Uncategorized

The Jealous and Painful Art of Biography

 

Image result for biographer

There are only two types of biographers.  Yes, our subjects might be different; the focus of obsession can range anywhere from the greatest artist or inventor to the most abject failure.  We talk about sports, about politics, cover massive stretches of history, and devour current events.  The biographer writes about everything and yet I stand by my claim that only two styles exist.  There are those who probe the living, while the majority study the dead.

 

Telling the story of a person still alive brings certain complications that the historical academic is not forced to consider.  Think about the great biographers of today: Jon Meacham (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=jon%20meacham&cm_sp=det-_-bdp-_-author), Ron Chernow (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=ron%20chernow&cm_sp=det-_-bdp-_-author), David McCullough (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=david%20mccullough&cm_sp=det-_-bdp-_-author), Doris Kearns Goodwin (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?bsi=0&kn=doris%20kearns%20goodwin&sortby=17&prevpage=4), among thousands of others, the above only in the English language and all four of them Americans.  But each one of them–every book they have written save the random essays and occasional memoirs–deal with significant figures from an increasingly distant past.

 

Those who discuss people still living are compelled to deal with the ego and attitude of their subject not merely in an academic way, trying to paint the figure as accurately as possible.  No, we must cope with hurt feelings, allegations of misinterpretation or even lies; we must face the chance that our subject might wind up hating us, or sue us, defame us–they might even try to destroy us.  It is very hard to write about the living without descending into either hero worship or tabloid slur.

 

I am presently writing a rather intense biography of a living individual.  Recently I spent nearly a week with them at their home and rolled about, following their life in nearly every capacity, recording most conversations, scribbling notes non-stop, and interviewing every person present who are a part of their lives, no matter how slight.  It was exhausting.

 

The job of a biographer of the living is to immerse themselves in another person’s life, to discard your own identity and transform, mostly, into a fly on the wall, even while directly engaged with different people.  The process of interviewing someone, who are often on the defensive, the primary subject, perhaps, willing to tell all (or not, sometimes even inventing a past that can be, sometimes with very little work, disproved), their family and associates are usually more interested in protecting their intimate than telling their story.  This can make work very difficult.

 

Now of course some friends and family are more than willing to spill the beans, to confirm every rumor or deny even their fame, but this is more perspective, one of the most important perceptions to cover to paint the story in the light not just of how the subject sees themselves, but of the impact they have on others.  Interviewing people requires quick reads of the willingness or unwillingness, of nervous confusion and enthusiastic chatter of the individuals the biographer needs to complete their work.  Empathy is an absolute necessity as, again, the writer as cipher, denying themselves in the name of, perhaps, art, must do everything to understand whatever it is a person is saying.

 

Interviewing itself is a performance, one of the more complicated ad lib games you could possibly play.  One must adapt to whatever quirks the individuals might have, coming across as an expert on one hand, while playing dumb should whomever you are talking with prefer to offer a lecture.  Sometimes you have to be funny, at other times sympathetic.  One has to learn who a person is before they can really talk to them, to gauge their limits, to reconcile with opinions you might personally find objectionable, and to gain a rather deep psychological insight into another person, sometimes far deeper than anyone you have ever known.

 

The trip I took, covering a major event in my subject’s life, provided me with consecutive 18 hour work days, physical labor included as my job allowed me to join in the preparations and the actual functioning of the event.  I am not used to working quite so hard.  Yes, I might sit here bang banging away at the keyboard for hours and hours and hours, piecing words together like the mathematical jigsaw puzzle they really are, finding the right place and then withdrawing, flaws still and always remaining.  But this particular ordeal forced me to be surrounded by people all day, every day, another thing quite foreign to me.  Again, it was exhausting.  When I finally did lay down to sleep it was more like passing out, my dire unconsciousness providing blank dreams and total darkness.

