Friday, April 19, 2024

Good Times at Pottersville

Thursday, April 18, 2024

RIP, Dickey Betts

     I began writing my novel, American Zen, about 16 years ago. Before I'd finished the first draft, I came upon the idea that I'd assemble a soundtrack for the album, something few novelists have even attempted to this day. One of the major tracks that best captures the essence of my bildungsroman novel of a rock group in 1978 desperately attempting one more bid for glory was "Jessica" by the Allman Brothers. It was the last song that this fictional band, The Immortals, was to play at their final gig in November, 1978 before their front man announced a solo record deal. Obviously, the band never played "Jessica".
      During their improbable reunion 30 years later, they go back to the same venue and meet the leader of an all girl group led by their late front man's daughter. They complete their final gig by playing "Jessica" with the girls before heading home.
      "Jessica" was written by Dickey Betts and it was composed to be played with two fingers on the left hand as an homage to French guitarist Django Reinhardt. "Jessica", in my mind, is one of the most brilliant rock instrumentals ever written and it became sort of the anthem for my novel, American Zen.
      Dickey Betts died today at the age of 80 and the world of rock and roll is poorer for it. RIP, Dickey.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Good Times at Pottersville


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Good Times at Pottersville

Monday, April 15, 2024

The Second Gettysburg Address

(By Donald J. Trump, aspiring dictator)
     The sleazebags in the liberal media like MSDNC have been making fun of my perfect speech about Gettysburg. So, I, your favorite president, the 45th and 47th, have decided to write my own Gettysburg Address.
     There were many fine people on both sides and, unfortunately, the wrong people won. But it was a historic day five scores and 11 years ago in the war of northern aggression. The confederates were about to take control of the airports until the other guys stopped them.
     People say that up to 28,000 people were killed during those three days but don't believe that for a New York minute, people. There was a lot of love on that battlefield that day and guys were kissing each other. Personally, that's not my thing but that's what I hear they were doing, I dunno.
     And all the southerners wanted to do was to watch The Apprentice, the greatest show in the history of television, but the blue meanies wouldn't let them have TVs. People come up to me all the time and say, "Sir, the moment you fired Omorosa on The Apprentice was the most beautiful moment of my life."
     Anyway, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought not too far from the Capitol of Philadelphia. It's a town that I won by a lot in 2016 and by a lot more in 2020 and you can't tell me Crooked Biden won his home state. I won by a lot, OK?
     And, for just $9.99 extra, I'll throw in a printed copy of this address along with my Bible that you can get for the low, low price of $59.99. MAGA!

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Good Times at Pottersville: End of the World edition

Friday, April 5, 2024

Light Dawns on Marblehead

     It was over three years ago, asshat.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

