My CoviDiary 9/26/2020; In Which I Do Not Talk About Politics

In today’s entry, I will not be talking about politics and will mention the pandemic only tangentially. It is hard to pry my mind away from the time-lapse blossoming of the evil simulation in which I (certainly) and all of us (arguably, but not empirically provably) are entrapped, but it is therapeutic to stop and remind oneself that other important things continue to happen in the world. And so:

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT OF A THING YOU NEED TO KNOW!

My hair is, at this point, the longest it has been since 1979. There are some differences, most noticeably the streaks of gray which shoot exuberantly like cresting seafoam amongst spectacular waves of black. I had one grandfather whose hair was entirely snow white for the duration of the time I knew him, his final eight years or so. The other grandfather, who remained on the physical plain  until I was in my early twenties,  also had gray streaks running like wood grain in the slicked back, pomaded skullcap he favored. He claimed it was natural and that he never “Stooped to Grecian”, but he was a notorious and fierce liar, so I can’t vouch for him on this, or anything. He was unvouchable. I do not know which if either of them I will end up taking after, but neither of them balded much at all. My Maternal grandmother did a bit, and it’s quite sexist that I have never until this moment wondered if I might take after her or my other grandmother (who absolutely dyed her hair), but while my locks are not as gloriously and confoundingly thick as they once were, they are still admirably dense. 

So that was a great number of words on the topic of my hair and it may surprise you to know I am not even close to done, unless you know me well, in which case you have likely stopped reading by now. 

MORE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MY CURRENT VERY LONG HAIR AND THE EVEN LONGER HAIR OF MY SEVENTEENTH YEAR.

It’s a bit crispier, finer, and if I do not wash it every single day it goes as mad as a patch of dry, yellow grass at the very beginning of autumn after not getting mowed even once all summer. On the other hand, it grows more evenly. My hair, not my lawn. Attend: When I was a young teen, I suffered from a condition I have not beheld in any other. The hair on the right side of my head grew more quickly, attained significantly greater lengths than the hair on the left side of my head, and grew out, not down. In one of the few photographs surviving from that time period (A HIGH SCHOOL ID!), the hair on the right side of my head stands out proudly almost a foot from my rather large, square noggin. I do not recall whether I thought it looked good, but I certainly do not remember ever looking in a mirror and thinking “My GOD, man, what are you at?! That is the hairstyle of a BUFFOON!”

I was known for fairly long hair throughout my childhood and teen years. I had an ancient, extremely hard of hearing dentist who was convinced my name was short for “Maxine” and eventually I gave up on trying to convince him otherwise. As I type this, it occurs to me for the very first time that it’s possible he was mocking me. He was married to his hygienist, an equally ancient lady named Pauline who was so tiny she had to stand on a high stool to get her hands into my mouth. His hands shook, and were covered in fine, white hairs, a thing I know because dentists in that far gone era did not wear gloves. My father insisted the man was an escaped Nazi war criminal practicing under and assumed name. It would be years before I ever saw Olivier in “Marathon Man” and got the joke, but that was not the sort of thing my father cared about.

When I was about eleven, I recall my mother opining with a knowing smile that she knew why I wore my hair long. She said I did it to hide my scars. I believe I have written before that at six I was mauled during an incident in which I attempted to teach a Golden Retriever to ballroom dance. My scars have faded to near insibilty, but they were far more visible then. She was wrong about that having anything to do with my hair style. I rarely if ever thought about my scars, I do not recall anyone ever bullying or mocking me about them as they were not that impressive. I was, however, mercilessly and regularly ridiculed about my luxuriant, girlish coif. I nodded sagely at my mother’s theory as if to say “How wise of you to have plumbed my psyche.” My mother was a long-game master strategist, and In my experience, if you didn’t humor her in matters like this, things got worse. Slowly, insidiously, unpredictably, like a loose tiger that has hidden the fact it is completely insane for decades. 

So why did I wear my hair so long? I’d like to say “It was the 70’s” and be done with it, but North Andover Massachusetts was a pretty short haired place, at least amongst my cohort, when I first started to let my freak flag fly. By my senior year of High School it was a different story, but I muddled through a lot of years as the only Beatle in a sea of Everly Brothers. 

SIDEBAR: I Google image searched the Everly Brothers to see if that sentence worked, and mostly it did, but toward the end of their career they sported longish hair. Not John Lennon long, more like late stage, post perm Brady boy long. In any case, you get what I meant, unless you are younger enough than I to have no idea who the Everly brothers were, and so when you Google image search them (Because that is how SERIOUSLY YOU TAKE MY WRITING) you see pictures of them with longish hair. I’m awfully glad I took the time to write this paragraph, I think it makes this entry a lot like hanging out with me. Are you still reading? Why? SIDEBAR ENDS.

I rather like my current long hair, but only for a few hours after I wash it. Sooner than I’d like it begins to go it’s own way, and curl around and poke me in the eyes. I don’t recall it doing that back when I was a skinny, wayward, deeply introverted lad. In those days it minded. 

Back then life seemed entirely out of my control and maybe if I wore my hair absurdly long and later grew a pair of mutton chops the size of… well, mutton chops, I suppose, though that’s a food stuff I have never dealt with and I refuse to call them pork chops, no one would wear those; Well, stupid as it might have been, that look was my choice, mine to make. And making that choice I imagined that getting older would mean more and more choices, more and more control, and now instead here I am. I am legally allowed to see a barber, but it seems like a bad idea, and my Mother-in-law, who has cut my hair for years, should not be asked to stand that close to me for that long a time, just in case, right?

So I suppose my current long hair is just about as ironic as my hair in 1979, although I’m almost certain I’m using that word incorrectly. You know what I mean, just like you did with that whole Beatles/Everly Brothers dichotomy, even if you’ve no idea who they were or the precise and actual meaning of the word “Ironic” instead of a general sense of it.

Let’s just be happy we all know concretely and can agree on  who the Beatles were. Let’s acknowledge we have at least that much solid ground to stand on. And who knows, in a month or two when my hair is longer than it’s ever been in my entire life, maybe it’s weight will hold it more in place, or maybe I’ll learn skills of hair care and hair craft hitherto unknown to me and bring the whole lanky, wavy, crispy Hebrew mass to heel, or down to my heels if all of this goes on long enough. 

Or maybe… I’ll just shave the whole mop off and see what I look like bald. At no point in my life was I ever hairless, not even at birth. Maybe that would represent the control that until now has eluded me.

But if I did that, it’s quite likely folks would just point at me and say “Hey. That dude’s jawline is a good four inches wider than the crown of his head. That is a very unfortunately triangle headed dude. I would not have recommended a shaved head for that dude. He should probably grow his hair as long as he can. Give that triangle head some cover.”

Or maybe… just maybe… and hear me out on this… we stand at the dawn of the triangle headed man.

My CoviDiary 9/23/2020; The Advent of the Anarchist Jurisdiction

There is so much to write about today, too much to write about all the time these days, but I find myself particularly taken with the phrase “Anarchist Jurisdictions.” I invite you to look up the definition of “Jurisdiction” and see if you can shoe horn any of its four most common usages that can be paired with the word “Anarchist” and actually mean something. I assume the fourth meaning is what’s intended, “ the territory over which authority is exercised”, but the Anarchists would reject the very notion that a specific body has a right to exercise authority. And “Anarchist Jurisdiction” is like an “Anarchist President”, it doesn’t work, the two words are in opposition. Who coined such a gloriously functionless phrase? I have a guess.

