May 10, 2011

The suicide note begins, "I lack personal integrity." This from a mother of two boys.  Both adopted.  She's a single mother at wit's end.  Boys are tough love and she has loads of excuses.  Her job is falling apart, her partner has left her.  She feels she's lost control.

And all the while no noticeable foreshadowing. No metaphors, no slip-of-the-tongue, no red-wine hint. The whole thing comes out of nowhere. Whim gone awry.

No one remembers another more subtle attempt a few years ago.  And there was something she said once in college years ago.

But no one remembers.

The only flag is a receipt for "Final Exit" on a side table.  Found after the fact.

And who should read this note first,  who comes across the scene first, up in an attic, no less — can you imagine this?  Her best friend, and someone who is herself fragile and who has survived big time doubt and isolation.  Who has herself helped so much to keep those two boys on track.

The words from the body on the floor are,  'Oh, and here's your thanks.  Tuck it in your heart forever.'

If you're going to commit suicide in a situation like this,  you need to run it past your supervisor first. But I can tell you now, talking about how you don't have any personal integrity will not get you out.  You fouled up.  And now a lot of folks have to clean up the mess. And your two boys will be among them.

You have no idea what it will take and how long it will take. And worst of all, how they'll miss you like mad.....

May 4, 2011

Mark Levin, the ever popular conservative talk show host, also known as "the Great One," has defined the standard for accuracy in the media for many years.  Just the other day he said, "I'm the only one that tells like it is. I'm the only one that tells the truth.  Hear that, you back benchers?"

Mr. Levin, who is meticulous with the truth and never exaggerates, has the fourth largest radio audience among living broadcasters. He's very proud of that, and by the tone of his voice you sense he has more contempt than respect for those with larger audiences.

He's a populist, although his critics say he is an intellectual skinhead — and actually he is bald and often wears a tan cap to hide the fact,  In photographs he has the dark circled eyes of a raccoon. Critics would have you believe that Mr. Levin belongs with all those lost souls in Dante's 9th circle, the bowge for fraudsters, the sowers of discord.

They would also insist that despite his claims to being an institutional scholar he's nothing of the sort.

Of course, his followers insist he is brilliant.  "I just want to thank you for all you do," they are always saying.  "The addicted", as they sometimes refer to themselves, insist Marky Mark Levin is a prophet who has rightly named America's clear and present danger: Obama.

This man is a true danger, Mr. Levin often says. He's driving this country into the ground, his whole intent is to destroy everything we hold dear.... He's akin to Nazis.  When Hoffas Jr. referred to people in the Tea Party as sons of bitches, Levin called Hoffa one of Obama's brown shirts.

Incidentally, Mr. Levin's daughter is a pop singer. Perhaps, she's the one who suggested he use part of  the opening of "Somewhere I Belong", by Linkin Park, in his promo.

Critics at "PMSMSNBCLSD", "The New York Slimes" and even "The Washington Compost" , the statists, might also point out that Mr. Levin's argument for showing photos of a dead Bin Laden to the public was that he, himself, simply wanted to "revel" in the goriness of the scene and by his own admission pin those photos on this office wall so that every day he could be reminded of how much he hated such a monster.

The Great One, not to be confused with The Annointed One, his nemesis, the president, graduated magna cum laude from Temple University and has written several best selling books, including Foot Men In Black and Libel and Tyranny.  He is often honored by strict constitutionalists and was once nicknamed "F. Lee Levin" by one of his mentors, Rush Limbaugh.

"He takes pride in being snide", is one his call lines.

Mr. Levin's other nickname, "The Great One", was bestowed by Sean Hannity, a former Chinese figurine, who often appears on the Levin show and begins his participation by asking Mr. Levin, "so what are you wearing today?"

Sometimes at home The Great One will turn on his friend and say to nobody in particular, "Did you hear what the Inanity said on his show tonight? That chubby coward." And then he'll say to his wife, "And you can tell him I said that."

Although many of his listeners might guess that "the Great One" is a short man by the sound of his high, shrill voice,  Mr. Levin is 6'4".  He also describes himself as "husky."

