The Chimes at Midnight
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Jerry Williams R.I.P.
The so called "Dean" of Boston talk radio Jerry Williams has gone to the throne of the almighty. All obnoxious windbags must doff their hats in silent remembrance.
Our Jerry virtually single handed created the daily bile style of talk radio making it seem both glamorous and obscenely profitable.
People forget today but at his imperial high noon Jerry was a monster damage monkey drunk with rage and vengeance. Williams loomed large through out the Dukakis era posing as a principled libertarian or some such demagogic rubbish.
I remember with the simplest nostalgia his three way payback fests every Tuesday with the Boston Herald's vulgarian /columnist Howie Carr and power hungry political boss Barbara Anderson ....oh the Commonwealth stood still when these three were in session, no state tax examiner was safe!
And how they'd characterize the least lackwitted public functionary as a hack and a corruptionist...it was hack hack hack all day long with Jerry.
"The Governors" as they called themselves took lavish credit for the fall of Michael Dukakis, artfully editing out the influence of the recession and the Duke's electoral defeat at the hands of George Bush.
Of course, people forget Jerry's heavy handed lobbying the State Lottery Commission to secure his girlfriend a promotion or his annual sex extravaganza where he'd play the taped call-in from a woman who used the washing machine for auto-erotic stimulation.
Yup that was our Jerry, lauded as a class act right to the end.
Of course all wild rides come to an end, Williams was eventually dropped from his cushy afternoon slot in favor of his old lackey Howie Carr...something that rankled Jerry to no end according to my sources.
The irony is, Carr wrote William's front page obituary in today's Herald...my how those crocodile tears do flow.
Even the nastiest apex predator comes to an sordid end sooner or later...so I wonder what stooge of Howie's has designs on the columnist's easy street radio gig?
Ah but Jerry Williams is dead, we will see his like again and again and again though.
Maher'd and Mauled
Bill Maher was on the Imus in the Morning program today...it was on the surface a pretty nondescript appearance certainly no more newsworthy than Congressman Harold Ford's lackluster call-in yesterday.
Maher described at lengths the cancellation of his late night show "Politically Incorrect". This bit of two year old news seemed the only thing Imus was interested in despite supposedly being palsy-walsy with Maher's late Father.
Bill's version of his ouster from ABC is colorful and selectively self edited...he claims ABC somehow didn't realize that "Politically Incorrect" really WAS a fount of politically incorrect talk...as such some of his rhetoric and musings somehow gave the network the whirlies.
As such when it came time for Maher to characterize our cruise missile attacks on various cretins as cowardice
Y'know it all makes a kind of sense except when you realize that Maher declined to assign any blame to the ensuing flag-hag superpatriotism...all stoked by radio talk show hosts and the usual rightical chic punditariat.
Nope none of this figures prominently in Maher's post mortem.
It's sad when a perfectly mediocre talent becomes a eunuch and it's plain gruesome to see it happening right before our eyes...so to speak.
Never once in a fifteen minute call-in to the Imus program, did Bill use the word "right wing"....He insists the network wasn't comfortable with his challenging politically incorrect dialogues....there is a vague hint in this formulation that it is all the liberal suits fault.
THEY didn't stand up for him, THEY didn't defy a conservative media monolith that no-one dares to oppose anymore.
Well...Bill has a new show on HBO now so I'm sure he has to sing for his supper.
I mean, it's either this or he goes back to headlining at the Comedy Studio in Harvard Square....
And we can't have that can we?
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Terrible Tom Friedman or Trout Fishing in Oceania
There is a reason why New York Times columnist Tom Friedman is American Conservatism's favorite liberal....because he's spineless, puny, easily intimidated, susceptible to auto-suggestion and sounds endlessly comical whenever he waxes wrathful.
No joke about that, Tom goes on the Imus in the Morning and occasionally starts blustering about the perfidy of America's enemies and the need for Big Don Rumsfeld to chastise them all with daisy-cutters.
A unintentionally funnier routine can't be found, Tom's war-like squeaks recall the class dweeb frantically trying to suck up to the school bully in a tearful attempt to avoid the inevitable daily beating.
It's just plain sad to think Tom carries on this servile fashion to avoid the verbal contempt of a vulgar old zombie like Don Imus....it's akin to being scared of Grampa Simpson or something.
"Bully worship" is what Orwell called it I think.
Otherwise Friedman seems to exist to have his alleged well intentioned liberal naivete' shattered by resolute conservative action.
Take for example the affair of the skulls, not even three weeks ago Tom was making all kinds of doubtful noises about the existence of Iraq's weapon's of mass destruction. He suggested that if the Bush Admin came up empty handed in the search chemical and biological weapons, they'd look foolish.
Well three weeks have passed in Iraq with alarming discoveries of cleaning fluid and barrels of lubricants...and it's beginning to look like Tom might have to call into question Bush's war rationale.
But lo a pile of skulls were found somewhere somehow and Tom decided that this gruesome sight "made it all worthwhile"...in the desperate search for an out Tom has come up with a grotty massacre to justify the whole multi-trillion dollar operation.
