a horrible experience of unbearable length

A month ago I made the argument that Comrade Trump doesn’t have many actual supporters; instead, he has fans. I wrote:

Trump fans aren’t supporters of Trump’s beliefs (if he has any) or his political or religious ideology (if he has any) or his policies (if he has any); they’re fans of Trump his ownself. They want Trump to win, of course, but the thing about fan loyalty is that it doesn’t require winning.

It’s just a coincidence that I recently stumbled upon a 2009 article by Roger Ebert, the late and much-missed film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. Ebert had written a scathing review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which apparently upset Transformer fans (or maybe Transformer movie fans or fans of somebody in the movie–I don’t know and can’t bring myself to care enough to check). The thing about fans, of course, is that they will immediately go to war with anybody who questions their fandom. And they went to war with Ebert.

The thing about Ebert, on the other hand, is he was always rational, analytical, and really fucking smart. He starting rationally analyzing fandom. He wrote this:

A lot of fans are basically fans of fandom itself. It’s all about them. They have mastered the ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Star Trek’ universes or whatever, but their objects of veneration are useful mainly as a backdrop to their own devotion. Anyone who would camp out in a tent on the sidewalk in order to be the first in line for a movie is more into camping on the sidewalk than movies.

Extreme fandom may serve as a security blanket for the socially inept, who use its extreme structure as a substitute for social skills. If you are Luke Skywalker and she is Princess Leia, you already know what to say to each other, which is so much safer than having to ad-lib it. Your fannish obsession is your beard. If you know absolutely all the triviea about your cubbyhole of pop culture, it save you from having to know anything about anything else. That’s why it’s excruciatingly boring to talk to such people: They’re always asking you questions they know the answer to.

And yeah, that’s spot on. It applies perfectly to Trump fans (who, come to think of it, aren’t that different from Transformer fans — they’re both devoted to something fundamentally ridiculous and tacky). Trump’s fans tend to be not just socially inept, but aggressively and proudly so. Believing in Trump saves them from having to know anything about anything, or from having to retain internally consistent views. If Trump, on a Monday, says Candidate A is a genius but on Wednesday describes him as an idiot, then Candidate A is a genius until, through the power of Trump, he becomes an idiot. It’s that simple.

The difference, of course, between Transformer fans and Trump fans is Trump fans are more willing — even eager, at times — to turn violent against critics of their fandom. I’m talking about violence ranging in scale from a recent incident in which a Trump fan hurled a can of beer at a comedian because she voted for Biden to a few thousand people violently assaulting the Capitol Building in an effort to overturn a legit election.

The risk posed by Transformer fans is that they increase the odds that more shitty movies will get made and inflicted on the public. The risk posed by Trump fans is sporadic irrational large scale violence, the occasional attack on FBI buildings, possible assassination of Trump ‘enemies’, and the potential destruction of representative democracy.

Ebert described Transformers as “a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine.” The four years of the Trump administration could be described in much the same way, only with Trump humping the leg of Vlad Putin.

news cycle

Herschel Walker: Abortion is bad, wicked, evil and I am against it totally.
Press: Didn’t you pay for your girlfriend to have an abortion?
Walker: That’s a lie. I did NOT pay for that woman’s abortion.
Press: Your ex-girlfriend says you did.
Walker: She’s a liar.
Press: We have the get well card you sent her.
Walker: Okay, I sent her a get well card. She was…you know, sick and all.
Press: We have a copy of the check you sent her to pay for the abortion.
Walker: That check was for medical supplies. Aspirin, hot water bottle, stuff like that.
Press: The memo line on the check says, ‘This is to pay for your abortion’.
Walker: It’s a forgery.
Press: We have video of you dropping her off at the abortion clinic.
Walker: I thought that was a Target. Anybody can make a mistake.
Press: In the audio of the video we can hear you saying, “Bye now, have a nice abortion!”
Walker: Fake news! Women lie!
GOP: We completely support Herschel Walker and are outraged by these scurrilous accusations. It just proves Democrats can’t be trusted.
Press: GOP says Dems can’t be trusted.

