arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Here’s Looking at All of Us



It’s another blistering hot weekend here in southeast Pennsylvania in an otherwise dreary, depressing summer.  Too hot outside to do the yard work which needs to be done.  Naturally the temperature and humidity rise to unbearable levels during the hours when many of us have the weekend time to accomplish our outdoor tasks for the week.   What to do?

This is a no-brainer:  retreat to the coolness of the basement, sip an alcoholic libation, and pet the basement cat (Oreo) all while enjoying a grand old movie on Turner Classic Movies.  This one was released in 1942, and dare I say it, it is just as relevant now as it was at the height of World War Two.

The film is filled with desperate characters, many trying to escape the evils of the Third Reich.  They are stuck in one place waiting for a chance to escape oppression, and they all have their sights set on America.  These refugees spend the entire film engaging in various activities, nefarious and otherwise, to accomplish their goal.  They literally beg, borrow, steal, sleep with the chief of police, and kill to travel to the land of freedom.

That was the America of 1942.  What would these refugees see in 2016?

They would most likely see a land where many of the inhabitants have forgotten how could they have it and unwilling to share their good fortunes with others who have seen their lives destroyed by war and intolerance.  They might see a land poised to elect a leader with neofascist leanings eager to turn away the less fortunate; he’ll deny it of course.  They would see a land where walls—stone and economic—are being planned to keep certain people out. 

The refugees from 1942 would never stand a chance today.

Eventually, World War Two would end, but the fighting was never finished and continues to this day.  Oh, hell!   The fight against intolerance will continue for all time.  There, I said it!

The film ended well for the main characters--up to a point.  Okay, so the romantic leads didn’t walk off into the sunset together.  They realized that they would not be together forever, but they could look back at another time of their lives and agree, “Yes that was ours.” They had matured and overcame their old feelings to do the right thing.   

Sometimes the right thing means doing something for the good for all and not just ourselves.  After all, they would always have Paris.

Fortunately, the rest of us will always have Casablanca. 

(Thank you for reading.  The ending of this story has yet to be written…in November.)

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Predictions of a Trump Presidency



I won’t mince words: we are utterly delighted that Donald Trump is sinking in the polls.   This past week has been a hilarious/disastrous series of missteps after another for his campaign.   Since he announced his campaign in June 2015 (Why does that seem like a hundred years ago?), he has managed to insult a large swath of the American electorate.

So far he has offended Mexicans, the British, the French, Muslims, war heroes who were captured during the Vietnam Conflict, war heroes who were not captured during the Vietnam Conflict, all other veterans, families of war heroes, Gold Star mothers, Gold Star fathers, Gold Star families, (and this week) people who hold up copies of the US Constitution at his rallies, and screaming babies.

I realize he doesn’t believe in being politically correct, but doesn’t he realize that he is truly effed if he loses the screaming baby vote?

I don’t know why he does not state the obvious and tell us that he doesn’t want anyone to vote for him.  He has no intention of performing the duties of being leader of the free world anyway.  He just wants to feel the rush that his ego experiences at his rallies.  How else can anyone explain away all of his stupid remarks on the stump?

Still, we should probably prepare ourselves for the worst of worst scenarios: that Donald Trump actually does get elected president.  I believe his term will be notable for its brevity.

Here are my predictions for the entire presidency of Donald Trump, all three days.

January 20, 2017

Donald Trump is inaugurated and, as he has done so in the past, departs from his speech, carefully plagiarized by his loving wife Melania from the speeches of past inaugural addresses.

January 21, 2017

Leaders from all over the world determine that somehow President Trump managed to diss all of them in his inaugural address and they decide to retaliate.

Global nuclear apocalypse and hilarity ensues.

Billions of the world’s citizens are vaporized in seconds; vast areas of the Earth are rendered useless for any type of human endeavor for hundreds of years; cats and dogs figure, “What the hell?” that this is a good as time as any to start living together; and the planet itself will become a hollow, smoking remnant of itself blasted out of its own orbit as it hurtles through space to the nearest black hole where its destruction will become complete.

January 22, 2017

Sunny with a chance of flurries in the afternoon.  

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And we end on a sad note (as if this could top a prediction of nuclear apocalypse):

Character actor David Huddleston died this week at the age of 85.  The obituaries are highlighting his performance in the Cohen Brothers The Big Lebowski, but I will always remember him for his role of the mayor of Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles.   As he might have put it, “Aw, prairie shit!” 

(Thank you for reading. RIP Mr. Huddleston and, for that matter, the Donald Trump for President campaign.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

“It’s Hot as Hell Here in Philadelphia/Someone Open Up the Window”*



Last week the Republican Party closed the sale of its soul to the devil by officially nominating Donald Trump as its nominee.  Progressives are aghast, including this week’s Doonesbury: all of the major characters were depicted watching their televisions or laptops with jaws hitting the ground. 

Long time party stalwarts (among them Bush White House aide Nicole Wallace) mourned the passing of their beloved party.   Tempted as I am a slightly left of center liberal to write the epitaph “GOP – 1854-2016, RIP”, news of its demise may be premature.

Scenes from the Trump acceptance speech have been played over and over ever since it actually happened last Thursday.  It reminds me of an iconic shot from Citizen Kane:  Kane/Trump at the podium in front of a YUGE reproduction of his face via photograph or really big screen video feed, and the name Kane/Trump emblazoned yards high above the photo/screen.  In the movie, we don’t get to see what Kane would have done with public office:  the scandal from an extra-marital relationship coasts Kane the election.

