Why I Read Billy Beck

Yea, I know: he’s rude, uncivil, abrasive, inflexible, and all that. But he will never, ever, bullshit you or lie to you. Never. Not even a little bit. Not for any reason. I’ve known the man for 12 years and this is the one thing I know about him with absolute clarity and certainty. He doesn’t equivocate.

Anyway, he had an entry about liars a couple of days ago that I’d marked and was just waiting for an appropriate segue to present itself. Then, last night I was driving over to Home Depot on an important mission: to get one of these awesome ladders that you may have seen on TV. They have them, but under a different label (Gorilla Ladders). Same ladders, 1/2 the price. Paid $200 instead of $400 for the one that extends up to 19′. I can get it in the front door of our loft, store it completely out of sight in the furnace room, yet replace a light bulb in the tract lighting 18′ up on the ceiling (or hang antique Chinese scrolls 15′ up, which is what I did last night). After watching the electricians haul up their conventional 20′ extension ladders over the railing of the outside balcony (can’t get them through the front door), I feel so superior and pleased. But I digress.

So I’m going over to Home Depot and I hear this ridiculous news report about how the Gorillas of the TSA are going to start chatting people up. First thing I wonder is how all those English-as-distant-second-language folks are going to handle that one, and what happens if I don’t speak Tagalog when I next fly out of SFO? Bless the hearts of immigrants, really, but curse the bureaubot functionaries in our government, who specifically target immigrants for lifetime, valueless–and often value-destroying–“jobs.”

The next thing I wonder is if Billy will have an entry on this. Sure enough, and you’re a ‘goddamned dope’ if you don’t go immediately and read the whole thing. I was particularly fond of this paragraph, which I think is pure art:

Let me tell you something: you haven’t plumbed the depths of these peoples’ puffery until you’ve watched some dumpy broad with a gun and a uniform shooing-away a van unloading passengers and baggage at the airport at Dayton, Ohio on the premise that…well, it’s such a juicy target for exploding-van terrorism that it needs a single dumpy-ass broad with a gun glaring her resentments over a shitty job to save the country from a family trying to get grandma and grandpop on the plane to Memphis.

Hah! If only it was funny in reality.

So, Ok, the one I was going to blog the other day can be found and read right here. It’s of far more serious implications than the other; far more important.

“No enemies on the Left.” That was the deal.  And there was no price too high for others to pay while these moral monsters were held out as courageous crusaders for the noble experiment of socialism. Robeson held his awful secrets for nearly thirty years as his “friend” mouldered in the grave.


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  1. Kyle Bennett on December 29, 2005 at 11:06

    Why I read Beck,

    He has absolute X-Ray vision when it comes to seeing through bullshit. He doesn't just read between the lines, he seems to be able to see right to the spaces between the very molecules of any steaming pile of excreta that others, including myself, would have stepped right into. I'm pretty cynical myself, and consider myself fairly perceptive at keeping my shoes clean, but… well, enough of the tortured analogy, you get the point.

  2. Billy Beck on December 29, 2005 at 11:08

    "If only it was funny in reality."

    I'm tellin' ya, Rich: I stood there smoking a cigarette and watching that scene doing everything I could fight off the urge to just walk over and slap her two beady eyes right out of her head in one good whack.

    And it was really hard, even knowing that one toggle of her radio mic-switch could have cranked up a machine that would have seen me flattened under air-strikes if that's what they'd thought called for.

    "Hmm. Let's weigh this… a blow for justice that would get instantly trampled underfoot? Or silent observation of the end of America, one dumpy-ass broad at a time? Hmm…"

    A reading:

    "A song I've heard since I was young
    Sounds so sweet down this lonely street
    It makes me cry
    Askin' myself why oh why?
    Such a fool to listen to this deadly kind of lullaby
    I'd just like to know
    Cold and tired, hope all gone
    Just how far this road goes on
    I'd just like to see
    All or nothin' high or low
    Just how far this game can go"

    ("Changin' Luck", Little Feat, "Let It Roll", 1988)

    I fucking hate this place.

    But it's not as if I hate America.

  3. The Owner's Manual on December 29, 2005 at 11:30

    "I fucking hate this place.
    But it's not as if I hate America."

    That might sound like a non sequiter if you didn't know the Beck. I can only account for ten years of acquaintance, though, and you're right. The man never lies.

    As to the above, during the years of the Traitor in the White House, the question came up if it was possible to love your country while hating the government.

    Billy, me, and many others answered proudly, "Hell yes."

  4. Rich on December 29, 2005 at 11:34

    That's why I've said for many years that "America exists all over the world." You just have to find it in the right hearts and minds.

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