So many fronts on the battlegrounds of dumb and dumber, which one this hour, as the carousel horses spin backward, and the orange-colored clown breaks every rule known to his government and everyone dangles on some uncertain trapeze suspended high above the Big Top, called DC. The clown is now the Ring Master. And without following protocol regarding acts of war, he spends millions of dollars to blow up an airfield that the next day is up and running again. And on many levels of disgust and anger at Syrian dictator Assad, we Americans shake our heads and say yes, good for you Mr. President. But there are reasons for the line of command before placing your country on the verge of a massive retaliation, however, remote that retaliation may be, there are still reasons, proven, rational reason for those rules. And part of it is to keep a president that thinks he’s Dirty Harry from making a Big Ass mistake with his Big gun. I live in a small town surrounded by water and even in weather emergencies when the mighty nor’easter blows, we are given ample time to leave if we choose to, but we know what’s coming and so we choose. And in acts that could put Americans in harm’s way certain agencies need to let certain people know so that certain people will be able to maybe reach safe places or kiss their ass’s goodbye whichever they choose and you and I are those certain people. And I am certain I would like to have a choice.
As I said in last week’s blog, I’m going to be looking at different years in my life, not necessarily in any particular order and indeed not because they were remarkable due to the fact that I lived in them but simply because I happen to have been alive during those years.
In 1980, I was just getting back into broadcasting after having been in and out of radio and in and out of prison. On November 4th, the actor Ronald Reagan was elected president, and the cost of a gallon of gas was $1.19. In 1980, the “Miracle on Ice” happened, and it had nothing to do with keeping your ice from melting in your Scotch glass. It happened during the Olympics. The US hockey team, which was the underdog, won the gold medal against the favored Soviets. The “Miracle on Ice” is still considered to be one of the greatest moments in sports and one of the best ice hockey games ever played. Speaking of Scotch, there was a song on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart that year that did have to do with alcohol. Do you know what song that was? The answer is in the podcast.
Also in music, at the end of 1980, Billboard’s ratings listed the number one song of the year as Blondie’s “Call Me,” number two was “Another Brick in the Wall – Part Two” by Pink Floyd, and checking in at number three was “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John. On December 8, 1980, I was working the 10 p.m.–2 a.m. air shift when at around 11:25 p.m. the newswire machine went berserk and a bulletin came over from the Associated Press that John Lennon had been shot. I will have more on that in the podcast.
Now let’s try this one: the press has been banned from speeches by someone attempting to take over the country. This person is saying they will start to round up anyone they deem to be unacceptable and send them away. Because reporters have been banned and free speech and reporting are being taken away, I’m fearful that groups may carry out book burnings of works considered to be contrary to government policies. If this sounds like I lived in Germany in 1933, if you think I lived under Hitler, you’re wrong. This is America in 2016 as a lunatic named Donald Trump has already banned The Washington Post reporters from attending his speeches, which effectively breaks the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees, among other things, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Trump threatens to build a wall separating us from countries he doesn’t like and round up people he finds undesirable and send them away. This is not Hitler’s Germany of 1933. This is now. In America. In 2016.
There’s more on music, a little politics, and the answer to that trivia question at the end of paragraph two on the shores of Rambling Harbor. I hope you’ll join me there.