Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Sore loser

Stag at Sharkey's, by George Bellows (Cleveland Museum of Art)

    “Honey, I forgot to duck.” 
     Many people credit that line to Ronald Reagan, who supposedly said it to his wife Nancy after being shot on March 30, 1981.
     But as was often the case with Reagan, he was just re-packaging popular culture from his youth. In this case, what Jack Dempsey said to his wife after losing to Gene Tunney in Philadelphia in 1926.
     "What happened?" Estelle Taylor wailed.
     "Honey..." etc., Dempsey said.
     “From that day on, the gallant loser was a folk hero whose fame never diminished,” Red Smith wrote when Dempsey died in 1983. Dempsey was far more popular than Tunney, who beat him. Twice.
      "Gallant loser." Now, there's a concept you just don't see bruited around much in 2020.  When did showing class in defeat go out of style? Because among the long line of pejoratives that can be accurately added to Donald Trump's name—liar, bully, fraud, con man, traitor, adulterer, cad, hypocrite, imbecile—the most recent should be among the most damning: the sorest loser ever, like so much about the man, is contrary to decades if not centuries of American values, in this case, all notions of sportsmanship, dignity, fair play. 
     Not a drop of grace, style, pizzazz. Just bracing himself in the doorway, squinching his eyes closed and screaming that he ain't going. No no no no NO!
     He will go, of course. Because he lost.  Not that he admits it. No, we get this constant whining sound. This shriek. It's like a sawmill. It's unbearable. Yet millions smile and nod. That's our guy! Loser McLoser, bitchin' about losing.
      I mean, if he wants to be president so much, you'd think he'd spend these last few weeks being president. It isn't as if there's no pressing work to be done. Instead he's on the toilet, tweeting.
      Really. Imagine if other people started imitating Trump. Sports would grind to a halt, first of all. Every play appealed, every call questioned. The cheers for every victor would be drown out by the howls of the defeated. No official would ever leave office, no county commissioner replaced without leaving claw marks on his desk. It would be awful. 
     Just this one situation is awful. Doesn't he have any friends? Obviously not. 
     I guess 40 percent of Americans don't care. They're like parents of a newborn. The spittle dribbling down the onesie is beautiful. They fall asleep at night smiling to the lullaby of his infantile mewls of "No fair!" The 2-year-old tantrums of "rigged election." The fact free farting of conspiracy crap?  C'mon folks. Discipline your child.
     I've had years to wrap my head around it, but it's still difficult. Our troubled yet in some ways still glorious democracy. Thrown over for this. This crybaby. It's like trading your house on the lake for a cardboard box on Lower Wacker Drive. 


17 comments:

  1. I really would like someone with a drone to equip it with a spray can of bright fluorescent orange paint & paint the word LOSER in 20 foot tall letters under that disgusting sign on his building at 402 N. Wabash!
    Even better, also write SORE above his sign!

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    1. Well, Clark St., this ain't that, but it's close. Some feisty folks took the opportunity to project "LOSER" on his golf course in Scotland:

      https://twitter.com/ByDonkeys/status/1331671167762108419

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    2. Well, not in Chicago, but a similar idea, Clark St. Some folks projected "LOSER" onto his golf course in Scotland, with a "YMCA" soundtrack to accompany it:

      https://twitter.com/ByDonkeys/status/1331671167762108419

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  2. Thanks for this, especially the Stag at Sharkey's image. The "sport" to for these times is professional wrestling - this presidency is practically its apotheosis. I have no idea how a defeated face leaves the ring, but that's where I'd look to predict Dolt45's exit.

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    1. From the Cleveland Museum of Art website:

      George Bellows, the artist, was raised in Columbus, Ohio, and attended Ohio State University where he played baseball and basketball. Bellows was no stranger to Sharkey’s Athletic Club, a raucous saloon with a backroom boxing ring, located near his studio.

      Founded by Tom “Sailor” Sharkey, an ex-fighter who had also served in the U.S. Navy, the club attracted men seeking to watch or participate in matches. Because public boxing was illegal in New York at the time, a private event had to be arranged in order for a bout to take place. Participation was usually limited to members of a particular club, but whenever an outsider competed, he was given a temporary membership and was known as a “stag.”

      The original 1909 canvas is fairly large--three feet by four feet--and it has has been part of the CMA permanent collection since 1922.

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  3. As American's our actions and practices rarely met our ideals, but at least it was there as our aspiration. Fair play. Equal Justice. And doing what was right. Even hard work was glorified.
    Now it seems all of those things are only for the suckers. We are now glorifying con men. Rockefeller was a thief and a bully, but he made his children give to charity and taught them frugality. Probably half B.S. - but it was a way to glorify the good values while glossing over the capitalist thug that he was. Now we would sanctify him for his greed. It is no longer How you got it, only that you get it - and by stepping on as many people as possible. I understand that in some small measure that philosophy has always been our truth, but now it is our aspiration as well.

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  4. Great article. I am quite concerned about the call-to- arms for January 6th. The Trump Cult is gearing up.

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  5. In high school doing competitive sports the worst thing one could call and opponent was 'sore loser.' But that was long ago.

    Tom

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    1. Twenty years ago, when the Soo-preems handed the victory to Bush, the GOP sneered and snarked and called the Gore/Lieberman team "Sore/Loserman." But now the horseshoe is on the other hoof, so to speak. Along with something else beginning with the word "horse"...

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    2. 20 years ago, calling for a recount after a paper thin 537 vote margin was fought with a Dempseyian ferocity by republicans. A recount according to Florida Supreme Court standards was considered an assault on democracy. How soon they forget, how huge the hypocrisy.

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  6. What will they do? Have an unorganized group of misfits with few teeth and fewer brains go toe to toe with the US Army? That would be interesting.

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  7. "I mean, if he wants to be president so much, you'd think he'd spend these last few weeks being president."

    Yep, I'm so surprised that he's taking time to whine and shop around the idea of a coup rather than Presidenting. "If I win I may never see my property – I may never see these places again," Trump said at an August 2016 campaign event. "But because I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go golfing, believe me. Believe me. Believe me, folks."

    And believe him, they did and do.

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  8. i’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I love that you call a spade a spade, Neil. Great blog! A vaccine for Covid and the big baby getting thrown out of the White House with the dirty bath water in January. 2021 is already looking so much better!

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  9. "I mean, if he wants to be president so much, you'd think he'd spend these last few weeks being president."

    He doesn't/never wanted to actually BE president; he just wanted the power of the president. I don't think he even knew going in (since I'm sure he knows nothing of the Constitution) what power he had. Other than the tax break for the rich, he's pretty much done nothing except play golf, hold rallies and whine.

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    1. Oh he did things. Things that have and will hurt the citizens of this country for years to come . The kabuki of his rallies was a dog and pony show meant to distract from his destructive self serving actions. Don't believe he was an inept fool. Another term and we would not recognize this nation.

      Listen to the speech he just gave about how the election was stolen. His desperate desire to maintain power shows he benefited from his position. Him personally. Unless you believe he thinks him remianing in power benefits the country.

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  10. I've read that he has to look out the White House windows every day and see the stage for Biden being built. I take some comfort in that.

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  11. If they had only given him that Military parade he wanted maybe he wouldn’t be so depressed.

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