Speaking Of . . .

The great Leonard Cohen once remarked that he felt no urgency as far as his writing was concerned. It was his opinion that mankind would not be damaged if he never put out another record or wrote another book.

Now here was a dude whose works could talk gravity into another million years worth of bubbles. And he’s speaking as if he’s a high school newspaper editor. His point, however, is inviolable. The best part of us, as writers, is the part that can never be taken away.

Speaking of . . .

Urgency, there seems to be a little more of the stuff when it comes to Bryce Harper and the Phillies. And I’m rooting like hell for them to ink the slugger before Brian Cashman sweeps in with a drunken sailor offering that ties the Yankees to a .240 hitter through a third Trump term (Spoiler Alert!). These “Till Meth Do Us Part” unions in sports are onerous for the fans more than anyone. Because in eight years, the fans will be paying Fabulous Bryce Hair prices for Bald Bryce production. Simple as that.

Speaking of . . .

Bald men, the Oscars are tonight. And I’m sorta/kinda excited for the first time in a while. If only because of Queen.

Speaking of . . .

Queens, they’re making a biopic about Elton John. Which is a little strange seeing as how he’s still alive.

Speaking of . . .

Bad jokes (such as the one I just made), Trump and Kim Jong (Pizzeria)-Un will be holding their second summit this week to discuss UN sanctions, nuclear disarmament and Adam Sandler’s curious lack of Oscar hardware.

Speaking of . . .

Oscar, I only saw one Best Picture nominee (Bohemian Rhapsody) and I am only halfway interested in seeing A Star Is Born. I definitely will see Black Klansman when it comes out on video.

Speaking Of . . .

Movies? I tend to gravitate to the flicks that have no blessed chance of winning gold. Take yesterday for example, when I went to see Happy Death Day 2 U. Not as good as the original, but man . . Jessica Rothe is going to win an Oscar for something, some day. And I do not plan on being wrong about that. Girl’s got game.

Speaking of . . .

Game . . I am rocking the Casbah after a two month hiatus from my Fitbit. A week and a half in, and the results are sweetly plucked juiciness. Lost a few pounds already, and am up to three and a half miles. I truly enjoyed my vacation from the the wrist candy, but the reunion is Peaches and Herb righteous.

Speaking of . . .

Righteous deeds, big props to the Ole Miss basketball players for taking a knee during the National Anthem. They knelt together in response to a confederacy rally near their home arena in Oxford, Mississippi. It was the right thing to do.

Speaking of . . .

The right thing, I’m down with Terrance Howard’s support of his former co-star Jussie Smollett. Howard isn’t taking the easy road by staying in Smollett’s corner, but it’s where he started out and it’s what he’s sticking to. Howard isn’t interested in the optics, and that’s commendable in a profession where too many peeps run for higher ground when the shit hits the fan. Come what may, Smollett has a corner man. Emphasis on man.

Speaking of . . .

Yesterday, I was turned onto this cat with the cool threads and the space age folk songs. He’s got a voice that could skate on the icy rings of Saturn and come back hotter than Fortuna’s pocketbook after a Vegas jaunt. His musical roam fits the proverbs of a lazy Sunday afternoon just fine.

And the hat, that’s just bonus round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

Remember the old Rolling Stone double issues that used to take you a week to read? And longer than that if it was summer and you were perpetually high? Welp, that’s this week’s Heroes installment. You’ll notice I’ve tucked some news squibs in between the Big Five. It’s just me, tinkering.

Now let’s get on with it.

Romaine-tic Comedy- Country music singer Miranda Lambert (Should I stop there? Is that enough of a punchline? No . . you sure? Okay, I’ll continue . . ) is bringing whole new meaning to her salad days. And believe me, I ain’t dressing this up.

Lambert made headlines (again) for all the wrong reasons (again) when she dumped her salad on a woman who was provoking her. The lap dance tantrum happened at a Nashville steakhouse where Lambert was dining with friends and family. And it just makes me sad.

