Post #565 DEATH AND RESURRECTION*

An insightful examination of man’s history from paleolithic to the present, reveals the repetitive existence of a subjective, man- made construct, of death followed by a miraculous resurrection to renewed life. The phenomenon might conceivably, today retain its psychological relevance by reason of  man’s eternal awareness and abiding fear of an irreversible mortality.

The widespread ancient adherents to the worship of the Sun God may have established the original basis for the universally seasonal folkways and perennial observances, persisting today, originally founded on the construct of mortality followed by the resumption of continuing life. The devout Sun God worshippers, perennially observed that shortly after the conclusion of the warm season, the Sun God, became mortally ill, as convincingly evidenced by the falling of leaves and death of vegetation, the decline in temperature, shortening of daily sunlight and an observed scarcity of ambient animals. The sole flora, miraculously surviving were the evergreen trees.

Faithfully and predictably, after a sufficient period of sincere, devotional practice of the relevantly designated rituals, especially including those involving the magically living evergreen trees (now, our traditional Christmas trees), suitable chanting and overtly demonstrated obeisance, the Sun God would   be restored to health; such resurrection clearly evident by the rebirth of  the Earth’s growth of vegetation, the thawing and running of streams and brooks, the return of woodland animals, like the deer and the bunny (Easter) rabbit. The Earth, it seems, was the first protagonist in the theatrical presentation of the eternal and universal theme of death and resurrection.

As parenthetically indicated above, such eternal theme provides, the structurally narrative basis for the religious observance of our Christmas and Easter holidays, but also, for our cinematic and literary traditions; dealing in near death and life, the triumph of good over seemingly implacable evil, the “good guys,” ultimately prevailing over the ”bad guys” and, in the commonplace, cinematic reversal of situational hopelessness to the relief of a happy ending. Dorothy, almost invariably, returns to Kansas.

Instructive examples of non-fictional,  effectively political mortality may be seen in autocratic and repressive regimes like China, North Korea, Russia, Myanmar, as well as several countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Resurrection can be observed in the modern-day German Republic and the peaceful resolution of national and religious hostilities in Ireland. 

In our estimation, the damage suffered, to our Nation, by Donald Trump’s egregious term of office, to  its previous high standing among Nations, to the societally existential, institution of truth, to the office of the American Presidency, itself, to progress toward universal equality for all of our citizens, black, brown and white, to the Rule of Law, and by the fatal results of his malpractice and profound ignorance, in the mishandling of the pandemic, by his publicly demonstrated disregard of the American compass of morality, by his degradation of education and scientific knowledge, by his shameful lack of traditional American empathy for the needy and those in emergent need of  immigration, his opposition to the right of a woman to own and manage her own body free of  dystopian governmental  restrictions, his irresponsible lack of concern and necessary action regarding environmental stewardship and the existential danger to our planet from scientifically proven climate change, his appalling record in the area of race relations and unity, and perpetration of  bigotry and divisiveness, and his attack on the cornerstone of  the architecture of our Republican Democracy. It is a likelihood, that a second term of such poorly run, egregious and unprecedented Presidency, would have been responsible for the eventual destruction of the Constitutional Separation of Powers, the Rule of Law, the free media, any realistic hope for progress in civil rights, and would deal the final, fatal blow to our democracy..

Like the ancient Sun God, whose dire perennial infirmity was regularly reversed by the advent of Spring, we are analogously confident that, analogous to  the dynamics of the original ancient construct of death and resurrection evinced in religion and the arts, our seriously ailing Nation will be fully resurrected and restored to good health, owing to the salubrious institution of the quadrennial Presidential  vote. Its awaited rejuvenation  will be predictably celebrated, considering the successful election of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris to the Offices of the Presidency and Vice-Presidency.

*Apologies for the use of the title to Gustav Mahler

-p.

Post # 564 INSIDEOUS CULTISM

Separate and apart from mainstream America’s appropriate expression of its disinclination to endure a second term of the perversely unprecedented Presidency of Donald J. Trump, there appears to exist, nevertheless, an unmarked underlying threat to our Republican Democracy. The nature of this profound threat is found in a perceived analysis of the perilous character of the slightly less than fifty- percent of  America’s voters, who voted for him. Noticeably and ominously they did so in lockstep and as a solid bloc, determinatively undeterred, by the many undeniably visible demonstrations of Trump’s obvious incapability and blatant immorality, and would doubtless, vote for him again if given the opportunity to do so. Our concern, and, indeed, the thematic basis of this writing is the discerned existential  threat to democratic governance, by the rise of a pernicious new dynamic in that part of the voting population.

We had previously struggled with the troubling conundrum concerning the ascertainment of an acceptable rationale for Trump’s popular support by millions of Americans, in light of his demonstrated incompetence, ignorance and systemic immorality; and we have been left with a disturbing conclusion. On an empirical basis, in view of Trump’s evidently poor performance, it would seem impossible, other than such considered conclusion, to rationally comprehend the inclination of those many millions of Americans who cast their vote for him and seemingly, still support him.

We had, in past writings, ascribed such undeserved support to causes such as, unsophisticated vulnerability to Trump’s demagogic assertions of “ a better life,” and factors as, insecurity motivated tribalism and “groupthink,” to nihilism (especially regarding the subjects of learning and education), to projection and attribution of discontent with life to Washington, compared with tactically misleading misrepresentations that Trump is a crusading outsider, to bigotry and to unsophisticated reductionism.

