Month: February 2016

  • The Return of Buzz Windrip

    Today is Leap Year Day, and tomorrow is Super Tuesday when the big clot of Presidential primaries will arrive and presage the coming election.

    Also, this year is the 80th anniversary of It Can't Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis's dystopian novel.  Lewis was actually an important author for me, partly because his Arrowsmith inspired my father to choose a career in medicine; and partly because Kingsblood Royal, his exploration of racial prejudice, was a rite of passage among my teen friends.

    It Can't Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis.  Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, a populist United States Senator who is elected to the presidency after promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and traditional values.

    I am outraged about Trump.  I am outraged that this callow playground bully might try to trash the careful system of checks and balances given to us by James Madison and the Fathers.  Trump's campaign makes Sinclair Lewis look prophetic.


    Essay in by Malcolm Harris
    In a fictional campaign promotional book “Zero Hour,” the fictional Windrip laid out the classic nativist call to action that Trump would pick up nearly word-for-word:

      My one ambition is to get all Americans to realize that they are, and must continue to be, the greatest Race on the face of this old Earth, and second, to realize that whatever apparent differences there may be among us, in wealth, knowledge, skill, ancestry or strength –– though, of course, all this does not apply to people who are racially different from us –– we are all brothers, bound together in the great and wonderful bond of National Unity, for which we should all be very glad.

    By now, in late February, Trump has managed to alienate all the level-headed voices among the press, commentators, Democrats, and Republicans alike.  And somehow, none of these objections will make a difference.

    We can only take comfort in polls that predict Hillary's victory in a general election.



  • Outbreaks

    We are all fascinated and horrified by the Zika virus.



    Likewise, we are fascinated and horrified by the Donald.




  • A Banquet of All-you-can-eat Crazy

    The conservatives want to punish the President for his pigmentation.  Yeah, pigmentation.  Now if the election is closely contended, the Supreme Court may be tasked to decide the winner, as it did in 2000.  But there will not be a functioning Supreme Court until after the election, say the conservatives.  Quite the conundrum, hah?  Democracy grinds to a stop.

    How will we survive without Jon Stewart?

    All of this would be perfect fuel for a Jon Stewart satire -- but he's retired.  I have the best wishes for Trevor Noah, but he is nowhere near as funny as Jon.  John Oliver is funny enough, but he lacks a blood lust for American politicians.  And what about Samantha Bee?

    She is bloody enough.  And she is funny enough.  Samantha is the new Jon Stewart.  She has a killer instinct for American politics -- and she's not even American.

    She makes Bernie look like a doddering geezer.  And she makes Hillary sound like the lizard goddess in Ghostbusters!


  • When Ted Cruz lies


    "For months I sensed vaguely that Ted Cruz reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t place who it was."


    "Revelation has arrived: Ted Cruz resembles the Bill Murray of a quarter-century ago, when he played fishy, mock-sincere fakers.  No one looked more untrustworthy than Bill Murray.  The difference between the two men is that the actor was a satirist."

    by David Denby in The New Yorker, Ted Cruz: The Mask of Sincerity

    "When Ted Cruz lies, he appears to be praying. His lips narrow, almost disappearing into his face, and his eyebrows shift abruptly, rising like a drawbridge on his forehead into matching acute angles.  He attains an appearance of supplication, an earnest desire that men and women need to listen, as God surely listens."


    Now that Ted has been caught red-handed stealing a victory in Iowa, he is no longer a serious force in presidential politics.  An ex-college roommate in Princeton says,

      "And you know, I want to be clear, because Ted Cruz is a nightmare of a human being.  I have plenty of problems with his politics, but truthfully his personality is so awful that 99 percent of why I hate him is just his personality.  If he agreed with me on every issue, I would hate him only one percent less."   - Craig Mazin


    “What if I got my puppy from a breeder in Canada?” A small child asked in the crowd.

    “Great question!” Cruz said with a knowing smile.  He tried to tossle the boy’s hair but the child recoiled in horror from his touch.  “I’d kill him!”

    “What??” The boy said his eyes watering up.  “You’d euthanize my puppy?”

    “Oh no!” Cruz said with a laugh.  “I wouldn’t euthanize him because we need to save those drugs for the human criminals.  What I’d do is I’d take his tiny little adorable puppy neck in my fist like this...” Cruz then pulled out a golden retriever puppy that he inexplicably had in a Knapsack at his feet.

    “And then I’d look into his loving eyes.” The puppy licked Cruz’s hand.

    “And I’d squeeze squeeze squeeze REALLY tightly until all the life drained out of him.” He demonstrated this as the crowd sobbed silently knowing if they spoke out, they’d be next.

    “That help?” Cruz then tossed the lifeless puppy at the traumatized boy and giggled. 

    “Now that’s what I’d do to the dog -- something real gentle because it didn’t have any choice in coming.  But a person...that’s another story.  You do NOT want to look in my basement is what I’m saying.”