Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Year's Worth of Facebook Updates: Random Thoughts Edition, Part III

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today I take a last look back on the dark corners my addled brain ambled towards.

I was going to start a sentence with the phrase, "In my humble opinion," but then I realized I have no humble opinions.

Will drinking too much fake wine make you a fake wino?

Today, I am completely flappable.

I had an existential crisis earlier today but I decided that it was pretty meaningless.

I am so tired, I may only be able to work up sidewalk rage today.

Note to all: If you hack my computer you'll not find anything of interest unless you really love history. I'm too modest. I shower fully clothed.

Ah, a double-dip recession. I'll take mine with sprinkles.

Enjoyed attending the ribbon-cutting at Arlington's just-opened bottleneck factory.

I really wish I had a better sense of direction. I got completely lost at the Mobius strip mall the other day.

If I were Jesus right now, I would so have a full liquor cabinet.

So apparently on Twitter you are limited to 140 characters, not 140 chapters. Now I know.

I'm trying to overcome my pessimism, but I doubt that I can do that.

Yet another new amazing iPhone is on the market. I can't keep up. I'm keeping my old iPhone until they come up with one that can shave me, make my coffee and add just enough cream, and take over my classroom duties.

I think it was Abraham Lincoln who once said that the Lord must have loved stupid people because he made so many of them. However, it is not clear why so many of them ended up in broadcasting.

Because of the insane multiple deadline pressures I have been under the past few I was telling my son the other day about my days as the captain of a gravy boat.

For months, the entire semester I have felt like I'm living that nightmare where you show up for work or class and only then realize that you're naked. No. Wait a minute. That actually happened to me last Wednesday.

I have graduated from senior moments to senior hours.

I took a great new product today called, "I Can't Believe It's Not Percodan."

Dominic is soaked in sweat after playing Wii. That only happened to me at his age when I talked to girls.

I am celebrating my 51st year as a difficult person. Why am I difficult? That's none of your damned business.

An observation regarding the debt deal between President Obama and the Congress: even with a high-priced advertising campaign, a shit sandwich is still a shit sandwich. And whether it's made by a world renown chef or some schmuck at a greasy diner, it's still a shit sandwich.

So I take it as a sign of age but I no longer have anxiety dreams where I show up somewhere naked. Now I dream that I show up overdressed.

Now I'm dealing with the dilemma of being too simple for a Messiah Complex and too complicated for herpes simplex.

My brilliant wife Betsy Friauf asks how it is possible for intellectuals to be both "pointy-headed" and "eggheads" at the same time. Pointy eggs? It's a conundrum.

This morning I'm filled with nostalgia for the long gone things of my youth: vinyl records, polyester suits, rain . . .

Another day of being obtuse but accessible.

Giving in to unreasonable people does not make you reasonable. It makes you crazy.

Don't mean to be a cheese snob, but I really like Gouda. I consider myself a
practicing Goudist.


It's the holiday season and time to remember all those people who overlook you. I've got my Christmas grievance list. I hope you do too.

Remember, kids, you have nothing to fear but fear itself. Well that and unemployment. And bankruptcy. And poor health. And that party guest who won't go away. And flesh eating bacteria. And photographs of you from high school. But other than that, and some other personal items I dreaded mentioning on Facebook, you've got nothing to fear but fear itself.

It's that time of year when my thoughts turn to the Christmas gifts I plan to return.

Beginning to be a lot like Christmas. Got some nog for the egg nog and cute dyslexic kids in the neighborhood came by to sing, "The First Leon."

At Christmas I remember the family getting together, with the fire roaring in the fire place, the music playing in the background, the food piled on the table, and everyone sharing guilt and recriminations.

I consider myself a man of principle. Unless someone has a better offer.

So I've worked out my list of people I'm going to rail against on Facebook today: trombonists, doctors who perform rhinoplasty, Mennonites, people from Monaco and sufferers from gingivitis.

We're having a late middle-aged New Year's eating at home, watching TV for the countdown and having a few symbolic sips for champagne before nodding off. We're going to party like we're 99.



