Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mash It Up

Dice K—Despite the fact that the Dice Man was slightly off his game he still pitched well, going 7 and only giving up 3. But truthfully, wasn’t Felix Hernandez a sight to behold, knocking down the Sox big boys as if they were Cranston Little Leaguers? Check out Bob Ryan in today’s Globe, citing a number of impressive under-21 pitching stats and realize the kid’s thrown 17 innings of 4-hit, 5-walk, 18-strike out, shutout ball in his first two starts.

Longer Combat Tours---C’mon, through the looking glass even further? It’s more than surreal, yet another outrageous hardship being thrust upon our military and, more importantly, their families from this jaundiced, venal, poisoned, diseased administration, proving once again that BushII’s line of thinking never varies---when in doubt, pour it on.

Duke Guys Innocent---No way around, it this was and is about race in America, with a scarily ambitious local DA utilizing the race card to garner votes and raise his profile. Like old good liberals I had these whitey-white, frat boy, rugby dudes guilty, convicted, fried and cooked. Shades of Tawana Brawley, it was a rush to judgment, and yet another flashing warning sign that race relations across America are as polarized and tension-filled as evuh.

Oh Donny Boy , the pipes, the pipes are callin’---I’ve done a little Imus time, and I’ve done a little Stern time, but inevitably the sameness of the tone, the dialogue, and most of the jokes, plus the constant yelping, giggling, and ball-licking from the on air posse of (all-white) sycophants just gets to be irritating. Hey, I dig satire and parody as much as the next guy, but I’ve always felt slightly uncomfortable when of those so-called funny white guys tosses in an Amos-and-Andy styled vocal imitation of a black American, whether the on air character be fictional or based on a public figure. While Imus’ “Nappy headed ho’s” seems to be the spotlight phrase, lets not forget the chief ass kisser Bernard began it all, trying to quote Spike Lee’s School Daze by describing the final basketball game as one between “the jigaboos and the wannabes.” I’m all for free speech, but I just can’t get behind out and out stupidity.


DarrenH said...

Felix Hernandez's performance was truly something to behold.
Actual quote from Ichiro on his match up with Matsuzaka last night: "I hope he arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul. I plan to face him with the zeal of a challenger." Say what?

Charlie Drago said...

Comments prompted by the Imus farce:

ITEM -- One of the basic and most sacred responsibilities of artists is to offend.

ITEM -- There should be NO GOVERNMENT REGULATION WHATSOEVER of the content of broadcasts on public airwaves.

ITEM -- No one should compare Imus’s most recent contentious remark to, say, Lenny Bruce’s “Religions, Inc.” in terms of the quality of its satirical content and the nobility of its intent.

But in the broadest sense, the ad lib and written offerings of Imus and his staff are to be recognized as artistic expression, and therefore must enjoy all the protections to which art is entitled.

ITEM -- Reverend Sharpton, et al who have refused to weigh Imus’s public records as philanthropist and free speech advocate before giving him a fair trial and lynching him are, shall we say, at variance with Western judicial philosophy. Even the vilest, recidivist convicted criminals routinely and quite petition courts to consider their lives’ works and other extenuating circumstances before sentencing.

Why not Don Imus?

ITEM -- If Imus had been removed from radio and television, say, a year ago (and it might very well have happened), what would have been lost?

Start with the $10,000,000 -- THAT'S ten million dollars -- he all but singlehandedly raised for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Then move on to the hundreds of thousands of dollars he raised for SIDS charities and the Imus Working Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer.

And that's for starters.

item -- If Imus had referred to my sainted Italian mother a “10-lire puttane with braided pubic hair,” those comments would have changed NOTHING about her reality. Nor would they have offended me.

ITEM -- I trust that NBC will now lead the charge to take MTV from the airwaves.

ITEM -- More than a year ago, Imus was the target of a series of Wall Street Journal articles calling into question the legality of his Imus Ranch operations. He fought the baseless charges and ended up being fully vindicated. In the process, he implied that the stories were ordered by the WSJ's political and corporate masters in retaliation for Imus's campaign against thermerasol in commercial products.

I saw the logic of that claim. So too did I suspect that Imus rants against the Iraq criminality and the war criminals responsible for it led directly to the counter-attack.

