Monthly Archives: February 2020

Only Time Can Write A Song

I swear, it’s like half the civilized world knows the planet is falling apart, and the other 50 percent is oblivious, doesn’t care, or wouldn’t know what to do with that information if they had it.

I have an old, brilliant friend who I have known for nearly three decades. He nearly drank himself to death while we were in our twenties, and has since turned his life around and is a family man with a wife (who is as crazy as he likes ’em) and five chihuahuas. We were “punks” back in the nineties I guess, but I think it was our self destructive tendencies more than it was the injustices of the world that bonded the coterie that my brilliant friend was the head of. So we got down to The Dead Kennedys and The Clash, but our anger was an abstract. I was having a hard time establishing my own identity in those days-everyone who got near my friend got something out of being in his orbit. Even at his worst, when he was at his most pathetically drunk and incoherent, he drew us like the proverbial moth to the flame.

So as far as personal politics went in those days, I could not decide who was right about the human species-were we a group of cooperative apes who assisted and supported each other mutually, or were we a hierarchy where individuals flourished and were rightfully elevated above others by the strength of will, an idea, or an ability to gather capital? Left or right? Who were we at core? I careened between The Communist Manifesto and Atlas Shrugged as time went by. I was into some zero-sum shit for a while there. I switched from shirts to skins and back several times before I arrived at where I am now, which is to the left of Phil Ochs (kidding, of course). And at 48, I can safely say there I will stay.

My friend? I am sad to report the dark side has claimed him. I suppose I should not be surprised, because he had a distinctive, uncommon intellect that could easily look down upon a great deal of people with its raw power. I think that’s why he hewed right so hard, because his story is very bootstrappish in that he overcame odds to be where he is now and perhaps feels that anyone can do the same. I don’t know if it’s that simple, but that’s a bedrock theme for conservatives. They often fail to remember is how much help they got on the way up and the thing to do is pay that shit forward to the next soul who needs a hand.

Anyway, while I was on my latest Facebook jag, I drew his ire by mocking Marsha Blackburn and how she has her head in the sand as to how bad things are getting on our blue marble. I offhandedly referenced that the Doomsday Clock was at 100 seconds to midnight, a closeness to doom as we have ever been as far as the Atomic Scientists were concerned.

He hoped that I wasn’t taking their concerns as “science”. I replied of course I wasn’t, but that didn’t invalidate the points the group were making about things like nuclear war and climate change. We went back and forth and he said something startling to me; that the end of humanity will occur in a flash and no one will be able to do anything about it.

I guess that’s cold comfort in a world of uncertainty, but the truth of the matter, as you and I know, is the end of humanity is being hastened by processes in motion RIGHT NOW and if we don’t repent, we are going to end in that flash my friend mentioned.

But make no mistake, our destruction has been on slow boil for a while now; we are only recently getting smart enough now to be dimly aware of what we have really done to the planet. And perhaps that’s one reason why that clock keeps edging close to midnight because the news is bad, worse than we ever dreamed. And I am fully aware that the earth will shrug our species off and in a few million years sentient roaches will take our place-but the point is to preserve the planet for our crew for as long as possible.

The other reason the scientists worry is because of the proliferation of nuclear weaponry. Let’s see…we’ve got Pakistan and India getting hot about Kashmir, our wetbrained American president pulled us out of the Iran nonproliferation deal and in retaliation they have begun to enrich nuclear fuel to more refined levels, and now I see we’re gaming out nuclear scenarios that will not result in MAD. Yeah, right. I’ve long suspected the U.S. is also gaming out getting away with a first strike unanswered, but a limited exchange like the ones described in the article seems unlikely. I don’t think there is such a thing. It’s like that old movie from the 80s said: the name of the game is Global Thermonuclear War. There’s no other options-everybody dies in every scenario, unless perhaps we sit down and play some chess if we have a hankering for a contest.

The easy route is to do nothing and let our destructive ways claim us. But I believe we have a choice still. There’s so much work to do towards that. We don’t let the rope go slack because of a hard tug. We have to stop the brinksmanship now. Because that clock, however unscientific it is, is fucking ticking and we need to confront the existential challenges this species is faced with while we still have a minute and change left.

Avoid Addictive Plea

It was time for me to ditch another persistent addiction.

Yesterday, without a word, I deactivated Facebook for the third and hopefully final time.

Addicts: you know how you kick something, and then you relapse and it’s like a hundred times worse than last time?

That’s kind of how my last Facebook jaunt went. I was only back for a few weeks and I literally could not get out of this chair because I kept getting notifications.

Laundry piled.

Bathrooms were gross.

Gym? Nope. Couldn’t miss a notification. Always had an excuse. Maybe next Monday.

Self-care? Just barely.

And lots of other minor things, just things that need doing when you are the housekeeper and a disabled 48 year old man with responsibilities to yourself and your family.

I knew what all of this meant: Facebook was causing depression when I wasn’t on it. And I kept Facebooking to stave it off. Sure, you can’t snort, smoke, or shoot Facebook, but that right there is a textbook definition for maintenance of an addiction.

So, upon the suggestion of my wife, I shut it the fuck down with prejudice, not even a goodbye post. I handled it like I had picked up something hot and I needed to drop it quickly. I didn’t think there was any way to cut down on my Facebook time. I was a junkie, and I suspected Facebook was going to be one of those drugs that I was not going to be able to step down from.

