Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #021: Steve King’s Not The Problem, by Mike Gold

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #021: Steve King’s Not The Problem, by Mike Gold

The headline states “Steve King’s Not The Problem.” He’s not. He is a problem, but not the problem.

Oh, sure, the Republican Party removed him from all his committees so, in effect, he can only wander the halls of Congress rattling chains like the Ghost of Racists Past. This is the Congressional equivalent of gelding, and in a democracy perhaps the punishment fits the crime. But off the top of my air-conditioned head, I can think of two bigger problems.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #021: Steve King’s Not The Problem, by Mike Gold”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #020: Yeah. Just Another Brick, by Mike Gold

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #020: Yeah. Just Another Brick, by Mike Gold

Tuesday night His Petulance delivered an over-rehearsed message to America about the need to build his wall. This time it’s not only to halt the terrorists that haven’t been coming in on foot over the border, it’s also to halt the heroin traffic that the refugees haven’t been bringing into the United States.

For his effort, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he received a 28.1 household rating. This was according to the overnight numbers generated by ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN and Fox News – but not MSNBC. Conventional wisdom has it that MSNBC isn’t His Petulance’s best audience anyway.

His lies immediately were followed by a response from Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer. Broadcast-wise, neither would have done well in the Kennedy-Nixon Debate. Both looked very, very tired, as if to say “Crap, we’ve still got to be polite?”

Nonetheless, the Democratic Party rebuttal outperformed His Petulance, receiving a 29.3 overnight rating from these same venues. And conventional wisdom has it the uncounted MSNBC audience is more likely to be sympathetic to the Pelosi-Schumer less-than-Dynamic Duo.

Jeez. How many popular votes can the Donald lose before he realizes on his best day he’s an also-ran?  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #020: Yeah. Just Another Brick, by Mike Gold”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #019: My Bed Is Getting Crowded, by Mike Gold

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #019: My Bed Is Getting Crowded, by Mike Gold

As I often say, the last two weeks of the year is the most boring time of the 52 weeks Pope Gregory XIII granted us. Nothing happens, and outside of maybe some parties there’s nothing much to do. Even with 666 teevee channels – plus streamers  – there’s nothing to watch. I’m amazed the birthrate doesn’t take a preposterous leap every Labor Day, and not simply to actualize the pun.

This void particularly annoys the 24-hour, broadcast, print, and ether news operations. Simply put, outside of a bunch of redundant and now-boring tweets, there’s no news to be dished out in Greater Newsland. Seeing as how the phrase “nature abhors a vacuum” has become a commercial dictum, the media need to surround their public service advertising and football promos with something and, really, making stuff up is harder to do than covering a flower show.

So we in the media (and, yes, this is part of the media – and so are you) do the next best thing: we direct our attention to the babblings of pundits who will pull predictions out of their asses and then make negative comments about those very utterances. Hypocrisy is just another word for short attention span.

This year, the theme is “look at how many Democrats are running for president!!!” Let’s ignore the fact that, technically, there are no announced candidates for the 2020 presidential ballot. Let’s also ignore the fact that the only race right now is for campaign contributions and the millions a candidate can raise from the Legion of Fatcats not only inures to their benefit but also keeps said loot out of the hands of their potential opponents. It’s that simple. Most polls put most likely candidates in single-digits, but that is meaningless. The potential candidate only wants to make his or her name recognizable to said fatcats. If these wannabes can’t raise enough money, they won’t declare their candidacy. Well, not without Vlad Putin’s help.

The waning weeks of 2018 also showed us the media think (without a uni-mind, contrary to the babblings of the professionally paranoid) America is fed up with the current Petulance-in-Chief so they consider these alternatives as saviors. Of course, as saviors none of these people can possibly measure up, and thus the media has something else to bitch about. As Don Henley sang before Mojo Nixon had him killed, “We can do ‘The Innuendo’ / We can dance and sing / When it’s said and done / We haven’t told you a thing.” So we’re grasping at straws – and, then, at straw polls.

