Hot Air: Waking From The Dream

Sad, isn’t it?

Barack Obama yesterday presided over what he characterized as “the last official event at the White House in my presidency.”

Yup. It was the visit by the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs to the White House, a tradition that goes back more than a hundred and fifty years. That’s right, back in 1865, Prez Andrew Johnson entertained the Atlantics of Brooklyn and the Nationals of Washington at the Commander-in-Chief’s crib. Those two baseball gangs were amateurs and they weren’t even champs. The first World Series winners welcomed to the White House were the 1924 Washington Senators with Silent Cal Coolidge playing host. Subsequent champs from every major American professional sport as well as college top dogs have been feted in the Residence by whatever Big Boss held sway. And now my beloved Cubs have graced the place.

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Dreamy

Bittersweet. That’s about the only descriptor that fits.

See, after having waited for the big payoff, patiently and not, since 1967 when I first became emotionally invested in the silliness that is Cubs fandom and finally getting it late Wednesday evening, last November 2nd, I now sadly realize my fondest dream has vanished. Poof.

Now what do I pine for?

Truth is, about the only thing worth yearning for at this late date is a final check-out that won’t be painful and drawn out. That, I guess, and the hope that The Loved One won’t cash in her chips before I do — ideally, we’ll take our leave on the same day, a potentiality no more unlikely than…, well, the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.

When the inventory of all your hopes and aspirations is limited to 1) not dying a painful death and 2) being spared crushing grief, you’ve finally awakened from life’s REM state. Like I said, sad.

I’m long past dreaming of a Pulitzer Prize or being selected to fly on a space mission or running off for a tryst with, say, Carrie Brownstein or Bebel Gilberto. The Cubs winning the World Series was the very last of my youthful fancies.

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Ain’t Gonna Happen

Now it’s done and, sure, I was walking on air for five days, 21 hours — until the reality set in that L’il Duce had been tabbed by a benighted electorate — but, as spring training again comes near I realize I don’t give a good goddamn what happens this coming baseball season. I got my ultimate victory. I’m not a greedy slob (like some notorious tweeters we know).

You ever feel heartsick because the alarm woke you out of a delicious dream? For a few hot moments, you keep your eyes shut in hopes you can be transported back to that sunny, exotic beach or into the arms of the lover you blew your chance on years ago. Having spent six decades on this oblate spheroid, I’ve been roused out of more tantalizing dreams — both night and day varieties — than I can ever recall.

Sometimes, the dream just ends.

If that weren’t enough, now the nightmare of President Gag looms. And a pretty decent guy’s presidency is coming to an end.

Sheesh. Makes a guy guy wonder what the hell there is left to live for.

I suppose I’ll think of something.

It’s A Beautiful Day…

Hot Air: Slippin’ Away

Enjoy it, kiddies, your last four and a half days of national sanity.

Our holy land’s bureaucracies as well as our species-threatening weapons of mass destruction will be in the hands of a psychologically- and intellectually-challenged orange-tinged simian come noon Fri.

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You asked for it, you got it.

King For A Day

Martin Luther King Day. Trivia: My birth state of Illinois was the first in the nation to declare MLK Day a holiday.

The Day — as in gov’t employees get the day off, paid, was signed into law at the fed level in 1983 by none other than Saint Ronald Reagan. Keep in mind, signing a bill into law is a mere formality. St. RR had opposed the idea of a holiday for MLK for a variety of reasons, none of them making a lick of honest sense. He was joined in opposition by the likes of North Carolina Republican Senators Jesse Helms and John Porter East. The three of them, and other troglodytes, bandied about canards like MLK was a commie (false) and he was a horn dog (true but irrelevant). It wasn’t until Congressperson Katie Hall of Indiana’s 1st Dist. intro’d a bill making King the first private citizen to be honored with a paid day off,  with the subsequent okay by the Senate, that the fête became a fait.

On the state level, the last such body to recognize MLK Day was Utah in 2000. Yet, even today, three states (Alabama, Arkansas & Mississippi) observe Lee/King Day, Lee being none other than Confederate States of America General Robert E. Lee and I needn’t expand upon the sheer lunacy of that pairing.

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Odd Couple

To swipe the notoriously unfunny Yakov Smirnoff’s signature line, “America, what a country.”

