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The Meaning of Reconciliation

 

Let’s look ahead to the future for a while.  Let’s settle ourselves and relax, having nothing much to do other than busy work, activities defined by cleaning, watching TV, eating food that isn’t good for us, some of us fucking, plus maybe a little reading or playing games.  Necessary home repair.  Some of us smoke and drink and get high and desperately try to cope with the terror by trying to get as far away from things as possible.

 

Let’s start this future with a horror scenario:

 

So the virus lingers on–almost a year, society mostly crumbled.  We’re approaching our first full winter and food is growing increasingly sparse.  Those rare days walking the aisles with a scarf around your mouth, grabbing anything you can lay your hands on no matter how gross and formerly inedible, those days have become dangerous just being in the same location with anyone.  The virus seems to have taught itself to resist alcohol and anti-bacterial chemicals.

 

TV still has a few channels, reruns, home shopping, along with various grades of political propaganda four times a day, dividing the terrified people into factions based on whichever channel is their favorite.  It is much worse than it is today, fake news, with the corporate shareholding and profit margins demanding profit.  No, the very idea of news, once one of the wonders of human invention, has been perverted.  Nothing is exposed.  Everything is broadcast as the way things aught to be.

 

The corruption of the media has been not particularly slow in its evolution, although it was far more tame, way back then, than the era we’ve entered in this harrowing potential near future.

 

Heroic or condemnatory addresses are usually delivered by Big Brother (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780451524935&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used) or some populist demagogue out of All the King’s Men  (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780553126884&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used).  These are people with great speech-writers and enough charisma to make these words sound either charming, threatening, or inspiring.  We have no idea what is going on in the world, the internet in and out, and power outages are getting more frequent.  It is calling for snow flurries in southern Florida.

 

People start robbing stores and other people’s houses, breaking in wielding the guns they aggressively loaded up on.  Murders are up.  Many police officers have quit are doing the same things.

 

Things get stolen that could still sell for quite a bit of money.  Imagine three guys kicking your door in, two pointing guns.  They shove you around, slap you and beat your ass, humiliate you.  Anyone pulling a gun is immediately shot, whether one of the burglars gets killed or not.  They see your daughter, go over and grab her.  The mother and father are screaming while one of the kidnappers tells them to “shut the fuck up!”  He punches the mother.  He breaks her jaw.

 

The father tries to get up and save his daughter, being dragged off screaming and then loaded into a car.  If he gets anywhere close he is shot.  Sometimes he survives, seeing the car race off, still able to hear his child’s screams half a block away.

 

So there is a potential direction things might go, but it might take longer with enough people in such a future having died from the plague to keep enough food on the shelves for a while.  You can even picture a supermarket with maybe three people walking the aisles, holding one of those plastic baskets, over-packed, while two people work there and a manager sits in the back on the phone, talking to his corporate masters.  There are heavily armed security guards hired by the mega-farms to protect their investment.  There’s no deli people or butcher, just slabs of refrigerated meat (human?  diseased human?)  Working at such a place has proven to be an excellent job, getting paid mostly in the first choice of food and supplies.  Christmas gifts are batteries.

 

There is a way, I believe, to avoid such dystopian futures.  We need to take advantage of this isolated time at home and reconsider our biases and hatreds.  Biases have changed in this modern age, focused less on race and gender, or sexuality, and is now almost entirely against the perception of another person’s belief. Sure, there are plenty who still hate blacks and queers, the Irish, the Catholics, and the Scottish, and a whole lot more.  Evangelical Christians, many who are not particularly prejudiced against people at all, truly praying for them, are forced if anyone to tolerate Jews, even with their strange customs, their incipient greed [as none of them ever call it], and that killing of first born christian babies every other sabbath in some sort of blood ritual.  God’s law, they claim, tells that all the Jews must return to Israel so Jesus can return on a Pegasus, or something, and slaughter every last one of them, saving the world for paradise. Talk about a an increasingly possible final solution.

