Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Payback.

It’s official, I guess: people just love to fight.

fighting 3Anyone who read yesterday’s Swami will know that there’s a major political battle being waged over there about that vile demon “socialism”, one that even throwing buckets of water over the participants hasn’t managed to quell or assuage as yet. It’s still going on. You should check it out.

BAM! POW!

I too have been caught up in a lot of involuntary bare-knuckle scraps in my time, mostly with critics and radio listeners who hate my work. When you’re in radio, on TV, or in the public eye in any way, however minisculely, you’re setting yourself up for inevitable ambushes from time to time. Face it, there’s bound to be somebody out there who is jealous of you, and who somehow manages to find time in their busy day to write in and say how much you suck. Or else they just hate you indiscriminately. I have that too.

Indeed, I believe I still hold the record for the highest number of threats of physical injury made against a commentator on public radio, for a report I did many years ago about a 12th Century prison in Ireland.

Kilmainham Jail is beyond dreary, and the bleak, drizzly Dublin weather did nothing prisonto enhance it. So, during a tour of this gray granite hellhole I happened to volunteer a number of ways that it might be cheered up. Drapes, benches in the courtyard, potted plants, a feature pond with carp…nothing drastic, just something to take off the harsher edges and give it eye-appeal.

Well, the response was nothing short of vitriolic. Listeners in their hundreds objected – they were incensed! – to the idea that a monument of such standing and with such a bleak history should be in any way dressed up. We differed over terminology. They called it desecration; I called it a makeover. But the result was dire: a lot of fighting Irish in Boston calling the show, volunteering, at no cost, to cave my head in for me.

BIFF! WHACK!

Mercifully, I don’t receive all that many compaints as a rule. Though some of the worst came during my TV show, when for some reason people who absolutely hated it insisted on watching every episode anyway and writing to tell me how vile it was, using language so salty it would make a nun’s ears bleed. Of course, being seasoned in the complaints biz, I took it all in my stride. Besides, even after three years, I still hear from people every single day who absolutely loved Stranded. So the critics were wrong. And you simply have to step over their words as you would vomit on the sidewalk and move on.

naked book 2Some complaints, though, are motivated by unspoken factors and are harder to reconcile.  Last week, for instance, I received a horrible put-down, this time on my Facebook page. About my new book, Naked in Dangerous Places.

“Although I do like your sense of humor,” the guy wrote, “and the book was an interesting read….”

So far I’m quite enjoying this. But wait, there’s more.

Having got the faint praise out of the way, he went on, “…I was surprised at how you think you can say whatever you please and expect people to still like you. Have you never heard the expression “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”? ….. I finished this book of yours, but I won’t buy or read another.”

He signed himself ‘Disappointed.’

Oh yeah? Well, not half as disappointed as I am, believe me, Disappointed. No author wants readers to walk away from his work disgruntled, right?

But then I thought about it some more, and probed a bit, and realized that Disappointed had an agenda.

In Naked, as you’ll know if you’ve read it, I’m not shy about saying how evil Christian evangelicals are when it comes to complaining. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that nobody, in my experience, writes hate-mail quite like a right-wing Christian fanatic. As the gay marriage debate has shown time and again, they judge when they shouldn’t be judging, they threaten and despise when they should be spreading love and acceptance, and they’re quick with an unkind word when they feel the situation calls for it. It’s the exact opposite of what Jesus preached, I’ve always thought. But they don’t see that. Indeed, I’ve argued with my father for years that if he just practiced all the principles spread by Jesus, we’d have a great relationship and be best buddies. But he’s a Christian, so I don’t see that happening any time soon.

KABOOOOM!

Anyway, it turns out that the guy who wrote telling me he didn’t like Naked has his own book coming out. Well, how very exciting. Self-published, by the looks of it. (Nothing wrong with that,  I’m about to self-publish one of my own  Still…) Here’s an extract from the blurb on the back cover to whet your appetite:

After stopping to admire the view on his leisurely hike down a mountain, Jesusour main character realizes that he is now in Heaven….. “Wasn’t I supposed to walk out of fog-like clouds to see the shimmering, pearly gates of Heaven? I had always imagined being waved in, walking on a street of gold with people who have passed before me on either side clapping. I knew that I would shortly meet Jesus…”

No, it’s not a comedy. At least, I don’t think.  But seeing this and knowing what I now know, I would have told Disappointed ahead of time – pleaded with him actually: “Don’t read my books. They’ll only offend you. If you full-on buy into this streets of gold in Heaven stuff, there’s nothing – nothing at all – about the worldly reality I present in my work that’s going to do anything but unsettle you.”

That said, oddly – and call me strange – the blurb works well for me: I now very much want to read this and plan to buy a copy at the first opportunity. I know many other people will too. It looks like an instant classic.

For instance, I don’t think there’s a book jacket in existence that refers to the main character as “our main character” – is there?  Don’t they usually tell you his name to draw you in? For some reason, that gives me hope that I’m really going to enjoy everything else Disappointed writes too.

Anyway, more to come once I’ve read it. If it’s any good, the TV Swami will do his bit and help promote the book he currently refuses to name.

BOOOOOM! ZAAAAAP!

Oh, and since I’m talking about spats, let me wind up with a couple of TV clips. Remember a few weeks ago, when David Letterman made a joke – a crude joke, but a joke – about Sarah Palin’s daughter, and an almighty kerfuffle broke out, forcing Dave into a massive retraction?

No? Then bring yourself up to speed here.

It was all pretty turgid back then, but it’s over. Or so we thought. Dave, it seems, having been humbled, can’t let it go. Last week, using the possibility of having Dick Cheney run for president in 2012 as a launching point, he got a chance to revisit the Palin moment. He handled it so well that I thought it was worth rerunning here. Enjoy.  And God bless.

www.cashpeters.com

2 Comments

Filed under Television commentary

The worst jingle ever? So how come I’m still whistling it?

If ever you wake up feeling that life is futile, that your contribution to it has been minimal, that mediocrity has been your bedmate for too long, that you wish you’d formed a better plan when you were younger; that you’d formed this better, grander, more ambitious plan and stuck with it instead of getting diverted onto less productive pursuits along the way; that when you die nobody’s going to remember you or even care; that you could go back, start again, rework the formula, MAKE A BETTER PLAN this time, and be a more productive, more involved, evolved human being….

Well, if you do, don’t despair. Meet songwriter Jonathan Mann. He’ll make you feel better about yourself.

Not because he’s a good songwriter, or anything like that, but precisely because, on the basis of all the evidence available to me right now, he’s not.

For some reason understood only by himself, Jonathan’s writing a song a day and making a video to go with it. He has a couple of hundred under his belt, or stuck in a drawer, so far. This one would be a good example. A public service announcement for washing your hands.

Unbelievably, Jonathan has just won an award, and a $500 prize, for a jingle he wrote called Bing Goes the Internet. Again, the reason behind the judges’ decision is unfathomable, unless they wanted a tune that’s infuriating and sticks to the inside walls of your brain like half-chewed gum.

Bing Bing Bing Bing Bing goes the Internet.

Genius.

Microsoft has no plans to use it in any advertisements, you’ll be relieved to hear. Good move. Why risk losing millions of subscribers really?

Jonathan was featured on the Rachel Maddow Show and other TV programs, so his popularity is growing, evidently, and his big, grand ambitious life-plan is working, for which he should be congratulated. In that respect alone, he’s streets ahead of the rest of us – the ones without a plan, who screwed up somewhere along the line and can’t now figure out how to fix it.

His success, however, is not, I would suggest, because he has vast reserves of talent necessarily (although he may), but more because he had the smarts to swim with the current of the times. That’s his genius.

We’re bumbling, as a society, through a murky cultural wasteland right now, in which quality in all corners of the popular arts is snubbed by the masses in favor of lame, cheap, half-baked dross in all its many glorious hues. These days in America, the less intrinsically valuable something is, the more we seem to prize it and the better it does.

At the risk of sounding disgustingly superior and haughty, I have a theory about this.

Somewhere along the line, perhaps about twenty years ago, I believe that some visionary, bright-spark politician had a spectacular idea. “We’re going to pull money from education,” he said.

Doesn’t seem that spectacular at first, right? In fact, it seems like the very reverse of spectacular. But wait. Hear me out.

“We won’t actually say we’re pulling money from education, of course,” the bright spark told his close political allies. “As a matter of fact, we’ll say the opposite. We’ll say there’s nothing more important than nurturing our kids and funding their education, and we’ll keep on saying that. That’ll be our mantra. But at the same time, we’ll continually underfund it so that they don’t really get an education that’s worth anything.”

And that’s what they’ve done. Why?

Because, in the years following this, our schools were able to turn out millions upon millions of undereducated, undisciplined, spoilt teenagers.

Brilliant!

Teenagers…

  • barely bright enough to spell or think, or speak in complete sentences without punctuating them with, “like” or “y’know what I’m saying?” or “awesome, dude.”
  • without passion for causes and unmoved by corruption in high places;
  • dumb enough to buy any product that Big Business threw at them, including terrible, loud, badly-written, unfathomably awful movies, and music without tunes that virtually anyone could have written, and expensive but pointless items of  junk technology that become outmoded and outdated almost as soon as they hit stores.

According to the spectacular plan, these undereducated masses would eventually become adults. Clueless adults, barely able to grasp the world around them; who couldn’t find America on a map or name the constellations or tell you how an engine works, although they would believe in Jesus, and know the name of Paris Hilton’s dog, as well as the characters in an absurd, badly-animated Japanese cartoon.

Being uneducated, they’d have no context for understanding politics or economics, no manners, no verbal, intellectual, or social skills, and barely a grasp on the way the world works, thereby leaving them wide open and vulnerable to largescale manipulation by marketers, advertisers, and PR people. In short, the space in their minds that would otherwise have been occupied by education and original thought and inventive ideas, would be handed over wholesale to big corporations.

It’s like the worst, cheesiest kind of science fiction story ever, and yet it’s actually happening, we’re seeing it every day.

The minds of millions of Americans are now like blank billboards, available for rent. Need someone to watch your awful derivative TV cop show full of violence and explosions and generic rock music? No problem. Untapped millions in every demographic are ready to oblige.

Need someone to listen to the right-wing propaganda and trivial distractions spewed out by lunatics on cable “news” and actually believe unquestioningly what they’re saying? Step right this way. We have the masses you’re looking for.

Need a mob of ignorati to:

  • vote for an Alaskan governor who barely understands the world beyond her own state and make her vice-president;
  • eat plastic food full of pesticides and other chemicals, food that’s killing them;
  • buy drugs advertised on the television that will do them more harm than good;
  • support a war waged for oil under the guise that we’re fighting terrorists;
  • oppose a new healthcare plan that will actually help millions of people and make their lives better;
  • believe that the president was born abroad and doesn’t have a legitimate US birth certificate;
  • cower under make-believe accusations that the country’s becoming socialist;
  • stand in the way of gay marriage?

Well, fear not. We have millions of uneducated, empty-headed fools who’ll buy every word. Why? Because it was planned that way.

In short, America is now in the grip of these people, the Ignorati. They’re taking over. They’re in every office, every store, every mall, every college, every workplace right across America.

And that, my dears, I would contend, is why Jonathan Mann’s jingle Bing Goes the Internet is not rubbish. Far from it. It’s an important sign of the times. And why it’s featured on the front page of the Huffington Post today, and why he won an award for writing it.

That, or he’s a major talent and I’m missing something. It’s possible.

You be the judge. Here’s another song he wrote. And if you know of a way to get this tune out of my mind for the rest of the day, please let me know. Which after all is the secret to a good jingle, right?

There’s also a recent rant from Craig Ferguson about youthful stupidity that I heartily recommend. You’ll find that HERE

www.cashpeters.com On Twitter @cashpeters. Plus Facebook….blah blah blah.

See Cash’s video HERE

Read Cash’s book HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Television commentary

Timeless insults, a worthy recipient.

sarah_palinA great, and by great I mean scathing, article appeared this week in the Wall Street Journal about Sarah Palin.

It’s by Peggy Noonan, a former Republican speechwriter, and it hits the spot the way few other commentaries have, bolstering up the view held by so many that Palin is a scheming, blundering dimwit of the worst order and not, as was once thought (admittedly, a long time ago), a bright-spark intellect with a refreshing new vision for America – if we could somehow just get her into the White House and turn her loose.

