Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 24, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 24, 2020 






Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

WARNING: An attempt to distract 
myself and perhaps provide some 
entertainment to you.

 Although my local Draft Board rejected my 
plea for conscientious objector status I believe 
there is always a better solution than violence. 
In the 1950’s film “High Noon”, Sheb Wooley the 
writer and performer of the novelty song Purple 
People Eater is the first person to appear on the 
screen. Purple People Eater is the novelty song 
to end all novelty songs. It still pops up in TV 
commercials, You Tube video, film soundtracks 
and cartoons. The “Purple People Eater” is a one –eyed, one-horned, flyin’ 
Purple People eater (the color could just as easily be orange.) In the film Sheb 
Wooley assists super bad guy Frank Miller who, upon his release from prison, 
thinks only of destroying the town and of destroying the movies’ hero, Gary 
Cooper. There is great violence. My question has always been: Could this 
violence been avoided if someone had tried to talk to Frank Miller? Similarly 
could the violence to our American ideals been avoided if there was a way to 
speak to today’s President or his advisors. Today, Stephen Miller is Trump’s 
primary advisor. As described in the October Vanity Fair issue, Stephen is the 
most determined, unwavering advocate of Trump’s racist, anti-immigration, 
White Supremacist policies. He is a monster similar to Frank Miller, the 
obsessed killer in High Noon. Immediately upon his release from prison, 
indifferent to the probability of his own death, his only thought is revenge. 
Perhaps a little calm conversation might have affected Frank Miller’s decision. 
It couldn’t have hurt. 

 In the Vanity Fair article Trump advisor Stephen Miller is described as 
a person who until recently, has never had an intimate friend and believes that 
America is under assault from outsiders. All through college Stephen lived 
an isolated life acting as if he enjoyed being despised and despising everyone. 
Finally, when Stephen gained prominence within the Trump administration 
and contrary to everyone’s expectations, Stephen according to the article 
“found a human woman to marry who was pretty, but motivated solely by the 
desire to be close to power.” His wife is now pregnant and perhaps a relationship 
with this forthcoming child will result in a moderation in Stephen’s world 
view and will be reflected in a change in policy recommendations. It would 
be nice. Of course, it would be nice if Donald was not re-elected or voluntarily 
resigned from office.

 So much for Stephen; what about Donald? We all can observe that 
Donald doesn’t really want to be President. He just wants not to be a loser and 
to be adored by everyone all the time. That’s all! It is important to understand 
the President’s true needs even if he doesn’t understand them himself. Sheb 
Wooley’s Purple People Eater’s true desires at the end of the song, “He came 
flyin’ down because he really wanted to be a rock and roll star.” The final lines 
of the song—“Well bless my soul, rock and roll, flyin’ purple people eater—
what a sight to see.”

 Do you see? Deplorable consequences can be avoided if we all are 
willing to take a little extra time to best understand each other, even if we don’t 
fully understand ourselves. Isn’t there a kind of conversation which would 
allow our President to stop bearing his heavy cross at the age of 75 and resign 
his position while still maintaining his fragile self-esteem? Realistically, how 
much survival time is left for him in this time of the Pandemic? 

 I hope reading this article wasn’t a complete waste of your time. 
Writing it kept me less stressed as I awaited for the distraction of the first 
game of the World Series. For a short time I stopped worrying about the 
Pandemic. Okay let’s think now. What can help us to be a little calmer while 
still comply with recommended restrictions? Maybe there’s another song or 
an old movie that can help? 


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A member of 







I’d rather focus on stink bugs.

The political season is at a fever pitch. Anger at those who 
disagree with others’ political views, the result of increasing 
polarization, is rampant.

I don’t have the stomach for what our politics and public discourse 
have become.

So I focus on stink bugs.

The brown marmorated stink bug, increasingly common in Pittsburgh, originated 
in east Asia.

The first documented U.S. stink bug was collected in Allentown, Pa., in September 
1998 after likely hitching a ride on a shipping container.

Prehistoric-looking and persistent, the creature takes any opportunity to sneak 
into our homes each fall to survive winter’s cold – and boy, does it stink.

Just as I turn on a good movie and flip back my recliner to escape all things political, 
I see one of those buggers crawling along my crown molding – puzzled at how 
it got there.

Then my heart sinks.

According to Prevention, when threatened, a stink bug sprays a smelly fluid up to 
several inches toward me as I struggle to get it into a bottle.

I loathe that smell – almost as much as I loathe modern politics, which has begun 
to stink even worse.

Just after capturing my latest stinky invader the other night, I watched “The Social 
Dilemma” on Netflix.

It argues that social media platforms are damaging our society – and our politics 
–by deploying powerful computer algorithms that monitor our online usage patterns 
to better understand our likes and dislikes, so they can hold our attention and 
keep us logged in.

The more we use these platforms, the more they know about us – and the more ads 
these platforms can sell for us to click, generating billions of dollars.

These platforms are designed to be addictive – to give us a dopamine hit when 
someone “likes” something we posted – so that we spend as much time as possible 
online, generating revenue by clicking on ads.

