Is there anyone living in Berkeley who isn't a writer?
Scribes for the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory are going all out with no restrictions on overtime over the confluence of the biker fracas in Waco, the potential for retaliation against the local gendarmes, and the fuss over the potential for Jude Helms to provide an opportunity to install martial law in the USA, they have been feverishly pumping out polysyllabic diatribes alerting the unsuspecting populace to the conclusion this ain't just another conspiracy theory but is a genuine heads-up for a real approaching catastrophe for the inhabitants of the land of the free. As far as consternation is concerned when the Supreme Court of the United States announces its decision concerning gay marriage, the supporters for the losing contingent to overact and start the long hot summer early.
Writing and Berkeley go together like printing and "roll change!" so it is with great anticipation that we prepare for next weekend's "Bay Area Book Festival" (to be held in Berkeley [Goodgle hint: BayBookFest dot org]) in partnership with the San Francisco Chronicle" to be held on June 6 and 7, and since, in the past, we have greatly enjoyed the Los Angeles Times' Book Fair when it was held on the campus of UCLA, we expect to get some good photos and to gather material for a great column from the similar Nor Cal event.
The pioneering underground newspaper the Berkeley Barb started publication in August of 1965, and so we will try to cover any anniversary events commemorating that milestone in the pop culture milieu. For more on the subject of underground newspapers read "Smoking Typewriters" by John McMillian.
A comprehensive history of Berkeley's literary heritage would take a massive amount of fact-checking to compile. Suffice it to say that some of the most prominent entries would be those for Philip K. Dick, Jack Kerouac, and Pauline Kael.
Due to some clever machinations Philip K. Dick used to feed his family, the Lucky Dog Pet store (formerly on San Pablo) provided the inspiration for starving artist type awards.
According to a story we saw in the Berkeley Daily Planet, some time ago, Jack Kerouac was living in Berkeley when he had his first bookstore encounter seeing "On the Road" for sale.
We have not yet fact-checked the assertion that the Berkeley home for film critic Pauline Kael may be declared a historic site.
Promoting book sales is getting increasingly difficult in the digital era, and that has led to a rather interesting development that illustrates the premise that having a sense of humor is becoming an extinct trait in the realm of pop culture in the USA. The world's laziest journalist has approached several book stores (and one museum) with the idea that our effort would be aimed at promoting the autobiography we intend to write some day.
The response was near apoplectic because the book store managers want a speaker with a product to promote. Apparently the fact that we could promote various books which have influenced our attempt to travel the world, meet interesting personalities, and cross various experiences off out Bucket List, didn't occur to them.
Craig, at Vagabond Books of Los Angeles, was asked to authenticate a signed hard cover edition of "On the Road," and after he learned that on the night Jack Kerouac was on the Tonight Show to promote his new book, and since one of the other guests was Marilyn Monroe, reputed to be an avid reader, Craig authenticated the autographed book with an exotic history.
The World's Laziest Journalist was very influenced by that book and was trying to emulate Kerouac when we walked out to the western edge of Chambersburg Pa. and stuck out a thumb and said: "San Francisco, here I come!"
To adequately promote our hypothetical autobiography, we would have to give credit to a vast array of books, but alas and alack, this elaborate ego-boost is not meant to be.
Our unsuccessful attempts to land a speaking gig has provided anecdotal evidence that the beatnik trait of pulling off elaborate pranks is now extinct.
In a similar vein (as the vampires say), when we heard the Getty and Armstrong radio show expressing their bafflement over the fact that John Hinckley may become the first person to be paroled after attempting to assassinate one of America's Presidents.
We wanted to fwd the information that we have heard reports that Hinckley's father was employed by Haliburton and was a close associate of Dick Cheney and that might explain the lenient treatment for the man who murdered Jim Brady. Our efforts to contact the radio show hosts was inconclusive and so (unless they stumble across this column) they will remain blissfully unaware of the need to fact check that possible explanation of the "kid glove treatment" that most Presidential assassins are denied.
"The Establishment" has various methods of filtering out information which might foster resentment or animosity towards the one percent, and so the World's Laziest Journalist is forced to rely on intuition, hunches, and a massive amount of "show prep" to find material to use in our columns.
Occasionally we luck out and can relate personal experiences as a way of explaining our line of reasoning that has led to our hunches and expectations. For example, it may sound preposterous for an online political pundit in Berkeley to apply for press credentials to cover the next installment of the Oscar Awards Ceremony, but how many of the press corps who will have access to that event will be able to compare and contrast it to what happened backstage when "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" collected numerous gold statuettes? We hope that the unique qualification of being able assess how much the event has changed in the last forty years will be a trump card and get us the opportunity to take another look at the famous news event.
If we had not yet celebrated our 28th birthday, we would be lean and hungry as afar as achieving career boost scoops is concerned, but since we have no such long-term goals on our "to-do list," we have no compelling need to even try to contact our grade school classmate, Joe Biden (first and second grade at St. Paul's in Scranton) and ask him a "gottcha" question.
Recently the Isis forces held a victory parade and the precision of the drone strikes has been repeatedly reported in American media, but (to the best of our effort to ascertain it) no TV talking head has mused about why no drone strikes were used to decimate the victory parade.
If (subjunctive mood alert!) our claim that the World's Laziest Journalist election desk's decision to make the call that JEB has won the 2016 Presidential Election is prescient, we might be perceived as being clairvoyant, but no mainstream media writer has the leeway to make such a claim.
If JEB wins; and if the mainstream media will be required to report that it was (in retrospect) a referendum on Dubya's war policies (just as Dubya said after it was completed, that the 2004 election also was), then Americans will be presented that conclusion on a "take it or leave it" basis. There would be no alternative assessment of the win available.
If that is a unique insight, we are entitled to say "Taaah-dah!" If not, we can just shrug it off. We don't get much chance to see TV commentators, so we can shrug it off and say: "S'en loi, G. I.!"
When Berkeley resident/author Michael Parenti was told about the topic for this column, he responded that by saying that it would be a propitious opportunity for us to plug his newest book, "Profit Pathology and other indecencies." We concurred.
[Note from the Photo Editor: we used art done by the Berkeley artist known as Broke as an illustration for this week's column.]
The most famous quote to come out of Berkeley was: "Never trust anyone over thirty."
Disk jockey will play Vera Lynn's "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson," and Alice Cooper's School's out!" We have to go and fact check the assertion that Jack London was (briefly) a student at UCB. Have a sesquipedalian type week.
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 Pulitzer Prize winner. (Eddie Adams in the AP lunch room told him to get rid of the everready case for his new Nikon F). A Pulitzer Prize winning reporter broke BP in on the police beat for a small daily in Pa. By 1975, Paul Newman had asked for Bob's Autograph.
(Google this: "Paul Newman asked my autograph" and click the top suggested URL.)
His co-workers on the weekly newspaper in Santa Monica,(in the Seventies) included a future White House correspondent for Time magazine and one of the future editors high up on the Playboy masthead. Bob has been to the Oscar ceremony twice before Oscar turned 50.
He is working on a book of memoirs tentatively titled "Paul Newman Asked for my Autograph." In the gold mining area of Australia (Kalgoorlie), Bob was called: "Col. Sanders."