Getting Through It

My aversion to winter is well documented. If there is a god (hint, there isn’t) winter is one of his 1) dirtiest tricks or 2) dumbest-assed mistakes.

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In order to survive the ordeal that is winter, I have identified a number of date and event touchstones to help me pass the dark, lengthy hours, days and weeks of the season. Martin Luther King Day is the first. See, hitting Jan. 15th means all the most sun-starved holidays have passed and, acc’d’g to meteorologists, the absolutely coldest day of winter, on average, is upon us. Ergo, it’s all uphill after this, huzzah.

The dates I mark in wait for spring:

  • Jan. 15th (or the closest Monday): MLK Day
  • The First Sunday in February or Super Bowl Sunday: I couldn’t care less about football; it’s just that this is the last day of the gridiron season so, again, huzzah!
  • February 14th: Three events — 1) “Pitchers and catchers report,” code for baseball spring training beginning around this date; 2) Valentine’s Day; and 3) the start of Big Mike’s Birthday Month
  • March 4th: The day I arrived in this mad, mad, mad, mad world
  • The Ides of March (give or take a day or two): The NCAA Men’s basketball tournament begins; again, a have zero interest in college basketball but this is as good a marker for the coming of spring as any
  • March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day: I’m neither Irish nor overly fond of drinking to sloppy excess but this date marks the end of Big Mike’s Birthday Month
  • March 21st (give or take a day): The first day of spring — at freaking last!
  • April 1st (give a take a few days): Baseball’s Opening Day

After that, it’s all gravy, babies. I’ve endured decades of such countdowns and survived them all. I fully expect to survive this one — although I hate to speak too hastily.

A Hit

Just read an article this weekend about the auctioning off of the notes of author Jim Bouton.

I read his first book when I was 14 years old and find it, to this day still, one of the defining and most influential literary works I’ve ever enjoyed.

Jim Bouton wrote Ball Four, his memoir of the 1969 baseball season when he was a sore-armed has-been trying to stay in the game.

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Author and Baseball Pitcher Jim Bouton

Bouton was first and foremost an iconoclast. He loved smashing plaster saints and calling out the hypocrisies of authority figures. At the time he wrote Ball Four, baseball — like all professional sports — was teeming with such phonies and hypocrites. Bouton wrote of the game’s biggest stars scrambling around the rooftop of Washington’s Shoreham Hotel, trying to peep into windows and catching women in various states of undress. He revealed who showed up for games drunk. He spoke of team officials lying, conning, charming, and extorting their way through contract negotiations with players.

Ball Four was much more than a baseball book — it was a snapshot of the times. Bouton recalled anti-war demonstrations, discussing race relations with black and Southern white players, navigating through changing sexual mores, and supporting his industry’s nascent labor union.

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Bouton’s current wife, Paula Kurman, a PhD in behavioral science, recalls meeting him, getting to know him, and then falling for him:

I couldn’t really call it love until I read the book because I realized something that Jim still doesn’t quite absorb, which is that he is one of the best social scientists around.

ESPN blogger David Schoenfield writes Ball Four “was culturally important, opening the lens on the behind-the-scenes aspect of major league baseball, such as the widespread use of amphetamines… and players fooling around with women who weren’t their wives, which traditional baseball writers had long covered up.”

NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” staff characterized Ball Four as “The book that changed baseball.”

Mark Armour writes on Fox Sports website:

The most incredible thing about Ball Four is that it’s not, in the nearly half-century since, been equaled. Or maybe this isn’t so incredible at all. There have been very few baseball players like Jim Bouton, and very few baseball writers like Leonard Shecter, Bouton’s collaborator…. And maybe the nature of the universe dictates that a happy marriage between two such characters will occur, whether due to Providence or Coincidence or Intentions, just once every half-century or so.

Make no mistake, though: Ball Four is a great book.

Leonard Schecter was Bouton’s editor. The story goes that one night Bouton and Schecter found themselves in a Greenwich Village saloon, their manuscript completed but still without a name. They tossed out possible titles to each other until a drunk woman, sitting nearby, having overheard them, said, “Why not call it Ball Four?”

