Lord Buckley Seance

lord-buckley-seance

Et Tu, Breitbart

 

Milo,

Simon Sez,

You gotta go.

 

See you at CPAC.

Uh-oh!

The ol’ heave-ho?

 

Canned?

Banned?

Spited?

Disinvited?

 

First Amendment

Infringement?

 

I don’t think so.

There’s some danger

in being an asshole.

Fine-Tuned Machine

Fine-tuned machine

My ass!

Administration

sputtering

like a

tubercular

lawnmower,

hacking away

day after day

loud as a

vodka-fueled

leaf blower

as well-oiled as this here

mixed metaphor.

Deplorable!

Talking EPA Blues

Poison the atmosphere,

Poison the sea,

Soon you gonna be poisoning

Little ol’ me.

 

The Finale of Seem

 

trump-mao

Dig this tweet:

In less “pressing” news, PBS is on the budgetary chopping block. No more subversive Big Bird, no more Cassandra-shrill Nature/Nova predictions of planetary catastrophe, no more analytical News Hour, no more Masterpiece Theater, no more Ken Burns.

Let’s sing, all together now, “Don’t Take Me Out to the Ballpark.”

And how much will we save by eliminating PBS? $1.50 per taxpayer. Pennywise, for sure!

Meanwhile, well-compensated Secret Service agents guard Trump’s fine-lacquered sons as they open a “world class golfing resort” this weekend in Dubai.   Back home in the USA, the Treasury is forking out a half-a-million a day to guard a high profile plagiarist in a glittering tower. One of the enemies-of-the-people who works at the Washington Post estimates that these Winter Southern White House Mar-a-Lago weekends run about 3 million dollars. Money well spent, for sure.!

I’m beginning to think electing a pussy-grabbing president starved for adulation who shares more in common with Kim Jong-Un than he does with Jeb Bush wasn’t a very good idea. It’s month now, and we don’t have a National Security Advisor.

As Bob Dylan once crooned, “Wow-we, pretty scary.”

Oops, wait. My muse, Euphonia Laquacia Doggerel, has a delivery. I’ll be right back.

The Emperor of Tangerine

Watch the prevaricator,

The tangerine-tinted one,

Gesticulating upon the stage

Whipping up whoppers

For his white supremacist base.

“The lying Press is Public-Enemy #1!”

Rave on, Dear Leader, rave on

You gonna end up like Al Capone.

Let be be finale of seem

The only emperor is the Emperor of Tangerine.

 

I had a professor, Dr. Ashley Brown, who knew Ezra Pound, who knew Wallace Stevens, and Dr. Brown once told me I was no Wallace Stevens.

Be that as it may, Trump ain’t exactly original with his press=enemy-of-the-people-proclamation.

Dig these blasts from the past:

trump-mao

stalin_trump

hitler-trump

By the way, there’s a special election in the 6th District of Georgia this April.  Here’s something we can do to help undo: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/1/28/1626607/-Want-to-do-something-right-now-Then-donate-to-this-Democrat-running-in-a-House-special-election

The Physiognomy of Trump’s Inner Circle

looking_wrong_way_900x506

Over her lifetime, my mother, bless her soul, accumulated an abundance of spurious wisdom based on a combination of unscientific observation and intuition. Sometimes she’d have forebodings and forbid me from doing rather pedestrian things like riding my bike home from the gas station where a flat tire had been patched. “No, I just have this awful, awful feeling,” she’d say. “Something’s bad’s going to happen if you ride that bike.” In other words, I was doomed to be flattened by an 18-wheeler or smack into a tree and spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. So we’d cram the bike in the back seat and drive on home.

Undoubtedly, her sense of doom has contributed to my rather pessimistic view of the world. You know, irrational thoughts like thinking your team’s going to lose the Super Bowl even though they’ve racked up in the third quarter an insurmountable lead the likes of which has never been overcome in a half-century of Super Bowls.

