These are the last days of the Obama presidency and I’m sad.
His administration has been remarkably free of venal scandal. He held out as much as humanly possible against the stated and unprecedented aim of the Republicans to stifle him at every turn. And the world didn’t blow itself up on his watch, even if more than a few firecrackers were set off — one or two of which he lit himself.
Anyway, I just had a disturbing thought: the Obama years may be directly responsible for the ensuing Trump years (hopefully delimited at four). Try to follow me here. Barack Obama as Boss-in-Chief of the “free world” shattered some dearly-held precedents. To wit, he was:
- The first dark-skinned president
- The first one with an African-sounding name
- The first with a Muslim-sounding name (albeit wrongly considered so)
- Only the second with a strong, accomplished, professional wife
- One of the very few who objected our holy land’s fighting a certain war just for the hell of it
Despite being fairly centrist, leaning here and there to the left, he was viewed by reactionaries as the 21st Century embodiment of Karl Marx, A. Hitler, a back-alley abortionist, and the guy who’s plotting to rape your white daughter.
In other words, to a hell of a lot of people — far more than we might ever have imagined prior to the ascendance of L’il Duce — he diminished the presidency. The fact that he and his melanin-rich brood occupied the White House for eight years debased what heretofore had been an exalted throne occupied only by exalted white, Anglo men.
So, when a reality TV clown like D. Trump came around, rather than laugh him off the stage, tens of millions of Americans reasoned, Hell, the presidency’s been cheapened anyway, why not try this guy?
And, BTW, the use of the word reasoned is rather generous and forgiving on my part, no?
Jazz keyboardist extraordinaire and poli-sci prof Jeff Isaac has sent a letter to the editor of the Herald Times, calling the latter to account for the lavish spread the paper devoted to some Paoli white-ists in Sunday morning’s edition. The paper may not run the letter, as it generally considers such lengthy fist-shakings unfit for its public missive section. So Jeff has given the Pencil permission to run the letter herein. Read away:
I don’t agree with what Jeff says but that’s neither here nor there today. I took my turn yesterday.
See No Evil; Hear No Evil
Now then, let’s start thinking of things we can all do the morning, afternoon, and evening of January 20, 2017. Oh, and the next morning as well.
I sure as hell know I want to be distracted maximally from the terrifying and sad fete that’ll take place in Wash., DC. Already, I’ve been staying away from radio news. It’s hard for me to read my daily New York Times. All because simply hearing or reading the words “president-elect Trump” makes me want to curl up in a ball and pretend I’m back in Ma’s womb.
Is this how all those rabid anti-Obama-ites felt eight years ago? Maybe, to a small extent. They were sickened by the prospect of Barack Obama being their leader. The diff., of course, is why they were nauseated and why I want to retch. And if I have to explain it, well, as Louis Armstrong once observed, you’ll never get it anyhow.
My challenge to Pencillistas is this: What activities do you suggest to misdirect us from the inaugural fiasco? Shooting up heroin is not an option, although it makes a bit of sense in this particular case. Go.
It’s Not Working Anymore
Alright, I’ll say it: I love this piece. Lo-o-o-o-ove it. I’ll have to break the terrible news to The Loved One.
Me: Darling, there’s another.
TLO: Cad! Who is she?
Me: Well, it’s not a she….
TLO: Aha! Switching teams, eh?
Me: Um…, no.
TLO [arms folded across chest, tapping her foot]: Explain.
Me: It’s…, uh, well, it’s an essay.
TLO: You’re in love with an essay?
Me: Yes. And I’m so, so sorry.
Actually, I’m not sorry one bit. The Loved One’ll just have to learn how to share me with… a magazine op-ed.
I have a crush on the headline alone:
Priya Jain’s piece in Bust mag echoes what I wrote a mere three days after this holy land lost its bloody mind and elected L’il Duce Chucklehead-in-Chief. I offered two pieces of unsolicited advice to the Democratic Party which, just four days previous, had been entertaining thoughts of taking the White House and the Senate and the House. To wit:
Yeah. I’m all in: The “White Working Class” — a phony-baloney euphemism for the great unwashed intolerant and perpetually aggrieved — can kiss my pale ass.