It'd be funny if it turned out that in the end, the skulls dated back to prehistoric times or something...it's easy to imagine given all the cleaning fluid that's been mistaken for sarin nerve gas in Iraq these last two weeks.
Tom reminds me of Winston Smith, after O'Brien got done with him in the Ministry of Love...the telescreen squawks and all Tom's doubts fears and resentments are banished, he can fall to his knees in worship with dignity intact..
Monday, April 28, 2003
A quickie for a Monday:
I'm back and the world, for better or worse is still here.
If Joshua Micah Marshall is to be believed, Rummie's candidate for post Saddam leader, one Achmed Chalabi is tear-assing around the Iraqi countryside with his trusty militia looking for Hussein and his sons.
Images of "The Rat Patrol" come charging to mind with the nasty monotone of Donald Rumsfeld blaring out from Achmed's satellite phone "bring im' back dead or alive!"
Somehow nabbing Saddam
This more than anything else is good evidence of the sheer dreamworld that Donald Rumsfeld inhabits....that a starving thirsty peonage will carry Chalabi on their shoulders to the Presidential palace once he produces the head of Saddam Hussein.
In fact Chalabi is looking more and more like "Colonel Kit Coyote" the blustery cavalry officer from the old "Underdog" cartoon.
Oh he may get Saddam, if "getting" Saddam is defined as signing an invoice from the U.S. Special Forces.
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Note to the laity:
I'm on vacation until monday 4-28....but if it all goes to smash, and I don't come back....try to remember I was once an eagle.
See yez monday-but in the interim, why not bookmark my good friend Lis Riba's blog? She is like wa-ay smarter than humble John don'cha know.
Bechtel the Truth....
I read in the papers that Bechtel Corp who did the planning for Boston's "big dig" has landed a juicy 680 million dollar reconstruction contract in Iraq.
I will pass over in silence Bechtel's omnipresent links to the current admin and merely warn General Jay Garner, the Pentagon's Supreme Potentate in Baghdad to watch those Bechtel bastards like a hawk!
Back in 1989 they gave the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a 2.5 billion dollar estimate for depressing the central artery, the current price tag has ballooned to 16 BILLION dollars that'll be nicely filched out of my pocket til the day I die.
That includes over a billion dollars in cushy cost over-runs that Bechtel freely and brazenly admits...ghod only knows what costs and charges these corporate buccaneers are holding back!
Using the central artery project as a crude yardstick 680 million dollars worth of post war reconstruction is sure to end up costing 4 or 5 billion dollars once all the rack-offs,pay offs and dumb-ass mistakes are factored in.
Beware Bechtel General Garner!
Not that I wanna beat a dead horse or anything....
but some deceased equines are out there just begging for some blunt force impact trauma...
Honestly though, who at Wellesley College decided that a malevolent falangist like Andrew Sullivan would make a dandy marquee name for an Orwell symposium?
Didn't Andy airily call election 2000's Gore-voters a "fifth column"?
He sure did, which raises a issue that would be familiar to any old timey Franco-partisan, namely how can 48% of the voting population dominate and disenfranchise a clear electoral majority?
Back in the day they used blunt instruments like civil war and barbarous slaughter to put that 48% into power....but now thanks to money,modern technology, and a punditariat composed equally of slackers and fixers, nothing so crude is necessary.
At least not yet.
Said Orwell conference goes down May 1st through the 3rd out at Wellesley, Christopher Hitchens is the actual above-the-title star attraction. I won't be in attendance, the $150.00 fee is big cashola to humble JohnIAT....
And anyway the notion that two power-worshipping reactionary scoundrels like Andy and Chris debating or even discussing Orwell with a straight face is giving the whirlies even as I type this...
But by Ghod, I gave that dead horse a GOOD thrashing!!!
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Breakout at the Santorum...
It's a little sad when a nondescript senatorial meat-puppet like Rick Santorum goes unquietly bonkers.
How else to explain Senator Rick Santorum's bizarre anticonstitutional opinion that privacy rights in the home don't extend to homosexuals?
The naive' notion that hardshell christians a'la Santorum possess the inner serenity of the saved is of course, sheer nonsense. No matter how many props these dingbats think they've wracked up in Heaven they are still tormented by the thought of consensual sexuality of any kind as well as a host of other sad embarrassing phobias.
Eventually the strain proves intolerable and these poor wretched boobs go reeling out onto the Senate floor screeching in helpless panic about the diresome threat posed by unwed mothers or homosexuals manning intestate toll-booths.
The U.S. Senate was once a reasonable protector of the citizenry and their rights. Now it's become a kind of 21st century sideshow, a political freakzone populated by wealthy eccentrics who compulsively pleasure themselves at the mere mention of the President's holy name when they are not cowering from the bogeyman....
Alas there is no one on duty at the Senate to counterspin Santorum's grievous screed, Majority Leader Frist (a hapless footling despite his M.D. if ever I saw one) is touring Asia at the moment excitedly demonstrating his christian invulnerability to the SARS virus.
There is no succor there either, no doubt Bill Frist agrees with Santorum 100% and can load up the critique with as many pseudo medical references when needed.