 

And then I would wake, earlier than everyone else in the house (the subject’s mother was there, along with occasional other house guests, all of them deep night owls like the rest of us).  After about three hours of sleep I would have some time to myself, roaming around the house and taking pictures, writing notes, evaluating certain interesting quirks of living arrangements, and the collection of things selected to provide the background of a life.  I listened to the tapes and recounted interviews and experiences, and even wrote some first draft narrative in a notebook, occasionally crossing things out and reworking them, some of the scribble scribble incomprehensible.  I provided academic detail based upon ideas certainly learned at the university while also reveling in the fact that life was there, spinning around and around and out before me.

 

Such an experience of living will be with us long after my subject and I are dead.  This is the final difference between the two sorts of biographers: with one you get a speculative history, providing personality to significant events in a person’s life; with the other you get more of a peep show into how a person lives, how they interact.  What you get is a portrait of contemporary life, the sort of history that goes on to provide the future historians with a living and breathing viewpoint of how things used to be.

Advertisements
Uncategorized

The Farce of US Patriotism

 

Image result for political divide

Instead of the transparently obvious suggestions toward the left that they are traitors (a rarely factual statement used more as deflections from our most low, selfish and basic instincts, instead let’s challenge the right, blaring their ‘pro-Americanism’ on bumper stickers and smug, angry intolerance over anyone they believe might think differently from them. (Of course plenty of ideas coming from the liberal side are treasonous, but they are easily dismissed as pipe dreams devised while passing the bong around Cody or Dakota’s college dorm).  It is the radically declared patriotism of the right that needs some attention.

 

Again, I do not wish to challenge the left in this piece, but it is important to state that there is plenty of condescending elitism in their own worldview disagreements, but theirs are mostly philosophically academic and thus easily ignored.  On the right their treason hits us where we actually live.

 

The  United States of America.  A quaint title from a lost past, our nation’s history constantly re-imagined and reinterpreted like some latter day rephrasing of a bible set to justify modern ends.  But we are not ‘united,’ and haven’t been for a very long time, the eleven year interval after the Civil War and prior to the dawn of Reconstruction being the closest we have ever come since the days before Washington.

 

I want you to read a few quotes before we dive into analysis, and see if you are aware of the direction our nation’s collapse is going:

 

“The Electoral College prevent(s) a few states from taking control of our country. I do not wish our country to be ruled by TX, CA, NY & FL.”

“Better being ruled by CA and NY!  We ended up with crap like Trump and George W. Because of TX and FL.  Every vote should count! There are more sane than insane people in this country! That’s why Gore and Hillary won the popular vote!”

“I agree that “every vote should count,” so why would I support a scheme that overrides my vote and lets voters in other states elect the President?”

“You could’ve come right out and said you don’t want liberals to win. Now you know how my liberal vote counts in Republican Indiana. ”

“. . . if we take away the Electoral College then many areas of this country will not have a real voice. Not everyone in this country agree on beliefs, morals, religion, finance, immigration, health insurance etc etc. Diversity is what makes our country incredible. If we only listen to the votes in our major cities then we will miss a lot!!”

“The Left is pushing us toward chaos.”

“. . . just open the national election to California and New York and don’t waste your time with the 48 other states. Maybe each county in every state should get one electoral vote and if you remember what the map looked like when it was colored with Red and Blue counties, you see what would have been the case in 2016. Even New York and California had a lot of red. And furthermore, no one in the media or the Clinton camp including Hillary herself cared about the electoral college when it was October of 2016 and she was ahead in the polls. And then to add to it, Hillary expressed such shock when Trump said he may not accept the results and then who was it that didn’t accept the results?”

” It must be hard to know that you can’t win without cheating.”

 

These are just a handful of the comments either defending or condemning the electoral college, ultimately an antiquated system of Democracy (or for those who wish to correct me, of a Constitutional Republic).  Because such a system does not actually show the truest representation of a united nation’s views.  Were the place united then voting would be the popularity contest it was meant as, not some regional mosh of angry voices shrieking “what about me?”  And I am sorry, but a state with 800,000 people versus one with 35,000,000 should not have the same impact on the nation.  Sure, they vote statewide for individuals running their internal structure, and perhaps one of their bold leaders will emerge to become a major voice of representation on the national stage, thus circulating the suppressed views of a distant minority.  But this does not change the fact that the majority should rule, regardless of how stupid the majority often is.  The more people supporting a cause or action should be the one’s who have the final say.  Thinking otherwise is kind of like flipping the board of a game over because you are losing and screaming that it isn’t fair.

