REVIEWS AND RANTS
FUTURE OBSCENITIES by David Wildman - 7/11/20
Trump you!” Ed’s younger sister shouted. “You can go trump yourself!”
Ed was alarmed.
“Where did you hear that word, Evelyn?”
“Dad said it to mom the other night when he was really angry.”
“Do you even know what it means?” His sister was annoying, but Ed was concerned about her.
“Not really. But it must be bad because mom slammed the door in dad’s face.”
Ed shook his head in sadness. The kid was too young. She just didn’t know any better.
“Look, if you use that word at school you’re going to get in trouble. And don’t let mom or dad hear you saying it.”
“I heard it on TV too.”
Ed groaned. He knew all about the word. In fact, it was something he and his friends used all the time with each other. But they were just having fun. And they were careful to keep it to themselves.
“It’s called an obscenity, Evelyn, a dirty word.”
The girl tilted her head in confusion.
“You mean like ‘fucking’ and ‘shit’?”
“Those are okay because you hear them all the time and they have no meaning. But ‘trump’ is a way of saying you don’t care about other people, and that you want to hurt them, or that you think they’re so stupid that they will hurt themselves.”
This seemed to finally hit home with her. She looked alarmed.
“But I don’t feel that way about you!”
“Then watch what you say, Evelyn.”
“I’m really fucking sorry, Ed. I won’t use that bad word anymore.”
A TERRIFYINGLY OBVIOUS OBSERVATION by David Wildman - 4/21/20
The following statement may seem glaringly evident, but the mere fact of that puts us in a place so strange it’s hard to fathom.
Donald Trump has turned the presidency into a television show.
He’s done it for many reasons, but mostly that’s just the reality he knows. And it seems he has fallen into the most incredible windfall: no one can do anything but watch television. It’s like a bad Sci-Fi flick where the president has figured out a way to control everyone’s brains so he makes the entire country stare at a screen while he greedily rubs his hands and robs the place blind.
However the character that Trump thinks he’s playing isn’t a criminal, he’s the protagonist, the good guy who just somehow stumbled into the center of all this. Therefore he can never be wrong. Even though the odds are against him, he has to be right and win, despite everyone trying to stop him and talk him out of it. The hero is never wrong. That’s how these television dramas go. Think Kiefer Sutherland in Designated Survivor, not exactly a great show, but neither is the one we’re stuck with. He was the unexpected president who turned everything on its head because he just governed by his instincts, took wild risks, and always ended up the winner. Sure he’s a little unorthodox and has to sometimes rub some people the wrong way to get to where he needs to go, but he always wins in the end, and those that got in the way end up congratulating him heartily.
This is not some exaggeration or misguided attempt at humor. This is the truth of what Trump believes, and in a very real and weird way he is right. With the advent of Reality Shows, the cameras turned around and started filming the viewers. The structure of what made a television show changed. Although a lot was scripted, it was up to the actors to appear like it wasn’t, and so these million dollar careers were created out of people being themselves. Entire shows consisted of just cameras following people around. Yet there still had to be drama, so these non-actors had to learn to keep it interesting or their ratings would go down.
Trump talks about ratings all the time. Every news cycle is the next episode. He doesn’t even remember what happened on a show two weeks ago, don’t bother asking, that’s the distant past. He’s got to keep people watching today. It doesn’t matter if it’s network television, or a cable company, or the nightly news pointing the camera, it’s still a show.
The scariest thing about this is that he’s successfully done it. His antics in the Covid19 briefings are so off the wall the cameras can’t help but be glued to him. And so the big reason he’s so confident he will be re-elected is that he believes people won’t want to stop watching, the ratings are too good. Viewers are real to him, and massive deaths are an abstraction. How can they cancel a show that everybody loves? He’ll figure something out to hold their attention, he always does.
Because he’s the good guy.
He’s also dangerously delusional, ruthless, evil and completely out of his fucking mind.
A FUN LITTLE QUESTION SOMEONE SHOULD ASK by David Wildman - 4/14/20
Trump has declared his firm belief the president can do whatever he wants to, and he’s making himself available for questions. Great! Someone from the press should ask him the obvious one that we bandy about on this site all the time: “If that’s true, and you lose the election, will President Biden also have absolute authority?” I’d bet the house I don’t own that if he answered he’d say something like: “That’s not going to happen.” Wouldn’t it prove a useful thing to have him on the record with that? He probably thinks about the end of his presidency and the beginning of his prison term with the same knee-jerk denial as he does his death. Someone should remind him reality isn’t going anywhere.
LET'S THINK LIKE THE GOP FOR ONE MOMENT by David Wildman - 4/8/20
Sure the premise of this diary is repugnant, but we can learn much more effectively how to fight our enemies by understanding them.
Let’s put aside the virus briefly and imagine that, on a very basic level, our situations are reversed. We are the GOP and through whatever ruthless means necessary, we’ve been able to effectively coerce a majority of the country to support us. Let’s say we’ve got some of the national media on our side, and others are consistently giving us the benefit of the doubt by showing our side equal to our enemy’s. We’ve played on people’s insecurities with the threat of war or disease, employed patriotism, religion, reached out to minorities in a way that they’ve come to trust us, and packed the Supreme Court those times when we were in power so they have ruled that every person should be easily able to vote, online, by mail, whatever it takes to get their ballot. We’re still at an impasse in congress. We’ve managed to put together really effective and appealing congressional candidates that push our popular policies, and we hold the House, but the hated Dems still hold the Senate. They also have the presidency, even though we’ve been winning the popular vote. But it’s the Electoral College that has allowed them to cling to power.
Given this, where would we be putting all our energies? Would we be trying to come up with an even better healthcare proposal than the Dems? Think of new ways to woo away the small amount of support they have in those few states that keep voting for them, maybe by tax giveaways, helping with unemployment, promoting industry, showing them we’re better people with great new ideas, etc?
The answer is obvious. We would be doing everything in our power to destroy the Electoral College.
In congress our majority in the House would be passing repeal bills and we’d be forcing votes every week about it in the Senate, where our relentless minority would use every underhanded method possible to apply pressure. Maybe we’d be up to 70 votes by now, all exactly the same, but we would shamelessly continue. It would be a topic of discussion on every Sunday talk show, news broadcast, Internet program and editorial. We wouldn’t care that a small vocal minority of Dems were calling us ruthless and power mad. We would pick off some of them through constant hammering of the message, and we’d play on the goodness of others by pleading that we are the innocent martyrs and that the situation is not fair. If that didn’t work we’d be trying to frame their pro-Electoral College congressmen and women in sex scandals to get rid of them. Maybe we wouldn’t succeed immediately, but we’d keep on trying, pooling all our resources, pushing and pushing until we reached our goal.
Back here in the real world, we of the Democratic Party aren’t like our ruthless, near criminal Republican adversaries. Still, does that mean we shouldn’t be at least trying to remove the single advantage they have?
Just something to think about.
LET'S CALL IT THE TRUMP FLU by David Wildman 3/18/20
We name every hurricane that comes through, why not name this virus after the person most responsible? He’s earned it, his corrupt self-interests and bungling incompetence insured this outbreak would become a deadly epidemic in this country. Repubs are already trying to give it a racist moniker. Why don’t we fight back?
Remember: He loves to have big things named after himself.
Let’s call it The Trump Flu.
LET'S GET US SOME OF THESE TRUMP BABY BLIMPS! by David Wildman 7/13/18
Just a quick suggestion here: the orange thin-skinned tyrant has told us that the baby blimp has made him feel unwelcome in London. That’s great! Shouldn’t we let him know we feel the same here? Wouldn’t it be great to see it flown at as many demonstrations in the US as possible? How about it billionaires or anybody wanting to donate to a good cause? Let’s get us some of these!
SAM NUNBERG TRIED TO SUICIDE-BOMB MUELLER'S INVESTIGATION - 3/5/18
It was infuriating watching MSNBC hosts chew up the drivel spewed by former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg today. Starting with Katie Tur over the phone, and then later sitting on the set with Ari Melber, he was allowed to go on and on in real time about how he planned to refuse a Mueller subpoena because of his mind-blowingly obtuse complaint that gathering the requested emails would take too much of his valuable time. He also laid it on thick with his whining belief that the investigation was unfairly targeting his “mentor” and “father figure” Roger Stone. Of course, if the past exchanges between the two assholes are all so benign then he’d only have to do a search on his email account and hit print, no need to go over thousands of them, just let the investigators worry about it. The unfortunate thing is that in both of their impromptu interviews, Tur and Melber allowed themselves to get played by carrying into the proceedings a sense of forgiving warmth for the fucking cretin from past familiarity that allowed the weasel to change the subject at will to a Whitman’s Sampler of Fox conspiracy talking points such as, yes of course, Hillary’s emails, how Comey went easy on her, and how only poor innocent Republicans have been treated badly by the evil partisan investigator. Remember, Nunberg is the prick who was fired from Trumps campaign for disseminating racist propaganda. The man is a piece of shit, and I will enjoy watching him go to jail for contempt. But the problem here is that this seems to be his risky, idiotic, desperate strategy: use the press to paint himself as a poor beleaguered innocent, attacked by a partisan system. Give the frothing Trump crazies their own demented Spartacus. Then, when he gets nailed for the malfeasance of refusing to testify, he gets to play the martyr. He’s probably hoping that if he can do enough damage then maybe the whole thing goes off the rails and jail time won’t stick. He’s even greased the skids for the MSM with the sweet nectar of bipartisanship, baffling everyone by going on record saying he thinks Trump might have “done something,” but that of course unassuming, angelic Roger Stone has been innocently targeted. The whole gambit is a non-story ready made for Fox, and you can bet Hannity will have an orgasm or three breaking the news “Mueller Has Turned into Torquemada.” Did Nunberg come up with this or did someone ask him to fall on his sword? Who knows? My first guess would be this has the fingerprints of his precious surrogate father Roger Stone on it. There is certainly no guarantee any of this will work, that he’s going to come anywhere near pulling off discrediting the investigation, but maybe he’s filthy as Manafort and has nothing to lose. I’d say the likely result of daring to wrestle the lion will be that he becomes lion food. But for now he’s strapped the bomb on his chest and gone out to successfully hijack a news cycle or two.
PARADE MAY BE A JOKE BUT MSM WOULD STILL COVER IT by David Wildman - 2/10/18
Trump wants tanks in the street to terrify us and distract us from his crimes, and I fear the MSM will once again be his unwitting accomplices. He probably suspects that our national media will be his natural ally in normalizing his fascist wet dream because they can’t resist the visual impact of grand patriotic spectacles. Look at the coverage of the State of the Union speech. Wall to wall traditional pomp and circumstance. Wide-eyed awe at the power of the presidency. Such things have in the past been our proud tradition, but there was little perspective given this time on how our traditions are being twisted and manipulated, just cameras and talking heads gawking at the bright shiny objects onscreen. If the parade happens it will be ridiculed all over the Internet just like the Nunes memo was. And yet not just Fox, but the entire MSM, will cover it and make a huge deal of it, regardless of the context it will exist in at the time. That context could include having just ground the special council down to nothing. Still, the show will go on and the damage will be done. Once again our fourth Estate will be allowing Trump to manipulate them to his desired ends. I really hope I’m wrong about this.
TRUMP IS TRYING TO TERRIFY US - 2/7/18
This parade is a desperate distraction, and it says to me that Trump no longer feels like he has anything to lose. He is going to do what he’s been jizzing his pants to do ever since he took the oath goddammit: be a perfect little puppet dictator. Scare the shit out of us. Set the table with a little sample of his almighty power before he does the ultimate distraction. We can laugh about the absurdity and stupidity of his fevered tyrant dreams now, but once it is happening and we can actually see our country rolling along into a banana republic right before our eyes, he will unleash the worst thing he can do. It might mean firing Rosenstein, or Mueller, or maybe he has something a little more ambitious in mind. Like a war. This parade must never be allowed to happen.
DON'T MISS THE ROCK OFF MAIN 20TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW FREE THIS SUNDAY SEPT 30 FROM 12 -4 FREE AT NATICK CENTER FOR ARTS!!
It’s an event that might be off your radar, but The Natick Center For Arts is closer than you think, a half hour drive from Boston and well worth the trip. The bands are all made up of young kids and teenagers, and while you might hear some cover songs, these bands are committed to writing their own music, and it can be flat out amazing. For the past twenty years once a month teen bands from all over the region have shown up to play at Rock Off Main and lay down some great, smart, inventive music, the kind that makes you wonder what else is going on out there in basements and garages of Massachusetts that you don’t know about. Carissa Johnson who won the Rumble this year was one of them. She honed her musical skills there when she was starting out, as have many other successful acts.
In May of this year I attended Rock Off Main and caught the sister duo of Finola and Giulana McCarthy, with Finola playing acoustic guitar and singing lead and her sister Giulana doing harmonies and playing box percussion. At twelve years old Finola sounded like Sinead O’Conner with lyrics that brought to mind the sophisticated wordplay of Morrissey, smart, tasteful, inventive and complex songs. You can hear them here in their rock incarnation as Circus Trees. There was also a band of teenage boys called Moondrive that did catchy pop/funk material featuring a singer possessing a good voice and sterling sense of showmanship. After that I saw a rock group that laid into some kick butt alt rock, with an African American kid who sang lead and traded back and forth impressive guitar solos with another guitar player. All of it original material.
Diane Young, director of Rock Off Main Street at The Center for Arts in Natick works hard to ensure that each girl or boy who straps on a guitar has a place to play.
“What we’ve done is create a whole community of musicians,” Young explains. “The kids really connect here. They network after the shows.”
Young formed the monthly performance event twenty years ago when her son, then in 8th grade, formed a band with friends and couldn’t find performance venues. She went to the local arts center and convinced them to give her a night for high school rock bands. The concept ballooned, and renowned Boston institution Berklee College of Music joined as a sponsor, setting up a monthly showdown in which winners receive summer program scholarships.
The show this Sunday will feature the acts:
Blindspot – Boston, Left Hand Blue – Andover, A Night on the Sun - Natick
The Whatever – Natick, Rising Nation – Sherborn, The Kapps - Dedham
Company One – Westborough, Neil Popkin - Los Angeles via Natick