Category Archives: Malakatude

Malaka Of The Week: Johnny Rotten

Thus spake Neil Young:

The king is gone but he’s not forgotten.
This is the story of Johnny Rotten.
It’s better to burn out than it is to rust.
The king is gone but he’s not forgotten.

The rock legend first recorded this song in 1979 and it’s undergone various permutations since then. John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten has gone through what Buddy Miles called Them Changes over the years as well. He’s always styled himself as a working class hero or man of the people. He has a big mouth and it has gotten him in trouble again. And that is why Johnny Rotten is malaka of the week.

Lydon fancies himself a contrarian. Most rock fans lean left politically: the Rotten Malaka does not. He went on a morning chat show in London and expounded on a certain American politician who claims not to be one:

The former Sex Pistols frontman, who became a U.S. citizen in 2013, said on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” that Mr. Trump is “a complicated fellow” but doesn’t deserve being labeled a racist by his liberal opponents.

“What I dislike is the left-wing media in America are trying to smear the bloke as a racist, and that’s completely not true,” the 61-year-old said. “There’s many, many problems with him as a human being, but he’s not that, and there just might be a chance something good will come out of that situation, because he terrifies politicians.”

Mr. Lydon said Mr. Trump is like a “political Sex Pistol” whose purpose is to rattle the status quo. After co-host Piers Morgan described Mr. Trump as “the archetypal anti-establishment character,” Mr. Lydon added: “Dare I say, a possible friend.”

The former lead singer also declared his support for Brexit, saying he stands with Britain’s “working class” who voted to exit the European Union in June.

“Where do I stand on Brexit? Well, here it goes: The working class have spoke, and I’m one of them, and I’m with them,” Mr. Lydon said, raising his fist. “And there it is.”

I don’t think the Rotten Malaka was just pandering to Trump sycophant Piers Morgan. He defended his comments in a follow-up interview:

Speaking today (March 28) to Virgin Radio, Lydon said: “I didn’t expect to be misunderstood, I think I speak very clearly.”

He continued: “America now has a new President and whether you like him or not you have to support him or you will destroy the country. You got to make things work.”

We have to listen to a washed-up punk rocker who has only been a citizen since 2013? In words that he’ll surely understand: fuck you, Johnny. The country was polarized long before you became a citizen and it’s still standing. Perhaps you should go watch teevee with the Insult Comedian and rub his weave for good luck like past malaka of the week Jimmy Failin of the Tune Out Show.

I was never a punk rock fan. I had friends who were but I like melody, harmonies, and people who can play their instruments. I saw the Sex Pistols once out of curiosity. It turned out to be the last show for the original band. People are always impressed when I tell them. I was not. It was a miserable experience. Some razor blade clad moron kept bumping into me. After I moved, some chick with a blue mohawk puked on my shoes. I was not amused.

Back to Johnny Rotten. I really don’t care what this tosser thinks about Donald Trump. He’s not a cultural icon to me, he’s just an asshole who used to be famous. It’s a pity that he didn’t follow Neil Young’s advice and burn out or fade away instead of becoming a rusty Trumper. That’s his limited public image…

To paraphrase John Lennon, a working class malaka is nothing to be. And that is why Johnny Rotten aka John Lydon is malaka of the week.

Malaka Of The Week: Keith Smith

Flags

Photograph by Jim Otey.

You’re probably asking yourself, who the hell is Keith Smith? I had never heard of him until ninety minutes ago when I first read about his flag flying exploits in Indianapolis.  One in particular, and his explanation of why he flies it, has caused a furor, pun intended. It’s always intended. And that is why Keith Smith is malaka of the week.

Smith is just an ordinary Joe with an ordinary name. He’s also the sort of collector you’re unlikely to see featured on the Antiques Roadshow:

Smith said the Nazi flag is about history, not race. He bought the flag from an antique dealer, and he’s been collecting neo-Nazi memorabilia since he was 14. He has badges, military pins and other commodities.

“It’s a part of history,” he said. “Someone sacrificed their life fighting and brought the flag back as a trophy.”

I suspect the folks at the Indy Star mean that he collects Nazi memorabilia. I doubt that there’s a market in George Lincoln Rockwell gee-gaws and tchotchkes. The bigger problem with Malaka Smith’s collection is how he displays one of his prized items: the flag you might have noticed at the top of the post.

For Keith Smith, flying the Nazi flag makes a point about how he’s being slowly stripped of his freedom.

The 58-year-old Indianapolis man has flown the flag three times in front of his house before, joining the Confederate flag and the Gadsden flag that reads “Don’t tread on me.”

“Everything is being stripped from us, everything is being turned into an issue,” Smith said. “I mostly flew it because I’m tired of seeing stuff across the U.S. Some want to cry about their hurt feelings, but this is a part of history being taken down.”

Does anyone understand Smith’s reasoning? I certainly don’t. It strikes me as the essence of malakatude. Flying the flag of one of America’s greatest enemies, one of the worst dictatorships in history, is an affirmation of freedom? That’s just plain nuts even in the era of alternative facts and neo-newspeak.  That’s also how the man who posted a picture of Smith’s flag on Facebook sees it:

Mr. Otey further elaborated on his sentiments to the Indy Star but I think fucking Nazi flag sums it up succinctly:

Jim Otey, a 51-year-old who lives in Smith’s neighborhood, said the flag represents an overall symbol of hate for him. He drives past Smith’s house daily and always saw the Confederate and Gadsden flag, and just shook his head. But the Nazi flag went too far.

“It’s the ultimate symbol of all the evil and bad things that are in this country,” Otey said. “It’s frightening to see that in your neighborhood.”

He made the original post on Facebook about the flag, and said he was astounded to see how far it spread.

“It makes me feel good that everyone is getting on board here,” Otey said. “That’s not going to fly here.”

The people who carried that flag plunged the world into the bloodiest war ever waged. It’s a symbol of genocide and war criminality, not a quaint relic. I have no issue with Smith owning the flag but displaying it flies in the face of simple human decency; something that seems to be in short supply among Trumpers in the heartland. Our country fought the Nazis; many of us lost relatives in Hitler’s war of aggression. It’s a symbol of repression, not freedom. And this bozo’s Confederate battle flag is a symbol of slavery, not freedom. It’s all so simple. Perhaps too simple for the likes of Keith Smith.

Trump’s electoral college victory gave the green light to bigots and racists; both famous and obscure. They have friends in high places such as Steves King and Bannon. The latter has been busy turning the White House into the Brown House while the former proudly parades his  fascist ethno-nationalist views without rebuke from fellow Republicans. Those who think of themselves as “decent” Republicans own the Steves and their ilk. I’m done cutting them any slack whatsoever.

As to Keith Smith. If he were a WWE wrestler, we might call him the Hoosier Hater. I have my own word for it: malakatude.  And that is why Keith Smith is malaka of the week.

Malaka Of The Week: William Happer

An eminent physicist who’s on the faculty at Princeton is openly campaigning to become the Insult Comedian’s science adviser. He has an impressive curriculum vitae and is certainly qualified for the position. There’s a rub: he’s a climate change denier. And that is why William Happer is malaka of the week.

Dr. Hapless Happer gave an interview to the Guardian wherein he shared his views on those of us who believe in climate change:

“There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult,” Happer told the Guardian. “It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.”

Are they Moonies, Scientologists, or Hairy Fishnuts, Dr. Hapless Happer? They’re all inclined to be glassy-eyed and the first cult is pro-GOP. Scientologists are down with Trumpism because they believe greed is good and selfishness is where it’s at.

Dr. Malaka also supports the gag order imposed by the morons at the Brown House:

Happer also supports a controversial crackdown on the freedom of federal agency scientists to speak out about their findings, arguing that mixed messages on issues such as whether butter or margarine is healthier, have led to people disregarding all public health information.

“So many people are fed up of listening to the government lie to them about margarine and climate change that when something is actually true and beneficial they don’t listen,” he said, citing childhood vaccines as an example. “The government should have a reputation of being completely reliable about facts – real facts.”

