Still not rock bottom

The smug-junkies are lining up for the latest designer drug to hit the streets, a hot-shot of fentanyl-laced oblivion that is viewed, in the perverse logic of the addict, as the really good stuff.The Pursuit of Offendedness is never pretty, but don't avert your gaze from the horrors of what you're about to see. Look on with pity at the degradations of stupidity and dishonesty and the realization that these poor addicts in the throes of their disease are willing to abandon all reason, … [Read more...]

False Witnesses 2

"If you want to look thin, you hang out with fat people." -- Thornton Melon Commenters on the previous post about this rumor were right to argue that I overstated the case in saying that there could be no "innocent dupes" involved in its spread. That's too categorical. But those few who may have been innocently duped by such an unbelievable tale -- the very young, the very old, the very insular -- weren't also among those most active in spreading the rumor. They heard it, and they may have … [Read more...]

False witnesses

In my past life as an evangelical for social action, I had a much-photocopied dossier in my desk drawer from the Procter & Gamble corporation. This surreal document was the company's sadly necessary response to the urban legend that the manufacturer of Tide, Crest and Dawn was some kind of satanic cult. Briefly, the idea was that the CEO of P&G had at some vague point in the recent past appeared on some talk show -- Phil Donahue, or Sally Jesse, or Oprah, the story mutated and adapted … [Read more...]

Who do we shoot?

Here's one of my favorite scenes from John Ford's film adaptation of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Muley and his son confront The Man who has arrived to evict them from their Oklahoma farm. Muley, played by John Qualen (the condemned sad sack fom His Girl Friday), clings to his shotgun: MULEY: You mean get off my own land? THE MAN: Now don't go blaming me. It ain't my fault. SON: Whose fault is it? THE MAN: You know who owns the land -- the Shawnee Land and Cattle Company. MULEY: Who's the … [Read more...]