Monthly Archives: December 2015

OK, One Possible Word of the Year

From Album 6

Adding my own .00002 cents worth to Adrastos’ post, and going from Headline of the Day to a possible candidate for word of the year, I nominate “classy,” as in, “who knew 2015 would end on such a classy note?”

Anyway, we know that the effect this will have on The Donald’s supporters is…nothing. Hell, at this point, Trump is virtually bulletproof when it comes to his base…which happens to be the GOP base…in other words, a kind of downward spiral symbiosis between the core and the candidate. They deserve each other.

And, while I agree with everyone else that another potential word of the year nominee would define Trump’s candidacy, at least for the GOP — “disaster” — it is at least a little scary to consider that same disaster if, god forbid, the cards and stars somehow lined up.

So…otherwise, hope your 2016 is NOT a disaster, but…classy, in whatever way that means for you. Cheers!

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Great Black Kanba

In addition to being the title of a book, the great black kanba is a mythical snake from Australian Aboriginal folklore. It was also what the indigenous people called the first trains they saw steaming through the Australian outback. Hence the cover illustration:


Headline Of The Day: Josh Marshall Edition


Unsolicited advice for Donald Trump from Chris Difford.

I have a soft spot for Talking Points Memo. It was the first political blog I ever read and was my gateway to the blogosphere. That’s right, you can blame Josh for my blogging career. Don’t be too hard on him, he’s a nice fella.

Josh wrote a swell post yesterday about the Insult Comedian’s claim that he’s going to run against a certain former President’s penis. Trump says it’s fair game but has his own share of zipper issues so it strikes me as an unwise strategy, especially in the event he’s the GOP nominee. Of course, the Insult Comedian has no strategy he’s just winging it.

Anyway, here’s the much hyped and ballyhooed headline:

Please Proceed, Plutocrat.

A sweet reminder of the second Obama-Romney debate in 2012. You know, the one where the Oval One set a trap for Willard Mittbot Romney and he fell for it. I still think of it as the Please Proceed, Governor debate.

Maybe some of Trump’s evangelical pals should school him on the whole “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” thing. Words to live by.

While we’re on the subject of the Insult Comedian’s big mouth, this would make an excellent theme song for his campaign. Chris Difford knows his shit, y’all.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: New Year’s Eve

Before Ryan Secrest and even before Dick Clark, there was Guy Lombardo:


The Royal Canadians sound like a head-on collision between trucks carrying Canadian Club and Crown Royal. Entirely appropriate for New Years…

In other news I’m taking a wee blogcation and plan to keep a low profile this week except for my regular features. Of course, every time I say that some major shit hits the fan or somebody dies so maybe I should just STFU. Nah, the last time I did that it hurt like hell.

Today in Fucked-Up Uses of the Passive Voice

There’s a lot of fail in this story and it starts with the headline: 

Chicago police trained to not shoot innocent people, but it still happens

How about THEY STILL DO IT? Can we not even grant them that amount of agency before the BLUE LIVES MATTER people start crawling all over the comments talking about how mean you are for noticing that? I mean, even if you grant that it is a fuckup, and I’m not sure I do, it is still a fuckup DONE BY SOMEBODY. The guns don’t fire themselves, unless the NRA has been wrong all these years.

Via Jacob.


Tamir Rice, the Power of the State, and What We Think is Reasonable

Shorter John Kasich: At least we’re no longer using fire hoses on you people.


So there he is, John Kasich, the moderate Republican, the sane one in the race, the one I’ve heard many not openly insane acquaintances lament is too “reasonable” to win next year’s primaries. There he is, saying basically look, we are only tacitly approving of giving the state the power to execute people on the street, and only some people anyway, so what is everybody so pissed off about?

I mean, we let you drink from our water fountains now!

I really don’t know what to do now that this is what we’re defining as the sensible center. This is the “reasonable” position, that if they shoot your 12-year-old kid who has taken his COMPLETELY LEGAL toy gun to the park to COMPLETELY LEGALLY PLAY WITH IT, you should be grateful America has moved past lynchings and Jim Crow. And you should not get riled up. Because all they did was shoot your 12-year-old. In the park. With a toy.

If this is reasonable in our politics, then reasonable is the enemy. If “reasonable” is now defined as kicking back because we’ve mostly eliminated WHITES ONLY signs, then reasonable can get fucked. This is why I have no patience for the civility argument, for the idea that if everyone just sat down and took it … I don’t know when we decided that peace was passivity, that stability was acquiescence, and that nothing in the world was so bad as some comfortably situated people being inconvenienced. Nothing in the world is so bad as that, not even a 12-year-old. Being shot in the park. BY THE STATE.

