‘in the end the age was handed/the sort of shit that it demanded’

The first wounded American from the Italian front arrived yesterday by the steamship Giuseppe Verdi of the Transatlantica Line with probably more scars than any other man in or out of uniform, who defied the shrapnel of the Central Powers.

His wounds might have been much less if he had not been constructed by nature on generous proportions, being more than six feet tall and of ample beam.

He is Ernest M. Hemingway, before the war a reporter for the Kansas City Star, and hailing from Oak Park, Ill.  The surgical chart of his battered person shows 227 marks indicating where bits of a peculiar kind of Austrian shrapnel, about as thick as a .22 caliber bullet and an inch long, like small cuts from a length of wire, smote him.  Some of these bits have been extracted after a dozen or more operations and young Hemingway hopes finally to get them all out, but he still retains a hundred or more.

— The New York Sun, January 22, 1919

What you have to understand about Ernest Hemingway is that the work is the point. The drinking and the shooting and the girls, the big-game hunter persona, the Cult of Hemingway that insists being a loud braggy mess is a creative process, all that gets in the way. Strip it out. Take the myth apart. Stop confusing the person with the fan club. Stop confusing the writer with the person.

Go back to the work.

While the bombardment was knocking the trench to pieces at Fossalta, he lay very flat and sweated and prayed oh jesus christ get me out of here. Dear jesus please get me out. Christ please please please christ. If you’ll only keep me from getting killed I’ll do anything you say. I believe in you and I’ll tell every one in the world that you are the only one that matters. Please please dear jesus. The shelling moved further up the line. We went to work on the trench and in the morning the sun came up and the day was hot and muggy and cheerful and quiet. The next night back at Mestre he did not tell the girl he went upstairs with at the Villa Rossa about Jesus. And he never told anybody.

Ernest Hemingway would be the first person to punch all these losers who think they’re Ernest Hemingway because they got in a fistfight or treat women badly. He got up every single morning and he worked. He wrote every day. He wrote for hours. When his back hurt too badly for him to sit down at a desk, he put his typewriter on top of the dresser so he could write standing up. Most of the poser neckbeards who compare themselves to Hemingway shit themselves when their local bar runs out of craft moonshine.

There’s a part of A Moveable Feast where Hemingway is working in a Paris café. A fanboy comes in, sits down, starts talking to Hemingway about how hard it is being a writer, about how he has this terrible writer’s block and he believes in himself as a writer but he can’t actually, you know, write anything.

And after about 15 minutes of listening to this guy whinge about the great book we all know he’s not going to write, Hemingway finally tells him to go to hell. “You shouldn’t write if you can’t write. What do you have to cry about it for? Go home. Get a job. Hang yourself. Only don’t talk about it. You could never write.”

He hated bullshit. He hated his own bullshit the most.

I get so enraged about this because this is something I know a little bit about. I was taught to hate Hemingway the way most of us are, by having The Old Man and the Sea forced on me in high school. And I learned to love Hemingway by finding a cheap copy of The Sun Also Rises in a used-book store in college and reading about rootlessness and recklessness at a time when such things seemed very real. I devoured everything he wrote. The brilliant early journalism, the short stories, the brutal bad novels of his later years when, hobbled by the electric shock treatment intended to treat his depression, he could no longer trust his memory.

He went to war as a teenager. He volunteered for it. The U.S. wasn’t even in World War I when Hemingway left his home and friends and family and everything he’d ever known and offered to drive canteen trucks and deliver mail and chocolate to the front.

He already wanted to be a writer. He wrote terrible poetry and very good journalism for his high school paper and later for the Kansas City Star. He wanted to travel. There are these photographs of him, before the war, when he looks like any other kid his age, desperate to get out into the world and take a big bite out of it.

There are these photographs of him after the war. After the world bit back. After 227 pieces of shrapnel tore through his body. He carried that metal until he died. He spent the rest of his life in physical pain.

You’d never know it from the story he created about himself, the swashbuckling, the show-off adventuring, would you? You’d never know it if you only know his story and not his stories.

So for a man like Donald Trump to act like Ernest Hemingway would have done anything but punch him in the face, would have done anything but told him to fuck off and shut up and never write anything again, for a man like Donald Trump to compare himself to Ernest Hemingway or say that anyone would have done so, let’s just say it’s profoundly unlikely.

