“Thunder rolls around the throne”, (Circa Regna Tonat) as the late poet and Knight of the Shire Thomas Wyatt wrote from his tower cell, after finding himself embroiled in accusations levied against the hapless Ann Boleyn. Ann was a real bitch of a sweetheart, probably, but doomed from the word go–a victim in some sense to her own father’s ambition. And certainly very little has changed in the interim. To wit: it remains exceedingly dangerous to walk downstairs, go sailing, stand near hospital windows, or to take a leisurely stroll anywhere in the Russian Federation—or even abroad. That is particularly true if you happen to circulate within reach, or maybe actually in, Lord Putin’s Privy Council.
Annexation of the Donbas certainly gives a much clearer shape to the burgeoning world war that we are either already in, or shortly to find ourselves in. Russia, China, North Korea, Belarus, Serbia, Iran, Syria, and quite possibly Hungary seem to form one end of the arrangement, while the NetZero dreamers in the EU take cold showers and go scrambling for firewood and looking everywhere to find a pair of balls large enough to actually fight the doom on their doorstep. It’s hard to know if they are unable, or just unwilling, to recognize actual menace after spending so much time installing solar arrays and destroying their own resilience. The US has its own problems, obviously, ranging from great frothing internal arguments about the skin tone of cartoon characters to nationwide apoplectic fits over reparations and pronouns, and all this while millions of uneducated and largely unskilled people walk across the southern border and then on into our emergency rooms, schools, jails, social welfare systems, and even our voter rolls—all of which the average citizen will be required, yet again, to open his wallet and pay for—because, you know, the climate and all that.
The list of Americans circulating around the North American throne is a political freak show and has been for some time. On the far left exists a goober-peas octogenarian who shakes hands with revenants, has a decidedly dementia-ridden gait, has a problem with sniffing women and at least one valid claim to actual sexual battery, and when delivering speeches (almost universally walked back by his staff within the hour) seems to have only two modes: creepy whispering, or a kind of spittle-spewing anger at the tens of millions of imaginary extremists he sees walking around in whatever America he imagines exists beyond the beltway moat. He sees dead people. When he plays the anger-routine (always defending some vague notion of “democracy”) Biden reminds me of an old man I once saw in the hallway of a raisin farm—on a call for service–who refused to let the staff change his loaded diaper. Refusing a diaper change isn’t against the law, and I can’t remember exactly why I was there, but I do remember clearly that this old guy was angry and demanding that everyone within earshot suck his dick. That’s what Biden looks and sounds like to many on his finest day. Which is to say nothing of the baleful optics of his speech in Philadelphia, where the Marines and the boudoir lighting played like a demented cultural appropriation of a Star Wars Sith Lord.
In the next level of hell we have the national embarrassment of Kamala Harris, whose principal official accomplishment—we can hope–will one day be the utterance of a simple declarative sentence. At least one that isn’t an outright lie which, to be fair, she has accomplished once when reminding a room full of allegedly serious people that her pronouns were normal and that she was sitting at the table wearing a blue suit. Having recently been shipped off to Japan to attend the funeral of Shinzo Abe—the hard duties of a Vice President cannot be oversold—I eagerly await her next serving of woke-strained word soups as she abuses the English language in a pathetic and desperate reach for any hint of legitimacy.
Third in line to the throne is a doddering, booze-bottom drunk with meth mouth who was roundly booed at an outdoor music festival in front of the proles last week but powered through long enough to deliver yet another sermon on the impending climate apocalypse and how we can all look forward to more power outages and higher prices because–the planet is dying and we must all do our part to save it. And all that. At least some of us. The Porsche that her husband crashed while driving around as a phenomenally hammered 2.0 deuce wasn’t electric, but he still felt entitled enough to offer highway patrolmen phony credentials in a weaving and mostly muttering effort to prove up his bonafides as a big fan of law enforcement.
By California law, which is more of a suggestion at this point, Monsieur Pelosi’s wreck was a felony DUI—because it involved injury. But us proles realized instantly that there was less than zero chance that this caterpillar of the commonwealth, who has enriched himself beyond measure by way of his wife’s decades of thinly disguised corruption, was going to answer that charge in the well. But if that had been you, brothers and sisters, it would be just the right case for some junior DA to sharpen her teeth on.
