Tag Archives: Trump

The Zen of Colbert

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Stephen Colbert is the hero we need. Ever since his excruciating, live Election Night broadcast, the beloved leader of “The Nation” has been so much winning. And then there’s Trump.

I have a new mantra. It’s something Stephen said in a bit on Trump’s Nuclear Plans, 20 years ago in January. He said, “It’s funny because nothing matters anymore.” Michael Che let the line slip during last Saturday’s “Weekend Update” on SNL. And I find myself repeating it constantly. “It’s funny because nothing matters anymore.”

“Anymore” is the key word here. Stephen Colbert has become every thinking person’s voice. We are people who thought things mattered! Where we once had our pet causes, now we merely have dumbfounded, flabbergasted, confused and fearful ANGER. Stephen made a brave choice to embrace that fear and anger and give into the cray-side. He models the courage all we snowflakes need to embrace.

“Let your freak flag fly,” is the phrase my partner has been using since the election. “If crazy is the new normal, I’m gonna have my freak flag at full mast every second of the day,” he repeats.

Me being, well, me, I found it in a quote by Camus. “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” In other words, “It’s funny because nothing matters because anymore.” “Let your freak flag fly.”

And Stephen keeps winning! The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is now the highest rated late-night show. Which hits Trump where it matters, in the ratings. The President told Time magazine:

Trump disses Colbert ratings

Image from: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CBS

Stephen wasn’t shy in his reaction, squealing, “I won!” Nothing important may matter anymore, but nothing is sweeter than high ratings! CBS will pay any “potty mouth” fine. They will never cut lose this golden egged goose. He certainly makes better news than Trump.

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Stephen shows how it’s done.

 

 

Stephen Colbert gets it. Even crazy has rules. Play by them! So while Anderson Cooper is now openly rolling his eyes at the creepy Nazi from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Kellyanne Conway:

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Real-time footage of Kellyanne Conway.

Meanwhile, I’m expecting my afternoon, BREAKING NEWS! humdinger about Trump, treason, obstruction of justice, and Russian disruption of our democracy.  I call it my “Daily Constitutional Crisis.”  What!? What do you call it?

I’m just going to keep letting my freak flag fly, Stephen! I get it! I’m  going to be mad, be rash, smoke and explode, burn all my clothes. (And apparently keep pretending I thought up Morrissey lyrics.)

Thanks to Stephen Colbert, I will live my exquisitely nerdy life down on the farm with my bandana made of Superman sheets, my overalls, and Eau de DEET parfume, while doing whatever I damn well please.  I’m living so free that my very existence is an act of rebellion.

You either get it or you don’t. Only Stephen Colbert can explain it to ya.

But, it’s funny because nothing matters anymore.

 

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Anger, Fear, The Plague & Trump

Christ and Sisyphus

“Jesus! I feel like my entire life is a protest now.” “That just means we’re free, Sis.”

Trump is a plague. He has mastered inspiring fear and rage. Not just in his supporters, but all over the globe. And certainly in myself, and most people I know. My therapist told me that the number and intensity of reports by clients regarding Trump is a phenomenon. Possibly even an emergent disease. So, he literally is a plague on humanity. So what do we do, besides suffer in fear and anger and hopelessness? What can we do?

I have a fascination with plague. It began very young. Maybe it was the first time I realized that something scary and dangerous can swoop down on me and my family at any moment, and with no “why.” That there is no cosmic purpose behind the suffering caused by disease, WWI, The Holocaust, or Donald Trump. Suffering has reasons, but no “Reason.” We give these events meaning in hindsight. And our reactions and actions during times of suffering give meaning to our lives and experience. It’s tempting to believe there is a form of “cosmic justice” to it all. But in the end, real people with lives and family died in the camps, while Hitler got off with suicide. People brought the Nuremberg Trials, not the cosmos. The Universe doesn’t care about Earth, or one single species. People must bring the meaning AND the justice.

So, what to do? What to do? Well, I read The Lord of the Rings three times in succession since the Election. And while that book has spiritual influences, it comes down to the individuals involved to each do their part to bring down Sauron, even the trees! And here we all are, so many reluctant heroes, wishing for the Shire and a big, wise Gandalf to hug, but this isn’t Middle Earth. And the winning of the War of the Ring had a lot of casualties, from the Elves, to the trees, to Frodo himself.