It may well be that some, or all of our previous attributions have merit, and yet, we have recently come to see another (irrational) basis for his support, which, if true would be, by far, the most concerning. Trump’s incapacity, dishonesty and immorality, apparently, seems irrelevant to his irrational and devoted supporters. We have concluded that the diagnosis of this pathology is otherwise, far reaching and more dangerous.

 It would appear that the bizarre and unprecedented phenomenon is not confined to that part of the population which we have often described as inadequately educated or non- informed, “flat earth” reductionists.  It is shocking to learn that more U. S. Senators have COVID-19 than have been willing to acknowledge that Trump has lost, and Biden has won the election, irrespective of that empirically confirmed truth. America has never experienced such a bizarre, wide-spread denial of the universally reported and accepted results of a Presidential Election; the diagnosis must be owed to an alternative, more serious and markedly different basis from that of our previous attribution.

We would argue that the concept and dynamics of “cultism” has reared its eerie, pathological head in our National Presidential politics. We see no alternative explanation for so great a dedicated support  for an objectively shown, low- class persona as Donald Trump. Despite every rational and empirical indications to the contrary, he is irrationally viewed, by his followers, with true charismatic devotion as a leader, imbued with the power to ameliorate all problems and who possesses the ultimate answers to our National and personal issues. One can, safely, rule out the recent record of his four- years of demonstrated malpractice, ignorance, and criminal behavior,  and proven serial mendacity might only, we conclude, be acceptable by the irrational, self-deprecating phenomenon of cultism; with his millions of  sycophants, respectively motivated by any one, or another, of a variety of nuanced neurotic needs.

We are not in possession of a sufficient educational background, regarding the phenomenon of cultism, except to empirically observe that this aberrant and bizarre facet of neurotic behavior has proven to be far from conducive to society, nor, in any way, useful or acceptable behavior. By its communal context, it minimizes the worth of the demeaned individual and has often resulted in tragic endings. The academic study of cults would properly involve the disciplines of psychology, anthropology, sociology and theology. For  illustration, we would cite a few: “The Manson Family,” “Branch Davidians,” Heaven’s Gate,” and, “People’s Temple”(Jones). More relevant here, may be the historically dangerous cults, involving autocratic heads of State, including, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Mao-Tse Tung and Fidel Castro.

We have, as layman observers, noticed that some of the relevant factors may be, general dissatisfaction with life, a neurotic need for a belief system, and, as well, as the existence of certain diagnosable personality disorders. These troubled people surely comprise some fertile ground for the implantation of cultism. However, we would  earnestly hope that, in the interest of preserving our democracy, the aberrative behavior of  such a large mass of  these apparently “hypnotized” eternal worshipers of the disgraceful and egotistical, Donald Trump, will, sooner than later, be looked at by those whose education has focused on the dangerous and unhealthy phenomenon of cultism.

If our deeply concerned diagnosis of cultism is accurate, the imminent danger to our republican democracy is no less than tragically existential. Unless such diagnosed pathology is summarily recognized and dealt with, educationally, legally or otherwise, the Nation’s historic aspiration toward a truly representative, democratic government, (by and for the people) and expressly so construed  in the architecture of our Constitution, will otherwise be completely frustrated and entirely undermined.

Perhaps one possibly useful solution would be (as posited in our prior writings on various subjects) the legislation of a prerequisite requirement that all candidates for Presidential nomination, undergo a non-political examination as to capability and societally acceptable persona. The considerations requisite to acceptability for the elevation to, arguably, the World’s highest position, the President of The United States, and leader of the free world is, inarguably, at least as necessary as the regularly required job interview mandated for  applicants for more mundane employment.

-p.

Post # 563 THE COVET VIRUS**

A number of botanical research scientists claim that its origin was from this Spring’s bloom of the Rose of Sharon, while others of the flora-discipline theorists argue that the etiology of the new virus stems from the roiling of this year’s fresh viscous sap in the Nation’s pine trees. There is a superabundance of divergent theories, one school, consisting of biologically oriented pathologists, adheres to the theory that the new microscopic organisms are the ultimate chemical residue of the recently killed Coronavirus, the source of the pandemic recently eliminated. Another group attributes the phenomenon to subtle heliographic changes resulting from a suspected trauma to the paleolithic undisturbed, surface of the Moon, created by the U.S. 20th Century moonwalks.  Whatever the provenance or medical etiology of this latest, rare, unknown and highly infectious micro- organism may be, it is bizarrely and inarguably in complete contrast with past viral epidemics in that, by some unknown bio-dynamic, it has proven to be a salubrious and welcome addition to  humanity.

It is claimed by some reports, that the disease was first noticeably presented in Des Moines, Iowa. In the midst of a boring and unimpressive game of checkers with his next-door neighbor, Mr. Silus McSwine, the severely arthritic town grump, suddenly and without previous indication, jumped up, yelling, ”whoopie,” and then, “hotcha” and hobbled over as quickly as possible to passionately kiss his aged, odoriferous and mangy hound dog. On the East Coast, there were no less than twelve reported sightings of tenants, lovingly, hugging and kissing their landlords, plus and an anecdotal report of a New York veteran taxi driver, stalled in heavy traffic, kissing a traffic policeman. Within a period of less than ten days following the advent of the disease, national media reported a virtual pandemic of observed, universal and unaccounted for clinical instances of mutually spontaneous smiles and embraces between total strangers on the Nation’s streets, and places of public assembly, such as public parks, museums, movie theaters and concert halls.

