Saturday, January 21, 2017


Our current politics stimulates my paranoia in ways that would be very helpful to a “House of Cardstype of writer’s task.  

One fantasy is that the act of nominating every wealthy fox to be in charge of his favorite henhouse is deliberate, driving the subtle international corporations — who have been covertly running the henhouses or at least the hen-feed monopolies — out into the open where we can see them and blast them.  Only the truly clever, maybe the wolves, understand that to be known and in charge is to be vulnerable.  Accountable.  Trump certainly hasn’t figured that out.  Probably Putin has.  Trump has not figured out that Putin is only friendly if it’s useful.

Perhaps the point of letting things get this far — I mean, what were the Repubs thinking? — is to drive Trump out onto thin ice where the pressure will force him into a breakdown.  He seems to think that if he becomes president, he will be immune, but in fact the consequences become much bigger because the offences of things like sedition are much more serious, even capital crimes.  He seems to think that forcing his young son to be present and compliant will make people think the boy is not a “retard” as Trump calls him in unguarded moments, but now we’ve all had a chance to see this suffering kid and draw our own conclusions.  What I’m saying is that pretences are more dangerous than reality.

It’s clear that the Republican party will be the object of ridicule for a long time.  It’s also clear that the Dems have become the party of Ouroboros, chasing their own tails like puppies.  Easily distracted, each with a personal toy.  If the third party was “none-of-the-above” they have successfully elected their candidate, evidently have become a majority by turning away.

Trump is a numbers kinda guy — he’s still under the illusion that IQ scores mean intelligence and brags that his cabinet has higher IQ scores than any other cabinet.  Clearly he doesn’t know many Mensa members or he would realize that there’s a lot more to being “smart” than a high score on a paper and pencil test.

Hereditary Alzheimers, which began earlier than seventy, Trump’s age.  His father died of Alzheimers.  This article is pretty clear.  Again, pretence is more dangerous than reality, because in the case of disease it prevents whatever treatment there is.  One of the most obvious symptoms of Alzheimers is fabulizing, inventing great castles in the air to distract from the lack of a simple shelter.

If you asked people in this small town before the election, they shook with rage at Obama and “Hilary.”  But their issues were never national or global or even local — they were personal, each different but each deeply felt.  On some abstract level they were terribly threatened by having to give up individual survival ideas for group survival ideas.  

The last citizens to have a strong grip on the group ethos, working together for a common good and all that, were the WWII people.  We are feeling the loss of that generation, but familiar military uniforms still make us feel a little safer.  We try not to see these shriveled old men in their wheelchairs, but no one can avoid smart phones.  At least George Herbert Walker Bush is now honest about Cheney and Rumsfeld.  We will be burying the last of this generation soon.

There’s part of me that compares this moment with the American Revolution — doesn’t Trump remind you of King George III?  The 1700’s were a turning of mass political revolutions into a reality around the Atlantic nations.  Part of me wants it to be like the Great Liberation of the 1970’s, an emergence from industrial lockstep into a world of new possibility for individuals.  But maybe what we’re looking at is a backlash against that moment of release, from the parent generation who saw their kids on a runaway and vowed to get control again.

What kind of name can we give the ocean of awareness that suddenly illustrated on pocket screens what the African, Asian, and Islamic worlds were doing, fighting their suffering with war that only increased the suffering — besides destroying the great world treasures.  Their world is turning to rubble.  If you ask Trump, so is ours.

In this real-life chess game, some men cannot be knocked off the board.  Sure, they left the bureaucracy peacefully, but they did not leave the world stage.  Obama will live in Washington, DC, only blocks from Ivanka who shepherds her father through his memory gaps and delusional tweets.  Gore lives in SF and Nashville, but he has not left the media stage.  In fact, this electoral college befuddlement links him forever to Trump.

If Trump thinks he is safe in the hands of the Republicans, he doesn’t understand the shattered box of rocks that is the organization.  Not surprising since he never really cared about the party, only his own aggrandizement, so — returning to my point — who REALLY made it possible for Trump to be a candidate at all and what benefit did they get from it.  The most obvious is that he can be steered every which way without ever figuring out what’s going on.  And he can easily be snuffed.

Over the years, mostly after 1961 and esp after 1982, I kept running into a specific type of “manager”.  First in school systems, then in the institutional art world like museums, then in the national humane organizations, again in small UU congregations, and finally in city government.  The type seemed to be created by and dwell in small bureaucracies, the people who had to make policies turn into actual deeds.  People higher up would tell them to “make it so” but not explain how that would work, nor give them tools and budgets to be effective.  They were the foremen, the head nurses, the sergeants of the system.

At the same time the elite insisted on at least the appearance of compassion, efficiency, and nothing that might cause them to be sued.  More and more daily life became enmeshed in rules, oversight, and technicalities — triggering resentment.  I remember guest preaching in a small old-fashioned church where a big computer technician from another group stood toe-to-toe and beak-to-beak with me to shout how much he despised ministers.  I remember keeping bear spray in my desk at the City of Portland because contractors went ballistic.  I remember the boss I had in another department of the city who made so much trouble with her rules (“I forbid you to ever make mistakes.”) that one of the commissioners looked into the possibility of forcing her to take Valium.  I remember the man at the Valier Town Council meeting who said he refused to recognize any state or federal law and didn’t have to.

I remember the principal who had been an army supply sergeant.  He said he wanted me to force the kids to learn.  I said, “You’re advocating rape while I’m trying to seduce them into learning.”  He said,  “Rape is right.  I want you to rape them.”  

In other words, “Grab them by the pussy.”

Fat chance.  This was a reservation school.  They knew a lot about being grabbed and simply disappeared.

“House of Cards” was too subtle and cerebral for most people.  “Game of Thrones” is more appealing.  Watch us sow the whirlwind.  Europe should remember this — the “Thirty Years’ War,” the “War of the Roses.”  All the various clearances because land is wealth.  Turf wars fueled by rules.

That was then.  The water is rising.  Washington DC was built in a swamp, and not a metaphorical one.  Architects should be drawing up plans for a new White House on much higher ground.

No comments: