Sunday, April 16, 2017

Last Laugh

I can't remember who said it on MSNBC this morning, but it's been bothering me all day. To paraphrase:  "The entertainment value of Donald Trump's Circus is as dangerous as the policies we laugh at."  Yes, I confess I delight in his gaffes and his outrageous tweets, jaw-dropping deeds and pronouncements, to the point where I look forward to my morning laugh of outrage as much as my morning coffee. I'm not alone, and of course laughing at someone feels good. It means we're smarter, better informed and rational and someone else is not. That's the cheapest form of humor, of course, akin to vaudevillian slapstick and plain old mockery.

Why is this dangerous? I think it creates a demand for more. It's a demand that nature and the Trump organization doesn't always fill. When demand exceeds supply, the market will provide. Are we the market? The Networks, the Newspapers, the late night comedians? Are we addicted to outrage?

Case in point:  after Trump or his daughter or some equally unqualified person ordered a missile strike on the Syrian airbase we were unconsciously waiting for the drummer to give us the rim shot a burlesque comedian punctuates his one liners with. Trump didn't give us one so when the Pentagon and Army Gen. John "Mick" Nicholson commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan who took office under Barack Obama a year ago called in an airstrike to end a growing problem with the recrudescence of terrorist fighters in striking distance of Kabul, we jumped on it. It must have been TrumpIt must have been a distraction because without it our outrage balloon deflates and we have nothing to laugh or scold or be outraged about.

Remember when Bill Clinton's cruise missile attacks on Al Qaeda were laughed away as a distraction? An outrage? Remember the accusations of Monica Missiles? We found it disgusting, stupid, irresponsible and the denials that there was anything like Al Qaeda downright dangerous. Change the names and the joke is on us.

The Big Bomb likely saved lives - American and Afghani. The attack created no collateral damage and no American casualties. In a time when terrorists are gaining ground in this 15 year old theater of operations, when Afghani forces are taking huge casualties and civilians are being killed and the pathway to victory seems invisible,  why are we making a joke out of a rare success? ISIS may not affect us here at home, but in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Syria and elsewhere they are already apocalyptic and huge numbers of people have been killed horribly. There are now 100 fewer of them and their fortress is rubble no one will use again for a while.

Not long ago I watched a video of a soldier being slowly burned alive by ISIS. I listened to him cry like a child while trying to brush the flames out of his eyes with his burning hands. It will play over and over in my mind until I die. They are not imaginary. They are not a joke. We have no option but to destroy ISIS utterly in any way possible and anything our government does to further this preempts my desire to see Trump make an ass of himself.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pants on Fire

It was ages ago, during the Gore Vs Bush contest that Al Gore quoted some figure - lets say it was 4.5%. After the debate the Bush people sprang up to tell us "Gore Lied! He Lied" the figure was closer to 4.6% apparently. Such is the joy in finding error in an opponent, all sense of proportion evaporates along with the ability to see how ridiculous you are. In politics degree doesn't matter. A mistaken prediction of insurance cost is right there with selling missiles to Iran and conducting a secret illegal war and training death squads to kill nuns. All that matters is Who, not what.

This joy sings loudest in the hearts of liars. Barack Obama once said there were more black males in prison than in university. Not quite true, but didn't the headlines howl with outrage. It's happening now that Obama has left the building. It's important to portray him as the purveyor of frequent and grievous lies. Books and articles are appearing to distract from Trumps Treasons and felonies, rapes, thefts and frauds by telling you Obama is a liar. He's just as bad so don't criticize Trump

It's hard for me to understand that people think they're not being clowns by comparing the insignificant with the felonious, that Obama saying he thought you could keep your doctor makes him the same kind of liar as saying Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons ready to land on us in 45 minutes. The lives of millions and the expense of trillions are equal to  having your insurance force you to see a different doctor.

But that's how people think: political people that is. We hate to be wrong, foolishly wrong so much we will twist time and space to make it seem like we were really right all along. Endless articles have been written showing just how much of a liar Obama is and it's memorized by Obamahaters all over America to be taken out and waved in your face.
Johnson, Nixon, Clinton and Reagan to begin with - they were caught in lies of some sort. Some changed the world and cost many lives. But Gore lied too. He was 0.1% off in some meaningless figure. Gore lied.

It's only my opinion but we may at the moment have the most profound liar in our history in the oval office. If you don't realize that you're not worth talking to, and I'm not wasting words on you, but the worse he gets, the more felonies, conflicts of interest, secret illegal deals add up the more that's true. You're hopeless in fact. Please realize that I consider you a mortal enemy of everything I hold dear and will act accordingly.