Friday, April 18, 2003
Am I the only one who thinks inviting Andrew "bareback" Sullivan to Wellesley College's upcoming "George Orwell Centenary Conference" is just a bit too ironic for words?
It's akin to having Joe Stalin as the keynoter for a symposium on the forced collectivization of agriculture or something.
Yup, bareback Andy is riding those priceless "conservative writer" credentials to fame and fortune.
However, wag that I am I have to ask, is it proper to call Mr. Sullivan a conservative?
Andrew Sullivan certainly does not believe in small limited government, not where the punishment of liberals is concerned. He has in the past dismissed those who voted for Al Gore as an American Fifth Column in terms worthy of Lavrenty Beria.
Andy is certainly not a strict constitutionalist in any way. If it meant the deposition of President Bill Clinton he'd have happily countenanced any congressional usurpation of executive power either by impeachment or outright coup.
You can't even trust his free market bona fides, Sullivan is a famous Bush apologist and as everyone knows the President made his personal fortune seizing land by eminent domain down in Texas.
inflammatory jokes and nostrums designed to maximize political freedom of action for the Bush family.
Granted Andrew Sullivan is a homosexual which plants him firmly in a perpetual American out-group, one loathed by a good portion of modern conservatives.
But it's my thesis here that Andy is no movement conservative and anyway the velvet closet is known for it's soundproofing and think fortress-like walls.
Conservatism for Andrew Sullivan is little more than a cognitively dissonant collection of inflammatory jokes and nostrums designed to maximize political freedom of action for the Bush family.
Modern conservatism is dead or so this blog asserts, and since Sullivan isn't a political necrophant then he must have some link to some ideology that pays his bills. He may say this ideology is "conservative" but the facts indicate a contrary set of political concepts are in play here.
So if Andrew Sullivan isn't a conservative, and he certainly is no liberal-what then is he?
In Orwell's own lexicon, Andrew Sullivan is a power-worshipper, the lowest most contemptible brute in that great writer's estimation.
George Orwell (as if he mattered anymore) would repudiate a celebrant like Andy for his vicious lackey ways in the harshest terms imaginable.
The sad thing is, Orwell "himself" has become an "Orwellian proposition" wherein the word both chooses and obscures the intended meaning.
We know little about Orwell other than to be accused to Orwellian thought or action is a bad thing.
This vague "Orwellian necessity" is an indispensable element within the lexicon of accusation.
Hence opportunistic power worshippers become conservatives, who in turn do Orwell conferences where no doubt the "Orwellian" aspects of Bill Clinton's impeachment defense will be chuckled over heartily.
Thursday, April 17, 2003
A New Lees on Life...
I remember with the simplest nostalgia sitting with a former executive director of the Massachusetts GOP and watching the 1988 election night returns.
He was jubilant, not because his hero George Bush senior had won the Presidency, but because republican Brian Lees zealous reformer and suburban puritan had been elected to the State Senate. Oh he predicted great things for this simpleminded businessman and former aide to U.S. Senator Ed Brooke....Brian was gonna bring the reign of the godly to Beacon Hill and clean up politics for all time in the Bay State.
Now, fifteen years later, sheer attrition among his endangered GOP colleagues has propelled Lees to the lonely eminence of being Senate Minority Leader. A meaningless position in this commonwealth, akin to being a Grand Admiral in the Ohio State Navy.
Once, long ago, Brian could've been somebody, a contender to quote Bud Schulberg. Alas the jerk legion calls and Brian is never one to forego the great muster of the vengeful and brainless.
His current patriotic project is to impose high fines from anti-war protesters to offset the costs of carting them off to the pokey when they civilly disobey. So get this straight, Brian an otherwise predictable fatuous yanker from Erewhon Ma. wants to raise taxes on war-protesters!
Taxes never go away even for the most committed anti-tax hysteric. Normally what is sold as a tax cut is more precisely a shift in the burden from one politically active cohort onto a more torpid subset of citizens. Governor Romney uses just this exact scheme by cutting local aid forcing localities to raise property taxes to keep the roof on the High School. The salubrious effects of this policy are immediate, the price of land goes up, only millionaires can buy land here, soon the entire electorate will be rich and will vote Romney in as Governor for Eternity.
Brian however, wants to apply this on a tactical scale against the latest outrageous out group i.e. anti-war demonstrators.
In effect he's using law enforcement as a cover for a new state revenue scheme....
Shilling for new taxes... look at what happened to the golden boy of election night 1988.
If Brian Lees had a shred of dignity or self respect he'd be Lieutenant Governor by now, but seventeen years of hauling water for a endless stream to GOP gubernatorial hacks, thieves, and mediocrities have reduced the Senate Minority Leader to a grubby ape-like political mentality.
Sad isn't it?
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Refusals and Recusals
If you want a good if disquieting read, pick up Eric Alterman's new book "What Liberal Media". The chapter on the Florida recount fiasco alone is well worth it. I never knew this but apparently Justice Sandra Day O'Connor attended a cocktail party on election day and bemoaned the possibility of a Gore victory. She was thinking about retiring and didn't want Gore appointing her successor.
And yet not thirty days later without so much as a by-your-leave there she was ruling on the Florida recount in favor of George Bush and his scurvy crew.