 

But instead we get things like this:

Image result for the left are traitors

Image result for the left are traitors

Image result for democrats are traitors

Image result for the left are traitors

And such self-declared patriots promote themselves

Image result for right wing patriots

Image result for right wing patriots

Related image

Image result for patriotic tattoos

Yes, these folks claim to be aggressively patriotic, daring anyone to stand against them with their guns and glazed eye devotion to an idea they seem to hardly understand.  After all

Image result for kill all liberals

Image result for proud boy quotes

Related image

Related image

Is this the sign of a ‘united’ nation?  Such patriotic blather, the “America First” nonsense is not truly about supporting the idea of the nation, about the freedom inspired by those fine, increasingly ancient words of the Declaration of Independence.  No, now it really is ‘me first,’ and let the nation follow.  It is my land and to hell with anyone who doesn’t see the truth of my singular ideology.  They are the

Related image

The left, of course, usually attempts to intellectualize their condemnation of their rivals, arrogantly assuming whomever they are targeting is too stupid to understand what they are saying

Image result for right wing patriots

Of course such a tactic is pointless, whomever it is they wish to attack not interested in what is being said, most of them not too stupid, but too disinterested to bother.  In the end it merely becomes a cheap joke for the like-minded.  At least on the right they know how to outrage those they believe to be traitors

Image result for liberals hate america meme

Image result for liberals hate america meme

Compare this to the flaccid liberal attacks:

Image result for republicans are traitors

Sure, the point may even be valid, but it does not catch you attention like

Related image

This divide between Americans is more cause for concern than who it is in the White House at any given time or which party runs Congress.  It even surpasses the make up of the Supreme Court (although their influence, ultimately, is far more profound on the fate of the nation than the small-minded partisan bickering that covers the every day movements clashing into nothingness on the public stage), and is what we should be most concerned about.  Remember what Abraham Lincoln said while he was campaigning for President?

(the full statement reads:)

Of course this statement did not originate with him

And yet for some reason every drifting side declares itself the truly moral, the singularly patriotic.  There can be no patriotism, no love of any country, if you believe that your way is the only way and all rivals are enemies.  It is simply paranoia, intolerance–it is outright selfish hatred.

 

Like the world in this globalist internet age, where communication is the push of a button, and every stupid thing you may have ever sent is saved forever, we too have gotten much smaller.  We hide ourselves away, living behind these screens and ranting to no one, hoping that someone in a passing moment might notice our screed.  Often the only response we achieve are negatives, disagreements, trapped there in your lonely room, giving you the proof you need about point you wished to make.  We are all enemies, we tell ourselves.  There is no purity outside of my illusory realm.

 

Stop calling this nation the United States.  We are with increasingly rapidity severing ourselves from each other, all the warnings of the founding fathers about the delicacy of a country coming true at once.

Related image

Image result for founding fathers warnings on the collapse of the union quotes

Related image

Image result for george washington warned against political parties

And yet the battle continues in a place that was never meant for warfare.  Tune in tomorrow for even more divisive action . . .

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

*(This is a separate remark for any long time readers: starting tomorrow, 10/24/19, I will be out of town on assignment until 10/29, and so will likely be unable to add anything to this site.  I will be attending the Third Annual American Horrors film festival in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, which I am sure I have mentioned recently, writing a commentary that will appear shortly thereafter on a few online horror magazine sites.  It will not be reprinted here because, well, I’m getting paid for it.  I will let you know where and when once I return, and then we’ll get back to the collapse of politics and society itself.)

Uncategorized

The Optimism of Racism

 

“Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns, he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man, with his mouth.”

–Mark Twain

 

Not every racist is a terrible person.  Now wait–wait wait wait, before you condemn me for such a statement.  I’m not done.  I am not talking about tiki torch carrying screamers, or some klan-robed scumbag masturbating to thoughts on race war and genocidal fantasy.  I am not bothering to consider those smug, smarmy, truly wicked cops smiling as they gun down unarmed black men.  No, the sort of person I am thinking about is the quiet racist who does not even believe in inequality.

