Cynicism Is To Skepticism What Republicans Are To Reasonable Human Beings

Cynicism is thinking the worst of everyone right off the bat. So, screw em! Skepticism is having questions — lots of questions — that need answering before you’ll make up your mind. Skepticism leads to critical thinking while cynicism leads to bias reinforcement. If you want to believe everyone’s a rat bastard then even the good things they do will have a “rat bastard” stank to them. If you want to believe the bad guys will always win in the end so why bother doing anything to stop them — then the bad guys WILL win in the end and your worst fears will be realized. Just like you wanted them to be.

The goal of a propagandist is to pull you past skepticism and critical thinking to cynicism where, down deep, you’ve already surrendered to them. You don’t have to be a propagandist though to give cynicism succor. You just have to give in to it.

While it’s completely true that Donald Trump is the most corrupt president in America’s history, it’s completely NOT true that he’s going to get away with it. That’s up to us. If we accept Trump’s corruption and roll over for him? Then, yes — Trump will get away with it. If we refuse to roll over? No, he won’t.

Not even remotely.

Trump’s corrupt on a scale few humans can match but he’s not monolithic. He’s an incompetent man-child, an inarticulate boob who’s failed at literally everything. The ONE thing he’s succeeded at: not getting caught. That onus is on us. We can change all this ourselves just by giving a shit and insisting that the rule of law — now that we’re bringing it back and enforcing it — applies to Trump the same way it applies to the rest of us.

Mitch McConnell is an adept politician but a rotten human. The inner rot is finally making its way to Mitch’s exterior. While he’s managed to keep ahead of the stink up till now, the stink just caught up with Mitch. Mitch has sooooooo much explaining to do. Under oath. With the TV lights turned up to eleven and the glare of the cameras turned up to twelve.

Mitch is the Poster Turtle for cynicism. The end justifies the Treason Turtle means. No one will ever accuse Mitch McConnell of overplaying his sincerity card. He’s our own Schmuck-iavelli.

We need our news media to be deeply skeptical. Alas, “Both Sides Do It” brand journalism has perverted their skepticism into cynicism. Everyone, BSDI insists, does things for the same reasons — usually political. Their motives? The same. They’re concerns — ditto.

Oy.

If Democrats behaved like Republicans, we’d BE Republicans. We don’t. We aren’t. Democrats, you see, are skeptical by nature but prone to cynicism because of the way we keep voting in the majority without experiencing the joy of winning that should have been part of the package. Getting cheated out of the thing you earned sucks if it happens once. With Democrats, this is starting to look like a habit.

Democrats have won the presidential popular vote in every election since Reagan. And yet — though he LOST the popular vote, George W. Bush became POTUS. So did Trump — after losing the popular vote. Trump wants to be the second person to ever LOSE the popular vote twice and still get to be POTUS.

That’s called cheating. And cheating to win is not “another way to win”, it’s cheating. If you cheat to win, you’ve done the opposite of winning: you’ve disqualified yourself from the competition entirely. Win? No, you didn’t win. You’re not even in the conversation.

If Team Biden Succeeds With Their Pandemic Response – Which They Will – The Rest Of Their Mission Gets Easier

The headline says it all: If Team Biden — Joe, the Pandemic Response Team he’s already formed plus the rest of his remarkable brain trust — succeeds in its pandemic response, the next steps in healing America will be easier. Team Trump have set the bar remarkably low. Even “success bordering on failure” will look like total success by comparison. That’s not fair so we’ll forget we even mentioned it. Consider the optics. Job One — stop the pandemic from sickening us while also getting the economy up off its knees. It gets done. Would that build at least a modicum of trust in at least some of the more reasonable Trumpanistas? If even one puts down the Trump kool aid and returns to the fold, we can call it “success”.