Real facts, Dr, Malaka? Do you mean the facts as spoken by your dear leader? I wonder if you understand the Faustian bargain you’re entering into. Trump listens to no one and insists on unconditional subservience. Are you ready to lick Bannon’s jackboots and be humiliated by the president*? That’s what the job entails.

Dr. Malaka derides scientists who believe in climate change as members of a cult. He’s about to join a cult where staffers are required to clap every time the dear leader speaks and retweet his increasingly incoherent rants. The hapless Happer might end up on the streets banging a tambourine and selling MAGA caps as punishment for displeasing Trump or Bormann Bannon. The only one who’s drinking Kool-Aid is Dr. Malaka. It’s Trumper Kool-Aid.

Happer doubtless thinks he’ll be an important and influential man if he becomes Trump’s science guy. Wrong. He’ll be just another one of the Insult Comedian’s dignity wraiths who will skedaddle back to a cold welcome at Princeton when he quits or is fired. Dr. Malaka is not only a climate change denier, he’s a world-class naif. And that is why William Happer is malaka of the week.

 

 

 

Saturday Odds & Sods: End Of The Line

Rivera

Man at the Crossroads by Diego Rivera.

The image you see above began life as a joke at a rich man’s expense. Nelson Rockefeller commissioned the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera to do a fresco at Rockefeller Center. Big mistake: Rivera was not only a lefty, he was a Communist. If you take a closer look at the image you can see Lenin, Trotsky, and Karl Marx among the figures. The future Governor of New York was not amused and had the mural destroyed. Mercifully for art lovers, Rivera had a friend take pictures of the Rocky mocking work. He later did a second version in Mexico City. Take that, Rocky. There’s a lesson in this story for our times even if Rocky’s politics weren’t as odious as those of the Insult Comedian.

This January is a time for sad songs. End Of The Line is a rock torch song. It was written by Bryan Ferry for Roxy Music’s brilliant 1975 album Siren. I listened to Siren obsessively during the bleakest time of my life and it helped me get through it. Thanks, Roxy.

We begin with the studio version; sung by Ferry as if his heart was ripped out of his chest. It’s followed by a swell but less overtly emotional 1993 cover by Concrete Blonde:

I’ve also been known to sing End Of The Line under my breath when taking the bus or streetcar downtown to Canal Street, which is the you know what. I don’t think I’ve been caught in the act but ya never know. I suppose this is as good time as any to insert the break thingamabob. See you on the other side.

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Malaka Of The Week: Betsy DeVos

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus are going out of business later this year. I’m one of those who is sorry that they’re going, but once they put the elephants out to pasture it was over. The good news is that there’s another circus going on right now: the Trump misadministration confirmation hearings. The Senate is learning first hand that the Insult Comedian is surrounding himself with clowns and unqualified mediocrities. There is at least one animal act: HELP committee hearings on the nomination of a billionaire biblebanger from the state of Michigan. And that is why Betsy DeVos is malaka of the week.

Betsy DeVos is a voucherizing, privatizing enemy of public education. She’s hoping to bring the same chaos to the nation’s schools that she’s brought to the Wolverine State. Malaka DeVos has strong opinions but seems to have precious little knowledge to support her views. She’s ignorant but proud; as she proved under questioning from Democratic Senators. A few examples follow courtesy of Margaret Hartmann of NYMAG.com:

Privatizing Public Schools

Senator Patty Murray asked DeVos if she would promise not to privatize public schools or cut funding from public education. DeVos said, “Not all schools are working for the students,” and she hopes to work with Murray to find ways to “empower parents to make choices on behalf of their children that are right for them.”

“I take that as not be willing to commit to not privatizing public schools or cutting money from education,” Murray responded.

DeVos wants to slap a voucher on everything, which is privatization by stealth. Public education makes the droogs uppity, after all.

Education Policy

When Senator Al Franken asked DeVos to give her opinion on whether schools should be judged by students’ proficiency or growth, DeVos seemed unfamiliar with the terms. Franken explained that the question of which metric should be used in federal education policy has been a subject of debate for years. “It surprises me you don’t know this issue,” Franken said.

I bet Al was tempted to call her a big fat idiot but only two of those things are true: big and idiot. Now that I think of it, Malaka DeVos has a fat wallet and *is* a fathead. I wonder if she knows who Fats Waller or Minnesota Fats were. Probably not. That’s not on the test and everything must be on the test.

Speaking of teaching the test, my favorite “testy moment” came when DeVos was asked about firearms in schools:

Guns in Schools

DeVos told Senator Christopher Murphy — who represents Newtown, Connecticut — that she thinks the issue of whether guns should be allowed in schools “is best left to locales and states to decide.” Referencing an earlier remark from Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi about a school in his state that is threatened by bear attacks, DeVos said, “There’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”

Potential grizzlies? Why does one need to shoot potential grizzlies? I think that guns in schools are a terrible idea even if you’re obliged to shoot real grizzlies. They do, however, get rather ornery when they’re drinking beer like the ones pictured in the Snap Wyatt sideshow banner at the top of the post. A drunk bear is a frightening sight to behold, much like the Insult Comedian as he tweets out lies.

This is another example of how the right is DeVosed (divorced) from reality on this issue, but one would hope they’d have a better reason than roving critters. Perhaps the states need to register the pestiferous animals they want to keep away from their schools with guns. Florida has a gator problem, Arizona has a rattlesnake problem, and Michigan apparently has a polecat problem since they let a wealthy stinker like Betsy DeVos meddle with their education system.

The incoming administration is full of rich dilettantes who think they know best because they have money. Betsy DeVos isn’t the only one who has brought the circus to Washington City but, other than the nutria pelt Trump wears atop his head, she’s the only animal act in town. And that is why Betsy DeVos is malaka of the week.

I’ll give Randy Newman the last word. I wonder if the Trumpers have tried to hire the act below for the inauguration?

 

 

The Fog Of History: Mark Twain On The First Gilded Age

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In 1873 Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner published a novel called The Gilded Age: A Tale Of Today. It was one of the few times Sam Clemens worked in a band and not as a solo artist. End of tortured musical analogy. The book was not merely a “tale of today,” like much of Twain’s best satire it remains applicable to *our* today.

The Gilded Age was not specifically about the political culture of the era, but the term has come to be associated with the excesses of the one-party pro-plutocratic Republican rule of the postbellum age. I believe that the-ugh-Trump Era will be a New Gilded Age with the Darnold as robber baron-in-chief. We’ve had other Gilded Ages, but I expect the next four years will be among the most corrupt in our history. The fish rots from head, after all, and nobody is rottener than the Insult Comedian. Imagine the stench when the nutria pelt atop his head begins to melt. It’s bound to smell like cotton candy piss.

Pondering the man I insist on calling Sam Clemens (we’re old literary friends and brothers in satire) resulted in a Google search for quotes that are applicable to both his time and our own. History *always* repeats, y’all.

Below are a few Twain nuggets that I have excavated from the recesses of the internet mine. I’m all about tortured analogies today and they’re mine all mine. I am, however, neither a miner nor a 49er and don’t have a daughter named Clementine…

If you think income inequality is a recent phenomenon, Sam begs to differ:

“The external glitter conceals a corrupt political core that reflects the growing gap between the very few rich and the very many poor.”

Twain was the greatest satirist of his time. He was as fond of food analogies as I am:

“The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.”

We’re inclined to think Trump is sui generis to our day and age.  But Sam knew the type only too well:

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. ”

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

The Insult Comedian is not only insulting, he’s an habitual, almost obsessive liar:

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

Trump, alas, doesn’t even try to keep his lies straight. He counts on the short-term memory of his followers. It’s what fake populist strong men do.

The next Twain bon mot illuminates the difficult position those of us in the resistance find ourselves in:

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

Nobody likes to admit to getting conned. The country is littered with people who fell for Trumpian flim-flammery. Many are still sleepwalking. It’s going to be ugly when they wake up and realize they’ve been had. Bigly.

