About this time, at the peak of O.J. Frenzy, I was noticing a pattern in the media: that of what I liked to call the "Enemy Of The Month". Didn't it seem like that to you... seemed like every other day, there was some huge hysterical alarm in the media about some inflammatory hot-button bullshit issue like rap lyrics, or heavy metal lyrics, or cyberporn, or immigrants, or the Iraqis, or "hate speech", or... O.J.!
Brilliant -- in a ham-fisted fashion -- when you think about it: what better way to keep peoples' minds off of any actual real economic and social issues than keeping their panties in a bunch about a constant parade of shallow, sensationalistic "issues" like flag burning, TV violence, cyberporn, rap lyrics and -- most heinous of all at the time -- teen smoking. For some mysteriously weird reason that summer, a longtime American tradition was being raged over as if it were an asteroid about to hit the Earth. Needless to say, much of this starred President Elvis all over the TV lecturing us about teenaged smoking, using his Baby Boom membership as a tired-assed "I know, I remember the Sixties" bully pulpit. Hearing the broadcast browbeatings made me ask any Liberal within earshot, "Did you people honestly think this guy was going to give us any meaningful policy reforms on medical marijuana or drug policy in general? I mean, f'cripesake, listen to the guy!"
The real, personal insult on top of injury came that summer, a couple of weeks after Jerry Garcia had died, when President I Didn't Inhale, in his daily radio blather, chose once again to beat us over the head with the teenaged smoking "issue", vomiting smarm and condescension over my radio at staggering rates, alarmingly making note of Garcia's death in the speech, finishing with words to the effect of "remember what happened to Jerry! Just Say No, Kids!"
Right then, in that very instant -- that very fleeting little instant, sitting next to the boombox on the beach, mouth poised over a fresh slab of pizza, gulls snatching fries off the blanket, airplanes towing advertising overhead -- I felt that I could've dropped what I was doing, gotten some clothes on, driven back to DC, and risked certain life imprisonment for assaulting El Presidente, just for the satisfaction of crashing the speech and smacking President I Didn't Inhale square across the chops, on the air, for using rhetoric so crassly exploitive that it set a perverse "Gold Standard" for crass exploitation, even for the Clinton Mob.
1 of 2, medium-res jpg image, 872k
2 of 2, medium-res jpg image, 844k