L. Neil Smith's
by Lowell Potter
Special to TLE
Just the other day, I was thinking about how nice it would be to earn enough by writing to quit my lousy job. Judging by the response I've received in nearly three years of grousing online about various shiat/government happening around the world, the prospect doesn't seem too fucking promising.
Of course, to be fair to any latent productive aspirations, basing one's cyber perspectives and potential on the limited feedback generated by largely anti-state political commentary posted at an anonymous, free webhosting site, and on a couple of eclectic e-mail lists, may not be an entirely objective method of consideration. I guess politics doesn't sell for shiat, ....especially my politics.
Wouldn't it be great, though, I thought, ....just to stay home and get paid to write stuff that I considered interesting or amusing. I could be had cheap, too. Say $1500 a month, hard money...at least until I become wildly popular..
It would be easy. I would just keep a little notebook on me and jot subjects down as they occurred to me, for instance,
...I was lying around clicking the channels and I stopped on a show about Liza Minelli's recent wedding to what's his name ....you know, the gay/not gay film mogul whatever, the guy with the big nose and glasses.... Anyway, they were showing the hotel rooms that were booked for some of the honored guests.
Now, I've gotta tell you, I get pretty easily horned up over a nice hotel room. Something about two huge, firm beds with crisp sheets and big pillows, and deep, immaculate, shag pile carpeting, ....a brand new sofa on one side, and a spotlessly large bathroom full of thick towels on the other. A force of nature, it appeals inexorably to the shameless sybarite lurking just beneath my polished surface.
...but these rooms were something else, luxurious to an extreme. In these suites, the bathrooms by themselves are nearly the size of a normal hotel room -- the common, mid-level kind which I find so alluring. Of course, once you leave the bathroom in your heavy, gratis, terry-cloth bathrobe, there are the obligatory French doors opening onto perfect and discrete balconies and verandas, ....complete with dewy highballs and bright multi-colored sunbrellas. It's like totally (dude) out of some old William Holden movie about the fabled decadent high life in Paris.
...but, the ticket on these kinds of digs invariably runs from several hundreds, up to several thousands of dollars .....a night! Well, call me plebeian, but I don't think I could ever enjoy myself registered in one of these outfits ....at least not if I was paying the tab.
Sure. At some point, for the very wealthy, price becomes no object -- but if I had that kind of dough, I would probably spend a couple nights at a nice little Sheraton, while I bought myself a mint convertable '69 Caddy or an outrageous, gold encrusted Rolex with the difference.
...Well, ....maybe not. If I had that kind of money, I'd already have all that other shiat ....Sorry for thinking so small.
...clicking through a few more channels, I pause to watch footage of George Bush debark with his wife from the big White House helicopter. The guy steps down and snaps off an insouciant little half salute at no one in particular, and then appears to sneak a furtive glance behind him to see if anyone noticed. I can't get over it! Bush's demeanor reminds me of the wide-eyed wonderment incredulously worn by the "challenged" kid just nominated as hall monitor by the 1st grade teacher [Ms. Brae en'Wausher].
Maybe I'm just getting older and wiser(?), but really, ....couldn't the big corporate military/industrialist, string-pulling powerbroker types choose a more convincing executive figurehead than George Bush?
Maybe it has been years since Bush hit the old nose candy and pounded down the Southern Comforts, ....but damned, ....doesn't he look exactly like an old-fashioned party animal on a tear everytime he breaks into his quizzical, smirking, little chuckle? No offense to George, ....as just another person. He seems like a guy you might not mind having along on a fishing trip. He just isn't particularly "Presidential."
Come to think of it, save for Reagan and JFK, most recent presidents looked like shiat. Sad truth is, appearances aside, we really haven't had a decent president since Andy Jackson left in 1837, ....or, if you prefer, since Monroe in 1825.
...as I considered presidents in general, I began to think of their names as they related to their historical legacies. Take Dick Nixon, for example. He resigned in disgrace and scandal, eternally etched in millions of memories as the nervous face with the 5 o'clock shadow and the sweaty lip beneath his shifty eyes and cartoon nose. He was screwed before he started. What kind of fucking name is Dick Nixon for a president, anyway? Wrong.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
...and Jimmy Carter? Much too plebeian, a more suitable name for a, um,....peanut farmer?? And Jerry Ford....? Wrong. Ford is the name of an automobile.
Better presidential names are Dwight David Eisenhower, ...or Ronald Reagan. Much more mellifluous without being overly pretentious.
