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Hello, Dali...

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It's been threatening to get out of hand for some decades, and it's finally happened: Every news report -- global, national, local, and personal -- is competing for that rarest of all awards, the Golden MacArthur Oscar Genius Emmy Grant Globe Prize in Massive Surreality.

Life is now like being overdosed on an iffy batch of blotter paper acid, spending the day in a Salvador Dali exhibition featuring peyote hors d'oeuvres and really good wine, then moving right on into a Federico Fellini film fest boasting magic mushroom tapas and too many flavors of seat-side, delivered tequilas and mandatory, last-shot worm-eating ultimatums.  With curry.  And that really hot, yellow Chinese-dragon-mustard that attacks every moist membrane in, on, and around your body.

Yes:  The whole Reality business jumped the tracks some time ago, when The Incoming News shot off the rails at the same time as my health track slipped the surly bonds of Earth and took flight, winging me into the uncertainty of the ER wing. Again, some more.  One more once.

It all gets jumbled together, as most disaster victims will tell you: There are some inexplicable events, then comes perception and a beginning recounting of horrors -- peripheral and central -- as if everything was experienced in a waking dream...

Somewhere in there, at the end, after therapy involving hand-wringing, chin-scratching, wall-bashing, pillow-scrunching, and quite a bit of Kleenex use, there is a final uncomprehending shrug aimed at the universe at large, and a muttered, superstitious incantation of Hell, I dunno, and then, there is some serious drinking (and/or bathing in) some alcohol to be done.

I have no idea where I am in that process, though, as it seems I have been looping the entire constant-disaster-and-recovery cycle since my fifth birthday -- with only the finer details and beverage choices changing much through the decades.

This time out in Surreality Land, however, I do remember Trump promising to break international law and pursue torture with a sweaty vigor Dubya could only admire and aspire to.  I'm sure it was merely coincidence that this was on the same day -- during the little hours o'clock -- that I shambled into the ER with a chest ache from an invisible rhinoceros perched on my left clavicle, nestled into my armpit, making my heart wheeze, from the horn piercing it.

  • Hmmm -- or was that when Mittens Romney showed up, threatening to see The Light at last, ready to abandon and disparage the vulture capitalism so benevolent to his happy-go-lucky garden of green and so beneficial to his fattened family tree, suddenly smearing around the good, caked-on pan-scorch of those fanned financial flames, in order to call a trumped-up, steam-spouting, paunchy blonde kettle black?

Yes, I double-checked with people who were not on EKG leads and volcano-calming sedatives:  Romney, the Pterodactyl of Financial Buggery and Smiling Lies, actually excoriated Trump, the Mini-Trump-Rex of Financial Buggery and Smiling Lies.

  • Meanwhile, my heart timing was being run by an electrocuted, espresso-filled, avant-garde, beatnik jazz drummer with beginning-stage Parkinson's disease, just recovering from a lobotomy, who kept imagining that random beats in the synthesizer bass line would help make it all go down smooooth...

Could it have been during Trump's Hey, could I have a heil salute? episode -- or was that when I found myself experiencing a mini-seizure in which my brain was again mutinying, this time with snickering cancer cells scurrying around, cross-circuiting my language centers, allowing only gibberish -- not like this, but waaaaaay worse -- to be thought, spoken, and written for almost two solid hours?

  • (Meanwhile:  After the industrial-strength blood thinner, the brain paddles, and a boost in the mild-mannering brain agent, Calmittol, its bigger sister, Dammitol, and its little brother, Keppra....)

Or was it when Colin Powell suddenly snapped out of his decades-long coma, looked around, realized what was happening, and attacked the GOP and its candidates for belittling the country and presidency, areas in which he has considerable personal history and hands-on expertise?

Or was that during the trotting out of the Trump-branded water-and-meat infomercial-advertorial-marketeering and speechifying campaign in which there was much beseeching of people to disbelieve how bad Trump University scams and shams really were, as told by horrific stories by former students and by the Better Business Bureau?

  • Maybe The Brain Quake happened when the GOP duh-bates finally gave up all pretense, abandoned its epically-low state of decorum and pretend-statesmanship, simply said The Hell With It, chucked it all in, and gave up all its usual frothy-mouthed oppenent-baiting and me-first chest-beating and finger-waggling for a smarmy, Limburger-cheese-filled roll in the penis-sizing, competitive hay?

It all blurs together, as disaster victims will tell you.  (Some things are simply too painful to imagine, so the mind blocks out everything related to it -- like these rulers, here.  Why all the expanded millimeter scales? These look like clown rulers....)

