Posts Tagged ‘Rush Limbaugh’

In search of Déjà vu in Berkeley

August 2, 2013

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

September 28, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did Barabbas have a horse that could participate in a dressage competition or did he just ride a fast quarter horse (for quick getaways?)?  Is there really a place called “Rose’s Cantina” in El Paso?  Do you know where the only foreign military base inside the United State is located?  Shouldn’t every American military base be named “Fort Bliss”?

Speaking of the Museum for the U. S. Cavalry, isn’t it remarkable that Errol Flynn did such a good job of portraying General George A. Custer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are Americans living in a world of carefully crafted illusions?

March 5, 2012

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

He did use the term “self reliance” several time Monday morning. 

 

When Armstrong posts and shares a link to one of our columns on <a href =http://www.facebook.com/james.r.armstrong1>facebook </a>, we get a perceptible bump in hits.  We had shamelessly suggested that the Philanthropy coach bring the humble efforts of the World’s Laziest Journalist to the attention of some of her well known friends in the journalism industry.  Could they do better at boosting the hits? 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

What would life be without handy, comfortable illusionary images?

The closing quote has to be a line from “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”  “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. ”

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

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

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.