Monday, October 26, 2020

Will we escape from The Trump Zone?


      On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, the Cubs won the World Series. The following Tuesday, Nov. 8, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
      Ever since, those two events have been paired in my mind.
      A Cubs championship was deferred for so long, it began to seem impossible. Maybe it was impossible. So it happening anyway, despite being impossible, somehow broke reality, ripping the fabric of space-time. We were all sucked through the tear, into an alternate universe, and have been trapped there ever since.
     That would explain a lot. Why we now stumble through this weird, 4th dimension. Like the child in that Twilight Zone episode “Little Girl Lost,” who vanishes through the portal that opens up in her bedroom. Or rather, like her father, desperately trying to find her, plunging into that skewed world, everything distorted, spinning, wrong.
     Ditto for our plane of existence, where the president’s personal lawyer can appear in a Hollywood movie, sprawled on a bed with his hand down his pants, and not only does it fail to shock, but it makes perfect sense.
     Like in “Alice in Wonderland” — of course, there is a large contemptuous caterpillar on a toadstool — this is the place where the talking caterpillar shows up. And of course the caterpillar is smoking a hookah. What else would a caterpillar smoke?

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  1. An intriguing take on our current situation, political, medical and economic. I wouldn't be surprised if Melania or more likely Ivanka were to start shouting on Fox TV, "Off with their heads! Off with their heads!."


  2. Even before the Cubs won, the question was being asked of liberal Cubs fans "If you could only have one outcome you liked, would you choose the World Series victory or Hillary winning the presidency." I, for sure, was of the opinion that I'd let the drought in the Friendly Confines continue, if those were the only choices. Regardless, I was thrilled when they won and the following week was very special. Uh, the abruptness of the end of the celebratory period was rude, indeed.

    The confluence of those two events -- the Cubs' World Series win and what happened the next Tuesday -- really was remarkable. Here's something from 2016 that I came across recently: On Oct. 11, 2016, after they’d each won their respective first playoff series, but the idea of both making it to the World Series was highly unlikely, Nate Silver tweeted: "A Chicago Cubs vs Cleveland Indians World Series is now slightly more likely than a Trump presidency." Yet both those very unlikely things came to pass. Which helps explain why "The sane Americans today are terrified." Hopeful, but terrified.

    I took the Cubs and Indians both being eliminated from the playoffs this year, without a win between them, to be a good sign in that regard...

  3. This column gives me hope. In all my life, I don't remember waking up to a worse day than November 4, 2016. My heart *broke*. I didn't speak or eat for days. I was soul-sick, and four years later it's so much worse. It's absolutely like having woken up in the wrong timeline, or in a game where many of the characters are only *almost* the people I know. Now we’re in the endgame, with the opportunity coming back round at last, and I'm experiencing some serious post-traumatic panic. We get this one window, this one shot to get out of this Nazi-MadMax-Evangelical-HandmaidsTale-Batshit-Jumanji bullshit. I can't conceive what the moment of truth will look like, but I'll be there, by the Power of Grayskull and all that's holy. I’d hoped we wouldn't elect another old white guy, but Biden's not a fucking nazi and can string more than two words together without cementing his place in hell, so I'm ALL IN. I’m preaching to the choir but vote already, you glorious, righteous patriots, you. Love you all. Stay safe and stay strong. Drag all your people to the polls, and come hell or high water we'll make it out.

    1. While it didn't leave me speechless, the 2016 election left me wondering how America elected a president who'd bragged about intruding on his teen beauty pageant contestants to see them naked. I'm no prude, but I have a problem with Peeping Toms. Now that we know Herr Drumpf was willing to terrorize refugee parents and allow thousands of citizens to die needlessly, I fear his reelection would be an indictment on the soul of the American people. If I were a praying man, my plea would be that laurelei can speak and smile next Wednesday.

  4. p.s. I obviously didn't actually look up the actual date of the actual worst day of my life, because I'm actually that absurd on a regular basis. <3

    1. No worries. I'd be tempted to point out that it's in the opening of the column you're responding to. But then I messed up the date of the Cubs' victory, in the print edition, and I CHECKED. As to how I did that, well, that feels par for the course as well.

  5. Lifelong Die-Hard Cub Fan (since 1960), even after moving to Cleveland in 1992. The Cubs brought me decade after decade of sadness and misery and pain. Saw a lot of chokes and collapses over the years. I thought I would be ecstatic when they finally won it all, but the circumstances of 2016 muted my feelings of elation and delight.

    Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the Cubs did end up playing Cleveland in the World Series (something my wife and I joked about for years, and agreed would never, ever happen). So I had to curb my enthusiasm, mostly for my wife's sake.

    Would have been a lot more least for me...if the Cubs had faced (and beaten) somebody else. Anybody else. I was not nearly as overjoyed as I otherwise would have been, because one of our hometowns had to lose...again. So now the longest draught without a title belongs to my wife's native city. As of 2020, it's now 72 years and counting, for Cleveland.

    As for the gun to the head of America, it's our own gun pointed at our own temple, with our own finger on the trigger. China didn't do it. Russia didn't do it. Trump is the symptom of our sickness, not the disease. We have been sick for a very long time. This is our last chance to avoid suicide. If we blow this chance, the crazy orange uncle--screaming "Made it, of the world!"--takes the bus over the cliff and into the abyss, and our 250-year experiment goes KA-BOOM.

  6. Absolutely love "patriotic Americans, steely eyed in their determination ... to begin squeegeeing off the slime of their four year embrace with Trump"


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