Life Needs A Laughtrack

A long time ago I was in therapy.  My shrink bore an uncanny resemblance to Frank Sinatra, the singer. (Disco is dead, Frank!)  I asked him his advice about whether or not I should stick it out with my girlfriend.  I still cared deeply about her, and I knew she loved me, but our sex life was on the fritz, proving that history does indeed repeat itself.

He looked at me over his clipboard of notes and said–no, sang:

“It’s up to you, you dork, you dork!” 

_

Have you ever seen that movie Alive!, about the Peruvian soccer team whose plane crashed in the Andes and they had to resort to eating their dead comrades?  According to one of the survivors, during one day of their desperate struggle to hang on, they were approached by a leprechaun.  He danced a merry jig and led them to a burst compartment near the rear of the plane’s fuselage, pointing out a bunch of severed arms among the scattered suitcases and duffel bags.

“What the hell do you expect us to do with those?”  one of the starving men asked.

“Why don’t you eat ’em, you silly bugger?”

They set about doing so, at first recoiling from the frozen meat before them.  But after awhile they found the morsels of human flesh downright savory.

“What can we do to repay you, sir?”

“Nothing a’tall!”  The leprechaun then sang a familiar tune from an old childhood TV commercial:

“Frosted luggage arms–they’re tragically nutritious!”

_

Jesus came to me in a dream.

I said, “Jesus?  Is that you?  You look just like Robert DeNiro.””

“Of course it’s me.  And if you don’t pay your monthly tithe when you get up, I’ll break your fucking legs.  Understand?”

_

When I was in college, I had a roommate who avoided cursing out of politeness.  It would have been endearing if he’d been five years old, but I decided to make the most of the situation.

“Gosh, man,” he said, “I had an exam this afternoon and had to miss lunch!”

“How dare you use the Lord’s nickname in vain!”

_

You can’t believe everything you read in the papers, can you?  For example, this morning I read the first line of a news story that read:  “Yesterday in the United States a black man was not shot by the police.”

_

U.S. Ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert, recovering from his knife wounds at Seoul’s Severance Hospital (actual name–no pun intended), was visited by a Korean man who wanted to aid in his healing with a gift of dog meat.  Lippert, a dog-lover who intrepidly walks his beagle up and down the anarchic streets of Seoul, was magnanimous enough to accept the offer and reciprocated with a roll of Psy toilet paper, along with a Kim Yuna voodoo doll.

Korea’s Still A Safe Place To Live

I’d like to comment briefly on the recent attack the other day of the U.S. ambassador to Korea.  I was saddened and shocked to see the photo of the stunned Mark Lippert stanching his bleeding wound during a public forum.  Later on I gasped out loud at an image that revealed the gash in his cheek, a long and deep trench that looked exceedingly painful.  I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he never has any further run-ins with knife-wielding extremists or violent lunatics.

I haven’t had time to read the details of the story, but apparently Lippert’s assailant has a history of violence.  He once threw a chunk of concrete at the Japanese ambassador, narrowly missing him and hitting a woman in his entourage instead.  It’s a little hard to understand how he can reconcile his idealistic vision of a reunified Korea with violent attacks against visiting diplomats and well-meaning expatriates, but nobody could accuse human beings of being rational.

Having said that, it’s safe to say that Korea is still a safe and comfortable place to live, at least for most of us foreigners.  I’ve heard that it helps if you’re white, as long as you don’t mind having people stare at you on a daily basis in a way that can seem unfriendly, but in all likelihood is more akin to the absolute bafflement one would assume upon meeting an extraterrestrial on one’s own turf.

I’ve read that a lot of Koreans expect foreigners to smile at them and say hello without feeling the need to respond to the courtesy, which is bullshit, not to say incredibly condescending.  Two days ago while waiting for the subway I was glared at by a white foreign young couple, who may have been understandably appalled by my grotesque and cadaverous visage.  It didn’t occur to me until afterwards that I may well unconsciously resort to an unapproachably hostile expression myself while in transit.  In the mad rush to get to work on time, other people are reduced to obnoxious moving barriers in a complicated obstacle course.

Since I haven’t had enough teaching work to feel chipper in the past several months, I’ve also been more cynical, misanthropic, and gratuitously bitter than usual.  Nine years in this country have made me homesick and defensive; I’ve likewise succumbed to the condition known as S.A.D., or seasonal affective disorder.  Winter’s a good time to come down with concrete cabin fever.

