BLOG THIS! Highly Suspect Wisdom for the Widely Disinterested Masses
My father has undertaken a project to go through all his old photo albums one at a time and some gems have definitely cropped up. This is a picture of an actual picture. My mother is so beautiful and happy. Hard to remember exactly what I was so angry about. Moments after this we probably had a really nice dinner and watched Monty Python on VHS. The fact that I was clearly attempting to look like a more intellectually anguished version of the bass player for Jason and the Scorchers excuses nothing.
A while back I was ruining the six-foot strip of grass in front of our house with my rotary push mower, when a young guy selling magazine subscriptions came down the sidewalk. There's nothing worse than being caught out in the open with a rotary mower, especially by a dude with a clipboard. But he was sharp and funny, his pitch mainly about tuition fees and some relatively plausible charity, so we joked around while I wrote him a $26 check for a subscription to Mother Jones I didn't want. Of course, the magazine never came. Six months later another guy knocks on my door, this one older and not nearly as charming. I told him I wasn't falling for that routine again, but instead of arguing he looked like he was about to cry, so I gave him ten bucks for the effort. Last night yet another guy came to my door, this time with a big diamond earring in each lobe, and even though I'd vowed I would never get subscription-scammed again, as soon as he told me his name was "Fabrice", while standing there wearing a jaunty purple beret in the pouring rain, I knew I was doomed. Turns out a subscription to the New Yorker that I will never receive goes for $34. Fabrice also got a juice box and a string cheese my daughter left by her backpack. He was casually checking them out. "You thirsty?" I said. "It's possible," he said. "Later, Fabrice," I said. "Later, baby," he said, creasing my check neatly down the middle and sliding it with the cheese into his back pocket.
Today In Massively Fat Wax: orig 1970 press Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Infinity Arkestra "Night Of The Purple Moon" on El Saturn Records. Where to even start? Here we have a flickering calliope of a chased rabbit, the reception of badly-needed insulin in a Philly tenement, all of airless space compressed into a single organ chord, a hungover morning in Tunisia, an artifact from a history that didn't exist, a blast of comet dust held in a frozen palm, the way and the waylessness. Also, it's really good. Do I love this record? I love this record. It's more than music.
Behold the skeptical light that shines down upon me from a far teen vista, all day, every day. Its pure wattage can be startling at times, but also hilarious. In either case I know I deserve it in full, a karmic retribution for my many failures and reckonings during the second half of 1986 alone. It is amazing though, as a matter of genetics or theological wonder, that her eyes are also mine, replicated in full, bright with a mixture of curiosity, veiled tenderness, and not-so-veiled disinterest. My Stooges shirt is her Brandy Melville skirt, my (lack of) haircut her selfie pout, my turntable her phone, my slammed door her slammed door twice. The generational chasm of the moment, due to a technological leap both unbridled and barely understood, is probably larger than it has ever been in human history. And yet the disdain remains the same, evergreen, timeless.
We do driving lessons around the neighborhood now, almost every day. She's getting better, but it's harrowing. Oddly, I don't think it's so much a degree of competency, which is probably more or less fixed among sixteen-year-olds, but a fight against sublimated visual information and the corrosiveness of its delivery system. For instance, my driving aspirations were based on the wheel skills of Steve McQueen and Huggy Bear and the Duke Boys and the Bandit if not Smokey. Hers are based on a 24-hour kaleidoscopic influx of targeted data, and much like any random Bovine Spongiform cow who twitches and lows in the morning mist, too distracted to sniff grass or walk straight, teenagers in 2021 seem hard pressed to fuse multiple external inputs; the road, the pedals, traffic rules, other cars, dogs, strollers, tailgating Escalades. You would think the deluge of quick-cut videos and social media affirmations would ideally prepare them for just this sort of thing, but it seems to have had the opposite effect. Last night, while failing to stop at the Very Red Stop Sign, she said, "it's like you're watching a vampire movie," and I said, "what do you mean?" and she said, "you keep flinching away from the window." And it was true, stuck in the nexus between passenger seat and the reality that a two-thousand-pound hunk of wheeled metal is under the tentative, distracted, but also joyously liberated control of a little person that five minutes ago I was spooning mashed banana to, sudsing the bath water with, tucking the duckling blanket beneath the chin of.
