Wednesday, August 09, 2006

That's Ben

There’s this guy in my office. Let’s call him “Ben.” Ben is a trainer. 50 years old. Ben likes to put word-puzzles, riddles and tricky questions on the outside of his cube. Ben seems like a nice enough guy.

As many are already aware, Neil Boortz is a syndicated radio talk-show host who is mildly popular outside of Atlanta. Many may not be aware of the fact that here in the Atlanta area he is huge. He dominates the talk radio market. I used to listen to him sometimes because I felt like I needed to understand the “other side,” and because at times I admit he was amusing. “Harmless fun” I thought. “Nobody can take this guy seriously.”

I thought.

It turns out people take him very seriously. He calls himself a “libertarian.” So do lots of people in Atlanta. He hates paying taxes, especially the ones that fund public education. He calls public schools “government schools,” and has an agenda to dismantle the public school system. A slew of his listeners down here who make decent money and who are a product of those same public schools don’t see the irony in parroting this shyster who is nothing more than a shill for the gluttons - who in spite of their obscene positions of wealth and power just can’t get enough and crave even more. He’s written a book about “liberals,” and another one about how to make the tax system more "fair" – to the richest Americans. He attacks the poor, minorities, democrats, and the dreaded liberals - not with the usual invective - but with a gleeful chuckle.

He plays well in Hot Lanta.

Ben is more than a fan of Neil Boortz. Ben has put Boortz’s “Fair Tax” propaganda along side his stories of the farmer, the chicken and the fox trying to cross the river. Ben has left literature in the men’s room for the benefit of those few of us who don’t yet see the wisdom of helping to make the top 1% who own 34% of the wealth in this country to grab even more of it. (These figures are out of date – the top 1% has an even bigger piece of the pie since BushCo has been handed the knife*.) I haven’t yet had the chance to properly thank Ben for that one.

Knowing all of this I still was willing to put that aside. I know plenty of people just like Ben and have accepted them. I’ve had some friendly chats with Ben about training, the company, and other subjects not directly related to the raping of the bottom 95% of the US population.

That was until this week. It turns out Ben has another hero.

This miscreant. Ben now his book, “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder” on display in his cube. I mean those words literally. Ben has it standing upright displayed prominently on his desk.

As my wife said, “When you meet someone who listens to Limbaugh or Boortz but is otherwise nice, you can overlook it. Some people are misinformed, intellectually lazy or not that bright. When someone admits to being of fan of Michael Savage, you can only conclude that they have severe character flaws and are morally corrupt individuals.”

That’s Ben.

*Gotta give my good friend and excellent editor his props - he pointed out my egregious mixed metaphor and even suggested the fix - thanks fan...


Blogger XTCfan said...

The title "Steal This Book" come to mind...

11:32 AM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

While I would never do it, I'd like to stroll up to him and say: "I was wrong about you. I used to think that you were just a run-of-the-mill, misguided but otherwise innocuous man. After getting to know you better, I've revised that opinion. I'm now convinced that you are a genuine, textbook example of a best-in-show asshole."

12:12 PM  
Blogger XTCfan said...

Nah. Just trash his cube, and keep doing it, until he takes the crap down.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

Man, I'm glad I don't work with anyone like that - as far as I know. They don't advertise it or put up displays, at least. It's easier to get along that way.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Employee of the Month said...

We have a woman in our dept who we nicknamed "the most pregnant woman in the world". Insufferable during her pregnancy, no detail left unbroadcast. Post delivery of baby Jesus she would insist on expressing in the conference room, not the women's lounge (?!).

Anyway, Milky (another nickname) has prominently displayed in her cube a fucking Ann Coulter book.

12:04 PM  
Blogger roxtar said...

As I was fond of saying when I was in the business:

"Imitation is the sincerest form of radio."

Feel free to quote me.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

My office has roughly 20 Bens -- all enthusiastic Savage fans. They start the day with local right-wingers on the radio in the morning, rev up to Limbaugh in the afternoon, catch Hannity in the late afternoon, and cap off their day with Savage -- all on the same radio station here in Pittsbrugh. Every problem in the world, according to them, is the result of liberal thinking.

8:58 AM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

My office has roughly 20 Bens

God, that is awful. How can you stand it?

Did you know that Roxstar is there in Pittsburgh too? If my new gig takes me there the 3 of us should get together for a beer...

9:25 AM  
Blogger Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

That'd be fun. In fact, in light of your most recent post ("In God's Face"), I know the perfect place. There's a microbrew pub here housed in a huge converted Catholic church. It's called the Church Brew Works -- best damned use of such a space I can imagine.

1:36 PM  

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