What I’m Doing Now …

By Bob Gaydos

I didn’t intend to launch my entrance into the blogosphere with a lot of stuff about what I like, don’t like, who I think is a moron and other strictly personal observations kept in check, of necessity, during 23 years of writing editorials for the Times Herald-Record, but I spotted something on Facebook the other day that changed my mind.

First off, yes, Facebook. I had no idea what it was until a couple of weeks ago when two friends fessed up that they had Facebook pages and Time magazine ran an article explaining why it was the ideal Internet social network for grownups. Being retired and having some time on my hands to explore new horizons, I joined the throng. But don’t come looking to have conversations with me or anything like that yet because I still don’t quite get it. And I only have two friends, one of whom is my 17-year-old son, who does get it and who I asked to make me a friend so I would have at least one. But then someone else asked to be my friend and, since I do know her and always considered her to be a reasonably sane and decent person, I said yes. Then, of course, I checked to see who else she counted among her friends.

… Keith Olbermann?

Yes, it was that Keith Olbermann, the left-wing TV blowhard whose ego is actually bigger than his head, the liberal response to Rush Limbaugh and all the other right-wing blowhards who have trashed traditional journalistic commentary in favor of the much easier and — at least to those of their fans who aren’t overly concerned with facts and logic — the more entertaining approach of trashing and burning everything said or done by someone they don’t like.

 Yes, I think most of the far-right bloviators are all about getting ratings and recognition rather than trying to help listeners really understand what is going on in the world and most of them continue to operate that way even though a strong majority of Americans rejected that approach by electing Barack Obama president. But while I might share much more of Olbermann’s political philosophy, I find him to be just as unwatchable as the pompous Limbaugh, the excitable O’Reilly, the insufferable Ann Coulter and the shameless Lou Dobbs. It’s not just the Olbermann ego, it is his unrelenting smugness. The “I get it and I am now going to explain it to you in an-oh-so-clever way that you can’t help but think the target of my attack is an utter imbecile and I am a genius” approach.

The only one on Olbermann’s side of the political spectrum who is more convinced of his own moral and intellectual superiority, who masquerades as a political pundit while dropping sarcastic asides like so much bad gas, whose smugness literally oozes out of his pores when he speaks is HBO’s Bill Maher. Once upon a time he was a so-so standup comic. Then he discovered that millions of other Americans realized their emperor had no clothes and made a new career of ridiculing “W”.

Fair enough. He had it coming. I’m no fan of Bush 43 by any means. The only thing I’m saying is that smug is smug and self-righteous is self-righteous whatever label you put on it and I don’t like it. It makes my skin crawl and I don’t see how it contributes to the general well-being of society. That is a personal view.

I cannot warm up to people who are pompous, arrogant, deceitful, self-serving, ill-tempered, intolerant or just plain dumb and proud of it. For the record, my friend on Facebook is none of those, but seeing Olbermann led me to think of Maher, who led me to Blago, the carny governor of Illinois and that stooge Burris who ought to be hauled out of the U.S. Senate by his collar, who led me to David Stern, the commissioner of the NBA who insists that borrowing $200 million to divide among 12 to 15 teams is a sign of the league’s strength, which led me to wonder if there was any pro sport whose athletes whine more about officials’ calls than he NBA, which led me to the absolute travesty Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and the baseball players union have made of the steroid scandal and the futility and hypocrisy of Congress getting involved in it at this late date when there are so many more pressing issues to tackle which led to wonder just what the heck was that woman who had the octuplets thinking and why is the doctor who implanted all those eggs in her even though she already had six kids and no job still practicing medicine?

Like I said, now it’s personal.

Bob can be reached at bob@zestoforange.com.


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