Keating was an icon of the Old Testament morality that defines American culture.
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. – Karl Marx
Charles Keating, the fixer at the center of the infamous Keating 5 scandal, is dead. Let’s all lift a glass to mark the passing of an evil man.
The Economist‘s obit is a must-read.
Mr Keating was so doughty in this holy war that Richard Nixon appointed him in 1969 to the national commission on obscenity. When the commission produced a feeble report, Mr Keating dissented. He wrote that “Never in Rome, Greece or the most debauched nation in history has such utter filth been projected to all parts of a nation.” At meetings of his 300-chapter organisation, Citizens for Decency through Law, he would stride round with a big red Bible in his hand. Sundays saw him devoutly at Mass, with thousands of dollars given to Catholic causes. Such was his local influence that when the Supreme Court ruled that obscenity should be judged by “community standards”, every adult theatre in Cincinnati closed down.
Strange, then, that this knight on a white charger—as he saw himself—was also the man who bilked 23,000 investors out of their savings. The total loss was $250m-288m, and the cost to the taxpayer $3.4 billion. In 1984 he had bought Lincoln Savings, a savings and loan association based in Irvine, California, and turned it into a piggy bank for his own American Continental Corporation. He persuaded Lincoln investors to swap their secured bonds for ACC’s junk ones, claiming that these too were backed by the government. Then he speculated freely in foreign exchange, risky development and tracts of raw cactus desert. Staff were exhorted to prey on “the weak, meek and ignorant”.
I spent yesterday in Houston on business. Excuse me, I meant “bidniss.” I had to do some interviews with physicians around town, so I spent a good bit of time in the rent-a-car driving from airport to center, center to next center, center back to airport, etc. And sitting in traffic on the freeway. And turning around and trying to find the exit I missed because accurate road signs aren’t the city’s top priority. Or a medium priority. Or even a low priority.
Anyhow, before this trip, I don’t believe I had ever heard a radio advertisement for anything testosterone related. Ever. But by golly, yesterday I heard dozens. Literally, dozens. I found a sports talk station as I was rolling out of the Hertz lot and I just left it on (because I like sports and also, it’s far less brain-damaging than music radio is these days) and honest to sweet baby Jesus, there were at least two testosterone spots in every commercial break. Read more
Sweet hell – can you believe they’re going to let Chaz Bono compete on Dancing With the Stars? What a travesty.
Oh, no. Not because of that. We’re perfectly down with a transgender competitor. That couldn’t bother us less. No, the issue is more essential: since when did Chaz Bono become a star? His Wikipedia entry calls him a “transgender advocate, writer, actor, and musician.” Yeah, he has earned a profile for the advocacy work, which is great, but if we’re being honest here, we have to admit that Chaz’s main claim to fame was being born to famous parents.
I mean, this show is about dancing with, you know, the stars. Read more
Here’s a story that makes you think.
- Abusive GOP lawmaker
- Slips her something that distorts her perceptions
- Beats the hell out of her during allegedly consensual sex
- No safe word to make it stop
Damn. Sounds kinda like a metaphor for American political life, huh?
UPDATE: Woops – now it’s a felony assault charge….
The other day our friend MentalSwitch offered up a delightful little post entitled “Hello Nurse!” It featured a photo of an attractive model dressed as … well, hell, rather than me trying to describe the shot and failing miserably, why don’t you just click on over there and see for yourself. But before you do, please be forewarned that the photo is NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!!!
Ahem. Well, actually, its worksafeness (or unworksafeness thereof) became the topic of some discussion here. Initially the pic was posted without a cut, meaning that the image itself would appear on the front page of S&R. Later, after some complaint and brief deliberations, we moved it behind a cut with the dreaded “NSFW” tag, indicating that the content would most certainly get you fired if it were accidentally viewed by any decent, God-Fearing American® co-worker. And since way too many of our readers work in places where others might be looking over their shoulders, this was a practical concern. As one colleague put it – and we’ll let that colleague name himself if he wants to – “if the wrong person had walked behind me with that image up on my screen, I could have been walked out the door that day, no appeal.” Read more
Child rapist Roman Polanski has been apprehended in Switzerland. Read all about it.
Outrage is palpable – on both sides. Yes, there are two sides. In addition to the “hang the pedophile” side, there’s the – if I might repurpose Wilde here – unspeakable in defense of the unconscionable crowd. Hey, lighten up folks. It’s not like the guy was a priest or anything.
Anyway, those in the hang-the-pedophile camp are offering up as aggravating evidence some wild shit Polanski said back in 1979.
“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”
Appalling. Just disgusting, isn’t it? Read more
You’re honey child to a swarm of bees
Gonna blow right through you like a breeze
Give me one last dance
Well slide down the surface of things
You’re the real thing
Yeah the real thing
You’re the real thing
Even better than the real thing
Fantasy stories, myths, legends, tall tales, fairy tales, horror, all these have been with us for a very long time. Science fiction, as well, has been with us since Mary Shelley found herself in a bet with Lord Byron about the possibility of writing a new kind of horror, one not grounded in the gothic.* So the presence in our popular culture of stories based in unreality of one form or another is certainly nothing new.
It seems to me that there’s been a lot more of it lately, though. Read more
Ewww. A pedofurry.
Thanks for passing this on, JS. Just thanks a lot.
I know a man, a man of a conservative bent, who gets downright irate anytime you use some variation or another of “tax cuts for the rich” in conversation. He can’t be taking it personally, I don’t suppose, since he isn’t rich and, as far as I can tell, he has no prospects for getting that way unless he happens to trip over a winning PowerBall ticket. So I guess you’d say he’s like Joe the Plumber and many millions more Americans who have very little, but want to make damned sure that they look after the interests of those who have everything.
People like this man are the reason I always giggle when I encounter political and economic theories that hinge on things like “rationality” and “informed self-interest.” Read more
A couple weeks I go I offered up part one in a series on poetry vs. lyrics, noting from firsthand experience the differences between the two. In brief, I’ve always felt like it was wrong to call rock stars poets – even if their words are fantastic, as they often are, the very nature of bending words to suit a song structure makes what they do a very different thing from what poets do.
In that piece, I looked at the song version of “Hegemony,” which I penned for Fiction 8‘s most recent CD, Project Phoenix. “Hegemony” was adapted for music from an existing poem, which I wrote for my most recent book, Chained to the Gates of Heaven (a book that is in search of a publisher, by the way – so if you know somebody….)
In this installment, Read more
Reach out and touch me now
You aren’t the only one
with armies in your head
We’re fond of calling our great rock stars poets. Dylan is a poet. Springsteen is a poet. John Lennon was a poet. Jim Morrison (*gag*) was a poet. And so on. Certainly the first three (have) produced some marvelous words, but as a poet – forgive me if I call myself a “real” poet here – I’ve never quite been willing to accord their work the status of poetry. This isn’t necessarily a slam – their work isn’t architecture, either. Read more