where creative minds can interact
I know you were looking for some kind of road stories, Lisa... but road stories are better told when being reflected on. They come in snippets of information that need to be stitched together to make any kind of sense... like a series of white lines that only turn into a highway when you've backed away from them a little. Meanwhile, I want to chime in about everybody's current favorite scapegoat... Rush Limbaugh.
Everyone, including Rush himself I'm sure, knows he's a blowhard. Matter of fact, he's a professional blowhard, who gets paid very, very well to express his opinions in an outrageous fashion. And the more outrageous he is, the more money he makes. He figured this simple equation out years ago. There are parts of the country where you can't hear anything but Rush Limbaugh on the radio. He's got a huge audience, and is in fact an industry unto himself. He makes boatloads of money for himself and everyone associated with his show by saying things that drive "liberals" into a tizzy.
And liberals accommodate him all too well. Now that the iconic "liberal" (remember when he used to be "politically incorrect" until he changed network affiliations?) Bill Maher has called for a truce, and no doubt the sheep-ish left will fall into line in due time as one of their hallowed media "leaders" speaks out. Once again, a national hissy fit has been thrown, not a thing has been accomplished by it, and everyone can go back about their business. Until, of course, something else deemed worthy of a hissy fit comes along, and oh so predictably, it will be thrown.
I think it's funny that musical artists are pulling their songs from being used on Limbaugh's show. The guy's been an outrageous, offensive liar for decades now. All of a sudden he's crossed some line by calling a woman a prostitute and a slut? Puh-lease. The reason for this mock outrage is of course the musician's in question not wanting to be tainted by the misogynist label that Rush has so rightfully been tattooed with. In other words, they don't want their brand to lose value. I haven't heard Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders threaten to pull her song, which is the theme of the show, for which I have no doubt she has netted hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. Funny thing is, even though she is probably listed as the writer, it's merely the guitar riff that Rush uses. I doubt the guitar player got any writing credit (I may be wrong), and thus suspect he receives none of what must be a substantial royalty payment quarterly. As Jackie Lomax told me one time, "we're all whores in this business." Oops. Can I say that?
Bill Maher is certainly no exception. I think he's very funny and insightful, but he hawks his wares more shamelessly than anyone else I can think of. He's also bandied all kinds of potentially offensive (and totally misogynistic) phrases about in attacking whoever he chooses to villify or denegrate. He'll also readily lie if it serves his purposes. His recent diatribes about Mormonism being a non-Christian cult are an example. And he's smart enough to know that if Limbaugh goes down (an ugly concept, I know) then another easy target is taken away... and Maher will make less money.
If one really believes in freedom of speech as protected in the First Amendment, then Rush should be able to say whatever the hell he wants to. He should be able to call anybody whatever name he wants. He didn't threaten anybody, as far as I know. Seems to me that the hysteria is merely further expression of the national schizophrenia that cripples our country, with the left attacking the right and vice versa, until little of any value is accomplished, or even said. Common sense is left by the wayside, meaningful dialog is non-existent, and we as citizens continue to act like undisciplined children. And meanwhile, the money making machine rumbles on.