Once upon a time, country music’s preferred method of payment when it came to altercations were baseball bats and whiskey bottles. Now . . it’s lettuce and cherry tomatoes with julienne carrots in a balsamic vinaigrette (speculative editorializing). The legends of country music didn’t even know what the fuck a salad was! The current generation of stars has weaponized it.

Ted Cruz wants to use El Chapo fortune to fund border wall. Because our government has never, ever used blood money before . . .

Ice Cold Stove- Two of the biggest stars in the game- Bryce Harper and Manny Machado- remain unsigned. Pitchers and catchers time has arrived, and these two big ticket items of the hot stove league remain on the shelf. Which says everything about the blah quality of the league. Call it collusion by the owners or call it a deluded MLBPA, but the bottom line is, the game is suffering from an alarming lack of sizzle lately.

Cancel out collusion, because offers have been made and stupid contracts (See the Nationals signing of Corbin) have been inked. As for the player’s union, they’ve got to pipe down on any claims of owner conspiracy, what with the average MLB salary sitting at a cool 4 mil a year. They need to get their shit straight for sure, but worrying about their players getting paid would be the wrong pony to ride. Listen, owners see players like JD Martinez of the Red Sox kicking ass at a fraction of what Harper/Machado were asking for. They want bang over bloat, and I don’t blame them.

But the MLB has got to do something about this hot stove of theirs, which has gotten its ass kicked by the NFL and NBA trading deadlines and signing periods over the last calendar season. Baseball used to own its off-season, but that is no longer the case. Where have you gone Reggie Jackson? . . .

Grammys

The Grammys- Who. Fucking. Cares.

I ain’t got much to say about an awards show I haven’t watched in forever, but what I do have to say isn’t pleasant. And yet . . it’s a hell of a lot more pleasant than what these peeps are dealing. Reading up on the postscripts to the show is akin to checking up on the first grade choir. It’s a bunch of musical talent wrapped in elementary school clothes. They snipe, they curse and they hate on each other with Styrofoam vitriol; which means to say, it’s marshmallow four lettered banter, delivered up by musical brats who couldn’t hold Prince’s luggage.

And this isn’t some old dude pissing on the music of the day, because there’s plenty of new stuff I dig on. And I also happen to believe we should leave Cardi B alone when it comes to that Tom Petty gaffe. Truth be told, there are times when I have to think about which Beatles are left . . and I am guilty of not knowing whether Steven Tyler was dead or alive (He’s alive). Nah, Cardi B is a kid who ain’t down with yesterday’s music, and that’s no crime. But the way her peers trashed her after she won for best rap album is just sad. And proof that I ain’t missing anything by skipping this show.

Kylie Jenner is into condom artTo paraphrase the great Andy Warhol, in the future, everyone will be famous for three and a half minutes . . . 

Sarah Sanders Stars in ‘God Squad’-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says that God wanted Donald Trump to win in 2016. And a quarter of Fox News poll respondents agree with her. In another Heroes first, I’ve linked to a Fox News poll for shits and giggles. If you insist on sending me hate mail, please forward it here. Rather than doing a post-oped, Imma dish up a semi-fictional rendering of how this might have gone down.

Somewhere in Malibu . . . 

The phone rings. 

“Challo?”

“God, hey . . it’s Lucifer,”

“Hey Lu . . what’s going down?” God chuckles.

“You remember anything about last night?” Lucifer asks.

“Well . . I remember we were playing poker. Moses was bragging about his Red Sea vacation . . Noah was telling fish tales . . and then Lot brought the Patron and we all started doing shots and . . .”

“You went all in when I said you had to elect Trump if you lost your pot,” Lucifer informs him.

“Prove it,” God demands.

His phone chimes to life with a text message containing a video link of him losing the bet with his arch-nemesis.

“Jesus!”

“Yeah Pop?” Jesus says as he moves into the living room to grab his sandals.

“No, not you. Umm, where you going?” God asks.

“Me and Jerry Garcia are gonna work on the van,” Jesus says excitedly.

“What about that job interview you have at Lowes?” God asks.

