For That Hard-to-Buy-for Failson

 

failson boy cave

Let’s face it, there’s one in every family. The failson, flunked out, holed up in his childhood bedroom, laundry strewing the floor as if SLED had just stormed in looking for narcotics. Game cartridges with titles like “Postal 2” and “Thrill Kill” scattered around in a dystopian array of cultural decline as if some future museum curator had decided to create an emblematic space screaming Age of Trump!*

If you’re unfortunate to have a failson on a holiday or birthday shopping list, what in the hell are you supposed to do? The easiest copout, of course, is money, but that means you’re probably aiding and abetting the purchase of some illegal substance or enabling the boy’s insatiable addiction to sadistic or pornographic images. This option, especially if you’re a godmother, borders on moral dereliction.

On the other hand, you want to make him happy, which means gifting him with something that’s countercultural; however, for your conscience’s sake, you want your gift to offer some sort of practical positive attribute.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have a suggestion.

Last Saturday, at my favorite anthropological outpost, the bartenders were playing a game of surreptitiously attaching clothespins to each other — to the tail of an untucked t-shirt, to a dreadlock, to the back brim of my signature panama fedora.

I mentioned that although clothespins seem pretty damned obsolescent, I use them in the pantry to help seal opened bags of potato chips, etc. One of the bartenders called them “the poor man’s roach clip.”

I hadn’t seen a roach clip in probably a quarter of a century. Most readers of this blog won’t need a definition, but just in case you’re a graduate of Bob Jones University, a roach clip is a small device designed to hold what might best be described to the uninitiated as “a marijuana cigarette.” The idea is to consume as much of the product as possible without burning your fingers.

I wondered aloud if in the age-of-vaping roach clips had gone the way of Blockbuster, so one of the barkeeps produced for me a piece of clothing, which, as it turns out, would be perfect for that hard to please failson on your shopping list.

Please note the image below.

Check out the cords for securing the hood of the sweatshirt. Attached to each is a roach clip.

So on the rare occasions when the failson leaves his lair to go outdoors on a chilly day to fetch from the mailbox some abomination he’s ordered from Redbubble, he can continue toking away right down to the bitter end.

Also, the sweatshirt provides a secret hiding place in the hood itself for his stash.

can’t figure out why this came out in black-and-white

And, not only that, unzip the pocket in front, and there’s a hard surface for rolling joints.

Now, let me be clear. I don’t condone the use of cannabis, which studies have shown affects the amygdala in a way that reduces your ability to experience pleasure, which means overuse might render you incapable of appreciating a glorious sunrise or a Muddy Waters groan. Why not embrace mediation to naturally enhance your perceptions of the everyday wonders we so often ignore?

However, explaining this possibility to a failson is like trying to convince a Koch brother than the destruction of the planet from global warming is more important than his personal wealth. In other words, doomed to failure.

At least with the Nugg It sweatshirt, you’re providing warmth  in the context of perhaps the most innocuous illegal substance in states where the use of cannabis is outlawed.

Hey Jude


  • Here’s a description of Postal 2 from the blog ask.men: [Postal 2]  is a game in which it is not uncommon to drop-kick grenades and whip scythes at unsuspecting civilians if they refuse to participate in your everyday life story (which is, after all, the plot behind the game). Of course, this includes using cat carcasses as silencers on your gun, hitting people with anthrax-laden cow heads and playing “fetch” with dogs using the severed heads of your dismembered victims. Postal 2 is the epitome of senseless, over-the-top video game violence.

Yet Another Short Treatise on Satire: In Defense of Bad Taste

[Trigger warning: scatology, smugness, over-the-top sacrilege, typos, insensitivity to disabilities, reckless employment of ALL CAPS and gratuitous exclamation points]!!!!

Look, I desitively dig The Onion, I mean BIGLY. They’re BIG LEAUGE for sure, true heirs of the great early 70’s National Lampoon, which itself was the great-great-great-great grandchild of the GREAT Jonathan Swift, who in his poem “The Lady’s Dressing Room” employs an epic simile to describe turds plopping into a chamber pot:

As mutton cutlets, prime of meat,

Which though with art you salt and beat

As laws of cookery require,

And toast them at the clearest fire;

If from adown the hopeful chops

The fat upon a cinder drops,

To stinking smoke it turns the flame

Pois’ning the flesh from whence it came,

And up exhales a greasy stench,

For which you curse the careless wench;

So things, which must not be expressed,

When plumped into the reeking chest,

Send up an excremental smell

To taint the parts from whence they fell.

