The following are posts, in the order they were written, put on my Facebook page. They were a response to events in Washington DC of the last days, done in a short form appropriate for Facebook. Down and dirty, off-the-cuff, for a daily dose.
Jan 6 2021
The news of the day suggests that Georgia has elected two Democratic Senators, despite (or perhaps thanks to) The Don’s attempts to arm twist the State officials in charge of elections (both Republicans) and his “perfect” rallying of his troops by citing a litany of lies and falsehoods, whining for himself, and accusing anyone who hasn’t fallen on their sword for him of being weak, only maybe Republicans, etc etc The same tired old dribble falling from this pathetic occupant of the Oval Orifice in Washington.
Today Our Great Leader hopes to see a rumble in DC both in Congress, where a cluster of complete ass-lickers will line the halls to eat dingle-berries in full public view, thus to honor their Boss-of-Bosses, thinking to secure the allegiance of his many strident fans out there in the boonies – his base. One can identify them in part owing to their wearing of baseball hats, and sometimes dragging baseball bats or AK47 things to rallies. Out on the streets in our nation’s capitol (where residents don’t get to vote or have representation in Congress), The Don hopes a large number – larger than at his inauguration, the largest crowd ever – will materialize for a rally and brawl to overthrow the stolen illegal illegitimate fraudulent rigged election which he happened to lose in both total votes and in the archaic Electoral College.
I note that The Don and his cohorts have of late adopted costumes and poses signifying “strength” and masculine superiority. Perhaps today they will emerge in insurgent camo, guns at the ready. Real Rambo. It is called “fascion”.
Should be a modestly interesting day, full of amateur theater, and, sadly, Leni won’t be there to film it.
Today, incited and encouraged by Our Great Leader and his fascoid gang, a mob of Trump supporters marched to the ill-defended Capitol, overwhelmed the police force and invaded the halls of Congress. Some brandished guns, some looted. Few wore masks, either for Covid or to hide their faces. The politicians gathered to finalize the election process formally making Joe Biden President, had only begun and were hustled out to a “secure” place unnamed. Belatedly the police and National Guard cleared the mob from the building.
The nation is shocked, though it should not have been. Since the Bundy show-down in Nevada, the Malheur Oregon take-over of a National monument, (both under Obama), and then the armed invasion of State Houses in the last few years – all allowed to happen and lightly punished, if at all – it has been clear that right-wing militia groups and others have no compunctions resorting to armed force when they wish. Under The Great Don, they have been encouraged and today it came to a predictable head, as following his incendiary speech, the riled up, flag-toting anointed “patriots” marched to the Capitol to force the Congress to abdicate its Constitutional obligations.
We shall shortly see how our politicians and their (our) system respond. If the action today is not regarded as a serious insurrection, warranting arrests and trials of those who invaded the Congress, along with those who incited them – Giuliani, Trump & sons, et al, and they are not severely punished, then the slide into dissolution of the nation will be far more rapid than I thought some 20 and more years ago.
Today was essentially grand theater. Whether it will rattle the system enough to incur a sharp retort will essentially hint how much longer this frayed and corrupted society will remain whole. I am deeply skeptical. It is no surprise to me and shouldn’t be to anyone who has been awake and conscious the last 30 years.
All systems grow corrupted, especially empires, such as ours. And then they collapse. There is nothing sacrosanct about the United States of America, nor is it exempt from the usual course of history.
Having spent the last years deep in the rabbit-warren of internet conspiracy sites, wounded by the harsh rebuke of the recent election, The Oracle of the Oval Orifice yesterday emerged to incite his the yahoo base to “take back the nation” and march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol and “show strength” and “demand that Congress do the right thing.” The right thing in this case meant, among other things, to overturn the Pennsylvania election results by force, since political and legal efforts to do so had failed.
And so the Congress was promptly invaded by his cult members, waving Trump flags, some brandishing guns, overwhelming the unprepared (willfully so perhaps) Capitol Police, and causing the meeting of lawmakers assembled to affirm the State Electoral College votes and anoint Joseph Biden the 46th President of the USA to flee. Police escorted them out of the chambers. Some hours later The Don tweeted meekly that his followers should go home.
The full Tweet:
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Twitter took down this Tweet and banned Trump for a day.
The Congress reconvened after many hours, when the mob had been cleared from the building; many a humble talk was mumbled by now-contrite Senators and Representatives who had merely hours before been bellowing supporters of the occupant of the Oval Anus. Those who hadn’t been supporters expressed naive shock at what had occurred in their sacred offices, and some indicated the Oracle should be promptly charged and removed from office. In the early hours of Jan 7, the Congress declared the results of the Electoral College count.