“That’s manana, and don’t worry . . I’ll pass the drug test this time. Gotta go old man, peace out . ..”

“Lu . . you still there?”

“That kid can’t hold down a job to save his life,” Lucifer says.

“Preaching to the choir, Lu. But hey . . you can’t hold me to this Trump thing,” God says.

“You bet your cloud surfing ass I’m gonna hold you to it,”

“I gotta say, this is low . . even for you,”

“Tuesday, November 8th, Boss. Mark the date,” Lucifer says before hanging up.

If you insist on sending me hate mail for this sacrilegious skit, please forward it here.

Bob Ross Flash Mob- Seriously, that sentence is enough to put a smile on my face. But it gets better. Thanks to middle school art teacher Brady Sloane of Abilene, Texas . . it gets a lot better. Textbook smarts get you in the door, but outside the box thinking opens the doors you never knew existed. And Sloane, supplied. She noticed how her students were stressing over their work load in advanced placement classes and so she organized a cool little activity in which they would all don Bob Ross costumes as they painted.

Sloane used monies from a fundraiser to buy the paints, and then her students helped her make the costumes. And this story is just so damned peach on top of my Heroes cake, that Imma stamp it in place of my usual musical spill.

Zen is what real winning looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Gates slams AOC’s 70 percent tax plan? No. Shit. 

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

In the news, Hawaii is looking to pass legislation that will ban smoking for anyone under the age of 100. Fake ID’s are about to get a hell of a lot more interesting on that island, tell you what. Meanwhile, football season has come to an end . . . until this weekend when the Alliance of American Football kicks off its inaugural season. Eight teams, and nary a major market. It’s a league worth rooting for since the Patriots won’t be involved. And in the weather . . . Mama Nature is playing the North East like a street corner hustler doubling down after losing time in the clink.

And there was a State of the Union speech this week which I never got around to watching on account of my binge watching Mr. Robot. But I see where Nancy stole the show until Bernie tried to steal it back. Those crazy kids.

Without further ado, my top five heroes ‘o the week!

Shine On, Crazy Diamond- One of the greatest downhill skiers in the history of the sport is calling it quits. And it’s just not going to be the same without her. The thirty four year old out of St Paul, Minnesota made her World Cup debut in 2000. After which she got down to the business of crushing slopes and winning. Much. Her trophy case includes four World Cup overalls, eight World Cup season titles and three Olympic medals. She became the first American woman to win gold in the downhill at the 2010 games in British Columbia.

She crashed hard during a Super G run on Tuesday and still got back up after being attended to. And finished the race. It was a testament to her courage and tenacity that she wouldn’t let the mountain send her out from the ground.

Her retirement is the right move for an athlete who’s endured an insane amount of punishment over her career. From Mantle to Koufax, and Sayers to Seles to Vonn, sometimes it’s the body making the decision even if the talent still has miles to go. The memories Vonn leaves behind are better than gold. They are priceless.

Patriots Fan Brings It Home- Meir Kay is a Patriots fan, but don’t hold that against him. Because while we all have to pick a team to root for, Kay is really all about bringing hope to the desperate places. And not for nothing, but the man knows how to throw a kick ass Super Bowl party. He’s been doing it for a few years now, and the video which accompanies this post is from two years ago when the Pats played the Falcons.

Whereas most of the country hunkers down at sports bars and house parties for the game, Kay brings the party to the peeps who need it the most. He shuttles around town inviting the homeless to his makeshift crib where he supplies the jerseys, grub and beverages. Not to mention the humanity which society has stripped from them. Now that is winning. Thank you to Dale for the 411 on this one.

Zero Of The Week- There’s only one zero this week, and it goes to the Democratic Party. With the exception of Nancy Pelosi, who was a one woman photo bomb the other night.

The Dems just cannot get out of their own way. The Big Three of Virginia politics– Governor Ralph Northam, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring- find themselves in a world of shit. Northam insists it wasn’t him dressed in blackface in his med school yearbook and there ain’t too many peeps buying it. Fairfax also dressed in black face when he was in college, but he’s admitting to it. And then there’s Herring, who is facing sexual assault charges that date back to 2004. Three strikes and Virginia is starting over.