Somewhere in this time line, Justice Scalia paid his right-wing death tax, opening even more opportunities for GOP lawmakers to fail to earn their paychecks and perks in the employment of the country and its people, by continuing to object to their taking any legislative action whatsoever -- in keeping with their record of the past eight years.

Somewhere in there, Justice Thomas spoke, too, leaving behind stunned, gasping crowds, startled at the sudden speech of a supposed statue, gradually coming to wonder if the miracle of speech meant any clarification or recanting might soon be drawing near, re:  Coke Can v. Pubic Hair.

Somewhere in there,  Trump was baffled again about the KKK and any possible connection he and his family may or may not have had, or thought about or didn't, with that pointy-headed heap of questionable uses of human organs, skin, and hair.

  • Then again, somewhere in there, cheese companies were charged with selling too much wood pulp in their products.  (This likely means we should brace for news that the parquet flooring industry has wrongly included a higher percentage of cheese than is currently allowed in remaining laws and guidelines for wood floors, the rules having been gutted and shredded over time by the International Woody Gas-Milk Triumvirate.)

Somewhere in there, said the polls, Americans probably became unexpectedly nostalgic for the time when Mittens Romney wanted to bugger only 47 percent of the people living in this country, instead of living in a time where every GOP candidate wanted to bugger at least 95 percent of the people living in the country.

  • Somewhere in there, Cape Breton in Canada offered political asylum to Americans if Trump won, and searches for Moving to Canada spiked -- this was after Super Tuesday, I think, but before a Canadian plumber found a $50,000 gold brick in a bathroom.

If you missed it, it was right around the time Sen. Lindsey Graham said the GOP was bat-guano crazy -- and Graham is not exactly the poster boy for sanity.

You may remember -- it was also right about when McDonald's was futzing around with a Happy Meal in which the box was getting all the attention (not the food, heaven forbid), and could be actually folded up into virtual reality goggles.  (The food, presumably, served some purpose in the VR scheme, but it was never specified.)

  • You want more news? (This is a question I remember my docs asking, too, if it's any comfort for you, now, hearing that same question coming from me...)


Ben Carson kept showing up, micro-milking his 15 minutes of infamy right about then, astonishing people with the astounding contradictions of a skilled surgeon inhabiting the same body as a babbling math dunce and logic loss leader, thrilling some folks with the extended glide slope of a suspended-not-stalled-out-but-reanimated-anydaynow-zombie-like-reprise-coda-encore-and-then-finally-doneafterall campaign run.

  • But, then, this was all happening when a 5-year-old girl sneezed out a one-point-five inch safety pin, ending a 6-month-long mystery illness, so you could have missed it.

Wait -- you remember:  It was during that 25-state super-lice outbreak we're still experiencing, too.   But, you could have missed it, I suppose, owing to the major Goats In The News coverage -- to that one goat found in the car at a Home Depot lot (munch, munch) and that other one which headbutted a helicopter, grounding it.  Or, whoops, to a test run in Oregon getting cancelled, after the goat program proved spendier to operate than traditional landscaping methods, and, uh, oopsie, proved to mow down every green thing, whether friend or foe.

But, then, things have been kind of loosey-juicy since we learned about the Cult of the Mango in China, and about one of the Oregon Bandito Trespassers countersuing for $666 million, citing "works of the devil,"  so some wooziness may still apply -- said my docs to me about my leg-heart-and-brain strength, and say I now to you, about the previously firm, and now fuzzy and fluid, horizon line of normalcy surrounding you at the moment.

  • This was when India announced a four-buck smartphone, too, right at the time there was an outbreak of tumbleweeds called "Hairy Panic" in an Australian town, so it could have escaped your attention, along with Trump duking it out in the press with the Pope, named Nicest Person and Best Pope on the Planet in the Last Fifty Years.

Of course, since then, His Holiness -- Trump, I'm saying, as his followers do -- has been egging on the real thing, tactically, in rallies, in true Mini-Mussolini style, trying to replicate his uproariously famous family skit in which he plays a privileged rich kid desperate to emulate the speech patterns of a dim-bulbed Mafia wise guy via the lowest-tier talent rung of an actor fresh off a week-long viewing of bad film noir accents and fractured sentence structures.

  • Dare I create a tone-quote here?  Yes -- yes, I do: Dat's right.  Power -- it's a thing. Evvabody wants some.  It makes stuff go.  Like money.  Money and power, it's all real.  Makes America great again.  Like when Reagan said this.  It was his.  Now, it's mine.  That's power.  And money.  Really real.  Really great.  Can I get a salute now!

