The comedian Lenny Bruce entitled his autobiography, "How to Talk Dirty and Influence People. A comic title referencing the hugely popular book at the time, "How to Make Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. Carnegie went on to make a fortune selling self-help programs and Lenny died of a drug overdose.
But success is fleeting, today Carnegie is largely forgotten yet Lenny’s legacy lives on. The humor in Lenny’s title was that he did indeed talk dirty and indeed did influence people. Lenny was the first truly modern comedian; he didn’t just tell jokes about his mother in law or about how fat his wife was. His comedy was of current events and it was biting and sarcastic and sometimes even those who loved Lenny were offended by it. Lenny could be a comedic Rorshach test as he discussed the issues of race, nuclear weapons, homosexuality and even incest.
But Lenny never learned where the edge was or at least never let on he knew where it was and always took his audience just a little further. Arrested one night for asking an audience member if he’d ever had his dick sucked. He returned the next night with police lining the back wall of the theater by asking, Pardon me sir, have you ever had your blah blahed? And Ma’am have you ever had your blah blahed? The audience roared with laughter because Lenny Bruce had exposed our hypocrisy. A government fighting civil rights, building weapons to destroy humanity but deeply offended by a man-saying dick sucked in a room full of grown adults.
They government destroyed Lenny, his legal cases took all his money, club owners feared legal repercussions and bad press if they hired him. But Lenny went down swinging and of all they things he was accused of having said no one ever said, that mans lying.
Telling the truth and using street vernacular to do it is obscene, while lying and murdering while using euphemisms is considered just good politics. Lenny would be busy, were he here with us today, but he would be use to it as well. The government had tapped his phone and followed him and opened his mail. The government considered Lenny Bruce a subversive element, a threat, he was indeed talking dirty and influencing people.
Mother always used to say, if you always tell the truth you never have to remember what you said. After the first gulf war the UN passed sanctions against Iraq to disclose it’s weapons of mass destruction. These intelligent and well-informed people were quite aware that chemical weapons have a shelf life measured in months and in some cases only weeks. Iraq’s nuclear program and biologic programs were in shambles its reactor destroyed along with all of its support facilities.
Defector’s had already disclosed to the west that Iraq had discontinued it’s nuclear program but Saddam was still considered a bad man. So a convenient and comfortable lie seemed justified. Iraq must allow inspectors to view all of it’s remaining WMD’s or how long have you been beating your wife Saddam? But the lie was designed to put Iraq in a box where it could be controlled. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive, the deception however noble it’s original purpose most certainly helped to cause the deaths of almost one million children and made the US invasion of Iraq possible.
The world body found it self hoisted by its own petards, it had helped to create the myth that Iraq was hiding weapons so then when someone even more deceptive arises and says those weapons are a direct threat to us, what can they say? The UN played the stutter step of more inspections, quick to add more sanctions in a cynical ploy to buy time but refusing while being backed into the corner and acquiesce to military action. The Bush hunta quickly grew tired of playing diplomatic games invaded anyway, but what could the UN say? Uncle George had them by the short hairs or as Lenny might have put it, he’s got their dick stuck in a light socket.
The lies we tell even with the best of intentions can sometimes come back to haunt us and in an ironic twist the lies told with cynical intentions can bite back even harder. The Bush hunta is firmly entrenched in an anti environmental war. It begins by saying that there is no proof of global warming, that science is unsure of the cause. While encouraging the use of fossil fuels and redacting reports which run counter to the stated political positions.
But now they are caught in the teeth of their own lie’s, Canada, Russia and Denmark are staking claims to the mineral resources found along their new coastlines in the Arctic Ocean. Once known as the polar ice cap, Canada is building new port facilities to serve the future year round ocean freight traffic. Russia and Canada are both increasing their naval presence but navies are not needed if there’s nothing of value to guard.
On Hans Island and Island disputed by Canada and Denmark the Canadian government has issued a permit to prospect for diamonds. The Canadians also erected a large Canadian flag. Which prompted a call from the Danish ambassador expressing his displeasure. The Danes responded by sending a warship of their own to plant the Danish flag. Meanwhile the Russians have planted flags below the ocean to bolster their own claims.
The Russians hold to the position of, "The Arctic is Russian," so says Artur Chilingarov noted arctic explorer. "We must prove the North Pole is an extension of the Russian coastal shelf." Russia is claiming that an underwater mountain known as the Lomonosov Ridge is actually an extension of the Russian landmass.
The US geological survey estimates that one quarter of the worlds undiscovered energy resources lies in the arctic region. A team of international researchers in 2004 estimated that melting ice would soon open new shipping routes and simplify mineral exploration. But if you’re the Bush hunta it’s hard to elbow your way up to the table and demand your fair share when you refuse to admit the problem exists in the first place. In effect proclaim to the world that Moon Men don’t exist but that we want what’s in their pockets!
The US and Canada argue over rights in the North-west Passage, Norway and Russia differ over the Barents Sea, Canada and Denmark are competing over a small islands off Greenland, the Russian parliament is refusing to ratify an agreement with the US over the Bering Sea and Denmark is claiming the North Pole itself.
The UN as early as 1982 came up with the "median line method" dividing the Arctic rights according to the length of its nearest coastline. But Republicans in Congress decried, they would not have their hands tied by UN bureaucrats and declined in signing the treaty. The treaty would have granted up to 25% of the resources in the region to the United States. In May of this year Senator Richard Lugar unaware of how deal or no deal is played pleaded for ratification in the light of the Russian moves, saying that an American voice was needed at the negotiating table.
As simple as picking up a pen and signing a piece of paper, no more difficult than endorsing a check but the administration has another alternative plan. The US Congress is considering a proposal to build two new heavy polar ships. No doubt to be followed by an increased military presence to guard the ice that’s not melting and to sail the still frozen seas. Instead of realizing that the melting seas might be signal our own eventual demise and might by its very existence be our death warrant. The administration instead intends to militarize it as a last lavish funeral pyre.
A celebration of recklessness and excess and the degradation of mankind. But that’s not how Lenny would say it! I can imagine how he might say it but I couldn’t repeat it here, and by God he would be right!