Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shoe-beating At The Highest Level

Fig.1: A new line of fashion footwear...
Fig.2: Say it with shoes: one of Dubya's best portraits, degraded somehow. (image courtesy of the Beeb)

Consider this quote (via BBC) from a Syrian newspaper:


"When it became evident that George Bush, the outgoing US president, is incapable of understanding all that is being said about his rash policies, in all the languages of the world, it was necessary to invent a new language that Bush might understand, and it was the language of shoe-throwing."

The language in this editorial is restrained, quite witty, and really rather reasonable. Bush himself said (after he skillfully dodged the projectiles like a pro): 'I don't know what his (i.e. the shoe-flinging journalist's) beef is.' Thus the incapability of understanding that the US President so blithely advertises. Does he not think that perhaps SOMEONE in the nation he conquered might have a bit of a gripe for his policies in the generic sense, to be displayed by the obviously crude but effective 'language of shoe-throwing' that the journalist enacted? Never mind that beefs can be somewhat generalized. That is, uh, Mr. Bush? Uh, you did some stuff to Iraq. You think you dun good, but uh, a lot of hellish turmoil resulted from your 'well-meaning' invasion and conquering. So I guess we might consider his beef as having something to do with that kind of stuff. Besides, he said his gesture was on behalf of the widows and orphans of Iraq. it was in Arabic, but I think you had a few translators around...

Again, Bush's own words incriminate himself. He called the incident a stunt, made in order to get attention. No doubt, but what about the substance of said stunt? That is, Bush's policies have not exactly gone well for a great many Iraqis (a massive understatement). Thus the attention-getting stunt, a token statement at best, but illustrative of the deep resentment for this imperialist president and his agenda. How strange that he is so unpopular!

Indeed, this shoe-beating was a rather (or 'rawther' as Dubya would say in his Connecti- I mean, transplanted-Texan accent) gentle, even gentlemanly effort. Sort of like the foppish slapping of one's gloves in one's opponent's face as a prelude to a duel. Because the Iraqi journalist could not hope to achieve that close a contact with his chosen adversary, he had to effect it by remote control. Well, perhaps a flying plastic penis would have been more whimsical (as happened in a news conference in Russia recently), but I'm afraid that Iraq's ghastly turmoil really doesn't allow for much whimsy. It's a crushing tragedy, and pretending it doesn't exist is worthy of more than a mere toss of shoes. In the real world, war criminals are duly prosecuted under the rule of law.

Leaders have been bumped off for doing acts of far less consequence than BushCorp's in Iraq. The current occupant of the White House should consider himself blessed that he was on the receiving end of such comparatively lightweight projectiles. A creme pie would have been amusing, but the gravitas of Iraq would have made it a parody. No, it had to be shoes. Standing within Arab culture, even a president has to be subject to an environment much larger than he.

Back in the States, and during the 2004 election, I was privy to a comment made by a neighbor regarding George W. Bush. The neighbor was and is a kindly woman in her 70s, a dedicated churchgoer and volunteer, and a credit to her community. At any rate, she confided in me that her objections to Bush had been sustained at a very high level. So much so that she, a mild-mannered and responsible citizen, could only long for one solution: 'I hope Bush has an accident,' she said. 'A fatal one'. This, from no mafia criminal, or gang member, or drugged out wacko, but a little old lady of sound and sensible mind.

Why would she think such a violent thought? Why throw a pair of shoes at someone? Simple: frustration at the conduct of leaders seeks out solutions that aspire to solve the given problem quickly and permanently. It's a totally natural human reaction. Otherwise we all be sheep.

Basically, our little old lady just wished Bush would go away, or that he had not happened at all. Is that not the same sentiment as a shoe-beating? Both are completely appropriate in the face of such outrageous, egregious and uncivilized policies.

And while we're at it:


Crude, but most fitting.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

According To The Mainstream Media, A Railway Station Is A Railway Station Is A Railway Station

Fig. 1: Is this 'just' a railway station?

With standardized methods in dumbing down audiences, the mainstream media (MSM) have energetically employed practices that deliberately omit specificity in locations when reporting news stories. In other words, generic terms are usually used instead of specific names when referring to locations of newsmaking events. Apparently, this is an effort to not encumber the audience with too many details. To do so would disorient and dizzy up the average audience member, driving them elsewhere, to other sources, resulting in ratings loss, corporate sponsorship, and ultimately, the possible expiration or reorganization of the news providing organization itself. So the stakes have been made high, but by the MSM itself.

A perfect example of this trend is the recent attacks in Bombay (or Mumbai, for you Shiv Sena fans). In the vast majority of the reports from news organizations, Bombay's gigantic main railway station, the scene of one of the horrendous attacks, is referred to as - simply that: a 'railway station'. Now officially titled Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or CST (also a Shiv Sena accomplishment), though consistently referred to by its original name, Victoria Terminus, or VT, Bombay's premier railway station is one of the busiest in the world, plus it is housed in one of the grandest structures imaginable, and is most beloved by the populace. Yes, it is a creation from colonial times, but it has been wholly Indianized in its character and utility.

Perhaps the varied nomenclature of the station is a bit complicated, but is it too much for news people to figure out? I doubt that Grand Central Station would ever be referred to in the news merely as 'New York's railroad station'. Besides, the Bombay example is only one instance of how the MSM has reduced points on a map or places where events happen as - well, just that: points on a map . . . but without individual identification. This, in an age when pinpoint specificity via digital presentation is not only possible, it is the norm. Nevertheless, the MSM has chosen to neutralize identities, unless it is absolutely necessary to open them up, or unless it's an example in their own back yards.

Not referring to extremely important sites like VT/CST by their names, whatever the variations, seems an intentional strategy by news organizations to limit specific information for the reasons stated above. It's all in the ratings. If they wanted to, they could really help out in reducing geographic illiteracy. Instead, they choose a lower common denominator. Such a practice only decreases general geographic knowledge, as well as recognition skills and the importance of landmarks in everyday life. Plus, particularly for western audiences, it reduces places like Bombay, one of the world's great cities, into an anonymous urbanity without character or soul. There is even a racist aspect. The two luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberoi Trident (not 'Trident Oberoi' that many western sources insisted on saying) were referred to with perfect specificity repeatedly, probably because there were international - read: western - persons involved. Whereas the railway station, the presumed domain of the Indian masses, was not given the privilege of proper identity, even though it is vastly more important than the hotels.

This practice is not going away. Indeed, it is intensifying. I am not the only one who will continue to seek my news from other sources than the corporate entity that is the mainstream media.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And Now We Come To The E-Day

Well, after a long hiatus of busy-busy-busy, what is one to say at the threshold of a new era?

Because, we have to muster the courage to face the fact that, whomever wins on Nov. 4, there's going to be a newness everywhere. If Obama wins, a newness of identity, and the possibilities therein. If the old Bob-Dole-recycled other guy wins, there will be a new coming-to-grips as far as this nation's true fate. That is, the realization will be made that this nation is truly in decline, due to a stagnation of ideas and an institutionalization of selfishness.

With Obama, at least there is the theoretical (and mathematical) probability that things will change, hopefully for the better. The best scenario within this probability may not happen, given the obscene mess he'll be facing on many fronts, but at least the notion of improvement presents itself, and hope may again return as an instinct rather than as a manufactured construct.

McCain represents the retrograde aspect of the decline of the US, but under the vocal premise of ongoing strengths. His recessional approaches to an empire prematurely exhausted due to squandering by the Bush Machine, will not be enlightened enough to revitalize the world-grasping goals of the Neo-cons and their ilk. The banality of McCain and the poverty of depth of Palin - he being a crippled puppet and she being a wind-up doll - represent the full flower of decline of the American hegemony. They are figures in a sunset, who can only attempt to woo a country by their limp and unlovable pronouncements. McCain is plainly dottering, while Palin would be perfect, starring in a two-season sitcom, but no more than that.

Obama may not be lovable, but he stands a good chance to revive the President as Gentleman concept. This is important, as gentlemen and players are better equipped to enact the ruling class' mandate of power much better than the cardboard figures of emotion and opportunism that are McCain/Palin. The sobriety of Obama is vastly preferable to the creaky emotionalism of his opponents. His pragmatism infers that America need not be hegemonic in order to be a force for good in the world. Conversely, talk about outdated, McCain can't even appeal to seniors, as he doesn't want to be one of them, but he can't fit into the younger crowd either, as he hasn't a clue as to how to cater to them or their world-view.

