Just Above Sunset
January 30, 2005 - Corrections, Connections and Musical Selections

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World’s Laziest Journalist

Sunday, January 30, 2005

By Bob Patterson


About two weeks ago, we wrote about the concept that names the phenomenon that occurs when various people come up with the same idea at the same time.  The correct term is morphic resonance.  My brother gave me the correct terminology, but somehow in doing the fact checking online, the term morphogenic resonance turned up and in his haste to meet deadline, the world’s laziest journalist didn’t fact check the fact checking and went with the incorrect word.


Rupert Sheldrake, the man who coined the term and is a well known British author, sent an e-mail saying that the correct term was morphic resonance and he asked that we refer all our readers who want to know more about the subject, related studies, and the books he has written, to his website.


We don’t ask our readers for money, but we do like to help them get rid of their superfluous cash, so we will also send them mover to CURSOR.ORG where they are having a fund raising drive.


If, after that, you still have any extra cash, we can make some suggestions about spending that in a bookstore.  Just read the various weekly installments of Just Above Sunset’s Book Wrangler columns.


Speaking about a brilliant idea that different folks get at the same time, that reminded us that it was time to come up with some unique perceptive political insights (perhaps disguised as snide remarks) for this week’s column.  Didja notice how many pundits offered to take money for promoting what they believe in, after the Armstrong Williams contretemps?  We saw Carl Hiaasen and Maureen Dowd do columns containing that concept.  It would be a journalist’s version of Paladin: This Gun For Hire. 


Recently we suggested that the new Life magazine should have a readers’ photo contest.  We noticed that in their January 28, 2005, issue they are conducting a photo contest for owners of camera phones who can compete for the top prize of a trip to San Francisco.  They are online at here.


Listening to the conservative radio talk shows, sometimes gives us a chance to find out what some of the best topics are, so we tune in to the morning post rush hour Rush hour and occasionally to the afternoon guy who broadcasts from fog city. 


One of the things that aggravates the guy in the city (dubbed Baghdad by the bay, by columnist Herb Caen) that was famous for Carol Doda and the Condor Club, beatniks, hippies, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and the free concerts in Golden Gate Park (didn’t the Jefferson Airplane do one?), is the topic of Sean Penn and his pre-war trip to Baghdad.  He becomes near apoplectic when he discusses the Oscar winning actor.


Sean Penn is famous for his role as Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times At Ridgemont High and so we began to wonder what the conservative pundits would be paid to think if Spicoli had been elected president of the United States.  To see what president Specoli would look like, check out the cover of the December 2004 Details magazine.


[If Sean Penn, Michael Moore, and Al Franken all pitched in a week’s salary, they could probably bankroll a Ridgemont High sequel based on that premise.]


If Spicoli managed to become president, he’d probably have to rig the election to make it happen, but such an anti-social transgression wouldn’t stop him. Wouldn’t the veterans who died in WWII fighting for democracy remain silent about the apparent travesty, if Spicoli’s election was “fixed”?


Conceivably, a president Jeff Spicoli might get the country into a war based on some flimsy excuse that would merit a place of honor in the “My-dog-ate-my-homework Hall of Fame.”


If Spicoli got to be president (by hook or by crook), he would occasionally make some “allegedly” cogent remarks that would land him in a collection that could be titled “The Greatest Stoner Incoherent Babbling of All Time Quote Book.”


If Spicoli made it to the White House, he probably would have to cover up some shenanigans from his service record.  Couldn’t you just see Spicoli on maneuvers calling some hapless pizza delivery guy?  (Didn’t Don Imus do something similar to that as a phone prank on air some time ago?)


If Spicoli were the 43rd president, wouldn’t some wiseass record a parody of Leslie Gore’s 1963 hit It’s My Party and change the lyrics to:  “You would smirk too, if it happened to you!”


If Spicoli became the chief executive of the nation, wouldn’t all the guys from his neighborhood be using the White House as their clubhouse?


If Spicoli were president wouldn’t foreign leaders be tempted to invite him over to hash out any disagreements?


If Spicoli were in charge, wouldn’t the national motto be changed to the old Eddie Haskal adage about “no trick it too dirty, as long as it’s funny”? 


Spicoli would probably toke up and think that an Iraqi election, with several dozen voters participating, was “an overwhelming success.”


Heck, if Spicoli got in, he probably would “arrange” to have presidential term limits removed and bandy the “Chancellor for life” concept about with reckless abandon. 


Spicoli’s election as president would send the conservative talk show platoon into convulsions, but luckily for them it didn’t happen.  America elected a member of a political dynasty to the office.  His military aptitude was so obvious he was immediately made an officer.  His business acumen (augmented by eminent domain) was so astute that it is legendary.  Political infighting in a state, where his brother was governor, assisted him on his journey to the White House.  If that isn’t a perfect resume, what is?


Speaking of dynasties and third terms, will the Bush family back a change in term limits in 2008, or will George abdicate so that Prince Jeb can have his turn?  Hasn’t his mother always said that Jeb was the one who would become president someday?


Speaking of Al Franken, we read on the LA Observed website that Air America (the radio network not the amalgamation of flyers who worked covert projects) will return to the Los Angeles area soon.  (Yeah, OK, but what about Don Imus?)


Speaking about taking over a country, we note that freedom and elections have arrived in Iraq this week.   That reminded us of our Internet colleague, fred C. NietzsCHEguevara (the staff photographer for Delusions of Adequacy online magazine), who believes that Ahmed Chalabi will emerge triumphant in Iraq. It is fred’s belief that Chalabi used the US Marines to stage a coup and seize power.  As fred understands it, the new Iraqi president will be a figurehead.  The real power will be held by the Prime Minister and that guy, fred says, will, when the dust settles, be named Ahmed Chalabi. 


Have you noticed just how much some SUV’s look like a super-sized 1948 Ford station wagon?  Why doesn’t Ford just get with the program and do an SUV that is retro-styled to look like a gigantic ’48 Ford woody?


We have to go to the library this week because we are puzzled by a question about approval ratings.  When did Adolph Hitler’s approval ratings go sour?  Was it in early 1937 or was it in the Spring of 1945?


Adolph Hitler was quoted (Power Quotes by Daniel B. Baker, page 52) as saying:  “The man who feels called upon to govern a people has no right to say: If you want me or summon me, I will cooperate.  No it is his duty to step forward.” 


Before we began writing this column, our consultation with the disk jockey became a “spirited discussion.”  He wanted to play Iggy Pop’s “Wild Child” and or the song with the line “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”  He amended his position and suggested the Jefferson Airplane’s “Crown of Creation” or the Sunrays’ “Out of Limits.”  No way, Jose!  According to our legal advisor, if he fails to obey orders, what we will do to him does not constitute torture, so he will now play “Edelweiss” for all fans of Anschluss.  We will march out of here proudly.  Tune in again next week and we will do our best to deliver a column that will be an outstanding example of Gonzo Journalism.  Until then: Haben Sie eine entzückend Woche.





Copyright © 2005 – Robert Patterson


Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law. 
See the Details page for the relevant citation.

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