C.W. Gusewell

THE KANSAS CITY STAR

Bocephus and Hot Pants are a couple of rowdy nitwits

In a time of pervasive anxiety – the Dow wobbling, home values eroding, the job market on life support and the U.S. Congress terminally afflicted by attention deficit disorder – it helped lighten the mood a bit to find two celebrated buffoons in the news on the same day.

Our thanks go out, therefore, to Hank Williams Jr., aka Bocephus, and to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka the Underwear Bomber.

One of them rode to prominence on his father’s name, cultivating the persona of a noisy country bumpkin.

The other won notice by getting on an airliner with explosives sewn in his skivvies.

And both showed themselves to be mouthy clowns through their own public utterances.

Bocephus earned his place in the headlines by likening Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and describing both the president and Vice President Joe Biden as “the enemy.”

Abdulmutallab, whose pseudonym, if I had my way, would be changed to “Hot Pants,” declares himself answerable only to the law of the Qur’an. And he has heightened the prospect for comedy by insisting on defending himself in federal court for his bungled terrorism attempt.

That should greatly abbreviate the proceedings.

I don’t know if either of these gentlemen will take exception to what I’ve written here. It’s not the usual practice of journalists to speak of individuals they cover in the news as nincompoops.

But the rules of column writing are very different. Opinions are allowed. And if my opinion is that Williams and the failed plane bomber are more than a little loopy, that qualifies as fair comment and criticism – surely less actionable than what Bocephus said about the highest elected officials in the land.

I would suggest that they team up and take their show on the road, except that the country singer already spends life on the road and the would-be plane bomber, if convicted, faces a life sentence without parole.

He’s in his 20s, meaning he can look forward to 50 years or more without much tourism. The only traveling he’ll be doing will be from his cell to the prison exercise yard.

His next trip, in other words, will be to collect on every jihadist’s promised reward in paradise: 80,000 servants, plus 72 “dark-eyed virgins,” who may not be terribly interested in a martyr too inept to light the fuse.