One of Hemingway’s poems, however, does seem uniquely suited to our present political situation:

The age demanded that we sing
And cut away our tongue.
The age demanded that we flow
And hammered in the bung.
The age demanded that we dance
And jammed us into iron pants.
And in the end the age was handed
The sort of shit that it demanded.

A.

From Russia With Love

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Twelfth Night 2017 was a surprisingly busy news day. The big story was, of course, the intelligence report about Russian interference in the late election.  This tweet from Rachel Maddow sums it up perfectly:

I’d call it a gut punch but that could cause stomach churning. The worst thing about the Insult Comedian’s reaction was his refusal to admit that he was wrong after months of dismissing reports that were confirmed on Friday. He continues to be Putin’s lap dog:

They will respect us more after you condoned the hacking and had a political roll in the hay with Julian Assange? How does that work? The con man has become Putin’s mark.

The overall Republican reaction was horrifying. They yawned and said “so what?” Remember when they were the anti-Russian, pro-intelligence community party? Now they’re the party of Trump. I wonder how long until other GOPers start stiffing contractors?

I am *not* in favor of a new Cold War but the insouciance of the Republican reaction is infuriating. Apparently, anything goes as long as it benefits them. This is not entirely new but the advent of Trumpism has reinforced their inclination to be the Selfish Party.

It’s going to be a long four years but at least the Insult Comedian will be focused on important issues like fighting with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meryl Streep. Of course, what they think is irrelevant because they voted for Hillary. So much for being President of all the people.

I’ll give Rodney Crowell the last word with this mock ode to selfishness:

Today on Tommy T’s Mundane musings -Tape Doesn’t Lie!

Well, folks, the Freeperati still haven’t realized that they’ve been Don-conned, so I have this fond memory for you :

Back in my studio engineer days I had a guy come in with a karaoke tape he wanted to sing along to (first one I’d ever seen).

Horrible little low-fi cassette, with his vocals on our good U47 mike laid over it.Okay.

It’s his money.

Then this guy, who is loaded up with bling, proceeds to dance around in the vocal booth. Really. Big moves and all. Like he’s doing a music video.

The bling’s clinking and clanking, his polyester outfit’s whooshing and zzziping like a bedsheet in a whirlwind every time he moves his arms up to frame his face, it’s all being sucked up by the microphone, and since I have to put a ton of compression on him (because he’s dancing around and moving sideways away from, and toward the mic) all the noise he’s making is as loud as his voice (which isn’t very). At several points he spins around, which means that he’s singing at the rear Auralex sound-absorbing wall instead of toward the mike.

Between verses, he’s smacking his tongue against the roof of his mouth and sucking air through his teeth. I can hear the studio owner and a visitor laughing in the next room through the open side door to the control room.

Finally, the guy finishes after several stopped takes, and comes into the control room for the playback. I’m waiting for the explosion – ” What is all that noise?? I don’t sound like that!!” (this is the common reaction of someone actually hearing themselves for the first time on tape, and it doesn’t sound anything like it does when they’re singing in the shower or along with the stereo)

He slaps me on the back and tells me he’s very happy that I captured the essence of his personality.

Tape doesn’t lie.

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Not Everything Sucks

I think I’m gonna make this a regular feature because we need it now.

People have a phenomenal capacity for kindness. We need to remember that all the time.

A.

Today on Tommy T’s Local Yokels – letter of interest

Good people – I’d like to tell you about someone I met yesterday at the Democrats HD65 strategy / committee elections meeting Saturday.

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His name is Young Sung, and he’s an impressive individual.

MBA, Deacon in his Methodist church, Korean-English translator for dispute resolution, the FBI, and Homeland Security. One of the mainstays behind development of the incredibly successful “H Mart” here in Carrollton (our fair city) Tx.

Endorsed by the Carrollton Fire Fighters Association, the Carrollton Police Officers Association, Ron Branson (former Mayor of Carrollton), Becky Miller (former Mayor of Carrollton), and many others, he ran for a seat on the Carrollton City Council last May.

Guess what happened?

He surged in early voting, and the Tea Party incumbent Anthony Wilder’s re-election was in danger.

Then, this was mailed out to Carrollton voters.

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So – gay Korean mosques and temples for everyone!

Woo Hoo!

It gets better, though – please click on the “continue reading” to continue reading.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Born Under A Bad Sign

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Tollan, Aztec Legend by Marsden Hartley, 1933.

