The Body vs the Bozo

https://www.economist.com/united-states/2017/01/19/before-donald-trump-there-was-jesse-ventura

The supposed antecedent to Donald Trump as President is not really that, given that Ventura had actually been mayor of a large city and actually accomplished things for the average citizen of Minnesota. The primary similarity is neither one expected to win the election. I still maintain that Donnie’s activities with the Russians related to his organized crime syndicate are what is being covered up and why he won’t release income taxes. He screwed all this up when he went and won the election. And now his ego can’t look past the fact that a perfect storm of events put him in the White House.

We can hope another similarity is Donnie won’t run for re-election like The Body did.

Meanwhile, Putin just smiles.

© 2018 Joseph Galligan

A Great Burn from the Home of (Robert) Burns

A protestor in Scotland during Donnie’s trip to rest up for his mano-a-mano with Putin but also shamelessly self-promote his Turnberry golf resort (in the company of his son Eric who ostensibly rakes in the dough for Trump Organization without Dad knowing about it) had a sign that read: “Yer jaicket’s oana shoogly pet, Donnie.” (Your jacket’s on a wobbly peg).

What a fantastic way to say, “Your time ain’t long.”

© 2018 Joseph Galligan

Taphophobia Unites Humanity

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-11/cave-rescues-that-captivated-the-world/9961756

The great Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung noted that certain elements of dreams, what he called “archetypes,” are common among the indigenous people of Australia and the Arctic. These people have never interacted culturally, yet their dreams form around these same archetypes. The same is true for the bond-trading bro in Manhattan and the nomadic man in Mongolia. There appears to be these common threads in the human psyche, which I believe are rooted in what is called “junk DNA” (never mind why).

Something else all humans seem to share is an ancient fear of being buried alive (called taphophobia), which explains why there was such a massive, transnational response to the recent discovery and rescue of the soccer team in a cave in Thailand. Every day, a vastly larger number of children are starved, bombed, poisoned and shot to death around the world, to the shrugs of most other humans. But if they are trapped in a cave, that’s different because of taphophobia. (This is not to say that the boys and their coach did not deserve their heroic rescue.)

This common fear also seems to apply to animals. All around the world, hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are wandering around lost and disconnected from the human support many need to survive, and again, shrugs from most human quarters. But if a dog or cat or horse or elephant or leopard is trapped in a well, as often happens, the transpolitical or trans-social response is intense. (Search “animal trapped in well” on Google.)

Imagine the difference if all the migrant children taken from their families were trapped in a cave instead of put in baby jails (7/14: numerous editorial cartoons from past week make this same point).

© 2018 Joseph Galligan

How to Get Away with Murder

Donnie appears to endorse the following (per his view of Putin and election tampering):

Judge to bailiff:  Bailiff, please tell the court what crime the defendant is charged with.

Bailiff: First degree murder, your honor.

Judge to defendant: So how do you plead to this charge?

Defendant: Not guilty

Judge to defendant’s lawyer:  Mr. _______, I have read all the pre-trial documents, and your client was photographed at the scene of the crime, he had the victims’ blood on his clothes when he was arrested, the murder weapon is registered to him, he posted numerous comments on Facebook that he wanted to kill the victims, and we have statements from his brother and girlfriend that they drove him to the scene of the crime. Are you sure you want your client to plead not guilty? If he is found guilty via trial, he could get the death penalty.

Defendant’s lawyer: He says he didn’t do it.

Judge: Well, ok then. Case dismissed.

 

Update from NY Times 7/16/18:  “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that was responsible for the election hacking, Mr. Trump added. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.” Case dismissed.

© 2018 Joseph Galligan

Happy Birthday, Alcoholics Anonymous (a month late)

I will neither confirm nor deny here that I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I can confirm that I have not gotten loaded  in 18 years and that I am a certified alcohol and drug counselor II in Oregon.

I have made the assertion that the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps was one of the most important social revolutions of the 20th century.  This movement started with two people on June 10, 1935 and grew exponentially over 83 years. It started all by itself. It had and has no opinion on outside issues according to its Traditions and thus is not a political movement because it eschews politics. Most other social revolutions took on a political dimension. It also eschews money from outside resources, according its Seventh Tradition. It is self-supporting through [its members’] own contributions.

In today’s fractured and bizarre political world, it’s worth reflecting on these people who were Presidents of the United States or candidates for that office since 1973. George McGovern (daughter died of alcoholism); Michael Dukakis (wife is alcoholic); Gerald Ford (wife was alcoholic/addict who founded Betty Ford Center); Jimmy Carter (brother was alcoholic); Bill Clinton (half brother is alcoholic/addict); George H.W. Bush (son President George W. Bush is alcoholic by his own admission, so “double winner”); Donald Trump (brother died of alcoholism). Imagine if we could get them in a room together and talk about the personal impact of addiction. I think they would all feel differently about one another.  The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “We are people who would normally not mix.” It’s pure democratic socialism very much aligned with the Marxist ideal of from each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need. To belong in a 12 Step program, all you have to do is join. No wonder social scientists in capitalistic societies don’t understand it.

Speaking of handwringing social scientists, much of the recovery literature is full these days of all the reasons that AA/12 Steps doesn’t work, and almost none of it focuses on the millions of people for whom it does work.  The literature also does not talk about the fact that, very conservatively, every active addict* has a direct negative impact on at least 10 other people. So if four million people around the world are walking around in 12 step recovery today, then they have either eliminated that negative effect or are creating a positive effect on 40 million people. If all those people moved to the same place at once, they would form the largest city in the world. Treatment these days is all  full of the need for “evidence-based treatment” which, in my opinion,  is often not so much about getting people clean and sober as it is about getting paid by insurance companies. Well, my evidence is those 44 million people.

12 Step programs have miles to go to align with the opiate crisis, but the fact remains that alcohol kills twice as many people in the U.S. each year that opiates do. It’s the number one killer, and people in its sights banded together 83 years ago to do something about it, knowing that no one else would. It’s also worth noting that if crack cocaine were around NYC in the 1930s the way it was in the 1980s, all those ” singleness of purpose, I’m just an alcoholic” people would have been far more than that.

* I prefer the generic term “addict” because someone we call “alcoholic” is addicted to a drug called ethanol. They don’t drink the gin for the juniper berries.

© 2018 Joseph Galligan

Sports that Aren’t

Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut gobbles 74 hotdogs, setting new world record at Nathan’s contest

How did competitive gluttony become a “sport?” I can see how this may have originated as one of those ironic events that hipsters and certain bro types are fond of. I guess it caught hold as one of those “competitive hot dog eating, ha ha, but I am amazed by that Joey Chestnut guy” things. Much like the character Donald Trump played on “The Apprentice” became the same guy running for President in many people’s minds. They knew it wasn’t exactly real, but close enough. Competitive hot dog eating isn’t exactly a sport, but close enough. When you get paid a lot of money to eat 74 hot dogs and people are starving to death, well …

© 2018 Joseph Galligan