APRIL 2006

click here for permalink April 22, 2006

I have to share two things with everyone, both of which are courtesy of Media-underground.net, one of my very favorite sources for what I consider a sane substitute for news. For the first one, if you don't have it already, I recommend Real Alternative (as in, alternative to the spyware-implanting original)...

"History of Oil" is an hour-long stand-up sermon performed with brilliantly manic pacing and crammed with more information than your average AP US History course, by hyperintellectual activist-comedian Robert Newman. I've had to watch it twice so far just to feel confident I've absorbed the majority of Newman's casually-launched yet surgically precise tangents, any one of which could easily be spun into an hour-long rectificationist history lecture of its own.

The second item is from the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine, the cover story of which is entitled, "The Worst President in History?" The article examines the present US President (is that the right word?) and his administration from the viewpoint of several historians, who offer their predictions about the legacy currently in the making. Many are saying that Bush II could go down as the Worst President Ever.

[Now, as Mr. Pink pointed out, this isn't shocking — it's barely news — but what shocked me was reading it in/on the pages of Rolling Stone — which I thought would have become as deeply embedded in the corporate whoring of pro-neocon rhetoric as every other glossy publication that caters largely to the market-driving "Males 18-35" demographic.]

Here's an excerpt:

"George W. Bush is in serious contention for the title of worst ever. In early 2004, an informal survey of 415 historians conducted by the nonpartisan History News Network found that eighty-one percent considered the Bush administration a "failure." [R]oughly one in ten of those who called Bush a success was being facetious, rating him only as the best president since Bill Clinton...

"The lopsided decision of historians should give everyone pause. Contrary to popular stereotypes, historians are generally a cautious bunch. We assess the past from widely divergent points of view and are deeply concerned about being viewed as fair and accurate by our colleagues. When we make historical judgments, we are acting not as voters or even pundits, but as scholars who must evaluate all the evidence, good, bad or indifferent. Separate surveys, conducted by those perceived as conservatives as well as liberals, show remarkable unanimity about who the best and worst presidents have been." [Full article]

The last article I read in Rolling Stone, coincidentally, was on a similar theme and written by the late patriarch of politics-as-spectator-bloodsport, Hunter S. Thompson, on the eve of Election Day 2004 (less than six months before the author's suicide in February 2005).

Here's one of my favorite excerpts:

'Short of changing human nature, therefore, the only way to achieve a practical, livable peace in a world of competing nations is to take the profit out of war.' — Richard M. Nixon, "Real Peace" (1983)

"Richard Nixon looks like a flaming liberal today, compared to a golem like George Bush. Indeed. Where is Richard Nixon now that we finally need him? If Nixon were running for president today, he would be seen as a "liberal" candidate, and he would probably win. He was a crook and a bungler, but what the hell? Nixon was a barrel of laughs compared to this gang of thugs from the Halliburton petroleum organization who are running the White House today... Nixon hated running for president during football season, but he did it anyway. Nixon was a professional politician, and I despised everything he stood for -- but if he were running for president this year against the evil Bush-Cheney gang, I would happily vote for him." DR. HST, Oct 20 2004 [Full article]

Well, now that I've gotten comfortable at my home computer for the first time in months, I should really try to focus on this deceptively straightforward project I now have only three weekends left to finish. It turns out I'm doing a 90-minute presentation on Mother's Day weekend in front of an audience (of how many, mercifully, I haven't a clue) at an astrology conference — make that my first astrology conference — in Toronto.

The basis of the presentation is an article I've already written but the A/V (really just "V") portion of it has yet to be collaged together into something, other than myself, for my audience to watch for 90 minutes. So that's what I'll be doing the rest of the weekend (that and maybe venturing outside, as I've just observed the shocking blue color of the sky out there!).