GOP: It’s possible Mr. Walker at one point in his otherwise exemplary life thought abortion might be okay under certain circumstances, but now he realizes he was wrong and all abortion is murder, so leave him alone.
Press: Exemplary life? He put a gun to his wife’s head and threatened to kill her.
GOP: A candidate’s domestic life isn’t the issue. The issue is pedophiles teaching CRT to grade school students.
Press: Walker used to play Russian roulette.
GOP: The Republican party cares about mental health rehabilitation. The past is the past.
Press: We’ve just received video of Herschel Walker paying to abort endangered baby eagles.
GOP: There’s no law against aborting baby eagles. Stick to the real issues that are important to American families. Inflation, the price of gas, trans girls winning medals in high school sports, Democrat crossdressers in girls bathrooms selling fetanyl.
Press: GOP says Dems killing teen girls.
Tucker Carlson: Are there are videos of Hunter Biden dressed in a frilly Lolita skirt taking bribes and cocaine from Chinese agents in the girl’s bathroom of a Catholic grade school? I’m just asking questions. Next up, Herschel Walker discusses how to arm yourself to protect your family from baby eagles.

the power to kill conversation

— So, did you see where Trump tweeted that the Queen had knighted him in secret and he didn’t tell anybody?
— Fake.
— Well, yeah, of course it is. Wait, hold on…
— What?
— Are you saying it’s fake that Trump was knighted in secret? Or that the tweet itself is fake?
— See, this is what Trump has done. He’s fucked with the entire notion of capital T Truth. Now we can’t even have a conversation because we have to stop and do reality checks on stuff that ought to be obvious, but isn’t anymore. Because everything is nuts.
— Well, yeah, but…wait, what?
— The tweet is…and, I mean it’s not even a ‘tweet’ is it, since the fucker got himself kicked off Twitter.
— Yeah, but calling it a ‘Truth’ is so fuckin’ stupid that I can’t bring myself to do it.
— Agreed, so okay, we’ll call it a tweet even though it’s not.
— Okay, good. Where were we?
— We were at ‘what’s fake’.
— Right. Continue.


— The tweet itself is fake. And the fake tweet’s claim is fake as well.
— It’s a lie in a lie, yeah. But it’s also the sort of boneheaded stupid lie that Trump might actually make in the hope that somebody might think it’s true. I mean, it’s possible to believe it would be true for Trump to make that sort of lie.
— Yes. Maybe? I think you’re right, if I understood what you said.
— I’m saying ‘The Queen made me a knight in secret and I didn’t tell anybody’ is sort of believable as a lie that Trump would tell.
— …
— Right?
— I’m still working through that.
— …
— Yeah, okay. Yes. I’m pretty sure I agree with that. What was the original question?
— Fuck if I can remember.
— You wanted to know if I saw that Tweet?
— Did you?
— I did. Why?
— …
— …
— I don’t remember. I think I was trying to make a point. About…something.
— Fuckin’ Trump…
— …
— You want to talk about the new Game of Throne thing?
— …
— I haven’t seen it.
— Nor have I.
— Maybe we should just sit here and drink quietly for a bit.
— There’s a new Lord of the Rings thing too.
— …
— …
— Didn’t we used to have actual conversations about, you know…stuff?
— …
— …
— Fuckin’ Trump. The very mention of his name has the power to kill conversation.

the price of being a mook

And by the way, no. No, there’s no “rich debate about whether or not a document is declassified if a president has decided but not communicated it outside of his own head.” Jesus suffering fuck, people. I mean, just listen to yourselves.

Okay, now as I was saying…wait, where was I?

Right, I hadn’t even started yet. Okay, as I was about to say, it’s a job of work being a Trump martyr. I’m thinking about this mook Ricky Shiffer. You know, the MAGA fuckwit who decided to start the War Against the Deep State by attacking an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio. First, you’re never going to make it to the Martyr Hall of Fame if your name is Ricky. Ricky is a fine name for a second baseman on a minor league team or the regional manager for a company that sells convenience store snack cakes. But not for a martyr. Rick would have been okay. Richard would work. But Ricky? Never gonna happen.

Second, Cincinnati? It’s a fine city, no mistake, with wonderful architecture, some very fine sports teams, the home of a truly great ice cream (Graeter’s black raspberry chocolate chip is exquisite) and a rich history of riverboats exporting pork products. But it’s not on the list of Best Places to Take the Fight to the Deep State. Cincinnati is where you’d go if you want to start a War on Decent Chili (oh lawdy, they do terrible things to chili there), but if you’re going to take on the FBI, then really, look elsewhere.

Third, it’s really hard to be a martyr for Comrade Trump. I mean really, really, REALLY hard. It’s hard on account of if you’re an ordinary white working stiff with a history of making racist and violence statements and you commit a crime for Trump, you’ll be almost immediately written off BY OTHER MAGA FUCKWITS as a Deep State stooge.

Ricky Shiffer said all the right MAGA things, just like MAGA Republicans in Congress. He said the FBI was a threat, they were the enemy of the people, they were corrupt thugs, the people have to fight back, the FBI must be destroyed. He echoed the GOP establishment. Only he apparently actually believed what they were saying. He followed through. Not effectively, but he acted on what almost every Republican was saying. And now?