Finally, I believe that the best way to undermine this illegitimate mountebank is with ridicule. Who can forget how he attacked SNL after Alec Baldwin nailed his cotton candy piss hair to the wall. Sam is in accord:

“Only laughter can blow [a colossal humbug] to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Ain’t no bigger humbug that the Insult Comedian. Believe me, he’s a tremendous gasbag.

Welcome to the New Gilded Age.

Vive les Maquis.

Malaka Of The Week: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

There’s a lot of malakatude to choose from this week: even more than usual. I decided it was time to be bipartisan and select a Democrat with nutty ideas who is trying to sell-out to the Trumpers.  And that is why Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is malaka of the week.

It’s hard to live up to a famous father, especially one whose candidacy remains one of the great what ifs of American history. That’s the burden RFK Jr. carries and I don’t envy him. For years, he seemed to be fighting the good fight as an environmental lawyer until he got hooked up with the anti-vaxxers. I’ll let Slate’s Susan Matthews explain the connection between his thinking and that of the Insult Comedian with whom he met this week:

This mistrust of expertise fits right in with RFK Jr.’s vaccination theories, which are built around the blatantly false idea that vaccines are unsafe, and the more paranoid idea that there is a conspiracy to cover this up extends from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to elected officials to journalists. My Slate predecessor Laura Helmuth got a full rundown of RFK Jr.’s vaccine theory when he called her to complain about our coverage of his views in 2013, which Slate referred to as “anti-vax,” a label that Kennedy rejected, saying he was “very much pro-vaccine.” Kennedy wrote a book that attempts to connect a component of vaccines to neurodevelopment disorders including autism, called Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak, and regularly attempts to meet with elected officials regarding his concerns.

In Helmuth’s piece, journalist Seth Mnookin succinctly describes Kennedy’s problematic assessment of the CDC: “What he has done is taken concern that there could be a problem as evidence that there was a problem.” This, coincidentally, is why putting Kennedy in charge of a commission on vaccine safety would be so frightening.

That’s right, Kennedy left his meeting with Trump claiming that he would be appointed to some role in investigating the vaccines that he claims not to oppose. Not so fast said Team Trump:

“The President-elect enjoyed his discussion with Robert Kennedy Jr. on a range of issues and appreciates his thoughts and ideas,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement obtained by CNN. “The President-elect is exploring the possibility of forming a commission on Autism, which affects so many families; however no decisions have been made at this time. The President-elect looks forward to continuing the discussion about all aspects of Autism with many groups and individuals.”

Kennedy and Trump have both pushed the discredited theory that vaccinating children can cause autism, even though the notion of a link between vaccines and autism has been thoroughly discredited by the medical community. Trump has said that he has personally witnessed children who received “massive injections” of vaccines at once develop “horrible autism” as a result, while Kennedy continues to promote the myth that thimerosal, a mercury-based compound once contained in many childhood vaccines, causes autism.

The Kennedy-Trump confab could be called When Fabulists (Fantasists?) Collide. I don’t know who to believe since neither of them is credible. That tends to be the case with zealots and conspiracy buffs. As for Hope Hicks, I’d like to paraphrase something  the late writer Mary McCarthy said during her epic feud with Lillian Hellman: Every word she says [writes] is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’. That goes double for Hicks’ boss and his henchmen and henchwomen. I have a hench y’all agree with me…

Kennedy has gone from denouncing Trump to cozying up to him since they agree about a long discredited study. It’s what zealots and malakas do. And that is why Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is malaka of the week.

 

Malaka Of The Week: James Woods

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Some actors who play villains are as sweet as pie off-stage. The late Robert Ryan, who played some of the vilest villains of the 40’s and ’50’s, was a kind, gentle, and liberal man. James Woods is none of those things. And that is why he is malaka of the week.

James Woods loves Twitter as much as his Führer, Donald Trump. He’s a glowering presence online and loves picking fights with all and sundry, especially people to his left politically. It’s a large group: Woods is the wingnut’s wingnut.

Befitting an actor who played Roy Cohn, HR Haldeman, and Rudy Noun Verb 9/11, he’s a bully with a glass jaw:

When “Abe List,” an anonymous Twitter user, called James Woods a “cocaine addict” on the social-media service back in July of 2015, he probably didn’t realize that he was starting a legal fight with the Hollywood star that would follow him not only to the grave but beyond it. But apparently he underestimated Woods’s obsessive desire for vengeance.

First, Woods famously responded to List’s ridicule by suing the tweeter for defamation, seeking $10 million in damages against “John Doe,” as he was named in the suit. Doe’s lawyer, Ken White (who writes about legal and free-speech issues under the pen name Popehat on his website and on Twitter), filed an anti-SLAPP motion seeking the case’s dismissal, arguing that “cocaine addict” was “a constitutionally protected political insult” in a Twitter context and shouldn’t be viewed as a statement of fact — especially given that Woods had used similarly inflammatory language to insult others on the social-media platform. The judge denied that motion in February, meaning the case could continue. Doe appealed that decision, but subsequently died, causing White to withdraw the appeal.

On Twitter, Woods celebrated. “The slime who libeled me just dropped his appeal contesting my victorious SLAPP motion,” he tweeted. Then, after someone replied noting that Woods had been “victorious” because his adversary had died, Woods tweeted (and later deleted), “Learn this. Libel me, I’ll sue you. If you die, I’ll follow you to the bowels of Hell. Get it?” He also expressed a hope that Doe died “screaming my name.”

He meant it! Woods decided not to let Doe’s death slow down the lawsuit, and at a deposition in mid-November, White refused to give up his client’s name, so Woods pressed yet further, filing a motion to compel him to. Now, reports The Hollywood Reporter, the presiding judge has ruled on that motion — White will have to reveal Doe’s identity. That is: the name of his client, who is dead, who was sued for $10 million for tweeting something mean at a celebrity. Woods’s lawyers had also sought sanctions against White for refusing to give up his client’s identity, but that attempt was rebuffed.

That’s right, James Woods is still suing the dead guy. And I thought I was a grudge holder. I’m a piker next to a man who once played a left-wing, albeit assholish, lawyer in True Believer. Woods made up for that momentary lapse by playing Trump buddies Cohn and Giuliani. Cohn was Trump’s mentor until diagnosed with full-blown AIDS whereupon the Donald dumped him. More recently, he discarded Rudy after the past malaka of the week helped him win the crucial FBI Manhattan field office vote. As I’ve said before, easy Comey, easy go.

We’re not out of the Malaka Woods quite yet. I visualize Woods sitting in a recliner as he simultaneously tweets nasty shit and fondles a taser. He’s suing the dead guy for the same reason he’s on social media: to take sadistic pleasure out of someone else’s pain. It makes one pine for the good old days when all he could do was insult waiters, bully stage hands, and leer at women he deems worthy of notice. He’s taken his ugliness to the internet for all to witness. Actors *are* exhibitionists, after all.

Life is a movie to James Woods. He’s the hiss-provoking villain preying on the so-called politically correct masses one tweet at a time. The Insult Comedian’s electoral college victory has only made him more insufferable. Thanks, Donald. And that is why James Woods is malaka of the week.

Tweet Of The Day: Dear Leader Edition

I think you know who I’m talking about. The second tweet hit my TL via RT (retweet, not Richard Thompson) I’m not sure from whence it came BUT it could be a preview of coming malakatude:

There’s only “one way to live, the Trump way?” Does that mean that we have to bedazzle our homes and put mirrors everywhere? The Trump Tower penthouse looks like a glitter bomb exploded therein. It’s probably a good thing he won’t live full-time in the White House: we need to keep his decorator away. If the Trumps redecorate, it will go from the nation’s house to a nouveau riche house. T is not only for Trump, it’s for tacky.

The reason this is such a compelling image is that the Insult Comedian is looking down on people sleeping on the street. If Congressional Republicans have their way, this scene will become commonplace. And some of the homeless will be Trump voters.

Politicians in the Gret Stet of Louisiana take credit for every infrastructure project and plaster their names on them. That may be too restrained for the Donald. This kind of dear leader poster may become depressingly ubiquitous.

Welcome to the New Gilded Age.

UPDATE: The Mumbai billboard story has been Snopesed. It’s true, not fake news.

Saturday Odds & Sods: The Best Of Adrastos 2016

Nighthawks

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

It’s time to take a look back at 2016. It may be an exercise in egotism but it’s mine, all mine. Last year’s best of Adrastos was a top thirty list, this year we have a plus-one. Sounds like a dinner party, doesn’t it? It’s time to belly-up to the buffet…

2016 was a good year for satire, but a terrible year for the country. And I was a better pundit than prognosticator. So it goes.

Here’s this year’s crop of posts in chronological order:

January 7, 2016: The Fog Of History: The Wallace Factor.

January 16, 2016: Saturday Odds & Sods: Black Tie White Noise.

February 27, 2016: Saturday Odds & Sods: All The Things You Are.

March 28, 2016: The Fog Of Historical Pictures: Grace Coolidge’s Pet Raccoon.

March 28, 2016: Charles Foster Kane Meets Donald Trump.

March 31, 2016: Malaka Of The Week: John Milkovich (Not Malkovich)

April, 18, 2016: Oy, Such A Mentor

April 21, 2016: Malaka Of The Week: Jeff Weaver.

May 7, 2016: Saturday Odds & Sods: They All Laughed.

May 18, 2016: Speaking In Dudebromides.

June 3, 2016: Trump Violates The First Rule Of Litigation.

June 13, 2016: Still Comfortably Numb Revisited.

June 29, 2016: A Fatal Lack Of Cunning & Guile.

July 11, 2016: Jill Stein: Crunchy Granola Machiavelli.

July 29, 2016 DNC Wrap Up Finale: She Won’t Stay Throwed.

August 18, 2016: Heckuva Job, Advocate.

August 18, 2016: The Insult Comedian’s Not For Turning.

August 22, 2016: Every Flim-Flam Man Needs A Sucker.

September 8, 2016: Is Trump Really Running For Grand Nagus?

September 17, 2016: Saturday Odds & Sods: Birdland.

October 4, 2016: Instant Analysis: The Debate As Altman Film.

October 6, 2016: Absence Of Malice.

October 10, 2016: Breitbart-Bannon-Bossie Man.  Bloggers Note: This post was included by Batocchio in the Jon Swift Roundup 2016. 

October 17, 2016: Moe’s Wife Blames Larry.

November 2, 2016: Out Of Control FBI Playing By The Clinton Rules.

November 10, 2016: Sitting Political Shiva.

November 11, 2016: Confessions Of A Keyboard Maquis.

November 16, 2016: Malaka Of The Week: New Orleans Baby Cakes.

November 17, 2016: The Most Dangerous Game. 

December 1, 2016: Louisiana Politics: A Terrible Candidate For Terrible Times.

December 12, 2016: Hayes/Smith: Only Victims.

That’s it for 2016. It’s been a tough year but we’re still alive and kicking. I’ll give the last word to two guys we’re really going to miss:

obama-kerry-meme

 

 

Malaka Of The Week: Konni Burton

A lot of things have fallen through the cracks of my mind lately because of the electoral college disaster. There’s a backlash brewing across the country against the progress that has been made on civil rights issues in recent years. To be more specific, against the remarkable gains made since 2008 on LGBTQ issues. One might even call it a lavender backlash. Yeah, I know, the term is retro but so is the backlash itself. You won’t be surprised to hear that one locus of the backlash is Texas. And that is why Texas State Senator Konni Burton is malaka of the week.

I was blissfully unaware of what was brewing in Austin until a tweet from Tim Peacock hit my timeline, which led me to a post at his blog, Peacock Panache:

As the state legislative session in Texas begins, state Senator Konni Burton (R) just filed legislation that would force schools to out LGBTQ students to their parents. SB242 takes aim at “the right of a child ’s parent to public school records and information concerning the child” on the surface. Under that veneer, however, Burton’s explicit intentions in filing the legislation are clear.

The bill was filed with the intention of subverting rules proposed by the Fort Worth Independent School District aimed at protecting the privacy rights of LGBTQ teens, especially transgender kids. It’s trickier than that so take a deeper dive into Tim Peacock’s piece.

Senator Burton claims that the intent of her bill is to provide parents with information about their children. It is, of course, a smokescreen (Konni job?) as is typical of so much discriminatory legislation. Haters not only have to hate, they have to hide behind family values rhetoric. Burton’s bill will effectively out LBGTQ students and that is what matters, not her increasingly strident disclaimers.

The implications of Malaka Konni’s bill are ominous and clearly stated by Tim Peacock:

As any LGBTQ person can confirm, keeping sexual orientation and gender identity/expression a secret from parents may literally be a matter of life or death. While society has made significant leaps forward in ensuring families with LGBTQ children are at a minimum tolerant, many areas of the and many belief systems still view being LGBTQ as wrong or criminal. Unwittingly outing a LGBTQ child or teenager to his or her parents can have devastating and sometimes lethal consequences.

If a student is transgender the chances of harm based on outing grow exponentially. A 2011 survey found that transgender people attempted to commit suicide at rates over 30 times the general population. And the causation behind that more often than not was discrimination, violence and/or rejection by those close to them.

While suicide is at the far end of the spectrum, LGBTQ students face a myriad of other consequence in having their identities unwittingly exposed to their parents including verbal and physical abuse, homelessness (after being kicked out) and involuntary conversation therapy (a practice condemned by the medical and psychological community though it’s still popular among anti-LGBTQ conservatives).

A quick reminder that Mike Liar Liar Pence On Fire has been a leading advocate of conversion therapy.

I recall reading some articles earlier this year about how our side had won the culture war. Since I live in a blue dot in a deep red state, I’m always skeptical of such claims. In the Gret Stet of Louisiana, socially conservative Catholics have an unholy alliance on such issues with Protestant biblethumpers. Like the people in Texas, we’re always on the lookout for crazy, retrograde legislation from our lege. It’s going to get worse after Trump’s electoral college victory. I eagerly await the backlash to the backlash. Now I’m feeling whiplashed, he said snidely.

I’d never heard of Senator Burton before her attempted Konni job. I hope to rarely hear of her in the future. If the people of Texas are lucky, she’s merely a malakatudinous comet streaking across the sky before crashing and burning. BTW, Burton was elected to replace Wendy Davis in the Texas Senate. That seat has gone from pink sneakers to lavender backlash in two years. And that is why Konni Burton is malaka of the week.

Saturday Odds & Sods: God’s Comic

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Glass Tears by Man Ray, 1932.

Facebook killed me off earlier this week. I even got a death notice from them but neglected to take a screen shot. I was not alone in receiving a premature memorial page notice from the Zuckerdudes. Facebook even whacked blog pun consultant James Karst:

Karst is dead.

I’m pleased to report that, unlike the late Johnny Winter, Karst is still alive and well:

I’ve heard several explanations as to what went wrong but there’s one I like. And I’m sticking to it even if it’s debunked as de bunk. Consider it my Ford factory relocation moment. Here it is: It may have been concocted by trolls who wanted to metaphorically liquidate people whose content they dislike. I wear their scorn as a badge of honor even if I have long believed that “we don’t need no stinking badges.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, y’all. Facebook and fake news go together like Lennon and McCartney before Yoko and Linda or Rodgers and Hart before Hammerstein. Oscar, Oscar, Oscar.