Crouched in a dank subterranean office somewhere in the clenched and labyrinthine  bowels of the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building, nary three skips of a flat stone from the White House itself, one can imagine the great, lumpen mass of William Barr, hunkered like a grotesque and malevolent bullfrog of unusual size behind his desk. To the ever-present accompaniment of the melancholic plip… plop… plip of tainted condensation and associated effluvia dripping off the soaking matts of lichen and drenched moss hillocks that cling to the walls of his executive oubliette suite, a fountain pen hand-crafted from the ulna of an ANTIFA child soldier scritching dismal counterpoint, the Attorney General births a phrase, his neck and jowl pouches undulating as the corners of his near lipless, amphibian mouth lift every so slightly in an approximation of a human… smile?

“New York (scritch, scritch)… city (plip-plop)…. Portland (scritch)… and Seattle (scritch scritch)… Anarchist (ploop)… Jur-uhs…DIC-shuns (Scritch-a-scritch-SCRITCH)!”

Golly. That’s a scary image to illustrate a scary term. Anarchy is frightening. Lawlessness, unchecked chaos, no recourse from violence… why it would be enough to make people panic if it were not well known that the administration goes to extreme lengths of cheerleading to avoid panicking the citizenry. What can one assume they are trying to communicate declaring parts of the United States of America to be “Anarchist Jurisdictions”?

According to the Justice department’s documents on the subject, an “anarchist jurisdiction” is a city, town or other municipality that has “permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract these criminal activities.” So a local government that has not just failed to successfully quell… rioting I guess? But actively refused to give said quelling even a reasonable shot. And what kind of violence and property damage are we talking about? Weaponized cans of soup and Bumblebee Tuna? Fireworks used with non-celebratory intent? Windows smashed by socialist radicals, whom upon investigation turn out to actually be opportunistic white supremacists and off duty police officers eager to earn their “Anarchist Jurisdiction” merit badges and all the associated rights and privileges to go to town second-amendment-style on roving gangs of professional Antifas and Black Lives Materists inherent therein? What about graffiti?  If I “Tag” a building without the owner’s permission, I understand that’s not nice, but have I engaged in destruction?  Can you call something “destroyed” if that condition can be remedied with a power washer? Am I an anarchist, now? Because I didn’t mean to be. I only intended (in this hypothetical situation where I am not far too cowardly to “Tag” anything)  to express my displeasure regarding our national current state of affairs. I certainly didn’t mean by spray painting a naughty and childish implication regarding the general inadequacy of Matt Gatez’s reproductive apparatus (Again, hypothetically and, full disclosure, a condition I only suspect and do not in any empirical way know) that I didn’t want any form of government, just a better one. I mean to actually be an anarchist, don’t you have to want no government at all? Because I’d wager that the number of people in all three cities combined who truly want no government at all is very, very small. I mean it’s not non-zero. Have you been to Portland? One time at Saturday Market, I saw a man in full priest attire using a wheelchair with a large, lucite cage attached to it which he shared with a very active monkey. He had a sign that read “If a man of the cloth in a wheelchair cage with a monkey can raise money for kidney disease, so can you.” It’s an odd town. 

Is there a tipping point where a jurisdiction becomes anarchist? How many fires? How many people setting fires, because if it’s just one, that’s not anarchy, that’s an arsonist, and even most rioters agree, someone in authority (something anarchists don’t like) should stop that person, because fire is dangerous, and people, even rioting people, are flammable!  At what point do we go from a few bad apples among a sea of peaceful protesters to “anarchy”? Do the police suffer from a few bad apples, or are they an official anarchist organization? Have I accidentally stumbled upon a functional definition of an “anarchist jurisdiction” A municipality in which the people who have authority are using it in a manner difficult to distinguish from anarchy?

The administration is threatening to deny federal funds to places they label “anarchist jurisdictions”, the sort of utterly empty threats they have levelled before. The legislative branch has the power of the purse, not the executive. The president and the justice department do not have the authority to withhold funds raised by congress. To be precise, such an act is not within their jurisdiction. They know that, or more precisely, everyone but Trump, who knows very close to shit all nothing where basic American civics is concerned, knows that. I don’t think the point of inventing a new designation for cities with Democratic leadership has anything to do with federal funds. 

I believe the intention is to lay the legal groundwork to surround people within an “anarchist jurisdiction” and commit acts of violence upon them that will deter future protests. Since the right to assembly and protest is legally guaranteed by the constitution, the actual, recognized  term for violently curtailing such behavior in the hopes that people will be too afraid to continue the practice is “terrorism.” Specifically, “government sponsored terrorism.”

While Louisville, Kentucky is not currently listed as an “anarchist jurisdiction”, I think within the next 48 hours, it will be. Not as hard a sell as you might imagine, since the Mayor of Louisville is a Democrat. Earlier today, it was announced that only one of the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in March has been indicted. The charge against Brett Hankison is three counts of wanton endangerment, not murder, or even manslaughter. It is hard to imagine public reaction will not feature incidents AG Barr would label “Anarchist.” As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” My guess is there are a lot of people in Louisville tonight (and indeed, all over the country) who do not feel as if they have ever been heard.

If, as happened in Kenosha, the police allow armed White supremacists to roam freely and engage in violence, that would be a functional definition of an “anarchist jurisdiction, but I don’t think that’s what Barr and company are referring to or trying to remedy. I’m absolutely certain that if such a designation is levelled, it won’t be to make some illegitimate attempt to deny the city any federal funds that have been legally allocated to them. I do think it will be used to further justify the use of armed, paramilitary enforcers answerable only to the DOJ. 

Such actions are already in practice under the auspices of “Operation Legend”, so why would the administration need a new legal classification like “anarchist jurisdictions”?  I worry the answer is escalation.

We now know that federal officials stockpiled munitions and attempted to acquire a, pardon my french for a moment, FUCKING HEAT RAY WEAPON deemed UNSAFE FOR USE IN MILITARY COMBAT to clear Lafayette Square so that President Law n’ Order would not have to encounter unwashed peasantry who feel he could be doing a better job as he trundled his lardy caboose a couple of blocks to get his picture snapped holding a holy book he’s never read in front of a church he doesn’t attend. 

It turns out people are pretty horrified that the president was contemplating unleashing that level of violence on his fellow Ameicans. But suppose, hypothetically, the people in a given jurisdiction  weren’t precisely Americans? Suppose they didn’t subscribe to America’s collective notion of government?

Suppose they were anarchists?

What then?

My CoviDiary 9/18/2020; Trump Digs (Tricky) Dick, Part Three, and inevitably other things.

A couple of years ago (September 11, 2018 to be exact, which you have to admit was a cute move on the part of “Simon & Schuster) Bob Woodward published a book on the Trump administration titled “Fear.” Despite the upbeat title, it was not complimentary. That shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anybody, as Woodward has written numerous books on numerous presidents since “All the President’s Men” in 1974, and almost none of them have made their presidential subjects happy. So you have to ask yourself, why would Trump say, after Jared or Lindsey or whoever the scapegoat du jour is by the time I post this, suggested they invite Woodward back to write a second book, particularly at a time when things were going very poorly for the president, “Well, you know, boys, that sounds like a swell idea.”

Because really, it isn’t a swell idea at all, and I don’t think that’s even arguable. It’s like asking, “say, fellas, I dropped a spoon down the garbage disposal, I think I’m just gonna jam my arm in there as far as it will go, and then you turn it on. Doesn’t that sound like a swell idea?” It should be clear the instant you conceive of the idea that it can only go badly, there is no possible good outcome, it’s just quite simply, totally obviously, a thing there is no reason to do. Should you duct tape a half dozen veal cutlets to your head, slather it in gravy and stick the whole assemblage into a lion’s mouth? Should you set a rat trap with your penis? Why are you asking? These aren’t even questions in anything but a purely linguistic sense.

