Always thought the title of this film was a little too appropriate, a little too Wagnerian.
Ah, yes, like the Liebestod, from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. The “love-death” sequence that ends the opera, one of the most gorgeous pieces of music ever penned to parchment, prefiguring Freud and all our precarious little ‘love-deaths’ – or to put it another way, our collective death wish.
I mean really, how else can you explain last November’s election(s). We Americans must surely be fed up (sorry) with our Burger Kings and Dairy Queens and want nothing more than to burn the world down. Right? Why else would we tolerate the spectacle unfolding in the White House today. These guys make the Three Stooges play like Wagner.
Here’s an odd quote from today’s New Yorker: “This can’t go on much longer, can it? In the past, the nation has had do-nothing Presidencies, and scandal-ridden Presidencies, and failed Presidencies, but until Donald J. Trump came along there hasn’t been a truly embarrassing Presidency.”
But they don’t end there, oh no: “CBS’s Scott Pelley recently began his evening broadcast in a way that no evening news in this nation has ever begun: “It has been a busy day for Presidential statements divorced from reality.” He went on to give several now familiar examples, such as Trump’s insistence, contrary to all available evidence, that the press hasn’t reported on a number of terrorist attacks, or that opinion polls showing high levels of Trumpian disapproval are “fake news.”
Okay, we get that. But a new level of schadenfreude is showing up in the White House these days, to wit: “The mood inside the (White House) gates is said to be distressed. “Really hard to overstate level of misery radiating from several members of White House staff over last few days,” the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman recently tweeted. Outside, those who worry about all this are worrying less about policies—even those that are regarded with revulsion—but, rather, about how much longer someone who controls the power to destroy the world will be able to control himself.”
So. What else is gnew?
The fat kid in diapers is shooting off missiles in North Korea, in a vapid display of sexual impotence sure to have amused his what, brother? The one he killed in Kuala Lumpur this morning? This is like from some sort of Cold War airport novel, you know? Tom Clancy has got to be sitting around upstairs looking at all this unfold and screaming – “See! See, I told ya so! Just don’t take your eyes off the goddamn Russians!”
And, sure enough, Prince Vlad the Impaler is up to his usual self-effacing non-belligerence…
So, just to make things a little more merry, consider the totality of the Michael Flynn affair, summarized nicely here. An excerpt:
“What happened between Obama’s statement on Thursday and Putin’s statement on Friday to change the Russian government’s response? This is the period when Flynn and the Russian Ambassador exchanged a flurry of communications, including, we now know with certainty, discussions about the Obama Administration’s sanctions. Before the Post confirmed with nine officials that Flynn had discussed sanctions on those calls, both Vice-President Mike Pence and Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, denied that Flynn had. The White House would like this to be a story about Flynn lying to them.
“But now Flynn is gone, and there are some bigger unresolved questions. Did Trump instruct Flynn to discuss a potential easing of sanctions with Russia? Did Flynn update Trump on his calls with the Russian Ambassador? Did Trump know that Flynn lied to Pence about those contacts? What did the White House counsel do with the information that he received from Yates about Flynn being vulnerable to blackmail?
“It wasn’t one report,” the senior White House official told me about the series of news articles that made Trump finally focus on Flynn yesterday. “It was a drip, drip, drip.”
“Both Congress and the F.B.I. are looking into Flynn’s links to Russia. There are several former Obama officials who saw transcripts of his calls with the Russian Ambassador. The dripping has only just begun.”
We do live in interesting times, but we’ve been there before.
Rumbles on the right not-withstanding, I think we’re fast approaching a moment. One of those moments. One of those little “oops” moments. Vlad is pushing from one side, the diapered brat from the other. China’s Xi has been patient, but for how long? How long ’til he sees a window of opportunity too hard to ignore? And the US Senate? Where are they in this pack of wolves? Well, McConnell signaled this afternoon that they’re going to investigate the Flynn affair, which could signal that their patience has worn thin with the Clown Car Crew.
So…what’s it all about, Alfie?
To my mind, Woodward and Bernstein (not Redford and Hoffman, but you get my drift).
How long has it been since you’ve watched this one? Now would be a good time for a refresher, because it’s been a long time since this was much was hanging in the balance. Of course, Roger Ailes, a co-founder of Fox News, wouldn’t want you to watch it, but then again, consider this quote from Ailes:
Just because someone thinks he is being attacked by the media doesn’t mean he is. Many times the media actually is being fair, and they’re attacking for good reason.
Huh? Did he say that? Really?
So, yeah. Go watch Redford and Hoffman save Democracy one more time (hey, it beats watching Ironman 27), because it’s either that or Dr Strangelove.
Yeah, yeah, Mein Fuhrer, I can walk! Been there, done that.
So? Ready to do it all over again? Duck and cover? Dig a bomb shelter? Watch Blast From the Past?
A couple of odds & ends to round out my non-biased coverage of the days events (sheesh, right, off we go!): Twenty more pages of the Cantata done. It’s looking like this weekend.
And of course, you do know how the Dairy Queen got pregnant, don’t you?
Why, Burger King pulled out his whopper, but not soon enough.
Adios, y’all. Happy trails, and thanks for coming’ along.