Quickly responding to the unusual and unprecedented developments, the U.S. Center for Disease Control dutifully and hastily, assured the American Public, that it is “working 24-7” to ascertain the nature and potential of the mysterious infection, which, according to its microscopic appearance and universally virulent spread, has been generally ascribed to be a viral phenomenon. The learned and authoritative, Dr. Anthony Fauci, in his customary scientifically prudent and solicitous mode, advised the public, that until more was understood by researchers and public health officials, concerning the presenting new virus, newly termed the “Covetvirus,” (largely because it drew people affectionately together) to refrain from wearing masks (physical or otherwise) and to make a serious and concerted efforts to get closer to each other, at least in a neighborly fashion. There have been absolutely no reports of hospitalizations, due to the onset or complications stemming from the subject pathology, and there are clinically reliable reports of many hundreds of personal disputes being voluntarily withdrawn, incalculable handshakes between previously “distant” next-door neighbors and, to date, twelve thousand, two hundred and six, new marriages celebrated, and still counting.

The newly updated and clinically relevant health regime has observed a renaissance and rejuvenation of public attendance at theaters, restaurants, stadia, museums and other places of public assembly as well as full attendance in schools and colleges. Retail business, including, restaurants, department store traffic,  barbershops and beauty parlors have seen an unprecedented, major resuscitation. Socially, large dinners, social gatherings and parties have resumed, and are reported to exceed prior experience.

Serious contention has arisen between the medical research profession and Big Pharma on one hand, and the general public on the other, as to whether or not, money and resources should be allocated to the research and development of a preventative vaccine against the Covetvirus. In fact, there are several  pharmaceutical research and development laboratories presently engaged in the development of a safe and effective, synthetic Covetvirus, should the one which naturally occurred, be eliminated. The expected investment in the product, sought to be produced, and its forecast profits from wholesale and retail sales, are predicted, say financial experts, to be astronomical.

In the interim, the American public, engaged in comfortably lounging on beaches, happily vacationing in and out of the country, party revelers and the socially interactive public in general, are desirous of an extended length of the Covetvirus, pending the wait for an official announcement of the successful development of a safe, effective, synthetic substitute.

-p.   ADDENDUM: ** [a little satire, intended to help the reader cope with the current pandemic]

Post # 527 TRUTH, SOCIETY’S EXISTENTIAL KEYSTONE

No less than seventy-five million voters are happily anticipating the turning up the lights in the American theater and are drawing a long awaited, National sigh of relief at the upcoming replacement of the unprecedented, dark ages, rule of the Trump-Pence Administration. Mainstream America is rubbing its wounds while anticipating the restoration of its traditional governance by the predictable rectitude and capability of the coming Administration.

Such sighs of relief, are doubtlessly based upon America’s confident expectation of the restoration of normalcy to the Oval Office, to include the rational acceptance of science in the emergent need for empirical  strategies regarding the virulent pandemic and, as well, the existential danger of climate change, the resumption of America’s steady progress in civil rights, and the capable handling of the affairs of State, domestic and international. The return to the American mainstream is also predictably certain to publicly assert our core values of societal and family morality and the traditionally admirable tenets of the “American Way;” embarrassingly and shamefully degraded by their and wayward predecessors. If the written word could convey musical sound, we, in expressing our happiness and relief, would loudly transcribe a dramatic cadenza from Handel’s, ”Music for the Fireworks.”

We are confident that under the new administration America will very quickly regain its good standing and esteem among Nations, damaged by the Administration of the incompetent and ignorant egoist, Donald Trump. Previously good relationships with our traditional allies and NATO will be restored, unsuitable  alignment with autocratic opponents will cease, beneficial treaties like the Paris Accords will be re-visited and signed, relations with the EU will improve, and generally, our house, domestic and international, will again be put back in order.

There undeniably remains, however, one profoundly significant immoral an area of intentional damage  caused by the shameful and virtually, psychopathic governance of Donald Trump and his minions. This sin, which is of such an egregious and horrendously anti-societal character, that  would be manifestly unfair to expect that the new administration, by itself, would be enabled to repair. Such is the virtually unspeakable, evil program intentionally orchestrated by Donald Trump, to affirmatively and viciously attack society’s eternally supporting  keystone, the institution of “truth.” Trump’s manifold varieties of wrongful behavior are virtually uncountable, however, the damage from his acts of temporal mischief and general miscreance can be ameliorated in time, by the new administration.  By contrast, his “mortally sinful,” effort, to demean and deprecate truth is, metaphysical, and fundamentally societal, such that it would be quixotic to assume that the new Administration, alone, can repair the damage.  

Down through the ages, from Paleolithic to smart-phone, reliance upon the truth and accuracy of communication, has been no less than existential. Early man’s warning of a dangerous predator, the presence of a food or water source or safe shelter was vitally relied upon in the effort of survival. The interpersonal interaction of members of the later societies, depended upon the truth and accuracy of reports by societal members regarding  matters affecting their early society and its constituent members. In early society, reports of danger, water and food sources, habitable venues, as well as the sharing of learned skills, exemplified the fact that veracity was not only vitally useful, but anthropologically necessary.

