So, the Flash picks up Saturday's Arizona Republic and riffles for the item that so regulates the ebb and flow of ideas and culture in the Valley of the Sun, the David Leibowitz column.
Perhaps it's his unadulterated self-absorption, so carefully packaged in blue-collar populism. Maybe it's his towering Jersey intellect, so glibly distilled to nouveau cowboy wingnut pretention--sustaining oxygen for mouth-breathers statewide.
Any way you slice it, Dave's got a chubby finger on your emotional G-spot. His life and his views on life are paramount. He's Truman Burbank, except quite a lot more rotund.
Reading Saturday's column, the Flash's supreme cognitive powers allowed him quickly to grasp that Leibowitz (former colleagues at the Tribune knew him as "Libidowitz") was really pulling a Truman--he was actually proposing marriage to some person, right there in his column!
Enormous capital letters introduced paragraphs and spelled out his frantic cry for help--"M-A-R-R-Y M-E K-E-L-L-E-E-?"--in devilishly clever fashion. Get it? You had to read down the left-hand side of the column to decipher the code! (Editors were reportedly disappointed that tens of thousands of readers called in for help in breaking the code.) Breakfasts curdled all over Arizona as David professed his eternal and undying love. For himself.
Under no circumstances does the Flash need or want to know that much about David Leibowitz's personal life. But the Flash supposes we must brace for blow-by-blow accounts of the nuptials and blissful honeymoon. As an added bonus, several local TV stations are poised to televise the consummation, with expert color commentary provided by David himself.
Sunday, the Republic ran a photo of the man who tells Arizona what to think, smirking and clutching Kellee's bejeweled finger. "She said 'Yes!'" the Republic announced. Of course, Kellee and her blond curls were barely visible in the photo, which was dominated by Dave's self-satisfied mug. (Young female interns at the Republic are said to have breathed a collective sigh of relief.)
It's been a banner year for the Arizona Department of Corrections--it's only June, and DOC has already killed three people and has at least five more on the burner.
The DOC is on such a roll when it comes to executions that it's abandoned its practice of doing the killing at just after midnight. The agency has decided to do it at 3 p.m. The official reason is that it's inhumane to wake poor, sleepy judges late at night to ask them to consider granting a stay of execution.
But the Flash figures that the DOC's true purpose is to make executions a matter of routine rather than an event. If the state-sponsored whacks are done during the day, it's harder for working people to attend the vigils that formerly were staged outside the prison on execution eve. It's not easy to stand around being vigilant in the afternoon sun--plus candles lighted during vigils lose much of their effect.
The new broad-daylight procedure was inaugurated last Wednesday with the euthanization of Douglas Gretzler. So the Flash headed for Florence to take a look-see.
The DOC's plan seems to be working. When the state killed Jose Jesus Ceja at midnight in January, at least 50 people attended the candlelight vigil. Last Wednesday, the Flash counted 28 people gathered in the dust in front of the prison store.
What the scene lacked in numbers, it made up for in crassness. As the execution was happening, the Flash saw a reporter approach a group of people who were praying, and ask them to answer his questions. When he got nowhere with them, he spied a couple of people who were sitting on the ground, meditating. He went up to them, interrupted their meditation and asked for some quotes. He didn't get any that were printable.
Simile Is "Smile" With an I
Courtesy of the Internet, the Flash has come into possession of this list of entrants in a "worst analogies" contest run by the Washington Post. The prose made the Flash as delighted as an uncoordinated chap who puts on his belt without missing a loop. To wit:
"He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it."
"She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again."
"The little boat gently drifted across the still pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't."