November 14, 2013

TV violence: America’s dark night of the knoll

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 11:35 am

I was watching “The Mentalist” on TV recently, where some guy was being tortured, had a finger cut off with pruning shears and his face caressed with an acetylene torch. Yikes! And even during that nice little detective show “Castle,” you can always count on seeing a whole bunch of blood and guts — not to mention the torture scenes and disemboweling now available on “Elementary” and “Body of Proof” and “Revolution” and “Person of Interest” and “Scandal”. And these are just the milder prime-time television shows. I’m not even going to get into the nightmare-producing horrors of “Criminal Minds” and “Law & Order SVU” — because I can’t even bear to watch those.

And then there are all those currently-popular “undead” shows too. How many times can you torture a werewolf or drive a stake through a vampire’s heart before he or she is truly dead? Apparently a lot.

I can think of at least eight TV series off the top of my head right now that face this very problem nightly in our very own living rooms: Dracula, The Originals, Vampire Diaries, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, Beauty and the Beast, Supernaturals. And, again, that’s not even counting cable and “True Blood”. What are America’s television viewers THINKING! Are they that hungry for blood? Apparently.

But thank goodness I can’t afford cable TV because that would mean there would be 500 more channels with 500 more new and different ways to kill people off violently and with lots of blood and torture and gore. Good grief, no wonder hardly anyone blinked when the horrendous secret tortures of Abu Ghraib, Zero Dark 30 and Palestine were exposed to America by social media “No big deal. We see that kind of stuff on TV every night!” Americans replied.

If one were to judge the American way of life solely by what its most popular television programs are, one would think that Americans were all murderous blood-thirsty psychopathic nut cases who dream only of blood.

To quote George H.W. Bush, “The American way of life is non-negotiable.” Makes you wonder about that.

PS: And speaking of TV violence and George H.W. Bush, wouldn’t you just love it if, on his deathbed, Poppy Bush suddenly decided to make one last attempt at becoming one of the most famous men in history (in the grand tradition of John Wilkes Booth for instance — or Marcus Julius Brutus) by finally confessing to his role in the assassination of John Kennedy. Wow! That would really earn Poppy a place in our history books for sure!

But what I would really love to see would be Dick Cheney doing the same thing: In a fabulous deathbed interview with Olivia Pope herself, Cheney would finally “tell all” about what he had really been doing on the day that the Twin Towers fell. Hell, even Dracula himself would come back from the Undead to watch that TV show. Me too.

I bet there’s a whole long list of creepy “Patriots” here in America, just like those creepy Patriots in “Revolution,” who know exactly where all the bodies in recent American history are buried — and these creepy guys are all getting up there in age. So if any of these shadowy “Persons of Interest” should suddenly decide that they want to add to America’s “Body of Proof,” become an “Original” and create a huge “Scandal,” now is the time!

PPS: I have just one more thing to say about the mind-numbing violence of JFK’s assassination: If it had happened today instead of 50 years ago, every SmartPhone in Dallas would have posted that video on FaceBook in a nanosecond — a la the shooting of Oscar Grant. And that grassy knoll shooter wouldn’t have stood a chance in Hell of getting away. And there couldn’t have been any slimy Warren Commission cover-ups either.

America’s shadow figures and black-ops plotters can no longer get away with the low-life garbage they used to easily pull off 50 years ago, thanks to social media. And that’s “Elementary”.

PPPS: Overheard on a military base on Veterans Day: “You gotta love America. Even our gangsters are better-armed.”

August 9, 2013

Unfacts, lies, and propaganda

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

Getting a snapshot of the 2013 Zeitgeist

Living a week under the condition red alert was a flashback to the good old days when lefty pundits could criticize George W. Bush for his policies rather than having to exert some effort to defend President Obama for doing what Dubya did while he was in the White House.  At least the week long condition red alert took the focus off the NSA’s (alleged) unnecessary monitoring of various means of communication.

If Obama is busy doing the same thing George W. Bush did, how can the people who criticized Bush defend Obama?  Likewise, how can the Republicans who defended Dubya attack Obama?  Isn’t there a kind of demon who suddenly becomes the exact opposite of what it was perceived to be?

