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Entries in Trump (3)

Saturday
Nov122016

Some Jack London-Level Shit.

I knew this guy. Outdoorsy type of guy – into hunting, ice fishing, that kind of thing. He was out snowmobiling one time. He’s on his own, out in the woods – the CANADIAN woods, so not like some punk-ass Forest Preserve. This is before cell phones. He’s out in the powdery hush, all by himself, tearing around, having a great time.

Guy takes a jump, over this fallen tree, but his angle is off and he rolls midair.

Snowmobile lands on top of him. His leg is busted. Compound fracture – his snapped-off femur is poking out the front of his snowsuit.

A fucking spear. Of his own bone. Is jabbing out of a bloody hole in his leg.

And he is miles from anyplace. His Ski-Doo is totaled – one its treads is shredded, so he is not riding that thing to safety.

So his choices are narrowed to exactly two option:

 

  1. Die in the snow. From shock, or hypothermia, or blood loss.
  2. Haul himself out of the woods. With his arms. Like a wounded crab.

 

Which is what he did. He scooched himself out of the woods. He planted his hands and dragged his ass for almost three miles. It had been dark for hours by the time he got help.

I believe I do not exaggerate when I say that this is where we are right now. I don’t just mean those of us on the political Left. I mean all of us.

I believe that we have – through our own deliberate actions – landed ourselves in a snow bank with a pike of our own bone protruding from our leg. We are hobbled. We are bloodied. We are nauseated and dizzy. We bit our tongue pretty bad and maybe cracked a tooth.

We are hurt. Badly. Dangerously. Lethally, maybe.

We sit, rattled and cold, in this snow bank, a claw of bone testing the air above our leg.

And we are presented with a stark choice:

 

  1. Die in the snow in the woods.
  2. Haul ourselves to safety.

 

I feel as though we are too dazed, still, to have made our decision.

But this much I know: when you are injured and cannot walk, to remain where you are, in the snow, is to die.

My dad killed himself in 1986. As a consequence, I have always held a pretty dim view of suicide prevention and its prospects for success.

But since we are all of us plowed into the same fucking snow bank, and since all our fucking noses are stinging from the smell of spilt gasoline, it is not fucking suicide that your inaction represents – it is murder suicide.

If you have concluded – understandably – that you wish to remain still and permit death from shock or the cold to overtake you, I can appreciate your position. I can. It’s rational, even, in its way.

But your inactivity also consigns me to death. And my children. Because my arms are BARELY equal to the grueling job of dragging myself to safety and my kids to safety. My wife and I will be dragging till our shoulders are burning in pain. 

And that effort MAY be enough. If we persist, and get lucky. We MAY be able to summon the strength to drag ourselves out of these darkening woods.

Unless. You find yourself too defeated to contribute to the dragging. It is conceivable that we can drag ourselves. There is no way we can drag you, too. Your shock and disbelief – I understand these entirely & feel them myself. My wife feels them. And so do my children.

But shock and disbelief also are feeling luxurious, to me. Shock and disbelief and the release of death that they bring in their wake – these are a GUARANTEE that we perish. All of us. All of us on the political Left. All of us on the Right. All of us who are apolitical. All of us.

And maybe you’re like: “It’s different now. We’re not like your friend. We have cell phones. We can call and get rescued.” We’re in the middle of the woods. No bars, no signal. To wait for a chopper to airlift us out is to die.

And maybe you’re like: “Hang on. This shard of bone won this snowmobile ride fair and square. Maybe we should give him a chance.” The shard of fucking bone has been telling you straight up for two goddamn years – “If you place your trust in me, I will bring you gangrene and death,” and now that’s what we’re getting.

And maybe you’re like: “Whatever, man – you’re a white male. What possible difference can this make to you? You’ll stay safe.” NO ONE IS SAFE. Am I white? Yes. Am I male? Yes. But I am also left of fucking Trotsky, and am as lippy as I can get. The fact that I will follow you up the fucking chimney does not matter – my skin and my genitals will delay this, not prevent it. The sequencing of how we each perish doesn’t mean squat because we will all fucking perish.

And maybe you’re like: “Dude. Your metaphor has really gotten away from you, here – you’re kind of all over the place.”

Which is fair. But it is also true that we are STUCK IN A FUCKING METAPHOR THAT HAS SPUN OUT OF CONTROL. A dense thicket of badly constructed metaphor.