Tolkien has more in common with other post WWI and WWII writers than his fantasy war suggests. Today we’d call it PTSD. Seems to me the man was so traumatized by his experience of WWI that he invented other languages just to express his thoughts and feelings . But some authors used more common-place settings. In The Plague, Albert Camus set his story in a place so ordinary that it could be anywhere. And the characters could be any one of us.

The “heroes” in The Plague are a motley crew, like The Fellowship of the Ring. There’s Doctor Rieux, who just doggedly pursues his work while his wife is away for a tuberculosis cure . The political undesirable, who gets stuck in the town while on the run, and becomes the Doctor’s best friend. The guy who is motivated to be reunited with the woman he loves. And dear old M. Grande, the minor civil servant, who works tirelessly on his “great novel” by night, as he goes out of his way to ensure that The Doctor has everything he needs, and whose life (and great novel) are at last saved by the Doctor’s successful serum.

While much of the town in The Plague is dying of disease, the rest is taken over by hopeless drunken revellers, angry mobs attacking the poor, African section of the town, fear-mongers preaching God’s wrath and judgement, profiteers, and suicides. The sane characters — the heroes — are people who have accepted that the worst may happen to them. They too feel fear, anger, despair, but they choose to simply be decent human beings anyway. They all play their little part for both their own reasons and a common goal: ending the suffering caused by the plague and freeing the town from its quarantine — its fear, anger and despair. Their very existence is a protest against the inhumanity of suffering and a world turned upside down. Their lives and work together are a testament to Gandalf’s assertion that:

“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

There is a touching passage near the end Camus’ book, that describes why Doctor Rieux recorded the events of his experience during the plague, down to the detail that, amidst the tearful reuniting of loved ones after the crisis, his wife never returned from her “cure.” The quote has been honored with a plaque in New York City, on Library Way (East 41st Street between Madison & Fifth Ave.). And I will leave that here for reflection.

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Let this be said of all of us, when the story of this time of plague is written.

Whatever your method or motivation, never forget those who suffer, bear witness, and choose decency. That is how we defeat the plague of Trump, anger, fear, and despair.

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Free: One POTUS, Barely Used!

 

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“You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal — “(Hamlet, 2.2.231-232).

Why elect your own nationalist leader, when you can have one for free? Seriously he’s tremendous, folks, believe me, except for his loser Administration and failing Presidency –Sad!  But believe me he is the best at alienating neighbors and allies, who are great really I love them especially Trudeau who is hot and smart but failing Canada — and did you see the crowds at the President’s last rally? Huge! I saw something that said they were the biggest crowds since VE Day. And you know the tremendous job Putin regime is doing aggressively trying to destroy NATO, Europe and the West — believe me! — this President is their own eyes and ears so you don’t need lying intelligence community or leaking aides or fake diplomats. He’s the whole package. Big league.

Seriously, friends, when is this guy getting impeached? Because I had this thing called a life, my historical fiction series, and fun and hobbies and Star Trek and history podcasts that didn’t give me nightmares. I just finished my third re-reading of The Lord of the Rings — in almost as many months — just for the sweet release of that Ring getting into Mount Doom and the destruction of Sauron. I mean, that’s a lot to endure for one single moment of feeling like “Ah… gone for good…”

I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!

And to everyone who says: “Yeah, but the level of political action and awareness is great!” I say:  “Go to Hell, go directly to Hell, no passing Go, no $200 for you!” You know what I loved? The Obama Administration. I was doing better financially, mental health-wise, relationship and writing-wise, and in every other measurable way until the 2016 Election. There were issues and debates, but I didn’t look at my news feed every morning to see if we were at war yet. It’s the little things.

I felt safe just knowing No Drama Obama was always there. I trusted him to think things through, discuss the details and possibilities with the best qualified and most creative people, as well as lawyers and the heads of government committees and agencies, and then come up with a thoughtful response. But now I’m supposed to be the eternally vigilant resistance? Screw you.

I want to plant my garden. I want to spend money on new art supplies, not postage stamps and notecards to the dickhead politicians who don’t even answer their phone *Toomey*. I want to enjoy and fix up our new house. I want to write my fiction. Go fishing. Have an appetite. Sleep at night. I want to play video games. I want to have sex with my equally beleaguered boyfriend. Is that so much to ask? Isn’t that the American dream? I don’t mess with you, and you don’t mess with me?