Do the pundits who criticized the Bush plan to do some electronic snooping in the name of Homeland Security have any grounds for praising Obama for doing the same thing?  Do the Republican propagandists have any logical way to denounce Obama for using the old Bush era “Red Alert” ruse to defuse the topic as a subject for a debate?

Journalism is (theoretically) supposed to fact check the politicians so that the citizens can make a well informed decision at the voting polls.  Unfortunately, it is up to consumers of news media to do their own fact checking and now both parties seem to be willing accessories after the fact for the murder of quality journalism in the country that spawned Murrow’s Boys.

Doesn’t it make sense that a party of greedy capitalists, who endorsed the con man attitude of caveat emptor, would encourage journalism to morph from an obsession with truth into an endless source of doubletalk that bamboozles the rubes?  We wonder what the Democrats’ explanation could possibly be.

If a pundit with access to the Timer Travel Machine were to travel back to 2006 and announce that in 2013 a Democratic President would be wrestling with the tantalizing possibility of adding Syria to the list of American quagmires, such a hypothetical columnist would be hauled off and forced to endure a cooling off period of psychiatric evaluation.

On Thursday, August 08, 2013, Uncle Rushbo was kvetching about the fact that Obama’s first nationally televised comments about the new Terrorists’ Threat came on the Tonight Show.

Uncle Rushbo can’t bitch about Obama doing what Dubya used to do because that might prove to be inconvenient in 2016 when JEB is running as the Republican Party nominee for President, so he has to use attacks on the personal level to criticize the President.  Hence he was saying the appearance on the Tonight Show diminished the Presidency.

Rush specifically mentioned that John F. Kennedy did not go on the Tonight Show, back when Jack Paar was the host, to tell the nation about his assessment of the Cuban Missile Crises.  Limbaugh either chose to forget or didn’t know that Fidel Castro did go on the Tonight Show, after deposing Fugencio Batista, to make overtures to Washington.  Facts are just pesky details for “America’s Anchorman.”

Rush questioned Jay Lenno’s credentials for being a Journalist rather than a stand up comic.  Limbaugh said “I’m not being critical of Leno at all.  And I was not at all surprised that Leno would ask better questions than the White House press corps does.”

Quoting something that Chris Cillizza, wrote in the Washington Post, Limbaugh continued:  “As we have written before in this space, the idea that a serious journalist can’t have fun is not one that’s broadly held by the people who, you know, consume our journalism. Leno’s interview with Obama proves that the opposite is also true; that a ‘fun’ person can also be serious.”

[Could the World’s Laziest Journalist humbly suggest that when journalism takes a break from being oh-so-serious, it should be dubbed “Leprechaun Jorunalism”? ]

When it seemed like Limbaugh was going to address the issue of what makes a good journalist, he veered away from that interesting topic.  (We could do an entire column on that topic.)

Bringing the focus of the rant back to himself Uncle Rushbo continued:  “ . . . I do something that you don’t find elsewhere in the media.  I combine the serious discussion of issues with irreverent satirical comedy, with credibility on both sides.”  Isn’t the both sides contention often contradicted when Uncle Rushbo abruptly cuts off a liberal caller?

Was Uncle Rushbo intimating that Journalism should be one sided rants that can (as Fox has established in court) tell lies with a cogent punch line thrown in to prove that Conservatives have a sense of humor?  Fox tried to establish a Jon Stewart type of late night comedy punditry amalgamation of entertainment but failed to achieve acceptable ratings.  (John Douglas, a pioneer FBI profiler, has said that a frequent hallmark for serial killers is a strange sense of humor that many folks “don’t get.”)  Would Uncle Rushbo maintain that he is a better journalist than Hunter S. Thompson was?

We wonder what percentage of the audience for Uncle Rushbo, Hanity, and O’Reilly go to the bother of doing any fact checking about what they have heard.  How many ditto heads have read the book “Out Foxed,” let alone make the effort to see the movie of the same name?

In 2006, to the best of our ability to discern, no American journalist had bothered to fact check what had been said at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial nor had any of the modern day versions of Murrow’s Boys bothered to ask a participant of the WWII War Crimes Trails if they saw any evidence to indicate that George W. Bush may have (inadvertently) been seen in a harsh light if the standards of conduct applied retroactively to the Germans were used to evaluate the legality of Bush’s war policies.

