Monday, January 31, 2022

Day after day

 Welcome to the newest craze, calling in mass bomb threats to historically Black colleges and universities.  Six today, eight earlier this month.  The FBI "is aware," which is a great relief.  Someone really does not want American history taught anywhere.

Remember "restless leg syndrome," the strange health condition which first emerged in those "ask your doctor" pill commercials?  Meet "restless anal syndrome," a consequence of covid.  Only one case has yet been reported, a 77-year-old Japanese man, but everything starts with just one case.

Have you ever called a crisis center to discuss your suicidal feelings?  Does it make you feel better to know the center probably has a for-profit division which sells your "anonymized" details?  Well, there is.  Yes, in Unconscious Village, they've come to steal your dreams.  The Firesign Theater never got enough credit.

Life is unfair.  The gun Kyle Rittenhouse used to kill two people and injure a third will be destroyed, even though he would like it back, please.  No input from Cousin Brucie Schroeder, the judge?  I'm sure the proud manufacturer will give him one.  It's dynamite publicity.

Say hello to Chad Carswell of Hickory, North Carolina.  Chad needs a kidney.  Chad can't get one because it's hospital policy not to waste an organ on someone too dumb to get a covid vaccine.  "There is not a situation in this world that I'll get a vaccine," he told the Washington Post.  Same for D.J. Ferguson in Massachusetts, who needs a heart.  Say goodbye to Chad, and D.J., and the unnamed woman in Colorado whose kidneys have also packed up.  No reason a genetically modified pig should have to die for Trumpanzees.

It's not enough for Americans to be diseased, ignorant and superstitious, the right also wants us infantilized.  First it was "Let's Go Brandon" because they can't say swear words that mean "makin' mommy and daddy love," and now the idiot governor of West Virginia informs Bette Midler that "Babydog says...kiss her hiney."  Yeah, he named his dog "Babydog" and he really thinks the Divine Miss M is going to put up with that.   Well, heck, Jim, you and Babydog can just wait for me in H-E-double hockeysticks.  Also, could you suck shit through a straw?

Now here's a man who knows how to talk trash.  Knew, rather.  Robert LaMay quit the Washington state police after refusing to be vaccinated and told Gov. Jay Inslee, "Kiss my ass."  Yeah, dead.

The McMinn County school board is being thanked by readers who never heard of Maus until they proclaimed it smutty.  It's now the top-ranked book at Amazon.  "It will be a treasured addition to my WWII library," wrote one woman, who apparently overlooked its pornographic qualities.  "The Streisand effect is a phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to hide, remove or censor information has the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of that information," says Wikipedia.  Don't tell the McMinnies.  (Streisand, Spiegelman, Bezos, space lasers...what, no Soros?)

Two can play...Jack Sweeney, 19, created a bot called @Elonjet, which tracks the private plane of Elon Musk and posts updates on its location.  This displeases Musk, who calls it a "security risk" and has offered $5,000 to have it taken down.  Sweeney responded by asking $50,000, so he can get a car ("possibly a Tesla") and pay for college.  Yes, the world's richest bastard is dickering with a kid over thousands.  It's pretty funny.

Even funnier and a lot more significant:  a group of Irish fishermen made the Russian Navy cancel a planned exercise off their southern coast scheduled to begin Thursday.  They announced their intention to fish as usual, and the Russians backed down "as a gesture of goodwill."  It was that easy.

Allison Fluke-Ekren was indicted in Virginia for training women in the use of terrorist weapons.  Her mistake was working for ISIS rather than the Oaf Keepers or 3 Percenters.

She's baaaack!  Michele Bachmann says Sarah Palin should be "commended" for spreading infection in New York because "she's trying to act like a normal human being."  It never worked in the past.  Am I a bad person because I want them both to experience restless anal syndrome?

How slow are the Republiclowns?  They don't know that fake quotes are to be attributed to Churchill, Lincoln or Dorothy Parker.  Instead they're going after Voltaire, of all people.  Like this:  "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."  As if.  The old deist had no compunction about criticizing everyone -- it got him a brutal beating once and he had to live outside France.  The words apparently originated with Kevin Strom, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "the only true intellectual remaining in the American neo-Nazi movement."  In other words, someone Voltaire wouldn't spit on with someone else's saliva.  But a big influence on aspiring neo-Nazis like Thomas Massie, who used it to praise disinformation hustler Joe Rogan and again disparage Anthony Fauci ("he is science," he sneered, a claim Fauci would never make).  Oh, and Strom did 23 months for possessing images of children being abused.  Strange how fascism and pedophilia seem to crop up together.

Speaking of abused children, how are the young Massies enjoying their Christmas presents?  Have they shot anyone yet, or are they tired of them already and playing with the ammo boxes instead?  How would you like to find one of these punks enrolled in your child's school?  

Baby Tuckoo isn't just a propagandist for Russian imperialism.  He's also a professional racist!  I'll bet you're surprised.  For once, though, Lindsey Graham is on a different page, saying he'll support Joe Biden's nomination of a Black woman to the Court -- especially if it's J. Michelle Childs, a federal district judge in South Carolina.  Awkward!

Lunar New Year arrives tomorrow, and the tweet from Empty Greene calling it "satanic and sick" will arrive on Wednesday.  Have a couple.  Xin nian hao!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Bomb cyclone

As if those words aren't terrifying enough on their own, the weather boffins have shoved them together to describe heavy snow coupled with hurricane-like winds.  It's known scientifically as "explosive cyclogenesis," which sounds more like the terrible consequences of too much spicy food.  Anyway, it's coming, and you can bet Joe Biden will be blamed.

Already the schizofascists cycle between calling him a confused old man in the grip of dementia and a James Bond villain who can control the weather.  This nonsense surfaced during the Big Texas Freeze last February, possibly as a way of distracting from the state government's incompetence and its AWOL senator.  Politifact found it necessary to deny the reality of "Joe Biden's 'Dark Winter' statement," because the Venn diagram of the credulous and the Republican is a perfect circle.  By Sunday someone will have a very elaborate theory of how Jofeld (Dr. Jo?) blizzarded the Northeast to make it look like he didn't freeze Texas a year ago.  See if I'm wrong.

The Secret Powers conspiracy theory got a big boost this morning when a bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh hours before Biden arrived -- to make a speech about infrastructure.  Coincidence?  There are no coincidences in MAGAland, only shadowy plots and diabolical powers.  The White House should use this belief-system to scare idiots into doing its bidding.  "What's that, Senator Sinema?  No electricity in Phoenix?  Yeah, looks like a little hiccup at Palo Verde.  Sure would be easier on everyone if it wasn't 130 degrees.  Wouldn't it?"  

This is Biden's familiar, Willow.

How much does a manchin cost?  Ask Ken Langone.

How dumb is Nikki Haley?  The Trumpoid UN ambassador thinks Biden and Kamala Harris should both resign because they haven't declared war on Russia, or something.  Some random Twitter folks schooled her about presidential succession at #PresidentPelosi. 

Martin Hirsch, director of all the hospitals in Paris, has enraged pretty much everyone by suggesting that hospitals charge people who refuse to get a covid vaccine and then expect care.  In other news, a boy in St. Louis burned his hand and, on the advice of his pediatrician, his mother took him to a hospital emergency room.  The family was billed $1,012 even though the only provider they saw was a nurse who took information and gave no treatment.  Others have been soaked a "facility fee" who saw a doctor online and never went near the hospital.  In other words, there is civilization and there is squeezing every possible cent out of the customer.  I mean patient.