We live in a brutally unselfconscious age my friends, and if you are a movement conservative in America today you are freely encouraged to wallow in your hatred of constitutional governance. There are vast television networks, news organizations and wealthy benefactors to enable your loathing for democracy....on that never fear.
Their lack of even a polite hypocritical pretense of love for democracy may be a new and odious thing, but the solution to this sad situation is old and reliable.
James Madison (author of the Federalist Papers) said that in a contest between law and power, law always loses. The only thing that constrains power is an opposing application of power....the trick is, that liberty and the law must be amplified as a consequence of that conflict.
Well I won't go into how federalism, individual rights, and the separation of powers animates our republic....better writers than I are so much more eloquent on the subject.
I will say this, force is the only thing that will decide the issue...I'm not advocating violence but as liberals and progressives we must become louder, more belligerent and unyieldingly truculent.
We come to this fight without many necessities like cable television networks kissing our asses, bellicose DC think tanks, and endless money.
But just remember this, millions of Americans feel as you do, repeat that to yourself the next time some jack-off at work starts ranting and raving like they were Achille Starace.
Millions...and people equal power, and power is the only thing that will get us out of this mess.
Meanwhile, after you are done reading this, why not do something to piss off the nearest movement conservative?
Doesn't have to be much, just give em a little rhetorical prod to bust up their bright eternal sunshine...
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
The Divine Secrets of the Yak Yak Sisterhood
I was listening to Laura Ingraham droning away on the Imus show this morning...a situation that usually puts me in peril of falling asleep from boredom while behind the wheel.
However today was different, no Laura's rap was as stultifying and predictable as ever as ever...I suddenly asked myself "Laura is a notorious bon vivant, what is the secret of her hangover cure!!???"
David Brock in his seminal memoir "Blinded by the Right" describes all sorts of crude drunken rampages with Laura...stuff like that tends to wear you down.
Not Laura Ingraham though, she could be swilling down a tin bucket of Jenkin's Vodka and we'd never know it out in radio land.
This is no joke, it doesn't seem to matter what she was doing the night before, Laura always sounds fresh as a daisy during her early morning calls to the Imus in the Morning program.
Maybe she has a tank of oxygen next to her bed...or maybe she uses extract of nux vomica...but whatever it is, it keeps that notorious party girl spry and on-message 24-7.
Monday, April 14, 2003
A Brief partisan Thought Experiment:
inspired by Tim Russert's appearance in Imus today in which he lauded the President's "decisiveness".
The President has many more apologists than he does virtues-if we start with that premise then consider this:
WHAT IF George Bush had been a good boy and joined the Air Force after graduating Yale in 1968 instead of hiding out in the Air National Guard?
WHAT IF He'd gotten shot down over Hanoi like John McCain and sent to the notorious "Hanoi Hilton" as a POW?
IS THERE ANY DOUBT that faced with the prospect of torture in extremis that GWB would've signed anything and rosily turned on his own country?
Hell he'd be on Radio Hanoi's shortwave service today reading crop harvest yields and editorializing about the diresome necessity for all of Asia to collectivize it's agriculture.
Angry little bullies like George are almost never hard-core true believers in anything...they'll run ahead of any gale so long as it appears they are forcefully leading the storm.
Friday, April 11, 2003
Lets get Syrias or Heil the Supreme Ophthalmolocrat!
Some administration yanker was on NPR last night in a robotic fury over Syria having shipped "night vision goggles" and other war material to the now defunct government of Iraq.
You can always tell when this admin is planning new military action, they all start to sound hollow and mechanical like Dick Tufeld when he did the voice of the robot on "Lost in Space".
Apparently those goggles are a pretext for war or so the argument ran on NPR.
What everyone forgets is that Syria's President/Princeling Bashar Assad is an actual ophthalmologist by training, no doubt he was moved by solely by a desire to save everyone's eyesight.
Still...goggles as a pretext for war?
Didn't Bashar's father send seventeen thousand troops to help the U.S. liberate Kuwait back in 1991?
And that counts for nothing I guess in the Brave New World.
Granted the conservative refrain for the last eighteen months has been "that was then, this is now" but still...
Franco sent eighteen thousand Spanish troops to fight with the Nazis against the Soviets in World War II and he still died in bed when push came to shove.
The Danes contributed eleven thousand troops to the Nazi cause on the Eastern Front....the French Waffen SS Legion fought to the last man to defend Hitler's bunker in Berlin.
And yet no-one suggested invading and occupying these countries after World War II...certainly the Russian's could've made an argument for preemption under the Bushian rules of engagement.
Think about that....
Victory in the Time of the Toads:
High-pitched Rich Santorum was on Imus today...I only caught a few minutes of his appearance but what I heard only confirmed my worst suspicions. It's not just George Allen or Orrin Hatch who have gone lapdog on us, no it looks like the whole Senate are marks and bad ones at that for Bush.
And on and on he grovelled in that screechy irritating voice of his.
Ghod Rick is such a hopeless toady that he can actually find praiseful things to say about Halliburton's seven billion dollar deal to clean up Iraq's oil fires. Nope Rick doesn't have a problem with it can't imagine what the fuss is about.
