Doctoring the stats, if we may

We live in noisy, acrimonious times, bombarded by denunciations of the kids these days for being disgraces to their parents. The barbs the Baby Boom caught were more or less for being insolent, i.e., too mature. The ones Millennials catch are even worse. Go read about that recrimination and religitation and general upset somewhere else, say, in any of the hundreds of passages where it’s already been beaten to death like Nigel St. Nigel’s dinner steak in these pages alone.

Occasionally an absolutely standout statistic pops over the transom and brings this bullshit into the stark relief it so desperately needs but so rarely gets, spotlighting the unlikelihood that tens of millions of extra Westerners under forty independently but simultaneously developed the same set of dysfunctional habits, made the same bad choices, and ended up with the same disappointing accomplishments and bleak prospects. From time to time—more like day or few, for those who aren’t numbed by the cultural onslaught—a snapshot pops up to prove, and I mean prove, that what’s happening is not just entire youth cohorts of current, erstwhile, and aspiring hikikomori freely choosing to make ruins of their own lives.

Tonight’s snapshot, for me, was a graph of the annual number of medical graduates in the postwar United States. The line rises steadily through around 1980. Then it falls into an undulating plateau for the next three decades, before rising more steadily again over the past decade, to the present day.

Did the national population do that? Of course not. It didn’t drop some years or decades and rise in others. It kept growing. Say, the turn of the eighties didn’t feature any other pivots from stewardship into schemes to sneak into other people’s houses and gorge on their seed corn at their kitchen tables, did it? Surely that wasn’t a period of constant strikes and lockouts in an effort to hold the line on the worst of the yuppies.

Metric after metric stagnated or reversed in the seventies and early eighties. It’s chart after chart after chart. It turns out they decided to stop training yuppies into doctors, too. It’s odd. It’s surprising. Aren’t the doctors all yuppies?

Yeah. That’s gotta be why. It’s artificial scarcity. When the unions attempt to enforce a third artificially scarce day of each air traffic controller’s work, they’re lazy freeloaders. When the medical schools and professional associations allow the training of new physicians and surgeons to detach from population growth in an aging country on course to start really aging a generation into the future, that’s, uh, markets something. It couldn’t be professional collusion. It’s not like Adam Smith snickered about how it’s impossible to put any two of any type in the same cafe at the same time and not immediately get them to hatch a conspiracy to fix prices.

The civic implications of Adam Smith complaining not just about every possible sort of tradesman being a born price-fixer but also about landlords are important, eternal vigilance as the price of freedom and all that shit. If that priggish gasbag was Mao by way of the Marquis of Queensberry, maybe the business of business really is monkey business and the landlords really are parasites. Smith happily granted that tradesmen are mere cheats. This might be worth keeping in mind when our elected officials and think tank sinecurists open their pieholes to spend time as the economics faculty.

As fellow tradesmen (and women!), certain members of the b College of Esteemed Barber-Surgeons might wish to do likewise for their own financial gain. They might wish to establish themselves as a strictly select fraternity.

Midwives and midwifery enthusiasts have things to say on this topic.

We risk veering into woo. Is natural childbirth any better than natural root canal or natural orthopedics? I don’t have any she-crunchies in my circles to impress at the moment; none of the bitches in that fight are mine. So let’s flip the question. If obstetrics is such a good idea, why have we spent forty years trying to have less of it? Patch my damn cunt right now, Adams! Be of cervix!

This is an entirely serious question. If a stagnating pool of physicians serving a growing population moves out of general or internal medicine and into OB/GYN for the pay (say, due to student debt), there will be a different mix of ill effects on national health, in this case through the neglect of routine checkups and preventative care, and there probably still won’t be enough obstetricians.

Did the raw ability of American medical schools to train new doctors falter for decades in the midst of breathtaking medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs? I don’t particularly think so. That isn’t a deal where they just dump all the lab instructors into fulltime R&D. These are complementary parts of the system. They have synergies.

That’s a ridiculous answer for why medical school graduations plateaued alongside surges in the yuppie population. It’s more sensible to explain it by pointing out that recruiters for high-frequency trading shops spent years telling undergraduate math whizzes they were too smart for medical school. Don’t waste your career listening to geezers cough; come help us exploit our microsecond advantage over the other bastards by writing algorithms for the direct line we have from the NASDAQ floor to our new server farm in Hoboken.

These are gentlemen’s pastimes. It’s the kind of parasitic legerdemain that would tempt any ruined aristocrat who’s otherwise prone to club his fellow to death because he was budgeting tonight’s winnings for the latest round of last-ditch payments on his ample household debt. Granted, there are workarounds. For example, parliamentary immunity as a refuge from debtor’s prison is an exercise of classic Burkean conservatism.

It helps to know people to get into medical school these days, too. For veterinary school it’s just about a necessity. Mom and Dad are vets, they both know a bunch of other vets, and whaddaya know, precious Madison seizes the opportunity to shadow one of their colleagues and then gush about it on her improbably successful application for veterinary school. Honorably and lucratively, the family tradition endures.

In the Old World, this professional arrangement would generally be called a hereditary guild. Here, in the land of the free and the home of the brave new one, it’s called—well, shucks, it’s called nothing. We’re one of the most obnoxiously, inexhaustably talkative peoples on God’s green earth, and we somehow don’t have the language to describe the hardening tendency of children, in this case the children of the upper middle class, to take up their parents’ lines of work, to the exclusion of young people from other, less fortunate families.

Counterintuitively, it’s because Americans believe so deeply in the power of language. This is why we lack the language to talk about shit the English, the crew of our mothership and the namesake of our common tongue, traditionally classify with a single syllable. Over here, we’re pretending it isn’t odd that the children of veterinarians have such a preternatural inability to regress to the professional mean of not being veterinarians. They get prodded and hazed through the same test hell as any of their class peers, but kum-on, they aren’t all that competitive. They are not all so smart and capable.

Problem is, our Brahmins today get really touchy about what to do with the family dimwits. Maybe it’s their fault if they won’t study hard enough, but that’s beside the point. The dim their families will have with them always. The intense pressure to succeed doesn’t help, either. Some of their cognitive deficiencies—like, where if you talked to them just to talk to them without thinking about their excellence as striver brats you might walk away thinking they aren’t too fucking bright—arise from the pressure to turn them into Scantron idiot-savants. I was transiently dumber for putting up with that shit. You would be, too.

As Dan Quayle supposedly said, not to have a mind is being very wasteful; how true that is. Palo Alto’s teen suicide victims present, or absent, with scholastic aptitude such that they’d have to go to Atlanta to pass their tests. Youth suicide clusters in affluent communities may well in fact skew test scores and college acceptance letters upwards; I don’t care whether they’re crass enough to think of this, because I am, and I consider it a legitimate, relevant consideration.

All they’d do in Atlanta is grab a damn eraser. Encouragingly, it’s the same approach the proctors took on the Operation Varsity Blues show. Hey, champ, I know a guy in Houston. We’re seriously talking about saving people’s lives here.

*****

I’m shitposting, but I am not kidding. Colleges drive teenagers to suicide, and many more to self-harm, by playing around with the admissions dials to goose their cut of the vig. Then they wonder, oh no, our students have mental health problems. How did that happen? This stance conveniently opens up a slot in the trough for every grifting oddball with a PsyD to devise “solutions” that don’t force their employers to solve a goddamn thing. Our colleges retain an awful lot of in-house solicitors and regulatory specialists per capita for institutions that deal with customers they’re destabilizing to the verge of suicide by commending them to the mental health care of psychologists they employ.

Sociopathic multinational corporations that pull this company town shit on their employees in the interest of “wellness” at least pay them a little something for their trouble. The college model is to charge fees for healthcare upfront, along with tuition, and then delay or deny requests to apply the same fees, by this point on deposit at interest and declarable as liquidity on applications for corporate lines of credit, towards bills for the mental healthcare of outside providers who do not have prima facie conflicts of interest.

This shit is just too fucking obvious to give the benefit of the doubt. Rob Ford needed, like, a week of heat from the press to be like, yeah, I guess I can only prove that I smoked crack, but I’m pretty sure I was also drunk to the point of incapacitation, because that seems like the reason why I’d smoke crack. Dude’s Rock.

I am not here to humor anyone who runs a fucking chartered and accredited bachelor’s or graduate program and insists that isn’t a conflict of interest because it’s complicated and I don’t understand. No, asshole, I’m not a moron. I fucking understand. The arrangement for student mental health services at these schools is tangled but easy enough to describe and explain.

The schools are the immediate payors, the patients are their students, and the clinicians are their employees. The patients, usually via their much more solvent parents, have parallel customer relationships with the payor, as tuition-paying students and de facto policyholders enrolled in a group health coverage plan providing routine outpatient care in campus clinics closed to the general public.

Here’s where it gets sick. The clinicians have the specific, exclusive responsibility of treating mental health outpatients who almost always present with specific complaints against the clinicians’ employer, which is also the patients’ insurance carrier and provider network for psychological care whenever classes are in session and they happen to be on campus.

These are distraught teenagers and early twenty-somethings telling psychologists, all but explictly: Your employer is why I’m sick. Your employer is why I’m cutting myself and thinking of suicide. You work for my college. Our college is emotionally ruining me.

This is a mental healthcare system where the patient has an adversarial relationship with the counselor’s employer, EVERY SINGLE TIME. On rare occasions a patient’s difficulties may not have a provable relationship to the school, one of those situations that’s totally unlikely but plausible enough for Coast to Coast. Okay, I’m not saying I was on meth, but I’m not saying the alien didn’t stick a probe up my butt to download my soul, but I’m definitely saying the way I treat my patients is exactly the way I would if they weren’t telling me I’m working for the same organization that makes them want to kill themselves.

*****

At the institutional level, nobody at these schools can do a thing without debasing themselves to some combination of sophistry and carnival barking. That’s an American story if ever there was one. The combination of self-seriousness and power may be the most ruinous thing about this system. It seems not too conducive to peace of mind to bully teenagers already passing through a drawn-out, incoherently justified liminal period that their future wellbeing in everything from earning capacity to professional advancement to marriage and childrearing depends on their successfully walking a gauntlet of power-mad boors, scolds, busybodies, snitches, and lunatics.

Yes, the individual authority figure is allowed to be a mix-and-match; yes, it’s payable upfront; yes, usurers are standing by with installment plans. Call now.

I swear to God, it’s enough of a rite of passage to get the kids into the payroll workforce. The rest of this shit is just fucking insane.

I once had dinner in the same room as John Yoo for a symposium about Lincoln and Taney and why that did or did not make it okay for the intelligence services to subject detainees they’d gotten for bounties to mock executions. You know, the usual. We were treated to the usual high platitudes about robust debate and intellectual diversity and my balls, which were feeling better than they would have in Homan Square. The idea was that we’d be incurious not to give a fair hearing to a scholar of such stature just because we disagreed with his positions.

Whipped little bitch that I still so often am, I fell for this shit. A fair hearing of that asshole’s heinous and yet boring arguments would be to scream at him to shut up and promise to call 911 the next time he comes into sight. That reaction would rise vaguely towards the level of street justice. A pampered asshat like John Yoo would be horrified. People like him flip their shit at the thought of being heckled. They consider it censorship to be denied salaried academic posts and honoraria just because everything they have to say outrages their paying audiences.

This is the usual grievance about cancel culture: some bigshot pissed the wrong people off in exactly the way he knew not to do when he was on one platform, and how he must suffer the humiliation of having to take his large, established audience to a different, comparably prominent platform whenever he feels like it. The same assholes who are so fed up with liberal snowflakes throw a fit whenever one of them is belatedly denied ongoing payment to say absolutely any rotten thing that comes to mind on Fox News. They get outraged at the possibility of a marginal loss in viewership just because one of them barked a vile racist diatribe through a mouth too wine-soaked to form normal consonants.

To make it even more pathetic, they’re all bitter about their relegation to Fox News or some other platform of similar cultural dominance because a fair society would reward their talents with an appointment to Harvard. Yeah, Harvard doesn’t want me, either, doofus. Harvard does not encompass all possible atrocities just because it’s atrocious.

On the other hand, Boalt Hall made space for Philadelphia Eichmann.

This is the point where I start feeling like I’m fucking hallucinating. I’m just some schmuck who does more or less his fair share of the country’s farm work and publishes huge amounts of weird samizdat, some of which a few strangers enjoy reading. I’m over here chronicling the surreal from time to time, and I feel like a huge disappointment for not doing something more worthwhile. Meanwhile, the surreal who give me themselves as posting fodder do circle jerks for a living. They give each other accolades for publishing “legal scholarship” that would get them fired from the average newsroom for incompetence and serious ethical lapses. They get strivers to prove their own genius for a chance to pay for lectures about how it’s constitutional to commit the kinds of war crimes that got all those guys hanged in Nuremberg. It takes excellent grades and stratospheric LSAT scores to get into John Yoo’s lectures, plus a small fortune in tuition and fees.

Academic grades are barely credible without any of these freaks. They have the same problems with fraud, corruption, and chain of custody as subprime mortgages exhibited in the crash of 2008. The very premise of this system is that it can use printouts of some spreadsheet calculations derived from summary reviews of academic performance to classify alumni as anything from heroically hardworking geniuses to lazy retards, often based on coursework whose only copies existed for all of a day or two. To continue the unnerving hallucinatory feeling, the reason grades and grade point averages are taken so seriously is that the assholes relying on them are too lazy to review applicants’ portfolios. The standardized tests serve the same purpose.

The only thing we know about sexual quid pro quo in academia is that it’s underreported. I guarantee it. Sucking or fucking the right person to change some letters and numbers for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of future earnings is exactly what happens when the stakes are as high as they are now.

Most of this perversion and dissolution is only circumstantially provable. There’s conclusive, thoroughly documented evidence of the parallel ideological extortion that pervades academia and institutions associated with it. Freedom means the latitude to treat Alan Dershowitz like any other jerk with vile politics. It tells us what we need to know about the extent of intellectual freedom that it’s beyond the pale for so many professors and reporters to repay the foultempered immorality of such characters with anything but graciousness and patience. It isn’t mercy or magnanimity to put reactionary shithead lawyers on TV. It’s enabling. It’s collusion.

The assholes could always just grab soapboxes and serve as models of pluck and independence for the young people they rue have turned into whiny, easily offended conformists. They hate the idea. It would be an ego hit. I don’t usually look at my site stats these days. None of these emotionally volatile freaks would be able to resist. None of them can bear to be denied Harvard’s imprimatur, or to be quiet on any platform within their reach about the injury they sustain by being so denied.

*****

The simple explanation for their ill cheer is that they’re courtiers. They’re as bitter and resentful as any other chorus of petty little bitches about being barred from the courts of true power, those stuck kissing noble ass in Avignon for a living always pining for Versailles, where they’ll finally show the world that they’ve arrived.

Bruh, they feed you, right? And of course they do. Courtiers and whatever else they are as well—priests, scholars, jesters, counselors—are fed by the sweat of other brows. It’s one of the draws of the gig. They just have to concoct or perpetuate whatever story it takes to convince the peasants that they shouldn’t have to pitch in on the chores.

What makes these already miserable “conservative” crybabies go from the tragically insatiable to the farcical is their confusion of prestige with power. Sure, maybe critical race theory or whatever on earth is the matter with Larry and the Lady Mathematicians is obnoxious. That doesn’t mean it’s relevant. The people who actually run the Ivies and the United States are happy enough to toss some more feed into the vealpen on demand while those with the real wealth, power, and privilege either do their own whining about how marginalized they are or simply ignore the spectacle.

Our dean of humanities Dr. Summers plays both roles, getting rich and powerful and also splashing around in the mudpit of academic feuds. The litmus test of power, however, is simple. Whoever is getting rich is who matters. That’s the finbros and Tommy Tuberville before it’s anyone maxing out at $30k complaining about representation or free shit from the sponsors to fill out the team.

*****

The more or less reasonable assumption about the applicant pools and student bodies of prestigious universities—the Ivies, the Hidden Ivies, the flagship state schools—is they’re drawn from elite families, ones corresponding at least to the aristocracy or the medieval court clergy. This is intuitive, except it isn’t entirely the case. Harvard wouldn’t make its applicants grovel like peasants if it didn’t regard them as peasants. It esteems a few of them as true nobles; the remainder it regards as mere peasants with disposable assets.

Making these losers do a song and dance is entertainment for profit. It confirms the Good Schools as good schools, ones worth slashing throats and paying fortunes to attend. It reinforces the national and transnational class structures.