The petticoats and gown perfume,

Which waft a stink round every room.

Thus finishing his grand survey,

Disgusted Strephon stole away

Repeating in his amorous fits,

Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits![1]

 

[Enter Horatio, Hamlet’s BFF]: There needs no ghost, [Stephron], come from the grave/ To tell us this.

Yeah, Stephron, what’s the big deal? Defecation is a necessary by product of ingestion, and in the great cyclic beauty of being, animal waste products can be used to fertilize plants.

Hey, Jonathan Smith, what’s up with this coprophobic obsession with feces?

I suspect Swift would answer that his point is not that Celia shits but that she’s a vain, frivolous woman who considers herself better than, say, the hired wench who polishes her silver, yet Celia’s upper class feces stinks just as much as her maid’s lower class shit.

Satire is a great leveler, a way for powerless wretches like I-and-I to vent our spleens upon the powerful, the foolish, i.e., politicians. Think of Mitch McConnell when you read the following:

 

Io venni in luogo d’ogni luce muto;

The stench of wet coal, politicians

. . . . . . . . . . e and. . . . . n, their wrists bound to

their ankles,

Standing bare bum,

Faces smeared on their rumps,

wide eye on flat buttock,

Bush hanging for beard,

Addressing crowds through their arse-holes,

Addressing the multitudes in the ooze,

newts, water-slugs, water-maggots [. . .][2]

Some satirists have defended their employment of the grotesque, cruelty, etc. on the need to shock people inured the horrors of the nightly news [punctuated every eight minutes by laxative commercials (and, later, by smiling segues into human interest stories)] into the realization of the true nature of the horror. In other words, to slap some sense into them.

Here’s a paragraph from Tony Hendra’s 1972 editorial from the infamous National Lampoon issue “Is Nothing Sacred?”

To a generation that, when it sees starving babies on the screen, knows it’s almost time for dinner, not much is sacred. All around us, the idols, ikons, and cows of 6,000 of Indo-Aryan culture lie shattered, and daily another paragon goes down to ignominy (Kissenger, Richard Speck) [and] another cherished tradition is lost (see Esquire’s stinging attack on cordovans). And now with Jim Morrison gone, there isn’t really anyone left to look up to [. . .]  it is possible that a society to whom nothing is sacred might just be a better one.

Take, Michael J O’Donoghue’s “Vietnamese Baby Book” from that issue, an affront to good taste that makes Swift’s poem seem like a Barney the Dinosaur picture book.

The Vietnamese baby in question, Ngoc, has her first couple of years, including a list of “firsts,” catalogued in her baby book:

First whimper: Two weeks

First cringe: Two-and-a-half months.

It gets worse. Baby’s first wound, baby’s first word (medic), baby’s first funeral, etc.

Hey, that’s sick, cried the bourgeoisie when the issue came out, the bourgeoisie who reelected Nixon in a landslide and whose tax dollars went to making sure our military had enough napalm to incinerate the requisite number of Cambodian villages (or to update the example, has enough drone missiles to obliterate Syrian encampments).

In this sense, as self-righteous as it sounds, O’Donoghue considered himself a sort of moralist.

The Onion has at times crossed the over from the realm of gentle, good-natured mockery into the shadows of bitter sacrilege. For example, here’s an image with something to offend virtually every one.

 

WASHINGTON—Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened, sources reported Thursday. The image of the Hebrew prophet Moses high-fiving Jesus Christ as both are having their erect penises vigorously masturbated by Ganesha, all while the Hindu deity anally penetrates Buddha with his fist, reportedly went online at 6:45 p.m. EDT, after which not a single bomb threat was made against the organization responsible, nor did the person who created the cartoon go home fearing for his life in any way. Though some members of the Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist faiths were reportedly offended by the image, sources confirmed that upon seeing it, they simply shook their heads, rolled their eyes, and continued on with their day.