 

For some people you can understand their racism: a white women gang raped by a horde of black monsters, or a black man treated like shit and sometimes beaten their entire lives–certainly never given an opportunity to thrive in the white man’s world.  We can understand this and often even shake it away, giving in to individual experience and figuring that every sort of hatred can be justified given the proper context.

 

Going back up for a moment to the opening quote, Mark Twain himself was not a racist.  Modern sensibilities seem to consider him one from his constant use of a certain word over and over again in his masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780140390469&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used).  If one were to give a closer reading of (or actually bother reading) the book, what they would find is a staunch attack on the very idea of racial prejudice, on the demeaning quality such views have on everyone.  When I was in college I was a student teacher for a semester, and my professor had me teach the book to a group of young liberals in the dawn of the radical university political correctness of the early 1990s.  I had people shouting at me–white people, mostly, angry with me for having the “racist book” on the curriculum at all, wondering why I didn’t chose, instead, something inspirational by one of the great African-American authors, and not a tired old racist screed by “another old white man.”  I responded rather bluntly.  I asked, “Can you tell me who the only two human characters in the book are?”  This stumped them, mostly, their ideas on what the novel is about based on the complaints of others who had also never read the book.  One or two of them would sneer out “Well Huck, obviously, because the book is all about him!”  “How is he good?” I then asked, still trying to be a teacher.  No answer.

 

“Know who the other decent person is?” I addressed the whole class.  My professor was smiling at me.  He knew what I was about to say.  After about a minute of murmuring silence I blurted out, “It’s Nigger Jim.”  Gasps, two people storming out to complain to whichever Dean they believed (and who probably did) share their biased sensibilities.  For those who remained I followed up with a discussion of the ‘N’ word, about what it’s etymological meanings are, how it has evolved, and the shift of its purpose and usage throughout modern times.  I discussed how Twain’s overuse of the offensive term, applying it as he did to the sainted runaway slave Jim–even making it part of his name–undermines the power of the word itself.  Most of the students were skeptical, but they left no longer offended.  It was a lesson in the power of words and how every single one of them has an appropriate context.

 

But this is just a sidebar to the larger point I wish to discuss today.  Why did I title this piece “The Optimism of Racism?”  How can hatred in any way be positive?  Well, unlike the misanthrope, who hates everyone equally, seeing all of man, as Twain did later in his life,

as hateful, the racist actually sees hope in the future if only their people could ascend to or reclaim the throne of humankind.  They even see decency, however mistakenly and misguided they might be, in certain people of their own shade or ideology.  There remains a dream within the back of their minds (or sometimes right at the front, if they are of the virulent stripe condemned at the beginning) that somehow people can be saved.  They do not scream apocalypse, but renewal, salvation, a perverted purity that can finally form their own selfish paradise on earth.

 

Such views are far different than, say, Joseph Conrad, another true misanthrope mistakenly written off as a racist.  One of his great books, Heart of Darkness (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780553212143&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used) has been roundly condemned by modern day liberal academia as racist for its brutal depiction of African natives of the Congo, regardless of the fact that every character in the book is a monster.  I remember one of my professors, who refused to assign anything by Conrad regardless of the theme of the class being “Early 20th Century British Literature,” and instead dedicating an entire lecture to what a terrible racist Joseph Conrad supposedly was.  I wondered aloud, actually interrupting her, what relevance this had to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780156628709&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used).  This led to me being yelled at and called a Nazi by some hysterical student at the back of the classroom, followed by a nodding smile from the professor.

 

The truth is that Conrad hated everyone, as could be summarized by a brief Christmas greeting he wrote to one of his friends in 1923, a few short months before he died:

One lives too long.  Happy X-mas.

