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LIONEL PODCAST: The United States of the Easily Offended

The choke pear or pear of anguish is the modern name for a type of instrument displayed in museums, consisting of a metal body (usually pear-shaped) divided into spoon-like segments that could be spread apart by turning a screw. The museum descriptions and some recent sources assert that the devices were used either as a gag, to prevent people from speaking, or internally (let that marinate in your head for a while) as an instrument of unspeakable torture. Today, censorship from thought vigilantes has replaced this instrument.

It’s not the opinion but who says it. First, conventional geriatric, Jurassic, ossified and fossilized news media better realize that there’s a news explosion. And if you want to stick to the Cronkite model and that Berlin Wall of news versus commentary approach, you’re toast. Besides it’s not that commentary is verboten in news, it’s what and which commentary. To wit, if a reporter opines that a shooting was the result of yet another failure in gun laws or mindlessly trumpets bogus war data as the New York Times did anent Iraq, no sweat, no problem. It’s farcical to think that either a rhyme or reason exists to explain these rules.

Love Is A Mental Illness

Love is a battlefield. Love is also an OCD disease, albeit wonderful. It invades the heart and soul and preoccupies you initially and it can destroy and ruin lives. When potentiated by sex it can be even more disastrous. It’s killed more people, destroyed more lives, inspired more murder than any drug or chemical known. And it’s its lethality that draws us. It’s a force that’s fueled by cortical attraction. The brain centers of judgement and possession. Humans don’t have estrus or heat cycles, we’ve connections and associations. Primordial and atavistic booby traps that are triggered by cues and stimuli we can’t even imagine. It’s dangerous stuff.

Love transforms. I couldn’t imagine not being married to my wife and can’t remember life as being worth remembering before her. But it’s a functional, reciprocating love. It’s not mired in jealousy or distrust or steamer trunk emotional baggage. We’re also not kids. And therein lies a big problem. It’s believed that the human brain doesn’t stop growing until the age of 17. With that are the miles of neurons and synapses and microconnections, not to mention hormones, neurotransmitters and the immaculate voodoo of life. Love can potentiate a world of hurt to the already unsettled foundation that is normal mentation. So be very, very careful.

Fran Lebowitz perhaps said it best.

Romantic love is mental illness. But it’s a pleasurable one. It’s a drug. It distorts reality, and that’s the point of it. It would be impossible to fall in love with someone that you really saw.

The fog of love. That’s a fascinating concept. Someone you really saw. Something like the love is blind idea. The notion that you can’t see what’s in front on you. It’s camouflaged or occluded by love. The haze and fog of love. Almost like it’s an illusion

Marriage is the leading cause of divorce. Laugh all you want, Sparky, this is serious and not a joke. From Romeo and Juliet to Fatal Attraction to O.J. And Nicole to Adam and what’s her name, love destroys and devastates. It’s serious stuff.

And we love it. Now her comes the sermon.

The Fundamental American Con of Voting and Choice

“The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.” St. George the Prophet

Are you saying what I think you’re saying? Listen and read carefully. I’m saying unequivocally that voting — and I’ll make it easy by sticking with national and federal elections — is a complete and absolute waste of time. Have you ever seen those kiddie can seats that as equipped with a steering wheel? Baby thinks she’s driving. It’s pacifying. It cements the illusion of control. The same baby when crying can be distracted by jiggling keys. As young folks we run for student council. Why? Primarily to suck up and play the obeisant and obsequious, fawning ass kisser, the bootlick and toady. Padding the old c.v. But we sorta believed that there was a bit of power in these make-believe tribunals. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-REPEAT. Do you see any difference? You shouldn’t. Because there is none. Not in the least. AL or NL. It’s still baseball. Two sides of the same phony coin. Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. McDonald’s of Burger King. Do you think these are choices? Viable, actual, real, palpable ad tenable choices? That’s the illusion.

It’s a work. Look, take my city New York. It voted in Bill de Blasio because of his son’s Afro. I swear that’s the only reason I can figure other than Weiner imploding and Quinn, well, who knows. As New York braces for an LIRR rail strike Friday, Billy’s off to Italia despite the potentially critical and crippling political optics. Cue Mario PerilloThat’s why I always vote for me.

