May 30, 2014

Thoughtcrimes come of age

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:30 pm

Lenny Bruce censorship

America has elevated shooting rampages to the level of a sacred religious rite and the only proof that is needed to prove that contention is the article in the Wall Street Journal that asserts that the media is doing the exact opposite of what the psychologists say they should be doing when a new instance of shooting strangers to become a celebrity unfolds on the cable news networks and the big networks’ evening news shows. The Armstrong and Getty radio show invited listeners to go to their website to get a link to the story. It’s just a remarkable coincidence that their show in the San Francisco Bay Area is preceded on a Fox radio station by the Wall Street Journal radio show.

Is it ironic to note that in the last week of May of 2014, in the land famous for Freedom of Speech, the hot topic was arguing over what can and can not be said about a wide variety of topics?

Is there anything about the shooting that hasn’t been said? Reading “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People,” we couldn’t help but imagine that if he were still alive, Lenny Bruce would find a way to say something which would offend both Liberals and Conservatives. Such as? It isn’t too difficult to imagine that Bruce would attempt to elevate the debate to new levels of vitriol by saying: “If prostitution were legal in Cali, those victims would still be alive.”

It isn’t difficult to imagine Bruce noting that if a good looking young man driving a new Mercedes Benz can’t get laid, then America has become a very sick nation.

On Wednesday May 28, 2014, Getty and Armstrong continued their criticism of the news coverage of the shootings (and stabbings) but fell short of going balls to the wall with their point of view. Should they push things to the limit by urging (in an egregious example of irony) people to send in money to start a Shooters’ Hall of Fame to raise the glorification of the shooters to an excessively high level of adulation?

The Wednesday edition of the Getty and Armstrong Show included one of the sidekicks telling a personal anecdote about bypassing the waiting phase at a Sushi bar and when the fellow was asked to explain why he got preferential treatment responded: “Because I’m white.” On Thursday morning that radio show quickly mentioned that the guy who told that anecdote was no longer working for the show.

Since Rush Limbaugh loves to goad the Liberals by uttering ideas that come perilously close to taking the concept of edgy off the deep end. Hasn’t conservative radio come to resemble (metaphor alert!) the chickie run sequence in “Rebel without a Cause”?

How would Liberals react if Uncle Rushbo read some old Lenny Bruce routines on his radio show? Bruce did use the “n-word” and if Limbaugh read the transcript of a Lenny Bruce rant that included the use of the “n-word,” would Liberals condemn that as a reprehensible way to sneak that word on to his radio show or would they then resurrect the old “freedom of speech” arguments that were (was it fifty years ago?) offered in defense of Lenny Bruce?

The national debate over gun control has morphed into a state of stalemate. Neither side will even listen to the other team’s points and (much to the relief of politicians caught in the middle) as a result nothing will ever be done about it.

Mass shootings are a very effective wedge issue and on Wednesday a law maker in California was proposing that citizens who think that a neighbor is mentally unfit to own a gun should be given veto power over any legal attempts to purchase a firearm.

The concept of a wedge issue is to take a dispute and get a wild exuberant political diversion going, ultimately do nothing to change things, and then get on TV and explain how and why the opposition political party thwarted the will of the majority of voters.

Bill Mahr said something that was deemed unacceptable by the patriotic conservatives and he was marginalized for his attempt to think outside the box. Don Imus was discredited by a conservative news organization and then hired by them when the value of his services fell to a much more affordable price.

Do you have an extra coupla billion dollars sitting idle and want to buy a NBA team cheap?

We have been reading “Death of a Pirate,” by Adrian Johns, which is about the phenomenon known as Pirate Radio as practiced in Great Britain during the last century.

The Liberal point of view on the publicly owned radio airwaves is as extinct as the Wolfman Jack radio show.

Sometime ago, the World’s Laziest Journalist predicted that when Liberal philosophy on radio becomes extinct, it would be necessary to resurrect the concept of pirate radio and offer clandestine programming being broadcast from beyond the borders and which could be heard inside the USA. Some folks say that the Internets fills that need but can a person in a car listen to a show being streamed on the Internets?

Lenny Bruce got in deep trouble for talking about things like gays, blacks, and drugs. He was very adamant about being given his right to free speech and when Rush Limbaugh makes headlines with a new outrageous quote, we wonder if Lenny Bruce would be the first to come to Rush’s defense.