Sometimes, though, I think Mama did hit the mark with her unscientific conclusions — for example, her contention that time etches people’s ultimate personalities onto their faces by their habitually assuming certain telltale expressions, e.g., the angry, scowling malcontent’s mouth carving a perpetual frown, the bland sweet matron’s pleasant expression blanking away wrinkles —  the equivalent of the warning I received as a young child that my “face was going to stick like that” if I kept making grotesque faces.

[Warning: Neck-breaking Segue]

Just for the hell of it let’s take my mother’s theory and apply it to President Trump’s closest advisors.

Ladies, first. Kellyanne Conway.

Okay, I know I’m pulling a Trump here, criticizing a woman’s looks, but I’m not saying Kellyanne’s unattractive, just that she looks mean.  She’s a brittle-looking 49 to me, and no doubt being the target of so much ridicule will only harden her more, turning sinister those ersatz smiles aimed at the cameras of MSNBC.  Perhaps once she possessed a “sunny disposition” but something has soured it.  Working for Trump can’t be good for your soul.

To me she looks like she could be the illegitimate daughter of Phyllis Diller, though without Diller’s self-deprecating wit – a commodity that seems to be lacking across the board among Trump and his staff.

phyllis-conway

I’d cast Kellyanne as the wicked stepmother in the Snow Whites of New Jersey.

As far as looks go, I think Steve Bannon comes off as the coolest.  I like the way his abundant whipped-back hair sometimes falls in his eyes.  He’d, make a great character in a Tennessee Williams play, the rugged terrain of his face blotted with gin-blossoms, his eyes puffy, his spinal fluid pumping white supremacy.

 

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Stephen K. Bannon looks at his computer to see who will be the next caller he will talk to while hosting Brietbart News Daily on SiriusXM Patriot at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Banner’s the absolute opposite of Mitt Romney – disheveled, disorganized, paunchy, atheistic, hungover.*  Sure, he’s evil, but if I had to have 10 beers with one of these dark apostles, he’s be the one I’d choose.

nosferatu-1922-003-max-schreck-00m-kgk

Would definitely choose him over Steven Miller.  I don’t know a thing about Steven Miller, who supposedly works hand on hand with Bannon, but certainly he and Nosterafu share a common ancestor.  His vulture-like demeanor precludes the possibility of empathy.

miller

Then there’s Reince Preibus.

Reince Priebus

I predict he’ll age in warp speed like Abe Lincoln.  Like, I say, working for Trump’s toxic.


*Full disclosure:  *Psychologically it could be that I’m projecting my own self-description on Bannon the way that Trump kept calling Hillary crooked.

Why Paul Ryan Should Read Flannery O’Connor

book-cover

“As far as I am concerned,” she said and glared at him fiercely, Christ was just another D.P.”

Mrs. May to Father Flynn in Flannery O’Connor’s “The Displaced Person”

 

The most heartbreaking of all Flannery O’Connor’s stories, “The Displaced Person,” seems particularly poignant given the ban on Muslim refugees instated last weekend.[1] Set right after WW2, the story dramatizes the attempted assimilation of a Polish refugee into bigoted backwoods Georgia.

As David Griffith points out in his excellent essay on the story in The Paris Review:

O’Connor takes her title from the Displaced Persons Act, which, between 1948 and 1952, permitted the immigration of some four hundred thousand European refugees into the United States. President Truman signed the bill with “very great reluctance” for what he saw as its discriminatory policy toward Jews and Catholics: the Act stipulated that, in order to be eligible, one must have entered Germany, Italy, or Austria before December 22, 1945, which, according to Truman, ruled out 90 percent of the remaining Jewish people displaced by the war. Similarly excluded were the many Catholics who’d fled their largely Communist countries after the December 22 deadline.

“The bad points of the bill are numerous,” Truman wrote. “Together they form a pattern of discrimination and intolerance wholly inconsistent with the American sense of justice.” He called the decision to enforce the December 1945 deadline “inexplicable, except upon the abhorrent ground of intolerance.”

