No doubt others of you out there share my frustration (admittedly a familiar condition) with the failure of so many citizens, pundits, media thinkers, casual conversationalists to be able to hold two ideas in their heads simultaneously, especially to accommodate two difficult, provocative, "offensive" ideas. Or even three. Is it, for instance, possible to exercise a critique of religious extremists (never satisfactorily defined and to my mind a tautology) by way of careful and logical and humane hostility not only to one religion but, yes, all of them!? Look no further than the Bibliofellow, who here offers himself as an unshy role model, hostile to religion and able to ignore tasteless or dumb or unnecessarily mean efforts at, say, humor and satire but eager to celebrate the form always. Duh. This exemplary behavior seems too absent in a lot of what passes for discussion in too many forums, where silly people indeed talk about what "offends" them. I am increasingly, yes and oui, offended by religion, which is always necessarily a provocation, a purposeful, clumsy, institutionalized and too-powerful reactionary assumption-machine which by definition challenges the rational, humane, collaborative and usually gets away with it. Also, friends, the only people who attack religion with guns and swords and money are, yup, other religionists, no kidding.
Charlie Hebdo Photo: Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images, Design: Dustin Ames
A few months after Gary Webb killed himself with his dad's old pistol, I stood shirtless in my back yard, staring at the full moon. The sky was black and cloudless, the moon blurry. Earlier that night, I'd poured myself several splashes of single-malt scotch. I shook my fist in the air and screamed.
I'd been a mess ever since Dec. 12, 2004, when the Sunday-morning edition of the Los Angeles Times hit my porch. As usual, I had opened the paper to the last page of the news section, where the Times tended to bury its most important stories. "Gary Webb, 49, wrote series linking CIA and drugs," read the headline, and suddenly I realized I was reading an obituary. Webb, the article stated, who "wrote a widely criticized series linking the CIA to the explosion of crack-cocaine in Los Angeles, was found dead in his Sacramento-area home Friday. He apparently killed himself."More »
As you'd expect, the cover has changed to OC Weekly managing editor Nick Schou's book Kill the Messenger now that a major motion picture of the same title based on the book hits theaters today.
Original Kill the Messenger book cover (left) and the version now that there's a major motion picture.
Whether vintage or new, you'll want to read the book before venturing into a local theater to see the movie starring Jeremy Renner. For Nick's sake, why not buy copies of each version? Check Amazon or Barnes and Noble.More »