Do not doubt for an instant that those same forces have contributed significantly to the removal of Imus from MSNBC.

So tell me, are we offended more by Imus's comments or by, say, NBC White House correspondent David Gregory dancing and yucking it up with Karl Rove at a recent Washington party?

In conclusion: If we care to protect free speech and free artistic expression, we should join together and shout NAPPY HEADED HO’S from the rooftops.

And then NIGGERS, DAGOS, SPICS, SLOPES, RAGHEADS, and every other racial epithet we might conjure.

And then move on to DUNE BOOGIE, CHRIST KILLER, CROSS DRESSER, COW KISSER, LOTUS EATER, and every other religious slur we can imagine.

Becase as Gandhi would remind us: He was an African, and an Italian, and an Asian, and an Arab, and a Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist …

And so are we.

Charlie Drago

mdoggie said...

Charlie dear,

You can't have it both ways. Defending pug-minded Imus for his low-brow racist and sexist "humor" while condemning opportunist Sharpton and his minions for shouting their truth aloud in front of NBC is not consistent free speech nobility. You reap what you sow; whatever happens to Imus is exactly what should happen to Imus. If you want to see him as some "counter cultural anti-hero" set upon by a conspiracy of intersecting interests, that is your right. If some of us want ot see him as loud mouthed, small minded, race-idiotic, and no big loss to freedom and democracy when his lowest common denominator cackle is silenced, then too bad for Imus fans. One less septugenarian adolescent on the airwaves is fine with me.

Charlie Drago said...


"Defending pug-minded Imus for his low-brow racist and sexist 'humor'" -- I did no such thing. I continue to defend the right of Don Imus to create and communicate artistic expression regardless of the height of its brow.

"condemning opportunist Sharpton and his minions for shouting their truth aloud in front of NBC" -- I did no such thing (although I agree with your description of Sharpton, who not so long ago was calling for the symbolic lynching of the wholly exonerated Duke lacrosse players). I continue to admonish the reverend for rushing to simple-minded justice. As I take you to task for use of the term "their truth."

I had no idea that truth is relative.

"whatever happens to Imus is exactly what should happen to Imus" -- Would that I shared your faith in the existence of fair and balanced (sorry) universe.

"If you want to see him as some 'counter cultural [sic] anti-hero" -- I desire no such thing. I do view Imus in his current dire straits as being worthy the most impassioned defense by all of us who hold free speech sacred and who are self-described as First Amendment absolutists.

"[Imus off the air would be] no big loss to freedom and democracy" -- So where, then, would you draw the line? This position is antithetical to the very notion of free speech.

I would conclude by suggesting that the level of the satire produced by Imus's stable of comic writer/actors (Rob Bartlet, Charles McCord, et al) is quite high; don't judge until you've listened at reasonable length.

And where else on national cable television do you expect to hear Cheney, Bush, and their masters rightly described as "war criminals"?


john k said...

I'm already tired of Imus and I'm tired of Nicole,Britney,run-away brides,deranged astronauts,Lacey Peterson, and all the rest of the crap that cable TV tells us is news. Its not that important but its a buzz and they can run with it-24 hours a day-Sharpton and Howie Carr and Glenn Beck et al. Come on you Talking Heads, On Hannity,On Rush,On Coulter! Keep diverting us from the news that really matters. How many dead in Iraq-who cares Imus said something stupid. The Govt. is tapping phone lines-doesn't matter cuz Britney cut her hair. Big Biz wants immigrants for labor- so Dumbya sings along-Who cares-I want to know who the father is!!!Billions to Haliburton in no bid contracts-Did you hear that the astro-nut was wearing diapers??
As disgusting as this admin is they don't have to censor the news cuz we have no news-just buzz and more buzz!!
I don't watch or listen to Imus. He said something really stupid and I believe that a 2 week suspension and his apology to those girls should suffice. Take him off TV-I say fine-never understood why a radio show was on TV in the 1st place. No need to censor, let the market decide. Weigh in his good works.


john k said...

CBS fired him. That's censorship.
F%ckin' idiocy!

skylolo99 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
skylolo99 said...

