Thursday, August 18, 2022


 The freedom to read is under assault everywhere.  Did you know that Britney Spears's memoir is ready for the press but Simon & Schuster can't get the paper?  And yet Broadside Books is about to publish Breaking History: A White House Memoir by Jared Kushner, all 512 pages.  I would rather read about Britney Spears, and I have no interest whatsoever in Britney Spears.  (Broadside Books is a division of HarperCollins, which is a subsidiary of News Corp., which was created in a peach tree dish from the stem cells of Rupert Murdoch.  He owns forests.)

Dwight Garner's review in the New York Times is already legendary, like the movie reviews of Pauline Kael or the one-line garrottings of Dorothy Parker.  ("Tonstant Weader fwowed up.")  It seems that two billion dollars of House of Saud blood money won't even buy you the services of a decent ghost anymore, or perhaps no decent ghost would touch it -- rather like the way no respected lawyer will take Daddy-in-Law's case.  Garner shares prose like "Every day here is sand through an hourglass" and "Even in a starkly divided country there are always opportunities to build bridges."  It makes you want to haul the thing home and find out what bridges he built.  Maybe he was the bridge, between the Boss and the people whose praise he quotes:  "You deserve an award for all you've done."  I'm surprised he didn't call it Dreams of My Father-in-Law.  

If Kushner wants to scrape some critical mud off this self-portrait, like Dorian Gray peering at the painting for signs of one good deed, he might speak to his business partner Prince Mohammed about Salma al-Shehab, a 34-year-old dental hygienist and student at Leeds University who was sentenced to 34 years in prison for re-tweeting Saudi dissidents living abroad.  Her mistake was to come home for a vacation.  The Kingdom is investing big in social media in order to get inside information on people like al-Shehab who "cause public unrest and destabilize civil and national security."  This could be a worse fate for Twitter users than the threatened sale to Elon Musk.  And it is reported that al-Shehab's "crimes" were identified with a snitching app which can be downloaded to Apple and Android phones.  Dictatorships like to involve as many people as possible in spying on one another.

When I begin to criticize other countries something usually happens to remind me how demented this one is.  A reliable source for such reminders is Florida, where a court has ruled that a sixteen-year-old is not mature enough to have an abortion but (obviously) mature enough to be a mother.  No matter how many times you read that, it does not make any more sense. 

May I respectfully request that someone give me that old-time religion?  Meet Pastor Carlton Funderburke of Kansas City's Church of the Well, who aired a grievance against his congregation:  They're cheap.  Specifically, "poor, broke, busted and disgusted" because they failed to buy him a Movado watch.  And him the founder of a non-profit "linking corporate America to grass-roots Christian organizations, creating synergy, funding and partnerships."  How can they expect such a man to wear a lousy Timex?  WWJW?

The mission of PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) is to advocate for free expression and defend writers, journalists and publishers under siege in places like China, Syria, Cuba and Turkey.  And now, teachers and librarians in America.  Mostly our writers are all right, but this guide to the Republican/fascist assault on public schools and libraries, and even some private schools and colleges, would make a Founder weep.  Especially Jefferson, who wanted to be remembered on his gravestone for establishing the University of Virginia and specifically not for being president.

Somebody in the Lawrence County (Alabama) Republican organization decided the original was too subtle for Alabama and added the eyeholes.  But why apologize?

If you had Dan Rapoport on your Enemies of Putin bingo card, please make yourself known to one of the verifiers.  Rapoport's body was discovered outside his Georgetown apartment after he "jumped" from a window.  How many does that make?

Permanently unsuccessful candidate for stuff Carl Paladino has called for Merrick Garland to be executed "probably."  A year ago he was passing sentence on Anthony Fauci, who is alive and well.  Who keeps nominating this guy?  Meanwhile Fox's Mark Levin was comparing Liz Cheney to both Benedict Arnold and Jefferson Davis because he does not history good.  And as John Fetterman continues to eat Mehmet Oz's lunch of broccoli, asparagus and guacamole, Steve Bannon proclaimed him "satanic."  Only August and they're sweating like the Fat Guys Softball Team at a company picnic.

Asked about his chances of becoming Leader of Leaders again, chinless wall-eyed homunculus Mitch McConnell sounded doubtful.  "I think there's probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate.  Senate races are just different, they're statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome."  Babel-fish translation:  "We can't gerrymander whole states.  As for quality, we've got Walker, Oz, Vance, Masters, shit, we'll be lucky to scratch out a win for Johnson, who's an incumbent.  Where does Trump find these boneheads?"  Where indeed?  


Post a Comment

<< Home