Michael Phillips has authored the following:


White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Year's Worth of Facebook Updates: Random Thoughts Edition, Part II

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today l look back on the dark corners my addled brain ambled towards.

I want to publicly declare that absolutely nothing is beneath me.

My vow of silence did not work out. I'll have a statement on that later today.

The other day I was told to "take a powder," but I was not informed of the proper dosage.

‎"Whup ass" is now available not just in can form, but also in vacuum-sealed reusable packages.

I am feeling completely snarkless today.

I officially believe that even disillusionment is not worth the energy.

Remember kids, if you are a fool or a bigot or a religious zealot, I will respect your right to free speech but I am nor morally obligated to be your friend or to pretend you have a brain.

What should one do if one has kicked ass but forgot to take attendance?

According to a doctor's report I just received I am precisely jiggy like that.

Remember kids, there's no "I" in "team" unless you are a poor speller.

Remember kids, there's always a third option: being a tiny fish in a universe-sized ocean. Or evolving legs. But not in Texas. Evolving is illegal here.

‎Betsy Friauf got me a Kindle for my birthday. That's awesome. Now I'm trying to figure our how you fit books in this tiny thing.

Tomorrow, I plan to celebrate Labor Day 2011-style by being laid off and replaced by prison labor in China.

Excited to hear that production has begun for "Harry Potter Crosses a Street."

Very few people know this about me, but I was once part of a Milli Vanilli cover band.

I have discovered that Post-Its don't work very well on Kindles.


I have an opinion about everything. If you lack an opinion on an issue, I will be happy to give you one of mine.

One lyric says, "To sing the blues/you've got to pay the dues." What if you've paid the dues but you sing off-key?

As a famous person once said, "I don't want to be quoted."

Suffering from insomnia. I'm going to try to sleep it off.

I'm going to a sleep therapist ASAP. Apparently I am a sleep neurotic.

This semester, I vow to be ruthless and to eliminate one ruth at a time.

The Sicilian part of me wants to get all Joe Pesci on a large part of the world.

My 7-year-old son has early release today. In a text exchange I told him I would pick him up at 2:30 p.m. He replied, "That sounds reasonable."

I've got my bait and tackle box ready and tomorrow morning I'll set off to fish for compliments.

I'd write a memoir, but I've never been that good at fiction. If I do, I’ll call it “Dope-Slapped by Destiny.”

Given the people I often have to deal with, I should have just gone ahead and become a mental health professional.

Today's question: if a nanobot gets a computer virus, does it suffer from nanobotulism?

The other day I had a revelation. The reason so many people won't remove their heads from their asses is that their insurance won't cover the procedure.



Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Year's Worth of Facebook Updates: Rangers-Cardinals World Series Edition

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today l look back on the agonies of being a sports fan, particularly if you cheer for the Texas Rangers.

Even if the NFL season is cancelled, I think the Giants will find a way to finish below .500.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day not only honors a great man but also marks the date when, traditionally, the New York Mets are eliminated from World Series contention.

Far be it from me to defend the Dallas Cowboys, but Tony Romo is playing with a punctured lung and broken ribs. I'm out for the day if I get a paper cut.

The World Series is almost over, the air is cooler, there's dew on the grass and now is the time that young men's thoughts turn to free agency.

This game is as scoreless as I was as a teenager.

The Cardinals are going through pitchers like Larry King goes through wives.

Bases loaded. And from what I read, so were the Red Sox most of the season.

Until that play, I hadn't seen so much choking since the Boston Strangler.

I haven't seen so many errors since the last time I graded a blue book,

Let's face it, this game has more Es than eleemosynary.

The ball apparently is more slippery than Bernie Madoff's accounting.

Scientists are still trying to detect this umpire's strike zone. It appears to be as small as Rick Perry's heart. And mind.

I think Sally Struthers is about to do a tear-jerking ad asking for someone to sponsor the abandoned base runners in this game. Sarah McLachlan will sing the background song.

