Embarrassed To Be White (2017Jan15)


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Sunday, January 15, 2017                                        12:42 PM

Honesty has gone by the boards—and it’s not just the Republicans, although they are, by far, the most avid spreaders of delusional misinformation. The lies that enrage me the most, however, are the shadowy racist ones—where they lie about African-Americans (especially the President), Mexicans, and Muslims—but they don’t have the guts to admit they believe in White Supremacy. Bad enough you’re a bigot—but a coward and a liar to boot? In the words of the PussyGrabber-elect: “Sad!”

The 2008 election of Obama roiled up a tidal wave of racist hate—but most of it was channeled into thinly-veiled bigotry disguised as political commentary. Nobody was fooled by this—did y’all really think we would take your bullshit at face value? I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump’s first act as president is to commute Dylann Roof’s death sentence. They’re two-of-a-kind, but Roof only killed nine people—Trump will kill us all.

Supporting someone with just half of Trump’s red flags could be, just barely, chalked up to pitifully poor judgement—but to support the entire Trumpster-Fire is plain old reactionary racism—revenge for a black man making it into the Oval Office—and getting re-elected. After Bush went to war by mistake and left the global economy in ruins, you’d think White Supremacy was a dead issue—if that’s ‘Supremacy’, give me a ‘2nd-class citizen’ any day.

But judgement is not the issue. To suggest that you voted for the Donald out of good judgement is to invite me to laugh in your face. We outlawed slavery. We outlawed Jim Crow. But the hate still runs strong in this country—and Trump rode it all the way to the Electoral College.

The most laughable part is when these racists suggest that Obama didn’t do a fantastic job as president. They ignore statistics, they have amnesia about Bush’s trainwreck, they insist that any evidence of Obama’s success is untrue—or they change the subject to the few mistakes he made. You try being President of this overcrowded kindergarten class for eight years and see if you make an error or two.

Then they pretend that this dirt-bag-elect can read a newspaper, or get through a whole briefing without getting bored, or recognize an ethic if one conked him on the head. Please. He’s a perve. He’s an entitled brat. His record of public service is listed here: ‘_______’. Anyone who would vote for this clown is not choosing him for his ability—they’re just voting against Obama’s legacy.

Too late. Obama will go down in history as a great man. Trump will make history too—but not the kind we want to be here to live through. No one with their eyes open is fooled by your cutesy-pie, I’m-not-a-racist, racism. Some days, I’m ashamed to have white skin. I hate the fact that people might look at me, and think I’m one of you assholes.

On My Mind (2017Jan14)


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Saturday, January 14, 2017                                               11:28 AM

You know what’s scary? Thinking—thinking is scary. You think you know what you’re thinking about and then, suddenly, your imagination throws something unexpected into the mix—like slipping with a knife and cutting off a finger—and you think ‘Damn—how’d that get in there?—all I wanted to do was daydream about winning the lottery—nobody said anything about knives!’

Sometimes I’ll be thinking about something—and then I’ll realize—no, that can’t be right—otherwise, everyone would be able to fly—or something. Then I have to backtrack, to figure out when my mind ‘turned off’ onto the dirt road of Crazy-Town, while I thought I was still cruising down Logical Boulevard.

Memory is the worst of all—and it’s not just the blankness where memory should be—like when I run across someone whose name I should easily remember, someone whose feelings will be hurt to realize I having no effing clue what their name is. It’s actually worse when I remember something that didn’t happen—like being friends with someone since high school, and having him point out that he didn’t move into the area until we were in our mid-twenties.

And it isn’t that I have a lot of friends—no, it’s not that my memory is overloaded—it’s just broken. That only embarrasses me, though—the rational stuff is worse. I remember driving while on LSD—I was scared that I would confuse the hallucinations of the road ahead with the hallucinations of the windshield between me and the road ahead. I had to look ‘through’ the windshield hallucinations to see the road hallucinations—I wasn’t worried that the road was purple and crawling with bugs—I was worried about my depth perception being tricked.

