Memo to the Media:  Stop Helping the Enemy

I’ve been trying to understand the constant, deafening twaddle about Trump.  Popular media shrilly repeats that his popularity is growing.  No newscast, even in left-wing media, is complete without talking heads wringing their hands over Trumpazoidal influence over the zombie that was once the GOP, and the possibility of Trump making a bid for the presidency in 2024.  It is certainly true that the toad with the long red tie would be a disaster for our nation and our democracy if re-elected.  (My apologies to toads around the world.)  But it’s my considered opinion that Hoppy will be unable to jump when the time comes. 

Donald Trump loves to cultivate the myth of his imperviousness to disease, his fabulous wealth, and his genius I.Q.  But it looks to me like this genius junk food addict is only a couple of Big Macs away from a myocardial infarction.  From where he sits, 2024 is a very long line of cheeseburgers away.  Aside from having uncertain health, the Fake 45th is so thoroughly discredited as to make him irrelevant to all but the mouth breathers up in the bleachers, and the longest of long shots to become president again.  His lying is the stuff of legend.  His boasted about wealth is known to be  imaginary.  No one with an I.Q. over room temperature ever believed the I.Q. bullshit. 

Here’s the deal:  Trump is about to be indicted by the New York attorney general.  Steve Bannon, blinking through the morning after haze from a bottle of Glenlivet, is on his way to court cases, lawyer’s fees, and ultimately jail too.  Before his dry out is over he’ll be happy to give up the boss to Congress for a shot of cheap Suntory.  Please, please MSNBC, CNN, and CBS, stop with the all Trump, all rightwing GOP, all the time news.  He is the enemy of our republic.  You made this mistake in 2015-16 and you helped get the sonofabitch elected.  Don’t do it again.


Dammit, Capt. Kirk!

Captain James T. Kirk, aka William Shatner, was the first nonagenarian in space.  I am so happy that Bill got the first ride for a 90 year-old.  He was moved to tears by the experience of sticking a toe in the edge of space, experiencing a few minutes of weightlessness, and witnessing the sight of Mother Earth serenely rotating below—and who can blame him?  Wouldn’t you thrill to a sight that only a handful of humans have seen?  

Of course, I’m also jealous that I wasn’t first.  Now I’ll have to angle for being the first 90 year-old in earth orbit.  It could happen.  And I’d go in a nonagenarian second.  Just ask me, Mr. Bezos, Mr. Branson, or Mr. Musk.  

By the way, don’t make sport of 90 year-olds in space.  There are close to 60 million of us and still counting, so don’t fuck with us.  If someone 90 can climb into the capsule, ride that rocket, and then walk down the stairs afterward, you’d better salute, rubes.  It’s got to be the funnest ride at the carnival.  And the adventure of a lifetime.  Did I say I’d volunteer?  Hell yes!


In Defense of Madonna

I’m pulling rank on all of you: give Madonna a break! She’s made a career of doing the unexpected and shocking thing. And you can bet your sweet ass she’ll keep doing it no matter how old she gets. And more power to her. I’ve flashed a couple times myself after reaching a certain age—notably at an LAPD celebration honoring the evil Jack Webb. You’ll have to wait for Secrets of the Goddess to read that one. But to those of you who ridicule because of her age, I’m telling you now that you’re way out of line. Don’t make me come over there and bitch slap you.


The Moon Too Close

“He appeals to the werewolf in us on the nights when the moon comes too close.”—Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972 

Hunter Thompson’s quote regarding Richard Nixon could easily be applied to the disgraced ex-president, Donald Trump.  The werewolf in us was especially visible on January 6th when Trump supporters mounted an assault on the Capitol in an effort to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election.  It turns out that Trump’s effort to put the erection in insurrection was a spectacular fail, exposing the combed over lycanthrope to be merely an ineffectual, whining pup.  That is, however, not the whole story. 

