Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016


How does a snot-nosed red head, son of a Fred and a
Scotswoman, dropped in the middle of a
Not rotten spot in Jamaica, Queens, a family of means
Privilege and class
Grow up to be a narcissistic dumbass?

Fred, son of German immigrants, collecting rents
From the Jews, thought the news
Of his German ancestry
Might not agree with their views
So he claimed to be from Sweden
And the tenants acceded.

And each day, the kid broke rules, was a real trouble maker.
Went to military school to be a mover and a shaker.
Studied real estate at Wharton, became a consummate faker.
Missed the Vietnam War, though he’s certainly no Quaker.

Put some dough in a show ‘cause he thought it’d be fun.
It flopped so he dropped it. Joined Liz Trump and Son.
Plenty of real estate that he had to run.
Learned the art of the deal, when all’s said and done.

Well, the word got around, they said “This guy is insane, man”
No one believed he had a serious campaign plan
Flying around in an unregistered plane, man.
Giving himself a bad name. What’s your name, man?

Donald Trump, Republican
My name is Donald Trump, Republican
And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, it’ll be great…

Friday, June 17, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Things That Take Longer Than Buying a Gun

Buying a gun takes less time than:
  • Buying a lottery ticket
  • Boarding an airplane
  • Toast
  • Jogging
  • Getting a Latte Macchiato
  • Downloading email to your phone
  • Waiting for a Domino’s pizza
  • Waiting for the bus
  • Frying an egg
  • Taking a selfie

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love ...

I’m too old and much, much too cynical to be anyone’s fanboy. I’m a curmudgeon, not a groupie. Especially for a 30-something hip-hop theater artist in New York.

And yet …

And yet everything I see, hear or learn about Lin-Manuel Miranda makes me admire the guy more. For those of you returning from off-planet, Miranda is the author, lyricist, composer and star of the Broadway hit, “Hamilton”, which just won a slew of Tony Awards, including Best Musical. In his first acceptance speech, he had to convey his gratitude toward his wife and son, his fellowship with his company, his appreciation of the whole theater world, and his horror and reaction to the mass shooting that took place hours earlier in Florida.

Of course, anyone in this situation would compose a sonnet, but Miranda’s was so powerful, so moving, that it will leave a lasting mark in acceptance speech history. (I’m not completely sure there is any acceptance speech history, but this could start it.)

In this sonnet, the most memorable line is

And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love …

(More succinctly, and + (love is)*7 + love)

After x years on this planet, I’ve settled on two definitions of love. One is “the state of being part of something larger than yourself.” The other is “the feeling that you’re part of something larger than yourself.” I’m not sure which is correct, but I don’t think it matters.

We all crave that sense of belonging … of being a part of something, instead of just a lonely individual eating Chinese take-out in front of the TV watching re-runs of F*R*I*E*N*D*S and wishing we had some. Romantic love is being part of a relationship of two or more consenting adults. Patriotic love is being part of a nation … a bunch a people who share a common
set of beliefscultureheritagevaluescurrency. Familial love is … well, you get the idea.

The point is, that feeling of belonging … of being part of something bigger, whether it’s family or community or a romantic relationship or whatever … is what makes us what we are. It’s that elusive, fragile, precious bond that elevates us from humans to humanity. To borrow from the 1960’s Beatles’ lyric, all you need is love.

Now back to our regularly scheduled curmudgeon.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Fake's Progress

If you’re a fan of “Star Wars,” you’ve probably noticed that every planet in the galaxy, whether desert, lush or frozen (the only options in the Lucas universe), seems to have at least one place where travelers of all species can hang out and drink. Whether it’s the Cantina on Tatooine or Maz Kanata’s tavern on Takodana, anyone with something resembling a butt and something resembling a mouth is able to sit and imbibe with other special effects in relative peace.

This indicates a very advanced civilization, because in actual human history, every time members of one race, group or tribe encounter members of another, the result is always hostility, violence and subjugation. Every time.

But historically, we keep expanding the scope of us in our us vs them struggles. First it was families or klans. Then tribes and villages. City states. Nation states. All leading up to the world wars, pitting alliances against each other. There’s a clear trend toward taking an increasingly broader view of our cultural identity.

Likewise, we’ve gone from believing the universe revolves around us, literally, to seeing ourselves as part of an ecosystem, one of many, in which many organisms and natural forces help to keep the balance that sustains our … and other … lives.

So there is such a thing as human progress. There is a right side of history.

And Trump isn’t on it.