The challenge facing Republican strategy policy makers in 2006 was to find a way to get the Democrats to slowly accept and implement the Bush program without it seeming to be a sell-out of the Trojan horse school of clever political maneuvers.

Obviously any pundit who pointed out existence of such a deception would be denounced as a raving lunatic from the most recent graduating class in the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory training class for new employees.

According to Uncle Rushbo, President Obama, who was highly visible in the “hands on” mode of being the Commander-in-Chief when Osama bin Laden was being snuffed, went into stealth mode of operation on the night that the raid on the Americans in Benghazi was happening.  Are the conservatives hinting that this could be Monica 2.0?  Are the liberal pundits faking a lack of comprehension?  “What, me worry?”

Attack the man, because the liberals can’t attack Obama for continuing the Bush agenda.  If they did, that might be inconvenient when JEB get the nomination in 2016.

Are Americans supposed to believe a short radio segment riddled with unfacts and bumper sticker slogans rather than assiduously working their way through a complex and scholarly rebuttal?  If that’s an accurate assessment how long will it be before they start thinking that they are oh-so-clever when they ask the question:  “Sock it to me?”?

Uncle Rushbo gets very upset when lefty pundits use personal attacks on him, yet he has no qualms about attacking the President and charging him with demeaning the Presidency by talking to Jay Lenno.

When Uncle Rushbo is attacked personally, he usually responds with a counterattack that brings the lefty a fulfillment of Andy Warhol’s promise.  Should an obscure online pundit who wrote about a chance encounter with a War Crimes Trials expert and an earlier analysis of the American lead prosecutor’s opening statement at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial launch a vitriolic personal attack against Uncle Rushbo in the hopes of getting a tsunami of negative publicity for his efforts?

As the summer of 2013 peaks, attempts to provide rational discourse for political issues is about as difficult an assignment as it would be to get a rabid Dodgers fan to go see the Giants host a three game home series with their archrival and convincing this fellow to “root for the home team.”

It ain’t gonna happen.

That, in turn, may explain why Jay Lenno and John Stewart are becoming more important to politicians than interviews on the network news programs.

When a hallmark Bush gambit becomes part of Obama’s repetoir of ploys, some pundits may realize that the situation is similar to that moment when the home team’s fans head for the parking lot in the 7th inning.  At that point some mildly amusing (forget about perceptive and cogent) punditry has been put out of read.

[Note from the photo editor:  A file shot of a man using an 8 X 10 camera seemed to illustrate our topic of looking for the Zeitgeist for this week.  Quality Journalism has become a thing of the past, as have view cameras.  Both are missed by aficionados.]

Ned Kelly said it best:  “Such is life.”

Now the disk jockey will play the Speedies song  “Let me take your Photo,” the Who’s “Pictures of Lily,” and Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome.”  We have to go see if we can buy a West Coast Eagles t-shirt.  Have a “your mother wears combat boots” type week.

January 30, 2012

God Bless Republican Swingers?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 9:30 pm

Some recent tidbits of information which have landed in the World’s Laziest Journalist’s inbox indicate that it may be time to write a column about the possibility that Republican Party may soon need to redefine their stand on the Sanctity of Marriage.

Item no. one is the fact that after admitting that he had asked his wife for an open marriage, Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina Primary.

Item no. two: Playboy magazine is about to begin marking the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the Playboy Philosophy series.

Item no. three: A caller to the Norm Goldman radio talk show pointed out that the Republicans discredited Herman Kane because of clandestine love affairs, but the Republicans are giving Newt the old “See no evil” response for his request for an open marriage. The caller automatically accused the Republicans of being racist in their diverse reactions. It never occurred to that caller that the difference is the transparency of the need for diversity. Kane relied on deceit. Newt prefers the philosophy of openness and Swinging.

Item no. four: We found our paperback copy of Gay Talese’s book “Thy Neighbor’s Wife.”

Since a large portion of journalism in America these days is based on celebrity gossip wouldn’t a Swinging couple in the White House be a godsend to the Political desks in newsrooms all across the USA? Can you just imagine how enthusiastic the coverage of a visit by a Swinging first family to French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s home would be?

