Conversations with Tara Reade’s managers

Luke O’Neil had a brief item in his most recent Welcome to Hellworld free subscriber e-mail about one of the old country’s posh and her reaction to these maidless times:

The other day I saw a British lady post that her kids don’t flush their turds and she has to do it now that the maid can’t come over and it was supposed to garner sympathy of some kind I think.

England, where I assume this lady lives, although I may be wrong, is governed again by people who have never done their own laundry or grocery shopping. This is apparently not the case in Ulster and definitively not the case in Scotland, where ye cannae get Sturgeon to suffer such a cunt, and I leave it to others to examine the Welsh, but this style of posh idiocy waxes and wanes in Westminster over the decades. Thatcher greased the skids for its reintroduction into mainstream British political life at the dusk of the trente glorieuses, which were not so glorious in parts of the North, in significant part due to Maggie herself.

Blithering public school twerps like BoJo have always been more popular in the Home Counties than in the North, let alone the fringe Celtogaelic holdings, and I again leave it to the peanut gallery to make sense of Wales. The North-South divide in England is stark. The heavy industry has always skewed north; the white-collar strivers cluster around London and the Greater Southeast, i.e., roughly the Home Counties. The dumbest cheerio bullshit seems to come out of the South, especially the provincial-suburban interface and the secondary cities. The South throws more block party picnics to celebrate coronations than the North. White Van Man, if I recall correctly, is a south-skewing suburban phenomenon.

There’s obscene, absurd wealth all over Great Britain (although not so much Northern Ireland, from what I can tell), but some parts are peopled by a public that doesn’t mind telling the toffs to bugger off if they won’t show some consideration. BoJo, like Trump, tacks populist, so he’s an exception from the stuff ye back into ye britches ye dense twat rule. He listens, the working class figures, and he tries. He’s an idiot, of course, about all sorts of things. It shows up in his government’s ridiculous public health directives pursuant to the Dread Ailment. It showed up in his whistling that rude sentimental ditty about the gook broad in the Shwedagon Pagoda, right beside an ashen-faced career diplomat who begged him to be silent.

Good stuff.

Regardless of their local estate ties, the British upper class aspires to a posh Home Counties accent and a bearing suitable to the smart parts of London. Hence our bitch above, the one too prissy to toilet-train her own children. Heavens, the governess is not here to clean up after Alastair; what ever shall we do! Hey, ya miserable cunt, heya’s an idear: flush the bloody doo and be done with it. When I find the shitter in the Sebastopol Safeway backed up with a stranger’s floaters, I track down the store manager; I grab the plunger, unblock the fucking drain, flush a couple of times, reload the bowl, and flush again. Yes, it’s gross, but grow up. But here we are, faced with the great scandal of this crisis of public health: that it renders absent and unavailable the servants required to flush downstairs that which the half-feral children of the country’s aristocrats and future prime ministers produced upstairs.

Good stuff.

*****

America has always harbored versions of these useless crybaby wastrels. We got our first infusion straight from the most enclosed parts of England, or in some cases via the West Indies. They proliferated in earnest throughout the Gilded Age, then got the message from Roosevelt and his constituents to tone it the fuck down right now or be lynched. These elites have resented the restraint forced upon them, not only for the nation’s survival but for their own, ever since. Much of the evil and dysfunction we see today is their handiwork. They and their upper-middle-class subalterns, not the disaffected working classes, drove the Reagan-Thatcher revolution. Lasch was right that the elites were in revolt; what he got wrong was the thrust of their partisan affiliations, although he was partially vindicated by the late nineties, shortly after his death, by the consolidation of the affluent cosmopolitan vote under New Labour and Clintonworld.

Lasch focused on the American upper middle class, in particular those he took to be cosmopolitan bohemians. David Brooks eventually followed in his footsteps with his weakly entertaining “BoBo,” or “Bourgeois Bohemian” framing of a striver subculture that by the time of his writing already reviled the old Bohemian loaf ethic, would come to revile it ever more intensely from then until now, and did everything in its power to purge its children of any interest in taking the time to explore and observe the world, let alone enjoy it. After all, you gotta keep up the hustle to tap dat sweet intern ass and achieve the Second Mountin’. Much of our national literature, all too predictably for a society whose discretionary income lives with the Baby Boom, is recursive prose retellings of the midlife crisis archetype. But I really shouldn’t have picked on the nonfictional offerings before remembering that I’ve read Franzen. (“Ugh. He’s the person everybody wishes had died instead of David Foster Wallace.”)

The gist here is that the salaryman can have a little mistress, as a treat. Lounging around buck naked in hot tubs was never the worst thing the Boomers did. They had to dry off and get dressed to go do M&A work, and that isn’t really what happened, either; rock-ribbed Republican scumbags hustled in on the yuppie jobs as much as anybody, and plenty of bohemians, of various strengths of attachment to the work ethic and the job market, got ruined.

The thing about America’s Gatsby-adjacent wastrels is that they’ve always known they’re unusual. The only part of the country where a mainstream gentry culture really took hold was the Planter South. In the Northeast, the upcountry South, and across to the West Coast, the rich knew they were different in ways working to their disadvantage. There was too much self-consciously abstemious Puritanism in circulation for them to fully lose sight of it, even at the height of the Gilded Age. Elite Northerners were also likelier to live in large cities, not on plantations or in industrial company towns, exposing them to ordinary citizens who did not directly report to them or their deputies. What could a WASP do about Boss Tweed? Bitch about micks?

As I said, the obliviousness and in-your-face arrogance waxes and wanes. It took the Depression, which started years after the Army Air Corps bombed striking miners in Colorado and decades after the mass deployment of Pinkerton strikebreakers, to bring the elites partially to heel: that is, to get them to make do for a spell with what they’d already strongarmed out of the productive members of society and stop flaunting their prosperity in the rough parts of town, formerly limited to neighborhoods like the Bowery but now encompassing the entire country. This came as a shock to the summering classes and those perceiving themselves within reach of their wealth, It pissed off industrialists and small businessmen alike. It provoked shrill whining about Bolshevism. It didn’t matter to them that FDR was no Lenin or Stalin, but an American Bismarck.

The Great Depression bore many lessons. We have since forgotten many of them, as witnessed by our still struggling to emerge from our Second Great Depression. Forget the horseshit they tell you on TV; I’ve got enough numbers on my side, including official ones, to make the case. Among the lessons forgotten: the poor we will always have with us; they are our fellow citizens; their grievances are valid; if they are ignored or told to hold their peace, the shit may well hit the fan.

*****

Tara Reade was late on rent. One has to shudder at the thought of what this nation would do without the free press to watch over its welfare and safeguard it against the chance that moneys owed by a struggling woman bouncing around the residential gray market in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, and incidentally accusing the presumptive Democratic nominee for the presidency of forcible rape, not being in hand on the first of the month, right on time. How would we, as Californians, now I used to sleep at rest areas several times a week, but how would we, as Californians, enforce our birthright to temper our real estate equity with rent payments?

These were the goods that Politico and the NewsHour had on Tara Reade. They had a story about some aliases, possibly shady but also possibly indispensable to get a fresh start after evictions and negative landlord references, and they had a claim that she inepty handled consituent mail, and they had a story about how she enthused about working for Joe Biden, contradicted by roughly contemporaneous testimony from other landlords that she had told them about sexual assault at Biden’s hands, and there is of course the divorce affidavit in which her ex-husband swore that she had privately accused Biden of sexual assault, but mainly they had a handful of bad references from her former landlords. She was a deadbeat. She missed rent. She contested extrajudicial eviction efforts.

The other claims they had were from former colleagues, most of them now career staffers on Capitol Hill or otherwise professionally and very gainfully employed. She loved the job. She loved Joe. She mishandled the mail.

The personal is the political, as these assholes all show. They resent and hate Tara Reade for standing up to, rather than by, their man Joe Plagiarism. They’ll have us know that they succeeded in their careers where she failed. They’ll have us know, tacitly but resoundingly, that they make rent. Does Lisa DesJardins sound like she’s domiciled down the row from Mark Judge in that UPS Store?

The Democrats have cast their lot with the professional-managerial class. They’re the part of the cosmpolitan, the jetsetting, the professionally successful, or at least the professionally aspirational. This constituency, they assume, is one of lovely, unobjectionable, universally beloved role models, disliked only by fuming Republican bigots. They get steamed up like a tower of shumai baskets whenever they discover anew that this is in fact a widely reviled constituency, one hated no more by permanent Republicans than by Democratic voters who can’t stand the GOP.

Their attitude towards disaffected downwardly mobile scions of educated Democratic families is one of horror and outrage at the apostasy. We have the temerity to leave the reservation. This is why they dig Pete Buttigieg. The Booty Judge is a hopeful, positive, optimistic kid who recognizes the good things his parents’ generation has given him and is grateful for them. He gives thanks. He doesn’t pout about how it isn’t enough. He gets career-track jobs. A lot of us are over here whining about our bad lot, falling in with a blustery shanty Jewish Brooklyn socialist agitator who bummed around Vermont straight through his late twenties and thirties and didn’t get a real job until he was elected Mayor of Burlington. Don’t we see what they’ve done for us? They’ve given us every advantage in life! They’ve given us everything!

Everything, that is, and oddly, except jobs. That’s the thing about well-to-do Republican parents. They take their driveling idiot spawn and place them directly in positions at the family company. They directly hire their families’ sex pests, degenerate gamblers, druggies, hopeless spendthrifts, thugs, losers who can’t do a thing for themselves but get toileted and dressed, and then only when they’re vaguely sober, and other undesirables. Does Eric Trump look like he’s ever had to interview for a job?

The thing about rich losers like the Trump kids, Jared, the fucked-up dude Giuliani sired, and so forth is that their sinecures are not exclusive to the children of celebrities or the very rich. This isn’t something that starts at the Bush Tier. I used to drink with a guy in Manayunk who was grossing $110k a year for an executive job, or “job,” at the family tool company. This guy sustained $3k in dental trauma when he got trashed and tripped on the R6 tracks (but he emerged weeks later with nice new front teeth!). He wandered around the yuppie bro/sis crash pad where his crew lived, barely ambulatory and nonverbal. He dropped absurd amounts in tips, like $40 or $100 or something a night, for bartenders he was trying to pick up. He played six online poker screens at a time and lost up to $7k in a week: several times his gross salary, down the fucking shitter for nothing. His father, also a raging drunk, filled whole refrigerator compartments at their shore house with metastable piles of Yuengling bottles. He had, I don’t really fucking know, five or six cases of glass beer bottles shoved into a half-assed honeycomb stack in the bottom half of a full-sized fridge with two or three shelves removed, right above a bare concrete floor. This wasn’t beer that he was keeping indefinitely in the garage after a big run to the package store; it was the short-term stash he was KEEPING COLD.

This joint was never a meritocracy. There were better people than either of those two to run a manufactrer and its sales and distribution arms for six-figure salaries. There are plenty of quick studies who know manufacturing inside and out and do not have compulsions making it impossible to make ends meet on $110k when they’re living without dependents in a midmarket shared rental house. My point isn’t that I need somebody to give me a job already, although I would not object from the outset, but that we need to recognize how this fucking place is actually run. Showing up to this race with “skills” rather than a direct job placement is a fool’s errand. Peter the Booty Judge is well into the top decile of scummy PMC bullshit artists. The average faculty brat has nothing on that oily shyster.

That dude who was making $110k at the family business was about my age. I met him by the age of 25.

Affluent normie Democrats put their children at a significant disadvantage by refusing to recognize the prevalence and efficacy of this style of flagrant favoritism in hiring. It’s sleazy, and it’s bad for society, but with these stipulations, the question is what we’re going to do about it. Do we set up LLC’s to ape them? Do we push through tax policies to disadvantage and deter that kind of shit? Do we arm both sides of the conflict and do a little of each? If we figure that blood is a bit thicker than water, can’t we conclude that it’s probably harder to get fired by a parent or another close relative than by some career politician or nonprofit executive who is not kin?

This is the same shit Democratic officials do before Republicans: fold like cheap beachware. They play to win, but we can’t; it would be unbecoming. They give their loser children jobs, but that would be unbecoming. Oh no, Speaker Pelosi is becoming; she’s just a savvy investor.

How DARE you not vote for these dedicated public servants just because you think they want to kill you. You only think they’re psychopaths because you’re a paranoiac who reads too much samizdat.

*****

The official bill of particulars against Tara Reade has three main components:

–First, that she crashed off the career track and into a spotty, chaotic job history;

–Second, that she crashed out of the prime rental market and into subprime markets, including marginal work-trade and informal rooming arrangements of variable legal enforceability, putting herself in a position to be criticized by former landlords; and,

–Third, that she broke rank with an officially favored presidential candidate in the thick of the coronation process, committing apostasy against him and his party.

Nobody fucking cares that she lied or if she lied. If she were hounding George Nori on the Wildcard Line with stories about how Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama ran train on her in a flying saucer while Rob Ford and the aliens watched, they wouldn’t give a shit. Best I can tell, Coast to Coast is a community that respects a trope-honoring whopper well told, although that might be taken as too political, and low-class campfire stories are a great way to discomfit and annoy PMC liberals.

More relevantly, they would not object to a scurrilous rape smear on Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. They constantly lie and bullshit and tell delusional stories about both men themselves.

They’re angry specifically that Reade came at their king, and they’re really angry with her for coming at him with an accusation that rings true. The guy LOOKS and ACTS like a rapist. Have they watched any of the footage of him rubbing and fondling and nosing people in full public view? This is not fucking normal behavior. He yells at people in public, invades their personal space, and utters fighting words. Bernie gets endless flak for pointing his index finger and raising his voice at other presidential candidates from his own podium on the debate stage.

Biden is a rude, vulgar man with poor impulse control. This has long been the case. It predates his mental decline. The Democrats’ furious complaints about Trump feature his rudeness, vulgarity, diminished mental state, and poor impulse control. They insist that they can beat the Oaf of Office with a version of his worst vices reworked as an endlessly longwinded car dealer turned city councilor who talks over colleagues and constituents with stream-of-consciousness rambling about process. They insist that they can beat a publicly accused rapist who bragged about crude foreplay with starlets on a hot mic, with a publicly accused rapist who habitually caresses colleagues and total strangers and sniffs their hair.

They think they can beat the guy who installed Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh with the guy who installed Clarence Thomas. Biden less infamously but even more hilariously spent so much time gushing about Samuel Alito’s fine character that the nominee himself could barely get a word in edgewise to make his own case for confirmation.

This is a fucking clown show. Their idea of electability is an abrasive asshole who apes Trump as a boor and a pervert, but as a self-aggrandizing Model UN gasbag, not as a fun standup comic, roast artist, and god-tier shitposter. Again, this is because the Democrats are a party of, by, and for joyless nerds. Their Dudley Do Right Robert’s Rules of Order act predictably falls flat and puts ordinary Americans off, and they just as predictably whine about how unimaginable and unfair this is. Well, shit, maybe try something else that people who get out into the real world think might work.

*****

Democratic strategists are eager to win the youth vote. We’re defining youth broadly here, up to at least 35, probably 40 or 45, maybe even 50. They often say that demography is destiny. They look at demographic trends in Texas, for example, which show a swelling electorate of young Latinos in urban areas and reliably Democratic border counties, and forecast an imminent breach of the Solid South. Like cold fusion and perpetual motion, it’s always just a few years farther off than forecast, a horizon that stays tantalizingly close and yet so unreachably distant. The wonks are sandbagged by their own habit, all the more unfortunate for self-professed data nerds, of making extrapolations measurable in the decades from bulk aggregate data that are credibly valid for the current electoral cycle in the US House.

Let’s be honest here: I know more about this shit than they do. Losers like Nate Silver sat in TV studios all night in 2016, more stunned and dumbfounded by the half hour, mumbling about how, uh, huh, duhhh, huh, huh, how did Trump win, nobody saw this coming. Who the fuck is “nobody?” You and your equally idiotic associates who never speak to anybody between Leesburg and Midtown Sacramento didn’t see it coming, but I fucking did. These shitwits preen about (extremely nerds voice) My Data, but they don’t konw what to do with it. They’re clueless. Scanning the Great Lakes, I immediately saw thousands of county-level wildcards throwing every state in the watershed except New York and Illinois into clear contention. (St. Lawrence, pray for us, that we might have geographical discernment with respect to Vermont.) It was possible to eke out a victory with none of the Great Lakes swing states, but that meant sweeping the Southern swing states of Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina, holding Nevada and Colorado, and probably winning some combination of Iowa, Arizona, and Missouri, I was convinced that these were far from the only credible swing states: I was fully prepared for any combination of Colorado, New Jersey, California, and Oregon to break for Trump, and possibly Washington State.

They’re here to do it again, this time with a widely hated reactionary mush-for-brains gasbag sex pest instead of a widely hated reactionary harridan scorned.

Trump is obviously crooked as all hell. Billary had but one Lincoln Bedroom to let. This fucker rents out his own overpriced branded hotel rooms and golf carts at his lame, overrated resorts to the Secret Service and suitors looking to do business with his administration when he has Camp David at his disposal on next to no notice. The accounts of Mike Pompeo debasing his already dorky tryhard ass with Traficant-tier demands for butler work on the federal dime are gross; Jim at least dressed well, gave some good-ass speeches from beneath that rich layer of layers of hair, and leveled with us about how we all want wider bottoms.

So why do they keep running these reviled crooks against a reviled crook? They’re either hopelessly arrogant or looking to lose and blame their social inferiors for not voting blue no matter who. Last time it was the commodities insider trader and Whitewater racketeer with the private e-mail account full of official correspondence of thoroughly questionable morals. This time it’s the Senior Senator from the State of Freddie Mac-Visa, long known to be a grabby piece of shit, lately accused on the record of forcible rape, brains dribbling out of his ears while he barks at factory workers like Grampa Bregoli to meet him outside. I voted for Bernie Sanders, a guy who was ready to go the distance and win that thing; don’t fucking blame me for barring this stinking dog pie from the White House.

Crunching the numbers on the matchup of old voters versus young, white versus brown versus black, college- versus high school-educated, and so on and so forth until the returns pour in doesn’t explain what the hell Biden is supposed to do to assuage younger voters that he’s turned the page on the bankruptcy “reform” bill that he shepherded into law, making their student debt nondischargeable. Gee, you’d think maybe he’s not the guy to rock the youth vote when he did that. It isn’t some ancient shit from back when James Blunt was in a club with you, singing here we go again, like the brouhaha over school bussing. That bill was enacted in 2005. That’s roughly half the duration of a full term in the United States Senate before he was sworn in as Vice President.

The same assholes who command us to forget about Biden’s starring role in the Clarence Thomas fiasco, when he was middle-aged, and his starring role in the bankruptcy ratfuck, when he was getting into old age and on the cusp of the vice presidency, constantly bitch about low-information voters. Cut a punk some slack. What the hell is it about familiarity with these episodes that is low-information? They’re just fucking making shit up as they go. Low-information means ignoring or forgetting the most famous, or infamous, highlights of Biden’s career, such as the bankruptcy bill, the Thomas/Hill clusterfuck, the cultural appropriation of the Honorable Neil Kinnock, and the touchy-feely shit. Fuck outta here for insinuating that I’m ignorant.

*****

This is the point where the Democratic Party has to choose a horse and ride. They’re indulging in their quadrennial snit that they built a house divided against itself and it’s now threatening to collapse. There are consequences to fielding a senile, disinibited, vicious gerontocrat who consigned damn near an entire generation to debt servitude so extreme that they’re afraid to start families.

And for what? Our degrees are more worthless than ever on the job market. More and more of them are in bullshit fields for drooling retards, like marketing and communications. I’m not speaking for myself here, but for my age cohort. I have a degree in the liberals arts which, as a standalone intellectual background, is worthwhile, and I have, thank God and my parents, never taken on student debt. My degree, too, however, is worth jack fucking shit on the job market, based on everything I’ve been able to discern. The job market has been strategically trashed, and I’ve seen things that I will never unsee precisely for remaining enrolled in a fancy undergraduate college whose prevailing culture I was pretty sure, and correctly so, was toxic.

Besides, that is not the point of the liberal arts, and anyone who isn’t lying or uneducated knows it. Dickinson College couldn’t even give me a liberal humane education without exposing me to entire communities of vicious, antisocial armchair thugs, bullies who had no business interacting with their peers without direct chaperone supervision. They goddamn well knew they were admitting trash on a pay-for-play basis. That school is the academic equivalent of the backwards counties in Alabama whose tax base is dump fees assessed on New York City garbage barges.

The entire premise is thoroughly fraudulent and inconsistent (something we see so abundantly and wretchedly with the Democratic Party that I can’t be bothered to scrutinize Trump too closely on the same points): oh, we’re giving you a liberal arts education, and we’re also teaching you critical thinking and writing skills (lolwut), and we’re also teaching you the soft skills that will give you the confidence to find your way in the job market and the world, but oh, no, we don’t just set you up with jobs or anything like that. What we have are career fairs (the ones Rutgers hosts are on a fucking train line) and virtual career portals (What, Monster? Craigslist?) and networking events and etiquette luncheons (Ah, like the shit my mom threatened to enroll me in for socialites’ wayward children at Neiman Marcus, back when I was, like, seven).

There’s nothing where they actually deliver the goods, like Harold Washington or some shit. That’s on the individual alumnus. They will, however, gladly blackmail disaffected students with bad references on their permanent records should they drop out and tar alumni who didn’t have their shit entirely together for bullshit distribution requirements in late adolescence with poor GPA’s.

It’s the same shit bad landlords pull. Our institutions conspire to materially disparage the noncompliant as a means of retaliation and to threaten the currently compliant with material disparagement should they slip. Universities do this with no distinction between gross anatomy in medical school and 100-level undergraduate survey courses in world religions. Landlords do this with no distinction between late rent and whole-ass Steve Bannon hydrochloric acid in the bathtub.

This is a thoroughly, deeply immoral regime. It is blatantly prone to corruption. I don’t know quantitatively how much financial bribery, sexual quid pro quo, blackmail, and similar perversion there is in these businesses, but I do know that this sort of corruption is much more pervasive than is publicly discussed. There’s no way around it. The embarrassing seediness of Rick Singer’s discount window admissions scam offers an idea of what parents will do, and pay, just to get their kids in the door.

I ended up accidentally turning to Tom fucking Wolfe for the warranty details years after I graduated, when I read Hoyt Thorpe’s dimwitted absorption of the medieval warrior/priest/slave caste system and his construal that he absolutely would have been a Roger Young-grade hero back in the War, as opposed to a sporadically violent drunkard too pampered to ever consider ROTC and a trip or two to the desert. The liberal arts, Wolfe helpfully taught, are studies for those who are liberated from slavery, via a selective form of liberalism. Good to know, cracka. Fucking proto-alt-right gonzo novelist writing about two or three characters who are not morally repulsive and hanging out at UVA house parties in a cream zoot suit had the decency to lay it out straight, probably because his publisher collected only one fee at the point of service.

Truly this is a world in which even the men can be harlot womens.

Joe Biden clearly has the worst possible motives for pushing college education. He’s manifestly using it as a conduit for the enrichment of his banking cronies, and that is not a thing people do without taking a cut in one fashion or another. He’s exactly the kind of morally and intellectually vacuous weathervane who will push bachelor’s-level STEM vo-tech one year and old-timey Great Books humanities the next, depending entirely on the prevailing marketing. He’s exactly the slimy con artist who will conflate the liberal arts and vocational training, for utterly fraudulent reasons, until it’s impossible to disentangle the two.

At some point we have to take this shit back to the drawing board. What in all hell is wrong with a co-op arrangement? What in the everloving fuck is wrong with admitting applicants to specific departments or courses in bachelor’s programs, with transfer approval available for those who aren’t jagoffs? What’s the problem with part-time enrollment?

If we’re going for the Bright College Days of Wine and Roses Mr. Chips socialization bollocks as our reason for charging all-inclusive per diem term fees working out to some shit like $280, can we at least have the decency to shoot for a Grove City-style reckon you’ll be marryin’ one a these here broads deal? They at least admit that they’re crass like that. Whatever the equivalent of the MRS degree is in the men’s division, they’re offering it. There are worse things than turning thirty with an amicable divorce and an excuse to visit Fort Wayne sometime. I’ve written in the past about my Charlie Robertson-adjacent excuse for a dating life, back when we were merely freshmen but the Brooklyn Jew from Cleveland Heights was somewhere around forty. I nearly wrote that as Charlie Rose fml: not worse, just different.

Do, however, watch out if you go to Boston, lest you be forced to get Charlie off. #CHAHLEE!

*****

Joe Biden has a knack for positioning himself squarely at the intersection of some of the worst trends in postmodern American life: metastatic incarceration, institutional financial corruption, crooked shenanigans involving inscrutable foreign businesses and his own unemployable crackhead son, student debt, rigged Democratic presidential primaries, undisclosed personal assets and conflicts of interest, gerontocracy, sexual dissolution under color of authority, tenant-shaming, generalized poor-shaming, electoral brinksmanship. This is a bad dude. It’s bizarre to argue that the incumbent a man of this atrocious character is challenging is the sine qua non international standard for mental and moral dissolution in public office. Like, get real, you’re all caping for a man who leaves a LOT more room above him than below.

I consider it a personal affront and offense to be told to vote for this thug. That PBS/Politico hatchet job on Tara Reade alone burned me by smearing her for having shitty job and rental histories and not handling incidents of workplace mistreatment perfectly. The personal is the political, and I take these political outbursts personally. They found people working in a city and a business with some of the most manifestly bad mental health I’ve ever witnessed to smear a former colleague as a maladjusted fuckup. They found former landlords to publicly accuse her of being a liar and a deadbeat.

As one shitposter beautifully put it, “‘She was rude to Californians.’ First of all, good.” Reade is a Californian herself, but most of us get the point: she rented on the gray market from exactly the types who cash out and flood Oregon, Idaho, Austin, and Middle Tennessee with their disruptive home equity, distorting the housing markets wherever they swarm. We’re way past the point of having to tell her haters, look, if you have a problem with her for being your socioeconomic inferior, that’s on you, not her. What percentage of Americans could possibly stand the combination of procedural bullshit and social toxicity that prevails in Washington? Even the ones already there hardly can. It’s all mentally ill alcoholics who do business in the pews at Tim Russert’s funeral mass, and to be clear, what we mean by business is standing up for the welfare of people who rent out spare rooms in exchange for chores on their horse properties in Atascadero.

Everything about Joe Biden disgusts me. He encapsulates every major aspect of what’s diseased about American politics. He’s a grandiose, arrogant prick who brags with no self-awareness about being humble. He’s a rich man who feigns modest means. He’s a dissembler who pretends to be a plain speaker and a crook who catfishes as a plain dealer. He’s a known groper and very likely rapist who brags about his concern for women’s welfare and safety. He’s a bizarrely, disgracefully prejudiced man with more than his share of outright racial bigotry who brags about how he served under a black man, the latter being the half-white son of a Kenyan father he never knew and both of them having presided over the wholesale incarceration, immiseration, and bodily poisoning of black neighborhoods. He’s an advocate for the disinfecting power of sunshine who keeps records likely illuminating his history of sexual depravity under seal. He’s a loudmouthed meritocrat who got his unemployable son a lavishly compensated corporate board position for which he was blatantly unqualified and almost certainly incompetent. He’s a foreign policy scold who screwed around, via the same crooked, coked-up son, in the same restive part of the world where he insists that his opponent has no right to pursue his own objectives as the sitting president. He’s an exceptionally senile septuagenarian who is being promoted as the indispensable alternative to an age peer who can talk circles around him, an elder so far gone that any private citizen in his state would have relatives clamoring to have him placed under guardianship or conservatorship in a home, who we’re told to flee to for judicious command of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.