Regardless, and this is the point, a vote for democrats guarantees the planet will survive. Believe that or suffer a term in the tower where you may be afforded time to scrawl a poem into the rock pillars before your inevitable beheading. Just ask Gavin Newsom, who seems incapable of deciphering his own absurdities, and has so badly mismanaged the once Golden State that thousands are fleeing by the day–please see Uhaul–and the real damage is really just getting launched from the halls of Sacramento. That you won’t be able to charge your mandatory electric car when the grid is overloaded–which it now routinely is, and not just in summer– means you also won’t be able to leave your house, which we all know by now is a good thing because it also means that you can’t spread Covid or conservative extremism (which is a euphemism for wanting your kid to go to a decent school where parents have input into how their child is educated), and most importantly means you will leave a smaller carbon footprint while John Kerry flies to Switzerland on a private jet to talk about your disgusting carbon footprint. Homebody’s are good for the environment, and far easier to control.
What John Kerry doesn’t like isn’t carbon footprints. What John Kerry doesn’t like is you. And also, China did fine with bicycles for years, comrade.
Also, I’d love to see how they are going to lift the third world out of poverty with the big green revolution. Electricity doesn’t just make itself, which may be a problem from California to Angola. It’s going to require something other than windmills and solar panels to power the world. For one, I dare you to build a power plant in the Sudan, or the Congo. How long do you suppose that’s going to remain operable? Of course, that very thing is the reason that Kerry and his bridge-troll brother known as Al Gore are now harrying the world bank and decrying its leader as “a denier”. The tower looms for that poor bastard. But if you invest in a charging station in the Sudan because you think that’s the answer, wonderful–just don’t come ask me for a bailout when the latest Chinese backed militia turns it into a melted pile of wires and dead nomads and their camels. I don’t want to pay off your student loan–paid my own, thanks–and I don’t want to pay for your sunshine daydreams either. And for two, if that isn’t working on your green heart, just study lithium mines for five minutes and tell me how that’s gonna be the answer. A whole bunch of people in northern Nevada are really super excited about the toxic lithium lakes they are soon going to be living bestride.
Not that the other side is any better. Mitch McConnell is an apple core left in the windowsill too long who, if allowed to talk long enough, would formulate a speech at least as incomprehensible as James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. Trump is one of the world’s most vociferous idiots but what fascinates me is that he is still calling the shots from a radio room deep in the bowels of his Fuhrer bunker. And Republican field commanders still pick up the phone to get his counsel. How is that even possible? Wise men walk away, but in the main Republicans don’t seem to understand that their favorite fruit loop is destroying their party and that in the end this can only result in a Jonestown style “Come to me my babies” type of mass suicide.
Republicans are probably winning in the hot women in politics category, which is so offensive to utter that I will dutifully smite myself before the woke hordes descend demanding their pound of flesh–though I tend to procrastinate during struggle sessions and will probably wait until the last possible minute and then go full Kid Rock.
The Republicans, who in a strange twist seem mostly less crazy these days, would be ahead by four touchdowns if Tulsi Gabbard was one of them. She’s been heavily courted by the angry Franciscans at Fox News but has thus far avoided outright seduction which is probably good–but at least partially anchored by some of her own weird conclusions.
At least Ron DeSantis has a sense of humor. The universal groan sent up by democrats after the Martha’s Vineyard caper wasn’t out of concern for immigrants–they don’t actually give a shit about immigrants—it was because there is nothing they dislike more than having their own policies shoveled back in their faces. Chuck Schumer wouldn’t tolerate a Honduran woman taking a giant dump on his stoop every morning, but he doesn’t mind if it happens to you. In fact, that can be fairly seen as his entire governing philosophy. But the initial claim is particularly true if, and they certainly will, all these beloved immigrants start pooping in the toney streets of Dear Leader Obama’s near-earth fiefdom. Everybody loves an immigrant until he poops in front of their home and/or business. Every. Single. Day. But anyway, will Crazy Ron make a run at President? Who knows, but if he does run I’m sure he’ll get lots of votes, counted, counted twice, or maybe not even counted at all. Whatever the dubious results of any forthcoming election, the principal talent of the Republican Party is gross fratricide–rolling grenades into their own tents, and if Lindsey Graham isn’t the poster boy for 21st century Republican banality I’m not sure who actually is.
I don’t want to write about politics—I really don’t–but our pernicious politics have become an endless threat, without respite, probing ever deeper into previously off-limits areas of my daily life. That’s probably because so many of these candidates seem so utterly obsessed with telling me how I’m supposed to live my life, and what language I’m supposed to use while living it. On both sides of the equation they want to decide what I’m to do with my body, what I’m supposed to read, and what I am supposed to believe across the entire spectrum of modern topics.
I’m not a huge fan Kid Rock’s music, but I do love his attitude.
