Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The King In Yellow

I barely regard him -- it -- as human anymore, using words like "monster" and "thing" to describe the creature that continues to defile the White House and corrode what's left of this country, day by rotting day. And at first there may have been a vein of schtick, trash talk, the proverbial smackdown, but that part rang hollow, that there might be any semblance of even grim humor to those specifically chosen words.

Because humans, even assholes, have common threads that identify them as such. We've gone over this many times before, but it can't be repeated enough:  humans have things and people that they like and appreciate for their own merits. Music, books, art, friends, family, pets, games, teevee shows, whatever. Something. Unconditional love.

Normal human beings enjoy these pleasant little features of life because collectively those little features are what make life worth living. It's hard to know what to make of someone who has never -- and that may very well be literally true, like never -- had an appreciative or complimentary thing to say about anybody or anything, except in the context of how its quality was a reflection of themselves.

Like, as a hypothetical, someone asking such a person how they felt about, I dunno, the Beatles' music, and the response being something like, Oh, Paul McCartney stayed at one of my hotels once. Big spender, Great guy. What's your favorite movie? You know, Madonna dropped $500k at the craps table at the Taj Mahal once when she was in town doing some post on Shanghai Surprise. How does anyone listen to that pathetic, weird old man for any length of time and not hear the festering insanity? How did such a person get into a position to gut the country so critically in just a couple of years?

We can all take a deep collective breath that the midterm election results at least show that we don't have to pull the plug on the old bird just yet. It's still on life support, but it's still life, and maybe even having a chance to breathe on its own a bit and start to recuperate.

But it will take more work, and lots of it. Because the results also showed that there are more horrible people than you'd hoped. I said after the 2016 election that those results raised the question of whether the country we thought we'd become with a black president had changed somehow, or maybe that election just revealed and confirmed what we really still had been the whole time -- a seething, teeming, bitter, vituperative mess.

There are a lot of assholes out there, and the thing has unleashed their energy; pure spite and id and moiling fury. Bad people can have good qualities, but if they're supporting something that inspires pipe bombers and synagogue spree-killers and yahoo border militias because they think it pwns libtards for them, well, they're still bad people in the end. Hitler loved his dog, yada yada.

The most dangerous thing about them is, if you really listen to them (not a suggestion, by the way) you find pretty quickly that since they neither know nor care what they're yammering about, there is nothing that will make them happy. Nothing. You could give them ten million dollars and they'd just waste it; you could kick out all the Meskins and they'd bitch that strawberries are now too expensive. You could shout Merry Christmas at them year-round and they'd wonder what happened to Blessed Memorial Day.

Nothing will make them happy because they don't want to be happy. The fight is all they have, because the fight is all it has. It campaigned on the notion that Obummer had turned Jebus' Nayshun into a flaming hellscape, and that worked on the addled and the butt-hurt. Complaining is all it's capable of, and so that's all they know anymore. More and more it is observed that the behavior is cult-like, and that's not an exaggeration -- nor, to them, is it a flaw. It's a feature.

The various anecdotal "toxic narcissist" diagnoses are valuable and sound pretty accurate, based on his (its) ongoing pattern of behavior. The great thing about firing Jeff Sessions is that it reveals how nervous and impulsive the narcissist is, and even better, that Sessions is a scumbag piece of shit who gave up a lifetime Senate seat for two years as a cell-block punch to a doddering psychopath. Couldn't happen to a nicer peckerwood elf. Sleep with dogs and all.

(Wouldn't put it past Sessions to try to get his seat back from Doug Jones in 2020, and it wouldn't be surprising at all if he succeeded. I mean, we are talking about Alabama. The only reason Jones was able to beat a bible-thumping child molester is because enough black women mobilized to the polls to squeak him over the line. In a rational world a fucking turd like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Thuhd would spend the rest of his miserable days in a tarpaper shack selling firewood and oranges and collecting aluminum just to get food to eat. You let the rest of us know when such a planet comes into view.)

But the meltdown at today's "press conference" showed how quickly it is spiraling out, beyond its usual thing-ness and blooming into its full Cthulhu fruition. It bayed at the GOP House losers who refused its sweaty embrace, conveniently forgetting the fifteen or so losers that it actively supported and rallied for. It picked fights with the (for them) rambunctious press dogs, culminating in Jim Acosta getting his White House press credentials revoked.

Acosta has become something of a whipping boy for this regime, and people can speculate all they want as to why, but the real reason is because Acosta is a pussy. He thinks that by accepting abuse at the Two Hours of Hate rallies, and talking to those angry losers like we're all on the same side, he's Doing His Job. He thinks that by asking canned questions of liars at propagandistic press events, and dutifully transcribing the lies, he's doing his small part to keep the Republic chugging along in all its free-press glory.