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They say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” And that’s what memory is like—sometimes I need cues to remind myself of things. But what about when my mind is simply out of order? How is it possible to rationalize things, past the point where they make sense, to a point where they return to nonsense? It’s as if the brain is a muscle—and a muscle has two components: there’s the raw strength of it (which I still have) and there’s the control of it (which is something I’ve lost a handle on). My brain will go after any obstacle in its way—but it lacks the control to discern between breaking through the obstacle, and just banging my head against it, over and over again.

While my specific brain may be damaged, I think there’s a little of these kinds of problems in everyone’s thinking. Have you ever gotten used to calling a friend’s dog, saying, ‘Here, boy. Who’s a good boy?’ Then your friend says, ‘Her name is Sandy.’ But you never stop calling the dog ‘boy’? Once we adjust the settings in our head, they are very hard to change—and especially hard to cancel. We’re likely to talk to people that have left the room; to scratch a limb that’s been amputated; to sit down where the chair used to be.

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So, having sat on more than my share of non-existent chairs, I’ve learned to take a good look before I sit down (metaphorically speaking). My mind goes through several extra ‘safety’ steps that other people’s brains don’t need to bother with—and that slows down my reaction time, my absorption time—my cognition is down there, near the level of the mentally challenged. In effect, I have to run a ‘spell-check’ on my everyday cogitations. It’s very frustrating because I can remember a time when I was quicker than average about most mentation.

Brains do amazing things—just like the muscles of an Olympic athlete do amazing things. But, just as average muscles can suffer a moment of clumsiness, the average brain can get things wrong, in a million ways, just getting through a day. It’s odd that we can have so much faith in our own opinions, even when we are well aware that other people have other opinions of which they are equally confident. The sensation of ‘being sure’ of what we ‘know’ is only that—a sensation—it is our defense against reality—because, in reality, nobody really knows anything for sure.

That’s part of the reason I’m so outraged by the present political climate—the whole nation’s greed and xenophobia and media frenzy, really—because the mind is a delicate thing, knowledge is a fragile bit of spun glass. To complicate ‘knowing’ even further, on purpose, with lies and partisanship and secrecy and spin—it’s ludicrous—and only people with a loose grasp of actual thinking would even go down that road. I’m not sure of anything, really—and that’s a problem—but it’s less of a problem than being dead-sure of something stupid.

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Worse, when you’re dead-sure of something stupid, you can debate with confidence in yourself, dismissive of opposition—a very winning front. So, we get to where we are now—when the stupidest people win all the arguments in public forums, because they put a better face on their ignorance than the thoughtful people can present against them.

The media helps a lot with all of that—they love the facile, the superficial, the sensational—and they hate the boring drudgery of actual reason and mere information. If you want actual journalism, I suggest a newspaper—the New York Times, for example, makes a habit of journalism—which is why they get so much flak from the incoming administration. But, apparently, they don’t mind—something about First Amendment protection—I hope those evil spin-monsters don’t prove them wrong.

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Maturity   (2017Jan11)


Wednesday, January 11, 2017                                          7:38 PM

oldpic-047There’s a coziness to youth—a sense that nothing can invade your home, that you’re safe under your covers. In a warm, snug home, during a blizzard, an adult may be concerned that a window will blow in, that a tree will topple onto the roof, or that the electricity will fail. Young people don’t just leave those details to the adults—they aren’t even aware of such things. They simply enjoy the show going on outside the window, enhancing the warmth and comfort of a lamplit room.

I can remember several places that seemed snug and cozy, long ago—looking at the same places today, I might just see all the work that needs to be done, or how threadbare the upholstery is—I’ve been conditioned to want to buy things to improve my home, to look for repairs that need to be made. To be fair, I acquired this partly through hard experience—learning that some home features require maintenance; that an ounce of prevention prevents a butt-load of expense; and that simple basics, like heat, electricity, or running water, can really impact quality-of-life.

The older you get, the richer you have to be to continue the pleasures of youth—the walk through the woods, the swimming, the road trips—we do these things on the cheap, as teens and such. But grown-ups can’t just traipse through whatever property they wander across, they can’t just jump into any body of water, they can’t just up and wander off for a few days. Some can—those who own their own woods, their own pools and ponds, those who have no employer to answer to—their childhood need never end.

People assume there’s a disillusionment process that inevitably happens to people as they mature. Much is made of the fact that we ‘learn life’s hard lessons’. It is framed as if we come to this knowledge through maturity and experience. But I think we’re overlooking a key component of that.