And yet Trump did shove his arm in the garbage disposal and turn it on, he did set a rat trap with his penis, not once, but eighteen times. Trump gave eighteen interviews to Woodward and he was aware they were being recorded! At least Nixon meant his tapes to be a secret, Trump’s tapes were not only going to be made public, they weren’t even his property! How is it remotely possible that a human being with enough of a functioning brain to perform basic bodily functions, like breathing, eating, putting on pants, could do something so monumentally stupid? 

Well, not by accident. This was a choice. The rumor is, Trump was quite upset that his staff back in 2018 wouldn’t allow him to sit for an interview (or two, or ten, or eighteen) with Woodward. Trump found the book (or more likely how the press responded to the book, because as I believe I have stated in the diary many times, I am certain that Trump CAN’T READ in any functional way) unpleasant, mean, unfair, damaging and generally a huge tactical error to have allowed to happen. SO. How to keep a second Woodward book from being even worse? Well, what went wrong the first time? Simple! “Fear” may have been about Trump, but it was just people talking about Trump who weren’t Trump! Come on, that’s nuts, you’re gonna write a whole book about Trump and not talk to the one guy who has more experience talking about Trump than anyone alive?! Look, say you cook a steak way too long and you put a lot of catsup on it and it tastes awful. What went wrong? Obviously, you didn’t cook it long enough and it needed more catsup! If a book about Trump is bad, it just needs more Trump on it! There is no problem that can’t be solved with MORE TRUMP! 

So the most immediate  take away from the book has been that Trump knew way back in early February that the Coronavirus was transmitted through the air and was far deadlier than the flu. And he knew this because China told him. That means he was lying when he said the flu was worse and it would just go away and you didn’t need a mask, and it means he was lying when he said China lied to him about the severity and danger of the problem. And we know he lied because he told Bob Woodward that even though he knew the conversation was being recorded. 

WHY? WHY WOULD HE DO THAT?! HOW DOES IT MAKE ONE IOTA OF EVEN THE MOST TWISTED SENSE TO DO THAT?!?

Here’s my theory. Like all huge sociopaths, Trump thinks being a sociopath is normal and fine and everyone else (to the degree that they exist, which they only kind of do) is either a sociopath or a rube, because those are the only two categories. What’s the big deal letting on you told a horrendous, gigantic, unnecessary  lie that arguably got tens of thousands of people killed? Everybody understands, because everybody lies all the time except for rubes, and rubes have it coming! And sure, the stakes are a little higher, 200,000 or so higher, but lies are lies are lies and you tell them, everyone tells them, and if you’re a big important person your lies have large consequences because of how big and important you are, and you can’t blame someone for being successful, that’s not fair. And was it a lie? I mean, can’t he just lie again and say he never said the thing he’s on tape saying, or that the words don’t mean what they clearly mean? What’s with you rubes and your whole true/not true deal? What’s “The Truth”? Is there any such thing? Sure, if you’re a rube!

Trump’s theory is a little different than man and I think a good deal less honest. He says he “downplayed” things (as opposed to lying about them) because he didn’t want to “panic” people. because he’s a “Cheerleader.”

Both those things are absurd, but let’s examine them as if I was being paid by the word, which sadly, I assure you I am not.

First, Trump loves to panic people. Maybe not as much as golf or TV or tweeting or Ivanka, but it’s the only political strategy he knows and he’s very fond of it. Caravans of MS-13 on drugs are storming the border and they’re going to kill you. Antifa and Anarchists and Socialists are going to take all your guns and burn down your house and kill you. Black Live Matter thugs are going to overrun suburbia and drive your real estate values down and kill you, and all of the only reason these people haven’t killed you yet is they’re all at a huge violent protest with Biden, who is just a radio controlled animatronic with Bernie and AOC holding the remote and before they can kill you they have to abort a whole stack of babies that have already been born, but they have to frighten them first, because adrenochrome, la, la, la, American carnage, everybody panic. 

Second, totally apart from what a deeply unpleasant image Trump in a cheerleader uniform is, cheerleader and president are very different jobs

Cheerleaders are there to mildly titillate the crowd while encouraging enthusiasm and making the players feel supported. Trump is the antithesis of titillating, who is the ‘crowd’  and who are the ‘players’ in this scenario? Is it, like, average citizens versus the Coronavirus? And if he shakes his enormous orange buttcoks and encourages us to shout out various letters that spell a lie he knows is a lie about how it’s gonna go away like a miracle, we’ll what? Panic less during however much time goes by until we catch it? There’s no fucking parallel to be found here! President as cheerleader is NOT A FUNCTIONAL METAPHOR!

Plus, what he’s doing isn’t even  what cheerleaders do! Cheerleaders encourage, they don’t lie! If the game was football players versus a fleet of speeding trucks, Cheerleaders wouldn’t dance on the sidelines chanting, rhythmically about how it was no big deal, stay on the field, play the way you always do, because if they listened, many of the players would UNNECESSARILY DIE! !

So, not to toot my own horn here, not to be a cheerleader for myself, I think MY explanation about Trump being an apex predator level SOCIOPATH explains more than his ridiculous little vaudeville about being a FUCKING CHEERLEADER WHO CAN’T ABIDE PANIC!!!

And this was the point where I had fully intended to blow all of your minds, as promised, with my theory of just what the electric blue copulation Trump thinks he’s up to with this bizarre homage to the losingest president in history, Richard M. Nixon, but as God is my witness I can no longer remember what my theory was. Because shortly before sitting down to finish this piece I learned of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing.

And that is a blow that just drains one hundred percent of the gas from the joke machine. In fact it makes the entire enterprise of keeping a rickety-ass, broke-down joke machine running with duct tape and bailing wire and prayer seem pointless and small and even a little bit shameful. 

We were sitting down to dinner and we heard the news and then we watched “A Fish Called Wanda” because that’s what we were going to do before we found out, so it’s what we did after. It’s a good movie, if you’ve never seen it, and we just enjoyed it, and I didn’t think about how the death of this remarkable, courageous, pivotal woman at this particularly bleak moment in history alters the balance of where we are headed. And I’m still not thinking about it, resolutely. Because my brain tends to play things out. If this happens, then this happens, or this, and that puts those characters somewhere besides where you thought they’d be on the board, so they don’t have the opportunity to react the way they would have if, if, if, if, if.  And they aren’t characters. There is no board. That is an awful way to be compelled to think and so I’ll put off thinking it.

And yet;

When the Vulcan ship “Intrepid” is destroyed, across light-years Spock feels it. He hears the death cream of 400 Vulcans crying out.

When the planet Alderaan is destroyed, Obi-wan says “I felt a great disturbance in the Force… as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

You see what I reach for in a time like this? When I feel something terrible has happened? I’m clearly not the man for this job. Also, looking at that quote, I’m realizing the screenwriter shouldn’t have had Obi-wan use the word “suddenly” twice in the same sentence. That’s just bad writing. It seems impossible I never noticed it before in the hundred or so times I’ve seen the movie. That’s my concern here. What I’m saying is you might want to put a codicil in your will stating that if you predecease me, I’m not allowed to write your eulogy.

Sorry. Pitfalls of a diary, right? Something happens in the world while I’m writing and it just grabs the narrative like a terrier grabbing a rat, and whatever level of sociopathy it takes to wish reality into the cornfield so that the story I started out telling gets finished the way I wanted… well, I’m not there. Not yet.

And I’m already starting to think about how eight is an even number that comes out a tie in the best case scenarios and that I don’t even know what happens when there’s a tie. I’m already starting to think about the smirk on Mitch McConnell’s gelatinous mug as he inevitably reaches for the brass ring of hypocrisy. So I’m done for tonight before I’m too far gone to be done for tonight.

RGB kept fighting till she couldn’t fight anymore, and that’s what we should all do, and maybe that’s what I’ll do, or maybe I’ll write some super dignified analogy using references to “Space 1999” or “Far Out Space Nuts” or fucking “Manimal.”