Well, fuck Jim Acosta, m'kay? It's bad enough when journalists become the story, but it's even worse when they become the story by ineffectually standing there getting abuse heaped on them. If Jim Acosta wants to really make a difference, getting his WH press card pulled is a fantastic opportunity. Why, he now has the freedom to go check out all the properties and the financial chicanery, the decades of corruption and lies and self-dealing and cheating. But we already know all that stuff, and it doesn't matter. True.

But you know what really doesn't matter? A fucking White House press conference, the one event where even the supporters know before the event starts that every single word will be a flat-out LIE. Seriously, who watches those things? It's just the corporate media getting their panel talking points for the day. That's all those things are, content for an industry whose model is predicated on curation. No value is added, at all. It's just something to get bozos riled up long enough to stick around for the commercials, to buy trucks and cheeseburgers and pharma poisons.

Despite the corporate media's coverage of every election as a Super Bowl event, the midterms are not the culmination of anything. The result is the beginning of something, but only if work is done, effort is made, if the right people are courageous and lucky enough to see things through. The Democrats are already preparing to make Nancy Pelosi the House Speaker again, and seem to be content to keep Chuck Schumer as the Senate Minority Leader. It would be difficult to come up with two less-inspiring individuals to lead this fight -- and make no mistake, it is already a fight.

These fuckers have two months to trash the place on their way out, and then they'll spend their entire time crafting narratives blaming the incoming party for the inevitable economic slowdown. And Pelosi will prattle on about bipartisan health-care initiatives, while Schumer trades his underwear for a stale candy bar at the prison commissary, while Mueller gets fired and the investigation get buried.

There were a lot of positives from yesterday, don't get me wrong. Dana Rohrabacher is out. Scott Walker is out. Karen Handel is out. These are rotten fucking people who have undermined their country and their respective states, and they should be treated like the weasels they are for the rest of their god-forsaken lives. Florida fucked the dog on their choices, as they are wont to do, but they're going to be underwater soon enough. They've been working on their karma for some time now, they just didn't know it. They will soon enough.

And again, this is just the beginning of a long road back. It's definitely possible -- 2020 is as bad for Senate Republicons as this year was for Senate Democrats -- but (again) it will take effort and boldness, and the ability to craft a compelling narrative and motivate people. This evil clown has been able to motivate morons with pure lies and spite; the party that supposedly has the entertainment industry in its back pocket should be able to find a couple of good script doctors and casting directors, and pull their fucking sideshow together.

Unless Chuck and Nancy are willing to change the tone and flood the zone, they can fuck right off. Again, just in the past two weeks:  a white racist walked into a supermarket and gunned down two elderly black people; a fanatical Chump supporter sent pipe bombs to over a dozen leading figures in the Democratic Party, including two former presidents; a white racist steeped in online racism walked into a synagogue and gunned down nearly a dozen elderly people, including a 97-year-old Holocaust survivor and two developmentally-disabled brothers. And all that fucking thing could talk about was how mean the media were to him. To it.

That's not what a normal human does or says, but it's exactly what a narcissist does, what a borderline personality does. It's what someone does whose only reference points with the rest of the world are things and people that reflect on him, on it. That's a smooth brain that crawls with worms, veering only between self-adulation and bitter rage at critics and doubters. Any company headed by such a person (thing) would automatically be in peril; any nation would be in constant danger of lapsing into violence and despotism.

So spare us all the platitudes about affordable health care and kitchen-table issues and all that shit. The planet is melting, this ludicrous cocksucker is wiping his ass with the Constitution, and the crazies in the attic have been let loose on the streets. Your tepid decorum will not save you; they will bury you with your dignity. Fuck or walk; fight or die. The choice should be painfully clear by now.

And in the meantime, all of us? Your wallet is the most powerful weapon you own. Use it, and then let them know. If enough people just do that, shit will change. That is a promise.

People talk about Rosa Parks not giving up her bus seat, and Mahatma Gandhi's practice of passive resistance. They have forgotten the specifics of what makes those stories valuable lessons. When Rosa Parks was arrested, it instigated a massive boycott of the Montgomery bus system. Gandhi led mass marches to the sea, where he showed millions of Indians the simple act of making their own salt, bypassing the British monopoly.

Money for simple, basic things that millions of people use routinely. Those are vulnerabilities for these predatory corporations that support and broadcast evil things. If enough people stop watching the regular Fox channel -- you know, Simpsons, Family Guy, football -- and let them know why, they will be forced to address their propaganda arm. More directly, if enough people boycott the sponsors of useless shitbags like Hannity and Ingraham, the "news" arm of that octopus will be forced to either absorb the hit or change their tune.