 

Prejudice has redirected these days, taking all of the things that we hate about other people and ramming them into an ideology. It is a cult, envisioned rage against the enemy.  It is democrats or liberals or stupid right wing motherfuckers–Trumpsters, as some people witlessly call the other, misunderstanding and stereotyping them into a cheap slur:  Libtards, Russian troll, right-wing retard. They use flat terms, their smug bias painting whomever and whatever into something less than human, a boomer or cuck, or just plain stupid, or any of the other, more famous and recognizable vulgar insults, about race and gender and sexuality.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if we all took this time to rest our exhausted anger and frustration?  We could take a time out from hating each other, refusing to know, listen, or even allowing someone the offer of a contrary opinion, let’s get away from that and actually try to listen.  Shouldn’t we be united, at least for the duration of this thing?  Could we take advantage of the one good thing this virus offers civilization: a chance to reconcile?

 

But perhaps we are already too angry to return to a recognizable world once the air finally clears. Otherwise, with this dress rehearsal for apocalypse changing our very ideas on survival, how many of us might come back reeking of blood?

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Uncategorized

Recovery Calisthenics

 

Hi there.  So I have been absent from Recording Editorial History for a brief stint, a few days short of a week.  Now don’t take this wrong, but I was in the hospital.  Wait–wait!  No, it wasn’t the plague.  We always jump to such drastic conclusions.

 

I had one of those embarrassing problems–an ass problem being perfectly blunt.  It was painful and humiliating.  I was uncomfortable all the time over the first two days.  But I got better and now I’m back home and can shit again.

 

I call this piece “Recovery Calisthenics” because it’s really just exercise, push-ups and crunches and the like.  It won’t be long.   All it is is stretching.

 

Anyway, a “Dispatches From the Fly-on-the-Wall” will be picked up as a study of yet another curious group of people droning on and on, mercilessly biased, full-on rage opposing conspiracy theories, spitted out in an empty frustration chat room.  Most of them hardly bother to read what other people wrote.  They just answer.  “I bet you fucking liberals are sorry you don’t got guns now!” the sound of mocking privilege,  the selfish sort of person who laughs when other people are suffering.   Or what about, “All you Trump supporters are sub-human.  Aren’t you happy you have Trump now that coronavirus is killing you!  You get what you vote for!  I hope all of you die.”  This, too, has that same mocking privilege, the smug righteousness that laughs in the face of the sick, hoping that things keep getting worse to prove their point.

 

And so I end this work-out feeling even better.  I blahhed something out.  I actually kinda like it.

 

(Is there anything left on my work checklist?  I reminded myself of active projects and what I’m doing here, warming up and getting ready to work.  I paraphrased two actual statements made online, although the context is usually different.  You’ll see, you’ll see.  Now it’s time to stop talking to myself–)

 

Until a different afternoon.

 

(completed at 1:06 AM, 3/30/2020)

Uncategorized

Dog Pile on the Rabbit (Dispatches From the Fly on the Wall–3/21-22/2020)

 

In this series we have an ongoing character appearing in nearly every conversation, no matter the topic.  Dog Pile on the Rabbit has been played by many different individuals, people who take someone’s allegation far too seriously, and they run with it!  These are the followers of an idea or movement who develop chants, hold signs, scuffle with police, and scream their outrage, regardless of the stance they take.  Sometimes these figures are savages, jumping into an extreme far out of dimension over controversy or suspected crime(s).

 

Dog Pile on the Rabbit is often filled with praise too, shouting overjoy with fanatical politeness.  Take this from a writing room (I will not publish the stories or prompts or poems of others, respecting their right to to their own submission.)  Tough luck on the conversation, folks.  All that is mine.  As per usual, names are not changed to protect anyone (fuck those people!), but shoved into a literary affectation to allow for character development.  And since this mostly focuses on a specific character type, the conversations will be more highly edited than usual, sometimes picking a handful out and fitting them into a similar reply for the relevant quotes used for this study:

 

Oh, I’m harsh!  Watch out for me!

  • Are you sure you want this critiqued? I tread carefully.

 

Sensitive Artist, turning away in a huff

  • no it was what just came to me. My mind is different from other’s. To each there(sp) own. Keep it interesting.

