Am I Lost as a "Good Boy"?
by Milo Clark

Here in media-saturated and information-starved Berkeley CA USA, I have got my knickers all in twist a couple of times in recent weeks. Actually, more than a couple times, now that I think about it some more.

Since O. J. Simpson is tied in with football and other manly sports like beating or killing women (their men friends by accident sometimes, too), I would just as soon he find some very deep hole within which to hide himself with his non-millions. Notice I am not leaping to judgment, just trying to get him off the news.

He can't really be blamed, though, poor man. All this controversy is messing with his golf game. The "news" reported that O. J. was out on a golf course the day after the verdict all by himself. Had to pick up with three strangers to make a foursome. I weep. Today, the report is that a small plane crashed on a golf course where guess who was playing again to drown his troubles in strokes foregone. The plane missed him--what a story that would have been! I wonder if the pilot played golf and was just checking on O.J.'s game.

As Presidents and CEOs and media stars know; can't let nothing interfere with one's golf game. I know I am out of my "good boy" mind by finding something obscene in all these folks flaunting their slacks (or skirts) on the greens while too many folks are worrying about the next paycheck or the next meal. Hell, give ‘em football and baseball and basketball cathedrals so they can forget their stuff. Let ‘em drink beer and eat hotdogs for tomorrow we may all die. Better yet, schedule some more O. J. trials. Cheap thrills, minimal staff required to cover them, no brainers.

The media goons, whoever they be in their proper suits and work-a-day haute couture, decided that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, period end of possibilities no how, no where-- going on other than O. J. Simpson. All three major TV stations in the San Francisco Bay Area canceled everything else in the world for over three hours hanging out around the Santa Monica Court House waiting for a verdict in the O. J Simpson civil trial extravaganza. The talking heads and pundits practiced their art of straight-faced driveling over non-events by analyzing nits on top of gnats again and again. To those who ration out "news" to us in the jewel city of America and its TV environs, this was it for that afternoon.

It meant about zilch, nada, nothing or very little that the President of the United States was abandoning the golf course to speak to the Congress Assembled as well as the expectant millions of Americans about The State of the Union. At the very last moment, the TV stations cut to Washington for the speech. All through the speech, boring as it was to most, the TV stations dutifully ran banners noting they would cut back to O. J. if a verdict came in--no matter what the President of the United States of America might be doing or saying. Two of the three stations were asleep, however, and let the President finish before running back to Santa Monica for the shaking of the earth, the splitting of the skies, the rushing of the waters, the eruption of the volcanos awaited without breath by the unwashed who had passed up ablutions awaiting the verdict. One station cut over before the President had finished. Scoop!

And that poor Congress person from Oklahoma with the prescient Republican name of Watt (remember Reagan's cabinet appointment to dismantle the environment?)--he was supposed to deliver the Republican reply to the President's State of the Union speech and to deliver his announcement of a run for the Presidency in due time. One station ran some of it at least. Back to your golf games, guys. Better luck another year.

A couple of weeks ago, the coach of the San Francisco 49er's, a professional football team working its way up to rape some turf along the waterfront with a new stadium, announced his "resignation" at a press conference. The three TV stations dutifully turned off the world for nearly two hours to hear the poor man resign again and again and again and to speculate and to speculate and to speculate about his resignation and its impact on world events over and over and over still again. Now, there is news if I ever heard about news. Whatever happened to journalism?

The TV "news" has descended almost entirely into fires and crimes, freeway jams and natural disasters spliced together by commercials and puff pieces which are commercials in the guise of "news". Oh, dear, I forgot the weather extravaganzas, the TV doctors and consumer advocates which fill in the balance of air time. (I watch, naturally, as research in the Decline and Fall of Western Society.)

Meanwhile, intriguingly enough, a local community college station down in San Mateo area, Channel 60 hereabouts, broadcasts the Japanese and German news feeds paralleling the local "news" slots. I find out more of what happens around the world from there now than from anything available through the US stations. Don't get me going on what is happening with "news" on the "public" broadcasting stations." I can only handle so much ranting and raving at one time on one subject. McNeil, at least, had the cojones to retire last year. Jim Lehrer panders on mightily. Archer Daniels Midland Corporation gets what it pays for.

I won't rave about Oakland CA whose major problem according The Media lies in the inability of ghetto children to speak, much less understand "Standard English". Standard English is what that mushmouthed U. S. Senator from the South drawled in denouncing Oakland's non-Standard English.

Oakland CA USA has more problems than can be counted by the billions of wealthfare dollars given to the deserving golfers. Whack the school budgets, close the County Hospital, cut back library and police staffs and budgets--I mean, man, they is blank starved for bread in that city and county. Where is the money going? Let's see, about $185,000,000 of public, taxpayer money is going to buy back the football Raiders, build them and the baseball A's and the basketball Warriors still better stadia, arenas and parking areas. I won't mention the millions going to build private boxes for golfers being lured from the links.

A great age, this one. Thousands of years from now, imagine the archeological wonders to be discovered. Coliseums like Rome only lots of them. Viaducts like Greece only they called them freeways in the 20th century. The best and brightest examples of a "civilization" once known as America. Our Chartes, our marks on planetary history. Pray for us.

And, President Clinton, you wonderful lesser of evils, I will work hard to cut down on my cynicism about government and politicians and media moguls and their lackeys. I will strive mightily to speak and to write Standard English and to be a real good boy.

Would I pander so blatantly as Rather for mere millions in pay? Would I play golf while the world starved? Tempt me not with money, fame and golf. I may still be a good boy down under all these rants and raves--mere words dropped and flushed into fetid sewers flowing into the seas of decadent times.

I will now pull my tongue out of my cheek lest it get bit off.

Published February 11, 1997
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