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Early in the book, Bouton writes of meeting good old southern boy and new teammate Don Mincher:

I’m not sure I’m going to like Don Mincher. I keep hearing that big southern accent of his. It’s prejudice, I know, but every time I hear a southern accent I think: stupid. A picture of George Wallace pops into my mind. It’s like Lenny Bruce saying he could never associate a nuclear scientist with a southern accent.

There’s more than a touch of self-reflection here, with Bouton acknowledging his prejudice. How else to erase prejudice from one’s heart unless one first admits it?

Bouton went on to become a McGovern delegate at the 1972 Democratic National Convention, endearing him all the more to me. Tragedy struck in 1997 when his daughter Laurie was killed in a car wreck. Bouton then built a stone wall on his property, a therapeutic exercise that helped him pass through the grief. Here’s what he’d written about her back in 1969:

Unsinkable is what we call Laurie, our youngest. She’s only three, but a tough little broad. This spring alone, for example, she’s been bitten by a dog, hit in the head by a flying can of peas and had nine stitches sewed into her pretty little head. Nothing puts her down.

Bouton made enemies writing Ball Four. Bowie Kuhn, the stuffy commissioner of baseball at the time of its release, called the book “detrimental to baseball.” Kuhn then called Bouton in to his New York office and ordered him to sign an affidavit stating everything in the book was a lie. Bouton, naturally, refused.

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At The Commissioner’s Office

Pete Rose and his Cincinnati Reds teammates came down particularly hard on Bouton the summer Ball Four was released. Bouton wrote in the book’s sequel I’m Glad You Didn’t Take It Personally:

I can still remember Pete Rose, on the top step of the dugout screaming, “Fuck you, Shakespeare.”

It turns out Bouton, like the rest of us, has succumbed to the years. He suffered a debilitating stroke not long ago. It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around that one. He’ll always be that 30-something athlete-cum-litterateur who inspired me to become the writer I am today. I’m not much one for celebrity-worship but when I heard, back in 1996, that he’d be making a personal appearance at the Evanston, Illinois, Barnes and Noble in support of the latest of his five books, I dropped everything and made sure I arrived a good hour before the scheduled event. I swooned when he took the podium and read from his new tome. Afterward, I joined the crowd surrounding him, getting autographs and having their pictures taken with him. I asked for neither autograph nor picture; I only wanted to be in his presence.

Then again, maybe I should re-think putting Bouton on a pedestal. He advises it himself, that iconoclast, citing author and psychologist Sheldon Kopp:

“There are no great men. If you have a hero, look again: you have diminished yourself in some way.”

Hot Air: The Promise Of The Young

I’m still musing on Hunter S. Thompson’s landmark Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72. One thing that’s stuck with me is Thompson’s take on one of George McGovern’s closest advisors, a fellow named Fred Dutton, who’d written a book entitled Changing Sources of Power: American Politics in the 1970s.

The book, Thompson writes, posits “that the 1970s will produce a ‘cornerstone generation’ that will bring about a major historical watershed in American politics.”

Now, both Dutton and Thomspon were envisioning a kumbaya, acoustic guitar-strumming, legalized pot-indulging, peace for all humankind-advocating, clean air- and water-loving, all races-, creeds-, and nationalities-embracing, Age of Aquarius-guided populace installing in public office freaks, geeks, and saintly civil servants.

From the get-go, both were so wrong as, at this remove, to appear at the very least delusional and likely acid-flashback addled. Richard Nixon a mere three months after Thompson wrote his Dutton rave was re-elected in one of the greatest landslides in American history. He was followed just eight years later by the then-bete noire of the Left, Ronald Reagan. The Democratic Party itself inched ever rightward over the succeeding decades.

Yep. As Dutton himself wrote, “The politics of the Seventies offer one of those rare chances to rally a new following.” See, this was in the immediate aftermath of the 26th Amendment allowing 18-year-olds to vote. The young, Dutton and Thompson reasoned, would flip the American body politic on its head.

They did. And when they became old bastards, they elected the most ludicrous, embarrassing, carnival barker clown they could find to become the leader of the western world and Commander-in-Chief of the planet’s remaining superpower, your incoming capo, President Gag.

