Category Archives: Resist

Hot Air: Turnabout Is Not Fair

The Times, They Are a’Changin’….

My old pal, the improvisor, comedian, author, educator and man about Chi. town, Aaron Freeman has a fascinating take on one George Corley Wallace, the bete noir among bete noires of my youth. And, no, the pun contained therein is not lost on me.

Wallace, you may recall — or have read about — was the patron saint of segregation back in the 1960s. He famously “stood in the schoolhouse door” when black students tried to enter the University of Alabama. During one of his inauguration speeches, he ranted, memorably, “segregation now, segregation tomorrah, segregation foreva!” He ran for president in 1968. His third-party gambit earned nearly 10 million votes, 13.5 percent of the total cast.

The then-Alabama governor was portrayed in nightly newscasts, rightly, as our national embarrassment, our holy land’s sick second cousin whom we were terribly ashamed to claim as kin.

Anyway, Freeman recounts the “redemption” of Wallace through the decades in this vid:

Honest — watch this thing. The damned thing makes me wonder again (something I’ve been doing nearly ceaselessly the last few sad years) if we on the Left aren’t too goddamned forgiving.

BTW: The American Independent Party, the Far Right, paleoconservative gang that tabbed Wallace as its nominee in ’68, cross-nominated a certain Li’l Duce with Mike Pence as his running mate in 2016. The AIP was seen nearly 50 years ago as a fringe bunch of loons, just short of commitment to mental institutions, as out of touch with America as flat-earthers and Holocaust deniers.

Their man now runs the country.

It makes a guy want to become an evolution denier.

Priority

Eugene McCarthy was a darling for the briefest and most shining of moments. Often a conservative, he came out with guns blazing (you’ll pardon the inapt imagery) against the Vietnam War, bucking the leader of his own party, back in 1968.

Scads of young people jumped aboard his bandwagon, oblivious to the fact that he’d sponsored anti-immigration legislation and demanded his presidential campaign workers cut their hair and shave their beards. It wouldn’t be the first time young voters would fall in love with a candidate based on a single anti-war stance — Ron Paul comes to mind — despite his anathema toward the length and breadth of the rest of their agenda. Anyway, the McCarthy candidacy withered like an Easter lily when Bobby Kennedy jumped in the race in the spring of ’68.

Smart(ish)

For the life of me, I normally couldn’t cite a single quote from McCarthy until I ran across this one, a perfect observation for these remaining December Sundays.

Of football coaches, McCarthy said, “You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it’s important.”

 

Hot Air: Questions Galore

Definitions:

Labor, n. One of the processes by which A acquires property for B.

and

Land, n. A part of the earth’s surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and is eminently worthy of the superstructure. Carried to its logical conclusion, it means that some have the right to prevent others from living; for the right to own implies the right exclusively to occupy; and in fact laws of trespass are enacted wherever property in land is recognized. It follows that if the whole area of terra firma is owned by A, B and C, there will be no place for D, E, F, and G to be born, or, born as trespassers, to exist.

The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

Q:

 

A: Yep. I can smell ’em from here.

Twofer

Okay, a theoretical. Let’s take the old political line famously uttered by Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards and double down on it: What if President Gag  is caught in bed with both a live boy and dead girl?

Will his supporters at last flip on him?

Come The Crowd

Okay, Bloomington wants to build a big, snazzy new convention center and so city bosses are slapping an extra penny on the dollar tax on all our purchases of bourbon (neat, natch) and pizza.

Bloomington, the big shots say, desperately needs the new meeting place so our town can grow, grow, grow.

Indianapolis, the big city a mere 50 miles north of us has its own humungous convention center (not far away, in fact, from Indy’s Giordano’s franchise on Illinois St., I might add). Some 50 miles to the south, the resort town of French Lick has a couple of hotels that offer a variety of convention spaces. Plainfield, situation between us and Indy, is building a hotel and conference center. Terre Haute, another 50 miles due west of us, is trying to build its own convention center in the worst way. Muncie’s nearly a hundred miles away and it, too, boasts a convention center.