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It isn’t entirely that we suddenly see these changes—grown-ups aren’t given the license that young people are allowed—many of the changes are forced on us. I distinctly remember the first time someone hassled me for walking across their property—until that day, property lines hadn’t really existed for me. I spent a lifetime (well, a childhood) walking wherever I needed to go—nobody bothered me. But when a full-grown man walks through your yard, you tend to freak out—and that day I suddenly realized that my ‘youth’ card had expired.

Similar experiences dot the landscape on the road to maturity—walking onto school grounds and being swarmed by security, insisting I check in at the office; realizing, one day, that everyone in the bar thinks I’m a creepy old guy—adulthood is full of these little surprises, none of them pleasant.

So it’s not only that we begin to see the ugliness of the world on entering maturity—it’s partly that the world begins to see ugliness in us—the lack of innocence that comes with the loss of youth. We hear ‘Act your age’ plenty, as children—but it takes on a whole other level of seriousness when, say, the cops inform you that you’ll be tried as an adult. Some of our maturity comes from our experiential learning and growth—but some of it is just forced on us.

Still, I can remember that youthful coziness. I once visited Maine—a road-trip with three other people, in a big old, sky-blue Chevy Impala (that spun out on the interstate during a snowstorm—we were all fine—it spun a full 360, still on the road—we just drove on, severely shaken by it, but otherwise fine).

We stayed with a friend whose rooms were part of an old Victorian place—Joni Mitchell on the turntable, snow outside the window, everybody dreaming of romance and adventure in this New England idyll—with a fire in the fireplace. Drinking tea and smoking cigarettes. It was a timeless moment that has stayed with me—but nothing in later life would ever be, could ever be, as carefree and freshly-discovered as that jaunt to Maine.

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What To Expect When You’re Objecting (2017Jan11)


MrToadsWildRide

Wednesday, January 11, 2017                                          8:51 AM

I’m waiting for the day when we can all look back and agree that making Hillary Clinton’s email-server a big issue was purely political—and that any sensible person would have said ‘so what?’ rather than passing her over for the craven citrus cretin. Unfortunately, he now has four whole years in which to perform feats which disgust and appall. Long after he’s given us more-than-enough cause to rue our dismissal of Hil, he’ll be piling further misogynous misstatement upon further malfeasance.

Why do I so confidently expect Trump to do wrong? Because I’m a student—I’ve always been a student. I’ve studied Trump. His past shows him to be a cheat in business, a bald-faced, shameless liar, a disrespecter (and accoster) of women, and a stone-cold racist and Islamophobe. And the campaign revealed (to those of us paying attention) that he doesn’t have clue one about American history, particularly in the area of civil rights—a stranger can tweet out any propagandist nonsense and Trump will re-tweet it, as if quoting Barbara Tuchman or Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Someone with his business history does have a familiarity with the law—but it is an adversarial knowledge, things he learned in the course of avoiding jail-time—that’s a different knowledge base than, say, a constitutional scholar, like Obama.

There’s a fascination factor, yes—people are mesmerized by his comfortable embrace of all things sleaze, the confidence with which he can insist that up is down. But lots of dangerous creatures are fascinating to look at—that doesn’t mean you let them out of their terrariums.

There’s only one real question about Trump’s upcoming presidency. During the campaign, he and his shills managed to spin the truth into a psychedelic hallucination—and get their lies reported as ‘real news’ by certain biased outlets (one cannot call them journalists). So, while Trump is doing the ignorant thing, the unethical thing, and the egotistical thing, he will be breaking rule upon rule—but whether or not the American public will hear it reported, and whether or not they will understand or believe what they hear, is (in light of the election’s shenanigans) an open question. I can assure you he will do wrong—I can’t say with certainty whether we’ll hear of it, or believe it, when he does.

Most people are struggling with the problem of whether or not to pay attention to a narcissist for four years. There’s talk of boycotting his inauguration (a no-brainer from my point of view—bad enough he’s being given the oath—don’t make me watch). On the one hand, the worst thing we can do is reward this pig with the attention he so desperately craves—on the other hand, he’s going to be in the White House—so if we pay attention, it shouldn’t be long before we have grounds for impeachment. He’s like a TV commercial—you want to ignore it completely, but you’re waiting for the show to come back on, so you don’t want to miss that the commercial has ended. We want to give Trump only enough attention so that we notice when he acts in an impeachable manner—it’s a conundrum.

President Obama’s Farewell Address last night was very emotional—he did his best to inspire hope for change, to remind people that Trump is a downward jag in an ongoing story, not the end of it. But I still struggle with despair—Trump alone I could handle (Bush was no prize) but the delusional electorate that allowed itself to be so easily manipulated by hate-sponsored interests—that is a monster that banishes both sleep and hope. Meanwhile, the actual work of government lies gathering dust in some forgotten closet.

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Word Search   (2017Jan09)


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Monday, January 09, 2017                                                4:21 PM

Over the past year or more I’ve been in a fruitless search for the perfect word or phrase, le mot juste, that would encapsulate the cesspool of objectionable characteristics that is Trump—but I have failed completely. He is disgusting in so many facets that even a paragraph can’t come close to cataloging the entirety of the reek off of him.

Briefly, I considered ‘Ape’, but I didn’t want to give him the honor of sharing what Abraham Lincoln’s critics called him—and besides, they called Lincoln as ugly as an ape—I would be using it, rather, to describe the character, the mental processes, of Trump. But even then, I would be doing a disservice to apes—who, if we can believe Jane Goodall, have far more humanity than the Trumps do. It is a shame though—his hair-color matches an orangutan’s so perfectly—but why should I hurt the orangutans’ feelings?

I liked Trumpster Fire—very witty, and damned close to perfect, since it suggests an entire dumpster full of various kinds of trash on fire. But still, it doesn’t capture the revulsion Trump inspires. Tiny-hands Trump is nice—because we must never forget that the most important response to Trump is laughter. Now that we know he is bereft of decency, we shouldn’t give him he satisfaction of knowing how horrified we are, whenever he speaks—we should stick to straight laughter—that’s what he started with, and he hasn’t done anything to change that.

Yeah, he won the Electoral College by negative-three-million—which is a lot of support—but you have to put that in perspective. We now have an opioid-addiction crisis in this country, with hundreds of thousands of addicts, and tens of thousands of deaths-by-overdose every year—making opioid-addiction our newest addition to the list of ‘leading causes of death’. So if you want to talk about the judgment of the American people, I think you’re in the wrong decade.

Drumpf is tempting—damn, that’s an ugly Old-Country original-family-name for the Trumps—but it’s a little too silly and playful, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think of Trump as some cute lil Napoleon—he’s a full-on Hitler wannabe and it would behoove all of us to never forget that fact. Pussy-Grabber used to be a front-runner, but now it just makes me sad, remembering that he said that, out loud, on every TV—and people still voted for the cretin—so now it sounds more like the death-knell of sanity—President Pussy-Grabber.

People have had this problem for centuries—someone is such a blot on society that everyday words won’t do—we try cretin, fathead, lamebrain, lightweight, loon, despoiler, hoodlum, looter, defacer, dirty, indictable, iniquitous, nefarious, hustler, culprit, bad actor, charlatan, con artist, crook, hypocrite, swindler, chiseler—there are so many words that might apply, but don’t encompass the full chamber-pot that is the prez-elect.

I think I need a meta-word. Or maybe I’m just rushing things. In the not-so-distant future there will be a perfect cliché for what I’m trying to say—and everyone will know what I mean, whenever I say: “Hey, don’t be so ‘trump’, man.”

Maybe you can help, kind reader—I need a word that suggests the malodorous rot at the center of a lost soul, the icy emptiness of an arctic waste, the chaos of a prison gang-rape, and the precious mincing of a self-loving, entitled brat. Please add your suggestions in the comments below:

delightS

No Surprises   (2017Jan09)


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Monday, January 09, 2017                                                9:49 AM

Donald Trump says he’s ‘not surprised’ the Golden Globes trashed him. Well Donny, neither are any of us—you are trash. And if public-minded performers want to use their spotlight to criticize your lack of character, who can blame them?

