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Columns by Fred Reed

Looking for Commies in China
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Fred Reed 2005-09-12 15:00
Guadalajara' Just finished the last bag-drag back from China, jet-lagged, brain fried on caffeine, edgy groggy. Maybe I'll kill something. Or hibernate. What province am I in? Why do these Mexicans have round eyes? It's not natural. Some thoughts, barely: I couldn't find the commies. Conservatives, who apparently preserve their minds in amber at birth, ramble on about Communist...
These Are Interesting Times
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Fred Reed 2005-08-15 15:00
Washington, DC' It's getting stranger, I tell you. Riding the subway from Vienna Station to Franconia-Springfield, at every stop the woman driving the train said in an over-elocuted voice, 'A-ten-tion, customers. This is a Metro Safety Tip. Pay attention to your surroundings. Look up from your newspapers and blackbirds [it sounded like, though nobody seemed to be carrying any sort of bird...
Who Is Running This Choo-Choo Train?
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Fred Reed 2005-06-19 15:00
The crumbling has begun, methinks. Congressmen, a few only now, speak of withdrawal from Iraq. A small thing, but for the White House a worrisome step toward vertebracy in that body of polyps. The numbers of the dissenting will grow as they see that they do not get hurt. Military recruiting is way down, and will stay down: The gullibility of the young cannot forever be relied upon. The House has...
A Continent of Clowns
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Fred Reed 2005-06-06 15:00
'WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bursting into tears, eighth-grader Anurag Kashyap of California became the U.S. spelling champ Thursday . . . . Tied for second place were 11-year-old Samir Patel, who is home-schooled in Colleyville, Texas, and Aliya Deri, 13, a Pleasanton, California, student.' Indian kids have won first place in five of the last seven years. Might be there's a pattern here? Nah. A...
A Matter of Allegiance
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Fred Reed 2005-05-30 15:00
I wish to propose a salubrious anarchy, a deliberate renunciation of fealty to country, society, and government, an assertion of independence from folly and moral decay. Permit me to offer a taxing political idea: When a society ceases to be worthy of support, it is reasonable to withdraw support. The time, I submit, has come.
Rednecks: The Virtues Thereof
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Fred Reed 2005-05-22 15:00
There is a lot of snot and malice about rednecks on the internet. Most of it comes from such cornflowers and honeysuckles as college professors, other witless suburban nonentities, and assorted twits in cities. By 'redneck,' these bundles of intellectual lingerie seem to mean anyone without a college degree who can hang a door or lube his car. One of them, some sort of biochemical rascal, figured...
Fred to Save Country
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Fred Reed 2005-05-17 15:00
One reads much about the poor in America, their piteous lives, their blighted hopes, and the unrelieved downtreading of them by various social ogres such as oppressive corporations who sell them greasy hamburgers. (Why does my wretched spell-checker object to 'downtreading'? You can't be downtrodden unless someone downtreads you. How obvious is that?)
Fred to Save Country
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Fred Reed 2005-05-11 15:00
It has become apparent that I am going to have to reform the government of the United States. Frankly I'd rather remove one of my lungs with a ballpoint pen. Still, I'm nothing if not perfervidly public-spirited. I will not stand around like Nehru fiddling while Rome burned. Noblesse oblige, that sort of thing.
How We Were
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Fred Reed 2005-05-01 15:00
The summer of '62 didn't seem like much at the time. It was just summer. The County of King George was a forested section of Tidewater Virginia, peppered with small farms, and home to watermen who crabbed on the Potomac. To us it was just KG. It was about all we in high school knew. Only later did I realize what we'd had.
Democracy, Birds and Snails
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Fred Reed 2005-04-10 15:00
I wonder whether liberal democracies do not follow an ordained trajectory into the muck, ripening like fruits, having their arteries harden, and falling, plop, to be eaten by birds and snails. (That was a two-animal medico-vegetative ballistic metaphor, not so much mixed as homogenized, almost colloidal. Patent applied for.) I note that the English-speaking countries are doing to themselves...
Perfecting Wastrelsy in Messico
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Fred Reed 2005-03-13 16:00
Guadalajara'
Hunter Thompson
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Fred Reed 2005-03-03 16:00
When Thompson blew his brains out, a door closed somewhere and you could hear the latch click. The main man had gone. Most of us can easily be replaced. There was only one Hunter Thompson. I'll heist one tonight to a fine, fine writer, a voice of his time, the embodiment of an age the like of which there never was and which, for good or bad, will never come again.
In Search of Men Who Want to Marry Mommy
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Fred Reed 2005-02-13 16:00
It is becoming a constant, like gravity: Maureen Dowd opens her mouth, and I get email from guys saying, 'Fred! Geez, man, how much do apartments go for in Guadalajara?' Maureen is the resentment columnist for the New York Times. She serves as newsprint megaphone for the angry, selfish, wretchedly unhappy career woman who can't understand why she is living alone in an apartment with two cats. (I...
Objective Journalism and Hen's Teeth
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Fred Reed 2005-01-28 16:00
Fred explains practically everything. I get email from people who say they wish that journalists would engage in objective coverage of the war in Iraq. They are always indignant and often bitter, but they mean opposite things. Those against the war assert that the fascist press is slanted in favor. Those in favor assert that the leftist press is slanted against. All agree that reporters are...
The Last Necessary Column on Politics
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Fred Reed 2005-01-06 16:00
In my capacity as Western Civilization's principal moral compass and intellectual lighthouse, I thought I might explain politics once and forever. There are altogether too many television shows about politics, too many books by people who would better pass their time in drinking. Newspapers have gotten above themselves. They are full of columnists. A final explanation of all things political will...
Read Your Newspaper
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Fred Reed 2004-12-13 16:00
Whither the competition between the mainstream media and the Internet? It sharpens. The big papers still rule the roost, but they hemorrhage readers and credibility, perhaps more than they know or understand. People move to the web, spend more time online, hold the usual media in decreasing regard. The bright and the young switch effortlessly. Until recently the paper press, in a display of self-...
Wars and Their Aftermath
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Fred Reed 2004-12-05 16:00
The observant will have noticed that we hear little from the troops in Iraq and see almost nothing of the wounded. Why, one might wonder, does not CNN put an enlisted Marine before a camera and, for fifteen minutes without editing, let him say what he thinks? Is he not an adult and a citizen? Is he not engaged in important events on our behalf? Sound political reasons exist. Soldiers are a risk...
Be Good, Chillun
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Fred Reed 2004-11-21 16:00
I tell you, coming back yearly to the United States is stranger than dwarf-tossing, maybe up there with licking toads. It's like watching something dead that you once cared for decompose in time-lapse photography. The country is in lockdown. I live in Guadalajara a couple of blocks from the US consulate, a fortress. Big concrete stop'em-bombs circle it, disguised as planters. Iron bars spaced a...
Buckshot and Designer Water
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Fred Reed 2004-11-11 16:00
I have received thousands of letters (all right, three letters, but I'm rounding up) asking me to explain the election. Bending to the public will, I'll try. The way it looks to me is coastal snots against the heartland. The wine-and-cheese folk against pickups with gun racks. Texas against Massachusetts. Maybe that's too simple, but I'm not going to admit it. I don't have to. I'm writing the...
Reinventing the Bushman
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Fred Reed 2004-10-03 15:00
I imagine taking a bushman from some hitherto undiscovered Pacific isle and setting him down in front of a television in, say, Washington. The fellow would be astounded. He might say, 'Whoa, boss! Heap magic! Spirits inside, talk talk. Bad juju.' He would have no idea how the babbling box worked, or of the civilization that produced it'where it came from, why it was as it was, what its literature...
Fredwitz on War
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Fred Reed 2004-09-26 15:00
A columnist has a peculiar perspective on things. He sits high above the intellectual plain and has mud flung at him from all sides. He probably deserves it, but that is not my point here. He sees a world in which everyone has the correct answer except himself. He also sees that everyone's correct answer is different from everyone else's. Oh well. There follows an explanation of our invasion of...
Letters About Jews
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Fred Reed 2004-08-24 15:00
From time to time I write about the cloacal morality of the media as they go about wrecking civilization and annoying hell out of me. For rhetorical convenience I use 'New York' and 'Hollywood' as a sort of abbreviation for the news racket and the screen trades. This column gets a lot email. Some of it assumes that 'New York' and 'Hollywood' are code words for 'Jews,' and excoriates me mightily...
Pondering the Telescreen
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Fred Reed 2004-08-16 15:00
Denunciations of television have become as routine as breathing: the programming is crass, stupid, propagandistic, so bad that only an idiot would watch it yet everybody does. Actually things are worse. They are much worse. To see what is happening, start with what may be the crucial truth of our times: People will watch a screen. They will watch anything in preference to nothing, watch programs...
In Praise of Mexicanas
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Fred Reed 2004-08-05 15:00
Living in Mexico as I do, I often hear from North Americans that gringos move to Mexico chiefly for the women. Well, yes. The women are certainly an attraction. Indeed they are. The North American tendency however is to confuse women with sex. American men in the United States usually see Mexican women as LBFMs, 'little brown, er, sex machines,' faceless, indistinguishable, and cheap. So do...
Clueless in Baghdad
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Fred Reed 2004-07-28 15:00
Some months ago I returned to my home in Mexico after two weeks of hard touring in Bolivia. It was the kind of travel that at my advanced age I should know better than, but never do: flying into grass strips to boat into the endless swamps of the pampas, freezing in unheated shacks in the wild high desert at 12,000 feet, mountain biking down El Camino de la Muerte out of La Paz next to drop-offs...