But I’m happy to say that I’m finally starting to pick up some more hours, enough to feel more connected to the world around me and more productively a part of it.  I know I’ll always be a stranger here to a large extent, and some people will continue to regard me as a freak, regardless of where they come from.  The vast majority will ignore me, insuring a steady supply of loneliness for years to come.

I’ve tried to master the art of meditation in order to break through the pesky and persistent and pertinacious delusion of the self, the ignominious ego, source of all human suffering.  Easier said than done.  Much.  Buddha was wise to pinpoint this problem thousands of years before neuroscientists confirmed his observations.  The modern world is designed to celebrate the narcissistic nightmare of the superficial self. That explains the worship of celebrities and the conversion of flesh and blood politicians to awesome and immortal rock stars (thanks for setting the first example of this trend, Sir Adolf Hitler, you excitable shmuck).

But despite my own ferocious and feverish foibles, I don’t expect to be greeted by someone saying, “Have a knife day,” or having to duck like George W. Bush accosted by the Iraqi shoe-bomber as a cement projectile sails past my right ear.  Like folks everywhere, most Korean people keep their rage in check or else express it in a more passive-aggressive fashion than the nutjob who had it in for Mark Lippert.

And while living in this country (despite Seoul’s overall unfriendliness), I’ve regularly been left with the impression, after being served a cup of coffee by a cheerful barista or graciously thanked by a grateful student, “That’s the nicest person I’ve ever met.”

I don’t expect that experience to discontinue any time soon.

At least not until the famine commences.

Hostages Of The World, Unite!

Sorry I’ve been out of touch.  I had a hangnail.  Actually, I did have a nasty case of stomach flu last week, but at least I got a lot of exercise getting up several times throughout the night to dry heave my soul into the toilet, where it belongs.

My wife has been in full-on harridan mode lately as well, an enervating phenomenon (I was going to write “development,” since it harmonizes better with “enervating,” but since she’s been in harridan mode off and on throughout our fifteen hellacious years together, it’s not exactly an accurate choice).  I just don’t know how to appease her.  Neither the Neville Chamberlain nor the Winston Churchill strategy seems to work.

Defeat is the answer!

I share this computer with her and the screen has gotten so gunky–probably from having been manhandled by her primary school students–that it’s hard for me to see what’s going on.

Anywho, before signing on I read a sad post on the blog onlypeaceandlove about Kayla Mueller, who I assume is the woman who was recently beheaded by ISIS, ISIL, IS, the Islamic State, or whatever it’s called.  (Fellas, you seem to be having a branding issue.  Pick a name and stick with it if you want to market your product of indiscriminate mayhem and ghoulish bloodshed.  I used to live in a bloodshed when I was a little boy.  My pappy taught me how to finger-paint political messages there.  Sorry–I’m in a sick mood.)

I don’t know about you, but I can’t see the point in an organization going out of their way to deliberately execute not only innocent but likable, sympathetic, exemplary people (which means at least I’m safe) as a way to promote their cause (sorry to belie the “indiscriminate” factor mentioned in the previous paragraph).  Why can’t they be like the Slim Reaper and just use Predator drones?  The remote-controlled missile-firing aircraft is mightier than the sword–and more expensive (this message has been brought to you by McDonnell-Douglas Incorporated, and is also compliments of Raytheon and a big wet smooch from Lockheed-Martin, the most lovable and affectionate weapons-makers in the world today, our dear friends who are keeping the world safe for hypocrisy and extortion).

When I was a little boy, one of my favorite nursery rhymes came from a book my brother and I all but memorized (although I eventually went on to forgetize it) entitled The Best of Sick Jokes:

“I love life and life loves me.  I’m as happy as can be.  A happier man nowhere exists.  I think I’ll go and slash my wrists.”

I just found the contrast between the can-do optimism of the smiling man in the cartoon that accompanied the rhyme and his casually dismissive twist of despair hilarious.

Little did I know at the time that the joke would become something in between a mantra and a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Although I’ve never attempted to commit suicide in any concrete fashion (but hey, the night is still young), my choice of spouse was downright suicidal–not that I can say I dived right into the arrangement without considerable prodding–and the years we’ve endured together have not only ruined my health, but made me question the possibility of ever finding happiness–or even sanity–with anyone else.

(The enforced-happiness aspect of the rhyme I’ve discovered both by living in the U.S., where cheerfulness is mandatory, and by being a teacher of Korean students, many of whom seem to think the best way to answer a smile is with a scowl–or, more precisely, an inscrutable face of stone.)

