June 12, 2015

Let it all hang out!

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:33 pm

crop of Anker
































“The Mexican Eskimo,” by Anker Frankoni, tells the story of a fellow who goes from Alaska to Mexico on a Carlos Castaneda type quest seeking the meaning of life. The author is traveling about the USA in a vintage motor home in “mint” condition trying to promote the first installment of what is planned to be a trilogy of novels. He immediately caught our eye as the Bay Book Festival began last weekend. He immediately made us pea green with envy. We suggested that while he was in the San Francisco Bay area he should contact the management at the Beat Museum and try to get a speaking gig at the North Beach tourist destination that is receptive to writers with the potential concomitant with a modern beatnik on a Man of La Mancha style mission. We made that suggestion even before we leaned that Anker’s plan is to raise his thee kids, send them to college and then, if all goes according to his plan, he will go and die in the same exact spot where Neil Cassidy’s life ended.

If a reader took four different fresh in the box jigsaw puzzles, opened them up and then dumped the pieces together in one gigantic pile; that would provide an excellent metaphor for the challenge of covering last weekend’s events in the San Francisco Bay Area. On the Friday night before the event began, we went to Oakland to cover the latest installment of the Mayor Libby Schaaf vs. the freedom of speech advocates. We were in the wrong place and missed seeing the standoff and the arrests that occurred. After we called it quits and headed back to Berkeley, while traveling on the AC bus we noticed a large amount of police activity on Telegraph Ave near the UCB campus. The next day an officer involved shooting in Oakland revived the FTP protesters ire and added a baffling fatality to this year’s total number of people killed in the USA by police activity.

Initial attempts to learn the details of what had happened in Berkeley on Friday night were unsuccessful. The explanation detailing why the suspect in Oakland was killed were murky and raised more new questions than were answered by the official account of what had happened and why. Information found on line Saturday evening indicated that a spontaneous “Black Lives Matter” Protest/demonstration earned a high likelihood rating.

Since, in the past, we had known a Husky/German Shepherd mix dog who struggled with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde existence due to a fondness for daemon rum, we noted that our encounter with Animal Chaplain Rev. Nancy Schuntz would provide us with an item for our column but was way to late to provide us and Baron Siegfried L. von Richthofen with a pragmatic reward for the meeting.

Now that Americans’ faith in the reliability factor for Journalism produced by the News Industry in the USA has fallen to an abysmally low level, the market for books from non traditional authors seems to be increasing exponentially.

During the week, a source in the political activist fraternity informed us that the demonstrators who were arrested last Friday night in Oakland and expected to be charged with “failure to disperse,” were caught unaware when they were charged with resisting arrest and given a bail fee of $10,000.

Meanwhile the narrative for the police involved shooting indicated that the dead suspect had been involved in a robbery in San Francisco and was known to have a gun with a large capacity magazine with him in the car. When officers attempted to communicate with the fellow who had “passed out” and the suspect did not respond, the police officers broke several windows. The fellow came awake and was perceived to be doing something that caused the police to fear for not only their lives but also the lives of citizens in the immediate vicinity.

A “slim Jim” is a long thin piece of metal used by car thieves and locksmiths to gain quick access to the interior of an automobile and should not to be confused with a snack with the same name. We were baffled by the fact that the police resorted to an hour-long effort that involved breaking more than one window to deliver access to the suspect inside the car rather than using the quick and (relatively) silent strategy of using a Slim Jim

The Caitlin Jenner summer may be remembered as the time when Democrats embraced the Bush war philosophy and strategy regarding Iraq, and when the “Bush knew” folks can finally reverted to the “if you can’t beat them; join them” school of philosophy. This time both parties can be enthusiastic about sending “military advisors” to Iraq.

Another story developing this summer will be the fad for crowd-funding for the well-to-do. We heard one report (on KCBS?) that informed the audience that the musical group “Ohio Players” was appealing to fans for money to pay for the necessary expenses for recording their next album. Times are tough and people are being asked to donate money to a musical group that failed to set aside some of their past profits to subsidize future endeavors? Is a retelling the Horatio Alger success of a self made fortune story necessary or has American society embraced the concept that they are meant to play the doormat role for the “haves”?

