April 30, 2015

The more things change . . .

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 5:49 pm

crop of Lolita glasses notched neg

Playing sound bytes that promote opposing points of view and then making the assertion that presenting facts and letting the audience form an opinion might be manipulation via flattery but it seems to be too esoteric and limiting for journalists to ask a long time Irish Catholic Democrat how might a Supreme Court Justice with a similar history vote on the issue of gay marriage. If the object is to let an announcement just before the Forth of July holiday catch many Americans by surprise and achieve maximum dissatisfaction and precipitate another chance to build a contentious atmosphere that will end with the (temporary) establishment of martial law, then feigning an inability to accurately assess the most likely ruling that will end the debate seems like a smart gambit.

If a writer can do research that produces an overwhelming picture of mismanagement and inappropriate conduct by Hillary Clinton that involved the Clinton Foundation while she was serving as Secretary of State few reporters will use that curious new development to ask why then couldn’t investigators find out who profited from the 9-11 events by short sales of airline stocks?

Presenting facts and letting the audience decide sounds like an admirable mission statement so John Stewart would be the only well know personality who could casually mention that the civil unrest in Baltimore was caused by a death while the Watts riots of fifty years ago, which led to many deaths and extensive property damage, was precipitated by a single traffic ticket.

Did the recent photos from Baltimore of a phalanx of soldiers remind older folks of a similar photo (cover of LIFE magazine?) taken in L. A. in June of 1965?

Is it prejudicial to note that after many thousands of lives have been terminated by collateral damage caused by drone strikes the loss of one American life has caused the journalists to seriously question the need for drone strikes? Does that disparity constitute prejudiced reporting or is it just subtle racism in action?

Remember Agent Orange? Isn’t a large protest against Monsanto scheduled to take place in May?

Do the anarchist protesters from Berkeley stand out by wearing tie-dye handkerchiefs over their faces?

American media seems to relish showing forty year old footage of the evacuation of Saigon in 1975 while ignoring the poignant scenes surrounding the commencement speeches given in May of 1965. How would the optimistic words from those speeches play in today’s world when politicians enthusiastically suggest sending American troops all over the world, and riots are plentiful? Would those speeches sound nostalgic today or would they sound very relevant?

What’s happening to the ship that Iran intercepted?

If you liked the video of the mom slapping her kid around that went viral this week, then you will get your jollies from a vintage video on Youtube. Search for “women self-defense 1947.” The actress, who has a passing resemblance to Alice Kramden (on the Honeymooners TV series), knocks around a thug just as easily as she would toss around a rag doll.

The college class of 1965 entered a world that was just about to witness the Watts riots and the start of military action in Vietnam that wasn’t sanctioned by Congress. We wonder if members of the class of ’65 would get a feeling of déjà vu from this week’s events in Baltimore and recent military actions in various countries in the Middle East.

There is one thing certain in today’s world: If people are still debating the same old topics fifty years from now, the World’s Laziest Journalist won’t be writing columns that recycle the same old facts in a new order of presenation.

If you think voter fraud is a new topic, please make an effort to see “The Great McGinty,” from 1940.

If Hillary Clinton sees Bernie Sanders get the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination, will she feel like a jilted bride (for the second time)?

The flap over a prisoner’s death in Baltimore seems to be a moot topic now after the authorities have found that a second prisoner is saying that theFreddie Gray fellow died of self-inflicted injuries. Will the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory public information officer issue a press release Friday hints/suggests/asks about the possibility that a quid pro quo agreement involved an immunity deal in return for the “walk off” revelation?

The mainstream media will immediately issue a “game over” assessment of the debate over the incident that incited civil unrest.

Has the mainstream media become extinct in the land of free speech? For folks in Berkeley who read the New York Times, it may seem that “the Great Gray Lady” has become the modern day substitute for the Berkeley Barb. If you aren’t reading that daily paper, then you don’t have a clue as to what’s happening to the country.

On Sunday, April 26, 2015, we put on our Aussie hat, mirror sunglasses, and activated the required cigarette holder (with the same unlit cigarette that we have used for the last three years) and plunged into some fact finding and photography efforts at the How Weird Street Faire held on (pun alert!) Howard Street in San Francisco. It was worth the effort.

Roaming around the San Francisco Bay area with a Nikon Coolpix may not be making America safe for Democracy but it is an effective (temporary) cure for boredom.

If gay marriage is ruled to be un-Constitutional, will dissention in San Francisco be more newsworthy than it has been in Baltimore?

Making snide remarks about national politics may not sway one single vote, but it sure is therapeutic for a perennial malcontent.

This week’s column is being posted earlier than usual because on Friday May 1, we intend on going to San Francisco to cover various May Day activities such as the tip that a member of the Merry Pranksters will announcean attempt to become Frisco’s mayor.

For the class of 1965, they could relish the feelings liberals experienced when, on Nov. 7, 1962, Richard Milhous Nixon said: “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.”

Now, for members of the class of ’65, the disk jockey will play Iggy Pop’s “I’m (the Chairman of the) bored,” Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life,” and Lynn Anderson’s “I beg your pardon (I never promised you a Rose Garden).” We have to hustle back to the Fortress of Solitude and resume our binge watching of “Rocky and Bullwinkle and friends.” Have a “self inflicted injuries” type of week.


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