Thursday, March 06, 2008

Why highwayscribery?

Today is the third anniversary of highwayscribery. We couldn't think of anything special to do, so here is the very first post:

Here I am, the highway scribe and my topics of discussion will be sweet, brief, but wide in variety. Journalism, literature, poetry, culture and social commentary of the highest and lowest strains will be found here, day in, day out.

"Highwayscribery" is a relic from an earlier life I led, traveling tirelessly and writing down what passed through my mind, soul and bowels on an old Underwood named "Barton Fink."

On that typewriter I wrote a novel called "Vedette." You can buy it (and should) at after using the title for a search on that publisher's Web site.

Barton's gone, long since been lost to some lucky soul in southern Spain, and now that I'm married with a child and living quietly in Los Angeles (if such a thing is possible) the road is but a figment of my imagination.

But imagination is where I'm at and living most of the time, so that reduced travel time is but a technicality. I am and remain, the highway scribe in my mind.

I'm going to open this blog with one of my favorite exercises, which is writing to hacks who do the bidding of the Bush Administration and other right wing interests. I've been a professional journalist since 1983 (do the math) and have had the unpleasant experience of watching the craft go to hell in a corporate handbasket.

You're supposed to represent a counterbalance to power in journalism, call it (power) on its cant and make those who bow before it uncomfortable, too. Because that's my understanding of the craft, I've been bounced out of the more high profile jobs fortune sent my way.

What you have today are any number of guys (the business is infested with them) who spend their time writing off the top of their heads (rather than reporting) in support of the corporate interests that finance their well-heeled existences.

Today, you can e-mail these guys by clicking their address at the bottom of the piece or trying a few simple combinations like or I'm going to relay these missives of mine to you, my august readers. Sometimes these clowns write back and when they do, you'll get that, too.

Two of the worst offenders work at the "San Diego Union-Tribune." They are Joseph Perkins, whose primary credential is having worked on Dan Quayle's staff. Talk about blue chip. The other is the editor of the Sunday editorial pullout, Robert Caldwell.

You don't need to read Caldwell if you can get your hands on a copy of the Republican "talking points" for a given week, because that's his template.

For a while he wrote me back, but he's not smart enough to match me thrust for thrust and so I just fire away, mindful of the fact he knows I'm watching and writing. This newfangled blog thing makes me even more of a threat.

I like to call him "Bob" because that's all the respect he rates in my book, which is filled with reverence for Kerouac, Marat, Azana, Boyle, Marquez, Mills, Hunter Thompson, and our last political/literary lion, Gore Vidal.

On Monday, March 7, Bob wrote an article about the "revolution" being offered up by (g)ov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (r) here in California. The Austrian actor and bodybuilder, Caldwell promises, is out to do away with the "entrenched" interests and give government back to the people, by passing over the legislature and running a movie star media campaign to divest it of significant, constitutionally granted duties.

Here's what I had to say. It's nothing earth shattering, just something I did this morning before the idea of starting a blog took over my mind:


So now you're a revolutionary (Along with Martin Kondracke, George Will and all the other pinstriped sans culotte)

Really, of all the crap out there, the notion that this guy, who rode establishment money into office and reappointed what was left of Pete Wilson's old administration, is representing "the people" is the crappiest of all.

The legislature, by the way, are the folks we out here in the real world vote to represent us. Unions, in turn, are large collections of "the people" who organize to bargain collectively and put the lie to nonsense like this most recent shill from you, the shiller of all things Republican.

Why don't you put a little elephant where your byline is?

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