Hot Air: Democracy? Wow.

Words Hurt

Call me goofy but I would never eat something on a menu called a Garbage Salad.

I mean, it’s just the idea of the thing. Hey, chef, sweep up all your droppings and throw it all on a plate for me, wouldja?

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Why not offer me a shit sandwich?

It’d be like running an ad for a lite beer, extolling its rich amber color — Just like fresh urine!

So, yeah, okay, I’m goofy. But you’re eating Garbage Salad and I’m not.

Democracy. Now.

Lots o’people are saying the emergence of America’s Shart, Donald Trump, is evidence that our democracy is broken. Hell, even Russian former chess champion Garry Kasparov has chimed in, saying Trump and his gang are leading “an assault on democracy.” Kasparov, BTW, quit the chess racket last decade and became a leader of the anti-Putin movement which means, I suppose, he’s lucky to still be alive.

And, BTW again, Trump loves him some Putin, as does Trump’s stage door Jeannie, Sarah Palin. So maybe, Kasparov has a point.

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All Democratically Elected

Anyway, loyal Pencillistas know I’m not one to blame our ills on nebulous, all-powerful cabals controlling our thoughts and actions through media, drugs, and the eating of white bread. In fact, I pretty much blame none of our ills on those things, mainly because I blame us for what ails us.

If the media’s spoonfeeding us senseless garbage it’s only because we eat it up. And if “Big Pharma” is trying to hook us on every new anti-depressant that comes out of its evil labs, well, we’re the ones running to our doctors every half hour telling them how depressed we are and what can you do about it, Doc?

I won’t blame Trump for killing democracy, either. In fact, Trump’s rise is a testament to the strength of our democracy. We have two long-standing, major political parties supported by hundreds of millions of dollars of lobbyists’ and corporations’ dough and one of them could do nothing to stop the juggernaut that has been the Trump ascendancy this primary season. We’ll see if the Democrats can halt his steamroller in November. We can only hope.

No, the people have spoken, even if their language is a pidgin and their thought processes the equivalent of those of subfamily Arvicolinae. That’s democracy, no? The speaking of the people?

By golly, I think I’ve discovered the fatal flaw in democracy. People.

I Like It Here

Don’t get me wrong — I dig John Hamilton as mayor of this sprawling megalopolis. But I also dig his opponent in last year’s mayoral beauty contest, Darryl Neher. The young(ish) IU Kelley School of Biz senior lecturer and recent B-ton city council guy laid a big hug on me yesterday at Hopscotch Coffee.

He told me he was meeting with a couple of big shot sachems in our town’s LGBT community and, indeed, the three of them put their heads together for what seemed an eternity. Neher’s lending his support, natch, to that gang and is hoping to help them solidify their place in the city’s power structure.

Cool, ain’t it? There are tons of things that drive me batty about Bloomington — don’t get me started on the drivers here — but overall, this is a great place to live. Especially when big local dudes and dames like Neher are so dedicated to the issues and philosophies I endorse.

Sigh, our little island of goodness in the midst of the Indiana malum mare.

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May 6th Birthdays

Maximilien Robespierre — France’s big liberal before and during that’s country’s republican revolution, he was executed after the upheaval by even bigger liberals. Those liberals, of course, were themselves erased when Napoleon took charge of things. Napoleon, FYI, was not a liberal.

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Sigmund Freud — The guy with the cigar.

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Rudolph Valentino — The first cinematic sex symbol. He died young (aged 31) of peritonitis resulting from perforated ulcers. His demise caused scads of women to commit suicide and mourners rioted at his funeral.

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Toots Shor — Legendary restaurateur who was the guy to know among New York City’s entertainers and elite. He nicknamed his wife “Baby” and was a legendary drinker. One story has it that he engaged Jackie Gleason in a drinking competition one night that ended only with Gleason collapsing to the floor and Shor stepping over him to leave the premises.

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Shor (Left) With Gleason

Orson Welles — Film director who was forced to cast Charlton Heston as a Mexican in Touch of Evil.

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Willie Mays — Perhaps the greatest baseball player of all time.

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Rubin “Hurricane” Carter — Framed for a murder by Patterson, New Jersey, cops in 1966, his story inspired a Bob Dylan song and a Denzel Washington movie.

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Carter (Left) Battling Dick Tiger In 1965

Lætitia Sadier — Singer, keyboardist, and guitarist for Stereolab.

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Not to be morbid but Maria Montessori died on this day in 1952 — She was an Italian physician and educator who wrote the groundbreaking pedagogical book, The Montessori Method, in 1912. Simply — if not simplistically — she posited that children had a natural internal learning system that shouldn’t be interfered with. She advocated allowing kids to learn at their own paces, largely through practical play. If you want to know more about Montessori, the woman and/or the philosophy, I’d bet you couldn’t find a better source than my pal Linda Oblack who ran a school here in Bloomington in the hazy past.

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