Monday, November 7, 2016

Stormy Tuesday or.. Rendering to Caesar

Garrison Keillor wrote, among other things, in a brief letter to Mr. Trump, that what he -Trump - would really say to his rallies, if he was capable of the self-knowledge this statement requires, is simply this:

"I love you to death and when this is over, I'll have nothing I want."

It was not mean, but was almost a painfully accurate glimpse of the perpetually striving person wearing that oh so awful hat. Granted, there is always the chance that I've read more into the words of this prophet than will most. I don't think so, only because he didn't go in for the kill. Instead, Keillor went in for the most ephemeral but real place that connects us all: the place in which all lies are exposed, all ambition not for the highest good of all obliterated beneath the harsh glare of unbridled ambition.

Sam Kinison used to do a great bit about the guy who worked at the donut shop being a potentially dangerous individual. Sam acted out a man at his breaking point slamming ingredients together as his clenched jaws spoke this phrase over and over, "I'm not what Daddy wanted. I'm not what Daddy wanted."

It got huge laughs. Comedy is truth taken to absurd levels and everyone could readily imagine, in the benign role of confectionery maker, a wild rage based on critical judgment from his earliest years. It was crazy. But, to steal a punchline from a totally opposite joke, we could see his house from there...

Putting those same words in Trump's voice, the madness escalates. Instead of donuts, imagine the fast conveyor belts of "Make America Hate Again" - oops, make that "Great Again". (Although, really, they might be interchangeable here.)

To those who've been serenading me with their hatred of either candidate, a question. Or two...

First, for Trump loathers. Look. I get it. I reeaallly do. But what solutions do you offer that aren't mirror versions of that hate? Or, equally disturbing, what solutions aren't condescending to the point of arousing abject fury? I'm talking to you, Podesta fans, et al.)

And to those who despise HC: Granted, it's odd - hypocritical, even - that I find one form of corruption more palatable than another. Yes, it's beyond ironic that I prefer her brand of grotesque treachery to his, but there you are. I have never pretended to be balanced.

It's moot anyway, where I'm concerned: I live in California which is pretty blue, as states go, so, technically, my vote won't even matter.

I recall being pissed, however naively, at people who voted for Ralph Nader several years ago, thinking they'd missed some giant point that now escapes me entirely.

Before that? The days of my innocence. Ah, youth!

Mama says I was born this way - to quote Madame Gaga - but I actually knocked on doors, passing out Andrew Young campaign buttons when I was eleven. Years-old. At 14, I sent my hard-earned babysitting money to George McGovern. Looking back at such earnestness, I love that kid.

Then, for years afterwards, I tiptoed to the left of that and did so organically, even adorably, especially considering where I lived, my lack of formal education, etc. I was a blue collar blue stater before we had labels for such things.

Now, with this nutty craving I have to love people exactly for who they are, no matter how scary or even ghastly I find their credo - it's hard to be strident about anything political, especially knowing how little differences really exist between the two supposedly different parties.

But this election year became toxic fast. An awful virtual bile, as thick as the stuff in the Brea Tar Pits bubbles up without ceasing...

Damn. And with the quagmire, a quandary: It's damned hard to love bigots, but unless I do, I am no different. Hating haters is stepping in the same pile of excrement twice and bragging about it both times.

Btw, my friends, please believe me when I say that the thoroughness of this conviction is terribly inconvenient. Just because I ask WWJD?? doesn't mean I high dive without shrieking into the deep end of loving my enemy as myself.

I owe this unsettling epiphany not to the bigots themselves, but to something that happened several years ago at a Hollywood party right before Obama's first term...

Some unctuous - sigh, yes, fellow - Hollywood liberals were murmuring about possible outcomes. Then I overheard someone fretting about other Democrats not understanding the importance of Obama being elected. It took me a moment to realize who they meant by 'other': They were talking about the unenlightened, dare I say it?/Those unhip Democrats living between NY and LA. As if people who regularly dined on Kraft Mac 'n Cheese (which I have yet to turn down in any quantity) were incapable of the depth, breadth, height of their own comprehension of that historic election.

I've often imagined any one of the New Testament authors wrestling with adding one sentence which would have added so much to that book: "Jesus laughed until big fat tears rolled down His face."

As Judy Tenuta would say, "It could happen."

When I think about the crowd He ran with, cuisine limitations notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure He would be right next to me when the macaroni and cheese was doled out. And somehow, despite what the horrendous, hubristic, sanctimonious religous leaders say He would do, I think, if asked who he'd vote for, He'd just smile and grab a Classic Coke to wash down the cornbread.

(And don't even tell me, He'd drink Pepsi. Some things are fighting words.)

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