The New York Mayor's Office advises a covid test for anyone who has been near "Typhoid Sadie" Palin, who took advantage of her recent visit to eat in fancy restaurants with tablecloths and stuff.  Could be a rough week for Tina Fey.

Trump showed up on whatever Lou Dobbs does now to complain that his publisher can't get paper, glue, etc., to publish his new "book."  His publisher is Junior Trump.

Direct from California, this is the "stealth Omicron" variant, BA.2.  You don't want to know.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

In a dark place

 Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The school authorities in McMinn County, Tennessee, decided to mark it by banning Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus from classrooms because it contains "eight curse words and an illustration of a naked cartoon mouse."  I'm sure that was their only objection.  Oh, wait.  Acknowledging that the Holocaust was "horrible, brutal and cruel," board member Tony Allman complained, "It shows people hanging, it shows them killing kids, why does the education system promote this kind of stuff?"  Pointing out that Spiegelman used to draw for Playboy, Deacon Allman (I'm guessing) added, "If I had a child in the eighth grade, this ain't happening."  Another member, Brother Cochrane, complained about "indoctrinating" kids with allusions to S-E-X.  

I never heard of McMinn County either, so I did a little research.  It's in east Tennessee right next to Rhea County, whose seat is Dayton.  That should ring a bell, as an earlier school board had a problem with a science teacher named John T. Scopes.  As Spiegelman observed, "I understand that Tennessee is obviously demented."  No, it's just that they prefer mice who wear pants and don't have to flee Nazi cats.  Like this one:

 President Joe Biden will soon nominate a Black woman to replace Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, not just because he promised Rep. Jim Clyburn but because it's damn well time.  But there will be no unseemly haste as with Forced-Birther Barrett.  "I felt the timetable for the last nominee was too compressed," said Susan Collins.  "We can take our time, have hearings [plural], go through the process..." and drag this out until the midterms, she forgot to add, at which point Leader McConnell will think of a reason why Democrats can never appoint federal judges at any level.  She's concerned.  (For those who think Biden should name Anita Hill, I understand the emotion.  But do you think Professor Hill wants to see that little pervert every day?)

On Holocaust Remembrance Day we think of the real victims.  Like former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, who was un-elected in 2016 and failed to get a job offer from Duke University because of "blacklisting."  Just exactly like the segregated lunch counters which were a feature of his state until the 1960s, a white man can't get a well-paid sinecure these days.  McCrory has been forced back into politics as a candidate for the Senate against formidable opponents like Lara Trump.  He's clearly expert at playing the white male victim card.  Of course, his anti-trans bigotry might have more to do with Duke's decision than his lack of melanin.  (ring-ring)  Tucker Carlson's calling!  Tell him about your bachelor's degree from Catawba College, Pat. 

Another threat to civilization from cartoon vermin has been identified by Jesse Watters, cultural critic of Fox News:  For the thirtieth anniversary of Disneyland Paris, Minnie Mouse is wearing a pantsuit.  "They're making it uncomfortable for the rest of us," he told Candace Owens, who was presumably dressed as a woman should be.  It's nothing less than destroying "the fabric of society" (no pun, Watters isn't capable).  They rambled on about the new, less sexist M&Ms (Green has lost her go-go boots), thirty-dollar "Biden bacon" and the androgyny being aggressively promoted by the confection industry to destroy America.  Of course we know what this is really about -- pantsuit = Hillary Clinton.

Stewart Rhodes of the Oaf Keepers is sitting in the pokey wishing he'd been nicer to his ex-wife Tasha Adams.  I assume.  Adams testified and shared pictures of the network of "spider holes" and escape tunnels he dug in their yard and tweeted, "Folks, if you ever feel tempted to rent a backhoe and dig escape tunnels in the backyard of your rental house, keep in mind it may come back to haunt you if you later attempt to overthrow the US government."  Revenge, served cold as Cherry Garcia.  No bail for him.

Hi, Stewie!

Trump is famously terrified of animals, especially dogs.  Anyone who knew anything about them would not have sent a rabid but toothless Chihuahua like Roger Stone to gum the shoes of Ron DeSantis.  Calling him the possessor of "an ill-fitting suit and a bad haircut" before Donald "GQ" Trump took him in hand, Stone went on to accuse him of cheating on his sick wife (a little nod to Gingrich?) with an anti-vaxer named Emerald Robinson.  Ouch.  But it's fun to watch them go at it.  What's the line from Gods and Monsters?  "Two old men slapping each other with lilies."

And lest you think DeSantis is worth defending, he's one of the worst anti-vaxers and abortion-rights-restricters around.  After the FDA announced that monoclonal antibody treatments are ineffective against the Omicron variant of covid, DeSantis began demanding they be made available in Florida where so many people have the Omicron variant because he and his idiot surgeon general have done so much to aid and abet the virus.  The usual suspects have joined in the chorus of "Give us our useless drugs!" with Rand Paul going above and beyond:  ""I've seen liberals stomping on their graves and laughing hysterically when a conservative died of covid."   Come on, people, no more stomping and laughing.  Stupidity is not funny.  Stupidity kills.

Rep. Cori Bush's car was struck by bullets in St. Louis for the second time.  She was not in the car at the time.  When her insurance premiums go up, she should send the bill to the NRA.

I'm sorry, what?  Biden called Peter Doocy a "stupid son of a bitch"?  I didn't hear it because just then J.D. Vance was thanking Empty Greene for her endorsement and calling 81 million Americans "scumbags."  Unlike Biden, Vontz has yet to apologize.  And Doocy is a stupid son of a bitch.  Three Mexican journalists were killed this month, 36 Turkish journalists were imprisoned last year, at least 58 Russian journalists have been killed under Putinism, but Doocy's hurt feelings are the real assault on freedom of the press.  Or as Trump used to call them, enemies of the people.

Is it a cry of poverty or just another grift?  The ever-classy Melania is trying to auction off her hat, a picture of her wearing it, and an NFT (that's non-fungible token for you non-cool kids) of her wearing it, for $250,000 in Solana tokens, a form of play money.  I have no idea what most of those words mean, but the minimum was not reached.  I assume you can wear the hat while staring at the painting of her in the hat and pretending to count your remaining Solana tokens.  Clearly she's not the kind of woman willing to wait...

That's a hat.





Monday, January 24, 2022

Breathe in the air



It's a sunset, not a fireball rising over the New Jersey marshes.  Stare at it.  Think of nothing.

All right, here we go.

If you think the US is fucked, you're right, but Burkina Faso had its third coup in a year.

Afghanistan's currency has collapsed, its agriculture is crippled by drought and its people are starving since foreign aid dried up.  But just keep on complaining because your Kroger is out of extra-crunchy peanut butter.

Russian forces continue to roll up to the start lines for the expected invasion of Ukraine "to protect their security."  The last time NATO unilaterally invaded a country was...never.  

Joseph "Benedict XVI" Ratzinger has admitted lying about a meeting he attended in 1980.  The topic was a German pedophile priest named Peter Hullermann.  Instead of being handed over to police, Hullermann was transferred to several other cities and continued abusing boys. 