The Oracle of the Oval Anus had overplayed his hand and began an unseemly retreat, though carrying on with his rabbit-warren claims. Many of his last-stand cluster-fuck gang resigned or were dismissed. Bluster and bluff had turned into an utterly predictable hard reality, and Trump, painted deep into a corner of his own making – though aided and abetted by most of the GOP, as well as by the media – was behaving like the cornered animal he is. His ProudBoy gangs had shown their ass-crack red-neck idiocy (maskless, not even to hide their faces from the myriad surveillance cameras of the Capitol area, begging for prosecution) and been sent back to Dogpatch.
If Trump is not removed from office by one of the mechanisms available (impeachment, 25th Amendment) and if he and his group are not charged, prosecuted, and severely punished, the final Pandora’s Box of the collapse of the USA will burst at the seams, and the Union will dissolve. This has been building in plain view for some decades now. Perhaps this event will serve to bring it into focus for those many millions who did not see it because they did not want to see it.
If Trump is not evicted from office, and imprisoned, along with others of his clan, one can be assured that within 20 years, or far less, the United States of America will no longer exist as a political entity.
Trapped in the lair of his own kingdom of lies and fraudulence, The Don yesterday far overplayed his hand, sucked into the vortex of Q-anon and the deep-mind sewers of the internet, where he swam comfortably among the many mentally ill souls damaged by the neo-liberal economic policies of the last 40+ years. Imagining that his rag-tag troop of religious crackpots, deranged generals and America’s Mayor, along with the eunuchs of the ProudBoys and Cucks of the USA, by storming the Capitol would vault him into Supreme Power, this fool of the Oval Orifice bumped instead into the hard walls of reality: a bevvy of his allies jumped ship, rats each and every one, and left our pathetic King Lear railing to himself, stripped of his Twitter and Facebook outlets. Lacking any meaningful character, his version of this role lacks any grandeur or sense of tragedy, but instead duly reflects the inanity of his followers who posed in their absurdist costumes, lost in a delirium coaxed on by their own Jim Jones. Swallow that Kool-Aid there, doing selfies to confirm both their crimes and stupidity.
To use one of The Don’s limited lingo loops, “lock them up” and “there’s never been anything like this before”. Believe me.
Over in a shaken Capitol the reckoning is coming and calls for immediate impeachment and Article 25 are in the air. Trump supporters within the Congress are “coming to Jesus” and ducking for cover. The great charade of the last 4+ years is crumbling in plain sight.
On the same day as Trump’s putsch attempt, Covid-19 deaths in the USA hit a record. MAGA maggots.
DC Kabuki Komedy.
The Great Trumpthing, having hoisted himself on his own petard, lost in the miasma of his “reality TV” realities, utterly misreading the situation has now come out of the closet, THE BIGGEST L O S E R. He is now playing the role of one with his tail-between-his-legs mock contrition, his fake appeals to peace etc. A coward, pure and simple. The Wizard of Oz behind his show-biz curtain, now desperately trying to evade his just due. He should be arrested today for accessory to murder in the explicit instance of the dead Capitol policeman.
The idiots of MAGAland likewise showed that they are mostly bluster and fantasy players, likewise caught in their own super-hero costumes and macho posing, as if it were all a grand backdrop for the necessary low-level selfie-narcissism, “look at me”! Taking photos of yourself in the commission of a crime is perhaps one definition of stupidity.
Whether Biden will now do what he should do – have all those folks identified, arrested, tried and given the hardest sentences legal – is another matter. Trump and Giuliani and the whole gang of abettors should be treated the same. Ditto Congress should strip a few people of their places where legally possible (Cruz, Hawley, the guy from W Va) or at minimum censor them. Etc etc.
However I think the system is too corrupted and not much will be done. Rather, following Obama’s example in failing to go after the Bundy folks out in Nevada and Oregon, fearful of another Waco type fiasco, Biden will minimize this event. Likewise he’ll play the good guy and not take the appropriate legal measures against Trump and his accomplices, saying it is better not to roil the country more, etc. etc. Appeasing, as history shows, seldom works out too well.
If Congress and Biden don’t take a hard position on this and do the hard unhappy things necessary, the US will fall apart in 10 years instead of 20.
