Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

June 29, 2009

Just in Case You Doubt the Betrayal of the Iranian Freedom Struggle by Jacko-Obsessed Media

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 5:23 am

For those skeptical of my last post, take a look at thisimportant piece on the question by Benjamin Sarlin of The Daily Beast on the way moronic Jacko coverage, especially by the electronic media has made the attempt by the courageous resisters in Iran to get their story out (and probably save some lives because the eyes of the world will be on them) much more difficult. Note that it quotes experts on both right and left agreeing about this. Spencer Ackerman: (link in Beast post): “I think we can agree that the Iranian regime benefits from the media’s rush to memorialize, explore and reflect upon Michael Jackson and his legacy.”

Of course it’s not just the media’s fault, as Sarlin’s piece points out; it’s media consumers–particularly tv viewers who skew what networks and cable cover– who feed on Jacko garbage, and Twitter airheads too, gobbling up bandwith vital to the opposition in Iran. Why not declare a Day Without Stupid Jacko Tweets. People are being murdered over there and all you care about is tweeting about “The Gloved One”?

June 28, 2009

The Shame of it All: Michael Jackson Wipes Out Iran Scrutiny

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 7:20 am

Years from now this moment will become the defining tragic symbol of the bankruptcy of media culture that no bailout will cure. It’s too late. For all we know it might be a defining tragic turning point in actual, geopolitical history as well, as the insanely stupid and useless Michael Jackson coverage starved of oxygen what hope was left for the Iranian resistance by blotting it out from the screens and scrutiny of the world.

The whole world is watching…”Billy Jean”.

Nothing could illustrate the triumph of the publicity-industrial-complex (a phrase I coined, by the way) over the fate of real people fighting for their freedom who will now be beaten, tortured and murdered with impunity, at least in part because the media took its collective eye off Iran to give us endless clips of the MJ freak show.

Would it have made a difference in Iran? Maybe not.The fascist theocrats would probably have triumphed anyway, but the impact of the opposition would have been greater, its future more hopeful. The spectacle of brutality might have hounded the regime like the photos of the police dogs did the racist cops of Bermingham, Alabama in the civil rights revolution. But we’ll never know.

I’m not a prudish opponent of “sensationalism”. But if the media can’t see that the events in Iran are genuinely sensational as opposed to fake sensational, that “Neda” is more important than “Billy Jean”, that they don’t necessarily have to be opposed choices, but in this case, by an accident of timing, they were— then….oh forget it.

The whole thing’s disgusting.

June 27, 2009

Heresy: Michael Jackson Wasn't That Good After He Left The Jackson Five

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 4:07 am

I know this is heresy, blasphemy to the gods of the publicity industrial complex who created and destroyed the later Michael Jackson.

But I’ve let a day pass since his awful death before saying this: after the completely wonderful Jackson Five era, Michael Jackson was no longer a very interesting singer, not after he left the collaborative genius of the J-5. He became known for his dancing (wow, the moonwalk, really memorable!), for his stupid costumes (what was with the whole militaristic thing? And was the glove really all that interesting or distinctive in any way?), for one or two good songs (“Human Nature” or whatever it was officially called) and “Thriller” wasn’t one of them. Come on, do you really think that novelty concoction is worth another listen ever? (Okay I liked “Billy Jean” even though I still misremember the key lyric as “the chair is not my love”)

Then after the success of his solo comeback, fueled by nostalgia and moonwalking eccentricity, he became known for being a celebrity, famous for being famous, then famous for his eccentricities. Eccentricities that were at first harmless (Bubbles the chimp, etc.), then famous for being weird (“Neverland” the boy-pals), famous for his grotesque plastic surgeries, then famous for being an accused child-molester, acquitted of criminal charges but never able to quit the children. Then he became famous for his famous associations–buying the Beatles catalog and doing that hideously sappy “The Girl is Mine”* with Paul McCartney,”marrying” Lisa Marie Presley, etc. Famous for his famously annoying sisters. Famous for anointing himself “King of Pop” when he no longer could produce a decent pop song. And yet the idiot pop media went along with it, He was the King of Trainwreck Celebrity.

But as for his music? Can you name a single post-“Thriller” song he did?

Sorry. He and the Jackson Five created something magical. “I’ll Be There” is an immortal love song, sublimely beautiful in its simplicity. I’ll remember him with gratitude for that and the rest of the J-5 hits, and try to forget the trainwreck he became.

