"The Mexican Eskimo," by Anker Frankoni, tells the story of a fellow who goes from Alaska to Mexico on a Carlos Castaneda type quest seeking the meaning of life. The author is traveling about the USA in a vintage motor home in "mint" condition trying to promote the first installment of what is planned to be a trilogy of novels. He immediately caught our eye as the Bay Book Festival began last weekend. He immediately made us pea green with envy. We suggested that while he was in the San Francisco Bay area he should contact the management at the Beat Museum and try to get a speaking gig at the North Beach tourist destination that is receptive to writers with the potential concomitant with a modern beatnik on a Man of La Mancha style mission. We made that suggestion even before we leaned that Anker's plan is to raise his thee kids, send them to college and then, if all goes according to his plan, he will go and die in the same exact spot where Neil Cassidy's life ended.
If a reader took four different fresh in the box jigsaw puzzles, opened them up and then dumped the pieces together in one gigantic pile; that would provide an excellent metaphor for the challenge of covering last weekend's events in the San Francisco Bay Area. On the Friday night before the event began, we went to Oakland to cover the latest installment of the Mayor Libby Schaaf vs. the freedom of speech advocates. We were in the wrong place and missed seeing the standoff and the arrests that occurred. After we called it quits and headed back to Berkeley, while traveling on the AC bus we noticed a large amount of police activity on Telegraph Ave near the UCB campus. The next day an officer involved shooting in Oakland revived the FTP protesters ire and added a baffling fatality to this year's total number of people killed in the USA by police activity.
Initial attempts to learn the details of what had happened in Berkeley on Friday night were unsuccessful. The explanation detailing why the suspect in Oakland was killed were murky and raised more new questions than were answered by the official account of what had happened and why. Information found on line Saturday evening indicated that a spontaneous "Black Lives Matter" Protest/demonstration earned a high likelihood rating.
Since, in the past, we had known a Husky/German Shepherd mix dog who struggled with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde existence due to a fondness for daemon rum, we noted that our encounter with Animal Chaplain Rev. Nancy Schuntz would provide us with an item for our column but was way to late to provide us and Baron Siegfried L. von Richthofen with a pragmatic reward for the meeting.
Now that Americans' faith in the reliability factor for Journalism produced by the News Industry in the USA has fallen to an abysmally low level, the market for books from non traditional authors seems to be increasing exponentially.
During the week, a source in the political activist fraternity informed us that the demonstrators who were arrested last Friday night in Oakland and expected to be charged with "failure to disperse," were caught unaware when they were charged with resisting arrest and given a bail fee of $10,000.
Meanwhile the narrative for the police involved shooting indicated that the dead suspect had been involved in a robbery in San Francisco and was known to have a gun with a large capacity magazine with him in the car. When officers attempted to communicate with the fellow who had "passed out" and the suspect did not respond, the police officers broke several windows. The fellow came awake and was perceived to be doing something that caused the police to fear for not only their lives but also the lives of citizens in the immediate vicinity.
A "slim Jim" is a long thin piece of metal used by car thieves and locksmiths to gain quick access to the interior of an automobile and should not to be confused with a snack with the same name. We were baffled by the fact that the police resorted to an hour-long effort that involved breaking more than one window to deliver access to the suspect inside the car rather than using the quick and (relatively) silent strategy of using a Slim Jim
The Caitlin Jenner summer may be remembered as the time when Democrats embraced the Bush war philosophy and strategy regarding Iraq, and when the "Bush knew" folks can finally reverted to the "if you can't beat them; join them" school of philosophy. This time both parties can be enthusiastic about sending "military advisors" to Iraq.
Another story developing this summer will be the fad for crowd-funding for the well-to-do. We heard one report (on KCBS?) that informed the audience that the musical group "Ohio Players" was appealing to fans for money to pay for the necessary expenses for recording their next album. Times are tough and people are being asked to donate money to a musical group that failed to set aside some of their past profits to subsidize future endeavors? Is a retelling the Horatio Alger success of a self made fortune story necessary or has American society embraced the concept that they are meant to play the doormat role for the "haves"?
Was Denny Hastert paying hush money at the same time he was urging no mercy for Bill Clinton's assertion "I did not have sex with that woman!"? If so, will he be eligible for induction into the Hypocrisy Hall of Fame? What can Liberals learn from the fact that Hastert is being accused of misconduct with male minors and Bill's indiscretions involved a young lady who was an adult?
Conservatives have reverted to a Seventies M; O. (modus operandi) because they have reverted to the habit of calling Jerry Brown "governor moonbeam."
How ominous is it to learn that a gag order is in place regarding the contents of the TPP trade bill in Congress? How many voters would endorse the concept of signing a blank check as a way of lending a pal "some" money?
This week comedian Jerry Seinfeld was making waves by ridiculing political correctness as a way to censor political commentary and comedy.
Years from now when books are being written about the historic summer of 2015 if all the raw material available is material from conservative talk show radio, conservative owned print and TV shows, records from the conservative majority United States Supreme Court, the Republican majority House and Senate, and the memoirs of prominent Republicans, does that mean that the Democratic Party will always be portrayed as an amalgamation of pathetic losers? If that is how books in the future will be written, why then should a pundit grind out alternative analysis for altruistic reasons?
Meanwhile book festivals are chock full of chances to read about how the authors coped with the question: "What's it all about, Alfie?"