Why must we all suffer, my anti-Hillary, Bern it Down, friends? I thought continuing the work of Obama by a competent and experienced leader was a great idea! You really thought Hillary Clinton was as equally evil as Trump? You were duped by the Russian propaganda! Ah, hindsight! Or was it just that “thing” about her? You know that thing she just didn’t have. What’s the word for it? Oh, right, A PENIS! Such a little thing, but the difference it makes in the US! I knew as a girl there would be Black President, Jewish President, Gay Atheist President, Vulcan President, Amoeba President before there was even a shot at Woman President. So fuck you too, Patriarchy protectors.

All you guys go take to the streets. You write the postcards. You helped bring this on all of us. YOU believed the fake news. Nevermind the rest of the Earth and its people and climate. I did my bit by voting for Hillary. So you fix it.

I’m de-Trumping my life. I’ve only got one. I’m not going to waste the prime of it untying this Gordian knot when I can use a sword and cut it all off. Yeah, I’ll read a bit and listen to NPR, laugh at the stupid shit, and stew on the bullshit. But not like before. I’m reclaiming my life from Trump.

I’m a writer. I can’t help but be here, but not. Like Hamlet’s “mirror up to nature.” My job is reflecting back on you. I’m the cameraman at a wedding. I don’t take part in it. I just capture what went down, edit the bits together, throw some transitions and filters on it, and hand it back over to you. It’s not my job to be overtly political. That’s called Propaganda, and I want no part of it.

Besides, have you seen where I live? It’s awesome. A 130 year old farmhouse with  a stream, two ponds, a wood stove and fire pit for cool evenings, a spring house for hot summer days, wisteria-grown arbors, ivy creeping up the hill. Song birds, butterflies, flowers and hummingbirds. There is land here to work and love and care for. An interior to remodel and decorate. This place and I need each other. This is my refuge from the noise of the world.

So, my crazy-pants friends, who let’s face it, I love but you know not so great in NOT driving me crazy sometimes. And the Hillary supporters who still have steam, the other progressives, and the good Republicans who let’s face it could be more like the tremendous Arlen Specter, who is doing great things now more and more I hear, and grow a backbone, which I hear is just fabulous for standing up. Let’s just #DumpTrump so we can go back to being the decent, neighborly, let’s talk this over, come together, work for a better life for all, pleasantly plump, Shire-loving hobbits Americans truly are at heart. Big league.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of things I like and hate! 😊

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Twenty Eight Days Later Under 45

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The Curse, The Russians & Trump

The Universe, in its infinite indifference or irony — I’m not sure which — decided that I should be visited by my Curse of Eve on the eve of the inauguration of Donald J Trump. It’s true. I got my “woman punishment” as Trump took office. Like a Grand Marnier hangover: it’s perfect.

I used to wonder about zombie apocalypse timelines, like in the Danny Boyle film 28 Days Later, or how long Rick was in a coma on The Walking Dead.  I always cottoned to Max Brooks’ zombie apocalypse scenario in World War Z. The Z’s started in an isolated area, far off, spreading slowly by travellers or refugees, shipping and black market organs. For months it would be whispers and rumors, a few distorted reports, then isolated disturbances, then in the nearest city with an airport, the commuter train stop, the local hospital, and then they are breaking down your door.

I imagined an emergent global threat would takes months, even years to fully take hold. But, no, Danny Boyle was right. It took twenty-eight days.

Because here I am, once again, suffering my biology, and the world has spun out of control. Or, rather, was spun out of control. We are at a crisis. (*I can’t even keep this post updated with the news tonight.) The Republicans have paused on their much anticipated march towards eliminating health care for millions and making sure that women are less important than what their uteruses can do. Because we’ve gotten to a tipping point. McCain demands answers. Spicey and KelleyAnne can’t get their stories straight.They’re in the garden, grab your bat.

Michael Flynn was forced to resign. Just think about that. If Flynn, who has been with Trump since early in his campaign, was dealing dirty with the Russians (under the Logan Act) and lying about it to the Vice President and the FBI, who else was?

Seventeen US security agencies said our election was influenced by Russia and Russian intelligence. There’s the dossier, by Christopher Steele, mainly famous for the pee, under review by intelligence regarding Russian links to the Trump organization and the Russian ability to blackmail Trump. There was Paul Manafort and Carter Page. And now Flynn. (*Whoops, looked at my phone, now Stone. *Now “Trump aides in constant contact with senior Russian officials during campaign ” per CNN . *And now that headline is under scrutiny. *This will be outdated by posting, sorry.)