The Birth of Dog Pile on the Rabbit (positive)

  •  It’s not easy to expose oneself and I appreciate your willingness to share with the group. Critiqueing other’s work is a very tricky undertaking, trying to give honest feedback, while respecting the creation and the creator. I personally think anyone who’s brave enough to put their work and themselves in such a vulnerable position deserves kudos for doing so. Thank you for sharing.🙂
This is an important piece for the conversation to follow.  Since much of what will pass in the creative writing rooms, peopled by the nervous/arrogant sort of writer, most of them so filled with angst over whether they have any talent or not, yet see in their ideas a work of genius.  Some post their first drafts of their work after having maybe re-read their work twice.  Inevitably there follows hordes of uncaught spellcheck revisions, spelling errors only sometimes fixed, context and tone of voice problems, and sometimes trying to cover so much ground they make very little sense.
(For the poem that inspired this brief conversation, I withdrew from entering a comment.  I read the thing but I didn’t like it.  Had I commented it is quite possible I would have harmed this person’s sense of themselves.  This is not an arrogant boast, for even the lamest comments, a “This need work,” or even the stark single-worded “bad.”  My stuff is the sort of analytical breakdown I used to do in college, deep-meaning speculations on works that I often despised.  I used to be a high school English teach too, which caused me to be irritatingly high-minded about the quality of student work–and yes, my mediocre favorites did benefit, while the kids I didn’t like would mildly suffer.  I was a TA, or teacher’s assistant, in my undergraduate college years.  I knew a lot of the kids socially.  I got to grade some of the papers.  I was mean.)
The Birth of Dog Pile on the Rabbit (the Sensitive Artist’s Conversion)
  • thank you

 

 
Dog Pile on the Rabbit(i)
  • . . . continue pursuing your passion (s) no matter what.
Becomes Dog Pile on the Rabbit
  •   i will. Appreciate it alot.

 

Do not mistake this guise of politeness from what is really going on here.  These are, of course, not the traditional Dog Pile on the Rabbit we will be taking on shortly, but they are the progenitor of such creatures: the meet pose, the drunkenly encouraging, the way-too-hard efforts to fix the hurt expression the like-minded recall they have experienced.  Then come desperately radical responses.  This is how Dog Pile on the Rabbit is born, at least in the slight dialogue expressed in chat rooms.  Of course over this time being homebound, that conversation has drastically increased.  The talk becomes repetitious.  They begin their cultish existence:

Even with an outline, how does one get over writers block?

 

Either Young or Old Enough to Retire, enjoying the games which precede sitting down and actually writing

  • II changed the color of my paper and screen

 

  •  I write a conversation between two of my characters asking each other questions about the outline.

 

I’m gonna make like it’s easy and substitute a name for God

 

  • Mostly the MC does all the talking and then I just go from there 🙂
These are the initial responses, the sort of character who gets the ball rolling.  Here’s what we should talk about, let’s do.  In a chat group that does something like this, clearly the writers are wasting their time, doing anything other than working.  It is a question on writer’s block after all.  These people offer solutions, perfectly valid exercises to see if you can’t get going.
The real concern here is that the questioner seems to be having trouble even composing an outline.  It implies there is no idea in the first place, that sort of Always-wanted-to-be-a-writer-and-now-I-have-some-time person looking sorrowfully cute,
  Image result for cartoon characters writing
For some reason, this inspires anger

 

  • . . . I think about someone who irritated me earlier in the week and write about something horrible happening to them.
Dog Pile on the Rabbit
  • Just start writing anything, edit later
Dog Pile on the Rabbit
  • Just keep 
Dog Pile on the Rabbit
  • Just start writing, even if it’s utter drivel at first 

 

Maybe a third of the respondents repeat this same comment, but you get the idea.

 

Let’s turn to politics.  This one,

Image: Rand Paul

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/rand-paul-becomes-first-known-senator-test-positive-coronavirus-n1166111?fbclid=IwAR0LRAdZnAEYv48mQ68CJ8MkywFyr71jEIPs1T-Pukwi8OkahQofT4AuRYY

 

this one features a rancor unexpected in its callousness.  The chat site I selected this one from tends to be peopled by cynical younger people–not children, just younger than me, 20s and 30s, I’d guess, with a few even senior to me, here in my late 40s.  Their cynicism is really another form of nihilism, a bleak, hopeless, given up on the world and want everyone else to suffer just like them.  Of the more than a hundred and fifty comments this has received at the moment I found this, the vast majority are Dog Pile on the Rabbits.  A mere selection:

 

  • Can you say K A R M A
  • I DO believe in KARMA!!!!
  • Ain’t karma a bitch!