In the story, O’Connor’s displaced person’s work ethic so far exceeds that of the slothful, under-compensated blacks and whites who work on Mrs. May’s farm that he threatens their livelihoods. Worse than that, he violates Southern taboo of racial purity when tries to contract a marriage between a black field hand and his young Polish cousin languishing in a camp back home.

When an outraged Mrs. May confronts Mr. Guizac about the proposed interracial marriage — “You would bring [that] poor innocent child over here and try to marry her to a half-witted thieving black stinking nigger” — he says quite sensibly, “She no care black [. . .] She in camp three year.”

In the end, xenophobia and bigotry triumph over charity as the displaced person – the one good man to be found in that collection called A Good Man Is Hard to Find – is done away with.

She had felt her eyes and Mr. Shortley’s eyes and the Negro’s eyes come together in one look that froze in collusion forever, and she heard the little noise the Pole made as the tractor wheel broke his backbone.

* * *

Obviously, refugees rank as some of the planet’s most vulnerable souls, driven from their homelands — from their familiar cultures — into alien worlds of gibberish, incomprehensible mores, and worse.

The refugees turned away this weekend had undergone as much as 48 months of vetting from several agencies and pose virtually no terrorism threat whatsoever. No one from the banned countries has ever committed a terrorist attack on US soil – unlike citizens from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Pakistan, who weren’t included in the ban, people from countries where Trump has business interests.

Imagine the refugees’ heartache after so much suffering, boarding a plane headed for their dreamed of destination, only to be turned away and sent on a long, long flight back to perdition.

Of course, it’s not surprising that the sadist Trump would shatter the hopes of the dispossessed to score political points. After all, as many have pointed out, he’s cruel, hosted a reality TV show in which he lovingly embraced the chance to humiliate people with the words “you’re fired.” No one would expect him to take refugees’ plights to heart.

On the other hand, you might think Paul Ryan, who embraces his Catholicism the way Steve Bannon does his booze, would take Jesus’s words more to heart. But Ryan has come out fully supporting the ban.

I’ll let Jesus – the ultimate Displaced Person – have the last say:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)
Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (5:6)
Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8)
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5:9)
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. .5:11-12

Oh, by the way, what was the percentage of evangelists’ votes Trump garnered?


[1] The Trump’s claim that it’s not a ban on Muslims rings hollow when the administration offers exemptions to Christians and Jews.

tissot-the-lords-prayer

Free Melania

patti-trump

I had never heard of Melania Trump before her husband ran for president.  When I saw her descending that fateful escalator the night he announced his candidacy, I dismissed her as a gold-digger willing to exchange booty for fabulous wealth.  However, now after the first few days of this administration, I see her in a different, more sympathetic light, as someone brow-beaten into marrying that brutish, boorish buffoon.[1]

What a wretched life she must lead.  Imagine sharing a bed with Trump. His snoring, I bet, could provide a convincingly horrid soundtrack for Dante’s Inferno.[2]  Let’s face it, sleeping with Donald Trump, eating breakfast with Donald Trump, listening day in and day out to Donald Trump bloviating about how fucking wonderful he is has got to get really old really fast.

I’d rather be sentenced to 20 years riding on Disney’s “It’s a Small World.”

small-world-copy

Melania’s Wiki bio makes it sound as if she had a stage mom, given that the future First Lady’s modeling career began at age five. Having a stage mom is bad enough, but having one in the former Yugoslavia certainly must have made it worse. Imagine coming home after an exhausting shoot to a dingy self-contained living unit in a soulless Soviet era high-rise lined up like a domino along the diesel stench of a poorly maintained highway. Plus, her old man was a Marxist-Lenin fanatic, which is probably just as bad (or worse) than being reared by a fanatical Christian evangelist.

If beauty were her ticket out, who dare blame her? Sure, she could have stayed in Milan and married a calcio[3] star, but certainly the lure of New York would be hard to resist.

* * *

Wiki claims she met the future president at a Fashion Week party where she refused to give the lout her phone number because he had another date (or perhaps because he resembled a mutated, bulbous tangerine sporting a hairstyle that a Teddy Boy might find outrageous).