And, of course, if you’re in a mood for a Hot Brown after your conference duties are all wrapped up, you can make sure your event is scheduled for Louisville, just a two-hour ride away via I-65.

All of which begs the Q: How the hell many conventioneers are dying to swarm this little corner of the Earth these days?

Hot Air: A Cold Water Morning

Whoa

Doug Jones And His Wife Celebrate. [Bob Miller/New York Times]

So, good won out. The antediluvian, troglodytean Roy Moore was whacked out of Alamaba’s US Senate seat that he was convinced the creator of the universe had been dusting off for him.

Dems, natch, are huzzah-ing. They, as well as a number of wits and wags, are crowing that the Senate is now up for play in 2018. Woo-hoo! The crazy talk that preceded the 2016 election — you remember it, don’t you? Democrats were going to take the White House, the House and the Senate in one fell swoop — just might be starting up again.

To these highly excitable tub-thumpers I say, Please, take a Xanax™.

Moore And His Law Book.

Not every election is going to feature a knuckle-dragging man who buys hook, line and sinker into the biblical practice of old goats spreading their seed among 14-year-old female children, who insists on courthouses being adorned with the Ten Commandments in direct contradiction to a little thing called the United States Constitution, who bashes, legally and rhetorically, Jews, women, blacks, Muslims, and anyone else who’s an iota different from him.

To be sure, the races to be run in 2018 will feature scads of males whose hearts beat as one with Moore but are smart enough not to state as much in unequivocal terms.

Li’l Duce won the White House despite (or because of) screaming about his prejudices and ignorance. Roy Moore thought that was a winning formula. It wasn’t. The hatreds, darkness, insensitivities, and willful stupidity that infest and infect far too much of this holy land are best conveyed through code and dog-whistle. President Gag is the anomaly. Tens of millions of Americans want their bigotries and authoritarianism wrapped up in pretty paper and colorful bows. They want to repress while singing about freedom. They want to hoard while bragging about the plenty available to all. They talk about equal opportunity while making sure the game remains fixed. They rhapsodize about this land as the preferred destination of the world’s peoples while striving to build a border wall and barring those with dark skin and worshippers of the wrong god from stepping foot on it.

The Democrats have a lot of work to do between now and next November.

Out-Of-This-World Wisdom

A couple of quotes that touch me this AM:

I’m impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it;

and

I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.

The speaker: An odd fellow named Klaatu.

A Different Kind Of Gag

I’m off now to get a hose inserted into my nose and shoved down my larynx and esophagus. Yep, it’s time for my regular visit to the otolaryngologist, the cat who eyeballs the pipe that connects my face hole to my gullet to make sure no malignant tumors are growing there.

These trips to the throat guy are alternated with PET scans, a double insurance policy as it were, against any clumps of my cells getting funny ideas again.

Oh, sure, my ENT man sprays the insides of my nasal passages and throat with a powerful local anesthetic. Still, I gag every time he commences shoving.

Ah, well, it’s a small price to pay to stay alive.

Hot Air: Hit ‘Er Where It Hurts

Whore

Gillibrand

Yeah, President Gag, you’re a real perspicacious fellow: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is a slut who tried to whore herself to you when she needed money a few years back.

After all, isn’t that what all women are (and do), when all is said and done?

“Anything”

Scads o’folks are aghast at Li’l Duce‘s latest tweet storm. Isn’t this, they wonder, the last straw, the ultimate over-the-top piece of evidence that our Dick-in-Chief is a madman/bad guy?

Um, no. As I mentioned recently, he’s a genius*1, inasmuch as just about everything that spews from his facehole or that emanates from his dumb-as-he-is*2 smartphone is chewed up, swallowed, and digested with sheer gusto by that certain swath of the populace whose lineage’s evolutionary progress was stunted some time around the European Famine and Black Death era.

P. Gag speaks to his base*3 like no other politician of the last half century-plus. Perhaps only this fellow could rival him:

[ *1 Evil variety.]

[ *2 His smartphone’s excuse: It’s an inanimate object.]

[ *3 And I do mean base.]

