Comments: Michael Jackson Died For Our Sins

This is another of your joke columns, yes? The idea that there is only a finite amount of comedy bandwidth, and it shouldn't be squandered on the "wrong" targets? Or that if only Comedy Central et al had focused on "important" targets the world would be a better place? Borat as diplomatist, Jay Leno our Ghandi?

Are you fucking kidding me? Delusions of comedic grandeur, or what?

Posted by Oarwell at June 28, 2009 10:14 PM
Are you fucking kidding me? Delusions of comedic grandeur, or what?

Comedy (and particularly daily comedy) does inform in an oblique manner, probably because many of us think that mainstream news is nothing but corporatism, so we look at Leno, Letterman, Stewart, et al to be slyly subversive in translating the truth.

a) celebrity humor; and for those intellectuals among us b) absurdism about "inhuman autopilots"--zombies, pirates, robots, ninjas, etc.

I am a huge fan of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" -- which category was that in? I had it down in the pointless narcissism column.

Posted by Angryman@24:10 at June 28, 2009 10:30 PM

Well said, Mike.

I've always thought that comedy, especially comedy targeting celebrities, plays an essentially conservative function in society. To make fun of Michael Jackson served a law-and-order purpose to the exclusion of any other (besides cheap laughs).

Now if we're looking for creeps, no need for Michael Jackson. How about Simon Cowell humiliating random people with his well-paid horse's ass routine to everyone's delight? Lynch mob culture is vastly more terrifying than some guy who looks like something went terribly wrong on the cosmetic surgeon's table. Or for that matter Wolf Blitzer having an orgasm on the air while watching Shock-and-Awe. Now *that* is creepy celeb territory. Perhaps comedy could do something with that.

Posted by Bernard Chazelle at June 28, 2009 10:45 PM

The idea that there is only a finite amount of comedy bandwidth, and it shouldn't be squandered on the "wrong" targets?

Yes. The reality is there is only a finite amount of comedy bandwidth.

Plus: not quite so angry, please.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at June 29, 2009 12:45 AM

TOO BAD that a woman, such as Farah, doesn't recieve all this kind of attention upon the occasion of her death.

Posted by Mike Meyer at June 29, 2009 02:12 AM

"the bizarre marriage to Elvis's daughter" was inspired, produced, and directed by Scientology, which sought to attach itself, lamprey-like, to Mr. Jackson's troubled soul, and to suck his millions from the raw wound so created. Through Lisa Presley, they convinced him to undertake the "Purification Rundown" and nearly killed him with almost-lethal doses of niacin, combined with calcium and magnesium supplements and hours in a too-hot sauna.

Michael Jackson was ultimately too sane to be assimilated by Scientology. Woe unto John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Tom Cruise, Lisa Presley, Jenna Elfman, Mimi Rogers, Greta van Susteren, Chick Corea, and many other troubled celebrities that they were not.

Posted by joel hanes at June 29, 2009 02:50 AM

TOO BAD that MIKE MEYER, even when not hectoring us to CALL NANCY PELOSI NOW!!! still can't figure out how to keep his fingers of the CAPS LOCK key for ONE SIMPLE COMMENT.

I might PAY ATTENTION to him if he DID.

Posted by Rojo at June 29, 2009 04:30 AM

Ahem... now that I've voiced my annoyance with Mike Meyer....

I've long felt sorry for Michael Jackson, victim of the collusion of his own father and of American celebrity culture, which so often steers unspoken American class resentments into demonization of the wayward celeb, most especially if they arise out of the working class in the first place.

Personally, I don't think that he molested any children. I think that he was in a state of arrested development caused by the pressures of dad and fame.

Check out this youtube video ( of Joe Jackson on Soul Train talking about a party thrown at the Jackson manse. Ignore, at least for the moment, the fact that you see Eddie Kendricks, Jr. Walker Redd Foxx, etc. and note these quotes from Joe and Don Cornelius at about 2:23

Joe: "Michael likes the babies, he always holds the babies, he's very fond of babies."

Don: "I can remember when Michael was about 6 and he'd be on the show and the grown-up women who'd be associated with the show for one reason or another like dancers and what have you, they'd always fall in love with Michael, you'd always find Michael in some lady's arms, they just couldn't keep their hands off him."

To me that's evidence in support of those that have argued that M.J. was simply arrested in his development and largely only able to relate to children and mother-figures.

