Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
The following is a message from the Socialist Leisure Party.
I’m sick of people living their best lives. Can’t you just be average?
I understand the impulse to be extraordinary. I lived the first five decades of my life with that impulse. I thought I had something special, something requiring me to be given space to create. I was living the drama of the gifted child, all the way up to age 50.
I’ve tried being arrogant. I’ve tried being humble. Yes, arrogance gets you more pie, but, as Dwight Yoakam says, “the pie don’t taste so sweet.” Arrogant pie is downright bitter. Humble pie isn’t as bad as they make it out to be in the proverbial world, the world of proverbials.
Listeners to this segment of the show have heard me aver many times that the people you have to watch out for are those with great ambition and great expertise. It goes deeper than that. People with ambition and drive have a vast carbon footprint. And not just carbon. They have footprints of any number of elements and compounds, including, but not limited to, plastic, aluminum, depleted lithium, 99% perspiration, chicken parts, mercury, latex, arsenic, methane, phosphates, acetic acid, essential oils, sputum, xanthan gum, and BHT to preserve color. A plethora of footprints. So many footprints. They’re the human millipedes.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the miraculous product of surgical enhancement, The Human Centipede. On this very show I compared politics to a human centipede. These, though, are the human millipedes. A human millipede is, like the Human Centipede, a collective entity, but made up of more people. It begins with a large head, and thereafter establishes its body, what you might call its “corpus,” or “torso,” or “thorax,” or “fuselage,” and attracts others to it, first with investment opportunities, then luring lesser human appurtenances with wages and, possibly, benefits. And so the human millipede forms: a big head, thorax, and myriad feet.
Of course, the head has the big idea. Sometimes it’s actually a good, helpful idea. Sometimes it is an incredibly horrible, destructive, murderous idea. But most often it’s merely an idea to take advantage of an absence in a market. Not an absence of something necessary, but of something that can be made to seem desirable that no one yet in the market is providing. The desire must therefore be created. Often the desire and that which can fulfill it arise at almost the same moment.
Then the trouble begins. Then materials are procured and processed, resources are depleted, fumes and fluids are expelled, heat is released, packages are ripped open and discarded, other packages are created to enclose goods, and a feverish disturbance is initiated. Nothing can stop the head from pursuing its goal, no thought of waste, unless it is financial, can be considered. To consider a change of course is not out of the question, but that a course will continue to be traveled, relentlessly, is certain. To waiver from onward motion is to succumb to weakness, to indulge weakness is to entertain failure, and failure is not an option. The feet must be made to march, ideally without pause for food, water, or sleep, but of course that ideal is never achieved. Nevertheless, it is the ever-unattainable goal, and must remain the goal. The impossible is always the goal, for it is only by aiming for the impossible, and thereby achieving the improbable, that the extraordinary is attached to the name, and one can advertise that the best life is lived.
We are rapidly approaching the end of the time of the Human Millipede. The environment just can’t take it anymore. We’re working the real world to exhaustion, squeezing every last drop from it, creating and fulfilling our invented desires. If there were a way for the millipede to march its course without trampling the future and the present under its many feet, then things could go on the way they have since human greatness began, since slaves were forced to build the first Wonders of the Prehistoric World, those monuments to Gods and Kings. The trouble is, we’re habituated to greatness now. We’ve become so accommodating to its excesses that we barely register them as excessive.
Our marvelous creativity as a species is the most destructive thing about us. We imagine the new or merely novel, and make it reality, inventing a world in which the unnecessary is needed. We can’t live in that world anymore. All our busy-ness creating the unnecessary, in turn, creates further needs that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Who needs washed and packaged salad greens? Only those with a shortage of time. A shortage of time must be created by someone else’s imposition. And needs for hurrying and rushing are, for most part, the result of someone else’s misapprehension of urgency. I’ve rarely met urgency, outside of a life-threatening situation of course, that wasn’t the product of someone’s over-reactive imagination. Yes, we are the creative species, but most of what we create is pressure on ourselves and others.
Do the letters “ASAP” mean anything to you? Do they mean anything at all? Is there any request or command whose meaning suddenly changes when the acronym ASAP is appended to it? No! No! A thousand redundant times No! ASAP is just so much mouth wind. ASAP is a sibilant hiss-and-pop people make with their mouths when they mistakenly believe the fulfillment of their needs is urgent. The appropriate response, delivered under the breath, of course, is “blow me.”
The kindest thing you can do for a boss is to train them to accept disappointment.
One more time, because it’s such an important rule for living. Living one’s humblest, most leisurely social, life:
The kindest thing you can do for a boss is to train them to accept disappointment.
I know that sounds cruel, and could therefore be considered a “joke,” but it’s offered in all sincerity. The necessity for expedited completion of a task is almost always the product of delusion. The necessity of anything is a delusion, and that’s a fact. David Hume proved it, to the extent that anything can actually be proven, which, of course, it can’t. As David Hume proved.
By exposing the delusion, you could save a life! Sadly, that life might be your boss’s. But sometimes your boss is your friend. It happens to those of us with enterprising friends. Don’t you want to save your friends’ lives, prevent them from working themselves to death? Or from working others to death? Because that does happen. People work so feverishly they make themselves sick. Football players do it all the time, but anyone who believes they can live on a few quick hours’ sleep is a likely candidate. A few can actually survive quite well, but some simply believe they can, because – hey! – they’re extraordinary! To what brink wouldn’t you push yourself to live your best life?
In this world we’ve created, on top of the actual world, pressing down on the real world, this created world of manic pressure, you have to steal back your time. We’re working more hours per week than any humans in history. And it’s all because we’ve let our dreams take control of us, our dreams of convenience, of space travel, of huge buildings, of thrilling entertainment, thrilling experiences, constant access to beauty, and, most ridiculous of all, our dreams of the easy life. We’ve created a monstrous machine we must continuously feed with our attention and effort, under the delusion that we can one day take a delightful vacation. We must take back our leisure.
Do you hear those horns and sirens, the engines, the whirring of fans and flywheels, the pumping of pistons, the beep of the garbage truck’s reverse signal? The gunshots, the screams, the laughter, the cacophony of chattering voices, the jackhammering of the jackhammer, the tapping of keys on keyboards? That’s the human millipedes, tap-dancing furiously on their billion feet.
While they’re dancing away like mad, pick their pockets and steal your time back. I know it’s hard. It can threaten your livelihood. But try your best to find a way around the dancing feet. You’re human, you’re creative. You’ll think of something.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
In the fall of 1945, the United Nations began pursuing its often-failed mission of preventing armed conflict and aiding economic development in regions impoverished by earlier colonialism. It was a noble effort, and, despite its shortcomings – often blamed on the organization itself rather than the intransigence and bad faith of its members – it has in fact contributed to preventing a third World War, or at least to providing, during the low rumble of constant global warfare, an institution where diplomatic alternatives to violence can at least be entertained. One can only assume it’s better than nothing.