Look At That Stupid Girl

BTW: Fox News coverage leads with the “lightweight” insult. In other words, yeah, this silly little child is annoying our Big Daddy T now.

Slavery’s Still With Us

My old pal, former Clox bassist and unapologetic reader of books, John Spencer Bergman, pitches in on yesterday’s post wherein I marveled that the feds in Homeland Security were in on a hooker bust in Chi. last week.

The big city sex trade biz, Bergman reminds me, is rife with young women and girls from Third World locales who’ve either been kidnapped or defrauded into indentured servitude. Ergo, DHS is involving itself more and more in such cases.

Still, the sense I get is the poor young females who’ve been dragged into these circumstances are being criminalized rather than, for lack of a better word, rescued.

Want Ad

Care to join this global communications colossus? I’m looking for a person who either has or wants to acquire audio production skills. Big Talk will become a radically different animal beginning right after the first of the year, and I’m in need of someone who can handle recording day engineering duties.

It’ll require a commitment of about an hour and a half a week. And it’s community radio, so the savvy among you will know precisely how much you’ll get paid for this.

If you’re interested, contact me at glabagogo@gmail.com or 773.332.4666.

Hot Air: G-men On The Spot

A little detail in this story about a vice bust last week in Chi. caught my eye.

A guy was pinched by the Cook County Sheriff for running a house of prostitution. The operation was located in an apartment near the northwest side’s intersection of Lawrence and Pulaski avenues, long a locus for sex businesses. There’s the Admiral Theatre, just east of Pulaski, where women have been taking their clothes off on stage for decades now. It’s one of those joints that like to refer to themselves as “gentlemen’s clubs,” something I’ve always found sadly humorous, sort of like calling civilian war deaths “collateral damage.” And then, just down the block, there’s Lovers Playground, formerly known as L’Amour’s. The place sells erotic toys and videos, mostly as a cover for its real meat and potatoes — back room booths known in the trade as “glory holes.” Furtive men frequent such establishments where apertures in the walls separating the booths have been placed very strategically so said men can…, well, use your imagination.

So the news that some enterprising young dude is managing a brothel on that very block isn’t exactly earthshaking.

But this line in the Sun-Times story of the nab nagged at me:

The apartment was one of three locations that [were] searched over the summer by sheriff’s police and Homeland Security Investigations….

W-wait a minute. Homeland Security? I thought its job was to protect us from furrin terrorists. Now, it’s getting in on cheap, sleazy, local sex raids?

Being an average dope who’s not conversant on every aspect of governmental agencies, I’d have figured the Department of Homeland Security spooks mainly sniffed around looking for furriners carrying miniaturized H-bombs in their backpacks.

I never imagined it’d be big on brothel busts.

A quick glance at the DHS website shows that among the organizations it umbrellas are the likes of US Customs and Border and Protection and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, both law enforcement agencies whose officers carry guns and badges and can do actual police investigations.

Well, sure, the alleged operator of the joint, as well as some of his staff may be furriners themselves, here in this holy land on phony papers — or no papers at all. Still, the whole thing stinks of federal overreach, of a kind that Republicans who regularly throw the term around can’t be bothered about normally.

Comstock

It reminds me of how the Post Office (the USPS’s old moniker) busied itself in the latter part of the 19th Century and well into the 20th, prying into people’s sex lives. See, there’d been this fellow, Anthony Comstock, who’d made a name for himself as the founder of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice back in the 1870s. He was so good and thorough at calling out people who wrote steamy love letters to each other or advised each other on how to use seditious instruments like condoms that the US Postmaster General under President Ulysses Grant named him special agent in charge of making sure every American citizen remained chaste.

