Column:

Jumping off the crazy news bus

The news bus we’re on lately is so insane, so priapic and just plain nutso, that today I’m going to jump off and walk.

Geoffrey Rush? Geoffrey Rush? Who’s next? And someone is claiming that Sulu from Star Trek is not a faithful helmsman?

Every seat in this crazy news bus is packed with perverts and liars.

Those pervert predatory Congressmen, and those sex-harassing journos and show-business types, have taken all the seats.

And those network news anchors in their flapping bathrobes are clogging the aisles, brandishing their wrinkly gravitas, waving their sex toys and locking the doors so the rest of us can’t hope to flee.

In the front seat of honor sits Harvey Weinstein, reminding us to go to the movies, repeating his famous saying: "Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion."

Enough.

Outside our window, North Korea threatens thermonuclear war. The Dow surges above 24,000.

Liberals who don’t like tax cuts go all Sigmund Freud on the White House while demanding a Pie Truther tribunal to examine Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ holiday pies.

Wait? Didn’t liberals once love deficits? Physician, heal thyself.

Meanwhile, Democrat Sen. Al Franken can’t remember how many female behinds he’s grabbed. But he won’t resign no matter how many victims come forward because he has work to do.

And Nancy Pelosi has changed her mind (again) on her “icon,” the legendary U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-“Just Touch It.”

Behold, Pelosi the iconoclast.

Now she wants Conyers to resign. Some African-American pols are forced by the dictates of identity politics to defend him. And, as white liberals protect Franken and other Democrats back Conyers, Republican Roy Moore laughs in Alabama and moves closer to the Senate.

Like I said, it’s just nuts on this bus.

So before a groveling Matt Lauer finds a camera, falls on his knees to weep and apologize for living, I’m jumping off to walk. Because you know Lauer is just waiting to do his weeping thing, in soft close up, a few tender tears, promising he’ll be good if he’s only given a chance.

NBC could play some sensitive music on a tinkling piano, as the network did in those touching human interest stories about athletes at the Sochi Olympics.

Sochi? Oh. Dang it. Sorry. Never mind.

I don’t want to hear sensitive Matt Lauer music on the piano anyway.

Instead I want Dylan in my ears and boots of Spanish leather on my feet, to go wandering and find a clean well-lighted place to have a drink and read.

My big idea was to spend the afternoon with a good whiskey and a fine book, but not just any book: a book to foreshadow how all this chaos and screaming will end, once the left takes formal control and imposes perfect order upon us all.

Like “1984,” by George Orwell.

It’s a good book and should be read at least once a year by anyone who subscribes to a newspaper and wonders what happens to words that simply disappear.

But what’s really wrong with “1984” is this:

It contains mentions of the militant Anti-Sex League, those young party members hating on natural reproduction, demanding safe space from human romance and poetry, and wearing those terribly severe scarlet sashes.

And just thinking of it wouldn’t provide an escape from the news. Instead it would drag me back to the future, or worse, to whatever sexual/political rhetorical formulations will frame the 2018 mid-term elections.

I just don’t want to think about it now. OK?

Dammit, I need a drink.

I can’t be the only one who needs a mental health break from the news. Please join me. You can buy the first round and the pork skins. Just don’t talk.

A friend addicted to public radio had hoped to escape the crazy news bus and calm his nerves by listening to the soothing baritone of Garrison Keillor.

He loves those podcasts of “The Prairie Home Companion.”

But now all mentions of Keillor are being stripped from public radio history. And the alleged female-grabbing caretaker of Lake Wobegone has been attainted and denounced as in medieval times.

“Yeah but I really liked to listen to his show,” he said. “It relaxed me.”

You miss Garrison Feeler?

“What are you, 10?” he asked.

Almost. But it’s not my fault. I’m a newsperson.

Is there some other news we can escape to? The Massage Envy case? No way.

Here’s one. Gomer Pyle is dead.

“He’s dead?” asked my wife.

Yeah, I said. Gomer’s dead. Mayberry is sad now.

In looking for stories that weren’t about sex and politics, I saw that tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has an idea for Chicago. He wants to put innocent humans in steel pods and send them hurtling through long darkened pneumatic tubes on a blindingly fast ride to O’Hare International Airport.

Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel might just love the idea. How much does it cost? Who knows? Who cares?

So I might just pour a few fingers of scotch and read “The Nick Adams Stories” by Hemingway.

I haven’t read him in decades. All that ostentatious he-man stuff in some of the later books turned me off. But the early short stories, like “Big Two-Hearted River” or “Soldier’s Home,” are amazing.

And it’s growing cold now, maybe a hard wind will blow, and it just might be time to give the old man another chance.

It’s better than the crazy news bus.

Listen to "The Chicago Way" podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin — at http://www.chicagotribuneem.com/category/wgn-plus/thechicagoway.

[email protected]

Twitter @John_Kass

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