Is freedom of speech a one way street only for Liberals or is it a two way street that Bruce would endorse? Partisan punditry is just cheerleading in disguise. Seeing Lenny Bruce defend Donald Sterling’s freedom of speech would be a hella notable example of doing a guest shot on a talk show.

On Thursday, formerNew York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, caused a stir by asserting that Liberals were stifling conservative teachers at Harvard.

Are there more Liberals condemning Rush Limbaugh for what he says lately, than there were Conservatives demanding the arrest of Lenny Bruce for what he was saying fifty years ago?

Gridlock in the gun control debate could be a symptom that freedom of speech has become moribund and that the most appropriate illustration of the situation would be a photo of the WWI trench warfare where the battle line did not move while thousand died maintaining the status quo. Don’t expect to see Lenny Bruce or anyone else asserting that legalized prostitution would have prevented the shootings in Isle Vista.

The main event between Hillary and JEB is more than two years from now and the thought of two solid years of “Yay for JEB, boo for Hilary” on talk radio is stultifying. Doesn’t America need partisan punditry in print, on the air, and on the boob tube so that it doesn’t get to be so predictable and monotonous that folks loose interest in the election? Or is that Karl Rove’s stealth game plan for the next Presidential election?

On page 31 of “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People,” Bruce wrote: “There was also some nut from Rye, New Yor, whose act consisted of standing on a chair, jumping straight up into the air and then diving and landing square on his head.”

Now the disk jockey will play George Carlin’s “Seven Word,” the Rolling Stones C******r Blues, and G. G. Allin’s “Needle in My ****.” We have to go see who’s playing at the Hungry I” in Frisco. Have an “omphaloskepsis” type week.

December 6, 2013

Big Brother and the end of Liberal talk radio

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

A two pound dog provides an image symbolizing Liberal Talk radio.

LIFE magazine would be the logical source for some classic photos of the attack on Pearl Harbor which occurred 73 years ago Saturday, but for a writer starting out to accomplish that chore on the day before that column is scheduled to be posted is an impossible assignment.  Time magazine and the New York Times newspaper both have staff members who are employed full time to handle such editorial needs but if an online pundit notices on Thursday, December 05, 2013, that the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is a timely topic, it is too late to try to get permission to use a historic photo of that event.  Devoting an entire column to the “inside baseball” aspect of the task would run a high risk of boring readers and that provides an example of how and why the concept of “citizen journalist” is a red herring for those who want to reassure the general public that an alternative source for news is being formed in the realm of pop culture.

Ideally, glitzy photos accompanying a thoroughly fact checked article that has been quickly produced is possible on a one time basis but logistically doing that consistently  is like saying that a football quarterback can play an entire game with two minute drill intensity.

Initially when the Internet was in the formative stage, expectations were expressed that the new form of communication would spawn strong unique voices that would help provide citizens with the information they need to make competent choices when the elections are held.  The ideal of a rugged individual who can turn in a championship performance makes for the basic material of a wide variety of examples of urban legends such as the movie “Rocky,” and others of that ilk.

The fact that a lone wolf journalist isn’t going to consistently land interviews with the news making politicians is something that average reader won’t consider.  Then when a TV network shows a President’s wife answering a question put to the President, most folks won’t stop to think that there is some heavy duty game playing going on off camera.

An online pundit who points out that the sound byte provides an example of subconscious image building (or destroying?) that indicates the President is an example of the “hen pecked” syndrome will go as unnoticed as the sounds of a tree falling in the remote wilderness.  So why bother?

At 0600 hours on a Sunday morning, there isn’t much happening in Berkeley and running off to San Francisco isn’t usually going to provide a much greater smorgasbord of interesting diversions, so why bother?  It is, however, a good time to write a rough draft of the next scheduled column, if the writer has scoured the media and, on the preceding day, visited San Francisco looking for tidbits of information.

Why spend the time and money to go to looking for items in a column?

Do readers in London, Kalgoorlie (in Western Australia), and Concordia Kansas really care about a trend spotting item about the pizza at the Golden Boy bar in San Francisco?  Didn’t someone from Oakland land in Bartlett’s for saying “A trend, is a trend, is a trend!” or something quite similar?

The décor in the Golden Boy is heavy with slap art and it would take a considerable amount of work to expand that topic into column length but if we use it as an item, perhaps the assignment desk at the New York Times features desk will be inspired to assign that topic to one of the available writers and then we’ll just need to find and read the article to learn all about slap art.