However, rather than welcome participation in a forum for discussing international affairs among the actual participants, some in the USA have viewed the United Nations as a kind of global government usurping the sovereignty of the world’s most active military power. It’s similar to the way Brexiteers kvetch about the EU over in England. Anything remotely unifying, that might challenge the hegemony of the dominant economic interests, is some kind of “committee” that will, by definition, design a failed animal. Unions, consumer-interest groups, boycotts, marches, climate conventions, diplomatic gatherings of nations – they’re all threatening to the iron fist of the world’s policeman, arms dealer, and number one destabilizer of regions.
Those with power want to remain in power, naturally. And part of power is appeasing the people, which requires concessions. But, as the powerful become greedier and more conservative, as the neoliberal consensus has taken greater hold among them, the concessions they’re willing to make in order to appear democratic are dwindling. It’s part of a trend.
Now, the Democratic primary season has just kicked off. The Democrat National Committee are looking for a savior. Who can excite people enough to get them on board against Donald Dump, but not get them so excited that the Democrats end up having to deliver actual change? If they go with someone like Biden, and he wins, and then does the same Democratic right-of-middle- of-the-road betrayal that Bill Clinton pioneered with his triangulation, then won’t the irate, put- upon classes make the Dems pay four years later, maybe even allowing Dump back into power.
No, the DNC reasons. If we can get the people to choose Biden, it will mean their expectations have been gently, gradually, deflated so low that they can only be pleasantly surprised by any crumbs that are thrown their way.
But if a candidate promising transformation gets in and can’t deliver on the transformative promises, the masses will suffer actual grief, and deliver the feared backlash. You can feel betrayed by having your dreams dashed, but not by having your low expectations dropped on a dirty floor from a height of only a few inches.
The DNC doesn’t believe in dreams. Right now their big fear is a Bernie win. With Biden pooping the sheets in Iowa, all their anxiety will be focused, as so much white US anxiety is habitually concentrated, on the socialist Jew.
Who can save them, if not Sloppy Joe? Sloppy, woman-sniffing, language tangling, limp-waffle Joe.
Well, there is one superhero they’ve been in touch with lately. Really a cross between a superhero and a supervillain. His name is:
Bol-Ton! Bol-Ton! Bol-Ton! John Bol-Ton!
They’ve been seeking his help to destroy Donald Dump for a while now. But the impeachment process has gone as far as it can go. The primaries, on the other hand, have only just begun.
I’ve been listening to a folklore podcast called Bone and Sickle. Of course, I recommend it. It was there I learned the legend of the Cockatrice, related to the fabled Basilisk.
The cockatrice is a two-legged chicken dragon that has an absurd crest on its head. It spits poison. It’s fatal to look at, but if you show it its own image in a mirror, it will die. If you hadn’t already guessed, Donald Dump is a cockatrice.
Dump loves to look in the mirror, but he really doesn’t like to see himself. Not for real. Any reflection of his true nature gets turned into projection outwards. You can tell what he hates in himself by the names he calls others: Sleepy, Fatty, Crazy, Farty, Ugly, Stupid, Crooked, Stinky – his body is such a chimerical sack of lumpiness because of all that’s crammed into it. He’s like 330 pounds of Seven Dwarves of crap stuffed into a five-pound bag. That wacky crest on top, a cockscomb, like on top of a cock. A cock, I say, a cock.
They say the cockatrice’s natural enemy is the weasel. If you can’t find someone to cover himself with mirrors, siccing a weasel on the cockatrice is really your only option. You need a weasel if you’re going to defeat Donald Dump, the cockatrice.
Again, we are brought back to the conclusion: Bol-Ton! Bol-Ton!
Bol-Ton is a weasel! Bol-Ton will save us! He wrote a book, like so many others, telling everyone for the dumpteenth time what a pain in the ass it is to work for Donald Dump!
Sure, Bol-Ton is an avowed enemy of the United Nations, and of every nation except his own. Sure, he’s a rabid jingoistic reactionary prepared to plunge any region into war. Yes, he has the mustache of ad spokesman for oatmeal and synthetic lemonade Wilfred Brimley, who was fatally stomped to death by Tom Cruise in the movie, The Firm. But he’s no grandfatherly figure, not Bol-Ton. He wrote a book!
If you think about it, the DNC has a point. Half the country thinks the Dems are Republican Lite anyway. And many Democrats wish they could be as carefree as Republicans, just let their hair down and say what they’re feeling about the low rent teachers and other working slobs whom they’re always trying to cajole to vote for them. Shout out that, yes, black people get harassed by the cops more than they should, but maybe if they didn’t always hang around with such a bad crowd, y’know, like other black people, they wouldn’t find themselves in trouble with the law so often! And just ask Ellen, if non-binary people would just act normal, maybe straight people would let them alone! And, sure, everyone wants to end homelessness, but, I mean, have you met the homeless? If you have, you can understand why no one wants to give them a job, right? And, Medicare For All, well, sure, I’m for it cuz I have to say I am because some loudmouthed Jew pulled the party to the left, thanks a lot, but, y’know, if you can’t afford to get sick you could at least make an effort to take decent care of yourself. Have you seen the crap poor people eat?
So why not run a reactionary weasel with the facial hair of a trampled sugar-water salesman? You were ready to have him testify to the Senate, though Satan only knows what he might have said, I, personally, never trusted the guy as far as a diplomat could throw him. A Vietnam War apologist who blamed defeat on the anti-war movement, of course. His best efforts to avoid fighting in that war paid off with four-and-a-half months training in Louisiana – yet another chickenhawk hypocrite. His mentor was Senator Jesse Helms, white supremacist and rabid anti- communist. Bol-Ton helped torpedo an international treaty against biological weapons, and undermined diplomatic attempts to stop the spread of nuclear material. Yet he loves to sound the false alarm about other countries having weapons they don’t have. I guess fighting arms control efforts helps make his lies a little more plausible. He said Cuba had Weapons of Mass Destruction. He peddled the lie that Iraq had procured yellow cake uranium. Rich Lowry of the National Review, Bol-Ton’s personal friend, says that if Bol-Ton has one fault, it’s that he’s too willing to tell the truth. I guess lying about countries because he wants the US to invade them is a just a way to break up the monotony of being super-honest. Bol-Ton opposes the International Criminal Court, naturally. The way bad drivers hate traffic court.
This is Bol-Ton! Bol-Ton! Bol-Ton! Just the candidate the DNC’s been looking for. It’s too late to run him in Iowa, but maybe they can throw some of the money they might otherwise spend on poorly-designed caucus apps his way and get him started in New Hampshire.
Bol-Ton, the weasel. Legend says that when the weasel kills the cockatrice, the weasel himself also dies. Maybe he really is the perfect candidate. Would that other presidential candidates would so obliging self-destruct. If only we could pit them all against each other. Then we could just sweep the ashes away.
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Welcome to the Moment of Truth, the thirst that is the drink.
