Posts Tagged ‘Nietzsche’

Nihilism means nothing to me

March 16, 2011

As a child, this columnist found a hypnotic allure to all things nihilistic even though the thought that “it’s all an exercise in futility” was completely incomprehensible to a kid who was living in a world where all things were possible.  Was my classmate Joey Biden there when one of the nuns told us that anyone of us could become President of the United States?  At the end of the movie “Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” the old prospector and one of his young protégées laugh as the fruit of their year of labor blows away in the wind.  Really?  People can do that?

Sitting in Berkeley waiting for the authorities to say again that the events in Japan will have no impact on this California city, knowing that if they candidly admitted that the outlook was bleak there would be nothing that could be done except to begin a search for any possible “end of the world orgy” nearby, brought to mind the words of the old guy in the aforementioned movie.  He advised his young partner to laugh and make the most of the situation.  Now after a lifetime full of stolen elections, broken campaign promises, and endless petroleum wars, suddenly the message of “Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” has snapped into clear focus.

Why listen to news?  Why not slap an old tape into the player and listen to Jerry Lee Lewis wish that he wasn’t middle age crazy but actually was 18 again.  “Going places I’d never seen.” 

What would you give to see a living legend sing?  We’ve had the experience of seeing old Jerry Lee perform at the legendary Palomino in North Hollywood.  That famous night club is long gone and we don’t know where the hell our Pal T-shirt is.  Oh, well, it’s like the line in one of his songs:  “If I had the time, I’d do it all again.”  We all know what memories can bring; they bring diamonds and rust.

“We lost cousin Davey in the Korean War; still don’t know what for”

Liberal bloggers spent hours pounding out columns pointing out that Bush was duplicating the Nazi War Crimes.  Along came Barry and he retroactively approved the Bush methodology and urged the Democrat voters to forgive and forget.

Now, we might send troops to Libya.  The spirit of George Bush lives on!

We heard an news item that indicates that General Patraus will ask for more troops for the war in Afghanistan.  I once was blind but now I see.  You go, Barry, and remember the old John Wayne philosophy: “Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”

The American government spokesman says there is nothing to worry about regarding radio active fallout from Japan.  Libya?  Tell ‘em the Marines are coming to protect BP’s oil. 

Voting to give Barry a second term seems like it will give this columnist a much greater appreciation for all those nihilist movies we’ve enjoyed so much for so long.  Would Barry appreciate the nihilistic irony if we don’t actually go to a voting machine and validate his continuation of the Bush policies? 

In the broadcast for Tuesday, March 15, 2011, listeners to the Mike Malloy radio show, heard about a teacher in Milwaukee who had donated $2,000 to Barry’s Presidential campaign.  The fellow wished he had his money back.  Do you think that Barry’s corporate donors have buyer’s regret?  That teacher needs to rent “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and memorize Howard’s speech.

The tree-huggers are rather upset that Barry isn’t ordering a reevaluation of nuclear plant safety measures, as Germany has done.  Both Barry and Uncle Rushbo agree that doing that in the USA is unnecessary.  Perhaps the treehuggers need to read up on Nietzsche’s thoughts on the need for a revaluation of reevaluations? 

The tree-huggers are rather alarmed that some pixy dust from far away will fall on their heads, especially in the West Coast area of the USA, and cause some medical problems.  Barry and Uncle Rushbo agree that such alarm is just a fairy tale story gone out of control.  Eventually the treehuggers will come home wagging their tales behind them?

Some goody-two shoes types are upset that Barry hasn’t changed the Bush war policy.  Well, if he sends more troops to Afghanistan, they can’t say that then, can they?  If war is good, isn’t more war better?

George W. Bush was upset that the Democrats didn’t give unconditional love to him and his agenda.  Barry came along and played the role of Judas goat and brought all most all the Demorcrats into the war mongers tent.  Thus, retroactively, George W. Bush finally gets full approval of his record. 

Mike Malloy played an old sound byte that featured Barry saying that if workers’ rights were threatened, Barry would put on some comfortable shoes and join them on the picket line.  Malloy indicated that an implied verbal contract had been broken by Barry’s recent absence in Wisconsin. 

Malloy, on Tuesday, repeatedly referred to Bush’s successor as “President Crazy.”

What’s the title of the song where Willie Nelson sings the words:  “there’s nothing I can do about it now”?

Barry let George W. Bush walk.  Are any members of the clergy urging Barry to turn Dubya over to the world court?  Barry has sanctioned the continued torture of Bradley Manning.  Is it any wonder that Arianna Huffington didn’t think it worth while to pay folks for material that disapproved of George W. Bush’s political agenda?  Wink wink nudge nudge.  You go right ahead and rant about “war crimes” all you want. 

