Remembering 2013, My Eighth Year Of Blogging (Part Two)

As Sophia Bush refused to admit beyond the “theoretical” that I was right about President Obama (and Lance Armstrong, for that matter), I had no problem hammering away at her lying, bullying “hero”.

In May, I sarcastically suggested a list of Songs To Ease President Obama’s Worried Mind as his Presidency began to crumble in the midst of so many political earthquakes.  Then, just days later, I posted Pussy In The White House, perhaps the most critical political poem ever put in this space.  The title had been around for ages (I had long hesitated to use it) but with so much internal rage boiling inside me over Obama’s personal betrayal of his own so-called liberal beliefs, and with his plans to make an important national security speech around that same time, I went for it.  In the midst of an intense, unrelated migraine, it took about 4 days to put together.

It hasn’t been seen by many but it proved influential.  Just a couple of weeks later, The Guardian and The Washington Post started publishing shocking stories about the NSA’s secret mass surveillance programs, thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaking of official documents.  As the story began to unfold, I came to a seemingly premature conclusion:  this scandal is The End Of Obama.

But as the spring transitioned into summer (and my dreaded migraine finally went away; thank you, Aleve), it was increasingly clear that Snowden was singlehandedly incinerating the President’s already shaky credibility.  Why The Obama Administration Is Scared Of Edward Snowden, Obama’s Latin American Insult A Clear Sign Of Growing Desperation, How Edward Snowden Destroyed The Obama Presidency and Why President Obama Can’t Distance Himself From The Growing NSA Scandal each expanded upon my original argument as more and more bombshell stories exposed the lies and blatant deception of his thoroughly corrupt administration.

Just before the NSA was put in the hot seat, Rolling Stone Magazine publicized an important United Nations report on Obama’s most controversial counter-terrorism policy:  drones.  I decided to highlight some of the more stunning revelations in Shocking Quotes From June 2013 Report On Obama’s Secret Drone War, a four-part series that I wish had been more widely viewed.

As 2014 arrives, all eyes are on the President’s decision regarding all those NSA recommendations from his handpicked advisory committee.  Based on his performance this year, it would be foolish to think that the die-hard mass surveillance fan will suddenly reverse course and make overdue changes with restrictions and new regulations.  Then again, I’ve been wrong many times before, so we’ll have to wait and see.  Intense public pressure would definitely make a difference here.

We’ll also be awaiting the fate of Justin Carter, a silly teenager who made a terribly unfunny Facebook comment and is facing serious criminal charges for it.  After a recent defense motion to dismiss the case was rejected, Carter, who, thanks to the kindness of an anonymous stranger is out on bail, is not yet out of the woods.  I wrote about his unfair dilemma in July.

Speaking of unfair, there was no justice for Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old shot and killed by George Zimmerman in a maddening case full of doubts, contradictions and poor press coverage.  But imagine how much worse it would’ve been if Martin, an African American, was Muslim instead.  I speculated that the reaction of the public would be far less angry based on the way this community continues to be treated in America alone.

You can’t say there wasn’t plenty of anger directed towards Paula Deen, the controversial Southern chef.  Sued by a former employee, a white woman, over sexual and racial harassment (which was quietly dismissed), the 66-year-old Food Network star couldn’t quite escape the admission she made about using the nastiest of all racial epithets, among other questionable decisions.  Despite a series of tearful apologies, she lost all her shows, her book deal and a number of her endorsements.  She has kept a low profile ever since.  Too bad it wasn’t for her longtime advocacy for fatty, unhealthy foods, as I noted in The Forgotten Paula Deen Scandal.

Which brings us to Rob Ford.  The embattled Mayor of Toronto had already been the subject of much controversy in the early months of 2013 when Gawker and The Toronto Star reported on the now infamous crack video in May (which has yet to be released).  I wrote five pieces about his embarrassing dilemma:  Songs For Rob Ford, Unanswered Questions About The Rob Ford Crack Video Scandal, What Will Be The Last Straw For Rob Ford?, Why The Ford Brothers Won’t Save The Sun News Network and Rob Ford’s Secret iPod Playlist.  Six, if you count his inclusion in Winners & Losers Of 2012 (Part Seven), which, despite its considerable length, still managed to not mention other memorable moments of the scandal like Ford’s home parking lot freakout against the media’s presence there, his hypocritical mockery of a fellow councilman’s drunk driving issues and the time he dragged his poor wife through a supremely crowded press scrum when he could’ve taken her through a back exit.

Two questions:  could he possibly survive all this madness long enough to 1) run a re-election campaign next October and 2) actually win?  Surely, the odds are not in his favour.  Right?

Anyone?

Moving on.  What is the deal with the media’s love affair with Pope Francis?  Just because he says some atypical things doesn’t make him an atypical pontiff.  Quite the contrary as 8 Reasons Pope Francis Isn’t A Liberal Reformer fully demonstrates.  I’m hoping this bogus honeymoon comes to an immediate end in the new year.

Getting back to political poetry, President Obama and Sophia Bush weren’t the only targets of my rhyming barbs.  Bob Somerby, AKA The Daily Howler, also felt the cold steel of my literary jabs in Bitter Old Man, which employs the, at times, conspiratorial Baltimore comedian’s most annoyingly overused catchphrases in a mocking manner and thunders at his blatant hypocrisies.  Once one of the most influential bloggers in American politics, he’s become the tired, old, out-of-touch crank who thinks the barely watched Rachel Maddow is worth harping on more than the corrupt, vindictive Obama, the most powerful man in the world, who he thinks is a good and decent person.  (Ms. Bush would love that false characterization.)  Irritatingly repetitive, witless, painfully jealous of those more successful than him, culturally snobby and obsessive, I’m ready to tune him out for good now.

The Land Of Antipathy is about Amanda Marcotte and her miserably awful coverage of the bungled Duke Lacrosse rape case from several years ago (as well as her tribal hostility towards conservatives and others she doesn’t agree with).  Prejudging the defendants before the case was even tried, once the case collapsed she lashed out at her critics saying they were pro-rape.  I’m not kidding.

Look, it’s true.  In most sexual assault cases, there is a real victim and at least one real assailant.  But despite that, even those accused of sex crimes deserve their day in court.  You still have to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt to get the conviction.  I say that even as a guy who is adamantly against rape.  Interestingly, Somerby has been critical of Ms. Marcotte, as well.  (I’ll admit it.  He has had his moments.)  Public Image Ltd. fans will appreciate the recurring reference to Rise that opens each verse.  By the way, the alleged victim in the Duke case was convicted of killing her boyfriend years later.

Other political poems I wrote this year include The Sleeping Majority (about the Gitmo hunger strike), Blissful Denial and Union Of Ignorance (both knocking those who ignore the criminal actions of Obama).

Pretentious Snob is about Robert Christgau, the veteran rock critic.  Like Somerby, his work often drives me mental.  The first verse was written last year as the diatribe-in-progress sat unfinished for months.  Finally, I figured out a way to finish it in early 2013.  The line “You gave a four-star review to a shrieking groupie” is a reference to a review of a Yoko Ono compilation entitled Walking On Thin Ice.  Another line – “What’s wrong with playing more than three chords?” – refers to his deep disdain for prog rock and heavy metal, two underappreciated genres.

Always/Never is about a fictional, abusive relationship.  Stuck, The Loop and The End Of Obsession deal with the difficulties of breaking the cycle of depression while Mental Cleansing offers possible solutions.  When my aforementioned migraine was hurting me the most, I wrote Riding The Waves Of Pain to cope.

A few days later, it was gone for good.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
3:43 p.m.

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Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 3:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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