Monday, December 21, 2015

Solstice potpourri

Unless there is a war between Colombia and the Philippines, or they both get together and attack Steve Harvey, December 21, 2015, will be remembered as the day Lindsey Graham terminated his barely noticeable campaign for president.  In a field where there is no real disagreement about the so-called issues he simply could not generate enough outrageous bullshit to stand out from all the other pathological liars, fantasists and neo-Nazis jostling to lead the party of Lincoln.  I assume he and his stablemate John McCain will still pop up on the Sunday shows to demand "carpet bombing," "boots on the ground," "no-fly zones" and other well-considered solutions to the world's problems.


Have I got this right?  A punk named Couch killed four people and paralyzed a fifth while driving under the influence of who knows what, and went home after a brain-dead Texas judge (sorry if that's redundant) agreed that he was born too rich to know right from wrong.  Now he's going to jail because he was filmed at a party watching another punk play beer-pong.  The longer I live in this country, the better I understand why people in the Middle East want to come here and lop off our heads.  I wonder if they know they'll have to pull them out of our asses first.


Sometimes life imitates art, but it doesn't know where to draw the line.  If you were to create a fictional sleazebag who secures the rights to a lifesaving drug and raises the price by a thousand percent, boasts about it in long, rambling online posts, and revels in being the most despised man in the Western world, would you gild the lily by calling him Martin Shkreli?  But there it is, proof that our reality is being written by hyperintelligent beings in another dimension.  Yes, they've written him a (we hope) properly grim ending, but they just couldn't resist giving him a lawyer named Evan Greebel.  Is it possible that his grandma is Phyllis Schlafly?


Drumpf.  That was the family name that Donzo's grandfather brought here from Germany, not Sweden.  Who lies about something so insignificant?  Better ask why so many people love to be lied to.  Tell them Obama is a Muslim, ketchup is a vegetable, climate change is a myth, Sandy Hook never happened, the Chinese army is in Syria, FEMA is readying detention camps, there's a war on Christmas, aliens blew up the World Trade Center...they scarf it down and come back for seconds.  Maybe religion has conditioned them to believe unproved, unprovable crap.  Maybe they were just born dumb.  Maybe Plato was right about democracy. 


Barring something irresistible, I'm done with this year.  I need to sit in the dark for a week and listen to Bach.  Happy hundredth birthday to Orson Welles, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.  Goodbye to Terry Pratchett, Aldo Ciccolini, Jon Vickers, Ernie Banks, Clark Terry, Andrew Porter, Ornette Coleman, E.L. Doctorow, Roger Rees, Julian Bond, Phil Austin, Yogi Berra, Oliver Sacks, Ron Moody, Anne Meara, Ruth Rendell, B.B. King, Percy Sledge, Allen Toussaint and Brian Friel.  Thank you. 

Let me close with the words of Amiri Baraka, from his liner notes to John Coltrane Live at Birdland (1963):

  "One of the most baffling things about America is that despite its essentially vile profile,
   so much beauty continues to exist here."   


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

You do what you can

If Donald Trump is serious about keeping Muslims out of God's Country, he is in a unique position to implement this without waiting to take power:  He can refuse to rent them hotel rooms.  (I assume you have to state your religion at check-in, at the same time you promise to say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy holidays.")  It's only a handful of hotels, but a leader leads by example. 

Also, I'm wondering how many condos at Trump Tower belong to wealthy Middle Easterners, perhaps even members of the bin Laden family.  Surely they are being bought out right now, and their possessions will soon be dumped at the curb.

In other words, I am offering Donzo a chance to put his money where his mouth is.  I do not expect him to take it.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Guns and money

"Money talks, bullshit walks," says the old proverb.  So before there is any more bullshit on the topic of gun control, let's try money.  There will never be common-sense gun control until other countries tell their citizens to stop traveling to the United States because it's too violent and dangerous, because unlike France or Mali, we have a mass shooting every week.  When the tourists stop bringing their Euros and yuan and Australian dollars, a great shout will go up from the hospitality industry (the airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, restaurants, tour bus operators, souvenir manufacturers, and every attraction from Vegas to Broadway) that will drown out even the gun makers and their toadies.  It will be audible even to the politicians, who will sniff the air and "lead" in the direction of the money.  And then the killers will find it a little more difficult to kill.