Truth Hurts (but not really)

It is estimated Donald Trump has told more than 20,000 lies since he became the president of the United States.

I can’t do much about any of them. 

But the one thing I can do is to not let him make me into a liar.

The Chairy is better at the truth!

Trump has COVID-19, the potentially lethal virus he’s mask-lessly, and very purposely, downplayed to the rest of us for months. (Note: So far 210,000 Americans dead and 7.3 million infected).

Just how bad it is depends on who and what you believe.  But let’s put it this way, it was bad enough for him to be helicoptered to the hospital on Friday, reportedly after having trouble breathing and receiving oxygen. 

Airlifted to a nearby hospital? Totally normal, nothing to see here #WHAT

Right now this is where he sits, or lies, at Walter Reed Medical Center, benefitting (Note: Or not, how would you know for sure?) from top of the line, world-class medical treatment on the public dole.

Since then the man who refused to wear a mask and social distance – so far the prime protocols the medical establishment has urged us all to follow in order to prevent this potential killer– the protocols that he shamed Democrats, the media and, in fact, his own followers and personal staff working beside him for following – has received worldwide well-wishes, support and concern.

Ah, the old standby of “thoughts and prayers”

People are literally flooding him and falling all over themselves with public thoughts and prayers.  In particular, his opponents on Capitol Hill, on TV, and in any big industry, have prefaced their remarks about him and any issue regarding him by saying a myriad of creative and well-constructed platitudes.

They range from everything like:

Clearly, WE ALL wish the president a speedy recovery, to

As Americans we all want our president to be healthy, and on towards,

I think we can all safely say our hope is for, as soon as possible, President Trump to be safely back at work and behind the resolute desk where we can then disagree.  It’s what we, as American, are all praying for.

Hmm.  Well, given my lifelong penchant for honesty I gotta tell y’all the truth –

Not so much and not this American.

Yeah, I said it

I’m not proud of that, nor, am I ashamed of it.  I’m only offering it up as my absolute, unvarnished reality in the hopes of, in turn, setting us all free.

As humans we’re all imperfect and pretending to be otherwise doesn’t really get us anywhere.  I don’t wish Trump death, as I’ve read and privately/publicly heard others saying.  I just don’t wish him well, about anything. 

Pretty much this exactly

Yeah, I might save him from a burning building because I’m a human being but no, I wouldn’t risk my own life to do so.

We all decide what is a bridge too far for us and then attempt to do better if we believe we’re lacking.

I don’t think it helps anything or anyone to, um, make stuff up because it’s, um, beneficial to us in the moment.  Lies beget lies, which begets bad behavior, which in turn begets horrible power grabs and many more lies and consequences.

Isn’t that the way we got into this mess in the first place? That place where we pretty much don’t know whom or in what to believe?

She tried to warn us. #Hillaryforgiveus #actuallydont #dontdeserveyou

Perhaps one day I will evolve (or devolve, depending on your view) to be the kind of person strong enough to turn the other cheek at someone I have watched gleefully cause so many to suffer without batting a painted-on eyelash or eyebrow. But honestly, with this guy, right now, I’m not anywhere near that.

Nor are so many others I know and know of, despite what they are publicly espousing.  

This doesn’t necessarily make us evil, or even evil geniuses, just people who might be able to one day do better.  (Note: Or not.  It depends on what your definition of better is).

Guilty

But for right now, as someone recently, and most honestly, admitted (Note: And it’s one of the rare times he’s done so):

IT IS WHAT IT IS.

When it comes to abusive behavior towards others and innate meanness, when it involves rallying white supremacists to come out into the streets armed and intimidate everything good and free about law-abiding citizens just wanting to cast their votes or even protest, my well-wishing tends to be a bit more…measured.  Meaning it leans towards the oppressed and endangered.

When it comes to sympathy, my kind thoughts don’t extend to those who are sitting on several billion dollars in assets, paying zero in taxes and then publicly bragging about it to people who live in one and two room apartments.

Please enjoy your socialized medicine while you’re at it

When it comes to my heart, well, it doesn’t involve someone who knows they have been exposed to a potentially lethal virus and yet exposes hundreds or even thousands of people to it in order to rake in more money to support their political ambitions or, perhaps, even to infect the very person they’re running for office against.

