In contemporary American Society fact checking has become passé and so this column has not been fact checked.
Attempting to write a column that adds new and perceptive insights to a discourse that has already disintegrated into BS gridlock is a fool’s errand, but at 0530 hrs on a Friday morning in Berkeley CA, there ain’t much else to do. You can make some coffee and start writing or you can go back to sleep, which sometimes is something you can’t do by sheer force of will.
Sometimes after a middle of the night trip to the bathroom, we turn on the radio to see what Mike Malloy is saying on XERB, where his show follows the Wolfman Jack show. On the broadcast for Thursday October 2, 2012, heard in the San Francisco Bay area between 1 and 3 a.m. PDT on Friday monring, Mike was offering the opinion that perhaps President Obama had to make a concerted effort to not look like an angry black man.
Norm Goldman reminded his listeners of a similar situation and noted that President Obama’s personality is one of being a quiet and thoughtful person who does not get drawn into any brawls verbal or physical. Norm pointed out that the President has earned his nickname “no drama Obama.” He suggested that perhaps the President should have done an imitation of St. Ronald Reagan and said something like: “there you go . . . fibbing again.”
News media reported that several different instant polls had given a decisive win to Mitt Romney. Last week polls that showed the President had an impressive lead in swing states were loudly denounced for being slipshod and unreliable, but the ones that made Mitt look good were apparently and suddenly impeccable examples of what the polling industry is capable of producing.
Norm criticized the fact that many people were closely analyzing the body language of the debaters and not paying close attention to the substance of the dialogue. All the body English criticisms seem to be directed against only one of the participants in the boring debacle. How, we wondered, did Mitt earn a pass?
Long ago a political pundit in Germany wrote: “All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be.”
President Obama seems to have assumed that the folks watching the TV show had a policy wonk level of comprehension of tax policy. Mitt seems to not want to bother his listeners with information that reaches the “pick the fly excrement out of the salad” level of preciseness.
The people, who insisted on evaluating the speakers’ body English as a method of judging the debate itself, seem to have focused exclusively on the President. The World’s Laziest Journalist noted during the split screen segments that quite often Mitt seemed to be exhibiting the nervous frantic mode of operation. Would Mitt’s jittery behavior have aroused any suspicion if it was observed by a policeman during a traffic stop? It’s not that he appeared to have been inebriated. Quite the opposite. His extreme animation couldn’t possibly have been chemically induced . . . could it?
(Didn’t the aforementioned German political pundit use some performance enhancing substances?)
What was with the black spot on his American Flag lapel pin? We looked online and found some speculation but we did not find a plausible explanation of it. (Could it have been a tribute to the oil industry?)
Many years ago, a Military Police Officer casually mentioned that when he and his fellow officers were, during off hours, playing a friendly game of mind-fuck with each other, the most devastating criticism they could offer was: “you are acting like a hysterical old lady.”
We were reminded of that nostalgic bit of advice on Wednesday night as we watched Mitt’s lightening fast jerky movements and wondered if the old disconcerting assertion was relevant to the debater’s demeanor.
Many years ago novelist Norman Mailer made the assertion that the most damaging thing a celebrity (or politician?) can do is to go against type and that might explain why “no drama Obama” didn’t unload a verbal knockout punch but sometime an unexpected reaction can be very effective.
In a different galaxy many moons ago, we knew a young lady who we had never once heard use the word “fuck.” When we heard her say “Fuck off, Bob,” it was very effective oratory and it got its intended result immediately.
The trouble with the 2012 Presidential election snapped into focus when we heard Merle Haggard sing “Drink up and be somebody” while writing the column on a “crash cloes” basis.
There are two candidates trying desperately to win the votes of guys who wouldn’t touch either one of them with a ten-foot pole.
Can anyone really imagine either candidate going into a honky-tonk bar to do some campaigning?
The two lawyers from the Harvard-Yale axis back east are trying to convince the good ole boys to vote for either one of the two who would be called “slick” in a bar that plays C&W music on the jukebox.
Do you really think that a guy with a horse that participates in dressage competitions can sing the lyrics to “I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole”?
The other guy tries to debate as if it is an exercise in etiquette. He should listen to the words of “Colorado Kool-Aid” and then tell Mitt that he should wear his knife-proof earmuffs to the next debate.
Seeing Harvard-Yale lawyers trying to mix with just plain folks in the local diner is theater of the absurd cubed.
Either one of them would do better to imitate the English poet who was regarded as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” than to pretend they might qualify for votes from the “Ladies Love Outlaws” crowd.
In a bar with Waylon and Willie’s song “Clean Shirt” on the jukebox, could Bishop Romney really carry it off if he ordered sarsaparilla? That would be fun to watch.
When will either the Romney or the Obama campaigns release the tie-breaking photos of the candidate clearing brush on his ranch?
Luckily the electronic voting machines can take all these various factors into consideration before awarding an indisputable result to the eagerly waiting journalists around the globe.
In “Kingdom of Fear,” Hunter S. Thompson wrote: “On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”
Now, the disk jockey will crank up the volume and play: Tony and the Bandits’ song “I can’t lose,” the Partridge Family’s song “Something’s wrong,” and the Grateful Dead’s song “Throwing Stones.” We have to go be one of the million and a half visitors in San Francisco this weekend. Have a “this must be bat country” type week.