I admit I included that image hesitantly, knowing some of my readers would find it highly objectionable, but The Onion’s point is well taken. You don’t go off and murder satirists no matter how tasteless, offensive, mean-spirited and/or stupid their product is.  Their target here is not the great religions of the world but religious fanatics who do real, palpable harm.

What worries me more is that in the latest Onion output the satire doesn’t seem all that hyperbolic:

WASHINGTON—Amid concerns that a U.S. attack on a Syrian government air base would only escalate the ongoing conflict in the region, President Trump assured Americans Friday that his decision to order a missile strike came only after carefully considering every one of his passing whims. “I want to make it perfectly clear that the decision to launch a military intervention in Syria was the result of meticulously reviewing each fleeting impulse that I felt over the last 48 hours,” said Trump, adding that after learning of chemical weapons used by Bashar al-Assad’s forces to kill innocent Syrian civilians, he gathered his top military aides to pore over dozens of his sudden knee-jerk reactions to the situation. “I examined many different options that whirled through my mind in the moment, including authorizing drone strikes, deploying U.S. troops to Syria, sending in SEAL Team Six to take out Assad, getting up and grabbing a snack from the kitchen, doing nothing, and dropping all our nuclear bombs on Damascus at once. Ultimately, I concluded that an airstrike was the best option at that particular second.” Trump went on to say that if the Assad regime’s behavior continues, he will not hesitate to order further military action if he hasn’t already completely forgotten about Syria by then.

Except, the quotes from Trump appear in sentences far too well-crafted to have emerged from his mouth, and I doubt seriously “meticulously” isn’t in his working vocabulary.

At any rate, I say rage on Juvenal, rage on Swift, rage, rage against the stupidity of all ages, though, I suspect it does very little good when it is all said and done.


[1] Stephron had been rummaging around his girlfriend’s dressing room when she was out and stumbled upon a cleverly disguised, which he mistook of a cabinet.

[2] Ezra Pound, “Canto XIV”

Nouveau-Riche Rusty’s Cognitively Dissonant Multi-Media Almanack


Metaphorical fact: The President of the United States of America is a former reality TV star who PT-Barnum-ed his way into the spleens of descendants of snake oil addicts.

illustration by WLM3

Note “spleens” not hearts.

Found in virtually all mammals, a spleen is a whack-ass lymph-node-looking ductless organ blood-filterer that way-back-when became associated with morose or angry feelings.

Black clad Hamlet uses “spleen” this way as an adjective as he warns Laertes he may be in for an ass-whupping:

For though I am not splenitive and rash,
Yet have I something in me dangerous,
Which let thy wisdom fear.

Of course, snake oil salesmen have become immortalized via Hollywood and television.  In several movies and episodes, these quacks pull their horse drawn brightly painted circus-like wagons into some godforsaken Kansas hamlet and start their spiels, selling cure-all elixirs to unsophisticated citizens.

Here’s a short clip from the movie Little Big Man.

“Quacks,”  not surprisingly comes from “quacking” like a duck.

Here’s a peek at the etymology of the word I copped from the Online Etymology dictionary:

Quack, “medical charlatan,” 1630s, short for quacksalver (1570s), from obsolete Dutch quacksalver (modern kwakzalver), literally “hawker of salve,” from Middle Dutch quacken “to brag, boast,” literally “to croak” (see quack (v.)) + salf “salve,” salven “to rub with ointment” (see salve (v.)). As an adjective from 1650s. The oldest attested form of the word in this sense in English is as a verb, “to play the quack” (1620s). The Dutch word also is the source of German Quacksalber, Danish kvaksalver, Swedish kvacksalvare.

(I wish English had retained German’s facility to string words together to form a unique word like quacksalver so I didn’t have to string nouns together via hyphens as in “lymph-node-looking ductless organ blood-filterer.”)

Non-wealthy Trump voters, the descendants of these purchasers of snake oil, have been the focus of much controversy lately.  The standard “progressive” view expressed in the above sentence is that they voted against their self-interest.  Some news stories tell of “hayseeds” who didn’t realize that the ACA and Obamacare were the same thing.  Some “progressives” pity these “folk” while others, like Frank Rich, take a more social-darwinian outlook and say let natural selection do its work.

