Culturally Discombobulated

Tag: America

23 long, dark nights for America: Self-deprecating is a good look

Twenty-three long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me.Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election! Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election! Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Where does Trump get his talking points from? Often this alt-right conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones. (Watch all the way to the end.)

Daily election article of interest: Life after Trump: Republicans brace for betrayal and civil war after 2016

Trump should be thankful that he is not a political figure in the age of Gillray and Rowlandson. The satire, if you can call it that, he receives from the likes of SNL is by comparison relatively benign and toothless consisting as it does of a somewhat silly Alec Baldwin impersonation of Trump.

And yet Trump’s reaction shows his thin skin and utter inability to be subjected to even the most minor mockery despite his own willingness to insult and mock others. Perhaps he feels that NBC being not only the network of SNL but also the home of The Apprentice should be more supportive of him considering his not insignificant success for the channel.

It is in his reaction that we are given the frankly terrifying reminder that Trump genuinely takes himself seriously. That a man who styles his hair that way and has his skin burnished that unique shade of orange expects the rest of us not to snigger.

 Most politicians want to show that they can laugh at themselves, dispel the idea that holding or running for office has made them pompous. During the ’08 campaign even Sarah Palin was prepared to cameo on SNL and poke fun at herself and Tina Fey’s impersonation of her. I’m assuming we won’t get a repeat of that from the Donald.


I find conspiracy theorists fascinating and Alex Jones in particular. That he has become less niche in the last few years and now can be cited by one Presidential campaign as a source for a lot of their opponent’s crazy says something about Jones’ marketing skills as well as the curious mix of cynicism and credulity that seems to have gripped so many of us.

Anyway, that this video can be tweeted out about a candidate is damning.


Next day addendum:
I’ve seen some on the right critique that SNL sketch for referring to the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault as his “mistresses.” While there’s probably a large amount of expediency in attacking the sketch on that point, I do happen to agree with them. At best, it’s tone deaf; at worst, it’s an awful diminishment of their status as victims.

41 long, dark nights for America: The existential agony of running for President

Forty-one long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Every on-line poll, Time Magazine, Drudge etc., has me winning the debate. Thank you to Fox & Friends for so reporting!”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “With a mother in the Oval Office, we may finally catch up to the rest of the world on paid leave.”

Daily election of interest: In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue

Being the center, the anchoring force, of a modern Presidential campaign must make for a purgatorial existence. Car to plane, plane to car. Constant travel, but that conversely leaves you in inertia, strapped into a succession of seats, the incessant electioneering washing a benumbing, narcotized feeling over you while outside your window America is a blur. You only ever wanted to run America, you never thought you would have to see so much of the fucker – and there is so much of it. The existential angst is choking.

What does an American Presidential dream about anyway? Like us, do they have night terrors about what their Presidency might look like. Or does that odd, almost doped state of running for office leave them without dreams? Could it really be that those who are the living embodiments of the American dream are themselves dreamless?

55 long, dark nights for America: The wonderfully shallow demagogue of Oz

Fifty-five long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Honor to have been interviewed by the very wonderful in Detroit last week – tune in at 9pmE. Enjoy!”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “In light of ‘s report on the Trump Organization’s dangerous ties, here are 20 questions that Trump needs to answer—now. 1. Will you sever ties with your company linked to foreign leaders, questionable organizations, and criminals if you become president? 2. How will you handle non-cancelable contractual obligations with parties whose interests conflict with those of the United States? 3. While refusing to release your tax returns, how will you confirm that you do not have dangerous financial ties to bad actors abroad? 4. If you were willing to work with Qaddafi—a known terrorist and dictator—is there anyone you aren’t willing to make a deal with? Who? 5. How can you be tough on Iran, given your business partnership with someone connected to Iranian money laundering? 6. Given that you’ve already questioned our commitments to NATO allies, what is your answer to this? 7. To what extent would your foreign policy be dictated by potential financial benefits for your business partners? 8. Will you disclose the nature of your personal and business relationships with all of the Russian oligarchs you are “close” to? 9. Have you or your campaign discussed U.S.-Russian relations with the Russian billionaires with whom you’ve done business? 10. How did the Russian mob boss who ran a criminal organization out of Trump Tower get a VIP pass to your Miss Universe pageant in Moscow? 11. With business ties to politically-connected Indian developers, how can you conduct foreign policy that puts the U.S. above your profits? 12. How can we be sure you’d be willing to be tough on any nation if necessary, if it would put your interests and profits at risk? 13. How can we know you won’t (again) impulsively damage relationships with crucial allies to preserve your own ego? 14. We know you engaged extensively in pay-to-play here at home. Have you bribed foreign officials or other parties abroad? 15. To what extent are you and your family currently contractually tied to payments from foreign business partners, or governments? 16. You’ve mentioned ~120 foreign deals, including in countries with national security implications. Where and with whom are you working? 17. Will your children disclose all of the foreign trips and business deals they’ve undertaken during the campaign, and with whom they met? 18. We’ll let ask this one:

19. In sum, how will Trump guarantee that if forced to choose between America’s security and his own bank account, he won’t pick the latter? 20. It’s pretty clear: Trump’s spent his life unscrupulously looking out for his own wallet above all. Why would that change as president?”

