An Even Handed Appraisal

 

On this early Sunday morning, I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching… seeking resolution to the following disparate issues…

On the one hand… I’ve been lambasting Donald Trump and his supporters for their isolationist stance… their insistence on building walls instead of bridges… their favoring fist punches over handshakes.

On the other hand… I’ve been condemning the “prez” for his Helsinki Summit and post Summit conduct… his fatal attraction for Vladimir Putin… his even inviting that Russian to park his butt inside the Oval Office come October, no less!

Of course… when taken at face value… could not such meetings be interpreted as feeble attempts at bridge building and handshaking? After all, any normal, sharp-witted president understands the value of knowing thy enemies… keeping close tabs on them… and, if possible, maintaining productive dialogues.

Of course, when it comes down to the current “prez”, is word usage such as “normal” and “sharp-witted” even apropos? I think not. To describe Trump’s Helsinki conduct one does free associate the “T” word… “T” as in TREASONOUS!

Needless to say, our two POVs are worlds apart… HELL… lightyears apart.

On the one hand… Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy is based upon fear, not facts. His vilification of entire ethnicities and religious sects is built upon his flat-out FLIMSY PREMISE… namely… that even one immigrant with a criminal record means that the rest of them must all be guilty as hell, too. I cannot say it enough so I’ll say it again… that is the “prez’s” flat-out FLIMSY PREMISE!

The reality of the situation is all that actually matters. The number of lawbreakers pales in comparison to the vastly larger amount of honorable asylum seeking immigrants, whose only “offense”, to date, has been their illegal border crossings. I’d have to commend, not condemn and criminalize anyone, who is fleeing their own homelands’ crime, corruption and oppression.

On the other hand… my vilification of Putin… is based on facts. To e.g. this…

Bad Vlad’s Rap Sheet includes ruthlessly bombing Syrian civilians… killing at least 25,000 Chechen civilians… aiding and abetting terrorists in Ukraine… and… shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014 (killing 298 innocent passengers and crew). He is also suspected of bombing two Moscow apartment buildings killing hundreds… the mysterious killings of Russian democrats, journalists and opposition leaders… the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the UK… and… plotting to assassinate the prime minister of Montenegro, Milo Dukanović.

Which raises the $64 Billion Questions… how can Trump flip off innocent immigrants YET flip head over heals over the guilty as Hell Putin? Would we not expect him to extend his xenophobic feelings so they’d be inclusive of Putin?

Of course, Trump’s supporters need to do a bit of soul searching, too…

On the one hand… you guys are finding it way too easy to buy into your “prez’s” fear mongering which unfairly singles out Latinos / Latinas and Muslims yet…

On the other hand… you guys are way too easily setting aside such fears when they are most needed. Never forget that your “prez”, in sucking up to war criminal Putin. That Russian butcher is the clear and present danger to America! And IF (IF?) Trump is colluding with Putin, then both of them are clear and present dangers to America!

Any normal, sharp-witted person could plainly see how Vladimir Putin poses the far greater risk here… poses an actual, serious and imminent threat to America’s safety and public interests.

Of course, when it comes down to Trump supporters, is the usage of words such as “normal” and “sharp-witted” even apropos?

I sure do hope so. As I type this… as you read this… the survival of America’s democracy and freedom is at stake! Now, more than ever, we must have an electorate in full possession of its faculties.

 

Kinda Sorta Un-Deleting This Past Monday’s Deleted Blog

This past Monday, I posted the above video… the Killers’ killer cover of the Tommy James and the Shondells pop classic… I Think We’re Alone Now… timing it out to coincide with the Helsinki Summit.

That was my way of dispensing some much needed “fatherly” advice (“children behave” and “watch how you play”) to the two dictators, Donny Downer and Bad Vlad.

Even though the clandestine (and treasonous) nature of their meeting had been screaming out for such counsel, somehow, this post just didn’t seem to “click” with me. I mean… at that time… I believed I was making too much light of a monumentally, astoundingly dark chapter in American / World History.

Ergo, I did something I don’t oft do. I deleted the post.

Well… imagine my surprise when… much later that same day… the star of NBC’s Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon, aired a cleverly edited montage of Trump clips… where Donny Downer kinda, sorta morphed into a “rapper” to render his own cover of the Tommy James original.

You won’t have to wait long to view this montage… it appears less than one minute into the video below.

In the future, I will think twice about second guessing myself.

 

 

 

Is that dramatic enough for ya… huh? Huh?? HUH???

