I assume that no one within that troika of terrible turdblossoms depicted in the header needs any introduction. However, the frowning old sack of mouldy cookie dough pictured above may be less recognizable, except in a generic sort of way. He looks sort of familiar, yes? You may think you’ve seen him on TV somewhere, years ago, perhaps in some sort of theatre setting, but in that case you’re mistaken, since he’s not one of the guys who used to heckle from the balcony during the Muppet Show – I know, it gets confusing. Those Muppet guys were broadly similar (from some angles uncannily so), but if you study the photos side by side, you can spot some differences. Look:
In the top image, we have the characters Slater and Waldorf, it says here, I don’t know which is which, but anyway the one on the left clearly isn’t our guy, his head is too round. The one on the right seems more promising at first blush, but look closely – his eyebrows are bushier, and he’s balding. He also looks a little more animated, a little more intelligent, and somewhat less cadaverous.
The fellow pictured directly above is actually a distinct and fully human individual named Orrin Hatch, and no sort of puppet (except of course metaphorically, when it comes time to satisfy the demands of his masters in the Billionaire Donor’s Club). If he ever barked at the Muppets, he was watching the tube, not sitting in the studio, and come to think of it he likely did bark at Muppets, back in the day. He probably had really strong opinions about the general impropriety of Muppet behaviour, what with Miss Piggy running around being lascivious, and that nasty wild-haired goon who used to play drums. They set a bad example. Damnable Liberal Muppets. And those awful Teletubbies too, especially the gay one, but all of them, really. Little freaks. Have you seen their creepy vacuum cleaner? It’s obviously possessed by Satan:
Stupid bug-eyed suck-up always looks like he’s mid-enema. The Evil One must really be giving him a reaming. Is that what you want your children to see? A gay mutant with a purse and his reamed-out sentient devil vacuum? Teletubbies. Christ!
Anyway, the be-suited old ball of dead skin cells standing against the appropriately grey background is a veteran US Senator. He’s been around Congress forever, I don’t know how long, maybe 50 years, and I can’t say how old he is, maybe 90. His attitudes and ideas were probably thought retrograde when Amelia Earhart went missing (look, if you want to imagine you can do a man’s job in the guise of some jumped-up aviatrix, you get what’s coming to you, lady). He’s not just white, our Orrin, he’s white. Oh so very white. White like a sheet of paper. White as snow. Really, really Caucasian. Being white myself, I used to like white people. God damn the bastards now.
Not that I wish Orrin and his kind any sort of misfortune! I wouldn’t. Never. For one thing it wouldn’t be prudent. You see, those of us given to intemperate little outbursts are sometimes taken aback, when a knock comes at the door, to find out that certain untoward sentiments expressed in the direction of prominent American politicians, particularly the US President, are apt to catch the unsympathetic attention of some very unsympathetic governmental authorities. They take this stuff seriously. You write a letter to the editor – or post a blog, say – and a couple of days later the Secret Service pays you a little visit. I don’t know this for sure, but I imagine that the boys from Treasury are BFFs with the RCMP, such that being in Canada is no bar to the arrival of one or another of either State’s grim-faced Dobermans on your doorstep. So you have to be careful. You have to self-censor, just a little.
Thus it falls to me now to wish Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Donald Trump, and the rest of their loveably pasty colleagues in the grand old Republican Party, the most merry of Christmas holidays. I say “Christmas” advisedly, rather than something more anodyne like “Season’s”, since this is a particular sore point with their sort of folk, and one strives to be sensitive. So merry, jolly old Christmas it is, and many more. May their already superannuated hides, so like the wrinkly one sported by their goofy elephant mascot, grace the political scene for countless interminable years to come!
We can all agree, then, that nobody needs to worry about this obscure and very stable denizen of the blogosphere. I ask you. Do I sound crazy? Disturbed? Half a bubble off plumb? Me? That’s just silly. I am in fact serene and philosophical – ask anybody. You won’t find me saying in print that the whole f’ing nest of them should come down with something dire and lingering. No sir. Nor would I, for example, pray for an antiquated Congressional air conditioning system to spray legionella all over Paul Ryan’s office. That would be wrong, just like fantasizing that an ebola-crazed monkey might break out of a certain animal facility in Reston Virginia, you know, the one made famous in The Hot Zone, and somehow contrive to make an intimate acquaintance with the current occupant of the Oval Office. Who could imagine such a thing? That’s crazy. You’d have to be crazy. Lots of reasonable people, despite the obvious imperatives of the present context, might even call that sort of thinking anti-social. Me included. I hasten to make clear.