I always vote for me. I voted for Obama the first time. I bought into the con. And look, I mean McCain-Palin?! Say no more. But I was conned. Barry was the biggest sellout and disappointment bar none. Wall Street loved him. Globalists loved him. And Obamacare? Written by the insurance industry. How beautiful is that? These guys make the Gambino crime family look like the Junior League. And with his trained barking seals in the Ted Baxter sock puppet media promoting the con, it was beautiful if it wasn’t so deceptive. So, after Obama I write my name in for all general elections. Mayor, POTUS, Governor? Me. Lionel. That’s my vote and I know what I’m getting. I do vote, St. George notwithstanding. I just vote for me.

The Thought Vigilantes Strike Again

“If you believe that your thoughts originate inside your brain, do you also believe that television shows are made inside your television set?” (Warren Ellis)

Well, now you’ve done it! This is Sean Bergin. For reasons that no one will ever know he decided at the end of his report to opine that the reason for crime is overlooked and ignored. To wit: “The underlying cause for all of this, of course: Young black men growing up without fathers,” he argued. “Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.”

Causation. This is a critical issue for me. I’m a stickler when it comes to causation versus correlation. You can’t blend, merge and confuse the two. They’re absolutely different concepts. Marihuana doesn’t cause heroin addition but most addicts started out twisting a fatty. Italian-Americans comprise the LCN but most are not in the Mafia. You know the drill.

A swing and a miss. To be sure, the general subject of crime encompasses a host of contributory factors, but causal? That’s a tough one to prove so let’s get this out of the way. Fatherlessness doesn’t cause crime. Marriage doesn’t cause divorce.

The thoughts are anything but extreme. But you’ve invariably lived under a rock if you’ve never heard a number of African-American notables opine anent the destruction of many the urban family. Bill Cosby has railed against it as well as Alvin Poussaint, Thomas Sowell, Cornel West or Oprah (who discusses the very subject here), just to name a noble few. Now, ask yourself what would happened in the same point was advanced by Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell or Dr. Ben Carson, what would be the result? And whether the rule is that one must be a member of a particular demographic to weigh in on said demo, whether he must be credentialed and degreed or, in the case of news outlets, opinions other than what a beautiful day it is are eschewed — who knows? The point is that most probably out of the Pavlovian and patellar response to anyone suggesting a racial component to a societal concern, some corporate type said no way and decided to reel in Bergin whilst they assessed the problem, damage and exposure. That’s the corporate M.O. The drill, the game plan.

Correct or explain. Don’t apologize. Don’t expect a rational approach such as a correction versus an apology. That ain’t gonna happen because that today would take elephantine huevos, guts and a backbone. Why just just announce that the reporter misspoke if he in fact did or cite a study or acknowledged opinion indicating that you didn’t pull this hypothesis or theory out of your arse on the fly. And can you honestly tell me that suggesting that there are paternity permanency issues in the Black Community is far-fetched? Why must it be construed as racist? When population demos show higher rates of hypertension and diabetes, we nod respectfully. You can’t wear your epidemiology badge without singling out populations by region and demo. So, please, assuming arguendo that Bergin’s statements were true or based on some data, why is its mention a suspending or firing offense?

Thought vigilantes. Note that I don’t refer to the thought police. Police are somewhat more organized. Theoretically. No, the thought vigilante is the problem. The self-appointed neighborhood watch crowd who polices on their own. And please don’t tell me that corporations have the right to fire an employee. For Chrissakes, Sparky, we know. But we get off on it. It somehow at times makes some of use feel better. Superior. More sentient and with it and aware. Instead of the thought vigilante. Which they are.

My Favorite Mispronunciations

No, wait. Lest you think ill of me or think this is some gratuitous reference to shock and incite, there’s actually a funny and true story around this that makes the point.

A friend’s mother had a most demonstrative Cuban accent. As is the case with the Spanish pronunciation, words that end in -ts ofttimes are pronounced as -s. You can see where this is going.