 

So, how the HELL did America ever get stuck with…

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Obviously, it had been the Electoral College map’s math, which rendered Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory meaningless. Then came the Electors, themselves, who were not legally required to install the unethical, under-qualified and mentally unstable Donald J. Trump… YET… mindlessly did so anyway.

Clearly, James Comey’s reopening of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s email server issues (scant days prior to Election Day) served only one purpose… to eventually help stain that Electoral Map red and hand over the Oval Office keys to:

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Unquestionably, far more culpable was the gaggle of drama seeking media hacks. They had obsessed over that email server non-story… hounded Clinton to political death… while simultaneously not giving a hoot about the far more serious “baggage” Donald Trump was… still is… lugging around. In granting him that free pass, these charlatan scribes, too, did their damnedest to eventually help stain that Electoral Map red and hand over the Oval Office keys to… wait for it folks… a drum roll please…

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Hell, if it was drama that they had really wanted… OMG… what could’ve possibly been more dramatic than exposing even one dangerous character flaw of… wait for it folks… one more drum roll please…

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine for the press corps to expose candidates’ flaws. That’s the the Fourth Estate’s Job #1. But please note the positioning of the apostrophe on the word candidates’. Following the “s” means all candidates… not just one. Knowing how to properly situate that punctuation mark is the mark of any genuine article journalist.

My advice to all alleged reporters who had smeared Clinton to defeat and are already plotting to use the same attack MO against whoever runs against their boy Trump in 2020…

Since you elevate drama over time honored, journalistic standards and practices, it’s not too late for you to pack up your bags and book your flights to NYC or Hollywood… the bright lights of Broadway and the shimmering glow of Tinseltown await you all.

My advice to those who will defiantly defend the indefensible, one-sided, slanted far right status quo…

Wake up children! Now that the Helsinki Summit is history… now that the ersatz-prez has surreptitiously sold out America to his man crush… Vladimir Putin… the free press’ days are numbered.

Once Putin parks it behind the Oval Office desk, don’t be surprised if reporters wind up just like all of his other enemies… either poisoned to death or imprisoned for life.

Poetic justice? You betcha! After all it was you media hacks who had handed over the Oval Office keys to Trump… wait for it folks… one final drum roll please…

THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!

Donald Trump enabled Vladimir Putin to roll out his overthrow of America! And Bad Vlad didn’t even need to roll out the tanks.

Is that dramatic enough for ya? Still think Hillary Clinton’s email server was the BIG STORY… huh? Huh?? HUH???

 

 

 

What Art? What Deal? ~ 1 Quick Limerick #050

 

Do Trumpian Tactics prove strong? Yes? No? Maybe?
Or prove an Achilles Heel, what Feet of Clay be?
How do world leaders react,
To man-child “prez” lacking tact?
They’ll roll their two eyes and despise the Big Baby!

 

For more limericks (as well as other verses and song parodies, etc.), head over to my “Categories Menu” and select “Poetry”.

 

 

Could this be the Perfect Song for Imperfect Times?

As a virtual DJ on the www, I’m here to plug the perfect song for our imperfect times… Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2! This catchy little ditty (a.k.a. the Funeral March) does have crossover appeal, too! It could be a Billboard EZ Listening chart topper! A night-clubber’s let’s fall in love, dance floor fave! The ultimate sports arena, pregame tune that’ll get fans off their asses and standing to salute the flag… AND MORE!

By now, some of you may be asking…

“Hey, hold your horses Mr. DJ, don’t they already play that ‘oh-say-can-you-see’ thingie?”

So true! So true! BUT… if all goes wrong… we’ll soon be needing to replace the Star Spangled Banner. Hey, don’t blame me, it’s not my fault. I voted for Hillary! So, just who should we point the (middle) finger at?

Well, in case you haven’t kept up with the front page news, Bad Vlad Putin and You-Know-Who’s Helsinki Summit is now one week off! You’ve just gotta know… or at least suspect… that this is the venue where they’ll be colluding to finalize their wretched plot to overthrow America… to bump off and bury Lady Liberty.

Hence, the all too real need for Chopin’s Funeral March. What better tune to play once that Russian puppeteer and his puppet… once that Russian ventriloquist and his dummy deep-six America.

Now, don’t look so glum… maybe we can even persuade pianist Sir Elton John to play at Lady Libby’s memorial service? Of course, from that point forward… no… strike that… from that point backward… long sigh… it’ll all be downhill.

But hey… let’s turn our frowns upside down! This is where the crossover appeal aspects to Piano Sonata No. 2 really start to kick in… full force! Considering this dirge’s Putinesque, dreary, Dark Ages, dystopian “feel”, it could easily catch on as the new national anthem for The-Nation-Formerly-Known-As-America!

Of course, wherever / whenever this dirge winds up getting played… be it on your home or workplace device… be it spun by some nightclub disk-jockey… be it blasting over a sports arena’s loudspeakers… be it tracking out on the late Lady Libby’s graveside boombox… this tune is practically screaming out for some lyrics.

I mean… doncha think it’d be kinda-sorta lazy and lame… at times even insensitive… to just hum or whistle along? Even orchestrating this with a kazoo and/or harmonica section could never do it full justice! And let’s not forget that Sir Elton is the consummate vocalist, too!

Perhaps some of you WordPress wordsmiths, poets and songwriters… who are able channel the spirit of Francis Scott Key… could step up to home plate? Yes? No? Maybe?

I can almost hear you objecting…

“Hey man… this is YOUR premise! Why should you make US do all the heavy lifting? Compose your own damned lyrics!”

Uh… so sorry. I’ve become so geeked about this track, I momentarily failed to realize how unfair of me it would be to put you on the spot like that… and on such short notice, too! Hell I cannot even offer you any monetary compensation!

I can almost hear you asking…

“Why are you making such a fuss over an 1840 Chopin composition?”

Well, here’s why. Now, while I’d never blame the messenger, NPR’s All Things Considered… it’s the Trumpian messages / stories, which they have little choice but to report, which have been rendering me disgusted, disconsolate and disillusioned. So much so, that one afternoon, this past week, I just had to sit down. My piano bench being handy, I parked my butt there. Slumping over in woe-is-me mode, I cradled my head in my crossed over forearms… just in time to hear the fake prez’s soundbite featuring his gleeful outburst / announcement of his intent to “rob the judicial cradle”… i.e., just to ensure his handpicked wretched SCOTUS judge’s decisions could lay waste to my homeland for the next 40 to 50 years!

Now, be your “political party hat” hued blue, red or purple, to smell such extreme partisanship stench anywhere near the Supreme Court bench should disgust you! The mere notion of that sure as hell disgusts me!

Shortly thereafter, once my nauseous feelings subsided a bit, something totally unexpected happened. My limp body shot upright into a sitting position. The heat from the brightly glowing, metaphorical lightbulb hovering over my noggin was almost palpable. The voice in my head was now offering up what I believed to be a brilliant suggestion.

“Hey Tom, what this endless barrage of bad news is sorely lacking is you coming up with a clever way to marginalize it.”

Free association (and the fact that I was already seated at my piano) did the rest. I then brainstormed along the following lines. “Hmmm… how about an editorial comment / musical statement… to reflect your mood? Naturally, it’d have to be loaded with minor chords! But, what oh what should I play? As I positioned my ten fingers on my piano keyboard… EUREKA… in a flash, Chopin came to mind. I’d transform Piano Sonata No. 2‘s first eleven notes into a riff. By the time NPR aired (out) the next DC disaster, I played that dirge and actually found myself chuckling! But laughter? Why laughter I wondered?

I then realized that, subconsciously, I’d been channeling the schtick of my newest keyboard hero… Jon Batiste. For the benefit of my international readers, I’ll briefly mention that Batiste is frontman for Stay Human… Stephan Colbert’s Late Show house band. During many a show opening Colbert monologue, Batiste’s keyboard comedic timing is just as flawless and funny as the wisecracking Colbert’s routine. Both the scripted and improvisational performances… indeed the genius… of both of these super-talents truly compliments one another. True, I’ve yet to hear Batiste play this Chopin riff… but it would not surprise me were he to… someday… do so. Additionally, I do plan to continue my own musical accompaniment of the bad news stories which are sure to follow… as the days drag on and On and ON!

Suffice to say, I’ve only partially explained away my chuckling. But, the following two quotations might help complete this layperson’s introspective, psychoanalysis… as well as complete this post…

Said Erma Bombeck

“There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.”

Said John Lennon and Paul McCartney in a lyrical couplet…

“And though the news was rather sad. Well I just had to laugh.”

Folks… I’m only human. There’s no telling how a steady diet of head-on pain, tragedy, hurt and sad news will impact this caring soul… impact any caring soul. Now… more than ever before…maintaining my / our sense of humor is a literal life or death matter. Forgive me for permitting my sarcasm and gallows humor to kick in. In venting both in this post I can only hope I’ve prevented my body and/or sanity from kicking off.