Was Denny Hastert paying hush money at the same time he was urging no mercy for Bill Clinton’s assertion “I did not have sex with that woman!”? If so, will he be eligible for induction into the Hypocrisy Hall of Fame? What can Liberals learn from the fact that Hastert is being accused of misconduct with male minors and Bill’s indiscretions involved a young lady who was an adult?

Conservatives have reverted to a Seventies M; O. (modus operandi) because they have reverted to the habit of calling Jerry Brown “governor moonbeam.”

How ominous is it to learn that a gag order is in place regarding the contents of the TPP trade bill in Congress? How many voters would endorse the concept of signing a blank check as a way of lending a pal “some” money?

This week comedian Jerry Seinfeld was making waves by ridiculing political correctness as a way to censor political commentary and comedy.

Years from now when books are being written about the historic summer of 2015 if all the raw material available is material from conservative talk show radio, conservative owned print and TV shows, records from the conservative majority United States Supreme Court, the Republican majority House and Senate, and the memoirs of prominent Republicans, does that mean that the Democratic Party will always be portrayed as an amalgamation of pathetic losers? If that is how books in the future will be written, why then should a pundit grind out alternative analysis for altruistic reasons?

Meanwhile book festivals are chock full of chances to read about how the authors coped with the question: “What’s it all about, Alfie?”

If Americans are subjected to a 24/7 bombardment from the conservatively owned media detailing how, on Obama’s watch, things have become an unrelenting series of disasters, the exercise in group-think could backfire. If people are given a constant assertion that the war in Iraq is endless, the Pacific Ocean is being contaminated by radio active material from Fukushima, the ice caps are melting, and never given a chance to be amused and uplifted by some innocuous entertainment on Top 40 radio stations; eventually won’t the citizens have a collective realization that it is time to say “Fuck it!” and start a “the condemned man ate a hearty meal” program of continuous bacchanals and orgies?

This summer Americans will learn if “Jade Helm” is a preposterous conspiracy theory or an accurate prediction of an ominous development in a shift to fascism. Americans will get news of Jade Helm if (and only if) the news media remembers to ask “may I?” before writing any stories (pro-government propaganda?) about whatever happens.

Coincidentally the World’s Laziest Journalist recently stumbled upon the best answer, to the meaning of life question, which is also an invitation to back a “the party never ends” reaction to the avalanche of negativism.. It is in the “deleted scenes” section of the DVD for “Pirate Radio.” There is one labeled “the Meaning of Life.” Click it and watch that scene. It is available on Youtube and is recommended for those who want the answer provided quickly and for free online.

The closing quote is an axiom from the Sixties: “If you haven’t tried it; don’t knock it.”

Now the disk jockey will play Paul Revere and the Raiders’ song “Kicks,” the Hombres “Let it all hang out,” and “Delicious” by Jim Backus and friend. We have to go put some dead flowers on Siggy’s grave. Have a “party at the A-Frame” type week.

February 17, 2013

Leashes = animal cruelty?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 6:36 pm


Note: Fox and Humor are exempt from Fact Checking, so this pathetic attempt at humor haint been fact checked.

Finding a new Liberal cause to preach in Berkeley CA may be a tougher assignment than “Find an Atheist in the College of Cardinals,” but if you work at it long enough, eventually you will find a tableau of conduct on the streets that looks like it has been ripped from the pages of a textbook for Fascism 101.

Baron Siegfried L. von (with a small “v”) Richthofen III was a larger than normal example of a Husky and German Shepherd mix and the first time, when he became full grown, that we attempted to pull on the leash to indicate that we wanted to walk in a different direction, he responded by giving the leash such a powerful yank in the opposite direction that we where knocked into a prone position. Siggy then ambled over and positioned his cold wet nose a few inches in front of our face and, through clinched teeth, growled: “If you ever do that again, I’ll chew your face off!”

Ordinarily Siggy was just a big old pussycat, but we were aware of the Jekyll and Hyde transformation that would occur when he got drunk. He could be a mean S. O. B. (no disrespect to his mother) when he got soused and so we adopted a walking style that always included some slack in the leash (jut to show that we were adhering to the local leash law) and never used a quick jerk for a silent command.

