that creaking sound

A friend reminded me today of this great quote from the Watergate days:

“Well, I think we ought to let him hang there,” Ehrlichman told Dean. “Let him twist slowly, twist slowly in the wind.”

It amuses me because, ironically, it’s now Trump who’s leaving himself twisting in the wind. History will record his stupidity and lies. Over 20,000 [Twenty Thousand!] lies had been documented as of the 4th of July 2020. By the time he’s dragged kicking and screaming from our White House on January 20, I’m confident he’ll hit 25K.

But the truth is that Trump has never been the main character in this drama of corruption, capitulation, and mass death. He has always been the sideshow – Covfefe the Clown, who juggles, tweets, and twists – while the main act plays out in the center ring of the U.S. Congress. There are 535 voting members there, whose sworn duty it is to uphold the Constitution; a duty in which they – collectively – failed miserably.

I include the Democrats in the House, whose attempt at impeachment was effette and weird, leaving behind many valid causes of action.

Mitch McConnell has always been the real Ringmaster in this debacle. Trump is a small man, a little pucker and poot in the long and terrible history of mankind’s worst failures. But McConnell is an asshole of monumental proportions, an anus so vast you could drive a Peterbilt and 2 trailers south to north up his alimentary canal and make a u-turn below the bile duct that does his thinking, without slowing down or risking a jackknife.

So let’s be entertained, if we must watch at all, by Trump’s final twisting and turnings. His efforts to retain immunity from prosecution are entertaining. Although we can do better by simply reading a book. But if we don’t do something to flush out the coiled diverticuli of our legislature, and remove McConnell from majority power, we are well and truly trucked. Sideways.

Santa Cause of Action

I have a bone to pick with Santa Claus. I want one of those fuzzy red suits with furry white trim. That’s looks incredibly comfortable and warm. But I know that if I got one, I couldn’t wear it out of the house without running up against all sorts of expectations. You know, that all “Ho ho ho,” and “Jolly old elf,” and “What do you want for Christmas?” stuff.

The problem is, Santa’s been zipping around for generations in that awesome outfit, delivering gifts, hanging at the mall, riding on fire trucks, etc. He’s made it impossible for anybody else to dress that way without drawing attention.

Well, I have things to do, places to be, people to see. I just want the suit. And I’m betting I’m not alone.

So I’m wondering, is there a questionable constructive trademark we can look into getting overturned? I’ll bet Claus never bothered to file for a TM in the US. It’s probably not enforceable outside of Lapland.

Any hot and juicy lawyers out there want to take this on contingency? If we win, I’ll buy you a suit too. You’ll look so good in court. Ho ho ho.



#Christmas #Grinch #NQ


The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns … instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.

– George Orwell, whose birthday is today.

A cuttlefish looks like this.

I use the quote above to shoehorn my thoughts onto blog topic, but my favorite quote from Orwell is this passage from 1984:

To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone — to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink — greetings!

I sit here tonight look at those words again, amazed at how much Truth there is in them, and wondering if we have finally come to live in that age of doublethink.

Slavery is freedom. The climate is not changing. Guns keep us safe. Rich people create jobs. War is Peace. Immigration is hurting the economy. Iraq is Obama’s fault. Ignorance is strength.

I’ve been watching World War Z. It’s interesting to see what that silly zombie fad looks like with a big budget. …It is a metaphor of American politics, right?

“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” So for us, a zombie apocalypse is more likely than attaining government or, by, or for the people.


A long time has passed since my last post here. It’s troubling, for a guy who used to post daily. But the fall and winter have found me pacing the focs’le, adrift deep in the horse latitudes. No wind in my currents, and it’s even more disturbing that through my glass I see in the distance many good ships with full sails and following seas, moving well.

So I thought I would start the new year by sharing a testimonial, a tribute to the worth, the efficacy, the abounding helpfulness of my work. Just to motivate and cheer me up, you know? This was received by email through the contact form on my website, from someone in Asia, I believe.
I simply wished to thank you very much once again. I am not sure what I could possibly have created in the absence of the actual ways provided by you concerning this industry. Completely was a horrifying circumstance in my circumstances, however , seeing a professional avenue you processed it took me to cry over contentment. I will be happier for this assistance and thus believe you know what a great job you happen to be carrying out teaching people all through a web site. Most probably you have never got to know all of us.

I truly don’t know what to say. How very kind. I only wish I had the time to follow the accompanying link, to see what sort of adventure it might portend.

zen and the art of

Here's something that's been bugging the stuffing out of me for a while. People need to stop using Zen And The Art Of … in the title of every misbegotten how to spew that their half-baked muse strikes them to hack up.

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values was a great book by Robert M. Pirsig. It was published in 1974, 36 years ago this spring. I read it in about 1981, and could not put it down. That was back when I had an attention span.

Since then, countless people have ripped off that title. Zen And The Art Of Poker, Zen And The Art Of Rhubarb Furniture, Zen And The Art Of Vampires, Zen And The Art Of Chicken n Dumplins, Zen And The Art Of Zen, Zen And The Art Of Leather Pants, Zen And The Art Of Getting Rich, Zen And The Art Of The Banana Sandwich. Then there's the one that set me off, Zen and the art of serial-drama maintenance.

Huh? Knock it off! It was fresh once, over a third of a century ago, when Pirsig did it, and that was that. He got there first, nailed it down, done. Get over it. Shoot for a original thought, for cryin' out loud. 

You can't just come along and write For Whom The Bell Rings, A Clean Well-Lighted House, or The Sound and the Funny, and expect to get away with it. What If I spewed up a poem about walking a dog at night, hearing her rabies tags jingling, and called it Stopping By Woods On A Chilly Evening? I'd be dragged to the withered bracken!

Am I serious? No, not really. I made up half those titles in the third paragraph. Can you guess which? But it does seem like a pretty easy way to scratch the itch to find a title, and nobody respects taking the easy way out. I can stop ranting now, and we can just feel sorry for those so lacking in imagination. They wouldn't know Zen if it ran up and bit them, and they don't understand that repetition is the death of something, as somebody already said.  

waste of grace

In my post Hilton screamed, I derided preoccupied Paris and entertaining people in general, for their self absorbed insistence on being the constant center of attention. The problem is coming into clearer focus. The problem is the media, the evil, weed-nibbling goats at CNN,

Over the weekend, Paris called for the media to stop obsessing with her and maybe cover the war. She said she’s a changed person who wants to make a difference. OK, she’s trying to be aan adult; I give her credit for that. So setting aside the fact that the media are already covering the war, and that a change in her life doesn’t presuppose the willingness or interest in change on the part of others, the important point is what happened next. Which gives me the chance to launch an ill-founded, half-formed tirade on someone else:

CNN has been announcing that their talking head Nancy Grace is doing a live report tonight from “Paris’ Jail” today. … Great Scott!

What a waste, what a stupid disservice to the public interest, is Nancy Grace. She’s a whole lot closer to the National Enquirer than to the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She’s a sensationalist, who brays and whines at the camera. Her presentation is that of a woman who knows she knows everything, and is prepared to pound that ridiculous conviction down your throat.

It occurs to me that we need a new cable network, for shows that pander to folks who might read the Enquirer, or the Weekly World News. They could just call it Spew, and Grace could move there, along with Larry King and all the bobbleheads from Fox News. And during the day they could run all the insipid court shows that spread like mold out of Peoples Court.