May 31, 2011

Say “Goodbye!” to the Social Security Program?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:42 pm

People who have been fleeced by swindlers often had soaring moments of euphoria, based on expectations of “easy money,” right before they experienced the OMG “The Money’s gone!” revelation that “things aren’t what they seem.” The Sixties philosophy of “Don’t harsh my bliss” might be used to avoid any mention this week of the potential for future dangers of the results from the electronic voting machines because good manners would require most conspiracy theory lunatics to let the Democrats revel in their moment of ecstasy. [Wasn’t there a Roman politician who while he rode to his coronation, had a fellow reminding him that “this too shall pass!”?] That would be rude and we won’t touch that topic . . . the hell we won’t !

It might not be very polite to point out that if the results of the New York 26th Congressional District’s special election cause the Democrats to bet everything on that issue in the 2012 elections; it will be too late to object if the results, which can not be contested, produce what appears to be a massive nationwide repudiation of health care (and by extension the Social Security program itself).

Did acting rashly get Gen. Custer into trouble? Should the Democrats read up on the philosophy of an ambush before going “all in” on Medicare?

Brad Friedman has worked relentlessly to bring the issue of the reliability of the electronic voting machines to the attention of the voters who belong to the Democratic Party and if America gets hustled into a humiliating “winner take all” contest in 2012, the “I tried to warn you” bragging rights will be of little consolation to him and other sincere partisan political pundits if he gets the rights to express that sentiment.

The World’s Laziest Journalist will, if the Democrats get skinned alive by the 2012 election results, will have his reaction measured on the Nihilism Meter (which measures from one to ten shrugs of the shoulders) and turn his attention to other topics.

Has Banksy been active in the Berkeley CA area recently?

In his book “Profoundly Disturbing Shocking Movies that Changed History!,” Joe Bob Brigs reports that the film “Ilsa She Wolf of the SS” the lead character, Ilsa (Dyanne Thorne), was based on the real life historical figure of a woman named Ilsa Kohler Koch. Is she related to some Americans who have been dabbling in philanthropy and political causes recently?

John Wayne teamed up with actress Marlene Dietrich for three movies in the early Forties. One of them, “Seven Sinners,” was a tale of life in the South Pacific and we are desperately seeking a chance to see that movie. Is it on VHS? Would that be one of the films shown as part of the Forbidden Island Monthly Monday Night Cult Movies series in Alameda?

Speaking of John Wayne, we’ve watched a number of Western movies on Video tape recently, and have noted that they almost always feature a speech with a hero elaborating on America’s principals of honesty, fair play, and a code of conduct using the principle of chivalry for the treatment of captured enemy soldiers.

We are waiting for some politician to give a stirring speech in Congress reminding America that the country holds itself to a higher level of principles than those exemplified by the Inquisition, Genghis Kahn (of “Citizen Kahn” fame?), and the Gestapo. We have abandoned hope for such a Frank Capra moment to occur in Washington D. C.

The World’s Laziest Journalist isn’t being paid to shill for the Democratic Party and so we feel free to continue our criticism of the Bush war crimes even if they are being embraced by his Democratic Party successor.

Advocating human rights for people suspected of conducting terrorist activities is as outdated and antediluvian as it would be to suggest that the Hayes code be reinstated.

In the 1940 movie “Dark Command,” directed by Raoul Walsh starring John Wayne, the script writer just had to inject some political propaganda and have a character assert that the Civil War was about cheap labor and not over the South’s campaign to continue the efforts of America’s founding fathers to administer the Constitution’s establishment of state’s rights. Is it any wonder that soon after that Congress had to hold hearings to reveal to the voters how communists were infiltrating America’s pop culture to sway their thinking?

Partisan political commentators must always follow the party line but curmudgeonly columnist critics of contemporary culture don’t have to be so boringly predictable. They can, if they choose, vacillate between liberal and conservative from one paragraph to the next. If the net result is to make readers stop and think about what the columnist is trying to say; that may be a clever way to lure readers into starting to think for themselves and not letting Fucks News do it for them.

When George W. Bush first announced his intention of using combat soldiers to bring democracy to Iraq, did any of the critics on the Left think that by 2012 the Democratic Party would be adhering to most of the aspects of the Bush administration methodology such as an attack on Libya without any Congressional approval (or debate even) or torture or attempts to straighten out the Social Security “mess”? Are we there yet?

If the Democrats go “all in” with the Medicare Issue and the results are a Republican landslide, will FDR’s New Deal then be as much of a quaint anachronism as is Howard Hughes’ movie “The Outlaw”? Will the Democrats then still consider critics of the electronic voting machines as conspiracy theory lunatics . . . or prophets?

According to Steven Bach, in his book “Marlene Dietrich Life and Legend,” (page 292) the actress during a radio broadcast to boost troop morale for the Allies, suddenly adlibbed this line: “Jungs! Opfert euch nicht! Der krieg ist doch Scheisse, Hitler ist ein Idiot!” It took Americans a short time to realize that reducing the German’s morale level was as desirable a goal as was boosting the spirits of the American soldiers.

Now the disk jockey will play “See What the Boys in the Backroom Are Having,” “Please, Mr. Custer,” and John Wayne’s version (from “The Quiet Man”) of “Wild Colonial Boy.” We have to go see if we can locate a VHS copy of “Destry Rides Again.” Have a “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (Didn’t he get fired at the 1940 Oscar™ Awards?) type week.