But in the “moronic inferno” (h/t Martin Amis) of the media “mourning” let’s not forget the real tragedy, that he long ago ceased being a talent and gave in to being a mere celebrity, the sure road to ruin.

*thanks for reader correction.

June 24, 2009

Don't Tell Anyone, You Might Ruin It, But….

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 11:12 am

…it’s interesting to see the way both Left and Right and all those in between have, with the exception of a few crackots on either side, come toegther, in spirit at leas,t to support the courageous opposition to fascist theocracy in Iran.

Yes, there are differences, some say Obama should have been spredier to condemn. I tend to think that he was being cautious, in not allowing the Iranian opposiition to be discredited internally and in the Muslim world as pawns of the U.S.

Maybe this caution was a misjudgement, I’m not sure anyone can say so with confidence. But right now the entire spectrum of usually warring ideologues–except for those who feel the need to be partisan over any other emotion–are on the same page.

It doesn’t mean that will accomplish anything, and it shouldn’t be a surprize that the jackbooted thugs of theocracy aren’t drawing a lot of support. But maybe we should savor small moments of unity, communion even.

Of course I’m sure i’ll get more deranged hatemail for suggesting this than for anything else, most of it I’ll wager from the ususal anonymous cowards hiding behind their screennames. But maybe not. Maybe they’ll take courage from the students of Terhan and boldly, oh so boldly, use their own names. I know you can do it guys! Taste the freedom that people fight and die for.

"You Light Up My Life": Shouldn't Craigslist Post a List…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 8:45 am

…of the crimes and scams their advertisers are alleged to have committed? Just the major felonies, say. Like this one involving multiple sexual assault charges against the composer of “You Light Up My Life”. He’s accused of using Craigslist ads to lure young women from the West Coast to New York so that he could help make them “stars”–and then attacking them.

You would think that no one is delusive enough to travel across the country on the basis of a Craigslist come-on, but obviously too many already are. Doesn’t Craigslist have a responsiblity to warn to at least listthe kinds of come ons use by those facing felony charges arising from their website’s use? Because obviously some of these people are putting trust in the benevolence of the Craigslist “community” aren’t they?

Just asking.

June 22, 2009

Jarvis Watch (9): Nothing to Say About the Craigslist Sewer, Jeff?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 2:35 pm

After all this time dancing on the graves of newspapers gutted by Craigslist free classifieds, are you still happy with what it’s turning out to be, Jeff? Still dancing like a clown? Still plugging what Gawker has characterized as a virtual cesspool that (unintentionally of course) gives the dregs of humanity who wish to commit murder, rape, and other lesser crimes a vehicle for their anonymous stalking? Still simplemindedly celebrating the fact it’s free! Because it hastens the death of print?

As Gawker recently summarized the latest Craigslist news:

“Craigslist killer” Philip Markoff was arraigned on grand-jury charges that include first-degree murder, robbery and two counts of armed kidnapping. As if Craigslist users needed another reason to feel jumpy.

It seems every day brings more stories that help paint the listings website as a cesspool of scams, killers and sexual exploitation. Here’s just a random smattering of the coverage from the past week or so:

Queens woman allegedly rents same apartment to seven people via Craigslist (NY Post)
Woman reports buying fake tickets to Chesney (Fargo Inforum)
Two busted in Craigslist hooker scam (NY Daily News)
Nebraska Mom Attempts to Sell Her 18-Month-Old on Craigslist (AP)
Hawaii Craigslist Sex Ring Busted; Woman

But at least it’s free! And free is always an unmitigated good in your half baked “eco-system” right Jeff? (Jeff is very big on dignifying his simulacrum of futurism ideas with profound sounding words like “eco-system”). And the anonymity craigslist offers to the citizens and criminals always good, right Jeff–murderers , rapists and thieves all prefer it to using their real names in prepping for their onlinecrimes..

And so a free anonymous service must be doubly good and the fact that it punishes all the journalists you blame for not forseeing the popularity of the “sewer” you applaud, must make you triply happy.

I’m not suggesting censorship, by the way. I’m just wondering if it troubles your conscience at all. Or are you already working on your next suck-up book What Would Craigslist Do?

Or is your mind complex enough to handle irony, the irony that the free listings service that killed newspaers might have a downside to it? That the future isn’t always an unmitigated good just because it’s the future.