The only predictable thing about the weather in New Orleans to start the new year has been its unpredictability. It’s been warm and muggy, wet and damp, foggy and chilly. You name it, we’ve had it, except, that is, for snow. The last time it snowed here was in 2008. Thousands of pictures were taken of the St. Charles street car in the snow. It melted quickly and hasn’t happened since. So it goes.

It was Twelfth Night yesterday, which means that we can finally eat king cake, and, more importantly, hang our krewe flags on our houses. I’ve been wanting to fly the Spank flag for months but Dr. A wouldn’t hear of it until yesterday. So it goes.

Here’s the flag with Dennie the den of Muses cat:

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End of laginappe Carnival catblogging, make that reblogging. If you blog long enough you end up repeating yourself, repeating yourself, repeating yourself…

This week’s theme song, Born Under A Bad Sign, was written for blues great Albert King by Stax Records legends William Bell and Booker T. Jones. It seems to fit the mood of at least half the country as we contemplate the next administration. I’m not sure whether to feel cursed or resigned but I’m certain that the shit brought to the surface in 2016 will continue to stink. Shit’s a funny thing, no matter how you disguise it, it smells just as bad. So it goes.

We begin with a version King recorded in New Orleans in 1978, produced by Allen Toussaint:

We continue with an instrumental version by the man who wrote the music:

Finally, a swell 1993 rendition by the great Paul Rodgers:

Now that we’ve admitted to being down since we began to crawl, we’ll shoot for a rebirth (no, not the brass band or the pale ale) after the break.

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Career suicide by chicken

A kid in my writing class today made a running list of all of the random references I made to pop culture, history and other weird shit in an attempt to illustrate my points and for examples. The list was two pages long after a four-hour lecture on interviewing and quotes and included references to “Airport ’77,” Rosa Parks, Roberto Clemente, “The Poseidon Adventure,” Jim Jones (not that one) and John Wayne.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I was outlining a story about the time I had to interview the mayor about a report regarding his affirmative action director and how she was acquitted of allegations that she did something illegal/unethical. The mayor announced his findings at an NAACP fundraising dinner, which our paper didn’t attend because we probably didn’t figure anything important was going to happen. Politicians go to these things all the time and do the “proud, happy and thrilled” speeches, so there’s not much news there.

The point of the whole story was that I was having to play catch up on an important story and I thought I had prepared for the interview with a lot of great questions. That said, when I called the guy at 11 p.m., woke him up and had him snarling at me, I ended up blowing the interview because I used too many closed-ended questions and he wasn’t doing much elaboration to help me out.

The problem came in for me because I referred to the event as being part of the “rubber-chicken dinner circuit,” which apparently didn’t translate. After class, I was talking about the idea of a “rubber-chicken dinner” thing and such with a couple kids. At that point, the kid who was writing all of my “Doc-isms” told me I said “fried chicken,” which now has me trying to figure out how to best write a suicide note and a resignation letter at the same time.

I’ve written about race, culture and a dozen other things on this blog over the years and one of the things I’ve often noted was how the discussions always dance on a razor’s edge. I’ve also said that I’ve been known to fuck up a lot when it comes to everything, so that doesn’t make things any easier talking about topics that are often raw nerves and sensitive wounds.

This one, however, hit me from left field and I started to realize there’s no real way to discuss it. Think about all the shit people say when something like this happens:

I have many black friends…”

I’m not a racist…”

Anyone who knows me knows that…”

This obviously wasn’t the intention…”

Or, of course, there’s the Yahoo! Finance explanation: “Spelling error.”

If you spend enough time in my field, you find yourself going through something, in which you wonder if everything you ever worked for is going to go down the shitter. You worry about becoming that tragic tale of how something could have gone so wrong as to cost you everything. It’s like you’re waiting for the second half of the VH1’s “Behind the Music” that comes after “The band was on top of the world…” After the commercial, shit’s going to happen, someone is getting fired, there’s a coke addiction or something…”

In the case of professors, it’s the fear of some kid with rich parents who are pissed about a B- you couldn’t fully document, a living prequel to “Fatal Attraction” or taking a swing and a miss like this.

The minute this kid said “fried chicken” I felt like my soul had been ripped out and I couldn’t breathe or swallow. Some people get fired for less while others retain their jobs despite worse things. It always seems like a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes.