Rudolph Giuliani wants to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when he was "America's mayor" and not a pathetic drunk under subpoena and permanently linked to the words "Four Seasons Total Landscaping."  To that end he is peddling limited-edition twentieth anniversary 911 shirt for the quite reasonable price of $911.  Proceeds go to charity, it says.

Former Alaska dilettante-governor Sarah Palin said she would get the covid vaccine "over my dead body."  She took another step in that direction today when her defamation suit against the New York Times was postponed.  The cow tested positive for coronavirus.

A lot more people are expected to do the same after Saturday's combined "My body/my choice - Your body/not your choice" viral extravaganza in Washington.  The anti-vaxers met the forced-birthers and agreed that everything they don't want to do is THE HOLOCAUST.  The yellow stars were too much for actual survivor Lucy Lipiner.  "I had to flee the Nazis to Siberia from Poland when I was six years old," she tweeted.  "Robert Kennedy Jr. is so ignorant I'm speechless."  Against stiff competition, RFK Jr won monster raving loony honors, conflating vaccines, Bill Gates's "satellites," 5G and Anne Frank.  What, no critical race theory?

(Forgive my wandering mind.  Years after he was released from a psychiatric hospital for killing Stanford White, Harry K. Thaw attended the opening of Radio City Music Hall.  Gazing around the lobby, he is reported to have said, "I shot the wrong architect."  I wonder if Sirhan Sirhan ever thinks...sorry, forget I brought it up.)

Wall Street seems to be rallying at the thought of war.  Bastards.

Neuter Gingrich has promised to send the entire January 6 committee to prison when the Republicans take control of Congress.  Also, he and his current wife will bring home ice dancing gold from Beijing next month.

Lying anti-vaxer Aaron Rodgers will not play in the Super Bowl.  Bastard.

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and people who can't afford it have lost a ton of money on cryptocurrency.  So imaginary currency can lose value?  Huh.  I'm going big into tulip bulb futures.

After stomping on abortion rights, the Supreme Court is now going after affirmative action.  Something tells me this won't stop until they take down the Fourteenth Amendment.  And possibly the Thirteenth.  Bastards.

Michael Cohen is a disbarred lawyer with sleazebag clients, but he's not usually wrong.  So when he told MSNBC that a decade ago his sleaziest client told him to make sure if one of his spawn had to take the hit and go to prison, "make sure" it's Junior and not Princess, I just nodded.  Junior responded to this "news" with a coke-fueled anti-Biden rant that probably didn't impress Daddy.  It's not as if he ever expressed a wish to date you, Junior.

Yech.  Back to the sunset.


Sunday, January 23, 2022

My book report: It keeps happening here

 Sally Denton, The Plots Against the President:  FDR, a Nation in Crisis, and the Rise of the American Right, 2019, Nevada Smith Press

We need a good, thorough investigation of the 1933 conspiracy by industrialists, bankers and admirers of European fascism to install a Mussolini-style government here.  This isn't it, but it has some useful information for those who have no idea what I'm talking about.  The whole affair has vanished from the history texts, at least the ones I used, along with General Smedley Butler.  

There are two things wrong with this book.  First, I know proofreading is a lost art but you shouldn't have to guess what the author means.  And second, an awful lot of space is devoted to Giuseppe Zangara's attempt on Roosevelt's life in Miami, perhaps to justify the title, although there was no evidence he plotted with anyone despite attempts to tie him to Communists, anarchists and even the Camorra.  An index would have been useful.  I'm also suspicious of a work of history that lists Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism in its bibliography.  By the time Denton gets to the Business Plot it's almost an afterthought.

The single best chapter is about the Bonus Marchers, the Great War veterans who arrived in Washington in the summer of 1932 to demand payment of the bonus due them in 1945 (to make up for wages lost during military service).  Ragged and hungry, they camped out in Anacostia Flats, an abandoned army base, and began to petition Congress for payment which the government was too broke to afford.  Most upsetting for a Southern city like Washington and a bone-deep racist like J. Edgar Hoover, they were racially integrated.  The director of the Bureau of Investigation warned the president that he was under attack by "473,000 trained men" with 123 machine guns and 116 airplanes (these men barely had shoes), all Communist-controlled.  President Hoover ordered them cleared from the streets but specified that the force was not to cross the bridge into their camp.  In the late afternoon of July 28 Washington witnessed the last cavalry charge on US soil as General Douglas MacArthur, accompanied by an excited Major George Patton and a reluctant Major Dwight Eisenhower, led mounted troops with drawn swords, along with infantry and five tanks, in a Cossack-like assault on pedestrians, mainly government workers on their way home.  Never one to obey the commander in chief unless it suited him, MacArthur led his forces into Anacostia where they proceeded to destroy the camp with grenades and artillery, sending hundreds to the hospital and killing several children.  There was one positive development that day:  the political career of Herbert Hoover was ended.

Had the scheming businessmen approached MacArthur instead of Butler, history might be different, but in 1933 "Dugout Doug's" publicity machine was not yet up to speed and the retired Marine, two-time winner of the Medal of Honor, had far more cred with veterans.  As an outspoken critic of American imperialism and interference in other countries, Butler would have provided a liberal-seeming face for the takeover the fascists had in mind.  Instead, he shared details with the House Committee on Un-American Activities chaired by Morris Dickstein of New York, and with such journalists as he could interest.  There was no response from the administration, which apparently chose to downplay it, and Butler himself was derided and marginalized in Time and other publications.  

The book provides basic information about the various forerunners of today's "Oath Keepers" et al.:  The Liberty League (including Al Smith); the apocalyptic Christian Silver Shirts; the Khaki Shirts, pro-Mussolini Italian immigrants; the Gray Shirts, whose target was "Communistic" college professors; and multi-hued Klan spin-offs.  Someone should write a book about them one day.  Roosevelt was simultaneously called "a traitor to his class" and "that Jew cripple in the White House" who was protecting the "real kidnappers" of the Lindbergh baby.  Oh, and demented.  The right never seems to come up with new material.

We are about to find out what happens when fascists control an entire major party and most people don't seem to care.  The important thing to remember is, we've been here before.



Thursday, January 20, 2022

Trivia Thursday

We had a good run. 

Politics seems pointless, so I'll be focusing on the ephemeral today.  Question:  Who the hell is Armie Hammer?  

A quick search (what other kind is there?) reveals that there was an industrialist/diplomat called Armand Hammer whose art collection lives in its own Los Angeles museum.  Also a New York hip-hop duo known as Armand Hammer whose real names are Billy Woods and Elucid.  Not forgetting the baking soda.  I'm guessing Armie is related to one of those three entities, but I swear by Cthulhu I've never seen him on the screen.  Nevertheless the Guardian thought I should know his career has been stalled because of a few messages he apparently sent to romantic partners concerning his interest in cannibalism.  In current parlance, he has been cancelled.  This is problematic for Disney, which now has an unreleasable film of Death on the Nile starring Hammer and directed by Kenneth Branagh.  (Branagh has evidently decided to spend the rest of his days playing Hercule Poirot in totally unnecessary Agatha Christie recycles, at least until emails surface in which he confesses to planning the murder of Lord Mountbatten.)  Poor Disney.