Cold winter’s nights in Berkeley are an excellent time to read the classic novels that were assigned reading in high school and college many moons ago.  We might get a good column if we complete our reading of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.”  We fully intend on writing a column as a review of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” when we finish reading it.

On Thursday December 5, 2013, another aspect of the pathetic plight of the citizen journalist became apparent when it was announced that the supply of Liberal voices on the radio was being considerably diminished.

Is an online pundit criticizing Compassionate Conservative Christian propaganda on hundreds of radio stations a fair fight?  Did anybody bet on the rebels holding off the Mexican army in the Alamo or was that situation so lopsided that the bookies declined any attempt to make such a long shot wager?

Many moons ago the World’s Laziest Journalist facetiously suggested that eventually the effort to present the Liberal point of view on radio for Americans would eventually lead to a modern pundit doing a Wolfman Jack style of “voice in the wilderness” program on a very powerful signal being broadcast from outside the USA.  Our reasoning was that it did happen in Germany in the Thirties and it would happen again in the USA eventually.

If a fellow happens to be a digital hermit living in a pad without Internet access how will he be able to monitor Liberal radio?  It ain’t gonna happen.

We could still write about news that intrigues us such as the possibility that Tom Cruise will play Carroll Shelby in film to be title “Drive like Hell.”

We could write a column that features a “Twilight Zone” fan reading some forbidden Liberal Punditry about the Republican long range game plan and mutters:  “It’s a cookbook!”

We could (maybe) find a two pound dog and use an image of that beast to symbolize Progressive Talk in the dog eat dog world of the contemporary scene on the radio dial.

There was a comedian back in the day who did a routine speculating about what would happen if the only rule parents gave to their kids was:  “Don’t put beans in your ear.”  Maybe Liberal talk show hosts should hawk T-shirts advising:  “Don’t put clandestine radio ear candy in your brain!” and watch their ratings soar.

When will the Republicans learn the lesson Rev. Gene Scott taught the audience in L. A.  Shouldn’t some forward thinking radio station be using the old “Best of” trick to broadcast Rush Limbaugh 24/7 every day of the year?

Watching Progressive Talk radio do the Cheshire Cat disappearing act, we are reminded of the last two sentences in “1984:”  “He had won the victory over himself.  He loved Big Brother.”

Now the disk jockey will play Dave Van Ronk’s “Romping through the Swamp,” Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane,” and Peter, Paul, and Mary’s “The Cruel War.”  We have to go to a hootenanny.  Have a “Kumbaya” type week.

August 2, 2013

In search of temps perdu in Berkeley

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:29 pm



Council person Kriss Worthington addresses a “Don’t sell our Post Office” rally on Saturday July 27th.

As political protests in Berkeley go, last Saturday afternoon’s rally of citizens protesting the sale of the Post Office facility in the downtown area didn’t seem to be a chance to watch history in the making but then we were told that something else would happen after the speeches and music were concluded.  We were provided a hint that it would be similar to an Occupy event.  On a summer day, when it is cloudy and chilly the appeal of going to a political protest in Berkeley that wouldn’t be something that folks would be talking about for years to come (the fiftieth anniversary of Mario Savio’s speech from the top of a police car is rapidly approaching) was not exactly overwhelming but on the other hand no other choice seemed better.

There were three TV trucks there and that indicated that the event did have some news value.  The number of TV trucks can equate to the news level of an event and we have seen perhaps as many as 10 trucks in Oakland for an Occupy Oakland event.  We lament our lapse in penny pinching judgment that caused us to skip the chance to buy a souvenir T-shirt at the “Camp OJ” convention of TV trucks in Los Angeles, some time back.

Experience from Occupy events indicated that any effort to remove the tents which were pitched on the Berkeley Post Office front steps would come either after dark or perhaps at dawn on Sunday, so we considered the array of possibilities our solo news organization efforts could select because it was obvious that eventually there would be a photo op for the removal of the protesters.  When not if.

There was a lingering feeling of familiarity to the impending news event and it wasn’t just the Occupy events we had witnessed.

We weren’t too enthusiastic about the possibility that we could inadvertently need a friend to post bail if we got too close to a melee on a quiet Sunday morning, but we seemed compelled by more than curiosity to take a look-see early the next day.

