Life Lessons From Kissinger, George W., and Randy Jackson: Studies in Crap and Fox News are Going Places
Going Places: How America's Best and Brightest Got Started Down the Road of Life
Author: E.D. Hill, former host of Fox News' "I Have Nothing Else To Live For So I May As Well Watch This" Morning Show
Publisher: The Regan imprint of HarperCollins, the same people who brought you O.J. Simspon's If I Did It
Discovered at: Thrift shop
The Cover Promises: Thin, airbrushed blonde, tanned liked a baked potato, showing plenty of chest in a cherry convertible? Is this the Playboy Channel?
Representative Quote: "I was six months pregnant with my fifth child when I first met Donald Rumsfeld. Maybe it was my hormones talking, but I'll confess I was shocked at my reaction. Yes, he's interesting, witty, wry, and confident, but he's also so incredibly handsome. Those blue eyes make your knees weak!"
Here's a surprise! Turns out that E.D. Hill, the former Fox & Friends host who left the network last year after suggesting that the Obamas bump fists like terrorists, was News Corp's answer to Studs Terkel. Instead of collecting the true, on-the-ground stories of American lives, Hill transcribes inspirational homilies about how the system rewards hard-working dreamers.
One of those hard-working dreamers is Steve Forbes. His secret?
"Find your own adventure . . . if you let others try to shape your life, you're just going to be frustrated."
This would be capital advice if it weren't for this statement two paragraphs down: "I took over the company after my father died in 1990."
Step One to Going Places: Be born a billionaire.
Next, Hill presents the accumulated wisdom of George W. Bush:
Over the course of his two paragraphs, a philosophy emerges: "Broaden your horizons." You see, back in the seventies #43 was wrestling with the toughest decision a young man might face: whether or not to cowboy up and enroll in Harvard Business School. #41 sat him down and said, "This is the perfect opportunity to broaden your horizons."
Bush continues the tale:
"I can still hear him saying that phrase - 'broaden your horizons' - to this day. As a result, I went to Harvard Business School, where I not only learned about business, I also gained a new level of confidence to embark upon a business career. As you know, I am the first president to hold an MBA, and try to use what I learned there to keep my administration disciplined and results-oriented. My father's advice taught me to push my boundaries and to never stop learning."
Two to Going Places: It is brilliant and courageous of you to allow family connections to get you into Harvard.
Woman-melter Donald Rumsfeld advises, "Try to work with people smarter than you are." Considering his co-workers in the Bush administration, this suggests that Rumsfeld must suffer from a monumental stupidity, stupidity you can see from space, stupidity that leaves him unfit to lug a halfwit's shit bucket.
"You shouldn't weaken the government by commanding people to do things. You lead by persuasion, and you can't persuade people if they don't trust you."
Step three for Going Places: "Persuade" thousands of U.S. troops to jaunt off to the desert without body armor.
Hill's most illuminating interview is with Henry Kissinger. His advice? "Be Honest."
See, in 1969, Kissinger almost refused Nixon's offer of the National Security Advisor gig! Kissinger had been a Rockefeller man, actively organizing against Nixon for over a decade! So, brave Henry Kissinger did the right thing: he told Nixon the truth and then assumed his place at the right hand of a man he thought unfit to be president.
"I lost all my friends, including those from Harvard. I didn't lose them for taking the position; I lost them for carrying out the policies of the president."
Four to Going Places:
Honesty might lose you some friends, but maybe -- just maybe!-- it
might allow you a chance to kill hundreds of thousands.
The strangest thing I've ever seen in my life was Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin, Penny Marshal and Lorne Michaels all sitting together at Yankees Stadium.
This photo tops that:
A new Rat Pack! And do you
know what they were talking about? Going
Some of the following advice comes from terrible music enthusiast Randy Jackson. Some come from face-lifted TV-movie star Kenny Rogers. And some come from Studies in Crap All-Star Bill O'Reilly. Can you tell the difference?
[To make it harder, your Crap Archivist has added "dog" to all of them.]
A. "Don't confide in a lot of people, dog."
B. "Even if you play an instrument badly, dog, play it loud and proud!"
C. "Dog, Tantra is a basic way of viewing life; it holds that whenever a negative thought enters your mind, you should accept the thought instead of fighting it."
D. "There are two words in show business, dog. Show and business."
E. "I never read the stupid self-help book about 'The Art of War' from some lame guy [dog] who said you had to kill your enemy."
And Now a Very Special Announcement:
marks the third Studies in Crap appearance of Bill O'Reilly. This is a
remarkable first. How does one man have so much crap in him? It's like
he's some giant infant, and the world is his diaper.
(Pop Quiz Answers: A, C, E are O'Reilly. B is Jackson and D is Rogers.)
[The Crap Archivist lives in Kansas City, where he originates his on-line Studies for the Voice's sister paper, The Pitch.]
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.