- I don't care if Ralph Northam resigns or not; in fact, I hope he tells everyone to go fuck themselves, stays on, gains some sensitivity, and uses this experience to push more policies that will help minorities.
- I don't care that Elizabeth Warren pretended to be Native American years ago. At this point, I wouldn't care if she had pretended to be black. It would be nice if she could avoid any more unforced errors, though.
- I don't care how Kristen Gillibrand eats fried chicken, just like I don't care how Trump eats pizza.
- I don't care that Kamala Harris used to date Willie Brown, although he is a shady lech.
- I care a little bit that Amy Klobuchar may have been abusive to some of her staff, but uh, maybe you've heard a few things about what kind of boss Trump is. Klobuchar's real problems are that her proposals are as dull and lukewarm as a front-lawn kiddie pool full of piss, and no one is sure how her name is pronounced. Maybe she can rent a sense of urgency from someone.
- I don't care about whatever it is that Tulsi Gabbard has supposedly said or done. See previous point.
- I have river rocks in my back field. I could pick a random one, paint a face on it and give it a wacky name, like "Stone Rockwell" or "Dick Hertz," and it would be better than what we have now. You could pick a random dipshit from the stands at a Raiders game, and it couldn't be any worse. There is virtually nothing any Democratic candidate can say or do that would make me not support them against this motherless fuck -- unless they fail to go full-tilt against him. Failure to do that will only bring failure; fake Republicans and real ones, yada yada.
- I don't care that Rob Lowe made a lame funny about Warren's fake Injun heritage. I don't know what his politics are, and I don't care. I do recall that it was the Fox News website that seemed to be pushing the "story" the most, and that Lowe has a new career as a game show host. The show premieres on -- wait for it -- Fox in a few weeks. Hmmmm.
- I don't care that Liam Neeson clumsily used a story about vicarious revenge fantasies to promote his Mr. Plow's Revenge movie.
- I don't care about the Covington Catholic failsons (remember them from way back when?). Give 'em another fifteen years; the ones that survive their twenties will be ones you want to worry about, because they're exactly the kind of smug, dopey little shits that run city councils and local chambers of commerce, and eventually become judges or congress-critters.
- I don't care that Trump laid out a fast-food spread for the Clemson Tigers to celebrate their BCS championship, although if you think that being invited to the White House to have dinner with the chief executive is something of a special occasion, how special is it when you're fed something that a ten-year-old can get by walking around the corner and plunking two bucks on the counter? I mean, did he give them fucking Happy Meal toys while he was at it? He couldn't kick down for a few dozen of those fucking horsemeat steaks from his rat-infested resorts? Cheap, tacky asshole, through and through.
I really don't care that Trump is a lazy sack of shit who considers his morning routine of rage-tweeting and jerking off to Fox and Fiends to be "working." Are you fucking kidding? We will look back at this time and think about how lucky we were that he wasn't just stupid and arrogant, making his mendacity easy to follow and track (and prosecute), but lazy as well. The next one of these toxic faux-populists that comes along won't be as obvious, nor as useless.
A real dictator with energy and ambition would be rounding up opponents; Trump is just a whiny, needy old man who can't figure out why everyone doesn't love his tired insult-comic routine. His only friends are merciless butchers. How pathetic is that? He has to know that when that last White Castle slider finally does him in, they'll have to lock his remains in a hidden crypt somewhere. People would be lining up for miles to take a huge shit on his grave, and that's not a joke. I would be one of them.
But it's more because of how obnoxious he is in his uselessness. He's neither Hitler nor Stalin, nor even a tinhorn banana-republic despot like Trujillo or Noriega. He's a cartoon character who jacked up the deficit so that his country-club customers could have another layer of filthy money to do their Scrooge McDuck dives into. He could have actually done something, he could have done things to benefit all Americans, but he chose to....well, just look.
I call him a "barstool drunk" pretty frequently, and that basically covers it. Any Barney Gumble from any Moe's Tavern could have done what Trump has done. And he's clearly not capable of anything more, or anything else. Not only is this what he is, but it's all he is, and all he'll ever be. No matter how much or how fervently the cultists project their own sad fears and dark fantasies on him, this is it, just lying and shit-posting, all the way down. It didn't have to be this way, but this is how it is, and it's his doing.
But make no mistake: he's set a lot of unhealthy precedents, and opened a lot of doors that should have been nailed shut. The next version will be a lot slicker, smoother, more driven, more adept at getting the necessary people on his side to create a real movement with some real motion. This is just a bunch of elderly losers, sitting in their haunted hick-town diners "just asking questions" about why those people are so uppity. Imagine someone like, say, Ben Sasse, but evil and mendacious.
(I don't much care for Sasse either, but it's more a matter of degrees of disagreement. But he's young, charismatic, reasonably intelligent. So imagine someone with those traits, but also savvy enough to cultivate an online presence that builds up the kind of name recognition that was really Trump's ace in the hole all along. That's the person to watch out for, and there's no rule saying it has to be a guy. Look at the female weirdos and creeps and assholes on that side of the fence, from Ann Coulter to Sarah Huckabilly Sanders to Tomi Lahren. Women can be complete fucking assholes too. Never forget that.)
The internets have turned into a ginormous Skinner box, and we're all just rodents conditioned to smack the metal bar for our daily outrage pellet, sputtering our impotent virtual outrage at friends, strangers, bemused passers-by. There are certainly things we should be pissed about, but Kirsten Gillibrand's eating habits are never going to be on that list.