Oh, just spending the morning deconstructing an article, the "I Thought For A Second There I'd Make A Great President" edition.
“I was representing my constituents,” Hawley claimed. “I did exactly what I said I was going to do. And I gave voice to my constituents."
-In retrospect, it's possible I gave voice to nothing and used a cynical procedural ploy to advance my national profile, especially since my constituents, including both of my very conservative state newspapers, think I am a donkey and should immediately resign, not to mention be whipped about the head and ears with long grasses and corn husks until properly chagrined.
"I have condemned mob violence in all its forms.”
-I have also condemned pork lard in all its forms. Sure, I ate an entire bucket of pork lard with two fingers like it was Grandma's butterscotch pudding, but afterward, while lying out back and, between groans, sweating polyunsaturated linoleic acids into the dirt, I condemned it.
“I was very clear from the beginning that I was never attempting to overturn the election."
-Well, just the elections in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Nevada. That comprises what percentage of the country? Um...hold on, I was never that good at math. Let me call Elon Musk. Shirley? Hon? Can you get The Musker on the horn for me? What do you mean he's not answering? Let's try Steve Hawking over at Zoom. Wait, he's dead? Really? Fine, I'll just do it on my fingers. But, haha, not my thumbs, still can't get the blood off. Okay, sixteen x .01 divided by 48 + the word contiguous = 5. Right? Anyway, those states are only 37% of the country. So where exactly do you see 'overturning'? How does that even come close to 'attempt'? Hey, did you know I clerked for Rehnquist? Oh wait, that was Cruz. No, I clerked for Roberts. He liked me. A lot.
“Missourians have been loud and clear that they do not believe this election is fair."
-Mostly because I've been telling them that for six months. Along with, you know, an endless drumbeat from FOX and (shhh) a certain Undeservedly Former President. So shouldn't they be allowed, using me as their Conductive Tool, to raise the concerns I doggedly planted within them to begin with, in the Electoral Opinion Forum allotted to members of Congress, which actually is expressly not for that purpose at all, but I did it anyway, loud and clear, point-proven, a mere half-hour after six people died?
"Hello, 2024 isn't going to win itself. If there's one thing I learned in law school, aside from the fact that it would be way cooler to be on Law & Order SVU playing Ice-T's partner than to sit in a library cubicle memorizing the finer points of tort reform, it's that once I am elected to state office, if the time comes that I need to cater to the demonstrably false and delusional notions of a slight majority of people I represent, plus all the people I pretend to represent but secretly hate, The Hawl Man will deliver. You can take that to the bank. Also, the ballot box."
-No Sleep Til' Kansas City, baby! Oh wait, that's in Kansas. No Sleep Til' Springfield! Also, check me out on Patreon under @YourStimulusCheckMyDesperateLegalFundJosh. Thanks.
HERE'S TO THE BLISSFUL END OF TERMINOLOGICAL INEXACTITUDE.