I know Democrats are capable of being just as mendacious and self-serving as any human being, and have been, but the Republicans in the Senate are just stunning models of perfidy. Simply taken on their own terms, by their own standards, or ostensible standards, they’re outdoing themselves. Even taking the least flattering definition of the already disgraced label, “conservative,” they’re not coming close to measuring up.
It’s a scary night to think about how low a human being can debase himself. It’s crazy-windy tonight, strong wind swirling around us, sounds like my apartment building is being flushed down an enormous toilet.
I just watched a short video of a crowd berating Rudy Giuliani as he’s being escorted down the street by cops. “You’re a piece of shit, Giuliani!” I feel like videos like this are all I want to watch.
Now it’s morning, I’ve just finished a supply run for the axe-throwing bar job site. It’s still blustery outside, not as rollicking as last night, but a steady wind punctuated with gusts. It’s a gustery day, as famous Detroit weatherman, wisecracker, alcoholic, and Holocaust survivor, Sonny Eliot, might have said.
The morning finds Los Angeles strewn with detritus from palm trees, some fronds weighing upwards of 50 lbs. Such a piece of tree debris once came crashing through the cargo space window of my Subaru Legacy wagon. I was about 2500 miles away from the car at the time, thank fate.
Even now, palm crud is drumming intermittently on my car roof. It’s a shaggy city, raining its dandruff on us all. Out here, at the edge of the continent, the sunset edge, with Republican perfidy wafting its sickly stench across the land, I’m reminded of our nation’s dark roots, the ones we can’t hide no matter how much peroxide we use.
The first novel written here in what would become the USA was called Wieland, by Charles Brockden Brown. Remember, as I describe this, that it was written before the War for Independence, when this was still a land of people driving fence posts into the ground, every man had to drive his own fence posts into the ground, that was a thing men had to do. Mama wouldn’t do it for him. Everything was made out of wood. People were barely accustomed to science yet.
And here’s a guy writing a book, about a man who comes from Germany to North America, with a divinely revealed religion he’s invented or been afflicted with, and he wants to teach it to the natives, and it doesn’t work out, and then I think he’s in a stone building of some kind, on a hilltop, and voices call to him, and sparks flare out the top of this cairn-like temple, and he spontaneously combusts. Then his children, the character’s children, are afflicted with hearing these voices, some of whom urge the son to murder his family, and ... that’s how literature starts in North America. With invented religions and stone structures on hillsides, evil voices calling, lightning and spontaneous human combustion. We were almost ready to become a nation.
Charles Brockden Brown was inspired to write this novel, his artistic invention, that would later inspire Poe, and Mary Shelley, and many other writers. One of them was Howard Phillips Lovecraft, whom the literary world has relegated to a kind of sideshow. But I would argue, at least here in this essay, that HP Lovecraft is the most American of writers. His vision of a realm outside our universe, but ever-watchful for opportunities to steal back into the world, into power, is America. I don’t like to say America. I generally refer to our nation as the United States. But in this case, the arrogant “America” is the proper name for our teetering, threatened, multi-generational experiment.
In Lovecraft, the Elder Gods of Cthulhu have been ousted from this world. I don’t know who ousted them, but they have been pushed off the stage of reality, maybe by The Enlightenment, who knows? They exist in another realm, outside our realm of existence, but in that realm of not-being, they poke and scratch at the cracks in the world, always seeking to pry a way open, a space through which to spill their madness and evil back into the world of humans.
And as bad as the Democrats are, and some are certainly allies of this ancient evil, the followers of the Elder Gods are really the rightwing Republicans and the Nazis. They’re always poking, trying to wear a hole in civil society, striving hungrily to find a way to bring full-blown genocide back into fashion. Genocide of black people, mostly, but of Native Americans, too, and anyone who could be associated with their aspirations of freedom. Whatever calumny these decent people can be tarred with, the Elder Gods command certain humans to defame them with it. The Elder Gods are the puppet masters of the right. Yogsathoth is their Jesus. When they say, “Jesus,” they mean a malevolent being desperate to set humans butchering each other, their flesh to feed to this monster they worship.
When Rudy Giuliani walks down the street, it is this demonic pagan grotesquery the mob is recognizing when they say, “You’re a piece of shit, Giuliani!”
When I see Senator Rick Scott defend Donald Dump, what I hear is, “Come, O Gods of Cthulhu, oh Elders of mayhem, violence, and destruction. Come take your old place at the banquet table, so the organs and mutilated flesh of humanity might sate your endless hunger. Your delight in destruction is the joy of the GOP.”
When Ken Starr makes his case for whatever he claims to make a case for, I see him shoveling piles of shrieking infants with a pitchfork into the slavering maws of the ravenous ancient Gods of corruption, pain, and perversion.
What goes on in other countries is similar, I’m sure, though they have their own villainous demons, Baba Yaga, Vlad Tepes, the Loups Garou. But here, in the United States, we, the people, are under constant attack from the disciples of Yogsathoth, the worshippers of Cthulhu, the sniveling, obsequious servants of the Elder Gods. The GOP.
Now it is night again, and I am afraid. The vile, eyeless, yet multi-eyed, mouthless, yet ridged with jagged, numberless teeth – these are the gods of the G O P: the Grotesque Old Pious. They lurk beyond the darkness, the Elder Gods, fangs gleaming and dripping with thirst. They see us, and covet our land, our homes, our brains, our hearts, our livers. Like big predators in the jungle night, they await their chance to pounce, shake us by our necks, crush our windpipes in their jaws, and devour us.
It was ever thus. When the nation was young, the men were commanded by voices to murder their wives and sisters. Now they call the voices, “pragmatism.” Today they call the way they worship these terrifying alien beings, “faith.” Today they call fealty to the Ancient Beings, “conservatism.”
Sometimes events conspire to bring the fact that what we think of as commonplace circumstances are actually fragile structures that can be broken by focused brutality. And, sometimes, all it takes is a night of violent gusts of wind, swirling and blowing, or “blirling” kind of weather, to make us see clearly the evil operating behind the scenes of supposedly polite, or politic, society. All is as glass, and can be shattered in a night.
No one should ever wonder why we laugh when someone punches a Nazi. The opposite of the black pit of ancient evil? It’s joy. Joy is why we laugh.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!
I don’t know what I’ve been doing all week. Mostly I’ve been trying to draw pleasure from the same old things that have given me pleasure in the past. But it’s not working. Maybe it’s the law of diminishing returns, but I think that only affects people below a certain level of capitalization. It seems like the über-wealthy follow a different law, the law of infinitely increasing returns.
By the time I’m on This Is Hell radio, with your host Chuck Mertz and your producer Alex Jerri, who knows what part of the world will be in flames?
Then again, maybe everything will be resolved nicely by then, wrapped up with a bow, and I will have stopped agonizing about World War III.
