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Occupy Oakland and Nostalgia

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Occupy Oakland remembers the history made one year ago.

Occupy Oakland held a rally on Thursday, October 25, 2012.

Some folks disagree with the aims of Occupy Oakland.

On Monday night, watching the NLCS's final playoff game with the sound turned down so that we could hear the Presidential debate was one of those epiphany moments that life serves up occasionally.  

The World's Laziest Journalist is suffering from a case of Propaganda Gridlock.   We know that the fate of the free world rides on the outcome of the rapidly approaching American Presidential Election but lately TV is outrageously infantile and radio seems to be a tsunami of political propaganda, but the saturation point has been reached, so we have been desperately searching for better quality diversions and entertainment as a change of pace to get away from the relentless onslaught of "important" news.

The prospect of watching the Presidential debate in the hopes of being given a possible column topic seemed very unlikely.   Both candidates have their script and will stick to their main talking points very rigidly.

The last time we were interested in baseball's annual pennant race, Gene Woodling, Hank Bauer, and Allie Reynolds were providing depth for a team that featured a boy wonder batting star in the outfield.

Watching the playoff game while pondering the question "who will win this year's World Series," we were reminded of the title of a 1971 movie:   "They Might Be Giants."  

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In an introduction to a book titled "The New Journalism," Tom Wolfe informed readers of the 1973 copyrighted anthology that one of the branches of literature that preceded the era of writer involvement was "The Literary Gentleman with a seat in the grandstand."  

The calm, cool, detached observer seems like such a quaint old fashioned idea now that the golden age of propaganda in America has arrived.

One prominent political pundit in Germany proclaimed:   "It (propaganda) must confine itself to a few oints and repeat them over and over."   He also warned politicians to never concede any point:   "As soon as our own propaganda admits so much as a glimmer of right on the other side, the foundation for doubt in our own right has been laid."

Does that sound like an accurate assessment of the "dialogue" surrounding this year's Presidential election?    To any columnist who thinks that sounds like an accurate description of the quality of debate in the current American political arena, the task facing political pundits is not to provide eloquent journalism but to offer some sensational cheerleading support.

The Literary Gentleman with a seat in the grandstands has become completely irrelevant in the contemporary American Political scene and, in many cases, even in the realm of sports reporters.  

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The fans are becoming quite ferocious in their blind enthusiasm.   If you doubt this, would you be afraid to attend a World Series Game wearing a T-shirt sold by a non-participating team?   Heck, even wearing a T-shirt that was obviously intended to proclaim neutrality (such as a West Coast Eagles T-shirt) would probably draw some animosity from some enthusiastic supporters of the home team.

"New Journalism" quickly became known as "Gonzo Journalism" and San Francisco was the place where Rolling Stone magazine raised it from being a fad to the level of being a strong and vibrant branch of the news reporting industry.

In the Introduction to the 1973 anthology (on page 27) Wolfe noted:   "But the all time free lance writer's Brass Stud award went that year to an obscure California journalist named Hunter Thompson who "ran' with the Hell's Angels for eighteen months -- as a reporter and not a member."

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BP graduated from college in the mid sixties (at the bottom of the class?) He told his draft board that Vietnam could be won without his participation. He is still appologizing for that mistake. He received his fist photo lesson from a future (more...)
 

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