If the nuclear accident in Japan precipitates the end of the world, there’s not much use in trying to live blog the process.  If it’s just a big boo-boo that will intrigue historians centuries from now, there’s no use wasting time scribbling out alarmist columns that will ring hollow  in the future.  What’s done is done.  Like the croupier says:  “No more bets!”  Just watch the ball bounce around on the roulette wheel, now.

Who said:  “the writing hand writes, and having writ, moves on:  nor all your Piety nor Wit shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, nor all your tears wash out a World of it.”?

Wasn’t that the same guy who also advised:  “Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend, beforfe we too into Dust descent;  Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie, Sans Wine, sand Song, sans Singer, and – sans End!”

It used to be that this columnist actually advocated a renunciation of George W. Bush’s war crimes.  Now, we hear the voice of Judy Collins, explaining the Barry Obama philosophy:  “through many days of toil and strife, we have already found that grace . . . and faith will lead us home . . . when we’ve been there 10,000 years . . . than when we first begun . . . I once was lost, but now I’m found.  Once was blind but now I see.”

After all these years, it still boils down to what Howard said at the conclusion of “Treasure of the Sierra Madre:”  “It’s a great joke played on us by the Lord, or fate, or nature, whatever you prefer. But whoever or whatever played it certainly had a sense of humor! Ha! The gold has gone back to where we found it!… (Curtin joins Howard in boisterous laughter.) This is worth ten months of suffering and labor – this joke is!” or as Ned Kelly once said:  “Such is life.”

The disk jockey will now play:

Edith Piaf’s “No Regrets”

Little Richard’s “Bama Lama”

Patsy Cline’s “I was so wrong” and “Crazy” (written by Willie Nelson)

Joan Baez’s “Simple Twist of Fate”

Frank’s version of “Quarter to Three”  (Do the young readers want to know:  “Who was Frank Sinatra?”)

Doors “The End”

David Carradine’s “Cosmic Joke” song

Roy Orbison’s “Communication Breakdown”

Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album

Willie Nelson’s “Nothing I can do about it now” and “Living in the Promised Land.”

The Mickey Mouse Club song (why not?) and the “You’re nothing but a nothing” song which (we learned as mouseketeers) contains the lowest note ever sung by a human voice.

Last, but not least, Kris Kristofferson’s “What ever gets you through the night.”

We have to go find an “End of the World” Orgy.  Have a “rock, shock, jay-hawk” type week.

Just like in the end of Treasure of the Sierra Madre?

February 8, 2011

Larry Flynt pays his writers well and delivers the checks promptly.  He is one boss who doesn’t have disgruntled employees bad mouthing him behind his back.  Current and former employees of Larry Flynt Publications always speak well of him.  Hugh Hefner made Playboy magazine the highest ranked potential market for freelance writers and also made some remarkable profits with his philosophy about paying generously.  Unfortunately, Hefner was so successful at making his magazine an attractive prospect for freelancer writers he had to close down the golden opportunity.  Playboy articles are now all done on assignment (according to a reliable source who is a former boss) only basis.  Neither freelance query letters nor submissions are accepted.

William Randolph Hearst assembled a remarkably talented posse of writers by offering them more money to work for him than other newspaper publishers could.  Hearst was the source of the term “lobster shift” (AKA “lob-shift”) and caused his biographer W. A. Swanberg (<I>Citizen Hearst</I> Bantam Books paperback p-83) to write:  “The <I>Examiner</I> office was a madhouse inhabited by talented and erratic young, men drunk with life in a city that never existed before or since.  They had a mad boss, one who flung away money, lived like the ruler of a late Empire . . . and cheered them on as they made newspaper history.”  Hearst was not a sexist.  He did hire a red haired chorus girl, Winifred Sweet, who became a successful reporter.

Republicans, perhaps thanks to the book “<I>Rich Dad, Poor Dad</I>,” believe that they should pay their workers as little as possible for the most amount of work they can ring out of their workers.

Wouldn’t it be funny if a famous conservative made a bet with a wealthy Republican owner of a word plantation that she would do better than get the prols to work cheap?  What if she made a bet that she could get writers to clamor for the chance to work for free?  She could pose as a liberal, start up something cheap, and then get talented tree-huggers to embrace her “you don’t need a paycheck” response to the idea of paying writers generously by giving them a big audience as an “ego-stroke.”  Then to prove that she deserved to win the bet she could sell her publication for a shipload of money and “cry all the way to the bank” with her profit.  She could collect on such a hpothetical bet she had just won.

What if her writers were true ballsy Democrats who believed in workers’ rights and they all went on strike during the same week she collected her sales windfall?

What if on the same day they all tuned in something that was in the public domain?  Is the “Modest Proposal” essay in the public domain?  Come to think of it, a strike did fatally cripple Hearst’s L. A. newspaper.