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“A New Following”

Talk Show

Hey, I’m excited that Big Talk is back after WFHB‘s annual three-week break to recap all the top stories of the past year. Truth be told, I didn’t pay much att’n to the look-back because, frankly, I didn’t have all that much desire to revisit a year that brought me — and the nation — so much agony. In any case, I know News Director Joe Crawford, Ass’t News Director Sarah Vaughn, and whoever else all helped put the retrospective together did a bang up job.

Now then, Big Talk. Yesterday’s first guest of the new year was Anne Hedin, who’s one of the driving forces behbig-talk-logo-usable-screen-shotind a neat little bash this coming Sunday, “The Fierce Urgency of Now”: Time to Choose, an orgy of local environmentalists and supporters ganging up at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. The festivities begin at 5:00pm and honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., who, the organizers say, succeeded against all odds. That impossible dream theme, they figure, describes the challenge facing those hoping to see solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources replace to some degree or another coal, petroleum, and natural gas.

So, here’s the actual feature with Anne that ran on ‘FHB yesterday afternoon, and here’s where you can hear the entire, mostly-unedited original interview I did with her earlier this week.

Next weeks’ Big Talk guest: Jack Dopp, Bloomington’s old school newspaper guy who’s responsible for bringing the world — in the form of the New York Times, the USA Today, the Washington Post, and the Indy Star — to our bustling megalopolis. Oh, he’s got stories from back in the day, describing, for instance, the afternoon when Bloomingtonians lined up around the block from the old Book Nook on Kirkwood Avenue just to get their hands on the New York Times carrying news of the JFK assassination.

Tune in Thursday, January 19th, for the next installment of Big Talk.

Talk to you then.

Hot Air: Pt. Due, Oggi

My Town

[For your convenience, a translation. The hed reads, one-third in Inglese (abbreviato) & two-thirds in Italiano: “Part 2, Today.”]

Just got the link to the latest installment of Big Mike’s B-town, a regular feature in Limestone Post. Today’s piece spotlights Cynthia Brubaker, who’s responsible for the faithful restoration of a pile of local buildings. Have you ever walked in or around the I. Fell Bldg.? If so, you can thank Cindy for that.

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Click & Read, Please

Read away, and keep a lookout for the next BM’s B-t in three weeks or so. Oh, and keep listening to Big Talk, my regular Thursday interview feature on WFHB’s Daily Local News. This week’s guest: Anne Hedin, one of the sparks behind Sunday’s environmental extravaganza, “The Fierce Urgency of Now”: Time to Choose, at the Buskirk Chumley Theater. So, have your ear pressed to your radio today at 5pm and then get on over to the Bus-Chum on the 15th, also at 5, for the festivities. A warning: go to the event’s website to make reservations — it’s gratis but you must reserve your seat.

Okay, you’re free to resume your normal activities now.

Hot Air: A Shower Of Puns

Lots of leak jokes floating around, with the punchline a week and a day from becoming our holy land’s Number 1.

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Our Incoming Big Daddy May Be A Dada-ist

Clearly micturition is on everybody’s mind these days — when I began googling for other ways to convey the idea of shaking hands with the mayor, I typed in “euph” and autofill immediately plugged in “phemisms for urinating.” The hive mind obviously is following the yellow brick road these days .

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President Gag swears he couldn’t possibly have been video’d in flagrante delicto w/ a Russian hooker because “I’m … very much a germophobe.” He goes so far as to obsessively avoid shaking hands, so deep-seated is his compulsion for sterility.

I suppose his alibi also belies the charge that he digs going for walks in the golden rain as well.

And you know what? I buy it. I never did put much stock into the canard that he’s being blackmailed by the Russkies, who have pix of him bonking a pro. The first thought that came to my mind was, Why would that embarrass him? ‘Course, that was b4 the other accusation came streaming onto the webs.

Hell, coprophilia and urolagnia have long been staples of those hoping to humiliate certain others to death. Remember Eggs Danny Thomas Style?