I knew I couldn’t help myself. Think of the direction we’re headed in. Think of the direction we’re already turning toward. Think of the timing of it all — and I mean “it all”. Donald Trump made Joe & Kamala’s success here a sure thing. Unless Covid-19 suddenly mutates in some bizarrely, horror movie, “Bidenesque” fashion, the worst of the epidemic’s impacts on our lives will have Trump’s fingerprints all over them. There will be a clear demarcation point from when “we started to get better”. That demarcation point will be January 20, 2021 — the day Joe and Kamala and the rest of Team Biden went to work ON America’s behalf instead of AGAINST it.

Project forward with me. It’s now late April 2021. The numbers reveal a devastating winter but an improving spring. At the very same time that Team Biden has been putting science to work taming the pandemic, it’s also flooded the economy with cash — aimed to work from the bottom up. Now cash-flowed for the near-term while the epidemic releases its grip, confidence grows in the American consumer.

And also meanwhile — Team Biden has returned the Department of Justice to being a Department of Justice instead of a corrupt president’s consigliere. Suddenly subpoenas are being issued. People are being made to speak under oath. Important people. Important Republican people. Suddenly all that oversight that never got done starts getting done. But most important of all, there’ll be the matter of the counter-intelligence investigation that We The People assumed was being handled somewhere between Team Mueller and the FBI. You know — the one Rod Rosenstein killed dead on the downlow? THAT counter-intel investigation? Well, it’s back on now.

And we’ll KNOW it’s back on and the speculation in the press will be the new, exciting, talk-about-it-24/7 parlor game that every talking head can play. Who will get touched by charges of treason? Maybe it’ll be “Who WON’T Get Touched?” Either way, THAT will be entertainment.

This, too, will be part of the backdrop against which Team Biden’s success with the pandemic will play as they finally turn toward the next parts of their agenda — healing on their minds. Remember: success is virtually guaranteed. Donald Trump made it so.

Who knows? Some of us may even stop to thank Donald — who, remember, will be deep in his own personal nightmare, his legal bills through the roof, the charges and lawsuits piling up like lies in a news conference. Thirty percent of this country will never come around. They just won’t. We need to stop chasing them and, instead, start thinking of how to mitigate their damage. Every benefit coming to us will go to them. They don’t have to say “thank you”. They won’t.

Nothing in life is perfect. Can’t be. Our union isn’t perfect but, fortunately, it’s designed to be made more perfect as needed. Like now. Timing is everything. So’s framing.

We’re about to stop thinking one way about the world and start thinking another. That’s how big a moment in History this is. The problem with journalists is they live too much in the moment. It’ll take historians to point out what those moments all meant.

It isn’t rocket science to project what will happen. It’s just a grasp of the actual facts that have already been reported. The election, the pandemic, Trump’s impeachment, Bill Barr’s criminal obstruction of justice, the lies about the Mueller Report, the fact that there even IS a Mueller Report, the fact that we still don’t know just how deeply connected Donald Trump, his family, his circle, the Republicans around him and every Republican around them are to Russia (or any other foreign player in our politics). But those things are all out there.

And they’re just the tip of the iceberg. While healing from the pandemic’s hold, we will be treated to a steady diet of stunning criminality on one party’s part.

Make no mistake. The Progressive wing of the Democratic Party is going to have to produce returns and early. It won’t be fair. It never is. But progressivism is going to get an unusual tail wind behind them. They should enjoy it but not take it for granted. And they should not for two seconds take credit for it — the successful pandemic response. That’s what our government is supposed to do, ya see.

They’d be taking credit for doing the jobs they get paid to do. THAT, ya see, is going to be what makes Team Biden’s job easier. Pure, unadulterated competence. The bar is soooooo low.

Ah, hell. I did it again. I gave Trump credit.

Our news media, as they often do, keep asking the wrong questions. How can Team Biden succeed? No, no, no, sillies!

The correct question is, post Donald Trump, “HOW CAN THEY FAIL?”

“Karma’s A Stone Cold Bitch: Moscow Mitch Edition”

Gulp! Moscow Mitch McConnell looks behind — sees Karma gaining on him fast! Inside his turtle head, he thinks “Please, Turtle feets, don’t fail me now!