Once the higher strata of the peasantry matriculate, their mental health becomes important, because if it decides to go on sabbatical again the kids might do something to make their schools look bad, like drop out. The embarrassment of a high dropout rate comes with a significant loss of tuition and fee revenue, which also makes a school look bad.

There’s no fence bounding the prison. It’s still prison psychiatry.

To quote Zachary Karabell’s awfully unfortunate phrasing, what’s college for? It’s for itself. That’s the thing. It isn’t to prepare students for the professional world or cultivate in them the life of the mind or any of that shit. It’s an expensive crowdsourced matchmaking service, after a fashion, although Grove City is the only college to be honest about this pupose, and hence somewhat coherent. At other colleges the matchmaking role is mostly incidental; the same striving assholes might just as easily meet each other in prep school or grad school or even some yuppie bar in the big city, being yuppies.

The faculties do not govern themselves. Professors can be profoundly disturbed, but one thing they are not inclined to do is elevate the most parasitic flimflammers from among themselves to serve as their chiefs. The quality of administrator drops noticeably from department chair to college president. The central administrators are so much more expensive and so much worse. The principle is that it costs more to get more; quality of personnel demands quantity of funds.

Everything about this is happy horseshit. It’d be cheaper to elevate a sitting professor for a year or two instead of mounting national searches for the best of all candidates, and the candidates would be better. But that’s not the point. The point is to semi-randomly reward suckups for their sycophancy and corruption. Our college presidents couldn’t possibly be pulled from a grab bag of obnoxious, arrogant mediocrities for awards of salaries multiples of what any of the professors they govern earn and also free mansions. Surely they’re intellectuals of great distinction.

The true extent of academic self-government is the department. In some universities it may be an internal academic division, a “college” or “school” or whatever. /Most philosophical Jeffrey and the Jailbait Enjoyers salon voice/ Karabell, I don’t care what it’s for. What’s “college?” Yeah, okay, but wood does dat godda do wit pussy?

It has much to do, of course, just not in coherent or scrutable ways. HQ and the assholes who call their shots—the boards of trustees, the boosters, individual alumni who live to throw their money and weight around—tend not to interfere directly in departmental operations for a number of reasons, all of them better than nothing but none of them reputable. They want their precious schools to look good, and a reputation for sleazy bigshots intruding into departmental affairs is bad. They don’t want tenured faculty getting hostile, and if the vulgarians push the envelope the eggheads most assuredly will. These moneyball shysters are in it to make bank and move bank, not to get berated back off the academic quad by professors who are both avowedly and by consensus more educated, making a scene only to defend the ethical and intellectual high ground.

Besides, the departments have nothing of value to seize in the first place. They’re loss leaders for the big grift. It’s the vealpen again. No need to close the gate; just toss some feed in over the rail. They’ll gladly lie down and chew.

This is why the big cheeses keep the humanities departments around. This is why they don’t pare down the 100-level chemistry courses to excuse the morons who enroll for the distribution requirements and to have the TA’s turn on their Bunsen burners and do their math. They need to pretend that everybody who graduates is educated. Chad Kroeger is educated enough to admit he’s uneducated. That’s too educated.

Okay, he’s singing about high school. Is it the same notorious retard factory in Alberta that it is down here? It’s no pride of th’ American side, to judge from the bitter complaints of its being a volume-discounted version of college with marginally worse academic and occupational results. Nobody who comments on this shit has the intellectual curiosity to go after the deeper, real problems when it’s so easy to whine about low returns on investment. The rest of us get the discourse they deserve.

*****

If college’s intellectual mission is the formation of intellectually curious critical thinkers, a critical thinker would think college graduates would stand out for that, not for being insecure social climbers who get upset whenever somebody disses one of their cults at lunch. If the goal is to produce well-rounded physicians–hold up, because if that’s what we’re doing, we need to start by redesigning medical school.

It must feel too much like vo-tech to think about reclassifying medical training as a strictly professional course of study, such as the law still is in the crustier corners of Vermont. Medicine needs to be a profession of the Renaissance Man (and Woman!), not a grubby trade in which the barber-neurosurgeon is expected to know more about where and how to cut the brain than he does about the classics, butt enough about the Castro, or than she does about walking into her ex-boyfriend’s kitchen and yelling at him while he calls 911 from upstairs because she just woke him up from a nap. Understand, we cannot have the general public accusing The Doctors of exactly the obsessive narrow intelligence that’s drilled into them over the course of their medical training. This would decrease the public’s confidence in, as doctors do not call it but those who seek to marry doctors do, the medical field.

The popular understanding of this shit is all wrong. Everything I publish in these pages is the liberal arts. This right here is the real deal. You can say, well now, it’s nothing but gonzo shitposting, and fine. What I’m saying is still this: Whenever I barf forth another 2,500-12,500 words about Kwesi Millington or whatever the hell to polerize a friend, I’m objectively engaging in the liberal arts. There is no strict professional or technical purpose to this stuff.

There are strict professional and technical purposes to medical education. That’s why we’re all made to pretend that our doctors have to be Jonas Salk and also Marcus Aurelius. Look, I can hardly give my dentist a clear field of view when he starts talking to me about how much he loved “those trees with the pretty bark” (eucalyptus, I determined) on the first trip of his life to California because there was a clinical conference in, like, Altadena. I don’t need him to learn additional topics of conversation; that’s for his personal life, not my already full mouth.

Mind you, I’m just being too smart for school again. I’m not entirely joking, either. One of the purposes of the broad education of medical doctors, and Dr. Puliafito has indeed given a broad or two an education, is to encourage the public to think, patiently, as it were, of polymath brilliance as a proxy for the sharp clinical knowledge and acumen the same doctors may or may not possess.

What the fuck does that have to do with anything? I’m not over here telling Dennis Geyer where to cut, or what to cut, other than out the antics on the bridge, because young man I do not like the sound of that. Do we need or want our surgeons writing crap like that? No. We might wish for them to write post-op notes based on actual reviews of systems, but we can’t have a thing that nice, either. The professional standards are surprisingly mythical. Please insert my usual review of systems.

Medicine is a profession in which Dan Crenshaw’s eyes are equally reactive and dilated. The only way to face consequences for writing notes of that quality is to do so in a practice that maintains its own internal standards. The Mayo Clinic will probably shitcan anyone it catches doing that. The average hospital group? Lol wut, sure. Basically, you can do whatever until you get fired or sued, and if you get into either sort of trouble, you can find somewhere else to work. Drylabbing is okay as long as nobody gets maimed or killed, and the med-surg nurses are there to handle the med part.

My usual, please.

There might be less in the way of funds to slush if the normies start wondering what the fuck doctors know. Out in the streets a lot of Americans are bitter about medical mistakes and the incompetents who make them, but the main point is to overwhelm them by bamboozling nine-to-fives who vote. Dr. Oz is a doctor, you see.

Yeah, no shit. I’ll go to a different cardiac surgeon if I need one because he only practices part-time and the rest of them are somebody else. Does that mean he knows anything about probiotics or superfoods that can’t be learned from a list of ingredients? Does he know anything about exercise that any rando who gets out for a walk doesn’t also know? Of course not. He’s some freak on TV who eats an ounce of raw walnuts for lunch. He’ll be telling me what to eat just as soon as I’ll listen to some performatively folksy dipshit from the Farm Bureau tell me the parish hall coffee in his thermos is good enough for a breakfast at daybreak under the old oak out front of the barn when you’ve got twelve hours of silage to cut. Okay, then, you drink it, you twerp.

That’s the other thing: A whole lot of Heartland Leaders are teachers, not farmers. (I’m leaving the lawyers aside because they’re too numerous to be interesting.) Ben’s Ass—now goodness, can somebody teach me how to spell?—was a college president. Both of his parents were high school teachers. Lyndon Johnson and Chuck Grassley went to normal school. Denny taught in one.

Take that one to the mat. We all wrestle with these things, if we’re so unfortunate. The mere instructor goes to Minnesota for being homosexual; the true rancher goes there to BE homosexual.

The folksy wonders strutting around Washington and its many outposts around the world with their obnoxious method acting projects are eggheads. They’re thousands of times more likely than the average American to have Ivy League pedigrees. So much school, so little refinement. What the hell was the point of sending them? Brett Kavanaugh did not need to enroll to learn about beer.

Are we still to imagine college refines its alumni? Are we still to imagine it has a culturing effect? They matriculate as crass boors, and they graduate as crass boors. As Tom Lehrer might say, it’s a sewer like the rest of life, just costlier.

Rich people love having the merely affluent extrapolate and project their own fussy aesthetics and habits to the very top. They want the upper middle class to imagine that the overclass is not crawling with what Michael O. Church called uncultured barbarians. They want the PMC to continue to take Donald Trump for a poor man’s idea of a rich man, not simply a rich asshole. Between their sheer wealth and their forsaking of the noblesse oblige their ancestors learned the slightly hard way in the Depression, a rich person with coarse tastes today faces few obstacles to acting like Donald Trump. The press earnestly celebrates the vile antics of the rich. We love our celebrities, don’t we, folks. The authorities do little to temper their worst impulses. The matriarchs and patriarchs who were around for the lessons of the Depression in real time are too frail, feebleminded, or dead to meaningfully object. Who was that negro? Why, he was Kofi Annan, Mrs. Astor. Well, now, surely his parents were not foolish enough to name him Coffee.

The hardcore rich do whatever the fuck they please whenever the fuck they please. Sometimes they actually, sincerely try to be reputable and modest. We hear very little from or about these cases. The infamous hard workers among the rich work, or hold acting roles showcasing their own work ethics, almost exclusively to gather and hoard more wealth and power.

During the Great Compression they had to restrain themselves or be restrained. They had to negotiate with unions and submit to regulators. They love their current restoration to the powers of gods on earth. They have always consideed these powers their birthright. It smarted to have their worst wants denied for several decades on account of government intrusion into their affairs and the omnipresent threat of swift mob violence for overreach. They’re gratified to again be given tacit blessings to set quotas in ways forcing their employees to wear adult diapers. They approve of the prerogative Donald Trump used on television to ritually humiliate “apprentices” by breathing the words of ruin upon them like Zeus. They consider this a good model for the economy and for their own lives.

Yes, this includes #resist #WithHer #NeverTrump scolds. As always, it’s about substance, not style.

*****

As we mentioned above, medicine is a grubby, tiring way to try to make a fortune, and one requiring high intelligence. Some families are practically medical castes of their own. There are, for example, many Drs. Gupta. Judy Dench once got the sads on As Time Goes By and had to see a Mr. Percival, a Norman French cunt. To judge from the compensation packages, American doctors push their children High French and Original Brahmin children into medicine for the money. Prestige is the other obvious factor.

To be quite blunt, medical doctors and their class peers do not have a 70% or 90% lock or however much of it is they hog on young adult children capable of completing medical training and serving capably as doctors. Come on. Too many of their kids are too dull or soft or, inflammatory though it is to admit this away from the academic vealpen, traumatized to get through medical school and a residency the way these programs are run.

In the USA today (lol), these rounds of hazing are all too clearly a series of forced marches into a crooked, cruel system that doesn’t work. On an alarming number of floors, it’s acceptable for doctoring to fall somewhere between an acting gig and cosplay. The Village People were not in fact a cop and a logger and whatever. A medical license is worth its printstock as evidence of fitness for a physician who drops acid to make rounds “fun” or a surgeon who scrubs in too drunk to maintain normal gross motor function when he gropes his scrubs nurse with a breast pocket full of sharps.

It’s hard to imagine the quality of available medical staff not plummeting as word gets out about incidents of that nature. It’s more than a few assholes; it’s all the enablers among their colleagues turning a blind eye to flagrant unfitness for duty that could get patients killed, plus the openly homicidal executives and shareholders, plus the ethical impunity for consorting with cheerleader bimbos hawking the latest patent medicines on the junket circuit.

The prevailing ethics and standards of care in American medicine today are, if anything, higher than they should be given how notoriously riddled it is with profiteers, quacks, drylabbers, and other trash who have no business anywhere near it. It’s a powerful strange attractor for bad actors that is incidentally also a powerful strange attractor for good actors.

Where’s the tipping point? I think we’re right around it, but I couldn’t say for sure which side. Ask Malcolm Gladwell. Are Nickelback the dumbest Canadians? They sing popular songs about life, death, relationships found and lost and maybe found again, the sociology of small towns, luck good and bad, high school, sex in the shower, and the criminal justice system. Gladwell is famous for writing about how if you play a lot of hockey, there’s a good chance you’ll get good at hockey.

By God my stories about how if you spend 1,000 hours learning about horses at a government sleepaway school you’ll have no idea how to calm down a Pollack are better than that.

*****

The answers are so straightforward and yet so daunting. Train more doctors instead of whatever the hell we’re doing to miseducate our smart people instead. Nationalize the big pharmacorps, which profiteer on government research all the time as it is. Investigate the shit out of anyone trying to trade dinners and swag and a little something-something under my blouse for prescription sales, on both sides of the agreement; that setup is a way for our already quite well-compensated physicians and surgeons to charge their hookers to company expense accounts. Break up the for-profit hospital groups. Yank their nonprofit status on grounds of fraud. Establish more and better government clinics.

Medicare for All or Medicaid for All or Tricare for All would be a good adjunct.

Or an army of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed idealists could try to join it and reform it from the inside. It’s admirable, until it turns into a sellout fiasco like Teach for America or the law for most anybody. It’s the usual shit about systems and their inertia and peer pressure from colleagues and the kids’ classmates and all the rest of it. It’s a fucking mess, rather like the mainstream culture of this decadent, decrepit land.

Besides, you won’t need to call Toni Morrison to babysit your toddler while you become a neurosurgeon. There aren’t any openings. Help is not wanted.

God help us if they ever force Carol off the media

Dammit, Douglas, you incorrigible Maritime heartthrob, I may sound too hypomanic not to get Hortons on mane, but this time the pride is again th’ American Side’s, as it happens. Radio so bad, Big Ears Teddy will turn himself back around and refuse not to “bear” witness.

Have I used that one before? It’s about time in any event. The big news this time for us public radio trainspotters, as Colby Cosh calls us, pertains to On The Media, a program on the media. They sure as hell weren’t gonna call it On The Bala Cynwyd, am I right, Garf. #ThatWasBad #DudeItsRude. It turns out that that urbane Main Line dean of reporters was a toxic asshole who liked to throw bullying tantrums around the office and failing to abide by HR’s demands that he behave himself. Justice in his case was not particularly swift, but it was dramatic. Bob’s permanently away this week. I’m Brooke, and I’m glad about it.

That was also bad. It shouldn’t be a terrible surprise to hear that Garfield’s personality fell short of his persona. These are actors. If you find Buddha on the road, kill him. If you find Michael State on Facebook, repost parish hall normcore. My ex thinks he sounds like a slut and Beth Huizenga is out of her goddamn mind.

Whatever. As much as they’re anything, they’re entertainers. We invite them into our homes and cars and workout headsets and mind. We fancy them friends, buddy. Good guys. They work in a dynamic business, working urgently to balance the unbalanced on the fly on strict deadlines. It should be no surprise that more than a few of them are unbalanced themselves. They’re theater kids.

Excuse me: theatre kids.

The worst of these actors take advantage of the high pressure, high stakes, and tight deadlines to justify behaving however the hell they want. In Jian Ghomeshi’s case, this meant not just choking women but berating his production staff to pull everything together while he went incommunicado on deadline because he was having a mood. It’s a miracle Q was ever ready by airtime.

You have to have thick skin to hack it in the business. Jian Ghomeshi has exceptionally thin skin. What they really mean is you have to have thick skin to work around Jian Ghomeshi. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if he’s even happy with himself, no matter how inexcusable it was for him to take his disappointments and upsets out on staff and threaten to get colleagues blacklisted for saying anything bad about him, e.g., his renown for choking a bitch.

Radio is no place for a sensitive little crybaby, the Bob Garfields of the world like to say. They say the same thing about running a restaurant, working in an operating room, and every sleazy sort of sales work. Complaints about political correctness and oversensitivity consistently come from or on behalf of the most hypersensitive, emotionally incontinent outburst artists in whatever business is under discussion.