Anyway, this all got me to thinking: Who are some other over-the-top haters of cocci, bacilli and spirochetes in history? So, natch, I went to the U. of Google for the straight dope. Here’s what I found, re: famous mysophobists in history:

  • Howie Mandel
  • Howard Hughes
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Howard Stern
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Jessica Alba
  • Ben Stiller
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Billy Bob Thornton
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Carrie Fisher
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Roseanne
  • Kathie Lee Gifford
  • Francis Ford Coppola
  • Woody Allen
  • Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Harrison Ford

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Purists

Yow! These -phobists’ list of peccadilloes may only include refusing to eat using restaurant utensils, refusing to touch elevator buttons, or even scouring with antibacterial wipes every surface they’ll come in contact with, but still…, I repeat, Yow.

 

Department Of Corrections

Nicci B of the Back Door wants me to clear one thing up: She and Danielle Urschel were not organizers of next Friday’s Inaugurate the Revolution event that was flogged here yesterday. Nicci’s concerned loyal Pencillistas might get the wrong idea. The two are eager vol’s, but that’s all. Rather, that’s enough.

In any case, I’d wanted to tell you who the core four organizers are but when I contacted one of them, this person said they’d prefer not to be named. “It’s not that we’re trying to hide our involvement or anything,” the person said. The four came up with the idea but scads of other folks have pitched in heroically as well so simply shouting out those in at the moment of conception seems to them a tad unfair. So be it.

Hot Air: Inaugurate The Revolution

At last!

Just sat down with printmaker-extraordinaire Danielle Urschel and Nicci B, one of the bosses at The Back Door, and got the full dope the big Inaugurate the Revolution bash a week from Friday here in Bloomington.

While President Gag is being sworn in on Jan. 20th, the rest of us who possess any remaining shreds of sentience’ll be swearing at him and the entire electoral racket that put him in power despite his losing the popular vote by nearly 3 mill. His swearing will, of course, be broadcast around the globe and throughout the immediate solar system while much of ours — I’d been figuring to this point — would be done in private.

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No more. At least in this sprawling megalopolis, we’ll get a chance to meet and greet other anti-Trumpists, actually do positive, productive things to reverse the regressive course our holy land is  apparently on, and then scream our fool heads off at an evening rally. Inaugurate the Revolution, it’s hoped, will be the start of something big. Here are the highlights:

  • Four locations around town
  • Nearly 40 workshops
  • Activist art exhibits
  • Resistance poetry
  • Movies
  • A march
  • A rally

Click on over to the event website for a detailed schedule of events. The day begins at 9:00am and runs through 8:00pm, so wear your comfortable shoes and pack a lunch. Then again, if your endurance is iffy, you can pick and choose, cafeteria-style, the events and activities you want to participate in.

While some of our lucky sisters are hieing over to the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington, we Hoosier-bound souls can start making things happen right here at home.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

[MG Note: Keep an ear on WFHB radio, 93.1 FM, for more words about Inaugurate the Revolution. I’m told by News Director Joe Crawford that Doug Storm’s Interchange and Clarence Boone et al‘s Bring It On! programs will feature bits on the event over the next week.]

Big Talk Is Back, Babies!

Speaking of WFHB, tune in tomorrow afternoon at 5:00pm for the latest installment of Big Talk on the Daily Local News.

big-talk-logo-usable-screen-shotMy guest will be Anne Hedin, one of the brainstormers behind Sunday’s “The Fierce Urgency of Now”: Time to Choose environmental advocacy event in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s b-day.

Tune in Thursday afternoon for the broadcast and, remember, if you miss it, you can always catch the podcast on WFHB’s website or on this global communications colossus.

I’ll talk to you then.

The Start Of Something Big

Steve Allen was one of the coolest guys ever to host a late night TV show. He was one of the pioneers of the genre, as a matter of fact. He was so popular as the first host of the Tonight Show that network bwanas gave him his own prime time, eponymous variety showcase that aired from 1956 through 1964, and from which the clip below is taken.

Allen’s repertory company included the likes of  Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Louie Nye, Pat Harrington, Bill Dana, Gabriel Dell, Gene Rayburn, and Skitch Henderson. The Steve Allen Show featured some of the earliest national TV appearances by Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Louis Jordan (with his Tympany Five), and The Treniers. Allen’s shows were noted for their uproarious shticks, gags, and bits, many of which continue to inspire the writers of today’s late nighters like Conan, Colbert, Myers, and even that Phallus…, er, I mean, Fallon guy.