When we get to the end of this sorry-assed saga, Mitch McConnell will stand as one of American history’s uberest Uber-Villains. His name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as the epithet hurled when you want to call someone a “traitor”. If you want to know just how severely damaged Moscow Mitch is — he’s a lonely bully having his revenge on the rest of the schoolyard — read Jane Meyer’s excellent piece on Mitch in the New Yorker.

Mitch stands astride his greatest (possible) accomplishment — the hijacking of the judiciary by the RW Money (what Mitch sees as his actual constituency). For that alone, Mitch deserves every bit of Karma coming to him.

But there’s so much more Karma coming to Mitch. Remember — Mitch knew when he refused to let Obama tell the American people that Russia was actively working to make Trump president that Russia was actively working to make Trump president. He was trying to keep Russia’s secret secret from us. Mitch could stop what Trump is doing any time Mitch wants to.

If I were ‘In Control’ of Karma — and I could create a ‘Karma Tree’ that would guide all of Mitch’s future incarnations — based on what he REALLY deserves — Mitch’s Karma would go something like this…

Mitch dies and comes back as “Mitch McConnell:  Toilet Brush” —

A Toilet Brush or Mitch

But here’s the ‘rub’ — ‘MITCH THE TOILET BRUSH‘ lives HERE —

WORST TOILET

Yeah — even worse than ‘The Worst Toilet In Scotland’…

A lot worse, it turns out — because THIS is the REFUGEE CAMP where Mitch’s Toilet lives — and CHOLERA just broke out all across the camp…

Refugee Camp

And there’s already a LINE to use Mitch’s Toilet (and every last person in line has EXPLOSIVE DIARRHEA) —

line of refugees 1

  And that line goes on…

Line of Refugees 2

And on…

Refugees3

And on… And STILL, it gets worse for Mitch — Cos THIS is the creature at the very end of that line…

Monster at end of line

And it doesn’t make ‘dainty’ piles like THIS —

pileofcrap

Nope — it produces an endless stream of foul-smelling poison as toxic as Mitch’s ‘soul’. And just as Mitch sees how massive and unending that STREAM OF LIQUID SHIT IS

He wakes up — and realizes it was all in his head — A DAYDREAM!

And that makes Mitch happy (even happier than Koch Money does when it lines his pockets — and that’s a lot of happy).

Happy Mitch

Everything, Mitch realizes, is back to normal.  And he turns to go about what he was doing (before that awful daydream) and he reaches out TO SHAKE THE HAND of THIS MAN —

THE HANDSHAKE

And the KARMA TREE starts all over again…

Forever and ever and ever… Hey, Karma: Three, two, one — GO!

It Turns Out Mitch McConnell Is An Even Bigger Villain Than We Knew

Mitch McConnell is Evil Personified As A Treason Turtle

If you haven’t read Jane Mayer’s piece on Mitch McConnell in the New Yorker, do. Read it. Familiarize yourself with Mitch’s story. Understand who Mitch McConnell is — what he wants and why. If you want to understand how we got into this fiasco — a corrupt president chosen by a hostile foreign power unchecked by “The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” (which is busily installing judges hostile to the majority) — you have to understand Mitch.

Not that there’s much to understand. Mitch believes in nothing except money and power. That’s it. Early on, he learned that what you say while running for office need not have anything to do with what happens once you’re IN office. Cynicism is baked in to Mitch’s DNA — as is corruption. He genuinely believes that the end always justifies the means — regardless of how corrupt those means are.

At no point in his life or political career has McConnell ever Jones’d for democracy. He’s never held a lofty ideal about public service or the commonweal. He couldn’t give a rat’s ass about his Kentucky constituents because, to Mitch, the hardscrabble white trash he grew up part of means nothing to him. He needs their votes come election time (when he’ll deliver a goody — like a Russian owned aluminum factory that required the lifting of sanctions to pull off). But, otherwise, Mitch happily shrugs off some of the lowest approval numbers among anyone in the Senate.

Nobody loves Mitch McConnell. Literally NOBODY.

His first wife doesn’t love him. Neither does his second wife, Elaine Chao. She and Mitch may appreciate each other — enabling each other’s greed the way they do — but that’s not love of “each other”. That’s love of the corruption the other makes possible.