For some years – no it is really decades – I have in public, in my work (films & writing), and in talk, critiqued the US, its politics, its culture. In some small circles this was, for a time, welcomed (back 30-40 years ago); and then not, so much so that I sense there is an unwritten blacklist on which my name can be found (grants and such things). In 1972-3 I made a film, Speaking Directly, which made explicit my views, in deeply personal terms. In 1985-7 I made Plain Talk & Common Sense, a kind of overview of the time, an essay-survey of where we stood as a nation. Likewise I’ve made a handful of fictional films addressing our malaises in less direct terms – Bell Diamond, Sure Fire, Homecoming, Over Here, Parable, Coming to Terms, They Had It Coming. Long ago I suggested that the stresses inside the nation were leading us to a breakup and collapse. Not long ago I thought and said this would be in 20 or so years from now. I now think it likely much sooner. The events of the past week, and since the election have seemed to accelerate things, such that I’d think 5-10 years are left for the US to carry on as a functioning geo-political reality.
The other day I watched, on C-Span, most of Trump’s “speech” in Washington. During it he mentioned the huge crowd before him and asked the news to reverse their cameras to show it; C-Span did not do so – I don’t know if others obliged or not. The image above confirms he did indeed have a massive crowd, one which he aggressively worked to generate (Trump tweeted on Dec. 19 “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”)
Doubtless encouraged by this turnout, he cranked up his rhetoric, along with his cohort Giuliani and son Don Jr., and others, and sent his would-be troops to the Capitol, and we know what then ensued.
Since then 45% of Republicans surveyed approved of the assault upon Congress; many GOP representatives and Senators in effect did so as well. While the GOP is a minority party, and not quite half approved, that remains a substantial number, enough to form the foundation for a fascist party. The crowd in DC confirmed a massive base, one enthralled with Trump, the stench of power and racism, and blind to anything contrary to it. He, and Fox, and his many abettors, have successfully produced one of America’s social hysterias – from the Salem Witch Hunts, to the McCarthy commie-under-every-bed Red scare. It will not be easy, and very likely is impossible, to dissipate this social movement. However to begin to do so, Trump, all his associates, the rabble which invaded Congress, the media (Fox, Limbaugh et al) all need to be harshly brought to justice, censured, and made fully accountable for their acts. I doubt that Biden is so inclined. Doing so would be difficult. Not doing it is more or less a guarantee that right-wing fascism will prevail, much as it did in Weimar Germany. In past comments when I suggested the USA is collapsing, and will do so in the coming decades, I noted that historically such things in modern times usually include a passage through fascism. While Americans have been taught they live in an “exceptional” nation, it is really no different than others, and is subject to the same cycles of history as any other culture.
Here as some in-depth views:
Speaking Directly https://vimeo.com/135937136
Plain Talk & Common Sense https://vimeo.com/233124758
A friend sent me this post taken from a right-wing social network system, Wimkin (of which I had not heard). Snopes suggests this shouldn’t be taken too seriously, that it may be the spawn of a keyboard Cuckist in the basement, attempting to foment something to jack-off to. However, given the recent events in DC one might take it with a bit more seriousness. Until the formal turn-over on the 20th, Trump remains titular head of our military and hypothetically they are bound to follow his orders. Some days ago he declined following a request to do so, to order the DC National Guard to go the the Capitol to defend it from the mob he had generated and ordered to go “be wild” (an earlier Twitter had informed his 66 million followers that on Jan 6 would be a big rally and to be there and that it would be wild.”) Pence and Pelosi did the ordering to get the National Guard there.The events on the 6th make clear that Trump is willing and able to abet and approve such things, and being painted deeply in a corner, he may just contrive to invite his rag-tag, armed Brown Shirts to come and trigger a major conflict. This time around the police cannot, as they seem to have done regarding the events of the 6th, plead ignorance (though the net was full of right-wing info about their intentions, with Trump making the invitations). It appears that perhaps some of the Capitol Police were in on it, and perhaps there was some inside something going on. It appears January 20 will be another of those things that make this an “interesting” time in which to live. (The old Chinese curse.)
