November 26, 2014

Does this week remind you of the Sixties?

Filed under: Commentary — Bob Patterson @ 1:28 pm

crop of Ya gotta be kidding

Walking into the men’s room on the ground floor of Wheeler Hall and meeting some UCB co-ed protesters who were urging gender neutral restrooms was not on our “to do” list for Friday, November 21, 2014, but since that happened less than 24 hours after we decided to write a Thanksgiving column listing our memorable moments fighting the never ending battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, we were glad to have something new and unusual to add to the list.

However, we quickly realized that since gender neutral restrooms might be a new and unfamiliar topic, we might want to write an entire column on this new and controversial issue, instead.

The day before when we were fact finding the new series of student protests trying to convince the board of regents to roll back the latest tuition price increase, we realized that since one of the protesters didn’t know what Prop 13 was and why it had started California on a course that produced the controversial increase, we might want to write a column that outlines the history of the events that resulted from the passage of Prop 13 and the unpopular consequences that measure delivered.

With the student unrest, the reaction to the Ferguson decision, and the ISIS problem, maybe we could bang out a column under the headline: “Are the Sixties really over?”

Unfortunately our attempts to take, edit, and post some photos of the new protest at the University of California campus in Berkeley revealed that the computer used at the World’s Laziest Journalist New Organization, was malfunctioning and disrupting our plans.

That, in turn, caused us to re-evaluate the need to do all the necessary work involved as well as to subsidize our expenditures in the long process of posting weekly columns for (as best as we can recall) continuously for a decade and a half.

If we can not do our photo editing duties at home, we would have to do all that work somewhere else. Should we do a feature column answering the question “Where did all the Internet Cafés go?”

Then we asked ourself: Why should we do all that work and underwrite all the costs?

The idea that providing online content would ultimate produces fun, fame, and fortune was a bit of a miscalculation. If we wrote a column that listed the highlights it would be obvious that we did have a great deal of fun but the bottom line for a freelance Liberal pundit is very anemic.

We’ve been warning folks for years that JEB will be the star in the Bush Dynasty restoration saga. There’s not much we can do to change the inevitability factor for this prediction so perhaps we should permit ourself to take a sabbatical leave during the same time that Congress diddles around with their lame duck session until the new Congress is sworn in so they can lay the preliminary groundwork for JEB’s inauguration by impeaching President Obama.

On the night of November 24, 2014 to Tuesday, November 25, 2014, we ignored an opportunity to go to Oakland and observe first hand the local reaction to the Grand Jury’s decision in the Ferguson police shooting case.

Approximately forty years ago we covered the Venice Canal riot and in the time since we did that, our infinite supply of energy and enthusiasm has mysteriously diminished considerably.

Four decades ago, we were very much motivated to help the Marina (del Rey) Tenants Association in their battle against the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors who had tuned a unique situation (private real estate development on county owned land) into an endless supply of campaign contributions for the board members. Now the San Francisco Board of Supervisors seem determined to duplicate the unique Marina del Rey setup by sanctioning private real estate development projects on the county owned land where Candlestick Park used to be located.

Our columns about this potentially dangerous possibility get no notice or response so we have to ask: “Why bother?”

Perhaps a mid-semester sabbatical vacation could revive and regenerate our levels of energy and enthusiasm. We could come back when the new Congress is sworn-in in January of 2015 and be the usual happy-go-lucky columnist we have always been.

In the meantime, we could rest or work on some other writing projects such as revising and polishing a effort to write our autobiography.

Recently we have been reading Carlo Gebler’s 1988 book “Driving through Cuba.” Since the book concerns the writer’s quest to locate a rare Cadillac Eldorado convertible on the island which, before the revolution, “imported more Cadillacs than any other country,” we wonder if there might be a window of opportunity for the World’s Laziest Journalist to go there and update car fans on how things are in Cuba.

Perhaps we could use some down time to find a sponsor to help defray the costs of an attempt to update the latest aspects involved in a visit to the time capsule car fan’s Valhalla. We could start by asking the management at Frank Nicodemus’ Castle Cadillac Restorations about a sponsorship deal because “it never hurts to ask.”

If we get to Cuba, it seems likely that we could work in a visit to Finca Vega (Cuba’s version of Owl Farm) and scratch a tour of Hemingway’s home, off our Bucket List. What was the name of Hemingway’s favorite bar in Havana? (The Floridita?)

We reserve the right to impulsively reverse our decision to take a sabbatical break should we see an unexpected need for our talent to observe, analyze, and comment on various current events topics.

We always try to put some unique facts into each column and we have been meaning to casually mention that we have been searching the Internets for the source of the car racing use of the expression “the pits” to designate the place where mechanics work on the cars during the race.

In the 1971 Ballantine Books editon of “Alfa Romeo,” written by Peter Hull, readers learn on page 59 that the old course for the Lyone-Givors race included a portion where trenches were dug at the side of the road. Peter Hull notes that the holes “were sunk into the border of the road thus showing the origin of the term.”

[Note from the Photo Editor, since a photo that has nothing directly to do with the contents of a column will lure extra readers into the column, we will use one of our favorites from the past to accompany this week’s posting from the World’s Laziest Journalist.]

Speaking of car races, we saw a documentary film on the life of actor Steve McQueen and in the later stages of his career he provided us with the closing quote for this column when he said: “I’m getting to old for this s**t!”

Now the disk jockey will play Dooley Wilson’s “As Time Goes By,” the soundtrack album for “Revel without a Cause,” and the latest addition to our list of favorite songs, Nathalie Cardone’s “Hasta Siempre, Commandante” (AKA the Che Guevara song). We have to go check costs for winter excursions to New Zealand (where summer is just beginning.) Have a “the more things change . . . ” type holiday season.


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