I can’t pretend to understand the pain my wife personifies, but Murphy’s Law being what it is, I can safely predict that although I’m probably better suited to find a new mate after our marital nightmare ends, I’m so far gone I’ll be lucky to survive another ten years, which means I won’t be able to get front row seats for the apocalypse 😦

(That’s the first time I’ve ever used an emoticon, and probably the last as well.  Under the circumstances, I couldn’t resist.  Does anyone know if I need to put a period after it?  Who can navigate the treacherous waters of emoticon-related punctuation?)

My wife, on the other hand, will be an old maid, untouchable as far as her misogynistic culture is concerned, but she’s made of sterner stuff than I am, so she’ll probably live to be about a thousand years old, chronic aches and pains notwithstanding, lonely and guilt-stricken, flagellating herself endlessly in the nickname of Christ (Little Jeezy?).

Posthumous revenge may not be as sweet as the kind you can live to enjoy, but at least it’s something.

Sorry to see Jon Stewart go, and right on the heels of Stephen Colbert.  Who will be there to pick up the mantle of sacred satire?

By the way, I want to apologize for comparing myself in an earlier post to the heroic cartoonists who sacrificed their lives in the name of free expression working for Charlie Hebdo.  I’ll try not to be so pretentious next time, not that it will be easy to contain my flatulent blue whale of an ego, illusory as a soap bubble though it is.

Have a good day and a nice weekend–and make sure to smile, but only if you feel like it.  Remember, it’s hard to laugh your ass off and frown at the same time.

I’ll leave you with one last joke-let from that long-lost book of evil gems:

“Mommy, Mommy, Daddy just got hit by a car!”

“Don’t make me laugh, Gladys.  You know my lips are chapped.”

Odds And Ends

NNewsflash!

Disney has decided to go out on a limb and hire Bill Cosby to provide the voice of one of the characters in their new computer-animated film.  Their choice seems uncomfortable, if apt.  The movie his voice will be appearing in?  Sleeping Beauty.

I feel sorry for New York City mayor Bill De Blasio.  Those cops who turned his backs on him at their fellow officer’s funeral should all be fired.  I mean, can you imagine if you did that to your boss?  (I couldn’t, since I no longer have one.  That’s one of the great things about being self-er, un-employed.)

Have you seen the New York Times video clip of the three French cartoonists who worked for Charlie Hebdo?  They seemed like really nice, funny guys.  I guess that’s why they got killed.  See?  Sometimes nice guys do finish first!  How wonderful that life is always fair.

(By the way, I might not be so ready to joke about such a thing if I weren’t dying faster than usual myself.)

In the entry I wrote a few days ago (“Self-Contained Chaos”), I forgot to describe a key scene in my wife Jina’s temper tantrum.  She pulled a Jack Nicholson and shoved all the contents on the table on the floor.  I helped her clean it all up afterwards, sciatica notwithstanding.  This wasn’t the first time she’d pulled such a stunt.  Several years ago she pulled all my books from the shelves and scattered them on the floor, and a long time before that she did the same thing with all the chess pieces on the board after I’d narrowly defeated her in a grueling match, nearly injuring my parents’ puppy.

Speaking of puppies, I had a dream that my family’s pet dog from my childhood was cutting a piece of watermelon for us.  A few days later I dreamed I was on the phone with Johnny Cash, calling him from Rome, telling him about all the city’s beautiful women and works of art.

In my unofficial analysis, both dreams had to do with my fears of encroaching death, since the dog died thirty-seven years ago, the same year my aunt did, and Johnny C. died a few years back.  His last album The Man Comes Around features a number of songs that revolve around death and is worth a listen if you’re in that kind of mood.

This blog has been a treat for me to write, and as always I want to thank you for taking the time to read it.  You keep me going, and I both celebrate and salute you.  You make me feel that much less like the tree falling in the woods when no one’s around (apart from all the other trees, squirrels, owls, insects, songbirds, etc.).

Now I’ve got to go endure my weekly crucifixion.

Have a great weekend!

Is There A Doctor In The Madhouse?

Feisty firebrand and defender of the defenseless Chris Hedges wrote in his column on Truthdig.com last week that ISIS now controls an area the size of Texas.  I’ve read that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, one of the Eight Wonders of the World, is also as big as Texas.  So why don’t we just give ISIS sovereignty over the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?  Maybe they’ll take all the plastic and use it to erect a gigantic statue of Osama bin Laden.  Then non-Islamic terrorists could hijack jets and fly them into the monument, suicide-wise, melting the plastic and returning it to its original aquatic home.