I don’t know what to say or how to say it, but it’s like I want to run through the streets just screaming, “I’M SORRY!” until the cold fucking kills me. That’s the best answer I have for dealing with it, which is obviously no answer at all.

So I wrote this and I left it here because usually writing about something on this blog usually helps me figure something out. Sorry for the dump job.

Doc.

Friday Catblogging: When Genres Collide

There are a few well-established catblogging genres: before and after, boxes, and Devil-Eyed Della. This post brings all three together in celebration of Twelfth Night.

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devil eyed shoe box della.

Mighty Like An Omarosa

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Omarosa throws shade.

I took one for the team last year and watched several seasons of the Celebrity Apprentice. Even though it ostensibly presented Donald Trump in a favorable light, it was revealing, albeit appalling, viewing that gave me insight into the fragility of the Trumpian psyche.

One of the seasons I watched featured endless bickering between former Daily Mail editor and CNN chat show host Piers Morgan and Omarosa Manigault. They appeared to genuinely hate one another as opposed to reality show hatred. At one point Morgan called her “an apprentice but not a celebrity.” Not a bad burn.

The reason I’m going on about this is that Omarosa has been hired to be the Insult Comedian’s White House shit stirrer. CNN puts it more politely:

Manigault, who prefers to go by only her first name, was a prominent African-American surrogate for Trump during his campaign and served as his campaign’s director of African-American outreach.

Her title will be assistant to the President and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison focusing on issues such as community outreach.

Mark my words, the Trump West Wing will resemble a cockfighting ring within a matter of months. Reality teevee thrives on conflict and putting Reince, Bannon, Conway, and Omarosa on the staff is bad for the Republic but good for satire. I cannot wait for the first self-serving leaks. Let the finger pointing and back stabbing begin.

For those of you who were spared the Piers-Omarosa wars, I found a nifty compilation video. It’s almost as much fun as watching Sheree and Kenya go at it on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Who’s gonna check you, boo?

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.

Obamacare Repeal Kabuki

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If it wasn’t so consequential, it would be kind of amusing to watch the knots wingnut leadership is twisting themselves into as they still insist they’ll, no really, eventually replace and begin to repeal what’s they’ve blasted for the last six years as the single most horrible and worst-est law ever, honest…the Obamanation (hahaha, thud, says the wingnut, laughing his head off). And they promised their raging constituents, furious at the black man’s insurance reform/signature legislation, they’d repeal it on day one of their triumphant return to power.

But what’s Paul Ryan’s (or Texas tag team Cornyn/Cruz’s)  tune these days? Yeah, no shit: there are actual, honest-to-god benefits people get from Obamacare/ACA/Insurance reform, benefits that if cut will cause real harm and damage (as often as not to the most bitter opponents of the black guy’s insurance reform … which happens to be an almost mirror image of not-at-all-black-guy Mitt Romney’s own reform in that despicable librul bastion Massachusetts).

No, it’s not perfect by any measure — no public option, no Medicare buy-in, far too willing to cozy up with Big Insurance — but given the real-world circumstances, it was the least that could be done, and it needed to be done, and Paul Ryan knows that, despite the universal GOPer cover-your-ears-I-can’t-hear-you-we’ll-sue…twice…-and-take-it-to-the-Supreme-Court opposition.

Oh, and to top it off, the media’s ALLOWING Ryan et al to get away with barely a question.  (Note: similarily they’re allowing Mitch-the-Turtle McConnell to now insist that opposition to a new SCOTUS nominee is unacceptable).

If he was still around, Orwell would be nodding his head because, you know…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Man In The High Castle

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I’ve never read Philip K. Dick’s dystopian novel but I’ve always heard good things about it. The Man In The High Castle seems eerily prescient given that the best case scenario for the next President is for him to be the American Silvio Berlusconi. As to the worst case, I don’t want to go there right now.

I discovered the photo montage below via 8 Clicks From Nowhere. Thanks y’all. Hmm, I wonder if that makes me the Nowhere Man John Lennon went on about. Probably not. I definitely have a point of view. End of bullshit barrage, on with the montage:

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Dr. A and I have been binge watching the Amazon series. I highly recommend it. I’ll even grade it: B+, 3 1/2 stars, and an Ebertian thumbs up.

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Before the release of season-one, Amazon pulled a promotional stunt that blew up in their corporate face.  It made the public go “Heil, no.” Here’s the pictorial evidence.

