Embarrassed by Trump & Bannon & CNN too

Surprisingly, Stephen Bannon – apparently the Goebbels-to-be in the Trump Administration – got one thing right in his recent anti-media rant: “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and listen for awhile.”

The only thing is that Bannon’s context is wrong. The media should have shut up and listened when Trump made his first speech and then stopped their obsessive coverage on the campaign trail. As reported in The New York Times, “Media commentators have accused CNN of giving preferential treatment to Mr. Trump to lift ratings. The network is on track this year to collect $1 billion in profit.” Yes, that ship has now sailed.

As terrible as Trump is – uber-racist-liar-son-of-satan and all – the bigger problem is this money problem of capitalism. There’s nothing else to it, no empathy and understanding, nothing but making money and then more of it, which is why Trump is in the White House and why we’re all going to die. Prematurely, I mean, from a fucked-up planet. Trump isn’t the thing. And Bannon most certainly isn’t the thing. We’re the thing. It’s my problem and yours, this wanting, this pretending to care with likes and shares, this superficial bullshit that is dragging us down, back to the ooze. So, yeah, Bannon is right, they should shut up and listen. And so should he. And I guess me too.

Not Okay. Not in the Least.

No, I’m not okay. I’m not. I keep thinking that I am, or that I will be, but I’m not. I’m not.

I’m sitting here, typing these words, thinking that this might help, but it doesn’t. I can’t pretend that this is an alternate universe or that I can find a rewind button. This is where we are. This is it. IMG_3488This man was elected. 60,000 million people did that. There is no sense to it, no way to frame it, no story to be told, no moral, no aspiration. Justifications and rationalizations are worth shit. It’s only a question of what happens next, who will be targeted, sacrificed, and then the next group after that, until this zeitgeist – or whatever the hell you call the communal will to send us all straight to hell is called – ends. Cape Breton 029Until then, I’m not okay. Not in the least.

Donald Trump: Doom’s Harbinger

That so many people supported Trump’s hateful message is horrifying, a reminder that we are no further than the Germans a hundred years ago.

Hitler: In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet, and have usually been ridiculed for it. Today I will once more be a prophet.

TrumpThey laughed at me when I said to bomb the ISIS controlled oil fields. Now they are not laughing and doing what I said.trump1HitlerAs Fuehrer of the German people and Chancellor of the Reich, I can thank God at this moment that he has so wonderfully blessed us in our hard struggle for what is our right.

TrumpWe need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again. We need — we need somebody — we need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that.Hitler2Hitler: The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful, and unrelenting harshness.

TrumpAnd the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives; don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families. trump2HitlerLet the nation know that its existence—which depends on its internal order and security—cannot be threatened with impunity by anyone!

Trump (To security staff, regarding protesters): Throw them out! Throw them out into the cold! No coats! Confiscate their coats!TrumpBrownShirts

This populist wave of ignorance demonstrates that, like everything, humanity is doomed to sink inevitably back into the abyss.

(*Reblogged from mcphedranbadside.com, February 1, 2016)

The Trump-Clinton Reality TV Mini-Series

The talking heads stare back, beleaguered, telling us of the ugliness, how unpresidential it has become. cnntalkingThey count down the days in feigned exhaustion. Only 29 days until another president will be elected, and more importantly, when the spin cycle can begin anew and the next batch of ne’er-do-wells can be stoned.clintontrumpThe talking heads say everything they can think of and they say it again and again – emails, rapists, locker room talk –  except about how their ratings are only as good as the race is bad, that the crummier they make it, the more Viagra they sell. buy-cialisAnd so that’s what we do. We consume this reality TV, hoping that next season, in just four short years, the chosen one might appear and take care of us forever.chris-harrison-bachelor-interview-ftr

Writing and The Mighty Mo

To write, you need momentum, you need to keep moving ahead, anything to avoid sitting like a lump, clicking from one stupid thing to another. Screenshot (111)I promise that I will stop after the next image. Screenshot (121)Just one more website. Screenshot (117)One more. Screenshot (123)But I keep doing it…like a child. Screenshot (122)Absolutely nothing in my head. Screenshot (120)Until finally I decide to blog on that very thing, my inertia. And do it. Screenshot (172)And then get back to actually writing again, a character suddenly stepping in.

I stay focused, and then…lose my step, damn it, and think of what I might be missing. And open the browser again.Screenshot (118)That’s a cute fucking dog. Can’t deny that.

Trump: America’s Greatest Stand-Up

Like anyone with a brain, I have been flummoxed by the sensational rise of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. donald-trumpIn Donald McGrath’s New Yorker piece, We Have a Serious Problemit was surmised that Trump was trying to bow out of the race asap: “’I said that Megyn Kelly was menstruating. I insulted Carly Fiorina’s face. I did a routine about Ben Carson’s belt that should have provoked a psychiatric intervention. I proposed internment camps for the Muslims already here, and you’re telling me that my numbers are what?’” trumpmuslimsOthers have theorized that the American electorate always oscillates between extremes, making the bombastic Trump an ideal follow-up to Obama’s taciturn manner. But still…Donald Trump? The businessman who has spun his bankruptcies as “facts of life”? The guy who says whatever pops into his mind? That guy?The reality television star whose tag-line is “You’re fired”? It’s not possible. Is it? firedI admit to being transfixed by Trump’s pontificating, his meandering monologues that emphasize ADHD more than repetitive policy. He delivered a classic on Saturday, February 27 in Bentonville, Arkansas, stumping for the Super Tuesday primaries. He started with an attack on The New York Times for their stories against him: It’s the worst newspaper. It is a dead newspaper going out of business. These are really bad people. These are really bad.

