Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Mad times

Al Franken was joking, dammit! Shortly after Trump's disastrous rally in Tulsa, Al Franken issued the following tweet:
6,200 people at Trump rally in Tulsa. Acts that had bigger crowds at the same venue in 2019:

- Sha Na Na
- The Pips (w/o Gladys Knight)
- Loverboy
- John Tesh
- The West Virginia Touring Company of La Traviata
The jest quickly traveled throughout the internet -- and near as I can tell, absolutely everyone has taken it seriously. It's a joke, son.

There is no West Virginia Touring Company performing La Traviata or any other opera. I could find no online trace of any grand opera productions in West Virginia or by West Virginians. There are two West Virginia theatrical concerns with "opera" in their names, but they specialize in Broadway musicals such as The Sound of Music and Shrek: The Musical.

(In case you're curious, La Traviata is a work by Verdi best known for the drinking song in the first act. It's one of those tunes that you've heard even though you can't remember where you heard it.)

Iconoclasm at the expense of power. Why do I predict a Trump victory in 2020, despite the polls favoring Biden? Shit like this.

Look, I despised Andrew Jackson long before despising Andrew Jackson become fashionable -- before, in fact, the birth of most of the people who tried to pull down that statue. But there's a difference between a civilized debate and mob madness.

We're seeing Taliban-level fanaticism here. We're seeing the sort of barbarism that makes me despise the memory of Herny VIII as much as I despise the memory of Andrew Jackson. Eventually, this insanity will repulse the majority of the American public.

These outbursts serve Trump. You may argue that street violence and acts of rage are morally justifiable, but all such arguments are beside the point. One must concentrate on the election, and on the electorate. Political theater has political consequences.

Understand this: Donald J. Trump will pick the next two Supreme Court vacancies. The Federalist Society will have complete sway over all other judgships. The second term will be worse than the first. We may see war. Depression. Revolution. An end to the republic.

The Democrats may be in a good position at the moment, but I predict that they will suffer from the mightiest backlash in political history. That backlash will begin soon -- perhaps today.

I would not be even slightly surprised to learn that acts of violence -- not to mention self-defeating slogans such as "Defund the police" -- are being covertly orchestrated, or at least aided, by zealots who want race war.

So far, Biden has been able to float above it all. Eventually, he will be forced to answer the hard and inescapable questions. He'll be asked: "Do you support the mobs tearing down statues?" He'll be asked: "Do you agree with those who ostracized J.K. Rowling because she used the term women instead of people who menstruate?" I'm sure that you can think of several other no-win posers of this sort.

Biden -- an elderly man who isn't exactly the most verbally adept candidate in history -- won't be able to dance his way out of this predicament. He will need to respond yes or no when asked these simple "yes or no" questions, and either answer will hurt him politically. If Biden says no, the progressive purists will eviscerate him. If he says yes, he'll alienate the purple-state rural voters he needs to woo.

That's why I believe that Trump has this election in the bag. And when he wins, he'll say: "Thanks, progressives! Thanks, gender dysphorics! Thanks, feminists! Thanks, African Americans!"

(He'll say those words to himself. Not out loud.)

I fully expect to see Donald Trump, the most loathsome political figure of my lifetime, take the oath of office for a second time. God only knows what horrors will be unleashed.

In 2016, I thought that democracy was in peril because the right had gone insane. Now I believe that democracy is doomed because the left has gone as insane as the right.

Final note: Although lefties are doing everything they can to lose this election, some hope remains: The Lincoln Project is running ads that are genuinely effective. Are Republicans the only people in this country who still know how to campaign?
This is how you know when you are getting old, a fogey.

La Traviata has more to recommend it than the drinking song.
Hey, I'd have preferred to write a long post just about La Traviata, including a long paragraph praising the sumptuous loveliness of Carolyn Seymour in "The Ruling Class."
Scott Horton's blog at Harper's Online was called "No Comment". It seemed that between posts on torture, the CIA, and the end of civilization, he'd review classical music and classic art. Maybe you should take a page from his book. I'm more aware of those things than most bio majors are, but I could certainly benefit from your wisdom.

I am the only true anonymous. Accept no substitutes!

(That's Scott Horton the journalist, not Scott Horton the Libertarian radio personality.)
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