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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

It's really not about Hugo Chavez

Yeah, you know who he is? The President of Venezuela who the Wall Street Journal is worried about because of his relationship with the Iranians, and who taunted the U.S. President this summer, after some proclaimed Christian suggested putting a hit on the Latin leader. After Pat Robertson made his views known about Katrina, the Supreme Court and Ariel Sharon, some folks started to suggest, as someone used to say, "That's just crazy talk!" Mark Evanier wondered if Robertson isn't crazy like a fox.
A couple buds of mine were wondering if the minister, now in his mid 70s, might not be "losing it". Well, THAT can't be it; the man is so fit that he can leg-press a ton!

Then, I read in Greg's column about Harry Belafonte, while visiting Hugo Chavez (of course) attacking the American President. Greg wasn't pleased. (I'd disagree with the assessment that Belafonte's only a "calypso singer"; he was a vital player in the American civil rights movement. But as usual, I digress.)

So, I got to wondering: who DO we want to speak for us? If wrestler Hulk Hogan were to go out speechifying, we'd probably laugh, but if Jesse Ventura, once in the same profession, but most recently governor of Minnesota and a model for third party politics, wants to say something, there are people would listen. Or a B-actor makes a speech at the 1964 Republican convention and becomes governor of California a couple years later.

But it can't be politicians we want. We don't trust politicians.

Some people seemed to have trouble with performers speaking their minds, based on the popularity of these cards.

So who gets to speak? In this age of talk radio, reality TV, and blogs, it seems EVERYONE gets to speak. So Rev. Pat, Hugo, Harry the calypso guy, Barbra Streisand, Hulk Hogan, chat away. It's our job to try to filter out the wheat from the chaff.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Filtering the wheat from the chaff. Exactly. I don't care if Belafonte wants to speak, I just wish people would think before they do. Case in point: Belafonte was the UN's goodwill ambassador. I'm not entirely sure how calling Bush a terrorist is spreading good will, but that's neither here nor there. Why didn't Belafonte challenge Chavez to do something more for his people? I've been to Venezuela when Chavez was president, and let me tell you, it wasn't pretty. He may be trying to change things, but it seems like he's just like politicians in our country - keep everything the same and make a lot of money. So the fact that Belafonte was cozying up to him while condemning Bush just didn't make sense.

I never like when people who aren't a little better versed in whatever they're commenting on open their mouths. I certainly wouldn't discuss physics, because I don't know much about it. I wouldn't expect politicians to speak about comic books, because that's not something they care about (unless it's there hobby). Yes, I know Belafonte worked in civil rights (I was just kidding with the "calypso singer" jibe, because I was aware of his work), but it seems like he was moving beyond his field of expertise in Venezuela. It also served no purpose whatsoever. Detractors of Bush are going to agree with him, but supporters of Bush are going to ignore whatever else he has to say about the situation between Venezuela and the U.S. because they think he's nuts.

Sorry for the rant. You asked for it!!!!