Of course, we have bigger fish to lose in the deep fat fryer, of course, like getting back from Cuba the Hellfire missile we sent them by mistake -- sent them in a box, luckily, and not sent to them with the exhaust end lighted up, or the return process would have been less amicable, I'm thinking.

  • This is an Oopsie Award right up there with the U.S. losing -- dropping, that is -- four nukes on Spain 50 years ago, the anniversary of which recently came and went with the same impact as Jeb Bush's engraved gubernatorial gun photo tweet backfiring on him, and on his leaving the GOP clown car and road show.

Maybe, if we play nice, Cuba will send us the lung cancer vaccine they've had for years, along with our errant missile, as a bonus and Welcome Wagon gift.  (After all, if we weren't spending so much on war in this country, we might've had one of those cancer-vaccine thingies too, he said wistfully, in his blissful, medicated fog...)

Which brings to mind another plus, speaking of Bush, fogs, and hot air:  California's massive methane leak was recently plugged around this time, too, although it's a toss-up which will be more environmentally devastating -- the leak itself, or the herd of GOP candidates criss-crossing and double-crossing the nation.

  • Not that their forked tongues brings to mind the story of the Utah woman who found a snake head inside her can of green beans, but, well, you know -- the news you get at your bedside from medical staff, while on sedatives and painkillers, is a lot like the news you get in straight doses from your teevee and ultrawebz while throbbingly sober.
Of course, I understand there is a lot competing for your attention in the world today -- like the naked woman dancing on a big rig in Houston during a freeway traffic jam, and the California woman fleeing in a Scooby-Doo-inspired Mystery Van, or the toddler who called 911 to get some help pulling on her pants, not to mention the uproar over Whole Foods offering upscale, uber-convenient, ultra-lazy, pre-peeled orange slices for the fastidiously time-pressured.

With so much going on, it's super-easy to miss all the actually, no-kidding, insightful, and mindfully important political commentary, such as the remark of a former Perry campaign senior aide noting, "My party is committing suicide on national television," as Trump exorted a crowd toward using more and more extreme forms of torture for alleged terrorists.

  • I mean, I'm not immune to disbelief in the midst of surreal madness.  I live it.  I can woozily admire the convenience of a PICC line and IV ports, and still not really "get" body piercings and now, owing to advances in medical technology and supreme hipster coolism, I can now also not understand non-medical LED implants and other body hacks gaining giddy X-Men-style popularity.

The mix of my meds has even led me to stop reading up on why some psychologists are analyzing Ted Cruz's face in search of answers why people don't trust him and find him disturbingly creepy -- a clear overkill of effort when a cursory glance of Cruz's policies and assorted notions can clearly alarm most normal humans.  (Me, I'm just hoping I don't see his nose and chin touch during a fake grin, or I'm going to need to up the ante on the Dilaudid again, to keep from envisioning him as a Mrs. Doubtfire meets Hansel and Gretl sort of deal.)

  • I keep thinking Americans surely have more sense, but then I remember how many people still try to bring loaded handguns -- with rounds already chambered -- on board airplanes... and then, I add on the recent memory of an American Airlines flight attendant charged with starting a fire on board a flight, and that whole common-sense thing starts to gargle in the back of my brain stem and flow downhill.

Oh, and, Texas academics have been advised to go easy on sensitive topics now that just anygood ol' yahoo or yahooette can bring war surplus siege howitzers onto campus, along with their concealed-carry armored personnel carriers.

  • It's right here on my hand, written in hospital iodine, so I'll remember.  Yeah, go ahead with the new hypo, nurse -- Drill, baby, drill!  54-40 or fight!  Answer th' call for th' Mexico Wall!
  • Long live cobbled-together, half-assed, piece-mealed, pigeon-holed, default-style health care!  Down with the Affordable Care Act!  Let's vote on it another fifty times!
  • No medical care for Americans with less than ten million in net worth!  You betcha!

(Later on, that same day / night / era / rant / reality / surreality / nightmare / daymare:)

At least, here on the Ides of this March, Flying Spaghetti Monster church officials can now perform marriage ceremonies for their pastafarians -- R'amen!  Praise His Noodly Goodness!-- even if Alabama has banned city and towns from raising the minimum wage (seeing as how a minimum wage is not part of the Ten Commandments mounted on the courthouse anywhere)...

Plus, now that there's even more evidence than usual that the planetary food supply for humans is being threatened by endangered pollinators, it's the perfect time to blink our eyes blankly, click our heels together, pivot our focus off that depressing issue and onto Trump's Birther Challenge of the Week!