If Michael Jackson were still alive, I could repeat a joke about the Cardinals they used to make about the Texas Rangers: What do Michael Jackson and the St. Louis Cardinals have in common? They both wear one glove for no apparent reason.

Tony LaRussa is going to do a double-switch. I think that's what Larry Craig did in that restroom.

Oh well. The Rangers are like my first marriage. I expect to be let down.

Rangers, you are the Anna Karenina of baseball.

Rangers, you're like Ike and Tina Turner. You never do nothin' nice and easy.

Feldman is on the mound for the Rangers. Haven't his people suffered enough?

Well Scott Feldman blew his chance to be the most beloved Texas Jew since Jack Ruby.

I get it. This game will never end. We're in a play by Samuel Beckett.

Alabama is No. 2 and LSU is No. 1. Perhaps next week’s featured game will involve teams that can spell SAT.

This Alabama-LSU game is the only reason I'm glad I'm grading blue books. This game is like the "Is it safe?" dentist scene in "The Marathon Man"

What would make this LSU-Alabama game more interesting would be if one of the players came out as a Wiccan and thanked Satan after the game.

Well, the game of the century of the week is about as electrifying as C-SPAN's "Booknotes" show. Maybe ESPN 12 is running chess.

There is no truth to the rumor that the Texas Rangers are trying to trade C.J. Wilson to Argentine kidnappers.

[Referring to the Penn State scandal]. Way back in my journalism career, which I spent part of as a sports writer, the sports section was called "the toy shop" of journalism. It has become the Stephen King novel of news.

I did not realize until this morning that ESPN had started broadcasting "America's Most Wanted."



Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Year's Worth of Facebook Updates: Random Thoughts Edition, Part I

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today l look back on the dark corners my addled brain ambled towards.

Please remember that I do not get paid for these jokes, so you are getting your money's worth.

I was trying to explain to my son what it was like going to CCD (Catholic Sunday school.) Instead of field trips, we went on guilt trips.

Sorry. I'm allergic to Kool-Aid. I'll pass on taking a gulp.

Idea for a bumpersticker: "Ask me about my narcissism."

You know, I'd have a positive attitude if I thought it was worth the effort.

I was recalling how in college, during the weekends after parties. I used to sleep late, generally until someone started drawing a chalk outline around me.

I'm going to try to be humble today and only think outside the tupperware.

I resolve to be sincere today even if I have to fake it.

I seem to have lost my organizer.

Where do people who already live in the hills head to?

.The paradox of computer: you can't live with them and you can't throw them out of high-story windows.

I'm having second thoughts . . . well, not really.

Let's all remember that the first syllable in the word "Twitter" is "twit."

I’m not angry. I’m mellowness-challenged.

It was a diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving. I was allowed to press my nose against the window while the rest of the famly ate inside.

It's that time of year when my thoughts turn to the Christmas gifts I plan to return.

Today, I was remembering when I was caught breaking into the medicine cabinet at the Christian Science center.

I realize I have become a doddering old man, which is quite a step down from being a doddering young man.

So I figured out the way to survive a zombie apocalypse is to tattoo a "sell-by" date on a visible part of the body so the zombies think you are stale.

I'd be patient if I had the time.

I have just signed the paperwork and I have officially donated my body to science fiction.

So a guy with Attention Deficit Disorder walks into a bar and . . . What was I going to say?


Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Year’s Worth of Facebook Updates: “Heartbreak Hotel” Edition

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today l look back on what I said about relationships, and why they are the type of ship that most often capsizes.

If you love someone, let them go free. If they don't come back, sell their furniture. If they do come back, change your locks.

That novel, "Great Expectations," was a big letdown.

A reminder to my female friends, just because a man is emotionally distant, selfish and has a criminal record, that doesn't necessarily mean that he loves you.

The worst thing about cyberbullies is when they cyberpants you.

Remember kids, it's important to love all your brothers and sisters. Well, except for that jabbering idiot with the Blue Tooth receiver in his right ear in the checkout line.

