June 26, 2015

Zen and the Art of Microaggressions

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:35 pm




crop of close up red tag

[Trigger Warning: The following column may contain words, phrases, and/or topics that readers may find unsettling and upsetting. If not; then the columnist isn’t doing his job correctly and must apologize.]

If the latest example of Berkeley Liberal thinking, which is called “micro aggression” is retroactively applied to Lenny Bruce’s most famous quotes, he wouldn’t be considered just a criminal but he would be regarded as an equal of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial defendants. When the President of the United States recently used the n-bomb, he did not issue a trigger warning and consequently the Republicans became incensed. Their righteous indignation over the use of that word came perilously close to apoplexy.

It seems as if some political commentators do not want a lively discussion about various contentious topics but would rather have a verbal equivalent of the de facto Christmas truce that occurred at Christmas in 1914. Is neutralizing debate a liberal or conservative tactic? Is it an example of microaggression to even ask that question? If so who would approve such behavior other than Lenny Bruce and others from the Golden Age of Sick humor?

If Lenny Bruce were still alive today could he get away with asking this question: “Are the members of the United State Supreme Court acting like drama queens with their coy moves to postpone the announcement of their decisions for the most contentious cases from this year?”

If the conservatively owned mainstream media is satisfied with the Justices shenanigans, who outside the Berkeley city limits will object?

The mainstream media was spared the trouble of taking an in-depth look at the Berkeley Balcony tragedy that occurred early on June 16 because on June 17 a mass shooting occurred and the new media immediately switch the country’s focus of attention to the mass murder story.

The gun manufacturing industry was spared another round of the gun control debate when the news commentators immediately directed the nation’s attention to the Confederate flag issue. The power of political activism was underlined by the fact that several national merchandise chains quickly announced they were suspending the sale of Confederate flags.

Meanwhile, in Berkeley, while the elite of the journalism industry were in town to cover the aftermath of the balcony tragedy, a report by the Berkeley Police Review Commission was released. It immediately was criticized by local citizens for not accurately describing the police conduct on the evening of December 6, 2014 which had sparked the investigation.

It was asserted by some zealous observers to be a “cover-up” or what the kids would call “a white wash job.” Is that a subtle way of saying that only honkies try to lie their way out of a nasty predicament?

KCBS news radio reported on Tuesday of this week that in the aftermath of the six student deaths in the balcony tragedy, no police investigation regarding possible criminal conduct was being conducted. The lawyers and the inevitable lawsuits would be the method for providing justice for the deaths.

On Thursday, the Alameda County District Attorney, Nancy O’Malley, announced that her office would be conducting a criminal investigation, which might produce manslaughter indictments.

Meanwhile, teachers were realizing that they had to provide students with “Trigger warnings,” if their lectures contained any words, phrases, or topic which might cause emotional distress to the students in the audience.

If these criteria for conduct by teachers were retroactively applied to some of the “teach-ins” spawned by the Vietnam War, wouldn’t many of the teachers have lost their jobs?

The item at the center of the microagressions storm was a Washington Post article written by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh. It should be available via a quick Google News search.

The mainstream media seems to prefer focusing on soap opera news that prominently features sexual hanky-panky.   The saga of the prison employee whose sex life caused extensive speculation on the cable news networks was getting more media attention in the USA than was any detailed analysis of the events in the Middle East. It even spilled over onto the network morning show interview of her husband. By Wednesday of this week Getty & Armstrong were asserting that the prison guard had been unfaithful to her husband with a number in triple digits needed for accuracy.

The fans of the Oakland Warriors had to wait forty years for their team to win the championship. The team owners can’t wait for a chance to get a better deal from a different city to move and thereby increase the value of their team.

The new Bay Bridge seems to be a textbook example of the old political wisdom: Build in haste, repent at leisure.

The World’s Laziest Journalist has predicted that the Justices would rule that it was unconstitutional and realize that our batting average number will be seriously affected by the inaccurate prediction.

This weekend the response of the paid commentators who work for mass media owned by wealthy conservative moguls should provide a very high level of entertainment because they might provide opinions that should require a strong trigger warning.

Will the media issue calls for patriots to calmly accept the ruling or will they try to stir up rancor and discontent? The weekend TV shows called “gab fests” may be highly charged and contentious and should be very entertaining this weekend.

