Archive for May, 2011

The Missing John Wayne speech

May 31, 2011

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 theBerkeleyCAarea 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 inAlameda?

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 onAmerica’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 ofAmerica’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 infiltratingAmerica’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 Hugh’s 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:  “<I>Jungs!  Opfert euch nicht! Der krieg ist doch Scheisse, Hitler ist ein Idiot!</I>”  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.

Zen and the art of being “On the Road”

May 17, 2011

It was a dismal cold day in May and the clocks had just sounded 0800 hours.  The view from the Victory Mansions nestled high in the hills above Berkeleyprovided a reinforcement of the previous evening’s weather guess with a tableau of pewter skies and soggy ground.  Uncle Rushbo was scheduled to read out a list of figures which have something to do with the production of safe atomic energy.

Adhering to the journalistic tradition of writing a column about the end of the world a few days in advance of when the catastrophe was expected, by many devout conservative Christians, to occur seemed imperative to the World’s Laziest Journalist, but the cynical curmudgeonly columnist couldn’t provide himself with the logical motivation for undertaking (did you have to use that word?) of such an existentialist errand.  

If the World really was going to end on Saturday, why bother to do the keystrokes necessary for an obituary for use on Sunday?  Why bother? 

Heck, if theUnited Statescan continue the War inAfghanistanfor no discernable reason, why couldn’t the columnist bang out a few more snide remarks, bits of esoteric information, and political predictions that seemed to be a bit too liberal even byBerkeley’s standards?  Why not?  The alternative was to get the umbrella and go for a cold wet walk to the usual destinations.

Would the tree-huggers appreciate the humor if the world did end on Saturday?  Such a catastrophe would mean that the human race became extinct in a photo finish with the end of the polar bear (Ursis Maritimus) species, which had been predicted extensively since long before the first “End of the World” billboard had been unveiled.

What about a bit of irony for the optimists who assume they’ll get docked if they are late for work next Monday morning?  Because, we believe, there will still be “miles to go” on Monday Morning.

In the film “Point Break,” the surfer/bank robber, Bhodi (Patrick Swayze) advises the Establishment, in the form of FBI agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), to “think it through.” 

Have the banksters used the “think it through” method to assess the long term effects of the wave of home repossessions?

What will happen if the new masses of homeless Americans have a morphic resonance style collective epiphany moment and  find that they have learned the Zen and the Art of Being “On the Road” lesson?

Isn’t literature rife with variations of a story about a traveling wise man who preaches to the people that they can be happy without a storage unit full of superfluous material possessions? 

Wouldn’t it be dangerous for capitalists to face a mass movement of the Zen philosophy of renouncing extraneous material possessions?  Isn’tAmericabuilt on the concept that “Greed is good” and that if the Jones family next door has a flat screen TV (don’t they wear out more quickly?  [“Mommy, is ‘planned obsolescence’ a Zen concept?”]) your family needs a bigger one?

Here is a hypothetical example:  if you are traveling around Australia with a suitcase and you find some amusing tchotchke that would be a perfect gift for someone 12,000 miles away, should you buy it and lug it around with you for the rest of the trip or should you pay the postage and send it on its way?  (Isn’t it ironic if the postage fee will be more than the cost of the book you want to send?)

If you are always on the move, you tend to only buy those things you know you need such as a very light battery powered alarm clock and a flashlight.  (Kids will tell you that a cell phone is a flashlight.)  Even a dedicated life long sloppy (and slovenly?) person will quickly learn the advantages of knowing precisely where things are in the suitcase, so that they can be located quickly in the dark without the need to empty the entire contents of the suitcase on the hostel bunk, just to find the elusive item.  Suppose the item you need is the flashlight?  If you dump the suitcase on the bed, you would need the flashlight to sort through the contents to find the flashlight.  Hence even a slob will come to adopt the “a place for everything and everything in its place” philosophy while being “on the road.”

Wouldn’t it be very dangerous for the recovery, if massive numbers of people who have been made homeless via foreclosure suddenly learn and begin to preach the advantages of renouncing material possessions? 

The German concept of <I>Schadenfreude</I> explains why TV interviews with people, who have just lost their home by tornado, flood, or foreclosure, attract large audiences, but what would happen if, instead of a crying victim, the interview produced an interviewee with the happy-go-lucky attitude who shrugs and says:  “I learned I didn’t need it”? 

The happy wanderer such as Chang Kai Kane, the guys on Route 66, the Fugitive, Sal Paradise (symbolism?), the Lone Ranger, Dr. Gonzo, etc. is amusing and entertaining but true patriotic Americans must never forget that such cultural rebels are the antitheses of American values and must not be permitted to weave their web of subtle philosophy heresy that repudiates American ideas and culture.

