Saturday, July 29, 2017

Nurse the Hate: The Athens OH incident

If you have never recited the alphabet backwards, it is not as easy as it appears.  The difficulty also increases when an Ohio State Patrolman is staring at you with a serious face.  I had this experience when I was pulled over in the band van on the way to play a show in Athens OH.  I was driving on whatever that state route is coming down south from Columbus simply minding my own business.  Well, to be fair I was speeding in a van with four guys blaring The Beat Farmers with the windows down.  Making matters worse was that only seconds before coming to the attention of law enforcement, I had opened a can of Budweiser.  You see, we were very close to our end destination and had only gassed up minutes before.  Leo had bought a six pack inside the store, passed the beers around, and I though “Well, why not?  We are one exit away and I sure am thirsty!”.

When the lights flashed behind me, I knew I was in a difficult position.  I had just made a wild lane change to pass a mini van while we were hurlting by well past the speed limit.  I had the beer can between my legs, and as it was mid afternoon, the clear windows of the van made trying to hide the beer somewhere impossible.  The cop approached the car with the gravel crunching under his feet.  Do you know why I stopped you?  I immediately thought “because I was doing 85 mph driving recklessly while having an open beer between my legs?” but instead responded “I might have been a touch over the limit?”.  He looked down at the beer between my legs.  What do we have here?  “Look, I realize this looks really bad, but I literally took one sip of this.  We are getting off at the next exit and I figured since we would be stopping in a minute that…” Get out of the van sir.

This was during the Early Days of Bitter Struggle in The Cowslingers.  We were not exactly the most mature group of gentlemen.  A great example of this is that when I started to go through the litany of roadside sobriety tests, our bass player Tony started to film me with a video camera while they all laughed loudly.  I did not feel then, or now, that this particular course of action enabled the officer to look upon me favorably.  I walked the line.  Did the alphabet.  Fingers to nose.  He then did the pen trick where my eyes had to follow the motion of the pen.  I felt confident that as I had truly had one sip of Bud, I should be able to pass the tests and get off with a speeding ticket.  This is when he threw me a curveball.

“I know that you say that you just had that one beer, but how about we go back to the station and you take a breathalyzer?”  Sure.  No problem.  Why do you think I am bullshitting you?  “It’s just policy sir.”  We then hashed out an agreement to have Bobby drive the van to the station as we all swore he hadn’t been drinking as he was underage.  This was not the truth.  For some unknown reason, he believed us or decided it was worth the risk.  I sat up front with the cop and Bobby drove the van behind us as we went to the station.  I made small talk on the ride.  “So… How long have you been in the law game?”  I think he found my flippant attitude either proof of my absolute guilt or perhaps innocence.  We arrived and he escorted me into the station.

They sat me in a back room by myself for about 20 minutes.  The door opened and the cop that had pulled me over walked in with another younger cop.  They asked me to stand and they then did the pen trick.  The older cop looked over at the younger one and gave him a raised eyebrow.  There was something they didn’t like on that pen trick, and they thought they had me dead to rights.  They then both walked out of the room again and kept me on ice for another 20 minutes.  When they returned they took me to The Breathalyzer Room.

The two cops got very professional at this point.  They spoke in stiff language no one uses as a way to add some formality to me blowing into a machine.  “Sir at this time we will administer the breath alcohol test with the Lynx 200-A2 machine.  We will request that you blow into tube A until light B is illuminated at which time the test will be commenced.”  So you want me to blow into that straw until you tell me to stop?  “Yes sir.”  Guys?  What do you say we make this interesting?  “Excuse me sir?”  I reached into my front pocket.  I said, I have $47 on me.  What do you say we bet $47 that I pass this test?  You obviously think I am lying because of the old pen test.  “Sir, we are not by regulation allowed to participate in a wager of that nature.”  Come on!  You know you think you got me. 