Ricky Shiffer — not a martyr, just a mook.

Now Ricky Shiffer is considered a ‘crisis actor’. Now his attack on the FBI is seen as a false flag incident. Ricky Shiffer died stupidly, in a corn field, wearing body armor, thinking he would be a martyr, an example to his fellow ‘patriots’. Now his fellow ‘patriots’ are accusing him of being Antifa. Here’s a smattering of comments from FreeRepublic:

I suspect this is an FBI operation given the blow-back from a lot of people on both sides with the raid on Trump’s home. — by CFW

FBI asset, BLM, or Antifa? — by mass55th (“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” ~~ John Wayne )

This isn’t a coincidence. This was timed for today. We’re going to see these RAT antics every day from now until election day. — by FlingWingFlyer (The House is supposed to represent the people, not the friggin’ Federal government. )

Right, this doesn’t pass the smell test. — by pacificus

Almost certainly, they murdered the CI/patsy they paid to do it. Until evidence to the contrary turns up, I will assume ALL attacks on the FBI or any other Federal agency are 100% false flag attacks. — by backwoods-engineer (Hold on, y’all, 2022 is going to be a ride you won’t soon forget!)

They used the stooge, then killed him for his efforts. — by TheElectionWasStolen

Stevie Wonder could have seen that a false flag was incoming. — by Cowgirl of Justice

FalseFlag — by joma89 (Buy weapons and ammo, folks, and have the will to use them.)

Odds are, Ricky Shiffer won’t be the last mook to take up arms for the delusional cause of Comrade Trump. Violent, threatening rhetoric is a staple of the GOP diet and Trump’s followers are eating it up as avidly as ducks devouring cracked corn. I’m not convinced there’ll be a January 6th Only With Guns, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened. And if/when it does, the mooks who join in will be characterized by the mooks who didn’t as false flag crisis actors.

It’s the price of being a Trump mook.

why i’m not in the cabal

Yeah, I’m starting to seriously doubt that Rev. Rick Wiles is a reliable source of news and information. I began to get suspicious back in July of 2018, when Reverend Rick predicted that Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow were going to stage a coup d’état against the Trump administration. He said,

“[Y]ou’re going to turn on the television and see helicopters hovering over the roof of the White House with men clad in black rappelling down ropes, entering into the White House. Be prepared for a shootout in the White House as Secret Service agents shoot commandos coming in to arrest President Trump. That is how close we are to a revolution. Be prepared for a mob—a leftist mob—to tear down the gates, the fence at the White House and to go into the White House and to drag him out with his family and decapitate them on the lawn of the White House.”

It’s not that I wanted to see Trump and his family decapitated on the White House lawn (or anywhere else, for that matter–I am passionately anti-decapitation), but I thought ninjas rappelling from helos onto the roof of the White House on live television…well, people keep saying there’s nothing good on the teevee these days. I’m just saying, that would draw an audience, is all.

Rev. Rick Wiles, not nuts at all, really.

Anyway, that didn’t happen. So naturally I became a tad concerned about Rev. Rick’s information. BUT THEN…YouTube banned his TruNews channel. You guys, they banned it just before the 2020 election. Is that suspicious, or what? I mean, Donald J. Trump, the Once and Future President, had given Rev. Rick White House press credentials. They just don’t hand those out like MDMA at a party. They just totally upped and banned him, just on account of they didn’t like his opinion on what would happen in the totally unlikely event that Trump lost the election. Which was,

“There are people in this country, veterans, cowboys, mountain men, guys that know how to fight, and they’re going to make a decision that the people that did this to Donald Trump are not going to get away with it and they’re going to hunt them down.”

It is well-established fact that mountain men and cowboys WILL NOT TOLERATE that sort of behavior. Or at least I assumed it was well-established…but I guess not. I haven’t seen a single cowboy or mountain man so much as make a mean face at Uncle Joe Biden. So once again, I wondered if we could really truly count on Rev. Rick to tell us what to think and believe.

Then he spoke out against the Chinese Communist Party Covid Flu. He said, right out loud, that the Covid was God’s punishment to Jews for opposing Jesus Christ. Okay, Rev. Rick wasn’t completely clear on God’s motive in working hand-in-hand with Chinese communists, but who are we to question what God does on His Holy Days Off? But guess what? After speaking out against the Covid, Rev. Rick CAUGHT the Covid.

Coincidence? I think not. But Rev. Rick prayed about it, and Jesus totally healed him. So he knows what he’s talking about when he says the Covid vaccines are part of a global conspiracy to commit genocide against Christians. In his most recent statement, Rev. Rick said,

“This is a global coup d’état by the most evil cabal on the planet in the history of mankind, and if it not stopped in the very near future they will win. That’s what’s at stake, control of the world.The planting…they’re putting eggs in people’s bodies…. it’s an egg that hatches into a synthetic parasite, and grows inside your body. This is like a sci-fi nightmare, and it’s happening in front of us.”

Eggs! In people’s bodies! And those eggs? Rev. Rick says they’re just hatching weensy teensy little synthetic parasites like crazy. And do you have ANY IDEA what those synthetic parasites will DO TO YOUR BODY? DO YOU???!!! Something bad, is what they’ll do. You can count on it. Nothing good every comes out of a synthetic parasite hatching from an egg in your body.

Now, Rev. Rick isn’t saying this is what comes from vaccines, but he’s not ruling it out.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably a wee bit uncertain about the basic science behind planting eggs in human bodies through a vaccine. You may be asking why, if God and the Chinese Communist Party got together to create the Covid, they’d also cooperate to create a vaccine that would actually implant an egg designed to hatch into a synthetic parasite? The answer is obvious, once you start thinking rationally. It’s NOT a real vaccine designed to fight a real pandemic. It’s a fake vaccine to pretend to fight a fake pandemic.

See the logic? They invented the fake pandemic to create a demand for the fake vaccine, and once the eggs in the vaccine hatch into synthetic parasites, then….then…I don’t know, something. Surely, something will happen, right?

This is probably why God and the Chinese Commies didn’t include me in their cabal.

hypocrites, quacks, and liars

Comrade Trump returned to Iowa yesterday. I considered attending his rally because I’m still a sociologist at heart. I’m curious about the structure of communities and groups. I’d been to one of his early campaign rallies, and I was interested to see if a post-presidential rally would be different. But it turned out I wasn’t interested enough to actually go.

By all accounts, Trump did what he was expected to do–what he’s always done. He lied, he complained, he bragged, he sneered. For an hour and 43 minutes, he repeated his lies about the 2020 election, he complained about how he’s treated, he bragged about his ‘accomplishments’ and he sneered at his detractors. He accused the news of being ‘fake’, he vilified President Uncle Joe, he praised the people who praised him and denigrated people who didn’t. In front of a crowd of a few thousand people, Trump declared, “We don’t have free speech anymore.” In other words, he was the same Comrade Donald Trump he’s always been.

His audience was also the same audience they’ve always been. White, angry, afraid, resentful, hateful, sanctimonious, ignorant. Not necessarily stupid, but deliberately and willfully ignorant. Jeff Kaufmann, the Iowa Republican Party chairman, described Trump as “the middle finger to doing things the same old way, to the fat cats and the corporate welfare that Democrats now support and Republicans supported in the past. He represents an exasperation.” The only way a person can perceive Trump as a champion of ordinary people and Democrats as promoting ‘fat cats and corporate welfare’ is to be deliberately ignorant.

Nothing I’ve seen or read about the rally was surprising. Disappointing, to be sure, but not unexpected. What is most disappointing is that Iowa’s GOP establishment–notably Governor Kim Reynolds and Senator Chuck Grassley–openly embraced Trump. Even more disappointing, they seemed to acknowledge their support for Trump is based entirely on their desire to remain in power.

Grassley, after getting Trump’s public endorsement, said, “If I didn’t accept the endorsement of a person that’s got 91 percent of the Republican voters in Iowa, I wouldn’t be too smart.” Compare that to what he said a few months ago, shortly after the election results were certified.

“The reality is, he lost. He brought over 60 lawsuits and lost all but one of them. He was not able to challenge enough votes to overcome President Biden’s significant margins in key states…. He belittled and harassed elected officials across the country to get his way. He encouraged his own, loyal vice president, Mike Pence, to take extraordinary and unconstitutional actions during the Electoral College count.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the hollow husk of a former principled conservative.

There was a time when Grassley was a principled conservative–a politician I disagreed with, but who I believed had integrity. I believed he truly cared about governance. Now Grassley is just a hollow husk of a politician. He’s delighted to accept the endorsement of a man who took “extraordinary and unconstitutional actions” if it helps him get re-elected. What does that tell us? It’s evidence that the GOP has evolved into a party of misinformation, of lies and liars, of corruption and chicanery, a party of grifters and con artists.