Back in the sixties there was a main stream media report (urban legend?) that some hippies used to stand in the middle of Highway 1 in the Big Sur area and extend both hands in the hitchhiker’s thumb a ride style and take the first ride they were offered.

That kind of ambivalent approach to life might have worked back then, but it doesn’t work.  Sure, most folks in the Sixties could name several famous counter-culture personalities but sorry to say, the Sixties are over!  Can you name one prominent counter-culture personality alive and thriving today? 

Will the World really end this Saturday?  The World’s Laziest Journalist has received reassurances from a reliable source, that the “fixeroo” is “in” and that it ain’t gonna happen.

Do not, whatever you do, do not tell your boss on Friday to do something that is physically impossible because you are going to need your job on Monday morning to be able to make those every growing monthly mortgage payments and perhaps, if your credit card isn’t maxed out, buy some new designer label threads to arouse some good old fashioned envy in your neighbor’s heart.

It’s just like St. Ronald Reagan used to say on the sign-off for a weekly TV show:  “At GE, progress is our most important product.” 

Now the disk jockey will play “This old house,”  “Come On-A My,” and “Home on the Range.”  We have to go  buy a fondue maker and also give a shout out to the folks who will be having the Saturday evening barbecue on the roof of the Sydney Backpackers’ Hostel just about the time that the world is supposed to end.  If it does happen, mates, you’ll have a marvelous view of the spectacle.  Have a “Chill out, dude!” type week.

Afterward: Personal message for MM and KM in the area that hosted Sherman’s famous 1865 “March to the Sea” Tour:  You should work out a quid pro quo agreement with “Blue.”  See if you can get an offer to use his home as a short term crash pad so that you might learn the “No worries, mate” attitude (you will love Australia; it’s like America without war crimes) and, in return, let him have a night (or week?) serving as your vacation substitute host.  Ask Blue if Harold Holt was “Osama-ed” for his opposition to the Vietnam War.

Should the song of the week be: “Goodbye cruel world!”?

May 16, 2011

Over the weekend, CBS radio news ran an item about the fact that President Obama had declared that the operations againstLibyawere “open ended.”  The liberal mainstream media, which were so very sarcastic and critical when George W. Bush was in charge of the Endless War on Terrorism, seemed content to let the change in status of the Libya aspect of the war slide past without comment.

On Friday the 13th, Associated Press reported that the Medicare and Social Security programs were in peril economically.  On his radio program that same night, Mike Malloy reported that he had read a report that stated that the Social Security program was solvent and had a cash surplus.  Malloy seems to think that news should be based on facts and not consensus opinion dictated by the media owners and publishers.

On that same day, theUniversityofCaliforniaatBerkeleyheld a commencement for this year’s graduating class at theLawSchool, and a demonstration by folks who opposeAmerica’s use of torture to gain information crucial for self defense held a protest at the entrance to the event.  They based their objections on moral and humanitarian reasons while conveniently ignoring the fact that “the Great White Holy Father” in theVatican, gave his <I>imprimatur</I> to torture about five hundred years ago.  Apparently the anti-torture folks consider themselves to be better theologians than five centuries of Popes and the College of Cardinals have been. 

Ironically, the Great White Father inWashingtonD.C.had gotten his legal advice about the permissibility of torture from a fellow who is on the faculty of the very school that held Friday’s graduation ceremony.  Apparently the anti-torture folks are better legal scholars than President George W. Bush’s team of advisors on such matters.

Everyone who becomes embroiled in the debate overAmerica’s use of torture conveniently forgets that previously in World History,Germanyfaced the same question and the Great White Father inBerlinreached the same legal conclusions that the Bush team would more than a half a century later.  Apparently the anti-torture folks didn’t get good grades in World History class.

House speaker John Boehner was criticized recently by about five dozen professors at various Catholic colleges for a lack of Christ-like compassion for the poor.  How would those teachers like it if, instead of immunity via the tenure tradition, they had to be reelected to the faculty by student and alumni voters?  How about granting a tenure status to Congressional representatives who have served five terms, so that they would subsequently be immune from the riggers of continual reelection campaigns starting with their sixth term in office?

Speaking of world history and infallibility for theologians, that brings up the fact thatOaklandbased theologian Harold Camping has stated that the world will end next weekend.

The World’s Laziest Journalist, who is an ordained minister, has to frequently interrupt his efforts to say the prayers which will deliver a stay of execution for the doomed world, to conduct a debate with Ilsa she-wolf of the WLJ Accounting Department, about existentialist philosophy.  She contends that allegations that the world will end next weekend are insufficient grounds for a weeklong profligate binge of expensive, self indulgence to go into eternity with flourish.  The columnist thinks that a moderate bit of budget-busting extravagance might be permitted before the weekend rendezvous with destiny.  Ilsa says that is an example of selfish thinking rationalization.