This is How a Party Devolves

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari, with a
tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC)
It's ironic, if not outright impossible to believe, that Donald Trump's life could be characterized as calm. Trump's been called a lot of things in his life but calmness has never been associated with it. Yet, that's precisely what we're seeing despite the political and legal headwinds at this final phase of his life. It's the calm before the storm.
     The reason I say this is because right now Trump is enjoying nearly universal support from ultra right wing Republicans. More and more of them are even saying the quiet part out loud and calling for a repeal to the 22nd amendment that limits presidents to two terms.
     Republicans are perfectly OK with moving the goal posts when it suits them. When they have the majority in the Senate, they have no problem whatsoever in nuking the filibuster and denying the minority party a voice. When there's a Democratic governor in power, Republicans will move to strip that governor of his or her powers, such as what we've seen recently in Kentucky (Funny how Kentucky always seems to be at the epicenter of this right wing white-boarding). Then, when political conditions favor them again, they then move the goalposts forward.
     But with this emerging movement to get Trump a third term when he hasn't even come close to winning in '24, we're seeing the right wing's loathing for democracy and sheer ignorance of basic facts. First of all, you cannot get rid of a Constitutional amendment the minute it momentarily becomes inconvenient to your agenda. That would be problematic at best even in the wake of, God help us, a Constitutional Convention.
     Trying to get Trump a third term blithely ignores the fact that, statistically-speaking, he's already well past the end of his life span, which, as of last year, fell to 73 years. Considering his unhealthy lifestyle, it's a medical miracle Trump's still standing, albeit with a bizarre fronto-temporal forward tilt. It's impossible to see how anyone representing the apex of human evolution see many more years of life for this bloated fascist who gorges himself on hamburgers, fries and Diet Cokes. Plus, even if Trump lives into his 80s, only a blithering idiot would think his cognitive decline will arrest itself or get better. It's just a matter of time before Trump will make a public appearance sans pants.
     So, what will transpire when the inevitable happens and Trump is turned into a 300 pound pile of compost occupying the back nine of Mar a Lago?
     Well, one doesn't need to be a political scientist to know what will happen. But before I go into it, let me tell you about a video I once saw on the internet a long time ago.
     It was a dead water buffalo lying in a shallow river. The animal's body was unnaturally moving because its carcass was being hollowed out by scores of piranha furiously feeding on its innards.
    This is precisely what MAGA has long since done to the Republican Party. We've gotten so accustomed to the idea of Neo Nazis and white nationalists completely subsuming a major political party that it's hardly shocking anymore. It's now a party that, through a bizarre alchemy, turned Liz Cheney into a voice of reason within the conservative movement. And Liz Cheney was no centrist like, say, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. This is a woman who'd voted with Trump 93% of the time... until January 6th.
"But wait! There's more crazy!"
But Cheney's apostasy, which was completely based on the January 6, 2021 insurrection, cost her her political career. She was thrown out of the Republican conference chair then was humiliated in 2022 by losing her Republican primary to a wild-eyed lunatic named Harriet Hageman, who is what the local church lady would look like after an unsuccessful regimen of Haldol suppositories.
    Almost all of the 10 House Republicans (including Cheney) who'd voted to impeach Trump the second time are now out of Congress. Some got hounded out, others lost primaries or elections. Since then, we've seen the retirements of dozens of Republicans, most notably Ken Buck of CO-4 and Mike Gallagher of WI-8. When Gallagher leaves, that'll shrink the Republican majority to one. It's like an Agatha Christie novel only with AR15 lapel pins.
     So, I think it's safe to say the GOP is the hollowed-out water buffalo stuffed with piranhas.
     Don't believe me? Ask Marjorie Taylor-Greene how things are going in the Freedom Caucus.
    But Marjorie Taylor-Greene was no victim. This is the latter-day Republican Party we're talking about. There are no victims, except in a mutually inclusive sort of way that depends on a torturous redefinition of the word. Time and again, we see and hear stories of disparate factions of the far right movement tearing each other to pieces when they realize there are differences in ideology.
     To revisit the movement to overturn the 22nd Amendment and keep Trump power for life, MAGA betrays its short-sightedness in hitching their wagon to an incipiently demented con man and grifter statistically past the end of his life span. But what happens when Trump finally shuffles off this mortal coil?
     What will result will be the largest and most vicious Nazi power struggle this planet has ever seen.
     We never saw it at the end of WWII because the end came so swiftly. Seeing the end was near, Nazi leaders like Himmler and Goering approached the Allied powers with peace deals that prompted Hitler to issue arrest warrants for them just before he ate a bullet and a cyanide capsule. Himmler mysteriously died in British custody and Goering committed suicide literally hours before his execution after the Nuremberg trials.
     They did turn on each other, sure, but because the Allied powers moved so swiftly and because the major figures died so quickly, we never saw what would have been a long, protracted power struggle after Hitler's suicide. And when you practically predicate an ideology on hatred and intolerance, it's inevitable that when the Dear Leader dies, there will be a power vacuum then a power struggle. And when Trump is finally gone from the picture, psychopaths-in-waiting will seek to inherit or steal that mantle outright.
     It will be, well, a fascist bloodbath the likes of which the world has never seen and it will, ironically, be staged in the nation that did more to end fascism in Europe than any other. And considering how thoroughly MAGA has occupied the GOP, it only stands to reason that, when MAGA falls, the GOP will fall with it. To hope for another outcome would be like trying to separate the Titanic from the 1500+ souls that went down with it.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Good Times at Pottersville

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Good Times at Pottersville

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Pottersville Digest

     Hey, ambulance chaser, it's hilarious that you think a cheap, cynical PR stunt by a guy who cheered on your cop-beating clients will get off on a technicality. And aren't you MAGATs always the ones letting loose with the water works when you don't get your way? Asking for 81,000,000 Biden voters.

     Regardless of all his bankruptcies, civil judgments for fraud & settlements with fraud victims, Trump never runs out of idiots who trust him. That's his superpower, his genius, to always find victims eager to sacrifice money, pride & reputations.

     Republicans really are democracy-loathing ratfuckers, aren't they? Take Kentucky, for instance...

