05 July 2006

The Crank, The Crook and the Consultants, or What The Hell Has Happened To U.S.?

The loony-toons North Korean dictator fired off seven bottle rockets on the Fourth of July, and the Space Shuttle vanished entirely. This morning, one of the great crooks in an age of crooks had a massive heart attack and Iraq vanished entirely, along with the Bill of Rights, the Internet, and several thousand bags of Cheetos.


Well, that's my reaction, too.

If ever we needed a meditation on what the American Revolution means in the present day, it was yesterday. But, alas, the 'wisdom' of the pundits seemed on holiday. If you turned on the TV (which I made the mistake of doing, wanting to watch the replay of the shuttle launch), all you saw was Network Consultants waxing an earful of fearful and tearful with their phony wisdom and surreal pronouncements.

A man with an awful haircut, Gloria Steinem glasses and a penchant for khaki leisure suits fired off a few rockets far across the sea. Why is this such a national crisis? Are we wussies? Are we so small that the pipsqueak dictator of a failed nation that can't even feed itself throws us into the paroxysms of a massive anxiety attack? Are we so invested in our Godlike view of ourselves ("The Last Superpower") that the North Koreans thumbing their noses at the Bushies is intolerable?

Who was harmed? What vital national interest is at stake? And, more importantly, what credible military threat do we have, other than using OUR nuclear rockets? We've just about destroyed the military; can't retain enlistees, have had to up the enlistment age to 42; our veterans benefits are being slashed, hospitals shut down; our troops still don't have body armor and they're STILL retrofitting humvees with armor -- but, significantly, with none on the bottom. We've bankrupted the treasury, sold out Social Security and Medicare, jackbooted over the bill of rights and

And Mr. Leisure Suit is THE news story?

Give me a break.

Let me tell you, I spent a good chunk of the afternoon skimming CNN, MSNBC and even (gasp) FAUX Nooz for anything on the space shuttle. Silly me. Why should a moment of national pride be mentioned when all the hysterical grannies of the national punditry are replaying James Thurber's "The Night The Burglars Came."

Who knows. Kim Jong Il may blow chloroform under the door. From all evidence, it looks like he already did.

I guess I'm just astonished: this White House Gang (Tammany Hall without the Competence, seemingly) are supposed to be media GENIUSES!

But Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong Il, and (unpronounceable) of Iran play the media like a kid's wheeled xylophone. They hit it a couple of times, and our ever servile media lackeys begin whimpering like a whipped hound dog.

Good grief.

Whatever happened to that other stuff I was talking about?

Now, if you're of a Machiavellian turn of mind, you'll say this is EXACTLY what the Bushies want. They get to play Mr. Macho and Mr. Restraint all day while the substitute White House faces give us breathless updates on did he fire six missiles or only five.

Well, you got to ask yourself, punk: Do you feel lucky?

This morning, after resolving the burning five or six missile question (turns out it was six) a SEVENTH missile was fired.

Only one was long range, and the Government reports that it failed after either 42 seconds or 60 seconds. And we all believe the Government, right?

(I'm still working on my shame at believing our lying UN Ambassador and his bullshit story about the USS Pueblo being "clearly" within international waters. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look it up.)

Or Colin Powell selling a line of crap that he clearly didn't believe (I said it at the time) to the UN about Saddam's threat, etcetera.

Crap. We aren't in danger. If Kim Jong Il engages in an overt act of war, then we know what to do. But telling a bratty kid not to do something, and then when he does it, giving him all your attention only encourages the brattiness. Any parent knows that.

And, this morning, rather than letting Ken Lay (of ENRON) slither to that province of Hell he's so assiduously earned by stealing the retirement of thousands of pensioners and soon-to-be pensioners, and looting the state of California, well, rather than letting him do that, he's being eulogized and lionized, and held up as an "innovator" and a "pioneer."

Bullshit. He was awaiting sentencing.

Now, he takes his case to a lower court.

I hear the air-conditioning is non-existent.

But, what the hell are we thinking? When a Creep a Crook and a bunch of ninnies nabobed as pundits natter and niggle and negate whatever meaningful discussion and news that there is in an ever-increasingly stupid national discourse, well, we need to blame somebody.

I guess it's easiest to blame CNN.

It's all Lary King's fault. Maybe that's how Kim Jong Il got them krazeeeee glasses.

Meantime, we keep on munching them Cheetos.



Blogger Cap'n Crusty said...

Speaking of porn...sort of...sort of porn...sort of speaking of it...

Pioneer who fought in Supreme Court and battled Barry Goldwater dies

July 6, 2006 11:34 AM

The Associated Press

NEW YORK Long before the days of Internet porn there was a magazine called Eros. Launched in 1962, it featured erotic art that got its publisher convicted and jailed in a case that reached the Supreme Court.

The man behind Eros was Ralph Ginzburg. He died today in a New York City hospice at age 76 following a battle with myeloma.

Even apart from Eros, Ginzburg was no stranger to controversy. In 1964 he sent questionnaires to 12-thousand psychiatrists, asking if they believed Barry Goldwater was psychologically fit to be president.

Ginzburg said the responses he got showed the Republican was paranoid and that he played cruel practical jokes as a child. Goldwater sued for libel and won.

Ginzburg also started a couple of other magazines, and at age 55 began a second career as a newspaper photographer in New York.

7/06/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger ed waldo said...

The sad thing about Ginzburg was that, in both cases, he would be perfectly legal today. As a public figure, Barry Goldwater would only be able to sue for libel if he could prove that Ginzburg knowing and willfully published falsehoods. And the "obscenity" charges would be laughed out of court.

Until the Roberts Court has its way, of course.

Here's a snippet from the WASH POST obit:

"It was not the content of his work but rather his reputedly salacious promotional methods that were central to his conviction on federal obscenity laws in a federal court in 1963. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction three years later, ruling that an obscenity conviction is possible if "the purveyor's sole emphasis is on the sexually provocative aspects of his publications."

"Mr. Ginzburg was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $42,000. He served eight months at Allenwood minimum security prison in Pennsylvania, and this became the inspiration for his book "Castrated: My Eight Months in Prison" (1973).

"The conviction was not culturally isolated. At the time, Henry Miller's "Tropic of Capricorn" was being removed from public libraries, congressmen were trying to link obscenity to a larger Communist plot and anti-smut campaigns were in full-throttle."

Sadly, Ginzburg was a footnote in the history books, and his fifteen minutes were up. But I never saw him as a First Amendment crusader. More like a failed Al Goldstein. Still, Requiscat in Pace, to mix ethno-religous metaphoric formulae that I don't personally subscribe to.

Then again, I never subscribed to EROS, either.

7/07/2006 04:11:00 PM  

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