On the national scene, the party is looser than a Craigslist Chevy at Daytona International Speedway. Sloppy, discordant, scandal ridden and running out of time. Because it’s one year to Iowa.

Tin Cup Maestros- PGA golfer Gary Woodland invited Special Olympian Amy Bockerstette to join him for a practice round at the Phoenix Open recently. Woodland has enjoyed a good deal of success in his ten years on the tour, with three wins and over twenty two million in career earnings. Last year, Amy became the first collegiate golfer to compete with Down Syndrome. When they took to the links, they carried on like life long pals.

Amy’s drive off the tee veered left into the bunker. With Woodland and a growing fan base cheering her on, she beat back the sand pit to set herself up beautifully on the green. She finished it off with a stone cold ten foot putt to finish the hole at par three.

My favorite part of this video (supplied courtesy of Frank) is when Amy is walking down the fairway as the crowd roots her on. She turns to Gary and says “They love me!”.

And how.

Don’t Stop Believing- Silvano Columbano became a rock star thanks to a Fox News piece which claimed the NASA scientist stated that alien life has visited our blue planet. Social media’s tentacles did the rest and before you know it, Columbano’s ‘claim’ had gone viral.

Thing is, Columbano only speculated as to the possibility of alien life visiting our crib. His opinion is that we should stop skimming the water on all the unidentified phenomena and perhaps dive in to some serious homework on it. And his “research paper” as Fox News called it, was really just a document that he prepared in order to get feedback from his peers as to how research on the topic might look going forward. The distinguishing characteristic being that a research paper details hard evidence, whereas Columbano’s document simply outlined the hypothetical scenarios.

I don’t want Columbano to become a caricature. He’ll become a checkout line curiosity if we don’t keep his real motivations in the sunlight. Brilliance and vision oftentimes gets vandalized this way. Thanks to lazy reporting and pinball machine facsimiles driven by the techno-cultured noir that passes as real news.

Like Scully, I want to believe in close encounters and phoning home and signs that actually mean something. And if alien life happens to be reading this and not wasting time with Fox News porn, please do me a solid.

Call me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week! Special Edition

We have another first in our Heroes series this week. This is a very special edition that will deviate from the regular top 5, because the story touched me in such a way that it seemed only right to reserve this Friday’s table for only two. This story happened last year, but I am always going to run with something that makes the news? Worthy.

This week’s Special Top 2 Heroes are Bob Kraft and Alyssa Silva. Their story exemplifies hope, faith and our better angels.

I know what you’re thinking. . a New England Patriot as good hero? Two days before the New England Invitational? That there is anathema to the senses of any football fan outside of the 508. But the owner of the New England Patriots is much more than just the “Gate”-keeper to a modern day dynasty. Kraft is also a civic minded mensch whose outreach has helped to make countless lives better.

Alyssa Silva is one of those lives. The twenty eight year old Ms. Silva is a blogger who specializes in creating bold new words like ‘enoughness’. And when she’s not writing, she’s non-profiting (another Silva Special) as an entrepreneur whose mission is to bring awareness to spinal muscular atrophy. SMA affects the motor nerve cells of the spinal cord and inhibits muscle growth. Alyssa was diagnosed with the disease when she was six months old. Doctors at the time predicted she would not live past her second birthday.

Embrace the rough draft. Learn from the edits- Alyssa Silva

Silva has been a frequent guest of owner Bob Kraft at Patriots home games over the years, and last summer she and her family took part in what they believed was a follow up segment for ESPN. During the interview, Kraft and Matthew Slater (Silva’s favorite player) presented them with a handicapped accessible van. These rides do not come cheap, and while her family had been shopping for one, they feared they might not be able to afford it.

Kraft came through with a game winning drive of his own. And it’s easy to see why his organization has been gold standard professional throughout his tenure. Because the Boss? Gives a damn about the people in his circle. Love him or loathe him, that’s how leaders are supposed to behave.