Then we had a flashback.  Vietnam Veterans camped out in the lobby of the Wadsworth Veterans Hospital in the Westwood Section of Los Angeles back in 1981.  A summer co-worker at the Santa Monica Independent Journal Newspapers was a young fellow who was majoring in photojournalism in college and we advised him to monitor the events at the hospital very closely.

Leaving for work an hour early to swing by the protest and see what new developments had occurred became a part of the daily routine for both of us.  One particular morning, two or three TV trucks but no still photographers were documenting the removal of the vets from the hospital lobby.  Our young coworker took some photos and they were used by AP.  In his Junior year he had a portfolio that included his work appearing on the front pages of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Los Angeles Times.   He got a summer intern job at a daily newspaper in the L. A. area the next year.  We took a shot that turned out to be the only news photo (that we know of) that we’ve taken that appeared in the New York Times.

Didn’t the Wadsworth event bring world wide attention to the lack of care that was being provided to the Vietnam vets?   We thought that perhaps our next column might ponder the fact that the “never again” meme is always forgotten, new wars are started, and vets always have to protest to get better care despite the patriotic sentiments expressed as they marched off to the various battlefields around the world.

There have been stories online indicating that the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plants was much more serious than reported and we thought that skipping the plight of the Berkeley PO and writing about the thereat of radioactive water in the Pacific Ocean might be an good alternative.  Then we realized that the radio active debris story is being totally stonewalled by the mainstream media.  Could it be that the story is so negative that the chance that young folks might, if they realized “we’re all gonna die!,” go completely out of control and precipitate an “end of the world” orgy of excess is the real underlying cause of the news embargo on radioactive leaks?

While attending the Saturday event at the Berkeley Post Office we noticed that several other activists tried to hijack the media’s attention with their cause.  Postcards were collected and sent to Bradley Manning.  The prisoner hunger strike was mentioned.  Concerned voters were encouraged to support the efforts of workers promoting the gay marriage and abortion causes.

During the week we listened to Armstrong and Getty and noticed a curious phenomenon concerning money.  The “hottest show on the West Coast” pointed out the hilarious aspect of the Detroit going bankrupt story and the possibility that workers would lose their pensions.  Detroit’s financial plight can be, according to conservative thinking, traced back to the greed of the union workers.  The “greed” motive is being mentioned as the ultimate cause of the need for a resumption of the BART strike in the San Francisco area.  The BART strike will resume on Monday.

Unions tried, in the past, to get money so that union members could live comfortably while raising a family and sending their kids to college and then enjoy retirement living.  Now, however, union workers who want a living wage are deemed greedy but billionaires who have more money than they will be able to spend in their lifetime need to be given more tax breaks so that they can have even more money.  Perhaps we should write a column elaborating this economic disparity.

We noticed this week that Uncle Rushbo has been eliminated from the lineup of about forty radio stations around the country.  (Is the classic rock format making a comeback?)  We wonder if he ever noticed our column that warned him that when all the liberal leftist voices are eliminated from the American pop culture scene, the fat cats won’t want to pay Uncle Rushbo his enormous salary if there is no socialist propaganda that needs to be drowned out.

Won’t the tax cut hungry billionaires eventually deem Uncle Rushbo’s annual salary as an example of worker’s greed?  Can’t the radio executives find a new younger voice that will deliver the same seductive propaganda for a much smaller salary?  Isn’t Uncle Rushbo in a union?  Wouldn’t he, philosophically speaking, endorse an effort to disrupt his career and retirement plans by replacing him with non-union talent who would do the same pronucicating for a lot less money?

Recently we decided that it was time to take a night off and get away from political disputes, so we journeyed to a meeting of a local club for folks who like to pan for gold.  The effort of Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart), to pan some gold, as seen in the movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” has been a leitmotif in our life since childhood.  The club meeting that we attended was devoted almost entirely to examining legal issues of the utmost importance to the club members.  Out comes the pen and the reporter’s notebook.  Scratch the idea of a night off.  There is one web site where many of the legal issues are listed and so now we have another topic in our “future columns” in box.  To get an idea of just how legally complexities are getting the attention of those hobbyists, take a look at the issues being discussed on the Western Mining Alliance (dot com) web site.