Every one of these moral failures is fundamentally disqualifying. He’s a liar, a phony, a fraud, a cheat, and a thug. It’s wryly desultory that he got run out of the 1988 primary on a rail for plagiarism, of all sins. The same party that told him to fall on his sword for jacking Neil Kinnock’s speechwriter’s shit now insists that he is compos mentis when he can’t consistently string a coherent sentence together, can’t control his temper in the face of scrupulously civil questions from the public, went incommunicado for weeks to recuperate from a debate, and couldn’t enunciate “legislature” in a prerecorded video address cobbled together from dozens of cuts.

The nominally left-wing major party ratfucked its most viable candidate, not coincidentally one of its leftmost, and then paid off the remaining centrist challengers to drop out, all to abruptly clear the field for this predatory, hopelessly brain-damaged son of a bitch. They’re already orchestrating the apparatus to blame ordinary voters with weak and weakening Democratic affiliation for Biden’s upcoming loss, along with voters who will eagerly support downballot Democratic candidates who do not stand for Biden’s evil. The Democratic Party, as an institution, is little more than a cult dedicated to the abuse of people it mistakes for its members. It’s whole shtick is, “I beat you less than your husband, sweetheart,” punctuated with explosive outrage every time a voter insists that her husband doesn’t beat her at all.

The husband in this case is, for better and mostly worse, Donald Trump. It’s not his fault that he’s more gracious to many of the Democrats’ target voters than the Democrats are themselves. It’s not his fault that an opposition party heavy on Watergate babies has entirely forgotten Muhammad Ali’s line about the Viet Cong. Paraphrase it thus: no thicc moist boi ever called me a loser. Multiply it by twenty or a hundred million or whatever. Bone spurs! Many such cases!

A wide swath of the upper middle class–roughly the Brahmins, under Mencius Moldbug’s caste framework–are codependent with the Democratic Party. They refuse to consider or examine its proliferating depravity, unmovably convinced that it is the last defense against an evil madman. They refuse to look at its collaboration with the same madman on matters including mass surveillance and omnibus budgets that lavish largesse on the most wastefully reactionary projects Trump and his aides hold dear.

The conspiratorial thinking is spreading, not just through Hillbot deadenders and other crypto-Republican trash, but through genuinely center-left voters who cannot be convinced to soberly examine their party. They dismiss Tara Reade as a lunatic and a fabricator. They point to the floorplan of the Senate hallways and well as proof that Tara Reade could not have been assaulted in public view. They dismiss outrage over his aggressive bad touch as overreaction, newly insisting that his unwanted shoulder-rubbing and hairsniffing and other habitual acts of extremely forward physical contact are within prevailing social norms and would not get a private citizen battered on sight.

Biden’s promiscuous physicality is grossly, flagrantly aberrant. There are avoidant and repressed people who get weird around physical touch that is socially appropriate. I’ve had a number of interactions in which I tensed up while other people were touching me in basically appropriate and reasonable ways that I found deeply moving and welcome but had no courage at all to express, even physically. The point still stands that these most of these interactions were not weird. I’ve had at least one with a homeless guy who was totally harmless but off-the-wall psychotic, but that obviously falls into an entirely different category because he was insane. Joe Biden is demented but sane. He’s familiar with social and moral norms governing physical touch. He’s a scumbag, not an idiot.

Ashton Carter did not want Joe Biden all but making love to his wife during that press conference. Joe knew it. He cut it out and stepped away when Carter turned from the podium and looked at him. Here was a quiet, conscientious career public servant of exceptionally low bluster and bullshit for the Beltway speaking at a press conference, and the fucking Vice President was off to the side, distracting him by rubbing up on /Borat Voice/ my neighbor’s wife.

Joe was fully aware of two circumstances: first, that he was a top-level Secret Service protectee, and second, that Ash was not the kind of man who would step up and full Jonathan Josey flat floorplank him in front of the television press pool. The Secret Service is enough to deter most men from avenging their wives. The 77th Street Division night watch might be, but your mileage may vary.

This fuckhead gets away with it because he’s under the 24/7 eagle-eyed watch of the one federal law enforcement agency that everybody knows will rumble, tumble, and bodily take a bullet at the drop of a hat. It’s absolutely preposterous to argue that this is not a bubble of extreme privilege. It’s hiding in plain sight, or else just behind the scenes with its own direct lines of sight, every minute of the day.

It doesn’t matter that battery is illegal. Nightclubs and bars do not overflow with horny-for-rules dorks. They’re full of possessive, animalistic, drama-fueled drunks and cokeheads. The cult nerds who cover the White House live in a bizarre parallel universe. It isn’t just that they don’t get out of the imperial center and into, say, Winchester; they don’t even get out into, or really even around, the District’s seedier nightlife. If they do, they’re absurdly oblivious. Roosh and Roissy/Heartiste channel raw, ugly animal energy straight out of the DMV. It’s some real Jekyll-and-Hyde Amendment–feel free to strike from the record to taste, if you have any–some real Jekyll-and-Hyde shit.

The abundant evidence that Washington swarms with sex pests who rapidly cycle from angel to ape and back works wonders to corroborate Tara Reade’s testimony. It paints the cultural context of Biden’s career. He’s spent almost his entire adult life in an incestuous professional community peopled by characters including Brett Michael Kavanaugh, Dick Pic Tony, J. Denny Dundiddly, and Gateside Downlow. What leavening, these ones.

Washington’s horny-for-rules nerds HATE the unabashed naturals in their midst. Their resentment and embarrassment and humiliation are primal. Even Anthony Weiner was too real for them. His whole deal was, Jesus Christ I’m a freak, okay, I’ll keep it in my slacks and off the screen, oops, Jesus fucking Christ I did it again. It was like Martin Luther’s old gig as a monastic confessional pest, but in semipublic and full public, and about flashing his junk. It might fly in parts of Europe, or at least be something that the locals would approach therapeutically, but we’re way too prudish and salacious a country for any of that. Then we have less surreal swamp critters, guys like Slick Willie, who barely stayed on the good side of the more liberal and less repressed parts of the horny-for-rules squad by tempering his horn for that sweet poon-flavored tang with longwinded wonk-ass horseshit. They still cherished Josiah Bartlet as their boring alternate-timeline president, Nothing But Respect, but they found him tolerable.

Donald Trump they find utterly intolerable. Washington teams with powerful men who grab women (or men!) by the privates, but goodness, one does not speak of these embarrassments. Trump accidentally got Billy Bush to apologize for being a horndog who enjoyed locker room talk, but he never so humiliated himself. Guys like the Donald and the Big Dog stoically stand their ground. It’s easy to see how Clinton unnerved, say, Larry Craig.

None of the scolds will admit that they’re so much as human. That’s why they get so upset with Trump for being hot-tempered, impulsive, and openly shameless and are so much cooler with Jared Kushner for looking like he just cleared immigration at Roswell. Bill Clinton pretended to give a shit, and he enjoyed the act with an exuberance that endeared him to people possessed of unabashed human feeling. Donald Trump infuriates and horrifies them because he entirely does not care. He does business proudly beyond the pale of their prissy respectability politics.

They admire Biden for squirming around in the uncomfortable middle, between ape and angel, and having teams of retainers frantically clean up after him as he shits the floor. This is the Washington Way. It’s deeply scandalous to be a messy, unabashed slut like the Washingtonienne, walking around the Hill with a reporter in tow on a return visit for her book tour, pointing and snickering at the idle staffers who used to work with her, calling them, on the record, losers who don’t even have workloads and just hang around gossiping and gawking at the disgraced lol, like, I got some dick and hoes mad. Meanwhile Mr. McFeely is up there humiliating himself with mealymouthed quasicounterfactual nonsense about how if he believed he’d done what she said he’d done he wouldn’t vote for himself. At last, a vote of no confidence from the government of the Independent Republic of Himself. Gee, gramps, maybe that’s the cue to bow out.

Do these wretches have a humiliation fetish? Dick Pic Tony knows he suffers from something along those lines, always putting it out there, knowing that women will take one look and say ew. He sounds like a guy who couldn’t get it up for his wife because she wanted some. A psychosexually disordered  political party can always use some psychosexual analysis (ooh, I just said “anal!”). There we fucking have it.

*****

Affiliation with either of the major parties in the United States is a path to madness. Both of them are deeply, violently diseased. The main difference is that the GOP is a death cult of, by, and for psychopaths who play to win, while the Democratic Party is a dysfunctional cult of perennial losers organized roughly along the lines of Aum Shinrikyo by junta.

The Democratic Nomenklatura live large on the avails of every illegitimate revenue stream they can commandeer. From their perch on high they enforce Stockholm Syndrome on the ambivalent portions of their bougie base and just outright bribe the crass, ruthless portions with liberal cuts of the loot. These two portions overlap in complicated, bizarre ways, but they’re together or apart, they’re key to the whole operation.

Think of these two strata, the Nomenklatura and the lesser but still successful PMC front-row kids, as Orwell’s Inner Party and Outer Party. To properly understand the towering shit-lubricated Napoelon that is the Democratic Party, however, we must integrate its broad underclass. These are the strata that are barked at about how they’re Democrats, too, even though they get next to nothing good from the Party and huge amounts of material and psychic mistreatment. The Inner and Outer Parties share the sniveling, impossible ideal of consolidating the educated and the affluent into a permanent electoral juggernaut. The math will never support this nonsense. Somebody needs to stay behind and run the joint: keep the lights on, serve and bus the tables, clean up, make sure there’s food, and so forth. That is, we still need losers to feed, house, clothe, and obsequiously serve the winners. The winners have extensive, elaborate wants, so the servant class must proliferate to meet its demands.

This goal of building a permanent Democratic majority by poaching Republican voters from fucked-up exurban SuperZIPs–CB East, Loudoun and Prince William, the Research Triangle, the soul-deadening expanses of Greater Dennydundiddlyland, the Paneras of Alpharetta–is embarrassingly infeasible. It’s also embarrassingly unwoke, this audacity of the caucasity, to exclude America’s people of color. They’re losers for not staying in school, but we can’t say that, and besides, it’s easier for the Party to harvest Mexicans by the precinct in El Centro than it is for the Mexicans to harvest the lettuce. If you have a problem with my phrasing, be advised that I have done commercial farm work and you have yet to shut the fuck up. I am qualified to discuss relations with (extremely growers voice) Our Wetbacks.

Imperial County and the Rio Grande Valley are easy pickings for the Democratic Party because the GOP is still fielding a provocative Yanqui bigot. Joe Biden’s Latino outreach is said to be shambolic, but the Democrats would have to make a dedicated effort to plunge below 55% of the vote in the colonia counties or the barrios, from their current 60-95% range. Whether they admire these voters or look down on them (it’s totally the latter), they’ve got them in the bag.

Working-class Mexican/Chicano neighborhoods have some of the highest fertility rates and numbers of youth per capita. This excites the Democratic Nomenklatura for two overlapping reasons, both quite crass. First, it’s a way to have a poor minority client pool outbreed the middle-class Mormons, evangelicals, TradCaths, and other problematic (read: noncompliant) whites. They already do the gardening and the nannying, so it’s only unfair that they raise a voter crop for the Party to harvest, too. Second, success stories of the first birthright generation staying in school, studying hard (unlike disobedient PMC brats from old white families and, let’s face it since the Dems won’t, plenty of Chicanos), and growing up to do something upwardly mobile and professional for a living, as opposed to cutting lettuce in Cesar Chavez-standard English. We can’t have them learning the high-caste language if we don’t segregate them from the underclass at the first opportunity. Good God.

We’ve now done some light dabbling in Millennial Success Stories pursuant to the American Dream. That’s one of the things we don’t mention about the immigrant scab labor model: the whole point of it is to keep acculturated, socially engaged Americans from crying foul on bad job sites and alerting the press or the authorities. Putting the campesinos’ kids on the escalator to success is a way to pretend that we’re just warming the cold in the melting pot for centuries on end and in no way exploiting the vulnerable. It’s a dig at native-stock slackers who, correctly, take the academic and professional rat race for a shakedown and a scam, an artificial operant conditioning apparatus designed to proletarianize all who march into its maw, not a necessary component of a productive society. The celebration of immigrant honor students dovetails beautifully with Amy Chua’s Think Like A Chink, Bank Like A Chink self-help series. Mama Tiger is a robber baron AND a moral busybody, you see. Having read the language above, you’ll surely be forgiven for assuming that I pimp out young women under my academic authority to a leering, foultempered Irish pervert with a cocaine problem and a federal judgeship.

Do we seriously imagine that Chuck and Nancy care one whit about the children of immigrant domestics and strawberry pickers? About the maids and pickers themselves? Of course they don’t. They use these people as cudgels with which to threaten and abuse the native stock. They gush about these ingredients in the national salad bowl with the same energy Muammar Qaddafi used when he threatened to flood a freshly agitated European Union with negroes. It’s the same energy Hillary used to threaten us all with Donald Trump. The whole gang is now threatening us with Trump. Go ahead; tolerate this madman.

Come to think of it, I may take them up on the offer. If nothing else, he upsets shitheads in “public service” whom I despise more and more by the week. Many of my age peers would never go so far, and they have good reasons, but if the Democrats are going to run on the basis that they’re standing up to the worst man ever to hold the presidency, they might want to convince voters they’ve alienated that he is, in fact, the worst man ever to have held the presidency since Barack Obama.

Oh. Huh. How bow dah. Rehabilitating W, too. We tolerated some folks. We still tolerate some folks.

The other key downmarket Democratic constituency, the one they revile the most for its apostasy and threats of apostasy, but whose electoral loyalty they still demand, is the downwardly mobile. Speaking just for myself, if we’re choosing between a rich scumbag who disses Nancy Pelosi and a rich scumbag who praises her, I’m going for the guy who aggravates her and her dumbass epic clapback fans. Yes, there are other factors; I’m aware of them, as I’ve enumerated at such length above and will continue enumerating for God only knows how long below. It’s not like they’re trying to contrast Trump with anyone decent or normal. Anthony Fauci is probably the closest, but he’s at least nominally apolitical.

They’ve run the litany. Oh, for Chrisssake, Trump is ABSOLUTELY worse than Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Harris, Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, Cuomo. Oh? Are you sure about that? Are you sure WE’RE sure about that? I exclude Warren from this list of dishonor without hesitation, but many do not.

In their estimation, Trump is the only crooked, coarse thug of questionable mentation in the running for anything. He’s the only con artist. He’s the only bad person. Everyone opposite him is not him and is by definition better than him.

I seem to have a much more positive, or perhaps less negative, opinion of Trump than most of my age peers. I don’t mind it. I’d be happy enough to vote for Elizabeth Warren just to be done with him for a while, and especially with the twerps and lunatics and grifters he collects along the way. She’s normal and responsible enough for me to move past the Cherokee fib. What I cannot move past is the atrocious character of so much of the field, including the new heir apparent. A few were great (Bernie, Marianne), a few were good (Yang, Steyer, Warren, Castro), a few were mediocre (Booker, Beto), and an unforgettable medley of them were atrocious. It’s impossible for me not to wonder what the hell is wrong with the party and its core base that it coughs up these collections of slimy goody-two-shoes sellouts, dungeon mistresses, meanspirited sexual deviants, hall monitors, RA’s, all-around crooks, out-of-touch toffs, and mush-for-brains scolds.

I don’t see how anyone who isn’t nuts can look at them, look at me, and conclude that I’m with them. Questions about this line of reasoning cascade into mind. What the fuck have they done for me? At least Liz tore Bloomers a new one the week after she ratfucked Bernie. The rest of the late-cycle mainstage centrists? Jack shit. What have they done for my peers? No, let’s flip it: what have they done TO me and my peers? That’s easy: they’ve violently shit our bed. The bar they’ve set is low enough for Trump to clear on a regular basis, even when he’s broadcasting to his Highlanders on Radio Mille Collines.

For months, probably years (why even track time?), the #Resistance zealots were fuming about Trump being a rapist. Predictably as the moonrise, they got most bent out of shape over his pussy comment, which was a stretch to construe as a declaration of serial sexual assault, a stretch to construe as a true story about anything at all, and at the very worst a private comment about something he said he’d done. This is a man who used to walk into locker rooms while sweet sixteens were getting dressed for his beauty pageants. This is a man who bragged on the radio about how he had the hots for his own daughter, who is now in working in his administration and said to be blackmailing him for leverage. The endless carrying-on about the pee tape, the holy grail of Russian kompromat, distracted from the fully established fact that he is already the subject of American kompromat over his public declarations of incestuous lust.

E. Jean Carroll’s accusation of forcible rape feels oddly desultory. In any normal political context it would be a bombshell. The problem is that she’s too calm and focused about the incident. She isn’t flipping her shit about how Trump bragged that he clumsily gropes starlets’ vulvas.

We’ve gone into the funhouse for real now that Biden is officially an accused rapist. Rape is okay now. He did nothing of the sort. I’d let him rape me. Tara Reade is a scurrilous loser.

This is all psychotic. In the midst of this I’m hearing conspiracy theories about Biden being smeared with deepfakes to make him look senile. It could explain some of the dirt the Republicans release, but it can’t explain the lezheshuhshuh video’s ongoing publication on the Biden campaign’s official Twitter account. The flood of simultaneous, contradictory excuses and justifications and rule changes is exactly the fascist argumentation that Trump and his team are so widely accused of deploying. A bunch of 2020 primary candidates and their campaigns did NOT pull this shit: the Yang Gang, the Orb Gang, Booker, Warren, Castro, Steyer, the Bernard Brotherhood. I can’t even recall Klobuchar or Buttigieg running the fog machine like that. Harris came close, and of course the K-Hive is out of its fucking mind.

The pussy hats are the equivalent of walking around the city hall grounds with a magenta dildo in hand and a placard saying that Roseanne Barr told me she’d twist my nuts. That’s too generous, on second thot: Trump said nothing in that comment about who he grabbed, just groupies who kinda liked it because he was rich. I somehow forgot until just now that Ivana Trump, his first wife, accused him of spousal rape in an affidavit during their divorce proceedings. This is why we’re upset that he made locker room talk with Billy Bush. He bragged about goosing groupies with the sticky finger to a guy who sounds like a wall-mounted talking blueberry bush for sale on late-night TV.

This shit is too wacky for Milton Street. He’d change the subject to how he got arrested at the 7-Eleven in Moorestown.

*****

The falsely accused elder statesman of utmost chastity whose aggressive sexual ministrations would be an honor and a privilege to receive is now, we are instructed, to be rewarded with the presidency. The very framing highlights the difference between Biden’s stage-managed gaslighting and Trump’s stream-of-consciousness ADHD bullshit artistry. If they’re both gaslighting us, which one is worse? Biden can’t remember what he said one sentence ago, but his handlers and fans follow the script. Trump doesn’t care what he said last paragraph–is this even a style of speech that can be broken into paragraphs?–and his fans don’t, either, but he’s the one who can draw a clock.

I keep saying: he’s the more lucid one and the more entertaining one. Romance us on our way to the electric chair, Mr. Thurmond! Okay, that’s an old Democrat they had to wheel around in an adult diaper that he could no longer change for himself at a time when he had no idea where or who he was. That’s what it takes to be a Senator. There might be exhumable bits available to replace Joey Lobotomy when the time comes.

We’re told that Biden was not on the list of the worst Capitol Hill sex pests. Great. That’s like those inflight magazine ads for double eagle steakhouses, but for guys who will push you up against the wall and shove a hand up your skirt. I knew Jack Kennedy, and Senator, you’re one hell of a Jack Kennedy.

This is what passes for tangential exculpatory evidence. A legislature with no more than 535 voting members has dozens of these members specifically blacklisted by staffers as known sexual predators. Don’t worry: Joe Biden wasn’t one of them; he just worked with them. This is the institution Tara Reade defamed as a toxic workplace. These are the halls where she could not have been assaulted in public view by a powerful man whose colleagues routinely sexually harass subordinate women and even colleagues in front of others.

These stories demand answers. American high society loves hazing, but what is the point? Spell out exactly what we get and exactly when we get it for putting up with that shit.

Of course they won’t answer. We’re the impertinent ones for questioning them. They’re all working through the process at the dick sucking factory, and we’re getting in the way by demanding that they represent us as our elected officials. It’s the same thing with college: there aren’t any warranties, just cherrypicked anecdotes and falsified statistics about thriving alumni. A bright-eyed young woman might go far on the Hill, or she might crash and burn, and if she burns out or drops out or gets kicked out, those she leaves behind will smear her as a loser and a hater and a liar.

This whole society is a blackmail shakedown. Some creep is always waiting in the wings with disparaging information. She was incompetent. She was lazy. She missed rent. She talked back to landlords. She got evicted. She got fired. Claims of this nature raise questions. For example, so fucking what? Reade fell somewhere below maybe the 75th percentile of residents on the Central Coast for cash and credit on hand when rent came due.

This is scandalous in workplaces and social circles drawn overwhelmingly from the top decile, such as Capitol Hill. Washington is a big clique of rich kids who are furious with the poor kid for calling foul on their sacred blackmail and gatekeeping operation. These are amoral schemers who know how to work the system to their advantage. They look down on those who can’t and resent those who refuse. They believe, wholeheartedly, that citizens should have demerits hanging over their heads: bad grades, bad test scores, negative performance reviews, bad credit scores, bad employer references, eviction records, criminal records. These demerits are fit for subjects, not for monarchs or lords or privy councilors.

They hate Tara for flipping the script back on them and their king. She weakened the leverage that dutiful scumbags who stayed on the career track have on perverts like Joe Biden. She exposed the whole outfit as a hall of degenerates. She exposed everybody who’s passionately invested in the sacred Beltway norms of discretion and dues-paying as self-interested moral degenerates. These weren’t even things that hadn’t previously been disclosed, other than the details of her rape accusation, but they hate her nonetheless for calling attention to the notoriously scandalous community standards of a promising but ruinous career track she couldn’t endure in an institution many Americans despise.

They hate and resent and fear those they can’t blackmail or silence, and who denounce them for ruling through blackmail and admonitions to silence. They hate a turncoat. Theirs is not a place to break the omerta.

That’s precisely the PMC’s objection to Tara Reade, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and a resounding majority of the eligible electorate. They talk back. They cry foul. They blow the whistle. They’re dissidents.

They’re rude to Californians. Boy howdy do I know some spots in the neighborhood where I can do that.

Summering with Nancy in the Heart of the Shitty

We are not, as a polity, going to have a coherent one this summer. It ain’t on the agenda, fam. Our once-in-a-century plague, all too likely a preview of more frequent coming attractions, will not take the summer off here any more than it has taken the permanent Philadelphia summer of Southeast Asia off in Singapore. The sun comes out. The barbecues and beer coolers follow. The sap rises. Melanomagenic public nudity beckons. School’s out.

Is any of this a thing that can be cancelled?

Or, government depending, school’s back in session. The only student I know of who applied himself for summer school was a kid back east who told his teachers that he would be damned if he was gonna land on the crew at his father’s paving company again. Kid had to work to maintain his grades. Universal homeschooling has not gone too swimmingly this spring, and congregate schooling in July and August will be controversial, to say the least. The months of May and June are straight down the shitter in an ordinary school year anyhow. The old sap is up too high to focus. Of course a vigorous young thing can get worn out pulling titty at four in the morning in Ferndale any time of the year, but shit, Bessy, who am I kidding? I’m entirely too agrarian-minded for this country.

We’ve lost instructional hours, they say. We’ve lost learning. The bottomless spring break (giggity?) will disrupt the instructional flow for our hardworking young people, in contrast to the annual summer break, which never does that. What percentage of Americans have any idea of how we ended up with a summer break from schooling? 8% of students? Two fifths of teachers? Supposedly less than one percent of Americans live on working agricultural or pastoral properties. I think I’ve heard figures of two million in total.

It’s wryly entertaining that these earnest doofuses construe instruction as the purpose of the American K-12 schooling apparatus in the first place. What planet do they inhabit? At least the commute to ours gives them scientifically relevant experience in space travel. Gotta take what we can in this business.

It seems the modal American is thoroughly ignorant of the contours of the postmodern superstructure holding our country together in a state of haphazard civilization, let alone of how this superstructure interlocks with the past, or as some of the sober among us think of it, real life. Food comes from Whole Foods. It contains the whole store of the foods, right? Sure. There’s no point to explaining these things willy-nilly; we choose our battles to fight. To the fish, before its conversion into sticks, what is “wet?” Wha, whaddaya mean, what’s “wet?” Ah, you aren’t from around here, either! The music immersion program in these parts is phenomenal, Mr. Ross. Say, why don’t you play some? Goodness, it’s the summer. What else would we do? Toil on farms all day, like a bunch of wetbacks?

Wha, whaddaya mean, “wetback?” They’re all dying in the desert. That’s how badly they desire to come here, as aliens.

Brenda Jorett herself posted photos of her own decadent ass lying in the Jersey sand when she wasn’t scolding the kids these days for having no work ethic. We’re all just working for the weekend, cranking it out for the opportunity to lay out. Why, yes, I did personally know some wretchedly self-satisfied jagoffs back east. You may have read about them.

Much of this is arrant bullshit. It’s beside the point. This is the culture we inherit and now steward. As the dumbest, most brainwashed motherfuckers on the face of the earth like to say, it is what it is. It’s our programming. The point is a more intelligently and reputably stoical one: we’re in no position to expeditiously roll back several generations’ worth of hardening cultural idiocy that’s been woven straight into the drapes of the dysfunctional funhouse in which we live out our very weird communal hangups over sex and work (separately or in tandem) just because we’re getting our sick on.

Well over a tenth of the US population lives in California, and most of that lives on the maritime side of the crest. With spring mostly behind us, the only thing we can do now is to pray for a wet summer that is not on deck. We’ll be lucky if we get some good and heavy coastal fog. We’ll be lucky if the June Gloom has any soporific effect at all this year. The cabin fever is only getting worse. The beaches down south were a mob scene over the weekend. Contrary to popular belief out of state, it usually cools down and clouds up noticeably along the Pacific seaboard going into summer, and the summer fog is in no way exclusively a San Francisco thing, but the forecast so far looks good, and that means it looks nothing but bad.

Nob Hill Dreamboat is uneasy, and he has every reason to be. He’s in charge of a hive with no queen bee. Getaway traffic surges unstoppably out of the metropoles when the sun comes out. The only things the authorities can do, realistically, are to close parking lots and deploy spotty park patrols. Spring erupts and a hundred thousand motorists all descend on the same hot spots with adequate parking for a quarter of them. This is what happens with or without a pandemic, and as they say in the dumber parts of Pennsylvania, this year we’re going with.