So what did Trump do? He kept the head of the FBI, Comey, whose midnight email may have cost Hillary the election, while the agency he heads investigates Russian influence of the election.  Trump jangled a bunch of shiny objects in front of our faces to distract us. He fired Sally Yates, former acting Attorney General, not over opposition to the Muslim ban, but because she spoke up about Flynn. Every Executive Order, their timing, the tweet storms, all to keep us from the dawning revelation of  the most horrifying possibility ever. The United States’ President and his Administration were put in office by the Russians.

Makes The Manchurian Candidate seem quaint.

As Trump tows the Russian line against China, our European allies, and Japan; he pushes our neighbors, friends and allies (including our Middle Eastern ones) away from us. All while Russia is seizing land in Ukraine, flying their war planes over Turkey, and supporting Assad. They seek to conquer the West by dividing and destabilizing it. We are alone. And who does Trump et al insist is the only man who can save us? Why Trump, of course.

So, here we are. Twenty-eight days later. Asking the Watergate question: What did the President know, and when did he know it? Our nation teeters on the edge of a Constitutional crisis — even Civil violence –Russians in the White House, some very unhappy Chinese with nukes, some Iranians with nukes, North Korea with nukes. And our nuclear codes in Trump’s hands.(*There is a Russian ship off the East Coast now.) My boyfriend and I talk about if only we can get two seasons in on our farm before things get too bad. We are grateful for our own water source, and a wood stove. I’m learning about medicinal herbs and local flora. We’re getting chickens, and thinking about what best to grow for trade. We have a good spot for a variety of hot peppers. But I’m thinking something you can distill would be more valuable.

I’m wondering if I’ve gone mad, except my friends and family express the same in skittish Messenger chats. “Buy powdered milk in bulk!” “Get your RXs filled on time, and save the extras!”

I used to care that a pair of shoes I  wanted on Amazon dropped in price. I used to play games. I wrote mysteries and historical fiction and screenplays and journaled about movies and my favorite parts of Tolkien. I used to binge Netflix. I read Roman history for pleasure. I enjoyed the outdoors and fishing, camping and making fires to cook over. I liked using my machete, Killary, on the brush on our land. I enjoyed gardening. Now, I look at Amazon for seed prices. Suddenly basic Roman fortifications seem like valuable knowledge. I have no idea what’s on Netflix. The Walking Dead is my one cheer-up show. I have Pinterest boards about how much food we need to plant and of what, and even the flowers all need a purpose. I mark trees for selective felling.  And all my girl scout stuff is now marked “survival skills.” Everything has changed, twenty-eight days later.

Please, my friends, Americans, everyone, do what you can to bring down Trump, and retain our Constitution. I don’t care how you voted or why. Bombs don’t discriminate. Love your country and resist Trump. The monsters are at the door. And we’ve all got a lot to lose.

I’m going to rename my monthly friend. It’s no longer The Curse. It’s now The Hope. As in: hoping for another twenty-eight days. I don’t know how many more like these I can take, or are even left.

This is JL, twenty-eight days later, signing off.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of things I like and hate! 😊

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#currentmood #inauguration #fuck

And on that day of Friday, January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Fruitless the search of my soul for rays of hope. Pitiless the news. Unrelenting the trolls. And all of my friends were busy lying on their carpet face down in utter resignation. So, I scoured the internet for a ray of light. Surely somewhere there was hope.

In Middle Earth, the mood was grim.

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Gandalf had been lost in Moria since the before the election, so Pippin told him.

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Now he can’t even get off this rock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bilbo-nope

Bilbo finally broke open the Old Winyard laid down by his father.

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Arwen stopped trying to use her millennia of Elven wisdom in internet exchanges and now simply  intones profanity

 

 

 

 

 

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Aragorn just beheaded Kellyanne Conway.

 

In the Zombie Apocalypse, the Walking Dead group shared their reactions to the Trumpocalypse as well.

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Rick has been watching a lot of Olbermann.

 

twd-carol-with-knife

Carol prepares for the legions of the Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief. “Look at the flowers boys!”

 

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Zombie Shane is still pissed about Bernie.

 

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And Orange, Morgan!

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Yes, Daryl. But it just pisses people off more!

 

Folks in the future also reflected on the barbarism of 21st Century humanity before First Contact.

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Yes, Bones, it is.

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We presume this is performance as social commentary from Kirk.

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Riker is overwhelmed.

 

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Spock breaks down in shame over his human heritage.

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Worf goes with the classic facepalm.