This week’s theme song is an obvious choice: God’s Comic by Elvis Costello. It’s written from the perspective of a dead guy. This may make EC the Nostraelvis of rock and roll since it was written for the Spike album in 1989 long before Facebook existed. Or is that Nostradeclan? I cannot for the life or death of me keep that straight. First the song followed by a few  lyrics:

EC is a notoriously wordy songwriter so there are a lot of lyrics.  Here’s the first verse followed by the chorus :

I wish you’d known me when I was alive, I was a funny feller
The crowd would hoot and holler for more
I wore a drunk’s red nose for applause
Oh yes I was a comical priest
“With a joke for the flock and a hand up your fleece”
Drooling the drink and the lipstick and greasepaint
Down the cardboard front of my dirty dog-collar

Now I’m dead, now I’m dead, now I’m dead,
Now I’m dead, now I’m dead
And I’m going on to meet my reward
I was scared, I was scared, I was scared, I was scared
He might of never heard God’s Comic

On that mordantly morbid note, it’s time for the break. We should move expeditiously before Facebook kills me off again and I go on to meet my reward.

Continue reading

Malaka Of The Week: New Orleans Baby Cakes

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The spirit of Boaty McBoatface is abroad in the land. Our local Triple-A baseball franchise has changed its name from the New Orleans Zephrys to the Baby Cakes. I am not making this up. And that is why the New Orleans Baby Cakes is/are malaka/malakas of the week.

I already feel sorry for the Miami Marlins minor leaguers who will have to wear this icky logo on their uniforms. It looks like something you’d put on a shirt for a kid’s T-Ball team. It’s bad enough playing in a farm system with a giant toddler like Jeffrey Loria at its apex;  just imagine a Latino player having to tell their Abuela they play for los pasteles de bebé or los tortas de bebé. Holy Gringos Locos, Batman. Of course, this is a country insane enough to hand the nuclear football to the Insult Comedian so nothing surprises me.

As a marketing ploy the renaming has been a great success and I’m probably playing into their hands by writing this. It’s made a minor league baseball team the center of local attention during football season. We should be talking about the bizarre ending to the Saints game on Sunday, instead we’re talking Baby Cakes. It’s way too early for King Cake, y’all.

This is what happens when you let people on the internet vote on a team name. New Orleans has been Boaty McBoatfaced. If they insist on keeping the new name, they should become the Metry Baby Cakes since they play in suburban Metairie. Jefferson Parish can add the name to its malakatude hall of shame alongside  Parish President Mike Yenni and Family Gras. People need to stop adding gras to everything: it means fat.

You’re probably wonder why the malakas who run the New Orleans minor league team picked this moronic name. I’ll let one of 44 people who likes it, Zombie Picayune art critic Doug MacCash explain:

It is an utterly indigenous allusion that relies on the knowledge of New Orleans Carnival customs. Who beyond the Louisiana borders could successfully deconstruct the meaning of a bat-swinging infant king surrounded by a purple, green and gold pastry ring? The symbolism is ours alone. Resolutely unique.

 Yet it is not a cliché.

Just the opposite. Until Tuesday it was certainly not in common use as a description of a King Cake. Again, the implication is entirely unique to our ball club. The name is an instant classic.

It’s a name that is immediately familiar. Too familiar, even. Baby Cakes sounds like a term of endearment in an old gangster movie. It’s a name with a wink, a name with a nod, a name with a knowing smile, baby. It’s a name that has happily sipped a hand grenade cocktail on Bourbon Street and lunged for a long strand of beads. It’s a name that could easily get into mischief if left to its own devices.

It’s so us.

Excuse me while I rummage for a barf bag. His highfalutin, pretentious language is a bit rich for this baseball fan. This is the name for a baseball team, not a bakery or a bar that serves sickly sweet drinks to soused students with fake IDs. In the immortal words of Bill the Cat:

Bill the Cat.

I think Oscar the Cat just coughed up a hairball in reaction to the name.

We also have cockroaches the size of manhole covers, why didn’t they consider the New Orleans Cockroaches or Palmetto Bugs? We also have termite swarms, so why not the New Orleans Termites? Because that would be stupid, that’s why. So is Baby Cakes. Oy, such malakatude.

I went on a bit of a tweetstorm after the announcement. Here’s a sample:

Forgive the missing comma, I wrote that on my phone. What can I tell ya?

A local sportscaster brought the derp on Twitter:

The PC police? What are you on about, man? The name is stupid, not politically incorrect whatever the hell that means. One can have a sense of humor and think this is a terrible idea. I may have to send these guys to stop the lions from yellin’ aloud:

My primary objection to the name is that it’s a gimmick dreamed up by people who seem to dislike the game they’re promoting. It’s like Fox Sports with their in-game interviews and Joe Buck, a twerp who has admitted to not liking baseball, speaking of which, here’s a message for Baby Cakes management:

Joe Buck Yourself.

The bright side of Stupid Namegate is that it has distracted me from the horrendous aftermath of the late election. It’s fun to kvetch about the Bad Idea police who labored mightily and gave birth to this dud. This is a misdemeanor, not a felony.

The General Manager of the New Orleans minor league team, Augusto Cookie Rojas, has a baseball marketing, not playing field background. I initially thought he might be related to the scrappy middle infielder best known for playing for the Phillies and Royals from 1962-1977, but he is not. Fun fact: the Real Cookie Rojas played all nine positions in the early days of his career. The Other Cookie Rojas is now known for giving a ball club the worst name ever. And that is why the New Orleans Baby Cakes is/are the malaka/malakas of the week.

From Bloody Sock To Bathrooms To Breitbart

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Curt Schilling and Breitbart Dude. Photo via New York Magazine.

This was originally supposed to be a malaka of the week post. Heaven knows, Curt Schilling may never be a baseball hall of famer but he’s definitely a candidate for the malakatude hall of shame. Once again, I came up with a clever title, which sounds a bit like a wingnut version of from Tinker to Evers to Chance. And that is why Curt Schilling is NOT malaka of the week.

People often wonder why some famous athletes don’t get involved in politics. Curt Schilling is a good example why some jocks should not go there. Schilling has gone from Boston Red Sox hero to a cautionary tale in 12 years. That may be forever on the internet but it’s a mere blink of the eye for those of us who either study history or take the long view of life. More people should try it. End of sermonette on the non-mount.

Schilling’s bloody sock moment came in the 2004 American League Championship Series against the hated Yankees. The BoSox rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Bronx bastards and one source of inspiration was Schilling’s John Wayne dude moment. I apologize in advance for making you listen to Buck the younger and lesser:

That made Schilling a hero to Red Sox nation as he helped end the so-called Curse of the Bambino. Enough with the curses. Because of that, liberal Democrats forgave Schilling for actively supporting Bush-Cheney in 2004 against hometown hero, BoSox fan, and Athenae boyfriend, John Kerry. Big John had ownership and Theo Epstein on his side, so all was forgiven by a fan base that the New Yorker’s Roger Angell once called “gentle Fenway transcendentalists.” I’m not sure if Rog has met any Red Sox fans from Southie but the image is so swell that Imma cut him some slack.

Schilling’s first foray into politics was a mere preview of wingnut coming attractions. The election of the first black President knocked a few screws loose in that big blonde head. That’s right, Schilling became a full-fledged teanut, but what really set him off were advances in gay rights and the backlash to it.

Back in April, Schilling was sacked from his gig as a baseball analyst at ESPN. His undoing was an itchy Facebook finger. The offending status was over the second B in our title: bathrooms. That’s right, the Curtster is a fan of the North Carolina bathroom bill:

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A man is a man? That gives me an excuse to post an anti-machismo Who song. Thanks, asswipe:

Since Schilling is a Trump-style show-off who lives for attention, he’s flirting with the notion of challenging Senator Professor Elizabeth Warren when she’s up for re-election in 2018. This is akin to a kamikaze mission or volunteering to go to the Little Big Horn with his fellow blonde egomaniac George Armstrong Custer. Charlie Pierce, for one, hopes he goes for it:

Look, if I had a brand new local weekend radio talk-show to promote, I might do a lot of hilarious stuff, too. But Curt Schilling—who knows more about everything than you do, loser—has developed a marketing plan unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He has decided to be the funniest man on earth. There is no competition.

(By the way, if you’re not following ol’ @gehrig38 on the electric Twitter machine, you’re not having nearly enough fun in this world. Whatever the world record is for retweeting garbage directly from Breitbart’s Mausoleum For Chronic Unemployables is, Schilling has blown it up. And a couple of weeks ago, he explained how he could clean up the problems with the VA in two years. Whaddaguy!)