Because you can jaw on all you want about black-on-black crime and “why don’t those people protest when INSERT NAME OF CAUSE” and “this one time a black guy cut me off in traffic and he was a piece of shit.” You can dig up dirt on every young man killed by the cops, on everybody who was on drugs or had a baseball bat or lived in That Neighborhood or deserved it somehow. What you can’t get past, what I can’t believe we’re not talking about, is that giving cops carte blanche to shoot black people is giving the state a license to kill.

Which it already has, in the forms of economics, capital punishment, environmental degradation and not-so-benign neglect, I suppose, but stay with me here.

This is not about who wasn’t an angel and who shouldn’t have been there and who thought they saw something they didn’t see. This is about what you empower the state to do. Full stop. These men wear our uniforms and they act in our name and if they do this without any consequences then they do this with our sanction.

None of these Republicans who like to jaw on about the overreaching power of the government seem to mind it executing minors without trial. Even that asshole Rand Paul, who gets awfully shirty about drone-bombing wedding parties overseas and spying on American citizens, is fundraising and making fun of Marco Rubio and saying absolutely nothing about state-sponsored killings in this case.


If your cause, if your concern, if the fundamental operating principle of your entire approach to governing is the limit of state power, and you don’t care about police killings, you’re a fool and a fraud and I don’t even want to hear it anymore.

If your response, your genuinely reasonable and moderate and centrist and God-Almighty-am-I-sick-of-hearing-this SANE response to the state-sanctioned execution of a 12-year-old boy in a park with a toy is that hey, things are not as bad as they used to be, you do not get to stand on a debate stage and talk about the way your party used to stand for something.


Fog Of Historical Pictures: Huey Long Behind The Bar

I stumbled into this picture whilst hanging out with Mr. Google. I’ve never seen it before and the folks who posted it said it was Huey in the 1940’s. Oops: he was gunned down in 1935.

My hunch is that it *may* be the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans BUT that’s just a guess. My partner in defogging history, James Karst, thinks it “could be a bar in NYC, a city to which Long imported the Sazerac bartender to teach those Yankee heathens how to make a proper gin fizz.”

Whatever the case, it’s a good picture to post 3 days before NYE.

Huey bar

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – schlong time coming edition

Good morning, gentle people! I hope your holiday was a wonderful one.

Well, let’s get right to the stupid, shall we? I mean, as schlong as we’re all here…

Donald Trump: ‘Schlonged’ was not a vulgar insult
Mashable ^ | December 22, 2015 | Juana Summers

Posted on ‎12‎/‎22‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎02‎:‎37‎ ‎PM by Cringing Negativism Network

Nearly 24 hours after he said that Hillary Clinton had been “schlonged” by Barack Obama during her failed 2008 presidential campaign, Donald Trump took to Twitter to defend his comments.

Schlonged, the Republican businessman said in a tweet, was not a vulgar reference to a penis. Instead, he argued, he meant “beaten badly.”

Once again, #MSM is dishonest. “Schlonged” is not vulgar. When I said Hillary got “schlonged” that meant beaten badly.

– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2015

Trump went on to defend his comments, saying that NPR’s Neal Conan had once used the phrase to refer to the trouncing at the polls that the Walter Mondale-Geraldine Ferraro presidential ticket received in the 1984 election.

(woo-hoo, did not take Trump long to respond)


Hoo-wa. Good for Donald.
1 posted on 12‎/‎22‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎02‎:‎37‎ ‎PM by Cringing Negativism Network
I’ll see your “woo-hoo” and “Hoo-wa” and raise you a “schmuck”.
Of course, as we all know, “schmuck” doesn’t mean “penis” as much as it means that I just beat your face badly with one.
Of course, some of the Freepers drop the dog whistle entirely:
To: Cringing Negativism Network

When I said Hillary got “schlonged” that meant beaten badly.

Yeah, beaten badly with a big penis.

6 posted on 12‎/‎22‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎06‎:‎54‎ ‎PM by Future Snake Eater (
So – is The Darnold lying, or are you?
To: Cringing Negativism Network
I am not a NYer and to me it’s an obscenity.
16 posted on‎12‎/‎22‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎09‎:‎57‎ ‎PM by Ditter (God Bless Texas!)
Come on, Freepers – try to have a little class here.
To: ConservativeMind


“I prefer to continue to believe he meant ‘to beat senseless with a man’s private part’.”

Could have been Huma’s strap on .

25 posted on ‎12‎/‎22‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎12‎:‎41‎ ‎PM by sushiman

That’s better.
To: Cringing Negativism Network


Actually, it is a vulgar insult. If he wants to say it, he should at least own up to it and stop claiming that his vulgar insults weren’t meant as vulgar insults.

