Cheap thrills, voice­mail and VJ Day, 2018

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - HAVE YOUR SAY - “Come on, come on, come on, come on and take it!;Take an­other lit­tle piece of my heart now baby.;Oh break it.;Break an­other lit­tle bit of my heart now dar­ling, yeah, yeah yeah . ... ” Ja­nis sings. “Didn’t I make you feel like you were the only man yeah!

Sum­mer­time is bot­tom­ing out, so I was cel­e­brat­ing the 50th an­niver­sary of the great Ja­nis Jo­plin’s “Cheap Thrills” record and the iconic “Lit­tle Piece of My Heart,” first recorded in 1967 by Aretha Franklin’s big sis­ter Erma.

When I got this two-part phone mes­sage from a Sad Sack lost in the pro­pa­ganda cloud of In­foWars, all I could do was crank Ja­nis up to stun on the liv­in­groom stereo. The threat from the white su­prem­a­cist (prov­ing the con­tra­dic­tion in terms) came at the per­fect time, as I was en­gaged in a pre-pri­mary-elec­tion cleanse.

“I con­tin­u­ally oc­ca­sion­ally, con­tin­u­ally oc­ca­sion­ally... what­ever, read you talk­ing about dumb s—-. You and your whitepriv­i­lege s—- and mak­ing ex­cuses for…black peo­ple. I feel bad for black folks that are de­cent, that are do­ing de­cent things, man…” In­foWars dude prat­tled.

The call came to the Capi­tol Press Room from a nearly ar­tic­u­late man who first con­ceded a point of mine about the role of lo­cal news­pa­pers and how any num­ber of things we cover at Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia are not “fake news,” even as the def­i­ni­tion ex­ists among right-wing fab­u­lists and race-baiters.

The voice-mail quickly turned omi­nous, de­tail­ing racist an­gles on iso­lated as­saults around the world that could only be pro­moted by Alex Jones, who, if you’ve been liv­ing un­der a rock for the last six years, has broad­cast the hoax that the mas­sacre that left 26 dead at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School never hap­pened.

“...A woman beats a 91-year old man with a piece of con­crete, brick. Wow she was black. Some­how that was left out of the piece. That’s what I’m talk­ing about home­boy…de­mo­nize the white peo­ple and pretty much give the blacks a pass on pretty much any­thing. OK? And you talk about fake news… You’re a piece of s—man. I would love to run into you some­day and whip that …. smirk off your face that you got in your pic­ture.”

At this point, In­foWars dude con­vinced me that he must be bit­ter about a re­strain­ing or­der against him. Maybe he had to turn in his guns to the State Po­lice un­til that date be­fore a Su­pe­rior Court judge. look­ing good. And baby deep down in your heart I guess you know that it ain’t right. Never, never, never, never, never, never hear me when I cry at night. Babe, I cry all the time!”

“You —————. Grew up in Green­wich and you preach to ———- me? You piece of —— you….”

I can take the as­sault threats and the barn­yard ex­ple­tives, but just be­cause I noted a re­cent visit to Green­wich on the cam­paign trail, the Alex dude gets it so wrong. My late fa­ther, who dropped out of Ham­den High School at age 17 to be­come a Navy medic for two tours in the Philip­pines with the Marines in World War II, later got a job teach­ing gram­mar school in Green­wich, where he also worked nights in the morgue at Green­wich Hos­pi­tal. He and my late mother lived in an at­tic in a down­town Green­wich house. I was born in that hos­pi­tal. When I was 17 months old we moved out of town and I grew up in Stam­ford.

On Tues­day, the day of the Re­pub­li­can and Demo­cratic pri­maries — to re­mind those of you reg­is­tered with ei­ther party to cel­e­brate our free­doms and vote — I will arise in the predawn so I can fly the gov­ern­ment flag I re­ceived af­ter his death, from the front porch, to meet his wishes. For Tues­day is VJ Day, the an­niver­sary of the vic­tory over Ja­pan in 1945. Ken Dixon, po­lit­i­cal ed­i­tor and colum­nist, can be reached at 860-549-4670 or at kdixon@ct­post.com. Visit him at twit­ter.com/KenDixonCT and on Face­book at kendixonct.hearst.

The threat from the white su­prem­a­cist (prov­ing the con­tra­dic­tion in terms) came at the per­fect time

/ AP

Blues/rock singer Ja­nis Jo­plin per­forms at the New­port Folk Fes­ti­val with her band Big Brother and the Hold­ing Com­pany in 1968.

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