Look at it this way: Gavin Newsom is the governor of California, not of Instagram. The problem isn’t comfortably or safely housing 8,000 or 16,000 residents per square mile in a city, as the horny-for-sprawl urbanist squad is now concern-trolling in the name of public health, not just in the name of Joel Kotkin’s grandmother who always hated Brooklyn. That’s bollocks, and Kotkin is, as always on urban density, full of shit. Another outer-borough Jew with a chip on his shoulder needs to work out his insipid personal problems: who cares?

The actual problem with California’s urban planning is a thornier one, because it’s cultural in nature, not infrastructural. Eight million private cars are garaged in the same metroplex on direct lines inland from the same stretch of beach running from Pacific Palisades to Santa Monica, and it’s a pain in the ass to drive to Point Mugu. No, that does not mean that Point Mugu will have parking. Are you out of your mind?

Not everybody makes a break for the coast all at once; it just feels like they do, because it takes nothing but a sunny day to send the traffic spiraling out of all control. There’s any number of things that people could do on their days off that don’t involve all going to the same overcrowded patch of sand, but the crowd surges at play are inevitably irrational. Some vapid fuckhead logs onto Instagram to post dogshit-retarded influencer pictures from some place she first heard about last week, and the next week it’s so popular nobody goes there anymore. Plus people who work or do marketing for a living don’t have the gumption to research every getaway spot that might possibly be within a safe round-trip driving distance and also worth visiting. Inclement weather or remoteness could make a place unsafe (Salton Sea much?), which would tend to make it not worthwhile, and there’s some empty-ass wild shit not very far from city hall in Los Angeles or San Francisco.

It’s the same spat the Malthusians always have with the anticolonialists they always accuse of being pie-in-the-sky morons, who always accuse them of being eugenicist bigots. What, exactly, do we mean by enough space? Potter Stewart himself would never have the clarity of sight to know it. It looks a lot more spacious if there are free seats on the Expo Line than it does if there isn’t free pavement on the 10. We have, in all but the most extreme times, such as this spring, the civil liberty to go to the beach. Does that mean that we have the birthright to drive there right this minute and find parking?

Of course it does. We’re Californians! Gavin said it himself: California is all about living in a dream house in the hills. He’s pretty astute as politicians go, but that’s every bit as ridiculous, irrational, and provably false as insisting that everybody in LA has a car. This shit is so pervasive that we don’t even have to make it up. I had to look up census data and transit ridership statistics to learn that any of this is happy horseshit. Am I supposed to take the rest of the state for such losers?

The urgency of the present is going to last all summer. It’s gonna look great. Take your ass down to Men’s Warehouse and get fitted. Millennia of weather and a century of proliferating automobility are crashing into what is so far a brief season of compromised public health. There’s no way Memorial Day this year doesn’t make things snap. Memorial Day is one of the smattering of extant quasiracinated American holidays marking the seasons. It’s the one that inaugurates hot summer. My God, Caray, you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day for a health scare and a ballgame.

This thing is operating on a timeline that the wisdom of the crowd finds alien and intolerable. All is not well on the homefront. Families are at the breaking point, which is exactly what every sober observer of Alaska expects all winter. (Nah, all year.) We’ve got millions of people who literally, direly need some time outside. The public health orders are exacerbating every local inequity and disparity in access to open spaces, parks, pedestrian-safe streets, and other places to not just sit around inside all day like prisoners.

This is a good example of how they’ll shit the bed by reopening the schools before Labor Day. Zoom conferences, online curriculum portals, and other horseshit forms of distance “learning” have exhausted the patience of the parents trying to coordinate their new unsupported mandates and the “students” who in a great many cases frankly wouldn’t be learning jack shit worth knowing in the best of times. I learned how to read in school. Does anyone glancing at this blog possibly fucking think I learned how to write there?

Like any other metastable social stress, there’s no identifying the point or time of failure in advance. Things hold, and then suddenly they snap. The reason to expect governments to face a crisis of legitimacy by Memorial Day this year is just that the statistics of our national holiday culture are decidedly not on the other side of that bet. Regional American governments are unwilling to hold the line for the duration of the popularly observed spring. California is a different beast from Georgia, Florida, or the line between them: it’ll be a cold day in hell when we elect a pulsating sleazeball like Brian Kemp or a hapless, ideologically addled dipshit like Ron DeSantis. We do, however, absolutely have roughly our fair national share of loudmouthed death-drive zealots who love shitheads of their caliber for being shitheads. John Cox got over forty percent of the vote against Gavin Newsom in the last general election, and some of the stuff he was pushing was crazy.

The plane of cleavage that busts this whole thing open may not end up being exclusively political in nature, but I fully expect politics to play a prominent, ugly role. It’s a Democrat virus. Hydroxychloroquine is the Republican drug. John Cox loves cars and the car lovers who drive them, so Gavin Newsom is a limousine liberal who hates cars and farmers and everything else that keeps America great. It’s pretty inaccurate, but we curate our own truths. This is America. Leaving enough surface water in the rivers to forestall saltwater intrusion all the way back to Stockton and Clarksburg and the ruination of every riparian, estuarine, and near-estuarine marine ecosystem from San Ysidro to Smith River is a liberal plot against growth.

Yes, this stuff is insane. Yes, people believe it. Remember, the notionally left wing of our political class consumes Harry Potter and Josiah Bartlet wholly in earnest. It’s #content, bitch. The political spectrum in the nation maintaining the global Allied nuclear umbrella spans a riotous diversity of ideology from nerds who believe in castles full of wizards and elves to the guy who looked at the sun with unprotected eyes because he’d been told it would be covered and now wants to develop orthoscopic ultraviolet irradiation of the blood stream as an antiviral treatment.

It’s shockingly politicized. Why would any of it not be? We believe in science and rationality; that’s why we strive for a crypto-English aristocratic utopia based on a series of trashy fantasy novels featuring a species of elf serving as domestics for dilettantes who fly around at will on broom adventures, and it’s also why our ideal government is a version of Bill Clinton who has no personality and never fucks. We believe in the economy and the prosperity springing up from it, and we believe in Jesus Christ; that’s why we insist that there’s nothing potentially troublesome about spewing waste products of proven toxicity into the atmosphere with total abandon, and it’s why we believe in cheating the workers we hire, stopping the courts from judicially legislating bans on the use of lethal injection chemicals that will torture the condemned to death from within, putting tenants out on the streets on three-day unlawful detainer actions, barring church groups from hosting free meals for the poor in city parks, and denying school lunches to chronically malnourished children on account of two-bit billing disputes with their deadbeat parents.

The conservative thing to do is to dump trash into the commons, and high Christian praxis is to torture a convict to death in the state’s name, not to be executed like a loser. Duh. The liberal enlightenment is about–what else?–wizard lords, elf servants, and triangulating realpolitik reactionaries who won’t even permit themselves a half-consummated affair with a plump Jewess.

This is why Gavin Newsom is headlong on his way into a genuinely inevitable political crisis. It doesn’t pay to be the grown-up in that room. We’re jumping off from a baseline political discourse that’s stone fucking nuts: sworn liberals who carry on like timid little authoritarians constantly on the verge of shitting their pants and scold everyone over sex, most drugs, posting cringe, sleeping in, junk food, and pretty much anything else that might be fun, squared off against sworn conservatives forever up in arms about liberals taking away their liberties. You read that right, because it’s all wrong. Let not your heart be troubled, though; a public health crisis with no clear end in sight will be just the thing to inject sobriety into our debates and bleach into our veins.

This much truly is not his fault. Nob Hill Dreamboat is doing a damn good job given the alternatives (Cuomo? Dear God), and he’s up against some nasty obstacles in the way of his effort to maintain the semblance of the State of California in this space. There’s no better example of how the Democrats will be sure to tear defeat from the jaws of victory and screw the pooch raw than Nancy Pelosi. Newsom is more helpless than ever to scare some goddamn sense into that bitch, and she absolutely could not care less about what he’s trying with such great effort to do for their neighbors. He’s preppy as fuck, but he’s serious and on point in crises. Then Fancy Nancy shows up and reminds everybody that the two of them share a city and a political party. It’s absolutely vile that a man of such impressively resolute character is forced to navigate the same political waters as that malignant grand narcissist. We’re facing a global public health crisis, and that fucking cunt is up there foodie-vlogging in her mansion with a pastel sweater tied around her shoulders, showing off her freezer drawer full of high-end ice cream.

It is supremely arrogant to expect ordinary Americans not to be incandescent with rage before that spectacle. THEY are calling US deplorable? Come again? We have to wonder when they’ll get the message, or if they even care. They basically don’t.

Cool. That was easy.

They had Trump dead to rights for stirring up deadly communal tensions, all-around crookedness, and apparent gross mental unfitness for office (which he did and said practically nothing to dispel until after his acquittal), so they mounted a Q Anon string flow chart-ass prosecution over incomprehensibly complicated breaches of lawful foreign policy, violations which looked quite defensible on their strict policy merits, all the while insisting that there was nothing at all unseemly about Joe Biden’s crackhead failson holding a flagrant sinecure at a major oil company in one of the two countries where they claimed to have incontrovertible proof that Trump’s activities were illegal. They have the nerve to brag about Biden’s low net worth, crudely attempting to distract the public from his decades of extreme malevolence and public corruption and also from the suspiciously high net worth of so many of his colleagues whose main disclosed source of support was a flat Congressional salary.

It doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. The Blue No Matter Who crew bray about how Trump is so openly reactionary in so many ways, so he cannot possibly outflank a single Democrat on the left. This is pathetic. What the fuck is so outlandish about the possibility that there are two virulently reactionary parties, not just one? What’s so outlandish about the Donald tacking to the opposition’s left 5% or 10% of the time? The same scolds are constantly in a state of high dudgeon that the president is so erratic. #TeshTips, asshole: that means there’s no predicting the guy. He’s facially obsessed with owning the libs, and he starts shit with other Republicans just for kicks, too. He was on the hard left flank of the Republican primary field in 2016 on, at the very least, the permanent imperial war state and labor and industrial policy.

This isn’t to say that he will push left; it’s to say that he may, because he at times already has. Meanwhile we’re told to take Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden seriously when they assert themselves as the saviors to deliver the nation from this reactionary authoritarian madman. How dare we disbelieve them!

Shush, hun. Ask a rude question, get a rude answer, and maybe think about inspiring more positivity in the body politic by showing some fucking manners next time. Some of us actually read about voting records. Some of us pay attention to our officials’ coarse social cues and take them seriously for their policy ramifications.

As with politics, so with wealth: just because Donald Trump is a rich vulgarian doesn’t mean that his opponents aren’t as bad or worse. It’s that renowned liberal rationality again. How could Ben Shapiro not market himself as one of America’s keenest political minds? It’s never prudent for only one party to show up to a battle convinced that it is the only rational and sober one present. That’s how we swooped into Afghanistan and got our asses whipped by Toyota cavalry squads with firepower no heavier than our own gifted surface-to-air missiles, from back when the same militias were smacking the poopoo out of the Red Army, with our help. (Why not?) It doesn’t matter that the Republicans are insane. That never stopped the Taliban when they were forbidding women to leave the house with more than their eyes showing and stoning citizens to death for adultery. The gross truth of it is that the Republicans know their enemy in this fight and they fight to win, and the Democrats don’t. Blackhawk Down may take some light rocket science, but this story doesn’t.

There they go again, wearing their beanbag slippers to an East End pipe fight with James Mack. Gee, why does Mack the Pipe keep braining us all the way to Newport? How? Ow! This is so unfair.

This is the minefield Nob Hill Dreamboat must navigate. He has his wits about him, and he’s wise enough make common cause with the death drive wackjobs across the aisle, but once again, that in no way means that he doesn’t share a caucus with partisans every bit as evil and deranged. As I keep saying, Kamala Harris is the Uncanny Valley Girl of present-day Deukmejian-Wilson reaction. She’s our junior Senator. Saying that Harris and Newsom are Democrats is like saying that Rob Ford and Mark Saunders are both from Toronto. It’s fascinating, but they aren’t both falling-down drunk somnambulant crackheads. Yeah, yeah, I know, the Mayor is dead. Long live the Mayor, etc.

The popular grievances coming to a statehouse near you this summer (or spring!) may veer into the petulant, the overwrought, or the flagrantly bogus. It doesn’t matter. What always matters about these dustups is that people believe in their causes and show up itching for a fight. They don’t pull their crew cabs over on the way down from the fancy-pants foothills and ask themselves, huh, we gross $225k and live in a mansion in Granite Bay with a powerboat in the garage, does this make sense, huh. Of course not. Do any of them look like they do? The point is that they’ve got the damn fire in the belly and know what limbic strings to pull. Nancy’s mansions are fancies. They’re plural. She wants nothing more than to take away our freedoms. Gavin is a Democrat.

It’s irrational, but the mistake the usual shitlib suspects keep making is to assume that the loudmouths at these protests care about rationality or fair play or any of that liberal shit and can be shamed into having some. The lie the same illiberal liberals tell is that they care about the plights of ordinary constituents. This is bollocks. Nancy cares about her ice cream collection. You do gotta hand it to her, if you’ve got a spare carton.

Voters notice. There’s no way around this. Gavin Newsom is as capable as any politician of confronting the crazies and holding the line on public health, but he won’t be able to control the firestorm on the hard fringes if the yahoos get up a full head of steam about how Nancy Pelosi isn’t denying herself the creature comforts due to a woman of her stature, is denying her constituents the right to go to the beach, and is the same nanny state liberal swamp creature as Newsom.

If the most extreme five percent on the hard right get riled up about this stuff it’ll be a huge mess. Different strains of woowoo about the virus being a hoax have already been in circulation on Fox News and the low-class samizdat channels on YouTube and Facebook.  For the more downmarket of these audiences, credence before this crackpot nonsense tracks uncannily with poor clinical treatment, bad bedside manner, abusive and fraudulent billing practices, and poor outcomes in allopathic medical care. Add Rush Limbaugh’s florid, ill-tempered conspiracy theories about environmentalism being nothing but a pretext to strip hardworking Americans of their hard-won possessions and we’ll be having us a grand old partisan time. Dumping sewage into the fishing hole and wondering why it smells or not doing that are just some of the Opposing Viewpoints (TM) that leaven our discourse. What the hell do you mean, it smells? Are you a liberal?

Some of this noise is the seething of angry people who operate in bad faith or the outbursts of the chronically paranoid. Demagogues and grifters are always on duty to activate the angry and the paranoid. It’s one way to look at Trump, but scapegoating him for decades of ugly American politics, or really centuries, is disgracefully reductive and pat. None of this started with him, and frankly in many ways he has toned the ugliness down from prior presidential administrations.

Since his candidacy center-left lcircles have been overrun with hysterical assertions that Trump is the worst, most narcissistic, most dangerous, most evil, coarsest, most sadistic, most out-of-control, most demented, most malicious, most all-around atrocious president in the history of the United States. Few ask, compared to whom? The historical memory to make these extreme claims can’t date back past about 2004, which was roughly when the most acute and dynamic threats to civil liberties and the rule of law under the Bush Administration, Cheney Regency, or what have we finally started to attenuate as the memory of 9/11 at last dulled enough for Americans to think clearly. It takes evidence to demonstrate that the Trump Administration is significantly worse than that, in any specific or broad way, and nobody who carries on about it offers evidence.

By contrast, it’s almost hilariously easy to find #Resistance histrionics who suggest that Trump is the ONLY bad president ever. By their reckoning we have never before been governed by a sadist, a crook, a scoundrel, a narcissist, a liar, a bully, or a manipulator. Instead we were led by men who were, like, a little bit problematic or imperfect or eccentric or whatever. This is full-blown delusional. These wackjobs are aware of past presidents and the rough contours of their administrations. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind shit starts only when the Donald lurches into view. At that point, everything before 2016 vanishes into thin air: Flint, the foreclosure crisis, Abu Ghraib, whatever the hell really happened on September, the Lincoln Bedroom, Ricky Ray Rector, Iran-Contra, Watergate and the Evenings with Dick Tapes, Japanese internment, slavery.

These things flash straight out of their minds because an oaf is mouthing off at the national dinner party. Trump’s deeds and worst words are of secondary consideration; the triggers is that he yells, rambles, and talks trash. It’s reasonable not to want this horseshit in a president or his White House. It’s even more reasonable not to want the misdeeds enumerated in the preceding paragraph as functions of government.

Many of the histrionics have a big problem with his trashing other prominent politicians: Jeb, Joe, Hillary, Chuck-n-Nancy. Point of order, if I may: what in the hell is wrong with that? They’re all scoundrels, too. Besides, Lee Atwater was never as much fun. Our dude has done a lot of bad things, but one of these was not the invention or reification of racism in politics. Good God, y’all. It’s fucking nuts; might as well stick your schlong in the almond butter jar and go at it.

This bitchfest started in earnest when Trump squared off against the woman who is very arguably the most reviled machine operator in American politics today, a woman whose husband happens to be a rather corrupt and sleazy president emeritus himself. She shows up fresh off an internecine ratfucking, and we’re worried about the ethics and decorum of her opponent? Cool. That’s definitely lucid thought and not at all the psychological projection of an elaborate cult apparatus. It couldn’t possibly be that the Russia horseshit is a projectile outburst or a red herring having to do with our own three-letter agencies and their shady relationships to Clintonworld. Everybody’s panties are in a twist that he doesn’t trust G-men and spooks. You fucken for real, dawg? This dude is somehow a Mancurian Candidate for a latter-day Tsar who shows little but disinterest in him, but the Bushes are not suspect for their custom of holding hands with Saudi princes and kings? Bitch please.

There’s every reason to be distrustful of these scathing denunciations, even paranoid. It’s farfetched to fly to the other extreme and insist that, Nothing But Respect, My President is looking out for the little guy, when he can hardly be counted on to look out for, or at, the same thing for two straight minutes. He does, on the other hand, show that exuberant, irrepressible interest. Hillary? Nancy? GTFO. Neither has an empathetic bone in her body, although Hillz did–does?–from time to time have a bone that feels your pain in hers.

Returning to our springtime airing of grievances, the little guy in this scenario is whoever says he’s the little guy. Is he a dentist? A yacht dealer? It doesn’t matter. It matters that the yahoos show up and fuck shit up, or at least act like they might. Since the prevailing community standard is already to relate to our politicians in bizarre parasocial ways, let’s give some thot to who these characters are as parasocial friends. On the one hand, we’ve got the Chappaqua bitch–it took me a few seconds to place why Chappaquiddick seemed not quite right–with her hundred million-dollar family fortune, her hale philandering husband turned scarecrow, their worse-than-useless faildaughter, and their foundations and initiatives and shit; and on her team we also have the sneering Baltimore mayor’s daughter with the wine estate on Zinfandel Lane, the pied-a-terre at the top of Divisadero, and, but of course, the ice cream. On the other hand, we have the guy with the name-branded archipelago of usually faiiling privately-held businesses, the gilded penthouses, the golf courses, and the sporadic but boisterous interest in factories and mines and the hardhats who run them.

Some will object that Trump is just a better actor. It’s a fascinating critique. Does that sound like a liability in politics?

Now review which of these phonies is on which side of the partisan divide between the austere Puritanism of science and the Cavalier exuberance of opening back up for business. Gee, it’s Donny Fingers for the latter, and the rich girls for the former. We’ve been cooped up, or so we say. Can we have a little day out on the town, as a treat, or can we have a little lecture about social distancing, as a treat? Is it a trick? Look at Nancy. Just look at her. Would you take “candy” from a stranger who approached you like that? Those are Melissa Ann Shepard barista hours she’s living.

It’s exactly what rubs people the wrong way about Al Gore’s climate activism, but for having the government’s blessing just to go outside. Again, what matters here is the perception, not the facts. The amount of showing off that affluent liberals (sic) have been doing about their “quarantine” and “lockdown” routines can’t be doing anything but convincing conservatives (pretty sic themselves) that it’s all a big liberal hoax, just like the carbon thing. #NeverForget: It was a quaranpreening episode that inspired Fancy Nancy to beclown herself with the gelati showing in the first place. It’s plain as day who she has in mind as her audience for that shtick: her fellow virtue-signaling cosmopolitan jagoffs. There’s no better platform for that performance than one’s pied-a-terre in the City. This is, for a party striving to be relevant to a diverse coalition of Americans, the chef’s kiss of messaging.

No, my point isn’t that I care if she lives in Napa. All I’ll say about this for now is that when Milton Street lived in New Jersey, or didn’t, he didn’t care himself, and he was fun about it.

Some have more places to lay down their heads than others. To judge from Fancy Nancy, many homes make for hardened hearts. I personally know people who are hella rich and not the least bit like that–hysterical liberals who watch The West Wing for therapy, sure, but good people–but damned if that miserable hag doesn’t give them all a bad name by confirming the worst prejudices of the rest of us.

She has a base for her stunts: the talented tenth, the aspirational 14%, something in that ballpark. That’s the problem, though. Ordinary Americans despise them with just as much white hot rage. The Democrats can’t even keep the affluent and educated at large on their side because they keep preaching killjoy sermons from their palaces. The stench of the hypocrisy is overwhelming: we luxuriate at home, but you go to your shift at Whole Foods, because you didn’t earn what we did; Uber Eats and Grubhub and Instacart for me, but no Applebee’s for thee.

Many affluent reactionaries are parasites themselves. So what? Their ideology and rhetorical framing are too muscular for them to roll over for coddled, sneering Bay Area pissants. That’s the thing about politics: there’s no monopoly on bad faith. It’s a free market and a free-for-all, not an exclusive franchising opportunity.

Nob Hill Dreamboat’s latest public health order, for the targeted closure of the beaches in Orange County, looks petty and reckless as boss moves go, and yet somehow even that seems refreshingly aboveboard compared to the party standard. Of course, derelict local officials could explain more than a bit of it. What are we going to hear next? Posh cunts in Aliso Viejo refusing to vaccinate their children? In any event, this is not a needle a dipshit can thread. We’re talking about locals whose fathas fawt the Second Wooled Waw, and now we’re telling them that it’s no weekend for a Shaw trip? Eyy, that won’t do, Billy!

Drop the accent and see how it plays in RSM. It might not go over so great. At least Gavin carries himself like a big boy. He doesn’t show up on Instagram looking like, oh, shit, we’re late getting Granny her Xanny. The thing about some of these other coastal elites is that there’s so much ocean for them to enjoy and yet so much of them safely on land, failing to enjoy it. As Guy Hagi says, see you out in the Pacific!

Goodness, that was not an aloha thing to say about a national matron just because she wants us obsequiously serving her for a pittance or, better, dead. We really shouldn’t indulge our minds with such juicy disturbances, yeah? To be fair, Hawaii has a ridiculously passive-aggressive name for its local travelers’ aid outfit, the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, whose latest deal is to ship your haole ass back to the mainland on the company dime if you show up without the money for a fortnight of lodging or the inclination to stay put in that which you’ve booked.

I hate to say it, but it makes more sense than some of the federalism we’ve got in the other 49.

Ah well, I reckon we have a fun summer coming. To paraphrase Louis Uccelini, you may not be ready to shred that shit, but that shit is always ready to shred you. It also applies to Yaakov Smirnoff and politics. The upshot of these nearly six thousand words, then, is that we’ll just have to wait and see what happens when it’s time to head to the beach, baby, beach, baby, there on the sand, from July to the end of September, when, God willing, the rains will at last return.

Airhead conditioning

Scott Simon aired a lengthy Steve Hartman-ass story not long ago about a twee, smug attorney lady who’s sewing masks and getting peers to sew masks. They put a fucking muzak track on as the background. This volunteer homework crew had completed, I believe it was, either 25,000 or 40,000 masks out of a goal of a million. That’s a piss-poor reason to be so loud and self-satisfied, to my way of doing math. I wouldn’t go on the radio and brag about that. Then again, I’m just the audience, not the story.

Do you still wonder how so many affluent American adults have come to cherish the Harry Potter series as nonfiction? NPR aired this happy horseshit as a heartwarming personal-interest story about ordinary Americans rising to the occasion. I can’t shake the feeling that Tocqueville put a curse upon us all by describing us. A sane society noticing that the high Tocquevillean ideal of community voluntarism had degenerated into the official excuse for a catastrophic failure of national industrial policy in the thick of a hundred-year public health emergency would immediately reclassify Tocqueville as John the Baptist to Faulkner’s Jesus.

Happy Easter, bitch. I had a good Friday. Did you? It’s centering to contemplate that we, as Catholics at least, are observing Good Friday as an extended, indefinite liturgical season this year, but it would be encouraging if there were any discernible prospect of national resurrection from whatever we wish to call this grotesque thing we’ve become. Like, we misplaced the industrial capacity to ramp up production of basic all-purpose protective face masks, and in fact we misplaced large parts of our industrial capacity in the infamous Chinese plague city no one in this country had heard of at Christmas, but instead of worrying about that, as mere citizens, warm your hearts with Saturday Morning Arts and Crafts Hour.

The complexity of N-95 masks is a secondary problem. They’re surprisingly simple in their design, and the straps and hooks tend to be flimsy. Besides, bandanas are closer to the protective effects of proper masks than they are to wearing nothing. The blindingly bright red flag is that we’re being told to take in sewing on a volunteer basis to compensate for the failure of theoretically masterful multinational manufacturing companies, including 3M, to adequately supply our hospitals with masks that are de rigueur on any responsibly overseen construction site. It’s like saying that the Quartermaster Corps is all out on R&R until no telling when–gettin’ real used to that beach life on Oahu, might even run into ScoMo–point being, we have to get grandma back into the kitchen and maybe even activate the Sister Wife Reserves. Any attentive person hearing this would think, good God, I thought that’s why those asshole hired cooks.

Normally I don’t much care if somebody’s taking in sewing. This situation is different. Sewing medical equipment at home without pay is a punk move. It’s scab labor, too, although nobody involved understands or cares, to judge from the aw-shucks sunnyside “inspirational” stories that always spring up as word gets out about these efforts, like so many mushrooms on a fresh horse pie. This dysfunctional free homework model comes into operation precisely because 3M is too cheap and venal to pay trained employees to manufacture masks on the industrial scale needed for a large industrialized society. That is, popular self-reliance and pluck among America’s amateur seamstresses frees 3M from the need to exercise the corporate self-reliance and pluck required to operate a proper factory. This Tocquevillean bitch work frees Our Job Creators from the need to create jobs, and in particular to humor uppity employees’ demands for decadent privileges such as pay sufficient to raise a family and a safe workplace.

NPR ran the story, so it’s no surprise that it served to make comfortably furloughed PMC desk jockeys feel helpful when in fact they’re do-gooder idiots. Manufacturing companies have production, warehousing, shipping, and sales departments for reasons, if you can fucking imagine it. Hospitals can’t afford to coordinate supply lines with tens of thousands of random dipshits who read on Facebook that it’s time to make masks and whose skill and quality control are utterly unvetted. As I said, it’s damning that it came to this in the first place. Floor staff want nothing to do with this ramshackle amateur horseshit. If it’s getting promoted under hospital auspices, that’s the administrators’ fault. Marketing ‘professionals” would rather talk about their employers’ branding than go to nursing school or head downstairs and wash the linens. In a number of hospitals the brand has included punishing floor staff for wearing masks. Oops; moron this as we proceed.