It’s always about maintaining the existing power dynamics. First they came for Bob Garfield, and I said nothing, because Bob Garfield had contractual employment protections and guild representation the likes of which I never expect to enjoy. An ordinary line employee would be fired on the spot for pulling that shit, assuredly so for doing anything of the sort to a supervisor. It’s only certain people who enjoy the latitude to throw bullying fits around the office. To WNYC’s credit, it lost its patience with Garfield for persisting in screaming at colleagues and subordinates over editorial differences and has previously released hosts as prominent as John Hockenberry for being sex pests. To its discredit, it seems to have quite a few problem personalities. As we say online, you truly hate to see Tanzina Vega on the HR list.

Living vicarious professional lives through the personnel disputes of media bigshots is pathetic. They’re nothing like us. Theirs is a different, separate, alien world. Lead characters in all media are infamously prone to be divas. This doesn’t make their behavior acceptable. If Bob Garfield’s behavior was as chronically problematic as WNYC’s outside auditor found, he needed some time away from the studio to chill the hell out. Terminating him outright was a reasonable decision when he’d already been formally warned to keep his temper in check.

“Cancel culture” is a red herring. The much bigger threat to the occupational viability of ordinary Americans is the combination of merciless at-will employment; intrusive, abusive employers; and the strategic absence of government job guarantees or even the faintest glimmer of full employment policies. It isn’t Bob Garfield getting shitcanned for having an unacceptable anger management problem at work and having to go on Twitter and Substack to complain about it, still a public citizen. It isn’t Don Imus getting axed not to talk about “nappy-headed hoes,” or rather, for talking about “nappy-headed hoes.”

It was some kind of foul feelings towards a team of lady ballers, I recall. To paraphrase the Ghetto-Ass Bitches of 103rd Street, their hair always gone BE nappy. The people who make the hiring and firing decisions in these cases don’t spend much time on the Blue Line, but that’s beside the point. Imus upset and scandalized the advertisers. He knew he was pushing the envelope by being racially edgy on air. They heard that tirade and decided they’d had enough.

Some of these characters are Greekly tragic. Garfield sounds more like a garden-variety bully who elected to dispense with self-control around the office, a man with an awful temperament but a sincere love of journalism and interest in its cultural context. Rush Limbaugh was something else entirely, a bitter old man who had every creature comfort and still bitterly fumed about random strangers being cheats or freeloaders or loafers because the bitterness and the fuming made him ever richer and more popular. As a young man, Rush wanted to do baseball radio; he was passionate about it and impressed people with his encyclopedic knowledge of it. The problem with this career is that it would have left him doing the yeoman’s work for yeoman’s pay in some local or regional market. The money was in being an angry reactionary who always sounded and looked ready to drop dead of a heart attack.

Wow Much rosebud Such sad. I can’t imagine having a platform of that topical latitude and not using it to reach out to loved ones I’ve lost and miss, to say good things about them in terms vague but recognizable to them and the real heads who know them, much as I sometimes do here with an audience of several of you, give or entirely take. I’m still dealing with a fresh breakup, but I might still be hella emo about this shit in more placid, less troubling personal times, with a somewhat more normal emotional and spiritual life. I truly don’t get why people like Limbaugh don’t pivot back to baseball once they’ve gotten some fuck-you money, just open up a free-for-all call-in about the Cardinals or whatever because the audience is already there and will gladly follow them to other platforms in the event of programming disputes.

Commercial radio is a collection of cesspools different from NPR’s. The lowest common denominators Rush Limbaugh exploited included the desire to rape. Guys who would have tested the waters more carefully in their local bars found, if we may, a safe space on his show and other syndicated garbage heaps of that sort to fume about how women were asking for it. Most of the commentary was sublimated enough to keep the advertisers from flipping their shit, but it was about rape. Imus’s comment about the basketball team touched on the ugly, arguably epigenetic American history of racialized rape, maybe only subconsciously, but it was a real factor.

Their target demographic is the same one that expresses its disgruntlement that the broads these days need to lighten up, toughen up, and just deal with a little light touch and talk around the office. The reasons to try to do better than that are obvious and compelling, and they aren’t all liberal in nature, either. In some sense or other, they’re all fundamentally conservative; the point is to try to set and hold a working sexual ethic that keeps the dumbest, worst elements in the workplace from using it to distract all and distress many by being uncontrollably horny all the time. As I’ve said before, Hillz is the conservative on this shit and the Donald the liberal. America is still not ready to have this conversation, but nevertheless, she persisted–in this analogy, I’m not with her, but personally her–to #GetTalking.

*George Nori Voice* Dominic, from Windsor, California, on the Wildcard Line. Go ahead.

The aliens consented.

They consented to what?

The aliens all consented.

Are you saying you consented to their sexual advances?

They consented.

[Sagest Dril Voice] Butt they care not,, too “Fap Only.” *Seinfeld electronica scene break*

Am I right fellas, etc., all that. That’s a big swath of who listens to that garbage, and a bigger chunk of the disposable income the advertisers covet: winery scions who can damn well afford to hire hookers but instead go into politics to rape their fellow elected officials. More than a few listeners are the doers of Denny Dundiddy deals; as fewer point out than care to hear, the loudest on any given seedy or perverted thing having to do with sex tend to be the worst about it themselves.

But now goodness, Sgt. Karsnia, I thought the acoustics in that restroom were just fine!

Yeah, I’m flying, too, on the night shift (on the night shift). Seriously, though, this combination of sexual repression and abuse is a significant reason why so many people are reluctant to engage in the workforce. Expanded to include other forms of abuse intersecting with sexual abuse, it’s a main reason. Decades of unrelenting propaganda about how it’s good to be abused at work–The Office, The Apprentice, Uber as hustle culture–have somewhat backfired. Work? Ah, yeah, work, that’s where you go to get annoyed by morons and treated like shit by assholes for poverty wages and then fired for displeasing one of them.

The whole edifice is shakier than it’s made out to be. Office normcore as a dipshit cover for abusive scheduling practices may be stable. Offfice normcore as a cover for sexual harassment of subordinates is metastable at most. That’s the kind of shit that has male loved ones cleaning their guns. The academic and affluent nature of activism against campus rape pisses off Walt Kowalski wannabes who call in to talk shows to bitch about how everybody’s so goddamn soft these days. It’s much less objectionable to people in the same towns–conservative, liberal, left, whatever–who are sick of getting groped by scumbag customers and shift managers at Applebee’s for a summarily recovable pittance, or who are furious that their sisters, wives, or daughters are being mistreated in that fashion. Company men were allowed to abuse longshormen’s daughters as a hiring condition until they weren’t. It had to do with their discovery that getting beaten to shit for trying to have their way was a credible promise, not an idle threat.

Bob Garfield ain’t got shit on that crew. He’d be on the mild side among franchisee sex pests. The Grey Lady accuses him of using “a barnyard epithet.” I’m not exactly fascinated, but bullshit, I guess? He’s mainly nursing a bruised ego from getting canned from a job where he sounded rather miserable anyway. It’s a useful object lesson in not being able to get away with that shit just for being prominent and playing the urbane WASP Jew on the radio. I didn’t even give a shit when I discovered he’s actually a Jew. He’s not exactly fun like Psychotarp or Pot-o-Shit Friend or Steph, in case the first two are having trouble with their sisters. #TooSoon. All he did was clean up from his disinhibited fits and emo moping in time to do the gentleman-scholar thing on NPR every week, or more recently every two or three weeks, depending on when Brooke Gladstone was hosting in his stead, stoically but now audibly quite the frosty Jewess herself.

Jewish conspiracy? I know, enough about NPR, but those two could barely conspire to put out a fucking radio show. As the old Brooklyn proverb warns, Christ, Mort, are you enough of a putz to believe a pile of crap like that?

As much as it must sting to be fired, Garfield picked a good country for his termination. He might be shocked to discover what happens to the easily upset when they get agitated in Canada under the name of Robert.

The cops know

It’s curious how so many violent weirdos are able to carry on with impunity right in front of the police: Dahmer, Pickton, DeAngelo, Wortman, Tsarnaev, Abdulmutallab. Concerned citizens can beg the police to investigate them in the disappearances of missing loved ones, for naught. Other countries’ cops can alert their counterparts through official channels with prophetic warnings of looming attacks: what he did here today he may do there tomorrow, and then, whaddaya fuggen know, Boston gets bombed.

Nobody could have predicted it. Oddly, the FSB did exactly that. That cat has an anger management problem, and he’s running with the beards back home. The Russian security services think he may mean his adoptive homeland harm? You don’t say!

In the Tsarnaev case, the feds iced the meathead principal, iced some contacts with knowledge or involvement, and are itching to ice the kid brother for being a patsy and a whipped little bitch. Gee, maybe one of the tens of thousands of G-Men who didn’t give a shit about what Tamerlan Tsarnaev thought about them because they weren’t his terrified little brother would have been in a better position than poor Dzhokhar was to stop him. I thot that was why we paid them.

Nah, face it, Jack. We know better than that. These things we cherish above Ruby. Up against the wall, signora, if you’ve got space for my book in your depository.

I got sideshowed on my way to the BART station today. Friday, three in the afternoon, jaywalkers everywhere, and some asshole was doing donuts in a stolen hot red Porsche on MacDonald Avenue. I was going to miss my train out of Richmond regardless, and all I got in the end was a free round tripout of Millbrae on Caltrain after one of our sister trains struck a car at a grade crossing around Hayward Park. The transit scene was fubar. The sideshow was the scary part. I stayed calm, and thank God our boy was competing in it as an individual sport. It could have been worse.

/Borat Voice/ My part-time wife chicksplained to me that sideshow cars are stolen. Duh. Always. Whaddaya mean, always? When Lisa Novak goes for a drive, it depends. That explains how fourth-generation welfare claimants living in ramshackle tenements can afford Escalades and Beamers. They come by them the old-fashioned way.

She knows about these things. My woman has an ear to the ground. She showed me a video of an all-night sideshow in Oakland, ten hours of uninterupted footage of caterwauling, twerking, donuts, and honky–I mean, honking. I can’t white see how that happened. You may not be able to say wop on NPR (Andrew Cuomo is!), but you are, indeed, allowed to say WAP. Schitt, Huizenga, oil beef hooked on anything but phonics. I saw enough of that video after two minutes. It was boring. YouTube has ten-hour cab videos of winter train trips across Norway. Still, the white boy can have a little doofus in a gold chain clowing around on the hood of a Mercedes, as a treat.

/BV/MPTW says the sideshow districts are no-go zones for the police. The cops don’t have the courage, physical or moral, to confront the mob. It tracks: they’re barely brave enough to answer the door at the cop shop armed and in full uniform. It’s like they say about the Crips: they’re blue, but they aren’t Blue Shield. It’s good to know that one of the infinite duties the police do not in any meaningful or, God forbid, binding way have is the duty to break up all-night hooligan takeovers of public streets using stolen motor vehicles. You know, #TeshTips, that kind of thing. Our police chiefs would fire Anirut Malee for keeping the peace, not the law.

One might wonder about the capabilities of our police agencies’ proliferating helicopters and BearCats and CCTV cameras and shit to interdict stolen vehicles on their way to sideshows. Shouldn’t these lavishly appointed outfits be able to use their fun toys to stop stolen cars from being driven to sideshows, say, on the probable cause of the registered owner who reported his Maserati stolen out of Piedmont affying that he did not give the current driver permission to drive it to 98th Street? Well, uh. There was a time a few years ago when the only type of crime increasing in San Diego was auto theft. The insurance companies demand their paperwork. There’s no paperwork for threatening to murder protesters for tailing the vans carrying their freshly blackbagged comrades.

Some of these pathologies are in fact particular to local cultures. There are police departments that fire bad cops. There are others that hire the shitcanned as lateral transfers. Constituents had to storm the city council chambers in Fairfield the other day to get their officials to do something about the serial killer thug they’d hired out of Vallejo, one of the homies with the bent points on his star.

In LA, where bitter, hard-aged young men with Huey hours came home to their pick of police work and television work, they do chases. Everybody wants to be a star, Fuhrman. They all want to be stars. Send me a goddamn picture postcard you blotchy creep. No matter how many choppers were on the trail, the LAPD’s ground patrols always ended up escalating the aftermath of their botched traffic stops until their erstwhile quarry crossed a dozen city lines, cleanly felled a palm tree onto an electrical line, and Russell Wellered a six-year-old into a Yoshinoya. Bill Bratton showed up from New York, took a look at this whatthefuckular bullshit, and ordered an end to it. His cops mostly complied, or so the papers said.

The East Bay does sideshows. They’re a team sport. It’s hard to say what it’ll take to stop them, but doing nothing ain’t it. This isn’t a case of standing down when some poor schmuck with a drug warrant gets triggered and flees a traffic stop for a broken taillight. It takes a force to defeat a force.

Or, as we discussed above, the cops could nip that shit in the bud. They’re already contact-tracing every kid in the neighborhood for gang affiliations, real or spurious. Of course, they could also do something about the murders, too, say, by intervening when somebody they know has beef is getting openly agitated. They could tell the hothead’s target to hop in for his own safety and ride out the storm. The violence isn’t senseless. It’s the inevitable reaction of feuds with weapons.

The cops know this. The overtime must be better on homicide than it is on patrol.

Any affluent city policed in the fashion of Oakland would recall its entire government within the year. The Palo Alto Police Department does not allow its officers to ignore car theft reports and fuck up their homicide investigations so they can focus on precrime augury on neighborhood kids’ Instagram accounts and violent jumpouts. No, asshole, you’re here to STOP street crime. Police departments in rich areas don’t have the latitude to blame violent crime problems on prostitution and drugs. They’re forced to investigate actual fucking crimes, not just complain that Kenneth Fitzhugh was loaded on coke and probably motorboated it off strippers sometimes.

That’s what monogamy gets you, boys.

Not for one second do I believe that the Richmond Police were unable to stop that asshole from doing donuts in front of me and dozens of pedestrians on a crowded city street in broad daylight. As we were told some months ago at a Gavin Gabbin, we’re decisions, not conditions. Our cops choose to be bad at both. Those who fire together wire together, and we can all see how our cops have become wired. They’re guard labor for capital, but they can hardly be bothered to do work for the insurance companies.

/Most civic Roger Schafer Spanish Space Program ground control voice/ I didn’t do shit to the bomb! I was cutting government waste!

Hungter Bangin

Gee, the Biden kid is an embarrassment, huh. Democrats are good half-assedly liberal careerist strivers, so we get to listen to their awkward insistence that it’s normal for a dissipated satyr with no professional or educational background in much of anything get corporate board positions paying $50k a MONTH when his father just happens to be the sitting vice president. The kid must have brought something to the table, they say. We don’t just hand out sinecures to the degenerate adult children of crooked government officials, like Nigeria or something. Joe’s no crook!

Uh, have you taken a look at the “state” he represented? I’m sure his staunch belief in personal responsibility for things other than being a huge sex pest, in particular financial contracts entered into as a result of fradulent lender statements, has nothing to do with his decades representing the state where every sleazy corporation imaginable domiciles itself in a storefront mailbox like it’s Mark Judge. This shit isn’t hard to piece together. Hunter Biden acts like the barely functional ne-er-do-well child of any particular tinpot corporate satrap with natural resources cursing his constituents and a Swiss bank account to show for it because that’s exactly what he is. The main difference is that Delaware is a conduit for bribes securing wealth extracted from productive work elsewhere, not itself a country with natural or, as they say, human resources worth exploiting for all they’re worth and secreting the ill-gotten proceeds abroad. It’s Switzerland, but just in the seediest, most dysfunctional possible ways.

The Trump campaign is right that Hunter is a massive scandal. In any normal election, Joe would be toast. To paraphrase Billy Currington, I don’t know much about clearin’ out bogs; I don’t know much about millin’ big logs; I don’t know much about fightin’ mean dogs; but I’m pretty good at postin’ hog. My “I did not lie around in bed all day smoking crack and getting a foot job” T-shirt raises a number of questions already answered by my shirt. Nobody living in the real world who wants to present as upstanding, or even the least bit normal, would give that fuckup brat a position of any public profile, ever.

The problem, for the Trump campaign, is that the complaints about Hunter Biden are coming from the Trump campaign. Hypocrisy doesn’t begin to convey the absurd incredibility of anyone in that family for calling Hunter Biden a degenerate crook. In 2016 they were able to argue, fairly credibly, that Hillary hated people who worked with their hands for a living. She was visibly uncomfortable around hardhats; Trump was enthusiastic, unliike Her. This time, they’re fuming about how that bastard Hunter does nothing but get money for nothing in fake jobs, get strippers into trouble, and smoke crack. That’s a decent description of Donald Trump and his three oldest children, excluding the incest. Hunter may be the most louche son of a bitch I’ve ever seen, but he doesn’t seem as crazy as Don Jr. or Ivanka, or as dumb as Eric.