In the modern era, truth continues to be a societal necessity in the context of human growth and advancement and is essentially anthropological. Reports of epidemic, natural danger, medical relief, availability of employment, legal advice, current events, advancements in biology, medicine and electronic facility, weather and political reports, investment advice, meteorology and climate change diagnostic results, economic analysis, health statistics and public health reports, actuarial data, and other such useful empirical information are vitally necessary to the survival and management of society.

On the personal, interactive level, veracity is perhaps, the most salient ingredient in any relationship, familial, business- related and social. Reputational  standing can effectively be diminished by one instance of prevarication. It is relevant to note that Donald Trump’s serial mendacity became an integral feature of his personal identification by the media and the public. But to be clear, his penchant for predictably false statements were matters of mundane inclination to falsehood; his campaign against “truth” was decidedly more dangerous than his serial mendacity.

On a private, interpersonal level, telling the truth is essential to the survival of any relationship. We define “lying” as misleading another person, who is reliant upon the factual accuracy of a statement of fact. A liar, essentially, being cognizant of the actual truth of his prevarication, is, by that conscious awareness, effectively, a stranger.

As observed, communication is the fundamental epoxy binding the societal community. Trump’s personal prevarications, in most cases, assumedly, can be rectified. His frequent attacks on truth and the responsible free press, in his constant, perverse  claims of “fake news”, and otherwise, (undoubtedly motivated by the neurotic defense of his ignorance, his general incapacity to reasonably carry out the duties of his office, and his ultra- sensitive ego) are fundamentally  societally damaging wrongs. The cure for the latter, in addition to the creation of an appropriate public model by the ostensible character and actions of the newly elected Administration, is in need of supplementation by members of society, in their individual self -examination, teaching of children and in their day to day behavioral expectations.

-p.   

Post # 562 EPILOGUE: RELIEF, HAPPINESS AND SOME REGRETS

We, together with upwards of seventy-five million voters, are profoundly relieved that the aberrant,  unprecedented term of office of Trump-Pence, was ended by the results of the recent Presidential election. Nevertheless, it is disappointing and truly disheartening to be reminded by the observed composition of the result, that slightly less than one-half of our population, loyally and tribally, voted for the losing administration, despite its demonstrated four- year record of undisputed incompetent, shameful and immoral performance. We had attempted until now, to resist the realization, that in this Nation, created as a  “representative democracy,” structured and intended to be guided by the will of its people, slightly less than of one- half is found seriously wanting in the Jeffersonian mandate, for the success of a Democracy viz., an educated and informed citizenry.

Simultaneously with our feelings of immeasurable relief and joy that the ticket of Biden-Harris has successfully supplanted the disgraceful and unprecedented rule by Trump-Pence, we retain a bit of regret, supplemental to that profound relief and celebratory inclination.

Those who worked for the re-election of Trump ( separate and apart from its natural appeal to the anti-health regulation, air polluting industrialists) focused the old demagogic snake oil Trump promises on his “base,” generally containing the Nation’s insufficiently educated, flat earth cohort. The Republican Party campaigners seemed to speak, exclusively, to that portion of the population. Our observation is that the Democratic campaigners spoke, likewise, almost exclusively, to their generally more literate, Democrats and the result was merely a matter of  simple arithmetic. There was absolutely no prevailing doctrinaire principle involved; either a voter was for Trump or against him. By good fortune, pursuant to that observation, the votes against Trump, simply, were arithmetically more numerous.

In the interest of clarity, we would emphatically and sincerely reiterate that we are overjoyed that Biden won and that the Nation will now awaken to normalcy, from the  nightmare of Trump and repair, as possible, the damage caused by that epitome of incompetent immorality, The situation, historically, closely replicates the context and setting of the Jimmy Carter election. At the time, America desperately desired to return to normalcy following the aberrational Presidency of Richard Nixon. Like Jimmy Carter, Joe Biden represents a safe assurance of normalcy and desired restoration of the traditional American moral compass, as well as required judgmental competence. Yet, as the title to this writing expressly indicates, we do have some principled regrets.

Since the time of the Democratic Nominations, we have enjoyed a preference for a Bernie Sanders Presidency, as predictably the most pro-active in moving our Nation towards the ideal of equality, intended and expected by our founding fathers. His failure to be nominated, in our considered opinion was a combination of two factors. Senator Sanders, a brilliant man and apt politician might have realized that, in this Nation of so many inadequately educated and reductionist voters, his choice to label himself as “Socialist”, would be, to their nuanced perception and reductive understanding, a profession of not championing the American way and desiring to install a foreign-based ideology.

The word, ”Socialism,” perceived by the inadequately educated voter, apparently, has negative and unpatriotic associations and Senator Sanders should have been cognizant that the use of words such as  “compassionate” or “empathic “ capitalism would have been tactically preferable. Neither Bernie Sanders, who chose to employ the misunderstood label, nor the Democratic Party itself, (as the second factor) dedicated sufficient (or, any) time to clarify the term, in its American (Sander’s) context.

History clearly demonstrates that the  practice of completely unregulated  laissez- faire, as proclaimed by the 19th Century English philosopher, Adam Smith, ineluctably led to lives of suffering  and extreme privation on the part of the classes of working people in newly industrialized England. Empirically, the practice of relegating the survival of lower economic families to the cruel and inhuman vagaries of his “Natural Law,” was a predictable  assurance of hunger, sickness, privation and a short, miserable life.

