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Current Comedy, 4/20/09: A New Hussein

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America, listen up, I’m worried. Larry King wants to eats my brain. He aims to have it melt out of my ears like some flashback R. Crumb cartoon. See it’s all about the Twitter these days with Larry King. He’s pushing it like he’s some revamped Superfly, except with reptilian skin. He’s like some centuries old vampire feasting on our stupidity. The more fake news he feeds us the easier we forget about the real stuff and Larry is the King of this kind of mix and match.

But the problem is this time Old Larry got the goods, the real deal, the Baghdad Bunker Buster of addictive substances, the stuff you’ve been waiting for. The stuff your mom said to not even look upon. Absolute poison, if you ingest it you will die. You know I’m talking Twitter. It’s the new crack—one hit, you’re done for, addict for life, and here’s comes old Larry with a straw to suck up the cerebellum slurpy.

Translation: As I type this I am getting the impression Mainstream Media, er, at least CNN, is consciously trying to Twitter-fy my brain, trying to get me and mine hooked on the latest marketed fad, fully well knowing, as I do because I saw it on their channel, that Twitter destroys all it touches.

Or so says the fine folks at the National Academy of Sciences. Straightforwardly, in an advanced publication, in a summary that runs quite a bit longer that 140 characters, concerned scientists are now warning America, and the rest of the world for that matter, that Twitter desensitizes you, demagnetizes your moral compass, destroys your ability to feel empathy, in addition to creating several other zombie-like moral effects that make a person all the more easy to control and to tolerate outrageous violence.

Luckily CNN was on the scene with a modem and a TV camera before the entire nation fell into drooling zombie-dom. In fact, you’d think they were our heroes. Once more, just to clarify, on April 14th , both on that evening’s scroll and in the expanded headlines, and still available on their website, CNN quite clearly reported, with scientists they presented as credible, that Twitter can be more dangerous to our country than a whole host of Osamas.

Then--as can generally be expected in a comedy—they turn right around and market the crap out of the very product they bashed with a whopping 129 different articles about Twitter in their online archive, including some artificially manufactured “funny” business masquerading a supposedly interesting supposed human interest series of clips and digressions involving Larry King as a comically rendered full-blown Twitter-holic trying to tweet up or out tweet all comers.

CNN loves Twitter the way Fox loves its Tea Parties. These days, catching Larry King pitching Twitter on his show has become as common as catching Wilford Brimley hawking adult home health care and just about as phony. After all, what is the message behind posting a news article condemning a product, then providing it with free ad time, as Larry King’s shows have recently become?

Twitter: it’s bad for your brain, why don’t cha try it kiddies?

Sunday April 19th King sank to his new low regarding this naked marketeering of the magic Tweetie- Tweet- Tweet, bringing on as guests a studiously post-Punked Ashton Kutcher, Sean Piddly-Puff Coombs, Queen Oprah herself, a remote of Jimmy J-Dawg Fallon failing to seem sincere and the ever ubiquitous, ever artificial Ryan Seacrest literally phoning it in. What could bring so much stellar “talent” together on a Sunday night? Well, guess what? All of them were shilling for Twitter.

That many celebrities pushing a drug and it becomes a new cocaine. Like gangster rap, like chat rooms, Goth fashion, punk, hippies, like rock in roll itself, like TV, like whatever the next new drug is that we’re always not supposed to like even as we’re being taught to. Mainstream media has always made itself a fat dollar selling us stuff they tell us we should be ashamed of ourselves for enjoying. Even AlterNet is in on the game, following the fad with well over 120 articles of their own on the subject. This is just the latest step in our culture-makers’ ongoing efforts to keep us lazy and stupid, at least dumb enough to be their adherents. They are hoping we will stay stupid long enough so they can get the next war set-up.

Word on the street is they’re resuming casting for the next Hussein.

Right about now, Barack Obama could sure use some Hussein. And no, I’m not talking about his middle name. The purpose of this column is not to make lame jokes about our president’s middle name. (Besides that one I mean.) No, the purpose of this column is to ponder who will get the part of the New Hussein. You remember Hussein, right? Saddam Hussein?