Recently, you may recall, Schilling announced that he was thinking seriously about challenging Senator Professor Warren in 2018. Again, I say that baby Jesus does not love me enough to make this happen.

As you may have gathered from Charlie’s gleeful post, Schilling has taken his mouthy machismo to Breitbart Radio. This amounts to a meeting of 2016’s B3s: we’ve gone from Breitbart-Bannon-Bossie Man to the Bloody Sock Bathroom Breitbart Baseballer. Is that 4 Bs? Oh well, I never claimed to be a math wonk.  My work here is *almost* done.

I’ve conclusively established that Curt Schilling is malakatude hall of shamer but what about the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown? He’s attracted support in his four years on the ballot: receiving 52% the last time around. But will he get over 75%? I hope not. His on-field case is a decent one although his list of comparable pitchers includes only one hall of famer: current Fox Sports analyst and former Braves star John Smoltz. Schilling *does* have a great post-season record: 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA. But will the bloody sock be enough to trump the other Bs: bathrooms and Breitbart? Stay tuned.

That’s Why I Call Him The Insult Comedian: Charting The Insults

The New York Times has been making up for lost time in going after Donald Trump. They coddled him during the GOP primaries, then engaged in both-siderism at the start of the General Election before realizing this is not your ordinary Presidential candidate. Better late than never, y’all.

The fine folks at the NYT’s Upshot have compiled a comprehensive list of the 281 things, people, and places the Insult Comedian has insulted on the Tweeter Tube. Here’s a link to the dictionary of malakatude. There’s an accompanying article as well. What’s a soloist without an accomplished accompanist? What’s an insult dictionary without a dick? Trump is the guy who puts the dick in dictionary, after all. Believe me or be a sleepy-eyed dope with dog breath. Time for a musical interlude with Frank Zappa and the Mothers featuring Flo and Eddie:

I saw Tony Schwartz on AM Joy yesterday. He said that Trump has about a 200 word vocabulary and the dictionary of malakatude proved that he’s right. There are many recurring slurs and insults. Believe me.

Trump claims to be trying to woo Berners. Here’s the Bernie Sanders entry complete with links to the original tweet:

The Upshot’s Encyclopedia of Trump’s Twitter Insults reminds me of a book I had as a kid. I was book shopping with my mom one day. I was a yuuuge fan of the Borscht Belt comedians who appeared on teevee when I was young: Henny Youngman, Jack Carter, Fat Jack Leonard, Alan King, Don Rickles and, of course, my nicknamesake, Shecky Greene. I saw this book and had to have it:

2000 Insults

My mother acquiesced and that’s why they call me Shecky.

Malaka Of The Week: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions

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Sessions and Trump do Alabama.

It’s time to play some inside baseball. A friend recently asked me why there have been fewer malaka of the week posts of late. He pointed out that there’s an abundance, even a surfeit, of malakatude. Here’s why: quite a few posts start off as malaka of the weekers but if I come up with a punchy-n-clever title I use that. Play ball.

I was astonished when I did an internal search a few weeks ago, and learned that Jeff Sessions had never been malaka of the week. I assumed he had been: he’s one of the worst Senators and the first member (literally in his case) of that body to endorse Donald Trump for President. (Sounds like a sentence Trump might want to grope.) Sessions been one of the Insult Comedian’s most outspoken and aggressive surrogates who is always willing to defend the indefensible. And that is why Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama is malaka of the week.

Sessions has been in the Senate for 20 years. In that time, he’s been one of its few openly racist members: his idea of enlightenment is calling black folks nigras instead of you know what. His fanatical opposition to all that is good and espousal of all that is bad has had him on my radar screen for years. His pet cause is immigration, which is why he endorsed his fellow bigot way back on February 28th at a rally in Mobile. It’s leap year, which may be why he jumped the gun and endorsed his fellow Putin fan so early. That’s given this benighted peckerwood real clout with the candidate. No wonder Trump is losing.

In addition to his general malakatude, Sessions has been in the news after two of Trump’s recent controversies. At first, he was adamant that the grab them by the Billy Bush tape wasn’t about sexual assault:

Interviewed in the spin room after the presidential debate in St. Louis, in which Trump brushed off the comments as “locker room talk,” the Alabama senator noted that the real estate mogul already apologized for his “very improper language.”

“But beyond the language, would you characterize the behavior described in that as sexual assault if that behavior actually took place?” the Weekly Standard asked.

“I don’t characterize that as sexual assault,” Sessions replied. ”I think that’s a stretch. I don’t know what he meant—“

“So if you grab a woman by the genitals, that’s not sexual assault?” the Weekly Standard pressed.

“I don’t know. It’s not clear that he—how that would occur.”

He has subsequently crawfished but that quote shows his inclination to slavishly support everything Trump does or says. Sessions long ago succumbed to Trump’s domination politics. Notice the featured image at the top of the post: Trump quite literally lays his hand on his little buddy with the very Southern name, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. They look like a demented version of Gomer Pyle and Sgt. Carter. Of course, Carter had a crew cut and Gomer wasn’t a racist pinhead just a Southern fried sillybilly,  but it still works.

Sessions has also echoed his master’s “rigged election” talking point. I suspect he actually believes this bullshit: it’s what they did in the zip-a-dee-doo-dah days of the Old South, after all. The GOP has been peddling this line for years but are now shocked that Trump and his lackeys have taken this specious argument to its logical extreme. We all know that THEM PEOPLE steal elections and even return from the grave to vote for the demonic Democrats. How do we know this? Rudy Noun Verb 9/11 Giuliani told us and Good Ole Jeff Sessions agrees with him. Would Rudolph and Jefferson lie? In a heartbeat.

While researching this post, I stumbled on to a classic 2010 Wonkette post: Vile Racist Jeff Sessions: It’s His Day To Shine. Here’s a sample of its beautiful viciousness:

Who is this vile, lisping piglet known as the “top ranking Republican” on the Senate Judiciary Committee calling everybody and everything (mostly Elena Kagan) Communist and Anti-American? Why it’s Alabama heartthrob Jeff Sessions, the Reagan-era U.S. attorney in Mobile who, when nominated by the Gipper to be U.S. District Court judge in southern Alabama, was revealed to be a complete racist and Bircher-style paranoid — the kind of trash who would tell black colleagues that he thought the Ku Klux Klan were “okay” until he discovered some of them were “pot smokers.”

Through the course of his confirmation hearings, black and white colleagues described Sessions’ constant, blatant racism: calling the NAACP “anti-American,” aggressively prosecuting fake “voter fraud” in black neighborhoods while ignoring actual fraud in white polling stations, calling a black U.S. attorney “boy,” and describing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a “piece of intrusive legislation” — a quote he stood behind during his hearing.

How little things have changed. And that is why Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama is malaka of the week. Believe it.

Since I mentioned dead voters, I’ll give a  certain rock combo the last word:

Tweet Of The Day: Strategic Malakatude Edition

Team Trump is going full Breibart in the homestretch of the 2016 campaign. No, make that Breitbart-Bannon-Bossie Man since Bannon and Bossie are behind it. Their focus will be their opponent’s husbands’s zipper issues. I am not making this up: they don’t live on the same planet as the rest of us. It will work about as well as the whole “attack your own party” thing.

The B3 “strategy” was announced before the latest wave of accusations against the Insult Comedian. My favorite reaction came from Business Insider senior editor and prolific tweeter, Josh Barro:

In a word: NO. This is a toddler tantrum in strategic drag and I, for one, refuse to share a bathroom with it. B3 and their ally Roger (The Ratfucker) Stone want to “burn it down,” even if they’re still inside the house.

I’m not sure whether B3 and Roger the Ratfucker should be called arsonists or pyromaniacs. Both words fit like a custom glove on tiny fingers. They could always get one for each hand in size extra-small.