Solving all the problems in the world, one crisis at a time.

My condolences to the loved ones of those two cops shot in Brooklyn the other day.  While I can understand to some extent (even though I’m a white guy who’s never been choked or shot to death by a white cop–hey, my life’s not over yet, and a man can always dream) the rage a lot of Americans feel towards the police these days, murdering them is not a solution.  Besides, the shooter murdered a Latino and a Chinese guy, not a Klansman in blue.  Duh, Shmuckarino.

According to one story I read yesterday on Alternet.org, the New York police department has decided to get tough in response, proving that nobody ever learns anything from whatever happens these days (myself included:  my wife and I still waste precious energy arguing about trifles even though we’ve been together for either ten years or four thousand centuries–I forget which).

Why don’t we get the NYPD, who’s now “declaring war” on peaceful protesters, to don military garb, fly to Iraq and Syria, and face off against ISIS?  Let the worst man lose.

I also read an article on Alternet with the provocative title “Put the Bastards on Trial,” referring to the mindless masterminds behind the Bush-Cheney torture program.  I’ve read a lot about the torture scandal over the years, including Jane Mayer’s excellent expose, The Dark Side.  Since I’ve gotten into the bad habit of bookmarking articles to read later, then failing to get around to them before my wife deletes the record, I’ve yet to peruse the one about how America has always tortured people.  And I still haven’t read the book I bought years ago by William Blum on the CIA entitled Killing Hope (although I did read his Rogue State, and it’s a doozy).

Call me Mr. Mutilated Attention Span.

One thing I was appalled by in the torture piece I read yesterday was that the interrogated suspects who were kept awake for 180 hours at a stretch, subjected to blaring heavy metal music, force-fed liquefied hummus up their assholes or through their nostrils, greeted by snarling German shepherds, made to shit in a bucket or stay in a brightly-lit room for days on end, thrown in a bath of freezing water, and much, much more at the glorious Guantanamo theme park, were often forced to give answers to questions the interrogators’ bosses knew were lies.

For example, “Is there a link between bin Laden and Saddam?”  “Does Saddam have weapons of mass destruction?”

This was all part of the propaganda campaign to sell the ever-so-constructive Iraq War to the American public, a majority of whom apparently now considers torture a legitimate practice in certain circumstances.  (Even Hitler’s rolling over in his grave.  Awful as they were to their Jewish captives, at least the Nazis never tortured their prisoners of war.)

To me, that’s the height of absolutely cynical evil, which means it must have sprung from the tightly coiled serpentine brain of Sir Dicholas Cheney.  (Did you catch Jon Stewart’s recent Cheney slam?  Priceless.)  Thanks, Dick!  I know we can always count on you to lower the bar in the limbo dance of depravity.

On the entertainment front, sad to see Stephen Colbert’s idiot-savant alter ego go, but I guess he couldn’t turn down the money he’ll be getting for replacing David Letterman, whom I’ll also miss (even though I don’t even know either of these guys personally).  Who’ll go head to head with the dislikable likes of Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbergher, or Sean Hannity now?  I guess Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and Bill Maher are on their own.

Did you see the closing number on The Colbert Report, with the all-star gathering singing “We’ll Meet Again”?  It was funny to see Randy Newman, George Lucas, Tom Friedman, Matt Taibbi (He’s an outspoken critic of Friedman’s prose and impenetrably obtuse “thought” processes), James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, and. . .

Henry Kissinger?. . .

all sharing the same stage.

Just one question.  Where were all the women?

They certainly weren’t with me.

Nothing new there.

If you see them, tell them I said hi.

Thanks.

What The World Needs Now

It’s easy to get grumpy when you’re living in a distant land, far from friends and loved ones, and the cold, bitter weather starts to bite your bones.  It’s even easier when you’re stuck in an interminable mid-life crisis that appears to be an end-of-life crisis, and when your whole life looks like a microcosm of the nightmare unfolding all around you, in your kitchen, in the zombie-infested streets, and on the screen where you’re reading about the latest atrocities committed by a bunch of superpowerful cowards and bullies.  (Gotta love those white American cops!)

