Posts Tagged ‘Mike Malloy’

Has Boehner become the newest Existentialist?

February 17, 2011

Since the World’s Laziest Journalist’s home office is devoid of Internet access, a TV set, and phone, the staff winds up listening to the radio or playing old musical tapes when it comes time to kick back and chill out.  Since there ain’t a hella (note to AARP site editor types: that may not sound right to you but that’s <I>de rigueur</I> jive for the young folks) variety of choices on the radio, we tend to go to extremes.  Uncle Rushbo is fascinating listening because he keeps pushing towards the limits to gain the inevitable liberal media publicity.  Every time he comes close to going over the edge, he winds up landing safely and thus brings to mind a segment of the movie “Rebel Without a Cause.”  (“Where’s Buzz?”)  On the other end of the spectrum is Mike Malloy who is just as fully committed to his beliefs as is the King of Oxycontin.  (If you had to spout Republican spin all year long, wouldn’t you have an insatiable appetite for pain killers, too?) 

Lately Malloy seems extremely distressed about the prognoses for democracy.  He may need a refresher course on the philosophy of the guys who wrote for the underground newspaper, Combat, which was published in Paris during the German occupation. 

Would it be too esoteric and arcane to assert that listening to both Uncle Rushbo and Malloy would be comparable to reading both the Paris Zeitung and Combat? 

Recently we attended a screening of the film “Casablanca.”  We knew that Humphrey Bogart’s role as Fred C. Dobbs in “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” had made a lasting impression (and had an influential effect?), but we had not been aware that his role as Ricky Blaine had also made itself felt long after we first saw it.  Blaine was existentialism in action.

If there was a book title Zen and the Art of Existentialism; we’d recommend it to both those radio personalities.  Ricky Blaine learned the <I>laissez faire</I> attitude in Paris (home of existentialist thinking) and, after that, pretty much kept away from partisan politics.  When a group of boisterous members of the German military attached to diplomatic duty in Casablanca sang a patriotic song, Ricky tried to balance things out by advising the band leader to play the Marseilles just to keep things on an even keel.  

Some of the best segments of the Malloy program occur when he and his screener/producer/wife Kathy quibble over fact finding bits of trivia.  It’s obvious that their emotional relationship doesn’t impinge on their attempts for hair-splitting bits of factual accuracy.  One assumes that they have read Robert L. Stevenson’s essay on how to conduct a stimulating but civilized conversation.  Are they trying to become the modern equivalent of Tex and Jinx Falkenburg?  Unfortunately that’s one bit of radio history we missed. 

We might, if we had a phone, call Rush and suggest that he listen to the Malloys and then think about putting his wife on the air with him.   Then we realized that wouldn’t work.  Equality in marriage is a Democratic Party type thing and Rush would lose so much street cred, his ratings would plummet.  Haven’t we read somewhere on the Internets that Uncle Rushbo’s audience is diminishing? 

Some nights Malloy comes perilously close to being a Xerox copy of the fictional TV journalist Howard Beal.  Recently he was lamenting the fact that there seems to be two systems of justice.  One for über-wealthy Republicans (like Uncle Rushbo?) and another for “Just Us.”  We were tempted to call Mike (if we had a phone) and suggest that it might be an appropriate time for his wife/producer to play the Waylon Jennings song that has the lament about “if I’dda killed her when we first met; I’d be outta jail by now.”  The guy in the song mustta been a Republican, eh?

Since Malloy does repeatedly reference Mario Savio’s most famous quote, if we had a phone we’d call Malloy and suggest that he read Albert Camus’ “The Rebel” because Malloy would be sure to find a shipload of hand-dandy quotes.  If the Republicans are going to rely on existentialism to bolster their program, it might be a good bit of self-defense preparation to read some Sartre and Camus.

His recent steak of pessimism would be the perfect opportunity to play the perfect example of nihilistic/existentialistic commingling contained in Howard’s speech at the end of “Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”  Fate has played a practical joke on liberals.  Get over it.

If Malloy did read up on the existentialists, wouldn’t he eventually encounter the cusp area where Zen and nihilism overlap?  Didn’t Jean-Paul Sartre practice Nietzsche’s <I>amor fati</I> lesson i.e. “So Be It!” when he was a German prisoner of war and he used the time to write a new play?

