Since moving to the southwest I’ve been to Vegas dozens of time but, today, amidst a pandemic, this place has an edge to it. Vegas always had an edge to it, but this is different. Less costumes downtown, more panhandlers, zero Elvis impersonators. What am I doing here, you might ask? Don’t. But then I thought, where better to watch the fall of Rome than from the shadow of Caesar’s Palace? As for blogging, I’m not sure what to say anymore. I told you so comes to mind. With or without Trump, our real issues are only beginning. But my friend and blogvesary made an observation about himself that struck me: I take in information and look at everything and can thus change my views based on new emerging evidence. Of course, by new emerging evidence, he means QAnon and Kremlin dispatches, but I responded with: well, when you’re batting a thousand why change your stance, or grip, or some such. Damn, no Elvis impersonators? I guess Elvis has truly, well …you know.
Now I’m not trying to give my friend any kudos for his disturbing views, but he’s right in one sense for “a man who says I know, or there is, or there is not has surely stopped thinking.” Krishnamurti would add religion, culture and belief itself to that list of cognitive pitfalls, but as for political self-assuredness, I win—at least when it comes to predictions and policy consequences.
What have I really gained battling the politically and ideologically stunted? Sure, I was first to diagnose the person in the back of the class with a personality disorder and, sure, it’s not one loud kid in the back anymore, but half the friggin’ class. So what? When do we stop waiting for them to “get it” and sign up for the next class already? At this point, we’re headed for some profound and painful changes, so it’s probably time to stop hurling insults and focus on something, anything else.
The old me, circa last month, would say, I’m not going to stop complaining until we stop electing toddlers to positions of power. Good luck with that, oh Zano of the past. Today I need to start dealing with what is, not how I wish things would be. After chasing a pack of javelina up a culvert shortly after the results of the 2016 election, this November I was barely invested in the outcome. We must accept what is, and what is is a very divided and childlike society based on wasteful consumerism.
Cold Hard Fact Alert: to the backdrop of an estimated 16 million tons of plastic on our ocean floor, a society based on a mindless, rampant consumerism is not worth saving.
So long and thanks for killing all the fish? Conservatives stayed relevant for far too long to save us, which was always both my fear and my prediction. And, in the end, being the smartest blogger in kindergarten, well …it’s still kindergarten.
I enjoyed The Atlantic’s recent Obama book interview. It helped me understand some of his more confounding positions and how, like many of us, he constantly waffles between hope and doom. And he points to McCain’s VP choice as a turning point in the republican Scheissgeist. Or some related Zanoisms:
“Dubya functioned on a high school level of consciousness, Palin was pure middle school, and The GOP has now skipped grade school to a charismatic presidential toddler.”
Obama also used the word ‘epistemological crisis’ during the interview, essentially acknowledging our post-truth world. Or my take, America Has Transitioned From Deafcon-2 (Post-truth) to Trumpcon-1 (Post-political). Could you imagine a republican president using the word epistemological? Granted I look at it as more of an Aristotelian teleology, but damn I miss that guy! He fears if we dismantle how we learn and attack the fundamentals of truth itself, we are lost. In the republican’s defense, this is a good move for a party devoid of any data-driven arguments. My only question is, how did we let this happen? Kidding, I’ve been covering this for decades, play by play.
Sure I love writing and poking fun at rightwing dysfunction, but at some point it becomes a bit of a growth stunter. Eventually I became more accustomed to simply reversing the republican position, which historically tends to be the clearly wrong choice, regardless of the issue or topic. It’s a crutch, an amazing one—with all kinds of cool features—but a crutch all the same.
I thus built my political theory on the polar opposite of whatever was coming out of my blogvesary’s mouth. And it worked, amazingly well, because the republican ideology does somehow accomplish the impossible, thus disproving the old adage: no one is smart enough to be wrong all the time. I gave up on a real scandal or valid point ever surfacing from the cesspool of conservative thought. This is when I started to point out to my friend that extraordinary claims, aka anything hailing from rightwing media, demanded extraordinary evidence. He still hasn’t presented any. Shock emoji face.
Amidst my first decade of blogging I would occasionally follow Pokey down the rightwing rabid hole and then set my watch for the coming retraction. As it turns out, Mister able-to-change-my-position-based-on-new-evidence, never really noticed this pattern. This lies at the heart of my zenwrongness theory wherein republicans are so in tune to the latest breaking Hillary-is-going-to-jail news feed that they never realize their shit never pans out. I also had this belief back then that republicans were due to be right about something, based on a law of averages mindset, but I’ve given up on this line of reasoning as well.
Annoyed by a recent comment I wrote an article listing some of my warnings that proved accurate while pointing out the obvious, namely, how my friend has no such corresponding right-leaning list, I suggested he may not even have an item, let alone a list.
So as this became more of an us v them world, for me it did become more important to score the political point. Why provide oxygen to a fire? If they function this well devoid of any points, could you imagine if they had a win or two in their column? Frightening. Whereas I see patterns, he harps on factoids, typically meaningless ones. I keep trying to explain this to Pokey with analogies, but I realize I’m failing, miserably.
OK, if giant radioactively-enlarged ants are tearing down my house, whereas it’s true they may well have inadvertently taken care of the mouse problem that’s hardly the key takeaway.
This, in a nutshell, is my ongoing debates with my blogvesary. The razing of Zano Manor took care of that rodent problem. Admit it, Zano, when have you seen even one mouse since those giant ants came over from New Mexico and ate your house and your family? Great, Poke, uh, thanks? Most of his important points are fictional and the ones that aren’t land squarely amongst the terminally trivial.
Another fun fact, if Biden hadn’t won the election decisively, Trump would have never left office. This is now proven based on his current behavior, aka having still lost the election decisively yet refusing to concede. Who needs an argument in a post truth world? Trump will likely start threatening his newly appointed SCOTUS members next.
For today’s example, Pokey is jumping on the-election-was-stolen bandwagon. If .01 percent of the votes prove fraudulent, fraud is proven. Thus, he would argue, there’s your data, Zano! Fine, Poke, but I need you to take a step back and realize .01% doesn’t change the outcome of the election, nor is this number greatly different than any other general election. Again, patterns vs minutia. Where were you with this schtick in 2020? When we needed it.
Pokey would support any new “evidence” that Rudy Guliani found in Ukraine with the aid of some Russian spies. He would willingly support a fascist leader retaining power over the will of the people ...for freedumb. Yes, you make absolutely no sense, but, in your defense, you and your ilk never have.
Dealing with this for decades I came to the conclusion that every corner of republicanism must die, from traditional values to Fox News and Sinclair, to the Koch Brothers, to Christianity itself, and especially to Mitch McConnell’s stupid face. Anything R became anathema, and that nothing good could ever come from it. This does fly in the face of integralism, a theory I hold dear, yet it’s nevertheless a sad reality.
The pattern of behavior and the consequences for political policy is way more interesting. Look at it this way, if Biden or Hillary, or even Trump got caught up in some technicality I would never root for any of them to go down for such a blunder. What Trump is going through is akin to an audit, and you can always find ‘something’ during an audit.* Say a lawyer followed you around for an afternoon, there’s an old saying that anyone would likely break some statute or another. I’m in Vegas, so let’s hope this experiment is not occurring today.
If Hillary broke the law by deleting pertinent emails, I am not denying she should be prosecuted, but it would still be a shame. She spent decades as a well-respected first lady, senator, and Secretary of State, typically enjoying a 70% plus approval rating while on the job. She remained virtually scandal-free during many decades of service. I know this is surprising to the people who constantly demonize her, but thems the facts.
Similarly, Trump calls Biden a crime family for simply helping his son get a job that he likely wasn’t qualified for. Right or wrong, if this is the worst Biden has done, that’s pretty damn good for a guy in politics since the 70s. Now compare that to our crime-a-tweet president. Crimes are the go-to activity for him, not the exception. Whereas Democratic leaders are generally long term social servants who might occasionally screw something up, republicans are known criminals who occasionally dabble in politics. Or, my old saying innocent until proven republican.
But if the president goes to jail for one of his numerous crimes, how will his base interpret this? It will likely be seen as a setup, but the reality remains he is a trainwreck of a man, leading a deplorable army of similarly lost souls toward ruin. This is the pattern that historians will likely confirm. Trump is in great legal peril because he’s openly committed, not a few, but a great number of felonies. Biden made a nepotisic blunder and Hillary may or not have honored the stipulations of a subpoena amidst an unjust witchhunt. To compare a lifestyle with a lost weekend is not fair, period.
If Trump played games with his taxes but was otherwise a just president I would feel the same way about charges being brought against him. But with Trump this is clearly not the case. This is not the one tragic flaw of an otherwise honorable man, it’s a deeply flawed character trait, incidentally, the same one shared by the republican collective as a whole. My old republican Axis II diagnosis here.
Whether Pokey ever nabs some Democrat on some technicality is moot; it doesn’t change the historical accounts or the overall score—namely, how one party rose to a level of criminality not seen in a long time and ultimately impacted our place in the world, destroyed our environment, and eventually drove us all to financial ruin. That is the truth, Pokey, no matter how many QAnon dispatches you find intriguing.
Sorry, but you are not an open sponge, sopping up the knowledge of a brave new world. If history is any judge, you’re full of shit. I am willing to preserve our constitution and yet take the parts of the educational system of Scandinavia that are working, and the green energy innovations of the Netherlands that are effective, or some of the economic lessons from Germany, as well as those better aspects that make healthcare more extensive and more affordable from any number of existing models in the west. You.Are.Not.
You don’t process new information, you recycle and spew garbage. No one is talking about Cuba and Venezuela, except the rightwing noise machine that you’re so fond of. They have convinced to vote against your own interests and they will continue to override your neural circuits with great efficiency. No one is talking about a Soviet-style communism, we are talking about models that exist today, on this planet, right now …the same planet you’re wrecking through your ignorance.
Look, your lessons on FB on maintaining health are wonderful, but denying your friends, family and yourself the coverage when it’s needed is shortsighted. Your deep breathing exercises are invaluable, and yet…
[Breathe-deep-the-gathering-gloom joke rushed to Beth Israel with gunshot wounds.]
At this point, when we’re locked into our National death throes and heading for some profound seismic societal changes, it’s probably time to stop hurling insults and focus our energies elsewhere.
Whether I like it or not, we live on a planet where an estimated 16 million tons of plastics is collecting on the ocean floor, and what is also true is how nearly half of my countrymen would respond to this fact by saying, well, I don’t live anywhere near the bottom of the ocean. It makes me wonder if Sarah Palin can see the bottom of the ocean from her house.
I need to come to terms with what is.
Fine, maybe we can go with my original premise to deport them to an island. Before you judge me, I am considering making it a very square island that exists under a well-established flight path, so they’ll never know the difference.
OK, trying that deep breathing thing, Poke. Ommmm. It’s not working, I still want to punch something.
*Unless you’re the GOP investigating the Clinton Foundation for decades on end with zero results. I could have found more wrongdoing at a bar, minus ever taking it.