“Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class,” by Scott Timberg, paints a bleak picture of the future for bright-eyed and bushy tailed young folks who have assumed a ship load of student debt to go to college and get a head start on a life in the realm of Art.
Are Rebel Artists, who mock capitalism in the hopes that their work will make them independently wealthy, hypocrites?
Society’s real rebels, such as Lenny Bruce, the staff of the Berkeley Barb, and the pioneers of porn, provide a symbolic metaphor for the spectacle of seeing Christians being devoured by lions because Society knows that when an artist becomes too outspoken, the Establishment will seek revenge. Its sorry news for the hippies, but the fact that the counter-coulter has been destroyed by The Establishment means that the old ploy of making rebels impotent by absorbing them into Society’s “in crowd,” is no longer necessary. An artist either gets a corporate sponsorship deal or is a trust fund bohemian; otherwise in a capitalist society the rule is “Ya gotta go along to get along.”
Sure, it’s good for a few laughs to start calling JEB “President-elect JEB Bush” at this point in the election process, but the sad fact is that’s all a liberal pundit can hope to get . . . a few laughs. It’s the Fox pundits who get to echo Liberace’s sentiment: “I cry all the way to the bank.”
So, why should a pundit let himself be exploited so shamelessly? “Culture Crash” makes a solid case for believing that extortion is being used to gain the power to censor the artists.
Maybe a pundit could get an unfair advantage in life by writing a column on a revised Bucket List that asks his audience for a chance to scratch off some of those lofty goals. For instance, if a happy-go-lucky fellow, who wishes he hadn’t gotten rid of his 1968 Chevy van, would like to write a column about always wanting to drive a Ferrari, perhaps a reader would be able to offer the writer a chance to have that experience for a day . . . or a week? . . . or longer?
Perhaps a former co-worker could get the adventuresome Berkeley resident an invitation to this year’s Halloween party at the Playboy Mansion? Could the World’s Laziest Journalist possibly hitch a ride from Frisco to New York City on a private bus? (Does Willie Nelson read our columns? [Willie Neslson anf Family will play the UCB Greek Theatre on July 23 – tickets on sale now!])
We’ve always wanted to experience a real Hollywood “pitch session,” even if it actually occurred at Bo Zenga’s office in Santa Monica or at George Miller’s headquarters on Orwell Street.
Scott Timberg wouldn’t be surprised to learn that we stuff some rather mundane and innocuous items into our columns. Why? Because we can. Do we ever come up with something on our own that we haven’t learned elsewhere?
(Buried lede alert!) Did you know that the poster boy for Rebels, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, wore a Rolex watch?
Felix Rodrigez, the CIA agent who “caught” (killed?) Che Guevara used to wear a Rolex watch, which, he told co-workers, he had personally liberated from Che Guevara, “according to our reliable source.” When our assertion was challenged, we found back up online when we Googled “Che Guevara Rolex”
[Do you believe the urban legend that asserts Che’s life was sparred, and he was put in a prototype of the witness protection program in exchange for some valuable intelligence? Some versions of this story suggest that he relocated to a university town in the San Francisco Bay Area and eventually became a member of his new hometown’s city council.]
The Berkeley student newspaper, the Daily Californian, edition for Monday, February 23, 2015, contained a front page story by Ishaan Srivastava stating that a study done by the UCB School of Law that found urban policies pertaining to the homeless are getting tougher on that group of citizens.
We suggested to “Father Mike,” the political activist leading the protest of the sale of the Berkeley Post Office building, that perhaps since many J-school students are fans of Hunter S. Thompson, the local protest group should invite a member of the Daily Cal staff to spend a week with the protest group and, after doing the fact checking, turn in a Gonzo style story on the experience.
When we were vagabonding about in Australia, we learned in Sydney that a local urban legend asserted that Errol Flynn had slept on the grounds of the downtown cathedral during a homeless phase in his life. That caused us to wonder if Flynn was the most famous example of a success story for a homeless person.
Who, we asked the people at Fort Zint, would be eligible for an annual induction ceremony at the Homeless Hall of Fame and where should such a hypothetical operation set up its operations? What if a philanthropically inclined corporation purchased the Berkeley Post Office building with the stipulation that it be used to house the Homeless Hall of Fame?
New attempts to provide an official definition of who qualifies to be called “homeless” are being made. Since Erneto “Che” Guevara was part of the rebel encampment in the Sierra Maestra mountains of Cuba, could he be eligible to be included in the Homeless Hall of Fame? Would the current owner of his Rolex be disposed to grant permission for it to be exhibited at such a hypothetical tourist destination?
Isn’t there a very wealthy financier who lives in a series of posh hotel suits and is called the homeless billionaire? (Google hint: “Nicholas Berggruen”)
If a benefit concert for the Homeless Hall of Fame were to be held, what famous artists would be qualified to perform if only formerly homeless people were permitted to provide the entertainment?
Isn’t being homeless very similar to being a member of the United States Marine Corp? They say that once you become a Marine you will always be a Marine even when you are no longer “on active duty.” Is becoming homeless an irreversible experience similar to loosing one’s virginity?
It seems to this columnist who stayed in a succession of hostels while touring Australia, that the situation in Berkeley is being manipulated into a status seeker’s issue. If a person has always had a home, does that make him (or her) a better citizen in a country that (ostensibly) believes in equality or would the friendship of a (formerly homeless) world famous celebrity be something to inspire selfies galore? Is there any aristocrat in Berkeley who would not want the inventory of their personal possession sullied by the inclusion of Che Guevara’s Rolex on that list?
If Scott Timberg is accurate with his prediction that the era of corporate subsidized artistic creativity will eliminate spontaneity and serendipity from the pop culture scene altogether might be an example of predestination, but until that happens, the World’s Laziest Journalist intends to be a rogue champion of arcane, esoteric, and idiosyncratic bits of information.
Is this a good time to insert a plug for Michael Parenti’s newest book, “Profit Pathologes and other Indecencies”?
After learning about the Daily Cal story, we sent a link to some interested parties. We later learned that while we were sending a message to Berkeley’s Ninja Kitty, he was getting busted for sleeping. Would it then be safe for us to assume that a kid can be arrested for sleeping on Shattuck Ave. in the B-town business district, but a student who sleeps in a UCB classroom is safe? Isn’t that discrimination?
[Photo Editor’s note: If the columnist can be serendipitous in the selection of items for the column, then the selection of the photo to illustrate a column must also have the latitude to be a tad impulsive, eh?]
Singer Dean Martin was the source for this week’s closing quote. After the music group The Rolling Stones were featured on his TV variety show, he asked his audience: “Would you want your sister to marry a Rolling Stone?”
Now the columnist will direct the disk jockey to play all the tracks on the Rolling Stones’ Hot Rocks double album, all the tracks on the More Hot Rocks album, and all the tracks on the “Exile on Main Street” album. We have to start compiling a list of celebrities and business executives who were homeless earlier in life. Have a “sundowner” type week.