With everything that goes on in the world it is sometimes difficult to keep a straight face. A couple of items I recently came across amused the hell out of me.
The first was a blog by a gentleman by the name of J. Neil Schulman.
May 21, 2010 — Author/filmmaker, J. Neil Schulman, today announced his intention to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement of his 1979 novel, Alongside Night, which tells the story of the collapse of the American economy due to massive government overspending and the issuing of unbacked money and credit to pay the interest on the national debt.
Schulman intends to name the United States government as his primary defendant. According to Schulman, “The United States government — both the executive and legislative branches, aided by the courts, have stolen the entire premise — and a lot of the plot — of my novel!”
Schulman also intends to name, as co-defendants in his copyright infringement lawsuit, the Federal Reserve Bank, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, General Motors, and the country of Greece.
“Just look at TV news or read a newspaper,” Schulman said. “Plot point after plot point is identical. In my 1979 novel I have General Motors go bankrupt — General Motors then files for bankruptcy. I have Europe issue a common currency in my novel called the ‘eurofranc’ — the European Union then goes and issues the ‘euro.’ In my novel I have a European Chancellor, based in France, accuse the U.S. President of having the monetary policies of a banana republic — then the President of the European Union — also based in France — slams U.S. plans to spend its way out of recession as ‘a road to hell’ and says President Barack Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout ‘will undermine the liquidity of the global financial market.’ The copycat nature of all these plot points and dialogue” — says Schulman — “could not be more obvious!”
Aside from the obvious satire of the proposed lawsuit, the book, Alongside Night is an award winning novel. But if the novel parallels the current economic crisis as Schulman says, he must have been having a vision when he wrote it back in 1979. Nevertheless, a very funny piece which will probably renew interest in the book. (Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer).
The second item was not a joke, but a little byplay in the ongoing war of words with Arizona over their illegal immigration legislation.
In response to the Arizona legislation, the city of Los Angeles voted to boycott all official travel there and end all future contracts with Arizona businesses.
Well, as it turns out, Los Angeles gets 25% of its power from Arizona.
Upon which, the commissioner of the Arizona Corporation Commission wrote a letter to the LA mayor.
I was dismayed to learn that the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based companies – a vote you strongly supported – to show opposition to SB 1070 (Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act).
You explained your support for the boycott as follows: “While we recognize that as neighbors, we share resources and ties with the State of Arizona that may be difficult to sever, our goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona. Our intent is to use our dollars – or the withholding of our dollars – to send a message.” (emphasis added)
I received your message; please receive mine. As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the “resources and ties” we share with the City of Los Angeles. In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.
If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights of Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.
People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill.
Commissioner Gary Pierce
The letter doesn’t actually threaten to cut off the power to Los Angeles, as some news media have implied, but it does point out the hypocrisy inherent in the Los Angeles call for a boycott.
Whether the situation will further deteriorate from this point on is an unknown, but Pierce must have thoroughly enjoyed writing the letter.
One can find humour almost anywhere you look, especially in politics.