March 7, 2014

Unexpected Help for an existentialist

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:23 pm

A strongly held conviction that is only an opinion can liven up an online comments section and if the idea being endorsed seems to others to be a symptom of insanity, it can lead to a rugged challenge for the person who stands alone against the entire world.  Scientists managed to convince most people that Galileo was right about the world circling the sun and that the opposite explanation that the sun revolved around the world was wrong.  The scientists aren’t doing as well convincing the man in the street to endorse the theory about global warming.  Galileo serves as the patron saint for people who fervently believe that the Bush Dynasty will be reactivated after the next Presidential Election in 2016.

Saturday March1, 2014, seemed like it was going to be a day like any other day filled with skepticism and ridicule for any pundit who dared to offer an extreme prediction about the results of the 2016 Presidential Election in the USA.  Getting just one person to endorse an outrageously illogical opinion that causes people to question your sanity seemed like a long shot.  If the Pope had endorsed Galileo’s nutty theory, it would have made life a whole lot easier for the fellow who didn’t know when to shut up.

The first day of March in 2014 seemed destined to become an unforgettable day filled with those events which alter and illuminate modern history because Vladimir Putin was making it obvious to the world that he was going to disregard the American President’s opinion about the advisability of interfering in internal politics of the Ukraine but Putin had the boys in the Russian legislature backing him on that move, so he wasn’t alone.

Wasn’t Putin just implementing a variation of the reasoning behind many previous similar events in history such as St. Ronald Reagan’s valiant effort to protect American Medical Students in Granada?  Don’t the Republicans endorse any attempt to replicate St. Reagan’s policy?

At the San Francisco History Expo, the Art Deco Society and the Treasure Island Museum both seemed to think that the 75th Anniversary of the opening of the 1939 World’s Fair on Treasure Island will be of interest around the world.

The Museum showed some old movie footage that informed the audience, which might have forgotten the glamour and excitement generated by Pan Am’s China Clippers, that the airline which was not a decade old had subsidized the construction of way stations where their flying boats could land for rest and refueling on their route that (eventually) connected San Francisco with China.  That pioneering effort became a virtual commuter run during World War II and the fact that it had been established right before the outbreak of the hostilities between the United States and Japan was a very lucky coincidence for the Allied Nations.

Pan Am started up just as the Great (or as it used to be called: “Republican”) Depression started.  By 1935, they were not only asking aircraft production companies to develop new models for them, but they could also subsidize sending men and supplies to island all across the Pacific to build facilities for hotels and support stations for flying boats at a time when many businesses were struggling to show a profit.  Could Houdini have matched that phenomenal feat?

After seeing all the historical newsreel footage about the China Clippers, our appreciation for the concept of time travel was once again being honed to a fine edge.  Then we experienced a moment of skepticism.  Was it really a lucky coincidence?  We filed away an impulse to check with our sources at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory and see if they had any material that offered an alternative explanation for that the happy coincidence of having a shuttle route between the USA and China available after Pearl Harbor was attacked.  Was it more than just a coincidence?

[The New York Times reported the sudden death of Jackson Miss. Mayor Cholwe Uumumba on February 24, 2014, but after Hinds County Commissioner Kenneth Stokes called for an autopsy and Louis Farrakhan offered to pay for it, the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory is evaluating the potential for having the R&D Department formulate an explanation for the unexpected death.]

Wild speculation couched in a conspiracy theory has no place in serious history books but, like horoscopes in the daily newspaper, it does provide a modicum of entertainment value for a columnist working the pop culture beat.

We learned from the American Printing History Association (Google hint:  Printing History dot Org) that a summer course for the operation of linotype machines is available and we thought taking that course might provide us with a good column topic in the coming summer.

Seeing Emperor Norton (wouldn’t he be about two hundred years old?) at the History Expo made us wonder about the potential doing an interview and column because he is almost as synonymous with San Francisco as Herb Caen was.

After our material gathering expedition to Fog City, we stopped at the Berkeley Public Library and during a brief online check (“round up the usual suspects”) we discovered that we where no longer the only person in the world who thinks that John Edward Bush (J. E. B.) will become the Republican candidate for President in 2016.  Sure enough, on page one of the Week in Review Section of the Sunday New York Times for March 2, 2014, there was the headline warning the readers to brace themselves for a battle between Hilary Clinton and the Bush Dynasty’s heir apparent, Jeb Bush.

Some skeptics might think that somehow the World’s Laziest Journalist got an advanced peek at the New York Times’ columnist’s copy and rushed to post our column posted on Friday February 28 and the only defense we can offer is to make the assertion that we had been banished from a prestigious website several years ago for making the JEB prediction too prematurely.

Do members of the New York Times newsroom sit around on Friday afternoons and pounce on each and every new installment of punditry from the World’s Laziest Journalist?  Let’s try an experiment.  One of our more obscure insights into world affairs make the assertion that if a reader holds a photo of Howard Hughes next to a photo of the Ayatollah Rohollah Khomeini, material for a marvelous scoop will become obvious.

Now, if a writer for the Great Gray Lady hands in a column making the “has anyone noticed that Clark Kent is never around when Superman shows up?” type assertion about the image experiment; then we will have much more circumstantial evidence to support our “Friday afternoon” assertions.

Back in the day when a national TV network ran afternoon movies, we saw one that featured a fellow who faced a big dilemma.  He had to tell the magic fairy which of two potential spells she should cast on his girlfriend.  She would either become an ugly hag when they were alone and be seen as the most beautiful woman in the world when they were in public or she would be the most beautiful woman in the world when they were together in isolation but would be perceived as an ugly hag when they went out into society.  Yikes!  That could be a problem at the local pub, eh?

We have never been able to ascertain the title of that motion picture but it, in turn, provided us with a similar tough binary choice:  would a writer prefer to have hundreds of thousands of voters read his political punditry or would he tell the magic fairy to give him a very limited audience that included a Vice President who was a former classmate and about a hundred nationally known pundits?  What’s not to love about having a lock on the right to the claim to be “the pundit other pundits read first!”?

Some skeptical friends have cried “Coincidence!” when we pointed out to them that we have run items (such as a mention of smoking bath salts) and subsequently seen a front page article in a Sunday edition of the New York Times about that very topic.

We have often wondered why the topic of slap art isn’t being mentioned in the mainstream media, so if we announce our intention to cover the Slapocalypse 3 event on March 29 in Oakland, and if a certain daily newspaper headquartered in New York City does a feature story about it, we get to ask: “How many coincidences does it take to verify a trend-spotting hunch?”

[Note from the Photo Editor:  The columnist went to the San Francisco History Expo and some snapshots of Emperor Norton was the best he could do.]

Hitler said:  “The man who feels called upon to govern a people has no right to say, If you want me or summon me, I will cooperate.  No, it is his duty to step forward.”  Republicans will make sure J. E. B. reads this, eh?

Now, the disk jockey will play Harry Belafonte’s “Banana boat song,” Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Sixteen tons,” and Adele Dazeem’s exquisite rendering of “Let it go.”  We have to go fact check the rumor that Ahmed Chalabi is masquerading as a political consultant going by the name of Paul Manafort. Have a “I gets weary” type week.

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