Culturally Discombobulated

43 long, dark nights for America: First Presidential Debate

Forty-three long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Nothing on emails. Nothing on the corrupt Clinton Foundation. And nothing on .

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “43 days left. Let’s go win this thing

Daily election of interest: What Went Down In The First Presidential Debate

Nonsensical thoughts on tonight’s debate cribbed from my twitter feed:

Tonight’s debate combines all the anxiety of watching your team play in the World Cup final with genuine eschatological angst.

My cat is licking himself all over. I imagine Trump is using a similar grooming method to get himself ready for the debate. Probably the same look of self-satisfaction as he does it, too.

Kayleigh McEnany: “Trump has novel ideas.”
That’s certainly one way of putting it.
Other examples of novel ideas:
Exiling all of America’s raccoons by putting them in a dirigible and letting it fly across the Pacific.
Getting Ted Nugent to rewrite the National Anthem.
Chris Christie work-out video.
Replacing all the books in the Library of Congress with a million copies of The Art of the Deal.

Pence: “Donald always speaks from his heart … his dark, dark, lizard heart.”

As per tradition, both candidates are to walk out to Hulk Hogan’s Real American.

And in real time Donald is fact checked.

After a slow start, it has finally turned into that awkward Thanksgiving dinner argument you dread.

What if he lets Dr Oz see his tax return?

It’s easier to listen to Trump’s answers if you just think of them as a weird form of jazz improvisation.

“I opened a club …” Up there with “four score and twenty” & “tear down that wall” for inspiring Presidential rhetoric.

TRUMP: “I was just endorsed by ICE … not immigration enforcement, but this really terrific girl group that play at my club.”

Great, not only do we get guilt tripped into not calling elderly aunts enough, now we also have to call Sean Hannity, too.

“Hi Sean, are you okay? Keep the heater on – it’s chilly out. I’m going down to the shops – you need anything, pet?”

Trump proud not to have brought up Bill’s past indiscretions. Didn’t do so because he really likes Chelsea Clinton.

Now for the best (i.e. worst) part of the debate coverage – the undecided voter focus group. Wouldn’t trust this lot with focus grouping whether Prego pasta sauce is better smooth or with chunky tomato. And they’ll decide the election.



44 long, dark nights for America: Meditation

Forty-four long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Five people killed in Washington State by a Middle Eastern immigrant. Many people died this weekend in Ohio from drug overdoses. N.C. riots!”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Today, the sacrifices of Gold Star families weigh heavier on my mind. Thank you. I will fight to get you the care & benefits you deserve.”

Daily election of interest: Can the Unthinkable Happen?

“Every few months one of her sons, a red-robed monk, visits from his monastery, a place so cut off from the world that he has never heard of Donald Trump.”
The Economist, Sept 2016, article – “The plateau, unpacified” – on Tibet

That sounds blissful, meditation in the mountains, and complete ignorance of Trump – I guess that is where true enlightenment can be found. Obviously, I am unable to return to such an innocent state and entirely forget the Donald, but, perhaps, if I watched tomorrow night’s debate in the lotus position I would be able to keep some equilibrium.



45 long, dark nights for America: On populism

​Forty-five long, dark nights to go. Forty-five sleeps until we know POTUS 45. Forty-five iterations of what might happen for my subconscious to ruminate on. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!.”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “The new @NMAAHC is an overdue tribute to African American history. Let’s build a more open, inclusive future by reflecting on our past.”

Daily election of interest: Inside the Trump campaign’s giant debate-prep head fake

In asking people whether they regret drinking that Kool Aid, timing is everything. You can’t do it after their first few sips when they think paradise is imminent, they’ll probably just take another big swig to spite you; you’ve really got to, at least, wait until they start vomiting their death convulsions before you ask … and even then, they’d probably still shake their head at you.

46 long, dark nights for America: An unwelcome encore

​Forty-six long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Hillary Clinton just lost every Republican she ever had, including Never Trump, all farmers & sm. biz, by saying she’ll tax estates at 65%.”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Charlotte should release police video of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting without delay. We must ensure justice & work to bridge divides.”

Daily election article of interest: Why Fascism is the Wave of the Future (pertinent essay from1994 that the London Review of Book brought out from their archives.)

Ted Cruz was newsworthy again today. As his name flashed up on my phone thanks to CNN’s breaking news notifications – what a revoltingly 2016 thing to write that is – I found myself struggling to recall the full depth of my feelings on Cruz. Hadn’t my final thoughts been mixed? Now, as we all find ourselves entranced by the Trump – Clinton death embrace, Cruz seems like a dinosaur from a previous political age – an oddity long presumed extinct. A Bob DODOle, if you will. 

Perhaps my memory is prosopagnostic because even his features seemed dim – it was like trying to recall a long-dead relative.

And really, I wish he had stayed in the some nearly unforgotten past of this campaign. Instead Cruz has reemerged to give Trump – a man who has insulted the looks of Cruz’s impressive-in-her-own-right wife and claimed his father possibly had something to do with JFK’s assassination – his endorsement. 

I had thought the refusal to endorse Trump at the GOP convention as being politically smart. A move that could leave Cruz well placed in 2020 – the purity candidate who hadn’t fallen for Trump’s hucksterism.  Butt I had also thought there been something honorable in his speech to the GOP conference? The way he had refused to play along in the coronation of a clown – it made him seem almost – I stress, almost- likeable. Now it seems all for naught.

Cruz writes that Trump, whom he had previously described as a “sniveling coward”, is the better option for President as Clinton cannot be allowed to implement all her policies, which is an argument that somewhat underplays Cruz’s achievements in showing precisely how obstructionist Congress and the Senate can be when it comes to a President’s plans.

Perhaps, as some are reporting, the pressure from some of Cruz’s main financial backers who are also heavily behind Trump wanted lyin’ Ted to fall in step.  The thought is that Cruz may be best drifting away again and become once again an opaque election memory.

47 long, dark nights for America: Anti-humor and politicos

Forty-seven long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Spoke with Governor of North Carolina today. He is doing a tremendous job under tough circumstances.”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Donald Trump is really good at spending other people’s money—on: Legal settlements. Payoffs. Portraits of himself.”

Daily election article of interest: The Facebook Near Billionaire Secretly Funding Trump’s Meme Machine

There was a time when a politician turning up on a comedy show was a rarity, their awkwardness around skilled performers something to be savored. Occasionally, you might come across politician, one of those natural performers, who could even hold their own with comedians – though that raises other questions about whether you can entirely trust a politician who is that good an actor.

Now a campaigning politician has to endure a thousand skits, demonstrate that they are game when their foibles are mocked, laugh in forced bonhomie and be a good sport about it all – for the most part, it is an awkward viewing experience for the audience.

 Hillary’s appearance on Between Two Ferns is the first time any attempt at making her amusing while also including her performing has worked. And why would something a little more edgy work where all the late-night shows have failed? The big advantage is that Between Two Ferns is anti-humor, a comedy genre that politicians and their campaign teams are for the most part likely to shy away from, and yet, perversely, it gives them their best opportunity for being funny. Anti-humor works around awkwardness, anti-climax, the expectation that something amusing is probably going to happen, and then doesn’t. It take the intrinsic unfunniness and stiffness of politicians and uses that to make them amusing. Less prime time NBC, wannabe Presidents, and more midnight appearances on Adult Swim.

I haven’t quite decicded if Alex Jones is anti-humor performer yet. Some days I think, like most conspiracy theorists, probably is.