But it’s more than that. Social media platforms have the power to not only predict 
our behavior, but to shape and manipulate it – by feeding us content and friends 
customized to our unique likes and needs, which we find agreeable and validating.

If you have liberal views, liberal content will pop up in your news feed. If you have 
conservative views, conservative content will display. If you have conspiracy views, 
left or right, guess what you’ll see in your news feed.

Is it any wonder that fewer people are able to distinguish between bogus theories 
and legitimate news – and that more people discredit legitimate news as bogus 

If your primary information source is social media, it’s no wonder if you think 
those with opposing views are wrong-headed or even evil. This endless feedback 
cycle, designed to exploit you for profit, contributes to our increasing polarization, 
poisoning our political process and resulting in violence in our streets.

I lack the stomach for all the angst brought on by the closing of our minds, which 
is getting us nowhere and harming our country, politics and every last one of us.

My primary escape these days is preoccupying myself with the stink bugs that keep 
sneaking into my house.

 Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood,” a humorous memoir 
available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist

This Thanksgiving 
to be a bonanza 
for dogs, raccoons, 
and any other 
varmints that 
call California 

Every carnivore in the Golden State has 
gotten the health department’s memo: 
This Thanksgiving is outdoors only! 
Imagine the leavings – discarded drumsticks, 
misplaced potatoes, spilled stuffing. 
Bon appetit!

Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has 
pole vaulted over the line that separates 
good government from tyranny and canceled 
Thanksgiving. Well, that’s not quite 
fair. Rather, he’s made it very difficult to 
celebrate Thanksgiving if you follow his 
new rules.

Newsom has mandated that all Thanksgiving 
celebrations be held outside, provided 
only three households are represented in 
the gathering. Of course, all mask-wearing 
and social distancing guidelines must 
be observed.

I know what you’re thinking. What if Uncle 
Joe, who’s annoying, somewhat inappropriate 
and always stays too long needs 
to use the bathroom. Fear not. The guv 
has an answer.

“Attendees may go inside to use restrooms 
as long as the restrooms are frequently 

Just so we’re all on the same page. After 
Uncle Joe uses the facilities, the cleaning 
crew needs to go in, disinfect and repaint 
if necessary.

If you have any questions about hygiene, 
the government offers a brief tutorial on 
how to wash your hands. A little refresher 
can’t hurt.

“Everyone at a gathering should frequently 
wash their hands with soap and water, 
or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are 
not available. A place to wash hands or 
hand sanitizer must be available for participants 
to use.”

I’m not sure what “frequently” means. Every 
three minutes?

Also discouraged are “singing, chanting 
and shouting.” I get the shouting. When 
I was a kid, if there was no shouting at 
an Italian Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or 
any gathering that included more than six 
people, I would have thought there was 
something horribly wrong. But are there 
many popular Thanksgiving chants? If 
you feel the need to chant, at least have 
the common decency to wear a mask.

For the mathematically challenged, there’s 
this: “Gatherings may occur in outdoor 
spaces that are covered by umbrellas, 
canopies, awnings, roofs, and other shade 
structures provided that at least three 
sides of the space (or 75%) are open to the 
outdoors…Seating must provide at least 6 
feet of distance (in all directions – front-
to-back and side-to-side) between different 

Got all that? To be safe, bring a tape measure 
and preferably a nephew who’s majoring 
in math a Cal Tech.

And do you remember how you always 
passed the big bowl of mashed potatoes 
around the dinner table? Well, forget it.

“Shared items should not be used during a 
gathering. As much as possible, any food 
or beverages at outdoor gatherings must 
be in single-serve disposable containers.”

And there’s something else. There won’t 
be much time for regaling your guests 
with post-feast storytelling, or even dessert 
for that matter. You need to keep it 
short – two hours maximum, the governor 
says. Then, it’s everyone out, post-
haste. If you have any lingerers, do what a 
friend of mine does when he decides the 
party’s over and wants everyone to leave – 
start cleaning up. You can even put up the 
chairs. They’ll get the hint. If not – and I 
hate to resort to this but rules are rules – 
you might have to get physical. I don’t see 
anything wrong with hiring a bouncer for 
a couple of hours to clear out the riff raff.

Yes, in a state where only Nancy Pelosi 
can still get a rinse and a blow-out, you, 
the tax-paying citizens, have to celebrate 
Thanksgiving in the yard.

I’m not sure how California plans on enforcing 
what it calls “mandatory requirements 
for all gatherings.” Along with the 
obvious challenges, defunding local police 
departments is all the rage in Cali so 
good luck finding enough cops to staff a 
special turkey detail.

I can see this leading to a resurgence of 
the “speakeasy,” Thanksgiving style. Illicit 
establishments selling only turkey dinners 
will be popping up everywhere.

Here in Kentucky, Democratic Gov. Andy 
Beshear, to whom the U.S. Constitution is 
merely an unsubstantiated rumor, hasn’t 
told us to take it outside, at least not yet.

But that’s the thing about government 
overreach. Give a bureaucrat with power 
and inch and he’ll take a drumstick.

Rich Manieri is a Philadelphia-born journalist 
and author. He is currently a professor 
of journalism at Asbury University in 
Kentucky. You can reach him at manieri2@

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