Joy and Pain Can Coexist- That’s when I realized: it’s easy to falter on the false idea that joy can finally enter your life once the challenge has been overcome. But the reality is that joy is ever-present, and despite the discipline and hard work it requires, choosing to see life this way will always be far more rewarding- Alyssa Silva

As for Alyssa Silva, there’s no doubt about her leadership skills. She is twenty eight years strong, with every single day presenting the kinds of challenges most of us take for granted. In a world whose currency is status, hers is the beauty and grace that actually counts for something. The purpose she brings to every single day is one of faith, perspective and a tenacious spirit that has traversed real life odds pretty much her entire life.

We ain’t gonna find a bigger hero come Super Bowl Sunday than her brilliant soul provides. Because winning the day isn’t about trophies and rings. It’s about the ideals you impart for the profit of others, and that is the kind of selfless currency the world needs more of.

That is everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

This week’s news included more investigations, government shutdown stories and football games that peeps take much too seriously. And then there was the Covington High School lesson in viral economics. It was a frightening look at the power of social media.

Yanno . . those survivalists might be onto something.

The Lesson of Old Lady- A pretty special pooch named Old Lady becomes the first canine to make the Heroes edition, and with good reason. After being lost for seventeen days in the woods, in sub-zero temps, the 10 year old St Bernard was rescued. Again.

When it comes to survivors, this lady is a front page headlines super-heroine whose paws are mighty and whose ability to overcome inspiring. Her two and a half week ordeal in the wilderness came on the heels of having been rescued from a puppy mill, where the owners were using her to breed. Her nine lives are not the result of luck, but of an impenetrable will that us two legged peeps could learn from. Because life has been telling her to quit since the day she was born. And she’s here for one simple reason.

She didn’t listen.

Rudy Guiliani- Remember when he was “America’s Mayor”? Holy Fiorello, this guy’s reputation has taken a bigger hit than Sears shares. His disingenuous denials of any Russian collusion with the White House have morphed into a pathetic series of genuflecting gaffes in the new year. Basically, Rudy taunted the press for much of the last two years whenever questioned about discussions between Trump and the Russians. He behaved very much like all those mob lawyers he once took on as Attorney General of New York back in the eighties, when he was busy taking down the mob whilst sewing the seeds for a Mayoral run.

Rudy’s omerta license must’ve expired, because he’s been pretty chatty as of late. He flipped his story into an admission that discussions about a Trump Tower Russia were going on between Trump and the Russians throughout 2016. And then Rudy got more specific, admitting that talks were taking place from the time Trump announced he was running for President all the way up to and after his election night victory. Now Rudy claims all that chatter on his part was purely hypothetical.

It’s sad when you watch a political figure become a trivial pursuit question and a caricature of his former self. It’s even sadder when you realize he chose this path.

Magnum PI- The only reason Roger Goodell is still capo di tutti capi is because he’s been a rainmaker for the league during his tenure. Much like the retired MLB commish Bud Selig, Goodell has preached for the fan’s best interests whilst screwing them royally. From pricing families out of the game to looking the other way in the CTE crisis, the NFL boss has always proven expert at saying one thing and doing the other.

Excepting for now, when it feels as if Rajah has been auditioning for a role in the A Quiet Place sequel. With the white hot noise that has resulted from “Pass Interference-Gate” in New Orleans, and with fans hollering for more replays and even a do-over, the commish remains silent. Excuse me but . . what in the blessed fuck is this guy being paid for if he refuses to get in front of a microphone and address this mess? Goodell pulled in thirty five million last year and is negotiating a new contract in which he is asking for 49 million a year, lifetime use of a private jet and lifetime health insurance for him and his family. You’d think for that money that he might . . yanno, actually show up?

Reactionary Fans- New Orleans made it back from Hurricane Katrina, so I’m fairly certain that a football score ain’t the end of the world. They were robbed? I don’t know about that. Because if you’re going to go back and change the non-call on the Saints last drive, then you’re gonna have to change the non-call on the preceding Rams drive in which Jared Goff was grabbed by the face mask; because that would’ve made it first and goal for the Rams at the one yard line, and that would’ve change the dynamics as well.