On the same day the sale was announced, a friend suggested that this columnist could improve the quality of his words if he would spend more time fact-checking and double checking for spelling errors.  A good city editor can turn one spelling mistake into a mortifying city room ordeal, but if it takes a goodly amount of time to turn out a contribution to the Internets done in a slap dash fashion, why should any extra time and effort be made?  Fox News’ personnel (Is Fox a farm club for the stand up comedian circuit?) are backed by a court decision that says they don’t have to report news that is “true.”  If they don’t waste time and money on fact checking, then why should a rogue columnist do it?

It is one thing for a Hunter S. Thompson wannabe to spend some personal funds to go to Fremantle in the W. A. (Western Australia) and spread the Gospel of online Gonzo Journalism, but it is a different thing entirely to see a Berkeley CA based web site owner and operator urge his work for free keystorkers:  “We have to go out and work harder for Democrats in the next election cycle.”  As Tonto once said; “What do you mean ‘we’ . . . ?”  Couldn’t an imaginative writer cook up a wild conspiracy theory about such an order? 

We seem to recall an issue of Paul Krassner’s “<I>The Realist</I>” which proclaimed that the Republican and Democratic parties were twins separated at birth.  At the time, it sounded absurd to us.  It seems we may have had the opportunity to naively question Krassner about that belief in a composing room encounter in the early Seventies, but deadlines are relentless and we didn’t have time to seize that chance.  We now believe that Krassner was “spot-on” with that Sixties assertion.

If the next election is a choice between a Reagan Democrat incumbent and JEB, then maybe it’s time to double check and see if we can still cross post our material on Digihitch because the extent of our efforts over the next two years will be along the lines of doing a random bit of voter trend spotting in the automobile museums of Germany.  If that doesn’t help Obama very much . . . oh well . . . at least there will be photos in the e-scrapbook to remind the writer when he gets old of just how much fun it was to do the “Europe on 5$ a day” routine in the second half of Obama’s first (and only?) term in office.

This year Germany is celebrating the 125th year of automotive history.  Sounds like a fun thing for this columnist to cover.  Once, long before we sent our first news tip to Ray Wert, we talked our way into a top rate automobile museum on a day when it was closed.  We’d like to think Mr. Hearst would give us a “well done” on that stunt.

W. A. Swanberg (Ibid page 57) wrote that Hearst regarded journalism as:  “an enchanted playground in which giants and dragons were to be slain simply for the fun of the thing.”  Wouldn’t it be funny if Hunter S. Thompson read that book before choosing journalism for his career?

Yeah, it was great fun the one time we saw our efforts mentioned on Mike’s Blog Report.  It made us feel like we might some day get a membership card and bragging rights that we were “in with the ‘in’ crowd,” but it was more fun when Time magazine’s Reagan era White House correspondent entered our apartment in Marina del Rey (many years ago) and exclaimed:  “My God, Bob, it is a hovel!”  We’ll have to work that moment into our memoirs . . . if we ever get around to finishing that project.

Would it be funny if a TSA employee said “turn your head and cough” during a pat-down?

The Daily Curser used to plug good blog postings.  They are long gone, but still listed on a list of other blogs at a certain high profile liberal pundit aggregator site.  Did the Cursor ever mention our efforts?  What blogger holds the record for “talking shop” with the most winners of a Pulitzer Prize?  Is four a good number?

Swanberg succinctly captured the hippie commune non-judgmental democratic atmosphere of a newsroom (Ibid page 70) in one sentence:  “The <I>Examiner</I> had drinkers of all categories, moderate, steady, intermittent and inert, and the staff was so flexibly arranged that when a member fell from grace another would take his place without comment.”

[Note:  One night in late 1996 we saw Hunter S. Thompson appear at Johnny Depp’s night club on the Sunset Strip.  He drank an amber liquid from a whisky bottle for three hours and at the end of the evening he wasn’t showing any of the three symptoms of intoxication, which are:  impaired physical dexterity, slurred speech, or incoherent thinking.  What up wid dat?  Was it a hoax or a miracle?]

Nietzsche wrote:  “Nothing succeeds if prankishness plays no part in it.”  We have always wondered how that applied to the stodgy Huffington Post or if it was the exception to the rule.  Now we know.

Now the disk jockey will play the Doors’ “Show me the way,” “See what the boys in the back room are having,” and “Pour me another tequila, Sheila.”  We have to go and try to decipher the inside joke behind the word “Rosebud.”  May you have a “Let’s celebrate the $315 million sale with a big party!” type week.  This columnist is going to have a glass of A & W. diet root beer and then browse through the travel guide books to Paris (France not Texas) which are available at the Berkeley Public Library – after we check out the latest pro Egyptian student demonstration at Sproul Plaza.