Comstock was so devoted to his duties that a whole raft of statutes written to criminalize normal sexual acts and paraphernalia became commonly referred to as Comstock Laws. Among the things Comstock Laws proscribed included:

  • [E]very filthy book, pamphlet, picture, paper, letter, writing, print, or other publication of an indecent character
  • [E]very article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for preventing conception or producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral use
  • [E]very article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing which is advertised or described in a manner calculated to lead another to use or apply it for preventing conception or producing abortion

Falling under these rubrics were:

  • Condoms

    Antique Tin Of Trojan Condoms

  • Diaphragms
  • Spermicidal jellies
  • Any other prophylactic device
  • Substances or devices that could result in an abortion
  • Dildos
  • Penis extenders
  • Artificial vaginas
  • Butt plugs
  • Personal letters containing any reference — no matter how oblique — to sex
  • And much, much more

None of the aforementioned articles, writings, or images could be sent through the US mail. Comstock and his deputies were allowed to open any suspected package or envelope sent through the Post Office at their discretion. He would brag in public that his enforcement efforts had resulted in some 3600 American being sent to prison and another 15 committing suicide.

Fearless Leader

Anthony Comstock died, thankfully, in 1915. A period of wild abandon in American morals and behavior follow his years-too-late death.

I mention this merely to point out that uber-powerful federal agencies, in times of sexual, gender, and thought repression can very well become as tyrannical as, say, the old Soviet Union’s KGB or Nazi Germany’s Gestapo.

And, babies, these are times of sexual, gender, and thought repression.

Hot Air: Tainted?

Wisdom From A One-Legged Man

The legendary Bill Veeck said it decades ago:

People prefer simon-pure mediocrity to tainted genius.

Veeck

The aphorism applies in spades today in a lot of settings. It’s especially apt in the corporate world. Yet it doesn’t explain President Gag, whose very existence in the White House belies the observation. And, yeah, P. Gag is a genius inasmuch as he somehow knows precisely what to say to a certain corner of the populace, a number of citizens big enough to swing a national election his way (if only by technicality).

And, boy, is he tainted.

Big (Talk) Changes

Maynard

I apologize to all fans of Big Talk. For the second week in a row, my episode was fercocktered due to sloppy audio engineering. The engineer responsible? Me.

See, I’m all things on the show. I produce it, book the talent, do the research, wrangle the talent, set up the studio and the recording apparatus (including balky software), host it, clean up the studio after recording, wash the water glasses, edit it, post-produce it, and dump the final product in Dropbox. Then I create multi-platform promos, do all the guest appreciation niceties that entail, and start all over again.

Guess what. It’s way too much for a single knucklehead to tackle. Something’s got to fall by the wayside, and it’s usually audio quality. Makes sense; I consider myself adept at every aspect of the job save audio engineering.

But that’s all changing. I’ll be taking a few weeks off from production after this coming Thursday’s show in order to get a new incarnation of Big Talk up and running.

And — mirabile dictu! — that new incarnation will include a dedicated engineer..

So, stand by for further announcements and stay tuned. The new look will debut just after the new year.

Meanwhile give an ear to last week’s show, featuring the likable (nay, lovable), ursine funny man and now-professional daddy-o, Troy Maynard, author of How to Raise Viking Children: And Other Tales of Woe. You can catch him, as well, on his laugh-a-minute website, Very Vocal Viking.

And Thursday, we’ll at last air the segment featuring poet Ross Gay and singer/songwriter Kacie Swierk. I just have to do some remedial patching up of the raw audio from a couple of weeks ago — fingers crossed — and the words and music will flow on WFHB, 91.3 FM, during Thursday’s Daily Local News at 5pm.

Condition: Grave

Recuperation

How long will it take for this holy land to recover from the President Gag administration?

My guess: Assuming he’ll stay in office his entire term and (it is to be prayed) is not re-elected, my over-under for when we’ll get back to normal will be the year 2071.

That’s right. It’ll be a good 50 years before America becomes, well, America again.

Then again — sez the cynic in me — perhaps this holy land has never been more American than during this (gag) current admin.

Hot Air: This Means War!

But First, Let’s Light(en) Up!

Huzzah for the city of the angels, babies!

The Los Angeles city council yesterday declared the southern California megalopolis the largest US city to legalize recreational marijuana.

BTW: We just might need the buzz because….

The First Shot In Li’l Duce’s War

C’mon, let’s face facts. President Gag wants a war in the worst way.