 

  • Thank you Ms Karma for your service

 

  • Hey Senator. Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?? Let’s face it, you got it coming

 

  • I hate to say this but Karma for the imbecile

 

  • Well I am sorry for anybody that gets this horrible virus but karma is a bitch

 

  • Karma

 

  •  Karma

 

  •  Karma

 

  •  Karma

 

  • it’s bitch
  • Karma can be a real bitch sometimes
  • Karma is a bitch.

 

  • Karma is a bitch
  • His Karma ran over his Dogma!
  • Karma is undefeated.
  • Can you say “KHARMA”? This is the Asshole that just voted AGAINST helping the American People!
  • Karma. Thoughts and Prayers!!
  • Thoughts and prayers

 

  • Thoughts and prayers

 

  • Thoughts and prayers

 

  • Thoughts and prayers Shit Head

 

  • Thoughts and prayers!

 

  • you reap what you sow

 

  • I don’t wish illness on anyone however this guy is reaping what he sows.

 

  • Reap what you sow

 

  • Good

 

  • Good. Fuck him
  • GOOD

 

  • I hate to laugh at someone else’s misfortunes, but fuck him.

 

  • Ha ha fuck this asshole

 

  • HAAHAHAHHHAAAHAHAHA!

 

  • I kinda am happy this fucking asshole got it.

 

  • As far as I’m concerned he’s a “non-people”. And as he said, non-people don’t count.

 

  • Go hug some of your GOP friends douche bag

 

  • He doesn’t care about human beings. God doeth all things well.

 

  • Now go a hug everybody in the Senate.

 

  • Fuck him just like the Republican motherfucker say fuck the American people

 

  • Get all the fucking republican scum.

 

  • That’s great news. Hope it is fatal for him. The world will be a better place.

 

  • I hope the Devil needs assholes in hell…

 

  • What can I say… Except good bitch! I honestly, hope it fuckin kills the prick.

 

  • Please take him Lord!!!!!!

 

  • Take one for the team..die Paul die

 

  •  This asshole comes here in Canada for his health problem, I just hope he dies… asshole!

 

  • yes, he should die. So should entire administration! If you don’t agree with me, don’t scold me or tell me what you feel. I don’t care.

 

  • Couldn’t happen to a better person. Oh trump should be next.

 

  • i wish Trump dies!

 

  • Whatever

 

What a bunch of assholes, right?  I assure you that every single one of these respondents is a different person, and this far from includes as of the references to “Karma,” “thoughts and prayers,” “reap(ing) what you sow,” “Good,” “asshole,” “fuck this guy,” “I hope he dies,” “It’s all the Republicans fault,” and “I hope all republicans die.”

 

I am not a Republican (nor a Democrat, being entirely against organized religion,) and yet this is a weird reaction from people suddenly throw into an we’re-all-in-this-together situation where we need everybody to work hard to save civilization in the future.  But this petty bullshit (and this certainly comes from all sides, right wing sites mostly mourning Senator Paul’s misfortune while blaming the Democrats and their “socialized medicine” for causing this.  Some offer smug “thoughts and prayers,” while others go out and wish the entire left dead.), this awfulness depicted here is clearly widespread, at least on the internet, where what once were considered private thoughts in moments of ire become public forum for crushing debates.

 

And this Dog Pile on the Rabbit mentality has only grown more intense as people are forced to stay away from each other, life and friendships getting smaller and smaller and bored and lonely people increasingly depending on people they will never know to lift them up or cause any other kind of reaction.

 

And so, “dog Pile on the Rabbit!  Dog pile on the rabbit!  Dog pile on the rabbit!  Dog pile on the rabbit!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

The Profiteering of Blame (Dispatches From the Fly On the Wall–3/19-20/2020

 

Like the other pieces in this series, the names of the individual commentators have been changed not to protect their identities (fuck those people!), but to use them in various contexts to exemplify a common point of view.  All voices are stereotyped, then further generalized, given a blunt name, and slice-and-dice edited into the dialogue as representations of familiar character voices we encounter on social media sites.   If, like me, the fly on the wall, you engage in such verbal warfare in petty, frustrated chat rooms, you know that you can argue about anything.  I have been paying attention to the many distractions people find to take them away from the larger picture of the days, the dread plague barking at the world, eventually bringing it back around to this worldwide obsession.  That beast, of course, is offering the selfish people a chance to quiet down, a time that everyone in the world might actually work together to make the earth a better place for all of us.  Pipe dream, yes, I know.  As self-destructive as I find it, I too am a cynic.