 

 

Teddy Boy

Teddy Boy

Eventually, she gave in – imagine the relentless badgering she must have endured – and for a while she had the good sense to break off the relationship after it had started. But let’s face it, Donald always gets what he wants — if you don’t count the respect of Hollywood or the intelligentsia or at the present moment, 55% of the US population.

No doubt you’ve witnessed her daily humiliations, and if you haven’t, allow me to share two telltale images.

gracious husband

gracious husband

happy couple

happy couple

Not surprisingly, #FreeMelanie is now a meme on Facebook and Twitter, and I think her escape from the White House could make a killer pulp thriller if you changed the names and set it in the future. You could have her fall in love with a secret service agent or kidnapped like Patty Hurst and go rogue by helping her abductors knock off unqualified cabinet members.

Or how about a Greek tragedy with a CNN panel serving as a chorus?

Certainly, there’s a budding Dostoyevsky out there who could capture her feline Slavic beauty and concoct some redemption for her suffering in a 600-page novel.

I personally don’t know – and I’m serious – any sane woman who would trade places with her.


[1] I realize the too-too muchness of that relentless B-alliteration, its amateurish boom boom, but, people, I’m trying to echo Trump’s own crudity and amateurishness, so give me a break!

[2] For the sake of your and my own sanity, I’ll spare us a description of what I envision the “ol’ in-out, in-out” with Donald Trump might be like.

[3] I.e., soccer

3 Contrasting Visions of the Trump Presidency

trum-piss

Boy, I really didn’t realize how dark Trump’s vision the US is until I read his inaugural address:

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories, scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge . . .

I first Trump may have actually written this himself. I couldn’t think of a professional speechwriter who would come up with a simile so imagistically clunky as “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.”  But it turns out Miller and Bannon are to blame.

Anyway, are you visualizing the image?

Florida National Cemetery, Headstones, war heroes

tombstones

rusted-out factory

rusted-out factory

 

scattered

scattered

Perhaps there are more than a few rusted-out factories in Michigan, but down here in South Carolina where I live I couldn’t locate one to save my life. I asked my son who drove up from Orlando yesterday how many rusted-out factories he’d see during the seven hour trip, and he said that the only factory he saw had smoke coming out of the smokestacks.

Also – and I’ll move on – the children in South Carolina suffering from poverty aren’t huddled in inner cities but eking out their existence without Medicaid expansion in shacks that litter the landscape.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I’d like to offer brief synopses of how three thoughtful pundits perceive the Trump presidency, and I’ll go from darkest to brightest for sanity’s sake.

Sarah Kendzior

skSarah Kendzior, the author of The View from Flyover Country, is an anthropologist who specializes in authoritarian states and writes for various newspapers. She considers the accession of Trump as nothing less than catastrophic. She foresees a coming kleptocracy as a fragile democracy succumbs to fascistic institution-gutting by Trump and his mob-like nationalistic white-supremacist cronies.

In 2014 she served as an expert witness for an Uzbek refugee. Here is her account:

My job was to tell the judge about Uzbekistan: a country ruled by a dictator who abuses executive power to obtain personal wealth, threatens independent media and protesters, spies on real and perceived enemies, packs his administration with lackeys and relatives, refuses to disclose his financial holdings, molds public opinion through media domination, persecutes innocent Muslims under the pretext of fighting terrorism, and distracts the citizenry with pageants and spectacle, often proclaiming that he is making Uzbekistan great again.

She goes on to note

American authoritarianism will not be a carbon copy of other states. Mr. Trump’s authoritarianism will exploit pre-existing vulnerabilities – corporate corruption, institutional rot, systemic racism, a weakened economy, a struggling media, celebrity worship – and exacerbate them until our nation is no longer recognizable.

Should this occur, it may look like home, but it will not feel like home. What may be wrenched from us is a fundamental sense of security and sovereignty. When cable outlets are not promoting white supremacists or debating the humanity of Jews – yes, this is what our media airs now – they occasionally document Mr. Trump’s kleptocratic behaviour.

