I just wanted to chime in on this comment, one that our former president had the temerity to utter outload yesterday, presumably on purpose. Putin has a ‘lot of love’ for making ‘his country larger.’ Hmmm. Trump is the grift that keeps on grifting, isn’t he? Germany called this need for some national space, lebensraum, and the notion factored into their involvement in both world wars. Nice segue to WWIII, don’t ya think? Germans today, and probably most of the rest of the free world outside of Fox News, would call Trump another German word for uttering that statement; sheisskopf comes to mind. And I, too, say that with a lot of love.
Those who read the Zano can already read the Ukrainian tea leaves. I don’t post much anymore, but you got this, gang! You’ve been handed the algorithm. Most of us are concerned about the advent of WWIII, and with good reason. Are we all going to die in a flamy Putinesque wall of fire? I actual don’t know, but when Nikki Haley and The Donald, two prominent republicans, admonished Biden’s approach to Moscow last week, we were handed a pretty big clue. Specifically, Nikki Haley felt that Biden was failing to deliver in a “major leadership moment,” and Trump said sanctions won’t work. The rightwing media, true to form, quickly followed suit with: Western sanctions don’t harm Putin — they strengthen him | TheHill. Putin eats sanctions for breakfast and shits non-binding UN resolutions after his nooner. That moment of R-unity is when the rest of us can take a collective deep breath and crack open a brewsky in preparation for that Super Game. Wait. I’m being told that’s over …and it’s not called the Super Game. Anyway, when the GOP speaks in a single voice, we are handed that compass—the one pointing due south. It’s that moment when we can, preferably in a presidential hushed tone, whisper: “It’s going to be okay.” 72-hours after the rightwing Biden blitzscheiss, we find out just how wrong the wrong brigade got this one. What was nice about this is how, well, usually it takes a year or more before we find out how badly they muffed it, and by then no one cares. This one played out faster than the Flash chugging a case of Red Bull. Biden orchestrated this shit in the time it took our former president to take one. In Mr. Trump’s defense, he was apparently doing other things in there.
Netflix’s Midnight Mass is a fascinating miniseries, but not for the reasons you might think. The tale perfectly captures what I call the scheissgeist of our time. The story is set on Crockett Island, a fictional town resting off the coast of the Pacific Northwest—a place that, despite its location, somehow managed to miss the whole craft beer movement thing. Poignant. Otherwise, this island-nation becomes the perfect metaphor for the States. It’s even nicknamed ‘the crockpot’ for its melting-pot levels of diversity. You can take it, try to leave it, or burn it to the ground, aka the same problem we all face today. The acting and the special effects are a strength, and I particularly appreciated the attention to atmospheric detail. The series is steeped in Christian symbolism and Mary Magdalen makes an appearance as well, but never mind all that, let’s get Pruitt! Our story starts with the return of not one, but two prodigal sons, who represent not one but two separate levels of consciousness. The island is ‘graced’ with the return of their old priest, Father Pruitt, played by Hamish Linklater, who the congregation believes is a temp sent by the diocese, yet in reality (spoiler alert) he’s a younger vampiric version of himself. Pruitt, now traveling under the name Paul Hill, was restored during his own spiritual journey through the holy land by a more ancient evil. The priest represents the mythic-fundamentalist mindset, and he is content to propagate his new species, thus interpreting the eternal aspect of the undead dealio as a gift from God. In this way Christianity itself becomes the contagion, a new twist on the MAGA-variant joke. He’s trying to make lemonade out of the lemons that the dark angel gave him, or, in this case, bloody marys. The second prodigal son, equally damaged, is Riley Flynn played by Zach Gilford. After a felony DUI that resulted in the death of a young woman, Riley returns home after his jail stint, still haunted by the ordeal. He represents the rational-modern level of consciousness, struggling for meaning and purpose. His girlfriend, Erin Greene played by Kate Siegel, represents the liberal level of consciousness (Green level, or, in this case, Greene). See how this works? In the end, she does grasp the perennial philosophy as she lies bleeding out in the final sequence amidst a pantheistic soliloquy reminiscent of Sagan and Dawkins jerking off to Spinoza. Oh, sorry, that’s the other spoiler alert. Spinoza was a pantheist.
The R-meme-rebound is a real thing. You come up with an idea or that ‘aha’ moment emerges, in witty form, so you share your well-crafted meme on social media. Then you can set your watch to see how long it takes that same, yet opposite sentiment to swing back around the political horn. This occurs after its lovingly repackaged by MAGA trolls, of course …you know, those same folks who think Grammarly is a communist plot to overthrow sentence structure. Typically, they just switch the Rs to Ds or Trumps to Bidens and then publish. Good work if you can get it. And it’s not just memes, this trend also occurs amidst rightwing journalism, or what’s left of it. On my ride down to Tucson last weekend, I caught some lovely AM radio and was struck by the ongoing conservative tendency to pay it backward. This isn’t some new tactic but, seeing as how I don’t watch Fox anymore, it’s great to take the pulse of our brain-activityless brethren once in a while. Somewhere south of Nacho Grande I was amazed to hear the phrase Biden crime family bandied about. The Biden crime family? Roll that one around in your mouth for a while. I was among the first to go with a Trump crime family theme here on The Discord, but only because Trump was already a well-established mob boss with a crime family in tow. In a related move, all politicians excel at naming bills after the diametrical opposite of their intent; the Patriot Act comes to mind, or a Save America Rally, or Right to Work, which translates as: here comes the HR guy with the box for your stuff. Yikes. On that note, I lost so many jobs recently I believe it’s inversely impacting Biden’s jobless numbers. Just say’n.
I know what you’re thinking, how could you find the least insightful MAGA meme on the internet? How could such a thing reliably even be measured? Don’t overthink this one, folks, because this is a story about non-thinking beings. I do believe this social media gem is worth reviewing, as it packs more Foxal matter, per syllable, than should be humanly possible; it’s also a further indicator of the extreme damage to the MAGA mindset. But a warning comes with this one: this contains about 20% less insight than most republican statements, which could break mathematics as we know it. And I still need that sometimes, like deciding when I should stop doing illicit substances prior to scheduled drug screenings, and the like. The sentiments embedded in this tweet are also part of the reason Biden’s approval ratings are tanking. I am not defending Biden in this piece so much as pointing out the mountain of false assumptions that passes for conservative thought these days, aka the usual.
It isn’t really just the republicans, is it? I mean, sure they are the main cause of our woes, at least in my adult lifetime, but what is the deal with the liberal response to this cogent threat? Then I thought, hell, even most of the media seems oblivious to our current plight. Some journalists are honing-in on the appropriate level of dystopic hysterics, but the centerpiece of today’s news headlines should be some binary variation of either: Democracy Is In Peril!, or Mother Earth Is Going Tits Up! As things heat up (literally), I’m growing weary of the other distractions, right or left. Today, I found two related articles from the New York Times: Republicans Are Succeeding Because We No Longer Live In A Democracy, and Imagine It’s 2024, And Republicans Are Declaring Trump President. Nice. But on this, the 4th day of January, I find myself already at my 2022 NYTs article-limit so please let me know what you think about those *Cough*. I then switched to The Atlantic, typically a Zano Nation safe space, but today I read The Myth of Tribalism: Beware of the false notion that group solidarity leads inevitably to conflict. Dear Atlantic, can I call a Mulligan and get an additional free article this month? What’s your exchange policy?
The mounting threats to our nation are endless, yet it’s easy to get mesmerized by the garden snake variety and ignore the cobras in the room. Republicans can’t even see the cobras at all, without the aid of a mirror. For this piece, let’s adopt a Deafcon system, because you’re all kind of deaf (the 12 Discord readers excluded, of course). R thinks we’re on the verge of communism and D believes we’re slipping toward a dictatorship. First off, the threat of becoming a communist nation is about a 1 on our Likert (1-5 threat scale). Mounting CRT concerns or no, there’s no clear path from Bernie to Stalin, unless you think Finland is about to annex Norway. From the progressive perspective, we are a social democracy striving to be a more functional one—social safety nets over failed military campaigns, a desire to direct our tax dollars to people over corporations, and other crazy stuff like that. On the fascism or despotism side of the equation, however, we are currently at DeafCon 3, and we will shift to Deafcon 4 in and around 2024. The next elections will not be pleasant and the possibility of a peaceful transition of power is waning. Again, this will look nothing like 1864, but the fallout could prove equally devastating. This is why, today, I am turning to both Christ and church, aka I’m moving to Christchurch, New Zealand.
Is Hillary or Trump going to jail? Yep, I failed to squeeze everything into last week’s installment of our ongoing Trump-Ukraine-Russia-Dossier saga (TURDs), because the sketchy links keep arriving at Discord headquarters at a truly dizzying pace. There’s so much, real and imagined, crammed into these two mega messes. On one side a top Mueller deputy prepares to release another Special Counsel director’s cut, and down in MAGAville we’re inching ever closer to Hillary-dossier culpability—which, if you haven’t heard, comes in the form of an aide who allegedly crafted the Dossier’s content. It appears my blogvesary and I are in agreement on some details, which is good for Poke and Zano but horrible for Team USA. After several years of debating these dueling scandals, we agree there’s significant smoke on both sides of this crapola. On the Trump-Russian collusion front, no actual conspiracy-fire existed and yet this doesn’t excuse Trump’s crime spree. We also agree that there’s a lot of smoke on the Spygate front, which includes a nonexistent FISA process (thanks Patriot Act), circular leaks by the intelligence community (thanks Patriot Act), nonstop mainstream media coverage of a conspiracy phantasm (thanks Rachel, et al), and a dud of a Dossier at the heart of this mess (thanks Hillary). The Steele Dossier really is ground zero of this schitznik, and it’s totally stinking up the joint. Sorry, that’s my friend Pokey’s job.
For today’s schitznik, Pokey and Zano discuss Andrew Sullivan’s and David Frum’s recent articles on Trump-Russia collusion: Frum’s Atlantic article summarizes the damning allegations as uncovered by the Senate Intelligence report, and Sullivan pushes back on his Weekly Dish by citing the mainstream media’s endless and fruitless march toward a conspiracy conviction.
Pokey: Sullivan’s article was the best article you’ve sent me in a long time, and I essentially agree with everything …except for the misleading title. The term ‘hoax’ implies orchestration. Media Overkill, coordinated by the CIA, FBI, and the DOJ. I see little mention of the established coordination, but I do concede the facts of Trump’s deep character flaws and the very real Russian influence on his campaign. That’s a potent assessment, bridging gaps. I will acknowledge this—at this time I cannot imagine ever supporting the politics of Trump again. I’m proud of you, Zano. You are still capable of trans-consensus thought. You ain’t over the hill yet.
Dear Pokey, for our two decades long debates, we’ve spent a lot of time—all of it, actually—covering the rightwing alternative narratives, which, at least thus far, never panned out. They end, year after year, ‘scandal’ after ‘scandal’, special counsel after special counsel, judge after Dredd, minus any relevant findings. Certainly, at least 90% of what you’ve been on about from Uranium One, to Benghazi to Stop the Steal ended …well, let’s just say, the primary ingredient turned out to be Foxal matter (Fecally Fortified Political Scat—an acronym that even makes its own farting sound). Why not start to question your news sources, or your own biases? What is your aversion to calling an Alex Jones an Alex Jones? Can we please finally discuss the elephant in the room? We are coming up on 20 years of blogging. Let’s look at some history.
[I’ll be Beck joke removed by a time-traveling California Governor.]
Washington—In a fiery speech yesterday, President Biden made it clear that any premature attacks on Christmas during the upcoming holiday season would not be tolerated. “Be patient,” urged Biden, “At least wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving to start disrespecting our religious heritage and our country’s belief in Jesus Christ, Santa Claus, or any of Santa’s Merry Men. As the Sheriff on Nottingham once said, ‘Thou shallt not play holiday music in the department stores or display blinking lights before we eat turkey and watch football. We must first stuff our belly’s Friar-Tuck-style and then you can get back to consumerizing the meaning out of Christmas and/or mocking it outright.”
This discussion on BLM and Critical Race Theory occurred on 10-29. Pokey will start us off today: BLM is an organization derived from Marxist ideology, as proudly acknowledged by its founders. After Marxists witnessed the real-world consequences of their ideology—as expressed by the tyrannical governments of the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Communist China—Marxists changed their strategy. Instead of investing in armed revolution, they began infiltrating institutions of higher education; the Frankfurt School for one. These schools of thought continued developing into what is now Critical Race Theory.
Here we go, kids! Mark your calendars. Hundreds of thousands of troops are currently refusing to get vaccinated, we have China poised to ‘reintegrate’ Taiwan, and we have global supply chains slowing to a crawl. Smoke ’em if you got ’em, unless they’re moored off the coast in a cargo ship. As for the pandemic, in a functional society the WHO would make the recommendations and we, as adults, would follow those guidelines. After all, you can’t be on a plane with TB, but where do you draw the constitutional line in these trying times? If you haven’t noticed, this is clearly not a functional society. I was against the vaccination mandate for precisely this reason: trust in the government is at an all time low and polarization is at an all time high. Am I vaccinated and did I want us to reach herd immunity? Yes. Did I think it was ever going to happen, or was worth the trouble? No. Are things as bad as 1860? Tough to say, because I was a very young blogger then, but I have been watching and reporting on this particularly malleable and potentially volatile demographic for decades. The GOP’s steady involution is kind of like reading Origin of Species backward. If huge swaths of our troops and police force refuse to get vaccinated, we have a problem. What do you do you do with these folks? I’ve been asking myself this very question for a long time. Of course, top republicans and the former president himself recommend getting vaccinated, but the monster the right-winger’s created, as predicted, has broken through the chains and is heading for the windmill again (which we now know causes cancer).
A lot of folks are asking me why I keep harping on liberal authoritarianism. Kidding, one of you is. Look, we know what the rightwing is and stands for, so there’s zero mystery there. They are irredeemables. And, yes, the only group who hasn’t figured this out yet—on the entire planet—is our republican friends themselves. Further proof comes from comedian John Cleese’s recent diatribe, citing the Dunning-Kruger effect as the main culprit (or see my related coverage from the early Pleistocene, here). Cleese said, “If you’re stupid, how could you possibly know how stupid you are? …this explains, not only Hollywood but almost the entirety of Fox News.” Rightwingers, nixed the Fox News part and repackaged the Cleese quote to make it look as if he was solely directing scorn at liberals. Laughably, this reworked meme rifled across rightwing social media, eventually arriving in my box as well. This only proves Cleese’s point, in a rather spectacular fashion. So I understand why liberals are so angry. In 2021, republicans have a lot to atone for and yet seem to be the only ones wholly oblivious to this fact, but that doesn’t mean we can lose sight of the Constitution. The Atlantic is finally covering this rising leftist version of fascism, which means, yeah, it’s happening.
Neo-liberalism, as best personified by Reagan and Thatcher, is officially dead. Amen. But I’m not here today to bitch about zombie politics, although I loved Trickle Z and 30 Days of Right. Lately, it’s this Maddow-level-green version of liberalism that is really getting my goat. The issue with identity politics and all of its joyous facets isn’t new, but our society’s culture-warrior rot runs far deeper than I imagined. Today, a dysfunctional progressive movement is not in its infancy but has reached its misinformative years, which at least matches the emotional maturity of the average canceler. Cancel is an infection across the industrialized west as highlighted by Canada’s well-established racism tribunals and Japan’s Olympic committee’s recent decision to banish anyone who farted in public since 1972. If you don’t want to read my blog for sensitivity reasons, fine, but please spare me the fines. Look, I both understand and predicted an overreaction to all the horrors of MAGAville—or Brexitville, or all of the current global nationalistic horrors abound—but such a response must be grounded in constitutional principles. There’s no wiggle room here. It certainly seems like some libs want to ditch our founding documents because “Jefferson owned slaves, man.” You’re cancelled. I identify as an Ubermensch, but the term ‘Superman’ is acceptable. Mensch is German for ‘people,’ so use the word ‘Superman’ at your linguistic, or cancel-vulnerable, peril.