None of the four of them is employable. Don and Ivanka come relatively close, but like a lot of rich kids–here I mean really rich, not some slacker whose father was a dentist–they dick around in make-believe jobs that will never let their nominally earned income drop anywhere near the high five figures. The sourcing of Hunter’s wages of crookedness through shakedowns of sovereign governments is damning, but it’s really no worse than the Trump Organization doing whatever it had to do to rehabiitate paterfamilias with his coarse let’s-play-office TV show, defrauding students through Trump University, stiffing creditors and contractors under the auspices of its ostensibly bankrupt money laundering fronts, and of course lavishing the useless Trump kids and various cronies with the proceeds.

This money and credit, and the resources they claim as media of exchange, are parasitically extracted from working people: dentists, machinists, winery and vineyard workers (whaddup dawg), strawberry pickers, foot job masseuses. None of these assholes lives anywhere in the vicinity of the real world. I feel decadent for pigging out on Snyder’s honey mustard sourdough pretzel bits and Safeway cinnamon rolls on days when I do six, seven, eight, or sometimes ten hours of physically and mentally demanding vineyard and winery work. Do I earn a quickie with thicky trick for doing that? Financially, lmao hell no; cosmically or karmically, I think so. Compared to our candidates and their useless spawn? God yes.

It’s a common theme in postmodern American life, but deserve has jack shit to do with jack fucking shit. Hunter Biden gets to lounge around with a crack pipe in his mouth and a whore’s feet on his schlong because he’s in a position to extort money on his father’s behalf. The Trump kids and their spouses get direct sinecures in the family company–these days it’s the White House–because daddy is a rich Republican. That’s what rich Republicans do: They give their fuckup children and children-in-law sinecures. Rich Democrats actually believe in meritocratic horseshit for their children, or at the highest levels some sham of it, such as the premise that Hunter was qualified to sit on corporate boards. In general, it pays better to be the useless shithead child of Republican shitheads, not the useless shithead child of Democratic shitheads. The succinct explanation (maybe too succinct) is that Democrats hate their own children.

We aren’t about to have anybody in or around the White House whose means of support or mode of living is not utterly alien to ordinary Americans. Trump, Pence, Biden, Harris: Not one of these ghouls is tempted to do an honest day’s work. Pence is somehow the closest of the four, but every frame I saw of his shifting but constant sneer at the VP debate convinced me that he considers the vice presidency his due, not his honor to hold or his duty to execute. He looked like he was submitting to the imposition of explaining himself to the ungrateful filthy peasants tasked with reelecting him in the worst possible ill humor. Trump is a lifelong flimflammer. Harris is a socially climbing psychopath.

Biden did once have that lifeguarding job, the one where he swung the length of chain at Corn Pop. Yes, Joseph, thank you for sharing that with the class.

These are Irish Catholic family values. The Trumps are right that it’s bullshit, but they’re the last ones who should be complaining about it. Must we really hear it from them? Are we seriously to believe that they have a scrap of moral superiority to the Bidens? Mother of Christ, Huizenga, oil beef hooked the hole why bach to Tipperary to foal fur such a crock o shite.

Bright college daze

This is, in countries without recent histories of extreme wartime devastation, the worst time in a century to go to college. It’s a terrible time to go to school in general. Anything besides cautiously supervised lab practica should be on hold until the Ailment is credibly under control. We aren’t there yet, so #TeshTips, my good binch: school is out.

What’s actually happening, of course, is nothing like what I just described. A small number of students in nursing, medicine, welding, and other curricula that require meatspace study are dwarfed, as always in these degenerate United States, by hordes of students who have no particular reason to enroll, let alone study, other than Mother And Father Would Be Upset. Do we want to risk the ridicule of our psychiatrically unstable striver friends for just kind of hanging around, in the same fashion as our little friend from Fort Detrick? Of course not.

The schools are here to capitalize on it. That’s a whole-ass Men’s Warehouse Guarantee, right there. My alma mater, Dickinson College, appears to have responded to the pandemic relatively reputably, the standard being the apparent failure to commit outright fraud on individuals enrolling their money for the coming academic year. That is, the administration didn’t announce the reopening of campus in time to collect room and board fees, then close back up for the semester just after the cutoff date to apply internally for a refund.

I’m sure America’s institutions of higher education run their Title IX sex crimes tribunals in a manner too just and competent for their rulings ever to be held constitutionally unenforceable in a court of law. Campus housing is often barely inhabitable in the best of times, but because we can’t just, like, teach our adolescents adult skills, but insist on putting them through bullshit rites of passage, it’s considered worthy and not at all embarrasing to complain about dorms that do NOT resemble Chinatown SRO’s. We aren’t building enough character in our young.

Yeah, how about you go build character out on that ice floe.

The lawsuits are already starting, exactly as any no-backs slumlord shyster affiliated with $100k-plus in declared endowment assets per current customer should have expected in the global leader in lawyers. The schools just can’t help themselves. It’s amazing. They actually send lawyers out to argue that word is bond and their mentally competent customers freely signed contracts whose clearly stated terms included a cutoff date to request refunds. Yeah, and you know what else was in the fucking terms? Four months in accommodations that were vacated and shuttered after two weeks.

The defense attorneys here didn’t just show up after the fact to a mess they had no idea their clients had made. The only reason these schools have defense lawyers contest any of these claims instead of immediately providing full refunds on demand is to further their fraud. Most parents and students wouldn’t go through with suits if they received prompt refunds, even if there were credible prospects of additional damages. They’d cut their losses and be done with the headache. Many of our schools wish to screw their customers over anyway. To do that in these circumstances, they need lawyer accomplices.

Additional information is available in O. J. Simpson’s new book, with Kim Kardashian, “If Bob Did It.”

Really, though, collecting full tuition for the balance of the Spring 2020 term after the end of instruction in person or for the joke of a fall term now upon us is indefensible. We all know, somewhere deep down inside, or maybe somewhere not so deep, that online education is a joke. C’mon, do you really call that college? Any ridiculous outfit in this sleazy country is allowed to print out diplomas with some bollocks in Latin and call itself a college or a university: Corinthian, De Vry, Phoenix, USC. Until this year, the main reason we maintained the polite fiction that online education is just as valid as brick-and-mortar, or kinda sorta pretended to go along with that, was that we’re too stingy and sleazy as a society to provide the time off or the subsidized tuition common in countries whose farmers are happy to spray liquefied cow manure on riot police. Now that it’s medically unsafe to congregate in school buildings, not just too expensive for the serfs by the reckoning of our worst Reaganite shitheads, we’re mumbling about how Zoom maybe works okay some of the time because it is what it is, and specifically it’s impossible.

Like hell is that worth $40k a year. We’re talking about some shit like $50 or $75 an hour for twenty-way teleconferences on a janky platform nobody had heard of at the start of this calendar year. This is under a model that already forces students to pay to do work outside class and get smeared on the permanent record if they do a poor job on it.

The fuck is this? Real estate in Palo Alto? If this is what we’re doing, I think I’ll pay for a full steak dinner with a loosely packed takeout bag full of deposit bottles. Rough multiplication is one kind of math I know, and we’re using a pretty generous multiple here.

Ah, yeah. That’s right: we’re the ones who pay, and they’re the ones who charge. Vinny No-Knees, he ain’t da one ain’t got da knees.

Strike up the Saturday Morning Big Band, Simon, for many of our esteemed schools are turbocharging this shakedown with #SPORTS! Why would it not be time? Their student athletes must be on campus for their studies, but their nonathletic scholars must not. Good God. Who are we accusing of going to class now?

It’s not a job; it’s amateurism. Okay, then. If they love it so much, why do they have to be told to show up? Since we don’t count me based on my obsessive internal prompts, nobody is barking at me to write this shit. Nobody is on my ass, like, generate content, pig. Why do the sports we so love, as players and as spectators, operate like shitty McDonald’s franchises? Three tardies and a no-call mean an immediate conversion to unemployment, and I hear that’s pretty generous in fast food today, but they keep saying college ball is NOT a profession.

What they mean is it’s unpaid. They hire and schedule their workers, but they don’t pay them. If fact, it’s against the rules for players to solicit or receive payments from third parties for their very profitable services. It’s a huge scandal when a coach sweetens the deal with cars or shoes or hookers. Turn the kids into half-assed Kato Kaelins and you’re a shyster; personally profit forever and ever and you’re a civic leader.

We’re adding exceptional health hazards to the missing hazard pay this year. This is what one does for the love of the game and the interest in retaining one’s scholarship.

That’s the only sanctioned compensation. The company pays these kids in scrip. Then the administration wonders why the athletes and their groupies won’t refrain from getting wasted and hollering all night at parties during a pandemic.

Gee, I’m just a fuckup from a no-cut high school cross country team, but did you think about not ordering them to return to campus? Maybe there’d be fewer teenaged doofuses running around and breathing on everyone in sight if there were fewer invitations.

Temporarily removing the profit motive would vigorously cut back the hooting and hollering and coughing. Everyone on campus and in town knows the problem bars. They could start just by shutting down the major vectors: sit-down dining, lecture halls, residential and food service operations for nonessential members of the campus community, and of course the fucking oaf bars.

No shit a lot of these kids will still find ways to party. Here’s the question: Will they move out of town to party with people they’ve never met who are also from out of town, or will they party back home with people they already know? It isn’t brain surgery to restructure incentives to minimize recreational travel. In this case, all the schools have to do is not order impulsive young people to gather in congregate settings. Don’t put out the fucking all-call for the youth hooliganism strange attractors. Just don’t fucking be the oaf who catalyzes that shit during a global respiratory pandemic.

There’s no truly banishing the profit motive from the athletic programs and the bars when the profit margins are so high, but governments can still come down with a well-placed jackboot on recalcitrant institutional actors or pay maintenance for the duration of the Sickness. The latter is objectionable since these outfits are always more solvent than they say. Geez, where the heck did my money go? Do I have an S Corp? All the same, it’s better than allowing them to act on excuses to stay open, such as “we needed the gross,” or the health department not physically clearing the premises and barring the door. The perfect is the enemy of the good. We can still do better than that, but we’d best not do much worse.

This whole ecosystem is a massive racket, of course. If a high-volume athletic program or student bar that’s been operating for anywhere from thirty years to a couple of centuries is reported to be facing bankruptcy if it shuts down for a year or two, that means the profits were misappropriated. It doesn’t say how or where, but it does say that the money went bye-bye from the statements of cash on hand. It’s usually to evade liability and enrich the principals.

I don’t want to inveigh against the realization of profits from a popular, successful business in sweeping moral terms, but some of these characters really need to shut up about times being tight, even if they are. Whoever owns the Gingerbread Man on the square in Carlisle is rich. I’m sorry, but those fuckers are loaded, and that’s a fact. If they can’t make it through 2021 still solvent, it’s either because they blew the money on stupid shit or are lying about their finances for sympathy and handouts.

It’s become commonplace again, as it was in the leadup to the Great Depression, to invest on margin. Again, this is not evidence that the market is tight and merciless in our competitive free enterprise system. Did the owners of the meatmarket blow half a mil on NASCAR memorabilia and a powerboat? Did the trustees use the football program as collateral to get a mortgage on the new dorm tower? These aren’t problems intrinsic to barkeeping or higher education. That’s like saying, shit, I can’t make ends meet on $200k, but what the hell do you mean it’s because I spend too much at the poker tables? I WORK HARD to go to Reno!

Americans love to bitch about shit like this. It would be moral hazard to increase food stamp benefits or make hot food to go eligible, but it’s right and proper to spend five or ten times as much per capita on people who used serious business income to lose money by being stupid and degenerate. This is why Bob Rotanz needs da gibs in these hard times, along with every four-year college in the land.

Our public health crisis is gonna get our schools rekt. The class actions will be lit. The administrators will whine, but sow lawyers today, reap lawsuits tomorrow. It’s a profit center one way or another.

God willing, the festivities will finally crash college sports. Ordering hundreds of yahoos back to campus for high-contact sports against public health advice as a matter of contractual right will make the schools involved look awful when they defend it in open court, and they will. The NCAA and its member schools have been making too much of a scene about their exclusive right to profit from the labor of their athletes not to assert their right to rescind scholarships for athletes who express health concerns about a pandemic constantly in the news.

The claims profitable programs make about their prerogatives to exploit their “student” athletes have always been preposterous. Adding the right to sicken or kill them for the ratings may be the overreach that makes the courts lose their shit. This may be the year they finally rule that the very corporate model at play is designed to violate every principle of contract and intellectual property law going back to the Magna Carta.

If that isn’t technically correct, it won’t be the first time the courts have made shit up. They had to do it to fail to invalidate the amateur model in these programs in the first place. Anybody holding that entertainers should have to relinquish the marketing rights to their own names and likenesses because they’re working for free is an ass.

Then again, it’s about what should be expected of institutions that assert the contractual right to furnish negative recommendations because the subjects are paying them to work. Do I sound like I’m about to reconsider this position because what I’m describing is a poor GPA? Fuck that. That’s my whole point. Since we don’t seem interested in establishing our employability by getting and holding gainful jobs, insisting instead on sheets of mumbo-jumbo about different letters and numbers arising from work the evaluators cannot remember and nobody retains, maybe we can streamline the bribery operation into a one-stop shop.

Shit, I guess that’s what got Rick Singer into trouble. Carry on, then. Surely this is an opportune year to spend a prior year’s earnings either getting sick unto death in a bougie barracks or chatting with new computer friends from home. This cannot possibly be anything but smart. This is your life. Inject it with intelligence, #BigBandStyle, until it bursts.

All of a sudden all these things become unnecessary

Let’s name some of them, bearing in mind the local and factional caveats and other stipulations, but nevertheless, let us name a few, just from memory:

–Evictions;

–Foreclosures;

–Crosstown bus fare;

–Sitting in a tollbooth all the live-long day;

–Office jobs;

–3-1-1 quart Ziploc horseshit at TSA checkpoints;

–Business air travel;

–Winery tasting rooms;

–Tendentious objections to zero-barrier immediate rehousing of the homeless;

–Incarceration;

–Going to school;

–The sacrosanct quadrennial in-person voting pilgrimage;

–Constantly jumping through hoops for medical care;

–Moral hazard whining about UBI disbursements.

Yang Gang, you up?

It makes a constituent wonder whether any of these things were ever necessary, and of course they weren’t. We discover, to the surprise of our worst public intellectuals, that there are still a number of very necessary things: hospitals, groceries, auto supply stores, gas stations, farms. Our radio stations are still on the air; some of us still listen to them entirely too much, but Fat Cracka ain’t even tryna resist DJ Beth Holland Huizenga. The radio: why yes, Mr. Osgood, I will see you on it.

If you’re paying attention, you noticed that the examples just listed are not like those listed at the top. It hardly takes any attention to know, on some level or other, that the former list covers much of what is officially misconstrued as the American economy. Dear God, I fucking thought the last half of that sentence in the Kai Ryssdal voice. Remember what I said about too much radio, kids? That’s fine; I don’t exactly myself. All the same, NPR is like the Tenderloin: you can learn interesting things there. For one, this new dispensation has at once home-confined and spatially liberated Brian Wattttt. For another, it has freed up seats on BARTTTT.

Cut me a break; I’m not listening to Randol White People these days. Watt’s going on with that, Devin. We ought to wonder, though, what it means that traffic and ridership are down 80-90% through multiple notorious bottlenecks, with maybe a 10% drop in total capacity for immediate provisioning of necessities and a stark, sudden improvement in provisioning for certain chronically vulnerable demographics.

There’s an old unholy trinity to describe what went away, old in the same sense as prestressed jeans: waste, fraud, and inefficiency. This term of art is traditionally deployed, in the ancient and venerable connservative tradition of making shit up, as a slur against the government. Mainly it’s used against the parts that work well, such as Amtrak and the Post Office, and withheld to spare those that don’t, such as the armed forces and what we fancy the criminal justice system.

In our current state of emergency, this trinity transforms from scurrilous agitprop to helpful descriptor. Safeway is still operating, frantically. The dense archipelago of cube farms whose inmates were free to sit around repeating what she said as variable combinations of personal entertainment, foreplay, and sexual harassment mostly are not. I keep shouting it into the void: it speaks volumes that The Office is so prominent and popular as an eminently relatable satire of our lives (Who the hell is us? What is this? Bethel Park my fat white Lebanese ass) and not as a serialized work of transfixing Faulknerian estapism, a story in the same broad genre as novels about unemployable paranoiacs who hoard trash.

