BLOG THIS! Highly Suspect Wisdom for the Widely Disinterested Masses
The Roost Comes Home
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.
The Hawl Man
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.
Lies, Lies, Lies
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.
Celebration Time, C'mon
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.
The Red Right Hand
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
We Can Be Heroes, Just For One Day
It is truly hilarious watching the rats jump off the Death Ship, as if fleeing with the last wedge of cheddar that is their defiled resume is an act of nobility. Former Attorney General Bill Barr, who gleefully became Trump's plumper Roy Cohn, derailed the Mueller Report, and single-handedly doomed impeachment, now thinks the president has gone too far. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell's wife, who stood next to Trump at the podium as he tried to explain away the riot in Charlottesville, has suddenly been stabbed with pangs of conscience. John "Let's bomb Iran back into the Stone Age" Bolton is on every channel decisively not talking about how he eagerly took the job to begin with. Mick Mulvaney, former chief of staff, who spent intimate time with Trump every day, has had a sudden conversion and bravely gave up his new post as Special Envoy to Ireland. Melania's chief of staff (now there's a plum job- "Should we put the solid gold Christmas tree here? No? How about here?") Stephanie Grisham, has resigned after 3.9 years of accumulated but unconsummated disgust. John Kelley, yet another in a long line of chiefs of staff, said on CNN yesterday that he "wasn't aware of the depth of Trump's faults" when he took the position. Oh really, general? You hadn't read a newspaper since the mid-80s? You didn't see footage of Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein? You didn’t hear the torrent of absurd, insurrectionist, and easily falsifiable comments that have spilled from Trump's cake-hole from the second he announced he was running? You somehow forgot about the day he stood next to you at that cemetery in France and called the war dead suckers, and then insulted your own son? You didn’t think maybe it was time to say something publicly back then? Even Ted Cruz came out yesterday, and in a truly sniveling performance, said he's been "fighting back against Trump's words and rhetoric" for years. Uh-huh. Hey Ted, he called your wife ugly and said your dad killed JFK. No misgivings about holding his water during electoral certification then? And finally, there's Betsy DeVos, one of the richest women in America and sister of mercenary, war criminal, and head of Blackwater Erik Prince-and if there really were professionals among the Capitol storming mob, you can bet some either work or worked for Blackwater. After four years of tireless and essential reform of the educational system in which she mostly tried to strip funding from public schools and channel it to Christian-based charter schools instead, DeVos has shown why she's widely considered to be a woman of endless integrity and backbone. Sure, some cowards might bow out on day 12 or even day 9, but not Betsy. She held the line at day 13. She called out Trump when it really mattered, when there was a true Walmart price to pay. All these servants of the people, all these Profiles In Courage. Their acts of defiance and virtue shall not be forgotten. I can only look forward to the day when Covid is over, and my daughter and I can travel to Washington and take a Kaepernick-knee in front of the DeVos Memorial of Freedom & Occassional Yachting and pay our respects. In the meantime we can only marvel from afar.
A Solemn Vow
This will be my very last Trump post ever. No other words, no further breath is warranted for this flagrant con man, this congenital liar, this cauldron of debilitating vanity. The person who will be remembered for trafficking in the certifiably conspiratorial, in a web of half-truths based on quarter-truths that has saddled this country for a generation with the doctrine of relativism. The upside-down bible-holder. The 400 day golfer. The groper, rapist, gleeful philanderer. The utterly faithless hero of rube evangelicals. The Head Grifter of a family of grifting rats. The child-cager. The non-wall non-builder. The Covid-denier who cut health benefits for his own supporters before being airlifted to Walter Reed when he himself got Covid. The bleach-injector. The indiscriminate media-cudgel. The traitor, the money-launderer, the shill ridden by Putin bareback. The man who, in the end, governed by nothing but Tweet and whim and jagged illogic. If Trump weren't so morbidly hollow, if his utterances weren't so banal as to be without meaning, he might actually be cast as a tragic figure. To be so small, so fearful, so needy. To be so guided, in each possible move or decision, in every aspect of one's life, by the limitless desire for approval such that it denies one all other qualities: empathy, compassion, joy, humor, a sense of wonder and possibility, is the province of the most pathetic characters in all of literature. If he has accomplished nothing else over four years, in a case that even Rudy Giuliani couldn't botch, was to make clear that he is comprised entirely by greed, clotted lust, the need for acquiescence, acquisition, domination, fealty. He is a boy-tyrant of the type the Romans would immediately have recognized as broken and dangerous and tossed off the Tarpeian Rock. Even the Romans didn't want Trump Steaks. Well, as the ranting, corpulent King Lear of Mar-a-Lago is finally dragged from the White House on January 20th, I will not laugh or celebrate. I will close my eyes and reflect on the damage this country has suffered under his greasy thumb, to the point that we nearly became inured to it out of sheer intellectual and emotional survival, and how close we came to having to endure another four years. Donald Trump is the most successful hustler in the history of the world. We can only hope, as he becomes a civilian again, and his unwarranted protections fall away, that he suffers the fate of all hustlers in the end: being confronted with a debt that can never be repaid.