Culturally Discombobulated

The Hartlepool Merman

Fatherhood allows for lots of interesting insights, such as the surprising relish you take in introducing your toddler to your own childhood nightmares. 

The Hartlepool Merman is a Victorian fraud, but was endlessly fascinating as a child, a thing of phantasmagorical interest in a prosaic small town museum.

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Cartagena

The People Speak

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silent by your brawl,
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.

You’ll put down strangers,
Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses,
And lead the majesty of law in line
To slip him like a hound.
Alas, alas! Say now the king
Should so much come too short of your great trespass
As but to banish you, whether would you go?
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbour? go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, to Spain or Portugal,
Nay, any where that not adheres to England,
Why, you must needs be strangers: would you be pleased
To find a nation of such barbarous temper,
That, breaking out in hideous violence,
Would not afford you an abode on earth,
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, nor that the claimants
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,
But chartered unto them, what would you think
To be thus used? this is the strangers case;
And this your mountainish inhumanity.

Sir Thomas More – speech attributed to William Shakespeare

Beating head against …

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Dreamcatcher outside Trump Tower, January 2017.

“I want you to quote this, the media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country.” Steve Bannon.

If Trump’s folly is to be erected across our southern border, let’s keep in mind that he not only promised the building of a wall, but that it would be a “beautiful” wall. If we must go through with this idiocy then let’s at least hold him to aesthetic standards.

All the dark nights, America

 

President Trump’s Twitter: January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again!

And then it was over, after almost two years of campaigning featuring a menagerie of candidates and hanger-ons it climaxes with the unnerving reality that Donald Trump is the leader of the free world. His entrance into this election’s narrative appeared easy to write off; a move not born from a sincere wish for public service, but rather a desperate ruse to boost ratings and media attention for his flagging reality show. But instead of giving him Nielsen ratings, we gave him the nuclear arsenal.

Going back to that day at the Fresno Convention Center when American-ness was conferred on me (a profound and almost transcendent experience that forever alters you – your voice will from now on be louder in public, covering bacon and sausage with maple syrup will no longer nauseate you, the deciphering of irony will be just a millisecond slower than it was before) I keep thinking that the ceremony involves the playing of a video greeting from the President to what is now a room of “fellow Americans.”

At some point, either today or in the coming week, Trump will sit down and record his greeting. Presumably welcoming those watching as the right sort of immigrant, ones for whom the wall is not intended. And yet with all his latent Nativist talk over the last year, I can’t imagine his message will be an encouraging one to many new citizens; who, if it follows the demographics of my ceremony, are overwhelmingly immigrants from regions he has vilified, bad hombres, to use his phrase.

While I have never for one moment doubted the President’s (how bizarre to finally use that in relation to Donald Trump) ability to lie, and to lie well, I suspect a warm and sincere greeting and congratulations to new, primarily brown, Americans may be a lie too far.