hoisted on his own petard
he looked down to the crowd below
moving ever more distant, they seemed but ants
amazed at this unearthly view
he imagined himself in some kind of heaven
befogged in wispy clouds
sweet cherubs whispering the things he liked to hear
a music as he’d never heard before
the voices grew into a thunder
brought to mind beethoven, or was it wagner
instead it was a baying herd
asking for his head
on this earth there is one way off a pedestal
As more information leaks out regarding the Trump mob assault on the Capitol, the Republicans find themselves required to go into ever more absurd contortions to defend themselves and their complete surrender for 4+ years to The Don. Their Faustian deal has come home to roost, which any person with an IQ of 50 would have figured out years ago was bound to happen. Among the things leaking out are indications that some of the Capitol Police were in on it; that many were told to stay home that day even though the FBI had warned, etc. etc. While not yet utterly clear, it would seem that this was orchestrated from very high within the administration, with the plausible deniability looking thinner and thinner. The two heads of the Capitol Police promptly resigned from their offices, the Homeland Security head followed suit a day later. Hmmmm… What do you do when your coup attempt fails?
Trump’s visit to the Alamo, and his belligerent statement today, denying responsibility, another “perfect” address he says of his Jan 6th fomenting job, all point to a deranged psychopath cornered by his own actions.Some Republicans – including McConnell now – indicate Trump’s actions have been impeachable, and there need only be 16 of them to vote to impeach and with McConnell pressing the reluctant, perhaps these slime-balls will read the crystal ball and bail.We’ll see how this plays out in the coming days.And then of course there are silver and magic bullets too, which have been known historically to exist.
The days politics detoured the muse, and still does. But on Jan 11, this blurted out, clearly under the sway of current events. Yesterday listening to the Republican chorus of “but they…” and uniform refusal to admit what happened a week earlier had anything to do with the Great Leader’s goading, was an exhibition of why Hitlers are in some ways normal: because there are soulless people who will follow the stupidest, craziest asshole because their Great Leader is just like they are.
In another few days we’ll get (or not) the spectacle of BoogalooBois, 3%ers and other armed militia deciding this is the moment to go full in or not. WGOWGA as they say. Those arrested from the 6th indicate an interesting mix of redneck militia to middle-class to off-time cops and military, to those with private jets, all streaming their way to some kind of fame. The real estate lady from Frisco, a Dallas suburb, and others, now pleading for pardon from the departing Don. She exclaims, “But I am facing prison…” As I recall the phrase from my prison days, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” May we live in interesting times.
Here in Boston, a handful of blocks away from where I am, a hundred or so police have gathered around the State Capitol building, taking the FBI warning regarding pro-Trump militias planning to surround state houses, etc. somewhat seriously. Trump in a last minute shift has appointed a loyalist as top lawyer at the NSA. Other things seem to suggest there may be a last gasp effort by his rag-tag MAGA shirts to disrupt Wednesday’s inauguration and install The Donald as prez-for-life.
News leaking out regarding Jan 6th’s attempted putsch suggests the sergeant-at-arms of both the House and Senate police, both of whom resigned immediately after the failed assault on Congress, were both – along with some others – in on it, having quashed a request for backup of the National Guard the day before. Plenty of other things point to a poorly organized attempt to actually take over the Congress, take hostages and execute some, etc. One by one the dots coalesce into a readable pattern of a serious, if maladroitly organized, effort to overthrow the government.
Given that his followers seem to think that Trump must remain President, and had the example of nearly taking the seat of American government by force, there’s reason to think they may, despite the now-assembled forces in DC and elsewhere, give it a try in the coming days.In some manner this may be a good thing, as it is likely strategically and tactically premature, and having shown their hands on Jan 6, they feel compelled to carry it out as without Trump to provide cover, they could be readily confronted with actual military and police force working against them. No match. In their minds perhaps it is now or never, and so…
I think it is quite reasonable to expect some real bloodshed this coming week. The boogaloo bois wish to ignite a race and civil war, and other militia groups, while having differing aims, would likely go along with this. So they may give it a serious go, though if they lose you can expect harsh gun and anti-militia laws, and a round up of those who participate in them. Conversely if that is not done you can expect the imminent collapse of the Federal Government and the USA as a political entity. Having predicted this for some decades now, I can’t say I am surprised.
As well, as someone who subscribes to “catastrophe theory,” at least in some instances, I note that a confluence of stresses are all reaching a peak, and the usual result of this kind of thing is a rapid collapse. The deep corruption of the US – decades in formation – has revealed itself in Trump’s ascension; the economic disparities of current capitalism; the social/cultural chasms in our society; global warming, the fragmenting effects of the internet, and now as a coup de grace, Covid, all gather together to place extraordinary stress on society, and it shatters, its seeming stability shown to be an illusion.
Do we live in “interesting times?” Fasten your seat-belt.
