Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Incident

A Thurber Brigade Trump Sidestep

In a shocking news release today, the White House admitted that the recent New York Times article that declared President Trump killed Mike Pence is correct.  

The article, published last week, stated that in a fit of rage Trump had shot Pence after the VP laughed when Trump declared he had the most successful presidency in US history. The news release did not clarify why the White House waited until after the news had broken or the other succeeding events that had proven the incident occurred.

Immediately after the NYT article had been released, Trump denied that the incident happened, and Sean Spicer declared in a press conference that Trump had been bowling at the time the alleged murder took place.
The next day, during a TV interview, Kellyanne Conway stated that Trump had actually been in a high level cabinet meeting that took place in a bowling alley.
Both of these accounts were proven wrong when the next day Trump posted a tweet alluding he may have killed Pence, but it had been an accident:
After that Tweet Spicer avoided questions from the press by wearing a long-haired, blond wig, red dress and heels and discreetly rushed past the reporters waiting to hear his next press conference. Conway meanwhile stated that Trump did not mean that he shot Pence, but that Pence had violently grabbed the pistol out of Trump's hand and then shot himself.
Mrs. Pence, when asked about her husband, said that she never noticed him missing until he missed a dinner engagement at a local restaurant yesterday. She stated that even then wondered to herself if he might have been there but may have just not spoken to her as was his usual behavior.
After the most recent White House news release, Jeff Sessions reiterated his belief that if the president does it, it is not illegal.
Meanwhile, both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell said they did not want to jump to conclusions until they had formed a committee to investigate.  When asked about the admission of the White House, the presence of the dead body found in the Oval Office and the gun with only Trump's fingerprints the Republican lawmakers stressed that there wasn't clear proof yet and they would check back after further committee meetings.

The Democratic Party couldn't provide a spokesman, but did release a letter stating that Trump must be impeached and then tried for murder. An hour later they sent out another letter to news organizations stating that they were not sure if that was the proper action and would wait until they could find a spokesman with a backbone before making further comments.

Shortly after the recent news release from the White House Trump posted a new tweet:

His follow-up tweet: 

The Thurber Brigade does not apologize for yet another side-step.  If the prez can "allegedly" collude with our foreign rivals, "allegedly" obstruct justice, "allegedly" profit from his dealings while in office, then both parties, his supporters, and those unwilling to take a stand deserve at least a satirical lambasting if not outright contempt for their lack of morality, fortitude, and patriotism.
Why, yes, I bowl

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Timely Blog

Art plays an important part in human civilization by expressing our humanness in a different form.  Of course, as a writer, I consider myself an artist of words, but paintings, photography, etc. are a different subset.  

I bring this up because one of the ways I always inspire and motivate my writing is to visit museums to observe and absorb the art.  Oh, I'm not one of those dreamy types who fawn over the work or the artists (you won't find me at an art auction or swooning over some visiting painter), but I do love to stroll by and sometimes pause in front of paintings that move me.
One of the first things I do as I observe the work is look at the accompanying description and note the date of the piece as well as the dates of the artist.  For example, one of my favorite works is in the Blanton Museum here in Austin and done by Donald Roller Wilson.  "Mrs. Jenkins' Late Night Dinner in Her Room, Alone (While, Out in the Hall Leading to Her Room, Her Small Friends were Sleeping)" was completed in 1984 when Wilson was 46.  His dates are 1938—present.  
So he did this in the 1980s, my favorite decade.  Many of my books are set during that time, I finished college then, there were some exciting bands coming into their own (Stevie Ray Vaughn, U2, The Police, Midnight Oil, etc.) Reagan was destroying the middle class at the time (sorry, my political side had to chime in), disco was dying out (thank god).  All and all, an interesting decade.

I then think about what I was up to when I was the same age as the painter. For example at 46: I was still recovering from getting run over on my bike by a car; I had established myself as a great academic adviser at UT (hey, I get to pat myself on the back); I had a number of my short stories published by then and so like a crazed gambler still worked feverishly at becoming a famous writer (still working on that); well, you get the idea.  I try to establish the connection to time with the author, the age/year and myself.

In other words, I'm thinking a lot about time.
Tom Hussey's thoughts on time passing
As I get older, this seems to be a bigger thought.  Oh, it could be that subconsciously I'm thinking about my mortality, but I like to believe it's just that time and age fascinate me.
I do something similar with movies and TV shows.  I always check to see when they aired and figure out what I was up to at that time.  For example, I love the TV show "Lost."  I'm still shocked when I watch my DVDs of the show that it ended seven years ago.  Surely it was only a couple of years.
I have a feeling this means I have a hard time comprehending time.  When things are happening now, time seems to be just crawling along.  Yet, when I think about things that happened in my past—what?  Star Trek: TNG ended almost a quarter century ago!—I'm always shocked how fast time moved.
All of this seems a little odd to me because for the most part age doesn’t bother me that much.  I don’t mind that I’m older, recognize that I may no longer be able to keep up on a soccer field with 18-year-olds, and even realize that the slight injury I get from some activity might take longer to heal.
That being said, I do not necessarily reveal my age to women when they ask (if they don’t ask, I don’t bring up age at all).  Instead, I’ll say something like “I’m the same age as Jerry Seinfeld and John Travolta or some other celebrity that’s my age. 

The reason I do this is because women do care about age.  If I were to tell a younger woman my age, she may just reject me outright for that reason.  If I force her to think about a star who is at the same age, well, I have a better chance of getting beyond the initial conversation.  I’ve alluded to this before in a blog about superficiality.  Although men may judge a woman by her looks, a woman will judge a man by his station in life/wealth.  So, if I take age out of the equation, I may get further.
Women also show more concern about their age because of their belief in what age may entail.  It brings about changes in hair, adds wrinkles, etc.  This bothers them so much a gigantic industry flourishes to feed this fear.  Besides lipstick, eyeliner and perfume, cosmetic companies make millions on anti-aging elixirs and creams.  While you might find one or two of these targeting men, you’ll find thousands for women. 

I admit we guys like to chase after younger females. It makes us feel younger when they seem interested.   This doesn’t mean we don’t like women who have aged.  I have a feeling that women's disdain for the signs of aging is similar to women and their relationship with fashion.  As noted before, women dress for other women, not for men.  Most likely, it's the same mindset for women about aging.  They want to impress other women about how young they look even though they are at such-and-such age. 
So time may pass.  Time may ebb and flow.  Time may even be relative. However, one thing I’m sure about is that time will keep us thinking about our place in time.