South Korea is often praised by the Western media for being an economic miracle, and the country deserves credit for transforming itself from an impoverished, war-torn hellhole into a sleek, high-tech, congested, modern one.  For all its miraculous charms, South Korea also has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, due to the pathologically competitive culture, along with the biggest percentage of smokers, an epidemic of smartphone addicts, a disturbingly high concentration of alcoholics (no wonder I feel so at home here!), and a patriarchal system that continues to subjugate women, which would explain how some of them have gotten to be so tough–they have to in order to survive.

Since I don’t know the language, it’s easy for me to resort to stereotypes and condemn what I can’t understand, but it feels good, so what the hell.  I’ve mentioned to you before how a lot of middle-aged South Korean men come across as snarling, savage beasts who make gratuitous noises in their throats and push people around with their faces and mouths.  A former female student of mine (meaning formerly a student, not formerly female–that she still is, at least as far as I know) who used to work in a room salon entertaining men for a lucrative living told me that Korean men were vicious to women and unpleasant to be around.

So at least I have some authoritative corroboration to fall back on for my knee-jerk, ethnocentric intolerance.

Speaking of authority figures, did you catch Barack Obama on The Colbert Report the other night?  I have to give the man credit for being a good comedian, which is the main criterion for being a good president.  He has a great deadpan delivery; that’s how he got elected–twice (not that the competition was anything to lose sleep over either time; Al Gore did beat George W. Bush, and we’d probably be living in a slightly less insane world now if the Supreme Court hadn’t stolen his promotion from him, but John Kerry?  I mean, come on.  True, Bush did steal that election too, but Kerry didn’t even put up a fight; maybe he just didn’t want the job.  I wouldn’t).

As a grammar nerd, I derived secret joy from Obama’s mispronunciation of “divisive” (the middle syllable is pronounced vice, not viss) since he prides himself on being an egghead, unlike Bush, who prided himself on being a dunce, along with a so-called decider.  But I recoiled when he closed his sit-down monologue by saying, “We’ll be back in a moment with more from the leader of the free world.”

“The leader of the free world.”  Now there’s a phrase that should be retired at once.  Not only does it sound ridiculously arrogant, but it’s also meaningless.  The world has no real leaders, and it sure as hell isn’t free.

Jon Stewart kindly pointed out on The Daily Show the following night how Obama’s appearance on Colbert’s show was strategically timed as damage control to pre-empt the disclosure to the press the following day of the Senate’s 6,000 page CIA torture report.  You’ve no doubt already heard about the imaginatively sadistic techniques developed at Guantanamo, including the horrific practice of rectally feeding prisoners, all approved by attendant qualified physicians who were in on the gag.

Don’t hold your breath if you think the masterminds behind this grotesque factory of ghoulishness will ever do a minute of time for their incalculable crimes.  Even though they were the product of the Bush Administration, the Obama clan, with the help of human soporific John Kerry, tried to bury the story–alive, as it were.  I’ve heard reports that the Obama Administration has condoned torture elsewhere, though I’d have to look that one up for you.  As funny as the current commander in chief can be, he’s also a terrifying drone assassin who reserves the right to take out anyone in the world he suspects of terrorism, a psychotic privilege he’ll pass on to whoever inherits his shiny shoes, whether it be Jeb the Florexectioner Bush, Hillary Clinton, or whichever other amoral mediocrity can elbow his or her way into the Oval Office with a little help from glad-handing conspiratorial corporate friends.

Finally, let me say in parentheses that I’m sorry about one aggressive thing I wrote about my wife in the previous entry, in which I made an off-color joke about contemplating crushing her skull underfoot.  It was not nice, and I felt guilty about it after publishing the post.  I’m sure if I went back and re-read some of the things I’ve written here over the years, I’d cringe and wish I’d deleted a phrase or a sentence–or even an entire post–here and there.  But I think one of the virtues of blogging is providing readers with the unvarnished truth, and self-censorship can go too far until it reaches a kind of Politburo-like level of redaction.

The other night, during a peaceful domestic interlude, I woke up in the wee hours to use the toilet, taking a book and a notebook with me.  My wife Jina, who’d been up late sitting at the computer, asked if she could go first, not without hectoring me–but in a mildish tone–for bringing reading (and writing) material with me.  I impulsively jumped down her throat and essentially told her to get off my back.

She stood there frozen and started to pout.  I went up to her and noticed that her tired and puffy eyes were starting to water.  I said sorry and gave her a hug and started to cry myself.  We stood like that for several minutes, and it felt good to receive each other with love for a change instead of hate or recriminations.  Too bad we don’t do it more often.