NPR pretends to cater to people who seek to understand the world. The last few words inevitably forced their way into my entire mind in Marco Werman’s voice. In practice, NPR is for overpaid Dunning-Kruger asshats who know jack shit about how the world works and therefore presume themselves exactly the geniuses who should run it. Smugly going on the record on a nationally syndicated program to brag about having filled less than 5% of one’s own production goal and either refusing to mention or (likelier) being unaware of the supply chain collapse making one’s amateur scab homework useful in the first place is a good example.

And, because why the fuck not, that bitch preened about her organization and herself like she was telling a story on the Moth Radio Hour. They’ve got these shows on NPR: Moth, Selected Shorts, Planet Money, How I Built This, The Ted Radio Hour, Freakonomics Radio. What’s unbelievable about them, leaving aside the navelgazing Brahmin existential abyss of the arts and culture offerings (bacteria, too, can be cultured) and the dead-eyed, dead-souled, Eichmannic rationality of the core curriculum in economics, is that every one of them dredges up pathetic social climbers who speak in the same fucking voice.

Many of them sound pharmaceutically sedated. It’s even worse than the Mary Mayhew Voice: she’s a scummy whip-wielding schoolmarm, but there’s a working soul rattling around back there. The energy on these shows is that of the belated, quietly frantic remoistening of New England’s upper crust, but it isn’t exactly a regional thing, either: Guy Raz and Stephanie Lazarus are both Jews from Los Angeles. Assimilate the Jews into the Wasp Nest, or assimilate the goys into the Tribe: take your pick, because there’s no redeeming any of them when it happens under the auspices of 21st-Century National Public Radio. Those assholes could drive out to Ronkonkoma and ruin the integration of the Jews and the Italians. They’ve already got David Brancaccio on air, so they’re off to an indecent start.

When Lena Dunham taking the Hampton Jitney out to the shore house to spend the weekend learning the words and the moves to the Fuck You Song is a psychological and existential improvement, we’ve got what they call issues. Entertain your concerns about the Brahmin funemployed all you like; just save a thot or two to ponder the possibility that all is not well with those they left behind, in the workforce (sic). An all too reasonable shorthand for their careers is that they dare not look too closely at what the hell they’re doing with their lives, because if they did they’d realize they’re in a cult. The few open fuckups I knew in prep school and college were WAY better adjusted than the hordes of neurotic social climbers who did the work and maintained the GPA but never looked like they were doing anything more than going through the motions and always appeared to be on the verge of a catastrophic, incapacitating emotional breakdown that they were barely holding at bay. They were much better adjusted than the rich dullards, some of the latter also being low-key sociopathic, who looked more or less emotionally capable of holding down a job but less or less intellectually capable. If I get daydrunk and fall asleep listening to LCD Soundsystem on repeat, and I should do that more often, I’m operating above the community baseline, not below.

I guess there are people with jobs who listen to NPR, too, like, people who do something describable for a living that others would generally agree isn’t a grift or a con. Chris Arnade says long-haul truckers all have opinions on NPR hosts, but trucking is just something for Kai Ryssdal to tacitly suggest bothering your underemployed brats for not taking up when capital is playing chicken with the driver pool again, not something to seriously pursue. This goes to show that everything isn’t always getting worse: Brancaccio once crowed, in the most revoltingly passive-aggressive voice, about how Amazon was hiring for the holidays. What’s wrong with working at a fulfillment center? Uh, everything? It ain’t your fulfillment they’re after, kid, and as Drew Carrey says, that’s why they call it a job, but everything about that job and that company is atrocious. It might take Ikea to design a concentration camp, but it would take Amazon managers to run it.

Things about NPR that don’t make sense as news are better appreciated as quack-quality family therapy with Dr. Karadzic. It’s therapy, so that means you pay for it, although Amazon pays for it, too. Love sponsors! David Brancaccio doing product-placement seasonal recruiting for a company that keeps ambulances on call outside its warehouses isn’t about recruiting temp workers so much as it is about shoring up Amazon’s customer base (we hear it’s the place to work!) and shoring up NPR’s base of pay pigs (you’re the neurotic losers who are still listening to us denigrate your children with your pledge money). Most of these neurotics and creeps don’t actually want their overeducated adult children taking one of those hellworld jobs, getting radicalized on the spot, and reporting back at Christmas dinner that the Brands are Not Good.

There’s a lot of sociology and group psychology going on here. It’s easy to discover some of the many Millennial Success Normies who are really weird around the failspawn, for those of us who didn’t get the memo from Mr. Ziglar about seeing him at the top. The normcore faith in the Economic Recovery from the Great Recession (*Thickest Possible Stage Voice* You want a recession? What rhymes with “recession?”) doesn’t work if the normies stop having jobs. That sweet gaslight, it don’t work on the down-and-out. It’s harder to get people who DON’T HAVE JOBS to believe in the “jobless recovery.” As Rob Ford himself lacked the chutzpah to assert, it was a SOBER evening of whiskey on the rock.

Five million Americans and then some dropped straight off the national payroll in a single calendar year in the heat of a residential foreclosure crisis, and two years later everything was back to normal. For a nation with so much unemployment we’re really fucking squeamish talking about it, just off-the-charts delusional. We had that problem in the First Great Depression, too, although it took more sophistry to deny because the government and the press got caught short by the crash and were forced to report the statistics they had, not the statistics they desired. The deranged psychosocial interplay between the unemployed and the employed is about what should be expected in a society run as a cult by functionally do-nothing elites who believe that work is for Mexicans. It speaks volumes that we still have the nerve to ask one another, and tolerate being asked, what we do for a living. There are appropriate responses to this intrusive question, including “Excuse me?” and “Less than the Mexicans, I guess.” We don’t dare go there because we’re a disgraceful lot of pearclutching chickens, especially for the citizens of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Years ago a well-meaning but abrasive old college buddy who was working as a junior staffer on Capitol Hill who had asked me what I was doing for a living blurted out, “I wish I was unemployed.” Of course he fucking didn’t. What he meant was that he wished he had more time off work. It sounded like maybe he wanted a different job, too. This guy’s shitty job was suddenly my problem because he’d nosed in and made my employment status his problem.

More recently I’ve had people tell me that I wasn’t homeless. What they meant was that I was able to travel, wasn’t destitute, was able to clothe, bathe, and feed myself, wasn’t presenting with acute major mental illness, and wasn’t living under a tarp stretched over some plywood surrounded by a pile of junk spilling out of my shopping cart. They were too ignorant to know this, and in one case entirely too arrogant to care (I should have asked the manager to eject that bitch from the Starbucks in Elko for harassing me), but none of that actually had a fucking thing to do with being homeless. I did not have a safe, stable place to live. I could always crash with my parents back east, but the warm homeless routinely stay with family or couchsurf. I have to say, too, that I goddamn well did not have the patience to explain that homelessness has to do with the lack or precarity of housing, not with being a filthy incoherent bum. Material constraints, cognitive loads, and the intoxication needed to cope with life on the streets turn some homeless people into filthy incoherent bums, but there are propertied people who live like that, too, just without the threat of strangers walking by and bashing their heads in in the dead of night.

That’s what a lot of street people like about Davis. It’s not a terrible place to have a head.

It’s bizarre, then, to watch America turn into a place where idleness is suddenly the in thing. Obviously our bougies are too self-dealing to seek out the stigma of unemployment, but let’s be real: if you can go home, goof off, and still get paid, do you have a job? We have white-collar workers (sic lol) dipping into savings and taking furloughs, but that mainly means that they were never paid to work. It means that they were paid 100-200% of minimum wage to work and the balance of their packages for being clubbable. We aren’t seeing a surge in staycationing among grocery workers. How the hell do you have savings, Anthony?

Idleness became hip when, and because, it became a socially acceptable cause to humblebrag and cudgel to use against enemies. The current PMC boasting about staying in has the same tone as the longstanding, habitual PMC boasting, still in vogue through the first half of March, about going out and working so hard. There are at least two common denominators at play here, both of them embarrassingly low. First, bragging about being a shut-in is the cool new way to be a supercilious virtue signaler. The professional/managerial class is nothing, if not holier than thou. Second, it’s a superficially refined but fundamentally coarse class signifier for a class that loves it some fucking signifiers.

That’s a charitable gloss. It’s far from charitable by any reasonable standard, given its stipulation that these condescending shitheads are looking down their noses at the roustabout servants who go out to fetch them their groceries and restaurant meals. The shelter-in-place orders have provoked a rash of “tipbaiting” incidents at Instacart, in which customers promise generous tips for the home delivery of grocery orders, then greatly reduce or eliminate the tip upon delivery. There’s a traditional word for this practice: fraud. This fraud is of course greatly aggravated by the circumstances of convincing precarious to downright indigent day laborers to risk their health and their lives venturing repeatedly and for long periods into crowded grocery stores. For that matter, this charitable gloss stipulates that these fuckers are cheap and sleazy enough to do business on the gig platforms in the first place, just so they can live large and keep up with their trendy (read: affluent) peers.

The uncharitable, cynical gloss is that, in addition to being predatory cheapskates exploiting an irregular working underclass they were glad to dispossess from reputable aboveboard employment, the PMC is horny for rules. The evidence is, as Lasch might say, revoltingly strong. Shady gig apps are kosher because the VC scumbags behind them bought off or outmaneuvered and outwitted the regulators, making them de facto legal, and of course the rules don’t apply to traditional and customary practices like hiring Latin American peasants under the table as discount domestics. When it comes to rules that allow them to grandstand about their own adherence, though, or to justify their own salaries as scholars and judges of the law, they’re hornt as fuck.

It’s the crassest, most self-serving attitude, and it’s so goddamn smug. It’s the most retarded hypocrisy. These assholes are on vacation from their lavishly compensated make-work jobs, with a surfeit of free time, or at least semistructured time, and instead of using any of it to do their own fucking grocery shopping, they’re preening about how they aren’t allowed to leave the house. It gets even stupider: being horny for rules doesn’t mean reading the rules, unless doing so seems advantageous. Somebody has to provide these useless eaters with their food, and the shelter-in-place orders contain explicit exemptions for grocery shopping. These are the same exemptions allowing Instacart shoppers to endanger themselves and their families and roommates for a pittance. For the love of God the orders in this country explicitly encourage solo outdoor exercise. We mercifully haven’t gone into the technocratic lockdowns proliferating across Europe or, God forbid, the arbitrary militarized chaos of Turkey and India.

The “lockdown,” which isn’t really one, is proving to be the latest bullshit excuse for some of the worst official and semiofficial misconduct. It’s an excuse for cops to go wilding in parks and on public transit over physical distancing violations. It’s an excuse for pampered assholes on partial or total leave from their cushy jobs to exploit and abuse vulnerable casual laborers. Pay attention to the language. These sleazy gig apps never would have flown so easily if their owners, marketers, and customers had insisted on describing them in generally understood terms commonly used to describe the developing world. We had to go All-American and euphemize that shit to death. We have our neighbors working 70+ hours a week driving their social superiors around in their own depreciating cars for poverty wages so low that their cars are the closest thing they have to a home. We have our neighbors scurrying around fetching groceries for the wealthy on a meager commissioned basis, walking up to the doors of mansions only to be told that their customers decided not to pay them after all.

This is the shit we might expect out of India or Brazil. We’re allowing it right here, right now. It’s the next thing to a caste system. In ways it’s uncannily like the Indian caste regime, a priestly, scholarly overclass lording it over various grades of untouchables.

Our caste system is less intricate, so far. In the nineties it was affluent property owners hiring Latin domestic servants of questionable admissibility and work authorization, but sometimes integrating them into their families. Affairs can do the job; just ask the Schwarzeneggers. There’s no need to be THAT bashful about one’s sister wife, here in Pan-American Fork. In the South, this what can brown do for you arrangement has incrementally replaced the classic tradition of the black domestic.

The developments since the crash of 2008 are the really disturbing ones. I thought the fin-de-siècle illegal immigrant nanny/gardener/lover arrangement was bad, and it was. This is worse. One of the most heinous trends is the ever more systematic exclusion of gig workers from restrooms. Restaurants have been barring delivery workers from using their restrooms when they come to pick up orders, on the spurious basis that they aren’t customers. The Sacramento Airport, very recently renovated and expanded at a cost of $2 billion, stages ride app drivers in an exposed remote lot serviced by portapotties. Two billion bucks and they drop a fucking honey bucket on the tarmac. The prohibitive cost of the terminal loop garages keeps gig drivers away from excellent semipublic restrooms that they would almost certainly be allowed to use without interference. It also adds needless driving.

But as Adam Serwer says, the cruelty is the point. The Dalit servant lady must sit on the floor of the empty Metro car to show deference and submission. Who is she to presume herself their civic equal? That fucking cunt? Devyani Khobragade, to my surprise a Dalit herself, repaid the ritual quite handsomely when she got the chance. She had to show who was boss for once.

That’s the godforsaken thing. We have to show who’s boss. The pecking order does not assert itself. We assert it, distinguishing the peckers from the pecked. We insist we must, although rarely in so many words. It’s the gospel we preach with words only when necessary. In a society only recently and haphazadly exorcised of its chattel slavery demons and structured as a nesting doll of bosses inside bosses inside bosses, it would not do to tell the boss off. Being allowed a decent, civilized place to shit for free would convey all the wrong ideas.

Management never cared for the insubordination of the lower orders that proliferated and flourished throught the Great Compression. It was unseemly. It was scandalous. It forced them to live more modestly and even do some work.

And so management pushed back: stack ranking, mass layoffs drug tests, casualization, social media checks, punitive leave, punctuality, and attendance policies, “open door” policies (talk to your boss one-on-one, not your colleagues or your shop steward), unionbusting, “gigs,” “contractors,” nondisclosure agreements, bans on employees disclosing their salaries to colleagues, ad nauseam.

Amazon’s “fulfillment centers” would be impossible in a warehousing job market worth a damn. Turnover would hit 75% per shift. The bosses would get punched out if they had the nerve to come down to the floor and offer a cookie as the prize for winning Power Hour. Managerial tyrants used to get thrown down mineshafts back in the rough old days, for reasons as rough as they were themselves. The only reason they didn’t force one worker to shit in another’s mouth was because they’d get beaten within an inch of their lives if they tried, if not a foot past.

The organizational model of our whole rotten society is to convince sellouts that they have a shot of working for massa in the big house. This is not an exaggeration. Half-assedly compensated line managers at restaurants are routinely given carte blanche authority to abuse their grunts, and they seize it. Franchisees are given equivalent or greater power over their entire workforces. Again, they seize it.

Then we’ve got the bigger cheeses: in rough terms, the Brahmins. The temptation dangled in their faces is the chance to live in the big house. They are offered rule over the realm.

At the top is a small group of true masters of the universe–Chakrabarti in the old country, or Chakrabortty or some other variant. The British actually granted useful local families the right to use this surname. Members of this overclass aren’t usually given keys to the whole world, but they’re given dominion over enough of it not to mind what they’ve been denied, unless they’re uncontrollably power-mad, and many of them are.

The lion’s share of the day-to-day trouble from the Brahmins, however, comes from the high subalterns of the true overclass. In vernacular terms, these are the assholes you knew in college. Curtis Yarvin’s Brahmins clash with his Optimates over the narcissism of small differences: who had atrocious reasons for voting for Clinton versus who had atrocious reasons for voting for Trump, that kind of shit. As a rule, the Optimates directly own manorial properties allowing them to directly oppress or just fleece the proles: dealerships, fast food franchises, independent job-creating small businesses run by America’s Job Creators, themselves. It sounds like the Godhead because it is meant to sound like the Godhead. The Brahmins assert a different but no less disgusting prerogative: the right to rule by virtue of education. They’re priests, you see, not lords.

It’s a grand bitchfest of the Estates. Mind you, the Optimates own much more in the way of estates than the Brahmins do, who resent them for it. Some dealership dad and his cokehead son are proof that the good educated liberals of this fine country are proof that the latter are of good character. We could be worse! Just look at those assholes!

The superfluous liberal (sic) elites (mostly sic), increasingly hanging on for dear life in overheated housing and education markets, in petrified fear of the bottoms below, hate their nominal class peers on the nominal right for living in more affordable regions and having shitty but lucrative family businesses available for the plausibly earned upkeep of their useless, degenerate spawn. I used to drink with a guy back east who the Insurance Schmuck told me grossed $110k working in the main office of his family’s tool business. He could barely stand up most nights of the week. By the time I got done knowing him he’d been talking about leaving the Manayunk crash pad and moving back in with his parents in the hope of getting a grip on his gambling problem, whcih had him playing six online poker games at once and losing up to $7k in a single week. His mother looked snowed to walking death on Xanax the time I met her, mostly by nodding and watching her gaze off into the undefinable distance. His father was another raging alcoholic.

Another thing that gets the Brahmins so sore over the Optimates is the latter’s insouciant assumption that the justifications for wealth and privilege are wealth and privilege. People who’ve devoted their lives to proving that they deserve what they have because they have academically and professionally earned it don’t take kindly to some openly vulgar prick sauntering in and getting all like, yo, bruh, we own this shit. This is a constant subtext to the Hillary deadenders’ shitfit about the Oaf of Office.

I generalize, and I haven’t given much thot to whether it humiliates the Brahmins more when their intraclass enemies outearn them, are worth more, or work less for more. It probably does; it could be another reason why they insist, against great evidence, that Magaland is uniformly poor and practically illiterate. It must rankle to spend decades pretending not to notice The Brands downsizing, putting one chunk of the workforce out on the curb with last week’s trash and dumping its former workload on the other, casualizing what were presumably proud professionals, and just generally screwing over loyal salarymen by reneging promises made during cult programming, to debase oneself so with a steadfast affectation of superior education and critical thinking, and then to watch an unabashedly might-makes-right scumbag with a family business shamelessly plug his shit-for-brains degenerate kid into a headquarters sinecure whose duties are whatever last night’s bender and today’s aggregate stimulant load permit.

Jacob Bacharach says Democrats throw the make-work bullshit jobs at their cronies because they hate their children. This tracks quite well with the Trump Family Organization–for God’s sake Eric looks like a fucking retard–and well enough with Joe Biden standing by while his crackhead son Beau–uh, Hunter–scored a collateral sinecure with Burisma.

One thing that’s clear about these arrangements is that the Democrats prove themselves much more squeamish before insinuations of corruption. It’s that good old happy horseshit about meritocracy again. We’re all educated here. The kid must have earned it somehow. Stop acting like he’s a crackhead; we all know Putin ate his homework. That’s what Putin does. He’s a homework eater. Ask Hillary.

Trump pisses them off by openly not giving a shit. It’s yet another norm he keeps trashing. There’s no moral center to the norms. They are in fact powerfully amoral. President Trump compelling the Secret Service to book rooms and golf carts at Trump Properties because he has cajoled foreign officials into meeting him there for offiical business is every bit as outrageous to these whiny nerds as press conferences about how General Raisin Cane called him “sir” or stream-of-consciousness rally speeches about how he respects the hard hats and likes tariffs.

Any movement predicated on an elaborate gatekeeping apparatus theoretically responding only to merit and whose participants are horny for rules will take umbrage at crude operators like Donald Trump and Rod Blagojevich. There is no fucking way anybody who admires Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, or either of the Clintons for their probity objects to Rod Blagojevich for being a crook. That’s a copout. They object to him for being a clumsily crass upstart from the wrong side of the tracks. I was going to add Barack Obama to that list, but I realized that he’s smooth enough, unexamined enough, and had enough sporadic, partial policy accomplishments for voters not to notice that he, too, is a bigtime crook.

The Brahmin-Optimate divide maps pretty neatly onto party lines, then, but not entirely. The Rod Now Spared is a proud and avowed Trumpocrat because he and his fellow celebrity yukked it up and flattered each other in openly crass terms for personal advantage. That shit has to make Obama blanch. Both of them say the quiet parts out loud. Trump in particular is so impolitic that the liberals (sic) who reviled him for being a mentally unfit blue blood prep, and rightly feared his administration at the time (many of them, at least) for what it was doing to civil liberties, now welcome him as a prominent member of the Resistance.

One of the quiet parts they do not with to hear pronouced has to do with the servants. One doesn’t mention them. Here again the Optimates and viable wannabes are more forward about the nature of our socioeconomic regime than the Brahmins dare be. It’s the affluent right wing that is out on the statehouse steps, packing heat and swinging Old Glory in nurses’ faces like a maxi pad hanging from a boner, clamoring for their hair salons to reopen. They need a haircut.

One guy got all kinds of flack for saying he missed sit-down drink refills, which I frankly find entirely relatable, We’re living through strange days, and it doesn’t seem too much to hope to again be able to sit down, have some drinks, and chat with other customers and the waitstaff. What gets me is the uproar of a political movement at once welcoming millionaire funeral directors who look like they cut their own hair and fussy rich bitches who just need somebody else to cut theirs right now and are demanding to speak to the economy’s manager. There’s a specific haircut for it, of course.

This is a bullshit grievance, especially coming from the women airing it. They look sociable enough to know hair dressers and probably be friendly with them. If I’m not totally misreading them, this means that they can make a fucking call and get a bitch to come over and cut hair for a bitch. They’re able to navigate the black market under such easy, nearly turnkey conditions; it’s just that they choose not to avail themselves of it (unless they’re just making it all up, which is a possibility) because they insist on the familiarity and convenience of that specific chair in that specific salon.

They aren’t horny for rules. They love the rules coercing their servants to go to work, such as state regulations barring unemployment benefits to employees who refuse to return to work because they feel unsafe, but the aim there is practical: to get a frickin’ haircut. The reason they want their salons officially allowed to reopen is so they don’t get caught patronizing or operating businesses that have been ordered to close, and also because they don’t mind owing the libs. They aren’t framing it all in terms of virtue; it’s all about flair.

This is a pretty rotten bunch, one that loves bossing servants around, no matter how pleasantly or graciously it does so, or imagines it does. There is, however, a crucial thing to say in Karen’s defense. At least these women admit that they avail themselves of their servants. The main thing they’re trying to do with their protests is to schedule shifts without having the government on their asses about public health. Some of the owners are looking to get back to bossing their employees around and would hate to have them all go indepedent, to become yeowomen (or men!), but they construe this as a private matter, something to let live free of employee recourse to labor law or die.

They’re just being pragmatic scumbags, I mean, goodness, small businesswomen. We’re professionals here. No, not that kind of professional. Ew. Besides, it’s not like these businesses have the cash flow* of a whorehouse, so they can semiprivately be open for business, as she said, but publicly closed due to the current indisposition*, as she said. They don’t even have the cash flow of a business providing what I guess we’re calling nonsensual massage. And, yeah, maybe we have some hangups about some dumb shit having to do with who’s recreationally rubbing whom how and why, but normies, yo.

*(/Sagest Dril voice/ but they care not, of the “Gash Flow”)

The Brahmin position, largely but not entirely overlapping with “liberalism,” is that there are no servants. The intellectual dishonesty alone is reason enough to hate the fuckers. Random strangers magically show up in our lives to help us with shopping and driving and stuff. How convenient! All we have to do is call the universe and it sends them. These yuppies never have a mature, intelligent moment of contemplation about why, exactly, the strangers who flit in and then back out of their lives drop by in the first place to ferry them around and bring them shit. Like, ooh, here I am at 79th and Lex, and this cute Dominican girl from Grand Concourse just brought me a big bag of yummy goodness from Whole Foods, so I tipped her a dollar and she smiled at me, like, totally sincere. Groovy! Karma is good! She told me to have a nice day! Beautiful energy!

Why would these soft cunts approach these matters with anything other than a Gwyneth Paltrow grade of thot? And of course there are other, more openly exploitative customers who dispense with all niceties to instead lounge around their co-ops and just demand stuff.

These gigs suck, and yet many of the customers won’t let themselves imagine that they aren’t all right. They look like a great way to earn some money on the side, especially for secure, affluent people who never do anything of the sort in the way of side jobs. Aside from the cardiac tetanus cokeheads who produce ad copy for Fiverr, the gig platforms are usually effusively sunny about the work-life balance that their drivers or shoppers or whatever can achieve by working part-time and keeping the rest of their time for family, church, and so forth. It’s a sleazy class tell, just like the characters in Harry Potter who are able to fly off on whimsical adventures without academic or professional consequences., suggesting that the author may have been living on a friend’s estate, not just claiming public benefits.

These stories are of course fucking baloney. In the places where these platforms are most used the people running them are almost always desperate, exhausted, barely afloat expendables living in their cars or hotbunking in a slumlord walk-up, doing everything they can to push through another day in hell under a standing cognitive load of 30 IQ points. Doctors in New York City find them presenting at the ER with SARS symptoms, then returning to their full-time restaurant kitchen jobs and the two-bedroom apartments that they share with nine roommates.

The customers don’t hear about this because the servants are trained not to mention it. The conditioning can be as implicit or explicit as it takes; the upshot is that the message fucking gets through. These are expensive cities: LA, SF, NYC, Seattle. Honesty costs tips. Take a stab at equality, and the only bitch that gets cut is your own ass, from the platform. Do punks be feeling lucky?

The blurred lines between master and servant have to be strategically crafted. People who do their own grocery shopping know that the people staffing the Pathmark are paid to be there. They assume the same about nail technicians, automotive mechanics (no worse on occupational pollution and the cars don’t talk back so much lol), and masseuses. Even if they habitually mistreat the employees serving them, they almost always fundamentally understand the nature of the relationship. Clients understand that sex workers fuck them for the money.

The gig platforms operate in an uncanny valley. They have 1099 contractors, not employees, which is bullshit but still de jure or de facto the law of the land most places. They’re work, but they aren’t exactly jobs. They don’t have set schedules. They brag, in fact, about the flexibility of their scheduling.

They’re exceptionally pernicious because they deliberately misrepresent themselves. Not consistently meeting the minimum wage in our most expensive cities makes them exploitative deep poverty jobs. They write computer algorithms to fire the help based on customer reviews. It’s like school grades, but for shitty, exhausting jobs. The corporate behemoths behind these platforms have the nerve to brag about the flexibility they offer when the workers presumably interested in the flexibility can barely get by hustling for their fucked-up business models fifty or sixty hours a week. What the hell is the alternative? Huddling under a cardboard box? Getting run out of Penn Station by transit cops on a nightly basis? Not even having a steady place to shit and shower, and at a time when the gyms have been closed as nonessential, at that?

It takes a peabrained hardline libertarian conception of socioeconomic relations to imagine that this regime fosters a great flourishing of free will for workers. The way it actually works, it does absolutely nothing whatsoever of the sort. Ffs a job doesn’t have to have Kunta Kinte in chains to be exploitative, inhumane, and coercive. The only reason this batshit crazy proposal has any traction is that every officially sanctioned economic philosophy in the United States assumes that our sacrosanct market incentives magically fail to include poverty as a motivation. All these fucking nudges, and none of them is the piercing fear and certain knowledge that not working will cause one to freeze and starve to death, although in fairness working might not be enough to prevent that, either. Any reasonable observer reading just about the dire poverty would guess that the country in question was somewhere like the Congo or Aghanistan, but as John McLaughlin said, *WRONG*. The correct answer is: you get food to eat.