One professor at Berkeley has done a remarkable job of collecting information about the history of what the WPA did during the Great Depression (Please do not call it the Republican Depression!).  We’ve mentioned, in a previous column, that he is trying to promote the idea of a brick and mortar location for a New Deal Museum.  Perhaps if we do an entire column devoted to that topic then the feature assignment editor at the New York Times might give the effort some national publicity?  His scholarship can be seen on the livingnewdeal dot org web site.

Some of the peaceniks in Berkeley think that Bradley Manning should have been commended for following the moral advice delivered to the German war criminals in the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials but they conveniently overlook the fact that Manning isn’t in the German Army!

More than fifty years ago, Berkeley resident Philip K. Dick was writing novels predicting a fictional government spying on its own citizens.

As of 10 a.m. PDT on Friday August 2, 2013, the Occupy the Berkeley Post Office steps protest was still protesting the proposed sale of the property.

[Note from the photo editor:  For a photographer, who was told “it’s a great picture but it generates too much sympathy for the anti-war crowd” when AP passed on the chance to buy a Vietnam War protest photo in December of 1966, the potential of taking some career making protest photos in 2013 only evokes a strong déjà vu reaction.]

St. Ronald Reagan is reported to have said:  “A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah.”

Now, since the theme of nostalgia has been recurring in this column, the disk jockey will play some songs that get automatic memory associations from the World’s Laziest Journalist.  Hearing Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t get you outta my head” will always make us feel like we are back in Australia.  The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the city” always takes us back to NYC in the summer of 1966.  Then he will play Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay.”  We have to go see the Peter Stackpole photo exhibition at the California Museum in Oakland.  Have a “Temps perdu” type week.

September 28, 2012

“Interception!” “Fumble!” Or “Touchdown!”?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:25 pm

Labor dispute in progress! This column has not been fact checked.

Good officiating is just as important in American politics as it is in the NFL and some curmudgeonly columnists will not be surprised if the Presidential Election ends with a call by the referees (or Supreme Court?) that gives the win to someone who was an ineligible receiver.

Rush Limbaugh early in the week was cackling with delight over the furor the poor officiating by the replacement referees over the weekend (and the Monday night Sea Hawks vs. Greenbay game) had generated among football fans. Uncle Rushbo was gleefully asserting that the dispute points out the underlying fault in the liberal argument that the replacements are equal to the referees with years of experience.

It is a clever way to make the central issue (for Uncle Rushbo) seem to be that inexperienced rookies make excellent examples for the principle of giving quota hires the same priority as more qualified job applicants.

That, in turn, is a slick way of diverting the focus away from the idea that (economic) might makes right makes sense to the one percent.

It seems quite likely that Uncle Rushbo wouldn’t want to read any commentary that makes the assertion that the team owners might (metaphorically speaking) wanted to do to football fans, players, and bookies, what the Republican politicians would like to do to America’s voters.

Since a goodly number of media owners seem to relish the opportunity to cozy up to Uncle Rushbo and the team owners, it could be that there was an unwritten edict is in effect in the mainstream media to ignore the arrogance and greed of the team owners and focus on the ineptness of the scab laborers. Didn’t Ayn Rand advise team owners involved in labor disputes that “winning isn’t everything . . . it’s the only thing!”?

Americans have traditionally supported the underdog and so folks like Uncle Rushbo derive a certain level of perverse pleasure when the conservative punderati have to defend the poor persecuted minority of people who own sports franchises against the unwashed rabble who are howling like a crowd at the gladiator games to see the team owners eaten alive by high tax rates. It is up to the likes of Uncle Rushbo and the Republican politicians to come to the defense of the one percenters.

The Billionaires for Bush organization has morphed into Billionaires for Wealthfare and is recording their antics for posterity online. Has a spokesperson for that group been a guest on Jon Stewart or the Colbert Report show? If not; why not?

Speaking of cash bonuses for debilitating hits, are the TV networks giving out any bonus money to the cameramen if they record vignettes of people reduced to tears? We have noticed that lately CBS Evening News does seem to be helping reinforce the conservative selling point that Obama has failed by showing someone crying each night because they can’t cope with the contemporary American economic situation. It kinda seems like the managing editors are specifically sending the news reporters into the field to get shots of weepy women saying they don’t know how they are going to feed their kids and pay for college. Did they show that kind of melodrama journalism back when George W. Bush was President?

Do network owners bother to get involved with the story selection process? Would it build ratings if we had Ed Murrow interview Marilyn Monroe on “Person to Person”?