But not tonight.

My CoviDiary 9/15/2020; Trump Digs (Tricky) Dick: Part Two

Last entry I tried to establish that Trump has something of a fixation with Richard Nixon, and I think I did, but it’s a puzzling one. Anyone can see that Trump enjoys playing Nixon’s greatest hits. Allowing Bob Woodward back to the White House for a second book and giving him 18 interviews ON TAPE is… well, it’s like he’s haphazardly cosplaying the Nixon administration, acquiring whatever random trappings he can, pastiching it together without any particular aesthetic and parading around the exhibit hall getting crankier by the minute that so few people want a picture with him. That simply can’t be all that’s going on.

Here’s my theory; He doesn’t want to be Nixon. He wants to play Nixon’s game, a game Nixon lost… and win. Because that’s his world view. He knows more about Isis than the generals, he understands politics better than anyone, he once said  “I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world.” In his mind, he is the world’s (and in some cases, history’s) leading expert on… everything. So naturally, where others failed he will succeed. If he’d been in Obama’s shoes, he’d have tracked down and killed Bin Laden much sooner. If he’d been enough of a sucker to go to Vietnam, he would never have been captured and he certainly wouldn’t have been killed! Are you kidding? That getting killed shit is for losers! 

And speaking of not getting killed, If he’d been Lincoln, he’d have never gone to the theater in the first place, because that’s what the gays spend their money on even though cable is totally cheap and Twitter is free! 

He’s got a lot to identify with in Nixon. They’re both outsiders who spent their lives forcing their way into parties they weren’t invited to that nobody wanted them at. None of the established power players wanted either of them in the GOP, they were both ridiculed, laughed at, looked down upon, they both ended up shoving their leadership down the Republican establishments collective, and when they crowned themselves atop a mountain of defeated foes… It didn’t make them happy. They both stayed cranky, pouty and miserable and continued to play the victim despite the fact they were in charge.

So how does Trump prove he’s Nixon’s better? 

Tricky Dick’s principal complaint was the same as Rodney Dangerfield. He didn’t get any respect. So public demonstrations of respect are a literal requirement of Trump’s inner circle. I look at the televised cabinet meetings where they go around the room and each secretary tries desperately to out-grovel the others and I’m disgusted. But to Trump? It’s validation. So what if they don’t mean it? In Trump’s world view no one means anything. Sincerity isn’t the point, because it doesn’t exist. The point is, everyone in the Cabinet bends the knee, and the whole world sees them do it. And it’s not just the people he could instantly fire. Every Republican in congress bends the knee except on  rare occasions Romney, and I flat out promise you, if Trump- gets a second term he’ll have Mitt killed. No hyperbole. Second term? Romney’s dead, and they’ll take him out Russian style. “Oh, such shame, yes? Poor Mitt, always so clumsy, he fell off roof. Clumsy men like Mitt should avoid roof tops, da?” Look, there’s not a single power player of any kind, office holder, pundit, fundraiser, kingmaker, who doesn’t understand that if you don’t make a point of publicly buffing Trump’s nuts on the regular, there is plenty of room for you under the bus. The wheels stopped touching the ground a long time ago, so it really doesn’t matter how tall the pile of discarded GOP stars beneath it gets. Nixon had to resign because the Republican senate came and told him to his face they weren’t going to protect him because they didn’t respect him. That is never going to happen to Trump. Maybe it’s how collectively, repulsively weak they all are, or maybe it’s dark sorcery, but Trump has whupped Nixon’s ass in the forced loyalty department. They’ve all been so all in for Trump for so long, turning on him at this point would make them look even more like feckless assholes than they already do, and that’s just too daunting to contemplate. 

So what else can Donald do to prove he knows more about being Nixon than Nixon? What was ultimately responsible for Nixon’s downfall besides the Republican Senate? I mean, you know, not counting Nixon himself, because whatever eventual introspection he may have been able to achieve, that’s just not going to happen with Trump. Snakes can’t do jumping jacks and they don’t lose any sleep worrying about what they might be missing out on. 

The GOP congress was able to finally show Nixon the door because of  Woodward and Bernstein’s investigative journalism… and the tapes. Tapes Nixon himself made on which he could be heard admitting his guilt. That’s the game Trump has to play and win. And he can do it. He’s the man who can shoot 190,000 people on fifth avenue and not  lose any votes. 

Bernstein was never going to be part of the equation, because Trump already has two Jews, Jared and Steven Miller, and those guys are at least White House broken. So Woodward then, who at least has the decency to come from reliable American genetic stock. There’s no indication Trump tapes his visitors, my guess is he’s more of a video guy and who wants videos of people in meetings? That’s not even a little hot unless you’re weird. So two birds with one stone, right? Make some incriminating tapes… WITH WOODWARD! It’s genius! So efficient! This is why businessmen make the best presidents!

The stage is set. All the elements are in place for a truly Nixonian fall from Grace which the God emperor Trump will set up and then, as always, escape all consequences simply through the magic of being the best person there’s ever been at everything in all of human history. 

And in my next entry we’ll examine just how that’s working out. Spoiler alert, although his poll numbers were not great going into this, they haven’t budged since the story broke.

Sweet dreams!

My CoviDairy 9/13/2020; Trump Digs (Tricky) Dick, Part One.

Don’t let the fact that Donald Trump is basically the front man for a shitty Hitler cover band playing Fridays and Saturdays to a tiny audience of befuddled, angry white idiots in a bar with sawdust on the floor make you dismiss the importance of his side-hustle, being the front man for a shitty Nixon cover band that plays the same joint to to a smaller, older audience Monday and Tuesday nights.

What is it with that dude’s fixation with Richard Milhous Nixon? Why does Trump so regularly dip into the playbook of the only president in American history to resign from office in disgrace, which he only did because he knew if he didn’t resign he’d get kicked out? What’s the allure? 

Spoiler, I’ve got a theory, but I’m gonna save it to the very end of the second part of this entry, real writerly-like.  It’s gonna blow your mind, so do whatever you need to do to prepare. Seat belts fastened, seatbacks and tray tables in their upright and locked position, stiff drink handy if that’s what you like, smelling salts at the ready if you fancy yourself a victorian lady of a certain disposition and shit, I’ve really overhyped this to the point where it’s bound to be a disappointment when we finally get there. Can we just pretend I never said all that? I’d go back and do a rewrite if that was the sort of thing I did.

“THE VAST SILENT MAJORITY IS ALIVE AND WELL!” “LAW & ORDER!”… Those Tweet’s he loves so much he retweets them several times a week, are Nixon shit! He’s quoting Richard Nixon, a man best known for losing! He loves to say shit Nixon said!I keep rooting for him to do my favorite, “I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow,” but no such luck. 

To be fair, Nixon’s  whole stern daddy campaign schtick worked on a terrified white public, but very briefly. He crushed McGovern (I cried non-stop for a week. My parents had tried to get me to brace myself, told me repeatedly all the polls predicted  a Nixon landslide, but I knew they were wrong, because I was ten and I knew in every story, the good guy wins) but a year and a half after winning his second term he had to pack his bags and run. There are plenty of Nixon apologists out there, but they are mostly of the “He wasn’t as bad as people say” school, and generally these days they mean in comparison to Trump. There’s nobody out there with contrary enough balls to lobby for Nixon’s head to get carved into Mt. Rushmore. 