Not surprisingly, Ralph Nader has trenchant things to say about both candidates, and Nader tells it like it is. I think though, that it would be far preferable if Nader applied his skills toward something more do-able than the lost cause of running for president. He is a brilliant mind, and he speaks the truth, but if he can't apply his words in practical ways, he is only speaking to the wind.

I highly respect what George Carlin said about voting (i.e. the pointlessness of it all), but in this, the year 2008, we must at least attempt to recognize and sharpen the points that there are, lest they who would continue to hijack this country, continue to do so without resistance.

So now, hordes of the nation, GO VOTE!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Those Lazy Crackers 'n Beer Days of Summer!

Fig.1: After awkwardly dreaming of groping Misty May and Kerri Walsh, the President of the United States of America, just another doofus face in the crowd, OK's a North Korean diver's performance. (Image courtesy of the internets.)

Boy, I'm not posting very much here, am I?

Thing is, I'm putting most of my chips in over at that there NPR Check blog because, well, there's so much to comment on!

For the turbo-millions of fans I have let down, I say: sorry! I will endeavor to shape up in future. But check out NPR Check on the side menu. Good, tart stuff there.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

NPR's Mixed - Very Mixed - Grille

I was so pleased with Philip Reeves' nice little unpretentious portrait of New Mumbai on Morning Edition that I sent NPR a cheerful compliment. But you know what? Even though I was indirectly flattering them, they still only responded with their generic reply to hate mail. Go figure! I guess NPR's too lofty to even acknowledge fan mail that is positive but not quite fawning. But come to think of it, maybe they didn't fancy the bit about Inskreep.

(Message follows)

"I'd like to enthusiastically praise Philip Reeves' portrait of Navi (New) Mumbai as intelligent, concise and edifying. In just a few minutes, Reeves succeeded in capturing gigantic concepts with objectivity, balance and pictorial flair. I have not been to Mumbai in some time, but Reeves' economic and substantive coverage brought it all back with quality and style.

In contrast, Steve Inskeep's 'examination' of Karachi was show-offy, belabored, and dare I say, dim-witted.

Thank you for assigning this story to Mr. Reeves. It is refreshing to have someone who really understands South Asia to be covering the region for NPR."

(End Message)

In BIG contrast to Reeves, or even Inskreep, is, well, Gwen Thompkins. I know, I know, I pick on her quite a bit, but this morning I heard the next city to get an NPR invasion was to be Khartoum. 'Oh no,' I thought, 'I hope Gwennie's not there.' Sure enough, she was. I won't dissect that flea-like story with a hatchet, but I have to say, her strenuous efforts to Americanize Africa for delicate NPR listeners are nothing short of offensive. This time she had the bright idea of likening Khartoum to something out of the sitcom 'Green Acres', and it went downhill from there. The people she interviewed were credible enough, but like Inskreep in Karachi, it's her packaging that squanders and strangles any sort of decent journalism out of these pieces. And then she speaks at us with exaggerated affectation as if we're in a kindergarten class and President Bush is there reading a picture book upside down.


And finally, Jamie Tarabay's back! Unfortunately, the DC-region air seems to magnify the effect of her speaking: as if she has a mouthful of unswallowed gummy bears, which mangles all aspects of an Aussie accent. Difficult, so difficult to listen to.

One of the many tedious nut and bolt chores of dealing with Enn Pee ARRRRGH!!!


I humbly offer this retread of a critical mess I made a few weeks ago, (see "Spying Out The Land: NPR Scouts Potential Markets and Opportunities For Their Corporate Masters, And With US Taxpayer Money", below) as a response to Inskreep of Karachi's strolls through that city:

"Now, if Philip Reeves were doing this series (and he has done many fine reports in similar environments), I daresay, we'd be getting a more essential picture of what the series is trying to accomplish. But it wouldn't be juiced up enough or sexed up enough, or sensational enough, plus, it wouldn't lack the perspectives that Inscreep can't even pick up on, because he's so busy motormouthing that he can't be anything but the most superficial of reporters. So Phil, be glad you didn't get slapped with this assignment. Let Inscreep do his dance so we can put it all behind us and move on. Fortunately, much of radio is pretty forgettable, and it slides into obscurity pretty fast."

Wow, you think they took my advice and sent Philip to Bombay? You think NPR might grudgingly consult my very own blog and then appropriate its fabulous ideas?

Note: Many Bombayites still say 'Bombay'. The renaming to 'Mumbai' was largely a regional (Maratha) gesture in order to show cultural independence from New Delhi. It was political, but not so much political correctness. I digress...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nationalistic Pollution Radiation Can Be Fun!

A glowing example of NPR wit came prancing out of my weary bedside radio today. In the midst of a purportedly serious public news program, (on the Morning Edition flagship) a bit of fun. Steve Inskreep presented, with that just-under-control glee of his: a session with 'environmentalists' who are 'speed-dating'. Yeah, it was a real 'send-up' all right, and was about as funny as a wet box of Cheerios. Some stuff about tree huggers who drive SUVs, and other ho-ho gags. I don't know, I guess some of we peasants in the audience just don't have the refined sophistication that is required to appreciate the advanced level of 'smart' humor for which NPR is so famous.

Truly, an NPR WTF?? moment.

PS: George Carlin or Richard Pryor or Jon Stewart could have made a masterpiece of satire out of something like this, but NPR entirely lacks the talent required. But really, WTF is something like this even doing on Morn Ed in the first place, except to pander to some slobbery sitcom appeal? So much for NPR's desire to be taken seriously. Yet again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

From One Express To Another

Fig.1: A coupla Bubbas contemplate the meaning of straight talk (image courtesy of Mytwords)

Did you hear about what happened to John Mc-I-Need-A-Cane's Double Talk Express bus down in the Florida forest country? (See Fig.1 above) Wow, that was quite the party they were having on board. The driver was pretty ripped, from Cougar Cindy's beer. The old man, who can hardly handle his sippin likker any more, had been babbling and cracking Iranian cigarette jokes as the bus careened into a thicket of trees after a wild journey overland. SWAT teams moved in and the Jaws of Life did their thing. Our future president was rushed to the nearest shack, where a Seminole witch doctor tried to sober the old guy up with coral snake testicle tea. Unfortunately, he found that the Senator was just too dizzied up by his usual regime of prescription drugs to respond to treatment, and discharged him. The bedraggled party then invaded an adjacent village, hot-wired a '69 Econoline van - now dubbed the Cheap Talk Express - and resumed campaigning.

(I meant this as a joke...)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Reason To Vote For McCain?

Fig.1: I didn't know he went for stuff like this

To McC, the only green he knows are Arizonan golf courses kept fresh by high-priority water from the trickle of the once-mighty Colorado River.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A President's Elegy: Farewell! Farewell To Thee, Europa!

Fig. 1: A President's Gentle Threat

Pres. George Skwalker Bush is Grand Touring in the Europeans, taking the waters in what promises to be a brilliant Season.

Part of BushCorp's post-Soviet strategy has been to exploit the 'nutcracker nations' - those between Russia and 'Old' Europe - i.e. Slovenia, Czech Rep., Poland, not only driving a wedge to prevent more European hegemony, but to fiddle with things like missile sites and CIA prisons. BushCorp, treating them like Central American nations, baits and switches. I am very fond of these 'nutcracker' nations, and I don't want to see them getting screwed over. For example, Bush has bribed his way into Lithuania: I saw a plaque in the square of Vilnius, the capital, which commemorates Dubya for having made some stupid speech there. It didn't honor the USA as a nation, just Bush as a visitor, an agent. Of course, that's how BushCorp operates: exploiting the US for their own interests. Fortunately, Lithuania is now in the EU.

Meanwhile, in the fastness of Windsor Caste, an unamused Queen awaits.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Today's Word

Fig.1: See what I mean? (Image from Brightcove.tv)

To borrow from Colbert, The Word today is:


I think BushCorp chose Crocker to be their front man because of that 'I Look Like I'm Going To Vomit Any Moment' expression he always wears. Anyone who looks like they're going to vomit any moment couldn't possibly be telling lies. When someone vomits, they're not lying, are they? If someone is in the process of vomiting or has just vomited, they can't say, 'I didn't vomit just now'. He or she'd be called a liar.

Vomit is truth.

