Thursday, May 04, 2017

There is a world elsewhere

"For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-wracked constancy.  Trump does not afford this," David Remnick wrote in The New Yorker.  It's true even if you aren't forced to rely on the TV newsertainment for information about the world.  For example, I'm just back from the online New York Times, which seems unaware that a couple of nuclear powers called India and Pakistan are again facing off in disputed Kashmir, a little tidbit I picked up from BBC News.  CNN might take notice if major troop movements occur or missiles are launched, now that the House has successfully voted to deprive millions of Americans of affordable health insurance, yay!  I doubt anyone else will.  Remember Mosul?  Forces of the Syrian government are still fighting ISIS there.  Silence from the world-wide news organizations which always have time for the emerging details of Prince's estate and cybercrime involving Netflix.  Priorities.

And always we're awash in Trumpery -- his new-found fake religiosity, his breathlessly awaited visit to Manhattan (and Melania?), his untranslatable verbal emissions and fresh outrages against the Constitution.  Even his dead-eyed relatives have become inescapable.  In her new capacity as a Serious Person, Ivanka has arranged for someone to write her a book (Women Who Work:  Rewriting the Rules of Success).  Possibly she will publish it as Adrienne Vittadini, the name under which her line of accessories and schmattas is now marketed, "Trump" having become mysteriously toxic in the past several months.  Yesterday Jane Goodall objected to being quoted in this volume, and today it was the turn of Toni Morrison.  It seems that the (no doubt underpaid, or unpaid) ghost appropriated this sentence from Beloved:  "Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another."  "Ivanka" seems to think this is a clever way to talk about using one's time wisely; Morrison, of course, was talking about an enslaved woman literally freeing herself by crossing a swiftly flowing river.  But how can you know that unless you, like, read and stuff?  Who has time, while rewriting the rules of success?  (1. Be born rich.)

For funnies, and because he loves the Mexicans who will definitely pay for the wall, Trump has put Mike "Miguelito" Pence in charge of the big Cinco de Mayo celebrations, which should make them just as impressive as the inauguration.  By the way, a surprising number of Texans have expressed misgivings about the wall (issues of eminent domain, dividing Native American lands, the sheer stupidity and waste, etc.), but that hasn't stopped the increasingly supine Ted Cruz from proposing that wall-building be financed out of the personal fortune of El Chapo, elusive star of the drug trade now re-imprisoned by the United States.  If only we knew where he keeps his money, eh, Ted?  Maybe a spell in Guantanamo, which Trump has promised to expand.  Sounds like somebody is anticipating an expanded ground war for American forces in the Middle East (MOAB doesn't take prisoners).  Wait, didn't he promise the heartlanders that he wouldn't repeat Obama's mistakes?  And won't it be their sons and daughters who do the fighting and dying? 

Never mind, let's obsess about how Obama is "cashing in" on the sacred presidency by accepting a $400,000 speaking fee?  On top of book advances in the millions for him and his wife?  All these people do is lie around while the money rolls in, ya know waddimean?  Though in fairness, he did tell that last Correspondents' Dinner he planned to make "some serious Tubmans" once his term was up.  Once his term was up.  Quaint!

If Marine LePen wins, she's moving the capital from Paris to Vichy.  I heard.

Did Theresa May really mean she wants to end tourism in Britain?  They'll starve.

Where do I find about this South Korean election?  It sound like it might be important.

Anyway, Coriolanus was right:  There is a world elsewhere. 


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