I spent nearly the entire Bushwhacking on here trying to crack wise as the situation got direr and direr and the bodies stacked up higher and higher and corporate media still pretended the dangerous dry drunk was just a harmless good ol’ boy you could have a beer with. Now my advice under “hashtag we’re all gonna die” is: “Preserve your memories; they’re all that’s left to you.” Too many Americans seem to forget what it was like to travel in Italy and be asked “Americana?” and have to respond, trying to save face: “No, New Yorkese!” Now the orange national nightmare has made that designation humiliating, too.
With luck, my slovenly posting will pay off and this will be outdated as soon as I hit publish: Of all the arguments for destroying the racist GOP nominee, the biggest has to be that he is a teetotaler. He blames his abstemiousness on his older brother’s having drunk himself to death, although “some would say” he just shifted his insatiable craving away from the bottle and into the spotlight. Whatever the reason, I think we all saw what happens when you put a guy who bruises after one O’Doul’s in charge of the nation’s premier wine cellar. One summer you’re getting distracted by sharks and the next glorious September day the world comes crashing down. The job description, for allah’s sake, involves state dinners and toasts.
Relatedly, I guess I am waiting in vain for Panchito to put down his righteous cursor and acknowledge that he is a huge reason a total con man has gotten so close to the national wine treasure. He sold a dangerous dry drunk as a harmless good ol’ boy you could have a drink with. Is he really surprised they want to cash in that French 75 now?
Everyone freaking out over the Orange Menace hasn’t even stopped to envision the real disaster he would be as president. If there’s one thing we learned from the Bushwhacking, it’s that a White House wine cellar and social calendar should never have been entrusted to a teetotaler. Lust in your liver for white zinfandel & next thing you know you’re bombing booze-free Meccas. . . .
As a deadline cruncher, I’m happy to say the thought of the fork about to be inserted into a certain campaign has finally motivated me to post: It’s almost gratifying to realize Jebya is such a terrible candidate that even Panchito at his puffiest would not be able to sell him as a guy you’d love to have a cheeseburger with. But I’m surprised no one has pointed out the you-are-what-you-eat reason for this fail, which is also the only happy outcome of this run. He is proof positive that the paleo diet makes you not just “low energy” but staggeringly stupid.
So we’re in a typical West Village restaurant where tables are crammed together as if we’re all dining on the A train. A guy who had been using the light on his phone to read the menu knocked a saucer off his tiny table, and it shattered on the floor with about the shock and decibel of a gunshot. And the reaction was fascinating: Everyone freaked as if they were ready to shelter in place, as if we were in a school on Bring Your Semiautomatics To Class Day. My consort and I, after “CitizenFour,” had just been having an argument about the “NSA” and the International Man of Luggage and government overreach and how fear of terrorism has been so lucrative and so destructive to this country. The bugged eyes and hands-to-cheeks all around me reminded me Americans will always sheeple-y surrender their liberty/privacy against “terrorism.” But they know viscerally what the real threat is: eating lead after movie popcorn.
I went off to college freshman year with a grant, a scholarship and a loan, and still the only way I figured I could get by would be if I lived on Del Monte green beans, which I loved and which cost 17 cents a can. (This was way back in the last century, when you could also save money by not buying bras.) Turned out the dorm had vending machines with everything nukable from honey buns to cheeseburgers for just a couple of coins. Not only did I not starve. I managed to pack on 30 pounds, fast. So the Murdoch Crier’s story on food pantries at New York colleges really jumped out at me. It’s actually come to this in the richest country in the world? Cereal handouts? The saddest deet is that much of the demand comes from the unemployed who are going back to school in a time of shrunken financial aid. I’m feeling lucky I only had to lose the weight, not the crippling debt. And you really have to wonder why the story is behind a paywall. Charging rich people to read about the poors makes you think it’s all just sports. Or “Hunger Games.”
Everyone else can wet their sponsored-post adult diapers over ISIS beheaders. I’m gonna lie awake worrying about MRSA, even if fetal steps are being taken to eliminate antibiotics in animals. Twenty-two aspiring firefighters can get infected in one training class, and have no cure, and we’re supposed to panic over scimitar-wielders halfway around the world who would have their holy water confiscated at airport security? Much smarter to freak out over the notion that I could cut my own hand in my own kitchen and go to the ER and pick up something that would cause my fingers to eat themselves.
Sadly, because I’m so distracted by the siren song of link after link, I keep putting off typing my own stuff. Every day I meant to rant about the coverage — and noncoverage — of the fast food workers’ walkouts. This is a BFD, but it’s treated as if these wage slaves are tilting at golden windmills, that no one will pay another nickel for a Big Crap so they should either A) eat it or B) find better jobs. (Obviously, journalists have done so well themselves with both those solutions in a Bushwhacked economy.) As far as I’m concerned, the ballsy strikers have already advanced what the Occupy movement started. I notice more and more people wondering why consumers should have to pay more to cover a living wage. Why can’t the big dogs get paid less? Also, too, there’s a growing awareness of just how fast food chains get away with keeping workers in poverty. We the taxpayers pick up the tab for their housing and health care. Somehow this is all getting communicated despite the best efforts of editors who think the minimum wage is “eight bucks and change.”
The latest reminder that I should type faster: Skittles have overtaken broccoli as the sad fud in the news. Before that, wingnuts were spewing spittle over the report that the Big O told kiddles his favorite edible is broccoli. I’m half with ‘em — it’s a weird choice. But even if it were a whopper, was it really worse than the Chimp and his yellowcake? Oh. Right. One was a white lie.
I would transition with “speaking of yellowcake,” but whatever Twinkies are, it is not “a mixture of flour, eggs, milk, sugar etc. baked as in a loaf.” What fascinates me is how their “return” is getting so much coverage with so little discussion of why they really “went away.” Greedy guys in suits needed to make more megabucks. So the workers got hosed, their pay whacked and their pensions gutted, while food writers were waxing nostalgically saccharine. With all the cost savings, you’d assume the price would be lower now. But you would misunderestimate American business today. Apparently the bonuses got bigger. It’s the Twinkies that got small. I do hope they’ve upped the high-fructose corn syrup to cut the bitterness.
Finally I have something to thank Panchito for: rousing me from my torpor here. So much silliness flies by in the fud world that it’s hard to get worked up these days, but his about-face on the Butter Guzzler really was beyond the pale, so to speak. Suddenly “the champion of downscale cooking” scorned by elitists is now a “Confederate caricature” to be scorned by elitists. It’s telling that the guy who sold America a dangerous dry drunk in the guise of a good ol’ boy never bothered to weigh in when the ultimate shill for garbage food cashed in on her secret diabetes. And it’s laughable that he and his colleagues now all seem shocked, shocked by her blatant racism on their very own stage. Somehow, they had to wait for “cyberspace” to address it. Not for nothing is this my favorite photo in the whole mess. Just like the Lump in the Bed, they have an “out, damned spot” on their hands.
Once again, I have to thank my Panchito tracker for tipping me off to the latest embarrassment, which involved damning workers near the bottom of the food chain for getting duped in a movie and maybe in real life. As MPT noted, it’s a pot/kettle black mark on his already abysmal record as a non-S&B columnist. Did he somehow forget who let the hot dog out?
Relatedly MTweeting myself: In going through my notebook from our last excursion to Buffalo, I found the saddest thing I saw was a “pet food pantry” billboard outside a church. I just hope they were collecting for Fido.