Does it seem like the summer of 1816 to you?

January 27, 2011

This column has been cross posted at
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/bob-patterson/33942/the-return-of-the-year-there-was-no-summer

A volcanic eruption of Biblical proportions is often cited as the cause of the unusual weather experienced around the northern hemisphere in 1816, which is often called “the year there was no summer.”  If, as some of the cutting edge conspiracy theory advocates are alleging, the summer of 2011 does a repeat of its 1816’ disappearing act, because of the Gulf oil spill, pundits will eventually get around to haggling over the topic:  “Did global warming start with the volcanic eruption in 1815?”  This columnist would like to ask that question now, and move on (dot org?) to something else for this summer.

While doing some fact checking about the wagering on various candidates who might be the successful candidate for the Presidency of the USA in 2012, we came across the curious bit of information that one of the overseas bookies is giving a thousand to one odds for bets that Laura Bush will be the winner.<!–break–>

Is it true that only the best journalistic hot dogs cover the <a href =http://www.buchmesse.de/en/fbf/>Frankfurt Book Faire</a>?

Has any columnist laid claim to the boast “the pundit other pundits read first”?  Did Freddie Francisco use that line?  If so, would he be gracious enough to let us “borrow” it in the Internets era?  Didn’t Ambrose Bierce write a San Francisco based column before he went AWOL?  Isn’t there a conspiracy theory that suggests that Bierce sneaked quietly back into “Baghdad by the Bay,” and did ghost writing using Freddie Francisco as his nom de plume?

One of the items included in the wrangling over the city budget in Berkeley CA is some quibbling about the use of medical coverage for city employees who want sex change operations.  Maybe if Rush Limbaugh mentions that in a future broadcast, he’ll attribute the tip to Freddie Francisco?

Will the efforts to orchestrate a boycott of Rush’s sponsors work or will it come off looking like a Chinese fire drill?  Wasn’t the very first boycott over an Irish matter?

Speaking of Oprah, we wonder:  Will Qantas now move on our suggestion that they use bargain fares to lure Netroots Nation into holding one of their conventions in Sydney?  Heck, bloggers could go to Sydney in January of 2013 and then come back and hold a second one somewhere in the USA in July and, then it would be the year with two summers, for those who attended both events.

We’ve lost our copy of “Naked is the best disguise,” by Samuel Rosenberg.  As soon as we find a replacement copy (there are beau coup good used book stores in Berkeley) we will start to write a column on his conspiracy theory that philosopher Fred C. Nietzsche was the real life identity of Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis Professor Moriarty.

Why do polar bears (Ursus Maritimus) get all the publicity?  If global warming is more than a figment of the collective mind of the scientific community, then why don’t penguins get some attention?  If the ice cap in the northern hemisphere is in danger of melting away, then won’t the other one melt too and leave the penguins (Aptenodytes patagonica) homeless too?  If the Southern ice cap isn’t going to melt, why not just send the polar bears down there?
Do the luxury hotels in Antarctica tout surfing on their fine beaches or do they stress the skiing experiences available nearby?

Speaking of San Francisco, that’s where the True Oldies Channel (TOC) has their home office.  One of the top features of the TOC is their daily selection of a sentimental song as the cheesy listening song of the day.  You want schmaltz?  You wanna do a Boener blubber scene because of a song on the radio?  We urge our faithful readers (all dozen of you) to e-mail in this suggestion:  Elvis’ “Old Shep.”  Tell Scott Shannon (the TOC’s answer to Emperor Norton?) that you got the idea from Freddie Francisco.

Did you know that San Francisco has two official songs and that (the last time we checked with the city clerk) Berkeley doesn’t have even one?  We’ll have to see what the official city song is in Concordia Kansas.  Do they have two like Frisco?  Or have they been as lax in that department as has Berkeley?

Did you just ask for some political punditry before we fade to commercial?  Our latest bit of fact checking indicates that the current odds regarding JEB as the winner of the 2012 Presidential Elections are forty to one. 

In “Don’t Call It ‘Frisco” (Double Day & Co 1953 hardback page 195), Herb Caen wrote:  “Books that are banned in Boston are best sellers in San Francisco, and their merits are argued hotley in the finest salons.”  Did he really mean to use just one “o”?

Now the disk jockey will play Fred Astair’s “Mr. Top Hat” album, Paul Evans song “Seven Little Girls (Sitting in the back seat with Fred),” and Freddie and the Dreamers album “Fun Lovin’ Freddie.”  Now, we gotta go get tickets for the Porchlight showing of the film “Brushes with Fame.”  Have the kind of week that only Munro Leaf could chronicle.