Following the Great Depression of the1930’s, the Administration  of President Franklyn D. Roosevelt, entered into a “contract” with America, by which the Federal Government assumed the empathic responsibility, to render needed assistance to its citizens through programs, such as social security,  survivor’s benefits, disability insurance, workmen’s compensation, health regulations for the general public and safety regulations for labor plus a plethora of other compassionate governmental undertakings, still needed and fortunately existing today. No known, recipient citizen has ever, to our knowledge, publicly labeled the wide array of government life- assisting programs as “Socialism.”

It takes no great leap of faith to assume that all such ill -advised voters who misunderstand and feared Sanders’ use of his description, “Democrat-Socialist” have been lifelong, grateful beneficiaries of a great many such programs of American compassionate capitalism. Programs of needed governmental assistance, in the context of our capitalistic infrastructure do not merit the designation of, nor are related in any way to “Socialism.” In effect, such programs, by their principled empathy and morality conceivably, prevent foreign theories of government rule from establishing a foothold in our Nation.

In a past essay, “American Socialism,” we commented on this identical, ignorant and reductionist misuse, of the word, socialism, and asserted that it is essentially, an academic term principally used in the study of political science and economics. Socialism correctly understood, means the complete ownership and control of business and industry by a central Government. Observably, there is, and has never been, an American Presidential candidate who has espoused that theory.

But, observably, the “S” word was tactically and cynically re-engineered as an epithet for the reductionist, under-educated voter, causing  Sanders to be rejected by such misled voters due to his  employment of that label. He is a brilliant man and should have known better. While we certainly look forward to the expected return of American normalcy, a President with the platform of  Bernie Sanders could have, in addition, promoted reasonable policies of sorely needed economic equity and social justice, morally called for by the American tradition of equality, in our lop-sided, astronomically divergent economic nation, and to do so, utilizing means, properly within the American tradition.

-p.   

Post # 561 THE FINE ART OF LOSING (fiction)

The first time Lorna Allison Appelkuchen, better known by her fellow villagers as “Lorna Apples,” attracted any public notice, in the small, verdant village of “Wistful Vista, Inc,” was when the local newspaper, “Wistful Living,” in a front page headline, proclaimed her selection by the Mayor ( who happened to be Lorna’s second cousin on her father’s side) as Chair of the Decorating Committees of the Meeting House and the two Village libraries. She had been, reportedly, a geranium and day lily specialist, and was selected over another disappointed applicant, Elvira Swine, herself the author of a coffee table shiny paged volume, “ Life Among Green Leaf Borers and Nematodes.” [The latter book published and distributed by the local, Oblivion Book Company which, according to the public notice, which appeared less than one year later, in “Wistful Living,” officially filed for final bankruptcy]. Miss Swine, disappointed and outraged, at her perceived personal rejection, initially set about, to vociferously contest such selection on the angrily stated grounds of unethical familial nepotism, until she was (mercifully) reminded by a neighbor who knew the back history of the family, that she was also a second cousin of the Mayor, but on the maternal side.


Commencing with that anguished disappointment, Elvira Swine angrily declared “ Lorna Apples, or whatever her name is,” arch-rival and a sworn personal enemy, despite such recent revelation that they were related. She scrupulously clipped and filed by date, every article and reference to Lorna Apple, appearing in the Village Newspaper in her obsessive search for some possible avenue to her personally perceived, justly deserved, revenge.

When Lorna’s two year term mayoral appointment expired she, having grown accustomed to and actually enjoying her first taste of public attention and status, relative to public position, decided to throw her green ribboned straw sun bonnet into the ring, to run for the expired term of the imminently retiring, Town Clerk. Elvira, despite this newly developed opportunity to request the now vacant, previously sought position (Chair of the Decorating Committee of the Village Meeting House and the two Village Libraries) and based on her desire to lock horns with her perceived enemy, publicly declared that she too, is tossing her artificial fur red fox muffler in the ring, to assert her earnest desire to oppose the candidacy of her deeply despised Lorna.


Ms. Swine, from the start, began a tactical program of political campaigning including, telephone calls to villagers, and distribution of her excellent home baked goods to neighbors; including many dozens of chocolate chip cookies to random Village children, in exchange for their solemn, lisped, promises to request that their parents vote in her favor.

For unknown personal reasons, conceivably including shyness, Lorna decided, perhaps in error, to refrain from public campaigning. The sole, indirect exception related to those chance Villagers who, from time to time, happened to appear at the front garden of her modest residence for a neighborly chat, while observing the labors of the expert geranium and lily gardener. The forthcoming election, taking place in two months was seldom discussed.


The Village’s total eligible voting roster numbered nine-hundred and fifty, including college offspring, over the age of 18, home on holiday break .The election itself was agreed to be conducted by the voter’s personal appearance and his act of dropping a glass marble (from the open cache of free glass marbles, near the public entrance to the Village Hall) into one or the other of two identical glass canning jars, each displaying in green, identically printed lettering, the name of the respective candidate. The candidate to be declared, winner, logically, was the one receiving the most marbles.