 

At least there are still plenty of other things that can piss us off:

Burr

https://www.axios.com/richard-burr-coronavirus-stock-7bd10426-de87-43d7-9939-8241d2ab08db.html?fbclid=IwAR33gfFmdW48OkrXYRManp-bJ-M3XwhNiXjOzvpx0rTTPp0YtygIPLV5Rs8

 

We begin by discussing this sleazy-looking guy, reporters asking questions he is terrified they already know the answers to.  This sack of shit is Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (Republican from North Carolina).  He is accused of taking advantage of the economic system by using the clear insight someone in his position could not help but see what was coming from Coronavirus.  On February 13, he dumped anywhere from a half a million to a million and a half dollars of whatever tech or industrial stocks he’d been hoarding.  Taking advantage of what he knew?  Obviously.  Is this illegal?  Well, maybe.  It seems less insider trading than someone right in front of a situation that is telling him that he’d better get out while the gettin’s still a little good.  We can fault him, sure.  But I don’t really see the crime.

 

Now the worse part is something this heartless motherfucker also did.  A few days prior to his selling his stocks, Senator Burr released a statement that claimed the US was “better prepared than ever before” for this “disease” both he and the Trump administration didn’t believe in.  He aloofly brushed it off, like the President at the time, saying, essentially, “We’re Americans.  Ain’t no disease gonna take us down!”  He sold his assets probably more as a “just in case” (does anyone really doubt that this guy also owns plenty of other stocks that are tanking in the market daily?), believing his fantasy of an unconquerable America, and figuring, if not, he might as well make a profit off the horror anyway.

Frustrated with corruption, exasperated, although still morally intact moralist:

  •  Profit should go pay for new ventilators. Every penny.
Ugh, I’m so disgusted with this shit anymore.  I’ve stopped listening!
  • The Swampiest of Swampers.
Dog pile on the rabbit
    •  LITERALLY!!!!!
      He should go to jail for insider trading

     

I’m always searching for the way those crooks’ll get out of it, always trying to think like them

  • He probably deserves to rot in jail, but it might be difficult to tie his individual trades to specific, material, non-public information. I think he’s safe unless Democrats flip the Senate.
Oh yeah?  Well I know something worse that he did!
  • This is the same guy who told a bunch of elite cronies on FEBRUARY 27 that the virus was going to be as bad as the 1918 flu, while telling the public that we were all safe and fine. He should be arrested and tried for fraud and murder.

 

I find this particular comment curious.  Burr did say something to this effect to a group of constituents (‘cronies’ is fair), although by this point, two weeks after his sell off, Burr had definitely come to a different mind.  What he actually said was, “There’s one thing that I can tell you about this — it is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything we have seen in recent history. It’s probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”

 

Burr was not as aggressive as the disease in getting this message out to the public, but by then he was no longer telling anyone they were going to be okay.  He was nervous–scared!  He didn’t contradict Trump in public, but to anyone who asked he told them the President was wrong.

 

The murder charge is questionable at best.  Perhaps negligence?  But fraud?  No.  No no no.  This is one of those morons who honestly thought one way before getting punched in the face and changing his mind.  He was simply wrong.  He wasn’t intentionally trying to put anyone in harm’s way.  He’s just greedy, not someone guilty of genocide.  He’s an asshole, yes!  Put him on a TV show in a chair in the center of a room while everyone shouts at him.  But being moronically wrong about something is not an actual form of deception, and certainly not a crime.

 

Ha ha ha ha ha!  I think I see a way we can get them once and for all!

  • now that’s Donnie Trump style winning for you… if this s[ch]muck is returned to the Senate, it will say a lot about NC… Recall seems to be in order if permitted.
Dog pile on the rabbit 2
  • Recall for certain!