He said he was a Democrat (wasn’t). Then he said he was a Republican (a party of one). He said he was going to run in both 2000 and 2024 (didn’t/won't, universally unwanted). He said he missed out on Vietnam because of bone spurs (couldn’t remember which foot, played tennis at Wharton for four years, doctor who diagnosed was a tenant of his father’s, owed back rent). He said he had no connections to the mob (had vast connections to the mob and everyone in New York knew it, personal lawyer Roy Cohn just coincidentally also represented Carmine Galante and Paul Castellano, plus bosses in the Genovese, Bonanno, and Gambino crime families). He said he was a billionaire (is so far underwater that when they call in his debt markers will be penniless). He said you should buy his vodka (pancreatitis) and his branded steaks (salmonella) and attend his university (no teachers, no diplomas) and watch his USFL team (league immediately folded) and fly Trump Shuttle (quickly shuttered/no peanuts). He said the Central Park Five were guilty (weren’t). He said all five (black teenagers) should be executed, and stuck to it even after presented with evidence of their innocence (waved hand, ignored). He said Barack Obama was born in Kenya (wasn’t) and that he had proof (didn’t). He said there "wasn't a racist bone in his body" (if only the racist bones were taken away, would collapse like a ballon.) He said daddy, Fred Trump, wasn’t arrested at a KKK riot in 1927 (was in all the NY papers, article can be easily found). He said he wouldn’t condemn David Duke/didn’t know who he was (knew exactly who he was, used the same pathetic bait-and-switch denying ties to QAnon and "Fat Tony" Salerno and dozens of Russian cutouts, money-launderers, and frauds, plus Stormy Daniels' silicone). He said it wasn’t a cheap ploy to rattle on about Mexican/Marxist caravans storming our border prior to 2018 midterms (never existed, never arrived, never said another word about them after votes were counted). He said he didn’t lock children in cages (still there, still suffering). He said there were some very good people at Charlottesville (universally very, very bad people at Charlottesville). He said he barely knew Jeffrey Epstein (knew him intimately). He said he’d only met Ghislaine Maxwell a few times (partied with her for years). He said Melania was a model (was actually one of Epstein‘s escorts, met her on the Lolita Express). He said he doesn't drink (has Filet o' Fish on tap, bangs rails of Adderall on the regular). He said Ted Cruz stole the Iowa primary in 2016 (Cruz fell into the win like a toddler into a well, despite terrible campaigning and repellent personality). He said the electoral college was rigged (until losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 3 million and winning the electoral by 72,000 votes spread over three states, so, actually, electoral is fine). He said his inauguration crowd was "the biggest in the history of the country" (smaller than Millard Fillmore's). He said he was going to “donate his presidential salary“ (spent four years lining his pockets through taxpayer-funded official use of his properties, aside from other, lesser graft). He said he was going to replace Obamacare with “a beautiful new plan for everyone” (never materialized, Republicans cravenly failed to even try). He said he cared about your pre-existing conditions (secretly hopes you die). He said he was going to solve the North Korea problem (only made it worse, Little Pillsbury constantly testing new missiles). He said climate change doesn’t exist (um, does). He said he was only going to hire the best people (hired the worst people). He said he was going to drain the swamp (is the swamp). He said he doesn’t cheat at golf (does, ask anyone who played with him during the 400 days of his presidency, over a full year, that he spent at Mar-a-Lago instead of the White House). He said his Chinese trade war was working (abysmal failure), and that Beijing was paying us billions in tariffs (doesn’t understand what the word tariff means, haven't paid us one cent). He said NATO wasn’t contributing its fair share, and so should basically be disbanded (Valentine’s gift for Putin, plus “fair” not mathematically quantifiable). He said the Big Six Autocrats: Duterte, Bolseñaro, Erdogan, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, and Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi were his pals (constantly laughed behind his back at poker night—not invited). He says he rebuilt the military (did nothing, military already over-built). He said his tax cuts weren’t just for the ultra-wealthy (math again, tricky without good eraser). He said his tax cuts would stimulate the economy (financial system in freefall, stock market not the same thing as the economy). He said he didn’t personally benefit from those tax cuts (did, and to a criminal, post-moral degree). He said wearing masks wasn't necessary (Libertarian chum). He said the virus was the same as the flu and would just go away (preschool-level thinking, virus still here and exponentially worse). He said when it warmed up last April, it would disappear “like a miracle” (400,000 dead). He said there was a national plan (no plan). He said the response was up to the states (so was the Confederacy). He said you could inject chlorine into your veins to "clean things out", then said he was joking (was so cretinously dead-serious). When he got Covid himself was airlifted to Walter Reed, cared for by a dozen personal doctors, and injected with a cocktail of experimental drugs that still no one else can get, and then said everyone could have the same treatment for free (even Putin can’t get that treatment). He said everyone who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine (no one has any clue when they’re coming). He said weeks ago he was going to release millions more doses (there were no more doses). He said he didn’t lust for his daughter (did and does). He said his sons weren’t criminal weasels (watch any random footage of either speaking for 4 seconds). He said Jared Kushner deserves a security clearance (deserves 10 to 20 without the possibility of parole). He said the election was rigged (wasn’t). He said he can pardon himself (can’t). He said “this isn’t over” (It is so goddamn over). And, so, as he slinks away with his briefcase of hollow, meaningless non-accomplishments, dragging his fake wife (divorce imminent) and dagger-chin sons, and even-worse-than-Paltrow daughter (not to mention Slenderman/Kush), the whole grifting hillbilly pack of them doomed to bunker down in Florida and pretend not to stew in a collective disgrace while lounging in golf couture, where they will spend the next four years wondering where it all went wrong (blizzard of lawsuits, bankruptcy, moral and financial ruin) the truth will finally, ultimately set them free.
