In this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mail Bag, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss Benghazi, Sarah Palin, Pot Legalization and Our Favorite Concerts.
1. Just when we think we're out they pull us back in. In one week Benghazi is back in the news and Sarah Palin is saying utterly something crazy. It's like the world's shittiest boomerang coming back on us. Any tips on staying sane?
Ben: I think you should change your perspective Lynnette. I mean, could it get more desperate? I've long held the theory that the GOP's long term prospects are nothing short of catastrophic - they can win battles on a local level by being completely insane, but it makes them unelectable on a national level. The money men realize this and keep trying to ram dickless twerps like Mitt Romney down everyone's throats, but they also created monsters like Sarah Palin who keep injecting themselves into the national dialogue (much to the disappointment of people like Karl Rove). Sure it's depressing, but from a strategic point of view, the Democrats couldn't ask for more.
Chez: Not a one. Benghazi really never went anywhere and really neither did Palin. There's at least new information on the former -- though as usual none of it is the smoking gun conservatives have been clamoring for for years now (years!) -- and it's precisely the method to the madness of the latter that she has to step up and say something stupid and incendiary as soon as people start forgetting she exists. This is really all the right has these days -- this kind of unserious dog and pony show crap. The thing is it feels like it's getting worse for exactly the right reason: because they've lost the country and they're beginning to finally understand it.
Bob: Two things to keep you sane: 1) The far-right is very desperate and very wrong on Benghazi. They've lost the narrative, and no one's paying attention any more. 2) We're both way, way, way smarter than a woman who was nominated as the vice presidential candidate of her party.
2. I have to be honest and say that I'm on the fence about pot legalization. People are going to do it no matter what but do you think legalizing it sends a message to kids that it's okay, and do you think more kids will do it once it's legal?
Chez: I'm not sure it's going to make much difference one way or another. I think if you wanna do it you're gonna do it, but there's definitely something to be said for decriminalizing it because it's just obscene to be sending people to prison because of weed. I think there will always be kids who look at weed and not be all that interested in it the same way there are kids who don't really get into drinking until later in life (if at all). I don't know any of those kids who don't get into drinking until later in life, but I'm sure they're out there.
Bob: Not any more so than legal alcohol or legal prescription drugs. Look, it should absolutely be legal. What irritates me is the prioritization it gets as an issue. It seems to come up all the time in the discourse, but I can list a dozen issues more pressing than whether pot is legal. Climate change, Voter ID, reproductive rights, immigration, money in politics, gun control, etc, etc.
Ben: It should absolutely be legal in my opinion, but I think there is a genuine issue when it comes to kids smoking it and I hear what you are saying. I think there are very legitimate concerns that marijuana can affect brain development in adolescents, and has the potential to cause very serious mental illness (and I've seen this happen to several people close to me). I don't see how making it legal for adults will encourage them though - they're going to do it anyway, so it won't make any difference whatsoever. Anyway, it's much less harmful than alcohol, and no one thinks that should be illegal anymore.
3. What's the best concert you ever went to?
Bob: I have several in no particular order: 1) The Flaming Lips, Allentown, PA, At War With The Mystics Tour 2006. 2) Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe at Washington, DC's Constitution Hall, 1990. 3) Rush, Camden, NJ, Time Machine Tour, 2010. 4) Death Cab for Cutie, Philadelphia, PA, Narrow Stairs Tour, 2009. 5) Yes, Union Tour, Philadelphia Spectrum, 1991.
Chez: I probably have a top three. Pearl Jam on the 1992 "Ten" tour at the Cameo Theater in Miami Beach. Oasis in a surprise show at the Viper Room in '95. Jimmy Scott at Birdland in '02.
Ben: Not really a concert person to be honest, but I did go to a Ragga Death Metal concert in a horrible place in Essex, England a few years back, and it was a surprising amount of fun. The band was called 'Skindred', and I only went because it was a bachelor party and my friend desperately wanted to see them. We were completely hammered, did a lot of moshing, and nearly got mugged on the way home - so all in all, it was fairly dangerous. We spent about a week recovering too, but it was bloody good fun. Saw Coldplay in Anaheim back in 2009, and that was great.