May 10, 2011

Revisiting the Ox-Bow Incident

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 3:55 pm

If (subjunctive mood) a country of wild warriors used the concept of spreading “freedom of speech” as a red herring for wars of aggression disguised as altruistic wars for humanitarian reasons and the dissemination of democracy in despotic lands, would anyone be surprised if a fellow, who believed the “tell it like it is” meme, was soundly condemned for providing an opposing point of view?

Progressive talk radio host Mike Malloy has become embroiled in such an oxymoron situation because he mused (on air) about the possibility that George W. Bush ordering of some military action which precipitated a massive amount of collateral damage in the form of civilian death and injury augmented by a massive amount of damage to the host country’s infrastructure might have an amazing degree of similarity to Hitler’s methodology, which is often exemplified by the unfortunate and regrettable bombing of Rotterdam. The authorities in Rotterdam had sent word to the German military that Rotterdam was to be accorded “open city” status. Regrettably that bit of intelligence was not relayed in a timely manner to the troops and Rotterdam was reduced to rubble.

Freedom of Speech was one of the four Freedoms for which the United States fought in World War II. Therefore the thought that some über-patriotic members of the Teabag branch of the Republican Party would not apply the old “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” philosophy to some freewheeling, stream-of-consciousness dialogue is an incomprehensible contradiction, but like the WMD’s, the word that Rotterdam was an open city, and the science fiction stories about polar bears facing extinction because folks are running their vacuum cleaners too often, a miscommunication occurred and people have challenged Malloy not for the fact-checking reasons but because they wanted to apply the Archie Bunker rule: “Stifle!”

Inadvertently, Malloy’s efforts to point out the philosophical oxymoron have only goaded his critics into some overzealous examples of their own subjunctive mood speculation that comes perilously close to being un-Christian threats against the health of him and his family. Obviously this situation is not the time for Malloy to echo the “Bring it on!” Bush style swagger.

Is there a teabagger who hasn’t read Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s classic novel, “The Ox-Bow Incident”? Shouldn’t Malloy calmly and rationally use that example of American pop culture to subtly point out the error of their aggressive rebuttals? Isn’t it über-ironic that they should be attacking him for exorcizing one of the rights they are prepared to die for to defend?

Perhaps, Malloy’s lapse in logic is his assumption that the “We’re just good patriotic Americans” crowd is castigating him for using his right to freedom of speech?

This may sound a tad “conspiracy-theory-nut”-ish, but could it (that pesky subjunctive mood rears its ugly head again) be that the folks who are sending him the acerbic missives are radical Muslims disguising themselves as teabaggers to carry out a fatwa against Malloy ordered by some mullah? Don’t all mullah’s look alike in their turbans and robes?

Don’t death threats sound more Sharia law-ish than something that patriotic Americans would advocate as a response to the opposing point of view?

Aren’t the real members of the teabag movement sending e-mails to their fellow travelers urging them to do a bit of stealth Malloy monitoring as a way to prove conclusively that the are reluctantly endorsing “freedom of speech”? Did Hitler encourage Germans to listen to foreign broadcasts to experience first hand their political propaganda? Heck no! The German authorities authorized to carry ammunition (Schutz-Saffel) feared that any such contact with the Allied Forces would produce a St. Paul’s moment. Did the Germans have freedom of speech or second amendment rights to carry arms?

So if the Germans were against those rights, doesn’t that mean that Teabaggers would automatically take the opposing point of view if some nefarious group tried to silence free speech in the USA? Of course! Hence the people trying to silence Malloy must be people who hate Malloy’s expression of freedom? Who did George W. Bush say hated Americans and attacked the World Trade Center because of their freedoms? Didn’t he say that America’s freedoms were precisely the reason for that attack?

Well, then, is it not obviously logical to conclude that the people who want to censure Malloy for using his inalienable (always blame it on aliens, eh?) rights must be foreigners and possible Mullah directed automatons carrying out a fatwa sanctioned by Sharia Law?

The fact that the phrase “Christian fatwa” is an oxymoron only serves to add a bit of redundant proof that the folks condemning Malloy’s use of American freedoms must be un-American.

Any minute now the posse of lefty pundits will arrive and say: “Back off! Malloy was just saying: ‘In a perfect world, unintended collateral damage has consequences.’” It’s not like Malloy was delivering a blanket condemnation of vigilante justice for Osama. He was just using sarcasm to draw attention to the numerous parallels between Bush’s agenda and that of the fellows who were convicted at Nuremberg. Does Dick Cheney have a world famous art collection?

The other Liberal talk show hosts aren’t going to hang Malloy out to dry, are they? That would be like in the movie “Cool Hand Luke” when Luke (Paul Newman) turns to Dragline (George Kennedy) for some moral support and gets a shrug and “Don’t look at me, mother” reply.

Heck, if Bush had done something wrong, wouldn’t the World Court send some law enforcement guys to Texas (or would the Texas Rangers provide some “interline courtesy” and make the collar for them?) and drag him back to their country for a new war crimes trial? They haven’t, so everything must be copasetic.

Younger Americans should be encouraged to tune into Malloy and listen in a non judgmental mode because years from now, Malloy may well be considered a noteworthy example of the radio personality in American culture.

What young American wouldn’t appreciate the hypothetical opportunity to turn on a radio tonight and tune into XERB and listen to Wolfman Jack? Does Serious Radio have a Wolfman channel? Could listening to Malloy be compared to hearing Jean Sheppard’s radio program? Are today’s disk jockey couples trying to walk a mile in the moccasins of Tex and Jinx Faulkinberg?