And stealing Nixon’s roll isn’t enough for the Double-wide Don, like any spoiled little, wealthy-ass fan boy, he’s gotta have an expensive, super rare, authentic collectible to wave around, so he bought Roger Stone. Who the hell is friends with Roger Stone?! And they’ve been what passes for friends with Trump for ages! I mean, okay, there’s not a whole lot of Nixon Cronies still wandering around earth instead of turning on a spit in hell, but Roger Stone?! Here, let me serve you a little tasty Roger Stone Canape to give you an idea of what he was like as a lad, cutting his teeth in the Nixon administration. Using the pseudonym “Jason Rainier”, Stone made contributions to the campaign of Pete McCloskey, Nixon’s challenger for the Republican nomination in 1972, on behalf  of a fictional organization, the Young Socialist Alliance, and then sent a receipt to the Manchester Union Leader, A New Hampshire newspaper that at that time was slightly to the right of the Nazi Party. Stone was part of Nixon’s dirty trick squad, a group that called themselves “Rat fuckers”, and no, I am not making that up.

And just look at him! He has a tattoo of Nixon on his back! Who knows, maybe it’s an homage, or maybe it’s there to frighten his cellmate when he finally and inevitably does time, but NIXON, permanently, indelibly, etched into his skin! (Full disclosure, while I myself sport no tats, I briefly considered getting a Nixon tattoo. Here’s my rational: It is my contention the no one shaped the world people my age grew up in more than Nixon. Maybe warped is a better word than shaped. His campaign against “Clean” Gene McCarthy and eventually Humphrey is the first campaign I remember. We ate dinner watching the Watergate hearings. Nixon’s shadow looms large over the world I grew up in. My bride vetoed the Nixon tat idea, and I gotta tell you, when I later learned of Stone’s ink, man, was I grateful, because I’m told laser tattoo removal is expensive and painful. My next plan was a young, buff William Shatner on one shoulder and an elderly, puffy William Shatner on the other, as a statement of the fleetingness of all endeavor and human mortality. My bride vetoed that one as well. Golly. That was certainly an unnecessarily long “Full disclosure.” Oh, well. You knew I was a scorpion when you said “Sure, Max, I’ll swim you across the river, just don’t lethally sting me, ‘cause then  we’ll both die” and then halfway across I stung you and right before you went under you were all, like, “What the fuck, Max?!” And I went “Dude, I’m a scorpion, I’m not that bright, I have terrible impulse control and I suffer from clinical depression, and while I regret my decision right now, I gotta admit, there’s still a part of me that’s kind of psyched to find out blub, blub, blub.”)

Roger Stone?! Come on! All I can think is in his earlier, more lucid days, Trump thought to himself “I’m a kind of repulsive looking dude, I mean sure, I play it off by pretending I’m the shit and sexy as hell, but I’m unavoidably hard to look at and it’s not getting better as I age. I better find someone to pal around with who’s a grotesque, absurd, buffoonish cartoon of a person so I’ll look normal-ish  if I stand next to him.” OK, OK, how old are you guys? You remember the “Dick Tracy” movie? 1990? Warren Beatty directed, starred and produced the film on account of Warren Beatty has always been very impressed by Warren Beatty? It had Al Pacino? Dustin Hoffman? A young up and coming songstress by the name of Madonna? Garish colors and art design  meant to invoke the four-color printing process of Sunday Funnies from the late 30’s? Roger Stone is the Dick Tracy Villain found solely on the cutting room floor, because his character just isn’t believable. In the final edit, Beatty was like, “We gotta lose this Stone guy. I mean ‘Pruneface’, OK, moviegoers can accept  that, on account of his face is all wrinkled up like it’s a giant prune. But this Stone guy is just ludicrous! No sobriquet we could invent would allow people to suspend their disbelief for this ridiculous, poorly executed child’s drawing of a character! I can’t imagine what I was thinking! Do you know he has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back?! What’s the for, prison?!”

And wait, listen, listen, listen, I had originally intended that to be all I was going to say about Roger Stone, but this morning as I was writing that last paragraph, I take a break, open the paper (OK, I go on-line, but “open the paper” sounds so much more like the writer I want to be) and what do you think convicted felon, Roger Stone, a man who was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, a man who would be serving 40 months in the slammer right now if his pal  Fat Donny Two-scoops hadn’t commuted his sentence, is up to? He’s calling in to the Alex Jones show to suggest that if Trump doesn’t win the election, he should just declare marshall law and seize power. Arrest Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, both Clintons and “anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity,” Oh, and former Defense Secretary James Mattis, Trump shouldn’t even wait on that guy, he should go ahead and arrest him now. For sedition. Because of shit he said to Bob Woodward. 

Bob Woodward. One half of Woodward and Bernstein. The journalist team that took down who now? Richard Milhous Nixon. Bob … fucking… Woodward. The man Trump gave 18 INTERVIEWS TO, ON THE RECORD, WHICH HE WAS AWARE WOODWARD WAS RECORDING! Even though he knew that Woodward and Bernstein, while their dogged journalism was exemplary, could not have destroyed Nixon if not for, come on now, fellow geezers and history students, say it with me, TAPE RECORDINGS of the president saying TOTALLY DAMNING SHIT about HIMSELF!!!

Which is where we’ll pick whenever I finish writing the second half of this entry, and don’t forget, at the end, I will present a theory which will totally blow your mind, or not, maybe you’ve thought of it already yourself and I’m really my own worst enemy when it comes to getting people to take me seriously as a writer. Shit! Fine. Whatever.

My CoviDiary 9/12/2020; The Super Spreader, A Neighborhood Sketch.

I’ve been working on a longer, more complicated piece and I keep thinking I’ll be done with it and then I’m not. It’s not so much the actual length, it’s getting the ideas in the right order. That’s why I’ve missed a few days, and it’s still not finished, but I didn’t want to go another day without putting something up, so here’s a quick sketch of someone I’ve seen a few times, usually walking back from town to my house.

He’s on the sidewalk, smack in the middle. No mask, not even around his neck or in his fist. He’s talking very forcefully into a cell phone, not pacing so much as shifting his weight, making little V’s and W’s with his feet. He’s a big man. Imposing.

You know the guy in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, the big, bald Nazi with the mustache? The one who takes his shirt off and bare knuckle boxes with Indy next to the plane, and smiles like it’s fun for both of them, and doesn’t notice the propeller coming at him until it’s too late? Think of that guy. Just a little shorter, a little wider. Big, ropy arms with faded blue/black tattoos all up and down them. White strappy T like Marlon Brando in “Streetcar”, but the fit, while just as tight, is nowhere near as flattering.

In my head I call him the Super Spreader, like he’s the villain in a Republic serial. Not the main villain, a lesser villain you have to defeat on your way to the big villain. People think that’s a video game thing, but It’s older. Of course I’m not old enough to have ever seen a serial in a movie theater, but my dad did, and he told me about them. In high school  I had an art teacher who collected them, and he’d screen them from time to time. Captain Marvel. Captain America. Captain Midnight. Superman. Batman. Always a cliffhanger. Every episode.

And the Super Spreader dominates the sidewalk. There’s no way at all you can pass him with the recommended six feet between you. I imagine he lives in one of the four story apartment buildings he’s out in front of, but I don’t know. Maybe he comes all the way across town to stand here talking forcefully on his cell phone. Maybe he hikes a mile to block my passage while he says things like “No, you listen to me!” and “That’s bullshit. That’s bullshit.”

Have you seen the PSA’s? The infra-red ones, where someone is talking and you can see where their breath goes, because it’s hotter than the air around it? Like how you can see people’s breath in the winter, but way more so, and all purples and reds, maybe a little orange and yellow? How it billows out and boils all around them. It’s amazing how much space your breath takes up, the zone it creates around you. And it must be happening with everyone all the time. It’s beautiful and terrifying to think of, every man, woman and child marking their territory every time they breathe out, and now that I know about it, I don’t always see it, but when it wants to be seen, I can’t unsee it.

That’s what happens with the Super Spreader. I stop in my tracks, frozen by the terrible beauty of his breath, how it flows out of him and wreaths him, like a drop of ink spreading eddies and tendrils through a glass of water, like huge ropes of purple and blue and red tulle, almost weightless, just enough mass so it dances instead of simply hanging there. 