Mitch’s three daughters don’t love him. They detest his politics.

Mayer tells the story of the first time Mitch ever ran for office — as high school student council president. Then as now, Mitch lacked the charisma to pull it off. He knew (as he told his mother) that “I don’t have a single friend”. Wonder why that was…

I bet it has something to do with what Mitch wrote on the blackboard during a class he taught at the University of Louisville what he insisted were the three essentials in politics and running for office: “Money. Money. Money”.

Belief in anything — a reason to use the money — a common purpose the money could be used for — is absent from Professor McConnell’s list. That’s because Mitch does not believe in anything except the getting of money for the getting of money’s sake.

Multiple people (of both political persuasions), all with experience of Mitch, agree: Mitch is easily one of the most corrupt politicians to ever sully the American stage. That makes Mitch happy (he still says out loud how his proudest accomplishment was denying Merrick Garland (and therefore Barrack Obama) so much as a hearing. Before that, it would have been keeping Obama a one-term POTUS (despite his popularity with the majority of Americans).

Mitch isn’t interested in what the majority wants. In fact, he’s made it his life’s work to deny the majority its voice and force the (rich) white Christian voice of his moneyed overlords (the Kochs especially) down the majority’s unwilling throat. That means Mitch has literally dedicated his whole career to undermining democracy. As President Coronavirus-Lover said: “If everyone voted, it would be very bad for Republicans”. Mitch, too, lives by that principle.

Mayer’s piece isn’t the final statement on McConnell. Like all good journalism, it asks as many questions as it answers. We need to ask: how much corruption has Mitch McConnell gotten away with over the course of his political career?

I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that the turnout in November (via vote-by-mail) will be so massive that even the GOP’s stepped up cheating and voter suppression operations can’t stop it or mitigate it enough to change the outcome: the near elimination in many parts of the country of even the semblance of a Republican Party presence. Republicans didn’t just hitch their wagon to Trump (and therefore Vlad Putin), they co-branded with him from top to bottom.

Republicanism is Trumpism is Corruption & Treason.

And Mitch McConnell was the lynch pin that held it all together. Some of us have seen McConnell for the villain he is from way back. When he snubbed Merrick Garland and Obama, he was really snubbing We The People. Every time McConnell tried to kill the ACA, we saw his villainy. When McConnell led Trump’s acquittal in the Senate — without allowing a lick of evidence to mar the proceedings — he took his villainy to a new level.

Who knew Mitch had even more cruel malevolence in him. Apparently the coronavirus did. Mitch doesn’t care if his own constituents live or die. He definitely doesn’t care if any other Americans die. The quickest, surest, fairest and best way to help America and Americans during this crisis would have been to cash flow every single American – with minimal questions asked — for the duration. Stay home until it’s safe. Spend the money on food and what you need. Kinda like what other countries have done.

Mitch wouldn’t dream of proving to everyone how much better and more successful a progressive policy would be than his own greedy need to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Remember — Mitch has no agenda other than serving his monied masters.

So, in addition to betraying every American by selling us out to his backers, Mitch has betrayed us by selling us out to Russia. And now he intends to starve us all.

When we get to the other side of this mess — when the Rule Of Law is back in force — when every single Republican is fighting the legal battle of their lives (and losing because their treachery and conspiracy are all well-evidenced already) — we will finally get to examine Mitch’s role. That won’t turn out well for Mitch. He’s guilty of a whole lot of wrong-doing. My bet is this: Mitch’s name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as what Americans call traitors.

For example: “Hey — you like Russia more than America, you Mitch McConnell!”

I’ve written here about my desire to see Mitch get all the rotten karma he deserves. Turns out, I was underestimating Mitch all along. He’s a villain all right. Just a bigger, badder, worse villain than even this storyteller could imagine.

How lucky for us that the one thing Republicans are good at is being corrupt.

It’s Insane On Steroids That People Get Crazy Over The Oscars; They Were Created As (And Still Are) A MARKETING TOOL Above All…

There’s a great line in “The Usual Suspects”: “The greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing the world that he didn’t exist”.