Newt could elicit (not to be confused with the word illicit) comparisons to JFK by quipping to the press: “I’m the man who is accompanying Callista to Paris.”

Didn’t the wife of a Canadian Prime Minister generate extensive gossip and criticism of her husband by being a fan of the Rolling Stones band, a few years back?

Reality TV is very popular on cable these days. Perhaps it’s time for an adventuresome production company to make a deal with a swingers group? How about a series titled “Return to the A-Frame”?

If you think that despising the boss is a universal manifestation of a natural workers’ tendency then you have never talked with writers who have gotten a check from Larry Flynt Publications. Some Conservative Compassionate Christians may not (openly) agree with Flynt’s liberal attitude toward sex, but isn’t it remarkable when all of a fellow’s employees speak well of the boss?

Do people who get a chance to visit the Playboy Mansion brag about the experience or do they treat it as if it were a shameful incident which must quickly be forgotten? Who doesn’t want an invitation to visit there? Would Bishop Sheen have turned down such an opportunity?

Are Hugh Hefner’s employees inundated with requests for a chance to see their boss’ home? Is this year’s Playboy Mansion Halloween Party already booked to capacity?
Remind us to ask a former co-worker at the Independent Journal that question the next time we visit Santa Monica.

On page 220 of the Dell Book paperback edition of “Thy Neighbors Wife,” Gay Talese wrote: “The Berkeley Free Speech Movement in 1965, which forged its slogan from the initials of a four-letter word (“Freedom Under Clark Kerr”), as well as civil rights protests in the South, and the subsequent anti-war demonstrations and marches on Washington – the sit-ins, the teach-ins, the love-ins – all were manifestations of a new generation that was less sexually repressed than its ancestors and also less willing to respect political authority and social tradition, color barriers and draft boards, deans and priests.”

Wouldn’t the people who graduated in the Class of 1965, just now be getting to be Presidential Candidate age? What college did Newt attend? Could it be that the flower power generation is just now getting its chance to do what they said LBJ and Nixon couldn’t or wouldn’t do?

Is Newt just now getting ready to bring the party that once included George Romney, into the era of the Playboy Philosophy . . . or has Newt been “brainwashed”?

While we are on the subject, aren’t all the top Republicans encouraging the current field of candidates to tear each other apart? Crocodile tears? Where are the candidates spending their campaign funds? On ads, right? Who owns the newspapers and TV stations around the USA? Usually it’s conservative Republicans, eh? If the top Republicans are raking in the ad revenue stirred up by the continuing series of Primary cage matches and if the same media moguls plan to pull a fast one and substitute someone else as the candidate, then, metaphorically speaking, aren’t a lot of donors to the various Republican candidates “getting their ashes hauled” by the “three card Monte” style subterfuge?

We thought that all the boys in the One Percent Club had mutual non-aggression pacts with each other and the idea was to be relentless in squeezing every last dollar from every last bank account of the Ninty Nine Percenters.

If (hypothetically alert!) there is some kind of nefarious plan to put someone other than the fab four at the top of the ticket, then aren’t some members of the One Percent Club committing a fraud that will relieve some of their fellow club members of some serious amounts of money? Why donate to a fellow who is predestined not to get the nomination? Why should a candidate who is being cheated out of any fair chance to be nominated spend ad dollars to try to get spurious (if you don’t know what that word means ask a Fox News fan) votes?

It’s OK for the Republicans to fool Democrats into thinking that the Presidential elections (2000 and 2004 for instance) are not rigged, but wouldn’t it be dishonest for someone to rig the Republican Primary Election process? Isn’t there a secret “honor among thieves” clause in the Republican Party secret handbook that precludes such a fiendish double-cross?

On Monday, January 30, 2012, the New York Times featured a story on page one (above the fold), written by Jeff Zeleny, that drew attention to the curious fact that Jeb Bush, has remained curiously silent (above the fray?) about endorsing any candidate to help draw votes in Tuesday’s Florida Primary. Isn’t it intriguing that such an influential Republican who served as that state’s governor isn’t making an endorsement?