"We have to act fast" sez Santorum, Halliburton is in a position to get the job done and damn the competitive bidding process-or words to that effect.
It simply never occurs to this hammerhead to ask WHY Halliburton of all companies is miraculously positioned in Kuwait to do the job?
Could it just possibly be they've been waiting for a nice cash cow war with Iraq for what eleven years now?
The Vice President's own private interests could never become intertwined with U.S. Foreign Policy could it?
DUH NO!!! MISTER PRESIDENT! barks Senator Santorum on cue....a dabbler, a maunderer, and a footling THIS is who we depend on to defend the shreds of our rights.
Well, I give Rick credit he did make one veiled disparaging remark about Bush....he called Cheney "The most important Vice President in History"...which sez something damning about GWB in my humble opinion.
Lordy, maybe it is time for Bush to have the praetorians clear out the Upper Chamber once and for all?
All the dignity have gone out of our senatorial order...collectively they exhibit the poise of a radio D.J.
Guys like Santorum have prospered mightily thanks to an education that disregarded inculcating democratic values. So it's only natural that he equate brown-nosing the powerful with greatness and advancement...certainly nothing else has ever informed him that citizenship counts for anything more.
Thursday, April 10, 2003
Why does a hopeless piece of junk legislation like the M.C.A.S.
Damned if I know...
Some group called "The Alliance for Better Schools" bought time on that inestimable station to praise the MCAS in terms that would make a pro sycophant like Galeazzo Ciano blush.
The advert insists that thanks to the MCAS our students are "ready for good jobs" and are "prepared for college".
Our students have sussed out how to pass a dipsh*t exam that is all. Passing the MCAS is proof and nothing more that you are not a moron in the eyes of the pedagogues on Beacon Hill.
Bad ideas always need to hyped, hence this commercial shilling for exam that does little more than certify our students as non-cretins.
For those of you just joining me, the M.C.A.S. is a bloated standardized test Massachusetts high school students must pass in order to graduate. It was dreamed up by that vast aggregation of geniuses we have in the Great and General Court as a means to assess school and student performance in the Bay State.
In practical terms it means that a collection of repo-men, lawyers, real estate swindlers, and hapless losers are now writing a good chunk of the curriculum in your local high school.
Why? Because thanks to the property tax cap
I don't blame them one whit...prop 2 1/2 deprived the localities of the necessary revenue to run the schools in a decent fashion so it was only a matter of time before the State got in on the deal.
I do fault them for falling for the usual education demagoguery that equates the harassment of frequent standardized testing with intelligence and ability.
Frankly I think kids today take too many standardized tests, I myself fell victim to something akin to five of them between the eighth grade and my high school graduation in 1980.
No doubt it's gotten worse since then.
Think of the books we could've read but for my english teacher taking the point on SAT preparation....I know for a fact we never got to For Whom the Bell Tolls our senior year for this reason.
Maybe that was a blessing in disguise...
Nope now we've got another standardized test thanks to Barbara Anderson and her corrupt political machine at Citizens for Limited Taxation. Were it not for her and prop 2 1/2 towns and cities might have still have some control over local schools.
All gone now so we can enjoy a low property tax...
But one consolation, all is not well in Barbara Andersonland-apparently there is an amendment before the state senate to raise the number of signatures needed to get an initiative on the ballot from 66,000 to 99,000.
Babs is screaming like a stuck pig about this, I for one could not be happier.
Anderson has enjoyed quasi-gubernatorial authority in this state as a tax demagogue for decades now, it's well worth to see her hamstrung and deprived of her ill-gotten power.
I can't get a ballot initiative going to abolish the MCAS, but I can call up my state senator and tell him to back this amendment to the hilt.
Does it raise the bar for ballot initiatives?
But Babs will catch hell and that is a bit of all right.
I used to worry about setting malign consequences and the like.
But the GOP stole the 2000 election and since they aren't worried about consequences why the hell should I?
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Kultur notes for Private Lynch:
I write this in the forlorn hope that somewhere in Germany, you are idly blogging as the doctors try and figure out if you've been shot or not.
There has been a definite decline in army medical corps performance since my father's day. Now when he got wounded crossing the Rhine River the sawbones definitely knew right away Dad had been shot and then some!
Well, don't sweat it kiddo you are on your way home to a Heroine's welcome in Palestine W. Virginia and elsewhere.
Lemme give you a word of advice though, BEWARE HOLLYWOOD and their knavish tricks!
Yup, you have to tie up the rights to your story early on if you don't wanna get ripped off! I recommend announcing that you are writing a book about your experiences, force that Swifty Lazar character to bid up high for the film rights to manuscript.
And get a good agent, a very good agent, like someone who costs money.
DON'T go with a blood relation or someone who wants to work for free....get Vin Diesel's agent if you can, that guy turned a perfect lout into Prime Cut Hollywood Grade-A...think of what said agent can do for you.
If possible get director approval on any film adaptation of your story, this will prevent the whole project from falling into the hands of a mediocrity like Michael Bay.
Don't sell it all off for a teevee movie either kiddo, hold out for the big bucks on the big screen! Peter Maas wrote a great book about the Squalus Disaster called "The Terrible Hours" only to see a preemo story get turned into a by-the-numbers television movie starring Sam Neill!