It all makes me worry about Hillary Clinton. How it must eat at her, believing she could have saved the world from its now immanent destruction. Has anyone checked on her? I just think someone should console her, tell her, “It’s all right. Yes, your management of our forever war would’ve been much more discreet, but Australia would still be on fire. Don’t worry, you wouldn’t have done much to fix most of the problems, which we might not have even known existed if we didn’t have Dump to highlight them and to blame them on, when a lot of them were actually results of Obama, Bush, and even Bill Clinton policies. So, rest easy. You were never going to save us from what started long before Dump, only from the pain of his most flagrant vulgarities. You certainly wouldn’t have saved the world, get over yourself.”
What I should do, rather than worry about the world or Hillary, I’ll pick a distraction, that usually works. Eating, that’s something to do. What shall I eat? How about that piece of farm- raised salmon I got for such a reasonable price at the Armenian market? Color added for appeal!
Yes, I know, I know. Everything I do, every move I make, adds to the destruction of the planet. Well, at least I’m not assassinating anyone. At least I’m not provoking a region’s largest military in order to distract from the untimely publication of evidence of my crazy, ego-driven crimes. At least I’m not Donald Dump.
I agree, faithful listener, that is not a very high standard to hold oneself to. No, you’re right. I ought to expect more from myself. At least I don’t damn people to a cold darkness of eternal torment! No, I guess that’s not much better.
Was that a bomb?! Jesus, no, it was just someone closing the garage door.
You know, it occurs to me, in quiet moments of reflection like this one here, that the longer one lives, the more chance there is for something truly devastating to happen right in front of your eyes. Personally, I’ve been spared most of the horrors of human existence. I’ve only read or heard about them secondhand.
I’ve met people who were in Nazi concentration camps. I met a woman who had to watch her three-year-old daughter washed out to sea during Hurricane Iris. I’ve met people who had to escape from Cambodia, people who went through the Bosnian war, people who were tortured in Chile and Morocco and Iraq and Israel and Chicago, and who lost friends to terrorism and to serial killers. People who survived ruining their lives with drugs, and people who’ve lost the ability to walk. People who lost their children to cancer and drug overdose or their parents to suicide.
What a time to be alive!
There’s no point in dwelling on the terrible and the sorrowful. There’s no point in anything, really, if you get right down to it. But especially in dwelling on the terrible and the sorrowful.
Reminds me of some advice my father gave me. Or, no, not advice, more a chastisement. He said, “Quit dwelling on it!” I don’t remember what it was I was dwelling on, all those years ago, in our old house in Oak Park, Michigan, that starter ranch house with its olive linoleum tile in the kitchen, olive, orange and yellow starbursts scattered on the wallpaper, very hand-scrawled looking, like multicolored versions of Kurt Vonnegut’s famous sketch of a butthole.
I learned a lot about the sun in those days, that it came up in the morning and went down in the evening, sometimes as late as ten pm, even a little later, thanks to Daylight Savings Time, and Michigan being on the far-western end of the Eastern Time Zone.
In the middle of winter, it appalled me how much suffering we were expected to endure – little did I know about suffering, or of being appalled – going to school hours before the sun came up, while traffic struggled in the deep, heavily-falling snow. I was a crossing guard for a while. It was a privilege. We were given hot chocolate before having to go to class.
See, this is what happens when you get old, you reach back into your memories, clawing for any respite from the god-awful present! Yeah, it’s gonna happen to you, too. That’s how it happens, that’s how we wind up descending into going from glen to glade, burbling in the foggy forest of reverie, wandering till we’re lost in its seductive and mind-addling verdure.
This is how it happens, you sprouts, you babies, you young people with your stickball and your glue-huffing! You think it won’t happen to you! Good! Keep thinking that! It’ll happen whether you expect it or not, might as enjoy the bliss of ignorance.
Yes, this how our minds become old and foolish. But how do our minds become vile and fascist? That’s the question, which, if we ever answered it, ah, then maybe we could change the fascist mind. Then we wouldn’t have to wrap them all in a giant cloak of plastic wrap and suffocate them. Hey, that’s a great idea! Drop a big Saran Wrap on a Dump rally!
Aw, gee. Remember suffocating? They changed it to asphyxiating, I don’t know why. It’s suffocate! Why did they change that?! I liked it better when it was “suffocate!” They mean the same damn thing! Trust me! Uch, everything was better back when it was “suffocate.” Ah, remember when we used to suffocate? None of that fancy asphyxiation for us, we were down to Earth. It was a simpler time.
When did we lose “suffocate?” When we went off the gold standard? When people started saying, “I could care less,” instead of, “I couldn’t care less?” When all the candy became “sour” and “gummy” and all the chips and Cheetos became hot?
I promise you, I did not intend to wax nostalgic. Oh, remember wax lips? Why did we have those? Anyway, I had fully intended to examine the rightwing imagination, I was going to go back to Leo Strauss and his quarrel with certain aspects of the Enlightenment, and then proceed to when William F. Buckley joined the battle with his attack on academia in his early tour de force of extreme Christian fascism, God and Man at Yale. And follow that through the imaginary communist conspiracy that gave rise to Nixon, then Reagan’s inability to tell fantasy from reality, then mention the One Percent Doctrine where the reality-based community parted ways permanently with those who make policy in the clouds of the world in which they desire to live.
But then, Donald Dump, the man who has manifested desires more outlandish than Sardanapalus or Caligula, out of the thinnest air, assassinated Suleimani, Qassem Suleimani, the Quantum Salami, igniting what infernal future we will only discover when we would most wish to remain in the above-mentioned bliss of ignorance. Donald Dump, whom the worst of us conjured into being, and conjured into authority and power, and who himself conjures a mirage of statesmanship, a mirage of competence, of responsible behavior, handed as he was an imperialism conjured by the hubris of men playing at being kings and philosophers.
And that attack, that assassination – and, hey, I have nothing against assassination, especially if it spares the innocent, which this one most likely will not – it was just too much. I’m fretting over the repercussions, the revenge. So, much like Hillary Clinton, after having her ass handed to her by the Electoral College – itself yet another imaginative creation of men playing at creating a democracy but too afraid of the real thing to allow it to happen – I turn to the woods, and wander in, to lose myself in dreams of what was and what might have been.
This was and might have been the Moment of Truth. Good day!
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
Spiders are spinning their webs in the grass: pretty, tiny, black jumping spiders, with turquoise rings around their abdomens. Spiders have spinneret glands to poop out their web strands. That’s one way to do it, I guess!
Kids with excellent eyesight can watch the spiders spin. So can old people who once had good eyesight but now have excellent reading glasses. From the vantage point of the kids, it all looks like an arachnid multi-scene diorama. The spiders appear to be weaving rustic booths in the grass, tiny bamboo booths with roofs of foliage, like tiny sukkahs for Sukkot, the harvest festival. These are Jewish spiders. Their turquoise comes from their retired Uncle Nate in Arizona.