Maybe you’ve already lamented the murders and rapes and robberies on your favorite print-killling listings service, Jeff, and I just missed it. Maybe you’ve put some serious second thought into the matter and you just haven’t yet committed it to print, sorrry, the web. Will the Craigslist-related crimes be a featured part of the “new busines models” you’re going to be teaching the sadly you’vegullible j-school students at City University who pay to hear you bloviate? Or will you continue to shill for Craigslist?

How did you feel when you read about the woman who offered to sell baby clothes on Craig’s and then showed up at the house of a woman in her late pregnancy, killed her, carved her unborn child out of her to steal it for her own and was caught with the dead baby? Did it give you the same kind of feeling you get when a newspaper dies?

And please don’t tell me there was no connection between the online nature of the transaction that allowed anonymity or pseudonym-anonymity. You champions of anonymity on the web: do you fee proud about what one of your kind accomplished?

Please tell me you’re human enough to have some second thoughts about this eighth wonder of the world you so simplistically championed against print, Jeff. Then go back, if you still can, to dancing on the graves that Craigslist dug.

June 21, 2009

CNN's Shocking Suck-Up to Iran's Fascists

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 4:52 am

I couldn’t believe it when I read it, but here it is, as it appeared on the CNN website, as an introduction to an essay by Fareed Zakaria:

“The decisive margin of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in elections last week stunned many observers and angered his opponents’ supporters, who in the ensuing days took to the streets in protest by the hundreds of thousands.”

That’s right, with NO qualification–and no evidence, and no shame–CNN declares victory for Ahmadinejad by “a decisive margin” and makes it sound like the courageous people of Iran who are even now being murdered on the streets were just sore losers.

Hey, anyone awake there at CNN? Or was this a deliberate kow-tow to the Supreme Leader. Nobody knows what the “margin” was in the election, who won or how “decisive” it was. Or did you feel compelled to accept the fascist regime’s line that it was “divinely certified” in order to maintain your good relations with the murderers in power?

How about some editing: “The decisive margin of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory–a result announced by the dictatorship before a large portion of the ballots could have been counted–stunned many observers who raised doubts about its validity and angered opponents who took to the streets to demonstrate peacefully–where they are now being beaten and murdered by thugs from the fascist theocracy.”

I think CNN should issue a correction or live forever in the journalistic hall of shame.

June 17, 2009

"Song to Woody": Dylan's breakthrough.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 12:00 pm

So I spent an evening talking to a Bob Dylan class run by Bob Levin at the 92nd Street Y and it was a lot of fun–people are still curious about the interview I did with Dylan in which he rhapsodized about the sound he’d been seeking, “that thin, that wild merucry sound”. There was a lively discussion, moderated by Jon Friedman and Bob Levin, of many other Dylan issues as well. Anyway, preparing for it I discovered once again what a mystery Dylan was/is.

I did something I hadn’ t done for a million years. I listened to Dylan’s first album Bob Dylan, from beginning to end. Thirteen songs, 12 or them negligable material–and one song, if not immortal than at least awe-inspiring, awesome. It’s the next the last song on the album, which makes it all the more surprizing since you have to put up with 11 ho-hum imersonations of blues singers, impersonaltions of other folkies, covers of old chesnuts.

And then there’s “Song to Woody”, so beautiful, pure, hypnotic, mesmerizing. You could play it all day long (which is what I did using the CD repeat function) and not get tired.

And I’m not even a big fan of Woody Guthrie. The melody Dylan took from him for this song (from some coal mining disaster lament) is just about the only Guthrie melody I’m really fond of and I can’t stand banjo playing, I’m almost allergic to it, and I associate it with Guthrie. . Why has no one remarked that Dylan has mercifully spared us the banjo for the most part in his work. Not enough has been written about that–nor about his killer harmonica work.

Anyway, as I was saying, 12 of the 13 songs on this first abum are just not memorable to me (I’ve always been a fan of electric Dylan anyway). No hint of genius.

But then in “Song to Woody” there’s Dylan no longer impersonating tired folkie riffs. He’s at last being himself, or impersonating hiself. You never know. this one next to last song, this one writen by Dylan himself this one called “Song to Woody” that suddenly soars, enters into your heart and soul with it’s beauty, it’s authencity,it’s generosity, its love. He had found his voice paying tribute to another voice, not disguising himself in another voice.

I bet you haven’t listened to it in years if ever. Check it out and tell me what you think.

June 11, 2009

The Vicious Hatred For Obama is Becoming Worrisome, Especially…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 11:24 am

… when viewed in the light of the two recent murders by right wing fanatics.

