Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 | Uncategorized

You know what sucks?  When two of your childhood heroes turn out to be douchebags.

I got seriously into chess because of Bobby Fischer.  I don’t know if it’s still in print or not but his book, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, was the single greatest instruction manual for that game that I’ve ever read.  If you want to know how much of a genius Fischer could be, replay any of the games from his 1972 world title match with Boris Spassky.

And to put it bluntly, I liked Fischer’s attitude.

In the 1970′s, I loved two rock bands.  One of them was the Sex Pistols.   In addition to the fact that they wrote perhaps the greatest anti-abortion song ever (“Bodies.”  Google the lyrics but make sure no kids are around when you do), I loved their “get on stage, say whatever it is that you want to say, get off and then shut the hell up” attitude.

The other band that I passionately loved was Pink Floyd.  While every other band out there explored the outer world, Pink Floyd’s focus was the inner one.  I guess it tends to happen when you have to watch one of your band’s founders go insane but it’s where I was at the time and it resonated.  Still does.

So it really pains me to see what a loathsome little anti-Semitic dickweed Roger Waters has decided to become:

I would say that I understand their opinion. Everybody should have one. But I can’t agree with them, I think that they are entirely wrong. The situation in Israel/ Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is un acceptable. So for an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong. They should say no. I would not have played for the Vichy government in occupied France in the Second World War, I would not have played in Berlin either during this time. Many people did, back in the day. There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on. From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian people being murdered. It’s the duty of every thinking human being to ask: “What can I do?”. Anybody who looks at the situation will see that if you choose not to take up arms to fight your oppressor, the non violent route, and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S) movement, which started in Palestine with 100% support from Palestinian civil society in 2004-2005, a movement that has now been joined by many people around the world, the global civil society, is a legitimate form of resistance to this brutal and oppressive regime. I have nearly finished Max Blumenthal’s book “Goliath: Life and Loathing in greater Israel”. It’s a chilling read. It’s extremely well written in my view. He is a very good journalist and takes great pains to make sure that what he writes is correct. He also gives a voice to the other side. The voice, for instance, of the right wing rabbinate, which is so bizarre and hard to hear that you can hardly believe that it’s real. They believe some very weird stuff you know, they believe that everybody that is not a Jew is only on earth to serve them and they believe that the Indigenous people of the region that they kicked off the land in 1948 and have continued to kick off the land ever since are sub-human. The parallels with what went on in the 30’s in Germany are so crushingly obvious that it doesn’t surprise me that the movement that both you and I are involved in is growing every day. The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was trying to shed light on this when we met, I only took part in two sessions, you took part in many more. It is an extremely obvious and fundamental problem of human rights which every thinking human being should apply himself t0.

23 Comments to NOSTALGIA

FW Ken
December 18, 2013

Ok, I’m listening. Where is Israel killing Palestinians? And how many? Apartheid? Last I heard, Israel had more Palestinians and Arabs than Palestine had Caucasians, but I’ll grant you The Wall. I know it was built so the Israeli government could stop Israelis from setting off suicide bombs in Palestinian towns. So bad Israelis, bad bad Israelis. Isn’t it terrible how Israel is forced by the Palestinians to shoot rockets into Palestine lands? If they quit shooting, I’ll bet the Palestine won’t fire first anymore. Heck, it’s probably Israeli spies shooting those Palestinian rockets to start with.

Now, I need to go buy a Caterpillar tractor.

December 18, 2013

Hey, I know! We should boycott US products because of some of the bizarre pronouncements by the political and religious left. Except that wouldn’t make sense, because they’re a minority who aren’t in charge of the country … er … wait, they are. Never mind.

Marie Blocher
December 18, 2013

This crap brought back memories of a movie called Parallax View.

December 18, 2013

I had the same awakening about Bobby Fischer. I was into the great Cold War U.S. v. Soviet rooting section when Fischer played Spassky. Unfortunately, I later learned that the only decent human being at the chessboard was Spassky.

Speaking of chess, we should know more about Garry Kasparov, one of the most vocal dissidents against Putin’s regime.

Allen Lewis
December 18, 2013

At least this turd acknowledges that the Holocaust actually happened. Other than that, I could not discern anything remotely resembling to reality in his stream-of-verbal-diarrhea rant.

Jacob Morgan
December 18, 2013

Roger Waters got himself kicked out of Pink Floyd (30 years ago?) and the band did fine without him as far as I’m concerned. One suspects his bandmates figured out then what everyone else knows now regarding his judgement/character.

