When I was staying at the Crossland on Harlow Road in the summer of 2014, there was a group staying a door or two away from me that kept one of the chairs from their kitchen area on the exterior hall-cum-balcony in front of their unit. For over a week, I saw at least one person sitting in or standing next to that chair on a cigarette break every time I came or went. I’d leave for work at a quarter or ten to eight in the morning, and someone would sitting out front having a smoke. I’d come back from work at 3:00 or 3:30, and someone would be having a cigarette on that chair. I’d pass out during the evening news and wake up at 7:30 or 8:00 pm, and someone would be on the Smoking Chair again. I’d walk over to the Dari Mart on the verge of the midnight witching hour for some Scandinavian stress-eating and yet again someone would be, as they unfortunately say in the other old country, sucking down a fag.
The Smoking Chair was hardly ever empty for more than a few minutes at a time. As far as I could tell, it was vacated only for the purpose of bathroom breaks and maybe a quick bite to eat now and then. There was no telling who would be posted to the Smoking Chair from hour to hour. Four or five different people regularly frequented it, sometimes two at a time, but more often solo. These people were low-class but perfectly civil. I never had a bit of trouble with them. They seemed to keep to themselves. I’d come across them chatting with one another from time to time, usually in naturally calm, quiet voices of the sort that are rare in most American subcultures. Very often the chair would be occupied by just one person who was simply sitting there and (almost always) nursing a cigarette. I rarely, if ever, saw anyone neurotically minding a cell phone. I don’t recall seeing anyone reading any sort of printed material on the chair, either; this did not look like a literary crowd, although I assume its members were all respectably literate for low-class Americans with limited formal educations. They appeared instead to do a great deal of contemplation, silently for the most part, and without anything looking like discomfort about their momentary quiet and solitude. Being perched on a third-floor balcony with western exposure (where the doors became scalding to the touch for several hours every evening), they got to see more than their fair share of sunsets. They could have walked around the building to watch the sun rise over the Cascade foothills, too, but that would have meant wandering away from the Smoking Chair.
I always felt reassured by their presence, even though most people from their caste background loitering in front of a motel room near mine would have put me on edge. Looking back on the Smoking Chair, I realize consciously what I only unconsciously sensed at the time: that these were emotionally and socially some of the best-adjusted people I’ve ever been around in my life. I could have asked for more neighborly neighbors, but I couldn’t have asked for better ones.
The Smoking Chair was one of the premier cultural institutions in Lane County that summer. Unlike, God help us, the Saturday Market, it didn’t attract hordes of obnoxious freaks. Its users were a down-to-earth lot. One of them appeared to be wrestling with some demons that he didn’t want to discuss too much, even with his friends from the Smoking Chair, but he was damn classy about his troubles in any event.
I was working more or less full time much of that summer at farm job that could be grueling, so I could have claimed the right to indulge in scandalized outrage that these freeloading loafers were sitting around in front of their hotel room on a fucking kitchen chair while I worked for a living. I didn’t, because I wasn’t a blame foolish idiot. As far as I could tell, my neighbors at the Smoking Chair were occupied with little or nothing in the way of payroll work, and they certainly weren’t preoccupied with it. But I had gone through devastating stretches of long-term unemployment and was intensely grateful to at long last have a steady, well-paid job. Why in hell should I have resented some apparently unemployed neighbors, especially ones who made better use of their unemployment than I could have envisioned for a group staying at a residential motel in a mill town? I had a job, a paycheck, and another Social Security credit on track to vest every two to five weeks. It was hard to wake up and get out the door as scheduled most mornings, mainly because my sleep schedule got really weird, I’d often be close to exhausted on the drive home in the afternoon, and on a few occasions there was something about the job that legit sucked for maybe half an hour at a time.
Compare the understated neighborly virtue surrounding the Smoking Chair with this outburst of slimy filth from Hillary Clinton, as excerpted at Naked Capitalism:
I strongly argued that we had to change the [welfare] system…I didn’t think it was fair that one single mother improvised to find child care and got up early every day to get to work while another stayed home and relied on welfare…The third bill passed by Congress cut off most benefits to legal immigrants, imposed a five-year lifetime limit on federal welfare benefits, and maintained the status quo on monthly benefit limits, leaving the states free to set benefit limits…I agreed that he [Bill] should sign it and worked hard to round up votes for its passage
Catch that? One woman suffered the Christlike passion of having a job while the other sat on her ass all day and sucked on the public teat. This mindset, boiling over as it is with resentment bordering on pure hatred, does more to dishonor work and the virtues of work than any public assistance beneficiary does by sitting on ass and not hustling to get a job. Dole rats rarely get up in the faces of people who work for a living, or who pretend to do so in a crude attempt to convince everyone that what they call work is actually some barely legal fraud or extortion. (Mixups in my Mind yelling at rush-hour commuters about their carbon footprints is the exception that proves the rule, because he’s out of his fucking mixed-up mind.) It’s almost always the other way around. It’s almost always the employed who indulge in obnoxious, malicious preening about their own (formal) employment as a way to verbally batter the unemployed. Being solipsistic asswipes, and sometimes the next thing to political thugs, they inevitably miss the huge portion of public assistance that goes to the working poor. Some of them deliberately omit this portion as a way to smear all food stamp and Section Eight beneficiaries as a bunch of parasitic layabouts. This latter cohort of vicious Randroids, I have no doubt, includes Hillary Clinton.
