Since the World's Laziest Journalist's home office is devoid of Internet access, a TV set, and phone, the staff winds up listening to the radio or playing old musical tapes when it comes time to kick back and chill out. Since there ain't a hella (note to AARP site editor types: that may not sound right to you but that's de rigueur jive for the young folks) variety of choices on the radio, we tend to go to extremes. Uncle Rushbo is fascinating listening because he keeps pushing towards the limits to gain the inevitable liberal media publicity. Every time he comes close to going over the edge, he winds up landing safely and thus brings to mind a segment of the movie "Rebel Without a Cause." ("Where's Buzz?") On the other end of the spectrum is Mike Malloy who is just as fully committed to his beliefs as is the King of Oxycontin. (If you had to spout Republican spin all year long, wouldn't you have an insatiable appetite for pain killers, too?)
Lately Malloy seems extremely distressed about the prognoses for democracy. He may need a refresher course on the philosophy of the guys who wrote for the underground newspaper, Combat, which was published in Paris during the German occupation.
Would it be too esoteric and arcane to assert that listening to both Uncle Rushbo and Malloy would be comparable to reading both the Paris Zeitung and Combat?
Recently we attended a screening of the film "Casablanca." We knew that Humphrey Bogart's role as Fred C. Dobbs in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" had made a lasting impression (and had an influential effect?), but we had not been aware that his role as Ricky Blaine had also made itself felt long after we first saw it. Blaine was existentialism in action.
If there was a book title Zen and the Art of Existentialism; we'd recommend it to both those radio personalities. Ricky Blaine learned the laissez faire attitude in Paris (home of existentialist thinking) and, after that, pretty much kept away from partisan politics. When a group of boisterous members of the German military attached to diplomatic duty in Casablanca sang a patriotic song, Ricky tried to balance things out by advising the band leader to play the Marseilles just to keep things on an even keel.
Some of the best segments of the Malloy program occur when he and his screener/producer/wife Kathy quibble over fact finding bits of trivia. It's obvious that their emotional relationship doesn't impinge on their attempts for hair-splitting bits of factual accuracy. One assumes that they have read Robert L. Stevenson's essay on how to conduct a stimulating but civilized conversation. Are they trying to become the modern equivalent of Tex and Jinx Falkenburg? Unfortunately that's one bit of radio history we missed.
We might, if we had a phone, call Rush and suggest that he listen to the Malloys and then think about putting his wife on the air with him. Then we realized that wouldn't work. Equality in marriage is a Democratic Party type thing and Rush would lose so much street cred, his ratings would plummet. Haven't we read somewhere on the Internets that Uncle Rushbo's audience is diminishing?
Some nights Malloy comes perilously close to being a Xerox copy of the fictional TV journalist Howard Beal. Recently he was lamenting the fact that there seems to be two systems of justice. One for uber-wealthy Republicans (like Uncle Rushbo?) and another for "Just Us." We were tempted to call Mike (if we had a phone) and suggest that it might be an appropriate time for his wife/producer to play the Waylon Jennings song that has the lament about "if I'dda killed her when we first met; I'd be outta jail by now." The guy in the song mustta been a Republican, eh?