Exactly so. Real evil recedes into the background where it quietly corrupts everything it can. I’m not in any way saying the Oscars are evil. Absolutely not. But they play by movie rules — because, of course, the Oscars are a “movie creation”. The greatest trick AMPAS (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) ever pulled off, was convincing the world that they were “AN ACADEMY”.

This is from Wikipedia: “An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary education, higher learning, research, or honorary membership. Academia is the worldwide group composed of professors and researchers at institutes of higher learning. The name traces back to Plato‘s school of philosophy, founded approximately 385 BC at Akademia, a sanctuary of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill, north of Athens, Greece.”

The only part of that definition that applies to AMPAS is the “honorary membership” part. In no other way is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences an “academy”. Yes, yes — they’ve created training and workshops and lots of good things to further the cause of movies and movie-making (as a good marketing agency should). But they are NOT “an academy”.

If we look back at the actual history — at the Academy’s creation — who created it — and why — it’s pretty clear what the Academy’s founders were thinking.

Better yet, read what AMPAS itself says about its own founding

Louis B. Mayer “…talked about creating an organized group to benefit the film industry”. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever — but the point of the exercise was publicity. Advertising. MARKETING.

At the time, don’t forget, the movie business was a teeny-tiny fraction of what it is today.

If you look at the core question being posed by having an “Academy Awards” — which one of these very different things (which actually defy comparison) is “best”? Best “how”? It’s entirely subjective. So entirely subjective that, if we actually were to stop and really think about it, we’d tell the Academy either to compare apples to apples (moves exactly like each other with movies exactly like each other) or at least admit that it’s asking its members to compare apples with Pontiacs with redwood forests with distant planets.

White, Christian men dominated the film business from its inception (to be fair — there were lots of Jews in the mix but those Jews were inventing a Christian version of America that would, maybe, accept them (hat tip to Neal Gabler’s very, very excellent book An Empire Of Their Own). As white, Christian men did with American politics, they imposed their will upon everyone else. The America they created, they hoped, would self-perpetuate.

Alas, a diverse and diversifying population did not go along to get along. Just as white people like to hear stories where white people are the heroes, so does every other group who aren’t white people. Except their stories almost never got told. That kinda perverted our sense of whose stories DESERVED to get told. We invented nonsense in our minds about whose stories were interesting to us and whose stories weren’t.

And when we told other peoples’ stories? We told them from OUR point of view — as if getting inside their heads and actually seeing the world through their eyes was too terrifying for us. The only reason no screenplay not written in English hadn’t won a screenwriting award before yesterday (as far as I know — being a long-standing WGA member) is that few if any had ever been submitted.

Similarly, Parasite won for best picture – shocking the shit out of people. Happily so. There’s a good chance Parasite can thank AMPAS’s expanding membership; they’ve been inviting lots more women and minorities to join. Parasite was a very un-traditional choice.

For an Academy that isn’t actually an academy, that is.

Last night — because Republicans can’t help being pigs — even when it really doesn’t matter — a RW-er named Jon Miller tweeted this: “A man named Bong Joon Ho wins #Oscar for best original screenplay over Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917. Acceptance speech was: “GREAT HONOR. THANK YOU.” Then he proceeds to give the rest of his speech in Korean. These people are the destruction of America.”

“The destruction of America” — that’s what this fool wrote — about a movie script winning a prize from the organization that flaks movies & movie scripts.

Dude — it’s just a damned MOVIE ffs…

“Karma’s A Stone Cold Bitch” – MOSCOW MITCH MCCONNELL EDITION

Mitch McC
Mitch is thinking “Please, Karma, don’t hurt me. I know I deserve it but, please — don’t hurt me!”

When we get to the end of this sorry-assed saga, Mitch McConnell will stand as one of American history’s Uber-Villains. If you want to know how severely damaged Moscow Mitch is — he’s a lonely bully having his revenge on the rest of the schoolyard — read Jane Meyer’s excellent piece on Mitch in the New Yorker.