But I need to get home, I can’t just stand there on the sidewalk waiting for him to finish his conversation. It doesn’t seem like the kind of conversation that gets finished anytime soon. “Hey.” he says. “Hey. Hey. Hey. Are you listening to me? I told you. I just told you.”

So I have to make a choice, because the rules are, mask or six feet. That’s the protocol, and I’m trying to make the protocol a habit so that the habit eventually becomes second nature. Do I go into the apartment yard which would mean jumping the little box hedge? What if I didn’t make it? What if my foot snagged on the box hedge and I fell on my face right in front of the Super Spreader? And what the hell am I going to look like hopping over the box hedge to avoid the Super Spreader even if I don’t fall down? Hey! Hey tough guy! I just jumped a fucking box hedge so I wouldn’t have to get near you. That’d go over well.

So, what? Out into the street? It’s one of the main routes into and out of downtown. There’s a lot of cars. Does it make sense to get pulped by a bus to avoid the statistically unlikely but non-zero chance that in the seconds it takes me to get past the Super Spreader, an aerosolized droplet containing the Coronavirus will waft out of his mouth on a slow motion, drifting purple wave, that one of those microscopic death pom-poms will  tumble and dip and rise and pass between my mask and my skin through a space that seems almost non-existent to me but is the size of the fucking Grand Canyon to a microscopic virus? And if that tiny gap is the Grand Canyon, how big is the gaping, cavernous hole of my left nostril?

I’m exaggerating. There’s a bike lane between me and actual traffic. Plenty of space. But let’s be honest, I’m exactly the sort of person who gets creamed by a bike coming out of their blind spot the very instant he steps into a bike lane.

And the look. The look the Super Spreader gives me when I cut a wide swathe around him. It’s not even a big look, which makes it worse. It’s casually deadly,  just a tiny shift of the eyes that says “I see you, buddy. I see you thinking you’re better than me from behind your coastal elite cloth mask. I’m memorizing your face and filing it away for future reference so sometime in the future when I see you, I can pop you a good one and rearrange your face without breaking a sweat.”

It’s probably in my head. He probably doesn’t even notice me going out into the bike lane so I can pass without getting near him. Why would he notice me? He’s in the middle of an important conversation. “No. No. No. No… I said ‘No.’ Hey. What did I tell you? I said ‘no.’”

His voice is fading now. I don’t look back, even though part of me insists I have to. Because if I look back I will metaphorically turn into a pillar of salt in the form of him deciding to cut his call short so he can pop me a good one.

And as the Super Spreader’s voice gets quieter and quieter until at some unobservable point of demarcation I realize I have been unable to hear him for a while, my hackles go down. But I feel bad. I feel bad to have been made aware that I even have hackles, a thing we should have evolved out of by now. Vestigial, utterly useless hackles.

I bet the Super Spreader never had hackles. He clearly doesn’t need them.

My CoviDiary 9/6/2020; Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Antisemite.

Here’s a cute little story that I feel isn’t getting quite as much attention as it ought to. Do you remember Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Took over being director of lying to the press and public from Sean “Dancin’ with the has beens” Spicer? Daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, best known for his recurring role as the hilarious Eustice G. McChompers, loveable bachelor farmer, drunk tank habituate and butt of incessant “Animal husbandry” jokes on the 1960’s shared universe Green Acres/Beverly Hillbillies/Petticoat junction sit-com franchise? Sure you do, she’s a fan favorite and one of an elite handful of sociopaths who left the Trump administration on good terms and did not join the vast majority of their departing colleagues under the Team Trump bus.

Well! Seems she’s written a very complimentary memoir, which is a first, since every book written by a former staffer up to this point has been about what a criminal grifter, pathological liar and general lout Trump is. her book is about to come out, and as is standard publishing practice, a number of media outlets have gotten an advance copy for review. 

Maybe she reasonably assumed no one would actually read it, but apparently Jacob Kornbluh at “Jewish Insider” obtained a copy, and did. Now I’m sure it’s a standard length book and it tells a lot of very interesting stories, but what really stood out for author Kornbluh  was the part where Ms.Huckabee Sanders describes Josh Raffel, a colleague in the White House communications office, as “a liberal, aggressive, foulmouthed Jew from New York City who had spent most of his career working in Hollywood.”

I put that quote in bold type to graphically illustrate what a jaw dropping little nugget of unvarnished antisemitism that is. Just… WOW! And not just that she thought it, or said it privately, neither of which would surprise me in the least, she wrote it down in a book, and her editor thought “No problem here!” and out it went!  

There’s only two possible universes in which this event takes place. In the first Ms. Huckabee Sanders is such a casual, reflexive Jew hater, she sees nothing untoward about the description. He cursed, which makes him foulmouthed, the New York City and Hollywood references aren’t dog whistle bigotry, they’re just descriptive biographical information from his resume and it’s only worth mentioning that he’s a Jew because everybody knows how awful and irritating and just Jewy they can be, so it’s a funny detail that helps you imagine him better! I have zero doubt that this is how Jews are discussed in the circles Ms. Huckabee was born into and in which she travels and I doubt such a statement would raise a single eyebrow at any over your tonier Arkansas country clubs over a nice plate of steamed hog jowls and a cool tumbler of White Lightning.

The other universe is the one in which Sarah Huckabee Sanders dislikes Jews for legitimate reasons having to do with the traditional and genetic deficiencies inherent to their race, she is not ashamed of it ,as it is a simple matter of unpleasant fact. Not only does she have no problem announcing it, she desires to. Plus, she wants you to know what she had to put up with in the course of her job! A Jew. Working in the same office as her, tasked with essentially the same job, just as if he was white! And do you know who landed the job for Raffel in the first place? because you know he didn’t secure the job on his own merits, that’s not how those people get their little feet in the door. Jared and Ivanka, that’s who. Well, Jared, really. All you have to do to see Ivanka is just pretending to be Jewish is look at her. Everyone knows it’s not going to last. She’s going to divorce Jared the second he gets his ankle bracelet. Be serious. It’s not like she could realistically run for president as a Jewess. And if you’re just finding out now that the Kushners are Jewish, that’s understandable. It’s not like they mention it unless it’s to inoculate Herr Donald against the latest charges of antisemitism after an inevitable bout of Jew bashing. Plus Jared is the whitest Jew since the apostle Paul and Ivanka, like her dad, only pretends to have any religion at all, so it hardly matters which one she’s debasing by wearing it a costume to fleece some specifically targeted set of rubes.

Sanders does go on to say nice things about Raffel, how they learned to appreciate each other and became friends, and everybody knows as long as you say something complimentary right after a slur, it’s fine. That’s why I always follow describing Ms. Huckabee Sanders as a sub-human product of southern inbreeding, I try to remember to mention that she sometimes makes cake.

My CoviDiary 9/2/2020; Dark Shadows

At this point “Trump gives the craziest interview of his presidency”  is an evergreen headline. You can use it about 80% of the time he gives an interview and be pretty sure it’ll work just fine. That being said, Monday night’s interview with Laura (lady who heiled Trump’s image on the Jumbotron at the 2016 RNC) Ingraham was a corker, just a mega-deluxe barn burner in terms of being off the charts loony no matter what angle you look at it from. If it was all deliberate lies, they were some of the most clumsy he’s ever uttered, just impossible to believe and insulting to hear, like he was saying “Check it out, his is how stupid I think you are.” If it was an example of paranoid delusions, he’s further gone than the last time he spoke in public, which was pretty far gone. This “interview” is the kind of shit you find old drunks mumbling three days after they’ve totally run out of sterno money and the DT’s are getting black-diamond rugged, and when you go to get them a glass of water and they sluff off all their clothes except the tighty-whiteys they’ve had on since last December, smear vaseline all over themselves, worm out the window and run down the street shrieking about how the (insert ethnic slur here) are never gonna catch him ‘cause he’s so too smart for ‘em and too SLICK, how you gonna catch what you CAN’T HOLD ONTO?!?