Maybe there are something like two-dozen members of the Democratic Party who are dancing the Election Shuffle. In fact, I think that number is but a fraction of those who are really thinking it over. What of it? Is this news? Is this a surprise? Is this… anything?

No. It is not. The first primaries are in a bit over a year – the Iowa Caucuses are set for February 3 2020, there will be at least three more that month that month, and Super-Tuesday is set for March 3rd. That will involve interested voters in Alabama, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #019: My Bed Is Getting Crowded, by Mike Gold”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #018: Auld Lang Syne and The Draught of Good Will

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #018: Auld Lang Syne and The Draught of Good Will

I really didn’t want to do another Trump column. Honest. I mean, by now everybody knows what he is – please feel free to hum along to the theme to “The Emperor’s New Clothes” – and what you see is what you get. It’s up to you to decide the worthiness of his junk.

Assuming you can find it.

But this is Thursday, December 27th. The last Weird Scenes of the year. Seeing as how this is supposed to be a politically-themed column, we are reminded there was only one story in 2018. Oh, there was a lot of news, but no one has so completely dominated the national discourse more than our Petulance-In-Chief. Ever. Not even Hitler, despite Mel Brooks’ best efforts. Compared to the Donald, the Adolf was an also-ran.

This makes His Petulance seem all the more goofy. His constant support from and of the greater definition of the American Nazi party lessens him.

But we’re on the dawn of a new era. One week from today, the opposition party takes command of the House of Representatives and – if you’re into irony, this is a humdinger – Nancy Pelosi takes over from The Invisible Man as leader. Heh heh heh. She’ll drive His Petulance crazy. She’ll drive his supporters, the unaroused rabble, out of their minds. Being a Trump supporter requires you to murder your sense of irony: when the Idiot Right starts screaming about how it’s the Democratic Party that is holding up legislation, these fools just won’t get it.

That’s so adorable.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #018: Auld Lang Syne and The Draught of Good Will”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #016: … and The Doobie Brothers Aren’t Really Brothers!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #016: … and The Doobie Brothers Aren’t Really Brothers!

Good news, potheads! You no longer have to drive down to Uruguay to hang out in a nation where your recreational smoking predilections won’t get you thrown in prison.

Yesterday’s Toronto Star gave us the news. Recreational cannabis is now legal north of the border. “As Canada stops treating cannabis as a ‘social evil,’ police look to ‘culture change’ in enforcement.” Their coverage of the event went on to discuss expedited pardons for pot possessors, a province-by-province breakdown of the price of weed, and photos of normal, average everyday Canadians standing in long lines at their newly opened weed shops as though they enjoyed waiting for that first iPhone a decade ago.

And, from the looks of the crowd, I’m sure many did.

Yesterday, cartoonist/storyteller Erik Larsen scored one of the biggest (probably unintentional) public relations victories in comics. The 239th issue of Savage Dragon (full disclosure: it’s one of my absolute favorite comics, for reasons I’ll probably explain in an upcoming Brainiac On Banjo column) went on sale the same day Canadian weed went legal. The lead character, his wife and children, and some members of the supporting cast relocated to the Great White North last year. Toronto, to be exact, which happens to be my favorite city in North America. I identify with, and am jealous of, any Chicagoan who moves to Toronto. Will the Savage Dragon mellow out and become the Magic Dragon?  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #016: … and The Doobie Brothers Aren’t Really Brothers!”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #015: “Oh, Little Girl, Cathartic Reaction”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #015: “Oh, Little Girl, Cathartic Reaction”

Hey! Guess what? We just finished the Second American Revolution! No kidding! The bad news is, we lost. The America we were taught in school, to the extent it was ever around, is now completely gone. Maybe forever, if you don’t do something about it.

Warning To The Public: The next person who tells me they’re not going to vote because “all politicians are the same” is going to get punched square in the jaw. And the next person who says people of conscience should not step up to the plate because they risk “energizing Trump’s base” is going to get punched square in the jaw as well.

Do you know how embarrassing it would be to get punched out by a geriatric cripple? Some asshole might find out. But, to be fair, I will respect my victim for having the courage to confront me directly, as opposed to the millions of spineless cowards who lack the courage of their National Socialist convictions by hiding behind the internet’s anonymity as they try to shove their monstrous gibberish down the throats of people with reason.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #015: “Oh, Little Girl, Cathartic Reaction””

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #014: Hokey Smokes, Trump! Just Stop It!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #014: Hokey Smokes, Trump! Just Stop It!

I had something else on my mind this week, and I had put a lot of thought into it. Driving from Maryland to Connecticut Monday on the New Jersey Turnpike gave me a lot of bumper-to-bumper time for thought, and I’d rather think than curse.

I scheduled Tuesday for sleeping late, bumping into walls, chatting with the cats, ignoring emails and vacuuming away the left-over energy from a typically wonderful time at the Baltimore Comic-Con… until I caught the news. Within nanoseconds, my original topic flew out of my brainpan faster than a speeding bullet. Once again, Donald J. Trump was pumping out offensively obnoxious bullshit, clearly bent on outdoing his “grab him by the pussy” headstone moment.

No matter what you think of Doctor Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony last week – at the time Trump commended her for it, and it was quite convincing to many who had not already made their minds up. Clearly, she deserved respect for surviving her experience – although there are those too stupid to understand why victims of sexual assault might not what to volunteer to re-experience that horror. If you need amplification on this, look at the way the Republican senators have responded to her “performance.” They quickly were eclipsed by Trump’s performance a couple days ago in Southaven, Mississippi.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #014: Hokey Smokes, Trump! Just Stop It!”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #013: Kavanaugh and Cosby’s Innocent Merriment

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #013: Kavanaugh and Cosby’s Innocent Merriment

My object all sublime / I shall achieve in time / To let the punishment fit the crime / The punishment fit the crime; And make each prisoner pent / Unwillingly represent / A source of innocent merriment! / Of innocent merriment

-William S. Gilbert, The Mikado, 1885

The oft-suggested de facto position of the Republican Party is that rape really isn’t such a big deal. They are mistaken. In fact, rape is obscene, lawless, hideous, dangerous, dirty, violent… and extremely pervasive.

On Fox News Monday evening, Supreme Court Justice-wannabe Brett Kavanaugh offered as his defense against two charges (quickly upgraded to three) of sexual assault his claim that he was a virgin all the way through college. The mere fact that he thinks this is any sort of a defense makes him lower than pond scum, yet only half as intelligent. Although many of his Republican friends backed this defense until they were told, possibly by their daughters, to shut the hell up. I believe Brett when says he was a virgin because, quite frankly, with his attitude I’m amazed any woman or man would ever want to fuck him. But as a defense, his alleged virginity is completely irrelevant.

Brett, you birdbrain, here’s the bird’s-eye lowdown on sexual assault. You can, and according to your very own behavior most likely did, commit sexual assault while still maintaining your virginity. There’s a term for this: it’s called attempted rape. It’s a felony. It appears, Brett, from the very words you uttered during the past two weeks that you are a failed rapist.

Well, after all, Republican boys will be Republican boys. 

The Kavanaugh cover-up almost interfered with the story of Bill Cosby’s sentencing for the rape of Andrea Constand in 2004. He had been found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault which, combined, carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. On Tuesday, Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced Cosby to three years.

Judge O’Neill, whose office telephone number is 610-278-3985, was appointed to the bench in 2002 by Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker, then a prominent member of the Republican Party. You know, the party that is anti-abortion but pro-rape. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Judge O’Neill will be on the bench until 2023, in case you’re planning on drugging and raping somebody but you’re not sure where best to do it.

“Well, he’s an old man,” some say. “Fuck you,” I say. He’s an old rapist, and three years in prison does not pass the Mikado test. If Cos is an unruly bastard in the slammer, his sentence might be extended up to 10 years. My guess is that he’ll remain under house arrest until his appeals have been exhausted. At his age, Cosby’s likely to have been exhausted before his appeals are exhausted.

Oh, yeah. Cosby must register as a sex offender. As Noah said, “Riiiight.” This will fuck up his ability to land a job. Quite frankly, registering as a sex offender is redundant. He’s already registered as “Bill Cosby.” America’s Dad has got himself a problem.

Recent comments made by numerous top-level Republicans including Senate leader Mitch McConnell and pussy-grabber-in-chief Donald J. Trump trivialize women’s experiences. They may or may not have a similar position about male rape victims. Mr. Trump, an admitted sex deviant, took pride in boasting about how he burst in to the girl’s dressing room to gawk at the semi-naked underage girls at his 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant. Perhaps where he’s headed, our nation’s top monster will learn otherwise the hard way.

If the punishment is to fit the crime.

(Our columnist would like to thank Marty Balin and the late Paul Kantner for the use of my favorite line from their song “We Can Be Together.”)

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #012: Wind Sprints To Justice

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #012: Wind Sprints To Justice

As we await next week’s sentencing of Bill Cosby, our media is fraught with stories about sexual manipulation and its aftermath. Right now, the whole Brett Kavanaugh thing is foremost in our minds, and is so for a variety of important reasons.

Much of the focus comes from the unimpeachable fact that, morally and ethically, Judge Kavanaugh is somewhere to the right of Caesar. He believes the President has near absolute powers that go far, far beyond those suggested in our Constitution. In fact, his statements negate the reasons for the first American Revolution, the one where Americans risked death and committed an act of treason by rebelling against the king of England.

George Washington refused to accept levels of power that do not go as far as those advocated by Judge Kavanaugh. The judge thinks the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court that forced Richard Nixon to comply with the lawful subpoena that made Nixon surrender the White House secret tapes, thereby bringing his presidency to an end, to have been a big mistake. Even some folks on the far right gulped at that one.

He has a lifetime of utterances that state the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision also was wrong and should be reversed. Once he, himself, was nominated for the Supreme Court he told some concerned people that he regarded that decision as “settled law.” Hardly anybody believes this: he still enjoys the enthusiastic support of those who are committed to ramming their religious views down the throats of all Americans. Besides, if he’ll lie to Congress – which is a felony – then he’ll lie to a bunch of liberal chicks who just happen to be members of Congress.

And now he’s the subject of a complaint from a woman who claims to have been subject to unwanted groping and attempted rape while a teenager from an equally young Brett Kavanaugh. His defenders believe this is bullshit for several reasons: why would he lie about stuff that won’t put him in prison due to the statues of limitations, this whole thing happened several decades ago so WTF, this whole thing happened several decades ago and the complainant waited all that time until Judge Kavanaugh was nominated for the Supreme Court, everybody was drunk at the time so WTF, and, hey, the complainant wasn’t actually raped so WTF.   Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #012: Wind Sprints To Justice”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #011: I Won’t Toe Your Line Today

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #011: I Won’t Toe Your Line Today

There I was at the immigration scene / Shining and feeling clean, could it be a sin? / I got stopped by the immigration man / He said he doesn’t know if he can let me in

There’s this disc jockey I’ve been listening to and learning from for about, oh good grief, almost 45 years now. Her name is Terri Hemmert, she’s been on WXRT-Chicago all that time after doodling around in Rochester NY. Spending 45 years at one radio station is not simply an accomplishment. Unless you own the station, it’s the rarest of rarities. And for good reason, the same reason that, through the miracle of the Internet, I still listen to her after all this time. Live and learn. It’s a good thing.

Sometimes learning actually is relearning; those slap-your-forehead moments that makes you wonder why you hadn’t thought of that. Last Monday Terri played Immigration Man, written and recorded by Graham Nash and David Crosby back in 1972. She noted that this song actually is more relevant today than it was when it was released.

Which is when I slapped my forehead.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #011: I Won’t Toe Your Line Today”