Maybe the most stunning thing about Hillary’s comments above was that she published them (with extreme premeditation, since they were part of a political memoir) as a mother. I know a number of stay-at-home mothers, and none of them shows any sign of being lazy or derelict. My dad cut back his hours at work for a number of years in order to stay home with me when I was little, and later in order to drive up to a hundred miles a day in the course of getting me and some classmates to or from school. He tends to be extremely well organized and disciplined around the house, in contrast to any number of office workers who use their political clout to be total jackoffs in exchange for paychecks and fringe benefits.
Raising children is hard work. That this has to be pointed out by a childless bachelor to a mother who has held high office and is seeking the US presidency as a soi-disant leftist should be excruciatingly embarrassing to Hillary Clinton. I burn the bitch with the sickness, and I’m not even trying. I’m getting hyped up on a tallboy iced coffee at the Carson City Dunkin’ Donuts while I vomit the first thing out of my head into the WordPress cloud. What the fuck do I know?
Of course, the reason why I’m not the one making a grand ass of himself in this matter is that Hillary Clinton seems to be completely beyond embarrassment. Count me in on the woman card. Bitch you serious? That woman did a Gandhi-style communion-with-the-masses stunt on the New York City subway, and she couldn’t figure out her farecard or the turnstiles. This was reminiscent of George H. W. Bush’s amazement at the sight of electronic scanners when he condescended to make a state visit to a supermarket, except that nobody really expected anything less sheltered of H. W. He was a Connecticut Brahmin fuddyduddy who made halfhearted comments about his love of Nitty Ditty Itty Bitty Great Bird while eating pork rinds. He wasn’t an overbearing, cutthroat, social climbing schemer who angrily insisted that he was a proxy for all of manhood, in addition to representing the working class. Maybe this is one of the rewards for electing old money to high office. Hillary Clinton epitomizes grasping, gluttonous, vicious, insatiable new money at its worst. Her husband was POTUS, she herself was a US Senator and remains Madam Secretary no matter how many Secret Service agents she tells to fuck off by way of thanking them for their service, and she’s beleaguered by bigoted misogynists because one of the least self-dealing members of her old August Body (TM) has the nerve to accuse her of not being a straight shooter. The Bern and his Bros are getting in the way of the election of the first woman president, and also the first first lady president, and this is self-evidently for no other reason than her having lady parts. It’s because these male chauvinist pigs don’t like a strong woman. Come to think of it, I’d like to see Emada Tingirides run for governor of California just to show by contrast what an insufferably whiny bitch Hillary Clinton has made of herself for the past three decades. There are nonvaginal reasons why Hillary is controversial.
Back to the childrearing thing, which Tingirides has done, like, twelve times as much of as Clinton has because she has actually raised six kids, if I recall correctly. Yeah, there’s probably some cheaper-by-the-dozen stuff going on, so brace yourself for the unending annoyance of Steve Martin, but still. Hillary had Precious Snowflake, singular, as one does, and then had the staff (the Village, if you will) do much of the work of raising the brat while she Leaned In to her career of commodities trading and real estate fraud. The brat married the son of a different crook (this one confirmed, not merely suspected) and has lately been accusing Bernie Sanders of trying to destroy employer-provided health insurance by expanding Medicare. Tommy Douglas must be flashing the toothiest smile ever at the sight of this freak show of public-private corruption. Hillary raised one child with extreme amounts of assistance from household staffs worthy of Downton Abbey, but, having previously averred that It Takes A Village, she complained that some other bitches were allowing the village to pass them love offerings to help her raise their welfare brats. Through it all, she expects these entitled welfare queens to get a damn job and stop mooching, as if they aren’t sacrificing anything by raising children. The burdens tend to fall hardest on the mothers, a widely accepted truth that one might expect Hillary Clinton, the feminist, to mention. Instead she’s bragging about how she got her husband to throw these lazy hood rats–I mean, uh, I’m not racist, but–that she got her husband to throw these ghetto-ass bitches under the bus for not working hard enough. I don’t always announce Millington for sheriff endorsements, but when I do, I prefer to announce endorsements from people who had Vince Foster whacked. Or maybe it’s just a class thing, as it is when she curses out men who would jump in front of her and take an assassin’s bullet for asking her how she’s doing.
Millington, she’s brandishing a table, and she’s looking like she’s about to throw it. How are your batteries?
Yes, Brandenburg is bae, and mercy, it’s frightening how apt the whack-a-mole Kwesi Millington memes are right now. As they say, in Soviet Canada, Constable Millington smokes YOU! Likewise, in Soviet Republic of Arkansastan, Slick Willie smokes YOU, after you tell the executioners that you’re saving your dessert for afterwards. We might say that that was done with a different kind of Smoking Chair.
It’s easy to lose track of just how evil the Clintons are. I’m not kidding when I say that they’re coldhearted enough to have their enemies assassinated. Monty and the gang were nothing worse than accidental murderers, and they scared the hell out of Canada.
Robert Dziekanski and Ricky Ray Rector, pray for us. No, Thomas Clement, you aren’t off the hook, either. Just look at this moral junkpile of a nation. We’re having some trouble down here, and it isn’t because we take leisure with our tobacco.