It’s time for a few more tweets. I got off a pretty good one myself:

While I’m self-quoting, here’s a tweet with a visual aid courtesy of an ab fab UK satire magazine:

I think, however, that the tweet that wins the election is a few weeks old. It comes from a certain Tulane graduate, former Cincinnati Mayor, talk show host, and self-described “ringmaster of civilization’s end:”

Breitbart-Bannon-Bossie Man

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Two Bs and a Duck Dick.

There was an interesting piece earlier this year wishing that Hunter S. Thompson were around to cover the 2016 election. If it were Thompson at his 1972 peak, maybe so. That was before booze, drugs, and gun nuttery diminished his talent and made him scary crazy as opposed to inspired crazy. The later period Thompson might have surprised us by looking more favorably on Trump than his admirers would want. We’ll never know but a move from the far left to far right in not uncommon. Come on down, Whittaker Chambers.

The writer I wish were around to comment on the 2016 freak show is Gore Vidal. Gore would have viewed the Insult Comedian with the same appalled fascination that I have for him. Like me, the Master had a soft spot for Hillary Clinton despite his usual dislike of conventional politicians. He met HRC on several occasions and came away liking her, which is typical of those who meet her in person.

Vidal wrote many brilliant political essays over the years but the one that comes to mind after a week of OTT Trumper misogyny is a review of a book by Eva Figes, Patriarchal Attitudes. It led to the legendary Miller-Mailer-Manson Man essay for the New York Review of Books in 1971, which I have typed out since the NYRB web site has it on restricted access. Here’s the money quote:

It is no accident that in the United States the phrase “sex and violence” is used as one word to describe acts of equal wickedness, equal fun, equal danger to that law and order our masters would impose upon us. Yet equating sex with violence does change the nature of each (words govern us more than anatomy), and it is quite plain that those who fear what they call permissiveness do so because they know that if sex is truly freed of taboo it will lead to torture and murder because that is what they dream of or, as Norman Mailer puts it, “Murder offers us the promise of vast relief. It is never unsexual.”

There has been from Henry Miller to Norman Mailer to Charles Manson a logical progression. The Miller-Mailer-Manson man (or M3 for short) has been conditioned to think of women as, at best, breeders of sons; at worst, objects to be poked, humiliated, killed. Needless to say, M3’s reaction to Women’s Liberation has been one of panic. He believes that if women are allowed parity with men they will treat men the way men have treated women and that, even M3 will agree, has not been very well or, as Cato the Censor observed, if woman be made man’s equal she will swiftly become his master.

M3 knows that women are dangerously different from men, and not as intelligent (though they have their competencies: needlework, child-care, detective stories). When a woman does show herself to be superior at, say, engineering, Freud finessed that anomaly by reminding us that since she is a bisexual, like everyone else, her engineering skill simply means that she’s got a bit too much of the tomboy in her, as W.C. Fields once remarked to Grady Sutton on a similar occasion.

Women are not going to make it until M3 is reformed and that is going to take a long time. Meanwhile the current phase of the battle is intense and illuminating. M3 is on the defensive, shouting names; he thinks that to scream dyke is enough to make the girls burst into tears, but so far they have played it cool. Some have even admitted to a bit of dyking now and then along with warm mature heterosexual relationships of the deeply meaningful fruitful kind that bring much needed children in the world (“Good fucks make good babies”—N. Mailer). I love you Marion and I love you too Marvin. The women are responding with a series of books and position papers that range from shrill to literature. In the last category one must place Eva Figes who, of the lot, is the only one whose work can be set beside John Stuart Mill’s celebrated review of the subject and not seem shoddy or self-serving.

I wish I could have found 3 Ts for Trump or 3 Gs for Giuliani. I originally called this piece Bannon-Bossie-Stone Man but after re-reading Vidal I could not do it. In hommage to the Master, B3 it is.

You all know who and what Andrew Breitbart was: the original alt-right chauvinist pig who is currently roasting on a spit in hell. The second B is Stephen Bannon the CEO of the Trump campaign who I call Breitbart Dude since he’s on leave from running that disgusting “news” site. Bannon is an accused spousal abuser and all-around racist asshole. The third B is less well-known but he shouldn’t be. When David Bossie joined Team Trump, I knew it was only a matter of time until Bill Clinton’s sex life became a campaign issue. Bossie was one of primary pursuers of the Presidential penis during the 1990’s. He’s one of the founders of Citizen’s United. I think you’ve heard of them. Believe me, believe me.

B3 have found the perfect candidate in Donald Trump; a man with no boundaries who will say and do anything in support of his cause. I nearly said to advance his cause but going to war with the GOP only helps with hardcore Trumpers. Here’s a recent example of his online malakatude:

Along with Trump’s noxious son-in-law Jared Kushner, Bannon and Bossie were behind the 1990’s parade of deplorables press conference right before the Slog in St. Louis. These creeps thought it was a good idea to trot out Bill Clinton’s discredited accusers. Instead, it laid an egg; only political junkies, Breitbart readers, and the dread Andrea Mitchell had a clue as to what was happening. Along with Giuliani and Stone, the B3 survivors advised Trump to follow his natural instincts to issue a non-apology apology about the grab ’em by the Billy Bush tape. I’ve been driving Dr. A crazy the last few days by saying in a heavy Noo Yawk accent: “It’s locka room tawk. Nobody cares but pussies.” A similar sentiment inspired this sign:

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It’s hilarious that the B3 Man who made that sign did what the MSM does to f***k. Fucking wuss. We here at First Draft believe in calling a pussy a pussy; Oscar and Della object to the euphemism. The word *was* obscene as used by the horny adolescent posing as a grown man in the Access Hollywood tape but it is not inherently so. Let B3 Man be politically correct. Fuck that shit. I’ll save my asterisks for other uses.

I realize that Breitbart, Bannon, and Bossie are much less distinguished than Miller and Mailer as well as less notorious than Manson. It’s a sign of the degeneration of our culture that B3 is standing-in for M3 but what can you do? The depressing thing is that 45 years after Gore Vidal wrote that classic essay the same sexist attitudes remain widespread. They, are, however, on the wane, but just as Barack Obama’s election brought all the racists out from under the woodpile, the probable election of our first female President has all the misogynists shooting their vile mouths off. It’s the downside of progress.

I have been extremely proud of my candidate in the last few weeks. Hillary has kept her cool in the face of enormous provocation from the opposing campaign and from all the B3 cretins out there. I don’t know how she does it but I’m glad that she’s willing to keep fighting.  It’s time for the good old US&A to join the other democracies that have elected a female leader. We claim to be in the vanguard on women’s issues but we’ve been bringing up the rear in comparison to the rest of the world. It’s time to consign both Miller-Mailer-Manson Man and Breitbart-Bannon-Bossie Man to the ash heap of history along with Trump, Giuliani, Kushner, and Stone.

There’s only one way to close a post about B3 and M3:

Since all the Beatles recordings have been removed from YouTube,  I had to use some live Macca. It’s his song, not Manson’s, after all.

Malaka Of The Week: Frank Linkmeyer

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Photograph via WCPO-TV.

It’s time for me to pluck someone out of obscurity and name them malaka of the week. In this instance, the plan is to send the man who “built” the sexist, racist “float” (looks more like a trailer to me) above back to obscurity as soon as possible. And that is why Frank Linkmeyer is malaka of the week.

I’ll yield the floor to the local teevee station that broke the story and provided the picture at the top of the post:

The Aurora Farmer’s Fair, which is put on by the Lions Club, is the biggest event of the year in the Ohio River town 35 miles west of Cincinnati. The parade went right down Second Street Saturday with nearly 200 bands, floats and groups.

One float in particular caught the eye of some people who weren’t happy to see it. It depicted Clinton in an electric chair with Trump ready to pull the switch. The float also featured an Easter Island head painted black with a black face and a sign that identified it as President Obama.

According to Linkmeyer it’s just politically incorrect satire. Given the fact that Donald Trump has mused several times about violence against his opponent, this is not funny. Threats of violence never are.