This shit is worlds more delusional than pestering the state government to allow professional haircuts again. The #TCOT agitators behind that want the state to stop interfering in the private labor markets at businesses they patronize. They explicitly want the employer-employee relationship to be reprivatized and relieved of public health regulations that they find burdensome (i.e., inconvenient for their hairstyles). The shitlibs and fellow travelers blithely assume that there is no job market, just an amorphous cloud of angels following their own whims to work, or not, but with one or more of these angels always appearing to minister to their needs. It’s Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, but for servants, but we’ve already been over this, we don’t call them that.

This all happens out in the universe, where everything happens for a reason, but labor policy restricting the license for corporate crooks and their scumbag customers to exploit the reserve army of labor at will couldn’t possibly be one of the reasons for things happening. They just, you know, happen, like the weather or something. We want food, and they want work. It is what it is. It is a postscript chapter of Candide, about the best of all possible curiously convenient arrangements to have out-of-work itinerant peasants meekly fetch provisions and carry them to our castle door whenever we ring the bell.

This best of all possible prole summonings would turn into a real buzzkill if word got out that it’s just a big exploitation racket. ‘T would the mood. Taking desperately poor people who have been artificially coerced into taking hellish, terribly compensated jobs obsequiously serving others and systematically miscategorizing them as happy humble folk just following their natural bliss seems like an odd but oddly familiar tune, perhaps a little Song, Song of the South, Millington for Sheriff and I shut my mouth. Mercy, O’Hara, that always comes as a shock, but I wish I were just shitposting. Underworked, overpaid shitheads in the metropoles say the same things about their underpaid, overworked servants that whites in the Old South said about their black neighbors. They were happier as slaves, surely preferred this to Africa, just look at that precious pickaninny smile. It isn’t what we want; it’s what THEY want. Sure, we’ll maim or just about beat to death any of them who object, or at least banish them from the day labor market, but goodness, we never seem complain.

The through lines dive underground, but they do not go away. If nothing else, the Planter South stipulated the existence of slavery as an institution. In New York and Los Angeles and other dynamic, forward-looking cities with two thirds of the GDP today, what caste system? There are no castes. It’s the Devil who denies himself as a being. Then, taking recourse to Harry Potter, which we shouldn’t but we must, we discover wonderous questions from the deepest reaches of the intellect. For example, what if the muggles enjoy serving the wizards? Should we feel bad? Like, okay, servitude or whatever is a thing, innit, but what if they like it like that? Is it still wack?

Christ have mercy, that bitch-ass wizard shit is a roman a clef for the English class system and the American racial caste system. We’re reworking these oppressions and horrors into a batshit fantasy series about flying around under the Gothic spires of a public school on a fucking broom. We have all these dumb af character archetypes who are really nothing more than Prince Charles, Our Cockneys, and, like, dingbat Harriet Tubman. Grown adults admit to reading this shit in earnest, with no shame, no gnawing feeling that there has to be more to books than this. Real life is adult stuff, not fun stuff, but maybe this stuff is close enough.

Bitch it is not. Is it any surprise that this shit overlaps so with our current round of semiofficial bearbaiting? I’m extremely familiar with the United States and reasonably familiar with Russia for a foreigner who visited once and still dabbles in the language. The shit I hear said about our alleged geopolitical relations sounds nothing like either of the two. Rachel Maddow is nothing but a neighborhood happy hour drunk who somehow got a high-profile platform to comment on the “news.”

And is it any surprise that both of these shitty mats of cultural detritus, MSNBC and Harry Potter, intersect in such an impenetrable spaghetti bowl with The West Wing? That’s the #content our presumptuous erstwhile rulers crave: a real-time reimagining of the Clinton Administration under a boring chaste nerd, not a fun horny nerd. They refuse even to romance us on the way to the electric chair, Mr. Thurmond. That retardedly self-important outpouring of prestige television is as useful a vehicle as any for the delusion that Bill Clinton exorcised our nation’s racial demons, when in fact he liberally fed them. Food to eat: that’s liberalism, too, kid, in America.

Say, might be some left over on Ricky Ray’s tray. Bless, o Lord, these thy gifts.

Faulkner wasn’t kidding. The past is not dead, but this gallon jug of Bourbon is. It starts to feel impossible to get anything done through political channels when these navelgazing freaks keep blocking them. What else should I say if factions within the Republican Party now seem more amenable than the Democrats to reality-based living? Bernie Sanders is not realistic, but Josiah Bartlet is? Joe Biden comports himself like he’s always recovering from a trip to the East End of Cincinnati for neurosurgery from James “Mack the Pipe” Mack. I guess that’s what we’re calling compos mentis these days. Up in Over-the-Rhine there’s a $20 blow-and-go to be had if you don’t mind the brick house blowing it, but I’m sure that price, too, is just the price the universe floated to and settled on in its cosmic wisdom and not the highest starting bid our thick sister was willing to offer because she was poor and desperate for cash.

We’ve really gone off the Reality Reservation lately as a polis. Our main political parties, both aggressively aristocratic, are, respectively, a postmodern full-on reactionary death cult, currently demanding an officially sanctioned afternoon out for a long-acting Jim Jones Kool-Aid cocktail, and a modestly less death-cultic but equally postmodern collection of ostensibly “liberal” and “progressive” authoritarian chickenshits trying to swaddle themselves against perceived threats that may or (likelier) may not be present, all from the arrested developmental age of a slow sweet sixteen. This latter “left” party resents the hell out of Bernie because he’s a no-nonsense Jewish grandpa, not some out-of-touch putz showing off his top-of-the-line home refrigerator full of high-end ice cream. The former, paradoxically, includes officials who don’t mind the old socialist because they have weird patches of common ground with him, as well as voters who might defect either way across the divide, passing over the perpetually adolescent crybabies and drama queens none of them can stand.

The partisan standoff over the Dread Ailment is not simply one of science and reason versus superstition and the economy. The average shitlib Democrat believes in science the same way the average right-wing nutjob Republican believes in Christianity. Cue Gandhi musing about Western Civilization as such a fine idea. There are those in the mix who seek out the truth in a spirit of genuine intellectual and moral curiosity, but they murmur into a void awash in the stupidest, crudest, most ulterior screeching. Public health restrictions might seem less onerous if one’s favorite services are allowed to maintain full operations (GrubHub, UberEats, Netflix) than if they are not (hair salons, the dining room at Applebee’s). In this light it’s all a petty cultural dispute having nothing to do with public health.

Paranoia that secular elites are using the crisis as an excuse to crack down on religious gatherings may be warranted. I stress: may. There are Dawkinsbots squirming around in the woodwork with smug glee that Easter services got canceled because they were all bullshit anyway. On the other hand, it sure looks like that dumb fool in Virginia got himself killed by going to church. Personally, I’m pining more and more for Mass and confession, but it still looks like a pretty inopportune time to welcome the parish’s sick elders back into the sancutary, exchange the sign of peace, and all drink from the same cup.

Once again, it’s a cultural weed thicket we’ll exhaust ourselves trying to explore. Like any other crisis, this one is activating the bad actors to exploit it for all it’s worth. We’re extremely lucky in the United States, for the most part, that there has been so little government overreach in the response. We have overwhelmingly been left free to go about our daily lives. NPR segments have been allocated as veal pens for teachers’ pets and busybodies to grandstand as private citizens instead of warping official policy to their whims and using the full coercive power of the state to enforce it.

But this is just for the lucky among us. There are neighborhoods the police chronically terrorize, sometimes even with the complementary assistance of nonsworn street gangs. We have our prisons. We have our SRO’s, our workingman’s flophouses, our encampments, our residential parking strips down by the bay and the tracks on the poor side of town.

It’s plain as day that we are not actually taking this shit seriously. Inept, derelict shitheads like Carolyn Goodman are still being allowed basically full latitude to fuck around and fuck up without state or federal intervention. Nobody ever does a thing for the homeless. It’s taken a public health emergency in which they’re confirmed vectors of communicable diseases that rampantly transmissible among the housed, not just other homeless, to move the above statement from 99% true to 95% or maybe 90%. Any adequately engaged government with jurisdiction over Clark County would have immediately moved in and forced the city and county governments out of the way the day the goddamned social distancing squares were painted on that parking lot with a direct line of sight to and from hundreds of vacant hotel rooms. We, whoever the hell “we” are, are doing little about congregate living disasters in general, ones that should have been made superfluous decades ago. It’s taken weeks to months to start emptying prisons in earnest, and so far the effort has been disastrously hit-and-miss. For the love of God prisons, flophouses, squats, encampments, and other crowded, filthy congregate living arrangements with poor to nonexistent utilities have been known breeding grounds for communicable diseases for centuries.

It is not that we don’t know. It’s that we don’t care.

Then there’s the very suspect official about-face on masks. Nobody I’ve seen in a position of authority has given a credible explanation of what motivated the initial opposition to the widespread public use of masks or the recent and in many places abrupt reversal. That which was forbidden is now mandatory. All that is not mandatory is forbidden. Hospital and supermarket workers were begging for weeks to be allowed to wear masks and told to shut up and go back to work. It would scare patients. It would scare customers. Some defied these orders and were punished. Some were fired.

The original party line was that mass mask use would deprive doctors and nurses of N-95 masks. These are the same masks that DHS and other federal agencies have been seizing on arrival, almost certainly to resell on the black or gray market, along with other medical supplies. They’re scalping masks and ventilators. Charlie Baker had to get Robert Kraft to send the Patriots’ 767 to China to bring a shipment through Anchorange and into Massachusetts unmolested.

This shit rightly pissed ordinary Americans off. It was reckless and outrageous, all of it. Citizens very reasonably protested that officials were trying to get us all killed. After weeks of this furor, the authorities started to come around. Like, shit, that sounds like a good idea; we’d hate to get anyone killed. From that point public health officers moved quickly, to the extent that full mouth and nose coverings are now required to enter enclosed public spaces in much of the country.

If they wanted conspiracy theories about the pandemic, they did exactly the right things to culture them. Keep in mind that the current outbreak surged from a baseline level of public trust corroded by years of escalating celebrity woowoo about vaccines, autism, probiotics, pH balancing agents, and the dangers of allopathic medicine in general, itself facilitated by the blatant, widespread, officially unacknowledged failures of allopathic medicine. The pandemic has accreted to this already voluminous corpus of quackery, conjecture, rumor, and fraud prolifc Facebook conspiracy theories about, among other claims, the government having programmed the virus with a kill switch that it will flip once it’s killed its full quota of constituents. Mainstream Republicans have cast their lot with the Trump Organization’s fixation on hydroxychloroquine and similar compounds as cure-alls, a fixation driven by a barely scrutable combination of insider trading, extrapolation from preliminary clinical research, and Owning the Libs. Trust in mainstream medicine is now more than ever a hallmark of affluent Democratic orthodoxy. It’s a Brahmin Thing. That, and refusing to look at evidence that medical, quasimedical, and pseudomedical authority figures are ulterior, malevolent, or just fuckig inept.

It breaks down once again along lines of class, caste, and subculture. Dr. Oz is a touch on the low-class side for the proudest Brahmins, and Facebook samizdat is absolutely way too far over the line. Bill Gates, though? Dear God is he a creep, but he has his foundation. A reasonable, critical person, even one discerning nuances in his motives, as I do, has to look at the scope of the Foundation’s work and wonder whether maybe the foil hatters aren’t wrong about the guy.

;There are reasons why the streets don’t trust authority figures in these situations. Even if the proles are spelunking rabbit holes that yield no bunny, they’re touching on, if not directly raising, compelling questions about the trustworthiness of the governments that now claim to watch out for them with an eagle eye. Ask yourself: after Tuskegee, Pruitt-Igoe, the mass sterilizations, the eugenics craze that attenuated only slowly after the Gilded Age crashed along with the international economy, Flint, the postwar Nevada bomb tests, and the Anthrax scare of 2001, is there anything farfetched about gain-of-function experiments gone awry at Fort Detrick? The Chinese counterpart, sited impressively close to Wuhan, is also an acceptable answer. Correct? We just do not know.

What we do know is that the authorities aren’t telling us. At least they’re finally telling us to wear masks, although it would be nice if they didn’t encourage us to be showboating assholes about how we’re toiling away at home like so many Keebler Elf wives to manufacture them.

That cold detachment

Eyyy, Fancy Nancy, she like a de gelati, #EY! And Mamma Mia, it is a slimy Isa Cream!

We can hardly even score a fun Eye Tie for these gigs. We’ve got Schumer, and we’ve got Cuomo–two of them, Christ–and fucka me Chucka, dats all we gots. Lawdy Mista Rosavelta, dissa coulda beaner D’Abilli Joel, but day plane, Frankie, day plane.

Some accuse Bernard of the Brothers of carpetbagging. I figure that move to Vermont was just cultural assortation. It’s never the aggro Money Jews who move north from the city full-time; it’s the principled Book Jews, the ones who are from the Outer Boroughs and aren’t ashamed of it, and by Bob Moses that train was leaving the freshly remodeled Penn Station with or without him.

We might figure there’d be some old-line Genovese or Turiners in North Beach, maybe even some Arab Southerners in the Excelsior or what have we, who could have claimed that wop slot first. We’d figure wrong. A little upwardly mobile Irish something-something happened to Moscone and Milk back at the zenith of the Great Compression, and you can betcher racially ambiguous Wasilla ass we didn’t get one of the good Jews out of that deal, either.

Look, I’m not up on my high horse here grandstanding about how I’m a cracker crossbreed Catholic. That’s for the Baltimore mayor’s daughter to do, As An Italian. So was Gramsci, bitch.

The Pelosi Ice Cream Controversy is petty, but it’s revealing. The Marie Antoinette energy is strong in that one. The whole episode is emblematic of postmodern American politics as celebrity.  These aren’t public servants; they’re celebrity divas. The public service they do perform is incidental to their privilege. They have to perform some local constituent services to hold their seats, because at some point even their cult diehards will start to wonder what the hell they’re doing on Capitol Hill if they don’t, but in the grand scheme we’re all constituents of Congress, and as guardians of the national commonweal most of them, Nancy Pelosi included, are disastrous.

It stands out that these crooks never socialize with anybody who understands how ordinary Americans live or has the courage to tell them. It’s of a piece with the unmooring from reality of our elites across the board. The people behind our television entertainment have little ability to tell the stories of ordinary Americans and practically none to design a sitcom set resembling an average American house or neighborhood. Newspaper reporters and staffers in the seats of our governments come more and more from the upper middle and upper classes. Elected officials at the state level are consistently statistically or functionally multimillionaires; at the federal level they’re either multimillionaires who live and think like centimillionaires or centimillionaires who live and think like billionaires.

Christopher Lasch’s revolt of the elites framework was overwrought in its emphasis on the secular liberalism of the upstart elites rising in the late midcentury; loud religious piety and cultural conservatism have long been more of a middle- to upper-middle-class hobbyhorse than generally framed for normcore consumption, and less of a fundamental value set of the lower classes, although the regional and local nuances are worth keeping in mind. Lasch’s overarching model, however, wasn’t just perceptive. It was prescient. This was especially true of the socioeconomic aspects of his framework, which he sketched out ably, although lightly and as part of a distracting effort to integrate them into a grand model of decadence, alienation from workaday life, and hardening arrogance.

The guy had his odd fixations, but he was a fucking prophet. He still is, really. There is simply no way that a rich, pampered socialite like Nancy Pelosi will allow her descendants to plummet into the mere middle class in her lifetime, unless they seek out a middling station of life and refuse her help. A descent into the lower class is something that would take them a heroic effort. Even if they choose to live frugally and shabbily, their parents and grandparents will be there to bail them out of the legal consequences of any addictions they indulge, or at the very least to blunt the ill effects. They know how to find top-notch criminal defense attorneys and can easily afford legal fees. They’re able and generally willing to bribe police departments and prosecutors’ offices. They keep and curate their blackmail files. Maybe the Chief is a sexual deviant who studied for his psych exams; a fellow couldn’t brame him for that. Maybe the DA is a psychopath who abuses her help. To be clear, this is not the Bill Scott energy, but that is the Kamala Harris energy. Remember, Dick Pic Tony dindu nun wah Denny Dundiddly dun. As far as we know, in any event. No homo, we just like to roll around on the mat and grab our fellows’ asses, but Carolina Jailbait knew his deal when she reached out to him, here, , On Line. They say Diddlin’ Dennis did it to straight dudes, too, though. Put it in, Coach!

This is just a fun scenic detour, a Taconic State Parkway of perversion. Listen, young lady, you shouldn’t let just any old guy run his Taconic peak down your professionally mowed parkway. I don’t figure it was a good idea to publish that, but it was an idea. Most of y’all are still stopping by for Dubai Porta Potty and the Levinian dude looks like a lady of the uncanny valley shit, right? Just thot I’d check. The sex is always more fun than the budgeting, but that’s just for us little people, ain’t it, Leona. Fancy Nancy, that girl can budget. It’s easier with reserves and credit lines. $190k down the drain for poker, or maybe to pay to poke her, or for a gentleman to powder his nose, or for shit even I am of no mind to mention, or, goodness, it must have been for the National Pastime, was no problem for Brett Michael. They’ve got friends. They’ve got associates.

They get their parents or family cronies to set them up with patent sinecures on command. The sky’s the limit on the bullshit make-work. NBC paid Chelsea Clinton a “salary” on the order of half a million dollars to show up at the office if she felt like it and pretend that she was employable. She quit this job to do “charitable” and other foundation “work” and get brownnosed by family scholars on retainer to reassure her that she knows all about executive function and therefore isn’t a useless idiot.

There’s a litany of repulsively sleazy grifts the Trump family organization has run–for a general hint, consider that they’re openly described as a family organization–but reestablishing Florentine Renaissance family patronage in the arts for the degraded purpose of making the family regressions to the mean sound educated is not one of them. Eric Trump’s selling points do not include the transcendence of mental retardation.

A survey of twenty-first century academia and publishing indicates that it’s impossible to make a living as a reputable writer or academic in the humanities, the arts, or the soft sciences, but there are depressingly numerous openings in marketing, including those devoted to burnishing the reputations of politically connected dimwits as intellectual visionaries. Kissing Chelsea’s ass in the name of intellectual vigor is night-and-day worse, intellectually, than anything Steve Bannon has done as a public intellectual adjacent to political power. Bannon is a dissipated alcoholic polymath who took the Third Successive Mr. Jefferson Beauregard Secessions on as his political fighter, then the Oaf of Office, and before long got turfed out, on the path of so many colleagues, for crossing his messy bitch from Queens who lives for drama. Nothing But Respect For A Thick Moist One. These guys are wrecks, but against the odds they’re humble wrecks.

Joe Biden has a different but even worse liability. He has himself a Hunter problem. There’s old Joe, wouldja just look at him, doing the yeoman wonk’s work for his humble Senator’s salary, living in his corrupt yet inexpensive second First State, keeping his net worth down, and well shucks, don’tcha know, his boy got discharged from the service over drugs and picked up a job on the board of a foreign oil company. The whiff wafting off this scene sticks. The Democrats spent four decades cultivating Uncle Joe and his colleagues as serious, upstanding technocrats, and now, as it emerges by the week that their golden boy of the year is not only a handsy hair-sniffer and reactionary extremist but also apparently a rapist and progressively senile, they’re whining at the top of their lungs that it’s unfair. It’s unfair for Trump to get a pass for doing the same shit. It’s unfair for Trump to hypocritically accuse Biden of doing the same sleazy and predatory things he’s done himself.

Beanbag come to mind as a wholesome, fair game. Anybody who’s so much as observed Capitol Hill as a rank amateur should know better than to expect one of the most boisterously outrageous celebrities in the country to go easy on a scandal-plagued opponent who is actively angering a good half or more of his own party’s nominal coalition by being a reactionary ratfucker and is truly losing his damn mind in real time. Trump’s key tactical strength here isn’t that he’s shameless, but that he’s shrewd and astute. The shrill charges of hypocrisy ring hollow. The Trumps and their Business Success Associates relish their own corruption. Burisma? Of course I would have put Junior or my hot daughter or the blond retard on the board; we were just busy with a bunch of other scams. It isn’t the hustle the Donald disrespects; it’s the whiny hypocrisy, the nerve of the sleazeballs opposite him to cry out for the mods to stop him from doing the shit they’re doing, too.

Of course the Democrats aren’t actually interested in playing beanbag for a living. They’re dirty as hell, and they have the nerve to add insult to injury by bitching and moaning about how they keep getting done dirty. We hear endless scolding about how Trump is unqualified for his office. Everyone sniveling about that needs to shut up and read the Constitution. Donald John Trump was a natural-born citizen over the age of 35 at the time of his inauguration. He’s full-stop 100% qualified. What the Democrats actually mean is that they dislike him. They resent him for not paying his dues inside the Beltway. They resent him for not kissing the rings, i.e., for exactly the shit that ordinary voters in the provinces cannot fucking stand and exactly the shit the candidates pandering to them make a show of not doing.

As we’ve reviewed before, too extensively, the Democrats had copious grounds, as they say in Detroit, to impeach the motherfucker, but instead of making a strong case proving that he was heinous, they slow-walked the process, then got horny for rules and droned on about a mishmash of incomprehensible diplomatic points of order having to do with foreign lands where our government was unwisely entangled. James Madison isn’t here to chide them for reverting to a lower old-country parliamentary threshold for shitcanning the bastard, or to have his fellow human beings whipped to death for being too slow picking tobacco. They could have told him, all right, asshole, you’ve been inciting pogroms and sending people into our chambers to shit on us, and you’re leaving town. Go to your branded hotel down the street if you want, but you’re evicted. You’re #fired.

It would have been muscular, mature, and sensible. Of course they fucking didn’t do it.

Unless they change horses midcharge–another thing that might well make too much sense to consider–we’re only in the early stages of watching that hated oaf curbstomp their new mush-for-brains standardbearer. More assuredly than that we’ve got at least another seven months of sputtering grievances about how the Party is being unfairly denied the very things it has done everything in its power not to earn. The assholes can’t help themselves. They just have to shit on core constituencies for being uppity and scream at them, demanding their votes.

Fool I ain’t in dawg. The constant weaponization of privilege wore out its novelty years ago. There’s no shortage of us who are terminally sick of hearing from ungodly rich thieves and parasitic sinecure holders that we have to check our privilege while we live, out of sheer necessity, in some version or other of the real world. Is it possible to live at the top of Divisadero, own a large vineyard on prime Napa Valley bottomland, and not be a shithead?

Democratic Party politics are a scheme for posh miserable cunts to gaslight their socioeconomic inferiors into indulging in psychotic parasocial relationships with treacherous elected officials. That was the point of the ice cream horseshit. Fancy Nancy and Gropey Joe have known each other in real life for decades, and they still carry on a bizarre parasocial relationship over Twitter, pour l’encouragement des autres. They probably have their People do the grunt work (Trump does much of his own poasting), but that’s beside the point. Any reputable politician who saw that kind of belittling Marie Antoinette preening on an official campaign channel would fire the comms staffer who posted it.

The Democratic Party has pushed its way into a state of decadence and hubris so extreme that Bernie Sanders was its only viable candidate for the presidency who lived at all deeply in the real world. Warren came close, depending on what we’re calling close. The clown car hangers-on who managed to live likewise abroad from the Land of Make-Believe were a strange bunch: the steady-as-she-goes normcore Castro, the postmodern economics nerd Yang, the deceptively astute activist moneybags Steyer (who had actually put in serious ground work, in person, in South Carolina, for years), the unabashedly syncretistic spiritual guide Williamson, opening for us all the portal into an astral overworld we dared not imagine. She said it herself: we’re uncomfortable here because we’re not from here. It just goes to show, we never know who will crash in from the New Age book circuit out of the blue and effortlessly explain Washington.

The rest of them are cultists who project their rank cultism onto Bernie and his bros of all sexes. They expect us to relate to them because they keep expensive ice cream in extremely expensive freezers. Bitch who the hell is us? The fuck do these supercilious scumbags have in common with us, and what in God’s name do they have to offer us? Nancy’s record is really bad, and Joe’s is atrocious. Do they seriously think that posting that twee, preening, self-congratulatory shit about one another’s excellent domestic taste makes it a good time to have a neck?

Leaving that aside in the basket (how deplorable!), their domain is what might be called war by other means. What, pray tell, is it good for? Not a hell of a lot, it seems, the way they’re waging it. It is categorically, statistcally false that not voting is a privilege, or that voting third-party is a privilege. Fuck outta here. The median voter hardly ever votes. Maybe 1% of Americans could say who Jill Stein is. Once again, they mean something ridiculously different. They mean that it’s a privilege, but really an offense, not to vote as they dictate. How does that fucking work? It takes some combination of high ascribed class and high attained class to be exposed to their talking points in the first place; the poor figure they’re all bastards anyway, except for Bernie. We like Uncle Bernie. Is it a privilege not to drink Shoko Asahara’s bathwater? He surrounded himself with medical doctors and (why am I not surprised?) chemists and engineers, and he charged by the jar, so I don’t think so.

The freak with the rallies and the shouting fits and the inept spray-on tan and the empire of resort properties and wearable merch branded in his own family name is running the LESS cultlike presidential campaign. The loudmouthed conservative is tacking to the left of the loudmothed liberal, as he’s been doing on the spur of the moment for his entire career as a serious politician. What am I supposed to believe: the pronouncements of professional idiots who keep getting it totally wrong, or my own lying eyes? These are parochial concerns for the Parish of One, perhaps, but the average dipshit knows that the personal is the political. Bougie Democrats and the political types catering to them sure know how to make things that aren’t even about them personal, just as much as they know how to cause gratuitous personal offense to downwardly mobile losers like me. It’s that cult programming again. Scientology doesn’t appreciate it when members break out of the compound, either. Shoko doesn’t want the supplicants demanding better than boiled vegetables. Sarinday, in the park, I think it was the Cough of Oh My, here comes that gassy day feeling again.

You float?

By the way, and I am not imagining this or bluffing, I am on the moderate end of escapees from the Democratic Rez. I’ve been homeless, and I’ve nearly been the victim of domestic violence, but there’s a whole world of hurt out there that I haven’t suffered, and I’m grateful. To wax rhretorical and passive-aggressive, do yinz want me voting against your bullshit politicians, or should I not vote at all? I’m residually clubbable enough, and whatever else, to still believe in electoral politics, in fact, fiercely so. I’m not a Bernie-or-bust diehard, either: I’ve been listening to some of the daily broadcasts of the Gavin Gabbin’, the discourses about old African proverbs relevant to the State, not only of California, and as much as I love to fun the guy, if they swap Nob Hill Dreamboat in for First State Brain Pudding, I’ll be on board. Believe me, I am not siding with Trump because I don’t want to cut the bullshit, but because I do.

This is a specific preference. GTFO with the Blue No Matter Who extortion. Christ alive, can these asshats not recognize a cult tactic when they’re swinging it around like LBJ’s schlong? I suppose [Sean Connery voish] the firscht rule of Shite Club izh shy lensch, but some of these cases may actually be too stupid to see what they’re doing. The real world is not their scene. It may well be easier, for the dissociative, to disscociate from the moral horrors facilitating their own secure, luxurious lives.