The story. On a crowded puddle jumper, small plane, pre-9/11 era, she implored the male flight attendant for “penis”! In fact as she explained, she hadn’t had a penis since Minneapolis. He looked down at his black garbage bag of apples and crackers (think criminal economy class) and thought this is going to be a tall order. I mean, he probably thought this mile high club was a myth. And the brazen demand for his man fixture!

So, imagine an entire plane getting sound both quiet instanter. And further imagine their relief when I stood up and announced to the horrified cabin that she wanted peanuts! I detail the story in my book.

Ah, the joy of language.

It’s more than priggish. There’s a side effect to precision. If you care about how words are pronounced you must also cringe when such is errant. And there’s so much to cringe about. Not to mention there are ranges of incorrectness from the cacoepy to the metathesis to regionalistic patois. Oh, the joy of language.

Pathological Self-Centered Narcissists & Selfies

Narcissistic personality disorder is a pervasive disorder characterized by self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and an exaggerated sense of self-importance and is seen every day by the organically pathetic who utilize social media to remind themselves that they exist, they’re important and beautiful and/or sexy and/or hot.

Look at me! When children develop they integrate their world with their person. How they’re connected and how they fit into their environment. The parietal lobe is a critical component in this integration. Then children connect to the world through play and attention and this cements the notion that they’re rooted and tethered to reality. That they exist and that they’re seen.

I poop therefore I am. The first time that kids hit the stage is when they control their bowels and enter the arena of the potty-trained. Why? Well, first and foremost is the attention and praise for exerting control. You controlled, you mastered and now a round of applause is in order. The circuitry is cemented. Applause. Clap for baby. Attention. In some that transmutes into clapping for another locus of control. Attraction, sexuality and power with concomitant control. But attractiveness in our evanescent world, where beauty and worth have shelf lives, must also be reminded and reinforced. Prior to social media and the smartphone camera and the immediate posting and uploading of gratification, you were lucky if you had a mirror and a healthy imagination. No more. It’s all here, my friend. Say cheese, all you Kardashians in waiting, wave at the monkey food exhibitionists, we’ve a high tech method to potentiate your incessant need golf approval.

Am I still here? The narcissist requires constant reaffirmation of not only presence but criticality and importance. Narcissism has as other subdirectories: vanity, self-aggrandizement and a pathetic need to be constantly reminded that they’re here and also — in so many cases — attractive, sexy and the elusive hot. Enter social media and the selfie. The go-to source for reaffirmation and a reminder that you’re still here. You never disappeared. Say cheese.

Psychology professor Jean Twenge noted in “It’s a Narcissism Enabler” notes the following.

In sum: Narcissism clearly leads to more social media use, social media use leads to positive self-views, and people who need a self-esteem boost turn to social media. It is less clear whether social media directly causes narcissism, at least in the short term. With narcissists having more friends and posting more frequently, however, social media sites are clearly influenced by those high in narcissism at a rate higher than their fair share. And that’s just the way they like it.


Bitching & Moaning In 3/4 Time

“Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.” The Duke

The beloved meme. hive me the meme, the theme, the angle, that’s all I need. In this contribution, please find the immaculate miscellany. Appearances and thoughts, ideations and observations.

Reality is like a card store. You go to the section for the thought and feeling you want. We look to be affirmed, bolstered and reassured. We just want to have our worldview validated and ratified. That’s all. And that’s why I’m here. To destroy myth and obliterate political folklore. I smash consciousness into smithereens. Or something.

You’re welcome.

This was a fascinating concept in television. While the format may seem familiar the delivery platform of HuffPost Live was anything but. Extremely interactive and participatory; this is the template.

Kvetch 22. I love to complain. The indictment. The bill of particulars. The gravamen of my discontent. Let’s face it, who wants to hear an exhaustive list of smiley smiley crap. Let’s cringe in union.

I join the inimitable Errol Louis and Gerson Borrero. New York speed, New York paced on NY1. The institution. Subbing for my old pal, Curtis “Rock Sliwa. This is a New York mainstay.

Lionel Podcast: Mind Crack and Thought Candy

Me as I want. This is my podcast. There are none like it but this is mine. And it’s not free. Nothing’s free. But it will never be cancelled by impuissant corporate types or the rantings and ravings of the criminally stupid free speech scaredy cats and thought vigilantes. It’s without an F-bomb or expletive. It could play on any afternoon drive slot. As to cleanliness. But not to subject matter. You can’t say this. Or like this.