The article begins:

Sarah Palin’s resignation gives Republicans a new opportunity to see her plain—to review the bidding, see her strengths, acknowledge her limits, and let go of her drama. It is an opportunity they should take. They mean to rebuild a great party. They need to do it on solid ground.

Her history does not need to be rehearsed at any length. Ten months ago she was embraced with friendliness by her party. The left and the media immediately overplayed their hand, with attacks on her children. The party rallied round, as a party should. She went on the trail a sensation but demonstrated in the ensuing months that she was not ready to go national and in fact never would be. She was hungry, loved politics, had charm and energy, loved walking onto the stage, waving and doing the stump speech. All good. But she was not thoughtful. She was a gifted retail politician who displayed the disadvantages of being born into a point of view (in her case a form of conservatism; elsewhere and in other circumstances, it could have been a form of liberalism) and swallowing it whole: She never learned how the other sides think, or why.

 

 In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn’t say what she read because she didn’t read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn’t thoughtful enough to know she wasn’t thoughtful enough. Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. “I’m not wired that way,” “I’m not a quitter,” “I’m standing up for our values.” I’m, I’m, I’m.

In another age it might not have been terrible, but here and now it was actually rather horrifying.

Continue reading HERE.
An opposing argument is proposed by Bonnie Fuller of the Huffington Post. If you would definitely consider leaving America if Palin got elected, then read about the worst news possible HERE.
Befriend at Facebook, follow on Twitter @cashpeters
Watch Cash’s movie here.
Buy Cash’s new book here.  

1 Comment

Filed under Television commentary

Weak as a kitten, but no vomiting yet.

Forgive me if I don’t blog today, but I have no energy. Only three days into my 100 day raw food challenge, blazing a trail towards wellness, and already my whole body is weak and aches, my arms will barely move, I have a sharp pain in my foot,  it takes both hands to lift a glass of water, and I think I may be developing restless leg syndrome.

So everything’s going according to plan.

The books, of course, warn you about the side-effects of switching from dead food to live food. It’s a jarring transition after so many years of eating rubbish and there are bound to be repercussions in the short-term, therefore I was expecting stuff to happen. A constant nasal drip perhaps. I’d even half-thought I might throw up now and again and I was braced for it. What I never could have predicted was that my body would shut down and refuse to budge. That’s a bit of a shocker.

Now I’m asking myself, is this fluey, spacey feeling part of the program, or am I simply not suited to eating raw?

After all, I use a lot of energy. Some – those who are scared of me – might even call me dynamic. So maybe I need more than this. I don’t know if it’s right for me to put only raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds into my stomach. I’m no doctor, God knows, but from what I can tell, my body seems to be craving something extra.

Cake, possibly.

And a Crawford’s shortbread cookie or two.

And you know what? My hunger antenna is picking up pie. Intuitively, my body seems to be indicating that it wants pie and wants it pretty badly.

Hm.

For now, though, I’ll ignore my intuition and continue to deprive myself. I have a breakfast of hemp seeds and blueberries to look forward to. I might feel different after that.

Weak or not, barely able to concentrate or not, I’ll press on with my life as though these feelings are normal and see what happens. If by next week I can only get out of bed with the help of an elaborate pulley system and trained help, or when I type this blog the bones in my fingers snap one by one, then I may have to reconsider this whole plan for eating 100% raw for 100 days.

Unlike Sarah Palin, I’m not a quitter. But like Sarah Palin, I think I know when to get out of the race to save my own skin. And that may be soon.

I’ll keep you posted.

www.cashpeters.com

Cash’s Book: Naked in Dangerous Places.

Cash’s movie: Fast and Very Loose.

2 Comments

Filed under Television commentary

The most beautiful blockhead in the world

Nobody else is saying it, so I will. Levi Johnston, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s stooge son-in-law is cute. Monstrously cute. Almost Osmond cute in many ways, but without the obvious drawbacks of being sweet and sickly or a Mormon.

Cuter than an Osmond?

Cute as a button. But as an Osmond? You decide.

All of this seems to have been forgotten, however, in the current unfolding drama of… whatever he’s talking about.

Because, quite honestly, I have no idea.

