How to Fight a Playground Bully

We Don’t Have to Name Names, Do We?

The Democrats have a daunting task in front of them—especially if they go about business as usual. That is guaranteed to fail. The rules are different now. The times have changed. So here are my suggestions for victory. Warning: They’re not pretty.

Victory is Possible

Just remember one thing: Playground bullies are punks. They can be defeated, but not with the usual political weapons. Really strong people don’t need to be such devious liars. Bone spurs, indeed!

How About a Nickname for Him?

I say, fat-shame the SOB! How about using an uncomplimentary nickname like Tubbo or Lard Ass? Use photographs of him at the golf course, where he looks his worst. I know it’s juvenile, but it will work against him.

Names That Have Lost Their Magic

The names I am referring to are words like Democrat or Liberal, or even Socialist. Yes, there is no reason one can’t change the name of a political party. And while you’re at it, get rid of the Hillary Clinton people like Tom Perez. As I said earlier, business as usual will notwork in 2020.

Ideological Purity vs. Power

Another way to word this is: Stop being stupid about small points of ideological purity. It’s all about power, and you can’t get power if you’re part of a circular firing squad. Don’t get stuck on a single issue like abortion, police brutality, LGBTQ and other identity groupings, or guns. You have to reach for that ring on the merry-go-round, and not hand devastating weapons to your enemies.

Distribute Opioids to the Red States

This is my nastiest suggestion. Let’s face it: These people hate city dwellers. They’ll hate whatever you do because they just think you hate Jesus or want to kill babies or encourage Arab terrorists or freaking whatever.

I Don’t Feel at Home Here, Either

No Brie and Chablis for Me, Thanks … I’ll Just Have a Coke

“Here” is a part of town not far from me, but that I haven’t visited for several years. I decided to take a walk down Main Street in Santa Monica, hopefully ending up at Small World Books in Venice—but I never got that far today. I noticed that a lot of my favorite places, like Röckenwagner’s, were gone. The whole street was thronged with young Liberals. Now, I consider myself a Liberal, but without the cachet that usually comes from belonging to an in group.

For lunch, I stopped in at he Samosa House, a newish Indian Vegetarian place that was quite good. With my masala dosa and Indian tea, I sat at a counter that faced the line of customers coming in. Almost all of them were younger than me, and started flashing smiles of approval at the decrepit old man who was eating the approved Liberal vegetarian diet. After a while, I not only did not seek their approval but wished I had been gnawing on a pig’s knuckle instead.

I walked a little further on to a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Now some of my contrary feeling was still with me, because I ordered their Kale and Quinoa Ice Cream topped with fish eggs. The guy who took my order laughed heartily with me, and made me feel good about it. I settled for a scoop of Chunky Monkey in a dish instead.

It seems funny to me to feel neither part of the Conservative scene (which I have always abhorred) nor now the Santa Monica Brie and Chablis Liberals. Oh, well, I guess I am marching to what Thoreau called a different drummer.

Just to drive home the point, the bus I took back was full of retarded kids attending some institutional sporting event.

 

Where Are Our Courageous Reporters?

Norman Mailer (1923-2007)

The late 1960s were a bad time for the United States. We were in a fiercely unpopular war in Viet Nam. I had gotten radicalized and joined the Resistance, which not only protested the war but attempted to interfere with the draft induction process. I returned by draft card to the Selective Service System in Cleveland and told them politely what they could do with it. Running for president that year was Richard Nixon for the Republicans, with Democratic candidates to be chosen later in Chicago.

Reporting on that convention was Norman Mailer, who within a short time became like a god to me. (So he went off the rails a bit later: He was human after all.) Mailer had come out with a number of nonfiction books that I read and re-read religiously. They included:

  • Advertisements for Myself (1959)
  • The Presidential Papers (1963)
  • Cannibals and Christians (1966)
  • Armies of the Night (1968)
  • Miami and the Siege of Chicago (1968)

I just finished re-reading Miami and the Siege of Chicago, which made me shake my head sadly that there was no such quality reportage during the ongoing train wreck that is Trumpf. Mailer died ten years ago, and the only other candidate—Hunter S. Thompson—blew out his brains two years earlier. There are thousands of voices raised against Trumpf, but they seem tinny in comparison to what Mailer and Thompson were capable of.

Take this prophetic quote from Mailer’s description of Nixon’s convention win in Miami:

Of course, Republicans might yet prove frightening, and were much, if not three-quarters, to blame for every ill in sight, they did not deserve the Presidency, never, and yet if democracy was the free and fair play of human forces then perhaps the Wasp must now hold the game in his direction for a time. The Left was not ready, the Left was years away from a vision sufficiently complex to give life to the land, the Left had not yet learned to talk across the rugged individualism of the more Rugged in America, the Left was still too full of kicks and pot and the freakings of sodium amytol and orgy, the howl of electronics and LSD. The Left could also find room to grow up. If the Left had to live through a species of political exile for four or eight or twelve good years [try 50!], it might even be right. They might be forced to study what was alive in the conservative dream. For certain the world could not be saved by technology or government or genetics, and much of the Left had that still to learn.

Perhaps the biggest lesson they had to learn was unity. The Left is known today as a circular firing squad, wounding itself repeatedly over minor issues and leaving the major ones to the Right.

Chicago Riot Police 1968

The conservatives of 1968 were nothing compared to the Alt-Right, the Ku Klux Lan, and the other fascist forces brought into prominence by Trumpf’s 2016 victory. I will write what I can, when I can, but I am far from being either a Mailer or a Thompson.

And in this, our time of maximum danger, the media have failed America by bowing instead to the wishes of their corporate overlords.

 

Time to Climb Off the Carousel

Liberal, Libertarian, Conservative—Just Going Round in Circles

Liberal, Libertarian, Conservative—Just Going Round in Circles

You’ve probably learned by now that political labels in American politics are primarily for assigning blame, whether due or not. That’s why I decided to not to write any more outrage pieces on my blog site. It was too easy to react to stupid things the other side was saying.

Oh, I’m still a Democrat, but as my hero Will Rogers once said: “I am not a member of any organized party—I am a Democrat.” But I do not accept phone calls from any political party. And I’ve contacted the Democratic fund raisers who were bombarding my e-mail to stop it. Of course, Republicans and Libertarians know better than to try to contact me for any reason. I have my doubts about Democrats (a.k.a. The Circular Firing Squad), but I like the other guys even less. I figure that if Faux News has something good to say about anybody, they’re probably a serial child molester and would-be tyrant.

Do I consider myself a Liberal? Not really. Fiscally, I’m a bit on the Conservative side. My goal is not to see the Federal, State, and Local governments all spend themselves into bankruptcy; but I think that we can’t neglect the poor, the way that many troglodyte Conservatives advocate.

All the political labels have resulted only in a lot of Americans hating one another solely for their stated political affiliation. I’d prefer to judge people on the way they act.