Today a stroll to the Commons and by the State House. Fenced off, a contingent of police. No Boogbois etc. Either they’ve been chastened by arrests of some of their folks and the FBI on the tail of others, or they’ve pulled back figuring taking on the military and cops wouldn’t come out too well for them. Flip side is they blew Jan 6 and if they don’t accomplish a coup for The Don by Wednesday, or at least trigger their wished-for civil/race war, there is going to be a very different attitude coming from the Feds in the coming years. Last chance for a quick dance for them, or, as was said back in the 60s, up against the wall mofo.
Here is an article somewhat succinctly summarizing the history that got us here:
Jan 20 2021 a.m.
In a spectacularly subdued anti-climax, The Don departed the White House and DC, with a gaggle of supporters at hand, and his family clan. His end talk was the usual blather of how great and wonderful and successful his administration was. While he put on a good front and pundits described him as almost cheerful, my reading of his face was different: he appeared almost emotional and sad, bathed in self-pity. He left with the Village People’s YMCA, a gay-pickup anthem on the wonders of the Y, a song I have a hard time fathoming in the context – it was a staple of his campaign rallies – entering Air Force One with his hand clutching Melania as if affirming “A love supreme”, arriving at the stair top to wave and self-clap as he entered the plane in defeat. His clan clambered up a minute later, minus Ivanka and Jared (reported to have entered some back way – by levitation?) The guard marched away and another contingent of military guys, smartly dressed, rolled up the red carpet, and Donald John Trump left Washington DC, a complete and total loser, sure to go down in the history books as the worst American president ever. His father would be proud. Or perhaps not.He promised to be back “in some form.” Perhaps he will morph into a literal POS.
Jan. 20 2021
It appears the boogbois and friends thought better than to take on the US military and (some) cops. Joe Biden was able to get inaugurated without bullets flying, and young poetess did her eloquent reading, the first black/indian/woman veep entered office, and it appears the event turned into a super-spreader as Garth Brooks did a redneck Amazing Grace hugging everyone on leaving, having never masked up, and subsequently, once the speechifying was done, the crowd mingled and hugged and doubtless contributed to a coming Covid spike. Hot damn.
Of course in some rabbit holes conspiracy fans have it that Jan 6 was a Deep State ploy, intended to trigger a “reset” by the Wizard of Oz (not Trump, the fake one, but the real one still obscured behind the curtain), and that a Patriot Act II will suffocate all dissent on our march to corporate fiat money tyranny, etc etc.So covered in All-American “we are the good guys” platitudes, in a multi-colored parade, lathered with patriotic song and self-congratulatory rhetoric, Trump’s “American Carnage” is supplanted with wishful “we’re all in this togetherism.” Pip pip pip as the Brits might twit(ter).
I am sure a vast swathe of America is breathing a great sigh of relief, and will promptly commence to ignore all the things which brought us to our current state, eager for our ever lethal “normality” of shop til you drop, credit card indebtedness, invisible empire, and other follies of our culture. The last words of Biden’s speech were “God bless our troops.” Tells you something.
Yesterday I duly watched Our Great Leader’s ignominious departure from the White House and Andrews AFB, a spectacle lacking the punch of Nixon’s V sign of yesteryear. And then the further DC Kabuki, the installation of Everyman Joe into the just-vacated Trump lair, and the expected liberal swoon as Political Correctness resumed its place in the Oval Orifice. And I thought, hmmm, deja vu all over again, thinking of 2008, and its real realities lurking behind the DNC show-biz wool pulling. I am putting these ponderings down in a bit more length for a blog post soon.
Exhausted with the political shadow-boxing I took refuge in my little pastime with color and stuff, and made this very mixed bag, just playing around. Mess around some more today (I think). Meantime for anyone interested in an in-depth you-are-there look at a mere 2 weeks and 1 day ago, Jan 6, in DC, look at this, which I am considering using as foundation to make something video-wise.
One thought on “KABUKI KAPITOL DC”
Great post Jon. I’m still hearing the voice of Covid Tales here.
Meanwhile, it’s so far been “Winter without Winter” here in MN. Been hovering around 32 degrees since October with some snow on the ground, but not much.
Other than that, I’m doing well and wrapping up a years-long framing job of archive. Got lots of new surfaces to paint on and hoping to get some shows booked if/when the galleries start opening up.
Attached is a picture of my granddaughter Ariana in her ballet costume. She turns 4 in March. Her dad is of Mexican heritage which accounts for her indigenous look. She looks a lot like him.