Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Never be enough

 "If my book will be the biggest of them all, and with 39 books written or being written about me, does anybody really believe that they are above making a lot of money?  Some of the biggest sleezebags on earth run these companies.  No morals, no nothing, just the bottom line."

With that kind of skill at writing two contradictory sentences without breaking a sweat or knowing what "non sequitur" means, how can one publisher after another hang up on the chance to publish Trump:  Greater Than Lincoln or whatever the working title is?  It can't be because their editors would have to correct the spelling of words like "sleazebag," can it?  Yes, Trump has a whole new complaint:  No one wants his next bestseller.  No reputable publisher will touch what one called "a fact-checking nightmare."  Of course the twice-impeached loser insists that he's turning them down because they won't meet his price.  Of course he is.  

Very very unfair!  Mike Pence has a publisher and he couldn't do a simple job of overturning the election results.  Barack and Michelle Obama have a publisher, as if anybody cares about them.  Junior Trump has a publisher and a political party to bulk-buy his books.  Melania has a picture book showing how she tried to class up the White House, which is a dump.  Even Josh Hawley found a publisher after being CANCELLED by Simon & Schuster.   If the Republicans still controlled Congress there would be hearings!  Harper Collins is owned by Rupert Murdoch, for fuck's sake!  Trump put Fox News on the map!  Will no one publish "the Hemingway of 240 characters"?

Someone will.  For now, though, I'm having too much fun.  Two days ago at this fireworks stand the Organization predicted conspiracy theories would soon blanket the suicide of Christopher Sign, the Birmingham news anchor who catapulted to regional stardom by reporting the Lynch-Clinton meeting in 2016.  Lookie lookie:  Junior Trump jumped in first and now Lauren Boebert wants to know "Why is it that so many who cross the Clinton Crime Syndicate end up dead?"  Junior's a random Trump unemployable but Boebert is still a member of the House of Representatives.  She just accused a former president and a former Secretary of State of murder with no evidence.  Shouldn't she face the same censure Ilhan Omar is threatened with, for criticizing Israel?  Or at least a stern letter from the Speaker?

Words can get you in so much trouble.  Tom Hanks at some point succeeded Jane Fonda as The Show Business Figure the Right Loves To Hate.  I'm damned if I know why.  She went to Hanoi in the middle of the Vietnam War and posed with a gun which could have been used to shoot down John McCain.  Hanks is just a typical liberal who supports good causes, yet he stars in every fresh outbreak of Q Qraziness.  He wrote an op-ed for the New York Times noting that he has been reading American history but the books never mentioned the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre or similar events.  I don't know what he's reading -- there are at least a dozen accounts out there.  If his stomach is strong enough I can personally recommend Philip Dray's At the Hands of Persons Unknown, a history of lynching.  At any rate Hanks ended by recommended that schools "stop the battle to whitewash curriculums to avoid discomfort for students."   A perfectly good, liberal prescription. 

Not good enough for NPR's Eric Deggans, who responded with "Tom Hanks Is a Non-Racist.  It's Time For Him To Be Anti-Racist."  "Anti-racism implies action  -- looking around your universe and taking specific steps to dismantle systemic racism," Deggans wrote, and he's not wrong:  Hanks as a producer has presented a view of history where Black Americans are either marginal or absent (Band of Brothers, The Pacific, From the Earth To the Moon, Parkland).  Maybe his next project could be the 1898 riot in Wilmington, North Carolina, when white supremacists overthrew the newly elected city government and murdered at least sixty people, the only successful coup (so far) in our history.  Just a suggestion; there are others.

For comic relief, Fox News jumped in to fake-defend Hanks, noting sadly, "NPR, Deggans and perpetual protesters -- no matter what Tom Hanks does, it will never be enough."  Those people, am I right, Tom?  Come join us on the white couch, brother.   I don't see Hanks doing a 180 like Reagan ("I didn't leave the Democratic Party, it left me").  But I'm curious about what he will do, even if it will never be enough.  Knowing it will never be enough is coming to grips, at long last, with America's grim history. 

The need for mass entertainment to face that history has never been more acute, as red states rush to discourage and even outlaw the teaching of non-heroic, non-Parson Weems-type history.  Americans get their history from films like Gone With the Wind, and that's just fine with Greg Abbott and his kind.  They must be disappointed that Historic Latta Plantation in North Carolina cancelled its planned event this Saturday, intended to commemorate the sufferings of white people who lost their slaves and had to go live in the woods and eat bugs, or seek other employment now that they had no one to oversee.  It sounds like a Key and Peele sketch but it was someone's idea of celebrating June 19 (Juneteenth), of all jaw-dropping things.  The site manager Ian Campbell is African American, so now we've wandered into Dave Chappelle territory.  I'm starting to see how Mark Robinson became lieutenant governor.  North Carolina needs to get its head straight and kicking Lara Trump to the curb is a good place to start.  When the would-be senatorette isn't urging Texans to shoot migrants at the border she's questioning Kamala Harris's qualifications to be Vice President.  Well, we can still laugh. 




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