February 28, 2011

Some of the best actors . . .

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 6:11 pm

Once again, Hollywood has managed to survive the ordeal of voting awards to themselves, but if they really wanted to hand out awards for outstanding acting, why didn’t they honor some of the world class performances in Washington D. C., which they overlooked?

In Hollywood it’s easy to please your friends and upset your enemies, but there is one fellow in political arena who played the part of a liberal change of pace Presidential Candidate and managed to earn the undying hate of the Republicans and simultaneously displease the true lefties base. Barry Obama’s role as the personification of change was a very convincing performance by a Reagan Democrat who let war criminals (who are wanted men in other countries) walk and then continued their illegal methods that earned them the distain of many citizens in ally countries.

The Australians are very well informed about celebrity news from Hollywood, perhaps because the Australian film industry seems to be functioning as a “farm club” for the American film industry. The Australians were disappointed (to put it mildly) with the “who knew?” acting job turned in by George W. Bush and Company. (Explaining the intricacies of American Politics brought a “Who is Rush?” response all over Oz.)

Would folks outside “the Industry” (AKA Hollyweird) appreciated the sarcasm if this columnist wrote a column asking: Is the Bush family the Charlie Sheen of American Politics?

The level of excitement over the Oscar™ telecast in the Los Angeles area is quite a bit more intense than it was during the preceding week in Berkeley CA. In the San Francisco Bay area, the attitude was “Who’s nominated this year?” In Los Angeles, it’s “where are you going to watch the show?” and “What parties will you attend?” In Hollywood, it’s like the home team is playing in the World Series every year. It is a news event reported around the world.

While taking a Saturday stroll on Ocean Front Walk, we encountered a film crew talking to a young man. We asked what was going on and learned that the Danish news crew was interviewing William Jøhnk Nielsen who was in the Danish film competing for the Best Foreign Film Oscar™.

A woman (his mother?) suggested that we ask the young man for his autograph, so in the spirit of interline courtesy, we did and the Danish film crew had some additional footage for their story.

We snapped a few paparazzi shots for our photo blog and continued on our way. It then occurred to us that young Mr. Nielsen had something in common with John Wayne: they are the only two actors whom this columnist has ever asked for an autograph. (John Wayne handed out business cards with a copy of his signature on it.)

John Wayne won his Oscar on the same day that California Governor Ronald Reagan held a small impromptu news conference. The Los Angeles Times buried the governor’s news conference on page 3 and splashed “the Duke’s” Oscar™ all over the front page. The world will little note nor long remember what was said by the Governor that day. What’s not to love about a governor who says: “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with.” Would he give the same words of wisdom to the governor of Wisconsin tomorrow, if he could?

On our walk, we discovered that the topic of the homeless in Venice these days has the potential to be very disturbing to a cynical IrishCatholicDemocrat who hears one philosophy from the mouths of Conservative Christian Capitalists and then sees that sweeping the homeless under the rug and out of Venice, contradicts what they say. We will have to do some additional fact checking so that we can write a column about the relevant facts for yet another column that asserts that hypocrisy is one of the Seven Cardinal Virtues for Republicans.

American politicians can give glib explanations for wars of aggression and then turn around and blithely dismiss any concerns about the “what ever you do to the least of my brethren” who lack a sleeping bag to cope with a cold night on the beach.

Shame, it seems, is a quant facet of nostalgia just like silent movies. Do TV addicts know what “slapstick comedy” is?

Speaking of nostalgia when was the last “anti-war in Vietnam” rally held? We see that some old hippies will be gathering next month in Washington D. C., for a rally against the Iraq-Afghanistan military adventures. Maybe by the time it occurs they can toss in their objections to a new adventure in Libya?

We have been advised that if we wish to understand the apparent disparity between millionaire actors giving awards and “air kisses” to each other one day and engaging in cut-throat business deals the next (which may necessitate the actors doing research on the homeless so that their next film [a musical comedy look at life on the ragged edge?] will have a veneer of authenticity to it); we should read Ayn Rand’s “the Fountainhead.”

What ruthless corporate mogul wouldn’t appreciate seeing his merciless conduct portrayed in film that rationalizes his ruthlessness and portrays his immoral conduct as the work of a benevolent crazy uncle who is loved by all his devoted employees?

Isn’t Ayn Rand’s philosophical take on morals similar to Andy Warhol’s definition of art? He said “Art is whatever you can get away with.” If you don’t get arrested; apparently, it wasn’t a crime. Sin no longer exists.

Unless a film competes in the Documentary categories, isn’t it considered a work of fiction?

If the Republicans are looking for a theme song for their next convention to select a Presidential Candidate, perhaps they should consider using Don Henley’s song “Kick ‘em when their down.” Ya think?

It’s “buy Girl Scout cookies” season again. How many boxes will the Koch brothers buy?

The Razzie Awards honoring the lousiest films of 2010 was held on Saturday.

Marshall McLuhan said: “Affluence creates poverty.” Could the Republicans believe that it’s the other way around? “Poverty creates affluence.” For them, it does. More foreclosures means more profits for the banks. Hence the banks have an obligation to continue the trend.

Now the disk jockey will play some of the Oscar™ winning songs from years past, such as “When you wish upon a star,” “Whatever will be will be,” and “High hopes.” We have to go try to find out what has happened to the hippies who have been kicked out of Venice. Have a “we may look ragged and funny” type week.

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