Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Night the Lights Died in Phoenix

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
To anyone in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday, March 13, 1997, it was a night they'd never forget. Because 20 years ago on that early spring evening, tens of thousands of Arizonans witnessed the closest that a superior extraterrestrial civilization came to introducing itself to our poor species. It was even seen by the Governor at the time (who later made the tremendous error of dressing up his chief of staff in an alien costume in an attempt to ridicule what he and countless tens of thousands had witnessed and documented).
     To the more open-minded of us, perhaps many in Arizona that night hoped and prayed the aliens would finally descend and show themselves, to perhaps guide us to a better way of governance or perhaps even to transcend the need for governance. Perhaps many of us had wished that they would touch down and, having had enough of our clownish and destructive stewardship of this unique planet, would finally set us straight.
     Alas, the giant boomerang-shaped ship which shape was defined by its unforgettable lights merely scanned Phoenix below then slowly drifted off, never to be seen again. And last night in that great southwestern city, the lights figuratively died again when Donald Trump came to town to hold yet another fucking sloppy, rambling hate rally.
     To be fair to the presumptive President, it has been a rough summer. The health care repeal failed. He's under a very serious DOJ probe. Many top aides have either quit or had been fired by him or others. The more sympathetic of us might even say the Commander in Thief needed to have his spirits lifted and ego inflated with a few hundred fellow right wing nut bags, that 25% who recently said nothing Trump could say or do would make their support for him waver.
     Obviously, among those things were siding with neonazis and confederates, something no real President has ever publicly done, trying to steal health care from 22,000,000 Americans, firing the very people who could have functioned as a check and balance, some voice of reason on this rolling Dumpster fire of an administration.
     He teased the crowd with a pardon of infamously racist Sheriff Joe who violated a court order and was recently convicted for it, bemoaned the fate of "poor Jeffery Lord" who was fired by CNN for giving the Nazi salute on Twitter. He praised so-called clean coal and in between jeremiads took long looks to stage left and right, soaking up the usual idiotic, unconditional adoration. But I'm putting the jackass before the cart. Let's look at how it played out in chronological order.

The 75 Minutes Hate
It had all started out as well-meaning and well-choreographed, with four people taking to the podium to build a beautiful sand castle of all inclusion, telling those in attendance and all following on social media to not give in to the demons of hate. Even hate peddler Franklin Graham, son of anti Semite Billy Graham, even Franklin fucking Graham of all people joined in the construction of this wonderful sand castle in the sky.
     And then the world's oldest toddler took the podium and kicked it back into loose sand in three minutes flat.
     Yet long before Trump shambled and ambled in his usually sloppy, disjointed way to his peroration, people had already begun to leave or to tune out. Security cruelly had confiscated the water bottles of those who'd waited for hours in 107 degree heat. Trump railed for about 25 minutes on the "fake news" media, pulling his own quotes out of his pocket. He took pot shots at both of Arizona's senators without mentioning them by name (and patting himself on the back for acting "very presidential.").
     He took pot shots at the Republican party in general, at those who criticized him for his statements on Charlottesville (bragging that he lived in a better penthouse than many who call themselves elitists) and claimed that he took shots at the KKK, the white supremacists and other right wing factions whose faux outrage over Robert E. Lee's statue getting taken down by court order resulted in the death of a woman Trump still hasn't acknowledged. Forgotten was his taking it all back at Trump Tower the very next day in a combative exchange with the media.
     Lastly, he finally mentioned the antifa faction by name in much more withering terms than he'd ever mentioned the Klan, white supremacists or the neo Nazis. Few showed up for Trump's rally. There were much fewer there before he finally ran out of hot air that he already added to the stifling Arizona night.
     And that was because they'd heard it all before. Only the topical subjects of Charlottesville and his hideously bad response to it differentiated it from the countless hate rallies he'd held across the country while on the campaign trail. They'd heard it all before and quickly grew bored with the boilerplate, the self congratulations, the constant egoistic masturbation. And even the idiots who'd waited hours in nearly 110 degree heat to hear Idiot Zero speak eventually came to the conclusion that far from being a rally to prop up Trump's popularity, it was merely another exercise in making himself look good by tearing down others.
     Then, just when it couldn't have looked any worse for Trump, he called his new Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, to the stage. But Kelly wasn't there. No doubt, after the debacle at Trump Tower, he knew what to expect.
     Donald J. Trump is a tired old comedian who many had taken way too seriously, a washed up, worn out comic who's too stubborn to get new material or use new props for his threadbare schtick. And America is slowly coming to the conclusion they've been conned.
     Aliens, if you're listening: We need an abduction to take place immediately and you can do with him what you wish (including anal probes). And when you pluck this miscreant from the earth, you can keep what's left over and jettison it into the sun.

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