It's official: Ryan Crocker looks like he's going to vomit all the time, big time. Can you imagine this guy conceiving actual policy and then ramming it through? No, he takes orders. That's what he does.

So, by APPEARING like he's going to vomit, Crocker projects his credibility. Plus, the trembly voice and slightly Milquetoast personality are huge assets. The whole package is perfect for all this nasty skulduggery of masking imperialistic strategy in the Eastern Middle East. So that's the word: Vomit.
(Thanks, Stephen)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Spying Out The Land: NPR Scouts Potential Markets and Opportunities For Their Corporate Masters, And With US Taxpayer Money

NPR is doing a series on big cities. You know, ones that US investors don't know anything about. Places where they can get their hooks in, in order to keep their 'edge' in the global economy, before China et al get there first. Ever the servant of the powerful and Bush-ish corporate mechanism that has made them flourish, NPR has obviously been obliged to publicize heretofore underknown places in the world, where the pickins' might be pretty promising in order to make a killing. First stop: Steve Inskeep of 'Morning Edition' perches in Karachi, Pakistan. Am I suspicious? Damn right.

After some radio listening . . .

I'm actually sampling a bit of Inscreep's Karachi findings, and getting a bitter kick out of his 'Renee, you won't believe how they DO things over here!!' approach. Lots to dissect, but I won't bother except to say that he profiles the corruption and the mafia nature of Karachi's administration as if it only applied to Karachi. Funny, everything he showed as dysfunctional in Karachi has been known to crop up in many, many American cities. Of course, when NPR discovers stuff for the first time, that means that it didn't exist before NPR discovered it.

And then . . .

One of the covers for the mission: to expose the violent corruption and illegal land and contracting deals going on in the Pakistani metropolis. A courageous local lawyer has already announced that her city is run by creeps and the mafia, but NPR gets to drill this fact in and take credit for discovering it. I'm so happy that, by way of doing 'This Old House' and examining some of these corrupt building sites in Karachi, Inscreep is finally discovering that yes, poverty does still exist, but just outside the rim of his privileged, jet-set, elitist world. It was a huge blow to him, and it really bummed him out. Bouncy Renee's keeping his spirits up though, because when he comes back to DC, he'll be light years away from all that nasty stuff that goes on in bad old, mad old Karachi.

Here's a guy who gains access to the Mayor of Karachi, then squanders the opportunity by reducing his statements to a couple of soundbytes, leaving the mayor as a one-dimensional nobody, and then he wraps things up by making some disapproving comments about a hapless group of individuals who are, yes, poverty-stricken. Welcome to the real world, Stevie. And when I say world, I mean it's a world-wide condition.

I pray that the pavements of Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Calcutta, Rangoon, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hanoi, and the South Bronx will not be darkened by this Inscreepy entity. He and NPR are all WRONG for this kind of reporting. Their method is like picking at scabs via robotic control while sitting back in an isolated, germ-free environment, pontificating in 'Entertainment Tonight' terms about how screwed up everything is (while trying to sound terribly intelligent about it all, of course).

Now, if Philip Reeves were doing this series (and he has done many fine reports in similar environments), I daresay, we'd be getting a more essential picture of what the series is trying to accomplish. But it wouldn't be juiced up enough or sexed up enough, or sensational enough, plus, it wouldn't lack the perspectives that Inscreep can't even pick up on, because he's so busy motormouthing that he can't be anything but the most superficial of reporters. So Phil, be glad you didn't get slapped with this assignment. Let Inscreep do his dance so we can put it all behind us and move on. Fortunately, much of radio is pretty forgettable, and it slides into obscurity pretty fast.

My point of this caterwauling? Pots love to call kettles black, but the doofus entity that is NPR doesn't seem to know what that means.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Diversion: What If I Were To NOT Turn Off NPR? Would It Wreck My Day?

Buoyed by the spirit of the late Utah Phillips, who wrote the wonderful 'The Talking NPR Blues':


I thought I'd add the following. Bit under the weather today, so took day off. Experiment: let NPR roll and see if it really wrecks my day (stupid, but a distraction). Well, it didn't, really, but I got to hear 'Day to Day' for the first time. It reminded me of 'Entertainment Tonight', but even fluffier, under the premise of everyone having their NPR thinking caps on. 'Sex and the City' was all the rage. Fashion talk about shoes. There was some serious stuff, but don't remember. Earlier, Morning Edition's more of carnival than ever. No disrespect to Harvey Korman, but his passing got more airtime than Arthur C. Clarke, it seems, and with unremarkable soundbytes to boot. In their storytime segment, I was touched by the poignancy of a woman who told of the death of her son, but then realized that the exploitation of her grief was yet another NPR slimeball stunt: to pepper their creamy show with 'serious' stuff, just to remind us critics that NPR is still a 'serious' operation. Sleazebags!

Also, NPR's really, really getting its rusty hooks into Asia. They just discovered it, you know. Recently, Tom Ashbrook of 'On Point' did what I thought was a decent series on contemporary China, from Shanghai. Not to be outdone, we now have Inscreep mucking about in Karachi (and he can't decide what the city's actual population is), probably for purposes of reconnaissance for corporate interests who want 'in' to another burgeoning market. I'm amused that NPR has finally gotten around to acknowledging the existence of this major city, but I'm horrified at the prospect of hearing their interpretation of it, so I'd damn well better skip the upcoming series. I know Inscreep wants to get some tough on-the-road reportage to bump up his street cred, but the hell if I want to be his enabler.

And this Robert Smith, who's been subbing for Inscreep (and outdoing him in motormouth capabilities - the only reason he got the gig, I'll bet), well, he's a certifiable idiot, giggling and joking his way through the show like he's Howie Mandel or some other godawful 'host'.

And our - I mean NPR's - very own spoiled child in Russia, Grigory Feifer, delivers a patently awful bit of gibberish with snotty-voiced disapproval, from Georgia. It's about their separatist problem, but you'd never know, as Grig is just so preoccupied with how stupid things are in that part of the world - as if it were all explainable because Stalin was from there (Gori, actually).

Is there no one at NPR, in listening to these winners, who thinks, 'these guys really suck'? Probably not, as they almost ALL suck!

Then, a lot more 'Sex and the City' stuff, natch.

Finally, Mikey Sullivan's still on the Burma case, and the metallic drone of his boring voice got emotional yet again, as he just can't figure out why the paranoid ruling junta won't let in aid workers and supplies. FYI, Sullivan: we're dealing with a PARANOID RULING JUNTA here. Understand that. They're insane. That's a given. Burma has been ruled by insane persons since 1962. But here's one reason why they're kind of touchy: (no, I'm NOT defending them, pal) the junta has always thought that the western powers are out to overthrow them. They could be right. There's a little thing called Iraq going on just across the way. Afghanistan, too. Oh, and to them, Iran's next. Maybe even Pakistan. India won't defend 'em, and China's got its hands kind of full right now. They're stupid, but they aren't that stupid. Besides, to them, those rural people out in the Irrawaddy delta are entirely disposable. Peasant trash. There's a class system and many racial issues in the Union of Burma. (Shades of Katrina, maybe? You think?) Anyway, all the junta cares about is that there are American warships on their threshold. That's making them MORE paranoid. I saw an email from an Army Corps of Engineers source that said the warships were waiting for the opportunity so that "our armed forces could land" (actual wording). What sort of signal does that send? Americans are often No. 1. That includes No. 1 in the blundering department, too.

And finally, I might add, up the Bay of Bengal a ways, Bangladesh endures a regular regime of disastrous cyclones, most of which end up as footnotes in the western press, and thousands of people regularly perish. True, Bangladesh is not ruled by a junta per se, but that doesn't make their sufferings any less. A cyclone is a cyclone. Burma has considerable resources, including oil. Bangladesh only has people. You better believe the west wants into Burma. An Axis of Evil candidate, ripe for regime change? A neocon dream. OF COURSE Aung San Suu Kyi should be freed and allowed to form a government, but that isn't the point of this argument.

So, did NPR ruin my day? I don't know, but it made me spew quite a bit. Sorry for the length.


On the mend already! And it started when I flipped the 'off' switch. No kidding. That's why I call it National Pollution Radiation. I guess my experiment proved something.