Note: Next week’s column will be posted on Thursday due to the long holiday weekend.

In his autobiography, “How to talk dirty and influence people,” Lenny Bruce provided (on page 21) the essence of the cable news addict’s philosophy: “I loved this because I wasn’t as afraid of being killed in battle as I was of being bored.”

Now the disk jockey will play the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Did you ever have to make up your mind?,” Waylon Jennings theme from the Dukes of Hazzard,” and AC/DC’s “Jailbreak.” We have to go do a Google map search to find out where Thunder Road is. Have a “good ole boy never meanin’ no harm” type week.


January 28, 2015

Warn the Villagers, Watch Out Mom and Pops!

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 12:42 am


January 26, 2015

Boys! Girls! YOU TOO Can Have Fun Guessing What Slime Will Slip Out From the Random Word Generator Next!

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 12:40 pm


December 16, 2014

Still Waiting on Justice’s Trap Door

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 1:00 pm


December 13, 2014

Mr. Torture

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 1:28 pm


December 8, 2014

The Attempt to Hide Our National Disgrace

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 12:38 pm


December 5, 2014

All Choked Up

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 7:55 pm


December 4, 2014

Epic Rhetorical FAIL

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 2:32 pm


November 15, 2014

Don’t Bother Rinsing, Just Repeat

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 10:56 am


November 2, 2014

As Election Day Approaches

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 12:14 pm


October 26, 2014

Gutter Ball

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 7:08 am


November 15, 2013

Triple J, Sky Rock, and Radio Caroline

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 2:26 pm


Many disk jockeys say that there is no “there” in Oakland but a columnist says otherwise.

[Note:  We leave it up to other pundits to write columns about the latest developments in the ACA political donnybrook.  A nostalgic look at radio may not be cutting edge commentary but that’s the way the cookie crumbles for this week’s installment of a column from the World’s Laziest Journalist.  Who knows?  Maybe a change of pace in the midst of a tsunami of facts about health insurance will be a breath of fresh air.]

Norman Goldman, the talk radio host who promulgates the philosophy that labels are inaccurate and confining, asserts that radio personalities are entering a new age when radios are superfluous.  Since we heard Triple J radio online long before we used a small battery operated Sanyo to tune in to the source for Australian music, we grok what he says but it was a much more visceral experience to hold the radio and work the tuner to listen to that unique blend of voices and music.

When we think of going to visit friends in close proximity to the Big Apple, our heart leaps up at the chance to hear Harry Harrison reassuring the audience that they live in the greatest city in the world but that Eastern Airlines (“The Wings of Man”) stand read to whisk them away to far away places with strange sounding names.  We have to take a deep breath and say:  “That was then; this is now.”

Armstrong and Getty boldly assert that they have “the hottest show on the West Coast.”  There was a time, though, when things were different.  Living at Lake Tahoe as the Sixties came to a close, radio reception was very limited because of the basin which meant that very few AM radio signals could be picked up.  The two local stations were on opposite ends of the AM dial and so it was that switching from one to another meant a sweep of the AM dial and in that process you would hear a third signal.  Fine tune it and you would hear a raspy voice claiming that his radio show was heard from coast to coast and border to border.  A signal wall to wall and tree-top tall was heard in 38 states.  The people who heard Wolfman Jack before seeing American Graffiti know what the true definition of “the hottest radio show” used to be.

How could Wolfman Jack possibly have been that popular if he never took a position on the Affordable Care Act?

Heck, now folks with Internet access can be in South Lake Tahoe and listen to Triple J in Australia, Sky Rock in Paris (France not Texas), and Radio Caroline.  It’s no wonder that Pan Am has vanished.  Radio fans don’t need to travel to hear those radio stations.

We did listen, whilst in Sydney Oz, to Skid Row Radio but we have not fact checked listening to them via the Berkeley Public Library computers.

When we went to Paris in 1986 (how can a 28 year old columnist remember a trip to Paris almost 28 years ago?  [Trade secret.]) we packed a comparatively bulky portable radio to enhance the “we are really there” aspect of the experience.

Some other time we may expand the question “Why do Internet sites aggregate only American radio broadcasts and not include ones from outside the USA?” into a full column but not today.