Saints fans threaten lawsuits and rail on about how the integrity of the game has been compromised, and I have to wonder. Isn’t this the same organization that once presided over “Bounty-Gate”, in which bounties were awarded for knocking players out of the game? Sorry but, I ain’t taking ethics lessons from that organization or that punk head coach. It was a bad call, but it wasn’t a crime. They’re right about Goodell’s Houdini act, but spare me the Opera.

Paying It Forward: Organized religion has taken a beating thanks to degenerate priests, for profit apostles and a status driven, country club ethos that permeates too many churches. Jesus is a glove-box totem for many; to be used in moments  of crisis as well as to proselytize on politics and people.

Pastor Noah Schumacher’s journey to the better places of this world began a few months ago when he learned his mother was suffering from liver failure. He went through a series of tests to see if he might be able to donate a portion of his liver, but he wasn’t a match. The transplant coordinator he worked with informed him he was a perfect match for a dying child who was also in need. After talking with his wife and kids, Schumacher agreed to undergo the six hour surgery. No matter the possible complications or the significant recovery time. He was in.

This story spread like wildfire throughout his community and now neighbors and strangers alike are being tested themselves in order to see if they might be a possible donor for Schumacher’s mother. Turns out, you can win favor and a good name in the sight of higher powers if . . yanno, your faith is this strong.

Schumacher isn’t waiting for Jesus to take the wheel.

He’s driving.

 

 

 

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

The news felt as if it was on a loop this week, what with more shutdown business . . more sniping . . more threats and accusations . . more talk of Russian meddling. Oh . . . wait a minute. The news has been on a loop for most of the past two years come to think of it.

Silly me.

Born Again Loser: John Wetteland is a World Series MVP and a member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. And none of it mattered as much as the details of his arrest on Monday. Wetteland was charged with sexually assaulting a child on three separate occasions, beginning in 2004 when the child was four years old. He was released on a twenty five thousand dollar bond, which is every bit as crazy as the idea that born again Christians are good people because Jesus said so. Innocent until proven guilty? Yeah, I get it. But it just goes to show what I’ve always said. Show me someone who is born again, and I will show you someone who has done some fucked up shit, and is capable of doing more of the same, pious label or not.

I Hope Pelosi Is Taking Notes: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is insistent on getting in the mud pit with Trump, and it’s a big mistake. Huge mistake . . in fact. She recently suggested Trump should cancel his State of the Union until the shutdown is resolved, which played right into Trump’s wheelhouse when he canceled her trip overseas in retaliation. Instead, Nancy should’ve canceled the trip herself . . held a press conference to announce as much, and then vowed to get to work on a resolution to the shutdown. Tit his tactless tat. The way former NFL great Michael Strahan did when he invited the National Champion Clemson Tigers to a lobster dinner feast after they were done grubbing on fast food at the White House. In effect, Strahan went “better person” whilst giving the silent middle finger to Trump. He didn’t name names, he didn’t get in a scrum, he simply one upped Covfefe. That’s how you beat Trump.

The King And His Court: Representative Steve King out of Iowa wonders why terms such as “white nationalist” and “white supremacy” are considered offensive. And I wonder how a clueless ass hat can win his seat nine times. And then I remember, it’s how Trump won in 2016. Because we have a bunch of people in this country who are in agreement with King. And they don’t wear white hoodies and burn crosses. Many of them say the right thing in public, and so I guess we should be thankful to King for being such a clueless dolt. Democrats and Republicans alike are calling for King to get scarce. But what of the constituency who voted for him . . nine times?

How Did He Get This Job?: John Engler’s tenure as Michigan State President was, to put it nicely, a shit show. From the get, Engler showed himself to be a tone deaf, narrow minded schmuck. Engler was asked to resign on Wednesday, effective immediately, over comments he made last week in which he suggested the survivors in the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal were “enjoying the spotlight”.