Whatever the case, Nouveau-Riche Rusty argues that these people have a good reason to be “splenitive.” They have for centuries been shat upon and ridiculed by their so-called betters. Check out Nancy Isenberg’s 400 Years of White Trash. Even today, mocking ill-educated white under-class is not frowned upon, the way that stereotyping Mexicans is. I attended a performance of amateur improv-Second-City-wannabes not long ago that exclusively targeted what they called “rednecks.” The actors mocked poverty, ridiculed folk for taking pride in owning “a doublewide trailer home.” No one in the audience seemed put off by the prejudice or bigotry.

white_trash_main_427_320

image from In These Times

Yes, it’s too bad so many have abandoned that old rugged cross for the meth.  But imagine American culture bereft of hillbillies. None of that fingerpicking. No sad lonesome wailings of loss. No Hank Williams. No Lucinda Williams.  As far as culture goes, we owe more to them than to Ward and June and Ozzie and Harriet.

lucinda-williams-435

Lucinda Willams

I’ve been told that my mother’s paternal grandmother smoked a corncob pipe and was as mean as a snake.  She forced my grandfather to quit school in the third grade to work the fields.  He definitely would have voted for Trump, essentially because he hated African Americans and Jews, not because he was for the entrepreneur class, whom he referred to as  “bigshots” and “crooks.”  In fact, he and my maternal grandmother lived forty years on social security yet voted for Nixon and Reagan and the Bushes.

This paradox could possibly relate to Reconstruction. My grandparents were born around 1900, so they would have as children encountered Civil War amputees.

When I was a growing up in Summerville, South Carolina, every native boy perfected his very own rebel yell. Supposedly, Confederate soldiers shrieked rebel yells when they swooped down on their distant Northern cousins. I’m not sure if these shrill raptor/demonic outbursts were harmonized or individual when rebel soldiers attacked Yankees. I know when I played junior varsity football, our rebel yells weren’t synchronized when we ran out on the field.

Here’s a speculative guess of what the originals sounded like.

Metaphorical fact: The Vice President of the United States is a former talk radio personality who calls his wife “mother,” has since his marriage never dined alone with a woman other than his wife, avoids venues where alcohol is served yet clasps the “pussy-grabbbing” hand of his boss who no doubt considers his vice president a rube.

113258355_Republican_presidential_elect_Donald_Trump_R_shakes_hands_with_Republican_candidate_for_Vi-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqcfQdyHMCwP880y7YY3bXHzzRJDPMaJNXBGI4lQHEkF0

cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance
noun PSYCHOLOGY
the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

Free Novel Titles from Dylan’s Canon of Cool Lyrics

dylan typing

Although I had a tiny bit of success as a fiction writer in my younger days, creating short stories and novels is way too hard — too lonely, too unprofitable — so I’ve given it up.  Nevertheless, I still love coming up with titles.  In fact, in the good ol’ days, a title might come to me before the story, which was the case with “The Harlequin Globetrotters.”

Like virtually all my publications, “The Harlequin Globetrotters” is lost to posterity because the journal in which it was published is now defunct.  So I’m afraid you’re out of luck if you’re dying to read about Katrina Piedmont, a female ref who adored Globetrotter star Skylark Keats.  He had visited her younger brother when he had been dying of cancer, and when Katrina found herself reffing a Globetrotters’ game, she overcompensated for her adoration by calling questionable fouls on him. Just before the buzzer and with the Globetrotters down by two, Skylark drove to the basket, collided with Katrina, and ended up on the floor on top of her. Oblivious to the hubbub that surrounded them, they allowed their lips to touch, at first tentatively, a gentle butterfly of a kiss, and he could feel her arms encircling his back, her tongue flicking across his earlobe, darting to the tip of his ear, and so he crushed her to him and began to kiss her eagerly, his tongue exploring, then plundering the warm, wet cave of her mouth  Swept away in utter abandon, they surrendered to the tidal surge of their pent-up passion as the roar of the crowd washed over them like the sea. . . .

Perhaps a copy exists somewhere, its pages yellowed, like the author’s teeth, with age, but I rather doubt it, so like I say, you’re out of luck.