So, here goes:


Man, I never thought I'd be saying that, but it sure feels good.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

No Sir, I Do Not Care Much For That Robert Siegel Fellow, Not Very Much At All

I've both (mildly) praised and critiqued NPR's China quake coverage, but I have to say in all seriousness, I find Blob Siegel's reports most distasteful. I can see why someone stuck him into the host slot (to frustrate and torment us!), rather than having him do field work, because he's absolutely the wrong type of person to be covering something like an earthquake. It's as if he's strolling through a stamp collection fair or something, making urbane little comments peppered with his stylish 'um's and 'er's and other pause-fillers, trying to be suave.

His attempts at sympathy or empathy aren't very believable, either. Not that a reporter should be troweling on the emotions or anything. I've been hearing very good objective reports from BBC World Service, delivered without any personal baggage. On the receiving end back in DC, the Simonizer's putting on his respectful choked-up voice, while in old Chengdu, the unflappable Blob sounds like he's just wrapping up another brilliant edition of All Things Considered, and having a swell time doing it. His sign off had 'I'm doing just fine, thank you' written all over it. The story is tragic enough without us having to put up with such annoyances.

To me Siegel's the proverbial puffy guy in the corner at the local Starbuck's, pontificating to a small coterie of dumbos, regaling them with self-satisfied slop. And the dumbos? They think he's just great! So smart, so witty, so refined - someone to trust and to be charmed by, even as he speaks of a catastrophe. At the very most, Siegel should host some hoity-toity chatshow about antiques or something, for a equally tiny audience to cringe at.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Burma: In Need Of Understanding

I wish someone other than Michael Sullivan was reporting from Burma right now. I don't trust his mechanical statements. It's too bad that Doualy Xaykaothao isn't there. She's a much more perceptive and understanding reporter, but I'm sure Big Mike got the gig for a wide variety of reasons. (Maybe because he's a guy. Never mind that for centuries in Burmese society, women have had nearly equal status as men.)

I've said this before, but I have a pet peeve about the media choosing 'Myanmar' or 'Burma'. The US and other governments, as well as the BBC have wisely stuck with 'Burma', while the rest of the media, fearful that they'll be accused of cultural imperialism or something, goes with the name chosen by an utterly corrupt and paranoid military junta. To me, this is similar to the Pol Pot regime's changing 'Cambodia' to 'Kampuchea'. Both 'Myanmar' and 'Kampuchea' are historically valid names, but it is their appropriation by repressive governments that makes the usage spurious. Besides, western media people don't even agree on how to pronounce 'Myanmar'. Is it 'MEE-anmar', 'M-YANmar', or some other poppycock? Pronounced correctly, 'Burma' and 'Myanmar' sound closely alike, thus the original anglicizing of the name.

When they start calling China Chung guo, India Bharat, Greece Hellas, and Italy Italia, then maybe I'll take them seriously in their attempts at accuracy. Just stick with Burma, folks. Believe it or not, it's the politically correct thing to do.

As for the paranoia of the Burmese junta, the only bit of background that I've heard on NPR as to WHY they're so paranoid has been from Doualy Xaykaothao, who took the time in one of her reports to investigate the matter (i.e. the junta is paranoid about western attempts to overthrow their regime, etc.).

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Russia Is Just SO RIPE For US To Return To The Cold War - Indeed, A COLDER War - So What Are We Waiting For??


It's now official: NPR longs for a return to a cold war with Russia. I heard a segment this morning from Grigory 'Rasputin' Feifer, scoffing and sneering his way through lousy coverage of Russia's new president, whom he paints as a sort of 'false Dmitri'. Know ye all that Feifer of NPR DISAPPROVES of all the things going on in Russia today. And because he's giving us the green light to acknowledge that Russia is such a screwed up place, it'll be OK if we scoff and sneer about Russia too, just like those smart NPR guys.

So, here's the truth about Russia, proclaimed by this NPR reporter. Resolved: Russia is a third world country, ruled by a Stalinist dictator named Putin, with a new puppet president named Medvedev.

If these aren't good enough reasons to get a cold war going, I don't know what are.

Never mind that this Harvard-educated Moscow-dwelling dude (Feifer) apparently knows very little about Russian history and that authoritarian rule in Russia is a given, and any understanding of its subsequent development as a nation must be predicated on that single notion. But no, NPR has to 'Americanize' every aspect of their non-objective reporting, just like their mafia overlords want them to do.

I'd swear that Murdoch secretly bought NPR years ago.


AND... this morning, the tireless cold warriors at NPR aren't gonna let up one iota on the eternal war against the commies.

Tom 'Perfectly-Sane-Voiced' Gjelten keeps on reminding us what a gulag Cuba is. He profiles a repressed Cuban writer, and that's fine, but it comes off as an old-time anti-Cuba tract, couched in gentlest Gjelten terms. Wearily then, do I mention that any grown-up adult type person knows that Cuba is such a mixed bag of often contradictory issues that it is impossible to make sweeping statements about it, which our man Tom (and so many others) is so hot to do. But of course, if you happen to be in with the Florida mafia, you're not interested in 'contradictory issues.'. Tom goes to great lengths in describing the repression, but I notice that, here he is, freely broadcasting from Cuba, telling the world about this writer's situation, and Raul Castro didn't lift a finger to stop him or censor his report. There's something missing in there somewhere.

And then, right after that, our hand-picked man in Russia, Grigory 'Douglas?' Feifer (sorry, I got him confused with Feith for a second), delivers a 'postcard' from darkest Siberia. Poor orphan Greg tells us all about his persecution as an American in some small town because he missed his flight. Oh, but how he suffered! The cold, the lack of entertainment, and things were so expensive! And boy, there was so much to sneer at and mock! A gold mine really, for a dandy NPR filler, to prove how disgusting Russia and the Russians are, and that it's all Putin's fault. Well, he doesn't say that directly, but in his soul, I know he feels it! Poor Greg, lost in podunk Siberia, all dressed up and nowhere to go. He doesn't think people are very 'friendly' there. Why, they can't treat a powerful and influential and totally mucking smart and savvy NPR reporter that way! He'll show them - he'll file a report excoriating small town Siberia, and the NPR folks listening will be SO glad they're in America. You dodged a bullet, Greg. Come home!

Funny, I've experienced similar things in America's 'heartland'...

Inadvertently though, Greg's 'postcard' has delivered us a precious example of the ideal NPR staffer/ NPR target audience: touchy, snotty, entitled, self-absorbed, and judgmental via NPR indoctrination. Greg makes no bones about hating Putin, but I imagine that those people in that small town in Siberia were relieved to see him off on the plane that finally did come. Amerikanski, go home!


Greg's grumpy Russian adventures continue. This morning he was in Red Square, listening to missiles rumbling over the cobblestones, apparently for the first time since Soviet days. Greg wants you to know that he disapproves of such shenanigans, and he says so in his best nasally, haughty style. So come on NPRepublicans! Get angry! Greg can't lead the charge all by himself into the Colder War, you know. Down with Putinism! If the US gets going NOW (heeding Greg's advanced warnings), we'll be greeted on those same cobblestones with candies and flowers.

So, in order to outdo the old Cold War with a slam-bang moniker folks'll come to swear by, I dub this new, grander, and more high tech (and asymmetrical, too!) war THE COLDER WAR, because, heck, it's COLD out there! Remember, you saw it here first.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Daring Proposal For NPR

When daring to dip into NPR I find it impossible not to become a self-appointed Style Critic, not for my own amusement, but because the general persona of NPR is so damn intrusive and obnoxious.

(When I listen to BBC, which isn't what it used to be, but is still light years ahead of NPR, I tend to listen to WHAT they are saying instead of HOW they are saying it - a process that strikes me as perfectly appropriate, and is what radio should be.)

So, a question: has anybody else made note that the delivery of both Renaay and Inscreep on Morning Edition has become EVEN MORE affected? It's as if they want us to be amazed at everything they say - every sentence has an exclamation point after it. It's like, 'you've just not gonna believe what I'm about to tell you', - that kind of thing. I know, it's all obviously part of the grand strategy to get America's young people on board and NPR-ize them while the iron is hot. It certainly worked for Fox, while CNN (which has their own 'fair and balanced' issues) was left in the dust. I can just imagine that Roger Ailes is a 'silent consultant' to NPR.

Also, has anyone checked out Auntie Liane's new 'Sunday Soapbox' (really condi-scending title, huh?) bloggishness on Weakend Edition Sundae? She can sound very pouty on the air sometimes, and she sounded VERY pouty when she was talking about the new blog. Perhaps she anticipates a shitstorm of criticism from listeners who would have the audacity to question NPR's perfection.