Is this an example of the B’rer Rabbit’s “Please don’t throw me in that briar patch” philosophy being applied to politics?

Haven’t Romney and Gingrich destroyed each other’s ability to represent the entire Party membership? Doesn’t that indicate that a spectator on the sidelines who didn’t get into the mudslinging free-for-all would be much better qualified to use the word “we” when giving an acceptance speech to the 2012 Republican National Convention?

Meanwhile returning to this column’s topic: Did Gingrich see and enjoy the heist flick “Bandits”? A trio of bank robbers had an unconventional love relationship. It sounds like just the kind of action adventure movie that would appeal to open-minded folks. What does Mitt think about that flick? We’d love to hear his review of “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.”

The other most likely person to get the Republican nomination is a fellow who belongs to a religion that permits polygamy. Either way, it seems that the Republican Party has to realize that if their candidate wins the Presidential race, the Grand Old Party is going to have to reconfigure its policy on the Sanctity of Marriage .

This column’s closing quote was provided by someone who shall be called “an anonymous source,” and was heard as it was uttered by the World’s Laziest Journalist. “When I saw a picture of my wife in her underwear, sitting on Mick Jagger’s lap, I knew my marriage was over.” (Wasn’t the Stones’ best selling single, “Angie,” written about David Bowie’s wife?)

Now the disk jockey will play Jimmy Buffet’s song “Let’s get drunk and screw,” the Beatles’ song “Let’s do it in the road,” and Francis Albert Sinatra’s album “Songs for Swingin’ Lovers.” We have to get back to reading a fabulous book titled “Velvet Underground.” As the leader of the rat pack would say: “Have a ring-ding-ding” week.

June 10, 2011

The Torch is passed (again)

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:22 pm

People who graduated from high school fifty years ago this month may want to indulge in a bit of nostalgia by exhuming a transcript of their commencement speech and having their lawyer take a closer look at it. Were all of that year’s inspiring words more of a variation of the “campaign promises” concept or did those inspirational words come with an implied guarantee? If so, it might be time to adhere to one of the basic principles established in the Constitution, by America’s founding fathers: “Sue the bastards!”

Would it be an example of poignancy if a kid who got a brand new car as a high school graduation present in June of 1961 were still driving that same car today? In the Spring of 1961, the last B-52 rolled off the Boeing production line and many of them are still in use to this very day.

What else hasn’t changed since the class of 1961 was promised a better world?

Before turning the keys to the White House over to Jack Kennedy, the departing president (a general from WWII), had warned folks not to let the military industrial complex become America’s guiding light (at the end of the tunnel?). It didn’t take long for the new young President to send American troops, as advisors, abroad doing the political version of what “location scouts” do for movie making.

Radio soap operas were transitioning into TV series, but when that class had started high school in the Fall of 1957, many of them were still available on radio. The radio audience had wondered, like Helen Trent, could a woman, after her 35th birthday, find romance? It would be well into the 70’s before that question would become relevant to the class of 1961.

What ever happened to “Our Gal Sunday”? She was, as listeners were informed at the start of each broadcast, someone “from the little mining town of Silver Creek, Colorado,” and she had “in young womanhood married England’s most handsome lord, Lord Henry Brinthrope.” How did that work out for her?

What ever happened to: “Aunt Jenny,” “Young Doctor Malone,” “Just Plain Bill,” “Ma Perkins,” and/or “Nora Drake”?

The members of the graduation class of 1961 are sure to be retired and collecting their Social Security checks by now and so they will have plenty of leisure time to look up the fate of those fictional characters on the Internets.

Was it a remarkable co-inky-dink or symbolism that one high school in Scranton Pa, for their class trip, went to New York City and saw “Pollyanna” at the Radio City Music Hall”?

For the class of 1961, it was just like Bill Graham would put it a bit later in time: “Ladies and gentlemen; it’s all about to happen!” Back then, the Nostalgia craze wouldn’t start until Susan Suntag’s essay “Notes on Camp” got published.

By the time the class of 1961 would celebrate the tenth anniversary of their graduation, America would make numerous cultural changes. The Beatles would erase Duane Eddy from the position of favorite guitarist. The Ford Motor Company would produce the first Mustang (and Carol Shelby would work his magic on them). Folks would also learn the geography lesson that answered the question: “Where the hell is Vietnam?”