I'll tell you what's scary- hearing left leaning writers talking about 'decency'. I consider myself a left leaning type but it sends a chill up my spine when terms like 'decency' are thrown around in regards to Imus' stupid comment. If I find something offensive (which is not too often), I'll turn the dial. How dare anyone tell me what is decent or indecent.
I'm not a fan of Imus and what he said was totally crude, ignorant and stupid but I AM a fan of freedom of speech. What Imus deserves is a punch in the nose, he doesn't deserver to become a martyr.

mdoggie said...

Hey this is kinda fun. OK, Charlie. I respect your passion and concern for free speech but bemoan your choice of standard bearers. Don Imus and this whole escapade is not challenging our free speech rights, it is a mere distraction from news of the day that really matters. Everything that has and is happening to Imus is just alright- he got fired because the advertisers ran away as they will do from any controversy. You may have a point in that they will run faster from a left-leaning big mouth than from a right-leaning one. I am not a regular listener to Imus, however I have listend to his show, it was OK, lots of politicos and media honchos, C&W music, and probably not as adolescent as Howard Stern, but I don't think our freedom and liberty will be diminished one iota because he's off the radio for being stupid, crass, racist, and sexist - intentional or not. I never said that I believed or had any faith in a "fair and balanced" anything, I said essentially that Imus is getting back what he put out into the universe, I believe that is the fundamental meaning of "you reap what you sow". "Fair and blanced" is a catch phrase employed by propagandists for the New World Order baby.
By the way, the whole truth is absolute thing...oh boy...fundamentalism of all kinds is predicated on the idea that "truth" particularly moral, religious, poliltical "truth" is absolute and me and mine are lined up alongside all the Gods with our truths forming the point of our spears. There's this funny looking guy called Einstein, a rock star in the early 20th century had this crazy idea that the "truth" as we know it changes according to our position relative to the observed phenomenon. Crazy, I know, but I challenge you to prove some measurable standard for "freedom", "liberty", "democracy", etc. You mean like the versions we are giving to the Iraqis at the point of a gun and through the charred remains of their children?
The artistic expression of Imus and crew has had full reign, and now the the reviews are in, he's headed back to the minors. Don't worry, I am sure he will re-emerge via Satellite or Webcast or on Fox very very soon.

Charlie Drago said...


Fun, indeed.

Point by point:

"Don Imus and this whole escapade is not challenging our free speech rights, it is a mere distraction from news of the day that really matters." -- You could not be more off target. This is a simple free speech issue.

It is also a highly complex political issue, for when you put the Imus story within a political context, you identify his ideological targets/opponents who benefit directly and indirectly from his silencing.

"Everything that has and is happening to Imus is just alright- he got fired because the advertisers ran away as they will do from any controversy." -- Again, you would see this out of its political realm. Sure, money talks and bullshit walks. But ask yourself this: Absent Imus's daily "war criminal" rant, who on mainstream, daytime cable TV dares speak this truth to power?

Cui bono, baby?

"I don't think our freedom and liberty will be diminished one iota because he's off the radio for being stupid, crass, racist, and sexist - intentional or not." -- Strike three! Take Imus's relative high brow content (with which I reason to doubt you are familiar), and his stupidity, crassness, racism (I would argue strongly against this charge) and sexism are worthy -- indeeda, cry out for -- our most impassioned, vocal defense.

For ultimately they will come for you. And there will be no one left to speak on your behalf.

"'Fair and blanced' is a catch phrase employed by propagandists for the New World Order baby." -- Oh really? I had NO idea ... How ignorant of me not to have noticed.

"the 'truth' as we know it changes according to our position relative to the observed phenomenon" -- Believe it or not, I am as familiar with the theory of quantum entanglement as the next guy at the bar.

So too do I acknowledge evidence for action at a distance, or actio in distans -- "the interaction of two objects which are separated in space with no known mediator of the interaction."

The empirical, objective, quantifiable truth of which I wrote denies the efforts of post-modern or deconstructive literary analyses to render it moot, just as it blunts quantum classification.

I tink, derefore Iyam.

Odd to think that our politics may be quite similar. But let's be sure.

I wipe my ass with all flags. Religion is politics by other means. America, Inc. is the greatest source of evil in the contemporary world.

Got a problem with dat?


Charlie Drago said...