Honest, as a devotee of the rule of law, I yearn only for a peaceful and entirely constitutional transfer of power via free and fair elections, and I’m even willing to live with it if the most dumb-assed electorate to ever get swindled by a common grifter can’t summon up the wit to make that happen. That’s democracy! Oh sure, grumps like de Tocqueville (a foreigner, and French to boot, so what did he know?) might have worried about the “tyranny of the majority”, but one has to accept where the political chips fall in a free society, even if what you really end up with is the tyranny of the minority, courtesy of the privileged white guys who gave us the Electoral College, and the cunning operatives who gerrymandered the living bejeebers out of most of the nation’s Congressional districts, while suppressing all those non-white voters. Take it in stride, that’s my advice. We’ve been over this before. No good can come of impotent frothing at the mouth, especially if you’re up here in Canada and don’t even get a vote (which gives me something in common with a large slice of the adult American population, but what can you do)? Plus, there remain some scant grounds for hope, and remember, if 2018 is a bust, there’s always 2020. Unless they stop having elections – but let’s not get ahead of our skis here. Breathe.
You should be more like me. I’m practically a Zen master these days. Indeed, my keel is so imperturbably even that I don’t even mind when Orrin (see above) spews something like this from his podium on the Senate floor:
I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves – won’t lift a finger – and expect the federal government to do everything.
Or take this fellow Chuck Grassley, another Republican Senator who wasn’t one of the guys on the Muppet Show:
Chuck got exasperated on some radio show a few days back, and said:
I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.
That Chuck! The only thing that bugged me was how he lumped in a fondness for movies (odd that he didn’t say “the talkies”) with the admittedly evil seductions of booze and women. Geez, Chuck, movies can be wholesome family fare. Look at The Sound of Music, always a holiday favourite. That was a movie. Or The Love Bug. Also a movie. Lots of films reflect good old fashioned values. It isn’t always the subversive environmentalist crap you get from Pixar, which is apt to feature something sappily propagandistic like a loveable robot stuck in a post-apocalyptic world made hellish by rapacious corporations (though that little jingle was great – Buy and Large/ it’s your super-store/ it’s got all you need/ and so much more – love it). No, some movies are OK. They’re not automatically bad, the way women are.
Where was I?
Oh yeah, happy old white men. Sometimes they’re just so pleased as punch, you want to pinch their saggy old cheeks. Maybe you saw them celebrating the massive tax cut they just gave to their rich pals (also white, mostly, except the artificial ones, which actually are pretty much white too) – they were beaming!
And who can blame them? They won, fair and square. I like to win too, and so do you, probably, so you can see why Ryan there, looking ever more incredibly life-like, appears to have just creamed his flannels. What, I’m supposed to vomit at the mere sight of them? Just because they’re ecstatic at what they’ve done? Just because they’re yukking and slapping each other on the backs like a bunch of frat boys who just hazed their latest batch of tormented pledges? Gosh, you need a stronger stomach than that to get by these days! Roll with it. Get into it. Thank-you sir, I say. Thank-you sir, may I have another.
This does, however, bring us back to Orrin, and the inevitable limits to equanimity. Despite all my advice to the contrary, I think it’s defensible if you wept, screamed and bled nasally when he had this to say in front of the crew there on the White House lawn:
Mr. President, I have to say you are living up to everything I thought you would. You are one heckuva leader, and we’re all benefiting from it… We are making headway. This is just the beginning. If you stop and think about it, this President hasn’t even been in office for a year and look at all the things he’s been able to get done. I hope we get behind him every way we can and we’ll get this country turned around in ways that will benefit the whole world… We are going to keep fighting. And we are going to make this the greatest presidency we have seen, not only in generations, but maybe ever.
You might find this hard to believe, so I attach video evidence:
Ex-Republican Charlie Sykes, a regular talking head on MSNBC, described Orrin’s fulsome knob-polishing as “the ritualized fluffing of the Orange God King”, a turn of phrase so delightfully apt that it’s all I can do to resist taking credit for it.
So yeah, I guess at that point you could reasonably stop being as cool and collected as me, and lose your shit in thoroughly epic fashion. It’s OK. Won’t do you a lick of good, but I get it. Just watch yourself. Mind me now – utter no threats, and banish all evil thoughts. You don’t want anybody getting the wrong idea. Oh, and just to be careful, when you’re out and about do what I do, and holler “Hooray for the white men!” every now and then. Safety first.
If you need help biting back the rage and despair, here’s a picture that shows how best to comport yourself when The Man might be looking: