Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: the daily recounting (page 1 of 3)

The Daily Recounting 6/8/16

Why do I feel like I just got punched?

What’s the last thing you remember?

Checking the news.

There you go.

What the fuck is happening?

Where? There are legitimately a dozen different locations that question applied to today. Senate chambers? House? United Kingdom? Peru?

What happened in Peru?


I need you to concentrate.

I need you to need me.

Let’s leave the worst for last: what happened in the UK?


Ooh, they’re good at those lately. How bad did they fuck themselves this time?

No one quite knows yet, but it looks like there’s a hung Parliament.

Does that have anything to do with–

No, obviously fucking not.

Just asking. What’s a hung Parliament?

Before I answer, let me do this.



Did you just lower the Cones of Without Research?

I did, yeah.


Listen, I can’t go back to the news sites. I just can’t. I read all the articles and I’ll try to remember everything the best I can, but I can’t go back there. It’s sticky and I get trapped. I just want to write my little stories about magical fuckups, but there’s just so much fucking news all the fucking time.

You all right, champ?

I’m not all right; I’m what’s left.

That sounded a lot more clever in your head, didn’t it?


You wanna get back to politics and whatnot?


Hung Parliament.

You need half+one of the House of Commons to have what’s called a majority government. If you don’t get that, then you have a hung Parliament, which requires building a coalition government.

Like in the Knesset or whatever the Italians call their circus?

Right. It’s a good recipe for getting nothing done, and also the exact opposite of what Theresa May wanted.

Start at the beginning.

There were a bunch of muddy druids on a drizzly island. Then, the Romans showed up.

Don’t do that.

Okay, this is the fault of David Cameron.

The guy who fucked the dead pig?

Yes. The modern Disraeli. A few years ago, David was the Prime Minister and in charge of the Conservative Party, which Theresa May also belongs to. He was being pestered from his right about breaking with the EU, mostly by the United Kingdom Independence Party.

It would make sense that they would push for independence.

So, David Cameron–with the self-confidence only available to a mediocre aristocrat–calls for a referendum on leaving the EU. The measure will be soundly defeated, and he’d never have to hear about it again.

How’d that go for him?

Resigned the day after he lost the referendum.

How’s the dead pig taking it?

Not well. The British public had voted to Brexit, but just barely, and now their new Prime Minister was going to have to negotiate the terms of the deal with Brussels. Ms. May was laboring under the delusion that the UK would be allowed to kinda-sorta Brexit, but got humiliated in a leaked meeting; the Europeans have absolutely no sense of humor about the Union. Or if they do, I can’t understand it. They think weird bullshit is funny over there.

Stay on target.

Figuring she’ll need a strong hand at the table, May decided to shoot the moon and increase her power by calling a special election.

You can just call an election?

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

The sweetest sound I’ve e’er heard.

And a month ago when she called it? She looked like a political genius. Polls showed the Conservatives increasing their seats, and this would give her the mandate necessary to hold Brussels’ feet to the fire.

So what happened?

She didn’t campaign in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Stop that.

The Conservatives’ whole campaign was a shitshow, and the terrorist attacks actually hurt her. Her rival, Jeremy Corbyn, pointed out all the budget cuts in police and security that Ms. May and her party had passed.

Who’s Jeremy Corbyn?

He is the leader of Labour.

That’s a Communistic spelling of that word, and I will not abide by it. Are they like the Democrats?

No, they did well in an election today.

Ba DUM bum.

Well left of the Democrats. Corbyn’s basically a semi-reformed Commie.

And they won?




Does this mean the Brexit is off?

No idea.

Is there going to be a new Prime Minister?


Any chance it’s Blackadder?


Then I don’t give a shit. What happened in God’s favorite country?

I told you: llamapocalype.

I meant America.

You really think America’s God’s favorite country right now? If I’m God, I’m avoiding our calls.

He has forsaken the US.

We deserve it.

True. So: what happened in the Senate?

Intelligence Committee, plus a confused old man from Arizona who had wandered in the chambers randomly, questioned former FBI Director James Comey.

He slay?

So hard, but it’s been all day with the guy. I’m Comeyed out.



You need to lessen your news consumption.

No, there needs to be less news. Reading it used to take a half-hour a day, and every once in a while there would be an emergency. Now there’s an emergency every half-hour, and it takes all day to read about it.

Can we at least discuss the Republican defense of the President?

There was none. Well, Paul Ryan tried to help.

He’s adorable. What did he say?

“The President’s new to the job, and he didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to obstruct justice.”

You’re shitting me.

Hand to God. The rest of the GOP was pretty quiet. The only people speaking for the White House were Trump’s real estate lawyer, who misspelled the word “president” in the first fucking line of his press release, and his ugly little child.

Damien or Shitty?

Damien. He live-tweeted the hearings.

Oh, that’s normal.

Edith Roosevelt did it a couple times.

I heard that.

She was a wild one.

What are the degenerates on Twitter saying?

They cherry-picked a few of Comey’s answers and twisted them around to declare the day a complete vindication for Donny.

Sometimes I envy people who believe in things. They have a purity to them.

It’s the exact same mindset as ISIS.

I know, but there’s fewer decisions to make. Someone tells you where to go, who to hate. Sounds like an easy life.

Yeah, maybe.

You wanna join ISIS?

I don’t have the grades.

What happened in the House?

They repealed Dodd-Frank.

Those motherfuckers.

Still wanna join ISIS?

Even fucking more now.

The Daily Recounting 5/17/17

I was in the bathroom, you see. Left my phone in the living room and brought in Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland. Big old book, and good, too: I may have remained enthroned for a while after completing my business. It was quiet in my bathroom, and cool. The light was good for reading.

And then I emerged to find the internet on fire.

Rod “Rosey” Rosenstein, who is the Deputy Attorney General until tomorrow when Trump fires him via Twitter, has named Robert “I Don’t Have A Nickname” Mueller as Special Counsel in charge of the Russia investigation. Mueller used to be the FBI Director–Dubya appointed him, and then Obama asked him to stay on an additional two years after his ten-year term–and served longer in the role than anyone who wasn’t a secretly homosexual monster.

Plus so much other stuff. So, so much.

Do you know what “persistence hunting” is, Enthusiasts? It’s an ancient way of getting dinner. Humans aren’t very fast compared to, well, every animal that isn’t Mitch McConnell. Can’t catch an antelope, and humans were around for hundreds of thousands of years before we figured out bows and arrows, let alone shotguns, so how can you bring venison home for the family?

Well, we have a secret weapon: endurance. Humans are built for distance, not speed. Legs compress and spring to save energy, and–most importantly–we can sweat. Antelopes, like most animals, expel their excess body heat through panting (like dogs) and this is not as efficacious as sweating. Like I said: humans aren’t fast, but we can keep up a steady jogging pace for days at a time.

(Not you and me, obviously. We’re fat and soft and weak from decadence and luxury. I’m talking about authentic humans here.)

Antelope would sprint a little bit, walk, sprint some more, walk, sprint a little less, walk a little slower, no more sprinting and just walking and around the second or third day of the chase, the overheated and exhausted animal would just collapse. Some of our ancestors had knives made from sharpened stone. Or you could just bash the animal’s head in with a rock.

We are the antelope in this scenario.

Now: this is not due to any sort of strategy. We’re well past the point where any non-biased observer can claim that Basketball Head is playing a long con; he simply has no idea what he’s doing and is flailing about. Once someone asks the FBI Director flat-out to drop a case against him, you can no longer assume intelligence on their part. I’m an unlettered dipshit, and I know not to do that.

Also, I’m not under FBI investigation for colluding with an enemy nation to fix a presidential campaign.

(A note to all of the chuckleheads, sops, and dimwits who feel like chiming in with “But Russia’s not our enemy.” YES, THEY FUCKING ARE. We don’t want to be “friends” with the Russians, because Russia doesn’t have “friends,” just countries that do business with it holding their nose. Fuck Russia forever except for the Flying Karamazov Brothers.)

So now we have a Special Counsel, which used to be called a Special Prosecutor until it was decided that the title was too aggressive. (I actually agree: being assigned your very own prosecutor just looks bad, even if you haven’t done anything. It’s like bringing a defendant into court wearing orange jail pajamas.) Robert Mueller was a Marine who served in Vietnam, and then the head of the criminal division of the DoJ, where he oversaw the Noriega case and Pan Am Flight 103, too.

Robert Mueller put John Gotti in jail.

And he’s got a staff and a budget, and he’s got subpoena power and he can press criminal charges. Oh, and Rosie was pissed when he wrote the brief empaneling Mueller. Check out how big a purview Mueller’s got:

[A]ny links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.

That’s-a spicy purview. Ever seen one so big? That purview is thicc, son.

Where do we go from here? Which is the way that’s clear? What did Ivanka know and when did she know it? All will be revealed in the fullness of time.

This has been the 114th day of our national nightmare; may we wake soon.

The Daily Recounting 5/4/17

They didn’t know how much it costs. The conversation can stop at that, can’t it? They didn’t know how much it costs. The way it worked, back when the adults were in charge, was that the Congressional Budget Office would look at a proposed bill, and then they would do math at the proposed bill; this process would take a week or two because, even though some people I won’t name don’t realize this, government is complicated. Now, the CBO did examine the previous Murdercare bill and found that it would throw 24 million people off the insurance rolls and this bill is mostly the same, but it is not exactly the same and these sorts of things–as I mentioned–are complicated, so the bill needs to be re-scored.

The House Republicans didn’t wait for the new report from the CBO. Nor did they hold any hearings on the bill, but the CBO bit is the twist of the knife. The Republicans, we are told, are the Fiscal Conservatives™ in the Congress. There may not be an act less fiscally conservative than buying something without asking the price: that’s how a member of the Saudi royal family buys a car.

Things Less Fiscally Conservative Than What The House GOP Did Today:

  • Marrying a stripper.
  • Buying a boat.
  • Making it rain.
  • Putting all of your money in a pile and setting it on fire.
  • The surrender bet in blackjack.

And so on.

If I may remind you, these are the people who cheered on their dried vomit-stain of a president with the exulting cries of “He’s gonna run the government like a business.” Can you imagine running a business this way? Don’t businesses generally, say, check how much a plan will cost before implementing the plan? Because, you know: it’s a business? Wait, there’s one, and it should be fresh in your mind. The Fyre Festival. That was a business run this way: a huge, splashy announcement without a single thought as to what the fuck they were doing.

They didn’t know how much it costs. Everything else is detail; all the corpses that this thoughtless and shameful action will create are mere background to that fact: they didn’t know how much it costs. No matter what may come in the Senate, these motherfuckers did this and no one should ever let them forget it. We are now in Scarlet Letter territory, and if the Democrats can’t take back the House in 2018, then fuck ’em for useless.

This has been the 105th day of our national nightmare; may we wake soon.

The Daily Recounting 4/26/17

To Whom It May Concern:

I write this letter to persons, beings, or intelligences unknown in hopes of pleading my case. From the events of the recent past, I can only come to the conclusion that my consciousness exists in some sort of artificial construct. A “virtual reality” if you will. There are any number of Hollywood films I could reference to liken my situation to, but the point is this: someone needs to call IT; the program is malfunctioning, and things are getting weird. Whatever you’re doing with my body is fine by me: battery, sex stuff, food; I don’t care. Just debug the code.

Alternately, this might be a Twilight Zoning. If it, I demand to know what I did that was so ironic that it required a Twilight Zoning?

Excuse me.


Stop yelling. You don’t even know who you’re yelling at.

I most certainly do. Have you read the papers?

Since it isn’t 1985, no.

It was a euphemism. have you?

I can do nothing but.

Is any of this bullshit possible?

Not a whit of it. Nothing that is happening right now could ever happen for a million years.

Right. Therefore, this cannot be the actual reality, and must instead be one created for us. By whom? I know not, but I will complain nonetheless.

You’ll complain to no one. This is the real life.

This is just fantasy.

Caught in a Trumpslide.

No escape from insanity.

That was fun.

None of this fun in any way. Anyway, Basketball Head is trying to look busy. His 100th day is coming up, and he made many promises that–for some reason–the media believes his supporters will care if he breaks. They do not. Whatever failures he has will be blamed on the obstructionist Democrats, or the activist judges, or the topic will be changed to Hillary Clinton.

However, the media is blinded in their desperation to normalize this carnival of nightmares, AND are therefore reporting about the 100 day benchmark like traditions still matter and we weren’t on the downhill side of the American Singularity, BUT Donald does nothing but watch teevee news and press the lever for his sugar-water, SO the 100 day thing is important to him.

(Note: the neologism “normalize” becoming so prevalent speaks to how weird everything’s getting, doesn’t it? See also: weaponize.)

An ontological question, Enthusiasts: what do you call something that never lived, but yet refuses to die? Not a zombie: a zombie used to be alive, died, and came back. This is a creature that was never a creature, just a husk of dark potential, void of sentience or empathy or compassion. I speak, of course, about the Republican health bill, now known as Pleasewon’tsomeonecare. It lives! (Even though it didn’t in the first place.)

Remember the Freedom Caucus? They were the bootstrap-lickers that rejected the last version of the bill for not being cruel enough. This new plan kicks more people off the rolls, and also permits the bow hunting of the poor. Moderate Republicans agreed with the first part, but prefer to be seen in public as disagreeing with the second. For the second time in 100 days, the GOP has fucked up their healthcare push.

But they got to hold a press conference about it and the president saw it on his teevee and that made him feel happy and strong.

In terms of “potential saviors of the Republic,” incompetence is running neck and neck with the Judiciary. This happened again today:

Trump Administration does thing.

Judge says, “No, you can’t thing.”

Turnip tweets out that the judge should suck his balls.

Repeat Ad Impeachium.

That keeps happening, and it amuses me every time. This go-round, he managed to get Circuit courts mixed up with District courts, plus he said “See you in the Supreme Court” and there’s at least one level before that. Then he mused about breaking up the Ninth Circuit, as if he could do that. It’s almost–almost, mind you–as if he doesn’t have a detailed understanding of the workings of the American government. Just almost.

And the day’s coup de grace, Trump’s tax plan. It is a piece of bald laziness: I was a terrible student, and I recognize the lack of effort in this meager offering. It’s got last-minute stink all over it.

Look at this bullshit:

That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Nothing on the back, either. This might as well have been hand-written. We can add “tax code” to the list of things Donald Trump didn’t know was so complicated.

This has been the 97th day of our national nightmare; we may soon wake.

The Daily Recounting 4/23/17

I’ve been overestimating him, Enthusiasts. In my little skitches that I write? I have been spotting Trump at least ten IQ points, and that’s being charitable. My Donald speaks, if idiosyncratically, in complete sentences. His trains of thought run straight-ish.

But I have been mistaken.

The plan was to do one of said skitches, but I can’t; I don’t have it in me; not after this: the transcript from AP interview has left me without the will to live, or come up with racist things for Turnip to say. I feel like I need to be with people right now, and you’re the only ones available. Buckle up, it’s gonna be a stupid ride.

It does not start well. Also, “I don’t have to read it” is the Trump Administration’s motto.

(A reminder: he has had no legislative accomplishments, and spends the day watching teevee. His television habits will be a theme.)

It’s amazing the thing’s he’s always heard.

(You may be wanting to ripcord out of here right now, and y’know what? FUCK YOU, JACK! I had to read this and now I’ll never sleep again; you have to, too. I thought you were my ride-or-die.

Don’t be weird.

Get out of the parenthesis.)

It is at this point that my crush on the reporter began, and it was pure, Enthusiasts. I did not look at the byline before starting in on this…well, word salad isn’t correct, is it? Ingredients maintain integrity in a salad; this is more of a word slaw. Without any knowledge of physical attribute, or even clue towards gender, I fell in love. A sassy redhead? A balding schlub? Who were you, AP? Reveal yourself that I may love you.

SEE? She/he is the love of my life. And, yeah, the president’s a literal madman, but I need to make this journalist APotD. By this point in the transcript, I have decided his/her name is Agriculture Payne and will be played by Jessica Williams or Josh Molina when he was young and dewy.

“Have you seen the tremendous success? the bent man cried out. He had a stick. He had a bag. Where he was there had been a road when he was a child but now there was not. Three days since his last meal and two days since last saw a living creature. Squirrel. Missed it with his slingshot and did not waste a moment mourning. The squirrel looked down at him from its branch.

“Have you seen the tremendous success?”

When the fields caught fire they made a sound like banshees. The bombs just sounded like bombs.

“Have you seen the tremendous success?”

  1.  No, it won’t.
  2. Dummy.
  3. One percent is a terrible investment for anything. Unless it’s, like, owning one percent of Apple. That would be wonderful. But if this demented dildo is talking about a return, then one percent is awful.
  4. Also, he’s just pulling numbers out of his enormous ass.

We didn’t just buy a wall, we bought a super-duper, ultra-awesome, solid gold, red-white-and-blue, 3000 foot high wall with motherfucking RAIL GUNS and shit on it, and we’re gonna bomb Juarez or wherever.

Plus, the wall does not exist and will never be built. That means it costs either or ∅, depending on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist.

“Though passion may have strained, let it not break our bonds of friendship. Can I get you some coffee?”

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Have you eaten? I’ll have them send something up.”

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Try this peach. The best peaches, super-duper peaches.”

Oh, and that may be the biggest “by the way” I’ve ever encountered in the wild. They usually don’t grow that large. This motherfucker just by-the-wayed Only Korea.

If you’re keeping score, this is where I began drinking.

Here’s the question: do you think Donald Trump actually believes that this event he’s describing happened? (Representative Cummings most certainly did not say that to him.) Or is he just lying?

Second question: which is worse?

Barack Obama was the editor of Harvard’s law review. Just leaving that fact out there.

I wish I could not watch; we’re stuck here for now. Speaking of being stuck, Basketball Head kept the conversation firmly planted on the one topic he’s truly conversant in: teevee, and his love for it. Not kidding: the President of the United States spends a good ten percent of an interview discussing his favorite shows.

Did you know the man with the nuclear codes involves himself with news programs’ ratings?

Now you know. Weren’t you happier before you knew that?

Also: sudden 9/11. Where did that 9/11 come from? I didn’t see it coming, did you? That paragraph was just chugging along, insulting people and boasting, and then BOOM out of nowhere 9/11 shows up.

He won’t stop talking about his stories:

Peter Sellers was in this movie. It was called Being There. Oteil was in it, too.

It continues:

Agriculture Payne, I love you. Let me take you in my stumpy arms and put my face in whatever you’re doing for genitals. You are dryer than a martini made of sand, and I love you.

Otherwise, this game has gotten weird and frightening, and I would like to be benched. This has been the 94th day of our national nightmare; may we wake soon.

The Daily Recounting 4/18/17

What didn’t Trump know today?

  1. Who’s in charge of North Korea.
  2. Which way the aircraft carrier that he, in defiance of all sanity and against all prayers, commands is going.

And let’s tie those facts together for some late night fun: he thought that the aircraft carrier was going to North Korea. Yay, we’re all gonna fucking die.

Is David Osoff the future of the Democratic Party?

  1. First of all, his name is Jon.
  2. Maybe?

Did that last question lend itself to a numbered answer?

  1. Not at all.

Anyway, the United Kingdom is still Brexiting. In fact, they may be upping their game and going for a hard Brexit. All signs point to the situation turning into some sort of HyperBrexit by September. Theresa May is their Prime Minister now; she’s a Conservative, which are not like our conservatives, but they also kinda are. Brexit is British for Trump: an incredibly stupid idea foisted upon the cities by old people, racists, and the rural dumb. This morning, she called for elections, because that’s something you can do in England. It’s like calling Shotgun, I guess.

The Conservatives (also known as the Tories) are in charge now. David Cameron, who once fucked a pig’s head, was in charge but quit within minutes of the Brexit announcement, yelling “Fixed it!” over his shoulder as he sprinted towards somewhere, anywhere, just not here. So, Theresa May took over and promised not to call for early elections, but…oh, let CNN do the heavy lifting:

Romance isn’t dead.

Parliament is gridlocked and fractious now, but May and the Tories are strong in the polls; she hopes to consolidate her power before she starts the Brexit negotiations. Her challengers include the Labour Party (also know as the Wazzocks), the Liberal Democrats (also known as the Silly Pumpkins), and the U.K. Independence Party (also known as Nazis). None of them have their shit together; this Brexit is gonna get harder than Rocco Siffredi.

In other news, Turkey took a vote and decided that they wanted to be a dictatorship. Maybe the ebola virus is right.

This has been the 89th day of our national nightmare; may we wake soon.

The Daily Recounting 4/13/17

Aye, sir. With Poseidon’s blessing, our mighty armada will make Siracusa by dawn. And what of our archers, Sire? Shall they muster by the granary and ready themselves for the march?

You shiteating clown.

But, Enthusiasts, the so-called president is not the dumbest human on the planet today. No, instead we have a yammerer: Fareed Zakaria is an actor who plays an intellectual on teevee. He can speak extemporaneously in full paragraphs, which is very impressive until you read a transcript and realize he didn’t say anything. And if he did make a point, it was probably someone else’s. (Fareed likes to copy off the kid next to him.) He describes himself as “radical centrist” which is true when it comes to bothering the Middle East: Fareed will simply not hear of not bothering the Middle East, but on the other hand you don’t want to bother it too much. Weirdly enough, all three of the last presidents found Fareed’s sweet spot.


“Based on the intelligence, it’s the right move.”


“The strategy is working. We need to give it some time.”


“Oh, God, I’m gonna cum.”

Fareed’s a real asshole.

Anyway, he wrote this in the Washington Post today because while democracy dies in darkness, it will die via dipshits.

  1. Shut the fuck up.
  2. Every policy he has pursued so far has been objectively wrong, evil, and dangerous. Just because this particular wrong, evil, and dangerous is your fetish doesn’t make it okay, you imperialist goon.
  3. People didn’t call you a shithead because of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” (or as others call it “being observant”), they called you a shithead because you chose the impulsive, slapdash, and ultimately ineffective bombing of a newly-abandoned air base to proclaim Trump presidential. You flat-out said that dropping bombs makes you the president.
  4. Shithead.
  5. Is he a cancer or should we evaluate him impartially?  Fareed Zakaria: world’s worst oncologist.
  6. Fareed Zakaria masturbates to footage of nuclear tests.

The Daily Recounting, 4/12/17

JFK was in the Navy, and so was Nixon. LBJ, Ford, Carter, and George H.W. Bush, too. (Carter was even a Midshipman, just like the basketball player David Robinson and the football player Roger Staubach.) Cesar Chavez and Harvey Milk. Armistead Maupin and Thomas Pynchon and Robert Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard. Neil Armstrong was in the Navy–a lot of astronauts were–and Don Rickles and Charlie Murphy, too. Lenny Bruce and Larry Flynt.

What I’m saying is: don’t judge the Navy for Steve Bannon.

Steve’s smart–he’s been successful in several fields spanning multiple decades–but somewhere along the way a bad command got in the system and now he’s King of the Racists. (I know we’re supposed to use the term “nationalist” or “Alt-Right” or “whatnot” but never tell a lie when you aren’t forced to.)

I think I know what happened.

You see what happened?



Hey, jackass. Are you chewing gum? Did you bring enough for everyone?

Oh, you did? Well, pass it out and let’s have a chewing party.

What is this?

I am asking an imaginary classroom questions, and also redistributing wealth.

Stop it.

Okay. On September 11th, 2001, I lived in Los Angeles: Orange Street in Hollywood, which is right in between Mann’s Chinese Theater and the Magic Castle in the Hollywood Hills. I had a studio on the seventh floor with a view of the Hollywood Sign and a pill habit. Two parts vicodin to one part valium, and then xanax so I could sleep. I had a routine in those days as far as music: Elvis Presley’s Sun Sessions in the morning and Panthalassa to go to sleep.

The phone did not generally ring at six a.m. It was my mother, and she told me to turn on the teevee, which I did and promised her I’d stay safe–as if that were my promise to make–and hung up and shut the teevee off and rolled back over to sleep. The phone rang again, my buddy Richie. I left the teevee on this time and watched for several minutes. People forget the chaos. There was supposed to have been a plane headed towards Los Angeles. There were supposed to be planes headed everywhere. Pants. If there was an emergency situation hurtling towards me, I thought, then I needed to be wearing pants.

I called my friends Chris and Tess, who lived six or seven blocks west of me. This was a long time ago, and they were very young and poor like I was, so the phone by their bed was a Wolverine phone, bright yellow with a foot-tall posable Canadian mutant atop it, and when someone called you it went SNIKT SNIKT. So that’s how Chris and Tess found out about 9/11.

Sitting on the edge of my bed watching teevee just like the rest of the country. Phone rings again. My friend Brian manages a bar; I’m a regular there. He lives with five guys he knows from Boston College in a Brady Bunch house in the suburbs of North Hollywood. There is a swimming pool in the back, and the kitchen has faded linoleum floors and pressboard cabinets stained to look like oak. The lawn is beyond salvation, but lemons grow on the trees unbidden. Come over, he said.

I had a sky-blue 1992 Chevy Corsica that had started smoking the second I entered Los Angeles County and not stopped breaking since; I would eventually take the plates off, pop the hood, and let the city claim it for scrap. It drove that morning, though, and so I motored through the Cahuenga Pass. You can take the 101, but Highland is faster even with the lights. I had my windows down and everyone else on the road was listening to the news, too. Right on Barham, park in the long driveway.

There is no one home but a very small dog who I will later learn is named Alabama. (True Romance was a very big movie at the time.) At the time, I took the puppy for a sign. Innocence, love, forgiveness. One of those, whichever. Now I know it was a dog on a Tuesday morning.

My friends were at a diner around the corner; I joined them and ate eggs and bacon while we watched the teevee with the rest of the room. When we went back to the house, I felt very guilty about getting high but I still did.

The next day was a Wednesday, and Wednesday is the day that the new comic books come in. I would meet my friend Gary at the Starbucks on Melrose, and we would walk two blocks west to the Golden Apple. There are always jet contrails over LA. Something about the weather. None today, though, and no helicopters. When we walked into the store, I looked at the wall bearing all the new issues and asked, “Where the fuck were you?”

No one thought that was funny.

The next day, the bar that Brian managed reopened and I was sitting at the bar drinking red wine and saying stupid shit.

“I’d join up right now,” I said.

There was a man who drank at that bar named John. I liked him very much. He had served in Vietnam, and he was kind enough not to laugh at me when I said that. The feeling faded quickly.

But for some, it didn’t. 9/11 turned a certain subsection of Americans raving mad, into crusaders for Western Civilization against the fierce Mohammedan hordes,this galvanizing call to arms that–for lack of a better word–radicalized them into action. (And, ironically, adopting the precise, but mirror-image, worldview of their supposed enemy.) It happened to Dennis Miller. Remember Dennis?

And it happened to Steve, I say with no basis to back up that statement. Just seems right.

Anyway: Stevie’s getting canned.

We know this because this is what The Foul One said before he fired Flynn and Manafort, and the man’s not clever; he only one or two tricks, but unlike those other two traitors, Bannon has backing. He is owned by the Mercers, who helped put Trump in office with their money and marketing. The Mercers also own Breitbart, which Bannon used to run but also still secretly runs.

This is going to be fun.

This has been the 83rd day of our national nightmare; may we wake soon.

The Daily Recounting 4/11/17

“Mr. Madison?’

“What is it, Jenkins? I told you not to bother me while I’m writing the Constitution.”

“It’s about that, sir.”

“This better not be that parliament talk again.”

“Why not? Maybe we don’t need a president.”

“We can’t have a parliamentary system because that requires you be able to call elections at any time, and America’s too big and spread out for that.”

“I don’t know if that argument makes sense.”

“Who’s the Founding Father here?”

“You are.”

“That’s right, I am. So stop bugging me. We decided on three branches.”

“Okay, but maybe the executive branch is more of a mascot to the other branches?”

“No, Jenkins.”

“How about this: make the Supreme Court in charge of the military.”

“What? That’s absurd.”

“Or me. Make me in charge of the military. Literally anyone but the president.”

“Stop it.”

“Fine. What if there’s an escape hatch clause?”

“What are you blathering on about?”

“An escape hatch clause. Like, if it turns out that the president is a deranged and irrational grifter who watches teevee all day and only trusts his immediate family?”


“Forget I said teevee. Concentrate on the other stuff.”

“Jenkins, have you not read the document? The executive may declare no war without the legislature’s vote.”

“Declare war, sure. But he could start one on his own.”

“Are you smoking opium again?”


“We should later.”

“Okay. What about money?”

“I’m not giving you any more. You just buy candy.”

“No, sir. What about the president’s money?”

“The man’s salary shall be $25,000, Jenkins.”

“Yes, sir. But what about a ban on making any profit outside the office while one occupies it?”

“No, no. Should General Washington sell his farm?”

“Well, that’s one thing, but what if General Washington licensed his name to hotels in China?”

“You’re talking gibberish again, Jenkins.”

“Just add one line. Just one. ‘The president is not allowed to use Twitter.’ One line, Mr. Madison, please.”

“Jenkins, are you possessed by a demon?”

“Probably not, sir.”

“The document has been framed. We’re done. No more additions. You have no faith in the wisdom of the common man, nor in the wisdom of those who have created this government.”

“Yes, sir. How much did you pay for me?”

“Fifty dollars. You were expensive.”

“I’m sure the Constitution is just fine, sir.”

“No one asked you.”

“Yes, sir.”

The Daily Recounting 4/3/17

I don’t understand any of this. I recognize the glyphs. Those are called letters, which are then grouped into words; I know most of these words. But the combination is making my nose bleed.

No, that’s not right. It’s supposed to be the other way around. I’m sure this is just an error.


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