They would not take the bet.  I leaned forward towards the tube.  Now, I knew that I was clean.  However, I don’t care who you are, the thought crosses your mind that the machine could be rigged like a Reno slot machine.  Cop #1 tells me to blow into it while Cop #2 hits a button on the floor to produce a predetermined result.  Next I find myself being thrown into a cell screaming “I was framed!  Framed!”.  I found myself suddenly very nervous as I blew into the tube.  The machine beeped.  I sat back.  What does it say?  “You passed the test sir.”  The first cop looked at the results a second time in disbelief.  “OK, I am just going to give you a ticket for the speeding.  I am going to just give you a warning for the lane change, open container, lack of seatbelts, and general recklessness.”  Thanks man!  I really appreciate it!  You should come out to the gig tonight?  We’re playing the Union.  I will put you on the list.  “Really?”

So that’s how a couple State Cops came to see us play in Athens on a Saturday night.  It turned out that my eyes flinched at the end of the pen test, a sure giveaway to someone that has overindulged.  What he didn’t take into account was that I was wearing contacts, which was causing the tick at the end of the eye motion.  We laughed about it and all had a good time.  The younger cop bought a shirt from us.  Ironically it had the “Drink and Drive Records” logo on the back.  I don't think he saw the back design when he bought it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Oh, That Clears That Up!

It was good to see that the Senate cleared up Jared Kushner’s potential Russian collusion on the election.  If he said he didn’t know anything about it, that’s good enough for me.  The one thing I know is that if you can’t trust a New York City real estate developer, who can you trust?  Now, some critics will point out that the Trump people have lied about… well, everything.  There is also that odd propensity to have selective amnesia about ever meeting with Russians.  “I have never been in contact with any Russians.  Except that one.  And that one.  And him.  And her.  But I never tried to influence the election.  That email sent to me said what?  Oh.  Well, I never read that email, so it doesn’t count.  And that meeting I attended where I thought I was going to get Russian intelligence doesn’t count, because we didn’t get anything.  How do you know I didn’t get anything?  Because I’m telling you now!  It’s not like I would lie about anything!”  Oh.  OK.  That settles that.  Whew! 

The fact that Jared Kushner is involved at all is mystifying.  He’s like the local car dealer’s kid that is always smiling smugly when his father buys him out of trouble. “Well, I realize young Jared might have done something wrong when he made those young boys eat dog shit out on the baseball field, but I’m sue we can put it past us when we christen the Kushner Baseball Complex complete with lights!”  Cue marching band with Jared smiling from behind his father while looking at the ten year olds he forced to bite down on that dried out dog turd.  Our country is so wildly out of control that no one even thinks to get freaked out by the fact that this dope is representing our interests despite having no specific qualifications.

Wrap your head around the idea that for the last 80 years our nation has sent various emissaries to try and cobble together peace in the Middle East.  Our current leader decided to jet Jared Haircut over there.  “He’s a good kid!  A smart kid!  He went to Dubai to golf once.  He can fix it!.”  Middle East Peace is a hopeless task that requires intricate knowledge of the cultures, people, and history of the region.  Our brightest minds, seeped in that knowledge and armed with great planning have failed.  These were people that prepared their whole lives for a chance to try and bring these factions together.  We sent him.  Somewhere his ex-lacrosse teammates from Discrimination Prep must have been saying “Dude…  Did you see they sent J-Man over to the Middle East?  Dude that was ripping bong hits on our couch is going to totally fix the Middle East and shit!”

Shockingly, it went poorly.

There are so many outrageous things going on at once, it's impossible to take them all in individually.  The Trump Administration spends all day, every day lying their ass off about everything.  If they say in a press conference that today's date is July 25th, I am going to assume it might be December 8th.  It has become so tiring and so incessant, it has become normal.  What I find really interesting is that six months ago when Trump took to Twitter so spread disinformation, most people in the population became alarmed.  These are clearly the ravings of a lunatic.  Even the Republican puppets that would drone on about "how this is a different kind of president" had that glint of fear in their eyes.  Now it has become so consistent that it doesn't even raise an eyebrow that today alone he suggested imprisoning a political rival, de-legitimized the free press, ranted at cutting health care coverage for millions of Americans with no replacement plan, and promoted one of his seemingly pointless Thousand Year Reich rallies in Youngstown.  People got used to it, which suggests to me that they will get used to anything.  We have not found rock bottom.