Walking around in Berkeley, we assumed that, in a city where protests against animal cruelty in laboratories is as old as the cry “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids didja kill today?,” the folks who were walking small breeds of dogs would not make a change of directions look similar to footage of a helicopter rescuing an injured skier in the wilderness. We were astounded to find plenty of visual evidence to indicate that the shift from dog collar to a shoulder harness was not getting full enthusiastic support in the famed “People’s Republic of Berkeley.”

The writer Céline (not to be confused with a singer with the same name) once said that a dog only knows what it can smell. He would not be surprised to notice that on a walk most dogs will teach the lesson that the world is a smorgasbord of interesting and intriguing odors and each and every one has to be thoroughly investigated. If you don’t want to stop and smell the flowers along the way (as the old hippie advise goes), then don’t bother to go for the walk.

Back in the day, my roommate and I would have to spell out the word “leash” because if you said the word, Siggy ran over to where the leash was hanging on a hook, and point to it with his nose. You didn’t use the word in a caviler “just in conversation” manner if you didn’t want to go for a walk. Then, one day, it became obvious that Siggy had learned what “l-e-a-s-h” spelled.

Berkeley CA has one store, Paco Collars, which specializes in dog collars. We have, to the best of our memory, never seen another dog collar store in all our travels, which have taken us from Paris and Casablanca in the East to Fremantle on the shore of the Indian Ocean as the Western boundary of our inventory of world geography.

The unique store in Berkeley offers, from what we could gather form a quick visual inspection of the interior, some of the harnesses which transfer the leash stress to the dog’s chest, but most of the items were dog collars. We asked if some customers bought any dog collars for their girlfriends, but the fellow avoided a yes/no answer.

A columnist’s mission is not to find an issue and then proselytize to make converts for one side or the other; rather a columnist must find new and unique items of interest and, after putting them in a column, continuing on with the quest for the next example of amusing unique information.

The yank the dog phenomenon might seem like an apropos metaphor for a critical look at the way John Boner is bringing the Democratic Party and White House occupant to heel.

Was it our imagination or did we see the Boner repeatedly hold up a doggy litter bag to signify “that’s a load of crap!,” while the Democrats were applauding wildly during the recent State of the Union diatribe? (We always thought at a diatribe designated a group of Apaches who wanted to loose weight. [Bah-dump bump.])

We noted with interest that during the recent cruise ship debacle, the passengers had to use liter bags to defecate and then had to contend with leakage and spills. Why didn’t they just throw the damn things over the railing into the middle of the ocean?

That, in turn, brings us to the problem of what to do with a retired pope. Will he be subjected to “de facto” house arrest conditions or will he be permitted to go on the late night talk show circuit to promote his new book?

Some canine experts make the assertion that dogs intuitively understand human through voice tone and body language. Others with a more whimsical philosophy will tell you what books their dog reads and what his latest quip was. We learned from Siggy, that all German Shepherd dogs are “law’n’order” style Nixon Republicans on the day that the shooting at Kent State took place.

[Note: We had digital photos of the Paco Collars store, a dog with a harness for attaching the leash, and a B&W print of a snapshot of Siggy, but after an attack of Spring Fever, we decided to give the Photo Editor the day off.]

For those who are skeptical about a dog’s ability to understand human language, we propose a pragmatic experiment. Go up to a docile large all black dog and utter this column’s closing quote: “Black dogs taste best!” If he suddenly becomes belligerent, please explain how the transformation occurred without indicating that he was trying to refute that extreme foodie opinion.

Now, the disk jockey will play Iggy Pop’s song “I want to be your dog,” Elvis’s extremely sad “Old Shep,” and (on the opposite end of the emotional bell curve) Peggy Lee’s “How much is that doggie in the window.” Now we have to go and buy a copy of Chihuahua of the Baskervilles, for a certain dog who lives in Concordia KS. Have a (attention Waylon Jennings fans) “Reno just howled at the moon” type week.

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