I'll end with a dare: hey, someone at NPR, are you listening? Why don't you assign one of your reporters to review the cogent blog: NPR Check? (Link at side.) Why can't someone like John McChesney or Daniel Zwerdling do a story on it?

Cat got your tongue? I'm not surprised. The timidity of NPR is a dead giveaway for their role as a mouthpiece for corporate interests, plus it exhibits a BushCorp-like contempt for the blog culture.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sizing-Up Pint-Sized NPR

For anyone still believing ANYTHING the Bush Administration might be 'announcing' these days, I would refer you to NPR News, as they and their crack team are ready to swallow any ejaculation BushCorp might chance to spew from any orifice of humiliation. Because, the mighty folk of BushCorp always know that the good grovelers at NPR will always line up at the slop trough to take the leavings and the droppings left as tantalizing bait. Because they know that NPR is just stupid enough to snort up said droppings in order to show them off as trophies, as if they're breaking new ground, or something. Little do they know that BushCorp surely rolls their eyes and scoffs behind their backs at the thing that is NPR. Because, if they did the same thing with those faith-based outfits that thought BushCorp would HELP them (i.e. mock them in their absence), why wouldn't NPR be mocked in their absence, as well? It would take a mucking thesis to explain what I'm trying to say properly, but hopefully, you'll know what I mean.

NPR no doubt prides itself on being 'savvy', but how come they usually end up being the stupidest dumbshits on the block? Can they not conceive of the fact that they might be taken for a ride on a REGULAR basis? If I'm sitting out here in, say, Weeping Water, Nebraska, figuring this stuff out, how come these things evade the Beltway vets of NPR? Huh? Why? - because they're STUPID, and they've lost their way, long ago, if they even WERE on the right track. The rantings of a dissatisfied listener? Hardly. It doesn't take too much sophistication to figure out what a bozo operation NPR is. Just scan this blog to consider their record of disgrace and worthlessness. Tune in elsewhere!

And considering some of the latest Nepali developments:

Well, all I have to say is that I've been to Kathmandu and I have grave doubts as to whether many of these NPR reporters are actually in touch with many of the places they are supposedly reporting from. Why, even a Fox News reporter can bring more life into a given locale than these supposedly 'intelligent' but boring NPR hacks can. They can spin suppositions for their sponsors and their prospective audience, but THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO REPORT STORIES because they are so preoccupied with their spin assignments and how they're going to 'creatively write' their assignment, so they're unable to objectively observe and communicate. You know, like reporters are supposed to do. They think they're (a right wing) Joseph Conrad instead of what they should be: a relatively anonymous conveyer of news.

I might add, it was a member of the royal Nepalese household who bumped off most of the royal family. Their genes are deleterious. Move on to a republic, despite it being branded as 'Maoist'. What does 'Maoist' actually mean any more, anyway? Perhaps a movement that selects a name from a neighboring country to imply CHANGE? Keep in mind, in China, the official line goes something like: 'Mao was 30% right and 70% wrong’; however, from the Nepalese side, Mao is a figure who actually made change happen, and it has lasted. But Mao was a commie, wasn't he? Americans have to realize what a mixed bag events in history are. I doubt if anyone at NPR could explain that very fact with anything less than a smirk. For this and so many other reasons, I cannot bring myself to forgive NPR for the damage they've caused. Rather like the Bush Administration (ALL of 'em!)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Uh, Uh, Uh, Uh, Um, Uh, Uh, Uh - Uh, Um

Fig.1 Do NOT adjust your monitor! This is an actual, un-retouched photo of Dave 'n Ry, showing the appalling effects of Green Zone Blood-On-One's-Hands Malaise, which has all sorts of awful symptoms, the least of which are these horrible blood-warts. Notice how Ry's actual hands apear bloodless! 'Tis the deception of the Malaise - one of its most insidious qualities! Thus, BEWARE OF THESE PEOPLE!!

I wish I could say something - anything at all - about the Field Marshall Petraeus/Sidekick Ry Crock Show, which just wrapped up...

Ah! I thought of something: Ry said 'uh, uh, uh, um, uh, uh' a LOT. Nervous, perhaps?

The September go-round was much more fun. I don't think anyone's even going to revise or revive the 'Leave Gen. Petraeus Alone' parody this time. Pity.

It's a bleak, bleak house we've inherited, folks...

When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be A Critic Of Campaign Ads! Really, I Do!

Boy, I just heard a segment on NPR's 'All Thinktanks Considered' where Mee-chele Norris and some doofus named Kenny Goldstein 'reviewed' new ads put out by the Obama and Clinton campaigns in PA. I think 'disdainful' is perhaps an adequate term to describe their sophisticated picking and poking at these ads, as if they were rotting caviar samples on burlap crackers, or something worse. Their disapproval reached toffee-nosed proportions, because, heavens above, there just wasn't anything at all that these two seasoned individuals could find of value in those darn ads. No 'information' or anything! So, there was plenty of fussin' and snortin' over such media nonsense.

In one simple sentence, these wiseapples could have covered their flat asses at least by saying something like, 'In the campaign ad world, it's a cynical biz, so all sorts of wacky things are tried..' Or something to bring us back to objectivity, rather than leaving us with the obvious conclusion that these dilettantes have it out for both the Dem candidates.

Just a little bit of snottiness leaked through poor Mee-chele's usual solemnity, but it was delivered with just a dash of smoky seductiveness. Snotty can be sexy!

Narcissist Priggish Radio at its best.

I'm sending NPR a bill for the necessary steam-cleaning of the vomit spray that my pet hyena made when he heard this tidy little segment.

Douglas Feith Is A Contemptable Bastard, BUT, He's Out There Slugging While His Fellow Neocons Tremble In Their Protective Privacy

NPR, in order to form a more perfect bond between its corporate and military/industrial patrons and its needy audience, remarkably offered up an interview with the worthy Douglas Feith, former Undercover Sec. of War, just in time for his tell-it-like-it-was/cover-his-ass-NOW memoir to be laid before the public by Rupert Murdoch, via his HarperCollins hack-house.

You almost have to give Feith credit for being audacious enough to step up to the media circuit (in order to sell a committee-written 'memoir') and doing damage control before other Neocons beat him to it. Feith is one of the most perfect examples of how this country has been overtaken with deeply, deeply flawed and mediocre personalities, who have been allowed to run the show. Sort of like what happened to Germany in the 1930s.

But that's what psychopaths are good at: spreading their own appalling delusions. If I were in his neighborhood, I'd be making a citizen's arrest of this hideous excuse of a person.

As for NPR, they're just as complicit. They're so tied into the book-selling racket, it's just a case of one hand washing the other.

One of the many reasons to weep for this country, and what it could have been...

Part 2 was just as much a vacuous waste of time as Part 1 was. I got a huge kick out of Inscreep's 'impatient' approach, as if he's the righteous one standing up to the much-hated Feith. And the trading of gobbledegook between them, like sharing the same foul wad of bubblegum, was DC-Speak at its finest: Luntzian legalisms aplenty. That kind of talk, with its ersatz terms and its obfuscation, is a key factor in the hijacking of the nation by the few and its ruination for the many.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Repeat After Me: Juice Is Sexy, Juice Is Sexy

Dabbling with NPR is a hazardous business, so I often try to keep things superficial, otherwise grim rage becomes dominant. So, to keep things light and fluffy, I frequently notice form rather than content (as content is usually a lost cause). I tend to notice HOW things are said and not necessarily WHAT things are said. I know, it's a perverted form of amusement, but I swear, I don't put as much time or effort into this as it sounds.

Well, it seems that lately, many of the NPR lifers have been told to juice up their manner of speaking. You know, to get all emotional and affected in order to bring 'interest' to a segment on, say, the Fed's strategy for regulating title insurance restrictions on two-year guarantee loans made on leap-year days, or whatever. NPR wants to retain its 'serious' reputation, but with a sexier guise, so as to keep the SUV-ers transfixed with 'driveway moments', before hauling ass in the Mall.

People like Inscreep and Renee de la Mon-tayyne perform a whole routine to keep our attention, feigning amazement, speaking in 'valley' cadences, and general motormouth tricks of the cheapest kind. Most of the 'experts' they interview go along with their act, but when someone like Helen Mirren shows up, it doesn't take much to expose how ditzy/dopey (or if you prefer, dopey/ditzy) Renee comes off as, and Ms Mirren was the model of understatement and kindness.

