It's all over the internet-- Sean Penn wants some sort of lines to be drawn when it comes to just what journalists can and cannot say about Hugo Chavez.
Now follow us, if you can... it gets a little tricky here.
Sean Penn is buddies with the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. In the time that Mr. Chavez has been in power he's revoked the license of Venezuela's second largest television network, he's imprisoned opposition figures, he's nationalized entire sectors of the economy, he's tried to make himself president for life.
Sean Penn sees all of this going on and, after a chat or two on the phone with Hugo and a visit to Venezuela, he says that any journalist who calls his homey Hugo a "dictator" should be jailed.
"Every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it, and accept it" said Penn, winner of two Best Actor Academy Awards. "And this is mainstream media, who should -- truly, there should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies."We can understand Penn. He's being protective of his pal Hugo. After all, Hugo understands Penn. Hugo called Sean Penn "well-informed about what is happening in the United States and the world, in spite of being in Hollywood." (Although, it's obvious from the quote that even Chavez knows that the folks in Hollywood are largely full of the brown stuff. So this is kind of a backhanded compliment!)
What we have here is... failure to communicate. We are not all of us on the same page when it comes to the definition of what is a dictator. (Of course, we're all not on the same page when it comes to just what freedom of the press is all about, but we'll leave that discussion for another day.)
If you are a resident of SeanPennistan, and you go onto various chat rooms or bulletin boards, your definition of dictator gets kinda wobbly... it may even include none other than... George W. Bush!
Consider this, from a February 27, 2009, article entitled "How Mr & Mrs Bush are handling retirement":
"The only thing we don't have are the newspapers. It has been slow to get The Dallas Morning News delivered," she told ABC. "People bring the newspaper to us later in the day. It's just not being delivered yet."Okay.
We have a "dictator" whose complaining that the Dallas Morning News doesn't always come on time.
Weigh that against Hugo Chavez. He gets a little heat from the ABC of Venezuela and he sends them all home without severance. We detect a discrepancy here in how we define "dictator."
In the pantheon of dictators, you gotta give the All-Time Fail award to a guy who, after eight years as president of the most powerful nation on the planet opts to retire to a backwater town outside of Dallas and then sends his wife out to complain that the paper isn't hitting the step.
There's a little thing online called Yahoo! Answers that purports to "crowd source" answers to popular questions that pop into peoples' heads. The deal is that you float a question out there and the "crowd" (every insufferable know-it-all on the planet with internet access) then provides an answer. Now... here's the fun part: the asker determines the best answer or... rest of the "crowd" votes on what is the best answer!
If one or more answers are collected, the Asker can either pick the best answer after 4 hours or extend the open period for four additional days to allow more time for answers to be posted. If the Asker takes no action to resolve the question, the answers are automatically put to a vote by the community, along with a No Best Answer choice.Sounds like a formula for... hilarity!
Take this recent question, from I.M. Puffin-Stuff, posted "one year ago":
Is George W. Bush enjoying his retirement?The best answer, from "just plain jim," with 23 per cent of the votes is:
He has no concience, so he is watching tv laughing his assss off at the people who put him in power and now feeling the wrath of his excesses.Our favorite part (aside from the numerous typos) is, "I am not trying to sound like a Bush hater."
I am not trying to sound like a Bush hater. But Katrina sent home to me that Bush really did not care, that to him the American people are all about politics.
Every time I saw him talk about caring for the people my bullshit meter went off scale. I even got that from my ex boss who finally called Bush an idiot after he voted for him the second time. He said voting for him once was understandable, voting for him the second time was inexcusable.
Sean Penn, like our newfound friend "just plain jim," is suffering from a not so rare condition. He's profoundly misinformed. And he's managed to carve out a tight, cramped, intellectually barren ice cave from the avalanche of dumb that is available to anyone with a computer and a modem.
Shall we send the St. Bernards of Knowledge to rescue him? No. Let's let his idiotic statement just wrap around him, lulling him into that profound, luscious sleep that envelops those who slowly freeze to death and whispers in his ear, "I am the smartest dude I know."
A lot of folks are upset about Penn's latest outburst. Some folks are quoting Jefferson and Madison. Step back folks. It's not going to do any good. He's too far gone. That's not the way to go about this. Doing so is kinda like jamming a spoon down the throat of an epileptic in full seizure mode. That's so old school. The best thing to do is to make the patient as comfortable and safe as possible, and allow the seizure to take its course. We should treat Penn the same way.
Let's restate this: Sean Penn is a dictator... without the "tator."