I want you to know that whatever happens to me is my own fault and responsibility, not hers.  I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to survive the health problems I’ve been grappling with for the past several years.  But her life without me will be hard enough–maybe even harder than it’s been with me–without having people condemn her or welcome her side of the story.  She’s actually a good woman who has made the world a better place, just like Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and the rest of the “We Are the World” gang.

Maybe on my deathbed I can encourage her to start a blog of her own as a rebuttal.

The Triumph Of Absurdity

I don’t know how cold it is where you are, but here in Seoul it’s so cold that the mosquitoes’ teeth are chattering.  Wouldn’t it be cool if mosquitoes could get Dengue fever (please please please say yes)?  That would teach them a lesson in fluent mosquitoese.

In fact, the overall chilliness of the day has made it hard for me to raise my expanding duff from the sofa and go for a brisk walk up the hill.  I’m afraid if I attempted to, I’d be paralyzed by a network of frozen veins.

In my underemployed state over the past several months, at least I’ve managed to get a lot of reading done.  I’ve always been defensive about people who read fast–even though I’ve secretly envied them–but I’m actually becoming a faster reader.  The other day I read Tim O’Brien’s riveting novel In the Lake of the Woods in two days.  Of course, that’s about the only thing I did during that forty-eight hour period, but it was nice to be able to plow through the story uninterrupted.

If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out Matt Taibbi’s The Divide:  American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.  Taibbi’s one of the sharpest American nonfiction writers working today, and he’s also a tenacious and fearless investigative journalist.  The story involves the parallel situation in today’s world, in which parasitic Wall Street investment bankers who bilked U.S. taxpayers out of trillions of dollars, while likewise ruining the lives of countless dupes who invested in shady mortgages in the lead-up to the global financial meltdown in the fall of 2008, have managed to hold onto their omnivorous fortunes while police forces around the country harass, bully, and lock up Black people and Latinos for misdemeanors, making sure their lives remain a living hell.

Take a gander to Rolling Stone‘s website and you can get a taste of what the book has to offer in the form of Matt’s latest article, which touches on the most recent–and conspicuously unpunished– atrocities committed by white cops against Black men.  Author Mark Leyner calls for collective outrage by Whites on his Twitter feed, which would seem to be a good idea, assuming it would do any good.

My own paranoid inclinations lead me to believe that this increasingly aggressive behavior by various members of the U.S. police force is just a litmus test for later aggression to be committed against the population at large–and not just hapless, unarmed Black men.  After all, Hitler victimized gays first because he figured it was a safe bet since homosexuals were all but universally loathed and feared by the rest of the German people, then went on to scapegoat gypsies and, evidently, Jewish people as well.

Why would they do that?  you ask.  Welp, the country’s bound to run out of resources before long, not to mention jobs and places to park your old clunker.

Chris Hedges is another journalistic firebrand who regularly warns his readers in his weekly blog on Truthdig.com that the United States is probably well on its way to becoming a fascist police state.  The Republican Party has certainly evolved into a pathologically rabid bunch, and the Democrats have bent over backwards to castrate themselves on behalf of the GOP, just so none of their intolerant rivals’ feelings get hurt.

Four years ago Hedges wrote a prophetic work that’s a stinging indictment of that amorphous entity in the U.S. who mumblingly refer to themselves as liberals entitled Death of the Liberal Class.  He says that one reason that sagacious social critics such as Noam Chomsky are so demonized by mainstream liberals is that Chomsky calls them on their bullshit, denouncing the likes of David Brooks, Tom Friedman, and other watered-down New York Times op-ed columnists who vehemently extol the status quo in the name of fat paychecks and solid reputations beautifully obtuse and shameless enough in their hypocrisy to make esteemed octogenarian war criminal and seemingly hermaphroditic toad Henry Kissinger drool with envy.

Meanwhile, instead of wearing orange jumpsuits and leg irons and swinging sledgehammers on a chain gang the way they should be, more recent war managers George Bush I and II and Dick Cheney are given further airtime to hawk their idiotic wares, as is Bill Clinton (his speaking fee is 500 grand a pop), who helped fill the prisons with nonviolent criminals with his Draconian three-strikes-you’re-out incarceration policy and heartless gesture in ending “welfare as we know it.”

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the next leader of the United States was. . .

President Ebenezer Scrooge!

Bah humbuggery.