Hoover flags, they called empty pockets in 1931, and they became emblematic of Herbert Hoover’s abject failure in dealing with the Great Depression. I suspect homemade face masks are becoming Trump’s Hoover Flags.
My wife comes in with the mail. You got a new New York Review of Books she says, handing it to me. Thank god, a distraction. Facebook is a minefield and Twitter a massacre. Rachel Maddow just said penis a second time in five minutes on MSNBC. Film of Trump being a pig and Cosby being led to prison and more talk of Kavanaugh’s virginity. I switch off the TV and pick up the magazine. THE FALL OF MEN the cover said. Sigh. I put it down and flip on the radio. Joni Mitchell. Oh no. I never liked Joni Mitchell, but never felt guilty about it before. I turn off the radio and I switch on an old movie channel. Stella! yells Brando.
Having been a virgin once myself, I feel compelled to point out that there is nothing in any of the accusations against Brent Kavanaugh that would have terminated his own status as a virgin. He humiliated himself on national television for no reason at all. Kavanaugh still could be guilty of sexual assault, but now Trump thinks he’s a sissy. Oh the irony.
It’s sort of like Lyndon LaRouche won the presidency. Just as weird, just as paranoid, just as out of it. His acolytes were complete nutcases. We laughed back then. Then some idiot invented the internet.
The George Bush chimp meme set off the meme wars, if only because he was president when Facebook took off in a big way. As soon as Obama was elected the Right–especially the Tea Party–went nuts with their own vicious memes. And now with Trump we return the favor. And it’ll keep happening because each side holds the other side to rules that they themselves do not abide by. Which is nothing new, the pamphlets and newspapers in the 18th and 19th century were incredibly offensive and insulting and just as low brow as anything you see on your iPhone today. And both sides back then raged the same way we are all raging now, mortally offended by what the other side posts and finding all sorts of excuses for posting their own. Calls for censorship abounded, like they abound now, though the First Amendment prevented that for the most part. Now, though, with Facebook and Twitter essentially privatizing communication in ways that Ronald Reagan never imagined, wholesale censorship is possible in social media because the internet is somehow not considered to exist in the same heady constitutional air as the airwaves. Funny seeing the conservative stance on the internet suddenly condemned by outraged conservatives bewildered by the First Amendment. And funny too watching progressives defend social media as privately owned and free from those First Amendment restrictions. Meanwhile memes are fading, replaced by furious bursts of words. Not particularly intelligent words, necessarily, but words nonetheless. We’re getting oddly literate in the Age of Trump, even as Trump himself can barely tweet a coherent sentence.
As the NRA has been so successful at getting NRA true believers elected in red states and red districts, arming teachers has been the position of probably most Republicans in Congress for years, certainly in the House anyway.
And Lapierre’s crazed speech today at CPAC was aimed at the NRA membership, to get them fired up and terrifying Republicans into not defying Trump on this, being that Trump is essentially doing exactly what the NRA has long pushed for. They’ll even give up on bump stocks in exchange.
At the same time there will now undoubtedly be armed teacher legislation proposed in states nationwide, and much of it will pass. The most extreme gun rights legislation can always be found at the state level where the influence of the NRA is at its most effective. It might seem counter intuitive, but mass shootings invariably increase NRA membership and fundraising, not to mention cause rushes on ammo and assault weaponry. The NRA is at its peak after mass shootings. They are taking advantage of that power surge now.
So we are now at the very crest of the Trump revolution, before the 2018 deluge come November. His base is frenzied and the NRA are coldly calculating the possibilities. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.
I had just turned seventeen in 1974 but today, for the first time, a lifetime later, a very unsettling Watergate deja vu envelops me, not as history or All The President’s Men, but of the experience of being outside that spring and summer as momentous political machinations turned inside behind closed doors. A feeling of utter helplessness. This is how history, big history, happens. If only we knew how it will all turn out. Time to turn off the news and get off the internet and disappear into a book or an old movie or more Duke Ellington. Time to escape this reality and slip into another, if only for a couple hours. Time to sign off.
My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!
We will always take care of our GREAT VETERANS. You have shed your blood, poured your love, and bared your soul, in defense of our country.
Damn. The prez is a modern day presidential freakin’ poet.
Trump. The Donald. T. The Verse-o-nator in Chief. The modern day presidential Shakespeare, not some Fake Shakespeare in the Park.
You have shed your blood, poured your love, and bared your soul, in defense of our country.
That extra comma, it blows my mind. It grooves thunkishly. It shudders like a fucked up carburetor. Or an unexpected belch: Mama mia that was a spicey meat ball.
Perhaps he’s channeling Captain Kirk’s speech patterns:
No blah, blah, blah!
That’s modern day presidential poetry, baby,
Fingers snap, saxophones play.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by tweets,
starving hysterical naked,
The self-crucifixion of Kathy Griffin has nothing to do with political correctness. It has to do with a Hollywood egomaniac who went way over the line (when it was Obama in a sniper target you all flipped out), and then had the pathetic audacity to claim that she was some sort of victim, trying to make herself the martyr of the resistance, knowing how much money that might mean. She dominated the news for a day or three, burying whole news cycles of genuine tales of horrors that Trump is inflicting upon the Constitution, working people, women, children and the poor. Her publicist must have been thrilled to death. But real blood on London sidewalks popped that balloon real quick. Nothing makes stage blood look sillier than real blood. Her publicist must have despaired. Damn that ISIS anyway, stepping on Kathy’s big finish. It’s too bad reality isn’t happening on a Hollywood set. Too bad reality ain’t reality TV. But maybe Hollywood should stop trying to score ratings and higher ticket prices by loudly announcing themselves as our consciences. We don’t need celebrities to tell us how to think. We don’t need comics to feel our pain. You have to be goddamned fool to think that Jim Carrey proclaiming that comedians are the last line of resistance against Trump is anything more than celebrity ego inflated to the size of the Hindenburg. Oh the humanity.
His approval rating is down to 35%, while 43% want impeachment proceedings to begin. He responds by turning more and more to his base, that 35%. I suspect he believes that the reason the 43% is bigger than his 35% is because it’s composed in large part of Californians and illegal aliens, seriously, he probably thinks that, and that there are more voters and real Americans in his base than not. These polls are MSM lies, fake news, he says, or FAKE NEWS!!!! It’s obvious following his tweets that he gets nearly all of his news from Drudge and Breitbart and their ilk, and that is his reality, and these poll numbers mean nothing. His tweets and policies and appointments will get more and more strident and offensive, and he’ll do more of his Trump Country rallies before crowds of fanatical supporters who perceive things exactly as he does. One third of the country and our president live in an internet reality where facts are only what they care to believe, no one is there to counter them in their beliefs, and Trump is winning victory after resounding victory, the most successful president ever. Sad.