Fatherhood. Condoms. Getting a lawyer. Visiting his stooge child. I picked up odd words here and there from his appearance on Larry King this week, but in truth I was so distracted the whole time by his looks – oh my God! – that, despite sitting glued to the screen for a prolonged period of time (allowing for the original broadcast and several rewinds on TiVo), I’m even now unable to fill in the blanks and tell you anything at all that he mumbled.

You do understand, I’m not expressing admiration for the guy when I say this, right? After all, he’s not a bright man, it seems. Nor is he articulate or terribly confident. And there’s a 99% chance he’s a staunch, unyielding, country yokel Republican, which to my mind is far worse than being stupid, and makes a person borderline Neanderthal, politically.

No, actually what I’m feeling is jealousy. I admit it. And a modicum of latent resentment. At the effortlessness of it all – his looks, his rise to prominence with no discernible gifts or talent, the opportunities being thrust his way to grab the limelight, say his piece, and tantalize viewers with that natural, casual, born-to-be-wild, hockey-playing, oil-field-drilling beauty of his. The fact that it’s all so easy for him. 

Damn the superficial media jackals!

That’s the problem with nice-looking guys: they don’t have to try hard to get what they want, the way the rest of us do. It all just comes to them. Girls drool and spread their legs. The cool kids want to hang out with them. Teachers, politicians, journalists, and voters make extraordinary allowances – “Awww, that Levi, he’s so darned cute – he would never just show up to a Republican Convention and promise to marry a girl merely as a publicity stunt or masquerade, when really they’re too young and the relationship is built on shifting sand and heading straight for the rocks.”

Cuteness is everything in this world. That’s just a fact. It’s a passport. It gets you what you want and where you need to be ten times faster than normal. Ask a stripper. Or David Archuleta. It’s also, apparently, a springboard to a slot on Tyra, where Levi looked like a porcelain doll, almost too perfect. It makes you a hit with magazine editors. Paparazzi fawn all over you. Publishers too. There’s a rumor right now that he’s writing a book.

Hear that? Levi Johnston is writing a book!  But of course he is. He’s cute.

And in turn, that level of media attention elevates your specialness still further, into a stratosphere of attraction you never even dreamed of when you were back on Alaska’s North Slope, knocking back six-packs with your hunk blockhead beer buddies.

I mean, this guy seems as dumb as an ox to me. If you believe the press, he’s a hard-cursing, hard-drinking, hard-hunting lug of debatable intellect, the kind of down-to-earth laborer you’d hire to fix your truck and mow your lawn (not because he knows how, necessarily, but because you want to sit at the window for an hour with a box of tissues, watching him try), but absolutely not someone you’d want dating your daughter, or your son, or sitting at your dinner table engaging in enlightened conversation about the futility of fighting in Afghanistan, or same-sex marriage, or the arrogant idiocy of killing animals for sport, or even the lengths shifty, self-serving Republican politicians will go to to lie and deceive and con the public in order to maintain a grasp on power.

Bottom line: in real life I wouldn’t waste even a second of my time chumming up with Levi Johnston. Nor he with me. And I won’t be reading his book. Nor he mine.

Yet, right now I wish I had a womb. I do.

Bristol Palin got it exactly right. You want a kid that looks like Levi. Someone who, when he/she grows up, will be handed all the advantages of life on a plate even if they turn out to have almost zero abilities and a potential single digit IQ, simply by virtue of their looks.

And after the kid’s born, I wouldn’t mind what happened. Levi could be a deadbeat dad, for all I care. That’s fine. In fact, from the little I know of him, I’d welcome it. Leave, go. Forget all this “I’m getting a lawyer and fighting for custody to stay in the limelight” stuff I’m hearing but not paying attention to. Just the knowledge that my child would be an exquisite specimen of humanity, combining Levi’s looks, his coy, gorgeous smile, his chunky physique, his unwholesome jock-attitude and roughneck backwoods style, with my…er….

Legs.

I have very nice legs.

….would be enough.

My world could end at that point. I would have done something good and useful and righteous, I feel. And also got a decent night of roughneck, backwoods dumb-as-an-ox sex into the bargain.

Make no mistake, my friends, that is what life is all about.

 

TV Swami – he say YES, YES, OH GOD YESSSS!!! 

www.cashpeters.com

Naked in Dangerous Places

Leave a comment

Filed under Television commentary