Category Archives: Psycho

Hot Air: Clown-ocracy

So, yeah, our holy land has devolved to this:


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In the ’80s, we fixated on greed, pastel sports jackets with sleeves rolled up to the elbow, Michael Jackson’s single glove, boom boxes, “Baby on Board” signs, mullets, penny loafers, Rubik’s Cube, and Top Gun. We fought a faux war in Grenada and financed a real war in Nicaragua, both of which were undertaken to wash the stink of Vietnam out of our underthings. (Rather like laundering with septic tank sludge.)

All in all, we were pretty silly that decade but we really hadn’t yet tumbled into a national psychosis.

The ’90 brought us Beanie Babies, dot-com startups, the “Macarena” (my apologies if you’re eating), the fanny pack, the ThighMaster, What Would Jesus Do?, and Dumb and Dumber. Silly, sure. At times nauseating. But altogether not the worst of times. In fact, we could be viewed as becoming a tad more sane than we’d been the previous decade.

The ‘Aughts opened with a presidential race won by Al Gore but lost in the Electoral College and a Supreme Court stacked with Reagan/Bush ideologues. There followed in quick succession 9/11, the Patriot Act. Rudy Giuliani. Paris Hilton’s fellatic aptitude, WMDs, and a quarter million Iraqis laid to waste. In ascendance: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and Fox News. Last decade should have given us ample warning — we were about to lose our freaking minds.

Now, it’s the ‘Teens. I needn’t run a grocery list of psycho-pathologies we’ve endured except to iterate that Donald Trump — Donald Goddamned Trump — is the Republican Party candidate for President of the United States of America in the year of his lord, 2016. I know, I still can’t believe it myself.

And if that weren’t enough, apparently there’s a national clown scare going on right now. This minute. As we speak.

You’ve read correctly. A national clown scare.

“The frenzy,” writes former TV journalist Melissa Chan in Time magazine, “was born in South Carolina in late August after unsubstantiated reports surfaced that clowns were spotted trying to lure children into the woods.”

South Carolina, natch.

Now, police departments around the country have had to respond to so-called clown sightings ever since. Schools and college campuses have been disrupted and even shut down. Barack Obama’s press secretary has been peppered with questions about the phenomenon. “Obviously,” the press sec’y said, acc’d’g to The Hill, “this is a situation that law enforcement is taking quite seriously.”

Of course, some armed citizens of this 2nd Amendment theocracy have posse-d up, looking for killer clowns. The situ. for professional clowns has purportedly become so precarious that a number of “Clown Lives Matter” pages have been started on Facebook.

This is what we’ve become in the second decade of the 21st Century, an era that was expected to be jam-packed with jet-packs, flying cars, colonies on the Moon, prosperity for all Americans, harmony between the races, the 4-hour work week (that’s right, 4, as in four), and other delusions.


Not This Year, Kiddies

For a hot minute, I thought the rise of Donald Trump as the possible next leader of the free world was the nadir of the American democracy. It ain’t. I shudder to think who’ll be the next populist candidate for president. One of the members of the Insane Clown Posse?

No, there’s really no telling how low we can go. We may even look back on the days of D. Trump with a certain wistful fondness, much the way a lot of liberals and progressives today think of the-then worst man in the world, Ronald Reagan.

Democracy was begun with good intentions. Get the people involved. The innate wisdom of the common man and woman. The citizenry will speak. Vox Populi. And all that risible bullshit.

We now know the end result of democracy is a mad contest to see how stupid we can become.

The Pencil Today:


“At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big To Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time.” — Matt Taibbi


Gawker had this first, then Roger Ebert re-posted it. It’s a purported commercial for the Rick Santorum campaign.

Ebert says he can’t believe it’s real. And, quite frankly, neither can I.

I mean, Little Rickey is the altar boy who loved all the attention the priest lavished on him, leading him to become the world’s most prominent closeted figure. His resultant damaged psyche then led him to turn the Republican primary battle into a cheap Outer Limits episode, natch.

But this? For real?

Well, just watch. Someone out there has to know if this is legit or not. Lemme know, would you?


Here’s the definition of Paranoid Personality Disorder, as presented in the DSM-IV-TR, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, text revision, that is the bible (you’ll pardon the pun) of the psychiatry profession:

A. A pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

  1. suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her
  2. is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or untrustworthiness of friends or associates
  3. is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her
  4. reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events
  5. persistently bears grudges, i.e, is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights
  6. perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or counterattack
  7. has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner

B. Does not occur exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia, a Mood Disorder With Psychotic Features, or another Psychiatric Disorder and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition.