Do Americans want celebrity gossip or do they want a full explanation of what happened to Harold Holt?

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, recently made a comment about the Republican Party in the USA being taken over by “cranks and crazies.” Did Fox News run any story about that bit of international criticism? If not, why not?

Stanford University released a study, titled “Living Under Drones,” that asserted that the American drone bombers were spawning a great deal of resentment in the Middle East because of the high number of civilian casualties they caused. The authors of the study seemed to be implying that the carnage would motivate future retaliation against the USA and thus prove that President George W. Bush was accurate in calling the conflict the “Forever War.”

President Obama was quoted as saying that the drones attacked high value military targets and that civilian casualties were “exceedingly rare.” Will Uncle Rushbo validate Obama’s claim or will America’s anchor side with the Muslims and dispute the President’s claim?

Didn’t Reich Marshal Hermann Goering assure journalists during WWII that the V2 buzz bombs were only used against military sites and that very few Brits were being sent to the hospital (or morgue) as a result?

President Obama went to the UN this week and delivered a speech that stressed the point that Muslim countries should use the “freedom of speech” principle to ignore a film that they say is offensive to their religion. Would he be just as tolerant of the freedom of speech principle if some Muslim clerics arrived in the United States and preached that NFL team owners should be permitted to have multiple wives harem style?

Is Religious freedom available to the Native Americans who believe that peyote should be used in some of their religious ceremonies?

Are any young Americans becoming enthusiastic about reforming the Lincoln Brigade and going to Spain to help the miners fight against the miserly mine owners?

Is there any talk about forming a new Lincoln Brigade and sending the boys to Syria to do for Syrians what Ernst Hemingway et al did for the Spanish people in the Thirties?

During the last week of September of 2012, Rush Limbaugh in a casual toss away line unveiled the concept of “media fraud.” It was his contention (has he been sipping the Coolade seved in the employee mess at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory?) that all the polls predicting that President Obama will steamroll over Mitt Romney in the November Election are part of a concerted, coordinated premeditated effort to cast doubt on the “upset” victory news for conservatives who “know” Mitt will get the most votes on the electronic voting machines.

Wouldn’t any political party that plans to use covert methods of election cheating be wise to launch a preemptive strike aimed at media credibility as a way of discrediting any subsequent voting results that defy logic? If the electronic voting machines are going to be manipulated to deliver an “upset” victory to Mitt Romney wouldn’t it be wise to start criticizing the media’s credibility now?

Isn’t the leftist media always goading the hoipolloi into selecting Barabbas?

Did Barabbas have a horse that could participate in a dressage competition or did he just ride a fast quarter horse (for quick getaways?)? Is there really a place called “Rose’s Cantina” in El Paso? Do you know where the only foreign military base inside the United State is located? Shouldn’t every American military base be named “Fort Bliss”? Speaking of the Museum for the U. S. Cavalry, isn’t it remarkable that Errol Flynn did such a good job of portraying General George A. Custer?

Speaking of a massacre, can’t Karl Rove invoke the Whitlam rule and replace Mitt Romney on the Republican ticket before he makes political history similar to that achieved by Alf Landon and George McGovern?

Ahhh, but won’t the concept of “Media Fraud” (essentially) lay the foundation for a counter-conspiracy propaganda blitzkrieg substantiating a Mitt win (via the electronic voting machines with no verifiable results) that contradicts all expectations? So it is that the results of the November election have already been rendered irrefutable and thus irrelevant. (Whatever!)

The People who expect honest results from the team that gave George W. Bush two disputed “Touchdown!” calls haven’t been paying attention. Do they skim read the Gospel of St. Ayn Rand?

The party that wins the White House in November will proudly proclaim that Democracy is alive and well in the USA. The party that loses will hold a press conference on the campus of the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory and label the election a fraud and a farce.

In “The Fountainhead” St. Ayn Rand wrote: “Don’t bother to examine a folly – ask yourself only what it accomplishes. . . . You don’t have to be too clear about it. Use big words. . . . The farce has been going on for centuries and men still fall for it.”

Now the disk jockey will play Andy William’s “Hawaiian Wedding Song,” the tearjerker classic about football, “The blind man in the bleachers,” and AC/DC’s song “Walk all over you.” We have to go look for a good photo for next week’s column. Have a “Mr. Gotti says: ‘Get in the fuckin’ car!’” type week.