The whole thing cried out for Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford, but the book got optioned on the cheap and there you have it.
It was all so much simpler fifteen years ago, if your story ended up as a Bruce Willis project you'd be played by Uma Thurman and would hardly show up til' the ending. Bruce would chopper through the skies of Iraq bitching like a schoolgirl about his superiors until the final fire fight when something gets learned and your character gets rescued.
Now if it was a Demi Moore movie, she'd have to play you and the story would include your escape from the Iraqi hospital and the rescue of a bus-load of Shi-ite orphans on your way to freedom.
Somewhere amidst the slo-mo photography you get in touch with your maternal instincts
See how tough it all is?
Feel free to hunker down until you are used to all this mishaugas.
Frankly I don't envy you one bit.
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Curmudgeons and fertilizer bombs
The hardiness of this once great nation has run out.
How do I know this?
Consider this quote about Ann Coulter from Bill Maher in the current issue of Newsweek:
"She is one of the few people who back down not one whit when confronted. And that's the kind of guts I do not see often in today's world".
None of us are safe when men indulge such gruesome truckling.
Again I must be all stupid like, but just when did Ms. Coulter a drunken shyster lawyer and DC's reigning queen of conservative think tank welfare suddenly become a gutsy contrarian?
The rhetoric of conservative apologism has become so sophisticated that even a woman who mulled over the efficacy of assassinating Bill Clinton and joked about bombing the New York Times can be reconfigured seemingly effortlessly as a freethinking curmudgeon.
Of course Ann Coulter never backs down....that is because she is backed in any fight by a vast gang of ruthless partisans who will back her up to the hilt no matter how homicidal her every utterance.
Personw who were considered dangerous extremists by the homey standards of 1947 are today exemplars of DC orthodoxy. Such are the malign consequences of the ever rightward drift of the modern conservative movement. Moderates are deliberately recast liberals, conservatives become moderates, and extremists therefore anchor the rightwing.
So let us face facts, no conservative ever went hungry in the U.S. pimping on behalf of raw power worship as the solution to our every problem...who is Bill Maher kidding?
No, Bill is a celebrity @ss-licker just like all the rest. He needs to make certain sounds in order to get back into the good graces of the six conglomerates that control the entertainment/opinion industry and casting himself as a pro-contrarian thinker will do the trick nicely.
Nobody walks away from it anymore, nobody tells their bosses at ABC/Fox to "F*ck off"....not when there is millions in compensation at stake.
The 21st century is fast shaping up to the be the new Age of the Courtier and Flatterer....
It's the big money that makes slaves of them all, that is a pretty unsubtle Rod Serling type point but it bears repeating.
Monday, April 07, 2003
J.K. and Regime Change
Well it seems John Kerry has weathered the whole "regime change" flap in good working order.
He got blasted by all the usual rightical chic ne'er do wells for asserting that we need some "regime change" here in America too.
Which is when he reminded Karl Rove etc that most of his critics were hiding under their beds while he was on active duty in Viet Nam.
Point to Kerry.
But how much you wanna bet that Senator John Kerry's full navy service record is sitting on Karl Rove's desk even as I write this? No doubt Karl has a team of private detectives tasked to tracking down any viable scandals in the Senator's past.
Ah Karl Rove, a man who makes Senator Mark Hanna look like Merkin Muffley. Back in Karl's drinking days he used to shut down many a Houston watering hole boasting the whole time that George Bush Jr. would effortlessly ride to power when the time came.
Many citizens have been trampled neath' the Bushian hooves since those days...but it was worth it, the world is a beautiful place to Karl Rove.
Friday, April 04, 2003
WROL in Salem has taken the risky step of hiring Boston Herald columnist reactionary Don Feder as a radio talk show host. I feel for the guy, buried as he is among such liberal progressive stalwarts as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Jay Severin, Don Imus, Oliver North, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Savage, "Doctor" Laura Schlesinger etc etc etc....
I do wonder though, given the Warsaw-Pact level of political uniformity on the radio talk show circuit...is it theoretically possible to max-out the conservative listening audience?
In other words is there a finite limit to how much sheer partisan outrage you can inflict on a particular conservative cohort?
Back in the 1980's the nationally syndicated televangelists ran into this problem...they solved by going on a ruinous intermural jihad against each other desperate to rip off chunk change chunks of an opponent's audience.
Granted they were primarily doing fund-raising via worship, which is different than the partisan activism practiced by today's talks show tyranny.
Is too much easy pickin's a bad thing for the radio reactionary set?
I'm on the fence with this one...but the thought of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Ingraham in a to-the-death match for the domination of the AM dial is too delicious to pass up.
Late word has come to us that Michael Kelly, columnist for the Washington Post has been killed in an accident while covering the war in Iraq. Michael was a conventional op-ed righter in every way, but alone of the punditariat he had sufficient editorial fortitude to go see the fighting first hand.
This is in stark contrast to a veritable legion of pro-war writers and columnists in DC who have never and will never hear a shot fired in anger....
Thursday, April 03, 2003
I, Romney-us Augustus...
