18 May 2006

Found Fiction: Penthouse June 2000 page 30

Medical benefits may be inhaled because the statute of limitations has expired. Travis reassured Nirav that ‘inhaled’ was indeed in the letter. “‘You can eat it’ is what he is trying to tell you”, Travis thought he saw confusion and/or betrayal on Nirav’s face. “It’s too late and they refuse to pay for the treatment.” “But I came out of the coma, I have not been able to act on this until now”, Nirav was starting to sweat and the machine hooked up to the cables that extended below the sheets and were somehow/somewhere connected to him began to beep more frequently. “Yea, this sucks,” pointing to the now active machine, “Do I need to call someone?”

The judge was living with the manufacturers in bitterness. He had accepted the bribes many years ago and only once had he been called upon to earn the money he had received back then and also received in the form of a monthly allowance to a 4 star hotel room stocked with cocaine, liquor and Mandy, his preferred escort from Madam Ovary’s Escort Service. His wife had been injured almost 4 years ago to the date in a freakish monkey incident at a drive through wildlife park. The manufacturer of the car window was at fault for the damages and they settled with the Judge in a manner that made him richer and allowed him to maintain a quality of life, despite the recent debilitating injury to his wife. The Judge had already prepared himself for the inevitable knock on the door, preferably his home door and not the office door at the Menshowitz Law Center in downtown Bethesda, by the police for his arrest. Things just spiraled out of control and he no longer cared. His wife would not even notice his absence; only Mandy would, which was enough reason for him to continue with the charade.

Cochran slowed down to understand justice. He was constantly on the move: organizing protests, demonstrations, rallies and the occasional stint in jail for his civil disobedience. This case, however, forced him to focus his attention in another manner, by reading books about the legal options available to Nirav. While you had to admire his gusto and willingness to fight the law through non-legal means (supposedly avoiding cooptation), it was difficult to condone his actions if he was actually your attorney.

One fallen comrade after an autopsy asked the Navy for outstanding achievement. Obviously, he didn’t ask for the commendation, but the coroner’s interpretation (especially given the absence of a counterinterpretation) of the corpse shows the extreme duress the sailor was in when he acted heroically. The autopsy file was later used by the family to push for a posthumous award from the Navy, but the outcome of that wrangling has yet to be determined. This observer doubts such a commendation will be granted, because the sailor only acted heroically if you accept the duress he was already working under. Without that previous duress, then the sailor was merely following orders. The contractor that made the transparent shield has a lot of pull with the Pentagon and will probably get the commendation quashed, as it would otherwise draw attention to their cost-cutting measures (notice the savings were not passed on to the Pentagon but rather to the contractor’s profit column.)

He earned Cochran’s alarm. Not that he wanted to. Here is the catch to having a vocal attorney. When the injury is life-threatening attorneys will convey the sense of urgency and fight more vigorously for their client. But Cochran becomes even more (too?) vocal. When one has such a vocal attorney it is hard to not be reminded that your life is inevitably and quickly coming to an end and that your family has yet to be cared for. Cochran does try to comfort you by telling you that your family will be taken care of, but there is still a lot of anxiety that it will not happen or at least not soon enough. There is also the nagging fear that Cochran’s critics (not always the biased opposition either, which makes the critics even more credible) are correct: his antics ramp up the anxiety levels of his client and the family, accelerating the client’s demise. The best example was a poor teenager hurt by a drunk-driving city councilwoman: a local hippie turned chic-liberator told the boy’s mother, within earshot, that Cochran was a horrible attorney because the worst possible thing that could happen to his career was for him to win thereby losing the ability to say, “I told you so!”

The others immediately telephoned Dr. Jajosky, who’d been misdiagnosed. The shaky hands, the stammering, the recent accidents in the operating room. It was all circumstantial until the police pulled her over, in her car, with him asleep in the passenger seat. They found the cocaine easily enough; it had actually slipped out from under the seat and was easily seen by the police officer looking down at the two through the open convertible top. She panicked and said it was his. He panicked and protected her. They called the house to see if the Dr. Jajosky in the papers was indeed the Dr. Jajosky. She panicked and told the truth (having learned her lesson not to panic and tell a lie), which made them quite happy. They vultured his practice, robbing it of patients and staff and then when he was down on his luck they bought his equipment. Somehow the board found out about his conviction (he had denied the possession and actually blamed her, but the court determined he was lying, which earns a sentence enhancement) and denied him membership permanently, even though he would only be away from his practice for 4 months, far short of the One Year Hiatus Rule that determines recertification requirements.