Be that as it may, I still like coming up with titles.  As a bonus, I provide possible scenarios, hoping that someone in cyber space might take the bait as I did when a fellow writer told me he had a great title – “The Insomniacs’ Ball” – but no story.[1] It took me years, but I finally came up something that ended up winning a Piccolo Spoleto fiction prize and was read by an actor in Marion Square in front of literally tens of people (well, maybe a couple of dozen).[2]

The titles that most appeal to me are ones culled from other literary sources like “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Sound and the Fury,” and “Of Mice and Men.” Allusive titles like these provide the erudite reader a hint as to the major themes.  The secret is to use a catchy phrase, and who has come up with catchier phrases in the last 50 years but Bob Dylan?   So I surveyed the jukebox of my mind and came up with three Dylan phrases that would make killer titles, and here they are, fiction writers, yours for the taking.

Titles from Dylan’s Canon 

From “The Gates of Eden”

The motorcycle black Madonna

Two-wheeled gypsy queen

And her silver-studded phantom cause

The gray flannel dwarf to scream . . .

The Gray Flannel Dwarf

Genre: melodrama, 2 hankies.  This narrative revolves around a talented but diminutive fashion designer named Sebastian Gorky, a snazzy dresser who loves retro ‘50s fashion. The plot revolves around his doomed unrequited passion for a strapping transgendered seamster named Rex Renault.  Gorky is an Alexander-Pope like figure, saturnine, cynical, but beneath it all possessing a sweet if somewhat sullied soul.  Think of it as Cyrano de Bergerac meets Willow. Gorky tries to protect Renault from the predators of the fashion industry as the two jetset from New York to Paris to Milan.  The movie version is rated PG-13 for language and brief, gratuitous nudity in changing rooms.

Gray Flannel Dwarf

From  “Stuck Inside of Mobil with the Memphis Blues Again”

When Ruthie says come see her

In her honky-tonk lagoon

Where I can watch her waltz for free

‘Neath her Panamanian moon

Honkey-Tonk Lagoon

Genre: action/adventure. 4 explosions.  Townes Van Barnes is an ex-pat living on a Caribbean island, and, like Rick in Casablanca, runs a bar.  Of course, the joint is teeming with a cast of colorful characters, and Townes’s mysterious personal tragedy (involving a strapping transgendered drug runner named Jan Auster) is stoically covered up by a prodigious amount of emotional scar tissue.  Add whatever complication flips your switch: Jared Kushner’s company’s plan for developing a resort that will ruin the island’s culture, radioactive waste being dumped offshore by a nefarious multinational corporation, or a spring break culture clash featuring politically correct Middlebury students and some wild partiers from the University of Alabama.

ramshackle-bar

From “Hurricane”

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties

Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise

While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell

An innocent man in a living hell

All the Criminals in Their Coats and Their Ties

Genre: political thriller. 15 indictments.  This fast-moving far-fetched scenario traces the rise and fall of narcissistic mobster/real estate developer who as a publicity stunt runs for president on a phony populist campaign in which he promises to kick corporate America in its fat ass.  Much to everyone’s surprise – especially his own – he beats his well-intentioned but terminally unlikable opponent and goes on to do the exact opposite of what he promises.  His administration runs like a fine-tuned machine until a former lover, a strapping transgendered exotic dancer named Rick Rambler, blackmails the president by threatening to release information proving that the pre-President had paid for an abortion back in the days when the exotic dancer was a slender blonde barfly who went buy the name Tiffany Texarkana.  After Rambler is found dead from blunt head trauma, a clandestine group of female British investigative reporters unravel the mystery as the agents of the president’s private security staff zero in on them.

nintchdbpict000296532549

All I ask for these potential best sellers is a brief mention in the acknowledgements.


[1] The writer was Harlan Greene, the year 1983.

[2] Actually, “The Insomniacs’ Ball” is a poem, but I retyped it without line breaks so it would qualify as “short fiction.”  You can read it here.

Tales of Bad Parenting

As my regular readers know, I possess an incredibly delicate, depression-prone sensibility. I find large “family friendly” crowds especially nerve-wracking, particularly if those families come from “all walks of life.” I can handle “non-family friendly” gatherings just fine. Heavy metal rock concerts, ecstasy-fueled raves, St. Patrick Day’s pub-crawls, and violent protests don’t bother me a whit; however, a day trip to somewhere like Six Flags hurls me headlong into Sylvia-Plath-like pits of deep despair.

