Well, it’s that day of the week again, and there’s a brand new Eugene Weekly on the streets filled to bursting with bizarre rants from Lane County’s finest. I’ve titled this roundup the “historical perspective edition” because several of the letters use the oh-so popular rhetorical device of comparing modern situations to the past … with disastrous results. But before we get to that, let’s start out with Bernard Knickerson’s two-sentence opus:
Every citizen who pays taxes and all the soldiers who follow orders are accomplices to vast and various crimes against humanity. Are all of them either criminals or slaves?
Knickerson has cleverly managed to distill Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience into two, asinine sentences, throwing out all of the sweeping, Romantic language and rhetorical force. I believe in the J-School we call that “AP Style.” More written trainwrecks after the jump.
Next at bat we have Joe Mogus, who reminds readers of the frightening implications of another Clinton in the White House:
Should Hillary Clinton win the 2008 election and then be re-elected, this will represent nearly 30 years of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton Regime. Jeb, waiting in the wings! Josef Stalin had a longer reign, as did Caesar Augustus. I can’t think of any other. Franco in Spain? Hitler only lasting 12 years! In the land of the “free” we have just two families running it all! Two families, one regime, for a third of a century.
If you responded, “But wait, Mr. Mogus. I thought all of our Presidents were elected democratically!” then brace yourself, because he’s about to burst your idealistic little bubble.
Our electoral system has simply degenerated into that, a racket, a gimmick, scam! Rigged elections and jimmied voting machines no longer provoke outrage or even surprise. Here in the sweet land of liberty, elections have virtually predetermined outcomes where the candidate with the most money nearly always wins. A two-party dictatorship where only the insiders with the real big bucks can even hope to play! A two-party sham where more often than not people vote against, not for, a candidate. [...] Yes, here we do have a choice, but a limited, contrived choice unlike obvious dictatorships. Make no mistake, however; the choice afforded is a very limited choice, and in the case of the presidency apparently a choice between just two families. This is really scary!
Gee, Mogus, you don’t think this has anything to do with a lazy, complacent populace, do you? Nope, it all must be rigged. Everything’s rigged, man. The government got us all brainwashed with chemtrails and H.A.A.R.P. arrays.
Continuing the historical perspective theme is Leo Rivers and his geo-political tour de force:
Win in the Middle East? The Great Game isn’t about winning!
The Great Game, huh? I’m going to assume you’re talking about the 19th century strategic conflict between Russia and England for supremacy of Central Asia, not the 1958 match between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants.
From the days of the Roman Empire there has been a political awareness that running or owning a country was more expensive than instilling social chaos, then bribing local warlords with arms in exchange for the resources you need. Because these puppet rulers are foreign-supported, they will be unpopular and dependent on the empire’s arms and support to stay in power. Look at Israel under the Romans. Herod was a flunky. Look at every petty despot in South America and Asia we have supported.
For instance, take my petty despot … please! But seriously, we’re not trying to win in the Middle East? I guess I just misunderstood Bush’s whole “we have to win in the Middle East” speech.
[...] It amazes me this ancient and well-understood game is never explained in the press. Nothing about this is a mystery. The real problem is in public relations here in the U.S. where a messy affair big enough to make evening hour news means losing elections and the ability to wax rich from the gifts and deals the people in power can deal.
Yeah, it amazes me too, buddy. Can anyone figure out what that last sentence means? I’m at a loss. Anyone?
And to close this week’s EW letter roundup, we have Will Nagy’s sordid tale of peace, love and understanding gone wrong. I’m just going to put the whole thing up because it’s such a classic Eugene moment.
Saturday, Sept. 29, my friends and I attended an amazing show at the McDonald Theatre. Dark Star Orchestra performed the same set as the Grateful Dead did in Veneta in 1972. It was a night filled with great music, good people and positive vibes — until the end of the night. As we left the concert hall, a middle-aged woman looked at us and said, “You don’t belong here.”
At first we thought she was joking, as if she knew one of us and was greeting us. We smiled and said hello. She then said, “No, seriously, you don’t belong here. What are you, students?” We were bewildered.
I’ll be the first to admit we’re not the average Dead fans; we’re clean-cut young students who wear name brand clothes, polos and dress shirts. We fit the description many might call “preps.” My friends and I have and show nothing but love and respect for all people. For this woman to say we don’t belong simply because of our clothes, age or educational status is absurd.
Events like these are and should be open to all walks of life, especially at a concert that plays the music of a group that was about promoting love and peace between all people.
While we were too stunned to respond at the Dark Star concert, we have these words for the hateful Grateful Dead fan. Our dress or age gives you no right to judge us, and it is you who doesn’t belong with your closed mind, negative attitude and hateful words. Life is too short to be angry and hateful towards others. Live, laugh and love. Spread peace and embrace your neighbor.
Nagy and his friends probably didn’t smell enough like a Tijuana trash heap to be accepted by this hippie fashion enforcer. When will those close-minded deadheads learn and stop trying to push their outdated moral codes on everyone else?