Ode to Cabbage

There’s a dearth of cabbage, that kraut helmet of green
On these pages, be they leaves or my unraveling.
Far be it for me— er,  Be – It – Far – From —
O! fuckit! Farbeitfrom should be gum.Farbeitfrom me to judge olde histories,
Mine’s an umpire’s perception’s opinion.
What’s forgot’s now lost to untold mysteries;
Losers annals aren’t Clio’s dominion.

Behold! hungry mourner, there’s gold been buried,
A dirge not so sad, after all.
Arise! hop ‘n’ clap, sing it slow, then hurried,
Drive the fall of the soul to the wall!

For this elegy’s a chant, ifyewill, it’s a song
A ballad, a caroled incantation
Of laudatory force to wake forth, to wake long,
So sing it! unto syne reputation!

Fare thee well, hair helmet of cabbage, we knew
Hardly you, or your twilight’s bread unleavened.
Your legacy’s the chancellorship’s prolonged hew’,
Lured and end doer’d and for good eighty-seven’d.

It’s of goals got, this bestowment —
Be it obit, be it passed, be it death be not proud.
See! the eyes in the head cannot hide, betray it loud:
“This must be my proudest moment.”

Verdict: the Kissinger Prize, May 2011 – Berlin

 

Recollection of the Image Nation by Skips Wayback

I imagine America as an unfunny but popular sitcom whose character played by Charlie Sheen is struck dead by a train and replaced with a strikingly Ashton Kutcher-like character eventually to wring four more seasons out of the franchise. I imagine the suitable TV trope to be jumping the Shark Tank.In point of fact, I have never seen this sitcom. I say this not in the way of people who smugly claim to have never watched something when you know they really have, but to clarify smugly that I know nothing of the show outside of the brief dramedy surrounding its production; if I was ever made familiar with its content, it remains a residual memory via spoken promos during NFL broadcasts, and it’s been so long since I’ve seen a football game or been in a room with one on in the background that I’m unsure whose voice would have intoned what I imagine now to have been the plot-line & title among others of the relevant evenings’ programming.

It’s possible, likely even, that the voicing of the title in question is a construction of my imagination conflated with other sitcoms from a time when I still had a television, which would make me less familiar with the show than I was fully aware. Okay, in truth, I constructed that conflation for effect, the point albeit being that I have heard, as well as seen, too much come out of the idiot box to draw consistent distinctions.

This accounts for an awful lot of fog, or static or fuzz even, so that the clearest detail of this kind I can dial into hearkens way back to the building hype surrounding the transition from Shield to Storm (of Desert distinction) in the winter of 1990-91. It is only down to repeated viewings on video cassette that this memory has not faded for good. It comes by dint of a David Brinkley voiceover during the closing credits of Twin Peaks that promised for the coming Sunday the tackling of the concern “Will there be war?” If you know his voice you can imagine the upper register squelch that punctuates the question. I don’t imagine that Angelo Badalamenti imagined that he would be scoring a teaser for war drum propaganda. Then again, all is fair & nothing is sacred in war & teevee.

Back in the 21st century and my opening analogy: There’s plenty of bicker & forth in the building of the most fitting metaphor for this or that thing worthy of amusing or thought provoking comparisons. A notable recent example was acted out by the dueling factions of lesser non-virtuousness, which can be seen in the desperately clingy rift in the Democratic Twitterverse:

My guess is that Bernie-bro-bots and Hills-hath-furies might be of one mind in associating the image of a coked-up & out-of-control whore-monger Charlie Sheen with the character of Don-John Trump, 45th usurper of a haughty concept, and 44th denizen of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave (42nd if you don’t count Ben Harrison’s one-term trashing of Grover Cleveland’s aesthetic).

Would my analogy have it that the current President is Ashton Kutcher? Not exactly. Ashton Kutcher rather represents the paradox of the stated uncertainty of the day: the occupant of the premises, not the embodiment of the occupant. The drug fueled egomania of Charlie Sheen is a tempting juxtaposition, for sure, but his is a more apt effigy to the type of celebrity apprentice who would wrap himself around the Don’s pinky finger in order to hold on to the teevee gig that services the binge.

Still, as one can deduce from his infamous Battle of the Chucks, Sheen’s desperation didn’t deign to flatter the boss. Remember that the producers had him written off his own show per offscreen tragedy with a train. No doubt the fans of the sitcom had been following the actor’s public-private trainwreck. Get it?