  • PROMO CUE:  Johnny, please show in this week's candidates, so we can humiliate and FIRE some of them on national teevee, as cheap entertainment for a dumbed-down and cheapened world!
  • [Check local TV schedules for Trump's Birther Challenge of the Week and see who's voted off Original Document Island!]

If any of this is somehow not enough, officials in India are fighting public peeing with "garlands of shame," while a Thai princess left unused a $40,000 custom restroom built just for her, and, inexplicably, Canadians are somehow allowed to host the teevee show Jeopardy, but not become contestants on it.  What a waste of smarts!

  • Seriously, I have no idea how The Onion stays in business, because the amount of pre-parodied (and self-parodying) news is growing by leaps and hurls -- so to speak.

Plus, imagine this:  There is a website dedicated to providing a minority for any occasion. (You might want to let that one soak in some -- like a few dozen layers of well-percolated thought -- before peeling that idea back any further.)

  • And, as NPR and other real-news websites have had to reluctantly admit from time to time, once they realized they had been taken in by bogus news stories:  It was not immediately apparent that this story was intended to be humorous and/or that this story originated at a parody website.
  • This is the nicest, most civilized way I can imagine the following thing being said across our crazed planet:  It's all turned completely bat-crap crazy out there, folks, so, peel off those ruby slippers, 'cause you're on your own and, remember -- run fast and never-ever look back!

Frankly, I have no idea how you tell the difference anymore between reality and not-reality -- no idea at all.  (Even the lawsuit-test is off, because Tea Partyers and other crazy people can seemingly, always, find lawyers who will sue you for absolutely anything, even "works of the devil" or, probably, using the wrong colored sprinkles on your doughnuts and ruining your life, or a sparkly thing that's not bright enough to catch your high-IQ attention span, and thereby, bringing upon you involuntary lifelong ruination and perpetual trauma...)

  • I mean, this stuff comes screaming on in after you, inside your mind, as you lay there, semi-catatonic, rumpled up, and helpless in your recliner or your gurney -- metric tons of drooling, mouth-breathing, eye-twitching, limb-jerking surreality -- and there you are, left to sort it out as best you can, medicated or not, logical or not, aware or not, thoughtful or not, processing well or not.

I mean: Here. Catch. Good luck.

And what to do about Alex Jones and that whole conspiracy theory of Leonard Nimoy having Justice Scalia killed to get Obama an advantage to a Supreme Court nomination?

  • Well, once upon a timeframe, Americans relied on the keen intelligence, sharp insight, and steely-eyed determination of an engaged, thoughtful, civic-minded citizenry to coherently evaluate community challenges and national solutions in order to do the best possible -- and the right -- thing.

Now, it's easier to find fault, lay blame, and take your television's best propagandistic advice and have yourself a cool political armband, a brightly colored ribbon, a magnetic fridge token, a token dictatorial salute, and a nice cold beer -- with or without some of the drugs you may (or may not) want to ask your doctor about being right for you.

To which I can only add:

  • Given the damned side effects of all those drugs -- here with me and there with you -- and the knot-headedness of modern life in general, you may want to get your order in early for a few bonus rounds of Dilaudid, before your pharmacy closes, there at the home / facility / institution that's actually housing you.

(Safety Tip:  Getting some anti-psychotics will help you and your neighbors divine reality, too -- providing you get the Thorazine chaser, or you'll never sleep again, and remain in permanent Freaked Out Neighborhood Alien Watch mode.)

Me, now?  I'm just laughing my primate ass off, waiting for the next heart attack, the next seizure, the final stroke, the last turn of the page on all this fetid, overheated human-American nonsense...

Parting Notes:

  • Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, so -- see you on the other side of this evolutionary back-flip called Life.
  • Superstitious folk, for best service, be sure to bring a tip for Charon -- even though Hell is on sale, and is now all the way down to just $900 grand to buy, service staff still rely on tips to help make ends meet.  --Thank you.
  • I imagine our inevitable political takeaway for the 2016 Prom Season means we'll be going with the King and Queen of Money, Trump and Hillary.  (This should come as no surprise to anyone living in a fully-slush-funded, cutthroat-capitalistic system in which the highest court in the land has high-fived money as speech, given its blessings for swamping the proceedings with floods of untraceable cash, and basically putting Democracy up for blind auction to any and all bidders, foreign and domestic.)
  • Thanks for running, Bernie -- you won on Day One just by running, by taking on the Hillary Coronation Machine, and by saying that, by running, you hoped to help America have some of the conversations it very much needed to have.  You have done so, and we are indebted to you.  Thank you.  -- Live long and prosper, sir.

Oh, and:

  • It was not immediately apparent that this article was intended to be completely factual and/or that this Life we share is anything but a farcical parody all by itself.


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