Patterico's Pontifications

2/10/2015

NBC: Brian Williams Suspended For Six Months

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:10 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Who knows if he’ll return. But looking at the upside, this might be a golden opportunity to seriously get working on that longed-for second career of fiction writing. In six months he could produce the greatest American novel of all time.

-Dana

ADDED: From the comments, DRJ offers what she believes will be Williams’ “first sentence of what will undoubtedly be his Bulwer-Lytton award-winning novel”:

He strolled languidly into the room, knowing – as always – that he would be the smartest and most interesting person there.

nk followed with a novel noir opening line:

She had eyes, two of them, and legs that went all the way to the floor. Also two. I knew when she walked into my office that she was in trouble. She said, “Mr. Williams, I’m in trouble”. I said, “Thank goodness, I’d hate to think a beautiful dame like you would let herself get a potbelly. Who’s the daddy?”

So, it’s your turn now: What do you think will be the opening sentence of Brian Williams’ great American novel that he will be writing on his um, leave of absence?? Share in the comments section.

The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Was It Really You?”

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 7:43 am

Yesterday I debuted a song written by me in the early 1990s, and recorded by Jay Semko of the Northern Pikes this year (2015). It’s part of the Patterico music project, a quixotic project in which I try to convince my musical heroes to record songs I wrote in the early 1990s. I posted the first one last week (song; lyrics; original version) and posted the second one last night.

What, you didn’t hear it yet? Let’s fix that! Here it is again:

Below are the lyrics to that song. It’s a breakup song, and those are generally whiny by definition. (Although wait until next week, when we will have a breakup song in which Our Hero laments the fact that he didn’t treat the woman worse while he still had the chance!) The general theme, as you will see, is that Our Hero wonders whether he has just lost The Perfect Woman — or whether, instead, he was fooled by a woman who posed as The Perfect Woman, without really being her.

Remember: it’s not a Shakespeare sonnet; these are song lyrics. I don’t recommend reading them on their own. I have a much better idea: hit the play button above, and follow along as you listen to Jay.

WAS IT REALLY YOU?

I knew that it was true
That I could get to know you well
And love you in a way
I’d never loved before

They said I was a fool
My friends all said to take it slow
“She could be the one —“
“Or hurt you like before”

I’m not asking why
Why it was you said you had to go
But there’s just one thing
Just one thing that I would like to know

Was it really you I thought I loved
One summer night in July?
[‘Cause I have got to know]
Or was it the person
You wanted me to see?
[Was I only dreaming?]
[Was it really me?]

Where did I go wrong?
‘Cause if you never lived a lie
Pretending to be someone
You knew you’d never be

It must have been my fault
I couldn’t place the blame on you
How could I resent
The woman made for me?

It doesn’t matter why
People breaking up is nothing new
I just want to know
Was my perfect woman really you?

Was it really you who seemed so right
Like you were born in the sky?
[‘Cause I have got to know]
Or was it an image
That I should just let die?
[Was I only dreaming?]
[Was it really me?]

Please tell me the truth
Don’t lie to me now

What should I do now?
I think about you every day
Or think about a girl
That I once thought was you

I’ll never know the truth
Even though I know that you don’t care
I’ll ask you once again
[Ask you one last time]
I guess it’s just a cross I have to bear

Was it really you I thought I loved
One summer night in July?
[‘Cause I have got to know]
Or was it a person
You wanted me to see?
[Was I only dreaming?]
[Was it really me?]
[I’ve got to know]

Was it hard for you to tell the truth
Or was it harder to lie?
Should I be sad you’re gone
Or just be glad to say goodbye?
[Was I only dreaming?]
[Was it really me?]

Astute listeners may note that Jay left out a line at the end: “Should I be sad you’re gone?” I haven’t asked him about it, but I’m not sure it was deliberate. I think I contributed to the problem. As you’ll hear tomorrow, I screwed up that line in my performance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jay was thrown off by the variance between the lyrics I wrote and the lyrics I sang in the recording Jay was working off of. So I am chalking it up to the vagaries of a live performance — one which I absolutely adore. You live with the imperfections of a live performance, just as you revel in its spontaneity and honesty.

Tomorrow I’ll let you hear the original recording I made around 1991 or so.

David Axelrod: Obama Deliberately Lied to Voters About Gay Marriage

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

I know, I know: your instant reaction is: of course he did, and so what? That sort of blasé reaction is just what Axelrod is banking on:

Barack Obama misled Americans for his own political benefit when he claimed in the 2008 election to oppose same sex marriage for religious reasons, his former political strategist David Axelrod writes in a new book, Believer: My Forty Years in Politics.

“I’m just not very good at bullshitting,” Obama told Axelrod, after an event where he stated his opposition to same-sex marriage, according to the book.

Practice makes perfect. And he’s had a lot of practice. Hey, he was just being practical:

Axelrod writes that he knew Obama was in favor of same-sex marriages during the first presidential campaign, even as Obama publicly said he only supported civil unions, not full marriages. Axelrod also admits to counseling Obama to conceal that position for political reasons. “Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church, and as he ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union,’ ” Axelrod writes.

Obama understood: if you don’t lie to people while running for office, you’ll never have the chance to lie to them while in office!

Let’s look at a representative quote of his from the time, and call out the lies as we see them:

“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman,” [LIE] Obama said at the time. “Now, for me as a Christian [LIE] — for me — for me as a Christian [LIE], it is also a sacred union [LIE]. God’s in the mix. [LIE]

As you might have guessed, I don’t believe him when he says he’s a Christian.*

Axelrod has made a calculated decision here. He believes that the public knows that most politicians lie; that they accept that; and that it therefore doesn’t really matter if they admit it . . . once it’s too late to do anything about it. He believes that it’s more important for Obama’s faithful to understand that Obama always had the “right” position on gay marriage, than it is to believe that he has always told the truth, which we all know nobody does.

And he’s probably right. That will be people’s reaction. Will this story dominate the headlines for days — as it should? I doubt it. Will people put the question directly to Obama and insist on an answer? Nah.

While I agree that most politicians lie, I refuse to participate in the trivialization of lying. Yes, Obama has a Gruberesque contempt for the public, and repeatedly lies to their face. I refuse to shrug my shoulders and say it’s no big deal. I refer you to the words of Aaron Altman, the Albert Brooks character from Broadcast News, who said the following of the Brian Williamsesque anchor played by William Hurt:

He will be attractive! He’ll be nice and helpful. He’ll get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation. He’ll never do an evil thing! He’ll never deliberately hurt a living thing… he will just bit by little bit lower our standards where they are important. Just a tiny little bit. Just coax along flash over substance. Just a tiny little bit. And he’ll talk about all of us really being salesmen. And he’ll get all the great women.

The speech obviously doesn’t apply to Obama in every respect — I think you can guess a few places where I would say the analogy doesn’t hold, and I’ll leave it at that — but the general thrust of the speech is that standards matter. Deliberately lying to the public matters. David Axelrod doesn’t think it does. But it does.


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