Just Above Sunset
March 5, 2006 - Dubya and Dubai - Rx for Republican Disaster?

Home | The Weird | Quotes

WLJ logo...

World's Laziest Journalist

March 6, 2006

By Bob Patterson 


Politics has provided material for humorists for quite some time.  Will Rogers wrote "Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else."  Rogers coined several items that were quoted in the sixteenth edition of Bartlett's, but Bob Hope didn't say anything to earn that honor.


The concept of political correctness has put a crimp in comedians' style.  Can you picture a comedian or an American general saying "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead" these days?


Bartlett's credits Will Rogers with this one - "A comedian can only last till he either takes himself serious or his audience takes him serious."


Robert McKee, writing in his book Story (page 359), says, "The comic sensibility wants the world to be perfect, but when it looks around, if finds greed, corruption, lunacy.  The result is an angry and depressed artist."


That Was The Week That Was featured satire such as The Dance of the Liberal Republicans.  The show lasted for about a year and a half in the US in the mid-sixties.


Laugh-in came along and went as far as having 1968 presidential candidate Richard Nixon, as a guest who said "sock it to me" as if it were a question.


These days Jon Stewart has a TV show that might be categorized as "stand-up punditry" if such a term exists. 


Will Rogers used do appearances where he would get copies of several different newspapers (in those days "fair and balanced" was considered a self-help homework assignment and many big cities offered more than one daily newspaper to help citizens with that task) and read from them and make quips about the stories as he went along. 


One supposes that if Stewart were to imitate Roger's shtick the ideological storm troopers on the conservative side would howl in protest, in perfect unison and on cue.  It seems lately, that if well known commentators dare to contradict the philosophy of the ruling junta, they will be shouted down by the coordinated response.  Isn't it a bit reassuring to see these conservatives give examples of democracy in action?  It seems that there hasn't been that much unanimous political synchronization since the famed Cathedral of Light ceremony held at Nuremberg.


In today's world, there is no time for dissension or debate.  For example, initially, Senator Bill Frist spoke out against the selection of DP World to handle security in several (exact amount still to be ascertained) US seaports.  Quite rapidly, he did a good imitation of the "flip-flopper" style of politics and was quickly, enthusiastically supporting the deal.


Can't you just see some stern administration member asking Frist "You got your head right, Luke?"  Seeing the quiet man, whoever it was who helped Frist see the light, work political persuasion like that is impressive, isn't it?  Too bad the public never gets to see it happen.  It would be a marvelous reality TV show.


Folks like Jay Leno who want to use references to current events as a basis for humor might do well to listen to conservative talk radio and learn how to cavalierly sweep any bleeding heart liberal concerns about "innocent victims" of Civil War in Iraq, by casually saying things like "the reports are wildly exaggerated."  Never let reality stand in the way of the latest talking point (or a good laugh.)  Admire the emperor's new clothes and plunge boldly into the Conservative Zone.  "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man.  It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.  It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge.   It is an area we call…" - Today's Republican Talking Points.   [Twilight Zone quote from The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946-Present by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, 1979, paperback Ballantine Books edition, page 649.]


Conservative radio pundits never hesitate to ridicule a spokesman for the other side, but turnabout is not fair play.  It is verboten because, when the tables are tuned, it's a personal attack and reprehensible per se.


Worrying about WMD's is so retro.  Conservatives have moved way beyond that topic.  Civil War in Iraq?  When the Mafia has a shoot-out, doesn't some wag always snap "Let them kill each other?"  Always be ready to say "The methodology for the survey was skewed" but Diebold voting machines are completely reliable.  Nothing that happens in Iraq can ever be compared to the Tet Offensive. 


The conservative talk show clones seem to universally hate unconventional groups such as beatniks and hippies, but they sure do seem to be reviving the old concept of "sick humor" when they disregard objections to torture.  Wasn't there a German conservative philosopher named Reinhard Heydrich who used logic to prove that torturing members of the Maquis was just and expedient? 


(As this was being written a "lovable little fuzzball" conservative talk show host was playing an Elvis parody song about SUV's In a Hugo.  Earlier in the morning, CBS radio news was reporting a story about intelligence about a possible "Tet Offensive" type incident or series of events in Iraq.  Who cares if Capone's gang goes north of State Street to hit Dion O'Banion and his guys?  He is advising folks to turn off TV and radio news and skip the daily paper.  Just listen to him and sit back and relax worry free.)


The conservative talk show hucksters will denounce the Mainstream Media for being biased, and then smoothly inform the audience that "we" have to work for the election of the Republican Presidential candidate in 2008.  The FCC had to eliminate the fairness doctrine to permit the airwaves to carry such fine examples of unbiased punditry. 


It's almost funny to listen to the conservative talk show hosts rush to do the limbo dance and avoid touching the facts of the issue.  They know the vast majority of Americans take a dim view of the Dubai deal, but they want to "sieg heil" the president without actually saying they approve of the DP World deal.  This afternoon one such talker was in all his (morning) glory while espousing some dissatisfaction with the Dubai deal, but insisting that whatever happens is preferable to turning the reins of the US government over to the Democrats in the Fall of 2006.  So why doesn't he just say that he actually does prefer the Dubai deal but he just doesn't want any sound bytes to that effect floating around?  That would be just as humorous as anything the comedians can say in a monologue.   


Folks who fall for such shilling are probably still looking forward to the discover of the WMD's in Iraq.  Only trouble is the troops aren't spending much time doing the looking.


Sir Rabindrannath Tagore has been quoted (Power Quotes by Daniel B. Baker, paperback, Visible Ink, page 247) - "Power takes as ingratitude the writhing of its victims."  Are they looking for a motto to post over the Abu Ghraib prison's front gate?


So now, if the disk jockey will play the Dave Clark Five cover of the Bush Junta theme song (?) Catch Us If You Can, we'll make our escape.  Have a blissfully ignorant week and don't worry - with DP World in charge of port security, what's the worst that can happen? 



Copyright 2006 - Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com

Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

The inclusion of any text from others is quotation for the purpose of illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.  See the Legal Notice Regarding Fair Use for the relevant citation.
Timestamp for this version of this issue below (Pacific Time) -

Counter added Monday, February 27, 2006 10:38 AM