Character fades but looks are forever.

I'm an agnostic but my ex keeps proving that Satan exists.

Nachos are truly the way to a woman's heart. That and a stable job and adequate sanitary habits.

What a morning. I didn't think about it and I failed to tell Betsy Friauf to remind me that I'm forgetful.

The movie "All That Jazz" is on TV. I always considered my life a real life version of the film minus the music, dancing, sexual complications, and speed.

It was a traditional Phillips Thanksgiving. I presented a power point with photos of people I was grateful to not be.

I may be shedding tears, but I'm laughing inside.

My doctor today actually diagnosed me as being too sexy for my shirt. I will shop tomorrow.

Fourteen percent of Americans use anti-depressants. Eighty-six percents of Americans drink after talking to their friends on anti-depressants.

With a friend I am starting a clinic to rehabilitate people who take the kama sutra too seriously. There are a lot of tendon pulls we'll be dealing with.

So it's almost April and the weather in Texas is chilly and unpredictable. Sort of like my first marriage.

It’s been almost six month since New York legalized gay marriage and that has still done nothing to destroy my relationship with my wife.

Please remember, Mr. and Mrs. America that we are all one. Well, accept for that person who sneaks into the express grocery line with more than 20 items. And that person who parks in the handicapped space. And that person who knows his lane is ending and zooms ahead so he cut cut further up in your lane. And insurance company executives and Wall Street investors. And that person over there with the misspelled "English Only" sign. Screw them. But the rest of us are all one.

You know, I always thought being friends with me was the benefit.



Michael Phillips has authored the following:


White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

A Year’s Worth of Facebook Updates: “That’s Entertainment” Edition

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today l look back on what I said about celebrities.

I've had lunches that lasted longer than Kim Karashian's marriage.

By the way, at Target I saw a cheap knockoff of the Lady Gaga meat dress. It was made of pickle loaf.

Nancy Grace is going to be in the next season of "Dancing with the Stars." Can you dance and be shrill at the same time?

Wow. It seems like just yesterday when I was ignoring Charles' and Diana's wedding.

The begatting of the next royal heir is now being broadcast on ESPN and the Spice Channel.

I really wish that Michael Jackson's former doctor would be allowed to participate in the Wall Street protests. Maybe then the media would cover them.

Finally, Warren Beatty looks like the dirty old man that was always lurking inside.

Celine Dion makes me want to imitate that Buddhist monk in South Vietnam.

Amazing journalism fact: Justin Beiber told the world his opinions about premarital sex and abortion and these insights were reported around the planet.

Robert Downey -- the Charlie Sheen of the 1990s.

Andy Rooney ended 33 years on "60 Minutes" last night and somewhere in Florida two retirees awoke from a nap to note the event. Then the "60 Minutes" demographic went back to sleep.

Jim Lehrer is retiring from the PBS News Hour because he wants to spend more time being extremely dry with his family.

I still have a book on journalism ethics from my reporter days. In honor of Rupert Murdoch, this weekend I'll burn it.

Charlie Sheen is a birther. That pretty much settles the issue, doesn't it?

In five minutes we can begin enjoying the obsessive coverage of the royal divorce. I bet she wears black.



Michael Phillips has authored the following:


White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Year’s Worth of Facebook Updates: The "Working In A Coal Mine" Edition

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today l look back on what I said about the glamorous life of a college professor.

First day of lectures. One more class to go. The number of things thrown at me and the size of each object was smaller than in previous semesters.

If a college professor delivered a lecture in an empty classroom and fell over from exhaustion, would he still be underpaid?

What a day. I thought he was telling me I was going to proctor an exam. Then he got out the rubber gloves . . .

As the college year begins yet again, I make my annual affirmation: what does not kill me will only badly cripple me.

A colleague at work say he likes our department because people will stab you in the chest, not the back. You can see the blade coming.

I just realized that if the bill passes allowing students to carry guns on Texas college and university campuses that "Eat, Shoots, and Leaves" could be the four-word memoir of one of my students.

During the Colin graduation ceremony a students expressed her dream of getting a "doctorate degree." the closed caption folks translated this as a "dock rat" degree. I'm going to have to check my diploma.

It's the beginning of the school year, or (as I think of it) the nine month challenge to see what I can say without getting fired.

I have to "report" to the college today. Why do they make it sound like I'm visiting a probation officer?

I always give my students two bits of financial advice. 1. Pick your parents wisely and 2. Bet against the end of the world. By the way, in case of the Rapture, can I have your car?

I was at the graduation ceremony tonight for Collin College. The state legislature cut the funding for the ceremony half way through. They turned out the lights and about 5,000 had to stumble, metaphorically, into the darkness.

You know, for a lot of this semester I felt like a mime performing for the blind.

I do not believe in eugenics. But in the case of my students I am willing to make an exception.

I'm grading the third of the six classes I am grading this weekend. I was going to call this my "hump class," but that doesn't sound the way I intend.

The stages of book writing. 1. You're excited about it. 2. You're irritated by it. 3. You'd rather swallow ground glass than work on it. 4. You're relieved it is finished. 5. You're thrilled when it comes out. 5. You notice everything wrong with it. 6. You start your next book.

My adult career choices have been print journalism and college professor - two dying fields. Maybe there's an opening for squire somewhere.

Now that we know we have enough matter for the universe to contract again before the next Big Bang, I worry that there might not be enough space in my classroom.



Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

A Year’s Worth of Facebook Updates: The “It’s All Politics” Edition

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today l look back on what I said about our political leadership, in other words "America's Least Wanted."

The Founding Fathers had their share of bad ideas: slavery, the Second Amendment, Georgia statehood . . .


Completing a high school biology class no more qualifies you to pass judgement on the theory of evolution than writing a grocery list makes you an author.


The good news is that the United States government just received a promising email from a Nigerian businessman proposing a deal that could net trillions.

Mike's Big Book of Politics, Rule 1: A stupid idea is not any smarter because it's bipartisan.

Today in Texas is "Confederate Heroes Day." "Heroes" is a much nicer word than "traitors." Or "losers."

Dominic and I are watching the children's programming being offered nonstop on C-SPAN.

Remember, kids, the rich really aren't a persecuted minority and they really don't need your help. They do want the best for you, but unfortunately they think that's turning you into Chinese prison labor.

Anti-gay, anti-feminist rightwing loon Phyllis Schlafly is 87 years old. She is proof that only the good die young.

Glenn Beck has the easiest job in America. He just has to be smarter and better informed than his audience.

You can really feel the excitement drain from the Presidential race now that Tim Pawlenty has dropped out.

Headline of the future: "New York Times' Announces 'Town Crier' Format: Reporters to Visit Subscribers' Homes."

I'm off to teach a class, Mr. and Mrs. America. Please remember, the word is "whore," not "ho." I want you to properly address your member of Congress.

Mississippians are voting tonight on whether life begins when a man in a bar buys a woman a second drink.

I noticed that MSNBC has a countdown to the government shutdown in the lower left corner. Will an electric ball go down the Washington Monument at midnight? Where's Dick Clark?

Glenn Beck, who earns at least $32 million a year for making stupid shit up for one hour a day five days a week, says he wants to figure out what is a "realistic" salary for school teachers.

New rule: hosting a cable television or a radio show makes you an expert on broadcasting. Not an expert on science, on the economy, on geopolitics, on history, on energy, on relationships, or anything useful. Behave accordingly.

Well, I am officially an atheist now. On his show today, Rush Limbaugh mentioned the name of Jesus Christ to ridicule those who suggest Jesus' heart was with the poor and Rush did not burst into flames. Rush mentioning Jesus is like a pedophile discussing your child's school picture.

Christ, these Republicans make Montgomery Burns on "The Simpsons" look like Mother Teresa.

By the way, after a very close vote I doubled my debt ceiling.

