February 27, 2015

Sealing wax, cabbages, and kings . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:26 pm

betteer crop pizza box
































“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.

February 19, 2013

Doublethink für Dummkopfs

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:21 pm

When the Berkeley Barb was busy railing against the Vietnam War, the editors would have to throw in some change-of-pace items to provide readers with a bit of serendipity outrage and so occasionally lefties would be asked to save a ration of their activist energies to become upset with the fact that some kindred spirits were being given life sentences for possession of a single marijuana cigarette.

The conservatives were adamant that the hippies in flyover country were getting what they deserved.  Now they wonder if they’d catch the liberals off guard by suggesting that any of those lifers who are still in prison should be given a pardon and their freedom.

Any kid who was given a life sentence in 1968, will if he or she were 20 years old at the time, be turning 65 this year.  What conservative wouldn’t be a walking example of schadenfreude in action if the folks who have been in prison all this time are given a full pardon (and thus save their state the cost of their incarceration) and face a life of retirement coping with a monthly Social Security check of Zero?

Isn’t it odd that in the states that had a liberal attitude towards pot smokers back when LBJ was the president, they are now experiencing a wave of change that indicates that rather than bring a liberal attitude to the states where some pot heads may still be serving out their life sentences, the states that were liberal are now being urged to fill their privatized prisons with culprits who wanted to toke up.  Would that be a retroactive “win” for the states that handed out life sentences for pot, all those years ago?

The CBS Evening News recently reported that many youths who are detained on possible violations of gun laws in Chicago must be released because of crowded prisons which make incarcerating the gun packing kids impossible.

No liberal or conservative will ever suggest sending the pistol packin’ punks from Chi to a privatized prison in Cali because the folks who run the privatize prisons aren’t going to want to deal with thugs.  Doesn’t it make sense that running a prison for space cadets who just want to chill is a much more appealing prospect than supervising a building full of toughs who know all about zip guns, shivs, and gang war brawling?

So it is that after all these years, the life sentences for pot are being retroactively ratified rather than revoked.

The kids who got a life sentence in the Sixties for a single reefer are now reaching that stage of life where constant medical attention will be subsidized by the states where they reside.  What conservative would not endorse the cost reduction option of cutting them loose at this late date and teaching them the value of self reliance via the old sink or swim tough love pardons?

If filling California privatized prisons with pot smokers while cutting shooters loose in Chicago doesn’t make sense to the readers of this column, perhaps they can start to change their thinking by rereading George Orwell’s novel “1984” and paying particular attention to the passages explaining the concept of “double think.”

At first the challenge of simultaneously holding two contradictory thoughts may seem like an impossible assignment, but if a white belt in a “double think” class watches the Republicans holding political offices it soon becomes evident that proficiency in “double think” can be achieved.

Students of double think, naturally, start their journey to enlightenment with the most difficult assignments.

For instance, a student will learn that George W. Bush didn’t have to have provide a coherent explanation for how the World Trade Center buildings fall down and go boom, other than “fool me twice . .  . won’t get fooled again!,” but President Obama must explain where he was and what he was doing (and with whom) when the attack on Bengazi was first being reported and then he must provide a full minute by minute account of how it was permitted to occur.  A double standard for explanations?  Are you really baffled by the question of “Why would one standard be applied to ‘Tex,’ and another to a Democratic President from . . . Hawaii?”

Students start shouting “Tell us!” and repeat the chant over and over again until they work themselves into a frenzy.  Try this at home and see if, after a couple a strong drinks and a few hours of chanting, you aren’t ready for a good old fashioned “necktie party.”

If a country is full of frustrated long term unemployed people, why not open up the employment market more by giving citizenships to resident illegal aliens?

Why would Americans believe that sending troops into harm’s way in a country where it is are just as likely for the locals to blow them up as it is for the enemy to set off an IUD, is a matter of necessity?  Isn’t it obvious that a country that has been reliant on the patriarch tradition that is centuries old, they’ll be ripe for change and anxious to try this Democracy fad?

If invading Iraq in a search for nonexistent WMD’s worked out so well, what’s the delay for doing a replay in Iran?

In a nation that fought WWII to preserve the Four Freedoms, isn’t it obvious that as the liberal media does the Cheshire cat disappearing act there will be growing need for liberals to buy a copy of “Conservative Thinking für Dumbkopfs” before they get tossed into Room 101 for a bit of attitude adjustment?

Speaking of that, it seems to us that the St. Patrick’s Day festivities at O’Kelly’s bar (and the nearby Tiki bar?) at Guantanimo will be the wildest blowout since the good old days at the Purple Porpoise.  (If you have to ask, you don’t have the security clearance to get an explanation.)

That brings to mind an old perplexing question:  Was Felix Rodriguez pulling our leg when he bragged that, oh so long ago, a member of the Berkeley City Council (whom only he called “Che”) was causing a sensation singing at amateur night at the local C&W bars?

Rather than spinning our wheels futilely on liberal causes that will be filibustered in the court of pop culture, the new thinking at the World’s Laziest Journalist headquarters is that we should point out that Mick Jagger has song numerous noteworthy duets and Willie Nelson has had an album using all famous singing partners (“Half Nelson”), so why haven’t they teamed up with each other?  Who wouldn’t like to hear them do a duet for a rerecording of “On the road again”?  Or “Crazy”?  Or “Satisfaction”?

What would it sound like if a clever recording engineer, spliced together the Mick Jagger (from “Ned Kelly”) and John Wayne (from “The Quiet Man”) versions of the song “Wild Colonial Boy”?

If it’s true, as we have read in James Michener’s novel “Texas,” that when Texas joined the Union, they included in the agreement, a clause that says at their option they could break up into five separate states (which would mean 10 men in the Senate), we wonder if the talk about secession might not take a surprising new turn someday soon.

We have been told (hearsay evidence isn’t admissible in court)  that at one time in the past, the airplanes at a Texas Air Force base were picking up the AM band broadcasts (on super station XERF) of Wolfman Jack.

Speaking of going in new directions and doublethink, we might start to do some market research fact finding to learn the potential for forming a group to promote and appreciate hypocrisy.

Liberals who have never even tried doublethink can not conceive how a gay, pot smoking, Republican could ever endorse his party’s agenda, but if the liberals ever embrace hypocrisy it will be “game over” for the Republicans at election time.

Meanwhile, until that day comes, we have an FDR utterance for our closing quote.

Bartlett’s quotes a speech given, by FDR, on October 30, 1940, as saying:  “Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

Now the disk jockey will play George Hamilton IV’s “Abilene,” Dean Martin’s “Houston,” and Marty Robin’s “El Paso.”  We have to go do a Google News search for Sgt. Sunshine, the SF policeman who toked up on the front steps of City Hall way back when.  Have a “I’m a rich boy now!” type of Giant week.

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