We’re talking Mariana Trench, Dante’s Malebolgia, i.e., super subterranean levels of depression.

Imagine my horror, then, when one Saturday twenty years ago around noon, my 8th grade son Harrison asked if I would take him and his 6th grade brother Ned to the Coastal Carolina Fair.

“It’s the very last day,” he added.

Mental montage:

 

We were driving on Ashley Avenue in the small beach community where we live.[1] I looked over at my wife Judy whose expression was one that you might encounter if you had just informed someone that she was being sequestered for jury duty for a Gambino brother trial in Newark.

These words came out of my mouth: “You boys ever hear of Playboy magazine?”

They answered in the affirmative.

“Well, what if instead of taking you to the fair, I bought you a copy of Playboy magazine instead?

“You’re kidding, “ Harrison said, the glee in his voice approaching bicycle-under-the X-mas-tree levels.

“I’m absolutely serious,” I said. “By the time we return home, get ready, battle the bumper-to-bumper traffic, find a godforsaken place to park, trudge the five miles to the entrance, we’ll all be exhausted.”

“You’re sure you’re not kidding?”

“Watch me.”

What he left unsaid, but it registered loud and clear: “You’re the greatest dad in the world!”

So we pulled into Bert’s Market, and I found the magazine rack and secured the current issue of Playboy, which featured the German figure skater Katrina Witt.[2] The transaction was made, the product sheathed in a brown paper bag.

Once we returned home, the boys scampered into the room and slammed the door.

The next day, while they were out skateboarding, I slinked into the room with the intention of checking out the issue myself, but they had hidden it, as if it were contraband.

Finally, I had to ask them outright if they minded if I took a look at it. I promised to give it back.


[1] Let me hasten to add that despite the tale that is to follow, our two sons have managed to graduate from college (one has a masters in linguistics, the other makes 30K more than his old man who has 31 years of teaching the same gig). In other words, they no longer live with us.

[2] People often ask why both boys majored in German. It just occurred to me that this event might have played a role.

 

Mentally Diagnosing the Donald

trum-narcissist

After yesterday’s barrage of Cheetos-stained tweets claiming that Obama had wiretapped Trump Towers before the election, some on my Twitter feed conjectured that Donald was in the throes of “a nervous breakdown,” accused him of harboring paranoid delusions. In fact, for some time now, mentally diagnosing the Donald has become a popular topic of conjecture for amateur psychologists all over the Internet.

Well, as I am fond of asserting, “Although I am not a psychologist, I do sleep with one” [not to mention that my undergraduate minor was in psychology, which means I had a least 30 hours of instruction (and in fact became very proficient at darkening bubbles on multiple choice tests)]. These two “facts” certainly establish my credentials as a credible source of wild conjecture, so allow me to weigh in on the mental pathologies that plague our 45th president.

I’ll list and then debunk two prominent theories before I share with you my ultimate diagnosis.

Theory 1: He’s bat shit crazy

bedlam

Although the phrase “bat shit crazy” sounds cool with the consonant t-sounds and its spondaic bang-bang-bang beginning, in the case of Donald, it’s simply not true. He’s not bat shit crazy, nor, fortunately, “crazy like a fox.”

A bat-shit-crazy person couldn’t have read from a teleprompter to deliver in relatively hushed tones (albeit dripping with insincerity) a speech even as pedestrian as the State-of-the-Union Trump delivered last week. A bat-shit-crazy person couldn’t have systematically turned his head from teleprompter to teleprompter as if he were watching a Ping-Pong match in super slo-mo. No, bat-shit-crazy people twitch and constantly scratch themselves.

A bat-shit-crazy person would have seen the original letters of the speech transform on the screen and start dripping blood as he shrieked, “Evil Triminicons have launched an evasion from Faltour and will be arriving on earth at any minute to destroy us all!!!

Conversely, a crazy-like-a-fox person wouldn’t lurch from crisis to crisis because you can’t be a lazy ignoramus and be crazy-like-a-fox. You need systematic thought, and Trump’s thought is about as systematic as shards of glass spraying from an empty Jim Bean bottle launched from a car in the parking lot of a frat house.

