Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Of Course We'll Get Fooled Again

Finding Acceptance


To the kids out there: you get to be my age, moving house is one of the hardest things you can do. 

Especially when you're closing out 35 years in your owner-built home at 8,000' in the southern Rockies and trading it in for a house in a town 1500 miles away, with a yard and everything. Sure, my old desk is here at the new digs, and now I have one of those laptop thingies so anywhere can be my desk I suppose, but did I mention old?  

Savvy readers have noticed the absence of fresh writings here since mid-July, when in an hardly rare outburst of braggadocio I stated that "(y)ou need a pajama-wearing guitar player pundit sometimes, I've often found, to vigorously clench the scimitar of the obvious, and at that I remain your humble servant." Then I took 5 months off to move and get settled, neglecting those very needs for which inflated self-importance serves me in good stead as muse and confidant. But enough about me. How about you? Did you miss me? 

I have managed to work through the stages of grief in the interim. For those who hadn't yet grieved from MSNBC lovin' the escalator in May 2015 to Trumpism usurping airtime away from reportage and thoughtful analysis to the tune of millions in free advertising, from the fervor of red hatted brownshirts to the stench of Tea Party redux - if somehow, after all the shrugging off of flaw after flaw one was still able to avoid an iota of grief for one's country, Donald Trump's ascendancy allowed no such quarter as denial. 

And November 9 was an angry day, not that Bernie purism and Priebus apologism hadn't already popped steam from the ear canals, but America trading in the 2nd chance it so didn't deserve after Bush, Cheney and the bubble's recession: that was assault. The depths to which they will go to see us liberals dance like ice cubes on the flat top - that really pissed me off. And I don't need a red hat, just the longest finger. 

Now the electoral college has returned to the dimly lit round-tables of academia and with it goes any hope of removing Trump without handing the keys to Mike Pence and it has dragged into oblivion the postulations and alternative realities that can't now be fact, nor part of this new deal. Bargaining has been short lived.

For those of us who were 21 in '69, the last couple of months have been a repudiation of the slack we cut our fellow citizens when we said they couldn't be that stupid. Which in turn means who's stupid now? So yes, I'd say that could bring a person down, harsh a buzz, lead to 13 weeks of all day drinking. Maybe just give up entirely and learn to love video gaming. Take up Facebook and collect "likes" in some sort of twisted quid pro quo. Tweet, while resisting the urge to use exactly 140 characters every time. 

Now that's pure hellscape. 

Which brings us up to this morning. I didn't plan on hiatus; it just kinda happened. I've thrashed privately, exceeded the curbside glass recycling tub to where it never all gets picked up and thought about trading in cozy anonymity for the chance to go viral, like 110 million of my closest "friends." 

I had gone all Rip Van Winkle during the horse race we like to call our "Candidates Showcase Showdown" and watched as everybody "came on down" and now we're stuck with the least qualified human for most jobs anywhere, let alone president, and a cadre of tentacles and Koch suckers. 

Believe me. More than a few people are saying this. 

But I woke up surprisingly calm. 

I know my place in this. Not bomb throwing, though the appropriate spitball here and there seems inevitable. Not willful ignorance, for then I have become my enemy. Not anarchy, for a nation of laws not men is far superior. 

But I do feel a fight coming on and have been given that rare, umpteenth chance. 

This time I will do better at being the loyal opposition. I can accept that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

In the Afterglow of Unity

The Mandate for Coalition

It should be evident to every Democrat that, for this year anyway, that's how sausage is made. Turns out sky pie doesn't cram into the casing as well as red meat and gut check, but that, as they say, is why they play the game. 

So there's this new Pokemon app. Have you heard about this? No, there's only one Seinfeld, I was just curious. Seems like the same featurette of your "smart" phone that picks up useless information as you walk down the street, is now a fun thing to do while waiting to fall into an open sewer.