I know something about satire. In addition to writing it at First Draft, I am a member of a satirical Carnival krewe that puts together a float for the annual Krewe du Vieux parade. My Spank krewe-mates can tell you that any time someone suggests spoofing those who perpetrate acts of violence, I argue against it as vehemently as I speak against “kicking down.” The electric chair is not funny. The Insult Comedian strapping Hillary Clinton to “old Sparky” is not funny. Racist caricatures of President Obama or other black folks are not funny.

Malaka Linkmeyer doesn’t understand why his trailer trash float is a big deal to anyone:

“Could have had Donald Trump in the electric chair.  It was a tossup,” Linkemeyer told WCPO.

Linkmeyer says he and his brother have spoofed people in the parade for years.

“Police officers, judges, nurses, doctors, heart transplant patients — just a variety of things and the people in Aurora and the surrounding area love to see us in the parade,” he said.

One of the odder sub-plots of this odd story is that the parade is put on by the Lions Club of Aurora, Indiana. In my experience, service clubs like the Lions, Kiwanis, Shriners, and Rotary are non-partisan and have members with divergent political views. Linkmeyer’s tacky and tasteless float does a disservice to service clubs like the Lions who do good things in communities across the country. My late father was active in the Kiwanis in San Francisco and a burn unit at a children’s hospital was their main cause. Ironies abound.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: not everything is funny. Depicting the electrocution of the Democratic nominee for President at the hands of her Republican opponent is not funny. And that is why Frank Linkmeyer is malaka of the week.

The Debatable Debate Debate

I have no unsolicited debate advice for Hillary Clinton. I may be the only one who writes about politics who does not. I certainly have none for the Insult Comedian except STAY CLASSY:

Nobody knows for sure which Trump will show up for the debate. Speaking of dopey, I expect to see Xanax Donald at the beginning but something may provoke a toddler tantrum. I hope so. The mere notion of Mark Cuban in the front row has already gotten under his skin. Cuban is a *real* billionaire and didn’t kill the sports league in which he owns a franchise.

The Gennifer Flowers stunt has been undermined by rampant confusion on the part of Team Trump. It’s a terrible idea and the “adults” on his team have attempted to undermine it but who knows? That’s another reason why he should never be the first Insult Comedian elected President. He’s erratic and unstable as well as an habitual liar. If you want to blow shit up, he’s your guy. I have no idea why anyone thinks that a good idea but they do. I do not.

One more point on the Jennifer with a G (as Molly Ivins  was fond of calling her) stunt. I’m with Peter Tosh on this one: “when you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones.” It’s one reason Bill’s roving eye didn’t come up in the 1992 general election. Poppy Bush lived in his own glass house and had the good sense not to rock that issue. Leroy N Gingrich and Bob Livingston would have been wise to follow Poppy’s example during the impeachment clusterfuck. Of course, the Insult Comedian is a short-fingered vulgarian not known for impulse control so anything could happen.

In an attempt to dramatize an inherently dramatic event, the MSM has hyped the debate as a game changer. That’s unlikely. Debates rarely, if ever, decide elections. They do, however, confirm biases and trends. The 1980 Reagan-Carter tangle gave people a green light to roll the dice and vote out an unpopular incumbent but it did not decide the election. Carter was doomed by the hostage crisis and a terrible economy.

There’s a fascinating oral history of the 2000 Bush-Gore debates in the New York Times. It posits that they decided that election. They did not. It was a squeaker all the way and other factors decided that race. Team Gore’s refusal to judiciously deploy Bill Clinton was the fatal mistake: nobody blamed the Veep for the Big Dog’s personal fuck ups. Clinton would have helped with some constituencies and might have even helped Gore win his home state of Tennessee. It’s never a good idea to nominate a candidate who cannot win their home state, which is something that’s going to happen in 2016 when New York kicks Trump to the curb. In the end, the debates did not defeat Gore, MSM sneering, Ralph Nader, and the Supreme Court gave the prize to the nitwit from Texas.

As to other famous debate moments, I don’t think Nixon’s makeup gave the election to Kennedy or that Ford’s “liberation of Poland” elected Carter. Nixon was running for a third Eisenhower term without the genial General at the top of the ticket and Ford pardoned Tricky for his Watergate crimes. 1976 was going to be a Democratic year in the same way that 1968 and 1980 were for the GOP. The same dynamic applied in 2008. This year is wide open BUT the third consecutive term thing is one reason the race is closer than it should be. I’ll start worrying about national polls *only* if Trump hits 46-47% in one of the quality polls. Thus far, 44-45% has been his ceiling.

The best thing I’ve read about the 2016 debates is the Atlantic cover piece by James Fallows. He was a Carter speechwriter in 1976, so he’s been on both sides of the fence. Btw, that was the year there was an audio outage *during* the first debate since 1960, which resulted in a delay of 27 minutes:

Years later, Carter told Jim Lehrer, “I watched that tape afterwards and it was embarrassing to me that both President Ford and I stood there almost like robots. We didn’t move around, we didn’t walk over and shake hands with each other. We just stood there.” Ford added, “I suspect both of us would have liked to sit down and relax while the technicians were fixing the system, but I think both of us were hesitant to make any gesture that might look like we weren’t physically or mentally able to handle a problem like this.”

Ultimately, sound was restored although many have subsequently claimed that those 27 minutes were the finest in the history of presidential debates. Journalist Sander Vanocur later described the incident as “an unnatural act between two consenting candidates.”

Pardon the digression but that was a helluva quote. It follows that we’ll get back to Fallows now. He has the best description of Trump’s alpha-male shtick that I’ve seen:

“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” Jane Goodall, the anthropologist, told me shortly before Trump won the GOP nomination. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”

In her book My Life With the Chimpanzees, Goodall told the story of “Mike,” a chimp who maintained his dominance by kicking a series of kerosene cans ahead of him as he moved down a road, creating confusion and noise that made his rivals flee and cower. She told me she would be thinking of Mike as she watched the upcoming debates.

That story reminds me of a male chimp at the San Francisco Zoo when I was a kid. His dominance stunt was masturbating into a burlap sack and throwing it at all and sundry. On one memorable day, he threw it at the crowd and, to my mother’s horror, 5-year-old-me caught it. I wish I could say that I put on a vigorous and imaginative display but I don’t remember what happened after my encounter with the master debater. Like Tommy T, I went there. Literal malakatude reigns supreme…

I suspect HRC will do fine tonight since Trump knows *nothing* about public policy and is easily distracted by bright shiny objects like Mark Cuban’s Shark Tank ratings. The second best description of Trump’s debate style in the Fallows article is from short-lived Democratic Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley:

I asked former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who was onstage with Clinton and Sanders for the first five encounters, whether he’d seen Clinton make any significant mistakes. “No,” he said. “Dammit!” To round things out, when I asked O’Malley how he would be preparing to debate Trump if he’d won the nomination, he said, “I’d start by thinking of him as a monkey with a machine gun.” By that he meant an adversary who is all the more dangerous because you can’t predict which direction he’ll be facing when he pulls the trigger.

A monkey with a machine gun? I like that. It fits the rat-a-tat-tat speaking style of the Insult Comedian in full flight. Hopefully, he’ll point the machine gun at himself. He’s done it before.

The danger for the Democrats in this debate is how low the bar is set for Trump. If he doesn’t whip his dick out and brag about how big it is, the MSM may declare him the “winner” on style as opposed to HRC taking it on substance. It’s what happened with the Matt Lauer debacle, after all. If things do not go well tonight, just remember that John Kerry cleaned W’s clock in all three 2004 debates and still lost the election. Debates are important, not decisive.

Mark Cuban has called this debate the Humbling at Hofstra. That’s one reason the Crack Van will emerge from the Bat Cave, or wherever A keeps it, for tonight’s tussle. She’ll have the details later and I’ll be back in the wee hours with an instant analysis, pudding, or some weird combination of the two. I have no idea if it will be savory or sweet.

See you in the Crack Van.