Pied Piper Pitt RETURNS To DUmmieland!!!
(Just a few days now until the HISTORIC comedy webcast, NewsBusted, premiers at NewsBusters on September 12. I say historic because, in stark contrast to TV shows, this Webcast will be presented in short digestible chunks on a regular basis. It is our hope that you will become addicted to this show. Remember, the very LATEST current events will be the source for the comedy material. Be there. Aloha!)
He just couldn't stay away for long. William Rivers Pitt QUIT DUmmieland in a speech full of self-Pittying angst only to return on Friday with an even longer speech with even more angst as you can see in his overlong THREAD titled, "Remembering 2002." What is fascinating about this thread other than the typically long-winded self-Pittying psychological insights is that it centers on HIS book that was published that year. I highlighted HIS because that book, War On Iraq (#247,837 on Amazon Books) was actually co-authored with Scott Ritter with Ritter being the primary author. However, Pitt didn't name Ritter's name once in his entire post with almost no end. Why? One can speculate but perhaps Pitt is attempting to dump Ritter's name down the memory hole due to certain strange proclivities on his part. This leads one to speculate as to why Ritter chose Pitt to be his co-author in the first place. Perhaps Pitt had some special candy or Fig Newtons to offer to Ritter in exchange for the co-authoring spot. Inquiring minds and Temporary Sockpuppets want to know. In any event, this Pitt post can also be considered his "I AM Somebody" speech and offers a fascinating look into the inner Pitt floating inside the alcohol. So let us now watch Pied Piper Pitt take way too much time to reveal his inner Pitt in Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, looking forward to more of Pitt's Bukowski's inspired posts, is in the [brackets]:
[I'm remembering the LAUGHS I had reading the DUmmie posts just following Election Day 2002.]
When I try to recall being alive in 2002, my mind comes up with snapshots, glimpses, echoes, but hardly anything that is firm enough to grab and hold. I know I was teaching, and remember that context vividly. I lived in Cambridge, and can remember some of that. For the most part, however, 2002 is a lost year, a miserable year, there was so much fear on every face. We had not yet found stable ground, and were reminded of the whole ghastly nightmare every time the sky was blue, every time an airplane crossed the city skyline.
[Yes, you do remember that teaching context vividly. Ah, the memories!]
There were no trash barrels in the subway stations anymore, because someone could put a bomb in one of them, and the cops took all of them away to wherever they store things that were once useful but had become deadly, so 2002 was also the year I carried a lot of trash around in my pockets. When I finally found a barrel for the trash (empty box of smokes, cellophane from empty box of smokes, paper cup that used to have coffee inside, random buttons furry with pocket lint), there would always be at least one person giving me the hairy eyeball as I dumped the ballast, because someone could put a bomb in one of those garbage barrels, and I could be that someone, because 2002 was also the year nobody trusted anybody, and everyone was on a hair trigger, one overloud mousefart away from blind panic.
[Pitt tries to dump some cigarette refuse and somehow turns it into some sort of Sturm und Drang drama.]
In 2002, we were bombing the hell out of dirt and civilians in Afghanistan, because "Dead or Alive" was still hot stuff. The Downing Street Memos confirm that Bush's plans for an Iraq invasion hit another gear in April of 2002, because that was the month he cut Tony Blair in on the action, so they were already fixing the facts around the policy at that point, but most Americans had no idea that it was even an idea during the entire summer, because you don't roll out new products in August. But then September arrived, followed by October, and on the 10th of that month, Bush opened the throttle on his domestic terrorism propaganda machine. The proof may be a mushroom cloud, plastic sheeting and duct tape, Iraqi WMD that could be given to Osama and his merry men, there is no doubt about it, lather rinse repeat.
[And of course we bombed only innocent civilians in Afghanistan and not the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. Torn from a page of Dubious History According to Pitt.]
My Iraq book was published that September, and my life became a blur of classrooms and radio interviews and TV interviews and new book ideas from my publisher and papers to grade and everyone was still scared spitless by everything. I realized I had to quit teaching or quit writing, because it wasn't acceptable for the book stuff to steal time from my students, and I wasn't able to write as much as I wanted because I had so much teaching work to deal with. I quit teaching, had another book published in December, and from then on I was On The Road, fully immersed in politics and campaigns, giving speeches while traveling more than 350,000 miles from hoot to holler and back to hoot again...but that's 2003, which is off the point.
[YOUR Iraq book? Oh, Pitt, modesty becomes you...NOT! The main author of "your" book was Scott Ritter whose theme song was Maurice Chevalier's Thank Heaven For Little Girls. Nice way to toss the MAIN author down the memory hole, Pitt. Perhaps you forgot due to all those radio and TV interviews you had to do when you were a celeb in your own mind.]
I have two memories from 2002 that are clear as crystal, however. The first one is from the deep dead of winter (and I might be cheating, because it could have been February ’03, but who’s counting). I had a full courseload of classes, I was a Dean of a whole class, I had around 20 advisees, and I was in charge of the newspaper…and I also had something like five radio interviews a day about my book. I didn’t feel comfortable doing them from my office phone in the school, because it would have been wildly improper, and I had two officemates who would not have enjoyed me yelling into a telephone while they were grading papers.
[Remember MEEEE! I WAS SOMEBODY!!!]
So I went out and got some total disaster of a cell phone, and every time I had an interview, I’d trudge out into the bitter cold, plow through the snow, and hide from the wind behind a stand of trees with the phone in one hand and a smoke in the other. For some reason, one moment in particular stands out: a cold hard day, bright blue sky dazzling off the ice, and I’m standing in the snow basically blinded by the sunlight, trying to convince someone I can’t even remember now that it might be a good idea to give Hans Blix and his inspectors more than thirteen hours to do their searches before declaring them failures and rolling the tanks. Yeah, didn’t work.
[They should have given Hans Blix 24 more business hours to find those WMDs.]
The second memory, strangely enough, also has to do with Hans Blix and my pathetic cell phone. I’d had the phone for about three days, and was not anywhere near conditioned and practiced in the art of doing-stuff-while-holding-a-phone-in-my-hand. The moment this memory begins, I was driving home from school, my car at the time being a battered Honda Civic stick shift, and I had a smoke in my non-shift hand. And the phone rings. Fortunately, I was at a stoplight, and could manage the phone-answering process without undo chaos.
[Thanx for that insight into your hand-eye coordination problems that we really didn't need to know.]
I said hello, and this very gotta-go voice tells me she’s a producer for either Connie Chung or some MSNBC thing (I’ve jumbled the two in my memory after five years, because I could swear she said Connie Chung, but I could also swear she said MSNBC, and Chung never worked there, so because my memory of it being a Connie Chung producer is stronger, that’s almost certainly what it was…and whoever that producer worked for, she was a serious bulldozer employee of a mainstream TV news show, of that I am mortally sure).
[You hear that, folks? I got a phone call from Connie Chung's producer...or maybe not. I WAS SOMEBODY!!! My bloated sense of self-importance WAS validated!!!]
Up to this point, I’d done a whole bunch of radio interviews and a smattering of smaller local network TV things, but on my phone there was the big time, and my body went through this quick convulsion: I was flattered to get called, and happy the book was piercing the Amazing Duh of mainstream news, but I was also disgusted, because even at that point, the TV news people had their pom-poms out for invading Iraq, and I wanted no part of that. The spasm lasted half a second, the light turned green, and I suddenly had to shift through the low gears, maintain control of the steering wheel, avoid burning my ear off with a lit smoke, and try to talk to this producer person like none of that other stuff was happening at all.
[I was on the edge of fame. My body convulsed almost as excitedly as the time when I encountered Kevin Spacey in Bukowski's and invited him to my apartment for a very private chat which he turned down.]
Now, a reader will think the important part of the story is what she said to me. That’s cool, because it is, but I have a bias. When she said the thing to me, I dropped my smoke on my crotch, ground a gear in mid-shift, nearly lost the phone, and came fairly close to careening off a bridge, through a bunch of docked crew boats, and into the Charles River. You choose: rescue your genitals, maintain contact between tires and pavement, or keep talking to this producer person after hearing what just came out of her mouth. If you chose “In that order,” you’d be correct. I asked her to hang on, dropped the phone into the next seat, saved my sex life, and pulled the car over to a safe spot so I could finish this godawful conversation without killing myself or any innocent bystanders.
[No need to save your genitals, Pitt. They haven't been in use since Newton.]
Here’s what she said, in paraphrase: we like your book, great great, wonderful, bla bla, we want you on the show in two days, the topic is going to be Blix and the weapons inspectors, and we want you to be the guy on the show who says Blix is doing a really bad job and Bush should just blow him off. At which point everything went wrong at once, and my mouth was hanging open in an absolute totality of shock. So I pulled the car over and stared at my phone on the seat for a few seconds like it was a singularly disgusting pile of infant feces. Picked it up, and asked her to repeat what she’d just said, because it could have been easily possible that I missed the nub of her statement because I was occupied with cheating death. She said it again, exactly the same way.
[Pitt was really angry because the producer, like about everyone else, had never read "HIS" book.]
Take a moment with that. The number of things in what she said that are so beyond awful and terrifying, it is hard to quantify. 1. She never read my book, because if she had, she’d have quit that job; 2. She was telling me what I was to say, maybe because she dealt with a lot of whores who are fine with that, and will say whatever it takes to get some face time in front of the red light; 3. Blix had been in Iraq for less than a week at this point, and Iraq is a pretty big place for a few dudes to search comprehensively in the amount of time you have on a long weekend.
[If she had read your book, Pitt, the tedium would have killed her. Speaking of which, I just scrolled down your overlong thread and we are not even close to its blessed termination.]
I said as much. Miss, I said, my book says the stuff isn’t there, but I could be wrong (I wasn’t), so we should let Blix do his thing and maybe avoid an insanely destructive, hopelessly calamitous war over there. Regardless of that, speaking personally, I’m not all that wild about the idea of getting spoon-fed the opinions I’m supposed to have on matters of life, death, national security, and you get the picture. I wrote two books in less than a year, and I’m not bragging, but I’m pretty sure that means I’m qualified to have an opinion of my own.
[I told off Connie Chung's (or maybe not) producer. I WAS SOMEBODY!!!]
That was about the gist of what I said into my silly phone, and I was heated because the combination of what she said and the jittery adrenaline aftermath from almost killing myself put my needle in the red faster than Ben Johnson running from the law. I said these things to her in measured tone, but made sure things were clear as could be. And she snorted into the phone, snorted derisively, heaped on a chuckle and a “Jezzzuss” to boot, and then she hung up on me without saying another word. Not even an obnoxious word. Not a grunt, just a click and empty nothingness in the earpiece.
[And that was as close to fame as Pied Piper Pitt every got when he let it slip out of his hands. Of course, it never occurred to him to just agree with her and then go on the show and spout his own opinions without regard to their "agreement." Too late, Pitt, There are no do-overs.]
I have four thoughts on this. First, our news industry in 2002 was (and still is today) just a complete bought-and-sold disaster, and a severe threat to our national security, because uninformed voters cast dumb votes, not because they’re dumb people, but because they get their heads filled with nonsense and outright lies by the news people. Second, that spasm I had when I first answered was clearly a contest and a challenge to my integrity, and thankfully “disgusted” won in a walk. To this day, I have never and will never go near any kind of big-time TV news show. I’ve turned them down a bunch of times since ’02. Nah, fellas, you can keep it. Only idiots and dupes spin the wheel on a rigged table.
[Actually "stupid" won in a walk. You could have agreed to their agenda, gone on the show, and then howled all the leftwing lunacy you wanted. Anyway, thanx for giving us interesting insight as to why you think you are still a nobody.]
Third, yes, I have thought from time to time that the best move would have been to go right along, yes, of course, Blix sucks, where do I sign, but then go ballistic when the show starts with information and arguments never seen nor heard by the viewership, or anyone in the network building. But I am not zen enough to think that tactically when some horrid dumb-o-fascist starts pissing in my ear, especially about the war. Also, the show would have been taped, not live, and when it aired, there’d be a potted plant or something in my seat, and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. It would have been fun, I think, but alas.
[Wrong! The TV show would have used your stuff. TV shows know that crazy people are FUn to watch. Great for ratings.]
And fourth, whenever I think about that whole scene now, I have to wonder how that producer is feeling about herself. Maybe she’s just another craven TV vampire in the long shallow trench, maybe she has absolutely no sense of what she participated in, and honestly, I hope she is exactly like that. I would not want to sit through 2007 and know for sure that, in a small but significant way, I helped make this Iraq thing happen. I do hope she can’t see the blood on her hands, because all I have is pity for someone with a lump of coal for a conscience. If she has enough awareness to recognize her assistance in the slaughter, it would not surprise me at all to hear that she’s a catastrophic alcoholic rotting to death with a face full of gin blossoms and pants full of piss. If I were in her shoes, I’d be Leaving Las Vegas too. Beats looking in the mirror, I’d imagine.
["A catastrophic alcoholic rotting to death with a face full of gin blossoms and pants full of piss." Pot calling kettle black.]
Also, a word of advice. Don’t ever ever ever drive a stick in rush hour traffic while smoking a butt and talking to a Nazi on a cell phone. We’ve all had more practice at it since 2002, but the best course is to quit smoking, buy a headset/earset, and ignore the phone anyway. I have done none of these things, of course, but I’ll get around to it once America goes back to being merely crazy instead of whatever kind of label can fit all this.
[I have a small cell phone accessory business on the side. My I take your order for a headset?]
Yeah, that was 2002. There was also the Enron thing, which frankly I can’t even talk about anymore. The Priest pedophile scandal erupted in Boston, which was a lot of fun for those of us who live here. A creepy side-note: the worst of the priests, Goeghan, the one who wound up getting stomped to death in prison, was my CCD teacher in Sunday school. He never laid a hand on me, because he never got a chance. I went to the first class and bagged all the others, which in retrospect might be a tiny bit of proof that there is a God, and he’s got my back, but he’s also got a really deranged sense of humor.
[Perhaps that priest was not into pasty sickly looking fishbelly white meat.]
2002 was also the year Rove told the Congressional GOP wackjobs to “Run on the war.” And they did, and Saxby Chambliss (R-pudknocker) somehow managed to beat Max Cleland (D-most limbs still in Vietnam jungle) by running ads comparing Cleland to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Never underestimate the awesome power of utter and absolute shamelessness. Cleland lost pretty much his whole body to grenades in Vietnam, and Chambliss had the gall to run that kind of crap on him.
[At least Rove was finally punished when he was indicted on May 12, 2006.]
But the ads couldn’t have been all of it, because Cleland was ahead in every poll taken in the solar system, but he lost by more than a slim margin. So it was 2002 when we also started to hear about a company called Diebold, whose touch-screen voting machines were deployed for that Georgia Senate race, and those voting machines were owned by big-time GOP donors, and how citizen votes become private corporate property after they’re in the software, and no paper trail, and easy hacks, and more doom and gloom, doom and gloom, and furthermore doom with a side of gloom.
[Bev Harris is just $10 away from proving that Cleland won that race.]
What else was the absence of awesome in ought two? Palestine and Israel went at it again, and a lot of people died. North Korea cleared its throat and announced to the world that, yes, the single most terrifying maniacal authoritarian psycho dictator on the planet now had nuclear weapons. I’ll brook no argument on that one, by the way. George and Dick are madmen of the purest ray serene, and Vlad Putin looks like he has an alien staring out of his eyes, and some of his neighbors in the former satellites could give purging lessons to Stalin, and Africa has a whole pile of genocidal leaders and strongmen, but seriously.
[But seriously, when are you going to finally reach the end of your overlong thread?]
North Korea is an unutterably horrifying place, with brainwashed slave-citizens parroting the party line and murals of Kim the God Leader on anything that can hold paint, the absolute absence of even the tiniest liberties, no news but state news, no books but state books, no music, no talking, they start brainwashing the children before they can walk, and meanwhile the population is starving to death en masse and eating twigs in the woods, because all the food goes to the army, and the army is controlled by the God Leader, and that’s the guy who suddenly had nukes.
[And yet most DUmmies think that things are far worse here than in North Korea.]
Chaim Potok died. Dudley Moore died. Peggy Lee died. Milton Berle died. Dee Dee Ramone died. Rod Steiger died. Sam Snead died. Dave Thomas died. Steven Jay Gould died. Johnny Unitas died. Robert Urich died. Cyrus Vance died.
[Pitt's battered Honda Civic engine died...]
Ted freakin’ Williams died, but his head is in some cold-storage vat waiting for the day when cyborgs rule the Earth.
[Pitt's sense of self-worth died...]
Joe freakin’ Strummer died. A total calamity. My friend Hannah cried for three days. The only good to come out of it was that everyone I know played the Clash non-stop for the next six months, and someone had the decency to yank an abomination of a Jaguar commercial that has “London Calling” as the music. I’d rather have Joe, though.
[Gumby's second cousin died...]
Senator Paul Wellstone died.
[A moth in the middle of the Amazonian jungle died...]
Plane crash. Crappy pilot. Icy wings. Everyone on the plane with him died, too, and it is not too far a stretch to believe that Wellstone’s death helped to guarantee all the deaths in Iraq that began five months after he went into the ground. There was something about him, and he was genuinely the real deal, a radical ass-kicker who threw rocks at the state house for ten years, and then ran for office and took the building. He was a voice that had the ability to gather enough votes to defeat the Iraq War Resolution, and failing that, he’d have made the vote a lot closer, and he would have been a terror for this administration every single breathing day.
[Uh-oh. Bring on the conspiracy theories.]
Some people still believe it was sabotage, that he was murdered to make sure the war came off smoothly, but I don’t know. I talked about that possibility to several members from the Minnesota chapter of Veterans for Peace in the summer of 2003, they all were pilots, they had all been simply devoted to Wellstone, and they said the sabotage theories were bogus. They’d talked to the people who hired the pilot in question, and had done some other investigation, and as far as they were concerned, it was a bad pilot and frozen water that killed their man. I take their word for it; I have to smoke something green before I get anywhere close to flying, and these guys were stick-and-rudder men back when Adlai Stevenson was yelling at the Soviet ambassador about missiles in Cuba in the UN General Assembly.
[Attention DEA! Check Pied Piper Pitt with sniffer dogs to find his green stash if he ever attempts to board a commercial flight.]
Only a fool dismisses these so-called “conspiracy theories” out of hand. Granted, some of the conspiracy people don’t do themselves or their theories any favors. But it was hard to dismiss the idea that Wellstone’s crash was fishy, both in timing and in the event itself. The theory of it – a widely-respected Senator, a good Leftie, and a damned smart man who would have been Hell-and-Jesus to deal with on Iraq and the other fifty million things these madmen have pulled in the last five years, suddenly dead right before the bombs started dropping – is pretty straightforward. But like I said, the Minnesota VFP guys who loved Wellstone, and who still have calluses on their hands from their combat sticks, believed it was just simple wretched tragedy, and that’s pretty close to as good an opinion from as good a source as you’re going to get.
[As Pitt touches bases with the conspiracy crowd to maintain his credibility in DUmmieland. And, as his thread meanders into matters utterly besides the point, Pitt makes his final approach to the merciful end.]
Yeah. 2002 just ruled.
[The Year of Living DUmbly.]
( Yes, I'm "back" for the occasional post or two. Anyone unhappy about that can jump on the Get F*cked Express...I think you can I think you can I think you can I think you can...toot toot. )
[And with that challenge, let us watch the DUmmie reaction to Pitt's meandering post that led to nowhere...]
Dear God. Have you been writing that this whole time?
[Yeah. Pitt's post was so long that it seems like he was writing it since 2002.]
Want me to post the other 50,000 words I've written in the last month?
[Noooooo! That threat is way over the line, Will!]
My God, everyone I worked with was absolutely insane. Good, sensible people had f*cking lost their minds. They were ready to blow every Arab to Kingdom Come. Frightening. 2002 really, really sucked.
[Posted a DUmmie conveniently forgetting 2001.]
Personally, I just think you've had a bad case of the syndrome that has affected all of us at DU in varying degrees:
[Calling Dr. Buddy Rydell!]
Seeing the crap about Scott Ritter on CNN and saying outloud: "They're going after him now."
[Shhhh!!! Pitt has tossed Scott Ritter down the memory hole.]
Last call for the Get F*cked Express... Tickets please.
Enjoy your train ride. Maybe they'll let you blow the horn.
[At the Newton station?]
Dining car in the rear.
[Pitt inviting everybody to advance to the rear.]
We're in suspended animation. The fascist scheme holding the strings. And people like you and us trying to figure out where they're connected.
[Your mind is in suspended animation with no thaw date in sight.]
Glad to have you back, but please, stop saying you are leaving, than writing a long semi-rant, than popping back on. It gets old.
[At least it gets FUnnie.]