There's been this media narrative (jathink?) that there's a dedicated cadre of Sanders folks who will just stay home and it's been touted just like the much ballyhooed "never Trump"ers of yore. The latter proved to be so much hacky-sack Jell-o; a similar fate is not the wildest of predictions for the former. Evidently the nation was not as fevered in pitch about the campaign so far as represented by the possessors (9/10 of the law) of our most reputable journalism logos, or maybe national principles have become like the latest lion-killing dentist not named Kone. 

Methinks a fad app is telling its own story about now.

Now I've heard, as have you, savvy reader, the impassioned support even Jim Webb got a taste of. Folks align - it's what we do. 

In the either/or of Bernie/Hillary a pall of disingenuousness envelopes anyone who now proves to have been an ideological scoundrel by showing utter poor sportsmanship. Of course there's a mandate for coalition.

But to any hold-outs, and I hope the number is less than any poll whose reputation is burgeoning in media narratives tries to okey-doke on your behalf: this is worse than "the rent's too damn high." 

This is so serious, John Adams just had a heart attack. 

No, no no! Don't convert any one of your positions. Please. 

Save your idealism for the next "make your own sausage day." But prove me right, please. In as non-rubbing-your-nose-in-it a way I can muster.  It's important.

You remind me of you at your age. 

The streets were ablaze on several counts. The plutocrats entangled the nation in ways nobody really appreciated except them. The old farts then had been Joe McCarthy lovers. They bought that stopping communism snake oil the moment it came through town.

We were put in a lottery to die. No, really.

Trust that you are surrounded by old farts who merely lack your physical energy.

Above all, that Bernie made Hillary better

Who knew?

Lastly, I have to wonder how much effort is being spent at this critical juncture on posing whilst surreptitiously trolling? They know who they are and we must greet them like the latest distracting app.

Whether for pay or bragging rights, there's going to be a flood of disaffected sounding, supposed Sanders supporters calling into every last show with open phone lines or Twitter feeds to rail against the Democratic nominee. Screeners on the shows we love will be up against it. And when I say "we" I do mean in that 1st person plural way which should be the afterglow of our unification. 

The saddest part of the process which makes commonweal is that it is so readily co-opted. I can't explain the fact that people gave thumbs up and thumbs down to a YouTube video of the president consoling Dallas today. Call Seinfeld. No please, call Seinfeld.

Retweets-per-minute as a statistic has always struck me as theater of the absurd and this is right in there with it. It's instructive. Perhaps the ups are an atta boy for the president we, on our side, have come to really, really appreciate. I venture I know who the downs are but they only use more subterfuge if they think you're on to them. (Walks away, whistling... 



You're welcome.)

72.4% appreciated the president's speaking for the nation to the grieving. The remainder did not.

You need a pajama-wearing guitar player pundit sometimes, I've often found, to vigorously clench the scimitar of the obvious, and at that I remain your humble servant.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sarah Palin Willing to Give Opinion

Overheard at Politicon Comma Comma

                             I would tell him to find someone

                                        who understands who the boss will be,
                     someone who is not running to,

                               someone who he could serve with who he wouldn’t need a taste test,

      a food taste-tester around him, you know?

                                                                    You know what I mean?

                       Someone who is going to be loyal to what the boss’s agenda is.

                                       That’s going to be real important, too.

                                                      And someone who had experience, too,


                                              coming from the private sector,

                             connected to the essential people in this country,

                and not part of the political establishment that has been part of the problem.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Paul is Dead

Abbie Normal Road

The white blocks, making stripes on the new asphalt. Always new asphalt in these goddam socialist countries!

The lads, posing while looking like they're not posing.

There's a Lamarckian blood trace heading towards Why I Nevertown. Let's say it's in Wisconsin. For the continuity. Let's say.

One of the guns of a youthful nature, the one who didn't get "All You Need is Love" must have been Photoshopped in because, you see, Paul is dead.

