Birds Of A Feather
I have no problem with human blowfish Roger Ailes going to work for the Orange-utan as an advisor.
He’ll be doing what he, by all rights, should have been doing for the last quarter century or more. That is, being a partisan, trying to persuade voters to jump on whatever bandwagon he’s affixed to at the moment.
The fact that he was a major news executive — more accurately, the major news executive — is the saddest thing we can say about the state of 21st Century “journalism” in this holy land.
BTW: Did you know Ailes started out in the business as a gofer for The Mike Douglas Show, then a local gabfest in Philadelphia? If you’re old enough to remember The Mike Douglas Show (it was syndicated nationally beginning in 1963) you are as old as I am, which is old indeed.
Also, Ailes got his start in politics when Richard Nixon appeared on The Mike Douglas Show in ’67. Ailes, by then executive producer of the show, told Nixon he should use TV more if he had any hopes of running for president again. Prior to that discussion, Nixon had dismissed TV as a campaign tool, considering it trivial, but Ailes was so convincing that Nixon would eventually hire him as his ’68 campaign’s TV boss.
So, there’s another thing we have Nixon to blame for.
The New Truth
The Orange-utan has shaken up his campaign reichsmarschall staff at this late date, hiring the heretofore exec. chairman of Breitbart News, Stephen K. Bannon. Fresh from the thankfully dead Breitbart‘s legacy to the Two-Minutes Hate, Bannon will become campaign chief executive. Trump also promoted pollster Kellyanne Conway to the post of campaign manager. Goebbels manqué Paul Manafort will continue to direct the Ministry of Propaganda.
America’s burst appendix (h/t to Samantha Bee) told a Wisconsin TV station the shake-up does not mean he’s going to change his ways:
I am who I am. It’s me. I don’t want to change. Everyone talks about ‘Oh, you’re gonna pivot….’ I don’t want to pivot. I mean, you have to be you. If you start pivoting, you’re not being honest with people.
This quote alone tells you all you need to know about D. Trump and the psychotic half of the Republican Party. He’s made a career of dishonesty, following in the footsteps of other recent Right Wing extremists who deny climate change and believed the Bush II admin.’s whoppers about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent nuclear bombs. The pathological wing of the GOP has been busy redefining the word truth since even before Newt Gingrich’s infamous GOPAC memo back in 1996.
Facts mean so little to these people that Rudy Giuliani, whose entire raison d’être has been the 9/11 attacks, actually denied this week that 9/11 occurred under George W. Bush’s watch. Truth, in the form of facts, means nothing now. Truth is “feeling.” As in, These goddamned Muslims are gonna blow us all up and impose Sharia Law on whatever’s left so we’d better do something about them quick! Millions of Murricans think that. And because D. Trump had the temerity to say words to that effect out loud, they consider him the oracle of “truth.”
It’s the narcissist’s way of looking at the world. Objective knowledge, as accepted by other people, doesn’t count. Only my own anger/fear/hatred count. They’re the only truths in this mixed-up world.
Music, Music, Music
You never asked but I’ll tell you anyway. Here are my five favorite discs of all time, in no particular order:
- Bryter Layter, Nick Drake
- Compact Jazz: Astrud Gilberto, with Stan Getz
- Low, David Bowie
- What’s Going On?, Marvin Gaye
- My own iTunes playlist: 1967-’69 (Alright, it’s not technically a disc, but it’ll do in a pinch.)
Here are a few highlights from that playlist:
- “Cry Like a Baby,” The Box Tops
- “Along Comes Mary,” The Association
- “Oh, Happy Day,” The Edwin Hawkins Singers
- “Fire,” The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
- “It’s Wonderful,” The Rascals
- “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love),” Jr. Walker & the All-Stars
- “Daydream Believer,” The Monkees
- “Abraham, Martin and John,” Dion
- “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” Tommy James & the Shondells
- “Classical Gas,” Mason Williams
- “Soulful Strut,” Young-Holt Unlimited
Isaac “Red” Holt [L] & Eldee Young
- “My Cherie Amour,” Stevie Wonder
As you can see, I’m a huge sunshine pop fan. Listening to the preceding playlist is as good as a drug.
When America Was Great
Just in case you’ve been thinking meanness and rottenness are new things in this holy land, please reconsider.
Here’s a terribly unflattering story of America I learned from the 2006 book, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning, by Jonathan Mahler, which I’m just finishing up now. Bess Myerson was the first Jew to be named Miss America, back in 1945. She was a native New Yorker and the city was extraordinarily proud of her. Her parents were Russian immigrants who settled in the Bronx. Louis and Bella Myerson instilled in her a love for scholarship and music. To that end, she was among the first Misses America to boast of possessing a top-flight mind. She’d earned a degree in music from Hunter College, graduating with honors.
Myerson In 1945
Prior to her, Misses America had been white-bread-y, Anglo, blonde or otherwise light-haired, bordering on Aryan. Her selection the year the unspeakable horror of the concentration camps was revealed was as earth-shaking as if a transgendered contestant would cop the tiara today. One religious news service described her winning the crown so soon after the concentration camps were entered in this way: “Bess Myerson represented the resurrection of the Jewish body — the journey from degradation to beauty.”
While slogging through the preliminary pageants leading up to the national contests, Myerson was advised to change her name to something less Jewish-sounding. She steadfastly refused. For the talent portion of the final pageant, she played the works of Edvard Grieg and George Gershwin on the piano. Immediately after winning the title, Myerson embarked on the obligatory national pageant tour. She endured indignities like being refused accommodations at Jewish-restricted hotels. Later, she’d remember seeing signs reading “no coloreds, no Jews, no dogs.” She quit the tour and became an outspoken public opponent of anti-semitism.
Myerson would go on to become a TV icon, appearing on gameshows and serving as regular substitute host for NBC’s Today Show. She also served as spokesperson for any number of consumer products. In 1969, Mayor John Lindsay would name her head of the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs.
Myerson With Jackie Onassis, 1975
A pretty swell résumé for anyone, especially a woman and a Jew in post-war America. Still, America was largely populated by troglodytes even if we had just won the Good War.
One day while on her pageant tour, she attempted to visit a wounded World War II veteran but was prevented from doing so by his mother, who physically blocked her from approaching her son. Reporters asked the mother why she’d stopped Myerson from nearing her son. The mother replied, “Because of the damned Jews my boy was maimed.”
The good old days.