But what does he mean he’s ‘not surprised’? Does he mean he saw it coming? Is he saying that it’s no surprise whole industries are against him, that large groups of intellectual and creative people will be trashing him for the next four years? That would make sense—he’s set himself up as the Anti-Intelligence, as his only route to a position where intellectual rigor has often been regarded as a plus. And by trashing thoughtfulness and education, he’s ‘taken sides’ against basically anyone in this country who’s ever read a book.

So no surprise—Trump knows his enemies—anyone creative, anyone educated, anyone with an ounce of decency or character—and it would only be surprising if such people failed to trash him for the next four years. He’s created a nation as ‘high-school hallway’, where the bullies rule and the teachers are nowhere to be seen. And like said bullies, he’s apt to make pompous pronouncements, like “I’m not surprised.” As if his lack of amazement takes anything away from the pounding Streep laid on his ass.

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For many people, high school was the last time they got away with neglecting to read or study or be polite—perhaps that is what the Trump-voters were seeking—a return to the irresponsibility of youth. And like children, they look at our modern issues and decide whether to blame the ‘grown-ups’ or simply ignore what they say (the ‘grown-ups’ in this metaphor being engaged citizens who actually read newspapers). Trump makes the perfect head-bully in this ‘hallway’—because he encourages all the other kids to laugh at the teachers—that is to say, the journalists, the scientists, women, non-whites, non-Christians—and honest people.

Trump has no use for honesty—he proved to himself, with his campaign, that being honest is for losers. So I wouldn’t expect a single true word out of that sphincter in his face, even though lying-while-president is much more dangerous than lying to become president.

And when I say ‘dangerous’, I’m not talking about any risk for Trump—that’s the beauty of it, as far as he’s concerned. All the horrors he will bring to pass will stalk the majority of Americans—but none of it will ever touch him. It’s like with health care—the members of Congress get their premium health care for free—so they don’t care how god-awful (or simply non-existent) the healthcare for everyone else is.

Trump will cause loss and suffering for all Americans, ironically more for those who supported him than for anyone else, but he will skate off—still a dick, still rich, still an egomaniac. Even the next president will suffer (just as Obama did when Bush shit all over the carpet, on his way out the door) but Trump will just go on enjoying making his shit sandwiches, without ever having to eat one. I’m not surprised.

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Nobody Tricked Us ! (2017Jan07)


pcnto29

Saturday, January 07, 2017                                               1:51 PM

Well, it’s off to the races again for the Drumpf-Dupes. They’re scrambling mightily to ‘spin’ the Putin hacking scandal—desperate to deride proof that they were taken in, led like sheep to the slaughter.

I don’t know what these people are experiencing—what must they have gone through? To see the bloated scam-artist leering from his podium—and think to themselves—‘yes, there is our hero’. I don’t know—I don’t think even Putin can take credit for that level of brainwashing. I think he had help from the whores of media—and from that jackass Comey, at the FBI.

But mostly it was years of conditioning—and for that we can all blame the Republicans. Ever since they started a war by mistake and bankrupted the country, they have been on the wrong side, the inhumane side, the greedy side, the unscientific side—for so long that their entire approach is a matter of denying reality, of calling the night the day. They only stop lying long enough to call good, honest people liars—then they go back to lying.

It’s gone beyond dishonesty—the GOP are actively spreading mental illness—a fugue state in which decency is a mistake, insults are arguments, and a greedy, conceited, handsy pig is our new role model.

They’re still talking about their damn wall, when anyone with a brain in their head is long past exhausted with discussing how stupid an idea a wall is. They’re about to cancel health coverage—it’s so important to them that they haven’t had a moment to spare, to plan an alternative. And this is important—it doesn’t matter what happens to all of us afterwards—all that matters is that they cancel health coverage. This is the clarity of purpose of a two-year-old—no wonder they spent the last eight years having a temper tantrum.

The saddest part is that their constituents elected them to have a temper tantrum—they elected them on the understanding that they would not govern—that they would obstruct governance. What is the deal with these voters? The whole idea of democracy is the people change what they’re unsatisfied with—you don’t destroy the machinery of change. No, that’s something manipulative, wealthy pigs try to convince you to do, with their propaganda—you’re not supposed to fall for it, you idiots. And now they’ve got you actually defending Putin, so you don’t look like a gullible rube, taken all the way to the cleaners. Don’t look now, but it’s only going to get worse.

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