Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Letters From A Crank



We're introducing a new feature here at JoDI: cranky letters to the apparatchiks of the Liberal Media Empire. Once we've generated a few I'll collate them in one handy location --ed.

Volume I Issue I

to: atc@npr.org; me@npr.org
cc: ombudsman@npr.org
re: a double dose of commentary joy

Dear Nice Folks:

As you may deduce, I haven't made good on my promise to replace my car radio with an Mp3 player yet, so I was vulnerable to the one-two punch of two successive classically fatuous NPR commentaries.

First, I was left woozy but still standing from the wisdom of Ted Rose's commentary about leaving his shallow Manhattan lifestyle behind for the austere comforts of enlightenment at the Shambhala Mountain Center (not without first letting it drop, however, that he had gone to Harvard). Rose lulled me into thinking that this would be a typical yawner of an NPR self-parodying bit of wooey bullshit--you know, the kind of Volvo-driving, latte-drinking "I'm-going-to-simplify-my-life" pukefest that in a single stroke laughably reconfirms the public radio stereotype no matter how many Heritage Foundation hacks are given NPR mic time in the hopes of counteracting it--so my standard "yadda yadda" defense left me unprepared for the sheer comic roundhouse which followed. Describing how his preconceptions of a buddhist retreat didn't exactly mesh with the reality upon his arrival, he depicted the scene as "something out of a Gene Simmons video". Despite myself I was suddenly intrigued; were the supplicants spitting blood? Licking guitars? Doing battle with Terry Gross? I know, I know, of course Rose meant that other famous Simmons who makes videos. An understandable, if regrettable mistake. Still, this was a bonus fulfillment of yet another NRP stereotype: that of the effete pseudo-intellectual with a farcically inept grasp of pop-culture.

Speaking of maladroit pop-culture references, the following morning's commentary by Joel Achenbach finished off the pummelling to my suspension of disbelief begun by Rose. His ascription of analogues among the Beatles to the American founding fathers was about as trenchant as speculation about who among the Constitutional Convention might have prevailed on Survivor, or whether Ben Franklin would have worn boxers or briefs. A truly interesting Revolutionary era compare and contrast exercise might have begun with an examination of the similarities between two hereditary heads of state named George, each fighting a desperate battle to maintain dominance through the support of the landed gentry at home and imperial loyalists in an insurgent war abroad. And each symbolically associated with the color red. Get back, indeed.

Down and out for the count,

Name and address withheld

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

survivor, founding father edition -- you got something here. bare-assed ben franklin, discretely blurred to meet fcc guidelines; tom "gimmee yo jungle love" jefferson, up to his highjinks with the local color; george "i'll just pop these wooden teeth right out" washington going down like a captain. episode one: sceptre of imunity goes to guest-founding father ronald reagan, winner of the "lie there looking dead while maggots invade your orifices" contest.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...

Been hitting the "Next Blog" button, found yours. Nice letters.

3:16 PM  

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