But here’s the problem. As I attempt in vain to tamp down the fucking dry heaves that have been plaguing me since Tuesday night; and as I gaze into the eyes of my trans son who is old enough to understand with appalling clarity that half his fucking countrymen have deemed him unworthy and unequal; and as I have watched my social media feeds get clogged with reports of all forms of intolerant bullshit LESS THAN A FUCKING WEEK AFTER THE FUCKING ELECTION, MONTHS AWAY, STILL, FROM INAUGURATION – the situation is so fucked and so various in the ways that it is fucked, and will require so much to un-fuck it that it cannot be contained in a single fucking metaphor.

But I stand by the essence of it:

It is WE who drove ourselves out into these woods.

It is WE who gunned the motor and didn’t stick the landing and got our fucking leg crushed.

And it is WE who can either stare down at the femur sticking out of fucking leg and wait to die, or we can for fuck’s sake start dragging ourselves toward town. Speaking for myself: I have no fucking intention of getting claimed by the cold or the wolves or the shock. Fuck this femur. And fuck this hypothermia. And fuck this leg wound that is fizzing with infection. I’d sooner cut my own leg off and eat it than to succumb to this idiocy. I’d sooner dine on nothing but cannibal flank steaks from now until the midterms than lay down and die for this.

I get it. I do. It’s fucking easier to lay back and watch the fog of your breath get carried away by the cold wind. It is seductive, watching your blood bubbling around the baffling lance-tip of your bone. There is an allure to the looming embrace of oblivion.

And it may well be that the effort it costs us to drag ourselves out of these backwoods will come to nothing. Maybe we’ll give it our all, and still we will die. Maybe the expanse of these trees and the bitterness of this cold will prove too much for us. Maybe our wound is too cruel and our will is too weak.

But. Even it’s futile, even if it’s pointless, even if my arms give out by the time I can get out of these godforsaken woods, I will by god die crawling.  

Wednesday
Oct192016

Parallels, Unwelcome - The Cubs; The Debate

So tonight marks a likely soul-quashing addition to the growing litany of indignities and infamies we face on a daily fucking basis, in the form of the final presidential debate, and penultimate loss that will end the Cubs season.

 

I grew up in Massachusetts in the 70s. So I was a fatalistic young Red Sox fan, well before they were able to assemble winning enough squads to take it all. Much of my capacity to hope was beaten out of me by 1978, when they blew a fourteen fucking game lead against the cocksucking Yankees and then watched as Bucky sonofabitching Dent drove the nail into their season's coffin. There was a brief, too brief, period there between game 6 of the '75 World Series and that punkbitchass home run by Bucky shitwagon Dent in '78 when a world of unseen possiblity lay just over the horizon, there for the taking if you were true of heart.

There is comfort to be had - albeit comfort of a dim and cold sort - in knowing that the shit storm currently pelting you will not relent. Your capacity to feel betrayed is extinquished; the fervor of your belief snuffed out. You know that superstition is folly, that there are no curses - be they of the Bambino or Billy Goat varieties. You come to know that you live in a barbaric and indifferent hellscape where meaning is a delusion, where your worst fears are routinely confirmed, and which further data reveals that is little better than a shit centrifuge where your idiotic little dreams get spun into a fecal slurry along with everybody else's. It is a foul-smelling reality, to be sure, and an unjust one - but you are by God seeing it with clear eyes.

It's not just that Santa doesn't exist, it's that he stole your mom's identity, emptied her accounts, and blew it all at the dog track. Then tore his stack of losing betting slips into confetti he scattered over the greasy turd he squeezed off into a padded envelope and mailed to her. 

So the mercy of having the final debate is that we will each of us - wherever we might fall on the political spectrum - spared the lies and provocations of a semi-sentient cannister of Tang. At least until tomorrow. When he's bitching about what a socialist stooge the dude from Fox fucking News is.

Sometimes your dog will get a piece of their poo caught in their fur, waggling out of their asshole like a partially descended testicle. As the human, already tasked with fetching and bagging their shit, you rightly shake your head at your dog and go "Sorry, friend - I know I've got a thumb and everything, but you're on your own." And the dog will furrow its brow in reproach, hike his rear feet skyward so his butthole abrades the ground, and haul himself forward with his front feet. He will sometimes leave a streak on the sidewalk that seems to you indelible. But the rains will wash it away. Or the rats will come to claim it. 

That. That is your silver lining. Rats fighting in the moonlight over the prize of a stripe of dog shit. 

We have permitted ourselves to become these rats. But when you are a rat that has had the hope beaten out of it, you shake your head at the rats biting and raking at each other, and amble over to the rancid bounty of the Dumpster.

So it is with the Cubs tonight. Since despite admirable pitching, the heart of their fucking order has resolved keep their fucking bats on their fucking shoulders, we the bleak-hearted know that all the frenzy expended by fans all over the country, all the gnashing of teeth and murmured pacts with Satan, will lead nowhere. The flashy whore that is Los Angeles will continue to prosper, just as the flashy whore in the power tie will continue to flourish. 