I won't say "poor Armie."  It's people like this who fuel the Q-coo belief that Hollywood is full of baby-eating movie stars, which I'm almost certain is untrue.  Hammer has also been accused of rape, but who hasn't?  There is no credible evidence against Hammer on the cannibalism question, by the way, maybe just late-night silly talk with a now-disgruntled girlfriend.  And Death on the Nile probably has at least six other stars; these Christie things always do.  Cancelled?  I'd see it just to establish in my mind who this guy is.  Another quick search:  Never heard of any of them.

Remember when you had to be a Communist, or an ex-Communist, or a Stevenson supporter, to get cancelled in Hollywood?  And you could purge yourself of sin by going to Washington and naming other Stevenson supporters?  It was a simpler time.

By the way, it says here that Hammer was also cancelled from The Offer, described as "a ten-part series about the making of The Godfather."  I thought Mario Puzo wrote a novel and Francis Coppola made it into a movie, the end.  More complicated, apparently.

National Guard personnel have been helping out at testing and vaccination sites since last year, but the governor of New Mexico wants them to step up as substitute teachers.  State officials say they can qualify with two hours of training and a background check.  Remembering how we treated subs in my day, it might be advisable to let them carry light weapons, too.

These are exciting times at the frontiers of medicine, unless you are a genetically modified pig.  Last week a man got a pig heart, and now a set of pig kidneys have been transplanted into a man described as "brain-dead."  The recipient was Jim Parsons of Alabama, 57, described as an organ donor; it doesn't say if anyone got his original kidneys but I assume.  There is always a waiting list for organs, now exacerbated by a report from the Red Cross that blood is in short supply.  

The only thing we never run out of is racists.  One of their "respectable" leaders, Mitch McConnell, chose to celebrate the defeat of the John Lewis Voting Act by pointing out that "if you look at the statistics, African Americans are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans."  At least The Leader didn't say "real Americans."

Sub-zero temperatures are predicted for Texas next week.  So Ted -- Cancun or Cabo this year?  Oh, and a major pipeline company is threatening to cut natural gas to the state's largest generator.  Now would be a good time to move on secession, Greg.  Don't call FEMA, we'll call you.

Is it a good day for Trump loser news?  It's always a good day for Trump loser news!  Yesterday the "woke leftist" Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that the January 6 committee can see the stuff in the National Archives that he's desperate to conceal, rejecting his theory of "executive privilege forever."  Then Fulton County, Georgia, DA Fani Lewis requested the empaneling of a special grand jury to hear evidence about the "find me 11,780 votes" call to Brad Raffensperger in 2020.  Then New York attorney general Letitia James announced she has "significant evidence" of fraud in the civil investigation of the Trump Org, despite Eric having taken the Fifth "about 500 times" during his October 2020 deposition.  Then Ivanka was "asked" to answer questions for the Thompson committee; unlike Uncle Rudolph Giuliani, she has not yet been subpoenaed.   Then Stephanie Grisham told the committee about "secret meetings" Trump held in the days before the insurrection ("Liz Harrington" will soon be telling us how stupid, untrustworthy and "not even a five" she is).  Then...that's enough for today, I'm full.

It's a big year for literary events, the five hundredth birthday of Moliere (January 15) and the hundredth of Kurt Vonnegut (November 11), in addition to the two wonders of 1922, The Waste Land and Ulysses.  More than one hundred people in the arts will read Joyce's masterpiece between February 2 and June 16 including Margaret Atwood and Eddie Izzard.  (That's Izzard above; Atwood doesn't wear that much makeup.)  Maybe the EU or whoever will finally complete the paperwork and return the remains of Joyce and Nora Barnacle to Dublin this year.


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

News on the march

 Well, this is going to be a light day.  All I have to do is transcribe.

Anders Breivik is up for parole ten years after killing 77 people because that's how they roll in Norway.  He gave a Nazi salute in the courtroom and held up signs expressing his political platform (he says he's running for parliament):  "Stop your genocide against white nations" and "Nazi-Civil-War" in English.  He has legally changed his name to "Fjotolf Hansen," which must mean something.  If the judge decides he's still a danger to society he might have to do another eleven years in his three-room cell.  (Kitchenette?  Media room?)  Love that Scandinavia.

The California Board of Parole Hearings thinks Sirhan Sirhan is a suitable case for parole but Governor Gavin Newsom disagrees.  In spite of everything the Kennedy name is still magic somewhere.

Speaking of Nazi salutes, Laura Ingraham was wet with excitement while informing her audience that Gen. Mark Milley tested positive for covid.  Since his active opposition to the coup became known, Milley is second only to Anthony Fauci on the fascist shit list.

Rand Paul is cancelling DirecTV because DirecTV is cancelling One America News Network, the site for those who find Fox News too left-wing.  He hasn't yelled for hearings but it's early days.

If you fail to document every minute of your life, including the ones where you behaved idiotically, it didn't happen, right?  That's why this unnamed woman drove her car onto the frozen Rideau River in Ontario and then took a selfie standing on the roof as it sank.  That's why Danielle Shap shared with her TikTok friends the experience of being rushed to the hospital after her all-you-can-eat experience at a sushi restaurant.  Still think the Kardashians are gluttons for attention?

When you hear hoofbeats think "DeSantis."  Evidently spooked by the Florida governor's presidential ambitions, Trump has unleashed ex-felon Roger Stone to shoo him away.  Stone has accordingly called DeSantis "fat slow and dumb," accused him of opposing "constitutional open carry" and most damningly labeled him "the Yale Harvard governor."  Free-yow!  He went to colleges?

Not to be outdone, DeSantis wants to establish a special force of election police to arrest fraudulent voters.  Tips can be phoned to 1-800-THEVILLAGES.

I for one am outraged that Daniel Radcliffe has won the title role in Weird:  The Al Yankovic Story.  Less than a week ago David Baddiel was asserting that only Jews should play Jews (referring to the casting of Helen Mirren as Golda Meir).  Weird Al is American, damn it, and Polish American at that.  Stop the cultural appropriation!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Dream deterred

It's one day a year, Martin Luther King Day, but the white supremacists can't shut up for twenty-four hours.  They have to step it up.

Surely Trump should be designated #2 instead of #45 -- we've had plenty of racist presidents but he is clearly the successor to Jefferson Davis.  On Saturday he kicked off the holiday weekend in Arizona by amplifying one of Baby Tuckoo's stretchers about white people being denied treatment for covid, which originated on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal.   New York State guidelines for dispensing antiviral drugs are based on the higher death rates of Latino and Black patients, which in medical circles is called triage.  In racist circles, however, it's called "If you're white you don't get the vaccine."  Actually everyone who wants it gets the vaccine, free.  It's the Trump lobby who warn constantly that it's untested, toxic, makes you sterile and is a big plot to make Anthony Fauci rich.  If you opted to get de-wormed instead...  Forget it, he's rolling:  "The left is now rationing life-saving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating white people to determine who lives and who dies.  It's unbelievable to think this."  The left?  Maybe all doctors and hospitals are now "the left," not at all "very fine people."  I wouldn't be surprised to read that some subsidiary of The Trump Organization was marketing kerosene-soaked crosses and designer lighters from the Ivanka Collection.