 

This drips of unpalatable smarmyness.  Smug joy being taken over exposure of the greed and corruption of the US Government.  The tone is taunting, trying to trap those innocent fools who might still believe that the crooks are looking out for them.  They condemn a state I am almost certain this individual has never visited, and perhaps only know about a small nugget that occurred there before the Civil War, when some monster did something terrible to terrified people just off a slave ship.  And this defines the entire culture to them forevermore.
The ending is flaccid, limp, dangling.  “Recall seems to be in order,” a polite way of demanding impeachment.  Then (and why in an outright statement of opinion?), “if permitted.”  Fuck that!  I mean, seriously, fuck that.  If permitted?  You’re shouting about corruption into a devouring void, all day long during quarantine.  Who cares any longer what’s real?  Condemn the motherfucker to some torture chamber in hell out of Dante.  Give him the deep lake of shit where it never gets lower than just beneath his nose.  He is almost drowning, sniffing some in and gagging not because of what it is (not any longer), but because he momentarily cannot breathe.  The smell he’s gotten used to.  Even the taste.  It is always going in his mouth, is burning the corners of his eyes.  The shit can be hot.  It could literally burn his balls off, and melt off the tip of his cock, if not the entire thing.  His whole body could be one raw sore of burn.  He can be blind.  He can have some flying devil pissing acid on his head every moment of eternity.  Condemn something!  Don’t ask for permission.
Me, defending someone almost indefensible
  • Give the man a break. It was pretty easy to predict an economic collapse weeks before we started taking the virus seriously.
Absolute certainty
  •  JAIL.
Me, seeing this as an opportunity for a deeper discussion
  • Why? Yeah, he’s a scumbag, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t predict what was coming without it being some whispered conversation intending to harm the rest of us

 

Peacefully trying to explain reality to me
  • He also lied to us about how serious it was going to be while he knew the truth.
Me, attempted logic in an increasingly illogical coversation
  • Even if that is true that is not actually a crime. And to say a selfish, self-glorifying scumbag like him ‘knew the truth’ is a bit of a stretch. This is, after all, someone who believes in numerous versions of truth.
Disgusted and expects nothing good from anyone
  • Plus why should we have a high bar for our elected officials? I mean look at what we’ve elected – we couldn’t set the bar much lower
On the precipice of diving into the murky bog of conspiracy theories
  • especially because we officially delayed telling the people how serious it was to broaden the gap
The ‘we’ is the interesting word here.  While condemning this ‘we’ (which is better than an amorphous ‘they’), they cannot help but also condemn themselves.  This may be a simple rushed typo thing, a semantic worry on the part of a fussy critic like myself, but the meaning behind this fascinates me, sort of a written Freudian slip.
Clearly the statement here is meant as a reiteration of an earlier, more passionate comment made about what Burr is guilty of.  This is declared far more devastatingly in the next response:
The voice of unalterable judgment
  • In a meeting with donors he was comparing it more to the Spanish Flu while downplaying it to everyone else. He knew the truth. (italics mine)
The same thing, not quite verbatim, that this same person said before
  • He definitely knew that it was about to get a lot worse than he let on. Prior to this administration, ethics violations were still a thing. Now it’s just Tuesday. 😕
What’s with the emoji?  The comment here discusses, in a cursory way, the complete collapse of human decency, and the end of government’s role in serving the people.  And yet it is made cute by this not angry face, one that reeks of a shoulder shrugging, hands in the air, what-am-I-supposed-to-do acceptance of such a state of being.
With no direct intention following up another person’s earlier point (mine), although speaking down like an aloof college professor to a group of ignorant fools, not offering anything, but telling us what homework we need to do to understand this statement.
  • I’m not sure what the charge would be. His offense kind of falls in a grey area between trading on non-public info and a pump-and-dump. You might need more data to figure out what he did and whether it was a crime.
Look!  I found something!  Read it and weep, Senator Burr!
  • Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'N Cohen @briantylercohen Here's an fun fact: The Stop Trading on Congres- sional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, designed to combat insider trading by members of Congress, which was signed into law by Obama in 2012, had passed the Senate 96-3. The 3 "nay" votes were: Thomas Coburn Jeff Bingaman and *Richard Burr* 5:16 PM 19 Mar 20 Twitter Web App'
This post is curious.  I suspect that the statement is more or less correct, and is thus particularly embarrassing for Senator Burr but . . . who is Brian Tyler Cohen?  I didn’t know either until I looked him up.  Here:
Seems like a pretty knowledgeable political guy, or at least someone who follows the news.  I am sure that he is too.  But of course we the people tend to get irritated when people such as this express their political views.  After all:
Despite his obviously sincere interest in this issue (as well as a heart-on-the-sleeve political bias, which can be forgiven), he remains an actor from mostly kids movies and TV shows, regardless of his growing political journalism resume.  Clearly his post is an editorial comment.
Me, trying to gently agree with the absolute corruption, but, as I am prone to do, offering historical analysis to essentially say the cliche ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’
  • It was actually midway through the Reagan administration, maybe 1986, when the last our governmental and social ethics disappeared. Oh, sure, there was great corruption before (Red Scare, Watergate, the JFK assassination just to name a few examples of ordeals that destroyed the public trust), and there have even been some honest bipartisan decency since, but if you’re seeking the good of our national interest, congress and the White House are not the direction to look. Various appointees might have the nation’s best interests in mind, although they are usually anonymous until they are truly needed, and fired should they contradict the President.