Am I therefore saying that the President or his presidency is the proverbial trainwreck? Not quite. I’m saying that the President epitomizes a sordid crash parodied into a storyline befitting all precedent decadence.

That same sitcom featured another junior icon of the 80’s who cared enough about his status inside Hollywood’s buddy system that he once had a publicist spin his affection for Republican politicians into the apolitical desire to hear “both sides”, which, if you haven’t yet noticed, is the nomenclature for the Overton window that — when tooled toward the easily controllable opposition of partisan politics — allows for the scripting of any public policy that isn’t good (aka “good” – that which you shouldn’t allow yourself to be the enemy of, and which, featured along with the forever fogging window is the offscreen threat that lesser-decline is no worse than lesser-improvement until such time as lesser-improvement has the votes, at which point we should not lose sight of the relative worthiness of lesser-decline, lest something worse happen along if we were to “take our eyes off the ball”).

This represents the ostensible sensible middle that the party elders loudly laud every time they lose the big chair, and often when they win it. It is staged in terms of a seasonally swinging electorate. In reality this room-to-oscillate is, over the long haul, not coincidentally shrinking in one direction: Comedy. Bad. Severely.

If you’ve found yourself in a dream not knowing when, where, why, or how it is you are going to complete a task likewise unknown save for the fact that you believe you have to carry it out for some reason, surely reasonable, know that this is remarkably similar in affectation to the actor’s nightmare, real or imagined, asleep or awake, of standing on stage, in this case a sound stage, having forgotten his or her lines, or, more fittingly, without an inkling of ever having learned them. Cue laughter, sweetened to replicate authenticity.

At the stage where the audience is conditioned to respond predictably, the distinction is diminished.

Matryoshki Eggs o’ Jesus

“Io, their soft inheritance is bound to unfounded prospect.”

Sheets of Prometheus Unraveled

To say it had been a hard fought primary campaign that effected a bitterness that led to the most vindictive convention that threatened to split the party apart once and for all — not just the way it’s said to be every primary season but most verily now — would be understating the treacherousness of the path traversed. Now, two and a half months later, upon the evening of the general election, the gathered felt certain of that path’s fortune. Not only had they stuck together to their principles and overthrown the corrupt party leadership, but their unlikely August triumph had manifestly inspired the entire nation, sailing their candidate into office with a majority that even the general opposition admitted amounted to a mandate.

With this seismic success at hand in mind, the frenzy smoldered from within the hall when the brand new president-elect took to the podium for a victory speech that given the circumstances probably would be the most genuinely worthy of any assembled hyperbolic cliché in the history books. Once the noise had ebbed such that it seemed the speech would begin, the collective set of tear streaming eyes summoned a symbolic vision from the depth of meaning behind their witness: no longer a political victory speech, this was a priestly observance invoked by the unprecedented level of emotional energy yet concentrated in any such proportional space.

The effect was both real and hallucinatory. The collective eyes of misty enthusiasm virtually lifted off the outer shell of the figure at the microphone, which optics realized at once a representation of the old: the tribulation of the previous eight years; the internecine torture of the last eleven months; the politics of the past — to reveal a raw looking duplicate within. It sported an identical color pattern and design, the same smile-risen rosy cheeks, but a befittingly smaller frame.

Immediately the thought sneaking into many minds on hand was a hint too obvious to ignore: the familiarity was an omen. Just as efficiently as that thought was inevitable, it was brushed aside for the sake of something between where sanity and faith never quite capably meet (that last bit ignored completely if at all manifest). A few of the dedicated who were worrying still entertained one last brief absurdity before they put it completely to rest: If this nested doll isn’t the real deal, once removed, the next one will be better. Some already explored that campaign in whispers and tweets — for progress’ sake, or, if forsaking progress, for continuity of purpose. For posterity.

__

“One can’t have been around to work for McCarthy yet not have heard this argument before. I do wonder myself just who all the non-corporate Thems would be and how they’d fare, assuming they weren’t really corporate Thems at heart. America needs a complete conversation change. Each Warren and all the Sanders are as a gate before the gates of Nan P. Losy and Dee Finestone whose congenital function is to smith the chains of stricture upon that which national dialog is held. Behind every Paris there’s an Elision who serves well as a placeholder for misplaced dreams.”

—Cody Cray Z.

The subtext of the finding of Lone Hapless Osmosis guilty of the murder of the sitting king was that the dramaturgic control of its investigation was covering up the assassin’s facilitation by a menacing cabal of meddling Coloreds, the revelation of whose involvement would have increased tensions between the cool battle nations that surely’d’ve led to atomic annihilation. The general pretense of Lemley Briscoe Jackson’s purported unease with the Warring Committee Release was that it was missing something, which was as camouflage draped over the performative cover-up. What’s been alleged through continual leakage and over the years has accumulated into waves of publication to satisfy the desire that a conspiracy finally be admitted to. The only thing revealed however is a cover story, which is as aged as the conspiracy itself. That the story today appeases the reemerged zeitgeist may or may not be relevant.

Like the metaphor of peeling back the layers of the onion, the uncovering of each doll carries the liminal expectation of revelation. If one were to recognize reality through this model and follow its logic to conclusion, they’d find at the core of the innermost doll beats the heart of a MacGuffin, for dolls and puppets don’t have hearts. The agency behind this model, however, is not the construct of super-surreptitious long-term planning, but the representation of wholly natural processes of organisms and their composite structures.

For example, the simplest solution toward the continuity of a state’s best supplied beneficiaries during times of enlightened consent — when extortion and misappropriation of the citizens’ lifeblood is met with new forms of unpredictable resistance — is to stratify the subterfuge, to bring the mass of consumer-laborers into union with the validity of the implied face behind the mask in such cases where the mask is not to their liking.

Aside from its obscuring the obvious, an additional utility of this multilayered costume ball is that critics come off as party poopers, and any such malcontent who acknowledges its depth of display is certifiable enough to be removed from the premises.

 

Mother of All Lodes

Twenty-seven of sixty post blue pill swallow, they closed themselves together in a row to form a figure emblematic of their Nobalist agenda. The King of Kings was exposed, the King of Queens disrobed, and the cucking commemoration commenced. The cue media detailed the repellent allure for the villagers dissembled to feed their faces.

Cuckle doodle dandy easter than what kind of egg roll?

 

★ ALL-STAR SUNDAY ★

One often encounters folks who say that today’s stars don’t compare to those of the past. I do beg to differ. The teams displayed above field far superior specimens to those of the past and are more suited to the job than ever before. This is actually beside the point, however. The point is, rather, that each new generation of players cannot exist without the foundation that was laid by the generation before, as well as the many before they were even born.

That’s what All-Star weekend is about. Paying tribute. For when you pay tribute to the present all-stars, you cheer the ones that came before. So let’s take a look at our current starters.

Normally I would say that stat nerds rely too much on data — that you have to watch the action to know the real story. And this is true. But for the purposes of illuminating the greatness of this season’s contest, I thought I’d go through some statistic-like snapshots.

But first let’s get the obvious out of the way: Yes, Chicago’s Bo Rama is notable only for his absence this year. He’s ineligible. Nevertheless the roster is filled with who the Blue Dogs want. You’re not required to like the way they choose the teams. If you don’t like it, join the team and change the rules. And good luck with that.

Now let’s begin with the player everyone is talking about: The Red Rovers’ Donald Trump. He’s been criticized for brash and unsportsmanlike conduct. I doubt even his biggest fans would disagree with the first attribute, and he certainly doesn’t hold his tongue. But some say he measures up with one of the opposing team’s most historically touted talents:

Franklin D. Roosevelt, who carried on a longitudinal with Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick, once admonished a reporter by giving him a dunce hat and instructing him to sit in the corner.

But how is he on the court?

Well, speaking of measuring up well against the competition, he not only picked up where his predecessor left off, but he did him one better by following through with the future Hall of Famer’s game plan:

[Bo Rama] Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. Trump Just Killed His 8-Year-Old Sister.

American or not, criminal father or not, if we can kill just one child, it will have been worth it. Future Hall of Fame I tell ya!

But let’s not be hasty and give all the glory to the team captain. As anyone who watches the game can tell you, the assist is as important as the score. The pass in this case was a full-court doozy. Five years ago it left the hands of the Dogs’ Eric Holder, who also knows a thing or two about alternate fact-finding his own damn self:

Speaking to students and faculty at Northwestern University law school, Attorney General Eric Holder laid out in greater detail than ever before the legal theory behind the administration’s belief that it can kill American citizens suspected of terrorism without charge or trial. In the 5,000-word speech, the nation’s top law enforcement official directly confronted critics who allege that the targeted killing of American citizens violates the Constitution.

“‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security.” Holder said. “The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”

Remember that pass whenever the Rovers’ Jeffrey Sessions has the ball in his hands. I think he’ll do just fine with the example set for him.

As to Trump’s self-described acumen on defense, he’s got big shorts to fill and a lot of numbers to catch up on:

Since coming to office in 2009, Obama’s government has deported more than 2.5 million people—up 23% from the George W. Bush years. More shockingly, Obama is now on pace to deport more people than the sum of all 19 presidents who governed the United States from 1892-2000, according to government data.

Like I said before, though, beware of numbers. Analysts have a way of deflating or inflating them depending on which attributes they’d like to highlight about a particular player:

Thus, comparing the deportation statistics across different presidential administrations is dicey because it is unclear what categories of people are actually being counted and categorized. Moreover, different administrations choose to emphasize different statistics. Dara Lind notes that the Bush administration seems to have reported removals and returns together, but Obama’s administration has emphasized only its number of removals.

Note how Blue Dogs fans criticize by pointing to a video compilation of their opponent’s dirtiest plays, but cite positive stats as regards how well their team is doing. Yet Rover enthusiasts will look at that same video and note, say, how remarkable Trump’s blocked shot was while ignoring his questionable follow through. This is why I say that you really do have to pay close attention to the game to know who’s really doing what. Don’t rely on a fan’s interpretation of events.

Another Rover who’s been roundly criticized, mocked even, is Betsy DeVos. Now, trash talk is part of the game, but some are calling DeVos too stupid to be in the game, let alone this one. That’s pretty harsh. Certainly nobody called her counterpart, the Rama’s Chicago cohort, Arne Duncan dumb. Yet this Blue Dog star is not averse to teachable moments, saying things that might lead one to question his scruples:

“I spent a lot of time in New Orleans, and this is a tough thing to say, but let me be really honest. I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster, and it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that ‘we have to do better.'”

We’ll get to his in-game performance in a moment, just long enough to mention that it’s not exactly a secret what style of play Betsy DeVos prefers, unintelligibly argued for or not. Her record will, as they say, speak for itself.

Duncan, on the other hand, has built a legacy for himself:

Duncan rattled the education policy world with news of a controversial grant of $249 million ($157 the first year) to the charter school industry. This announcement was controversial because, as The Washington Post reports, an audit by his department’s own inspector general found “that the agency has done a poor job of overseeing federal dollars sent to charter schools.”

Duncan’s style of play was something his team traditionally had not been known for. Whether or not it fits one or another game plan, or the skills or personalities on one or another team, can be argued, what is not open to dispute is the achievement of his play.

On this weekend during which we celebrate this great tradition, it is important to remind ourselves that legacies are built to be built upon by successors across the entire spectrum of this great game. Betsy DeVos plays for a team even more amenable to Duncan’s approach, so sky’s the limit when she hits the floor.

If Betsy DeVos is as true to her game as Arne Duncan was his, she could do more than build upon his legacy, she might just finish the job. It took Duncan to get the ball rolling and, of course, his Chicago team’s innovation pays tribute to the patented Clinton trianglating offense developed in the nineties.

The next comparison is difficult because it is between a pair whose position is not known for being flashy. One might even call it wimpy. For this reason, however ironically, it is arguably the most important spot on the floor. These guys can do an awful lot of damage to their own teams, so it’s really a matter of having the best colleagues to cover for them. Imagine, that in addition to the locker room key, your uniform manager is given the combination to the owner’s safe. Keep an eye on Steven Mnuchin. And your underpants.

Who’s got next? Rex Wayne Tillerson and John Forbes Kerry and Hillary Rodham Clinton, that’s who. To be honest, in a manner like the previously alluded to number fudging, Kerry was picked over Clinton for the direct pictorial parallel because of the dueling fists in the photograph. But one cannot ignore what Clinton brings to the game, so she’s certainly deserving of All-Star status.  As regards court correspondents, the question as to whose team either Clinton or Tillerson is playing for will no doubt be one for the ages.

But don’t let league discord or a blown foul call here or there stop you from enjoying this event with a pride of purpose. If the purpose doesn’t make sense, it might be because you don’t understand the game well enough. In some cases, the tacticians don’t want you to understand. You might say there exist unwritten rules that are secret. Nevertheless, marvel at the wondrous flights of fancy and history continually in the making.