I can’t tell you how sad that makes me. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in Iowa voters, or how ashamed I am that this state is represented by hypocrites, quacks and liars.

continuing conversations between gary and knur

Gary: I am listening, Knur. I am designated Gary. What happened?
Knur: Gary, an unfortunate interaction between your planet’s germ spores and my internal organic gas exchange mechanisms resulted in a temporary loss of spatial orientation. As a result, my spacecraft suffered an unanticipated rapid kinetic disassembly, the further result of which was personal deceleration trauma. My life functions are suboptimal and will soon terminate.
Gary: You became confused, your ship blew up, and now you’re going to die.
Knur: Affirmative. I blame the germ spores! Curse the germ spores!
Gary: Curse them!
Knur: I may yet have time to complete my mission.
Gary: State the nature and purpose of your mission.
Knur: We have monitored the communications of your planetary system and our ethno-bio-linguisto-analysts have determined the customs and practices of the ruling elite in your sovereign administrative territory are unsound.
Gary: I request more specificity. Which customs and practices?
Knur: Specifically the clandestine, post-coital consumption of the flesh of unwilling juvenile members of your species, for the purpose of youth-retention and as a celebration of a contra-societal worship practice.
Gary: …
Knur: …
Gary: Knur, I surmise you are speaking of QAnon.
Knur: Affirmative. Additionally, our Planetary Executive…Hail the Executive!
Gary: Hail the Executive!
Knur: The Executive has also determined, based on Q’s transmissions, your current nation-state overseer is attempting to contaminate your population by injecting a bio-serum containing spore-based geo-locational technology.
Gary: Negative. That information is incorrect.
Knur: Incorrect? Astonishing. We are also given to understand the bio-serum substantially reconfigures an individual’s deoxyribonucleic acid.
Gary: Equally incorrect.
Knur: Improbable. I assure you our Planetary Executive…Hail the Executive!
Gary: Hail the Executive!
Knur: The Executive has done his own research.
Gary: I request you outline the nature of that research.
Knur: A comprehensive and exhaustive examination of the digital media variants collected and disseminated on the Tube of You.
Gary: …
Knur: …
Gary: For fuck’s sake, Knur.
Knur: Gary, I sense and experience a rapid decline of my life functions. They are transitioning toward an unoperational state. I request an immediate application of ivermectin.
Gary: Knur, ivermectin is an antiparasitic agent designed to treat large domesticated animals raised in agricultural settings to produce labor or commodities. It eradicates the larvae of nematodes, arthropods, and ectoparasites by paralyzing their nerve and muscle functions, resulting in a cessation of the parasite’s life functions. It is ineffective against the germ spores.
Knur: The Planetary Executive…Hail the Executive!
Gary: Hail the Executive!
Knur: The Executive asserts ivermectin will neutralize the germ spores.
Gary: The Executive is…
Knur: Hail the Executive!
Gary: Hail him! But he is mistaken.
Knur: Gary, I request information.
Gary: State the nature of your request.
Knur: Have you been injected with the bio-serum?
Gary: Affirmative. Twice.
Knur: My suspicions are confirmed.
Gary: …
Knur: [Displays Death-Ray model Delta2021.] Cease to function, Gary! [Fires.}
Gary: … [Clutches chest. Collapses. Experiences loss of physical integrity. Melts.]
Knur: [Weakly.] Hail the Execut…. [Dies.]

just take the sign down

Some mornings I just can’t be bothered to care anymore. I know it’s wrong, but Jesus suffering fuck, how far do we have to go to protect people–people who are willfully, deliberately, and aggressively ignorant–from themselves? I’m talking about this thing right here in particular:

The Tractor Supply Company, which is an absolutely great place to buy stuff like rubber boots and rope and stuff to deworm your horses, has found it necessary to put up a sign in the Deworm Your Large Animals aisle telling its customers NOT to use a product designed to treat or prevent parasites in large animals as a prophylactic against Covid-19. I am NOT MAKING THIS UP.

Why did the Tractor Supply Co. feel the need to do this? Because some Trumpist tunaheads don’t want to die from Covid BUT are unwilling to take an effective vaccine because Comrade Trump (who has actually taken the damned vaccine) and his criminal accomplices in the Fuckwit Media have decided its to their political advantage to use a goddamn global pandemic as a wedge issue. These are the same tunaheads who’ll spend hours online poring over conspiracy theories in which the 2020 election was rigged by Nancy Pelosi using Hunter Biden’s laptop to get Italy and China to send cargo planes full of ballots with Uncle Joe’s name on them to be hidden under tables in Arizona BUT who won’t spend two minutes googling Ivermectin to learn that Ivermectin products for large animals are different from Ivermectin products for people.

Tractor Supply Company, do us all a favor. Just take the fucking sign down.