Noam Chomsky on Swears and Wesley Snipes

When His Holiness the Dalai Lama was recently asked about The Academy Awards, he admitted that he’s not a big follower of Hollywood Motion Pictures. He prefers the BBC and CNN. For one thing movies hurt his eyes. Seems His Holiness ain’t the only one.

What’s a world class linguist? – A man who knows many things in other words

Noam Chomsky is MIT‘s world class linguist. He’s also a bit of a political observer/commentator with a  considerable knowledge of contemporary world history. Ask him about any presidential administration in the 20th century, for instance, and he’ll tell you a bunch of stuff you never knew before. It will be clear, detailed, logically presented, and very hard to argue with, even if you’re a William F Buckley jr.

Rogue male

English: Mug shot of Wesley Snipes.
English: Mug shot of Wesley Snipes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chomsky is a man who knows many things in other words. One thing he doesn’t know is who Wesley Snipes is. Now I don’t need to tell any of you that Mr. Snipes is a world class actor. He’s played everything from an avenging vampire in 3 Blade movies to a rogue transvestite with the late Patrick Swayze in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.

The Great Depression wasn’t as great as they say, and really more depressing

He also became a symbol of political resistance or something. That’s when he went to jail for refusing to pay his income taxes. Income Tax is a kind of a new development. Franklin Delano Roosevelt brought it in during the 30’s when the country was on the ropes and he wanted the rich to do their fair share in bailing the nation out. Charlie Chaplin and Shirley Temple couldn’t do everything by themselves. Naturally that wasn’t popular. Some, to this day, even maintain that it’s unconstitutional.

Know your rights!

There are many theories about that right up to and including the conspiracy stuff from people like Jordan Maxwell. He’s the guy who claims that everything is backed up by Maritime Admiralty Law. So you don’t have to pay your speeding tickets if the judge is sitting next to a flag with golden fringes on it, but only if your name on the ticket is spelled in all capitalized letters. However watch it if you do pay up, because then you’ve waived your constitutional rights & they’ve got you.

It’s just like pleading the 5th before a grand jury, and then answering some bullshit follow up question. You’ve just unintentionally waived you’re 5th Amendment rights against self incrimination by answering a question after pleading the 5th. Now you have to tell them everything or they can jail you indefinitely for refusing to answer. There’s even an old episode of the Rockford Files about it where the general principle is explained –  Jim Rockford gets in shit with the grand jury & even Beth Davenport can’t get him out of it! So, like Jim Rockford, you might have assumed you were safe because no one fully explained the game to you. Jim was no slouch when it came to getting off the hook or beating a process server – so it’s a slippery little game!

when things were rotten

Well Wesley started listening to some bunch that told him he didn’t need to give Uncle Sam any of his hard earned money. Then the IRS accused Mr. Snipes of holding out on them. The whole thing went to trial where Wes argued that there was no law compelling him to pay, & Irwin R Shyster brought up a lot of legal fine print. The upshot is that when Uncle Sam wants your money he’s gonna get it, and God help you if you’ve got other ideas about that! Wesley got several years in prison. He also became a kind of symbol of resistance and tax revolt – like the Boston Tea Partiers, and centuries earlier Robin Hood!

& if I didn’t have no sense, could I be rich like Rockefeller?

Mr. Chomsky was recently asked some questions by a mischievous interviewer – that happens from time to time. Like when Alex Jones had him on the show. After a reasonable interview Alex sucker punched him in the final moments by going completely apeshit and asking him to “say hello” to his “friend” David Rockefeller. Alex Jones is the best in the world at what he does, but there’s a lot of voltage traveling through that live wire, and sometimes the current overloads.

Tomorrow’s headlines today – unless some one screws up!

Then there was the time that Sacha Baron Cohen showed up as his alter ego Ali G and tried to bewilder Chomsky with inane questions – each one of which Chomsky patiently and good humorously answered. That’s unlike Andy Rooney who when confronted by Ali G went mildly berserk and asked the guy if he was retarded, basically. It  was the question “Do you ever screw up and print tomorrow’s news today?” that drove him over the edge. Andy then got over excited trying to explain the concept of news and linear time. Of course we knew that Andy was an old crank – albeit a witty & lovable one, so no harm done. Then again perhaps Ali G’s question was a little too close to the dark Illuminati truth lurking behind the facade of mundane reality. Remember Dewey Defeats Truman?” For years people weren’t sure whether they got the headline wrong, or the election – but Harry was one hell of a Pres!

swearing off with Noam Chomsky

Anyway this guy shows up to interview Prof Chomsky. He starts asking about swearing or something. Now the good professor is a linguist, so technically swearing is part of his specialty. He doesn’t seem to practice it personally, but that’s an academic for you – an expert with fucking book knowledge & no practical application! Noam’s been down this road before, so I guess his defenses went up. By the time the conversation got to Mr Snipes, Noam was all like “What’s a Leslie Snipes?”. I’d have said “fuck off” but that’s just me. The differences between bloggers and linguists is that though we may be lacking in the theoretical knowledge of language – we’re fucking whizzes when it comes to practical swearing (and vulgarity generally!).

the moral of the story

Now Prof Chomsky prob knows who Snipes is, & was ducking what he perceived was a trap. Part of me likes to think that he really doesn’t know. Part of me likes to think that, like the Dalai Lama, there are people out there who are not quite focused on the important things in life, like sports, entertainment, etc. Maybe they got distracted by religion, science, math, or something. So one of the things we can take away from this whole thing is that we don’t have to be celebrity obsessed, merely celebrity informed! Many of the celebrities could use a break from daily scrutiny! & also, for fuck’s sake pay your taxes. The alternative just ain’t worth it!

PS any swearing in today’s post was purely gratuitous, and just for the fuck of it!

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