Friday, October 5, 2018

Suppose it were Friday clxiv: Could you coo?

   Could you coo -
   could you care -
   for a cunning con-man
   we could share ?

Just as nobody can reasonably fault
George and Ira Gershwin for abusive
third-party travesties of their mu-
sic and lyrics, no one can reason-
Thump for originality in anything.

Still, he deployed his best Dirty Old
Man tone of voice at his latest rally,
the other night, tempting us all to a
candybar of his snidest oozing treacle.

Channeling Henry Fonda's Tom Joad to
his mother, in the final scene of The
Grapes of Wrath, he gave us the phan-
tom of the oppressed male child, hound-
ed into oblivion by a virago he'd nev-
er met, in a staggering corruption of
the testimony of the strongest witness
yet to speak against his character and
social set. "Reciting facts," his nit-
wit press secretary said; "a factual
rendition," his South Carolinian Sen-
ate toady intoned.

They called this, "mockery," but it
was of a worse than insulting kind.
It was an enlistment of a following
for the proposition that a President
may corrupt the implementation of 
law with impunity. That's almost an
original idea, but for Iago. 

But it's Friday, inherently a good
day; and one's thoughts turn to the
brighter side of seduction as we en-
gage with it in this Depression. In
presented in the Gershwins' Strike
Up the Band; and until this week I
have never regretted that absolute-
ly everyone knows it by heart. Now
we know to ask, what sort of heart?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxxxi: Mississippi inversion

The President took his Jack of Clubs
routine down to Mississippi last e-
vening, not necessarily to distract
from The Times' simultaneous exposure
of his decades of fraud and tax eva-
sion, although it couldn't have hurt.

No, the principal deal - and what an
odd resort to stereotype - had been
blood of misogyny, which binds his
tribe to him as an incubus steeping
itself in its fount. He had warned,
after all, of his fury with women in
his first campaign debate, snarling
on stage his objections to menstrua-
tion - the shortest route, it soon
emerged, to a Republican's heart-
felt respect for a woman's evidence.

We want Kavanaugh, they chanted.
Rather a first, wouldn't you guess:
a rock star cannibal of scruples,
for a Court that won't play fair.

Possibly not a time to recall the
Nobel Prize for Literature, with a
rape conviction suspending the a-
ward this year. But our own last
laureate in that field had already
warned, of being down in Mississ-
ippi, a day too long. Didn't need
presidential corroboration for that.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Blueberry eyes

It's a busy time. I ran into an
undergraduate today, selling me
a half pound of Sulawesi coffee,
and remarked to her that I was
wondering what the tsunami will
mean for obtaining this excellent
varietal. She hadn't heard about
the thousand or more dead and the
humanitarian crisis, so to put it
into perspective, I reminisced on
losing Jamaican Blue Mountain cof-
fee after the hurricane; but she
hadn't heard of that event, and
possibly not of Jamaica. The oc-
casion illuminates the facility
with which the President can an-
nounce his aides' salvaging of
NAFTA, as modified two years ago
in the TPP that he trashed in his
first week, as a personal triumph: 

"Who knew?"

This week he proposes to woodshed
the Deputy Attorney-General, and
elevate an exposed liar-zealot to
the Supreme Court - the one, be-
cause he believes in the rule of
law, the other because he believes
it does not extend to a President.

In consolation, we know his baby-
sitters are on the job, mopping
up after his worst debaucheries
against international relations
and the global climate. But will
they leave us without our law?

Franz Kline