Headline of the Future: Bank of America Forecloses Itself, Receives Giant Government Bailout

In a press conference, the police officer who used pepper spray pointblank in the faces of sitting, peaceful protestors at UC Davis explained that he was a performance artist and his actions were an "ironic statement" on the abuse of state power. He announced that his next installation would be titled, "Parent Slapping Child at Walmart."Getting ready for Thanksgiving. I'm going to beat and pepper spray the turkey later this morning.

We're getting read for Thanksgiving. I've already beat and pepper sprayed the turkey.

The Macy's Parade float with the pepper spraying cop was so loveable.

I feel bad for Ann Coulter. The sex reassignment surgery she underwent obviously did not go well.

Ann Coulter called John McCain a "douchebag" on MSNBC. What a distinction for McCain. That's like being called a great musician by Duke Ellington.

Fourteen percent approve of the job Congress is doing. Who belongs to that group and where are they hospitalized?

Please let lightening hit the wingnuts in Austin. I promise I'll become a believer.

Pat Robertson put the “mental” in “fundamentalist.”

Handing microphones to conservatives is like handing out box cutters to terrorists.

I think that John Ensign will look very presidential in an orange jumpsuit.

Payoffs to college athletes in Texas will be conducted in silence in honor of late former Gov. Bill Clements.



Michael Phillips has authored the following:


White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Year’s Worth of Facebook Updates; “Blessed Are The Meek” Edition

I view teaching at a community college as performing in the borscht belt of academia and have long considered my job to be “standup historian.” I post most of my jokes on Facebook. I like doing comedy online because it’s harder for the audience to throw things at you. Since it’s the end of the year, I’m going to be posing a year’s worth of my Facebook updates by theme. Today l look back on what I said about religion and other harmful diversions this year.

I like the Unitarians. When they have pot luck suppers, they actually have pot.

In a press conference today, a frustrated Jesus said that when he remarked, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," he was not referring to those making more than $200,000 a year. He then pulled out the eye of a needle and demonstrated how difficult it was for both a camel and a hedge fund manager to pass through.


Spent Sunday the way I usually do. I put on a white shirt and tie and rode by bicycle to the nearest Mormon church and distributed copies of my book.

Leading social scientists tried to test the fundamentalist theory that you can "pray the gay away" and the only thing that happened was that a collection of old disco records vanished.

The good news about the Rapture happening this Saturday is that I don't think it will affect enrollment at Collin College one bit.

I hope I can get my hands on a nice iPad and an Kindle after the rapture this Saturday.

Please remember, everyone, to keep the "hash" in Rosh Hoshana.

I saw an outline of the face of the Virgin Mary on a bagel today. I'm not sure if I should call a priest or a rabbi.

After studying ancient texts, a group of leading theologians have concluded that Jesus was almost unbeatable in Mexican Sweat.

Going to the Unitarian Church with Betsy Friauf and my son Dominic to hear what may or may not be eternal truth from what may or may not be God, if he, she or it exists, as revealed to what may be he/she/its people Maybe.

At a teary press conference, Satan looked back fondly at a long career of evil-doing. "I have no regrets," he said. "Except maybe that whole roller disco thing."

Glenn Beck still likes to cite that part of the Bible where Jesus disses the poor and speaks out against raising the top marginal tax rate for the rich beyond 15 percent. I think it's in the Gospel of John: "Be not like unto the Gentiles and lay upon the rich a surcharge, lest ye be cast into the flames among the socialist do-gooders."

I'm going to make a bold prediction: in multiple millions of years the sun will swell into a red giant, swallow the earth and destroy all on it and that the universe itself, over a longer time period, will stop expanding, ushering in entropy or causing all of existence to collapse in on itself thus launching another Big Bang. With this apocalyptic forecast, you don't have to quit your job or sell your house.

Just a friendly warning: if you tell people that the hurricane is because of liberals or Muslims or feminism or gay marriage, on Judgment Day God will tell you that you are an asshole.




Michael Phillips has authored the following:


White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.