One project will be postponed until after next weekend.  If the world doesn’t end, we will attempt to contact Jonathan Kay, author of the just published “Among the Truthers:  A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground,” to give him a chance to give us a quote on the possibility that there is a secret government plot to foil plans to establish a Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame (in Las Vegas?).

Speaking of quotes from an expert source, have you noticed that while almost everyone has been asked to comment on the shooting of Osama bin Laden, no well known journalist, had a quote on the death from either Mick Jagger or Keith Richards?  Do you think that there is more to this “inadvertent” omission than meets the eye?

The news that one of the atomic reactors inJapanhas gone into the dreaded “meltdown” level of malfunctioning hasn’t been widely disseminated.  In theUnited States, the amount of tornado and flood damage this spring has been statistically much higher than normal.  Was all this predicted in the Book of Revelations? 

This columnist tries to sporadically produce copy that contains short items that are amusing, informative, and entertaining in the three dot journalism method from the past that should be suited to the “give it a quick skim reading” style that the modern Internet audience tends to use.  We intentionally inject obscure, arcane, and esoteric cultural references in the hopes that such a style will attract an enduring number of regular readers and that such a base will provide a rational for management to excuse occasional attempts by the columnist to get “edgy.”  Whatever happened to the idea that “edgy” would become a major ingredient for content on the Internets?  Is it obsolete and has pandering to the lowest common denominator (celebrity gossip) become the standard of excellence? 

This columnist, this week, may spend a few bucks for a few “why not?” treats and may devote some time to offering Rev. Dan of the Music for Nimrods program on KXLU in Los Angeles, some suggestions for this week’s playlist.  Rev. Dan often uses a unifying theme for his show, so he may need some clever suggestions for appropriate music on the installment scheduled to coincide with “The End of the World.”  If playing Elvis’ song, “Old Shep,” will emotionally upset the listeners, who cares if the World is about to end?

We will also try to have a few bucks in our wallet so that on Sunday morning, we can buy a “hot off the press” copy of the Sunday New York Times to read while we have a cup of coffee.   Maybe we’ll find a topic that inspires us to write and post a new column.

If the world does end this coming Saturday, what will happen to the frequent flyer miles we accumulated on Pan Am?

The World’s Laziest Journalist fully expects that his dire warnings that “they” will use the electronic voting machines to rig yet another Presidential election in favor of the Republican candidate (JEB is my best guess) and that when that comes to pass we will be totally baffled by the fact that an accurate prediction on our part will receive no notice in the mainstream media, while a ridiculous “the World will end this Saturday” prediction became a part of the American culture in May of the year 2011.

The most relevant ending quote for a column on the topic of the End of the World might be a bit of folk wisdom (graffiti?) left over from the Sixties:  “The World can’t end today, because it’s already tomorrow inChina.” 

Now the disk jockey will trifle with our tendency to be typical Irish and get sentimental when certain songs are played and play:

“As time goes by”

“Ghost riders in the sky”

“Great balls of fire”

“Rebel Rouser”

“Get off my cloud”

“Running Scared”

“Age of Aquarius”

“A boy named Sue”

“Le vie en rose”

And Judy Collins’ version of “Amazing Grace.”  (Is it true that her version of that song can bring even a Vulcan to the verge of tears?)

The disk jockey will close out with his own selection of Jimmy Darren’s “Goodbye Cruel World.”

We have to go get a speck of dust out of our eye.

Have a “tune in again next week” type week.

How long will the Forever war last?

May 12, 2011

The nostalgia laden icon, known as “the Peace symbol” is ubiquitous in Berkeley CA.  The prolific bit of graphics could provide an industrious photo student with a potential theme for a project which could furnish enough raw material for a photo book.

The idea that the commercial exploitation of the Northern California city’s altruistic sentiment would be an ironic example of the crass basis for all capitalistic endeavor might be perceived by cynical columnists as an example of oxymoron thinking, but the unfortunate truth is that making a profit on idealism is a more realistic effort than is the lofty goal of the people who display the graphics which may or may not express the political move for nuclear disarmament by presenting the letters “N” and “D” in semaphore signals style.  Apparently they think that nuclear disarmament is the first necessary step towards achieving a perpetual world-wide Peace.

Did the hippie trend of using the two finger “V” hand signal (popularized by Winston Churchill in WWII) to express the “Peace” sentiment originate inBerkeleyduring the Sixties?  Dunno.

Ironically, the city that is almost a synonym for anti-war sentiment is also the location for a weapons laboratory think tank.

Sadly, the events of the first half of this year may put the altruistic goal of “Peace” so far out of reach that it can realistically be considered “Mission Impossible.”

The industrious family men who provide mainstream media with commentary would loose their precious paychecks for pointing this out, but a rogue (gonzo?) blogger can churn out such a column knowing that, in a culture dominated by clever conservative propaganda, his effort, even if it is a “spot-on” evaluation of a bleak truth, at best it will just provide a curious footnote for future historians scrutinizing the detritus from that year’s pop culture.

What evidence is there to back the deduction that Peace is now an unattainable goal? 

For one example, examine the quagmire inAfghanistan.  Now that Osama bin Laden has been sent to his eternal reward (which may be an inappropriate cliché phrase) the American military operation inAfghanistanmay seem to be unnecessary.  The fact that there will be no withdrawal of troops and no rational explanation for the American military’s continued presence in that country will be a subtle preview of the “perpetual war” reality that American voters will slowly comprehend.

Greater analytical minds than the one that this columnist possesses will have to make an evaluation for this possibility:  “Could it be that President Obama was “played” into making a rash move when he ordered the assassination of Osama bin Laden because the short term surge in his popularity ratings will later be eclipsed when the military industrial complex forbids Obama from adding to his reelection potential by evacuating the American military presence from Afghanistan?”

Obviously the gangland style treatment of Obama was a crowd pleaser, but if (for whatever reasons) the American President fails to remove troops from that theater of operations and concurrently fails to provide the voters with a rational explanation for that failure to make the logical move, then his popularity rating will suffer. 

Here’s a doggy treat for the conspiracy-theory-lunatic crowd:  Suppose that some dastardly advisors, who are secretly committed to Ayn S. Rand style conservative goals of perpetual profits for privatized military support firms, lured President Obama into ordering the rub-out of Osama, knowing that the long-term payoff would not be beneficial to a Democratic party incumbent candidate in the 2012 Presidential Election.

Could it be that Obama is getting tainted advice from moles committed to the Republican agenda? 

If al Qaeda responds to Osama’s death, as they have promised, with a devastating example of terrorism in the form of a nuclear explosion and if that happens before the next Presidential election is held, that might have a negative effect on Obama’s popularity ratings and vote totals.  If they hold off until after the 2012 elections, then it will be a matter of either: Obama won’t care because he can’t have a third term, or a Republican winner would easily blame such a retaliation on the fact that it was Obama who ordered the hit on Osama.  Either way they will have to respond in kind.

TheUShas participated in the NATO air strikes in support of the Libyan rebels. Col.Qaddafi has shown patience and perseverance in the past when he chose to send terrorists to deliver his retaliation answer to theUSA.  Qaddafi shows little potential for aSt. Paulmoment decision to adopt the “turn the other cheek” religious philosophy.  Hence, it can be assumed that Qaddafi will veto any “Peace” sentiments.

What aboutIraq?  Since revenge is an integral part of Muslim culture, it seems that for a generation or two there will be a large contingent of Iraqi citizens who are relatives of people declared “unintended collateral damage” fatal casualties, and who will consider it their duty to remind Americans of the Biblical axiom about justice demanding “an eye for an eye.”  They would not feel obligated to be bound by any peace deal withAmericaby (to use a George W. Bush phrase) a “scrap of paper.” 

Recent events inEgyptmay remind foreign policy wonks of the old FDR assessment of a dictator.  His succinct assessment could well apply to recently deposed Hasni Mubarak:  “He may be an S.O.B., but he is our S.O.B.” 

A zoo in theNew York Cityregion recently had to contend with a cobra snake who got out of her cage.  Well, the American Mid East policy wonks may have an analogous problem developing inEgypt.

Do you think thatNorth Korea’s leadership enthusiastically hold an annual celebration for the birth of “the Prince of Peace”?  Me neither too.

What aboutIran?  If the 2012 election delivers Republican majorities back to the House and Senate, will a President from either major American political party be prone to ignore dire assessments from the CIA? 

The new CIA director will be a fellow with the “Green Machine” mentality.  Would he be tempted to tailor make intelligence about Iran’s nuclear development program for the fellow sitting in the Oval Office after the January 2013 Inauguration ceremony?

If the Expanded War Authority Act, which is now being voted on by the Congress and Senate, passes, the next President would be empowered to order a bombing strike on the Iranian nuclear development facility without the seeking prior permission from Congress.  Anyone who has noted the long stream of news items about Republicans urging such a preemptive strike wouldn’t need to consult a fortune teller to predict what will eventually happen if the <a href =http://cgi.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=27942>Expanded War Authority Act</a> passes and is signed into law.  (Hat tip to the Mike Malloy radio program for directing our attention to that obscure bit of legislative news just as this column was being written.

