Monday, May 10, 2021

Word salad day

If the phrase "cancel culture" ever meant anything, it can now be dropped into the bin of Words Emptied of All Meaning, and we are indebted to Bob Baffert, who teaches horses to run fast.  Baffert popped up on Fox News, which usually ignores sports unless a human athlete is making veterans cry by taking a knee.  A horse he taught to run fast called Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby last week but was disqualified after a drug test revealed a banned steroid called betamethasone.  Baffert began protesting Medina Spirit's innocence yesterday, promising to "clear his name" as if the horse had been accused of shooting himself up behind the barn.  Here is what he told Fox: 

"We live in a different world now.  This America is different.  It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing so they're reviewing it.  I haven't been told anything."  Baffert has had thirty horses flunk drug tests but insists he runs a clean operation.  He has an elaborate theory about a groom who was taking cough medicine and urinated on some hay which Medina Spirit then ate (for some reason I thought of Rose Mary Woods trying to explain how she erased eight and a half minutes of evidence from the White House tape in 1974).  

So "critical race theory" is a form of lynching, "woke" means fascist, and getting caught doping a racehorse is practically the same as losing your Facebook account for trying to seize power in a coup.  I need to write these down.

I wonder how "moving the goalposts" translates into British.  The Conservatives got their arses handed to them in most of last week's mayoral elections so their solution is to change from the supplementary vote system (choose your two favorites) to "first past the post."  It's so much easier than finding candidates and policies urban voters might like.  All they have to do is hammer it through before all of Boris Johnson's scandals coalesce into one big slag heap.  Apparently putting a consummate liar in charge is no way to run a country.  It all sounds so weirdly familiar.

BloJo is such a rich seam of seamy that British reporters can file their stories and repair to the pub.  It's harder for Americans.  Ever since he locked up the nomination, writers and talkers on the Biden beat have turned over every rock in search of scandal.  Remember Rolexgate, when the president-elect was spotted wearing a watch worth several thousand dollars?  Before Sean Hannity could order the jacquerie into the streets it turned out to have belonged to his son Beau.  Never really took off -- too many people were happy to have a president who could tell time.  Then his uppity wife let it be known that she would damn well be called by the title she had earned, Doctor Jill Biden, even though she was not a real doctor who takes out tonsils and prescribes Viagra.  They moved into the White House on January 20 (despite the previous tenants having sent the butlers home and trashed the garden) with two dogs, one of whom would occasionally bite strangers.  Outrageous!  Ought to be put down!  The dog, too.  

Then came the Affair of the Lawn Dandelion, picked by the President and handed to his wife in full view of everybody.  Does he care that dandelions cause asthma, especially in people already fighting wind turbine cancer?  Apparently not.  What can you expect from a man who would "cancel God on National Day of Prayer"?  (Oh fuck, I missed it again.)  Evidently the proclamation omitted the word "god," rendering it null and void and calling down the wrath of the Lamb on us all.  Or maybe someone thought it was implicit in, you know, prayer.  Think how engorged with anger they would be if it said "god or goddess."  Jesus must be wondering why he gave us our Constitution.

The last straw was a statement Biden made to reporters last Friday about the April job numbers.  Yeah, yeah, said one tribune of the people, but "Why do you choose to wear a mask so often when you're vaccinated?"  "Because I'm worried about you," Biden shot back.  As well he should be -- who can say if strangers have been vaccinated or not?  And nobody says the vaccine confers total immunity anyway, with new strains cropping up all the time.  And people report that they just feel better when protected from air pollutants, seasonal allergens, agricultural toxins, cigarette smoke, etc., not to mention ordinary flu has plummeted this year.  And what business is it of yours? he was too polite to add.  It was the previous occupant who chose to politicize everything about covid so as to avoid doing anything substantive about it.  Ask him why his fat orange face is always hanging out in Florida, America's Calcutta.  

The NRA's Mothers Day message had readers grabbing for their words, too.  A photo of a tattooed mom with a military-grade weapon (if I call it an assault rifle and it isn't they'll taunt me for my unfamiliarity with firearms) beside a sinister child who seems to be auditioning for a remake of The Bad Seed is captioned "Mama didn't raise a victim."  With unfortunate timing, the holiday was marked by a birthday party shooting in Lauren Boebert's home state that created six victims, seven if you count the shooter.  The Murder Lobby may well be "forever grateful for these fierce women" but many people weren't.  One man wrote, "If the NRA was based in another country, we'd be at war with it."

"How many kids have to be shot before we take this seriously?" asked another.  This one was Dermot Shea, the New York City Police Commissioner, referring to an argument in Times Square Saturday afternoon which led to the wounding of four bystanders including a four-year-old girl.  If the commish can't do anything about random gunplay, what are the rest of us supposed to do?  Build a heat ray that will melt all the guns?

How can we cover the slow death of the English language without a Trump tweet blog post?  How can Biden even be president when he doesn't share his thoughts on crucial issues like this:  "So now even our Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, is a junky [sic].  This is emblematic of what is happening to our Country.  The whole world is laughing at us as we go to hell on our Borders, our fake Presidential Election, and everywhere else!"  Next thing you know some gambler from New York will be bribing ballplayers to throw the World Series.  Then some OxyContin-abusing hate-monger will get a medal from an Adderall-snorting rapist and Missouri will make his birthday a holiday.  What does anything mean anymore?



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