 

In no way am I defending racism as a belief or practice.  But it is important to note one undeclared bigotry within the whole anti-racist ideology (and let us avoid the cartoonish white nationalist “Anti-Racist is a code word for Anti-White,” as celebrated in hideous Neo-Nazi recruitment websites like this ridiculous nonsense:

 

Home

 

I mean, listen to these fucking imbeciles, if you have the stomach for it.  All it is is whining paranoia about so-called “white genocide,” and a moaning lament about how all other countries in the world are for the native people–“African nations for Africans,” “Asian nations for Asians,” but wonders why so-called “White nations” are forced into multiculturalism, forgetting all about human history.  Europeans brought other races into their lands as slaves.  In the US the actual natives were wholesale slaughtered.  The white man has been the chief invader of the world as far back as we can record, having developed better weapons technology faster than the generally more peaceful natives of other lands and warmer climates.  This is not to say that Africans and Asians and every other sort of native aborigine the world over did not engage in warfare over land and food and outright tribal hatred, but those superior weapons of the white man were original tried out among himself, crushing every culture they came into contact with and making it their own, murdering each other when they did not have a clear visual difference to attack over perceptions of belief.)

 

But the undeclared notion is the actual prejudice of anti-racist crusaders, not the weeping barks of the white nationalists, but the boiling hatred of those who believe their intentions are just.  Perhaps they are so blinded by a sense of righteousness that they cannot even see the behavioral similarity they have to staunch segregationists.  They might proclaim that they don’t hate anyone, but they certainly hate racists, as though removing them from humanity itself and cursing them as a lesser species, deserving of all the debased shame they have read about and watched on television.  It is no different in intention if the target is changed.  This is something worth remembering.

 

I hate radicalism of every sort, and this is what I have mostly written about, not just in this essay, but all throughout Recording Editorial History–both the hypocrisies and the threat such absolutism offers to civilization.  And so it is important, I believe, to recognize those we might disagree with–even those whose opinions we find offensive–and stop lumping them in with the true monsters at the extreme, acknowledging their genuine optimism, no matter how hopelessly misguided and fundamentally wrong they are.

Uncategorized

The Tremendous, Really, Really, Super, Super, Greatest of All Time (People Are Saying) Presidency of the Very, Very Smart Donald J. Trump, American Hero

 

Related image

People are saying that President Trump likes to fuck his daughter Ivanka.  I don’t know if this is true–I have never met the man and only seen him on TV.  But people are saying this.

Image result for donald trump fucks his daughter

Image result for donald trump fucks his daughter

Image result for donald trump fucks his daughter

Now we have all heard this, whether it is truth or a slur only other people know, but the truth, as it has become under this particular administration no longer has to have proof.  I mean, if just one of you out there believes this to be true (and I researched this, there are whole websites dedicated to this,

https://www.ign.com/boards/threads/do-you-think-donald-trump-has-had-sex-with-his-daughter.455108013/)

I mean, people are saying this.  How do we know if it’s true?

 

The statements of people celebrating our President are impressive, not just the ‘greatest ever’ or ‘making America great (again),’but all the joyous individuals claiming how much he has done for them:

Image result for what donald trump is the greatest president ever!

Image result for what donald trump is the greatest president ever!

Image result for what donald trump is the greatest president ever!

Image result for what donald trump is the greatest president ever!

Image result for what donald trump is the greatest president ever!

Related image

Don’t you see the slogans?  To hell with facts, to hell with examples of how and why this is promoted as reality.  I mean, look at the chart above: Coolidge, after crooked Warren G. Harding died and the tremendous corruption of his administration was exposed, “Silent” Cal stood by saying nothing and trying to restart the government so the crimes of his late predecessor did the least harm.  McKinney, killed in office after a year, an ambitious ideas man who never had a chance to follow through with anything (replaced by Teddy Roosevelt, whom we will get to shortly), tried in a short period of time to forget about the shame the nation would have to endure until world events consumed them.

 

Eisenhower, restoring some semblance of reason in that post-WWII era, that post-Atomic bomb time when everyone was terrified and Truman, an unlikable man, made everyone nervous and the Reds were supposedly spreading their demonic message and Joe McCarthy was on a rampage and there was still so much money after the war and comic books were corrupting children, the nation wanted a secure daddy figure to tell them everything was going to be okay and let’s let the general do whatever he thinks best because I am too busy baby booming and moving to the suburbs and buying a brand new car and working for a burgeoning corporation that has promised me they will have the back of my family after I die.  God bless Dwight, because he can be held up as a decent man!