There you have it. Little Rickey is damned on at least five criteria: numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. This man who should be eating soft foods prior to being given his nightly mega-dose of Thorazine may well be your next Republican candidate for Vice President of the world’s only remaining superpower.


Believe me, I love the Book Corner but I’d jump at the chance to work in this palace in a heartbeat.

The painstakingly preserved 13th Century cathedral in Maastricht, Holland, is the new home of the Dutch Selexyz Dominicanen bookstore.

Dig this shelving under the soaring vaulted ceiling:

Meanwhile back in this holy land bookstores are closing faster than James Patterson and Nicholas Sparks can type out those disposable consumables they call novels.


Happy birthday, Leonard Nimoy.

The Pencil Today:


“Just when you thought there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you’re wrong.” — Molly Ivins


Here’s all you need to know about the anti-abortion crowd. Last night, four of the devout men — emphasis on men, just in case it slipped your notice — running for the Republican nomination for president genuflected at the altar of the “pro-life” god in South Carolina.

That would be the god, I remind you, who frets obsessively over the safety of those blobs of cellular material the “pro-lifers” call “persons” and then promptly ignores once the blobs develop into what the rest of us would consider human.

Don’t these people know personhood begins the moment papers are filed to establish a corporation?

If This Is A CEO, Then It’s A Person

Anyway, Personhood USA gathered “pro-lifers” together so they could tell each other how righteous they are and to listen to Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Ricky-girl Santorum, and Rick Perry each claim to be holy.

Good to know that when our economy is teetering on a precipice, when the country seems to be in the throes of a seizure, when there’s not enough money to keep schools and libraries running properly, when climate change and nuclear proliferation threaten our very future, the pious folks of Personhood USA can keep their focus on women’s uteri.

Last night’s seminar was actually a dialectic musing over precisely when a human being comes into existence. Believe it or not, it’s a question that racks the brains of these folks. Not too long ago, they pushed for a law in Mississippi that would declare “personhood” begins at the moment the egg is fertilized.

So, in other words, if you snuff the life out of a fertilized egg, you’d be committing murder.

Now of course, the problem with that is many, if not most, forms of contraception entail killing the fertilized egg. Which would mean, say, birth control pill users would really be no different than Tucson shopping mall shooter Jared Loughner.

As Bad As One Of Those Birth Control Pill-Takers

A lovely bunch of thinkers, these “pro-lifers,” no?

The debate moderator (a guy) asked Rick Perry (ditto) when he thought life begins. Perry responded, “When the sperm and the egg come together….”

At which point — get this — many in the crowd started tittering.

Yeah, that’s right. Tittering.


As in, “Tehe, he said sperm.”

As in a couple of twelve year-olds sitting around giggling about sperm and dicks and vaginas.

As in Beavis and Butt-head.

Personhood USA.



Some members of the titterering set got together after a Texas confab last weekend and declared front-runner Mitt Romney to be suffering from the dread disease of “homophilia.”

I shudder to think of it. Romney’s office must be decorated with posters for Broadway musicals at the very least.

The First Symptom

“… [M]ost South Carolinians and I have a sane and healthy homophobia,” said the Rev. Huey Mills, some big-shot evangelical.



Anyway, some other big evangelical leader named Tony Perkins will make a personal appearance with the anointed one, Ricky-girl Santorum, today in South Carolina, two days before the state’s primary. Ricky-girl was tabbed by the Texas evangelical gang as their fave for president.

Endorsing Santorum?


The world hasn’t completely lost it mind — and least not just yet. The state of Indiana this week became the first in the nation to issue a “gay” license plate.

The proceeds from the $40 plate will go to the Indiana Youth Group, which helps gay teens.

Of course, people who have a “healthy and sane homophobia” probably are certain the IYG “helps” teens by luring unsuspecting adolescents into their nefarious clutches.

Because, you know, it’s as easy as Mom’s apple pie to convince a hormone-flooded 15-year-old high school jock he really prefers Clay Aiken to Megan Fox.

Typical Teen Boy: “Gee, Clay Aiken Or Megan Fox — I Can’t Decide!”

I would offer my sincerest congratulations to the great state o’Indiana but the decision to issue the gay plate was forced upon it by a Supreme Court ruling.


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