Adventures in Irony is a dry verbal romp of the absurd.
Let’s talk about purveyors of fake news!
As usual I’m getting ready to talk about myself. I’m a purveyor. Or, I think I am. Maybe.
Last week an interview with me from 1995 was going to be reprinted as part of our look back at the archives as Real Change approaches its 25th anniversary. In it, I told my interviewer (our director), about a personal exchange between me and Betty White in 1958. At the age of 8. Me, not her.
They were going to run that one, but pulled it and ran another. Because: Fake news.
OK, there was an actress there, and her name had “White” or some variation of that, in it. And she was the right age to be Betty White, and she was brunette, which I think Betty White would have been at the time, although who knows.
Or she might have been Margaret Whiting.
I tell you this: There is no way that woman could have been Barbara Whiting, Margaret’s sister and co-star on her TV show, which all of you have totally forgotten existed, having allowed yourselves to be enthralled by the likes of that Betty White woman.
In defense of my possible falsehood, I want to say right here and now, before anyone starts slinging accusations, that I never instructed any of my lawyers to commit perjury during any investigation into this matter. Anyone who steps forward and says otherwise is an outright malicious liar.
Remember when Trump told us all that we shouldn’t pay attention to polls, they’re all rigged? That guy sure knew what he was talking about, didn’t he?
I’ve never rigged a poll in my life, but I’m starting to think I’m missing out. It sounds like a great way to get things done. I suppose something similar got all Trump’s TV ratings up.
On the other hand, I don’t think it is ever a good idea to instruct your lawyer to lie to a congressional committee about your business dealings in Russia. I think that’s a very bad, no good idea.
Rigging polls is like a fraternity prank. It’s good, clean fun; even the goat likes it. The police come to free the freshmen and everybody has a good laugh.
Suborning perjury is not like that. Those aren’t goats, those are congress-people, believe it or not. They don’t like it, and they aren’t prone to laugh it off.
I’ve made a prediction to one of our vendors that the partial government shutdown will end on or before February 9, 2019. I picked that day because I made the prediction Jan. 9.
Now, here’s a trick I use to help me make predictions like that: I never place a bet on my prediction. If someone doesn’t agree with my predictions they’re welcome to tell me what they’ll be willing to give me if I turn out to be right, but I never make a counteroffer.
Consequently, I don’t care if I’m wrong.
That’s the trick. I can make prediction after prediction and if they all turn out wrong, so what?
True story: For a while in graduate school I played Richard Feynman’s game of asking people to come up with math problems for me, saying I could get to within 10 percent of the answers in 10 minutes.
A fellow graduate student got annoyed by this nonsense and said he’d rather see me prove a theorem in 10 minutes. He said he knew a theorem that was easy to state and has a short proof, but it would take me a year to find it. I said, nah, I’ll get it in 10 minutes.
I did it in five, at which he said, “How did you know you were going to be able to do that? It took the guy who first proved it a year to come up with a proof!”
I said, I didn’t know I could do it. I just said I could. If I hadn’t done it, what would have happened to me? There was no wager.
If the shutdown continues after Feb. 9, I’m not going to lose anything. I haven’t promised to buy anyone dinner if I’m wrong.
It’s the guy who tells his lawyer to lie to a congressional committee who has a stake in it if the shutdown goes on that long.
A president who wants to shut down the government for more than a month should avoid the appearance of committing felonies.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since.
Read the full Jan. 23 - 29 issue.
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