 

Bill Clinton–a creep who knew how to make money for the nation.  It is an age of cynicism and growing partisan divide, played out mostly on the nightly news and online screaming rooms.  Politics has become entertainment, a blood sport, and goddammit how does this scumbag manage to stay afloat?  He must know what he’s doing.  Let him get away with it.

 

William Howard Taft, Teddy Roosevelt’s handpicked successor, a future Supreme Court Chief Justice who understood the law better than anyone and was fully aware that World War I was on the horizon.  “I will keep us safe!” Taft said in this dwindling age when Presidents were still respected.  “I will save us from the Communist chaos and the militaristic terror spreading throughout Europe.  You can count on me.  Just let me impose this legislation and you will be . . .”

 

Richard Nixon, in front and just after both elections, had a great deal of social and international chaos to work with.  It does not matter how his paranoia over a dominating victory in the 1972 election led to his unleashing former spies to steal documents from his flaccid opponent George McGovern’s campaign.  He was still clearly in charge before the fall.  In 1968, after LBJ had mangled the nation with the endless failure that became the Vietnam war, after dividing Southern Democrats over the Civil Rights act, and after the grim hopelessness of a series of political assassinations, Johnson simply gave up; he retired, leading the way to the past tense that Richard Nixon had to offer, his own bottled up corruption that the quality of Eisenhower, whom Nixon was Vice-President with, now allowed to impose new ideas and regulations upon the nation that he claimed to love but which plenty of people could justify claiming he despised by his actions.  And yet Richard Nixon, today, this bugbear of the far right in his era, would be denounced as a left-wing stooge, a RINO, caring about the environment and the well-being of the people of the nation after his own surly ambition.  Yes, Nixon got away with a great deal of curious things in the collapsing age of the 1960s through early 1970s.  After all, most people were too stoned to do anything other than bitch and moan just how wrong the state of the nation was.

 

George W. Bush in 2004 benefited from the PTSD the whole nation was suffering from, regardless of their angry partisan views, following the horror that was September 11, 2001.  People were scared.  They suddenly looked to a government they hadn’t truly respected since Kennedy was in office (or earlier, if their politics wavered elsewhere).  And Bush, Jr. was nothing if not convinced of his own well-meaning decency, regardless of how those notions may have turned out.  He was a confident man, a public servant to the core whose personal interest in whatever private company was profiting off of his stoogery was secondary to his often deluded ideas on how to “keep America safe.”  And the people in the nation were scared, we were truly terrified and yes, even if we disagree (said most of Congress), let’s let him do what he thinks is best and we will deal with the consequences later.

 

Herbert Hoover turned out to be one of the greatest failures in American Presidential history.  Not all of this was his fault, of course, the crooked greed of Warren G. Harding and the aloof silence of Coolidge before him leaving him to be the one standing around helplessly as the stock market collapsed, as natural disaster ravaged the farmlands, and as the Great Depression overtook the world, feeding into the radical right wing movements that were overtaking much of the world.  Hoover tried his best, he randomly attempted new laws to keep the hopelessness at bay, but the movement of the world overwhelmed him.  He offered so many conflicting views that he did more bad than good in the final analysis, leading the way to FDR and the true dawn of World War II.  This is the massive impact an anonymous figure like Herbert Hoover has had on United States history.

 

And now Donald Trump, apparently, has imposed far more change on the nation than everyone before him.  More than George Washington, than Thomas Jefferson, than Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson and even FDR.  Certainly more than Clinton and Obama, the true targets of his rage, for whom his angry changes to the way the nation works are apparently targeted and yet have nothing in reality to do with.  Ronald Reagan, in this current administration, while being held high up as a saint, is yet another past-tense Republican whose innate decency would today be written off as a RINO, another fake Republican that the far right, whose parents worshiped when they were children, could condemn as a traitor.