He mused on how he might behave in the White House: The president is calling an air conditioning company. I may make some of the calls. They’re going to say it’s terribly un-presidential, but I don’t care, all right?

He reflected on the game of politics: They’re all playing games, folks. It’s cute, it’s fun. It’s life. It’s the way life is, OK, it’s the way life is.bentonvilleHe explained why he is the best choice: I went to the Wharton School of Finance, which is considered the best business school. You’ve got to be very smart to get into that school, very smart. The Rubios of the world could not get into that school, believe me. They don’t have the capacity. But I go to Wharton, I’m smart. You’re smart. But you don’t have to be smart.

It hit me me like a Trumpism. I’ve been thinking about this all wrong. I have believed that Donald Trump was running for president, actually running for office. But that’s not it at all. It’s a ruse. Trump isn’t campaigning for president. His statement is much bigger picture than that. He is on a tour not for political office but as a performance artist, on the greatest comedy tour of all time. He has amalgamated the bitter monologues of Lenny Bruce with the explosive delivery of Lewis Black and the unwavering hucksterism of Andy Kaufman to create a character for the ages – Donald Who Would Be Chief. kaufmanAnd we don’t even know it yet. Because he hasn’t told us. There’s been no reveal. Nothing. There may never be. That’s genius, right? Truly beyond belief. No doubt about that. As long as he doesn’t take this tour thing around the world. That could be bad…really, really bad. His shtick might go over their heads.

Time for the Trump Shirts?

Trump isn’t Hitler. He just sounds like him…

Hitler: In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet, and have usually been ridiculed for it. Today I will once more be a prophet.

TrumpThey laughed at me when I said to bomb the ISIS controlled oil fields. Now they are not laughing and doing what I said.trump1HitlerAs Fuehrer of the German people and Chancellor of the Reich, I can thank God at this moment that he has so wonderfully blessed us in our hard struggle for what is our right.

TrumpWe need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again. We need — we need somebody — we need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that.Hitler1Hitler: As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have
the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.

TrumpI have a great relationship with God. I have a great relationship with the Evangelicals. In fact, nationwide, I’m up by a lot, I’m leading everybody. But I like to be good.trumpfans2Hitler: The Jew does not possess an inner spiritual life. I do not need to explain here what a Jew generally looks like. You all know him. In the most solemn moments he flickers his eyes and one can see that even during the most beautiful opera he is calculating dividends.

Trump: (The Mexicans) are sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.Hitler2Hitler: The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful, and unrelenting harshness.

TrumpAnd the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives; don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families. trump2HitlerLet the nation know that its existence—which depends on its internal order and security—cannot be threatened with impunity by anyone!

Trump (To security staff, regarding protesters): Throw them out! Throw them out into the cold! No coats! Confiscate their coats!trumpfansTrump supporters are getting the message; at a December rally in Las Vegas, a black protester was surrounded and threatened.

“Shoot him!”

“Light the motherfucker on fire!”

Sieg heil!”*

The Trump Shirts just need the command.TrumpBrownShirts(*Cited from Ryan Lizza’s article The Duel in The New Yorker.)

 

Never-Ending Persecution, as Seen in “Trumbo”

Jay Roach’s Trumbo addresses the pathetic post-WW II days of Hollywood when fatuous tools like Ronald Reagan, Roy Rogers and Hedda Hopper jumped on the persecution bandwagon to further their own careers and destroy the lives of anyone who was whispered to be a Communist. ronald-reagan-communist-hollywoodThe film ends triumphantly with the sage words of Dalton Trumbo: There was bad faith and good, honesty and dishonesty, courage and cowardice, selflessness and opportunism, wisdom and stupidity, good and bad on both sides. 

28 Oct 1947, Washington, DC, USA --- Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, one of the "Hollywood Ten" targeted by the Un-American Activities Committee, leaves the witness stand shouting "This is the beginning of Amercan concentration camp." He is the second Hollywood personality in two days to defy investigators questions regarding Communist affiliation. He is accompanied by his defense lawyers Robert Kenny and Bartley Crum. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

If only there was a lesson to be learned, for the persecution to cease. And yet, the Reagans (Jeb Bush & Co.) and Hoppers (Megyn Kelly et al.) remain the same, firmly entrenched.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks during the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington, DC, December 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

They spout their vitriol about any and everyone – Syrian refugees, Latin American immigrants, homosexuals – anyone from anywhere but within their xenophobic, misogynistic picturesque homes – and smile like they might be a friend when they themselves remain the villainy who should be expunged. Fullscreen-capture-9192014-94248-AM.bmp