Anyway, Allen, who’d been praised by Lenny Bruce as “the most literate and … the most moral comic I ever met,” railed and raged against the Mob’s influence on Hollywood and Las Vegas, America’s entertainment Babylons. [For more info on that, check out the Gus Russo books, The Outfit and Supermob.] For his efforts, Allen was frozen out of booking top talent for his prime time show, leading to its eventual cancellation.

It’s said Allen wrote more than 1000 songs — although critics liked to say most of them were variations on this one:

Hot Air: Tell It, Sis!

Don’t mourn; organize!

Yeah, I buy it. But Meryl Streep’s mourning-induced scolding of the president-elect at yesterday’s Golden Globes award ceremony gave me just the buzz I want as we head into the most humiliating, offensive quadrennial in my lifetime.

Haven’t heard it yet? Give an ear:

And then President Gag took to Twitter to insult her! Overrated? From our incoming leader’s lips to our ears. Thanks, all you 62,979,879 dumb bastards who voted him in.

Now, the rest of us, organize!

The Elite

One guy told me this AM that Meryll Streep should have just shut up and taken her award. Her speech and the setting in which she delivered it, said he, simply reinforce all the stereotypical betes noires that sent Prez Gag’s fanatics scurrying for the polls: Hollywood liberals, foreigners, reporters, critics, creative types, fags, dykes, trannies, miscegenists, etc.

As if now those gangs should simply shrivel up like the dead spiders they are.

I don’t buy it.

In fact, I want us to double down on it all. Yep. Let’s scream from the mountaintops that the Hollywood liberals, foreigners, reporters, critics, creative types, fags, dykes, trannies, miscegenists, and more — many, many more — are here and we ain’t goin’ nowhere. We’re going to hold Prez Gag’s feet to the flames until this holy land regains its mind and decides to elect a decent human being leader of the “free world.”

Sam Harris, the atheist spokesdude/philosopher/neuroscientist, chided my side of the fence after Prez Gag’s wholly baffling victory last Nov., saying Trump voters simply were telling liberal/progressive America to “go fuck  yourselves.” The elites of academia, the arts, and political thought, he said, had enraged the salt-of-the-earthers and so the latter dashed out to throw their arms around the most idiotic, self-involved, uninformed greed monkey they could find. Harris podcasted two days after the election:

And can you really blame them? I mean, safe spaces? Trigger warnings? New gender pronouns? Getting Muslim student groups to deplatform speakers like Ayaan Hursi Ali and Bill Maher? Was that the cause of your generation? That’s the trench you were willing to die in?

He’s right but he’s wrong. The safe spaces and trigger warnings gangs fell right into the Trumpists’ trap. Rather than working their asses off to make sure no one like the incoming harlequin-in-chief should come within sniffing distance of success, they held their breath about things that, quite frankly, weren’t as pressing.

But he’s wrong in implying that Trump voters somehow were justified in their deranged choice. They were mad about the coinage of the term cisgender and so turned the reins over to a man who’ll dismantle the EPA, defang financial institution regulators, cozy up to autocrats, blatantly enrich himself and his spawn at the public trough, and — last but not least — mock a cripple?

Naw, I’ll take the safe spaces, trigger warnings crowd over President Gag and his aiders and abettors any day.

Am I part of some elite? You’re goddamned right I am, if by elite you mean I’m one of those who read books, listen to diverse points of view, ponder implications, look to history for lessons…, who think for chrissakes!

Yeah. I’m better than all those know-nothing TV addicts who open up their front doors, see no poverty, and conclude that poverty doesn’t exist, who’ve lost their jobs and conclude that dark-skinned interlopers swiped them, or who built or bought twice the home they needed and could afford so as to show the world what big shots they were and then, when the housing crash came, decided it was the fags, the dykes, the abortionists, the sluts who want free birth control pills, and the unwed mothers who were to blame for all their ills.

Yeah, I am an elitist — and proud of it.

Gag Order

Notice I’ve stuck the moniker L’il Duce in my back pocket? Yup. For the time being, I’ll be going with President Gag. Makes perfect sense, no?

The very notion that DJT would become President of the United States of America was nothing more than a joke, a ridiculous gag at one time. And simply using the words president and Trump in the same sentence makes me…, well, gag.

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