Many of you have seen the hideously kitsch portrait of poker playing presidents.
There are two versions — one with Republicans (above), the other with Democrats (at end of column). I’ll assess them in bi-partisan fashion. Both are atrocious. They make the poker playing dogs look like The Last Supper.
The Republican poker game includes Abraham Lincoln hosting his pals — George Bush, Sr., Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Jr., Dwight D. Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford. Some psychopath even painted Sarah Palin into the most current version. If I had the opportunity to stake someone in that lineup, I’d bankroll Nixon in a Watergate minute. My reasoning is simple: He’d be willing to cheat to win. That makes him an easy favorite in Republican Party politics.
The Democratic poker game is equally preposterous. Thomas Jefferson is the table captain, joined by his chums — Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Lyndon B. Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, and Harry Truman. In this field, I’d make Johnson the clear favorite, that is, unless the game was played in Vietnam. Jimmy Carter might as well be drawing dead.
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
— George Orwell (“1984”)
An astonishing thing happened in Las Vegas, Nevada this past week. The largest newspaper in the state, the Las Vegas Review-Journal was sold off — to someone.
Trouble is — no one knows who.
Not even the writers and editors on the news staff know who they’re working for, right now. A number of reporters have even taken to Twitter the past few days, speculating publicly on the media mystery of the great unknown.
Yesterday, there was another mass shooting in America.
That was the 355th murderous tirade this year, a rate of more than one mass shooting per day. More than 600 innocents have been killed by guns, and 1,620 seriously injured. That’s in addition to the tens of thousands of gun accidents, domestic altercations, and countless other tragedies which have involved the misuse of firearms.
U.S.A! U.S.A! America, fuck yeah.
If and when the chronicle of capitalism’s decline and ultimate demise gets written, the ideal starting point as to why the fall happened would be today’s grotesque gargoyle of greed — better known as “Black Friday.”
Nothing so acutely illustrates the twisted paradox of our collective values than humbly folding out hands together, bowing our heads, and giving thanks for the blessings we have on one day….and the very next morning (or increasingly, later that same night!) storming out of the house and diving hysterically, clutching credit card in hand, into the national mosh pit of bargain-hunting mass madness. The hypocrisy goes beyond epidemic.
The conservative movement has perfected the dark art of victimhood to detestable new lows, even for them.
Once again, they’ve torn out the most incendiary pages of the far right’s twisted Machiavellian playbook, butchered most of the facts, and ignited the tinder box brimming over with anger and paranoia. Once again, they’ve manipulated a seemingly trivial event for their own selfish political (and financial) gain. Once again, they’ve frightened the living daylights out of their most gullible followers. And once again, their dubious tactics seem to be working. Like I said, it’s a dark art.
Whether it’s guns, or Bibles, or banks, or big oil they’re credulously protecting with the incessant screams of shrill voices and enraged sense of false patriotism, these susceptible pawns shifting around on the American political chessboard have sardined themselves with the rest of the can of crazies in what’s increasing become a vicious collective mass hysteria of guppies with unmistakable aims to obfuscate any attempt at rational discourse. Their favored tactic? Sling enough shit around, and something is bound to stick somewhere.