The site of the election, publicized on several occasions, was noticed to take place between the hours of 10:AM and 6PM, on the advertised date. As agreed by consensus, official counting was to be done by the Village Mayor, himself, and personally witnessed by both candidates. The two- month pre-election wait seemed to pass by quickly, during which period, the highly motivated Elvira, tactically distributed no less than twenty dozen chocolate-chip cookies, several dozen home-baked pies and cakes, and made copious campaign telephone calls, too numerous to count. Lorna, by contrast, and perhaps, foolishly simply carried on with her routine life, gardening and chatting with whatever Village people chose to come by mid-mornings, when she habitually tended to her front flower garden.


Election day weather was, fortunately, bright, sunny and comfortably cool and evinced, during the assigned voting hours, a huge number of voters, generally estimated at close to the total roster of reliable Village voters. The election went smoothly; the singular incident, occurring on election day, being the foiled attempt to vote twice, by Elvira, wearing an entirely different afternoon outfit, (and a large-brimmed hat) from the attire, worn for her vote in the morning; but fortuitously spotted by the same villager who, years ago, had revealed the parties’ mutual familial relationship. Elvira, firmly holding the large- brimmed hat behind her back, defensively, asserted that it was simply an innocent error of mistaken recollection.
The (witnessed) votes were counted at the conclusion of the election period and the final tally was as follows:


Apple: 796 (marbles)
Swine: 11 (marbles).


Elvira, however, irrationally and neurotically refused to concede her resounding and undeniable loss. She and the 9 or so others, who voted in her favor, at Elvira’s hysterical insistence, jointly protested the election results to the Village Mayor, on the spurious grounds of allegedly switched jars, moving and positioning of jars as to augment the light illumination, clandestine shifting of marbles from one jar to the other and an outrageously paranoidal account of a secret, tactical elimination of decisive marbles.


The annoyed and outraged Mayor and Villagers uniformly expressed complete frustration at Elvira’s deplorable and irrational response to the outcome of the demonstrably fair and unassailably transparent election. The local newspaper, “Wistful Life,” in addition to its dutiful, official affirmance of the results of the Village election, carried an Official Notice, stating that, pursuant to the Charter of Wistful Vista Village, Inc. the recent executive decree of the Village Mayor, was to the effect that Ms. Elvira Swine shall remain permanently ineligible to run for Village office.


-p.


ADDENDUM: It would appear that the defeated Donald J. Trump, has an analogous problem with his misplaced marbles.

Post # 560 THE BIZARRE TRANSMOGRIFICATION OF A PALOOKA

The feeling of grateful and profound relief, consequent to the merciful and long- awaited defeat of Donald F. Trump, is a felt timely impetus for a proffered analytical perception of the persona behind the unprecedented, embarrassing and dreadful period of his (thankfully) single term in office. Any attempted comparison between Trump and any of our historic Presidents, would seem to be a fruitless endeavor; we have had Chiefs of State that varied from excellent to poor, but the term of this President, elevated to Office  by the unpredictable, nuance of the popular vote, has been determined by expert political scientists, to be singularly dangerous to the institution of democracy and to the Nation.

Considering the number of our past writings on Trump’s demonstrated incapacity, ignorance, serial mendacity, neurotic egocentrism and innate dishonesty, any further treatment of his perverse incapacity to serve as President, would be duplicative and unproductive. We have also written on the subject of his majestic transmogrification to the Oval Office, generally ascribing the causes of his victory, to to the insufficient numbers of Democratic supporters for his opponent, Hillary Clinton, the unprecedented large vote of the dissatisfied, inadequately educated, “flat earth,” reductionist portion of our population, vulnerable to the “snake oil” promises of Trump and his minions, and financed by the anti-regulation, mega-rich industrial air polluters who psychopathically value profits, over human life. In the present writing we would prefer to concentrate on the persona of Trump, as we see him, and the ensuing Sophoclean Tragedy of past four years of his Presidency.

At the end of the first two years of his Presidency, the Gallop poll reported that his approval was the lowest of any American President since World War 2. His serial mendacity popularly became a distinctive part of his personal identity. In fact, the responsible media utilized the word “lies,” reportedly, for the first time in history, in reference to an American President. Indeed, political experts, throughout his term in office, often designated Trump’s performance emphatically, as an imminent danger to democracy.

 Based upon our cursory research efforts, it would appear that Donald J. Trump (and offspring) inherited a familial sociopathic persona, going back reportedly, to no less than three successive generations. This innate trait consistently exalted the importance of profit making and financial success (“winning”) far above mainstream morality, business ethics, familial fidelity, and respect for other human beings (especially, other racial groups). Considerations of empathy and societal morality was usefully absent and would have interfered with their sole, innate and overriding inclination toward monetary success.

Falsely holding himself out to the general public as a business guru, he has in fact, suffered six bankruptcies and innumerable lawsuits for non-payment to contractors. He has been legally censured regarding several public fraudulent enterprises, including his licensed brand name enterprises, such as liquor and a sham school, based upon his misrepresented record of purported real estate successes, arrogantly named, “Trump University.”

His misrepresented persona and business record led him to be accepted as a principal in beauty contests and a second rate television  show (2014-2015) the “Apprentice,” where, as to both, it is to be noted the underlying and sole issues were “winning and “losing,”  the totality of his narrow conception of meaningful reality. Trump got himself deferred from the military by successfully alleging two “bone spurs” with the assistance of a well- paid physician. He has often publicly referred to members of the military as “suckers” and to those captured, tortured or killed as “losers,” including the Nation’s celebrated hero, U.S. Sen. John McCain. Referring to the captured and extensively tortured McCain, he shamelessly and revealingly stated: “I don’t respect losers who let themselves be captured.”