 

People love to exaggerate their ultimate value to the world and to the future when talking about either themselves or those they hold up to the highest standards.  And the only thing that I see from all these crude catcalls and the nonsense that goes back and forth in the voice of indifferent allegation is the destruction of language, the loss of meaning of once important words.  “Very.”  “Greatest.”  “Terrific.”  “Perfect.”  When one can transform these terms into their exact opposites, “Very.”  “Worst.”  “Terrible.”  “Failure,” then language itself loses meaning, creating a newfangled Tower of Babel (for you handful who still consider the Bible) where everyone is speaking over everyone, and nobody understands, or even cares to listen to anybody.

 

This is the legacy of President Donald J. Trump, both a demigod and demon within the flaming chasm of a divided America.  If nothing else, regardless of how you view the man, one can not dispute that his impact on the nation has been . . . well it’s been tremendous . . .

 

 

 

Uncategorized

A Terrible Yet Hilarious Week in Politics

 

 

Image result for political junkie meaning

I think I have said before that I am a political junkie.  Let’s consider this term before we wade into the biased cynicism of the premise.  A “political junkie,” is really just another drug addict, consumed by the words that other people say, and getting high from whichever way our ideologies lead us.  I am a ‘liberal,’ or at least this is what the far right would call me, although most of my contempt, the highest degree of disgust I find for other people exists within my own tribe.  Liberals are a bunch of pussies.  Liberals are fucking stupid.

 

Now don’t get me wrong: I condemn the right even more, a small-minded batch of cretins seeking to alter reality into whichever slim prejudice consumes their momentary view of the world.  But the left, supposedly my brethren, have become the same sort of Nazi they presume the right stomps around being.  They are no different,  regardless of ideology.  The far left are a group of fascists blaming everyone else for whatever it is about the world they find offensive.

 

Don’t get me wrong: the modern right is far more “snowflake” than the pussy-assed left ever was, reacting to base perceptions of what their opposition might be saying and getting offended over everything, misunderstanding everything.  The right are the post hippie assholes of say 1973, joining aimless cults of opposition with suicidal ambition, hovering around the extremes, a gun-play fantasy that erupted in the 1990s in Ruby Ridge and Waco and Oklahoma City, conspiratorial perceptions of reality that undermine what the actual truth might be, damning the whole world beneath an expansive perception–secret societies and other beings that could no longer possibly exist in the crazed age of the internet.  And then they get even more defensive, not truly understanding their base and increasingly intricate plots, and try to turn it around and laugh at the left-wing douchebags, mocking their supposedly hurt feelings.

 

The left, on the other hand–well the left until 2016–they had subtly won more or less everything, demeaning the so-called right, imposing their smug perceptions of reality on those fragmented people who found everything going on in the world offensive.  Of course there is no valid reason everything was so horrible to such folks (one might consider racism or outright fascistic fanaticism, but even this is a vast minority of the creeps that were as angry as the rest, a parallel to the far left waiting for anything and everything to piss them off so they could protest and denounce it.)  All it was was a cheap sideshow of partisan issues, whichever social organization promising a new reality the one that only a tiny handful obsequiously forwarded their money to, most of them well-to-do enough to ignore whichever way the election might turn.

 

I voted for Obama, sure, but that does not mean that I actually believed in him.  It was, to me (and, I suspect, to the bulk of others who nominally supported him), the ‘lesser of two evils,’ a bleak statement declaring that no one set to lead is worthwhile, and there can only be varying degrees of decline within our broken society.  Donald Trump succeeded in exactly the same way, the angry opposition defeating the burned out other side, demanding a restoration of legal hatred and outright contempt for those you disagree with.

