Tuesday, August 18, 2020


Guess where I am! 

I have been on vacation, and missing the Democratic National Convention. Longtime readers know I love to cover these things, but I have to say the lockdown version didn't excite me much, and what I heard about them giving airtime to every Republican looking for an alibi for when Trump goes to the gallows for treason -- "I vas in Biden Switzerland!" -- didn't tempt me. Still, tonight I watched some of the show. I  appreciated Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton telling the folks, essentially, that their dying wish is that they vote Biden. I also appreciated the roll-call with all the black, gay, and otherwise cishet-exotic spokespeople -- a cunning plan, I am assuming, to get Republicans to run out on their lawns the next morning and describe the thing with fulsome slurs to their neighbors, who will think, "Well, I felt lukewarm about Joe Biden before but now my asshole neighbor has convinced me to look up vote-by-mail."  

Of course the wingnut response remains morbidly fascinating, like the Murdoch coverage of Billy Porter's and Stephen Stills' version of "For What It's Worth," characterizing it as "bizarre" and pointing out its "mixed reviews" [kudos to the photo editor for flouncing up the subtext!]. No doubt their dotard boomer Trumpkin fans are mad that one of their glory-days musical touchstones had to be ruined by actual relevance to current events -- not like when the song originally came out and it was all about how groovy it was to be young when the economy was doing great!

As for the Biden video with Springsteen's "The Rising" -- I'm constitutionally immune to this kind of thing. I've always thought pop songs made or repackaged for the DNC like Carly Simon's "Turn of the Tide" were weak and maudlin. And as a New Yorker I found the Boss' 9/11 stuff... well, a good effort; well-meaning, workmanlike uplift. But it never touched me the way it seemed to touch people who went in for disaster-themed group hugs and blue-collar hero talk. My hometown had just been bombed and America was invading countries that had nothing to do with it and Republicans were calling me and my friends traitors; I just wasn't into it.

But now, 19 years later, with 9/11 virtually the midpoint between Reagan's original hijack of the American dream and the Trump bust-out of the remainders, with the country being destroyed from within by a drug-addled Russian mobster and the rump of depraved shitheels who take pleasure in his brutality and racism, it hits, as they say, a little different. Der Alte in 2020! We can sweat the details later.

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