When the class of 1961 entered high school in the Fall of 1957, one of the Dorsey brothers would release the last Big Band hit, “So Rare.” By the time they graduated, “On the Road” had been reprinted in a paperback edition and coffee house poetry was all the rage. The adults were very alarmed that the beatnik lifestyle seemed to have a hypnotic appeal to the youngsters who wanted to be “hep.” Hep became hip and that generation embraced all sorts of aberrant behavior that didn’t sit well with true Americans such as those who lived in Muskogee.

In the Fall of 1963, Capital Records, in Hollywood, handed out 3,000 layoff notices to the folks in Scranton working at the record pressing plant because record sales were in a slump. The layoffs were to take effect the day after Thanksgiving. While the nation mourned the assassination of its young President, the layoff notices were rescinded on the Monday before Thanksgiving because of a music phenomenon that was spreading like a highly contagious disease. It was called “Beatlemania.”

Rock and Roll was battling to replace the folk songs that dominated the pop music charts. Eventually, Rock got it very own separate chart and Fats Domino shared it with newer, younger musicians.

Tail fins on cars had reached their high water mark with the 1959 Cadillac. At one point the J. C. Whitney catalogue offered champagne glasses made from the distinctively shaped ’59 Caddy bullet style tail lights.

While getting America from the Marshall Program to the Bush Doctrine, patriots would come to realize that charity is permissible only if it also functions as a bribe or is part of an extortion plan.

If a person graduated from high school in 1961 and proceeded directly on to a four year college, he would graduate just in time to see President Johnson, in June of 1965, send several (was it six or eight?) Marine Divisions to Vietnam to straighten out that mess (it was well understood that they would be home in time for Christmas).

In 1961, all was well. The World’s Laziest Journalist knows of one member of the class of 1961, who joined the Navy, was assigned to a destroyer that circled the globe, came back home to Scranton and declined all additional opportunities to travel. “I’ve been around the world. I like Scranton. Why would I want to leave?”

Soldiers from Scranton, in the 28th Division’s 109th Regiment, had fought at the battle of the bulge and so America was determined to make sure that those war atrocities, such as the ones that Germany had committed during World War II, would never again be permitted in the world that was beckoning to the eager and enthusiastic members of the class of 1961.

The world in 1961 wasn’t perfect. The designers at Chevrolet were trying to develop a coupe model for the popular Corvette roadster. America didn’t need a Desoto car. TV would be better in “living color.” Pan Am, Eastern Airlines (“The wings of man”) and TWA stood ready to fly America’s youth to places where they could face the “Europe on $5 a day” challenge.

Americans didn’t have to buy a WMCA t-shirt to know that they were one of a special breed. Who didn’t want a T-shirt that proclaimed that the wearer was a “Good Guy”?

Wasn’t “The Ugly American” a Commie propaganda ruse? Didn’t the East German authorities have to build a wall to hold back their young people with curiosity about freedom?

The graduates who got married and started having kids didn’t have to worry about the draft. The guys who went on to college did. Did the lamestream media do feature stories about the last guy to be drafted? Who was it? Lord knows the lamestream sure did cover the story when Elvis got drafted and when Cascius Clay turned down his draft board’s invitation. When Elvis left the Army, there was a TV special on which Frank Sinatra welcomed Elvis back home.

There was one TV special (was it part of Ford’s 50th anniversary celebration?) that featured the best science based predictions for the future. As we recall it, that program predicted that newspapers would deliver their stories directly into homes via a machine that was a combination of calculator, telephone, TV set, and printing press.

Back in 1961 the icon of the American Dream was expressed in visual terms by a home with a white picket fence around it. That house has been seized by the foreclosure process. The lefties who are losing their homes think that Sarah Palin is dumb. How did they come to that conclusion? On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural address, said: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

The disk jockey went to the Flying Dutchman’s web site for a list of the hits from 1961. He culled out: “Big Bad John,” “Wonderland by Night,” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

We have to go put some dead flowers on a friend’s grave. Have a “The torch is passed to a new generation” type week.

Powered by WordPress