There are enough people in America that only consume the Right Wing propaganda news outlets that they now live on a different planet than reality.  It is impossible to even discuss issues with them, because their version of the world has had all the facts distorted.  Even better, they have also been told that the people trying to figure out what is really happening are lying, so no amount of proof will ever penetrate their world view.  I saw a poll where 87% of Trump Supporters do not believe Donald Jr. met with any Russians, this despite the fact that Donald Jr. told everyone he met with Russians.  How do you reason with that?  This is our new reality.

As we keep sliding towards national irrelevance and a new societal low, I keep wondering if the daily pressure on Trump will make him finally snap.  The Twitter feed does not suggest a man that is mentally healthy.  Even our finest presidents emerge from their terms looking aged and worn.  Obama looked like one of Miles Davis sidemen from "Birth of the Cool" when he went in office, and left looking like Danny Glover.  He was even a guy that had the education and temperament for the job.  Obama fought with Putin.  Trump fights with cable TV hosts.  It is not a good time in America, and we still have 3.5 years at the very least.  Our only hope is to see a bloated naked Trump briskly jogging down the White House lawn nude while screaming about Hillary, his TV ratings, and CNN.  It has to be something so bad that even that snake Mitch McConnell will have to admit, "OK.  He's crazy.  Let's get Baby Goebbels in there."   What's it going to take?

It's all bad.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Happy's Bar

In two weeks, the cast would come off.  It stretched from his right hand up to his elbow.  The gauze closest to his elbow was discolored a copper brown after he had cut himself while attempting to scratch underneath it with a straightened wire coat hanger.  In just two weeks, he would not only see his pale forearm again but finally get to assess the damage from that wire hanger misadventure.  He feared the cut would have left an impressive scab, but he also counterbalanced that dark thought with the assurance it was probably much smaller in reality like when the tongue runs over a chip in a tooth.  

The cast was white.  He had chosen white at the hospital instead of the more popular neon colors that were now in vogue.  White was traditional.  He liked tradition.  He had hoped all his acquaintances would offer to sign his cast like had happened when he broke his leg skateboarding as a kid.  No one had offered though and it seemed desperate to ask people directly.  The cast had just quietly yellowed as the days past.

That changed two nights ago.  He had been sitting out a burst of rain at a bar called "Happy's".  Happy's was not happy, and might have been the bleakest tavern on the West Coast.  It smelled like urinal cake, stale smoke, and vomit.  At any given time, a few men would be seated at the bar hunched over while slowly draining their government checks one 10 oz. beer at a time.  Happy’s was the sort of place where a man drank when the realization hit him that he would be unloved for the rest of his life.  It was a quiet place of accepted desperation. 

He could feel that desperation when he walked in.  Normally he would have walked right out, but the thunderstorm was really coming down.  Rainwater ran down the sides of the street like filthy creeks.  He ordered a bottle of Budweiser, not wanting to either drink from the glasses or tapline.  He sat down at a small table in the corner facing the door.  He never allowed his back to face a door as he heard that left one open to surprise attack.  He had not been the victim of an attack since a playground incident when he was nine, but one could never be too careful.  He was slowly sipping his beer and hoped he was blending in when he heard the voice to his left.  “You a regular here?"

The couple smiled at him like he had told a great joke.  The man was fat and balding, yet had a long braided ponytail.  He wore a faded jean jacket with a confederate flag patch above his cigarette pocket.  He sat with his legs extended with his motorcycle boots resting on the wooden chair across from him.  A very pale and skinny woman with a remarkable amount of tattoos down her exposed arms sat next to him twirling a cocktail straw in her glass.  They continued to smile at him, staring, deciding what to do next depending on his response.  He needed to be careful.  They could smell his fear.

"I usually come only on ladies night."  There was a brief moment of silence and then the couple both let out genuine laughs.  He hoped they hadn't heard him exhale.  The man stood up and yelled over to the bartender.  "Get me another round Pete!  Him too!"  And with that, he spent the next four hours at Happy's.  The man with the ponytail, Joel, lived in the neighborhood and "did odds and ends".  Rachel, his female companion, was a tattoo artist.  They drank most of the afternoon away while Joel expounded upon his theories of The Deep State, the Kennedy Assassination, how to eat pussy, and the problem with the Raiders.  While this monologue continued, Rachel silently and slowly drew an attacking octopus on his cast.  Her tongue tip moved back and forth across her lip piercing as she methodically filled in lifelike detail on the drawing.  He was equally afraid of Joel and consumed by Rachel.

When he decided to leave, he unevenly stood up and walked to the bar.  He handed Pete the bartender his credit card.  Pete first looked it like it was a foreign object as he may have been the only person in Happy's with credit of any kind, but pulled out an old style swipe machine to run the card.  "I got the tab Joel.  This is on me."  He had a beery happiness as he looked down at the fierce octopus that now occupied the cast.  Joel stood up and shook his hand.  "You're a good man!"  Rachel leaned in to kiss his cheek and slipped her tongue in his ear playfully making Joel roar with laughter.  "Come on back any ladies night!  Hahahaha!"   

He returned to his apartment and his life.  He called off work the next day, afraid of what his co-workers would say about the octopus on his cast.  He sat on the couch with the shades drawn, wary to let anything in.  He kept staring at the octopus drawing, the strong perfect lines drawn with complete conviction.  He felt an anxiety growing in his chest.  Later that afternoon he got dressed, putting on worn jeans and a plain black t-shirt from the very back of his closet.  Maybe he would take a walk down to Happy's and get a drink.   

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Hate Lightning

I was reading the New York Times today in which there was an article about people that had been struck by lightning.  The vast majority of these instances happen in Florida, because if something terrible is going to happen to you, there is a greater chance than not it will happen in Florida.  I believe that just like a carton of orange juice, the sediment of the United States population oozes down Florida, eventually settling in the Greater Miami area.  Every single person involved in a scam runs to Florida and then buys a big gaudy house which cannot be repossessed due to Florida State law.  They then nest up there where they assemble a legal team, listen to dance music, do lots of cocaine, and have intercourse with strippers.  This is why such amazing people like the principal partners of Enron and OJ Simpson settled there after their “troubles”.  Florida has, in general, bad karma moving into town every single day.  Something has to give, and in this case, it’s lightning strikes.

The article painted a terrible story of what happens if you get struck by lightning.  My takeaway from the article was twofold.  One was that it’s best to not run to the beach if storm clouds are gathering.  Second, if you live in The South, anything that appears terrible from the outside is actually a blessing from God.  Please note the following excerpt from the article.   

Cameron Poimboeuf, then 15, was playing Pokemon Go with a friend. As they ran for shelter from an approaching storm, he was hit and his heart stopped. Cassandra Thomas, a pediatric nurse standing on a balcony, saw it happen and raced down nine flights of stairs and across the beach to reach him. She did CPR for about 20 minutes, with the help of an off-duty officer.
Predictions were dire: Cameron would not recover or his brain would be seriously damaged.
But he lived and largely recovered. “It’s hard not to see God in that,” his mother, Karen Poimboeuf, said. Cameron still suffers from invisible wounds, post-traumatic stress disorder, nerve pain, mood swings, sleeplessness and anxiety. His friend also was hit and suffered short-term leg immobility because of the shock to the nerves, but is fine.

To summarize, if a 15 year old kid is playing Pokemon Go with a buddy and gets fried by lightning, it’s “hard not to see God in that”.  Now I would counter by asking what sort of vengeful God strikes a boy playing Pokemon Go almost killing him and leaving him with a scrambled brain and constant nerve pain.  Perhaps Pokemon Go is the reason for this mighty and terrible God’s swift and terrible actions.  Perhaps this boy and his friend were dabbling in “the dark arts” and worshipping a false God in this Pokemon Go situation.  I don’t know anything about Pokemon.  This is because I am a bitter middle aged man with a cold dark heart.  I did look up Pokemon on The Google, and discovered something called a “Squirtle”, which to this point I had assumed was a small woman that performed a fetish act on video.  There is also something called a “Wigglytuff”, which I am certain has something to do with public masturbation while using welding gloves.  That was all I needed to know.  It’s best to steer clear of Pokemon.  Cameron Poimboeuf learned that the hard way.

Yet, it is absolutely fascinating to me that Cameron’s mother thought God had shined a light on Cameron and his deviant Pokemon habit.  Rather than focus on the odds of being struck by lightning in Florida (1 in 960,000), she instead sees the kid surviving as the blessing of God.  To see the lightning strike as random chance but his recovery of the caring hand of the Lord to me seems counter intuitive.  However, I suppose it is best to assemble whatever sort of reality one needs to proceed through life.  If she were to flip it around and think “Cameron was that one in a million person that got struck by lightning from the heavens by an all knowing God focused on swift and irrefutable divine justice.  He is my boy.  I birthed something that Almighty God Himself struck with all his might.”  That’s a bit much to take on when you are living in a place with strip plazas, alligator attacks, ferocious insects, mind numbing humidity, and non-stop soul crushing club music.  The last thing you need on top of that is the Divine Being putting his attention into crushing your kid like a bug.

Maybe I am in some sort of existential crisis.  Does my life have any meaning, purpose or value?  Probably not.  I don’t have God tossing thunderbolts from the heavens at me.  Conversely I also don’t have anything amazing coming together in moments of crisis.  I am punching the clock.  Maybe that Poimboeuf kid was onto something running through the bushes looking for a Squirtle.  I hope not.  I am into making lifestyle changes as needed.  However, I don’t think I want to get hit by lightning as a deviant chasing a Squirtle.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Nurse the Hate: The Skyway Drive-In

The Skyway Drive In was perhaps the worst place in the history of cinema to watch a movie.  It was though, without question, an excellent place to drink beer as an underage adult.  This was the primary appeal for most of the bitter end of the Skyway's glorious run as a screening home of first run Hollywood films.  Sure, there were the occasional family or couple attending.  There was nothing like watching a movie in the car with the absolutely awful clip on silver speaker.  For the most part though, it was punks like me walking around the lot drinking like it was a Browns tailgate.

A friend of mine had a Delta Olds 88, which was a car about the size of my first apartment.  That car had two things going for it.  First, it had a pretty good aftermarket car stereo, which played almost exclusively Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, and regrettably Def Leppard.  Second, it had an enormous trunk, which could easily hold an overloaded cooler and two adult men.  Though the prices at the Skyway were certainly reasonable, part of the allure was trying to sneak in for free.  By this time I had already developed a strong set of sales skills and always persuaded someone else to climb into the coffin like trunk.  In retrospect it must have seemed a bit of a tip-off to have two young men in an enormous car ask for two tickets to a movie and the car being wildly weighed down in the trunk.  “What’s in the back son?”  Rock salt sir.

There was a specific area where the “cool” kids parked.  This was the area where that Olds 88 always came to rest.  I never felt like I was a “cool” kid at the time, but there is a perception out there now that I was at least at the outer peripheral of that clique.  I wish someone would have confirmed that with me at the time that I was “in”, as I spent most of those years feeling awkward and painfully unaware of what I was supposed to be doing.  I tried to blend in with the herd.  I generally stood around in the dark learning how to drink beer, making small talk, and trying to see whom else was standing around by the cars in the dark doing the same thing I was.  

The Skyway turned a blind eye to this activity, as I am sure they were barely scraping by as a business.  During the height of my time as a Skyway customer, they made the move from the giant silver speaker that you would attach to your driver’s side window to having the sound broadcast on a low power FM.  While the sonic quality increased from “fucking terrible” to “I can sort of hear it now” with the move to FM, it wasn’t without issues.  While it was good to be able to hear the dialogue from the movie, it was always delayed by a half second.  This made all movies appear as if they were dubbed into English as if everything was a cheap karate movie.  The other issue was people’s car batteries would die out by playing the radio, so it was important to remember to turn the car on once in awhile or at least have a friend nearby with jumper cables.

I didn’t watch any movies at the Skyway.  In fact, the only movie I remember attending was “Blade Runner” which I then failed to recap at all at the family breakfast table the next morning.  Sample conversation:  Mother:  How was the movie?  Me:  It was OK.  Her:  What was it about?  Me:  I don’t know.  Her:  Why don’t you know?  Me:  I don’t know.  (I spent two years responding “I don’t know” to any question asked of me by my parents.)

The Skyway Drive In is most memorable to me for reasons outside of cinema.  I remember a guy named Rick getting accidentally locked into the Olds 88 trunk when the key broke off in the lock.  In case you ever want to know what someone would sound like that got buried alive in a coffin, I can tell you.  It’s not pretty.  Rick freaked the fuck out.  I was pretty helpful as I stood around holding a beer saying, “He’s really freaking out in there.  This isn’t cool.”  I’m a good guy in a crisis that way.  Eventually the back seat of the Olds 88 was removed allowing Rick the emerge from the trunk like a trapped miner, wide eyed and dazed from the experience.  It was quite the buzz at the Skyway, let me tell you.

The other key memory was the time I brushed my two (2) fingers on my right hand on the outside of the panties of a very desirable young woman in the back of a Honda.  She must have had very impaired judgment as the entire episode went from “highly unlikely” to “oh my God, this is happening!” very quickly.  I am not saying I was inexperienced, but my finger technique at the time was very similar to the motion and pressure one would use on a scratch off lottery ticket.  I am now quite certain that this lack of technique, lack of subsequent timely follow up via phone call, and likely strong negative reaction from her friends all but assured me of the ensuing amnesia from her regarding this incident.  I will say this.  Mistakes were made.

It’s a shame that the time of the drive in movie has passed.  A summer night like this would be perfect to load up the car with beer and some of my middle aged friends in the trunk.  The real problem is that I don’t think I have any friends that would climb into a trunk (outside of Leo of course), and there just aren’t any drive ins any longer.  Also having a car with a trunk in the front that is about the size of a laundry hamper might pose an issue.  It’s a shame.  I’d like to finally see Blade Runner.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nurse the Hate: The Bonfire

I knew a guy named Kermit.  A name like “Kermit” suggests either parents with poor long term decision making or perhaps a family history that might best be honored in another way than naming your only child “Kermit”.  Kermit was very tall, very skinny, and had almost no muscle definition of any kind.  He had a moptop of shocking orange hair that grew over his eyes like he was trying to hide in the bushes.  He was painfully shy.  Kermit went on a familiar trajectory from teenage nerd outcast to young adult heavy pot smoking outcast.  By the time I got to know him a little bit, he lived near me in a small rental home with two guys that were variations of Kermit.  One was short and fat and extremely dedicated to video games.  I never heard him speak a complete sentence.  The other guy had a terrible complexion and was 100% focused on heavy metal.  I only heard him speak once when he said “Fuck yes!” when someone put a Black Sabbath record on at a party.    

On a summer night Kermit was really wasted at a party at my place.  There was a bonfire pit in the backyard where almost every party ended.  It is shocking how cozy seven shitty lawn chairs placed around an open pit in an overgrown backyard can become by firelight.  Conversely, nothing is more desolate than a party campsite at 8:15 am with empty bottles and discarded wrappers.  However, I will stress that at night it was a good scene out there.  It had gotten very late, leaving just Kermit and I by the dying fire.  We were almost out of shit talk.  We were almost out of wood.  The option of wandering into the field behind the house to look for wood was as good as signing up for a sprained ankle or poison ivy.  I was ready to wrap it up.  Kermit did not want to let the party to end.  He jerked up out of his chair and said “I’ll get some wood!”.   

Ten minutes later Kermit had returned from his place next door.  In his arms was an end table and a lamp.  He tossed them in the fire.  The backyard changed from a dark orange to a flash of yellow as the lampshade burst into flames.  He cackled wildly and ran back into his house.  “Kermit?  You think this is a good idea?”  He tossed the other end table onto the fire, turned and ran back into his house.  He had made a shift from gleeful abandon to grim determination.  I will admit I got caught up in it.  Kermit had decided he needed to wipe the slate clean.  He systematically went back and forth from the house with all of his flammable possessions.  Mattress, couch, hamper, his dresser, and finally his clothes.  He screamed at the fire with veins bulging on his skinny neck.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had started laughing at the scenario but by this time had become concerned I was witnessing a man make a complete psychotic break.

After his scream, we both stood a distance back from the heat and flames being produced by the mighty fire.  Our shadows danced on the side of the house as the fire popped.  We were both quiet staring into the flames.  “Well, I guess that’s it Kermit.”  We stood there a moment longer.  Kermit raised his head slightly as if an idea had just hit him.  “Nope.  Not yet.”  He pulled off his shirt, stooped down, pulled off his sneakers and then stepped out of his jeans.  He tossed them into the fire.  “That’s it.”  His pale skinny nude body looked especially frail exposed in the fire light.  We both stood there as I tried to figure out what to say.  Kermit sighed.  “Fuck it.”  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Trump "Time To Move Forward"?

I recognize that people have been beaten into submission regarding Trump, his utter incompetence, and the long continuing slog surrounding the Russian involvement in his campaign.  It is hard to keep the appropriate level of outrage up when each day brings another spectacular misstep that exposes our country for the rubes that we have always been.  However, I think it is a good time to draw our attention to the fact that it was an especially demoralizing weekend for the United States.  At the G20 Summit, Trump wandered around like the guy that doesn’t belong at the party.  He was radioactive.  When the big class photo was taken, everyone was cozying up to Merkel while Donald was standing all alone on the far wing.  All the other sensible countries on the planet moved ahead without the United States on climate, creating the G19.  It is clearly evident to everyone on the planet, except 35% plus/minus of our Trump supporting population, that Trump is someone to work around.  Just ignore him.

The exception to this is Putin, who can’t believe his good fortune.  See if you can follow this story line.  Every single person with access to information agrees that Russia meddled in our election, likely swinging it to Trump.  This is not opinion as Trump lost the popular vote and won the electoral college by the slimmest of margins.  Trump, more concerned about “winning” than doing the job to which he was elected, decides to ignore this foreign interference in our election process.  He is one of the last people standing that refuses to say “Russia meddled”.  Trump has his first meeting with Putin.  In that meeting he asks Putin if Russia was involved in hacking and associated behavior surrounding our election process.  Putin says “Nah”.  Trump then says “I asked and he said no.  Time to move on.”  The exact same day, super douche Donald Trump Jr. says “I met with Russians who said they had damaging information on Clinton that could help the campaign.  Oh, and I took Kushner and Manafort with me to the meeting.”  This is at odds with the Trump stance that he might not even know what Russia is much less colluded with them in the election.  Right around the same time as Douche Jr’s story hits, Donald then tweets that “Putin and I discussed forming a cyber security unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded”.  It is literally impossible to make this up.  It's like forming a drug task force with El Chapo.

It is hard to explain why the population is not currently getting torches and pitchforks gathered to storm the castle.  Our largest foreign adversary put great effort into getting Trump elected.  Trump during this election called for the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton.  We now know that his son, son in law, and campaign manager all went to a meeting with a Russian with the specific intention of getting harmful intelligence to the Clinton campaign.  We know this as they told us this is what happened.  Trump, after being elected, oddly refused to even want to consider the fact of this Russian interference.  He also oddly refused to offer any negative commentary on Putin/Russia at all and even made moves to drop sanctions.  When the FBI investigated Trump colluding with Russia, Trump fired the head of the FBI.  We know this because he told us that’s why he did it.  Russia has the goal of the United States withdrawing from global politics and weakening Europe.  This is exactly what Trump has done despite it being obviously a terrible move for the United States.  Trump finally has a public face-to-face with Putin and emerges from a meeting that theoretically should have been about not fucking with our election process but instead suggests we should partner on our cybersecurity with the guys that hacked us.  Then Trump tweets that as Putin said he had no idea who hacked us, there is no story there.  It’s time to move on.

I know we are all tired of this, but really?  We can’t get the energy up to do something about this?  Shit, I know that there’s a new Spiderman movie and NASCAR is on, but still…  We can’t all get up off the couch to try and get the train back on track?  Now, before some kook that gets all their information from Info Wars and Fox News Talk Shows hurries in here to scream about “But Obama blah blah blah!  And Clinton blah blah blah!”, just step back.  There is no president in our history that has had anything close to this lunacy associated with them like Trump.  This shit is fucking crazy.  The man gets his information from a cable news TV broadcast, which effectively makes that morning show producer more powerful than most of the presidential cabinet.  He has no idea of what he is doing.  Even when an idea floats into his peanut brain, he has no idea how to execute it.  Now we are steaming towards a North Korea showdown that has two crazy people armed with nuclear weapons facing off.  I would suggest to anyone that is even remotely concerned about their future, this might be a good time to involve yourself in “the process”.