There are other pockets of animosity that portend of additional troubles forAmerica.  Such as? Somalia,Yemen, theIndia–Pakistanborder disputes, andAmerica’s porous borders to name some. 

Some immature Americans reacted to the news of Osama’s death as if they had just witnessed a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning of the seventh game of a World Series.  Guess again.  Folks in Berkeley who reacted by dusting off various examples of <a href =http://floppyphotos.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/cinderblock-peace-symbol/>their Peace symbols</a> might be more realistic if they made plans to revive efforts to provide draft counseling advice for students. 

Omar Bradley is quoted in Barlett’s for saying:  “In war there is no second price for the runner-up.”

Now the disk jockey will play John and Yoko’s “Give Peace a chance,” the Doors’ “War is Over,” and Berkeley’s own Fogerty Brothers (their band is called CCR) playing “Who will stop the rain?”  Now we have to go see how the latest hunger strike on campus is going.  Have a “it ain’t over ‘til its over” type week.

Déjà vu and the Ox-Bow Incident

May 10, 2011

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 inRotterdamhad sent word to the German military thatRotterdamwas to be accorded “open city” status.  Regrettably that bit of intelligence was not relayed in a timely manner to the troops andRotterdamwas reduced to rubble. 

Freedom of Speech was one of the four Freedoms for which theUnited Statesfought 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 aSt. 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 theUSA?  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 theWorldTradeCenterbecause of their freedoms?  Didn’t he say thatAmerica’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 atNuremberg.  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 theWorld Courtsend some law enforcement guys toTexas(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 ofTexand Jinx Faulkinberg? 

Whatever.

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.

The Good, the bad, and the shooting victims

May 9, 2011

The assertion that statistically the most common quote attributed to people who had been murdered via shooting was “Go ahead – shoot me!” made this columnist wonder how the number scientists had come up with that conclusion.  Then we leaped to the assumption that they must have asked people being accused of doing the deed; “What did the victim say?”

The recent news stories about a Wikileaks revelation that al Qaeda have warnedAmericasthat if Osama got whacked, rubbed out, or off-ed, their preferred form of retaliation would be in the form of a nuclear device.

In all the commotion in recent history over terrorism, we’ve lost count of the exact number of actual terrorist attacks aimed against theUnited States.  Some of the more paranoid members of the lunatic conspiracy theory community have alleged that theOklahoma Citybombing had stealth links to foreign terrorists.  A different branch (dividians?) of loons thinks that TWA flight 800 was struck by a surface to air missile.

Should the events of September 11, 2001 be counted as one coordinated attack or several separate attacks?

Some of the fellows wearing “9-11 was an inside job” T-shirts don’t think that the attacks on theWorldTradeCentershould be counted as the work of terrorists.

Whatever the exact number is; it’s obvious thatAmerica’s leaders either don’t think that a nuclear response to the hit on bin Laden is possible, or, if it is, it won’t matter in the overall assessment by future historians studying George W. Bush’s “Forever War.”

Americawill, alone if necessary, stride forward [like Marshal Will Kane (Garry Cooper) in the movie “High Noon”] to face the bad guys with stoical determination.

In literary circles, there is an urban legend that Owen Wister (not Whistler like the guy who painted his mother) offered $100 (a considerable amount of money at that time) for any fact checker who could provide a contemporary newspaper account of a movie style “drawdown” example of gunplay.  No one ever collect the money.

The shootout at the OK corral was more like a horse era drive by shooting than anything staged and choreographed by George Stevens and his cinematographer. 

In “The Man who shot Liberty Valance,” a mild mannered lawyer is perceived to be a hero who shot a bad guy in self defense and parlays that into a lifetime series of political triumphs.  The man who actually did shoot Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) remains anonymous.  Since some pundits have asserted that the Osama hit will provide President Obama with a surge in popularity that will propel him to a second term, there might be an opportunity to add some contemporary political commentary to a nostalgic column reassessing that almost forgotten John Ford classic film.

Could a clever writer produce a column about the shootout at the bin Laden compound corral and make it sound like a parody of Ernst Hemingway’s short story titled “The Killers”?

In the 1940 film “The Bank Dick,” W. C. Fields, under the scriptwriting pseudonym of Mahatma Kane Jeeves, included a bit that permitted the comedian to spoof the concept of using a gun under his coat for a fast-draw emergency situation.

Didn’t famed film critic (and one timeBerkeleyCAresident?) Pauline Kael succinctly expressHollywood’s love affair with gunplay in a collection of her movie reviews titled:  “Kiss, kiss, bang, bang”?

The opening sequence in “Lord of War” (an underappreciated classic) portrayed the life of a single bullet.