Build a better mousetrap. In this rendition I speak from the heart for 60.5 minutes. Straight. No break. No interruption. Free form, stream of heightened consciousness. Can you dig that? Can you handle that? No commercials, time checks, station ID. Nada. Hyper-personal. Directed.

Like yelling theater in a crowded fire. Take a good look. I’ve been podcasting for years and it’s truly nonpareil if find correctly. You’re going to see a lot more of this form. But it’ll never replace radio. Spoken word radio, I mean. (The most stupid phrase. Of course it’s spoken word. What? As opposed to written word?!) Music radio’s another story, but that’s not my bag. No, this will complement terrestrial or satellite.

You’re welcome. But don’t ever underestimate its power. Or its ubiquity.

The Second Amendment Explained: They’re Coming for Your Gun, Sparky!

You see little sister don’t miss when she aims her gun. Janie’s got a gun. Her whole world’s come undone. From lookin’ straight at the sun. What did her daddy do? Mary stole some money. And she got herself a gun. Then she shot her man down. Now she’s on the run. (Three songs, three ideas, one theme.)

Sure as shootin’. I don’t care if you like guns, shoot guns, fear guns, hate guns. Don’t matter, Sparky. I don’t care whether you like the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth, First or Eighth. These are our rights and they’re going nowhere. And while I’m not a gun nut as the prototypical archetypal professional left would call them, I believe in what they mean. Better yet, what our forebears thought.

“Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

Remember this name. One of my favorite antecedent Americans was Tench Coxe, who, writing as “the Pennsylvanian” in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 1788, noted the following. And pay particular note that it was written at a time that was near in time to the origin of the country when it was fresh in their minds.

The power of the sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for the powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from 16 to 60. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress has no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.

Now, the rudiments. It’s beyond and not subject to debate. It’s an absolute verity. There’s an absolute right to possess firearms. And I wholeheartedly suggest that you never get near the working end of a shootin’ iron, keep your powder dry, lock ‘n load, cocked and locked, ripped and stripped.

Lionel’s Tutorials: The Dread Conspiracy Theory

No one uses tin foil, we strictly prefer aluminum. Or aluminium, to my UK’ers. This is precisely the meme. This is exactly what the term conspiracy theory connotes or, more precisely, is designed to connote. It’s designed to refer to the paranoid and delusional, the pathologically frightened and unrealistically suspect, the psychologically disenfranchised. The loon, the nut, the emotional outlier. Wikipedia, as it does so unbelievably often, provides this fascinating review of the term.

Hoosegows are packed with conspirators. The term refers to cognizable law, a law that has resulted in scores of Americans arrested and incarcerated for a host of crimes they’ve conspired to commit. It’s been hijacked by the meme masters to spin and confuse. From the same guys who refer to illegal immigrants as refugees. Freedom fighters versus terrorists. Illegally seized foreigners as enemy combatants.

But first, a word about the term’s juridical and historical antecedents.

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. [18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States]

See, there are conspiracies that government repeatedly imprison for. But that’s not what we’re talking about.

Nonpareil brilliance. None other than one of my heroes Gore Vidal said inter alia the following on the dread conspiracy. I quote him incessantly and watch his YouTube masterpieces most often. Along with Carlin and Bill Hicks, we often mistook their entertainment factor as a disqualifier for prophet. Why? Because we conflate entertainment with frivolous irrelevance. I’ve always said that the editorial cartoon often speaks louder than the editorial. Word.

  • “Apparently, ‘conspiracy stuff’ is now shorthand for unspeakable truth.” [Source]
  • “It is an article of faith that there are no conspiracies in American life.” [Source]
  • “I’m not a conspiracy theorist—I’m a conspiracy analyst,” [Source]

The 10 minute tutorial. It’s critical that youre aware of the ploy and argument technique to lump and mischaracterize political reality as the red herring conspiracy theory. Funny, isn’t it, that gross incompetence is far more preferred as an explanation than the truth.