Category Archives: Nigerian Girls Kidnapping

Hot Air

Inflexible Moralizing

Glenn Greenwald made a name for himself around the world by hitching his wagon to the Edward Snowden runaway horse. Greenwald, of course, is the reporter who published, via the Guardian US, Snowden’s revelations that this holy land is nosy about every single email you’ve ever written and every cell phone call you’ve ever made.


Greenwald (Photo by Kin Cheung/AP)

Rightly so, we were aghast that our heretofore simon-pure leaders were attempting to peek over every transom in America. So Prez Barack H. O. had to toe the dirt in front of him for a few uncomfortable moments and get all apologetic for wanting to look under the socks in our collective upper right hand drawer.

[That’s three metaphors in one graf; is that my record?]

Snowden, meanwhile, started thinking he was the protagonist in a cheap spy novel and fled to Russia where freedom reigns eternal. And Greenwald found himself the hottest investigative reporter around.

Now, loyal Pencillistas know my feelings about Edward Snowden. Basically, he’s a dildo who somehow found himself in a position to do the rest of us one act of good and then proceeded to go back to being a dildo. As for Greenwald, I never thought much about him one way or the other, although I had a suspicion he might be a tad overzealous in view of the USA as this planet’s most odious villain. As in, we’re Nazi Germany sans the swastikas. In fact, Greenwald is skeptical of those who pooh-pooh Godwin’s Law practitioners.

Now we learn Greenwald is four-square against the United States sending police or military resources to Nigeria to assist that nation in finding its kidnapped 300 or so young girls.

His rationale? Well the US has done a lot of crappy things in its day so who are we to try to be good guys now? That and any expeditionary force, no matter how limited, surely will be the advance guard of an imperialist takeover of that oil-producing land.

Perhaps I’m naive but I believe Glenn Greenwald is full of horseshit.

A great number of Far Left radicals also buy into Greenwald’s reasoning. They’re calling any American effort to go over to Nigeria to help in the search “neo-colonialism.”


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They, too, are full of horseshit. Nigeria is suffering under the threat of those Boko Haram nitwits. And the president of the country until very recently was more concerned with silencing parents and their supporters calling for a stronger government effort to find the girls than actually finding the girls.

BTW, Nigeria in recent years has criminalized homosexuality. Oh, and most secondary schools in the state of Borno have been closed due to the menace of Boko Haram which means, literally, western writing is sinful.

The big shots in charge of Nigeria might not need neo-colonialism but they sure need a swift kick in the ass.


From the very first time I ever rode an el train to downtown Chicago alone — in the summer of 1972 — there’d be kids walking from car to car hawking copies of Jet magazine. And, sure enough, they’d find at least one passenger in each car who’d buy the little, digest-sized mag. It cost 35 cents at the time.

In fact, I’ve found the cover of the first issue of Jet I ever saw:


That’s Angela Davis, the era’s chic-est revolutionary. She was smart, determined, a college professor, a rebel, and gorgeous to boot. I already had a huge crush on her when the kid selling that month’s issue came through my car. I saw the cover as he neared me, repeating the mantra, Jat, Jat, Jat….

I would have paid a dollar and 35 cents for a copy, that’s how smitten I was with Angela Davis.

The discovery that black people had their own magazine was a revelation to me. Funny thing is, I was too scared to buy one from the kid. The only folks who bought them on the train had dark skin. I was certain the kid would snicker at me or some older black person would give me a dirty look. I never even opened a copy until my first bookstore job in 1977.

By that time, I knew white people were allowed to read Jet. Only they didn’t. We’ve come a long way.

Jet soon will publish its last print issue. Beginning in June, it’ll go online exclusively. I’m not going to cry phony tears over this transition. Working at the Book Corner (where we don’t carry Jet), I’ve come to understand that the vast majority of mags simply don’t sell. People are reading online now. I’m reading online now. Perhaps we can save a tree or two.

The only thing I’ll miss is those young black newsboys threading through the cars of an el train intoning, Jat, Jat, Jat….

Wake Me When It’s Over

Are you as underwhelmed as I am by the prospect of Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush in 2016?



Well, one good thing. We’ll have our first woman president. No, make that a great thing. Alright, alright, I’ll stay up for the race.

Indiana Ear Candy

The Indianapolis alternative weekly NUVO has released its 100 Best Hoosier Albums Ever.

You’ll recognize plenty of the artists: everyone from David Baker to Hoagy Carmichael to the Jackson Five and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. But those big names are really the minority. You’ll discover a hell of a lot of great new music if you study the list and take a listen to some of the choices you’re unfamiliar with.

I have a feeling it’ll be a better experience than being earwormed by The Lion Sleeps Tonight (wink, wink, Susan Sandberg!)

Hot Air

Simple Math

One thing we’ve learned from the mass kidnapping news to come out of Nigeria: In the perverse math practiced by this holy land’s corporate media, 230 missing little dark-skinned African girls still does not equal one single blonde girl anywhere in the world.

Perverse Math

There will be a pop quiz tomorrow.

More Fun With Numbers

Hehe, you had to figure this: A careful check of the Fox News website this morning reveals absolutely zero reference to the mass kidnapping in Nigeria.

Media Statistic

A kidnapping, BTW, that was ordered by one of the major gods to rule over human affairs. Funny thing is, only Right Wing online sites are highlighting the quote by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau that his Big Daddy-o in the Sky told him to snatch the little ones.

Natch, that’s because whenever the god of Islam acts like a jerk, the Wingnut Right is on it like yellow on Velveeta. When the Judeo-Christian capo commits a crime against humanity, of course, that’s because we simply cannot grasp the complexities of the mind of god.

Not to let the rest of our news and gossip purveyors off the hook. CNN, the New York Times, and all the other news outlets that don’t tout climate change as a hoax or are fixated upon a selective interpretation of the 2nd Amendment are suspiciously circumspect about Shekau’s claim. Oh sure, they include his god quote in their all-too-infrequent stories, but they don’t headline it. They’re afraid, presumably, of insulting Islam.

Too late; Islam has insulted itself.

You Are Mine Until I Give You Away

Let’s all agree on one thing: These Purity Balls are deranged.

Want proof? Dig the pix of participants in this medieval charade, as published in Flavorwire. Here’s one example:

Photo/David Magnusson

Photo/David Magnusson

I don’t know about you but I have a sudden urgent need to go scrub myself in scalding water.

Taking It Easy

That’s it for today. I’m still on the weak side from getting an electronic gizmo implanted in my chest. It ain’t the slicing and dicing, necessarily, but the dope they used to send me to dreamland for the procedure. I think my bod is still trying to expel the last vestiges of the junk.

R. Crumb

Be patient; more tomorrow.