26 posted on 12‎/‎22‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎13‎:‎08‎ ‎PM by livius

One Freeper is just happy to expand his vocabulary.
(I guess a couple hundred words weren’t enough)
To: Lisbon1940


Yes, that one’s delightful as well. I’ve been searching for a replacement for “dick-smacked”, and “cock-walloped” just feels too derivative. So if nothing else, I guess I can say Trump was good for something this year.

84 posted on 12‎/‎22‎/‎2015‎ ‎8‎:‎47‎:‎12‎ ‎PM by HoosierDammit (“When that big rock n’ roll clock strikes 12, I will be buried with my Tele on!” Bruce Springsteen)

Well, as schlong as you’re read this far, follow below the fold for more fakakta Freeperisms …

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‘multiple family members said they think police shot through the door’

Police respond to a 911 call, shoot the subject of that call, and wind up killing an innocent grandmother: 

Bettie Jones, a mother of five and grandmother of six, had worked full-time at the Alpha Baking bread factory before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer earlier this year, according to her brother, Robin Andrews. After a successful surgery, Andrews said, Jones was looking for an all-clear from her doctor so she could get back to work.

“She was the kind of person who would come home after a 16-hour shift and then ask you if you needed anything,” Andrews said. “She was always trying to help, sharing whatever little food she had in her fridge. She was one of a kind like that.”

Jones’ other brother, James Reynolds, said he was furious with the way police had handled the 911 call.

“We’re talking about a kid here with a baseball bat. How are you then justified in coming in here, raining down bullets like it’s the wild west?” Reynolds said. “This is about discipline — when you go to a job, you’ve got to do the job right. They didn’t, and now a life has been lost.”

For chrissakes. Yes, we should be talking about racism and we should be talking about over-militarization of police and we should be talking about the response to people with mental illness in general but can we also talk about apparently these people are seriously lousy shots, trained by Dirty Harry movies and their own paranoid imaginations?

You want to get all amped up at me about BLUE LIVES MATTER and how the cops are our last line of defense of the rights of property against the mob or whatever we’re on about now? You need to grant they really ought to be able to take out “the bad guy” without spraying the whole damn place with bullets. Otherwise it’s a toss-up if people should take their chances with the criminals, who don’t seem to have much worse aim.


Sunday Morning Video: Ry Cooder & David Lindley Live

What’s better than one cult artist? Two cult artists. Here are two master guitarists joining forces for a 1994 show in San Francisco:

Saturday Odds & Sods: The Best of Adrastos 2015


Scrooge meets Marley’s ghost by E.A. Abbey, 1876.

Twas the day after Christmas and all that was stirring was a mouse and a keyboard. It’s time to embark on an ego trip and present the Best of Adrastos 2015 in lieu of a proper Saturday post.

I do have a theme song only it’s not the post title this time around. I’m not certain if it’s entirely accurate but, hey, it’s the Chairman of the Board. Who’s gonna argue with Francis Albert Fucking Sinatra?

I started off with 48 candidates before winnowing it down to thirty, which is still excessive but it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to or something like that. Jeez, now I sound like Al Lesley Gore. I’ve organized the posts into categories and I state that categorically.

I have no illusions that anyone will read all the posts in one sitting but they’ll be here awaiting your perusal.

Saturday Odds & Sods: I think of this weekly outing as my writer’s post. I assiduously polish and rewrite them instead of the more spontaneous approach I bring to the daily grind.

July 18, 2015: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On.)  Tricky Dick meets Antoni Gaudi.

August 12, 2015: You’re With Stupid Now.   Mr. Truck meets Quentin Tarantino.

December 12, 2015: Sinatra Centennial Edition.  The title says it all.

As Frank himself would say, the best is yet to come after the break:

Continue reading

Worse Things Than Poetry

I went looking for this, this week, for a friend, and it seemed to apply to this holiday: 

At the end of the line, where enjambment sings: zero’s the number of the Fool, the shape of the storm. It’s the beginning and the end, depending on where you start counting. It goes around and around … God has to wear masks because you’re not prepared for a faceful of infinity, but that’s not the secret. The secret is: how many masks.

The “war on Christmas” nonsense makes me tired.

Not outraged. Not angry. Not defensive. Tired.

I am not interested in defending Christmas from some imaginary angry force, or help the imaginary angry force make its case. I am not willing to mount a defense that says Jesus was really really really born on December 25 (does anyone other than the most pedantic college sophomore give a shit?) and the Three Wise Men were three and wise and men and followed a star and are we seriously genuinely … like, talk about missing the point.