And if Disney takes over, well, you saw how they caved when Roseanne went on a Memorial Day bender. Between their amusement parks and networks and movie properties, Disney has vulnerabilities all over the place.

But it's a two-part strategy -- stop purchasing, and let them know. First one doesn't matter without the second one. This is something each one of us can do, right now, no need to wait for an election or rely on a politician.

It all depends on whether we're just as addicted to our outrage as they are to their outrage, if the performative act of gnashing our teeth at Rachel Maddow's nightly broadcast is a useful substitute for actually taking that same hour and crafting a form letter, and sending that to Hannity's top twelve sponsors. We all have to decide that for ourselves, and as the man said, choosing not to decide still counts as a choice.

[Update 11/9/2018 10:15 PST:  Can't believe I forgot this in the middle of all the boycott talk, but fuck Georgia and Florida and their fucking Third World election theft. Forget weasel words like shenanigans or tricks, this is theft, pure and simple.

Remember how quickly corporate America reacted when North Carolina passed their transgender bathroom ban? Not that that wasn't important, but how many individuals did that ban actually affect, in a state like North Carolina? Hundreds? Maybe thousands, but it's doubtful. We're talking hundreds of thousands of people being disenfranchised in Georgia and Florida, and they're not even trying to conceal it. It's out in the open. They are saying, as the thing's regime constantly says right to your face:  what are you going to do about it?

Obviously, Florida's economy is heavily dependent on tourism. Georgia has been positioning itself as the Hollywood of the South for some time. Again, each of these places has vulnerabilities everywhere you turn. Attack them all. Make them pay dearly.

Every one of these things -- banning Jim Acosta and presenting doctored video as evidence, the baldfaced lies, stealing votes, stopping vote counts and recounts, openly undermining what's left of the democratic process -- is a test, for us and for them. To the idiots who support the thing, it's Orwell's ultimate test from the Party -- to deny what one's eyes and ears are telling them, and mindlessly parrot the Party's lies in order to demonstrate fealty. To the opponents, it's also a test of resolve, but of the opposite kind:  how much are you willing to put up with, and what do you intend to do about it?

There are plenty of things you can do about it, beyond waiting for the next election, and beyond milling around in Times Square or Pennsylvania Avenue, in another crowd that will be forgotten by next week. Georgia seems intent on reverting to the state that produced scumbags like Bull Connor and Lester Maddox, rather than being the state that produced Jimmy Carter. If enough people boycotted Coca-Cola and The Walking Dead, it would get noticed. If enough people quit watching Gators and Dolphins games, 'murka's Wang would have to pay attention. Seriously, fuck these people. They don't understand or care about anything until it starts costing them.

Revolutions begin with humble, seemingly insignificant acts; as above, otherwise inconsequential things such as riding the bus and buying salt really did make a difference when enough people stopped doing them. It's time for all of us to ask ourselves:  why not here and why not now? They can wait out the demonstrations, but they can't wait out a full-on boycott.

Occasionally I'll ask my Clownstick-supporting friends and acquaintances, what will it take for you to change your mind about this asshole? What level of outrage is necessary for you to see that the cost of not changing really is greater than the cost of changing?

The same is true of the people who claim to oppose him and his dark satanic works with every molecule of their being, who insist that this is nothing less than a frontal assault against our bedrock institutions, indeed an existential crisis for the country as we know it (or at least prefer to think of it). If all of that is true, then to what extent are you willing to go to defend those principles, to protect those institutions from these criminals?

It cannot be repeated often enough:  wallets are much more powerful than ballots, and they are constant, not tethered to an electoral cycle. You can stop buying Coke right now. You can tell the Gators to go fuck themselves right now. You can call up that Miami hotel and cancel your vacation reservation right now. You can send an email to that Walking Dead sponsor right now.

If even a million people did those things, they would sit up and take notice. Go on YouTube and see how many completely moronic and useless videos and channels have hundreds of millions of views. A million should be easy. Or maybe we really are getting what we deserve, because enough of us are simply too stupid to keep going.

So what are we waiting for? Why are we dithering and wringing our hands at the latest cable pundit panel discussion, things we have no control over, and are only there to gin up fear and outrage? (Incidentally, while we're at it, fuck CNN right in the neck. You wanna know why that useless meatbag Whitaker is interim AG right now? Because Don Lemon and the rest of the dipshits at the "news" network kept having him on their panel chats as a "dissenting voice." Same reason you have that thing in the White House -- because all the media cares about is their canned panels and their goddamned horserace coverage. It's just gravy that they're still headquartered in Atlanta. Win-win!)]

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