Both parties do this–without exception– which reduces them to equivalent absurdities. I don’t remember it always being this way, though I can recall some years ago when I struggled over whether or not to sign a loyalty oath in order to teach at a very liberal university. The conundrum feels related. I needed the job, but the idea was that I was supposed to sign an unqualified oath to the Government of the United States. Failure to do so meant that I was unfit to teach undergraduates how to write a coherent paragraph. My thought was then what it remains now: What if the nation becomes unqualified to have my loyalty? At the time I thought that not signing shit like that was the very essence of being an American, and I was having my little Thomas More moment up in the Tower of London. I figured no rational man with a circumspect grasp of history and its discontents would be so droll. And it’s only been downhill from that point, truly, even after I’ve volunteered, on purpose, twice, and written a blank check with my life to serve the nation that I actually believed in. One of those oaths took me around the world with a machine gun to stalk evil-doers, the other one took me into the dark underbelly of a nation I’ve concluded is suffering from terminal dry rot because it appears only capable of lying to itself, and is therefore on borrowed time–banked up by the innumerable sacrifices of far less obtuse generations.
But the truth is I’d love to go an entire week without hearing from anyone in our shame of a government, and in particular this trainwreck of a human being called Eric Swallwell, who is so appalling and empty as both a politician and a person it is difficult to understand how a rational person could cast a vote for him. But Americans, by and large, vote for pillow stuffing. I couldn’t understand that inclination with Trump either, a man who now believes that he can declassify materials by merely having the “Presidential” thought—which isn’t something I made up and is actually a thing he recently said. Out loud. When I saw that masterpiece of narcissism I couldn’t chase images of the literary and film genius of “Little Big Man”, where the Custer figure bemusedly observes that there are some who will never stop trying to cause the reversal of a Custer Decision.
Henry VIII was encouraged to believe—mostly by Cromwell–that Ann Boleyn was banging her brother, and a hapless musician, and a handful of others, and ended up believing she was screwing hundreds of people in little rooms all over the palace. The King even wrote a book about it–once dear Ann was safely locked up–that he shared with others while floating around on the Thames with damsels, harp players, and mincing clergy. History records that the little book was well-nigh unreadable, so there is that, but nevertheless his impotence and hubris got some heads got lopped off on Tower Hill and then Wyatt wrote his poem and here we go down through the ages only to arrive at something resembling the exact same place–only five hundred years later.
Meantime, my dog suffered a massive seizure last week and I had to put him down with a rifle. Then a mountain lion tried to dig up his grave. The indignities, for most of us proles, never really cease. I’d been fighting off the kind of mindset required to do that sort of thing for a long time. I had to push that mindset back or I was going to be in a very bad place in the long term-and I can tell you it has been, and remains, an enormous effort to get past some of the things I have seen and had to do. But the world doesn’t give us natural off-ramps, not when we live in it as it is, and the hard truth is we must suffer those anguishes and rise to their demands even when we are struggling to put them away forever. And in the end, maybe, we come to actually cherish them. So I had to call that mindset back up from where I had put it, and cursed God in no uncertain terms when I was doing it. Ashes to ashes isn’t a biblical platitude for us mere muleskinners. It’s a poem that continues to resonate, and if it ever fails to do that for you it’s time to sit down with a friend, or to give me a call. Luke was a great dog who has left an enormous hole in our lives, and he certainly did not deserve what happened to him. I will mourn his honesty, and his pure devotion, until the day I die.
Because even as a dog he was a better human than most of us.
I won’t be voting this time around. Not even for Jim Webb, who is my perennial candidate. And spare me the lecture. The American government has lost me. You may allow yourself to get badgered into casting a bad vote between Donald Duck and Porky Pig, and you may imagine it matters. But I no longer do. And I don’t have too. I won’t do it in the same way I won’t sign a loyalty oath to a nation that is equally make-believe. I’ll take my chances with the small, and shrinking, cast of characters in my life—people with actual bottom who can be counted on to peel away the bullshit and call a spade a spade. These are the valuable folks. They don’t let you drift too far. They meet you for a cup of coffee and talk sense. They help you move. They feel your pain and you can see the truth of that empathy in their eyes. You feel theirs, too. They help you maintain a high visual horizon in a dangerous pursuit. And when the time comes, you do the same for them. When you come to fight us it feels like something worse than slapping back at a saw. This is my tribe. We will eat our onions and potato soup and make hay when the sun is shining, and maybe make some laconic comments between baseball innings while all that thunder just keeps crashing around the terrible and faraway thrones.