To read comments about the recent US strikes in Syria and Afghanistan, one would think #dangerousbuffoon has turned “more presidential” overnight, as some new faithful in the general public and media are happy to report. Actually, this hustler has not become more or less anything, he is simply living the perfect dream in Trumplandia. One can just see him marching into the situation room with all those advisors and five-star generals standing up respectfully as he rubs together his plump little hands and declares that it’s time to unleash the full power of the United States military against ISIS. First, we strike Syria with those Tomahawk missiles, then, we hit them in Afghanistan with the MOAB. Take that, ISIS! Read more…
In the zany atmosphere created by #dangerousbuffoon so improbably making it to the White House (though not for long, it seems at this point,) a slew of hilarious news like none other keep surfacing. So, several times a day, I find myself with tears streaming down my face, not only because of the attacks on democracy, on the environment, on ObamaCare, on dedicated and brave civil servants, on the humble and disenfranchised, but from sheer, helpless mirth.
Here is a sampling of what I’ve read since day before day before yesterday, howling with laughter. I’m adding chapter and verse to show that these are neither fake news nor come from some alternative reality but actually happened and were reported on.
- A naked moron–my guess, a disgruntled Trump supporter angered by the media reports on his guy–stormed into NBC HQ in Washington DC. And bit the people trying to stop him, before being carted away. Bit them!
After alternating between fury and disbelief since January 20 with each new move by #dangerousbuffoon, I finally force myself to attempt unscrambling my roiling thoughts and emotions.
For the last few days, these thoughts and emotions have been coalescing mainly around the ban, e.i. refusing entry into the United States to people from seven countries, whether travelers with a visa or legitimate U.S. residents. As every directive or decision from this sick administration, there appears to be great confusion as to principle and application. And very little discussion about the whys and wherefores that led to this.
I write often enough, when it is warranted, about my lack of interest in faith, belief or religion. This indifference extends to Islam but not to today’s rampant Islamicism for which I have utter contempt. I cannot bring myself to show tolerance for headscarves (this couple-of-decades-old artificial construct adopted by Read more…
Returning from a trip to Venice, I remain in a suspended state of mind. Despite the bitter cold that could have–but didn’t–spoiled the short visit, I am still under the emotional shock. That so much beauty could be created in the face of great odds, that the magnificent Serenissima Republic of Venice could rise from a marshy branch of the Adriatica Sea and remain to this day one of the most extraordinary sights of the world is a testament to humanity. Small minds will point to the dark times, the conspiracies, and the permanent struggle against both nature and barbarians (replaced by today’s relentless waves of tourists,) but Venice remains—sheer splendor, a dreamlike vision not easily set aside.
Splendor, however, can only take us so far in these sad and scary times. Our dreams cannot be filled only with archangels and saints and the magic brushes of Titian or Donatello. Right around the corner looms one of the ugliest menaces to today’s civilization, making us realize how tenuous the whole concept is for those countries that through the spasms and convulsions of history have come this far. And yes, I see the myriad fingers pointing at the poverty, the misery, the anguish, not only throughout the world but right here, in these Western countries where, at least on the surface, life is more welcoming than elsewhere.
So many choose to see the civilized world not as an example of what can be achieved, not as something to cherish and protect but as the oppressor, the imperialist powers, the former colonialists, etc. The world is miserable because the West has made it so. Never mind that decolonization happened eons ago. Never mind that corrupt homebred brutes made it their mission to accumulate power and bullions and muzzle any opposition. Look around. Ever since the departure of “blue-eyed white devil,” after some horizons of hope briefly opening up, every continent is struggling with mighty problems.
I happen not to share that view in the least. Venice will always be beautiful. Democracy, as flawed and unfairly shared as it is, remains the best political system humanity has come up with, after countless errors and terrors. And yes, it is not only a work in progress but one, unfortunately, fragile and easily toppled. Look at us now: after centuries of bumbling progress have, in fits and starts, created relatively functioning societies and minds more or less opening, here we are, stepping into the great unknown. (And no, I’m not forgetting the torn Middle East or any other part of the world where grave strategic errors, often born of sheer self-interest, have created untenable situations.)
The usual dictators bent on tormenting their people and making maximum profit before disappearing in the dustbins of history are either in power or being replaced by more of the same. The worse development is that strongmen/women are becoming the norm, much appreciated by popular movements veering right. The Putins of the world, the Netanyahus, the Marine Le Pens, Erdogans, etc. are winning supporters, and now we have our own #dangerousbuffoon.