When it comes to prayers, the first or even thousandth person on my list is not someone who confabbed and giggled and yeah, colluded with world leaders who seek the destruction of my country in order to get elected to the highest office in the land.  And it certainly doesn’t include a guy who used said office to make himself and his family business tens of millions of dollars in the process.

And that’s only the half of it

I could go on and on, gosh knows there is evidence and more than enough time these days.  But I think there’s enough here for you to fill in the rest.  If not, google non-white children separated from their parents, put in cages, and never returned to them on the U.S. border and see what you come up with.

People like to think of Trump as some sort of all-powerful superhero/villain (Note: Depending on where they stand) or an exceptional kind of evil geniusBut I don’t.  Sorry Michael Moore.

Right now I consider him nothing more than a sick, fat old man who has a lot of power but no conscience.  Someone who is street clever and will stop at nothing to stay in the presidency so he doesn’t have to face criminal charges in court like a regular citizen and possibly go to jail, or at the very least pay millions of dollars he likely doesn’t have accessible to him, in back taxes.

I need to find a hillside to scream at the top of my lungs

Someone I find just plain sad and mean and, yes, for now, regrettably with more power than many.  Kind of like, as I said to one friend recently, a really mean Oz.  But what’s behind the curtain is not a superpower, just a super liar who temporarily controls the levers of some earthly powers.

Someone who is dangerous but not omnipotent, as recent events prove.

This is why I can’t and don’t wish him my bestright now.  Nor do I wish him back on the job as his good ‘ole self in the near or even distant future.

What I prefer is for him to have a time out, sit in a hospital corner and have a good long think about what he’s done.  Like the child that he is.

Where is this balloon these days?

It probably won’t make a bit of difference but it’s the best that I, and many like me, can offer or feel at this point in time.

He’s not in my thoughts, among my hopes or anywhere near my heart, thank God. 

This doesn’t make me a bad person.  Just an honest one.

Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”

Writing with an Expiration Date

The FUTURE JEOPARDY! CATEGORY is:  Great subjects for American movies in the 2020s.

Well, you’d think ONE OF THE ANSWERS would be: U.S. electoral politics.

I mean, in just the first half year of this decade the majority of us Americans are continuing to live through new, repeated and seemingly never-ending traumas resulting from the surprise 2016 Russian influenced installation of our first reality star president.

This feels right

True, on paper that might not SEEM like the most crowd-pleasing blockbuster of subjects.  But neither was the chronicle of the now second most traumatic electoral aftermath in the last 50 years, All the President’s Men.

And today that film is an Oscar winning classic that cleaned up at the box office.

This was in great part due to the perseverance at the time of producer-star Robert Redford and the great filmmaking team he assembled.

“Devastating” almost seems quaint

But it is pretty much universally acknowledged it was also because of the brilliant yet cheeky thriller screenplay written by the late William Goldman, which he adapted from the best-selling book by the now iconic Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Well, politics and our times have changed quite a lot in the last half a century.  Yet in many ways we’d still all love a good story about the failings of our government and the American underdogs among us who can rise up and at least attempt to make things right once again.

Especially in the era of Trum….okay, you know who and what I mean.  (Note: Don’t make me write IT). 

AHHHH!

So much material.  So, so SO much material.

It’s the unwanted gift that keeps on giving.   Kind of like the equivalent of receiving 32,358 fruitcakes over the last three Christmases that now somehow need to be purged from our systems.

So, how to proceed and eliminate?

Well, if you’re a moviegoer and an industrious studio head who do YOU think would be the perfect person to guide us through this particular type of morass  and expulsion?

Who could come up with a great story about how and why this could have happened to us and in what way we could possibly make things right again?

Who is it in popular culture that has always massively entertained us, made money for the suits AND provided us invaluable insight into understanding politics on a grand scale without, well, talking down to us???

Well don’t take too long

The ONE person synonymous with smarts and originality, the political satirist of our times with the cross generational super power pull that any doubting studio head could feel comfortable with entrusting to tackle the impossible subject of our 2016 electoral aftermath.

You knew/know him – you LOVE him Certainly, I do.

Yes – it’s The Daily Show’s own incomparable:

JON STEWART!!!!

Our favorite goat farmer, Mr. Jon Stewart

…….You’d think.

But wait!!!!

Before anyone goes and thinks the disappointment over Mr. Stewart’s new Amazon film “Irresistible” is entirely or, really, even partly his fault, let’s be clear.

Doing this kind of movie amid the cosmic shifts we’re currently enduring in our pandemically challenged world is a SHEER thankless and IMPOSSIBLE TASK.

You’d have better luck trying to digest those 32,358 fruitcakes in one sitting.

… and now I think I understand the title

Events have been moving at the speed of light and sound since the first of this year (Note: Though not in a good way) and Mr. Stewart’s new film gets caught up in the sheer cyclone of newsiness (Note: And also not in a good way) as it tries to slice and dice the political process with what amounts to a butter knife.

Granted, that butter knife probably felt like the most efficient version of some top chef’s sharpest meat clever when Mr. Stewart first sat down to tackle this story.

But once you’ve experienced a failed impeachment trial for clear high crimes and misdemeanors and a month of street protests demanding racial justice after we Americans watched a Black Man literally asphyxiated to death murdered by two policeman on video over almost nine minutes – during a global pandemic – well, all bets are off.

This is not to even mention immigrant kids locked up in cages, the shutdown and crashing of our economy and an all-time record 16-20% of Americans unemployed (Note: That’s 26-30 million of us).

and then you wonder.. what’s next?

Yeah, it’s a sh-t show out there and even a movie written and directed by our patron saint of political humor couldn’t possibly conquer it.  No movie could, given the one-two year lag time (and that’s being generous) between conception, filming and release.

So what we’re then left with is the story of a jaded Democratic political consultant to Hillary Clinton (Steve Carrell), barely recovered from 2016, who sees a viral video of a middle-aged farmer/military vet (aka Chris Cooper as The Colonel) defending the rights of immigrants to his local mayor and selected members of his small town.

Seeing a chance to once and for all prove to the country that semi-liberal politics are not solely the prevue of big city cultural elites and that exclusionary, far right thinking is, well, small-minded, Mr. Carrell’s character, the consultant, quickly hatches a scheme to run The Colonel for Mayor in the upcoming local election.

Hardest workin’ man in showbiz #hesineverything

The reasoning is that if he makes a big enough deal about this candidate in Deerlaken, Wisconsin it will become national fodder and show the country that progressive policies simply amount to doing what is right and what is human rather than what is hateful and what is most expedient.

In other words, the only reason small town America didn’t buy what the Dems were selling was that it came in the wrong package.  Had the same points been raised by one of their own, well, 2016 would have NEVER turned out the way that it had.

Oh… was that it?

Sure, there’s more to it than that, including a major twist later in the story (Note: No Spoilers here!).  But all the twists and turns on the planet couldn’t possibly make a smart, light, gauzy but only slightly edgy story like this resonate very deeply given what’s presently at stake electorally for all of us.

This is a representation of small town America where their worst problem is that their local economy is failing.  (Note:  Remember when THAT, and that alone, was a BIG problem?).  It is NOT a world where friends and relatives are dying in overcrowded hospitals, supermarket cashiers deserve hazard pay, law enforcement can kill you at any time, and you rightly worry that the Russians, the Chinese and god knows who else might permanently place an aspiring American dictator into the White House.

This all really does seem like part of a Dr. Evil style plot

This is what’s really on the minds of the majority of Americans in 2020 (Note: Certainly the filmgoers) when they think about who and what they’re voting for in 2020 America.  And not even Jon Stewart could possibly know that would be relevant or on our brains in this presidential election year.

This is not to say his new film Irresistible doesn’t have its charms.  But any of us looking for something truly relevant from now till Nov. 5th should merely turn on the TV to MSNBC, CNN, FOX (lol no) or PBS.  It’s there that they’ll find programming far, far more risky and much, much more perversely entertaining.

Sadly.

Bob Dylan – “The Times They Are A-Changin'”