For anyone who has suffered abuse, this is the ultimate slap in the face. Again. The assertion that these victims derive enjoyment from such a horrible violation is nothing short of inhumane. Basically, he compounded the physical assault with an emotional one. And I can’t write another word about this asshole without throwing my laptop into the street, so I’ll stop.

Mr Clean: Thank God for Jim Kelly. The Hall of Fame quarterback done saved this week’s Heroes post from dissolving into a bleak bucket of blight. And then came the news that Jim Kelly is cancer free. Initially diagnosed with oral cancer in 2013, Kelly has now beaten back its return three times since. He called this latest news a single page of a chapter to a greater story, and who am I to argue with a guy whose heart and soul could light up Broadway?

Kelly’s eleven year NFL career was filled with plenty of big wins. The dude lead his team to four straight Super Bowl appearances, which is two more than Tom Brady can boast of. Those Bills teams never were able to take home the ultimate prize, but I always found their accomplishment to be most impressive. I mean . . the thought of coming back again and again and again. I always wondered how they found the fight to keep on coming back.

Now I know.

The Fight To Regain Sanity

There’s a scene in the movie Goodfellas when wig shop owner and independent bookmaker Morrie Kesseler gets whacked most unceremoniously by Tommy DeVito (played by Joe Pesci). One minute he’s climbing into a Cadillac with the intent of negotiating his share of a big score over coffee whilst picking up a danish to bring to his wife Claire, and the next minute his brain stem is being severed with an ice pick.

This scene reminds me of what’s happened to this country since the 2016 Presidential election. We are Morrie. We were promised a danish and what we got was an ice pick in the neck.

Regardless of whether you climbed into that Eldorado or not, you sure as shit are wearing cement shoes. I realize this analogy is anathema to those peeps who think watching Fox News makes them a patriot. They are plenty fine excusing the unsightly state of affairs in Washington, believing it to be a matter of renovation.

On the campaign trail, a Trump presidency promised to ‘drain the swamp’ of business as usual politics. Instead, it is simply giving us the business. As usual. But with glaringly unique consequences whose comedy is perverse, insidious and downright hateful. It is as if the American people have been written into the scripted cheat sheets of a reality show. Only thing is, the shit ain’t funny and the scenarios are toting generational price tags. And maybe the worst part of this whole sordid mess is that, in the end, we can’t really blame the Russians or the flagellating GOP, or even the fucking Kardashians. Nope, the cold hard truth of the matter is that we’re all to blame.

This is what happens when the nation stops paying attention to the box scores in Washington. This is what you get when an electorate is more well versed in pop culture than who their elected representatives are. We got complacent. We assumed sides mattered more than progress. Debates became more a matter of being right than of getting it right. Somewhere along the way, we lost our compass and we just let the winds lead us.

So we were saddled with a President who wants to build walls; never minding the fact that such a mindset is analogous with burning bridges. We have a President who believes in name calling and alternate terminology and yet wants us to believe he’s a modern day Churchill. I have to think old Winston could’ve taught Trump a thing or two about what a national emergency looks like. And how walls are nothing more than symbolic trinkets compared to the heart and soul of a nation’s ability to stand together.

Listen, I am a fairly middle of the road sonofabitch with nary a sacred cow in my arsenal. I didn’t believe in Trump back then the same as I don’t believe Ocasio-Cortez now. I have a problem with using the nuclear option to expedite judicial confirmation, no matter whether it’s Harry Reid threatening it or Mitch McConnell using it. Being middle of the road doesn’t make me vanilla ice cream. It makes me rocky road. I trust my eyes more than my ears, every single time. And what I’ve seen over the last couple of years troubles me. Not as a politically affiliated individual but as a human being.

Trump’s campaign slogan vowed to make America great again, which was both demeaning to the current generation and ignorant to the struggles of generations past. To my way of thinking, the greatest strength of any true democracy is in its future. You win today for tomorrow, in perpetuity. Our founding fathers understood the consequences of walking backwards.

It’s a lesson we’re still learning.