So let me get this straight, Mitt Romney is still sticking with that "Liberty Tunnel" bullshit? It's a low churlish sort of insult to the memory of U.S. House Speaker Tip O'Neill-so nice to see the Governor is sticking to what he knows.
Oh Mitt has his story straight, he claims the "Liberty Tunnel" appellation honors our veterans-and this is a testing war of war and all that.
As if this insufferable draft dodger ever given two hoots in hell about the poor boys who get shipped off to Viet Nam in his place!
Poverty is still a chronic problem especially among the widows of Viet Nam vets and yet all Romney can come up with is a pricey hole in the ground.
Yup Tip O'Neill's memory will have to officially make do with some nowheresville connector to the Ted Williams Tunnel.
All that money he brought home to get the Big Dig started is forgotten now, ingratitude used to be a mortal sin in Bay State politics, now it's a vital prerequisite for higher office!
Well what can you expect from such a famously smug and self-righteous hammerhead?
This is what happens when 51% of the electorate thinks they are millionaires thanks to a dangerously inflated real estate market. You end up with grinning obnoxious onanists like Mitt Romney as Governor.
If it ain't Brokaw, then don't fix it...
The hardiness of our nation seems to have run out when a hopeless mediocrity Tom Brokaw is now considered the most trusted man in TeeVee news.
Maybe the citizenry likes an anchorman with an obvious disinterest in the copy that crawls up the teleprompter. Perhaps it's his priceless collection of baritonal glottal shocks that soothes in these troubled times.
No doubt his voice alone would earn him good pay as a move extra specializing in a "drunk routine" if the whole newsman thing went bust.
However, I prefer to think television journalistic standards have simply fallen to an abysmal level.
I concede that Tom is not a vulgar buffoon, nor is he neurotic wreck like Dan Rather...He is no Fox News propagandist either. His virtues are at best tepid negatives...that is the most you can say about him.
Because otherwise Tom is a complaisant, compliant, blandly self worshipping, overpaid and undertalented.
It's not that he has opinions it's just that his opinions can be safely discarded.
It speaks volumes about the changes in journalism big money has wrought when Brokaw had to cut short skin-diving in the Caribbean to cover the latest Space Shuttle disaster.
The most controversial thing about Brokaw is his unadulterated adolescent hero worship of our World War Two veterans. An entirely predictable unthreatening obsession that could easily be transferred to coal-miners or rodeo clowns if necessary.
But give him Brokaw due, he brown-nosed old John Chancellor, mixed the old anchorman's drinks up strong, and kowtowed his way to the top.
Now today, Tom Brokaw is the most trusted newsman in America...not that trust is a much honored item in post conservative civilization.
As values go trust is way behind vengefulness, greed, and reflexive pietism in the latest polls.
It's not that we trust that is such a dispiriting thing, trust is what keeps the remaining embers of the democratic spirit aflame.
No, it's that we trust Tom Brokaw...and what will he do with our trust?....sell books and lots of them.
Coming up in 2004 "The Greatest Generation Cookbook"...check out Marshal Zhukov's recipe for potato pancakes!
Have a real "Stalingrad Breakfast!"
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Does Senator Orrin Hatch have a frickin' shred of self respect left at this point?
My Ghod he was on Imus in the Morning today abasing himself before George Bush Junior in the most obnoxious manner possible.
It all but made me physically ill to listen to a U.S. Senator a member of the world's greatest deliberative body comport himself as little more than a courtier and a dishonest one at that.
Gore Vidal and Allen Drury lied to us my friends...in their respective novels Washington D.C. and Advise and Consent they depicted the U.S. Senate as a place where mighty law-makers clashed with the White House on all matters great and small. That is clearly NOT the case today as Orrin Hatch a Senate Insider if ever there was one fairly writhes on the floor in a compulsive bid to ingratiate at the mere mention of George Bush Junior's name.
Does this guy have any dignity left at all?
Well we were warned about Orrin, back when he ran for President in 2000, one editorial wag suggested Hatch was in the race to get face-time with Bush via the debates to play up his Vice Presidential bona fides.
He didn't get the VP slot, but Bush was polite enough to pat him on the head and call Orrin a nice old dog all the same.
Now look at him, a querulous sycophantic buffoon....do the people of Utah realize what a gruesome specimen they've elected to the Senate?
You should've heard Hatch railing against the perfidious "armchair generals" that are "second guessing" this glorious fight in Iraq....never mind the fact the whole mishaugas was dreamed up by the coterie of armchair generals who surround his President. None of whom have ever heard a shot fired in anger.
And if it's not amateur strategists he's bitching about then it's the French, the Germans, and NATO that are causing all our problems.
For the record I'm sure we don't have to go far back in the congressional record to find tons of speechifying from Senator Hatch praising NATO and the western alliance as the world's hope for peace via strength.
Ah but that was then...and this is now, such is the zeitgeist under Tiberius Bush and his nonexistent attention span.
Oh and no one was expecting a short war sez Orrin anyone who did is plain stupid or naive.
Which is no more that the latest spin from out the White House, it's not enough to grovel these days, the President's supporters are supposed to lie on his behalf.