It’s striking that so many of the Blue No Matter Who scolds, as well as so many of the upmarket core MAGA crowd, presume it right and just that a bottomless servant class exists to materialize at their command out of the ether to wait on them, then vanish back into thin air upon the completion of their appointed tasks, like so many ghosts. Like hell am I the privileged one in this scenario; I don’t use those platforms. I’ve never signed up. Then there’s the homelessness crisis, which intersects with the gig economy in a pretty big way, and which Bougiekistan refuses to confront. Gavin seems to care, but Nancy? Lol. Kamala? We’ve seen what she does to prisoners, another disproportionately homeless group. Think of it as a rapid rehousing program.

San Franciscans and Californians keep these creeps in power because they terrorize the poor. Even Newsom is too politic to rock the boat enough for them to notice without a compelling cause. This, I fear, is the horror show Democratic strategists are getting at when they insist on reaching out to disaffected suburban Republicans. Kamala Harris is a Deukmejian-Wilson Republican minus the charm, but the property owners around here have gotten all squeamish about out Republicans, so they flee for protection to the closet cases.

It’s even grosser. Deukmejian and Wilson were vicious, but they were grown-ups. They were honest about what they were selling. A lot of it was death and terror, but they weren’t squirrelly. The heavily Democratic extreme right in California today is too disingenuous, for the most part, to admit that it despises the poor, the incarcerated, and the otherwise marginalized. We’re good liberals, you see. That’s why we vote for the great incoherent liberalism of London Breed, the greater incoherence of Fancy Nancy and DiFi, whatever the hell other than criminal aggression explains Ernesto Olivares, and the incomprehensible incoherence of Kamala Harris. The last two are cops, and the former got a uniform for his trouble.

If Democratic electorates are voting for these creeps and sleazeballs, that says something about the Democratic Party and its voters. It fits together too snugly with the decadent, morally insenate antics of YouTubers in Venice Beach and the pathetic dipshit proposal to win back the US House by appealing to Panera Democrats. Straight from the mouth of National Oracle Crystal Harris: fun stuff for me, adult stuff for thee. Sitting around in Panera and posting about masturbatory West Wing fantasies on a laptop? Fun stuff. Grance halls? Union halls? Factory floors? Picket lines? Not fun stuff. Driving for Uber, as opposed to telling others to drive for Uber? Hell no.

Crystal barely knew who Barack Obama was when Hef took her along to chat with Larry King, and she’s one of the better Harrises.

I can’t imagine why they keep getting thumped at the polls. Shucks, they’re all just Mr. Smith going to Washington, to militate for the stupidest, blindest, prissiest, most disingenuous aristocratic wannabes on the planet. Let’s go scare up some amoral social climbers in Alpharetta and Granite Bay and wherever and see if they wouldn’t rather vote for a team of perennial losers instead. Once we’ve done that, let’s go scream bloody murder at college-educated dead-enders with six-figure debt loads and retail jobs about how they’re apostates.

Eyy, signora, maybe there’s a reason why we ain’t a so heppy widda Mista Giuseppe, #EY! My bad: we’re respectable, devout Italian Catholics. Kyrie eleison from the Geary Expressway to Highway 29 all the godforsaken live-long night.

If you don’t mind death

That’s a fascinating viewpoint. What I want to know is this: what if you do?

Donald Trump said that in a moment in which he was possessed of Ricky Ray Rector’s understanding of death. I do not mean to shitpost here or make fun of him. This is precisely, descriptively, functionally, literally what Rector was thinking when he scored his A+ on the Marshmallow Test by saving his pie for afterwards. Scout’s Honor I am not trying to fun the Donald, not this time. Our metaphysically challenge executive friend here is the head of state and government in the sole extant global imperial power, if we still wish to exclude the infrastructure diplomacy of Red China. Ricky Ray got the launch codes this time. It’s obviously hilarious, too, a good cause for ridicule, but ooh boy.

South Park bizarroworld though that stream-of-consciousness (unconsciousness?) was, it’s basically the Beltway consensus of the two major parties, artlessly stripped of its traditional and customary paint job. The state and local parties push the same heinous shit, of course, with some merciful deviations but not many. It’s an awesomely bipartisan praxis. The two parties play bad cop-worse cop in this vicious game, Brentwood Mark Fuhrman as the foil for Homan Square Jon Burge.

Trump, at once to his credit and his discredit, was in no way mentally awake enough to be morally crooked, as we might tell Chester if he field our legs. There’s no way his saying that was immoral or even amoral, let alone heinous; it was too thoroughly fucking retarded. There was no moral, philosophical, metaphysical, or other form of thought of de minimis maturity. He blurted that out in the course of a quick dive into the infinite void of his own mind, like, if you don’t mind spending an extra buck on the Impossible Whopper, or being killed by this plague I’m not really bringing under control.

Since we’re on the topic, but barely, we might assume, under more normal political circumstances, that his throwaway comment about death would be impossible, but either way, it’s no whopper. To lie, gaslight, push the Overton Window, or even just deliberately bullshit, a person has to be at least vaguely aware of what’s under discussion at the moment. Trump was when he bragged about being able to walk outside and shoot somebody in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue. This was something else entirely. Fifth Avenue? That’s a nice candy bar, a phenomenal candy bar, if you don’t mind it, or maybe you like animal crackers. We love our animal crackers, don’t we. Pecan pie. We love our pecan pie, too, and as long as you don’t let the flies get to it, it keeps.

It was jarring and at the same time refreshing, even encouraging, to find a politician talking about death with absolutely no concept of death. Trump’s colleagues damn well understand death. They may not think about it deeply, or seriously, or reverently, but they understand it adequately to rest assured that Ricky won’t be coming back for dessert. These are heinous monsters who casually order the annihilation of people they dislike and then publicly revel in it. Trump does that, too, although less consistently. Does he do anything consistently? Fucker has the attention span of a squirrel on crank.

The reason he mentioned not minding death was that he’s been bombarded in recent weeks with reports and projections of death. Talk of death flooded his field of vision. It filled his ears and washed through his mind. Free-associatively regurgitating it on camera was the same monkey-hear monkey-do topical freestyling he always does about whatever combination of news. Fox News, back-of-the-house whispers from the clashing factions of court Rasputins, and other physically repeatable noise he’s been hearing on a regular basis over the past thirty seconds to twelve hours. He’s one of the crudest, most impulsive, most distractable public figures we’ve had the honor of being able to watch in recent years. If he liked the idea of mass constituent deaths, the Oaf of Office would have said something to that effect. He would have expressed noticeable hatred or contempt or condescension, or something. His comments in this case were casual because his thoughts were casual.

Geez, I think. Who knows? For all I know he was repeating heinous disregard or contempt for human life that he’d been hearing from aides or appointees. This is not a guy you turn to to keep a secret.

I don’t think. It sure sounded like the flippant, thoughtless meme of killing Kenny again. Obviously that isn’t death in any normal sense. It’s an absurdist gag, the kind of thing that’s impossible not to get for anyone who isn’t utterly deranged or mentally retarded enough for Bill Clinton to order exterminated from the face of the earth, to touch at last the face of God and see if there isn’t pie in that part of the sky.

*****

Dude’s Ash Wednesday sermons must be fucking LIT. Death. A lot of people are talking about it. They’re talking about smearing ash all over your forehead so you look like a loser, when you could be out eating KFC and Cinnabon. They say people die a lot. You hate to hear it.

They killed God. Can you believe it? They killed God. Grabbed the guy, beat the shit out of him, put him up on a cross. God. They killed God. You wouldn’t think they could do that, but they did it. They killed him.

You wouldn’t believe it, this general came up to me. Simon Peterson, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Salvation Army. And this general, General Peterson, he told me, sir, that’s unacceptable. We can’t let them just go and kill God, We gotta do something about it, sir. We had to do something about it.

And you know what? They did something about it. General Peterson? General Peterson told me, sir, that was bullshit, sir. That’s bullshit. We can’t let them do that, sir. We have to do something about it. And he was right. I told him, you’re right, Simon. That’s bullshit. Dirty, dirty cops. Pontius Pilate, the centurions, all dirty, dirty cops. They’re all dirty cops. Comey? He killed God. Tried to crucify #MeToo.

It’s phenomenal what Simon told me. He told me, sir, he broke out. He called Satan a loser and a hater and he broke right out of hell, sir. That son of a bitch, he was outta there. Killed him Friday and Sunday morning he was gone. Can you believe it? Three days of dirty cops and their bullshit, and that was all he could take.

And I told General Peterson, that’s only two days. Friday they kill him, Saturday he’s down there, and Sunday, he’s outta there, see ya. And Simon, Simon told me, yes, sir, you’re right sir, Jesus couldn’t stand John Dingell. So two days. Two days and he was gone. And Cardinal Dolan told me, you know what Cardinal Dolan told me? He told me, sir, we have a Saturday night service we call the Vigil Mass. The vigil. The vigil.

Day and a half tops. They kill God and he’s dead only a day and a half. Phenomenal. Stretched it out to three days for the ratings, but day and a half, folks. Day and a half. We love God. We love to hear that. We love God, folks. I love the Hindu!

*****

That was, of course, a culturally Protestant retelling. Cultural Protestantism is most of what we get in the way of presidents, although we did give Jimmy Carter a try that one time. No, I don’t feel like explaining it, and no, I don’t figure it’s something you can look up. Think about it.

Just think about it. Give it some thot, Jack. Up against the wall, signora, if you have five minutes. His Vigor, Chappaquiddick Cool Change, and Good God, y’all, Fancy Nancy: all confessed Catholics, although best I can tell not privately confessed lol. There’s been a great deal of chatter about Francis decreeing Protestantism by dispensing the Catholic faithful from the normal Lenten obligation of the Sacrament of Penance this year–feel free to call God anytime if that’s what it takes, like we’re all about to head up to Geneva to head-off Calvin’s kin for fornication, or to Wurzburg to fart back in Luther’s face–but that’s just what the Pope does when he does mind death. You might mind it, you might not mind it, you might not be able to explain what the hell it is, and if you have command over the world’s largest nuclear missile arsenal you might not be able to come close.

Hey, kids, launch officer is a great career, if you don’t mind living in a basement in North Dakota and shitting in plastic bags. Great bosses, too, if you don’t mind them.

Just remember: Pete Wilson and Bill Clinton are notable examples what we get when we elect leaders who mind death. There’s no relishing it without minding it. As Dan Quayle said at a United Negro College Fund banquet, perhaps apocryphally, it’s a terrible thing to lose your mind, or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.

Mind you, I’m not always subsumed in this quality of extreme retardation, just often, because this is America. Early in the American chapter of the pandemic, as shit was starting to get real enough for quarantine zones and shelter-in-place orders, I talked with my youth minister friend. He told me about something he’d heard from a colleague, in reference to the cancellation of public masses, likely well into Easter. She pointed out that the only day of the year when the faithful are not allowed to receive the Eucharist is Good Friday. The weekend is nigh upon us, and I encourage you all to have one. Her point, since she had one–look, I don’t ask you for money, and most of you don’t ask for anything more than Dubai Porta Potty–her point was that this Lent and Easter may be an extended Good Friday for the Christian faithful, and we ought to be receptive to the grace that may come from it.

Once again, what you think about it depends on how much–nay, if, you mind it. Fucken Camus-ass da-da shit, and the guy saying it has supreme command over one of the world’s largest, most meddlesome, most belligerent militaries. I just looked it up for a wee bit more context, and sure enough Trump was riffing on Boris Johnson’s dipshit plan for herd immunity, i.e., replacing a lot of public health work with what Trump called, verbatim, “a lot of death.” They’re both vicious, and it’s possible that they’re psychopaths, but more than anything they stand out for being stupid and cavalier. It was BoJo who walked around in the Shwedagon Pagoda gently singing that rude imperial ditty about kissing the local girl in Mandalay while a career UK diplomat pleaded with him to shut up and show some reverence for their hosts. #GoodStuff

The big difference is that BoJo has trains of thought. He knew what Mandalay was. If you’ve been watching and thinking critically about postmodern American politics, you may have noticed that this mental competency keeps getting us into very bad places. Trump is pretty awful himself, but on the other hand, he keeps letting important official secrets slip: the FBI is dirty; the other three-letter agencies are dirty; cooping Rod up in that cramped home on the range was bogus; his closest ally in Europe wanted to kill his constituents wholesale by exposing them to the deadliest pathogen currently in wide circulation.

The first three are true. Hell if I know what to make of the last. The Brits have had monarchs before who were hella stupid, but I’ve always been under the impression that Parliament screened its premiers for smarts, and that the Conservative Party lowered the bar for Boris. Good grief he’s no Maggie. He doesn’t even look like he’d wash up after sloppy seconds on Cameron’s pig. For that matter, comparing BoJo to his recent predecessors, as with the Donald to his, should be cause enough to take our evil leaders unfiltered when we can.

Bruisers for Bernie

Joe Rogan got the whole liberal chattering class’s panties into an impenetrable bunch this week. All he had to do was tentatively declare himself a Bernard Brother. They got upset when Bernie went on Rogan’s show, and they got bent even further out of shape when this appearance netted him an endorsement.

These shitlib wokescolds really do hate winning. Blowing a couple hundred mil of the funds they’ve helped raise on a disastrously out-of-touch campaign that pissed off a small majority of Americans for years is fine, but God forbid you go on a podcast they dislike, have a cordial enough time with its host whom they also dislike, and get him to like you enough to tell his listeners that he’s planning to vote for you. This, son, is beyond the pale.

The problem with Joe Rogan is that he’s problematic. Duh. Wow Much thots Very explain. He’s accused of being a bigot, a kook, and a dimwit, a man with “all the mental alacrity of a turnip.” On the other hand, he regularly hosts guests who disagree with him and who are smarter than him. On what planet does this make him look bad? What are we smoking? I could use a break from the crushing bleakness of reality-based living myself.

We might hope that those running the Democratic Party would recognize the difference between not personally being keen on a guy and having their reputation poisoned by association with him. This is a distracting gloss, of course. They hate Bernie, and they hate Rogan for the same reasons. They don’t give a shit that he’s a bigot; Joe Biden, please report to a white people courtesy telephone. Rather, what bothers them is that these guys are unabashedly broad working-class in their mannerisms, temperaments, and worldviews. It isn’t a bit, like Joe Biden’s aw-shucks Scranton-via-Wilmington shtick. It’s the real deal. Sanders is an old outer borough Jewish socialist muckraker, and Rogan is a proud Irish meathead. Rogan has platformed other leftists, too. He seems intellectually curious, if rougher than his supercilious betters would like and maybe not so big on object permanence. I don’t think I’d care to listen to this dude opine about MMA folding chair beatdowns or some shit for a full episode myself, but I have to wonder what the hell is so awful about his mild-mannered political wildcard chatter in a media landscape featuring the likes of Rush Limbaugh and an emeritus political deanery that has never rejected Henry Kissinger. As public figures go, he seems all right. Hell, he’s not Hillary Clinton.

As far as I can tell, these butthurt nerds didn’t give Joe Rogan any thought or hold opinions about him until he hosted Bernie Sanders on his podcast. Then, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, he was a prime vector of bigotry and illiberalism. There’s nothing particularly novel about this: it’s exactly how their feelings evolved on Russia. Nor have I forgotten the ample license they gave the Donald for decades, expressing no concern about his flagrantly coarsening effects on American culture as a celebrity entertainer, and turning on him only when he humiliated their ice queen by stealing the presidential election the universe owed her for her for paying her dues. I’m not trying to imply that they care about voter suppression in North Carolina or other crooked states; that’s a secondary concern of theirs, at best, to their psychosexual needs.

Again, I don’t listen to Rogan. The only clip I’ve heard of him is the one where he endorsed Bernie Sanders. He seemed quite down-to-earth and agreeable there, so I have trouble imagining that he’s really some kind of uncontrollable maniac or sadistic monster. If somebody goes to the trouble to post something about him convincing me that I’m wrong, that’s cool, but I’m not about to get invested in researching a broadcast personality who neither attracts nor repels me just because the shitlib blob are all sore with him for making common cause with an old-school socialist they all hate. I’m not doing a fucking ethnography about any of this just because hoes mad. The centrist shitheads are speculating and projecting, too, after all. I’m at least trying to live in the real world, without inspiration from such bae leaders as Harry Potter and Josiah Bartlet.

One thing I find telling, though, is the specter of accusations that Rogan traffics superstition, woo-woo, conspiracy theories, and so forth. Who gives a shit? This is just more class warfare, coming as usual from the top down.

Rogan has criticized the #MeToo movement, to their disgust, but it’s worth considering whether he has a point when so many of its champions preferred to focus on Gwyneth Paltrow and ignore Juanita Broaddrick. It’s obvious that Paltrow is a stuck-up bitch who acts like her own shit doesn’t stink and a champion thot whisperer. She is obviously a bad influence on women. The prospect of her, of all people, as an advocate of sexual equity should give us pause. We’ve got a movement that was hogged from the start by insufferable A-List bitches who always act like their own shit doesn’t stink, like, oh my God, why did I have to put out for that hideous Jew. At some point, a point I long ago reached with the Goop cunt and J-Law, it’s time to point out that they were trying to climb that greasy pole and Harvey was the pole. I’m not ashamed to have more sympathy for young men falsely or inaccurately accused of sexual assault by classmates of dubious character or mentation for acts committed under circumstances nobody can reliably reconstruct than for sniveling starlets who constantly whine, perched atop their pies of wealth, that they had to humor a wretched self-loathing Jewish flasher on their way to the top. Jennifer Lawrence damages her case by complaining about horny men looking at her leaked nudes, as if her sex appeal as a clothed actress never contributed to her success. I’m sorry, but I am never going to be that attractive or that successful, and I am already more tangibly productive and useful to society. That bitch can go fuck herself.

We don’t have a duty to believe everything every obviously compromised complainant has to say about her trauma as a sexual assault survivor. We’ve got a whole lot of bad actors on the scene muddying the waters for victims of serious attacks or extortion shakedowns, and on top of that the Brock Turner case spewed a firehose of shit all over our already shambolic discourse about mercy versus justice in the criminal justice system. He’s a monster, but his case immediately turned into a Manichean nightmare when he was sentenced. Plus we’re all-around psychotic about sex in this country. I’ll be damned to assume that Rogan is categorically wrong and some of the most reality-optional centrist remoras in the land are categorically right.

Centrists complaining about Rogan for peddling conspiracy theories call to mind Rob Ford complaining about drunkards smoking crack. I’ve heard enough to last me a lifetime about the Russia/Ukraine horseshit. We’re a sovereign nation of our own, securely protected by thousands of miles of ocean from the parts of Russia that are worth a damn. I swear to God I’m inexpressibly sick of listening to useless fuckheads who have never studied Russia reputably or given it any worthwhile thought insisting that our the outcome of our election was dictated by a bunch of paid trolls spitting Our Hearts Go Out To The Ceausescu Family, Sad Day for Nicolae game at Midwestern computer shut-ins. The shut-ins are our fucking problem, not the Kremlin’s, and unlike most of his competitors, Bernie Sanders is trying to offer them something worth supporting instead of smearing them as a bunch of pigshit ignoramuses.

Here’s something more general about conspiracy theories, and more telling: the recreational ones are the fun ones, and they’re also the ones that our betters try to suppress. The Russian election interference story is fucking insufferable, an unbelievably self-serious pile of horseshit. Coast to Coast AM isn’t like that. Those guys are cool. They aren’t obsessed with Calvinist literalism or stick-in-the-ass rectitude. They enjoy a good campfire story. The story might be bullshit, allegory, hallucination, true memory, or all of the above, but nobody gets upset if parts of these stories turn out to be inaccurate or unprovable. It isn’t a sworn deposition; it’s a 2:00 am wake-and-bake call to the wildcard line about getting buttfucked with medical equipment by Roswell aliens riding the circuit in Fargo.

It’s a swell plan for the Democratic Party’s gatekeepers to throw fits at Joe Rogan and his listeners because they’re incorrigible teachers’ pets constitutionally incapable of understanding sarcasm, hyperbole, metaphor, allegory, mystery, or any other nuance coming from their political and cultural opponents. As always, we should expect nothing less of them. They’re goody-two-shoes boors, and to be blunt, their class is paid to believe in politically correct conspiracy theories, like the Russia bollocks, and not to believe in politically incorrect ones, like Saudi Arabia’s proven involvement in 9/11 or Jeffrey Epstein’s weird-ass presidential blackmail portraiture collection. To be blunter, most of them aren’t even paid well to do this. These are religious tests that apply to minor offices and sinecures paying anywhere from $40k to jack shit, not just to the major league.

This is another example of liberalism in fact being deeply illiberal. “Socially liberal but fiscally conservative” is a reliable weasel tell, but a lot of these assholes aren’t even socially liberal when push comes to shove. They allow their own lives to be dictated by prescribed studies, professional tracks, and associations. They allow peers, elders, and employers to tell them what to believe and what sort of company to keep. They resent those who demand or just end up with more freedom than they themselves dare assert to tell bumptious authority figures to mind their own business. There is nothing liberal at all about college as it is practiced in the United States today. It’s a hazing, extortion, and blackmail scheme. Jump through these hoops or we’ll speak ill of you to employers through your shitty transcript. Give us money or your degree will be worthless. No, not tuition; that’s separate, asshole. You’re just here to prove your mettle as a worker, with the reward to come of–huh, more exhausting drudgery doing nothing for the world, apparently. How bow dah. Suck it up, kid. It’s a meritocracy.

We’d be able to recognize this if we studied the liberal arts, at a library or something, or in our own minds. Joe Rogan would probably be in the top quartile of working critical thinking skills among students I knew in college and alumni I know today. It’s apparently pretty easy to invite him into a productive discussion about what liberty is and is not, instead of having a swarm of defensive shit-for-brains preps fuming about their sunk tuition costs and 529 plans and how dissidents are queering their investments by questioning the whole enterprise.

Think about what Rogan’s haters treasure: you know, shit like Panera Democrats. The road to a Democratic victory runs through this Panera in Alpharetta. Beltway journalists aren’t the only ones to fancy a lifestyle of hanging out in cafes for a living, but what a poverty of taste. Let’s find the place with the shittiest coffee, the most overpriced sandwiches, the worst clip-art for wall décor, and let’s make sure that it’s run by nudge theory marketing assholes and situated in a strip mall in the ass end of the Atlanta Metroplex, some place where the police chief is frantically walking down the highway, begging pedestrians in his white boy Spanish to use the crosswalks half a mile away.

This is our political and cultural aesthetic.

This is who the DLCC dipshits want as their voters: in a word, Republicans. Give it a rest, guys. They aren’t gonna go with you to the prom.

It’s past time for the rest of us to banish these fuckers to the farthest margins of our society.  We already have a Republican Party. We don’t need a second one for disingenuous Democrats. We need a party for Americans who live in the real world, or at least do business there from time to time. Rogan seems to be a regular visitor. There are worse antidotes to our national DeGeneres, E.

Megxit

It’s rich, we might say, that the Royal Household and whatever the fuck else they call it is clutching its pearls over the failure of Harry and Meghan to pursue a sufficiently process-oriented separation from the family. If there’s one country that comes to mind for competently and cordially executing separation processes strictly according to protocol, it’s Great Britain and I’m Clement Atlee.

What a bunch of wankers. They’re all bloody miserable cunts, aside from the ones who are straight white trash. On the surface, disengaging from this wretched family looks more inspiring than engaging with it in the first place. Royal watchers are ruing that Prince Harry appeared bored with his duties. He sat through them, they said, but made no effort to hide his contempt for the proceedings. At last we have a member of the family somehow threading the needle between the festering vapidity of most of his relatives and the royal bumptiousness of Charles III. (Is he not on his way? I’m only semifacetious here.) He was born into this dogshit-stupid pageantry but has the good sense to recognize it for the absolute bollocks it is. Does His future Majesty very much enjoy the tikka masala? Well, does the chap look like he gives a shit? No? Good for him.

There are occasional monarchists who have thoughtful reasons for their philosophy. The problem is this: for every John Regan arguing, say, that we seem to end up with hereditary rule no matter how we get there and the British have some practice and wisdom in getting to a better version of it de jure, there have to be hundreds of drooling fuckwits gasping and cooing about how majestic it all is. Bugger me all the way to Balmoral you dense bitch, that’s no way to run a country. Some asshole from the BBC’s royal desk was on Here and Now today enthusing about how it’s a national department of having fun. Nice fun we’re having here, Harry; shame if you tried not to have it. Crystal Harris was, against the odds, right: we all just like to do fun stuff.

Some amateur beancounter inevitably shows up to these debates about republicanism versus royalism with stories about how much tourist traffic that horseshit brings to the UK. If true, it says nothing good about the tourists in question that they would be hopeless to think of anything else worth doing in England, Scotland, Wales, or Ulster if that wretched clan of inbred krauts weren’t there for them, and it’s a well-established matter of postmodern British political and economic history that a succession of recent governments have decided to make the City (read: fraud) the keystone of the national economy, so there’s no moral ground to defend here. What the economic development concern trolls are trying to maintain comes from an even uglier position. They insist that it is right and just that the House of Windsor serve as the displays in a human zoo.

Harry and Meghan are of sound mind and great wisdom to remove themselves from this horseshit. The Windsor grapevine kept reporting that the family was abusing Meg, cutting her off from loved ones outside their direct control like any other good cult. It takes all the maturity of an observant teenager to recognize that the fairytale lifestyle for which the British royal family is so fulsomely celebrated is stultifying and meaningless as all hell. Have I ever mentioned that Harry Potter is a popular adult fiction series among the American upper middle class? This seems germane. Between the wizard crap, The West Wing, and all the pseudohighbrow royalist/aristocratic propaganda on PBS, we can start to see things that are frightfully wrong with this country. Ali G, the same gentleman who asked if there will ever be a female prime minister, provided a useful litmus test for this kind of shit: is it good, or is it wack? For H&M, the former turned out to be the latter.

Fuck off about how they’re committing dereliction of duty and scheming to capitalize on their titles. Nobody fucking respects Andrew and Fergie. Those two are both royal bigshots, or he is and she was, but everybody knows they’re fucking useless and expects absolutely nothing of either of them. The Canadian kids sure seem an improvement over the Lolita Express shitbird and his messy lush of an ex-wife. The claims that they’re fleeing the Household to put a stop to interference in extended family visitations with their young child are evidence enough of their relatively good character and judgment, and as they say about sex in Vermont, and at Windsor Castle, it’s all relatives.

Hey, the kid may be a Nazi cosplayer, but at least he married out. We’ve got portraits of the shit the old school unclefucked into existence, and it ain’t good. The Hapsburgs were a bunch of drooling retards–or, as we call them stateside, PBS Sustainers. There’s a huge amount of cooing shit on PBS’s evening lineups, on Sundays especially (maybe something to do with who doesn’t have to go to work tomorrow/watches that shit in the first place), about how Victoria restored flagging British reverence towards the monarchy. This is interesting–by which I mainly mean dreadfully uninteresting–in the historical context of her own son and successor, a lecherous ditz. Edward–Bertie, as they called him–Eddie could never afford to live that kind of life. That’s why he was a public charge like the rest of them.