One spider, I don’t know if he’s Jewish or not, spins his webs out of gold. His name is Epstein. I heard this story about Epstein on “The Daily,” the New York Times podcast, hosted by Michael Barbaro. It was one of many gruesome tales I’ve read or heard about this gold-spinning spider. Like all the stories about him, it’s appalling. I don’t even like thinking about them, any of them, but this one especially sickens me. Nevertheless, it should be known, so that you can understand only the smallest fraction of the way Epstein wielded his wealth. It’s illustrative of the weaponization of power through, not only wealth inequality, but gender inequality and age inequality, and a slew of other inequalities that come together to make up status inequality.
This is the story of an artist in her mid-twenties, so she wasn’t under the age of majority, as many of Epstein’s victims were. We’ll leave behind the spider metaphor for a bit, though we’ll come back to it.
Maria was an artist, not a spider. The only reason I couple spiders and the story of Maria is that what Epstein did to Maria was a violation. And the thing I think of when I think of good things being violated is industrious, busy spiders of the variety I’ve described above, weaving their tiny sukkot in their tiny diorama world in the grass, and that impulse of pure endeavor being invaded by conquistadors. It’s a world like that one, being violated. A world of effort and beauty, of individual and communal spirit, and of ritual, being violated by a creature weaving webs of gold and injecting his prey with venom that liquifies their insides for him to drink.
Maria did paintings depicting often subtly disturbing narrative scenes, slices of narratives frozen in time, in which she employed nude studies, sometimes of girls in their early teens. And she was gaining notoriety in the New York art scene at the time in question. She’s originally from Kentucky, and studied art in various schools across the country and in France, and at the New York Academy of Art.
I have a friend, we’ll call him BG for privacy purposes, and about the same time as, or a few years earlier than, Maria, BG was becoming known in the art world. His paintings, too, when he first burst on the scene, were narrative. His were monochromatic, large-format pencil paintings of surreal scenes, often involving nudity, teenage alcohol and drug use, sex, and sundry details both banal and fantastic that, somehow, brought across a sad past, looked back on in anxious, immature, haunted memories.
I want to describe one of BG’s early pieces I saw at a New York gallery show, a piece illustrating a comical, embarrassing, fraught memory. He told me the story behind it: in his early teens, he’d invited a girl over, and was fairly certain they were going to have sex. But he was a little shy about having no pubic hair at his age. So, he glued some of his head hair right above his penis. And that’s the painting: all in shades of green-gray pencil on butcher paper, just the section of his body between his bellybutton and his thighs, no explanation, his hands brushing rubber cement and about to place a tiny, thready moustache on his lower abdomen above his genitals.
I don’t know if Maria was working through similar memories in her art, or similar emotional transformations from childhood to adulthood, but she was living in her visual sense of mind and experience, building little scenes, like dioramas, some of which seem charged with the threat of sexual violence. One, in particular, she says, was inspired by Degas, and it’s been referred to as“kind of rapey.” And that was the one Epstein’s henchwoman, Ghislaine Maxwell, spotted. I believe her name is pronounced with a Greek fast food G. Like the one at the beginning of “gyro.” When Maxell saw the rapey painting, Maria says, Maxwell told Maria she had just the buyer for it, and that was who Maria was going to sell it to, and to no one else. And Epstein the spider bought it. Epstein the spider, who had already woven his big web of gold and influence in the New York art scene.
Maria was first employed as Epstein’s art procurer, and then as his door person, sending up teenage girls and old lascivious men to Epstein and Maxwell. Maria was always told that the girls were being sent up for auditions or meetings of one type or another. Maria says her unwitting role in this charade pains her to this day.
It’s not easy to make your living by making art, especially if your art is personal. It’s an incredible gift to be able to work out your demons and angels, your memories, or even just your interests and imaginings, and be recognized and paid for it. It’s a dream come true. Unless it’s a gift used as bait in a spider’s web, a false promise in an Epstein’s web.
Eventually, according to Maria’s affidavit, Epstein and Maxwell manipulated both her and her 15-year-old sister into situations of extreme discomfort. Maria says she was sexually assaulted by Maxwell and Epstein, and that Maxwell threatened to destroy her art and her career after her father came up from Kentucky and drove her away from the awful situation she was in.
There’s a quotation I return to from time to time. It’s on the opening pages of suicidal author Juan Butler’s truly unhinged book, The Garbageman. I do not advise reading this book. I abridge the quotation below for comprehensibility:
Tell me, in the anarchist society that you envisage, where all men will be free, where no one will ever be in a position to impose his will upon his fellow man, where "doing your own thing" will be the norm rather than the exception [,] who will pick up the garbage?
The garbage collector, in the nomenclature of today. The garbage collector will pick up the garbage when it’s their turn. Not because society threatens them with starvation, homelessness, and the myriad ravages of poverty. In our world, those are the incentives. It’s how otherwise good-hearted, industrious people get swindled, coerced, raped, and destroyed. The threat hangs over everything. Even the very wealthy feel it. That’s why they fear so viscerally losing their status. That’s why they have a compulsion to accrue more and more, like a child of the Great Depression at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
It’s Epstein the spider’s predatory opportunism, with which he exploited Maria’s good faith and dreams, that makes me sick. Of course, his using the same strategy in order to rape girls also makes me sick. It’s the force. Have you felt it? The coercive force of obligation to your benefactor?
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. It feeds you, after all, so it must be a kind hand, even if it sometimes places itself between your legs and expects you to comply with every whim. How dare you refuse? Have you no gratitude? And eventually: Do you not know that we can destroy you?
It may never be possible, or even desirable, to remove status inequality from all societies. It’s a positive thing, for example, when a patient’s organs are failing, that a doctor who has accumulated immense knowledge and skill in curing diseased organs should be deferred to over, say, a careening golf cart full of drunk currency speculators, regardless of their collective self- confidence. Just as it would be desirable to allow Superman to address the opening of canned goods when a group of otherwise helpless Earthlings are stranded on an island without a can opener. Let him open the cans, what do you think you have to prove? And of course, the abuse of status inequality is possible in almost any situation wherein such inequality exists. And it often is abused. And I think there are two ways to remedy this undesirable situation: 1) identify and then inhibit, neutralize, or destroy, sets of criteria that raise the status of people vis-à-vis others unjustifiably – and here, wealth inequality, the artificial merit of having more money than others, seems a perfect example; and, 2) try your hardest to be responsible with whatever power you have over others, for whatever reason, be they people, plants, animals, buildings, celestial bodies, or other.
Defuse opportunities for abuse of power. Where inequality is unavoidable, be a spider in good faith. It sounds so simple, but nothing is ever simple. Every strand is tangled. Only patience and diligence will ever sort them out.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day.
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
Everything old is new again, as the saying goes. Whitey is back, have you noticed? Not the word, the guy. Whitey. The guy who went to the Moon while Gil Scott Heron’s sister Nell done got bit by a rat. Whitey, rapey, assassinatey, pollutey, corrupty, flag-wavy, and Nazi. The seven warpeds. They’re all back. It’s almost like they never left.