     I can tell you exactly when the stock will go belly up: Now that Trump knows he has billions waiting for him, he'll pressure the board to change the rules for him so he can cash out now instead of waiting for six months. The board will knuckle under, give him what he demands and he'll cash out as soon as he can while the stock price is still high. The other investors will see this, and they'll sell their shares in an orgy of panic selling. The stock price will inevitably bottom out and the lower tier investors will be left with worthless stock. That's how this company will end.

     I wouldn't be so quick to pronounce this as "excitement for Biden" as it is fear of Trump. In that respect, the dynamic hasn't changed a bit since 2020 and that in itself is dispiriting. There's that and the fact that, in 2020, despite four years of the most nightmarishly dysfunctional years that anyone ever had in the WH, 6,000,000 more people voted for that umber buffoon than in 2016. That fact alone gives me cold sweats.

     Just when you think Trump can't sink to a new low, he starts working on the barrel's bottom with a diamond-tipped drill.

     Meme intermission.

     You know, I've never had the slightest use for Ken Buck, or any Republican. But this dick move that he pulled in abruptly leaving Congress had all the dickishness of a disgruntled tenant nailing shrimp shells behind a kickboard right before moving out just to get back at his slumlord. And that gets my grudging admiration.

     Don't forget, female voters make up 51% of the electorate.

    Of course, not a word from the Sociopath in Chief about McDaniels' sacrifice of her career spreading his own Never NeverLand lies about the 2020 election.

    And yet, one of the most absurd stats to come out of the last general election was that in 2020, Trump's support among Black voters was 8% whereas in 2016, it was 4%. Yes, it actually doubled.

     As Rahm Emanuel once famously said, "Never let a crisis go to waste."

     OK, if it's so cut and dry, then what are they waiting for? Break out the stainless steel jewelry.

   Oh, that's rich. The Republican assclown who wrote letters to himself was screaming for transparency.

     When is someone going to finally put this piece of shit behind bars?! Do you think any of us would get treatment this deferential? No, that deference is given to the asshole with a standing army of lunatics at his back.

     I'm surprised Trump doesn't have a fake gold tooth to put in his maw when he hawks his Bibles.

     Someone should literally ask this jackal, "When did you stop beating your wife?" And finally...

    Who gives a rat fuck what these lunatics think? This is hardly news because MAGATs are always outraged over something.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The C Suite Bubble

     This is probably the only post I'm ever going to write during an interstate road trip but it seems starting the day I leave Massachusetts, the proverbial shit hit the fan.
     Starting yesterday, Trump was given a huge boost in the New York appellate courts and was allowed a week and a half more to come up with his $454,000,000 bond except it doesn't have to be that but $175,000,000.
     Which may be easier since Truth Social also went public yesterday, theoretically netting Donnie Dumbo an additional $5,000,000,000 due to 80,000,000 shares in a company in which he never invested a penny of his own money. According to the terms of this fishy merger, Trump can't cash out his shares for another six months, long after the bond deadline but that could be overturned by a simple vote of the board. Of course, if Trump did a quick pump and dump of his 80,000,000 shares like his old buddy Felix Sater, aka Mr. Stabby Face, he would induce panic selling that would render the rest of the shares worthless. But, hey, who cares as long as neck vagina gets to parachute out while the shares are still going for $70 or more?
     So, between the appellate court rendering this inexplicable ruling (a stay was also imposed on Judge Engoron's decision that forbade Trump and his greaseball sons from acting as officers of any New York-based company) and Truth Social promising to stuff five billion in Trump's pockets, it would seem evil not only pays but pays billions in stock dividends.
     Then today, I began to hear rumors on Twitter, sourced only to Dylan Byers of Puck News about Ronna Romney McDaniel getting shit-canned by NBC two days after hiring her to spread Trump's propaganda. MSNBC's on-air talent ranging from Rachel Maddow to Chuck Todd to Joe Scarborough were universal in their condemnation of not only McDaniel and her hiring but also the NBC executives who"d unilaterally made the hiring decision without consulting said talent, producer or anyone else.
     It was a classic case of a group of corporate cunts acting as if they were the smartest guys in the room then acting accordingly. They autonomously made a major hiring decision that was bound to be controversial with their brightest stars and deeply unpopular with their viewers.
     And they didn't care. Their arrogance and bloated sense of their autonomy from their C Suite bubble was nothing shy of breathtaking. At Exxon, their version is the God Pod. The C Suite is NBC's version.
     Still, I held off from judging and leaping to conclusions. Twitter is a shitty and dodgy place to get your news from, especially when it's currently in the grip of a nazi psychopath who likes to blow up huge rockets and incinerate people with electric cars.
      Then it became official. NBC's executives couldn't take the heat and they fired McDaniel today. True to form, Donnie Dumbo couldn't wait to dance on her vocational grave as if he was on a rally stage looking like he's jerking off two gigantic penises.
     This was a woman, a pathetic woman, who, in her service to her orange God, sacrificed everything, even to the point of changing her name and removing "Romney" from it. She flushed down Trump's golden toilet any shred of credibility she ever had as RNC chair by shamelessly spreading his endless lies about the 2020 election.
      So, it wasn't enough that he got her fired at RNC HQ and replaced her with Lara and it wasn't enough that she got fired weeks later by NBC. Trump had to kick her simply because she's related to Mitt Romney.
     Her two days as an NBC contributor came to perhaps one fifth of a Scaramucci. But it was one that never should have been made in NBC's maniacal quest for "fairness and balance".

