Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Con Man and the Carpet Bomber

Let’s start with a quick quiz. True or false, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, at some point or another, has said each of the following:

“I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.”

“Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.”

"Torture works, okay folks? Believe me, it works.”

The answer is “false.” Ted Bundy uttered the first statement just prior to kicking back in Old Sparky, and the second quote comes from none other than Adolph Hitler. Oh, and yeah, that last line actually is from Trump, since Hitler probably would have said "volks” and the word “earthly” is a little too fancy for the Apricot Assmask.

My point is, when stacked up against two all-time psychopaths, Donald Trump cozies up like a puppy in a sack of sausage. Like the other two, he thrives on deception and preys on fear, he dangles his vitriolic red meat above the ravenous mouths of the disillusioned and disenfranchised, and over the past six months, he’s provided his supporters no shortage of targets on which to focus their hatred.

The irony in all this is Donald Trump, the man. While railing against corporate special interests and political corruption, he’s morphed into the human personification of the very entity he eschews. Like a classic American corporation, he isn’t immoral, he’s amoral—his sole aim is maximum returns for the good of the brand, and he’s demonstrated a willingness to do or say anything toward that end. In his mind, just as Hitler spouted, success is the ultimate judge of right and wrong.

But you already knew that. The question now is, what do we do? I’m not really sure, but after this week’s Super Tuesday III, Ted Cruz seems to think he’s got the nomination aced. After Marco Rubio’s withdrawal Tuesday night, young Ted took the podium with squinty delusions of grandeur despite having won nary a state. Here’s a little snippet:

"Together we will make Washington less relevant in all of our lives. We will repeal every word of Obamacare. We will pass a simple flat tax and abolish the IRS. We will rein in the EPA and the government regulators that are killing small businesses.

"And we'll stop amnesty, secure the borders, and end welfare benefits for those here illegally. And the result will be millions upon millions of high-paying jobs and wages rising for people across America. (It) will be young people coming out of school with two, three, four, five job opportunities.”

Holy shit, Ted, what’s the plan for your second week in office?

I’m about seventy percent sure that next January, Bill Clinton will saunter through the White House door, high five Hillary and sprint to his room to see if his stash of Penthouses is still under the bed. But God bless the United States of America when that happens, because if you think our nation is divided now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Fox News, indebted to the original Clinton presidency for its anointing as messenger to the ignorant and fearful, will blossom. “Fox4U," its new alternative offshoot, will have the news read by attractive twenty-somethings who will rail against the Clintons while wearing bikinis and sausage satchels. Ratings will skyrocket.

Until then, the Repubs are left to choose between Trump, Cruz or an as-yet-unnamed GOP savior. If this happens, chances are extremely likely that this individual will be considerably more normal-looking than either of the other candidates. Look, I know I’m no beauty queen, but Cruz is one creepy looking Texan. He's got the the face of a comic book villain whose face stuck in a contorted smirk after a nuclear mishap.

To my conservative chums, a friendly word of advice: get your shit together. Right now, you must select either a megalomaniac who believes in exacting revenge on terrorists’ families, or a ghoulish theocrat who will "utterly destroy ISIS. We will carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don't know if sand can glow in the dark, but we're going to find out.”

Out of the 142 million Americans eligible to run for president, you've narrowed it down to these two? Scary.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

That's the Ticket

Don't ask me why I cleaned out the basement last weekend. Seriously, don't ask me.

Okay, I'll tell you. It's because purging the cellar was but one in an chain of unpleasant tasks incurred by my own willful ignorance. Unaware that the swinging door into my cat's litter box was stuck it took me two days to realize my error. And what's a cat to do when access to his private poo igloo is denied?

He's going to air his grievances elsewhere. Which of course he did, which in turn precipitated last weekend's dust and dung festival in the basement. But who wants to hear about that? We all have to deal with the unlovely excreta from our pets and children on a regular basis. Cry me a yellow river, superstar.

But fear not, there's an upside. Did I wheeze worse than Muttley the cartoon dog from lingering all afternoon in a my self-created toxic spore bloom?

Absolutely, but any bronchial scarring caused by my extended stay downstairs was decisively offset by the treasure trove of memorabilia I rediscovered. And when I came across an envelope with "ticket stubs" scrawled faintly across it, Papa strapped on his headlamp and spelunked nose-first into to the flashback cave.

I won't share them all with you, just those which struck a meatier chord while vacationing in the Republic of Nostalgia. Overall, I think the most humorous commonality among these mementos is the crazily-low prices.

This was a good show, even though the band's biggest hit, "Dust in the Wind," wasn't exactly an encouraging message to esteem-challenged 16-year-olds like myself. Also it took us a really long time to find the car afterwards.

Possibly uttered afterwards: "Dude, where's my car?"

By the fall of my senior year, my friend John and I had become fully immersed in all that was Beatle. When the tribute foursome, "Beatlemania," invaded Seattle, we had no choice but to venture up north to check them out. After the show our Fab Four hysteria was tweaked to eleven, but in less than three months John Lennon would be assassinated. My friend John is also gone now, and uncovering this stub churned up some powerful memories.

Possibly uttered afterwards: "The guy who played George looked like the real Ringo, and the guy who played Ringo looked like my aunt from Scotland."

This was my first Seahawk game, which I attended with my dad. Still fun, despite the Hawks getting steamrolled by the Browns. 27-3.

Possibly uttered afterwards: "Dad, I can totally see the Browns racking up a few championships by the end of the 80s. I'd put my O.J. poster on it."

Played during one of the worst wind storms in forty years with gusts approaching 70 miles per hour, the Dawgs spanked the Troy Boys on their way to a second consecutive Rose Bowl. 

Possibly uttered afterwards: "Shit, man, it took so long to get to the front of the pee line that by the time I got there, I couldn't pee. I'm cramping hard, can you carry me? Why not?"

Sixteen bucks for a concert? Give me a freaking break. 

Possibly uttered afterwards: "Expensive ticket, but it might be our last chance to see these guys. I mean, how old is Mick, like, 38?"

While Connors would still play another ten years, Borg was approaching the end of the line. Jimmy won the match, but the real theatrics occurred in line prior to the contest. My brother and I watched as an upstart Seahawk quarterback named Dave Krieg crowded to the front and attempted to gain entry without a ticket. The last words we heard him yell into the box office before stomping off were, "You don't know who I am? I'm Dave Krieg!"

Possibly uttered afterwards: "That was some awesome tennis. The incredible topspin, the long rallies and Dave Krieg is a dick."

Ann Wilson sang with such power she wouldn't have even needed a microphone that night. If you've never seen her or her sister Nancy, one of the most underrated rhythm guitarists in rock history, do yourself a favor. Just brilliant.

Possibly uttered afterwards: "I can't believe what a dick Dave Krieg was three years ago."

I'll stop there and just lay down a summary of the remaining stubs:  Rush was a borderline religious experience in June of 1981. Aerosmith appeared uninspired and coked out in 1985. The Kinks were fantastic, but performed the same show both times I saw them, and when the Sonics defeated the Lakers and Showtime in the Western Conference Finals that sultry afternoon in 1987, losing the green and gold twenty years later seemed about as likely as a Donald Trump presidency in thirty.

We all know how that went.