Click for full story.

He gets off on conflict and, considering the fact that he’s clearly in the lifelong grip of a personality disorder, probably sociopathy or at the very least narcissism with its accompanying grandiosity and megalomania, a nuclear war would appeal to his pathological need to disrupt. And the biggest disruption of all would be that wreaked upon civilization itself by a large scale exchange of thermonuclear weapons. It doesn’t matter who we’re going to exchange nukes with (only that the putative enemy is some land with whom his clan does not do business, ergo, Russia’s out.)

That is the only possible explanation for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It’s a gambit sure to ignite fiery tensions in the Mideast. Even now, madmen are formulating plans to attack the United States in a manner that just might make 9/11 look like a kids’ game. In other words, radical fundamentalists at this moment are trying to figure out how to acquire and deliver a bomb that’ll pretty much wipe a large American city off the face of the Earth.

Few of us can know how possible that might be. Nuclear weapons need to be constantly monitored and, for lack of a better word, nourished. Their nuclear fuel deteriorates. Their fuzing electronics break down. Their targeting mechanisms fall out of calibration. Their atmospheric sensors that determine when and how far above their targets they should detonate must be constantly tweaked. Thermonuclear bombs don’t just sit in a storage space waiting for someone to load them on a plane and drop them. It takes the resources of an entire nation to design, build, and maintain a nuclear weapon inventory.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of clever, soulless ghouls on the planet who’ll do everything they can to get their hands on an operable bomb and there are just as many craven officials and/or scientists on their countries’ payrolls who can be persuaded by greater riches or religious appeals to help them do so.

It pains me to say this but the specter of a mushroom cloud over Boston or Seattle, or even New York or Washington, DC, seems a sure bet sooner rather than later. And when that happens, should our holy land still be presided over by Li’l Duce, he’ll be certain to unleash our nuclear might on whichever country annoys him most at that moment.

And once that genie’s out of the bottle, who knows how many other itchy trigger fingers’ll reach for their nations’ red buttons.

P. Gag is frustrated because, despite his megalomania, he cannot create a world. But he can do the second best thing — he can destroy one.

Big — And I Mean BIG — Talk

Oh well, as long as we’re still here, there are radio shows for me to air and for you to hear. For instance, this afternoon’s Big Talk features a funny, lovable, clever, ursine, mountain of a man, Troy Maynard.

He’s the author of a new book, How to Raise Viking Children: And Other Tales of Woe. His stories of fatherhood, husbandhood, and kid-dom are the equals of forerunners Irma Bombeck, Amy Krause Rosenthal, and Jim Gaffigan.

Tune in to today’s Daily Local News at 5:00pm for the feature on Troy. The broadcast comes to you via WFHB, 91.3 FM. Tomorrow morning I’ll post the podcast links here.

And, hey, keep an eye on the Limestone Post. Maynard joins me as as a regular columnist for the online regional publication. His bit is called “My Dad Voice” and the first installment ran this week. Dig it; I do!

Gift It A Rest

Another in a series on ongoing rants about usages, idioms, buzz words and phrases, cute-isms, and other sins I detest in the speaking of the English language.

In honor of the Christmas season, I hereby condemn the use of the word gift as a verb. As in, Oh, here’s a nice bottle of wine and it’s cheap. I’ll take a half dozen bottles, keep two for myself and gift the others.

Using gift in that fashion cheapens the very act of giving.

Hot Air: Tuesday Twaddle

A Punctuative Tale

How totally cool is this? WFIU’s David Brent Johnson hipped me to this site the other day: Salo University is an online project dedicated to the works of Kurt Vonnegut, with a different Indiana University prof essay-ing on one or another of the Indianapolis-native author’s works every week.

Physics profs, historians, literature mavens, religious studies experts, philosophers, and reps from pretty much every academic discipline either have are are invited to opine on the novelist’s oeuvre and/or dissect and place in personal perspective his words.

The U.’s Lilly Library, BTW, holds the world’s largest attic-ful of Vonnegut’s notes, drawings, letters and manuscripts.