Wasn’t “the single bullet theory” invented by Arlen Specter?

Which brings us to:  “Back and to the left!”

What ever happened to the plans to film the story of Giuseppei Zangara and his fast tracked appointment with death?

Isn’t using a President for target practice a sure fire (pun?) way to vault to fame and a prominent place in the Contemporary American Culture Hall of Fame?  Just ask Leon Czolgosz and/or Charles Julius Guiteau. 

American cultural imperialism is based on the films fromHollywoodand isn’t gunplay an integral part of that form of entertainment?  Wasn’t one of the first films about a train robbery? 

Didn’t movie script writers mine the field of murder with a gun to great advantage? 

Where wouldHollywoodbe today if they didn’t tell the stories of the gunslingers and their victims?  Who doesn’t know about Harry K. Thaw, Sacco and Vanzetti, Al Capone, John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Charlie Starkweather, and Gavrilo Princip, the man whose bullets cause several million deaths?  Didn’t someone once say that Guns are as American as apple pie?

Since, for their own protection, the identities of the Seals who did the shooting in the bin Laden compound must remain secret, that means that the story will be in the public domain and not sold as part of a “life story” deal for anyone of the men who were there.  WhatHollywoodproducer doesn’t love material (ripe for fictionalization) that doesn’t require the use of a large “rights” payment?  How many film versions of the bin Laden caper will be made?  Will it be five or six?  In all the excitement, even the Hollywood Reporter might loose track of the exact number.  Which version will catch the public’s fancy?  Now, potential producers have to ask themselves one more question.  “Do I feel lucky?” 

Did any of the accounts of the termination of bin Laden’s command (with extreme prejudice) report what his last words were?  Did he say “Top of the world, ma!” or did he say “The Horror!  The Horror!”

How many liberal Californians decorated their hippie pads with the poster that showed California Governor (and former actor) Ronald Reagan in a cowboy costume with a drawn six-shooter and the dialogue balloon that read:  “Thanks for the votes, suckers!”?

Some folks wonder why the Conservative Christians in the Teabag Party embrace guns. 

Teabaggers are not given proper credit for promoting the sentiment of:  “Shoot if you must, this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag.”

Mao Tse-tung has said:  “Every Communist must grasp the truth:  ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”  Amen!

The disk jockey has lost count of all the good “shoot-em-up” songs and so he’ll play these classic American songs: 

“Theme from ‘High Noon’” byFrankie Lane

“Stagger Lee”

“Frankie and Johnny”

Gene Pitney’s “(The Man who shot) Liberty Valance?”

“Bang Bang” byCher

“The Long Black Veil” by Johnny Cash

The Johnny Cash song with the “I shot a man inRenojust to watch him die” line

What was the name of that Johnny Cash song about a gun fighter with dementia who wanders into modern day automobile traffic thinking he is going to face an outlaw and former member of Quantrill’s Raiders?

The theme from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”

Loren Green’s song “Ringo”

“I Hate Mondays”

“Guns, guns, guns” by the Guess Who (that’s the band’s name and not a challenge) and, of course, a bunch of Ennio Morricone film scores.

We have to go to the shooting range and hone our self-defense skills.

Have a “never ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way” type week.

On the Road to Kerouac Parodies

May 6, 2011

The idea that certain bath salts can be used in a pipe as a substitute for hash or crack is slowly trickling upwards from the drug culture underground to the mainstream media and that story will soon be getting the attention of the assignment editors at the various evening news broadcasts and that, in turn, means that the chess match clock will soon be measuring the conservative reaction time.  Once conservatives realize (by doing a Google news search for “smoking bath salts”?) that it is a legitimate current events problem topic, Uncle Rushbo and his wannabe imitators will be (like a pit crew changing all four tires) expected to instantaneously produce irrefutable Republican talking points asserting that the new outlaw fad proves that the Democrat in the Oval Office has performed poorly.

Objecting to too much government is one thing, but letting bath salts be sold without legal guidelines is incomprehensible.  Write to your Senators and congressional representatives and demand action now!  Or better yet, show up at a townhall meeting and, when you are sure the TV cameras are rolling, ask what will be done about the bath salts problem.   <a href =http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20110422/NEWS01/104220320/1006/Congresswoman-Adams-leads-push-against-drugs-bath-salts>One Congresswoman in Florida is ready to take action</a>.  Why are other states lagging behind?

Does that make it sound like the Summer of ’68 isn’t really over yet?  Well put this in your Magritte style pipe and smoke it:  some imaginative scoundrels have discovered that if they go through the paperwork to be accredited as a patient in pain with a legitimate need for medical marijuana, they can turn around and sell their “medicine” at a slight profit to some people who may not want pesky paperwork in existence linking them to the “devil weed.”  (Would it be a “cop out” for us to fail to provide an example of people who might prefer to remain “off the books” as far as being a legitimate registered pot head is concerned?)

