A long time ago, in that great and expansive past history of the slide trombone, at least two things were foretold:
The trombone (sackbut, serpenty-slide, etc.,) will be made into something called a “video game” featuring a trombonist with a giant head. This game will be played even by people who do not play the trombone, and lo, even by people who have no real interest in playing a real trombone. Even further lo, this game shall sound much weirder than a real trombone, with slide accuracy that shall have real trombonists everywhere shaking their heads, not in a good way, even though hitting slide positions is apparently part of the whole point of the game.
Trombonists will, well into the future, get together and talk about which slide oil, lubricant, etc., really works the best (on real trombones).
You’re holding it wrong, dude.
The first prophecy was always going to be a little tricky, and frankly it seemed like a long shot, but here we are. Welcome to the future! It’s just starting now. The second? Easy. Fulfilled for years. The problem, of course, is that no one will ever be able to really decide which slide lube works the best. Oh sure — people will get close. Here in the technical vastness of the future, many say the best is Yamaha Slide Lubricant, which in the more immediate past was known as Yamaha Slide Oil. Some “swear by” Slide-O-Mix, or “Rapid Comfort.” But when it comes to slide action, will there ever be any real comfort?
Here it is: a post after more than a year. What possible explanation could there be? There was a pandemic, then Donald Trump, a fake leader who completely mishandled a pandemic. This unfortunate situation might have been bad enough, but there was something more, something that made things even worse: deluded Trump supporters.
Sure, it may seem harsh to call some Trump supporters deluded, but these people are out there. Some portion of the American populace got completely fooled when they elected Trump, believing even his sloppily crafted mythos. Next, a smaller portion of those same people got fooled (again) by some random person who self-applied the handle “QAnon.”
The internet has always been good at spreading nonsense. The World Wide Web (See fake, but oddly prescient, history here), which added pictures and graphics, accelerated the whole thing, even when people were using dial-up connections at home. On the other hand, America Online might have slowed things down a bit. You had to pay for it . . .
But then eventually everybody got broadband, or super-fast dial-up without dialing up. Amazon! You can buy things online! Later, Facebook appeared, or America Online without having to pay. The business model became “engagement,” which in turn could get you to buy things. What price engagement? Thanks to some technological vision, computers, or what used to be called “cell phones,” got small enough you could fit them in your hand.
That was it; all the necessary parts assembled. The super-charged nonsence train left the station on a collision course with, well, whatever democracy we had left.
Siri, no, not the first. Computers have been speaking for a while now, maybe even longer than you thought. This recording is from 1963, and originated from an important technology company of the time, Bell Labs:
The computer sings the song “Daisy.” Remember this from somewhere?
Just like the headline says, Happy 2018. It’s now been nearly a year since Donald Trump entered the White House. By Trump’s own design, each day, then each week, of his administration has featured mind-blowing, (and too numerous to list), antics, lies, and plain old bullshit. Trump believes — just like anyone with good reality show TV experience — that these antics are absolutely necessary to try and “get over” with 30-something percent of the American People. It’s all made worse by the fact that Donald J. Trump knows he’s absolutely guilty of everything.
Of course he denies it, but he knows he’s guilty of Russian collusion and almost every other charge directed his way, and it’s eating away at him. Trump is a haunted man, but unlike on the old Perry Mason TV show, he’s not going to just suddenly confess everything in court. (Notice how the trombones sometimes enter when whoever-it-is confesses?)
Some mental health care experts have offered that maybe President Donald J. Trump is losing it. Of course he is. He’s in one of the most uniquely ridiculous situations a citizen of the United States could possibly find themselves in: Unintentional Presidency of the United States. Trump is completely out of his depth. Daily, he tries to deal with subjects beyond his grasp while simultaneously possessing an ego which self-labels “stable genius.” This, dear friends, is where bluff and bluster meet their limits. Or is it?
Sure, you could write this plot into a movie and some people would believe it. Some people would, which is how he got elected in the first place.
Yeah, I know. This space hasn’t been updated in a long time. I may have been distracted by something.
Sharper Image? Should have gone with Skymall? Trump steaks!
Some time ago, I wrote this article about the Republican party’s seemingly irrational communiques to those people we affectionally know as the American People.
You don’t have to read it again. Here’s the gist: a (non-healthy) amount of what Republicans rely on to maintain political viability and power is actually play-acting, designed to mislead, frighten, outrage, and/or “lather-up” an electorate already made vulnerable by their own unwillingness to pay attention. Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances, and in the case of the Republicans, the circumstances are often pretty imaginary. In the preceding years, President Obama has taken the brunt of many of these fanciful scenarios, designed to “prove” that anything he’s associated with is a disaster. The facts tend to tell a different story.
From a short distance, Donald J. Trump looked on all the Republican vaudeville enviously. He’s a guy who has always truly loved to get in on the act, and soon did as one of the original “birthers.” As a young man, he inherited a lot of money. Like the fictional but likable Elmer J. Fudd, the real but obnoxious Donald J. Trump had more than enough money for a mansion and a yacht. Consequently, he got bored easily and needed something to do, so he built up an image of himself as a master businessman/deal maker. True? Nope, but if Donald J. Trump has proven anything in the course of his career, it’s that — provided you start with enough money — you can fail sideways by “leveraging” a ridiculous, gold-leafed, classy-with-a-k, brand. Trump did the book. Trump did the board game. Trump did the vodka and steaks. Trump did the Reality TV. Trump did the completely unaccredited university. Trump even did the fictional comedy chicken joint:
Last summer, a Trump run for the presidency seemed jokey. Trump came down an escalator. He hired supporters. Trump was a windy bozo, and was compared to every other windy bozo — your uncle being loud and embarrassing at the family reunion, your uncle being loud and embarrassing at Walmart, your uncle, loud and embarrassing on the back stoop drinking beer while complaining about all the foreigners ruining everything.
Now, as we head into the summer of 2016, Donald J. Trump is the (presumptive) nominee of the GOP. In the beginning, there were 16 other Republican contenders. 16! One by one, Trump dispatched them all with a witch’s brew of braggadocio, nonsensical school-yard taunts, xenophobia, and misogyny. He did it without really being a politician, and without really being a Republican. Trump crashed a party that, while managing to stay pretty old, quit being grand around 1865. It’s morning in America now — there’s a weird smell no one can identify, and red solo cups are strewn everywhere.*
*Don’t worry, though, Donald J. Trump has more than enough money to cover the cost of those red solo cups, I will tell you that.