FW Ken
December 18, 2013

The sad thing, JM, is that Putin looks good against the current American government. At least he’s not pushing a decadent agenda.

December 18, 2013

Ken, I saw where Putin said Russia was morally superior to the US. I would like to have some evidence with which to argue against that proposition.

December 18, 2013

Speaking of Putin…
I read today that the big O was going to put him down by sending a bunch of openly homosexual atheletes to the games as opening and closing ceremony delegates.
It’d serve Obama right if Putin refused to give them visas. I also hear that Obama isn’t going to attend the games. Bet Putin’s crying his eyes out over that one! One less prima dona to baby sit.

The Olympics are supposed to be above this kind of petty theatrics. Guess the big O didn’t get the memo.

December 18, 2013

I think the die was cast when Spassky reportedly said, “Chess is like life”… and Fischer responded, “Chess IS life.” Said back in the day and told me all I needed to know.

Bill (not IB)
December 18, 2013

I wonder if Roger baby is willing to play in countries where Christians are systematically wiped out – Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Syria to name just a few. Many of the oldest Christian churches inexistence are/were Coptic churches in Egypt and the surrounding areas. Google “Egypt” and Coptic” and the facts are quite clear.

Waters has a right to his opinion – but he’s basing it on hearsay and/or emotion, not reality. Of course, reality was never supposed to be a part of Pink Floyd’s “world”, so he’s at least being consistent.

And, lest any disparage my use of Pink Floyd as an example – my opinion on them was defined by the “Dark Side of the Moon” album, whose artwork was carefully duplicated on my dorm room door freshman year. That album is monumental – it should be, given the folks who worked on it. And the most impressive thing is that “it subsequently remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988.” Think about that. Fifteen years on the charts. Now, think about Starland Vocal Band [1] ****, King Harvest [2], First Class [3], Walter Egan [4], and Nick Lowe [5]. Can you name the songs they hit the charts with? Pink Floyd’s 15 year record hasn’t even been approached by anyone else.

[1] Afternoon Delight
[2] Dancing in the Moonlight
[3] Beach Baby
[4] Magnet & Steel
[5] Cruel to be Kind

**** – Starland Vocal Band won “Best New Artist” in 1977. One of the other nominees was some hopeless garage band with the improbable name of “Boston”……… But the voting couldn’t have been rigged; after all, Boston only had **5** songs make the charts from their first album:

“More Than a Feeling”
“Peace of Mind”
“Foreplay/Long Time”
“Rock & Roll Band”

Yes, I have a chip on my shoulder regarding the Grammys. Over the years, it has become clear that talent and musical innovation take a back seat to “gee, don’t they look great on stage!” It’s the equivalent to having “Topper takes a Trip” winning the Oscar for Best Film of 1939.

/soapbox off

FW Ken
December 18, 2013

Interesting question, JM. Putin is promoting the Russian Orthodox Church, but it’s anybody’s guess if he’s sincere or using the Church. The law that restricts gay rights advocacy is certainly a plus.

Compare that to our culture. Do we put children first? Oh! Wait! That brings up another issue.

Abortion is restricted to the first trimester in Russia. In the United States, our president fought a law to protect children who survive an abortion. Texas had to fight to pass a law restricting abortion to the first 20 weeks and that’s still in the courts.

Those are just two hot-button issues. Other factors to consider are healthcare. Russian men have lifespans much shorter than Europeans and Americans, apparently due to alcoholism, smoking, car accidents, and crime.

Those are a few factors I could think of. There are certainly more.

I’m listening to the news: our president is, in fact, not going, but is sending open lesbians to Russia. Our president is politicizing the Olympics, but will claim the Russians are doing so.

Oh, another factor: our government is sweeping up our internet and cell phone records without due process. Russia gave asylum to the man without whom we would not know that our government is acting like the Soviet Union of my youth.

HV Observer
December 18, 2013

Yes, you can get a copy of Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess from I’m sure they’re used copies, but they’re definitely the same copy I had when I was young. Fischer used “programmed learning” in the book … you worked step by step from page to page. Interesting learning method.

I remember following Fischer vs. Spassky on WNET-TV in New York. There were no cameras allowed in the room in Iceland; the moves were called into the studio in New York and were displayed on the big vertical magnetic chessboard there. I distinctly remember the “ding-ding-ding-ding-Dong!” of the bell in the studio.