Ever since their crushing defeat in WWII (Francisco Franco a notable exception), fascists have been on what the English call, “the back foot.” Governments from 1945 onwards have been dominated by non-fascists and crypto-fascists, in numbers far greater than their percentage in the population at large, if recent exercise of the public franchise in the West is any indication. What qualifies non-fascists and crypto-fascists to take such an outsize chunk of the pie of governance? Have you seen how they’ve mismanaged things so far? The Western democracies today suffer from shaky currencies, inter-cultural strife, municipalities hamstrung by austerity caused by corporate corruption and justified by false shortages, and the icing on the cake, a sure sign of decaying social cohesion and the failure of the ruling class: these nations are all teetering on the brink of fascism!
So maybe it’s time to give fascism another look. If the best the current non-fascist and crypto- fascist rulers can deliver, at the end of three quarters of a century of having it their way, is a collapse into fascism, why not give fascism a try? Fascism has been in remission for longer than anyone expected. Like a case of shingles, why not just accept it and try to make the best of it? When life gives you shingles, or fascism, surely there’s lemonade to be manufactured. That’s what the fascists would have done. Or would have had some prisoners do for them.
Fascism clearly has some very attractive qualities. Rigid, brutally-enforced order, for one. It kept the trains running on time, the streets clean (when they weren’t coursing with blood or littered with broken glass), and the working class in an appropriately terrorized, or “eager to please,” condition.
Fear was the great motivating force. You could always tell where you were in the social order by who it was you were afraid of. The ambitious aspired to rise from fearing the bureaucrat immediately above them to being intimidated only by the cream of the crop. On the bottom rungs, you were simply afraid of suffering the fate of those pushed completely outside the social order: removal, mass incarceration, forced labor, and extermination. Being a worker under fascism was not unlike it is today. We could call the condition, “precarity.”
But more than a precarious working class terrorized into obedience, the fascists brought clarity. A man was a man, a woman was a woman, and everyone else was erased. Even a hint of gender fluidity marked a person for destruction. “Gender fluid” wasn’t even a term at the time, but if it had been, it would have meant semen, if anything. But the fascists didn’t talk about secretions, they spent most of their time sublimating their ferocious heterosexuality, and their repressed homosexuality, as well as other, more esoterica urges, into athletic contests, military parades, and corporal punishment.
By the mid-1930s it was clear that the horrors of the Great War, which the fascists considered so great that they wanted another one, had left artists and writers in a state of deranged modernism. The fascists preferred tidy modernism: art deco eagles, leather boots, bundled sticks, lightning bolts, and stylized skulls, much of which was adopted decades later by bondage and fetish culture, fortified as it was with “subliminal” sexuality we would now consider ridiculously overt.
And yet, somehow, fascists considered it all so clear and orderly. It’s that kind triumph of the will, the will to turn chaos into order, simply through coerced belief, to turn shingles into lemonade through angry, violently-enforced lies, that the fascists could bring to us once more.
Can fascism tackle global warming? That depends. Is the American public ready for Green Fascism? Like the Planetary Management Authority science historian James Burke predicted in his overly optimistic 2-part speculative mockumentary, After The Warming, from 1989, in which a benevolent dictatorship forces humanity to adopt sustainable living choices? Or can the regular white fascism do the job? Can plain old, run-of-the-mill white fascism lie climate chaos away?
It’s trying to lie racism away. How is that going? The answer you get depends on who you ask. If you ask a racist, there is no racism.
Ask a polluter, there is no pollution, that’s the fascist way to fix things.
Another fascist solution to racism, in addition to lying about it, is to exterminate the other races. There are advantages to this, except to the races in question: other races are the real racists. Just ask a racist! And extermination opens up job opportunities. There are the jobs of leading people to extermination, carrying out the exterminations, and of course, disposing of the bodies. But in the aftermath, so many millions will have been killed, presumably, that housing will be abundant, and jobs will be vacant for the taking. Ask the non-Jews playing klezmer music in Germany! Somebody’s gotta do it! The point is, mass murder and war involving armies of millions, that’s like economic rocket fuel. By which understanding, fascism is nothing if not a job creator. Like the Great Plague! Talk about an economy firing on all cylinders!
We are plagued by artificial shortages, engineered by capitalists to keep commodities profitable, including arms, never mind the resultant starving and bloodshed. But one thing you can’t fake a shortage of is alive people. Too few workers to exploit is the only pressure to raise wages to which capitalism responds. Therefore, unchecked, bellicose, nationalistic fascism is sure to work in the workers’ favor. The workers lucky enough to survive, that is.
In summation, we have a choice to make. We can choose to choose fascism, or we can choose to let it happen to us. Let me put it this way: as a free people living in the freest nation on Earth, albeit with the largest incarcerated population (though admittedly that’s not really a gauge of anything besides how many people we have locked up), don’t we owe it to ourselves and our posterity to take something like control over our inevitable future? What good is all this freedom if we can’t use it to freely choose inevitable tyranny?
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!
Welcome to the Moment of Truth, the thirst that is the drink.
It’s so ironic and strange to me that every morning begins with birds announcing the dawn, accompanied by a feeling of dread. It’s such a funny contrast to me, the pretty bird song and the hopeless, dying heart. The night recedes as the day trickles in, and I wake up to nature’s bucolic musical optimism meeting my own deep pessimism. And fear. Let’s not forget the fear. Pessimism is just an amateur activity if unaccompanied by dread.
It’s a relief to know that friends in Puerto Rico have been partying all night getting rid of a lousy governor, and preparing to do more. It’s pleasant. It makes the singing of birds seem not so out of place, as if what we call “nature” and what we call “humanity” might be able to coexist. It’s like finding that the missing piece of the puzzle wasn’t missing, you were just placing it backwards. It fits! Like a revelation.
Once I see people doing it in one instance, I notice others. But I’m not here to talk about them. That would be wonderful, but I’m not in a wonderful mood.
Having a reason to get out of bed has never been my forte. I suppose that’s why God or nature or whatever trickster-ish cosmic force gave me a bladder and bowels. Once I’ve got my wits about me, it’s too late, I’m already up and functioning. The decision to get up into the world has been taken out of my hands. From then on it’s do-or-be-done-to.
And it seems like I’m getting done-to lately more than I’m getting things done.
Like what it seemed was happening to the people of Puerto Rico. Getting blown and flooded by a hurricane. Getting ignored and insulted by the various governments whose job it is to aid them. Getting austeritied. Getting privatized. Throughout it all, they took the wheel whenever they could. They helped each other in the hurricane’s aftermath, which certainly must have had a unifying effect, preparing them for these days of wonderful, inspiring action.
They’re turning it around. I should be able to turn it around, too.