Older nostalgia prone assignment desks might like that flashback topic, too.  Think any one of them would be too embarrassed to steal an idea from “the World’s Laziest Journalist”?  Me neither too.

The concept of being a topic rustler brings us to another flashback topic:  At the Berkeley 7 flashback film series, we saw for the first time last night, the classic film “Scarface” starring Al Pacino.  All the gangster activities called “rub-out,” “whack,” or “hit” at various times in the annals of the gangster genre movies reminded us that the President seems to be imitating the gangster mentality with his foreign policy. Col.Qaddafi is becoming an annoyance?  Bomb the snot out of his living compound.  Send “the boys” over to bin Laden’s place and have them rub him out.

Will Qaddafi’s and bin Laden’s gang be able to tell the ref:  “I know where I am.  I know what round it is.  Don’t stop the fight!” or will they get a TKO?

Can’t you just picture President Obama telling his posse:  “Everything north of State Street is O’Banion’s; we got Afghanistan and now Libya.”?  Were bin Laden’s last words:  “Mother of God, is this the end of Ricco?”  Or did he snarl:  “Top of the world, ma!”?  Did the Seals yell:  “Osama, say hello to my little friend!”?

For over ten year, the World’s Laziest Journalist has been motivated to write political punditry for various online sites by a “Man of La Mancha” delusion that it was worth while to get up at 6 a.m. pound out some words such as a column that ridiculed the contention that some dumb aluminum tube was irrefutable evidence that the invasion of some country was imperative and then make the effort to get online and post it.  There was always the hope that the next column would (somehow) hit a nerve and cause all ofAmericato question the Bush junta’s sanity. 

Now that George W. Bush’s successor from the opposition Party has endorsed the Bush war policy, writing critical political commentary is an unnecessary foolish self deception and is an example of inefficient use of time.  Rather than continuing the futile railing, long neglected book length projects can be reconsidered and perhaps revived with renewed enthusiasm.

What’s not to like about sleeping in until 7:30 a.m., doing the same amount of writing, and then, instead of hustling off to get a turn on a Berkeley Public Library computer connected to the Internets, taking a long leisurely stroll (and perhaps having a serendipitous encounter with a bargain bin priced intriguing used book), and stopping off at Pepe’s Pizza to indulge in their Pizza buffet for lunch?

Obviously, a timely topic, such as the wide spread notion that the world will end on May 22, can be a compelling occasion for a column chock full of cynical skepticism.  After that date has passed, perhaps the World’s Laziest Journalist can parlay the fact that he, as an ordained minister, prayed that God would stay his hand and delay Judgment Day for a good long while, into a selling point to gain some lucrative speaking engagements? 

Perhaps we could get an immediate start on participating in this year’s San Francisco <a href =http://www.litquake.org/>Litquake festival</a> by sending a query letter to the Beat Museum?  We would note that we had not only interceded and prevented the End of the World, but that as a well read Kerouac wannabe who has not yet completed his memoirs manuscript, we would not selfishly use the occasion for self promotion of a new book we had written, but would, instead, be able to speak knowledgeably (on the pseudo intellectual level) about many of the books by other writers that are for sale in the gift and bookstore section of that venue.

WouldSan Francisco’s literati find “An Evening with the World’s Laziest Journalist” a refreshing change of pace from the usual “I’m begging you to buy this book” type of disguised boorish sales pitch?  What would be the best way to find the answer to that question?

Heck, by the time this year’s Litquake gets started, if we have interceded and convinced God to postpone the End of the World for a little while isn’t that worth something?  Is a speaking engagement at theBeatMuseumtoo much to ask?

Allen Ginsberg (at a poetry reading inSan Francisco, long before the first Litquake) said:  “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for a fix . . . .”  All they had to do was buy some bath salts.  Who knew?

Now the disk jockey will fix us up with a chance to listen to “Harlem Nocturne,” the soundtrack album for “Kiss Me Deadly,” and “Night Train.”  We have to go find some new tidbits of news that will make it worth while for the aforementioned assignment desk editors to “tune in again next time.”  Have a “fa-a-a-r out!” type week.

Now al Qaeda gets their turn

May 4, 2011

President Obama has just given America’s complete and unconditional endorsement to the Middle East tradition of using a perpetual cycle of violence to conduct a philosophical debate.  Thomas E. (AKA T. E.) Lawrence, in his book “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” informed readers that revenge is an integral part of the Muslim culture.  When American political pundits say that the death of Osama bin Laden gives closure to the attack on the World Trade Center, that is about as astute as hearing a rookie sportscaster saying that a three run rally in the top of the first inning erases the necessity for playing the next eight and a half innings.