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Tell Me About The Rabbits, Duncan

Killer Rabbit

The most amusing fall-out from House GOPer’s failed attempt to dial the ethics wayback machine to the Bug Man era comes from San Diego:

Rep. Duncan Hunter used campaign funds to pay for $600 of airline fees to fly a family rabbit, one of the more colorful expenses to surface in an ongoing review of his practices.

Hunter’s staff told the Press-Enterprise newspaper that the House Office of Congressional Ethics questioned the pet expenses — offered as an example of over-reach by the agency.

<SNIP>

In the Press-Enterprise, Kasper criticized the as-yet-unreleased ethics office report on Hunter, saying “findings or implications are significantly misrepresented or even exaggerated.”

As an example, Kasper mentioned the family rabbit transportation fees — which were apparently charged to the campaign credit card by mistake, instead of using airline miles racked up on the campaign dime.

“(The office) has in their report $600 in campaign expenditures for in cabin rabbit transport fees,” Kasper said. “Since travel is often done on (airline) miles – which is entirely permissible – the credit card connected to the account was charged several times even when his children were flying.

Holy pitiful spin, Batman. That’s the best Hunter’s minion can come up with? Rabbit travel miles? Sounds like white rabbit privilege to me, y’all. Hunter inherited his seat from his great white bread father, after all.

I would like to thank Congresscritter Hunter for giving me an excuse to post a medieval killer rabbit image as well as this Sixties classic:

The psychedelic lyrics of White Rabbit could explain the inept way Hunter’s office handled the rabbit travel incident. They’re tripping, man.

Feed your head, feed your head but don’t lose it to a killer rabbit:

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Joey No Socks Meets Don Donaldo, Il Comico Insulto

There’s a new Trump story for the MSM to ignore and/or explain away. The Insult Comedian spent New Years Eve with a guy named Joey No Socks Cinque:

Cinque can be seen in a video obtained by the Palm Beach Daily News, cheering loudly as a tuxedo-clad Trump runs through a number of campaign promises before the hundreds of guests attending the New Year’s Eve bash the President-elect threw at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Saturday.

“The taxes are coming down, regulations are coming off, we’re going to get rid of Obamacare,” Trump can be heard saying as an exuberant Cinque stands next to him, pumping his fists into the air.

Cinque’s Sunday appearance with Trump might raise some eyebrows.

Beyond a 1989 felony conviction for possessing nearly $100,000 worth of stolen artwork, Cinque “used to be friends with John Gotti,” according to a New York Magazine profile from 1995.

Cinque was also “shot three times and left for dead” in a 1980 incident that authorities described as “a hit,” according to the profile.

This is the company kept by the man who lost the popular vote. Of course, nobody should be shocked that Trump hangs out with wise guys or their associates. I wrote about that very subject last June in a post called Don Donaldo, Il Comico Insulto. I decided it was high time to revive the Italianate form of the nickname since Trump is poised to become America’s very own Berlusconi.

At least Cinque has a cool nickname: Joey No Socks is a new one on me. It evokes Joe Pantoliano’s childhood nickname, Joey Pants. He, of course, played Ralphie in The Sopranos. Cinque has also been called-get ready for it-the Preppy Don. Maybe that’s why Trump hangs out with him…

The real reason Trump likes Joey No Socks is that he runs a group that gives fake awards to rich egomaniacs. It’s something called the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. I wonder what science is involved? Chemistry or scammery? Probably the latter. Here’s a picture of Don Donaldo and his sockless felon pal from 2013:

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Imagine if the Clintons were seen bringing in the New Year with a guy described in his Wikipedia entry as a “small-time mobster, a scam artist, and an art fence.” It would be the lead story on Fox News and the respectable MSM would be all over it like a cheap suit worn by James Comey. I’m hearing crickets so far. The MSM is too busy giving Trump credit for the Congressional ethics walk back to be bothered. A new motto for the respectables: if Trump tweets it, it must be true.  #SARCASM

One oddity of this story is that Joey No Socks shares a name with the leader of the Amistad Revolt, Joseph Cinqué. The only difference in spelling is l’accent grave. There’s another difference, one of them led a slave revolt whereas the other is slavishly revolting.

