Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Martin Bashir of MSNBC owned Sarah Palin over her “slavery” comments…………..not.
It’s a classic case of trial-balloon-ism. Bashir has since apologized for his remarks. Which will strike you as a bit odd if you’ve got a brain in your head and you managed to watch the segment from end-to-end. The whole point to Bashir’s little treatise was that Palin was guilty, once again, of thinking before she spoke. And Bashir did think about his response. Quite a bit. It wasn’t an impulsive outburst.
In his televised apology, directed to both Palin and to viewers, Bashir said his remarks were “unworthy” and “deeply offensive,” and that he is “deeply sorry.” He said he wished he had been “more thoughtful” and “more compassionate.” He said “the politics of vitriol and destruction is a miserable place to be and a miserable person to become,” and promised to learn a lesson.
Not so fast there. What lesson is that, exactly? I’d just like to know. Actually, not so much what lesson, but would Bashir be able to articulate it. That you shouldn’t say things on teevee that will make someone feel bad? That’s practically his job description, so it can’t be that. How about, you can say something offensive over here, but not over there, because there’s a line in between those two things. That’s probably it, but of course it leaves a vital detail missing: What line, where? The bodily functions? Or George Carlin’s seven words you can’t say? “Pee and poop” would have been fine?
Captain Obvious, Reporting For Duty, once again…Bashir, let us speculate rather safely, wouldn’t be able to say because he doesn’t know. Yes, I understand there’s no way to definiteively prove this, there may not be any way to definitively refute it, but I’ve grown weary of the mindless-group-exercise of pretending something different. Bashir did what Cher did, what Letterman did…I’ve lost track of the others and you probably have, too. This reflects poorly on us. Not down to the personal level, maybe, but we should stop and take note that this is what our discourse has become.
A reverberation of middle school.
Some “wrong person” says something with visibility, be it a wrong-individual or someone from the-wrong-group, someone that all the “cool kids” have decided is “on the outs.” This is, according to eighth-grade-taboo, not to be tolerated in any way because if you tolerate it you consent to it, and in so doing you may lose whatever social stature you’ve managed to accumulate for yourself. And so, sadly, the more of that social stature you have, the more likely you are to be blinded to what happens next. Lots of energy and time spent on nonsense. Witch hunt, drumhead trial, bullying, call it what you will. All these cool-kids who insist that the not-cool-kid is irrelevant and we shouldn’t “waste any time” listening to what he or she has to say, invest copious quantities of time reminding everyone else of this irrelevance. They’ll waste the uncool-kid’s time on this too, lots of it, and do far worse than that.
You know it’s nonsense — at best — because “this person is irrelevant” is the central message to it all, while the actions surrounding the message insist on the exact opposite. There’s something going on here that is relevant.
Well, Palin’s having none of it, and good for her. Not everyone thinks so, though. In yet another reverberation from that part of childhood we all should’ve abandoned by somewhere around age fifteen, there’s an aftershock-echo-murmur suggesting that Palin is out of line for disinviting Matt Lauer, something having to do with Bashir’s freedom of speech or some such thing. What they miss is that disinviting Bashir’s colleague is the perfect response. Palin has her own sphere of authority within which she can operate, and she has rights too. She can invite & disinvite whoever she pleases. See, by age fifteen you should have that stuff mostly figured out.
Now, I don’t know if it’s entirely fair to say Martin Bashir stopped maturing altogether around age fifteen. But let’s be clear about one thing here, and this is why he’s the object of my disdain, just speaking for myself: He needed to have this happen. His sense of discipline in these matters, what there is of it, amounts to little-to-nothing more than whatever it takes to come off looking cool, smart, sophisticated. Smarter than his target, that was his goal. He “crossed the line,” you might say, because outside of the discipline required to reach his goal, there wasn’t any. Which is rather ironic, and remarkable, given that he did not succeed. Therein lies a lesson for us all, I think…”no rules save for what I need to follow to do what I wanna do,” leads to not getting it done. Discipline for discipline’s sake, much of the time…most of the time, I would offer…is a prerequisite to success, in our big goals and our little ones.
Bashir, like Letterman and all the other folks who’ve crashed-and-burned with this “Look how cool I am, I’m making fun of Palin” thing, has standards. But they are not imposed from within, they have to do with what’s outside. This is one of the reasons why it’s important for parents to get to know their children, achieve a sense of what the children do in school and out-of-school, figure out where they’re getting their real learnin’s. You don’t want kids learning everything in school, because school has a way of encouraging them to toss out whatever, swivel the head left-and-right, see how the trial balloon floated, and take the applause or slink out of sight depending on the results. In other words, it’s got a way of turning them into political little monsters. In some ways it’s more desirable to let the kids read comic books now and then. I remember vividly some of my comic book heroes; back in the day, they put a lot of emphasis on moral reasoning, and it wasn’t paper-thin, cosmetic preening. The whole point to it was that when you’re a superhero, it matters a great deal more what decisions you make about things, since there’s nobody to overrule your decision. I recall Superman having to think long and hard about the ramifications of murdering those three Kryptonians, or stranding them in the Phantom Zone. Batman had to keep a promise he made to one of his enemies, some lunatic woman who was terrorizing Gotham in some way, and he said “My word is good no matter who I give it to.” Alright, take away one point for ending his sentence with a preposition…the point is, kids need to learn that morals, ethics, lines drawn, taboos and codes don’t do any good if you don’t carry them in your heart. And school doesn’t teach that. It teaches the opposite. So I get a bit of a gut-chuckle, albeit a sad one, when I hear about schools being “bully free zones.” Schools teach bullying, that’s the truth of it. Every time I hear someone trivialize one of these attacks, just because the attack was made on Palin and they think she’s spent too much time in the limelight so serves-her-right, it reminds me that our society encourages bullying too. Bullying is only bullying when it’s done against certain people? That sentiment is the very essence of bullying.
In the end, Bashir did not suffer from some momentary indiscretion. He planned this and wrote it. And it wasn’t about shitting in someone’s eyes or mouth; it was about throwing shit at the wall, seeing if it would stick. That’s what people with no internal standards do. They face the wall, grab a handful of shit, throw it, see if it sticks…and then, whatever crowd happens to surround them at the time, decides — entirely — what their standards are. Can anyone credibly opine that Bashir would be showing any contrition over this thing at all, even a tiny bit, if it didn’t meet with a protest? Captain Obvious again: He would have cocked his smug little head, jutted his chin out, and with a twinkle in his eye he’d pause to take his applause and his atta-boys, then look for new ways to push the envelope out another notch.
I don’t care if they’re making fun of Palin or anybody else. Lord, how sick I am of these people. The whole point to their three-minute-video- or five-paragraph-column-crusades, is that they know what’s right & wrong when they see it. It’s all about this internal antenna they know damn good and well they don’t really have. They’re pretending to be the exact opposite of what they really are, and most of the time they get away with it.
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