None of that is what a reasonable observer would call a workplace. I once chatted with a barely solvent flimflammer with a drinking problem who was theoretically selling insurance by day and less theoretically dating a dentist’s widow and the same dentist’s daughter by night. To his gushing amazement, he and I knew the same community-trust retard from Plymouth-Whitemarsh, a smelly fat fiftysomething who liked to go poolside and clumsily hit on thots. The guy was better at storytelling and getting that dentist’s sloppy seconds than he was at sales, but he was way too well-behaved and well-meaning to keep Jim, Pam, or for fuck’s sake Michael company. Meanwhile I hear nine-to-five normies saying shit like, oh my goodness, anyone who’s worked in an office can relate to that show. Huh? Good God, y’all, it’s no wonder we leave the getting shit done to China.

Git ‘er done. Say, I believe that’s what Mr. Jefferson barked at his fellow Virginians.

Emergency or not, we’re inevitably stuck on a timeline in which the toxic racialization of work and play pervades our lives. I get my fix through–what the hell else?–NPR. A fruit grower in Smithsburg, Maryland is the latest whiny landowner to go on the record with his grievances about how he had to charter a van to drive an eight-man beaner crew all the way up from Monterrey with the same focus a caravanner would need to get across the Nullarbor Plain and through the quarantine station at the state line on fumes by 1:30 pm sharp. Smithsburg is just across Camp David from Thurmont, where I insist on a drive-by pilgrimage to a community of some of my favorite peach trees whenever I’m solo and mobile in Maryland.

One ridge over from the Catoctin Furnaces and that son of a bitch was on the radio to piss and moan about how Yanqui never does him a damn thing. These sob stories always seem to feature enrolled members of the Wypipo Nation complaining about their fellow tribesmen. The lib owners of our great land love to titter about this hypocrisy and self-loathing, but it is categorically little to nothing of the sort. Lazy Americans, in these cases (Many Such!), are Americans who don’t own land. This landless refuse is commonly denigrated as white trash, explicitly or more often implicitly, or alternately as the coddled affluent, to distinguish this shitcannable mass from the farm owners defaming them, who are in no way proudly living off the avails of disposible Mexican reserve army labor.

This is at first blush a downhome pastime down at the corner of movement conservatism and liberal wokescolding, but it’s more than that. Complaining about lazy Americans under a whitening gloss, as opposed to the OJ-ready darkening gloss so cherished by Cliven Bundy on his trips to North Las Vegas, is a great way to ward off the idpol scolds on the cultural left, but it’s also a great way to avoid drawing unwanted direct attention from, say, Baltimore City’s unemployed. Too much frankness might cause them to notice that they’re in the same deplorable basket as the average Great Value Catoctin Cracker, and that would be way too reminiscent of an integrated Depression-era crab cannery union on the Eastern Shore. For God’s sake, boys, you don’t tell them that the steelworkers had an integrated local in Birmingham years before anyone out of state had heard of Edmund Pettis. We put the Ashokan Farewell fiddle track on the turntable and reenact Antietam, but we don’t do any of that nostalgic shit for Bacon’s Rebellion: insufficiently recent, perhaps, but certainly too unpleasant.

Speaking of the panda bear poor, guess who’s stuck manning the groceries this month. Asian-Americans are reported to have the highest rate of work-from-home capability, albeit still under 40%, much lower than the American press corps today assumes, and we aren’t talking about Camobians or Laotians here lol. The Onion ran an article years ago about how more and more Asians were defying stereotypes by being lazy and poor, just to show that outfits of its class don’t hire writers out of Fresno or Elk Grove. Any of these insipidly inspirational ethnic narratives is prone to run violently aground, and those who have the stomach to watch are in for some reliable entertainment, but the navelgazing, inflammatory multicultural horseshit is a red herring as much as it is a direct outburst of culture. The ethnic festival genre is a useful veal pen for the less competent and ruthless surplus elites our diseased apparatus of social reproduction keeps shitting out into the job market. The money and prestige aren’t what’s on offer in “consulting” or in i-banking, as a rule, but they’re adequate to forestall the working-class agitation that the wingnut welfare cases across the aisle conflate with Joseph Stalin and Ebonics, under the categorical umbrella of The Left.

It’s worth reiterating here, for the vast majority of pundits and think tank sinecurists who can’t fathom anything so self-evident, that American academia is NOT part of the left. Oberlin is a fucking sideshow. That shithead dean from Tisch who livestreamed herself dancing to REM in front of hundreds of highly educated, downwardly mobile witnesses studying under her authority, by way of refusing to refund their prorated tuition and fees for the cancelled balance of the semester, is the actual revealed moral center of the postmodern American academy. Larry, Jerry, Joe, and Jim worked at right-wing juggernauts. So many states, so few coaching methods! All we have to do is compare how many Americans watch NCAA football or–good riddance for once–March Madness to the audience for the published works of the academic divisions of the academy.

Think about that: we have to fucking specify that these academic institutions have academic operations somewhere in the back of the house. Our young people aren’t being brainwashed by this cabal of hopelessly tweedy dorks. Maybe it in fact exists as a movement. Who fucking cares? Nebraska Coeds exerts more cultural influence.

We may not have sports in our time, but, as always, it’s time for #SPORTS! Hollywood shysters like Harvey, Woody, and Roman notwithstanding, and assuming that the arts scene is credibly liberal (i.e., ignoring most of the blockbuster filth it releases), the lion’s share of institutionally facilitated abuse in the United States seems to arise on the right: churches, jails, Jungleland, organized athletics, Scouting. Chesterfield my leg, but usually not in the theater!

Or the theatre! Even assuming that repertory theat[e]r[e] is run exclusively by sex pests, there just aren’t that many theater kids. Nobody watches that stuff. A couple of years ago I dropped a ten spot, I think it was, on a repertory production of Oklahoma at Lebanon High School. A buddy from the berry patch was in the pit orchestra. It fucking whipped. This is the same institution of what we’re encouraged to call education where, if you go out back under the bleachers, they’re not gay, but $20 is $20. I could have brought a date, or I could have bought a date. As my late Kansas State alumni dependent grandmother always said, as a business school graduate herself, shucks.

It’s truly providential that the 2020 Summer Olympic Games have been cancelled. Postponed, delayed: I don’t give a shit; we’ve got a reprieve for a minute. As bullshit economic models go, wholesale intercontinental air travel for the aggrandizement of Bob Costas’s sense of purpose in our world is a whopper. Like every other skybox grandstander you or I could name from the boob tube, only more so, that pompous gasbag has netted more than enough ad revenue distributions to retire to a poolside bar or a squash court or whatever. These are the same games under whose auspices Matt Lauer committed a forcible rape while on assignment in Russia. NBC paid that guy meaninglessly huge amounts of money, he still worked himself like an Amish plowhorse, and he still raped subordinates instead of hiring his pick of working girls. This is of course the same international celebration of athletic greatness that hosted and served as the blessed channel of Bela, Marta, and Lawrence of the Labia. It’s the premier international excuse for eminent domain overreach, construction cost overruns, and white elephant featherbedding. Governments fight each other for this excuse to waste their constituents’ tax payments on lavish receptions for objectively useless foreign entertainers.

This is a beast I don’t mind seeing starved. Whatever national government is the most slickly, aggressively crooked and self-promoting wins the honor of dropping billions of dollars on theoretically reusable flagship venues built expressly to reconvene a quadrennial international exposition on the premise that any given sovereign nation is home to up to a hundred citizens whose accomplishments are remarkable enough to celebrate, but that certainly most of these elite athletes and their teams will fly home officially judged losers, duly humiliated before the world’s television spectators, in the short due course of time.

The cancellation of this spectacle is traditionally inspired by war, but pestilence will do. The Japanese Olympic Committee rode that wave all the way into the Fukushima seawall. I’m just saying, they know construction; they keep it safe. National pride was on the line. A couple thousand of the most pathologically competitive freaks on the face of the earth, earnest young things who had scheduled years of intensive training to optimize their competition performance down to the hour, stood to be heartbroken by, say, the organizers over in the sweet home of New Chernobyl noticing with rising alarm that their country was most prominently in the interational news for having a death ship quarantined in Yokohama Harbor. It took weeks of bitterly tenacious optimism in the face of a proliferating global health crisis for these fools to finally Christopher cross over from pigheaded boosterism to the minimal prudence of, you know, not going through with that.

The international camaraderie of sport can, in fact, wait until a safer time. How bow dah. This whole story is a sensible one to tell me, the slow-moving widebody from the no-cut high school cross-country team; surely these are all well-adjusted young women and men with good reasons for subordinating themselves to the likes of Nassar and the Karolyis. These are the role models we need for our impressionable children. These ceremonies and competitions are a prudent and compelling use of public funds.

I’m General Stroganoff, and you won’t believe what’s for dinner. Hint: it’s a lil sumpin I’ve got with the IOC. Honestly, there is no suitable time to get back up on that earnest bullshit, but as I said, we’ve currently got ourselves a breather, a grace for which we should all, in these contagious times, give thanks.

It gets even worse than the waste and public corruption of the Olympics. Qatar is Shanghaiing slaves to build its World Cup stadia. On the sunny side, though, and you’ll like this one, Chester, football is a sport whose players are constantly getting “injured.” That is precisely the respect international competitive sports deserve. Sepp Blatter is just what happens when the simulation overheats.

Different football, Hernandez.

Some of us are never ready for some. It’s past time, then, for there to be less of the worst of that crap. We are actually, if haltingly, getting back to basics. We’re honest to God cutting hunks of bullshit out of our lives and our societies. At long last we’re moving beyond the shady, questioable minimalist preening of Marie Kondo and all the #VanLife and tiny home influencer asshats. A drive-in storage unit around the bend from the clapboard church gun shop in Yelm stacked to the ceiling with old clothes and blankets was never our true clutter. That old soldier living in the woods out past Fort Wainwright with a barn whose second floor was on the verge of structural collapse from all the junk–the ornery shut-in sourdough who totally had a buddy lined up to buy this truck here, and another guy he knew lined up to buy that truck over there, just gimme another day or two–that gentleman, our broadcast entertainment, led a mentally clearer life than many Americans. Most of the people gawking at him from Outside (your facility carry that show, Rollins?) weren’t living any more purposefully than that. Why else were we watching Hoarders? That crusty geezer, at least his clutter had some resale value.

I said SOME, now.

New contagions emerge from Fort Detrick–goodness, I mean from the wet markets of Wuhan. New heroes rise up unexpectedly from the dust, flawed heroes and yet real ones. Nevada supported itself for decades through what came to be known, quite charitably, as gaming. The authorities did not a thing to regulate it, save some underage decoy stings and weights-and-measures checks. Then Steve Sisolak decreed the new economy. Like, hey, guys, we’re making some changes. You can move into the no economy, and many of you in Goldfield already have, but casinos? Game over, Lansky. We’re whole-ass Doctrines and Covenants quitting that shit, cold turkey, right here, right now.

That was it. Decades of cultural inertia and public corruption straight down the Thomas Crapper, in the name of public health. Tens of thousands of Nevadans woke up with the fresh opportunity to do something honest for a living, in many cases by honestly doing nothing. The hell else were they gonna do? This is the state where an active gold mine on the outskirts of town wasn’t enough to prevent Armpit Days. This isn’t a population chomping at the bit for an honest mode of living.

It’s the kind of bold move that gets the constituents antsy, and there’s bad karma to be had in gloating about thousands of line workers losing their means of support and the daily structure of their lives upon the sudden closure of the crooked business until this month employing them. The serendipity of Sisolak’s order, however, had nothing to do with trashing the keystone of Nevada’s formal economy and moving its workers’ cheese. The governor’s master stroke, rather, was to dramatically wash away all the cultural detritus surrounding Nevada’s storied place in American gaming, like so much winter trash at last floating inexorably down to the Indian fishing grounds with the alpine spring thaw, and humble the Chamber of Commerce boosters for the first time in their lives. These, you see, are the cheese movers, not the cheese chasers. Shoe don’t fit so great on the other foot.

It’s a new day in a brave new world indeed for this seedy cast of characters. Their firewall of horseshit about what makes Nevada Nevada is gone, and they aren’t the one with the authority to invite it back home. They aren’t used to not calling the shots. A teeming scrum of shysters is moping around the Chamber offices, impotently moaning, buh buh buh Governor, this is our folkway! We already have the Reed Rez out in Searchlight. We have our Napoleonclaves for the hardliners. Besides, we all know why we get visitors from Utah. If they wanted to enjoy a plate of jello salad and an invigorating glass of milk, they’d stay in American Fork. Oscar Goodman is our spirit animal! We’re, like, culturally Italian Catholic, like Mr. Martini from that retarded Frank Capra Christmas flick!

It’s a cool story. So is the one about what the working girl said to her client back in Ol’ Virginia City: “No, Father, you’re taking a bath first.”

Don’t look at me. Our popular fiction is about wizards and shit.

This new dispensation is, alas, only a partial cleasing, an incomplete Releasing of the Bullshit. Government, that name for the things we choose to do together, continues to do much to and awfully little for the homeless. Perhaps we aren’t together with them, however we choose to define any of that. There are now social distancing bums’ squares painted on a parking lot in Las Vegas, beneath empty hotel rooms with windows illuminated in a heart. #VegasStrong, you shitty loser. The poor in general, it seems, aren’t exactly part of us, either, especially for the Democrats. Chuck and Nancy are means-testing pissants, and Josh Hawley is a welfare liberal now: truly a horseshoe theory in which the horseshoe goes straight into the political observer’s head. Shh, don’t tell the Washington press corps; they’ll have strokes. As I keep saying, Trump hardly even has to try to be left-liberal; all he has to do is get bored and own the libs.

Mainstream American culture, politics, and policy are so hostile to the poor that these weak, partial, still slow reforms are watershed moments. Gavin Newsom and London Breed talking about not just talking about doing something for the homeless is, by the standards prevailing prior to this crisis, active. Decisive. Effective. I understand Nob Hill Dreamboat and Garcetti and the gang are actually kind of doing something here, fitfully and ever more belatedly. It might be, as ever, the hour to show another month of patience for the failure of one of the wealthiest societies in history to get one’s sorry ass into a decent budget apartment. Alternately, it might be an outrage that it took a discreetly homeless Panera employee five minutes to correct one’s modestly botched rush order.

We have things to do and places to be and grievances to air, unless, of course, we don’t. We see California’s officials, all in all a reputable and responsible lot compared to the domestic alternatives, only timidly dipping their toes into the water of eminent domain. Granted, we’re talking about basic constituent services here, and this is no time to build a ballpark, but, say, that’s the whole fucking point: we have a plague on, and this is no time to build a ballpark.

That’s the damn rub. Even in crisis old habits don’t die easy. Process-oriented stakeholder-responsive processes respond to the stakeholders. If that sounds solipsistic, it’s because it’s solipsistic. If you don’t like holding your own stake, ask Beavis if he’d mind. Hehheh hehheh. The process responds to those who force their way to the table and lay it right out there, just like LBJ.

That is, property owners. Garcetti, Breed, Nob Hill Dreamboat: these characters are too bashful not to ask the owners for permission and then wait for it, and wait, and wait. Asking permission of the tens of thousands of constituents they continue to abandon to chaos, squalor, and mortal danger would be a bridge too far.

It might, then, be time to rock straight over London’s head. Shit, I like her and mostly trust her, and it’s a surreal thing to say, but one of the few ways out of this mess is the Wesleyan tradition. Scream like a wild animal at Wynn and the Hiltons and the Marriotts and the ghouls at Blackstone and all the other cocksuckers until they hand over the keys, pending an official determination that the crisis has abated sufficiently to allow a return to normal business. Does this look like an art store?

Besides, eminent domain takings usually include fair market compensation. Again, this is no time to build a ballpark, and since that isn’t what we’re building, we can rest confident that the owners will tolerate nothing less than fair market. It’d be like Trump suddenly “having to” rent rooms to his Secret Service detail. (The Clintons must resent him, having inherited from Mr. Lincoln and the nation only one spare bedroom.) Hey, I don’t have a problem with this. Not at all. I’d like the government to get a bulk discount, but lawyers also clean up large details, and I haven’t been innocent in decades.

Refusing to be an elected accomplice to homicidally antisocial gangland rentier thugs is a process of its own. Cool. We’re definitely being mature and responsible and responsive in these not at all urgent matters. But it’s Saturday night. Let’s get this fucking party started.

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.