Folks love to portray college professors as “pointy-headed” intellectuals with far left political opinions who bandy about references to obscure books such as “Nausia,” but didn’t all the teabaggers do a marvelous job of stifling their amusement recently when John Boehner snuck a crafty allusion to the <I>amor fati</I> lesson from Nietzsche into a press conference?  Didn’t the teabaggers love it when he was paraphrasing the existentialists and the liberals didn’t even notice?  What teabagger couldn’t savor the delicious irony of that?

[Note:  for those intellectuals who quibble over the pronunciation of the name of the Speaker of the House, we have one question:  Isn’t Boeotia phonetically bee-oh-shah?  Do Republicans use the word Boeotian (bee-ocean) in it’s stupid or boorish person meaning to denote a Democrat?  Shouldn’t the Speaker’s name be pronounce as if (phonetically) were bee-ner?]

If some teabagging existentialist troll has read this far, we will counter the objection that this column is a shameless example of a partisan attempt to “suck up” to Malloy, we would point out that it is being posted on Thursday, February 17, 2011, and that means that when Malloy broadcasts tonight, the audience in Berkeley CA will hear women’s college basketball and this columnist will be at the Berkeley 7 watching “The Fifth Element.”

In “The Rebel,” (Vintage Book paperback page 41) Albert Camus wrote:  “In politics his (i.e. Marquis de Sade’s) real position is cynicism.  In his <I>Society of the Friends of Crime</I> he declares himself ostensibly in favor of the government and its laws, which he meanwhile has every intention of violating.  It is the same impulse that makes the lowest form of criminal vote for conservative candidates.”  In the Republican Party, isn’t cynicism one of the seven cardinal virtues?  Don’t most teabaggers recognize the fact that Boehner knows his Camus, while the liberals sit and listen to him with dropped jaw incredulity. 

The disk jockey will now play: “Helter Skelter,” “Street Fighting Man,” and Waylon Jenning’s “Out of Jail.”  We have to see if folks in Berkeley can pick up the XERB signal because we’d love to hear the Wolfman again.  Have an “of all the gin joints in all the world, she had to walk into mine” type week.

Global Warming will happen when Hell freezes over!

January 21, 2011

[Note:  This column has been crossposted on:http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/bob-patterson/33804/glenn-beck-gandhi-and-satori  and on http://bartblog.bartcop.com/  and may appear on Op Ed News soon.]

After writing a column speculating about a way to get some Conservative friends to listen to Mike Malloy’s radio program, one replied and said that he would offer me a wager about my effort to read Ayn Rand because he knew I hadn’t read any of her novels and he also offered the opinion that I should listen to Glenn Beck because his philosophy is remarkably similar to Gandhi’s.  It was at that point that I became aware of the fact that I should accept the lesson that President Obama refuses to learn:  the conservative version of open-mindedness is a binary choice between “my way or the highway.” 

Will the subtle message conveyed by the fact that Gandhi’s autobiography was “Experiments with the Truth” escape my notice?  Is that the basis for the comparison to Beck?  Does Beck do with facts what Houdini did with elephants?

Dialogue with Conservatives is impossible.  This columnist would be better served by applying his energy to the task of getting press credentials for the next 24 hour race at Le Mans or finding a copy of “Atlas Shrugged.” 

Why did we specifically pick Mike Malloy rather than some other less acerbic liberal talk show host?  The answer would be because we were including results from a test suggested by Bill O’Reilly.  Back when he had a radio program, the Billster suggested a method to use for selecting reliable sources of information.  O’Reilly, at that time, was crusading against Kitty Kelly’s book about the Bush family and he urged readers to select three items and fact check them.  He pontificated that she would fail such a test and that her book was an unreliable smear job.

We had to go to the research Library at UCLA to find such esoteric resources as a way to check the accuracy of what Kitty Kelly said about one particular story published by a New York newspaper on July 30, 1941.  We not only learned that she was correct, but also we picked up additional facts about Fritz Thyssen, Knight Wooley, and the Union Banking Corporation which came in handy later when Conservatives were discussing arcane items from the Bush family history. 

Doing fact checking about New York newspapers printed in 1941 was possible in Los Angeles and can also be done in Berkeley, but we have some strong doubts about the access to that kind of fact checking resources for residents in Concordia Kansas. 