When the images of the attack on the World Trade Center were shown, crowds in the Middle East were reported to be holding spontaneous joyous celebrations in the streets of various cities in their countries.  Americans were outraged and considered such a reaction inappropriate.

Sunday, after Americans were told that Osama bin Laden had been killed by Navy Seals, Americans responded with jubilant crowds expressing approval at various diverse locations mostly the sites of sporting events.

Presidential candidate Obama promised that he would deliver change.  Apparently he has delivered on that promise.  America has embraced the methods and conduct they once considered barbaric and unacceptable. 

The fact that Americans at sporting events participated in spontaneous displays of euphoria when they received the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed, will only goad Al Qaeda into a much firmer resolve to deal out a brutal payback attack.  Does a bull attack the matador’s cape?  The lower echelon of al Qaeda’s cadre has just been dealt an insulting challenge which they won’t ignore. 

T. E. Lawrence informed his readers that the Muslim culture is also noted for its patience regarding a response so that if they don’t send a suicide bomber into action on Wednesday, that doesn’t mean that they won’t ever strike back; it just means they will pick the time and place and proceed at their leisure. 

The irony for Democrats is that by fully and unreservedly endorsing the violent assassination of Osama bin Laden, President Obama has committed members of his political party to Bush’s Eternal War on Terrorism. 

Initially some Democrats (and a few rogue online columnists) objected to Bush’s use of invasion, torture, and excessive collateral civilian damage but now with the Obama move to commit his Party to the Bush agenda, he has made any efforts to promote antiwar sentiment become a despicable example of disloyal cowardice. 

Shifting the Democrats into the cycle of perpetual retaliatory events is an irreversible move of the “you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube” type.  The Peacenik point of view will become as relevant to the contemporary political arena as are the beliefs of the flat earth society. 

Al Qaeda is now compelled to retaliate and when they do, the average American (who was seen rejoicing in the news at Sunday night sporting events) will demand a bigger and more horrific response to the al Qaeda answer to Osama’s assassination.  At that point history will take on the hall of mirrors look and there won’t be any turning back.

The fact that one of Col. Qaddafi’s sons was killed in a recent NATO airstrike will mean that as he has previously (when his step daughter was killed) the Libyan leader will unleash his own subsidized violent retaliation.

Any new terrorism activity that is unleashed inside the United States will have at least two potential sources in the Muslim world.  If something happens, bloodthirsty Americans will demand a quick act of generic revenge and not a comprehensive investigation to determine the specific group that did the deed.

America’s security forces have been rather successful using entrapment gambits for ensnaring young gullible guys, but from here on, things are going to get progressively rougher and meaner. 

Was the old movie comedy routine about two guys engaging in a slapping contest based on a real life macho contest?  If so, that example of slowly increasing hostility could become a valid metaphor for a series of increasingly violent retaliation moves. 

Any speculation about what could possibly have been done to avoid the now inevitable eternal cycle of increasingly bloody retaliator moves is totally irrelevant. 

Alternate fiction history can be interesting and entertaining but it is an exorcise in futility.  What would have happened if the Seal team had shot Osama with a paintball gun and then said:  “We could have killed you just now, but we want to break the pattern of the eternal cycle of violent retribution killing.”  But they didn’t.  They shot him dead.

Whatever infinitesimally small chance that might have had to work is irrelevant.  Osama was assassinated and the United States will be seen as accepting the ground rules for a never ending series of alternating retaliations.

Punditry about “closure” will only serve to increase the level righteous indignation in America when (not “if”) al Qaeda retaliates for the assassination of Osama or Col. Qaddafi seeks revenge for the killing of his son.  That, in turn, will only compel America’s subsequent answer to be an absolute requirement for any President of either party. 

At that point George W. Bush’s assertion that he had started an “Eternal” war and that it has been fully endorsed by the Democrats courtesy of President Obama will be irrefutable.  Attempting political commentary that runs counter to both the Republican and Democratic Presidents’ agendas would be completely idiotic and an example of wasted effort.  Consequently subsequent columns written by the World’s Laziest Journalist may be about irrelevant, inconsequential, and perhaps even innocuous topics. 

A segment of the lyrics to one of Waylon Jennings’ songs seems to be appropriate for the closing quote:  “ . . . waiting for something to happen – hope it doesn’t happen to me . . .”

Now the disk jockey will play the Zombies song “How We Were Before,” CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising,” and Dick Dale and the Deltones 1963 release “We’ll Never Hear the End of It.”

We have to go attend a “More war; Less social services” rally.  Have a “Revenge is sweet” type week.