A Thousand Clowns

Posted in rantings and ravings on November 21st, 2017 by skeeter

Donald Trump, the man who claimed to grab his prey by their private parts, came out today with a tweet to Al Franken ridiculing the comedian turned statesman for his lewd and harassing behavior. Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, dismissed his own accusers as liars and political operatives. Bill Cosby plans to set up a support group for men alleged to have raped unconscious women. Bill Clinton did not have sex with that woman. An Ohio anti-LGBT legislator was found on top of another man in his office. Anthony Weiner just went to jail for falling on his own wiener, er, petard.

Boys boys boys. What are we gonna do with you men? I talk to women every day who tell the same sad story of you guys groping and harassing and expecting sexual submission. I gotta tell ya, I’m ashamed of our sex. We’re evidently shameless predators. And if you think it’s just friendly flirtation, c’mon, I’ve talked to a few of you who hate it when a gay guy hits on you. You feel queasy, uncomfortable, maybe even violated.
It’s a tough subject, sex. Intimate, primal, taboo and all the rest. Throw in some religion, some workplace politics, some power plays, add some provocative attire, some gamesmanship in navigating promotional opportunity, what you got is a whirlpool beneath a calm surface. What seemed a fine line suddenly becomes a gaping maelstrom that will suck down the unsuspecting. No innuendo intended here or implied.

I got a buddy who likes to play the ‘artist’ card. Meets an attractive woman and in that pseudo-European way he’s fostered over the years, doesn’t merely say hello or offer a small touch, no, he goes for the lips and unleashes a probing tongue. His target, new acquaintance, fresh victim, whatever you want to call her, usually responds with shocked surprise. But … she figures it’s harmless enough, after all, often times his wife is right there in the room, not something she might let loose a slap on the face and ruin the party, although … later she feels a bit, oh, violated. Artist or no artist. Boss or no boss. Co-worker or no co-worker. Relative or no relative. Friend or no friend.

Later she’ll shrug it off, maybe even make a joke of it. And this guy’s friends, myself included, say, well, that’s just old Ted. So by the end, we’re all complicit. I don’t want to say, “geez, Ted, knock off the dirty old man shit, buddy. Have a little respect. Some tact.” Of course, a few of these same victims become models for his nude sculptures. So you tell me….

Fine lines. Dangerous waters beneath. Nevertheless, the times are changing fast now, the buried assaults are surfacing, the rules are becoming clearer and the danger for those who never thought they applied to them anyway, well, good luck to you. Time for all of us to become feminists, boyz. Women are mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore. Let me repeat it for the tone deaf. Women are mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore. And Ted, the artist card won’t work now that you really are an old man. A dirty old man.


audio — fakebook

Posted in audio versions ---- the talkies on November 20th, 2017 by skeeter
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Posted in rantings and ravings on November 19th, 2017 by skeeter

I’m sure smart boyz like Mark Zuckerberg think the internet will create a shining new day for Democracy, one where knowledge is a couple of key clicks away and ignorance is banished to the shadows of the bad old 20th Century. The Truth will set us free, isn’t that the adage? Privacy and ignorance will be a thing of the past and we’ll all celebrate in the public square of social media. We’ll vote from our laptops and smartphones with confidence that our virtual ballot not only counts, it’s based on public information available to every citizen. The Greeks could only wish …

Well, here we are barely begun in that next experiment in governance, one that Lincoln said tested whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. Lincoln, of course, was fighting the Civil War, and we’re 7 score and 7 years hence, still one country supposedly, embarked now in a new social experiment, one conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all facts are probably suspect.

It wasn’t meant to be this way, Mark would surely say, it was meant to bind us all in an ever-tightening circle of knowledge, a kind of future religious connectivity . We could share our innermost thoughts moment by moment, send photos instantly, watch together kittens play with balls of twine in hilarious videos. The database would grow exponentially and the algorithms would sort it out in nano-seconds. One family, one nation. Cue the violins. Open the curtains. Let the sunlight play on our upturned faces.

Like most religions, Fakebook was based on flawed faith, just another Truth that stands in opposition to all the other Truths. My God is the True God, yours is an idiot, an infidel, an illiterate. If you don’t believe it, check my God’s LIKES. Impressive, aren’t they? Count em up, the truth is in the numbers. Just like democracy. The voters can’t be wrong.

The Russians haven’t hacked our election. They didn’t create bots that sent viral ‘facts’ to millions of Fakebook believers. They wouldn’t do that, would they? But … what does it matter if it was the commies or the alt-right or Breitbart or Fox News or some sad little man in a basement somewhere? Or the current President of the United States? We’ve made truth relative. We’ve made knowledge bankrupt. We’ve made a mockery of democracy.

What would Honest Abe say to this? Would he be photoshopping now? Instagramming? Would he tweet to this nation of social media: believe what you want, it’s all good? I think he would understand we are met on a great battle field once again and that we need to dedicate ourselves to the proposition that this government, of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. LOL.

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audio — a hat is just a hat

Posted in audio versions ---- the talkies on November 18th, 2017 by skeeter
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A Hat is Just a Hat … Unless It’s a Hat

Posted in rantings and ravings on November 17th, 2017 by skeeter

All you tech-savvy readers out there probably are way ahead of me on this, but I just read than now clothes are being digitized. Sports bras with heart rate monitors, Levi jackets with connectivity to music devices, yoga pants with tingle activators to correct posture. The entire fashion industry may soon be wired. This is great news for androids maybe … and those of us who apparently (apparelly?) want to emulate replicants.