When I first heard about the Trump-Cinque connection, I misheard the latter’s nickname as Joey No Shoes. That’s why I’m giving Frank Zappa the last word:

That concludes this edition of Life Imitates The Sopranos.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir are scheduled to perform at the Trumpnaguration. The choir, however, is riven with dissent and singers who refuse to perform for the Insult Comedian and the nutria pelt on his head.

In “honor” of their January 20th gig I did a search for album covers. They’re on the boring side; either featuring the artists they’re working with or Christmas themes. The main image on the Choir’s covers is the temple’s mighty organ. Pipe organ. Below are two representative covers.

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It’s lagniappe time. I stumbled into the LDS version of the Onion: the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer. That’s where I found the parody image below.

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What Are You Looking At?

I cannot tell you how exhausted I am of the Democratic Party pretending there’s only one race that matters: 

Still, the party’s expectations about Clinton demonstrated just how bad parties are at analyzing what they need to fix to win. Next year, while it is not what they boast about, Democrats are expecting mistakes by Trump — the most unpopular incoming president in decades — to create opportunities for them. Their debate about winning a new majority is not about a savior from red America, or even a change in policy. It is about better organizing, and how to win back voters who were Democrats until the party was branded as neoliberal and pro-trade.

 

Democrats can’t just organize at the national level and run for president and lose every House and Senate seat and every state house and expect those losses not to eventually bite them in the ass at the national level too. Let the blue states become seething roiling pits of anti-everything sentiment, from Scott Walker’s rageaholic anti-education Wisconsin to Bruce Rauner’s union-bashing Illinois, and those feelings reach a critical mass.

If every voice from every leader is an authoritarian Republican one, how do you expect them to listen to what Democrats are saying? Where are they supposed to read your 5-point plan? Twitter?

When we look at the future, what are we looking at? National numbers on Trump’s unpopularity? If that shit mattered John Kerry would be opening his presidential library and Hillary would be having Bill measure the Oval for new curtains. State numbers are all that matters, and maybe this more than anything: How far down the Republican rabbit hole have the state legislature and the house races gone?

If those have all been won by tea-freak bigots, I don’t care what it did in the last election, that’s not a blue state.

What are we expecting otherwise? “Well, on a local level I approve of drug testing for welfare and repealing worker protections and gutting public schools and bashing professors and throwing the entire economy into a tailspin so I can regulate where transgender people pee, but nationally? I’m all for fairness, sharing, kindness, gay people, single mothers and the idea of a representative democracy!”

Forget a 50-State Strategy. We need a 50-State Legislature Strategy.

A.

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.

Today on Tommy T’s random musings…

OK guys – I told you that funny stuff at Freeperville is getting harder and harder to find.

Now, it appears to have vanished completely.

I’m taking a unavoidable break from “Obsession” for a while, and am instead gonna subject you to random musings from my Facebook page. Take that.

Oops.  Posted one from last May accidentally.   Here’s a different one:

Today – Nuclear fearmongering, and a modest proposal

I see a lot of hysterical gobspatter over the Iran Nuclear Treaty.

ZOMGtheIraniansAreGoingToBeIncludedInMonitoringOneOfTheSites!!!

 

You know what?

GIVE the Iranians some of OUR nukes.

Go ahead. They’ll come to the same realization that every nuclear power has – that the things are fucking worthless.

Why?

You can’t use them.

They’re hideously expensive tinkertoys that serve no offensive military purpose, other than to try to keep someone (like Israel in this case) from nuking YOU.

 

I’m about as worried about Iran launching an ICBM they don’t have (with a nuclear warhead they don’t have on it) at us as I am of a plane crashing on my house.

Actually, less, as there is a one-in-fifty-million chance of the plane crash.

 

So – let’s say Iran does have nuclear weapons. Weapons they don’t dare launch because the retaliatory strike will make a crater where Tehran used to be, before their missile even lands. See? You can’t USE the damned things.

 

But –but – what about nuclear terrorism?

 

What if Iran slips some of those nuclear weapons they don’t have to a terrorist group?

 

Allow me to introduce you to a term : “Nuclear forensics”.

What does it mean?

It means that there is NO SUCH THING as an anonymous/untraceable nuclear device.

 

If the nuclear device the terrorists don’t have was exploded, and the forensics results pointed to Iran – well – see above.

 

Even if Iran did have a nuclear device, the LAST thing they would do is to give it to someone who would be stupid enough to use it.

 

So – let’s give them some of OUR nukes. They need something non-productive to spend their money on maintaining and guarding.

 

 

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