Now, all the free-lunchers are asking about Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Nope. More unctious than mellifluous, tending towards the monarchial. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
How about Ulysses S. Grant ....U.S. Grant. Now here's a name! Mythically Greek and flag-draped Uncle Sam, all rolled up into one! An absolutely great presidential name, ....shiat president, though.
...and the perfect presidential name? George Washington, of course. Singularly unique, but not over done. Just the right mix between country and class, a decent soul by all accounts. (Note: Race baiting will not be tolerated regarding the hero Washington ...I would wager most modern Washington's are Blacks whose families are proud to bear the name)
...I continued to click through the channels, seeming to stop at every other one ....assorted all-war, all-the-time, cable news outfits, with another smoldering, dark-eyed blond invariably perched at the anchor desk. These productions are specifically designed to suck in any unwary, middle-aged, channel-surfing adolescents who just might happen to wander by.
I have repeatedly addressed this subject in previous blusters, but the fact remains, the universal "SEX SELLS" maxim easily predates television and film, and probably all of recorded history, ....much more so my own disorderly discourses. Modern tv news and entertainment networks have merely perfected the ancient strategy of subtle allure.
They perfected it by eliminating the "subtle" part.
Employing such blatantly sexual sirens as Faith Daniels, Leeza Gibbons, Elizabeth Vargas, Jane Skinner, Sophia Choi, Daisy Fuentes, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and a host of other freakish beauties too numerous to mention, they slyly entice an unsuspecting audience to endure otherwise uncompelling drivel.
Look no further than The Early Show for a text book example of this phenomenon. CBS desperately needs the blisteringly sensuous (they're pudding, baby!), one-two combination punch of Julie Chen and Jane Clayson, to overcome the powerfully noxious liability of boorish Bryant Gumbel.
...You may tune to your local channels to see the next generation of national sex bomb broadcasters-in-training. The lyrically named Shannon Moss, regular weekend anchor at our local tv affiliate, has been on the air for a good while now. When she started, I was hardly enamored with her gaunt, nearly wraith-like features and her unruly, stringy reddish hair.
Several months and many "News Centers" later, I tune in compulsively to phantasize about running my fingers through her sexy curls and licking her perfectly chiseled and arrayed, ivory white teeth. It's fucking insidious!
I can almost understand and empathise with the epidemic legions of modern day celebrity stalkers and rapists. There, but for the Grace of God -- and a mere increment more of civility and restraint -- go I.
...in the "Hottest new seductress in show business" category, the award goes to newcomer, Alicia Keyes. Although climbing into the spotlight as a captivating and talented musical force, this luscious goddess-like beauty would have been a shoe-in as a global mega-model or a big star network newsreader.
....and finally, my clicker stopped on a movie of fairly recent vintage, Grumpy Old Men, with Walter Mathau, Jack Lemon, and good old Burgess Meredith ("You coulda been a contendah!"). Actually, the film is not that recent, ....all three protagonists are currently dead.
The bit I jotted down in my little notebook seemed particularly relevant in a personal way as I rapidly approach the 50th anniversary of my own humble birth on this planet.
The scene shows old Meredith advising the younger Lemon that he should grab for the gusto, and seize every precious moment of sweet life. Carpe Diem, Brother! Then, in perhaps the best line in any movie ever, the crusty old Meredith earnestly tells Lemon,
"You know, ....the first 90 years go by just like that! (snapping his fingers) ...I mean, ....one day you wake up and you realize that you're not 81 anymore!"
Then, with a whistful, far-away gaze, Meredith softly grumbles,
"..And all of a sudden, all you have left are the experiences ....the experiences!"
The unnerving accuracy of his outwardly humorous assessment hit me deep in the heart as I realized its frighteningly truthful and stark poignance. I lie around sloth-like, a bad caricature in washed-out saggy briefs and nylon stockings, watching non-stop snippets of fresh, unnatural beauties on the small screen, while obliviously cultivating an increasing girth and a glut of whitening body hair. I have suddenly experienced what I might in reflection consider, a minor "mid-life crisis."
Yes, ...I entertained the alarming doubt that I would never again, in this life, conquer young, gorgeous hard-bellies, as I did in more youthful days long passed.
...but enough of this April foolishness, dear Reader. If you have gotten this far I shall close, lest I weary your benevolent ears. Should I hear from only one amongst you a solitary encouraging word, I would fain attempt to pleasure you again anon.
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