Thursday, Nov 26th

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Eyes, Oys, and Ayes

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Lies are marketing's best friends, just as Desire is the single best pal consumption ever had.  Combine Lies and Desire, along with a hurried, staggering set of lunges and lurches to pick up any dangling or loose minutes or seconds in the evaporating days of our lives, and you've got a toxic cocktail -- one we call American Life.

We are about to have more American Life on Thursday, during a gathering not of eagles, but of turkeys, vultures, and turkey vultures.  (It used to be a dog-eat-dog world in politics.  Now, it is about rabid dogs biting one another, and themselves, and chewing their feet, chasing their tails, then springing out into the audience in search of unguarded jugulars.)

Yes, the Toxic Ten will be on Faux News, the four-letter channel, and they will be marketed to us like soap suds and light beer and 30-day steak pads, and eternal tire straighteners, and every other useless and tasteless invention from The Department of Citizenry and Voter Maintenance, Heavy-Duty Consuming Division.


Creative Cursing -- This Taste Bud's For You

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Sometimes, when I remember, and when I am trying to be polite (despite being mightily peeved at something or other), I will exclaim "Bolshoi!" instead of shouting the name of the food that comes out of bulls, after the bulls are all done with it.

It's a few semi-tasteful steps removed from the more obvious "Oh, bullcrap!"  Plus, I'd like to think that this small effort on my part helps the people around me keep some calming distance between that particular nitrogen-fixer and their own finer sensibilities.

Which is to say, my silly, sly substitution hopes to introduce some room to maneuver and to squeeze in an ability to have sidesteps kept handy for the squeamish.  For some people, keeping bull manure far apart from sensitive olfactory equipment, is a must. It's an aural-oral sort of thing.

No matter how organic people say they are, for example, I've discovered very few of them really want to contemplate bull manure while they are just starting to tuck into their beefsteak entrees.

Go figure.


Not T-Rex.

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Rump for presidentOK, I know I'm all done here, but I was just passing through, and I have a visual I simply have to share with you.

It's a tale of all the ugly Presidential ducklings fielded by the GOP -- one of them, anyway.  (There's not enough space for all their many misadventures, as the GOP has so darned many handbaskets, and duckings, all headed straight to Hell, and none of those ducks are all in a row.)

Anyway:  It was a recent photograph in the hopefully-terminal coverage of that quack, The Donald.  His picture was taken with him behind a podium of some sort, up on a dais.  The photographer was apparently below, aiming the lens upward, in order to have gotten that shot.

It was a great Mussolini-style snap:  The Great Man, elevated, looking sternly flippant, as if overfilled with a combination of helium and laughing gas -- or injected with too much whipped cream, maybe, before they could cut the nozzle -- with his Powerful Jowls of Thoroughly Agitated Princely Patience in motion, demonstrating his severe strength of character yet again, keeping those wobbling jowls attached to his neck and face, and not having them depart on their own volition... if not actually released on their own recognizance.

The best part?  The best part of the picture was the framing of the shot.


Oz Plus One Equals Pi

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Here we go again:  I freely admit I have backtracked, softening my previous, hard-line pledge to ignore the current rerun of clowns-n-circuses at the media's sleazy carny show.  Yet, here I am again, enjoying the bread-n-circuses spectacle of hyperbolic GOP candidates already frothing at the lip-line, competing in a Presidential election still a far cry -- although a much nearer, full-blown panic -- down the road.

The thing is:  This is a lot like exploring a fingertip with tweezers, tracking a wily, elusive splinter you'd swear was actively avoiding you.  It's like getting all the sun-baked duct-tape residue off a glass-fronted storm door.  It's like chasing cancer around your body with glowing Mad Scientist Rays and Big Pharma's Top 100 Greatest Hits:  These things are all theoretically possible -- even technically possible --just be ready for some DEFCON-2-level pains in the patootie, the temples, and elsewhere.

So, here I go again:  Hello, my name is Alex, and I am a recovering political innocent...

(To be clear:  Far as I can see, there has been no change since yesterday.  This is still Oz, there is still no peeking behind the curtain allowed, we are all still in the same handbasket, and the GOP candidates on the yellow brick road are still scrambling around, trying in vain to rustle up some brains, some heart, and some courage.  We join a portion of our show already in progress...)