But, whatever, long-distance psycho-analyzing of dead pop figures is not particularly useful, so I'll leave it there and go over to catch the breathless HuffPo coverage of the Honduras coup. What? They're not breathlessly covering every tweet? Hmmmm, I wonder why that is?

Posted by Rojo at June 29, 2009 04:53 AM
To the extent that anybody I knew spared a thought for the guy, the human being, they decided he deserved it for being so weird. Such is the compassion of the herd.

Mike, what does this mean?

Consider that most of MJ weirdness was foisted on the public for extended periods of time to divert from other issues. Secondly, who is the herd in your narrative? The networks? The comedy writers? The general public?

If it's the general public, then you may be bemoaning the wrong thing; that is how we act and with (IMO) reason. Disgust is a strong component in enforcing compliance to the accepted norm. We are what we are not accidentally.

...a thought for the guy, the human being, ...

This is such an interesting concept - conveying a responsibility to reach beyond the public persona to understand the private individual, intruding on the personal space and popping the bubble.

It would certainly be interesting to have 300M people constantly intrude into one's personal space in order to ameliorate their social responsibility.

Posted by angryman@24:10 at June 29, 2009 09:27 AM

Oh. Sorry. For a moment, I thought I was at McSweeney's Internet Tendency. All vapid, all the time.

Posted by Oarwell at June 29, 2009 10:08 AM

Mike, I agree with some of the points you make, but how relevant is it now? As you say, there's nobody to replace Michael Jackson. It's already a cliche to say the mass media is fragmenting and the age of the universal megastar is over. The only real walking punchlines left are people like Paris Hilton and what's-her-name from The Hills, marginal celebrities with no talent who got famous by voluntarily making a spectacle of their private lives. Ridicule can't corrode these people's souls, or even hurt them materially; it's practically built into their business plans. If I were in the comedy business, the question I'd be asking myself is: is it even possible anymore to satirize celebrity culture without colluding in it?

Posted by Chris E. at June 29, 2009 10:40 AM

I read, I chuckled, and then I stood back and wondered "what the fugg?"

The problem, Miguel d'Angle, is that you pay attention to what the mainstream infotainment media opine and report. And they opine and report as they do because it's titillating, even if it is degrading to humanity.

Have you tried disconnecting yourself from the idiots of mainstream infotainment? You'll find that there's a lot less reason to wonder about why people wondered about Jackson.

Posted by Juan Seis-Olla at June 29, 2009 11:29 AM

I agree. Attacking Michael Jackson was too easy. But even smart comedians like Chris Rock and Chappelle raised questions about him so he was a once in an era cultural phenomenon that comedians couldn't help but make fun of. But for too many comedians and for too often he turned into a fetish. I don't think it showed cowardice and a lack of class amongst comedians(sometimes it did). I don't think Bill Hicks or George Carlin ever made fun of MJ, because they had their sights on far more funny spectacles in society like guys in the military blowing up huts thousands of miles away. The only thing that we should remember is that comedy is not innocent, that it is powerful because it can change perception.

Posted by smdqr at June 29, 2009 12:22 PM

so we look at Leno, Letterman, Stewart, et al to be slyly subversive in translating the truth.

I'm relieved to learn that Harry Truman wasn't a war criminal.

Posted by Happy Jack at June 29, 2009 12:47 PM

What the heck are all you guys talking about? Mike's article was sensible: we, as a collective, abused and harassed Michael Jackson over the course of his entire life, and it was wrong, just like picking on the fat kid or the kid with glasses is wrong. I don't see how this is in the least controversial.

Posted by saurabh at June 29, 2009 01:13 PM
I'm relieved to learn that Harry Truman wasn't a war criminal.

The fact that the brouhaha even came up is enough to support my point. He can backtrack, apologize or not - but it's not something you would have seen posted at all on the standard news.

At least for a day or two, JS parroted the radical ATR views on morality. :-)

But maybe I'm not understanding your point. Is it that Stewart was wrong, was too mainstream, too unworthy to discuss whether Truman was or wasn't? Just because I prefer to get my news from him over Katie Curic, doesn't mean that I'll believe everything he says -- since I'm told that he sometimes is known to hyperbolize a bit -- or agree with him in matters of opinion like an ideological lemming.