Norman Goldman uses sound bytes of politicians to punctuate his broadcasts and that often reminds us of the first time we heard the version of “What the world needs now” augmented by various sound bytes.  We heard it on WABC and they usually played only one song at a time and when we heard that version of that song for the first time, they quickly followed with another song.  We have always assumed that the DJ, like us, had been caught off guard and was knocked on his ass by what he heard and couldn’t say anything.  Is the Pan Am building still called the Pan Am building by old timers?

That was just about the time WICK in Scranton had changed to the talk show format.  We called in to ask Evel Knievel which of the many hospitals he had stayed in had the best looking nurses.  He said the one in Las Vegas.  I had stayed in the hospital in Carson City Nevada and the nurses their all talked about what a good patient Kenivil had been.

WICK had been a sensation when they were one of the first stations in North Eastern Pennsylvania to play “Rock’n’Roll” music.  They used some Polish language broadcasts on Sunday morning to pay the bills and more than a few Irish Catholic Democrats picked up on phrases in Polish while waiting after Sunday Mass for the format to change back to the usual new music.  What ever happened to Fats Domino?

Their arch rival WARM used the WARMland shtick to excess during the winter months.  WARM ridiculed sports news by giving the results of a fictional match up between the Honeypot Cheaters and the MacAdoo Stompers every week during football season.

Before Dick Clark’s American Bandstand was picked up by the ABC TV network, they expanded from their Philadelphia flagship station to one other area TV station, WNEP in the Scranton Wilkes Barrie area.

A Southern California high school football team with the Fighting Arabs as their mascot have been in the news lately and since there really is a town called Honeypot we wonder what their high school’s mascot is.  What about Intercourse Pa.’s high school’s mascot?

The mascot of the Whittier CA college is “the Poets.”

Lately with the ACA 24/7 marathon we have searched in vain for KFOG but can’t find that old stalwart radio signal from the Sixties.  Can’t seem to find KABL either.

We didn’t hear Don Sherwood until he got his gig up at Lake Tahoe.  They had called his radio program the “Will Sherwood Show?” show because more than once the city’s top disk jockey called in sick.

Then the “shock jock” era began.  Whatever happened to Don Imus?

Did Westwood One and the count down format really get started in a former rug store in Culver City?  The last time we heard Dr. Demento we were living in L. A.  We should try fishing around to see what station carries his Sunday night show in the San Francisco area.

Since political punditry from Uncle Rushbo’s clones seems ubiquitous on the radio, we think a new radio format or a resurrected old one might be like rain in the desert for listeners who have been pummeled by nonstop criticism of Obama and have nothing but more of the same to look forward to for the next three years.

Why doesn’t some intrepid radio format wunderkind implement a format that uses a bilingual approach.  Folks who want to learn English could learn English and the gringos who want to know what the Spanish speaking employees are saying could benefit from such a style of newscasts.  We had an Aunt in Santa Monica who knew enough about baseball that she could have coached a high school team so she learned Spanish by turning on the TV, turning down the sound, and listening to the Dodger games on Spanish language radio.  She got to be quite proficient at it.

We can remember working at a large University in the Westwood Section of Los Angeles and we picked up a fair degree of proficiency in Spanish.  Once when the head honcho’s lackey came into the room the manager announced to the room in Spanish:  Watch what you say because she’s the department head’s spy.  The interloper didn’t speak Spanish so the general announcement went right over her head.  Since our Spanish was good enough to know what was said we felt like we were “one of the group.”

In the Seventies, one L. A. radio station played only big band era music.  We loved the music but since the commercials were all about Depends, denture adhesives, and hemorrhoid medicines, we opted out.

If some San Francisco station went to all Sixties music, now, we’d be tuned in to them in a New York minute.  What if they played Sixties music and ran news from 50 years ago today?  Could they call it Nostalgia Radio?

A column about radio and nostalgia reminds us how annoyed a friend used to get when, in 1968, we would often say:  “Back in 1968 . . .” and he would get mad and say “Damn it!  It is 1968!”  He died several years ago.

