Thursday, March 15, 2018

An Illusion In Our Simulated Lives

Presence And Absence

Triumph Of The Shill:  Yesterday morning's news, that Rex Tillerson had been fired as Secretary of Oil State by The Bloated Raving Skunk OUR LEADER, to be replaced by Mikey Pompeo.

Rexi had been tipped off by Whitey Haus Chief O' Staff, General John Kelley, to cut short a State Department trip to Africa. Rexi was flying home when informed of a new Tweet from THE LEADER: "Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! ... Congratulations to all!"

But, Rex is really rich, so it's all good. Yay!

And the world yawns. The daily disintegration of the Murrikan government, such as it is, surprises no one any more. We're suffering from Outrage Burn Out, and it's only been fourteen-plus months. Classical Rome must have been like this -- another day, another advisor banished from the Glory That Is THE LEADER -- or resigning, like Gary Cohn, who last year was described as "the most important man in Washington".

Gary effectively gave up the opportunity to replace Lil' Lloyd Blankfein as Chief Squid at Goldman, to serve THE LEADER. Someone else looks set to seize that role, now, and poor Gary probably bitterly regrets this, now, given that the Bloated, Raving Skunk person he chose to follow was lovin' him some white supremacists and nazis in Charlottesville. But Gary's rich -- so, s'all good. Yay!!

Gary will be replaced by an old teevee personality who once briefly served in the Whitey Haus of Saint Ronald The Dim. And he's supposed to be rich, too. Yay!!! USA! USA!

(Modified Image - Original Photo: Maranie Staab / Reuters)

A Democratic candidate won, by the narrowest of margins, an off-cycle race in a Congressional district which voted overwhelmingly for THE LEADER in 2016. The Democrat was running against a very vocal supporter of  THE LEADER. Pundits everywhere strive to make the claim that they know what these results mean.

At work, I have an encounter with My Very Own Hilliaryite Colleague, who deigns to speak with me now, to discuss this.
MVOHC:  It's proof of a resurgence of the power of the Democratic party.
DOG:  If you say so.
MVOHC: Oh, come on. Put it together with Alabama and Virginia. We're coming back, and the mid-terms are going to be a huge upset.
DOG:  This race wasn't as cut-and-dried as you think. You think it was about a rejection of Trump, or Republicans, or conservative values? Lamb was a Center-Right Democrat; he wasn't an #Occupy organizer or a marcher for A Woman's Right To Choose. Look at his positions.
MVOHC:  Fuck you.
DOG:  I'm just saying: The politics of any Congressional elections are very local. They're not necessarily a bellwether for the mid-terms. The Democratic Party hasn't figured out what it is. It hasn't said what it's for. Until it can do that, it's a sham.
MVOHC: You are completely fucking delusional.

28 Trumps Later

Stephen Hawking died yesterday. For a moment, that news was a surprise -- until I realized with a leavening shock that every person of significance in my world is aging. As I am. That, and the illusion of the permanence of their presence (like the illusion of my own) are things I take for granted. Man; the things we do to create a sense of continuity.

Out for dinner with The Girl Who Refused To Be Mrs Mongo, we toasted Hawking. We made the stock observations about him -- that he was born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death, and died on Einstein's 139th birthday; that, even with the physical suffering and limitations of ALS, he became one of the great Cosmologists and scientific minds in human history, and seemed to keep a sense of humor about himself.

 Another Mensch leaves us: Now he knows what we do not.  The Girl  sipped her wine at dinner and observed, "[Hawking], we needed. Why couldn't it have been [THE LEADER]?"

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