We checked out the source for the Kelly claim that George W. Bush had, as a child, tormented frogs.  (Kelly blatantly ignored the possibility that the frogs presented a credible security threat.)  [In the past, we have read John Douglas’s book “Mind Hunter.”  He helped pioneer the FBI profiler program.  He said that kids who tortured animals were more likely to become serial killers.]  Her source corroborated Kelly’s contention.  (What does Glenn Beck’s philosophy have to say about corroboration?)

A third example of fact checking (about the time when Poppy Bush bailed out of  his bomber during World War II) was successful and thus by O’Reilly’s own standards, readers could continue relying on “The Bush Family” for accurate information.  Ironically, that simultaneously proved that O’Reilly’s insistence that any such test would discredit the Kelly book was itself wrong and thus O’Reilly was discredited by his own criteria about reliable sources performing at the “no hitter” level of quality. 

At times, when we have fact checked Mike Malloy, he has passed the O’Reilly test and so we believe that if Malloy passes random fact checks that means (by O’Reilly’s own standards) that Malloy can be trusted.  Furthermore, if Malloy’s facts are valid then the Republican track record veers toward war crimes, favoritism (for the rich), and union busting which indicates that the average working man may not get a fair deal.

Therefore we jumped to the conclusion that since Malloy passed the O’Reilly test, he would be the best basis for a recommendation that conservatives should give him a test listen to get a reliable different point of view.

All the foregoing is predicated on the idea that Conservatives might be interested in knowing accurate specifics about opposing points of view.  Wrong!  Weren’t Germans who listened, during World War II, to news not disseminated by the official government news source, automatically considered to be disloyal citizens?  In the conservative mind, isn’t listening to Malloy comparable to urging Germans during World War II to listen to unapproved news?  Reading resistance newspapers in Paris during the occupation meant that the reader would risk his (or her) life to get the information provided. Would you take that risk just to get an opposing point of view that’s wrong? 

Speaking of Combat newspaper, Camus, and Sartre; how far is Le Mans from Paris?  Are their any good hostels close to the race course? 

After JEB is inaugurated (in January of 2013) will he reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine and use that to knock Malloy off the airwaves?  (Would any conservative dare assert that Malloy is fair?)  If so, why waste time and energy now getting conservative friends to listen to Malloy? 

The very same liberals who do not see the philosophy of Gandhi in the words of Glenn Beck are the very same people who would assert that Malloy would not be adversely affected by a Republican sponsored measure to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine and eliminate unfair biased political punditry of the kind that Mike Malloy delivers to his audience.

Speaking of JEB and his inauguration, we have to do some more fact checking.  The casinos in Las Vegas apparently don’t take bets on political races.  British bookies are reported to accept bets on items outside the realm of sports.  Can good patriotic red blooded Americans legally make an online wager with a British bookie from California?  If not, can Americans send a bet to a bookie in London via snail mail?  If not; perhaps it’s time to start searching for a short duration crash pad in Great Britain before going to Harry’s New York Bar (cinque rue Daunou) and the Le Mans race?

Cynics are implying that things are bad and that the USA has become a nation of sheep.  Conservatives will respond with a trivia question about what fictional character coined the phrase “Silence of the Lambs” and how much was that imaginary guy to be trusted?

Are the same standards applied to what Don Imus says and what Rush Limbaugh says while imitating the comic genius of Sid Caesar?

If the liberals are going to misconstrue the pacifist teaching of St. Glenn into an example of inciting a riot, communication between the opposing factions of the American political scene is impossible and a columnist would be better off researching and writing columns about less factious topics such as the growing popularity of snapshot collecting.

Ayn Rand, in “Atlas Shrugged,” wrote:  “Man has the power to act as his own destroyer – and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.”  OMG!  Doesn’t that sound to you like something a Global Warming theory nut, might say?

Now the disk jockey will be sure to please Conservatives by playing the Elvis version of these songs:  “I Really Don’t Want to Know,” “Known Only to Him,” and “Edge of Reality.”  [Note:  we asked the disk jockey to play Elvis’ “Old Shep,” but he claimed that his rare and valuable copy of that particular song was out on loan to Rev. Dan in L. A. thinking that we couldn’t fact check that, but the Music for Nimrods program is now available for download so we can do some fact checking.]  We have to go to the Zoo and take some snapshots of the polar bears (Ursus Maritimus) because those photos might be collectors’ items someday soon.  Have a “Satori” type week.