Artist Mark Petersen opened his new show, titled “game changer,” at the “local 123 café” gallery in Berkeley on Friday March 16, 2012; the premise for the show is that 99% of society are pawns in a game being played by the one percent of the population that believes in a government of the elite by the elite is run for the benefit of the elite. We took some photos of the artist and assumed that the philosophy underlying the works of art would provide a graphic metaphor for starting a column that would explain the results of this week’s Primary Election inIllinois, which we were expecting. When the final count ran completely contrary to our expectations, the lede for this week’s column wasn’t the only thing that needed a quick revision.
The World’s Laziest Journalist has assumed that Karl Rove hasn’t worked all these years for the Bush family so that he will get a prestigious seat assignment for the Inauguration of Mitt Romney as President in January of 2013; so when JEB endorsed Romney the day after Romney won in Illinois, it seemed that it was time for the various radio talk shows to use “A simple twist of fate” for their bumper music as the week drew to a close.
There are two ways to write political commentary. You can either report your own personal thoughts and reactions or you can read up on other commentary and then make the choice to either follow the crowd or go rogue. Since our access to TV and the Internets is rather limited lately and since our budget has necessitated a drastic reduction in our ability to read the New York Times on a daily basis, we have been forced by circumstances to go the “I column as I see ’em” route to forming our political opinions.
Our immediate reaction to Tuesday’s election results inIllinoisand the JEB endorsement story was to begin a search for a clever line that would casually mention Bishop Romney or to make some snarky remark about Mitt Goldwater or Senator Barry Romney.
Are the Republicans really going to give the Presidential Nomination to a fellow who turns off a goodly number of their own voters? Apparently they are. Are the Democrats going to give their party’s nomination to a guy who has put his <I>imprimatur</I> on the Bush war policies by adopting them with a <I>Nihil Obstat</I> rating? Apparently they are.
Political commentary hasn’t had to contend with a game changer like Tuesday’sIllinoisresults since Linden B. Johnson told Americans, on March 31, 1968, that he wouldn’t seek reelection.
While the very convoluted contemporary political scene gets sorted out, what can a columnist write to amuse and entertain the dozen or so regular readers? “ . . . <I>to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget</I> . . .”
There will be a cornucopia of topics not related to the November election available during April because this year there will be chances to write about: the one hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, theSan Franciscoearthquake, National Columnists’ Day, the bombing ofGuernica, the Columbine school shooting rampage, and the start of Winston Smith’s clandestine diary.
We could also write about the Air Sex Championships scheduled for Tuesday March 27, 2012, at the Elbo Room inSan Francisco. It wasn’t immediately clear if the Air Sex Championships is a band or a contest similar to the Air Guitar competitions.
Since Mitt Romney’s middle name is Willard perhaps we could write a column comparing the November Election to the classic movie “Apocalypse Now”? It’s not difficult to imagine candidate Romney looking at the Obama legacy and responding to an question about the effectiveness of Obama’s agenda by muttering: “I don’t see any methods at all . . . .”
If Willard Romney wants to project a “man of the people” image (on his Etch-a-sketch screen?) perhaps he should show off some bowling trophies?
We could run a plug for a friend’s automobile photos and then use that as an excuse for segueing into considering if we should send a query letter to the assignment editor at Jalopnik suggesting they assign a political pundit to test drive a new Ferrari or maybe just a chance to describe the sensations produced while operating a Zamboni. Does anyone ever hold Zamboni races? Would an assignment to cover such hypothetical Zamboni races provide a chance to write an allegorical novel about “a savage journey to the heart of the American Dream”?
Could a series of weekly Photo Reports on Contemporary Pop Culture pass as weekend wrap-up columns?
Could we write a column with deep psychological insights based on the fact that this week inSan Francisco, we saw an advertisement for whipped cream flavored vodka? Would anyone read such a column? Would anyone care? “<I>What certainty had he that a single human creature now living was on his side?</I>”
Is it worth the effort for the World’s Laziest Journalist to go toChicagoand see if the Occupy May Day protests there will produce any 1968 flashbacks?
A trip toLondonto see the Olympic Games might not be cost effective for a columnist who would have to subsidize his own travel expenses.
Didn’t a long haul trucker become an art critic for the New York Times? Hasn’t that fellow maxed out on getting Facebook friends? Has that guy ever heard the music of the German Country and Western band named “Truck Stop”? Is it possible to think of the concept of Country music with lyrics sung in German and not think of Hunter S. Thompson’s line in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” describing the “Circus Circus” casino?
Lately talk radio seems to consist of either conservative hosts endorsing the conservative talking points made by conservative callers or progressive hosts attempting to drop a game changer explanation on a conservative caller who doesn’t seem inclined to listen to any rebuttals. A Romeny vs. the incumbent Presidential race does not seem to offer any hope for improving the entertainment factor for talk radio.
At this point, it seems that rebroadcasts of some of Wolfman Jack shows would be more entertaining than any production figures about oil pipelines provided by a man who has talent on loan from God.
Can anyone make the chocolate production numbers more informative and entertaining than Rush Limbaugh? “<I>Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones</I>.”
Speaking of Uncle Rushbo, has he commented on the Treyvon Martin affair yet?
There isn’t going to be any drama about the eventual Democratic Party pick for the fall election. The Republicans seem resigned to the fact that Mitt Romney is predestined to get his party’s nomination. Isn’t the challenge facing both political parties comparable to the idea of getting American sports fans hooked on rugby?
This columnist was expecting to write a series of columns for 2012 that would sound quite a bit like what one might expect to be produced by a black belt in conspiracy theory, but all that evaporated this week when the movement toward the selection of the Republican nominee got its “white smoke/new pope” moment.
If football players can get bonus pay for sending a member of the opposing team to the hospital, why can’t liberal pundits get big extra bucks for items that cripple the campaigns of conservative candidates?
We will (apparently) have to scrap all our plans to win a few friendly bets on JEB Bush and face a bleak choice of either making some tepid criticism of both party’s candidates or changing the focus of the columns to other topics. However, in the best spirit of conspiracy theory lunatic thinking, we can remember that in this vitriolic world of unexplained events, an unexpected game changer development could become a new factor quicker that you can say “Senator Paul Wellstone.”
The closing quote for this column was found in George Orwell’s essay titled “Looking back on the Spanish War.” He wrote: “All that the working man demands is what these others would consider the indispensable minimum without which human life can not be lived at all. Enough to eat, freedom from the terror of unemployment, the knowledge that your children will get a fair chance, a bath once a day, clean linen reasonably often, a roof that doesn’t leak, and short enough working hours to leave you with a little energy when the day is done.” The Republicans inSpainwanted that?
Now the disk jockey will play Patsy Cline’s “So Wrong,” Waylon Jennings “WRONG!,” and Buddy Holly’s “Whatcha Gonna Do About It?” We have to go look for some new column leitmotifs. Have an “Ignorance is strength” type week.