Posted by angryman@24:10 at June 29, 2009 01:22 PM

If I may, I believe his point was a sarcastic one, namely that Stewart isn't all that subversive, and really can only be counted on to provide a slightly-left-of-center viewpoint, with dick jokes as a bonus.

Posted by Upside Down Flag at June 29, 2009 01:28 PM

Rojo: I gotta be me, honey, I can't be U.

Posted by Mike Meyer at June 29, 2009 01:35 PM

saurabh: AGREED, and its a few days TOO LATE to appologize.

Posted by Mike Meyer at June 29, 2009 01:41 PM

Oar, thinking that the right joke can nudge the world in the right direction is no more self-aggrandizing than believing the same thing about a comment on a blog. And when the joke is said to 5 million people at once, I'd argue the joke pulls even further ahead. But that's why I write comedy and you do other things. To each his own.

Bernard, the inherent conservatism of satire is a limitation that could (at least theoretically) be used as a tool. One could, if one was talented enough, create satire that normalizes a set of values that never was, but should be. Tough to do, but not impossible.

Joel, I didn't know that about the Scientology connection, but it doesn't surprise me one bit. I'm not really a Jackson-phile; the only time I came into contact with him was via a song on the radio (which I usually liked) or a list of set-ups, eg, "This week, pop star Michael Jackson wed Lisa Marie Presley in a private ceremony attended by 1000 of their closest friends..."

Angryman, the "herd" in that sentence were the comedy writers, though I suppose it could be extended to the audience, as well. I think that cultivating empathy for one's fellow humans, celebrity or not, should a primary goal; I find it fascinating that you characterized that action as an intrusion to ameliorate social responsibility. For me, empathy for a much-intruded upon person would begin with a desire not to intrude; and isn't empathy is the bedrock of social responsibility? I think the language is getting in the way.

Chris, I don't think it's possible to satirize celebrity culture without colluding in it. That's why I can never find work! Juan, yes I have tried to disconnect myself, but when it's what you do for a living, this poses certain, um, problems. Jon and I often talk about how we were "suckered" into the comedy business via things like Monty Python, the early National Lampoon--the explosion of smart, rigorous and humane comedy that took place in the Seventies--but by the time we'd trained ourselves and were ready to create, the business had morphed into the current wasteland. But we both soldier on, trying to do good work worthy of people's time. We also spend a lot of time mentoring younger writers, in the hopes of building up a different vision of what "comedy" is. That's the most worrisome shift in the last 20 years.

Posted by Mike of Angle at June 29, 2009 02:00 PM

Gerb, don't be so touchy. Reading the news (encapsulated in, say, Glenn Greenwald's blog), I see no evidence whatsoever that jokes, yours or Stewart's or anyone elses, are improving the world one iota. I'd argue, as have others, the opposite: the Daily Show serves as a useful pressure valve for our Empire, allowing us to blow off some steam that might be better directed at effecting real change. Maybe not 'amusing ourselves to death,' but certainly amusing ourselves into a state of fecklessness which does nothing to curtail the injustices of rapacious imperialism.

I labor under no illusion that a blog comment carries any weight whatsoever in saving the world. Even if a great novel were to be written, read by millions, detailing in graphic terms the horrors of totalistic government ... oh, wait, it was, it was called '1984,' and the Empire seems to have merely subsumed it into their architecture of evil, employing it merely as a blueprint. Or maybe Orwell just better understood the propagandistic nature of the BBC, of mass media.

Swiftian satire still has a role to play in speaking "truth to power." I'm unfamiliar with your work, sorry, so don't know if it's just fratboy "comedy," as opposed to satire. Your essay, starting with a hackneyed, sophomoric title that seeks to give offense while adding nothing of substance, I found unpersuasive. (Googling "died for our sins," I find that many have served in that role, including Batman, Abbie Hoffman, Patrick Lee, Matthew Shephard, Jefferson, Osama, Moe Howard, Larry David, Kaworu, King Kong, Angelina Jolie, etc. Wonkette even wrote that Rich Little died for our sins. Rich Little!

A well-rutted trope, indeed.

Posted by Oarwell at June 29, 2009 05:49 PM
I think that cultivating empathy for one's fellow humans, celebrity or not, should a primary goal; I find it fascinating that you characterized that action as an intrusion to ameliorate social responsibility. For me, empathy for a much-intruded upon person would begin with a desire not to intrude; and isn't empathy is the bedrock of social responsibility? I think the language is getting in the way.