BTW 2: I just came upon a corpse blog* by the travel writer Rolf Potts. It’s called Vagabonding and his April 23, 2003 post is a tale about meeting Vonnegut at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. Now, Vonnegut, as the cognoscenti know — I didn’t, so what does that say about me? — signed his autograph with a certain little flourish, an inside joke.

[ * A blog that’s still up but hasn’t been posted to in months or even years.]

Vonnegut observed that a certain part of the human anatomy bore a striking resemblance to a specific punctuation mark. Feel free to use your imagination. Anyway, Potts, when he was a young pup and hadn’t come close to being published yet, thought he’d make the great satirist roar by bringing said punctuation mark up. Well, read the post.

One Down, Three To Go

This coming January 20th is an anniversary. Two anniversaries, as a matter of fact. One is personal: It’s the date last year when I had my drug catheter port surgically removed. For cancer patients, that’s a true landmark.

I might have been inordinately happy that day except as I sat in the waiting room, televisions on either side of me were blaring the inauguration of President Gag. I took some heart in the knowledge that if things worked out optimally, I’d be under general anesthetic at precisely the moment Li’l Duce would take the oath of office.

And that’s exactly how things turned out.

Never have I needed so badly to be doped up.

Rather than mope through next month’s one-year-mark of the end of our country as we knew it, you just might hop on over to Washington DC and gambol about during the National March for Impeachment.

And if Wash. is out of the question, you can bet some ambitious souls around these parts’ll be agitating for the slob’s removal, so keep your ear to this track for further info.

Now, I wouldn’t bet the mortgage payment on impeachment actually happening — the better money’s on P. Gag either croaking or just quitting — but, shoot, it’ll be heartening just to be rubbing shoulders with like-minded folks who haven’t confused the orange harlequin with an actual human being with a soul.

Commedia dell’arte della Realtà

Only Kurt Vonnegut would be imaginative enough and literarily seditious enough to flesh out a fictional Li’l Duce presidency.

Hell, had Vonnegut lived, he’d have had to quit his chosen profession because once he-who-must-not-be-named became president, all satire, all farce dropped dead.

Sweet Sounds

I have it on excellent authority that the weekly Jazz Night at the Blockhouse is the goods.

The cool strains begin every Wed. at 8:00pm. Then again, these are jazz gigsters, so eight o’clock is prob. more like the time you should begin dressing and combing your hair in preparation to depart for the show.

A Mop Of Seagulls

Yes, friends, time passes.

[Mike Score, co-founder and lead singer of A Flock of Seagulls, now makes music as a solo act.]

Mortality

One of the reasons I don’t want President Gag to die in office is it’d be pure torture to have to endure all the grieving and mourning rituals that follow the passing of an American head of state.

Then again, maybe it’d be worth the three day orgy of phonus-balonus hankie-wringing just to know the son of a bitch is out of office. Should Li’l Duce depart this world pre-2021, the Academy Awards™ for Best Actress and Best Actor will go, collectively, to the vast majority of TV news anchors who’ll have to feign anguish and sorrow on-screen.

Me? I’d actually tune to Fox News just to see the likes of Sean Hannity sob like a kindergartner who’s been sent to his room for waggling his pee-pee at the dinner guests.

 

Hot Air: Monday Mullings

Telegraphing The Ending

From University of Chicago Press editor Renaldo Migaldi:

On my optimistic days I remind myself that autocrats fall, and are finally rejected by their devout supporters. On my pessimistic days I remember that this tends to happen after they start wars and then lose them.

Big, Bigger, Biggest

This proposed merger of CVS — the seventh-biggest outfit in America, acc’d’g to the Fortune 500 — and Aetna — whose annual revenue exceeds $63 billion — will create a mighty, perhaps insuperable corporate giant that will dominate health care and pharmaceutical delivery for decades to come. The New York Times says the “$69 billion merger could reshape care.”

Oh yeah, him.

That is, care for corporate profits, care for wealthy investors’ portfolios, care for the status quo that relegates small business to utter insignificance, and care for the furthering of the corporate state. As for care for people who have illnesses, who need medical treatments, who must take daily doses of life-saving medications — in other worlds, health care — well, that’s not terribly important, is it?