That’s the thing about the monarchy, though: the duties of these offices are whatever the hell the wankers holding them are able and willing to discharge, and in a number of cases the answer has been John Dennis Diddly. Say, that sounds like a public school pastime. Coach, do put me in there! Eddie, in this case not of Brender, was a great disappointment to his father and mother, but nobody looked any finer than that vapid bastard, whether or not he’d been banging that Irish floozy of a camp follower or however many dozens of other tramps. It’s been written that Long Islanders piss off Manhattan’s elites because they’re close enough to the seedy shit that goes down on Oyster Bay to know that we’re all just a little bit Buttafuoco. According to folklore, Newsday has unpublished photographs confirming our sinful nature: SATIN LIVES.

The British royal family ends up in a fourth-turning cycle or some shit in which, rather like Russia’s periodic teetotaler tsars/premiers/presidents, a fastidiously chaste goody-two-shoes pays people to preen about her bottomless virtue and glamor for the duration of her reign, punctuating a succession of utterly useless and blatantly disreputable wastrels. The Millennial monarchs-in-waiting are maintaining a three-generation streak of not being boorish and stupid within their direct lineage, if we leave aside Philip, an ever more senile oaf, and Elizabeth, who’s perhaps not too bright. Meanwhile the family’s got allowance claimants wandering around with the intelligence of Eric Trump and the sobriety of Amy Winehouse. To go parochial and translate that for the streets, that entire family proves that there’s no shame in my game. What, are they the only ones who are allowed to be indolent? Look, whatever the stuff in these pages is, I write it. (Does it look like it has editors?) I’ll be Lord Byron if one in twenty of that useless lot is able to independently pen anything worth reading.

If the British government and public wish to continue subsidizing these fuckheads, it’s their business. If these jagoffs themselves insist on breeding, it’s a dysgenic nightmare but not anybody else’s business, although the size and continuation of the public allowances encouraging this animalistic proliferation are a matter of genuine public concern. Luther Burbank does not have descendants, but they all do.

Sharing this culture with the United States, however, is specifically and directly our business. We fought a war of independence to be done with this shit, and now we celebrate it multiple times a week on our federal public television service. We don’t need this garbage. There are other things little girls can aspire to be when they grow up besides princesses. Why have a society of princesses, professional athletes, ballerinas, astronauts, and marine biologists when we can instead aspire to a society of working smallholders, union railroaders, craftspeople, prostitutes, the chronically unemployed, and definitely some hot CBSA agents and Mounties? (Field uniform, please; the dress uniform is too ridiculous for comment.) Unfortunately, I know exactly why: it’s the same reason we read fucking Harry Potter. My list was fucked up, but it was half useful and half sexy, I thought for a moment that I’d erred for including the unemployed, that that was hella wack, but then I remembered why we find the royals and aristos so captivating. It ain’t because they work.

Who’s “us”? It’s whoever presumes to speak for us on deep state radio and television. I’ll be interested to see what the Scots offer for licensing under devolution. It could be shite, but the limeys are already burying us in it, so it could hardly be worse. Maybe they’ll come up with something better than the current Wheel of Fortune-ass storytime about the mulatto chick with the kraut husband and the abusive in-laws.

Corey Pein describes this as a mob family. The pervert uncle of the lady who got whacked in the staged car crash in the French tunnel along with the shady Arab fellow and so upset Elton John that he sang about it for clout and profit is now in trouble for being on the recently whacked American sex island pervert who died by his own hand in the jail where the surveillance cameras don’t work. Mob sounds about right. Financial and operational independence sounds wise.

And for God’s sake Harry and Meghan won’t be the only ones profiting from the British Royal Family in a seedy fashion. There are honest modes of living in England, but we never hear a word about them. As far as I can tell, I’m the only American who knows that the National Fruit Collection is not where they store Elton John. On the Canadian side, there are honest modes of living, too, but Kevin Vickers has gone from dairyland to Depot to Parliament Hill to Ireland, and Jian Ghomeshi is still in Toronto. Meanwhile we, too, still have public radio and television broadcasters, and Kwesi Millington hasn’t been gracious enough to sue either of them.

A zealous love of honest work and plain dealing is not the reason we’ve heard of any of these people. We should think that there are better reasons to be scandalized than the possibility that Harry and Meghan will be living off the avails of the House of Windsor illegitimately, as opposed to the old legitimate fashion of getting an allowance and an archipelago of palaces for making stupid small talk with other dipshits and sitting around like a fucking dunce. We should hope, for that matter, that the prince is the worst Harry. Instead we have novels about Eton and Oxbridge, but with elves and wizards and shit, and reruns of a dumbass nerd show about a wicked boring version of the Clinton White House.

Ordering a society around the pathetic escapist fantasies of a pampered but panicked overclass is going just swell. At least Harry and Meghan are trying to escape into something more like reality, not less. I guess that’s why the teachers’ pets resent them.

The reason for the goddamned season

A geezer in mom jeans, a North Face knockoff vest, and a stovepipe hat is giving free Victorian carriage rides around the historic depot downtown. He’s got a fucking horse in blinders with a shit sack behind its ass pulling the Wells Fargo local on a one-block circuit all afternoon. When the Amish do that kind of thing, it’s transportation. I lack the processing power to come up with a name for what that sentimental Christmas cheer nerd and his passengers are undertaking. They brought out the nice wagon for this exercise.

At least the parking is free. I don’t think they’re enforcing the three-hour limit today, either. Enjoy downtown, bitch.

The insane, and I mean 100% traveling-between-universes-right-now psychotic, thing about this journey of reminiscence back to the Gay Nineties is that it’s available for the asking maybe a ten-minute bus ride from the new tent slum on the Joe Rodota Trail. It’s a not too brisk five-minute walk from underpasses lushly colonized by Sonoma County’s other, less tent-blessed bums. I don’t mean to knock them; I’ve been frantically close to their circumstances myself and give great thanks that I no longer am. The city, the county, and the entire community are failing them grievously beyond words. It’s damning of us all that neighborhoods whose residents have questionably serviceable cars for shelter are well-off and fortunate compared to neighborhoods whose residents have a few dozen or a few hundred dollars’ worth of camping equipment from Walmart, and that the latter are well-off and fortunate compared to other neighborhoods down the road where the median net worth is some pocket change, a few smokes, and a castoff shopping cart full of a bewildering pile of rags and papers and stuff.

We’re rebuilding the mansions off Fountaingrove, though. #SonomaStrong, baby girl.

It becomes hard to believe that there’s any point to trying to remediate this horror show. Why spend the night desperately throwing beached starfish back into the ocean when I could drive up to the pass on Calistoga Road and bless up in the moonlight? It makes sense theoretically to try, but in practice it comes to look hopeless. I could run myself flat broke trying to help the destitute and not see a drop in the bottom of the bucket at the end of it.

It’s a lot easier to just full Doctorow walk away from the bougie shits and their high Dickensian Christmas cheer. Even something as prosaic as sales tax becomes questionable as a civic duty as evidence passes into view that the receipts are being stewarded to fund gentry horseshit rather than basic lifesaving government relief. Oregon doesn’t levy state sales tax, leaving it to county and city governments as a little-exercised local option, and it seems perhaps marginally less third-world than California, certainly not much worse. What’s the damn point? What is it good for? Any peace incoming around here? *Most Gethsemane night watch voice* Good God, y’all.

The territorial dispute that’s been flaring up this fall around the Joe Rodota Trail and the underpasses is going to get people killed. I’ve got a very bad gut feeling about it. Do I have a snowball’s prayer in Honolulu to be able to mediate this standoff? I don’t think so. I am not enjoying a thrill about prophesying a Dateline special, Keith Morrison strolling past a Snoopy statue under the palms, ominously intoning that Mr. Schultz? well, Mr. Schultz himself never published a strip so dark. I wish I could prophesy Lord Lloydminster finally taking a square meal.

But what the hell can I do? The West End is boiling straight to the flashpoint. Adopt-a-highway volunteer scolds are fuming about junk dumped by the bums on trails around Bennett Valley. The city and the county are solvent and creditworthy enough to fund regular trail cleanups, but I guess we’re leaving it to self-congratulatory Nextdoor posters to brag about their Tocquevillean voluntarism and bathe in their growing clout while they agitate for ad hoc class genocide in public language fit for Radio Mille Collines. The vigilante class warfare has already gone live in the San Fernando Valley. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of households have home equity at stake around the encampments in Santa Rosa. A friend who’s in the loop in regional social services tells me that the squatters maintained good housekeeping on the Rodota Trail until a jail work release crew was deployed to seize and dispose of their gear in an official sweep. After the sweep they resettled with new gear and trashed the trail.

Maybe the local property owners can blame them. I sure can’t. We’d be hearing about the murders by now if the county or the neighborhood homeless had done anything of the sort to private houses. We’ve already got housed residents homicidally angry about trash on their sidewalks. I don’t envy them or their teenaged children for facing that, but they’re all bent out of shape about messes that a streets crew could easily and lawfully sweep up–junk not identifiably in the curtilage of a cart, that kind of thing–and they’re demonizing people who have no other options for living out of carts under the only partial, inadequate shelter they can find for themselves.

It starts to feel insoluble. There are places where I could do some pruning or clear some brush. Peut-être il faut cultiver notre jardin.

*****

The headspace needed to carefreely enjoy a Victorian Christmas in the midst of this privation and squalor is delusionally blind. When I say psychotic, I mean it. Wesley Willis mostly knew he was missing what he needed not to get kicked out of the Genesis on Western. My psychotic buddies up north, Mixups in my Mind and Psychotarp, have some sense of their behavioral problems, or at least Mixups does; by some accounts these matters are not justiciable under Title 24 US Code. That’s still a 50% quasilucidity rate. One out of two ain’t two out of three, Mr. Loaf, but all the same, it could be worse. Do I want to tramp into the oak scrub for two hours to scavenge scrap metal off Psychotarp’s new favorite pile? Of course I don’t. But he means well. When he isn’t getting weird and hostile with the Ragin’ Canajun, he’s halfway to a reasonable person of goodwill.

The property owners who have been showing up to public meetings in California to air their grievances about the homeless are wanton failures on both counts. They are unreasonable people of ill will. An equity stake worth hundreds of thousands can have a morally deranging effect on the mind. Jenny Luke has seen people get murdered over crack rock promised but not delivered in Over-the-Rhine. “It’s a classic.” That’s a $20 blow-n-go neighborhood, if the provider isn’t too bashful to set a floor on her price; do the math.

It’s acutely palpable, and more so at this time of year than perhaps any other, and in California more than many states, that the entire country is a constellation of lavish feasts surrounded by scrums of hungry beggars barely able to snag a morsel here and there from their lords’ tables to satisfy their gnawing hunger. The rather American-sounding term of art “hangry” has currency in large parts of the Anglophone world, particularly online: a new word, an ancient evil. We produce stupefying surpluses of foodstuffs. Even #NoPlant19 seems not to have turned the United States into a net importer. It should be impossible to be hangry on these shores.

New horizons come into view in a nation of slavers and Calvinists. Read it and repent.

Somehow it is possible, in fact commonplace, even prosaic, for the affluent to sentimentally enjoy holiday season after holiday season in a spirit of serene, practically smug tweeness while their neighbors starve at their doorsteps and freeze to death covered in their own filth. Ours is not fundamentally or intractably a poor country. There are, if anything, surprisingly few such countries on earth. What we have instead is an increasingly draconian caste system ruled by elites and their near subalterns who come to feel unspeakably cornered and so now must bare their fangs. This explains the high-frequency outrages against charity: school lunch trays dumpted into the trash before poor students because their parents have incurred petty debts to the cafeteria; sheriff’s deputies seizing plates of food from park soup kitchens and dumping them into the trash before homeless people who were about to eat them in deep gratitude for their blessing; health department thugs ordering caterers to pour bleach into perfectly safe batches of leftover barbecue after street festivals, again to deprive and ward off the poor. We treat our human neighbors worse than stray dogs.

What earthly or cosmic point is there in trying to piss into this wind in the hope of making a difference? I’m not asking this rhetorically. In this case I don’t feel cynical so much as badly discouraged. The cultural milieu allowing any of this to happen is shockingly grotesque. Who, exactly, has the courage to ride this tiger? Who has the energy to spit into the lake and see if it makes a difference?

What somehow stands out to me more than the imperative to charity in the face of these atrocities is the imperative to denounce those strategically offering and denying charity at their own whims to chase clout and enthrone themselves above a groveling client pool. A society as dysfunctional as ours has to bathe in an ambient miasma of hypocrisy, cruelty, and manipulation to tolerate an organization as self-important, self-serving, and devious as the Salvation Army. Here we have a prominent, almost universally celebrated “charity” whose shelter managers systematically eject those they claim to serve for the purpose of stealing their property and selling it in their branded thrift stores, but this violent racket isn’t enough. These cunts have to add absurdity to immorality by dressing up in ridiculous toy soldier uniforms and calling themselves Major, like they’re plotting a coup against Muammar Qaddafi at Comic-Con. They aren’t children or adolescents, either. These are grown-ass adults carrying on in this fashion on live television twenty, thirty, even fifty years past the age of majority, and doing so at a time in their lives when they have not been declared incompetent in a court of law or committed to a group home.

As outlandish and skincrawlingly disgusting as the Salvation Army is to those of us who have studied it, it’s really just an extreme manifestation of the mainstream American model of strategic, arbitrary, selectively charitable charity. Many charitable organizations do this. They’re the ones we see on TV. It’s all grifting, cloutchasing, tax-sheltering, reputation management, and client-farming, a cesspool of some of the worst people ever to prowl God’s green earth. We’re making a difference by pushing a quarter into the St. Jude Children’s Hospital charity cardboard stand and I’m Charlie Beck. What would actually make a difference would be to hand two bits to a gutter drunk; that might add up to another tall boy of Olde English by the time the night’s through.

Mind you, we’re all too lost in the Bernays sauce to consider that any charity with a Madison Avenue-grade advertising budget is not spending that outbound revenue stream on its core operations, or that the lavishness of its self-promotion would be consistent with lavish executive and administrative salaries, but in a way the deeper, grosser point is that our renowned Tocquevillean voluntarism is an unmitigated national curse. As a yuppie Boomer up off Riebli and Mark West Springs told me, about the homelessness problem in Sonoma County, “A lot of people are working on it.” Oh yeah? What in the everloving fuck are they accomplishing? This was before the Rodota Trail flared up into the new Hooverville and got the propertied classes on the West End all riled up. I wonder if he’s still impressed with the effort. Yeah, great hustle getting demolished by Notre Dame again, team, hit the showers, boys.

Dude was in the Peace Corps, by the way, so he knows a thing or two about organizations that are definitely doing somewhat more than jack fucking shit to improve poor parts of the world while in no way being overseas back channels for the CIA. It’s anecdotal, but it tracks with the shitlib blob in the deep imperial center who blame all American wrongs on Russia, not the gross dereliction and unaccountability of their own class and the elected officials representing it. Stop by Zinfandel Lane sometime to see if any of the local moral leadership of the Catholic laity have thoughts on this worth sharing.

What I still don’t understand operationally, let alone morally, is the frame of mind making it possible for those even dimly aware of the local history to prance around a Potemkin Village Victorian Christmas wonderland in New York or Chicago or London *ROCK OVER WHEATIES BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS*, bescarved with a cup of mulled cider or whatever the fuck in hand, and not be haunted by the ghosts of neighbors who froze and starved to death a stone’s throw away. A quick look around the same cities today reveals a Riisian horror show. How the fuck is it possible to swaddle up in Burberry and stroll the Magnificent Mile without bodily choking on the shame and scandal of carrying on like this in a city where transit cops kick bums off the El out into neighborhoods where they’ll be hours away from death by exposure under whatever meager rags they’ve arrayed against the cold? How is it possible to be aware, even in broad terms, of Englewood and not experience an autoghomeshi of guilt crossing the threshold into a Whole Foods in Streeterville?

As I mentioned above, a useful skeleton key is the premise that we’re actually an Indian-style caste society feebly protesting that we’re a free, open, dynamic, prosperous society. We protest way too much, and unfortunately not in the French tradition in which Macron does something dirty and Paris shuts down the next day. It’s surreal to see such an overclass acting out so arrogantly in a society ostensibly acculturated in Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Charles Dickens, and John Steinbeck in the original English. It’s surreal to see Elon Musk not get banished from polite society as its most notorious pariah, no matter how recklessly juvenile his behavior or advanced his age. Are we living vicariously through THAT? Is this possibly for real? How the hell is it the case that a supermajority isn’t telling him to use one of his three passports to fuck off to Reno, not to run the Gigafactory into the ground but to hang out with the trust fund castoff who rides the circuit around the Truckee Meadows doing greasy hair swooshes in Starbucks lobbies?

Citizen Kane is a feel-good movie, to us. Sister Carrie is a heartwarming tale of artistic pluck. Quit your food service gig and send me picture postcards, you conniving whore.

Again, what on earth do we do about this? I’m asking seriously. Fight? Flee? Mail a ten spot to the food pantry? We’re doing something wrong when we haven’t taxed and/or sued Elon to the point that he can’t afford to live in a code-compliant house anywhere BUT Reno. Hawthorne would work, too, as long as the other residents are given the option to buy a walkup one-way bus fare out of town for the price of an RTC day pass straight out of the farebox, in the event that they tire of him. There’s a trailer park on the outskirts of Goldfield where I’d be happy to have him, with or without utilities. What I mean, obviously, is to have him move there without me.

Some of these people would live in fucking bear caves in a decent society. They’re our leading citizens. God help us. This is a theodicial disaster.

As Scott Simon pointed out in his morning homily the other day, this is a holiday season whose high point is the celebration of a family that had to bed down in a stable while Mom went into labor because there was no room at the inn, so maybe we should act like it. Nah, never mind. That would get in the way of our cloyingly crass profaning of all things sacred. We’re simply having a wonderful Christmastime, except for those of us who are simply having a terrible one. Let’s do a half-assed toy drive for some of their kids and keep pretending that the ostensibly Dutch fatso with the sleigh isn’t a creation of Madison Avenue instead of telling our children that, yes, Virginia, there is a population of desperately poor Americans who have difficulty doing fastidious housekeeping around their shanties and carts.

Say, honey, it might be a good idea to come out before it’s too late. If we’re going to put aside childish things, for that matter, I have to ask whether that fucking free carriage ride counts. The only secular bells we need this season are Amy Winehouse’s, from “Rehab.” I maintain that they’re the only ones ever to prevent wintertime suicides and treat seasonal affective disorders. That Jimmy Stewart-ass angel horseshit we all watch this time of year has nothing on our good Londoner for actually cheering a loser up. Homegirl manages to be peppy, honest, AND modest. Hey, I like drugs. Yeah, I could go to confession, but I’m Jewish, innit.

Against the odds, we’re ending on a positive no, no, note.

Just you wait until Dennis gets his hands into DeYoung Rosemary

As Midwestern DENNIS Methods go, this one is clean enough for Karolyi. Alas, that’s as much as we’re going to say about it, at least for the time being. And a content warning: it’s downhill from here. What, us struggle UP the greasy slope?

(Alas, yes. That’s why I don’t post even more.)

We get only so many days on this, our pilgrim journey. Exactly how many we get in this incarnation is a mystery, the sum of what we are given and steal and refuse to relinquish. There are, of course, the great Eastertide hashtags questioning this tragic arc, foremost among them #YOLT. Conversely, I’ve been known to wish readers a good Friday even out of season, but have you seen what secular American marketing culture has done to Mardi Gras and Christmas?

We get what we get, which is what it is, and Calvinist thought on this is even worse than whatever the fuck I’m spitting out between sips of Cabernet Sauvignon right now, such as how I wouldn’t mind going back to Grand Rapids to get it on with some Calvinist thots. My point is that if you look at this shit and think, Christ, that’s five seconds I’m never getting back, you’re free to go do something else. That something might be Dubai Porta Potty, but that’s your problem for reading it again and again more than it’s mine for hotly taking it exactly once.

Congress brought the starkly finite, zero-sum nature of time, as we divide it, into harsh focus the other week with its insufferable hearing with that SEAL meathead DNI over the latest eruption of moralizing over the Hunter for Red October. Whatever Don done or dindu, he ain dun nun a what Denny Dundiddly dun. On second thought, maybe he has, but that, too, is the subject of impenetrable bullshit, in the estimation of those of us who imagine that his comments to Billy Bush (lol) were not a scrupulously precise sworn itemization of his sexual history.

Everything that I just wrote is better than most of what I listened to from the DNI sailor-fluffing hearing. That shit was so hideous, and so utterly contemptuous of the time of all present, including the Congresscritters’ own time, that I repeatedly tuned out of NPR and into broadcasts of various rock-and-roll *and other children’s* records. That shit is not how a reputable adult speaks in public, ever, for any reason. What’s-his-name Castro, the one I’m always confusing with his brother now that I’ve finally gotten the Sanchez sisters straight, was the only one I listened to who comported himself like a grown-up with a legitimate reason to be in that hearing room. There may have been others, but what stood out, aside from Castro’s exceptional maturity, was the execrable immaturity of the rest of them. They could not have cared less about our time, energy, or attention, or even their own.

The DNI, McGruff the Salty Crime Dog, failed himself and the public by not telling his questioners either to ask him something germane or shut the fuck up. Seriously, what the hell would they have done about that? Sniffly boi Brett Michael was allowed to preemptively shit on the floor as a witness, but this old sailor, being of the officer class, had to suck it up and defer to these pricks. Again, what the fuck were they going to do? Have their homely bald Sergeant at Arms drag him out in chains? Dispatch the Capitol Police onto the floor just because the old sailor gave them backsass? That would have been an untenabe look. The folks back home would have sided with him for telling them to shut up, not with them for being so rudely interrupted during their deliberate timewasting.

The Republicans were the worst offenders in this hearing. McGruff was a SEAL, but what’s that got to do with the Biden family’s cut on a therm on its way through Ukraine? It’s gross to listen to these useless shitheads publicly kiss the ass of every passing servicemember and veteran. I socialize with current US military personnel and veterans. I don’t get all fucking starstruck and shove my tongue up their butts. God. What a bunch of losers, and we’re paying them $174,000 a year plus benefits, I recall it is, to hog the public airwaves with their diarrheic orations.

In case any of the Esteemed Colleagues weren’t paying attention, the guy wasn’t up there in the hot seat because he was fresh off Team Six. He was there because he’d pensioned out, sold out, and taken a fall job as the DNI. I don’t trust the DNI as a rule, no matter who he (or she!) is, and I sure as hell don’t trust one who sits there stoically in front of a bank of cameras and microphones while shitheels waste his time, and more importantly their constituents’, heaping praise on him for being an ex-Navy lifer.

Turning that shit off and watching some porn is a valid choice. It’s far from ideal, but that’s a mild thing to say about Congress, as expressed by its own members throughout that hearing. Remember, we can express a Jack Russell’s anal glands, too. This is why we use our words.

And most of us use ours more appropriately than our elected and appointed officials use theirs. That pompous DNI putz demurred at inevitably excessive length when asked whehter he considered not agreeing to be the same thing as disagreeing. This is why laypeople talk about putting the lawyers up against the wall come the Revolution. It’s a distinction without a difference, an utter waste of the very essence of all within earshot.

The parties to that horseshit are absolutely the last people who should be granted the latitutde to criticize the life choices of others. I’ve fucked up and spun my wheels, but skim some of the stuff I’ve published and ask yourself: do I sound like the wanker here for repeatedly being a high-volume shitposter, or do they sound like the wankers for BEING PAID PUBLIC SALARIES to WASTE BROADCAST TIME AND BANDWIDTH parsing the distinction between disagreeing and not agreeing? They aren’t fit to criticize a guy who needs an aide at his group home to remind him to brush his teeth for playing too much Connect Four. They’re unfit to chastise the Menendez brothers for playing chess by mail. They’re goddamn well unfit to breathe a critical word about me, or about anyone I read here, , On Line.

Again and again it emerges that these guys were actually perverts all along, or falling-down drunk lechers. There’s a whole lot of senility on the Hill, and even more deep idiocy. We’ve got a bunch of blackmail-ready sexual degenerates and mental defectives holding down the fort in what sure feels like the least Bohemian city in the country, and yet for all the important items they supposedly have on their agendas, time is never of the essence if they have thirty seconds to yield back to the chair.

Tim Russert yielded more than most expected, although mercy, Nungesser, just look at him. You can take the boy out of Buffalo but you’ll never take the value bucket of wings out of the boy till he’s ready to be ground back into the chicken scratch and bulk up the next batch. Russert’s funeral mass became a byword for the Beltway’s incorrigible crassness, irreverence, shallowness, and greed when it emerged that mourners, as they had been charitably construed, had networked and done business in the pews. They were hustling each other at a church funeral, classic moneychangers in the temple shit. Mind you, they put on their finery for the occasion; these demonic little shits corrupted the sanctuary in their Sunday best. They didn’t come to pray feverishly or cry inconsolably or take selfies with Tim’s corpse (an act of reverence and respect, come to think of it, or usually so) or to curse at God for taking that man in his marbled prime or, Barr the thought, Bill, to console other mourners. Goodness, no. They came for the ABC’s of doing business: to always be closing.

#TheMoreYouKnow, you thick, thick bitch.

Look, I’m not writing this for money. Maybe I should be. Keith Morrison doesn’t work for free. With the amount that Canuck schmuck earns at that gig you’d think he’d be able to afford a square meal. He’s from the same province, or else barely the next province over, from the Land of Rape and Honey. Come at me about the morals for talking like that. Gateside Downlow.

This doesn’t speak the best about the greater Midwest, but when fucked up shit goes down on the prairie, at least it usually sounds human. It could be a rancher trying to fuck an undercover vice cop in an airport bathroom, or it could be Garrison Keillor’s quaintly dirty straying from celibacy very much into more celibacy. Franken is said to have aggressively groped some women, but it’s odd that they jammed him up on that juvenile but harmless goof shot where he was pretending to feel up the chick on the USO tour: a loser move, and I’d call him out for it if he’d done it to me, but a far cry from anything Lieutenant Tittytorque ever did to my nipples.

These fuckers go to Washington and turn into coldblooded borgs. As far as Mr. Starr was concerned, the problem with the Big Dog’s forays into the plump Jewess was that they were consensual, he wasn’t a football player, and that portion of his sex life did not stray into forcible rape. Brett Michael Kavanaugh, lacking the literary talent of his boof buddy Mark Judge, pursued pure political hackery instead and got paid a federal salary to write questions that his own colleagues and superiors up through Ken Starr himself found scandalously smutty.

These people are Howard Stern minus the social grace. Slick Willie and the Westside Humidor were abundantly ensouled in comparison. It’s no wonder that at least two prominent sets of shit-tier pickup artist blogs, Roissy/Chateau Heartiste and the Roosh publishing empire, got going in or very near DC. This is not an area where many normal people settle, so it figures that dating and marriage might not be the most viable pursuits regionally. It’s a great place to try to make chicken soup out of chickenshit.