Deads I tells ya. Ya dabbles in in with Trump, out with Trump back in with Trump goo gooka cho enough times, you are relying on residuelles, mes belles. Sont les mots qui prove you're an incorrigible bitch for hire.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Teflon Donald

"Not a Crazy Clown"


Perhaps you were watching Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday May 27th when Dilbert creator, Scott Adams, gave what was a most cogent explanation of Donald Trump's rise to prominence in the Republican Party. We who embrace rationality firmly believe that the best ideas prevail and that Hillary Clinton needs only to be herself to win the presidency. Adams calls on his training as a hypnotist and study of persuasion to frame Trump as a master manipulator and not the crazy buffoon whom none in the Republican primary clown car could so tar. And the subtext is that we kid ourselves to believe reason will win this campaign.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Art of the Donald

"I make the best deals," he has said over and over.

And over.

Donald Trump is clearly on the path to his presumptive party's nomination. Cleveland's finest can now breathe easier with or without the event's permission to carry weapons openly. Hillary will feel the troll more than the Bern it feels safe to say.

What will the beltway media's narrative be now that Trump's on track to be coronated, a word which will expire this cycle (one can only hope)?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Twittiquette, Favorites, and #Holy Crap America

At the risk of sounding like I fully embrace never having socially networked, I actually have done it. So hashtag ipso facto.

I checked Twitter for Dummies and believe I have just made something akin to sense.

My greatest fear has always been that once so embracing I could never make sense again. Hashtag am I right people? I wouldn't know. (Well I have a whiff of the knowledges, as Poirot might have said, struggling in a second language. Let's say he actually did, 'kay?) What strikes me as the absurdity of this modern paradigm cum affliction is that to participate is never being able to go back. Go back to what?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Barely One Week's Worth of Campaign Meat

The rest is what in pet food terms is "filler"

I hate the media business with the heat of a thousand night lights. It is, after all, the nature of what they do; they are in business. No model for that says to give it away. No, you must cash in. Thus my hatred is significantly tempered.

Roiling more than boiling.

When I once blogged at a site which promoted social networking as well as writing, the most frequent retort to a rant about this or that outlet was that it was my fault for not going to site x, y, or z.

The regular savvy readers here, whom we reckon by less than a dozen, have no doubt entered into mourning over al Jazeera America shutting down. It had given the huddled discarded refuse of the mainstream a home since buying out Al Gore's Current TV. We shall miss their diligence and never cave to calling their reportage "quaint" nor seek solace in the superior gladhanding of the freshly empowered home brew journalists we must surely someday hate with the heat of a thousand 25 watt bulbs.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Endowed by Their Creator

Notice it doesn't say "The Creator"


And before the errant Yahoo commenter (or the one in the local paper who uses the moniker "citizen") goes off on "divine Providence," let's remember that our revolutionists couldn't have wished to be dismissed as readily as modern-day liberals are dismissed so adverbially adjectivally by reactionary preconditioned spoutings (ginning up a signature brand of cocksure superiority). It remains difficult for aspirants to power to neglect godliness in the public sphere. Would it weren't a fact of life.

The royalists in the colonies and the folks back home wore religion sanctimoniously and the dipping of toes into such phraseology can hardly be termed a call for theocracy to replace monarchy. Yet reinterpretation is nothing if not fair game to those for whom there is no responsible push-back.

So when Ted Cruz says he's a Christian first and an American second, as reported by the Associated Press, he's BusTed for selective reading of the framers' intent. I would add: unfit for the job to which he aspires and that which he holds; but he is not alone among right wingers in that regard. Mr. "no government is better than the one we have - that'll learn 'em when we shut the whole thing down" is so far off base on this he's at the free throw line. 

It may suit the both siderist manifesto that everything is fair game for a daily litigation of the shallowest dimension, but people with critical thinking skills formed and preserved since the fourth grade are rightly aghast at media's chronic flinching in reporting the obvious. We, savvy reader, are not looking to join a club that reinforces the selective. Rather, we join to share our allegiance to the republic.