The nectar of defeat is a bitter goddamn potion, to be sure. But if you take sips along the agonizing trail, you won't have guzzle the whole decanter at the end. Likewise, where your countrymen have elevated an undeserving, persecuted, hectoring, petty slab of shouting to potentially occupy the highest office in the land, you squinch up your fucking face and take little hummingbird sips of the poison sloshing in your cracked chalice. If you're lucky, maybe you'll build up a tolerance. And it will kill you more slowly than most.

 

Wednesday
Oct052016

Imagined White House Press Briefing, January 2017

(Newly appointed Press Secretary Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino saunters to podium, looking fly.)
Pause.

Reporter 1: You… you got a statement, or anything?
The Sitch: Nah. Whatchoo nerds wanna know?
(Hands shoot up.)
The Sitch: No print. TV only.
(Many hands drop. Single murmured "Aw.")
The Sitch: You. Where you from?
Reporter 2: TMZ.
The Sitch: I will take your question.
Reporter 2: Will the President be releasing his tax returns?
The Sitch: Get out.
(Nervous press corps laughter. Exchange of uncertain looks.)
The Sitch: No joke. Out.
(Reporter 2 is escorted from briefing room.)
The Sitch (to Secret Service.): Take his thing.
(Secret Service agents confiscate Reporter 2's press credentials.)
The Sitch: Now find a some stairs to throw him down.
(Nervous Secret Service laughter.)
The Sitch: Not a joke.
(Sound of Reporter 2 getting hustled to a staircase, and tumbling painfully down, bones crack.)
The Sitch: Next.
(Couple tentative hands raised.)
The Sitch: You. Where you from? 
Reporter 3: E!
The Sitch: Bring it.
Reporter 3: According to documents obtained by--
The Stich: Ho. What's "document"?
Reporter 3: Sorry. Ah. Papers.
(Nothing.)
Reporter 3: Um. Read-y things?
The Sitch: With you. G'head.
Reporter 3: According to documents obtained by Talk Soup, President Trump acquired Rumpelstiltskin in 1989, from Andrew Dice Clay--
The Sitch: DICEMAN! 
(Voice of Andrew Dice Clay, from backstage)
Dice: You know it, bro!
(Polite applause from press corps as Dice pokes his head out from curtain, finger guns press corps.)
The Sitch: Fuckin' LOVE that guy.
Reporter 3: Totally. 
The Sitch: Continue.
Reporter 3: And that Rumpelstiltskin was, as late as 1994, shackled in the basement of the Trump Casino in Atlantic City, literally spinning straw into gold.
The Sitch: Yeah. So what?
Reporter 3: But that President Trump declared a loss of nearly a billion dollars the following year.
The Sitch: Yeah. And?
(Mugs to Dice backstage.)
Dice: (Leans out, to Reporter 3.) Ya dildo!
(Hold for press corps laughter. This takes a while)
Reporter 3 (Composing self, wiping away a tear.) Sorry. (To Dice.) This fuckin' guy. So my question is: how is it that one year, President Trump had sole possession of a magical figure, providing him with a literally unending supply of gold for the asking, but then declared a significant loss the following year?
The Sitch: Simple. He kilt him. Who's next?
Reporter 3: I'm sorry. Quick followup. He… he killed him? 
The Sitch: Did I fuckin' stutter?
Dice (from backstage.): OH!
Reporter 3: You did not. I'm just trying to understand. President Trump. Took the life of. Rumpelstiltskin. Who was spinning gold for him. As a… business decision?
The Sitch: Yeah, that's right.
(Stunned silence.)
Reporter 3: Was… was Rumpelstiltskin… sick, or anything?
The Sitch: Nah.
Reporter 3: So. President Trump. Had a limitless profit center. And he… killed that guy?
The Sitch: Guy. Come on. It's not hard.
Reporter 3: No, I know. It's just. Gold. Like, basically infinite gold. For, I don't know, the cost of feeding the guy.
The Sitch: And he choked him out, yeah. What's the mystery?
(Pause.)
Reporter 3: Did… did he have, like King Midas lined up and he fell through, or something?
The Sitch: Look. Friend. Step off, OK? Little man got fat. Prez got a rule. No fatties. So. He kilt him. Big whoop. Move on. Quit bustin' balls. Now who wants a fuckin' t-shirt?
(VP Pence emerges from backstage, wielding a t-shirt cannon. Press corps clamors for an awesome Trump/Pence/Diceman T. Pence fires. Over and over. And it is so fucking sweet, you guys. So, so fucking sweet.)