Politics

Grief Management with Jimmy Kimmel

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Five Stages of Grief

I’m slowly coming out of the anger stage . . . still three more to go to acceptance. And more importantly, in so much doom and gloom these last couple of days, I never want to lose my sense of humor. Once that is gone the bad guys truly win….Thank you, Jimmy Kimmel, for reminding me of that.

There’s a film I’ve been thinking about which has brought that advice to the front of my consciousess.  I’ve always loved “About Last Night”, based on David Mamet’s play,  and there’s a great scene where Bernie (played by Jim Belushi) implores his friend Dan (played by a very young Rob Lowe) to :”Don’t ever lose your sense of humor. Don’t EVER lose your sense of humor”.  Jim Belushi might not be a top thesbian, but he kills it in this part and the scene has always stuck with me.

Surprisingly (and disspointingly) there isn’t a You Tube link to this scene in the classic 1986 film.   And if you want to watch its only available on DVD from Netflix and for a price (rental or purchase) on Amazon (I used to own the VHS of “About Last Night”, and I still have the DVD purchased at Ameoba Records in SF many years ago).  Anyway, here’s the trailer of the film and a link to the video of the end credits song (which is basically just a montage of the film).

Thank you, 1980s and thank you, John Waite.

Getting back on point . . .  over the last couple of days I kept hearing Jim Belushi’s voice in “About Last Night” (as Bernie) when he implores his best friend Dan to”Don’t ever lose your sense of humor”.  The film was 30 years ago and that quote completely out of context to a political election, but nonetheless great advice and very relevant right now.

That’s all I got for tonight.  While I might not like what happened on November 8th, I’m keeping my sense of humor no matter what.  And in closing, here is a link to a video of French Bulldog puppies . . .

Politics

Idiocracy Epitomized

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I couldn’t have been any more wrong.

The fact that there are millions of others who got it complexly wrong doesn’t provide any solace on this dark night.  Seeing the graphic on my TV set “Donald Trump Elected President” is like stepping into a DC Comics’ Bizarro World  … or an alternate reality like The Man in the High CastleThe joke is now truly on all of us.

It’s now time for some serious introspection.  I truly believed that the majority of this country would not vote for a candidate who spewed fear, hate, racism, and sexism.  I truly believed that we had more character and would not ignore key human values of decency and kindness and rational thought for what . . . some hypothetical Supreme Court nominee or a political agenda?

I couldn’t have been any more wrong.

This is a bad flashback to the year 2000.  I remember watching the election returns in a bar in Hollywood called the Frolic 2 (which is no longer in existence).  The six or seven of us who stayed until last call were all just dumbfounded that the race was that close, and that Gore could actually lose.  As the clock passed 2 am and the race still had not been called, the bartender let us stay and gave us beer for free (since they couldn’t legally sell it at that hour).

At some point we all came to the realization that nobody would be elected president that night/early morning, and we left the bar in a daze that had nothing to do with the booze.  I remember walking back to my apartment on June Street with my good buddy Bradleigh, and we both knew we had just witnessed an ugly point in American history.  But there was still hope for Gore to win.

As it got later in the game tonight and all signs were pointing toward a Trump victory, I was still holding out hope that Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would be close enough to warrant a recount.  But it would not be, and Clinton conceded.  And even if we got the recount like sixteen years ago, back then it still ended badly.

This is 2000 all over again, except at least back then you could say George Bush (even if you disagreed with his politics) held some core competencies to be president and was a decent human being.  Trump falls short on both counts.  What that man did during the election, even if half of what he said he didn’t really believe and it was only done to get votes, was embarrassing.

I didn’t think the good people of this country would endorse Donald Trump.

I couldn’t have been any more wrong.

“Anybody who thinks that it doesn’t matter who’s president’ has never been drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid war on the other side of the world — or been beaten and gassed by police for trespassing on public property — or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons — or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is president or governor or police chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.”

-Hunter S. Thompson, from “Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness Modern History from the Sports Desk”

“Human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.”

-Narrator from “Idiocracy”, written by Mike Judge and Etan Cohen.

 

Politics

Fear & Loathing on Election Eve

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It’s after five a.m. on the East coast and the polls on the mainland will be opening soon.  Here in Hawaii we’ll be the last state to cast our votes in this historic Presidential Election.  While we’ll be making history in that we’re either going to elect our first female president or our most completely unqualified one, unfortunately those narratives are engulfed by another larger one.

This presidential election will go down as the nadir of American politics, where you felt thoroughly sullied just being a spectator of it all.

I’m not very political, and I’ve voted for both democrats and republicans in my lifetime.  I am very happy to say I am the antithesis of being partisan, and I respect differences of opinion.  When it comes to important decisions, I will learn as much as I can about it and make the most informed choice.

That being said, the fact that America is “this close” to electing a person who unequivocally would go down as the worst human being to ever lead our country, depresses the shit out of me.    And I’m not talking about political party affiliation or platforms or anything associated with policy.  Donald Trump is just clearly everything any decent person should be against.  He’s a nefarious bully who preaches fear and hate and who has no interest in listening or being rational.  He’s shown no kindness, and certainly has not exhibited an ounce of Aloha, a core value of the state where I now live.

I remember laughing a few times at the beginning of the Trump campaign, thinking it was so outlandish that such a buffoon was running for the highest office in America.  This was primary season, where any nutter with enough money can get on the ballot.  I remember thinking that it was funny, and I was certain the voters would be diligent enough in the vetting process to eliminate someone so unqualified.

But as we sit here on the eve of the election and ABC says it’s 47% to 43% Hilary, I am not in any way laughing now.

Although I still believe Trump has no chance on winning.  The polls you see on TV and online and all the doomsayers who predict a Republican victory only exist to increase ratings and garner more clicks and likes.  If you dig deeper into the analytics of the state-by-state Electoral College make-up, Clinton is going to be our next President.

By tomorrow afternoon Hawaii Time, the Donald will be preparing his concession speech.  And it will be the most hate-filled, hyperbolic, and most insulting to our democracy concession speech in the history of presidential politics.  And it will hurt your ears and eyes to listen and watch.  You will cringe and feel embarrassed for him.

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I can only hope this election will serve as a wake-up call to our country.  And I think it will at least from a political standpoint for both parties.  But if Donald Trump receives anything close to 40% of the popular vote, that speaks to an uglier fission that a “wake-up call” cannot fix. It’s already clear we’re a divided nation of politics, geography, education, income, and just about any other demographic you can create.  But if such a hate-filled candidate can garner that much support, we’re in deeper trouble than I ever imagined.

Which makes me appreciate my adopted state of Hawaii even more than I already do.  Where I live, there is such a welcoming culture and community.   While there are differences in politics, at the end of the day you’ll never be judged by the affiliation of a party but what kind of person you are. There are core values to the people who live in Hawaii, and because of that I could never see this state voting for a candidate of hate . . .  for one that has no Aloha.

And that is the only thing about this election that makes me smile.