I HEAR THE SOUND OF DISTANT DRUMS
And they ain’t Ric Parnell. These are the marching drums of something very unpleasant. Trust me. I’ve heard it before.
I find it easier to believe in evil than coincidence. And I’m really coming to the conclusion that since a rather stupid, but infinitely unscrupulous man suddenly realized that he might not be president this time last year, he is prepared unleash any evil, like a nasty idiot child uncorking ancient bottles without a clue to what corrosive potions they really contain. And this is why we suddenly seem awash in an undertow of fundamental evil? The talk is of anti-Semitism and how the Nazis used Passion Plays to their genocidal ends. Homophobia and godforsaken religion go up like the smokescreens to hide what is really burning. Up on the message board, Blanche wants to know why she (?) should give a rat’s ass about Howard Stern?
(The full Stern/Clear Channel story is told much better by Maureen Farrell on BuzzFlash)...
Am I paraphrasing Dietrich Bonhoffer?
First they came for Tommy Chong.
Then they came for Howard Stern.
Then they came for the gay weddings.
(The mistreated mateless mother? The mistitled prostitute? Please fill in the rest. There’s going to be eight fucking months of this shit.)
In each case I did nothing
And when they came for me, I found there was no one left to do anything.
Or, in other words, when you’re fighting the good fight, you might find yourself on the line with some real assholes, but protect them and pass the joint or the bottle, because they’re your assholes.
But laugh, if only to keep from crying.
And don’t cry because when it comes to it we have love, laughter, and some mean motherfucker mean-ass magic of our own. If we can remember where we put it.
And talking of laughing
BILL CLINTON FOR VICE PRESIDENT
Writing in yesterday’s NY Times, Stephen Gillers, an NYU law prof got about as funny as a law prof gets. Making the case for Ol’ Boy Bill as VP...
Amid this conjecture, however, one name is conspicuously absent: Bill Clinton.
Mr. Clinton's strengths would compensate for Mr. Kerry's weaknesses almost perfectly. Not only is Mr. Clinton the most talented campaigner of his generation, but he is also a Southerner —and since 1948, when Harry S. Truman chose Senator Alben Barkley of Kentucky as his running mate, every successful Democratic ticket has included a Southern politician. Besides, people might even pay to watch Bill Clinton debate Dick Cheney. So why not? The first objection, the constitutional one, can be disposed of easily. The Constitution does not prevent Mr. Clinton from running for vice president. The 22nd Amendment, which became effective in 1951, begins: "No person shall be elected to the office of the president more than twice."
No problem. Bill Clinton would be running for vice president, not president. Scholars and judges can debate how loosely constitutional language should be interpreted, but one need not be a strict constructionist to find this language clear beyond dispute. Bill Clinton cannot be elected president, but nothing stops him from being elected vice president.
True, if Mr. Clinton were vice president he would be in line for the presidency. But Mr. Clinton would succeed Mr. Kerry not by election, which the amendment forbids, but through Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, which provides that if a president dies, resigns or is removed from office, his powers "shall devolve on the vice president." The 22nd Amendment would not prevent this succession.
FROM THE EMAIL – WUSA
Doc40 regulars will remember how Clear Channel’s media manipulation raised recall of the old Paul Newman movie WUSA about a radio chain with Nazi ambitions. 00SOUL firms up the background, and also makes some powerful recommendations of culture worth consuming in these trying times...
Not to get pedantic or literary on y'all, but "WUSA" was the film version of Robert Stone's "Hall Of Mirrors," which is -- along with Nelson Algren's "Walk On The Wild Side," Walker Percy's "The Moviegoer," and John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy Of Dunces" -- one of the four best novels about New Orleans extant. Aside from the right-wing politcal machinations that you already noted, Stone's book is notable for its opening sequence sporting possibly the finest first-person point-of-view from inside the drowning mind of a drunk that's been put to paper.
Stone is also notable for writing "Dog Soldiers," which became "Who'll Stop The Rain" when it was made into a similarly excellent film. Nick Nolte, Tuesday Weld, and Michael Moriarity starred in this amazing-it-got made tale of the Stateside moral corruption spawned by Vietnam.
He followed this with "A Flag For Sunrise," a bone-crushing indictment of America's '80s policies in what is obviously El Salvador. Still waiting for the film version of that one ...
After that came a good, but not great Hollywood novel and a couple of others that we still haven't read. But for the opening trio alone, we nominate him to the status of "hipster saint."
CRYPTIQUE – Are you ready, boots?