Was there ever a time when that level of patriotism could be so exploited as a political weakness? Sadly, they are innumerable but, I dare say, not from so far out in the cold.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Remembering When a Joke Was a Joke

It was late 2000, while the Supremes were denying Al Gore the presidency by allowing the Florida recount to commence (but to be done by midnight tonight), that David Letterman's website solicited viewer top ten lists. My entry to "top ten better ways to choose a president" earned me a nice t-shirt.

"The one with biggest 'chad' - if you know what I mean."

That was then. This is now.

Friday, February 26, 2016

(Unintelligible Yelling)

Thursday's Houston Debate Reenactors

clockwise from left Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson (not pictured John Kasich)

Monday, February 15, 2016

THE Problem

The ability to control social pressures would be a boon to people who are on the losing sides of rational arguments. What if you could mutate the language outright or use the social scientists' and behaviorists' discoveries about word associations and subliminal meanings?

What if you could turn propaganda into destination television and browsing favorites? Social pressure would then take over when, in intimate groupings, the dubious factoids and ad hominem smears could be made cool.

She/he might say "x,y,z" and going along or providing a topper would be so much more sociable than slamming the door emphatically shut on such utter bullsh*t. What if you could stigmatize facts into no longer being necessary for thinking and feeling? Demonize journalism as being biased and not worth your time?

It's all about the gut to the hidden persuaders.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

On With the Mishigas!



For those keeping score


Forget New Hampshire (better flush twice)



Vindication for the outsiders. (haiku)


outsiders' Tuesday
who says they're vindicated?
South Carolina?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Man, You've Changed

Since the John Birch Society adopted its mission statement, "we will lose nothing, ever," in the early sixties, there has been their acceptance of defeat (for politically correct reasons despite the irony today) along with a renewed determination to get past that hiccup part of pushing their agenda when given another chance.

Yes, they built whatever it is that they have and behind closed doors. I'm sure they're mighty proud of it. I'm just a pajama-wearing, guitar-player pundit (like the one two doors down from everyone in the United States), but the rules of losing an argument with the American people, to these guys, commands them to re-package, re-purpose, re-use.

Their best kept "tell" is when things are going precisely as they intended. They take actual breaths and use punctuation. (It's the pajamas which render up a pundit's clairvoyance.) Meaning: when the gear noises suddenly cease, you are in really dangerous territory.

When the co-opting and the Machiavellism was going down in real time, you thought something was hinky, but the fourth estate had that covered, right?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Talk About a Hangover

Eight million dollars and FreedomWorks

Less government, lower taxes, economic freedom. The Tea Party 'miracle' was that it played a cynical okey-doke on redneck America, one more time. What, the Reagan revolution wasn't enough?

When you hear Trump supporters or operatives rail against the Republican establishment, they mean the cynical Machiavellists who set the country on a path to letting them get away with paying even less for the general well being of the commonweal. Eight million dollars and Freedom Works.

Their spawn, those posturing purists who in many cases successfully 'primaried' an incumbent who had held office for years with no complaints, set about the business of business first. That and a whole lot of agita over 'moral' issues dredged up from the first half of the last century.

In the realm of getting things done, which once was considered the meat and potatoes of government, they play the obstructionist card outright when they're not slapping on incongruous riders to necessary bills.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ever Feel Like James Madison Has Hijacked Your Twitter?



and the sowing so and so's who sowed

Back around the triumph of David Brat, you could tell that an ill wind was being taken for normal. A sort of climate change.

Winning at any cost, laying out the necessary alternative reality to make proposals seem contextual rather than the shrewdly anarchic, synchronized talking points straight out of central command anyone with Frank Luntz's weight in lunchmeat for brains ought to be able to recognize, and delivering them with what passes for joy in this not as yet fully developed form of entertainment: that's the ticket. Learn how to punch that ticket and you'll go far with the plutocrats.

MSNBC and CNN: my how you've changed. Al Jazeera America: you're getting out of the market entirely. Local newscasts which are grateful for 'packages' delivered by national sources reinforce whatever is in the wind, for that is 'newsworthiness' on a budget. Trickle down idiocy.