Anyway, there's a BushCorp/Condi quality to this business that grates and gets in the way of what information radio is supposed to be about: access to said information.
To me this increased affectation junk is all just bad acting (in a media source that should confine acting, bad or otherwise, to feature shows), and it is representative of the what the NPR powers that be want in order to boost ratings, in order to satisfy corporate sponsor expectations (duh, just like in commercial radio, ya think??).

Conversely, I heard a segment this morn from our old reliable Parisian gamine, Eleanor B.(eardsley) of Aquitaine, that gave me a start. In her little piece there was practically NO affectation - none of her bizarre misfires of delivery - just flat phrases. No champagne bubbles or boulevardier fun. Nothing. Eleanor! Are you ill? Tired? Or did you get a talking to: to knock off the cutesy crap? Sadly, without her gimmick, EB is just a bore, enough to make you snap off the radio and head on in to Macy's.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Definition of a Defining Moment

I can't imagine a more worthless source for truthful information about Iraq than Nonfunctioning Public Radio. Fox News is worse of course (if not synonymous), but at least you know where they stand. NPR attempts to play the game of 'safe' cleverness, so that they'll be taken seriously. Boy, how they crave the prestige.

And what the hell is with this 'defining moment' crap? OK, it's just another Luntzy product from BushCorp. But why would any thinking person take such a vague statement seriously? Just the fact that the media repeats such a banal pronouncement with a straight face is enough to invalidate any news source's credibility. And now, with NPR's new gals (Dina+Lourdes) delivering steady-voiced updates about the New Iraq from Bombproof Vault #345, deep beneath the billion dollar US Embassy, and with a 'less emotional' and fully-clothed Annie G. to guide them, their team's putting the propaganda back into NPR with a capital 'P'.

(NOTE: I think it was Susan Steeammberg who made it clear though, that Our Lady of Lourdes had indeed been 'on the streets of Baghdad' or somewhere or other, just so Lourdes’ statement that those streets were deserted could be taken as a sort of eyewitness fact. I found it interesting that the anchor in DC would make a statement that the reporter on the scene (or in the general region) should be making. Hell, I could make the same statement just by using Google Earth...)

NPR should just stick to doing feature shows and leave the hard edge reporting to other, more independent agencies. I don’t care if this was an extremely liberal administration and NPR was spinning things to the left all the time. The truth is the truth, and NPR is in the thrall of non-truth and truthiness. They aren’t valid enough to do the job, and they’ve proven it, time and again.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Splurge Before The Flood

I'm finally hearing some references in the media that, yes indeed, since the Surge, there has been a significant gap in on-the-ground Iraq coverage. Uh, I noticed that in the first weeks, folks. No wonder Winter Soldier testimonies are being repressed. Things are shitty in Iraq and everyone knows it, but won't say so because everybody's waiting to see what Bush does while he still has a chance. Fasten your seatbelts: Admiral Fallon's out, Spitzer's no longer in the way to thwart bank robber Bernanke, and there's still 8 gruesome months to pull some nasty surprises out of the sewer.

Check out Greg Palast's report on the Spitzer/Bernanke caper:

Meanwhile, the Neocons, quiet and industrious of late, are futzing with a majestic playbook of wetdream dimensions (which is probably the only sex they ever get: self-inflicted). Boxes of toxic bon bons are circulating amongst them, containing the following: 1) Greenlighting imminent for Operation Take Back Iran. A no-brainer. 2) Full speed ahead in foundation work on Operation Take Back China - via covert infiltration from the Afghan/Pak corridor, which will set the west of China ablaze, spreading to the South China Sea; thus, Taipei is poised to return in triumph to the Forbidden City.

OHMIGAWD! Brilliant, brilliant, Field Marshal Perle!

OK, doughty Neocons, wash-up now! Nighty-night!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Impatience of the Chattering Classes

This morning on that show they sensibly call 'Morning Edition', I heard relentlessly upbeat Renee interview an Iraqi fellow in Baghdad who works for NPR, describing life in the city 5 years after the invasion. I got the sense that he wanted to gush with all the bloody details, but knowing NPR as he no doubt does, and knowing of their hi-tech editing skills, he delivered a pretty much G-rated rundown. Toward the end he was sufficiently warmed up to start gushing, but that's when the editing no doubt kicked in. When he mentioned a detail regarding a tiny improvement of some kind, Renee responded with something like: 'Well, then things are just a LITTLE better, aren't they?' As if, 'What have you REALLY got to whine about, you poor thing? Raw, untreated sewage is no longer drying in the street. Can't you just be happy with that?', and it was delivered with all the slightly bemused impatience of a Bev Hills soccer mom who's tut-tutting her Filipina nanny for being five minutes late so that she can rush off to the mall.

I don't need this crap. I want my news delivered soberly and without all this 'magazine' approach. I know this is 'NPR Critique 101' stuff, but I'm getting demoralized again.

I'd really like to see how Renee would handle her trips to the mall if LA were being bombed daily and occupied by invading troops. I know, it's a banal comparison (warfare of a different kind exists in LA, don't we know), but her ditziness, so willingly and proudly displayed, is wholly representative of her type and class.

Because of their increasing exclusivity of audience targeting, NPR should be banished to the wilderness of satellite radio, where it can atrophy and thus expire. Even Murdoch wouldn't bother with that.

Monday, March 17, 2008

At NPR, The Hits Just Keep On Coming . . .

If anyone was able to slog through two hours of prizewinning fussbudget Ari Shapiro's drainpipe voice on Sunday, they would have to conclude that this guy has taken it upon himself to be an apologist for the US 're-invention' of Iraq. Substituting for Auntie Liane, Amazing Ari proves that he's pretty darn diverse. Why, he's all over the map, going to plays, bopping over to Baghdad, and hell, doin' the Sunday breakfast gig as easily as gossiping up on the Hill. Yes, Ari's got the makins' of an NPR superstar. But that voice! That awful, awful, NPRepugnant voice! Can't the engineers de-tweak it so that he doesn't sound like he's talking through a 89-cent crystal-set mike? And that talking! Jabber-jabber-jabber! He almost beats out Inscreep in the speaking-faster-than-he-can-
think department. Oh, but Ari's far more brilliant, isn't he? Thus, the haughty confidence. That sickening confidence that got him busted for his trademark snottiness-that-passes-for-
journalism that FAIR pointed out recently. Can a Dan Schorr prize be revoked?
I'm happy to announce though, that I didn't suffer through all two hours of Ari's spring fling garden party. I couldn't do that to my dog, who looked at me as if, 'you are one sick puppy, man!'
After Ari's chummy little giggle with Nina the T, my dog threatened to lift his leg over the radio. A walk with him in the non-NPR fresh air cured everything.

OK, OK, one more thing: again, again, again, I just have to carp about that troublesome Eleanor Beardsley person, who's been popping up disturbingly often recently, despite some other more normalish reporter covering things France-ish.
E.B. sounds like some busted up plastic doll (that still thinks it's cute) to be found in a yard sale's 'FREE' bin, with a pull string that recites goofy lines about French people in a wobbly voice that doesn't know what notes to hit.
Of course, since she's describing the antics of those wacky Frenchies, what better than Ellie Bea to deliver their news with clownish dreariness? 'Thiszis Ellleneknyorr Beeaerdleah en Paaareeass...' (Did that transliteration really work?)

You know, if some of these NPR-oids really had style and class, like distinctive voices such as Katherine Hepburn or even Jimmy Breslin, it would be one thing, but NPR gets these not-even-ready-for-hammy-acting types, and their 'creative' journalism sucks, too. We as a public deserve much, much better, don't we? Of course, I blame NPR management for letting this bozo patrol get out on the air, but when it's stacked with BushCorp flunkies, there's no accounting for taste.

OK, pretty superficial stuff to complain about, but I ask you, where the hell does NPR GET all this lousy, lousy - really lousy - on-air 'talent'? Probably from the offspring of CEOs, and other power people in bed with NPR who have journalistic stars in their eyes... or whatever. In Britain, 'public' schools are really the very private, elitist establishments that take care of their own. National 'Public' Radio is actually a similarly elitist (well, middle-to-upper class) outfit that only cares about itself. Thus, my battle cry: Rupert - take what is rightfully yours: NPR!!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Randoms: Q: What Does 'NPR' Really Stand For? A: Well, All Sorts of Funny Things!