If, as a renowned clergyman from Oakland is predicting, the world is going to end later this month, [Note: the World’s Laziest Journalist, an ordained minister, is trying to intercede and get a stay of execution order issued via prayers and supplications.] shouldn’t folks be loading their memory banks up with “once in a lifetime” experiences to replay in Heaven rather than disputing Mike Malloy’s idea that Americans are not entitled to a “Get out of Jail” card for war crimes?

In “Cool Hand Luke,” the captain said: “What we have here is . . . failure to communicate.”

Now the disk jockey will play the Doors song “Soft Parade,” “the ballad of Ruben Carter,” and Ernie Ford’s “Shotgun boogie.” We have to go bail a friend out of jail. Have a “How many fingers, Winston?” type week.

February 12, 2011

“We’ll always have Paris.”

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:24 pm

On Friday, February 11, 2011, the Paramount Theater in Oakland offered a program that looked like a prospect for a very pleasant evening of entertainment that was supposed to be the columnist’s opportunity to “take the day off.” Sitting in a single screen movie theater listening to a musician play the organ before the cartoon and newsreel are scheduled to start the show, was a déjà vu moment. When did movie theaters stop showing cartoons? When was the last newsreel made? The time travel thrill came to an abrupt halt when Ricky Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) made it clear that the Nazis were the bad guys because they would torture prisoners to get information about the good guys in the resistance. We wondered if the young American men who died in the European theater of operations during WWII would appreciate the irony of their own deaths if they could see their country now.

Before leaving for the movie, we had tuned into the Mike Malloy talk show program to hear what was happening to Brad Friedman of the Bradblog website and the vacation week substitute radio host. On Thursday liberal news websites had broke the story about how Friedman was being targeted by the United States Chamber of Commerce for some dirty tricks style attacks on his credibility.

During the day Friday, this columnist had zoomed around on the Internets to gather some material for a column about the phenomenon of the mindset that drives pathological liars to be used in a column that will be posted at a later date.

It seems that seeing Casablanca on the day when systematic attacks on newsmen looked like they were part of a premeditated plan to cripple the effectiveness of citizen journalists would only double down on the irony level contained in the patriotic message of the Academy Award (AKA Oscar™) winning film.

The film contains one of the few exceptions to the Hayes code ever seen on American screens. In the World War II era movie, patriotism trumped the rule that no movie must get away with murder. Whew! That must come as a great comfort to the folks who want to sidestep the treehuggers laments about civilian casualties as collateral damage in camel jockey country. Major Strasser has been killed? “Round up the usual suspects!”

Didn’t the bad guys shown in Casablanca make a point of stifling the publication of dissenting points of view?

Lately, both of the two biggest American political parties seem to be using the Nazi image for a reenactment of the old childhood wrangling titled “Your mother wears combat boots!” Heck, back then, most kids who participated in that Monty Python style debate had never heard the word “lesbian;” let alone understood the full implication of a mother who wore combat boots.

Like Ricky Blaine, this columnist prefers to sit on the sideline and make sarcastic observations rather than participate in political debates.

The Nazis style was: fight against communist. Use succinct short slogans. Tell lies so big that no one will believe the teller has the cajones to tell that big of a whopper. Shut down media that doesn’t use pre-approved propaganda. Rig or cancel fair elections. Make the message so simple to understand that a high school drop out can understand it. The Geneva accords were scraps of paper. It’s OK to use torture to find out what the enemy resistance is doing.

Heck, aren’t the Republicans and Democrats equally guilty of using that modus operandi at this point?

Brad’s website was disabled and unavailable all day Friday. Even if it wasn’t a major equipment failure (just like what happened to the Iran nuclear program hardware?), don’t most Americans say that all is fair in love, war, and politics?

If net neutrality rules are imposed on the Internets (just like the Hays code was forced on the film makes) does that mean that citizen bloggers won’t be free to spend their own money to go see the 24 hour race at Le Mans and write whatever they want? Isn’t the traditional headline for the World’s Laziest Journalist’s annual Columnist Day celebration: “I column as I see ‘em!”? Doesn’t that mean that no matter what, bloggers will always be protected by the First Amendment?

There are two styles of column writing; the Dionysian and the Apollonian. Which one would teabagger trolls say is used by the World’s Laziest Journalist?

The United States Chamber of Commerce might be willing to spend $2 million to stifle Brad because he insists on reporting esoteric stories, such as the one about the absent minded professor on the Supreme Court who misunderstood the complicated implications of putting a checkmark in the wrong place on an innocuous and informal office form, but it seems unlikely anyone would notice if the World’s Laziest Journalist writes a column comparing and contrasting the tourist destination ratings of Paris vs. Casablanca.

It’s just like what Ertha Kitt said about money. To paraphrase her: This columnist has been to Casablanca and Paris. I prefer Paris.

Won’t the Huffington Post always be an available venue for disgruntled liberal writers? Did some blogging curmudgeon make some crazy assertion about “First they came to get the Bradblog . . . .”? Don’t take those conspiracy theory nuts too seriously.

Oscar Wild said: “Good Americans think that when they die; they’ll go to Paris.” Why wait that long?

Now the disk jockey will play (you can see it coming a mile away – just like JEB moving the Bush Dynasty back into the White House in 2012) Dooley Wilson’s “As time goes by,” “The last time I saw Paris,” and “Le vie en Rose.” We have to go see when the Berkeley 7 Flashback series will be showing “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Have an “I was misinformed” type week.

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