Cunt indunker

It’s expensive to keep a harem in San Diego. Who knew? Clarification: it’s expensive for White People to keep a harem of fellow White People. I do not wax fictional when I relate what my abrasive ginger drinking buddy told us on a visit back to the Philadelphia drunkards’ circuit during his study a broad or two time around La Jolla and Kearny Mesa, that everybody there had blonde hair and blue eyes.

Yeah, who’s “us,” buddy? Not the Mexicans. Duh. We won’t even grant Mexico Guantanamo-style port and safe passage rights to a harbor concession in Imperial Beach. It is because we’re racist pissants. That’s what governs us, in any event. This isn’t about geography. Real prominent geographic feature right there, the Gadsden Line, uh huh. Say, I wonder if we borrowed California’s name from a neighboring state. Nah. Who’d do that? Why would a country located next to Mexico ever need its own Mexico? Look, there are the neighbors a country ratfucks as the treaty party controlling the upstream portion of the Tijuana River, and there are the neighbors a country, by generously hosing itself, ratfucks as the upstream treaty party to the Colorado. Wet? What’s “wet”? Not you bitches, lol.

We’re definitely doing right by Mexico. Bolivia has a goddamn navy.

SANDAG is worth the horseshit culture of its local constituencies. Mostly. A big arc of them elected and reelected Duncan Hunter to Congress. Are we to believe that they are shocked to discover that the gentleman does not share their values? If our position is that Mexico would do worse governing this territory, we need evidence that Mexico would do worse, and Duncan, he ain’t it. He’s a piece of what self-government got us, and he was a lifer in Congress, so “us” is all of us. He’s my fellow American and Californian, too. I’ve never cared for the guy, but he is.

Let’s say it again: culture has consequences. There are cultural reasons why a big chunk of East County and North County kept voting for a guy who was hopelessly mired in debt and overdraft fees on a Congressional salary plus side income, partly because he was six-timing his wife with yuppie-chasing bimbos.

This isn’t to say that San Diego County is the sweet home of the great American extramarital affair, or a cesspool of sexual dissolution in general. I have had two different women in Santa Rosa independently tell me that local repertory theater directors demand sexual favors in exchange for parts. One of them told me explicitly that she was directly propositioned “for a blowjob or something;” the other spoke more generally but implied that she’d been asked, too. I’ve known women who are hysterical dipshits, but these two aren’t. Believe me, I believe them.

This shit, I assume, is everywhere. I just fucking love the idea of having to suck some shithead’s cock to get a role singing “Cooking With Gas” at the Arkley. First prize: one week in Eureka; second prize: two weeks. I used to live there. It isn’t exactly Pitcairn Island, but it isn’t exactly not. Say what you will about Toledo, but realize that it has mainline passenger rail service on tracks rated for the full 79 just beyond the outskirts of town and that it’s, like, an hour or an hour and half by car from Ann Arbor. *Dr. Nassar, uncalled for, on call* Ah, how is she? I’ve always wondered about her.

You don’t have to be Mormon to have two families on the Upper East Side. You do have to be Mormon to have two families in American Fork, because your other wife just came over, unchaperoned, with a full dish of pineapple Jell-O salad and “sat” with me for an hour.

Perhaps these are tacitly chronicles of celibacy, just as Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” is very much what one says about sexual activity as a recent and frequent participant. But at least epidemic anorexia isn’t a Napoleonic thing. Nobody’s like, ugh, too thicc for Utah. Everybody in San Diego has a meltdown about being too fat for the beach. Bitch what the fuck? You’re going there to get mostly naked and give yourself skin cancer, and you’re upset that your BMI is 8-10 points below mine? Fuckin’ chill, dawg.

By “everybody,” I’m referring again to the White Community. But of course. It is by no means San Diego’s only Community, but it’s the big one. It’s mostly racially exclusive, but not entirely. Verily, even dolezally, one can be nonwhite and White. One can even dance and stay uptight, as Van Morrison might know if he or his associates spent more time with the flyover freaks who grace our purity balls. *Most Sentimental Garrison Keillor Voice* Norwegian Balls That Are Pure, Mostly.

Balls, that is, that are too fatty for what we’re not erasing from San Diego. Sex is only a partial explanation. Tijuana’s main red light district is on the north side, so close to the United States of America and so far from God. Our boy Duncan lives in Alpine. It isn’t far. It doesn’t matter. He still had to chase amateur tail in San Diego and–think for a minute what a fool it would take–on Capitol Hill. This is like living in the Outer Sunset and flying to Zurich for dim sum.

There is perhaps a bit of vanity at play in these relationships. There was recently a “scandal” about Border Patrol recruits going whoring in TJ on graduation weekend. Instead of patronizing Mexican women who are just trying to do business–an awful way to put out, I mean, to put it–and catering to the worst fantasies of bored housewives in Point Loma, it might be more helpful to question the wisdom of young men pursuing sexual self-actualization by crowdsourcing their sexuality from their colleagues on one of the worst-disciplined police forces in a country of over three hundred million, when they could take the opportunity presented by any coincidence of discretionary cash flow and thirst to go solo to Zona Norte. But we are not nearly so wise as a society. For one thing, internal command over the Border Patrol is vested in the see-nothing say-nothing brick house that is Helga Carla Provost. She’s a lifer, you know, and it has always been an excellently run agency.

Women can be Eddie Johnson, too. God bless America.

The civilians, in any sense of the term, aren’t doing any better. San Diego is, as I briefly implied, swarming with dipshits who insist on the existence of rampant human trafficking, by which they mean sex trafficking. Let’s face it: nobody cares about fucking farm or construction workers. Everything about the thinking here is insane. It’s a powerfully toxic confluence of narcissism, jealousy, mateguarding, Darwinian kneecapping, scorned revenge, and all-around drama, with policy implications poisoning the whole nest and threatening to seep into a separate sovereign nation whose citizenry and government want approximately jack fucking shit to do with any of it. Why is my husband screwing the nanny? You hired her, genius. Okay, she was kidnapped and raped, then. No, she probably has a sex drive of her own, and she paid coyotes to sneak her over the border because you’ll never vote for NAFTA Schengen.

Affluenza isn’t just about pleading spoiled to a DUI charge or climbing the nearest stout live oak to take a shit straight onto the trail. It’s all of that, and more. It’s too crazy for Wesley Willis the way it’s lived in *NORTHWEST AIRLINES* San Diego. Why not have a second-generation House lifer maintain Brett Kavanaugh-grade personal finances while sermonizing about fiscal discipline for a living?

There is always an economy, no matter how ridiculously we call it that, undergirding these arrangements. In San Diego, it isn’t particularly one. To be frank, it’s mostly transfer payments. The Navy is the main show in town on the waterfront, the premeh contendah, and it’s mostly bullshit, progressing from maybe 50% in-house to 80% bullshit in the outside contractors. Remember, it’s Fat Leonard’s preferred branch. YMMV, but as a rule it’s a great place to show up, pass probation, and then skim. We’re cruising for years, Pablo.

In fairness, of course, the other services are swarming with crooks of their own, and the Navy is mostly free of the Marine Corps’ house style of hair-trigger bruiser and the Air Force’s in-your-face religious zealots. All the same, the reason San Diego is bigger than San Luis Obispo is that the whole town’s on the government tit. This is statistically the case. The counterfactuals don’t yield a metropolitan population in the range of two million without also having me wrap this essay up right now because Dagmar Midcap just called me for some afternoon delight. We haven’t even touched the water supply, which is a series of ambitious, heavily subsidized public works.

Duncan Hunter’s scene is a grab bag of ex-military pensioners, military-adjacent grifters, collateral beneficiaries, RattLife trash, offroad flatbillers, and other quasiemployable walkaways from the beloved free market. He’s surely got some guild racketeers in the mix, too, dentists and cardiologists and orthopods and whatnot, but it’s mostly either layabouts or rise-and-grind hustlers who aren’t actually producing, or in some cases really doing, anything. RattLife’s work is, as they say, a work. Realize that everybody in the fucking county who’s up to anything seedy or shady is close enough to have an influence on Duncan’s district. These shysters all more or less run with each other. That peppy fashy chick from CB East I used to know who’s living and theoretically working in, like, PB or some shit is a Republican. Hitler loved dogs, too. For all I know she may have voted for Kamala Harris. There are indeed many such cases, and somebody’s gotta keep the Reagan/Deukmejian/Wilson strain of Republican politics alive, with or without the charm, so there we fucking go.

It’s insufferable to listen to these assholes whine about fiscal discipline. Hell, buddy, if you’re so into it, why don’t you fucking have some? These cunts always bitch that the government is taking their money and beggaring them, that they’d be able to make ends meet if their tax burden weren’t so onerous. The Hunters are a useful object lesson to the contrary, a high-income “conservative” couple so spendthrift that no libertarian tax regime would be enough to get them out of hock or keep them there. Their bank statements resembled those of a single mother working as a supermarket cashier, not what a constituent would reasonably expect of a sitting second-generation Congressman and his wife.

They obviously figured, if you can’t make it, fake it. Activate the poor man’s credit line on the debit card. Embezzle that which is within reach for the taking. God wouldn’t have left it there if he didn’t want you getting into it. We have preachers on the television proclaiming worse than this. Can I get an amen, Pastor Joel? Amen! It’s 3:20 somewhere. Probably in Adelaide. The time zones there are all fucked up.

The small business community, so consistently such rock-ribbed Republicans, doesn’t mind. We really need to read less of what entrepreneurs have to say about themselves and more of what their employees have to say about them, off the clock and out of their earshot. Small business is lawless throughout the country, but suburban San Diego is a rather immoral part of it with an exceptionally pervasive background noise of congratulatory sycophancy targeting the likes of our “job creators.” There are other places where the ownership class at least has to pretend to be humble and accountable. Hunterville is a postmodern military dependency full of right-wing nutjobs in a border zone on the moneyed side of one of the strongest osmotic migration gradients on earth.

It’s no wonder that one of the local Congressmen, also the son of a Congressman of the same name, decided that he deserved to live like a prince, and that if he could not afford to do so in a statutorily lawful manner, he would do so as a statutory criminal. I say statutory because Congress, much like San Diego’s portside bandits, is chock full of looters who do everything in their power to rob the commonweal without technically breaking the law, and much to break the law in ways that they expect not to get them caught. He was surrounded by grasping, immodest people. He didn’t have to go native; he already was.

And now we’ve decided–“we”–that he needs to do a five-year bid in the federal system. Excuse me? What the hell is this going to accomplish? We keep feeding political crooks into the buzzsaw, and nothing changes, except the federal prison population, which has risen dramatically since 1980. How the fuck do we figure that Rahm is better than Rod? Rostenkowski and Traficant, Laski and Cianci, Ryan and Blagojevich, Stewart and Huffman: every one of these two-bit scammers had to go into the joint for some reason. No, Martha, it is not a good thing. Ruh-roh! Allen Stanford and Bernie Madoff are serving sentences with nonparole periods of well over a full century. These guys were scumbags, but did they magically turn into Michael Rudkin between conviction and sentencing, or are we up on our high horse again?

Notice that we do nothing to prevent such scum from running their rackets and frauds in the first place. The FDIC’s mandate and jurisdiction are awfully narrow for a society known to be harboring these characters. Abject employee extortion rackets including Amway, Jamberry, and LuLaRoe are perfectly legal under federal law, and apparently under the laws of all or most states. You can make professional subordinates sign a contract to pay YOU for their work in this country. We really are Soviet Russia, just with somewhat less in the way of public services. Not less in the way of gulags, though; on that much we’re champs. Meanwhile a multilevel marketing heiress is the Secretary of Education. Truly this is the American Way of Celebrated Living.

That was awful, but come at me about it after you’ve listened to Andrew Lelling. Listen to any of the Nancy Grace wine moms and other insane freaks we retain as our prosecutors. Anne Marie Schubert and Scott Jones hauled that geezer ex-cop downtown from Citrus Heights, from home, hearth, and roast, on serial murder and rape charges just in time for their uncomfortably close reelection bids. They’d looked at every cop in the metro area and beyond, and somehow they’d missed Officer DeAngelo’s dismissal from the Auburn PD for shoplifting dog spray and a hammer right in Citrus Heights. Some of us call it the East Area.

Yup, that’s totally what happened. We can trust these folks.

From time to time the courts process a defendant who is a serious threat to society and truly needs to go away for a while. This was the case for our old boy JJ, which must have been why they gave him a four-decade head start to work on his warehousing career and roasting skills. A number of women have disappeared or been found dead on Long Island in recent years, in manners pointing to a military or paramilitary background on the part of whoever killed them, and outside observers have noted a couple of NYPD rubber room cases who sound like they fit the bill. What, then, are the inside observers doing? Who the fuck knows. Not observing too closely is a good guess, since sending another round of sworn city boys upstate might be awkward, especially for something like that. At least they managed to thread the needle for Lazarus in the sweet spot between shitcanning her before her pension could vest and getting her onto RHD in time to investigate herself. The only thing we can be sure stopped that was the Ocean’s 187 detail she snagged on the same floor.

Great work, Meyer. Say, speaking of Lyle, who’s also got some spare time, it’s past time to get Steph down to Donovan to teach the whole yard something in the way of hobbies besides goddamn chess. It’s always inmates or retirees or unemployed youth who are dicking around with that shit, and it’s no wonder: it must help to be powerfully fucking bored.

Against the odds, there’s a point to this, too. Americans have no bloody idea of how long five or ten or twenty or a hundred fifty years is when it comes to prison sentences, let alone how much longer it comes to feel in a prison, let alone how much longer yet any of this time feels the way we run our prisons. We’ve got all these self-righteous sadists who act like they personally harrowed hell after an evening in La Guardia or the Port Authority, then hear about some poor patsy getting sent up to Fishkill for two years and insist it’s no biggie, like the guy got off light or something. It says bad things about this country that it’s possible to get an entire political movement or two to cater to one’s worst impulses on these matters by yelling about them instead of being encouraged to return to the Port Authority and discuss them out front, where the prevailing community standards should be more consistent with the public airing of these grievances.

These are things to keep in mind when we hear about Duncan Hunter getting a five-year sentence for a plea deal to dramatically reduced charges. We’re so inured to the sheer enormity of the time we steal from our prisoners that it’s all meaningless. Five years is long enough for a prisoner to have leave a newborn on the way in and come home to a kindergartener on the way out. What the hell do we think this is? A leisurely afternoon playing golf?

Scapegoating Duncan Hunter does nothing about his constituents or his constituency. We only pretend that the entire sin is saddled upon him and expiated through his “serving” us in the federal prison system–which, by the way, is not a nice place to be confined, no matter how resentfully we describe it as Club Fed or some shit. Removing him from San Diego County leaves behind the rest of San Diego County. It’s a very shitty form of earthly rapture, and an expensive one.

Hunter’s constituents elected him. He would never have gone to Congress without them. His sleazy behavior was downstream of their sleazy values. They’re the ones who rewarded him for his seedy hypocrisy. They could have elected someone else in his place. They chose him. They approved of his shambolic, bogus “conservatism”: his adulterous pro-life family values, his imperial militaristic idea of small government and fiscal discipline, his grandstanding about a tough border and immigration regime that they all tacitly mean to keep arbitrary and selectively porous. His horseshit was politically viable because it was their horseshit, too.

We can start to appreciate how these psychotic politics ever stood a chance by looking at the local sociology and demographics, specifically who is and is not enfranchised around San Diego. To put just a slightly blunted point on it, the electorate is not the residents running the joint. This is a region that assigns every bit of blue-collar and service labor it can to the Mexican peasantry.

This society isn’t just a local problem; it’s a national problem. We’re paying for much of this shit by not taxing it into abatement. At the very least, we’re selling ourselves short by not loudly denouncing the citizens of Duncan Hunter’s district for trafficking horseshit and grifting for a living while in provable fact living off the avails of exploited foreigners’ labor and federally subsidized water infrastructure. Their case for deserving lower marginal tax rates is weak; we all know, if we’re familiar with them, that they’ll spend the savings on under-the-table cash payments to their household servants, tacky mansions, tacky luxury travel, test prep, de facto bribery, and other unjustifiable labor arbitrage freeloading, corruption, and pure waste.

We’ve seen this fucking movie before. We’ve been watching it since Reagan was wandering the Oval Office soiling his sweatpants.

These are the conservative values whose protection demanded the banishment by bullying of Katie Hill from Capitol Hill, as George Papadopoulos will agree. This is prudence. This is rectitude. This is Christianity. Dagmar Midcap is my wife. America, a-yagshemazh.