Mike, sometimes I say things that seem insensitive and maybe it's my intent in the effort to be anonymously honest.

Empathy seems to be a personal thing that we tell ourselves -- as if we could place ourselves in the shoes of others, despite our differences in education, family life, financial well being and personal choices. I guess we feel pain, so assume others of kind would feel pain as well, but it is a strangely out of body to place ourselves in the shoes of distant others that are presented relatively one dimensionally.

Should I empathize with MJ? Why specifically him out of the 300M in the nation or 6.5B+ in the world? Because his celebrity has foisted him on us demanding that we pay attention?

This man was a product, as much as anyone on the planet was - marketed, sold, manufactured, etc to cartoonish proportions. We saw of him what someone else wanted to present -- Joe's vision, record companies, Pepsi, pop media, tabloids, etc. I could be in his relative presence if I shelled out $100 and drove 50 miles. Would his humanity reciprocate the gesture?

He wasn't presented as a human but as a product, so I find it hard to be able consider him one based on our interaction (mine and his).

Sadly a great many people of the 6.5B+ fall into the same category -- some catastrophe occurs, and I pretend that I empathize based on a fleeting thought for their condition; but it is MAINLY based on putting myself in their shoes for that fleeting moment in some idealized form; without knowing them in any substantive way about what makes them unique. For that I'd need to be close; to be intrusive. They'd need to take the trouble to let me in on that personal level and willingly expose themselves to me for the explicit purpose of a deeper understanding than one based on perfunctory expectations.

Empathy to me seems rooted in my sense of pain. I felt pain, therefore they probably feel it. I don't like pain, so I feel bad for them.

Here's something odd I noted, if empathy wasn't based on pain or aversion, I'd be empathetic to the rich, successful, and beautiful -- yet surprisingly I'm not. Shouldn't I feel good to place myself in their shoes? Surprisingly in those cases I feel envy, and schadenfreude when they fail.

Go figure.

Posted by angryman@24:10 at June 29, 2009 06:18 PM

Miguel d'Angle --

Juan, yes I have tried to disconnect myself, but when it's what you do for a living, this poses certain, um, problems. Jon and I often talk about how we were "suckered" into the comedy business via things like Monty Python, the early National Lampoon--the explosion of smart, rigorous and humane comedy that took place in the Seventies--but by the time we'd trained ourselves and were ready to create, the business had morphed into the current wasteland. But we both soldier on, trying to do good work worthy of people's time. We also spend a lot of time mentoring younger writers, in the hopes of building up a different vision of what "comedy" is. That's the most worrisome shift in the last 20 years.

Thanks for that explanation. I wonder though -- can't you come through a system and then reject it?

I know I have. And I did.

Maybe the new comic writers you folks are mentoring really aren't that talented. Or maybe they come from the same "prestigious" sources like the Hivey Leegs and other "prestigious" places that really have almost a complete inability to step outside the culture they're integrated into. Where do you find young comic talent? I realize the National Lampoon had origins in the Crimson Buffoon... err, ahhh... Harvard Lampoon, but does that mean that the Hivey Leegs are the only place you can find people with a comic touch? What is comedy anyway? Mocking Michael Jackson ain't it. Jon Stewart's reliable apology for empire ain't it. Hell, even Conan O'Brien's wackiest late-late-night stuff ain't it. I mean, that stuff is amusing if you went to the right Princeton Dining Club and all, but... sheesh, man. As long as you stay part of the system you pretend to mock and undercut, you can't really subvert it.

Posted by Juan Seis-Olla at June 29, 2009 07:19 PM

yes Mike, I agree that in principle comedy could normalize a set of desirable values. And in fact there are many examples. But as you say, it seems very tough to do. The easy comedy targets transgression that has been already fully internalized by society (like MJ's freakozoidness). But to satirize Wolf Blitzer is much tougher because his transgression (getting excited by massive violence) is not even perceived as such: in fact it is the opposite. It's viewed as the norm.

And then there's the added difficulty that evil cannot be satirized (it can be used for satire but that's different). No one ever made fun of Hitler as Hitler -- only Hitler as a short guy with a weird moustache.

