Mark Palermo

Pimp of the Nation

He Was Our S.O.B.
Long Ago Saturday Nights at the Circle 9
The Dark Side of Vaccinations
Wine: Where Ignorance and Pretension Find their Loudest Voice
A 1976 Journey in Search of Self
The Machinery of Mass Dreams
The Outlaw Georgie Bush
Sex Offender Registries Out of Control
Extreme Makeover for Airheads
The Fault Lies not in the Stars, but in Ourselves
Reconsidering George Carlin
If You Think Liberals Are Jerks...
She Couldn't Do Her Chores
Remembering Viktor Frankl
One Day on the Farm-1977
A Fresh Look at Meat
How the Real World Works: A Lesson
30 Bucks for the Human Touch
1929 All Over Again
An Old Man's War, A Young Man's Fight
More Things in Heaven and Earth...
Our Dumbed-down Public Discourse
Bread, But No Roses
Earth's the Right Place for Love
Read This Before Enlisting
Poison Is Good for You: The Fluoridation Scam
Ron Paul:He Makes Too Much Sense
War Is a Racket
Brazil's National Orgasm Day
Calling all Liberals!
Why I Don't Get Flu Shots
What is Community?
Haverhillicus Homocrisicum
If You Wanna Be a Junkie, Why?
Do We Know His Family?
Scam: Youth Sports
A Subsidy for the Human Touch?
How Not to Be Boring
If the Bread and Roses Strike Were NOW
America's Problem with the Body
Columbus Day? or Renaissance Day?
Depleted Uranium Weapons
Mitt Romney: A Clintonian Republican
A Checklist for Conservatives
On Torture and Torturers
Pimp of the Nation
Romney is a Jerk
Hypocrisy and its Champions
The Dumb Society
The Men's Taverns of Yesteryear
On Dittoheads!
Let China Sleep
2004 McDebates
Animal Rights Page
US Wealth Distribution Chart
Public Grief, Private Lives


            I have always believed that New Year’s Eve ( amateur night) is the best night of the year to stay home, and so I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve with my family. We watched old videos of  Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore, and of course,  reruns of the  Ed Sullivan show. Maybe it is just the passing years, but seeing the old programs made me realize how much class entertainers had compared to now. I also noticed that not only the performers but the audience as well was dressed up for a night out, the men in suits and ties and the women in dresses. I never thought I would miss the decorum, but I do. The old-timers performers had elegance, stage presence and an easy sense of showmanship that bespoke an adult sensibility and civility that has been lacking for the last thirty-five years.  I was talking to a friend the next day, 84 years young, who says that today’s entertainers look and act like bums.


How’s this for artistic integrity? Eminem, (A.K.A. Marshall Mathers) in an interview with MTV a couple of years ago revealed that he doesn’t like for his daughter  to listen to his music.  He insists that she listen only to versions that he has personally remixed to censor all the cuss words, violence and misanthropy. Eminem has always maintained that violent lyrics are only mere words and therefore have no effect upon his young listeners. If this is true, why do you suppose he goes to all that trouble to remix his songs. for his daughter?

We all bump up against our contradictions sooner or later. But circumstances in life usually push us towards them. In Eminem’s case, there was that time a couple of years ago, when the rapper was playing with guns and got busted by the cops. The judge took Eminem into his chamber and gave him a confidential talk about jail. Have you seen a picture of Eminem lately? He looks like a computer data base administrator or divinity student. He says he has to change for his little girl. A praiseworthy motive indeed. But as a parent, I’d like to ask him the following: Hey Eminem, why is it OK for America’s children to listen to your music, but not your own daughter?

Has Eminem found a motivating force to elevate his art above the base instincts? Or is it a false start for the 34-year-old bad boy? One door never closes behind us without another one opening ahead. It will be interesting indeed to see how the life of Marshall Mathers turns out. Which brings us to this question: what are the most powerful motivators of human behavior ?

The CIA wanted an answer to this question back in the 1950’s and initiated its infamous MK Ultra Project, under which the agency explored hypnosis, sleep deprivation, ESP, remote viewing, electric shock, etc. The agency even used LSD in this country before the hippies, giving doses - often without consent- to drifters, prostitutes and federal prison inmates ( including Whitey Bulger) in order to observe effects of the drug and assess its application for possible military purposes.

But   an even more formidable agent of human motivation exists. It makes people more aware of their own mortality and colors every part of their waking hours. Once experiencing it, most people are never the same.  The CIA probably never thought of it, but it is revolutionary, visceral, it has changed the world. The powerful agents for motivating human behavior of which I speak are the following:  having a child and holding a 30-year mortage.


You’ve heard the old joke about a conservative is a liberal that’s been mugged? Here’s a couple more:


 What’s a conservative?  A white, straight, male liberal that has just attended his company’s compulsory diversity training seminar.


What’s a liberal? A conservative that just had his job downsized while his company reported record profits and the CEO made a hundred million dollar bonus.




Speaking of pop stars, there is Kid Rock. Probably not a bad guy, but a living, breathing window on the world of arrested development.  A favorite of the President Bush’s daughters, Kid almost got an invite to perform at the presidential inauguration, but was persona-non-grata at the last minute for reasons undisclosed. Perhaps it had to do with the lyrics to one of to Kid’s songs titled “Pimp of the Nation.”


“Pimp of the Nation, I could be it

        As a matter of a fact, I foresee it

        But only pimpin' hoes with the big tush

        While you be left pimpin' Barbara Bush.”


Kid Rock. No man ever went so far in life with so little talent- with the possible exception of Dean Martin.


 January 2005