I just heard a puke-making interview in which Blob Siegel bids a fond farewell to Nicholas 'Nick' Burns, Undersecretary of State for Condescension, after a distinguished career. It's a doily-delicate affair, as one prig to another.

Do people like Burns actually make any difference? It makes one wonder what such a person really thinks they DID all those years of diplo 'service', because he offers no explanation of his role in the current, deliberately constipated mess in foreign affairs today, perpetuated by the worthless Condi & Co. I guess Nick's just too modest a guy to take any credit for it. Oh, he talks about the need to 'repair shaken bridges' or sumpthin'.

Blob let him down nice and easy at the end, via a gently whimsical Red Sox parachute. (Nick's a fan!) Diplomats and broadcasters are ever so civilized, aren't they?

A Bosnian friend of mine still marvels over how middle-class oriented NPR is.


The dementia at Nationalist Perverted Radio grows deeper. NPR is dabbling in the 'controversy for controversy's sake' vat. They'll bungle such a venture, of course, but the damage is done.

You know Glenn Beck? That guy who wants to get your attention by all that wide-eyed jibber-jabberish he turbo-motor-mouths all the time? You know, he's just another baby-boomer who's exploiting his substance-abuse, just like our president.

Well anyway, Steve Inscreep of 'Morn Ed' interviewed him as part of their trenchant 'What Conservatives Think' series (which was almost as good as their recent 'Crunch Time' triumph).

Glengarry Beck is nothing more than a peepshow geek who, if Fox Newsishness didn't exist, couldn't even get work cleaning spittoons at a 5th rate carnival. So why does NPR pick up on him? Because there's an untapped audience to be found in the middle class' latent hunger for the horrible and the twisted in life!
So why not go the Naturally Prurient Radio route, if only for a day, and see how the ratings perform? Very Inscreepy!

If Beck can invoke Churchill and (gasp) Santorum in the same sentence, then I can paraphrase Sir Winston in regard to Rick: he (Rick) is a perverse man, with much to be perverse about...
Same goes for Beck.

Personally, I'm delighted NPR is stooping this low. Might wake more people up.


NPR's logo is a cheap rip-off of BBC's logo. (BBC cheaply ripped itself off a few years ago when they converted the rather nice logo of 'italic' boxes, as in: BBC , to boring right-angle boxes, like, as in: BBC.) Anyway, NPR's logo has nice bright colors that get quite a bit of attention when attached to public mike stands. They scream: 'NPR is HERE!' Yeah, well, who cares if Mara Liarson or Dondi Gonorrhea is at the other end of the mike's wire. Damn! I WOULD have to bring those dreary names up!

Candidate Review! I Have A Scheme . . .

Dreams live in the hearts of patriots, just as sure as Bobby Russell wrote 'Little Green Apples'.

And because the Splurge in Iraq is such a success, you just know that hagiographed McCain and Field Marshall Petraeus are dickering right now over the future division of the spoils.

Here's their Swing Into Spring '08 'To Do' list:

1. Take and Hold 1600 Pennsy by means of the following lineup

2008-12 Generalissimo 'Panama Jack' McCain
2012-16 Citizen Jebber 'Die-Nasty!' Bush
2016-?? God-Emperor and Chief Martial law Administrator Davidvs 'Dave' PETRAEVS

2. Sieg heil, baby!

And that's just the getting warmed-up part!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bill Has Wrapped 'Er Up

Fig. 1 Bill (center) in his role as Billiam X. Suckling in the 'Twilight Zone' episode, 'God and Man on Mars'

Here's to Bill Buckley, whom, as I remember, used to really BUG me. Then in the early 80s, he hosted PBS' presentation of Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited' as adapted by John Mortimer. After that, I knew I could still profoundly disagree with Bill and yet enjoy his curiously stylish fiddlings and ramblings as if he were an eccentric actor or some such. Well, that's what he was, really.

Used to hate him, then was charmed by him, now I miss him.

He gave an elegantly stinging indictment of Dubya on a CBS Sunday Morning segment (note the prime time slot, indicative of his faded importance). Basically washed-up and overruled by the neoconny Kristolized crowd, Bill's only companion was his old dog, who followed him dutifully around the house.

As a polemicist, (except for his condemnation of the Iraq War) a waste of time. As an entertainer, top notch. There should be a star on Hollywood Blvd in his honor.

Candidate Review! The Perfect Candidate in Time for the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812: JEBBER!

Fig. 1 Gerald Ford was captured in many such poses; Jebber has considerably hogged out since this not-so-recent 'action' portrait was taken

Now come the days of The Grooming, and The Prepping and The Patience. Now come the days when Jeb Bush, the heir apparent of BushCorp's Assured Reign in Perpetuity, will take up the burden of duty and proceed with his natural destiny of Born To Rule.

Here's the plan, gang (preferred plan first):

Plan A: Citizen McCain wins the '08 election. Fine. As per his '04 Pact with BushCorp, McCain allows said Corp to continue its enterprises in seamless fashion. Indeed, McCain, though not a blood relative, may even outdo The Family in BushCorp-like gestures and concepts. Content with being a one-termer (as that was better than being a no-termer) Grand Old Man McCain will willingly retire to his honorable wheelchair while the Epoch's New Man, Jebber, will then ascend to power, with Field Marshall of the Continental Army, David Petraeus at his side. There is much erotic excitement about this scenario in high places. That's where The Patience comes in.

Plan B: Barack Obama wins the '08 election. Fine. Let the Poet inspire the masses. (Sounds great to yrs trly.) But what BushCorp wants is for an Obama Administration to fail, if not in trainwreck style, then at least in terms of a generally dissatisfied public. Grappling with the mess left by Dubya will task the capacities of any subsequent administration. Then, in '12, BushCorp and its associated Republicans will have license to sweep back into power, with the anointed ones offered up, as mentioned above.

The magnitude of sinisterness inherent in BushCorp is no laughing matter, and thus, there is very little satire in the two plans I have just outlined. We must consider the scope of BushCorp and neocon agendas, and we must understand that they have no intention of surrendering any sort of power or control - ever.

By the by, ol' Jebber has put on some pounds. In comparison, Dubya looks stubbornly trim. Git on that mountain bike, Jebber, thy people will have need of thee!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Candidate Review! Get Below, Before I McCain Ya!

Figs. 1 & 2 'An Epoch's Most Memorable Icons Are As Tintypes Of The Nostalgias' - Hervey Wordsworthless Shortfella

My friends, it is now time to address he who will take up the solemn task of ushering the mighty legacy of BushCorp toward its next dynastic inheritor (we're talkin' Jebber here, gang, or, if Hillary becomes the Dem nominee, either of the Twins), a man whose maverick loyalty has proven his utter worth, a man sparlking with enough crackerbarrel wit to melt a television set, that darling of millions - and of Charles Keating, that smart shopper who knows the best rug deals in town, from suburban Tempe to bazaar-y Baghdad: that Senatah John 'WALNUTS!' McCain!

By the grace of BushCorp only does he walk before us in 2008. What does that mean? Why, in 2004, JM signed a pact with said Corp, in which there was a deal that would ensure his bid for 1600 Pennsy in this here year of '08. The terms were stark, but elegantly simple:

BushCorp rules:
1. Lay off Dubya in the 2004 election. (He did that.)
2. Appear meek before Dubya while at Air Force One photo op. (He did that.)
3. Hug and kiss Dubya in public. (He did that.)
4. One term in the White House only, old fellow; gotta make way for the young folks in '12. (He will do that.)
5. Do all these things and more, John Q. McCain, and we will gift you the presidency in 2008. (He will do them.)

So now, with most of those terms fulfilled, JM can now stroll on in.

WARNING: For many a reason that need not be listed here, this man should not become our president. Fausts should be confined to the operatic and theatrical stages of the world, not on the national altar.

Plus, his 's' sibilance is extremely distracting, almost as much as Ghouliani's lisp.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Randoms: Wanna Get Gnarly? Listen To NPR And Learn To Criticize Them!

On today's unmissable All Thingamabubs Considered:

- An absolutely contemptible report by someone called Karen Grigsby-Bates on a medical marijuana outlet in LA, and how stupid it is. Smug isn't an adequate enough word. All the classic NPR touches of offensive delivery, innuendo, and barely-disguised disdain were on parade. NPR's peevish priggishness at its very worst, though nicely exhibited for us to alternatively snicker and scoff at.