Posted by Bernard Chazelle at June 29, 2009 08:29 PM

Juan, I have created an "instant humor magazine" template--and a low-stress funding model--which I would be happy to share with any interested students. There's nothing special about the Ivy Leagues except:
1) I went to Yale, so those are the students who listen to me; and
2) there's a tradition of humor magazines at those schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Stanford...also Michigan, Berkeley, and a couple others), so they know what you're talking about from the beginning.

You're quite right that kids benefiting from the system have trouble seeing the flaws in the system. But it has been my experience that the practice of writing comedy can, with the right nudges here and there, make students more mentally flexible, questioning, and "awakened." The rest they have to do for themselves--but that's not just Ivy Leaguers, that's all of us.

The take-away is this: if you know of any college kids who would be interested in starting a humor magazine, I'm happy to help them do it. Nothing could be healthier for comedy than to have a jillion different groups of students coming at things from a jillion different angles.

Bernard, the difficulty comes down to agreement. Do we all agree that MJ looked weird? Yes, so there is basis for a mass-market joke. Do we all agree that Wolf is acting weird? Well, we WOULD, except for the MSM's relentless normalizing of his behavior. Which are you going to believe, the MSM or your own lying eyes? And so Wolf gets away with it.

It's a bit like one of my pet topics, the JFK assassination: at this late date, no reasonable person with a basic command of the evidence can side with the Warren Commission. And yet the MSM has been so fanatical about normalizing this fantasy that the other cannot support a Weekend Update joke. (Believe me, Jon and I tried.) I betcha it could've been done in 1975-80, but not now.

So you get this weird chicken and egg thing where you can't push the audience any further than it wants to go, but until you push them, they can't go anywhere. That's where brilliance comes in--the raw talent of an individual or group, coming along at the right time, breaking through the manipulation.

Posted by Mike of Angle at June 30, 2009 01:24 AM
If satire has a salutary effect (which is debatable), its benefits come in proportion to the importance of the target: what sort of danger is being curtailed or avoided by the force of ridicule.

I like Twain's take on this.

Comedy is a useful trade, a worthy calling; that with all its lightness and frivolity it has one serious purpose, one aim, one specialty, and it is constant to it: the deriding of shams, the exposure of pretentious falsities, the laughing of stupid superstitions out of existence; and that who so is by instinct engaged in this sort of warfare is the natural enemy of royalties, nobilities, privileges and all kindred swindles, and the natural friend of human rights and human liberties.
Posted by BenP at June 30, 2009 06:30 PM

The world was recently saddened by the sudden loss of pop icon Michael Jackson. In memoriam of this legendary and one-of-a-kind performer, Ztarlet Star Registry has dedicated an actual star in his memory - as a symbol of the bright light that Jackson brought to the music industry and his millions of loyal fans across the globe.

Digg this!

Posted by RIPMichaelJackson at June 30, 2009 07:32 PM

As long as there is freedom of speech, no one is safe. And that's a good thing.
So, let them have Michael Jackson Dead Jokes.

Posted by DEAD MICHAEL JACKSON JOKES at June 30, 2009 10:14 PM

Dude, you left out c) prison buggery jokes.

Posted by Fats Durston at July 1, 2009 09:15 AM

The Onion has done a couple of funny riffs on the Kennedy hit. They worked one in at the end of this piece:

WASHINGTON—In his first meeting with President Barack Obama, CIA crime and counternarcotics analyst Timothy R. McIntire haltingly explained to the nation's first African-American commander in chief the highly classified origin of crack cocaine and the resultant epidemic that swept across U.S. inner cities. "Well, you see, sir...thing is, we needed money to help those Contras back in '85, and we never really we distributed it, and...shortsighted...and, ha, well, Christ—is it hot in here?" McIntire said between exaggerated coughs. (...)

McIntire went on to disclose several other secret CIA operations, including the assassination of President John F Kennedy, and the recruitment of a Kenyan grad student at the University of Hawaii in 1961."

It's funny to tie an obvious but "forbidden" fact in with a wildly outrageous speculation.

As for Bernard's comment about lampooning an aroused Wolf Blitzer, I thought that's what Glenn Beck is doing. Don't tell me Beck's shtick isn't hilarious. Guy's a comedy genius.

Doug Kenny, we miss you.

Posted by Oarwell at July 1, 2009 12:06 PM

Oh that's great, Oar--thanks for posting it. I was doing a bit of reading for this novel I'm writing and came across the sad story of Gary Webb. So sad, and so predictable, too.