* * * * *


Pinched Nerve

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My life-long quest to find the Unified Field Theory of Home-Grown Fascism seems at times tantalizingly close, but at others farther away than Alpha Centauri. I'm sure I could wrestle the beast to the ground, snap its neck, and call it a done deal if I laid out my arguments in the form of a book. But a couple of hundred pages makes an unwieldy club. Some Right-Wing half-wit gasbag like George Will or David Brooks could seize upon one sentence of mine … spin it around to mean something I never intended in a million years … and proudly proclaim the entire book debunked. No … I don't want to write a book, pamphlet, or paragraph. I want the same thing Einstein wanted -- to be able to spell out The Theory of Everything in an equation one inch long. No need for a 50-caliber machine gun when a derringer will do.

Just one sentence. That'll do the trick. Printed on a 3×5 card. It could be slipped into the steaming pile of manure Limbaugh reads from everyday on the air. He's on auto-pilot most of the time, doesn't really read the daily talking points in front of him before he starts his argle-bargle-yammering, so he won't even notice what he's read until it's already out of his mouth and into the ears of his listeners. What happens after that is anybody's guess. My favorite scenario is Limbaugh realizes what he's said and instantly his body loses cohesion; 300 pounds of body fat slops to the floor of his studio in an oily avalanche, a wire shorts out, and Rush Limbaugh flames out of existence leaving behind a greasy residue that resists even multiple applications of Mr. Clean.


Going to Oz in a Handbasket

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It's Home Schizophrenia Day, apparently -- I guess -- and I find one of my personalities has started writing this note from the front... doing so, over my own numerous and very strong personal protests to me.

(This is not turning out very well, I said to myself.  I know that, I replied.)

See:  This is about politics and Trump and the aspirations of all the blown-out GOP nut cases and billionaire blowhards to become King of America for a while -- a chance for these marching-band rejects and assorted lame specters to practice their bumbling baton-twirling with our symbolic scepter of state.

(Any Republican winner can continue to treat everyone else like serfs, just like always, except that now, the winner gets Air Force One, and the Big Red Omigod Armageddon Button, to come into gleeful play -- and foreplay.)

This is also about Republicans trying to out-extreme one another... which reminds me how crowded is the field of squealing GOP schemers...  which reminds me we have a veritably incalculable number of tone-deaf and stone-stupid ignoramuses who believe themselves capable of leading and guiding and steering ANY society and country, let alone THIS one, when, in fact, balancing a checkbook and tying their own shoelaces would quickly shunt most of them into the overachiever category in real life...

[ Later, when most of the temple-pounding settled down some... ]

Well, let me start again, and put it this way:

  • I once stepped and slipped, barefoot, as a child, first, into fresh "meadow muffins" and, on another occasion, into a lakeside hole containing a hornet's nest.  Both events were supremely instructive on stuff I definitely wanted to skip from now on.

And yet, here I am again, my bare feet covered with cow dung, angry hornets, and throbbing welts.  Of course, I know better -- one of my personalities surely must -- having submerged one of my selves in the last few weevil-ridden rounds of the unending Lesser-of-the-Psychos, Whack-A-Mole game we call the GOP Presidential Candidate Winnowings.


One More Once

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It's not like I was gone long.  Nor was it likely I'd be missed.  (My ego's at the opposite end of the spectrum from Trump's, say.  You know, down in the deep dark blues of reality, not the riotously bright, day-glow flamingo pink champagne shades of all the little Bushes and Palins and Romneys.)

But, it had been done.  I had hung up my keyboard.  I was all done.

I had decided to do something less painful with my time than offering curmudgeonly commentaries in my stubbed-toe, schadenfreude-rich, Freudian-packed missives on the woe-packed state of the universe.

I thought about taking up something more comfy, like firewalking, maybe, or bungee jumping (with the bungee tied around my neck), or simply sitting on the sofa, pounding sticks of string cheese into my ears with little rubber mallets while humming "I've been working on the railroad..."

Pretty much anything is a fabulous time, filled with wonder and awe, compared with checking out the day's news.  Compared with news headlines of what we humans have done now -- well, even the exciting, rewarding world of home sump pump repair can seem irresistible.

But, then it happened.  Against all odds, some of my childhood energies were accessed, tapped, and given a blast of fresh electrical juice:  Berkeley Breathed was back, and so was Bloom County.

Suddenly, all things were again possible, even the impossible.


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