Mitch & Donald Trump go well together because neither has a scruple or guiding principle in his head — beyond greed.

Remember — Mitch went out of his way to keep Russia’s intense partisan involvement in election 2016 a secret from We The People. For that alone, Mitch deserves to rot in hell for all eternity.

Yeah, there’s some pretty awful Karma Mitch has created for himself. When that Karma boomerangs — as Karma always does — it will fly back at Mitch with a vengeance. The question: how exactly will Karma appear to Mitch?

If I were ‘In Control’ of Karma — and I could create a ‘Karma Tree’ that would guide all of Mitch’s future incarnations — based on what he REALLY deserves — Mitch’s Karma would go something like this…

Mitch dies (hold off on breaking out the champagne — for now).  And he comes back as THIS — ‘Mitch McConnell:  Toilet Brush‘ —

A Toilet Brush or Mitch

But here’s the ‘rub’ — ‘MITCH THE TOILET BRUSH‘ lives HERE —

WORST TOILET

Yeah — even worse than ‘The Worst Toilet In Scotland’…

A lot worse, it turns out — because THIS is the REFUGEE CAMP where Mitch’s Toilet lives — and CHOLERA just broke out all across the camp…

Refugee Camp

Yeah — CHOLERA.

And there’s already a LINE to use Mitch’s Toilet (and every last person in line has EXPLOSIVE DIARRHEA) —

line of refugees 1

  And that line goes on…

Line of Refugees 2

And on…

Refugees3

And on…

And STILL, it gets worse for Mitch — Cos THIS is the creature at the very endof that line…

Monster at end of line

And it doesn’t make ‘dainty’ piles like THIS —

pileofcrap

Nope — it produces an endless stream of foul-smelling poison as toxic as Mitch’s ‘soul’.

And just as Mitch sees how massive and unending that STREAM OF LIQUID SHIT IS

He wakes up — and realizes it was all in his head — A DAYDREAM!

And that makes Mitch happy (even happier than Koch Money does when it lines his pockets — and that’s a lot of happy).

Happy Mitch

Everything, Mitch realizes, is back to normal.  And he turns to go about what he was doing (before that awful daydream) and he reaches out TO SHAKE THE HAND of THIS MAN —

THE HANDSHAKE

And the KARMA TREE starts all over again…

Forever and ever and ever…

Hey, Karma — call me — I bet we can work something out to everyone’s mutual satisfaction (and improved Karma)…

Shits N Giggles Karma Bonus Points — Mitch needs to answer why his military records are sealed — and why the word SODOMY makes him uneasy… Hey, Karma: Three, two, one — GO!

Since I Stopped Drinking Alcohol, I’ve Come To See Clearly — America Has A Problem With Alcohol

Want to know if Americans drink too much alcohol? Quit drinking for a day. Better yet a week — or a month. Better yet, quit drinking entirely. I wasn’t forced to quit drinking by the mood stabilizer that saved my life. Alcohol can increase the intensity of any side effects the lamictil causes but, by itself, it can’t hurt you. What I found lamictil does to alcohol is give it a terrible aftertaste that ruins the whole experience.

It doesn’t matter whether the alcohol’s in a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or in a martini — just when you expect the glorious aftertaste of whatever you’re drinking to carry on, instead you get grapefruit skin and lots of it. I was cooking clams al vongele the other day. It’s basically clams, parsley, garlic and a bottle of wine (I like to add a little celery and some Pernod to kick up the licorice qualities). I poured in the wine and Pernod — got the sauce back to a simmer and sampled it, expecting exquisiteness.

Instead, I got grapefruit skin. A bottle of wine is a bottle of wine whether it’s in your glass or simmering away in a sauce. It takes a lot longer than you think to burn off alcohol as you cook with it. I forgot that basic fact at first — then wondered why the sauce tasted so awful.

When I was growing up, my dad collected wines — French reds. He and his friends would buy Bordeaux futures — as yet unharvested (ungrown even) grapes in the expectation that they’d become great, age-worthy vintages like 1970 or 1971. When I say my dad “taught me” how to drink, I mean he taught me to appreciate the thing I was guzzling like it was bug juice at summer camp.

