Friday, February 26, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
One of the US's better known idolaters of war, former Senator Charlie Wilson, died on February 10th. Scott Simon eulogized him very personally on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday. It was a fawning string of inanities from an NPR host who has worked for years to perfect a breathless, simpering delivery.
Absent from Simon's treatment was anything even remotely resembling the slander attack of David Horowitz on Howard Zinn provided via Allison Keyes.
My suspicion (indeed, certainty) is that a thorough review of politically charged obits would reveal this kind of 'fair and balanced' treatment by NPR and most other so-called news organizations in America. Of course, in the eyes of NPR and Scott Simon, Charlie Wilson was _not_ a politically charged figure. He was adored by Democrats and Republicans alike -- which accounts for all of the political spectrum in NPR's field of vision.
Another illuminating comparison (albeit, not of two obits) is that of Yasser Arafat, who was gently villified (to put it as best I can) on his death and Ariel Sharon, who was lionized when he became comatose though he is every bit -- and far far more -- the war criminal Arafat was. Indeed, Simon himself offered another of his utterly hollow accounts on the occasion of Arafat's death. Simon recounted being held by Palestinian captors briefly. His captors pointedly asked whether Simon was Jewish. (It probably goes without saying that Simon has never noted virulent anti-Arab racism in Israel.) The point is that Simon felt no need to offer mealy-mouthed accolades for Arafat. Moreover, he made 'relevant' an irrelevant detail that had nothing to do with Arafat, but did serve Simon's purpose of demonizing, en masse, the entire Palestinian people -- just as the inclusion of Horowitz's slander served NPR's purpose of diminishing Zinn.
There are a great many critics of Zinn, some conservative, some liberal, some left-wing, who could have added some texture to any recollection, though it is plainly clear that the NPR and general US media standard is to offer near-unalloyed praise -- unless there is a 'need' to take the person down a few notches, or flaws so glaring that they must be at least acknowledged. Thus, in the case of Sharon, the briefest mention is made of Sabra and Shatila. Likewise, in the case of Reagan, the treasonable and impeachable crimes of Iran-Contra are mentioned -- but only in passing.
It is for the American Left that the special case arises, where it is necessary to slander the dead, lest their views be too popular.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
These are among the Yes-Men in the realm between actual policy-makers and the public. They rarely if ever offer original thinking. They instead practice the art of balancing, positioning, triangulating to ensure their greatest possible acceptability to the mainstream — the received wisdom.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
nastarola (adj.) generically, mildy nasty.
lasterday (n.) similar to yesterday, but specifically referring to the day of an event. (e.g., "Lasterday, when we went to the zoo, we got cotton candy." Thus, not the immediately preceding day, but the probably recent day when the zoo was last visited.)
the first beginning (n.) As adults, we think of a book beginning on the first page of the story or text, perhaps on the title page. But "the first beginning" is the first page of the book, literally — perhaps a flyleaf or an endpaper.
baby in a bird's nest (n.) A Christmas tree ornament of the infant Jesus in a cradle of straw.Jesus Crisis (expletive) Corruption of Jesus Christ.
damage (expletive) Corruption of "damn it"
baby Zeus (proper name) Greek American child's answer to "Do you know what Christmas is about?"
"Fix the law." Anything that is broken can be fixed. So in response to "They broke the law," the response might be "Can you fix it?"
ganges (n.) Corruption of "gadgets," of the kind that Batman frequently uses.
stupidhead (n.) Means exactly what it sounds like. "Head" can be appended to many derogatory adjectives to produce an unflattering noun.
babyhead (n.) Much the same meaning as "stupidhead". Often said by an older sibling.
na-nana-poo-poo (?) Usually precedes "you can't catch me!" Meaning obscure.
ballgum (n.) Corruption of "gumball".
Elmo Juice (proper name) More generally N juice, where N is the commercial pop-figure used to get kids to buy the product, in this case juice.
Hot tub powers (n.) The special category of superpowers acquired after a first childhood experience of a hot tub.
"If you shoot the moon, it will make fireworks."
Clark Klent (proper name, Tue. April 7, 2009) Alterego or alternative identity of Superman.
The Clue (proper name, Sat. June 13, 2009) Confusion of the name "Riddler" from Batman.
Turning wheel (n.) a doorknob
more to come . . .