s the rub.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Even if I were a rube I’d be insulted at such nonsense.
          It’s lamer than spouting lyrics to “America the Beautiful.” If Newt fizzles, Republicans are going to be awfully bored.

  3. Ché Pasa says:

    Of the passengers currently in the Clown Car, Newt seems to be the only one who’s enjoying the ride at all. Mitt looks like he’s either trying to pass some kind of massive obstruction or he’s going to explode in fury — because we’re all just too STUPID for him to stand it any longer! . I’m convinced Santorum has done something much more terrible than we already know about, and all his self-mortification and whatnot just isn’t doing the job it’s supposed to… jeebus, what has that man done? Shudder. Then there’s this year’s Gramps, Paul of Texas. At least he hasn’t embarrassed his homies the way the unlamented Perry did.

    I think Ol’ Fidel got it just right. “the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been” , but then, he’s been studying American politicians for a very, very long time. He knows their ways intimately.

    As for that poor Calista, she is some kind of sophisticated inflatable, or maybe just a robot, isn’t she? There is something clearly un-human about her, which is probably why Newt is so attracted…. On the other hand, maybe it’s just her hyper-lustrous platinum locks.

    “The Other Place,” well. I’m sure they’ll all be laughing and hurling insults all the way down.

  4. rukidding says:

    There’s a lot stuff wrong with how Fidel has run Cuba, but he has done some things well the Cuban people, such as medical/health care and education. Those ex-pat Cubans who are the most caustically critical of Fidel are the Cuban 1%ers… sure didn’t want to “share” with others, no surprise.

    Fidel’s smart like a fox and has seen it all and put it with a lot from Team USA, including numerous unsuccessful efforts to assassinate him. Now having to put up with the war crime that’s Gitmo on his soil.

    Fidel’s not stupid, and that’s for sure. He’s called the “field” of candidates exactly as they are: stupid, rapacious, greedy shitheads. Where Fidel’s “goes” after he dies is up for grabs.

    OTOH, I have *no doubt* where most/any USA politicians are going after they die, should there actually be such “places” as heaven & hell.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I know how you feel. The worst thing about being an atheist is not believing in Hell for those who’ve earned it.
      I do think that the expat Cubans in South Florida are gradually dying out; the newer generations are not nearly so nuts about getting rid of Fidel. As usual, Republicans are aiming their message at nursing home residents.