On top of Strawberry Hill’s sister

Young women today report that they are aware of hardly any female peers who have not willingly taken or sat for nude photographs. The ubiquity of intimate nude portraiture may well vary regionally and subculturally, but we’d be fools to believe what provincial elites declare about the modesty and chastity of THEIR girls. There are genuinely conservative religious communities that I might believe have significantly lower rates of sexting than the modern cosmopolitan average, but what their leaders have to say about communal morals has John Dennis Diddly to do with it. The sexual practices of Hindus in rural India, Muslims in Indonesia or Saudi Arabia, various conservative Christians in the Americas, or what have you are practices, not sermons.

Mainstream American culture is too fucking retarded to get this. We know, however, what Polish cradle Catholic Robert Dziekanski would say about the ubiquitous production, transmission, and curation of digital home pornography in this, our time of equally ubiquitous and reliable* electricity: You’re killing me, Biggie; I’m literally shocked.

*Yeah, yeah, too much wind for the hydro, eh; true dat, Juice. The point here, of course, is that a society does not in fact consistently create what it communicate. That’s bullshit.

And that’s why mainstream Americans believe it. Ours is a deeply, deeply disturbed national culture. If it weren’t, we might more readily notice how utterly divergent so much of what passes for Christianity in the United States is from Christian scripture and tradition as they have been passed down over the centuries nearly everywhere else.

A full treatment of Christian sexual ethics would be exhausting and largely superfluous. Suffice it to say that what prevails as an excuse for Christian sexual ethics in American public life today is thoroughly mala fide and bogus. We’ve watched the parade of serially married adulterers, teenybopper fanciers, loudly anti-buggery closet cases, serial accessories to sexual assault, and outright rapists angrily thump the Bible on the capital steps. These are worth a periodic review: the Katie-bar-the-door (lol) Ten Commandments judge who got banned from the mall during his time as a county prosecutor because he kept cruising the premises for jailbait, and the square in front of the courthouse, too; the Brokeback Mountain-ass anti-sodomy activist, previously investigated for using the Congressional Page program as a catamite reserve, busted by a plainclothes vice cop for trying to hook up in the men’s room; the Speaker of the US House of Representatives who divorced his second wife as she lay dying from cancer and he dogged the President over an office affair; the subsequent Speaker, also a self-righteous Slick Willie wrangler, who turned out to have spent his prior career as a high school boys’ wrestling coach fucking his way through his teams; the powerfully turnt Supreme Court nominee who screamed his way to confirmation after belatedly being exposed as a blackout drunk with a lengthy history of assaults, sexual and otherwise.

These are, not coincidentally, Republicans. The last Democrats of national stature to be so bold and shameless about their prerogatives as duly inaugurated officials, or about their privileges in general, must have been Bill Clinton and Jim Traficant. The Big Dog is indeed a rare bird (don’t overthink the phrasing), or was, before he lost his touch. So was Traficant, albeit in starkly divergent ways. The House Democratic Caucus pretended to be scandalized to learn that Traficant was an extortionate, freeloading crook; its true but unspeakable objections were that he said the quiet parts about the prevailing business practices out loud and refused to get with their neoliberal program. They don’t mind a mobbed-up freak per se; what gets their panties into a twist is a mobbed-up freak who defiantly plays to type. I’ve sat on the outskirts of the Hill at rush hour and been attentive, or present, as they say, and I can testify to what I saw. Jimmy was bullshitting if he meant to imply that any of the fucking nerds who run things in that neighborhood would ever loosen up enough to widen their bottoms.

Pay close attention to how the Republican Party reacted to these scandals. In most of these instances, it went to the mat for its shitheads. Ironically enough, it did not so much go to the mat for J. Denny Dundiddly, who knew a thing or two about what we might call the fucking mat.

Goodness, we don’t talk like that; we’re good Christian conservative sex pests with that old-time religion-style thing for the jailbait. Gadsden Lovin’ said so himself. It was old-fashioned Southern Christian courtship, as Southern Gentlemen have always practiced upon unchaperoned ladies of early debutante age out behind the general store. That guy was too shameless and crass under fire even for the national kingmakers not to disavow, but he stood his damn ground. It was the same song with Todd Akin, another of the silent teachings committed by an overly exuberant disciple to hymns of praise and sung with raucous spiritual abandon in the streets.

The Denny Dundiddly deal provoked the opposite sort of crisis PR response. Diddlin’ Dennis corncobbed himself through the federal court and prison systems. Meanwhile his fellow travelers, freshly scandalized to be associated with a man of his character, acted like the dog that hadn’t just shat on its master’s tucker box: oyt, mate, let’s use our misdirected gazes to dereify the pail and the turd by denying them the object permanence they demand.

This is a surprisingly relevant and important sidebar. The authorities in Australia don’t throw a goddamned fit over the publication or broadcasting of the Heavy Seven. The story about the dog who shat on his master’s tucker box was reprinted in so many words in the Qantas inflight magazine. One can read about it aboard–Scout’s Honor, this is a real plane; I was just on it–Kakadu.

Said you like the way, I pail my shit now; lemme be yaw caga. I’m absolutely not trying to humblebrag here. Thinking these episodes over on a trip through a foreign country peopled and led by what seem to be psychosexually normal and well-adjusted adults is powerfully clarifying. I’ve tuned into Australian news broadcasts, and I’m detecting NOBODY in a position of civil or cultural power who id overtly deranged enough for Capitol Hill. Observing a political class that acts like reasonable grownups really drives home the truth that the prevailing community standards in American politics are The Lord of the Flies with the launch codes. Hearing from premier of the year ScoMo, Anthony Albanese, and even onion enthusiast Tony Abbott highlights the sheer dysfunction of the US Congress for deferentially extending one to two full terms of executive power and supreme military command to a sundowning geezer who habitually barks bullshit at the press pool through deafening prop wash. I get the feeling that that messy bitch wouldn’t last a month in Australia’s most celebrated summer gig.

Culture has consequences. American political culture is not eccentric or quaint or charming. It is insane, toxic, and dangerous in ways that should alarm the entire world. Grabbing an airsickness bag and returning to Trump, we may recall that, in addition to carrying on about inflammatory communal grievances like a discount bin Radovan Karadzic, he is accused on the record of serial sexual assault, has bragged about barging into the dressing rooms of underaged models, and is widely reputed to be the subject of an FSB blackmail videotape featuring watersports in a hotel bed in Russia, presumably as something like a sex hex on Barack and Michelle Obama.

This is all utterly outrageous. Even the unproven rumors are outrageous enough for impeachment. Like, okay, champ, here’s the breaks: you do not get to distract the rest of us from the people’s business and disgrace our government with your low-functioning sexual deviance; therefore you are being removed as the head of state and government. For the same reasons the tarmac shouting fits are enough for impeachment on THEIR own, the point being that the Congress will not tolerate in a sitting president the mad king cosplay of a narcissistic celebrity asshole who abuses pool reporters detailed to his office by yelling at them over the engine noise of waiting executive aircraft instead of using any of the dedicated venues available to him on demand for press conferences or impromptu pool interviews.

That is, this is a serious office with serious duties, and we will remove your sloppy fat ass from it if you hold it flippantly. Besides, routinely yelling at reporters in front of running jet engines and helicopter propellers without ear protection is an obvious physical and mental stressor, especially in an obese elder of mediocre physical fitness. This motherfucker is the head of state and government in the world’s preeminent imperial power, and he cannot refrain from engaging in thrillseeking behavior involving his household air fleet on live television.

There’s an overwhelming public interest in deterring such bad behavior by removing from office those high officials who insist on engaging in it. This geriatrically adolescent piece of shit deliberately holds pressers in the noisiest environments available, spends hours a day having emotional meltdowns while watching extremist talk shows, apparently abuses Sudafed for the high, and is a safe bet to call a cokehead.

It gets better. This fuckhead’s party is the same one that impeached his recent predecessor for having a very modestly sexual affair with a junior subordinate. The Clinton impeachment queered the impeachment process for decades. One exceptionally insane faction with its own closet full of skeletons used impeachment to humiliate an opponent for his least vicious sexual misdeeds, and now it’s spoiled for cases of rape, incitement to genocide, and manifest unfitness for office.

The Republicans could not have cared less about the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors, or about where the Arkie-on-Cuban-on-Angelena hanky-panky fell relative to this threshold, wherever Congress chose to draw it. They ultimately impeached Clinton for failing to confess his sex life with scrupulous honesty to an inquisition including Ken Starr and Brett Kavanaugh.

These were their values. Pass it on, bitch. The plump Jewess engaged Slick Willie with full enthusiasm. He, not she, put the brakes on the affair. This was the Big Dog’s mistake. Surely we no longer imagine, if ever we were so naïve, that Kenneth and Brett Michael object to rape.

The Clinton impeachment, along with the nonimpeachments of all three successive presidents to date, set the standard for what Congress will and will not tolerate on the president’s part. It is an impossibly incoherent and arbitrary standard. The Republicans prefer it that way; the Democrats are too comfortable losing to particularly care.

The shitlib pearclutching after Rashida Tlaib’s “impeach the motherfucker” outburst was all too instructive. The liberals scolding Tlaib for being so rude professed to revile Trump, but they were, as always, such limp little weenies that they insisted on despising him civilly. This absolutely is not principled Christian cheek-turning; consistent with their sore reaction to Tlaib’s bluntness, they never hesitate to punch left, or down on the poor. Remember our boy Wide-Bottom Jimmy again, and how he discomfited the PMC enforcers in his own caucus by being proudly, trashily rude before them, so menacingly threatening to kick them in their assets.

These are favors they hate to have returned by their inferiors. The Donald, whom they swear they so deplore, is an odd case, famously rich* but proudly vulgar. (*The boy ain’t. He’s a hustler who plays his wealth times orders of magnitude on TV.) This confuses the shitlib response a bit. Tlaib is more straightforward in class terms. She, like inferred reluctant Trump voter Michael Moore, has credible working-class ties.

To be fair, Trump is not by inclination a motherfucker, but a daughterfucker. The devil is in the details, and these are sick. So is the DLCC response to this hostile scumbag, this Hitler-curious Borgia as interpreted by a sundowning Don Rickles. What the hell do these sniveling losers imagine they owe HIM? He could choose to defend himself against impeachment by not doing everything in his power to insult and humiliate sitting members of Congress. He’s old enough to understand this. He’s of age. (LOL.) I’m not talking about his sex partners.

Acting like somebody is owed a fucking apology for hearing a fed-up official speak coarsely of that widely hated asshole is pathetic. The Speaker, of Chuck and Nancy, didn’t even have any believable tactical concerns about how to proceed against Trump. She’s just another prissy rich bitch whose material are served by 1) ongoing liberal fear and outrage about an entrenched impeachment target and 2) Trump’s own platform. Of course she’s sandbagging members of her own caucus who are more popular nationally than she’ll ever be. On Zinfandel Lane, who wouldn’t?

This brings us to Katie, unable to bar the door against her own soft expulsion from–yes, your cracker is here to say it–the Hill. Katie Hill went down on history so early in her career for having threesomes with a staffer, followed by something more like twosomes after her husband, originally the number two, made sure to act the part, being as he was in possession of photographs and memories.

Hill is hot. She is also bisexual. Let’s go stroke it to someone else. This is a salacious distraction. Her ex-husband, a bitter, angry piece of shit, retaliated for the divorce by leaking a set of nudes to the gutter press. Will it surprise you to learn that he was abusive while they were still together, too? The guy didn’t get all bent out of shape by being dumped; he proceeded from love to loss already like that. It was why she got rid of him in the first place.

She isn’t the problem; he is. It’s appalling that this has to be spelled out, but it does. He’s the one who held and then released blackmail material on a sitting member of Congress. The material itself, although salacious, was and is wholesome enough: a private orgy among three competent, consenting, fully grown partners who enjoyed one another’s sexual affection. The ex turned it into blackmail material by releasing it for revenge after their relationship soured, knowing that it would stir up a furor among the sorts of people who get titillated by the sex lives of elected officials and documentation thereof, a furor entirely out of proportion to Hill’s innocuous sexual activity in comparison to that of any of the (ostensibly) undocumented molestations, forcible gropings, sex trafficking conspiracies, and rapes publicly attributed to her colleagues.

This is an egregious transgression. That scumbag’s life needs to be turned upside down. The temptation to salaciously expose or threaten sitting members of Congress needs to be chilled with immediate consequences for all who are nasty enough to try. It’s a disservice to their constituents not to fuck the creeps up. It’s subversive of constitutional government.

In her resignation speech Hill rued the barrage of rape threats she had received since the leaking of her nudes. There’s something badly wrong when anyone over the age of fifteen thinks it’s possibly at all safe to communicate threats of violence to a sitting member of Congress, to think that anything that even plausibly sounds like a threat won’t call down hellfire from every available cop, lawyer, and private investigator.

This isn’t really about what’s strictly illegal. A competent detective squad or plaintiff’s legal team can jam an edgelord miscreant up for days, if not months, before all actions against him are dismissed or appealed to exhaustion. This assumes, by the way, that the defendant has absolutely no prior history of similar bad acts that can be used as corroborating evidence or pursued separately until all legal avenues are exhausted; i.e., not in any way a fellow whose relatives or buddies or exes can say is a creep.

We have a model for this. The Secret Service scrambles squads to investigate threats against protectees. This is universally understood, to the point that only a hardcore idiot expects to brag promiscuously about harming a current or former president or presidential dependent without being confronted by armed G-men.

This is of course another reason to impeach Trump, on the basis that a protectee should forfeit his office if he insists on abusing it to incite violence, inevitably provoking additional threats against himself by parties he has threatened or angered, and forcing the Secret Service to investigate these threats. Like, look, pal, you’ll still get the detail, but you’re done with the official bully pulpit to waste its already stressed resources.

Americans know better than to go all Manuel Ramos about how they’re gonna fuck the President up. There’s no ambiguity. The hyperbole or figurative license has to be unmistakable to prevent an interrogation. This isn’t lie, oh, lighten up, I was just kidding. They don’t give mulligans for that trap.

This makes it impossible not to wonder what the hell went wrong to make it seem viable to mail or call in threats of premeditated felony violence to Congressional offices. There are draconian sentencing ranges just for the criminal use of telephones or the US Mail. Rape and murder threats would seem to meet the threshold for shit you aren’t allowed to communicate via federally regulated media. They’ll hand out tenners for running mail-order numbers rackets.

Where the fuck are the cops? These threats demand all-hands-on-deck interagency investigations. They are not legitimate grievances. They are not complaints to elected officials that they’re disserving constituents or are of unfit character to hold office or anything like that. They’re campaigns to subvert self-government.

And where are the trial lawyers and PI’s to hound the creeps if the cops won’t? Nancy can personally afford the bill. The Democratic Party sure as hell can.

A lot of this shit would be too menacing for anyone without a violent criminal record to consider sending to a fellow private citizen. Either the cops will be banging on their door within the hour or a vigilante will drop by for an extrajudicial full-body kneecapping. “Bitch I’ma fuckin’ rape you you slut.” Gee, do you suppose that’s a thought you might want to keep to yourself? Christ. And that’s on the mild side as rape threats go, according to their addressees and staff curators.

We can tie ourselves into knots making devil’s advocate arguments about how it’s hyperbolic or figurative. These are fair defense arguments, but let’s think about how a reasonable person would react to a graphic rape threat from a stranger. This ain’t the BDSM issue of Penthouse Letters. Ask: Is this something appropriate to tell a stranger? If Vinny No-Knees phones me about what nice knees I’ve got–he’s still got his, you see, EY–do I take him for a hapless criminally inculpable lunatic, or do I pick my brain for cops I trust and start placing my own calls?

It doesn’t have to be about sex, although I suppose when it’s coming from alt-right pied piper/incel trash and addressed to Katie Hill, it does. It does have to be about power and force projection. If the Secret Service didn’t track down and investigate every threat intercepted against its protectees, the discourse about the executive branch would be 24/7 boasting about going full East Timor Brimob on the White House. Instead, it takes a Stauffenberg to pursue such plots anywhere close to fruition, and most of these losers are no Stauffenberg.