BTW, I’m just so excited to hear Dave Buchen report live from San Juan, that I can barely think of dreading anything right now. And by this point, unless something has gone wrong, I’ve probably heard it already! Was it great? Answer:
Listen, it’s been a rough week. Last Saturday I awoke to find my left leg wouldn’t respond to the commands of my brain. I could walk on it, but it seemed drunk while the rest of me was sober. This caused my very dear friend Paula to send me to her chiropractor, who gave me some very effective stretches to do, but also checked my blood pressure and found it to be sky high! Luckily another dear friend, Monique, had filled out my MediCal application a few months earlier, and it turns out that in a couple weeks I’ll be choosing my first primary care physician since the Writers Guild cut me off COBRA 12 years ago. So I’m overdue to get all my health numbers, see how this past 12 years of Dorchen-style living has affected my cholesterol etc. I’m sure I’m in for some lousy news, but until then I’m off alcohol, coffee, sugar, dairy, and red meat. And it’s back to exercise and yoga, like I used to do when I thought it would make women attracted to me.
More than that, I’m committed to finding some purpose in my life. I know I’ve been peddling the Socialist Leisure Party line, and I still believe in it, but I think I’ve been overdoing it before the time is ripe. I’m trying to fly before I’ve even broken my chains. And people have been inspiring me. My friend Kristina ran for Sub-district 5 Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council and won, and she’s working on a proposal right now to keep ICE from kidnapping and disappearing our LatinX neighbors, like they did just a few days ago in Echo Park. My friend Tanya is Artistic Director of the Santa Monica Rep, and she and a whole lot of other theater artists of color have been working on creating safe space in the theater for themselves. I’ve been seeing the varied multitude of people I admire doing things to fight the negative current this country seems determined to ride down in an inner tube with a beer can hat on. And the worse things get in the news, the more inspiring these people and their actions become.
I guess it’s time for me to knuckle under to peer pressure and do something worth doing.
So, yeah, it’s not just Puerto Rico that’s turning things around. They’re just doing the coolest job of it at the moment. Our day will come. Maybe someone will turn the Panama Papers into an animated cartoon. Then there’ll be no stopping us, till every exploiter gives up goods.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!
Welcome to the Moment of Truth, the thirst that is the drink.
I drove by two older white people arguing. Each seemed to be the representative of a group of onlookers. One demanded heatedly, belligerently, “Do you know what a stork is?” Challenging. But in a flash I’d driven past. And I could only wonder what this challenge was in reference to. Was it in fact a duel of ornithological knowledge?
Did you hear me? Was it? Are you listening? Are you even present?
Oh look at you. Good for you. You're here. That's more than most people can say. There are a few ways to look at it. Either we're all among a select few, or we're among a crappy few, or we're just a random set.
Don't be mean to me. I will cry. That's my trademark. That's what I was known for, as a baby. Oh, like you never cried when you were a baby. Well, I cried a lot. I cried every day. I cried and cried. I was known as the town crier.
I got the creative bug. Just feel creative. No ideas. Just a general feeling of creativity. I bet I could spread this bug. I bet I could spread creativity. Don't you all feel it? In your mind? And in your imagination? Which is also up here. Knock knock. Creativity. It's a feeling. You don't need ideas if you're creative. Think about it.
Everyone thinks they have imagination. Everyone in LA. People come here for three reasons: they think they have talent, or they think they have imagination, or they imagine they have talent.
So it shouldn’t be a total loss, I'm gonna get some work done while I'm up here. I got some vegetables to chop. Gotta make a stock. Got some dinner parties coming up. Gotta have homemade stock.
Stock is good as a basis for soup, sauces, and reheating/rehydrating savory leftovers. Rice, buckwheat groats, faro, and other grains are nice when made with stock. Some vegetables need to be blanched or boiled, and stock is the way to go. It adds richness and flavor to boiled things, things people are enamored with roasting these days, such as root vegetables, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. These can profit from a bit of blanching or even boiling in a stock before being put in the oven or under a broiler.
Hills, or even mountains, rise from the mist in the distance. Not really mist, more like haze, although unlike most days the haze is white with only a slight off-white tinge of smog and dust. Later today, I imagine, it will brown to an unsightly umber.
Ah, life. Life is a death sentence.
Do you know what a stork is? Was it, maybe, an argument about reproductive rights and female body sovereignty? Because our national discourse is polarized these days, to use the current term, and one of the most contentious divisions, and one in which the opposing parties seem all but impossible to bring eye-to-eye, is a woman’s right to medically terminate her pregnancy. Or even to terminate it by magic. A rational basis for argument seems to elude both sides, because positing the primacy of one or another state of being is an inherently irrational activity.
The idea that when a sperm penetrates an ovum, something sacred is created, is irrational, sure. The idea that a fully-grown woman has sovereignty over tissue gestating in her own body, as well as whether or not she should undergo the extreme biological metamorphosis that gestation will catalyze, well, that has a much more persuasive basis, to me, and certainly to most fully-grown women I know... but is it rational? Sovereignty is an agreement, an agreement about control, about autonomy, about freedom, about the ability to determine one’s possibilities. Whereas the sacred is an agreement about... what is sacred. It’s a circular agreement. But in the end, the decision over which holds more weight, adult sovereignty or invisible or microscopic sanctity, is irrational.
But, even knowing this, admitting this to myself, I still couldn’t puzzle my way back to what the argument would be that would be met with the throwing down of such a gauntlet. When is it appropriate to cross that line, to step up to someone, stand one’s ground and force the other party to summarize their stork knowledge?
Do you know what conception is? Do you know what an embryo is? Do you know what pregnancy is? Do you even know what a stork is?
Come on, now, Jeffy, be rational. At least be coherent. You have imagination, or at least a talent for imagining you do.
Now, you bunch have a lot of damn nerve, demanding coherence from me. Here I am, driving around, minding my own business, and the human flesh on the street tosses out this question, this belligerent question, this question that’s delivered in a belligerent way, belligerent for no reason, and you ask me to be coherent? Do you know what a stork is?
The stork, like an idiot, brings the baby. But do you know what it is? You imagine you know what a baby is. You imagine you know what “bring” is. But a stork! A stork! A god damn stork!
Do you know how God puts the human soul into an embryo? Do you know how many different lives that zygotic collision could end up living? Do you know what diseases it could cure or what happiness it could bring? Do you know what a stork is?
And conversely, do you know how dangerous it is to grow a human being inside your body? Do you know how many women die in the process? Do you know how it changes someone’s life? Can you know how it changes someone’s life, for good and ill? Do you know what social, medical, and economic entanglements that endeavor involves a person in? And do you know what kind of myriad futures that woman could have had if she’d only had sovereignty over her own body? Shouldn’t she be able to decide what path her present takes toward the future? Do you know what possibilities the future holds? Do you know anything the future holds? Do you know what a stork is?
The answer is “no.” You don’t know what a stork is. No one does. You lack the most essential knowledge. And lacking all that knowledge, why are you meddling in someone else’s body and future? How dare you meddle in someone else’s body and future with your complete lack of knowledge?
It’s something we all need to ask ourselves, whenever we presume that we know what’s right for someone else. Before you act, before you make that sovereignty-molesting decision, before you dip your dirty fingers into someone else’s chili fries and take a glob, ask yourself:
Do I know what a stork is? Do I know what a stork is? Do I know what a stork is? This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
I don’t think we have to worry about the radical left persuading everyone not to vote, once the Democrats settle on a candidate that isn’t that ratty old chewed up bathrobe, Joe Biden. What we have to worry about is the rightwing pundits in the New York Times persuading the DNC to think like they do. “The Democratic Party is being pulled too far to the left,” is the refrain of these noted left-haters. David Brooks, Bret Stephens, Sydney Ember – these are the creeps of which to beware. Don’t listen to them, DNC. Brooks: “Democrats, don’t alienate me with your Medicare for all.” Man, if Medicare for all makes you vote for Dump, you’re the same asshole who supported W Bush, despite your “come to Jesus” BS of the last couple years. Climate change denier Bret Stephens also cautions the Dems not to be pulled too far left. The only person who’s not too far left for Stephens is maybe Duterte in the Philippines. And Sydney Ember, who you’ve probably never heard of, just deals in anti-Bernie clickbait. They’re all Mickey Mouse versions of urethra blockage Tucker Carlson, who also advises the Dems that “being pulled too far to the left will alienate the moderate undecided voter” or some similar sentiment. Really? If the Dems avoid being pulled to the left, you’ll stop calling them the party of evil socialism? Tucker? Tucker?
Our old friend George F. Will is certainly going to be making noises along these lines as the election actually approaches. You know, it’s not really approaching right now. It sits like a shadow in the distance, on the highway pavement, viewed through the reticulated air rippling in the heat. You can’t tell how far away it is, or even if it’s real, if it’s a dark wet stain on the horizon or merely a mirage. But we’re acting like this is the election year. That may be good. Maybe overreacting early in the game will avoid disaster later. This is how we should be responding to global warming. But our system only allows for political overreaction, as opposed to practical, methodical, well-advised, or sane overreaction.
George Will recently appeared on the local Los Angeles NPR affiliate, KPCC, broadcast out of Pasadena City College. That is how far he’s fallen. He’s had to enter the palace of liberal news. Or maybe it’s the palace of liberal news that has fallen.
He opposes Dump, and was an early rejector, to his great credit. But don’t let that fool you. He still doesn’t believe in the people having a voice beyond a tightly circumscribed limit. You might remember when last I wrote of George F. Will, back when he was mocking General Wesley Clark for having the temerity to consider running for president. An Army General who would be president! A jumped-up pantry general who never knew his place. If even he’s too big for his britches, naturally the normal, rank-and-file non-professional masses need to be kept in check. And here’s Donald Dump to prove that point! Look at all those rascally masses, loving Donald the demagogue! Aren’t you glad we put those baffles in the Constitution between the public and the helm of state? Wait ... but ... Dump is president. The baffles didn’t work!
George Will is a moderate market anarchist. What George Will is, well, what he is, is a quantum theorist against the antique Cartesian socialists. Will’s on the cutting edge. The world has grown too complicated for government to do much, says he. Only markets, with their self-propelled complexity, their instinctual, natural agility, can do what needs to be done. Markets, those automatic geniuses of nature, they can understand the dual states of particle and wave, they are undaunted by uncertainty. Socialism means the State runs everything, says George Will, the Heisenberg of economics. The State, however, can only operate in Euclidian space time according to slow, out-of-date Newtonian laws. Like some kind of fat prehistoric sloth trying vainly to catch delicious cockroaches.
At least Will, David Brooks, and the likes of Bill Krystol and David Frum, have had the good sense to oppose Dump. But Alan Dershowitz! Saints preserve us. “Don’t get pulled too far to the left.” He offers his thoughts, much as I do, on everything, whether those thoughts have any chance of receiving a welcome or not. The difference between Dershowitz and myself, though, is that, where I am merely unqualified to offer certain thoughts, he is an actively wrong, tainted source of them. Like a drinking fountain labeled “arsenic.” He long ago hitched his wagon to a child rape entrepreneur, and not merely out of legal duty. Hanging with Jeff Epstein and Donald Dump, back in the day, made him “someone” – his word. Very important for Dersh to be “someone.” Remember when he cried about not being invited to events on the Vineyard anymore since vocally supporting Dump? What did he think he was missing out on? Does he really think liberals on Martha’s Vineyard are offering up their children at sick New England rape parties? What a creep. At this point I wouldn’t even let him babysit my cactus. Sorry, Dersh, but if your only source for children to rape was Jeff Epstein, that’s dried up, man. You’re going to have to have Dump introduce you to Putin and see if you can weasel your way into that circle, you grotesque sex criminal.
One person I haven’t heard from is Mancow, the Glenn Beck-eque Chicago radio personality who made the difficult transition from shock jock to D-list Fox News friend. Now he’s back on a show on WLS. I have no idea what it’s like. I have no desire to hear that voice again. But I wonder what he thinks about this Epstein thing. The grooming and recruiting and prostituting and rape of children. Les Wexner, CEO of L Brands, parent company of Victoria’s Secret, was both a client and a tight mate of Epstein. He gave Epstein his 21,000 square foot mansion for little to no money. The home Epstein’s lawyers are suggesting he be confined to, instead of jail like a normal person. Wexner bought Abercrombie & Fitch at one time, and right after he did, they began their slutty-half-naked-teenager-on-heroin ad campaign. The one that prompted Mancow to dub the company “Abercrombie & Filth.” What does Mancow make of Wexner’s closeness with Epstein and Epstein’s closeness with Dump?
Mostly, though, I would brave the nerve-grating timbre of his tonsils just to hear Mancow warn the Democratic Party not to be pulled too far to the left. “If you’re going to talk about Medicare For All you’re going to lose moderate voters” he might say in his flat Morning Madhouse growl that is the very definition of an obnoxious voice.
All these people calling themselves conservatives, coming in with their helpful advice for the Democrats. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Who do they think gives a flying turd?
It would be like me advising noted billionaire fraudster and liar and felon Jamie Dimon not to get too attached to his money. Learn to live within your means, Jamie! Can you imagine anything more ridiculous?
I do have some advice for a few of these clowns though, including Bill Clinton: don’t sexually assault children. It’s not really a left or right issue, is it? I mean, of course I believe that fascists are more likely to facilitate the rape of children, but really, it’s something that bleeds across the entire spectrum of hyper-entitled pieces of shit. Just don’t rape children and don’t protect child molesters. Don’t get them miraculously light sentences and neglect to tell their victims what you’ve done. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your money or your position or your fake faith make it okay. If you haven’t done any of these things yet, just don’t. If you already have, get ready to receive your comeuppance. There’s going to be some Nuremberg-style repercussions for all these abusers of children and other human beings once this regime is toppled.
So, in short, my unsolicited advice for all Hyper-entitled Pieces of Shit and enablers of such: don’t allow yourselves to be pulled too far toward child raping. You run the risk of alienating undecided moderates.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!