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Captain Picard is working up to speech just riddled with Shakespeare.

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Data leaves the Enterprise to join Lore in destroying humanity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But that’s not all!

Folks from all time periods, both real and imagined, are weighing in on the hopelessly flawed American Electoral System and on how genuinely fucked we all truly are.

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Heisenberg for one has his murder face on.

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Sherlock is not pleased.

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Scarlett O’Hara has taken to binge-eating in a corset.

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This Canadian trailer trash is gobsmacked.

 

 

 

 

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Definitely not Samwise the Brave on GoTs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there’s all these people…

And:

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This lady from TV.

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This guy from the internet.

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And this scream we all have bottled in our souls.

 

So, I looked, with childlike eyes, to the man and leader I have loved and trusted to safeguard our lives and liberties for so long:

President Barack Obamaobama-fuck-it

We’re doomed.

 

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The Best Words

Words

Words.Words.Words.

Trump must have the best ones — held hostage under Trump Tower —  because I sure don’t got ‘ em. Not lately, anyway. I’ve had angry words. Frustrated words. Major depressive words. Anxious and frightened words. But where are my clear-sighted words? My poetic words? My witty words? The words that come from whatever that place is that I call “me”?

Since the election, words have baffled me. My words are my Voice. They are my way of communicating my experience to the outside world. I feel my anxiety rising and my heart beating faster simply thinking of using my words and my voice. This is who I am, dammit! I’m a writer. I process my experience through writing. So where is my voice? Where are my words?

And it is Him. The Deplorable One. Trump. This Election has been and still is the reliving of a trauma. It really began with the “grab them by the pussy” comment. How could any woman accept this sort of speech, when not a day passes that we can truly feel “secure in our own bodies,” as Michelle Obama described it? For every woman who has ever been ogled, groped, silenced or passed over, victims of unwanted advances, abuse and trauma, that comment shredded old wounds open. Of course, the true horror is that some women argued vehemently in defence of the remark, and even embraced it!

Are they suffering some form of Stockholm Syndrome? A legion of Patty Hearsts?

And now that IT happened, it’s worse. Women scold me daily for my assertiveness, for my apparently blasphemous notion that “women’s rights are human rights” as Hillary Clinton said, or because she said it. But there is another side as well. And that is I’ve rediscovered the value and comfort of speaking and sharing with other women. It’s a sisterhood that I once had, but lost. I lost it to an abusive husband. To someone who reminded me with every action and word that I had no value, and my words and wants were less than worthless: they were laughable. Someone who cut me off from any companionship that might comfort or lift me up. A relationship in which I had no control, no voice.

Staring down a Trump Presidency seems to me like my abuser, my torturer, has become President of everything. I’m right back in those worst moments. And it has shut me down. But realizing that other women felt the same has been a revelation! I am not alone! And these women are struggling right along with me. We can listen to each other. Support each other. Help each other find our hard won voices again. To find our words.

This is why I feel that men, with certain exceptions, cannot possibly understand how I feel this moment. How I have been feeling. If you’re a white, straight, gentile male it will never be the gut punch it is to me. You may hate Trump, disagree with him on everything, and even think he will bring on WW III, Fallout and The Walking Dead all at once, but you must have lived through some sort of abuse to get it as a straight white guy. And even there you have me beat. You are still a man and benefit from status and privilege that brings. One day you may have come home and socked your abusive father. But I don’t know if women are even supposed to do that. It makes us damaged, crazy chicks. And gloating over our shitty ex’s failures just doesn’t feel like something women can do freely or with as much glee as men speak of their “psycho bitch” ex.

That’s how it seems to me. These are my words. I don’t want or need male input on this. My experiences, my feelings, my words do not require your permission, endorsement, approval or comment. These are my words. This is my voice. I’m taking my words back. Writing this piece was scary and hard. This isn’t the sort of thing I eagerly share. Some will say I’m playing the “victim card” or the “woman card.”  And honestly, if you feel that way, you really do have the Trump card now. At least I have my voice. I have my words. These are my experiences. They don’t need your understanding. They just want the right to exist.

I have my words again.

Post script: To my sisters, let’s help each other and find solidarity in each other. Please feel free to contact me through this site (see below), or Facebook Messenger if you are interested in brainstorming and creating with me a group of like-minded women, a sisterhood of support, sharing, of laughter, joy and awesome.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of things I like and hate! 😊

Got a comment? Click below! I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap Like and Share! Click here to follow on Twitter.


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