March 25, 2012

Florida Justice


March 17, 2012

How Republicans Spent St. Patty’s Day


March 15, 2012

Like the Titanic, Rush Goes Down in April


March 13, 2012

Rush in Hell


March 11, 2012

Laughable Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory to Excuse Rush Limbaugh’s Attack on Sandra Fluke


March 10, 2012

Republicomics Back Cover Ads


March 9, 2012

Mr. Dittohead’s World


March 8, 2012

The Marriages of Rush Limbaugh in Two Panels


March 6, 2012

Rush the Magic Dragon


March 5, 2012

“ . . . print the legend.”

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:22 pm

A column describing the events of Saturday, March 3, 2012 experienced and witnessed by the World’s Laziest Journalist might prove how and why the parable of the six blind Hindus is still important in the Internet era.

[Six blind Hindus touched an elephant and were asked to describe their reaction. The one who felt the tail thought elephants were like a strand of rope. The guy who touched the elephant’s trunk, said elephants were just like snakes. The fellow who touched the ear observed that elephants were just like a big leafed plant. The man who felt the elephant’s stomach was very convinced that elephants were a subcategory of walls. The guy who touched the tusk, knew that elephants were like swords. The guy who felt a leg concluded that elephants were very similar to trees.]

On Saturday morning, we met up with James Richard Armstrong II, the homeless columnist who lives in Berkeley CA. This writer wanted to brainstorm some possible column topics and have a morning cup of coffee. James was, among other things, concerned about some generalizations a reader had made regarding one of his columns about the plight of the homeless. People who live in houses (glass or not) tend to be very certain of their perceptions as do all of the six blind Hindus.

Since the homeless writer uses Hunter S. Thompson as a role model and since Thomson’s public persona often displayed a cavalier attitude about money, we criticized the Berkeley resident’s tendency to imitate Thompson when making financial decisions.

We suggested that perhaps Thompson’s attitude was part of a fictitious “image” that was deliberately manufactured. This was met with a vehement denial of that possibility, which, unfortunately, was impossible to fact-check. The World’s Laziest Journalist explained that he was basing his assertion on one actual encounter with one of the founding fathers of the Gonzo school of Journalism.

At an appearance at the Viper Room in Los Angeles, in 1996, Thompson had made a conspicuous display of having security eject hecklers. What many in the venue did not notice is that subsequently the persons who had been 86’d would be seen again in the sold out event, quietly observing the proceedings from the very back of the auditorium. The victims had the material for a personal encounter story that they would still be telling many years later, Thompson had bolstered his Wildman image, and the audience had been treated to an entertaining example of Thompson’s lack of tolerance for dissention.

We suggested that (perhaps) Thompson (who owned real estate in the Aspen area of Colorado) was just helping to create an image of an outlaw journalist when he seemed to act irresponsibly about financial matters.

We have been reading a recently acquired copy of “The Kitchen Readings: Untold Stories of Hunter S. Thompson” (by Michael Cleverly and Bob Braudis Harper Perennial paperback) and have become aware that often the reality of stories about Hunter do not match the legend and that the tendency is to use the Rio Bravo advice: “print the legend.”

Hence we strongly asserted that the famed father of Gonzo may have been playing a role when he used an expense account to subsidize living large.

Next we discussed the bogus aspect of the image of the homeless as free wheeling “king of the road” people who could come and go as the mood strikes them. Unfortunately the reality is the complete opposite. Often their movements are very restricted because they have to worry about finding a place to temporarily store their possessions if they want to move about during the day.

We volunteered to do a column delineating the problem. If (for example) a homeless woman wants to go into a public building and use the women’s rest room, the backpack and bedroll is an open invitation for hassling. If she can leave her gear with a trusted friend, she can run off, use the facility, and return very quickly. The problem is exponentially more complicated if the homeless person wants to stash their backpack and go across to San Francisco for a day. Where can he or she leave the backpack for a whole day?

Storage lockers are a quaint reminder of the past. (We will expand on this topic for use as a full column in the future.) So where can a person leave all his worldly possessions while taking a one day trip over into San Francisco? Taking sleeping gear and a heavy backpack will certainly put a damper on any one day outing in San Francisco. What’s with these practical restrictions vs. the image of “go anywhere when the mood strikes you” freedom?

A few hours later we were at the opposite end of the social spectrum. We were in Marin County as the guest of a woman who has devoted her life to helping women’s causes and helping philanthropists decide where and how to make their contributions. She has lived the “those who can, do” aspect of the story; now she also does coaching and teaches about that and related subjects.

As it turns out, the woman had met Hunter S. Thompson at the wedding of one of her close relatives. The philanthropy coach corroborated our impression of Thompson as a fellow who created a public persona that was very different from the private person.

The prolonged economic “recession” has added some additional new challenges to the task of encouraging wealthy citizens to make well informed decisions about making philanthropic donations to an every growing list of worthy non-profit organizations.

As it turns out, on that very day that we were discussing the particular financial needs of various organizations devoted to women’s causes, radio personality Rush Limbaugh may have inadvertently drawn added attention to women’s causes in particular by apologizing for calling a collage student a slut, earlier in the week. Liberal pundits noted that the apology was “out of character” for the bombastic radio talk show host.

Uncle Rushbo could add a considerable amount of credence (“What me make an insincere apology just to get myself off the hot seat?”) if it were accompanied by a large donation to a relevant women’s nonprofit organization.

We asked the Philanthropy coach if she or any of her associates had ever asked Uncle Rushbo (Doesn’t he live in a house that is worth $24 million?) what the level of his philanthropic donations are and also ask if he would like to increase that amount of giving during the economic hard times which have perceptively swelled the difficulty level of maintaining America’s commitment to subsidizing charitable organizations.

Wouldn’t most Americans be quite prepared to assume that Uncle Rushbo’s annual philanthropic donations are rather anemic? Doesn’t he advocate the “bootstrap” philosophy of self reliance?

The World’s Laziest Journalist adheres to a stringent budget, but we have, in the early phase of the Occupy movement, bought fast food meals, on different occasions, for two Occupy protesters. Could it be that the parsimonious columnist outspends Rush on philanthropic endeavors? Perhaps Rush Limbaugh makes large philanthropic donations anonymously or very quietly while perversely bolstering the Scrooge image?

On Monday morning’s broadcast, Uncle Rushbo’s introductory monologue seemed to be an apology to his regular listeners for making the apology on Saturday. His mistake was to lower himself to the level of leftists, he explained. “ . . . it was way beneath me . . .”
He did use the term “self reliance” several time Monday morning.

When Armstrong posts and shares a link to one of our columns on facebook , we get a perceptible bump in hits. We had shamelessly suggested that the Philanthropy coach bring the humble efforts of the World’s Laziest Journalist to the attention of some of her well known friends in the journalism industry. Could they do better at boosting the hits?

What would happen if Uncle Rushbo destroyed our speculation about his level of philanthropy giving on air and enumerated and elaborated on his donations and specifically mentioned that he was providing some fact checking information for the World’s Laziest Journalist?

Over the the course of this weekend and Monday morning, we realized that about one percent of journalists have about ninety percent of the clout that publicity can deliver. The other ninety nine percent of those working in Journalism must share the remaining amount of influence.

The folk wisdom in Hollywood is: “I don’t care what people say about me as long as they spell my name correctly.” Should we, perhaps, hope that Rush does mention our columns in a negative context? What if Limbaugh resorts to ridicule and speculates about the incongruity of someone who works very hard to promote the image of being an example of Lazy Journalism?

While this columnist roamed about Australia in a “sundowner” style, we often left our suitcase under a bunk in a hostel. We were oblivious to the homeless’ concern about “stowing the gear for a day,” until Armstrong elaborated it. This proved to me his contention that people who live in glass houses (or even sleep on a hostel’s bunk) should not assume that they fully understand what it means to be homeless.

What would life be without handy, comfortable illusionary images?

The closing quote has to be a line from “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”

[Correction: the Howard Hawks series has not concluded but continues at the Pacific Film Archive until mid April. Rio Bravo will screen Saturday, April 14, 2012, at 8 p.m.]

Now the disk jockey will play “the man who shot Liberty Valence,” “Do not forsake me oh my darlin’” (the Oscar winning theme song from “High Noon”) and the theme song from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” We have to go get us a cup of celestial tea. Have a “smile when you say that” type week.

Rush Limbaugh’s War on Women


January 12, 2012

Something Stupid This Way Comes — GOP Freak Show Descends on S.C.


Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress