Just Above Sunset
July 31, 2005 - Things done capriciously for no apparent reason are fun!

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World's Laziest Journalist

August 1, 2005

By Bob Patterson


The editor and publisher of Just Above Sunset agreed that this weekly column could be about whatever subject the writer selected and he has never reneged on that commitment.


Recently we were talking to Jasmine P., of Willett Travel, and were bragging about how well Alan had been about keeping to his promise.  She asked if that meant we could do a column about Willet Travel - and we said if we decided that was going to be the topic, then it would be.  Afterward, we realized that writing about a business that thrives on being very discrete about the services performed for well-known customers might be a challenge.  (We hate hard work.)  We were going to have to think about it for a while before we came up with the right "angle" for such a column.  The thought occurred that maybe we should run away from our task.  We could just call her up and see if she could book us into the world's only luxury hotel located underground (in Coober Pedy in South Australia).  Maybe while we hung out there, we could think up a good slant for such a column.


A few days later, we ran into one of those "A type" fellows, who was very intense and continually trying to project the image of being persuasive.  After learning that we write a column about "anything," he asked if we would be interested in doing a story about his business that has to do with taxes.  He added that the Los Angeles Times had recently done a story about his company.  Momentarily we considered replying: "If you want to buy me lunch, I'll listen to your pitch" but then we realized that he was one of those folks who could be featured in the best column we ever wrote and he would want better; so the reply was "No."  He then wanted to know what kind of topics get chosen for the columns.  It's things like a flight in a B-17 and things that caught the columnist's fancy.  He rushed off to his next high-level very important conference.  First thing he should learn about generating publicity is that most journalists don't want to do a story that has already been done by another member of the media.  Isn't that pathetic bit of "catch-up" journalism is referred to as "sloppy seconds"?


Yet again, a little while passed and we suddenly appeared in their midst in Malibu (watching as the JAS chief photographer shot pictures of the annual "Call to the Wall" surfing competition).  We entered the Automotive Legends store where they sell replicas of the Porsche Speedster and copies of the James Dean model Spyder (and Ferraris, too).  The man asked us if we would be interested in covering the Malibu Concours by the Sea.  We responded: "You bet your bippy!"  (If you don't know what a bippy is, ask a fan of Rowan and Martin's Laugh In.)  We love events that involve pristine antique cars because one of the recurring motifs of this column is that we like to ask owners of Ford Cobras if we can borrow the car for two weeks so that we can drive it to New York City and back and write about the experience online.  (We've had four turndowns so far, but believe that "it never hurts to ask.") 


A recent proposal to change the day when Daylight Savings Time is started and ended caused some dissension.  During WWII was Daylight Savings Time in effect year round and an extra hour added during the summer season to save even more energy?  Maybe we could stir things up with a column suggesting going back to that system. 


Could you get an entire column out of the fact that you can't make mayonnaise during a thunder storm?


Maybe we should write a column about the contractual obligation album that the Rolling Stones delivered in the late Sixties.  It had two words in the title.  The second word was Blues and the first was a ten-letter word that was President Nixon's favorite "expletive deleted" and it means someone who performs oral copulation.  As this (part of the) column was being written, Reverend Dan on KXLU's Music For Nimrods was featuring music from Van Morrison's contractual obligation album and that made us think of the one that the Rolling Stones delivered to their label.  Sometimes a band's gotta do one more album, like it or not.


Car ads are stressing that people can now get the employee discount.  Will the Rolls Royce dealers follow suite?


Just Above Sunset's beloved editor and publisher, Alan Pavlik, had mentioned that despite his generosity regarding subject matter for the columns, we haven't generated much in the way of letters to the editor, either supportive or expressing righteous indignation.  Was he implying that we haven't been "edgy" enough?  Cue the cliché about "pushing the envelope." 


Recently the blogs and a few columnists have been hinting that perhaps George W. Bush should be impeached for lying about why the US invaded Iraq.  Really?  Suppose they get their wishes granted.  Other than taking a lot of time and costing the taxpayers another couplla million dollars, what would it accomplish?  It would make Lynne Cheney a very happy First Lady, but nothing else.  Dick Cheney would select a new vice-president and the search for the Weapons of Mass Destruction would continue unabated. 


Some columnists jump on a subject and give absolutely no thought whatsoever about the consequences of what they are proposing.  Isn't imitation also known as the sincerest form of flattery? 


You want edgy?  (Neither) You (nor the New York Times) can't handle edgy!!!  Did a member of the bin Laden family really invest in George Bush's business called Arbusto Energy?  So what if he did?  So what!  (Isn't the Bush Junta standard response:  "Doesn't matter, because Kerry was a flip-flopper!"?)


Is lazy journalism spreading?  We could plug the "Two Lazy Critics" ™ website if we felt like it.


A reader, who was intrigued by our mention of the Kay Kyser song about Veronica playing her harmonica down on the pier in Santa Monica, wanted to know where she could get the lyrics for that song.  Isn't it the official song of that city?  They say "you could look it up on the Internet."  We tried.  We may have to take a trip over to the Santa Monica City Hall to see if they have a copy of the song and will let us transcribe the words for our member of the audience in the Windy City.


Doing things for capricious and personal reasons is fun.  We've been neglecting our Canadian audience, so we'll run the words to the "Smarties" jingle just for them (because I want to.)


" … when you eat your Smarties

do you eat the red ones last

do you suck them very slow

or crunch them very fast?

Eat those candy-coated chocolates

but tell me when I ask:

When you eat your Smarties

do you eat the red ones last?"


["Well, duya, punk?]


We chose this for the quote for this week's column:


©Jen Elliott




I believe, in everything that is written

It is as a painted picture

Where everyone gathers their own inspiration from it

And no matter how hard one tries

They can never find the true inspiration behind it

Because it is something that cannot be painted.


The disk jockey is going to play one of this columnist's personal favorite songs: Duane Eddy's Rebel Rouser.  We'll shoot out of here like a cannon ball going down forty miles of bad road.  The ultimate expression of capricious motivation is to start a war just because you want to settle a grudge for your family's honor.  We'll select the topic for the next column at the last possible moment, so y'all come back and see what we select.  Until then, have a "nothing is true; everything is permitted" style pro-Bush week.



Copyright © 2005 – Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com




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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