Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The late Arthur Miller was fascinated by how easily we Americans are manipulated. I was reminded of that today as I listened to an interview with the comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld said he loves the role of stand-up comic. The comic has control over the audience. Here's what I think is funny and I'm going to make you think it's funny and you are going to laugh.

You ARE going to laugh.

Seinfeld also talked about how aggressive comedians are. It's in the language of comedy, the proof of this. I killed them. I bombed. You're gonna die laughing. Don Rickles is on one end of the spectrum. You don't want to be sitting in the front row at one of his gigs. He'll rip you apart.

But even the kinder and gentler comedians have their mean streaks.

Where was I? Funny you ask...

Manipulation. This story about the six guys arrested in New Jersey. This sleeper cell, named perhaps after the Woody Allen flick, Sleeper. This story could have been written by Woody. These New Jersey guys, armed and dangerous. Armed with...


When I was a newspaper reporter, we ran stories on page one every now and then. The words, " Big Drug Bust " were always in the headline. The local gendarmes, after months of surveillance, arrested X number of bad guys who had been doing bad things, which would have gotten worse, much worse, if it weren't for this...

Big Drug Bust.

It was public relations. It was bullshit. The cops could have made that Big Drug Bust at any time. The timing was based on how much good PR the department needed at the time.

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