Unlikely to have read any of the comments, just trying to be cynically funny under the impression that there is nothing left to do

  • While the administration was downplaying it you know they were all on the phone with their brokers. Winning bigly.
I still have a problem not so much with the opinion of this statement (I mostly agree), as will the allegations seeping into its tone.  I simply do not believe that the gang of these corrupt goons was really attempting to fool the public about the virulence of the disease simply to make money for themselves.  Sure, that is certainly in their character, and I understand why this is so easy to believe, but we cannot forget that these are also the assholes who didn’t believe the virus was real in the first place.  They saw the changes in the market.  They were not lying to protect their investments (how would that work anyway, could someone please explain?)  They were simply morons.  Idiots.  Greedy fuckers with no idea what they’re talking about outside of the profit margin side of business
We are going to repeat things that offended us in 2016 and sarcastically sling them back onto the Trump administration, with joy
  • All those trades!?
    Super swampy!
    And Kelly Loeffler from GA too.
  •  Lock him up!
Condescending intellectual moralist who needs to tell those they hate how they should actually live their lives
  • Okay, Republicans. Here’s a simple lesson in ethics, since you apparently need it broken down for you: before you take any action, think about what will happen when people find out. It’s really that simple.
Defines all people on a different side from themselves as a monolithic hive-mind, lacking the ability for independent thought
  • They are incapable. They don’t even know what that means.
Listen people!  Stop whining.  The whole world is already fucked so deal with it.  Pussies.
  • Any of us could have done it. And many did. He didn’t know anymore than any of us. He’s entitled to sell stock, he has a family too! Jesus.
Unrelated by dead on criticism
  • If he didn’t know more than the rest of us, what’s he doing heading the intelligence committee!

 

Sad but true comedy, a zinger that lands
    • Well…at least one senator reacted quickly to the news of the coronavirus.

 

So what does any of this jumbled mess tell us?  I suppose it’s that profiteering, war or national emergency or otherwise, has many different sides.  Of course there are those taking advantage of a crisis to profit, the worst being those grotesque misers who gobbled up all the hand sanitizer and masks and wipes, only to try and sell them at the 1000% mark-up.  Desperate people, of course, will buy anything if they think it will save their lives.  Also, regarding such hoarders, isn’t the chief goal the stop the spread of the virus and restore not just the nation, but the entire world to safety, or at least normal?  How, then, does denying people the germ-killing lotions and protective gear allow this to happen?  Mine mine mine! people rave, like Daffy Duck stomping Bugs Bunny down into the ground in a chamber filled with treasure.

 

Others profiting from the current state of things are us, the critics, those of us pointing out dirty deeds and crooked instincts among the powerful.  Crisis has always been good for critics, to get their views out there and taken more seriously, regardless of how stupid many of those opinions are.  Critics are profiteers of human misery, trying to defend it by arguing that things are even worse than they seem.  And in our internet age of endless conspiracy theories, where anything that has ever happened is somewhere alleged to be not what it seems, and involving a secret agency to control us, all of us have become profiting critics, even those people who lie out of amusement.

 

This is who we have become (and many of us already were): cartoon characters drooling over the things scattered around ourselves, in our closed in den, mocking the rest of the world with outrage.