Forgive me; it's not my intention to hog the blog, but I've got to get this on the record.

Dig the following:

-- "Is that a Negro in the back? Oh Jesus! If you see teeth, it's not an ivory hunt. Break into 'Glory, Glory, Hallelujah' and hope we don't get picked off!"

-- "During the war, you never saw Jews at the front. They were in the rear going, 'Here's five hundred, keep attacking.'"

-- "What the hell am I gonna do in Italy? Hang around Venice going, 'Is that you or me, May?'"

"You gotta be a Jew, lady. You're the only one with a stoll on and it's a hundred and four in here!"

-- "We need the Irish. What the hell do we need the Irish for? Oh yeah, to put out the fires."

"You Mexicans, you just lay around all day drinking the water, then you drop your pants and make the white lines in the street."

-- "They don't want to be called Negroes anymore. They're Hawaians. Then you seem them down on Waikiki Beach going, 'This mother surfboard ain't ridin' right!'"

-- "You, the Jewish kid. If your father-in-law dies, what kind of work are you out of?"

I'm told that Don Rickles is booed when he does this schtick on Letterman.

I missed it. When did we all become so fragile?


E_Stritch said...

Once I had sex with Imus- he was hung like a light switch.

john k said...

The world needs more humor. Thank you E. I have to post this, BTW McCain's remarks were made just a few hours b4 a bomb blew in their Parliament.

Scotty D said...

I’ve been outta office for nearly two days, thus away from my sole computer, and all I can say after a quick perusal is keep those tongues and keyboards twisting boys (and Ms. Stritch), there’s nothing like a good debate, although I do miss the scintillating sound of my own voice. Lay on the discourse friends, Romans, and fire and brimstone preachers, and we’ll check back in on Blue Monday and wade in once again.

Anonymous said...

I have trouble defending Imus. I believe in the "you live by the sword, you die by..." mentality. I mean, on a purely jealous level, I never thought he was worth all the fuss. Let him go make millions on a book deal and satellite radio. It also is about where this cracker’s sensibilities are coming from. You would never hear Stern call Robin Quivers a nappy headed ho. Not because it is not within him to be rude and crude, but because he understands race better than Imus, he’s more street and knows it’s not his turf. He also saw the writing on the wall and got out of the supposed free airwaves and onto what will be my radio of choice very soon.

ruh said...

Power makes the world go round, and money is power.

To me the Imus issue is less about free speech rights, and more about business profit and loss. This was a corporate decision, not a government decision.

If a cashier hurls racial epithets at customers, is the store owner required to uphold his free speech rights and not can him?

Commercial institutions aren't required to show racist artwork in the name of artistic expression. Some may, but it's the business' choice.

Our government hasn't cut out Imus' tongue (and probably won't unless he ends up in Guantanamo), and he hasn't been arrested -- he's still allowed to say anything he wants. If he wants to broadcast to a wide audience, he just needs to find sponsors who want to support him, which he undoubtedly will in the future...

CBS has a right to make a business decision about whether overall he's profitable or a liability, and sponsors have a right to decide who they want associated with their companies and products.

I'm encouraged that business decision makers are no longer strictly good old boys. I'm encouraged that the houses of the Rutgers girls basketball team members haven't been firebombed as a result of Imus getting fired.

Charlie Drago said...


"This was a corporate decision, not a government decision."

Here you have generously provided to us a textbook example of the distinction without a difference.

Your form of government is best described -- and understood -- as a corporatocracy. Of the literally hundreds of examples of corporate rule available for review, I'll cite just one: Dick Cheney's infamous Energy Task Force.

Convened at the very beginning of the illegal Bush Administration, this group was charged with setting energy policy. Its meetings were closed to the public, and the minutes derived therefrom remain classified.

It is widely and with good reason believed that plans for the Balkinization of Iraq along the lines of its oil reserves were established by the task force.

Further, and more relevant to our discussion, it can be argued that the presence of immense, permanent American bases in Iraq reflects a key element of Cheney and company's energy looting strategy.

In other words, it was the corporatocracy that took America to war, and the losses to date and to come -- human and otherwise -- appear on the ledger under the "cost of doing business" heading.

I reiterate: "business."

You also write that you are "encouraged that business decision makers are no longer strictly good old boys."

Oh really? Then you seriously are of the opinion that the business decision to silence Imus was made by enlightened corporate princes who jumped at the rare chance to combine servicing the bottom line with doing the right thing?

At best, Imus got the axe in order to promote the illusion of corporate ethics -- by the same corporations that make millions off rap "music" and honor "songs" like "It's Hard Out Here Being a Pimp."

The same corporations for whom a dumbed-down, self-loathing public remains the sine qua non for maintenance of the profitable status quo.

The destruction of Don Imus has established a precedent for action in the arena of mass communications that, unless I'm wrong, will next be directed against either Rosie O'Donnell (for her noble, on-the-right-track, but less than well-informed 9-11 sermons) or Keith Olbermann (for his "Special Comments" and other truth-speaking to power).

john k said...

You are right on the corporate decision. But which corporation? Fox and CNN would not let it die and are clearly winners with ratings king Imus gone. Imus should never have gone on Sharpton's show. He should have kept apologizing and met with the ball team ealier. Is not Sharpton leaping into the fray for the young women-as if they were poor damsels incapable of defending themselves-demeaning in and of itself?
What bothers me the most is that those of us who sit on the left side of the aisle who preach tolerance can be so extremely intolerant. It wasn't the right that pilloried Imus. No one could let it go or ignore it. Imus was no longer a man with a history-he was a sound bite. Hillary,Obama,Jesse, and Al Roker(Jesus,Al Roker) had to weigh in-get their own sound bites-drive him off the air. And such a victory-the popular and vociferous anti-Bush and anti-war guy is gone. Without his show as a vehicle,perhaps his wife's crusade againt pollutantants and cancer-causing products will die out. He won't be able to raise millions for veterans that the souless admin. will choose to ignore. So much for the money raised for Sids research. He said 3 bad words so get out of the tent and don't come back! Sweet Victory-Karl Rove could not have done better. The right doesn't have to win, they just wait for the left to lose.
I'll admit to a personal bias. Having lost a brother to leukemia as a kid, its hard for me to come down on a man that runs a ranch camp for sick kids @ no charge. I wish some of the disgusted politicos could have remembered that as they were condemning him. Maybe Al and Hillary can go to the ranch sometime and see the real world.
Imus will get a 2nd act, America always allows it. Martha Stewart, Marv Alpert, Dick Nixon et al. My sister Lori, who puroduced Buddy C @ HJJ, tells me that Buddy will back on the air within hours of his release.

ruh said...


The fact that we are ruled by a corporatocracy is not the fault of all corporations. It's the fault of Mssrs. Bush, Cheney, and their war-mongering, holier-than-thou, bigoted, classist, rabid-nationalistic, sadistic government. If our fascist zookeepers throw meat into the cage of corporate lions, you can't expect the corporations not to go on a feeding frenzy. The Energy Task Force is an example of Bush and co feeding the corporate Strangeloves.

If Imus was fired by government action -- e.g. the Bush administration had shut down CBS until they fired Imus -- I would be right on board with the free speech argument.

I may be naive, but I think Imus got the can because his sponsors have diversity-oriented images (and who wants to sour employee relations) and because there are more people of color and women in high corporate positions these days. (Look at the board makeups of Imus' former sponsors.)

Charlie Drago said...


You wrote: "The fact that we are ruled by a corporatocracy is not the fault of all corporations. It's the fault of Mssrs. Bush, Cheney, and their war-mongering, holier-than-thou, bigoted, classist, rabid-nationalistic, sadistic government."

You are precisely wrong.

The rule of the corporations was in place long before Prescott Bush crawled like a silverfish from his mother's polluted womb.

Custer led his Black Hills expedition of 1874 on behalf of the same mining interests that conspired in his subsequent defeat at Little Bighorn, for example.

Or read Smedley Buter's "War is a Racket," and the newly reissued "The Plot to Seize the White House," by Jules Archer, for 20th century examples.

The war-mongering, bigotry,and sadism that you reference are indeed characteristics of the USG, and have been for centuries. We part company when you insist upon there being some sort of meaningful distinction between "government" and big business.


Forget Bush and Cheney, the sock puppets of the moment. The world is run by families. And neither of the aforementioned clan makes the cut.