[Note from the photo editor:  Is the gigantic “THERE” in the East Bay actually proof that there is a “THERE” in Oakland or is it actually in Berkeley and a confirmation of the folk wisdom that, in Oakland, there is no THERE there?  Ask your favorite DJ.]

Back in 1968, a one-liner that was ubiquitous went;  “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.”

Now, our disk jockey, who really appreciates good guitar work, will play us out with Link Wray’s “Rumble,” Henry Mancini’s “theme from Peter Gunn,” (that’s Duane Eddy on guitar), and Jody Reynold’s “Endless Sleep.”  We have to go buy some strings for a friend’s sitar.  Have a “we’ll do it live!” type week.

September 28, 2013

More Moronic Rhetoric from the Right

Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 2:57 am

July 25, 2013


Filed under: Guest Comment — Ye Olde Scribe @ 6:27 am

October 26, 2012

Occupy Oakland isn’t what it used to be

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:32 pm

Occupy Oakland held a new rally on Thursday October 25, 2012.
A year ago Occupy Oakland was front page news.
Some folks disagree with Occupy’s aims.

On Monday night, watching the NLCS’s final playoff game with the sound turned down so that we could hear the Presidential debate was one of those epiphany moments that life serves up occasionally.

The World’s Laziest Journalist is suffering from a case of Propaganda Gridlock. We know that the fate of the free world rides on the outcome of the rapidly approaching American Presidential Election but lately TV is outrageously infantile and radio seems to be a tsunami of political propaganda, but the saturation point has been reached, so we have been desperately searching for better quality diversions and entertainment as a change of pace to get away from the relentless onslaught of “important” news.

The prospect of watching the Presidential debate in the hopes of being given a possible column topic seemed very unlikely. Both candidates have their script and will stick to their main talking points very rigidly.

The last time we were interested in baseball’s annual pennant race, Gene Woodling, Hank Bauer, and Allie Reynolds were providing depth for a team that featured a boy wonder batting star in the outfield.

Watching the playoff game while pondering the question “who will win this year’s World Series,” we were reminded of the title of a 1971 movie: “They Might Be Giants.”

In an introduction to a book titled “The New Journalism,” Tom Wolfe informed readers of the 1973 copyrighted anthology that one of the branches of literature that preceded the era of writer involvement was “The Literary Gentleman with a seat in the grandstand.”

The calm, cool, detached observer seems like such a quaint old fashioned idea now that the golden age of propaganda in America has arrived.

One prominent political pundit in Germany proclaimed: “It (propaganda) must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” He also warned politicians to never concede any point: “As soon as our own propaganda admits so much as a glimmer of right on the other side, the foundation for doubt in our own right has been laid.”

Does that sound like an accurate assessment of the “dialogue” surrounding this year’s Presidential election? To any columnist who thinks that sounds like an accurate description of the quality of debate in the current American political arena, the task facing political pundits is not to provide eloquent journalism but to offer some sensational cheerleading support.

The Literary Gentleman with a seat in the grandstands has become completely irrelevant in the contemporary American Political scene and, in many cases, even in the realm of sports reporters.

The fans are becoming quite ferocious in their blind enthusiasm. If you doubt this, would you be afraid to attend a World Series Game wearing a T-shirt sold by a non-participating team? Heck, even wearing a T-shirt that was obviously intended to proclaim neutrality (such as a West Coast Eagles T-shirt) would probably draw some animosity from some enthusiastic supporters of the home team.

“New Journalism” quickly became known as “Gonzo Journalism” and San Francisco was the place where Rolling Stone magazine raised it from being a fad to the level of being a strong and vibrant branch of the news reporting industry.

In the Introduction to the 1973 anthology (on page 27) Wolfe noted: “But the all time free lance writer’s Brass Stud award went that year to an obscure California journalist named Hunter Thompson who ‘ran’ with the Hell’s Angels for eighteen months – as a reporter and not a member.”

Inadvertently Hunter Thompson also pioneered the possibility that Gonzo Journalism can be used as a disguise for the old fashioned “convenient excuse for having a good time” tradition relished by writers seeking ways for getting their enjoyment of living subsidized by gullible accounting departments at various news media organizations and publications.