Cold turkey is tough too. Because I’m going to miss my political allies. Fellow atheists. Family. Old friends. New friends. I will miss all of the music groups I was in that steered me to fascinating bands and outfits. I can’t share my wife’s online life. My mouse lingers over that big blue F on my homepage and I accidentally click it still out of habit. I know I have twenty or thirty messages already since leaving. But Facebook will consume me if I go back.

I don’t know what it is about Facebook in particular that causes this. Maybe you do (here’s some scholarly stuff on it). Because I’m an active Twitter user, and I don’t feel the same addiction potential that I know exists for Big Eff. There is a quest for followers that could cause some issues, but mostly I enjoy reading it because I get to rub elbows with famous and smart people and folks who used to blog back when doing what I’m doing right now was hot shit. Twitter is very sparse, with its limits on how much you can say and how correct you have to come-you will find out what kind of an idiot you are very fast if you say the right thing the wrong way and vice versa. But the bottom line is it’s easy to get up from.

For now.

I’m not well known enough on Twitter that I get a response, a like, a retweet or a follower note every minute. So perhaps Twitter may in due time become as bad a drug as Facebook, but for now I’m just chipping. And that’s far, far better than the dope I was into yesterday.

On The Other Side

Well, that charade was exhausting, wasn’t it?

I’m glad it’s all over. Really, hoping something was going to break our way when all signs pointed to shitsville was tiring in itself. Weeks of masturbatory journalism about which way the trial was going to go made me numb. I should have tuned all of it out, but history was happening.

Listen. If we really thought for a minute that Mitch McConnell, a Majority Leader who had the sheer nerve to deny a sitting President a Supreme Court pick was going to let his partner-in-crime president swing for abuse of power then we’re not as bright as we think we are. As he did in the past, he kept his Republicans together-this time, just long enough to get Trump off the hook for putting Ukraine on one. If it had to go on any longer, maybe things might have been different. But it couldn’t, because no substance-no evidence, not a damn document whatsoever was allowed to be considered in the trial. It was a colossal waste of the American peoples’ time and an atrocious use of the Senate’s power to try impeachments. It had to collapse from its own emptiness.

You’ll also recall that McConnell nuked the Supreme Court rules to enable an alleged rapist to sit on the SCOTUS just to get a 5-4 conservative majority for at least the next 20 years. Remember also how his accusers were simply ignored by Judiciary.

Then think back at how Bill Barr strangled the Mueller report in its crib. We thought that was going to be the end of the Trump misadministration too. Once again, the right crooked people positioned at the right chokepoints ensured that Trump would not be scrutinized.

We the hopeful are the proverbial Charlie Brown, and the Republicans keep pulling the football away. We forget what a cunt Lucy is.

I’m done with thinking the system will burn out an infection. In the words of George Carlin: fuck hope.

It’s all so hard to believe sometimes, because of what a nitwit Trump is. We keep expecting him to trip over his red power tie hard enough and break the law so egregiously that no one can save him. But that event has not materialized and the bar is now pretty fucking high for the rest of this term. I mean, the Ukraine story was fucking airtight. He totally did it and got away with it (with OJ’s defense lawyer!), thanks to a jury who couldn’t accept their solemn duty to try the President. Party over all. It’s the Republican way.

The system and the people currently running the system are rotten to the core. The check is gone. The balance has tipped wildly in the executive’s favor. And no pollyanna reasoning is going to remove that fact. When it was certain that McConnell had the votes to block witnesses, this is what Trump tweeted:

Go fuck yourselves, America! Now watch this drive.

With that tweet in mind, there is a silver lining in all of this, one I return to; people are tired of Trump’s act. It’s boring, annoying, and everyone is starting to wonder if all he does is tweet, hold rallies for his trash people, and golf. And they are pretty pissed about all the shenanigans I’ve listed above and then some. As far as the impeachment goes, a majority of Americans wanted to see an actual trial with witnesses and evidence. I think people have been watching while the Republicans helped the rich help themselves to a nice tax cut while putting things like Obamacare on life support. They see that it’s the Republican led Senate that is refusing to do its job and vote on legislation. Sure, plenty of Americans are still in the Fox/hate radio bubble but I think there’s more woke people than not, especially since our young folks are coming to the polls and they are not into MAGA as a generation. Flooding the zone with hot garbage and screaming fake news all the time has provided diminishing returns.

There’s still eight months for more people to see that Republicans are bad for them. We may not have retired Donald Trump via impeachment, but the scandals and the incessant bad news will not stop. I think Mitch and the rest of the GOP knows they’re about to become a minority party and they are just destroying assets, fucking shit up as they retreat. But that’s the point. They know Trump’s a turd. It doesn’t matter to them; they are doing exactly what they came to do- monkeywrench the state and stop it from functioning. In this sense, Mitch McConnell is the most successful, most consequential party leader of our times.

Republicans probably aren’t going to be able to hack the vote enough to stop the massive blue wave that is coming to drown them in November. That’s the only hope I can’t fuck. Because voting is the last remedy of the American people. We don’t have a great track record, having invited this fucking incubus upon Lady Liberty in the first place. So, to my fellow lefties I say: let’s get active. Register. Get out that vote. Talk to your friends on the fence. We have the numbers (and that is a fact), we just have to show up. We cannot afford another four years of Trump undoing all the progress made under Obama. Shit, under any administration who offered something to the people instead of taking it away.

If you don’t recognize America now, wait until Trump 2.0 grabs its pussy.

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