A Packed House

Live performances by poet Ross Gay and singer/songwriter Kacie Swierk rocked the house at the Book Corner Saturday afternoon.

The crowd was a who’s who of Bloomington luminaries, including Mayor John Hamilton and his bride, IU law school prof and former White House official, Dawn Johnsen.

Poetry and music lovers crammed themselves into every available space in the venerable book shop, including at the feet of the performers, in cross-legged sitting position.

Here’s Ross Gay reading one of his pieces:

And here’s where you info on SWierk’s debut album, This Is Water, and other stuff she’s working on. Oh, hell, let’s throw a freebie from her your way:

Hot Air: The Rich Just Got Richer

I’m pretty much over America. You?

Speaking of which, let’s talk “American Dream,” shall we?

I suppose — and the historical record bears this out — that once, long ago, back in the hazy mists of time, there was such a thing as an “American Dream,” one that was attainable by many. Not all, mind you. At various points in our checkered past, the likes of indigenous people, blacks, Jews, Chinese, Irish, Italians, Puerto Ricans, and Arabs have been proscribed in one way or ten thousand others from reaping the benefits of that so-called dream.

The optimists among us — and I’ve been one of them — subscribed to the thesis put forward by Molly Ivins in the 1990s, that the history of this holy land was one of a gradual extension of Constitutional (as well as social and economic) rights to more and more of our populace as the decades rolled on. We optimists dearly embraced that proposition when Barack Obama, a black man, was elected president. Basically, we said, See?

A Dream

Chief among the perks of that American Dream were home ownership, retirement savings, a lifelong job, and the surety that one’s kids would do better, economically, than one’s self. For a large swathe of Americans, say as recently as the 1960s, that really played out.

Now, of course, that American Dream is dead. Wealth has been funneled upward in a seemingly inexorable resistance to the gravity of democratic prosperity. Homes are getting untouchable. Hell, even in places like Bloomington, Indiana, rental apartments are becoming too sky high for the average citizen. Savings? What’s that? And your kids? Good luck.

Yet we’re still dreaming, even if we all are cognizant of the fact the the American variety thereof is dead and gone. Yeah, we’re dreaming, and one of the prime proofs of it was the election of Li’l Duce as president in November, 2016.

Tens of millions of people are enraged that the American Dream is far beyond their reach, that it’s an anachronism. Yet they still believe a rich man can save us. Only a billionaire can say, “Only I can fix it,” and have an electorate believe him. That’s because we still believe uber-wealth is might, uber-wealth is right.

And, do you know what else we believe? That even though we can’t keep up with our mortgages anymore, that many of us can hardly afford a monthly rent, that too many of us need two and three jobs merely to make ends meet, we still, each and every one of us, can become a rich guy. Like Steinbeck said, “The poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

See, there is no more American Dream — only an American Pipe-dream.

Canon’s Shot

Canon’s Civvies

The fact that New Albany’s Dan Canon wore a Notorious RGB T-shirt under his dark suit and blue dress shirt as he argued Obergefell v. Hodges in the United States Supreme Court back in 2015 makes him my fave in Indiana’s 9th District race for Congress next year.

That is, fave in the sense he’s my preference. Not in the sense that he’ll win.

A certain fellow named Hollingsworth is, himself, a privileged beneficiary of the American Pipe-dream (see above) and can pay for any sized victory he’d like.

Business Is Good

Kiddie’s Car

I’m hearing high end auto repair shops in Bloomington are doing land office biz these days.

Why? Because Indiana University is turning — hell, has turned — into a destination for uber-rich Asian kids who tool around town in Maseratis and Jaguars, Teslas and even Bentleys. These kids are so loaded that they care little if they crack up their expensive wheels. They’ve got plenty of dough to fix ’em right back up.

In fact, a significant number even have enough ready cash in the form of monthly allowances that they can plop a wad down whenever they’d like on an auto salesbeing’s desk and drive out in a new princely carriage.

 

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