He said, “That man is crazy.” He then turned and continued to mutter and point to himself as he walked down Pennsylvania Avenue until the next stop to whisper something to those tourists.

Cochran was insane. He had been committed under a different name and it was only time until someone found out. But until then Cochran enjoyed fighting for the little guy and yelling about “violence inherent in the system.” One observer had pointed out that it was a Monty Python line, but Cochran insisted that proved the critique: social commentary is dismissed merely because it is in a movie that makes people laugh. The observer shouted back. “It’s dismissed because they’re British.” The crowd laughed and Cochran returned home, reminded of a Tom Robbins truism: never be laughed at personally, but it is okay if it is on your client’s behalf.

He should have raised the whole tone off bad vibes.
What? That sentence makes no sense. Raised the tone off bad vibes?
It’s poetic; it isn’t too bad. But I can only think of the Cochran storyline, I need something new.
Forget it, this is a stupid exercise. It takes too much time, besides the Nationals are beating the Cubs for the first time this year.
Really? I’m coming.

The Pentagon knew to ignore a sick, creepy feeling.

Dr. Jajosky’s response, a lazy, bureaucratic tone, found a call from the Navy and when he finally said, “No” Dr. Jajosky diagnosed you.

17 May 2006

The latest news about corporate America has had a more profound shift on our society than just an increase in incarceration rates. People are being downsized and people are publicly distancing themselves from larger bastions of wealth. In short, it is become less taboo to identify as or with the working class, see the New York Times survey in the May 15, 2005 edition. This is significant for the Democratic Party.

Politicians have been accused of neglecting the working class, aiming instead for the middle class. This strategy makes sense, or rather made sense. The working class were disenfranchised, while there is a rich debate about why this is so it is an afterthought for campaigning politicians, and were the least likely to vote. Campaigning for the hearts of non-voters seemed to be a sure way to lose. The shift from the middle class to the working class changes this calculus.

Some might argue that this shift is another irrelevancy for the campaigning politicians. Voting numbers are not increasing as a result of this shift, merely the self-identification of some voters. But, this is shallow analysis. Politicians can now change their messages in the traditional forums to be more working class. While this message might still fall on some deaf ears, there are an increasing number of people that will be attuned to this message that at one time were not. This shift also means politicians can campaign in non-traditional areas and have some results to show for it. Traditionally, a trip into a ghetto would not garner any votes, but now it will garner some votes as the ghetto has become larger and as people not in a ghetto will listen to the message delivered in the ghetto.

This strategy would also help recast the Democratic Party as the opposition party. It would also help overcome a failing of the traditional middle class approach: the best way to suppress the voting turnout of the working class and to disenfranchise them is to make them feel unwelcome and unimportant. Returning to this group will also counter the low voter turnouts as well as recast the political debate in this country. “American culture promotes a deep denial about the determinative power of class.” (Entin, 2005, 1211) This class amnesia has not helped the Democratic Party and has allowed the boughs of government to be controlled by Republicans, the reason is simple: if we are classless, wouldn’t a rational person want to be the rich one? We need to deny this premise of American culture and recast in terms favorable to the Democratic Party.

Entin, J. (2005). Class, culture, and the working body. American Quarterly, 57(4), 1211-1221.

07 May 2006

“Most literary critics agree that fiction cannot be reduced to mere falsehood. Well-crafted protagonists come to life, pornography causes orgasms, and the pretense that life is what we want it to be may conceivably bring about the desired condition. Hence religious parables, socialist realism, Nazi propaganda.”
-Vollmann, William. 2005. Europe central. P. 25

Spoken like a true literary critic. From Cornell nonetheless. In the Midwest, communication scholars have expounded upon the hint of accuracy within this quotation. Literary critics look for ways the art is non-fiction: the way the movie is a documentary. But, they tend to have the equation backward, it is not about art imitating life but rather art constituting life. Communication scholars, by focusing on notions of subjectivity and identity, are able to see life is an acting out of whom we desire to be. This is why President Bush is such a rich study. As a Texan, living in the middle of Yankees, I can see this first hand. People will chastise the President for being stupid and silly, but I see the myths, we as Texan boys are taught, at work. I see the man acting as a cowboy because that is whom we are supposed to be. Want to be in fact.