According to leaked documents I have obtained, what began as a sophomoric prank in the White House nearly sparked the overthrow of the United States.  A Bonsai garden on a secretary’s desk in the West Wing had been secretly planted with rare Confetti mushrooms, an obscure fungi native to Nepal and the Himalayas.  At certain times of the year, the Confetti mushroom reproduces by releasing a cloud of powerfully hallucinogenic microscopic spores into the air.  Clearly Trump got a snoot full.  His aides discovered him cowering under the Resolute Desk, screaming that the Rose Garden was full of Komodo dragons wearing sombreros and wielding machetes.  “Hide me!  Protect me!  Tell the Marines to shoot the fucking lizards!”

No amount of reasoning could calm him.  Before long Rudy Guilliani, John Eastman, and Stephen Miller were seeing snakes and scorpions skittering about in the Oval Office.  By the time Trump and Eastman got to the Ellipse to cheer on the crowd of supporters, they were doubtless looking in horror at a sea of werewolves, reptiles, giant termites, and poisonous spiders holding Stop the Steal signs and wearing MAGA ball caps and tee shirts.  By the time he staggered off the stage, aides testified that he was gibbering, “Get the pest control people!  Call Orkin!  And get me to the bunker!” 

High doses of the Confetti mushroom can be permanently damaging.  Trump’s out of control rages have continued.  His mental condition has deteriorated so sharply that his handlers at Mar a Lago even struggle to keep him focused on his morning oatmeal and hair appointment.  

Meanwhile, Mike Pence, who barely survived being lynched on Trump’s orders on Jan 6th, has begun to abase himself to the boss because Pence wants to run for president.   Trump won’t hear it, of course.  He’s telling Pence, Ron DeSantis, Gregg Abbott, Marco Rubio, and all the rest of the douches warming up in the presidential primary bullpen to back off.  He’ll be going for the big prize again, even if he has to do it in an orange jumpsuit.  


The Mad Would-be King

It’s astounding. Time is fleeting.  Madness takes its toll… —Riff Raff, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.—Claudius, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1

You can see it.  The jowly, bloated face.  The reedy whine of his voice.  Madness has indeed taken its toll on Donald Trump.  His juvenile ranting continues unchecked, while his audience continues shrinking.  Yet he is unaware of his decline.  Most of his devotees seem not to notice that his rhetoric recycles the same tired themes—stolen election, Hillary Clinton, election fraud, Joe Biden, January 6th was a love fest—it’s a long and complicated list.  Thanks to the new Bob Woodward and Robert Costa book titled Peril, we’re finding out that many of his close advisers noticed his mental deterioration early on.  Some were opportunistic and ignored it, some were cowardly and quietly resigned, and some belatedly mustered a little courage and fought it.  Donald Trump’s descent into madness was visible in public, to be sure, but behind the scenes, his obsessive behavior, tantrums, and declining grip on reality were terrifying to many of his staff and advisors.  Folks knew he becoming more unstable.  The insurrection on January 6th was his vain attempt at a political Walpurgisnacht that would shut down the government, delegitimize Joe Biden’s election, and somehow return Trump to power.  The failure of that coup d’etat undermined and worsened his mental state.   

Quite a few countries have suffered through the reigns of looney heads of state.  There was Caligula in Rome, Ivan the Terrible in Russia, George the VI in England, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Gaddafi—a cast of characters that only an uneducated half wit like Trump would aspire to.  This rogues gallery has many things in common, but two of their most dangerous traits are capriciousness and cruelty.  You can read up on the details of their often forgotten depravity and malice, but Trump’s ruthless persecution of anyone he considers beneath him—women, people of color, all citizens of what he called “shithole” countries, muslims, and the poor—is well documented.  The wealthy and powerful he clutches to his breast, even while they laugh behind their hands at his crude and bourgeois posturing as a multi-billionaire. 

Mainstream media continues to focus on the minority of unglued wackos who believe every idiotic thing Trump says.  It makes for good tv and sells lots of soap powder and pills.  We need to focus on the reality of having a deranged would-be despot on the loose in our country.  Hopefully, our Jan 6 investigative committee will finally uncover enough incriminating dirt to put him and his cadre of crooks behind bars.  Keep that hope alive.  Stay tuned.


Knock Knock

Knock knock.

Who’s there?


Republicans who?

Republicans who can’t wait to destroy American democracy and replace it with an autocracy of idiocy led by Donald Trump, Moscow Mitch McConnell, Ted “I’ll-meet-you-in-Cancun!” Cruz, Jim “You-boys-in-the-shower-don’t-mind-me!” Jordan, and a tarnished cast of other traitors, crooks, cheats, and cowards. The Republicans who put the health of school children at risk by opposing mask requirements in classrooms and campuses. Republicans who intimidate school board members, nurses, and school administrators by screaming “My body! My choice of what I put in it!” to protest vaccinations.  Republicans who think nothing of violating the constitution by making laws to prevent women from controlling their own bodies, and who prohibit them from ending unwanted pregnancies.  Republicans who defend the insurrectionists who invaded the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to stop certification of Joe Biden’s legal election, and who attacked and killed police who defended the lawmakers.

That’s right, it’s the Republicans who don’t give a rosy red rat’s ass about anyone but themselves and their next election.  They’re all vaccinated, but they don’t want you to be, and they don’t want your kids to be.  They want you to be sick, so they can control you.  Because they are the new Taliban.

Yes, the Republicans are knocking just to let you know they’re still in the neighborhood.  They may have had the living snot beaten out of them in the California gubernatorial recall election, but they’re not going anywhere.  They’re crawling back under the nearest rock until you’re not looking.


The Most Dangerous Thing in the World

“Beauty is the most dangerous thing in the world next to, maybe, only nostalgia.”—Stan Brakhage, Experimental Filmmaker

People ask me all the time: how do you do it?  What’s the secret of aging and keeping your shit together?  The odometer turns over while the memories grow stronger.  Eventually they over take you.  Nostalgia fogs your windshield.  Live long enough and you become a survivor.  People you liked and loved are gone.  Depression pulls into your driveway and rings the doorbell.  Brakhage called it right.  And you don’t need to reach 90 to experience it.  Our minds are storytelling machines.  And they don’t stop.

There is no secret, but there is a workaround I use.  The Buddha gave a series of teachings to his monks in which he used bubbles on the river Ganges as a metaphor for disturbing thoughts.  When observed by someone with good eyesight, the bubbles could be seen as empty and void of any substance.  So it is with disturbing thoughts and memories.  When examined using one’s insight, the memories are actually empty, being only thoughts and stories of past events, and therefore insubstantial.  

You don’t need to be a Buddhist, fluffy.  When the disturbing memories come, take a few breaths, notice that the thoughts are ONLY empty bubbles.  And let the Ganges take them downstream.  More bubbles are on the way.  But they will be as empty as the last ones.  Let ‘em flow out of sight.  Peace.


One of My Guilty Pleasures

I admit it.  I’m addicted to James Carville’s and Al Hunt’s podcast, Politics War Room.  I can’t wait for Thursday every week when they post a new episode.  I doubt there are many smarter political thinkers around than James and Al.  Their guests are always interesting, and their rants and commentaries are thought provoking, often funny, and charmingly profane.  Big fan, boys.

This week James zeroed in on Kevin McCarthy, living proof that non-vertebrates can ascend to high office, if only they can learn to slither in whatever direction Emperor Trump directs—and lie.  And, boy, spineless McCarthy can lie like a motherfucker.  Now that he realizes the January 6th Capitol riot was a dismal failure and a colossal public relations fuck up for the Republicans who conspired to overthrow the lawful process of certifying a presidential election, McCarthy is blaming everyone from Nancy Pelosi to invading space aliens.  In James’ words, McCarthy is “shitting his pants!”  Yes!  McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Andy Biggs, and all the other rightwing douche bags who encouraged a violent overthrow our government are in dire need of a Pampers change.  

According to James, December 21, 2020 is the date that the House Select Committee on January 6th will be most interested in.  Not only was 12/21/20 the Winter Solstice and the rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, it was the date of a meeting at the White House where plans were made to facilitate the Capitol riot.  Nothing good will come of this for Trump and McCarthy et al.  With Donald Trump already disgraced and losing his grip, the quislings in the House who sold us out are in for a fall when the details of that meeting come out.  And the truth will out, because one of the conspirators will chicken.  It might even be McCarthy.  That would be music to my ears.