On the one hand, Donald is too well functioning to be bat shit crazy and on the other hand not well functioning enough to be crazy like a fox.

Theory 2: Trump suffers from “Narcissistic Personality Disorder

At first glance, this theory seems rather convincing.

Here’s Wikipedia’s (the go-to source for amateur psychologists like myself) list of criteria:

  • Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from others
  • Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
  • Self-perception of being unique, superior and associated with high-status people and institutions
  • Needing constant admiration from others
  • Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others
  • Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain
  • Unwilling to empathize with others’ feelings, wishes, or needs
  • Intensely envious of others and the belief that others are equally envious of them
  • Pompous and arrogant demeanor

Okay, check check check check check check check check check.

But, whoa, hold on; it’s more complicated than that.

In fact, according to Raw Story, Professor Allen Frances, “the psychiatrist who wrote the diagnostic criteria or narcissistic personality disorder” wrote a letter to the New York Times in which he stated “[Trump] may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.”

In the letter he goes on to note that

Mr. Trump causes severe distress rather than experiencing it and has been richly rewarded, rather than punished, for his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy. It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither).

Frances concludes with a statement that throws a very cold towel on the very purpose of this post:

His psychological motivations are too obvious to be interesting, and analyzing them will not halt his headlong power grab. The antidote to a dystopic Trumpean dark age is political, not psychological.”

Well, obviously, I disagree with the idea of Trump’s psychological motivations as not being interesting. After all, you’ve read on this far, right?

Theory 3: Trump is merely a lazy, ignorant and intemperate non-reader whose mother and father didn’t love him

 freud-couch

(How do you copyright a theory? Is it enough to superscript a © over the “him” above?)

Anyway, I’ll quickly and eloquently prove my theory so you can get off this site and contact your representatives.

Exhibit A:

A temperate person who is not lazy would have done a little research to remedy his ignorance and discover that a president doesn’t have the power to order a domestic wiretap, that only a federal judge who must have compelling evidence can bug US citizens in the US. This intemperance will now cost Donald at least 3 days of bad press. Indeed, if there’s a document authorizing a wiretap at Trump Tower, Donald has in essence declassified it with his outburst.

But Donald doesn’t like to read as his misspelling of “tap” suggests.

Why read intelligence briefings when you can be watching Fox and Friends. Steve Bannon, Ph.D will explain them to you anyway.

Exhibit B:

web-ny1-trump-queens-long186376jpg

Certainly, if Donald had received paternal love, he wouldn’t be so starved for affirmation.  Look at the expressions on those wretches posing for a family photo. Sad!

It’s always the parents’ fault, people.

Trump Youth

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Trump Youth


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Origins

Trump Youth (often abbreviated TY) was the youth organization in the USA modeled on the Hitlerjugend of 30’s Germany and the Spies of Orwell’s novel 1984. Trump Youth sought to provide white heterosexual boys ages 10 -18 an unintegrated regimented club to help cultivate their inner Nietzschean Uber-Menschen after the Boy Scouts of America allowed gays and transgendered youths to join.

The brainchild of Trump Strategist/Counselor/Svengali Steven Miller, who had been mercilessly baited in high school because of his uncanny resemblance to convicted oananist Pee Wee Herman, Trump Youth enjoyed its heyday between 2017-19 during Trump’s abbreviated administration.

peewee-miller

The organization never became that widespread, being concentrated in the rural deep South, the southern Midwest, and Montana.

Doctrine

The members of the Trump Youth were indoctrinated into racism, sexism, and homophobia with an emphasis on military training so that they could be employed as counter attackers to combat the prolific massive protests that characterized the Trump administration; however, because of the geographic distribution of the TY troops, their effect was minimal given the dearth of such protests in locations that had large per capita concentrations of Trump Youth troops, places like conservative Lickskillit, Louisiana and Possum Trot, Alabama .

WW3

After Russia’s invasion of the Poland and Balkans in 2017, and the US military coup that removed Trump from office, the TU disbanded during the period martial law that followed.

Aftermath

Unlike the Hitler Youth, membership in Trump Youth was never compulsory. Former members have, not surprisingly, attempted to expunge their names from troop rolls because of negative employment consequences.

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