We will not have this luxury in real life.   Trump started a relationship with the woman who would become his second wife while still married to his first wife, and started another relationship with the woman who would become his third wife while still married to his second wife, etc, etc, and etc. Trump’s supporters are willing to turn a blind eye to his past peccadilloes much like the entire Republican Party establishment has turned a blind eye to Trump’s total unsuitability for high office.

The convention scenes may have echoed Orson Welles, but I would not be surprised if Leni Riefensthal is called in (if only in spirit) to choreograph the final scenes of the Trump campaign.   Yes, I went there!

Now that Trump’s Brownshirts, er, supporters have left Cleveland, all eyes are on the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  This week history will be made when Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman to be nominated to be President of the United States.  Fortunately for all of us, the Democratic National Committee comported itself so that it was totally fair to Clinton and the other primary candidate, Bernie Sanders, throughout the primary season.  All actions were above board, transparent and….

No, I tried writing that last sentence while maintaining a straight face, but I couldn’t do it.

The Democratic circus comes to town today and the temperatures forecast here this week would make the weather the Founding Fathers endured in 1776 downright comfortably cool. If the weather itself was not comfortable, then the ensuing atmosphere threatens to be toxic. It would be an understatement to believe that there has been a lot of drama to sort out on the eve of the Democratic Convention.  

For one thing, the super delegate controversy reared its ugly head again and the Democratic Party establishment (unwisely) chose to stay with the status quo and preserve the unfairness of the super delegate system.  Then there were the leaked e-mails which confirm rumors from months ago that the Democratic Party was stacking the nomination in Hillary’s favor. As of this morning, the head of the DNC has promised to resign effective with the end of the convention this week.

I would like to think that I am speaking for all Democrats when I say, “Damn you, Debbie Wasserman Schultz!” 

Okay, so the Republicans had their moments of drama at their convention, and now the Democrats will have their inner conflicts to endure.  So both sides misbehaved.  So what?  If the Trump campaign has demonstrated more than anything else, it’s that voters are far more forgiving than ever, even to the point of overriding their own common sense and decency. 

On the other hand it probably would not hurt either party to get a time out in the wood shed.

*Sit Down, John from 1776.

(Thank you for reading. Donald Trump is…what?   Say what?)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The First Part of Our Summer Democracy Events





The first event of our nation’s ongoing march to democracy began yesterday in Cleveland.   The Republican National Convention for 2016 started off with conflict in the afternoon.  The Dump Trump wing of the convention tried to get a rules change, but they were promptly crushed by the Republican convention establishment.  (As opposed to the Republican Party establishment who have chosen to stay away from Cleveland: a number of Republican members of Congress; Mitt Romney and the entire Bush clan.) 

The day culminated in a series of speeches by D-list celebrities. We here at Arteejee are hoping that Clint Eastwood’s chair from the 2012 convention will return for an encore performance.  Clint himself can stay home for all we care. 

This morning members of the left-leaning liberal media are delightfully ticking off all the missteps and snafus from yesterday’s events:

Campaign manager Paul Manafort started the day with a round of talk show interviews trashing Ohio governor and former nomination rival John Kasich;

A “Women for Trump” event which attracted maybe 12 women, and most of those were journalists covering the event for their papers;

The discovery over the weekend that one of the elevators in the convention hall was labeled “White Elevator”, the sign has since been removed;

Kansas GOP Representative Steve King making a jaw-dropping accusation of ethnocentricity at its worst  on live national television, when he questioned what other cultures have contributed to Western civilization more than white/Christian people*;

The Donald upstaging the convention himself by conducting a call in interview with Fox News Bill O’Reilly at the same moment that the mother of a victim of the Benghazi attack is pouring her heart out to the convention and a nationally-televised audience;

The main speech by Trump’s wife Melania was a stirring appeal to patriotism and the American work ethic, but WHAT’S THIS?  This morning there are credible charges that Melania lifted several passages for her speech from a speech which First Lady Michelle Obama made in 2008;

And the circus goes on and on and on…

All of these events just convince me more and more that when it comes to the Republican Party, I firmly believe that “I wouldn’t want to be like you.”

But why should I plagiarize the Alan Parsons Project, when I can play them:

 

*MSNBC interview with Chris Hays.

(Thank you for reading.  And next week the Democrat circus comes to my town.  Yayyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Fashion Show



This week’s blog entry comprises a few photos of my trying on a shirt made by our wonderful fellow blogger Spo.  The editorial board here at Arteejee may grumble that this is not a proper blog entry with a few snarky comments under their breath about contractual obligations, but no matter.  This blog is named after the phonetic spelling of my initials so eff the editorial board.

This is the shirt I won in a lottery earlier this year to mark the anniversary of the blog Spo Reflections.  (I trust editor-in-chief Warrior Queen will put the link here.  Oh, yes, that’s better.)  It arrived safely, albeit a little damp.

It was a strange twist of fate that the box holding the shirt should arrive on the only day we had rain here in Southeast Pennsylvania in nearly two weeks.  This was our weather for the last several weeks:  no measurable rainfall for a week or two, a day of monsoon type weather (the same day the box was unceremoniously dropped at my front door by the USPS without so much as a plastic bag to protect the box), and nary a drop of precipitation for the last three days since.  No matter!  The shirt dried and I am modeling it for all to see.





Thank you, Spo!

(Thank you for reading.  And yes, I know. I need a shave and a haircut!)