Defeated by a poet

Cranky Old Man #68

What would it take to talk you into breaking into the US Capitol, ransacking Nancy Pelosi’s office, beating the hell out of a cop, etc? I’m a rotten human being, but I can’t imagine anything that would convince me to do any of the above.

Along the same line of wondering, remember the 147 (one hundred and forty-seven) Republican members of Congress who voted to disregard the results of the 2020 election? There was no factual reason to doubt the results, but they wished it had added up differently, so they tried to have the election nullified.

Seems a trifle unAmerican to me. A violation of their oath of office, an un-endorsement of democracy, perilously close to treason, etc — but they’ve faced no consequences. Some Democrats issued a few polite criticisms, and said nothing more.

And my last, most depressing thought related to all this: It’s obvious to anyone with eyeballs and a brain that Donald Trump committed numerous criminal acts while he was President of these disunited states. A year later, some investigations crawl along, and occasionally there are headlines like this and this and this, suggesting that Trump may face consequences, but no, he won’t. Like any king or tyrant, the President is above the law, and Donald Trump will die without facing criminal prosecution for anything he's done.

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One-word newscast:


Desmond Tutu
Wanda Young 

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What have we learned from the Nakatomi Tower attack 33 years ago? 

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Biden signs bill banning goods from China's Xinjiang over forced labor.

Seems half-assed and hypocritical to me. China’s government is monstrously evil, so why are we doing business with China at all?

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For all eternity or so it seems, Calvin Trillin has been the house poet at The Nation. I had no need for poetry, and Trillin's fraction of a page annoyed me, so one year when the budget was tight I let my subscription lapse.

That was long ago, but today, with poetry back in my life (largely thanks to John the Basket) I clicked to The Nation’s website to see if Trillin was (a) still writing poetry for them, and (b) still a wanker. My intent was to share a few examples of his sucky poetry.

Well, he's still there, but to my surprise and embarrassment, his poems no longer stink, or I've warmed to them. This, for example, was Trillin’s response to late-November news that scot-free killer Kyle Rittenhouse had been offered work as a Congressional intern:

Following closely an intern’s routine,
Kyle arrives early, stays late at the scene—
Checking the congressman’s need for caffeine,
Conquering quirks of the Xerox machine,
Running some errands, and keeping things clean,
All the while toting his AR-15. 

Defeated by a poet, I’ve now signed up again for a subscription to The Nation.

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In graphic novel Whistle,
Jewish guilt is a superpower

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Come with me now on an enchanted journey through my spam. 

After three emails from the Democratic National Committee, I opened one and scrolled to the bottom to unsubscribe, and it said, “You are receiving these emails because you opened or clicked an email from us in the past.”

Well, that’s a low standard, and sort of a Catch-22, ain't it? I opened their email only to unsubscribe, and if I'd ever opened an email from the DNC in the past, it was for the same reason.

... Next, an automated email from Google, with the headline, “Congrats on reaching 20 clicks in 28 days!” I like their use of ‘congrats’ — as if Google and me are all chummy. Inside, there’s a link to something called Google Analytics, where they’re eager to go in depth explaining where the site’s traffic comes from.

I didn’t click that link because I don't care, but also — does it even qualify as ‘traffic’ if, with everyone on Earth searching for everything on Google, twenty (20) times in the past month someone’s clicked a link to this site?

... Next, the conglomerate that profits from my health care wanted me to take a survey. Well, I love telling them they suck, and the link looked legit, so I clicked, but the survey starts by requiring my date of birth "to ensure privacy." Smells like BS, and the opposite of privacy, so today someone else can tell them they suck.

... Next, a week later, another email from the same health insurance outfit, but it's not quite spam. The headline is "Douglas's personalized EOB video," and I wondered what's EOB, and why is my insurance sending me a video?

Quartz has processed your claim(s) for the recent medical care you received. Your Quartz benefits were applied to the claim(s), but now you might be wondering, "What did my benefits cover?" To help you better understand how your benefits were applied, we have created a personalized video that breaks down your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for your recent service(s).

Ah, that would be my ER visit a few weeks ago, but they don't send a bill, or a claim resolution letter — they send a video? And I can't even open the video, because it triggers a security warning.

No worries, though. I’ll start paying $30 monthly toward a bill, 30 days after they send a bill.

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If Ethan Crumbley [one of America’s recent mass shooters] was a marijuana user, that fact would have been publicized by now — or will soon become known. If he was on Prozac or some other pharmaceutical concoction, we may never know because “medical privacy” trumps public health and public safety. 

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One Covid stoppage is enough, for big time sports. They're not shutting down over a new round of the disease.

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Hugh Jackman thanks his co-star’s understudy.

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One woman works to remove Nazi mythmaking from Wikipedia.

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Today I learned that there are male K-pop groups, too.

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


 Sing along with Doug:
Enter the Dragon, by Percy Faith

Sincere tip 'o the hat:
Linden Arden • BoingBoing
Captain HampocketsFollow Me Here
John the Basket • LiarTownUSA
Messy Nessy ChickNational Zero
Ran PrieurVintage Everyday
Voenix Rising

Extra special thanks:
Clayton Barnes • Becky Jo
Name Withheld • Dave S.


Cranky Old Man

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  1. Your one-word newscast link "Giuliani" leads somewhere unintended, I think.

  2. All fixed, thanks, and I have no idea how a link to a Spanish erotica site got in there.

  3. I take polite issue with the theme from Enter the Dragon. Percy Faith made great music into elevator music and this is not his worst but, it lacks the dramatic kick at the beginning and Brice Lee's shouts, to me the best part. It's a classic movie with classic music, go with the original!


    1. Percy Faith is not on my usual playlist, and I agree that his opening bars are inferior to the original. There's less *punch*! After the start, though, sorry but I slightly prefer Percy.

    2. With the additional ecumenical benefit that if you reverse his names he sounds like a ten dollar tent preacher.


  4. The nice thing about having seven identical-sounding guys in a band is that, you lose three of them to Covid, the remaining four sound exactly like the original seven. They're dancers. One fewer dancer is a gift -- three is Christmas in December. Oh, wait . . .

    1. I have heard a tiny bit of K-Pop and wanted to hate it, but... liked it.

    2. Well, K-Pop covers, as they say, a multitude of sins. I enjoy many of the sins artistically, but have some problems with the business part of the sin business. There was an American group I liked in the early 60s, a time when Pop music was bad and the second wave of Rock had not yet landed. I think they sound a little like today's K-Pop. They were all African Americans, mostly Marines, and had universally little experience in playing in front of crowds. They were The Essex, and they had two hits, "Easier Said Than Done" and "A Walkin' Miracle, then vanished like a fist when you open your hand. They had many of the virtues of today's K-Pop and were underappreciated.


    3. I might know "Easier Said Than Done". I think I can hear the chorus in my head. I'll give it a Google and spin when the work day is over.

      All I know about K-Pop is that a whole bunch of pretty young women sing. I assume they're singing, though I don't listen and it seems irrelevant. At my age I'm not supposed to notice that all of them are always pretty and young, so I don't notice. Goodness, no.


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