 

Uncategorized

Just Like the Poets Do

 

The story of poetry’s a long one

Forever, all the way through

So I might as well make it about myself

Just like the poets do.

As a student I hated poetry

In many ways, I still do.

As a boy I found it too emotional

As most teenage boys will do.

When I was told to write one in English class

I was baffled–and very angry too!

So I did my best to offend everyone

Just like the poets do.

When I was in college, in some curio called “Creative Writing 202”

It was poetry we were required to do.

So I wrote something hideous and vile

As I presumed all the best poets would do.

It was the story of necrophiliac, pedophilic rape

A grotesque piece of wretch and goo.

And when two students walked out of class

I believed myself a true poet, like any young poet would do.

So I got really pretentious, for a while

Zim-zim, zoom-zoom, lingual gymnastics all the way through

This can be easily justified by condemning the audience that doesn’t get you

Just like the poet’s do.

Underappreciated, angry, my arrogance came to a boil

That sense of injustice formed a rage-filled glue.

And then I started mocking everything, pretentiousness gone,

Like not enough poets do.

You start to call yourself a critic–or even worse, a satirist.

You’re gonna show them what you can do.

Of life can interfere with artistic fantasy

Just like a family will do.

So we call ourselves “professional writers” while our income is barely minimal

You need a job, gotta take care of them, you do.

And then romantic, loving parodies, 

Prove themselves untrue.

Sometimes bitterness or sorrow overwhelms us

Poetic history proves this is true.

Commit Suicide?

They do.

Often quiet ridiculously

A brief biography to get us through?

Re-meet Sylvia Plath, goddess to some, a talented sad sack, or even garbage, to the rest of us, always whining:

She went like the poets do.

Three times, suicide

is what she tried to do.

The first was a classic overdose, boring really, far too trite for such a dramatic creature as her

The following story is true:

She snuck into the basement with a bottle full of her mother’s sleeping pills.  She guzzled them.

And she failed to die, which made her even more blue.

    Nine years later she drove her car off the road, into a river.  She had two children then.  It is uncertain, despite her self-pitying confession, if her intent was to actually kill herself, or if she merely lost her mind and pulled over in a panic and–oh shit!–the car started sinking into the water, like Virginia Woolf (who, in an even more awful detail, drowned herself in the river, but her body was swept away, only to be discovered three weeks later to finally end the furious panic she’d made her husband and sister endure).

Another failure–the next time it’ll be true!

So in 1963, her buddy, a doctor (general practitioner), listened to her go on and on about her misery and how awful everything was, crying hysterically, clearly in crisis.  He prescribed her an anti-depressant–a strong one.

What else was he supposed to do?

Her Death?  She taped, toweled, and blanketed all the doors to the kitchen and her children’s room, then she turned the gas oven on and shoved her head inside.

Come morning, imagine what those children were forced to go through?

Here’s something hilarious: some critics attempt to claim that Plath had no intention of killing themselves, and provide all kinds of feminist, communist, fascist, gender-fluid, and repressed homosexual interpretations on this act.

I try to wonder who thinks this.  Who?

How can people think this?  She put her head in an oven and sealed the doors,  It was 4:30 in the morning when she committed to this act.  The arguments made are absurd: before she did it Sylvia had thoroughly cleaned the kitchen, wrote several contrary notes, trying to decide if she should finally do it, and left a message for her children’s nurse to call her doctor when she got there.

I suppose that’s what the young poets will do.

Even Sylvia’s sister acknowledged what happened, certainly knowing her better than the generation later critics who selfishly impose their interpretation on the work of others.

Just like poetry instructors will do.

And so poetry turned into storytelling,

A dense study of human history too.

And I revised my judgment

On just what it is that poetry can do.

Because all writing is poetry

Especially what we take to be true.

Bibles, conspiracy theories, racial and biological fundamentalisms, radical sports fandom, apocalyptic anarchy, rumors, the best of people, the worst of people, a head shake of pity, a smug smile, indifference, and the tar on the rim of happiness that is toxic cynicism.

Shopping lists are poetry too.

And so now I’m tired (or ‘burned out’), 

As so often poets boohoo

I’m gonna go find a selfish entertainment to distract me

Just like a poet would do.