Alveda King, MLK's niece, is a Trump supporter and habitue of Fox News, so she can't have been surprised when Rachel Campos-Duffy decided today was the right day to address "the civil rights issue of our time," fatherlessness.  You know, all those Black women having babies without getting a ring put on it first.  Campos-Duffy glided over the question of whether seeing the pregnancy to its conclusion was entirely the woman's choice, and admitted that it might also be a problem for white people.  Timing, however, is everything.

It was left to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to remind us that economics was always at the heart of King's work.  The 1963 March on Washington (yeah, the Dream speech) was foremost about jobs.  When King died he was in Memphis marching with sanitation workers and planning the Poor People's Campaign that Ralph Abernathy would lead.  "Dr. King knew that economic injustice was bound up in the larger injustice he fought against."  With the help of Kristen Sinema and her beloved filibuster, the racists hope to stave off voting rights at least for another year.  The Travis County, Texas, clerk is rejecting applications for mail ballots as fast as they come in, and Virginia's new closet-Trumpanzee governor is hard at work pursuing the usual suspects, covid restrictions and critical race theory.  

No. 2 had a little more venom to spit and he hocked it at MSNBC, whose ratings continue to obsess him.  He wonders if apostate Republican Joe Scarborough's early morning show will be cancelled (did you know Mika once hemorrhaged all over his marble floors?) and he has created the witty nickname "Unjoy Reid" for the host of The Reid-Out.  When a racist calls you a racist, how should you respond?  "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was open and honest about his deep disapproval of White revisionist history and willful ignorance."  If only he knew what "revisionist" means.

But it wasn't all gloom.  We're dealing with prime idiots here, the kind who livestream themselves committing felonies.  Jamie Raskin told Business Insider about another seam of stupid in the January 6 insurrectionists.  Burdened with lecterns and laptops, they left personal items behind (you have to take off your mittens to paw through a senator's desk).  Then they called the Speaker's office and asked for the number of the lost and found.  Someone took their information and promised to get back to them, which the police did.  Raskin has identified the problem -- they thought Trump had the right to send them to stop the certification.  "They didn't have any kind of subtle understanding of the separation of powers," he added, in the understatement of the month.  Which is hardly surprising when you remember that the newly arrived Senator from Alabama identified the three branches of the federal government as "the House, the Senate and the executive" and believes World War II was fought against "socialism."  Fools will elect fools.

Like Wren Williams, freshly minted member of the Virginia House of Delegates, who decided to impress us with his grasp of American history by introducing HB 781, banning the teaching of "divisive concepts" and requiring that young Virginians study the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist papers, excerpts from Alexis de Tocqueville and of course "the first debate between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass."  He's a Trumper.  I'm astonished.  Point and laugh, everyone.  No "birdbrain" jokes about his name, he can't help it.

Speaking of debates, plucky RNC chairgirl Ronna McDaniel has informed the Commission on Presidential Debates that in view of the KO Biden scored against Trump in 2020, she and her party are afraid to participate in more.  Or maybe it was Uncle Mitt kissing the canvas in 2012.  Anyway, end of an era, so sad, what time is dinner?

Sunday, January 16, 2022

No sabbath peace

 In the early years of the twentieth century there was a garment worker who lived on the Lower East Side of New York.  Every Saturday night he would climb the five flights of stairs to his tiny apartment and sit in the kitchen reading the Dearborn Independent, while his wife cooked dinner and muttered to herself.  One night she could bear no more.  

"Sol!" she shouted.  "Why do you have to bring that rag into my house?  It's nothing but anti-Semitic dreck!"

"I know, I know," said her husband calmly.  "I just like reading about how much power they think we have."

Malik Faisal Akram must have thought the rabbi of a small congregation in suburban Colleyville, Texas, had the power to get Aafia Siddiqui released from a nearby federal prison, where she is serving a boggling 86 years for conspiracy to kill US military personnel in Afghanistan.  I can't imagine where he got that idea.  I doubt he was on Dave Bateman's mailing list, but the software tycoon's theories about Jews working to control the world through covid vaccines and the pope have received wide distribution.  Akram may have seen Marco Rubio's tweet about the "upscale liberals who control the media and Democrat party" just last week.  Perhaps he agreed with another member of Congress and her very serious theories about space lasers and the Rothschilds.  Maybe he read the interview last month where Trump lamented that Israel no longer has "absolute power over Congress" and that "the Jewish people" run the New York Times.  Maybe none of the above, maybe the tired old Protocols or some obscure London imam will be blamed for "radicalizing" him.  A Facebook post purportedly written by Akram's brother says he had "mental health issues."  Unfortunately it's no longer possible to find the line between madness and politics.

The eleven-hour siege ended as well as possible, I suppose, with the four hostages unharmed and Akram killed by the FBI.  Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker urges all congregations to hold "active-shooter and security courses."  Just like elementary schools.  An "extremist cleric" in the UK named Anjem Choudary promises to use the publicity to raise awareness of "Lady al-Qaeda's" case, while the rest of us are reminded that anti-Semitic incidents increase exponentially.  So everybody gets something out of yesterday, yes?

Nearly Akram's last words were "Either there's something wrong with me or there's something wrong with America."  Or maybe both.


Friday, January 14, 2022

Read this before it's too late


The most important thing to understand is that Men In Black is a documentary.

I should have realized this when I first saw the giant cockroach from the planet Gosar.  The one in the dentist skin.  So clearly uncomfortable in there, constantly stretching its "neck"... it thinks of swallowing AOC.

It is impossible to understand the twenty-first century "Republican Party" unless you know that all of them are from off-world.  Of course they don't want to wear masks; it's hard enough for them to breathe earth's atmosphere.  Gohmerts and Boeberts can barely live under a yellow sun.  The trump's (let's call it) skin tone has never been seen here before.   As for its mate, there are no silicone-based life-forms native to Slovenia.  Melania is 86 percent silicone and the rest Botox.  You think it wears six-inch heels to appear taller?  That's how its feet are shaped.  Like classic Barbie's.

Watching Ted Cruz whine and show his belly to Tucker Carlson, I realized why he risked so much negative criticism by flying to Cancun during the Texas blackout:  The "dog" told him to.  Ted is its pet!  Dog controls the entire southwest.  Also made him grow that facial hair that will never be a beard, just for additional humiliation.  

As hard as it is for humans to look at Steve Bannon, on his world he's often compared to a young Montgomery Clift.  Afraid yet?

You should be.  There's a Space Force, all right, but it's not ours.  So when Centurion Greene warns about Jewish space lasers -- believe him.  That war is just warming up.  (They often adopt what they think are human names:  Marjorie Taylor Greene, Elon Musk, Ford Prefect, Treig Pronschinske, Novak Djokovic, Spam Blocker.  Gender is immaterial.)


These beings have roamed the galaxy in search of a super-heated planet where they can feed on coronavirus, which costs more than white truffles back home.  In areas they control like Florida and Texas, they devote themselves to increased global warming and the propagation of viruses, using earthoids as incubators.  Their goal is total control of the country starting last year with the Supreme Court.  Abortion must cease because more humans are needed for viral infection, to replace those who die off.  History must be distorted or destroyed so earthoids will forget things were ever different.  Once the US has been subjugated they will move on to other countries.  (One of them is already the "British Prime Minster."  They colonized Russia long ago without anyone noticing.)