Lord what a plantation mentality we have in DC these days-it's appalling.
It's shameless flatterers like Orrin Hatch that are turning this nation into little more than a land fit for sterner men to loot.
Aren't Senator's supposed to have more pride in themselves and their institution than this????
He was yelping - yelping -yelping with that nasty high pitched voice of his through the whole call-in...gave me a headache.
The world is wrong and George Bush is right and always will be....doesn't the President have paid apologists on his staff to carry on in this gross and incontinent fashion?
I mean my Ghod Hatch could at least pretend to have a little independence!
No such luck, we are in deep shit indeed when the debate boils down to how just loud to shriek the President's praises on the public airwaves.
We are faced with a perfect storm in Washington my friends. The White is ruled by ambitious war loving chickenhawks, while Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court are reduced to little more than compliant cyphers.
James Madison once asserted that power is the only thing that constrains power...and where power is completely unconstrained we get the toadying likes of Senator Orrin Hatch making the laws.
Gruesome to think about isn't it?
Well with any luck you didn't have to listen to it.
Ralph'd and Regurgitated
How many thousand are going to have to die in the Middle East before Ralph Nader feels he has made his point?
And his point seems to be...
If the Greens can keep the Democrats out of the White House things will become so bad that the America citizenry will rise up in revolt, throw the GOP out, the Greens will become the new left-wing party with the rump of the dems to anchor the conservative-moderate side of the spectrum.
Got all that?
My thinking is, if the Greens keep the GOP in power long enough, conservatism will inevitably fail and fail hard thus setting the stage for a nonconservative violent authoritarian political movement to take over.
I plan to discuss this in detail with such Greens as I will be quartered with when we are all rounded up and sent to a labor camp in East Texas.
It seems a particularly raw and unpleasant form of political masturbation infects Nader's thinking just as much as it is rampant among senior White House decisionmakers.
But that is just a guess on my part.
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
The Goldberg Variations, or the Sacred Dance of the Lummoxes
In these perilous times, with morning troubling all our hearts, with war abroad and uncertainty and suspicion here at home...let us take a moment to celebrate the triumphant return of Bill Goldberg to Professional Wrestling.
Yes that is right, Bill Goldberg, the gargantua himself is back!
At last progress is achieved in the war on terrorism...or at least the hedonistic terrorism practiced by that simpering punk, THE ROCK!
Yup, Bill is back bustin' heads with the W.W.E. and I for one could not be happier.
Oh I remember with the simplest nostalgia his reign as the now defunct W.C.W.'s champion behemoth...the punk acts would chase each other round the ring, the music would crash, and Bill Goldberg mightiest slab of meat on the planet would lumber out to sandbag the best the "sport" had to offer!
By Jesu the times we did see when Bill ruled the roost!
Alas it all went to smash, the W.C.W. got sold to the W.W.E. and Goldberg went off to parts unknown to wallow in his multi-million dollar ironclad contract.
But lo Bill is resurrected!
Now is the time,
This is the moment...it's a mere matter of crushing the Rock, marching over that aging fop, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, and the path to Supreme Power with the Heavyweight Championship is clear!
Now if we can only get Goldberg to endorse Senator Kerry then the pickin's will be easy indeed come 2004 my friends!
With him on our side we will take over the Kingdom of Heaven!
Goldberg hath returned!!
And we are all next!!!!
You had to land on page 11A in today's issue of USA Today to see a picture of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's funeral cortege as it left the Church yesterday.
One black and white photo with no accompanying article...
Possibly the excess of "war news" scaled back the coverage of the great man's final journey.
Or more than likely USA Today is edited by a pack of naive' hammerheads who have somehow internalized the notion that the rush to bad journalism is the only thing holding the nation together.
It's just the sort of institutional churlishness these hapless wetnoses would learn in college.
Be that as it may, Daniel Patrick Moynihan has gone to the throne of our savior, we shan't see his like again. Scholar, libertine, contrarian, all these pompous jackasses who infest Sunday morning chat shows can but WISH they were D.P.M.
He could've been President if he'd a played his cards right.
I suspect though, he gave the job a pass on the Gore Vidalian grounds that running for President is a process of burdensome debt incursion...even if you win big you owe too much to too many to do anything worthwhile.
Yup he's gone and the punditariat passes over his death in near silence, it's like they don't even pretend to care anymore.
Mike Barnicle (on the Imus Show) yesterday merely spun a yarn about periodically meeting Moynihan for breakfast at the Wursthaus in Harvard Square back in the 1970's. With a horrible little giggle Mike noted that Moynihan occasionally needed "beer for breakfast"....
I don't know what happened at the Wursthaus back in the day, but I do know that the excise laws of the Commonwealth are as strict for me as they are for Harvard Profs on their way to a seat in the U.S. Senate.
But why wax bitter about Mike's vulgarity? He is who he is...
However just you wait for the launch into eternity of Ronald Reagan, it'll be weeks of very stagy public breast beating and the rending of garments.
Barnicle will weep manly tears indeed...I can hear his sobs now.
I think Daniel Patrick Moynihan was worth one torn garment at the very least...he certainly did more for the country than Reagan.