Once again, it’s time to acknowledge the most idiotic comments uttered in all seriousness by America’s deepest thinkers. It requires a very a serious effort upon my staff’s part to choose the very dumbest of the dumb for recognition. There are so many contenders. But, we’ve done what they all said couldn’t be done. We’ve found the most unworthy candidates for the 2002 Kozmo awards.
The Black Helicopter Kozmo goes to PBS documentarian Stuart Tanner. “What's interesting about spending some time in the area is that you become aware of deeper and in some sense darker aspects of the conflict. To give you an example, the suicide bombing on Wednesday, the "Passover massacre," as the Israelis call it, whose interests did that serve? I'd say it certainly undermined the whole Arab summit and peace proposal. It strengthened Sharon's claim that Palestinians are not interested in peace. And it further damages the image of Chairman Arafat. And therefore sometimes you get darker currents of conspiracy theory, whereby people begin to think that maybe these attacks are allowed, because the timing of them would suit Israel politically so strongly.”
So there you have it. Ariel Sharon is blowing his own people to pieces for political advantage.
What sort of Kozmo should we give to former Clinton Health and Human Services Secretary Andrew Cuomo? During his campaign for the New York Democratic Party’s nomination for governor, he appointed pornographer Larry Flynt as a fund raising vice chairman. Somebody must have whispered that having Larry Flynt as a prominent member of his campaign team wasn’t so brilliant, so the appointment was quickly withdrawn. But, what sort of gubernatorial candidate needs to be told that?
The Ignoble Kozmo goes to the Nobel Prize Committee. These deep thinkers not only awarded a Nobel Prize to Jimmy Carter for his contributions to world peace (somebody please show me where the world is more peaceful thanks to him), but they announced that they regretted their choice for the 1994 Nobel Prize. That year, they split the award between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin. They now regret giving the award to Rabin!
The Skolarship Kozmo goes to the reverend Jesse Jackson. Last July, during a speech at the 93rd annual convention of the NAACP, Jesse Jackson accused president George Bush of being, “unliterate.” I am not kidding.
The Common People’s Kozmo goes to prominent Democratic congresswoman, Sheila Jackson Lee. Lee, who exalts herself as the voice of the powerless against the powerful, demands that she be chauffeured daily, at taxpayer expense, 200 yards from her luxurious apartment to her office. Once, her car blocked traffic for 23 minutes on one of Washington, DC’s busiest streets while Ms. Lee took her time getting to the car for her one block ride to work. When Lee at last appeared, a servile aide opened the door for her. At that moment, Lee decided to take out her cell phone and place a phone call, leaving the aid standing by the open door and the car still blocking traffic. After finishing her call, Lee still refused to get into the car, choosing instead to glare silently at her confused aid. Finally, the aid realized the error and removed Lee’s coat and shawl from her shoulders and placed them in the car. Finally, Ms. Lee consented to step into the car and allowed herself to be driven to her office. Champion of the downtrodden, this Kozmo’s for you!
The Artist Creativity Kozmo goes to former pop guru Nicholas Riddle. Showing just how easy it is to create art these day, Mike Batt, who gained minor fame in the 1970’s for creating the pop group, “The Wombles,” has assembled a new band called, “The Planets.” Apparently out of ideas, on their new album, they recorded “One Minute of Silence,” which is exactly what it sounds like – nothing for one minute.
That would be silly enough, except that Batt is being sued by Riddle, CEO of a music company, that claims that it owns the copyright to nothing. Riddle claims that, 50 years ago, composer John Cage recorded 4’33”, which was 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. Riddle owns the rights to Cage’s work. And so, for defending his rights to nothing, Nicholas Riddle earns the Frivolous Litigation Kozmo.
Al Gore wins the Historical Myopia Kozmo. Not only did he claim to be the victim of a vast right wing media conspiracy last year, but he claimed to be a representative of the common man.
“There has always been a debate over the destiny of this nation between those who believed they were entitled to govern because of their station in life, and those who believed that the people were sovereign.” he wrote recently. He managed this without a trace of intentional irony, in a New York Times Op-Ed piece.
For those of you with short memories, Al Gore was raised as a child of power and privilege. His father was a Senator who wished to establish his own Kennedy-style political dynasty. Al Gore was groomed by his parents from birth to someday ascend to the presidency. If there is any man who believes that he is entitled to govern because of his station in life, that man would be Albert Gore Jr.
And just to show how little power and privilege has affected the Gore family, we have to give the Hillary Clinton Memorial Spoiled Brat Kozmo to Gore’s wife, Tipper. She wanted tickets to a sold out Bruce Springsteen concert for herself, her common folk husband, and his entire staff. The concert’s promoters did the best they could, but could only come up with four tickets, for which they asked the comparatively modest face value price of $75.00. Tipper refused to even consider paying for the tickets and told the promoters to forget it.
The Grassy knoll Kozmo could be handed out to the dozens on the Left who publicly proclaimed the notion that the Bush Administration assassinated the late Senator Paul Wellstone, of Minnesota. But, I decided to give it to the guy who, so far as I know, went public first.
Professor Michael Niman teaches journalism and media studies at Buffalo State College. He wrote that,” There is no indication today that Wellstone's death was the result of foul play. What we do know, however, is that Wellstone emerged as the most visible obstacle standing in the way of a draconian political agenda by an unelected government. And now he is conveniently gone. For our government to maintain its credibility at this time, we need an open and accountable independent investigation involving international participation into the death of Paul Wellstone. Hopefully we will find out, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that this was indeed an untimely accident. For the sake of our country, we need to know this.”
You know professor, a diagnosis of paranoia doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t all out to get you.
For the Pandering Kozmo, we have Spain’s King Juan Carlos who is actually considering apologizing to the descendants of the Moors who, were expelled from Spain in the 16th century.
There’s no word on whether or not the Moors are planning to apologize for invading Spain in the first place.
For a while I thought of retiring the Grand Poobah Kozmo, awarded to that one glittering nitwit who did or said the stupidest thing all year. After all, who could possibly outdo the reliably mean liberal political cartoonist Ted Rall, who on March 6, 2002 published a 6 panel cartoon mocking widows of terrorism. Perhaps the most tasteless of all the panels was the one ridiculing Daniel Pearl’s widow: “Of course it’s a bummer that they slashed my husband’s throat – but the worst was having to watch the Olympics alone!” she says to a bank of microphones.
In another panel, a WTC widow with a lap full of cash tells an interviewer: “I keep waiting for Kevin to come home, but I know he never will. Fortunately, the $3.2 million I collected from the Red Cross keeps me warm at night.”
You see what I mean.
It’s worth noting that in 1995, Rall won the Robert F. Kennedy award for journalism. He is also suing another editorial cartoonist for causing “emotional distress” because of a pointed satire aimed at him.
But rather than retire the prize, I’m going to name it after this year’s winner. Ted Ralls, the Ted Ralls Memorial Kozmo for the stupidest thing that anyone said or did during the entire year of 2002, goes to you!
I hope he doesn’t sue me!