Get the vaccine.  It's our only hope.  Otherwise this will be our future:




Thursday, January 13, 2022

Mandatory minimum

Is anything a crime anymore?  Multiple murder in Wisconsin -- no problem.  Perjury -- standard procedure at a Senate confirmation hearing (attorney general, Supreme Court justice, whatever).  Treason, you get a statue.

Rape used to be a crime but not in Adam County, Illinois, at least in the courtroom of Robert Adrian.  Last October Drew Clinton, 18, was convicted of raping a 16-year-old at a party, which used to carry a minimum sentence of four years.  Last week Adrian decided he had suffered enough after 148 days in the county jail and sent him home.  "For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment."  The victim disagrees, but she would.  Chicks, right?  Why was she there if she didn't want it?

Prince Andrew's lawyers wish they could transfer his case to Judge Adrian.  Yesterday Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Virginia Giuffre's lawsuit against the prince can proceed, and today Andrew was busted down to "private citizen."  The Queen took back all his military affiliations and royal privileges at the request of more than 150 veterans.  He can't even style himself "His Royal Highness" anymore.  And the case has yet to be heard.  

Before you gloat, be advised:  Mike Lindell has "all the pieces of the puzzle."  In other words, "We have enough evidence to put everybody in prison for life, 300 and some million people."  FLEE!  ALL IS DISCOVERED!  Let's meet up at the hideout.  

Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oaf Keepers and shooter-out of his own eye, has been charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the Trump Putsch.  This carries a possible penalty of twenty years but in the present climate, Stewie is unlikely to miss an episode of Jersey Shore.

Ye (that's Kanye West to you) has not been charged but is a suspect in the assault that occurred in front of Los Angeles's Soho Warehouse this morning.  A fan allegedly requested an autograph.  You don't do that to Ye.

Former corrections officer Brandon Price was convicted of raping a female inmate at Franklin County, Kentucky, Regional Jail.  Judge Thomas Wingate sentenced him to two years at that very facility OR he can re-join the military.  Just what they need, more rapists.

On his way out the door, Virginia attorney general Mark Herring admitted that Virginia Beach police have been using fake DNA results to link suspects to crimes.  Well, it's probably better than beating confessions out of them.

What about forgery?  Is forgery a crime?  In the weeks after Trump lost, conspirators in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Nevada sent fake certificates to the National Archives to make it look like he won those states.  I'm sure the Justice Department will get on this as soon as they investigate Melania's application for an "Einstein visa."

I didn't know he was a Constitutional scholar but I was wrong.  Eric Trump says Letitia James's investigation of Daddy and Daddy's business "violates the Constitution" because she is a Democrat.  She campaigned on a promise to "lock him up."  No, wait, I'm confused.  That was Daddy threatening Hillary Clinton.  Anyway, they're coming for James with "the best legal, ethical minds."  Which reminds me, the January 6 Committee would like to talk to Rudolph Giuliani.  Haven't seen him around lately.  Rehab?

America's Pravda has been using this picture to dramatize the breakdown of all commerce and impending famine caused by Joe Biden being old and demented.  Except somebody made a few clicks and discovered it's from 2011, when supermarkets in Japan were emptied by the Fukushima tsunami and nuclear meltdown.  Uncle Rupert nearly got away with it.  I love the internet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

No reverberation

 Someone is giving Trump bad advice, and he's taking it.  Steve Inskeep of NPR -- yes, National Public Radio, not some new Pillow Mike platform -- was the lucky recipient of a phone interview with the Laird of Mar a Lago which aired this morning.  All went well as they discussed covid ("the China plague" now) and the amazing vaccines he personally created in record time, which should be a matter of "individual choice."  Of course he's fully vaccinated and had "absolutely no reverberation," which probably means no side effects.  Nothing new.  Then Inskeep asked, "Is it a disadvantage for Republicans to keep talking about the 2020 election in 2022?" opening the usual floodgate of recrimination about RINOs, Detroit ballots, the incompetence of his Arizona lawyer and how Biden never left "his basement" during the campaign.  It's incomprehensible to him that 80 million people voted against him (closer to 82 million); he's probably right that the record turnout would have been lower had Biden run against a halfway-normal human.  Still bitching about "the presidential rigged election of 2020," he hung up.  Someone else will have to call NPR "woke communists" on Twitter, probably "Liz Harrington."

At around the same time as the radio meltdown, Adam Gabbatt of the Guardian was limbering up his expense account for a visit to 45 Wine and Whiskey, the new bar in Trump Tower.  He confirms its boast of being "the most exclusive setting" for a booze-up, insofar as he was the sole customer in two attempts.  Maybe it's the sign at the entrance:  "New York City requires you to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter this business" might deter the most ardent Trumper.  Maybe it's the prices:  The Mar-a-Lago Spritzer of white wine, soda and grapefruit juice costs $29, while $45 gets you a whiskey with syrup and bitters, two small burgers and a diet Coke.  Maybe it's the decor, described as 1980s "dictator style" and featuring no less than 39 photos of 45 himself (some including Kim Jong-un and "an uninterested looking Queen Elizabeth").  At any rate, it's open 24 hours.  Midtown really comes alive around 4 am.  

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), the assistant Speaker, has written to the House Sergeant-at-Arms with a suggestion for members who refuse to get vaccinated or wear a mask:  Stick them in an "isolation box" in the gallery surrounded by plexiglass.  This will give them something else to complain about when begging for contributions, or they can just stand on the front steps and scream like Empty Greene.  Oh, wait.

                                                                       Lock 'er up!

Air travel continues to get more interesting.  Monday the FAA ordered a brief ground stop of all West Coast airports after North Korea tested a missile.  Today in Honduras a man ran into the cockpit of an American Airlines flight bound for Miami, damaged the controls and attempted to jump out the window.  At this point, nobody knows why.

Sarah Beam of Houston is described by neighbors as "Best teacher ever" and "Teacher with a heart of gold," but there are no signs that proclaim her "Mother of the year."  She faces a child endangerment charge for locking her fourteen-year-old son in the trunk of her car because he tested positive for covid.  She was driving him to the testing center for confirmation when the police intervened.  I don't know what she had planned if he came up positive again.

Women are being systematically stripped of reproductive rights but it's all good -- they're getting all sorts of "attagirl" commemorations, mostly posthumous.  Maya Angelou is featured on the reverse of the new quarter, to be followed by Sally Ride and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American movie star.  Meanwhile Mattel has announced a new Barbie doll of Ida B. Wells.  Nothing against the first three, two entertainers and an astronaut, but Wells was a journalist and leader of the anti-lynching movement who once had to flee Memphis to escape being lynched herself.  And as long as I'm complaining, how about Toni Morrison, the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for literature?  Marian Anderson, Althea Gibson, Wilma Rudolph, Barbara Jordan, Billie Holiday, Gwendolyn Brooks, Zora Neale Hurston, Mary Lou Williams, Shirley Chisholm, Jessye Norman, Hazel Scott?  How about Josephine Baker, who France just installed in its Pantheon?  Are we going to leave them all up to Mattel?

Speaking of posthumous honors, Emmett Till, whose 1955 murder sparked the civil rights movement, and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley, who forced white America to gaze at its work, may be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.  The Senate bill was sponsored by Richard Burr (R-NC), who is retiring, and Cory Booker (D-NJ).  Rep. Bobby Rush's bill now has to pass the House.