Here in the States, we could be appalled at the injustice, the unfairness, the inequalities, the racism, the bigotry. We could fall back on political correctness, wanting to believe that the awful waves of sentimentality plastered over our Facebook pages, in the Disney World of our minds, the lies we feed our children (“you can be anything you want” yadda, yadda, yadda, creating adults both permanently dissatisfied and entitled) replace actual strong social and educational programs, that paying lip service to gun control and gay rights would actually make them a reality. In other words, that feeling good and righteous and eating organic would keep pulling the world toward progress. In the perfect world of our creation, every American would make a decent living, no cop would kill a black kid in total impunity, prisons would empty by miracle, no woman would die from a botched abortion, one and all would accept gay weddings, respect the LGBT community and create more opportunities for the disabled. In that country moving in sync toward progress and equality, we would be mindful of global warming, of our own environment, of medical care for all, we would have a stake in every important cause.
That is over. Something wicked this way comes. Thugs are on the march. If I believed in superior powers, I’d beg them not to let #dangerousbuffoon wreak too much havoc and destroy everything so painstakingly and so imperfectly created this far. Instead, I’m endlessly chagrined at the coup carried off by a brute enamored of his own ignorance, stupidity, and utter vulgarity in a system that has not yet woken up to the implications for democracy, for the future, for our world.
Three more days before the magnificent First Couple that has served eight years with dignity and good will toward all walks out of that mansion, to be replaced by… oh, it doesn’t bear thinking about.
L’attentat du 26 juillet, revendiqué par Daech et venant à la suite de tant d’autres, s’est produit dans une église de Normandie où deux hommes ont attaqué les fidèles, en blessant un et prenant les autres en otage, et tranché la gorge d’un prêtre de 86 ans avant d’être abattus par la police. Le Président Hollande s’est rendu sur le site, me faisant me demander jusqu’à quand il trouverait le temps d’accomplir ces pélerinages étant donné la fréquence de ces attaques.
Comme si le chagrin et la répulsion éprouvés chaque jour ne suffisaient pas, nous suffoquons sous les interminables discours, commentaires, et avis de tout un chacun. Il devient pratiquement impossible de comprendre les torrents de mots expliquant, attaquant, défendant, et bien sûr prescrivant. Rarement entendons-nous des arguments logiques ou intelligents ou tout simplement s’appuyant sur une réflexion—et encore moins une connaissance—des soucis actuels. La raison principale en est, hélas, le refus de voir l’inapplicabilité de l’islam aux pays et aux sociétés dans lesquels nous vivons, une situation qui ne changera guère à moins de sérieuses révisions de textes et de traditions, et ce face à une féroce résistance. Read more…
Another week in France, meaning another week with a murderous Islamist attack. The August 26 one happened in a Normandy church where two men later praised by ISIS overcame the faithful present, wounding one and taking the others hostage, and slit the throat of an 86-year old priest before being gunned down by police. President Hollande traveled the short distance to the site to pay his respects, having me wonder when he would stop finding the time to honor victims of this violence as the number of incidents increase.
As if the grief and repulsion we feel daily are not enough, we are overwhelmed by the endless discourse, commentary, and opinions. It’s near impossible to make sense of the torrents of words explaining, attacking, defending, and of course prescribing. Hardly ever does one hear logical or intelligent arguments, or any based on consideration—let alone knowledge—of present-day concerns. Read more…
Of course they do. Cops’ lives matter, white lives matter, lives in general matter. No one argues otherwise, it goes without saying, there is consensus. But trotting out these pieties whenever someone says that black lives matter is idiotic. Because that definitely does not go without saying. No way does it go without saying. Black lives may matter but other lives matter much more. Since the cop killing in Dallas—once again an infamous city—anyone saying “black lives matter” instead of “all lives matter” runs the risk of being accused of heartlessness or even glee at a sick tit for tat.
If black lives matter, there is a caveat. It all depends on who is standing on the other side, of whether that individual yelling brutal, incomprehensible orders in a situation suddenly gone awry wears a uniform, holds a gun, dislikes the color of the skin of the guy who was selling cigarettes or CDs on the street, wearing a hoodie, supposedly driving around with a broken tail light, daring to talk back and argue, playing with a toy gun, reaching for something, running away for no reason. (No reason? Being black is reason enough. Any black person will tell you that. Any black parent who doesn’t know if their child stepping out of the house will ever be back or if they’ll have to go to the morgue to pick up a bullet-ridden corpse can tell you that. Any black person pulled over for the slightest reason will tell you that.) Read more…