I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as a responsible drinker — same as there’s no such thing as a responsible gun owner. 99% of the time — absolutely — most people behave responsibly toward both alcohol and guns. It only takes one slip up however to produce tragedy — one half glass of wine too many that resulted in an accident or traffic fatality or a gun that wasn’t locked up properly in its gun safe — and became a murder weapon.

In both instances, “responsible” becomes “irresponsible” just like that.

I was a lot less responsible than I gave myself credit for being. I’ve no doubt I drove while over the limit on multiple occasions. I know for a fact that I dodged a bullet or two or three where alcohol and driving are concerned. I know for a fact that I am hardly alone having that in my past. Sometimes I marvel that any of us are actually still here and walking (or driving) around.

Before lamictil made alcohol taste like shit, I LOVED drinking. I adored it. I marveled at the craftsmanship that went into a great scotch or a complex bottle of Petit Sirah (I loved em big and inky). I drank every single day — usually two glasses of red wine, sometimes a third glass. On rare occasion a fourth.

I was kinda known for getting even more opinionated than I already am. That’s a lot of “opinionated” to drunkenly throw at people. I don’t recall ever being drunk. I don’t recall ever being wasted or shit-faced or rat-arsed. But then, I wouldn’t know. I wasn’t watching me.

These days, when I go to a party or a bar with my wife and/or friends, I’m the lone teetotaler. When the bartender or wait-person turns to me for my order, most of the time I don’t have one: I’ll have water, I say. Their face always betrays them. My beverage will not benefit their tip. I might as well be dead, as far as they’re concerned.

It’s strange to watch your friends as alcohol takes them over. That’s what alcohol does. It changes how people act. While making them feel good for a bit, it also undermines their motor skills and slowly destroys their capacity to make good decisions. I’ve never seen my friends get out-of-their-heads crazy from drinking. But I have seen them get loud, belligerent, unreasonable, disrespectful and downright unpleasant.

When my kids went off to college, I feared for them as they encountered the drinking cultures on their respective college campuses; I worried especially for my daughter since campus rape culture (like campus fraternity culture) is tied to campus alcohol culture. I was grateful to learn that she and her friends prefer marijuana to alcohol. No one has ever died from marijuana poisoning as they have from alcohol poisoning.

I feel almost blasphemous saying this: alcohol prohibitionists weren’t wrong. They wanted to accomplish something impossible in a free society — prohibition of a product the people want. Prohibition didn’t just make alcohol illegal, it criminalized virtually the entire population while giving organized criminals a nearly perfect product to sell. Prohibitionists used the wrong methodology though their insights were rock solid. Alcohol is far too easily abused. And alcohol abuse causes far too much long-lasting social and personal harm to too many people.

Ads for alcohol are aimed (alarmingly) toward young people. Hell, alcohol products themselves are aimed alarmingly at young people. If you have to fruit flavor alcohol up to make it palatable, maybe you aren’t really ready to drink alcohol. That may look like an umbrella in your drink, it’s not; it’s training wheels. And if you really need training wheels on your alcohol, maybe you shouldn’t ought to be drinking alcohol.

My suggestion? Pick up a gram of top quality sativa or hybrid instead (unless of course you want to go to sleep then pick up a gram or two of indica). As self-medcations go, cannabis blows alcohol clear out of the water. It’s so much more versatile (you cannot work with alcohol in your system just like you can’t drive with it or do athletic things with it because of how profoundly it impacts your motor skills).

Having switched from alcohol to cannabis, I’ve also come to see that America has a cannabis problem too. We don’t smoke anywhere near enough of it.

These Are Desperate Times, Mrs. Lovett, And Desperate Measures Are Called For

Sweeny Todd got it right. These ARE desperate times we’re living in. What if it’s already be too late for desperate measures?

What measures come after the desperate ones?

A lot of us sensed it election night 2016 the way animals can sense a temblor coming. Trump “winning the election” (he didn’t, Russia did) wasn’t going to be the worst of it. It was going to be the start of it.

When I ran Tales From The Crypt for HBO, I took pride in the fact that I murdered people for a living and got away with it. I’ve spent my career imagining terrible, terrible things that could happen to people. I’ve written scenes that would make your average person squirm to watch, never mind actually endure.

But nothing I’ve written — or could write — can compare with or compete with Donald Trump. There’s nothing special about Trump except for the fact that he’s the embodiment of evil. Evil — real evil — isn’t special; most of the time, it’s pretty banal. We prefer our evil to be beat-you-over-the-head obvious. Unfortunately, that’s not how evil works.

There is nothing exceptional about Donald Trump. And yet, this unexceptional man has done something, well, exceptional — he’s very nearly destroyed the greatest experiment in human self-government ever. He’s had help, of course — Moscow Mitch McConnell (starting with his mission to hijack the judiciary as a means to impose permanent minority rule), Bill Barr (the most corrupt AG ever – and that includes John Mitchell, Nixon’s AG!), Mike Pompeo (the most corrupt Secretary of State since whoever Trump’s last Sec State was) and GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (whose worry that Russia was paying Dana Rohrbacher & Trump was put to rest with a simple “Let’s keep that in the family” by then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan).

The only thing that’s even remotely exceptional about Trump — his capacity for banal evil. That, apparently, is bottomless.

Republican Jesus Wasn’t “Born” Rotten, He EVOLVED That Way…

People in the media ask a lot these days — how can evangelicals stand with Donald Trump, the most corrupt, most immoral, least Jesus-like person to ever walk the planet?

It’s simple. Evangelicals & Fundamentalists don’t believe in “Jesus The Teacher”, they believe in “Jesus The Mascot”. Jesus the Maestro of Merch.

Doing unto others isn’t even taught in most churches. It’s too left wing. Too working class. But, misbehave yourself in one of a thousand different ways? They’ll “do unto you” so fast your head will spin.

True Fact: No Evangelical would recognize Jesus — even if they stopped mid-way through nailing Jesus to a cross to stop and spit in Jesus’ eye.

Introducing — The KARMA-NATOR — Instant KARMA For Those “Most Deserving”…

Hey, America — Shitty Karma got ya down? Are you in a snit because rotten people keep getting away with being rotten while “the best lack all conviction” (and refuse to impeach the most impeachable potus in the history of the Republic)?

Well, stop making yourself and your re-incarnated selves cray-cray! Stop having “faith” in Karmic Payback and start making some of those Just Deserts happen because YOU wanted them to. “What’s that?” you say — “I can impact what happens to Karma? I can deliver Cosmic Justice — Moi?

Damn right ya can, Pilgrim! Introducing Kay-Tel’s new “KARMA-NATOR” — the amazing new invention that delivers actual Karmic Payback to “Those Most Deserving”…

Want to see wankers like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell get the Karma they deserve NOW instead of LATER? Done!

Mitch McConnell will now come back as a toilet brush — that lives in the worst toilet stall in the whole world. How’s it feel, Mitch?

Karma, she can be quite the bitch, can’t she, Mitch! But, hey — we’re just getting started delivering Instant Karma via THE KARMA-NATOR! There are lots of deserving people. Hey, Attorney General Bill Barr — Wanna shove your head up Donald Trump’s ass? Welcome to THE KARMA-NATOR!

Boom – Mike Pence is now a condom — ready for for someone to insert their penis into. I sure hope Mike’s used to pitching instead of catching. Otherwise, this bit of Karma will need revisiting. Mike’s not supposed to like his payback.

And what about everyone’s favorite “Feckless C-Word”, Ivanka Trump — We all know she’s got Karma coming her way. Damn right she does! And Karma will be CRUEL to Ivanka. Let’s throw Ivanka in the KARMA-NATOR…!

Oh, ick — Poor, poor Ivanka — re-incarnated as her sister TIFFANY. Karma ain’t just a bitch sometimes, she’s a “MAGA”-Bitch, ain’t she…?

to be continued…