Not that there aren’t obvious benefits to us homo sapiens. Underwear that delivers electric shocks after not being changed regularly. Pants that can zip themselves up. Or lock down in sexual harassment office situations and if need be deliver additional electric shocks. Self-cleaning handkerchiefs! Programmable shirts that change color with your mood. (Remember those mood rings — way ahead of their time!)

Pardon me if I don’t share the same level of excitement as my Zumba-spandexed wired-in-the-crotch fellow South Enders following the fashion trends of Silicone Valley. Although, I remember when Wisconsin deer hunters and Green Bay Packer fans delighted to battery warmed socks. No doubt the circuitry of today’s woolen hosiery would make those early prototypes look clunky and quaint. And who knows how many lives were lost to electrocution than toes to frostbite.

Personally I don’t want my clothes to be too smart. Almost everything around me now is ‘smart’, wirelessly scanning the internet for further updates, leaving me so far behind I probably show as a ghost on GPS. The last thing I need in this digitized interconnected society is my hat telling me what to do, where to go, how to better accessorize. A hat, I hope, is just a hat. And if, as some say, it makes the man, let’s leave it at that. I sure don’t want it giving me instructions, shocks or directions, just keep the rain off my empty head.

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audio — God Made Adam First

Posted in audio versions ---- the talkies on November 16th, 2017 by skeeter
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God Made Adam First

Posted in rantings and ravings on November 15th, 2017 by skeeter

I’ve always wondered how the evangelical voters could ever support a guy like Donald J. who admitted, on camera no less, to groping women. Does the whole Man is the Head of the Household thing work to justify whatever us guys want to do with our women? Never mind that there are laws against this sort of sexual assault. Never mind that we’re watching a herd of harassers dragged into the police line-ups for all of us to identify. I might understand if they confessed and asked for some Christian forgiveness. But not too many do and most just point an accusatory finger at their own accusers, calling them liars and political operatives.

Judge Roy Moore definitely is my poster boy for this sort of malfeasance. He’s an avowed firebrand of a Christian, a family values sort of guy, impeccable evangelical credentials, a man who fought the Hard Fight against the secular legal establishment to bring the 10 Commandments into the Alabama State Courthouse. Now, of course, he has half a dozen women, once teenagers he hit on when he was in his 30’s and feeling more than his oats, coming forward to tell their sordid stories. The Judge avows how this is nothing more than a political hatchet job. Why didn’t they press charges back when?

Times change, Judge. Ask Anita Hill. She brought her case to the white men on the Judiciary Committee about to rule on Clarence Thomas’ fitness for the Supreme Court. And she got browbeaten on a national stage pretty handily. You want to take a turn in the docket next? Not me. And not most women who could easily imagine their careers ruined, their co-workers turned hostile, their notoriety smeared with mud and blood.

Well, times do change. The Judge declared that these spurious accusations were nothing less than an attack on his character. No kidding? I guess that’s why they made you a judge. But Roy, this isn’t the 20th Century anymore, or in your case, the 19th. No, little buddy, this is Now and your Day is over. Even if the fine folks of ‘Bama vote you in as Senator, you’re a Pariah. Look it up, Judge, it’s a biblical expression. And that excuse from some of the evangelicals down there that Joseph and Mary were consenting statutory rapists by today’s standards, see if that holds up in court as a defense.

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audio — Trump, the Modern Diogenes, Finds One Honest Man

Posted in audio versions ---- the talkies on November 14th, 2017 by skeeter
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Trump, the Modern Diogenes, Finds One Honest Man

Posted in rantings and ravings on November 13th, 2017 by skeeter

The President took the opportunity in Viet Nam to ask Putin once again if he’d hacked into our elections a year ago. And once again, Putin told him no, he had not. In fact, he was, according to D.J., pretty miffed that he had to answer that question another time. How many times does he have to tell Trump NO? Geez, whaddaya want, an affidavit?

Stop the Mueller investigation! Why waste more time and money on a wild goose chase now that the President has asked Vlad if he and his fellow Russians played any part in the 2016 elections? Putin says he didn’t and that’s plenty good enough for Donald and me. After all, why would the man lie?

It’s not like he was Papadoupolis or those women who accused Trump of groping them. They certainly can’t be believed. Or FBI Director Comey whose motives are certainly suspect. Or Mueller himself who apparently is on a vendetta of some kind against the entire Trump family and their circle of friends. Okay, their circle of business acquaintances. I mean, if you can’t trust the veracity of a strongman like Putin, who can you trust?

Well, you can’t trust CNN. Or the failing New York Times. Or the Washington Post. PBS is out. So are the rest of those sorry alphabet television news sources. And forget about the lamestream, drive-by media. Other than Breitbart and Fox, they’re all prevaricators and purveyors of attack innuendo. Can’t be trusted, certainly can’t be believed. Faux news. All of it.

If Vlad says they weren’t involved in disseminating negative stories about Clinton, that’s good enough for me. So what if the entire point of the Mueller investigation is to get to the truth? The intelligence community, the FBI, the CIA, all a pack of liars. If they truly wanted to find out the truth, all they had to do was ask Putin. Yes or no, Vlad? Yes or no.

Well, the answer, earth to Bob Mueller!, is no. Simple as that. Shut down the investigation and let’s move on to something more substantial. You know, like bringing back those coal jobs. Getting some tax breaks for the Job Creators and real estate developers. And getting that Trump Tower built in downtown Moscow.

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audio —#MeToo

Posted in audio versions ---- the talkies on November 12th, 2017 by skeeter
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