So my QAnon post is now over at Medium.com as part of the mighty PREVAIL. It has been lengthened into a "Dude, total pro" essay with lots of new material and pointed asides, plus links and an expensive font and a new ending. I expect this by about, oh, 6pm tonight, to absolutely own the internet. Hey, check it out. Football? That's for those who prefer to spend their precious afternoons watching massive, sweaty men run full-speed into one another, often falling down somewhat injured as a result. This is POLITICS. Is that not clear yet? Hey, you could, in all fairness and accuracy, accuse me of knowing next to nothing, but one thing I am certain of is that while the future of this country may involve crowds of angry Brownshirts smashing windows, lighting fires, and chanting "Death to Beaudoin!", it does not involve the Cleveland Browns.
Today In There Is No Wax: One thing (only one?) that I have always really hated is a jazz cover of a rock/pop tune. Even Coltrane's "My Favorite Things", which, after the opening melody is an astonishing musical artifact, I wish were based on an original chord structure and not a cloying Oscar Hammerstein ditty. There was a time in the 70's when EVERY soul jazz record (especially on the Prestige label) had to have at least one Beatles cover. It is truly torture to listen to Charles Earland or Jack McDuff vamp their way through some burner only to follow it up with a listless "A Day In The Life" or "Hey, Jude". There are Moody Blues covers, Stones covers, the "Ode To Billie Joe"s and Minnie Rippertons and James Taylors, truly the dregs of that era. No one needs an instrumental version of a song you might have even liked in its original form but have no doubt already heard so many times that it's even white noise in its first incarnation. I realize it was an attempt by label execs to make their records more commercial (read: sucker in white audiences unwilling to roam outside the dominion of AM hits), and I bet most of those players hated being forced to record them, which is almost always plainly apparent reading between the grooves of the performances. So when I kept hearing about this Jazz Sabbath album, I dismissed it as another dumb gimmick and ignored it with malice. Well, as usual my certitude and condemnatory nature ended up haunting me, because I finally listened to it last week, and it's REALLY GOOD. The playing is top notch, the interpretations are clever and surprising, and most importantly, while I know all these Sabbath songs backward and forward, it's the hints and flecks of them that shine through without being straight covers, making them vastly more interesting and fun to listen to. No wax today, as I (the sacrilege!) downloaded it, confident I don't require a vinyl copy when an Mp3 will clearly do, but it says here at Judgmentalist Vinyl Hoarder Central to give it ("Rat Salad" especially kills) a listen.
Starting today with something positive, the celebration we were robbed of last week. I woke up and Mitch McConnell was, as if through some sort of Siegfried and Roy-ish legerdemain, busted down to Senate Minority Leader, so I immediately drove to Safeway and ate an entire heavily frosted sheet cake in the bakery aisle.
Past the square, past the bridge
Past the mills, past the stacks
On a gathering storm
Comes a tall handsome man
In a dusty black coat with
A red right hand
He'll wrap you in his arms
Tell you that you've been a good boy
He'll rekindle all the dreams
It took you a lifetime to destroy
He'll reach deep into the hole
Heal your shrinking soul
But there won't be a single thing that you can do
He's a god, he's a man
He's a ghost, he's a guru
They're whispering his name
Through this disappearing land
But hidden in his coat
Is a red right hand