Spare me any comments to the effect that I don’t know the difference between dissent and murder. I do. And I disapprove of the government making value judgments on political opinions on civil liberties grounds (the Homeland Security Dept’s report). And don’t try to saddle me with cries committed by Leftists. I’m an anti-Marist liberal. I don’t engage in subliterate hate-speech the way so many anonymous commenters here do. That’s the problem I’ve been trying to point out in several recent posts: anonyous comenters suffeing fro cyber disinhibition are creating a toxic and erhas dangerous culture that can whip themselves into lynchob frenzy and eventualy…who knows.

The problem is that judging from the comments here, we have already got to a point where there is very little dissent–in the sense of reasoned political arguments–but a vast torrent of vicious abuse and insult, sputtering, mostly anonymous, abuse that is the substitute those without an ability to reason articulately use. And a culture of verbal violence can create the conditions for non verbal violence.

Your hatred for Obama–he can do nothing right, he is a man with evil designs–is nothing short of patholgical

And one without much of sense of humor. Tell me do you really get off on the “joke” of caling Obama “The One”, or “Nobama” still. any of you? Witty! Infantile name-calling such a sohisticated form of political discourse.

For a good majority of the commenters, for “coment thread conservatives” as Peggy Noonan called them, there is only one side, they can only hold one idea in their head at a time, it seems. Obama bad! Everything he does bad. A sohisticated argument which is advanced by labored witless attempts to make fun of Barack Obama for everything from his name to his race.

While I was one of the first to denounce Bush Derangement Syndrome on the Left, Obama Deragement Syndrome has gotten more extreme, often verbally violent and thuggish. I see this in the comments to any favorable mention of the President, especialy from the legion of cowardly anonyous absuers among the commenters, most of whom I suspect can’t stand the fact Obama is manifestly smarter than they are.

Fitzgerald once said the sign of a first rate intellect was the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in it at the same time. Obama Derangement Syndrome types not only have second or third rate minds by this definition, they are consumed by irrational hatred unable to conceive of the possibility that they can disagree with his politics without spewing hatred for his person.

It is the personal nature of the hatred whih is troubling. Obama Derangement Types are getting more and more verbally violent, they are creating a culture which has the potential to encourage some disorderly minds to go beyond verbal violence, alas. For them, clearly not well read in history, Obama has become not just a Presdient from the other party, duly elected by the people, however much they disagee or voted otherwise. No, he is some malign spirit, the devil incarnate, they are no longer intellectually able, if they ever were, to make a political argument. It’s just hate, hate, hate, insult, insult and more hate. Check it out, you few rational opponents of Obama who post here. Do you really want to be associated with the ugly thuggish verbal violence of Obama haters? One day you’ll turn on the television and regret you didn’t speak out for reason and moderation.

June 8, 2009

Give Obama–and Chicago Politics…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 3:46 pm

…a little credit for the Lebanese election outcome. I realize many of you whose reading is, shall we say, circumscribed, may be unaware of just how important Hezbollah’s failure (at least so far) to take over Lebanon is in making a nuclear war less likely in the Middle East, but take my word for it. Sure they’re still a power, but–as of Sunday’s election results–they don’t rule the way they expected to: it’s a game changing psychological blow. It means, for one thing, Israel can be marginally a little less trigger happy over Iran (Hezbolllah’s sponsor) , it won’t have to feel surrounded on three sides, and though not much, that could make the difference between a nuclear war and none.

And why did Hezbollah, a murdering terrorist bunch who blew up the American Marine barracks in Lebanon in the ’80s and haven’t stopped murdering and assassinating people of all faiths since and heavily favored just a week ago to win power in Lebanon, fail?

Let’s ask that Obama-worshipping paper the Wall Street Journal why::

“A number of factors could have impacted the vote, including higher than expected turnout. Mr. Obama’s speech in Cairo last week may have made a difference. Hezbollah official were quick to dismiss the speech, but many Muslims said it struck a chord for moderation.” And the election was close so it had to be a factor.

Can’t you see: it’s Chicago politics! When to schedule the Cairo speech? Hey how about a week before Lebanon votes. Game changer in the Middle East.

I have some problems with the speech, but this is what I figured Obama would be able to do, so why not let him do it. He’s just chalked up one win for the good guys at the expense of some anodyne words you can nitpick to death, but which got results. The guy’s a player, don’t underestimate him. Or the genius of Chicago — even on the world stage.

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