Over the years, the World’s Laziest Journalist, who has covered the Oscars™, the Emmys, the Grammies, been a passenger in a B-17 G, the Goodyear blimp, and given his autograph to Paul Newman, may have adopted a rather cavalier attitude about mixing fun and job performance. (Isn’t that a rather common personality trait among folks with Irish heritage?)

Hence the challenge of post election column topics is beginning to take on all the ominous potential for becoming an identity crisis.

If Mitt Romney becomes President of the United States will it be worth the time and effort of someone, who has provided content for liberal (or progressive or “lefty”) websites since before George W. Bush was named President by the U. S. Supreme Court, to continue the efforts to tell Americans: “Wake up!”? That will be hard work and not much fun.

If, on the other hand, the President is reelected, he will be lucky to get a Democratic majority in Congress and if he doesn’t the Republicans will continue their “sit down strike” level of job performance and prolong the political gridlock.

If the President is reelected and gets a Democratic majority in Congress, is it very realistic to think that he will get some new ideas by reading the World’s Laziest Journalist’s columns? Ridiculing politicians is easy but after doing it for a number of years, the fun quotient evaporates completely.

On Wednesday, October 24, 2012, the World’s Laziest Journalist reconnoitered the outside of AT&T Park just before Game One of the World Series was scheduled to begin. That was a good photo op and fun to see.

We intended to go back the next day for more, but on Thursday October 26, 2012, Occupy Oakland scheduled a protest and march at Frank Ogawa Plaza to mark the one year anniversary of a mêlée that had made headlines when it occurred. We felt duty bound to go check it out rather than hang out at AT&T Park.

It became obvious to this columnist that the unlimited supply of energy and enthusiasm that was accessible approximately 38 years ago, when the opportunity to attend the Oscar™ was offered, is no longer available to sustain a long wait and a long walk to cover protesters in the fall of 2012 at an event which ultimately did not make big headlines.

A new generation of firebrands will have ample opportunity to criticize the winner of the November election, but more and more it is becoming obvious that is a young man’s game and it may be time to throttle back and let the political chips fall where they may.

The few reviews of Tom Wolfe’s new novel, Back to Blood, we’ve seen have sounded rather dismissive in tones hinting that one of the founding fathers of Gonzo Journalism has lost his magic touch.

When a high school and college classmate was recovering from some wounds received in the Tet Offensive, we found that he would get very annoyed if we prefaced any comments on contemporary culture with: “Back in 1968 . . . .” He would address me in the same way that my family used and say: “Goddamn it, Robbie, it is 1968. Knock that shit off!” As we used to say back in the Sixties: “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.”

The New Journalism is celebrating the start of the second half of its first century and that perhaps is a signal that, if nothing else, it is time for some new stars in journalism to be anointed and for some new labels to be coined.

On Wednesday October 24, in the San Francisco Chronicle’s World Series Preview section Scott Ostler wrote (on page E-6): “I’m a reporter. I’m not here to root.”

Now the disk jockey will play The Who’s “My Generation,” the Stones “Mother’s Little Helper,” and Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Someday Never Comes.” We have to go dig out our Nikon F and relive some past glories. Have a groovy week.

October 5, 2012

Was Mitt a bit too frenzied?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:24 pm

In contemporary American Society fact checking has become passé and so this column has not been fact checked.

Attempting to write a column that adds new and perceptive insights to a discourse that has already disintegrated into BS gridlock is a fool’s errand, but at 0530 hrs on a Friday morning in Berkeley CA, there ain’t much else to do. You can make some coffee and start writing or you can go back to sleep, which sometimes is something you can’t do by sheer force of will.

Sometimes after a middle of the night trip to the bathroom, we turn on the radio to see what Mike Malloy is saying on XERB, where his show follows the Wolfman Jack show. On the broadcast for Thursday October 2, 2012, heard in the San Francisco Bay area between 1 and 3 a.m. PDT on Friday monring, Mike was offering the opinion that perhaps President Obama had to make a concerted effort to not look like an angry black man.

Norm Goldman reminded his listeners of a similar situation and noted that President Obama’s personality is one of being a quiet and thoughtful person who does not get drawn into any brawls verbal or physical. Norm pointed out that the President has earned his nickname “no drama Obama.” He suggested that perhaps the President should have done an imitation of St. Ronald Reagan and said something like: “there you go . . . fibbing again.”