Sunday, March 24, 2024

The Loss of Identity

     I knew this day would come. The day when I'd be writing my final post from this house. I just honestly thought it would be on my terms.
    I'm now doing things for the last time that I'd taken for granted, things I'd done hundreds or thousands of times before. Yesterday was my last mail delivery. I'd already paid the gas and electric bills for the last time. Last Friday I did laundry at the local laundromat and shopped at the supermarket for the last time, deposited a check at the bank for the last time. I'm eating my last lunch here as I write this and later tonight, if I have time, my last supper before sleeping in my own bed for the last time after taking my last shower. My old friend Diane is coming by in a few minutes and we'll see each other for what might easily be the final time.
     This is how my apartment looked almost exactly 15 years ago. It was just before I got the kitchen table and the rest of the furniture I'd acquired from a Brazilian family moving back to the Old Country. This would've been right around the time that Barb and I had first discovered each other online through the Rude Pundit's blogroll.
      The living room would be the scene of much joy, especially during Christmas where we'd opened our presents every year, often with the blessing of family. The kitchen was where we'd enjoyed countless good meals. especially during Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's and Easter. When Barb was still with it, we'd have very deep and profound conversations and the Scott Carson series was midwifed into being right there at our kitchen table. The bedroom was where most of The Doll Maker and all of Hollywoodland was written and where, at bedtime, we'd both read many wonderful books by other authors.
      Now I find myself giving things away. I cleared out the van of anything I felt might be of value to my son and he gratefully accepted the gas and gas cans, jumper cables and booster pack I'd given to him. My friend Nick at the Shell station, already the recipient of the Carson trilogy, got a blank journal a few nights ago, for which he thanked me again via text message. Friday, I gave my son two or three books, one of them my own Gods of Our Fathers.
      In a way, it's akin to a death or an impending one. I've heard stories of people who know they're about to die and begin giving away their belongings. As far as Hudson, MA goes, I was a townie for over 30 years and Barb was one for nearly 14 of those years. We loved seeing the same people all the time, eating at our favorite restaurants. Yes, we were townies,. We leaned into it. It was part of our identity.
      Being forced to leave Hudson involves a certain loss of identity. I went through that when I had to put Barb in the hospital a little over a year ago and again when she died six months ago on Friday. And a loss of identity is a certain form of death that's difficult to explain to those who've never been forced to walk in my shoes.
      I couldn't stop crying at the laundromat knowing I'd never do my laundry there again. I thought of all the countless loads of wash Barb and I did there. When we did laundry, usually on a Tuesday, I tried to leaven the dreary experience by having fun. Go to the local Honey Dew and get some sandwiches and coffee, to the Petco and look at the parakeets and reptiles and see the occasional dog, maybe shop for our favorite foods. I did shopping at the supermarket next door knowing I'd never shop there again. I knew I'd never do banking at my bank again. Friday was my sad little farewell tour. Dead man walking and all that.
      And, of course, Friday I had to watch the van get towed off, the same van that Barb had traveled in with me more times than I can possibly count. My favorite poet Keats once referred to this kind of uncertainty as "the wide arable land of events". Of course, when he'd written that to his siblings, he was talking about a dark doom that awaits us when we least expect it and it was written in the spring of 1819 on the cusp of his annus mirabilis. It was nearly after a year after he'd begun to present the symptoms of the tuberculosis that would kill him and that had already killed their youngest sibling, Tom, the previous winter.
      And I'll be fucked running if I know how to get my identity back. I used to be a writer until Barb's condition began to worsen and I had to devote more of my time and energies to her care. Then she was forcibly abducted from me and my identity as her caretaker was also taken from me. I don't know what awaits me in "the wide arable land of events" that Phoenix presents with the looming presence of a dead force. But I don't like this unsettled feeling nor should I be expected to like it. The past, to me, offers much more solace than the future. And I make no apologies for that.
     Preteens go through the famous "identity crisis" and there's something to that, sure. But no one has ever ventured a phrase for the identity crisis that people my age go through when we lose our agency and autonomy, our freedom and independence that we'd worked so hard to earn and keep. What's the phrase for the unique identity crisis that faces almost all seniors? There simply isn't one any more than there's one for parents that lose children.
     Like Jim Morrison said, "the future's uncertain and the end is always near", especially when you don't have a fortune to ensure and firm up what future is left to you.
     So, whenever I get to where I'm going, and it'll involve three different states or more, the punditry will continue, the cartoons may continue. But it won't be the same. You'll know it and I'll know it. All but the first eight months of this blog's existence happened at Casa de Pottersville right here in Hudson, MA. Starting tonight, I'll likely be going radio silent, not that many will care, because I'll be restricted to my cell phone. The internet's getting shut off tomorrow since I'll be leaving at 10 AM tomorrow.
     It was a hell of a ride and I often had a lot of fun writing for you guys, starting with Barb.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Good Times at Pottersville