I am not invested in proving my right to eat frosted cookies for lunch and hang out with my family for a few days. I am not interested in making factual arguments about lighting candles in the early dark, and singing carols against the cold, because it’s indefensible. It’s MAD. It’s absurd, holding the darkness at bay with a spiral-cut ham and mulled wine. You might as well meet a tank division on the battlefield with knitting needles. You might as well try to dance away a nuclear bomb.

But you tell me what else there is to do. You tell me the harm, in one day. In one, silent, night. In one goddamn 24-hour period devoted not to misery and rage but to peace. God, we give ourselves so little time to breathe these days. We give ourselves so little rest. We harry each other through the days, picking at this or that or the other thing, always always always. There is always something wrong. Something lost. Something cold and lacking.

Hear, in this story, a plea for understanding, for a moment’s rest: A poor family, traveling, going from place to place, asking for room. Asking people see behind their masks. Behind their poverty, their choices, their fear. See God in us, see a miracle in our child to be born, and see your own need for a quiet place, even if it’s in stable.

See who we are and why we’re here. Is there ever any other question, any other request? Aren’t we all behind our masks, asking one another for recognition? On this silent night, can we declare a truce, and say that even if it’s only poetry. it’s poetry?

People have died for poetry. For less than poetry. For cheaper, smaller things than the story we tell ourselves today, of God behind a mask, visible only to those with nothing in the way of their vision. People have died for worse poetry than that. That’s worth a holiday. Especially one of grace from unlikely beginnings and hope in dark times.

That’s worth a lit candle after all.


Friday Ferretblogging: Christmas Edition


Merry merry, everybody.


Friday Catblogging: Merry Christmas From Oscar

Despite that Grinchy look in his eyes, the Big O wishes you seasons greetings:

Oscar lights-2

A Stocking Stuffer For The Nation

From Album 6

So…interesting holiday discussion. Never thought I’d see “schlonged” subjected to analysis generally reserved for things like still images from the Zapruder Film, but…

You know, just my personal opinion, but this is yet another reason to be oddly grateful The Donald is still sticking around, or, if you prefer, stinking up the joint. Maybe it’s time to take a long look into the national mirror, and come to grips with the fact that some people have long since left the reality-based community in the dust… and they’re the GOP base (what’s the saying? The Democratic Party despises/hates their base, the Republican Party fears theirs?).

The downside, of course, would be a Trump administration (“What a disaster”), but…I’m reminded of the quote (thought it was Jefferson, but I was wrong), “[people get] the government [they] deserve.” And to add an H.L. Menken line to the end of that, they’ll (we’ll) get it “good and hard.”

So, on that high note, Happy Holidays! No, seriously, hope the season is good for yourselves and your friends and family. Cheers!

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Do Not Murder Before Christmas

Words to live by at this time of the year:

Do Not Murder Before Christmas

Tweet Of The Day: Schlonged Edition

The Insult Comedian’s puerile, penile joke about the 2008 Clinton-Obama nomination scrum has been the subject of much mockery. My favorite comment came from New Yorker teevee critic Emily Nussbaum:

It’s hard to top that, but Yiddish has many wonderful words for the male member. There’s also pisher and schmeckle. The Insult Comedian is both. Oy, such a schmuck.

Every time we think Trump can’t stoop any lower, he does. If stepping on his schlong is his idea of Presidential, he should consider adding the Drips and Discharges skating dick to his entourage:

Skating dick

Drips and Discharges skating dick. Krewe du Vieux, 2014.

Now that’s a schlong. The Insult Comedian is merely dickish.

Instant Update: An acquaintance of Josh Marshall’s says that he used schlonged as a synonym for fucked as a yoot on Guyland. Holy Matzopizza, Batman.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Six Million Dollar Man Christmas Adventures

ABC was the home for cheesy programs in the 1970’s and one of the cheesiest of them all was the Six Million Dollar Man. Until my friend Kevin posted this image on my FB timeline, I had no idea that this 1978 album existed. Thanks for enriching my life, man


It’s all spoken word? So, Lee Majors doesn’t sing on the album? Bummer, man.

Here’s what amounts to a single on this LP:

Six Million Dollar Man Xmas-2

So, they gone from lamenting to revolting now? Did anyone ask BNL?

Yeah, Pats, Your Dad Knew To Keep It Quiet

So, so, so gross: 

Responding to a question about Sen. Ted Cruz often positively invoking her father’s name on the campaign trail and during debates, Davis said, “It may be this week he’s doing it more than the others. But they all kind of do it. But yet, they are so not like him. My father would be so appalled at what’s going on. He would be so appalled at these candidates. I don’t think he would be a Republican. And if another Ronald Reagan came along right now, I don’t think the Republican Party would accept him.”

I don’t know, honey. Your dad was fine with gay people dying and poor people starving. He just knew not to PUT IT LIKE THAT. He was a slicker salesman. A different line worked for him back then.