Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the May 2011 issue

Greenwich Time

A prospective lawyer for William Jefferson Clinton on some faraway day when things really get tough for him makes an audacious argument for the accused in Connecticut Superior Court:

The lawyer for a Shelton man accused of sexually assaulting his neighbor's horse claimed Thursday the case has been blown out of proportion.

"If this was a guy and a sheep in Litchfield, and I've had a few of those cases, this would not have gotten nearly the media attention it has," said Ralph Crozier, who represents 63-year-old Marian Wegiel.

"But I guess because a horse is higher off the ground it leaves a little more to the imagination."

Wegiel, of 11 Partridge Lane, is charged with cruelty to animals, fourth-degree sexual assault, third-degree criminal trespass, and second-degree breach of the peace in the October 18 incident.

(February 18, 2011)

Esoteric thoughts of a socio-political nature uttered by Grammy Award-winning singer and part-time yoga instructor Mr.  Garth Brooks on the occasion of his performance at the Points of Light Institute's ceremony honoring former president George H. W. Bush. And seriously, friends, refrain from laughing. This is just the way Garth cerebrates when he does not have a guitar in his hands:

The whole political system kind of has me concerned right now to tell you the truth -- 200 years old and we might think of about, you know, kind of kicking it in the ass a little bit. It just seems like we vote for things because they're Republican or Democratic....I think we should vote for them because they're right or wrong and we kind of have seemed to have fallen into that trap so that would be the one warning I would give all us....Put down where you're from and what flag you fly under and let's get to putting the best person, man or women in office and let's start making some strides.

(March 22, 2011)

The Nation

Shocking exposé of Ronald W. Reagan as president proffered by historian Eric Alterman, endowed by a grant from the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library and Trailer Camp:

The same cannot be said of Ronald Reagan. We have, for instance, contemporaneous reports that Reagan apparently was a pathological liar. He bragged of liberating concentration camps in Germany although he spent all of World War II in Hollywood. He invented "a verbal message" from the pope in support of his Central America policies and lied about that too. He insisted, in 1985, that the leader of South Africa's vicious apartheid regime, P. W. Botha, had "eliminated the segregation that we once had in our own country." Pants on fire...

We also know from contemporaneous reports that Reagan approved of genocide when committed by professed anticommunists.

(March 7/14, 2011)

The Progressive

The Progressive's Buttery Fly columnist Terry Tempest Williams employs all she has learned from the writers' workshop at Southwest Northeast South Dakota State University to once again weigh in on how Art & Beauty makes her lonely life bearable and even saves her several Tylenol capsules a day:

The migration of the pronghorn in Wyoming is not just a physical migration, but a spiritual one, a migration of our imaginations. This is the sacred territory of art that makes life bearable in the midst of pain and loneliness. Beauty is not optional or peripheral, but a strategy for survival.

Richard Ford writes in his short story "The Communist": "A light can go out in the heart."

Art has the capacity to reignite our hearts. In a world where powerful industries such as Big Oil....

(March 2011)

The Progressive Populist

Prompted by the shootings in Tucson, Arizona, columnist Ted Rall delineates proper etiquette for the next public tragedy prior to announcing his next exigent column:

So, as a public service to the grievers of the future, I hereby offer my Basic Etiquette Following a Massacre:

When interviewed on television never say that your "heart goes out to the victims and their families." We have heard that hoary chestnut a million too many times. Keep your heart where it belongs, inside your ribcage.

If you are a public official holding a press conference about a school shooting/workplace shooting/terrorist attack, refrain from thanking a long list of local and state officials for their help. This isn't the Oscars. You haven't won anything. You are not going to meet Joan Rivers.

Whether attending a memorial service or actual funeral, leave your hoodies, baggy pants and tanktops at home. No baseball caps. No T-shirts. Don't wear anything with a team logo. Appropriate clothing is formal, black or very dark blue. Men wear suits with ties. Women wear long dresses. Don't got 'em? Stay home. You don't get to be on CNN....

Next week: Toilet etiquette. How to wipe. How to flush.

(February 15, 2011)

American Prospect (web only)

Professor Paul Waldman explains the frightening image peering up at users of the urinals at an unnamed VFW Hall in 2004, and they thought they were suffering post-traumatic stress disorder:

As someone who offers my political opinions to the public, I've gotten plenty of hate mail, particularly on those occasions when I have appeared on, or been mentioned on, a conservative talk show. (Some of it is quite creative: During the 2004 presidential campaign, I appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and defended John Kerry from the Swift Boat attacks, whereupon a gentleman e-mailed to let me know that he and his buddies had downloaded a picture of me and printed out copies, which they placed in the urinals at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall so they could piss on my face.) I've always found the psychology of the act curious. How does "I disagree strongly with what that person said" make the leap to "I will write that person an e-mail to tell him what a jerk I think he is"?

(March 22, 2011)


Miss Tina Brown, having just fleeced Dr. Sidney Harman of 30 million big ones and en route to fleecing him for 30 million more, memorializes the dear man on the pages of an instructional guide for journalism's undertakers:

The issue in your hands celebrating Women in the World was produced by a still-evolving team of editors, writers, and photographers who have joined me to re-create a great institution after its journey through tough times. Some are veterans of the dedicated staff who heroically kept the magazine going throughout its economic travails. Others are fresh recruits who bring talents honed by experience not just in the media, new and old, but in the broader world as well. All of us salute Dr. Sidney Harman, who understands that the past is prologue -- and who believed enough in NEWSWEEK's brilliant journalistic legacy to invest in its future.

(March 14, 2011)

NPR(News Release)

National Public Radio's interim chief executive, Joyce Slocum, following the firing of her predecessor Ms. Vivian Schiller and of NPR's shill, Mr. Ron Schiller (no relation), responds to the House of Representatives vote against NPR with the self-serving, pietistic ooze that we have come to expect from this gang of pests:

At a time when other news organizations are cutting back and the voices of pundits are drowning out fact-based reporting and thoughtful analysis, NPR and public radio stations are delivering in-depth news and information respectfully and with civility. It would be a tragedy for America to lose this national treasure.

(March 17, 2011)

From the Archives

Timeless Tosh from Current Wisdoms Past

(May 1991)

Washington Post

Mary McGrory, two weeks after the Persian Gulf War and still on automatic pilot:

They cheered the Tomahawk missiles. They hung yellow ribbons. Bloodthirstiness decked with sentimentality, was the national mood.

The war showed the American public the kind of president it likes, commanding, headstrong, implacable -- and above all lucky. Bush had shown his ruthless streak in his campaign against Michael Dukakis, slamming him with inaccurate charges and innuendoes about his patriotism. War let him show his toughness on the world scene. Democrats despondently talk of canceling their convention bookings. Only a catastrophe could offer them light at the end of the tunnel.

"We had to sit there and take it," said a Democratic congressman who had clapped his palms sore and leapt often from his seat, sometimes preemptively.

(March 11, 1991)

Santa Barbara News-Press

Still more evidence that Santa Barbara is the fla-fla center of America:

I would like to know how Iraq's colonization of Kuwait differs from the pilgrims' colonization of this country when its only inhabitants were native Americans.

To avoid hypocrisy, must we not return to where we come from so that the native Americans' land can be returned to them?

 -- Greg Bristol

Santa Barbara

(February 15, 1991)

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