Scalzi Beaten To The Punch By… Al Franken?

In the wake of the Stephen Colbert Whitehouse Correspondents dinner kerfuffle, I was cruising the Internet[s] looking for prior precedent for comedians excoriating a sitting president to his face when I stumbled across a draft version of Al Franken’s routine at the 1996 WHC dinner. As I perused the speech, I noted with interest the following passage:

Here’s another idea. I am not a military expert so I’m not sure that this is feasible. But here it is. From what I’ve read I understand there is nothing more terrifying in battle than seeing enemy hordes charging at you with no regard for their own lives. Why have we always insisted on asking our young men, and now young women, in the flower of their lives to risk themselves in combat? Why not, in the right situation, use a human wave of our elderly to scare the enemy?
Think about it. You’re an Iraqi or a North Korean soldier. Suddenly, over the horizon, you see a batallion of Americans. They won’t attack, you think. America wouldn’t risk the blood of its precious youth when it could simply employ their sophisticated, expensive weapons. Then you look through your binoculars, and a chill goes down your spine. Retirees! Thousands and thousands of them! Each one older than the next. Each with a life expectantcy of three or four years at most. You think to yourself, “What do these people really have to lose? The four worst years of their lives?” You’re terrified. Then they charge. A slow charge, yes, but that makes it even more frightening.
Admittedly, there’s some kinks to work out. Mobilization would be tough. I don’t know if you’ve ever organized a group of seniors for a theatre trip? I don’t think training would be that much of a problem. It’d be kind of like, “Go out there and run.” And this would give our World War II era Americans a chance to contribute yet again to our country. Just when they thought they were forgotten.
I guess what I’m saying is let’s not just talk about our problems. Let’s talk about solutions.

Hmmm. Remind anyone else of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War? Could it be? Noted Sci Fi author plagiarizes arch-abuser of Harvard grad student ghost writers? Say it ain’t so, John, say it ain’t so!
(In an odd bit of synchronicity, Scalzi has posted his humorous thoughts on the whole Colbert shebang).

A Very Merry Un-Birthday, To Me? To Me!

Well, it’s time to celebrate your birthday, it happens every year
We’ll eat a lot of broccoli and drink a lot of beer
You should be good and happy that there’s something you can eat
A million people every day are starving in the street
Your daddy’s in the gutter with the wretched and the poor
Your mama’s in the kitchen with a can of Cycle Four
There’s garbage in the water
There’s poison in the sky
I guess it won’t be long before we’re all gonna die
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
-Weird Al Yankovic, “Happy Birthday”

I turned a grand old 28 today. I don’t feel that old, but it’s creepy to think that in a mere two years, I’ll be 30; odd how these things creep up on one.
I celebrated it in a non-standard fashion this year, as I’ve been in TX for my birthday for the past five years or so: my grandparents were in town, and since they hadn’t yet seen Will, they accompanied my mother in a trip to our house. This was the first time for Will to meet one of his namesakes, his great-grandfather William (Bill). My wife, knowing that my grandparents are life-long Pittsburgh Steelers fans, dressed Will in his Steelers outfit which apparently went over like gangbusters with the great-grandparents. My grandfather was content simply to hold Will, which aggravated my granmother as Bill The Elder kept obscuring the Steelers logo and “ruining” the photos my wife was snapping.*grin*
We supped on meatball sandwiches and spinach salad that my mother brought over and then finished the meal with apple spice cake (complete with “Happy Birthday” candles) and coffee, after which my wife and I presented the great- and regular-grandparents with their Christmas gifts (framed pictures of Will, for those out there keeping score).
Then, I was presented with two gifts that would warm any decent sci-fi fan’s hardened heart: Old Man’s War by John Scalzi from my parents and the Firefly boxed set from my lovely wife.
Maybe turning 28 isn’t such a terrible thing after all…