The Herman Cain Award was established in imitation of the Darwin Awards for those who died of covid because they were so asking for it.  The first winner of 2022 is Texas Republican Kelly Canon, renowned for posts like "No jabby-jabby for me!  Praise GOD!"  "Gone too soon," commented her friends at the Arlington Republican Club.  Well...

Anthony Fauci has more important things to do than keep traipsing back to Capitol Hill to argue with idiot Republican Senators (sorry that's redundant).  He has decided not to hold back in the hope that they'll stop bothering him.  In the latest episode he was heard muttering "What a moron" after Roger Marshall (R-KS) demanded he provide "a financial disclosure" of his investments, information which has been in the public record since Fauci became head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  "We'll continue to look for it," Marshall blustered.  "Where would we find it?"  It's almost as if he was really talking to the mouth-breathers back home.  Then Rand Paul (R-KY) resumed his vendetta, calling Fauci "juvenile" for accusing him of politicizing the pandemic and provoking death threats.  Funny thing is, both Paul and Marshall graduated from accredited medical schools; you'd think they would criticize Fauci with scientific data instead of ranting about "Big Tech giants" and dropping dark hints that he's cashing in.  Funnier thing:  Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) is readying a bill that would forbid members of Congress and their families from stock-trading while they hold office.  I guess he doesn't think Fauci's finances are the problem. comes Baby Tuckoo to stir up more feelings of victimization in his fans with an unaccountable story about some mythical Black man, possibly a Haitian, who is getting state-of-the-art covid treatment that "whites don't qualify for."  I wouldn't be surprised if he's related to Ronald Reagan's "welfare queen" driving her Escalade to the liquor store to spend her food stamps on vodka.

Speaking of medical emergencies, something is wrong with Mitch McConnell's eyes.  Yesterday President Biden and Vice President Harris went to Georgia on behalf of the John Lewis Voting Rights bill, stalled as usual by Manchin and Sinema.  Local groups stayed away but it was a humdinger:  "Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?...John Lewis or Bull Connor?  Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?"  Mitch was appalled.   Groping his way to the Senate floor he said, "I did not recognize the man at the podium."  Find a real, board-certified ophthalmologist, Mitch.  Do not go to Rand Paul!  "The President's rant, rant yesterday was incoherent, incorrect and beneath his office."  Oh, and divisive.  Heavy on the divisive.  Not like a typical speech by his predecessor, who told NPR you're "a loser," Mitch.  Georgia Democrats, who have to live in "the belly of the beast," thought Biden didn't go far enough.  Fifty votes, that's what we need now.

Insurrectionist/political prisoner Jenna Ryan, the Texas realtor who rode a private jet to overthrow the government last year, was looking forward to a few weeks' incarceration under the impression she'd be working out and drinking smoothies (her goal:  lose thirty pounds).  Instead, she's suffering just like "the Jews in Germany" as other inmates mock the "white skin and blonde hair" she was counting on to keep her out of prison.  "They're calling me an insurrection Barbie...the epitome of a scapegoat...people who are Caucasian are being turned into evil in front of the media."  By spring she'll be free, visiting the Laura Ingraham Show to display the number tattooed on her arm and complain about the terrible food.  And she'll still be blonde and plugging her real estate business and negotiating for a book (I Have Paid) or a gig on Newsmax or a CPAC speech.  Hang in there, girl, what doesn't kill you makes you more oblivious.  Your friends have filed with the FEC under the name "Stop the Persecution of MAGA Blondies."  Now everyone knows where you live!  

Maybe they aren't your friends.



Monday, January 10, 2022

Drinkin' wee, spo-de-o-dee

 If you're still fighting covid with Canadian bog dirt a/k/a BOO, that is so 2021.  Get with the program and drink your own urine.  Christopher Key, commissioner of the Vaccine Police (not a real thing), is advising his troops that based on "tons and tons of research" the answer is to drink urine. "Guys, God's given us everything we need."  Except brains.  "Please take it with a grain of salt," he added, as if the saline content of urine isn't high enough.  With a little effort, you can be in an ICU with a vent doing your breathing while dialysis performs the work of your failing kidneys.  In your face, Fauci!

Despite Ted Cruz's session with Baby Tuckoo in Room 101, Fox News is about to get a fresh dick-stomping from the Orange Overlord.  That's because Brian Kilmeade blasphemously told Howard Kurtz, "I think that in life you have to learn to lose."  He quickly mentioned Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams, all genuine victims of our demi-democracy, and threw in some trash-talk about Joe Biden, but the damage was done.  Then Senator Mike Rounds told George Stephanopoulos, "We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for President," which is hard to misinterpret.  He has already been trumped and his staff is no doubt fielding death threats.  "If we tell our people don't vote because there's cheating going on, then we're going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage," he added, but logic has never worked before.  A bad weekend for the Laird of Mar a Lago.

But there's never a dearth of scumbags.  Trump's alter ego "Liz Harrington" had no sooner damned Rounds as "woke" when Scott Baldwin popped up.  The Indiana state senator has a bill that would require history teachers to be "impartial" in lessons about fascism and Nazism and even Marxism.  It's the reasonable next step once you forbid teaching about racism.  That's the problem with history as a discipline -- it's full of bad people doing bad stuff and it makes nice people feel guilty or upset.  Why teach it at all?  Maybe because, as Cicero said, "To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child."  Who was Cicero?  He founded a city in Illinois.

Another forever-child is insurrection veteran Anthony Williams, who chose the anniversary of "the proudest day of my life" for a special request of Judge Beryl A. Howell:  Pretty please, can he travel from Michigan, where it's cold and he's under house arrest, to Jamaica for a vacation with his girlfriend?  No, he can't.  Not even if he volunteers at a Negril soup kitchen, as he promises to do, because Judge Howell may have been born at night but she wasn't born last night.  

In related news, the American Dialect Society has named "insurrection" the word of 2021 ("coup" and "Putsch" are technically foreign terms), while "Fauci-ouchie" won Most Creative.  I never even heard of "hard pants" or "yassify," but congratulations to all.

Trump's reign of error famously began when he welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergei Kislyak to the Oval Office -- to laugh about climate change, no doubt -- and at least once he discussed classified matters in the dining room of his Florida trash palace.  So why is it news that he let Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs listen in on White House meetings?  Jared Kushner "worked" in the building and he didn't even have security clearance.  Eric Adams is catching crap for appointing his brother deputy police commissioner.  It's his own fault for being a Democrat.

"Rootless cosmopolitans," "globalists," and now "upscale liberals" -- maybe the American Dialect Society should maintain a list of dog-whistle euphemisms for "Jews."  According to Marco Rubio, "The upscale liberals who control the media and Democrat party believe Jan 6 was another Pearl Harbor or 9/11."  One of those was an attack by a foreign power and the other was a crime.  Neither posed an existential threat to Constitutional government.  We know the difference, and we know you, Marco.  And it's "Democratic Party," you dumb shit.

Or just come out with it, like Republican sugar daddy and (former) Entrata CEO Dave Bateman, author of a mass email blaming Jews for yet another world takeover, this one based on covid vaccines, and for installing one of their agents, Pope Francis, at the head of the Catholic Church.  Jews, Jesuits, it's easy to mix them up.  Thanks to the Deseret News for publicizing it and ending his association with the software company.  