 

Donald Trump publicly restored greed as an innate American characteristic, a schoolyard bully sort of idea that presumes you deserve whatever it is that you want. This is far from the worst thing our President has done to society.  For all of his antics, for all of the silly, mostly ignorant, nonsensical and outright ridiculous ideas the man has had and has failed to implement (and yet for which cult-like supporters claim he is “making America great again,” regardless of the fact that nothing has happened and none of them have any idea what they are talking about), Donald Trump nevertheless certainly knows how to lie convincingly to his followers.  This is a gift all politicians, from every side in any social history, are envious of.  Look at how a perpetual liar has convinced his followers that he is the only voice of truth.  Look at how he has countered bleak and unequivocal facts and turned them into lies because whatever the truth is it might make the deity look bad.  I do not write these words individually to condemn the worthlessness of every promise Donald Trump has ever made (that is too easy and you could check that out in seventeen words on Twitter).  No, what I am hoping to draw attention to is the intentional divergence from reality that all current politicians hope to perform, regardless of whether they are aware of it or not.  Donald Trump . . . Donald Trump does not do all of this on purpose.  When he was promoted as ‘a man of the people’ this had nothing to do with his silver spoon nor the fact that he never truly had to work hard to achieve anything.  It has nothing to do with his bland stupidity or his social blindness, and there can be no truthful allegations declaring he is prejudiced against any one social group when clearly the man hates everyone.  No, Donald Trump is a man of the people because he does not have the patience to consider a different idea from his own, to hear anything counter to his rushed thoughts on how the world is supposed to be.  He does not bother thinking about who or what or why other people may suffer.  He is a businessman, the sort of person who cares about nothing other than the bottom line.

 

Yes, I find Donald Trump to be a disgrace, but do not pigeonhole me into some partisan rant about ‘libtard’ or ‘demoncrat’ or whatever stupid fucking cheap slur people might devise to dismiss another from their limited human reality.  I find all of it appalling, and I have for a very long time.  I was in college at the dawn of the Clinton years, a bland time of plenty when ideologues thought that since there were no wars we might as well fight over morality.  I listened to and watched most of my friends protesting the new Republican majority in Congress, and I followed the bleak-eyed hatred of the silenced-on-campus right blaming Bill Clinton for their getting a B in some liberal professor’s history class.  But all of this ridiculous pettiness has become transformed in this far more evolved internet age into chants of smug riot, of insidious, self-deprecating hatred, where even whatever extreme we find most offensive becomes the most important thing we will ever have to say.

 

All political discourse in the United States has become bullshit, the followers of one or the other side more like college football fanatics, painting their faces in the mascot’s colors and booing the other team should they score a touchdown.  The truth of how the government is run, of how civilization interacts with each other, can really be reduced to such meaningless rooting interest fandom.  Nothing else is actually true.  No one is honest or sincere.  All of those radical opinions you dedicated yourselves to once upon a time, back when you convinced yourselves that the world was worth saving, are just the same babbling cesspool those college kids you once thought yourself to be–‘Imma gonna change the world!–‘ all of it meaningless in the adulthood where we come to realize that everyone has a different agenda and that even those who otherwise agree with you have no interest in the science-fictional future you wish to impose upon everyone not yourself.  And now we older folks condemn the young, those fools resembling us in our banished enthusiasm, condemning their nonsense not because we necessarily don’t agree with their aims, but only because we recognize too much of our own failures and get angry seeing another generation repeating the same mistakes.

 

This will be my last piece from the series of untitled bleakness I have undertaken this week, a new grip on reality that might actually lessen my readership at the moment when, under business considerations, I have intentionally reduced my audience (India, up until last week, was far and away my largest readership.  Having decided to no longer pay google to spread my link on Hindu news sites, that nation, other than I guess the people who were actually fans, has disappeared.)  If nothing else the demise of my audience has taught me something about who my true and readers are, giving me a better idea of who it is I am writing for.  You are the few hundred remaining folks I wish to speak to.  I realize that once the biography and the novel come out there will probably be a boost in readership, but those will be the same tired assholes from, say, Thailand, who awarded me with a few dollars a week and yet probably never got through any of these articles.  But Recording Editorial History, while ultimately to me a psychological venting and lingual calisthenics, giving me the work out necessary to engage with the numerous other projects that consume my mind when not laughing at the news, this site is really a cry in the dark, a spent reason for living that might appeal to someone or even nobody, hearing the silent squawk of misery that generally overwhelms my otherwise happy-go-lucky, cheerfully pessimistic vision of the world.