Mr. Levin, who has a signed picture of Robert Welsh above his tie rack, has become particularly popular among Tea Party activists and serves as the de facto voice of the Koch Brothers, who pay him a six-figure annual salary to promote their organization, Americans for Prosperity.  Critics claim that few of Mr. Levin's listeners realize the very close relationship he holds with the Koch family, particularly Charles. Both share a fascination with small rodents and bowler hats, as well as politics and meet regularly at a tiny Italian restaurant in an undisclosed mall in New Jersey.

Mr. Levin's role model is less de Tocqueville or Burke than the legendary conservative talk show host, Robert Ciro Gigante, also known as "Bubba" Bob Grant.  Over the years Mr. Grant has made a number of statements that might be considered racial slurs by people who pay attention to such things. "Bubba" was also one of the first conservative personalities to call for President Obama's long-form birth certificate.

Mr. Grant's radio style has been imitated by Mr. Levin, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, who Mr. Grant originally castigated as a radio host.

Mr. Levin's own radio style is much more refined than Mr. Grant's, although he has his own irrepressible style.  He refers to supporters of the president as "Obama thugs".  He refers to the president himself as a "moron" and a "liar."

"There, I said it," he'll say.

Or sometimes he'll say something that would raise an eyebrow at the FCC but then adds, "Can I say that, Mr. Producer?"  As though to taunt the censors.

He even expresses contempt for conservative callers, particularly those sympathetic to Donald Trump. He may say to a caller imploring Mr. Levin's support, "get off my phone you idiot."

On the other hand, if a caller offers even a bit of a kind word, or complements Mr. Levin's torch stories about his dogs, Mr. Levin will reply, "All right my friend, thank you for the call."

Last year Mr. Levin made $250,005.49.  He gave everything above $250,000 to charity.

As for 2012, Dr. Levin has refused to endorse anyone until the last moment.  He prefers Santorum and Bachman because they're the only "true conservatives."  He would like to get Gov. Romney on the show but his people say he's just too busy this week and in fact throughout this entire campaign cycle.

Above all, Mr. Levin is fair-minded, always careful with the truth, and reaches out to his listeners to find out what they think. He never cuts people off.  He believes in debate.  He loves firefighters and security personnel.  And soldiers.

On Fridays, to mark the end of the week, he plays Kate Smith singing God Bless America.  Then he goes home and weeps.  He literally weeps.  But actually before he goes home he stops by his favorite restaurant to have a heart-stopping cheese burger.  This is an everyman.  This is what endears him to millions.

He is actually not the petty, angry, foul-minded little psychopath he sounds like. (He's 6'4". And husky. He also has a club foot.)

Critics insist he has no heart, despite his claims he has had open heart surgery.  They demand proof of the surgery but so far nothing has been provided.

"The Great One" is also known for his sentimentality for dogs.  Three of his dogs have died in the last year or two.  No person has ever received more adulation or respect than one of his dogs.  No sorrow can match it. This was particularly true after "Griffen" died. About whom a book has been written.

However, questions have been raised about where the money goes in honor of "Griffen's" memory.  Mr. Levin uses his website to solicit money for a reputed animal charity. . But what is it really? A think tank for radical canines, perhaps.

None of those reports have been verified.

Mr. Levin once held a position in the Reagan administration, in the Justice Dept., or Injustice Dept. as he would say about the current department.   He was much beloved by the First Lady and also dated Betsy Bloomingdale! She later had some very unkind things to say about Mr. Levin, but then she said the same things about her husband, Alfred.

Mr. Levin, who apparently now refuses to step foot in Bloomingdales. He reportedly has a Reagan shrine in his study and on an old victrola listens to Fr. Coughlin speeches before he goes to bed. He knows them all by heart.

"Should I call myself, Rabbi Coughlin?", he'll ask his wife in the middle of the night. "I think I shall. That'll get 'em up in arms."

Several stories have surfaced recently that Mr. Levin's wife has had another nervous breakdown and has had to seek psychiatric help. Mr. Levin, himself, suffers from various bi-polar disorders.  What he most want you to appreciate is that he's someone the framers would like to have shared a cheese burger with, and he's a big man, he's not the little man he sounds like.

May 3, 2011


Have a seat and wait for your number,
To be called. To explain. To account.
To give up bad blood to be tested,
Where you had been, and now just the wind.
Where thought and books to be written,
Promises forgiven, memory forgotten
Your overhead smashes unreturned, and now,
Where you stood, just the wind.