Unemployment is down, job growth is up and Republicans are fuming.  Good.  But according to Annie Linskey in the Washington Post, Joe Biden spends all his time going to funerals and hanging out in cemeteries.  Shouldn't she be admiring the way a 79-year-old man gets so much accomplished?  Once you eliminate "executive time" in front of the TV and limit your golf to "not every week," and appoint people who are actually competent instead of your relatives, big donors and random nutters, there's time for speeches and funerals and Easter egg rolls, too.  And you don't even need to snort Adderall.  Perhaps Linskey would be happier working on the New York Post.

I'm always bemused when Amazon invites me to save a small amount of money by "subscribing" to some product -- how much shampoo or tea do they imagine I can get through in a month?  (I'm imagining a "Sorcerer's Apprentice" scenario where it keeps coming and coming...)  So Taco Bell's new service caught my eye:  For ten dollars you get a taco a day for thirty consecutive days.  Consecutive?  What if you miss a day because, say, you can't get off the toilet?  Is the rest of the month cancelled or do you have to start over?  Does anyone really love tacos that much?  So many questions. 

The Webb Space Telescope is working perfectly.  How long before Trump takes credit for it?



Saturday, January 08, 2022

This is not a film blog: No one cares

 Don't Look Up, written and directed by Adam McKay, streaming on Netflix

Satire in the theater is what closes on Saturday night, someone said; satire in movies is usually a disjointed mess but it can be fun (Duck Soup, Dr. Strangelove).  The point it's making tends to be obvious but necessary (war is bad, nuclear war is worse).  It also fails entirely to persuade anyone who wasn't already on board.  

So with Don't Look Up.  Either you're already convinced by the overwhelming evidence of climate change (or covid, though that wasn't the intended target) or you're watching something else.  If you came here in the hope that Jennifer Lawrence would take off her clothes, keep moving.  Some of the reviews have used the term "slapstick," but I don't think the writers know what it means.  They should review the peanut stand sequences in Duck Soup.  Smashing windows and vomiting into an ashtray are not slapstick.

That's not to say you won't enjoy this movie, especially if you enjoyed Network and Mars Attacks!  (Yes and no for me.)  The best reason to see it is Meryl Streep having the time of her life as a female Trump, a president who has learned to harness the worst impulses of the American people.  When the astronomers arrive at the White House with their ghastly news she's too busy to see them -- a staffer is having a birthday party and she's trying to appoint a doofus to the Supreme Court who hasn't even gone to law school.  (Her husband, played perfectly by Jonah Hill, is her chief of staff.)  Brushed aside because the science is not quite a hundred percent, our scientific heroes (Lawrence and Leo DiCaprio) try to reach the public on a vapid morning show called The Daily Rip, where they are decisively upstaged by a pop diva (Ariana Grande) before being trivialized by the hosts (Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry).  

The title is the catch-phrase of President Orlean and her followers:  Don't look up and the comet won't be approaching.  (Don't worry about global warming and it will take care of itself.  Don't test and the virus will stop killing people.  Ad nauseam.)  We get it.  So it becomes an occasion to enjoy the actors.  Mark Rylance is brilliant as tech mogul Peter Isherwell, based on Steve Jobs or Elon Musk (take your pick) and determined to get even richer from the chemical contents of Comet Dibiasky; he's like an autistic yet calculating Fred Rogers.  Himesh Patel (from the British series Damned and the movie Yesterday) is a young astronomer who disappears all too soon; Liev Schreiber contributes only his voice, which is no excuse for misspelling his name.  I'm not sure why Ron Perlman was cast as the over-the-hill astronaut -- it feels like they tried and failed to pull Jack Nicholson out of retirement.  

As long as Don't Look Up is -- why do all Netflix movies feel too long? -- I wish it had been broken into two or three episodes.  Rob Morgan as the senior astronomer Oglethorpe dominates every scene, but we're left wondering about him.  Does he come to the Lynskey house for its "last supper" because he has no family of his own?  Please tell me Morgan wasn't cast because they wanted a Black man in a position of scientific authority.  I need to know a little more about the Dibiaskys, who won't let their daughter in the house until she promises "no politics."  I notice she also faces the end with Lynskey.  

"It's like a comet's coming and no one cares," David Sirota apparently said to Adam McKay, prompting this film and securing a story credit for himself.  He's right.  The Trumpetariat isn't even denouncing it on their podcasts.  Minds are not changing.  Movies don't have that kind of power.  The Great Dictator did not deter Hitler.  

Great special effects, though.



Thursday, January 06, 2022

Food for thought

 What a strange expression.  Of course brains run on glucose but that's not exactly food.  Anyway...

George Bush's press agent Dana Perana-fee-fi-mo-manna took time out from tweeting pictures of her dog Percy (she makes him wear clothes) to whine that Biden's speech was "inciting unnecessary anger among the people of the country."  How much anger is necessary?  More!  Crack your cheeks!  Rage!  Blow!  Oh wait, Fox News and Dana already blow.

The Nicolas Cage charm offensive continues.  Now the "thespian" says actors need to be stuntmen, too, knowledgeable about gun handling, motorcycle riding, fighting and driving a stick shift.  What about fencing, dancing, horseback riding, juggling, ice skating and the correct use of a zipline?  How about talking, Nic?  Could you work on that?

Glenn Beck is bragging about his covid but that's just the curtain raiser -- he scored a super-exclusive interview at MAGA-a-Lago and it's a classic:  wind power kills birds, California gasoline is more expensive than caviar, Anthony Fauci "totally controls" Biden, if not for him covid vaccines would have taken "five to twelve years" -- try not to overdose on nostalgia, "MAGA Nation" (he actually calls them that).  

Jeremy Faison is a Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, but he's also a dad.  So when a loose ball provoked a brief scuffle between Providence Academy and young Faison's team Lakeway Christian Academy, what was he supposed to do?  He pretty much had to go on the court and try to pull down the referee's pants.  He says he's sorry.  I say remember when all these "academies" started?  No?  It was the white response to Brown v. Board of Education.  They continue to turn out fine people on both sides.

Seattle police spread rumors of armed Proud Boys in June 2020 in an attempt to frighten Black Lives Matter protesters away from the city.  They're not supposed to do that, are they?

Last month in Tasmania a wind gust lifted a bouncy castle thirty feet in the air, killing five children and injuring four.  Yesterday a similar incident near Valencia, Spain, killed one girl and injured eight.  Remember the 1997 Macy's Thanksgiving parade that should have been cancelled because of wind but wasn't, and a woman was nearly killed by the Cat in the Hat?  I can't remember the name of the mayor who insisted the show go on.  Wind is pretty easy to predict, unlike earthquakes.  This does not have to keep happening.

Ghislaine Maxwell may get a new trial because one of the jurors talked about his childhood sexual abuse during deliberations.  Who conducted the voir dire?  They couldn't find twelve people in New York County who hadn't been raped?

Arianna Delane, age four, was asleep in the front room of her family's apartment on January 1 when multiple shots were fired at the residence.  She suffered liver damage and three broken ribs.  The Houston police are investigating their own "delayed response" to the shooting.  None of this would be national news had George Floyd not been her great-uncle.

This is Clio, Muse of History, by William E. Rogers, and she's taking notes.