Maybe you didn’t watch the interview or run some of the choicest clips on the YouTube or maybe your so beat down or just plain sick of it you didn’t even read bout it, but here, this is like I’m holding your hand and we can pretend none of it’s real together so it’ll just be funny.

Trump’s talking about how Biden is controlled from “The Dark Shadows”, and I of course thought he meant specifically Barnabas Collins, but Ingraham isn’t on the same wavelength as I am and she says “Now what does that mean, that sounds like a conspiracy theory” SIDEBAR; when Laura “She Wolf of the SS” Ingraham says what you’re saying sounds like a conspiracy theory, that’s kind of like a huge-ass, neon lined billboard announcing that you have just passed the boundaries of what anyone who is not a full blown loony tune can roll with, yet Trump, completely missing social cues that could be SEEN FROM SPACE responds:

Trump: People that you haven’t heard of. There are people that are on the streets. There are people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend and in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that. They’re on a plane.

Laura Ingraham: Where is-

Donald Trump:

I’ll tell you sometime, but it’s under investigation right now. But they came from a certain city, and this person was coming to the Republican National Convention. And there were like seven people on the plane like this person. And then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage.

I have… SO many questions. And since I’m pretty sure Donald never misses a single entry of My CoviDiary, I’m just going to go ahead and ask him directly. I’m kidding, of course the President of the United States does not read my blog because everyone knows HE CAN’T READ! I’m still going to ask my questions directly of him as if he did read my stuff, or who knows, have it read to him by Ivanka or Steve Miller while he lays in bed dressed like Baby Huey, bonnet, binky, diaper and all.

  1. These people that we haven’t heard of… have you heard of them? Are you saying you know who it is in the Dark Shadows, controlling Biden, and, it’s  a vast, dangerous conspiracy? But you won’t tell us, or even LAURA INGRAHAM?!
  2. Wait, are they on the plane or in the streets? I thought you said they were on the plane.
  3. When you say “We had somebody get on a plane” you mean, like, an agent? So you knew they would be on this plane and you sent someone to surveil them? You have, like, their schedule, but you can’t stop them?
  4. WHAT certain city? If it’s a certain city, it has a name! Why is that a secret? Are you afraid it would tip the Dark Shadows guys off that you were onto them? You just said on national TV that you’re ON TO THEM!
  5. Are you talking about Barnabas Collins specifically? And Laura Ingraham just didn’t get it.
  6. Do you know that was just a TV show?
  7. Do you know there’s no such thing as vampires?
  8. Are you bongo?
  9. When you say “thugs”, do you mean black people and hispanics? Because whenever you have said “thugs” in the past, it’s been pretty clear you meant black or hispanic people.
  10. If no, do the black uniforms make them “thugs”? ‘Cause that would mean a whole bunch of the unmarked security Bill Barr has been sending to kidnap folks and shoot pepper spray and rubber bullets at them after the army said they wouldn’t do it are “thugs.”Are you using a private army of “thugs”?
  11.  Are you certain you are not bongo?
  12.   What kind of gear? I mean, isn’t “gear” pretty much anything? Like, surveying equipment could be “gear”. A net, a killing jar and pins are lepidopterist’s “gear.” Are the people on the plane surveyors or lepidopterists? 
  13. What are “this” and “that” in the phrase “this and that”? Is it the same as “gear”? Is it in addition to “gear”? Is it lepidoptery stuff?
  14. Are you fucking bongo?
  15. Will you actually “tell us sometime”?  Because in the past whenever you’ve said you’d tell us “sometime” what you meant is “I’m not ever going to tell you because I haven’t thought up that part of the lie yet and I’ll get bored and forget this whole discussion before I’ve even gotten to my car.”
  16. It’s not “under investigation”, is it? It’s like when you say “We’re looking at it very strongly”, that’s just Trumpanese for “We both know I’ve already forgotten what we were talking about. I think it might have been shower heads? Or soup? I don’t really care.”
  17. You totally meant Barnabas Collins, didn’t you? And then you pulled it back, like that kid in middle school whose all, like, “I totally meant to trip when I was going up to the blackboard. As a JOKE!”
  18. WHAT CERTAIN CITY?!
  19. On a scale of 1 to fucking bongo, how bongo are you?
  20. What are these “thugs” going to “Do big damage” to?
  21. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!
  22. Was it the Republican National Convention?
  23. Because that happened! Without incident! It’s over and everybody was fine except for swapping Coronavirus on the White House Lawn like the whole thing was one big Coronavirus swap meet!
  24. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO ALL THE TIME BE SUCH A FUCKING BONGO BASTARD!? TAKE A BREAK!! TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK FROM BEING A COMPLETE BONGO BASTARD BOY!!!
  25. WAIT! Did you mean “do big damage” to the collective national psyche? Or what tiny shreds of credibility anyone in the entire GOP might have had left? Or the very notion of objective reality? Because those are the only things that had big damage done to them, and thugs on a plane didn’t do that shit, YOU GUYS DID!
  26. Who talks like that, who says people were on a plane to “DO BIG DAMAGE”? No one who doesn’t have BIG DAMAGE to the language centers of their brain, that’s who!!
  27. Why are you still doing interviews when even what ought to be a white supremacist softball fest ends up beings just one more opportunity to shoot yourself in the stumpy lump of shattered bone and gristle you have where a foot would be if you didn’t spend every waking moment SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE FOOT?!
  28. Bongo.
  29. I know that isn’t a question.
  30. Fucking bongo, man. Grade A, prime rib of bongo with a tub of bongo sauce on the side and a bongo bib to wear while you eat it cause that is some damn messy bongo you got a heaping plate of in front of you.

My CoviDiary 8/31/2020; Projector in Chief

Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?”

-Joe Biden, early this afternoon

 

“Biden is using mafia talking points – the mob will leave you alone if you go along.”

-Donald Trump, a few hours later.

 

“Bada bing, bada boom, capice?” Trump continued. “Sleepy Joe’s tryin’ to be a cutie pie. Tryin’ ta muscle in on my territory. He’s gonna come down with a bad case a’ the see-ment galoshes, OK? It’d be a real shame. Have to send the widow some nice flowers, amiright?”

I’m kidding of course. Trump said none of those things, I’m just using humour to make a point, and it’s not a novel one. As many people have observed, Trump uses that classic playground strategy of projection,  accusing people of doing everything they’ve accused him of doing. If there can be truly said to be a Trump Doctrine, it’s “I know you are, but what am I?”

It’s been noted many times (and a goodly portion of those times have been by me, but while you may read my stuff, and thanks, mostly people don’t) that Trump talks like a mob boss. Here’s my unique contribution to the cannon of writing on the subject; Almost. He almost talks like a mob boss. He talks sort of like a mob boss character in a movie. He talks like what he thinks a mob boss character in a movie would talk like, but he’s not very smart, he has a tin ear for dialogue and it’s a sure bet that while he’s certain he gets the basic gist of movies he’s seen, he doesn’t, but he doesn’t know that.  Because he’s not just an idiot, he’s an idiot who thinks he’s a genius. So the end result is he talks like a direct to video gangster movie made in Albania and dubbed into english whose entire marketing strategy is to have a misleading name that tricks you into watching it. Like “The God’s Father.” Or “Goodfellers.” Or “Scareface.”  

That’s where that “Cutie pie” thing I threw into the made up Trump addendum to his real quote came from. I know I’ve written about it before, but it bears repeating in this context. 