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Meme o' the Day: Fuck Him. I'm Half in the Bag and Feeling Nasty edition.


Like a Light From a Distant Star

With three and a half days left to pack up the rest of my stuff (or what little I can take with me. It's more like triage than actual labor), I finally went through the last of Barb's presents to me in the final Xmas we'd spent together (2022). It was the first time I had the guts to go through that paper bag (By Xmas 2021, she couldn't wrap presents, any more). My son had to chaperone her when she did her final round of shopping on December 23rd so we could split up and do our shopping in privacy.
With Barbara that year, it was hit or miss. I suspect it involved little more than picking items at random and throwing them in the cart. Some things I could use (like the ugly plaid shirt that would fit Charles Barkley but which is the most beautiful shirt on earth because it was the last one she ever got me. I wear it nearly every day.), some things I couldn't (Like the Old Spice set. We dads and husbands and boyfriends keep getting it as some default or consolation gift when imagination or ingenuity fails. I keep thinking of Hannibal Lecter's withering appraisal of it).
But then I came across this- A beard trimmer that I tried to interpret at the time as something less than a tacit suggestion from Barb to manage my whiskers (she never complained about them). But I unpacked the trimmer for the first time since Xmas 2022. I painstakingly installed the batteries then began trimming my white beard, which is now a fine stubble that, fortunately, is fashionable, for some reason.
And life, and death, is like that, I suppose. It rarely if ever travels in a clean, linear direction, one that guarantees impeccable timing and desired outcomes. It often if not always travels circuitously with no conventional timetable or trajectory.
Sometimes the dead aid us in our moments of greatest confoundment, such as when we've run out of ideas and default to Old Spice during Xmas shopping. My whiskers often get out of control because, frankly, I hate shaving. Then, I have to get out the trusty old scissors that, yes, Barb brought up from Florida in 2009, and trim them painstakingly before I can put a razor to my face.
But the trimmer Barb got me nearly 15 months ago works like a charm and performed magnificently during its maiden journey across my weathered face. This poor old woman who's been gone from us for six months was still capable of an insightful idea and gave me something I can now use for the first time even if I didn't have the guts to open it.
And I can only offer my own words in Hollywoodland as to why I refused to go into that bag of final gifts from the love of my life. In a certain chapter, page 88, when Sarah discovers she'd just slept with the man whose son she'd murdered just a week before, he points to the presents his son bought him for his birthday that Sarah saw him buy just moments before she killed him. It was a pipe and pound of tobacco. They'd remained unopened and Zeke tells Sarah,
"I haven’t opened these presents because… I guess if I do, it’ll be the last thought Clem ever had of me and then once I know what it was, then he’ll be silent forever."
Barb was still very much alive and still capable of good days when I wrote those words in the earliest months of the pandemic in 2020 but, as proof of what I'm saying, sometimes our characters know more than we do and the wisdom and motivations we give them are often passed down to us like heirlooms. Then, like a light from a distant star, it finally arrives with the magic of serendipity attached to it.
Yes, I finally reopened Barb's final presents to me but she's far from silent. She speaks to me even though she's dead and through my characters because there would be no Scott Carson novels without her. She will never be silent. She was too wise even while she was staring down her worst adversity.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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