I ask if you remember because we Americans aren’t so good at remembering history; which is why we spend so much of the time having to repeating it.  To prepare this article and see what I remembered about Hussein I went looking for my earliest reference to fabled Iraqi Strongman and I found one in a piece from  back in January of 1991 called “I Go to War” :

"The real reason we're at war with Hussein isn’t that he didn't buy American when we gave him money for guns, that’s for sure. The real reason is that we TV generations are stupid.  We can't remember any of the lessons that sneak out through the networks unless they're talking about cool new ways to consume or not consume whichever is the current fashion.  We don't even know how to think and don’t have the patience to learn.  The war is breaking us into three camps-- those who find war wrong, those who find war right and those who find war boring.  

“Once the majority of a population finds mass murder and systematic destruction of a culture too boring to consider and just wish they could find another channel to watch, and then we can wage continuous war with one stooge or another for the rest of all time.  Of course, even if somebody figures out scam, we can always just stop the current war and start a new one. Long as our economy is so based on military issues, it doesn't matter what the people might think, the national budget is going to require wars on a regular basis to keep itself afloat.  People are so pissed off with current conditions it isn't hard to make them want to fight somebody. “

And so on, same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Just change out a name or two and that same passage could’ve been written about either Bush or, more and more lately it seems, Obama. If we’re unlucky, it could be written next year. If the dogs on the right and those blue dogs that trail them for scraps actually start to catch a little skin one these days while nipping at his heels the new Hussein could be debuting as early as next month.

Is there a Saddam in your future? For longer than I’d like to remember Saddam Hussein served as America’s favorite bad-guy love/hate relationship. He was so easy to hate, yet for 25 years it was like we dated the guy. For the first ten years for sure he was a bastard. But doggone it, he was our bastard in the Middle East, so everything was all right. When he did bad things, like passing gas, we forgave him Despite the fact that during our 21st Century Iraq Occupation we would help make sure he was put to death for that very act, back-in-the-day successive US governments forgave Hussein for gassing his own people. Turns out it was our gas in the first place and Saddam only knew how to use it because we taught him how.

Then when Bush the First needed an enemy in the way that any floundering president needs a good enemy, to hide son Neil’s S&L scandal, Saddam became our favorite Boogey Man. They sold more pictures of Saddam than Satan for awhile there. It got to the point Trey Parker and Matt Stone could poke fun of Saddam’s absolute demonization in South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut. Four years later Bush Jr. would recycle that hatred to sell us his phony war.  Junior managed to get himself another five years of kicking around Saddam before we accidentally let the Iraqis kill him. Good ol’ Saddam, the kind of guy you’d love to hate. His legend really comes to life now that he’s not around to enjoy it.But with Saddam so dead, Obama is in the market for a new international whipping boy. As luck would have it, the recent news cycle brought two applicants for that coveted support role: “Guy we hate so much we don’t mind spending billions and spilling millions to go to war with him because he so very much sucks.” Ladies and gentlemen it looks like Obama is celebrating Earth Day by recycling, recycling Bush-era Boogeymen, I mean. Among the top contenders for the role of “guy who gets his ass kicked, but has a lot of close-ups” are: another South Park alumnus Kim Jong-Il, of late returning to his old ways of tossing around war threats and then there’s the ever detestable Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, perhaps the one person in the world who could make Israel look sympathetic.One thing’s for sure, if things begin to get rough for the current admin, as they once did for Bush, as they did for Clinton, as they did for Bush I, and on and on, you can bet Barack Obama will find his very own Hussein soon enough. And if we don’t stop Larry King now, by then America will be too Twitter-fied to care. But I promise dear reader that Larry King is not going to slurp up my brains. I’ll fight, I’ll resist, I paint protest signs, “I have no time for Twitter!’Thank you for your time America. Excuse me now, while I go check my Facebook— --mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona.
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Recently a Democratic candidate for Arizona's new Congressional District 4, Mikel Weisser has been challenging the right and raising a ruckus since the 1980s. Born the son of a nightclub singer, Mikel Weisser watched anti-war hippies getting beaten (more...)
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