Seriously, read Butler and Archer, and then we can discuss the corporatocracy in rational detail.

Finally, you think that "Imus got the can because his sponsors have diversity-oriented images."

This is partly true. Don't get trapped in the either/or paradigm. Consider the post-Aristotelian neither A nor B third alternative.

Which is to say:

Q. Was Imus fired by corporations eager not to alienate their customer base, or was he silenced by a ruling class with much to gain by the chilling effect the action would have on free speech?

A. Yes.


ruh said...


I think you mis-read my first point. I didn't say that there isn't a one-ness between corporations and the government, I said "The fact that we are ruled by a corporatocracy is not the fault of *ALL* corporations."

I find it hard to believe that all the CEOs and boards of Imus' sponsors (AmEx, Staples, GM, P+G) conspired to kill him out of a sense of duty to the cause of suppression of free speech (which at this point in our history helps the right). If that were the case why would they have funded him in the first place?

Take the CEO of American Excess, Ken Chenault, who was I believe not only Imus' largest sponsor, but also the first to cut him. One of 50 "living pioneers" in the African American community, according to Ebony magazine. Personally contributes to democrats at 12 times the rate he contributes to republicans. I think he was probably driven more by anti-racist sentiments than by collusion with the righties.

None the less, I agree it's important to be vigilant about these sorts of issues... So I will read Butler and Archer, and if Rosie is next to go, I'll rally the militia.

Charlie Drago said...


I'm thoroughly enjoying our exchanges.

Two quick points of disagreement:

1. You wrote, "I find it hard to believe that all the CEOs and boards of Imus' sponsors (AmEx, Staples, GM, P+G) conspired to kill him."

So do I. And I never made such a ludicrous claim. But I will argue that the "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" question was hanging in the air. And there was a rush to shout, "I will, I will!"

2. You wrote, "[T]he CEO of American Excess, Ken Chenault personally contributes to democrats at 12 times the rate he contributes to republicans. I think he was probably driven more by anti-racist sentiments than by collusion with the righties."

Precisely wrong. Your predicate assumptions -- that dems and pubs represent different ruling classes and moral world views, and that a corporate raider's political contributions somehow provide insight in his/her heart -- are demonstrably false.

Acknowledging that there are exceptions to all rules, I draw your attention to the age-old hedge of betting both horses in a match race.

Witness, for example, LCN's pro- and anti-Castro actions prior to Batista's overthrow.

Or do you seriously argue that Chenault and his peers would take political action that would wreak havoc with their respective bottom lines simply because it was the right thing to do?

Chenault plays a public role and a private one, as they all do. Trust him at your peril.


Scotty D said...

After a brief perusal of USA Today and the Boston Globe this morn I gotta note there's not a note about Donny Boy Imus. Hair today, gone tommorrow. It's Sound Bite America, make a sound this morning and it will bite you in the ass by the afternoon. I won't even attempt to approach the elevated level of debate the rest of you rabid contrarians have set, as I'm still more interested in the why of it, rather the desultory results. Let's borrow from a Sunday NY Times piece by Randy Kennedy, wherein one intriguing theory posited is that funny bones like Howie Stern, Sarah Silverman, or Sacha Baron Cohen make it clear that they are inhabiting a character, Donny Boy has always presented himself as Imus the Emus- a real deal bird with his feet firmly on the ground,, ex-druggydrunk, well-read urban guy who is special enough to dig alternative shit-kicking music, the cynical philanthropist, the down-to-earth diviner-of-truth and grandmaster of taste, authenticity, and inside politics. Thus Imus tossing out a hip-hop insult joke is supposed to be humorous because of the sheer absurdity of it ". if to say, 'Isn't it ridiculous to hear this coming from a guy who looks like me?'-he was not able to pull it off. Instead it seemed merely provocative, another sop thrown to his more Neanderthal fans, the kind he's been throwing for years." Comedian/writer/producer and The Daily Show’s "Senior Black Correspondent” Larry Wilmore sees it even more simply—“I have a mathematical equation for all this, “ said Mr. Wilmore. “White guy plus black slang equals comedy. White guy plus black slang minus common sense equals tragedy. I think he failed comically more than anything else.”