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March 19, 2006 - Don't Step In The Buncombe!

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World's Laziest Journalist

March 20, 2006

by Bob Patterson


After purchasing a used copy of the book A Carnival of Buncombe: Writings on Politics, by H. L. Mencken, it was time to look up a new word in the dictionary.  Buncombe refers to speeches made by a congressional representative from that County in North Carolina.  It slipped into colloquial use to signify oratory that was full of sound and fury but meant nothing.  The word was popular but then slipped into obscurity.  Now, it seems that Buncombe is back by the bucketful, but it just isn't called by that name. 


Lately it seems that "hooey," "horsefeathers," or bologna has become very plentiful and perhaps it is time to revive the concept of buncombe.


What the heck is that kid saying in the Cheerios commercial?


Last week, both liberal and conservative talk shows were playing a sound byte of Ozzy Osbourne expressing his reaction to the fact that he was being named a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The consensus opinion was that he was expressing his gratitude.


Recently we attended a screening of Stoned, a film about the death in 1969, of Brian Jones, who was a founding member of the Rolling Stones band.  American audiences should be warned the film is in English with no subtitles. 


When was the last time an author was the leadoff guest on the Tonight Show?  An actor/actress comes on and you know that it will be an avalanche of promobabble about a movie which will just happen to be opening the following weekend. 


What has become of conversation for intelligent people? 


Listening to conservative talk radio these days is like tuning in to a speech by the Chancellor for Life live from the Reichstag.  Liberal talk show radio seems more like a History 101 lecture delivered by the most boring professor on campus.


These days, a TV show like Boston Legal speaks out against the war in Iraq, while the New York Times features some columnists who seem to relay Republican talking points to the readers and generally seems to be giving the ostrich response to the prospects of a new war with Iran.


Wasn't comedian Shelly Berman, the actor who played the "jibber jabber judge," on a recent episode of the aforementioned TV series?  After the show was over, the small credits ran by like an express subway rocketing through a local stop, so we were unable to catch the fellow's name.


The Pentagon announced a major operation in Iraq almost three years after the President announced that combat operations there were over.  Who misspoke themselves? 


We never saw an episode of Playboy After Dark, but it seems to this egomaniacal (even my humility is world class) columnist that perhaps there is a market for a late night talk show with some folks discussing something more profound than the latest movie which might cause the studio bean counters to suffer buyers remorse. 


Playboy magazine used to elicit the comment that "I only read it for the articles."  Why can't Mr. Hefner assemble a team that could bring sophistication and perhaps even thought provoking ideas to the late night talk show genre? 


[While this columnist was attending college, one of the Jesuit priests informed his class that, thanks to the efforts of one of the Playboy editors who was a former student, he received a special copy of the magazine without any pictures.  Subsequently, experience in the printing industry provided this columnist the chance to learn that the priest/teacher was probably receiving some "blue-lines" which could have functioned as an advanced copy for our teacher, as well as a page proof for the editors.  (The "blue line" technology also provided same-size copies of architectural plans in the days when most copy machines couldn't handle sheets of paper larger than 8X11 1/2.)]


This seems like an appropriate time to give the regular readers of Just Above Sunset a heads-up and announce that our online magazine will be seeking a photo pass to get coverage of this year's Playboy Jazz Festival. 


In an extended essay on good conversation, titled Talk and Talkers, Robert Louis Stevenson noted "In the Spanish proverb the fourth man necessary to compound a salad is a madman to mix it."


Now, if the disk jockey will play Debbie Reynolds version of Aba Daba Honeymoon (written by Arthur Fields and Walter Donovan), we'll give a Tarzan yell, and swing on out of here.  Have a week full of babbling incoherence.  



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.
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