It’s almost dark enough to drive me to the nearest burnt-out strip mall to see if I can score some smack; however, Dr. Kendzior preaches resistance, not submission, and yesterday’s massive protests offer some hope that we’ll not take Trump lying down.

But we are still here, we the people, the inconvenient background players in Donald Trump’s self-serving shakedown of the American dream. We the people have been calling our representatives, demanding to know what is going on. We the people never did form that more perfect union, but we are not about to trade in the red, white and blue for the gold-plated facade of a tyrant tycoon.

We the people look out for each other – even when no one looks out for us.

David Brooks

brooksChances are you’re familiar with David Brooks, the affable guy-next-door conservative columnist for the NY Times and frequent contributor to the soon-to-be privatized PBS.

Brooks is considerably more upbeat about the survival of our democracy:

Some on the left worry that we are seeing the rise of fascism, a new authoritarian age. That gets things exactly backward. The real fear in the Trump era should be that everything will become disorganized, chaotic, degenerate, clownish and incompetent.

He sees hope in the possibility that the polarization Republicans and Democrats will end as the two join forces to quell the megalomaniacal maelstrom that will be Trump’s governing style:

We’ve wondered if there is some opponent out there that could force us to unite and work together. Well, that opponent is being inaugurated, not in the form of Trump the man, but in the form of the chaos and incompetence that will likely radiate from him, month after month.

Brooks ends his most recent column with this Panglossian hope:

With Trump it’s not the ideology, it’s the disorder. Containing that could be the patriotic cause that brings us together.

Peter Leyden

d6qgkbh_400x400According to his by-line, Peter Leyden “is the founder and CEO of Reinvent, a media company.” He sees Trump’s inauguration not as “the beginning of an era – but the end.”

He posits that Trump’s atavistic wish to flip the calendar back to the USA’s manufacturing heyday is doomed because of the evolution of technology into an ever-increasing interconnectedness of digital technologies, which “will be totally global and operate on a planetary scale.”

Whereas Brooks sees Trump uniting the Right and Left, Leyden foresees him being the “vehicle that will finally take down right-wing conservative politics for a generation or two” by “completely and irrevocably alienat[ing] all the growing political constituencies of the 21st century: the Millennial Generation, people of color, educated professionals, women.”

He goes on to say suggest that it’s actually ultimately fortunate that Hillary lost because she “would not have been able to finally bring down the conservative movement and its archaic ideology.”

Wesley Moore

meWesley Moore is a very confused and woebegone blogger. He has no earthly idea what’s going to happen. You can find him at any number of Folly Beach drinking establishments or loitering in the parking lots of burnt-out strip malls.

 

The Other Liberace

 

28 Jan 1978, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Liberace spoofs a day in his own life during a television special, including a scene where he baths in his $55,000 marble bathtub. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

 

Let’s face it, as far as taste goes, Donald Trump makes Liberace seem almost restrained.

No, that's not Donald Trump depicted in the painting

No, that’s not Donald Trump depicted in the painting

setting of many a historic tweet

setting of many a historic tweet

What’s with this rococo? Hasn’t Trump read No Exit?  Stupid question.

Imagine being his housekeeper, a fate worthy of Dantean damnation, Hell’s Tenth Circle, where the super avaricious have to scrub parquet floors to the eternal piped-in sounds of 3 Doors Down between chronic eagle-liver-plucking visitations from the Donald himself.

Okay, back to Liberace.  Hair style comparison.

liberace_colour_allan_warren_31944

side-hair

Where the two differ obviously is in their dress.  Trump seems to have some obsessive compulsive disorder that demands he wear exclusively dark suits and garish cardinal colored ties, most often red.

"Part of the beauty of me, is that I'm very rich."

“Part of the beauty of me, is that I’m very rich.”

Compare that with Liberace’s sartorial inclinations.

liberace_piano-300x300

Here are a couple  no brainers:  Which of these super celebrities had the sunnier public persona? Which one would you rather be in charge of the nuclear codes?