October 17, 2014

What a week!

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:36 pm

crop of inspection long shot

Once upon a time, several decades ago, a televised football game inadvertently became an example of theater of the absurd when a heavy fog developed. If the quarterback threw a pass he couldn’t see the receivers and they would have to rely heavily upon intuition to catch a ball that might suddenly appear where they were holding their hands. Running plays were no less of an exercise in absurdity. TV cameras can no more cut through fog than human eyes so the video portion of the game was ghostly images at best. Sports announcers are supposed to describe the play as it happens but when vision is impaired by fog, their job becomes very challenging. The novelty of the situation became exhausted quite quickly and we changed channels and forgot about that bit of boring television entertainment until recently when we tried to assess the new coverage of the Isis battles in the Middle East.

The reporting, commentary and analysis of the Isis phase of the Forever War is similar in quality to the coverage of that forgotten game played in the Chicago area (as we recall) many moons ago. The media heavy weights get the latest official statements which are vague and nebulous. The war correspondents get to describe the carnage they are permitted to see, but they can’t see over the horizon. Politicians appear on the Sunday morning gab-fests and promote their party’s agenda. The bottom line for journalists is: there is nothing to see, no one will say what their secret plan for victory is, but everyone is willing to say that Americans should be prepared for a long struggle.

Coverage of the Ebola episodes is just as bad as far as the lack of quality journalism is concerned.

In a frantic effort to find some items of interest to be able to write this week’s anemic attempt to provide a “that was the week that was” report about how things are going as the mid-term elections in the USA are approaching rapidly, the World’s Laziest Journalist rounded-up a few small items and will lump them all together as background material for a week full of medical reports about various Ebola victims.

On the campus of the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory, the staff is, for recreational purposes, experiencing a reading via “Dr. Mary’s Monkey,” by Edward T. Haslam. It seems that this novel indulges in speculation and hints of a link between the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Ebola epidemic. The World’s Laziest Journalist will attempt to borrow the copy of his book, read it, and report on just how likely it is that the book’s fantastic speculation could or could not be true.

The Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory is formulating some speculation about the possibility that terrorists are recruiting kamikaze jihad warriors for a suicide mission that asks them to get infected with Ebola and then travel into enemy territory. Wouldn’t infected blankets work just as well?

The Orwellian concept of “doublethink” was not missing from the surreal aspect of this week. Tom Frieden told Congress that the Ebola could not be contracted by sitting next to a victim on an airplane, then he added that Ebola victims should not fly.

Wasn’t one of the goals of the Sept. 11 attack, to cripple the airline industry? Your homework assignment, this week, is to write an essay asserting that the Ebola fad is part of the terrorist strategy from 9-11 to destroy the airline industry in the USA, post it on social median and then wait for it to go viral.

Will cost conscious hospitals and health organizations suddenly embrace a “damn the costs” approach to containing a potentially hazardous situation from getting out of hand? Could the heath problem provide a new example of the foolhardy aspect of the “penny wise, pound foolish” philosophy?

Is Albert Camus’ novel “The Plague” experiencing a surge in popularity? Can the sale performance of a book be determined on the Amazon site?

We have heard one prediction that this year’s most popular Halloween costume will be a Has-mat outfit.

Berkeley political activist Mike Zint early this week posted on his Facebook page, a piece assessing the shrinking number of alternative news sources available and on Wednesday October 15, 2014, the Bay Guardian, an alternative news source in the San Francisco Bay Area for forty-nine years, published its last issue (Vol. 49, no. 3).

Quality news for Germans was unavailable during WWII and the ramifications of what their dilemma was, is a topic that will lead most online fact checkers to an familiar sounding situation. (Google hint: “gray radio WWII 600,000 watts” and also try “Aspidistra”)

Do the UCB alumni have to see this year’s Cal vs. Stanford game to know who they want to support? Should Americans care if Freedom of the Press has become extinct?

On a lighter note, the annual write a novel month online shenanigans is about to begin again. (Google hint: National Novel Writing Month [AKA Nanowrimo])

Since the ship America was in San Francisco for fleet week, and since the President of the United States was in Frisco for some fund raising at the same time that the christening ceremony was scheduled to take place, we went on a walkabout in the area trying to get some serendipity photos of the commander-in-chief. The world’s laziest journalist got some digital images of the view from the Hi-Dive tavern on the Embarcadero, some photos of security checks being made and a good impromptu portrait image of San Francisco’s chief of police, Greg Suhr but we didn’t see or take photos of the current POTUS.

We had never heard of ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) until this week when a Liberal Berkeley resident suggested that ODD might explain the civil unrest in Ferguson Missouri.

This week we were invited to go to Cupertino, see the film “Dead End,” directed by Joron F. Ghanma, and review it; but we couldn’t arrange transportation and missed that chance to write a change of pace column.

BTW you should change your e-mail account password.

George Orwell wrote: “The Gordon Riots of 1780, though they had religious bigotry as a pretext, seem to have been little more than a pointless outburst of looting.”

Now the disk jockey will play Ray Steven’s “I Saw Elvis in a UFO,” “Hang up and drive,” and “Dead Skunk (in the middle of the road).” We have to go see “Kill the Messinger.”   Have a “Go Giants!” type week.

Our photo of San Francisco Chief-of-Police Greg Suhr


crop of chief Shurr



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