Yes, we miss Doug, but in this particular regard, we probably miss O'Donoghue and Beard more. Though Doug could write satire, his genius was the same as say, Benchley: charm, warmth, accessibility. The price one pays for that is a bit of blurring in the satire (because the anger has to be sublimated to remain attractive? that's my guess).

The satire in Doug's best stuff is sort of by-the-way; the High School Yearbook doesn't go at anything hammer-and-tongs the way, say, Michael O'Donoghue did in the Vietnamese Baby Book, or even Henry Beard did in News on the March. I suspect much of what we recognize as "satire" in it is thanks to PJ.) Its brilliance isn't in its vision of American teenage life--that existed in American Graffiti and a lot of other places, too. It in the multimedia aspect (Gross and Kaestle) and its universality, and that was a Doug specialty.

Satirists sour as they age. I don't think Doug would've soured; more likely he would've pulled a Ramis and made a few great movies (Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day), and a lot of forgettable ones. The romantic idea of Doug--which he cultivated--is of a tortured genius cut off in his prime. But as much I think he might've enjoyed hearing that, I think part of what killed him (Belushi too, probably) was that they realized they had already given what they knew how. As Tony Hendra says in Going Too Far, you've only got one childhood, and once you've mined that, where next? More genius would've required Doug ripping out his wiring and starting from scratch--what the fuck is this life? What do I want out of it?--and for someone so attached to success, and so unused to frustration, I think that would've been nearly impossible. Easier by far to be an elder statesman.

The tragedy of Doug (and Henry, and MO'D, and so on) is that they did not realize how essential a protecting institution was to their artistic opportunity. And so they blossomed, withered, and died thinking that it was their genius alone that made the material great, leaving nothing behind. That's why The Onion is so excellent, but ultimately so limited. (I can't speak to the video aspects of what they do.)

Anyway, sorry to ramble.

Posted by Mike of Angle at July 1, 2009 11:18 PM

Mike, thanks, very nice insider's perspective, that. I apologize for going off on you at the outset, and wish you luck on your book.

You hint at DK's fall off that cliff being, ehrm, non-accidental. That's very sad, if true.

Was pondering (who doesn't) the futility of blog commenting, and happened to come across this bit from HST, from 'Kingdom of Fear:' thought it might make a nice July 4 coda to the thread.

"Right here, before I forget, I want to make what I think is a critical point about the whole protest action of the 1960s. It seems to me that the underlying assumption of any public protest--any public disagreement with the government, "the system," or "the establishment," by any name--is that the men in charge of whatever you're prrtesting against are actually listening, whether they later admit it or not, and that if you run your protest Right, it will likely make a difference....This is what the bastards never understood--that the "Movement" was essentially an expression of deep faith in the American Dream: that the people they were "fighting" were not the cruel and cynical beasts they seemed to be, and that in the fact they were just a bunch of men like everybody's crusty middle-class fathers who only needed to be shaken a bit, jolted out of their bad habits and away from their lazy, short-term, profit-oreinted life stances ... and that once they understood, they would surely do the right thing.

"A Willingness to Argue, however violently, implies a faith of some basic kind in the antagonist, an assumption that he is still open to argument and reason and, if all else fails, then finely orchestrated persuasion in the form of political embarrrassment...So nobody was ready for what began to happen that summer (1968): first in Chicago, when Johnson ran his Convention like a reply of the Reichstag fire...and then with Agnew and Nixon and Mitchell coming into power so full of congenital hostility and so completely deaf to everything we'd been talking about for ten years that it took a while to realize that there was simply no point in yelling at the fuckers. They were born deaf and stupid ... There was no point in appealing to any hgher authority, because they were the people who were paying those swine to fuck me around...if I couldn't keep my mouth shut, I'd get the same treatment as those poor bastards out on Michigan Avenue..."

I guess commenting, certainly blogging itself, is an exercise in hope, at some level. Out of the darkling forest of sound and fury might emerge a single ray of light that will light the face of some young hobbit etc. And They, the orcs who actually own the place, merely laugh at such naivety.

Argue too loudly and in Freedom's Land you get the Gary Webb treatment. Or Danny Casolaro or Gary Caradori or, hell, Paul Wellstone and Hale Boggs and William Colby. Vidal has it right.

Anyveh, Happy Fourth!

Posted by Oarwell at July 2, 2009 11:26 AM