No one need wonder at the infantile, noisy merry-go-round of absurd defenses and fictional accusations, asserted by the ego crushed, mortally wounded Trump, and his deluded sycophants, resulting from his resounding loss to Joseph Biden. To this undeserved but formerly transmogrified, know- nothing palooka, former host of a second- rate television game show and real estate gonif- extraordinaire, value in life consists solely of two reductive phenomena, winning or losing. We are joyful that this obnoxious disgrace to  American manhood has lost; and that America has won.

-p.

Post # 559 AUTUMNAL MATINEE

Pale early moonbeams
Espied thru a Kingston window
Shine a yellow effusion that
Mimes fresh snowfall
On the nocturnal rocks
And illumine petite acorns
Dreaming of stately oaks
And cast moving shadows
On close-in tree trunks
To waken them from leafy sleep

An unseen, feathered stage boss
Will soon trill the diurnal cue
To, as ever, hoist the dark curtain
And commence the beginning…

-p. (Leonard N. Shapiro, 11/9/20)

Blogpost # 558 PANDEMIC AND POLLSTER

We have understandably arrived at a meter reading of “Empty,” on the gauge of our reserve tank of vocabulary, relative to the characterological and universal unsuitability of Donald J. Trump, to occupy America’s Oval Office. Accordingly, we will refrain from further remarks on that painful subject and focus on the recent bizarre, humorous, one-time departure, from the normal political polling process.

The predicted outcomes, declared by America’s professionally consulted political pollsters, [such as the Gallup Poll, Marist University Poll, Harris Poll, Monmouth University Poll, Pew Research Center, the Quinnipiac University Poll and many others] have a reasonable measure of utility as an indication of the preferences and sentiments of the voting public. Certainly, it would be foolish to quixotically attempt to assay individual, preferential sentiment in a Nation of approximately, 145,000,000 potential voters. Accordingly, by practical necessity, we look to the Nation’s professional pollsters for their predictions of sentiment, such as in the present context, the likely winner in our current Presidential election.

Prodigious time, effort and expense on the part of these companies is necessarily devoted to compliance with the proclaimed universal and undertaken mandate and ethics of objectivity; by maintaining impartiality in the selection and wording of questions, including their interrogative sequence, as well as the vital selection of representative and relevant model test groups. Nevertheless, despite the existence of universally proclaimed and undertaken strictures, it is at times disappointing and confusing to discern nuanced, or even completely disparate reported result as between pollsters.

At this juncture in the present writing, by the unavoidable need for contextual rationality, we are obliged to painstakingly extract whatever related words, are empirically still extractible from our above- referenced, depleted Trump lexicon tank. We need only just enough to remind the reader that he, falsely and tactically, underplayed the significance of the advent and the virulence of the pandemic of coronavirus. He did so, initially, by denying its evident seriousness and potential mortality and then by ridiculing the recommendations of  the esteemed Dr. Anthony Fauci and virtually all responsible medical practitioners, doctor and nurse alike, that Americans must prophylactically distance themselves, from each other, if possible, by quarantine, and strictly mandated the wearing of protective masks.

Trump’s many loyal followers, due to Trump’s tactical nonchalance, refrained from taking such prudent preventative measures (masks, and distancing), as a perceived political statement of support for Trump and thereby increased the danger to themselves and, (selfishly) to other Americans. But this fact has already been exhaustively treated in past writings and is only tangentially related to the theme of the present writing, intended as a nuanced observation on the recent political polling.

Americans, enthusiastically following the daily election returns and relative electoral standing of the incumbent Republican Presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump, and the challenger, former Vice-President Joseph Biden, Democrat, have observed the nuanced phenomenon, relative to our main theme. Early computation of returns from votes personally cast, showed a significant and undeniable lead for Trump. However, the absentee, mail-in votes, undoubtedly necessitated by voter’s prudent observance of the recommended distancing precautions, regarding the infectious nature of the pandemic, were reportedly, seventy-five percent of all cast ballots and decidedly favored Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger. We may by deduction, in this nuanced Presidential election, have uncovered a  new and unique model of predictability, worlds apart from the universal, traditional polling measurements of professional political pollsters.

As stated, President Donald Trump, was negligent and irresponsible by his discouragement of the protective wearing of masks and in the observance of the distancing cautions, urgently recommended by the American medical establishment. In fact, the non- observance of mask wearing seemed to irrationally morph into a clear partisan, political statement supportive of President Trump. From this empirically observed fact, it becomes logically acceptable to assume that the numbers of individuals who voted in person  (partisan non- observers of the physically restrictive precautions) were Trump voters, which assumption was proven true by the demonstrated early returns, themselves.

As the mail-in absentee ballots (reportedly, ¾ of the voters) began to arrive over the next few days, the tide dramatically turned to, and then surged, in the challenger’s direction, ultimately to the point of his numerical success. In accordance with the empirical reasoning, as set forth in this mini essay, we can logically conclude that the write-ins, doubtless compliant mask wearers, were (the successful) democrats.

This anecdotal confluence may merely be a uniquely nuanced event; nevertheless, for the historical moment, it constitutes an inarguable upheaval or revolution, in the prediction of electoral outcomes, by traditional polling methodology.