But again, there are some bad actors in our corporate media, jerkoffs who disgrace their profession by playing their stupid little horserace games. Obama with the mustard, Kerry with the Swiss cheese. Those things are not "news," they're cheap heuristic signifiers, semiotic tricks to be played on addled halfwits who for some reason actually vote. And fuck anyone out in the free market that actually consumes that tripe. They're the real fucking problem. These useless asshole theater critics, they can all go jump into the nearest wood chipper. They hate this country and everyone in it.
This is the problem that everyone faces, regardless of political position -- when infinite amounts of free data are available, no one values it anymore, and they eventually forget how to value it, how to corroborate and prioritize such data so that it becomes useful information. It's just something that is reacted to or ignored. It is no longer connected to a coherent epistemology. It simply becomes a consumer choice, a way to idle the time until the next virtual be-in for the next imaginary outrage.
So what should we care about? How about that the planet we leave for our children and grandchildren is even more likely to be severely compromised than we previously thought -- and sooner than we previously thought. From mass extinctions to more and worse episodes of extreme weather events to inexorably rising sea levels, this century is not going to end well for our descendants.
Unless you're one of the increasingly rare breed of swells living the pelf-driven life, the fortunate few whose wealth insulates them from the consequences of the real world. Wealth and income inequality is the other major thing worth caring about, because like climate, it will impact everyone, and there will be a high degree of wasted production and potential contained within.
We like to tell ourselves that the super-wealthy earned every dime, that we shouldn't punish success and hard work. But most average and poor people work hard too, and they don't even make enough to get by, much less get ahead and enjoy that good life. A good chunk of those one-percent fuckers didn't work for a dime of it. Plenty of spoiled failsons and lazy mediocrities who will live lives of luxury, while millions bust their asses in eternal futility. Is that the "meritocracy" we've heard about? You know it is.
The idea that three individuals (even if they actually earned it) own more wealth than fifty percent of the population should at least give consideration to the small corrective notions of a 2-3% redistribution tax, or a debt jubilee, or just making them pay their fucking taxes without any abatements or loopholes or repatriation of offshored funds.
It all ties together, folks. The same merchant princes who get rich from despoiling the earth and polluting your water table are the exact same ones who own the media and rent the politicians and game the system to their own ends. Because they don't know what the word "enough" means. Because they have a warped, perverted relationship with money, and they have a selective memory of how they got it, so they are willing to step across lines -- lines that don't even exist for most people -- to keep their hoard and add to it, out of your pocket if necessary. (And -- but you already know this -- it's always necessary.)
So imagine yourself as one these billionaire merchant princes. Would you use your media minions to keep the rabble distracted by nonsense, and occasionally pit them against each other, anything so long as it diverts them from the hands that are always in their pockets? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. It doesn't matter, because they are doing exactly those things. Because it works, and because no one has ever given them a reason not to do those things.
The peons do have some small power to give them that reason, but again, it requires work and attention. Ballots and wallets, folks. Yes, we can all do the Bernie-bro snipe about voting for two sides of the same coin or whatever. But ask yourself honestly how things might be different if just eighty thousand people in three rust belt states had shown up on that day. You know? All the talk about the game being rigged and votes being suppressed and all that is true, no doubt.
But everyone has a camera in their pocket now, and everyone can film the corruption of the process, the worker at the voting precinct who "can't find" the Democratic ballots, or the rows of voting machines that "just happen" to not have any power cords. As I mentioned recently, when North Carolina had their transgender bathroom ban weirdness a couple years ago, corporate 'murka got fuckin' woke hard. But the state of Georgia disenfranchises tens of thousands of black voters, and corrupts its process right out in the open? Not a goddamned peep from anyone.
I support the right of NFL players to kneel during the anthem, and to write op-eds protesting law enforcement treatment of black suspects, even if those things have had no actual effect. But in that spirit, could a few of them have taken it upon themselves to protest the Super Bowl, held in a state that had just had an election that was more befitting a Third World country? Real fuckin' integrity y'all got there, folks. No one's saying you have to (or even should) protest every single thing, but voting rights? Come on.
Another example -- the Ricketts family, who owns the Chicago Cubs, is a bunch of irredeemable racists. So, uh, maybe boycott the fucking Cubs, as well as TD Ameritrade (which is where Joe Ricketts made his money)? Can we find any sort of pattern here, one that can be deployed against these fuckers?
We've always been wise to the bullshit propagated by the Gilded Age wannabes, and they've always known and not cared. Make them care. The challenge with bottom-up action [giggity] is that you never know who else is going to join in and make it a truly collective action. Are you doing this all by yourself, and if so, why?
But that's the same challenge of voting, or even of becoming a fan of a new band or teevee show. Am I the only one watching this show or listening to this band? Will the band break up, or the show get cancelled? But you keep doing it simply because you know you should, because the rightness (not the righteousness) of it resonates with you.
In the end, it's simply a secular Pascal's wager, where the best outcome is a return to the dull thrum of gutless incrementalism and boring technocrats plying you with empty promises to not send your job to a Third World country. Which is still a better outcome than the doddering priapism of a preposterous grifter and his scummy lackeys, but still, very difficult to stay motivated about.
But some good things happened last November, and so it's actually possible that even better things can happen in November of next year. It all depends on attention and motivation. It's up to you.