Way back in March of this year, about six centuries ago in Trump time, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl asked Trump what as president could do to assure “that everybody who needs a ventilator will get a ventilator.”

“Look, don’t be a cutie pie, Okay?” Trump snarled in reply, “Nobody’s done what we’ve been able to do.”

Wholly apart from the fact that this is IN NO WAY AN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION, it’s just stupid. Put the phrase “Don’t be a cutie pie” in quotes and Google it and you’ll find the Internet has no record of anyone ever saying those words except Trump. “Don’t be cute” sure, “Don’t be a wise guy,” absolutely, but “Don’t be a cutie pie” simply is not an expression. At all. It’s Trump, trying and failing to “Use Mafia talking points.”

People have been pointing out for YEARS now that Trump really, really likes to talk the way he imagines Mafiosos talk. So all of a sudden Joe Biden talks like a mobster? Before today, no one has EVER said that, but the right wing Keep-Trump-From-Finding Out-He’s-a-Totally-Transparent-Boob machine swung into high gear within minutes, supporting Trump’s projection as if was absolutely valid instead of reflexively moronic.

I’ll give you one for instance, Ben Shapiro, or as I like to call him, Ben “fucking” Shapiro, tweeted:

“If you’re willing to be blackmailed by Joe Biden, vote for him.”

Go back to the top of the page and re-read what Biden’s tweet. It’s a straight up question directed at Trump’s recent accusation (and apparently the only campaign message they’ve been able to cobble together) You won’t be safe in Biden’s America. Biden is saying “Seriously? Look out your window. Read a paper, turn on the news. Trump is president RIGHT NOW. Do you feel safe RIGHT NOW? ‘Cause it’s Trump’s America… RIGHT NOW!”

Ben “Fucking” Shapiro and all his ludicrous cohort casting that as a Mafia-type threat, as blackmail, as if Biden was saying “It’d be a shame if youse guys elect Trump and we hadda show you what violence really is.”… well you have to ask, is Ben “Fucking” Shapiro honestly that stupid… or does he just think we are?

Trump accusing Biden of talking like a Mafioso is like him saying “Somebody’s gotta tell Sleepy Joe to lay off all that orange pancake make-up! He looks like a jack-o-lantern! At least blend, Joe! We can see the line! And what’s with the pale pink eye sockets? You afraid of getting a little orange make-up in your eyes? Also, lose some weight, whydontcha, and stop playing golf every weekend! Riding around in a cart ain’t exercise, except for prying your morbidly obese ass out and then squeezing it back in again!  And if you gotta play golf, could you at least play at a course you don’t own and stop pocketing the fees for all the secret service fellas you know are legally required to tag along with you? Stop fleecing the taxpayer’s, Joe! And stand up straight, you look like a freak, leaning your upper body forward like you’re the front end of a two person horsey costume! And if you’re really as rich as you say you are, Joe Biden, hire someone to show you how to close an umbrella! It’s just INSANE, that you, JOE BIDEN, can’t close your own umbrella!”

Apparently projection is just Daddy’s game, Li’l Jr’s trying to be a big boy by imitating his pops now. Just this evening Beardy McHairgel-Hoarder tweeted:

“It’s truly sad that someone in his family hasn’t stepped in and said enough is enough. At what point is this sham basement campaign considered elder abuse?”

For three years or more, pundits, wits and wags have been noting that if any halfway decent human being’s dad was demonstrating the kind of alarming and rapid mental deterioration Trump has at every opportunity, they’d get him help. They’d take away his car keys and start shopping for the least abusive assisted living facility they could afford, or if they really loved him, maybe move him into an apartment over the garage. He needs medical care and if Trump’s children had a shred of human decency they’d get it for him instead of letting him do his daily clown show and waiting for him to have a stroke!  But Jr is so positively stupid he just now got what people are saying about the Trump clan and figured the best thing he could possibly do for dear old dad is accuse his opponents family of being the bunch of neglectful, callous bastards he and his own family ALREADY ARE!

I’ll tell you what, I’m spending between now and January 20th of next year praying I don’t wake up to see a Trump Tweet saying that if Biden doesn’t get to be the next president he’s going to fire every nuke he has the codes for.

My CoviDiary 8/27/2020; What I’m Not Watching Tonight

OK, so real quick, because it’s been a long day, it’s late, and I am PHAH-KING exhausted; 

Four years ago, I covered the shit out of the conventions. Under the auspices of the late, lamented ChelseaNow, a fine hard copy, physical, ink and paper NEW YORK CITY newsrag, I live tweeted both the DNC and the RNC. It was my introduction to the Twitter-sphere, and I would never have done it without the support, urging and dare I say it, coercive, relentless, hectoring of my old roommate, long ago long time comedy partner, legendary wit and editor without compare, Mr. Scott Stiffler. Also Kudos to my daughters who helped me create an account and learn how to use it. One election cycle later I have close to three thousand followers, George Takei stole a joke from me, Erica Jong “liked” one of my offerings, I got in a virtual slap fight with Dean “The lamest Superman” Cain, and my Tweets have been quoted in Newsweek, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Raw story and Heather Cox Richardson’s “Letters from an American” (That’s the one I’m most proud of). 

So you might think it odd that my coverage of this year’s conventions was… lax? I don’t think I covered the DNC at all, and I did fifty percent of the RNC, which is my way of saying I’m not going to have anything about yesterdays offerings to post tonight and… well, I’ll let you know the rest in a paragraph or so.

First I have to let you in on a little secret. While I think you know that I have been interested in politics and followed it closely my entire life… I’m not that into the conventions. I think they are kind of bullshit. Basically fundraising telethons, a less fun version of the PBS pledge drive, The Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, but with no sleep deprived, drug abusing Jerry Lewis 23’rd hour freak out. There are usually a couple of decent speeches and every now and again a true history making corker like Obama’s 2004 speech, but mostly they’re a snoozefest and not a single American mind gets changed.

How I wished for something different!

Well, as the man at the bar with the 12 inch pianist would tell you, be careful what you wish for. Actually, that’s a joke about a magical being and the hilarious consequences of his hearing deficit, and not a nod to your typical cautionary monkey’s paw type story, but you take my meaning. The man at the bar  was hoping to enlarge his penis, see?  And “pianist” sounds like “penis”. All on the same page now? Great.

Anyway, the 2016 RNC was different all right. Like Nuremberg different. It was a relentless, shrieky hate fest that was literally difficult to watch. Which leads me to my point, specifically what I am NOT going to do is watch Donald J. Trump’s acceptance speech. I will read about it tomorrow, I may view clips of choice moments, but I refuse to watch it live. 

Even back then, my bride would not allow the sound of its voice in our home, so I watched it on my computer with head phones in. And it was like that venomous, evil, corpulent orange fuck was in… my… head! Spilling his aicd bile and pettiness, his self centered grievance, his utter loathing of all things human, his core neediness, his bizarre, intertwined cognitively dissonant impossible combo-plate of egotism and self loathing, directly into my ears; A viscous, corrosive fluid that coated my brain and burned it! I felt literally ill by the time it was over, mentally, yes, but physically as well, like I’d been beaten! Like I’d been dragged behind a truck on a chain, and when I woke up the next morning I still felt sick. And that was back when  I was naively certain he could never win! I felt like I had exposed myself to true evil, like I had voluntarily embraced a person sized lump of plutonium and now I was dying of radiation sickness. And I have never listened to anything longer than a minute from him since. I’m strictly a transcript guy if I need to research him. I will not expose myself to his poison. I know better now.

I’ll probably go on YouTube tomorrow and watch Giulliani, though. ‘Cause that guy is a whole flaming go-cart wreck of crazy. Plus, he’s got a head like a single elephant testicle with over-the-counter CVS dentures and glasses. Good luck going to bed now I’ve put that image in your head!

NIGHTY-NIGHT!