It might have done sufficient service as an effective and accurate weather- vane, pointing in the direction of probable success, to merely arithmetically calculate the number of affirmative responses to the simple inquiry, as to whether the respondent was wearing a protective mask.

-p.   

Post # 557 STUEY’S LOVE SONG (A romantic fantasy)

One could fairly describe Stewart (“Stuey”) Pfulph, as a small, unassuming, and generally introverted person, who, in an effort to look his true age and, conceivably, improve his disappointing social life, had been only moderately successful in his attempts to grow a man-size mustache. Modest in stature, but passionate by nature, he projected his potential ardor onto the lifestyle of a passionate lover of small, domesticated animals. Consequently, after the truly crushing disappointment of flunking out of veterinary school in his freshman year, he sought employment in some field, related to the care of domestic animals. Positions in this limited and unspecific area being extremely scarce; but he, as an intelligent, educated and self-respecting person, could not possibly accept the available lowly, part-time assignments as a dog walker. After much frustrated effort, Stuey was finally obliged to accept a nighttime position as an “Airport Canine Hygienist,” specifically consisting of the sanitary removal of dog droppings from narcotic- sniffing dogs, at the “Airport Arrivals” tarmac at LaGuardia Airport.

Thus, five nights per week, and, occasionally on weekends, he would routinely commute by bicycle to LaGuardia, arriving, promptly at 6:30P.M., and, with the exception of a 9:30 coffee break plus an early morning meal break, would continuously alternate, from one landing area to the other, toting a yellow, airport plastic bag, dutifully attending to his undertaken canine investigation responsibilities.

On one Tuesday evening, following the arrival and “deplaning” of a Pan American Airlines flight from Aruba, he espied a small leather bag, on the tarmac, apparently left behind by a traveler. The small bag had an identification ticket which read: Emma Ipecac, 13 Valentine Street, N.Y.C., Apt. 6B. Stuey, a bit nonplussed, since he resided at the same building address, in apartment 4B, decided, as a favor, to personally return the found bag, rather than delivering it, as usual, to the overstocked and disorganized, Airport “Lost and Found,” department, and carefully inserted the small bag in his jacket pocket, with that neighborly intention.

The following morning, Stuey, after a short nap and quick, nervous shower, arrived at Emma’s door, at 6B, and rapped softly. Emma had just had breakfast and was busily engaged in putting away the balance of her unpacked clothes from the previous evening. She answered, “Who is there?” Stuey, nervously replied, “Is this the residence of Emma Ipecac?” She answered in the affirmative and so he identified himself as a downstairs neighbor and related the details of his find, the previous evening.

Upon being admitted to Apt. 6B, Stuey, while handing Emma the lost small leather bag, was immediately smitten by her exotic beauty. Emma, happily relieved to recover her property, invited Stuey in, and if “he had time,” for a neighborly cup of coffee. To be candid, the petite, demur Emma Ipecac, felt a general and unspecific attraction to Stuey; conceivably, it was the appearance of the off- beat mustache, like her late father. They sat at Emma’s plain chrome kitchen table for coffee, each slightly blushing.

As Emma poured the coffee, she said,” I am sure you must be curious about the contents of the bag,  assuming, correctly, from her initial impression of Stuey, that he did not, out of mere curiosity, inappropriately, open the small bag. In addition to some clean tissues and a soft moistened cloth, the opened bag revealed, three small, soft tan orbs, identified by Emma as marine turtle eggs. She confessed to her impulsive act in taking the three eggs from an exposed cluster of thousands laid by their maternal source. She stated that she now regretted the impulsive act, which was probably illegal and swore Stuey to secrecy.  Stuey, still blushing from internal excitement, of course, agreed. They very gently, placed the three turtle eggs on a clean, soft towel, inserted as a liner in an empty shoebox, in Emma’s clothes closet, in close proximity to a warming lightbulb. Their remote hope was that the purloined eggs would successfully hatch, affording the opportunity for the hatchling turtles to be transported to the nearby shore and, thereby, perform a kind act and additionally, relieve Emma’s ailing conscience.

The joint and daily enterprise, of responsibly curating the turtle eggs for the required two months was successfully rewarded by the eventual appearance of three little green hatchlings. It was further rewarded by the hatching of the nascent love affair between Emma and Stuey. As the relationship happily matured, Emma, had been advised by Stuey, of his great love for animals and his negative and disappointing experiences in that endeavor. Emma excitedly advised him, that Mr. Horton Ipecac, her paternal Uncle, is the head curator of the nearby State zoo, and she, being his favorite niece, would certainly be willing to secure a position for him at the zoo, caring for and working with animals.

During the drive to the local seashore, in possession of the three hatchling turtles, destined to live a natural life in the Ocean, Stuey, clumsily, but effectively, asked Emma to marry him, which she joyously accepted. Thereafter, by virtue of the political connections of Emma’s influential Uncle, permission was secured to hold the wedding ceremony, meaningfully, at the waiting plaza, adjacent to the Pan American Airways “Arrivals Area”. The newly wedded, Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Pfulph’s lavish wedding, was momentarily interrupted by Stuey’s studiously ignored, declaration, he thought he “saw something” on the tarmac.

The newlywed’s honeymoon was enjoyed in Aruba, the West Indian Island Emma had originally visited, however, this time, no turtle eggs were taken. Eighteen months later, the married couple joyously announced the birth of healthy triplet human hatchlings.

-p.