So Whether we find bank records of illegal deals, illegal transactions, tax fraud or pictures of Trump with underage girls and piss whores or signed contracts to yield sovereignty to Putin and invite attacks, you're going to tell me all about crooked Hillary and lying Obama and if you're lucky you might get away unscathed. I'm nowhere near as fast as I used to be you know.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Hope Springs Infernal

 Certum est, quia impossibile.

Tertullian - De Carne Christi

It's been too easy to hope, to tempting to giggle as the President makes a bloody fool of himself with tantrums and childish lies like the spoiled brat he is who just can't understand why things don't automatically go his way.  I still look forward to enjoying his further humiliations and embarrassments even if all we'll be able to get from him is increasingly irrational accusations of  the WTF kind.  But it's not about Trump really, any more that it's the Flying Lady hood ornament that makes a Rolls what it is.

The gates to hell don't say "abandon all hope" they tell you to keep the faith. That way the disappointment will be eternal. 
Total, absolute and utterly conclusive proof that there was no wiretapping by Obama or Alexander Graham Bell for that matter will not do one thing to tarnish the myth that it did happen, just as Obama always will have been born in Kenya or Malaysia or both even with a birth certificate notarized by 9 Supreme Court Justices and filmed in wide screen Technicolor.

Absurdity is traditionally a cornerstone and a buttress for belief, not an argument against it.  We're dealing with a religion in the Trump movement, a bit of a new religion. It has its own prophets and preachers and all the other trappings.  I can't give it a name but it constitutes legions and it's growing.  Its sacraments are phrased in hate and anger and scorn and numberless acts of denial. Denial of science, technology, mathematics and the more absurd the denial, the more tenaciously held.  What you see isn't true and what doesn't exist is dogma and everything that argues against us is proof of this.

Many of us, our culture being as compartmentalized as it is today aren't aware  of the disciples, the writers of gospels. By now we know about Limbaugh and the Sons of Fox, but Alex Jones, Mark Levin, Steve Bannon and Breitbart are all deeply immersed in fantastical Armageddons and mystical transformations as well as the end times for the Administrative State and the structures of the Republic. It all needs to wither away or be destroyed and don't ask why or how. It's a mystery,  and just as no major religion and few minor ones ever are defeated by being disproved or by being reduced to absurdity, this one won't either.  Denial denies all.

Economic recovery is collapse. Dramatic reductions in crime are "carnage" Crime is caused by Immigrants and we are in more danger from all things than we ever have been. The lizard people are everywhere and they're all Jewish and the Illuminati and the Elders of Zion are all in charge of the invisible "deep state" which is "leftist" with it's contradictory Leninist capitalism and fake news.  Come inside friend. No matter how ignorant, stupid or degraded you may be.  We will make you feel smart. We will make you important and powerful and give you the tools to bring it all down.

Species don't evolve but the truth does. In time Obama will truly have staged some silent invisible coup and started a police state with marshal law and sharia law and armed gangs dressed like Pancho Villa will have been dumping megatons of drugs and raping millions and putting millions out of work.  In time Hillary will have murdered more than any serial killer, her husband will have bankrupted the economy and she will have made ten billion dollars in some mysterious fashion by being "in" with Wall Street, whatever that means. The giggling masses will believe and even when the story changes, it will always have been true.

We don't stand a chance and it will all be ushered in by the nicest people who will turn you in to the inquisition without hesitation for saying the wrong thing and god bless the troops for protecting our freedoms.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Enigma of Arrival

They jump up, they sit down. They jump up again, blank expressions on their face as though listening intensely to instructions or some inaudible tune. Marionettes in dark suits, they jump up, they sit down.

The mind recalls scenes from Korea, the dark clad people grovelling in tears at the loss of a leader who owns their lives and their families and who must be impressed with their devotion lest he kill them on the spot. In the big room the Republicans jump up, they sit down. The other half slump in their seats, dark rags not able really to sit. Not reacting, looking at their hands: failed men in a homeless shelter, waiting. Refugees and a packed train station, waiting; cattle in the chutes. All people caught up in a huge drama and no longer the people we knew only moments ago with motives, and positions and goals and explanations and narratives. They all jump up, they all sit down.

He inherited, lies the man at the podium, a chaotic mess. He's the last US president since James Madison to wear a wig, although it's died and not powdered. He lies outright about it, making up figures, contradicting himself when he mentions a recovery albeit slow, he says, neglecting to mention that it was a recovery from the biggest recession in nearly 90 years and caused by policies he again proposes. We've had a rarely equaled economic expansion, rarely achieved employment levels and wage growth is accelerating, but that's fake news. The real news is bad. He needs it to be.  The real news comes from me and none else. And you will believe.

