In a previous article here, I took on what I called “Trumpism on the Left” with a focus on Stephen Cohen’s defense of the Trump-Putin bromance in The Nation magazine. A friend of mine suggested that the title of the article should have been “The Strange Case of Stephen Cohen,” implying perhaps that “Trumpism on the Left” was an unjustified generalization from a single example. Cohen, as I noted fleetingly, is not alone in his affinity for Putin and by extension Trump. What my piece lacked was the context of other advocates of the two leaders, which I try to provide in what follows.
Posts from the first one hundred days…
Destruction is desired. Chaos, a tantrum shitstorm in the face of a massive cultural turn to increased freedom for all.
He says he’s got the vision thing
His brain is like a TV show
A madder, badder, sadder king
If he should lose his mind how would we know
[Full Lyrics Below]
Out in the Midwest, the Default don’t provide much connection to Black Culture. The barrier’s mostly cultural I’ll admit, but I’d like to suggest the geographical plays a part as well. Bumping bass amidst corn fields and moldering barns just feels mostly lonely. To “get” hip-hop you really got to put some work in.
ooh ooh ooh weep padoo,
ooh ooh ooh wooop padoo
ooh ooh, ooh
ooh ooh ooh weep padoo
singing their cowboy song
Cowboy couldn’t believe Emmy Lou sang that song. He’d thought it was a throw-away – though he’d found it infectious beginning age six – from a cowboy compilation record with a wild west lasso cover, and lyrics remembered as the kid heard it: not “cattle call,” but “cowboy song,” and maybe he heard it right.
The first two days of the Trump administration, complete with swearing in and swearing.
If you lack character, lean on money.
Homeless folks lack the hygiene of money.
Wendy O showed her nipples, grabbed her crotch,
licked a sledgehammer. Said, What’s obscene is money.
For years, I’d meet our neighbor, Mrs. Edith Jones, a few blocks from home, and she’d be hauling more bags than it was humanly possible to carry.
C’era una volta…ed ancora un futuro. Bisogna far che la vita sia bella, in quanto possibile. Sempre sperando.
[Once upon a time … and still a future. We need to make life beautiful as much as possible. Always hoping.]
A man w/ orange-tinged skin, side-combed dyed yellow hair and a mouth that looks like the “o”-shaped mouths in cartoons, has taken up near-permanent residence in my mind. I go to bed thinking of him and he pops into my head — the surreal and terrifying reality of him — first thing in the morning.
Two recent entries on Trump & Russia from the author’s journal.
If Hyman Roth Could See Us Now
How to understand Putin? And Trump? Look to the movies; look to Godfather II.
An Interview with Liam Vaughan, the co-author, with Gavin Finch, of The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World’s Most Important Number.
Late in the afternoon of January 13, 1954, less than a year after my marriage to Anne Halley, with a two-month-old son at home in our apartment, I was sitting in my half of an office in Folwell Hall, a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota, when the phone rang. It was a reporter from the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, an African American named Carl Rowen who was to go on to renown and a modicum of fame in later years. He informed me that I had been “named” as a Communist by a woman from Minneapolis—a former Communist at twenty-three, testifying before a U.S. Senate committee.
Two poems by Juan Gelman. (The post directly below treats Gelman’s life and times.)
When Argentine poet Juan Gelman died in January, 2014—he left behind twenty books of poetry. He is best known for work rooted in the Argentine political repression of the 70s, when military forces brought a reign of terror to Buenos Aires. In 1976, Gelman’s son, Marcelo, and daughter-in-law, Claudia, pregnant with the poet’s grandchild were “disappeared.”
One Saturday morning over McDonald’s coffee and breakfast sandwiches at their apartment, I tried to explain safekidsstories.com to my father and his girlfriend. Our first “series,” I said, had to do with how choosing a book could make one safer, even if only in one’s mind and heart. Then it occurred to me to ask my dad. This is the story that followed.
Since I began self-publishing, my primary marketing effort, which doubles, in my mind as a public art performance, consists of sitting in a café each morning with my wares beside a sign, personally drawn and lettered by S. Clay Wilson of the Checkered Demon commanding “Buy Bob’s Books!”
This essay links trips in Bruce Springsteen’s memoir, Born to Run, to rambles in Russell Banks’ Book of Jamaica, Michael Ventura’s Night Time, Losing Time, and Richard Meltzer’s The Night (Alone). It also takes in riffs in Meltzer’s reportage and recordings–including Springsteen’s (out of the archives though still under the radar) Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75–that soundtrack passages in Born to Run. But foundational things first: the book of Bruce comes out of Jack’s so this tour starts with…
Yes, I will paint my tower in lapis lazuli
(That immortal color)
And command my cavalcade
To toss my cheep-cheep machine
Down the escalator.
I’ll make peace between the humming bird and hawk,
And greet the poet of Paumanok