posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 08:38 PM
I know that it's good manners to tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em before you actually tell 'em...
but I have no idea.
So I'm back to my old dream again. I'm sitting at home not quite at the beginning of a weekend that I'm afraid I'll waste like the last one. The
job I've finally found for myself probably won't take me very far, and after much reflection it has come to me that I probably failed to become a
journalist because I spent so much time trying to figure out how to become a journalist. It didn't leave me energy for reading and writing. Not to
mention figuring out what is going on. I think- at least Ideally- that a journalist knows what is going on. This attracts me. I always want- and
sometimes actually manage- to understand and impact what's going on. Impact it- I'm past controlling it or even really helping- I just want to throw
my elbow into the bastards side while I happen to be walking by in a narrow hallway, driving one of his ribs into a lung and altering his voice and
breathing- maybe I ended his football career, maybe I gave a great actor his trademark. Mel Gibson got The Road Warrior because he got his ass kicked
the night before the audition- or so I've read. Which did he deserve? The ass-kicking, or the fame? Probably the former, but it doesn't matter. He
got both anyway. But before I could make Mel Gibson look like he'd been through the end of the world, even metaphorically, I'd have to build some
momentum. Two hundred pounds is enough... maybe a little much really. So only velocity remains.
I took a walk in the morning while I was still clearing my head. I did a double-take at the newspaper racks outside a donut shop at a particularly
treacherous intersection on the highway. I hadn't actually seen anything that caught my eye, but I had the sudden impulse to buy a paper. I've been
carrying cash more lately, not for ideological reasons really but I do feel good about it. Silver coin would be even better. I was fresh out of silver
coin, and even modern zinc slugs. I did have one dollar, which the lady in the donut shop went to some trouble to break for me, checking first in the
cash register, then the tip jar, then with a co-worker, and finally her own purse. I took seventy-five cents for the dollar and chose the LA Times,
because I can pick up a discarded local paper anywhere.
I've been reading my paper over the course of the day. I probably won't finish it all, much less get to the local paper. I've slowed down and lost
a lot of my ability to focus. This is part of what makes me feel like I am more or less the average American. I fall for almost all of the b.s. for at
least a few minutes. But that persistent panic that comes from a sense of shame deep in my soul, or at least my psyche, which sometimes stops me from
carrying cash or entering buildings that somehow don't look right for me, and then makes me turn around years later and correct these deficiencies
with drill-instructorish drive- has become a strange and evil sort of ally in that respect. I viciously criticize myself and everything that I
believe, but I am predisposed to be what they want me to be and believe what I am told- and so if I don't figure out what's going on, I usually
figure out what's wrong at least. That's what the world really wants right, another guy to tell them what's wrong? Maybe Agnew was
But if I know me I'll go too far. I might even break something. No point wondering if it's right or wrong if you haven't even done it yet, right?
The problem now is how to be like Paul Richter, who apparently gets to go to Washington and gets paid for it, even when he's supposed to be covering
Egypt. The headline says, "U.S. worries Egypt reform will fall short". Washington is a fine town for hunting stories about falling short, no doubt
about that. But the article pretty much reflected the headline. Quotes from people in Washington who are anxious to see the Egyptian military end the
emergency law as they promised, among other things. A token Egyptian also voiced skepticism, 8 paragraphs into the article. Twice as close to the
lead, disempersoned "officials" were said to be worried that democratic political organization in Egypt could not keep up with the brisk timeline
for reform the military claims to envision. No real mention was made of any political organization in Egypt. I haven't been following the news
closely enough until today but even I am aware that there is noteworthy political organization at work in the streets of Egypt, which would probably
be extremely relevant to all of these worries, one way or another. We'll worry about making a difference later; I'd settle for writing about talking
about somebody else who just might be able to make a difference.
Because once I've gotten that far, I could occasionally try to be more like Ashley Powers, who wrote a story about a tree getting cut down that made
me want to drive through Nevada... not a really far out notion for a guy like me to take really, but still I appreciated the writing compared to
standard newspaper fare as I know it. If I had money I might take action because of that story. And if I had written that story I would have money.
Yes this will be the answer.
I would probably launch a tirade about the Mel Gibson divorce story on page one, and the fact that it, unlike Egypt and even the Shoe Tree, got a
front page photo (below the fold at least), but I'd went through Songs of the Doomed on audio book last night at work and got a real kick out of the
Pulitzer divorce. All there is to say is that modern celebrity gossip is socially irrelevant, because it's old news. We've known for years what the
people at the top are really like, and we live with it. They are no less entitled to be drunk, distressed, depraved and wrong than anyone else of
course. We don't get a yes or no on what kind of scum they want to be. We get a yes or no on whether we are going to place them at the top. Average
Americans like me don't say yes or no. We make funny faces and draw breath, then explain why we're not paying attention if we want to talk to you,
otherwise we say, "meh". Mm... Eh.... bleh... blah- whatever- but me first: Me'h. We say Meh. We didn't put Mel Gibson in the news paper. We are
ignoring him, and that will be easy because I'm sure we won't be seeing much of him soon in the movies- so I say while ignoring him and not actually
committing journalism to make absolutely sure of that fact. For all I know he is shooting Triumph of the Will part II right at this moment. But if he
got into a movie, and it was good, well... whats done is done, and we want to be entertained, and it turned out not to be something evil like Triumph
of the Will part II- then most of us would see it eventually. I still rent Payback.
An old acquaintance of mine makes films, sometimes including me as a murderous border nazi, and I would like to think that one day he will be
successful and widely spoken of. Perhaps he'd keep casting me, or maybe I'd just feel a little more alive when I saw the movie posters; that would
be enough for me. That's never going to happen because I never shelled out any money to see any of his stuff. I rented Payback.
It all seemed much clearer when I finished the first page and its jumps... and I will admit, got through some state politics on A2 and a smoke break
and a some reflection on Dr. Thompson's Iguana Project. That's the kind of stunt I'm prone to scheming. To hear a man speaking the same language,
even a dead man speaking of the prospects for 1972 and 1976, and know that a freak like that could become powerful enough to scare the crap out of the
major parties, even locally... but the ground isn't fertile for that, and A3 made it clear why.
Silvio Berlusconi. I was familiar with the name and the sex of course. And he'd gone way out there with Bush of course. Who wouldn't know at least
that little in a post 9/11 world? But man, to hear Henry Chu tell it the man was the right incarnate. It made for a hell of a story. Yeah, yeah, he
can afford seventeen year old girls better than I can afford beer, and it's doubtful he will go down for it; I wonder if he's ever been to Palm
Beach. Old news! But imagine all of the potential sins of an entire sociopathic cult heaped onto one individual- who then proceeds to act them out
rather than absolve them; In Rome! An anointed decider, a tycoon who protects his business interests from office, a maverick old man who hires
staffers based on how much he wants to sleep with them, a media master who understands that the courts are meddling beyond their intended scope, but
that lawyers working for the executive can declare a king. A Bush, A Cheney, A McCain, A Rove, A Whitman who couldn't be stopped, in power more often
than not since 1994, feeding on the children of his capital... or at least on its wayward young ladies. Democracy is dying in Italy. If he had been
schizophrenic, or just different people, perhaps Italy's democracy would be more like America's instead. I hope they wouldn't settle for that. I
hope the Egyptians don't.
So I've made it 3 pages into the paper plus the jumps, and I've written this. Not a great day really, but better than yesterday.