Daily election article of interest: Has Clinton’s ‘Bad Weekend’ Moved The Polls?

Trump presumably has gone to Oz to ask for a brain and a heart. 

It is a cringe-worthy admission, pathetic even, but I find myself genuinely enthralled by the thought of tomorrow’s episode of Doctor Oz. Donald, reality TV’s first President and a natural braggart, will be in his element; this sort of piffle lest we forget, and not Meet The Press, is his milieu. It is only in the artificial congeniality of a daytime TV chat show set that such a fake political candidates can be in any way comfortable as he deftly converses intimately for an audience of ten million with pre-planned spontaneity. Indeed, I am relishing the thought of it so much that I think tonight is probably one of the few nights – of the remaining fifty-five long, dark nights – that I will probably get a decent night’s sleep out of.



57 long, dark nights for America: Break out the Amoxicillin

Fifty-seven long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Just got back from Asheville, North Carolina, where we had a massive rally. The spirit of the crowd was unbelievable. Thank you!

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Thanks to everyone who’s reached out with well wishes! I’m feeling fine and getting better. Like anyone who’s ever been home sick from work, I’m just anxious to get back out there. See you on the trail soon.”

Daily election article of interest: Donald Trump’s cut-and-paste policy

Break out the Amoxicillin and the Zithromax; it is not just Hillary that needs to recuperate, this entirely febrile election also requires rest, rehabilitation, and a constant supply of chicken noodle soup.

With the top of the Trump – Pence ticket seemingly on good behavior it was left to its bottom, the bland-faced Pence (in an election full of grotesques, Pence’s anodyne features have the effect of being oddly disquieting) to generate today’s headlines by refusing to call David Duke “deplorable.”

“I’m not in the name-calling business,” deadpanned Pence, a key member of the Trump campaign team.

Duke, for his part, was pleased with Pence’s response. “It’s good to see an individual like Pence and others start to reject this absolute controlled media … The truth is that the Republican Party in Louisiana — I received the vast majority of Republican votes for United States senator before and for governor before that in my state. The truth is the Republican Party is big tent. I served in the Republican caucus. I was in the Republican caucus in the legislature. I had a perfect Republican voting record. It’s ridiculous that they attack me because of my involvement in that nonviolent Klan four decades ago.”

In Jill Stein news – I’ll confess her looked at her twitter feed to see if she had posted any medical advice for Clinton – she tweeted the following:

I’m not sure if she is intentionally making a comparison with herself and Martin Luther King or she is just being embarrassingly clumsy here about a story relating to her visit to Moscow in the winter to attend a conference sponsored by Russia Today (those charmers again) where she was critical of American foreign policy. Not that one shouldn’t be able to intelligently critique American foreign policy, but perhaps at a convention where you are uncritically meeting a thug such as Putin is neither the time nor the place, and, yes, while it is true that the US has a shameful history of Russia-baiting smears, it is also true that Russia has a long shameful history of finding for themselves useful idiots.

To sleep; fifty-seven nights now. Does Amoxicillin and the Zithromax affect your dreams?  Side effects, the web informs me, include diarrhea that is watery or bloody and swollen, black, or “hairy” tongue, that’s all very well and good, but does it give you night terrors about what life might actually be like under your Presidency?


63 long, dark nights for America: Returning to the question of God for a second again

Sixty-three long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Mainstream media never covered Hillary’s massive “hacking” or coughing attack, yet it is #1 trending. What’s up?”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Trump says he “knows more about ISIS than the generals do.” Not only is that wrong, it’s disrespectful to our men and women in uniform'”

Daily election article of interest: Trump won’t talk about being a birther — or many other controversial comments

Thought before bed tonight is another look at Donald and his faith. In an interview last year with CBN News, an American-Christian production company founded by Pat “Hurricane Katrina is God’s punishment for America’s abortion policy” Robertson, the following conversation took place:

David Brody: “Who is God to you? What are some of your thoughts on this? Clearly, you’re a smart man, you’re a smart businessman, you’ve contemplated this before or have you contemplate this?”

Donald Trump: “Well I say God is the ultimate. You know you look at this? Here we are on the Pacific Ocean. How did I ever own this? I bought it fifteen years ago. I made one of the great deals they say ever. I have no more mortgage on it as I will certify and represent to you. And I was able to buy this and make a great deal. That’s what I want to do for the country. Make great deals. We have to, we have to bring it back, but God is the ultimate. I mean God created this (points to his golf course and nature surrounding it), and here’s the Pacific Ocean right behind us. So nobody, no thing, no there’s nothing like God.”

So there is God to Donald and I take it back my earlier thought that Donald couldn’t possibly believe in a being superior to himself. Instead God is the guy who can make great deals happen, creates golf courses that Donald can own, allows him to make “one of the great deals they say ever” and yet doesn’t even ask Donald for a percentage stake. Donald is no Gerald Manley Hopkins, we’re not talking about a man of deep, complicated faith here.

Just sixty-three dark nights of the soul to go, America!