News media reported that several different instant polls had given a decisive win to Mitt Romney. Last week polls that showed the President had an impressive lead in swing states were loudly denounced for being slipshod and unreliable, but the ones that made Mitt look good were apparently and suddenly impeccable examples of what the polling industry is capable of producing.

Norm criticized the fact that many people were closely analyzing the body language of the debaters and not paying close attention to the substance of the dialogue. All the body English criticisms seem to be directed against only one of the participants in the boring debacle. How, we wondered, did Mitt earn a pass?

Long ago a political pundit in Germany wrote: “All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be.”

President Obama seems to have assumed that the folks watching the TV show had a policy wonk level of comprehension of tax policy. Mitt seems to not want to bother his listeners with information that reaches the “pick the fly excrement out of the salad” level of preciseness.

The people who insisted on evaluating the speakers’ body English as a method of judging the debate itself, seem to have focused exclusively on the President. The World’s Laziest Journalist noted during the split screen segments that quite often Mitt seemed to be exhibiting the nervous frantic mode of operation. Would Mitt’s jittery behavior have aroused any suspicion if it was observed by a policeman during a traffic stop? It’s not that he appeared to have been inebriated. Quite the opposite. His extreme animation couldn’t possibly have been chemically induced . . . could it?

(Didn’t the aforementioned German political pundit use some performance enhancing substances?)

What was with the black spot on his American Flag lapel pin? We looked online and found some speculation but we did not find a plausible explanation of it. (Could it have been a tribute to the oil industry?)

Many years ago, a Military Police Officer casually mentioned that when he and his fellow officers were, during off hours, playing a friendly game of mind-fuck with each other, the most devastating criticism they could offer was: “you are acting like a hysterical old lady.”

We were reminded of that nostalgic bit of advice on Wednesday night as we watched Mitt’s lightening fast jerky movements and wondered if the old disconcerting assertion was relevant to the debater’s demeanor.

Many years ago novelist Norman Mailer made the assertion that the most damaging thing a celebrity (or politician?) can do is to go against type and that might explain why “no drama Obama” didn’t unload a verbal knockout punch but sometime an unexpected reaction can be very effective.

In a different galaxy many moons ago, we knew a young lady who we had never once heard use the word “fuck.” When we heard her say “Fuck off, Bob,” it was very effective oratory and it got its intended result immediately.

The trouble with the 2012 Presidential election snapped into focus when we heard Merle Haggard sing “Drink up and be somebody” while writing the column on a “crash cloes” basis.

There are two candidates trying desperately to win the votes of guys who wouldn’t touch either one of them with a ten-foot pole.

Can anyone really imagine either candidate going into a honky-tonk bar to do some campaigning?

The two lawyers from the Harvard-Yale axis back east are trying to convince the good ole boys to vote for either one of the two who would be called “slick” in a bar that plays C&W music on the jukebox.

Do you really think that a guy with a horse that participates in dressage competitions can sing the lyrics to “I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole”?
The other guy tries to debate as if it is an exercise in etiquette. He should listen to the words of “Colorado Kool-Aid” and then tell Mitt that he should wear his knife-proof earmuffs to the next debate.

Seeing Harvard-Yale lawyers trying to mix with just plain folks in the local diner is theater of the absurd cubed.

Either one of them would do better to imitate the English poet who was regarded as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” than to pretend they might qualify for votes from the “Ladies Love Outlaws” crowd.

In a bar with Waylon and Willie’s song “Clean Shirt” on the jukebox, could Bishop Romney really carry it off if he ordered sarsaparilla? That would be fun to watch.

When will either the Romney or the Obama campaigns release the tie-breaking photos of the candidate clearing brush on his ranch?

Luckily the electronic voting machines can take all these various factors into consideration before awarding an indisputable result to the eagerly waiting journalists around the globe.

In “Kingdom of Fear,” Hunter S. Thompson wrote: “On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”

Now, the disk jockey will crank up the volume and play: Tony and the Bandits’ song “I can’t lose,” the Partridge Family’s song “Something’s wrong,” and the Grateful Dead’s song “Throwing Stones.” We have to go be one of the million and a half visitors in San Francisco this weekend. Have a “this must be bat country” type week.

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