What kind of fool would take guidance or correction from any member of this freak show? This is where we get back into the crisis of legitimacy. Upholding public cokehead Brett Michael Kavanaugh as a man of wisdom and authority calls the federal government’s authority into question. You wouldn’t even let that sniffly little alcoholic puke coach girls’ basketball, by which I mean that in More Than Friendship Heights you most certainly would.

In the days immediately after that bullshit Q&A with the DNI, after all the waxing eloquent about how he was the village chief of the Intelligence Community and had been so strapping in the Navy (In The Navy!), I wondered what constituency there could possibly be for that garbage. At some point it hit me: probably the small business “community,” one that is also blessed with great intelligence.

That’s a crowd that’s used to having its rims stimulated on demand. The amount of jawboning that small business owners do is awesome, often to the point of making it unclear how and when they find time to run their businesses, but that’s why God made employees, am I right.

Joe Dirtbag and the Family Shrew have a small business background, and it shows. The guy with the man cave full of professionally framed sports memorabilia surrounding a professional-grade pool table who yelled about how he was paying for Puerto Ricans’ EBT used to run a fucking water ice shop or some shit. The father of the owner-chef at a restaurant that my parents and I quite like came over to our table one night while making the rounds to chat with the customers and spent what must have been at least half an hour yelling #TCOT talking points at us, culminating in a lengthy, repetitive tirade about how “it’s all about the revenue,” was invested in the restaurant sufficiently to be concerned about the revenue, and to be in a position to limit it with his boorishness. The son is on point, because if he weren’t the restaurant would be in the shitter. I’ve seen the equivalent of the father in the kitchen, specifically in the person of the alcoholic Frenchman who used to cook well-done dijon hamburgers in a greasy spoon in West Marin and then go out back to smoke.

None of this is about productivity or responsibility. It’s all about power. Nobody who’s yelling for half an hour or a full hour or two about how he’s not being respected is trying to be productive. That’s about lording it over one’s fellows while some portion of them do the actual work.

The Beltway is a great place to come from, say, a brawling planter background and get paid to make peasant strivers listen on demand. It’s a great place to pay peons to sift through one’s stools for nuggets of gold while paying an unenfranchised peasantry even less to do real work with real stakes back home.

The mark of a humane education is the refusal to submit to this horseshit and to insist on doing something–anything–else. It’s the same thing as common sense in this instance. We do not owe them a goddamn thing. They owe us representation and other services that they are publicly too immersed in the happy horseshit to provide us. As in all their other enterprises, they pay staffers a fraction of their own salaries to do the actual work.

Of course most of them are unfit to lead. They didn’t go to Washington because they wanted to work hard and produce anything.

Karolying for the Ceausescus in our national December

The problem with menstruation is that it means you’re exercising too little and eating too much. We all know this. You wouldn’t have to spend so much time bleeding out of your vagina if you maintained a healthy workout regimen and an appropriate 900-calorie daily diet, and you wouldn’t have to shit so much, either.

On the other hand, shitting less would present fewer opportunities to joyously lose a lot of weight at once. We do weigh-ins in this business.

Bela Karolyi often comes to mind as the one making straight the path for Larry Nassar, himself infamously straight. Lawrence of the Labia didn’t have to hang out a shingle to lure in victims; he had Karolyi’s gymnastics program to channel victims into his “care” and pay him a reliable salary to molest them. As they say in certain ethnic neighborhoods back east, this don’t a speaka wella Bela.

This is our daily shitposting, which is good and is its own defense against the scolds, but it’s more than that. Bela and Marta Karolyi were savvy, politically astute operators who defected to the United States at an extremely auspicious time for what they were selling.

They were perfect made-for-TV redbaiting material, landing on our shores in the heady nationalistic months following the Miracle on Ice, ready to show the world that even old commies were game to help us kick commie ass. It was then and still is now an embarrassment to Ronald Reagan’s hardline right-wing hagiographers that he was a preeminent diplomatic president; letting the Gipper grip and grin with these assholes helped take other assholes’ minds off his much more famous, and cordial, working relationship with the rather decent Mikhail Gorbachev.

Meanwhile, neoliberalism was turning in earnest from what it had been under the Carter Administration, a mild reformist balance to the sclerotic, inefficient central management of national industries, into the virulent, wantonly cruel, radical governing philosophy that it has been ever since. Reagan did his grandstanding in the tacitly Christian God’s name about how we were done with Jimmy Carter’s killjoy practical Christianity as a national touchstone, all that concern for others and the vulnerable and shit. There are those who say that these were just the lines his movement conservative handlers were feeding him, and as I’ve noted before, Nancy was astrological enough to help the Burmese junta site their next capital city, but Visions of a Sunset was by now getting old and a bit senile, and he was never particularly reality-based in his rhetoric or the thinking that informed it. (This makes the lucidity of his talks with Gorbachev all the more impressive. The guy was only sometimes shitting his diaper with a vacant look in his eyes while Oliver North and Alexander Haig fought over the launch codes.)

In concert with neoliberalism, although in theory diametrically and angrily opposed to its right-wing expressions, identity politics rose throughout the 1980’s. The timelines did not align neatly; explicit forms of identity politics had been nationally prominent since the 1960’s. One of the gross curiosities of the eighties, however, was that right-wing extremists, disingenuous as ever, started to adopt the id-pol frameworks they denounced women and racial minorities for using and apply them to their own allegedly beleaguered status as conservatives and Christians, both sic enough that you’ll need to grab your own barf bucket and allow me the exclusive use of mine, in the selfish spirit of our age.

The contrast can be hard to hear through the noise, but it’s there. For MLK, Jimmy Carter, and Fred Rogers, Christianity was a moral calling and guiding light that they strove to follow or, if they failed, to seek and find forgiveness through God’s grace. Mr. Rogers, Protestant Franciscan, preached the Gospel at all times, through words about anything but God. The ascendant Christian zeitgeist under Reagan was something else altogether. Once and in some circles still a moral beacon, as Sundown in Simi Valley himself proclaimed in his speechifying about America as the city on the hill, Christianity was now ever more explicitly and brashly a tribal identity. It was a cause to complain about ridicule from godless liberals and demand official intervention to protect their feelings, not to refrain from strongarming meatpackers’ unions on behalf of corner-office cokeheads and do anything lame like paying laborers their due wages.

The Karolyis were secular figures, but they shrewdly exploited the morally relativistic postmodern zeitgeist of their new home, these mores holding that we should celebrate our differences because diversity is our strength. Here they were: scrappy, plucky outsiders; immigrants coming to revitalize a moribund American athletic business. Hell yeah, another trend to get in on before it’s cool.

All the fucking stars aligned for this couple from hell. They were sticking it to the commies back home. They were standing up for the American Way and chasing the American Dream. Those who objected to their rage and brutality were ingrates ignorant of their own immense privileges as Americans, living in this greatest nation on earth where, unlike Communist Romania, a child had no need to sacrifice her own childhood and body to gymnastics to get out of an economically dead society and seek a better life. Critics were ignorant of the differing cultural norms animating the Karolyis, norms that might teach us a thing or two as Americans.

This celebration of the Karolyis raised some questions that mostly went unanswered. If America was so free and prosperous, why on earth were these terrors in a position to physically and verbally abuse minors in do-or-die pursuit of athletic excellence? Why were they allowed to bring their inhumane Eastern Bloc training regimens to the United States and impose them without being enjoined by the courts or having their athletes removed by child protective services? They acted execrably, even in public, after they came to the United States; if they acted similarly as gymnastic coaches in Romania, their behavior would be an exceptionally strong indictment of competitive athletics in the Eastern Bloc and the socioeconomic conditions driving young people into athletic training programs. Romania exported maybe not the best-in-class transit buses to shitlib-heavy local governments in the West. The buses weren’t yelling bloody murder at their passengers for eating a square meal. The Karolyis didn’t speak well for Romania as its expatriates.

The aura around them was suffused with pathetic Near-Orientalism. We’d be out of our place to judge them for practices that we might find unduly harsh but whose cultural context we did not understand. We’d be out of line to impose our chauvinistic child welfare standards to Mr. Karolyi, this John Paul II of the Pommel horse. It was a totally Orwellian public relations and peer pressure campaign to preemptively rehabilitate both of these thugs while they continued to abuse American athletes on US soil, in loco parentis and under official competitive auspices up to the level of the teams representing the United States in the Olympic Games. They benefited from a chameleonic double standard that shifted constantly to their favor as they needed a good word to cover for their bad behavior.

It was some classic All-American shit. In the longue durée of Anglo-American history, it dated back not to Plymouth Rock, but to Holland, where Puritan parents were deeply offended and scandalized to see their children turn into proud little Dutchmen (and women!) and to hear their Dutch neighbors complain about their “loose hands,” the local term of art for habitual child battery. Before that it dated back to the Puritans’ uncomfortable time in the original old country, jolly old fucking England, whose civil authorities distrusted them as subversive religious zealots. Covering for that nasty son of a bitch and his cunt of a wife was as American as not summarily detaining Bobby Knight with all necessary force for disorderly conduct. One does not stand up to such authority figures around here just because they’re out of control and need an immediate Chill Cullen. It’s unseemly to do that. It’s scandalous.

As immigrants, Bela and Marta Karolyi were akin to Wernher von Braun, not to the refugee owners of some pho joint. (In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I’m more a House of Noodle and, God help me, Golden Town partisan, and that I rarely darken the door of Sam City, The Pho King of Albany.) A particularly conspiratorial take, probably unsupportable but at least fun, is that their defection amounted to a DIY Mariel airlift, that the Romanian authorities were secretly relieved to be free of these criminal undesirables, even at the expense of a Western propaganda coup for capitalism and the American Way. My quick and dirty research found that, per Wikipedia, Bela often clashed with the Romanian authorities. It’s conceivable that some of these clashes were with officials troubled by his brutality and admonishing him to tone it down. This is likelier than everybody else in a position of leadership in Romania finding him perfectly normal and appropriate, every bit as much the vicious son of a bitch as any other Romanian.

Americans have always had spotty, heavily distorted understandings of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc. The Karolyis immigrated from a part of the latter that was especially obscure to Americans. East Germany and Poland made modestly accurate impressions on the US media and public; we knew less about Romania, the Karolyis’ geopolitical homeland, and Hungary, their ethnic homeland prior to the modern realignment of European borders, than we knew about outer space. The potential for bullshit, misdirection, falsehoods, and propaganda in general was huge. Under our state of popular ignorance, there was no reason for them not to be Romanian culture personified, or universal Eastern Bloc culture for that matter. It was a fucking live-action bildungsroman for a nation growing too soft for high-impact sports, not an ethnography or even a collection of reputable, reasonable amateur observations.

We might as well have declared Bobby Knight the personification of American culture. The same people who consider the Karolyis’ behavior acceptable consider Knight’s behavior acceptable. We’ve got some sick fucks, and they get mighty sore when any of the rest of us challenge their efforts to dictate the national culture by, for example, limiting their influence over physical education curricula and athletic programs in the schools. At press time, they’re shitting bricks over California’s new legislation, due to be implemented in 2023, to overrule the NCAA’s thoroughly sleazy and ulterior amateurism rules and allow student athletes to personally and directly profit from their names, images, and likenesses. The usual spectator shitheels always get their panties into a bunch when the entertainers get uppity.

The difference between Knight and the Karolyis is that Americans are oriented enough in American culture to form independent opinions about what and whom Knight represents with his history of disgraceful outbursts. We’re pretty disoriented, deracinated, and narcotized, but we aren’t too far gone to decide for ourselves whether Bobby acts just on his own behalf or lives in accordance with our treasured national folkways. We’ve never known shit from Shinola about whatever mishmash of newfangled Comintern programming and legacy Austro-Hungarian culture produced the Karolyis, or at least was ambient around them when they became special just the way they were.

Culturally, the timing of the Karolyis’ defection was next to perfect. They didn’t just have our combination of ignorant exoticism and off-again, on-again Bircher paranoia to exploit; they also had our proliferating interest in multiculturalism, and an unusually unexamined claim on one of the cultures making up the cultural quilt covering the salad bowl that had replaced the melting pot. Some of this may be my early upbringing in Palo Alto. My memories from Walter Hays Elementary School circa 1990 include a talk and demonstration by an Ohlone mother and son, both rather fat and visibly poor for Palo Alto, about being Indian, and a lecture by a depressingly morose blind guy about what it was like to be blind. Cool, I guess that sucks, but why is the district more eager to teach us about that than about negative numbers?

For all I know the chinks who now own the town may have put a stop to that horseshit. No Palo Altan ever raised me to use language like that, but I do notice that it is very often property owners whose precious feelings we are admonished to consider. For that matter, I left town before middle school, so it’s hard to say for sure what hidden coarseness I missed.

What I very much remember from my childhood years in Palo Alto is the emotional energy emanating from athletic cultures that I participated in or observed from outside. This is a valid form of analysis, even retrospectively. It’s batshit to assert that children are unable to emotionally read the adults in their lives; they depend on such readings for their survival and welfare, and the more accurate, the better.

I abhorred football back then, as we all should now. It’s Robert Speed’s thermos at Dennis Geyer’s hands to all available heads all Sunday afternoon, and I’d say that doesn’t Sound so smart. *Most brameworthy on-duty neurosurgical voice* Calm down, Dennis, it’s just a game. On the other hand, I often caught glimpses of major league baseball games, and the players always appeared healthy and well-adjusted. The contrast I perceived between these professional ballplayers and competitive gymnasts could not have been starker. I got a pretty uneasy vibe off figure skaters, too, although I don’t think I was as uncomfortable watching them as I was watching gymnasts. The Bay Area produced some impressive local skating talent (Boitano, Yamaguchi), and I didn’t discern an aura of barely suppressed mood disorders in skaters in general. I must, of course, offer the caveat that it became hard to recall my prior feelings about figure skating very vividly a couple of years after we moved to Pennsylvania, in the thick of the Buttafuocan Era, when Tonya Harding fucked Nancy Kerrigan up. I’d never heard of either of them prior to the attack, but my immediate reaction was that Kerrigan looked like a diva-ass bitch and Harding was a badass grownup in a sport not overflowing with maturity.

I don’t think I could have named, placed, or identified either of the Karolyis until a few years ago, probably sometime in my thirties, but I could tell by the 1988 Olympiad that competitive gymnastics were a bad scene doing bad things to girls who should not have had a thing to do with them. These memories are nonspecific but emotionally vivid. I remember nothing verbatim and couldn’t have reconstructed any comments the same evening I’d heard them, but I absolutely without a doubt remember comments by American adults about Eastern European coaches and athletic programs that I construed as attempts to terrorize American children and whip us into shape, and I can swear that I perceived these same American adults to deliberately and very selfishly be letting American children down to make a point and provide for their own entertainment.

I don’t recognize the Karolyis from childhood memories, but I must have seen them on television, and I very much remember their type, as something untoward that should not have been allowed around children in positions of authority, anywhere or ever. Casually watching or just being around Olympic gymnastics broadcasts gave me some of my first inklings that the foreign nationalities and upbringings of bad actors were being used by American enablers as justifications for their bad acts. Gymnastics had a similar energy to child beauty pageants, which I think I first consciously learned of some years later but whose existence astonished and horrified me. Everything about these spectacles screamed out about adults who should have known better deliberately failing to read unmistakable cues of distress from girls under their care. negligence and mistreatment of a gravity that, had I personally witnessed it, I’d have been tempted to report to a trustworthy adult.

In retrospect, I gave gymnastics and the Karolyis much too generous a benefit of the doubt. I thought I might be overly sensitive and overreacting to stressors that other children were resilient enough to handle, even if they should have objected and stood up for themselves. Knowing now what shitbaggers there are in USA Gymnastics–at the very least, the Karolyis unwittingly allowed a shockingly prolific pervert to serially molest girls and young women under color of medicine on their watch–I now figure that I was right to perceive red flags. There were responsible adults at the time who called out red flags in the Karolyis’ behavior; the tragedy was that they got shouted down by amoral cultists for being killjoys and not respecting all the culturally appropriate hard work that the Karolyis and their athletes had done to get to where they were.

My instincts about child beauty pageants were vindicated by JonBenet Ramsey. Like, come on, the only person to get murdered in Boulder is a six-year-old girl who had been involved in that creepy shit? Lube up your glove hand and finger-fuck me, Larry; if her parents weren’t good for the deed, they had friends (‘friends”) on the pageant circuit who were. One of the highlights of my trip to Michigan for my cousin’s wedding a few years ago was a drive-by of the Ramseys’ blufftop mansion in Charlevoix, the one where her brother lived through high school. There are those who say that he did it; I’m agnostic about this, and just looking at how his sister was prodded by their parents to dress up like a fucking tart at the age of four or five, I can’t expect anything good out of the grown men who watch that shit, or, if I think about it, of the women.

It’s almost indescribably offensive to have it so much as insinuated that we, as American peons, are unqualified to judge the Karolyis by the cultural or legal standards of the United States, our land and the land where they chose to defect and do business coaching child gymnasts. They’re hunkies? Well, Christ on the Cross, Mindszenty, what in all hell has that got to do with child abuse? Nasty son of a bitch and his harridan of a wife got on the outs with good old Nicolae and Elena, moved here to be celebrated on the sports pages for abusing American girls in the name of athletic excellence, and we are disrespecting various Eastern European cultures by criticizing them?

Fix my neck pain through my bussy, doc. This is the kind of shit that provokes people to report their own siblings to CPS. They had their athletes working out on untreated broken bones. They had some of the most physically active adolescents in the country on starvation diets. The US Government learned of Nazi and Imperial Japanese officials committing such atrocities and tried them for war crimes. 900 calories a day as the competition diet for physically active juveniles who were still growing? How stunted did these shitty freaks want their girls to be? This is the kind of shit we hear about from the ass end of Hemet, over in that trailer that the neighbors refuse to discuss with visitors. They could take this shit out to Pervert’s Flat in Rural Antioch. It’s not like they’ve never associated with a sex offender.

Spartan athletic culture of the Austro-Hungarian Empire my fat white ass. I can’t make it through the buffet at Novak’s without at least one waitress passing by the mound of sausage and spaetzli on my plate and heartily encouraging me by all means not to deny myself seconds. I’m well aware of the differences between ethnic festival ethnics and ethnic ethnics, in ways that most Americans apparently are not, but are we really saying that the gym camp food Nazi is like that because he’s a hunky? Were Dahmer’s, uh, tastes representative of all krauts? I assume Rader’s one of us on that side of my family, and Wettlaufer obviously is. There have been sexier nurses, but even though foreign languages just about could have been one of my majors, I always took Lynn for an Anglo-Saxon-Celtic sort of mix.

A foreign visa applicant found to have a background like Bela Karolyi’s would be deemed criminally inadmissible to the United States. There’s no getting away with that shit and not also being a member of the Saudi royal family. Defections are handled differently, for compelling enough reasons, but these reasons do not prevent the authorities in the United States from intervening to stop foreign nationals present here from engaging in ongoing patterns of criminal activity against minors under their care and authority.

The authorities drop the ball in child abuse cases worse than the Karolyis’ on a regular basis. What’s exceptionally rankling in theirs is that they got handled with kid gloves for being coaching hotshots who immigrated in the early years of celebrate-your-heritage posters as elementary school homework. Those of us who are morally clearheaded and alert know goddamn well what they are doing and what it has to do with their coming from the Magyar fringes of Ceausesculand. They’d be no less out of line to come here and act like that if they’d grown up on Mars. This is yet another situation, among the countless, in which Fred Rogers proved himself practically the only bleeding-heart liberal on the boob tube who didn’t descend into a swampy,, ethnically inflamed pit of moral relativism. Mr. Rogers believed in universal human truths and moral absolutes. In his neighborhood, a child could always turn to a trusted adult. Always look for the helpers.

Bela and Marta aren’t fucking helpers. This was one of the amazing things about USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Every mandatory reporter on that whole scene turned out to be a total derelict covering for predators or personally a predator. Who would a victim tell? The coaches who are starving her and ordering her to work out on broken bones? The crooked university president? The dean of the medical school, who was sexually coercing medical students?

One of the bizarre details about the Nassar scandal that I’d missed until I started skimming Karolyi materials was that he had groomed gymnasts for his sexual advances by sneaking them food. That pervert played the good cop by secretly bringing his victims snacks. He was a fucking medical doctor.

The moment I read about that, I knew that Bela would have been more upset with Lawrence of the Labia for helping his girls violate his strict feeding regimen than for sexually assaulting them under color of medicine. That’s exactly his character. Larry was an unbelievably gifted liar and actor, and Bela was an angry, possessive martinet. There’s no way this wasn’t a case of Eichmann pulling a fast one on Hitler. The cold-blooded, mild-mannered doctor who was able to talk to mothers about theodicy while digitally raping their prepubescent daughters in the same room lied to the emotionally volatile control freak coach with the interest in compulsory anorexia about why the bitches on his team were so fat. The guy convinced women in their late teens and early twenties that all medical procedures were conducted through the vagina. He probably got the same thrill by keeping secret his smuggling of contraband food into girls’ hotel rooms.

I should see if he can’t fix my head through my ass. He’s certainly screwy enough to be a psychiatrist. Just don’t ask me to explain why the Arab here has the Radovan Karadzic energy and the Hungarian-Romanians have the Nidal Hasan energy.

Speaking of coaches, I learned maybe 24 hours ago that Felicity Huffman discovered as a child that she is the product of cuckoldry. If it was good enough for Kenneth Fitzhugh to find his wife’s lifeless body at the bottom of the stairs, only to find himself in an even bigger house, ruing that blood told, as it always will, it may explain some of the Muffman family’s parenting strategies. He came from a solidly middle-class family that settled in Cumberland, Maryland; she came from a family of Money Wasps in fancy-pants Westchester, where Mother had a friend. That’s what one’s traditionally got in Pennsylvania, but so it goes.

As is so often true, prostitution would have been an improvement. The wages of sticking one’s dick in crazy is, well, that. Look at that sorry bastard, standing by his woman throughout their public humiliation for her quite superfluous striver scam, that over-the-top effort to ensure that their daughters would grow up not just rich and privileged but eminently presentable. He’s so often said to be impressively down-to-earth for a movie star, and that profoundly embarrassing social climber is the love of his life. The aura of henpecking from behind the scenes is strong. It’s what he gets for not sticking to* working girls. (*And in. #Giggity.) As Charlie Sheen explained in that dispiritingly majestic interview comment, you’re paying them to go away.

While we’re at it, here’s a cursed prophecy: Filliam H. Muffman are not breeding into a Darwinian dead end. Their lineage is not in our time to go the way of Abraham Lincoln’s, Mark Twain’s, or Luther Burbank’s. The Muffman girls are being raised with too much solipsism and self-esteem to be so self-loathing, or so crunchy bachelor with such a pretty young lady inquiring about his possible interest. Other chains may break; this one, like Billary’s and those binding the United Kingdom’s prolifically useless royal shitheads to their storied pedigrees, shall hold strong. These ones operate with a guile and a depravity that Bristol Palin cannot fathom.

This is the leadership class that we peons have disappointed so grievously being so overeducated, underemployed, and unaccomplished. This is what we fail to match in our failure to adult. I frankly don’t care to hear one fucking word out of the mouths of anybody associated with these crooks and creeps about the Millennial maladjustment of young people who are not personally pimping out their own children to such abusers for their families’ advancement. This is the class of absolute scumbags that gets us to loathe ourselves for not being more successful, prosperous, and accomplished.

The problem is that youngsters spend too much time and money on avocado toast and not enough on sexual favors for Brett Michael Kavanaugh. Ooh, yeah, Amy, show me how to tart myself up, mama! Hamana hamana, this big pussy, she gon’ purr! We just need to suck it up (ew, what’s “it?”), buckle down (not sure I like that one, either, given some of the neighborhood paraphilias), study hard, and recognize that Larry Nassar’s chronic employment at MSU had nothing to do with a dean of the medical school, who employed Larry Nassar, totally being exactly the pushy quid pro quo sex pest who would employ Larry Nassar.

Think about any of these characters or their associates criticizing students for getting poor grades. Fuck them for that. Fuck them all. Bitch-ass Tiger Mom was telling us that we weren’t studying hard enough for success, and meanwhile she was telling her students that they weren’t dressing sluttily enough for a sitting federal judge, now a sitting justice on the US Supreme Court subsequent to his livecast tantrum before his interview committee, all of them members of Congress. #LeanIn, bitch, and wear a low-cut top when you do.

This is ever so much worse than what I suspected as an extreme scenario when I was an undergraduate or a high school student and regarded some, but by no means all, of my school assignments as bullshit. We’re doing an abrupt reexamination of the shady “scientific” “research” done by purportedly reputable scholars using Jeffrey Epstein’s largesse, on the basis that Jailbait Jeff is problematic (who knew?), and it turns out that a lot of these guys were abject charlatans and quacks. It’s an inscrutable mystery of neuroscience how any of these men (and, in this case, very much not women) were disreputable when their patron was the sex island registered pervert with the Bang Boeing who sought to impregnate the world’s womanhood with his seed and have both of his heads, big and little, cryogenically preserved for future Jose Canseco sci-fi-style reanimation.

Let the team doctor molest your college wrestlers over their stated objections and you might make it into the House of Representatives; do the yeoman’s work at the high school level and you might make Speaker. Put out for me, Coach! I mean, put me in Coach! I mean, mercy, what DO I mean? This is why we stay in school, to learn success, and get involved in sports, to learn character.

Our national leadership class is the NAMBLA edition of Dr. Tobias Fünke. J. Denny Dundiddly is one of the least blatantly predatory of these creeps, and Lord knows he did some damage with his downhome prairie companion version of the DENNIS Method. Keillor was all right sexually, but God what a twee, smarmy, wheezing blowhard.

Be well, Be best. Show me where he kept in touch with you on the doll.

That Karolyi-Nassar symbiosis, though. Holy shit. The gentlemanly child molester who snuck his girls food in a league with the chaste starvation ranch meathead who barked at them that they were fatties. Isn’t it just fucking beautiful? These men saw something in one another. That something was the providential enabler of their worst personal vices. And the *A-Yagshemazh-Ma* wife was cool with this shit because she found it gratifying to abuse girls herself. Damn, that’s another American cultural movement that the Karolyis adeptly exploited to their advantage: shit-tier feminism, based on the premise that bitches never give each other stitches.

I can Harding believe it.

On the plus side, and to Ali G’s satisfaction, Tonya looks like she may have tried feminism a time or two, but not the fart-sniffing kind that produces you-go-girl horseshit like Title IX Sports. That is so not how the world works unless we make our small corners of it work that way. Because at the other end of Christine Blasey-Ford’s emigration journey, we know who’s cutting another line of Daddy’s Courage and humming the Bobby Sox Song on his way from the Court to the court.

There’s no bottom to this depravity, and there’s no telling how long the simmering popular rage will continue to barely tolerate it. This might be, for our elites, a good December to remember the words of that ancient and venerable Romanian proverb, reputed also to be popular in parts of Soviet Russia, and to step into Christmas before Christmas steps into YOU!

And just like that the weekend is upon us, providing us (huh?) the additional time to contemplate these teachings. Have a good Friday.