This is how the Democratic Party would respond to blackmail dumps and threats against its elected if it took such attacks seriously. It does not. It prefers to lavish its millions on otherwise unemployable grifter scum. Neera needs her spot on the milkline. Without his own, how could Adam Parkhomenko would have worked? The party has the cash flow to fuck the creeps up with lawfare, and it’s exactly the worthy insurance benefit voters would be glad to help fund if the coffers started to credibly run dry. Ordinary constituents would not need much convincing that it’s worthwhile to fund legal programs to dogpile this insurrectionist scum with FOIA demands, summonses, injunctions, demands for legal fees, digital and in-person contact traces on their associates, background investigation-grade interviews, the whole fucking hog. The consequences for so much as playing cute with the caucus about this shit should be a week tops till they know everything about the aggressor that he hasn’t taken active measures to hide.

It goes unmentioned in the salacious news reports, and most likely uncontemplated, but Katie Hill practices much better opsec in the curation of her nude portraiture than most threatmongers do. These guys are pretty fucking dumb. Rarely are we dealing with savvy operators who use misdirecting noms de guerre and encrypted transmissions on virtual private networks. Some of the professional right-wing candid camera gotcha goons are no more professional themselves. James O’Keefe does not particularly comport himself in the fashion of a man capable of his own toileting. Counterinsurgency lawfare isn’t just for the proletarian stochastic outburst types. It’s powerfully salutary on wingnut welfare shysters like O’Keefe, to show them for once that they are fundamentally stupid and that their fathers cannot bully, cajole, or bribe them out of their every self-inflicted jam.

Using Katie Hill as an object lesson in recklessness with digital media is surreally insane. She fell victim to a treacherous spouse. The fashy armchair foot soldiers and shit-for-brains silver-spoon grifters they worship need about five minutes in front of a computer to make her look like Snowden. One of the crazy things about this is that she sets herself apart from so many of her colleagues and socioeconomic peers just by tacitly recognizing that there can be consequences for reckless or controversial behavior and acting accordingly. She was quite discreet about her sex life; it was her ex-husband who found her discretion so stultifying, and who so spectacularly and unilaterally breached it. She got into trouble for private threesomes involving a woman she and her then-husband knew well, and don’t come around here acting like she’s the only Esteemed Colleague to be getting frisky with a staffer.

This woman is too judicious for our national political class. What was so emblematic about Brett Kavanaugh absolutely flipping his shit the first time in his career that he was asked pointed, adversarial, intrusive questions by a hiring committee was that he had made it into his fifties assuming that the universe would always expunge his record on demand. Anthony fucking Weiner was never so arrogant. He’s known for years that he has a problem and that his problem keeps making a huge mess of his life. He was on the record about this long before he slipped into FMC Deviants–I mean, mercy, Rajaratnam did a bid there, too; why am I impugning him by association?–for his residency as a mandatory Masshole.

Hill wasn’t impulsively sexting strangers for the thrill. She wasn’t chasing or grooming jailbait like so many of her incumbent and temporarily embarrassed colleagues. She wasn’t sexually assaulting anybody. She wasn’t blacking out drunk and either spreading her cunt over some casual acquaintance’s face at a house party or staring at a total stranger and then starting a bar fight with her because she thought she was Gwen Stefani. She was sexually and romantically involved with a staffer who had attained full majority.

She understood from the start that this was salacious enough to try to keep out of public view, and /questionably sober Steely Dan voice/ Katie tried. We don’t have to call what the mob and her own party’s leadership did to her a half-crucifixion to say that it was totally out of line. I can’t be the only one who would bloody well like to see any of the congenitally privileged wingnut shitbirds who have outlasted her in office face half the consequences she’s faced for their incomparably egregious misconduct and criminality. Hill was absolutely right to take a direct parting shot at Trump in her resignation speech, explicitly stating that he remains in office and has been publicly accused of rape. She was right not to roll over like a cowed little bitch and take all the blame.

That is not how the Republicans roll. Brett Michael spent an afternoon seething through a mist of tears about how he was suffering the Passion of St. John Dennis Hastert for facing threats, ultimately lasting about two weeks, to his career coaching a teenyboppers’ girls’ basketball team in More Than Friendship Heights. The Democrats, and in fact our entire godforsaken republic, could use more leaders who show some fucking backbone in the face of flagrant dirty tricks. The Republican Party at this point is Doug Ford casting the deciding vote to install Rob Ford on the Supreme Court, then turning around and berating the Democrats for being crooks, drunkards, and vulgarians with rude things to say about the Jamaican community. By all means, this country needs a viable left whose members have the nerve to start their journeys into the wilderness by pissing back into the tent on their way out.

As they say, it ain’t beanbag. It’s more like Gateside Downlow having a page push the beanbag into his bussy for textured pleasure while he bellows at his opponents that they’re nasty sodomites. That was gross, but ask yourself what you’d think if you were minding your own business taking a shit and some rando stuck his hand under the stall divider to show you his wedding band. That is exactly what Larry Craig did in his fruitless prairie home effort to ya, don’tcha know with the nearest available companion.

Hmm. In that case, let’s stipulate that you are not well, are doing questionable work, and do not need to keep in touch. Every one of these ridiculous, shambolic, antisocial sexual deviants will seize every possible opportunity to call Katie Hill a filthy slut. Jealousy isn’t quite it; half of them are gay, and her ex is available. It’s more an ultrarefined entitlement and spite. Those of us who could stand to watch it got to see Gadsden Lovin’ go full George Wallace in the schoolhouse door about how the people of Alabama demanded to be known for and represented by himself, a persecuted Christian. There’s no making this shit up.

Frankly we need to purge Washington of every one of these creepy perverts before breathing another word about how Katie Hill was reckless with digital media and young women should learn from her mistakes. She was one of the rare birds on the Hill (lol again; why shouldn’t I?) to recognize the risks of her sexual practices and take measures to minimize them. Her much seedier predatory colleagues always assume that they’ll be able to have their way and do what they please without consequence.

There’s a class element here, I suspect. The armchair threat traffickers discussed above tend to come from the criminal underclass. They’re often in and out of jail for exactly the low-functioning impulsive behaviors that have people in and out of jail. The professional dirty tricksters who goad them on are much more often from the upper-middle and upper classes: hence their smugness and smirking and shrieking like stuck pigs when challenged and shady backgrounds that magically vanish from the public record for decades at a time. Katie Hill presents as solidly middle-class, specifically as somebody who has things to lose for being reckless. She acts like she is expected and expects herself to function as a competent, upstanding member of a community in some fashion or other.

Hill recognized all along that it was better to exercise some tact than to brag indiscriminately about being a slutty dipshit. There’s a stark class divergence between her discreet, private, consensual, apparently sober sexual activity and Brett Kavanaugh’s habit of raging around the Yale campus in a drunken rage thrusting his cock into everyone’s face.

Here’s the big problem: Hill’s mode of living is not the Washington norm. What’s-his-name from Arkansas or whatever the hell who splashed into the fountain at the Tidal Basin because he thought he was being chased by buzzards was too grounded for the current crop of unaccountable freaks. Afterwards, released from police detention, he was like, shucks, I was drunk. It takes nothing short of an lace-curtain Irish lawyer from the MontCo house party scene to yell at the Judiciary Committee about how he liked beer, but legally and responsibly. One does not so thoroughly elide and erase one’s own seedy behavior without it. Fuck, even Rob Ford came down off that perch to say that he must have been real drunk to smoke crack.

Posting nudes is a distraction. What we need to talk about is the truly sleazy shit that Americans either post or brag about, then throw a fit when somebody they either didn’t keep from becoming aware of it or expressly authorized to see it or was present when they said it uses it against them. We’ve previously discussed these shitheads in painstaking, even excruciating, detail. I wouldn’t be nearly so interested in their shitty behavior if I hadn’t been there for it and witnessed it with my own lying ears and eyes. It’s beyond chutzpah; it’s extreme hubris, the malicious, gratuitous aggression of people who have never in their lives been meaningfully deterred from or punished for their bad behavior, no matter how vile.

The sequence here is gross. These creeps do something outrageously offensive or scandalous, then flip their shit and cry betrayal when their bad act is publicized and used against them. How could this uppity little pig I’ve always abused ever dare have the nerve to say I’ve abused him? We’re friends!

In case you were wondering about the American college fraternity system, this is it. There are exceptions, but not as many as a decent person would hope. I was unaffiliated in college, but in some crucial ways I wasn’t. Michael Pennington and the Insurance Schmuck hazed me and ran our clique as a frank cult. Brett Kavanaugh reminds me of these guys for good reasons, and for equally good reasons Mark Judge reminds me of myself. Both of those guys are still dipshit enough to post cringe on main under privacy settings allowing me to lawfully access their work. I believe, and I would say quite reasonably so, that this is more evidence of their privilege and arrogance. Scold me all you like for posting cringe of my own, but know this: If there’s anything I’ve created that I don’t want either of those fuckers seeing, it’s locked down such that they’d have to hack it or schmooze a buddy to be their third-party mole.

The misdirection over sexting isn’t very subtle. We keep having a moral panic over the old Nudie Judy and not considering that there might come a tipping point at which our nation’s many RICO-ready fraternities get prosecuted into dissolution. It’ll probably coincide with prosecutions of white collar fraud at the big banks, which we used to do, until rather recently. It’s more alluring, for those of who are male and straight, to crank it to pictures of Katie Hill brushing her staffer girlfriend’s hair, but say, maybe little Brock over there would be wise to shut up about his rights of voluntary association when there are dozens of witnesses to his using these rights to paddle some schmuck’s bare ass while the guy vomited his last ten shots of Jim Beam into a trash can. You know, just an idea, kid.

Although it’s unduly entertaining that Lesbos is Greek, Katie Hill doesn’t act like she ever was. Granted, sororities are usually less physically psychosexual than fraternities. Nebraska Coeds is fiction. It might as well be Harry Potter. Nah, on second thot, it mightn’t. The wizard shit is worse. The point, however, still stands, as she said. Katie doesn’t act like a mean girl. Nancy does, and Chuck’s right with her, but Katie seems all right.

If you’re thinking about suiting up and mounting your white horse to rankcheck any of these characters like that bumptious Army lifer son of a bitch Vindman did for himself, don’t. It won’t make our politics any better; it’ll just make you worse. Auspol saves itself a whole lot of buffoonery by paying no heed to that horseshit. One would hate to be called “mister,” “sir,” “boss,” “man,” “dog,” or “you fucking weirdo,” all of which I’ve been called to my face by my most unemployable neighbors.

As I was ostensibly saying, Katie is a few cuts above her own party’s leadership, and certainly above the current baseline for American politics. The prevailing community standards do not allow Members to focus on doing something for the homeless. Both houses have, as Chuck likes to say, six ways from Sunday about not doing anything about any of that.

It’s suspicious, and for the leadership awfully convenient, that Hill got caught up in a single two-bit sex scandal and had to leave town. It’s suspicious that, quick on the heels of her resignation. Cenk Uygur boosted himself from C-List center-left political commentator to Congressional candidate. He isn’t exactly bad; in absolute terms he’s all right. But there’s no way the ghouls who run the Democratic Party aren’t relieved to be able to push the Overton Window back to the right by switching their bullpen midgame. It’s a bit foily to say so, but ((extremely nerds voice) My Totebags) This I Believe.

Hill wasn’t about to bounced from the Hill. Yes, I enjoyed writing that, because she wasn’t. She got ratfucked. For the love of all truth Larry Shittershagging Craig got to leave on his own terms. Hill could have run out the clock for the balance of her term, waiting for whatever slap on the wrist her colleagues and their staff felt like administering at the end of their investigation. She well might have been able to win reelection. By the ethical standards of her office as they are actually enforced, she didn’t do jack shit wrong. The hell were they going to do to her? Pass a censure motion? Have Gateside Downlow call her a nasty, naughty girl?

I can’t blame her for not having the fight in her to stick it out in the face of violent threats at a time when her own caucus and leadership did so little to back her up. That might have made the difference Hill needed to stand her ground. It would have been brutal for her regardless–it’s much worse than they make it look on television–but she never had the opportunity to try to salvage her career and agenda under the protection of a party that gave her its full support.

This is a key reason why we’re taking the wrong lessons away from this scandal if we’re interpreting it as a cautionary tale for young women who are tempted to be unabashedly sexual. Hill sat for nudes and then got ratfucked. It wasn’t some inexorable natural law that caused her to face such a chilly reception from the leadership of her own caucus. It was Nancy Pelosi. Let’s not beat around the bush. It was Nancy who yanked out the linchpin.

And let’s fucking face it: that bitch is troublesome. The young guns in her caucus have good reasons to distrust her. Everybody’s tiptoeing around her, scrupulously refusing to breathe an ill word on the record. There are some not terrible reasons to be so discreet, but I good and goddamn well don’t have any myself. Chuck and Nancy are the nexus of their party’s dysfunction and disunity more than Bernie or the Squad, if you ask me. They didn’t ask me, but do I sound like I give a shit? What the fuck are the Republicans gonna do if a dispute between the centrist shitlib establishment and the upstart leftists goes public and makes the party look fractious? Hate Nancy Pelosi even more? At least the lefties have the self-respect not to crawl around in the mud trying to kiss the asses of enemies who will never work with them in good faith or good cheer. Chamberlain was hardly such a suckup before Hitler. It’s disgraceful.

A rogues’ gallery of creeps who couldn’t care less about their own sexual propriety might call Katie Hill a slut, and it made the Speaker and her henchfolk uncomfortable. Fuckin’ A. This is the shit the machine bosses wanted to nip in the bud. They preferred to grovel before Jim Jordan about how their fellow traveler had been a bad girl instead of sticking up for her and showing some damn honor. Mind you, when I describe them as fellow travelers I’m taking some license; they were never exactly on the same trip.

Forget keeping your legs shut, missy. A better lesson to learn here is that dogshit mentors can be a useless pain in the ass. This is exactly the lesson the idpol hustlers want us all not to learn. They seek to prepare for the distaff among us Madeleine Albright’s special place in hell for women who don’t support other women. Framed that way, it sounds like an oath that would bind Nancy to defend Katie, but these rules are for commoners, not queens.

You don’t have to put on the foil hat, but I do. The hopelessly grasping and neurotic #LeanIn sleazeballs who run Washington as women resent fellows like Katie Hill for being at liberty, not in bondage. I’m serious. Warning that employers or background investigators for security clearances or some such censorious trash will take adverse action against applicants for posting horny is servile as hell. I’ve known the kinds of women (and men!) who craft their lives, or at least document their personas, to exclude and erase all evidence of sensuality, all possible gaudeamus igitur levity.

They’re fucking freaks, is what they are. I’ll be damned to concede that Katie Hill is disordered and they aren’t. Fuck off with that. Washington is full of such cases. If nothing else, Hill doesn’t act like one of them. It doesn’t seem coincidental that the Democratic Party is seedily content to soft-86 Hill from the Hill (lmao, that again) and at the same time flood the zone with spook trash like Buttigieg, Slotkin, and Vindman. Cenk Uygur is a few cuts above that, but again, it seems awfully convenient to the bosses for him to march so promptly into the vacuum following Hill’s resignation.

If it seems politically or socioeconomically germane that our girls are immodest sluts, we’re doing it wrong. We don’t even have a liberal party, in the senses that make liberalism mean something. The Republicans, except for Trump and a few of his secular advisors in their more liberal moments, keep thumping the Bible about fornication, adultery, sodomy, and their other favorite customs. The Democrats keep shitting their pants about how an incautious fleeting episode of loucheness or sensual abandon could ruin their children’s careers and lives. It’s all test prep and reputation management and resume-padding in their world. They aren’t exactly better than the GOP; they’re mainly a different style of rotten.

We need points of light to guide us out of this abyss of finding young women problematic for being sexual in their capacity as young women. In times like these, I often think back to the chick I overheard at a Starbucks in Stateline or thereabouts telling her friends that 1) “I could have gotten so much dick last weekend,” and 2) “Sequoia is a fucking bitch.” As I wrote at the time, that young lady needs to run for elected office ASAP. She’d have a hard time making our politics any worse. If it feels like a relief that she’s politically absent, take another moment to recall who’s present. Sex negativity does nothing to get rid of the promiscuity; it just serves to degrade it. We definitely need more leaders who are regularly getting action in healthy ways and aren’t all weird or hungup about it.

We obviously need more whores in our politics, too. They’re even better than sluts, because sluts are crazy. Nicole Papamichael may wonder why her best friend from high school became a hooker, but I don’t. Nor do I want the detective eeso much as registered to vote until she’s either gone full-time back into the bag or taken her streetcorner dom act into the private sector, where it belongs.

Being genuinely disinterested in sex when it’s time for politics is another option, but it’s a fearsomely ambitious one for America. Good luck.