- A 'witty' postmortem on Ghouliani's quitting the prez race, where this Bob Smith guy takes Rudy's 'Leadership' book and makes fun of the things that Rudy said in it but DIDN'T act upon! Zowie!! Yes, it's a rare bit of 'gotcha' journalism (while trying to be clever, too!). That kind of stuff's pretty hard to find on virtuous NPR, but heck, they only wheeled it out when the scene was safe, (Gawrsh, can you imagine having Rudy MAD at you??) and when it's OK to show off a bit of drivel-y NPR 'humor'. As Major Hoople used to say, 'HAAAAWK-KAFFF!'

- John Edwards' media freeze-out lasts to the end. Much more time was given to Ghouliani's bailing than Edwards' bow-out, with very little exposition.

Morning Edition Low-note:

Terrible-quality Frank Deford satire on the Super Bowl, via Shakespearian recitations. No great horror in itself, except that he had some NPR stalwarts do the different character voices. Big mistake. No wonder Ari Shapiro didn't make it in acting school. Broadway musicals' loss is NPR's gain in torturing we captive listeners.

Morn Ed Hi-note:

- My good Philip Reeves had a nice little segment on India's new mini-car, the Nano. The way he 'did the numbers' as a demonstration of the multiplying of the car population in India should shock the shit out of those timid NPR devotees, trembling at the oncoming Brown (and Yellow) Peril!

Friday, January 25, 2008


I didn't much appreciate the extremely poor and sneaky decision to reveal, at the tail end of Steve Inskreep's interview on NPR's 'Morn Ed' with Imran Khan from Pakistan, that Mr Khan didn't know what C-SPAN was, and the general implication was that he is some sort of country bumpkin or political naif, if not a fool. How helpful of NPR to point out this fact, and in such a gently condescending manner. The sophisticates in the listening audience no doubt chuckled in their subtle way.

Imran Khan has long enjoyed a huge following as a sportsman in the British Commonwealth world (cricket, that is), and has devoted much of his efforts to philanthropy in Pakistan, and now politics. I'm glad NPR is just discovering these things.

So, Imran Khan, let it be known, didn't know what C-SPAN was. Conversely, I wonder if anyone at NPR knew who Imran Khan was (without looking him up in Wikipedia), and what he has accomplished?

This is a continuing problem for such on-air 'personalities' as Steve Inskreep, who tend to speak faster than they can think.

Despite success in ratings, NPR has long moved into a realm where they are hardly a first-stop source for news and insight concerning current events. They may score interviews with VIPs, but opportunities are usually squandered by the lack of talent or quality to be found amongst most of the NPR stalwarts.

Whether Mr Khan agreed to let these 'personal' bits be broadcast or not, I think Inskreep and NPR owe him a public apology for their adolescent abuse of broadcast principles.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saudi Sword Soirees Combined With Kingly Kissin' 'N Cuddlin'

Fig.1 While Bush frolicked with kings, Mega-Ted Klaudt was sentenced to 44 years for doing horrible things to his foster kids

Fig. 2 While Bush and King were doing swordy gavottes, Mega-Ted Klaudt, former GOP 'lawmaker' in SD was getting ready for 44 years in jail

Fig. 3 While two kings kissed and told, Mega-Ted Klaudt hogs the news at home; you mean he didn't? well he should have, instead of this bushy-tailed bullshit!

It was darn funny to see those pictures of Dubya bozo-ing about with the topmost players in the Saudi Empire. Goofin' around with swords, chompin' on the local crisps, frownin' at that old Arabician book, and diggin' the kissin' of Cousin King, which'll sure make Holy Joe (Liebermann) jealous as a hick rival at a barn dance! Yassir, it was a Tex-ass Triumph of a trip!

And then I heard some of the coverage of BushCorp's epic voyage on that there NPR. You know, that station where they do the 'different' kind of commercials, then ask for 'pledges' for their corporate welfare protectors? Indeed, this is the sort of watery spinnishness so dear to NPR's heart, that sort of half-genial half-smug cooperative balderdash that's smothering the craft of journalism to death. 'Worthless' is a banal enough term, but it's about the only one I can think of anymore to summarize NPR's contributions to news-gathering. We know who the good ones are in that crew, but the rewards are so few and far between...

Bush's putzy pronouncements were merely to gloss over his trip's real purpose: to cap some mega-sized arms deals with some quality Crawford crackerbarrel joshing, and to get out the butter so as to arouse the region for some very sexy Iranian penetration.
Oh, and what happened to Pakistan's status as 'Most Dangerous Nation', or whatever?

I read a good article in the Moscow Times about Gorbachev, who says Russia isn't fooled by this preposterous missile program that's supposedly meant for Iran. It's meant for Russia, folks, the latest devil-baby spawned by frozen-out Cold Warriors who wanna make a comeback before they kick the bucket.
Chomsky wrote a trenchant article called 'Cold War II' last August, very worthwhile.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ryan Crocker Is Delighted To Present: The Biggest-Titted Success Story EVER: I R A Q!

Welcome, gang, to the wonders of 2008!

Great news for ye who seek refreshment from the sagging slog of that old front in the War on Tare. You know, Iraq? It's so . . . over.

Because, you know, I heard this interview on that, you know, NPR?

Renaaay Montayyyn, our favorite sexy fashionista of the 'public' airwaves, was like, making out with St. Ryan Crocker, the US Ambassador to the Highly Sovereign Nation of Iraq, and it was cool, because now we know all we need to know about how that place is doing these days. And heck, a beginning of a new year Report was perfectly in order, and indeed, a pretty nice courtesy to offer us.

But really:

Indeed, Crocker has made a whole career out of that fake self-effacing modesty act. He's a major player who's deeply committed to the sham - what other role could he possibly play? And to me, NPR is absolutely complicit in the PR machine that Crocker & Corp needs to promote, especially now, with the supposed 'lull' in Iraq in full display for all the world to marvel at, with a collective sigh of relief! It's a no-brainer that part of the Surge deal with the media was that coverage of the daily death in Iraq would be drastically reduced. The Surge has been like a black hole as far as journalistic documentation is concerned. Who knows what the actual reality has been? Objective reporting has been downright banned.

Fat 'n Fluffy Freddie Kagan, one of the Surge's chief schemers, certainly enters the halls of the American Enterprise Institute in high triumph every day. In the not too distant future, all of America will point to him and declare, 'It was he who saved Iraq!'
(NOTE: I deplore the use of the term 'architect' for anyone wangling a war in the sub-sleazy way that Iraq was pulled off. That rather distinguished profession involves design, but design that usually involves building, not destruction. There is nothing whatsoever of Frank Lloyd Wright or Norman Foster to be found in the likes of the reprehensibe Wolfowitz or Rumsfeld - or Kagan. Please, good people of the public and of the media, desist from using this term in that manner. Besides, it smacks of Luntzism, and that's as low as one can get.)

And NPR's breezing along, glad that they stuck by Bush Doctrine while others fell by the wayside. They held steady, like, you know, Bill 'Howdy-Doody' Kristol has, and now Bill's gettin' his place in the sun at the New York Times. Thus are patience and loyalty rewarded. And NPR wants a piece of that action. Their audience, weary of 'scary' stories out of I-rak, is getting a well-deserved break. Noble-but-misunderstood Ann Garrels is fuming with self-pity in DC ('Why do they hate me out there? Why? But I'll show THEM - I shall return!') and 'Kid Jamie' Tarabay is shopping in Dubai (sounds boring; not even funny).

I guess we won in Iraq, huh?

We can well imagine that NPR gets these plum interviews like Crock-up and other big players, only on the conditions that complete cooperation is assured, with no controversial lines of questioning allowed, and certainly, with final approval rights built in. Another violation of Smith-Mundt Act (e.g. no public funds shall be utilized for propagandistic purposes). Sure, they let NPR toss in a few token and timid 'probing' questions, just to make their shill news outfit sound credible, but we all know what a joke that is. I think it's controlled to that extent, certainly. No conspiracy theory necessary. BushCorp/Cheney Industries would tolerate nothing less. Nothing can be left to chance.

When Ry Crock appears on Democracy Now!, or equivalent, then maybe I'll pay the slightest attention to his empty and tiresome life insurance salesman's banter.

Last night at our modest NY's Eve party, we heard some gunshot-sounding fireworks going off down the street. A friend commented, in mock-Petraeus style, 'The Surge is working.' We about fell off our chairs laughing.

Happy New Year, gang. It's the home stretch.