December 18, 2013

You can get a paperback copy at Amazon for $7.19. Mass market paperback, probably a reprint.

December 18, 2013

“the band did fine without him as far as I’m concerned. ”

You mean in terms of continuing to cash in on the band’s name to make money? Or musically?

They did make two more albums and boatloads of cash after Waters left, but what have they done that had anything like the cultural and musical impact of the albums done with him?

Therese Z
December 18, 2013

Remember the Olympics where the ”black power” salute happened on the winners’ dais? I predict something similar for ghey athletes this time. A same – sex kiss? A rainbow display of some sort? I would bet a Snickers bar there will be at least one attempt at a limp salute.

December 19, 2013

T — are you suggesting a ceremonial or actual/real Greg Louganis-style appearance? And will pre- and post-pubescent boys be properly warned and safeguarded?

My guess is that the Obama-styled delegation would not stand for that if the Frank Lombards of the world (the objects of their affection, of course) were to have their way.

This is what you get when you allow ideology to trump common human decency. How else to explain it?

December 19, 2013

When I see the groups/bands you folks talk about, my suspicions are confirmed: you are a younger generation !

December 19, 2013


Christians are not being wiped out in Indonesia! I live there! It’s safer being a Christian here than the old country, the UK! There is a free press here – unlike the muzzled UK – and if there were killings here it would be all over the Jakarta Post and Jakarta Globe, in English. Trust me, I would know.

I am not saying that Islamic fundamentalism has not gained more power but appears to be more due to the weakness of the President rather than the will of the people, so the nutters go wild. [As it stands, the election is year away and the word on the street is that Jokowi is going to be forced to run, like it or not. If so, he would be Indonesia's first truly non-military, 'modern' President and good mean a sea change here for the better.]

Next: Christians are being harrassed but only in certain areas such as Aceh. Far more violence occurs in the Mindaneo area of the Philippines (and that is exaggerated.) But the Philippines gets a pass and Indonesia gets it in the neck.

I am not saying everything is wonderful here but I live here and no Christian I have met here yet – and I have met plenty) has has one single tale of Islamic persecution. Not in Surabaya, Jojakarta, Tarakan, even Jakarta – where there *are* pockets of violence.

This is far from being ‘wiped out!’

Even Malaysia oppresses Christians but it’s not genocide. The Islamic states of South East Asia cannot be compared to the Middle East. It is totally different and Indonesia most of all as the dominant form of Islam here is not ‘Arabian Islam.; Indonesia’s form if Islam is actually a mix of animalism and Islam with flavours of Christianity – in terms of ethics – added in.

I face the trouble of trying to show the locals who the West is NOT Christian anymore and that persecution is rising there (they go into shock at the news.) Likewise, I face the trouble of telling Westerners who do not live in SE Asia that Christian are not being beheaded in a daily basis. In Eygpt, yes. Indonesia no.

While I think people have long, long not understood the whole Gay movement and it’s run towards violent persecution… we do ourselves no favours when we do not report accurately. Indonesia and Malaysia, while they can be criticized on the basis of freedom of religion, are not anything near the Middle East, least of Indonesia where Christianity is formally protected by the constitution and ‘Pansilica.’

FW Ken
December 19, 2013

Not just the gay rights people, but secularism in general. It would take much to convince me that a Muslim culture would be better for Christians than secularism. Remember the cathedral in.San Juan, Argentina, guarded by brave Christian men assaulted by pro-aborts? Here’s more:

Allen Lewis
December 19, 2013

The Olympics are supposed to be above this kind of petty theatrics. Guess the big O didn’t get the memo.

Petty theatrics are about all Obama has. It has been his stock in trade for so long that he has not had to learn anything else.

The Olympics has been politicized since its inception. Some years more than others. Now it is the US that is part of the silliness. “And so it goes,” as Vonnegut used to say.

December 19, 2013

Jedinovice, I am glad to hear your report on Indonesia. We do worry. I must point out that Christians are not being beheaded on a daily basis in Egypt, either. All the Egyptians we know tell us that they opposed the Morsi regime and are happier with the military back in charge (and this includes the Muslims we know). Big problems, yes. Improvement and stabilization, also yes. Where Christians are truly being eliminated are places like Iraq, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the plight of Christians just south of the Sahara is grim.

Elaine S.
December 20, 2013

Our Host didn’t mention this but the World Chess Hall of Fame is now located in St. Louis:

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