I used to worry about things like “journalistic relevance,” because due to several uncontrollable outside influences and the fact that I am really lazy, I write this about two weeks before you see it. However, now I’m in Oregon for the time being, where I am pretty sure bolo sticks are considered a sport (you know, aka devil sticks, those things where you hit the one stick around with the other two sticks for no fucking reason whatsoever). And in between activities such as getting lost hiking (I almost had to cut off my own arm, but then I remembered someone had done that recently and I didn’t want to look like a poseur) and amassing enough of a psychotropic arsenal to attend the annual Country Fair (where the phrase “I’ll meet you at the Cheva Cheva Dragon Goddess and you had better bring your own patchouli this time” will not get you beaten up), I have realized that we should be so lucky to have people checking up on our journalistic relevance.
My worry that I’d subject my imaginary readership to journalistic irrelevance stemmed from the recent revelation that the New York Times’s Judith Miller is actually going to jail. This intrepid Bush administration sycophant (who makes up part of that intolerable liberal “mainstream media” we hear so much about) would rather go provide fodder for Prison Bitches in Heat XII than just admit that her “top secret” White House Valerie-Plame-is-a-spy-outing source is Karl Rove. Miller, indignantly self-righteous even in prison whites, claims the future of journalistic integrity is at stake, and that she is definitely not going to go hang out at the Grey Bar Motel because whatever Karl Rove has in store for her would be loads worse than spending six weeks as bottom to a chick named Spike.
I realized I shouldn’t be remotely worried about the timeliness of complaining about Judith Miller two weeks after the fact after I borrowed an electric screwdriver from Steve, a guy I used to date back when I lived here about ten years ago. Steve recently gave up alcohol, caffeine, cynicism, irony and fun in the name of tending his vegan “city farm” with his fiancée. I write about him with fearless impunity because part of his self-imposed hippie asceticism is the eschewing of all news media and current-events knowledge, because he decided they were all “bumming [him] out way too much,” and the power to do anything about anything extended too far beyond his circle of influence, which is apparently limited to the slug-infested carrots in his organic fucking yard. He lives in self-imposed willful ignorance now, ecstatic in the non-knowledge that no pesky pre-apocalyptic world holy war will harsh his natural buzz.
I think about Steve making hemp macramé and I think about Judith Miller trading her panties for a carton of cigarettes, and I have a hard time deciding who annoys me more: Judith Miller, someone willing to sacrifice her own freedom to protect the current administration’s press-terrorizing status quo, or someone who intentionally refuses to learn who Judith Miller is. It’s a toss-up. I’d flip a bolo stick to pick a winner, but I don’t know how. All I do know is that I’m never going to jail in the name of “journalistic” integrity. I’ll name my stupid sources all night long and I don’t care who gets fired, annoyed or embarrassed — I’m not going to jail for the Steves of the world, and neither should anyone else, not even Judith Miller. Although unlike me, she would probably get more than a weepy, earnest, passive-aggressive, self-righteous hippie “talking-to” about negativity. Karl Rove would make sure her head and her body resided in two vastly different places for the rest of eternity, but you don’t want to know about that — it would bum you out too much.