Welcome to New England where our most popular regional sport is politics. Football, baseball, basketball and hockey cannot compete with the joys of arguing politics. That this year is politically the worst experience since we drove out the British only means that all our other complaints will have to wait in line until the political rage has been satisfied, at least temporarily.
When politics and sports are finished, we move on to the single sport in which everyone, of any age, can actively compete.
Weather. Or more accurately, complaining about the weather.
From bitterly cold to stiflingly hot, we’ve got the weather to cover it.
Winter is too long, too snowy, too icy, and much too cold. I couldn’t agree more. Everyone is cranky and whiny from the first flakes through final melting. Of course, mud season, the inevitable followup to the heavy snow, is no one’s favorite, discounting the dogs who revel in it.
Spring? What spring? Where are the flowers? Why can’t we get a decent spring season? Is this the punishment of a malign deity?
Until the lilies bloom, New Englanders are cranky.
Some time during May, summer drops by, usually in mid-afternoon. The morning is comfortable until the temperature goes way up and the humidity moves in. The leaves on the trees droop and it is definitely summer. Always too hot. Muggy. Humid.
Or, maybe it’s not hot enough.
“Hey, how come it’s June and we still need heat?”
In summertime, those triple H days — hot, hazy, and humid — give us a collective headache. Everyone complains. Relentlessly.
Autumn is New England’s winning season. It is everyone’s favorite time of year — except it’s much too short. There are oceans of dead leaves to shovel. We rate our autumn by the brightness of leaf and you can stand on line in the grocery and hear people commenting that “this one isn’t as good as the year before last. Does anyone remembers 2012? Wasn’t that a doozy?”
On a bad year, heavy rains from a tropical storm can push all the way up the coast. Those drenching rains ruin the fall foliage. Which makes everyone cranky.
We recover if the Sox are in the playoffs, but become downright grim if they aren’t.
Speaking of whiny, I know people on Facebook who, in the middle of a summer-long drought during which we haven’t gotten a drop of rain, will rant furiously on the day the drought breaks. I bet they’d be even more whiny if their well went dry . That would be a serious rant!
I wrote a blog a while ago calledPunchlines and Prophecies. In it, I said that we now know that the old adage “anybody can grow up to be President” turns out to be true. But I also pointed out that just because anybody can grow up to be president, not everybody SHOULD be president.
In the comments, a commentator, ‘Lwbut’, made a point that really caught my attention. He said “The problem is you’re supposed to be a grown up to be President, which clearly the Child-in-Chief has not managed yet.”
That got me to thinking.
Wow, he’s right. If there’s one thing that everybody has realized in the last year, it’s that the moron occupying the Oval Office is a petulant child. A 70-year-old toddler.
In the book “Fire and Fury”, the author makes the point again and again, that EVERYBODY in the White House thinks the President is a child. And they all treat him as one. He’s basically a spoiled petulant 8-year-old. And a ‘soft 8′ at that.
The terms “Toddler-in-Chief”, “Man-Baby”, “Cry-Baby” and “Whiny Little Bitch” show up almost every day in news articles and on TV. Especially late-night TV.
The constitution says that to be President you have to be a natural-born citizen of the U.S. and at least 35 years old. But they didn’t say if that was your actual age, or your mental age!
So — is Trump a child? Think about it. Look at all the pictures I’ve found of Trump as a spoiled brat. It only took me five minutes!! Can you say that about any other president?
If you google ‘ Obama as a baby’, you get Obama’s baby pictures!
If you Google ‘George W. Bush as a baby’, you get, Bush’s baby pictures!
If you Google ‘Trump as a baby’ you get this.
So. If you are a 70-year-old, but have the mind and temperament of an 8-year old, do you meet the requirements of the Constitution? I say no! Let’s take it to the Supreme Court!
I realize this is another example of the Child-in-Chief completely ignoring another one of those pesky “political norms.”
In this case it’s “A President cannot act like a child!” So, this is just another thing we’re going to have to make into an actual law. In the future, there will be a sign on the door to the Oval Office that says:
Every president leaves a legacy. It’s a big deal. How will history remember the president? How will history remember his administration? For Lincoln, it was the Civil War and ending slavery.
For Herbert Hoover, it was the Depression.
For FDR, it was The New Deal.
You get the point. So, what will the legacy of the current occupant of the Oval Office be? Will it be that an ignorant, moronic, racist, misogynistic, narcissistic, senile asshole should probably not be the President?
Well, sure, that’s a given. But I think his legacy will be even more than just the obvious. He will be remembered for something far more profound.
The President of The United States gave the mainstream media a great gift. A gift they never could have gotten on their own. Newspapers, cable news, network news — especially network news — finally got something they could never have gotten any other way!
What was it?
The President made it OK to say shit on national TV. Watching it happen was a wondrous event.
The story was that SCROTUS described countries like Haiti and African countries as “Shitholes” in front of a bunch of Congressmen. The story exploded, like every other stupid thing he does. But this story was different. Something new happened. I was wandering thru the news channels as it happened. And it was awesome. It was adorable. It was like watching a child speak for the first time.
Initially, everyone was hesitant. They all didn’t say shithole, they said “The S-word”. And all the chyrons, the lower thirds, all said “S#@THOLES”.
All the cable news anchors fell all over each other saying how much it disturbed them to have to say a word they don’t want to say because it’s so vile. So they said “The S-Word” And they said The “S-Word” as often as they could.
And then, as the evening wore on, I noticed something. The lower thirds suddenly said “SHITHOLE”.
Wow, I thought. And then like a puppy opening his or her eyes for the first time and seeing a new world, it happened.
Suddenly Rachel Maddow and all the others on TV took the leap. “The President said Shithole!” they all declared! And the flood gates opened up.
By the next day everybody was on the ‘shit-bandwagon’. Every headline had some play on the word shit.
There was not a “S##THOLE” anywhere to be found!
I realize at this point that many of you might not understand why I think this is so important. It has to do with the media. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve been in the media for over 40 years.
There are a lot of things the media can and can’t do, or should or shouldn’t do. But there is one thing that they absolutely can’t do. And that is they can’t say dirty words. To be more specific “The Seven Dirty Words”.
The seven dirty words? What’s that? Well, the words are from a George Carlin routine from around 1972.
The bit was about words you can’t say on radio or TV and the words were: “Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.”
The record was played on a Pacifica radio station in NYC, WBAI. That lead to the FCC fining the station.
And that lead to a Supreme Court case. “FCC vs Pacifica Foundation.” It was a big first amendment case and what came out if it was a decision that the FCC couldn’t limit your first amendment rights, but they were OK banning the seven dirty words on mainstream media.
And that is a big thing if you work in the mainstream media. Many anchors have been fired for accidentally saying “fuck” on the air. It was instant death, you were gone. Period. And you have no idea how media people talk, especially off the air.
I worked for the ABC Radio Network in the early 1970’s, WCBS FM in the late 1970’s and CBS News until today and I always marveled at how some news announcers could go thru an entire newscast hitting the mute button on their mike to yell at someone in between doing the actual newscast.
ANCHOR: In the news today, Vietnam peace talks have stalled, more after this. MUTED ANCHOR: What the fuck??! Who ate my fucking Goddamn yogurt! You all know that’s my motherfucking yogurt! ME: (talking in announcer’s ear) We’re back in 3,2,1, cue. ANCHOR: Moving on to sports, here’s Howard Cosell. MUTED ANCHOR: God fucking damn it! This is the third time this month my motherfucking yogurt is gone! I will find you, you cocksucker and I will FUCK YOU UP!!
I know you think I’m making this up. And I also know for a fact that as Garry is reading this, he is rolling on the floor laughing.
My point is, this is a milestone. On January 11th, the year of our lord 2018, a miraculous thing happened. Trump overturned FCC vs Pacifica. The mainstream media got to say one of theSacred Seven Dirty Words.
Broadcasters are loving it! Now that the precedent is broken, where can we all go next? Oh right — there are still six more dirty words!
So, to sum up this president’s legacy:
A shithead decided to run for president.
A bunch of shitheads decided to vote for him.
A bunch of other shitheads decided that there was no difference between him and the other shithead running for president, so they voted for a third shithead.
And half the country didn’t give enough of a shit to vote at all.
You can’t make this shit up. But at least we can say shit now! Thank God, because the president is doing his damnedest to turn this country into a real shithole.
We are all in such deep shit. On top of everything else, we’re going to need 7 new dirty words.
So, last night Ellin and I were watching the Golden Globe Awards.
Normally we don’t that much care who wins or loses. But for the last few years I’ve been getting “screener” copies of all the movies nominated for all the award shows. We watch as many as we care to watch and can watch the ones that win. So, we watched the show. Near the end of the show Oprah Winfrey was given the Cecile B. DeMille award.
It’s their version of a life-time achievement award. The winner gets to give a speech without having to worry about the dreaded “music” telling them to shut the fuck up and get off the stage before they get “the hook.”
Last year the winner was Meryl Streep. She gave a speech eviscerating our “So called Commander-in-Chief.” This year Oprah didn’t really mention the President at all. Even so, she gave a presidential speech and by most accounts, a pretty good one. In the middle of it, I paused the show and said to Ellin. “Holy crap, she’s running for president.”
And sure enough, that was the headline the next day.
I’m writing all of this, not because I support or oppose Oprah Winfrey running for president. I’m not writing this because if he’s done nothing else, Cheesy MacCheese Head has proved the old adage we were taught as children: “Anybody can grow up to be President.” More importantly, he’s proved that just because anybody canbe president, not everybody SHOULD BE!!
No, I’m writing this because I predicted that Oprah Winfrey would be president 28 YEARS AGO!!!
Don’t believe me? I have proof. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far … well actually, it was this galaxy. I wrote a show called “A Half Hour Radio Show.”
The premise of the show was that two hosts, me and my partner Jeff, would present a half hour of witty, satirical bits, and skits. The problem was, we never ever did any of them because something would always happen. We would never get to our actual show. In the first episode, the radio station we were on was sold during the opening music and they installed an instantaneous ratings computer that computed ratings in real time. Every time we went to commercial, the format would change so we never got to our show.
After that, things got much weirder.
In one episode, Jeff and I got sent 30 years into the future to do a show with our future selves. Why? Well, we still had the show 30 years in the future and we realized one day that we had no show for that week.
We thought it would be funny to get our selves from 30 years ago to come to the future and do a show together. Then they remembered that they actually did do that, so now, they had to do that. So, they did.
If that confuses you, it should. If figuring out time travel doesn’t give you a headache, you’re not doing it right.
The point of that particular show was to look at the world 30 years from then. Our young selves asked our old selves about what life was like. We learned things like:
There were 5000 TV channels. Today, cable, satellite, fiber, etc.
Every song had its own channel. Today, it’s Pandora, Spotify, etc.
There was a commercial channel. It only played commercials. Today, it’s on YouTube.
When asked who was the President of the United States, our older selves answered: “Oprah Winfrey.”
Today White House Chief of Staff John Kelly announced the decision of the Trump Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to remove President Donald J. Trump from office.
The decision to begin the process of removal from office follows the Cabinet members’ review of the report of the president’s medical examination by an Army physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, a report and decision that move the country closer to a constitutional crisis.
While the Cabinet was acting on the Army physician’s conclusive medical findings of a personality disorder, rapidly progressing early dementia and other evidence of cognitive impairment, President Trump sent out a series of tweets calling the Walter Reed report a conspiracy by the military, the FBI, and the CIA, the equivalent of a military coup, and declaring he will not…
Well, the new year is less than a week old and it seems like 2018 is turning into 2017 on steroids. There’s so much going on this week it seemed to be a “target rich” environment for a blog. The “You can’t make this shit up” and “If you wrote this, nobody would believe it” clichés got together and gave birth to a book called “Fire And Fury” by a reporter named Michael Wolff.
It’s an inside look at this train wreck called “a Presidency.” It confirms what has been common knowledge for a while already. SCROTUS is nuts. Senile, and dumb as a brick, too. And much, much more. The book is riveting. I downloaded the audio book. Ellin and I sat at the kitchen table and listened for over 3 hours before we realized two things.
One: This is totally engrossing. We can’t stop listening. Two: Damn, my butt is sore. Don’t sit at a kitchen table for more than three hours.
The thread of the book is how unbelievable this administration is and how unbelievably incompetent this administration is.
But I think the lead — which has been buried — is how this guy was able to write this book. I’m not making this up. How did he do it? He spent the last year hanging out in the White House. In the West Wing. He talked to everybody, including the President.
He could go in anytime he wanted. They all talked to him. They all knew he was writing a book!
How did he pull this off?
He met with Trump and asked if he could be a “fly on the wall” and document his administration. Trump said “Sure, why not?” Now he denies it but somehow, he got access to the White House, even though nobody is sure who actually allowed it.
The utter chaos that the book describes is how he got in.
So, think of it. A reporter is going to the White House for a year, wandering around and everybody tells him everything. And nobody notices he’s —
And they all seemed to be completely stunned and surprise that this guy
WROTE A BOOK!!!
The other thing about this book is that all the bombshells in the book are not bombshells. It’s all common knowledge. Hell, I’ve written a blog about most of them.
The book points out that they never expected to win. The book equates the campaign to the Mel Brooks movie “The Producers.
I wrote NUTS, NUTJOBS AND NUTTERBUTTER.I could go on, but I’m getting tired of the cutting and pasting. And of course Marilyn, Ellin, and Garry have written even more on all of this. Basically, all the stuff we’ve known and been watching unravel during the last year is now in a book because a guy got to sit on a sofa in the West Wing for about a year — and just watched it all happen.
You just can’t make this shit up. We all know one thing: It’s going to get even weirder.
2017 was big with late night comics, but depressing to real people. Like us.
We laughed because comics are funny, but we weren’t really laughing. Wrapped around the humor was the realization we weren’t going to get out of this mess for years to come. Like — three years — if we do it right. Please, let us do it right!Remember way back in 2016 when Clinton said, “Look, I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald.” She was lying. I knew it. You knew it. I suppose it was the best she could do. She still thought she had to be polite.
We have all learned otherwise in the year since. His children are as awful as he is, though mostly they have a better education … yet they stayed surprisingly stupid. I didn’t know you could get that much education and remain so stupid.
In 2016, I could think about the high points of the year. I don’t believe there were any high points in 2017, except that Roy Moore wasn’t elected to the senate. Otherwise, it’s been a down and dirty year with another one on the way. I’m trying to feel better about it. If we beat the crap out of them in 2018, I might begin to breathe.
But here’s a link that brought tears to my eyes. It a video of dreams, our hopes for the future. Check it out. It’s better with music.
This year may turn out to be hilarious at some point in the future, when the world has gone around the sun a few more times. Maybe very funny. If I live long enough, it’ll be ROTFL for me and mine.
But not yet. My sense of humor needs an attitude adjustment.