It wouldn't be appropriate to comment as a reporter or columnist. We have to pretend not to be "fake." No, let's just watch. Just stand here like refugees in shabby clothes and our things in cheap suitcases waiting in a public place for the trains.
"As we speak," says the big ugly man who looks so much like an ugly little man on camera:
"as we speak, they're rounding up bad guys."

I can picture men and women and children running through dark alleys, sneaking out of back doors, hiding in culverts and under abandoned cars in the uncaring conservative night, the wind of American hate blowing like a stink from a slaughterhouse. In the big room, they jump up, they sit down and we watch, stunned.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Pahokee

Not so long ago in a neglected 1974 Ford Galaxie not so far away and parked toward the back of Donny’s Mira-Lago motors in Pahokee, Florida, Donald Trumbow finished off the last roach in the tin Altoids box with little more than ashes left in it, slid it back in his pocket and his oversized self back into the seat and sighed. A  four door ’74 with the base 351 certainly wasn’t going to attract the resto-mod builder who might have a marginal interest in something like a ’68 with the 427 and a four speed or even a 2 door ’72 with the 429, and besides it needed much more  work than it was worth in mint condition. He could see gravel through the floor.  The guy in the Gas Monkey T shirt had taken about a minute to look it over and walk away before Donny had even begun the story of how many people were lined up for this car if he didn’t take it fast. He didn’t have the energy to pursue him.

Trumbow, or Dumbo as his wife called him behind his back, was going to need some cash right away. Some wise-ass with a paintbrush had changed the L in Lago to a C last night.  Mira-Lago had been his wife’s idea and was supposed to mean ‘Lake View’ if you could trust Google Translator, and that might, she thought, give the seedy enterprise a more impressive air, at least with the non Spanish speakers, which they both would have preferred. But Mira was her name and Mira-lago said the cheap looking sign  -- until now.

Mira Cago, he was pretty sure meant “looks like Shit.”  It would really look like shit if he tried to fix the sign himself and to get anyone to do it, he was going to need cash, things being as they were. Nothing was selling and the last person he could ask for a loan (and the only one he hadn’t lately) was Mira herself, although her Tarot and fortune telling business was making money and taking up a good part of their double-wide up by J&J fish camp.  It had no more of a view of the lake than the car lot did, but only of the Hoover dike keeping the Southern end of Okeechobee a lake and not a swamp, and the ditch that surrounds it. Mira had begun to appear double-wide herself in recent years, but that didn’t noticeably interfere with her accurate predictions of 10 minutes of oral sex following the transfer of 20 bucks to the ornate box she kept the cards in.

Donny closed the squeaky door gingerly, the door skin on the ancient Ford being barely attached, and went over to the trailer “office.”  It was starting to get hot. “Looks like shit” he said to himself, thinking of his life.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Yes, friends, I'm getting tired of the daily hate too, although the choice of words between hate and anger or perhaps outrage I hear gives a hint, a whiff of tendentiousness, if I'm not being oversensitive.

"Hate" reflects poorly on the person who is against something, while outrage brings in the possibility of the feeling being justified. I'm also tired of the situation, the outrage, even the horror of the Trump "Putsch" just as you are,  although I can't avoid thinking it's the biggest disaster since the Civil War and perhaps the beginning of the end of anything about the USA we could honestly call great.

So I have to sympathize. I'm also already sick of turning on the TV or going to the newspaper websites every morning with the usually fulfilled expectation of some new horror, some new crime to be explained away by some ministry of disinformation and to be accepted by the nodding heads and nitwits of America.

Yes, sure, call me a hater for hating hate, for hating corruption, for hating the murder of things I hold fundamental, self-evident: for hating the summary destruction of the infrastructure of our former Republic and you're right, I hate Donald Trump and I hate the people who support his outrages and I hate them to the point where the word itself is strained to the point of breaking. It may be your right to withdraw, to close your eyes and wait for the end times and whatever they may bring. Just understand that to me it's the patriot's duty, the citizen's burden and the obligation of the honest man to oppose and to be seen to be opposing the rise of tyrannical corruption and the acts of treason we will have to endure if you do.

 It's up to us and only to us and there so one, no country, no army, no miracle to save us while there are so many who will profit obscenely when we sink into the pit that's being dug for us.

 “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” ― Samuel Adams